COMMITTEE ON PROCEDURE.

Friday, 17 November 1922

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 1 No. 30

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AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Before we proceed to the private business on the Order Paper perhaps we could get some indication now as to the Committee on Procedure which is to be set up.

[2240]The PRESIDENT: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  If it meets with the approval of the Dáil I will move that in accordance with Standing Order 11 the Committee of Procedure and Privileges be appointed.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Is the President going to move that the whole Committee be selected, or does he propose to leave the names to the different parties outside those to represent the Ministry? It is in the Standing Order that the Ministry is to have a majority and there is the further general agreement between the different parties as to the number. The Labour Party are to have two, as I understand it, and the Farmers' Party is satisfied with one as on the previous occasion.

The PRESIDENT: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I am quite willing so long as the Committee is set up. It may be necessary to frame further Standing Orders about finance and so on, and I should be glad if the Committee were set up now.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  It would be well to know that if the Committee is set up now it will have to meet in any adjournment that may take place between this and next week when the Dáil is not in session, and therefore in appointing Deputies on the Committee it would be well to bear in mind that they should be available during that interval.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  What are the terms of the motion?

The PRESIDENT: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  The terms of the motion are that a Committee be appointed, consisting of seven Deputies; that An Ceann Comhairle be Chairman, and that the Committee proceed to frame such additional Standing Orders as may be necessary and present their report to the Dáil.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: Information on Darrell Figgis  Zoom on Darrell Figgis  With regard to the appointment of that Committee on Procedure I think there are a number of members of the Dáil who do not form a party, but are independent units and amongst them, I think, there would be general consent that, say, one person should be added to the Committee to represent them, and the name occurs to me of one who has considerable experience upon these matters elsewhere who might be added to the Committee, that is Deputy Alfred Byrne, and I urge that his name be added.

[2241]The PRESIDENT: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Very well, make it eight and add his name.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  The difficulty is that on a previous occasion, after consultation with me, a motion was made by Deputy William O'Brien to add a name to represent such a body, and very shortly afterwards there was a furious repudiation of the existence of any such party, and the group was not represented.

The PRESIDENT: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  It has come to life again.

Professor MAGENNIS: Information on Professor William Magennis  Zoom on Professor William Magennis  There is no Independent Party in the Dáil—I made that declaration. That there may be an Independent Group I am sometimes inclined to suspect.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Or a Group of Independents.

Professor MAGENNIS: Information on Professor William Magennis  Zoom on Professor William Magennis  So far as I am concerned I accept whatever Committee the majority of the Dáil is willing to adopt.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  The real question it seems to me is, whether we should leave the Ministry to nominate its members, the Labour Party to nominate their members, and whether the other groups should be allowed to nominate one member each. If that is agreed, perhaps the President would formally move that the Committee of Procedure consist of nine members— five nominated by the Ministerial Party, two by the Labour Party, and one each by the Independents and the Farmers' Party.

The PRESIDENT: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I beg to move that motion.

Mr. HOGAN: Information on Patrick J. Hogan  Zoom on Patrick J. Hogan  I beg to second.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I would like to have an understanding that the duties of this Committee are not confined to the Standing Orders.

The PRESIDENT: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  In accordance with Standing Order 11, a Committee on Procedure is to be formed to frame such additional Standing Orders as may be necessary. The Committee is appointed in accordance with Standing Order 11, which provides for the Committee of Procedure which is given the further temporary duty of providing further Standing Orders.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Is that in regard to the work of the Provisional Parliament, [2242] or will it be for the future Parliament, and not merely the Parliament set up under the Standing Orders? I want to have that understanding clear from the beginning. Also, if there are any questions of privilege with regard to members' rights and the work of the business of the Dáil, that this Committee may, temporarily, at any rate, have power to make suggestions and report upon these matters.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  That would arise on the Standing Orders.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: Information on Darrell Figgis  Zoom on Darrell Figgis  This Committee of Procedure is to include a Committee on Privileges. Am I right in that interpretation?

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Yes.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: Information on Darrell Figgis  Zoom on Darrell Figgis  If that be the case, am I right in saying that the Standing Orders we have received are described as applicable only to the Provisional Parliament. It is, therefore, a conjecture whether or not for the first House of the new Parliament, other Standing Orders may or may not be adopted. These Standing Orders may be required to be amended and improved, and generally made applicable. Inasmuch as this new Parliament is sitting in a short time, and as we are now appointing this Committee, would it not be a good thing for that Committee to take into account these Standing Orders?

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  That is covered. The Committee is to frame such additional Standing Orders as may be necessary; that is applicable to the new Dáil, which will have complete financial control, and which will send Bills up to the Seanad.

Professor MAGENNIS: Information on Professor William Magennis  Zoom on Professor William Magennis  Framing such additional Standing Orders excludes from the purview of that Committee the existing rules of procedure and some of these require modification.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  If the Committee framed additional rules and then found existing Standing Orders conflicted with these it would be necessary to present their report to the Dáil.

Mr. T.J. O'CONNELL: Information on Tomas O'Connell  Zoom on Tomas O'Connell  Would it be possible in the case of a member of this Committee who probably could not attend on a certain day to appoint a substitute from his party? This Committee may last for some time, and it [2243] may not be possible for a particular member to attend always.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I allowed that on a previous Committee.

The PRESIDENT: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I think it is reasonable.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  It will be necessary to move the names or else the Dáil might allow each Party to send me the names. I should like to have these names to-morrow as I am anxious that the Committee should meet on Tuesday morning.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: Information on Darrell Figgis  Zoom on Darrell Figgis  While we are about it and debating this resolution would it not be a good thing to put in two or three extra words authorising or permitting the power of modification as well as extension.

Mr. McGUINNESS: Information on Francis MacGuinness  Zoom on Francis MacGuinness  It is only a month or so ago since we went through all this, and now if we have to modify our rules after one month's experience we will never be doing anything else but making changes and modifications.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  This is merely as a matter of agreement. In accordance with Standing Order 11 this Procedure Committee has to be appointed and it is now agreed that it is to consist of nine members, five nominated by the Ministry, two from the Labour Party, one from the Farmers' Party, and one from the Group of Independents; that An Ceann Comhairle is to be Chairman and, further, that the Committee on Procedure frames such additions or amendments to the Standing Orders as may be necessary and presents a report to the Dáil. This resoluation is proposed by the President and seconded by the Minister for Agriculture, and if I receive the names by to-morrow morning I think we could arrange that the Committee would meet on Tuesday. I now put the motion.

Question put: “That a Committee on Procedure be appointed.”

Agreed.


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