Constitution (Amendment No. 17) Bill, 1931—Allocation of Time Motion.

Wednesday, 14 October 1931

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 40 No. 1

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The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I move:

“I gcás an Bhille Bhunreachta (Leasú Uimh. 17), 1931, go dtabharfar dhá lá do chéimeanna eile an Bhille, agus Céimeanna an Rúin Airgid d'áireamh, agus go raghfar ar aghaidh leis na Céimeanna mar leanas:-

(a) Cuirfear sios Dara Céim an Bhille mar chead ghno Rialtais go bhfreasabhra Déardaoin, Deire Fomhair 15adh, 1931, agus mara mbeidh na himeachta bhaineann leis an gCéim sin críochnuithe roimh 6.30 p.m. an lá san críochnófar iad an uair sin tríd an gceist seo do chur ón gCathaoir laithreach. eadhon, Go léightear an Bille Bunreachta (Leasú Uimh. 17), 1931, an dara huair anois, agus tar éis na huaire sin an lá san ní cuirfear Ceist ar bith ón gCathaoir i dtaobh aon leasuithe bheidh curtha síos le déanamh ar an tairisgaint go ndeintear an dara léigheamh:

(b) Breithneofar Céim Choiste agus Céim Thuarasgabhála an Ruin Airgid agus Céim Choiste an Bhille díreach ar chríochnú Dara Céime an Bhille Déaraoin, Deire Fomhair 15adh, 1931, agus mara mbeidh na himeachta bhaineann leis na Céimeanna san críohuithe roimh 10 p.m. an lá san críochnófar iad an uair sin tré aon cheisteanna is gá chun na n-imeacht do chríochnú do chur ón gCathaoir láithreach agus i ndiaidh a chéile: Ach tar éis na huaire sin an lá san ní cuirfear Ceist ar bith ón gCathaoir i dtaobh aon leasuithe bheidh curtha síos le déanamh ar an Rún Airgid ná i dtaobh aon leasuithe bheidh curtha síos le déanamh ar an mBille nách leasú do chuir an Rialtas síos agus is sa bhfuirm seo bheidh an Cheist i dtaobh a leithéide sin de leasú, eadhon, Go ndeintear an leasú; agus tar éis na huaire ceaptha isi Cest a cuirfear ón g Cathaoir chun na n-imeacht i gCoiste ar an mBille do chríochnú láithreach ná Go bhfanaidh an tAlt, na hailt mar chuid de Bhille agus gurb iad an Sceideal agus an Teideal a bheidh mar Sceideal agus mar Theideal don Bhille, no go bhfanaidh an tAlt, na hAilt (mar do Leasuíodh, má rinneadh leasuithe) mar chuid den Bhille agus gurb iad an Sceideal agus an Teideal (mar do leasuíodh, má rinneadh leasuithe) a bheidh mar Sceideal agus mar Theideal don Bhille (pe'ca ceist acu is gá);

(c) Cuirfear síos Céim Thuarasgabhála an Bhille mar chéad ghnó Rialtais go bhfreasabhra Dé hAoine, 16adh Deire Fomhair, 1931, agus mara mbeidh na himeachta bhaineann leis an gCéim sin críochnuithe romh 12 meán lae an lá san criochnófar iad an uair sin tré sna Ceisteanna is gá chun na n-imeacht do chríochnú do chur ón gCathaoir láithreach, agus tar éis na huaire ceaptha ní cuirefear Ceist ar bith ón gCathaoir i dtaobh aon leasuithe nách leasú do chuir an Rialtar síos, agus is sa bhfuirm seo bheidh an Cheistg i dtaobh a leithéide sin de leasu, eadhon, Go ndeitear an leasú;

(d) Breithneofar Cúigiú Céim an [29] Bhille díreach ar chríochnu na Ceathrú Céime Dé hAoine, Deire Fomhair 16adh 1931, mara mheidh na himeahta bhaineann leis an gCéim sin críochauithe roimh 1.30 p.m. an lá san crochnófar iad an unair sin tríd an gCeist is gá chun ns n-imeacht do chríochnú do chur ón gCathaoir láithreach.

That in the case of the Constitution (Amendment No. 17) Bill, 1931, two days shall be given to the remaining Stages of the Bill, including the Stages of the Money Resolution, and the Stages shall be proceeded with as follows:-

(a) The Second Stage of the Bill shall be set down as first Government opposed business on Thursday, October 15th, 1931, and the proceedings on that Stage, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 6.30 p.m. on that day by putting from the Chair forthwith the question, That the Constitution (Amendment No. 17) Bill, 1931, be now read a second time, and after the said hour on the said day no Question shall be put from the Chair on any amendment set down to the motion for Second Reading;

(b) The Committee and Report Stages of the Money Resolution and the Committee Stage of the Bill shall be considered immediately on the conclusion of the Second Stage of the Bill on Thursday, October 15th, 1931, and the proceedings on these stages, if not previously concluded shall be brought to a conclusion at 10 p.m. on that day by putting from the Chair forthwith and successively any questions necessary to bring the proceedings to a conclusion: Provided that after the said hour on the said day on Question shall be put from the Chair on any amendment set down to the Money Resolution, nor upon any amendment set down to the Bill save an amendment set down by the Government, and the Question on such an amendment shall be in the from. That the amendment be made; and after the appointed time the Question to be put from the Chair to bring the proceedings in Committee on the Bill forthwith to a [30] conclusion shall be (as the case may require), That the Section, the Sections stand part of and that the Schedule and the Title be the Schedule and the Title to the Bill, or, That the Section, the Sections, the Schedule and the Title (as amended, if amendments have been made) stand part of and be the Schedule and the Title to the Bill;

(c) The Report Stage of the Bill shall be set down as first Government opposed business on Friday, 16th October, 1931, and the proceedings on that Stage, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 12 noon on that day by putting from the Chair forthwith the Questions necessary to bring the proceedings to conclusion, and after the appointed time on Question shall be put from the Chair upon any amendment save an amendment set down by the Government, and the Question on such an amendment shall be in the form, That the amendment shall be made;

(d) The Fifth Stage of the Bill Shall be considered immediately on the conclusion of the fourth Stage on Friday, October 16th, 1931 and the proceeding on that Stage, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 1.30 p.m. on that day by putting from the Chair forthwith the Question necessary to bring the proceedings to a conclusion.”

The best justification of this motion is the immediate necessity for the power which are sought to be conferred in this measure. That necessity will best be understood when I have explained the situation which renders the measure necessary. The long title of this Bill explains the scope and purpose of the Bill itself and the aim and intention of the Government in introducing it. It is pre-eminently a Bill to safeguard the rights of the people and to ensure to them the full and peaceable enjoyment of those right. The Constitution of the Irish Free State when adopted in 1922 was hailed as one of the most democratic Constitutions in the world. The new State was founded on principles guaranteeing to the individual the full enjoyment within the law of civil and political right and securing through [31] the medium of adult suffrage and proportional representation a menthod by which the will of the people as a whole could best be expressed and given effect to. Under the Constitution there is full and untrammelled liberty for any person to advocate and recommend to his fellow-citizens, openly by speech and writing, the adoption of any political programme whatsoever, even the adoption of different forms of Government and to put his programme into operation as soon as he has induced a majority of the citizens to support it in the polling booths. There is therefore, no shadow of an excuse for the adoption of violent or extra constitutional methods in order to attain political ends. Unfortunately such methods have been adopted. The rights of the people have been attacked, and the Parliamentary institutions set up under the Constitution have been menaced by the actions of persons relatively small in numbers who have elected themselves as dictators of the policy which the country should adopt, and who have endeavoured to enforce their dictatorship by means of violence, intimidation and murder. The object of this Bill is to protect the ordinary law-abiding citizen and the country as a whole from such unwarranted invasions of his rights. As the Bill aims at safeguarding constitutional rights, it is proper that its provisions should be inserted as an Article in the Constitution. When the Bill becomes law no hardship or disability of any kind will be imposed on any law-abiding individual or section of the community whatever his or their political opinions may be. Nothing in the Bill forbids the advocacy of any political ideals. We only ask that the advocate shall not speak with a gun in his hand.

Since the establishment of the constitution the Government of the Iris Free State has endeavoured to direct all its energies to the economic reconstruction and development of the country. That task, difficult in itself and rendered all the more difficult by reson of the depressing economic conditons almost universally prevailing during the past few years, has been [32] rendered almost impossible because of the existence in this country of the menace, never altogether removed, of unconstitutional action and revolt. On more than one occasion since the establishment of the State our energies have had to be diverted from the great work of economic regeneration because the very foundations of all economic and civil life were in jeopardy. And now, at a time of unparalleled financial stringency and depression, we have once again to pause in our work. This time the meanace must be removed once and for all. This Bill furnishes the means for doing so. The powers and machinery provided by this Bill are necessary, not merely for this Government but for any Government that may be in power if the will of the majority of the people is to precail.

There are people who affect to be unaware of any reason why legislation of this kind should be introduced; people who say “What is all the trouble about? Where are the criminals whose repression is so urgent?”

It is really very difficulty to believe that there is any sincerity behind this attitude. Nobody adopts such an attitude about other important but less fundamental matters of public concern which are no more obvious; nobody pretends to doubt that there is a housing shortage, or a tariff problem, but many people who can see these things quite plainly affect not to be able to see all any serious threat to the peace and order of the State.

I cannot see how anybody can take the line that there is not at the present moment a widely organised conspiracy to overthrow by force the Constitution and Government of the State, and that the conspirators are ready to use murder freely as a means to that end. But if any man has any shadow of doubt that the murders or other numerous outrages of all kinds, which have recently been perpetrate, might be susceptible of any other explanation than that they are the result of such a conspiracy, he has only got to read the principal organ of the conspiracy, the weekly paper calling itself “An Phoblacht,” which, week in and [33] week out, preaches the conspirators, that the true Government of the State is vested in the Army Council of the Irish Republican Army, that the Oireachtas is a mere cover or instrument of British usurpation, that the police and the courts maintaintned by us have no more authority, and that the murder of any State servant is a perfectly proper procedure and is in Fact, the only immediately practical step towards a Republic. These doctrines are preached with a directness, with a continuous incitement to violence and crime which I do not believe has a parallel in any other State in the world.

On the 14th February last, Immediately after the murder of Patrick Carroll, who was murdered because he gave information to the police repecting the I.R.A., this paper published an editorial headed “Executed by the I.R.A.”, in which the murder we explained and justified. On the 7th March it published an editorial explaining that “British Imperialism” could not be overthrown by mere votes and exhorting the leaders of Fianna Fáil to be prepared, when in power to shoot “not the I.R.A. but those who stand for English rule in Ireland,” which is its stock designation for the present Government and its supporters. On the 21st March it promised that the guns would soon make themselves heard. On the 28th March it justified the murder of Superintendent Curtin. On the 4th April is asked for recruits for the I.R.A. On the 9th May it advocated open drilling. On the 16th May it warned the Gárdai not to interfere with political crime. On the 23rd May it said that British Imperialism in this country could be overthrown by armed force only. On the 29th June it remarked “there are rifles in Ireland still” and that they would be used by the Volunteers. On the same day it deplored the discovery of the kilakee dump but consoled its readers with the reminder “there are at least some hundreds of such dumps” still available. On the 29th August it threatened the Minister for Justice by name with “the gun.” There is hardly a week's issue from which similar excerpts could not be [34] made. This journal boasts that it has a circulation three times as great as that any other weekly paper published in this State, and whether that boast is true or not it is certain that it has a considerable circlation among young men. We have passed Acts of Parliament to protect our young men from the dangers of licentious and indecent publications. It is time, I submit, that we protected them also from the continuous stream of incitement to crime.

As another instance of their efforntery and contempt for the people of Ireland who have elected this Dáil, I may refer to a recent interview accorded in the offices of “An Phoblacht” to the special correspondent of the “Daily Express” By Frank Ryan and Geoffrey Coulter. It appeared in the English edition on the 24th August, 1931. Here is the interview:

They spoke with a freedom that staggered me. They answered with astonishing candour questions I felt sure they would dodge.

They told me exactly what the I.R.A. stands for, and the lengths to which it is prepared to go to achieve these objects. They told me plainly that the I.R.A. believes in force, and, in certain circumstances, the taking of human life.

We had a long discussion on the ethics of killing, and Mr. Ryan disclosed to me all the considerations which decide the question of whether the death penalty should or should not be enforced.

And at the end of our long conversation they both assured me they had no objection to the publication of the interview, and they gave me full permission to use their names.

Both declared that they were speaking only as individuals and both are well qualified to expound the policy of the I.R.A.

I opened the interview by asking if it was true the I.R.A. objected to the “Daily express” using words like “murder” and “assassination” when referring to the shooting of unarmed men. “Yes,” said Mr. Ryan, “the shooting to which you referred were not murder; they were acts of [35] war. You must remember this, the Irish Republican Army is still at war with Britain.

“We regard the Free State Ministers merely as the agents of Britain. We shall not lay down our rms until we have achieved the object Irishmen have been fighting for these many years—a completely independent republic for all Ireland. The ‘Daily Express’ has represented us as a gang of terrorists who have only a small following in Ireland. We say that we represent the majority of the Irish nation.

“We have to meet force by force. That is why the I.R.A. will not surrender their arms. Let me tell you the inside story of these shootings you have called murders. Take the case of Supt. Curtin. As you say, he was shot after he had conducted a prosecution for illegal drilling. But that is not all the story. Supt. Curtin belonged to the Civic Guards, which is supposed to be an unarmed force that does not concern itself with political affairs. Supt. Curtin exceeded his duty. He went out of his way to persecute the I.R.A.

“We draw a distinction between members of the Civic Guard and the men in the C.I.D.,” went on Mr. Ryan. “The Civic Guard have no right to interfere in matters that do not concern them. If they ask for trouble they must not be surprised if they get it.

“Our attitude towards the C.I.D. is different. They are recruited for political work. It is their job to hunt us down, and while we do not like it we realise they are only doing what they are paid for. Therefore, we bear them no ill-will.

“There are three armed detectives watching this office at this moment.”

Mr. Ryan went over to the window and looked down on the busy street.

“I have only to give the word, he said, and every C.I.D. man would be wiped off the streets of Dublin to night. It is not fear that hold us back.”

I believe that when Frank Ryan said this he was saying nothing more than what he believed was the truth.

“You ask about the other shooting,” Ryan went on when he was back at his desk. “Take the case of the farm labourer who gave evidence for [36] Curtin. He was nothing else than a traitor.

Then there was Carroll, the young man found dead in a Co. Dublin lane. This is the truth about him. He was an agent provocateur. One night he met two Republicans, and handed them parcels of explosives and told them to take them to some of their friends round the corner. That was a police trap. It does not matter how it was known. Many curious things come to our ears. Who can say that Carroll did not meet with his deserts if his head was blown off with one of his own bombs? Military organisation cannot tolerate spies or traitors. But let me tell you this—these things are not decided lightly. Decisions are made only with very, very great reluctance. Traitors must be punished, but there are fewer in our ranks than anywhere else. Almost every day our men are offered bribes to betray us to the police. One man who works in this office was offered £5 a week to give away information.”

I invited Mr. Ryan to tell me how the I.R.A. proposed to overthrow the Free State Government. “All I am going to say is this,” was his reply, “one of these days there will be crowds in the street, and they will not be dispersed by baton charges. You know the old saying that England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity. England will be engaged in another great war soon. Then she will try to take advantage of the provisions of the Treaty for garrisoning ports in Ireland. That will be the end of England's rule in Ireland.”

I quote this interview because it epitomises the doctrines that have been for months preached in “An Phoblacht” and because it is an example of the ideas that pring from perverted patriotism and ignorance of fundamental Christian teaching.

No State could remain in existence if such people were allowed to preach their doctrines freely and to enjoy the immunity that has been theirs under existing conditions.

The existence of a serious conspiracy against the State, determined to bring about its overthrow by force, has become increasingly evident in the last tow years and especially during [37] the last nine months. This conspiracy has found expression through a number of organisations, partly independent of each other; some of them having definite affiliation, others being kept in touch by means of a certain overlapping of their controlling personnel, but all united in the immediate work that is to be undertaken, namely the overthrow by force of the existing State, as the necessary preliminary to the realisation of their utimate aim.

Among these may be mentioned the I.R.A. an avowedly military organisation, responsible to nobody but its own chiefs. Its numbers, activities and crimes have increased in recent times, and have in many cases struck terror into the hearts of the ordinary law-abiding citizen.

Closely allied with it, leading it material assistance and encouragement, is the Cumann na mBan which has taken a large part in the campaign of terrorisation, and in the breakdown of the judicial system. To it are affiliated various other organisations of women with the same general objectives. Future recruitment, active assistance, and the inculcation of subversive doctrines into the youth are secured by the existence of Fianna Eireann. There are also a number of Communistic Groups such as “The Irish Friends of Soviet Russia,”“The Irish Communist Party,”“The Irish Working Farmers' Committee,” the “Workers' Revolutionary Party in Ireland,” the “Irish National Unemployed Movement,” the “Workers' Defence Corps,” and the “Irish Labour Defence League.”

The members of this conspiracy have not only committed one crime after another against the State and against the public, but have made a marked advance in the openness with which they acknowledge their crime, and the vigour with which they repudiate the efforts of apologists to clear them of the guilt. They have shown themselves more eager and ready openly to assume the functions of properly constituted authority. Efforts to suggest that their crimes are the work of others are abandoned, and [38] they claim the right to “execute,” they deploy as an army, and proclaim public meetings. And all the time there is not even a semblance of sanction, moral or political, for their usurpations and actions.

The methods by which these dangerous organisations endeavour to enforce their will on the people are varied and terrifying and their overt acts have in recent months become more daring and more apparent. Intimidation is a powerful weapon, unfortunately too well known in this country, and it has been employed to the full limit of its terrible power. Young men, desirous only of attending to their ordinary business, have been forced by threats to join the I.R.A. and their employers forced to dismiss from their employment men who refused to join the Association. Threatening notices and letters are daily commonplaces. Witnesses or potential witnesses in State prosecutions are prevented by threats from giving evidence or information, and the detection of even ordinary crime is rendered difficult by the presence and dread of intimidation. Since the commencement of the present year —that is, during a period of less than ten months—numerous dumps of arms and ammunition have been discovered by the police; several murders and attempted murders have been effected; drilling has become common all over the country and numerous miscellaneous crime perpetrated. Let me give a summery of the crime during that period:—

On the 30th January Patrick Carroll was murdered by armed men at Captain's Lane, Crumlin. He was a member of the I.R.A. but was discovered by that organisation to have been giving information to the police. Deputies will remember that an attempt was made to attribute this murder to the police, who were in fact attacked during his funeral. On 21st March, Superintendent Curtin was murdered by armed men at Tipperary as he was returning home from duty at night. He had conducted a local prosecution for illegal drilling shortly before. On 20th July, John Ryan of Tipperary was taken by armed men at night from the house where he was employed and murdered on the roadside [39] and the body left there. He had made statements to the police in connection with the same drilling charges as led to the murder of Superintendent Curtin. John Ryan was murdered because he refused to commit perjury. For these crime it has been impossible to make any person amenable.

On 23rd April, at night, two young men crossing the Dublin mountains were fired upon by an armed drilling party and one of them was severely wounded.

On 1st August shots were fired into a dance hall at Drumreilly, County Leitrim.

On 12th September, Mr. William McInerney, of Kilrush, was fired at when entering his own house and seriously wounded.

On 15th September, shots were fired into the house of the State Solicitor for County Clare.

On 18th July warders from Mountjoy Prison were attacked, whist off duty, by armed and one of them was handcuffed to an iron rail and chained by the neck and legs.

On 11th October, an attempt was made by armed men to release the brothers Gilmore from Mountjoy Perison. Five or Six armed men entered a house adjoining the prison and held up the occupants.

On 14th April, in order to embarrass a political function, the electric cable at Tipperary was malicioulsy damage so as to dislocate the lighting arrangements.

On 15th April, Dublin shopkeepers were visited and ordered not to sell imported sweets.

On 11th May, the lighting arrangements at Tralee were interfered with for the same motive as in the case of Tipperary on 14th April.

On 21st May, an armed assault and an attempt at arson was made at the North Wall to prevent the importation of English-made sweets.

On 12th July, the railways, buses, and telegraph lines in Kerry were interfered with order to prevent attendance at the Garda Sports at Tralee.

On 9th August, the railway line at Dore (West Triconaill) was blocked with boulders; the railway telephone [40] wires were cut at Puck (East Triconaill) and the main road from Stranolar to Letter kenny was blocked with stones. The police were fired on when they interfered. Special trains had been arranged to attend the Garda Sports at Letter kenny. At Clonkeen (Portlaighise) 40 telephone and telegraph wire were cut, delaying a Dublin special to the Gárda Sports at Clonmel.

On 12th August, a public meeting at Cootehill, County Cavan (Orange Meeting) was prevented by the I.R.A. The railway line was torn up. It was subsequently announced that this was done by order of the Cavan Brigade, I.R.A.

On 24th August, a party of Boy Scouts camping at Dunleer were visited at night by about 20 armed men and their hut burned down.

On 12th January, 1931, a threatening poster was sent to Dublin residents with a view to influencing them as jurors.

On 6th February, 1931, several men were found openly drilling at Tipperary.

On 23rd April, 1931, Dublin jurors received intimidating posters.

On 30th April, 1931, a resident of Tipperary received a threatening letter signed “I.R.A.” ordering him to leave the country.

On 5th April, 1931,a very large number of men, approximately 100, were found drilling at Dangan in Offaly under Sean McGuinness who was at that time an escaped prisoner.

On 14th April, 1931, drilling took place at Loughanure, County Donegal. One of the men was in the possession of a revolver

On 18th May, 1931, a determined attempt was made to break into the explosive magazine at Mooretown, Castleknock. Gelignite was used in the attempt.

On the 21st June, 1931, a large assembly of I.R.A. units was convened for Bodenstown under cover of the Wolfe Tone Commemoration.

On 12th September, 1931, a recently completed Garda Station at Kilreacle, Co. Galway, was blown up.

Crime being the stock-in-trade of the conspirators it was essential that they should endeavour to provide themselves with immunity from their crimes. The [41] campaign to secure immunity has been conducted in a thorough-going manner; the methods adopted have been progressively bolder and more ruthless.

The police and Courts of Justice are the institutions of the State for the enforcement of law and the punishment of the offender. The attack upon the police, notwithstanding that some of them were murdered in the course of their duty, did not succeed in breaking the morale of the force, though it has succeeded in greater or less measure in different districts in rendering nugatory their efforts to detect offenders guilty of any crime which is associated, however remotely, with the activities of the conspiracy. The attack upon the Courts, on the other hand, has been a complete success. At the present moment, so far as what is loosely termed political crime is concerned, large bodies of the people have been prevented by terror from giving the necessary assistance to the police, so that evidence other than police evidence cannot be procured for production in Court, and juries, even in face of the most definite proof, refuse to convict. These facts are known to everybody who reads the daily Press.

For some years prior to 1929, efforts were made to influence jurors to refrain from conviction of persons charged with offences against the State. They were circularised and visited by members of the Irish Republican Army and of Cumann na mBan. This process of intimidation met with indifferent success, and although miscarriages of justice occurred from time to time, the jury system was in the main unimpaired. In that year, however, a new situation was created. Political pressure in the Dáil, combined with the fact that there had been an absence of serious political crime for a considerable period, induced the Government in December, 1928, to consent to repeal special legislation for the repression of anti-State activities, and within two months of the repeal one witness (Armstrong) was murdered and a juror (White) was gravely wounded in Dublin because of the conviction of certain activists. This signalised the breakdown of the jury system for this class of [42] offence. The unprotected citizen who was liable to be called on as a witness or to serve on the jury panel was reminded of the fate of the murdered Armstrong, and it would have been to expect too much of human nature to hope that this terrorism would not have its effect. Citizens were exhorted to give no information to the police and were warned of the penalties administered to traitors. The campaign against members of the public who might assist the police culminated in the murder, a few weeks ago at Cappawhite, of John Ryan, whose offence was that he had answered the questions of the police engaged in prosecutions for illegal drilling. A man named Carroll, as I have already stated, had previously been murdered in Dublin for supplying information to the police concerning anti-State activities. The result of this campaign of terror is that well-disposed persons are in fear of their lives to assist the police in any way, even to talk to them in certain districts, and that no ordinary jury will now convict in any prosecution for a treasonable offence, or in any case where the impression is created that the accused is a member of or is associated with this armed conspiracy. And so the criminal can go on his way secure.

Even if the police received from ordinary citizens all the information and assistance that could be expected; even if the actual witness of a crime had the courage to face the threat of assassination and to testify publicly in the witness box against the criminal, all this would now be useless and would merely result in an additional crime-the subsequent murder of the witness The State realised its duty to the juror and has done its best to protect him but it has failed, and the juror has made it clear to the State and to his fellow-citizens that he is not prepared to deal with political crime so long as the criminals remain as powerful and are as ruthless as they are.

A recently distributed pamphlet of the Publicity Department of the Cumann na mBan makes the proud boast “Arming and Drilling of Ireland's faithful Soldiers of the Republican Army is taking place all over Ireland. [43] And in spite of special Juries Acts passed recently by the Irish Free State Government no jury can be got to convict Irish patriots.” I say no Government, and no self-respecting nation can allow itself thus to become enslaved by the terrorist activities of a small minority. Since it became apparent that the Government proposed to seek from the Oireachtas fuller and more adequate powers to deal with the situation these organisations decided to take action against the elected representatives of the people. They decided to try on them their usual weapon of intimidation. The normal procedure was imitated. “Information” as to the attitude which Deputies would adopt to the so-called “Public Safety Bill” was politely asked for. Following the procedure adopted by them in their attack on the judicial system, the next step would be definite threats and ultimately it may be the murder of Deputies would be resorted to if drastic action were not taken. This Government, and the members of the Parliament, will not tolerate any such attempt on Parliamentary institutions.

Within the past few months a new element of danger has been added to our existing perils. The I.R.A. has accepted as its ally the new organisation known as “Saor Eire,” which is simply an organisation for setting up in this country a State on the lines of the Russian Soviet Republic. The means by which Saor Eire proposes to achieve its object may be quoted:- “(1) To organise Committees of Action amongst the Industrial and Agricultural Workers, to lead the day-to-day struggle of the Working-Classes and Working Farmers against exploitation, and to secure a revolutionary leadership for their common struggle. (2) The mobilisation of the mass of the Irish people behind a Revolutionary Government, for the overthrow of British Imperialism and its allies in Ireland, and for the organisation of a Workers' State.”

Many of the organisers of “Saor Eire” have, in fact, actually been in Russia to receive training in the authentic Soviet gospel. The actual methods of this new body are “to exploit [44] strikes, establish Communist cells in work-shops, mines, factories and trade unions, and they have a special organisation for exploiting the unemployed.”

