The 'Truce' - July 1921

Talk Back

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The 'Truce' - July 1921. The truce began on the 11th of July - meanwhile negotiations continued, and finally on July 20th, the British Government proposal for a treaty was presented to the Irish Government. This July treaty was for all intents and purposes similar to the subsequent December treaty, and carried with it the same threat of violence by the British, should it not be accepted. It was rejected by the Irish Government.

The official reply of the Irish government was sent on August 24th - which included this paragraph.

"If our refusal to betray our nation's honour and the trust that has been reposed in us is to be made an issue of war by Great Britain, we deplore it. We are as conscious of our responsibilities to the living as we are mindful of principle or of our obligations to the heroic dead. We have not sought war, nor do we seek war, but if war be made upon us we must defend ourselves and shall do so, confident that whether our defence be successful or unsuccessful no body of representative Irishmen or Irishwomen will ever propose to the nation the surrender of its birthright."

The British did not end the truce and continue the war as they had threatened. Keep this in mind.

The following is the salient point. By this reply, logic suggests it is clear that the Irish Government would also have rejected the December treaty, which carried the same threat of violence as the July treaty by the British, should it not be accepted.

To clarify - had Griffith and Collins et al, followed their instructions, and not signed the December treaty before returning to Ireland with the full text of the treaty, which carried the same threat of violence as the July treaty by the British should it not be accepted. - it's clear the Irish Government would have rejected the December treaty also - just as the Irish government had rejected the July treaty a few weeks earlier in August. Remember, both carried the same threat of violence by the British should they not be accepted.

Collins and Co. were obviously well aware of this, and aware that the British threat of violence did not happen when the July treaty was rejected - so for them and their Free State supporters to use the threat of violence as an excuse for the surrender in December, clearly does not stand up to any serious scrutiny.

Even the British Government admitted that the threat of violence was a just a ploy all along. Birkenhead being a key negotiator on the British side.

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wombat

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Since the Brits were obviously on their last legs, why did the Irish agree to the truce?
 

Talk Back

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Since the Brits were obviously on their last legs, why did the Irish agree to the truce?
I assume we were looking for formal recognition from the British, and British withdrawal from our country.
 

bang bang

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The 'Truce' - July 1921. The truce began on the 11th of July - meanwhile negotiations continued, and finally on July 20th, the British Government proposal for a treaty was presented to the Irish Government. This July treaty was for all intents and purposes similar to the subsequent December treaty, and carried with it the same threat of violence by the British, should it not be accepted. It was rejected by the Irish Government.

The official reply of the Irish government was sent on August 24th - which included this paragraph.

"If our refusal to betray our nation's honour and the trust that has been reposed in us is to be made an issue of war by Great Britain, we deplore it. We are as conscious of our responsibilities to the living as we are mindful of principle or of our obligations to the heroic dead. We have not sought war, nor do we seek war, but if war be made upon us we must defend ourselves and shall do so, confident that whether our defence be successful or unsuccessful no body of representative Irishmen or Irishwomen will ever propose to the nation the surrender of its birthright."

The British did not end the truce and continue the war as they had threatened. Keep this in mind.

The following is the salient point. By this reply, logic suggests it is clear that the Irish Government would also have rejected the December treaty, which carried the same threat of violence as the July treaty by the British, should it not be accepted.

To clarify - had Griffith and Collins et al, followed their instructions, and not signed the December treaty before returning to Ireland with the full text of the treaty, which carried the same threat of violence as the July treaty by the British should it not be accepted. - it's clear the Irish Government would have rejected the December treaty also - just as the Irish government had rejected the July treaty a few weeks earlier in August. Remember, both carried the same threat of violence by the British should they not be accepted.

Collins and Co. were obviously well aware of this, and aware that the British threat of violence did not happen when the July treaty was rejected - so for them and their Free State supporters to use the threat of violence as an excuse for the surrender in December, clearly does not stand up to any serious scrutiny.

Even the British Government admitted that the threat of violence was a just a ploy all along. Birkenhead being a key negotiator on the British side.

View attachment 26326
I tend to agree with your analysis TB, of course we can never be certain and that's what makes history so interesting. Hopefully next years centenary of the sick statelet will begin a countdown to a UI.
 

Talk Back

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I tend to agree with your analysis TB, of course we can never be certain and that's what makes history so interesting. Hopefully next years centenary of the sick statelet will begin a countdown to a UI.
Thanks bang.

