Tuesday, 28 February 1922
Dáil Éireann Debate
MR. MICHAEL COLLINS: The Estimates are already before the House, and I do not know if the usual procedure was that they should be put forward at the same time as the Finance Report, or taken immediately after. Then, if any votes were passed in the Dáil afterwards involving expenditure, they were added to the Estimates, and these new amounts added to the Estimates were passed after the Finance Report.
MR. SEAN MACENTEE: I would like to point out that when we are here we should have a detailed estimate presented to us. We look through the Estimates for the half-year and we find that the most general item—an item that appears under every Department, and by far the greater proportion of the proposed expenditure—is one termed “Special Work.” It is very ubiquitous and very vague and very general, and I submit that before we discuss these Estimates they ought to be presented in a more detailed form.
MR. M. COLLINS: Now, this is the form these Estimates were always submitted in, and if the Deputy for Monaghan does not remember what “Special Work” means, his memory must be extremely short indeed. Estimates have gone before the House for five successive periods in exactly this form. I will give you an instance of what “Special Work” is. Take the first Department—the Agricultural Department. If you wish to have all the details printed they can be printed, but there is no printer in Dublin who will take on the printing and promise to have all the work done in less than a fortnight. There are no less than twenty-two pages. You have, for instance, such items as Agricultural Department Inspectors, £1,000; Surveyors, £600; Inspectors' and Surveyors' Expenses, £1,500; Agricultural Inspector, £200. Another thing I would like to draw your attention to is that in the Estimates submitted by the Department these things are further detailed, and you can get how much a week these Inspectors are getting, if you like. The details I was just reading out go on like this: Agricultural Inspector, £200; Agricultural Expenses, £220; Registrar, £165; Local Registrars and Note-takers, £150; Commissioner's Expenses, £1,050; Temporary Legal Assessors, £300; Labour Arbitrators, £223. Total, £5,808. That is the first item under the Department of Agriculture. Then for the development of Agriculture there is £1,000. That comes under the heading of contingencies. Then you have the Department of Fisheries, and under that there is “Special Work” set out at £169, while Sundry Expenses come to £610. Now, we can go through each item separately like that if we so desire. If the contrary had not been the custom all these things could have been printed. But I can tell you these things could not have been printed for  this meeting; if you like they can be printed for the next meeting. When they are printed no doubt we shall have some grumbling, too.
MR. S. MACENTEE: I never heard of any body of this description passing an Estimate when it had not details before it. I would like to know if the Minister of Finance will tell us whether these details are available for inspection, and will he agree to postpone taking the Estimates until the members have an opportunity of examining them more closely? Then we will be in a better position to know whether the Estimates will be acceptable to this assembly or not. None of us has seen them, or, at least, had an opportunity of examining them, and you cannot ask us to vouch money like this in the dark—money that is going to absorb fully two-thirds of the assets of this assembly.
PRESIDENT GRIFFITH: How long does the member for Monaghan propose to keep us here? These are purely obstructive tactics. There is an attempt to keep us here for a week in so talking over small items. Those Estimates are in the usual form, and I say valuable time is being wasted. This thing will not go down with the people outside, and I want to tell the member for Monaghan that.
MR. SEAN MACGARRY: I propose the adoption of the Estimates. I agree with the President that the tactics here are obstructive and nothing else. We have heard a lot about the dishonesty of people in the past. We heard a lot about the dishonesty of John Dillon, John Redmond, Joe Devlin and other people, but they were saints compared with the people who are opposing us just now.
MR. AUSTIN STACK: In all fairness, I think nobody is better pleased than the Minister of Finance himself, if items are questioned. There are those of us who would like to challenge certain items. For the first time we are here challenging items and that kind of thing, and I may say some items are greatly in excess of the amounts spent by the corresponding Departments before. I refer particularly to the Department of which I was formerly in charge myself. In regard to that there is a big item for ‘Special Work.’ I do not know how it is made up, and I don't know how to go about criticising it. I would certainly like to see the details before the Estimates would be gone into. In all-round fairness, I think the Minister of Finance ought to give us an opportunity of asking how the things are made up.
