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LLOYD GEORGE ACTS FOR IRISH PEACE
FOLLOWS UP KING'S PLEA
By The Associated Press
London, June 25 -- Premier Lloyd George has sent a letter to both Eamonn de Valera, the Irish Republican leader and Sir James Craig, the Ulster premier, declaring the British government to be deeply anxious that King George's appeal for reconciliation in Ireland shall not be made in vain.
The letter appeals for a conference between representatives of the government, and southern and northern Ireland so that the opportunity for a settlement in Ireland shall not be lost.
The letter, which is dated June 24, is couched in identical terms to both Mr. de Valera and Mr. James, accept for necessary verbal changes.
Calls It Final Plea
"I write, therefore, to convey the following invitation to you as the chosen leader of the great majority in southern Ireland and to Sir James Craig, premier of northern Ireland:
"First that you should attend a conference here in London in company with Sir James Craig to explore to the utmost the possibility of a settlement; second, that you should bring with you for that purpose any colleagues whom you may select.
Will Give Safe Conduct
"We make the invitation with the fervent desire to end the ruinous conflict which for centuries has divided Ireland and embittered the relations of the peoples of these two islands who ought to live in neighborly harmony with each other and whose cooperation would mean so much, not only to the empire, but to humanity. We wish that no endeavor should be lacking on our part to realize the king's prayer and we ask you to meet us as we will meet you in the spirit of conciliation for which his majesty appealed.
"I am, sir, your obedient servant, D. Lloyd George."
Express Pleasurable Surprise
The Sunday Times refers to the proposal as the "last offer the government can make to Sinn Fein," and adds: "It is a political potentiality that Mr. De Valera may refuse to accept this offer. In that case the alternative of the government is clear. The resources of the British empire to enforce peace are not exhausted. Indeed they have not been yet invoked."
Explains New Military Plans
"But," adds the newspaper, "full recourse to repressive measures will not be had until or unless the Sinn Fein leaders decline the offered conference."
The Express call the invitation a "radiant opportunity and a golden milestone of destiny" and says it presents "a fateful moment in the tragical, age-long alienation of the Irish and British people."
The Weekly Dispatch believes the king's visit offered a psychological moment for a peace effort.