Peace Council at the Palace

Peace Council at the Palace

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6/12/1921 (of event)


01min 42sec




35mm, film, intertitles

black and white


British Pathe


British Pathé

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British Pathé

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A photo call at Buckingham Palace the day the Treaty was signed, 6th December 1921. This meeting signalled the end of the Anglo-Irish War but unfortunately peace was short lived. Disagreement between pro and anti-treaty factions led to civil war which lasted until May 1923.


After extensive debate in the Dáil it was decided that a five man delegation, led by Arthur Griffith and including Michael Collins would be sent to engage in negotiations in London. Collins did not relish the prospect, commenting ‘to me the task is a loathsome one. If I go, I go in the spirit of a soldier who acts against his better judgement at the orders of a superior officer. Collins said that he wasn’t sure if the treaty delegation was ‘being instructed or confused’ during its discussions with Lloyd George, adding ‘the latter I would say’. In a personal letter to Kitty Kiernan on the matter of signing the Treaty, Michael Collins reveals an optimistic hope for the settlement. Writing on the morning of 6 December (the agreement had been reached in the middle of the night) he poignantly states ‘I don’t know how things will go now but with God’s help we have brought peace to this land of ours – a peace which will end this old strife of ours forever’. Collins was not so optimistic about his own future, realising he 'just signed his own death warrant'. Eight months later, Collins was shot in an ambush in Co. Cork.

Shot List

'Peace Council at the Palace. 'Splendid News!' says the King - His smile reflects the Irish sunshine'; 'No. 10' where the Peace was signed'; 'The welcome agreement'; 'The Irish Delegates who signed the memorable Treaty. Exclusive pictures Pathe Gazette.' Begins with the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, and George V; then Churchill (Colonial Secretary), Lloyd George and (on the right) Lord Birkenhead (Lord Chancellor); then Lord Birkenhead with Austen Chamberlain (Foreign Secretary); at 00:25 Lord Curzon (in high collar); at 00:46 the Treaty document; Irish delegates at 01:01 Robert Barton, Michael Collins and Gavan Duffy; Arthur Duffy at 01:25, with Collins on the left at 01:32. The typed Treaty with all the signatures is shown.


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