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have an idea, and have it very strongly, that in some way there is some power that is never going to allow this division of territory to be made. So we met these people; some of them splendid people. They are called backward and subject peoples, and small, and all those diminutive names. We found a state of war going on in Ireland. They have a volunteer army of 200,000. They have their officers. They drill daily, practically all of them are mobilized, and they have their maneuvers. The effort to repress them is an effort of force. We ought to understand this thing and look at it plainly. We heard about the so-called murders, and I shall try to classify them. Eeference has been made to the constables. They are not constables such as we know. They are members of a standing army. They carry rifles, and they drill with rifles. They have machine guns. They live in barracks as soldiers do. They are never residents of the community in which they operate as constables. So they are soldiers. They act under the direct command of the commander in chief of the English army of occupation in Ireland. They took prisoners, the prisoners they took are republican volunteer soldiers and they were taken not as assassins, but in broad daylight, in the large cities of Ireland.
These men met them, and they met them in a way which, if war was declared and it was our country, because of the fight they made against unequal odds, they would be entitled to a medal from the Congress of the United States. They retake the prisoners of the English army. In taking them, if they have to do it, they kill the soldiers of the army of occupation, of course, and the soldiers of the army of occupation try to kill them. Is it a state of war? There is the most crimeless country in the world. There is jail after jail, built to hold a thousand men, with 10 common-law prisoners in them, misdemeanants, or men charged with felony, and hundreds of men charged with nothing but being republicans. Are they criminals? These fights and flurries at arms take place in the large cities in Ireland. The Irish people retake their prisoners and take them away—in one case with 10,000 people looking on. These people are their soldiers and their heroes. They protect them and they fight for them because they say that a battle is going on. The English army is in Ireland to-day with every device of death immediately at command. I saw them build the emplacements upon which the machine guns are now firmly fixed, covering Liberty Hall in Dublin, so as to send a deathly fire into the headquarters of the national labor organization of Ireland. And why? Because I say those men, the most conservative labor organization in the world, going along lines approved of by all men, are likewise republicans, and instead of treating them as citizens they treat them as criminals. Those jails were created. We saw men confined in those jails that would compare with the gentlemen whom I have the honor to address this morning, as lawyers.
We saw newspaper men there, Senator Johnson, who compare most favorablv with any that you know in California or with the very best that I have known, who own and edit their own newspapers. We saw men who have devoted a lifetime to doing something for the people whom they represent—members of the Irish Parliament—in solitary confinement. We saw the cells in which they had been confined. They were taken out of them the night before, we were advised, but we saw the underground cells in which they were kept in solitary confinement, and when we asked the question of the governor of the jail, or made the assertion at Mount Joy, he did not deny it. We heard the story at first hand of the statement of the women, young and old, those whom I met, and from whose lips I heard the story which I would not undertake in this presence to detail because of its loathsomeness. I heard that story from the lips of women as refined, as virtuous, as intellectual as your wife and daughter and mine, and I can pay them no higher compliment; and what I say is going on all through Ireland to-day.
Talk about bolshevists! Property is absolutely unsafe in Ireland. Raids are made on private residences and thousands of dollars' worth of property are being taken, and not even what they call contraband. Every excess that applies to an army engaged especially in an unjust war is being practiced upon the Irish people. Thousands of dollars of ordinary mercantile establishments are taken away. Everything is done to break the spirit of those people. Yet we are asked to show that at a time a commission is undertaking to establish peace they are trying to pass this covenant, intended, as they claim, to prevent war, while a state of war actually exists in Ireland and in other countries, and at this very time they refuse to listen to the Irish people.
We are here to state to you, gentlemen, that if this league in its present form is consented to by the Senate, 200,000 men. according to their own statement—because I speak only by what they say—stand ready to-day before the world to bring America back to the ideals which it has always preserved.
Judge Cohalan. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I will now ask Mr. Michael J. Ryan, of Philadelphia, another one of the commissioners, to come forward and tell his experiences in Paris.
STATEMENT OF MR. MICHAEL J. RYAN.
Senator Swanson. Mr. Ryan, before you begin, I think I should suggest to the other members of the committee that the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate has sent for us to come and make a quorum.
Senator Brandegee. Why, we have the permission of the Senate to sit during the sessions of the Senate.
Senator Swansox. Well, we can not break up a quorum.