The existence of such an organisation in our midst, in active co-operation with an organised band of armed criminals, at a time when we are endeavouring to ward off from this State the terrible economic disasters of other countries is so obvious a menace that I need not emphasise it. No State has, in recent years, been less troubled than this State by economic upheavals; we are regarded throughout the world as a rather fortunate country, but that good fortune cannot continue if we are to tolerate in our midst men whose whole labours are devoted to a wrecking of our economic system and who have enlisted armed allies in that campaign. The advocacy in this State of Communist doctrines by those same men or their close allies who are also members of a secret, illegal armed association, who put in their printed programme such words as “revolutionary leadership,”“mobilisation of the people behind a Revolutionary Government,” and who do this at a time when every decent citizen is concerned to find a peaceful and orderly way out of our difficulties, cannot be tolerated, and they have, I submit, put themselves beyond the pale of constitutional activities.

It would seem incredible, in the light of these facts, with dumps of arms and explosives still at the disposal of irresponsible gun-men, with murder and treason preached openly, with this additional menace of Communism to our whole national life, with so much of our limited resources already wasted in repairing and checking the damage caused or threatened to the country by an armed minority—it would seem incredible that any member of this House, of whatever Party, should deliberately increase the danger in which this Nation stands by impeding the passage of this Bill. That a dangerous conspiracy exists is therefore beyond all doubt except for those who wilfully shut their eyes to what is occurring all round them. As a result of the activities outlined the methods heretofore provided by the Constitution [45] and the Law, whilst adequate as regards ordinary crime have, in fact, proved entirely ineffective to deal with a conspiracy of the nature described. Thus the ordinary law-abiding citizen has been placed completely at the mercy of the least scrupulous fraction of the community. The conspirators have thoroughly grasped that fact and have brought their organisation to a state where they have secured, in practice, immunity from punishment.

In this Bill we are setting up a Tribunal which will not be amenable to terroristic methods. The suggestion has more than once been put forward when similar but less menacing conditions prevailed, that a Tribunal composed of two or more members of the existing judiciary acting without a jury would furnish an appropriate Tribunal for dealing with so-called political crimes. A moment's reflection will convince of the impracticability of such a proposal. The existing Judges were appointed in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and they might, with every justification, object that their functions and their term of appointment did not include in criminal matters the decision of questions of fact which is a matter for a jury. These particular classes of crime are outside the ordinary scope of the criminal procedure.

I might mention that in connection with the Public Safety Act introduced here two or three years ago that I got a note—I am speaking from memory— I have seen one—from at least two members of the Supreme Court saying that they would require to relinquish their office if they were called upon to act as a Court in these matters.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  On what grounds?

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Upon the ground that it was not in accordance with the terms of their appointment, which was a constitutional, a perfectly legitimate constitutional objection.

Mr. Corish: Information on Richard Corish  Zoom on Richard Corish  Would they not be entitled to try anybody for a crime?

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  No; the Judges are not really Judges at all in that sense. The jury are the judges.

Under the Bill we aim at keeping separate the ordinary administration [46] of the Criminal Law and consider that the proper method of dealing with these extraordinary offences is by the method of a special Tribunal.

In putting through legislation of this character, speed is essential. Hesitation and delay in the Dáil could serve no other purpose than to encourage the criminals to believe that their intimidation has succeeded and that the machinery of Parliament is no longer of any avail against them. The will of the majority of the people must receive expression at once in the new powers so that the conspirators may have no time to prepare new attacks.

The issues are simple. The need for restoring the authority of Parliament is paramount. The time allowed is ample for the discussion of all relevant essentials. This is not an occasion for airing pet theories and grievances. The determination evidenced by the expedition with which we pass this Bill will have the effect of causing the criminals to hesitate, and will consequently lessen the extent of its operation. The Deputies who wantonly waste time attacking the measure should remember that their action will encourage crime and consequently extend the list of those who must be punished. The sooner effective powers are in our hands the sooner will this crisis be over, and the sooner shall we be able to devote our attention to the urgent problems that await solution.

As an example of the intentions of the criminals with regard to public bodies, and no doubt with regard to the Oireachtas itself, I should remind Deputies of the recent theft from the Limerick Town Hall of the Minute Book of the Borough Council and of the contents of the note left by the thieves. The note was sent by a body calling itself the Limerick Battalion Staff, and read as follows:—

“Strongly resenting your recent “resolution of condemnation of the “shooting of a Police agent in Tip- “perary, it has been decided by the “above H.Q. Staff that the Minute “Book of your Council be taken for “the purpose of deleting therefrom “the offensive resolution. It is felt “that this should be sufficient action [47]“on our part at present, and further, “that it should serve as a warning “against any further defence of Police “agents.”

The Government would have taken steps to have the Oireachtas called together at an earlier date if the Bill had been ready, and the fact that we have waited until the normal opening date of the session must not be taken as indicating any want of conviction as to the extreme seriousness of the situation and the urgency of the legislation.

This is not the first measure for the protection of the essential rights of the people that I have presented to this House. The situation which the present Bill is intended to meet is definitely much more serious than that which we had to face after the murder of Mr. Kevin O'Higgins. Murder has become one of the normal and expected elements of the present situation, and the new teachings of communism which are accepted to a greater or lesser extent by these organisations have greatly increased the danger of the permanent perversion of the youth of the country.

The Government, in introducing this legislation, is carrying out its normal function as the protector of the rights of the people. No group within the State can be allowed to establish a tyranny dictating to the people the form of their political and economic life.

Modern States have selected parliamentary institutions as the best method so far devised for giving effect to the majority will of the people. Intimidation, violence and murder are the antithesis of rule by Parliament. The two cannot co-exist and the Government that allows violent methods to grow within the State is itself aiding and abetting the destruction of Parliamentary rule. The present Bill is destined to remove the threat to the people's institutions and to restore to the people that complete freedom which is the principal attribute of States ruled by Parliament. Murder, conspiracy and intimidation are being used against the people. It is to put an end to this tyranny that we are setting up a better machinery for the detection and punishment of the [48] criminals.

The supreme duty of every Government is to provide the essential conditions in which the people may live peacefully, and make progress towards an increasingly better form of civilisation. An ordered State existence, respect for the laws of God and all authority derived from Him, come first amongst these conditions. If the majority will of the people is being opposed by murder, violence and the teaching of subversive doctrines, it is the duty of the Government to protect the people. The doctrine that a group within the Nation can use violence to change the form of Government or merely a part of the Constitution, once accepted, becomes a perpetual menace to the State, no matter what its form. If you excuse violence to-day because there is an oath of allegiance to the Constitution, you must excuse it tomorrow because property is not socialised, or for some other group theory. No State is accepted in its entirety by all the citizens, and if violence is once tolerated it becomes the normal method for bringing about every change. You see the effects of such methods in certain States of the world which have become centres of anarchy and irreligion. Order is the first principle of all progress, and its decay amongst a people is the beginning of a reversion to primitive savagery.

We have no desire to impose restrictions on the law-abiding citizen. We do intend to abolish violence and the preaching of violence, so that the peaceful citizen may enjoy his freedom. We are providing the means for his protection. No peaceful citizen need fear a law which could not conceivably be used against him.

Mr. T. Sheehy:  Hear, hear.

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Foul murders have been committed, acknowledged and gloried in by certain organisations. Young men are being taught that murder is a legitimate instrument for the furtherance of Communist or political aims. They are being taught that the Christian Church around which our whole history and civilisation have been built up is an instrument of tyranny for the suppression of the people; that the priest must remain [49] within the sanctuary; that outside that sphere his teachings must have no sway. I believe, and my colleagues believe, that the future of this country is linked up with the traditions and teachings of the Christian religion which have governed the minds of its people for fifteen hundred years.

We believe that the new patriotism based on Muscovite teachings with a sugar coating of Irish extremism is completely alien to Irish tradition. The right to private property is a fundamental of Christian civilisation and so long as this Government remains in power it will maintain that sacred right for the people. The right to private property was the first citadel attacked by the Russian Communists in their own country, and when it fell the whole fabric of Christianity in Russia fell with it.

Let us not delude ourselves into believing that the new doctrines could never subvert the traditions of this country. Subversive movements are usually carried out by a relatively small minority, and that is no very sound reason to be convinced that large sections of our people would not, like other people, succumb to Communist teachers when allowed complete freedom of utterance. We do not allow persons to get up at the corners of our streets to preach sexual immorality. The teaching which involves Communism and murder-lust is no less subversive, and we deem it our duty to suppress the one as ruthlessly as we should suppress the other.

The Church and the State are the only bulwarks against chaos. The present movements aim at the destruction of both, and it would be deeply to be deplored if any legitimate parties in this State should find a political advantage in acting as a shield for the development of subversive organisations, whether they do so by justifying the existence of the organisations or accusing the Government of suppressing them for Party purposes. The use of such methods in Irish political life does not augur well for the future of this country. And I warn those who make use of them that they are going to increase enormously the difficulties of maintaining ordered government amongst our people, who are only [50] gradually realising that each individual citizen has definite obligations towards the State. Our task as the first Government of this country has been difficult. We have had to contend not merely with the negative difficulty of the absence of a State sense amongst large sections of the people, but with positive propaganda of a more insidious character against the members of the Government.

We have been variously described (and frequently in nominally Catholic papers) as atheists, as paid agents of England, as Imperialists, as traitors. No effort has been spared to make the essential government of the country as difficult as possible by poisoning the minds of our citizens against their representatives. These methods are dishonest, unhealthy, abnormal and fundamentally subversive, and we are reaping the fruits of them now.

The present legislation would never have been necessary—and it is a necessity—if the ordinary principles of patriotism and fair play had been observed by those who are opposed to the present Government. The Communist and the potential murderer find easy disciples amongst a people who are taught to believe the most sinister evils of those who are in authority over them. I feel obliged on this grave occasion to beg those who have influence in the country to be mindful that the future progress and prosperity of this State cannot be secured by any Government unless it is supported in the maintenance of obedience to the laws of God and of the State by the great majority of the people.

A State based on parliamentary institutions requires, for its proper functioning, not merely the goodwill but the positive allegiance of all its citizens. The powers, that we as a Government ask for—we ask for because we are convinced that without them it would be impossible for this or any other Government to carry on in circumstances such as now prevail. I appeal to men of goodwill of all parties who believe in the Irish people, in democracy and in parliamentary institutions, not merely to support this Bill but to facilitate its passage [51] into law. The things that have been happening in this country do not make us worse than other people. Intimidation, violence, Communism and kindred activities have made their appearance in the early stages of most new States. But the test of the capacity of the people to maintain a stable State existence lies in its determination to defeat these evils. We are now being put to that test and on our firm action here and now depends the whole life of our State as well as our good name before the other civilised peoples of the world. I have the utmost faith in the fundamental good sense of our people and I believe that the great majority of them will receive the measure now before us with relief and gratitude.

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  The President has outlined the reasons that have urged the Executive Council to bring in this Bill. Now I would have imagined that the proper time to deal with the Bill would be when we were given an opportunity, as has always been the parliamentary practice, of reading the Bill and seeing to what extent the Bill itself was really likely to achieve the purpose which the Executive considers necessary for this House to pursue. This statement has been given to us on a motion to restrict discussion, and no excuse whatever has been put forward by the President why discussion on this matter should be restricted. It is surely a matter in which every one of us in this House is immediately and directly concerned. Every one of us wants to be able to bring to the consideration of the questions that are before us not the excited atmosphere which is created by a long list such as the President has given, but the calm judgement that will give every one of us an opportunity of sitting down and quietly asking ourselves how much truth there is in all this excitement which has been engendered by a long recitation, going over a number of years, of incidents which everybody here in this House, I am sure, regrets, but incidents which do not justify, in my estimation anyhow, the bringing in of a Bill of this sort. The [52] ordinary law is quite sufficient to deal with anything that has been referred to by the President in that long list which he has given. There are already on the Statute book of the Free State six Public Safety Acts, three Firearms Acts, three Enforcement of Law Acts, four Jury Acts, a Treason Offences Act, a Protection of the Community Act or something —I forget. What it is proposed to effect by the Bill is largely in the Treasonable Offences Act and the Firearms Act of 1925. I am sure that if we looked up the speeches that were made when each one of these Acts was introduced we would learn that it was intended by each Bill to crush out finally all evidence of activity such as the President has been talking about and that those whose duty it was to oppose that line of policy on the ground that it would not be effective said on every occasion on which these Acts were brought in that they were not going to be effective, that there was in this country, on account of historical circumstances, something which was running right across any attempt to deal with the situation on such lines. I, for one, and every man sitting with me here this afternoon think and believe that if we were here in five years time or ten years time we will see Bills introduced on lines like these if the present state of affairs is allowed to continue and that we will be dealing in the last with causes and not with results.

Let us deal with the causes of these Acts. There are very few people who know better than the gentlemen on the opposite benches what is the fundamental cause. I listened to the President talking about Secret Societies. There are gentlemen in that front bench that went around this country organising secret societies; and the latest thing that I know of a secret society was a secret society that Kevin O'Higgins denounced here in the Dáil when the present Minister for Local Government was kicked out of the Executive Council because of his efforts in organising a secret society in the Army on that occasion. I say this because I believe that the gentlemen on the opposite benches who have placed upon them at this time the responsibility [53] of Government ought to know the right line on which to proceed. But they prefer to imitate the activities of Hamar Greenwood or somebody of that kind instead of trying to get down to the problems that have to be dealt with and of trying to deal with them on a rational basis.

We have come in here from different parts of the country, but I am sure that each one of you will ask yourself why this atmosphere of immediate and terrible anxiety which has been engendered by the statement the President made here really exists outside. There is a problem, a very important problem. There are political problems, there are economic problems which have to be solved. They have to be solved perhaps over a period of time. But there is nothing of immediate urgency, or some impending catastrophe which is likely to happen tomorrow. There is nothing of that in the outside situation, nothing that did not obtain during the past two months. And why is it that the Dáil was allowed to keep out of session for two months until its holiday was completed and that we were allowed to sit quitely at home without any immediate danger that the whole State was going to be subverted during the last two months? Why cannot we sit down here calmly and consider the difficulties which have placed the Government in the present situation, and the difficulties that will confront any Government that takes office under the present conditions? Why do we not sit down calmly and consider in the general interest of the community how these problems are to be solved? The Ministers opposite know only one way in which to solve them! Anyone who gets in your path, “squelch him, by God, squelch him,” as Carlyle said of Ireland. That is the only policy apparently that the Executive Council knows how to put into operation.

I remember challenging the Vice-President as to whether they would not put the same energy which they exhibited in the Civil War into the solution of our economic problems, and the answer they gave us was:—“In dealing with the Civil War we had long examples from history to guide us as to the proper method, but [54] we could not tackle the economic problem because we had not any example to guide us.” Force is the usual remedy to take: take a stick to hit somebody on the head who doesn't agree with you. That is a very simple remedy. It may do when dealing with an individual, but it does not do when dealing with a situation such as we have here in this country. The situation that was brought about here was thoroughly understood by the British when they forced the Treaty on us. Lord Birkenhead, in asking that that Treaty be accepted, appealed to his brothers in the House of Lords and said to them: “By all means accept this. The unruly Irish will in future be put down; they will be put down by other Irishmen with an economy of English lives. We will hand over to this new body of Irishmen who are prepared to follow our dictation and work upon the lines of our policy the task of trying to stifle those who want the complete independence of their country.”

We here on these benches have never been slow to point out that we do not stand for crime. We have never been slow to point that out. I said long before we came into the Dáil that whatever might be said there was no authority outside this House that was entitled to take human life. We said that and we hold by that. We go even further and say that if there is no authority in this House to rule, then there is no authority in any part of the country to rule—I mean in any part of the Twenty-six Counties.

I made a speech here on a previous occasion on somewhat similar lines to this. Deputy O'Connell standing up after me interpreted my speech as he was entitled to interpret it, and as is done here every day of the week. He interpreted that speech in his own way. That interpretation of my speech did not hold, and was not in my speech. The statement that Deputy O'Connell made as an interpretation of my speech is the statement that has been circulated around the country as my speech and statement. Now I want to be quite clear about that. Our position in the matter is this—that there must be [55] some authority in the country. We came in here as a result of a policy that we brought forward in order to get majority rule accepted.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Patrick T. Reynolds  Zoom on Patrick T. Reynolds  Hear, hear.

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  We wanted to get majority rule accepted and we wanted to end the situation that was created by the Treaty, and the coup d'etat by the gentlemen on the opposite benches. We wanted to end that by getting a national understanding from every Party and every group in the country. Our principle was that majority rule by the elected Parliamentary representatives of the people was to be accepted.

Mr. Hassett: Information on John Joseph Hassett  Zoom on John Joseph Hassett  Hear, hear.

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  We stand by that. There was no other policy. There was the time when there was a Conference shortly after the Treaty was passed and we tried to come to an understanding. A sort of understanding was ultimately settled in the Pact. I issued a statement in which I made it clear that in my opinion the matter had to be settled by force or by accepting that principle. The people had to have one or the other. On every occasion since I came into the House I have fought for that principle. I have been begging the people on the opposite benches that they would make that principle really effective by removing the barrier that is preventing a certain section of the people from being represented here. I did that because it is better to get the people who differ from you to accept that principle as being the best. Before you can hope to get them to accept that principle unequivocally you have to get them to feel that they can come in and that they are free to advocate by peaceful persuasion any of the political doctrines that they hold.

Mr. Hassett: Information on John Joseph Hassett  Zoom on John Joseph Hassett  Did the Deputy make a statement that the majority of the Irish people have no right to do wrong?

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  I would be glad to hear what the Deputy said. I did not catch his words.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I want to hear no interruption of any kind.

[56]Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  I understand I am asked by the Deputy if I ever made a statement that the Irish people have no right to do wrong. I have said that the doing of wrong is never right no matter who did it. There was an apparent and obvious wrong. Now let us be clear on that. What appeared to be an obvious wrong was being justified by the idea that it was backed by the majority vote of the people. I said that that did not justify wrong. That never justifies wrong. If you got a unanimous vote of the people telling you to go and shoot your neighbour, you would be quite in the wrong in carrying out that majority will. You would not be right. Therefore, the majority rule does not give to anybody the right to do anything wrong. and I stand by the statement that a majority does not give a right to do wrong. What was wrong in that statement? It was simply the truth. To quote Kipling, The truth I had spoken “was twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.”

Let us get back to the position. I am quite willing to admit that there is a political problem here, that there are economic problems here, and that people who are genuinely anxious to solve these problems will ask themselves questions as to how they can effectively solve them. If you deny people who are animated with honest motives, peaceful ways of doing it, you are throwing them back upon violent ways of doing it. Once they are denied the peaceful way they will get support for the violent way that they would never get otherwise. There is no use in my preaching that doctrine to the Executive Council. The Executive Council only know one way—the way of force, the way of the big stick. It is successful for a time. The British tried it and were always successful for a time, but it never ultimately succeeded. The arguments that will be put up to the young men who are asked to join that organisation will be a repetition of the arguments which Ernest Blythe, as he then was, or Dick Mulcahy, as he then was, or any other Minister, who was formerly in the I.R.B., put up to the young men that he wanted to join his organisation. Can they not at least get back to their [57] young days and ask themselves whether they did not stand up against the principles of constituted authority? Remember the British in those days said that they were the constituted authority. They bound themselves in secret and revolutionary organisations to oppose what was the established authority of the day. Can they not remember that every one of the arguments which they used then are likely to be applied by the people who go around at present trying to get young men into the I.R.A., or whatever other organisations of that kind are in the country?

The right way of proceeding is to end the necessity for such organisations. As I said, I do not believe that the I.R.A. is a secret organisation. I should like to know whether the present Minister for Local Government has abandoned the I.R.B. which he was forming in the Army at a time when he was also in the Executive Council. I believe that the Irish people's liberties have more to fear from movements in that direction than they have to fear from outside—very much more to fear, because incidents like the present one are paving the way for a section within the present Cabinet, if they get sufficient control over the Army to become a real menace, a greater menace even to the liberties of the people than would be the menace of an uncontrolled authority outside.

Let us know where we are. As I say, there are very few in this House who cannot get down to the bottom of this question and know exactly the nature of the problem to be solved. Members on the Benches opposite at any rate know what the problems are. They would do very much better service to the Irish nation if they would get down and solve these problems and do it in a way which will avoid the necessity of force, rather than by the present method. I have to admit that ultimately authority does want the sanction of force. Unfortunately we have not got to the stage when force is not to be the ultimate sanction but it ought to be reserved as the ultimate sanction. It is not sufficient for the Executive Council to have the right to do things. They have also the duty of considering whether the things [58] they have a right to do, if they are pushed, should in fact be done in the general public interest. As I have said, we have put forward our solution many times. We have no belief whatever in this solution when dealing with the political situation. If there are drastic measures taken, I have no doubt whatever they will drive it more underground. This will prevent open drillings and things of that kind, but it will not drive out or kill or end the nature of the movement in itself.

Let us come to the economic side. What is the problem we have to deal with there? We have had all these problems in the past—doctrines which are subversive of the social order that we stand for. The President has indicated certain Catholic principles. I accept them. I do not think they are denied by anyone in this House. The right of private property is accepted as fundamental and as far as Catholics are concerned there has been definite teaching upon it—the right of private property and the right on the other hand of society, in so far as the common good is concerned, of in a proper way dealing with the relations between the community and the private individual. We accept that. There is nobody on these Benches but is just as anxious as the people opposite that these principles will be the ruling principles as far as our social organisations here are concerned. My own belief is that there is no immediate danger whatever of these principles being undermined— none whatever.

There is a social and economic situation which calls for immediate attention, and we ought to approach it in the same way as in the case of the political one, and recognise that if men are hungry they will not be too particular about the ultimate principles of the organisation they would join, if that organisation promises to give them bread. Let us be careful about it. I say that what we have got to do is to remove the breeding ground of attachment to the false principles. That breeding ground is there in the present economic situation. Suppose I accept for the present that, let us say, a Russian organisation of some [59] kind is beginning to interfere here. Why would the eye of Russia turn upon Ireland at present? Because of the fact that there are social conditions here that make it possible for people to work on these lines; because there is a natural invitation wherever there are people out of work and people homeless and the rest of it. They naturally seize upon the situation and it would not be too great a stretch of the imagination to think that a movement of that sort would be very glad to try and link up, if they were able, the political movement with the economic movement on the lines they would like to have. There is ground for thinking that that is not impossible. I do not think it is a fact. But suppose we assume it is so. Again the way to deal with it is to remove the causes which make the present situation one which is attractive to people who want to preach doctrines of that sort. The way to deal with it is to deal with the conditions and see that people who are anxious to work will get work, that people who are entitled to have decent houses will get these houses, and organise the community to end the evils that are about them, and not simply to say there must be no movement of this sort in our midst, we do not want them. We may say that as much as we like. We may have as many laws to prevent it as we have Public Safety Acts and the rest here on the Statute Book. All the laws in the world are not going to prevent it unless you remove the causes.

I am just as anxious as anybody on the benches opposite that that principle of that doctrine should not be preached here or spread here, but if I wanted to stop the spread of them here I would not proceed in the way the Executive Council are proceeding, that is, assuming that the Executive Council is honest in all this. I am assuming they are honest in all this, that they are genuinely perturbed and genuinely anxious to try and settle the situation. But I may say that knowing that they know what the fundamentals are they must know themselves as well as we what is the right way to remedy them and they [60] deliberately turn back on the way which is likely to effect the remedies I must seriously ask myself is this all play-acting? Is this an attempt to work upon our national anxiety at the present time in order to prepare a favourable atmosphere for the coming election.

Of course we have been threatened if we stand for right at all and try to use reason and common sense, while they are thinking of brute force we are by that very fact giving encouragement to the lawless. I do not want to give any encouragement to them at all. I say again there is no authority in this country to take life except in so far as the present ruling authority is entitled to take it—no other authority. I say that if we were sitting on the benches opposite and that we were called upon to deal with a case where there was a serious attempt to interfere with the general will of the people, having made it quite possible for that will to be expressed, then we would have to come along and say “very well. We understand such and such, we are prepared to do so and so; but we have, however, to be the judges of policy in the long run, and having decided what was the national policy on the basis of majority rule we too if we were driven to it, in the last resort we would have to say: Very well, we are the last word upon national policy; the majority of the people have spoken and entrusted us with the present responsibility and we are the judges of what must be done.” I quite understand all that. But I cannot get excited I must confess, in the way that the President would like me to get excited by the statement he has made.

I have been through the country. I have just heard now statements about the shootings in Clare. I got a letter from people in Clare a few days after to tell me that there was no political basis as far as the local people could make out and no political motive whatever in the shootings down there—in the case of two of them at any rate. In the case of two shootings I was written to by people in the neighbourhood who knew the local gossip and had a fair idea of what was [61] happening, and they told me that it was not a fact that behind these shootings there was any political motive at all. But they are all lumped into one long category. If we had for instance, such as they have in some of the cities of America, these gang shootings that take place, and if there was some such situation as there is in some cities of America, and if that situation arose here we would have them all lumped together in the list the President read out, and every one of them would be attributed to political organisations.

I think we have made our position clear more than once. We think that the Executive is not proceeding on the right lines. We do not believe there is any immediate urgency, and that we should get time to discuss matters properly and to get calmly down to them and see what element of truth there is in the anxiety spread abroad. We think the Executive is going along blindly in the course it laid out for itself when it started on its present regime.

Mr. T.J. O'Connell: Information on Tomas O'Connell  Zoom on Tomas O'Connell  In 1922 when we came into this Dáil the members of the House spent something like three months in framing the constitution. It was done with very great care, and very great consideration. The President speaking of that constitution to-day, said that it was hailed as one of the most democratic constitutions in the world, and that statement was substantially correct. The motion that is before us now, and which asks us to get all stages of this Bill through the House in two days, and, I understand, through another House in a day and a half, is, as far as I can judge, asking us to adopt what in practice will be a new constitution for this State. I have not had much time to read through or study this Bill, which has been put into our hands a few moments ago, but I read section 2 of the Bill, and I see this new article of the constitution is to be put in immediately after article 2 of the constitution. And I read in this section that article 3 and every subsequent article in the constitution shall be read and construed subject to the provisions of this article, and in the case of any inconsistency between this new article to be inserted in the constitution, and article [62] 3, or any subsequent article, this article shall prevail. So that this article is to be the new constitution of the Irish Free State. The other one is to be scrapped if inconsistent in any way with this. That is the meaning I take out of this section here. We are asked to frame a new constitution for the Irish Free State, and to do that without being given any opportunity whatsoever of studying the implications of the new constitution or even reading it.

Then we are asked and the people are asked to have respect for Parliamentary institutions. It is procedure of this kind that makes a farce of Parliamentary institutions and makes people have no respect whatsoever for them. Every Deputy in this House has a right, as a representative of the people sent here by the people, to express his views upon this measure or any other measure. He specially has a right to express his views on this when it is not merely and simply an Act of Parliament but the framework of a permanent constitution, and that right is going to be denied to me by the Government Party. It would be far more honest, in my opinion, if the Government set up a dictatorship pure and simple and told us all to go about our business and that they would run the affairs of the country.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  And save money.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I do not know about that.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  It would save Ministers' salaries.

