Thursday, 11 October 1928
Dáil Éireann Debate
Sub-section (2) All the property of the council of the county borough of Cork which by virtue of the County Borough of Cork (Dissolution) Order, 1924, was transferred to the person named in that behalf in the said Order shall on the appointed day vest in the Corporation.
(3) In the year 1928 the borough election shall be held on a day to be fixed by the Minister not being later than one month before the appointed day, and in every subsequent year the borough election shall be held on such day, not being earlier than the 23rd day of June or later than the 1st day of July, as shall be fixed by the Corporation.
(4) Subject to the provisions of this Act in relation to the persons appointed to fill casual vacancies, every member of the Council shall, unless he sooner dies, resigns, or becomes disqualified hold his office as such member until the fifth day after the borough election held in the third year after the year in which he is elected and, unless previously re-elected, shall then retire from office as such member.
(5) Subject to the foregoing provisions of this section, the law for the time being in force in relation to the election of councillors of county boroughs and to the qualification of persons for such election shall apply to every borough election and to the qualification of persons for membership of the Council in like manner as it applies to the election of councillors of county boroughs and to the qualification of persons for such election.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: There are a number of amendments here dealing with similar matters. The first deals with the question whether there should be annual or triennial elections.  I propose to take Deputy de Valera's amendment, and then put the question that in Section 3, sub-section (1) the words “and in every year thereafter” stand. If these words stand, then annual elections will have been agreed to by the Committee. The other amendments will depend on that to a certain extent.
I was one of those who voted for the Second Reading of this Bill because I believed that it was possible to amend it in Committee so as to bring it in accord with an idea to which, personally, I was not opposed. There was no clear principle running through the Bill to which this would run counter, and, accordingly, I felt that the amendments that I wished to propose would be in order. As I said on the Second Reading, a good case can certainly be made for the separation of the executive from the deliberative functions of the council, and in so far as the Bill has that purpose in view, I, for one, will not oppose it. As I said, a good deal can be said, undoubtedly, for putting the executive powers in the control of a single individual, provided that it is quite clear that that individual is really the executive servant of the council as a whole. All the amendments that I wish to propose are intended to secure that the manager shall in fact be subject to the control of the elected body. If we are going to make the elected body a deliberative body, I see no reason why we should be anxious at all to limit the numbers. Consequently, I am in favour of a much larger council than is proposed in this Bill. Again, if we are going to have a large council, the question arises whether that council is to be elected altogether and retire altogether, or whether it is to be so formed that a part of it will retire at stated periods say every year, as is clearly outlined in the Bill itself.
Now we in our Party have discussed  the whole question of whether the council should go out piece-meal, or whether the council should go out all in a body. Our members comprise men who have had a good deal of experience of local government, and we were almost unanimous in the view that the council should go out as a body at a period of three years. Against any argument that continuity is necessary is the practical fact that in reality continuity is got: that when a council goes out there is always a very large proportion of its members re-elected, and there is no necessity at all to make any special legal provision so that that should follow. I think then that, at this stage, it is not necessary to say very much more in support of having an election every third year. All these amendments hang largely together. The idea which the council hangs on is the idea of regarding it largely as a deliberative body. The idea of having the elections all at once comes from the idea that, if you want the people to have control over their elected representatives and to change policy, they ought not to be compelled, for example, to put up with a policy for a longer period than is absolutely necessary.
There is another point, that there is constant disturbance by new members, or a possible disturbance, anyhow, to the policy of the council as a whole. If the body is elected for a definite period of three years, they can set to work immediately and decide their policy with the feeling that that policy at any rate will have an opportunity of being worked out in a definite period of three years. If, on the other hand, some of the members come in new after a period of a year, there is a possible disturbance of that. You have new arrangements, and consequently a general disturbance, so that the general consideration and the particular consideration that I have mentioned have decided me in proposing this amendment. I think that it will have the support of practically every member of our Party.
Mr. O'HANLON: I, unlike Deputy de Valera, am opposed to the principle of this Bill of the government of a city by a manager. As, however, the House has decided that such an experiment should get a trial, I have endeavoured,  as far as possible within the principle of the Bill, to secure that the utmost possible power should be given to the elected representatives of the people, and that if the manager is to be elected or nominated by the Minister, that he should be under the control of the Corporation and under the authority of the Minister. I can see all the objections that Deputy de Valera has pointed out to having what I may call piece-meal elections. One of the points that I particularly object to does not immediately arise on this amendment. What we are now dealing with is the question of elections every year thereafter.
The main objection I have to that, in the first instance, is that under the Bill, as drafted, Cork Corporation will not be fully constituted for three years. That is apart altogether from the question as to whether a section of the Corporation should be elected every third year or every year. Here we have the fact that if the Bill is passed in its present form the Cork Corporation will not be fully constituted for three years. There are many objections to that. First of all, there is the question of policy. This Bill contemplates the election of five members the first year, five others coming in the next year, and another five the year after, and if after three years five go out, there is no such thing as giving the Corporation a fair chance of setting their minds towards adopting a proper policy of control in the City of Cork. If the people in control—perhaps I am wrong in saying people in control, as this Bill anticipates that they will not be in control but that it is the manager who will be—have any administrative powers they will be constantly upset by fresh minds coming in, and whatever was done this year by five men will probably be upset the next year by ten men, and whatever they do would probably be upset by fifteen men.
I think if we go a long way towards meeting the Minister's ideas in reorganising affairs in Cork he ought to go the whole way himself and say, “We are prepared here and now to allow the people of Cork to constitute a Corporation at once,” instead of having this feeling of distrust of the  people which I hold is in the Bill, and saying, “We will have five men for a year to see how they behave, and the next year another five,” which would make it utterly impossible for those who are put by the ratepayers to carry out whatever executive functions they have, or to adopt any line of policy which would be likely to have Cork administration carried out in a proper way. We cannot deal with the question of numbers now, but I would appeal to the House to vote in favour of having an election for the whole body. Whatever number of representatives is decided upon, I would ask the Dáil to vote in favour of having the Cork Corporation fully constituted after the Bill is passed.
Mr. FLINN: I desire to take advantage of the courtesy which has been extended by the Chair to the House to speak generally, and perhaps a little more broadly, on this matter than under the strict limitations of a particular amendment. I have no desire to go far outside that, but, having regard to what has been already said, I think it is necessary that certain things should be said by a representative from Cork, representing what we do represent. Our concern in relation to “The Government of Cork Bill” is, first and last, that we should have a good democratic administration. Given that the rest are details. I am entirely in favour of as complete a separation as is possible between executive and legislative functions so long as it is clearly understood that the authority under which executive functions are exercised comes from and goes back to the people. Deputy O'Hanlon said that this was a Bill for the government of the city by a manager. If it is I am absolutely opposed to it. Some of the implications and intentions of the Bill are not entirely obvious, and I for one approach the consideration of this Bill with the intention of putting the best interpretation I can on the intentions of those who framed it. The government of the people is what we must have. Administration by a manager for the people, yes; but government of the city by a manager, no. That is a clear issue.
 If we can make it made perfectly clear that all the authority which the manager exercises comes from the people and goes back to the people, and can be taken from a particular manager by the people, then I am in favour of the widest possible extension of the administrative powers of the manager. And that, in my opinion, is the opinion and the wish of the ordinary people of Cork. There was a letter in the paper the other day from a very respected Cork citizen, Sir Stanley Harrington, in which he said that this Bill as it stood was approved by the people of Cork. That Bill may be approved of by Sir Stanley Harrington, and his opinion is a valuable one and worth having, but Sir Stanley Harrington has no authority whatever of any sort or kind to say that the Bill is approved as it now stands by the people of Cork. There was a discussion in Cork by the two Chambers of Commerce there—the Associated Chamber of Shipping and Commerce and the Cork Chamber of Commerce—of the proposal in this Bill. The proposition I put up to them was this: that if the functions of that manager, or whatever other name you like to call him, in relation to the elected representatives were to be the functions of the ordinary manager of an ordinary limited company in relation to the directors who appointed him, paid him, and dismissed him if necessary, then I was in favour of it.
Broadly speaking, that principle seemed to be accepted even at that gathering, but I want to be entirely frank; there is a certain amount of feeling that they would like possibly some stronger powers, and that there was underlying, as there naturally would be underlying in the minds of a body such as the two Chambers of Commerce of Cork, a distrust of the ability of the ordinary citizen to do what they thought they could do very much better. That being clear, as far as I can speak for my constituents in Cork, if it is clearly understood that the government of Cork is to be by the people of Cork, and that all authority which is exercised in its administration is to be exercised as a delegation of that authority, then we are in favour of it, but if it means putting over the City of Cork some outside manager, some  outside authority who does not derive authority directly, and whose authority does not go back to the citizens of Cork, to the extent to which it is short of that idea I have stated we are opposed to it. I see no derogation whatever from democratic principles in the delegation of authority.
Mr. FLINN: I think you have given me very considerable latitude and I appreciate it. So far as the three years are concerned, I investigated the method in this Bill, and there is a good deal of ingenuity and thought in it, and something to be said for the idea here, namely, the gradual building up, an interregnum, a change-over period between the period in which a number of people will administer and that in which one is administering. You are gradually building up from unity to plurality. There is something to be said for that principle, but on the balance, having regard to all the arguments, and, above all, having regard to all the opinions, misunderstandings, the natural distrust of this particular method, the fact that the people do not like it—and it is their business, it is they who have to be satisfied in relation to their government—I am satisfied that this experiment should not be tried upon Cork, that we should elect at the beginning the whole council, that we should elect a council of a reasonable number, and that they should be given as a body at the beginning the whole of the authority which is required to administer the city. I am in favour of the whole body being elected and the whole body going out together.
Mr. ANTHONY: I do not intend to take up much time, because, as you are aware, I have a number of amendments down to which I will speak at the appropriate time. So far as Deputy de Valera's amendment is concerned, it will have my support and the support of many, if not all, of my colleagues. There was and there is inherent in this Bill many things which are repugnant to democrats and democracy. I and other Deputies have endeavoured to make this Bill more  acceptable, or, perhaps, I should say less unacceptable, to the citizens of Cork. I have discussed the terms of the Bill with many citizens of all classes, and the general opinion seems to be that the Bill in its present form is not acceptable. As I have said, I will deal with the amendments in my name when the proper time comes. Deputy O'Hanlon suggested that the whole 21 members, that is, if that number is agreed to, should be elected at the first election. That would commend itself to me and those whom I represent. Whilst continuity might be preserved by having an election every three years—that is, either five or seven, whichever number is decided on —continuity would be preserved each year. At the same time, for the reasons given by Deputy de Valera and, in a sense, for those given by Deputy O'Hanlon, it would meet my views if the whole 21 were elected the first year and then have triennial elections afterwards.
Mr. CORISH: As it is pretty certain that if this Bill proves to be a success and a satisfaction to the Minister for Local Government it will be tried on other municipal areas, I feel that it is incumbent on me to say something on it. I am in entire agreement with the amendment proposed by Deputy de Valera. For the life of me I do not know what purpose the Minister proposes to serve by saying that there should be only one-third of the members elected in the first year. I agree with Deputy O'Hanlon that Cork is to be on trial for three years, that there is a certain amount of mistrust displayed towards the people of Cork. I wonder has the Minister counted what the cost will be to have an election every year. Anyone who has had much to do with elections in recent times under the proportional representation system knows that the smallest election under it costs far more than it would under the old arrangement. That fact should be taken into consideration. If there is such a small proportion of members to be elected each year, especially at the beginning of the new system of management in Cork, to my mind the different interests will not be able to secure representation. All interests would be able to secure better  representation if the whole council were elected together, and I believe you would secure better administration if the whole 15 members were elected in the first year. Cork has not had a council to administer its affairs for a considerable time. I have no doubt that many people in Cork disagree with what has been done by Mr. Monahan, against whom I have nothing to say, and I am certain that the people on the spot see that a great many things are required to be done and that they will not be able to do them through the medium of five members. I appeal to the Minister to withdraw the sub-section and to accept the amendment. The mover has expressed himself as being in agreement with the principle underlying the Bill. In view of that, and in order to secure unanimity, which I believe the Minister is anxious to secure, he should accept the amendment.
General MULCAHY: As far as I can see, there is no use, with a very definite responsibility and wanting to do a very definite thing, namely, fixing the responsibility for the government of Cork, in looking for unanimity. A scheme that would be unanimous would be a very flabby one and one that would surely break down. A yearly election in Cork is proposed on the merits of a yearly election itself in the first place. It is being proposed because it is felt that it will give a steadier administration in the affairs of the city, a steadier pursuing of a policy, less pulsing at the end of three years in either the development or dropping of policies, in regard to salaries or reduction of rates. To provide a Corporation, one-third of which is elected every year, is going back to a system that existed before and introducing, so far as we are concerned to-day, a system which we think will give better results—a steadier administration and a steadier continuance of policy thoughtfully embarked on. Deputy de Valera wants a three-year election in order to enable the people to change policies and he is against a yearly election because he does not want policies changed.
Reviewing the state of affairs in the city in June after a year's administration  and after the public discussion that will take place about the rating plans and the general plans for the city administration, if the city wants a change of policy in anything that is foreshadowed it is, I submit, entitled to have that change. As far as a change of policy or as far as controlling the administration of the government of Cork City by the people is concerned, a yearly election gives you a much better opportunity than a triennial election. The proposals that are embodied in this Bill, while they lay the foundation for the better carrying on of the government of Cork, apart altogether from the present-day position, are intended to lead up to the most satisfactory form of government for the city in the future. It is also a transition stage in the policy that was adopted when the Commissioner was appointed to replace the old Corporation of fifty-six members. There is a transition from the present Commissioner system to a system with a manager completely controlling the executive side and completely subjecting policy to an elected Corporation.
Deputy O'Hanlon speaks of this being a Bill for the government of Cork City by a manager. Not a scrap of government goes into the manager's hands. The government of Cork City is a matter for the council. The administration of the city is what is put into the manager's hands. You are changing from a position in which you have a Commissioner in whose hands government and executive powers are vested, to a position in which you will have a larger council. In a position like this I, like Deputy Flinn, see that very great benefit may arise from starting off with a small groups of men acting as the council, but not as a quarter or half a corporation or council, but as a whole council, a body complete in itself, elected completely by the people, and handed over the complete powers that you will be handing over in later years to the larger council. The government of the city by the council, acting through a manager who is in charge of the administrative and the executive side of the work, will call for a very great amount of consideration and cooperation, and I think that it can be  best begun by a council of five members, developing gradually to a council of fifteen.
There is another point that makes a yearly election necessary. If you have not a yearly election you will have to divide up the city of Cork into wards. Quite a number of things have been said as to what the people of Cork want in respect of this and that, and what Deputies know about them. In so far as it was possible for me to get at the desires and the wishes of the people of Cork in the matter of the drafting of this Bill, I left nothing undone to get at them, and I found that there was no section in Cork which wanted Cork City divided up into wards. There was no section in Cork that had not a big lot to say about the disadvantages and the undesirable things that followed in the train of having wards in the city. The annual election, as distinct from the triennial election, will enable you to get men or women elected from the city of Cork as a whole. There will be no mosaic made of the city or its interests for the purposes of the civil government of the city. That in itself would be a very strong argument in favour of the annual election.
An annual election also gives you this: that while giving you a council of fifteen as the ultimate and permanent council, it will give you men on that council who will be elected on it by three times the number of votes that would be necessary to put a man on the council with a triennial election system. I suggest that a council elected from Cork in any way you wish, of fifteen members in one year will not be a satisfactory council from the point of view of the proper government of the city. This council of fifteen, with five members elected in three annual elections, will be more representative inasmuch as the members will be men or women appealing to a wider section of the electorate as the type proper to represent them in the carrying on of the city's government. For all those reasons I oppose the amendment. I stick very strongly to the provisions of the Bill and to there being an election this year, or if it is not possible to have it this year, next year, and at any rate  that the election shall be yearly and not triennial.
Mr. LEMASS: I do not know if the various Parties in the House are regarding the question which is now being discussed as a Party matter to be decided by the Whips and not by the free exercise of our intelligence. I hope not. As Deputy Corish pointed out, there can be very little doubt that this Bill, in the form in which it will emerge from this House, will be taken as a model for similar Bills in future. I would particularly ask that the Deputies from Dublin who are here would give this Bill very careful attention, and bear in mind that if Ministerial promises are going to be carried out we will have a Dublin City Management Bill under discussion before the 31st of next March. When this Bill first came before us I was one of those who were prepared to give favourable consideration to the suggestion contained in it with reference to annual elections. When we discussed the Bill in the councils of the Party I spoke in favour of that system originally, and I put forward in favour of my point of view the identical arguments which the Minister for Local Government and Public Health has put forward here to-day. He stated, as I stated, that this system of annual elections will mean that there will be a more continuous and a more effective control over the members of the council by the people than there would be under the triennial system. He stated, as I stated, that it would avoid the possibility of a violent change in policy on the part of the council such as would be likely to happen if there was a complete sweep of the old Board and its replacement by an entirely new set of persons. He also argued, and it is a fairly strong argument in favour of his contention, that the system suggested in the Bill makes possible having the whole of the borough area as one constituency without any sub-division. He seemed to think that the system proposed in the Bill would prevent members utilising their position on the council for the purpose of gaining popularity prior to the election. That is an argument I did not use. I have no such hope.
Mr. LEMASS: The Minister was quite clear in saying that one of the dangers of triennial elections was that prior to the election, the majority party would endeavour to manipulate affairs in order to gain popularity.
Mr. LEMASS: My view is that the majority party in the council will be doing that three times as often under the Minister's system as under the triennial system of election. I found on examining these arguments subsequently that the advantages which the system outlined in the Bill gives are more theoretical than real. As regards the giving to the people more effective control over the action of the members of the council, we have to strike a balance between democratic rights and efficient government. It seems to me that we can preserve all the rights of the citizens of Cork or all the rights of the citizens of any other city by allowing them to elect the entire council every three years, and we can get much more efficient management by putting upon that council for a definite period of three years full responsibility for the management of the city and allowing them to map out a policy which might take three years to give full effect to and to put into operation. If it is undesirable that there should be a violent change in policy following an election, and if in consequence of that it is desirable that there should be annual elections, it seems strange to me that the Government when amending their Constitution lately did not establish such a system for election to this Dáil. If it is undesirable that these things should happen in the municipal government of Cork, surely it is much more undesirable that they should happen in the government of the State, and I think if we examine that idea more closely we will find that the possibility of a violent change of policy in administration is not avoided by the system proposed in the Bill. In fact, it is made more likely that it will happen much more frequently than once every three years. It is quite obvious that a very  small change in the personnel of this assembly could produce a complete reversal in the policy of the Executive appointed by the assembly. If one-third of the members of the Dáil were to retire this year it is extremely likely that it would mean that there would be a different majority in this House, and, as I said, a complete reversal of policy.
The same thing might happen just as well in Cork. It is very likely that there will be conflicting interests in the council so that these interests will group themselves into parties, and the numerical differences between parties in the council will not be very great. It is likely that that numerical difference will be so small that it might easily be reversed in one election or another. You have been told that by having annual elections, instead of triennial elections, you will avoid great and violent changes of policy and preserve what is generally called continuity. For the reasons I have stated, I say that these arguments are groundless.
The Minister also stated that the system of annual election would provide steadier administration. I am not sure what he meant by that, because it appears to me that the very purpose of this Bill, the purpose of replacing the old system by this one, is to provide steady administration by taking the actual control for administration out of the hands of the elected council and giving it into the hands of a paid manager. Now, it is when we examine the question of having the whole area as one constituency instead of subdividing it, that we see more clearly that the advantages mentioned by the Minister are theoretical and not real. Undoubtedly the ward system which existed in Dublin, in Cork and in other constituencies produced evils. These evils were not due to the fact that the areas were subdivided into wards but that the wards were too small. We have 27,000 voters in the borough of Cork, and by dividing the constituency into three more or less equal divisions we will be able to ensure that in each division there will be approximately 9,000 voters. It is when the wards are much smaller that that evil arises. It is when we have, as here in Dublin, wards where a vote of five hundred or  six hundred will secure the election of an individual that the evil of the “ward-heeler” develops, and where you have individuals who concentrate their activities upon retaining the support of five or six hundred people sacrificing for that purpose the interest of the city as a whole.
The advantage of not dividing the city would be, of course, that the persons elected on the council would consider themselves as representing the city as a whole and not a particular part of it, and, therefore, they would be much more inclined to support projects benefiting the city as a whole, even though the projects might inflict injuries on particular parts of the city.
But when we turn to this Dáil, we find that these advantages exist in theory and not in reality. I remember drawing attention to this matter during the Second Reading of this Bill by taking as an example the constituency of Galway. There is not a person who understands conditions as they exist in Galway who does not know that the Deputies coming from that constituency do not represent Galway as a whole, and who does not know that they do not claim to represent the county as a whole. In general, you have one or two representatives for Connemara, you have one or two as representatives of North Galway, and one or two as representatives of South Galway, and these Deputies will confine their particular activities as Deputies to the areas in which they received the bulk of their support. The same thing would apply to Cork or to any other constituency. There you would have the members going forward for election to the council relying on getting the bulk of their support in some one or two of the old wards. When they would be members of the council, they would remember that their presence there was due to the fact that they had got the bulk of their support in one or two parts of the city. The temptation to sacrifice the city as a whole for one or two parts would be still there. Therefore, the dangers that undoubtedly arise when the whole city is divided into a great number of small parts will be avoided by this system. I suggest that the Minister is more anxious to produce a theoretically good scheme than to  devise a method of government for Cork that will meet the requirements on the spot.
The other point which arises is a very important one. It is the point mentioned by Deputy O'Hanlon and also by the Minister. That is the fact that the council will not be constituted fully for three years after the scheme has come into operation. There seems to be an idea in the mind of the Minister that this scheme provides for a gradual restoration to the people of Cork of the rights of governing their city which were taken when the Commissioner was appointed. That is not the case. As soon as the scheme comes into operation the Commissioner system is ended. You have the manager in possession, and then you must consider all the powers he will have, even when the council is fully constituted. The only thing wrong with the scheme at the beginning is that the council itself will not be fully constituted. It will consist of five members and not the full number of 15. There is no need to point out to any person who knows the conditions existing in any of our principal towns that it would not be possible to secure adequate representation for all interests in any city on a council of five members, and particularly, as will happen in this case, when one or two particular issues are likely to be the bone of contention at an election. It may happen that two members will hold one view, two will hold another view, and the fifth will have still another view. They will be elected, and then all the various interests constituting our city life will be without representation.
Personally, I think that what Deputy O'Hanlon said is correct, that the Government appear to be afraid of the people; they are afraid to give the people an adequate opportunity of expressing their views on municipal government and municipal matters generally. I hope this question will not be treated as a party question; that we will remember that we are not dealing with Cork alone and that we are setting a model for the future city government of this country. I hope that each Deputy will cast his vote on this amendment in accordance with his own judgment. I do not think it would be fair  to the experiment in city government which is about to be tried to have the council only partly constituted during the most critical period of the experiment. I believe a scheme somewhat similar to that outlined in the Bill is the best scheme for the government of our cities. I would like to make sure that the idea of the provision of legislative and administrative functions between the manager and the council would not be prevented from coming into operation by the failure of the first experiment. That is why I would like Deputies to pay particular attention when voting in this matter and let them endeavour to remove anything that would give rise to failure.
