No. 217 NAI DE 4/5/14
Proposed Alternative Treaty of Association between Ireland and the British Commonwealth presented by Mr Eamon de Valera to a Secret Session of Dáil Éireann on 14 December 1921
Dublin, 13-14 December 1921
In order to bring to an end the long and ruinous conflict between Great Britain and Ireland by a sure and lasting peace honourable to both nations, it is agreed
1. That the legislative, executive, and judicial authority of Ireland shall be derived solely from the people of Ireland.
2. That, for purposes of common concern, Ireland shall be associated with the States of the British Commonwealth, viz.: the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, and the Union of South Africa.
3. That when acting as an associate the rights, status, and privileges of Ireland shall be in no respect less than those enjoyed by any of the component States of the British Commonwealth.
4. That the matters of 'common concern' shall include Defence, Peace and War, Political Treaties, and all matters now treated as of common concern amongst the States of the British Commonwealth, and that in these matters there shall be between Ireland and the States of the British Commonwealth 'such concerted action founded on consultation as the several Governments may determine.'
5. That in virtue of this association of Ireland with the States of the British Commonwealth citizens of Ireland in any of these States shall not be subject to any disabilities which a citizen of one of the component States of the British Commonwealth would not be subject to, and reciprocally for citizens of these States in Ireland.
6. That, for purposes of the Association, Ireland shall recognise His Britannic Majesty as head of the Association.
7. That, so far as her resources permit, Ireland shall provide for her own defence by sea, land and air, and shall repel by force any attempt by a foreign power to violate the integrity of her soil and territorial waters, or to use them for any purpose hostile to Great Britain and the other associated States.
8. That for five years, pending the establishment of Irish coastal defence forces, or for such other period as the Governments of the two countries may later agree upon, facilities for the coastal defence of Ireland shall be given to the British Government as follows:
(a) In time of peace such harbour and other facilities as are indicated in the Annex hereto, or such other facilities as may from time to time be agreed upon between the British Government and the Government of Ireland.
(b) In time of war such harbour and other Naval facilities as the British Government may reasonably require for the purposes of such defence as aforesaid.
9. That within five years from the date of exchange of ratifications of this treaty a conference between the British and Irish Governments shall be held in order to arrange for the handing over of the coastal defence of Ireland to the Irish Government, unless some other arrangement for naval defence be agreed by both Governments to be desirable in the common interest of Ireland, Great Britain, and the other associated States.
10. That, in order to co-operate in furthering the principle of international limitation of armaments, the Government of Ireland shall not
(a) Build submarines unless by agreement with Great Britain and the other States of the Commonwealth.
(b) Maintain a military defence force, the establishments whereof exceed in size such proportion of the military establishments maintained in Great Britain as that which the population of Ireland bears to the population of Great Britain.
11. That the Governments of Great Britain and of Ireland shall make a con vention for the regulation of civil communication by air.
12. That the ports of Great Britain and of Ireland shall be freely open to the ships of each country on payment of the customary port and other dues.
13. That Ireland shall assume liability for such share of the present public debt of Great Britain and Ireland and of the payment of war pensions as existing at this date as may be fair and equitable, having regard to any just claims on the part of Ireland by way of set off or counter claim, the amount of such sums being determined, in default of agreement, by the arbitration of one or more independent persons being citizens of Ireland or of the British Commonwealth.
14. That the Government of Ireland agrees to pay compensation on terms not less favourable than those proposed by the British Government of Ireland Act of 1920 to judges, officials, members of Police Forces and other Public Servants who are discharged by it or who retire in consequence of the change of government effected in pursuance hereof. Provided that this agreement shall not apply to members of the Auxiliary Police Force or to persons recruited in Great Britain for the Royal Irish Constabulary during the two years next preceding the date hereof. The British Government will assume responsibility for such compensation or pensions as may be payable to any of these excepted persons.
15. That neither the Parliament of Ireland nor the Parliament of that part of the province of Ulster which is defined as Northern Ireland in the British Government of Ireland Act, 1920, shall make any law so as either directly or indirectly to endow any religion or prohibit or restrict the free exercise thereof or give any preference or impose any disability on account of religious belief or religious status or affect prejudicially the right of any child to attend a school receiving public money without attending the religious instruction at the school or make any discrimination as respects State aid between schools under the management of different religious denominations or divert from any religious denomination or any educational institution any of its property except for public utility purposes and on payment of compensation.
16. That by way of transitional arrangement for the Administration of Ireland during the interval which must elapse between the date hereof and the setting up of a Parliament and Government of Ireland in accordance herewith, the members elected for constituencies in Ireland since the passing of the British Government of Ireland Act in 1920 shall at a meeting summoned for the purpose elect a transitional government to which the British Government and Dail Eireann shall transfer the authority, powers and machinery requisite for the discharge of its duties, provided that every member of such transitional government shall have signified in writing his or her acceptance of this instrument. But this arrangement shall not continue in force beyond the expiration of twelve months from the date hereof.
17. That without recognising the right of any part of Ireland to be excluded from the supreme authority of the national Parliament and Government; nevertheless, in sincere regard for internal peace, and in the desire to bring no force or coercion to bear upon any substantial part of the province of Ulster whose inhabitants may now be opposed to the acceptance of the National Authority, the following provisions shall have effect in the case of that portion of Ulster which is defined as 'Northern Ireland' in the British Government of Ireland Act 1920.