Mr. O'Connell:  I do not know what the provisions of this Bill are. I have not time to study them. Undoubtedly there will not be time to give them proper consideration before we are asked to decide one way or the other whether we support them or not. I do not want at this stage to advert to anything which may be in this Bill or that may not be in it.

I listened very carefully to the President, and during a great portion of his speech he did not pretend to make a case for urgency. After all, the motion before us is one asking the House to agree to pass this [63] measure through all Stages inside two days. The President devoted only a comparatively small portion of his speech to explaining the need for urgency, and when he came to it he began with events as far back as March last. We have been listening to speeches of the Minister for Justice for the past two months promising this Bill, or one of the kind, and if the menace which he speaks of has reached such a stage that it is necessary to rush through this Bill with such unseemly haste, surely the President or members of the Government should have called the Dáil together before this. What is the argument for waiting until the end of the holidays, calling the Dáil and saying “You must get this Bill through inside two or three days?” No argument has been put forward by the President for that, and that is the only type of argument that would be appropriate to this motion. New powers are being sought and the statement has been made that the present powers are inadequate. Has the Government used all the powers at its disposal and has it come to the conclusion that new powers are necessary?

An Act called the Emergency Powers Act was passed in 1926. If an emergency had arisen such as we are now asked to believe is in existence, under that Act the Government was given power by proclamation to declare a state of emergency and to call the Dáil together in five days. In that measure they had extensive powers to deal with a state of emergency if such a state of emergency was proved to exist. That power has not been used. They are coming now not to bring in a new Public Safety Bill but to insert a new Article in the Constitution. Since the Constitution was adopted I have on many occasions spoken publicly about the rights which were given the people under it, and I have publicly denounced as I do denounce, the use of armed force and the use of threats to induce people to adopt any particular theories put forward by any particular group of people. I have declared repeatedly that there was no need for any other weapon than the ballot box. I have [64] stated that the Constitution gave rights to every Party and to every group of people that wanted to put a particular doctrine before the country to do so as long as they did so peacefully and without arms. I have not had time to study this Bill, but it seems to me that my argument will be no longer available when pointing to the liberties of the Constitution. The liberties and the rights of the Constitution and the democratic nature of the Constitution, which the President spoke about a moment ago, seem to be one by one disappearing. Up to the present these rights were disappearing one by one, but now they are to disappear holus bolus. The Referendum is gone, the Initiative is gone, and now everything that is not in conformity with this special measure, whatever may be in it—I have not had an opportunity of seeing—is to go. This Bill is to be substituted for the Constitution about which we were so proud.

I say very sincerely, honestly and candidly that I believe this is not the way to end the state of affairs which the President spoke about and which all of us regret. The President said some things that I should like to have an opportunity of examining, and that everybody here, representing, as they do, various people in the country, should have an opportunity of expressing an opinion upon. I do not pretend for a moment to judge the extent of this menace, because I have no knowledge that there is a menace. The President may have, but when he made the statement that drilling is common all over the country I at once join issue with him in that. Representing the same area as the Minister for Justice, I would ask the Minister whether he is prepared to stand up and say that drilling has become common all over South Mayo.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I say there is a considerable amount of drilling going on in South Mayo.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  Did you ever see them?

Mr. O'Connell:  I have been very nearly all through South Mayo, and I have made inquiries from men who have supported the Minister, and from [65] various people, and with the possible exception of one area in Ballinrobe and Tourmakeady district, I found no evidence whatever of any drilling. I know several areas where there has been no drilling and where there is no question of any of the organisations that the Minister spoke of being in existence. That is the position in Mayo, and it is largely the position in parts of Roscommon that I know of. Let other Deputies speak for the areas that they know. I do not say for a moment that drilling does not exist in some areas, but there is no use pretending that it has become common all over the country. That statement is exaggerated, and I am rather surprised that it should have been made, especially in the considered statement that the President read out. A very remarkable admission was made by the President to-day. The Juries Bill was introduced in 1929, and we all know the promises that were then made. The President now says in effect that those who stated when that Bill was introduced that it would not protect juries were right, and that the Government was wrong.

He said that they have failed to give them that protection which the Juries Bill proposed to give them. Now what is the position as I understand it? Crimes have been committed. Heinous crimes have been committed, and the Government have been unable to bring the perpetrators to justice. Why have they been unable to bring them to justice? It is not the jury system that is responsible for that. First of all have they detected or are they in a position to state: “We know who were responsible for these crimes. We know the individuals, but the juries will not convict.” I said when the Juries Bill was before the House, and I repeat it, that I was prepared, as I am prepared now, if it is clear that the jury system has broken down, to give powers to deal with special classes of offences to another court. I said, as reported in column 1606, vol. 29:—

If I take that point of view the Minister will ask me, and he will be justified in asking me: What would you do to meet the special set of circumstances? If it was proved clearly and definitely that the jury system [66] failed to deal with any special class of crime I would be prepared to go the whole distance of doing away with the jury system altogether for that particular class of crime, and for that particular class of crime only, rather than attempt to make the whole jury system fit in with the special set of circumstances that has arisen. I would be prepared, for instance, to set out definitely and clearly the particular classes of crime and leave it to the discretion of the Attorney-General to apply, in cases of that kind, to have them tried by, say, three judges of the High Court. Though I believe in the jury system, I know that there are many arguments put forward from time to time by jurists to the effect that trial by judge is even preferable to trial by jury. But whether it is or is not, that would be my solution of the particular set of circumstances that has arisen.

That was the position in 1929. If the Government came before the House to-day and stated that through terrorism or for any other reason, they found that juries were not convicting, I would be with them in providing another clause for doing away with the jury system for that particular class of crime.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  What kind of judge would you have?

Mr. O'Connell:  I would have a judge that would have some knowledge of law in any case.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  The fellows you pay a good salary to.

Mr. O'Connell:  That is a detail.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Order!

Mr. O'Connell:  There is the question of evidence. The same difficulty in getting evidence will be there no matter what kind of court you have. As I say, I am not going into the details and I do not propose to go into the details of the measure before us. There will be an opportunity for doing that on the Second Reading of the Bill. I want to say that I can see no reason for urgency unless it be that the Government want to cloak discussion, [67] to prevent discussion, to prevent a proper airing and ventilating of the views of the different people who are represented in this House. The President asked for the co-operation of all of us in dealing with this menace. I made a suggestion a few days ago which I believed was a practical suggestion and which would have secured a measure of co-operation, and, from steps that were since taken to see how far that was possible, I believe there are other parties in this House that would be willing——

A Deputy:  Were willing.

Mr. O'Connell:  I am at liberty to say were willing to see how far such co-operation would be possible. If this problem were faced up to—this problem that nobody standing here in this House wants to defend—these things that are happening in the country and which nobody is standing in the House to defend—were dealt with or if the co-operation of all parties were asked for I believe it would be forthcoming. The Government, however, take the view that they are the responsible people. Other Government Parties in other countries who have responsibilities of that kind do not think it infra dig. in any way to approach Opposition Parties and to discuss with them problems that threaten to be of a national extent or of national importance. That view, however, has found no favour in Government circles.

I believe that a basis could be found by which the interests of the whole country could be protected and by which something could be done which would be more advantageous in its effect on the whole country than the passage of this Bill. I have no doubt whatever about that. If something in the nature of an agreed measure to deal with the gunman, to deal with the man who tries to shove his opinions down the throats of anybody by the use of the gun, I believe —I may be over-optimistic in believing it—that an agreed measure could be introduced in this House to deal with that problem. If that could [68] be done it would be far more effective than any of these measures which are rushed through the House in this fashion and it would have far more public support through the country. Unless we can get public support and co-operation for the measures that are passed here, they will have little effect because all the forces that you can muster in the way of armed forces or police forces will not be effective to make your laws run unless the general body of people accept the laws as wise and just laws. After all, it is for the public outside, the people of the country, the laws are made, and unless they are prepared to co-operate whole-heartedly and sincerely in seeing that the laws are carried out and obeyed, it will be very difficult indeed to make your laws effective.

I have no doubt that laws and regulations rushed through the Dáil in this fashion are not going to get that wholehearted support from the general body of the people that would make them thoroughly effective, and that does not apply by any means alone to the opponents of the Government, but in the case of very many of those who supported and voted for the Government on the last occasion.

Deputy de Valera, in the course of his speech, referred to what he says was a wrong interpretation on my part of his speech in March, 1929. I have not the particular quotations before me, and therefore I am not in a position, and I do not propose at this stage, to enter into that matter. I shall have an opportunity again of doing so, but if I were wrong in my interpretation I am glad to feel that I was wrong, because no one regretted what I thought was Deputy de Valera's position more than I did. For that reason I congratulate him on making that position very much clearer to-day than it appeared to me then. I understood him to say on that occasion that full authority did not rest with this House and this Parliament. If he did not mean that, I accept his statement fully.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  He has not said it to-day.

Mr. O'Connell:  I may be wrong on this occasion, too, but I took him to-day [69] as saying that no one outside this Parliament has the right to make laws for this country—these twenty-six counties. That is good enough for me. I protest as strongly as I can protest against the methods that are being adopted by the Government. Even accepting what the President has stated, I say if this is passed into law, where is the Constitution we have been so proud of, that we have boasted about, and that we have talked about? It is all subject to this, and we are asked to frame a new Constitution inside forty-eight hours. As I say, Parliamentary institutions after that become almost a farce, and I certainly cannot agree to support a motion which takes from the representatives of the people here the right to express their views fully on a Bill of the importance of this particular one.

Minister for Defence (Mr. Fitzgerald): Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  Deputy O'Connell talked about this Constitution of which we were so proud, this democratic institution and so on. I think so far as I can judge from the feeling of the House to-day there does not really seem to be any divergence of principle between any of us who have spoken, but I think there is a tendency to stress what I might call non-essentials and to overlook essentials. Why have we a Constitution at all? Why have we a Government? Why have we a State? If the Constitution is going to interfere with the State performing the functions it exists to perform obviously there is nothing in the Constitution to be proud about. If the State fails to perform the functions it was intended to perform then we had better have something instead.

To my mind we have a Government and a State because we were made to live in society that man, being subject to the performance of evil, requires to be controlled by law. Society requires to have a Government, with powers to enforce its laws. In effect the Government exists for the purpose of coercion. Every Bill we pass here is coercion. To try to damn this Bill by calling it a coercion Bill—of course it is coercion. The Butter Grading Bill was a coercion Bill. The Egg Grading Act, the Live Stock [70] Bill are all coercion Bills because people are not perfect. There is a tendency to evil in everybody, and in every community there is a certain number of people in whom the criminal instinct overcomes the instinct for good. This Bill has become necessary because although admittedly the people who have a tendency to crime in this country are a very small minority, they are organised and their method is the method of arms and intimidation. In any county of the twenty-six counties we have, say, several hundred police. You have tens of thousands of people in that county. The police are there to keep down the evil doers even though evil doers may be more numerous than they are because evil doers in the ordinary conditions of affairs are not organised and are not armed. The three million people in the Free State can be cowed and controlled by a small minority that is organised and is armed. There has been a tendency in this country to speak about political crime as though it was less heinous than ordinary crime. A man murders his wife or a wife murders her husband or there is a brawl and a man is killed. That is a diabolical situation, but it is far more diabolical when men come together to organise and commit a murder and by so organising are able to control perjury, to terrorise witnesses, to terrorise jurors and to make evil master in the country and not good. When a situation like that arises, and it may arise very easily in any country at the present moment when the whole world is upset, when we have come to the end of one period of the world's history, when the sanctions of morality, the traditions of obedience to authority and the sanctions and traditions of obedience to the moral law are not as strong as before, necessarily that tendency is more easily effective than at any other time.

I think it was Deputy de Valera who asked why, for instance, the Communistic or semi-Communistic Government of Russia should be particularly interested in this country. Let him put himself in the position of a Communistic Government which wishes to promote social chaos in other countries. [71] Look around Europe. Would he exclude Ireland? He might say Ireland is a Catholic and religious country where the people are mostly property owners. Is that the place to look to? On the other hand would he not say what is the tradition in that country? The people of this country being governed from outside for many generations have realised that the effective authority that was over them was denuded of moral authority, and that they had a right to overthrow that authority. That necessarily had an effect on the moral being of the people of Ireland, and made them fail to realise that the authority which comes from God must be obeyed by them according to the moral code. If I were a member of the Government Deputy de Valera refers to I would say Ireland is a likely place. I would say for many generations the method of bloodshed was recognised as a method of overcoming the ordinary existing law. We recognise also that this method has been to some extent successful, and the cowardly people who have seen other people taking risks and being successful may now be inclined to believe that success is available by this method. We know in the agrarian campaign the people took what you might call extra legal steps and did extra moral acts for the purpose of attaining what they wanted. We know in our warfare against the British regime we had to use methods which in other countries under legitimate government would actually have been the methods of the criminal. These necessarily have had an effect on the people and have made this country apparently a fruitful ground for the promotion of social chaos to promote which an attempt is being made at the moment. What is the situation in this country at the moment? Here we have a democratic Constitution. What does the Constitution, the State and the Government stand for? Is it in order that law may prevail. Deputy de Valera talks about the big stick. At the present time what is the situation? You have admittedly crime, murder, intimidation and so on. You have it organised. You have it propaganded all over the [72] country. You have it using the most dishonest weapons. In our time we did stand for some sort of principle. Now the people who are attempting to overthrow Christian morality in this country or imperialism or capitalism, or whatever they like to call it——

Mr. Fahy: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Synonymous terms.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  No, they are not. I am just going to point out that the method of this Party is to blur terms and mix them up. I know members of this organisation who do not care twopence about nationalism, who are dead out against nationalism, and who entirely approve of sending representatives down the country—to Leitrim, say—to talk to young men about Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone, and having got them enthused, because of the tradition of nationalism that existed in our people for all times, they very easily turn around and explain that the landlord was English, that the top dog was English, that the employer was English—and that the English landlord and top dog and owner of property are all one and should be overcome, that everybody who possesses property is English, and, in effect, Imperialist, and that consequently the eternal moral law is overthrown and that the man without property has the right to terrorise by arms, to seize powers to take property from the man who has it. That is their method. Their method also is the method of perjury. When a crime is committed they themselves are prepared to commit perjury. We know, also, that it is a first general principle that when anybody is arrested he is to announce that the police beat him. That is part of the propaganda. Here we are with this situation, an organisation growing from day to day, armed, bearing in some respects the outward symbols of our national struggle, though it is fundamentally opposed to our national struggle, using all the accoutrements and all the decorations of our national struggle, to inculcate their doctrines amongst people who have never had an opportunity of thinking politically, integrally.

Just note their methods. They attack a Cadbury's cocoa van in the [73] docks because their method is to promote every possible type of unrest in the country, to overthrow social order, or through defiance of the law to promote social chaos and through social chaos to attain to the Communistic Republic. That is their plan of campaign. They attack a Cadbury cocoa van and if you attempt to question them what is the reply? “Irishmen out of work. Chocolate can be made in the country. You are supporting the bringing in of foreign chocolate to the detriment of our unemployed.”

Then you have the busmen's strike. These people provided guns and ammunition to shoot at buses moving. Is that part of our nation's struggle? Is that the Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone story? What is this attempt to crush the Irish State, to make it impossible for an Irish State to exist? It is an attempt to condemn the Irish people to live without social order, to live under the conditions that they are creating and which are directly divergent from their Creator's intentions. If you attempt to condemn that, what are you doing? You are standing against the poor men who are struggling merely for a living, who are standing in opposition to British Imperialism, to the Free State Junta and all the rest of it. When Orangemen propose holding a meeting in one of the Border counties along come the so-called I.R.A. to prevent it. They know that Catholics who have a traditional grievance against Orangemen give a sentimental approval to action of this kind, not realising that those men do not care twopence what the local Catholics think. All they want to do is to get some sort of support for their attempt to overthrow social order in this country because we have not a long tradition which accepts social order and authority. One man will say, “I approve of the I.R.A. because they cowed the Orangemen,” and another man will say, “I stand for them. They are out for the worker against the bosses.” These people are content to use any method. They do not stand for high principles. As Deputy Lemass knows very well, Miss McSwiney and her people when they came to Bodenstown would not walk in a procession with people like [74] Deputy Lemass and Deputy de Valera, but as far as the gunmen were concerned, as far as Mr. Ryan, Geoffrey Coulter and so on, were concerned, they were entirely in favour of it. They believe in half support if you cannot get whole support. Rope in everyone with us. We have only got to weaken the existing power which is keeping order in the country. Everything that tends to weaken that is something. It helps to bring about the social chaos through which we have to pass to the Communistic Republic.

Is this Bill necessary? Deputy O'Connell referred to various other Bills that are on the Statute Book, the Firearms Act, the Treasonable Offences Act, the Public Safety (Emergency Powers) Act. The Public Safety Act does give the right, when we have proclaimed a state of emergency, to intern certain people. But of course it leaves the right of appeal to the courts to challenge the right to have these people interned. But you have a situation now when, with clear and tangible evidence, brought before a court, the jury finds a man innocent who is clearly guilty. The jury commits perjury. You have people so terrorised that the juryman commits perjury.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Or the servants of the State commit perjury.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  They may or they may not. If the Deputy can prove it, naturally we would propose getting after them, but we are up against an organisation which entirely approves of perjury, which believes that perjury, murder or any crime you like, are justified provided they bring about a condition of affairs which will make their objective possible. In any other troubles we have had, and which I do not want to refer to, one might say if it were humanly possible for the Opposition to have succeeded, a position of affairs would have arisen which was quite all right as far as it went. But here we have an attempt to create a situation by an organisation who, if they succeeded to the full in their objective, would create a situation in this country which is opposed to all moral law. That makes it more necessary [75] than ever for us to go out against them.

Mr. O'Hanlon: Information on John F. O'Hanlon  Zoom on John F. O'Hanlon  On a point of order, I would like to know exactly what we are discussing? Are we discussing Item 3?

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  The last civil war.

Mr. O'Hanlon: Information on John F. O'Hanlon  Zoom on John F. O'Hanlon  Is it a question of procedure? All the speeches that have been made have been Second Reading speeches on the Bill.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It is the only chance you have to make them.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  The Minister is quite in order.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  To a certain extent I have been trying to refer to the points made. I would like to point out to the Deputy that there are two possible situations. There is the ordinary condition of law when a man is brought up and charged with some crime, and there is a condition of civil war when you make a proclamation bringing in martial law. There is an awkward period which is intermediary between these two. Things happened five months ago; if there was a proclamation of martial law then every Deputy would have got up and protested. It would not have been right then. You get to that stage when to come along and propose martial law and say a state of war is existing in the country is not possible, but, on the other hand, the ordinary protection of the Government is slipping away from day to day. Is the Government to stand by and see a man named Ryan murdered in Tipperary or Superintendent Curtin murdered in Tipperary and say it is unfortunate, but nothing can be done? When you have an organisation all over the country which is used for committing crimes and for the prevention of the detection of crime and for making the ordinary law-abiding citizen unable to perform the functions which the moral law imposes on him, such as giving information to the police, it is necessary to have special powers, and these are the special powers brought in under this Bill. which Deputy O'Connell seems to [76] think mars the Constitution. The Constitution is not merely a decorative thing; it is for the benefit and service of the people.

And if as a result of that Constitution people are to be murdered or cowed by gunmen, if the right of private property is to be departed from altogether, and if the people will have to submit to a regime which the interior law of their conscience assures them is a regime against morality, then the Constitution instead of being the beautiful thing that Deputy O'Connell says it is, would, in my opinion, be a perfectly damnable thing. I wish to point out also with regard to urgency that the Deputies here know perfectly well that actual threats have been made to Deputies. We have cases where men came along and made threats to Deputies. I have heard it said that these men were constituents calling upon their Deputy. To my knowledge these men were very careful not to be constituents of the Deputies. They were careful that they were people whom the Deputy would not know. These gentlemen come along to a Deputy and say “We want to know how you are going to vote on this Bill; we have come from the I.R.A.” Is that to be considered a pat on the back for the Deputy? The I.R.A. is known to be a body of men whose consciences are completely blunted, men who do not recognise the moral law.

Those who have experience of the existing conditions in parts of this country are aware that by virtue of this organisation you have the intimidation of witnesses, with perjury. We know that the Deputies at this moment are actually being threatened, and owing to the weakness of the law, owing, if you like, to the cowardice of the people, you have in this country this quite strong organisation which is well armed. This urgency is necessary because everybody recognises that the longer we spend on this Bill the more danger will come to the people in this country from this organisation. This is a Bill that should be passed in the shortest possible time. It is a question merely whether the Bill is desirable or not. I do not believe [77] that there is any such difference between us and the Deputies on the other side as they pretend there is. I think Deputies of the Fianna Fáil Party know, perhaps not quite as well as we do, that this organisation exists. They have some idea of its strength. Deputies over there know that in their constituencies there are more than 1,000 men in this organisation—men with armaments. Deputies know how much armaments these people have. They know what the aims of these people and their methods in obtaining these aims are.

Fianna Fáil realises that the ordinary citizen in many parts of the country cannot perform his ordinary functions because he knows that it is not in the power of this State under the present law and Constitution to protect him against this organisation. He has evidence of the power of this organisation to make its will effective against the ordinary decent citizens of the country. If that is so, the whole State is in a condition of collapse and it is the moral duty of every person in the State to see that the Government takes all such powers as are necessary to put these down. When it comes to taking these powers some people's minds are in the painful position of being in the midst of a political tradition in which it is suggested that the eternal laws were created by Gladstone or Cobbett or by the Bill of Rights or something like that. It is the duty of the people to form themselves into a State, it is the duty of the people to have a Government, and it is the duty of that Government to have power and to assert that power against every existing evildoer. The idea of Liberalism or democracy was that the power of the Executive should be limited. We have been told that this is an election dodge and then we have been told by the same Deputies that the Bill is not going to help us.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  No, it is not.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  I agree with Deputy Lemass. What are we to do? Are we to sit here having received from God power and authority and allow the gun bullies to go around and not only to [78] take the lives of the people, but to destroy the moral consciousness of the youth of the country? If the situation comes when we hand over the government of the country to Fianna Fáil is it not our duty to hand it over to them in a way in which they can make it effective? I do not think that Fianna Fáil have been distinguished by their moral courage. I do not think that their moral courage in a situation like this would be equal to ours. They may be better than us; they say so themselves, but I think we, who have faced up to the situation again and again, may not have their splendid record of high-falutin phrases, but we fell it will be our duty to hand over this Government to our successors as an effective Government.

I wish to say here that I am very far from a wish to stress any difference between Fianna Fáil and ourselves in this matter. I do believe that the majority of the Deputies of Fianna Fáil entirely agree with us. They may differ in details. But I think every Deputy here who has come from the country realises the situation that exists there and realises the necessity of having power and force, gun-work if necessary, in order to put down the propaganda of crime and the commission of crime, and to put down a whole organisation whose methods will destroy the moral principles of the youth of this country and will consequently destroy the Irish nation that we have cared about. I think Deputies opposite realise that as well as we do. They may think that perhaps we take more powers than are necessary. I would ask them to put themselves in our position. Here we are responsible for the material and spiritual welfare of the people of this country, a people with the enormous tradition of good that we have behind us but a trickle which owing to external influence has worried us in our view of political morality.

I ask Deputies to put themselves in our position. Would it be right for us to ask for insufficient powers or to ask for excessive powers? Are the Deputies opposite justified in assuming that the Executive in asking for powers sufficiently wide in order to cover all [79] loopholes, are asking for powers that are excessive? Are the Deputies opposite justified in assuming that it is right to let the organisation of crime go on in the country rather than entrust the Executive with certain powers? I admit that the tradition of Liberalism has been to limit the power of the Executive. I do not pretend to have Liberal ideas but I do think that one thing must be realised by all of us and that is that the Executive must have all the powers that are necessary to put down crime in the country.

Deputies have referred to previous Acts. We had one which as the President said was abrogated, and, within two months of the abrogation of that Act, there was an attempt to murder a juryman. If the Deputies will look at the growth of crime in this country they will see that the real serious nature of it begins immediately after the removal of the Public Safety Act. It has increased consistently, for instance, since the courts by decision have declared certain limitations to the powers of the police. The less power there was in the instruments of law the stronger became the organisation of crime outside. I would ask every individual, every Party to throw aside Party interests. This Bill might be useful to us or it might be useful to the Fianna Fáil in the country. It may harm us or it may harm Fianna Fáil in the country. But we are going to aim for power, even though everything we fought for, and cared for, should perish in our country and is going to go down in ruin and disaster! Are we going to bother about power in the face of a situation like that?

If our political advisers advised us that the most effective way of cutting our political throats for the rest of our lives in this country was to bring in this Bill, and if I felt that this Bill would be effective in putting down, in destroying the sword of the Communists and that of other criminals in this country, then I would be prepared to bring in and to vote for this Bill. This Bill is necessary and urgent. It is not marring the Constitution. A Constitution which makes possible the [80] existence of crime in this country, and which limits the power of the Executive to deal with that crime, is not a Constitution to be proud of. Everything which changes a Constitution so as to make it more effective in dealing with crime is something which improves the Constitution and something to be proud of in that Constitution. That is my view of it.

I regret, and I withdraw if I have said anything since I have got up here which could be counted as throwing any slur upon the Party opposite. I do not believe that the Party opposite will assist these other people outside to carry on their organisation of crime. I do not believe that they will be guilty of any action which could possibly deter the Government in the putting down of crime. I will refuse to believe that until I see it. And even if I do see it I am ready to believe that portion of the grace is operating in the direction of enabling them to take a sensible view. I ask everyone of them to throw everything else aside and to realise that there is an organisation of crime in this country, and that this organisation is going to make its habitat here amongst the young men of this country. I would ask everybody to look at that organisation from the point of view of the harm it will do to the youth of this country, and to throw aside any belief or prejudice they have about limiting the rights of the Executive and the rights of the people. The people have the right to be protected from crime, and the young people have a right to be protected from everything which will tend to subvert and undermine their moral being. I would ask the members of the Dáil to throw everything else out of their minds, to view the situation as it exists, and to say to themselves that they will not allow crime to grow up and to be carried on in the country.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I feel considerable sympathy with the protest made by Deputy O'Hanlon during the course of the Minister's speech. It seems to me that the greater part of the speech which we have heard from the President and from the Minister for Defence was designed to prevent the Dáil examin- [81] ing the proposal before us. Deputies have forgotten that we are not now discussing the merits of the amendment of the Constitution which is contained in the Bill, the First Reading of which was taken to-day. No, this is a motion to enable the Government to rush that Bill through the Dáil in a manner which will prevent its proper examination and make it impossible to have it discussed in the way in which it should be discussed. This motion we are discussing is a motion to rush this Bill through without proper examination. That is the motion on which the President did not say one word.

