De Valera Says " Agreement Unattainable "
From Our Own Correspondent.
" A COMPREHENSIVE AGREEMENT SEEMS NOW TO BE
These were the words of Mr. de Valera when the Irish delegation arrived home at the week-end and was met by eager inquiries as to the progress of the negotiations.
The words flashed to all corners of the land in the radio bulletin a few minutes later, and Ireland knew that the high hopes of the last few weeks were dashed.
Mr. de Valera's news implied that the national demand for the unity of Ireland had been rejected by the British Government, which partitioned Ireland and maintains partition.
Without Irish unification, there can be no friendship between Ireland and England—no co-operation in defence against potential enemies.
Britain Alone Can Do It
Mr. de Valera amplified his statement in
a later interview. "No really comprehen sive agreement can now be made," he said.
"Any agreement which leaves our country partitioned can only be a partial agreement, and can at most be no more than a step towards establishing that friendship between the two countries which is desired, not only by the majorities in both but in every country in which our respective peoples have found a common home.
"Although the British Government may not now be able easily to end Partition, it is idle to pretend that it can wash its hands of the question.
It was the British Parliament that created Partition; the supreme power over the area cut off remains with that Parliament; without British force and British funds, Partition could not continue for any length of time.
Catholic Ulster Penalised
"The Act creating Partition envisaged the ultimate unity of Ireland. So did the Treaty of 1921. In these provision was made for safeguarding the rights of minorities both by the system of proportional representation and by the clauses requiring equality of treatment for the religious denominations.
" These provisions have been set aside or ignored by the Belfast Government, and no protest has been made by Britain. Gerrymandering and discrimination on religious grounds have deprived the Nationalists, who constitute over onethird of the population, and are the largest religious group, of their natural civic rights. The position is intolerable.
These Want Union " In each of the counties of Tyrone and Fermanagh, in Derry City, and in the parliamentary constituencies of South Armagh, South Down and Mourne (South-East Down) there are Nationalist majorities.
"These areas are all contiguous to the twenty-six counties. The inhabitants want to be united with us—they never desired to be cut off. What is the justification for coercing them to remain under a regime which they detest?"