Dáil Éireann

26/Aug/1921

Prelude

RESIGNATION OF MINISTRY.

ELECTION OF PRESIDENT.

THE NEW MINISTRY.

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE. - APPOINTMENT OF TRUSTEES.

ISSUE OF LOANS.

APPOINTMENT OF REGISTRAR SUPERVISOR OF SOCIETIES.

APPOINTMENT OF AUDITORS.

RESIGNATION OF DEPUTY SPEAKER.

ADJOURNMENT OF PUBLIC SESSION.

Afternoon Session

MINISTERIAL MOTION

DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFA - Decree as to purported exercise of public functions ¹

ELECTION OF GRAND COUNCIL [ recte COMMITTEE ]

VOLUNTEERS FOR THE LOCAL ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEES

MOTIONS BY PRIVATE MEMBERS

QUESTION OF APPOINTMENT OF PLENIPOTENTIARIES

RESULTS OF ELECTIONS FOR GRAND COMMITTEE OF THE DÁIL

MOTIONS FOR ADJOURNMENT

[77] Tháinig An Dáil le chéile in Arus Ard-Mhéire Bhaile Atha Cliath. Chuaidh AN CEANN COMHAIRLE (EOIN MAC NEILL) i gceannus ar 11.20 a.m.

AN TUACHTARAN:  A Chinn Chomhairle, is a lucht na Dála, ós rud é gur Dáil nua atá ann, is ceart gur n-eirgheodh an sean-Aireacht as feadhmannas agus ar mo shon féin agus ar son na nAirí eile, dmim anois amhlaidh. Mr. Speaker, as this is a new Dáil it is right the old Ministry should resign, and on my own behalf and on behalf of the Ministers serving with me we do so now.

SEAN MAC EOIN:  A Chinn Chomhairle is a lucht na Dála, is áthas liomsa agus is onóir dom a chuir roimh an Dáil go mbeidh Eamonn de Valéra mar Uachtarán againn.

Tá fhios againn a bhfuil déanta aige ar son na hÉireann. Tá iontaoibh againn as is cuirfe sé críoch leis an gcoga.

The honour has fallen on me to put before the Dáil the name of Eamonn de Valera as President of the Irish Republic. You know, and the people of Ireland know, what he has done for Irish freedom. Our hope and our belief now is that he will bring our cause to success. In no generation, for more than a century, has any Irish leader equalled such achievements. No one has shown himself more fitted to lead his people, and no one has shown himself more fitted to deal with the traditional foe. He has not been deceived by their promises nor intimidated by their threats. Eamonn de Valera first met the English as a soldier, and he beat them as a soldier; he has been meeting them now as a statesman, and he will beat them as a statesman. The honour and the interest of our nation are alike safe in his hands. With these few words, I beg to propose his name for the presidency.

RISTEARD O MAOLCATHA:  A Chinn Chomhairle is a mhuinntir na Dála, is mór is áthas liom cuidiú leis an dTeachta ó Longphort chun Eamonn de Valéra d'ainmniú mar Uachtarán orainn. Ní iontaoibh liom mo chuid Gaedhilge chun é ainmniú sa spirid in ar mhaith liom é d'ainmniú. Ní iontaoibh liom í chun a chur i dtuigsint díbhse is a chur in úil do mhuinntir na hÉireann i mbaile is i gcéin an fáth go ndinimíd a ainm a chur os bhúr gcóir. Dá bhrí sin, ní foláir dom mo smaointe a mhíniú sa teangain a cuireadh orrainn ag na Gallaibh nuair a sguabadh ár dteanga féin uainn. There is no more inspiring story in the history of our country than meets us at the very threshold of our history, when the hosts of Connacht marched against Ulster, and when Cuchulain, overcome by sickness and by magic, and unable to meet them at his own gap in the north, called upon his chieftains to keep the pass while he slept. He found, in spite of his urgent entreaties, he could not get them to answer his call, and, in despair, when passing through the fields of Ulster he saw the youths at play —and his despair deepened at the thought that these youths would come to age too late to save their country. There was no generation in Irish history perhaps to which such a call had not come, because those whose business it was were neglecting to guard it, and there has been no generation in which the youths of Ireland have not answered and thrown themselves into the gap which, by right, belonged to more [78] experienced and trained hands. I think to our own generation more than others has come the greatest call that has come to any generation. The generation that is standing by Ireland to-day were only leaving their schools when the national spirit called to them that our language was threatened, and they threw themselves into the work of saving our language. In 1913 there was another spot in our national bulwarks in danger and, leaving their Irish and their regular works, they took themselves to the tents and the battlefields, and to weapons and work they were unaccustomed to, and they sustained themselves gloriously through a very difficult period and found themselves at the end of it called to the forum. They tumbled into the forum with the same boyish vigour and carelessness and enthusiasm that they had thrown into the call of the Gaelic League, and we are now fighting Ireland's fight with more diversified weapons than were ever used. At the present moment, more and more magic and more and more enthusiasm is being mobilised. We are called upon to handle more different weapons than we were ever called upon to handle up to the present, and it is with boyish delight we say, when in the midst of this fight we are asked to name who our leader will be, that our leader will be Eamonn de Valera.

About twenty years ago, in the hall of the Gaelic League headquarters, a group was discussing what was wrong with the Gaelic League those times, and someone rose at the end of the hall with the hard word of common sense. I turned round to see a young man whom I did not know, but whom I afterwards knew as Eamon de Valera. He was then known as a champion of the Irish language, and when we look back to 1916 we see a figure standing with a gesture that is still the same boyish gesture with which he stood in the hall of the Gaelic League —but then as a soldier. He rushed in for the fight in 1916, and when we go back to 1918 we see him tumbling first into the forum when other people looked askance to see what the outcome of their work in the forum would be. It is because he is a youth among youths with them, because at every stage in that fight he has epitomised what we would wish to be, and out of pride in him and the love we have for him, and out of the knowledge and appreciation that we are to-day grown to the stature to which we are grown simply by his example, that it is with something more than pleasure that I ask that this Dáil select as President of the Irish Republic a man who has been so much to us personally and a man who has been so much to our nation, Eamonn de Valera.

DONAL OG O CEALLACHAIN:  A Chinn Chomhairle is a lucht na Dála, cúis áthais is bróid domhsa é a bheith orm cuidiú leis an ainmniú so. Tuigeann sibhse, a lucht na Dála, is tuigeann muinntir na hÉireann go hiomlán a bhfuil déanta ag an Uachtarán. Más fíor é, más fíor go bhfuil muinntir na hÉireann díreach tar éis coga a dhéanamh, coga agus troid nár dineadh a leithéid riamh cheana i nÉirinn, ní foláir nó tuigeann sibh an dlúth-bhaint a bhí ag an Uachtarán le cúrsaí na troda le linn an chogaidh sin; do stiúrigh sé obair an chogaidh go cliste agus go ciallmhar. O cuireadh sos lois an gcoga, bhí obair le déanamh ag an Uachtarán—obair a bhí níos deacra fós ná obair an chogaidh, obair maidir le cúrsaí ina bhfuil an namhaid sár-chliste. Go dtí anois, tá an bua againn san obair sin díreach mar a bhí an bua againn sa choga. Tá muinntir na hÉireann tagaithe go dtí an crosbhóthar agus ní beag d'éinne an bóthar atá romhainn le gabháil. B'fhéidir gur b'é an dorta fola agus an t-ár atá in ndán dúinn arís. Is mór an dorta fola agus an t-ár a dineadh ar mhuinntir na hÉireann le fada, ach b'fhéidir ná fuil deire leis fós. Ar an dtaobh eile, b'fhéidir go bhfuil Sasana ar intinn géille agus go bhfuil ceart agus cothrom le fáil ag muinntir na hÉireann. Má tá an sgeul mar sin, sí an tsíocháin atá romhainn. Má sí ní fhéadfadh cúrsaí na síochána a bheith i lámhaibh ní b'fhearr ná ní ba chliste ná i lámhaibh Eamonn de Valéra. B'fhéidir, ámhthach, ná fuil deire leis an gcoga. Bhí mórchuid dorta fola ann le déanaí, ach b'fhéidir go ndortfaí a thuille sara mbeidh deire leis an ár.