Mr. P. Hogan (Minister): Information on Patrick J. Hogan  Zoom on Patrick J. Hogan  Neither did Deputy de Valera.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  I spoke on it.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I submit that Deputy de Valera was most relevant. He delivered the only relevant speech delivered to-day. He asked the Government to state the necessity for the adoption of this procedure or why it is necessary to rush this Bill through the House in a manner that would prevent its examination and make its amendment impossible. We have heard the Minister talk about the Constitution. This is a Bill to abrogate the Constitution. The Constitution may be the most glorious Constitution in the world, but it will be a dead letter before Friday evening if the Minister and his Party get their way. It is a Bill to abrogate the Constitution without the Dáil having an opportunity of examining it or discussing the necessity for it. This Bill is to be law, according to the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, within forty-eight hours' time and the members of this House have not yet read it. That is the proposal we are discussing. The motion under consideration now is a motion to make the rapid passage of the Bill possible. We are not dealing now with the merits of the Bill. Nothing has been said in support of it. The Minister of Defence refers to threats made to the Deputies. He appeared to be under the impression that the organisations that the President referred to are concerned about this Bill. I do not believe they are. I am prepared to [82] believe that these organisations secured a very great accession of strength on every occasion on which a speech was made by the Minister for Justice, or when a threat of the introduction of a Bill of this kind was made, and I am sure these organisations are delighted with this Bill.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  The organisations are sending out threats ordering the newspapers to give publicity to the protests against this Bill.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I do not know anything about that. I am not going to take the Minister's word for it. We heard statements made here to-day by the President, statements we know to be untrue and we are not going to take statements until they produce the proof in black and white. What is the case for urgency? We have here a number of extras read out from articles in “An Phoblacht.” I am not going to refer to a number of statements which might have been read from that paper referring to myself which are similar to the statements made on the Cumann na nGaedheal platforms every week-end.

Mr. Hogan (Minister): Information on Patrick J. Hogan  Zoom on Patrick J. Hogan  Not one.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Yes, every one of them. The fact of the matter is that most of these statements were made six months ago—in February, March and April last. Obviously the case for urgency does not rest on them. We are told of the interview in the “Daily Express” by two individuals. When was that interview given? Does the case rest on that interview? We have here a list of crimes which took place and most of them were committed six months ago. Does the case for urgency rest on them, and if so why did the Government not take action six months ago? Why did they wait until the Dáil had completed its holiday and then come with this proposal to rush this Bill through without proper examination? I suggest that the reason is because the Government are afraid to have it examined. They know the Bill is not urgent. They know that their chances of getting that Bill through and retaining their seats at the next election are slight if the [83] Bill's implications are examined fully in this House.

In the list of crimes of violence which the President read out there was a singular omission. There were a number of violent and other crimes reported in the Press during the period covered by this list which the Minister did not refer to. There was the shooting up in the town of Drogheda last August. Is not that so? There was the explosion in the Civic Guard barracks in West Cork six months ago. I suggest the reason that they are not included in that list is because the Government has since discovered that they were done by people in the pay of the Government.

Mr. Clery: Information on Michael Cleary  Zoom on Michael Cleary  There were arrests made by the Store Street police that were not mentioned either.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I am giving this explanation, that the people responsible for the acts were people over whom the Government should have control, but over whom they are afraid to exercise control.

Minister for Justice (Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney): Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Pure imagination.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  We are also given lists of organisations and told the constitutions of these organisations. The principal fact that Deputies should notice is that none of the revelations we have been promised in the Press for the past fortnight have been made. Not a single thing has been referred to by any Minister which was not public property. It has become obvious that there is no other information in the possession of the Government which could make them consider such proposals as they are now putting up to us to be necessary, of which the ordinary people did not know. There is a widely organised conspiracy we are told. When did that organised conspiracy come into existence? Was it during the period since the adjournment of the Dáil in July? Apparently not, if the only information which the Government have about it is the information which was given to-day by the President. Yet this Bill, this abrogation of the [84] Constitution, this establishment of military tribunals, is considered necessary now but was not considered necessary six months ago. Why not? I suggest that the explanation is that the general election is six months nearer now.

It has been stated by Deputy de Valera that it is the opinion of this Party that the Government have under the existing law adequate powers to deal with any conspiracy or campaign of violence which we know to exist. I have made inquiries about the truth of various statements made at meetings in Mayo by the Minister for Justice—all this drilling and parading of armed men and the rest of it. I met people in Cork who could tell me that there was plenty of drilling in Kerry; people in Kerry who said that there was plenty of drilling in Clare; people in Clare who said there was plenty of drilling in Galway; but I have not yet met any person who will say that in that respect the situation is any different from what it was three, four or five years ago in the area which he knows of personally. I challenge any Deputy to produce anything in the nature of proof, from his personal knowledge, that the situation in the past month was in that respect different from what it was six or twelve months ago.

Is it necessary that the Government should take the additional powers which they propose to take in this Bill? They have got adequate powers at present to punish anybody responsible for an offence against the law against whom they can produce proof. There is no difficulty in that respect. The powers they are taking now are something in addition to that. They want the right to suppress public meetings, the right to suppress newspapers, the right to imprison people on suspicion without proof, and they want, as one of the provisions of the Bill, I suggest, to make it easier for Civic Guards to commit assaults upon civilians and escape the consequences. What other explanation is there for the section which provides that when a civilian takes an action against a Civic Guard for assault that civilian [85] cannot have the right of having his case tried before a jury?

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Because we object to juries being intimidated.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The Minister passed an Act here and renewed that Act, which he assured us on his political reputation was to be quite adequate to prevent intimidation of juries.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  That had nothing to do with civil cases, only criminal cases.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It merely would require, according to the Minister's own theory, the extension of that Act to cover civil cases of this kind in order to deal with any difficulty that may exist. We know the Minister's attitude in relation to assaults committed by Guards. He said in this House that a Guard who commits an assault upon a civilian who is a political opponent of the Government is a good Guard.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  When? Produce that statement.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It is on the records of the House. We know that Civic Guards who were convicted of assault and mulcted for damages in the courts were promoted and were applauded by the Minister.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Name one.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  A number.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Name them.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Not a single one was submitted to any disciplinary action.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Not only that, but some were dismissed.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Some were dismissed when the cases were purely civil cases with no political aspect upon them. This is a Bill, we are told, to safeguard the rights of the people. We have the most glorious and democratic Constitution in the world, and in order to preserve it we are going to abolish it! Did anyone ever hear such logic before? In order to safeguard the rights of the people we are going [86] to take their rights away! What are the rights of the people? The right of free speech, the right of free assembly, freedom of the Press, the right to be allowed to go at liberty until a charge can be brought and proved.

Mr. Duggan: Information on Edmund John Duggan  Zoom on Edmund John Duggan  The right to murder people.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  No one suggests anything about the right to murder people. I suggest to the Deputy not to talk to me about murder or I will tell him something he would not like to hear. I am not here to defend murder. I am here to expose hypocrisy. The greater part of the speeches from the Government benches was hypocritical. All this talk about the democratic Constitution and the rights of the people is to justify a Bill which is going to destroy the Constitution and take away from the people those rights. We remember when that Constitution was first published. Deputy O'Connell talked about the three months given for the consideration of it. I was not concerned with affairs in this House at that time, but I was concerned to this extent with the Constitution, that I know various sections of it were likely to be considered very objectionable by our people, and in order to secure its acceptance there was inserted in the Constitution between these sections, other sections of an attractive nature, and the suitability of which could not be questioned. Now we are going to nullify these attractive sections in order to preserve the rest. Over there ex-members of the I.R.A., ex-members of the I.R.B. and ex-Irish Nationalists of various grades are going to vote to-day for giving the Executive Council these extraordinary powers for the destruction of that Constitution in order to preserve the oath to the British King and the other sections of that Constitution to which they themselves objected when it was framed. The rights of the people, we are told, have been attacked. I should like the President to tell us his opinion of the article published in the official organ of his Party, “The Star.” in which it was suggested that the army is only required to obey the orders of the [87] Executive Council so long as they agree with these orders. Does the President remember that article?

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  It has escaped me.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Apparently it did. The President does not read his own newspaper. Of course this article was printed in Irish, but a translation of it appeared in the daily Press. I advise the President to look up that article, because, it is commonly believed through the country that it was written by the Vice-President of the Executive Council and expressed his views. He was challenged with that fact and he did not contradict it. I suggest, that if there is a danger to the elementary rights of the people, it comes from a member of the Government holding such views as that. One phrase in the President's speech, in my opinion, gave us the real reason why this panic atmosphere was being created and this Bill introduced. The President said the Government had devoted all their energies to the economic regeneration of the country, but had found themselves impeded by the existence of these organisations and the occurrence of the acts to which he referred. This Bill then is his excuse for failure. The Government devoted their energies to the economic regeneration of the country, and having failed to regenerate it they introduced this Bill as their excuse. Because of the unemployed, because of the housing shortage, because of the failure of the Government to deal with the major economic problems confronting the country, they have to erect this camouflage behind which to hide and behind which they can appeal to the people for a renewal of the mandate at the approaching general election. We have got an unemployment problem of a very considerable extent. There are I suppose 80,000 unemployed in this country. People who are unable to find work; who are not given an opportunity of earning the necessaries of life for themselves and their families, do not care much about the theories of government. They are not fed by the theories of government; and if they complain against the existing order and [88] maintain it is unfair and not operating to their advantage, they are denounced as Communists and presented with a Bill that will permit of their being imprisoned without trial if the Government so desire. That is the Government solution of the unemployment question, bludgeon the unemployed into silence.

There are 78,000 people in Dublin living in single rooms in tenements which are declared officially to be unfit for human habitation. This Bill is the Government's alternative to a housing programme. If these people dare to complain or question the theories upon which government rests they are denounced as Bolshevicks and they are to be placed in internment camps. That may be an advantage for many of them because there at least they will be fed. Then we have the transport chaos, and we have the currency crisis, and we have the possibility of a deficit in the Budget. We have the Shannon Scheme mess and we have the Circuit Rules mess and messes in every Department of State over which the Government exercises control, and the sole reason why this atmosphere is created and this Bill is introduced is to prevent criticism of the Government's incompetence in these matters.

The National Executive of Fianna Fáil has thrown out a challenge to the Government which it cannot ignore. We say we are satisfied that there is neither need nor demand for this Bill on the part of the public and we ask them to test public feelings by going to the country on the matter. We deny that the Executive Government is any longer supported by a majority of the people. We say that the results of the by-elections in Kildare and Longford and Westmeath are similar to the results that would be forthcoming in any other constituency if there was a by-election to-morrow. We believe that at present if a vote of the people were taken Cumann na nGaedheal would suffer as overwhelming a defeat as the Irish Party suffered in 1918. And believing that, we challenge the Party opposite before proceeding in this matter and risking the consequence of this measure to ask the people about whom they prated so often in the past [89] to express their will upon their record now.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  I would like to believe that the appeal made this afternoon by the President for the co-operation of the leaders and members of all parties was made with a sincere desire to secure that co-operation. I as one of the members of the Labour Party very strongly supported the suggestion made by Deputy O'Connell at Castlebar last Sunday. Being anxious to secure co-operation by a conference of all parties at which all parties would be represented the Labour Party appointed two members of its Executive to approach the leaders of the other parties. The two members concerned approached two prominent leaders of the Fianna Fáil Party who, I believe, were in a position to express the views of that party regarding the desirability of the suggested conference. Our members were definitely informed that the leaders of the Fianna Fáil Party were prepared to enter the suggested conference provided the Government was prepared to come in also.

One of the principal reasons why I supported the demand for a conference of all parties was for the purpose of finding out from the President what evidence he had in his possession to justify the proposed Bill. I believed the President would be candid enough at such a conference, provided he was willing to attend it, to put his cards on the table, to produce evidence in support of the speeches made by Deputy Batt O'Connor and Deputy Séamus Dolan and other party managers in the past few weeks and to justify the statements they were making, namely, that there was direct connection between the people responsible for the present state of affairs in Russia and people associated with certain organisations in this country and that the President would be able to prove, and I hope he will, if he can, that Russian money is coming into this country for the purpose of subsidising these organisations. I am speaking here as a Deputy who feels that he would be prepared to take certain responsibilities and to back certain suggestions, some of which are [90] contained in this Bill, if that were the case. I would not lend my support personally to or allow to continue in existence any paper that either condoned or justified murder.

The President read a long list of quotations from “An Phoblacht” which I certainly agree justified certain incidents that occurred in this country, and which every decent-minded citizen deeply regrets and which I believe every decent-minded citizen is prepared to put down and stamp out. I want to know from the President why he has not taken steps before now to prevent the publication of “An Phoblacht,” if he were satisfied six or eight months ago that this paper was condoning or justifying certain murders. I would be prepared to vote for any section in this or any other Bill that would put such a paper out of circulation in this country.

I want to say in connection with the conference that the two members appointed by our party and who got certain assurances from the Fianna Fáil Party leaders that they would enter a conference, also made representations to President Cosgrave last night with the object of getting him and his party to come into the suggested conference. A letter was received by me from President Cosgrave stating that he had not read the suggestions made by Deputy O'Connell. Like the great Mr. Balfour he reads nothing that appears in the papers.

President Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Oh, I do.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  President Cosgrave, who had not read the statements, was good enough to receive the two members of our Party this morning at 10.45. He definitely turned down the suggested conference. I want to place the responsibility for turning down the suggestion upon President Cosgrave because I believe he should have agreed to the conference and attended it or that he should have sent his representatives to it with the object of securing the co-operation which he has invited from the leaders of all parties in this House.

[91]President Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  If my recollection of the interview is correct I said let you have a conference with the Fianna Fáil Party when you have agreed upon a formula, I shall very favourably consider it.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Do I understand the President is in a position to justify his refusal to meet the leader of a party in this House that has as many representatives almost as the Cumann na nGaedheal Party? Is that what is usually done in normally governed countries? Is there any precedent for it?

President Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Certainly. My time is fully occupied, I do not know about the Deputy's time or that of the leader of the Opposition, but my time is fully occupied. Several times both the Deputy and his friend when I suggested a shorter method——

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  The Freemasons would not let you.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  I take the President's answer as evidence of his desire to secure co-operation.

Professor Tierney: Information on Prof. Michael Tierney  Zoom on Prof. Michael Tierney  Might I suggest to Deputy Davin an instance where co-operation was refused?

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  The Deputy will have an opportunity of making one of his usual speeches when I have concluded.

Professor Tierney: Information on Prof. Michael Tierney  Zoom on Prof. Michael Tierney  There was an instance in the past where a party in the House refused to visit the Pro-Cathedral with the President.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  I could not quote from speeches made by Deputy Tierney, but I know that Deputy O'Connor always speaks from a brief, and very often he has not been very brief on recent occasions. The time set down for the consideration of the Second Reading of this important measure to deal with a serious National situation is two and a half hours. The same time, I am informed, as was occupied by the Government Party at its meeting in Leinster House yesterday. I know perfectly well that it would not take the President anything like two and a half hours to convince the dummy Deputies [92] who support him in this House that the Bill is necessary. They are prepared now, as in the past, to come here after having heard his speech and to vote for anything he suggests.

Dr. Hennessy: Information on Dr. Thomas Hennessy  Zoom on Dr. Thomas Hennessy  They have the courage.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  The Deputy was brought in under arrest. They were hunted in.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Order, order.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  I invite some evidence from the President in support of the statements that have been made by his spokesmen that Russian money has found its way into this country, and is subsidising certain organisations that were recently established. The people are entitled to have the evidence and Deputies who are asked to support a Bill of this kind are certainly entitled to such evidence from the President. I am not one of the dummy Deputies, prepared to walk into the Lobby after any President, or after Deputy de Valera, if he was President, in support of a measure without some proof that these things exist. I agree that drilling has been going on in two or three parts of my constituency. I know that the British Facisti and that the Boy Scouts have been drilling, some of them not very far away from Leinster House several times during the past few years. I am not aware that any of those who were seen drilling in Dangan or elsewhere have arms at their disposal. I believe that the incident which the President referred to at Dangan was publicly announced beforehand and that several loads of C.I.D. men were able to get the information in advance and to arrest a certain prominent individual for drilling publicly. I believe that the individual who allowed the announcement to be made was a foolish man. He made arrangements for his own arrest by the C.I.D. by allowing his supporters to put it out that he was going to do a certain thing on a certain date.

I read in the semi-official organ of the Government, the “Irish Independent,” that certain documents were [93] captured some time ago on the persons of people found drilling in County Kerry. I want to demand as a right that every document in the possession of the President, and of the Minister for Justice, which would justify the Bill we are now asked to support should be printed and circulated for the information of Deputies and of the public. It is quite evident that Deputy O'Connor, speaking from the brief supplied by Cumann na nGaedheal headquarters, had some of these documents available for his information. I am as much entitled to see these documents as Deputy O'Connor. Deputy O'Connor is an ordinary Deputy and other Deputies are entitled to the information that could be made available to him.

Mr. Clery: Information on Michael Cleary  Zoom on Michael Cleary  He will disclose it in his next book.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  I was one of those who were honoured recently by the protection of the C.I.D. without any request on my part. As a matter of fact they might belong to Saor Eire or to any other illegal organisation or alleged illegal organisation as far as I was concerned. I was waited upon at my house on Monday morning by the Acting Superintendent, but I was away from home at the time. He called to where I work on the following evening. I know the Superintendent and we are very friendly. He told me that he called to know if I was looking well and to ask if I was getting on all right. He never informed me that he had orders from someone to do so. Two evenings afterwards when I had finished my work two gentlemen that I had never seen before put their heads inside the office door and asked if it would be long before I would be going home. I asked the gentlemen who they were and I told them that if they were members of the C.I.D. who had come to protect me. I think it was his duty, even as a matter of courtesy, on the part of the Minister, to inform me that these gentlemen were to call and to look after my welfare. However, I told them that I was going to finish my work and that they could go where they liked as I believed I was safer [94] without their protection. They continued to protect me.

I want to protest against the action of the Minister, or whoever was responsible for sending these gentlemen, without telling me their reason for calling, while leaving others of my distinguished colleagues unprotected. I believe that two of my front bench colleagues did not receive the same attention. I want to know from the Minister for Justice, or from the President, why I was entitled to this protection at the expense of the taxpayer and why it is that Deputy Corish, who is a distinguished front bench member of my Party, and also Deputy Hogan, did not receive the same protection. I heard that Deputy J. Boland received the same visitation, but the Deputy told me this evening that that was not quite accurate. However, I want to ask the Minister for Justice or the President to produce in the House evidence which will justify them in sending so many C.I.D. men to protect me. I was not waited upon like other people and asked what I intended to do when a certain measure was introduced. If I was honoured by a visit from gentlemen of the type referred to, I should have told them politely and bluntly that I would not give them any answer until I knew something about the measure I was asked to support.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  Did the C.I.D. men ask you?

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  No. I may say that I have nothing personal against any of the individuals concerned. I believe they are all right and that they were forced to perform this duty. At the same time, I believe it was the duty of the Minister or whoever was responsible to convey to the Deputies concerned the reason why such protection was necessary. I would like to have seen what justification there is and what documentary evidence is available to prove that certain employers in this country dismissed workmen because they would not join the I.R.A. Any employer who did such a thing at the request of people of that kind does not justify his existance as an employer, and certainly does not deserve the patronage of any courageous Irish citizen. I would like to see evidence and I hope [95] the President will produce some evidence in support of statements which are rather amazing and flabbergasting to the ordinary Deputy.

I have heard a good many hair-raising stories while going about as I do from pillar to post during the past couple of weeks. One was that there were six hundred paid agents of the Russian Government operating in this country. Does the President take any responsibility for those of his supporters who are going about telling these hair-raising stories around the country? If there is any justification for any statements of that kind, I say there should be some way of dealing with the matter. If money has been coming in from Russia for the purpose of subsidising certain organisations, for the purpose of overthrowing the State, then the President with his Secret Service and other machinery should have some evidence of activities of that kind. If he has such information let him tell the House. If he has not such information he should not be allowing some of his spokesmen to be going about reciting these hair-raising stories. I quite agree that the programme, as far as it is a programme, of the recently established organisation known as Saor Eire, is a sort of programme to appeal to the down-and-out worker or the down-and-out farmer in the country.

Their programme, so far as I can read it, was the programme subscribed to by the President, a programme, so far as I can follow it, to which the President, the Minister for Defence and all those who fought in Easter Week subscribed. They pretend to be standing for the programme for which all those who fought in Easter Week stood. That may be a wrong interpretation of the attitude of certain people who were associated with the movement at that particular time. The programme, in so far as it is a programme, calling on the people to pay no rents or rates, is certainly enticing people who cannot sell their cattle, sheep or pigs or who cannot get a price to enable them to pay their rents or rates. There is a way of dealing with that. There is ample [96] machinery at the disposal of the Land Commission or other State Departments to see that people who refuse to pay their rent are obliged to comply with the law. So far as I know of the activities of that organisation in my particular constituency, there is certainly a certain amount of passive support for it, but there is no such thing as a number of down-and-out farmers or any of the farmers who are in a bad way coming out openly, and I believe they never will go out openly, in support of a policy of that kind.

I do not believe that there is even a small percentage of the Catholic-minded people who will ever associate themselves openly or privately with any Communistic organisation. As far as I know there is nobody on these benches or nobody in this House, and very few in the country, who stand for a policy of that kind, so far as we understand the policy of the Communistic Party on the Continent. I am certainly an open enemy of the Communist Party on the Continent and I would do everything to support President Cosgrave, Deputy de Valera, if he were in his place, or any other person to put down any organisation that would force this country to accept the system established in countries that have Communistic Governments.

I have not had very much time to study very carefully the different sections of the Bill, but there is one section which I would very much like to hear justified by some other speaker who may be put up by the Ministerial Party. Section 25 gives power to the Governor-General, on the advice of the Executive Council, to co-opt a member in place of any member who may from various causes defined in the Bill be unable to attend to his duties here. In other words, the Government asks the Governor-General to co-opt a member to the House who was never elected to the House by the votes of the people.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Read the circumstances.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  I have read them.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  You have not.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  At any rate I am not prepared [97] to subscribe to that clause. I have not heard one word in the President's speech that would justify the passage of a clause of that kind, and if any other member of the Ministerial party takes any further part in the debate, I would like to hear detailed reasons given for the insertion of a clause of that kind in this Bill. This Bill in my opinion is an attempt to set up a dictatorship in disguise and to set up tribunals upon which men with a civil war outlook will be appointed to deal with crimes that may be committed by their opponents during a civil war period.

I would be prepared to allow a court consisting of impartially-minded men to deal with certain people charged with certain offences, but I do sincerely believe that men who were actively engaged on the Government side in the civil war have not that impartial outlook that would justify their being put on a tribunal of this kind to deal with charges of the type referred to in the Bill. At any rate I believe this whole Bill is an attempt on the part of the Government Party to show how much they love the Constitution while at the same time wiping out that Constitution and taking the power which the people gave to representatives in this House to govern the country from everybody except themselves and setting up what is in effect a dictatorship. I am not prepared to give any such power either to the present Cumann na nGaedheal Party or anybody who keeps them in power in this House.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  We have heard both from the Fianna Fáil Benches and from the Labour Benches to-night a very considerable amount of pious sentiment. We have heard, and to me at any rate it is new, a clear and an emphatic denunciation of crime coming from the Fianna Fáil Benches. We have heard, and it is not new, an equally clear denunciation of crime coming from the Labour Benches, but while they denounce the various crimes and declare their hostility to the organisations which are devoting all their energies to the extension of crime, the moment [98] it comes down to something practical, the moment a suggestion is made to deal with that situation, Deputies opposite—Fianna Fáil speakers and Labour speakers—immediately run away. They would like something else—Deputy de Valera nothing at all and Deputy O'Connell and Deputy Davin something else, other than what is proposed, but nothing definite, clear or concrete came from them.

There was a remarkable statement made by Deputy de Valera in the course of this debate. He said that there was no authority outside this House to rule or to take to life. He complained that Deputy O'Connell had misinterpreted a previous speech he made. If Deputy O'Connell misinterpreted that speech, I must say that I misinterpreted that speech too. Every member of the House, I believe, misinterpreted that speech, and I do think it a pity that for two years Deputy de Valera allowed that misinterpretation to go unchecked and unchallenged, though that misinterpretation, according to him, had been quoted in this House more than once. I am glad now that Deputy de Valera has made it perfectly clear and definite that this Oireachtas here is the sole law-making power in this State, that this Oireachtas has got the authority of the people and that no persons outside have got any moral justification in challenging the right of the Oireachtas. I am glad to hear that statement put in clear, definite and unequivocal terms by Deputy de Valera to-night.

Deputy de Valera says that there is no need for further powers, that the powers which are in existence are adequate to deal with the situation. Deputy O'Connell and Deputy Davin made a great deal of fuss about what they said was a proposal for a conference. Deputy de Valera was to go into that conference, a conference in which Deputy de Valera was to go with a point-blank refusal, a clear statement that there was no need for further powers. We demand powers. We say that extra powers are necessary. It is obvious to every person who has studied this problem that extra powers are necessary. Yet there [99] is to be a conference as to the extent of these extra powers and with a person who states clearly and definitely that there is no need for further powers. What a humbug that would be! I wonder why, if there was going to be a conference, it was left to this hour. It has been known for a considerable time that the Government considered that further steps should be taken in order that the peace of the country should be preserved. Why did they not come forward then with help, why wait until the last hour until a Bill is actually framed and ready? Why did they not come forward and say “We would like to be consulted”?

Mr. O'Connell:  Why did not the Government ask for their co-operation?

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Why did not the Deputy, if he were willing to co-operate, offer his co-operation? How can we expect co-operation from the Deputy? Every single Bill we have brought in here for the preservation of order has been opposed by Deputy O'Connell and the Labour Party, and if Deputy O'Connell changed and could say he had made mistakes, that the situation in the country was worse than he considered and came to us and said: “I think legislation is necessary now” why did he not do so? He has been a steady and consistent opponent of all the legislation we have brought forward from time to time for the preservation of the peace of this State and now we find him acting in precisely the same position to-day. There should be no legislation and yet we are to discuss it. Deputy O'Connell and various other Deputies, especially Deputy Lemass, said that this would make the Constitution a dead letter, that we were tearing up the Constitution and that the Constitution ceased to be of any importance. I wonder how Deputies have got the effrontery to get up in this House and to make a statement of that nature. The Deputy knows perfectly well that this is not a tearing up of the Constitution, that this leaves the Constitution, for every [100] ordinary citizen of the State, absolutely unimpaired.

Mr. O'Connell:  This is the Constitution.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  The Constitution, as it stands now, gives rights and liberties to the people, and these rights and liberties are preserved and are not infringed by this Bill to the slightest bit except in so far as persons endeavour to upset the State by force of arms. To Deputy O'Connell, to every member and supporter of the Labour Party, the Constitution stands completely where it stood, unaltered by this legislation. It is only on persons who are endeavouring to upset this State by force of arms—it is they and they alone who are not given the Constitutional right of trial by jury. To say that this is tearing up the Constitution or that the Constitution is made by this Bill a dead letter is to misrepresent absolutely what is happening, and it is, by a very poor class rhetoric indeed, endeavouring to substitute something in the face of reasonable and reasoned argument. Of course we have heard a very considerable amount about the liberty of the subject and all that. The liberty of the subject is a most precious thing. It is the most precious thing which a Constitution can give, and it is to preserve the liberty of the subject that we have introduced this Bill.

