with Churchill in which Churchill was full of threats of John Bull laying about with a big stick. We had utterly broken rebellion in the 16th Century. Yes  replied Laski but the condition of Ireland today is the fruit of our policy then.
 Hammond reported, for my information alone, terms of oath declaration which the (British) Government proposed to Sinn Fein: to ‘the Free State of Ireland, constitution of Commonwealth of States known as the British Empire, and the King as its head’, ‘Free State’ being a literal translation of the Irish word for ‘Republic’.
Lunched with Lloyd George. Alone at first (with Mrs. Lloyd George). Afterwards Sir Robert Horne (Chancellor of the Exchequer) and Tom Jones, acting secretary to the Cabinet, came in. Lloyd George looked tired. Had been up till past midnight with the Sinn Fein deputation. He evidently
was not sanguine as to the Sinn Fein reply to the written statement of terms sent to them. In that case, he said, the responsibility will rest on Sinn Fein, not on Ulster. (Hammond had reported that that was his line. If the Conference was to fail it would suit him best that it should fail on
Sinn Fein rather than on Ulster). We had made great concessions. Why could not Sinn Fein make some concessions too? South Africa had made no difficulty about the oath Hertzog himself had taken it. Why should Sinn Fein?    (Not??) The fact was the Boers were a finer people.Then when we had settled with Sinn Fein we must settle with Ulster. if there was no settlement there must be coercion.
I said this was all very well, but the soldiers say it will take about 200,000 men. Where are you going to get them? You can’t have conscription.
Oh! he said no great numbers will be needed. We could blockade. He rather trifled with this suggestion, adding that if there were any outrages on loyalists we should have to send punitive expeditions. The fact is he had evidently not in the least made up his mind what he would do but he begged me whatever we did in the (news) paper, not to encourage Sinn Fein to stand out on the question of Allegiance ………I could only say that the form of the oath seemed to me to matter very little, The real bond of union was moral and entirely different.
Lloyd George complained bitterly about Erskine Childers, Secretary to the Irish delegation. He could have settled easily with Griffith and Collins”
*J.L Hammond acting as Special Correspondent for the Manchester Guardian at the Conference.
**L.T. Hobhouse , Scott’s closest confidant on the Manchester Guardian.
Harold Laski, Socialist intellectual and later Professor at the London School of Economic and Labour Party Chairman aged 28 in 1921.
Later that day Scott met Michael Collins and Erskine Childers who were leaving that night for Dublin and joined them for dinner. Collins let Childers speak for him.
Scott pointed out that the solution Griffith himself had put forward that the King should be King of Ireland as well as Great Britain.
Yes, said Childers, but that was two years ago before the war in Ireland. Now we will not admit the Crown on any terms. The Crown would really mean the British Ministry. Scott said that was absurd – the Dominions were self-governing. But Childers said they were a long way off whereas Ireland was only a few miles away. Childers spoke of the total untrustworthiness of Britain, and on the monstrous proposal to raise an army of 200,000.
Childers was a member of Dail Eireann, and following Griffith’s becoming President of the Dail after the “Treaty”) Childers asked him a  question. Griffith said he would not answer to “a Bloody Englishman” for which he should have been called to order by the Ceann Comhairle
(Chair). Griffith was under great strain and died of a stroke the following 12th August following the outbreak of the “Civil War” which he had been calling for since the previous March.
Michael Collins was killed in a skirmish on the 22nd August 1922.
A small pistol which Collins had given Childers when they served the Republic together was found during a raid on his house by Provisional Government troops, It was used as a pretext to shoot him on the 24th November 1922. He shook hands with every member of the firing squad
and instructed his son, also Erskine, to have no bitterness. The son was later President of Ireland.
There is a great irony in the fact that Childers was originally a dyed-in-the-wool Imperialist but experience converted him to democratic Republicanism, whereas the Sinn Fein founder Arthur Griffith and the leader of the Irish Republican Brotherhood Michael Collins were praised shortly before their deaths by Lord Birkenhead for “Holding Ireland for the Empire with an Economy of English Lives”.
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