18. Until the expiration of one month from the passing of the Act of Parliament for the ratification of this instrument, the powers of the Parliament and the Government of Ireland shall not be exercisable as respects Northern Ireland, and the provisions of the British Government of Ireland Act 1920, shall, so far as they relate to Northern Ireland have full force and effect, and no election shall be held for the return of members to serve in the Parliament of Ireland for constituencies in Northern Ireland, unless a resolution is passed by both Houses of the Parliament of Northern Ireland in favour of the holding of such elections before the end of the said month.
19. If before the expiration of the said month, an address is presented to His Majesty by both Houses of the Parliament of Northern Ireland to that effect, the powers of the Parliament and the Government of Ireland shall no longer extend to Northern Ireland, and the provisions of the British Government of Ireland Act, 1920, (including those relating to the Council of Ireland) shall so far as they relate to Northern Ireland, continue to be of full force and effect, and this instrument shall have effect subject to [the]1 necessary modifications. Provided that if such an address is so presented a Commission consisting of three persons, one to be appointed by the Government of Ireland, one to be appointed by the Government of Northern Ireland, and one who shall be Chairman to be appointed by the British Government shall determine in accordance with the wishes of the inhabitants, so far as may be compatible with economic and geographic conditions the boundaries between Northern Ireland and the rest of Ireland, and for the purposes of the British Government of Ireland Act, 1920, and of this instrument, the boundary of Northern Ireland shall be such as may be determined by such Commission.
20. For the purpose of the last foregoing article, the powers of the Parliament, defined as the Parliament of Southern Ireland under the British Government of Ireland Act, 1920, to elect members of the Council of Ireland shall be exercised by the Parliament of Ireland.
21. After the expiration of the said month, if no such address as is mentioned in Article 19 hereof is presented, the Parliament and Government of Northern Ireland shall continue to exercise as respects Northern Ireland the powers conferred on them by the British Government of Ireland Act, 1920, but the Parliament and Government of Ireland shall in Northern Ireland have in relation to matters in respect of which the Parliament of Northern Ireland has not power to make laws under that Act (including matters which under the said Act are within the jurisdiction of the Council of Ireland) the same powers as in the rest of Ireland, subject to such other provisions as may be agreed in manner hereinafter appearing.
22. At any time after the date hereof the Government of Northern Ireland and the transitional Government of Ireland provided for in Article 16 may meet for the purpose of discussing the provisions subject to which the last foregoing Article is to operate in the event of no such address as is therein mentioned being presented and those provisions may include:- 1 Typed above the sentence.
(a) Safeguards with regard to patronage in Northern Ireland.
(b) Safeguards with regard to the collection of revenue in Northern Ireland.
(c) Safeguards with regard to import and export duties affecting the trade or industry of Northern Ireland.
(d) Safeguards for minorities in Northern Ireland.
(e) The settlement of the financial relations between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
(f) The establishment and powers of a local militia in Northern Ireland and the relation of the Defence Forces of Ireland and of Northern Ireland respectively, and if at any such meeting provisions are agreed to, the same shall have effect as if they were included amongst the provisions subject to which the powers of the Parliament and the Government of Ireland are to be exercisable in Northern Ireland under Article 21 hereof.
23. That this instrument shall be submitted forthwith by His Britannic Majesty's Government for the approval of the Parliament at Westminster, and by the Cabinet of Dail Eireann to a meeting of the members elected for the constituencies in Ireland set forth in the British Government of Ireland Act 1920, and if approved shall be ratified by the necessary legislation.
1. The following are the specific facilities referred to:-
DOCKYARD PORT AT BEREHAVEN.
(a) Admiralty property and rights to be retained as at the date hereof. Harbour defences to remain in charge of British care and maintenance parties.
(b) Harbour defences to remain in charge of British care and maintenance parties. Certain mooring buoys to be retained for use of His Majesty's ships. BELFAST LOUGH.
(c) Harbour defences to remain in charge of British care and maintenance parties.
(d) Harbour defences to remain in charge of British care and maintenance parties.
(e) Facilities in the neighbourhood of the above ports for coastal defence by air.
OIL FUEL STORAGE.
(f) Haulbowline [and] Rathmullen[:] To be offered for sale to commercial companies under guarantee that purchasers shall maintain a certain minimum stock for Admiralty purposes.
2. A Convention covering a period of five years shall be made between the British and Irish Governments to give effect to the following conditions:-
(a) That submarine cables shall not be landed or wireless stations for communication with places outside Ireland be established except by agreement with the British Government; that the existing cable landing rights and wireless concessions shall not be withdrawn except by agreement with the British Government; and that the British Government shall be entitled to land additional submarine cables or establish additional wireless stations for communication with places outside Ireland.
(b) That lighthouses, buoys, beacons, and any navigational marks or navigational aids shall be maintained by the Government of the Irish Free State as at the date hereof and shall not be removed or added to except by agreement with the British Government.
(c) That war signal stations shall be closed down and left in charge of care and maintenance parties, the Government of Ireland being offered the option of taking them over and working them for commercial purposes subject to Admiralty inspection, and guaranteeing the upkeep of existing telegraphic communication therewith.
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