MR. COSGRAVE: For the experience of those not used to dealing with estimates it might be well to know that it is customary to move item by item. We cannot go into everything right away. If you want to do it on a business basis go item by item. Get away from the talk and get on with the work. Ask for the items.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: We will have to get these things all done in accordance with the Standing Orders. The adoption of the Estimates has been proposed and seconded. If the assembly is to discuss this thing in the proper way, and members seek information, you must start at the beginning and go through each item. To ask a general question gets only a general reply and we get nowhere.
MR. P.J. MACGOLDRICK: The Departmental expenditure for the last half-year was £202,831 14s. 9d., and the sum asked for here is £203,121 0s. 0d. Is there a sufficient difference to warrant criticism of these figures?
MR. M. COLLINS: In regard to Home Affairs, reference might be made by some Deputy to the fact that the expenditure for the six months was not as high as the Estimates put forward. If a Minister is wise he always looks forward for a bit more than he thinks he will spend. I may say also that the receipts from that particular Department for two  months of 1922 have more than exceeded the total receipts for the six months ending 31st December, 1921. In the Home Affairs Department there are the items: Judges' Salaries, £1,500; Expenses, £200; Organisers' Salaries, £1,092; Expenses, £400; Police Staff Salaries, £279; Police Expenses, £910; Police Officers' and Men's Salaries, £9,490; estimated increase in Salaries, £2,000. The total is £15,871. Now, I can go through this thing item by item. What is down for contingencies is the same as the last time.
MR. DE VALERA: I would like to ask the Minister of Finance if he has got an application from the Honorary Secretary of the Fine Gaedheal for a loan of £5,000 to carry on the work of the Organisation. The Dáil is acquainted with the work the organisation has to do. Before the negotiations it was thought well that the several organisations throughout the world which were formed for the express purpose of assisting Ireland in her fight—organisations consisting of most of those of our own race—should have their activities coordinated by some central machinery, and it was decided to have a World Congress at which such machinery would be set up. That Congress was held, and the organisation was established to assist the Irish people to attain to the full their national ideals, and to secure for Ireland her original place amongst the free nations of the earth. It had also as its object the encouragement of the Irish language, literature, history and general culture, and to promote the trade and commerce of Ireland——
MR. DE VALERA: Well, the question is this: has the Minister of Finance got this application I speak of? It has been mentioned that supplementary votes can be moved by members of the House, and they can be incorporated in the Estimates. If the Minister has not received the application referred to, I would move that as a loan, the amount should be included in the Estimates.
MR. M. COLLINS: I have not yet received such an application, and even if I had received such a one this morning I could not have put it in the Estimate. It is not since we came into this House that this thing is printed. What I said was, if we pass any motion afterwards that involves expense, that amount could be added to the Estimates. I think the usual practice can be resorted to in this way.
MR. DE VALERA: I simply wanted to know if it was received and dealt with. If it had been dealt with we could know what would be the result. Now that it has not been received I would propose that a sum of £5,000 be provided as a loan for the new organisation to enable it to function until such time as it will be in a position to get funds from the organisations affiliated with it.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: The Estimates as they stand are now before you. If there are Supplementary Estimates to come on that is a different proposition. We first have to get the Estimates as they are carried. If there are Supplementary Estimates they can come along later.
MR. DE VALERA: In the past, as well as I can remember, the procedure was that these be added on. They were  generally accepted by the Minister of Finance as an addendum to his Estimates. If you give me a promise that I will be in order to introduce it at another point, I am quite satisfied. It seems to me the proper place to introduce it is here.
MR. DONAL O'CALLAGHAN: I desire to put a question and in doing so I may say I am putting it not with a view to criticising the figures here, but to ask for information. Does the Minister propose any change or improvement in the police force? The House is aware that the providing of an efficient police force is one of the prime necessities of the moment. In Cork, for example, we have a Brigade area which includes the city and embraces two hundred thousand souls. There we have only one whole time police officer. We would wish to find out if it is the intention to extend and make the force more efficient.
