Nomination of President of the Executive Council.

Wednesday, 2 April 1930

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 34 No. 4

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Mr. S.T. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I rise to move the Motion standing in my name that Deputy Eamon de Valera be nominated President of the Executive Council.

No doubt there are people who would deem it a high honour even to have their names proposed for that position. It is not with that thought in mind that I am making this proposition. I propose the name of Deputy de Valera as President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State because I think that only a man of his great capacity can with any promise of early success show the portion of our country which the Free State Government is permitted to control a safe road out of the dangers and difficulties that at present confront it. I propose Deputy Eamon de Valera because he is the outstanding figure in our generation. No man of our time has proved himself more fitting to be the leader of the Irish people, and no man in this House is as likely as he to restore to our people that confidence in themselves, that pride in their race, that enthusiasm, that hope, that spiritual outlook, that determination to retrieve the fallen fortunes of their country and that will to victory that is essential before any progress can be made on the road to real freedom and prosperity.

Since first he dramatically entered Irish public life, Eamon de Valera has been looked to in times of greatest danger and difficulty to save the country from perils that threatened. His first great achievement as leader of the Irish race was to save the manhood of the nation [282] from decimation, and at a later crisis it was he who, throwing all thoughts of place and power, personal advancement and popularity aside, stood with the virile youth who remained true to the national faith and tradition and fought to save the nation's honour.

He is the man under whose wise and courageous leadership the good name of Ireland was raised to heights unknown before, even in our history of great achievements. Under his guidance the fame of the Irish people for steadfastness to principle, for courage in facing fearful odds and for self-sacrifice in the national cause, became known in every city and town in the world, as well as in sparsely populated places in the less known continents. With him to lead us, we witnessed, in our own day, our national aspirations brought closer to complete realisation than at any time since the days of the great Owen Roe O'Neill. The name of de Valera, in fact, became synonymous, not alone with Ireland but synonymous with the freedom-loving, courageous and high-minded race that he represented.

To my mind we have to-day to face a situation which requires the ablest men of our race to deal with. During the régime of the late Government our country has been going from bad to worse, largely through want of proper leadership. Our green isle, one of the most fertile countries on the earth, sparsely populated as it is, has thousands of families in our cities, in our towns, and in our rural areas whose daily lot is hunger. Hundreds of thousands of our ablest and best young men and women have been forced to flee the country to search in the overcrowded cities of England, Scotland, the United States, Australia and Canada for the sustenance that is denied them at home. Many thousands of acres of fertile lands have gone out of cultivation, our industries are either declining or being allowed to be bought up and controlled by foreigners in the interest of foreigners. Despite the widespread unemployment in all classes [283] of trades, vast numbers of our people are without proper housing. Sickness, disease, and a high mortality among our infants is the daily report from all quarters. In fine, the condition of the country is such that a radical change is necessary and must come soon if the nation is to be saved and if the people are to be afforded an opportunity to live and bring up their children with any prospect of even modest comfort in their own land. That change is not alone due—it is overdue, and I propose Eamon de Valera as President, because I believe that he is the man, and only man, in public life here to-day whose ability and whose personality will enable the Irish people to face the future with confidence.

As Eamon de Valera was the man, who, in the not so far off past, led us successfully through dangers and difficulties, and did so without in any way tarnishing our honour, so I believe he is the man who is best suited to be our guide to-day. If the grave unemployment problem is to be solved, if our lost industries are to be revived, if our remaining industries are to be saved for Ireland and developed for her benefit, if the land of Ireland is to be restored to tillage and the people of Ireland provided with a proper living in their own land, if the homeless and houseless thousands of families are to be given proper and sanitary shelter and the thousands of infants who die yearly be given a chance, under proper healthy conditions, to live and thrive, I believe it is under his talented and courageous leadership that this can best be achieved. As he has brought honour and credit to the name of Ireland in the past, so I believe will his ripe scholarship, his prudent statesmanship, his simple faith, and his ardent patriotism enable him to face unflinchingly the grave and pressing problems that confront our people. I believe that not alone will he face these difficulties with courage and capacity to solve them, but that he is the man who will, at the same time, successfully restore among Irishmen that unity of aim and of action which unfortunately [284] has been lost to us in recent years. I am satisfied that he, more than any other man, to-day, will make it possible to see the national ranks close up once more and the men of our race who stand always for Ireland first, again massed shoulder to shoulder in a great all-embracing national movement whose object will be the restoration of the prosperity and the unity of our motherland through the attainment of that sovereign independence which is Ireland's God-given right.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I formally second the motion.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  The question before the Dáil is that Deputy Eamon de Valera be elected President of the Executive Council.

Mr. T.J. O'Connell: Information on Tomas O'Connell  Zoom on Tomas O'Connell  On Thursday last the members on these benches formed part of the majority that carried the Second Reading of the Old Age Pensions Bill. The Government having decided to reject the views of a majority of this House, and to refuse to carry out the instructions of the House as expressed by that majority, took the only course that was open to them by resigning, and so we are faced to-day with the grave task of finding a successor to the Ministry that has just gone out of office. We must choose a Government which will be prepared, without question or subterfuge, to give legislative and administrative effect to the wishes of the people as expressed through their elected representatives in this House. That is the foundation of Parliamentary Government.

I take it that on this motion I must confine myself to the one nomination that is now before us. If this were a country with a long parliamentary history behind it, a change of Ministers—the selection of one set of individuals instead of another set—would be governed by comparatively simple considerations, because in that case certain fundamentals would be taken as granted and would be regarded as common ground by all engaged in the selection. [285] That, unfortunately, is not the position here, because here the fundamentals themselves are an issue, and, in my opinion, just because they are fundamental they must be regarded as the primary issue.

It might be well to examine for a moment what these fundamental issues are. There is, first, the question of this Parliament itself—its rights and its powers.

This Parliament is a sovereign Parliament. No person and no power outside this country has a right to impose its will on this Parliament or to dictate to it what it should or should not do. Not only has the Oireachtas the power, but it has the right to make laws for the peace, order and good government of this country, and that right, and those powers, are derived and continue to be derived, not from any outside authority, but from the people. It is without question or equivocation a de jure as well as a de facto Parliament. Any person who denies or questions, or even doubts the sovereignty of this Parliament, who denies or questions or even doubts its moral right to make and administer the laws of this State, and to insist on the strict observance of these laws, is not, in my humble opinion, a suitable person to be entrusted with the control of the powers which are inherent in this Parliament. That I lay down as my first essential.

Applying this test to the candidate whose name is now before us for nomination as head of the Government, are we in a position to say, is anyone here in a position to say, that he accepts without question or reservation the proposition which I have just laid down? If there is any doubt on the matter, we have Deputy de Valera's recorded words, spoken here in this House, some twelve months ago, and never since retracted or qualified. I quote from his speech made on the Second Stage of the Central Fund Bill on March 14th, 1929, column 1,398:—

We are asked to state clearly what our attitude towards this House is. I have on more than [286] one occasion said exactly what our attitude was. I still hold that our right to be regarded as the legitimate Government of this country is faulty, that this House itself is faulty.

In the same speech (col. 1,399), referring to the entry of his Party to the Dáil, he said:—

We came in here because we thought that a practical rule could be evolved in which order could be maintained; and we said that it was necessary to have some assembly in which the representatives of the people by a majority vote should be able to decide national policy. As we were not able to get a majority to meet outside this House, we had to come here if there was to be a majority at all of the people's representatives in any one assembly.

Later on, in col. 1,400, referring to a certain organisation of which he and his Party had been members up to 1925, and the circumstances in which he severed his connection with that organisation, he said:—

My proposition that the representatives of the people should come in here and unify control so that we would have one Government and one Army was defeated, and for that reason I resigned. Those who continued on in that organisation (that is, those who would not accept the principle of one Government and one Army) which we have left can claim exactly the same continuity that we claimed up to 1925.

There is no need to dwell at length on these declarations. They are, to my mind, clear and definite affirmations of Deputy de Valera's attitude to this House and to this Parliament.

In the first place, he regards any Government elected by this House, or that could now, or in the future, be elected by this House, as faulty and having no just or moral claim to be regarded as a legitimate Government. He and his followers are here, not because this is a sovereign Parliament, or indeed because it is [287] a Parliament of any kind, but because it is an assembly of a majority of the people's representatives. If he could have got a majority of these representatives to meet outside this House and this Parliament he would have done so. It was only because he failed to get a majority to meet outside this House that he came in here. I do not know whether or not we are to assume from this that if and when he does get a majority he will then refuse to come in here, and will convene his assembly in the Rotunda or the Mansion House. That, in any case, would be the natural inference from this statement.

Finally, we have the remarkable, and, in my opinion, dangerous and mischievous statement that the legitimate or de jure Government is vested in an organisation outside this House and in those who continued on in that organisation after he had left it.

As I have said, these significant statements have never been withdrawn. They have, in fact, been repeated in somewhat different from by prominent followers of Deputy de Valera, like Deputy O'Kelly and Deputy Little. So long as these views are held by Deputy de Valera, no vote of mine will be cast to enable him to become head of a Government chosen by this House.

I now come to my second consideration, which, indeed, is related to the first and which unfortunately has to be taken into account in deciding the proposal now before the House. I use the word “unfortunately” advisedly, because it is an issue which many in this House and very many more outside this House would like to see placed in cold storage. I refer to the Treaty. On this issue there should be no need to reiterate our position or define where we stand, but we have to take account of the invincible ignorance of people like Deputy Heffernan or Deputy Seamus Burke or Deputy J. J. Byrne, to whom failure or hesitancy on our part to give our unqualified [288] support to the Cumann na nGaedheal Party in everything it does, can mean one thing and one thing alone—viz., that we are opposed to the Treaty. According to these enlightened Deputies the Treaty “baby” belongs to Cumann na nGaedheal, and unless you are a member of Cumann na nGaedheal or give them unquestioned support in everything they propose you have no right to nurse the “baby” or to be regarded as having any feeling towards it but that of a desire to commit infanticide. Apparently, if we are to judge by this morning's papers, Deputy Lemass is likewise in need of enlightenment.

Now in regard to the Treaty, we stand where we have always stood— where we stood in 1922, when, despite the death notices which we all had in our pockets, we came in here in order to use to the fullest the powers which were given under the Treaty. We accept the Treaty, and we recognise the institutions set up under the Treaty. We accept it as the irreducible minimum, in the same spirit as Griffith accepted it, regarding it as no more the final word than we do this the final generation, keeping in mind Parnell's dictum that no man has a right to set bounds to the march of a nation. I hope that statement is sufficiently clear and sufficiently definite to satisfy even Deputy Bourke or Deputy Heffernan.

Mr. Heffernan: Information on Michael Richard Heffernan  Zoom on Michael Richard Heffernan  Why Deputy Heffernan? I think I am entitled to an explanation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I will hear Deputy O'Connell.

Mr. Lynch: Information on Fionán Lynch  Zoom on Fionán Lynch  One would like to ask if the Labour Party were the only Party who received death notices.

Mr. O'Connell:  I challenge either or both of these Deputies to show wherein the Labour Party have ever departed from that attitude. I hope I have made myself equally clear and equally definite to my friends in the Fianna Fáil benches, and that [289] henceforth neither Cumann na nGaedheal nor Fianna Fáil will have any doubt as to where Labour stands. Now I am afraid that in so far as the attitude of Deputy de Valera and his Party to the Treaty is concerned I am in the same position as the vast majority of the people of the country are. I do not know exactly what that attitude is. On this question the members of Fianna Fáil “speak with divers tongues,” and I have long ago given up hope of being able to reconcile these various statements. But for the sake of my argument I am willing to believe that the Party is now beginning to realise, after a lapse of eight barren years, that the attitude taken by Labour in 1922 had much to recommend it, and that, despite all the talk to the contrary, that attitude was not inconsistent with the fostering of a national spirit and a national outlook. I doubt if I am justified in believing this, but it has been hinted at least in the speeches of some of their members that this will eventually be their attitude. Deputy Lemass' speeches would, of course, convey the contrary impression, and if one were to believe half what comes over the cables from the American itinerant, foolish or timid people could not be blamed if they assumed that Deputy de Valera's accession to power might involve immediate and terrible war. However, as I say, I will assume for the moment, whether justified or not, that their attitude is gradually tending towards Labour's view.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Some hopes.

Mr. O'Connell:  But even where that is said or hinted, it is always accompanied by the statement that until all the barriers set up or supposed to be set up by the Treaty are removed, there can be no hope of economic development. Now it is here we come to the second fundamental difference between Labour and Fianna Fáil. While we say in effect, “Forget for the moment the limitations imposed by the Treaty— these things can wait—there is no urgency about them—bend all your [290] energies to the task of economic development,” Fianna Fáil reverses this order of things. According to them, economic development is dependent on the securing of what is called complete independence. Although, according to Mr. de Valera himself, there is want and chronic misery in thousands of Irish homes, and although “tens of thousands of our children and young people are doomed to spend the critical years of mental and physical growth in squalor and semi-starvation, although thousands are unemployed and many thousands of our citizens live in slums, Fianna Fáil make the Treaty issue the first plank in their programme, and not only that, but they say in effect that they cannot even hope to make economic progress until that issue is got rid of, until partition has been removed and full and complete independence has been obtained.”

Let me give a few quotations to show what the outlook of Fianna Fáil is in this respect.

At the last Ard-Fheis of Fianna Fáil held in October, 1929, Deputy Lemass is reported as having said: “Our first object is to establish a Republican form of Government in this country in our time. A victory at the poll will be only the first step in achieving that aim. The most difficult and strenuous part of the work will arise after that victory.”

Speaking at Donoughmore, Co. Cork, about a month later, Nov. 11th, 1929, the same Deputy said: “Fianna Fáil were trying to establish the absolute independence of the country because they were satisfied that unless the people could be made to realise that absolute independence was essential to economic progress they would be merely wasting their efforts in attempting remedies themselves on any other lines.”

Speaking in Edenderry on March 23rd, Deputy Lemass again said: “It is the purpose of Fianna Fáil to convince the people that economic prosperity and national progress are dependent on a revival of national self-respect, which in turn cannot be achieved until the degrading obligations of the Treaty are removed.”

[291] Nothing could be clearer or more definite than these statements on the part of Deputy Lemass. “The degrading obligations of the Treaty must be removed,” before we can have economic prosperity.

I do not wish to weary the House with similar quotations from other members of the Party. But I might give just one other from Deputy deValera himself, which was made to the Chicago Press last Saturday in reference to the resignation of the Government.

“If a Fianna Fáil Government takes office it will proceed with the declared policy of the Party. First, the unity and independence of Ireland as a Republic; secondly, the rebuilding of Irish industry.” (“Daily Mail,” 31st March.)

Mr. G. Boland: Information on Gerald Boland  Zoom on Gerald Boland  What about the “Morning Post”?

Mr. O'Connell:  Any Deputy opposite can deny if that represents the view. I think it is clear that if we are to accept the statements of the accredited leaders of Fianna Fáil as being sincerely and honestly meant, we can have no doubt that if Deputy de Valera found himself at the head of the Government he would consider it his first duty to remove the degrading obligations of the Treaty, to get rid of partition, and to sever the last link between this country and Britain. Labour, on the other hand, thinks that the first duty of any Government elected by this House is to tackle seriously, earnestly, and determinedly, the social and economic ills from which the country is suffering. In our opinion there is ample scope within the Treaty and the Constitution to enable us to institute every reform necessary for the social betterment of our people, and there is no need to wait until the last British soldier leaves Berehaven before we begin to make a serious attempt to use the powers we now have to make the lot of our people happier and brighter than it is under existing conditions. We are opposed to Cumann na nGaedheal because they have not [292] used to the fullest advantage the powers which the Treaty has given them.

We are opposed to Fianna Fáil because they do not propose to use those powers until they have first got rid of partition and established complete independence. Why, in God's name, can we not all agree to make the fullest possible use of the powers we have got, face up to facts as we find them, recognise the practical difficulties in the way of securing the fulness of our ideals and all that may be involved in any attempt to remove these difficulties other than by friendly consultation and agreement between all Parties concerned? All this talk about “another round with England,”“another battle of Clontarf,” a show-down with Britain,” and such like statements foolishly indulged in by supporters and leaders of Fianna Fáil and exploited for their own political ends by Cumann na nGaedheal, cause timid people very grave uneasiness and doubt. Such doubt and uncertainty are highly detrimental to national progress. People who take such statements at their face value (and there are many who do) and, justifiably or otherwise, believe that they can only mean ultimate revolution, will not settle down to the serious work of economic reconstruction and development. Not only can we not afford to run the risk of another revolution in this country, we cannot afford even to talk about it. Nations do not stand still. We have reached a certain stage in our national development. We have power to establish peace and order and good Government in this State, to develop its dormant resources and increase its material wealth, to ensure that every citizen in this State is adequately fed, housed, clothed and educated. If and when in the course of our development we find ourselves hampered by any limitations in the existing Treaty or the Constitution set up under it, we can then face up to the task of how such limitations may be removed. But it is more than likely that by the time [293] we reach that point, or long before it, these barriers which now appear to some to be so formidable will have either completely disappeared or will present little, if any, difficulty in their removal.

I have said nothing so far about the economic programme of Fianna Fáil. I have confined myself to what I regard as fundamental political issues. While there are many matters in that programme on which there is general agreement between ourselves and Fianna Fáil, and still others which run more or less parallel with our own, I am not at all prepared to admit, what is sometimes suggested—viz., that there are no essential differences between their programme and ours.

I do not wish to go into these differences now in any detail. Suffice it to say that we do not believe in lowering the standard of life in this country as a means of solving our economic difficulties. We shall not say to our farmers or town workers that it would be more appropriate for them to adapt themselves to the standard of the small agricultural countries of Central Europe rather than seek to maintain the standard set by a large industrial country like England. Increased wealth production and more equitable distribution of that wealth among the people shall be our ideal. But there is no necessity to develop this point, because I think I have already shown why it is impossible for the Labour Party, holding the views it does, to do other than oppose the candidature of Deputy de Valera for the Presidency. I only refer to this matter of their economic programme, lest it should be assumed that on this point there were no essential differences between us or that we might be prepared to accept and endorse the Fianna Fáil programme if the other questions were not at issue. That is not the case.

Finally, I think it is my duty, in view of certain statements that have been made, to say very definitely and emphatically, that there is no alliance, and never was an alliance, between the Labour Party and either of the big Parties in this House. [294] There are fundamental differences between the Labour Party and Fianna Fáil just as there are fundamental differences between Labour and Cumann na nGaedheal. There can be no alliance between Parties whose policies are fundamentally different. It is because of these differences that Labour feels compelled to oppose the election of Deputy deValera just as it has hitherto opposed, and will again, if necessary, oppose, the nominee of Cumann na nGaedheal.

In voting against Deputy de Valera the Labour Party are not motived by any desire for Party advantage. Party advantage might indeed dictate a different course from what is being pursued to-day. But even before to-day Labour has shown that it was not unprepared to sacrifice Party advantage to what it believed to be the national welfare.

If the action of the Labour Party to-day and the reasons which I have given for that action, have the effect of bringing Deputy de Valera and his followers to realise that what the country earnestly wants is an end to the barren controversies of the past eight years and the substitution therefor of what is sometimes disparagingly called a “bread and butter” policy, then Labour will, in my opinion, and not for the first time in the history of these years, have rendered valuable and lasting service to the national interest.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Produced by Mortished and Johnson.

Minister for Defence (Mr. Fitzgerald): Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  The act the Dáil is called upon to perform to-day is the most important act that this Assembly can perform. I might even go so far as to say that it is almost a sacramental act. I will quote the words of Pope Leo the Thirteenth:—“Christians surround the idea of power with a religious respect in which, even when it resides in an unworthy mandatory, they see a reflection and, as it were, an image of Divine Majesty. They have for the laws the just respect that is due to them, not because of force and penal sanctions, but by duty of conscience.”[295] Again, he said:—“It is no more permitted to contemn the legitimate power, whosoever may be the person in whom it resides, than it is to resist the Will of God.”

This Dáil to-day proposes electing a President and consequently electing a Government in whom shall reside the power to control the destinies of this country and of its people; in whom shall reside the power of life and death. For many generations the Irish people sought to establish their right themselves to exercise that power; that is to say, to exercise that power through a Government formed from among themselves. The name put before us is that of Deputy de Valera. Let us consider what is the primary and fundamental function of Government. The primary and fundamental function of Government is to maintain social order, to protect life and property and to maintain a condition of peace. We must consider this candidature now put before us from that point of view. If the various candidates put before us from the point of view of social order, of peace, of safety for life and property, are equal, then we could consider the differences between them upon less fundamental points.

The name of Deputy de Valera is put before us. Does anybody here know what his policy is? I know that many people in this country assumed that somewhere about the 10th or 11th March, 1926, Deputy de Valera made a radical change in his programme. Up to that time he had belonged to a certain organisation and had declared himself President of an Irish Republic, arrogating to himself and those with him power of life and death over the people of this country. On the 11th March, 1926, Deputy de Valera resigned from that Presidency. On the 12th April, 1926, he announced that he was forming a new organisation. On the 16th May, 1926, Fianna Fáil was publicly introduced at a meeting in the La Scala Theatre, and on the 24th November, 1926, the first Convention of Fianna Fáil was held.

[296] When anyone in life is faced with a serious responsibility, that person has not the right to act blindly. We here are not merely citizens of this State, but are the elected and chosen representatives of the people, and in our hands to-day the destiny of our country is placed. Have we the right to say blindly that we will trust to luck? Is it not our duty to examine the past and to understand what is to be expected from the individual put before us and his declared policy? I admit that the Irish people, being denied for centuries the right to govern themselves, may be justified in showing a lack of political perspicacity that might be found in other countries, but that lack is not to be expected here. If it is shown here to-day we must recognise that we justify, to some extent at any rate, those people in this and other countries who for long periods of years said the Irish people were not capable of self-government. Can it be said that a people is capable of self-government when they elect a President and a Government which then would deny their own legitimacy and their own right to act? Could they be said to exercise political judgment when they elect a Government that, by their own words and their own policy, declare that if they executed a man for murder they themselves would be guilty of murder, whereas if a man outside “executes” another man— that is to say, committed ordinary murder—they would say that that man outside was justified, but that the Government here would not be justified in executing anyone?

I admit that the Irish people, and we here even, might have said when Deputy de Valera separated himself from the other body, as he appeared to do in that period in March and April, 1926, that he had abandoned that form of policy. He had not. It was generally assumed, and he gave face to that assumption, that he had entirely dissociated himself from that organisation outside. He had merely surrendered the office he held, but remained a member of that organisation outside. Not only that, but on the 18th and 19th of December, [297] some six or nine months after that event, he even questioned the legitimacy of his own resignation. On the 18th and 19th of December a meeting was held of a body calling itself the Second Dáil, together with a body calling itself Comhairle na dTeachtaí. What was the line taken by Deputy de Valera? It was when Fianna Fáil existed as a political body. They had declared they were ready to come into the Dáil as soon as the oath was removed. Did their declaration that they would come into the Dáil mean that they accepted the authority of the Dáil? It did not. I will give you some of the remarks of Deputy de Valera at this meeting: “We must hold on to the constitutional position.” Was that the constitutional position of this Dáil? No. It was the constitutional position of a body outside this Dáil claiming the powers of life and death and under whose authority death had been inflicted upon our citizens. The President of that body said: “Our whole constitutional position is built about and around it (the Second Dáil), and that constitutional position is playing a large part in the litigation on the question of the bonds.”

Deputy de Valera explained that when he put forward the policy of Fianna Fáil he put it forward to that body on the assumption that that body was entitled to decide on it, and that was the fact that brought about his resignation. He felt that it had not the power to do that, and was expecting a meeting of the Second Dáil to be called to deal with that particular question. He said: “It is not for us to dissolve the Second Dáil. It is carrying on the functions until the new body comes into existence.” That is, the new body to be called into existence by a body outside which denies the authority of this Dáil. Further, Deputy de Valera said: “We were really a sovereign body, very unlike a body that is governed by a written Constitution. I am assuming all the time that there is no fault found with the de jure position of the Second Dáil. We can continue on as [298] we are, and for special cases having a meeting of the Second Dáil.”

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  May I ask Deputy Fitzgerald——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  The Minister for Defence.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I beg your pardon; I thought the Government had resigned. May I ask the Minister for Defence what is his authority for the statement he has just read to the House?

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  My authority is a report made at that meeting.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  A report made to whom? Was there a published report of the proceedings of the meeting?

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  No. It was agreed afterwards that there would be a report agreed between the two parties present, as they did not want the facts to be known. We happen to have a report of the speeches.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I understand that this is a report supplied by the Secret Service?

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  The Deputy may understand anything he likes.

“We have a good legal case if we stick to it, and my point is you stick to it.”

“Mr. de Valera: ‘At any meeting that the new departure was discussed it was discussed as a question of policy for the Republic. I felt it my duty because I saw in it a policy which would lead to the functioning of the Republic. I hold that we have a perfect right in doing that. This is the only place where we can meet on common ground. We will have to depend on the idea to keep together in this House. I hope that a time may come when those who do not see with me can come here and discuss their differences.’”

Not merely did he not sever his association with that body, but on the 19th December, 1926, he himself proposed the ratification of the election of the President of that body.

[299]“Mr. de Valera: ‘If it is in order that the ratification of this election by Comhairle na dTeachtaí, I now propose the ratification of that election. I hold that the policy we stand for is the better policy for the Republic. No policy has been put forward by the present Executive—we who put forward a policy were defeated—the majority have not put forward any policy to make good, and I do not believe they can. I do not want to introduce that matter. I simply wish to propose the ratification of Art O'Connor as President.’”

After the election of the new President, Mr. de Valera said:

“There is only one thing, and that is that if at any time anything is decided... I will give an undertaking here that I will safeguard the Republican position.”

As leader of Fianna Fáil, he gave an undertaking to the body outside this body to safeguard what he called the Republican position.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  You gave that in 1921.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  Deputy Lemass had in this illegal body outside, which he knew had taken certain action against the laws of this country, posed as Minister for Defence. He said:

“I held a position on the Executive as the head of the Department of Defence. In that position I sanctioned certain military acts—for example, the raid on Mountjoy in November last. These acts were just as valid then as they are now. I, as one of this body, in giving my sanction to this act, gave it all the justification needed.”

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Will the Minister say who supplied that report?

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  It is all a report of the one meeting which lasted two days, the 18th and 19th December, 1926.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Whoever supplied it has a very fine imagination.

[300]Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  Deputy MacEntee was rather concerned that there might be a move in that organisation to expel them:

“Mr. MacEntee: ‘It would seem that so far as the second part of Decree No. 1 is concerned it is intended to formally expel from membership of Dáil Eireann those of us who have adopted the policy of Fianna Fáil.’”

Now, has Fianna Fáil departed from that policy which they held at this meeting of the so-called Second Dáil and of Comhairle na dTeachtaí? At that meeting one general line of policy on the other matters was put forward. It was put forward by a Communist named O'Donnell. He said:

“If there was a group controlling Comhairle na dTeachtaí who would decide that they would take one particular law on which the Free State Government is based and issue a decree saying that that particular law is to be dissolved—take, for example, a group calling themselves the Second Dáil to issue a decree saying that all form of payments to England should be refused—it would have several good things in its favour.”

Later on he said:

“To my mind, the question of payment of annuities to England is a thing for it to take up. When you do things of this sort the people will understand you and the Government position will be assured again.”

That is the position of the Government outside, not here.

“The Free State Army will have to be forced out. We have an opportunity to-day of definitely choosing a particular law and rely on yourselves to put it into force. I would like to know how many people would take up this question.”

That position was taken up by the Fianna Fáil Party as it was laid down in the other organisation by Mr. O'Donnell. What are the indications upon which we must judge since that Party came into this [301] House? They came in here following the murder of the Minister for Justice, the late Mr. Kevin O'Higgins. On the 28th March, 1928, in the Dáil I took the occasion of a debate promoted by the Fianna Fáil Party in which they talked a lot about generous gestures and assurances, to ask for an assurance if they had or should at any time get information that would be of assistance in bringing to justice the murderers of Mr. Kevin O'Higgins, that they would make that information available. What was their response to that? Deputy Little, of the Fianna Fáil Party, said that it was absurd to ask such a thing of them. Mr. McGilligan, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, took up the point and repeated it. What was their response? Deputy Little complained that to give such an assurance would bring odium upon them. Deputy Cooney, Fianna Fáil Deputy for North Dublin City, said that to act in this matter as an ordinary good citizen, was to become an informer.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Would the Minister say if those are my words?

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  Yes, they are.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  “As a good citizen”? Are you quoting my exact words?

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  I think so.

Mr. Fahy: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The words “as a good citizen” are not an interpolation?

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  No, I do not think so. I remember the Deputy using them.

Mr. Fahy: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  “As a good citizen”?

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  No. I added that. Of course, I would never dream——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Keep to the quotation.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  He said that to act in this matter was to become an informer.

[302]Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  I think the Minister should quote the Official Record.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  If somebody gets it for me I will be glad to quote it. On the 3rd December, 1928, a man named Con Healy was tried in Dublin on a number of charges. The jury found him guilty on four counts—namely, that on August 1st, 1928, he fired at a detective officer with intent to maim; illegal possession of arms on that date; that on October 15th, 1928, he fired at a detective officer with intent to maim and with illegal possession of firearms on that day. One of the members of the jury, Mr. White, following on that, was fired at and dangerously wounded. On the 20th February, Mr. Albert Armstrong was brutally murdered for the reason that he had been a witness in the Court. Arising out of Mr. White's case the police took certain steps to protect other jurymen who were threatened by the gun bullies. In the “Nation” of February 23rd, 1929, that is to say, a few weeks after the murder of Mr. Armstrong, this is what we read in the Prisoners' Notes in this paper, which was edited by Deputy O'Kelly. At that time the “Nation” was the semi-official organ of Fianna Fáil. Deputy Sean T. O'Kelly, who is now the proposer of Mr. de Valera, was the editor.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I have repudiated before that that organ was then, or at any time, the official or the semi-official organ of Fianna Fáil. I was its editor, proprietor, manager and everything else up to a certain time. Any responsibility the Minister wants to place on it, please place on me.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  This was the organ for which Deputy O'Kelly, the proposer of Deputy de Valera, was responsible?

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Hear, hear.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  Deputy O'Kelly being a fairly responsible representative of Fianna Fáil——

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I hope so.

[303]Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  Here was the case of a man being shot at though not killed, for the crime of refusing to commit perjury as a juryman. He had sworn to find, according to the evidence, and for refusing to break his oath he was fired at with intent to murder. However, this organ edited by Deputy O'Kelly, the proposer of Mr. de Valera to-day, published the following article on February 23rd, 1929:—

“As the ‘Prisoners Notes’ are often too gloomy, I am going to improve them this week by a few cheering items. If anyone wants an amusing sight let him venture out on a cold, wet day and view sad and shady looking C.I.D. men standing outside the houses and also the business premises where the jurymen live are employed, who were cowardly and misguided enough to convict of treason that Tipperary Volunteer, Con Healy, who has devoted his whole life to unselfish service of the nation, and thus handed him over to British vengeance—five years in Maryborough hell. The employers of some of these jurymen are not at all flattered by the assiduities of the C.I.D. They have to do business in the Irish nation, and it is never a good business advertisement to be watched by the police; people seem to take malicious pleasure in asking them why their premises are being watched.”

That is the organ for which Deputy O'Kelly, the proposer of Mr. de Valera to-day, Mr. de Valera's lieutenant and a responsible member of his party, takes responsibility. He declares that a man who attempted the murder of the police of the State had devoted his whole life to the unselfish service of the nation, and that organ calls on the people to rejoice in the fact that the juryman who refused to commit perjury at the dictation of the gun bullies was likely to lose his livelihood. Shortly after that, in March, on the occasion of the election campaign of. I think, Deputy O'Higgins. Deputy Fahy said apropos of this murder and attempted murder:

[304]“If they could not have an open march to freedom they were going to have secret efforts that would result in the occurrence of horrible incidents.”

What did that mean? It meant that either the murderers are marching this country to freedom or that there is some justification for these murders, as this country is not marching to freedom.

Mr. Fahy: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I submit that it bears a very different interpretation, and the Minister is aware of that too.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  I will read it without comment.

Mr. Fahy: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  An extract from a sentence.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  “If they could not have an open march to freedom they were going to have secret efforts that would result in the occurrence of horrible incidents.” I quote as it is in the paper.

