(by Private Notice) asked the Colonial Secretary under what Clause of the Treaty, or by what authority, has the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in yesterday's "Gazette" dissolved the Parliament of Southern Ireland and called a Parliament to be known as the Provisional Parliament, to which the Provisional Government are to be responsible, and how are the members of this new Provisional Parliament to be chosen or elected, and whether this new Parliament is to meet in July?
The Parliament of Southern Ireland was dissolved, and the Parliament to which the Provisional Government is to be responsible was summoned, under the authority of Subsection (2) of Section I of the Irish Free State (Agreement) Act, 1922. This Subsection directs the necessary steps to be taken for holding, in accordance with the law now in force with respect to the franchise, numbers of members, and method of election and holding of elections to the Parliament of Southern Ireland, an election of members for the constituencies which would have been entitled to elect Members to that Parliament. The reply to the last part of the question is in the affirmative. I may add that I shall be dwelling on this subject in the course of my remarks to-morrow.
I only wanted to know how the members would be elected on the 1st July.
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it was the duty of the Provisional Government to dissolve the Parliament in Dublin, or whether it was the duty of the Lord Lieutenant, because he will observe that the Proclamation issued by the Provisional Government preceded by a considerable number of hours the special Proclamation issued in the "Gazette" by the Lord Lieutenant.
Yes, that was due to an accident, but the intention was that the Lord Lieutenant's Proclamation and the Proclamation by the Ministers of the Provisional Government should be simultaneous. I may point out that the only authority which can give any validity to this election or any validity to the Writs, or to any proceedings by any Parliament returned is the authority of the Crown as signified by the Lord Lieutenant.