24 DECEMBER 1921, Page 1

When we went to press last week the Dail was

in secret session, and the secrecy continued until the end of the week. On Monday the doors were thrown open again to the public. By that time the members had arranged themselves into fairly defined groups and the battle was joined with a good deal of bitterness. The Speaker informed the House, at the request of Mr. De Valera, that a document which had been produced at the private session must be kept confidential. The reference was to Mr. De Valera's alternative Treaty. Mr. Griffith at once challenged this arbitrary prohibition. Is the document

to be withheld from the Irish people ? How long are we to be fooled ? " Mr. De Valera replied that he had drawn up the document in order to secure a united policy. He proposed to withhold it until the proper time came in the debate for producing it. Mr. Griffith then moved that the Treaty be ratified. Ho said that he had signed it not as an ideal thing but in the firm belief that it was a Treaty honourable to Ireland and one which would safeguard her interests. Every man with a scrap of honour who signed it agreed with him.