Mr. Fahy: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I believe that is true and that is why I am here.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  For myself I only regard it as a palliation of murder. On the 19th March last, arising out of these incidents I challenged Deputy de Valera to say if he recognised the authority of the Dáil, knowing that up to the last I had heard that he was still a member of a body outside, a body that had denied the right of the Government to function, and a body that claimed the power of life and death over the Irish people. Deputy O'Connell has already read out some extracts from Deputy de Valera's remarks on that occasion. There is this further extract:—

“Those who continued on in that organisation which we have left can claim exactly the same continuity that we claimed up to 1925. They can do it.”

The date was put in to mislead the members of the Dáil and the people of the country. That is, he said, they claimed up to 1925, but to my knowledge he claimed it up to December, 1926. Here we have the [305] position of a man being proposed here who, up to the last public knowledge that we have of him, recognised the authority of a body outside this Dáil, a man who actually promoted a legal action in the United States upon a question of money based upon a denial of the authority of the Dáil.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  And he beat you. The American courts upheld him.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  If the Deputy wants information on that I will give it to him. Here we have the position of this man being proposed here posturing as the President of the Republic, claiming that the power of life and death, who may or may not have left that organisation and who, on the 14th March of last year, declared in this House that the other body was the legitimate Assembly here. On the Sunday before last Deputy Lemass, speaking down the country, said that time and time again the people of this country had decided to accept the Treaty.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Go on.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  “But,” he said, “as far as his Party is concerned, he always regarded it with hostility.” Now I said at the beginning that the primary function of government is to maintain social order, and consequently to maintain peace. If Deputy de Valera is elected here as President, what is the position going to be? He has said that he recognises the powers of this Dáil as faulty; that he recognises the powers of government in a body outside the Dáil. We know that we are bound by the moral law to be subject to legitimate authority. Is he going to be subject to legitimate authorities or is he not? There were people outside, while he was a member of that organisation, a body of armed men who claimed this right to use arms, to declare war and to wage war, to execute people in this country, and he tacitly assented to that claim on the part of those people. How is he going to enforce what we consider the law here? What law is going to prevail? Is it going to be [306] the law that is promulgated by the Dáil, or is it going to be the law by people outside? Is not the proposal that he be elected here a denial of the right of the people of the State to decide what body of men shall hold power here? I maintain that unless Deputy de Valera comes out and makes it perfectly clear to the Irish people that he has abandoned his past programme, the Irish people have no right to elect him, because it would be a denial of their own right.

Deputy Lemass, on the Sunday before last, tried to reassure the people. The people of this country must recognise that in passing over the power of government, they have a right to be perfectly clear as to what is to happen. Deputy Lemass admits that they are hostile to the Treaty. He said:—

“We realise, however, that the people of the Twenty-six Counties have repeatedly, by a majority, accepted the Treaty in preference to what they believed the alternative to be—a renewal of the conflict with England.”

He admits that the people are for the Treaty. He admits that the people anticipate a repetition of war. But he reminds them that in 1927 Deputy de Valera gave a pledge to the electorate. He gave two pledges—one, never to enter the Dáil until the oath was removed, and secondly, that a Fianna Fáil Government would not attempt to commit the people to a line of action involving a fundamental change in the constitutional position without getting their approval beforehand by means of the referendum. “That pledge,” he added, “still holds good, and will be honoured.”

Now, has Deputy de Valera the right to hold the pledge good? Mr. Lemass said that there could be no economic prosperity and no national progress until the degrading clauses of the Treaty are removed. If you elect Deputy de Valera as President to form his Government, what is going to be the duty of that Government? The duty of that Government is going to be national progress and economic prosperity as well as [307] social order and peace. Can Deputy de Valera maintain that pledge? I assert that if he is elected and if he honestly believes what Deputy Lemass told us on the Sunday before last, that there can be no economic prosperity and no national progress with the Treaty in the way, his duty as a Government overrides whatever this pledge may have committed him to. Not only will he be absolved from that pledge, but it will be his duty as President to disregard that pledge, seeing that he asserts that under the Treaty there can be no economic prosperity and no national progress. Not only that, but unless he has radically changed his mind from the point of view that he put on the 14th of March last year, it will be his duty when the powers of Government are put in his hands to hand these powers of Government to the gunmen outside. Deputies come here and propose seriously to this Dáil, knowing what we do know, knowing his repeated statements and the statements of his auxiliaries, knowing that he has never formally renounced his previous programme and knowing what that commits us to, to accept him as a nominee for the Presidency. I suggest that such a proposal is to ask us to disgrace the Irish State and to disgrace the Irish people. Is there any case in history in which a people elected to a Government a man who, on the most fundamental point on which the existence of their State was based, differed from them fundamentally? Was ever such a thing heard of? Did we ever know of a case of people electing a Government that denied its own authority and recognised that the power of life and death, of Governmental authority, existed of right and continuously in a body outside? I know of no case in history. But, because our people have not had the opportunity that other people have had of exercising their political functions, it is thought that they can be misled into doing that. I suggest that we, the representatives elected by the people outside to safeguard the [308] rights of our people and of our country, have not the right to allow this nomination to go forward and to be accepted. It would be nationally disgraceful.

There is one other little matter that I should like to touch upon. I said that when Deputy de Valera was President of this other government outside he challenged in the American Courts the right of this Government to be Government here. For the sole purpose of keeping this Government from getting hold of the money that it was this Government's right to possess, especially when we have the expense of paying it back, he promoted another movement that it should go back to the bondholders. We are called upon to elect a man here who took action to deny the authority that he himself will possess, if we vote for him, and he is at this moment trying to get into his hands, in a method which is so dubious that if it happened in this country we should probably have to take action, that money which the Government will itself have later on to pay. He asks people over there, who know very little about law and about these things, to sign a document in the following terms:

In consideration of one dollar, lawful money of the United States of America, and other valuable consideration to me in hand paid, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, I, the undersigned, hereby sell, assign, transfer and set over unto Eamon de Valera, his executors, administrators and assigns, all my right, title and interest in and to the Bond Certificate (or Bond Certificates) of the Republic of Ireland Loans, which was (were) heretofore filed by me with the receivers for the benefit of the Bond Certificate holders of said Loans, and all sums of money, both principal and interest, now due on, or hereafter to become due on, or because of the obligation set forth and/or referred to in [309] said Bond Certificate (or Bond Certificates); and I do hereby constitute the said Eamon de Valera my attorney, in my name or otherwise but at his own cost, to take all legal measures which may be proper and necessary for the complete recovery on, and enjoyment of, the assigned Bond Certificate (or Certificates).

And I do by these presents, make, constitute and appoint said Eamon de Valera my true and lawful attorney, in my name, place and stead, to receive from the receivers for the benefit of Bond Certificate holders of Republic of Ireland Loans the payment or payments which is (are), or shall be, due and payable to me on said Bond Certificate (or Certificates) of said Republic of Ireland Loans....

It means that he promotes an action without this State to prevent this State controlling certain moneys. He is at this moment, under the pretence of these people being given shares in a newspaper, which they do not get by virtue of the article which they are asked to sign, asking them to hand over to him not merely the money that they will receive, but all the powers to take action against this Government for the recovery of this money. It means that he will, if elected here, take an action against himself to get out of the State funds here money which he has put us in a position to have to pay by virtue of that action; money which will actually be handed over to himself, not necessarily for the use of that newspaper, because the power of attorney and the assignment which he asks the people to sign merely hands the money completely over to him.

I merely mention this as a sideline. My opposition to the proposal put forward by Deputy O'Kelly is, that we are asked to elect a man who will not and cannot, in view of his previous pronouncements, stand for the maintenance of social order here, because he has consistently all through recognised the authority of a body of men to have the power [310] of life and death over the people here. He does not fulfil the required conditions of maintaining peace, because his policy commits him to a renunciation of the Treaty, upon which we know, and the majority of the people know, the peace of this country depends.

If it came to discussing other matters of policy I think we could make an equally good case on those lines, but I maintain that this Dáil, representing as it does the people outside, cannot in fairness to this people or country elect a man who denies his authority and recognises the authority of murderers outside and who proposes to start a new battle of Clontarf as soon as he gets an opportunity. I hope the Dáil, with all the forces of every man here who has the good name and the well-being of his country at heart, will combine against this proposed outrage on this Dáil.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  There is one very important matter in connection with the Bond litigation in America to which the Minister for Defence forgot to refer. In the year 1925, Deputy de Valera proposed that the money which was the subject of litigation and which was being wasted in legal costs should be withdrawn by consent and utilised for the development of the Gaeltacht. That proposal was refused by the Minister for Local Government (Deputy Mulcahy) on behalf of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party. The Minister also forgot to mention that in these proceedings the contention of the representatives of his Government was that his Government was the legal successor of Dáil Eireann, the Government of the Republic of Ireland. The American Courts decided against that.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  We accepted the responsibility.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The Supreme Court of the United States of America, an independent neutral judicial body, decided that the authority of this Dáil to claim its succession from the Government of the Republic which preceded it was faulty.

[311]Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  Because there was no Government preceding it.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  The only authority the Government had was the British Empire.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It was quite obvious from the speeches we have just heard from Deputy O'Connell and the Minister for Defence that the two Parties for which they spoke propose to vote against the motion to nominate Deputy de Valera as President of the Executive Council, not because they think he has not got the ability to effect administrative improvements, not because they think he has not got the economic policy that would improve the conditions of the people and restore prosperity to our country, but because he took a different attitude to theirs eight years ago when the acceptance of the Treaty was under consideration. This matter of the action which individuals or parties took at the time of the Treaty controversy is constantly being dragged up in this year 1930.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  By whom?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  By Deputy O'Connell on behalf of the Labour Party, when Deputy Davin is not speaking for it, and members of the Government. There are apparently a number of people determined that the Treaty controversy must be continued and that the spirit of the civil war must not be allowed to die. That civil war was started for the purpose of splitting the forces of Irish nationalism. Those who are attempting to keep alive the feelings of hate and bitterness which it engendered are playing England's game. I am surprised that the members of the Labour Party should be willing to cooperate with the members of Cumann na nGaedheal in that policy.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Wrong.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Surely there are many problems of great magnitude confronting the Irish people at this moment in respect of which the [312] policy of the various candidates for the Presidency might be discussed. None of these policies was mentioned to-day. Economic issues were ignored, particularly by the leader of the Labour Party. The only matters with which they were concerned were the rights and wrongs of events which happened eight or ten years ago.

Mr. T.J. O'Connell: Information on Tomas O'Connell  Zoom on Tomas O'Connell  Two months ago.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I am glad, however, that these issues were raised. We do not want to be elected on any misunderstanding as to our position. We have made that position clear repeatedly, but although we can make statements and give arguments, apparently we cannot give intelligence or understanding to the two Deputies who have just spoken. Deputy O'Connell said that in a normal country there are certain fundamental things which are taken for granted by all parties. It was one statement in his speech which was correct. There are certain fundamental things in a normal country taken for granted by all parties, and it is precisely because these fundamental things are not accepted by all parties in this State that it cannot be regarded as normal. Deputy O'Connell was no doubt referring to the Constitution. We cannot forget that the Constitution was framed in London and imposed by threats upon the Irish people. We cannot accept that document as sacred in consequence of that knowledge. We will not be prepared to accept it as sacred until it has been freely revised and amended by the elected representatives of the Irish people. We know also that members of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party have no respect for the Constitution. They have never attempted at any time to modify their actions because of its provisions. Whenever they found that their actions and the Constitution were in conflict they amended the Constitution and not their actions. Amending Bills were rushed in by the dozen to bring the [313] Constitution into conformity with the political requirements of Cumann na nGaedheal. Neither the Cumann na nGaedheal Party nor we are prepared to regard that Constitution apparently as anything but so much paper. It is only the Labour Party, whose one desire is to be respectable in all things, that attaches any importance to it.

The Minister for Defence who, having spoken, folded his tents like the Arabs and silently stole away, read a number of extracts from some mysterious document which was apparently furnished to him by some super-intelligent member of the Secret Service. It is, I think, the practice whenever a Minister quotes from a document in this House that the document is tabled in the Library so that all Deputies can learn what is in it. As the document in question appears to concern some of us in a very personal manner we should like to have an opportunity of perusing it.

Mr. P. Hogan: Information on Patrick J. Hogan  Zoom on Patrick J. Hogan  (Galway): Do you not know it already?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Surely there are more interesting things in it than the Minister quoted.

Mr. Hogan:  Much.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I have no doubt about it. If all the persons to whom he referred spoke for two days we must have made some references to the gentlemen sitting on the Front Bench opposite. The Minister did not read any of those extracts. However, I do earnestly request and appeal that the document should be offered to a waiting nation. In a time of crisis such as this, public ill-feeling might be allayed by the perpetration of a good joke such as that.

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I take it the Deputy means that he intelligently anticipates some result this evening and that I shall have responsibility for putting the document there. I intend to do it.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I am very glad to know that we shall have an opportunity [314] of reading it in full. I hope the President will not conceal the identity of the author.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Do I take it that we are making an order for the tabling of this document?

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Yes.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  What is the document?

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  It is the report of certain proceedings that occurred outside the House embodied in Comhairle na dTeachtaí or Comhairle na Poblachta according to which a number of Deputies on the far side of the House contributed towards the proceedings.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  That is very interesting. I take it anyway that it will be laid on the Table. Would there be any possibility of adjourning the debate until we get an opportunity of reading it?

Mr. Duggan: Information on Edmund John Duggan  Zoom on Edmund John Duggan  You can give us the full report in the meantime.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  If I knew it, I would be glad to do so. I caught the meaning of some extracts read by the Minister. Apparently a pledge was given to this body, Comhairle na dTeachtaí, by Deputy de Valera, to the effect that he would do nothing to prejudice the Republican position. I have a very distinct recollection of a pledge in identical terms being given by members of the Government opposite, not to a body which claimed to be a Government, but to a body which admitted itself to be a secret society—a very definite and specific pledge given by members of the Government to an armed secret society in this country that they would do nothing to prejudice the Republican position.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Now it has come out.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I hope the Minister for Local Government will give us his reminiscences before this debate is concluded.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Could we have the name of the armed secret society?

[315]Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The Irish Republican Brotherhood.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Will the Deputy repeat the statement with regard to it?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  That pledges were given that members of the Government would do nothing to prejudice the Republican position after the acceptance of the Treaty.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Does the Deputy say that pledges were given to the Irish Republican Brotherhood to that effect?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The answer is in the affirmative.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I should like to suggest to the Deputy that if that were so I ought to know something about it, but that it is not a fact. If such pledges were given by the present Minister for Local Government to the Irish Republican Brotherhood I ought to know something about it on two sides. I absolutely deny that that was ever done.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  Deny what?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Unfortunately, we had not got any secret service men present or in a position to report on the proceedings. The pledges were given verbally.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  You had only imagination.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I do not think so. I think the Minister will admit that there is no element of imagination in what I said.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  Will the Minister deny——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  No. Deputy Lemass to continue his speech.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The speech of the Minister for Defence was quite interesting, particularly in view of recent developments. He told us that we could not seriously contemplate giving a vote to Deputy de Valera to secure his election as President, because if he were elected he would give the powers of Government [316] to the gunmen outside. Only a fortnight ago, in the official organ of Cumann na nGaedheal, there appeared an article entitled “The Army and Politics.” That article was copied into the “Sunday Independent” of March 23rd, and it reveals a mentality in relation to the powers of this Dáil, and in relation to the powers of the Army, which members on this side of the House never possessed. We never at any time admitted that the armed forces, or any armed force, in this country should dictate to the Government what it should do. I was once Minister for Defence in a body that claimed to be a government, but while I was in that position, the armed forces concerned were controlled. I never told them that they could dictate to that body what its policy should be. I do not think the individual on the Front Bench opposite, who also occupied a similar position, ever maintained that attitude in relation to the Army under his control. We find in the official organ of Cumann na nGaedheal, within the last fortnight, a leading article that incites the National Army to mutiny if a Government is elected by this House with a policy of which it disapproves.

“Although the Army has no connection with politics, and although it would not be right for the Army to render assistance to any political party, it might happen that the Army would be bound to subdue a political group for the welfare of the people in general. The members of the Government are servants of the people. If it were apparent that they were not obedient to the people it would no longer be necessary that the Army should be obedient to them.”

Was there ever a more dangerous doctrine preached inside or outside this House within the last ten years? From whom then is the Army to take orders if not from the Government elected within the House?

Mr. Hogan: Information on Patrick J. Hogan  Zoom on Patrick J. Hogan  (Galway): Hear, hear.

[317]Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I am glad to hear the Minister for Agriculture say “hear, hear.” I hope he will take steps to see that the man who wrote that article, even if he be a colleague of his on the front bench, will be called into court and charged with incitement to mutiny.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  It is a Minister all right.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  If the Army is not to take its orders from the Government, from whom is it to take orders? The Minister for Defence, the Minister whom this House holds responsible for the conduct of the Army, criticises us on the ground that we might not be able or may not be willing effectively to control it despite the fact that it is apparently the official policy of his Party that the Army should not be controlled by this House at all unless there happens to be a Cumann na nGaedheal Executive in office.

Mr. Hogan: Information on Patrick J. Hogan  Zoom on Patrick J. Hogan  (Galway): Nonsense.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Then he talked about law and order and the shooting of jurymen in Dublin. These crimes were denounced by members of this Party long before members of Cumann na nGaedheal thought fit to make political capital out of them. Is it not an extraordinary thing that no one has been brought to justice for them? We are spending a million and a half on a police force. We have a Minister for Justice in this House. Every important crime that has been committed in this country since 1927 has not figured in the records of any police court.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  That is not correct.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It is correct. All the sensational crimes that got headlines in the papers—the shooting of Dublin jurymen, the shooting of the late Minister for Justice, the shooting of these witnesses—has any single man been brought to justice for any one of them? Does the Minister for Defence think that we are to be criticised for that? Will he [318] turn and look into the administration of justice by his colleague and find out what is wrong with it? I think he will find in that Department a true explanation as to why these crimes are possible. When you have the Minister deliberately ordering those under his control to break the law, when you have members of the police force charged day after day and week after week with assaults and fined by judges and juries, you cannot have, in the police force or in the country, that respect for law and order which the Minister claims to be anxious to promote.

We are not going to take any lectures from the Minister or his colleagues on the question of the preservation of law and the enforcement of justice. We are not going to take any lectures from him on the necessity for denouncing murder. We always denounce murder. We denounced murder at times when the Minister and his colleagues were very silent. We still denounce murder, and we do hope that all murderers will in the course of time be brought to justice.

Deputy O'Connell appeared very much concerned about our attitude to this House. I have said already that the outstanding characteristic of the Labour Party is that it is the most respectable Party in this State. The members of that Party desire to be respectable above everything else. So long as they cannot be accused of being even pale pink in politics they seem to think they have fulfilled their function towards the Irish people. That is why, with the exception of the National League Party, they are the smallest Party in the House. Deputy O'Connell said that Deputy de Valera would regard any Government elected by this House as having no legal or moral claim to govern. Deputy de Valera never said that. He never uttered any sentence inside or outside this House which allowed that implication to be drawn. We regard this House as an assembly to which the vast majority of the elected representatives of the people of the Twenty-six Counties come. We are prepared to recognise that all legislative power comes from [319] the people and is exercised through their representatives. Because the majority of the people's representatives are to be found in this assembly we are prepared to recognise the legislative power of this assembly, but we do recognise that even in that respect its claim is faulty, because there is in existence a political test which debars one section of the population from being represented here. We are not anxious to go back and root out the faults in the title under which it is stated that it operates. We are prepared to accept it for what it is, an assembly of the elected representatives of the Irish people.

In the year 1927 Deputy de Valera made a clear statement, published by way of a full-page advertisement over his name, in the daily Press. He said:

“The sinister design of aiming at bringing about a sudden revolutionary upheaval with which our opponents choose to credit us is altogether foreign to our purpose and programme. We do not believe in attempting to practise sleight-of-hand on the electorate. We shall proceed as a responsible constitutional Government, acknowledging without reserve that all authority comes through the sovereign people, and that before any important step likely to involve their safety is taken the people are entitled to be taken into the fullest consultation.”

There was no ambiguity about that statement. It made our position quite clear. It has been repeated at different times and in different forms since, and this attempt by Deputy O'Connell and the Minister for Defence to go back to reports of statements made in 1926 or 1925 or 1922, to try—

Mr. O'Connell:  1929.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  To try to attribute to Deputy de Valera a policy and an attitude to this House which are not his, is, I think, unworthy of the occasion of this debate.

[320]Mr. O'Connell:  I would like to explain that I quoted no statement earlier than March, 1929.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Deputy O'Connell did, however, refer to American cables which intimidated foolish and timorous people like himself. I ask him to accept as the policy of Fianna Fáil what the representatives of Fianna Fáil have declared it to be.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  In this House?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  In this House. I ask him to accept as the attitude of Fianna Fáil to this House what we have repeatedly declared it to be. I ask him not to let his outlook be coloured by statements which appear in the Press.

Mr. O'Connell:  From yourself.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  And reports of meetings addressed by Ministers. The common attitude appears to be to take as the policy of Fianna Fáil what the Minister for Defence or the Minister for Agriculture declares it to be.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  No.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Our attitude to the Treaty is well known. I have said that we never regarded it with anything except hostility. I said we de recognise, however, that the people of the Twenty-six Counties have repeatedly accepted it, by a majority, in preference to what they believed the alternative to be, a renewal of the conflict with England. Deputy O'Connell says that his acceptance of the Treaty was the same as the late Arthur Griffith's acceptance— that he did not regard it as any more the final settlement with England than that this is the final generation of Irishmen. In what spirit do the members of Cumann na nGaedheal accept it? Do they regard it “as the ne plus ultra to the march of the Irish nation”? Do they regard it as representing the utmost limit which we can achieve in the matter of independence? Will Deputy O'Connell tell us when he is going to start?

[321]Mr. O'Connell:  I told you when I am going to start.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Deputy O'Connell did nothing of the kind. Deputy O'Connell made quite a number of vague and general statements, but this Treaty has been in existence for eight years, and Deputy O'Connell, who tells us that he accepts it only as the irreducible minimum, has not told us when he is going to advocate that action should be taken to enlarge the measure of freedom it gave.

Mr. O'Connell:  I said when the economic prosperity of this country would be developed with the powers that we already have.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Does Deputy O'Connell stand for the maintenance of the Oath of Allegiance?

Mr. O'Connell:  No.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Deputy O'Connell advocates the removal of the Oath of Allegiance. Is there any other degrading obligation of the Treaty for the removal of which Deputy O'Connell is prepared to stand? In that respect, anyway, there seems to be a remarkable similarity between his policy and ours. We stand for the removal of the degrading obligations in the Treaty, and we are convinced that until these degrading obligations are gone there will not be in this country that self-respect and enthusiasm for its welfare which will make the revival of prosperity immediately possible. Undoubtedly we can improve the existing position without touching the Treaty at all. But if we want to establish here the conditions that all parties profess to desire we can only do so when we have got the spirit of self-confidence and self-respect revived in our people. It is quite obvious from the attitude of the majority in this House that we have a long way to go.

I think there are very few other points with which I want to deal. I will ask Deputies to realise, however, that it is not what happened in 1922 but what is going to happen in 1930 that really matters. Our attitude to [322] this House is quite clear. Our attitude to the Constitution and the Treaty is quite clear. Our economic policy has been defined. I believe that if this House will accept the motion moved by Deputy O'Kelly and elect Eamon de Valera to be President of the Executive Council they will have taken the first step towards the removal of the various political and economic barriers that are impeding our progress at the moment. I believe that until we have established and secured general acceptance of the fact that this country can only be happy when it is progressing, that stagnation means death, we will not be able to climb the barriers which always existed, or which have been erected in consequence of the inefficiency of the Cumann na nGaedheal administration in the past six years. As Deputy de Valera said in 1927:—

“The stubborn political and economic facts are of necessity the base from which any successful advance must be made. To ignore them would be to court defeat. A nation cannot march on an empty stomach. Our first and most strenuous effort must accordingly be devoted to repairing the present economic ruin. Sane effort and successful achievement are necessary to restore the old confidence. Unity in the national ranks will quickly follow, and with it will come back the old spirit of national courage and self-reliance. These are our convictions. Fianna Fáil was founded in the belief that the national instincts of the people would ultimately assert themselves. If the people give us a majority we will be the faithful guardians of their interests.”

Minister for Agriculture (Mr. P. Hogan): Information on Patrick J. Hogan  Zoom on Patrick J. Hogan  I sympathise with Deputy Lemass. I am willing to admit that he had an impossible task to do. That is to say, to explain away the various inconsistencies of Deputy de Valera. I rise to oppose, of course, the nomination of Deputy de Valera, and I feel at a disadvantage because opposing him at this stage is like flogging a dead horse, after the [323] speeches we have just listened to. That is the position. As the Minister for Defence pointed out, we are not electing a person. We are electing a policy, and the trouble that I am in is that I cannot know what is the policy. Like the Minister for Defence, I am at one with the Labour Party in that matter. I want to know what is the policy. In most Parties you get a leader, but in the Fianna Fáil Party we have three leaders.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  There is only one.

Mr. Hogan:  You are making a mistake. You are not the leader.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  That mistake appears to be made more often by others than by myself.

Mr. Hogan:  The real trouble about the Fianna Fáil Party is the old trouble. There is no leader to that Party. There are three leaders. You have, at the present moment, Deputy de Valera in America, who stands for war. You have Deputy Lemass at home, who stands, temporarily, for peace, and you have the one consistent and sterling patriot, Deputy Seán T. O'Kelly, the leader in this House, who stands for patriotism always, and nothing else. That is the position we are in with this Party. And the three of them speak with different voices. Deputy O'Kelly says nothing. Deputy O'Kelly is in the position that he is so good that he is good for nothing. Deputy de Valera talks war, and Deputy Lemass, pro tem., talks peace. It is no consolation to me or to any other Deputy in the House, or to the average citizen of this State, to know that if the circumstances were different the rôles might be reversed, We might very easily have Deputy de Valera, one of the trickiest politicians that ever happened in this country, talking peace. We might equally easy have Deputy Lemass in America talking war, and it would be no consolation for us all that time to have Deputy Seán T. O'Kelly between the two of them talking [324] patriotism. That might easily be the result.

Deputy Lemass is concerned about our raking up the Treaty issue and debating issues that happened in 1922, 1923 and 1924. We are not debating these issues. We are debating much more recent issues. I sympathise again with Deputy Lemass. I can well understand that Deputies opposite would be anxious that the events of 1922, 1923 and 1924 would not be raked up. They are a most disgraceful chapter—I agree with Deputy Lemass—in the history of this country. However, we are not reviving them here. We will deal with very much more recent events. What is the policy we are called upon to approve of in the person of Deputy de Valera? Whom are we to believe? There are three thimbles; under which thimble is the pea? We are electing, as the Minister for Defence has stated, a President who is to appoint the Executive to control the destinies of this country for good or evil and it is a queer commentary on the present position that the question which I asked now is a just question; that this thing is being done in an atmosphere so far as the proposer and seconder and principal are concerned of thimble rigging. It is being done in an atmosphere in which no Deputy here knows where Fianna Fáil stands. Deputy O'Connell made an attempt to get an answer from the Party opposite. Did he get a single answer from Deputy Lemass which has made any Deputy here one whit wiser than he was before? We know he has left us no wiser. Deputies opposite must realise that they have to be judged not by what they say they mean but by what they actually say. And I propose now to judge them by what they say. Lately we had Deputy Lemass, the leader at home, the peace-maker, the man of economic development, of old age pensions, tariffs, subsidies and doles, going so far that he bowed his crested head and tamed his heart of fire and made an incursion into English journalism. He gave a most interesting interview-article [325] to the “Daily Express” recently, which I have here and from which I would like to make a few quotations. I will take them in order:—

Fianna Fáil is a Republican Party. The main reason for its existence is to secure the establishment of a Republican Government in Ireland in our time.

Quite good so far as that goes.

We do not think that this object will be speedily or easily attained but we intend to work consistently and determinedly in that direction. We will work by what are usually described as “constitutional methods,” striving to extend the powers of the Twenty-Six County Government by the abolition of existing restrictions and to establish its authority over all the country.

In other words, we are back to the position that Deputy Lemass pro tem. is a constitutional Republican. He goes over to England and tells an English audience “we are only constitutional Republicans,” knowing perfectly well that the one meaning of these words is: “We will take a Republic when you agree to give it to us.” That is the position pro tem. of Deputy Lemass. I will come to the other leaders later on. He goes to the British and says: “We will take a Republic when you give it to us,” a constitutional Republican.

On the land annuities he says: “If Great Britain has the right to demand the land annuities that right must be capable of legal proof. We propose to hold the money until such proof has been produced to our satisfaction.” After all the talk and all the agitation of the past three years that is what the land annuity campaign has come to. Deputy Lemass tells the English people: “We will give you the Land Commission Annuities when you get a decree for them.” They are learning. If it were only serious, if he only meant it! What about derating? What about poor Deputy O'Dowd, whom Deputy Lemass's [326] statement sends into Siberia, into the political wilderness? Deputy O'Dowd declared a couple of days ago that he will never stand one day in Irish public life if a single cheque is sent over to England for land annuities after the Fianna Fáil Party comes into office. But Deputy Lemass says that he will hold the land annuities and will hand them to the British when he gets a decree, knowing perfectly well that that decree can be got at any moment.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  From whom?

Mr. Hogan:  Deputy Lemass is concerned about the economic policy. There is nothing like going to the source. And the Deputy informs us what that policy is. He says: “Even in economic matters, however, the policy of Fianna Fáil is not anti-British.” Just the same as myself. Here I am without a national record——

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  You were never even a Home Ruler.

Mr. Hogan:  Never even a Home Ruler. One whose title to glory is the same title as Deputy Lemass, as I told him before, that I enjoyed three square meals a day in an internment camp for twelve months, the same as Deputy Lemass.

Mr. Fahy: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Easter Week?

Mr. Hogan:  Sure we were all out in Easter Week.

Mr. Fahy: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I would be very glad if the Minister would tell us where he was in Easter Week.

Mr. Hogan:  I have heard that talk perpetrated very often. Surely Deputy Fahy is not going to tell me that Deputy Lemass was out in Easter Week.

Mr. Fahy: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I am.

Mr. Hogan:  Then I was there also. I was at the Post Office and I did not see him and I am without a national record. There is the cream of patriotism, the last thing in Republicanism, not denationalised like the Independents as I read in the paper. [327] And Deputy Lemass's policy is the same as mine in economic matters. “We are not anti-British.”

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  On a point of order I would point out that the motion is to elect Deputy de Valera as President.

Mr. Hogan:  I want to know on what policy we are electing Deputy de Valera. I come to Deputy de Valera's policy. I am not interested in Deputy de Valera one bit. In that article in the “Daily Express” Deputy Lemass continues:

“We realise that it is inevitable that our trade with Britain will always be immensely more important to us than our trade with the rest of the world.” How often have I been criticised, how often have patriots wept over me because I said that! Here Deputy Lemass goes on to say:—“So long as Britain remains the largest market for our agricultural produce, we will be prepared to facilitate and, perhaps, even to encourage, by granting preferential rates of duty, the importation of British goods, not capable of being produced at home, in preference to the goods of other nations which buy little or nothing from us.” In that respect I am willing to admit that Deputy Lemass is my leader. I have not yet come out openly in favour of Empire Free Trade. I am inclined to agree with Deputy Lemass on Empire Free Trade as a policy which this country should adopt, but I am glad that it is left for Deputy Lemass to make that announcement. His words as the leader pro tem. of Fianna Fáil indicate that he stands for Empire Free Trade. What else does it mean?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Will the Minister quote the sentences in which Empire is mentioned?

Mr. Hogan:  Well, let us say Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales Free Trade—would he not let in Canada? Think it over and I am sure he will come to Canada and Australia. And this has all appeared in the Empire Free Trade organ. [328] Now, I agree with every word of that. I am willing to admit that it is sound sense. What I object to is, why sneak over to England to say that? That is what the Deputy has done. That is not the tune he plays down the country. Down the country we hear a lot about English imports and the necessity for stopping them; the enormity of sending to England our butter, eggs, bacon and cattle when we should keep them at home. Monday after Monday we read the Deputy's speeches at some meeting down the country telling the people of the country how unpatriotic it is to take English goods or to sell goods to England. But here is the Deputy with his leader in America, as usual 2,000 miles from the scene of battle, here is this Deputy who sneaks over to England to announce the policy that we have successfully put into operation for the last two years.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Does the Minister say that he skips the reports of my speeches in the papers on Monday morning? That explains his ignorance.

Mr. Hogan:  I know very well what you say; the speeches are all the same.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Then the Minister has read them?

