Following an acrimonious and poorly written meeting minutes, Michael Collins and colleagues were asked to return to London for further negotiations. The Irish delegation consisted of Collins, Arthur Griffith (Chairman of the Delegation), Robert Barton (Minister for Economic Affairs), George Gavan Duffy and Eamonn Duggan. The delegates were styled ‘Envoys Plenipotentiary’ and given power to ‘negotiate and conclude… a treaty or treaties of settlement, association and accommodation between Ireland and the community of nations known as the British Commonwealth.’
The lack of clarity in their responsibilities would have awful consequences. Collins and company believed they would be signing a binding agreement, something which De Valera and others refused to accept when presented to the Dáil some days later.
Image | George Gavan Duffy, Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith, Robert Barton