There are two classes of subjects. There is the law-abiding citizen and the person who is anxious to commit crime. If it is impossible to preserve together the liberty of the law-abiding citizen and the liberty of the criminal, which is to be preferred? The Deputies opposite say, “Oh, the liberty of the criminal! Let these men arm. Let them drill. Let these men go about and terrorise. Do not interfere with their liberty.” But what about the liberty of the persons they terrorise and threaten? How about the liberty of the person they deprive of a man's first right—the right to live. The ordinary simple jurymen and witnesses who do their duty have their first and great right, the right to live, infringed on. Are they not to [101] be protected? Is it not the plain law-abiding citizen whose claims are first needing consideration and whose claims should be first considered by this assembly?

Deputy de Valera comes along and tells us we have not got to the root of the evil. What is his cure? As far as I could understand Deputy de Valera it is this. Let them go on as they are. Do not interfere with them. Let them drill. Do not interfere with their drilling. Let them shoot. Let them murder. Let them do anything else you like. Do not interfere with them except in so far as you can under the present existing law detect them and arrest them. How else does he say you should go on? He declares that the economic condition of the country should be improved. We are all endeavouring to improve the economic condition of the State. We are told about the housing problem by Deputy Lemass and the rest. We are endeavouring to solve that question. We are endeavouring to put the whole resources of the State to that end. The whole energies we have we put to the resources of the State. We are utilising the State funds as well as we can to improve the condition of the people, but until there is a complete economic Paradise in this country Deputy de Valera thinks political murderers should be allowed to go out and do exactly what they like. He talks about people coming in and not being able to take the Oath and that if the Oath were taken away these individuals would attempt to come into this Dáil and would have no more Communism, I.R.A. or any more organisation.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  Or Freemasonry.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  What utter nonsense! The Deputy knows a great deal more about Freemasonry than I do. What authority has the Deputy for making that statement? Can Deputy de Valera quote a single leader of this I.R.A. who has ever suggested that he would come into this assembly if the Oath were taken away or that if the Oath were taken away he would consider this a properly constituted assembly? What is the good of talking absolutely empty rhetoric of that kind? If you can base that statement upon [102] any single statement of Saor Eire, or any leader at the present moment of the I.R.A., produce it. I find the very opposite.

Every statement I can come across from the leaders of the other Party is the very opposite. They do not believe in this Constitution or in Parliamentary Government at all. They are opposed to Parliamentary Government. Let us see what Saor Eire is. We are asked the need of this. Let us consider what the present condition of the country is. We have got similar associations—“The Friends of Soviet Russia” and Cumann na mBan. There are various other associations which the President mentioned but we have those two. We have Saor Eire and the I.R.A. What has happened? The I.R.A. at the present moment is drilling practically, I believe, in every county in the Free State. Deputy O'Connell asked me if there is any drilling going on in South Mayo. I answer him that though South Mayo is one of the most quiet constituencies in the country, and though there is less drilling going on there than elsewhere, there is drilling. There is a considerable amount of drilling going on.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Is there any in Leix?

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  There is, and a very prominent gentleman was recently arrested for drilling there, Mr. McGuinness, connected with “Saor Eire.”

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  That is in Offaly.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I can assure the Deputy that Mr. McGuinness extended his operations all over the Deputy's constituency.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  He was arrested in Offaly.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Since he was arrested drilling has gone off the constituency considerably. There is a certain amount still. Let us now consider what is happening. Drilling goes on in the country. A certain number of boys are collected, are brought out and drilled, and are told all that sort of wretched nonsense that we hear in this House. They are told that this State is not free. They are told we [103] are still under Imperial rule. They are told that we cannot do as we like in this country. They are told all that nonsense, and they are told that they are going to drill and fight for Irish independence just as if this State now were not completely masters of their destiny. When they have been told that and have been got in for a few days' drilling in the I.R.A., down comes one of the Saor Eire plus I.R.A. for the personnel on top has a great deal in common, and these young men who have been drilling in the I.R.A. are induced to join this Saor Eire organisation. That is regularly happening over the State, and these men are brought in to begin with on the plea that they are doing patriotic work, and before they know where they are they are landed by their leaders into this Saor Eire organisation.

Let us consider what this Saor Eire is. It is: “To organise Committees of Action among the Industrial and Agricultural Workers, to lead the day-to-day struggle of the Working-Class and Working Farmers against exploitation, and to secure a revolutionary leadership for their common struggle.” This means: “The mobilisation of the Irish people behind a Revolutionary Government, for the overthrow of British Imperialism and its allies in Ireland, and for the organisation of a Workers' State.” There is no question about coming into the Dáil there. There is no question of Parliament there. There is no question that they are endeavouring to convert this Assembly into carrying out their views. It is clear that they are a revolutionary party and their aim is revolution. If they were a constitutional party and if they did not look to physical force and that physical force the I.R.A. they would put up their representatives to stand for this House. They do not do that and they will not do that. They have no intention of doing it. They are purely revolutionary in their means. What is the good of saying that they will cease to be revolutionary if you take away the Oath? There is not a word about taking away the Oath here. They do not want to substitute the President of a Republic [104] for the Governor-General. They want quite a different class of republic. Listen to what they want. “To vest all political power within the Republic in the Working-Class and Working Farmers.” What is that but a pure Soviet business? Deputy de Valera is not to be entitled to have a vote. Deputy Ruttledge, because he is a professional man and other members of the Party opposite, are to be completely disfranchised. All political power is to be vested in the working class and working farmers. They are to abolish, without compensation, landlordism in land, fisheries, and minerals. Of course, landlordism in land has ceased to be except so far as the tenant proprietors are the landlords of their holdings or except so far as there may be landlordism in the possession of houses in towns. Those are to be confiscated. Fisheries and minerals likewise. The next object is “To make the National wealth and credit available for the creation and fullest development of essential industries and mineral resources, through Industrial Workers' Co-operatives under State direction and management, the workers to regulate internal working conditions.” In other words, the industrial workers, the co-operatives under State direction, are to take over all national wealth and all the national credit “to establish a State monopoly in Banking and Credits.”“To create a State monopoly in Export and Import services, and to promote co-operative distribution.”

I am asked what has Russia got to do with this Saor Eire. Surely Deputy Davin, reading this document, as possibly he has read it, or hearing it read, must see that it has emanated from Russian sources and it will not surprise, I suppose, Deputy Davin very much if I inform him that in 1930 Mr. David Fitzgerald, who is secretary of Saor Eire, spent a very considerable time in Russia. I am asked about the connection between the I.R.A. and Saor Eire. I will tell you. Let me take some of the principal men of Saor Eire lately elected. Mr. Sean McBride is Adjutant-General also of the I.R.A. Mr. Michael Price is another important gentleman in Saor Eire [105] Mr. Michael Price is Director of Intelligence of the I.R.A. Peadar O'Donnell, also a member of Saor Eire, is a member of the Army Council of the I.R.A., and this Sean McGuinness that Deputy Davin is so interested in is a member of the Directorate of Saor Eire and is Officer Commanding the Battalion Staff of the Offaly Brigade. So here you have perfectly plain the connection between these two bodies. You have Saor Eire coming along and collecting all the discontented persons, the persons who do not want to pay land annuities and who do not want to pay their taxes, the gentlemen who will not pay their debts. They collect all these on the one hand and get them together, and on the other hand they are deluding a great number of decent, respectable country boys into joining first the I.R.A. and afterwards Saor Eire. They are working the same way, both joining up together. It is said that it has nothing to do with Russia and that proofs are wanted of it. Deputies opposite want no proof. They know that the I.R.A. was very closely associated with Russia. There is an interesting gentleman who was tried here recently in Dublin called Mr. Sean Russell. Mr. Sean Russell is at the present moment Quartermaster-General of the I.R.A. Mr. Sean Russell visited Russia in the year 1925 and he was accompanied by two gentlemen, one of whom is now a Deputy of this House. On September 30th, 1925, he, then being Quartermaster-General of the I.R.A., sent a very interesting communication to Deputy Lemass, who at the time was Minister for Defence. Of course, it was in code, but I have had it decoded. It runs as follows:—

“With a view to fixing up communications between M. and London, via Berlin, I was instructed on my return from M. on last July to call on Mr. X in Berlin and arrange the line between Berlin and London. I found Mr. X, and having no London address I gave him a Dublin covering address, to which letters could be addressed to me.

As Mr. X considered it unadvisable to go to Dublin he wrote last month asking me to meet him in London. On receipt of this letter I reported to the M.D., who instructed me to meet Mr. [106] X and introduce him to O/C B (Britain) as the link between Dublin and Berlin. This I did.

I had an hour's conversation with Mr. X and O/C Britain when future meeting places, postal and hand communications were fixed up for both ends.

Mr. X required the following:—

1. Information re navy and aircraft.

2. Drawings from Patent Office of new optical instrument for directing aeroplanes.

3. Drawings of new aeroplane engines. Type specified.

4. Sample of new gas mask.

Mr. X agreed to defray all expenses in connection with above.

It was Mr. X's intention to remain in London for three or four weeks after the date on which I met him, so it is likely that his list of requirements increased in the meantime.

I am in receipt of a communication from O/C Britain dated 25th September, in which he states that Mr. X is still in London and that he has been successful in supplying all his requirements. He promises to send us a detailed report later.

For your own information we have instructed O/C Britain to file all information required by this man and secure samples of articles required by him.”

And now comes the most significant thing of all:—

“It is quite possible that Mr. X is using O/C Britain as one of his agents (just an individual), and although he is willing to pay us for our services, it may not come under the notice of the people in Moscow that we as an organisation are rendering any assistance. I have no doubt that we are in a position to supply information which, to them, is of the utmost importance, and that if we continue to assist these people it should be made clear that our assistance is coming to them officially.

I hope to talk this matter over with you soon.—Q.M.G.”

The Q.M.G. was Sean Russell. There is a statement that he was sent to Russia——

[107]Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  What has all that to do with this Bill?

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Deputy Davin asks for proof that any Russian money comes into this country or that anybody was receiving Russian money. That is a proof that he was receiving Russian money.

I suggest that in the year 1925, and I say as far back as this, money was being received. Deputy Lemass sent on this communication at the time to Deputy Aiken and the communication was accompanied by that letter. “The attached report from the Q.M.G. which I am inclined to agree with... We must be in terms of absolute equality or there can be no liaison as far as we are concerned...I will put this matter on the agenda for the next Army Council meeting.” I do not suggest for one moment that Deputy Lemass is now connected with Russia or influenced in any way about these things.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  There is one thing I want to say and that is that to my knowledge no rouble of Russian money ever came into this country.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  To the Deputy's knowledge. But still when the Deputy gets that letter that he is “willing to pay us for our services,” it is plain——

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  That is not a case for urgency.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  ——it is plain that that agent is being paid for his services. There has been steady communication the whole time between these persons and Russia. In the year 1927 ten prominent Communists from this country went over to Russia. In 1928 a gentleman called Burke was found with revolvers concealed. On 17th March, 1928, Mr. Burke was arrested in London and found to be in possession of twenty revolvers and a sum of money which included two £10 Bank of England notes. As a result of inquiries made it was found that these notes emanated from the Russian Trading Bank in London; and here is this gentleman found with his nice little portmanteau filled with revolvers. In 1929 six gentlemen [108] chosen by Mr. Peadar O'Donnell went to the Lenin College in Moscow to go through a course of the technique of revolution in that school and they remained there, and they took out there that course which is extremely interesting I am sure—that course in which lectures are given in the Lenin College in Moscow.

Mr. Gorey: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  We have the results here.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Therefore to say that an endeavour is not being made at this moment to impregnate this country with Russian ideas is absolutely absurd; and I myself do not see how it is possible for this country to endure as it endures now, I do not see how it is possible for this country to remain the Ireland that it is now or the Ireland that it was in the past, I do not see how it is possible for Ireland to remain in the future a really Catholic country if it is going to be permeated by force of arms with doctrines of that nature. “What is the necessity? What is the hurry?” say the Deputies. They heard the President reading out a category of crimes, every one of which took place in the year 1931. Deputy de Valera says that as far as the Clare crime was concerned one of the crimes was not political. I agree with Deputy de Valera that it was agrarian and not political. But that crime was not mentioned by the President at all. It is solely the crimes that were political that were mentioned by the President, and these are crimes that have taken place within the last few months.

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  What prompted me to make the statement was the reference to a special case which I had been written to about, and it was not of a political character.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  There have been several shootings in Clare lately, unfortunately. Two of the shootings mentioned by the President were of a political nature. The other shooting was not of a political nature.

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  That is not local opinion.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  What is [109] taking place? Human life is being endangered. Human life is being frequently taken in this State. Are we to sit down and acquiesce tamely in that? Are we to allow it to go on or to take the necessary powers which will prevent a return of crime? That is the choice before the House. We have been told to try the ordinary methods. The ordinary methods are not capable of coping with this abnormal situation. We have tried the ordinary methods. We have tried the ordinary law. We have tried it as long as we could, and Deputies must know that. In the year when the civil war ended the Government made a tremendous gesture towards peace. They gave a free pardon to everybody who had committeed any crime which was committed during the civil war in pursuance of the civil war. The jails were flung open. There were plenty of cases in which prosecutions were being brought and in which a nolle prosequi was entered.

The Government endeavoured to make a fresh and clean start. They said: “Let us have no violence and no more crime.” But crime did not cease, it went on. Then we brought in the Public Safety Act. As a matter of fact, if anybody finds fault with us over the Public Safety Act, a fault might possibly be found with us for keeping it in force for too short a time, and for using it with too great leniency. We used it only once and kept it in force for only eighteen months. During the time it was in force, peace was preserved in this country. As soon as it was revoked disturbance broke out again. As soon as it was revoked you had jurymen shot at and witnesses murdered. We tried the Jury Act. We tried to hold on as long as we could with that. It worked for a time and guilty men were found guilty, but finally the time has come when we say that jurymen now are not willing to find verdicts—to find guilty men guilty or to take the risk which doing their duty entails on them.

We say now that the time has come when it is unfair for us to ask jurymen to take that risk. We think that clearly the court procedure has broken down. We are met with two things— we must bring in a new procedure or [110] bow our heads to crime. The issue that is before the House now is: are we to bow our heads to crime or to adopt a new procedure in the courts? Deputy de Valera says that the Dáil is the only institution in the State which has a right to make laws. Is this institution going to bow its head to criminal associations and let them carry on with immunity? That is now the question the House has to decide. Everybody who votes against this measure is, whether he likes it or not, voting for the continuance of a state of crime in this country.

We are told we are tearing up the Constitution. I pointed out that we are not. We have found and other countries find that in abnormal situations when the State is threatened by force the ordinary law is not enough. We are not the only country in Europe at present that has got to take repressive measures. Far from it. Because the Deputies opposite are absolutely steeped in British tradition they think that a departure from the Constitution or the refusal of free speech at all times is a denial of liberty. In England when the liberties of the majority of people were threatened by a minority the people did not allow their Constitution or the principles of the Constitution to ride roughshod over their common sense.

Are Deputies aware that since the Habeas Corpus Act was passed in England it was suspended not less than eleven times; and we, in this present situation, are asked to carry on with the English law which we inherited, but which the English people themselves found incompetent to deal with serious emergency problems. That is what the House is asked to do. We are taking the best line. It is our first duty to this House, it is our first duty to the public, and it is the first duty of the Executive, whatever Executive is in power, to see that the liberties of the majority of the people of the country are preserved, and that every law-abiding man may be able to earn his daily bread without interference by criminals.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  My excuse for intervening in this Debate is that for the first time since I entered this House [111] nearly ten years ago I cannot agree with, and I do not agree with, the views put forward by the leader of the Labour Party or the Labour Party itself. I regret that very much, because I have always been a member of the Labour Party and will be a member of it so long as I possibly can. But we are faced with a position in this country to-day which, in my opinion, and from my knowledge of the conditions in my own county, is much more serious than any position or any situation which existed in this country since this State was started. This is the first time that I ever voted for what might be called a Public Safety Bill. I have, in common with the other members of this party, since 1923 onwards voted against every Bill which has been introduced into this House which could be called a Coercion Bill. I voted against it because I did not believe it would have the effect, in the circumstances then existing, which it was thought it would by those who introduced it. But we must remember that when a Public Safety Bill was introduced here in July, 1923, we had a different situation. We were dealing then with our own people. We were dealing with something which, even if we could not agree with it, we could understand. We were dealing with men, most, if not all, of whom had certain definite national ideals and national outlook. To-day we meet here to deal with a very different problem. We have to deal with forces in this country which are both anti-national and anti-Christian.

Mr. Mullins: Information on Thomas Lincoln Mullins  Zoom on Thomas Lincoln Mullins  Prove it.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  That is the explanation, if any explanation is required, for the vote I am to give on this Bill. I first read the Bill to-day. I have heard here a lot of talk about the liberty of the subject and about the sacredness of the Constitution, and about the rights of the people of this country. I think I have and ought to have as much respect for the Constitution as any man either inside or outside this House. But I would ask those who talk about the sheet-anchor of [112] safety which lies in the constitution for the people of this country, of what use was the Constitution to Superintendent Curtin when murdered in Tipperary outside his own door or what use was the Constitution to the boy Ryan, the labouring man brought outside his own door, shot on the side of the road in Tipperary and flung there like a dog? I know conditions in my own county. I can understand Irishmen fighting for Irish national ideals. I can respect men who fight for an Irish Republic, but I cannot understand Irishmen or an Irish Parliament truckling to people who are neither Irish nor Christian. I do not want to say very much in this Debate. We have heard a lot of talk about the danger of giving a free hand to the Government. If I am faced with the choice of giving a free hand to the Government elected by the majority of the people of this State or a free hand to those who murdered Superintendent Curtin or the boy Ryan, then I will give it to the Government, and I submit that, stripped of all trimmings and of all pleadings, that is the position to-day. I want to advert to one other thing which, in my opinion, is even more serious than perhaps the murder of these two men whom I have mentioned. That is the attempt to intimidate the members of the Oireachtas.

I want to proclaim that I am supporting this measure for the reasons I have given and for one reason above all others, because I am a democrat and because an attempt to intimidate the members of the Oireachtas strikes at the root of democracy. I want to submit that this is not a matter for the Government. It is a matter for every member of the Oireachtas because the attack which has been made is not an attack upon the Government, but an attack upon the State. If we in the Labour Party were the Government of this country to-morrow and if a similar state of affairs existed as exists to-day, we would have to take somewhat similar measures to deal with it and if we did not we would not be fit to govern. The same thing applies to the Fianna Fáil Party.

[113] It has been stated that Communism does not count in this country—that it is not active. I know that it is active in my county. I know that within the last couple of weeks branches have been started in Tipperary. I know that within the last fortnight we had an Indian gentleman, whom I had the pleasure of meeting here ten or twelve years ago, an ex-member of the British Parliament, Mr. Saklatvala, speaking down in Roscrea in my constituency with Mr. Peadar O'Donnell. I have no doubt whatever in my mind and I am sure none of you have that it was because of love of Ireland or because he wanted Ireland prosperous and free that he came across here.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  At any rate he stood by Ireland when Morrissey did not.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Let us keep to the argument.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  The Deputy did not stand very fast by Ireland in 1917 when he tried to get over by the first train, but missed it. I am entitled as a member of this House to give expression to my opinions, and I am giving expression to them fearlessly.

Mr. Little: Information on Patrick J. Little  Zoom on Patrick J. Little  At what price?

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  That interjection is worthy of the Deputy who made it.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The people of Tipperary know Morrissey.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  They know him so well that they have returned him for the last ten years and will do it again. If there is a characteristic of Tipperary men, it is this, that they admire the man who stands to his guns and who will accept his responsibility and stand up to it. If it is any information for the Deputy personally, I may say that sooner than shirk my responsibility like he is doing I would resign from the Dáil to-morrow morning.

Mr. Ruttledge: Information on Patrick Joseph Ruttledge  Zoom on Patrick Joseph Ruttledge  We have heard two very interesting speeches—one from the Minister for Justice and the last one from the Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  From Deputy Morrissey.

Mr. Ruttledge: Information on Patrick Joseph Ruttledge  Zoom on Patrick Joseph Ruttledge  Well, Deputy Morrissey. For the moment we were inclined [114] to confuse it, especially in view of the speech we have listened to. A good deal of complaint has been made on this side of the House about this matter being rushed through. I do not think there should be that amount of complaint on this side of the House or from anybody who knows the Government. Members on this side of the House, at any rate, should know the tactics which have been always adopted by the Government Party. This is an alteration of the Constitution. When a certain pact was made as to the introduction of the Constitution and that it would be before the electorate of the country to pronounce upon it, it was handed out to that electorate on the morning of the election. The Government in bringing in this Bill now and in closuring the time on it are living up to their tradition and the tricks and methods and tactics they have adopted in the past. I would be surprised if they could now get away from these dirty underhand tactics by which they have been always trying to trick and fool the people. They very often succeeded by trying little sharp practices and mean, dirty underhand methods such as they practised when they put the Constitution before the country on the morning of the election. That is what they are doing now. In the last month or so we have been promised by the advance agent the Minister for Justice, something in the way of a coercion measure. He has made vague long harangues down the country at meetings where he could not get a suitable chairman to preside—where he could not get any chairman to preside—and stated that this measure was necessary and that it would be introduced. He got the paid organiser, Mr. Hands, to preside at these meetings, but no self-respecting citizen in the locality would preside at them when they were convened for a purpose like that.

Very little reference was made in these speeches to the economic condition of the country. It was the economic condition of the country that the people in the area where the Minister made the speeches were anxious to hear the solution of, but the Minister offered them none. He only tried to frighten and terrorise them into the belief that a terrible state of chaos [115] existed in the country, that a revolution was brewing, and that they would all be burned out in a few days, so that he would try and blind them to the true position. He was sent out as an advance agent to create the atmosphere to try and frighten the people first. These are the tactics. Now the Government think that the atmosphere is sufficiently well created. They think that the stage has been pretty well set. The Bill could not come into the hands of Deputies a week or a fortnight ago. Although the Minister for Justice had been able to discuss something about it down the country, and other Ministers had been able to refer to it. Deputies could not be trusted to get it into their hands. It was just mooted that secret meetings were being held by the Executive Council. A strained feeling was sought to be created throughout the country. The next thing we had was Guards being sent through the country to protect Cumann na nGaedheal Deputies and the feeling was created through the country that it was very necessary to have them — that shootings would take place. Then we saw these Guards coming up in the trains with these Deputies to attend a very important meeting, and we have had the reports in the papers vaguely hinting at what transpired at these meetings, and the very serious mood in which Deputies were, thinking nobody would see through the game. When you have a Press behind you in a game like that, you can really succeed in going a considerable distance. Then this morning when we were coming down to the House we had a number of Guards ornamenting the Shelbourne Hotel corner and also around the entrance gate. You had them all over the place to try and frighten the people into thinking that really there was a serious situation to be dealt with. Now we have had it from the Minister for Defence, and I think it was uttered with a certain amount of regret, that he does not think this Bill is going to help them in an election. Candidly I do not think it will, because although the game was pretty well played, it was too thinly-veiled for anybody not to be able to see through it.

The Government recognise that they [116] have been a hopeless failure in dealing with the economic position, and they look to the one thing in which they have been a success—that is, waging war upon their fellow-countrymen. In that they succeeded in the past, and they are taking advantage of this opportunity in the hope that, by waging another war and forcing the position, they may be able to get back to office again. This is not a Public Safety Act; it is a Public Provocation Act. The Party opposite are trying to work up a position that will provoke people in this country and bring about a condition of affairs that will empower them to carry on a relentless warfare so that the economic position will be forgotten and the position of the people smothered under. If there was any real demand for such a measure as this, is it not wonderful that we would not get something more than the flimsy evidence we got from the President. The President quoted some interviews given by some gentlemen to the Press. A good many of them were given, as Deputy Lemass pointed out, six months ago. If they had, as they seemed to have in the view of the President, the effect of creating or bringing about a revolution, why did not the President at the time of these interviews and their publication take a serious view of them then, and ask for more powers from this House? He did not, of course. The Bill before the House is a game. If the President took any of these things seriously six months ago he would have dealt with them at the time, but he did not consider them serious. In the same way, during the few months that the Dail was adjourned, if the Government really believed that a situation was developing in the country that was a danger, would they not have summoned the Dail and asked it to pass a measure that would enable them to deal with them. But that would not have looked so well. You must create the atmosphere at any cost and make it look as serious as you can, and that might well gull and deceive certain people.

In other countries, arising out of the economic condition, and otherwise, [117] you have a good deal of turmoil and trouble. These countries are able to deal with the situation under their ordinary law. Here in this country when one of these measures was brought in before, we were told that such measures were necessary for the purpose of dealing with the situation that existed, and that if they got these powers they would in fact be in a position to deal effectively with the situation. We had the Juries Bill with its extended powers which, it was stated, was very necessary. We find now that juries are going to be abolished. Of course juries may sometimes find verdicts in accordance with facts with which the Executive Council would not agree. If a jury would not agree with the exact point of view of the Executive Council, then perhaps the Executive Council would think it would be best to do away with juries. That is one of the reasons they are inclined to do away with them. They want to substitute a sort of star chamber and to appoint officers as judges. So far as I have glanced at this Bill I gather that you are giving by it absolute powers of life and death to five members of the Defence Forces. There is to be no appeal or anything else. True it is that under Section 12 I think the Executive Council can remit sentences. But the unfortunate people brought before the star chamber, from which the Press and public can be excluded, might be executed before it comes to the knowledge of the Executive Council. There is nothing to prevent that. In a state of actual war I challenge any member on the benches opposite to point to anything so draconian or anything going so far as we find under this Bill goes. We know that bad as temporary judges have been in this country, and must be in any country, much worse will be members of the Defence Forces paid by the Government. These members of the Defence Forces will regard themselves as servants of the Executive Council.

I referred to temporary judges, and I referred to them before. I said before that it is a bad precedent to create these temporary judges because [118] temporary judges get the idea that they must serve the Executive Council in a certain way or they will not ensure permanent positions afterwards. The same position, but worse, will arise here in appointing a Tribunal with absolute powers of life and deat. There will be no public present to see what is happening—and no Press present to record what is happening, and what will result from all this, and what is intended to result from it—it may not result, and I hope it will no —but what is intended to result is that it will cause a revulsion in the country, and give a feeling against this measure and this Tribunal, and where certain people become victims of this Tribunal, they will consider they have no alternative but a certain course of action.

You had in the civil war people compelled to do things because they had no alternative to them. You did nothing worse then, after all, than you are trying to do in this. You got men then just as you will get a Tribunal now or the same as you will get members of the C.I.D. or of the Army or wherever they come from, I do not know or care, who will go out and do certain acts. For example you will get men to do things such as the taking out three Fianna Eireann boys of fifteen or sixteen years of age and shooting them on the roadside, or the taking out of men like Bondfield and Lemass and McEntee and Hogan and shooting them and leaving them in lanes. Or perhaps you will get four men shot without trial as happened on the 8th December, 1922, in jail. There was no semblance of trial there. You have done as bad in the past and we are not surpried that a similar or worse measure is tried to be passed through this House now.

