Public Services (Temporary Economies) Bill, 1933—Committee.

Tuesday, 23 May 1933

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 47 No. 13

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SECTION 1.

Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I move: “That Section 1 stand part of the Bill.”

Mr. V. Rice: Information on Vincent Rice  Zoom on Vincent Rice  I move amendment 1:—

At the end of the section to add a new sub-section as follows:—

This Act shall continue in force until the 31st day of March, 1934, or, in the event of agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Irish Free State on the matters in dispute between the aforesaid Governments, until the date of the coming into force of such agreement [1446] if such date occurs before the said 31st day of March, 1934, and shall then expire (as the case may be).

I intend to occupy as little time as I can, because the volume of adverse criticism of this Bill is reflected in the fact that there are 12 pages of amendments to it. The Bill is described as a temporary measure, and the House has been assured that it is proposed to impose these cuts in salaries only for the period of the current financial year. If my amendment is accepted these cuts will cease to operate as from the date when a settlement of the financial dispute with Great Britain is reached. I am moving the amendment for two reasons. The first is that the cuts set down in the Bill are necessitated—if they are necessary at all—by reason of the economic war, and the continuance of the economic war. There is no reason why they should continue during the whole of the current financial year, if the waste of the public resources of this country is brought to an end during that year by a settlement of the economic dispute with Great Britain. The second reason is that I accept, for the purpose of this discussion, the assurances that were given from every Fianna Fáil platform at the last general election, that if that Party were returned to power an immediate and successful settlement of the economic dispute would be reached. I say that these cuts are necessitated solely by the economic war, and by the continuance of that economic war, because we must, of course, accept as sincere the promises made to the public during the last general election and the one that preceded it, promises on which the Fianna Fáil Party were returned to power. I have here a manifesto that that Party published during the last general election, and the previous one, and the things which were promised show clearly that, instead of reducing the standard of living of civil servants, and the very large body of employees who, although technically not civil servants, are persons paid out of public moneys, civic guards, teachers and others, they were all promised a higher standard of living if that Party were returned to [1447] office. Here are the promises: “More employment, more houses, more factories, more tillage, less extravagance, end of destitution, stop emigration.”

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  That one is correct.

Mr. Rice:  Three days before the general election in February of last year we were told “Fianna Fáil has a Plan”. We have all heard of this before, but it is good that we should hear it again. I wish the Minister for Finance would keep these posters, frame them, and hang them up in his office, and when he is considering a new attack on the capital and the resources of this country that he would read them every morning. In the poster issued three days before the general election of last year, the promise was made that there would be 80,000 odd new people put into employment. As a matter of fact, perfect details were given, because the figure was brought down not merely to thousands or hundreds, but that 84,605 new people were to be brought into employment. For the farmers there were to be increased profits and, of course, the shopkeepers were going to do splendidly, because they were going to sell more, and to have a larger number of customers. For all, it meant less taxation, lower rates and better times. I presume it was the financial expert, who now sits in this House in charge of the Bill, made the calculation, because these documents were prepared with great care. No doubt the Fianna Fáil Party in their election propaganda consulted their financial expert as to details, and he discovered that without reducing social services in any way, taxation in this country could be reduced by £2,000,000 a year. We have now made the unfortunate discovery, after 15 months' experience of this Government, that taxation has, in fact, been increased by £6,000,000 a year. These promises were swallowed not only by simpletons but by very clever people. Deputy Norton and his Party I think must have accepted them.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  We accepted anything but Cumann na nGaedheal.

[1448]Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Does the Deputy accept 24/- a week?

Mr. Rice:  The Deputy is learning every day, and the Deputy is still voting in favour of keeping in power a Government that fixes 24/- a week as a proper wage.

Mr. Corish: Information on Richard Corish  Zoom on Richard Corish  Where were all the absentees in the Deputy's Party?

Mr. Rice:  Deputy Norton says he will accept anything but Cumann na nGaedheal. In spite of that statement, I do say that he is learning, because, in this House—and quite recently—on the Second Reading of this Bill, Deputy Norton gave indications that the cobwebs were being removed from his eyes. Deputy Norton, in his speech on the Second Reading of this Bill—it is in Vol. 46, page 1900—said:—

“If there is anything to be learned or any significance to be attached to the speech of the Minister for Finance, it is an indication that the Minister at all events—and perhaps in this matter he is speaking for the Government—has got cold feet——”

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Hear, hear!

Mr. Rice:  Imagine the wizards over there getting cold feet!

“——has got cold feet on his own economic and industrial policy. The speech of the Minister clearly indicates that he has no faith whatever in his own industrial and economic policy, because if the Minister had any faith in the policy of his Government to bring about that economic and social regeneration, which is spoken of so glibly at election times, he has no case whatever for cutting purchasing power and attacking wage standards such as are being attacked in this Bill.”

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Do you object to that?

Mr. Rice:  No; on the contrary, I accept it as a sign of the gradual conversion of Deputy Norton.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  You were converted out of another Party before, and you will not be long in this.

Mr. Rice:  Those were the promises made to the people of this country at that time, and I say, therefore, that no [1449] case can be made for the continuance of these “cuts” in the remuneration of public servants except on the ground that the Party opposite—the Government—wish to continue indefinitely this economic war. Why were promises made to settle this question if this Government were returned to power, and why, when they were returned to power, has no effort been made to settle this economic war? Amongst these promises that were made the first was a promise of a higher standard of living for all the people of this country. Is it a step towards the higher standard of life of the people of this country that these essential services—the Civil Service, the Civic Guards and the teachers—should have their remuneration reduced during this year? What is the use of saving one week's salary in 12 months of “cuts” on these people, and causing discontent among them at the same time, if you are wasting that amount of money every week in carrying on an economic war which you promised the people you were going to bring to an end? There is no sense in it, and it is an absolute breach of faith.

