3 DECEMBER 1921, Page 2

Lord Birkenhead then went on to exercise that kind of

highly peaceful persuasion which is the first cousin to compulsion, though it professes to be no relation. 'He said that this quarrel did not affect only the inhabitants of Ireland, it affected the -forty odd millions of people in this country, and it affected and weakened the whole British Empire and produced unhappy reverberations and consequences in the United States and wherever the English language was spoken. He hoped that if the Conference failed the Government would be able to publish all the facts at once and thus " take our fellow-citizens into our complete confidence." The nation, he added, would then be able to judge for itself of " the incomparable silliness with which some politicians have been criticizing us for things we have never said or done." For his part he had seen more of Mr. Griffith and Mr. Collins than of any other Shin Fein delegates, and he wished to make it absolutely plain that he had not the slightest doubt of the sincerity of both these gentlemen and the continuance of their desire to reach a solution.