General MULCAHY: I would like to correct the Deputy. I did not refer to the idea of a triennial election as a flabby scheme; I spoke of reconciling all the different opinions on different points in the Bill into one unified and agreed measure as being likely to result in a flabby scheme.
Mr. O'HANLON: I do not think that any of the amendments are flabby. As regards the city of Cork, the Minister said he consulted the people there, and he did not move in this matter until he was perfectly satisfied he had ascertained their views, and then he incorporated them in this Bill. So far as I am personally concerned, if the people of Cork unanimously asked for this Bill and sent up a deputation, it is the principle in the Bill that I am opposing, and I do not care a row of pins about the people of Cork.
Mr. O'HANLON: What is the meaning of this consultation with the people of Cork? It is on all fours with the position of a man going to visit a prisoner in a cell. Cork had no Corporation when the Minister went to consult the people there, and very naturally the people there said: “If you let us run  this place and give us some kind of administration, we will agree to almost anything.”
Mr. O'HANLON: The sterner administration that the Minister speaks of is, I think, illustrated very largely in his own amendment. Under this Bill there would be five members elected for the first year. There are several very important functions connected with the Corporation. The Corporation are given some powers, and in order to carry out those powers it is absolutely necessary to have a two-thirds majority of five. That is what is called sterner administration. Two-thirds majority of five would amount to four. That means four to one, and unless you get four of the five to agree at a certain point there can be no change in Cork, and the manager still reigns supreme. That is the actual fact, and that is the amendment in the Minister's own hand. That is the form of sterner administration that I object to.
I cannot see why the Minister is against constituting the Cork Corporation on its full basis. He agrees there should be 15 members. Let us all agree on 15 members. Why does he object to putting the 15 members in control of Cork here and now under this measure? He did not state why, but I will assume that later on he will say that if we elect all the Corporation members in one lot—15 members would be involved—it would involve a very large ballot paper. That could really be the only objection. When you come to amendment 10 later on I think I will simplify the ballot paper and the mode of election. However, that is anticipating events.
Suppose the Minister does not give way on that—personally, I am not going to give way on the question of having them all changed at once—why does he not reverse engines in regard to the constitution of the Corporation of 15 men and let five of them go up for election every year? Would not that be a much better scheme than the scheme which the Minister has submitted? If there are five low down on  the list they would come out in the first year; that is, if we are to have an upset in the administration every year. I think that my scheme is a better one than the Minister's. I would appeal to the Minister to consider the question of the rather humiliating position that he is placing Cork and other cities in by putting it to them: “We cannot trust you to elect more than five good men; you are not capable of selecting more than five men at a time.” I do not know whether that is in the Minister's mind, or whether he wants to secure that the manager is going to be dominant there and have as few people to deal with as possible in the early stages, so that he will get his feet under him and be able to handle the others as they come along.
Mr. CORRY: I wish to speak in favour of the amendment. This Bill, which is called the Cork City Management Bill, is in reality a cloak for dictatorship. The fact that the Minister has found it necessary to get a cloak for the dictator, or to get so many scapegoats to whom he can point as being in fault whenever the manager makes a mess, is a good job at any rate. When we see the Minister solemnly standing up here asking to have an election every twelve months, and when we consider that the same Minister yesterday was looking to have an election only every nine years, we wonder where the change comes in. Yesterday he only wanted Senators elected every nine years. To-day he wants this Corporation elected every twelve months.
Mr. CORRY: One-third of them— what is wrong with the rest? He expressed the opinion that by having the election every three years, at the end of the three-year period they would be looking for popularity and looking to hold their seats. By having an election every twelve months you will have them all the time trying to keep their leg in. We all know what that means. I should like a little explanation as to why he states that the three-year election system would mean a ward system and that the twelve months' election system would mean that you would  have the election for the whole city. I should like to have it explained why the three years' election system would not mean an election for the whole city, or why the ward system would be introduced in that particular respect. I do not think I am in favour of any portion of this Bill, because from what I can read of it, it is only a cloak for the present dictatorship that exists in Cork City, of which the people of Cork City are heartily sick. I am speaking with a little personal experience of the Commissioner system, because I was a member of a Committee which took over the South Cork Board of Public Assistance from the Commissioner, and I know the mess we found there. I know very well that a continuance in power of this Commissioner under the new cloak——
Mr. CORRY: To come back to the annual election, the election of only five each year is most ridiculous. I think Deputy O'Hanlon's allusion to it, that you wanted two-thirds majority, and that the two-thirds majority is to consist of four out of the five, proves how ridiculous it is to expect these five to do anything whatsoever.
Mr. FRENCH: I should like to convince the House that the statement made by Deputy O'Hanlon to the effect that this Bill represented in any way the opinions of anything like the majority of the people of Cork is absolutely incorrect. I was present at a few of the conferences that the Minister had in Cork in reference to this Bill, and I do not think it can be contended that any of the conferences I was at put up any other suggestion for the future local government of Cork than that the public representatives should have full authority over the government of the City. That fundamental idea is essential if there is going to be got behind this Bill the goodwill of the people of Cork. It is from that point of view that I point out to the Government, if Cork is going to be made the trial-ground for the future municipal government of boroughs, that at least the goodwill of the people of Cork is worth looking for.
 If this is going to be an experiment for future municipal government, for instance, we will say, for the Greater Dublin Borough Scheme, then I will state without fear of contradiction that the people of Cork would tell you to suspend your Bill and make your experiment on Greater Dublin; the people of Cork are prepared to stand by their own Bill and leave the people of Ireland to judge them by the public representatives they will choose themselves. The idea is developing in Cork every day that the people there are not trusted to elect proper and fit people to govern them. I should like it to be made more clear that complete control of policy will be in the hands of the public representatives. The Minister stated that the people of Cork would have full authority and that the manager would only have administrative authority. I should like that to be more clearly defined, because I am not satisfied that they will have complete authority in their hands.
However, I will keep more or less to the particular amendment of which I am speaking in support. Whether individuals like it or not, the majority of the people of Cork to-day want the whole of the Corporation elected at one time. I readily admit that there are individuals who hold other views. There are many individuals who hold that the triennial election has many advantages. But public opinion in Cork is in favour of having the Corporation elected at one time. In support of that argument I may say that the very people whom you will have possibly to rely on for assistance in making this Bill a success will tell you that continuity of policy will be better preserved by the whole Council being elected annually, for the reason that whether the number is to be fifteen, twenty-one or thirty, there was never an election that did not return a very large majority of the members sitting in the previous Council. Individuals will have established a reputation as local administrators and they will be returned again for the services they have rendered. Therefore, you will get that succession of policy without resorting to this form of election. Again, there is a very big division of opinion as to  whether the borough should be one constituency or three. I would say that the majority would favour divisions, if the divisions were large enough so that a person would have to poll a large number of votes to entitle him to be a representative. I readily admit that there are people who favour the one constituency for the borough and there is a lot to be said for that.
It has been said by Deputy Lemass that an individual, if he were representing a ward instead of a whole city, would more or less confine his energies to the development of one particular end of the city rather than the whole. There is, of course, the argument, and it is really a good one, that when a man is elected for a whole city he will have a broader outlook and will be inclined to develop the city from the standpoint of the whole rather than that of a particular section. Without going into the system, I wonder would the Minister tell me whether, on coming to his definite conclusion on this Bill, he ever had the necessity of making a comparison in administration, as let us say, between the periods January, 1920, to December, 1922, and the best two years' administration from the years 1924 to 1928, or the period during which the city was governed under the commissioner system.
Frankly, I say that I stand over the policy of the manager system as against the old system. I am convinced it is best to place the administrative authority in a particular individual, but I certainly say that that individual must be subject to the elected representatives and he must be subject to them in a very definite manner. There must be no question of doubt about it; he is positively safe in their hands. But the way I look at it and the way the people of Cork are looking at it is that if the public representatives do not get proper authority over the manager, it means that they are not trusted to control their own affairs.
General MULCAHY: The question of a manager being in Cork or not being in Cork has nothing, good, bad or indifferent, except on one point—the transition period—to do with the advisability or otherwise of having triennial elections. I do not understand  Deputy Lemass's idea of having a three-year policy for city government. The government of cities should flow on in a more or less uninterrupted way. I do not really understand the idea of having an election every three years in order that they may have a three-year policy. I do not really understand the idea of having a party policy in connection with the general development of a city and the carrying out of its work. I do not understand the fear that five members coming in in a particular year might swing by a small majority the balance to one particular policy over another. If some of these statements could be brought down to the practical things that would have to be dealt with in connection with the work of the city, we would understand them better, but as it stands at present it is simply nebulous kind of talk. In regard to the charge, that these advantages in this Bill are theoretical instead of real, it might be argued equally that the advantages of putting in a Commissioner in 1924 were theoretical rather than real.
The position generally is that if you have annual elections you can have, in my opinion, and in the opinion of the Department generally, which has given very careful thought to this matter, a free flow for your city policy. You can have more representative persons as your representatives on your city council. They will stand upon three times a larger number of cast votes and that is a guarantee that your policy will be better thought out and——
Mr. G. BOLAND: I would like the Minister to explain how it is that five people elected annually will be more representative than fifteen people elected at one time, because I maintain that at the annual elections there will be a minority of voters left out all the time. I do not want to make a speech, but the Minister definitely said in his speech that these people will be more representative and will get three times more votes. What is really going to happen is that the people who succeed  in putting in the first five members will have three votes, and there will be a section of the population without any vote.
Mr. BOLAND: Those who under the ordinary system of P.R. would have returned so many of the fifteen if elected together. Under the system of P.R., which you pretend you are going to have in Cork, some people would be elected who, when five are being elected at a time, would have no chance whatever. They would be of the Deputy Good type.
General MULCAHY: I do not know how far down in the matter of the size of parties or organisations Deputies want to go in having representatives on the city councils. I say if you are going to come down to small fractions and classes of society, you are going to have a very large council.
Mr. BOLAND: I hope the Minister will not side-step the question I put to him. Will he explain how it is more representative to elect five people at a time than to elect fifteen at one time, which is the way I maintain that minorities can get representatives on the council? Let the Minister not try to get away from that.
General MULCAHY: It will be a council consisting of a number of people who will be standing on an electoral vote of three times greater number than some members, at any rate, of the council elected at a triennial election.
Mr. LEMASS: Will the Minister state why he stopped at five? If his argument is valid four would be very much better than five and two would be better than three, until eventually you would come down to a one-man council.
Mr. BOLAND: I want the Minister to prove the statement he made or else withdraw it—that is, why the five members he proposes to elect at a time would be more representative than a council fully constituted? Why will a council elected by his system be more representative than if the whole fifteen were voted in at one time over the whole borough of Cork? Although I have a liking for the ward system I admit it is not the best system. Admitting we had the one constituency I want it proved that fifteen elected for that constituency altogether are not more representative than five at a time. I maintain it cannot be done.
General MULCAHY: If the Deputy is able to take a large number like the electorate of Cork, approximately 27,000 and divide it by five, then take the original number and divide it by three and divide that by five he will have the answer.
General MULCAHY: I think in so far as my case for the annual election goes I have made it perfectly clear to people who do not want to drag suggestions of one kind or another about democratic rights and managers' positions across them.
Mr. DE VALERA: I am very sorry that the Minister for Local Government is taking this stand on this particular matter, because I think he really does not know the amount of hostility there is abroad to this Bill, even were it to be modified in the way some of use who would support it if it were so modified would like. It seems to me that this whole idea of getting five every year originated in the desire to have the whole of the city one area, that that is the beginning and end of it, that either he thought it out himself or when he put the matter before his expert staffs they got what he  regards as this ingenious way of getting over the difficulty, and that has hypnotised him to the other faults that are in the thing itself. There is no doubt that on first looking through the Bill it has all the appearance of an armchair measure, a theoretic measure, and that when you go and examine it in the light of all the facts, with the experience every one of us has had, even those of us who have not had direct participation in local government, you see that they are illusory for the most part. If the Minister is anxious to try to get this idea carried out—that is the idea of delegating administrative functions to a single individual—I think he had better from the start, if he wants not merely to get it passed by his majority here but to get a really workable local government scheme, change his attitude as he has shown it up to the present. I for one am willing to admit that I would like to see this scheme worked out properly, but I do not think it is worked out properly in the way in which it is in this Bill. If you want to give the administrative functions to one man, you must make certain of two things, first, that the council as a whole does represent the people generally, that the council is a proper deliberative body, so that all interests and classes will be properly represented in it, and, second, that they have effective control at all times—not to go into the details of administration and interfere with every single idea, but effective control to this extent that if the manager takes the bit between his teeth and wants to become an autocrat, he cannot do so; that they can dismiss him finally, that there is against arbitrary action on his part some court of appeal and that the court of appeal be the representatives of the people. I believe you can manage to get these things worked out properly provided you keep these two essentials in view, when considering the deliberative body. But the smallness of the numbers is going to preclude that if you keep it down to fifteen, even if they were all elected at a single election. If you do what is done in this Bill, then the objection Deputy Boland pointed out arises. It is the same class on each subsequent occasion who will be  able to get the majority of the rights when the minority, those with less than one-fifth of the total amount, do not get a show at all in the representation.
I am for a big number, as I said. I am for election of all at the one time. I see, of course, the theoretical advantage in the idea of continuity of policy by having yearly elections and a certain number remaining in, but that is opposed to the proper idea of representative government, because if they are to come for judgment, you ought to have the council as a whole judged on its period of office.
I take it there will be definite policies put forward by certain groups. We may talk about parties and the elimination of parties. We will always have groups and parties of one kind or another. There are bound to be classes of citizens with common ideals and purposes certain to organise and bind themselves into parties, so there is no use in talking that we do not want parties in local government. You are certain to have them, and, therefore, we may take it for granted that a certain section, representing a certain bulk of the majority of the citizens, will have control for a certain period and their policy will be given effect to by a general resolution, or what would correspond here to our general Acts, and the manager is supposed to give expression to those in his administration, administering what would be, so to speak, the city laws, as it would be here in a sense, in the best possible way, in accordance with the policy laid down. If the period comes and they stand for judgment before the people, the people want to be able to change it effectively, and they cannot do it effectively with the present system of election every year when they go for an election, because when five are elected, no matter how they may be opposed to the policy, they cannot change it completely. They may, if the parties are nicely balanced, but they may not be, and, therefore, you are not giving people an opportunity of passing judgment on the council elected for a certain period.
I urge on the Minister not to adopt, in this particular matter, the attitude he has taken. He says the people of  Cork would like it to be a single area. Possibly if we could manage it we would like the whole of Ireland, or in this place where we are dealing with only 26 counties, to be a single area. There may be advantages. When certain matters are cropping up for decision, we would not have conflicting interests urging one individual to go for one thing and another individual to go for another, but we know first of all that that cannot be managed, and, therefore, we content ourselves in dividing it up into 28 constituencies, I think, besides the University constituencies. We have to put up with that. Some of us may regard it as an evil, but we have to put up with it, because if a practical suggestion were made, and if it were another area, the point that Deputy Lemass made arises—we would necessarily be resident in one particular area. There would be one particular area in which we would get greater support than elsewhere, and, in fact, our activities and knowledge would be confined to a particular area. I am not going to say that the considerations which arise in the case of the 26 Counties as a whole arise in Cork. The size is not so great, and so on. But I hold that there is no argument definitely put forward by the Minister to induce us to sacrifice great advantages to get this particular advantage of having Cork as a single area. I have heard people talk of the objections to the ward system. Fortunately or unfortunately, I am not in a position to know exactly what they were. None of them has been pointed out to me to induce me to lose the advantages there would be in a triennial election of a fairly large number and sacrifice it for this particular scheme which, I hold, was primarily devised to make Cork a single area and has no other consideration in its favour.
The Minister knows his own mind, but I would be willing to wager that it was that primary consideration and no other that induced the Minister to stand by this particular method of election. Possibly if he were doing it he would begin with the larger number. If he were taking 15 he would retire five a year. That is a more natural way of beginning than the way he is begining.  Probably he would do that, but that particular way of working would necessitate a large ballot paper, and the other difficulties there would be if you were to take Cork as a single unit. It is possible—and I have consulted local people about the matter—to have three natural divisions of the city. I heard no argument from the Minister as to why it would be wrong or why it would be bad to divide up the city into three parts. There are three areas that the city would naturally fall into. Local people have told me that there are no objections from their point of view to that. I put down some numbers in connection with it. The figures which the Minister would easily have at his disposal would enable us to get perhaps a more accurate proportion than would be got from the figures I have given. I am not standing definitely on these numbers. They were the best I could get from the information at my disposal. I am referring to that now because I am asking the Minister at the very beginning, when our whole attitude towards the rest of the Bill is going to be determined, to try to give the main idea in this Bill a chance and to meet the natural objections of those who stand for real democratic control. At least, while they are prepared to delegate the administrative functions to a single individual, they do want that the policy of the city should be determined effectively, and that its administration, too, should be effectively controlled by the elected representatives of the people.
Mr. FLINN: I think I paid, and I think Deputy French also paid, as generous a tribute to this Bill as it was possible to do. We recognised that this particular clause that we are trying to amend is not merely an interesting scheme, but that it is an ingenious and clever scheme. I have no hesitation in saying that I regard it purely and simply as an ingenious way out of the difficulty, and it is a great credit to the imagination and the invention of those who constructed it. If one was simply criticising it on that basis, no one does admire brains, ingenuity and invention more than I do, and to any extent that any testimonial of that kind is given to  this particular scheme I do pay that tribute. But it has the original defect which has been pointed out by Deputy Boland. If they were only electing five there is going to be permanent disfranchisement of the first preference votes of minorities. Is not that true?
Mr. FLINN: I am rather glad that the Minister has put that point. The Minister is getting a little ratty, and this is going to be a difficult case. We do not want to use terms; we do not want debating points; we do not want, if possible, to cut across one another in what is going to be very close debate. We want to keep very close to the issues, and on every side, as far as possible, let us try to keep the discussion clean and above board. It is in the spirit of answering in co-operation a question that is put to me that I speak. That is the sort of question we want discussed. Take it that in Cork you are electing five members under this scheme. We elect five Parliamentary representatives at the present moment. At the last election before this the National Party had a representative in Cork. The fact that it was able to elect a representative in Cork at that election meant that there is a body of that particular kind of opinion there. This year it disappeared under the five-member system. At the last election but this, you had an Independent candidate who got twice as many first preference votes as I did, in this election, and under the five-member system he disappeared at this election. Deputy Egan will bear me out. At that same election there were individuals lower down in the poll in the end than either Deputy Egan or myself who did have a definite following. I do not mind using myself or my colleagues merely as examples. We are talking as people anxious to co-operate. The third Fianna Fáil candidate got within ten first preference votes of myself, and we remained very close together all the way up until there was a big break up in the transfer vote and I went in. That man had a definite first preference following at least as large as mine, but he had not a second preference following  of the same size. As a result his first preference votes were disfranchised under the system of five. That is the point I am putting. It has been put very well by Deputy Boland and it ought to be answered. Under this system of merely electing five representatives you are permanently disfranchising the first preference votes of minorities. A boy was once asked if he liked chicken. He said: “I don't know; I do not like the neck of chicken.” That is all he had ever got. His portion was always the neck of chicken, and under this system there will be a section of the people who are always getting the neck of the chicken. Now they are entitled to their turn at the breast, and unless the Minister can show us some way in which the first preference votes of minorities are not going to be disfranchised he cannot stand over the idea that he is carrying out the election on a democratic principle under proportional representation, because he has the opportunity of doing something different. He can claim in relation to a national election that that must be limited by the fact that Cork cannot be given in this Assembly a reputation which its eminence and importance do not entitle it to. It must be satisfied with merely five, but you cannot put that claim in relation to a municipality and, therefore, it boils down simply to the difficulty of machinery. Is it impossible? There are two alternatives. One of these he has answered, and the Minister must direct himself directly to this point and answer directly on this point or he must say that he cannot.
If we are under a system of electing only five, permanently disfranchising the first preference votes of minorities, there are two alternatives. One is to increase the number. No matter how far you increase it you will never, theoretically, do away with that, but you can increase it to the extent that the disability of disfranchisement will be reduced to the lowest limits. Having done that, the Minister can tackle it in either of two ways. He can tackle it by his large ballot paper, to which he seems to have an objection that, frankly, I cannot see. Remember that this is an experiment which is going to be tried in Ireland, and you are beginning  to try it in Cork. I am perfectly sure that my colleague on the other side will not suggest for a moment that a large ballot paper is above the intelligence of the people of Cork. We do not see that difficulty. He can get over it that way if he wants one single body to elect an undivided city. An undivided city means a larger ballot paper. That is the whole difficulty. A larger representation, all elected together by one body, means a larger ballot paper. That is the only difficulty. We think that difficulty can be easily solved, having regard to the intelligence of the people with whom he is dealing. But if he cannot solve that difficulty he has the alternative—to divide the city as little as possible. I am quite clear about it. I do not want it to be divided into a lot of small wards. If by dividing it into three— and I think that is a feasible proposition—he can get over his difficulty— mind, the only difficulty he has is a large ballot paper—he can cut that terribly long ballot paper into three, we are prepared to assist him.
Mr. FLINN: Let us get the issue clear. The present system permanently disfranchises the first preferences of minorities. That can be got over by increasing the number, and facing either a larger ballot paper or more than one section. The city is so constituted that you can get more than one section in which an election under reasonable terms can be held. I appeal to the Minister, and I appeal to the whole House, to regard this as an open matter—I mean to try to get the people behind local government. At the present moment there is a whole propaganda of disgust, a tendency to tell the people that they are not to be trusted. The people have turned their backs upon local government, and this Bill, if it is to do any good, should contain these provisions, and be so framed as to destroy that tendency, and bring back behind the city government the will and the enthusiasm of the people. It is in that spirit, and it is because I think that would be done by meeting the amendment I offer, that I ask the Minister to accept it.
The PRESIDENT: This is the Cork City Management Bill, and the Second Reading Stage was disposed of a very considerable time ago. In the course of the discussion on the amendment that has been moved, we went back a good deal on the question of the Second Reading. The manager was discussed, the whole principle of the Bill was brought under review, and even the question of representation has arisen. My view about this measure—and with great respect to every member of this House I do not think anybody here has a longer experience of local government than I have—is that its success depends on the persons who are to be elected. It all depends on the persons who will occupy the office of representatives for the City of Cork. They are the people upon whom responsibility for the success of this Bill will depend. The details of the measure, once the principle has been passed, are of very small account. It so happened that in the course of the discussion very little attention was devoted to an examination of the system which was in operation previous to 1920. We seemed to have been only alive from 1920 up to date.