MR. A. STACK: This is a matter which has a lot to do with the Dáil policy. We who claim that the Dáil is the supreme Government of the country would like to know what the policy of the Minister is with regard to the police. For instance, now, I have seen a paragraph in a paper in Roscommon to the effect that a District Inspector of Constabulary named Kearney, a man who was responsible for the arrest of Deputy Con Collins and myself, and the man who was chiefly instrumental in working up a case against Roger Casement, has received an appointment from a body known as the Provisional Government, with a view to establishing a police force. Now, if that is done under the Department of Home Affairs, if that is done with the knowledge of the Minister, and if that is supposed to be part of the policy under consideration at the moment, we are entitled to know all about it, and it is certainly a matter in connection with which I would move that the Minister be censured.
MR. A. STACK: The Minister of Home Affairs has his Estimate included in this, and the question of the police forces comes under that. I say that this body and none other has the right to set up a police force to take over charge or control of law and order in the country. We would want to know before we pass any Estimate for the Department of Home Affairs, in respect of police anyhow, what is the policy of the Minister with regard to the police; what kind of a police force he intends to set up; and whether he intends to utilise the services of men who have proved themselves to be the enemies of this country by remaining in the police force during the war, and doing their best against the people? I certainly must be taken as pressing for information with regard to the policy as to the police force before I assent to the passing of the Estimate.
MR. A. STACK: Since I was in office the passing of the Royal Irish Constabulary is supposed to have taken place, and the entire maintenance of law and order has devolved upon Dáil Eireann. Many representations are being made in respect of the matter and preparations are being made to set up a police force. We would like to know the nature of these preparations, and if they are to be subject to the control of the Dáil altogether, because we claim that the Government of the Dáil is the Government of the country.
PRESIDENT GRIFFITH: I want to know is it in order to allow all this hectoring to go on? There are questions down for to-morrow covering all these  points. We have now, when we are on the Estimates, a gentleman trying to introduce obstructive methods. Is this fair; is it right; is it in accordance with procedure?
MR. DE VALERA: I submit if we pass away from this we may not have any other opportunity for discussing it. We have a perfect right to discuss it. I protest against the President saying every question asked for the purpose of seeking information should be regarded as hectoring or as introducing obstructive tactics. We want information. We gave this ourselves formerly, and I do not see any reason why it should not be asked now. If you are going to pass the Estimates for Home Affairs, and the policy as to the extent to which you are going to police the country comes up, it is obvious it has a bearing on the Estimates. It is not fair that every question should be put down as hectoring. As regards the £5,000 loan I suggested, I will give notice of the motion in connection with it.
MR. J.N. DOLAN: May I say that, as far as I can see, the whole of the present difficulty arises because the opposition will not accept the straightforward answers given by the Ministers. The Minister of Home Affairs has stated definitely that, as a Minister of this Dáil, his policy was to continue the police force and the policy of the Home Affairs Office in the same way as under his predecessor. That answer is not accepted; the opposition read something else into it.
MR. DAVID CEANNT: Seeing that the answer of the Minister of Home Affairs is not satisfactory, I will now move that the vote or the Estimate be reduced by one thousand pounds. If the allegation made to the effect that the Minister has taken on a man who was engaged with the enemies of Ireland, and who was more or less a “G” man, is true, it is certainly a matter for protest and I protest against such action. It is a scandal, and the people ought to know it in time.
MR. E.J. DUGGAN: This Estimate is for payment of eighty-one officers and men who are already members of the Republican Police force. They are the only paid officers in the police force because recently it was found desirable to disband the rank and file of the force and have the police duty generally done by the Army. The men, who originally came from the Army, and who were disbanded, went back to their units, and the Army as a whole was made responsible for the police duty. There is no such man as Kearney in the Republican Police force, that I know of.
PRESIDENT GRIFFITH: In my opinion the member for Kerry is trying to suggest that portion of the money voted here is going to this man. Any money you are voting here is for Dáil Eireann forces. The money voted here is for Dáil Eireann purposes.
