TESTIMONY OF PAUL J. FURNAS
Commissioner Addams, presiding: I think the next witness is Mr.
Furnas from Philadelphia. Mr. Furnas is going to put in a report
of the investigation made by the English Quakers, the Society of
Friends in England. They made an investigation of conditions in
Ireland last October, was it?
Mr. Furnas: The investigation was made the last part of Septem-
ber, but made public in October.
Commissioner Addams: We telegraphed the members of their
Commission to come here, and they, unfortunately, were unable to
do so. But Mr. Furnas was in London then, and he can state the
conditions under which it was made. It was made by Englishmen.
(Mr. Fumas takes the witness stand.)
Q. Mr. Manly: For the sake of the record, will you give your
name and address?
A. Paul I. Furnas, 501 Fifth Avenue, New York City.
Q. Senator Norris: Let him give his age and profession.
A. I am treasurer of the General Food Products Company, and
I am thirty years old.
Where were you born?
A. I was born in Marion County, Indiana. I am a Quaker by
COMMISSION APPOINTED BY ENGLISH SOCIETY OF
FRIENDS INVESTIGATES IRISH CONDITIONS
Q. Were your parents Quakers?
A. Yes. But in the hearings here, I appear as an individual
and not representing any organization or the Society of Friends.
I am simply able to give a statement as to who the Commission of
the English Friends was composed of, and the circumstances under
which they were appointed, and the circumstances under which they
Q. Mr. Manly: Will you state those facts, please? First, how
the Commission came to be created.
A. The Friends of England, known as the London Yearly Meet-
ing of the Society of Friends, have an ad interim
which is known as the Meeting for Sufferings. That body in its
September meeting appointed a commission of three—
Q. Senator Norris: What year?
A. September, 1920. Appointed a commission of three to go
to Ireland and make an investigation and report back to that meet-
ing. This commission was composed of John Henry Barlow
was the chairman of the All Friends Conference, which was a world
meeting of the Society of Friends in London in August of this year.
He was formerly the presiding officer of the Society of Friends in
England. He lives, I believe, in Birmingham. The second member
of the commission was Roger Clark, who was an assistant chairman
of the All Friends Conference held in London, and is the presiding
officer, or what is known as the clerk of the London Yearly Meet-
ing. The third member of the commission was Miss Edith M. Ellis,
who is a prominent worker for peace in England and sister of Lady
Palmore. These three people—
Q. They are all English people?
A. They are all English people, yes. This committee went to
Ireland and met Irish Friends in Dublin. And then they proceeded
to what I believe was approximately a two weeks’ investigation,
which took them both to the north of Ireland and the south of
Q. Commissioner Newman: When was that?
A. This was the latter part of September, 1920. At the Meeting
for Sufferings held on the first day of October, 1920, in London,
to which I have already referred, this committee made its report.
Q. Mr. Manly: Do you know how long the committee was in
A. About two weeks. I have here a copy of the report which
was written out by John Henry Barlow following the meeting, which
covers substantially what I heard him say in that meeting.
Q. Mr. Manly: He made the report for the committee?
A. He was one of two who reported. Now, I shall follow what-
ever course you indicate as to whether I shall read this report, or
as to whether I shall simply identify it and leave it with you.
Q. Commissioner Addams: Is it long, Mr. Furnas?
A. It is four typewritten pages, written double space.
Senator Norris: I think it ought to be read in full.
Q. Commissioner Addams: Yes, read it. First, before you read
it, is this report the report of the committee, or just of one member
of the committee? Is it signed by anybody except the person who
A. I have here only a copy, but I heard it made, and can testify
that it is, as stated, by the member of the committee.
Q. Senator Norris: But what we want to get at is whether it is
the report of the committee or just an individual.
A. It is the report of the committee.
Q. All right. They made an unanimous report, then?
A. They did make an unanimous report. I should say that I
have here a report written by John Henry Barlow and one written
by Roger Clark. They are in agreement and are supplemental.
This report, written by John Henry Barlow, was a few days after?
wards published in the London Times
—I believe the London Times
of October fifth. He started out by saying:
FRIENDS’ COMMISSION MAKES THOROUGH AND IMPARTIAL INQUIRY
“At its September Meeting the Executive Committee of the Society
of Friends (England) had before it the disturbed condition of Ire-
land. After serious consideration it was decided to send a deputa-
tion to visit the country to gather facts and impressions and report
to a subsequent meeting as to the possibility of relief, reconstruc-
tion, and reconciliation. The deputation numbered three, of whom
the writer was one. It may fairly be claimed that they went
with open minds, anxious to receive light from whatever quarter it may
shine. It is thought that some account of what was seen and what
impressions were received may be of general interest.”
That is his general introduction to what was made public.
“The chief centers visited were Dublin, Belfast, Limerick, Cork,
visits being made also from these to places in the neighborhood.
Our interviews were with men of every shade of opinion—Unionists,
Nationalists, Sinn Feiners, Protestants, Orangemen, Catholics, Labor
leaders. They included members of Parliament, bishops, business
men, university professors, members of the Sinn Fein cabinet, Sinn
Fein judges, journalists, working men. Altogether we had about
sixty interviews besides attending groups and conferences. Every-
where we were received with unfailing courtesy and kindness, and
every facility was given for carrying out our commission.
EIGHTY PER CENT. OF IRELAND RENDERS ALLEGIANCE TO REPUBLIC
“First of all as to what we saw. On the surface Dublin was
quiet, but while we were in the north, Mr. Lynch was shot in a
Dublin hotel, and one or two encounters took place between the
Irish Volunteers and the military. It was in Dublin that we had our
first experience of the curfew, and received particulars of the burn-
ing of the seventeen cooperative creameries. There, too, we found
that there are two governments in Ireland, that of the Crown and
that of the Irish Republic. Each has its cabinet, its executive, its
armed force, its courts of justice. It is no exaggeration to say that
eighty per cent, of Ireland renders allegiance to the Irish Republic,
whether willingly or unwillingly, and that in that area the au-
thority of the British Government rests upon force and not upon
DEVASTATION THROUGHOUT IRELAND
“In Belfast we saw something of the ruin caused by the recent
outbreaks, but it was not until we visited Lisburn, a short distance
from the city, that we began to understand how fierce the violence
had been. House after house, shop after shop, burnt out com-
pletely, in some cases not even the walls left standing. The marvel
was how the flames had been kept from spreading and the whole
town saved from destruction. In the outskirts were all that was left
of one or two good houses, standing in their own grounds—bare
walls and heaps of debris. Going to Limerick we found several
ruined houses where the work of destruction had been carried out
with extraordinary completeness. Painted in large letters on the
walls left standing were such sentences as ‘The work of the Black-
and Tans,’ ‘The work of the R.I.C.’ In Kerry Street, which had
been raided but not burned, we found that practically every window,
both glass and woodwork, had been smashed, doors burst open,
and furniture, ornaments, earthenware—in fact, everything break-
able—included in one common destruction. The accounts given
were most graphic. Here it was a woman showing the remains of
cherished ornaments and looking glass; there another lamenting
over the shattered remnants of a wardrobe; and again another
pointing to a plaster cast of the Virgin and rejoicing that it had
been spared. Leaving this Via Doloroso, it was not surprising to
read on the walls of some neighboring buildings such inscriptions
as ‘Sorrow to England,’ ‘Damn England.’