If my recollection is correct, in the City of Cork, and certainly in the City of Dublin, there were annual elections. It was arranged in this way: that a councillor had a three-years' term of office, an alderman six years, and so every year a councillor was due for election, and every sixth year a councillor and an alderman had to stand for election. That had at least this advantage about it, that you had an individual there to answer for his administration during his term. Now we have advanced to the period that we can only govern by groups. I do not believe it. I never believed it. It was just as bad after the election of 1920 as it was before. In fact, I might say that certain things could not have been worse. The group system is a bad system, and this question of seeking for representation of every minority is certainly not a good system of government. It may be an excellent system of representation, but not of government. It does not and did not necessarily follow that one was elected a representative on a local authority according to one's political  convictions; certainly not in the old days, because I recollect several members being elected for various wards in complete opposition to the Parliamentary representative, and perhaps at the same time that these individuals would be elected in opposition to the Parliamentary representative that Parliamentary representative would have an immense majority. They got elected in respect of whatever contribution they could make towards local administration. That is the real issue. A man may be an excellent business man and politician—and I have known both—and be absolutely useless as a representative on a local authority. What is looked for in connection with this measure is to give lines upon which public representation can be associated with, and make a success of, municipal administration. One does not approach, and one will not, I think, arrive at the point where you can effect that by simply looking for representation of minorities.
The PRESIDENT: In the election that took place in 1920 some wards were added together which had been separate wards before that. To give an example. Usher's Quay and New Kilmainham, as it was called, were added together, and New Kilmainham was a pretty considerable district, having been at one time a township.  The number of voters in Usher's Quay before the extension of the franchise amounted to 3,500. The number was much greater when the franchise was extended. The number of votes cast would be about 2,500, divided roughly into 1,500 for the winner, and 1,000 for the loser. Something like seven or eight candidates were elected. The last person elected got perhaps one-tenth of the number of the first preferences of the first candidate elected. I would like to know if it is contended that representation should be secured in respect of a person getting one-tenth of the number of first preference votes that another representative got. What are the minorities in respect of which safeguards are sought to be effected? Deputy Flinn mentioned some candidates in respect of the representation of Cork, as if the people had never the right to change their minds. It does not follow because people vote one man in to-day that they must vote that man in in twelve months' time, in three months' time, or in three years' time. They have a perfect right to change. Having elected a man once, is the case being made that he would not be able to get the quota the next time, and that we must make sure that the minority he represents is going to get the quota the next time? Is that the case?
Mr. G. BOLAND: I have been accused here of standing up for democracy. The point I raised was an answer to an assertion by the Minister that this council, when elected on the system proposed in the Bill, would be more representative—I take representation to mean representative of all sections of the community in Cork— and I want him to prove that. I have not said what my own views on democracy  are at all. As a matter of fact, I would be inclined to agree that if we could get a good Mussolini it would not be a bad idea at all. I believe there is a good deal to be said for autocracy, especially if it is benevolent. I am saying that in all seriousness. The President thinks that he has disposed of my case, whereas the Minister said that this system will make for a more representative council, and I asked the Minister to prove that. The President has very kindly side-stepped the thing and put me in the position of asserting that I am standing for democracy. I may be, or I may not be, but that has not arisen. I simply asked the Minister to do something which he has been unable to do, and which the President has side-stepped. He is going off on another tangent altogether and making a case to show that another system—that is, a more autocratic system—would be a better system of government. He may be right in that, but it would not be what his Minister said—a more representative system. For goodness sake, try to keep to the point.
The PRESIDENT: Five public representatives having secured, let us assume, 20,000 votes, have certainly, from one aspect of the case, a much more representative character than ten public representatives securing 19,000 votes. Is the Deputy satisfied now?
The PRESIDENT: The question we have got to consider here is not the manager, not the autocracy within the Cork City Management Bill, but the difference between an annual election and a triennial election. A triennial election, to my mind, has this disadvantage about it, that it presents a greater number of persons to be elected, and in my experience where a great number was to be elected in municipal matters the best persons were not elected. The best persons had the best chance of being elected when there was a smaller number. You develop what Deputy de Valera calls the group system. Under the group system certain persons are carried who would not otherwise be carried. The smaller the number, the greater the responsibility upon each person to show his usefulness in his representative capacity. When Deputies address themselves to policy one would think it was something that could only be mentioned with a wet towel on one's head and a pair of slippers on one's feet. What is policy? Whether or not you will have a certain extension of the municipal services that there are, whether or not you will build more houses, whether you will have streets paved with wood or concrete, as the case may be; whether you will develop one side of the city or another, whether you will have libraries, whether you will continue your scholarship schemes; whether, if drainage is not in existence in the whole of the area, it will not be extended in certain directions, and so on. And what you want for that is good public representatives, who, in the consideration of the matters before them, will consider the whole management of the city. The view that is held by those who have much experience of public matters is that where there are wards the individual is more concerned with the wards than with the city——
The PRESIDENT: —and that does not make for good government. It so happens that if one is to consider a triennial election, if one were to make any attempt to avoid getting in a poor class of representative one ought to  have a division of the city. I submit that that is a bad thing, and it ought to be avoided. It may be that the avoidance of it will create a greater evil, and this is a matter which can be considered by every member of the Dáil without being interested particularly as to what party he belongs. We were invited to consider it free from party affiliations. It was considered by the Deputy's Party opposite. They considered it, they deliberated on it. Deputies on these benches can express their views here. They were not forced to make any decision in the Party as to what they were going to do on it, and it is not a matter upon which we need have any great temerity about addressing ourselves to on party or other lines.
The PRESIDENT: It is a mistake to say that this is making an experiment of Cork. It is Cork itself that is making the experiment, and the experiment will take place on the day of the nominations. Certain people will be elected, and they will have made up their minds as to what policy they are going to adopt in connection with the management of the city. If they go on the right lines this Bill is going to be a success, no matter what defects there are in its details. I am confident that they will make every effort to make it a success, and I think that they will make a still bigger effort if they leave the group system on one side when discharging their duties.
Mr. DE VALERA: I have been listening very carefully to the President  and to the Minister for Local Government, looking for some hope that this whole idea was not going to be wrecked at the very beginning. I am afraid after listening to the President that there is very little hope left. In all these matters the President seems to me to be a person acting as one who wanted to kick away the ladder by which he is able to be in a position to press this measure at the present time. He spoke about the group system as being a bad thing. My recollection is that when the President himself was first elected into public life as a member of the Dublin Corporation he went in as a member of a group.
Mr. DE VALERA: Why did the President go in as a member of a group? Because there was a definite class of citizens who had certain definite grievances and they banded themselves together to redress them.
The PRESIDENT: Do not be talking nonsense. It was from that that I learned the evils of it. I do not want it to be inferred from that that it was in my group that I learned the evils of it, but in the membership of the body.
Mr. DE VALERA: The group system, whether the President likes it or not, is inherent in humanity and in common sense, because any class of citizens who have a common grievance, if they are not fools, are going to band themselves together in order that their united strength may be more effective than their efforts as individuals would be. No matter what you try in this Bill, you are not going, if you are going to keep public representatives at all, to avoid people banding themselves together to get their representatives elected. The President evidently has in mind a number of super people, those highly respectable elements in the community who must not soil themselves with the plain classes of the community. They must be captains of industry and all the rest of it, who are splendid for looking after their own business, but very often, when it comes to looking after public business, are neglectful, just the same as we see in the Seanad at present.
Mr. DE VALERA: Deputy Boland has his point of view. I know what can be made out for benevolent despots occasionally, but no one with any common sense or with any regard for human rights is going to stand for it— I believe that human beings have rights—and if anyone is going to take the right to govern me he must get my consent, anyhow. Otherwise I will not feel bound to give respect to any authority that he may claim.
Mr. DE VALERA: As I said before, all these amendments hang together. The whole idea of the Bill, in my opinion, is involved in this, and there are two ways of doing it, the right way or the wrong way. If you do it the wrong way at the start, then you will be on the wrong line all the time, and even people who would like to support the measure will feel bound to oppose the various articles in it. If there are any modifications made in the Bill, people may find themselves in a position to support it. I have often thought of the advantages of benevolent despotism, but I know that human beings who know and feel and reason with themselves are not going to stand for it as a system. If an occasional super-man comes along, the people may be quite content to delegate power to him and allow him to rule them. If that is done with their consent, it is all right.
We now come to the question of the management of Cork city. As I see it, I believe that there has been a lot of criticism of the Bill which has been quite beside the mark. I believe that the Bill could be made to work, but as it stands at present, I could not vote for it. I believe that the Bill could be modified, and that a substantial body of opinion would be prepared to support the Minister as regards the main idea in the Bill who would not stand for the details in it. I am anxious at the beginning to know clearly whether  it is to be a definite contest from the beginning with the Minister step by step, or whether there is going to be a chance of getting out of this a measure which will secure the main idea that is in the Bill as far as I understand it. The question of the triennial election or of the single election is involved in this. The size of the council is involved too. If the council is a small council it matters very little. The difficulty with regard to the ballot paper will not be so great as with a large one. We can hardly keep down to the narrow issue of a three years' election or a single year's election, and that was why at the start I gave an example which has been very widely followed—a bad example apparently from the point of view of order in discussing the Bill as a whole—but I felt it was necessary to do that so that we might see the bearing of this period of three years.
You must simply select between the three years and one year. On the step that you will take now will depend whether you are going to proceed on autocratic lines, as the Minister apparently is, or whether you are going to proceed on democratic lines. If you are going to proceed on democratic lines, then you must give the people an opportunity of passing judgment upon their elected representatives. You must give the people an opportunity of having all sections and all interests reasonably represented. I hold that the Minister's method does not do that, that the annual election means a smaller number, and that, therefore, the result of it will be that some people will be getting an undue preponderance in the matter of representation. You have that in by-elections, even though held under the principles of proportional representation. A by-election is always in favour of the party that is strongest, and the Minister knows that very well. They have applied it more than once. If you apply it to the Cork Corporation the same thing is going to happen, only in a slightly different way. That is what you are going to have if you divide up the council into three parts. I have not seen, as I have said, a single  argument put forward in favour of the one-year system. The only fundamental thing that I have been able to see in connection with it is that it was an ingenious system to avoid a big ballot paper, and the splitting up of the city is an alternative. I believe it originated that way. I may be wrong, but that is my belief. If that is to be the effect of it, then I think that the Minister is simply acting in a headstrong fashion and is going to wreck the whole possibilities of this Bill. He will wreck its prospects by holding on to the system for a reason of that kind.
The President spoke about the bad results of the ward system. I have not heard a single one tell me yet of the bad results that are going to follow in the case of Cork if we were to divide the city into three areas. If there are bad results, what are they? Let us know them. I am quite prepared to take any steps to obviate any evils that may result, and to support any measure that would prevent those evils. Let us hear what the evils are, so that we may know them and see in what way we can avoid them.
The President says that he knows about the evils of the ward system, and he tried to throw ridicule on it. I hold that in all these matters the people should be sufficiently represented in the council, and that their representatives should be able to defend their interests and give expression to their viewpoint. I have not heard, as I have said, a single argument put forward for the one-year annual election. The only one I saw any basis for was that about splitting up the city. The President said under the old system they had annual elections in Dublin, and so on. If they had, and if it was wrong and there was no basis for it, surely now is the time to change and not to continue it. I have not heard the President defend it. It is quite possible to talk about evils in connection with it. Are we going to start now on the new with the opportunity of getting the people behind us —to start in this particular case with a form of government that will have to be changed, as I am certain I can predict, if put into operation in this particular way?
Mr. GOREY: As an outsider who knows nothing about and has no experience whatever of city administration, I would like to intervene in this debate for a few moments. There is no use getting into a temper on this subject, as Deputy de Valera has done. Deputy Flinn has shown a good example for the first time in dealing with this. The object of this Bill is to try to get away from the parish or ward system. In so far as that is its object it is a sound measure. I know from experience that administrators can get elected on the ward system who would not get elected on the whole city system, because they have been able to swing the lead in the interests of wards and of groups, and in their administration they have been able to get appointments and jobs for their friends. They are able to confer benefits on a ward, but not on a city as a whole. A ward administrator is a bad administrator for the city and the community as a whole. If you can do away with him so much the better. Experience shows that a man could get elected for a local area who would not be elected for the city as a whole, and he is a poor type of administrator of whom that can be said. In fact, it is a black mark against him. An administrator who can get elected by the community as a whole, and who can command their respect is the best administrator. If we are to have fifteen candidates elected at the one time what sort of ballot paper would we need? It is almost certain we will have on that ballot paper the names of four times as many people as there are vacancies for. If there are thirty vacancies at a triennial election it may be anticipated that there would be at least one hundred candidates. To deal with these is a job for a university professor. Deputy Flinn may be able to mark intelligently such a paper, and to give his preferences in the order of merit as regards the whole one hundred, but he would be cutting it very fine when he is going from the ninety-ninth to the one hundredth. I had the experience of marking a ballot paper in a Seanad election, and after marking fifteen or twenty I found it no easy matter to go further. In my opinion the Bill is a  good one, because it provides for the election of only five at a time, and because a man who can get elected on a big franchise and who can command the respect of the whole city will make the best administrator.
Mr. BARRY EGAN: We have heard a great deal about what, to my mind, is a very unimportant point in the Bill. We have had hair-splitting arguments about the number of people who will be elected and the method of election— whether you will have five elected each year for three years, or fifteen in one year. The fact is that at the end of three years we will from that on have a full Corporation. What is aimed at and what you will get, I believe, in Cork is a Corporation composed of men who are worthy to govern the city, and they will not be confined, as Deputy de Valera said, to any one class. They will not be confined to captains of industry, for the people of Cork know very well that they have in the various classes of society men of outstanding merits, and they will not hesitate to elect these men. It will be a relief to the citizens of Cork to know that they will have a body of men elected who will govern the city in a progressive fashion, and that they will not belong to distinct political parties, that they will be above all parties. That is what I think the Bill is aiming at, to enable the citizens to get men who will work in the interests of the city as a whole, and lift it out of the state of depression which has been caused by the economic conditions of the last ten years. There has been a good deal of extraordinary and rather wild talk regarding this Bill. I do not say that there is any great sincerity behind the appeal not to deal with this in a party fashion. It would be a wonderfully good thing if we could, but I do not see  that there is any give and take. There has been a good deal spoken about what is autocratic and what is democratic, and because a speaker said it was so he was an infallible judge of what is good and bad. The Government has produced a Bill that was for the good of Cork city, but in a Deputy's opinion that was not true, and it was a bad Bill. I must say my opinion is the opposite.
Mr. ANTHONY: What is the Deputy's opinion? I would like to dispose of the arguments of some of the Deputies, particularly Deputy Gorey's, as far as the ward system is concerned. Personally I do not stand for the ward system, but to show that there are points of difference between even members of the Labour Party on this particular portion of the Bill, I want to make myself vocal on that. Many evils have arisen as a result of the ward system. I do not favour the Bill as a whole, but would suggest making the whole city one area, and that will satisfy perhaps the misgivings of Deputy Gorey.
Mr. ANTHONY: I want to direct the attention of the House to what has already been said, that many of these amendments stand together. In considering one of the amendments you have to link it up with another. Taking the Bill as a whole, it is an insult to the intelligence of the citizens of Cork. Whether the House decides to have elections annually, or to have the city divided into wards, or have the city one electoral area, I do not much mind, but underlying the Bill is a negation of the whole democratic idea.
What I want to see done here is to have the whole Bill inverted, to place power in the hands of the elected representatives of the people and to make the manager the servant of the people through their elected representatives. While admitting that the manager system may be an improvement on the old Corporation system. I seek at the same time, as I indicated earlier in the debate,  by my amendments, to make this Bill more acceptable to the people. I am not enamoured of the Bill in its original form, and for that reason I put down amendments. I want to disabuse the minds of Deputies who may think that the citizens of Cork are unanimous in having the city split up into wards. They are not. I have endeavoured to elucidate the views of citizens of all classes. There is no consensus of opinion amongst them so far as the ward system is concerned. So far as I can gather, the whole idea is to have the city one area of election, have all the members elected in one year, and have triennial elections afterwards. It is only by such system that you will get proper representation and have all classes of the community represented.
A number of the citizens of Cork, those who do any thinking at all, believe if this Bill were adopted in its present form, even if you had a ward system, that the present administration is capable of gerrymandering the wards. It has been done in another part of the country. From what I know of the Minister's Department, I believe they are capable of doing that and of gerrymandering the wards so as to return the type of representative mentioned by Deputy Flinn, a type that does not represent the people of Cork, namely, men like Sir Stanley Harrington and his class. We here are the representatives of Cork—Deputy Lord Mayor French. Deputy Flinn, myself and a lesser light in the shape of Deputy Barry Egan. Surely we three, at any rate, are entitled to speak for the citizens, as we have been duly elected, and we should be able to translate the opinions of those with whom we have discussed the question. I submit that the Minister should allow the Deputies in his Party to vote on this matter as a non-Party question. To show that I am not taking it in a Party manner, I intend to vote with the Government Party, so far as I take it to be their policy to make the city one area, but I am out against them so far as the other provisions of the Bill are concerned.
General MULCAHY: There has been a Corporation of fifty-five members, and no one has complained that that was not democratic representation,  but everyone admitted that it was too large to carry out the business of the city. We are at a process now of finding out what size the council should be, and how we could get a council that would be representative of the people and able to do the work of the city. Deputy de Valera wants an election every three years, giving a council of thirty. If we go back to Deputy Flinn's point, that electing five people in the city as a whole at one time is not going to give representation to certain minorities that should be represented, that means that a minority of one-sixth of the electorate is going to get representation. If he is satisfied that a minority smaller than one-sixth should get representation, I say that dividing the city into three parts and having triennial elections is not going to make any difference as compared with having the city as the area and having annual elections. He must increase the number beyond fifteen if he is going to get these people represented. We have in Deputy de Valera's own suggestion in connection with the Bill the belief that thirty members could not, as a group, properly discharge the functions of the council, and he has to fall back on an executive council.
Mr. DE VALERA: I am sure that the Minister does not wish to misrepresent me or my amendment, but his statement is a misrepresentation. Inasmuch as this Bill is going to give administrative functions to a single individual, a lot of the difficulties of a large body disappear. They had a lot of difficulty in large bodies before, because they had not merely deliberative but administrative functions. When you are going to relieve them of their administrative functions and when they have only to decide on large lines of policy, it seems to me that a large number is not a disadvantage but the reverse. The question is what should the number be? My suggestion of a board of aldermen was to have a general purposes committee of the whole body, a standing general purposes committee, that would be available for consultation with the manager. The Minister will please not say that I do not think that the body as a whole could not discharge their functions. They discharge the functions  they are intended to discharge, such as deciding matters of policy, while the details of administration would be in the hands of the manager and there would be portion of the council available for consultation when required.
General MULCAHY: I do not understand the Deputy's idea of what the manager is to be, but to me his introduction of a board of aldermen shows that he believes that 30 would be too large a council to do the work.
Mr. DE VALERA: The administrative and deliberative functions are separated. In so far as the deliberative functions are concerned, I hold that a big council is not a disadvantage but, within reasonable limits, an advantage. When you come down to associate the manager with the details of administration then you do want a small body. That is the purpose of my amendment in regard to a board of aldermen—that there would be a small body to keep in closer contact with the administrative side of the work—that is, with the manager's administrative functions, and to keep in closer contact with him on behalf of the council as a whole. That is where we differ, probably. You want to give him greater power or rather more independence, than I do.
General MULCAHY: At any rate a large council stands condemned. You look for a small council, and we are discussing whether we shall get that small council at annual or triennial elections. We were told by Deputy de Valera in his previous outburst that if he does not carry his amendment as to a triennial election as against an annual election, then his guns are to be unmasked against the manager system. He asked me if I am going to oppose him steadfastly on that attitude. I am, I am going to stand absolutely stout  for the principles in this Bill in which I believe. I believe that by an annual election you are safeguarding the city as a whole; you are going to have a homogeneous and not a heterogeneous Cork divided into wards, and you are going to get a representative council. In reply to Deputy Boland, I say if you have 15,000 votes cast in Cork for five persons going up for the whole city, with 3,000 votes to each person, and if you put against that five persons going up in three wards, having the same 15,000 votes cast, each averaging 1,000 votes, the council you would get of the three fives, each of whom received 3,000 votes, will be more representative than the council of 15, each  of whom received 1,000 votes. You get a better representation, and you get an evener flow in the work of the city, less party policies and less party politics. You get what is important at the present moment: you get a transition from the commissioner system to the manager system plus a council, by means of a small council with a manager at the start off. The council will deal more satisfactorily with the manager and the manager will deal more satisfactorily with the council when you have in the beginning a small council rather than a big council.
|Aird, William P.
Alton, Ernest Henry.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Bourke, Séamus A.
Byrne, John Joseph.
Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
Connolly, Michael P.
Cooper, Bryan Ricco.
Cosgrave, William T.
Craig, Sir James.
De Loughrey, Peter.
Doyle, Peadar Seán.
Duggan, Edmund John.
Egan, Barry M.
Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
Gorey, Denis J.
Hassett, John J.
Heffernan, Michael R.
Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
Law, Hugh Alexander.
Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
McFadden, Michael Og.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Murphy, James E.
Myles, James Sproule.
Nally, Martin Michael.
Nolan, John Thomas.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
O'Reilly, John J.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Shaw, Patrick W.
Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
Thrift, William Edward.
White, Vincent Joseph.
Wolfe, Jasper Travers.
Carty, Frank. Crowley, Tadhg.
De Valera, Eamon.
Gorry, Patrick J.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Kent, William R.
Killane, James Joseph.
|Cassidy, Archie J.
Corry, Martin John.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh. Kilroy, Michael.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
O'Hanlon, John F.
Powell, Thomas P.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Sheehy, Timothy (Tipperary).
Ward, Francis C.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies P. Doyle and Duggan; Níl: Deputies Anthony and Flinn. Question declared carried.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: The decision in regard to amendment No. 2 affects amendment No. 3. Amendment No. 3 falls with amendment No. 2.
Amendment 4:—To delete sub-section (2) and to substitute the following:—
“(2) At every borough election the borough shall form three electoral areas, as set out in the Schedule hereunder, and the total number of members elected shall be 30.”—(Deputy de Valera.)
It is suggested that amendment No. 4 should be amended by the omission of the words “and the total number of members elected shall be thirty.”
Mr. DE VALERA: It is obvious from what I have said that I am not in favour of the ward system for its own sake at all or in favour of the system that is called the division of the city into parts for its own sake. The whole process of dividing the city into parts was to make it possible to have a large council. It is very difficult to deal with this particular amendment without debating at the same time or having a decision on the size of the council. If you are going to have a yearly election, as is suggested here, of five members, then the size of the council will be fifteen. What I want to see is how far the last decision is going to affect this or what is its possible effect on this. So far as I know, the only section that has been passed so far is that in every borough election the borough shall form one electoral area. “A borough election shall be held in the year 1928 and in every year thereafter.” That is all that has been passed. Then, that being so, it is a question of what the size of the council is going to be. Personally, I do not like yearly elections. I would not like yearly elections for the whole council. That is the difficulty we are involved in, that we do not want yearly elections for the whole council. That is certainly not the best thing. The whole question, as I take it, is that we will be compelled more or less by this to have a portion retiring every year, though it is not specifically passed—the whole question is that portion will retire every year and that we will have only a portion of the council. So the alternative that we are now left with as a result of the last decision is whether we would have yearly elections or a large council with a certain number retiring each year. As far as I am concerned, I am in favour of a large council. When it is finally constituted, I believe in having a large council, and when I say a large council it would be more accurate to say not a very small council as is proposed—a council of fifteen members.