MR. S. MACENTEE: The outcome of all this is, clearly, that the Estimates ought to be taken in an ordinary business-like way—the same as in any other legislative assembly in the world. I never heard of them being taken in bulk. They are presented here without having any details. We are asked to vote money, blindfolded. In regard to the matter of the police force, there is a question of a committee considering the establishment of a force——
MR. S. MACENTEE: Including Ministers. I may mention there is a rumour current that certain offices formerly used by the Dáil are now used by the committee considering the question of a new police force. There is a number of others also. In regard to Local Government and Home Affairs there is an inflation in the Estimate over the Estimates of last year. There is another Estimate in regard to the Boycott, which we are told is discontinued, and you are  asked to vote £3,000 to carry on something that we are told has been discontinued. The only logical course is to have the presented Estimate tabled in detail—let the details be elsewhere if you wish—so that any member who wishes to examine the details of the different Estimates can examine them at such and such a place—Dáil Eireann offices, for instance—and we could take a vote on them to-morrow after we have an opportunity of examining them. We are not following the precedent established in the Dáil in regard to these Estimates. It is true we used to take them very hurriedly, but we only did that under stress of war. I have continually protested against them being taken in that fashion. Some discussion should arise on every Estimate. I ask any reasonable man or any Deputy in the Dáil, who knows what we were compelled to do when the Dáil could only last one day, when the enemy were around us, when we might be raided at any moment, and simply because we were then compelled to do a thing, are we now, when we have freedom to discuss the matter, going to follow that precedent? I say it would be illogical to do it. During the war, every head of a Department presenting Estimates or accounts explained them and had to stand over them, and it was not left to the Minister of Finance to do all that.
MR. S. MACENTEE: The Minister or head of the Department presented a report upon the activities of his Department since the previous Session of the Dáil. If we were to vote any supplies the Minister would explain in detail exactly what the sums were required for and what he was asking for. I submit we ought, at least, if the Minister of Finance and members of the Cabinet will agree to the proposition, adjourn consideration of the Estimates until to-morrow. I do that so that I will not obstruct or hold up the business. If we adjourn consideration of the Estimates we can proceed with the remaining items on the Orders of the Day and get through the business of to-day's Session expeditiously. To-morrow we can take up the Estimates when we are in a proper position to discuss them. I will move that as an amendment to the motion that the Estimates be adopted. If the Minister of Finance is not prepared to accept that he ought to return to the precedent established at the Dáil, and which is much sounder than the one he seeks to introduce to-day. I beg to move that this discussion be postponed or adjourned until to-morrow.
MR. M. STAINES: Wait now. The demand of my staff is that they be paid to September, and if they are paid it will take at least £2,000, and I have to carry on the Department from January until the 24th February on £1,000. Is that fair?
MR. M.P. COLIVET: I desire to make a few remarks on the Estimates. In passing, I may mention that recently I went to the offices of the Minister of Home Affairs, and was informed that he was very seldom there. I was informed that at the City Hall he was the Minister for Home Affairs of the Provisional Government, and I was not obliged to see him in that capacity. When I did see him, subsequently, I referred to the police force and was informed that they didn't propose to carry on the police force and that another Department was seeing about policemen; probably the Provisional Government would provide a police force. That is a serious question. We won't get away from it by one party saying that objections are being made for obstructive purposes. This is a genuine matter that we are all  concerned in. An item of £900 has been mentioned. Is it seriously put up to us that the Minister of Home Affairs is going to police the country on £900?
MR. M.P. COLIVET: Well, £9,000 is not sufficient. In the Orders of the Day I see no mention of any report from any of the Ministers and, I presume, unless we speak on these matters now we will have no further opportunity. If we have a further opportunity I am willing to postpone discussion on this matter. As a means of being given an opportunity of discussing them, I second the amendment. If there is an adjournment of the matter in the meantime, members who wish can see all the details, and then we will be in a position to discuss the policy of the police force and any other item that may arise.
MR. D. CEANNT: I would like to move as an amendment: “That the vote asked for by the Minister for Home Affairs be reduced by one thousand pounds on account of the unsatisfactory answering of the responsible Minister respecting the employment of District Inspector Kearney, late of the R.I.C., to assist in the formation of a new police force.”