“From Limerick we made a long round by motor car to visit
three villages which had just been ‘shot up.’ These were Ennis-
tymon, Lahinch, and Miltown Malbay. The first sign of trouble
was cut telegraph wires. This had been done in two places. On
entering Ennistymon the acrid smell of burning met us everywhere.
Some of the ruins were still smoking, and here and there flame was
flickering over the ashes. A man who had been present during the
raid told us of the frenzy of the attack, the wild shouting, the blaz-
ing houses, the bullets whizzing past his head as he tried to bring
two women from the street to a place of safety, the shooting of a
man and the hurling of the body in the flames.
THE COST IN HUMAN LIFE
“As we left the village a lorry passed us manned by armed police,
and carrying on the floor two coffins. Presumably these were for
two of a party of police ambushed and shot a day or two before.
Lahinch had suffered more than Ennistymon. ‘Come this way, sir,’
said a man. We followed. There at the back of the house, in a
low, poor shed, was a comparatively small chest covered with a
white cloth, and on the top a few flowers. ‘He was burnt, sir, in
one of the houses. He was a stranger. We don’t know who he was.’
This was all that was left. Now we were talking to a woman.
‘When they came to my house I begged and prayed them not to burn
it. The man at the door was tall and fair. I could see him plainly,
for it was bright moonlight, and there was the light from the burn-
ing house. I pleaded hard, “Don’t burn this house. There’s no
one but women and children in it.” And they went away and did
not burn it.’ Again we are questioning a man who had succeeded
in putting out the flames in his house—a small inn. ‘I carried the
water up here. I was afraid they would see me and shoot me.
There were some visitors upstairs, and they helped them out with
their luggage. They said, “It’s not women and children we want;
it’s the men we’re after. We’re out for blood.” ’ And now we
leave the houses to go into the main street. A crowd is moving
slowly from the farther end. A coffin carried shoulder high by the
men of the village is being borne to the cemetery. With bared
heads we join in the march. It is the funeral of one of those killed
in the raid. A short interval and then a change. A motor lorry,
carrying six or eight soldiers with trench helmets, bayonets, and
rifles at ‘the ready,’ passes through the village. I stand looking
hard at this symbol of physical power. The soldiers’ eyes range
over doors, windows, and doorways, their fingers on the rifle trig-
gers. I think of the charred remnants of the stranger a few yards
away in the shed, of the coffin carried shoulder high; my eyes rest
on the ruin left by the fires, and I cannot deny that a feeling of
fierce anger flares up within me. And then like a flash comes the
recollection of the lorry we have seen leaving Ennistymon, with its
armed policemen guarding the two coffins; and I think of the mur-
dered policemen, their widows and little children. And then, as in
colors of flame, the conflict of the tragedy of Ireland is before me.
DESTRUCTION IN COUNTRY AND CITY
“Continuing our drive, we saw evidence that the reprisals had
not been confined to villages and towns, but that isolated farms and
cottages had been included. In other respects the country looked
prosperous. The cottages and farm buildings are well thatched and
cleanly whitewashed; and indeed we were assured from many quar-
ters that Ireland is financially prosperous.
“On the last night which we spent in Cork, I was awakened at
about two o’clock by an explosion. Springing to the window I
looked out. There was a good deal of firing, the coming and going
of lorries and armored cars, and a searchlight in the distance. Two
or three times I got back to bed, only to hurry to the window again
as a shot or shots rang out. Gradually matters seemed to settle
down. Investigation in the morning showed that a large part of an
extensive shop front had been blown out by an explosion, and
practically every pane of glass on the opposite side of the street
for a considerable distance shivered by its force.
A SINN FEIN COURT
“In Cork we had the opportunity of attending a Sinn Fein court.
Three young men sat on the bench, and there were about forty
people present. The cases related to the licensing laws, and the
proceedings were conducted in a quiet and businesslike manner.
From many quarters we received testimony to the efficiency of these
courts, and to the impartiality with which they administer justice.
They deal with criminal offenses, questions of rent, ownership and
occupation of land. So much for what we saw. Now for a few
IRRECONCILABLE UNIONISM IS DEAD
“The old irreconcilable Unionism is dead, except in Ulster. The
old constitutional Nationalist Party has gone also. One former
Nationalist M. P. told me he doubted if he could find enough
supporters to fill his nomination papers. Everywhere men talk of
a Republic, a liberal measure of home rule, or Dominion home rule.
It is not that Unionists think home rule the better policy, but that
they regard something of the kind as inevitable. A measure of the
kind that would have been fought five years ago would now almost
certainly be accepted by Unionists with thankfulness.
“The Parliamentary Nationalist Policy was discredited because
it was found to lead only to disappointment, broken Government
promises, bills withdrawn, Acts suspended. No one could trust the
Government. In consequence practically the whole of the Nation-
alist following has gone over to Sinn Fein. We gathered, however,
that while the extreme Sinn Feiners were apparently irreconcilable,
and will accept nothing short of an independent Irish Republic,
there is a large mass of moderate opinion which would accept a
well-conceived liberal measure of self-government. Several ex-
pressed the opinion that the bestowal of this would kill the agita-
tion for independence. However this may be, I must repeat that
deeds, not words, are needed. Government promises are simply
THREE COURSES OPEN TO ENGLAND
“Broadly speaking, the courses before England seem to be limited
to three: (1) Repression and yet more repression, and all that this
involves; (2) the gift of a liberal measure of self-government,
including fiscal and financial control; (3) an independent Irish
Republic. I am inclined to think England will rule out the first
and third of these. What of the second? And what of the stopping
of police reprisals, the withdrawal of the armed forces of the Crown
as a pledge of the good faith of the Government, whose good faith
also stands in need of some guarantee of the kind? I believe there
is hope in this direction. But action must be prompt and decisive.
Tempers are hardening. The door of opportunity is closing. Will
the Government have the courage to act before it is again too late?”
The Witness: This completes the report as written by John Henry
Barlow. There are just a few conclusions that were stated for the
committee by Roger Clark that I might offer in addition if you wish
them. There may be points in his conclusion that are also referred
to here, but I think it might be of some interest to have them in the
words of another member of the committee.