Ba bhreágh le muinntir na hÉireann an tsíocháin a bheith rómpa. Má thuiteann san amach, agus má thuigeann an namhaid nách foláir dóibh géille agus cothrom na féinne a thabhairt d'Eirinn, beidh árd-áthas orainn.

Tá lán-dóchas ag muinntir na hÉireann as Eamon de Valéra chun [79] náisiún na hÉireann do threorú i gcúrsaí na troda nó i gcúrsaí na síochána.

DR. ADA ENGLISH:  Ba mhaith liom cuidiú leis an rún so a cuireadh os bhúr gcóir.

I have very great pleasure in supporting the resolution put before you by Commandant Mac Eoin. There is no necessity for me to praise Eamonn de Valera to the men and women of the Dáil or to the men and women of Ireland. He has been tested in times of the greatest stress both as a soldier and statesman. We all know how he has come out of it—and the enemy knows it. The fact that for the past forty years the enemy has refused Home Rule and now are offering most cheerfully what they called “Dominion Status,” shows what has been done by him.

As a new member of the Dáil, I should like to say how much we appreciate him and how much we are impressed by him. His desire for the fullest criticism, and his openness to any suggestions and readiness to accept them if they are any good; his courage and manifest honesty in placing before us everything which he is recommending to us, leaves us, even the dullest of us, under no delusion as to what we are asked to do. I have very much pleasure in supporting the motion.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN TUACHTARAN:  A Chinn Chomhairle is a lucht na Dála, tá mo dhóthain céille agam chun a thuisgint gurb é anois an t-am chun srian a chur lem' theangain nuair atá mo chroí, mar tá sé, lán.

I have enough of common sense to know that it is not when one's heart is full that one should talk, and I fear very much that if I were to talk now I should say things that perhaps had better be left unsaid. I hope that a time will come when I can say all the things that I would like to say at a moment like this. I do feel as a boy amongst boys. I hope that we shall win this Cause as near to Heaven as boys are.

Credit has been given to me for things that have not been done by me, but by the magnificent comrades who have worked with me. I have got credit for work which was not my work, but the work of loyal comrades like Arthur Griffith, Cathal Brugha, Michael Collins, and other heroes working with me. It is as a team that we have worked, and it is as a team that we shall work. I believe that never had a man such an easy task in working with comrades such as I have.

When I was in America I used to be amused at the talk about splits and extremists and moderates and differences of opinion. The very night that the British arrested me in Blackrock, they found something which will have taught them that there are no differences of opinion amongst us; and they know it. They found a statement which had been drawn up in order to contradict the statements which were being issued in America and elsewhere—they found a statement signed by every one of the Ministry of Dáil Éireann, both the Ministers who could be got into communication with and the Ministers who were acting at the time.

Every one of them had signed a statement saying that never at any time during the whole period of their office, had there been any difference of opinion between me and them as regards policy and method. And it is because there has been that loyal co-operation, no jostling one above the other, but all working for the common cause in which their hearts were set—the cause of Ireland—that we have been able to achieve what we have achieved.

And it is not merely in the Ministry that that has been so, but it has been so throughout the whole country. The English, who think they are going to divide Ireland now or who place their hopes in what the Times calls “the precipitate tendency of the Irish people,” will be disappointed, as those who thought that the Cabinet of Dáil Éireann or Dáil Éireann itself, would be split, were disappointed.

This nation has been taught lessons, and it has learned from these lessons, thank God. We know who our enemies are; we know the methods of the enemy; and this nation, whatever it does, it will do as a nation and a united nation, and there will be no split in this nation.

With gratitude I turn to you, my comrades and colleagues, who have conferred upon me what I believe is the highest honour that could be conferred at this moment on any human being. Because here, at an issue of peace or [80] war, I have been chosen to be a leader. I do not say that because I have been chosen I will lead, because there has been no necessity for leadership of that kind amongst us.

We know our minds; we know that we have a straight road to travel; no bye-paths to lead us astray. We are keeping on the straight road, and it is a very easy task to lead on a straight road.

We have the courage to face whatever difficulties there are in the path before us. Though it is straight, we know that it is narrow and difficult. And it is because I appreciate that that I am proud of the honour; too proud to dare to speak and tell you how it affects me.

I am not sure that it is twelve o'clock. I thought it would be a proper digression from my thanks to the Dáil for re-electing me to read our last reply to the British Premier. We have promised that it should not be published until twelve o'clock and, as it is a couple of minutes before that time, we had better wait till the time is past.

[After an interval of two minutes, President de Valera continued]:—

Os rud é go bhfuil an t-am caithte anois, tá sé chó maith agam an freagra do léigheadh.

As the time is now expired, I will read for you the answer, which is as follows:—

24 Lughnasa, 1921.

Do Dháithí Uasal Leód Seoirse,

10, Sráid Downing,

i Lonndain.

A Chara,

An tuairim do bhí agam roimh ré agus mé ag tabhairt freagra ort an 10adh lá de Lughnasa tá deimhniughadh déanta air anois. Leagas tairsgint bhúr Riaghaltais-sa os comhair Dála Éireann, agus dheineadar a dhiúltadh d'aon ghuth.

Ba léir ó nbhúr litir an 13adh lá de Lughnasa gur mhian libh go n-admhuighmís nár mhór ceart na hÉireann do bheith ar lár ar mhaithe le cúrsaibh cosanta Sacsan do réir mar shaoil sí féin, toisc a chomhgaraighe is bhí Éire do Shacsaibh; agus nár mhór d'Éirinn géilleadh do'n smacht iasachta anois toisc a fhaid agus a dhícheallaighe is do bhítheas a d'iarraidh Éire do chur fé'n smacht soin 'san am atá imighthe.

Ní féidir liom a chreideamhaint gur mheas bhúr Riaghaltas feidhm do bhaint as neart airm gan scál a chuirfeadh ar neamhnidh macántacht na náisiún is a chuirfeadh críoch le síothcháin an domhain. Má théigheann ceart saoirse an náisiúin bhig ar cheal chomh luath is chuireann comhursa neartmhar dúil 'san tír i gcomhair airm nó pé buntáiste eile bheadh le baint as, sin deireadh le saoirse. Ní fhéadfadh náisiún beag súil do beith aici le neamhspleadhchas iomshlán feasta. D'fhéadfaidhe Tír fo Thuinn is Danmharc do chur fé smacht na Gearmáine, Flondras fé smacht na Gearmáine nó na Frainnce, an Portainéal fé smacht na Spáinne. Náisiúin dár ceangladh d'impireachtaibh le neart fóiréigin, má chaillid a neamhspleadhchas dá dheascaibh, níl aithbreith na saoirse i ndán dóibh feasta. Maidir le hÉirinn má luadhtar go bhfuil sí ag scaradh le pairtidheacht nár ghlac sí riamh leis, nó le dílse nár gheall sí riamh, níl ann acht bréag ó bhonn; mar a chéile, éagcóir ó bhonn bheith ag éileamh a neamhspleadhchas do chur fé chois ar mhaithe le cosaint Sacsan. Ní féidir linne .i. teachtaidhe an náisiúin, géilleadh do cheachtar aca.

Ní thréigfimíd-na onóir ár dtíre ná an ceart a tugadh dúinn le cosaint; agus má dheineann Sacsa adhbhar cogaidh de sin, is truagh linn é. Is léir dúinn cad é ár gcúram ar son na mbeo, agus ní lugha ár dtuigsint 'san nidh is dual dúinn agus 'san chomaoin atá orainn ag ár marbh cródha. Ní rabhamair ar lorg troda, is nílmíd ar lorg troda; acht má cuirtear an comhrac orainn caithfimíd sinn féin do chosaint agus déanfaimíd san. Agus ciaca eirgheochaidh linn nó ná eirgheochaidh, beimíd deimnighthe ná molfaidh aon dream fear ná ban de theachtaibh Éireann do'n náisiún an ceart is dual di do scaoileadh uaithe.