MR. A. STACK: I desire to speak in support of the amendment. I raised this question and it may appear to be a personal matter. I assure the members that, as far as the Ministers or officers are concerned, it is not: neither is it a personal matter with regard to myself and that lovely Inspector Kearney. This man Kearney was, from my experience of him, one of the most vigilant servants the enemy had in this country, and he did his best—by open means and underhand—to beat us. He claimed to have been the means of preventing the Rising in Kerry in 1916, and, I suppose, persuaded his superiors that such was the case, because to my own knowledge, he was a man who had previously failed in all his examinations for promotion to the position of District Inspector. In consequence of what he did in 1916 he received the promotion. He remained in the R.I.C. during the whole period of the war and, in common with others in the R.I.C., he did not resign when called upon by the country. Instead of recognition, he deserves from the Dáil—or any other people's Government in this country—reprobation. I do not wish to say any more about the Department or the head of the police, as the amendment is confined to Kearney, and I simply rise in support of it.
MR. DE VALERA: I would like to talk on the whole question of policing the country. It was the custom to get reports from Ministers respecting the working of their different Departments. It would be more appropriate if we had those. Perhaps, instead of asking for a reduction, it might be possible that we would be looking for more for this particular Department. Will we get an assurance that Ministers will give us, as was customary, a short report of the work in their Departments? I would prefer not to speak on this now, but would rather speak on such a report. Yet, if I am given no other opportunity, I will have to do it here. Could I get an answer to that question? It is probably one of the most important matters we will have to deal with. Expolice officers who did certainly act by the nation during the war, came to us and suggested the formation of a force with national goodwill. I expect they also saw the President. The time has come when we should definitely establish a national police force. The place to discuss a matter of that sort fully would be  on a report from the Minister of Home Affairs. If we were to have such a report to-morrow I would defer saying anything on the matter now.
PRESIDENT GRIFFITH: I rise in order to bring a whirl of talk down to plain realities. The Dáil now starts talking about establishing a police force. Here at the last Session we asked Mr. de Valera and his colleagues to co-operate with us in forming a committee for the safety of the Irish public. That proposal was refused. The Dáil suggests the formation of a police force. It would cost three or four millions a year to maintain it. We have not that money. It is well known we could not command that sum. Well, what has been done? The Provisional Government is trying to organise a force which it proposes to work in harmony with the Dáil, and what you are trying to do here is to try and obstruct that, while robbery and murder are rampant in the country. There are many of you coming here prepared to try and obstruct us. I am speaking now to the Irish people, and to the Irish people I say we are going, as far as lies in our power, to maintain law and order. We will make a police force, and if the Provisional Government has a police force it will be subject to us. But to start and talk of the Dáil establishing a police force without money and without powers—to have a police force for itself —is deceiving the Irish people.
MR. DE VALERA: I must say the attitude of the President on this matter is very unsatisfactory. He has answered only part of my question. I want a reply from the Minister for Home Affairs in regard to the police force. As the President has said, in the ultimate it is this body that is responsible for keeping order, and the President, surely, must be ready to give an account of the method by which he proposes to keep order. I do not care what it is so long as order is kept, and it is in accordance with general principle that this is the supreme body. We have a right to know what steps are being taken by the responsible authority to this body for the maintenance of order—what steps are being taken for the maintenance of a police force. It will be a matter of opinion how such a force should be got up. I am asking for an opportunity for discussion on that most important question. The suggestion that we simply want to obstruct is ridiculous. We have a perfect right to get information on the Estimates on the question of maintaining order generally, and on the conduct of the Government of the country.
MR. M. COLLINS: With regard to one question asked about the Estimates and one supplementary question, I may at once say that these Estimates are prepared in precisely the same form as for the last meeting at which Estimates were taken. It is true that on previous occasions the Estimates were less illustrated. The reason was that the Departments were then working under war conditions, because no Treaty was there to save them from war conditions. Another reason, also, was that we were anxious to get away from meetings which were held a year or a year-and-a-half ago, because there were war conditions and we did not want the Dáil raided. These Estimates were put forward in exactly the same way. Now, in regard to the next question, it was the duty of the Deputy for Monaghan, if he was not satisfied, to have notified us of his objection a fortnight ago. However, the figures can be made available; two copies can be seen at the Mansion House if the members of the Dáil so desire. An attack has been made in respect of the Home Affairs Department. I could say the same things, or some things at any rate, about some people, but perhaps the less I say the better for all concerned.
