Eire (Questions to Ministers)

Oral Answers to Questions — Burma – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th September 1948.

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Photo of Mr Ronald Ross Mr Ronald Ross , County Londonderry 12:00 am, 20th September 1948

asked the Prime Minister to which Minister should Questions relating to Eire now be addressed, in view of its recent change in status.

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham East

I have been asked to reply. Questions relating to Eire should be addressed to the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations.

Photo of Mr Ronald Ross Mr Ronald Ross , County Londonderry

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Government of Eire have repudiated all connection with the British Commonwealth and consider that they no longer belong to it? Is the Department of Commonwealth Relations to deal with countries which, according to their own account, are foreign countries?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham East

I have seen some observations reported in the Press, but I think that it would be premature to draw deductions from them.

Photo of Professor Douglas Savory Professor Douglas Savory , Queen's University of Belfast

Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the official statement made by the Minister of External Relations on 21st July in the Dail, where he said: We are certainly not a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations"? How, therefore, is it possible to put Questions on this subject to the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham East

I have intimated to the House that Questions in regard to Eire should continue to be addressed to the Secretary of State, and I have no reason to think that they will be refused at the Table.