You might at least make some attempt when you are bringing in a measure of this sort to give some concrete example, rather than vague indefinite vapourings about the condition of the country. One would imagine that the Minister for Justice at any rate would try to keep to some definite statements and some definite facts and that he would have something to put before the House in the way of definite evidence. Instead of [119] that we have generalisations and vague statements. In the one area that he was asked about by Deputy O'Connell, his own area, the Minister said he was satisfied there was no drilling there. He did so simply because the people there, if he stated in the Dáil that he believed they were drilling, would ask him to point out where it took place in the area and they would say “We will judge your statements with regard to other areas by your truth with regard to this area.” The Minister for Justice slips out by saying that there is practically no drilling in his area. The area of South Mayo was at all times very prominent in the National movement, and if there are any people, guided or misguided, whatever way he wants to put it, working in any kind of way like that, I am sure there would be such people in South Mayo as in other places. I have not heard of any drilling in my area. I have not seen any. I have been in other areas. I have asked about it but I have got no definite information as to any drilling. If there was any drilling going on, with the forces of C.I.D., military and Guards that are throughout the country, does any sensible or sane member of the House not know that its existence, as well as the names of those concerned, and all the data would be put before the House, considering that the whole thing has been planned and worked up by the Executive in order to try to justify this measure? Except for vague interviews taken from “An Phoblacht” and a few statements like that, there is nothing before the House to justify it in passing a measure of such an extreme type.

Does the Executive really think that the people of the country are fools? There is the possibility that they may. There is the possibility also that they think that coercion like this is going to get them a lease of office that they would not otherwise get As speakers on this side of the House have pointed out, coercion has failed in the past. Sometimes where a Government that considered itself the constituted authority and felt it was entitled to exercise [120] coercion, it failed. Coercion in this matter, where there is no demand for it, and no real evidence or justification for it, must fail in the same way. It must recoil on this Executive, on the Cumann na nGaedheal Party and on the Government, that when introducing this Bill, except for the few documents referred to by the President in a general and vague way as to what he thought was going on, he put nothing concrete before the House. To use the words of the Minister for Justice, except in the case of a man named McGuinness who was arrested when found drilling, there was no definite instance that the Minister for Justice with all the forces behind him could give. I might point out what was happening in the Guards, and I might read a letter I have before me referring to what happened at a church in Co. Limerick, Ballyhahill, where the Guards went on to the roof of the sacristy and took the slates off it. Only that they were seen I suppose there would be nothing about that. I might refer to other scenes like that in a vague way. I ask the House if they want to pass a coercion measure or to pass a measure that they think is for the safety of the State, first of all to be convinced beyond all possible doubt and beyond all reasonable suspicion that a case has been made out for the measure. It is not on the prepared statement of the President the House should decide—a statement that was carefully prepared with publicity and propaganda objectives—and which did not give sufficient evidence on which any assembly might feel itself justified in passing such a measure, especially a measure which has as its objective the proclaiming of martial law practically and the setting up of Tribunals which will sit behind closed doors in the absence of the Press and the public, where no relatives of the unfortunate person being tried will have an opportunity of knowing what goes on—Tribunals that will have the absolute power of life and death. I say that before powers like that are going to be given we should be very slow about passing a measure of this kind.

Captain Redmond: Information on William Archer Redmond  Zoom on William Archer Redmond  I do not feel [121] called upon to explain my vote upon the First Reading of this measure, because, like the Deputy who has just sat down, I think the First Reading should be given to every measure proposed in this House in order that we should be enabled to see its provisions. But as we have been listening to Second Reading speeches on a motion for Closure. I feel bound to contribute a few remarks on the Bill as a whole. The motion before the House is one for Closure, and everyone who has spoken has dealt with the situation generally and to some extent with the Bill in particular. I would like to make my position clear with regard to the Bill. I have voted for the First Reading, and I intend to vote for the remaining stages. Deputy Ruttledge has complained of the prepared statement of the President in, as he said, not making a sufficient case for the Bill. On the contrary, I think that statement, as Deputy Ruttledge stated carefully prepared, is unanswerable by any responsible Deputy. As one who in his humble way was an antagonist of the Public Safety Act of 1927, I would like to recall to the House my attitude on that measure. Speaking on the Second Stage of the Bill, I said at that time “that if the Government made a case for the extension of existing powers within the bounds of reason we shall support them.” I went on to say that I did not consider they had made that case and therefore I did not support them. My second objection to that measure was that I considered it an abrogation of the Constitution, and in that I was supported by Deputy Johnson, the then leader of the Labour Party. I said it was an abrogation of the Constitution because of the means whereby the Public Safety Act was to be passed and the Constitution subverted. I said that if the Constitution was to be amended it should be amended directly and specifically by a Constitution Amending Bill, and not by legislation of the nature that we were then discussing. I am glad that when the Government did make up their minds that it was necessary to amend the Constitution they came forward openly and boldly [122] with a Constitution Amendment Bill, and directly amended the Constitution in the respects which this measure proposes. When I say amending the Constitution, of course I do not agree with statements that have been made that the Constitution has been torn up. I am not going over the ground which was so fully explained by the Minister for Justice when he said that no law-abiding person had anything to fear from this proposed amendment of the Constitution, and that as far as they were concerned the Constitution remained unimpaired. My other principal objection to the Public Safety Act of 1927 was to the setting up of military courts and tribunals. Inherently every liberty-loving and law-abiding person must dislike military tribunals. On the occasion of the Third Reading of the Bill I said:—

“It is almost entirely upon the grounds that where no sufficient cause has been shown our Government thought fit to substitute military for civil courts, courts which will administer only, I admit, in certain contingencies, but which may administer in the case of all the offences under this Bill— it is because of that I have strenuously opposed the passage of this measure. If I could be convinced, if there could be any argument brought forward even now by the President or any other member of the Executive Council to show me what the civilian courts could not do that are expected to be done by these military courts, and how these military courts could effect the purpose of this Bill, the purpose of it being the detection and the prevention of crime— if I could be shown how these military courts could effect that purpose any better than civil courts, I do not care of what composition, I would mend my way.”

I am of opinion to day that the civil courts in this country have broken down. Things are very different now from what they were in the year 1927. At that time we had not long emerged from the strife and the turmoil of civil war. I believed at that time that the people should be given a breathing space, but, unfortunately, I am sorry to say that certain misguided sections of our people seem to have taken advantage [123] of that breathing space and I think the time has come now for all responsible people in this country to face the question as to whether they are going to tolerate in future, in this Free State of ours, the rule of the gun in substitution for the rule of the Oireachtas. Furthermore long lists have been cited by Deputy de Valera, Deputy Ruttledge and others of the various measures which have been brought in—Public Safety Acts, Protection of Jurors Acts and so forth—and we are told that they have failed. They have failed and that in my mind is the one unanswerable reason for the necessity for a measure such as this to-day.

What is the position of Deputy de Valera? Honestly, when he had concluded his speech I could not tell where he stood. He seemed to me to take, in the course of his speech, one foot forward and then the other foot back. He rightly, and I am sure sincerely, condemned the taking of life. He said no one had the right to take life in this country except, perhaps, those in authority in accordance with the law of the land. I may be wrong, but I interpreted the following statement that he made in my words to be this: That if he were on those benches, if he were in control of the Government of the country and if he found himself in similar circumstances he would be obliged to take, if not exactly similar measures, certainly extreme and drastic measures to put down the taking of life. Very well. With that of course no one can possibly complain. On the contrary everyone will be delighted to know that that would be his policy and his action, but on the other hand he said that instead of introducing an amendment to the Constitution or proposing something in the nature of a Public Safety Bill the right way to proceed is to end the necessity of all such organisations. Very well. How does he propose to end the necessity for such organisations? Does he mean seriously to say that if the Oath were abolished to-morrow these organisations would disappear? I think it is only fair we should ask him does he propose to end [124] the necessity for Saor Eire and the various other Communistic organisations which have been cited here in this House to-day? From the very nature of their composition and their aims these organisations are not out for Irish national independence. They are out, not for an Irish Republic, but for a Soviet or Workers' Republic, and is he prepared, if ever he does get to the front bench of the Government, to bring in a Bill to propose a Workers' Republic for this country? I fail to see how otherwise he would do what he says should be done, that is, to end the necessity for such organisations.

We are all sick and tired of the rule of the gun. It is time that all decent-minded and law-abiding people should face the situation as it is to-day. The situation, as the President has said, is worse to-day than it was when the last Public Safety Bill was introduced. These organisations have sprung up mushroom-like all over the country. They are inter-allied and they work together for purposes which have been openly declared, and which are revealed in documents that have been now brought before us and published in this House. Expressions of disbelief have come from some Deputies as to the amount of drilling that that goes on in the country. Even if there was no drilling going on in the country, or even if drilling was a thing of the past, it cannot be denied that there is a large quantity of revolvers in the country. What are the revolvers for? Revolvers are useless instruments for purposes of pleasure or sport. Revolvers are for one thing only, and that is for the taking of human life. I say it is time that the revolver was removed from this country. We have no time for it. We want to get on to what Deputy de Valera describes as our economic and political problems. However, I feel that every responsible Deputy in this House, whether he has been intimidated or not, whether he is afraid of the consequences or not, should not take upon himself lightly the responsibilities of opposing and voting against this measure.

This measure as far as I understand [125] it—I have not had much time to peruse it either—is a proposal to amend the Constitution by giving extra power to the Executive, but only in certain cases will they be called upon to exercise those powers and certainly only in regard to certain classes of the people of this country, and therefore any respectable, God-fearing, law-abiding person should have no fear whatsoever of the consequences of a proposal such as this. I think that the House irrespective of Party must have been struck by the straightforward and outspoken speech of Deputy Morrissey, the Labour member for Tipperary. Deputy Morrissey to my mind is only voicing the opinion of all law-abiding people in the country when he says that what they want is to have no more of this incitement to murder and murder itself, and that we must face up to it now and put it down once and for all. It is time, therefore, and I deplore the fact most profoundly that we have not been unanimous in this Dáil in passing such a measure as this. This is no question of Party. It is entirely a question of our country first, and though some Deputies may treat the matter in a light and flippant strain, I venture to say there will be some amongst them who, though they may not voice their feelings in that direction, or go into the Lobby in support of it, will in the innermost depths of their hearts, only be too pleased that this measure has been passed.

Mr. Mullins: Information on Thomas Lincoln Mullins  Zoom on Thomas Lincoln Mullins  Members of the Dáil do not seem to realise that for the first time in nine years they are assisting at a very unique ceremony. We are, to my mind, in discussing this motion before the House, taking part in the first stages in the funeral of this Constitution and taking part also in the first stage of the manufacture of a revolution. This smoke screen that has been thrown around the alleged conspiracy that exists in the country by the President's statement will deceive nobody. What we have to try to find out in making up our minds in this matter is the basic reason for this hurried panic legislation and I think we have not far to seek that basic reason. [126] If we go to the “Poblacht,” which was much quoted here during the President's statement, the issue of Saturday, October 10th, 1931, it gives an answer, I think, clearly and lucidly to every allegation made by the President and other Ministerial speakers. The editorial says:—

The enemy wants a rising. Only thus can they behead the rising struggle and get a new lease of office. To achieve that end every lie that can serve, every tool that can be used, every influence that can be cajoled, is being collected.

We have here in this House to-day and in the country yesterday a combination of the two most significant elements, which brings our minds back to this period nine years ago when this country was going through its Calvary. We find in October, 1922, when it was to the interests of this Government to suppress opposition to the existing institutions, that a most significant meeting of the Catholic Hierarchy was held in Maynooth and two days after this execution Bill was passed by the Provisional Parliament to execute the bodies of those who stood out against it in arms, a similar execution Bill was passed by Maynooth to execute their souls. The significant position we find here to-day nine years after in the same month is that this Bill is to smash finally all opposition to the existing type of State at present in Ireland, and coincident with it there is an announcement in the Press that the Hierarchy intend to pronounce on Sunday on matters of social and other order. It is significant to those who remember the history of that time and that period to see the same forces used at that time to bring the opinion of the people of this country against the Republican movement—the same tools, instruments, and the same methods that were used at that time to prevent the people getting a clear conception of what we stood for are being utilised in order that this panic legislation will achieve the end for which the other legislation failed.

It is significant that whenever any rising storm of indignation on the part of the people of the country [127] militates strongly against the prospects of the existing rulers that the question of religion is always dragged in and we find this Government of the Irish Free State, whose tradition at least should be semi-national—most of its leaders were National—adopting the very same methods and instruments as the British Government adopted in this country for nearly 300 years. We find that this Government, realising that all the sanctimonious hypocrisy exhibited in the President's statement and the statement of the Minister for Justice exhibiting this terrible concern for the moral welfare of the Irish people, this tremendous desire that the young people of this country should not be corrupted by Communist influence, whilst at the same time they are using the inherent Catholicity of the Irish people to maintain this Government in office to-day. They are dragging in the Catholic faith in all their speeches as a method by which they can arouse the people in a belief that not alone is the State menaced but that its faith is menaced also.

On what do they base this panic legislation which has created a storm of indignation from one end of the country to another? They base it mainly, according to the President, on an interview given to the “Daily Express,” and secondly, on editorials in that paper from time to time. We expected when this Dáil met to-day, as a result of the legislation which is about to be introduced, and as a result also of the campaign of lies and slander that has been going on through the country, that the President would come to this House and give some excuse which could be based on sound logic or on fact for the introduction of this proposed Bill. We expected that he would proceed to give us some startling revelation of things of which we were not aware and that he would pro duce concrete evidence that the lives, the property and safety of the Deputies and of this House were menaced considering that Deputies were given a guard during the last few weeks. We expected he would be able to give us concrete evidence, to link these organisations [128] mentioned with some subversive influences of faith, morals and social order. What do we find? We find that on the statement of two men given to the “Daily Express,” and editorials in that paper, the President proposes to murder his own Constitution and sow the seed here to-night of a social revolution, because remember at least five of the organisations which he mentioned as being detrimental to the existence of the State have had their origin, their genesis and tradition in the social inequality which exists here to-day, in the bad housing, the unemployment, and in the quest for bread. The President through this Bill proposes to drive these organisations under ground, to deny them the right to expound their policy publicy and freely. When organisations are put into such a position we all know what happens. We know what has happened in other countries. It leads to the very position which, I am sure, the President, in spite of his statement, and his Government, too, would very much desire to see. With all their pretended love for peace and security and their pretended reverence for the Eucharistic Congress that is to be held in this country next year, I cannot understand why they should at this inopportune moment bring in this Bill and challenge the people in this country who believe in the Irish Republic to either fight or get out, because that is what this Bill means. It is a direct challenge to anybody who believes in the aims and objects of the organisation which they themselves were concerned with and in the proclamation which they themselves helped to promulgate to the people in 1916. It is a direct challenge to them to get under the ground once and for all, to abandon the ideal of an independent Ireland or get a gun and fight.

Let us take the President's statement. The law is inadequate to deal with the situation with about sixteen coercion Acts on the Statute Book, with armed detective forces operating throughout, with a secret service, the machinery of which we are not acquainted with, with an army and police force which, according to the [129] Minister's information, must be pretty effective. The law is inadequate to deal with the present situation. That statement coming from the President of the Executive Council, is the greatest monument to the failure of this Government to preserve social order and respect for the institutions of the State that I have ever listened to. We were told in the next breath that it is a Bill to safeguard the rights of the people. It is a Bill to safeguard the rights of a certain section of the people of this country, to safeguard the rights of a small minority who intend to hold power here despite the will of the people. It is a Bill to safeguard the rights of a small group of monopolists who believe that they must stay in power if this country is to live. It is a Bill undoubtedly to safeguard the rights of that class, but it is a Bill to abrogate the rights of the vast majority of the plain citizens of this country.

The President went on to tell us that the rights of the people have been attacked even though they have full and untrammelled liberty under the Constitution. Where is the liberty? They made us on this side of the House come in here and take that Oath of Allegiance to the Free State Constitution against all our desires, against all our heart, against all that tradition told us. We had to take that Oath and bend the knee to his Majesty George V. before we could attend an Assembly of the elected representatives of the Irish people. That is the untrammelled liberty that people have under the Constitution. Where is the liberty that prevents a section of the people of this State from making their voices felt in the counsels of this Assembly? Bill by Bill, week by week since the conclusion of the civil strife in 1923 they have killed whatever good things were in the Constitution. If this Bill did nothing else it brands the Constitution for what it is—a fraud and a farce. It has done a good thing for Ireland and a good thing for those whom the Bill desires to suppress—those who believe in its ultimate independence.

We are told that Parliamentary institutions are menaced and that this [130] kind of menace must be removed once and for all. You fools! Do you think you can do that by a coercion Bill of this type? Has the Government not learned any lesson from the experience of the super coercionists who ruled for Britain directly here for the last three hundred years? Have they not taken notice of the ultimate result of their policies? Have they not taken the lesson that the more coercion Bills that are introduced, the more attempts are made to kill the spirit of Irish liberty, the more determined that spirit will be, the stronger the backbone will become and the more dangerous that ideal of one Ireland and that free will become to the existing institution? Have not the Government taken any notice of that or do they think that they are such super-men that they can crush what 700 years of British rule failed to crush? You will never kill by secret courts the desire in the hearts of the young men of this country to achieve its freedom. As I said at the start, you are laying the seeds of revolution, you are challenging a section of the people here to walk into a trap which you are trying to lay. You desire a rising; you desire a revolution. I challenge the Executive Council to deny that that is the chief purpose of this Bill. They know that the rising tide of public opinion is against them. They know that day by day the people are becoming more hardened in their ideas with regard to this Government and its policy, and they realise that the only hope of clinging to office is to create a situation such as they hope to create by the passage of this Bill. They will not succeed.

We find the President adding that there was an organised conspiracy to overthrow the institutions of this State. The President or any Minister who has spoken has failed to produce any evidence to satisfy any independent body of men that there is any conspiracy to overthrow the existing institutions of this State. There is no secret conspiracy to overthrow existing institutions. Everybody in this House and everybody in the country knows just as well as the President and his Ministers that there is an [131] organisation in this country whose object is to achieve the independence of Ireland through arms. It is not a secret organisation. It has never pretended to be. It has been an open organisation all along. To pretend otherwise at this hour of the day is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the people. To try to get them to believe that the Irish Republican Army are a secret gang of murderers is the act of a fool and the President knows it. They know very well that the Irish Republican Army has been in existence here all along. Their agents knew it and the ordinary people of the country knew it, and to pretend that now there is a conspiracy which needs the abrogation of the Constitution is bunk.

We heard some denials of the fact that drilling was going on from the Fianna Fáil Benches and the Labour Benches. There is no doubt in the world that drilling has been going on in this country and drilling has been going on in many areas in this country, but that drilling has not all been on the side of those whom this Bill seeks to destroy. Some time ago, not very far from the City of Dublin, there was a review by a member of the British House of Lords of over 1,000 individuals, described as Boy Scouts, Boy Scouts, most of whose officers were ex-officers of the British Army who have seen service in France, Boy Scouts whose ultimate aim and object is to maintain the British connection in this country, to ensure that it would remain an appendage of the British Empire, and where their services could be so used to ensure that they would be used.

I refer now to the Boy Scouts which this Bill does not intend to ban. The Baden Powell Boy Scouts and the British Fascisti existing here are a much more dangerous influence to this State than the organisations which this Bill is to ban, but the Minister will not take any notice of these organisations. Why? We want an opportunity of closely examining the Bill. On the one side we say those whose one crime is that they have been fighting all their lives to achieve the independence of Ireland, have been driven into secret [132] organisations because you have prevented them coming in here. On the other side you have those people whom you all know openly and above board have no interest in maintaining or securing the independence of Ireland, no interest whatsoever. Their only interest is to maintain the British connection. Yet you are going to allow these people to function here in their Boy Scouts, their Fascisti, their brigades and their legions. You will allow them to march through Dublin; you will allow them to hold commemoration services, and their officers to give military directions. You will not suppress these. What is the answer to that? One side seeks to maintain the British connection and the other to achieve the independence of Ireland.

Now we come to the “Daily Express” interview on which the President bases his assumption of an intention to overthrow the Free State. We find that, because mention was made in the “Daily Express” interview of Russian co-operation that there is Russian co-operation, and that something is being done to subvert the religion of the people, and that not only is the State to be subverted, but that the right of private property, and the very existence of the people is menaced. The Minister for Justice says:—“We are the spiritual and temporal guardians of the State and the liberty of the people.” We find that, because mention was made in the “Daily Express” that help might be expected from the Soviet Union, that there is a conspiracy to establish in Ireland a Soviet Republic. There is no such thing. It only boils down to the fact, and the Minister and the Government, and every Deputy here knows it as well as I do, and it always was so, that the object is to achieve the independence of Ireland, that England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity, and that any enemy of England is a friend of Ireland. That will be the position while England keeps this country in subjection. Russia, for the time being, being graded amongst the enemies of capitalism and Imperialism, is the friend of Ireland. If Russia will help Ireland to achieve her freedom, I say there is no conspiracy in that. That is a self-evident [133] truth. That is the positive statement made in the “Daily Express.”

Then we come to the question of organisation which the President mentioned as being responsible. We find here mentioned the Irish Republican Army, the Cumann na mBán, Fianna Eireann, the Communist Party of Ireland, the Labour Defence League, the Soviet Union, Saor Eire, and so on. I do not know where the President got his interesting information with regard to the objects of these organisations, or some of them. I happen to belong to four of them, and I know more about them than the President or any member of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party opposite. I could tell them that the statement made in this week's “Phoblacht” is a direct statement of fact, and that there is no use in dragging in religion. The Minister states that the Irish freedom movement is being run by Soviet agents. I am a member of the movement. That movement is absolutely independent. There is no such thing as the Irish freedom movement or the Irish Republican movement being run by Soviet agents. There is, naturally, the thing of being friendly with the Soviet Union. If that is a conspiracy, then I believe that there are many in this House besides myself who are guilty of conspiracy.

Then we come to the point that has been overlooked completely by the Government. We find in the list of organisations supposed to be illegal and dangerous to the existence of the State, that six of them are organisations dealing with housing and with the maintenance of the unemployed and dealing with the attempt to improve the social conditions of the people—with the idea of providing work or maintenance for the people— with the idea that nobody should starve while there is food in the country. If there is anything wrong in any of these programmes, then there is something wrong with Catholic theology itself, and I am sure the Minister would not go so far as to say that. I find here that one of the proposed organisations which is declared to be subversive is the Fianna Eireann. I am aware that the Fianna Eireann [134] is not one of those organisations that teach the use of arms. So far as my knowledge goes it is a movement which teaches Irish history and Scout craft. If there is anything wrong in that, why not ban those Scout movements, which teach very much more of what is subversive to the existence of the State than the Fianna Eireann? Their further object is not the further advance of this State. The serious and ultimate object of Fianna Eireann is the achievement of the independence of Ireland. If there is anything wrong in that, then every Minister on the front benches has, at one time or another, been guilty of treason. We are told about the importation of sweets. Foreign sweets came into this country. That matter was tackled by the Cumann na mBán. A canvass was made of the shopkeepers and they were asked not to sell them while Irish factories were operating here, producing as good an article. Is there anything illegal in that? If there is, then any Deputy who advises a member to smoke Sweet Afton cigarettes is guilty of treason and is guilty of the intimidation of a fellow-Deputy. I find that amongst the other items which the President has mentioned is that no person in the State can be permitted to establish the tyranny of dictating to the people the type of political or economic policy they are to follow. I agree with every word of that, but the President having said that, introduces a Bill which is going to establish the tyranny which he condemns. What the President says, in other words, is this: “I am good enough to do it, but nobody else in this State is to be allowed to do it.” He is hoping in that way to drive the ordinary people of this country to do things which in their eyes are not at all desirable. The President in establishing this dictatorship of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party is creating a very dangerous precedent, and a precedent which has received more careful thought and all that the exigencies of the situation demand.

Then we find him winding up on a splendid note. He says we intend to abolish violence and the preaching of [135] violence. I agree with that. But if he intends to abolish violence and the preaching of violence he will have to do something else than attempt the suppression of all aspirations for freedom, and that is what this Bill stands for. If he stands for the abolition of the preaching of violence, it would be much more effective if he turned the attention of this Government towards the solution of economic problems confronting this State than do what he is doing in devoting his energies towards the suppression of nationalism in the hearts of the people. The organisations which the President mentioned as being harmful and tending to the subversion of the State, included the Cumann na mBán, Saor Eire, the Revolutionary Workers' Group, The Communist Party of Ireland and the Friends of the Soviet Union. Each of the speakers who have spoken here, from all sides of the House, mentioned these. Do they realise what they are talking about in connection with these organisations? We will take one for example—the Friends of the Soviet Union. There also the object is not the subversion of this State through the creation of turmoil here, but the establishment of friendly relations with the Soviet Union. If there is anything wrong in that I would like to know why that organisation is allowed to exist? Why was its correspondence allowed to come to this House and why was no action taken against its public meetings throughout the city and country? If there is anything wrong in creating relations with friendly States why does not the Minister declare war on Russia and refuse passports to everybody to go to Russia? He refused passports to a number of people some time ago but they got the passports in spite of him. If there is anything wrong in that why was not action taken then? Then we come to a purely working class organisation—the Communist Party of Ireland. It does not exist. The Minister's information must be either very scraggy or he must not have the faintest idea of what the term “Communist Party” means. But there is [136] to my knowledge no such thing in existence as the Communist Party of Ireland. There are groups of workers in the different towns described as the revolutionary workers' groups. Surely the Minister and the President should be better advised than to make statements proposing to ban an organisation that in fact has no existence.

Let us get down to these workers' revolutionary groups. What do we find? Their activities have been towards better conditions in the factories and coal mines. There is a group established in Kilkenny and that group has done certain social work there. They tackled the obtaining of better conditions. Is there anything wrong in that? If a man believes in the distribution of wealth, what is wrong in that? The first object of Saor Eire is to achieve the overthrow in Ireland of British Imperialism and its ally, Irish capitalism. Why should not a man advocate that? One of the signatories to the Declaration of 1916, of which we used hear so much talk from the Front Bench, and one of the men who was mainly responsible for bringing back the spirit of consciousness to the Irish working classes stood for the same thing as Saor Eire. Is there anything wrong in its objects? Is there anything wrong in saying that a minimum standard of living is to be guaranteed for every worker for whom work is not available? Is there anything subversive of democracy in this aim to secure adequate housing?

