MR. ERSKINE CHILDERS: I wish to raise a few points in connection with the statement made by the President.
MR. PIARAS BEASLAI: I must protest. There is nothing before the House. Deputy Childers is out of order.
MR. ERSKINE CHILDERS: The President has made a very general statement of policy. All I wish to do is to ask him to be more explicit in a few particulars which are of great importance. I do not raise the points in the least obstructive sense, or with any obstructive motives. It is simply in order that we may know more exactly where we stand. Mr. Griffith as President has taken over an important office, to my view in a double capacity—one as Chief Executive Officer of Dáil Eireann, and the other, which he will soon presumably hold, is Chief of the Provisional Government. It is simply a few points arising out of that curious and ambiguous situation which I wish to raise. I would have raised them on the previous motion but the closure was moved and I was unable to speak. My friend, Mr. Gavan Duffy, said all the questions put to Mr. Griffith had been satisfactorily answered, and that we can just go ahead under Mr. Griffith in his dual capacity. I do not think that is so, and further explanation is needed. One of the questions asked him he certainly did not answer at all. That question was: “Will the Provisional Government function under the statutory powers conferred  by the Partition Act?” I think I am right in saying he made no answer to that question at all. Has Dáil Eireann——
MR. D. MACCARTHY: I rise to a point of order. Yesterday you allowed a motion to be debated for two-and-a-half hours, and then ruled it out of order. Let us know where we are. What is before the House? If this debate is going to go on for two or three hours we may then be told it is not in order, and there is nothing before the House.
THE SPEAKER: On a strict point of order there is no motion before us.
MR. P. HUGHES: I move that we proceed with the next business.
MR. E.J. DUGGAN: I have pleasure in seconding that motion.
MR. ERSKINE CHILDERS: But this is a——
PRESIDENT A. GRIFFITH:
Before this proceeds any further, I want to say that President de Valera made a statement—a generous statement—and I replied. Now (striking the table) I will not reply to any Englishman in this Dáil (applause).
MR. P. O'KEEFE: It is nearly time we had that.
PRESIDENT A. GRIFFITH: It is about time.
MR. ERSKINE CHILDERS: My nationality is a matter for myself and for the constituents that sent me here.
PRESIDENT A. GRIFFITH: Your constituents did not know what your nationality was.
MR. ERSKINE CHILDERS: They have known me from my boyhood days —since I was about half a dozen years of age.
PRESIDENT A. GRIFFITH: I will not reply to any damned Englishman in this Assembly.
PROFESSOR STOCKLEY: Are all these proceedings in order?
THE SPEAKER: The whole proceedings at present are out of order.
MR. E.J. DUGGAN: It has been proposed and seconded that the next business in the Orders of the Day be proceeded with.
THE SPEAKER: I have ruled——
MR. ERSKINE CHILDERS: I hardly think you will say this is out of order (cries of “Chair! Chair!”). It is hardly out of order to say something to an interjection like that made by the President. I am not going to defend my nationality, but I would be delighted to show the President privately that I am not, in the true sense of the word, an Englishman, as he knows. He banged the table. If he had banged the table before Lloyd George in the way he banged it here, things might have been different (cries of “Order!” and applause).
PRESIDENT A. GRIFFITH: I banged the table before your countryman, Mr. Lloyd George (applause).
MADAME MARKIEVICZ: And Griffith is a Welsh name.