There is nothing to suggest the Irish Government position changed in a matter of a few weeks - therefore logic suggests the Dec treaty would also have been rejected in the same way the July treaty was rejected.

This letter from de Valera to the negotiating team in London confirmed the Irish Government position at the end of Oct. See paragraph 1.

"If war is the alternative, we can only face it, and I think that the sooner the other side is made to realise that the better".

Notice also in the letter that we were still bringing munitions in to Ireland - and de Valera was willing to go to London if it was necessary - and ending the partition of our country was essential - all of which undermines the Free State lies which continue to claim the opposite.

 
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Rocky

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The British didn't go back to war when we rejected their initial proposals, but as you say yourself they didn't offer anything particularly different either.

Southern Ireland could not exist forever, in some half way house where the Dail and IRA would act openly, but in reality the Country was still part of the United Kingdom and ruled from London.

If the Dail Government had rejected the Treaty, then what? There is no evidence that the British government were ever willing to offer anything better.

If an agreement could not be reached between the Dail Government and London, then it would have to be war eventually either way. That was Collins' argument. The threat of immediate war was never taken seriously by anyone. However all sides knew that if a peace deal could not be reached, then eventually there was no alternative but war.
 

McTell

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Since the Brits were obviously on their last legs, why did the Irish agree to the truce?

Not the brits, it was their whole empire begging for mercy to be allowed up off of its knees ..... and we signed the treaty as a humanitarian gesture so they could feel good about themselves.


In his 2006 oration, for example, Enda Kenny spoke of “the brilliant west Cork boy, the military genius, and the one-man revolution who made Ireland ungovernable, forcing the British empire not just to a truce but to its knees”.

 

Talk Back

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The British didn't go back to war when we rejected their initial proposals, but as you say yourself they didn't offer anything particularly different either.

Southern Ireland could not exist forever, in some half way house where the Dail and IRA would act openly, but in reality the Country was still part of the United Kingdom and ruled from London.

If the Dail Government had rejected the Treaty, then what? There is no evidence that the British government were ever willing to offer anything better.

If an agreement could not be reached between the Dail Government and London, then it would have to be war eventually either way. That was Collins' argument. The threat of immediate war was never taken seriously by anyone. However all sides knew that if a peace deal could not be reached, then eventually there was no alternative but war.
The British didn't have to offer anything new because Collins et al signed up to the British terms. Accepting the text of the treaty was not Collins's and Co's. decision to make without first returning to Ireland with the final text.

They didn't follow the game plan. The negotiators may have felt they couldn't get anymore - but that doesn't mean they had to sign.

If Collins and Co, had done what they were told, Dail Eireann would have rejected the Dec treaty offer as they did the July treaty offer, in Aug just a few weeks before - both had the same threat of war from the British.

The Irish position had not changed - we were prepared to continue the war. Turned out the brits were bluffing anyway.

As for Collins's argument - it depends who he was talking to - what day of the week it was - and which side of his mouth he was taking out of. He was prepared to start a civil war among ourselves, but not to continue the fight against the British - made no sense at all.
 
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Sweet Darling

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The 'Truce' - July 1921. The truce began on the 11th of July - meanwhile negotiations continued, and finally on July 20th, the British Government proposal for a treaty was presented to the Irish Government. This July treaty was for all intents and purposes similar to the subsequent December treaty, and carried with it the same threat of violence by the British, should it not be accepted. It was rejected by the Irish Government.

The official reply of the Irish government was sent on August 24th - which included this paragraph.

"If our refusal to betray our nation's honour and the trust that has been reposed in us is to be made an issue of war by Great Britain, we deplore it. We are as conscious of our responsibilities to the living as we are mindful of principle or of our obligations to the heroic dead. We have not sought war, nor do we seek war, but if war be made upon us we must defend ourselves and shall do so, confident that whether our defence be successful or unsuccessful no body of representative Irishmen or Irishwomen will ever propose to the nation the surrender of its birthright."

The British did not end the truce and continue the war as they had threatened. Keep this in mind.

The following is the salient point. By this reply, logic suggests it is clear that the Irish Government would also have rejected the December treaty, which carried the same threat of violence as the July treaty by the British, should it not be accepted.

