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in working conditions, Sir William Mackenzie said that it should be available to the workpeople directly concerned, or their representatives in the shop, before it was decided that the change should be made. The final opinion expressed was that the matter was one in which no agreement, however carefully devised, could fully take the place of good sense and goodwill between the parties, and the appreciation by either side of the difficulties and point of view of the other.
The issue of this report led to a new attempt to reach an agreement. On May 10 a
On May 16 a joint negotiating committee, representing all the unions involved in the dispute, met the Engineering Employers' Federation in conference at Westminster. At first the spokesmen for the Amalgamated Engineering Union did not find themselves in accord as to procedure with the representatives of the forty-seven other unions, but after a short delay matters were arranged and agreement was reached on a united course of action on the part of the workers. At the first sitting of the conference the employers undertook to submit definite proposals to the negotiating committee of the united unions. When these proposals were submitted some hope was entertained of their acceptance. They provided for the application of the provisions for avoiding disputes to all sections and unions without distinction, and also suggested arrangements by which there would be reasonable notice given and prior consultation made possible in respect of contemplated changes in workshop management. The prospects of a prompt settlement, however, were dashed to the ground by the action of the Executive of the Amalgamated Engineering Union, which declined to proceed with negotiations on the lines suggested by Sir William Mackenzie and adopted by the employers. The proposals were thereupon separately considered by the Executives of the forty-seven unions apart from the Amalgamated Engineering Union, and after a long discussion it was announced that the conference had decided to submit the proposals to a ballot vote of the members of the unions.
As soon as the Amalgamated Engineering Union perceived that they were likely to be left alone in their struggle with the employers, they began to regard the position very seriously. Their members had already been unemployed for eleven weeks, and although the union had been relatively rich, their resources had become gravely depleted. Accordingly they decided to call a national conference of delegates at the beginning of June to consider the position.
The result of the ballot of the unions other than the Amalgamated Engineering Union was announced on June 2, when the forty-seven unions concerned voted, by a majority of more than 50,000, in favour of accepting the employers' terms. As soon as this decision had been communicated to the delegate conference of the Amalgamated Engineering Union at York, they in their turn arranged to submit the proposals of the employers to a vote of the rank and file. Mr. J. T. Brownlie, chairman of the union, at the same time addressed a letter to its members strongly urging acceptance of the terms. The result of this ballot was announced on June 13, the employers' terms being accepted by a majority of nearly two to one. Arrangements were made forthwith for a return to work, and the lock-out came to an end shortly afterwards.
The position in Ireland continued to worsen during June, and at the beginning of the month a series of conferences was held in London. Sir James Craig and Lord Londonderry, representing the Northern Irish Government, discussed the position with a committee of the Cabinet at Downing Street, and later the Irish signatories of the Peace Treaty had a similar conference. At this time shooting was going on continuously in the streets of Belfast, and many fires caused by incendiaries broke out. On June 2 the negotiations very nearly broke down. The chief concern of British Ministers was as to the effect of the agreement between Mr. Collins and Mr. de Valera on the observance of the Peace Treaty of the previous December. When they had examined the draft of the Irish Constitution brought to London by Mr. Collins and Mr. Griffith, these doubts were further intensified. They reached the conclusion that the proposed Constitution violated the Irish Treaty, and claimed to establish for the Irish Government powers that it was impossible to concede. It will be remembered that, at the time the Treaty was under discussion, the Canadian Constitution was generally regarded as a model on which the Constitution of the Irish Free State was to be formed, but British Ministers believed that the draft of the Constitution for Ireland as submitted by the Irish delegates would give Ireland powers greater than those possessed by any of the self-governing Dominions of the Empire. It provided, for instance, for complete freedom in foreign affairs and independence in Imperial matters—which the British Government found it impossible to concede.
The decision of the Cabinet Committee on Irish Affairs that the proposed Constitution was unacceptable, was confirmed at a Cabinet Council on June 2. A series of six questions was drawn up and sent to Mr. Griffith and his colleagues. These questions embodied in their terms the objections of the British Government to the proposed Constitution, and were so direct in their character as to indicate that a failure to reply, or an unsatisfactory reply, might mean the complete breakdown of the negotiations and the end of the state of affairs established in Ireland by the Treaty of the previous December. As the hours passed by and no reply was received, it was decided to summon an emergency meeting of all the Ministers in London in view of the grave decision that might have to be taken. This meeting assembled in the evening in Downing Street. At length a reply was handed in and turned out to be of a conciliatory character, bearing witness to the fact that the Free State Government was genuine in its wish to reach an agreement with the British Government, and to avoid a return to the state of affairs that existed in Ireland before the Treaty. Mr. Collins was understood to have again assured the British Government that the Free State Government had no part in, and indeed strongly condemned, the menacing attitude of Sinn Fein Irregulars on the Ulster border.
On June 4 an encounter took place between British soldiers and the Irish Republican Army. The rebels were given twentyfour hours' notice to evacuate northern territory, and the British Forces then occupied Pettigo. They were fired upon and replied vigorously, artillery coming into action, the entire village being soon occupied by the soldiers. The Commandant of the Irish Republican Army and a number of his soldiers were taken prisoners, and a quantity of war material was captured. In all, seven rebels were killed and sixteen taken prisoners, the British having only one man killed. On the same day a British sloop intercepted in Tralee Bay a United States steamer and seized a quantity of arms and ammunition found hidden in her cargo of maize.