I indicated, on the First Reading of the Bill, that I believed that a council  consisting of twenty-five to thirty members would be a fair size, and I put down thirty, working out the whole scheme in accordance with these electoral areas. It seems, therefore, that we are working out to a position that we will have about ten retiring each year if my amendment is agreed to. I think it is better, at this stage not to press the amendment, but to wait until the Report Stage or some other stage until the decisions shall have developed the scheme further. I am afraid that we would simply get into a position in which no finality would be reached at all. I will not press the amendment at this stage.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Mr. ANTHONY: Amendment No. 5, standing in my name, reads:
In Section 2, line 13, to delete the word “five” and to substitute the word “seven.”
I think we will now be able to get unanimity on the question of the electoral areas, and in view of the fact that I anticipate that unanimity, I think that the objections which the Minister raised in reference to the numbers are met. I seek to have twenty-one members elected ultimately to the Corporation, and though I would much prefer to see the whole twenty-one elected at the beginning, if you accept the three sevens, we may be able to come to some arrangement or compromise, if you like, as to the period over which the election will be spread. I would suggest at this stage what I indicated in my amendment, that we would have the figure of “seven” inserted in the Bill instead of “five.” This would give you an ultimate Corporation of twenty-one.
Mr. O'HANLON: If there is no other way out of it, I would agree with Deputy Anthony and I would ask the Minister would he consider in the first place to put in the word “fifteen” instead of “five,” and at the end of that sub-section to add in the words “in the year 1928,” and afterwards make provision for five to retire annually. I think that would go a long way to meet some of the objections that have been put up to the Bill, and in any case it  would constitute the Corporation in the first year. Elect the fifteen highest on the ballot, and then the five lowest of these in that list would retire at the end of the first year.
Mr. ANTHONY: If the Minister would accept Deputy O'Hanlon's suggestion, I would be prepared to withdraw my amendment.
General MULCAHY: I find myself torn between Deputy Anthony's recommendation, putting in seven now and having an ultimate council of twenty-one, and Deputy O'Hanlon's suggestion to have a Corporation of fifteen now and have five going out each year. I do feel that a council of fifteen ultimately is a better council for the government of Cork than a council of twenty-one. On the other hand, I feel that a smaller council put in now is going to settle down more harmoniously, to find out the actual work that lies before it, than a larger council. I will undertake that if this amendment of Deputy Anthony's is not moved now to bring on the Report Stage an amendment to change “five” to “seven,” or an amendment that will carry out the alternative proposal made by Deputy O'Hanlon.
Mr. O'HANLON: One of my reasons for having the Corporation fully constituted in the first year is that I have consideration for the five men who will be elected, assuming there are five. Remember that you are constituting a Corporation now after a lapse of time. You are correcting, say, the Commissioner system, and we will assume that your efforts are to improve on the Commissioner system. Let us say that five men are elected and they carry on for twelve months with a manager. I think it is due to those five men to say that that is the wrong way to start. Mind you, the eyes of the people of Cork and of the Saorstát will be on this experiment. These five men will be watched very carefully, and the ratepayers will say either of two things—that these five men are working hand-in-glove with the manager, have decided to work in with all his ideas, or there will be suggestions made as to the manner in which the work is carried out. It may be said that this small number of men  who can only effect a change by a majority of four to one, is being dominated by the manager, that they are only jelly-fish and should not be elected at all. Such a state of affairs could not occur if you constitute the full Corporation of fifteen men. Whatever their functions may be, and they will be limited, and whatever is going to happen, it is better to have the whole council constituted at once and have it properly working than to give the idea that the manager and the first five are working together and, perhaps, working against the interests of the people, as might easily be assumed.
Mr. ANTHONY: In view of the Minister's assurance, I will withdraw my amendment.
Mr. LEMASS: Is it not necessary to get the consent of the House in order to withdraw an amendment?
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: It is well to get the Deputy's consent first. Is there any objection to the amendment being withdrawn?
Mr. LEMASS: Yes. As far as we are concerned, we will not be satisfied with the arrangement now suggested between Deputy Anthony and the Minister. We think this matter of city government is too serious to be settled in this way. We are convinced that a council of at least thirty would be required to ensure that there will be adequate representation for every section in the life of Cork city, and to ensure that there will be the fullest possible discussion upon the proper policy to adopt for the development of the city. Not merely are we convinced that the council which it is proposed to establish is numerically too small, but if the city government is to be successful the full council must be constituted in the first year. It is not a question of alternative; it is not a question of a larger council or a fully constituted council in the first year. We want both, and any suggestion to the contrary will be opposed as far as we are concerned.
Deputy Anthony's amendment is the only amendment on the paper which will enable us to discuss the size of a council under this scheme. We have already discussed the question of size  in relation to an alternative scheme of election which was suggested. As that alternative has been rejected, we have to consider now the size of the council in relation to the scheme. This scheme involves the annual election of one-third. The two questions which arise are those which I have already mentioned. The first is, what should be the size of the council in order to ensure the best form of administration for the city? Secondly, is it going to help or retard this scheme to have the full council constituted the first year? I believe that the scheme embodied in the Bill is the result of wrong thinking on the part of those who drafted it. There appears to be an impression in the minds of the Government, in the first place, that any Council elected by the people is going to be untrustworthy and possibly corrupt. I was very glad to hear the President, on the occasion of another Bill yesterday, vigorously denying that there was anything like corruption in the public life of this country, and was particularly surprised to hear him say that, in view of the attitude he and his Government took up on another Bill which was discussed last session.
The Minister repeatedly gave us the impression throughout the course of the discussion on this Bill that it is his view that you would not get good city government if you took the course of giving back to the people of Cork the rights which you have already taken from them. I say that wrong thinking is responsible for the drafting of the Bill, particularly the idea to which I have already referred, that you are, by some process in this Bill, giving back these democratic rights in a gradual manner. You are not doing that at all. The full powers of the council of the Corporation will repose in the first body elected, whether that body consists of only five members or of thirty members. The suggestion which has been put forward by the Minister, that that system will enable them to settle down more harmoniously and to realise the difficulties of their work, is just nonsense. The five members who constitute the first council will, undoubtedly, know the difficulty of the work at the end of the first year, but I think they will have to spend a considerable  portion of the next year educating the new five and so on until the third year. Any person here who has been a member of a public board I think will admit that it took him a good year as a member before he felt that he understood what was happening at the majority of the meetings. It would be much better, both in the interest of the scheme as it stands and in the interest of the scheme as I would like to see it, if the Government trusted the people a little more and agreed to the proposal that the full council should be constituted at the beginning. I believe it would help the scheme. I believe you are endangering its success by the method suggested. The Minister may, no doubt, tell us that he feels, as he said, that a council of fifteen is better than a council of twenty-one. But that surely is not a matter on which the Dáil is going to be satisfied. The Dáil will not, I hope, adopt this suggestion merely because the Minister feels it is the right one. We must be satisfied that it is right. He has not as yet put forward any satisfactory argument to lead us to that conclusion. He, no doubt, advanced the theory, which has already been questioned, that a council consisting of five members elected on one occasion will be more representative than a council consisting of fifteen members elected on one occasion.
General MULCAHY: I never said anything like it.
Mr. LEMASS: That members who are elected on an occasion when only five are elected will be more representative than members elected on an occasion when fifteen are elected. Otherwise, that when I was elected for Dublin City South on the occasion of a by-election I was more representative than when I was elected at a general election. That is the Minister's theory, but it does not work out. We are not concerned with the representativess of the members; what we are concerned with is the representativeness of the council.
The PRESIDENT: Some members.
Mr. LEMASS: We want a council that would be representative of all the  various interests that constitute the life of Cork or any other city. To suggest that if you have a major interest represented on the council you will have secured a good council for your purpose is think, erroneous. We will have to get a council that will reflect in every way the various interests that undoubtedly exist in every city. That reflection of these interests can best be secured in a council consisting of about thirty members or twenty-seven members. I would be in favour of one member per thousand voters on the register, and that would give a council of twenty-seven. Whether twenty-seven or thirty, we are convinced that fifteen is too few, particularly when elected in the manner suggested. As far as the withdrawal of the amendment is concerned, we are opposed to it. We would rather get a decision on the size of the council now and not to wait until there have been any behind-the-scene negotiations between the Minister and Deputy Anthony.
The PRESIDENT: I wonder if that is a reasonable request? The Deputy's leader has just asked permission to withdraw an amendment he had down, and the permission was granted and the question was left over.
Mr. LEMASS: As far as we are concerned the amendment which Deputy de Valera referred to can be discussed now, but it will mean a repetition of the discussion we have had.
The PRESIDENT: He discussed the amendment and then asked permission to withdraw it.
Mr. DE VALERA: I want the President to be clear about what was actually done. There was an arrangement made with the Ceann Comhairle to divide the amendment into two parts and discuss at this particular stage only the portion dealing with the wards. Now, to me the division of the city into areas is simply a device to enable a large council to be elected without an unreasonably large ballot paper. I am leaving over, as far as I am concerned, the question of electoral areas until we have come to a decision upon this question.
The PRESIDENT: Not without the permission of the House.
Mr. DE VALERA: With the permission of the House.
The PRESIDENT: Deputy Anthony asks now the same courtesy from the House in respect of another matter which may not be decided now but may be decided later on.
Mr. LEMASS: On different grounds.
The PRESIDENT: It arose out of a proposal made by Deputy O'Hanlon, and the decision that has just been taken in respect of Section 3 (1) leaves the matter, so far as the Minister is concerned, in a different position from what it was. It may be that the Minister might, on reflection, consider that a large ballot paper occuring only once was something which might be contemplated, allowing for one-third of the persons elected going out the following year. I submit that it is scarcely fair to object to Deputy Anthony withdrawing the amendment in order to have the matter reviewed before the next stage, as the courtesy of the House has just been extended to the Party opposite in respect of another amendment. That amendment affects, to a very considerable extent, the same question—the number of the council. Both are concerned with that, and the amendment as it stood was not one which lent itself to easy settlement, having regard to the decision which has just been taken. I think it is not fair to Deputy Anthony and Deputy O'Hanlon to object to this amendment being withdrawn, having had that courtesy extended to themselves.
Mr. ANTHONY: I should like Deputy Lemass and the House to know that I was influenced largely by the remarks of Deputy O'Hanlon. I have, at the same time, not bound myself to accept any scheme the Minister may bring forward. I have not bound myself to anything. I should also like to tell Deputy Lemass that I have never gone behind the scenes in any period of my life and that I am not going to go behind the scenes now. I do not care a tuppenny ticket about Deputy Lemass or any Minister, if that is any use to him. The Minister has indicated that he  has seen something good in my amendment and something good in Deputy O'Hanlon's suggestion, and that he may evolve from the two something that may be acceptable to all.
The PRESIDENT: Alternatively, it is open to the Deputies to put down the amendments again.
General MULCAHY: As well as the portion about electoral areas will that portion of Deputy de Valera's amendment (No. 4) which proposes that the total number of members elected shall be thirty, come forward again?
Mr. DE VALERA: Perhaps it would settle the matter if we agree that the whole question of the numbers be left over. Is that the position?
The PRESIDENT: Deputy Lemass objected to that.
Mr. LEMASS: Deputy Anthony gave me the impression that he wanted to withdraw his amendment and that he was agreeing to what the Minister said, that on the Report Stage he would bring forward an amendment that would either be that suggested by Deputy Anthony or Deputy O'Hanlon——
The PRESIDENT: That was the minimum of the Minister's undertaking.
Mr. LEMASS: He gave me the impression that he would be satisfied with either. We want both.
The PRESIDENT: I did not think so. Deputy Anthony was prepared to wait until he saw what the Minister's best effort would be, and I was prepared, for my own part, to do my endeavour to convince the Minister, in the meantime, if that would not be considered an irregularity by Deputy Lemass, of the advisability of having the whole council elected at the first time. One of the troubles I see is the huge ballot paper, but that will only occur once. My objection to a huge ballot paper was that in my previous experience of elections, persons who came towards the end of the ballot paper in connection with certain elections—municipal elections, so that Deputy Flinn need not be offended—were  not always the class that would be elected if a smaller number were under consideration.
Mr. LEMASS: We would be willing to leave over that question of the size of the council to the Report Stage.
The PRESIDENT: That is, that these two amendments will not be moved now.
Mr. DE VALERA: Will the section be moved?
The PRESIDENT: The section will have to be moved, because we will have to get on.
Mr. DE VALERA: Then we will vote against the section. We shall be content by indicating our view by voting against the section.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment 6 not moved.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: With regard to amendment 7, it seeks to extend the law as at present existing.
Mr. O'HANLON: That would arise afterwards, whatever arrangement is come to.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: I was going to suggest that if that amendment were carried, Section 4 would have to be deleted. I suggest that that could come on for discussion on the question that Section 4 stand part of the Bill.
General MULCAHY: If this amendment was carried, then every time a casual vacancy occurred there would have to be an election.
Mr. O'HANLON: No.
General MULCAHY: Amendment 13, I think, makes arrangements by which casual vacancies can be filled in a particular way.
Mr. O'HANLON: No. If this amendment was carried, it would leave the filling of casual vacancies as they are at present.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: I suggest that the matter can be discussed  on the question that Section 4 stand part of the Bill.
Amendment 7, 8 and 9 not moved.
Mr. O'HANLON: I move amendment 10:—
To add at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—
“The voting at a borough election shall be on the principle of proportional representation, and each elector shall have one non-transferable vote which shall be given by ballot.”
This is what might be termed a rather revolutionary amendment. I have heard much since the debate started, from the President and others, to convince me that this is going to be a solution of the most knotty point in the Bill—that is, the question of a large ballot paper and the President's view about the group system. The President's words were that certain persons would be carried by the group system that would otherwise not be carried. I shall make it clear that this is the purest form of proportional representation. What we have in operation at present is proportional representation by the single transferable vote system. I suppose it is hardly necessary to explain to the House, but it might be to about ninety per cent. of the electorate, that when they vote under the present system of proportional representation whoever gets that vote ultimately only gets that vote and nothing more—the 100 per cent. vote. But there is also under the present system the possibility of a candidate getting, say, 75 per cent. of your vote and another 25 per cent. or whatever percentage you like. That is to say, a candidate with a surplus is credited with your vote in the first instance. He does not require it, and the percentage of your vote goes on to the next candidate in order. Now one of the great difficulties under the present system of proportional representation is just what the President said a few moments ago: that there are good men carrying bad men on their backs too often. To avoid that system, I suggest the adoption of the single non-transferable vote.
A great number of people confuse this idea with the old system of voting with a cross. Take this case dealing  with a ballot paper with fifteen candidates to be elected. Under the old system in operation, prior to the present proportional representation system, an elector went into the polling booth and marked fifteen crosses on his ballot paper. He was not bound to do that, and he might plump for one, or vote for two, three or four candidates, but as long as he did not exceed the number of vacancies to be filled he had a perfectly valid paper. If there were fifteen vancancies and he marked sixteen crosses, then his paper was spoiled. Under the system which I suggest, every elector has the same power to vote as under the present system of proportional representation—that is, he has one vote, but he cannot transfer that vote. The effect of this system would be this. Take it in groups or parties or sections of the community. Let us take the two big parties in this House as a case in point, and I do not reflect in any way on one side or another as to how they were elected. I am only using them in illustration. Let us suppose that in a certain instance there are five seats to be filled and the Cumann na nGaedheal Party decide to run five candidates and the Fianna Fáil Party decide to run five— they are both looking for the full number. In nine cases out of ten, both Parties probably have only two good men each, but they have got to put forward five candidates. There is always the chance of getting three by one side and the other side may get three or even four, as the case may be, but they will only get them if they run the full number of candidates. The first and most important effect of this system is that these Parties, when they want to secure a vacancy and when they have the necessary support in whatever constituency they are fighting, run five on the off-chance of getting in four. They want, say, two good men, but there is no discrimination used as to who are to follow the one or two good men that they are pretty certain of returning, only the foolishness of the elector, who does what he is told and gives his preference 1, 2, 3 or 4—without the slightest knowledge of the capability of the second, third or fourth to whom he gives his preferences. I would like  to see this adopted as an experiment in Cork.
Mr. CAREY: Why Cork? Why not try it in Dublin?
Mr. O'HANLON: Cork is the only place where we have the opportunity of trying it at the moment. What is wanted in Cork, and what we are now discussing, is the best means of securing that the best men will put up for election. You will secure that the best men in Cork will be put up for election. A man who is popular and able and is going to devote his time to the business knows there is a quota of people that will support him. He knows very well that his votes are not going to be thrown away to anyone else, and every mark put down for him is put down for him alone. Take an illustration. Take Cork, with twenty-seven thousand of a voting strength; there are fifteen vacancies to be filled. We will leave out of consideration parties. Say there are thirty candidates. Deputy Gorey suggests there might be a hundred. One thing is certain, you will have much fewer candidates under this system than under the transferable system. Say there are five or six outstanding men, the popular choice of the people, bound to be elected. Those five men may represent amongt them, say, eighteen thousand; that is, two-thirds of the whole. They get those eighteen thousand votes and hold them. There are nine thousand votes remaining. They will be distributed proportionately for the remaining ten to be elected. There will be no transfer and no one riding in on anyone else's back, and the people of Cork, when they go to the polling booth, will not be confused by a large ballot paper simply because they have made up their minds, have had the common foresight, to vote for Smith—that is the man they want. There is no question of somebody putting a long list into their hands and saying, “Vote 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.” The people up to the present have not been voting for men with capacity to adMinister, but like machines for numbers for what is put into their hands. If you adopt this system you will get people to make up their minds to say. “There is one good man I know, and I will vote for that man.” The elector  comes in and looks for the name of the man he wants to vote for. He puts his mark down for that man, and goes home satisfied that no one else will get that vote. Under the present system 35 per cent. of the voters who record their votes and give five or six preferences could not tell you who got the votes except that they voted for the first man. I do not want to rush this thing. I wrote a great deal about it four or five years ago, and have discussed this matter with the man who introduced proportional representation into this country, Mr. Humphries. I have had a long controversy with him, and I am perfectly satisfied, as he is satisfied, that it is a workable scheme. It is a question entirely of whether it is a better scheme than the other. My idea is that it saves confusion to the electors.
There is nothing more satisfying to the electors and nothing which would bring a larger percentage to the ballot as the knowledge of the fact that where the elector records his vote he knows exactly what he is doing. At present 75 per cent. do not know what they are doing. They are not acting off their own bat or on their own knowledge, political or otherwise, when they vote for people. If the Deputies would like further to consider this scheme I would be prepared, with the will of the House, to defer it for consideration to the Report Stage. I would for several reasons prefer it was left over to the Report Stage until the general idea got into the heads of the Deputies and people outside. I am satisfied if this system of voting were brought in you would have the best council that ever administered in Cork simply because it would be a council that, without any question, would be the choice of the majority of Cork, and it would not be a council simply in which there was only one outstanding man acting in a group with four or five who would not make good administrators. It is no experiment. It is perfectly sound. If you adopt it in Cork I have no doubt that this system of voting will be adopted generally and bring about, perhaps even in this House, a better system of administration.
Mr. FLINN: I am very interested in the proposition, and very greatful to Deputy O'Hanlon who has had the originality to bring forward something that is new and individual. I do not know if I understand him. I get a ballot paper and a list out of which I am to elect fifteen people.
Mr. O'HANLON: You only take one.
Mr. FLINN: I am going to put my difficulties to you. There are fifteen people to be elected for Cork. I get a ballot paper with 30 names. I am allowed to put one vote and one mark on that, nothing else. I have got the whole scheme?
Mr. O'HANLON: Yes.
Mr. FLINN: There are no tails tied to it either.
Mr. O'HANLON: No.
Mr. FLINN: Deputy O'Hanlon states that that system is going to produce something that will get us perfectly clear of the effects of groups.
Mr. O'HANLON: Right.
Mr. FLINN: Oh, for the illusions of Deputy O'Hanlon. A man went to another and said: “Will you lend me ——”“Money,” said the other. “No, not money; I want illusions. I have got none. I am bankrupt of illusions.” When I am bankrupt of illusions again I will go to Deputy O'Hanlon because I know how that system works and have worked it. How did we elect in Liverpool the members of the school boards? By that system exactly. Now what happened? The Catholics, because they were well organised and because they did exactly what they were told, returned about twice as many people as they were entitled to until the others woke up to what was happening. What used to happen was that every single elector— as far as I am concerned, and I was concerned—got a piece of paper which told him to vote X. His group sent him a note to vote X. Another man got from his group the intimation to vote Y. And the next man got Z. This is what happened in the election. The first man on the other side got seventeen thousand  votes. The second man on the other side got sixteen thousand votes. Somewhere down along the list there was a list of our men: 8,421, 8,420, 8,319, dead accurate. If you want the system by which sound organisation can really log-roll an election the perfect system offered to you by Deputy O'Hanlon will give it to you, and I speak with knowledge of the practice.
Mr. O'HANLON: I listened with much interest to Deputy Flinn, and I was rather surprised at his speech, coming from possibly one of the best organised Parties in the Dáil. He objects to this system.
Mr. FLINN: I am not saying one word against the system.
Mr. O'HANLON: He objects to the system because it is a system by which the people can understand what they are doing, and elect X, Y and Z because they are good men. What is the difference between three groups, one voting X, another Y, and another Z, and one group, the lot of them combined, all voting X, Y and Z, when X is the only man that is worth electing? That is the difference between the two systems. We have it on Deputy Flinn's own admission that there were three good candidates, and that the three of them got elected on their own strength. He put that case as against the system at present of putting in X, Y and Z, or 1, 2, 3 and 4 into the voter's hands, and he does not know who the 1, 2, 3 and 4 are. There is one advantage, if there is no other, and even granted that Deputy Flinn's argument holds good, which it does not—it is absurd—is it not a better idea that the voter votes for X rather than for No. 1? Is it not better that he should know the name of the candidate for whom he votes?
Mr. FLINN: We knew the names and nothing else.
Mr. O'HANLON: You did not tell the names of the candidates.
Mr. FLINN: I will explain to you.
Mr. O'HANLON: You made a most outrageous statement that they got twice as many as they were entitled to.
Mr. FLINN: The others wasted their votes.
Mr. O'HANLON: With all respect to Deputy Flinn, he does not understand this system—wherever he got his ideas about Liverpool—he must have had a bad dream last night. There was never an election such as Deputy Flinn spoke of. It could not occur under this system.
Mr. LEMASS: I am in a difficulty. I want to ask Deputy O'Hanlon if he has considered this one possible defect in his system of election. There are 27,000 votes in Cork. There will be five candidates elected. I presume Deputy Flinn goes forward as a candidate and gets 26,000 votes and Deputy Anthony goes forward and gets the other 1,000. How are you going to get the others elected?
Mr. O'HANLON: The complete answer to that is that no man should stand for a constituency in which he will not get a vote.
General MULCAHY: Deputy Lemass, I think, has disposed of the plan, but to disabuse Deputy O'Hanlon's mind as to the terrible results that are brought about by the present system, take the results of the General Elections. Look at a few constituencies. Compare the first preferences with the men who were first on the list. If you take the first eight in Donegal, those who got the first preferences were the same eight who were subsequently elected, except that the final order was different from the order of the first preferences. It was the same in West Cork, North Cork, and East Cork. We had to wait until we got to Cork borough to find a change. The business vote won one seat and Labour lost one. If you go through the whole there is only a fractional change here and there. So that the bringing in of the objectionable tail is not borne out by the results any more than it is borne out by looking around the Chamber. As far as the objections to the scheme itself are concerned, Deputy Lemass pointed out in an exaggerated form that the people would not be able to elect the candidates they wanted to elect. As between two good administrators in any particular area, a person  who has a genial disposition gets all the votes, whereas the numbers two go to the others, but they cannot be transferred even though the surplus may be large.