MR. MICHAEL COLLINS: With regard to the question of the police force, any police force that is raised must not be a political force, but a national force (hear, hear). The police force that is going to be raised is going to be a national police force, because anything else would be disastrous to the country.
MR. DE VALERA: Hear, hear. This is the national assembly, and it should not overlook that. I must again mention that I have not got a straight answer to several questions. Will an opportunity be given for a discussion in connection with the Home Affairs report? Can we discuss the policy with regard to the police force? If I get an answer to that I will let the Estimates pass. If I  cannot, I will have to avail of some opportunity of discussing the question. Are we not going to get a report from the Minister of Home Affairs?
MR. E.J. DUGGAN: Of course it is understood I am in office only a few weeks and it was considered, in view of the short time since last Session, that it was not worth while to have a report. Indeed, there is very little to report on. Besides, we are passing through a transition stage, and it takes some time to get a proper grip of the departmental affairs in the circumstances. The British police forces are being disbanded within the next few weeks, and we are faced with an entirely new situation. You must set up a police force, the cost of which will run into an amount which would not be possible for the resources of the Dáil. That force is being set up, not under the Dáil, but under the Provisional Government, which has the resources to do it. The whole matter can be raised on a question of which notice has been given for to-morrow. In fact, it has been raised in a question of which I have got notice for to-morow.
MR. DE VALERA: I would prefer to raise the question on the Home Affairs report, and let the financial part go ahead. The ultimate responsibility for order in this country rests on the Minister for Home Affairs of Dáil Eireann, as far as we are concerned, and as far as the Irish people who put us in office are concerned. It is our duty to know what is the policy of the Minister for Home Affairs in connection with the matter. It is not enough simply to say: “Wait and see.”
MR. SEAN ETCHINGHAM: We have not got an answer to a very simple question. The Minister for Home Affairs can answer the question. Has he employed this man, Kearney, the hunter of Roger Casement, in connection with the new police force?
MR. E.J. DUGGAN: There is a police committee at work but I do not know the names or the records of many of the gentlemen on it; if anyone likes to put down a question I will enquire. I cannot answer the question at the moment.
MR. FINIAN LYNCH: Is this the Dáil Department or the Department of the Provisional Government? Is the Dáil Department empowered to form a police force in substitution for the R.I.C. or the D.M.P.? I do not believe they have any power to do so.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Once again I may mention that, according to the Standing Orders, any question can be raised by Deputies if they only hand in the question to the Minister concerned. There seems to be no limit to the number of questions that may be asked; but these questions must relate to matters of fact, or matters of policy. I hold under that, that any of the questions now asked may be put properly and answered if they are handed in, so that the Ministers can be prepared with a reply.
MR. DE VALERA: It is a question of debating a policy. The natural place would be on the reports which, in past Sessions, were furnished by the heads of the various Departments. There is no such report here. I was anxious to know if we would have an opportunity for debate. There is no debate on a question. This whole question of the maintenance of order during three months, or for a longer period, is very important. I have no doubt the President and Ministry have a definite policy, and it is only right that we should know what that policy is. All these things are important for us, because it is our duty to see order kept in the country. I agree this must be a non-political police force. Of course, it must be, and I believe there is only one body can set that up, and that is this assembly.
PRESIDENT GRIFFITH: I want to be quite clear. I want the public to remember again that at the last Session we asked Mr. de Valera and his friends to co-operate with us in forming a Committee of Public Safety for the purpose of keeping order. That offer was declined. We were faced with the responsibility ourselves; we had not the support of the gentlemen on the other side, while the country was getting into a state of chaos—
PRESIDENT GRIFFITH: We had not the active support of the other side;  they declined to act on the Committee. By the vote of Dáil Eireann the Treaty was approved. The Provisional Government has come into being. The Provisional Government has taken over the various Departments and amongst other things it must take over police. That is the policy to be pursued—to take over and form a police force. We cannot, as Dáil Eireann, form a police force. We have not enough money to form a police force that would run for three weeks. But the Provisional Government can do it and has the money. The Minister for Home Affairs has been endeavouring to establish a police force that would function until Mr. de Valera's side or our side would win at the elections, and the responsibility would then rest on the winning side.