ENGLAND’S BROKEN PROMISES HAVE CONVERTED
HOME RULE PARTY TO SINN FEIN
“We must endeavor to summarize briefly our general impressions
on the situation. Politically it is clear that the constitutional Home
Rule or Nationalist Party has entirely disappeared. One of the
late Members for Cork told us that if he put up again as a Nation-
alist, he doubted if he would get enough support to fill up his nomi-
nations. Sinn Fein, originally a semi-literary movement to revive
the old native culture, language and life, developed later into a
political movement for complete national independence from Eng-
land. The Nationalist Party, disillusioned utterly by the repeated
non-fulfilment of promises of self-government from England, has
moved bodily over to Sinn Fein. The elected Sinn Fein members
meet frequently in Dublin instead of coming to Westminster, and
have set up a Republican Government, electing a Cabinet which
functions through judiciary, police, army, etc. 'They have appointed
agricultural and other commissions, on which prominent Unionists
have been not unwilling to serve.
ORDER AND SAFETY IN IRELAND NOW FOUND
ONLY UNDER SINN FEIN GOVERNMENT
“It is generally admitted by moderate people, including many
Unionists, that the only protection they enjoy is from the Sinn Fein
police. Their meetings are protected from interruption, stolen
goods are found and returned, writers of threatening letters are
dealt with and stopped, laws controlling the sale of intoxicating
drinks are rigorously enforced. All this when it is a penal offense
for a Sinn Fein Volunteer policeman to act as such. It is plausibly
maintained that if the English garrison and armed police were to
withdraw, the Sinn Fein Government could and would run the coun-
try, and that at present order and safety are only found in districts
from which the English military and police have been withdrawn.
Moderate people are already discussing to which Government they
shall pay their next income tax. The English Government has
ceased to function over at least eighty per cent, of Ireland. We
were bound to recognize that a state of war is considered to exist,
and does exist. The Irish Volunteers are the Sinn Fein army.”
ASHAMED AS ENGLISHMEN OF GOVERNMENT’S
DEEDS IN IRELAND
The Witness: Here is just a bit of conclusion:
“As Friends we must deplore the violence and the bloodshed on
both sides that take place in such a state of war. As English citi-
zens we must surely chiefly feel the shame of the direct responsi-
bility of our Government for the policy of reprisals by the so-called
Black-and-Tans led by their officers, during which town after town
is being ravaged and burnt, and women and children are driven
terror stricken into the fields and woods to seek safety at night.”
Q. Commissioner Maurer: Did I understand you to say that that
committee consisted of three people?
A. It did.
Q. What nation did they come from?
A. They are Englishmen.
Q. Were they all English?
A. All English. There were three of them, one living in Bir-
mingham, one in a suburban town south of London, and Edith Ellis
lived in London at the time I was there. They were all English
Q. And this report was made at the World Conference?
A. No, this was made following the World Conference of
Friends, and was made to the executive ad interim body.
Q. Senator Norris : It was made to the same body that appointed
A. It was.
Q. Commissioner Maurer: Did I understand you to say that you
heard this report made?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. And you were in England at the time?
A. I was.
Q. Mr. Manly: Were there any objections made to the report?
A. There were no objections made to the report. There was a
great deal of expression of commendation to the Friends who served
on the committee, and under some difficulty and inconvenience went
to Ireland to make the investigation. I can add, however, that there
were some Friends in the meeting, who were in the decided minority,
who were not clear as to the withdrawal of the English forces. That
is, they had in mind the opposition of the people in the north of
Ireland to the withdrawal of the English forces, and they said they
did not see what was going to happen next unless it was civil war
if they were withdrawn. I should say that there were from five to
six people out of a committee of one hundred who expressed that
Q. There was no question raised as to the facts, but only on the
A. Only as to the policy. I may say that these three Friends
who made the report are generally considered among Friends to be
as responsible as any three people could be. They have the highest
regard and respect for them.
NO RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION OF FRIENDS IN
Q. Do you know how many Friends there are in Ireland?
A. Not less than three thousand or more than five thousand.
I do not know exactly.
Q. Where are they located? Do you know?
A. About Belfast and Dublin, and a few who are centered in
the south of Ireland.
Q. Both in the north and south of Ireland?
A. Both in the north and south.
Q. Do you know whether any complaints have come to the
Society of Friends regarding the persecution of the Friends in Ire-
land, or any violence toward them?
A. No, I know of no persecution of Friends. There have been
instances in which the homes of Friends have been searched.
Q. By whom?
A. I think both by representatives of Sinn Fein and the English
Government, but I am unable to give details. But in no case that
I know of has violence been done or property destroyed.
Q. Do you know whether or not the Friends in the south of
Ireland are as a class Republicans?
A. As a class they could not be said to be Republicans. They
have in times past been Unionists or Nationalists. They are not
now actively in Sinn Fein, but I know that a great many of them
are very sympathetic with the Sinn Fein.
Q. But as a class they have, you think, been rather aloof recently
from this more bitter political movement?
A. They have always been aloof from it, as far as taking any
partisan part is concerned, because of the fact that their principles
deterred them from being very partisan in the matter — that is, from
taking an active part in it.
Q. Would it be your view then that the Friends would be as
nearly impartial and unbiased as any group of people in Ireland
A. I don't know whether my opinion is worth very much on
Q. Well, you have stated the fact that their principles have kept
them out of partisan politics to a large extent?
A. Yes, yes; that is correct. To a large extent.
Q. And would you draw the conclusion from that that they
would be as impartial as a body of people could be?
A. Yes, yes. I think that is a warranted conclusion.
Q. Senator Norris: Do the Friends have churches in Ireland?
A. Yes, they have.
Q. Where are they located?
A. I am unable to give a list of places where there are Meetings,
as they are called.
Q. But wherever they are, they have places of worship?
A. Yes, a considerable number of them. The chief places are
Belfast and Dublin.
Q. Well, Dublin is a Catholic community and Belfast is a
Q. Well, then, I wish you would tell the Commission of any
cases that you know of where the Friends have been interfered with
in their religious services.
A. I know of no such instances.
Q. Either in the north or south?
A. Either in the north or south.
Q. Commissioner Newman: If there had been, you would have
heard of such disturbances?
A. I think I would.
SOCIETY OF FRIENDS OPPOSED TO ALL WAR
Q. Chairman Howe: Are the Friends fearful that if the Repub-
lican form of government comes about they will be interfered with
in any way?
A. I have never heard any Friends express that. I know that
there are some Friends in the north of Ireland who are fearful
of the new government, but not on religious grounds.
Q. But your Friends in the south of Ireland, where the Repub-
licans are in the great majority, have more reason to be fearful,
in case there were to be any persecutions, than those in the north.
A. Yes, that would be so. But I have friends in the south of
Ireland, and I have never heard them express anything that way.
Q. Commissioner Newman: What are the political affiliations of
the Friends in England?