Mr. O'HANLON: Do you not think that a voter would be better satisfied by having only one vote rather than having a number that he or she does not understand? You can beat any system or suggestion by making an exaggerated statement such as Deputy Lemass has put forward. I do not think what he suggested is possible. I have seen an election in this country where Deputy de Valera was elected first, getting something like 22,000 votes, whereas the man next to him got only 114.
Mr. CARNEY: Suppose it occurred under your system, what would happen?
Mr. O'HANLON: No man could be elected without votes, but if a candidate got one vote and the others got none of course he would be elected, just as some of the gentlemen sitting here did not get 100 first preference votes.
Mr. FLINN: I am quite genuine in congratulating Deputy O'Hanlon on bringing forward a new proposal. Even if it has very beautiful mechanism it has one defect, that it will not work. The point I am putting to Deputy O'Hanlon is that we have had actual experience where a group which was organised and thoroughly disciplined was capable of doing all the things he thought it ought not to do. In other words, this particular group would come together, go through the names and select the number of candidates, which they worked out mathematically, that they thought they would be entitled  to carry. This was at the other side. That is the ordinary method. It all depends on who is the best organised. All I was concerned with was in voting to put in one man of a particular kidney. Every one of us would have sacrificed our personal predilections, because it meant the looking after of the religion of our children in the schools. We simply knew that we had to vote one of that ticket. It did not matter to us who the man was; he had been vetted by the organisation to which we were for the moment loyal or servient, and whether I got the name Quinn, Jones, Williams or O'Hanlon, I voted, and because our organisation was better than the other organisation, and because the loyalty of our voters to that organisation was greater, we did, in fact, get more seats than we were entitled to, until the others woke up. I am not at all against the system; I am not saying one word against it, because I believe that our organisation is the better of the two, and no doubt if it did come to a thing of this kind, because we are the better organisation we probably would get the better result. I am not dealing with that question at all. What I want Deputy O'Hanlon to get out of his mind is that groups and organisations cannot carry in as he said, on the shoulders of one man another. That is a perfect system of organisation that given an organisation and given loyalty among the members of that organisation, the nominees of the organisation shall be carried quite apart from the knowledge of the individual elector of the qualities of the men themselves. That is my actual experience.
Amendment put and declared lost.
Question—“That Section 3 stand part of the Bill”—put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 67; Níl, 63.
|Aird, William P.
Alton, Ernest Henry.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Bourke, Séamus A.
Byrne, John Joseph.
Carey, Edmund. Doyle, Peadar Seán.
Duggan, Edmund John.
Egan, Barry M.
Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
Gorey, Denis J.
Hassett, John J.
Hefferman, Michael R.
Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
Law, Hugh Alexander.
Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
McFadden, Michael Og.
|Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
Connolly, Michael P.
Cooper, Brvan Ricco.
Cosgrave, William T.
De Loughrey Peter.
Doherty, Eugene. Mongan, Joseph W.
Murphy, James E.
Myles, James Sproule.
Nally, Martin Michael.
Nolan, John Thomas.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
O'Reilly, John J.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Shaw, Patrick W.
Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
Thrift, William Edward.
White, Vincent Joseph.
Wolfe, Jasper Travers.
Cassidy, Archie J.
Corry, Martin John.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
De Valera, Eamon.
Gorry, Patrick J.
|Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Kent, William R.
Killane, James Joseph.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
O'Hanlon, John F.
Powell, Thomas P.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Sheehy, Timothy (Tipperary).
Ward, Francis C.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Duggan and P. Doyle; Níl: Deputies G. Boland and Allen.
Question declared carried.
(1) In this section the expression “casual vacancy” means a vacancy in the membership of the Council caused by the death, resignation or disqualification of a member thereof.
(2) Where a casual vacancy occurs in the Council by reason of the death, resignation or disqualification of any member thereof other than a member whose term of office would, but for such death, resignation or disqualification, have continued until the fifth day following the borough election to be held under this Act next after the occurrence of such casual vacancy there shall be elected  at such borough election a member of the Council additional to the five members thereof otherwise required by this Act to be elected at such election and such additional member shall, unless he sooner dies, resigns or becomes disqualified hold office for the residue of the term for which the member whose death, resignation or disqualification occasioned the vacancy would have held office if he had not died, resigned or become disqualified.
(3) The last person elected as a member of the Council at a borough election at which a casual vacancy is by this section required to be filled shall be chosen to fill such vacancy and where more than one casual vacancy is required to be filled at such election the sixth person elected thereat shall be chosen to fill whichever of those vacancies is then to be filled for the longest period of time and so on.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The next three amendments deal with casual vacancies and the method of filling them. It is proposed to take a discussion on these amendments on amendment 11, in the name of Deputy de Valera:—
To delete in sub-section (2), line 39, all words after the words “any member thereof” and to substitute the words “such vacancy shall be filled by co-option at the quarterly meeting of the Council next following.”
To delete sub-section (3).
Mr. DE VALERA: I have been considering the first of these amendments, and, in view of the fact that it was originally intended as a simple means of election, where you had a three years' period, and as that period of three years has gone by the board, with the permission of the House, I will not move these amendments. I may bring in a further amendment later. At this stage, I am prepared to accept the Minister's amendment.
Amendments not moved.
General MULCAHY: I move:—
At the end of sub-section (3) to add two new sub-sections as follows:
 (4) The council may in their absolute discretion by resolution passed for that purpose determine to fill by co-option in accordance with this sub-section the casual vacancy to which such resolution relates, and upon such resolution being passed the council may either at the meeting at which such resolution was passed or any subsequent meeting thereof fill such casual vacancy by the votes of a simple majority of the members of the council present and voting at such meeting.
(5) Every person chosen in pursuance of the provisions of the foregoing sub-section to fill a casual vacancy shall unless he sooner dies, resigns, or becomes disqualified hold office until the day on which the borough election to be held under this Act next after the occurrence of the casual vacancy so filled is so held.
This amendment enables a council, at their discretion, by resolution to fill a casual vacancy by co-option, and the person so co-opted shall remain a member of the council until the next election.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Question—“That Section 4, as amended, stand part of the Bill”—put and agreed to.
(1) The council shall at any time and from time to time after the appointed day consist of the members thereof elected whether before or after the appointed day in accordance with the provisions of this Act whose terms of office are then unexpired.
(2) The members of the council elected at the borough election held in the year 1928 shall be aldermen and the member of the council who is first elected at the borough election held in any subsequent year shall be an alderman.
(3) Every member of the council other than a member who by virtue of the foregoing provisions of this section is an alderman shall be a councillor.
Mr. DE VALERA: I move:—
To delete sub-section (2) and substitute the following:—
“(2) The members of the Council at the first meeting after their election and at the first quarterly meeting in each subsequent year shall elect from their number by proportional representation six persons who shall be aldermen. Any casual vacancy in the body of aldermen shall be filled by election by members of the council.”
That would be part of the general alternative scheme. Leaving aside for the moment the question of triennial elections, which is partly involved, there are two main ideas in it. One is that the aldermen should be chosen by the council rather than be the first members elected at the popular election. There were two reasons in our scheme for that. One was that we believed that giving the mere title of “alderman” without any particular functions was foolish, that there was nothing in it, and that it did not correspond to any particular functions. Under the Minister's scheme “alderman” is now simply an ornamental title, whereas in our scheme the alderman would have a definite function. The functions of aldermen, as I said already, would be as a general purposes committee, to keep in close touch with the administration of the manager. They would be available for him as a consultative body, in certain cases as a board of appeal, and so on. The fact that they were to get definite functions, that they were to act on behalf of the council, made it advisable that they should be selected by the council, and not simply be taken as the first elected. If the scheme of keeping in close touch with the manager is accepted, I think it will be necessary to accept this amendment. If, on the other hand, the Dáil decides that the council is not to be kept in close touch with the administration of the manager then, of course, this amendment will be defeated. I have no particular preference for having the aldermen elected by the council as against being elected by the people if the aldermen have no special functions. If it is to be a purely ornamental title I am not  very much interested in how they are to be elected. But if they are to have functions such as I have indicated in the alternative scheme, then I hold it is important that they should be elected by the council as a whole.
General MULCAHY: The amendment is not being moved?
Mr. DE VALERA: I am moving the amendment.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The amendment could hardly be moved in that form. Part of it would depend on a triennial election. It deals with six persons.
Mr. DE VALERA: The number is left open, and the only effect, as far as I can see, of the passing of the amendment on the question of the number would be to make sure that there would be at least six. There would have to be six at least; if you are to have this piecemeal election, so to speak, you must have a number not less than six at the start.
General MULCAHY: I oppose the amendment. The proposal is that the council should set up a smaller body which could come in in some kind of way between the council and the manager. That smaller body cannot, at any rate in my opinion ought not, take on itself any of the functions that are being reserved to the council as a whole.
Mr. DE VALERA: I think it would help matters if we agreed to take that in connection with the question of the manager's powers.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: I think the amendment will have to be redrafted, in view of the form which the Bill is taking now.
Mr. DE VALERA: That is, of course, the difficulty with all these amendments. Once the Committee has taken a decision that is counter to one you have got to re-arrange them. Under these conditions perhaps it would be better if I moved the amendment at a later stage.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Amendments 15, 16 and 17 depend on amendment 3:—
15. In sub-section (2), line 63, before the word “members” to insert the words “first seven.”—(John F. O'Hanlon.)
16. In sub-section (2), line 64, after the figures “1928” to insert the words “and at subsequent elections.”—(John F. O'Hanlon.)
17. In sub-section (2), line 64, to delete all words after the word “aldermen” to the end of the subsection.—(John F. O'Hanlon.)
Amendment 18 also depends on a previous amendment.
18. To insert below sub-section (3) a new sub-section as follows:—
Each alderman so elected shall hold the office of alderman until the fifth day after the election of aldermen next following and unless previously re-elected shall then retire from such office.—(Eamon de Valera.)
Question proposed: That Section 5 stand part of the Bill.
Mr. LEMASS: On the section, would the Minister tell us why he has embodied aldermen at all in the scheme seeing that they serve no function whatever?
General MULCAHY: It is considered desirable to continue the title of alderman as a mark of distinction for those members of the council who get the most prominent public support at the elections. I do not know that an alderman had any function in the past. At any rate, as far as I know, he has not had any particular function in the recent past, and it is not proposed to give him a particular function under this scheme. It does, I think, help in some way to reward men giving the type of public service that can be given on a city council, men who have the greatest confidence of the people reposed in them, with a title somewhat distinct from the ordinary members of the council.
Mr. DE VALERA: It is merely an ornament.
Mr. BOLAND: In the old days, the aldermen used to wear a cocked hat and a type of robe that was distinctive in colour from that worn by the other members. Will that be incorporated in this Bill?
General MULCAHY: There is nothing to prevent it being done.
Mr. O'HANLON: I remember a distinguished member of a corporation who was an alderman, but being mayor as well, wished to be addressed as “Mr. So-and-So, Mayor of——”
Mr. MOORE: Is it not possible that under the Bill as at present the majority of the council may eventually be aldermen?
General MULCAHY: I propose to bring in an amendment dealing with the question of aldermen when we are quite clear as to the numbers of the council.
Question put and agreed to.
Section 6 and 7 agreed to.
(1) The Council shall directly exercise and perform all and every of the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation in relation to the following matters, that is to say:—
(a) the making of any rate or the borrowing of any moneys,
(b) the making, amending or revoking of any bye-law,
(c) the making of any order and the passing of any resolution by virtue of which any enactment is brought into operation in or made to apply to the Borough and the revoking of any such order and the rescinding of any such resolution,
(d) the application to be made to any authority in respect of the making or revoking of any such order as aforesaid,
(e) the promotion or the opposing in the Oireachtas of any legislation affecting the Borough or any part of the Borough,
 (f) the appointment or election of any person to be a member of any public body,
(g) parliamentary and local elections,
(h) subject to the provisions of this Act, the appointment, suspension and removal of the Manager and the granting of an allowance or gratuity to the Manager on his ceasing to be the Manager, and
(i) the determination of the amount of the salary and remuneration of the Lord Mayor.
(2) The Minister may, subject to the provisions of this section, by order require that the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation in relation to any matter not included in the matters referred to in the foregoing sub-section shall be exercised and performed directly by the Council and upon such order being made the said powers, functions and duties shall as on and from the date specified in that behalf in such order be exercised and performed directly by the Council and shall continue so to be exercised and performed while such order remains in force.
(3) The Minister may, subject to the provisions of this section, revoke an order made by him under this section.
(4) The Minister shall not make or revoke an order under this section save upon the application of the Council made to the Minister in pursuance of a resolution passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the Council present and voting at a meeting thereof and of which resolution not less than one month's notice shall have been given in writing by the Town Clerk to every member of the Council.
(5) Upon receipt by him of any such application as aforesaid the Minister, before (as the case may be) making or revoking an order under this section, may, if he thinks fit, hold a local inquiry into any matters which appear to him to be relevant to the purpose of (as the case may be) making or revoking such order and the provisions of Article 32 of  the Schedule to the Local Government (Application of Enactments) Order, 1898, shall apply to every such local inquiry.
(6) In this Act the expression “reserved, functions” means the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation which are by this section required to be exercised and performed by the Council directly and includes all other powers, functions and duties of the Corporation which are at any time required by an order made under this section and for the time being in force to be exercised and performed by the Council.
Mr. O'HANLON: I move amendment 21:—
To delete sub-sections (1) and (2) and substitute a new sub-section as follows:—
“(1) The Minister may, notwithstanding anything to the contrary provided in the foregoing section of this Act, by Order require that any powers, functions and duties of the Corporation conferred on them by this Act shall be exercised and performed by the person appointed under this Act as the Cork City Manager (in this Act referred to as the Manager).”
The purport of the amendment is pretty plain. It proposes to delete sub-sections (1) and (2) and to substitute a new sub-section. As Deputies may see, sub-section (1) deals with the reserved services, that is, with the functions the Minister intends to give the council. Sub-section (2) gives the Minister power to extend these functions, from time to time. The object of my amendment is that while I would like to see the Corporation elected by the ratepayers getting all the powers possible. I do not want to take out of the hands of the Minister the right to clip their wings, if necessary, if they misbehave themselves. This gives the Minister power to deal with the council should they transgress in any way in the future. There are other amendments to come on later that I think hinge on it, but for the moment I will leave it as it is.
General MULCAHY: The effect of  putting the amendment into the Bill would be that the Minister could not confer any of the functions of the Corporation, say, on the manager without the consent of two-thirds of the members of the council. It would be completely tieing the Minister's hands.
Mr. O'HANLON: I submit that it gives the Minister power. It states that the Minister may, “notwithstanding anything to the contrary provided in the foregoing section of this Act, by Order require that any powers, functions and duties conferred on him by this Act shall be exercised and performed by the person appointed under this Act as the Cork City Manager.” If you take out the reserved ones, it means all the powers which the first section of the Bill gives them. The Bill restores the powers to the Corporation and then takes them all back again. I want to take out the dangerous part, with this distinction, that I do not want to take from the Minister the right to take these powers out of their hands if the Corporation do not conduct themselves, and unless there is any justification for it, I am sure the Minister would not do it without justification. Therefore, I am proposing to give the right to the Minister to reserve certain things or take certain powers out of the hands of the Corporation should circumstances warrant it. It is otherwise provided under what conditions he can add to their powers. Earlier the Minister is given power to confer certain powers on them that are not already specified in the Bill. But this removes all the reservations and gives new power to the Minister to come along and say: “These things are not done properly: we have to take certain powers from you and put them entirely in the hands of the manager.”
Mr. LEMASS: I wonder if Deputy O'Hanlon, when drafting this amendment, considered the advisability of examining the terms of the Public Safety Act. which might be made to apply to the arrest, internment and deporting of members of the council.
General MULCAHY: What would happen under the amendment is, that all power would be taken from the  Minister to confer any of the powers of the Corporation on the manager without a vote of two-thirds of the council. Sub-section 5 of Section 2 says that the duties of the Corporation shall be exercised by the council or the manager. Section 8 proposes that the council shall exercise directly certain powers. As far as I can see, these are powers that ought to be given to the council if the council is to govern the City of Cork; giving them these powers gives them complete governmental control of the city. For the proper carrying out of his executive work by the manager it is not necessary to give him all the other powers until such time as it is arranged that certain other functions after examination should be reserved to the council as distinct from the manager. If Deputy O'Hanlon's amendment were to fit in with the section the Minister would have to specify by order all the different powers he was going to hand over to the manager. It is much simpler to specify the powers reserved to the council and give the rest to the manager.
Mr. O'HANLON: I do not quite see that. Section 2 of the Bill, giving power to dissolve the Board, is wiped out and you restore to the Corporation all the powers they had before.
General MULCAHY: The Deputy must distinguish between the Corporation and the council. The Corporation is a corporate body and the council is a body elected to carry on the duties and responsibilities of the Corporation.
Mr. O'HANLON: Sub-section (3) of Section 2 does not make it very plain.
General MULCAHY: Sub-section (3) of Section 2 restores all the powers taken from the Corporation and handed over to the Commissioner.
Amendment put and declared lost.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Amendment 22 proposes to reserve to the council the making of all contracts over £200. Paragraph J, amendment 26, proposes another scheme with regard to regulations for the making of contracts. There is a further amendment, number 41, by Deputy O'Hanlon,  which proposes to delete sub-section (7) of Section 10, which gives to the manager power to do all such matters and things, including the making of contracts to the Corporation, and so on. It seems to me the best way to get a discussion on the contract question would be on amendment number 41, under which the manager gets power to make contracts.
Mr. O'HANLON: Why skip Section 9?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Section 9 will be put, but the question of contracts will be discussed on sub-section (7) of Section 10, and when that has been decided Deputies can make up their minds regarding other amendments.
Mr. DE VALERA: The suggestion from the Chair is that we should leave over the question of this particular amendment and go on to contracts. At a later stage we can bring on these amendments, when a decision has been taken by the Committee on the question of contracts.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Either at this stage or at a later stage.
Mr. LEMASS: The difficulty to me is that the passing of Deputy de Valera's amendment, number 26, does not involve any alteration in sub-section (7) of Section 10.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Take paragraph J.
Mr. LEMASS: It does not involve any alteration of the other sub-section.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: I will take a discussion on that then. I am only concerned with taking a discussion on one particular point covering the whole matter, and if we can get a decision which would be clear.
General MULCAHY: I think it would be better to take a discussion on Deputy Anthony's amendment, No. 22, for sub-section (7) is rather wider than contracts.
Mr. LEMASS: If Deputy Anthony's amendment were put, I would vote  against it, but I would vote for Deputy de Valera's. If the two amendments were to be decided on one vote there would be a difficulty.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Deputy Anthony's amendment makes a very clear restriction, and it would be easy to vote on it. Deputy de Valera's amendment is another suggestion for making regulations with regard to contracts. I would prefer to take a decision on amendment No. 26, paragraph J, if we do not go on to amendment 41.
Mr. DE VALERA: It is more in connection with the question of reserved powers. The question of contract comes in only incidentally.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Then we will take Deputy Anthony's amendment, and at a later stage take a discussion on contracts by taking Deputy de Valera's amendment 26, paragraph J.
Mr. ANTHONY: I take it that amendments 25, 26 and 27 are intended to retain in the hands of the council the powers of determining the salary of a manager and his responsibilities to the council. I suggest that they should be taken together, if that would suit Deputy de Valera.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: We will postpone amendment 22.
General MULCAHY: I move amendment 23, which is as follows:—
In sub-section (1), before paragraph (e), to insert a new paragraph as follows:—
(e) the making of any order under Section 5 of the Shops Act, 1912 (in that Act referred to as a closing order).
This amendment is put in to make clear the position with regard to the Shops Act. Under that Act there is power in certain areas over definite shops and trades to which the Order applies—fixing the hours of opening and so forth. The amendment is put in to make it clear that it is the council that will make regulations in regard to the Shops Act and not the manager.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Mr. DE VALERA: I move amendment 24, which reads:—
In sub-section (1) (h) to delete the words “an allowance or” and to substitute the word “a” and insert after the word “granting” the words “if the Council so desire.”
This amendment brings up the whole question of the position of the manager, whether he is to be, so to speak, an expert employed for a certain period— five years is the period we indicate in our scheme—with possible reappointment, or whether he should be, so to speak, in the position of a civil servant with a long period of office and be a pensionable officer. Leaving aside for the moment the question as to whether there should be a pension attached to this office, if there is to be a long period, we have to consider the question of the period. If the period is to be a short one, such as we suggest, five years, we think that “allowance,” in so far as it might suggest a yearly allowance or superannuation, should not be there. The Minister's scheme seems to envisage a manager who is to be a permanent officer like a town cleark, with the right to pension. An “allowance” would be an allowance which would attach to that particular office, and the question of giving that allowance should be at the will of the council. We propose to eliminate the word “allowance” and suggest that the question of gratuity or bonus be at the will of the council if they thought that the manager was going out after a short period of office and should get such gratuity.
General MULCAHY: The proposal in the Bill is that the manager should be an officer of the Corporation, like a town cleark, county surveyor, or county officer of health, an expert with definite functions such as those of a county officer of health. If you look for men of energy, enthusiasm, and experience and realise that the administration of civic affairs is a very technical matter, and if a man goes into the position of a city manager and is carrying out his duties satisfactorily, you, at any rate, require to ensure him a tenure of office for the satisfactory carrying on of his business. Otherwise there is no inducement for a person of  energy, experience, and with the necessary qualifications, at perhaps an important period of his life, to take up such position and find himself after five years in the position of having no claim on his office. Under Deputy de Valera's scheme he would have no claim at any time, because he would continue from one period of five years to another period of five years without any guarantee, whereas if you make him an officer of the Corporation he comes in, like a county surveyor or county officer of health, with a definite tenure of office and a definite guarantee that if his term of office is terminated for any particular purpose not brought about through his own fault, if he has less than ten years' service he gets a gratuity which is within the power of the Minister to determine. If his tenure of office terminates after more than ten years' service he is entitled to a pension, which is also within the power of the Minister to determine.
Mr. DE VALERA: Now that we have heard the Minister on this point may I say that this is not the main amendment dealing with this particular matter? It is consequential on another amendment later. That being so, I would prefer not to have a vote on this, as it is only a side-issue at this particular stage. I suggest that we should argue the general question, whether it should, or should not, be a pensionable office, in connection with a later amendment. Perhaps the Minister will be prepared to let it go at that.
General MULCAHY: Yes.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Amendments 25 and 27 raise in another form what is set out in amendments 38 and 39. We can take them here, or, if the Deputy wishes, the matter can be decided on amendments 38 and 39. Here the Deputy is reserving to the council power over the manager, and in amendments 38 and 39 he is giving power to the council. Which amendment will the Deputy move?
Mr. ANTHONY: In amendment 25 and amendment 27 I want to provide for the retention, in the hands of the council, of the power of determining the salary of the manager, and also to  fix his position as one subordinate to the council. I move amendment 25 now:
“In sub-section (1) (i), line 9, to add after the words ‘Lord Mayor’ the words ‘and the manager.’”
