CELT document E900025

Document Number Two


The following is the Counter-proposal drafted by President de Valéra as an Amendment to the motion for Approval of the Articles of Agreement. He intended to move the Amendment on January 4th, 1922.

“That inasmuch as the “Articles of Agreement for a treaty between Great Britain and Ireland”, signed in London on December 6th, 1921, do not reconcile Irish National aspirations and the Association of Ireland with the Community of Nations known as the British Commonwealth, and cannot be the basis of an enduring peace between the Irish and the British peoples, DÁIL ÉIREANN, in the name of the Sovereign Irish Nation, makes to the Government of Great Britain, to the Government of the other States of the British Commonwealth, and to the peoples of Great Britain and of these several States, the following Proposal for a Treaty of Amity and Association which, DÁIL ÉIREANN is convinced, could be entered into by the Irish people with the sincerity of goodwill”:

Éamon de Valera

Proposed Treaty of Association Between Ireland and the British Commonwealth

In order to bring to an end the long and ruinous conflict between Great Britain and Ireland by a sure and lasting peace honourable to both nations, it is agreed.

Status of Ireland.


That the legislative, executive, and judicial authority of Ireland shall be derived solely from the people of Ireland.

Terms of Association


That, for purposes of common concern, Ireland shall be associated with the States of the British Commonwealth, viz:— The Kingdom of Great Britain, the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, and the Union of South Africa.


That when acting as an associate the rights, status, and privileges of Ireland shall be in no respect less than those enjoyed by any of the component States of the British Commonwealth.


That the matters of “common concern” shall include Defence, Peace and War, Political Treaties, and all matters now treated as of common concern, amongst the States of the British Commonwealth, and that in these matters there shall be between Ireland and the  p.960 States of the British Commonwealth “such concerted action founded on consultation as the several Governments may determine”.


That in virtue of this association of Ireland with the States of the British Commonwealth, citizens of Ireland in any of these States shall not be subject to any disabilities which a citizen of one of the component States of the British Commonwealth would not be subject to, and reciprocally for citizens of these States in Ireland.


That, for purposes of the Association, Ireland shall recognise His Britannic Majesty as head of the Association.



That, so far as her resources permit, Ireland shall provide for her own defence by sea, land and air, and shall repel by force any attempt by a foreign Power to violate the integrity of her soil and territorial waters, or to use them for any purpose hostile to Great Britain and the other associated States.


That for five years, pending the establishment of Irish coastal defence forces, or for such other period as the Governments of the two countries may later agree upon, facilities for the coastal defence of Ireland shall be given to the British Government as follows:—

  1. (a) In time of peace such harbour and other facilities as are indicated in the Annex hereto, or such other facilities as may from time to time be agreed upon between the British Government and the Government of Ireland;
  2. (b) In time of war such harbour and other naval facilities as the British Government may reasonably require for the purposes of such defence as aforesaid.


That within five years from the date of exchange of ratifications of this Treaty a Conference between the British and Irish Governments shall be held in order to hand over the coastal defence of Ireland to the Irish Government, unless some other arrangement for naval defence be agreed by both Governments to be desirable in the common interest of Ireland, Great Britain, and the other Associated States.


That, in order to co-operate in furthering the principle of international limitation of armaments, the Government of Ireland shall not:

  1. (a)Build submarines unless by agreement with Great Britain and the other States of the Commonwealth;
  2. (b)Maintain a military defence force, the establishments whereof exceed in size such proportion of the military establishments maintained in Great Britain as that which the population of Ireland bears to the population of Great Britain.



That the Governments of Great Britain and of Ireland shall make a convention for the regulation of civil communication by air.


That the ports of Great Britain and of Ireland shall be freely  p.961 open to the ships of each country on payment of the customary port and other dues.


That Ireland shall assume liability for such share of the present public debt of Great Britain and Ireland, and of payment of war pensions as existing at this date as may be fair and equitable, having regard to any just claims on the part of Ireland by way of set-off or counter-claim, the amount of such sums being determined in default of agreement, by the arbitration of one or more independent persons, being citizens of Ireland or of the British Commonwealth.


That the Government of Ireland agrees to pay compensation on terms not less favourable than those proposed by the British Government of Ireland Act of 1920 to that Government's judges, officials, members of Police Forces and other Public Servants who are discharged by the Government of Ireland, or who retire in consequence of the change of government elected in pursuance hereof:

Provided that this agreement shall not apply to members of the Auxiliary Police Force, or to persons recruited in Great Britain for the Royal Irish Constabulary during the two years next preceding the date hereof. The British Government will assume responsibility for such compensation or pensions as may be payable to any of these excepted persons.


That neither the Parliament of Ireland nor any subordinate Legislature in Ireland shall make any law so as either directly or indirectly to endow any religion or prohibit or restrict the free exercise thereof, or give any preference or impose any disability on account of religious belief or religious status, or affect prejudicially the right of any child to attend a school receiving public money without attending a religious instruction at the school, or make any discrimination as respects State aid between schools under the management of different religious denominations, or divert from any religious denomination or any educational institution any of its property except for public utility purposes and on payment of compensation.



That by way of transitional arrangement for the Administration of Ireland during the interval which must elapse between the date hereof and the setting up of a Parliament and Government of Ireland in accordance herewith, the members elected for constituencies in Ireland since the passing of the British Government of Ireland Act in 1920 shall, at a meeting summoned for the purpose, elect a transitional Government to which the British Government and Dáil Éireann shall transfer the authority, powers, and machinery requisite for the discharge of its duties, provided that every member of such transition Government shall have signified in writing his or her acceptance of this instrument. But this arrangement shall not continue in force beyond the expiration of twelve months from the date hereof.



