Statement of the American Commission on Ireland, October 29, 1920



Its First Session Was Held in Washington, D.C., On October 29th -- A Statement Is Issued.

The committee chosen by the Commission of One Hundred to investigate Irish atrocities held its first meeting in Washington Oct. 29, and issued the following statement:

The American Commission on Ireland has accepted the task [entrusted] to it with the sincerest desire to improve the relations between the United States, Great Britain and Ireland, to obtain facts as to what is actually happening on Irish soil, and to discover ways and means of offering continuing mediation if such ways exists. Firmly believing that the present situation, if long continued, will menace the peace of the world, and realizing that it is already becoming a domestic political issue in America, the commission seeks to shed light upon what is happening, in order to present an actual picture of the crisis to the American people, so that, with this background, constructive suggestions may arise as to a way out.

The members of the commission are unanimously of the belief that the friendship of the English-speaking peoples for one another is of such priceless value to the welfare of the entire world that for Americans to leave a single stone unturned to preserve that friendship would constitute a grave culpability. The commission is, moreover, profoundly stirred by the long-continued reports of lawlessness and the wholesale shedding of blood in Ireland on both sides. Its members cannot sit by unmoved at the possibility of an outcome so terrible that it might easily mean the destruction of the bulk of the sorely harassed Irish people, a people so gifted as to be able to make a unique contribution to the culture and progress of the world, a people whose voluntary martyrs have begun to make the whole globe realize that the situation of Ireland has reached a pass where brave men prefer death to its continuance.

If in such an hour the constitution of an unofficial commission of citizens of a friendly nature seems unusual, it is to be explained by the unprecedented circumstances in Ireland, by the fact that millions of Americans of Irish blood can know neither contentment nor happiness until peace is restored to their kin across the Atlantic, and by the historic American devotion to those peaceful ideals which but recently animated our troops in the world war. An America inactive in the face of the tragic events in Ireland would be an America recreant to its traditions and to its faith.