General MULCAHY: These amendments practically seek to take away from the Minister the power which he has with regard to most of the important offices in the Local Government services. At the present moment the Minister has power under Section 15 of the Local Government (Temporary Provisions) Act of 1923 to fix, over the heads of local bodies, if necessary, the salary of any officer to which the section applies. Under the Public Health Act of 1898, Section 11, he has power to fix over the heads of local bodies, if necessary, the salary of any sanitary officer, including town clerks, medical officers or dispensary doctors. Under the Local Government Act of 1898 special powers are given in regard to the salaries of county secretaries, county surveyors, assistant county surveyors, and, probably, the resident medical superintendents of asylums. The matter of practice is very strong in the case of county secretaries, county surveyors and assistant county surveyors. This Bill proposes to give the Minister plainly the power which he already has in the case of other officers. I consider that it is important that the Minister should have this particular power. He is in a better position than a local body to decide what the salary should be of a person carrying out the work of a city manager. He is more in touch with the salaries paid in the Civil Service and elsewhere than the Council would be, and it is more satisfactory to fix the matter definitely in the Bill that the Minister should be responsible.
Mr. ANTHONY: Surely the Minister does not want to contend that a Minister would have better knowledge of the economic conditions in any given city or town than the local council would have?
General MULCAHY: It is not a question of the economic conditions; it is a question of what remuneration the city manager should have.
Mr. ANTHONY: To remove any suspicion which the amendment may have created in the mind of the Minister, I might say that he may rest assured that the people elected to this council will treat their manager generously, but at least they should be allowed the privilege of saying what the salary should be. It would be just as well, and it would come as a good gesture from the Minister himself, if he were to leave that in the hands of the newly elected council, because there is a suspicion abroad, founded or unfounded I cannot say, that certain positions will be made in the near future for pets of the Government. I want to be quite frank in this matter. It would be a very good gesture on the part of the Minister if he would allow my amendment to stand. Founded or unfounded, there is a suspicion abroad that the Bill may create jobs for certain pets of the Minister's Department or of some other Department. The sooner that suspicion is removed the better it will be for the country and for all concerned.
Mr. LEMASS: I take it that a decision on this amendment will not be taken as ruling out amendments 38 and 39?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: No, that is another scheme.
Amendment put and negatived.
Mr. DE VALERA: I move amendment 26:
In sub-section (1) to add after paragraph (i) two new paragraphs as follows:—
(j) make regulations, which regulations shall be subject to the approval of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health, concerning the making of contracts for and on behalf of the Corporation;
(k) except where otherwise provided for by law to make general regulations concerning the appointment, promotion and removal of officers and servants of the Corporation (not including the Manager), and fix the minimum and maximum rates of remuneration to be paid to such officers and servants.
 I think that the best way to meet the question of contracts on the one hand is by giving the manager such powers as the council thinks right over negotiating these contracts and making them. The best way of dealing with them would be to enable the council itself to make regulations. The question of contracts is a very important and serious one, and I think it is altogether wrong that the power of making contracts should be in the hands of the manager without at least the council being able to say what type the contract should be and under what conditions the manager should be able to make these contracts on behalf of the Corporation. I do not think it is necessary to make a speech about it, but the idea ought to commend itself generally. Everybody will agree that it is a serious matter to put into the hands of the manager the power to make contracts on behalf of the Corporation or council without giving the council the right to indicate what type of contract he should make on their behalf.
General MULCAHY: I wonder whether Deputy de Valera would say whether the making of a contract is a legislative or executive act?
Mr. DE VALERA: I would say that the actual making of it would be an executive act, but the regulations under which the executive should make it would be a legislative act, if you like. It is very hard, of course, to draw a clear, well-defined line between certain executive and administrative functions, at least in their general character; but the actual act, I should say, should be an executive act. But there should be something in the form of ratification beforehand or after— ratification in the first instance. The power of negotiating ought to be in the hands of the manager. The power to conclude ought be in his hands under conditions, and the conditions ought to be definitely in the regulations made by the council, or else the power of ratification afterwards can be reserved to the council. It is not right to give a man power to conclude on his own any contracts he pleases without giving the council power to define the nature of the contracts he is at liberty to make.
General MULCAHY: I suggest that Deputy de Valera has not divided in his mind in the way in which the Bill definitely divides them the legislative side of the work, as he calls it, from the executive side. The position is further obscured by himself by the introduction of the board of aldermen idea. If the manager is going to be the manager, and going to have on his shoulders complete responsibility to answer to the council for the carrying out of the executive side of the work, he must be perfectly free to shoulder that responsibility. The council must do its work in such a way that when it takes a decision it has taken that decision in the clearest possible way, so that the manager can take up his responsibility and get on with his work. You cannot have a manager shouldering a matter and make him answerable to the council for carrying out properly the working of any particular contract, the making of any particular contract, if he has the council or a member of the council or anyone else meddling with him in that contract. I cannot imagine what things might be dealt with in a set of regulations framed by the council instructing the manager how he was to make his contract. The council requires that a certain scheme be carried out. The plans of that scheme are prepared and passed by the council. The question of entering into a contract to carry out the work is taken up by the manager, and the manager should be fully responsible for the complete performance of that work. If the manager is going to be butted in upon by the council, by people who have no responsibility for the executive work, then he cannot stand fairly and squarely over the work, and he cannot be brought fairly and squarely to account afterwards if his work is not properly carried out. For that reason I am opposed to putting provisions into the Bill along these lines.
Mr. LEMASS: The Minister states that he cannot imagine what regulations the council would make under Section 8 of this Bill. It seems to me obvious that it is the Minister and not Deputy de Valera who is a bit confused with reference to the division between  legislative and administrative functions. I would say that it is the duty of the council and not the duty of the manager to arrive at a decision, for example, say, that trade union rates of wages and trade union hours would be observed in all work carried out for the council, or carried out under contracts made for the council; or that it should be the duty of the council to decide that preference would be given to Irish goods purchased by the council, and to decide the extent of the preference. These would be matters of policy, matters on which the elected representatives of the people should be consulted. They are not matters which the manager should decide on his own initiative. It is regulations of that kind which are contemplated in the section, the general terms and conditions under which contracts can be made. If the council and the manager keep clear in their own minds the division between the functions of each, I am quite clear that there can be no misunderstanding concerning the regulations that may be made.
Mr. DE VALERA: I put it again to the Minister as regards the actual position of the manager in this respect. It is really negotiation in the first instance. It is right as an executive act that negotiations should be in the hands of the manager, but I hold that the final approval of contracts should be in the hands of the council either before or after—either by defining beforehand the extent of the powers which the manager has or else that there is to be subsequent ratification. Now, the simplest way out of it is to give the council power of making regulations. These regulations, you will notice, are to be subject to the approval of the Minister for Local Government, and therefore, if there was any attempt to abuse these reserved powers the Minister could object. If, for instance, it was obvious that the power was being used so as to fetter the manager and so as to make it impossible for him to carry out his functions efficiently, naturally the Minister would object and would not approve. But I think it is altogether dangerous to give to the manager uncontrolled powers as are proposed in this section. The Minister  talks about the council being the government. That word “government” is used ambiguously; when the Minister is talking about the government he is talking about the executive. He himself would not be talking about the Dáil when talking of the government. He would be talking about the executive at the moment. I have not seen in this Bill any clear indication of the control that the council is to have over the manager in certain cases. I think that power ought to be there continuously, and in particular in respect of this making of contracts.
General MULCAHY: The Bill makes provision under sub-section (2) whereby on two-thirds of the council asking for additional reserved functions, these functions can be reserved to the council by the Minister. I do not want to put in, as Deputies have said, in a theoretic way, a clause reserving specifically under these reserved functions the power to make regulations for any particular thing. If in the course of the council's work below they get clear in their minds that there are certain regulations that they would require, and that it would be useful and advisable for them to have guiding them in their work, that matter can be considered, and sub-section (2) of this section can be operated to give the council any additional reserved functions they require in the matter. I am not clear, in spite of what the Deputy suggests, that it would be advisable by, say, legislative or Ministerial action that a clause should be put in any contract making things obligatory in that contract. For instance, it might not be advisable that a fair wages clause should be included, or that trade union rates should be paid by any particular contractor to the council.
Mr. LEMASS: Will the Minister not agree that that is a matter which the council should decide in respect of a contract given by the Cork Corporation?
General MULCAHY: I would not like to give a judgment now whether or not the Cork Corporation would be right in doing so. In Great Britain, where they have given a good lot of attention to  these matters, they have never embodied in their legislation any statutory regulations that would force a local body carrying out a particular contract to put in a fair wages clause.
Mr. LEMASS: The Minister misunderstood me. I am not suggesting that the Cork Corporation should put such a clause in their contract; but the decision as to whether such a clause should go in should rest with the council and not with the manager. The council has not that right under this Bill. The other illustration I gave applies equally well. There might be a decision as to whether preference should be given to Irish goods. That decision should be arrived at by the council and not by the manager. If arrived at by the council it should be obligatory on the manager.
General MULCAHY: I would like to give some further consideration to the matter, and I would like the Deputy to leave it over until the Report Stage. What I am particularly anxious about is that there is so much innuendo and suggestion going on in the discussion. I do not want to enshrine in our legislation things that are simply innuendoes and suggestions and things that are put in simply because certain people feel the manager is going to be the governor of Cork and not the servant of the Corporation. I would be prepared to consider the matter further with a view to deciding whether or not the course suggested is advisable.
Mr. DE VALERA: I will accept that, and I may take it that I will have an opportunity of putting down a further amendment if the Minister has not dealt with this matter on the Report Stage.
Mr. LEMASS: It is merely a question of the proper division of legislative and administrative functions.
General MULCAHY: I would like to give some further consideration to paragraph (k). This would be putting the Corporation of Cork in a different category to other local bodies. It might take them out of the general scheme for the control of remuneration and salary that at present exists.
Mr. DE VALERA: The idea is not to let the manager do just as he pleases. Just as there should be regulations with regard to contracts, so there ought to be general regulations governing the salaries of officials.
The PRESIDENT: Does the Deputy mean individual officials?
Mr. DE VALERA: No; general classes.
The PRESIDENT: It is not quite clear.
Mr. DE VALERA: I intended it to mean general regulations, and not regulations for an individual case.
Mr. LEMASS: Again, it is the proper division of the legislative and administrative functions.
The PRESIDENT: It is not contended in respect, say, of official A that his case would be a matter for consideration by the council?
Mr. DE VALERA: No.
Mr. LEMASS: It is contended that the council should decide, for instance, that clerical officerships should be filled up by competitive examination.
Amendment 26, by leave, withdrawn.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Part of amendment 27 has been defeated with amendment 25. Anyhow, the subject-matter will arise again on amendment 38.
Amendments 27 and 28 (Deputy Anthony) not moved.
General MULCAHY: I beg to move amendment 29:—
In sub-section (4), line 23, to delete all words after the word “resolution” to the end of the sub-section, and substitute therefor the following words:—
“of the Council—
(a) of which not less than one month's notice shall have been given in writing by the Town Clerk to every member of the Council, and
(b) for which not less than two-thirds of the members of the Council shall have voted.”
 This is for the purpose of making the drafting of the original section clear. It means that where the council decides that there are certain functions they consider ought to be further reserved to them as reserved functions, the resolution stating that to the Minister must have passed, two-thirds of the total members of the council voting, and the resolution must have been passed at a meeting of which one month's notice shall have been given.
Amendment agreed to.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Amendment 30 falls with amendment 21.
Section 8, as amended, agreed to.
(1) On and after the appointed day a person appointed for the purpose by or under this Act who shall be called and known as the Cork City Manager (in this Act referred to as the Manager) shall exercise and perform for and on behalf of the Corporation the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation in relation to the appointment and removal of officers and servants of the Corporation (including the Town Clerk, but not including the Manager) and shall also exercise and perform all other the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation other than the reserved functions.
(2) Every person appointed by or under this Act to be the Manager shall by virtue of such appointment be an officer of the Corporation.
Amendment 31 (Deputy de Valera) and amendment 32 (Deputy O'Hanlon) not moved.
Mr. ANTHONY: I beg to move amendment 33:
In sub-section (1), line 49, to delete the words “including the Town Clerk but.”
As the Bill stands the manager will appoint the town clerk and will have power to dismiss him. My object in this amendment is to secure that the town clerk cannot be interfered with by the manager—that the manager should have no power over him and no power to dismiss him.
General MULCAHY: The position is that certain functions of the Corporation have to be discharged by the manager and certain functions by the council, and the town clerk must act in respect to the manager, in so far as the manager is exercising certain functions of the Corporation, in the very same way as the town clerk will act to the council when the council is discharging functions. That is one point. The next point is that the manager must have complete control over the administrative machinery—over the machinery in his hands for carrying out his work. To create a position in which the town clerk would not be responsible to the manager would cause a great lack of co-ordination and would be a very fruitful source of friction. It would put the manager in the position that he would not be quite satisfied as to where he stood. There is certain work that the town clerk would have to perform for him and it would put the town clerk in the position that he would not know where he stood from the point of view of his responsibility. You are putting the manager in charge as the executive head of the city machine with complete executive responsibility, and you cannot say that any particular officer shall not be subordinate to him and shall not be as fully under his control as anyone else. The manager will have no power to dismiss the town clerk for any reason that the council would not have power to cause his dismissal. The town clerk has ample appeal to the Minister in case of any wrong that might be done him by the manager.
Mr. MOORE: Has a town clerk in an ordinary town the right of appeal at present if he is dismissed by the Corporation?
General MULCAHY: Any officer of a local body, such as a town clerk, would have the right of appeal to the Minister if he was being unfairly dealt with by the council.
Mr. ANTHONY: According to Section 10 (7) the manager has power to make contracts, while he has absolute control over all officers according to Section 13. I have another amendment down to remove that word “absolute.” According to Section 15, he may make  payments by order in respect of any expense or liability incurred by the council or the manager. Section 15 also provides for the counter-signature of paying orders by the town clerk. Presumably that is for the purpose of a check. But what value as a check is the signature of the town clerk if he is under the absolute control and possibly at the mercy of the manager? In my view, and in the view of many people whom I have consulted, the town clerk should be absolutely independent of the manager. I do not want to refer to matters that have occurred in another part of Ireland, but we have seen quite recently what occurred over housing scandals in another part of Ireland. Assuming that there was no council there, and that the city was being run by a manager, it is very doubtful if these scandals would ever have come to light. The whole thing could have been hushed up by a few officials. I want to preserve at least some independence amongst the officials of the Corporation and to ensure that the town clerk at any rate shall be independent of the manager.
Mr. FLINN: I think there is something very definite in the point raised by Deputy Anthony. You are putting this manager in charge of the whole machine, very much with the authority which a Minister has over his own staff. To all intents and purposes the town clerk and others are local civil servants. I think that is so. We had a rather extraordinary statement a few days ago from, I think, the Minister for Finance. It arose, I think, over the Tariff Commission, as a matter of fact.
That Minister was defining the position of civil servants, and he said two very extraordinary things in conjunction. He repeated the statement that civil servants hold their office at the will and pleasure of the Executive Council, and he went on to say that civil servants in their ordinary capacity were there to carry out orders— to do what they were told. This is the extraordinary phrase used—that no question of personal honour arose if a civil servant did what he was told. I am speaking from recollection, without the book, but that is my impression, that he used the expression that no  question of personal honour arose if the civil servant did what he was told. If the town clerk, who is supposed to countersign paying orders, is in the position of a local civil servant to any degree whatever, and if the official definition of the functions and status of local civil servants is to be anything at all in the nature of the definition of the status of civil servants as given by the Minister—that they are to obey orders and that no question of personal honour arises in the doing of the things that they are told to do—it seems to be imperative that there should be some method of check, especially in the specific matter of payments.
Deputy Anthony has suggested that certain scandals which arose and which did leak out and come to the surface at a time before absolute collapse was occasioned by their hiding up, might have been delayed in their discovery or divulgement if there had been a close corporation of this kind; a close corporation such as would be constituted by a manager with a servant whom he apparently had complete authority over and had power to dismiss—or if his position had any shadow of relation to the position of an ordinary civil servant who, according to my recollection, was defined by the Minister as there to obey the orders of his chief without any question of personal honour arising in the discharge of any duty which he was instructed to do.
General MULCAHY: There is no doubt in my mind that the manager must be responsible for the whole staff and that the making of an appointment is work that is executive work. If there is a difficulty about the town clerk countersigning paying orders of the manager we may have to arrange that the manager shall countersign the paying orders of the town clerk and get payments made in that way. That is the only other way out of it. If you want a check by a person who is not under the control of the manager on the payments made by the manager, you will have to appoint a kind of official who will stand aloof as a kind of paying-inspector-general and countersign the order. I do not think there is very much in the point with regard to the counter-signature of the paying  orders, but if there is it can be looked into. You could not have the manager's work carried out if the town clerk were independent of him. He must be part of the operating machine of the city manager.
Mr. DE VALERA: I am not so sure that the Minister is right in thinking that the manager ought necessarily have control of the town clerk. I am not quite clear personally as to the functions that the town clerk will have now that we have got a manager appointed. I suppose it will be left to the manager under this scheme to define the duties of the town clerk. If I was thinking in general terms about it, I would say that the town clerk ought to be an officer of the council comparable, for instance, to the Clerk of the Dáil, and ought not necessarily to be subject to the Executive. He ought to be an officer of the body as a whole to deal with certain matters assigned to him by the council—an independent officer and not directly under the control of the manager at all. If the question of cheques came up, I certainly would be very much opposed to a subordinate officer being entitled to sign cheques, but if he was in an independent position as an officer directly of the council, as the Clerk of the Dáil is an officer of this House as a whole, then there would not be the same objection at all. He would be acting on behalf of the council with definite authority given. I must, at the present time, vote with Deputy Anthony for the deletion of this particular phrase until I can see the functions of the town clerk and his relations to the manager more clearly defined. When I read it first I did not notice that particular point, and had in my mind generally that the town clerk would bear to the manager the same relation, roughly, that the Clerk of the Dáil would bear to the Minister, that is, that he would be an independent officer and the immediate officer of the council as a whole.
General MULCAHY: One thing which has been pointed out is that the managerial system will enable the council to do away, in a large way, with the operation of a number of committees. The city manager will be a  permanent city committee on all kinds of things, and the town clerk must act towards him in that capacity, as the town clerk acts towards the council. The manager cannot be a manager of a city if the town clerk is independent of him.
Mr. FLINN: How does the Minister propose to meet the objection in relation to the counter-signing of paying orders? Is a subordinate to be put into the position of being ordered to do these things without any question of personal honour arising in the matter? I do not know whether the Minister recollects that most extraordinary and amazing definition of the functions of civil servants, or whether it is communicated to civil servants in the terms of their appointment. If that particular statement is correct it means that if the Minister gave orders to one of his subordinates to write a letter to-day and to date it a fortnight ago, no question except that of obedience to his superior arises; that if it is a question of altering or arranging anything for the purpose of making something seem what it otherwise would not be, no question except the question of obedience arises, and no question of whether the thing is right, moral, legal, honest or anything else arises. We have had that extraordinary definition, and that definition stands in relation to the central authority which is setting up this system throughout the Local Government bodies for having purity and efficiency of administration. There must not be a lower standard down the country than in the Departments, and if the definition stands that a civil servant by the terms of his appointment holds that appointment at the will and pleasure of the Executive Council, and subject to obeying his chief, without any relation to the question of personal honour, then it seems to be essential that certainly in all financial transactions, however it is done, however awkward it is to do, whatever Health Robinsonian machinery is required to do it, there must be some independent check made by which some man will countersign paying orders for whom the question of personal honour does directly arise as distinct from mere obedience  to his people. Deputy Anthony has offered an amendment which, though it has very considerable consequential difficulties, as I think he will recognise, does provide a solution of that. If the Minister does not like that, it seems to me that the onus is on him to provide some machinery.
General MULCAHY: I have suggested some machinery.
Mr. FLINN: It did not seem to me to be adequate. I certainly do not think it would pass in a court as adequate.
General MULCAHY: I suggested that if the manager signing an order and having it countersigned by the town clerk is a difficulty, then I see no reason why a payment would not be made by the town clerk signing the order and the manager counter-signing it. At any rate I am sure some arrangement could be made to have payments made by the Cork Corporation without making the town clerk independent of the manager.
Mr. FLINN: On the general question, apart from the payment of orders, there seems to be a good deal to be said for some measure, at any rate, of independence in relation to other matters. Paying orders are only one thing. He may be ordered to do something else. I am speaking now of the Front Bench definition of the duties and obligations of civil servants, and I am assuming that the Minister is not suggesting anything different in relation to other people, but if that definition stands it looks to one as if every second office will have to be changed.
The PRESIDENT: I do not accept Deputy Flinn's recollection of what the Minister for Finance stated. Nor, in fact, as I explained to you before, am I going to accept what is published about what any person or any other member of the Government says outside the House.
Mr. FLINN: You said “in the House.”
The PRESIDENT: In the House. I am not going to accept the Deputy's  recollection of what took place. I want it in black and white, and further, no interpretation of what he said would lead anyone to believe that if the Minister ordered a payment to be made which was not properly due for payment it would be done by a civil servant. A civil servant would be bound to refuse to do so.
Mr. FLINN: I said quite frankly I was speaking from recollection. I am speaking from a very clear recollection. I may be wrong. The fact that the President has said what he has said is to me a matter of great gratification. Even if it turns out to be that in black and white, it is valuable to know that that does not represent the interpretation of the Ministry of those words. They seemed to me, at the time, to be very clear. I will take the trouble of producing them.
The PRESIDENT: It does not follow that if a Minister told an official to date a letter a fortnight ago in sending it out that the official would be bound to do that. He would be bound, in my opinion, to refuse to do it, and perfectly entitled to refuse.
Mr. FLINN: I am extremely glad to have that definition of the duties of civil servants. What my recollection of it was is that he used the two phrases in conjunction—that a civil servant held his position at the will and pleasure of the Executive Council, and that in the carrying out of his orders no question of personal honour arose, and a question of personal honour would arise in the particular definition I have given.
The PRESIDENT: In the other case, fearing any misapprehension, the manager just simply takes the place of the three members who sign the order. I do not know the Deputy's experience. I think it is a very elaborate proceeding, and, as a matter of fact, very little opportunity was afforded in a large municipality for the check which was supposed to take place by the members in the payment of those accounts. It took anything from fifteen minutes to half an hour to check the items alone, without going into the subject matter  of them. In this case I think there is additional security, and security which, before, sometimes was discounted by the fact that an appeal to the Minister might allow members to escape liabilities which were incurred in making payments after some little irregularity had occurred. However, that is No. 15.
Mr. ANTHONY: Apart from that altogether there is a great principle involved in this amendment of mine, and as I pointed out, in clause 9 the Cork City manager shall exercise and perform for and on behalf of the Corporation the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation in relation to the appointment and removal of officers and servants of the Corporation (including the town clerk). I submit that is placing in the hands of one official arbitrary power, apart altogether from the big wrench it is and the parting with traditions, as one might call it, surrounding the office of the town clerk which might be the sentimental side of the question. I do not expect much support in that. We do not look for it. The fact remains that a particular clause is not acceptable to the people of Cork as a whole. While we are not asking for dual responsibility we still believe the town clerk should be free and independent of the city manager, whilst prepared to co-operate with him in every way. It is implied in the Bill, at any rate. Whilst, as I say, the town clerk should be expected to co-operate with the city manager, he should not be put under the control of the city manager who, at any time for any whim or any supposed grievance, may dispense with the services of the town clerk. That is the principle I would like to direct the attention of Deputies to.