Is mór is mian linn deireadh do chur leis an achrann so idir Éirinn agus Sacsaibh. Má tá ceaptha ag bhúr Riaghaltas-sa a toil d'imirt orainn le neart fóréigin agus coingeallacha do leagadh amach roimh ré a bhainfeadh dínn ár staid [81] dúthchais is a dhéanfadh adhbhar magaidh de'n socrughadh so ar siubhal eadrainn, sibh-se bheidh ciontach le buaine an achrainn.

Do réir na gnáth-chomhairle úd gur toil an phobuil is bun le Riaghaltas, is féidir síothcháin do dhéanamh feasta, agus síothcháin go mbeidh ceart is onóir ann do chách is go mbeidh cneastacht is buan-mhuinnteardhas mar thoradh air. Is toil le Dáil Éireann teachtaidhe do thoghadh chun a leithéid de shíothcháin do dhéanamh; agus lán-chomhacht do thabhairt dóibh chun a chur i bhfeidhm i nbhúr dteannta-sa, má ghéilleann bhúr Riaghaltas do'n ghnáth-chomhairle seo luaidhte.

Mise,

do chara gan cháim,

(Síghnithe) Eamon de Valéra.

[Official Translation].

The Right Hon. David

Lloyd George,

10 Downing Street,

Whitehall, London.

Mansion House,

Dublin,

24th August, 1921.

Sir,

The anticipatory judgment I gave in my reply of August 10th has been confirmed. I laid the proposals of your Government before Dáil Éireann, and, by an unanimous vote, it has rejected them.

From your letter of August 13th it was clear that the principle we were asked to accept was that the “geographical propinquity” of Ireland to Britain imposed the condition of the subordination of Ireland's right to Britain's strategic interests as she conceives them, and that the very length and persistence of the efforts made in the past to compel Ireland's acquiesence in a foreign domination imposed the condition of acceptance of that domination now.

We cannot believe that your Government intend to commit itself to a principle of sheer militarism destructive of international morality and fatal to the world's peace. If a small nation's right to independence is forfeit when a more powerful neighbour covets its territory for the military or other advantages it is supposed to confer, there is an end to liberty. No longer can any small nation claim a right to a separate sovereign existence. Holland and Denmark can be made subservient to Germany, Belgium to Germany or to France, Portugal to Spain. If nations that have been forcibly annexed to empires lose thereby their title to independence, there can be for them no rebirth to freedom. In Ireland's case, to speak of her seceding from a partnership she has not accepted, or from an allegiance which she has not undertaken to render, is fundamentally false, just as the claim to subordinate her independence to British strategy is fundamentally unjust. To neither can we, as the representatives of the nation, lend countenance.

If our refusal to betray our nation's honour and the trust that has been reposed in us is to be made an issue of war by Great Britain, we deplore it. We are as conscious of our responsibilities to the living as we are mindful of principle or of our obligations to the heroic dead. We have not sought war, nor do we seek war, but if war be made upon us we must defend ourselves, and shall do so, confident that whether our defence be successful or unsuccessful no body of representative Irishmen or Irishwomen will ever propose to the nation the surrender of its birthright.

We long to end the conflict between Britain and Ireland. If your Government be determined to impose its will upon us by force and, antecedent to negotiation, to insist upon conditions that involve a surrender of our whole national position and make negotiation a mockery, the responsibility for the continuance of the conflict rests upon you.

On the basis of the broad guiding principle of government by the consent of the governed, peace can be secured—a peace that will be just and honourable to all, and fruitful of concord and enduring amity. To negotiate such a peace, Dáil Éireann [82] is ready to appoint its representatives, and, if your Government accepts the principle proposed, to invest them with plenary powers to meet and arrange with you for its application in detail.

I am, Sir,

Faithfully yours,

(Signed) Eamon de Valera.

As that reply has been delivered, and as it sums up our position—the position of the Ministry that was in existence until a few moments ago—I do not think that it is necessary to deal with it now, more particularly as we have not got a reply from the British Government. Our position is unchanged. We cannot change our position, because it is fundamentally sound and just. And the moment we get off that fundamental rock of right and justice, we have no case whatsoever. No fight can be made except on that rock, and on that rock we shall stand.

AN TUACHTARAN:  Sé mo bhua a bheith orm an Aireacht nua d'ainmniú agus ainmním:—Mar Aire Gnóthaí Coigríche, Art O Gríobhtha.

DR. MCGINLEY:  I have much pleasure in proposing the ratification of the appointment of Art O Gríobhtha as Minister for Foreign Affairs.

MRS. MARGARET PEARSE:  Aontuím leis sin.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN TUACHTARAN:  Ainmním mar Aire Gnóthaí Dúithche, Aibhistín de Stac.

MR. J.J. WALSH:  I beg to propose the ratification of Aibhistín de Stac.

PADRAIC O MAILLE:  Aontuím leis sin.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN TUACHTARAN:  Ainmním mar Aire Cosanta, Cathal Brugha.

SEAN T. O CEALLAIGH:  Molaim go nglacfaidh an Dáil leis an ainm sin.

DR. VINCENT WHITE:  I have great pleasure in seconding this resolution.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN TUACHTARAN:  Ainmním Mícheál O Coileáin mar Aire Airgid.

MR. HARRY BOLAND:  I have great pleasure in proposing that the Dáil approves of this appointment.

DR. PATRICK MACCARTAN:  I second this.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN TUACHTARAN:  Ainmím Liam Mac Cosgair mar Aire Rialtais Aitiúla.

ALDERMAN CORISH:  I have great pleasure in proposing the approval of Liam Mac Cosgair's appointment.

MR. JOSEPH O'DOHERTY:  Aontuím leis sin.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN T-UACHTARAN:  Ainmním mar Aire Tionnscail, Riobárd Bartún.

BRIAN UA HUIGIN:  Tá áthas orm a mholadh go glacfaidh an Dáil le hainm Riobáird Bhartúin mar Aire Tionnscail.

MR. J. CROWLEY:  Aontuím leis sin.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN TUACHTARAN:  As you know, these six Secretaries of State constitute the Cabinet: it is necessary to nominate also the other Ministers who will have charge of Departments but will be outside the Cabinet. Ainmním mar Aire Conganta um Rialtas Aitiúil, Caoimhghín Ua hUigín.

GEAROID O'SULLIVAN:  Cuirim os cóir na Dála go nglacfar le hainm Chaoimhghín Uí Uigín.

PROINNSIAS O FATHAIGH:  Aontuím leis sin.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN T-UACHTARAN:  Ainmním mar Aire Ard-Cheárd, Count Plunkett.

BRIAN CIOSOG:  I have much pleasure in proposing the ratification of this appointment. I do not think a better choice could be made.

[83]SEAN MCGARRY:  I have much pleasure in seconding that proposal.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN T-UACHTARAN:  Ainmním mar Aire Craobhscaoileacháin, Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt.

DR. MACCARTAN:  I propose ratification of the appointment.

MRS. O'CALLAGHAN:  I second that.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN T-UACHTARAN:  Ainmním mar Aire Oideacháis, Sean O Ceallaigh (“Sceilg”).

PADRAIC O MAILLE:  Is maith liom a chur os cóir na Dála go nglacfaimíd le Seán O Ceallaigh mar Aire Oideacháis.

MICHEAL O HAODHA:  Is mian liom cuidiú leis sin.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN TUACHTARAN:  Ainmním mar Aire Oibreachais, Countess Markievicz.

SEAN T. O CEALLAIGH:  Cuirim os bhúr gcóir go nglacfar leis sin.

MRS. CLARKE:  Aontuím leis sin.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN TUACHTARAN:  Mar Aire Tráchtála ainmním Earnán de Blaghd.

MR. JOSEPH MCBRIDE:  I propose adoption of the nomination.

MR. JOSEPH MCGUINNESS:  I second that.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN TUACHTARAN:  Mar Aire Talmhaíochta ainmním Art O Conchubhair.

TOMAS MAC DONNCADHA:  I propose adoption of the nomination.

MR. C. BYRNE:  I second that.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN TUACHTARAN:  Mar Aire Iascaigh ainmním Seán Etchingham.

MR. SEAN O'MAHONY:  I propose adoption of the recommendation.

