From Our Dublin Correspondent As the time for the publication of the new Constitution approaches, interest in the Border increases both North and South. In the Six Counties the organisation of the Irish Union Association proceeds apace. It appears to he strongly in favour of the proposal which has emanated from many sources, including the programme of the Fianna Fail National Convention, that under the new Constitution members of the Six-County Parliament should be entitled to sit, speak and vote in the Dail.
In this connection it is worthy of mention that even Protestant opinion seems to be turning towards a United Ireland. Speaking at a Trinity College meeting recently, a Protestant clergyman referred to the United Irishmen as an association which had failed in a noble cause and suggested that to-day Trinity College might earn the gratitude of Ireland if it devoted its energies to the removal of the Border.
And in the North various Protestant bodies have publicly protested that the Ulster Protestant League does not represent their views when it calls for the exclusion of Catholics from employment and urges that the Government of the SixCounties is a Protestant Government for a Protestant people.
The Constitution Outlined
Speaking at the National Convention of Fianna Fail in Dublin on Tuesday, Mr. de Valera said that the Irish people wanted to be on good terms with Great Britain but must be allowed to live their own lives. There could be no lasting peace while part of the national territory was withheld from the control of the majority of the nation.
The new Constitution. Mr. de Valera added, would be such as the Irish people would choose if Britain were millions of miles away, and the question of relations with Britain would be a subsequent question.
"All power, under God, in the country," the Saorstat President said, " emanates from and abides with the Irish people. The Constitution will provide for the election of a First Citizen, with fullest authority, elected by the vote of the people, and for a Second Chamber, on a vocational or functional basis, with power to institute a referendum.
" Association with Britain and with the Commonwealth will not be dealt with in the Constitution but in a separate law, and the present relations will provisionally be continued until the people have an opportunity to pronounce expressly on these relations."
In Belfast Parliament during the week there was a scene of tense excitement when an Independent member, Mr. T. Henderson, denounced the Government for persecuting the starving people of Belfast. " You offer 4s. a week to the unemployed people to keep them alive," he said. " Your cigars cost you more than that each."
When a Government member protested that they had no power to do more than Britain, he replied: " You have no power. That is a marvellous statement. In spite of the boast that with Lord Carson the loyalists of Ulster won a free country, this is only a puppet Parliament. We are members of a Parliament that can do noth
ing without the consent of Britain. So this is freedom.
That this point of view is gaining ground even among loyalists in the North seems undoubted, and it is believed that the new Free State constitution, which will re-affirm the right to complete autonomy of the thirty-two counties of Ireland, will create a crisis that may easily bring about a revision of the Border situation and the provisions of the Government of Ireland Act of 1920.
A big advance in Irish tourish traffic was announced at the annual meeting of the Irish Tourist Association, which reviewed the past year at its meeting in Dublin during the week. In his opening speech the Chairman placed tourism as next in importance to agriculture, the basic industry of the country. He estimated that revenue from holiday business had increased during the year by £50,000, a greater advance than any registered in other branches of the nation's activities.
In former years the Association was primarily interested in keeping Irish holiday makers in Ireland, and to this end devoted much of its attention to the improvement of Irish hotels and the brightening-up of holiday resorts. Now it has embarked on a publicity campaign abroad.
Dublin's Water Bill
The text of the Liffey Reservoir Bill which gives the Electricity Supply Board and the Dublin Corporation authority to carry out a joint scheme for the provision of a supplementary water supply for Dublin and the generation of electricity, has been circulated.
On the completion of the second and final stage of development, the Corporation will have prior right to 20,000,000 gallons of water per day.
The Bill to regulate wages and conditions in agricultural employment, which is a counterpart of the Bill regulating industrial employment recently passed into law, has also been circulated. It will be one of the principal measures for introduction in the present session of the Dail.
The Bill provides for an Agricultural Wages Board with power to fix minimum rates of wages for agricultural labourers in different districts. In fixing rates, it will take into consideration the social services and standard of living in each district.