Mr. Hogan:  There you have the attitude of Deputy Lemass. Where is the Republic? When the British give it to us—constitutional means. Where are the Land Commission annuities and where are the unfortunate people who are going to be saved from paying rates the moment Fianna Fáil gets into power? How does poor Deputy O'Dowd stand? We are told the annuities will be given the minute the British get a verdict in the courts. Deputy O'Dowd knows very well that that verdict is purely a matter of course. He knows that as well as I do, and he knows, too, that the lawyers have advised that we will be entitled to the annuities when the law is changed, and not till then. When the British get their decree we will [329] pay them over all the land annuities. Then, finally, we have this policy of Empire Free Trade. But what about the real leader, the chief in America?

In passing, although it is not a subject exactly in line, I would like to read one more sentence: “For example, the adoption of a protectionist policy, designed to secure the development of industries here, will react against the profitable export trade which Britain now conducts with us. It will possibly take some time before a series of workable compromises will be devised in such matters which will enable both countries to get the best they can out of the situation.” Remember that this is Deputy Lemass: “It will possibly take some time before a series of workable compromises will be devised in such matters which will enable both countries to get the best they can out of the situation.” Now, I want to give quite gratuitously a small piece of advice to Deputy Lemass. I am much longer in public life than Deputy Lemass, and I am a much older man. I know his leader better than he knows him, and I want to tell Deputy Lemass this: that the only person in Fianna Fáil who has a right to have any workable compromise with the British is Deputy de Valera. If Deputy Lemass takes my advice he will remember past history; he will remember that other colleagues of Deputy de Valera did agree on a certain workable compromise with the British Government, and we know what happened.

We have the right to have a workable compromise with the British, we, the Cumann na nGaedheal Party. That is our policy. Deputy de Valera alone amongst the patriots has the right, and I warn Deputy Lemass as a promising young politician not to take that line, because he is bound to be let down. Now let us come to Deputy de Valera in America. While all this talk of peace and Empire Free Trade for the purposes of the next election is going on at home, we have Deputy de Valera saying in America: “Every Irishman worthy of the [330] name, no matter where he may be, lives in the hope that there will be a battle of Clontarf for the British as there was for the Danes.” Are we going to have a battle of Clontarf after this spiritual merchant that Deputy O'Kelly spoke of has been elected President? I have quoted Deputy de Valera's own words.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  He answered that question in the same speech.

Mr. Hogan:  The point is, are we going to have another battle of Clontarf? Personally I do not want a battle of Clontarf, and I am sure that the people of the country do not want a battle of Clontarf. Let me tell you frankly that the people are not heroes; the vast majority of the people of the country are not heroes or martyrs and they are not dying for fight, nor are they anxious to be killed. We do not want fight but we do want to know if there is going to be another battle of Clontarf and, if there is not, then what is all this much about? Here is more of Deputy de Valera: “A few more votes and we will be the biggest Party in the Dáil. We are not working to get just a few more votes. We want 77 so that we can have a clear majority and a working Government. When we get that there will be no brother fighting against brother in Ireland. The British have their soldiers and their warships in Ireland because at present we are not able to put them out.”

The inference from that is “When you give us a majority we will put them out pretty quickly.” There is one other quotation that I would like to give you from Deputy de Valera. All these quotations are taken from the Deputy's organ, the organ of Fianna Fáil in America, the “Irish World.” That paper is the organ of Deputy de Valera's Party in the United States. The quotations I will now give you will be from “The Philadelphia Record” of Monday, January 6th, 1930. This is what Deputy de Valera said: “With control of the Assembly we will be able to overthrow the Constitution, abolish the oath of allegiance which deprives [331] the Sinn Feiners of representation because they will not subscribe to it, and rid ourselves of the illegal payments of $26,000,000 which England extorts from us each year.” There is nothing about the decree there. Apparently he does not know that Deputy Lemass is promising the people at home that the British will get the land annuities just as soon as they obtain a verdict in the Courts.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  That is a lie.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Now, the Deputy ought to be nice.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  If the Minister will be truthful I will be nice.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  What Deputy Aiken really means is that if the Minister would only make the kind of speech that Deputy Aiken would like to hear him make, then Deputy Aiken would be gracious enough not to interrupt him.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  No, but let the Minister speak the truth.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Deputy Aiken will have to try to conduct himself.

Mr. Hogan:  I do not blame Deputy Aiken. He suffers from lack of intelligence. Here is more from Deputy de Valera: “No, I won't say civil war or rebellion will result, but England will have to acquiesce in our freedom or a show-down will result.” Now, which is the policy? Mind you, these are not statements made in 1922, 1923, or 1924; they are statements that were made this year. I quoted statements made by Deputy Lemass this year and by Deputy de Valera this year. We are now electing a President who will in turn nominate an Executive to control this country. Which is the policy? Is it the policy of Empire Free Trade put forward by Deputy Lemass?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  No.

Mr. Hogan:  Is it the policy of no repudiation of Land Commission annuities provided the English get a decree? That is what we had from Deputy Lemass.

[332]Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  A lie.

Mr. Hogan:  Have a rest for yourself.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  Tell the truth, then.

Mr. Hogan:  Are we to have another round with England, another battle of Clontarf? What is the real policy? After all, did I not ask the question correctly—under which thimble is the pea? Now, we are not prepared to take any chance with this sort of thimble-rigging. What is the explanation of the whole thing? In all seriousness, what is the explanation of the constant inconsistencies, the mis-statements, the generalities, the turnings, the twists both in word and action of that Party since 1923? There is only one real explanation, and that is that they have no policy. Deputies opposite need not waste their time trying to prove to me that they are Republicans. I never thought there was any Republicanism in that Party or any separatism in that Party. Whatever Republicanism or separatism or good nationalism is in the country is represented in other parts of the House, but not on the opposite benches.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  What about the Farmers' Party?

Mr. Gorey: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  They could never run as fast as you, anyhow.

Mr. Hogan:  And why not the Farmers' Party? As I say, the Party opposite has not Republicanism, separatism or any other ism. They merely want to break this Treaty because the Treaty broke them. That is their policy and no other. There is an additional uncertainty in the position. They know perfectly well —Deputy de Valera and Deputy Lemass know it—that Deputy de Valera was speaking the truth when he said in 1929—and the Minister for Defence quoted him to-day—that if that Party elect a Government, that Government will not be the real Government of this country. The Government of this country will be, to quote Deputy de Valera's statement, the people outside. And who are the people outside?

[333]Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The Army, according to the “Star.”

Mr. Hogan:  The people outside are the people with the guns, the people who shot jurymen and witnesses, and the people who have committed or attempted a long series of shocking illegalities over the past four or five years, and who have now been effectively controlled and stopped by the Minister for Justice. These will be the real masters of this country.

[An Leas-Cheann Comhairle took the Chair.]

It is an insult to the Dáil to have that position. After all, the Treaty was signed in 1922. I agree with Deputy Lemass, that this country was new to self-government, and I agree that a certain amount of mental and moral confusion was to be expected. But, after all, we have had eight years of government, and we ought to get proud of ourselves. We ought to realise that we are a white people who are expected to live up to our responsibilities. I say, meaning it, that it is a positive insult to this people, with its fighting traditions, and its traditions for fair play, and its traditions for realism, that in 1930, after eight years self-government, we should have such a proposition put up in this Dáil. We will not stand it, and the Deputies opposite will have to learn more.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  Go to the people on it.

Mr. Hogan:  Let us consider the position. What is the moral to be drawn from all these statements by Deputy Lemass and from the statements of all the other Deputies? They have at last realised that the people are with us and in favour of the Treaty.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  Try them.

Mr. Hogan:  We have tried them, time and time again, and they have always given us a majority. Deputies opposite have at last realised that, and they will have to bend the knee to the people's will unequivocally and without any reservation.

[334]Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Why did you not bend to the will of this House on last Thursday?

Mr. Hogan:  That reminds me of another question of Deputy Lemass. He professes to be doubtful as to our attitude to the House, and as to the relations in our mind between the Army and the Government elected by this House. These professions of his were unnecessary. Our attitude is not equivocal. Members of this Government, in season and out of season, in word and in act, have always made it plain and, if necessary, will make it plain again, that the Government elected by this Dáil is the supreme authority and that the Army has no right, good, bad or indifferent, directly or indirectly, to question a decision of the Government; the one duty of the Army is to obey.

Mr. Carney: Information on Frank Carney  Zoom on Frank Carney  Why do you allow an Army officer to advocate obstruction in the Government organ?

Mr. Hogan:  Deputy Cooney asked about the Vote on old age pensions. This Dáil is sovereign. It has an absolute right to accept a Bill; alternatively, it has an absolute right to reject a Bill; alternatively, it has a right to elect a Government that will make that Bill its policy; and, alternatively, it has a right to elect a Government that refuses to make that Bill its policy; and, at the same time, to have another battle of Clontarf. That is the position about old age pensions. In all seriousness, I put it to every Party, to the Labour Party and to the Independent Party, that whatever else may happen at this stage of our history the Party opposite should not nominate the Government of this country. They have done already immeasurable material damage, damage caused by the civil war, but that is the very least of their damage. The moral damage, caused by their attitude, their propaganda, by deliberate lying by their spokesmen, has been far and away greater and will take a far longer time to heal than the material damage. In 1922 this country, like [335] every new country, was faced with very special difficulties due to the moral and material waste of the Great War, and it required all the virility, all the courage, and all the work that all citizens of the country could put in in order to win through.

What has been the consistent lesson, the consistent doctrine, taught to the country during the last eight or nine years by the Party opposite? They told the country to spend their days looking for doles and their evenings talking politics. That particular campaign has done more damage to the country and caused more real demoralisation than even the civil war itself. I accuse the Fianna Fáil Party of preaching a policy of defeatism when a policy of virility and hard work was most needed. It has taken the heart out of the country. They have identified nationality with disorder and decay, everything that is noisy, everything that is inefficient. During all that time, during the past five or six years, we, the Government elected by Cumann na nGaedheal, have set our faces against that campaign. We have taught a different doctrine. We have taught the people that the foundations of progress are order first and, after that—while the people may be entitled to sympathy and help, financial, material and moral, from the Government—that the real greatness of the country will come only from courage, virility, a sense of honour, and a genuine nationalism on the part of the people. That is our doctrine. If we get a majority here to-day we will do what we always did, we will govern. We will show that there is equal law in this country. We will allow no gunmen outside to govern the country.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  Do you mean that?

Mr. Hogan:  We will see that the rightful obligations of this country, either due by it or due to it, are carried out. Our policy is known. We have never hidden it. We stand here, after eight or nine years, with [336] everybody knowing exactly what we have done in the past and what our future policy is to be. We have equivocated in no way. We propose to continue in that direction and to give the country, as I have said, the benefits of equal law, fair play for every man, economical administration, and we propose to tell the people that no country can become great by government action but only by the virility, courage and genuine nationalism of the individual citizen.

Captain Redmond: Information on William Archer Redmond  Zoom on William Archer Redmond  The Minister for Agriculture opened his speech by remarking that he did not see the use of flogging a dead horse. Having listened to that speech, I fully agree with him in his opening statement, but I find myself in this somewhat difficult position, that with all the scorpions with which he has chastised this corpse, I do not see either the vertebrae, the head, or the tail of it left. The proposal before the House is that Deputy de Valera be elected President of the Irish Free State. In listening to the proposer of the motion I really wondered whether it was put forward in any seriousness whatever. In the first place, Deputy O'Kelly knows as well as the country knows that the great majority of Deputies in this House were elected in favour of the Treaty, as passed in 1922, and of the observance of our international and contractual obligations under that Treaty. He also knows that a proposition such as this at this time of the day in this House is bound to be defeated. Therefore, the first question I would like to ask is, what is the purpose of this motion at all? Does he or his Party think that as long as they pursue a line of hostility to the Treaty, because that is the word now used by Deputy Lemass, they can get a vote of confidence in this House or in the country? I think it is fooling, mere trifling with the House, and an insult to it to propose that Deputy de Valera be elected President of the Irish Free State.

I do not want to indulge in reiteration either, but perhaps it is necessary for me to say one or two words [337] on this point of the election of this gentleman. We have had a striking eulogy of his personal qualifications from his proposer, Deputy O'Kelly. We certainly have heard nothing about his proposed policy. Whatever his qualifications may be, and I am not going to indulge in personalities in that respect, we have heard nothing about his qualifications as regards policy. Only as late as the last general election, in August 1927, I was personally and publicly challenged as to whether I would be prepared to support Mr. de Valera's candidature or his Government, if he chose to form one. I immediately answered emphatically in the negative. Therefore I think it would be almost wearisome to the House if I were in any way to endeavour to show what attitude I took up upon this matter from the moment the Treaty was proposed between these two countries. At that time I happened to be a member of the Imperial Parliament and I said in that Parliament, as well as outside it, that I was prepared to accept the verdict of the majority of my countrymen. I stand by that still. I accept the Treaty as such and, so far as I personally am concerned, I will never be responsible by my vote for putting in the extraordinary, anomalous and absurd position as President of the Irish Free State a gentleman who, by his word, his conduct and his action, has done everything possible to prevent the functioning of that State.

What is the position to-day? Are we any wiser now than we have been during all the years since 1922? I must say that in the early stages of the Treaty controversy things seemed slightly clearer, and those of us who were in favour of the acceptance of the Treaty knew definitely that Deputy de Valera and his colleagues were definitely opposed to it. Now we are undoubtedly in a somewhat vague and cloudy atmosphere. As has been stated, we hear different voices at different times in different tunes upon this question, but I want to put this question definitely to the Fianna Fáil Party to-day: if by any stretch [338] of the imagination, if by the ghost of a chance, they were to be elected as the Government of this country to-morrow, would they come here and declare a Republic or not? Let them answer that question. It is all very well to make speeches in the country, in America, and in this House differing in this respect, but what the plain people of the country want to know is whether Deputy de Valera, if returned to-morrow as President of the Irish Free State, would declare an Irish Republic or would be not. I do not think that we are likely to get an answer to that question to-day. We have heard it stated, and we now understand, that Fianna Fáil are declared constitutional Republicans. What do they mean by that? Do they mean that the method which they are to employ in future is to be the conversion of the other Parties to the principle of an Irish Republic, because I maintain that the people of the country are not Republicans?

Do they say that they have to go further and convert by their persuasive propaganda and oratory the people of Great Britain, who were one of the parties to this Treaty, to the doctrine of a Republic for Ireland? Is that what they are prepared to do, or is it, when they come into office, as possibly by a stretch of the imagination they hope to, that they would declare a Republic? I say that it is only fair and right that the people of the Free State should know what they intend to do in such circumstances. As I said previously, I admit that such circumstances are exceedingly hypothetical. So hypothetical are they, with the Dáil constituted as it is at present, that in my opinion this whole proceeding of proposing Deputy de Valera as President of the Free State is nothing short of a farce and an insult to this House. Deputies know that outside the Fianna Fáil Party there is not a member on these benches, Cumann na nGaedheal, Independent, or Labour, who is not pledged to support the Treaty, or, if there was any necessity for altering the Treaty, to secure it by constitutional [339] means. That being so, I ask what is the reason, what is the fairness to this House in bringing forward a proposal such as this? I think that it is merely wasting the time of the House and of the country, and certainly there is one thing that will go forth from this debate, namely, that from none of the speeches from Fianna Fáil, certainly not from those of the proposer of the resolution or the seconder, Deputy Lemass, has this House or the country been given any indication as to what the policy is, either in regard to future fundamental constitutional questions or to the domestic and social welfare of the people. We have not heard one proposal as to how the election of Deputy de Valera is going to improve the lot of the working man of this country, how it is going to alleviate unemployment, how it is going to find solutions for the hundred-and-one problems, social and domestic, that confront us. Above all, we have not heard, possibly because they do not know it themselves, what their policy is in regard to the Constitution and the Treaty, if they were by any stretch of the imagination to be returned to power by the election of Deputy de Valera to the position of President of this Dáil. For that reason I have no hesitation in saying that my vote will be cast in the way in which I have always cast it since I came into the Dáil, and that is in favour of upholding the Treaty and against a proposal that anyone should be put in the absurd position of being President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State who himself has always opposed the existence of that State and whose principal lieutenant says to-day that his entire policy is one of hostility to the Treaty.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I do not think there is much in the way of argument that we have heard here to-day to which I need attempt a reply. A great field has been covered in a short space of time, and speeches innumerable have been quoted by Deputies, made in this House and at different times. Documents were quoted, but we do [340] not know where they came from, and some of them, at any rate, read like romances. However, it is, perhaps, no harm in winding up this debate that I should state definitely and clearly that we stand by the statements made by Deputy de Valera, not alone in America, but here in this House and outside it on many occasions, that Fianna Fáil's aim is the attainment of an Irish Republic. That is definite and clear, and I hope that even Deputy Redmond's intelligence is capable of grasping that statement.

Captain Redmond: Information on William Archer Redmond  Zoom on William Archer Redmond  I never denied that was his stated aim; that is the reason why I am opposed to this motion.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  That is our aim and object. It was made clear on every political platform by all our members during the two general elections in 1927 and during the by-elections that took place since 1927. That is our ideal, and that object we hope to realise. But I say here again, as I said outside this House, that we hope to attain it without shedding anyone's blood, either Irish or English.

Captain Redmond: Information on William Archer Redmond  Zoom on William Archer Redmond  Would the Deputy answer my question?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Deputy O'Kelly must be allowed to make his speech in his own way.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Deputy Redmond put a lot of questions.

Captain Redmond: Information on William Archer Redmond  Zoom on William Archer Redmond  I shall repeat them if the Deputy wishes.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  If the Deputy wants us to wait for an Irish Republic until we convert the English people to Republicanism I am sure he is asking us to stretch our patience rather long. But we do say that in gaining our Republic we hope to gain it without bloodshed and, to do that, we hope to prove to our own people as well as to the English that it is to the best interests of Ireland and the Irish people, and of the English people as well, to have this country a peaceful and satisfied [341] country, and that can only be achieved by allowing the fullest freedom to the Irish people, which freedom has not been given to them by our powerful neighbour up to the present.

We hope, therefore, even in our own time—I think it is not a vain hope—that that aim and ideal of ours will be realised. We intend, and we came into this House for that set purpose, to use every opportunity and every bit of machinery available to our hands here, to use it by the ordinary rules of this House, to advance towards the realisation of that ideal. I think that is clear and definite enough. If we believed that we could not advance at all in that direction to full and absolute independence, and to the complete unity of our country, by using the machinery which is here at our hands, we would not be here. We feel some good can be got out of it. We may prove to be wrong, but we are going, as we have said often here to give it a trial. We are here to-day and we intend to do it to the best of our ability. In doing that, and in coming here, we waived no jot of our Republicanism or our adherence to that ideal for which some of us are not ashamed to say we made some sacrifices, unlike the Minister for Agriculture. We are not a bit ashamed to say and to repeat it that there are on these benches, as there are on the other side, men with decent national records, unlike the Minister for Agriculture.

Mr. Hogan:  Do not be criticising Deputy Lemass.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  The Minister is very fond of sneering and jeering and jibing at men who died for Ireland —the men of Easter Week—but the Minister can go on jibing as much as he likes.

Mr. Hogan:  There is no need for Deputy O'Kelly to get hysterical. When did I jeer and jibe at men who died for Ireland?

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  We do not care a damn whom you jeered and jibed at.

[342]Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Jeers and jibes at the dead who brought this House, such as it is, into existence come with very bad grace from those who, like the Minister, have got so much out of it. Where would this House be but for those whom he is so fond of jeering and jibing at, not to-day alone, but on every occasion that he gets an opportunity?

Mr. Hogan:  Can the Deputy quote a definite statement showing that I jeered and jibed at the people who died for Ireland? When and where?

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  What was the Minister's reference to Easter Week and the sneer attached to it?

Mr. Hogan:  What was the reference? Why does not the Deputy quote it?

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  The House listened and they know the facts as well as I do, and I shall leave it at that. I know what the Minister is capable of in that direction, and the House understands it.

Mr. Hogan:  On a point of order, I think I am entitled to answer the Deputy's question. He asked me what was my reference. My reference was not to the people who died for Ireland, but my reference was to the spurious patriots of which the benches opposite are so full.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  The Minister will try to withdraw and run away and get out of it as best he can. He has run away often when tackled on the civil war and other questions. He runs away like the skunk.

Mr. Hogan:  The skunk does not run.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  The skunk does run, and well you know it. We ran you and chased you before in this House, and if necessary we shall do it again. “Oh, we were all in the Post Office,” he says. The President was there. All credit to him for it. The Vice-President was there.

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  No, I was not in the Post Office.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I beg pardon. The Minister for Defence was there, and [343] all credit to him for it. I wonder where was Deputy Hogan on that occasion? He was jeering and jibing, probably, at the men who were there. All credit to the men who were there. I do not want to take one jot from any man on any side of politics who went out and did his duty when there was danger to be run. I did not want to drag this thing in, but I object to these jeers, and we object to them very much coming from the source that they did come from. I think they are unworthy of a man who, as I say, has reaped such benefit from the blood and sacrifices of those men and the dangers risked by them.

Mr. Hogan:  I think that is the most unwarranted attack upon Deputy Lemass.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  The Minister must allow the Deputy to make his speech.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Deputy Lemass did his duty as a boy in 1916.

Mr. Hogan:  His record is nothing to mine.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  He did more than the Minister for Agriculture whether as a boy or as a man.

Mr. Hogan:  I have a marvellous record.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I did not interrupt the Minister. I think our political attitude is definite and clear. We do not accept the Treaty as a final settlement of Ireland's claim to nationhood, of Ireland's national aspirations. We did not accept it in 1921, nor in 1922, nor do we accept it now. Is that definite and clear? The Minister for Finance, in a discussion on the Central Fund Bill, on the 22nd March, 1928, as reported in columns 1645-6 of the Official Debates, said:—

“With regard to the point as to whether we are aiming at the establishment of an Irish Republic, we are not.”

That is definite and clear. He said further:—

[344]“We believe this country as a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations can enjoy greater freedom and greater security than she could outside the great British Commonwealth of Nations, and our policy within it is really to remove anomalies that exist in the relationship between members of it.”

That is a clear statement of policy, but at the same time it is a repudiation of the authors of the Treaty. It is a repudiation of Griffith and Collins, and of all the other men who accepted the Treaty. It is a definite and clear repudiation. I ask any of the Deputies on the other benches—not on ours—who were members of the Dáil that accepted the Treaty whether that is not a repudiation of the men who were responsible for having that Treaty accepted in the Second Dáil. There are others listening to me who can say whether that is or is not correct. I believe it is absolutely correct: Deputy O'Connell, when he said that the Labour Party, having accepted unequivocally the Treaty, does not accept it as the ne plus ultra of the march of the Irish nation, was interpreting what I believe was, and what those in the Second Dáil, or the vast majority of them, accepted as the real interpretation given to the acceptance of the Treaty by Griffith and Collins and others who spoke in favour of it at the time. The issue, therefore, on the political question is definitely and clearly knit. I would say you have on the one hand a definite statement: no further shall we Irish Nationalists or Irish Republicans go. We have gone into the British Empire, as some pro-Treaty people said, with our heads up, and the Minister for Finance tells us we are going to remain there. I ask anyone with a spark of real nationalism left in him is he content with that position? We are not, at any rate.

I did not intend to occupy much time in replying. I would not possibly have replied at all were it not for the grossly improper statements of the Minister for Agriculture. Our [345] economic policy is well known. Deputies on the Government Benches pretend that they do not know and understand what it is. Deputy O'Connell, the leader of the Labour Party, knows it so well that he says there is no very considerable difference between their economic policy and ours, and I agree. There are some differences, but I do not think they are fundamental differences. In connection with the economic policy, let me say again that while we are here to use the machinery of this Free State to the fullest for the political advancement and the advancement towards freedom of the Irish people, we are not going to remain here idle and dumb when economic questions arise. Every opportunity that has arisen here has been made use of to the fullest by us to advance the economic and social interests of our people. I defy anybody to deny that.

Take the issue on which the Government was brought down, that of old age pensions. That is one of the numerous questions that we have raised here, and we have had many debates here in endeavouring to advance the social, economic and industrial interests of our people. It is not fair to suggest, as, to my mind, Deputy O'Connell suggested, that our intention was to remain idle and quiescent, hands in pockets, watching and waiting perhaps for political advancement and letting people starve and rot and die of hunger in the meantime. Deputy O'Connell ought to know, and I am sure he does know, that there is no Party in this House that has bent its earnest endeavours more often than we have in the direction of securing better housing, better conditions of livelihood, the development of industries and progressive development generally on economic lines, so that the people in this country may have an opportunity not alone to live, but to improve their standard of living. We have not remained idle; we do not intend to remain idle. Every day that we sit here a political question may arise, but certainly economic questions frequently arise, and on these economic questions we will [346] in the future, as we have done in the past, devote the best of our energies and abilities to securing everything that it is possible to get, within our limited resources, inside the Twenty-six Counties, for the ordinary, plain, common people of the country.

I do not think I have much more to say. The question of the army and their position towards the army and the control of the army arises here. To my mind, going back over the past, it comes with ill-grace from Ministers who were in the Government in 1923-4 to charge us with having doubts as to what attitude we should adopt towards an army that attempted to over-ride or threaten or dictate to the Government. We have definitely before our minds the attitude the Ministry adopted when a real mutiny was attempted in the Free State Army. The mutineers were bought off. They were paid and pensioned and kept by money out of the taxpayers' pockets. Although they were mutineers and had threatened the State, they are kept and every possible position into which their leaders—not all their leaders but some of them—could be put by the present Government they were put. They were put into every soft job in the State and they are still in them. Those who were not lucky enough, as there were not jobs enough to go round, got fat pensions. They are still drawing—some of them at any rate—generous doles out of the pockets of the poor taxpayers. Now nobody can charge us with ever having said to any body of men or to individual men who stand for disorder in this country that when we come into power you will get the best jobs the State can afford or the biggest pensions we can rob from the Exchequer and that we will not submit to the Comptroller and Auditor-General any of the details of evidence on which the pensions are granted. Before they make charges of that kind against us about suborning disorder or threatening a government with arms, the Ministers should look into their own records. Not alone did they not properly control [347] their own army but they cannot to-day control their own police or, at any rate, their own C.I.D. In the recent past, many verdicts have been given against the Ministry of Justice for breaches of the law committed by their own peace officers. What respect can anybody in the country have for law and order when you have the paid peace officers of the country encouraged, clapped on the back, and when everything is done that is possible to be done by the Ministry to show that the men who broke the law, men who are daily committing crimes against the person, who are committing assaults against peaceful citizens are not to be brought to justice? Heavy fines are imposed on them in the Court and yet not one step is taken so far as we know, to see that these men are taught and made to obey the common law of the land like any other citizen.

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Can the Deputy state whether justices are not being intimidated in this country?

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I did not hear.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  It does not arise at all.

Mr. T.J. O'Connell: Information on Tomas O'Connell  Zoom on Tomas O'Connell  You lost nothing.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I cannot understand Deputy Redmond saying that the proposition I move here to-day that Deputy de Valera be made President of the Executive Council was an insult to this House. Deputy Redmond was a long time a member of the British House of Commons. “The Mother of Parliaments,” I think, those who have a great admiration for that Parliament call it. In that Parliament and in that country the procedure is when a Government is defeated that the leader of the next biggest Party in the House is then asked to form a Government. In recent years we have seen developments where even a Party that was not the Party next strongest numerically was called on to form a Government, a minority Party. I merely give that one case of the British House of Commons as an example. [348] Similar things have happened recently in France. No later than last week a similar thing has happened in Germany. It is not an improper suggestion, to put it mildly, that the man who is leader of the next biggest Party in this House should be put forward for nomination as head of a group that is prepared, ready and willing to form a Government.

Of course, we realise that we are a minority in this House, but we realise that although we are a minority we have in our ranks a number that is not very considerably lower than the Party that holds and has held power for the last seven or eight years. There is not a considerable difference in number between us. They only hold power because they have the assistance of other Parties. Would it not be in accordance with constitutional practice and procedure if those other Parties felt like it to give the Party next numerically strong, after the defeat of the Government, if they felt like it, an opportunity of taking the reins of Government and continuing to govern until such time as the people would properly be consulted? That would not be an unheard of thing in constitutional practice and usage. It was, bearing in mind that the Government had been defeated last week on an important and major issue, that we decided to put forward the name of Deputy Eamonn de Valera, head of the Fianna Fáil Party, the second largest Party in the House. Why the doing of that should be called an insult to the House I do not know.

I was surprised when I heard Deputy Redmond use such words. I know that he did vote before when Deputy Johnson in 1927 was put forward for election as President.

Mr. O'Connell:  He was never put forward.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Not at all.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I beg your pardon. I was thinking of the vote of no confidence. He certainly voted at that time on the vote of no confidence when some of us had in mind that if [349] the vote was carried it would have been Deputy Johnson who would have been put forward, I think, by the majority in the House to form a Government.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Will the Deputy tell the House and the country what his grounds for that statement are?

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  None. I said probably the majority would have done it. I know there was a great deal of talk among Deputies and certainly a great deal of discussion in the newspapers at the time and the name of Deputy Johnson, or Senator Johnson as he now is, was freely used. This is the point I wanted to bring out. Deputy Redmond certainly voted no confidence in the Free State Ministry at the time. He voted against their holding power. It was accepted that the party that would come into power would be composed in the majority of Deputies on the Fianna Fáil benches. If that were so and if he was even prepared at that time to elect to be a member of the Government that would be brought into power by the votes of the Fianna Fáil people, I wonder how he thinks [350] it would be such an awful insult now to elect Deputy de Valera. I wonder if the fact that Deputy Redmond has recently been appearing for the Government and the Department of Justice in certain cases in the courts has anything to say to his change of mind.

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Does the Deputy suggest that?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Not at all.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I have nothing further to say. I hope that I have made clear what our political attitude is and what our political object is. Any quotations from any speeches that have been made have not taken away in one jot from the clear and definite statement of political or economic policy that I have made here to-day as acting-leader of the Fianna Fáil Party. It is clear and definite, anyway, to the country. We are satisfied as regards what we are out for and what we propose to do in this House if a majority decides to vote for the motion that I had the honour to propose.

Question put.

Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Denis.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Boland, Patrick.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Seán.
Briscoe, Robert.
Buckley, Daniel.
Carney, Frank.
Carty, Frank.
Clery, Michael.
Colbert, James.
Cooney, Eamon.
Corkery, Dan.
Corry, Martin John.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Tadhg.
Derrig, Thomas.
Fahy, Frank.
Flinn, Hugo.
Fogarty, Andrew.
French, Seán.
Gorry, Patrick J.
Goulding, John.
Hayes, Seán.
Houlihan, Patrick.
Jordan, Stephen.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Kent, William R.
Kerlin, Frank.
Killilea, Mark.
Kilroy, Michael.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Maguire, Ben.
McEllistrim, Thomas.
MacEntee, Seán.
Moore, Séamus.
Mullins, Thomas.
O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
O'Kelly, Seán T.
O'Leary, William.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
O'Reilly, Thomas.
Powell, Thomas P.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Ryan, James.
Sexton, Martin.
Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
Smith, Patrick.
Tubridy, John.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C.

[351]Aird, William P.
Alton, Ernest Henry.
Anthony, Richard.
Beckett, James Walter.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Blythe, Ernest.
Bourke, Séamus A.
Brennan, Michael.
Broderick, Henry.
Brodrick, Seán.
Byrne, John Joseph.
Carey, Edmund.
Cassidy, Archie J.
Clancy, Patrick.
Coburn, James.
Cole, John James.
Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
Colohan, Hugh.
Conlon, Martin.
Connolly, Michael P.
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Craig, Sir James.
Crowley, James.
Daly, John.
Davin, William.
Davis, Michael.
De Loughrey, Peter.
Doherty, Eugene.
Dolan, James N.
Doyle, Edward.
Doyle, Peadar Seán.
Duggan, Edmund John.
Dwyer, James.
Egan, Barry M.
Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
Everett, James.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Good, John.
Gorey, Denis J.
Haslett, Alexander.
Hassett, John J.
Heffernan, Michael R.
Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
Hennessy, Thomas.
Hennigan, John.
[352]Henry, Mark.
Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
Holohan, Richard.
Jordan, Michael.
Kelly, Patrick Michael.
Keogh, Myles.
Law, Hugh Alexander.
Leonard, Patrick.
Lynch, Finian.
Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
McDonogh, Martin.
MacEóin, Seán.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Murphy, James E.
Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
Myles, James, Sproule.
Nally, Martin Michael.
Nolan, John Thomas.
O'Connell, Richard.
O'Connell, Thomas J.
O'Connor, Bartholomew.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Higgins, Thomas.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
O'Reilly, John J.
O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, William Archer.
Reynolds, Patrick.
Rice, Vincent.
Roddy, Martin.
Shaw, Patrick W.
Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
Thrift, William Edward.
Tierney, Michael.
Vaughan, Daniel.
White, John.
White, Vincent Joseph.
Wolfe, George.
Wolfe, Jasper Travers.