A. Before the war they were Liberals, but since the war it is
hard to say. A great many of them are affiliating with the Labor
Q. The Friends during the war supported the war, did they not?
A. I could not answer that question yes or no, because there
were a good many Friends who did go into the army or did take
part in the financing of the wartime work in England. But the
attitude of the Friends as a whole was against the war and against
military service, and they stood out publicly on it throughout
Q. Mr. Manly: Their attitude, though, is not against this par
ticular war, but against all wars.
A. That is correct.
Q. It is a long-standing principle that the action of the indi-
vidual Friend is a matter of personal discretion in time of war.
A. That is correct.
Q. And it has been recognized by the government in past wars,
has it not, that the Society of Friends is entitled to religious ex-
A. It has been recognized, I would say, to a more or less degree,
its recognition depending on how hard pressed the government was.
Q. That was true, though, in this country that there had been a
recognition of the Society of Friends as one of the religious organi-
zations which on principle was opposed to military activity.
A. That is quite true.
Q. Commissioner Maurer: How many Friends are there in Eng-
land? Have you any idea?
A. About 18,000; possibly 20,000.
Q. Chairman Howe: How many are there in the United States?
A. About 100,000.
Q. Communicants, or members of meeting houses?
A. Yes, about 100,000, widely scattered.
Q. Commissioner Newman: The Society of Friends in the United
States did not oppose military service, did they?
A. They took the same stand that the Friends did in England.
I myself did oppose it. I will have to make an explanation in
order to answer that question. I will make it as briefly as possible.
The Society of Friends does not undertake to bind their members
as to their individual procedure. It is supposed that they in a gen-
eral way have convictions that are in harmony with the principles
that have been set down as the principles of the Society of Friends.
But they Eire not ordered to do anything, but are supposed to follow
their convictions. And it would simply follow that if a person did
not in general agree with the principles of the Society of Friends,
it would be expected that he would eventually resign. But no
Friends were discharged or dismissed from membership because
they took part in the' war, although at the same time the official
attitude of the Society of Friends was against participation in the
war, or against war in any form or in any circumstances as a method
of settling any international dispute, both now and past and future.
(The witness was thereupon excused.)
Q. Chairman Howe : Are there any other questions as to the Irish
testimony? If not, are there any other witnesses this morning?
Have you anybody else, Mr. Manly?
Mr. Manly: No, I have not.
Chairman Howe: The witnesses we expected to have this week
are still on the seas. They are on the Baltic and the Carmania.
They were expected to land this week, so that we could continue the
hearings today or Saturday; but neither of these boats will land
before Sunday. The Commission expects to continue its hearings
on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. We cannot set a definite
day or hour now, but they will be announced in the press. The
hearings will be held here in the LaFayette Hotel.
Thereupon, at 11:45 A. M., the Commission adjourned until the
FOURTH HEARINGS ON CONDITIONS IN IRELAND
AMERICAN COMMISSION ON CONDITIONS IN
James H. Maurer
Oliver P. Newman
George W. Norris
Norman Thomas ) COMMISSIONERS
David I. Walsh
L. Hollingsworth Wood
Frederic C. Howe
Before the Commission, sitting in Hotel LaFayette, Washington,
D. C, Tuesday, December 21, 1920.
Session called to order by Chairman Howe at 10:20 A. M.
Chairman Howe: The hearings will come to order. The hearing
of witnesses will continue the greater part of today, tomorrow, and
Thursday. The witnesses who have come for today in response to
the Commission's request are two English women who have made
a personal inquiry in Ireland, which has been embodied in a report
printed, I understand, and distributed through their organization.
They have kindly consented to come over here and appear before
the Commission and give evidence. The first witness is Mrs. Robin-
son. Mrs. Robinson, you can adjust yourself to your comfort, and
if you can speak so that the audience can hear you, it will add to
TESTIMONY OF MRS. ANNOT ERSKINE
Q. You will first state your name, Mrs. Robinson.
A. Annot Erskine Robinson.
Q. Your residence?
Q. Senator Norris: England?
PURPOSE OF THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL
Q. Chairman Howe: And you are a member of an organization
in England that made an inquiry in Ireland?
A. Yes, the Women's International League.
Q. What is the nature of the Women's International League?
A. The Women's International League is a body of women which
first came together in 1915 as the result of a congress held at The
Hague. As a result of that congress bodies of women have been
established in England as well as in America. The object of that
organization was to try to establish the principle of cooperation
in international aifairs, to find some other way of settling the dis-
putes of nations besides war. They held a conference at The Hague
in May, 1915; and in May, 1919, a second international conference
was held at Zurich in Switzerland, and it again discussed methods
whereby nations could settle differences other than by war. Our
British Section has carried on its work in Britain, and of course
other sections have carried on their work in different countries.
REASONS PROMPTING INVESTIGATION OF
ATROCITIES IN IRELAND
In the spring of 1920 the attention of the British Section
was naturally much occupied by what was happening in Ireland.
We believed that the principle of self-determination was a funda-
mental right of a people to ask and have put into operation. We
also felt that the atrocities and reprisals happening in Ireland were
building up a tremendous state of war and hatred and hostility
between Britain and Ireland. Because of that, and because also of
the suffering of the women and children, we determined in August
to send a commission of ten to Ireland to determine what was hap-
pening, and Miss Wilkinson and myself were two of the members
of that commission of ten.
Q. Commissioner Wood: May I ask how you knew of the suffer-
ing of the women and children before you went?
A. Well, of course, it is perfectly obvious, is it not, that when
it is reported in the newspapers that homes were being destroyed,
that women and children are going to suffer? I do not know that
there was any particular statement of that suffering in the news-
papers, but perhaps it was but our own imaginations that led us to
know that what was happening there would cause suffering among
the women and children. We knew that reprisals had occurred,
and that they would fall hardest upon the women and children.
Q. You had no information from friends in Ireland?
A. Yes, the Irish Branch of the Women’s International League
was founded in 1915. The Irish women felt that they could not
conscientiously set up a branch of the British Women’s League.
Miss Louie Bennett, a writer whose name you may have heard,
became the secretary of the Irish International League. But it was
not because of any appeal that they sent that we decided to send a
commission to Ireland. It was as a result of our own consciousness
of what we knew was happening.
Q. Chairman Howe: And the British Section that you represent
is confined to England, Scotland, and Wales?
A. Yes. Then in October of this year we sent a delegation of
ten women to investigate conditions in Ireland. We have distributed
among the members of the Commission a little printed pamphlet
that we issued as a result of that mission.