That this instrument shall be submitted for ratification forthwith by His Britannic Majesty's Government to the Parliament at Westminster, and by the Cabinet of Dáil Éireann to a meeting of the members elected for the constituencies in Ireland set forth in the British Government of Ireland Act, 1920, and when ratifications have been exchanged shall take immediate effect.



The following are the specific facilities referred to in Article 8(a):

    <label TEIform="label">Dockyard Port at Berehaven (a)</label>
  • British Admiralty property and rights to be retained as at the date hereof. Harbour defences to remain in charge of British care and maintenance parties.
  • <label TEIform="label">Queenstown (b)</label>
  • Harbour defences to remain in charge of British care and maintenance parties. Certain mooring buoys to be retained for use of His Britannic Majesty's ships.
  • <label TEIform="label">Belfast Lough (c)</label>
  • Harbour defences to remain in charge of British care and maintenance parties.
  • <label TEIform="label">Lough Swilly (d)</label>
  • Harbour defences to remain in charge of British care and maintenance parties.
  • <label TEIform="label">Aviation (e)</label>
  • Facilities in the neighbourhood of the above Ports for coastal defence by air.
  • <label TEIform="label">Oil Fuel Storage (d)</label>
  • Haulbowline and Rathmullen: To be offered for sale to commercial companies under guarantee that purchasers shall maintain a certain minimum stock for British Admirality purposes.


A Convention covering a period of five years shall be made between the British and Irish Governments to give effect to the following conditions:

  1. (a) That submarine cables shall not be landed or wireless stations for communications with places outside Ireland be established except by agreement with the British Government; that the existing cable landing rights and wireless concessions shall  p.963 not be withdrawn except by agreement with the British Government; and that the British Government shall be entitled to land additional submarine cables or establish additional wireless stations for communication with places outside Ireland.
  2. (b) That lighthouses, buoys, beacons, and any navigational marks or navigational aids shall be maintained by the Government of Ireland as at the date hereof and shall not be removed or added to except by agreement with the British Government.
  3. (c) That war signal stations shall be closed down and left in charge of care and maintenance parties, the Government of Ireland being offered the option of taking them over and working them for commercial purposes subject to British Admiralty inspection and guaranteeing the upkeep of existing telegraphic communication therewith.





That, whilst refusing to admit the right of any part of Ireland to be excluded from the supreme authority of the Parliament of Ireland, or that the relations between the Parliament of Ireland and any subordinate Legislature in Ireland can be a matter for treaty with a government outside Ireland, nevertheless, in sincere regard for internal peace, and in order to make manifest our desire not to bring force or coercion to bear upon any substantial part of the Province of Ulster, whose inhabitants may now be unwilling to accept the national authority, we are prepared to grant to that portion of Ulster which is defined as Northern Ireland in the British Government of Ireland Act of 1920, privileges and safeguards not less substantial than those provided for in the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland signed in London on December 6th, 1921.

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Title statement

Title (uniform): Document Number Two

Author: Éamon de Valera

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled by: Donnchadh Ó Corráin and Audrey Murphy

Funded by: University College, Cork and Professor Marianne McDonald via the CELT Project

Edition statement

2. Second draft.

Extent: 2462 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2005

Date: 2008

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: E900025

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Source description

Macardle, Dorothy (1937). ‘Document Number Two’. In: The Irish Republic: a documented chronicle of the Anglo-Irish conflict and the partitioning of Ireland, with a detailed account of the period 1916–1923‍. Ed. by Dorothy Macardle. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, pp. 959–963.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  editor 	 = {Dorothy Macardle},
  title 	 = {Document Number Two},
  author 	 = {Dorothy Macardle},
  booktitle 	 = {The Irish Republic: a documented chronicle of the Anglo-Irish conflict and the partitioning of Ireland, with a detailed account of the period 1916–1923},
  publisher 	 = {Victor Gollancz Ltd},
  address 	 = {London},
  date 	 = {1937},
  pages 	 = {959–963}


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Creation: by Éamon de Valera

Date: 1922-01

Language usage

  • The whole text is in English apart from the term 'Dáil Éireann'. (en)
  • The term 'Dáil Éireann', is in Irish. (ga)

Keywords: political; prose; 20c; law; treaty; amendment

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(Most recent first)

  1. 2011-01-25: Conversion script run, new wordcount made. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2008-07-19: Value of div0 "type" attribute modified, minor modifications made to header; keywords added. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2005-08-25: Normalised language codes and edited langUsage for XML conversion (ed. Julianne Nyhan)
  4. 2005-08-04T14:42:35+0100: Converted to XML (ed. Peter Flynn)
  5. 2005-02-14: Header updated, file reparsed; HTML file created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  6. 1997-02-26: HTML file generated using Omnimark. (ed. Peter Flynn)
  7. 1997-02-26: File parsed using SGMLS. (ed. Mavis Cournane)
  8. 1997-02-25: Header constructed, structural mark-up added, checked and verified. (ed. Donnchadh Ó Corráin)
  9. 1996: Text proofed. (ed. Audrey Murphy)
  10. 1996: Text captured by scanning. (data capture Audrey Murphy)

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  1. The following addendum concerning N. E. Ulster was to be proposed as a separate resolution by the President. 🢀


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