MISS MACSWINEY: Will the Minister for Home Affairs give an undertaking that he will not employ in the police force any man, or any body of men, who has or have taken a part against the Irish people, in the recent, or the present war. Can we get an answer definitely that any such man as this Kearney is employed by him in any capacity which he holds as an Irishman?
MR. W.T. COSGRAVE: Those who are against the Government of the day, and who have been all the time standing for the functioning of Dáil Eireann, now have reversed their positions and are proceeding to mark their idea of the progress of the Dáil Departments by the reducing of the vote by one thousand pounds. That seems very strange. I do not know where that comes in. No mention has been made as to what particular item has to be reduced. We have heard question after question. Now, I think the President ought to know what it would cost to maintain a police force of three or four thousand men in this country, and whether or not the funds of the Dáil are sufficient to bear that cost. The essence of the opposition here is to influence and to control, as far as they can, the activities of the Provisional Government. They say they won't go into the City Hall or speak to us while we are there, and yet they come here to seek to influence our conduct of affairs.
MR. M.P. COLIVET: I have asked what is the Dáil going to do in this matter? Does it mean that the Dáil is going to remain in the position of marking time? Is the Dáil to remain stagnant on the question of establishing a police force? The Dáil has sufficient money in hands to do it very well, and if they have not, they have means of getting more. That is the way for the Dáil to function and not allow it to be subverted by the Provisional Government.
MR. COSGRAVE: The gentleman who has spoken knows as much about Local Government finance as he does about the moon. I know well what he is talking about. What is the use of talking rubbish? You have no authority to strike a rate for a police force, and it is a dishonest thing to do it, if you attempt to do it. You have  adopted the regulations in force up to a certain date, and you would not have any right under them to strike any money for a police force.
MR. KEVIN O'HIGGINS: I have been wondering whether I would be in order in proposing an increase of £500,000 in the Estimates of the Minister of Home Affairs to allow him to develop a police force adequate to the requirements of the situation, under Dáil Eireann. It seems to me that we have to take our bearings now. This morning I suggested, if we were up against a definite issue, that the Provisional Government was set up by a meeting composed of the members elected to constituencies in Southern Ireland, and that it is responsible to that body and not to Dáil Eireann. I said I, as one member of the Provisional Government, would stand by that, and in the things I do in my capacity of what certain members would call national apostate, I refuse to be responsible to this body. That is the full, unsatisfactory state of affairs. The position is vague, undefined and anomalous; but in so far as it is unsatisfactory and anomalous, the responsibility lies on those who put every difficulty in the way of seeking from the people of Ireland a straight declaration of whether or not they wished us to proceed on the basis of the Treaty (hear, hear).
MR. G. GAVAN DUFFY: We could easily avoid this unsatisfactory kind of debate if there was a little less of what I will charitably call muddle on the opposite side. Two questions have been raised—the report of Ministers and the case of Mr. Kearney. If it is desired to raise at the meeting of the Dáil an important matter of policy, it surely would be the obvious course to give a notice to the Minister concerned. In this case it is manifestly unfair to expect Ministers who have been in office something like seven weeks to prepare reports. It would be absurd to ask them to prepare reports on their work during that period.  The right way to obtain information is to ask beforehand so that the Minister could prepare an answer. The second thing is a vote of censure about this man Kearney, but the notion that the Minister for Home Affairs can deal with that on the minute is perfectly absurd. The suggestion to reduce a vote upon a question sprung on the Minister like that is one that should not recommend itself to the House. The Standing Orders give you ample means of dealing with an unsatisfactory answer. You have all this now sprung on the House. That is not the best way to deal with public business. After the agreement at the Ard-Fheis it is rather unfortunate that these matters should develop into a mere party question. That is the effect of bringing up matters without notice. I propose the vote be now taken.