Mr. Jordan: Information on Stephen Jordan  Zoom on Stephen Jordan  If the Deputy would keep his mouth shut we might settle it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  If the Deputy who has just spoken would follow his own advice, progress would be more rapid.

Mr. Rice:  We have kept our mouths shut on this question for a very long time.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Question?

Mr. Rice:  I should prefer the views of the President to those of Deputy Jordan. The President stated, on the occasion when he was going to London to have a conference prior to the last general election, that he appreciated highly the attitude of the leader of this Party. This Party follows the attitude of its leader in giving every opportunity to the President to bring about a settlement of this question. I do not intend to imitate the bad manners which we saw from the benches of the other Party when they were in Opposition. I appeal to this House and to Deputies on the other side to consider this amendment [1450] from the impartial point of view as to what is the justice and necessity of this thing. As I said before, I do not propose to imitate the bad manners exhibited by Deputies on the other side when President Cosgrave was the head of the Government and who, because people followed their leader, referred to the followers of President Cosgrave as “the dumb driven cattle of Cumann na nGaedheal.” I am sorry that the Parliamentary Secretary, who devised that lovely expression, is not here. Apparently, appreciating his oratory, the present Government have promoted him to a Parliamentary Secretaryship.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Which has nothing to do with the matter before the House.

Mr. Rice:  I submit, sir, that it arises from the interruption of Deputy Jordan.

Mr. Jordan: Information on Stephen Jordan  Zoom on Stephen Jordan  And the Chair gives you all the satisfaction you deserve.

Mr. Rice:  I shall wait until Deputy Flinn returns to the House and, by further misconduct in this House, gives me a further opportunity of saying what I wish to say about it. I say that no case has been made for the cutting of these salaries. Any other Government could have made a case for reducing expenditure in this country. This Government has no moral position from which it can tell the people of this country that the remuneration of its public servants ought to be reduced, because, in every week during which they remain in office, they are fruitlessly and foolishly wasting an amount of money, by a continuance of the economic war, that would be saved in 12 months by these reductions in the salaries of public servants. I ask Deputies to put pressure on the Government to end this economic war by voting for this amendment, and to bring home to the Government the fact that they promised to end the economic war as soon as they were returned to power. What efforts have they made, since they were returned to office in February last, to end this economic war? So far as the public know, they have made no effort. If we were to get [1451] any of the benefits promised to the people of this country by the Party opposite during the last general election, then there would be no necessity for these “cuts” and the House can only come to the conclusion that these “cuts” are being rendered necessary by the continuance of this economic war.

As to the increased markets which we heard about—I am sorry that the Minister for Industry and Commerce has left the House, because we heard here some time ago from the President that he did not see any prospect of procuring alternative markets. Of course, when we want to know the inner thoughts or views of Ministers as to what their hopes are we naturally have to go to the English Press to find out those views. I read recently in an English newspaper an interview with the Minister for Industry and Commerce, in which he said that he saw alternative markets in sight.

Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am sorry to interrupt the Deputy, but I would remind him that there are 120 amendments on the Order Paper and there is, I understand, an arrangement whereby the Committee Stage will be disposed of by to-morrow. It seems to me, from the rambling way in which the Deputy is speaking, that it will be impossible to finish it in the time.

Mr. Rice:  As a matter of fact, when the Minister arose, I was about to make my last point. I should like to hear something from the Minister for Industry and Commerce as to where these alternative markets are to be found, because nobody in this country sees any sign of such markets, and I think that the Irish people in this country are entitled to be informed of such markets, if there are any, before the readers of English newspapers.

Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  Would it be in order, a Chinn Comhairle, to discuss the question of alternative markets on this amendment?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  It would not.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  The interruption by [1452] the Minister for Finance, when Deputy Rice was speaking, appears to me to raise a most important issue. Is it to be taken that in future the practice of this House, when important measures of this character are under discussion, is to be that Deputies will be limited in their remarks? The issues raised by Deputy Rice in his amendment are certainly very important to this country. His amendment is one of great importance, for the reason that it enables him to deal with issues which will be raised in a subsequent amendment. In view of the importance of the amendment and what is involved in it I think the Deputy was cut unduly short. I would like a ruling from the Chair on that. When very grave issues are under discussion in the House surely to goodness a Deputy should not be interrupted, even by a Minister.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy's speech was not cut short by the Ceann Comhairle.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  I quite agree, sir, but the suggestion came from the Minister, and I feel that the Ceann Comhairle and the House would have some regard to what the Minister has to say. I do suggest that it is most unfair to the House that the Minister should have interrupted.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Surely a Minister is entitled to make a suggestion.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  I accept that.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Is a Deputy entitled to reflect on the Chair in the way that Deputy Anthony has done?

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  I am not reflecting on the Chair, and have never done so. I leave that to the Minister.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  He is an old hand at it.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  This Party is opposed to this Bill, lock, stock and barrel. It is opposed to every line of the Bill, and will give its support to every amendment moved which will render the Bill inoperative. If that is not possible, then it will do all it can to minimise the hardships likely to be inflicted under the Bill and will vote [1453] for any amendment having that objective. But this particular amendment is steeped in the same kind of philosophy as the Bill itself is steeped in. This amendment, in its opening sentence, accepts the whole philosophy of the Bill.

Mr. Rice:  No.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  The opening sentence to the amendment reads: “This Act shall continue in force until 31st day of March, 1934.” I do not believe that it should continue in operation for 24 hours. I submit that Deputy Rice, in his ill-framed amendment, is committing himself to the principle that “This Act shall continue in force until 31st day of March, 1934.” Consequently though I am completely opposed to the Bill and perfectly prepared to support any reasonable amendment designed to render it ineffective, the suggestion of Deputy Rice and the phraseology of his amendment make it impossible for us to support the amendment——

Mr. Rice:  That is very clever.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  ——because of the fact that the Deputy, apparently when drafting it, was more concerned with the making of a political speech than he was with introducing a sensible amendment.