MR. EAMONN DUGGAN:  I second that.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN TUACHTARAN:  Your Ministry then, is as follows: The Cabinet (consisting of Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, Defence, Finance, Local Government, and Economic Affairs)—Arthur Griffith, Austin Stack, Cathal Brugha, Mícheál O Coileáin, Liam Mac Cosgair, and Riobárd Bartún. Extra Cabinet Ministers—Caoimhghín Ua hUigín (Assistant Secretary of State for Local Government), the Secretaries for Fine Arts, Publicity, Education, Labour, Trade and Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries, who are, respectively: Count Plunkett, Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt, S.S. O Ceallaigh, Countess Markievicz, Earnán de Blaghd, Art O Conchubhair, Seán Etchingham.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE:  Cúrsaí an Airgid atá os bhúr gcóir anois.

MR. MICHAEL COLLINS:  A Chinn Chomhairle, I have to put before you and before the Dáil as Trustees for the National Funds for the year 1921-22, the names of Most Rev. Dr. Fogarty, Bishop of Killaloe, President de Valera, and Mr. Stephen M. O'Mara of Limerick.

There was no necessity (Mr. Collins said) to say anything about them. He would like, however, to pay his small tribute to the Most Rev. Dr. Fogarty for the aid he had been to him, personally, in connection with the National Funds for the past two years. He was always sure of advice and comfort from his Lordship, and no matter how black things might have looked for the moment, he would say something cheerful and good to hear.

The President had been sufficiently praised. In America they had been enabled through him to collect a comparatively colossal sum.

They would observe that the name of Stephen was substituted for that of James O'Mara, who had resigned; but he would like to say that, in his opinion, but for the pioneer work done by Mr. James O'Mara, they would not have [84] been nearly so successful in raising the money abroad. He was sorry the name had been changed; but, after all, it was only the initials, and he was sure that when they went to work again, whatever might be the difficulties, they would still have the cordial support of Mr. James O'Mara. He believed that he only voiced the feelings of everyone who worked with him, as he had done, and was associated with him, in saying everyone was particularly grateful to Mr. James O'Mara for the work he had done for us.

MR. GEORGE NICHOLLS:  I have great pleasure in seconding the motion proposed by the Minister of Finance. The names proposed are of gentlemen known throughout Ireland, and I would like to join in the compliment paid by the Minister of Finance to Mr. James O'Mara for his services.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

MR. M. COLLINS:  It is now my duty to move for further Loans, or rather, to get formal sanction from the new Dáil for further loans.

I am moving for a Loan in Ireland of £500,000, and in the United States for 20,000,000 dollars, which is roughly the equivalent of 5¼ million pounds at the present exchange.

The Members of the Dáil will understand generally the necessity for these Loans. The proposal regarding the raising of these Loans was, before the Truce, that we should go ahead with them immediately. All the arrangements are complete in the United States, and we only await the formal word to go ahead.

It was my intention that the first drive in the United States should be made before we start in Ireland, and the intention at home is to start the Loan drive about the middle of the month of October. When we started as a Dáil in January, 1919, we started our financial career on a loan of £1,000. We were fortunate in getting from the great mass of the people subscriptions to the Self-Determination Fund, and the backwash of subscriptions to the Anti-Conscription Fund, amounting to £65,000 or £70,000. That was really the only money we had for a long time after starting, until at a meeting of the Dáil the Loan of £250,000 was passed for immediate issue in Ireland. That Loan eventually realised £400,000, and the Loan in the United States just over 5,000,000 dollars.

The cost of collecting the Loan in Ireland was something like 2 per cent. It would not be so high as that, but it was necessary to send organisers into many parts of the country.

We had also a number of casualties, as the English Government made fierce onslaughts on our activities, knowing as they did that if we got money we could and would carry on.

Then we had to start and take up all the Departments of a National Government. We had to do what had often been written about in the newspapers, but which no Party in Ireland had ever attempted to do before—to bring Ireland out of the corner and to make her known —in fact, to advertise her existence. We spent money on foreign affairs, money which, perhaps, has not yet realised the advantages it will realise. We have established Consular services, a Department of Agriculture, and a Department of Local Government.

The latter is an extensive Department, because the English Government made an onslaught against our taking over that activity, and a provision has been made in the accounts for a certain amount which will to some extent, help temporarily the various Councils that the English Government have tried to pauperise into submission. An Industrial Commission has been inaugurated, and although there have been criticisms of it, I think that the Report will justify, in the eyes of every Irish person, the amount of money spent on that Commission. Other activities took money—the Courts, which our foreign representatives told us were a most potent influence, because they showed friend and enemy alike the capacity of “Young Ireland” for administration and justice. Propaganda claimed a good deal of our funds, and those who do not know conditions abroad are not aware to what extent money has to be spent in getting our case known abroad.

An activity which in latter days has cost a lot of money is that against a certain part of the country that seeks to impose religious and political tests on [85] our citizens: I refer to the Belfast boycott.

The Department of Irish has taken some of our funds, and, generally, the Estimates for the coming six months is something like £200,000. These Estimates are, I may say, based upon the last half-year's requirements, and with a new accession of strength, and with new funds, these Estimates could be very much widened. It is not what we say here to-day that will make these Loans a success, but the work that will be done in the constituencies.

MR. PETER HUGHES:  I rise for the purpose of seconding the proposal, and I hope that the people of Ireland will subscribe generously to this Loan. Perhaps it is the last time the Minister of Finance will have to get up and ask for public subscriptions of this kind from the people of Ireland.

AN TUACHTARAN:  I would like to point out in connection with this Loan that the sum of money we are asking is not a two months' revenue of the amount the British Government is exacting from us.

MR. SEAN NOLAN:  I would like to support this motion. I had a good deal of work in raising the last Loan, and, as the Minister of Finance has stated, it is not speeches but the energy that each Deputy of the Dáil will put into the work that will make it a success. In the beginning, after the first issue of the Loan, it was hard to convince people that it was a Loan we were asking for which would be repaid them when the Republic was established. A minority of the people had given all they had to the cause—their time, their energies, and, many of them, their lives. We are now going to approach those who are not asked to give their energies or their time, but to lend us money to help Dáil Éireann to carry on the Government of the nation. No Government ever produced such work on so little finance as Dáil Éireann has done. Therefore, we, Members of Dáil Éireann, should do our utmost when we return to make this new Loan a huge success.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE:  Cuirim anois os bhúr gcóir an rún a thairg an tAire Airgid: “That the Dáil sanctions the issue of a further Loan in Ireland of £500,000 and in the United States of America 20,000,000 dollars.”

Do glacadh leis d'aon ghuth.

MR. M. COLLINS:  I propose the establishment of a National Authority, which will be a security and guarantee to the persons known as small investors.

It will be a guarantee, as far as is humanly possible, that when the small investor puts his or her money into any concern, that those savings will be safe and secure.

The Members of the Dáil and the Irish public will know from past experience the necessity for such an authority as this. In the past, every small investor—and people indeed who were not small investors—were the prey of any schemer who came along with any scheme designed on paper to make prodigious profits, but designed in reality to take your money. Many of these schemes looked very attractive and very beautiful, and were advertised largely and circulated broadcast.

My intention is to establish such an authority that none of these people can collect money without the permission and imprimatur of that authority. We are starting now what is a new order in Ireland, and one of the first duties of the national Government is to secure that thrifty people shall not be deprived of their savings by any kind of schemer or any kind of society, or group of individuals. My proposal is to establish an authority who will be a Supervisory Registrar, who will register and approve of every Society which is collecting the savings of thrifty people, to encourage thriftiness and discountenance improvidence, to ensure that thrifty people shall get, or their children shall get, the benefits of their thrift and sacrifices.

Every Society that is in a good condition will welcome this. It is only the society or the individual who is not in a sound condition will be afraid of this proposal. The sound societies have everything to gain, because they will have national sanction for their activities. They will have the seal of the national authority that they are sound [86] and are able to meet their liabilities. That is the greatest advertisement they can get. This office will deal with every society whether it is a building society, an insurance society, or a financial society which collects funds from the Irish people, and which will have to be run in the future in accordance with the details laid down by this new authority.

I want to say that it is not intended, and it must not occur, that any one of our authorities or departments set up in this manner will simply be a busybody department or authority. We have had too much of that from the other Government.

