1HE EARL OF WICKLOW
I have several times drawn attention to the great work being done by Fr. Hayes, the parish priest of Bansha, for the rural life of Ireland, through his organisation known as Muintir na Tir.
is a triumph for him that the Government has lent assistance inauguration of a scheme of rural co-operative development has been launched in his own parish of Bansha.
in the which The Government has appointed the parish agent in Bansha as its representative, and the Department of Agriculture is placing its veterinary staff at the disposal of the parish.
Expert assistance and advice will be given in soil analysis, and the making good of any deficiencies in the land.
When launching the scheme at Bansha, Mr. Dillon, the Minister for Agriculture. said: " We are at the complete story of which it may taken centuries to tell. It is fortunate for us all that at the head of this parish stands Fr. Hayes. " His faithful service in the cause of parish organisation and of the people on the land has inspired most of those who glory in the name of farmer. With him and under his direction you can achieve great things, and I earnestly desire the privilege of having it to say that 1 was with you when you set out upon your journey."
A reply has been made to Mr. Churchill's unexpected, and, to speak the truth. singularly unfortunate attack on us, over the repeal of the External Relations Act.
When speaking at the opening of the new Fine Gael rooms in Cork, Dr. O'Higgins, the Minister for Defence, pointed out that " because of the step, Mr. Churchill attacks us in a typically English way, and accuses us of acting in a characteristically Irish manner. " He completely ignores the facts of history, and immediately engages in dogmatic prophecy_ Mr. Churchill advises us to extend the
hand of friendship to Ulster. We have done so. The door is still
open, but every hand we have extended is marked by bites." Referring to Mr. Churchill's instructions that we should " woo " Ulster, Dr. O'Higgins declared that if we are to be lectured as to how we should woo, I do not want to be lectured by a man, who, when he wooed this country, left behind him a broken, mutilated body --a dismembered country."
FUTURE RELATIONS Mr. Churchill's intemperate remarks could scarcely have been more ill-timed, just when cool heads are needed, and there is no earthly reason for stirring up past bitternesses.
I think, as I said last week, that there never was a time when our relations with England and our aspirations for the future were more friendly, and that the proposal to repeal the Act, which is certain to he passed in the Dail, is in no sense intended as an unfriendly gesture, and is far more likely to lead to much closer relations in the future. It is, therefore, all the more regrettable when a senior statesman, whose words are certain to reach a wide public. speaks in a way that one can only consider to be irresponsible and mischievous. To most of us in this country Mr. Churchill's words have an ominous ring, in the event of his party returning to power at the next General Election.