Mr. Rice:  That is very clever.

Mr. S. Brady: Information on Seán Brady  Zoom on Seán Brady  It bowls you over, anyway.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  We have just heard from that non-political person, the Leader of the Labour Party, a condemnation of Deputy Rice for making a political speech. It is very interesting to hear this view of general public ethics which animates the leader of the Labour Party: that in this House political speeches should not be made. The Leader of the Labour Party evidently has not the remotest idea of what the amendment means. It does not mean that, of necessity, this Bill should be enforced. What it does mean is that, if the Bill is going to be passed by the House, it shall not be in force for one moment beyond the termination of the economic war. The Leader of [1454] the Labour Party and the members of that Party, if they vote against this amendment, will be voting against this: that if this Bill becomes law in its present form it shall be kept on longer than the termination of the economic war. For Deputy Norton to get up and say that he is opposed to the Bill, lock, stock and barrel, opposed to every line of the Bill, and then to turn around and say that he is opposed to an amendment which can have no effect except to shorten the duration of time which the Bill will be enforced if it becomes law is, I submit, an appallingly illogical proposition.

Mr. Corish: Information on Richard Corish  Zoom on Richard Corish  Because you support it.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  What about the one and a tanner boot allowance that you took off the Civic Guards?

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I support the amendment. My action in doing so does not mean that it is to be interpreted in the sense that Deputy Norton's action would be interpreted if he supported the amendment. Deputy Norton and his colleagues should not disown their own baby. They helped to bring the economic war on this country and have been directly responsible for this Bill.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  You helped Jimmy Thomas.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  In what way?

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  You backed him up and took his point of view in this House.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I never helped Jimmy Thomas or anybody else——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  It would be desirable to be more respectful in referring to Ministers of another Government.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I would point out, a Chinn Comhairle, that it was Deputy Davin who first used that term.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I repeated unconsciously a remark put into my mouth by an interrupter, and I withdraw and apologise for mentioning in those terms the name of a Minister in another country. For my doing so, that Minister can blame his one-time Labour colleague, Deputy Davin.

[1455]Mr. S. Jordan: Information on Stephen Jordan  Zoom on Stephen Jordan  Do not labour the point now, anyhow.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Deputy Norton says that he will not support this amendment, because he objects to the Bill altogether, but he did not object to the direct results and the direct consequences of his own actions when the wages of the men that sent him here, the agricultural labourers in the County Kildare, were reduced by one-half.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  By your Party and by the Centre Party.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Not my Party.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Oh, yes, I will give you the names.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  If I am to be in a Farmers' Party, then it is going to be led by a farmer.

A Deputy:  Give him a chance.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I want Deputies to realise that the Chair will take serious notice of repeated interruptions.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I wish to draw your attention, a Chinn Comhairle, to a statement made by Deputy Smith opposite. I am not afraid of wearing my sins on my forehead, but I do resent sins being put on my forehead that I never committed. Deputy Smith, if he represents the farmers and the electors of Cavan, should be man enough to get up and speak, and not be slinking around in the back seats interrupting, as he has been doing every day that I have been in this House. I know all about the plan of campaign. I know the names of the Deputies who have been told to carry out these interruptions. They can carry them out, but they will get back more than they give. Let them make up their minds on that. I never was in the Centre Party, and never would be in a class party.

Mr. McGovern: Information on Patrick Gregory McGovern  Zoom on Patrick Gregory McGovern  The Deputy was the leader of the first Centre Party, but that Party never had a member in it as it was dead born.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I cannot understand what the Deputy has said. I do not mind interruptions but I cannot understand [1456] him when he speaks. The purpose of this amendment is quite clear. It is not going to continue in force for ever. It sets a limit and that limit is the termination of the economic war. Now Labour should stand up, as I have previously remarked, and acknowledge its own baby. It should also be able to face its Labour organisations when the cry will come from them: “You threw your weight in to win this economic war.”

Labour cannot have it both ways. They cannot perpetuate the economic war and reduce the wage-earning capacity of the country, or to put it another way, allow the production of this country to be confiscated by another country through their actions. When that production is confiscated to the extent of £5,000,000 directly and about £20,000,000 indirectly the level of prices must be lowered in this country, the volume of employment must shrink, and the actual wages paid must diminish. If the Labour Party want to stand for the interests of Labour they should support this amendment. Then perhaps when they support this amendment and study, not the philosophy of this amendment but the philosophy of their own actions during the past 15 months, they might come to a truer realisation of the position and regulate their political conduct accordingly. They cannot do something, that must produce a certain result and then object to that result when it comes about.

Deputy Rice in introducing this amendment objected to the cuts. So did I. I object to the lowering of the standard of living, to the lowering of wages, because the moment you begin to lower wages that very moment you are lowering the standard of living. It does not matter how highly paid the wage-earner or the salaried official is, once you cut down his salary the effect goes down the whole line to the very humblest worker in the country, and by reducing those wages and salaries you cut the only market that the Government seems concerned to build up, the home market. What some of the Government Deputies are fond of referring to on platforms as the great Republic of the West is not [1457] cutting salaries. Their President has advised all employers throughout the State in this year of depression to increase wages. Our Government is going to cut them. That is a most vicious procedure. I do not want to develop the argument because if I attempted to develop it I would be making a speech more appropriate to the Second Reading than to the Committee Stage of the Bill.