Motion declared lost.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I desire to move that Deputy Tómas O Conaill be nominated President of the Executive Council. I think the House will agree, and I am satisfied that when the country tomorrow gets an opportunity, as I hope it will, of reading the speeches which have been made in this House from the two big Parties on the question of the nomination of Deputy de Valera, that the country will agree that there is a necessity to get a sane man elected as President, a man who can forget and leave behind him what has happened for the last eight years in this country. On the motion moved by Deputy O'Kelly, we were treated to what many of us in this House and most of the people in the country would wish to forget—the Treaty issue, the constitutional issue and the civil war.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I did not mention them. Did I mention the question of the Treaty?

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I said on the motion moved by Deputy O'Kelly. I did not say that Deputy O'Kelly said it.

[353]Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  It was raised by Deputy O'Connell first.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  No.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  It was.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Deputy O'Connell did not want to know what was the position of Fianna Fáil in 1922 or 1928 or 1929. He wanted to know what is their position to-day towards the fundamental issue. We are not concerned with what the attitude of Fianna Fáil or the attitude of Cumann na nGaedheal was to the Treaty before to-day. But we are entitled to know, and the country is entitled to know, what is their attitude here and now on the question that is to be decided by the Deputies of this House as representing the people of this country. That is the question which Deputy O'Connell asked, and that is the question which, I submit, he was entitled to ask. So far as we in the Labour Party are concerned, I want to repeat what Deputy O'Connell has stated that we accept the Treaty and the institutions we have under the Treaty in the same spirit and in the same way in which that Treaty was accepted by the late Arthur Griffith and the late Michael Collins; and we propose, if Deputy O'Connell is elected here to-day, to get for the Irish people the last ounce out of that Treaty. We propose to give that Treaty a really Irish interpretation. I was glad to hear from Deputy O'Kelly, in his concluding speech, that in that he differs very little from the Labour Party.

The question of the Army was introduced, and so was the question of the control of the Army. I want to say that if this House in its wisdom decided to give the Labour Party an opportunity of forming a Government, we would see that the Army would be the servant of the people and the servant of any Government appointed and elected by the people. We were told by the Minister for Agriculture that his Party, if President Cosgrave were re-elected, would govern. I want to say that if Deputy Tomás O Conaill is elected President of this House [354] both he and the Executive he will submit to this House will govern as well as, at least, and perhaps much better than, the Cumann na nGaedheal Party governs. The Labour Party would insist and would see to it, no matter what the consequences were, that any laws passed by the representatives of the people in this House were obeyed in the country. What is the position to-day? I want to put this seriously to the members of this House. On Thursday last, on a major issue, an issue which the President considered called for the resignation of his Government, that Government was defeated by a majority of this House. The President refused to obey the will of the people as decided by a majority in this House. I put it to members of all Parties here that if they do not vote for Deputy Tomás O Conaill, then the only honourable course left to the House is to dissolve and go to the country.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Why?

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  For this reason. On last Thursday the House decided that Deputy Ward's Old Age Pensions Bill should be passed. The principle of the Bill was agreed to by a majority of the House. The Government then in office and having the confidence of the House refused to implement that Bill by introducing the necessary financial motion. If Deputy O Conaill is not elected as President here and now, it means that President Cosgrave will be re-elected on stating clearly to the House that he is not prepared to carry out the decision of this Parliament. The Deputy who does not vote for Deputy O'Connell and who voted for the Old Age Pensions Bill on Thursday last is going back of the vote which he then gave.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Who introduced the Bill?

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  No matter who introduced the Bill.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The Bill was introduced by the Fianna Fáil Party.

[355]General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The Deputy who introduced the Bill explicitly explained that it was not Fianna Fáil policy.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  It does not matter by whom the Bill was introduced.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I did not say what has been attributed to me by the Minister for Local Government and Public Health. I did say that the Bill was not intended to represent the ultimate policy of the Fianna Fáil Party on the matter of old age pensions.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  That does not arise at all. I want to say that no matter by whom the Bill was introduced when it was introduced it became the property of the House. It did not belong to any particular Party. I want to put it to Deputies here and now, that if Deputy O'Connell is not elected, who is going to give effect to the Bill and how are the old age pensioners to benefit by the decision which this House came to on Thursday last?

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  By the decision given a half hour ago!

Mr. Killilea: Information on Mark Killilea Snr.  Zoom on Mark Killilea Snr.  Go to the country.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I agree with the Deputy that the House must either vote for Deputy O'Connell if there is any regard for the honour of this House or dissolve and go to the country. But Deputies know very well that if Deputy O'Connell is not elected there will be no question of going to the country, no question whatever. I think it is necessary for me in this House of which Deputy O'Connell has been a member for close on eight years, to say that he is a Deputy who is suited in every way to fill the honourable position of President of the Executive Council. I cannot claim and I would not dream of claiming for Deputy O'Connell all the superior qualities which have been claimed for Deputy de Valera. I would not insult him by doing it.

Mr. Killilea: Information on Mark Killilea Snr.  Zoom on Mark Killilea Snr.  You never can.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I would say this, [356] that Deputy O'Connell is a man of the people of Ireland, one of the Irish people coming from the farming stock in this country, he is a man of intelligence who knows the people, knows what they want and who is prepared to give effect to their wishes.

Mr. Killilea: Information on Mark Killilea Snr.  Zoom on Mark Killilea Snr.  A man whom the people have found out.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  A man whose party is led by Englishmen.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  He does not have to go to Russia?

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Johnson and Mortished.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  As for the Deputy who made that interruption—

Mr. Everett: Information on James Everett  Zoom on James Everett  Leave him alone.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I decided a good many years ago to leave that Deputy very severely alone. I do say this, that I think it is unfortunate and not at all desirable that these interruptions should be made in the very serious matter under consideration.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  This proposition is not serious.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Quite serious. So serious is this proposition which Deputy MacEntee says is not serious at all, that Deputy Lemass stated publicly on Sunday last that he and his Party were going to vote for it. Why did they consider it serious on Sunday and ludicrous yesterday?

Dr. Ryan: Information on James Ryan  Zoom on James Ryan  He was only joking.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  That is the exact word I used on Sunday, “ludicrous.”

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  The trouble is that the Deputy is always joking. I put this to the members of Fianna Fáil and to the members of the Independent group who voted for the Bill on Thursday last, and with particular force I put it to Deputy Redmond, that on their attitude and on Deputy Redmond's own statement in the House to-day they all must vote for Deputy O'Connell. Deputy Redmond told us the reason he would not vote [357] for Deputy de Valera was because Deputy de Valera would not state where he and his Party stood with regard to the Treaty and the Constitution.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  The Deputy would not give the other reason.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  He stated also another reason why he could not vote for Deputy de Valera. That reason was because the Deputy was more concerned with getting a Republic in our time than he was with dealing with the economic ills of the country. We say that there are thousands of people unemployed, thousands of people who require houses and who require food and clothing, and we state clearly and emphatically that we are satisfied that within the Treaty we have all the freedom which we require for the full economic development of this country. We are satisfied on that point and if we find at any time there is anything in the Treaty which will prevent us from giving full effect to our economic policy and our social policy, then we propose to get the best brains of this country—the best intellects that the country can produce—the very best men—to go across to England and have it out with the English people on the question of the Treaty.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  A show-down?

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  No.

Mr. Fahy: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  What else is it?

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I said that the Labour Party, if they found there was anything in the Treaty which would hamper them in giving full effect to their economic and social policy, were prepared to get the best brains of the country, go across to England and meet the other party to the Treaty in ordinary negotiations and use the machinery used by every civilised country in the world and so try to arrange our differences in that way. That is our policy, and unless we are able to do that in the ordinary way, having the best brains of the country employed in order to put our case against whatever case [358] England may put up, I do not believe there is any other same way of doing it. That is the way we propose to do it, and I believe the country will agree with us in that policy. I do not want to go further into the matter now, but I say that if Deputy O'Connell is elected to-day, within twenty-four hours he will put before the House a Government which I believe will command the confidence not only of Deputies here but of the country. In conclusion, I want to say that so long as we are sent here by people who want the Treaty and who want us to get the last ounce out of the Treaty —which we are prepared to do—we have no right to endanger that Treaty either directly or indirectly, and we are not going to do it.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  The redeeming feature of the events of the last few days, since the resignation of the Government, is the fact that the people as a whole have kept their heads cool, even though the Free State Government resigned on Friday morning. The citizens of this State have at least come to the conclusion that they must continue to work and earn their living—those of them who have the satisfaction of getting work, regardless of whatever government may be in power. The only thing that matters to the people, in so far as they are concerned with the Government, is whether the Government that has gone out was a better Government than the one likely to be put in as a result of to-day's vote. The so-called political crisis which led to the resignation of the Government on Friday morning was created by the weakness of those who normally support the Government. About thirteen or fourteen Deputies—I am not quite sure of my ground in this matter—who normally support the Government, suffered on last Thursday night from what I call a temporary nervous breakdown, and they failed to respond to Deputy Duggan's whip to vote against the Bill moved by Deputy Ward. I suggest they suffered from a temporary nervous breakdown because they were afraid [359] they could not face their constituents and justify their vote against the Bill.

Let the country recognise and realise that the so-called crisis has been created as a result of the weakness of the supporters of the Government in this House. What is the good of our Ministers going around this country and boasting about the independent status of this State and the democratic nature of our Constitution if the majority of the Deputies here will re-elect the Government that has flouted the majority decision of this House. It is for that reason that I have very great pleasure in seconding the nomination of Deputy O'Connell. He will maintain the independent status of this State and interpret the democratic spirit of the Constitution.

What was the reason given for the resignation of Deputy Cosgrave and his Government? I will quote from the report of the short speech which Deputy Cosgrave read on that occasion: “Last evening the Dáil passed the Second Reading of a Bill entitled the Old Age Pensions Bill, 1929, by a majority of two. In the course of the debate the Government, through the Minister for Finance, indicated their opposition to that measure, which proposed to impose a burden of some £300,000 per annum on the taxpayer. The cost of old age pensions to the State is already two and three-quarter million pounds sterling per annum, and the Government, having given the matter the most careful consideration, are not prepared to take the responsibility in the present financial situation of providing a further large addition to that sum which, while imposing a heavy burden on agriculture, trade and industry.” and so on. Now I will, with the permission of the House, make an endeavour to draw up a balance sheet of the Government's financial administration concerning this State since they came into office. On the one side I will endeavour to picture what the Government did on behalf of the working-class people; the injury they did to the poorer section of the people in [360] the interests of national economy, and, on the other side, I will endeavour to show the people of this country how the savings effected at the expense of the poor were handed over to the rich.

On the one side we have the Government, a couple of years after it was elected, coming in here and, as the first example of the fruits of freedom, introducing an amending Old Age Pension Bill which brought about a cut of 1/- in old age pensions, but which in reality when put into operation had the effect of making an average reduction of 4/- per week to those entitled to draw the pension. Subsequently they came along and cut the pay of the Civic Guard only a couple of years after that force was formed by themselves. They then came along and made a cut of 10 per cent. in the teachers' salaries. They subsequently came along and in the name of national economy took off the boot allowance of 1/6 which the Civic Guards hitherto drew. Next they cut down the Estimates for social services, which provide work by means of Land Commission improvement schemes, rural drainage schemes, and other schemes which provide work from State sources at the lowest standard of wages provided for any section of the community.

On the other side of the balance sheet we find that the money which they saved, or pretended to save, by cutting the old age pensions, by reducing the allowances of the Civic Guards, by cutting down teachers' salaries by 10 per cent., and by cutting the Estimates for the social services by 50 per cent., was handed over to the British Government, in the first place by way of a financial settlement signed by the late Minister for Finance. They subsequently came along, and, through what is known as the Compensation Property (Amendment) Act, 1926, provided a sum of between £350,000 and £400,000 of the taxpayers' money to be handed over to the people whose property was destroyed in the civil war, over and above the sum granted by the judges in the courts set up by [361] themselves. That was, in the words of President Cosgrave, a gesture of friendship to the monied classes in this country for the purpose of enabling him to retain the consistent support of Deputy Thrift and Deputy Good in this House. They subsequently reduced income tax and supertax, pretending, as far as I can remember, to help the development of industry. Is there any Minister who will get up and show in what way the reduction of income tax and supertax has helped to create employment and develop industry since that reduction was put into operation?

They came along not very long ago, against the wishes of the Comptroller and Auditor-General and against the advice of the Public Accounts Committee, and handed out the sum of £216,000 over and above the amount voted by this House for gratuities to Army officers. These gratuities ranged from £3,000 per man downwards and on an average were about three times the amount given to officers who held similar rank in the British Army on their return to civil life after serving in the European war. We remember that on a recent occasion, notwithstanding the fact that the country is too poor to bear the cost of the Old Age Pensions Bill, that they voted a sum of £3,000 to the Irish Automobile Club so that the swanks in this country could hold motor races in the Phoenix Park. We have a proposal, moreover, by the Chairman of the Economy Committee, Deputy Heffernan, in the Estimates which are to be discussed in the near future to provide a sum of £48,000 for the broadcasting station, not, so far as one can judge from the conditions in the country at any rate, to amuse the old age pensioners. Looking at that review of the Government's financial history since they were elected in this House, how can any self-respecting man with any sense of responsibility to the democracy of this country vote for the re-election of that Government?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  We are not now being asked to do that.

[362]Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  I stated at the beginning that the only alternative to the nomination now before the House was the re-election of the Government that resigned.

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  That the Government could not be worse than a Labour Government. That is what the Deputy means.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  The President can tell the House and the country what he means by refusing to accept the majority verdict of this House and how he can justify it in view of the many plausible speeches which he has made in the last seven years about the democratic nature of the Constitution.

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I have a few more ready.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  There are many people in this country, outside those who normally support the Labour Party, who believe that the only way out of the difficulty is to find some man outside those who have been actively associated with the civil war period. In putting forward the name of Deputy O'Connell we believe that we are endeavouring to find a man who, if elected, will bring us away from the associations and bitterness of the civil war period and who will nominate an Executive Council who will govern in accordance with the wishes of the plain people of the country. On that matter I hope Deputy Redmond will pardon me for reminding him of the speech he made in favour of that particular proposal. On the 16th August, 1927—I quote from the Official Debates of that date, columns 1686-7—Captain Redmond said:—

“We can hardly wonder, however, if the plain people of Ireland, tormented between the rival extravagances of President Cosgrave on the one hand and Deputy de Valera's on the other, are tempted to cry aloud ‘A plague on both your houses.’”

He meant, of course, a plague on the houses of Fianna Fáil and Cumann na nGaedheal. He proceeded to say:—

[363]“I am thus brought to the proposition that we are not content to dethrone President Cosgrave in order to put Deputy de Valera in his place. Nor are we content to outlaw and expel Deputy de Valera in order to secure the throne in permanence for President Cosgrave. We want to see this wretched vendetta that is bedevilling the fair name of Ireland ended once and for all.”

He suggested that we might find the President and Ministry from the Centre Parties, comprised as they were at that time of the Labour Party and the National League Party, and I suppose he also meant such of the Independents as might be acceptable to a President nominated by the Centre Parties. I would like to hear from Deputy Redmond what is the change in the situation, if any, which would justify him in withdrawing any of the words I have quoted.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  Do you not know?

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  No, but I suggest that his constituents are entitled to know if he has changed his mind. We had a trunk call from Nenagh the other day from the Minister for Finance and Deputy Séamus Bourke. In the speeches published in the newspapers last Monday they charged members of the Labour Party with being the most inconsistent body of Deputies in this House. We are, I admit, inconsistent in so far as we have failed to support consistently the policy of the Government in reducing the purchasing power of the people and in degrading the standard of living of the workers. I will make the Minister a present of that. What is their position? They have, as I have shown from the figures quoted, responded to the demands made upon them by Deputy Thrift and Deputy Good and of the people for whom they speak in every issue of policy that has come up during the last four or five years. Notwithstanding that fact, the Independents, I understand, are not satisfied with the attitude of the present Government. [364] Here is a quotation, if I may be pardoned for quoting it again, from the “Irish Times,” of the 29th March:—

“The outstanding moral of Thursday's accident is the need of new relations between the Government and the Independent Party. In plain terms, the Government must recognise its debt to the Party that keeps it in office. If it continues to ignore that debt the Independent members must begin to realise their duty to their constituents and must school themselves to use bravely the only weapon that all Governments fear.”

Will any Independent Deputy tell us whether they have been able to get the new conditions which the Editor of the “Irish Times” wants them to impose on the Government, and will he tell the House what they are? I think that the Independent Party, which claims to represent seven per cent. of the people, have been treated far more liberally than the 30 per cent. Nationalists who have been ground down by Lord Craigavon and his Government in the North. Let us hear from the Independents whether they succeeded in getting the things to which the “Irish Times” claims they are entitled. The Government, by their conduct and actions, during the last five or six years have proved themselves capable of governing only in the interests of bankers, landlords, slum owners and gombeen men. Their policy has been guided on these lines, and there is no Labour Party, even though small in numbers, which would be worth its salt if it voted for the re-election of nominees of any such Government. I understand from the Press—and I readily recognise that Fianna Fáil do not always admit that reports in the Press are accurate—that some words of mine uttered at a public meeting in Malahide the other night have caused offence to some of the leaders of the Fianna Fáil Party. I want to say frankly and fairly that I am not prepared to withdraw one [365] word of what I said on-that occasion. I am not prepared to qualify or modify one word, even for the purpose of getting support from Fianna Fáil for Deputy O'Connell's nomination. We are not asking for the votes of any Deputies under false pretences. Deputy O'Connell stated the position of this Party, and I hope it will be made clear for all time to the leader-writers of the different newspapers and to the leaders of other Parties who would like to create scares regarding our position on issues of fundamental importance. I submit to the supporters of the Fianna Fáil Party in the country, that if their Deputies refuse to vote for the nomination of Deputy O'Connell as President, they will be making it absolutely certain that some other person will be elected who will refuse to put into operation the Bill brought forward by Deputy Ward. The only thing for them to do is to vote for the nomination of Deputy O'Connell, and Deputies may take me as not begging for votes.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  The Deputy will be begging for something else.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Even if I were on the border of starvation I would not like to beg from the Deputy. If Deputy O'Connell is elected as President he will, I admit, be unable to get a Ministry drawn from our universities, but, so far as I know his intentions, if he gets the confidence of the Dáil he will select as his Ministry a body of men who have experience in the workaday world, who will recognise the rights of their own country and who will govern it in accordance with the wishes of the people.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I wish to congratulate Deputy Davin on the very eloquent speech which he has just made. With that portion of it in which he criticised the economic policy of the Government I am in complete agreement. This Party, however, is not able to bring itself to take the proposal now before the House seriously. That a Party of thirteen Deputies should aspire to form a Government in a House of [366] 153 Deputies seems to us to be ridiculous. Such a Government would be unable to follow any independent policy, and would be at the beck and call of Cumann na nGaedheal, which controls a majority in the House. It is, however, a matter of indifference to us whether Cumann na nGaedheal governs openly through Deputy Cosgrave or otherwise through Deputy O'Connell. If anything, we would prefer the former.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Hear hear.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It is a matter on which we have no very strong opinions and, therefore, we do not propose to take any part either in this discussion or this division.

Captain Redmond: Information on William Archer Redmond  Zoom on William Archer Redmond  I am very glad to have the opportunity afforded me by Deputy Davin of explaining my attitude on this vote. Deputy Davin stated that on a similar occasion in the year 1927 I took a certain attitude. He did not say whether it was going to be a different one to the one I am about to take because, possibly, he does not know, and he did not say in what way the occasion was a similar one. Let me recall to the House the occasion on the 16th August, 1927, which is the one to which, I think, he referred. On that occasion there was a question of a Vote of Censure on the then Government. That vote was proposed mainly upon the grounds of opposition to what was known as the Public Safety Bill, afterwards the Public Safety Act. In supporting that Vote of Censure I made it perfectly clear that the main reason for my opposition to the Government at the time was my utter dislike of their proposals in the form of a Public Safety Act. To make that clear I used the following words: “The real gravamen of the case against the Government is the Public Safety Act.” I then went on to describe the Act as being to my mind a complete abrogation of the constitutional rights of the citizens of this country. Whether I was right or wrong in my opinion as to the effect and nature of that Act the [367] fact remains to-day that the Act has been repealed.

If Deputy Davin wants to know my reason for not opposing the election of the present Government Party on this occasion, it is because the Public Safety Act has been repealed, and I believe that the only Party that can successfully propose and constitute a Government in this House is the Party which is the largest in number and which can command the support of the majority of this House. I am aware that that is perhaps rather entering into what will possibly be the subject matter of our next debate, but Deputy Davin asked me my attitude and has suggested that it is a change of attitude. I merely desire to say that, having pressed for the repeal of the Public Safety Act, and the Government having for one reason or another—I am not claiming to have been the means of doing it—repealed the Act, I feel that I am entitled, as an independent Deputy, to support that Government now, which is the only Government that can possibly command a majority of the votes of the House.

I do not know whether Deputies remember the statement made by the late Mr. Kevin O'Higgins when Minister for Justice, on 23rd June, 1927, when there was a proposal made to elect the President of the Executive Council. He said that the motion of the Government Party to elect President Cosgrave would be withdrawn “if there is anyone in the Dáil who is prepared to form a Government and gives us reasonable prospects of securing sufficient support for that Government.” I desire to support that statement to-day. What reasonable support is there for the election of Deputy O'Connell? Could he maintain a Government? It has been said he leads a small Party, and neither his proposer nor his seconder has in any way indicated how he is going to get the support of Deputies in any other quarter of the House. On the contrary, we have heard from Deputy Lemass, on behalf [368] of the second largest Party in the House, that they will take no hand, act or part in the debate or in the division, and much less will they support Deputy O'Connell, if he is elected to the position of President.

I agree, to a large extent, with a great deal that has been said by the proposer and seconder with regard to Deputy O'Connell's personal qualifications for the position. That, however, does not enter into the matter at all. The question is whether he can, in his present position, command a majority of elected representatives in this House and whether he would in any conceivable way be able to carry on such a Government. I cannot see how he possibly could. The suggestion was made by Deputy Davin that if Deputy O'Connell was not elected it therefore followed that the Cumann na nGaedheal nominee must necessarily be elected. I do not follow that line of reasoning at all. I do not see why some member of the Independent group should not be proposed. I do not see why someone should not propose Deputy Coburn or myself for that matter.

A Deputy:  You would get nobody to second it.

Captain Redmond: Information on William Archer Redmond  Zoom on William Archer Redmond  We would be in absolutely the same position as Deputy O'Connell would find himself. When he would be elected to the position of President he could not command a sufficient majority in this House to carry on the necessary public work and the affairs of the State.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  The Party would not agree.

Captain Redmond: Information on William Archer Redmond  Zoom on William Archer Redmond  Therefore, I feel that it is out of the question to expect anyone at this stage to support the election of a Deputy, no matter how qualified personally he may be, for the conduct of the affairs of the House who is not able to carry on the affairs of the House by a majority of Deputies. Again, I desire to thank Deputy Davin for the opportunity he has given me to say now, as I have said elsewhere, for a considerable time, that my chief and [369] main opposition to the Cumann na nGaedheal Government in 1927 was their introduction and passage of the Public Safety Act, and that because that Act has been repealed, on all main issues, especially those in connection with the safeguarding of the Constitution and the government of the country, and in the carrying out of our international and contractual obligations with others outside, I am at one with President Cosgrave. When the time comes to vote, if he is proposed, I shall support him, and I hope what I am saying now will be taken as meaning that I will not have to inflict any further words upon the House upon this subject at any other time this evening, which subject I think should be disposed of as quickly as possible in order to let us get on with the business of the country.

Mr. Blythe: Information on Ernest Blythe  Zoom on Ernest Blythe  It may be sometimes for the public good to entrust a minority Party with the formation of a Government. That may occur when efforts to form a Government which had a firm majority behind it have failed, or it may happen when it is only desired to have a group to carry on the Government for a week or two, or a month or two, pending a general election. But I can hardly imagine any circumstances in which it would be justifiable to entrust the formation of a Government to a Party as small as the Labour Party now is. There are 11 Departments of State, and there are two sub-Departments which have been recognised as requiring a Parliamentary head, namely, the Land Commission and the Board of Works. It is, therefore, necessary, apart altogether from the question of a Whip, to have 13 members in the Government. There are just 13 members in the Labour Party, so that they would be all generals and there would be no rank and file. We are assuming for the moment that every man will make an excellent Minister. The position would be that all the members of the Labour Party would be Ministers. They would be carrying out the policy of the Labour Party. I think it is [370] recognised that all Governments really should have people in the Parliament to support their policy who are not in office, because a Government which had no support of this kind in the House would be very liable, I think, to find it impossible to ascertain what a Labour man not in office would think about any particular matter that would come before them.

I believe that even if we had to spend two or three days here voting upon various propositions and failed to elect a President it would be still undesirable to elect Deputy O'Connell unless Deputy O'Connell was in a position to assure the House that he had got promises of support from outside groups that would at least give a rank and file for his Government. I gathered from the speeches of Deputy Morrissey and Deputy Davin that that had not been done. We are asked simply to put the Labour Party into office. I am sure An Ceann Comhairle would not allow me to answer, at least at any length, remarks made by Deputy Davin with regard to the economic policy of the Government. It seems to me that the economic policy of the Labour Party is to increase the social services irrespective of the capacity of the country, in its present state of development, to pay for them without forfeiting the prospects of further development; and secondly to depend to an undue degree upon State action for getting economic results. The view of the Government which has held office for some time, has been that while probably social services will continue to increase for a long time to come in all countries we cannot expect in a country which is economically undeveloped to have social services on the scale of countries that have made considerable progress and have a much greater accumulation of wealth to draw upon and, therefore, have much greater productivity to enable them to meet the charges that will fall upon them. We believe that while the whole question of social services must be sympathetically viewed, an eye must be [371] kept, on the other hand, on the sources of production, and everything must be done to allow those sources of production to increase. We also believe that there are definite limits to the utility of State action by way of increasing productivity and bringing about economic prosperity. If the State tries to do too much it only prevents individuals who can venture more than the State from undertaking enterprise that they ought to undertake. The sketch that Deputy Davin gave of the economic policy of the Government was, of course, a travesty of that policy. I think it would be more in order to deal with it at a later stage of the present proceedings. I do not want to scout the proposal for the election of Deputy O'Connell simply because it seems to be a foregone conclusion, but I wish to oppose it because I think even if the House practically saw no other alternative it should hesitate before putting an entire Party into office.

Mr. Tadhg Murphy: Information on Timothy J Murphy  Zoom on Timothy J Murphy  I am glad that the Government, through the Minister for Finance, overcame their evident reluctance to take part in the debate on this motion. Being asked to intervene in this debate in support of the nomination made by the Labour Party, is to me, personally, a very high honour. In the very brief contribution to the debate made by Deputy Lemass he asked us to regard this nomination as a joke. I would like to say that the greatest joke in the recent political history of this country that we remember was the excuse made by Deputy Lemass's Party when they entered this House. It seems to me now from their declared attitude on this motion that they are going to repeat the policy that they recanted when they came into the House—that is, abstaining from having any responsibility for decisions come to on national matters.

This unquestionably is a serious nomination. It is important, and very important, because of the fact that the Party that makes it, in all [372] seriousness to the House, is on the threshold of big developments in the life of this country—developments that we are sure will mean that they will be given a bigger responsibility and a wider invitation to take a bigger part in the life of this country in the future than they had been able to take in the past. Though we are not, perhaps, in a position to dispute the view of the Minister for Finance, that this motion is going to be negatived proof is not wanting that there are signs available that a motion in some what similar terms might be made in this House at no very distant date in very different circumstances. I am sorry the Minister for Finance did not elaborate more than he did, in another place, on the incapacity of the Labour Party to govern.

Mr. Blythe: Information on Ernest Blythe  Zoom on Ernest Blythe  It would be unparliamentary.

Mr. Murphy:  During the past few days we have heard epithets in connection with the Labour Party flung about like “inconsistency” and the term “ludicrous” was used. The term “incapacity” figured more than once in the contributions that have flooded the papers for the last few days. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance is absolutely convinced of the inconsistency of the Labour Party. In an extremely interesting address delivered in Nenagh on Sunday he ranged an attack over such interesting subjects as “race suicide,”“divorce,”“senile marriages,” and proclaimed our inconsistency to his audience. My first comment on that would be this, that if Deputy Bourke had any regard for consistency, or even for public decency, he would refrain from talking about incapacity in connection with any Party or any individual. I say that because I doubt if there would be any serious contradiction of the fact that he himself presents the greatest example of floundering incapacity that this House has ever known since it was set up. Surely, in the course of the statement delivered, I have no doubt in the usual lucid fashion [373] in which he approaches questions of this kind, the limit was reached when the superseded Minister for Local Government, who got what used to be termed an Irishman's rise in 1927 from his President, went on to talk about people of work-shy mentality. There, at any rate, I bow to the absolutely intimate knowledge he had of the subject. There is no question whatever about his right and qualification to speak upon that subject. I want to be merciful, and I only want to say a few words more. If Deputy Bourke has any capacity there was very little evidence of it manifested in this Chamber, and I want to say, in addition, that if a regrettable feature in the life of this country at present is the abnormal number of senile marriages, it is equally regrettable we should have the senile statements that Deputy Bourke has made. We give him credit for one thing, at least, and that is that he was endeavouring to make some atonement for his undoubted incapacity. Perhaps he was trying to make easy his lot for his absence here last week, and with an Executive which must be by now heartily sick of him indeed.

Deputy Heffernan, another lieutenant of the Minister for Finance, has no faith in our capacity either, but he has another fear, and it is this, that our policy would be dictated from outside. No doubt we recognise Deputy Heffernan's high qualification to speak of capacity to govern. We are also keenly conscious of his undoubted capacity for intelligent utterances both in this House and outside of it, and of course there are very few in this House better fitted to speak where the question of the independence and policy of a Party are concerned than Deputy Heffernan. Deputy Heffernan is very highly qualified in that respect indeed. In that connection, I think I could say safely that the chorus of highly hysterical utterances that have been given expression to about the Labour Party during the last three or four days would have been complete if we had [374] had a contribution from such a highly constructive and consistent statesman as Deputy Esmonde. I think that the whole atmosphere, the whole chorus as it were, would have been absolutely complete if we had a statement of that kind from Deputy Esmonde also. I want to say this seriously, that this whole thing would be regarded as a capital joke if there were not still in the country a number of people who are inclined to take utterances of that kind seriously. There must be a large number of people down the country who do not know intimately the speakers whom I have referred to and who would be inclined to think, by reason of the position that they occupy, that they are capable of serious utterances. The fact that there are such people in the country renders statements of this kind somewhat more serious.

The Minister for Finance, when speaking on Sunday, was in a very different frame of mind to what he was in this evening. The howling lion on Sunday became the cooing-dove a few days afterwards. The Minister was certainly in his best jack-boot style on Sunday evening when he was tearing to pieces the jelly-fish Labour Party.

If there is any role that the Minister for Finance likes to shine in it is that of the man of iron. I always prefer to think of him as a tin-pot Bismarck, and I want to tell the Minister that I think he cuts a very poor figure indeed in that role. That was not the first historic statement that the Minister made in that county. Early in 1922 in this House he was reminded of a statement that he made in, I think, Thurles under very different conditions some years ago. The Minister was on that occasion on his trial by the British for his connection with certain phases of the National movement at that time. I would like to hear him contradict my assertion that his statement in his own defence was about the greatest exhibition of jelly-fish mentality that we could have or that ever has figured even in the annals of that movement.

[375]Mr. Blythe: Information on Ernest Blythe  Zoom on Ernest Blythe  I would contradict that.

Mr. Murphy:  Would the Minister quote his statement?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Surely the statement is not relevant to this debate. The House is debating the motion that Deputy Tomás O Conaill be nominated President of the Executive Council.

Mr. Murphy:  And I am engaged, with all respect, in endeavouring to reply to lying charges that have been made about the incapacity of Labour to select a President and to govern as we think we ought to be governed. Perhaps it is inconvenient to remind the Minister of statements like that now, statements made at a time when his hectic newspaper articles and hectic speeches reached less cautious people to encourage them to do what the Minister himself was careful not to do. In more recent times, we had a clear exhibition of how strong and stern the Minister was on one of the things that perhaps would be termed fundamental. I refer to the period when the late lamented representative of this country on the Boundary Commission woke up suddenly and discovered that we had lost six counties, and when the Minister for Finance in his own constituency at Emyvale shook his fist at the British Government and at Mr. Justice Feetham and made the welkin ring with his uncompromising utterance. He is reported to have said——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Surely the Deputy is not demonstrating the capacity of the Labour Party at all. I do not wish to hamper the Deputy in demonstrating the capacity of the Labour Party, and particularly the capacity of Deputy Tomás O Conaill to be President of the Executive Council but the Deputy is demonstrating something quite different. There is really no connection between demonstrating the kind of person the Minister for Finance is, or was, and Deputy O'Connell's capacity to be President of the Executive Council.