Is there any reason why anybody should not advocate these things and all the objects of Saor Eire, and is there any reason why groups of men and women in this country, if they so desire, should not advocate these things here in the Dáil? I think I advocated them here myself in 1929. I advocated something very similar to the programme of Saor Eire. Is there any reason why these should not be advocated and the Republic of Ireland advocated and the consolidation of the workers advocated? They advocate the nationalisation of production and distribution, the fostering of the Irish language, Irish culture and Irish games. Is there any reason why these should not be tolerated? If the Minister [137] believes that by suppressing organisations that are trying to link up the Irish people in a movement to solve economic problems, he will do any good for this country he is mistaken. But by preventing these people from meeting and driving them off the street corners he is not going to kill these movements. Is he not taking a lesson in that matter from the British Government? We all know that where they arrested one man in the Sinn Féin days they made ten converts. Does the Minister intend to enforce this Bill as the British did? It is a sad state of affairs that we have to listen to the introduction of a measure of that kind. The saddest part of it is that so far the people who are ruling this State know their position is so weak that they cannot hang on and they must create an atmosphere.

This Bill is really a camouflage measure, like the foreign gold we used to hear about in other days. The Minister and the Government, in speeches made here and there, tried to prove that there is a connection between the Russian Soviets and the Irish Republican movement, and that the Irish Republican movement is depending on the Russian Soviets. When they say that, I tell them they are liars, and they know it. The greatest mistake they are making is that they think they can get away with this Bill, and that it will have no detrimental effect on the State. If they have so much love and respect for the State as they profess to have, this is not the way to benefit the State, and it is no way to bring peace and order into the country. This is not the way to insure that the citizens of this State, under this Constitution or any other Constitution, will be prepared to co-operate in face of the spirit shown by the Ministers. Consequently they will get no co-operation through this Bill from the people of the country. I doubt if the Ministers fought any seat in Ireland on this issue that they would get their candidate elected. But that is what they are doing. You are here to-night tearing up your Constitution to maintain which you fought a civil war. It was for this Constitution you drenched this country in blood, and you are tearing that Constitution and [138] taking out of it the liberties that remained to the people of this country, the liberty to advocate by constitutional means the principles for which they stand. If you vote for this Bill you are manufacturing further revolutions. I appeal to you, though I suppose it will be of little use, to consider very carefully any comments I have made on this Bill. I do not want to consider the comments made against the Bill as the ravings of some lunatics, and I do not want to dismiss them as ill-considered and uncalled for. I am in intimate connection with some of these organisations and I can tell the Minister, and tell the Dáil straight out, that if you pass this Bill you will create a situation which does not exist at the moment. You are going to vanquish any possibility that there is in this country of peaceful progress. You are going to drive those who believe in the independence of Ireland to the use of that force about which you have heard so much to-day, and which the Hierarchy on Sunday next will, I presume, condemn.

I appeal to you not to pass this Bill to take your time, to reconsider you attitude, and to put some of the love of Ireland, of which you speak and which you doubt anybody else has, into practical effect. By doing that you will be doing a good thing for your State, you will be doing a good thing for the happiness of the people, but, above all, you will be refusing to walk into the same trap that you walked into in June, 1922—you will avoid that. If your interests are the interests of the people of Ireland you will do that, because no body wants this Bill. Even many Cumann na nGaedheal Deputies I believe, if they were not coerced into voting for it, would turn against you and vote against it. Give them the chance to be honest. Take a free vote of the House and see what they have to say about it. Above all things, remember that you have to-night a serious responsibility and, even though it is to create an election situation, you have no right to create a panic in this country and you have no right to attempt to use the power which, as the Minister for Defence said, was given to you by God, to destroy the idealism of these people. If you attempt to do [139] that, just as the Church of Rome has stood against Atheism for 1,900 years, the ideal of an Irish Republic will outlive you, and those who believe in that Republic will outlast your political career.

Minister for Local Government and Public Health (General Mulcahy): Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  So far from destroying the present Constitution, as Deputy Mullins would have us believe, and so far from substituting another Constitution for our present one, as Deputy O'Connell would have us believe, the measure before the House now is intended to secure and will secure to our people the rights that are enshrined in our present Constitution. It will do that on the one hand, and, on the other hand, it will do what we have not fully been able to do up to the present—it will put into our people's hands machinery under the Constitution that will enable them to nip in the bud the armed unlawful organisation that would plunge this country into civil war. The Constitution as it is at present was framed as an instrument to be worked by the ordinary law-abiding Irish people without any consideration of the violent and misguided elements that might arise in the country or that were in the country when the Constitution was framed. It takes no cognisance that we may have in this country a condition of affairs mid-way or intermediate between a state of perfect peace and a state of civil war. In spite of the pretended absence of information on the part of so many Deputies, we have in this country, and have had for some years, a state intermediate between a state of perfect peace and a state of civil war. We have had, and have at the present moment, a state of affairs in this country in which a minority of the people are arming themselves with a view to the destruction of this State by force of arms.

It is a pity, as Deputy Redmond suggests, that we are not able to put this House, in the eyes of the people, into the position that it would say: “We are all unanimous in giving this measure to the Executive set up by the people in order to preserve the [140] liberties of the people.” It is a pity that that is not so. It is a pity that we cannot have in connection with this matter full co-operation, as Deputy O'Connell wishes us to have, and suggests that we might have. He suggests that we might have an agreed measure to deal with the gunman, but he gives us no idea as to what the terms of that measure might be. Whom does he ask us to co-operate with? With people who show the mentality, say of Deputy O'Connell and Deputy Davin, and which their official organ shows in this matter? To co-operate with Deputies on the far side who boast of having amongst them Deputy Little and Deputy Fogarty from Tipperary! Deputy Morrissey says that if he has to give full powers for the punishment of offences into the hands of the Government of the country or into the hands of the people who killed Superintendent Curtin and John Ryan, he is going to give them into the hands of this Government. And Deputy Little back here from a meeting of An Rioghacht, an organisation that is going to secure and maintain in this country the Kingship of Christ shouts to Deputy Morrissey that he has these opinions because he is bought, because he has got his price. Deputy Fogarty at a meeting of the South Tipperary Council the other day, when the Council discussed the question that £6,000 was to be given as some kind of legal compensation to the widow of Superintendent Curtin, was appalled at the sum of money and he says that the giving of such a sum to this woman is an encouragement to these women to get their husbands killed.

Mr. Fogarty: Information on Andrew Fogarty  Zoom on Andrew Fogarty  What is your feeling about it?

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I can hardly express my feeling at any Tipperary man, living within the area in which that murder was committed, knowing the circumstances of that wife and mother, who would get up and use the words Deputy Fogarty used at a representative, or supposed to be representative, meeting of Irishmen.

Mr. Fogarty: Information on Andrew Fogarty  Zoom on Andrew Fogarty  What about the men you put against the wall in 1922 and shot and what about all the others? They are nobodies, I suppose.

[141]General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  These are the people we are asked to get co-operation with. How can we co-operate with the blind and the halt, such as sit on the Labour Benches? Deputy Davin is astonished and flabbergasted to hear that all these things are going on. He asked the Minister for Justice what drilling has been going on in his area. In the month of June alone six drilling parties of from twenty to forty men were known to have taken place in Deputy Davin's area, and that at one of them at least there were rifles used for the instruction of these men. Deputy O'Connell does not know that there is any drilling going on in Mayo. The organ of his Party writes on the 3rd October last that a General Election is coming and that for that reason “bloody Balfourism” is being raised by the Executive Council again, that we can never get away from the mentality of “bloody Balfourism.” The following week, seven days after a colleague of Deputy O'Connell's in Claremorris has had his house surrounded at night by sixty men to endeavour to threaten him into refusing to support the measure of order required by the Executive Council— seven days after his colleague in Mayo has had his house surrounded by sixty men at night to endeavour to intimidate him, and the Press from day to day has reported numerous attempts to intimidate Deputies, that organ comes out on the 10th October and there is not a word either about order in this country or the attempted intimidation of the members of the Oireachtas. We are asked to co-operate with the blind and the halt in dealing with matters of paramount importance to the people of the country. The co-operation of those who do not want to see and those who do not want to stiffen their backbone is no use.

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  A strong man!

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

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Who was kicked once.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Deputy Davin asks what Section 25 is for. That section is intended to meet a situation [142] like this: If instead of simply being threatened, as Deputies were during the last week by organised parties of gunmen in different parts of the country, they had been kidnapped or shot, would we find ourselves here to-day and who would direct the policy in this House? The people who do not know what is going on in this country and the people such as Deputy Little and Deputy Fogarty? The responsibility for taking action for the protection of the people of the country would be in the hands of such people.

We are taking measures to secure that in a country where there is possibly what happened last week the Executive whoever are put in control of the Executive machinery by majority of people are going to have powers in their hands that will enable them to serve the people even though it should unfortunately happen that members of the Oireachtas were prevented by force from attending to their duties in this House. That is all. Deputy Davin does not stand for that. What would he expect the Executive to do if it found itself here to-day dealing with an important measure and without the true voice of the people expressed through the majority of the people's representatives here? We are happily in the position that we are not asked to-day to face a situation in which the majority voice of the House is prevented from expressing itself by reason of affairs outside. We are preparing for eventualities. Deputy Mullins says there is going to be civil war. I do not expect there is, but, if there is going to be civil war it is going to be at such time as the people's representatives themselves decide, and not going to be at the time selected by an unlawful armed organisation in this country.

Mr. Clery: Information on Michael Cleary  Zoom on Michael Cleary  You are preparing for civil war?

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  We are preparing to prevent civil war.

Mr. Clery: Information on Michael Cleary  Zoom on Michael Cleary  You are preparing to start it.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  We are preparing to prevent civil war. I do not think and I do not think the Deputy thinks [143] there are many people with their experience of civil war in this country who are going to start another. But preparations are being taken and as the Minister for Defence says no Constitution whatever be its terms is of any use to a people except it provides for the framing of instruments and the putting of them into the hands of the people and that will enable them to serve themselves whether it be for their protection or for doing their own work.

Deputy O'Connell thinks that Deputy de Valera is now all right and that the authority of this House is no longer challenged by Deputy de Valera's voice in the country or by his party. I think the sooner Deputy de Valera gets out a true edition of his own speeches with any glosses that may be necessary——

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  The glosses are supplied by gentlemen like you.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I suggest that Deputy de Valera should supply his own glosses and put them down in black and white.

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  They are down in black and white.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  We do not want to misrepresent——

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  You never did anything else.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Or to put anything between us and the help of any man in this country. I suggest we ought to have an edition of his speeches and his glosses.

Mr. de Valera: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  They are in the Official Reports and damn well you know it.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I do not know, and I do not think Deputy Redmond or anybody else in this House knows even after what Deputy de Valera said to-day how he stands in regard to this matter. What is this assembly to do in regard to people organising an unlawful armed association in this country to impose their will by unlawful force against the people? We do [144] not know that. Deputy de Valera suggests that his difficulty and our difficulty in dealing with government in this country, by means of ordinary instruments, is that there are historical circumstances which are rather in the way and that there is something running right across any attempt to deal with the situation by such means as we have at present, and that most of the responsibility for the misguided people who are suffering from such historical circumstances lies at my door, and at my door particularly because of some conduct of mine in 1924. Well like his remarks as to what he thinks himself I would like to see him put down in black and white what he thinks my outlook and actions in 1924 were, because it is important that what they were should be made clear.

I have been associated with the Volunteer Movement from the day it was founded on the 26th November, 1913, and, at any rate, from about 1918 down to March 1924 I was Chief of Staff of the Volunteers or Assistant Minister for Defence or Minister for Defence, or Commander-in-Chief. My own reading of my actions, and I think the practical working out of my actions was that I tried to gather such military force as was necessary in this country and put it into the hands of those who civilly represented the people to do their will.

I had to protest to Deputy De Valera's pre-1922 Government that it would be disastrous if the people of this country got the impression that the Army was running the situation in the country; that it would be of the utmost importance to the civil government to show that it was the controlling authority here and therefore, as, then Minister for Defence, in matters affecting agriculture, local government and ordinary justice I insisted that those who were responsible for the civil side were not keeping up the prestige of the civil departments and I showed the lines upon which I thought they ought to do it. So much was that so that after the Truce in 1921 I said to a very senior officer: “for goodness sake go and make out a memorandum on the situation [145] bringing out the points on which the civil side of the Government are letting themselves down and creating difficulties for themselves, for the people and for the Army.” And I submitted that to the then Minister for Defence and I said: “I am submitting this not as the actual state of affairs, but I am submitting it as a statement that if it were the actual state of affairs it would require the very serious consideration of the Cabinet and action,” and I got a brief note to the effect that the writer of the documents should prove his statements.

I do not think that this House could say that the military will was in any other way but subservient to this House in 1922 and 1923, and that in 1924 circumstances arose in which I was asked to get the resignation of the senior officers—men who served the country as Adjutant-General and Quartermaster-General and later as Chief of Staff in 1922 and 1923, men who had maintained the civil Government from the time it was formed in 1919 and held up the hands of the people in their struggle against outside and internal oppression. When I was asked to get their resignations I asked them to resign and with their resignations I tendered my own resignation, also, to the Executive Council. I could have turned round and said to the Executive Council and to the House “when you wanted a job done we did it.” I did more than that, I got these men associated with me to do more than that. Deputies opposite may read history as superficially as they do other things and may read the events of 1924 superficially.

The main officers who made the volunteers and their work possible, who made the Army for this Dáil in 1922 and 1923, they went, when there was no necessity for them to do so, before a Committee of this House, representative I think of every class of this people, as it were, to answer for what they did. Do you think there was any necessity for these men to do that? They went simply to let this country and everyone in it know that the Army never regarded itself as anything but [146] subservient to the elected representatives of its people. That lesson may be lost on those Deputies as it may be lost on other people, but at any rate—

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  What about secret societies within the Army?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  This is a very important matter and the Minister should be allowed to proceed.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The Army chiefs went before a Committee of this House.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  And admitted what?

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Will Deputies on the far side, like the interpretation of Deputy de Valera's speeches, write down what they think about secret societies? The Army that this House was given was an Army that stood by it work, was an Army that stood by it from the time it was formed until to-day, and will again. It is not kept up for fun and certain classes of people are going to be handed over to military tribunals to be dealt with in matters of trial and punishment. What are we keeping our Army for? Is it to fight the Chinese or the Japanese, the English or any other people?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Or to become executioners.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Our Army is maintained to defend the rights of the people and to secure the rights enshrined in their Constitution. What would we want an Army for if it were not for that?

Mr. Walsh: Information on Richard Walsh  Zoom on Richard Walsh  To keep down the Irish.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Deputy de Valera tries to cover up his own tracks by suggesting that Deputies on these benches put ideas into the minds of the people, and that now they have organised irregular and unlawful forces throughout the country. What was he doing in 1924? What was he doing in 1925? The first Irishman to send a Commission to Russia was Deputy de Valera. We have been told by the Minister for Justice that the Quarter-master-General of Deputy de Valera's army was in Russia in 1925. Who sent him there? On March 10, 1925, when Deputy de Valera was the President of [147] the Republic of Ireland with a Government, an Army Council, a Military Attaché, and Envoy in New York, his Minister for Defence then, now Deputy Lemass, got a communication to say that he was in touch with a person who was in touch with Russian authorities in New York, and that he had discussed with him the sending over of a military mission to Russia; that if he thought it ought to consist of eight people, four who would be good on the ordinary mechanical line and four good with aeroplanes; that of those that might go, two out of one section and two out of another, after they had got their training, might have to remain for two years to serve the Soviet Government, and that the others could come home with their training. Deputy Lemass said that no Russian money came to this country as far as he knew. I quite agree with him, because the envoy in New York suggested that the Government of the Republic here might have to pay for them while in Russia.

We heard mention to-day as high up in the Army forces here, high up in Saor Eire, the names of Seán MacBride and of Seán Russell. The military attache in New York suggested to Deputy Lemass that one person who ought to go to Russia was Seán MacBride, as he knew French and was highly educated. When Deputy Lemass got that communication he sent it to Deputy Aiken, who was Chief of Staff, saying, “you know more about these things than I do, as they began before I came in.” As a result it was discussed by the Army Council of the time. After discussion by the Army Council, Deputy Lemass, on the 16th May, writes to the President, now Deputy de Valera:

1. In connection with the proposed delegation to Russia the Army Council suggests that the following officers should compose the delegation: the A.G., the Q.M.G., and the late Q.M.G. if available.

The Army Council did not think that Seán MacBride should go, but thought that Seán Russell should go.

2. I think the Q.M.G. would be more suitable in every way, and the [148] Army Council were unanimous that he should be one. The difficulty in connection with the A.G. is the danger that the work of his Department would be neglected until he returned, but this difficulty is not insurmountable. Otherwise he would be a suitable member of the delegation. The late Q.M.G. may not be able to go. I am sending you this so that you can think over the matter before the next meeting of the Cabinet. Of course the Cabinet could add an additional member if they so desired.—Minister for Defence.

That was May 1925. The Minister for Justice has told the House that Seán Russell was in Russia, and he gave some interesting information about his communications of that time. What was the mentality of Deputy de Valera and his colleagues at that time? He now suggests that I put bad ideas into the minds of these people, that I put bad ideas into Seán Russell's mind and into Seán MacBride's mind. This was their mentality. This is the letter that was sent over the name of the Minister for Defence, now Deputy Lemass, and the Chief of Staff, now Deputy Aiken, to the envoy in America, Deputy O'Kelly on the 2nd July, 1925, at a time when, no doubt, a decision was taken to send the military mission to Russia. I do not know how many went. Some were to come back with training and others were to serve the Russian Government for a proposed period of two years.

To Sean T. O'Kelly:

We have been instructed by the President to furnish you with a statement covering:

(a) The present Army position./

(b) The means employed to maintain the Army as an effective military force.

(c) The allocation of government funds for army maintenance.

A. Discussion on the military situation can be classed under three [149] headings, i.e., relating to (a) the Twenty-Six Counties; (b), the Six Counties; (c), Britain. Although as Republicans we regard Ireland as a national unit and the forces holding Ireland in subjection as British troops, no matter what they call themselves, yet considering the situation from the military viewpoint alone, the different groups of anti-Republican forces must be taken separately.

In the Twenty-Six Counties the “Free State” Government has approximately 18,000 soldiers partially trained, well armed and equipped; but they could increase this number in the event of hostilities to a very considerable extent. Against these we could put into field 15,000 partially trained men, but we could not supply one half of them with any sort of weapon. A military victory over the “Free State” will not become a practical possibility until the deficiency in armament has been made good. In the Six Counties there are about 30,000 armed special police, which constitutes the “Army” of the “Northern” Government, together with six battalions of British Regulars. There is little possibility of military victory in this area until the “Free State” Government has been overthrown in the South and a Republican Government has had time to collect and organise its forces on a regular basis. Should the British Government attempt to prevent by force the establishment of a Republican Government, whether established by constitutional means or otherwise, the activities of the Republican Army would be directed towards making any other government impossible and so compelling recognition.

B. We are endeavouring to maintain the Army as an effective force, capable of being brought into immediate action should the occasion arise that would justify or necessitate its use. It is not advisable to detail all the measures we have taken to ensure this. I enclose herewith four copies of a recruiting poster which we have issued. It is hoped to induce into the Army the young men who have [150] grown to manhood since the termination of the civil war, and thus enable us to give an honourable discharge to those who have borne the brunt of the last three campaigns and whose time of utility in the active force is over.

Of the funds allocated by the Government for use by the Army the major portion is spent in the maintenance of the existing organisation. The balance is used in the purchase of armament and supplies. The Government has placed at the disposal of the Army a generous share of the available funds, and we have no grounds for complaint under this head. While we do not state that the amount received is adequate to meet all the needs of the Army, we do not expect, and shall not seek, any larger amount until the funds at the disposal of the Government have been correspondingly increased.

We trust that this statement will make the situation clear to our friends in the U.S.A.

Minister for Defence.

Chief of Staff.

That is from Deputy Lemass and Deputy Aiken to Deputy de Valera in 1925. And I spoiled the morale of the young men of this country in 1924! We are not dealing with 1924 or 1925; we are dealing with 1931. In 1931, in spite of the incredulity of Deputies, in spite of their blindness to the things that are going on around them, there is an armed force in this country preparing for the overthrow of the institutions of Government set up here, and preparing to enforce their will on the people. They are prepared to put down our institutions by force of arms. What they will have after that, we do not know. Deputy de Valera thinks it would be quite all right if the things which are his will were put in operation. Deputy Geoghegan thinks the same thing. In fact there is great difficulty in dealing with these people until such time as they are able to arrange matters according to Deputy de Valera's point of view. What the point of view of the people outside is I do not think either Deputy de Valera or Deputy Geoghegan could assure us. [151] We have, in 1931, the “Oglach” calling itself the official organ of the Irish Republican Army, and declaring that “our chief weapons are the rifle, the revolver, the automatic pistol, and the hand grenade,” and being in the position that they have to realise that high percentage of volunteers are only recruits, men of short service, the product of to-day, those that are to relieve the old guard, according to the people of 1925. Their outlook is that “hand in hand with military training must go national and political education. Not only must we train men to fight, but also teach them why and what they are to fight. Political consciousness and a sense of political values must be taught, not only that the nation is unfree, but why it is not free, and the root causes and means by which it is kept in subjection. Let us profit by the recent past. The Republic was overthrown in 1922, largely because the Volunteers did not understand, and were not taught the fundamental principles upon which it was based or the economic or social principles it enshrined.”

We have that body to-day at a time of financial and economic depression and social unrest, at a time when the Deputies on the far side do not know what politically or economically they want, at a time when so little of the Deputies on the Labour Benches know what socially or economically they want, that they are almost slipping into borrowing words from the Constitution of Saor Eire. Because we have important social problems and important economic problems to attend to, it is important that we should have the situation clear of the gun and clear of all those people who want to dictate their opinions by means of force. That is what this Bill is intended to do and that is what this Bill will do, no matter how flabby be the expressions of Deputies who criticise it. It would have been quite good if Deputies from all sides of the House were able to come in here and say “For goodness' sake, take your Bill and clean up an ordered situation, and let us get ahead with our economic and social problems, and the finding of [152] their solutions.” But as long as we have the mentality that makes excuses for for the past, or makes excuses for those who are employing force in the present by saying that there are historical reasons why the poor fellows should try force and endeavour to put the blame on the other side but their own, Deputy de Valera can be no help to any section of the people in this country in solving their economic or social problems.

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Can I get agreement that the division on this motion will take place before 10.30?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  The motion contemplates that an opportunity should be given to the House to decide it to-night.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  How does it contemplate it?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  The motion contemplates that the Second Stage of the Bill should be set down as the first opposed Government business to-morrow. Should the House get no opportunity of deciding it to-night, to that extent the motion would have been defeated.

Mr. T.J. O'Connell: Information on Tomas O'Connell  Zoom on Tomas O'Connell  Can we get the motion discussed to-night? The Minister for Local Government did not say a word about it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  The attitude of the Chair, after giving some consideration to the matter and looking at this whole thing together, is that the less intervention from the Chair against anybody the better. That has been the case all round.

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  If I do not get agreement, I would have to ask you, sir, to accept a motion for the closure so that a division would be taken to-night. That will limit the time further.

Mr. O'Kelly: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  We say that this Bill raises such highly important issues that any attempt to closure discussion should be resisted by anybody who has a sense of responsibility.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  We cannot discuss that.

[153]The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I will undertake to move now that the Question be now put, or alternatively, if there is an understanding, that the motion be put at twenty minutes past ten.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  There is no agreement. I will take Deputy O'Hanlon and Deputy MacEntee and divide the time between them.

Mr. O'Hanlon: Information on John F. O'Hanlon  Zoom on John F. O'Hanlon  I hesitate to venture a few words on the motion before the House for the simple reason that 360 minutes have been occupied in dealing with all sorts of subjects— Russia and Ireland, Ireland and Russia, Chinese, Thompson guns and various other things—and not a word about the question of the closure, which is the motion with which we are dealing. When I came here this morning I felt rather strongly about this Closure Motion and I did intend at that time to protest against the closure for this reason that taking it for myself, not being a member of any Party, I have not now and will not have between now and Friday an opportunity of consulting one constituent of mine as to the Bill before the House. I do not want to be taken at this stage as being opposed to giving the power to the Government that they seek in this Bill, but I do hold that the Government are guilty of bad tactics and perhaps unconstitutional tactics in rushing through the Bill without giving the members of the House an opportunity of consulting their constituents. All I know about the Bill is what I read in the Press, and one of the things already in the Press is that this is going to be a test of confidence in the Government. In other words if the Government were beaten on this Bill they would go out of office. I am not going to vote against the Bill, but I hold that the best way to get the confidence of the people is to take them into your confidence and to let them know that the Bill is for their benefit. Three hundred and sixty minutes have been occupied in discussing everything but the motion before the House. This is a Closure Motion. If a closure had been put on the Closure Motion at twenty minutes past three a decision [154] would have been arrived at, at twenty-five minutes past three. We would not have wasted the whole day on the Closure Motion as to whether we were to deal with it on Thursday or Friday or not. We can only deal with seven or eight items on that agenda to-day without wasting the time of the House and we can only deal with the Second Reading on Thursday, and thus members who have not had an opportunity of consulting their constituents on this Bill could have got a week to consult them and the Bill could have been finished in the closure on Wednesday. That would be the proper procedure.

I will not be out of order in discussing the Bill. I declare myself here and now that I will vote for it but I intend to vote now against the Closure Motion. We have taken the whole day discussing it in the Dáil and thus wasted the time that we should have given to discussing the Bill.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Deputy O'Hanlon after a statement that he had not read the Bill, that he would like to have an opportunity of discussing the Bill, and that he did not discuss with his constituents the Bill, has already pledged himself to supporting the Bill without consulting his constituents.

Mr. O'Hanlon: Information on John F. O'Hanlon  Zoom on John F. O'Hanlon  On a point of explanation I did not say that I had not read it. I said I had not an opportunity of consulting my constituents on the Bill.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Possibly I might help to clear the Deputy's difficulty. This Bill is a measure designed to secure the incubation of a new Napoleon and the Minister for Local Government, the self-professed and self-proclaimed man of iron, is apparently going to be the new Napoleon. He is the one gentleman who seems to have any information as to the real purposes behind the Bill. He is the gentleman who getting up here in this House has sneered at the people who are the victims of historical circumstances much as Judas might sneer at the Cross. He is a man who talks about murder, who challenges Deputy Fogarty. Are his own hands clean? What of the men with whom he sat in conference [155] day after day? What of the men whom he encouraged to hold the Four Courts, or of the men who were his own comrades in arms and who were shot by him and by the members of the secret organisation existing within the Army on 8th December, 1922? Deputy Mulcahy is a good judge of glosses. He got up here and put his own gloss on the events of 1924. He told us how he had requested certain people to hand in their resignation as officers of the Army, but he did not tell us that a committee set up by this House had passed its verdict on General Mulcahy's administration of the Army, and he did not tell that Committee, and he has not told this House, why the I.R.B. organisation was reformed within the Army under his auspices and by the direct and active co-operation of Deputy Gearoid O'Sullivan.

General Mulcahy is good at making revelations. General Mulcahy told us that Deputy de Valera was the first man to send a mission to Russia. Was Deputy Mulcahy a member of the Provisional Government, was he associated with General Michael Collins, and will he deny that on the personal authority of Michael Collins, Mr. Dermot Fawcett and a member of the Trade Union Congress was sent to London to get in touch with the Russian representative there in 1922?