This authority will work entirely in the interests of the public, and will always be a national authority responsible to the Dáil, and, through the Dail, to the public.

I formally put this proposal before you.

AN DR. SEAMUS O RIAIN:  Cuidím leis sin. Is gá smacht a bheith againn ar na cumainn seo, agus sé an tslí is fearr chuige sin ná údarás mar seo a cheapa.

MR. SEAMUS O'DWYER:  I have very great pleasure in supporting as strongly as I can the proposal. The sufferings of the people of Ireland heretofore are the results of the system of English economics.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE:  Cuirim anois an rún so os bhúr gcóir.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

MICHEAL O HAODHA:  Is maith liom ainm Mhuinntir Dhónail Uí Chonchúbhair a chur os bhúr gcóir toisc a fheabhas is a chruinne do dhineadar an obair go dtí so.

RISTEARD O HAODHA:  Is main liom aontú leis an rún san.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

SEAN S. O CEALLAIGH:  Os rud é gur ceapadh mise mar Aire Oideachais is nách cóir d'aon Aire a bheith i gceannas aon tionóil den Dáil, mar adubhairt an tUachtarán go ciallmhar, eirghim as fo-cheannas na Dála feasta. Ní gá dhom a rá go bhfuilim buidheach díbh de bharr mo thoghta mar fho-Cheann-Comhairle d'aon ghuth, is mar Aire Oideachais ní ba dhéanaí.

SEUMAS BREATHNACH:  Cuirim os cóir na Dála ainm Bhriain Uí Uigín mar Cheann Comhairle ionaid.

I wish to propose Brian O'Higgins, Deputy for Clare, as Deputy Speaker, in the place of J.J. O'Kelly, Deputy for Louth, who has been appointed Minister for Education. We are all thoroughly aware of the abilities of Brian O'Higgins, and I venture to say his appointment will give general satisfaction and will give assurance to the members that in the hard times to come he will do everything to satisfy everyone and to expedite the work.

MR. PHILIP SHANAHAN:  Aontuím leis sin.

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

AN TUACHTARAN:  Cuirim anois os bhúr gcóir go n-eireoghmíd as an Siosón Puiblí seo go dtí 3.30 p.m., is go mbeidh an Siosóin eile príomháideach.

I move that we adjourn now until 3.30 p.m., when we will have a Private Session of the Dáil.

Before this Public Session ends, as we have a new Ministry, I would like to say to the whole nation that if they give to us as the Government which they have established the same allegiance that they have given for the two and a half years that we have been in existence, there is no power on earth or in hell—because some of the powers of earth do seem like the powers of hell sometimes—that can drive out of Ireland the Government that the Irish people have established.

Give to those into whose hands you put the powers of Government from your hearts that allegiance that other Governments on earth try to secure by force, and that is a power, as I have said, that nothing can break down. This nation has men and women in it enough, [87] one by one, to fill the places I hold and our Cabinet hold, and as one by one we are removed, so one by one they can step into our places; and the British Empire which tries force against us will be gone before the Republic is finished.

I should like, lest there might be any misunderstanding, to explain with reference to the new Loan, that what I wished to say was that the sum was so small that altogether both the 20,000,000 dollars we are going for in America and the £500,000 at home did not amount to a sum that two months' revenue would pay—two months of the revenue that is being exacted out of this country at present. Of course, the £500,000 is only three days' revenue.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE:  Tá deire leis an Siosón Puiblí anois.

The Public Session of the Dáil concluded.

[74] Dáil assembled for Private Session in Round Room, Mansion House. Speaker took the Chair at 3.30 p.m.

1. This session was preceded in the morning by a public one the record of which is included in the published official reports of the period.

MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT:  formally moved the adoption of a Decree as follows:—

Decree to amend Local Government Act of 1902 as follows:—

The Local Government Act, (Ireland) 1902, (2 Edw. 7, C. 38) Sec. 16 shall henceforth read and be construed as follows:—

“Whereas an association of county councils of Ireland has been formed for the purpose of consultation as to their common interests and the discussion of matters relating to local government. Therefore a county council may pay out of the county fund, as general expenses incurred by them in the execution of the principal Act, any sum, not exceeding twenty pounds in any one year, as an annual or other subscription to the funds of the association, as well as any reasonable expenses of not more than two representatives at such meetings of the association as shall have been called with the sanction of the Local Government Department, Dáil Éireann.”

The Minister explained that owing to the reduction in the value of money the former subscription was insufficient for the work of the General Council of County Councils. At present this council could only meet twice a year and he wanted that regulation extended to admit of a greater number of meetings if it should be required. This Department had used the General Council to send out information and to get representatives from the borough and county councils to Dublin. One of the most recent uses it was put to was to direct that no registration or jurors' lists be prepared, which if the Department did itself directly might be regarded as a breach of the Truce. The voters list could be used by the enemy for identification purposes when the Truce terminated. It would be also obvious to them why no jurors' list should be prepared for the Dáil had established law courts, judiciary and so on and there was no reason why they should allow the enemy courts to continue.

He did not see any objection to increasing the subscription. One or two councils objected to paying the increase because there was a statutory law fixing it at £10.

S.T. Ó CEALLAIGH:  seconded the motion. He considered the General Council of County Councils did most useful work that could not be done by any other body and whatever support it thought necessary from the Dáil or the local bodies should be given.

DONAL O'CALLAGHAN:  supported the motion. He moved that the words “as well as any reasonable expenses of not more than 2 representatives” be altered to read “as well as any reasonable expenses of its representatives” as his county had 4 representatives. He also suggested that the expenses be paid through the General Council of County Councils.

Minister for Local Government accepted this amendment.

Motion as amended put and adopted.

1. See Appendix 4.

[75]MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS:  presented a Decree as to Purported Exercise of Public Functions (Appendix¹). He said the Decree arose out of some discussions in the Ministry with regard to the action of the judges of the English courts before whom their men were being tried for carrying arms and other alleged offences against the enemy invader and the action of the enemy court in refusing to uphold what was really their own constitution, in allowing the military to destroy the property of what they called British subjects, the property of Irish citizens, without compensation. These judges and others of the English courts, High Court and County Court judges also offended against the laws of the State by granting huge sums for compensation to policemen, soldiers and their relatives and by trying to cripple public bodies.

These enemy officials had allied themselves with the military in trying to intimidate the country into surrender. That had been tolerated long enough and it was now proposed to give the Ministry power to deal with them in any way they thought fit by regulation by “fine, imprisonment or otherwise” which would include the death penalty if same was found necessary.

Of course the power the Dáil gave the Cabinet in the Provisional Decrees Order two days ago was sufficient to permit of regulations being made to deal with these people, but it would have to be brought up again at a subsequent meeting of the Dáil for ratification and it was better such legislation should be the act of the Dáil itself.

The Decree was framed so that it would not interfere with the Truce. It would be a war measure to come into force after the Truce. He mentioned that while they were likely to aim directly at judges and the like the Ministry might think it necessary to deal with all kinds of English civil servants in the country.

P.J. RUTTLEDGE:  seconded the adoption of the motion. He said such an enactment was absolutely essential if they were to get administration into their own hands. The enemy courts had taken action to prevent Republican courts acting. For some time this suppression of the Dáil courts was not very successful but with the incursion of the huge enemy forces into the country steps should be taken to prevent people resorting to enemy courts again. He thought it was the proper course to adopt and one that met with the general approval of the Dáil. The courts were an essential branch of administration and this Decree would make them more successful.

G. GAVAN DUFFY:  submitted three objections. First he pointed out if it was proposed to inflict the death penalty under this Decree the Minister owed it to this House and to the citizens to say so in plain terms. He submitted it would be a monstrous thing if the Chamber let death sentence pass under the words “Fine, imprisonment or otherwise”. He strongly urged that it should be said in plain language. The second point was that barristers did not appear to be included in the list of persons named. He suggested they should be included. His third objection was that the Dáil would have no control over the regulations made and he suggested there would be added “such regulation as the Minister may make shall be submitted to the next meeting of the Dáil or the Grand Committee”.

DAVID KENT:  thought the powers asked for were not at all too severe. They all knew what it meant for them if the enemy captured any Republican court functioning during the war and he considered no Decree could be too strong. If they were going to fight they would have to take off their gloves to it. Most drastic powers should be put into the hands of the Minister for Home Affairs.