[376]Mr. Murphy:  I am proceeding to show that Labour is capable of governing. I think it would clear the air if I were to show how incapable other people are when they start to criticise Labour.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  As I have said, I do not want to hamper the Deputy at all, but he is not demonstrating the capacity of the Labour Party to govern but is demonstrating, for example, that the Minister for Finance is in fact a jelly-fish.

Mr. Murphy:  I am not very anxious to pursue the matter. I have no doubt but that I will get another opportunity of getting it out here or elsewhere. Deputy Lemass, during the last few days, expressed the view that the idea of a Labour Government was ludicrous. In the most ludicrous manner possible the Deputy proceeded to change his whole policy with regard to the nomination of Deputy O'Connell to be President of the Executive Council. I have heard no indication, in the course of this debate, as to why the Fianna Fáil policy on this matter has been changed. I heard no serious objection to the position of Labour on the Treaty as defined by Deputy O'Connell to-day. I heard no serious objection to the economic policy of Labour as defined, and I want to know exactly where the snag is in the whole story?

The newspapers this morning contained the statement that the change of front that has taken place within the last day or two was caused by the statement made by Deputy Davin in Malahide on Monday night last. I have not seen a word in that statement in any way different to the statement the Labour Party has made on this question. I made statements like it on dozens of occasions in my own constituency. I stand completely over the position he has taken up. If there is any word in it that Deputy Lemass is anxious to take objection to it appeared to me it is the word “equivocation” in connection with [377] the question of the acceptance of the Treaty. Does the Deputy want the equivocation that has surrounded this whole question to continue? I am sick of equivocation in this matter, and I think it is quite time it should be definitely settled, and that we should know where we are in regard to the whole question.

If the statement by Deputy Davin would do nothing else than clear up all the slush that has been written about alliances between one Party and another it will do a great deal of good, and if it will help to prevent the fairy tales that reach unfortunate people down the country about dark and sinister alliances made here, there and everywhere, from being repeated it will have done a great deal of good. If it took all this time for either or both of the political Parties to ascertain what our attitude on this major question was or is it is a very poor tribute to their intelligence, but it certainly is not our responsibility. I would be very much surprised if the policy of Deputy O'Connell, put into operation—if this motion were carried by the House—would not effect more in as many months than other policies have effected in years. If Deputy O'Connell would not be capable of tackling with more vision and capacity than the Executive Council who are charged with responsibility in the matter the question of unemployment, I would be very much disappointed, and if there is anybody here who wants a discussion on the question of what has happened the Labour Government in England then we can arrange a time to have it discussed. Interjections of the kind we have had will not get us away from this particular point at all. I believe that Deputy O'Connell would be able to tackle the job and bridge the gap between our social services and the infinitely better services of other countries, and that prevail in another part of this country.

I want to come back to what the Minister for Finance said about the economic policy of the Labour Party, that it was to enlarge the social services without the smallest regard to [378] the source of production. The agricultural policy of the Labour Party was published some years ago. That policy is indicated in the clearest possible terms. It was laid down that it would be the duty of the Labour Party to exploit the natural resources of this country and to develop production. The essential standard of services we visualise could be met without imposing any heavy burden on the State. The Minister is not going to get away with the clever camouflage that Labour suggests that all the drain should come out of the services, and that the natural result would be that the country would be run into national bankruptcy. The Minister deprecated State action, which he says is the policy of the Labour Party. The Government has been responsible for more schemes involving State action in the last three or four years than the Labour Party if given office could put into effect for a long time. It has been responsible for State intervention in connection with the purchase of creameries, the Shannon scheme, the railways, and in many other directions. The Government, I have no doubt, does not wish to disown State action.

I do not think Deputy O'Connell could be accused, if he were given responsibility, of doing things that others could be accused of having done, or of things such as have been started recently by the present Executive. Deputy O'Connell, I am sure, would refuse to give effect to a proposal, seriously made in this House, to revive the worst form of the old landlord system by reserving a corner on the public boards for the privileged class of this country, and I feel certain that no Labour Government—certainly not a Labour Government in this country—would sanction local government being transformed in the way it is in this country at the moment. Other Deputies than members of the Labour Party have given expression to that view. The control of local government in this country is being transformed into a detestable tyranny, and the Labour Party would be definitely [379] and determinedly against that policy. Under a Labour Government we would have had no strike in the Post Office, or trouble in other directions where we have evidence of dissatisfaction and irritation.

There is another consideration, and perhaps it is one of the most important. In the opinion of this Party, and in the opinion of a growing number of people in this country, one of the greatest needs at the moment is a Centre Party Government. Deputy Redmond, in his speech this evening, was afraid to give support to a minority Government. Deputy Redmond went perilously near accepting that position two years ago in this House. I think it would not be an exaggeration to say that Deputy Redmond accepted that position. I do not want to say anything more in connection with Deputy Redmond's attitude this evening. I repeat, there is a growing volume of opinion in this country in favour of a Centre Party Government, and the relegation, for the time being, at any rate, to an arena other than political of the big figures in the two big Parties in this country. I am satisfied, from the course of the debate this evening, that the number of people who are thinking in that direction will be very largely increased when they read their newspapers to-morrow. Certainly there was material in the debate this evening for a conclusion of that kind. The policy of this Party is one of peace. The record of this Party since its inception has not been marred by anything such as could be mentioned in other connections. There are no bitter memories to be wiped out in connection with the Labour Party.

I could put that a great deal stronger. I regard the proposal to elect Deputy O'Connell as President of the Executive Council as an attempt to get what was described by Deputy Morrissey as the last ounce out of the form of government under which we live, and to develop the economic life of the country [380] under the Treaty as far as possible, to increase the social services in the country, to encourage production in the country, and, above all, to wipe out the memories, the bitterness and the hatreds that have disfigured the face of this country and marred any hope of real progress in it during the last five or six years. That particular aspiration may not be realised as a result of this motion this evening, but unquestionably the time is coming nearer, and I think when it does come that we, at any rate, will be given credit for having done something to bring it nearer, and having brought it nearer, for having done something to realise in the truest sense of the word the most urgent need and vital consideration that should affect the lives of the people in this country.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  When I came into this House first I hoped to see some kind of an alliance between the Labour Party and our Party for the good of this nation, but by degrees, according as I got to know the personnel of that Party, I lost all hope. Some time ago, in this House, I called this place a circus. I was reproved on that occasion by the members of the Labour Party, who always stand for the dignity of the Chamber. But the solemness of this debate has been rudely intruded upon by the comic opera of the last half hour, the comic opera of 13 members out of 150 suggesting the formation of a Government. We have heard a lot about policy. The Minister for Finance tonight told us that there would have to be 13 Ministers out of the Labour Party. I wonder what the attitude of these 13 would be on such a matter as the land annuities? That question came on for debate in this House some time ago on Deputy de Valera's motion to withhold the land annuities. I find that five of the Labour Party voted in favour of withholding them and seven voted against, including Deputy O'Connell as one of those who voted against. There were also Deputy Davin, Deputy Anthony, Deputy Murphy and Deputy Morrissey. Surely Deputy O'Connell realises tonight [381] that his Cabinet is split irrevocably on that question.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  We might invite you into it.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  I cannot view without very great alarm this proposal.

Mr. O'Connell:  We will find a home for you.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  Whoever proposed this to-night will want a straight-jacket. Imagine, as Minister for Defence, General Mark Anthony with his wooden gun; fancy this nation being defended by such a stalwart military champion as Deputy Anthony. I do not want to follow that up, but when we hear statements about the last ounce out of the Treaty and the irreducible minimum from the Labour Party, and when we look at their vote on the matter of withholding three millions which would be of great assistance—five voted in favour of withholding and seven were against—one could really imagine Deputy Redmond being proposed as President to-night. I expected he would, but I suppose he could not find agreement within his Party. I notice they very often take different lines here. I am very grateful to the Labour Party for having created a lighter vein by this motion. I agree with most of what they have said about the Government Party, but the idea that enters into their minds seems to be “You have fought and suffered from 1916 to 1925 or 1926, the two sides of you. Now get out and we will reap the profit.”

Mr. O'Connell:  Is that what you are after?

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  That is the idea that seems to be at the bottom of this proposal. I admit there is one Deputy in the Labour Party whom I might be prepared to support?

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  At what price?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  The Deputy is only being asked to support one member of the Labour Party.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  I cannot do that. I could support Deputy Hogan.

[382]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  That is not being asked at the moment.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  I think the country would welcome Deputy Hogan. Any Deputy who showed the self-sacrifice that Deputy Hogan showed here——

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  He will not go to the cemetery.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  You are as far apart as the poles. Now, General, you will not get the budget this time.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  The peeler and the goat.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  The wooden gun. I am sorry you did not grow a meigeal. You would look better like a goat all right, but you could not grow the whiskers. Anyway, I do not think that the introduction of 13 members here as a Ministry would do any good. I notice that the Minister for Finance made an allusion here a while ago to the fact that he was going to have two new Ministries. One of them was to be the Ministry of Public Works. I suppose that was, as a result of the suggestion to the Independents in the “Irish Times” that they should get their price. I hope when he is giving out this Ministry for Public Works that he will not forget Deputy John Good.

Mr. Haslett: Information on Alexander Haslett  Zoom on Alexander Haslett  I did not intend to contribute anything to this word-picture of all our heroes, but the proposer and seconder of this motion made certain allusions which I think need a reply. Deputy Morrissey, in proposing that Deputy O'Connell be nominated as President, offered some ready-made advice and gave a challenge; and we had the burlesque of Deputy Davin towards the Independents, especially those who voted for the motion on the Old Age Pensions Bill. As one of those, I want to say that I believe in what I did on that occasion. I advocated it before I came into this Dáil, and I feel consistent in continuing to advocate it. The other Independents can speak for themselves on that question, but, to my mind, both of these Deputies stopped [383] short because they said if we want to put the Bill into operation we have got to vote here and now for Deputy O'Connell, while they gave us no indication of how Deputy O'Connell, with the best will in the world, was going to carry it out. As a great many of the speakers pointed out, the whole force at his command would be thirteen.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  On that issue?

[Professor Thrift took the Chair.]

Mr. Haslett: Information on Alexander Haslett  Zoom on Alexander Haslett  The Labour Party has gone to great pains to show us that they have no alliance with any other Party in the House. They have not even thrown a gesture to the Independents. I think if they had offered them at least two seats in the Cabinet there would be something to be said for them. Instead of that, they go round in a hostile manner and shout denunciations of every Party in the House, and then they say they can carry out this measure that passed the Second Reading the other day. I do not think that anyone could believe that they mean serious business, because they do not give us any indication of how it could be carried out. Deputy Davin went very far in his speech in denouncing the Independent group. He told us that we had already got far too much and that the people whom we represented in this case had got far too much at the hands of the Government, and that there were people in another State who had not got nearly so much. There are people in other places who can reply to that, and reply satisfactorily, I am sure. I can only say that since I came into this House I have been in the Independent group and, to my knowledge, that Independent group have never asked for or got any sops from the Government. They have acted, as far as I know, in an independent manner, without any reward being held out, and it comes badly from a Party that must admit that they have got a few crumbs from the present Government.

[384] I say frankly and openly that I admire Deputy O'Connell in many ways. He has shown great ability in the leadership of his Party and in his work outside this House. He is a man that no one can cast a stone at. Up and down the country he has been praised for his work, and deservedly praised, but the Labour Party is asking an impossible thing in asking to have him nominated President at the present time. If he were nominated it would only create a situation that we would have to meet in a day or two again. We were told that if Deputy O'Connell were elected President in 24 hours he would have a Ministry to carry on the Government of this country. What would be the position before the 25th hour would be out? The Cabinet would be gone and we would be asked to elect another President. As one of those challenged in regard to our votes on the Old Age Pensions Bill, I cannot support this motion that Deputy O'Connell be nominated President, because it leads nowhere. The proposer and seconder have not told us that they can deliver the goods. If there is no alliance how would they get a majority to carry the Bill through the House? I must oppose the motion. That does not mean, as far as I am concerned, that the one section in the Old Age Pensions Bill which caused all this will be lost sight of. There will surely be another day to reckon with that, instead of electing a President from a Party of thirteen.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Having what I believe to be, anyhow, a slight appreciation of jokes, I would like to participate in this huge joke, the best joke of the evening, the nomination which is before the House. As Deputy Lemass has pointed out, we look upon it as nothing more or less than a joke. I want to reassure those in the country and in the House who have not the sense of humour which we claim to have lest they might misunderstand this hypocritical gesture on the part of certain Deputies in this House. First of all, we have Deputy Morrissey telling us that if Deputy O'Connell is not elected to the position [385] of President of the Executive Council there is only one alternative and that is the election of President Cosgrave, and for those who do not agree with that there is an honourable alternative, namely, to dissolve and go to the country. He challenged those who supported the Old Age Pensions Bill which brought about the defeat of the Government and who are not prepared to support the implementing of it to go to the country. If there was any sincerity in that challenge why did he and his Party not take the only practical step which must be apparent to any intelligent member of this House and support the nomination made by the second largest Party in this House? I put that to any fair-minded Deputy. Deputy O'Connell's nomination I assert is nothing short of humbug. The attitude of his Party from the inception of this State has been one of humbug and neither he nor his colleagues ever intended to shoulder any governmental responsibilities in this country. Had they intended to do it they would have had the courage to nominate a sufficient number of candidates to give the people an opportunity of saying whether they wanted a Labour administration or not.

They did not do that on any occasion, and I am quite certain they never will. I hope to see the day that they will. Then we will know where the people stand in this matter. I want to make it perfectly clear that if I believed for one moment that the Labour Party represented real Irish Labour, that if we had as an alternative to the present administration a real Irish Labour Party, nothing would prevent me giving them my support and doing everything in my power to have them elected to administrative responsibilities in this State. In this connection I am referring particularly to the front bench of the Labour Party. The front bench of the Labour Party, as has been pointed out by Deputy Corry, was divided on a major issue some time ago, and quite recently on other issues. We had one outstanding issue which, to my mind, was in defence of [386] a fundamental principle, the right of a Deputy to exercise his rights and privileges as a member of this House, and taking the only honourable course when he was denied that right, namely, to get out of the position which this House thrust upon him. What happened? His coleagues found a substitute on that front bench.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Did you vote against him for the position?

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  That is the extent of the solidarity, sincerity and honour which this great Irish Labour Party boasts of. There is another aspect of it. If we are serious in looking for an administrative council, they have neither intellectual ability nor a national outlook sufficient to warrant us giving them such a thing as serious consideration. They have told us that if Deputy O'Connell were elected to the position of President he would send the best brains in this country to negotiate with the British signatories to the Treaty in order to revise it where necessary. Where are the best brains in the country? In the Labour Party. I presume Deputy Anthony would be entrusted with the office of Minister for External Affairs. We can imagine Deputy Anthony or Deputy Davin going over there to revise the Treaty in the interests of the Irish people. Let them, first of all, give us some indication that they have some understanding of the real needs and requirements of the Irish people. Let them, first of all, give us some indication that they have some allegiance to national ideals and to national fundamentals. These prominent members of that group have never given any indication that they had the slightest sympathy with the national ideals which, I think, should be placed in the forefront of every Irishman's activities, both public and private. Of course we can hear them on all matters where thimble-rigging is introduced.

On such occasions they are the loud speakers put up here, and we have Deputy Davin this evening going into hysterics about the [387] terrible conditions of unemployment, poverty and suffering which obtain throughout the country. Deputy Davin has had many opportunities here in this House to demonstrate his earnestness in connection with those matters, and on every occasion he has refused to toe the line, whether with those who have not only indicated the methods but have demonstrated their courage and ability to find a solution for these difficulties. I want to assure Deputy Haslett, from what I know of the ordinary people of the country, that his excuse for not helping to implement the Old Age Pensions Bill which was sponsored by a Deputy from his own constituency, will not satisfy the ordinary average intelligent voter at the next election, and I am quite confident that the Deputy will fail hopelessly, just as this Labour Group will also fail. Their nomination here this evening is in the form of eyewash in order to hide the real reason for their refusal to take what I said was the only practical step if they were really serious in their professed desire to have this Old Age Pensions Bill passed. Deputy Davin says that the most pleasing feature of the political crisis is the manner in which the people have kept their heads cool. I have not such a low estimate of the intelligence of the mass of the people. I believe that they have, after the last eight years, come to realise the game which is being played by those who control the Majority Party in this country and their allies. They and their allies are well known despite the efforts of the Press, despite the efforts of every evil influence in the country, they are well known to the average person of intelligence, and when the day of reckoning comes, as it will come, the nomination of Deputy O'Connell will only serve as a good front page joke for “Dublin Opinion” in the near future, and afterwards it will become a mere memory.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I am sure the [388] House has been rather amused by the speech of Deputy Cooney and the speech of Deputy Corry. Deputy Corry reminded us that at one time he had compared this House to a circus. I did not know until then how it was that Deputy Corry and Deputy Cooney became members of this House. But now I know. They strayed into the wrong house—into the Dáil instead of into a circus. As is known to most of us since the days when we were young boys when we had great pleasure in going to a circus in the country, what used happen was that when the principals left the ring, as the principals left the front bench of Fianna Fáil this evening, the clowns came on to entertain the house until the principals came on again. I take it that is the explanation of the intervention of Deputies Corry and Cooney in the debate this evening.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I want to know if the expression that has been used by Deputy Morrissey is in order?

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  Is it not contentious?

Acting-Chairman:  I would say it is contentious but I would suggest to Deputy Morrissey that it is hardly parliamentary.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  If you, sir, say it is not parliamentary I as being a person with some regard for decency and as one who tries to do the right thing in the House will withdraw it. I hope the Deputy will follow the same line whether he is an ordinary Deputy or Deputy Speaker, a position that I think he will never occupy. The Deputy has accused the Labour Party of not representing Irish Labour. I did not know when the Deputy delivered that speech whether he was delivering it under the instructions of his constituents in Dublin City North or whether he was following out the instructions of his friends in Russia to whom he gives his whole-hearted allegiance. I do know this, that the Labour Party decided a good many years ago that Deputy Cooney was no acquisition to them and they parted company—

[389]Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Of my own accord.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I am certain the Deputy knows very well what happened and I can tell the House what happened.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  He got the push.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Read the official reports of the Dáil during the civil war. Deputy Morrissey has deliberately stated an untruth, and he is not in order.

Acting Chairman:  Deputy Morrissey is in order; I will check him when he is not.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I did not interrupt the Deputy. I did not think it worth my while to interrupt him. The 250,000 Irish workers affiliated to the Trade Union Congress and the Irish Labour Party have just as much contempt for Deputy Cooney's views to-day as they had in 1921.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  The Dublin workers did not say that in 1927.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  The Deputy told us that Deputy Haslett's excuse about the Old Age Pensions Bill would not be accepted. Would the Deputy tell us what he meant? Deputy Haslett made no excuse except what the Deputy himself made. Deputy Haslett voted for the Old Age Pensions Bill in the same way as Deputy Cooney and Deputy Haslett, like Deputy Cooney, in refusing to vote for the only man who is prepared to give effect to that Bill——

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Not the only one.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Oh, now, Deputies know that very well. What is the use of saying anything else? He is the only one now. Of course, sir, all this is the usual face saving. Deputy Cooney said the Labour Party were not sincere in putting Deputy O'Connell forward. The Labour Party, he said, were never prepared to undertake their responsibilities! It is well known in this House and to the people of the country that the Labour Party undertook their responsibilities [390] in 1922 and have carried them out since. Deputy Cooney said that our Party did not put forward a sufficient number of candidates at the last election. If the Labour Party were prepared to go for the money which would be required to put forward a sufficient number of candidates to the same sources as the Deputy and his Party went, then they certainly could put forward more candidates.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  The British trade unions.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  We got no money from the British trade unions, I am sorry to say. We would be very glad to get it.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It was going.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I submit that it would be at least as honourable for trade unionists in this country to accept financial aid from fellow trade unionists in another country to give effect to a policy upon which they are jointly agreed as it would be to pursue Irish servant boys and servant girls in America who were forced to leave this country. If this Party were forced or compelled— though I do not believe they will be —to make a choice between accepting assistance from fellow trade unionists in Great Britain or anywhere else and going around cadging with the hat in America, then I would decide upon accepting the money from British trade unions.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Then Irish servant boys and girls are not good enough for the Labour Party?

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  They are good enough.

Mr. O'Connell:  They are not good enough to be imposed upon.

Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  This is a very interesting question.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  This is the same sneer that was always used about Irish servant girls in America.

Acting-Chairman:  Deputy Morrissey must be allowed to speak.

[391]Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  They do not like the truth.

Mr. Hogan: Information on Patrick J. Hogan  Zoom on Patrick J. Hogan  (Galway): They do not.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  It is the old trouble. I am saying this quite seriously, and I do not want to give offence to anybody.

Mr. Fahy: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Not at all; we know that.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I can do it if I am challenged.

Mr. Fahy: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  We know that, too.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  If Deputies in certain seats of the House are allowed to state their views without interruption, they in turn should allow other Deputies freely to express their opinions. I take it that Deputy Lemass and his colleagues are in favour of freedom of speech.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Quite.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Deputy Hogan (Clare) was not allowed freedom of speech, anyway.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Deputy Lemass informed us that he could not take this proposal seriously, that the Labour Party was a minority Party, that the whole thing was a huge joke and that it was ridiculous. I was waiting to hear the Deputy tell us what happened since the speech on Sunday last in Mayo, as to make him come to that conclusion. Was it because the Deputy overstepped his authority when he said in Achill that he and his Party would vote for Deputy O'Connell? Are we to take it that he was called to book by the acting-leader of the Fianna Fáil Party and had to make the speech he made yesterday when he said that he would now have to force his view on the Party to vote against Deputy O'Connell? I do not pretend to be quoting the Deputy accurately.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  You are not.

Mr. Hogan: Information on Patrick J. Hogan  Zoom on Patrick J. Hogan  (Galway): Deputy Lemass said “press his views.”

[392]Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  The Deputy said he would strongly urge or press his views on his colleagues so that they would not vote for Deputy O'Connell.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  Deputy Lemass did not say that the Fianna Fáil Party were going to vote for Deputy O'Connell. He said they probably would, which is quite a different thing.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  He was turned down.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I changed my own mind.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I am prepared to hear Deputy Lemass rather than Deputy Aiken. Deputy Lemass ought to know what he himself said better than Deputy Aiken.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  We all know what he said.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  The Deputy will remember, I am sure, the year 1927 when he and his colleagues came into the House. They took that step after five years' consideration. They took the step that Labour took in 1922 when they came to the conclusion that it was the desire of the Irish people that they should enter the Dáil. It was no joke then for the Deputy and his Party when they were prepared to vote, in the words of some of his colleagues, a denationalised and brass-hatted Labour Party into office and, if they could, into power in this country. What has happened since then?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Quite a lot.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I know that the Deputy and his Party have changed absolutely. So far as the Labour Party is concerned, our attitude towards the Constitution, the Treaty and the institutions set up under the Free State Government is the same to-day as it was in 1922 and in 1927. There has been no change whatever on our side. All the change has been on the Fianna Fáil side, and I submit that if it was not a joke in 1927 it is no joke now.

[393]Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  There has been a fifty per cent. reduction since.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I can understand the Fianna Fáil Party agreeing to almost anything at that particular time. That Party realised that its members were in a rather difficult position. It was realised that it was necessary in the interests of the country that it should be made easy for those Deputies to come into the Dáil and to fall in line with other representatives of the people and do what they could to assist the country economically. I want seriously to disagree with the idea put forward by Deputy Lemass and by the Minister for Defence, the idea that the House as a whole is subordinate to a party. It is not. Remember there is no party in this House with a clear majority.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Question.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  No; there is no party in this House with a majority. We have been carrying on without having any one Party in the majority. I would remind the Minister for Finance that since the second election in 1927 a minority Government has been kept in power by other groups in the House. We must remember also that in both of the big parties there are many members who could agree upon economic and social questions, and who, I have no doubt whatever, would, if a Labour Government were in office, come together on social and economic questions. The suggestion of Deputy Lemass and the Minister for Finance, which was continued in Deputy Haslett's speech, was that if you put a Labour Government in office within twenty-four hours, they would be out of office in twenty-five hours.

I would suggest to the Deputy that a Labour Government which would want to be defeated would have a good deal of difficulty in framing a proposal, unless of course it was a proposal under some protection measure to give a guaranteed rate of Trade Union wages, which would bring the two big Parties into [394] the Lobby against us. As far as I recollect, the only occasions upon which the two big Parties have come together and have gone into the one Lobby against the Labour Party, were occasions when matters were being discussed affecting the workers or the poor.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Your memory is wrong.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  No. On the flour motion, the Deputy and his Party disagreed with the amendment to that motion which proposed that if there was going to be protection for the flour milling industry and the wheat industry there should be guaranteed wages, hours and conditions for the workers employed in that industry. That was the question of a fair wages clause. The next time we found the two big Parties ranged against the Labour Party was when the question of the reduction of the Civic Guard boot allowance was being discussed. On another occasion both the Cumann na nGaedheal Deputies and the Fianna Fáil Deputies decided against the Labour Deputies that election to the Seanad by the people of Ireland was undesirable. Both Parties agreed in that. I am putting it in the light of what happened for the past two years, and I put it seriously to Deputy Haslett that it would be difficult for the Labour Government to frame any question which would get them defeated.

Mr. Haslett: Information on Alexander Haslett  Zoom on Alexander Haslett  I admit that particularly after to-day.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  The Deputy's real objection against Deputy O'Connell's nomination—and in this he agreed with Deputy Redmond—was that we had not gone round seeking to buy votes, that we had not either offered Deputy Redmond, Deputy Haslett or somebody else a seat in the Cabinet if Deputy O'Connell were elected.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Or Deputy Cooney.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Oh, well! I have been pleasantly surprised that in this debate neither from Cumann na nGaedheal nor Fianna Fáil has there come any serious opposition to this [395] proposal. Nobody has questioned the very clear and very explicit statement made by Deputy O'Connell this evening, a speech which set out clearly, without any equivocation, where the Labour Party stood both as to the fundamental political issues and so far as the main economic and social issues are concerned. The Minister for Finance and Deputy Lemass both fell back on the very lame plea that it was a joke. It is not a joke. It is put forward seriously. As Deputy Murphy stated in his speech a few moments ago, if Deputy O'Connell is not elected by this House as President to-night we are satisfied—and I believe both [396] Cumann na nGaedheal and Fianna Fáil know this—that before we are very much older either Deputy O'Connell or some other Deputy of this Party will be proposed and elected President by the majority of the people of the country. When that happens, I am satisfied that a President put forward and elected by this Party will govern this country at least as well as it has been governed for the past seven or eight years.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  You could not do worse.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Agreed.

Motion put.

Anthony, Richard.
Broderick, Henry.
Cassidy, Archie J.
Clancy, Patrick.
Colohan, Hugh.
Corish, Richard.
Davin, William.
Doyle, Edward.
Everett, James.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Morrissey, Daniel.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
O'Connell, Thomas J.

Aird, William P.
Alton, Ernest Henry.
Beckett, James Walter.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Blythe, Ernest.
Bourke, Séamus A.
Brennan, Michael.
Brodrick, Seán.
Byrne, John Joseph.
Carey, Edmund.
Cole, John James.
Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
Conlon, Martin.
Connolly, William T.
Cosgrave, William T.
Craig, Sir James.
Crowley, James.
Daly, John.
Davis, Michael.
De Loughrey, Peter.
Doherty, Eugene.
Dolan, James N.
Doyle, Peadar Seán.
Duggan, Edmund John.
Dwyer, James.
Egan, Barry M.
Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Good, John.
Gorey, Denis J.
Haslett, Alexander.
Hassett, John J. [397]Reynolds, Patrick.
Rice, Vincent.
Roddy, Martin.
Shaw, Patrick W.
Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
Thrift, William Edward.
Heffernan, Michael R.
Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
Hennessy, Thomas.
Hennigan, John.
Henry, Mark.
Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
Holohan, Richard.
Jordan, Michael.
Keogh, Myles.
Law, Hugh Alexander.
Leonard, Patrick.
Lynch, Finian.
Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
McDonogh, Martin.
MacEóin, Seán.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Murphy, James E.
Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
Myles, James Sproule.
Nally, Martin Michael.
Nolan, John Thomas.
O'Connell, Richard.
O'Connor, Bartholomew.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Higgins, Thomas.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
O'Reilly, John J.
O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus. [398]Tierney, Michael.
Vaughan, Daniel.
White, John.
White, Vincent Joseph.
Wolfe, George.
Wolfe, Jasper Travers.

Seosamh O Mongáin: Information on Joseph William Mongan  Zoom on Joseph William Mongan  Tá bród orm go bhfuil ainm agam-sa le cur roimh an Dáil mar Uachtarán ar an Ard-Chomhairle: fear tá mé cinnte agus atá me annso a toghfar—sin é Liam Mac Cosgair. O thainig an Dáil i réim, bhí an t-ainm sin faoi árdmheas ag an tír go léir. Tá raidhtigh ann “gur fearr an gníomh a cruthíutear ná an ráidhtigh bréige as béal na mbréagadóirí.” Chruthuigh Liam Mac Cosgair an gníomh gach lá ó rinneadh Uachtarán de. Seacht mbliana ó shoin, toghadh é mar Chaptean ar an Saorstát nuair a bhí an long i measc maidhmanna agus fairrgí móra, stoirm agus gála. Anois, nuair a thug sé an long isteach ar an gciuineadas, tá daoine ag iarraidh an halamadóir do bhaint uaidh. Ach, sa tír seo, ar an gciuineadas féin, tá carraigreacha báidhte agus mara bhfuil eolas ag an gCaptaen ortha is contabharthach an rud é. Mar sin, ní maith an rud an Captaen d' atharú go mbeidh an long slán sábháilte feistithe sa gcéibh.

Anois, tar éis na mblian sin, chuaidh an tUachtarán go dtí an tír ag iarradh measa. Cuireadh air ais é. Chuaidh sé ann arís agus cuireadh air ais é, agus arís agus cuireadh air ais é, agus deirim-se dá dteigheadh sé go dtí an tír amáireach go gcuirfí air ais é dhá uair chó láidir. Nuair a hosclochas na daoine a gcuid páipéar amáireach agus nuair a fheicfeas siad go mbeidh Liam Mac Cosgair 'na Uachtarán ag stiúra na tíre arís beidh a gcroidhe ag preaba le spóirt go bhfuil sé air ais arís.

Ná ceapadh duine ar bith sa Teach seo gur amadáin an chuid is mó de dhaoine na tíre seo agus go meallfar le cáith iad. Ní meallfar. Teastuigheann an fíor-choirce uatha agus sé Liam Mac Cosgair atá in ann é d'fháilt dóibh. Ní choinneoidh mise moill ar an Teach ag iarraidh é do mholadh—tá a fhios ag an tír cé h-é féin. Tá a fhios aca céard a rinne sé ó thainig an Stát seo i réim; tá a fhios aca céard tá sé in ann a dhéanamh; teastuigheann sé uatha. Molaim-se é le bheith 'na Uachtarán ar an Ard-Chomhairle mar ní féidir linn duine chó maith leis d'fháil.

Mr. Davis: Information on Michael Davis  Zoom on Michael Davis  I formally second the motion.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I would ask the House to consider the political, social and economic effects of the proposition which is now before it. I am perfectly certain that there are considerable numbers of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party who do not wish to have the full implication of Deputy Mongan's proposal analysed.