Senator Brandegee. We have permission to sit here.
Senator Borah. Tell them to adjourn.
The Chairman. You may proceed, Mr. Ryan.
Mr. Ryan. Mr. Chairman. I have been asked by the chairman of our conference to participate in a departure from our program upon which we agreed this morning. It was then contemplated that Mr. Walsh should speak, and then that the governor of New Hampshire and the lieutenant governor of Montana should be heard, and that the closing argument upon the legal propositions advanced by the committee should be made by Mr. Bourke Cockran, to whom I am sure it will be a delight for all of us to listen. I am asked merely to rise for a moment and give an experience. I understand that some of you have asked that those who visited Paris should make a little statement.
We reached Paris—Mr. Walsh, Gov. Dunne, and myself—on the 12th or 13th of April. We immediately sought an interview with the President of the United States. We joined in a letter which appears as the first communication signed by the three of us, addressed to the President, asking for an interview. We set forth the purpose of our coming, to wit, that safe-conduct should be granted to Eamonn de Valera, the president of the Irish republic, Arthur Griffith, and George Noble, Count Plunkett, to Paris from Dublin, so that they might present the cause of Ireland. We have set it forth on page 2 of the document that is now filed with each of you. Some days afterwards, the President, through his secretary, caused a communication to be sent to Mr. Walsh, asking Mr. Walsh alone to visit him, which he did. We were then referred to Col. House, and our communications during my entire stay in Paris were with Col. House. I left Paris on the 24tn of May, and I left when we learned the attitude, as will be discerned from the communication printed in the pamphlet to which I have heretofore referred, signed by Robert Lansing, in which he says:
I regret to Inform you that the American representatives feel that any further efforts on their part connected with this matter would be futile and, therefore, unwise.
Col. House I had never seen, nor had I read much of him. I belong to the party, as Senator Knox knows, of which President Wilson is the official head, and I confess that I was curious to meet the great Col. House. He undoubtedly treated us most splendidly, and ne deserves all of the commendation given to him in respect to smoothness and velvetness of character, and I doubt whether we could at all find fault with the kindliness and courtesy extended to us by him.
I nave listened to a summary of the proceedings of the peace conference, and I would confirm that from our knowledge of that which took place in Paris, with this detail. I think we were all three informed by the chairman of the subcommittee, to whom was theoretically allotted the preparation of the league of nations draft, that the perfected instrument was handed to him with instructions to present it within 10 minutes.
Senator Fall. Who. was that?
Mr. Ryan. I would rather not now state. I shall probably inform you later on in the day after a conference with our people.
Senator Fall. We would like to know.
Mr. Ryan. I am sure you would. And the draft was read. There was no debate upon it. After its reading, the first man to interrupt was the representative from Japan, who stated that it had been his intention to present the question of race equality, but that he waived it for the time without withdrawing it, or without being misunderstood as asserting it. The representatives of Belgium arose and stated that they had hoped in view of Belgium's sufferings that Brussels would nave been selected as the permanent place of meeting rather than Geneva. Some representatives of the South American Republics rose up, and then Chairman Clemenceau stated that there being no further objections, the league of nations was adonted. There was no roll call, and those of us who had heard of it, envied the skill with which it was handled and adopted, and we marveled at it all.
Senator Borah. Is there any difference between the steam roller in Paris and in the United States?
Mr. Ryan. No; we regarded it with admiration. Some of us had had experience in Kansas City, in Chicago, and Philadelphia, and we thought that we had learned much in France which we might use profitably in America. At the last interview that I had together with my colleagues, with Col. House, the suggestion was made that we might present that which we had—our cause—to three of the American commissioners. We demurred. He then added that he would join in hearing us. We were jocular with him, and as I say, everything was exceedingly pleasant. He was most courteous, and we suggested and he joined in the suggestion, that it would be a great pleasure to listen to us upon the Irish question, that he could join three of his colleagues. There was a suggestion that we ought to have the President, and I am very positive that he said that the five commissioners had never met, the five American representatives had never met to consider any question. I mention these things hesitatingly, but at the urging of Judge Cohalan, with the thought that they might be makeweights in the scale, to show to you men the direct absence of consideration of the peoples pressing for hearings, who sought to be resurrected into nations.
