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De Valera Quotes Definitions

In Dail

N.Z. Press Association —Copyright LONDON, July 18. "Eire has been a republic from December 29, 1937, when the new Constitution came into operation," said the Prime Minister of Eire, Mr. de Valera, speaking in the Dail. He cited Article Five, which defined the State as sovereign, independent and democratic. "A State," he added, "wliose institutions correspond to these articles is demonstrably a republic." Mr. de Valera then quoted definitions of "republic" from new standard dictionaries/ including the Encyclopaedia Britannica. "If anyone still persists in maintaining that our State is not a republic I cannot argue with him," he stated, "for we haven't a common language. It is sometimes argued that our State is a monarchy, because of the External Relations Act of 1936. I don't think any constitutional lawyer of repute would maintain such a thesis.

King As a Symbol

"By this Act," Mr. de Valera continued, "so long as we are associated with, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and South Africa, so long as the King is recognised by these nations as a symbol of co-operation and continues to act on behalf of each of those nations (on the advice of their Governments) for the purposes of the appointment of' diplomatic and consular representatives and the conclusion of international agreements, the King is so recognised and permitted and authorised to act on our behalf as and when advised by our Government. "The External Relations Act is a simple statute which can be repealed by- the legislature, it is not a fundamental law. As a law it is null and void to any extent whatever in which it conflicts with our fundamental law—the Constitution. "The Act is a simple enabling Act to permit the carrying out of the State's external policy in the field of international relations as indi cated and provided in Article 29 of the Constitution and nothing more.

British Empire Associations

"The position as I conceive it is that we are an independent republic associated as a matter of external policy with the States of the British Commonwealth. To mark this association we avail ourselves of the procedure of the External Relations Act which the King, recognised by the States of the British Commonwealth, acts for us under advice in certain specified matters in the field of our external relations." The Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Mulcahy, said Eire was a member of the British Commonwealth without equivocation of any kind. If he was wrong in believing this it was the duty of Mr. de Valera or the Government to point out in what way Eire was prevented from taking part in discussions affecting the future of Eire or the world. Mr. Mulcahy asked what external contacts there were between Eire, the British Government and the Governments of the Dominions

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Bibliographic details

EIRE'S STATUS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945

Word Count

EIRE'S STATUS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945

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