1916: Government of Ireland: Heads of Agreement

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The Government of Ireland Act, 1914, to be brought into operation as soon as possible after the passing of the Bill, subject to the modifications necessitated by these instructions. 

The said Act not to apply to the excluded area, which is to consist of the six counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone, including the parliamentary boroughs of Belfast, Londonderry and Newry. 

As regards the excluded area the executive power of His Majesty to be administered by a Secretary of State through such officers and departments as may be directed by Order of His Majesty in Council, those officers and departments not to be in any way responsible to the new Irish Government. 

A Committee to be appointed on which both of the Irish Parties is to be represented to assist the Government in preparing the necessary Orders in Council. 

The number of Irish representatives in the United Kingdom House of Commons to remain unaltered (viz., 

The Irish House of Commons to consist of the Members who sit in the United Kingdom House of Commons for constituences within the area to which the Act applies. 

A reduction to be made in the number of Irish Senators proportionate to the population of the excluded area. 
The Senators to be nominated by the Lord Lieutenant, subject to instructions from His Majesty. 

The Lord Lieutenant to have power to summon conferences between the members for constituences in the excluded area and the members for constituencies in the rest of Ireland. 

A deduction to be made from Item (a) of the Transferred Sum—(cost of Irish services)—when ascertained proportionate to the population of the excluded area. 

Provision to be made for permanent sittings of a High Court judge or judges in Belfast appointed by the Imperial Government or for the constitution of a new court in Belfast with the same jurisdiction as that of the High Court but locally limited. 

Ail appeals, both from the courts in the excluded area and those in the rest of Ireland, to go to the Appeal Court in Dublin, which is to be composed of judges appointed by the Imperial Government and having the like tenure of office as English judges. 

jThe appeals from the Court of Appeal in Dublin, whether as respects cases coming from£the excluded area or from the rest of Ireland, to go to the same tribunal of appeal in England ; whether it should be, the House of Lords or the Privy Council is for the present immaterial. 

Section thirty of the Government of Ireland Act to be extended to any disputes or questions which may arise between the excluded area and the new Irish Government. 

His Majesty's power of making Orders in Council for the purposes of the Act to be extended so as to include power to make the necessary adjustments and provisions with respect to the government of the excluded area and relations between that area and the reRt of Ireland and Great Britain, &c. 

Amongst the various questions to which attention must be directed in this connection will be the question of fixing fair rents under the Irish Land Acts. 
It is proposed that there should be two Commissioners specially allocated for fixing rents in the excluded area and appointed by the British Government. 

13\ A11 OrderB in Council under the New Act to be laid before both Houses ol Parliament in the same manner as Orders under the Government of Ireland Act. 
(See s. 

The Bill to remain in iorce during the continuance of the war and ,a period of twelve months thereafter; but if Parliament has not by that time made further and permanent provision for the government of Ireland, the period for which the Bill is to remain in force is to be extended by Order in Council for such time as may be necessary in order to enable Parliament to make such provision. 

It is also understood that at the close of the war there should be held an Imperial Conference with a view to bringing the Dominions into closer co-operation with the Government ot the Empire, and that the permanent settlement of Ireland should be considered at that Conference. 

D & S.