I know also that there are in the ranks of Cumann na nGaedheal a considerable number of Deputies who adopted in regard to the present Constitution the attitude which was taken up by those who sponsored the Treaty in Dáil Eireann in 1921, and who sponsored it to the country in the election which followed in June, 1922. I ask those members to consider what is the present position of Deputy Cosgrave in regard to that Treaty, and in regard to the promises which were made to the people in connection with it. We all of us remember the striking words of the late General Collins—that the Treaty gave not freedom, but the means to achieve it. What advantage have the late Government and Deputy Cosgrave taken of that opportunity? They have deliberately renounced and turned their backs upon the arguments and the principles which we understand animated the late Arthur Griffith and the late General Michael [399] Collins. If these should linger in the minds of the Deputies of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, those of them particularly who have a national record, I would direct their attention to the statement made in this House by the acting Vice-President. Deputy Blythe, speaking on the Central Fund Bill on 22nd March, 1928, was reported in column 1645, volume 22, of the Dáil debates to have said: “With regard to the point as to whether we are aiming at the establishment of an Irish Republic, we are not.” The Minister for Finance was the Vice-President in the late administration. I presume if Deputy Cosgrave is nominated President of the Executive Council that Deputy Blythe will again become Vice-President and Minister for Finance. Therefore, I am bound to assume that the policy which Deputy Blythe enunciated in this House on 22nd March, 1928, will be the policy of the administration which will be formed if Deputy Cosgrave is elected. We remember that we were told that the Treaty was to be used as a stepping-stone to the Republic. But now we have an authoritative declaration on the part of one of Deputy Cosgrave's colleagues that henceforward their advance is not towards the Republic but towards a closer association with the British Commonwealth of Nations. In Deputy Blythe's case possibly it is a case of political atavism. He has merely been thrown back to the political opinions and ideas of his forefathers. But in the case of Deputy Cosgrave it is something much more blameworthy. It is a deliberate recantation of the fundamental principles of Irish nationality. What a very far cry this declaration is from the days when the Treaty was put before the people. Then it was to be a stepping-stone to the Republic. Then it was, as I said, in the words of the late General Michael Collins, to be not freedom but the means to achieve freedom. Then it was in the words of Deputy Mulcahy: “None of us want the Crown. None of us want our harbours occupied by the enemy forces. [400] None of us want what is said to be partition.”

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  And he is not shot yet.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am glad that Deputy Mulcahy was not shot. I am glad that he is here to answer the questions that I am going to put to him now. What has become of his protestations? He said in December, 1921, that he did not want the Crown.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Yes.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Does he want the Crown now?

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I have not a line to go back on.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  He said in December 1921 that he did not want the enemy forces in our harbours. Does he want the enemy forces there now?

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  No.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  He said in December 1921 that he did not want this thing which is said to be partition. Does he want that thing now?

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  No.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  What is the policy of the late Government of which he was a member?

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  To keep them there, is it?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Except to connive at partition and acquiesce in the presence in our harbours of the enemy forces and to ask this Dáil to approve of a report which virtually saddles the Crown of Great Britain upon this State for all time? Deputy General McKeon is in the House and he was also in the Second Dáil. I am perfectly certain that in December 1921 he did not want the Crown. I am going to ask him does he want the Crown now? I am perfectly certain that in December 1921 he did not want the enemy forces in our harbours. Does he want the enemy forces there now? I am perfectly certain that in December, 1921 he did not want this thing called partition. [401] Does he want that thing now? If he is prepared to answer these questions then I think he is in honour bound to say “no” to the proposition which has been put before the House.

Mr. Connolly: Information on Michael J. Connolly  Zoom on Michael J. Connolly  Do you want them there?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I do not want them there.

Mr. Connolly: Information on Michael J. Connolly  Zoom on Michael J. Connolly  You assisted largely in keeping them there.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I do not want to go back to the Treaty debates. At any rate, I pointed out then that the inevitable consequence of the acceptance of the Treaty would be the perpetuation of partition.

Mr. Connolly: Information on Michael J. Connolly  Zoom on Michael J. Connolly  What was your answer to Lloyd George?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  If Deputy Connolly wishes to make a speech I am quite prepared, after I have sat down, to listen to him, and I shall be glad to hear Deputy Connolly's defence of the merits of the proposition put before the House. I shall be glad to hear him defend as an Irishman the merits of the proposition put before the House.

Mr. Connolly: Information on Michael J. Connolly  Zoom on Michael J. Connolly  What was your answer to Lloyd George's final offer?

Mr. Flinn: Information on Hugh Victor Flinn  Zoom on Hugh Victor Flinn  What did Gladstone say in 1866?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I notice that Deputy Seamus Bourke is not in the House. He is also one of the people who were most strenuous in urging the acceptance of the Treaty on the grounds that it would be a steppingstone to the Republic. I want to know whether Deputy Bourke has gone hand in hand with the Vice-President and abandoned all desire to advance.

Mr. Blythe: Information on Ernest Blythe  Zoom on Ernest Blythe  Just before 8.30 p.m. I should like to say that I think it was generally agreed the other day that it was desirable that the election of the President should be concluded as soon as possible, and I should like to move that, if necessary, the Dáil should sit until 12 o'clock for the [402] purpose of concluding the business of electing the President.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  As far as I can understand, there are a good number of Deputies on these benches who should like to speak on this proposition. It was mentioned to me yesterday by Deputy Boland that in conversation with the Ceann Comhairle and, I think, Deputy Duggan, it was tentatively agreed that the debate on the election of the President should be concluded to-night, but, I think, on the understanding that the speeches on the earlier propositions would be very brief and short. So far as our side is concerned, we have kept to that arrangement. With regard to brevity on the two propositions which have been before the House already, there is no fault, I think, to be laid on our shoulders that we have taken up a considerable amount of the time of the House, but I do not think it is possible, from what I have been told of the number of people who wish to speak, that we can conclude the debate even by 12 o'clock.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Does the Deputy suggest any other hour?

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Is it necessary that it should be concluded to-night?

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Deputy O'Kelly was in a great hurry last week to have the matter decided.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Certainly, I am still of the same opinion that it should be concluded early, and if Deputies on the President's own Front Bench were less long-winded we would have concluded it earlier.

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  The palm is with Deputy Lemass, who took three minutes more than anybody else.

Mr. Blythe: Information on Ernest Blythe  Zoom on Ernest Blythe  Deputy O'Kelly took eleven minutes, Deputy O'Connell twenty-one minutes, Deputy Desmond Fitzgerald thirty-one minutes, Deputy Lemass thirty-four minutes, Deputy Hogan thirty-one minutes, Deputy Redmond thirteen minutes, and Deputy O'Kelly twenty-nine minutes in reply.

[403]Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Go on to the next debate. I only spoke for one minute.

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Can we not have tabloid speech?

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Will the President guarantee that we will have tabloid speeches from his side? We have given some examples.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  It is not usual for the Ceann Comhairle to intervene on questions of this kind, but the nomination of a President is a special matter. There is, I think, something in the proposal that the House, when it meets to nominate the President, should, if at all possible, conclude the business in the one sitting, and by agreement. Under the Standing Orders, technically the motion to sit late should be moved before 6.40, but now, as we usually sit until 10.30, that must be considered to be 8.30.

Perhaps it could be agreed that this debate should be continued until 10.30 and, then, that objection would not be taken on technical grounds if it is proposed to sit longer, because after the debate has gone on for another two hours the House will be in a better position to decide whether it wants to sit later or not.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I agree, and I am quite willing, and our Party are willing that the debate should be concluded as early as possible. But the matter is a most important one. If there are a number of Deputies on this side who think they have something to contribute to the debate they ought not to be closured on an important matter like this. I am quite willing to waive any technicalities at 10.30 to a motion that the House should sit on till 12 o'clock.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  We will postpone the consideration of the motion then until 10.15.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I cannot understand why, first of all, the acting Minister for Finance had not the manners at least to rise in the House before I began my speech and give intimation of his motion. I can [404] quite understand that this has been an opportune interruption for the Minister, because I notice that a number of Cumann na nGaedheal Deputies to whom I was going to put the same series of awkward questions, including the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance, have taken the opportunity to leave the House. Very well, let them carry their shame with them. I am quite well aware that the Minister did not want to hear the excuses and the arguments that were used for the acceptance of the Treaty in 1922.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I wonder would it be consistent with the invitation to deal with this matter from this side of the House in tabloid fashion, to ask us to outline in a speech on this motion the splendid consistency and logic which exists in some of our actions, extending over a number of years—to deal in one speech with our speeches on the Treaty in 1922.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  It was the President asked for the tabloid speech, not we.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I quite agree that the Minister has been consistent ever since he became pro-British, and that he has become firm and almost Cromwellian in his mentality and consistency.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  As to the Treaty debates, will the Deputy explain what quotations he proposes to give from the Treaty debates?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am going to leave them but only to point out that ex-President Cosgrave's Party have deliberately abandoned the line of advance from the Treaty; they have renounced whatever possibilities of constitutional development there may have been in the Treaty. They have disembowelled and mummified it. They keep it now as an object of superstitious reverence, a sort of political fetish, so that whenever any member of their Party becomes a little restive it is trotted out by the President or the Minister for Finance, or the Minister for Agriculture, or the Minister for Local Government, [405] who say: “Hush, hush, the Treaty! The bones of our fathers! The blood of the dead!” And at once the restive members of Cumann na nGaedheal are quelled.

Mr. T. Sheehy: Information on Timothy Sheehy  Zoom on Timothy Sheehy  (Cork): You are sneering at the Treaty which brought you in here.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I want to know from the Deputy what use he proposes to make of the Treaty debates.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I shall make no more use of them now. At once the spirits of Cumann na nGaedheal are quelled and fall down to adore Deputy Cosgrave as the keeper of the constitutional cold mutton. That is what the Treaty has become—dead mutton—something to be kept in cold storage, as Deputy O'Connell says. Cumann na nGaedheal has no longer any use for the Treaty. It has become an embarrassment to them, because, in view of the circumstances surrounding its acceptance in this country, it imposed upon those who sponsored the Treaty the obligation of working for independence in this country. But Cumann na nGaedheal statesmen have now a much wider field than an island offers them. Their ambition has outgrown their insular environment. They are anxious to posture as Dominion statesmen. The whole wide world will henceforth be the range of their activities. They want to be leaders in Dominion affairs, real bigwigs in Buckingham Palace. A “thriftless ambition that will ravin up thine own life's means” compels them to destroy whatever there was in the Treaty which might enable that instrument to be used as a weapon to secure the independence of this country, and instead of the Treaty they are now substituting the vague and ambiguous declarations made at the Imperial Conference.

[An Leas-Cheann Comhairle took the Chair.]

Now, with regard to that, we come to another point, because it seems to me that there has been a deliberate [406] change of policy in the Cumann na nGaedheal Party since 1926. The Report of the Imperial Conference of 1926 was not submitted to this House, but the Report of the Conference held in 1929 was submitted to this House, and for a very definite reason. Prior to 1929 British statesmen had admitted the right which Dominion statesmen claimed that the Dominions could, if they wished, peaceably, and of their own volition, secede from the British Commonwealth of Nations. Paragraph 60 of the Report of 1929 is designed to deprive members of the British Commonwealth of Nations of the constitutional right to secede which they previously possessed, and the reason why that document was submitted to this House was in order that the House, by ratifying it, might deprive itself of this constitutional right.

Now I do not wish to be misunderstood. The natural right which we possess to be independent is one thing. The constitutional right which the statesmen of other Dominions had won is another. If the people of this country desire to secede they have a perfect right and liberty under God to do so. Furthermore, they were in this strong position, that Great Britain had already admitted that right in the case of those with whom they were supposed to be co-equal. The point in regard to the Imperial Conference which I wish to make is this: that the late Government, under the Presidency of Deputy Cosgrave, got this House to renounce voluntarily that right which had already been conceded to the Free State. The House when it approved of that report, did wrong. It has the opportunity to-night of undoing that wrong; it has the opportunity now of retrieving that position because the person who was responsible for submitting this document to the House and for securing approval of this document, particularly paragraph 60 of it, is no longer in office, and the House can exercise its right and refuse to put him back in office. Having done that, the previous ratification of this document will be cancelled.

[407] I have referred to the effect of paragraph 60 of the Report of the Imperial Conference. I would like to read that paragraph in order that the House may be fully aware of its implications:

Inasmuch as the Crown is the symbol of the free association of the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations, and as they are united by a common allegiance to the Crown, it would be in accord with the established constitutional position of all the members of the Commonwealth in relation to one another that any alteration in the law touching the Succession to the Throne or the Royal Style and Titles shall hereafter require the assent as well of the Parliaments of all the Dominions as of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

I have already referred to the constitutional implications of that passage so far as they relate to our right to secede. I ask the House to consider a further implication. It will be noted that, if the existing law relating to the succession to the Throne or the Royal Style and Titles, as they are called, be hereafter altered or amended the assent is required not only of the Parliament of the United Kingdom but also of the Parliaments of all the Dominions. Now what is one of the major implications of that passage?

As you all know, the present succession to the Throne of Great Britain and, according to the theory of Deputy Cosgrave and his associates, to the Throne in the Irish Free State, is regulated by the Act of Settlement. The Act of Settlement was passed in June, 1701. It is not a dead letter. It regulates to the present day the succession, as I have said, not only to the Throne in Great Britain, but also, according to the theory of Deputy Cosgrave and the members of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, the succession to the Throne in the Irish Free State. That Act of Settlement settled the succession to the Throne upon the descendants of Sophia, the [408] Dowager Duchess of Hanover and the heirs of her body being Protestants. It further provides that all occupants of the Throne shall be in communion with the Church of England. That is the law at the present moment. It regulates the succession to the Throne, and again I emphasise that, according to the theory of Deputy Cosgrave, it also regulates succession to the Throne in the Irish Free State. The occupants must be Protestants and must be in communion with the Church of England.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Was not this Report fully discussed on a previous occasion?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  This implication?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Was not this Report fully discussed previously and a decision on it come to by the House? I suggest to the Deputy that he cannot now discuss that Committee's Report on the Motion before the House.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am not discussing the Report of the Committee. I am discussing the policy of the Party of whom Deputy Cosgrave is the nominee. I think I am perfectly entitled to discuss that policy.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Perhaps the Deputy will listen to me. The Deputy has been discussing that Report and the implications of the Report for the last seven or eight minutes. I suggest to him that he cannot discuss that Report on the Motion now before the House.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I submit, A Leas-Chinn Comhairle, that that is very unfair ruling. I hold that I am entitled, on a Motion of this sort, to the fullest liberty of discussion and that I ought to get it.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  The Deputy will get all the liberty to which he is entitled, but surely he is not entitled to go back and discuss every decision come to by the House during the lifetime of the present Government?

[409]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am entitled to discuss every decision come to by the House for which the present nominee, Deputy Cosgrave, was responsible. The name of Deputy Cosgrave has now been submitted to the House, and I am entitled, I believe, to discuss and to criticise every decision of the House for which Deputy Cosgrave accepts responsibility.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  The Deputy has suggested that not only is he entitled to take the Report of the Imperial Conference, but that he is entitled to take any Act passed by this House and go back on it section by section. The Deputy is not entitled to do that.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am not taking the Report section by section, but I am taking one vital paragraph in the Report.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  The Deputy is not entitled to discuss any particular paragraph in the Report.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I am telling the Deputy that he is not.

Mr. G. Boland: Information on Gerald Boland  Zoom on Gerald Boland  If that is so, then the best thing to do is to conclude the debate.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I have no wish whatever to do that.

Mr. G. Boland: Information on Gerald Boland  Zoom on Gerald Boland  That is what it amounts to, if you insist on that ruling.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I have no wish to conclude the debate. It is not for me to conclude the debate, but it is my duty to keep the Deputy or any other Deputy in order.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am not out of order.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I say that the Deputy is out of order, and he will have to accept that.

Mr. G. Boland: Information on Gerald Boland  Zoom on Gerald Boland  If the Deputy is showing that the policy of the late Government——

[410]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Opinions need not necessarily be expressed in words, and it does not matter.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Will the Deputy explain what he means by that?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am not going to explain. My objection is there.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  If the Deputy wants to challenge the ruling of the Chair, then I suggest he ought to do it in an open manner or not challenge it at all.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The reason that I touch upon this point is that I must make it clear to the House what the present policy of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party is—that one of the sheet anchors of the Party is to preserve the Protestant succession in this country. Henceforth the King, the Constitution and the Protestant succession are going to be the sheet anchors of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party in this country. By an understandable coincidence, in view of the complexion of this House, those principles of the King, the Constitution and the Protestant succession happen also to be the fundamental principles of the Orange institution.

I understand that during the last few days the Cumann na nGaedheal Party have had some difficulty with the Independents who support them in this House. I understand also that the difficulties have been easily resolved. One cannot be astonished at that when one realises that the members who sit on the Government Benches have exactly the same principles in regard to the Constitution and the King and the Protestant succession as Deputies who sit on the Independent Benches. I am sorry that Deputies Haslett and Cole are not here in order that I might congratulate them on the success of their missionary labours. It has been awe inspiring. In less than three years they have converted Deputy Cosgrave and the heads of the Cumann na nGaedheal organisation, as I said before, to the fundamental principles of the Orange Order. It only remains for him and the leading members of his [411] Party to make a pilgrimage to Belfast on the coming Twelfth in order that this new alliance may be solemnised in an appropriate manner.

I must confess though that I became a little uncertain of my ground to-day when I heard the Minister for Defence open his speech with a quotation from an encyclical letter from Leo XIII. I began to ponder in my own mind how Deputies Haslett, Cole and Myles might take that particular quotation. However, apparently Deputy Haslett has also advanced a little, and he is now prepared to support the Government whose political existence is based on the encyclical letter of Leo XIII. Whether his constituents in Co. Monaghan will be as wholehearted as he in support of that Government is a matter I leave to him to settle with them.

I would now ask the House to consider the economic effects of that proposition. The House, by a majority, approved of the principle of the Old Age Pension Bill which was introduced by Deputy Ward. The cost of giving effect to the proposals of the Bill would be something like £250,000 or £300,000. I would ask those who supported the Bill to bear in mind that if they now vote in support of the nomination of Deputy Cosgrave they are throwing their former vote to the winds, and that the Bill will not proceed further, but will remain on the Order Paper until it is removed by a vote of the House.

They will vote to put in office a man who refused to find £250,000 for the aged poor, while the country, in the Estimates which this House is considering, will be asked to make provision for £1,991,000 in respect of pensions for able-bodied people. If you vote for Deputy Cosgrave you are voting for a man who, while he refuses to meet the needs and assuage the wants of the destitute poor, has piled burden upon burden upon the whole tax-paying community until the people are staggering under the load. Last year the Government extracted from the taxpayers [412] £21,470,000. If the Estimates which the late Government submitted are approved of, as they will be approved, if you elect Deputy Cosgrave, an extra £400,000 must be found in taxation next year. The simple thing in the figures which have been published recently giving the returns for the year 1929-30 is that without exception every significant tax has shown a diminished return, a sure proof and certain indication that the country is already overburdened. It is due to that fact that instead of having prosperity and progress in the Free State we have industrial and economic stagnation and decay. To vote for Deputy Cosgrave to-night is to vote to accelerate that process of decay. Any Deputy who feels any uneasiness in relation to the present economic condition of the country, if he wishes to allay that uneasiness, if he wishes to ensure that the country will be given a chance to pull around and recuperate, must vote for someone other than the Deputy whose name is before the House.

There is another question, a question of law and order. A great parade was made in the House to-day about the equivocal attitude of Fianna Fáil in regard to men with guns. I think, before the Independent Deputies vote in this House, they have a right to expect from Deputy Cosgrave some statement with reference to an article which appeared in the “Star” on March 23rd. I think I had better read to the House the significant paragraph from that leading article:

“The members of the Government are the servants of the people. If it were apparent that they were not obedient to the people, it would no longer be necessary that the Army should be obedient to them. In these circumstances the Fianna Fáil Government would be only a tyranny. It is difficult to destroy a tyranny, except with sword and rifle.”

A Fianna Fáil Government, being the Government elected by the people, the Government elected with [413] the approval of this house and responsible to this House, would be only a tyranny.

“It is difficult to destroy a tyranny except with sword and rifle. If it should become a duty to destroy a tyranny in the Saorstát, it would be the duty of the soldier to move first, as he is best equipped for the work. Thus, the position is: Fianna Fáil has nothing to fear from the Army if they are good boys; but if they are bad boys, the Army will be highly dangerous to them.”

Who is to be the judge as to whether the Fianna Fáil Party are good boys or bad boys? Is it to be the majority in this House, which will ultimately put the Fianna Fáil Party in power, or is it to be a junta of Cumann na nGaedheal sitting outside through its personal contacts with officers and men of the Army? I want to know who was responsible for writing that article, and who was responsible for the paper in which it appeared. Is it true that Deputy Cosgrave has a part ownership in that paper? Is it true that the Acting-President wrote that article? I think the House before it votes on that issue should have an answer to this question, as to whether Deputy Cosgrave is a part owner of the “Star,” in which the article inciting the Army to mutiny in a certain eventuality was published. If he is part owner is he a fit person to be President of the Executive Council of the Free State? Who are the men and what Government and Party are now appealing to the men with guns? The Acting-President has come in. I hope if he intervenes in the debate he will say whether he is responsible for the article or not. We know that other articles which have appeared in the editorial columns of that paper have been written by him. If he did not write them did the Minister for Defence? The Minister for Defence has a peculiar personality. Not only is he Minister for Defence but also an amateur theologian. One of the most dangerous things, and one of the sources of the greatest evils [414] which have afflicted mankind have been amateur theologians in charge of armies. Did the Minister for Defence write that article?

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  I would ask the Deputy to quote the article in the language in which it was written.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am quoting it in the language which Deputy Esmonde and most of the Independent Deputies in this House understand. At any rate, I am making the speech in my own way, and if Deputy Esmonde has any intelligent contribution to make to the debate I would suggest that he would have the manners to sit down and listen politely until I have finished.

I may not have exhausted the possible sources of authorship. Did General Mulcahy write that article? It bears traces of his mentality. We remember a former mutiny in the Army. We remember a former Minister who was prepared to use the Army in order to make the Government good boys. We remember a certain incident which ended in the exit from the late Government of the then Minister for Defence, and I would like to know whether Deputy General Mulcahy was responsible for this article or not. At any rate, I say it shows traces of his mentality. We all know that he is not averse in certain circumstances to playing the Army off against the Government of the State. He did it in, I think, 1923. I am perfectly certain that he would be equally capable of doing it in 1930 or in 1931, if it happened to suit what he thought were his particular needs or his particular interests.

Risteard O Maolchatha: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Ar aon chuma, d'fheadfadh sé é sgri sa teanga 'nar sgriobhadh é.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am asking the Deputy to answer my question. I am not asking him to put questions to me.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  We are not discussing the Minister for Local Government and Public [415] Health; we are discussing Deputy Cosgrave.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am discussing the associates of Deputy Cosgrave, the men with whom he was associated in the last Government, and the men, I presume, with whom he will be associated in the next Government if he is elected by this House.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I suggest to the Deputy that he might defer his criticism of other Ministers until they are put before the House. The Deputy should now discuss the only person whose name is before the House.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I must submit that I could understand that ruling if, when Deputy Hogan, Acting-Minister for Agriculture, had been criticising Deputy Lemass or Deputy O'Kelly, who, he held, were associated with Deputy de Valera, you had stood up in your place as a private Deputy and protested.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  There is no comparison whatever.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I suggest that there is. We members of the Fianna Fáil Party have had to bear the brunt of criticism from that Party on the motion to nominate Deputy de Valera.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I am not suggesting that the Deputy would not have a right to criticise Deputies on the other side, but I am suggesting that this is not the appropriate time to do it. The Deputy will get an opportunity, as I am sure he knows. The motion before the House is that Deputy Cosgrave be nominated as President of the Executive Council.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Exactly, and if Deputy Cosgrave is nominated as President of the Executive Council it will be too late for me to put before the House the reasons which I am now advancing as reasons why he should not be nominated. Therefore I am entitled to deal with those with whom Deputy Cosgrave has [416] been associated in the past and with whom he is likely to be associated in the future.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  So long as the Deputy is clear that he cannot anticipate the Cabinet which may be put before the House if Deputy Cosgrave is elected President, then I am perfectly satisfied.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Well, I am dealing with those with whom he was associated——

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  He is not dissatisfied with me but with my associates.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  As Deputy Aiken reminds me, “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.” Now, I think the House is entitled to a show-down on this matter; I think the House is entitled to have from Deputy Cosgrave a clear, categorical statement as to what his attitude towards the Army is going to be; furthermore, what his connection with the “Star” is, and whether any member of his late Government was responsible for the article of which I have complained. I think the House is the more entitled to that by reason of a statement which was made by the Acting-Minister for Defence in the debate upon the proposition to nominate Eamon de Valera as President. We have heard a great deal about the right of the people, about majority rule, and a good deal of the criticism of the Fianna Fáil Party has been based upon a slanderous and lying statement that we at any time denied the right of the majority of the people in this country to determine for themselves their own affairs. But what are we to think of the statement made by the Acting-Minister for Defence, Deputy Desmond Fitzgerald, in the debate this afternoon? Referring to the proposition to nominate Deputy Eamon de Valera as President we had this astonishing dictum from the Acting-Minister for Defence:—“The Irish people have no right to elect him because that would be a denial of their own right.” I am not responsible for the logic, but there is a statement [417] made by a man who was a responsible Minister in the late Government—that the Irish people have no right to elect Eamon de Valera. Is that the attitude which Deputy William Cosgrave is going to take up in this matter—that if at any time the people of this country give a mandate to Eamon de Valera to form a Government, that the Acting Minister for Defence, General Mulcahy, Deputy Cosgrave and the rest of them will go out and, in the spirit of the article in the “Star,” will tell the Army that the Irish people have no right to elect Eamon de Valera?

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  They have a right to do wrong.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I wish that the Deputy would make sober-minded interjections. This question is too serious to have a trifler like Deputy Esmonde butting in and interrupting by that sort of unseemly argument.

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  The right to do wrong.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am asking Deputy William Cosgrave whether the people have or have not the right to elect Eamon de Valera, and if he declares to the House that they have a right to elect Eamon de Valera as President of the Executive Council, will he take into his Cabinet a Deputy who has already declared in this House that the Irish people have no such right? “The primary and fundamental function of government is to preserve social order,” said the same Acting Minister. Now, on a number of occasions during the regime of the late administration Deputies on the Fianna Fáil benches brought before the notice of the House and before the notice of the late Minister for Justice a number of cases in which it was alleged that the forces under the control of that Minister were violating the law and outraging the rights and liberties of citizens, and the invariable reply from the Minister was to refer the Deputies to the courts, and to say that any possibility of redress lay there. Some people took the Minister at his word; they brought some cases to the courts; they have been [418] heard there before a judge and jury, and in every single case in which the facts were submitted to a judge and jury the members of the police forces under the control of the late Minister for Justice, and therefore under the control of the Deputy who is proposed as President of the Executive Council, were found to have been guilty of outrages and assaults upon the citizens. In every single case that was found to be a fact, and I ask the Independents, whose position in this matter is peculiarly liable to attack, whether they can afford to vote to put in power a Deputy who, when formerly in a position of control and responsibility, permitted forces of the State to be guilty, as I have said, of outrages upon the rights and liberties of the citizens? Can they afford it? Can, they, in view of their responsibilities to the people who sent them here, cast their votes for that Deputy, because if they vote for Deputy William Cosgrave, they vote for the continuance of that violence, or will they vote for the constitutional and legal rights of the people who sent them here. “The primary and fundamental function of government is to preserve social order.” Because the verdicts of the juries before whom the whole facts were placed have shown that the late Government, headed by Deputy William Cosgrave, failed in that primary and fundamental function of government, to preserve social order, I ask the House to vote against the proposal which Deputy Mongan has put before it.

Mr. O'Hanlon: Information on John F. O'Hanlon  Zoom on John F. O'Hanlon  During the course of this debate I took a few stray notes, and I find that we have been discussing Popes, Kings, Fianna Fáil, Cumann na nGaedheal, Labour, Independents, I.R.A., I.R.B., the Orange Order, the Masonic Order, the Army and the Civic Guards. We got to the stars, but no one yet has mentioned anything about the sun and moon. Probably that omission will be repaired before the debate is over. What is all this about? For the past six or seven weeks rumours have been current that a political [419] crisis would be precipitated here before Easter. We are now in the throes of that crisis. The ostensible cause has been the defeat of the Government on the Old Age Pensions (Amendment) Bill. The reason for that defeat has been stated by the late President to be the fortuitous and unavoidable absence of some of his followers. I question very much whether the President's explanation of the absentees was quite correct; I question very much whether this crisis was not deliberately brought on. In my opinion it was, and the defeat of the Government served more than one purpose. First of all, it was taken on the Old Age Pensions Bill, and, by the way, in all this welter of oratory which we have had to-day I have not heard one word about the unfortunate pensioners who have been deprived of what we held were their rights, and which I voted for as their rights on the last occasion—not one word about the poor pensioners who are going to be denied what the House voted them.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  On a point of explanation. The Deputy's statement is not correct. It was mentioned from these benches by more than one speaker.

Dr. Ryan: Information on James Ryan  Zoom on James Ryan  He was not here.

Mr. O'Hanlon: Information on John F. O'Hanlon  Zoom on John F. O'Hanlon  I apologise. I must have been out of the House then.

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  On a point of order. I think the Deputy was inaccurate in saying that the President stated that the cause of the defeat of the Government was due to the absence of a certain number of his followers.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  That is certainly not a point of order.

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  It is.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Deputy O'Hanlon.

Mr. O'Hanlon: Information on John F. O'Hanlon  Zoom on John F. O'Hanlon  I think I am perfectly correct in stating the reasons given by the President for his defeat.

[420]Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  You stated them inaccurately.

Mr. O'Hanlon: Information on John F. O'Hanlon  Zoom on John F. O'Hanlon  If I stated them inaccurately I will repeat what I said. The President stated that the cause of the defeat was the fortuitous and unavoidable absence of some of his followers.

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  No.

Mr. O'Hanlon: Information on John F. O'Hanlon  Zoom on John F. O'Hanlon  I am not arguing the point with the Deputy any longer. I am not going to delay the House very much longer than to explain my position. I voted for the Old Age Pensions Bill because I believed it was the correct thing to do, because I believe the administration of the Old Age Pensions Acts was not in sympathy with the pensioners, and that a necessary change should be made in the administration and tightening up of the Acts. We are asked now to elect a President. All the possible candidates with the exception of myself have been removed from the scene, and I was seriously thinking of proposing myself as a probable. I can assure the House that if I did I would have the wholehearted support of my Party. We are quite unanimous on the question, and I do not know if the candidate now before the House is defeated but that I will not step into the breach and form a Pooh Bah Government of my own. I think I could function as Minister in all the Departments myself, and no doubt I would have a very good try. I want to say here and now that I am not going to vote for the late President's return to office. I am not stating that for the reason that he is not qualified for the office, but from the fact that if I did so the vote I gave here last Thursday for the pensioners would be nullified, and I would be stultifying myself. I am not going to do that. I took no part up to this in the Divisions for either of the other candidates. I believe that the whole proceedings here to-day have been staged, for what purpose the Government know best. Perhaps, as some Deputies stated, it was time to have a show-down. We have heard a lot about show-downs here for the last [421] three or four weeks, and people who asked for them—the late Government and possibly the future Government—can go to the country and underline the words: “There you are; there is no alternative in the country. We are back in power and we can do what we like for the next twelve months.” It is not, in my opinion, a very creditable thing to have this crisis going on, except possibly for a display of the sort I mentioned. In any event, for the reasons I have stated—and I could say a lot more which I do not wish to say—I intend to keep intact the vote I gave for the old age pensioners and not to vote for Deputy Cosgrave.

Mr. Cassidy: Information on Archie J. Cassidy  Zoom on Archie J. Cassidy  I rise to oppose the motion that Deputy Cosgrave be elected President, and in doing so I may say that it is not my intention to endeavour to emulate the tactics that have been adopted by the majority of the Deputies who have spoken. Personally I believe, and I think I am voicing the sentiments of the man in the street when I say that there has been by far too much mud slinging by some of the Deputies whom we have listened to to-day. The front bench of the Government Party are not immune from that criticism. I noticed that many bricks were thrown from the Government Benches. I think it is a great pity that the Government cannot lay bricks as successfully as they can throw them, because if they did so during past years we would not have the housing scarcity that now exists.

I propose to advance briefly a few reasons why I am going to vote against the nomination before the House. In the first place the present Government have been in power for a number of years with Deputy Cosgrave as the head of the Executive Council. During that time many laws had been passed by this House, but I believe that the majority of those laws that have been passed during the time when the Government were in office have been in the interests of the wealthy classes of the people and detrimental to the poorer classes of the community. Deputy [422] O'Hanlon has pointed out, and I agree with him when he says, that the crisis has been staged. What has been referred to as a crisis has been brought about by the action of the Government in refusing to abide by the will of the majority of the Deputies in this House to increase the old age pensions. Now, in passing I might say that Deputy Cosgrave, whom we are now asked to re-elect to the position of President, was a member of the first Dáil, and as a member of the first Dáil I would like to ask him, or any of the Deputies sitting in the benches supporting him, what steps has he taken to put into operation what was known as the democratic programme of the first Dáil. What steps have been taken by the Executive Council, by President Cosgrave to endeavour to remedy what we, on these benches at any rate, believe is one of the greatest problems facing this country at present, namely, the problem of unemployment?