Coming to this specific amendment that is before the House, the amendment is prompted by hostility to the principle of the Bill. For reasons which we need not enter into now, if the Bill is going to be forced on the House through the dead weight of Government votes, the proposal asks this House to limit the duration of the Bill and not to make it a permanent Bill, not to reduce the standard of living permanently. I fail to see the philosophy, the logic or the consistency of Labour Deputies if a single Labour Deputy goes into the Lobby to vote against the amendment. While against the cuts on general principle, I support the amendment, the object of which is to put a limitation to this lowering of the standard of living by the Government Party who told us at every cross-roads before the election: “Put us in and the whole country will flow with milk and honey.” Now it seems it is to flow with vinegar and gall.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  One wonders, reading through this amendment and studying the Bill, whether those who drafted it took the trouble to do either, because if they did and if their speeches are not mere expressions of the perfect and shameless hypocrisy it is difficult to see how they could have introduced the amendment at all. It is quite true, as Deputy Norton has said, that the amendment does specifically accept the principle of the Bill, which is, that in these times of stress, whether it be for the duration of the economic war or for this year only, certain temporary economies should be made in the public service. There is no use trying to get away from it. That is the principle which Deputy [1458] Belton has just advocated to the House.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  The House accepted the principle on Second Stage.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Of course it did, and those who framed the amendment have accepted the principle.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Just as the House did.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Those who framed the amendment accept the principle, but they want to deprive civil servants of the safeguards which are contained in this Bill.

Mr. V. Rice: Information on Vincent Rice  Zoom on Vincent Rice  Where?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Deputy Rice asks where. Deputy Rice put his name to the amendment and he, presumably, knows what is in the Bill. Has he studied the effect this amendment would have on Section 4?

Mr. Rice:  Yes.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Very well, it is quite obvious, if Deputy Rice has studied Section 4 of the Bill, that this amendment is designed to deprive public servants of one of the safeguards that are in the Bill.

Mr. Rice:  If the Minister were not Minister I should say nonsense.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It would not matter what the Deputy said. The fact remains that what I have said is true. The Deputy's judgment is of very little importance in matters of this sort.

Mr. Rice:  As the Minister's judgment is to me.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy said that this amendment is designed to ensure that the Bill will have a temporary application. He and all those who were associated with him in drafting the amendment would deprive civil servants of the protection which is afforded by Section 4, which provides that in computing pensions these deductions shall not be taken into account. In attempting to paint the lily or to gild the refined gold of the draftsmanship of this Bill——

Mr. V. Rice rose.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Minister is entitled to make a speech without interruption.

[1459]Mr. Rice:  He has made a statement which I am entitled to query, that someone was associated with me in drafting the amendment.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  There was not? Am I to understand from the Deputy that there was no member of his Party associated with him in drafting the amendment?

Mr. V. Rice: Information on Vincent Rice  Zoom on Vincent Rice  None, none whatever, but they are all going to support it.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  This exhibition of utter folly and foolishness—that is what the members of the Party are going to support. The real effect of it, as I say, is to deprive civil servants of the protection afforded them in the Bill. If this Bill expires before April, 1934, Section 4 of the Bill expires also, and if Section 4 expires all pensions would be computed on the basis of the salary paid at the date of retirement, and not on the basis set out in Section 4 of the Bill. Therefore, Deputy Norton was perfectly right——

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Hear, hear.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  ——when he said he was opposed to the principle of the Bill, and that the action of himself and his Party would be designed to minimise any hardships the Bill might impose. In view of that attitude which is quite logical, one which I believe is quite creditable, it would be impossible for Deputy Norton to vote for the amendment which, as I have already said, would deprive the civil servant of the status for pensions rights, which is guaranteed by the Bill.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  I am supporting the amendment, and if I had to choose between Deputy Rice and the Minister for the interpretation to be put on Section 4, I should bank on the judgment of Deputy Rice. I will be very brief because I feel that the time of the House should not be taken up to too great an extent on one amendment, but this amendment seems to me to be of supreme importance. We were told by the Fianna Fáil Party before they came into office—I quote from their own statements—that:—

[1460]“Fianna Fáil is satisfied that substantial economies are feasible without reducing social services, inflicting hardship on any of the Government servants or impairing in the slightest degree the efficiency of the administrative machine.”

I want to submit that we shall, to a very large extent, impair the efficiency of the administrative machine by imposing these cuts on the very large number of civil servants and others mentioned in the Bill. We shall have other opportunities of discussing these cuts in relation to certain officials in the Civil Service and in the other services enumerated in the measure. There may be, and I believe that there are—and this is possibly where I may differ from Cumann na nGaedheal and from official Labour—cases in which this Government, under the present circumstances, may be quite justified in reducing certain salaries and the reason I rose to support this amendment was the fact that I feel that, while these economies in the higher-paid posts in the Civil Service of the State may be necessary at the moment, we may and, certainly, should be, able to reach a point, if the economic war were ended and our markets thrown open to us, at which we could restore to those civil servants and, even the higher-paid civil servants, the salaries they enjoyed at the passing of the measure. I have always felt and I have stated, on more than one occasion in this House, that I did not consider that the Ministers of this House are over-paid and I also consider that many of the civil servants in the higher grades were barely adequately paid. Certainly none are over-paid in view of the importance of the duties they have to attend to. That argument may apply to the lower-paid grades and it possibly would have stronger force in its application to the lower-paid civil servants. I am going to oppose cuts in the salaries of national teachers in cases where the salaries are below a certain amount—the lower-paid national teachers and civil servants—and I will develop that at a later stage, indicating what I mean by the lower-paid civil servants. There appears to me to be some misconception with [1461] regard to this amendment. Deputy Norton, I think, must admit that already some of these cuts are in operation.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Illegally.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  I agree, but they are in operation. This amendment of Deputy Rice is a carefully drafted and well-worded amendment. It simply suggests that this Bill, which we all know will become an Act on account of the steam-roller majority the Government are able to command——

