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Wednesday, 24 August 1921

Senator HENDERSON (Western Australia) . - I desire lo take up r. similar attitude to that adopted by Senator de Largie. I- believe that Senator Lynch, whilst imbued with undoubtedly the highest and most honorable motives a man could possibly possess, has somewhat missed the real point at issue. Whilst I have at all times been a firm supporter of the Irish cause, and have in every way I possibly could, endeavoured to assist in any movement which had for its object the righting of the wrongs of the Irish people whatever they may be, I still feel that the motion is not in any way likely to alter the position which now exists in relation to Ireland and the British Empire as a whole. The Irish people have grievances. They have arrived at a stage when it appears to me that a climax has been reached. In the near future something must happen in regard to the relationship between Ireland and the British people. Whatever that may be, I join with Senator de Largie, Senator Bakhap, and others in the hope that the present situation will lead to a complete reconciliation of the desires of the people of Ireland and those of the authorities in London. Whether that reconciliation will be brought about I do not know, because we lack knowledge as to what has been done. In the absence of such information we are unable to express a clear opinion as to the differences actually existing now between the two parties. I think, however, we are all agreed that Ireland, independent and outside the Empire, would be a menace to the British Empire.

Senator de Largie - In my opinion, that is the worst thing that could happen to her.

Senator HENDERSON - I was going to say that it would be a menace to Ireland herself. While I do not think that this discussion will have the slightest effect upon the position, I sincerely hope that the day is close at hand when Ireland will be treated and recognised by the British Government as the people of Australia are.

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