MR. DE VALERA: If the Ministers give a report to the House which can be discussed, that is the place to bring up the question of policy. If we have not it that way we must have it in the Estimates. I hold it is the Minister is responsible for not bringing up the matter in the usual fashion.
MR. DE VALERA: I beg to move as an amendment: “That we postpone consideration of the Estimate for Home Affairs until we have a report from the Minister of that Department, and a detailed statement of his policy for the maintenance of public order during the period that must elapse before the Irish people have expressed their will in the elections.”
MR. ART O'CONNOR: I beg to second the amendment. I am in thorough agreement with the President in that matter. There should be some sort of understanding between the two sides in the House as to how order is to be kept in the country, and this matter should be postponed until the Minister for Home Affairs has a statement.
MR. W.T. COSGRAVE: I have two points to raise. The mover of the amendment has spoken more times than he ought to, and therefore his amendment would be out of order. Now, number two point is that an amendment has already been negatived that you postpone the Estimates. The greater includes the less and it is now moved that the less be postponed. I submit the proposal goes by the board.
MR. HARRY BOLAND: I wish, on this very important point that we would consider things calmly. It is suggested, by some move I cannot fathom, that we on this side are not prepared to co-operate to maintain law and order.
MR. H. BOLAND: So far as I know, we on this side of the House are as anxious to preserve law and order in the country as you are on your side, and if an opportunity be given this House to discuss the best method whereby law and order may be maintained, an unfortunate division on this matter would not arise. Do you not consider it right and proper that an opportunity would be given in Public Session so that the people of the country would see that we are all determined to preserve law and order, in so far as we can? The cause of unrest is because there has been no order to express what has been the unanimous opinion of this House—that law and order must be maintained. I submit to the gentlemen on the opposite side that an opportunity should be given to us on this side to demonstrate that we, as well as they, are determined to preserve order.
MR. DE VALERA: I did not intend to make any speech on this amendment. One thing is to ask us to co-operate under a policy with which we do not agree. That is, the policy of the majority party in this House. Another matter is that when they have decided their policy and got a majority in favour of a certain line of action, that we are not to get an opportunity as members to, at least, get the country to benefit by that policy. Have we no opportunity now to say that such benefits as might accrue to the country should come from the policy of the opposite side? I think it is ridiculous. We will not co-operate in the sense of taking part responsibility with the majority party here for the maintenance of order, or for their policy. But their policy has got a majority here, and it is our business as part of the whole House to see that that policy which they have got a majority for is carried out, and to criticise if it is  not carried out. And we have a definite right to know what provision is going to be made in accordance with their policy, by the Minister for Home Affairs, for the maintenance of public order in the country. If the majority rule—and we have accepted that, because we would not be here if we had not—we have the right still of demanding that that majority gives an account of its stewardship, not merely to the members here, but to the country as a whole. We have a right to demand that the Minister for Home Affairs would tell us what provision has been made in accordance with the policy of the majority, for the maintenance of order.
MR. AUSTIN STACK: We have merely discussed the Home Affairs Department, and we have not had a single question with regard to Local Government, Labour, Secretariat, Trade and Commerce, Publicity, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Economics, Trustees, President's Office, Boycott or Defence. They have not yet been dealt with, and you accept a motion now in spite of protest.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I am following the Standing Orders strictly, and I have no option. The Standing Orders are that when it is moved “that the question be now put,” it shall be put and decided without amendment or debate.
CATHAL BRUGHA: It is estimated it will cost £80,000 for Special Work for the Defence Department for the next six months. I have some experience of the Defence Department, and before you put this I would like to know exactly what is this work?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: In order to preserve the rights of the minority— every individual has rights here—and still keep by the Standing Orders, I would suggest that these matters be put in writing and handed to the Ministers, and the Ministers will have to reply to them in due course. But I must insist now in carrying out the Standing Orders. It has been moved that the question be now put. Does anyone challenge a division?
MR. DE VALERA: I am against the Estimates because they are rushed in a most scandalous fashion. The usual reports were supplied even in wartime, when we had several batches of typewritten reports from the Ministers. Here we have not had that, and the Estimates are being rushed because the Ministry are in a majority.
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