Mr. DE VALERA: I wonder if there is any hope of getting the Minister to consider this whole question of the relations between the town clerk and the manager? The trouble, as far as I see, is that you are taking an old officer into a new system. The old officer was in relation to the council in its deliberate functions in much the same position as the Clerk of the Dáil is here to us. In other functions he was the executive  officer for certain committees. Those committees are going to be done away with and you have the manager really doing the work which they did formerly. That is as I understand it. If the town clerk is going to be carried over as he was before and act with the manager as a clerk in that capacity he must be subordinate to the manager. There is no doubt in my mind as to that, but if he is acting as clerk for the deliberative body and acting as their secretary, so to speak, he ought to be independent of the manager, and I think that the whole question of drawing up relations between them ought to be considered. Here until I see some attempt to define their relative duties, or the duties of the town clerk in connection with his position as secretary for the deliberative body, I am going to support Deputy Anthony's amendment. But I quite see the Minister's point of view at the same time, and that is when he is acting as clerk or secretary for the manager in the particular position in which the manager is acting for the old sub-committees. I quite agree he should be a subordinate officer.
The PRESIDENT: The Deputy will admit that it is an impossible position to have two heads.
Mr. DE VALERA: I see that. That is in executive matters, but there is the position on account of the new arrangement you are suggesting. The secretary to the council would be independent of the Executive. For instance, we have a perfect example in the case of the Clerk of the Dáil.
The PRESIDENT: That is not the same.
Mr. DE VALERA: He is practically the same. There are records and other matters of this kind here in connection with the deliberative assembly and you want an officer of that kind. If he is to be independent, and if he is to do his work in that capacity properly, he ought not to be subject to the manager. For instance, if the Clerk of the Dáil had to be taken in to do executive work he should be subordinate to the Executive, but here he is not acting as an officer of the Executive. In the same way there are cases in which the town  clerk ought to be in the position of acting as an independent officer. If he were an independent officer, as the Clerk of the Dáil is, independent of the Executive, I would be quite prepared to say, in the case of signing cheques, his counter-signature on behalf of the body to which he was responsible would be of great value, but if he is a subordinate officer I agree with Deputy Flinn that his signature is of very little value as a check.
Mr. BRISCOE: I rise to offer a suggestion which might be acceptable to the Minister and Deputy Anthony. I can see the difficulties that arise on both sides. Would it not be acceptable to provide that in the case of considering the dispensing with the services of the town clerk such action shall only be taken jointly by the manager and the council? That would preserve a certain link between the town clerk and the council and at the same time it would not undermine the authority of the manager with regard to the town clerk. If a question arose of dispensing with the services of the town clerk, it should be considered jointly by the council and the manager. I offer that suggestion in the hope that it will be acceptable both to the Minister and to Deputy Anthony. It would overcome the difficulty of making the manager absolute dictator and at the same time it would give the town clerk the idea that his boss is not the manager but the council.
General MULCAHY: We must organise on clear lines. I see no greater difficulty for the town clerk than for an assistant county surveyor. It may be taken in general terms that the manager's instructions to, say, the assistant engineer in Cork will be that he should carry out the instructions of the borough engineer. I see no reason why the manager's instructions to the town clerk in respect of his duties to the council would not be that he carry out the instructions of the council. But the organisation of the clerk's office and the way in which the work has to be done have to be under the instructions of the manager. I do not see any other way of dealing with the matter than making the  manager responsible for the whole staff, including the town clerk. In so far as we differ on the question of the manager dismissing the town clerk the Minister stands there as a safeguard to the town clerk. If the Minister acquiesces in the dismissal of the town clerk as against the council's wishes and if the manager dismisses the clerk in opposition to the wishes of the council, I consider that there would be a grave case for the council pointing out that the manager had not their confidence and for making a case for his removal. We are considering an absolutely hypothetical matter, trying to build up difficulties. Whatever difficulties may arise through the town clerk being under the manager I cannot see any other arrangement.
Mr. BRISCOE: I do not think the Minister sees my point of view. It is quite possible that strained relations might exist at some time or other between the council and their manager. While these strained relations exist the council may want to get certain information or certain records. They will always have their own clerk there; he will enjoy their full confidence, and the town clerk, in return, will enjoy the full confidence of the manager. It is not a case of a fight between the manager and the town clerk, but between the manager and the council, and documents may have to be exchanged with the Minister's Department. It is a case of establishing confidence and preserving a certain element of democracy. If the council can call the town clerk their own official, and if he can feel, in the case of strained relations between himself and the manager, he is not going to lose his position, I do not see any great difficulty. I thought that the suggestion I offered would be acceptable. I would be reluctant to suggest it, but I believe there is a great deal in what Deputy Anthony stated. The President himself, from his own experience in civic affairs in Dublin, can realise the position of the town clerk and the assistance he was to every member of the old Corporation. The town clerk stands in a different position altogether from the ordinary official.
The PRESIDENT: That is one of the  matters that I thought, all through my experience in connection with public matters, was rather unfortunate, that there were certain officials in a different position from others. I was not satisfied that it was a good system. In this case there is a new organisation. If we agree with the principle of a managership, obviously the manager ought to have the maximum of control. In this case, I admit that it is a shock, having regard to our experience of the position of town clerk, to place him under another person. If the town clerk had ten or twenty years' standing a different situation would arise. I do not think the present town clerk has ten or twenty years' standing as town clerk. I think the personal question scarcely arises here, and it makes it rather easy for us to come to a conclusion. If the manager is to have the power which the Bill intends him to have, it can be seen that it is rather stretching matters to have one official outside. I do not agree with Deputy de Valera that the position of town clerk is anything like the position of the Clerk of the Dáil. The town clerk has many duties in respect of the local authority which are very different in their ramifications. As a matter of fact, one might say that his smallest duties are at the council meeting. It is afterwards, in carrying out the decisions of the council, that the larger sphere of activity arises and greater responsibility. I cannot see how this Bill in its principle would stand if the town clerk were placed in a different position from other officials.
The question of the town clerk's personal position arises. Is it weakened by reason of this arrangement? I gather from what I have heard that Deputies are of opinion that it is weakened. I am satisfied that it is not. It will not be possible in the future to dispense with the services of the town clerk for any reason other than that the council, with the sanction of the Minister, could have done in the past. The manager gets no more power in connection with the town clerk than the council have. If the manager were to decide on asking for the resignation of the town clerk he would have to show to the Minister such reasons for  that action as the council would. The position of the town clerk, as I see it, is just as strong in respect of the holding of his office as it was under the council. If that be the objection, the question then arises as to a derogation of status. Personally, I do not see a derogation of status where there is a new institution. His office will have perhaps in the future different lines of treatment from what it had before. He is responsible to the manager in respect of certain duties, and to the council in respect of other certain duties, but he has no duties other than what he has had up to the present. Examining it from all its aspects, I would say that the position of the town clerk is no weaker. He is not degraded. Number two, all the rights and privileges that he has had he still has. Number three, is he to be a part of this new machine and to fall into it or not? If it is decided that he should not be part of it then there is a case for Deputy Anthony's amendment, but I do not think Deputy Anthony's proposal is one which would be in line with the rest of the measure.
Mr. ANTHONY: The President has told us that this is a new organisation of business. I would ask the Minister in charge of the Bill if this new organisation will affect the relation of the city manager to the auditor, and what will be the position of the city manager in the case of a surcharge. I want to have that position defined. I can find no information in the Bill in relation to that query. The President tells us now that the town clerk will be in the same position under the manager as he was formerly in under the Corporation. To put it in another way, the manager when performing the functions of the Corporation will exercise the same powers as the old Corporation did. But, in the case of the relationship between the Corporation and the town clerk, before dismissing the town clerk the Corporation, which consisted of the combined intelligence of a number of men, would weigh the pros and cons of the matter. In this case you are giving unlimited power to one man. We consider that an autocracy, and I cannot see how the President,  whom I know to be very democratic, could stand over such a thing. I am not so much surprised at the Minister, because I suppose he has not got away from the clanking of the spurs and sabres. I know it is difficult for an ex-military man to come back to such mundane things as the appointment of a commissioner under the Cork City Management Bill. I know that it is far easier to talk in terms of war-planes and artillery and all that kind of thing, and it may be that the old influences of the Army are still operating in the Minister's mind, where you have authority of this kind centralised in one man. In this case, to pursue the simile further, you are converting the city manager into a sort of provost of the Army— the general hangman as he was known by Tommy Atkins. To come back to the original question I asked, I want the Minister to tell the House what is the position of the manager in relation to the auditor and a surcharge. There is nothing in the Bill on that point. I want to know who will examine his account. Is it the Minister? Is it the Local Government Department auditor? If so will he, in turn, report to the Minister any irregularity that he sees, and who will foot the Bill? In the old days of the Corporation if a number of members passed a cheque that was afterwards challenged by the auditor they were surcharged. In this case I want to know if the manager will be surcharged or if the Corporation will be.
Mr. G. BOLAND: The Minister remarked that the manager must be responsible for the clerk. If he is responsible for the clerk you might as well say that he is responsible for the council, because when the clerk is acting as secretary to the council, and not interfering in executive matters, you might as well put it down plainly that he is responsible for the council, and thus cut away all pretence of democracy. That is really what is in the Minister's mind. Let him say it out.
The PRESIDENT: It is not.
Mr. BOLAND: I would like to be shown how it is not. I admit that as long as the town clerk is interfering  in executive work the manager should have a veto over him, but when he is acting, as the leader of this Party said, as secretary of the council, to say that he must be responsible to the manager is to say that the council must also be responsible, and therefore you might as well have no council at all. That is what is intended—to continue the old commissioner system. Do you think you will get people with self-respect to put themselves in that position, or that you will get the pick of Cork to be put in the position that they are to be responsible to this man, and to let him do what he likes in their names? That is what it means. The town clerk, as the secretary, should be responsible to the council subject, of course, to the Minister and not to the manager.
Mr. O'HANLON: I must apologise for not being in the House when my amendment was called. I had to go to answer an important trunk call. Possibly I may be allowed to go back on the amendment. Deputy Anthony's amendment about the town clerk is, I think, a small matter having regard to the general terms of this section. I had an amendment down which I hope to move later. The real point in this sub-section is not so much the town clerk as the powers that are not defined which are given to the manager. The council's powers and authority are strictly defined, but if you go to court to seek a definition of anything in connection with them you are kept within the four walls of the definition that is there. But the manager, according to this section, “shall exercise and perform for and on behalf of the Corporation the powers, functions, and duties of the Corporation.” The reserved functions are what are left to the council, which are really nothing. The manager has absolute and complete power, no matter what Act you pass after this. No matter what crops up in the council under this section the manager has complete and absolute authority and power to flout the council on any question, save and except the few reserved functions. What powers do they confer? They confer the power, first of all, of striking a rate and incurring the odium of the people, where it is high,  while letting the manager slide out. He is the man who makes the contracts for which the rate is struck. That is the position in which you are putting the council. The members have to bear the brunt of the responsibility of striking the rate and other things. The manager is the man with the expenditure of the money.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: I am afraid the Deputy is wandering a good deal from the amendment.
Mr. O'HANLON: I do not think any Deputy who spoke confined himself to the amendment. At least I did not hear any, not even the Minister. I have not wandered very far, because I am dealing with the amendment to Section 9. Is not that correct?
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: Amendment 33, in the name of Deputy Anthony.
Mr. BRISCOE: This is the amendment to that section.
Mr. O'HANLON: However, if you think I am out of order I will sit down.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: No. The Deputy is wandering from the amendment. He would be in order in making that sort of speech on the section itself, but not on this amendment dealing with the town clerk.
Mr. O'HANLON: I will reserve the speech for the section.
Mr. DE VALERA: Unfortunately the President is not here now. He said that he did not agree with me that the position of the Clerk of the Dáil was comparable with that of the town clerk. I did not say it was, except in respect of the position in which the town clerk would be acting as secretary for the council. In that respect the positions are comparable, I hold. The difficulty is this, that you are trying to separate the deliberative from the executive functions. If the main functions of the town clerk were executive, then take them over by all means, but you should have some other officer appointed if you are to have an independent secretary to the council. The question is: Are you going to leave the council without  an independent officer to be their secretary? If the Minister says that he is simply taking over the town clerk as a subordinate officer to the manager on the executive side I have no objection. If the major portion of his work were executive it is quite natural that that should be done. But in order to understand the scheme completely I want to know what provision is going to be made to give the council an independent officer who will be their secretary.
General MULCAHY: I do not understand the point of giving the council an independent officer who will be their secretary.
Mr. G. BOLAND: Take time to consider it.
General MULCAHY: The person acting as the secretary to the council must do the council's work, and must do it properly, and I see no reason at all why he should not be subject to the supervision of the manager as to whether the council's work is done properly by him in so far as part of his work refers to the council. I do not see the slightest difficulty about it.
Mr. DE VALERA: Would the Minister think that this House would be prepared, for example, to take his chief clerk as Clerk of the Dáil and to have him subordinate to him and at the same time be Clerk of the Dáil? Would members of the House be satisfied that his direct subordinate officer, who is supposed to do what the Minister tells him, should sit here at the same time occupying the position of an independent officer of the House? I for one would object, and I feel that we would all be entitled to object and to say that for this particular work we want an independent officer, that the Minister is acting in an executive capacity and is answerable to us, but that the Clerk is in an independent position and that we want to have him in that position. It seems to me that what you are trying to do in the case of this Bill is to take over an officer who, for certain duties and in certain respects, is in the position of the Clerk of the Dáil, make him part of your staff, and make him subordinate to your Executive.
Mr. G. BOLAND: As far as the case for a manager is concerned I think it has been said more than once that a far better case could be made for getting a manager to run this House—to have a manager to do the work, or in other words, to have a dictator. That is what it would really boil down to. Undoubtedly this gentleman is going to be a dictator in a small way. Deputy de Valera's point brings that forward, and by just stretching it a little further you could easily imagine some superman of that description running the whole Twenty-six Counties, that we should do what he tells us, with a principal officer here, simply responsible to him. That is what we are heading for. It is the fashion in Europe. It may turn out very well or it may not, but in any case it is not democratic, and so far we have not decided to abandon democratic institutions. It is no joke at all; we are heading straight for it, and the House will need to be very careful or it will find itself landed in such a position very soon.
General MULCAHY: I am not at all impressed with Deputy de Valera's attempt to draw an analogy between this assembly here and the Clerk and the clerk and the council in Cork, because the town clerk in Cork has as town clerk to serve both the council and the manager in the position of clerk and, as the President said, the greater part of his work will be in the region of serving the manager as town clerk rather than of serving the council. The extent to which the council will meet under the new conditions will not be very great, and the work that the clerk will have to do for the council will simply be the recording of their decisions and the conveying of them to the executive officer.
Mr. DE VALERA: I can see the difference of our points of view quite clearly now, from what the Minister has said. He thinks of the council as having very little to do. Of course, he wants all the work to be done by the manager in complete control. I have had a very different idea, the idea that the council in its deliberative functions would be meeting very often and where there would be, for instance, a general  purposes committee in the board of aldermen doing work, in which case the town clerk also would have an important position. Of course, that is obviously the difference between us.
General MULCAHY: A Cork City Parliament, clerk and all.
Mr. DE VALERA: Yes, a Cork City Parliament, by all means, in a small way. That is the whole idea, as far as I understand it, of local government— a little parliament. Why not? It is a little parliament, and the only difference that I can conceive between local government and national government in this particular case is that the Ministry, instead of having a number of Ministers in charge of different Departments, would have one man in charge of all Departments, and that is the principle that I would support in the Bill. But, as I said from the start, I am opposed to the idea of putting the manager into a position in which he will be purely an autocrat, responsible directly to nobody except perhaps to the Minister, and if he is appointed by the Minister and is on good terms with headquarters, he can snap his fingers at the local representatives.
Mr. ANTHONY: I do not want to be unfair to the Minister, because I do believe it would be unfair to fire a number of questions at him which he might be unable to answer, but I have asked a question which I hope he will be able to answer before the next stage of the Bill is taken up. I asked what the position of the manager with regard to the auditor would be in the case of a surcharge.
General MULCAHY: The manager will be in the position of any other accounting officer. He will come under the rule of the auditor, and he will have to pay any surcharges that the auditor brings against him because of losses to the public purse, arising out of his negligence or carelessness, or misconduct of any kind.
Mr. O'HANLON: Is it contemplated that the city manager should have sureties or a bond? There is nothing in the Bill about that. A town clerk usually has a bond, but the city manager is going to be an angel who  can do nothing wrong. He will have the whole responsibility for the funds of the Corporation.
Mr. BRISCOE: The Minister has just stated that the position of the town clerk is that he will be serving both the council and the manager. That is just the point that brought about the suggestion I made. He serves both, but by this section of the Bill he is dismissible only by one. Therefore, he is serving only one. I contend that there is every justification for a distinction there between the town clerk and the rest of the officials of the Corporation. I maintain that if he has, in every sense of the word, to serve the council and the manager he should not be dismissible by either, but by both.
Mr. FLINN: I would like to press a little further the point made by Deputy Anthony in relation to surcharges. This official will be dealing with very large sums of money. Roughly speaking, I think a quarter of a million pounds is the income of Cork. A few hundred thousand pounds one way or the other will not matter when you come to work the calculation out. The city manager will be dealing with the till. The area of his operations is very considerable, and his capacity to make contracts within that area is very ample. The power of surcharge by the Minister and his officials is very interesting indeed, but not likely to produce much of a dividend. I happened to have heard of a case of a bank cashier who did not turn down to his work on a particular day, a very unwise thing in certain circumstances. They went through his accounts and found that he was £187,000 short. This was in the old days of private banking. So they sent for him and found he was not as ill as was expected. He said he was coming down to the office, and came down. He told them when they challenged him, “Yes,” he said, “not £187,000 short am I, but £186,994 8s.4d. short.” They said, “What are you going to do about it?” and he said, “Nothing. I will get seven years, and be better paid than for any other seven years' work I have ever done in my life, because I know where the stuff is and you do not.”
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: That has nothing to do with the amendment.
Mr. FLINN: I submit with every possible respect that it has. We are dealing here with the question of the capacity of a man completely unchecked during one accounting period and another entering into financial transactions.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: We are dealing with the immediate question as to whether the manager should have any control over the town clerk or not.
Mr. FLINN: Exactly, that is the point.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: That is the amendment, and the Deputy can make the speech that he is making on the section itself.
Mr. FLINN: I am making it on the section in relation to the amendment. What we are contending is this: That unless there is some independent check on the manager, a check by someone who is not his servant, that he during that particular period, between his accounting period, is in a position to tackle very much larger finances than any surcharging powers the Minister will be able to provide. I am giving you an illustration of a man who between his accounting period did succeed in putting away more than any surcharging period would have got back from him. As a matter of fact, the story goes that that particular man agreed to pay back £140,000, and that private bank was very much better off with the £140,000 back than it would be if the man were imprisoned for seven years. So they agreed, and when he turned up with the securities they counted them and found that there was the sum of £186,994 13s. 4d. He said: “I am an honest man, but I have been underpaid and you are not to underpay a man in future who can do that with you. Pay me properly.” There you have a case that is on all fours with the capacity of a manager without any control dealing with an income of about £250,000 and the credit which belongs to it, engaging in financial transactions uncontrolled and  unchecked by anyone who is not his servant within his accounting period. I think that is a very serious matter.
As the President has returned I should like to come back to what I said a few minutes ago. I spoke from recollection, and said I would be very willing if my recollection was wrong to alter and correct it. I extremely regret that I am not in a position to correct it. I refer the House to column 778 of the 2nd March, 1928, volume 22 of the Official Debates. The Minister for Finance, speaking on the constitution of the Tariff Commission and contrasting the functions, duties and responsibilities of civil servants when acting as members of the Tariff Commission and acting as ordinary members of their Departments, made the following statement. I am prepared to read as much of it as is required. He said: “A civil servant must do in his department what the Minister tells him in the last resort. His personal feelings, his personal honour or his personal views do not come into the matter at all, but when you appoint a civil servant on a Commission he is placed on the Commission in the same capacity as anybody outside.”
I am not concerned in any way with his personal feelings or his personal views, but I am concerned with the fact that a civil servant must do in his Department what the Minister tells him in the last resort. His personal honour does not come into the matter at all, and when you appoint a civil servant on a Commission he is placed on the Commission in the same capacity as anybody else.
I recall that not to stress it but to have, if possible, a repudiation of the view in relation to their duties and responsibilities which would be given by that document, that statement in the official records of this House, and to put against it the statement of the President that the obvious meaning of that, that the man may be ordered to do and shall do and carry out the orders of his departmental chief independent of his personal honour, is not the view of the Minister.
The PRESIDENT: I simply adhere to what I said: No. 1, that a civil servant  would be perfectly entitled to refuse to put on a letter a date other than the date upon which it was written. No. 2, that no Minister or the Executive Council itself can compel an officer in any department to pay out money to any person except a person to whom it is due.
Mr. FLINN: That is the repudiation I wanted.
The PRESIDENT: As to the other question, I happened to be a little late for Deputy Flinn's speech, but I understand he mentioned that a very considerable sum of money was in the hands of the manager in connection with the administration of Cork. I think he said he had a revenue of £240,000, which might be misused or something of that sort.
Mr. FLINN: If I may, I will give the President a case which came within my knowledge.
The PRESIDENT: I only want it in connection with the manager. I do not want any other one. Is it the case that the manager can spend moneys which he should not spend, that he can maladminister or pay out moneys to persons who should not be paid?
Mr. FLINN: That he could enter into contracts and could deal with the moneys, that he could incur obligations and could do anything which anybody in an ordinary case could do with money. The case which I have in my mind was that of a manager of a particular business.
The PRESIDENT: We do not want any of that.
Mr. FLINN: I am not concerned with what you want.
The PRESIDENT: I asked the Deputy a particular thing when he had finished his speech.
Mr. FLINN: I am prepared to give way to the President when he asks permission courteously, but I am not prepared to be brow-beaten by the President.
The PRESIDENT: The Deputy had finished his speech.
Mr. FLINN: I had not; I was on my feet.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: I understood that the Deputy had finished his speech. The President was on his feet.
The PRESIDENT: I do not want any explanation of something that happened elsewhere. I only wanted the Deputy to speak with regard to the manager. I want to say now that the Deputy has no experience whatever of municipal matters or he would not have made the statement he did.
Mr. FLINN: The question that arose is as to what would happen in the case of a surcharge. The fact that we were in a position to discuss the possibility of a surcharge meant that there was some possibility of a surcharge. In relation to these surcharges, Deputy Anthony wanted to know what was the position. The President was not here.
Mr. G. BOLAND: The President asked Deputy Flinn a question and he should not try to throw him off.
Mr. FLINN: The President is at his old game of side-tracking and running away. He is a back-chat comedian, and we have to put up with him.
The PRESIDENT: The Deputy is an excellent comedian.
Mr. FLINN: The President should not interrupt.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: I ask Deputy Flinn to deal with the amendment.