P.J. WARD:  asked if any provision was made for a case of monies in America or other foreign countries which would require a British court order as no other order would be accepted.

MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS:  said if he understood the Deputy for South Dublin (G. Duffy) rightly he did not object to the death penalty as such. He would not like to pass this Decree unless he got power to inflict the death penalty. Of course if the judges continued to be responsible for the [76] execution of men like Allen without legislation of this kind he did not believe it would be possible to deal with these judges. If necessary he would move an amendment to make it clear to include the death penalty.

GAVAN DUFFY:  said if the death penalty was being imposed this Chamber should know there was sufficient control to secure for men being tried for their lives a fair and legal trial.

MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS:  said the regulations, which would be issued by the Ministry, would provide for the trial. He had no objection to including barristers and solicitors in the list of the enemy service when the time arrived.

He was sorry they had no control over the position of persons wanting to take out probate or orders relating to money in foreign countries. Their court decrees would not be recognised in such cases, but provision would be made to issue permits to enter the enemy courts for such matters.

Solicitors and barristers were not in the pay of the enemy government and he would not like to class them with the paid officials, but under the other Decree they had there would be nothing to prevent a regulation from being issued when required.

GAVAN DUFFY:  moved as an amendment that the words “or otherwise” be left out. He objected to the death penalty being enforced unless the Decree stated it clearly and also provided that any sentence of death should not be carried out without reference to some civil authority which would have power to withhold or give sanction for such penalty.

K. O'HIGGINS:  pointed out the Decree meant a complete prohibition of the use of enemy courts. Many applications were sent to his Department by public bodies to bring cases in the enemy courts which could not be dealt with in Republican Courts such as hostile ratepayers who refused to pay rates, tenants of cottages, etc. Then they had a class of rowdy inmates in the S. Dublin Union who had always up to this to be dealt with in the English police courts. He did not think it possible to deal with such cases under war conditions.

PROFESSOR STOCKLEY:  thought too much stress could not be laid on the tremendous powers sought under this Decree. Every safeguard should be taken lest by any chance they should descend to what had been done by the enemy.

P.J. RUTTLEDGE:  said the Decree would not be much good if it did not include solicitors as it was this class urged their clients to go into the enemy courts. He was in favour of the inclusion of the death sentence in the penalties. They should remember they had no jails and the more drastic it was the more effective it would be. They were met by very drastic penalties on the other side. This Decree would have no effect if the most drastic powers were not given to the Minister for Home Affairs.

PEADAR HUGHES:  supported the view of the member for South Dublin (Gavan Duffy). If the Minister could not set up some civil tribunal to stand between the subject and these courts he would vote for the Decree.

S. MACENTEE:  also agreed with the view put forward by the member for South Dublin. He suggested a death sentence should not be carried out till ratified by a committee of the Cabinet. Any drastic powers given to the Minister for Home Affairs should be [as] drastically safeguarded as they could make them.

MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS:  explained that the regulations setting up the courts would have to be laid down by the Cabinet. If it was the wish of the Dáil, he would have no objection to a provision that the death penalty should be ratified and confirmed by the Cabinet.

S. MILROY:  asked were they to understand the Decree would not come into force during the Truce.

MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS:  replied—Yes.

PROFESSOR STOCKLEY:  asked would due notice be given to such offenders that their actions came under such a tremendous Decree.

PRESIDENT:  thought the whole question was not as clearly appreciated as it [77] might be. They were in a state of war, and the enemy was trying to prevent their functioning by taking over the civil administration as far as he could. They would have to proceed in this matter as the American colonists proceeded in their time. The latter had to adopt a most drastic system against the loyalists to prevent them from helping England. He agreed with every word said about safeguards but the point was what were they to do if they were not going to be futile. If they approached this matter in a half hearted way they would bring about more suffering than by more drastic action.

It was the intention of the Ministry if the war went on to root out every enemy Department of civil administration in the country. It was the Minister of Defence said they were striving with their weakest arm to defeat the enemy's strongest arm. They should try with their strongest to defeat his weakest. If they were going to succeed in this effort to establish their Government they would have to be firm and get a system which would prevent the loyalists from giving aid to the enemy. How were they to do that if the British courts and civil officials were allowed to carry on. They should definitely proscribe those courts and activities in a public order forbidding their functioning and then they would do so at their peril. They could not wage war with their hands tied behind their backs. Serious circumstances need serious and determined action. If the war went on the Cabinet was going to issue orders forbidding enemy civil functions step by step and they would declare them enemies and traitors. He agreed there was a necessity for safeguarding the lives of everyone resident in the country but they could not be futile. Any safeguard that could be set up in reason he was willing to adopt it. He did not think it was fair to have sentences referred to the Cabinet for consideration. They could set up an appeal tribunal.

GAVAN DUFFY:  said if there was a right of appeal to a tribunal sitting in Dublin he would withdraw his objection.

PRESIDENT:  said he would strongly support there should be such an appeal. He was quite willing it should be provided for.

There was another point and that was the difficulty of apprehending offenders and bringing them to trial and it might ultimately be necessary for them to ask for more drastic powers still.

S. ETCHINGHAM:  thought full powers should be granted now as it might not be possible to have such a full meeting again for a long time. Under the conditions of a new war there would be far less opportunity of arresting those people.

LORCAN ROBBINS:  supported S. Etchingham's views. He knew comrades of his in their graves today over scrupulousness about trials.

M.P. COLLIVET:  asked did the Minister intend to include the highest officials in the enemy service in this country.

MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS:  replied the Decree went from top to bottom.

PK. HOGAN:  instanced the case of the judge who tried Allen's case. What happened was the judge was asked by them to function, so that if they charged him under this Decree it would be dealing with him because he refused to function in a certain way. He would have a very good defence. If the Bill was for the purpose of dealing with the judges who did all the somersaults recently he thought it should be redrafted in some respects.

MINISTER FOR FINANCE:  thought they were basing all their remarks on a wrong conception of the situation as it existed now and as it would exist after the termination of the Truce. He said they should look at it from the stand point that the English government here was an usurpation and that every official whether a member of the armed or unarmed forces had no authority for his position. Any official who was acting for the English government whom they did not exempt was guilty of treason to the Irish side and that should be the basis of anything they did with regard to any of those officials. It was not a question of preventing those officials from functioning, but a question of not allowing the British government to carry on any functions at all in this state.

If hostilities were resumed he believed they would be on a much more definitely military scale than before the Truce and that they would be forced to have a standing army. Under such circumstances he [78] thought the English government would not allow any civil functioning to go on save any useful to themselves. It would be to the Republic's interest to stop all these people, declare a certain thing treason with a penalty of death and then those English officials could have no grievance. He would rather see a general thing drafted that would give the Cabinet those powers and the details worked out by the orders afterwards provided they had an understanding as to the general principle of the thing.

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (A. GRIFFITH):  agreed with the Minister for Finance as to the condition if war was resumed; in which case it would devolve on the Ministry appointed today to act as a committee of public safety. And it would be that Cabinet's duty and responsibility to issue Decrees from time to time declaring such a thing treason. A civil enemy of this Government was entitled to be treated as a civil enemy and not as a military one, and if the basis of this Decree was that civil enemies were to be treated as military ones without appeal to the civil tribunal he must oppose that portion of it.

PRESIDENT:  assured the Dáil that every point of view expressed here would find expression in the Cabinet. If the war was resumed it was going to be a fight of life and death and the Minister for Home Affairs seeing the general powers already conferred on the Ministry would withdraw the Decree.

MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS:  pointed out that anything that was done under the Provisional Orders Decree had to come up for ratification at the next meeting of the Dáil. He thought the Dáil as a body ought here and now vest the Ministry with power to destroy by every means that the Ministry could think of not alone the lives of the individuals but the machinery of the enemy government.

PRESIDENT:  said a matter of this sort was so serious it should be a government motion. He differed from the Minister of Home Affairs in the point that he would prefer to commit only the Ministry first and not the Dáil as a whole, and they could do this under the powers already given them. Any action taken could be ratified afterwards by the House or the Grand Committee and he was therefore asking the Minister for Home Affairs to be content with the powers of the Provisional Orders Decree and he would ask him to withdraw the Decree. It was a question of very wide scope and would have to be dealt with by the Cabinet as a whole.