The interview which you have ordered to be printed, which took place with the President after I had gone, showed some of the reasons moving the President for his conduct, because he there asserts that it was agreed that no hearings should be given to any representatives of any small nations, without the consent of the entire Big Four. Of course unanimous consent could not be obtained. You Senators heard the cause of Egypt presented yesterday. It was to me a sad spectacle to see 20 men, magnificent in their manhood—for, being somewhat undersized myself, I look with admiration upon a 6-footer—treated in such fashion by the Paris conference. Of those 20 magnificent specimens of Egyptian manhood the chairman alone did not speak English. All of the others spoke many tongues, and it is curious that at least two of them, and I think perhaps three, spoke Gaelic, although neither Mr. Walsh, Mr. Dunne, nor Mr. Ryan speak a word of Gaelic. These men have been students at various universities, and those of whom I speak specifically had studied medicine in Dublin. They were at Paris, gentlemen, able men, asking for a hearing, and a hearing was denied them.
Senator Braxdegee. Do I understand you to say that you were informed by the President that no hearings could be had of tht smaller nations except by the unanimous consent of the Big Pour?
Mr. Byan. I was not present, but I read the interview, which you have given permission to print, and that statement there appears.
Senator Braxdegee. What I want to get at is this: Does this interview show whether the President stated whether he had mado the request for unanimous consent that hearings be accorded them?
Mr. Ryan. I do not think so. I do not think he had made that request. In fact. I think you can see that from Mr. Lansing's letter, and upon the receipt of that letter I came to this country, believing that our hope lay more in America than in Paris. He writes
Senator Braxdegee. Who writes?
Mr. Ryan. Robert Lansing. This is a letter addressed to Hon. Frank P. Walsh, and it appears on page 10 of the pamphlet to which I have heretofore referred We addressed a letter to thts President on May 2'2, 1919, asking that the communication which we inclosed be transmitted to Monsieur Clemenceau, president of the peace conference, which letter will be found on page 8 of the pamphlet heretofore referred to. I wish now to read the reply to that letter which is signed by Robert Lansing, and which appears, as I say, on page 10 of the pamphlet heretofore referred to. The letter is as follows:
American Commission To Negotiate Peace,
Hotel de Crillon, Paris, May 24, 1919.
Sir: I have received the letter wliich you and Messrs. Dunne and Ryan addressed to me on May 1C regarding the issuing of safe conducts by the British Government to Eamon de Valera, Arthur Griffith, and George Noble Count Plunkett, in order that they may proceed from Ireland to France and return, and I immediately took steps to acquaint myself with the facts of the case, which transpired before the matter was brought to my attention by your above-mentioned letter.
I am informed that when the question of approaching the British authorities with a view to procuring the safe conducts in question was first considered, every effort was made in an informal way to bring you into friendly touch with the British representatives here, although owing to the nature of the case it was not possible to treat the matter officially. The British authorities having consented that you and your colleagues should visit England and Ireland although your passports wore only good for France, every facility was given to you to make the journey. Before your return to Paris, however, reports were received of certain utterances made by you and your colleagues during your visit to Ireland. These utterances, whatever they may have been, gave, as I am informed, the deepest offense to those persons with whom you were seeking to deal and consequently it seemed useless to make any further effort in connection with the request which you desired to make. In view of the situation thus created, I regret to inform you that the American representatives feel that any further efforts on their part connected with this matter would be futile and therefore unwise.
I am, sir,
Your obedient servant,
In this correspondence you will find that my colleagues challenge the point that we had given utterance to any thought which gave offense to anyone. We went to Ireland at the request of the representatives of' the Irish people and with the consent of Mr. LloydGeorge. Our passports were amended, mine and Mr. Walsh's, upon the application of the President of the United States. Gov. Dunne had the additional distinction, appearing in the record, of his passport having been amended upon the application of the President and Mr. Lloyd-George. Why this signal honor was given to him I do not know. Probably the typewriter slipped up on the other two.
Senator Knox. Amended in what respect?
Mr. Ryan. In this respect. We made application when we went to Europe for France alone, for Paris. We did not contemplate a visit to Ireland. When we reached there suggestions were made to us of meetings and time was being lost, and in the meantime we were invitecl to go to Ireland. We then sought to have our passports changed, and they were changed forthwith, although the State Office paid that such a thing had never happened, that it would take at least three weeks by cable to effect the change. Nevertheless, they were changed within an hour and a half and delivered to us; changed after that message had been received from the State Department. We. did