Mr. FLINN: I will, if allowed.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: The Deputy has not yet come to deal with the amendment on the paper.
Mr. FLINN: Deputy Anthony raised the question as to what would happen in the case of surcharges. He was told by the Minister those surcharges would be payable by the manager. What I am suggesting to the Minister is that the manager, when acting inside the area of finance, can get into difficulties and do things indiscreetly, illegally, or wrongly. In such case an attempt to recover the amount of the surcharge would be waste of time. That is a difficulty that the Minister would have to face by a guarantee or bonds.
The PRESIDENT: All I have to say is that the Deputy has no experience of municipal administration when he makes that extravagant statement. If he had any experience of it, or had one-twentieth of my experience, he would not have made that statement.
Mr. LEMASS: Would the President state what experience he has of city managers?
The PRESIDENT: I had many years of experience of the Corporation.
Question put: “That the words proposed to be deleted from the Bill stand.”
The Committee divided: Tá, 71; Níl, 62.
|Aird, William P.
Alton, Ernest Henry.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Bourke, Séamus A.
Byrne, John Joseph.
Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margaret.
Connolly, Michael P.
Cooper, Bryan Ricco.
Cosgrave, William T.
Craig, Sir James.
Davis, Michael. Jordan, Michael.
Law, Hugh Alexander.
Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
McFadden, Michael Og.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Murphy, James E.
Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
Myles, James Sproule.
Nally, Martin Michael.
Nolan, John Thomas.
|De Loughrey, Peter.
Doyle, Peadar Seán.
Duggan, Edmund John.
Egan, Barry M.
Esmonde, Osmond Thomas Grattan.
Gorey, Denis J.
Hassett, John J.
Heffernan, Michael R.
Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
Holohan, Richard. O'Connor, Bartholomew.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
O'Reilly, John J.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Shaw, Patrick W.
Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
Thrift, William Edward.
White, Vincent Joseph.
Wolfe, Jasper Traver.
Cassidy, Archie J.
Corry, Martin John.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
De Valera, Eamon.
Gorry, Patrick J.
|Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Kent, William R.
Killane, James Joseph.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
O'Hanlon, John F.
Powell, Thomas P.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
Ward, Francis C.
Tellers—Ta: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle. Níl: Deputies Anthony and Flinn.
Question declared carried.
Mr. DE VALERA: I move the following amendment:—
To delete sub-section (2) and substitute the following:—
“Every person appointed by or under this Act to be the manager shall by virtue of such appointment be a non-pensionable officer of the Corporation during the period of his office.”
I think I have already referred to this particular point. Everything depends on the view that is taken of the manager; whether he is to be an expert, so to speak, as a manager of a business firm, appointed for a short period—for such period as he gives satisfaction— and his appointment would then be renewable, or whether he is to be in a position analogous to that of a permanent civil servant. I know that there  is a good deal to be said for making the position pensionable, but we all know how slow a body, an elected body particularly, is to remove a servant even though he has not given satisfaction. If you are going to make this experiment of appointing a city manager you ought to make it possible for the council to regard him as an expert manager who has been brought in for a period, say, of five years. If he gives satisfaction during that period he could be re-appointed for another five years and even for a third period of five years. When I say that it should not be made a pensionable office I mean that he should not be regarded as a permanent officer.
I do not say, for example, that a scheme should not be drawn up by which a gratuity could be given by the council to an officer whose services they were going to dispense with if they thought it right, or that if a manager had served for two or three periods of five years the scheme should not be drawn up so that he may get a pension. I think it is wrong, however, if you are going to have this idea of a manager, in the sense of an expert manager who would have to the council in general the same relations which a manager in a business firm would have to a board of directors, that you should regard him in the same position as a permanent officer or civil servant. If you do that you may as well make the town clerk the manager and keep on practically the old system except that you get rid of your committees. I do not see in the new system anything, except in so far as there would be subordination at all of the manager to the council, other than that of the old town clerk. I say that if the idea of making him really responsible to the council were to be followed out. I am moving this amendment as the best way at this stage of getting the question decided whether he is to be appointed just as the manager of a business firm would be appointed for a short period or whether he is to be appointed as if he were a civil servant.
General MULCAHY: The Deputy would not, I am sure dream of suggesting that a county officer of health or a  county surveyor would be appointed on the same terms as a city manager.
Mr. DE VALERA: It is quite a different position.
General MULCAHY: The Deputy suggests that the position of city manager is the same as that of a manager of a business firm. The position of city manager is very different from that of a manager of a business firm in many respects. In the first place, so far as we are concerned, a manager of a business firm might reasonably leave one business and get employed as manager in another. The sphere in business open to him is very wide. There is not the same sphere in city management to attract people in the same way. Setting out to get men, particularly young men, to turn their minds to a future for themselves in this particular direction, and looking, as I said before, for men of energy and ability, at perhaps the most formative period of their careers, we must offer them, if we are to get proper city managers, satisfactory terms and fairly secure tenure of office. If we are to get the type of person we want we are not going to entice the type of person with the brains and ability which we want by issuing an advertisement for a city manager, and saying that we want him for five years. After five years there is nothing before him unless he gets appointed again, and after the next five years there is nothing before him unless his appointment is renewed, and so on with every period of five years. In no circumstances is he promised pensionable rights. He is dependent on the council that is dispensing with his services for a gratuity, or, as the Bill stands at present, for an allowance or a gratuity. The council that is going to dispense with a man's services and say: “We are going to advertise for a new manager at the end of five years,” is not a council that can afford, if they are going to stand in a reasonable light in the public eye, to give a decent gratuity to a man who proved himself to be a proper person. In our view, the most satisfactory way to get a satisfactory city manager is to do, as we propose in the Bill, namely, to have him as an officer of the Corporation entitled to a tenure of office, except he is removed  under the arrangement provided under Section 10, sub-section (5), and entitled to a pension or, if his services are discontinued inside ten years, entitled to whatever gratuity which seems to be proper to the Minister.
Mr. LEMASS: In the discussion upon this amendment I think it would be very advisable if Deputies were to bear in mind that this Bill creates an office in connection with local government much more important than any similar office which has existed before. It would be in the power of a city manager to affect in a very material and a very permanent way the entire prosperity and future of the city with which he was associated. We cannot of course take any chances that a person will be placed in such a responsible position who will not be in every way thoroughly competent to perform the duties devolving on him. In the system proposed in this Bill, adequate provision or satisfactory provision is made in the first place to secure a satisfactory manager, and in the second place, to dismiss that manager if he proves a failure. In so far as the Bill provides that, it is all right. But the Bill does not provide for the case which is much more likely to arise than the case of a thoroughly unsatisfactory manager and that is, the case of the manager who is just not good enough. We know it has been the experience of public bodies that it is very hard to get a vote in favour of the dismissal of any servant against whom no definite allegations can be made and who can only be judged by the fact that the results he has produced by his work are not thoroughly satisfactory. A number of arguments can always be advanced in favour of giving such a servant a second chance.
The same would apply in the case of a manager appointed under this Bill. If he is a very good man, the system proposed in this Bill or the system proposed in the amendment, will both have the same effect. He will continue in that office. If he is a very unsatisfactory man, he will cease to hold office. The council will be forced by circumstances, or by public opinion, to dismiss him; but if he is neither very satisfactory  nor very unsatisfactory, if he is just merely good enough to conduct things in a manner in which there is no definite complaint, but which is not giving the best results possible for the city, then it is advisable that his continuity in office should be periodically reviewed or at least that the council should have an opportunity of reviewing it. That is why we think it would be a more satisfactory arrangement to have this position of manager regarded as an expert position in which you would endeavour to place some person thoroughly competent to perform the duties attaching to it and to pay that person an expert salary, a salary based on the fact that you know he will not be a pensionable officer of the council, and then to bring up that man's appointment for revision at regular intervals every five years. That five years' review of his appointment gives you an opportunity of getting out of any commitment you made with him, when you appointed him. If you find that his work is not all that it might have been, even though he is not directly and positively unsatisfactory, you can at the end of his five year period pay him a gratuity which will be ample compensation for the interruption in his livelihood.
The effects of this experiment in city government will be very hard to foretell. It may prove that we will find by experience that the old system was the better. Personally, I do not think we will, but we should not take the risk of the experiment being proved a failure by the chance of a wrong appointment at the beginning—and that chance is there. We have very few experts in city government. I do not suppose there are any persons who could claim to be experts except those who have been acting as commissioners in Dublin and Cork, and it would be a moot point whether or not they could honestly be described as experts. Some of the commissioners appointed to replace county councils which were suppressed proved themselves anything but experts. We must recognise the fact that the number of persons who will be able to send in applications for any of these positions that become vacant will be very few. We may be  forced to choose a person who is not good enough. We will be appointing that person for life and appointing him in circumstances which will make it difficult to remove him unless he does something decidedly wrong. At the end of five, ten or fifteen years, there may be a number of better persons available and we should not close the avenue by which these better persons can come in and be given charge of administrative functions in Dublin and Cork. That is why I think that a very strong case can be made out for an appointment for a limited period. If it is the purpose of the Minister to provide a satisfactory scheme, and not nerely to leave the appointment for a particular individual, he will very seriously consider the amendment which Deputy de Valera has moved.
Mr. CORRY: I wish to support the amendment. Since this experiment of camouflage dictatorship is going to be inflicted on Cork, and in view of that experiment and the other similar experiments they made in the last few years, each experiment carrying with it its host of pensioned officials, and the appointment of new officials, we should consider that surely to goodness there are enough of pensioned officials in Ireland at present without the need for passing further laws to pay compensation and pensions to new officials as soon as this new experiment has proved a failure. When I look at this section I am surprised that there has not been included in this Bill a proposal to enact that for every year this new city manager served as Commissioner there should be added a period of ten years to his pensionable service. That is, I think, the usual thing with the Department of Local Government and Public Health. I am surprised that when they started on the game of giving this man a pension they did not consider his years of faithful service as a Commissioner. I even yet wonder are these years that he served as Commissioner to be considered when his pension is to be fixed? And is that pension to be payable by the Government who bring in this sort of camouflage dictatorship as an experiment? If the experiment proves a failure, are they prepared to  pay that pension themselves or is it to fall on the unfortunate citizens of Cork? We have already enough pensions to pay in Cork County——
Mr. CAREY: Including what you are getting yourself.
Mr. CORRY: There are pensions paid by the Government for national services——
Mr. CAREY: Oh no; the pension is for services previous to that.
Mr. CORRY: When we take into consideration that a large portion of the work of the National Government is shoved upon the local officials by way of emolument, we can realise how the public are pressed down by taxation. We have already enough pensions to pay, but it is rather hard that the people of Cork should be called upon to pay new pensions to dictators who were sent there to Cork against the will of the people of Cork. I object to paying pensions now to these camouflage dictators.
Mr. DAVIN: I realise that it is very dangerous for me, not being a Corkman, to interfere in the argument that is going on about this Bill for Cork.
Mr. CAREY: You are running no risk.
Mr. DAVIN: Our friend says more by interruption than he does in his speeches. In the ordinary course of things I would agree with the Minister for Local Government and Public Health that the chief executive officer of any local governing body should have pensionable rights. But I cannot take the view in this particular case in view of the peculiar circumstances that this person should appoint himself in the first instance with the consent of the Minister for Local Government and then afterwards declare that the office is a pensionable one. This amendment must be considered in conjunction with Section 10 of the Bill, which is that the existing Commissioner in the City of Cork, who has been appointed by the Minister for Local Government, with the consent of the Government and without the authority of the ratepayers of Cork, who have to find his  salary, is to be appointed as the first manager of the Cork Corporation. We must consider the amendment in connection with that particular section. I am opposed to the commissioner system and I look upon the appointment of the Commissioner regardless of whether he is qualified for the job or not and I look upon this appointment to the Corporation of Cork without the consent of the ratepayers there as dictatorship. He was appointed, without the authority of the people of Cork, by the Government. He was appointed without pensionable rights, and now, under Section 10, he is going to be duly appointed— also without the consent of the ratepayers of Cork. The Minister, with the consent again of the existing Commissioner, is going to appoint him to a pensionable office. I would like, if possible, that the present Commissioner should hold office for a short period, and that at the end of a certain period the council or the county borough of Cork should have authority to review his work. For instance, at the end of five years, the council that would then be in office in Cork as the result of this Bill, should have a right to say whether he should continue in office or not, and they should have a right to say afterwards whether his office should be pensionable or not. At any rate, I believe that the chief executive officer of a local authority, an ordinary democratic body, should have a pensionable office, But I would not say that he should have a pension until that is agreed to by the body elected by the ratepayers of Cork. They should be empowered to consider the matter and to say whether they are satisfied that he has discharged the duty of the office in a highly satisfactory way, and then they should be allowed to decide the question of his pensionable rights.
The PRESIDENT: Deputy Davin said that this Commissioner was appointed by the Minister for Local Government with the consent of the Government. He has made that as a statement of fact. As a matter of fact, that is not so. The appointment of the Commissioner was not a matter that fell for the consideration of the Government  and, consequently, Government sanction was not given to it.
Mr. DAVIN: I take the view that the Commissioner who is the local authority at the moment is by Section 10 of this Bill appointing himself as chief executive officer to the City of Cork without any regard to the views or wishes of the local ratepayers. I say that is a most uncalled for proposal. We must consider Deputy de Valera's amendment in the light of existing circumstances. I would say that the position should not be declared a pensionable one, and that Philip Monahan should not be entitled to pensionable rights until he has been properly appointed by some democratic body which may be set up as a result of this Bill or some other Bill of this kind.
The PRESIDENT: I do not think the Deputy is right in saying that the Commissioner appoints himself.
General MULCAHY: The position is that Deputy Davin does not agree with Deputy de Valera's amendment. That is quite sound. Deputy Lemass considers it is very difficult to get public bodies to discharge public servants who are not giving them useful services. There is a difficulty about getting public bodies to discharge servants like that.
Mr. LEMASS: No; I said discharging servants who are not giving as useful service as might be given by somebody else.
General MULCAHY: But the Deputy wants to make it more difficult in the case of an important office to get the council to face up to their responsibilities and get rid of a manager who is not doing his work properly or not doing it up to the standard the work should be done. He wants to put the council into the position that they cannot adequately recompense such a man when his removal from office would be desirable in the interests of more efficient administration. It may be that the manager has been there for five years, and he gets appointed again for another five years. Then through falling into ill-health or through one thing or another, it happens that he is  not giving efficient service. The council do not want to stand over him. After ten years' service they want to get rid of him. It is then that the question of pension arises.
Mr. LEMASS: I said to give him an adequate gratuity.
General MULCAHY: At any rate, the Deputy is making it more difficult for the public body to make up its mind to get rid of such a manager. You have a position like this: a manager is appointed for five years, and at the end of that five years he wants another five years of office. There are many ways in which the manager can play up to his council in the last five years of office, so that he would get another five years of office. It is much more satisfactory to make the manager an officer of the Corporation, giving them the power of removal if he is not satisfactory.
Mr. DERRIG: Surely, the fact that the office is a pensionable one, means that the council will be reluctant to avail of any opportunity they may get, if they so desire, to dispense with his services as manager. It is the universal opinion that councils, like governments, are not anxious to get rid of their officials when they feel that those officials are to be paid pensions. We believe the fact that the city manager will be a pensionable official will mean, in the minds of the council, that he ought to be retained, because if his services are dispensed with, then he will have to get a pension. Therefore, we believe that the whole question of the appointment of a manager should be left to the council. It has been the practice in other countries, and I think this experiment which it is now proposed to make is the first one in which it is sought to appoint a city manager for life.
As far as I understand, city managers are experts appointed for particular periods, and as Deputy Flinn has said, we have no objection to paying an expert the highest fees; but we believe in the necessity for keeping as many avenues as possible open to our educated young men. When we are filling  specialist appointments we ought not fill them for life, but for temporary periods, so that better men can come along later and they will have a chance of filling these positions. The Minister proposes to confine this appointment in Cork, and presumably an appointment in Dublin, to the gentlemen who at present happen to be Commissioners. There is no reason why some avenue should not be left in the Bill by which university graduates or other men specially trained in city management could have a chance of getting the post after five or ten years.
Mr. DAVIN: The Minister has tried to make out that I am in conflict with Deputy de Valera's amendment. That is true to a certain extent, but I qualified it by saying that if in the ordinary course of events the position of chief executive officer became vacant under the existing system, the appointment should be advertised and made by the Local Appointments Commissioners. What I object to in the Bill, and where my mind is confused on the question of the amendment, is that the Commissioner who is administering the affairs of Cork Borough has actually recommended himself for the appointment of city manager and the Minister, in Section 10, agrees. That is done behind the backs of the Cork ratepayers and I object to that. If, after the setting up of this new body which is to supervise the work of the city manager, the members consider as a result of their experience of this man that he is fit and capable for the work, under those circumstances only would I agree that he should hold a pensionable post.
General MULCAHY: The Deputy is now proceeding to discuss Section 10. The proposal contained in Section 10 is that the present Commissioner will be the first manager. That is not being done behind the backs of anyone and it is because it should not be done behind the backs of anyone that it is put in this Bill. It is quite easy for a clause to be put in here setting out that the Minister shall appoint the first manager.
Mr. LEMASS: Why not the council?
General MULCAHY: As I explained earlier, what we are doing in Cork is a continuing experiment. We are passing from the Commissioner system to a council with a manager. The Bill proposes that the present Commissioner should be the first manager. If in five years' time the council persuade the Minister by the majority mentioned here in Section 10 (5) that they can get a better manager, then the first manager can be dispensed with. A gratuity can be paid to the out-going manager. I do not see that there is anything unreasonable in that or that there is any necessity to go behind anyone's back in the doing of it.
Mr. DAVIN: Why not leave the name out in this particular case? I am not making any statement that the person mentioned is unfit or incapable. I know nothing about him whatsoever. I am prepared to agree that he is a fit and proper person. Why not leave his name out of the Bill and adopt the procedure which is ordinarily adopted where a chief executive officer is to be appointed?
Mr. ANTHONY: Are we discussing Section 10 or Section 9?
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: Deputy Davin is discussing Section 10.
Mr. DAVIN: So is the Minister.
General MULCAHY: I made a remark upon it simply because the Deputy had referred to it.
Mr. LEMASS: We are not even discussing Section 9; we are discussing the amendment.
Mr. BRISCOE: I can quite see that the Minister desires to hand back restricted functions to the people of Cork in the shape of certain representation on a council with a manager. The same thing may well happen in Dublin, and I cannot see by what right this House should take upon itself the responsibility of saddling the Cork or the Dublin people with a pensionable officer not of their own choice. I can quite see that the Minister may want to have a certain person appointed. It is necessary to have a person well suited and specially adapted for the  position. Deputy de Valera's amendment leaves the matter open, so that if after a certain period the Cork people are satisfied that the man appointed is the most competent person and they want to retain him, they may, with the Minister's sanction, make arrangements whereby after a certain period of years he will be entitled to a pension or gratuity. It is not fair to saddle these people without leaving them some choice in the matter. Deputy Corry said that the payment of the pension would come out of the rates. I do not think that is quite correct, because the State provides certain grants towards the alleviation of rates. In the circumstances I maintain we are doing a double injustice; we are saddling the ratepayers in Cork and the ordinary taxpayers over the whole twenty-six counties. If the Minister is adamant and is not prepared to give way on Deputy de Valera's amendment, I suppose we will have to go through the usual procedure, as Deputy Flinn pointed out, and this amendment will be defeated in the Division Lobby. I do not believe it is right for us to pass this matter over lightly and be satisfied that this man will be appointed by the House, so that whether he is liked or not, retained or not, the Cork people will have to pay him a pension when they get rid of him. The same thing will confront us in Dublin, and it is the principle involved that concerns me. I should like to know if the Minister is prepared to consider giving the Cork Council some slight semblance of authority, so that they can satisfy themselves before this man is appointed that he is the right and proper person and that they wish to appoint him. If they wish to show appreciation of the Minister's selection by a vote, he can get a pension when his services are terminated.
Mr. ANTHONY: I am opposed to the amendment for very obvious reasons. If we want to secure at any time in Cork an official who would conscientiously carry out the duties imposed upon him——
Mr. LEMASS: Come to Dublin.
Mr. ANTHONY: Or in Dublin, which is, of course, of lesser importance than  Cork. At any rate, Corkmen have sufficient intelligence to know that if they want to attract to a position of this kind a man of ability they will have to pay him. I never had any sympathy with cheap talk about high salaries to competent and efficient officials. For that reason I am opposed to the amendment. As far as the Cork people are concerned, and those who will be their representatives in the Corporation in future, I feel confident that they will not quibble about a few pounds, so far as the salary of the city manager is concerned. I also know that, acting in their own interests, apart from anything else, they will make the position sufficiently attractive to keep the present man. I shall have something to say on later sections, but I am not going to follow the bad example shown to-night by Ministers and others in discussing subsequent sections now. I am going to confine myself strictly to Section 9. So far as we in Cork are concerned, we believe when we get a good man in paying him. I am speaking for a considerable section of the community when I say that we believe that this office should be made pensionable. I shall have something to say when we come to the next section, but I want to say now that I cannot understand the mentality behind this amendment. I want to find out the reason why an important official of an important city, holding such an appointment as this, should be a non-pensionable officer when, in places like Dublin and places less important than Cork, people holding positions not at all so important as that of city manager for Cork are pensionable officers. I say that a man in the position of city manager of Cork might be easily compared with a chief of a Department of Government. I, for one, am not going to subscribe to the doctrine that a man appointed to manage the affairs of an important city like Cork should be a non-pensionable officer and enjoy fewer advantages than the chief of a Civil Service Department. We have made this strictly a non-party question, but I am sorry to say that the Cumann na nGaedheal Party did not follow our example——
Mr. BLYTHE: All parties have  shown themselves worthy of the trust reposed in them.
Mr. ANTHONY: When the division lists are published we can analyse them, and I think they will show that no matter what arguments have been advanced or what amendments put down by the Fianna Fáil Party or the Labour Party, the Cumann na nGaedheal Party was always solidly behind this measure.
The PRESIDENT: Are we not considering a couple of these amendments now?
Mr. ANTHONY: I want to lay stress upon the fact that Cumann na nGaedheal has made this a party question. The Labour Party has not made it a party question, as will be seen in the Division Lobby when we come to the vote on the other amendments on the Paper. The Fianna Fáil Party voted with us, or shall I say with me, on one or two occasions, and I voted with them, but on no occasion, in any division, do I find that the Cumann na nGaedheal Party voted with me or with the Fianna Fáil Party.
Mr. BLYTHE: You did not vote in the right way.
Mr. ANTHONY: I am speaking as an individual. In this case, I do not know whether or not the Fianna Fáil Party has taken any decision on the matter, but I am going to vote against Deputy de Valera's amendment. I would like some gesture from the other side.
Mr. DAVIN: They are steel-bound.
Mr. ANTHONY: I will not say they are steel-bound, but I would like some gesture to show that they are not moribund. At any rate, I would like that they would give us some assurance as to their non-party attitude upon this amendment. I see the President smile.
The PRESIDENT: We had no Party meetings with regard to this Bill.
Progress ordered to be reported.
The Dáil went out of Committee.
Progress reported. Committee to sit again to-morrow.
The Dáil adjourned at 10.30 p.m. till to-morrow, Friday.
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