I am sure the Deputies will have seen the statements I recently made on the dangers that threaten our country. These dangers are now obvious, and I refer to them only in order that the Dáil and the country may see the urgent necessity for the defence measures which the Government is taking. The reservists of the regular Army and the first line Volunteers are all being called to the colours. A campaign to secure thousands more recruits for the Army will at once be undertaken, those who are willing to give their services to the nation being registered at once, so as to be called up for training the moment we can take them. A campaign to secure the registration of men for the local security corps is also being undertaken. These men will remain in their own areas, and will be asked only to give a certain portion of their free time for patrol and observation work, and the securing of information.
In view of the dangers that confront us, I am sure all our people will be united as one man behind the Government, ready to meet aggression from whatsoever quarter it may come.
Over 20 years ago another peril brought the country to one magnificent unity. The leaders of all Parties, the Church and the people combined for a great and noble purpose—to save our young men from being forced into a war against the nation's will. Can I not ask for the same unity to-day to resist being brought into a war in which our State has declared its desire and its intention not to be involved? There is but one line of safety for us, to be ready to resist to the utmost whosoever may attack us.
I have asked the leaders of the Opposition Parties to join in a conference of three members of the Government, three of the principal Opposition, and two of the Labour Party, to meet each week and at such other times as may be necessary, to consult and advise on matters of national defence. They have agreed.
Thus Dáil Eireann gives a lead which I hope all our people will follow. We must all be brothers in one holy cause, and no voice of dissension should be heard amongst us. The liberties of which we in this Parliament are the trustees have been dearly bought. Let there not be found in this land anywhere one treacherous hand to give them away. We are a small people, but if we are true to ourselves, and courageously defend our rights, with God's help we shall survive the present dangers as we and our fathers survived no less grievous ones in the past.