COMMISSION’S REPORT ON CONDITIONS IN
IRELAND ASTONISHES BRITISH PEOPLE
On our return from Ireland on the sixteenth of October, I, as
Organizing Secretary, arranged a large number of demonstrations
throughout the large cities of England, at which members of the
commission spoke and gave their impressions from their visit to
Ireland. I think at this juncture I ought to say that the commission
did not go as one mission. Some of us went to one part of Ireland
and some to another; and we endeavored at these demonstrations
to present the impressions of those members of the commission
which had visited the different parts of Ireland. We had demon-
strations in London and Manchester and Bristol and Newcastle and
Edinburgh and Leeds and all the big centers of population. And
now, since Miss Wilkinson and I are over here, the series of demon-
strations have been continued; and one reason that we hesitated to
come was that we wanted to stay and try to inform public opinion
by these demonstrations. We held this series of demonstrations
in practically all the big cities of the country. At all those meetings
we have had very large audiences indeed. At Manchester we held
our meeting in the Free Trade Hall, which is a very well-known
hall, an historic place, and holds about three thousand people.
And we have had the biggest halls in most of these big towns; and
we found a tremendous feeling of astonishment in Britain at what
is happening in Ireland, and a great deal of sympathy with the
Irish people in their demand for some recognition of their
LIBERAL ENGLISH PAPERS INFORM PUBLIC
ABOUT ATROCITIES IN IRELAND
I do not know whether this is the place where I think that British
citizens ought to make it perfectly clear that there are a great many
influences in Britain at the present time that are working in the
direction of obtaining some recognition of the nationality of Ire-
land. I think—of course I have not been in the fortunate position
of being able to see the American papers, but I should imagine
that that is a side of British public life at present that has not been
well reported in the American press.
Q. Senator Walsh: Has it been in the British press?
A. Yes. There, of course, we have some newspapers in Britain
that have done a very great deal about publishing the facts about
what is happening in Ireland during the last few months. I think
we have handed in to Mr. MacDonald a series of photographs
published by the Manchester Guardian. The Manchester Guardian
during this spring, and particularly during September and October
of this year, sent over four of their best photographers and also
press reporters to Ireland, who have made it their business to go
to each locality where atrocities have been reported to obtain photo-
graphs and first-hand information from those who have participated
in those outrages. The photographs Mr. MacDonald has. They
appeared in the Manchester Guardian. The Manchester Guardian,
of course, is a newspsaper with a very great influence in Britain in
liberal circles. Not only the Manchester Guardian and the Daily
News and Leader have done that, but also the Daily Herald, the
Labor newspaper, although it has not so much space to give in its
columns, has reported very fully indeed the information about
atrocities and murders in Ireland.
Q. Commissioner Wood: What is the circulation of these papers,
A. The Daily Herald now has 350,000, and it has a circulation
among people who have very considerable weight in Great Britain.
Q. But it has a circulation only among one class.
A. Among one party, but not among one class. But I cannot
go into the political side of it.
Q. But I wanted to know what that meant in formulating British
A. I should state that not only the Manchester Guardian and the
Daily Neivs and Leader and the Daily Herald, but also the weekly
Nation—I don’t know how large its circulation is, but it has a
circulation among some of the most thoughtful and influential peo-
pie, and it has done a very great deal of good. As to the exact
circulation of the papers I have mentioned, the Daily Herald has a
circulation of 350,000. You know, of course, that the Daily Herald
is a Labor Party paper, but the Labor Party, when its new consti-
tution was formed in 1919, extended its invitation to people who
work with hand and brain; and it is not true to say that the Labor
Party in England consists only of manual workers. It has also
many representatives of professional people. It is therefore not
true that the Daily Herald represents only one class—it represents
one party, but it has all classes in it. Then the Manchester Guardian
has a very great national influence. Although it is a provincial
paper, it has a national influence, and represents national radical
UNITED STATES CONSUL SEEKS TO PREVENT
WITNESSES FROM COMING TO TESTIFY
Q. Senator Norris: Now, Mr. Chairman, I would make an in-
quiry of this witness that I think might be part of her preliminary
testimony. I have understood that you ladies had some difficulty in
getting permission to come over here. Before you go into your
testimony proper, if you had any such difficulty, I wish you would
tell the Commission about it.
A. Yes. When the invitation was received from this Commis-
sion by our national executive that we should come here to give
evidence before this Commission, our national executive had con-
siderable difficulty deciding whether we ought to come or ought not
to come. Obviously, it is a difficult thing to come out of one’s own
country into another country and discuss a matter that might be
considered in some aspects as of domestic policy. On the other
hand, as we were international and had branches in all countries,
we realized that the Irish question was not only a question of na-
tional politics; it was also a question of international politics. And
so we applied to our own Foreign Office for permission to come.
When we applied to our own Foreign Office, the passports were
issued without any difficulty; and we were told that our passports
would have to be vised by the American Consul in Manchester. I
understood that that was a mere matter of formality, and therefore
we did not apply as early as we might have done. The steamship
on which we came, the Baltic, came on Wednesday, the eighth; and
on the sixth we applied at the American Consulate to have our
passports vised. The visa is with ordinary officials supposed to go
through in the ordinary course of business; it is a mere matter of
formality, after one’s own government has issued a passport. But
when we applied to the American Consul in Manchester to visé our
passports, he refused.
Q. Senator Walsh: His name, please?
A. Mr. Wells. Mr. Wells came forward and said, “I refuse to
visé these passports.” Naturally, I was very much astonished, par-
ticularly in my own city of Manchester, where I am very well
known. And I said, “Mr. Wells, we cannot accept that. Would
you mind giving me some reason for such an extraordinary re-
fusal?” And he said, “We are not encouraging inquiries in Amer-
ica into the state of affairs in Ireland.” And I told him that I did
not consider that that was a sufficient reply. And so I took the night
train up to London, and called at the office of the American embassy
and also on the American Consul-General. And I also saw some
friends who had diplomatic influence in London. I was assured by
the Consul-General (I am not sure whether it was the Consul-
General or one of his assistants) that as far as he knew, he saw no
reason why the passport should not be viséd by the American
Consul at Manchester; but perhaps he was not satisfied with the
bona fides of Miss Wilkinson and myself. He advised me to go
back to Manchester and see him again. I traveled back, arriving
in Manchester Wednesday morning. The boat sailed that afternoon.
And Miss Wilkinson and I, with a friend, called again at the office
of the American Consul and said that we had again come with
reference to the passports. And then, after extracting from us a
definite promise that we would not address meetings, engage in any
propaganda, or grant any interviews while we were in America, he
consented to visé our passports.
Q. Senator Walsh: Will you repeat that, please?
A. Having given a definite undertaking that we would not en-
gage in any propaganda, address any meetings, or give any inter-
views while in America, he consented to visé our passports.
Q. What is his full name?
A. I do not know.
Miss Wilkinson : Mr. F. Wells.
Q. Is he an Englishman or an American?
A. I don’t know, but I should judge by this gentleman’s accent
that he was an American, but his policy was rather English. He
extracted from us that very definite pledge, and then we were al-
lowed, three hours before the boat sailed, to come here.