The conversations in London between British Ministers and Sinn Fein leaders were resumed on June 7, when Mr. Griffith arrived back from Dublin with undertakings by the Irish Provisional Government confirming the assurances that he personally had given to the British Cabinet. The Provisional Government sent a comprehensive assurance that it was prepared to alter the draft Constitution of the Irish Free State in every particular in which it was shown to be at variance with the Treaty of December. Thereupon a re-drafting took place of the clauses to which exception was taken. This re-drafting was specially directed to ensure that the Viceroy should have his
proper status, and that measures passed by the Free State Parliament should be submitted for the royal assent. The authority of the Privy Council in the final determination of constitutional questions had also to be definitely admitted, as well as the control of foreign relations by the Imperial Government. The final conference between the British and Irish signatories to the Treaty took place on June 15, and the text of the draft Constitution of the Irish Free State was then issued. Its main features were as follows:
The Irish Free State was to be a co-equal member of the community of nations forming the British Commonwealth of Nations, all government and authority being derived from the people. Irish citizenship was defined, and a proviso was inserted that a citizen of any other State migħt elect not to accept Irish citizenship. The national language was to be Irish, but English would be equally recognised as an official language. No titles or honours could be conferred for services in relation to the Irish Free State except with the approval of the Executive Council of the State. Freedom of conscience, free profession of religion, and freedom of expression of opinion were declared. The rights of the State as regards national resources were not to be alienated, and private exploitation was to be under State supervision.
As regards the legislative provisions, a legislature, to be known as Oireachtas, was created, consisting of the King and two Houses, namely, the Chamber of Deputies (Dail Eireann) and the Senate (Seanad Eireann). Adult suffrage was provided. The Senate was to be on an elective basis, the electors being over thirty. The oath prescribed by the Treaty was to be taken by members of Oireachtas. It must be taken and subscribed by every member before taking his seat and in the presence of the representative of the Crown. Payınent of members of Oireachtas was provided for. Election was to be according to the principles of proportional representation, and the constituencies were to be revised every ten years. Each University was to elect two representatives to the Senate, which was to be composed of citizens who had done honour to the nation by public service, or who, by virtue of special qualifications, represented important aspects of the nation's life. A panel of qualified senators was to be formed. Dail Eireann was to have authority in money Bills, exclusive of the Senate. A joint session of both Houses was provided in the case of disagreement, for the purpose of debating Bills other than money Bills. Bills that had passed both Houses were to be presented for the royal assent, which might be either withheld or reserved, providing that the representative of the Crown should act in accordance with Canadian precedent. The Irish Parliament might create subordinate legislatures, but was to retain the exclusive right to raise and maintain the armed forces mentioned in the Treaty. Provision was made for a referendum of Bills passed by both Houses, on a resolution of the Senate assented to by three-fifths of its members, or by a petition signed by not less than onetwentieth of the voters on the register of voters. The decision of the people on such a referendum was to be final. This, however, did not apply to money or emergency Bills. The Irish Free State was not, except in the case of actual invasion, to be committed to active participation in any war without the consent of its Parliament. Constitutional amendments could not be made without a referendum.
As regards the Executive, authority was vested in the King, and was to be exercised according to Canadian precedent. There was to be an Executive Council to advise the Government responsible to Dail Eireann, and consisting of not more than twelve members, eight of whom were not to be members of the Irish Parliament. The President and Vice-President were to be members of Dail Eireann, and the representative af the Crown was to be appointed in the same manner as the Governor-General of Canada. As regards finance, all revenues were to form one fund and Dail Eireann was to appoint a controller and auditor-general.
The section dealing with the judiciary provided for the right of any person to petition His Majesty for special leave to appeal from the Supreme Court of the Free State to His Majesty in Council. Judges were to be appointed by the representative of the Crown on the advice of the Executive Council. The jury system was to be retained in criminal matters, save in the case of summary jurisdiction by law for minor offences.
Polling took place on June 16 all over the twenty-six counties of Southern Ireland for the election of the Provisional Government, which had been summoned to meet on July 1. The result was a large majority in favour of the Treaty. The position of the various Parties as a result of the election was as follows:
Pro-Treaty, 58; Anti-Treaty, 36; Labour, 17; Farmers, 7; Independents, 6; and the 4 representatives of Dublin University. The election was regarded as a notable triumph for the Treaty, especially in districts which had been expected to vote almost solidly Republican.
The first result of the election was the issue of an official statement on June 27 by the Irish Government. This statement said that since the close of the General Election, on which the will of the people of Ireland had been ascertained, further grave acts against the security of person and property had been committed in Dublin and in some other parts of Ireland by persons pretending to act with authority. It was the duty of the Government, the statement continued, to which the people had entrusted their defence and the conduct of their affairs, to protect and secure all law-respecting citizens without discretion, and that duty the Government would resolutely perform. The statement went on to refer to the raid on a garage in Dublin under the pretext of a Belfast boycott-a boycott which had no legal existence--and to the seizing of General O'Connell by some of those responsible for plundering the garage. It was announced that outrages such as these against the nation and the Government must cease at once and cease for ever. For some months past all classes of business in Ireland had suffered severely from the feeling of insecurity engendered by reckless and wicked acts which had tarnished the reputation of Ireland abroad. The statement concluded that the country should no longer be held up from the pursuit of its normal life and the establishment of its free national institutions. It called, therefore, on the citizens to co-operate actively with the Government in the measures which it was taking to ensure the public safety, and to secure Ireland for the Irish people.
The General O'Connell referred to was Assistant Chief of Staff in the Free State Army. He had been captured that morning, and the Republicans had sent a message to the effect that he was being detained as a hostage pending the release of