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  To help to make war on the Irish people?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  No matter for what purpose, he was sent there. The fact is that undoubtedly the Provisional Government were the first to send a delegation or an emissary to get in touch with the Russian representative in London in 1922.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  For what?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I do not know. The Minister keeps his own secrets well locked in his breast. The Minister pursues his own policy, in cold and callous silence. We know the Minister is an ambitious man, we know the Minister has proclaimed himself a man of iron; we know the Minister has a Napoleonic mentality.

[156] Let us get back to 1924, because 1924 has a good deal to do with 1931 and with the possible course of events after the passage of this Bill to incubate General Mulcahy as a new Napolean. Paragraph 14 of the Report of the Army Inquiry Committee is as follows:

“While we are completely satisfied that there would have been no mutiny but for the existence of this organisation, we are equally satisfied that its activities were intensified by the revival or reorganisation of the I.R.B., with the encouragement of certain members of the Army Council, the lack of confidence and want of intercourse between these two sections of Army officers, and the failure of both to appreciate their positions as servants of the State.”

What was the purpose for which that secret organisation was formed within the Army; what had General Mulcahy in his mind when he encouraged Deputy Gearoid O'Sullivan, at that time the Adjutant-General, to reorganise the Irish Republican Brotherhood within the Army? The Army Inquiry Committee could not find what their objects were.

Mr. O'Sullivan: Information on Gearóid O'Sullivan  Zoom on Gearóid O'Sullivan  I want to make a point of order. The Deputy has mentioned my name. In no place in the Report from which he has quoted, does my name appear, and I would ask the Deputy to withdraw the statement he has made. It is not being made against me, but against General Mulcahy.

Mr. Flinn: Information on Hugh Victor Flinn  Zoom on Hugh Victor Flinn  Produce Kevin O'Higgins's speech.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am going to rely on the report of the Army Inquiry Committee set up by this House.

Mr. O'Sullivan: Information on Gearóid O'Sullivan  Zoom on Gearóid O'Sullivan  On a point of order!

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  It is a point of personal explanation.

Mr. O'Sullivan: Information on Gearóid O'Sullivan  Zoom on Gearóid O'Sullivan  It is a point of order. I submit, sir, that no person should misquote in this House a document of this House. That particular Report was made to this House, and is [157] a document of this House. In no way am I mentioned in it as having been incited or induced by General Mulcahy to do anything.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Do you deny that you reorganised the I.R.B.?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  There must be no cross-examination.

Mr. O'Sullivan: Information on Gearóid O'Sullivan  Zoom on Gearóid O'Sullivan  I certainly will have no cross-examination from Deputy Hugo Flinn.

Mr. Flinn: Information on Hugh Victor Flinn  Zoom on Hugh Victor Flinn  You may some day.

Mr. O'Sullivan: Information on Gearóid O'Sullivan  Zoom on Gearóid O'Sullivan  I do not mind about Deputy MacEntee.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Was this gone into before? I suppose it was.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Yes. The Minister for Local Government—I am going to relate this to the Bill in a moment——

Mr. O'Sullivan: Information on Gearóid O'Sullivan  Zoom on Gearóid O'Sullivan  I have no personal interest in this matter except to say that there would appear to be read into the Report something which is not in it. In no way is my name mentioned in that Report. Provided the Deputy withdraws what he said, I have no objection to what his imputations or suggestions are.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  Do you deny that you were kicked out?

Mr. O'Sullivan: Information on Gearóid O'Sullivan  Zoom on Gearóid O'Sullivan  rose.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Would the Deputy sit down? Deputy MacEntee is discussing a particular Report. I am not in a position to say what Deputy MacEntee said about Deputy O'Sullivan. I have given Deputy O'Sullivan an opportunity of making an explanation of his own personal position. I do not know that I can do any more. It is not for me to decide a question of fact.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Do I understand that Deputy Gearóid O'Sullivan said that he was not a member of this reorganised I.R.B.?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  There is no use getting on to another point. What Deputy Gearóid O'Sullivan says is that he is not mentioned in the Report.

[158]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  But he is mentioned in certain discussions that took place in this House. I am perfectly certain that if we had the evidence here that was laid in secret before that Committee of Inquiry that the revelations——

Mr. O'Sullivan: Information on Gearóid O'Sullivan  Zoom on Gearóid O'Sullivan  I am sure the Deputy did not intentionally misquote the Report. I take it he will now withdraw the suggestion he has made.

Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  Do you deny that you were in the I.R.B.?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Minister for Local Government came here with white-faced candour, opening his whole soul to the Dáil, telling us the splendid patriotic motives that moved him when he was compelled to resign in 1924, when he induced General Gearóid O'Sullivan and the late Quartermaster-General of the Defence Forces of Saorstát Eireann to resign. He did not tell us and I do not think he told, judging by this Report, the Army Inquiry Committee what were the objects he was seeking to achieve when he organised this secret society within the Army. We have heard a good deal about treason, but can any member of this House conceive any greater treason or any greater treachery than that? We have been told that they must have an unequivocal declaration from us that all power and all authority can only be rightfully exercised by this Dáil? Was the Minister for Defence when organising that secret society giving the Dáil loyal service? Was he even loyal to his own comrades?

Mr. Gorey: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  I was a member of that Committee and the charge was never made that he organised that society.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  General Mulcahy was never accused of organising a society within the Army. At any rate, we do know that officers in whom he had the greatest confidence with his knowledge, if not with his active co-operation, were organising that secret society within the Army, and we know from the Minister's own letter that not only was he prepared to acquiesce in the organisation of one secret society within the Army, but that he was prepared to enter into [159] personal and private negotiations with a rival secret society within the Army as well. It might be well to reveal his letter to the public once again. General Mulcahy has done good in spilling the beans. Here is a bean that might as well go on the Table with the others.

“To Major-General Tom Cullen.

A Chara,

Following our discussion of the 23rd instant, and in reply to your communication of the 25th instant, which reached me to-day, this note will assure you that”—he has almost assumed the imperial style even in July, 1923—

“(1) I am quite prepared to deal directly at any time with any three representatives of those I have recently met for the consideration of any representations they may wish to make on ‘matters which are considered vital to the progress of the Army on national lines with a view to the complete independence of Ireland.”—

I suppose at that time with his tongue in his cheek he was feeling that these were the victims of historical circumstances. Even then in his own heart he was sneering at his comrades of 1923 as he is sneering to-day at his old comrades of 1921—

“it being understood that this is of necessity a personal and private arrangement and not indicative of sectionalism of any kind in the Army.

(2) I am quite prepared to see any individual of those I have already met who may wish to make representations in this matter.

(3) And I am quite prepared, after the recent discussion, to accredit all concerned with having absolute honesty of purpose and ideals.

I have seen sufficient disaster brought about by isolation and misunderstanding to be determined not to leave anything undone that may [160] be possible on my part, to prevent either one or the other coming between men whose co-operation has made the present position of the country possible.

I said that this Bill was a Bill for the incubation of the new Napoleon. With all respect to those who have asked us to confine the discussion to the Closure Motion this is the only reasonable opportunity that we are going to have to discuss what is in this Bill. The tactics of the Government are better and sounder than their intentions. We have heard Deputies here supporting the Bill and I doubt if they have even read the Bill or even studied any of its implications.

What is in the Bill? Section 4 is a section which is going to establish a Committee of general security. Section 4 is a section which provides that a Tribunal shall be established consisting of five members all of whom shall be officers of the Defence Forces of Saorstát Eireann not below the rank of commandant and shall be appointed and be removable at will by the Governor-General acting on the advice of the Executive Council. Even in that section there is a lamentable omission. There is not one possible safeguard for the liberty of the people. Five officers are to be appointed and set up as a Tribunal by the Governor-General. How are they to be appointed? Are their names going to be published? Are they to be kept secret? Are they going to be changed from day to day until General Mulcahy gets five instruments that are going to be suitable to his end, that are going to help him to achieve the ambition that has been fostering in his mind ever since 1919 and 1920, when he thought he was the strong man of the Volunteer forces, when he thought it was he and not Cathal Brugha who was carrying on the fight for the independence of this country?

General Mulcahy is going to get his five secret instruments and nobody is going to know who they are or anything about them. One thing I will [161] wager is that they will be five members of the I.R.B. That is not yet disbanded. The Minister reorganised it in 1923. That was the organisation which was going to secure control over the Defence Forces of the Saorstát in 1923.

Mr. Gorey: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  Great!

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Deputy Gorey laughs. That is the laugh that speaks the vacant mind.

The President: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Tell us about the gold standard.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  What is this Tribunal going to do? According to Section 5 (2) it

“shall have full and absolute power to appoint the time and places of its sittings and full and absolute control of its own procedure in all respects and, in particular, in respect of the admission or exclusion of the public to or from its sittings, the enforcing the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents.”

When the Committee can sit in secret and hear evidence in secret, when the public are not going to be admitted into the Arcana of secrecy, we are going to have the policy of the Government carried out, and the advancement of one gentleman to a paramount place in this nation. That is the purpose of this Tribunal, and that is why these things must be done in secret. General Mulcahy and the members of the Executive Council found their way into public life through the help of secret organisations. They have never yet outgrown the spirit of the conspiracy in which they were bred. They are seeking by Section 5 to carry out a policy which they themselves engaged in long ago.

What is going to be the jurisdiction of this Tribunal? Section 6 reads:—“The Tribunal shall have jurisdiction to try and to convict or acquit all persons charged with an offence mentioned in the Appendix to this Article and brought before the Tribunal under this Article, and also jurisdiction to [162] sentence every person convicted by the Tribunal of any such offence.”

What are the offences mentioned in this Appendix? Has any member of the Government Party who is going to vote for this Bill read this Appendix or read paragraph 7 of the Appendix? It states that:—

“Any offence whatsoever (whether committed before or after this Article was inserted in this Constitution or before or after Section 4 to 34 of this Article came into force) in respect of which an Executive Minister certifies in writing under his hand that to the best of his belief the act constituting such offence was done with the object of impairing or impeding the machinery of government or the administration of justice.”

Listen to this precious indictment which is going to be put to the Tribunal, an indictment which any of you may have to answer to and defend yourself against. “Any offence... in respect of which an Executive Minister certifies in writing.” The present Minister for Local Government and Public Health and the present acting Minister for Defence, General Mulcahy, will be the “Executive Minister.” Now think of that. Not a single act that you do, the speech which I am making here to-night protesting against this Bill, and it is a speech made before this Bill becomes law, that speech can be declared by General Mulcahy to be “an offence which was done with the object of impairing or impeding the machinery of Government or the administration of justice.”

I may be hauled before this special Tribunal and tried in secret and “General” Gorey, because he will be a General under this Act, when he goes coursing hares, when he gives a wrong name to a Sergeant of the Civic Guards, could be declared by General Mulcahy to have committed an act which was done with the object of impairing or impeding the machinery of the Government or the administration of justice, and he may be brought before this Tribunal and tried there in secret. But let not Deputy Gorey be [163] too downhearted, because in Section 12 the Executive Council may, at their absolute discretion, at any time freely pardon any person convicted by the Tribunal. The Bill will fall with its full weight only on the opponents of the Government.

In fact, in Section 12 we are going to revert in this country to the unhappy position which prevailed here in 1923, before the late Kevin O'Higgins took control of the situation, which then prevailed in the Army. We are going to revert to the position which the Army Inquiry condemned when they said that “General Mulcahy accepted full responsibility for the decision to drop the Kenmare case. . . In our opinion, this was a grave error of judgment on his part. It did not contribute to the mutiny, but it did militate against discipline generally by encouraging suspicion in the minds of officers and others that the Army authorities were disposed to hush up charges against persons high in authority.” And so we see that the General has made the full circle, and having made the full circle, if “General” Gorey does act with the object of impairing or impeding the machinery of Government or the administration of justice, that General Mulcahy will be in charge of the Army, and will act as he did in the Kenmare case, and will accept full responsibility for dropping the proceedings against “General” Gorey.

I have told you what the functions of this Tribunal may be. Supposing a member of the Executive Council does issue such a certificate or such a statement as will shock the even consciences of some Deputies who are going to vote for the Bill, so that they rise in the House to protest against the Tribunal, what then will be the position? Sub-section (3) of Section 5 says:—

The Tribunal shall have full and absolute power to punish in such manner as the Tribunal thinks proper all persons whom the Tribunal finds guilty of contempt of the Tribunal or any member thereof whether such contempt is or is not committed in the presence of the Tribunal.

[164] You will not even have the immunity which every member of the House at present enjoys, because under this Bill Section 2 of Part I. provides that every Article of the Constitution shall be read and construed subject to the provisions of this Article. Under Article 18 of the present Constitution every member of the Dáil enjoys immunity against prosecution or against punishment for anything he may do or say within the precincts of the House in the discharge of his duty. Under Article 2 of this Bill this immunity is wiped out and any Deputy who after the passage of this Bill ventures to criticise or in any way oppose the actions of this Tribunal or the actions of the Executive Council will at once render himself liable to punishment by this Tribunal whether that is before or after the passage of this Bill. What are going to be the sentences of this Tribunal. Section 7 says:—

Whenever the Tribunal finds any person guilty of an offence mentioned in the Appendix to this Article the Tribunal may, in lieu of the punishment provided by law (other than this Article) for such offence, sentence such person to suffer any greater punishment (including the penalty of death) if in the opinion of the Tribunal such greater punishment is necessary or expedient.

That may be the sentence for a mere misdemeanour. Any member of this House can be hauled before this Tribunal and he can be punished with any punishment not even excepting death.

And then as a happy afterthought we have in sub-section (5) of Section 7:—

“No coroner's inquest shall be held in relation to a death occasioned by the execution of a sentence of death pronounced by the Tribunal.”

Deputy Gorey must remember that at one time the penalty for stealing a sheep was death by hanging, and Deputy Gorey may console himself with this thought that even if he were executed as a result of his pursuit of the hare his relatives would have the consolation that there would be no inquest on him.

What is Section 8 of this Bill? [165]“(1) No action, prosecution, or other proceeding, civil or criminal, shall lie against any member of the Tribunal in respect of any order made, conviction or sentence pronounced, or other thing done by the Tribunal or in respect of any thing done by such member in the course of the performance of his duties or the exercise of his powers as a member of the Tribunal or otherwise in his capacity as a member of the Tribunal, whether such thing was or was not necessary to the performance of such duties or the exercise of such powers.

(2) No action or other proceeding for defamation shall lie against any person in respect of anything written or said by him in giving evidence, whether written or oral, before the Tribunal or for use in proceedings before the Tribunal.

(3) No action, prosecution, or other proceeding, civil or criminal, shall lie against any registrar, clerk, or servant of the Tribunal in respect of anything done by him in the course of the performance of his duties as such registrar, clerk, or servant, whether such thing was or was not necessary to the performance of such duties.”

We have heard a good deal about perjury. We have heard in the course of this debate the Minister for Justice getting up and stating that one of the most dastardly things which one could do would be to defame a person in his character or in his reputation, and he almost suggested that members of the Fianna Fáil Party were incapable and should be disqualified from acting as public representatives because they have ventured to impugn the good faith of members of the Gárda Síochána in relation to certain things they had done and certain crimes they had committed. But here you have Section 8, sub-section (2) of this Bill giving absolute indemnity to perjury, absolute indemnity for public or private defamation of a person's character. Because we are told here that no action, or other proceeding shall lie against any person in respect of anything written or said by him in giving evidence whether written or oral before the Tribunal. I leave to [166] members themselves to read Part III. of the Act because I want to say one or two other things before I sit down. I suggest that you turn to Section 25. Section 25, is I think the touchstone that should be applied to the whole of this matter. Section 25 provides:

(1) Whenever the Executive Council is satisfied that a member of either House of the Oireachtas has died in consequence, directly or indirectly, of an unlawful act of another person or is prevented by physical incapacity arising directly, or indirectly from the unlawful act of another person or by unlawful imprisonment or by threats or in timidation from appearing at and taking part in the sittings of the House of the Oireachtas of which he is a member, the Governor-General on the advice of the Executive Council may do either or both of the following things, that is to say—

(a) by order appoint such person as the Governor-General on the advice aforesaid and having regard to the known opinions of the member so deceased or so prevented (as the case may be) shall think proper to name in such order to be a member of the said House of the Oireachtas in place of the said member.

(b) by order adjourn either or both Houses of the Oireachtas for such period not exceeding one month as the Governor-General on the advice aforesaid shall think proper to specify in such order.

If a member dies as a result directly or indirectly of an unlawful act which bears no relation whatever to the offences which the special tribunal may try, then the Governor-General may nominate a person to be his successor in this House. This would tend to make this House what the Seanad was originally intended to be—a nominated assembly. It is also provided by this section that a person appointed under it to be a member of the House shall not be entitled to take his seat until he has taken in accordance with Article 17 of the Constitution the oath mentioned in that Article.

We are going to abolish the courts. We are going to set up a revolutionary [167] Tribunal, and by a Public Safety Bill we are going to appoint five persons to act as General Mulcahy's bloodhounds. They are going to operate in secret. We are going to deprive people of the right to elect representatives to this House. We are going virtually to wipe out the whole Constitution, so that there is only one Article which this Bill is designed to preserve and that is Article 17. Is that what General Mulcahy had in mind in July, 1923, when he wrote that: “I am quite prepared to deal directly at any time with any three representatives of those I have recently met, for the consideration of any representations they may wish to make ‘on matters which are considered vital to the progress of the Army on national lines with a view to the complete independence of Ireland.’”

Now he is setting up a Tribunal one of the principal provisions of which is to insure that no matter what other Articles of the Constitution may go Article 17 will remain. Is there any member in this House who was formerly a member of the national organisation, and I can see some of them here whose record is a brave and heroic one—would any of them in 1921 or 1922, when they were discussing the Treaty in the Dáil, tell us what was their attitude to that matter then? Would any one of them at that time for a moment admit to himself that he would go into the Lobby in support of a Bill which would wipe out every Article of the Constitution, except Article 17? Would any member here at that time have admitted it to himself that such would be possible? Yet, when this closure motion is put to-night that is what you are voting for, to enshrine permanently Article 17 as the only Article of the Constitution that is going to have any permanent validity.

I have endeavoured to put before the House one or two of the leading provisions in the Bill. Deputy Morrissey made a speech which I must say, having regard to Deputy Morrissey's attitude when the position of An Leas-Cheann Comhairle was before the Committee on Procedure [168] and Privileges of this House, astonished me. I do not know how the Deputy can possibly reconcile the speech made to-night with the attitude he took up then. His colleague on the Labour Benches was compelled to resign his position as Leas-Cheann Comhairle because he claimed the right to speak on behalf of his constituents when a motion relating to the land annuities was before the House. He was compelled to resign because it was held to be incompatible with his position as Leas-Cheann Comhairle to take part in a debate of that nature. Yet Deputy Morrissey vacates the Chair and comes down here to make a speech, a speech which I think could not be made with any sincerity by any member of the Labour Party or by any man who ever professed to follow the teaching of James Connolly. What was Deputy Morrissey's thesis? Whether, he says, you are going to give full powers to the Government or whether you are going to give full powers to those who killed Superintendent Curtin. That is not the position. The point is whether you are going to give uncontrolled powers to the Executive Council. That is a thing that no democratic assembly and no national legislature can afford to do. All history is against it. The teaching and the results of history are against it. Never once has that been done without the members of the legislative assembly being swallowed up one by one by the monster which they themselves had brought into being. You cannot do this thing in safety and in the hope that this House is going to exist. Once these powers are handed over to the Executive Council you will have ambitious men in that Council outvieing one another in order to prove that they are the only sincere champions of the Constitution. We will have a lot of talk about safe guarding the rights of the people, but look at the history of every dictatorship that ever was established. They always appealed to the people when they were depriving the people of their liberties.

We have made our position quite [169] clear. We have already indicated to members of the Labour Party—some of us at any rate—that we are prepared to meet anybody, to discuss the present situation, to see what the possibilities of disorder are, and to prevent that disorder by removing the cause of it. The chief cause of the disorder is Article 17 of the Constitution, which the Government will not remove. I do not believe there is any justification even at this moment for this Bill, but if that Article were removed there could be no possible justification for the course which the Government are now asking you to adopt in giving them the powers which they seek in the Bill. That is the kernel of the situation. Article 17 was brought into the Constitution, and while they are lopping off the other Articles of the Constitution that Article is going to remain for all time as the bedrock of this State. Remove Article 17, give these men a chance to come into the House, give them a chance to put their point of view before us, and I say that there will be no Communism, no unrest, but there will be that unity of effort and unity of purpose which will help us to re-establish the Irish nation.

The Minister for Defence and the Minister for Local Government both spoke on the same note. The correspondence between their speeches was rather remarkable. The Minister for Defence said that there are two well-defined stages. There is, first of all, the ordinary normal, peaceful stage, where occasionally a man commits a crime; and then you have the other stage, where there is civil war and martial law is proclaimed. But he said there is an awkward stage which comes in between. This is the awkward stage. This is designed to bring about the civil war and to lead up to the proclamation of martial law. Why? Because the men whose mandate is now expired, who must face the electorate within twelve months, dare not face it with the record of utter failure which is behind them. They are the men who, when people are starving in Ireland to-day, when we have 80,000 unemployed, squandered £14,000,000, as Deputy MacEoin said, on the Army They are the men responsible for the [170] Shannon scheme which was to cost 5¼ millions, and has cost 14½ millions. They are the men who are responsible for the beet sugar fiasco; the men responsible for the present credit crisis. They are the men whose misguided counsels and leadership have landed us into a financial debacle from which we might have escaped if there had been better hands at the helm. In order to cover up all that, and before they face the electorate, they are prepared and are anxious to bring about that awkward stage which will inevitably lead to civil war and the proclamation of martial law.

When I hear the Minister for Local Government and the Minister for Justice talking smug platitudes, when I hear them talking about murder, and when I know what is in their minds, that it is nothing but the wholesale murder of their own countrymen that they are contemplating, I remember the lines of Shelley:

I met Murder on the way,

He wore the mask of Castlereagh,

Very smooth he looked, yet grim;

Seven bloodhounds followed him:

And one by one, and two by two,

He tossed them one's heart to chew.

Only in this case we are not going to have seven bloodhounds—we are only going to have five—five officers of the secret tribunal; five officers to sentence to death political opponents for any act, even the most harmless and innocuous that a Minister of State, a member of the Executive Council may certify to be an act done with the object of impairing or impeding the machinery of government or the administration of justice.

That is the state of affairs you are bringing about. I ask men of substance on the Government Benches, men who are engaged in trade in this country if their own personal fortune and futures will permit them to bring about that state of affairs? Can you not see that the course you are embarking upon, even if in good faith, is one attended with unavoidable dangers; that this thing which they are asking you to do is a thing which I say will [171] inevitably breed disorder? When one man is killed, it must lead to a desires for revenge and to the seeking of retribution and retaliation. Can you not see that? Weigh the future of inevitable disorder in the balance against Article 17, and ask yourselves whether the game is worth the candle; whether it would not be better to tear up the whole Constitution, tear up Article 17, and let every man elected by the Irish people, believing in the destinies of the Irish people, come into this House and [172] legislate and deliberate for the benefit of the Irish people. Is not that the safe way out, the sure way out? Is not that the way which will restore that peace and order in our midst which we all desire and which we all, once the necessity is brought home to us, will do everything to safeguard and pre serve.

Minister for Agriculture (Mr. Hogan): Information on Patrick J. Hogan  Zoom on Patrick J. Hogan  I beg to move that the question be now put.

Question put: “That the Question be now put.”

Aird, William P.
Alton, Ernest Henry.
Anthony, Richard.
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.
Conlan, Martin.
Connolly, Michael P.
Cosgrave, William T.
Craig, Sir James.
Crowley, James.
Daly, John.
Davis, Michael.
Doherty, Eugene.
Dolan, James N.
Doyle, Peadar Seán.
Duggan, Edmund John.
Dwyer, James.
Egan, Barry M.
Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
Finlay, Thomas A.
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.
Jordan, Michael.
Kelly, Patrick Michael.
Keogh, Myles.
Law, Hugh Alexander.
Leonard, Patrick.
Lynch, Finian.
Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
McDonogh, Martin.
MacEoin, Seán.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Murphy, James E.
Murphy, James E.
Myles, James Sproule.
Nally, Martin Michael.
Nally, Martin Michael.
O'Connell, Richard.
O'Connor, Bartholomew.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Hanlon, John F.
O'Higgins, Thomas.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, The.
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.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Boland, Patrick.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Seán.
Briscoe, Robert. [173]Cooney, Eamon.
Corkery, Dan.
Corish, Richard.
Corry, Martin John.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Tadhg.
Davin, William.
Derrig, Thomas.
De Valera, Eamon.
Doyle, Edward.
Everett, James.
Fahy, Frank.
Flinn, Hugo.
Fogarty, Andrew.
French, Seán.
Geoghegan, James.
Gorry, Patrick J.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Houlihan, Patrick.
Jordan, Stephen.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Kent, William R.
Broderick, Henry.
Buckley, Daniel.
Carney, Frank.
Carty, Frank.
Cassidy, Archie J.
Clancy, Patrick.
Clery, Michael.
Colbert, James. [174]Killilea, Mark.
Kilroy, Michael.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Maguire, Ben.
McEllistrim, Thomas.
MacEntee, Seán.
Moore, Séamus.
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.
Sheehv. Timothy (Tipp.).
Smith, Patrick.
Tubridy, John.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C.

Question declared carried.

Main 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.
Conlan, Martin.
Connolly, Michael P.
Cosgrave, William T.
Craig, Sir James.
Crowley, James.
Daly, John.
Davis, Michael.
Doherty, Eugene.
Dolan, James N.
Doyle, Peadar Seán.
Duggan, Edmund John.
Dwyer, James.
Egan, Barry M.
Esmonde. Osmond Thos. Grattan.
Finlay, Thomas A.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Good, John.
Gorey, Denis J.
Haslett, Alexander.
Hassett, John J.
Heffernan, Michael R.
Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
Hennessy, Thomas. [175]Thrift, William Edward.
Tierney, Michael.
Vaughan, Daniel.
White, John.
Hennigan, John.
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.
MacEoin, 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, The.
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). [176]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.
Clancy, Patrick.
Clery, Michael.
Colbert, James.
Cooney, Eamon.
Corkery, Dan.
Corish, Richard.
Corry, Martin John.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Tadhg.
Davin, William.
Derrig, Thomas.
De Valera, Eamon.
Doyle, Edward.
Everett, James.
Fahy, Frank.
Flinn, Hugo.
Fogarty, Andrew.
French, Seán.
Geoghegan, James.
Gorry, Patrick J.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Houlihan, Patrick.
Jordan, Stephen.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Kent, William R.
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'Hanlon, John F.
O'Kelly, Seán T.
O'Leary, William.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
O'Reilly, Thomas.
Powell, Thomas P.
Rutledge, Patrick J.
Ryan, James.
Sexton, Martin.
Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
Smith, Patrick.
Tubridy, John.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C.

Question declared carried.


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