Mr. Donnelly: Information on Eamonn Donnelly  Zoom on Eamonn Donnelly  On account of the will of the people.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  On account of the dumb-driven cattle on the other side. The Deputy is one of those. I am not one of them. The amendment sets out that this Act will continue in force—with the assistance of one of the dumb-driven cattle behind me— until 31st March, 1934. That suggests that there must be some kind of finality to the hardship you are about to inflict on the civil servants and other persons enumerated in the Bill.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  There seems to be a general impression amongst Deputies opposite that, no matter what the position of the people of this country, no matter whether the people are able to pay or not—and this applies to the last seven, eight or nine years and, in fact, since Cumann na nGaedheal came into office—a certain section of the community are to be set aside, surrounded by barbed wire entanglements and are to get their salaries and their pensions. I did not take very much notice of Deputy Rice or Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney on this amendment, because one rather expects it from the particular class they represent, but I was rather surprised to hear Deputy Belton on it.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I was looking after my market then.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  Ah, your market! The total amount in the Estimates this year is £22,000,000 odd. The amount of salaries paid out of that is £12,780,000, leaving £10,000,000 for [1462] the Services. From 1924 to 1931, when the income of the farming community —the baby whom everybody in the House is anxious to cuddle in his arms—was reduced by £13,000,000——

Mr. Kent: Information on William Rice Kent  Zoom on William Rice Kent  The Deputy admits that?

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  The Cumann na nGaedheal Party thought that the officials should still be paid the same salaries, no matter whether the people were able to pay or not——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy is making a Second Reading speech. He must get down to the amendment. On Committee Stage only, the amendment before the House can be discussed.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  I am discussing——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy is making a Second Reading speech.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  If the argument put up by Deputy Belton is correct, we ought to double all salaries.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Certainly, if we are able.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  People would then have more to spend, and I presume that the farming community, with whom Deputy Belton always has sympathy, will be able to pay. We have heard a lot of this kind of thing, but I should like to warn Deputies, and not alone Deputies opposite, but all Deputies in the House, that if they are not prepared to reduce salaries to a point within the capacity of the people to bear, somebody else is prepared to do it for them.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I have only one or two words to say. May I point out to Deputy Norton that, unfortunately, so far as the principle of the Bill is concerned, it is accepted already, and all that amendments can do is, in individual cases, to weaken the effect of the Bill. One of the ways in which you can weaken the effect of the Bill is by shortening the time during which it will be in operation. His argument was purely a verbal one and suggested that this amendment accepted the principle. I would [1463] suggest that this amendment no more accepts the principle of the Bill than does amendment 106, in the names of Deputies Norton and Corish. That proposes, undoubtedly, to give certain concessions, but it also proposes to give certain cuts. This amendment stands on exactly the same footing. All we can hope to do in the Committee Stage is to make this Bill less harsh where we consider it should be less harsh. This amendment makes it possible to cut short the time during which the Bill will be in operation, and it, undoubtedly, makes the Bill less harsh on the people affected, in the same way that the Deputy's own amendment—amendment 106, and I think he has another—do.

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

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  There is the same acceptance of cuts there.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  There is no such thing.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  There is an acceptance of cuts. You are accepting cuts there.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I am not.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Just as this amendment proposes to cut short the time. That is the purpose of the amendment. Every amendment put forward by this side is open to exactly the same objection as Deputy Norton has brought forward. The members of one particular Party have not spoken in relation to this amendment. We do not know how they are going to vote. They may be anxious to leave it to the Government to continue the economic war. I suggest that it is possible they might vote for this amendment. Last week—I do not suggest it was through any arrangement—we observed a thing which seemed to work out admirably. When the Labour Party went into the Division Lobby against the Government, the Centre Party went into the Government Lobby. That, apparently, is going to happen throughout this Bill as well.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  See-saw.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Deputy Davin and Deputy MacDermot may have had a consultation. I know they had an [1464] earnest conversation, but they may have been discussing another matter. We have heard many absurdities so far as this Bill is concerned, but the crowning absurdity was the passionate speech of the Minister when he was throwing a cloak over the Labour Party. I admit that they badly want that.

Mr. Corish: Information on Richard Corish  Zoom on Richard Corish  Not a bit.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Apparently the Minister thought they wanted it badly. Anyway, over them he threw the cloak. He told us that they were a consistent Party, and they stood for a definite principle. Now they have a chance in this amendment of showing——

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Of depriving civil servants of their pension rights.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  On a point of order, the Deputy should confine himself to the amendment.

Mr. Cleary: Information on Michael Cleary  Zoom on Michael Cleary  He is endeavouring to throw a cloak over the amendment.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Then we had a most extraordinary statement from the Minister. It was the ipse dixit of our legal pundit as well as our financial expert. He said the effect of the amendment would be to do away with the rights granted under Section 4. That is one of the most absurd statements the Minister made, and he made quite a lot. The amendments suggested will have the effect of diminishing the amount of harm that would be done by the Bill. This amendment stands in the same position as every other amendment so far as that is concerned.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  A couple of weeks ago this House, and indeed the whole country, was astounded when the President took the unprecedented step of silencing the Minister for Finance on the Budget. Whilst I do not always find myself in agreement with the President, I think anyone who listened to the Minister's speech on this amendment must come to the conclusion that the President was very wise. If the Minister was able to make so many blunders in the course of a seven minutes' speech on such a simple amendment, how many more blunders [1465] of a much more serious character would he be capable of making in connection with the Budget? I think Deputy Norton is mistaken in the view he has taken of this amendment. I am satisfied that Deputy Norton and the other members of the Labour Party want to weaken, as far as possible, the effect of the Bill. So far as I can judge from this amendment, I am satisfied it will weaken the effect of the Bill and for that reason I am going to vote for it.

I suggest that the members of the Labour Party might consider this amendment further. It seems to me that, if carried, the amendment will indicate a definite date when the Bill must cease to operate. That is something that is not in the Bill. We are told by the Minister and other Government speakers that this measure will operate for only one year. Anybody with commonsense, anybody outside the members of the Front Bench opposite, any person who goes to the country from week to week and any Fianna Fáil Deputy who is in touch with his constituents, is well aware that unless the economic war is settled within the next 12 months, not only will this Bill not cease to operate, but the cuts will be steeper and will have to be steeper. That is quite clear to everybody except the Minister and his colleagues.

