September 4, 2023

Finest Hour 197, Third Quarter 2022

Page 05

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Coming in Finest Hour 198: Eightieth Anniversary of the Hinge of Fate

We Hold Ourselves Bound

Following the death of Arthur Griffith from natural causes on 12 August 1922 and the assassination of Michael Collins ten days later—both men signatories and supporters of the Anglo-Irish Treaty—Winston Churchill wrote W. T. Cosgrave, President of the Executive Committee of the Irish Free State on 24 August.

LONDON—I take the earliest opportunity in this hour of tragedy for Ireland and of intense difficulty for the Irish Provisional Government of assuring you of the confidence which is felt by the British Government that the Treaty provision will be faithfully and resolutely maintained.

The death of the two principal signatories, the retirement of another and the desertion of a fourth, in no way affect the validity and sanctity of the settlement entered into with the plenipotentiaries of the Irish nation. On the contrary we are sure that the Provisional Government and the Irish people will feel it all the more a sacred duty to carry into full effect the act of reconciliation between the two islands which was the life-work of the dead Irish leaders, and with which their names will be imperishably associated.

For our part we hold ourselves bound on the Treaty basis and will meet good faith with good faith and goodwill with goodwill to the end. You, as acting Chairman of the Provisional Government, and your civil colleagues and your high military officers, may count on the fullest measure of co-operation and support from us in any way that is required.

2024 International Churchill Conference

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— Winston S. Churchill, Secretary of State for the Colonies

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