From Our Dublin Correspondent The new Constitution is certain to be adopted in all but trifling details. This is evident from the Opposition Press; so we have good hope that it will bring about
a ,final internal settlement. Since it is drawn for the whole of Ireland, and declares for abeolute national sovereignty, it ought to meet the demands of the extremists whq objected to Mr. de Valerie's temporary acceptance. of the Free State.
These are the radical differences between the proposed Canstaution and that of 1922: I. The sovereignty and individuality of the Irish nation are proclaimed, and the entire territory of the nation is declared to be its rightful possession.
2. The English Crown has no place in
the Constitution. A President of Ireland becomes the symbolic head of the State, and is endowed with powers as large as those of the American President.
3. A new Senate is to he formed of persons, mainly representing vocations, who will be partly nominated and partly elected; but ultimately the vocations will select their own representatives.
4. The Referendum is restored.
5. The unlovely name of Saorstrit Eireann (Irish Free State) disappears, and the Stale assumes the ancient native name of Ireland, Eire.
I may mention in passing that Eire is pronounced Aira, with the r trilled; the dative is Eirinn and the genitive Ormuz, but the inflexions only appear in English usage in the title of the President, Uachtardn na h-Eireann.
The enactment of this Constitution— which will be confirmed by national plebiscite—will not mean the final satisfaction of Irish desires; for, as Mr. de Valera
said in his broadcast on the eve of publication, partition and the occupation of Irish ports remain as facts, and the economic dispute with Britain continues.
Not until the territory of the Irish nation is evacuated and wholly under its control can true peace come.
However. the ending of partition rests with Great Britain which effected it and maintained it, and Mr. de Valera, a man of peace—the words "peace and concord" ring in his speech—hopes to effect a settlement of this by consent. For the present, the Government of Eire will resign not the right but the immediate claim, to exert the nation's authority in the occupied territory; the Parliament and Government as the Constitution states, will operate in the territory hitherto called Stiorsttit Eireann, pending the country's reintegration.
The British occupation of Southern Irish ports, like the former occupation of Calais, will disappear in time. but must be the subject of ceaseless protest by a sovereign people.
The economic dispute will die through piecemeal amendment, or by negotiation between sovereign Eire and Britain.
The " Association"
Such are the defects which. Mr. de Valera admits and deplores,
The question remains: Where does association with Britain come in?
The answer is, in specific legislation to that end. In the Constitution there is a clause permitting the State to act, in external affairs, through the same machinery as other States with which it is associated, and this covers the Act of December, 1936, which associates this country with those of the British Commonwealth.
One hopes that the new situation will lead to an explicit overhaul of the AnglesIrish position, and the formal definition of the association. without the use of any symbol of constraint.
The sovereignty of Ireland, though restricted by military occupation of part of its territory, becomes by this Constitution a jurical international fact, and the constrained Treaty of 1921 disappears for ever from the scene.
The Constitution appears in Gaelic and English, and the Gaelic version is to prevail. The English version is eloquent, but much of the Gaelic is clumsy, and one wishes that some clauses could be rewritten before enactment.
It is difficult to explain the literary faults to persons ignorant of Irish. or having a defective knowledge of it but the Gaelic genius hates complex. adjectives, such as those which are coined to express
" indefeasible and similar NormanEnglish legal expressions—the Gael uses a lucid adjectival phrase that reduces the idea to its elements.
In the official translation, the un-Gaelic, monstrous compound or complex adjectives abound, and Irish teeth are set grating by the style which is thus produced.
The New Exodus
The only structural defect in the Constitution which one perceives is that it does nothing to counteract centralisation. In this, it differs flout the ancient native constitution.
A distribution of political and executive power, beside being truer to the Irish paet, would come to the rescue of our threatened countryside, from which the headlong flight of manhood continues.
1 was at Mass in a familiar country chapel on Sunday, and found benches and benches emptied by the exodus. Is the new Constitution to be the charter of liberty for
a wilderness? The big strike in Dublin has added urban contingents to the exodus; for numbers of men thrown into idleness have left the city for England. Is there no unemployment in England now, that you are taking so much of our manhood from us?
Prevention of Emigration?
This will be the next big problem for Mr. de Valera's attention--the arrest of new emigration, so irrational and so sinister. He has crowned his political work with the Constitution; for it consolidates all the ground gained in our time, and lays a basis for the ending of partition. No doubt he will retire from the Dail to be the first President of the new order.
Many think that the seven-year limitation should be waived by law in his case, and a life Presidency be created for this father of his nation's freedom. As President, in any case, he will be released from the drudgery of a Premier's duties, and free to resume that purely patriotic leadership which is needed to brace up the people's spirit and give the hope which makes a countryside happy and flourishing.
The Social Clauses
The Constitution, more firmly and clearly than that -of eta other that I have seen, lays down the Christian principles of the Family, Private Property and Education. Divorce is forbidden. Compulsory State education is abolished, though the State may oblige parents to provide privately, if they do not avail themselves of the public schools. Private property, subject to the public good. is guaranteed. There is one remarkable section. which sets forth five principles to be observed, but gives them as counsels, not as commands; these five points ure those which Mr. de Valera enunciated on St. Patrick's Day in the broadcast which 1 then reported here— points Of Christian social justice which were admired by all Catholic commentators.
The Constitution so much overshadows all other Irish news of the week that I must be brief with what remains.
Irish Brigade to Return
In an exclusive message to the Irish Independent, General O'Dulfy writes from Spain to announce that the Irish Brigade, save for some individuals who have elected to remain with General Franco's forces, is about to return to Ireland. The stoppage of support caused by non-intervention is the reason given. General Franco has thanked the Brigade for its services. General. O'Dulfy says that victory for the Patriotic side in Spain, though distant still, is sure.
THE ORTHODOXY OF
The Wa ter ord Aquinas Circle has carried further the debate on the orthodoxy of Labour. In reply to the argument that Archbishop lainsley has encouraged English Catholic Labour to participate in trade unions which are affiliated to the International body—a body which has sided with the Reds in Spain and is definitely Socialistic—the group of Waterford students argues that England's case is different from Ireland's. In England there are no Catholic unions, and individual Catholic workers must just strive to uphold Christian principles in the English unions to the best of their power; to withdraw from the unions would be to silence Christian counsels within them.
In Ireland, on the other hand, the unions are predominantly Catholic in personnel, and therefore are free to pursue the ideal Catholic course, which is to reform the social system on a plan of which the International Unions take no account.
A NOTED PRIEST DEAD
The death of Canon Dempsey, P.P., Clontarf, has removed one of Dublin's most distinguished priests—a true leader of his people in all things making for their good. His attention to Church art has done much to advance the beauty of architecture and church decoration, in which matter, indeed, Ireland now has much to boast.