Mr. O'Neill: Information on Eamonn O'Neill  Zoom on Eamonn O'Neill  And the members of the Labour Party.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  The members of the Labour Party are as well aware as I am that unless the present situation is settled there will be greater cuts, not only in the salaries of public servants but in social services next year.

Mr. Donnelly: Information on Eamonn Donnelly  Zoom on Eamonn Donnelly  I would like to know if Deputy Belton is now the Leader of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party?

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  They do not want any leading, but the Fianna Fáil Party did when they were brought in here.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I do not see why I should be interrupted in order to permit Deputy Donnelly to ask such a question. Deputy O'Sullivan has mentioned that the Minister for Finance endeavoured to throw a cloak over the Labour Party. I say that it [1466] was rather an impertinence on the part of the Minister to give the impression to the House that he was coming to Deputy Norton's assistance. Deputy Norton is quite well able to look after himself and his Party; he is much better able to do it than the Minister. It seems to me that the Minister was anxious to talk about Deputy Norton and everything and anything except the amendment. The Minister did not want to face the facts. When he cannot answer definite arguments then, like the solicitor in court who has had a bad case, he endeavours to abuse everybody. That is an old habit on the part of the Minister, as those of us who have had to suffer for our sins listening to him for a couple of years know only too well.

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  This amendment implies the principle that even if the economic war is still in continuance on March 31st, 1934, those cuts should cease to operate and ought not to be continued. That is not a principle to which we can give adherence. We regard the Bill primarily as an attempt to distribute the sacrifies entailed by the economic war amongst other classes of the community than the farmers. From that point of view we have not considered it our duty to go into the Bill in very great detail. The main thing is to have the principle accepted and some attempt made to put it into practice. Our general view of the Bill is that it might have gone a good deal further. Had this amendment proposed merely that the whole matter should be reconsidered as soon as the economic war came to an end we might have been tempted to support it.

Mr. McGuire: Information on James Ivan McGuire  Zoom on James Ivan McGuire  I rise to support this amendment and I do so because, of all the amendments to this Bill which I have seen, this seems to be the only one which brings to light the reason for the necessity of the measure. Everyone knows that it is because of the economic war this country is 40 per cent. worse off than it otherwise would be. It is for that reason that this Economies Bill becomes necessary. It is easy to understand [1467] the chagrin of the Minister and the anxiety of the Labour Party to get away from this amendment. The Labour Party, of course, supports the Government in what is the major point of its policy, namely, the continuance of the economic war with England. Without that economic war there was absolutely no necessity for this Bill. I, for my part, am grateful to Deputy Rice for this amendment, because it does bring to light the fact that the economic war with England is the true reason for the necessity of this Bill, and for that reason I have great pleasure in supporting the amendment.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Deputy McGuire, following Deputy Belton with the musical voice of their master, again repeats the unfounded allegation that the Labour Party are really the people responsible for the economic war. Now may I say this—and I think nobody can challenge it—if the Opposition Party in this House had taken the same view of this issue as the Opposition Parties had taken in the French Chamber, in the English Parliament and in the American Congress there would never have been an economic war. Were it not for the fact that the Cumann na nGaedheal Opposition gave such encouragement to the British when this issue was first raised we would not have this question of the economic war between the two countries now.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  On a point of order, is this a speech on the amendment or is it a Second Reading speech on the economic war? If it is a Second Reading speech on the subject of the economic war I would be delighted to cross swords with Deputy Davin.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Deputy Davin's reply has been directed to criticism made. He should now get down to the amendment.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  I would not have said a word about it were it not for the fact that the Cumann na nGaedheal Deputies have mentioned it in their speeches. Look at the attitude of Herriot in the French Parliament. Look at the attitude he adopted in the [1468] French Parliament on a similar issue when——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy has replied to criticisms made by Opposition Deputies. He cannot pursue that course any further. He must come to the amendment.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  May I take the liberty of saying, whether justified or not that the people gave a mandate to this Party at the last election. The people did that whether right or wrong. I believe by the majority of votes——

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  And personations.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  ——they gave a mandate to them and it is a matter for the Government who have a majority in this House without considering twopenny halfpenny matters of this kind——

Mr. McGuire: Information on James Ivan McGuire  Zoom on James Ivan McGuire  This is not a twopenny halfpenny matter.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  It is a matter for the Government to secure a settlement of this economic war. The sooner the Opposition in this House take up an Irish attitude the sooner we will get an honourable settlement. At any rate the members of this Party are quite capable without any lectures from the members of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party to understand the meaning of an amendment of this kind.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Question.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  We voted against the Second Reading of the Bill showing by doing so that we disapproved of the principle of the measure and in doing that we do not care a thraneen whether Deputy MacDermot and his Centre Party vote for it or not. We hold the view that whatever Party is in power there is a wage rate or a salary below which it is bad economy to cut. I pay one tribute to Deputy Belton—and he deserves it—and that is that he is a practical farmer and believes in paying a living wage to his employees. I wish the same could be said of those Deputies who sit around him.

Mr. Kent: Information on William Rice Kent  Zoom on William Rice Kent  Or the Deputies on the Fianna Fáil side.

[1469]Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  This amendment by the first sentence commits us to the acceptance, for some time at any rate, of the principle of the measure. That is the real reason why we are going to vote against it. I hope in discussing matters of this kind we have heard the last of the economic war. The economic war should not be brought into this issue. It does not arise from it.