Q. Senator Norris: Did you give that promise in writing?
Q. Did he say anything to you in his conversation on either
occasion that would give you information as to whether he was
acting under instructions, or whether the action was taken on his
A. I don't know, but the Consul-General in London said he was
sure that he was not acting on general instructions, but on his own
initiative. And the intimation to me was that he had some terrible
information about Miss Wilkinson and myself.
Q. Commissioner Newman : What information did you obtain
from the American embassy in London?
A. I did not see the Ambassador, but a secretary told me that
he was very much astonished that the visa had been refused.
Q. Senator Norris: Do you know whether the Ambassador at
London communicated with Mr. Wells at Manchester?
A. Yes. I asked that he should do so, and left some money to
pay for the telegrams.
Q. Commissioner Newman: Do you know what information he
sent to the Consul at Manchester?
A. I was not informed. We only can draw an inference, as we
say in Scotland.
Q. Commissioner Wood: Did I understand you to say that the
embassy required you to pay money?
A. I was asked to leave a deposit to pay for the telegrams. It
was later refunded. I asked for it back.
Q. Senator Walsh: Did Mr. Wells in Manchester say that he
had heard from London between Tuesday night and Wednesday
A. He did not say so, but I knew it indirectly.
Q. But after hearing from London, he made you extend certain
A. Quite, quite.
Q. And your mouth is sealed from talking to newspaper men?
A. So. I might say that on the small slip of paper on which we
were asked to put in our business for going to America, it is true
I only wrote in the word "business," but I explained to the secre-
tary very fully what I was going to do, and what I was going to
state. But the Consul said, in spite of that, that we only had written
the word "business" on that scrap of paper, and had not stated what
that business was. But physically it was quite impossible to do so,
for there was no room on that little piece of paper at all.
Mr. Manly: May I ask a question, Mr. Howe?
Chairman Howe: Certainly.
Q. Mr. Manly : Before you went to the Embassy you called upon
some of the more prominent and influential liberals in London?
A. Yes, but I would not care to give their names.
Q. But you think it is very probable that they communicated
with the Ambassador?
A. Yes. I felt that this situation was so peculiar that I should
use any influence that I had.1
INFLUENTIAL ENGLISH PERSONS AND ORGAN-
IZATIONS PROMOTE PEACE WITH IRELAND
Q. Senator Walsh: Now, the witness can go back to the news-
A. Yes. I was saying that the Manchester Guardian has a very
remarkable influence in Britain, even though it is a provincial news-
paper. As to the amount of its circulation, I don't know. The
Daily News and Leader is at present the daily organ of the Free
Liberals, and has a very large circulation. And these newspapers
for the last few months, at any rate, have devoted a very large
amount of space to the demand that the Government should recon-
sider its policy in Ireland. Not only have the newspapers been
doing that, but organizations like our own are acting on the same
policy. We not only have the Women's International League, but
also the Peace for Ireland Committee. On that committee we have
several very well-known politicians who are sitting, and also some
very well-known men and women. And they have been sitting in a
committee room of the House of Commons, and they are working
very hard, by spreading literature and propaganda, to give a knowl-
edge of what is happening in Ireland, and creating a very definite
public opinion on the matter. And then, of course, we have the
Labor Party, which, as you know, has sent several missions to Ire-
land, and is taking up the Irish question with a great deal of vigor
at the present time.
Q. Commissioner Thomas: May I ask, for our benefit, if you
will elaborate a little on that? Can you tell us who some of the
people are on that Peace for Ireland Committee, and can you tell
some of their names?
1 Mrs. Robinson and Miss Wilkinson, at the request of the Commission,
swore to the statements herein made concerning the attempt of U. S.
Consul F. Wells to prevent their coming to America to testify, which
affidavit was submitted to the U. S. Secretary of State December 23, 1920,
for official action.
A. Yes. Mrs. H. M. Swanwick, who is a very well-known
woman in Britain, a very well-known journalist and author, a well-
known publicist. Lord Henry Bentinck is a member of it. He is
a member of one of the established families, a life-long member
of the Conservative Party, who has taken a very strong position
indeed on this Irish matter. If any member of this Commission
has seen the files of the London newspapers, you will see that Lord
Henry Bentinck has asked questions almost every day on the Irish
question at question time in the House of Commons. Sir John
Simon is also a member—one of our best-known lawyers, and a
leading politician; and he also has taken a very strong stand on this
matter. Commander Kenworthy, who is a member of the House of
Commons, a Liberal Member, has also devoted considerable time
and very much attention to bringing out the facts about Ireland,
such as he could obtain, from Sir Hamar Greenwood. And Miss
Maud Roydon, who is perhaps known here as an eminent woman
preacher. I should think that Miss Maud Roydon is one of the
best-known women in England at the present time, and one of the
most influential. Lord Buckmaster is also a member of it, and
Miss Buckmaster is also acting as its secretary.
Q. Commissioner Addams: Mr. Hobson, the well-known econo-
mist, is also a member, is he not?
A. Yes, and Ramsay MacDonald and J. J. Mallon.
Q. Lady Courtney?
A. Yes, Lady Courtney, and Captain Fitzhodgings Berkeley.
BASIS OF ANY SETTLEMENT IS SELF-DETERMI-
NATION FOR IRISH PEOPLE
Q. Senator Norris: I wish you would give us an idea, if you
can, of the position that these various persons named in these vari-
ous organizations take on the Irish question. Do they stand for
freedom for Ireland, or for some modifications of Ireland’s demand
A. I think at the moment what they stand for first and foremost
is a reconsidering of the policy of the Government. And secondly,
they want some settlement of the Irish question on the basis of
granting self-determination to the Irish people. But I am quite
certain that no further agreement would be found among these
various names as to the form that this should take.
Q. Senator Walsh: There probably would be some disagreement
A. Yes, I am quite sure there would.
Q. But they agree on these two things?
Q. Commissioner Thomas: May I bring this out further? Do
they demand that the troops be withdrawn?
A. Yes, they demand that the troops be at least withdrawn to
the seaboard; but whether they agree that the troops should be
entirely withdrawn from Ireland I could not say. I might as well
bring out here that you find the troops going about in small iso-
lated bodies. The railroads, as you know, have refused to carry
munitions of war or troops that are armed. That means that the
troops must go about from point to point sometimes in quite small
bodies. The policemen have also done that. And that has made
it comparatively simple for a member, say, of some secret society
in Ireland, if some such society exists, or any Sinn Feiner, if he
feels exasperated — it provides opportunity for the murders that
have occurred. Many of us have felt that it was a very unfortunate
method for the distribution of the troops in Ireland. And I am
sure that every member of that Peace for Ireland Committee would
say that the troops should be withdrawn at least to the seaboard,
and that the patrolling of lonely country roads should immediately
Q. Commissioner Thomas: Would they agree to the second
point, that Ireland should be given some kind of self-determination?
