11 MARCH 1922, Page 11



Sri,—When expounding "The Articles of the Irish Agreement" in the House of Commons on December 14th, 1921, Mr. Lloyd George is thus reported in the Official Report of that date, Vol. 149, No. 1, Col. 27 :—

" Tex Palm MINISTER (Mr. Lloyd George): 'The main opera- tion of this scheme is the raising of Ireland to the status of a Dominion of the British Empire—that of a Free State within the Empire, with a common citizenship, and by virtue of that membership in the Empire and of that common citizenship owning allegiance to the King.'

MR. R. DieNsmi.: ' Owning allegiance!'

TILE PRIME MINISTER : And swearing allegiance to the King.'"

The doubt implied in Mr. R. McNeill's interpellation is at once confirmed on reading the Free State view of the question, as expounded in the following extract from tho columns of their official organ, the Free State, of February 25th :— "Faithfulness' to George V. and his successors, unlike `Allegiance,' implies reciprocal obligations. If the obligation is not observed, that clause in the oath, which is not absolute or unconditional, has no moral binding force whatever, and Ireland, through her representatives, stands free to take any action which the altered situation may seem to require:"

So that's that.—I am, Sir, &c., NE OBLIVISCARILL