By Our Dublin Correspondent Last week I commented—peevishly perhaps—on the indifference shown in this country to the Council of Europe. Since the proceedings opened at Strasbourg that has not been the case. But the interest now ex• hibited is concentrated on the Partition issue and the effort made by the Irish delegation to get the subject on to the agenda.
Ireland was unofficially represented at The Hague last year. and this is the first occasion that the Government has recognised the Council. I am aware that some of the unofficial delegation were satisfied when the agenda for the present conference was being prepared that Partition was certain to come up under one of the headings.
TWO POINTS OF VIEW
The Press here is divided in opinion. The Irish Times regards the Irish insistence on this topic as a tactical error arising from Mr. MacBride's diplomatic inexperience.
The other papers, according to their political complexion, put in headlines the efforts of their particular champion (Mr. de Valera in one case, Mr. McBride in the other) to get Partition included in the debate.
There is no doubt that it would be politically dangerous for either of these party leaders to appear prepared to shelve this issue at Strasbourg.
While I am not in favour of a selfish pre-occupation with this problem in view of the far greater evil with which the world is faced, I am not at all in agreement with the attitude of the Irish Times.
Surely, in due course and in its turn, Ireland and Britain can make their respective cases and listen to the judgment of the member States.
Denmark has an interest in Schleswig-Holstein, in many respects parallel to the Irish interest in the Six Counties, and it is interesting to observe that the Danes have supported the Irish. Each country will judge the Council by the way in which it deals with the matter in which that country is most concerned.
If a broad and generous line is not adopted in the near future by the Great Powers in Europe, we will have to sit back and wait until force decides the problems which Christian feeling and unselfish imaginative statesmanship could solve now.
The Government is committed to a plan for comprehensive insurance, and it has now been in office for a year and a half without so far producing the scheme. Before the recess, Mr. McGilligan made a speech on the subject in which he explained that a scheme of this kind could not be launched without the greatest care and most elaborate preparation.
There is no doubt that there will be a storm if this matter is long delayed.
The existence of the Government depends upon Labour support and Mr. Norton, the Labour leader, will have to answer to his party if he compromises on this issue.
Meanwhile, the financial situation in Great Britain hangs over us—a threat and (Mr. McGilligan may say) —a warning.
No Red Godfathers
Communist Party members will in future not be permitted to act as godfathers at christening ceremonies.