A. Well, you see that I am not a member of that Peace for
Ireland Committee. Therefore, while I am quite willing to answer
general questions as to both our program and that of the Peace for
Ireland Committee, I cannot speak with any certainty.
Q. You understand that in asking you, we are perhaps going
ahead of what would be done in exceedingly formal legal testimony.
But we want information along this line. It is peculiarly important
for us to know what is meant in England by a reversal of the Gov-
ernment policy. Now, we know that there is probably no one
opinion. We would be willing to assume that. But we want to
get as clear a picture of it as possible. That is why I asked these
A. Yes, quite. What we, the Women's International League,
did was to send this committee to Ireland to get first-hand informa-
tion and the facts, as well as they could be learned, about the
situation there. We knew that the problem could not be settled
all at once, but we felt that there were certain first steps that should
be taken immediately. We therefore advocated the immediate re-
lease of Irish political prisoners and the offering of a truce, during
which all forces should be withdrawn, and the placing of responsi-
bility for keeping order in the hands of Irish local bodies, thus
making a situation in which the Irish people could determine their
own form of government. And I should think you would find a
universal opinion among those people I have mentioned that this
should be done.
Q. Do you mean that these organizations favor withdrawing the
troops from Ireland?
A. I believe that the presence of the troops in Ireland has led
to very great bloodshed. My organization believes that they should
at least be withdrawn to the seaboard.
Q. Do you mean by self-determination that the Irish people
should determine their form of government, outside or inside of the
A. I do.
Q. Does your organization?
A. Yes. But I want to make it quite clear that I am not answer-
ing for all these organizations, particularly the newspapers. Of
course you must remember that a very great number of people agree
with Mr. Asquith, who has stood for the dominion form of self-
government. That is a point of view which I should say is much
more widely held by the bodies of which I have spoken than the
other point of view, when I say that I and my organization favor
Q. Senator Norris: That would mean giving Ireland the same
kind of government that is given to Canada?
Q. Commissioner Thomas: You would say that the home rule
policy of the British Government scarcely represents the mind of
A. Quite. I wonder if it would not be worth while to trace the
stage where public opinion is at in England today?
Chairman Howe: That would be very interesting.
ULSTER REBELLION SUPPORTED BY ENGLISH
The Witness: Well, in 1914, before the war, when the Home Rule
Bill was placed on the statute books, although it was never made
operative at that time, you had Sir Edward Carson and F. I. Smith,
now our Lord Chancellor, who were the recognized leaders of the
Ulsterites, protesting in the name of the people in the six counties
(it was six at that time; now it is four), who protested that they
would not accept separation from Great Britain. And you had at
that time the Ulster Volunteers very effectively armed and drilled.
You had up in northeast Ulster a very well drilled and disciplined
and armed body of troops. The arms, as you know, were obtained
partly from big firms in Britain and partly from Germany when
you had the gun-running at Larne; and at that time the lawlessness
in Ireland was all in the northeast of Ulster. And lawlessness in
Ulster at that time had the support of a certain proportion of the
aristocracy and the Conservative Party, which represented the aris-
tocracy in Great Britain. When you talk of the northeast Ulster
situation, you must realize that a large section of Conservative and
aristocratic opinion in England upheld them in their open rebellion
against the Home Rule Bill. They imported arms and got ready to
fight against its enforcement. And then came the war.
Q. Senator Walsh: That opinion is a powerful one?
A. Yes, it is an important factor.
Q. It has been more or less the ruling opinion?
A. Yes, yes. One feels that these questions can only be an-
swered by paragraphs.
EXECUTIONS AND IMPRISONMENTS SOLIDIFY
IRELAND FOR SINN FEIN
And then after that, in 1914, came the war. And Redmond, in
the name of Ireland, called upon Ireland in the British Parliament
to fight for the right of small democracies. And then after that
very little about Ireland appeared in our newspapers. Naturally,
the war occupied the attention of the great mass of people in Great
Britain, because, of course, the war came into our work and family
life, perhaps more than it did in this country. And after that came
the 1916 Rebellion. Before the 1916 Rebellion the Sinn Fein move-
ment was not a movement whose existence was recognized by many
poeple in Great Britain. It was a literary movement, an educational
movement. It was not, to the knowledge of most people, a political
movement. And then after the Rebellion you had the execution
of the leaders, which was protracted over a good many days.
Q. Chairman Howe: Just why were those executions protracted
over a great many days?
A. I don’t know.
Q. Just for terrorism?
A. I don’t know. I have no opinion. And of course the shoot-
ings in cold blood after the Rebellion had been subdued, these
executions naturally aroused a very great depth of feeling in Ire-
Q. Senator Walsh: Was that without trial or court-martial?
A. It was under courts-martial. Ireland at the time, of course,
was under martial law. Dublin was.
Q. Commissioner Wood: It aroused a great deal of feeling in
Ireland, but not in England?
A. It aroused a great feeling in England, especially in Labor
circles, and outside of Labor circles too.
Q. Senator Walsh: It almost immediately made Ireland Sinn
A. Yes, it gave support to the growth of the Sinn Fein demand
for absolute independence in Ireland. Before 1914 there was very
little talk of absolute independence in Ireland. After the 1916
Rebellion and the executions in Ireland, the demand for inde-
pendence assumed very much greater importance, and the Sinn Fein
movement spread. Then in 1917 and 1918 there were many arrests
of suspected people in Ireland — people suspected of disloyal
ENGLISH VIOLENCE PRECEDES SHOOTING OF
Q. Senator Walsh: How were these people treated? What
method of trial did they get?
A. Well, that is answered by this summary which I have pre-
In the year 1917 no policeman was killed, but the police and
military raided private houses and arrested 394 persons for political
opinions, deported 24 persons without charge or trial, suppressed
meetings and newspapers, and killed several civilians. I think that
is just as good a summary as I can give you.1
Q. Commissioner Wood : Deported means deported to England?
A. Yes, deported to England and kept away from their own
Q. Chairman Howe: That is 1917?
A. Yes, 1917.
Q. Senator Walsh: From what source does that information
A. From the newspapers ordinarily.
Q. And from your investigations?
A. No, but it is a matter of general notice.
Miss Wilkinson : They were taken from a White Paper published
by the House of Commons by a friend of mine.
Senator Walsh: Very well.
1 See summary in Exhibit I.
BRITISH GOVERNMENT REFUSES TO SUPPRESS
ARMED REBELLION IN ULSTER
Mr. Basil Manly: May I ask a question?
Chairman Howe: Certainly.
Q. Mr. Manly: To go back to the Ulster movement, the Carson
movement. Is it true that Sir Edward Carson defied the Govern-
ment to impose its Home Rule Bill on Ulster?
A. Yes, it is true.
Q. Is it true that an army was raised and armed by Sir Edward
Carson to prevent its enforcement?