Mr. Kent: Information on William Rice Kent  Zoom on William Rice Kent  It is to me a most extraordinary state of affairs that the leader or the deputy-lieutenant of the Labour Party should stand up here and defend the attitude of the Government as regards its economic policy. As far as I can see no more pressing measure was ever brought into this House, at all events in recent times, than the Bill now before us. I say that because of the position to which the farmers have been brought by the economic war. We have been told by the Government Party that everybody in the country should tighten his belt and make sacrifices in this economic war now being waged. As far as I can see, least of all has the Labour Party made any effort whatsoever to tighten their belts or, in the alternative, done anything to bring to an end this economic war between the English Government and the Irish people. They have done nothing to tighten their belts.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  You would want a pretty big belt.

Mr. Kent: Information on William Rice Kent  Zoom on William Rice Kent  Yes, but I will have to tighten my belt many a time, like the rest of the farmers. I hope Deputy Davin when asked by the Minister for Finance to make sacrifices in order to bring the economic war to a successful issue will make sacrifices. What is the necessity for the introduction of this Bill? To my mind it is that we have in the country at the present moment a Government returned by a majority of the Irish people; as to their having got a mandate, I say the mandate they got was to bring about a settlement of this issue and so bring the economic war to a successful issue. Who are the sufferers by this economic war? Are the Labour Party in the Dáil the sufferers? Have the Fianna [1470] Fáil Party in the Dáil suffered by this economic war? When that Party was asked within the last month to tighten their belts and reduce their allowances so as to be in a position to give a lead to the people of the country as regards nationality and patriotism, there was a howl from that Party, and especially from my colleague Deputy Martin Corry, who was supposed to be the exponent of the Farmers' Party and every other Party in this country.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy is reverting to a debate which took place some weeks ago, and he has wandered very far from the amendment before the House.

Mr. Kent: Information on William Rice Kent  Zoom on William Rice Kent  I should be sorry to get away from the amendment. I want to tell the House that I am totally opposed to this amendment. What is the position in this matter of economy so far as the farmers are concerned? The farmers of the country have tightened their belts to such an extent that they can have no further tightening. I ask the Executive Council and all the members of the Fianna Fáil Party, from the President down, to make sacrifices in the same way as the farmers have to make them. I will have to vote against this amendment.

Mr. V. Rice: Information on Vincent Rice  Zoom on Vincent Rice  I should like to say just one word with reference to the point made by the Minister. He suggested that my amendment was detrimental to the interests of the Civil Service, having regard to Section 4, that is the Section dealing with “saving for pensions.” That is the first lecture on law that I have ever received from the Minister for Finance. The section to which he refers is the one providing for saving for pensions, etc. That section simply provides that the position of the Civil Service as regards superannuation is not prejudiced by the passing of this Bill. One would have assumed that even a gentleman like the Minister, who had never attended one law lecture, would know that a saving clause of that kind is a saving clause, and that if you were only to apply the cuts for three months instead of 12 [1471] months, then the position of the Civil Service could not be adversely affected by the carrying out of that amendment for the shorter period. I suggest that in future the Minister, before he proceeds [1472] to lecture any Deputy on the construction of a section, should take the precaution of consulting the Attorney-General, who is in the House.

Amendment put.

Anthony, Richard.
Beckett, James Walter.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Brodrick, Seán.
Burke, James Michael.
Byrne, Alfred.
Craig, Sir James.
Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Keating, John.
Lynch, Finian.
MacEoin, Seán.
McGuire, James Ivan.
Morrisroe, James.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Mulcahy, Richard.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Neill, Eamonn.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Reidy, James.
Rice, Vincent.
Roddy, Martin.
Thrift, William Edward.

Aiken, Frank.
Bartley, Gerald.
Beegan, Patrick.
Boland, Gerald.
Burke, Daniel.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Clery, Mícheál.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corish, Richard.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Daly, Denis.
Davin, William.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Donnelly, Eamon.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Flinn, Hugo V.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Geoghegan, James.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Hales, Thomas.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark.
Kilroy, Michael.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Lynch, James B.
MacDermot, Frank.
McEllistrim, Thomas.
MacEntee, Seán.
McGovern, Patrick.
Maguire, Ben.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moane, Edward.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
Norton, William.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Dowd, Patrick.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
Pattison, James P.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Rogers, Patrick James.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Victory, James.
Wall, Nicholas.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

In this Act the expression “the Minister” means the Minister for Finance; the expression “the current financial year” means the financial year beginning on the 1st day of April, 1933; the word “rate” includes percentage; the expression “national school” means a public elementary day school recognised by the Minister for Education as a national school; the expression “preparatory college” means a preparatory college established by and under the control of the Minister for Education.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I move amendment No. 2:—

Between lines 32 and 33 to insert the words, “references to employment shall be construed as including engagement and retainer.”

The purpose of this amendment is to put it beyond doubt that the word “employment” covers the type of service to the remuneration for which the Bill is intended to apply, especially where services are occasional only.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  What does the word “retainer” apply to?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  To senior counsel for instance.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Do senior counsel in fact receive retainers from the State? It is news to me if they do.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  From the local authority.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Coming from a local authority they do not come under this Bill.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Of course they do.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  If paid out of local funds?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Yes.

Amendment No. 2 agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 3 and 4 not moved.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I move amendment No. 5:—

In line 37, to delete the words, “and under the control of.”

This is a drafting amendment only.

[1474]Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Would the Minister explain what that amendment means, and would he also mind explaining a thing I am particularly interested in—how the original mistake arose? It is a great deal more than a drafting amendment. The section as it stands asserts that the Government has control of those colleges. I admit that is in full keeping with the Government's whole policy. It is a great deal more than a drafting amendment, and I should like to know how the original mistake arose.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am not in a position to say how the original mistake in drafting arose, but I am telling the Deputy it is a drafting amendment. In fact those colleges are not under the immediate control of the Minister, even though we pay for them.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Therefore it is a great deal more than a drafting amendment. The Bill asserts the principle which the Government is following, the principle of State control of private institutions. They forget that this is not a State institution.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  What follows from what the Deputy has said?