To clarify - had Griffith and Collins et al, followed their instructions, and not signed the December treaty before returning to Ireland with the full text of the treaty, which carried the same threat of violence as the July treaty by the British should it not be accepted. - it's clear the Irish Government would have rejected the December treaty also - just as the Irish government had rejected the July treaty a few weeks earlier in August. Remember, both carried the same threat of violence by the British should they not be accepted.

Collins and Co. were obviously well aware of this, and aware that the British threat of violence did not happen when the July treaty was rejected - so for them and their Free State supporters to use the threat of violence as an excuse for the surrender in December, clearly does not stand up to any serious scrutiny.

Even the British Government admitted that the threat of violence was a just a ploy all along. Birkenhead being a key negotiator on the British side.

View attachment 26326
Hop in to your time machine and tip them off for us.
 

Sweet Darling

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The British didn't have to offer anything new because Collins et al signed up to the British terms. Accepting the text of the treaty was not Collins's and Co's. decision to make without first returning to Ireland with the final text.

They didn't follow the game plan. The negotiators may have felt they couldn't get anymore - but that doesn't mean they had to sign.

If Collins and Co, had done what they were told, Dail Eireann would have rejected the Dec treaty offer as they did the July treaty offer, in Aug just a few weeks before - both had the same threat of war from the British.

The Irish position had not changed - we were prepared to continue the war. Turned out the brits were bluffing anyway.

As for Collins's argument - it depends who he was talking to - what day of the week it was - and which side of his mouth he was taking out of. He was prepared to start a civil war among ourselves, but not to continue the fight against the British - made no sense at all.
[/QUOTE
 

Sweet Darling

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All The TDs who voted to accept the treaty were fully payed up members of SHIN FEIN.
 

McTell

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//

As for Collins's argument - it depends who he was talking to - what day of the week it was - and which side of his mouth he was taking out of. He was prepared to start a civil war among ourselves, but not to continue the fight against the British - made no sense at all.

Then the mystery is why he and Griffith weren't arrested (or just shot at once) coming down the gangplank off the ferry, for treason to the 32-county republic.

Dev obviously felt he would win all the arguments and debates, simply because he was Dev.

There's a lot that made no sense at all, given our overwhelming victory in the (never quite declared) "War of Independence".


The truce was a clever ruse to make us think we had won, when the real alternatives to follow were a renewed war or a treaty for a 26-county dominion that Lloyd-George had been suggesting since 1919. This was discussed by LLoyd George and Tim Healy in December 1919, and was L-G's suggestion. Healy said it was unlikely to work because the Dail wanted its republic recognised.

A series of strikes and civil disobedience would have achieved just as much as the war. All the heartache and bloodshed, and the aggro in the 6 counties, could have been avoided.
 

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After the correspondence between Dev and Lloyd George in the summer of 1921, no matter who was sent over to negotiate, they knew the UK government wouldn't let them come home with the Republic. So after that, it was basically how near could they get?

Once success was off the table, it was then about trying to test out what was an achievable and acceptable level of failure. Collins and Griffith thought they'd cracked it. The Civil War proved they hadn't.
 

Talk Back

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After the correspondence between Dev and Lloyd George in the summer of 1921, no matter who was sent over to negotiate, they knew the UK government wouldn't let them come home with the Republic. So after that, it was basically how near could they get?

Once success was off the table, it was then about trying to test out what was an achievable and acceptable level of failure. Collins and Griffith thought they'd cracked it. The Civil War proved they hadn't.
That's not true. 'External Association' was the game plan - Ireland a Republic not in the British Empire - but associated with it - accepting England's King as Emperor of the Empire but not King of Ireland. Read the actual correspondence and learn.

The Irish Government letter dated Aug 30th reiterated the Irish position of Aug 24th..

"Sir,

We, too, are convinced that it is essential that some ‘definite and immediate progress should be made towards a basis upon which further negotiations can usefully proceed,’ and recognise the futility of a ‘mere exchange’ of argumentative notes. I shall refrain, therefore, from commenting on the fallacious historical references in your last communication.