Q. Senator Walsh: Previous to the war?
A. Yes, previous to the war.
Q. Mr. Manly: Was there any action taken by the British Gov-
ernment to suppress that revolution or rebellion?
A. No, no action was taken.
Q. What action did certain sections of the British Army take,
do you recall?
A. Yes, I recall, but my information of that was extremely hazy.
It was said in the press, and it was not contradicted by the Gov-
ernment, that the soldiers at the Curragh Camp in Ireland would
refuse to try to suppress the actions of the Ulster Volunteers if
ordered to do so.
Q. Do you know of any punishment, any disciplinary action
that was taken?
A. There was none.
Q. Senator Walsh: Now go back to 1918.
DESPITE MURDER, ARREST, AND DEPORTATION
OF IRISHMEN, NO POLICE KILLED IN 1918
A. In the year 1918 no police were killed. One hundred and ten
political arrests took place. Seventy-seven persons were deported
without trial. Fairs and markets were suppressed, and five civilians
Q. Now, just for the sake of the record, is this information from
the same source?
A. Miss Wilkinson: Yes, taken from a White Paper.
Q. Chairman Howe: White Paper being what, — a Government
A. Yes, published in response to a Parliamentary request.
Mrs. Robinson: Yes, and it was published in the newspapers gen-
erally throughout England and not contradicted.
Q. Senator Walsh: Do you know whether up to this time the
British troops had been stationed in Ireland in large numbers?
A. Well, there always have been these large British camps in
Ireland. I do not know how many soldiers are habitually kept at
the Curragh Camp.
Q. In 1917 and 1918?
A. Always. There always were.
Q. Commissioner Wood: When you say six civilians were
A. Five civilians.
Q. Do you mean that they were killed by the Government forces?
A. Yes, or by the police in skirmishes. You see, in Ireland the
police go about heavily armed. They are always a half-militarized
Q. Senator Walsh: And always have been?
A. They are not a civilian force. They are half military.
Q. Commissioner Thomas: May I go back to the question from
which we started? About the development of British opinion: what
was happening in Great Britain?
A. Yes, I was going on to 1918, was I not? After the armistice
in 1918 we had a general election in December, 1918.
Q. Commissioner Wood: May I ask, before you go on to the
armistice, in regard to the enforcement of conscription in Ireland,
or the non-enforcement of conscription in Ireland, and what influ-
ence that had on British public opinion?
A. I think Miss Wilkinson could answer that better than I. I
am quite sure she would be very glad to deal with that as part of her
testimony. I do not feel that my impressions are sufficiently clear-
cut to answer that.
COALITION’S KHAKI ELECTION VICTORY MAKES
CARSONISM GOVERNMENT POLICY
Q. Chairman Howe: I would like to have the witness just con-
tinue this chronologically of what happened in Ireland. It will
make it much clearer in the record.
A. Yes. Then in 1918 you had the general election, and you
had the Coalition Government returned with a tremendous majority,
and Sir Edward Carson and his Irish policy as an integral part
of the Government.
Q. Commissioner Addams: That is, his policy was in a way
approved by the election ?
A. Yes, certainly.
Q. Mr. Manly: But the general election was not on that issue.
A. The general election was not on that issue. But, you see,
the Coalition group had adopted his policy as its own in the agree-
ments reached for the formation of the Cabinet and the fight over
the general election; and it was perfectly evident that the Irish
policy of Sir Edward Carson was adopted as an integral part of
the Coalition policy for the British Government in order to secure
the votes which he undoubtedly represented in the Cabinet and in
Q. Chairman Howe: I confess I have never been able to under-
stand why Sir Edward Carson could exercise so much power and
influence in the Government. What are the sources of his strength
A. I am not a member of the Cabinet. I am afraid I could not
say. All I can say is that in order to gain the support of Sir
Edward Carson and all the aristocratic influences he stands for,
in order to secure that, the Coalition Government adopted as an
integral part of its policy the policy of Sir Edward Carson in Ireland'
Q. You were discussing the elections of 1918.
A. Under that is the point that the Commission ought to bear
in mind, that the election of 1918 resulted in the adoption of the
Irish policy of Sir Edward Carson.
Q. Senator Norris: Briefly, what was that policy?
A. At that time it was definitely the Ulster policy.
Q. Commissioner Addams: The Unionist policy?
A. Yes, the Unionist policy at that time. Since then it has been
very considerably modified. Since 1918 very considerably modified.
Then in December, 1918, you had very definitely the Irish Parlia-
ment elected and the Irish members of Parliament refusing to come
to the British House of Commons, setting up an independent Par-
liament of its own committed very definitely to Irish independence;
while you had the Coalition Government committed to Sir Edward
Carson’s policy. And the suppressions went on in Ireland.
REPUBLICAN ELECTION VICTORY IN IRELAND
MARKS START OF WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE
Q. Mr. Manly: Would it be accurate to say that the result of
that 1918 election was that the Ulster policy secured control of the
British Government and that the Sinn Fein policy secured control
of the situation in Ireland?
A. Yes, as far as 82 per cent of the people of Ireland were
concerned, the Sinn Fein policy secured the support of 82 per cent
of the electorate of Ireland, further confirmed by the elections of
January, 1920. The shooting of police did not begin until January,
1919; and the claim is made that the policemen attacked were
policemen who had been especially active in hunting down Sinn
Q. Commissioner Wood: When you say that the shooting of
policemen did not begin until a certain date, did you get that in-
formation from any Government White Paper?
Q. Senator Norris : That is an indisputable fact?
A. Yes, that is an indisputable fact. And, of course, it rather
points to the fact that the shooting began in Ireland as a result
of the outrages of the preceding three years.
Q. Commissioner Addams: At what date did the shooting begin?
A. In January, 1919. Of course, by January, 1919, you had the
Easter Rebellion and the execution of the leaders and the 1918 elec-
tions, and afterwards the municipal elections of January, 1920, all
strengthening Sinn Fein feeling in Ireland; and on the other hand,
following the general elections, the acceptance of Sir Edward Car-
son as a member of the British Cabinet.
Q. Senator Walsh: That is the election of 1918?
A. Yes, December, 1918.
Q. Chairman Howe: And the acceptance of Carson in the Cabi-
net was construed by a great number of the Irish people as the
end of dominion home rule and the end of their hopes for the
rights of small nations?
A. Yes, right. And also the end of the possibility of constitu-
Q. Senator Walsh: You say that Sir Edward Carson was ac-
cepted by the Coalition Cabinet. Was that an action agreed to by
the English people, or was it a political trade, — certain forces got
together and went before the electorate, and he was one of the forces
A. You could not legitimately call that a trick.
Senator Walsh: No, a trade.
The Witness : Yes, it was a trade.
Senator Norris: You see, a trade in politics is very often a trick.
The Witness : I presume you are a politician.