DR. FERRAN:  proposed the Dáil accept the President's proposal.

M.P. COLLIVET:  seconded.

Decree withdrawn.

PRESIDENT:  proposed the House would take up the election of the Grand Committee agreed upon at the session of 25/8/21. Ministers were not eligible for election but of course could vote as private members. He also proposed that any vacancies that would arise owing to enemy action should be filled by those whose names were next in order according to number of votes received.

This was agreed to.

It was also arranged that the voting would be by ballot and Seán Milroy and Michael Hayes were appointed as scrutineers.

S. MILROY:  raised the matter of a Deputy who represented two constituencies and it was agreed to allow only one vote to one man.

PROFESSOR STOCKLEY:  asked had he a vote in each province as representative of the National University.

PRESIDENT:  replied that the member should only vote for the province in which he resided.

SÉAMUS DOLAN:  raised the point about the foreign representatives being eligible.

PRESIDENT:  replied as the appointments have not yet been made they were eligible. If any vacancies occurred owing to a Deputy being appointed to go abroad the member with the next highest number of votes would take his place.

[79] The voting then proceeded and when all the members present had voted the President suggested that business would proceed while the scrutineers were counting the votes.

This proposal was agreed to and the next business taken was,

PRESIDENT:  announced that he had hoped he would get a list of volunteers from each county who would agree if they were asked by the Ministry to act on these administrative committees. They all knew the responsibilities on these committees and he would expect those who put down their names would act whatever the loss or trouble. The Cabinet might be able to devise a different scheme but he would like to have a list of volunteers in case of need.

SPEAKER:  said that any members willing to act could hand in their names to the secretary before leaving.

PRESIDENT:  said he would like to impress upon the Members that he did not want names except those who would be prepared to carry out the duties devolving on those committees which would include the supervision of the carrying out of all Decrees, etc. On those committees would depend whether the administrative work would be successful or not.

He gave to the member for Monaghan (S. MacEntee) the details of the estimate for Foreign Affairs Department which he asked for the previous evening.

LIAM DE RÓISTE:  withdrew the two motions he had put forward on the agenda. He said he was unaware when tabling the 2nd motion that action was being taken with regard to the proposed U.S.A. tariff on cured mackerel.

H. BOLAND:  assured the Dáil that every possible action was being taken to secure that the Tariff Bill would be stricken out by Congress.

LIAM DE RÓISTE:  , by request of Mr. J. J. Walsh, who was absent, moved the following motion brought forward by Mr. Walsh:—

“That as a matter of vital principle all legislative and executive control rests in the ultimate not with the Cabinet but the Parliament of the people, and, acting on this principle, we hereby resolve that the appointment of foreign representatives of the Republic be subject to the approval of An Dáil”.

Motion was not seconded and was dropped.

P. BÉASLAÍ:  moved: “That no Minister or Director of a Department may act as Speaker at any meeting of the Dáil”.

LIAM DE RÓISTE:  , seconded and the motion was adopted for inclusion in the Standing Orders.

JOSEPH MACDONAGH:  said he supposed it was an oversight that at the top of page 2 of the agenda the question of appointing plenipotentiaries was not taken.

PRESIDENT:  replied it was not an oversight but a question of tactics. As the House knew a new Cabinet had been formed to-day and approval given to it. Now that there was a definite responsibility being placed upon seven individuals it was only fair to them that they should first have an opportunity of discussing the matter and it should be a Government motion. Apart from that it was doubtful whether it would be wise to appoint plenipotentiaries before it was certain there would be work for them to do. Had they received the reply from the British government he had no doubt whatever. If it were necessary they would have a hurried meeting and be able to bring forward names. Another thing which affected the matter was he thought it inadvisable to have them appointed too long a time in advance. It would be impossible to keep them from being known publicly. They would be pestered by all sorts of opinions. So he thought it better that the names should be brought forward only when they knew the negotiations were going to proceed.

Against that if they did proceed they [80] would need another meeting of the Dáil. The only way out of it was to leave [it] to the Cabinet to nominate them, but he did not like to do that. They had two courses— leave it to the Cabinet or you are to depart and leave it to the Cabinet to summon you again specially for the purpose. In any case he thought they should not go on with it now.

One point he wanted to elucidate— whether the plenipotentiaries would have terms of reference to guide them. He was perfectly willing to leave it to the Cabinet on the understanding that [in] any negotiations that took place there would be no suggestion that there would be any compromise on the principle of the status of Ireland. Therefore he thought it would be better that these plenipotentiaries should be ratified by the Dáil and that the terms of reference should be stated at the time of their appointment.

It was futile to expect they were going to have negotiations if they tied their plenipotentiaries hand and foot. They might as well not go away.

They had elected a Government responsible for the carrying on of the preliminary negotiations. Terms of reference would be laid down—the agreed terms of reference between them and the British government. The terms would be laid down in some such reference as that laid down in the letter to Lloyd George to-day. It was not their terms of reference but the agreed terms of reference between them and the British government. They could realise the advisability of not committing this Dáil in advance to anything that the plenipotentiaries might do. They would have to go out [sic] the best they could under the conditions. Certainly if there was to be any limitations of any kind further than have been stated broadly in their reply he for one could not retain office.

E. DUFFY:  asked had the President made up his mind as to whether the Dáil should be asked to ratify the plenipotentiaries at all.

PRESIDENT:  said he did not mind very much. From the point of view of influence they would have I would like to see them ratified. He would ask for ratification if they were going now. It was not a very pleasant task to negotiate under the present circumstances unless one knew he had the support of the Dáil. That was his point of view. His idea was to tell the commission to go and do their best but to remember that everything they did the Dáil would have its say as to whether they would approve of it or not. Taking everything into account he would be inclined to say the commission should be from the Dáil as a whole. He did not propose on tactical grounds to be one of the plenipotentiaries himself. He thought under the circumstances the best tactics would be that he would not be one of them, but if he were he would feel that he had not the same weight if he was not ratified by the Dáil.

It was very important when they made a statement of that kind, there should be no question of their authority, and therefore they were authorising their plenipotentiaries to speak for them.

J. MACDONAGH:  asked might they take it that the plenipotentiaries would be commissioned by the Dáil.

THE PRESIDENT:  replied if it was the wish of the Dáil he was ready to accept that.

DR. MACCARTAN:  said they were dealing with the British Cabinet and not the British House of Commons. He would make a motion to the effect that the Cabinet should commission those plenipotentiaries.

P.J. WARD:  asked did not the reply state the Dáil would nominate these men.

THE PRESIDENT:  explained it would be interpreted to the Ministry.

P.J. WARD:  asked did not they leave the British government under the impression that the plenipotentiaries going over would have the sanction of the Dáil.

THE PRESIDENT:  said the reply was on the wire and it was expected in an hour. The House could resume tonight or wait till the morning. The only thing was that a number of members had left. However it was on the programme that the matter would come up. Therefore those who went away went with the full knowledge that they might lose the appointment of the plenipotentiaries.

He was told now the wire coming was [81] for himself only. It would be published in the morning.

There was only one matter now, the difficulty raised by the member for Donegal, but he thought that the Ministry acts for the Dáil would cover that, but if the members thought otherwise let them do what they wanted themselves. So if they would prefer to have the ratification of those whom he sent over then he would suggest they stayed over till tomorrow.

P. O'KEEFFE:  moved that the House adjourn and meet at 8.30 p.m.

LIAM DE RÓISTE:  said if the reply was on the wire and that the President wanted to consider it overnight was it not better that they meet tomorrow morning. Then they could consider in view of the reply what was their best action.

D. O'CALLAGHAN:  appealed to the Speaker to adjourn the proceedings till Monday morning.

PRESIDENT:  said he was in favour of that also because it would not take long for him to make up his mind on the tactics of the situation. It was all a question whether plenipotentiaries were to be appointed or not. He felt as the members were here they should ratify them if they were to be appointed. But if the members were away down the country he felt the plenipotentiaries could go on the sanction of the Ministry.