Let us just examine the democratic programme of the first Dáil in regard to this question of unemployment. We find the democratic programme to which General Mulcahy, Minister for Local Government and Public Health, and Deputy Cosgrave subscribed, stated: “We affirm the duty of every man and woman to give allegiance and service to the Commonwealth, and declare it is the duty of the nation to assure that every citizen shall have opportunity to spend his or her strength and faculties in the service of the people. In return for willing service we, in the name of the Government, declare the right of every citizen to an adequate share of the nation's labour.” It goes on further in the programme to state: “While undertaking the organisation of the nation's trade, import and export, it shall be the duty of the Republic to prevent the shipment from Ireland of food and other necessaries until the wants of the Irish people are fully satisfied.” Has President Cosgrave, during the number of years he has been in office, lived up to that programme? I believe that if the [423] Government had lived up to that programme we would not have the same amount of poverty and hunger existing in this country to-day. We would not have the same number of emigrants going away in the emigrant ship from the country. As I say they have not even endeavoured to live up to that programme, because it was re-affirmed in that programme that one of the first duties of the Government should be to look after the people. We allege that the Government have looked after the wealthy classes of the people much better than they have endeavoured to look after the interests of the poorer classes of the people.

Another question which has not been faced up to by the Government or by the outgoing President has been the question of housing. It is well known that not alone in Dublin City, or in the towns and the villages, but also in rural Ireland, there is a great housing scarcity at present. We believe that housing should have been met by President Cosgrave, President of the Executive Council, as a national problem, that a national housing council should have been set up in order to deal with this question of housing in the rural areas, cities and towns in a national way instead of endeavouring to deal with it through private enterprise in a piecemeal fashion.

Again, one of the reasons why I intend to oppose the nomination before the House is owing to the fact that the Government have, since the time they were put into office, endeavoured to reduce the social services of this country. For instance, what was the policy, what was the programme of Deputy Cosgrave as a member of the first Dáil in regard to social services? We find that as far as the democratic programme of the first Dáil was concerned, it reiterates that: “The Irish Republic fully realises the necessity of abolishing the present odious, degrading and foreign poor law system, substituting therefore a sympathetic native scheme for the care of the nation's aged and infirm who [424] shall not be regarded as a burden, but rather entitled to the nation's gratitude and consideration.”

Has that declaration to which President Cosgrave subscribed been carried out? We have, it has been pointed out, those crises or alleged crises at the present time, due to the fact that Deputy Cosgrave would not even carry out in a small way that declaration which he made in the year 1919.

Again, we have the question, as pursued by Deputy Cosgrave and the Executive Council, of their failure to deal with other social matters. This Party some time ago introduced a motion in the Dáil calling on the Government, through Deputy Cosgrave, to introduce a system of widows' and orphans' pensions. We find that the policy of the Government Party was at that time—acting, I presume, through the President—that they would not put into operation a system of widows' and orphans' pensions.

Again, the policy of the present Government, acting through Deputy Cosgrave, has been, and still is, to endeavour to lower and reduce the wages of the working-class people. Shortly after they were returned to power we find them reducing the Post Office workers' wages. They followed that up by reducing the teachers' salaries. They followed that up by a circular to the surveyors of all the county councils in the Free State, asking them to reduce the road workers' wages. I hope Donegal Deputies will pay particular attention to this—that even yet the Government, through the Minister for Local Government has refused to allow the county councils up there to pay to the road workers this very small wage of 30/- per week. He thinks 26/- per week is sufficient, and evidently the nominee put forward to-night must acquiesce in that. Otherwise he would instruct the Minister for Local Government to withdraw his ban and allow that particular county council to pay an increase on the 26/- per week. I hope, at any rate, that the Donegal Deputies on [425] the Government Benches on this occasion will have the courage of their convictions, and not cast their votes in a machine-like way, because if they do, I believe it will be a vote in favour of a lower standard of old age pensions and a lower standard of wages than we have to-day. General Mulcahy, when Deputy MacEntee was speaking, made an interjection in Irish. I only wish that General Mulcahy had been so active when the Report of the Gaeltacht Commission was before the Dáil. When the White Paper that the Government issued, and which they refused to live up to, was before the Dáil, I only wish that General Mulcahy had been verbal to put up a fight for the Irish speakers.

Reference has been also made to the Government's policy in regard to the question of partition. I believe that the neglect of the Government in not having at least as good social conditions in the way of old age pensions, unemployment insurance and widows' and orphans' pensions, is doing a big lot to keep back the day when we will have unity in this country. I would point out in conclusion that the House is now asked to elect a nominee of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party—a Party that sacrificed the interests of the minority and agreed to the partition of this country, and upon that issue, if upon no other, I ask the House to vote against the nomination of the President.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I rise to oppose the nomination of ex-President Cosgrave. Deputy Cosgrave declared in intimating that he was tendering his resignation that he would not take responsibility for financing the Old Age Pensions Bill that received a majority of the votes of the Deputies in this House. Deputy Cosgrave apparently intends to slip out a side-door and to come in by another door and evade the responsibility placed upon him by a majority of this House to give effect to a Bill that was passed here. In the course of his statement here on Friday last the then President stated that the Bill would not benefit [426] the most deserving classes. The fact that a majority in this House registered their votes in favour of the Bill is all the proof that Deputy Cosgrave should require to satisfy him that that Bill should be financed. I would like to know if the Deputies who believe that that Bill is desirable and necessary and who voted for it are now prepared to go back on that vote and allow ex-President Cosgrave to evade his responsibilities to the poor and to refuse to finance that measure. If any of these Deputies who believe that the Bill is a necessary one and that it would benefit the most deserving classes of old people in this country support the proposition to re-elect Deputy Cosgrave President of the Executive Council I think their interest in the old age pensioners will be apparent to the blind.

Deputy O'Connell stated here to-day in the course of the debate that we must choose a Government that will, without equivocation, give legislative effect to the expressed will of the majority. I think it is rather a pity that Deputy O'Connell did not see the wisdom of supporting the nomination of the majority Opposition Party in this Dáil, and the Party who introduced this measure and were responsible for having it carried through its Second Stage. Timid people are suffering, according to Deputy O'Connell, by being reminded of the effects of the defeat of the Danes at Clontarf. I do not know exactly what that has to do with it, but it makes one more or less sorry for Deputy O'Connell, because he must be having a very anxious time at present, and I think, from Deputy O'Connell's attitude in this debate, that one must class him amongst the timid.

Mr. O'Connell:  He did not refuse, like others, to cast his vote the way he thought he ought to cast it.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  It has been suggested by Deputy Cosgrave that the Bill that brought about the defeat of the Government would not confer benefits on the poorer classes. A solitary argument has not been advanced, [427] and cannot be advanced, in substantiation of that contention. A majority of this House sought to secure that charity would not be estimated as means against an old age pension claimant. Deputy Cosgrave refuses to admit that people who live on charity and who have no means whatever in their own right are amongst the poorer classes, and Deputy Cosgrave refuses to provide the money to secure that people who are living on the goodwill or charity of their neighbours, or who are dependent on some charitable organisation to keep body and soul together, and who are over seventy years of age, should get a miserable old age pension. I hope that the Dáil will not acquiesce in that, and that if Deputy Cosgrave is to be elected to-night, or whenever the vote takes place, that at least he will give some undertaking that if he is allowed to take over the reins of government again he will give effect to the majority will of the people as expressed by the majority of Deputies in this House.

He has said that the poor would not benefit by the Bill. The people who are already in receipt of old age pensions, who have nobody to look after them and have to enter a poor law institution as paupers, are not deserving people according to the spokesmen on the Cumann na nGaedheal Benches. If people who cannot live outside an institution, even with an old age pension, are not poor enough for Deputy Cosgrave and for the Minister for Finance, well they are poor enough for the majority of this House, and that should be sufficient for Deputy Cosgrave. Deputy Cosgrave is not prepared to accept responsibility for financing a Bill that aims at securing that a poor woman who becomes a widow after she is seventy years of age should not have the pension that she enjoyed as a married woman taken from her. That person is not poor enough for Deputy Cosgrave, the man who is now proposed as President of the Executive Council. According to the Minister for Finance, if effect were given to the [428] Bill £125,000 would be spent on farmers, farmers whose valuations range from £10 to £13 10s. These people are not sufficiently poor for the Minister for Finance. They are not sufficiently poor for Deputy Cosgrave, but, again, they are sufficiently poor for a majority of the Deputies in this House, and they ought to be accepted by ex-President Cosgrave as being sufficiently poor for him.

Deputy Morrissey lamented the fate of the old age pensioners if Deputy O'Connell were not elected. I do not like to characterise that as hypocrisy, but it appears to me to be approaching very near to it. If Deputy Morrissey was so anxious about the old age pensioners that legislative effect should be given to the Bill that was passed here last week, I think the obvious course for Deputy Morrissey would have been to support the leader of the majority Opposition Party in this House and the leader of the Party who introduced it.

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  That is the best yet.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The President is like Humpty-Dumpty. All the king's horses and all the king's men cannot put Humpty-Dumpty together again.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I am glad that tickles Deputy Cosgrave's sense of humour.

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  It did undoubtedly. It was a great effort on the part of Deputy Ward.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  It is a great effort on the part of the ex-President to be humorous this evening. Of course, it was a snap division! The whips of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party were caught out and the very unpleasant fact had to be faced that the Cumann na nGaedheal Government had been defeated. It was a snap division! A full week before last Thursday it was announced in this House that that day would be given to Private Deputies' Business. Everybody in the House knew that the first business to be disposed of on last Thursday would be the Old Age Pensions Bill. It was debated [429] in this House from about 3.20 to 6.35 p.m. Yet it was a snap division. The Government was taken unawares. A mean advantage was taken of them. The poor unfortunate innocent Cumann na nGaedheal Government was thrown out. I wonder would Deputy Cosgrave or somebody on his behalf tell us in what way would they spend this £300,000 that they say the Bill will cost to put into operation—in what way would they spend that £300,000 that would give the best return? One would gather from the statement which Deputy Cosgrave made when he was indicating his intention to resign that he was prepared to expend £300,000 on old age pensions and that there were at least half a dozen ways in which that could be done. But not one of these ways has been indicated by the spokesmen of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party. If Deputy Cosgrave is to be re-elected President, we should at least hear of some of these schemes for the relief of old age pensioners and we should hear definitely whether it is proposed that they should get any relief at all. We used to hear a lot throughout the country and in this House about majority rule. We hear nothing about majority rule now. When majority rule decided to give effect to this Old Age Pensions Bill that majority rule was evaded by a trick. At least an attempt was made to evade it, and I think it would be an eternal disgrace to this House if that attempt to evade the majority mandate of this House succeeded.

Minister for Local Government and Public Health (General Mulcahy): Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I think the Deputies on the far side of the House will remember my saying from time to time that the Deputies here on these benches contain the people who were the business part of the movement, who rallied the Irish people after 1916, put their feet down on solid ground from which to work out their national destiny as far as they could; and put their feet on solid political ground in 1921 and as far as the Deputies on the far side are part of the nation, they subsequently [430] put their feet in here on the only ground on which they can do anything for themselves or anything for the country. What Deputies in this House and what people outside have to take from this debate as far as the members of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party are concerned is that just as we put the people's feet down on solid national ground after 1916, and as we put the Deputies' feet on solid political ground later, we are going to put the feet of the country down on solid, financial ground now.

Mr. Flinn: Information on Hugh Victor Flinn  Zoom on Hugh Victor Flinn  A Daniel come to judgment! Buying at £7 and selling for half.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The people here have a certain amount of money to spend on social services and it is because we are not prepared at the present moment to spend £300,000 additional on old age pensions on any account, that the House here was offered to-night an opportunity of setting up a Ministry that would do that if after mature judgment they consider that it ought to be done. The Deputies on the Fianna Fáil side and on the Labour side have spoken of the tremendous amount of work that is required to provide more satisfactory social services for the country. And if we can understand them, one of the first things they would do would be to give another £300,000 to old age pensioners. At least, that is what we are asked to-night to believe that they would do. We have given the House as a whole an opportunity of saying whether they will do that or not. And I think that we are facing a House a majority of which, at any rate, will come to the conclusion after mature deliberation that they are not prepared to do that. I think that the Deputies both in the Fianna Fáil Party and in the Labour Party must be quite convinced in their hearts that if they themselves were responsible for the government of the country they would not do that. If the Fianna Fáil Party came in as a majority and got the confidence of the majority of the House to-night I doubt if [431] they would give an additional £300,000 to old age pensioners. At any rate, we are not prepared to do it and we are not prepared acting as a majority Party in this House or acting as responsible leaders of any kind, whether in a majority or minority operating as responsible leaders before the country—we are not prepared to expend money in a direction in which we think it ought not to be spent.

Deputies want more money for child welfare; they want more money for the clearing of slums and for the building of houses. Deputies want more money for all classes of things. It is because we know that more money is required for these matters that we are not prepared now to spend £300,000 additional on old age pensioners. It has been explained already that there are £2,750,000 spent on old age pensions. I told the House some time ago that on the whole of our poor relief services including medical charities in the country, including hospitals, including county homes and including outdoor relief, we were spending £1,647,000. That is much less than we are spending on old age pensions. In addition to that, we are spending £720,000 on mental hospitals. When we take the services on child welfare, school medical attendance, the treatment of school children, school meals, treatment of the blind, treatment of tuberculosis, the treatment of venereal diseases and so on there is being spent, whether through rates or taxes, a sum of £290,000. So that if we take the poor relief, mental hospitals and all these miscellaneous social services together that are only being developed we are spending in all a sum of £2,662,000, or a less sum than we are spending on old age pensions at the present moment. And we are asked to vote another £300,000 for old age pensions. We are not prepared to do that. In addition to the services I mentioned Deputies want additional homes for the people. Probably, at the present cost of housing and by the present housing want in our urban districts alone it will take [432] £250,000 for thirty-five years from both the State and from local rates to provide these houses. I wonder would Deputy O'Connell, if he had £300,000 for one year, put it to old age pensions, or would he put it to the building of proper schools in some parts of the country? I think the Deputy has an idea of the amount of money that would be required to make up the arrears for the provision of proper school-buildings in the country. I think the Deputy has an idea as to the amount of money that would be required to keep up the normal wastage in the country in the matter of school-buildings. I wonder would the Deputy consider that that matter should be left out of consideration entirely when dealing with the question of the expenditure of more money on old age pensions. We have to think not alone of the people in their old age but we have to think of the sick poor, the ordinary poor, the poor who are old and infirm, people in the country generally who are infirm, the mental and physical defectives among the youth of the country.

We have a limited amount of money to spend, and we want to apply it to those things that will give us the greatest possible constructive returns. That is the note I would like to strike over this debate. People may talk about their political sovereignty, their hopes of Republics, their hopes of sovereign independence, and all these glorious things that are flag-wagging, and nothing but flag-wagging to some people, because it does not seem to bring them down to constructive work of any kind. They may talk of those things, but unless they make proper use of their resources, men and money, they are not going to achieve the great things that they would like to achieve.

On the question of pensions, most Deputies have spoken of Deputy Murphy's motion in November, 1928, in relation to pensions for widows. I take it that Deputy Murphy and the people who spoke about pensions for widows considered the family burdens of widows who require relief. One [433] would think that they ought to be dealt with at least as generously in the matter of pensions as are the old age pensioners to-day, even without an additional £300,000. The county from which Deputy Cassidy comes will serve as an example. The average old age pension paid in Donegal is £22 10s.; the average payment from the local board of assistance to widows in Donegal is £11 10s.

Mr. Cassidy: Information on Archie J. Cassidy  Zoom on Archie J. Cassidy  Does the Minister mean to infer that we on these benches are responsible for that, or does he forget that in the democratic programme of the First Dáil the intention was expressed to do away with the foreign Poor Law system?

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Certainly. I have said here before, apropos of widows' pensions, that you cannot wipe out the poor relief system; that is, a system of relief based upon local taxation. If you do, responsibility in these matters goes at once. If the representatives of Donegal were paying the old age pensions in Donegal, I doubt if they would pay higher pensions than the amount of money now being paid to widows in Donegal.

Mr. Cassidy: Information on Archie J. Cassidy  Zoom on Archie J. Cassidy  They are paying their share of taxation for the sugar beet factory in Carlow, and other things for which they get no benefit.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I am talking of their probable action in matters over which they have full control and responsibility. As I have said, they pay widows in Donegal £11 10s. a year. In Monaghan, where the average old age pensions payment is £21 8s., the average payment to widows is £15 4s. To summarise it, there are only two counties in the country in which the average payments to widows are higher than the average payments to old age pensioners in these counties. There are eleven counties in which the payments to widows on the average are less than two-thirds of the payments to old age pensioners, and there are two counties in which the payment [434] to widows is less than one-half the average payment to old age pensioners.

We are not asking you to support the election of President Cosgrave as President. We are asking you to take it from us that we want to keep your feet here and the feet of the people in the country down on solid financial ground. It is because we are awake to the matters that require the application of money to increase the social betterment of our people that we are not prepared to give another £300,000 to old age pensioners.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  The Minister for Finance stated down the country during the week-end that the Fianna Fáil Party were responsible for this cut in the old age pensions in 1924 which Deputy Ward's Bill proposed to amend. The Minister for Local Government and Public Health now tells us that the only anxiety of the Government in this matter is that the feet of the people in this country should be placed upon solid financial ground. I think if the people of this country examine the financial ground which the Minister tries to assure the House is so very solid, they will probably find that it resembles more a moving bog, and that if the expenditure on other matters not nearly as important to this country as the welfare of the aged poor is allowed to continue in its present proportions, then the country will find itself where it has been prophesied it would find itself, in a morass of insolvency. The Government Party, I am informed, have had sufficient finances available, although they can find no money to finance this measure, to put the large sum of £50,000 at the disposal of a body called the Investment Trust. The whole of that amount has been lost, just like another £50,000 which was placed in a glass bottle factory here in the city. Furthermore, whatever might be said about the enterprise in connection with the glass bottle factory wherein £50,000 was lost—perhaps it was some kind of effort to give employment here—the £50,000 invested in the Investment Trust was lost as a [435] result of speculative enterprise in foreign film companies. I am told that corporation, the Investment Trust, has lost something like £70,000 as a result of these speculative deals. That is the way in which the Irish Free State Government spends the taxpayers' money. That is how they find firm financial ground for the Irish people, but they cannot find anything for the old age pensioners.

Deputies have referred in this debate to some of the items in the Estimates upon which money is being spent. I do not propose to do more than mention these items. I leave out of consideration the Army and the Civic Guards, which are costing £1,500,000 and £1,600,000 respectively. I say that out of those large sums some economy ought to be possible—some economy better than the cheese-paring economy which was initiated and carried into effect by the Deputy who now seeks re-election to the Presidency.

He says that that economy was necessary and should be made at the expense of the old age pensioners so that we might stand on solid financial ground. This House if it is honest will at least assure itself that if that cut is to be made, if this Bill which attempted to make up for it is going to be thrown aside, that similar economies will be insisted on when the new Estimates will be brought before this House within the next few months. You have a Governor-General costing £27,000, a Broadcasting Station costing £84,000, and a Ministry of External Affairs though nobody knows what it is doing. No report has been received from its foreign representatives or ambassadors. I say that the whole Department ought to have been scrapped in order to provide money for social services such as the service which would benefit under Deputy Ward's Bill. We have a sum of £3,000 spent on the Phoenix Park motor races and, in addition, we find —and I call the attention of the House specially to it—that under the Treaty, about which we have had [436] so much talk to-night, this State is permanently committed to a payment of something like one and three-quarter million pounds annually for pensions, a great deal of which money is not even spent here and gives no benefit to the people. In all, we are spending something like two millions on pensions. Included in that is a sum of £208,216 for the present financial year for military service pensions.

I would ask the House to compare the conditions, to which this House is now going to give its sanction and to carry into law, under which these able-bodied men throughout the country are being treated and the manner in which the aged poor are being treated. A pensions officer can question old age pension applicants and just by looking at them say whether they are of the requisite age and, possibly, disallow their claims although they have produced the best evidence available. Further, the pensions officer can come along and arbitrarily estimate an income which is perhaps charity, as Deputy Ward pointed out, and can say that that charity is worth so much during the year, thereby depriving the claimant either of that charity or of his pension, as he cannot have both. That is going to continue in future.

The speeches of Ministers, I submit, show that they are absolutely out of touch with the situation in the country as regards the administration of old age pensions. Their back-benchers were not, however out of touch. They knew how rigidly and ruthlessly this law was being operated to the detriment of old age pension claimants. I say that it is up to those Deputies, if they are convinced that it is necessary, as the Minister for Local Government says, to hang up the Bill in order to find ourselves on solid financial ground, to assure their constituents that if money cannot be spared for that that no money shall be spent on less worthy purposes. Old age pension claimants are being treated in this manner, and, no matter what appeal is taken, and no matter what the local committees [437] do, it all goes by the board because the Minister and his minions in Dublin will decide, as they have decided in the past, that these people are to be disqualified on some technical point. The whole of the £200,000 to be spent annually on military pensions is, however, to be spent without year or nay, even without allowing the Comptroller and Auditor-General, who has been appointed under the Constitution, to look into the matter.

Are the Party opposite satisfied that that is fair play, that the country will stand it, or whether, if there was a dissolution to-morrow, the country would not state quite clearly that the money should be found for old age pensions if it can be found for military service pensions? If the Government intend to persist with the Bill for the abolition of the powers of the Comptroller and Auditor-General, would the country say that these military service pensions are to be above investigation and that no court of appeal is to be allowed to investigate whether these claims are good and what evidence has been brought forward in support of them? The Government ought, at least—when it protects its own pets in that manner, saves them from the State, and is prepared, by even uprooting the Constitution, to shelter them —to have a more generous policy when dealing with the aged poor to whom Ministers on the opposite side openly acknowledged their responsibility and agreed, with others on this side of the House, that the care of the aged poor was to be the primary responsibility of this Government or of any Christian Government of which they might be a Party.

You have all that money spent. You have large funds which were at the disposal of the Exchequer, like the two millions held by the Intermediate Education Board and the £900,000 by the old Congested Districts Board, which have been absorbed into the Exchequer and have since disappeared. The Exchequer is empty and if you go through all the different Departments [438] you will find that all the resources which ought to be there for reproductive work have been drained and exhausted. You find a merciless campaign for the collection of annuities and income tax. Where is all that money going? The people have a right to ask that question. They have got no answer but the best answer which the country can get and which it will appreciate most is the fact that throughout the whole discussion on Deputy Ward's Bill no serious argument was advanced against it, and the Government who were defeated on it, and who would have been defeated by a larger majority if they left the matter to a free vote of the House and to the generous instincts of their own Party, are seeking by discreditable methods to penalise the aged poor who cannot defend themselves. When they have spent money on purposes which are not really necessary for the good of the country they take every opportunity of saying, when suggested savings are pointed out, “Oh that does not count. That saving would not mean anything.” They always protect the pensioners who are able to look after themselves and they always protect the officials but whenever they get an opportunity of jumping on the underdog they keep jumping on it until nothing is left except the parasites who are always battening on its dead carcase.

Mr. J.X. Murphy: Information on Joseph Xavier Murphy  Zoom on Joseph Xavier Murphy  This discussion has been going on since 3 o'clock and I think we were asked to come here for one purpose, namely, to elect a President. The Fianna Fáil Party put up a Deputy for election and he was turned down. The Labour Party put up a Deputy and he was turned down. Without expressing an opinion on the merits of these candidates, may I ask is there any alternative left but to elect a representative of Cumann na nGaedheal?

Mr. Flinn: Information on Hugh Victor Flinn  Zoom on Hugh Victor Flinn  What about the Farmers' Party?

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  What about the Redmond Party and the Independents?

[439]Mr. Murphy:  I suggest that the Independents are not in the field. If we go on talking like this we will never finish. We have been listening to speeches which we have heard on every occasion when the Central Fund Bill was discussed. I suggest that there is no alternative but to elect a representative of Cumann na nGaedheal and, if that is so, there is no one to elect but Deputy Cosgrave. In that case we should shorten the proceedings because we are only wasting time.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Will the Deputy allow his name to go forward?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Deputy O'Kelly.

Mr. Flinn: Information on Hugh Victor Flinn  Zoom on Hugh Victor Flinn  If the Deputy will allow his name to go forward as the representative of a great business party, of great business interests——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Is the Deputy going to make a speech?

Mr. Flinn: Information on Hugh Victor Flinn  Zoom on Hugh Victor Flinn  Yes.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I have already called on Deputy O'Kelly.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  There are one or two matters that, despite the protest of Deputy Murphy as to the length and, perhaps, the variety of speeches, I would like to refer to before a vote is taken on the motion before the House. I desire to ask the President if he will state, before the vote is taken, that the policy of the Executive Council, the policy of himself and his colleagues, the policy that they now accept and in future intend to carry out, is the policy that was outlined very briefly by the Minister for Finance when he spoke on the 22nd March, 1928, on the Central Fund Bill. I have referred to it already this evening. I do not know whether the President proposes to speak on this debate, perhaps he does not, but as the Minister who spoke for him just now did not refer to the matter, although it was raised this afternoon, and as the Minister for Finance is now present, perhaps we could have a definite answer in regard to that matter of policy before the debate ends. [440] The Minister for Finance said: “With regard to the point as to whether we are aiming at the establishment of an Irish Republic, we are not.” The language is not as clear as it might be, but I think that everybody will understand what the Minister for Finance meant to say. “With regard to the point as to whether we are aiming at the establishment of an Irish Republic, we are not. We believe that this country, as a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations, can enjoy greater freedom and greater security than she could outside the British Commonwealth of Nations, and our policy within it is really to remove anomalies that exist in the relationship between the members of it.” It would be well if it is the policy of the Executive Council, and if it is in future to be the policy of the new Government, for the House and the country to know definitely where we stand in the matter. Has the Government definitely thrown over, so far as it can, the old ideal of the Irish people down the centuries for absolute separation from England? Are they now, or are they not, a party that stands for separation?

Deputy Cosgrave was once a prominent man in the movement for separation between England and Ireland. The Minister for Finance was likewise fairly prominent. So was the Minister for Local Government, who has just referred rather lightly to those who stand for a Republic as flag-wavers. Well, he did not always think that. But perhaps the Minister for Finance now expresses his mind on what the attitude of his Government is, and his own attitude is, on the old ideals as he used to understand them.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  What I tried to make clear was that they were not doing anything to-day except flag-wagging.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  You did not make it clear anyhow. You referred to Republicans as flag-waggers. You were a flag-wagger too at one time.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I wagged more than flags.

[441]Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  But when the temptation of the fleshpots came your way you fell very quickly. You put the flag-waggers on one side, who were prepared to walk the hard road, and put up with hard knocks—and we got them freely, from nobody more freely than from our former colleagues. However, when the fleshpots came your way, you jumped quickly for them, more quickly, I must say, than I expected.

A Deputy:  I am sure you would jump yourself, too.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I did not jump.

A Deputy:  If we gave you the chance you would.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I was certainly offered the fleshpots, as my former friends were, but I can say that, for either good or ill, I did not take the bait. I am here, and God knows I have got kicks enough from my former friends and colleagues. I do not complain of that; not a bit. What I do complain of is that these gentlemen are now sneering and jeering and gibing at those who stand, for good or ill, for the old ideals and the old movement of which they were once the leading lights.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  And did nothing for.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  The country is the best judge of that.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Hear, hear!

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  If we did nothing for them we would not be here speaking for them. We are speaking for just as many people, just as many voters, as the three gentlemen and their Party who spoke already. However, it is not worth speaking about. They would not be here for the last seven or eight years in power, and they will not be in power here to-night unless they get the backing of the gentlemen in the centre of the House who stand for the Union Jack, who represent the old garrison of this country, who stand for the British alliance and keeping the gentlemen opposite in [442] power, while the “Irish Times” rubs it in and lets them know where they are and, as the Americans say, where they get off. The “Irish Times” reminded them on Saturday last of their miserable position as a Government, their subordinate position in this House as a Government, the tail wagging the dog. As a matter of fact it really is the tail of whatever the number of Independents is which is wagging whatever kind of four-footed animal one can call the Cumann na nGaedheal Party opposite. The “Irish Times” says: “On the other hand, the Government has received a warning which should be salutary.”

Mr. J.T. Wolfe: Information on Jasper Travers Wolfe  Zoom on Jasper Travers Wolfe  What does the “Nation” say about the Independents?

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Wait until I get a chance in the next week or two and I will let you know. “It has discovered that phenomenon of natural history which, neglected, has ruined many Governments—the fact that even a worm will turn. Passive revolt may not be less dangerous than flagrant revolt.” Remember that, Cumann na nGaedheal majority in this House, when next you dare to propose anything that the gentlemen of the Independent Party, for whom the “Irish Times” speaks, would not like. You will know where you will be. Imagine Deputy Wolfe as a backer of President Cosgrave waving a Republican flag around Kilkenny! What a delightful comedy it would be! If you had President Cosgrave, the Vice-President, and the Minister for Local Government holding the principles to-day which they held in 1921 and for a certain portion of 1922 the Independent Deputy for West Cork, for whom the “Irish Times” speaks, one of the old British garrison in the country, might not be so readily at their back.

He voted against them the other day and brought them down on this question of old age pensions. Beware now and keep well in with him and the British; well in with the old garrison, or you will not be long in office, even if you are put in again [443] to-night. The “Irish Times” again says:—

The outstanding moral of Thursday's accident is the nature of the new relations between the Government and the Independent Party. In plain terms, the Government must recognise its duty to the party that keeps it in office.

They will do well to remember their friends or they will not be in the job long and well they know it.

Mr. T. Sheehy: Information on Timothy Sheehy  Zoom on Timothy Sheehy  (Cork): I never thought I would find you pinning your faith to the “Irish Times.”

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I am not pinning my faith to it and I am sure it has not much faith in me; I have about the same faith and love for it. When the Deputy knew me on public platforms long ago, we did not see eye to eye in politics any more than we do now. He was then on a different platform.

Mr. Sheehy:  I was serving my country.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  We have about the same political relations to each other now. Deputy Sheehy remained faithful to the British connection.

Mr. Sheehy:  No. I was faithful to all the brave men from Parnell down all along the line and I never got a job. I was not even sent to Paris like the Deputy.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I am glad the Deputy referred to my going to Paris. Although I say it myself, it took a fit man to go to Paris to speak for the Irish Republic in those days. If there had been anybody else more fitting at that time, he would have been sent instead of me.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  We shall take the question of the late sitting now.

Mr. Blythe: Information on Ernest Blythe  Zoom on Ernest Blythe  If there is any possibility of finishing by 11.30 or 12, I submit that we should sit on to do so.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  For this particular question only?

Mr. Blythe: Information on Ernest Blythe  Zoom on Ernest Blythe  Yes.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I think so.

[444]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Then we will say 11.30 p.m.

Ordered: That the Dáil sit later than 11 p.m. to-night, and that the Order for the adjournment be taken not later than 11.30 p.m.

Mr. Sheehy:  We shall stop until morning to elect him if it is necessary. Get ready for it now.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I submit, and I think I am borne out by these two leading articles in the “Irish Times” on Friday and Saturday last, that the change in policy that has been adopted, and which was announced last year by the Vice-President on the question of Irish national ideals, was brought about owing to the fact that this Government that has been in office for seven or eight years, and that possibly may be in office to-morrow, owe their place, and will owe whatever power they have in future, to the tail of the Independents, for whom the “Irish Times” speaks. Deputy Wolfe is one of those on whom the Government must rest to keep them in office. The Vice-President has declared, and must stick to it in future, if he is put into office: “With regard to the point as to whether we are aiming at the establishment of an Irish Republic, we are not.” The “Irish Times” cracks the whip; the Independents, I might say, pay the piper, and the Government must play the tune accordingly.

There is one other matter to which I should like to refer, and which is, I think, particularly appropriate, and that is the question of our finances. The Government were defeated the other day, as Deputy Mulcahy has reminded us, because they refused to implement a Bill that got a Second Reading. The Government claimed that they could not, and said they would not find the £300,000 which they said would be necessary to finance the provisions in that Bill. I am not satisfied that £300,000 would be necessary—I believe that is an exaggeration. However, let it be £200,000 or £300,000, or any figure in between. They could not, they said, and above all, they would not, implement that Bill. While this Government let themselves [445] be beaten and had to resign because of failing to implement that Bill, and find, let us say, £300,000, what have they paid to the British in the last seven years, and paid, I claim, without any legal obligation that I can find within the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty signed on 6th December, 1921?