The present is the reality with which we have to deal. The conditions today are the resultant of the past, accurately summing it up and giving in simplest form the essential data of the problem. These data are

  1. The people of Ireland, acknowledging no voluntary union with Great Britain and claiming as a fundamental natural right to choose freely for themselves the path they shall take to realise their national destiny, have by an overwhelming majority declared for independence, set up a Republic, and more than once confirmed their choice.
  2. Great Britain, on the other hand, acts as though Ireland were bound to her by a contract of union that forbade separation. The circumstances of the supposed contract are notorious, yet on the theory of its validity the British Government and Parliament claim to rule and legislate for Ireland, even to the point of partitioning Irish territory against the will of the Irish people, and killing or casting into prison every Irish citizen who refuses allegiance.

The proposals of your Government submitted in the draft of July 20th are based fundamentally on the latter premises. We have rejected these proposals and our rejection is irrevocable. "


The Irish Government letter dated Sept 12th once again reiterated the Irish position.

"Sir,

We have no hesitation in declaring our willingness ‘to enter a Conference to ascertain how the association of Ireland with the community of nations known as the British Empire (notice - with, not in. 'External Association') can best be reconciled with Irish national aspirations.’ Our readiness to contemplate such an association was indicated in our letter of August 10th. We have accordingly summoned Dáil Eireann that we may submit to it for ratification the names of the representatives it is our intention to propose. We hope that these representatives will find it possible to be at Inverness on the date you suggest, September 20th.

In this final note we deem it our duty to reaffirm that our position is and can only be as we have defined it throughout this correspondence. Our nation has formally declared its independence and recognises itself as a sovereign State."


The Irish Government letter dated Sept 17th again reiterated the Irish position.

"Sir,

In reply to your last telegram, just received, I have only to say that we have already accepted your invitation in the exact words which you re-quote from your letter of the 7th. We have not asked you to abandon any principle—even informally—but surely you must understand that we can only recognise ourselves for what we are.

If this self-recognition be made a reason for the cancellation of the Conference, we regret it; but it seems inconsistent. I have already had conferences with you, and in these conferences and in my written communications I have never ceased to recognise myself for what I was and am.

If this involves recognition on your part, then you have already recognised us. Had it been our desire to add to the solid substance of Ireland's natural right the veneer of the technicalities of international usage which you now introduce, we might have claimed already the advantage of all these consequences which you fear would flow from the reception of our delegates now.


The Irish Government letter dated Sept 19th once again reiterated the Irish position.


"Sir,

We have had no thought at any time of asking you to accept any conditions precedent to a Conference. We would have thought it as unreasonable to expect you, as a preliminary, to recognise the Irish Republic formally, or informally, as that you should expect us formally, or informally, to surrender our national position. It is precisely because neither side accepts the position of the other that there is a dispute at all, and that a Conference is necessary to search for and to discuss such adjustments as might compose it.

A treaty of accommodation and association properly concluded between the peoples of these two islands and between Ireland and the group of States in the British Commonwealth would, we believe, end the dispute forever, and enable the two nations to settle down in peace, each pursuing its own individual development and contributing its own quota to civilisation, but working together in free and friendly co-operation in affairs of agreed common concern. To negotiate such a treaty the respective representatives of the two nations must meet. If you seek to impose preliminary conditions, which we must regard as involving a surrender of our whole position, they cannot meet.


The last letter dated Sept 30th that the Irish Government sent to the British Government before meeting on Oct 11th - once again reiterating the Irish position.

"Sir,

We have received your letter of invitation to a Conference in London on October 11th ‘with a view to ascertaining how the association of Ireland with (notice - with, not in. 'External Association') the community of Nations known as the British Empire may best be reconciled with Irish national aspirations.’

Our respective positions have been stated and are understood, and we agree that conference, not correspondence, is the most practical and hopeful way to an understanding. We accept the invitation, and our Delegates will meet you in London on the date mentioned ‘to explore every possibility of settlement by personal discussion."


These are the historical facts. No self-respecting Irish person would take the British side (as some posters here do) against their own country. Shame on you.
 
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Talk Back

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After the correspondence between Dev and Lloyd George in the summer of 1921, no matter who was sent over to negotiate, they knew the UK government wouldn't let them come home with the Republic. So after that, it was basically how near could they get?

Once success was off the table, it was then about trying to test out what was an achievable and acceptable level of failure. Collins and Griffith thought they'd cracked it. The Civil War proved they hadn't.
Wrong again - even Collins is supposed to have said on two different occasions that he signed his own death warrant.

Clearly they knew they hadn't "cracked it".

Collins and Griffith et al split the county and caused the Civil War.
 


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