The question of terms of reference he thought they were better debated now. He said personally if the terms of reference were any other than those broad lines that they had been going on up to the present— other than those they could not ask any negotiators go over on. They might as well not go at all. Either the House should say plenipotentiaries are not going or else give them a free hand.

THE SPEAKER:  said there was no proposal before the House.

THE PRESIDENT:  said he would make a proposition in order to shorten the business. He proposed that, whether the negotiators would be appointed by the Dáil, further than the basis of the correspondence which had taken place they should not be bound by terms of reference. In other words he proposed that the negotiating plenipotentiaries sent over be given a free hand other than the terms already laid down.

P. O'KEEFFE:  proposed the House adjourn till 8.30 p.m.

LIAM MELLOWES:  seconded.

PRESIDENT:  said regarding the motion for adjournment either they gave a free hand to the plenipotentiaries or they tied them up. If they tie them up they would get no one to go. That was his opinion.

MISS MACSWINEY:  proposed the House adjourn till tomorrow morning.

HARRY BOLAND:  seconded.

AUSTIN STACK:  approved of the motion.

G. DUFFY:  asked the President to say if he was going to reverse what the Ministry had done up to the present.

PRESIDENT:  replied he quite appreciated at the present time that there should be such anxiety in the minds of the Dáil. It was really a vote of confidence. There was no use in electing a Ministry in the morning and in the evening passing a vote of no confidence. They wanted to do the best they could. None of them wanted to betray Ireland. The men or women who would be appointed would be men and women who served Ireland and who would be entitled to their confidence. He said no man or no woman could go over to negotiate in the conditions in which they were under the terms in which the Director of the Boycott wanted to suggest. What he was simply asking was that they confine themselves to one or two things—either let the Cabinet appoint the plenipotentiaries without ratification by the House or ratify them, but do not tie their hands by anything more than they had to be tied themselves by the British government—not to be tied in a knot by our own people at home. They should have a certain amount of freedom. If the Dáil wanted war then do not send them at all unless you want negotiations from the point of view of marking time. They had to remember this was a time they could pass over the opportunities that came in their way and as people responsible for the country they had to do the [82] best they could for the country and they could not do that if they tied up the hands of their plenipotentiaries. He would oppose it to the extent of resigning. That did not at all mean that he would do anything to speak to them about.

MISS MACSWINEY:  said she would not like it to be understood that there was a suggestion that any want of confidence in the President or the Ministry, as they all felt convinced of that. She did move, she said, that the discussion be postponed.

SPEAKER:  That motion is out of order.

THE PRESIDENT:  said he did not understand. But he would like to settle now that when the Ministry made a strong recommendation that their plenipotentiaries should be given a free hand, if the House voted that down it would be a vote of no confidence.

LIAM DE RÓISTE:  proposed that any plenipotentiaries appointed, whether by the Cabinet or the Dáil, should be given a free hand.

SPEAKER:  said he was out of order.

P. O'KEEFFE:  moved that the whole matter be left to the Ministry.

PRESIDENT:  said the way to do it would be this, that an amendment be put that the House adjourned until tomorrow when the question would be settled as to whether plenipotentiaries would be required or not.

SPEAKER:  said they were all out of order.

G. GAVAN DUFFY:  pointed out that by the leave of the House the Speaker could take any motion.

SPEAKER:  announced that all the motions were now withdrawn and he was prepared to receive any motion now proposed.

P. O'KEEFFE:  said he felt that the whole matter should be left in the hands of the Cabinet.

DR. MACCARTAN:  seconded that suggestion.

LIAM DE RÓISTE:  said he had already proposed as a motion that the plenipotentiaries' hands be not tied in any way whether those plenipotentiaries be appointed by the Cabinet or by the Dáil in meeting.

P. Ó MÁILLE:  seconded that proposal.

PRESIDENT:  said that speaking as Head of the Ministry he would ask the House definitely to support the motion. It was only in that way he believed they could do effective work. It was immaterial whether the Ministry appointed the plenipotentiaries or not: the main thing was that they went without being tied up.

LIAM DE RÓISTE:  said he did not want to press that motion as an amendment to Mr. O'Keeffe's proposal. He was proposing that at all events whoever appointed the plenipotentiaries that they be given a free hand.

PROFESSOR STOCKLEY:  seconded that proposal.

THE SPEAKER:  said Mr. O'Keeffe's motion was before the House and he could not take Mr. de Róiste's order [recte motion].

MR. COSGRAVE:  asked would Mr. O'Keeffe accept in addition to his motion the proposal that had been made by the member for Cork (L. de Róiste).

PRESIDENT:  said he was very anxious the Dáil should ratify the plenipotentiaries.

S. MACENTEE:  asked the President were the credentials of the plenipotentiaries to come from the Dáil or should the Dáil in advance ratify what the plenipotentiaries should do.

PRESIDENT:  replied that he would like to have done either of two things. He was anxious first of all that the plenipotentiaries should go with free hands. Seeing the attitude which he thought was not quite the attitude of certain members of the House he was anxious they should see who the plenipotentiaries were before they went, because he could imagine if any of the plenipotentiaries were here and if they [83] were going unratified by the Dáil as a whole they might feel they would not have full liberty and sanction behind them. He wanted them to go with the whole powers of the Dáil. Therefore from a personal motive he was anxious they should be satisfied [recte ratified] by the Dáil.

MISS MACSWINEY:  said she thought there seemed to be a doubt in the minds of a good many of them. If the plenipotentiaries go they go with full power. But had the Dáil the power to say whether they go or not go?

PRESIDENT:  replied certainly. That point could be raised at their ratification.

H. BOLAND:  asked who was to interpret the letter which was coming now from the British government.

PRESIDENT:  said the Cabinet would put a definite ministerial policy before them. The Cabinet would make a definite motion that plenipotentiaries be appointed.

H. BOLAND:  said it was hardly likely there could be a meeting to-day.

SPEAKER:  then put the motion proposed by Liam de Róiste and seconded by P. Ó Máille which read as follows:

“That if plenipotentiaries for negotiation be appointed, either by the Cabinet or the Dáil, such plenipotentiaries be given a free hand in such negotiations and duly to report to the Dáil”.

This motion was adopted unanimously.

JOSEPH MACDONAGH:  asked leave to make an explanation. It was stated by the President that certain indications had been given that a spirit had been here that he did not expect to be here. It was also suggested that what he proposed was a vote of no confidence. His whole point was that he understood that a plenipotentiary was a person who had power to make peace. I took it from that that those who went over from here would have that power.

PRESIDENT:  said he was very sorry the misunderstanding arose. His interpretation of plenipotentiary was that men sent over to make peace come back and their actions were ratified or not. He was very sorry if he suggested anything that hurt anybody.

SEÁN MILROY:  announced the scrutineers had counted the votes cast for membership of the Grand Committee. For Leinster 8 had got a clear majority and the 4 next members tied with an equal number of votes each.

For Connaught 5 had got clear majorities and the next 3 tied.

For Ulster 2 had got places and 2 tied for next place.

For Munster 7 had got places and 2 tied for last place.

It was then agreed to place the names of those who tied in a hat and draw for places.

The following were then declared to constitute the Grand Committee:—¹

1. See correction by Seán Milroy at opening of session of 27 August, 1921.

LEINSTER

E.J. Duggan

R. Mulcahy

J.J. McKeon

Jos. McGuinness

Frank Lawless

G. O'Sullivan

J. McGrath

Dan McCarthy

S. McGarry

M. Staines

M. Hayes

MUNSTER

P. O'Keeffe

F. Lynch

Dr. R. Hayes

P. Béaslaí

Miss MacSwiney

Seán Nolan

D. O'Callaghan

Dr. White

Seán Moylan

Mrs. O'Callaghan

ULSTER

Seán Milroy

John O'Mahony

Seán MacEntee

[84] CONNAUGHT

Liam Mellowes

Frank Fahy

H. Boland

P.J. Ruttledge

W. Sears

P. Ó Máille

Geo. Nicholls

PRESIDENT:  proposed the Dáil would adjourn till 11 a.m. tomorrow.

DR. MACCARTAN:  seconded. Motion adopted and House adjourned at 7.15 p.m.