Mr. J.T. Wolfe: Information on Jasper Travers Wolfe  Zoom on Jasper Travers Wolfe  That ought to finish it, if you could not find it.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  You are quite right. I am glad you have such a high opinion of my critical faculties. Article X. of the Treaty states:—

The Government of the Irish Free State agrees to pay fair compensation on terms not less favourable than those accorded by the Act of 1920 to judges, officials, members of police forces and other public servants who are discharged by it or who retire in consequence of the change of government effected in pursuance thereof.

There is not one word in that Article that obliges the Government that has gone out or the Government that is to come in to pay pensions to people who were not in the service of the Free State Government, because the words here are “judges, officials, members of police forces and other public servants who are discharged by it or who retire in consequence of the change of government.” During the eight years from 1st April, 1922, to 1st March, 1930, this Government has paid to the British Government the following sums: Land annuities, £25,000,000 odd; pensions for civil officials who had retired prior to the Treaty, £1,101,000; pensions to the R.I.C. for which there is no Treaty obligation, £9,882,000. These sums alone make a total roughly of £36,000,000 paid out of this country, whose resources are comparatively poor, in eight years to the British Government without any legal obligation on us to pay them according to the terms of the bond here. Still we cannot find what is, in comparison with this, the miserable sum of £200,000 or £300,000 to restore to the aged pensioners what they used to [446] get from the British and which was filched from them by the Free State Government in 1924. I should like the Acting Minister for Finance, before this debate closes, to say whether before paying the annuities for the first time in 1922 the British Government made any demand for this money and, if so, was the demand made in writing. If there was such a correspondence it would be most interesting if the Acting Minister for Finance would let the House see it. I should like to know did Deputy Cosgrave, when he was Minister for Finance in 1922, obtain the opinion of his law adviser before paying the annuities or the pre-Treaty pensions or the R.I.C. pensions. If he did, I am sure the House would like to know what the nature of that legal advice was.

It is possible that the Government of that day handed over that money because it had been the habit of the officials who had been in power here before to send that money to England. I would like to know if Deputy Cosgrave, in 1922, did himself pay away that money without having received any demand from the British Government, or if he got an opinion from his law advisers, I would like to know what that opinion was. It is extraordinary that a Government can pay out of this poor country's resources a total, in eight years, of £36,000,000 of hard-earned money. Every Deputy in this House has complaints from someone or other amongst his constituents about the harshness with which the income tax is being collected, and that income tax, to a large extent, goes to pay the £36,000,000 to britain, and now we are told that two or three hundred thousand pounds cannot be found to keep the impoverished and destitute poor alive for a few months in this country.

Mr. Jasper Wolfe: Information on Jasper Travers Wolfe  Zoom on Jasper Travers Wolfe  If England is paid out of income tax, what becomes of the annuities?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  The Deputy should not interrupt.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  What became of the Crown Prosecutors?——

[447]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  You are worse.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  The Minister for Local Government talked of putting the people's feet on solid ground. I would like to know if somebody would be kind enough to tell us from the Front Bench opposite whether the solid ground of Irish nationalism was no longer ground enough to stand upon, but that in future the people were to be encouraged and ordered, as far as the Government could order them, to forget about the past, to forget everything that generations of the people for centuries have stood for and sacrificed, and suffered for. We are to forget it, and to wrap the Union Jack round us, and to become good citizens of the British Empire, or the British Commonwealth of Nations, to give it its later name. If that is the policy it is just as well we are not in it. Is it the element of the Independent Party for which the “Irish Times” speaks that is to rule in this country? Are their ideals to prevail? Are the principles upon which these gentlemen opposite, or the major portion of them— they are a very mixed crew now— entered national life, when they pinned their faith to the old national traditions, to be forgotten? Is all they stood for to be cast aside? And are we in future to understand that a definite stage has now been reached in Irish history, with the country split in two, with our entrance into the British Commonwealth of Nations, otherwise the British Empire, and that we are to stand fast, and not to look for any progress towards the realisation of our national ideals, but thank God for the day that gave us the opportunity to walk into the British Empire, to reap the material fruits that our ability to swallow our principles enabled some persons opposite to gather?

Mr. T.J. O'Connell: Information on Tomas O'Connell  Zoom on Tomas O'Connell  When President Cosgrave was proposed as head of the Executive of the Free State in June, 1927, and again in September, 1927, we on these benches opposed his re-nomination and nothing has [448] transpired since that would give us any reason to change the opinions we then held, and we propose to vote against the nomination of President Cosgrave to-day. When speaking against the nomination of President Cosgrave in September, 1927, I gave it as one of my main reasons that I regarded his action as a political manoeuvre to get out of his promised obligations to the country and this House. He is due for election to-night because of another somewhat similar manoeuvre. I shall only say, in that connection, that it reflects no credit on President Cosgrave or his Ministry and it will reflect little credit on this House if they implement the action of the President in what is nothing more than a subterfuge in his attempt to get out of his obligations to this House. I do not think that in any country there would be found an action of the kind to which we have been treated by the President and his Ministers in thus, as it were, dodging—and that is the only word I can get to describe it—the vote passed here on Thursday night. The opposition to the various aspects of the President's policy has been expressed from these benches and from other benches. On every occasion that has offered itself we have expressed our position by our votes and it seems likely that we will have other opportunities afforded us in the future of again expressing that position and explaining it.

I do not intend at this hour to go into any matters of detail in that regard. I wish to say, in a general way, that my main objection to the policy of the present administration is that no real effort has ever been made by them to tackle the social evils which we are all agreed exist in this country. Anything that has been done has been nothing more than patchwork efforts. There has been no recognition, on the part of the present Ministry, of the fact that the State is nothing more than a collection of individuals. There has been no attempt to organise these individuals for the production of the necessaries of life, no attempt to organise the resources of the country [449] and no deliberate effort to see that the services of individuals who live in this State are used to the best possible advantage.

People require to be housed, fed, clothed and educated. These are the normal wants of the people, but, as I have said, no regular, organised, deliberate effort has been made at any time, or attempted in a big way, to see that the people of the country are set to work to provide these necessaries. The Government failed to appoint anybody whose specific work should be the encouragement and direction of economic development. We debated that point on more than one occasion in the House. We debated it on the Bill setting up the Tariff Commission, and on other matters relating to that Commission.

[An Leas-Cheann Comhairle took the Chair.]

We, from these benches, put forward the idea that it is not enough merely to have a body sitting who, if they are asked by some people interested in a particular industry, will consider the question whether or not that industry should be helped. They would then look into the question, but unless that question is put up to them they will simply take no action whatever. As I have said, in a general way, no action has been taken by the Government, and that is the main line of our objection to the present administration. One might very well think of the inhabitants of a country as something in the nature of a well-organised or well-ordered army marching to a recognised goal. Instead of that, we seem to have merely an undisciplined mob marching along if they are marching at all. They are certainly not all marching in the same direction. They are simply marching backwards and forwards, getting in one another's way, and generally hampering one another's efforts. We think it ought to be the duty of the body that is entrusted with the control and powers of the State to make a deliberate effort to see that some kind of order be brought out of chaos of that kind.

[450] It has often been said, from both sides of this House, that we on the Labour Benches have no remedy for the social evils that exist, except doles and schemes of relief. That is not the case. We have never proposed these except as mere temporary expedients, and that is all we have ever regarded them as. They are necessary as such, but as a permanent solution of our economic problem we do not regard them as effective. The object of a Government, with the powers that a Government possesses, should be to organise the resources of the country so as to secure increased wealth production and so make it possible to maintain our social services at the level which we all profess to wish they should be at.

There is one other remark I wish to make. It arises in connection with this election and what happened here to-day. The point I want to make is that the Government is elected from this House and not from a party. The action of the Labour Party to-day, which in some quarters was not treated as serious, was intended to show, among other things, that this House is not elected as, say, the British House of Commons is elected. It is elected under a system of P.R., and it is possible under that system to have a collection of groups in which no party will have a majority. It would be quite possible to have here five groups of thirty members each. If we had that, I wonder what position Deputy Haslet would be in?

Mr. Haslett: Information on Alexander Haslett  Zoom on Alexander Haslett  Do not worry about him.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  He would not be here at all.

Mr. O'Connell:  I am not ruling out Deputy Lemass from that class. The people who think and speak and make the observations that were made here to-day are really thinking of the British Parliamentary system with two or, possibly, three big parties, and not a collection of groups representing various interests in the country. What, after all, is Cumann na nGaedheal except a collection of [451] people representing various interests in the country. That is the real binding link between us in this House. Deputies who talked as some Deputies did to-day, were really thinking of a system which is altogether different from the system under which this Parliament is elected. I think it is right that should be said. There would be nothing wrong, although the suggestion was treated in a humorous fashion, if, for instance, Deputy Murphy was chosen by the House to form a Government. If he got the support of a certain number of people he would be entrusted by the House with the control of the nation's affairs, and would get support so long as, and only so long as, he and his Ministry carried out the wishes of the House as expressed by its votes here. The Minister for Finance spoke as if——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I want to hear the Deputy on the proposal before the House.

Mr. O'Connell:  I think I have said all I want to say on the proposal before the House. I will take another opportunity of dealing with the matter you have been so good as to allow me to develop to the extent you have. I seriously suggest that this is a matter the President or some member of his Ministry should give us some indication on, as to whether or not they intend to go on as they have been going, just continuing what I might call a hand-to-mouth policy on economic affairs, or whether they really intend to attack seriously and deliberately the question of organising our resources. There is no reason why we should not take into account the resources and the population of the country. We have not the same problems as they have in the great industrial country across the Channel. Ours is a different problem. We are in a better position to solve our economic evils than they are. The object of the Government ought to be to make a determined effort to solve our economic evils along the lines I have suggested.

[452]Dr. O'Higgins: Information on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Zoom on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  In supporting the motion before the House I will do so in very few words. One reason is, I think, the House has got an overdose of talking during the day and is anxious to know who is to be the President of the Executive Council to-morrow. It is not necessary for me to say many words in support of the proposal before the House, because the strength of Deputy Cosgrave's claim to re-election as President, and to a further vote of confidence in this House in his administration, depends not on words and formulas but on solid achievement. The evidence of his success, and the evidence of his policy, is to be seen in this very Chamber, and in our cities and towns outside, and in driving through the country. There have been changed circumstances right throughout the country in the last seven years. Deputy O'Connell spoke about social services. Throughout the country the land has passed into the hands of the people. Good decent houses have been built in the towns and cities. I regret that in this debate to-day the Fianna Fáil Party treated us entirely to another Treaty debate, forgetful of the fact that we are electing a President for 1930 and not for 1922. The real opinion of the people of this country is that what matters is what is going to be done to-morrow and not what people said or did in 1922. Deputy MacEntee asked us what we had done to achieve any measure of freedom for the people since 1922.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I did not ask that.

Dr. O'Higgins: Information on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Zoom on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  I may be misinterpreting the Deputy's meaning.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I asked did you still want the Crown, and still want enemy forces in your harbours, and still want partition.

Dr. O'Higgins: Information on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Zoom on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  The Deputy asked us what advantages we were taking from the Treaty.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  Do you want the Crown?

Dr. O'Higgins: Information on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Zoom on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  I am sorry if I misinterpreted the Deputy. I apparently [453] took him up incorrectly. I was proceeding to point out that we have freed the people from squalor and we have freed them from misery and darkness. These are solid measures of freedom which matter to the people of the country far more than phrases and formulas. Does Deputy O'Connell think the country is still in darkness? Does he think no houses have been built and no land purchased for the people?

Mr. T.J. O'Connell: Information on Tomas O'Connell  Zoom on Tomas O'Connell  He thinks enough houses have not been built.

Dr. O'Higgins: Information on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Zoom on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  With regard to our old age pensions, that question was discussed when Deputy Ward introduced his Bill. I was trying to confine myself to the proposition before the House, and the attitude of the Government on the old age pensions is that whatever money is there should go to the poor old age pensioners and not to the aristocrats among them, a select minority who have farms and people who have deposits in the banks. Deputy Cosgrave's policy is that whatever money there is should go to the poorest and not to the richest amongst the old age pensioners. Deputy MacEntee quoted from an article written in a journal in a language which I am sorry to say I do not understand, and I do not know whether or not it is understood by Deputy MacEntee, but the policy of the Government with regard to the Army was clearly expressed to-day by Deputy Hogan. This is the place for laying down policy and not the columns of a newspaper. Deputy MacEntee no doubt listened to that speech, in which Deputy Hogan outlined a policy which should satisfy all parties. It was a clear and definite pronouncement.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  But it was not made by Deputy Cosgrave.

Dr. O'Higgins: Information on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Zoom on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  It was made from Deputy Cosgrave's Front Bench and not repudiated by him.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  So was the other statement that the people had not the right to elect Eamonn de Valera.

[454]Dr. O'Higgins: Information on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Zoom on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  When a Fianna Fáil Deputy is speaking, we take it he is speaking for his Party, and we expect that when a Minister is speaking on a matter of policy it must be accepted that he is speaking for the Government. Quibbles of that kind get us nowhere.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Then the people have no right to elect Deputy de Valera?

Dr. O'Higgins: Information on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Zoom on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  We hold that the majority of this country have the right to do wrong, but Deputy de Valera differs from us. We are democrats, but the Republicans are too democratic to accept that principle. They have not the right to do wrong. If there is one obligation greater than others on Deputies in this House, it is the obligation of taking a decision on a matter that arises in the House. I can respect a man who takes a decision even if that decision is contrary to mine. I can respect people whose opinion differs from mine, but I have no respect for an individual elected for a constituency, and who comes here like Deputy O'Hanlon, and takes a studiously negative attitude on a day such as this.

To do anything positive you must offend somebody, but to adopt a negative attitude, an attitude of abstaining deliberately all through a day, is not what is expected from public men. The only thing which Deputy O'Hanlon achieved to-day was, as far as he could, to disfranchise Cavan. If we all adopted that attitude our lives might be a bit more peaceful, but I doubt if we would be doing the duty for which we were elected.

In conclusion, I would like to say that I am proud and happy to have an opportunity of supporting the proposition to elect William T. Cosgrave as President of the Executive Council. He was the pilot of the people in the bad days; he was the leader in the dark days; he was the man who built up this State to a certain definite extent. There is no reason why the people should have lost confidence in him. The pilot [455] that led us out of the wilderness is entitled to lead us now. We are in sight of prosperity, if we have not actually reached it, and I am happy to have this opportunity of supporting Deputy Cosgrave's nomination.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The proposer of this motion told us that the people's hearts would beat with joy when the announcement is made that Liam T. Mac Cosgair has been re-elected President of the Executive Council. I did not know why exactly——

Seosamh O Mongain: Information on Joseph William Mongan  Zoom on Joseph William Mongan  Abair an rud adubhairt mé. Ná habair rud ná dubhairt mé.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I took a note of what the Deputy said, and I am quite certain that my note is accurate. I was proceeding to say that I did not know why the people's hearts were to beat for joy until Deputy O'Higgins got on his feet. We have now been informed that Deputy Cosgrave's administration has abolished squalor, has abolished poverty, has given the land to the people, and has produced an era of prosperity the like of which we never knew before. I do not blame Deputy O'Higgins for talking in that manner. He is prosperous; he meets none but prosperous people from one end of the day to the other; he drives through Dublin in a motor car, and he lives very well indeed, I am sure, like all those with whom he is associated. But when he talks about squalor being abolished and poverty being non-existent, he talks nonsense, as many Deputies in the Cumann na nGaedheal Party know. There are 68,000 people in Dublin living in houses unfit for human habitation. Is that squalor or is it not? There are 50,000 unemployed. A quarter of a million people have emigrated while Deputy Cosgrave was President of the Executive Council because they were unable to get a livelihood in this country. That is his record, and it is because that is his record that I think the House would be well advised to reject the motion which is before it.

We get a good deal of this prosperity [456] talk from members of Cumann na nGaedheal, and particularly from members of the Executive Council. Deputy Blythe went to a meeting in Nenagh on Sunday last. There were forty people at that meeting, thirty-nine of whom arrived in motor cars and one in a pony trap. They were all prosperous, well fed, fat people. At that meeting there was the correct atmosphere in which the Minister for Finance could denounce this infamous proposal to spend another quarter of a million pounds on old age pensions. He did not propose to give that quarter of a million pounds to the poorest section of the community; he proposed to keep it in the Exchequer or to spend it on the reduction of income tax. At that meeting I have no doubt but that the Minister's speech got the most sympathetic consideration. There was not a single individual there who ever had or ever will have to study the qualifications to which a person must conform to get an old age pension. They were not concerned about old age pensions except in so far as they had to pay for them through taxation. All this prosperity talk occurs in a prosperous atmosphere, but if Deputies of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, including Deputy O'Higgins, will come for a walk with me through my constituency and see some of the squalor, some of the poverty, and some of the misery that exists there, they will not be so enthusiastic about the re-election of Deputy Cosgrave as President of the Executive Council.

The old age pensions was not the only matter that Deputy Blythe talked of at this select meeting in Nenagh on Sunday. He announced, on behalf of the British Government presumably, that if Fianna Fáil should attempt to assert its legal right to retain the land annuities England would retaliate by putting a tax of £1 per head on all cattle and other live animals leaving the country. No doubt the Minister for Finance was duly accredited by the British Government to represent it at that meeting, but we would like to be sure of that fact. We would [457] like to have it definitely stated that he had the authority of any British Minister, or any British politician, or any Englishman of any sort to make that statement.

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  A legal right.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I will go further. I will remind the House that I recently challenged Deputy Cosgrave, when he was President of the Executive Council, to produce an independent legal opinion to the effect that there is a legal obligation under the Treaty on the Free State Government to pay to England the amount of the land annuities. We have had opinions on that matter from such individuals as Deputy Rice and others who are associated with the policy or in the pay of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party. Since this land annuities controversy began there has not appeared one eminent legal man independent of the Government Party to give an opinion in support of that attitude. If Deputy Esmonde can produce one such eminent legal man we would be very interested, and particularly interested to note the progress in promotion that that individual will make during the next twelve months.

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  The Deputy will not——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Let the Deputy make his speech.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I want to get this matter of the threat made by the Minister for Finance at Nenagh cleared up. Was he authorised by the British Government to make that threat? I have noticed in English newspapers this year statements made by every British political leader to the effect that they would not agree under any circumstances to a tax being placed upon foodstuffs imported into Britain from British Dominions. None of these British political leaders thought fit to qualify that statement with a proviso that in the event of a Fianna Fáil Government being elected they would do what Deputy Blythe suggested—impose a tax of £1 per head on our cattle. Deputy Blythe has travelled a long way since 1922. [458] There was one time when he would not have been intimidated by thoughts of that kind, much less inclined to come out into the open to encourage the British Government to take such action in the event of a Fianna Fáil Government standing up for the legal rights of this country. Let it be quite clear that that was the function which the Minister for Finance was fulfilling on Sunday. He was in effect saying to the British Government: “If you take that action you can rely on the moral support of members of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party.” He was fighting England's battle against Ireland; he was supporting the English claim against the Irish claim; he was throwing his moral authority behind the British Government. It is to support that policy that Deputies are asked to re-elect Deputy Cosgrave as President. If they are content to do that, then let us have no more of these protestations that they are as anxious as we are to preserve the sovereignty and to protect the interests of this country.

The proposer of this motion said more than that the people's hearts were going to jump with joy when the motion was carried. He gave us one reason, at any rate, why we should re-elect Deputy Cosgrave—that he can deliver the goods, can bring corn instead of chaff. He has done so—Canadian corn, brought in here when the Canadian Wheat Pool thinks fit to let it in, and at prices which they think fit to charge. He can deliver the goods—British goods, delivered into towns where once factories existed for the production of the same goods. The history of his period in office has been one of stagnation and decline of industry. The story is one of unemployment and emigration, and I believe that the first step towards the revival of the prosperity of this country must be the removal of this Government from office. Deputy O'Connell, I think it was, remarked to-day that the people kept their heads remarkably well——

[459]Mr. T.J. O'Connell: Information on Tomas O'Connell  Zoom on Tomas O'Connell  Oh, no, I did not say that.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Some Deputy on the Labour Benches said that the people kept their heads remarkably well when Deputy Cosgrave's administration was defeated on Thursday and when he resigned on Friday. It is a good thing to have it established that the earth did not stop revolving when Deputy Cosgrave ceased to be President. If this political crisis has produced no other result but to get that idea firmly fixed in the minds of the people it was worth while.

The members of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party will not be able to go around foretelling earthquakes and other dire calamities if the Government is defeated at the next election. The Government has been defeated and nothing unusual has happened, except as has been remarked, a particularly prolonged debate. The Government's days are numbered. It is only a matter of a few weeks or a few months before their final exit from office. I think this House would be well advised to prepare the people for the day of prosperity that is coming by permitting a sample to be given now, by the election of some other Government. A minority Government in this House would not be able to do a great deal for the people in existing circumstances, but they could do something; they could break them in gently to the possibilities of prosperity, the prosperity that will come when a pro-Irish Government, with a pro-Irish economic policy, sets out to repair the damage they have caused. I think the greatest mistake this House could make would be to pass the motion now before us. If there was one thing more than another likely to destroy all hope of improvement in the future, to encourage increased emigration, and possibly a few suicides, it would be the re-election of Deputy Cosgrave.

When it was announced on Friday last that he had resigned a great wave of optimism and hope spread over the whole country, and people seemed to awaken as from a sleep, to [460] view the prospect of brighter days in the near future. Now their hopes are going to be dashed to the ground. I appeal to you not to do that. At one time Deputies sitting on the benches opposite must have had some interest in the welfare of the Irish people. Let them search down into the bottom of their hearts now, and see if they cannot find there some justification, some motive for opposing this motion. If we reject the motion now before us we will have produced a position of stalemate. We can reconsider the matter to-morrow and possibly hammer out a means of carrying on an efficient government until the people are given a chance at the coming election to clear out the Cumann na nGaedheal Party altogether, as I have no doubt they will. The proposer of the motion and Deputy O'Higgins referred to Deputy Cosgrave as the captain of a ship, guiding it into port. The “Irish Independent” published a photograph of him at the wheel this morning. The ship is a long way from port still and there are many rocks in the way and if I know anything about Deputy Cosgrave we are bound to hit every one of these rocks.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  As I understand this debate is going to conclude at 11.30, I have only a few remarks to make. Deputy Lemass spoke of the country waking up as from a sleep and seeing the great prospect that was before it, when it heard of the resignation of the President. Personally I would say that when I wake up every morning I wonder what new pronunciamento there is from Deputy Lemass as to what the new policy of the Fianna Fáil Party is. Hardly a day passes now in which we have not a full statement of what the policy is, not necessarily the same as the statement the week before, but, at all events, we have undoubtedly a rather long statement from him practically once a day.

The motion before the House is to elect William T. Cosgrave President of the Executive Council. I need not dilate on his qualities. The history [461] of Ireland for many years past is, to a large extent, a biography of the candidate whose name is now before the House for election. He was called to look after the destinies of this country in a particularly troubled time, and, as far as he is concerned, I can say—and I think the majority of this House will agree—that there are very few people in any country that could have faced that particular task as well, as courageously, and as ably as he has done. It is easy to criticise, it is easy for one Deputy after another in the different Opposition Benches to get up and propose expenditure. What one of them will come down with the £30,000,000 Budget that would be necessary to carry through any of the policies, or half of the improvements, that they have outlined? It is very easy to demand money. The responsibility is not theirs for raising it. When it comes, as we have had occasion to point out again and again, to spending money we are faced in this House with opposition to anything in the nature of increased taxation. I heard the beginning of a speech of one Deputy on the Front Opposition Bench. I think he availed of the occasion immediately to start with the complaint that there was increased taxation. The same day that that complaint was made from the Front Opposition Bench, one of the members of his own Party proposed the Second Reading of a Bill that would increase expenditure to the extent of £300,000. It is easy to complain of high taxation on the one hand and to make various proposals for more and more expenditure on the other hand. Everybody would like to expend money on different social services. Nothing is easier than that. We have had many years' experience of that kind of demand from the different parties that will not accept the responsibility of imposing the necessary taxation on the people. This evening the Minister for Local Government pointed out the contrast there was between allowances paid to widows in certain counties and old age pensions. Why was there no agitation in these [462] counties for increased pensions? The people who demand increased expenditure here know perfectly well they would incur unpopularity if they made any such demand, because in local matters the connection between expenditure and taxation is very clearly realised.

Deputy Lemass pretends—and how he could make the pretence after the speeches we have had to-day I do not know—that the Labour Party and this Party kept the 1922 issue alive. Not once was the 1922 situation referred to from these benches or from the Labour Benches. What we are insisting on is not the attitude of Deputy Lemass's Party to the Treaty in 1922; what we are insisting on—and we never got an answer to it—is his attitude to the Treaty in 1930. That is a question we would like to have answered. At all events, so far as our policy is concerned, it ought to be clear to the different parties in this House that not vague promises, not mere generalities, but the details of that policy is what is required.

Whenever the Parliament sits, practically every hour of parliamentary time is given to a discussion of the policy of the Government, directly or indirectly. Nothing else except an occasional Bill in which the Government is not interested one way or another is discussed in this House. So the one thing that ought to be clear in this House is the policy of the Government. I wonder have Deputies any conception at all of the extraordinary tasks undertaken by the Deputy whose name is now before the House for nomination and his Government for the last eight years? Have they any conception of the difficulties of taking a country that had emerged from different revolutions and wars and putting it on a solid foundation, putting it on the road to work out its own destiny in a sensible and orderly manner?

I know very few countries in which a similar problem was faced and solved with more skill and success than it has been solved in this particular country. I can only say that there must be extraordinary [463] ignorance on the part of the Deputies who criticise the immense amount of work that has been done in a progressive way in the last eight years, very extraordinary ignorance of the difficulties one country after another that had been immersed in revolution had to face. The policy of this Government is clear. It is not now, and never has been, out for stunts. It does not intend to win the favour of the electorate by any stunt or by any promises. The President has had an extremely difficult task to perform during the last eight years. Remember, the measures that are now considered to be to the advantage of the country and are now accepted by everybody, when they were introduced by this Government and passed in the teeth of different types of opposition, received nothing but criticism from the people who now oppose this Government and who acknowledge that the schemes are good. I think we incurred, so far as the country is concerned, more unpopularity by the good work we did than we are incurring now for a great deal of the work we are doing or for our lack of enterprise in tackling various problems.

I remember perfectly well when the various Bills of the Minister for Agriculture came to be put into effect the country there was in the country. It was pointed out to us that there was no chance of people any longer supporting us, if we insisted in enforcing these Bills for the improvement of butter and cattle in the country. It was the same thing with the Shannon scheme. Every bit of good legislation that is now acknowledged by practically everyone in this country to have been for the good of the country was opposed with the same bitterness and the Government met with the same criticism that we have listened to here for the last two and a half hours. Let us realise this. A country that was kept in subjection as long as this country was kept in subjection, a country that, as I say, had been buoyed up with the hopes that are inseparably connected with revolution, [464] entered into its new existence and it expects its Government to do a great deal more things than any Government is ever capable of doing.

There is no difficulty for Deputies to come in here, propose various remediable measures, or social legislation, leave the unpopular, the impossible task sometimes, of finding the necessary means for them to the Government and then opposing them when they propose the necessary means. We have been criticised—I think Deputy O'Connell criticises us —as indulging in a trick. I am surprised at a person belonging to a Party that always expresses a high respect for constitutional principles saying that. The Deputy had begun his opening speech by saying that the Government had done the right thing to resign and give the Dáil an opportunity. Now he looks on that right conduct as a trick.

Mr. O'Connell:  Not the resignation, surely.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  We gave the House an opportunity of selecting various other Presidents.

Mr. O'Connell:  And took good care that they would not be allowed to select them.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  We are bound to follow the Deputy's advice. We cannot exercise our own free judgment as to whether he is a proper person to take control of the Executive Council. Take the bodies that were opposed to the Government last week. Where is the unity amongst them? Deputy O'Connell said that the last man he would vote for would be Deputy de Valera, and Deputy MacEntee and the others would not go to the trouble of voting at all, either for or against Deputy O'Connell. What chance is there under conditions of that kind of any other body taking on the task of Government except the President who has taken it on up to the present? If there was such complete lack of unity between these two parties [465] I suggest it is very unfair to throw the blame on this side.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  But they coalesced when it was a question of voting against Deputy de Valera.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  They had at least the courage to vote. They did not sit on the benches and take no interest whatsoever. Deputy MacEntee and the others profess great interest in the carrying through of the Old Age Pensions Bill. I suggest to them that it would be better if they had decided to support Labour. There was a much better chance, if they had supported Labour, because there was a possibility that some Independents who would not vote for Deputy de Valera would vote for Deputy O'Connell.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  What a possibility.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  We have had various policies put forward in the absence of the chief by the Deputies on the opposite side.

A Deputy:  What are you giving the Unionists?

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  We are giving them nothing. Everybody who supports this Government supports them, I think, for the one reason because they think this Government and its policy is the best policy for the country. We have never entered [466] into any arrangements with any party.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Does the Minister really believe that?

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  What about the Farmers?

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  They support us also because they believe, as was clearly expressed by the leader of the Farmers' Party, as the Deputy could have seen in yesterday's newspapers, that it is in their best interests to support us and oppose others.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Posts and Telegraphs?

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Deputy MacEntee is disorderly when he makes his own speech. He is disorderly when anybody else is speaking. The habits of a schoolboy debating society should be kept out of this Dáil. As I say, we can urge on behalf of this nomination that of the different candidates proposed here to-day the one whose policy is known in detail and whose record can stand examination is the candidate who was proposed by Deputy Mongan and whose name is now before the House.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Minister for Education tried to keep his face straight when he said that.

Question put.

Aird, William P.
Alton, Ernest Henry.
Beckett, James Walter.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Blythe, Ernest.
Bourke, Séamus A.
Brennan, Michael.
Brodrick, Seán.
Byrne, John Joseph.
Carey, Edmund.
Coburn, James.
Cole, John James.
Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
Conlon, Martin.
Connolly, Michael P.
Cosgrave, William T.
Craig, Sir James.
Daly, John.
Davis, Michael.
De Loughrey, Peter. [467]Jordan, Michael.
Kelly, Patrick Michael.
Keogh, Myles.
Law, Hugh Alexander.
Leonard, Patrick.
Lynch, Finian.
Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
McDonogh, Martin.
MacEóin, Seán.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Murphy, James E.
Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
Myles, James Sproule.
Nally, Martin Michael.
Nolan, John Thomas.
O'Connell, Richard.
O'Connor, Bartholomew.
Doherty, Eugene.
Dolan, James N.
Doyle, Peadar Seán.
Duggan, Edmund John.
Dwyer, James.
Egan, Barry M.
Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Good, John.
Gorey, Denis J.
Haslett, Alexander.
Hassett, John J.
Heffernan, Michael R.
Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
Hennessy, Thomas.
Hennigan, John.
Henry, Mark.
Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
Holohan, Richard. [468]O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Higgins, Thomas.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
O'Reilly, John J.
O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, William Archer.
Reynolds, Patrick.
Rice, Vincent.
Roddy, Martin.
Shaw, Patrick W.
Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
Thrift, William Edward.
Tierney, Michael.
Vaughan, Daniel.
White, John.
White, Vincent Joseph.
Wolfe, George.
Wolfe, Jasper Travers.

Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Denis.
Anthony, Richard.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Boland, Patrick.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Seán.
Briscoe, Robert.
Broderick, Henry.
Buckley, Daniel.
Carney, Frank.
Carty, Frank.
Cassidy, Archie J.
Clery, Michael.
Colbert, James.
Cooney, Eamon.
Corkery, Dan.
Corish, Richard.
Corry, Martin John.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Tadhg.
Davin, William.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doyle, Edward.
Everett, James.
Fahy, Frank.
Flinn, Hugo.
Fogarty, Andrew.
French, Seán.
Gorry, Patrick J.
Goulding, John.
Hayes, Seán.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Houlihan, Patrick.
Jordan, Stephen.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Kent, William R.
Kerlin, Frank.
Killilea, Mark.
Kilroy, Michael.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Maguire, Ben.
McEllistrim, Thomas.
MacEntee, Seán.
Moore, Séamus.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Mullins, Thomas.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
O'Connell, Thomas J.
O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
O'Kelly, Seán T.
O'Leary, William.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
O'Reilly, Thomas.
Powell, Thomas P.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Ryan, James.
Sexton, Martin.
Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
Smith, Patrick.
Tubridy, John.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C.

Motion declared carried.

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I beg, sir, to return thanks to the Dáil for this great honour which has been conferred upon me. I propose, with the help of God, to carry out the duties of the office to the best of my ability. I move the adjournment of the Dáil till 3 o'clock to-morrow.

The Dáil adjourned at 11.40 p.m. until 3 o'clock on Thursday, 3rd April.


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