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  That the Government's whole policy in this matter is wrong, and naturally it made the mistake in the Bill.

Amendment No. 5 agreed to.

Section 2, as amended, agreed to.

(1) In this Act (save as is otherwise expressly provided) the word “salary” includes all salary, pay, wages, commission, fees, and other remuneration, whether fixed or paid under statute, order, or regulation or otherwise howsoever, and whether calculated by reference to a period of time or by reference to work done, or on any other basis, and also includes allowances and benefits (whether paid in money or given otherwise than in money) forming part of the remuneration attached to an office, but does not include any payment made by way of allowance for or re-imbursement of specific [1475] expenses incurred, nor any payment (whether separate or included in other remuneration) which is expressly made as an allowance (other than a uniform allowance) for or towards necessary equipment.

(2) Where a person holds two or more offices from the salaries of which deductions are required by the same Part of this Act to be made, his salary for the purposes of such deductions shall be taken to be the aggregate amount of the respective salaries of those offices.

The following amendments stood in the name of Deputy McGilligan:—

6. In sub-section (1), line 40, to delete the word “Commission.”

7. In sub-section (1), line 41, to delete the words “and other remuneration.”

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I beg to move amendments Nos. 6 and 7. May I ask what the Minister includes? Does he include house allowance and so on?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Yes: It is quite clear, as a matter of fact, from the section as it stands that it does include house allowance.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Why should that be reduced if it is an expense that the officer has? He does not enjoy it. He must live. What justification does the Minister give for a cut in that?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Because it is the equivalent of a cash allowance which the officer would receive——

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  No. There is this difference; if he had the cash allowance he would probably be able to get a cheaper dwelling. If there is any truth in the Government contention that there is a fall in prices he would get the benefit of it. Here the thing is fixed. He gets no benefit of any fall in price in the case of either dwelling or mess allowance.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The actual benefit in kind is, I think, greater than the cash allowance he would receive in lieu thereof. Exactly the reverse of what the Deputy has said is true.

[1476]Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  Could the Minister give us any indication as to the class of officers employed in the Civil Service at this stage who are remunerated by way of commission?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Stock managers in the Land Commission, for instance. They collect grazing rents on commission.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendment No. 6 withdrawn.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I presume we are going to dispose of the principle of this.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  On amendment No. 6 the House might debate the principle of Nos. 6, 7, 9 and 10.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I think the words “or on any other basis” include all benefits whether paid in money or given otherwise than in money.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  There are my amendments.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  We will take these separately.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  “House allowance” and such things come properly into my amendment No. 11.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  We shall take Nos. 11, 14 and 48 together.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I would like to have that made clear, because the Minister was dealing with amendment No. 11 when he was talking of “house allowance.”

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Amendment No. 6 is not moved then.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I hope this amendment is not withdrawn now in order to be moved on Report Stage. It was clearly understood that the Committee Stage was to be concluded in two days. In not moving the amendment now the Deputy is not to reserve to himself the right to move it on Report.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The amendment was definitely moved by Deputy O'Sullivan.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It is withdrawn now.

[1477]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It cannot be withdrawn without the leave of the House.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Minister is getting suspicious.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Where Deputy McGilligan is concerned every Minister must be suspicious.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendment No. 6 is negatived.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  On amendment No. 7—“In sub-section (1), line 41, to delete the words “and other remuneration”—I would like some explanation as to what “other remuneration” means.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It means other remuneration. An official may turn up who thinks he has a claim and accordingly these words are to protect the Dáil and the country, and that is the effect of them.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I understand this is only a sort of shadow in the dark. There is no one who gets remuneration not already covered by duty salary and fee. Is that the case?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Remuneration may be in kind as well as in cash.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  So may wages.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Precisely.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  First we are told there is to be nobody of any kind who gets remuneration. Then we get something of a hint that it may be a payment in kind. If it is a payment in kind it is not covered by salary, pay, wages, commission or fees, is that so?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It is put in as a safeguarding clause to make the policy of the Government quite clear, if any case turned up hereafter of which we have no knowledge now.

Amendment No. 7 negatived.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I move amendment 8:—

In sub-section (1), line 41, after the word “remuneration” to insert the words “(but not including payment for overtime, Sunday duty or trip allowances paid to persons employed in traveling post office)”.

[1478] The section in the Bill is as wide and comprehensive as ever I have come across. It is indeed so comprehensive that it would, in my opinion, inflict hardship on people whom it was not intended to come within the scope of the Bill. Part IV of the Schedule deals with salaries not exceeding £300 a year, and provides that persons whose salary does not exceed that sum should suffer no reduction in income. There are many people employed in the Post Office whose salaries would not exceed £300. As a matter of fact none of the manipulative grade would come in any way near that salary. But I understand it is proposed that there is to be reckoned with their income, and taken into consideration, such items as payment for compulsory Sunday duties and compulsory overtime and trip allowances. Now in the Post Office there is a very strong agitation for an increase in the trip allowances. The Minister will get some idea about the niggardly attitude of his Department when I tell him that if an officer in the Post Office goes to Wexford, leaving Dublin at 6 o'clock in the morning, responsible for all the mails arriving from Dublin to Wexford, and arriving back in Dublin at 8 o'clock in the evening he gets the sum of 5/7 for the whole of that day from 6 in the morning until 8 at night. It is hard enough for officers to exist on a trip allowance of that kind and they cannot do it. But under the Bill it is proposed to include this niggardly trip allowance in the men's income for the purpose of making them liable for the cut.

Many officials travelling regularly would, if the Bill is passed, be liable for a cut in their wages, if these trip allowances, which are greatly inadequate for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the officers, are to be taken into consideration. I do not know whether that was the intention. If I could get any assurance that it is not intended to take into consideration these allowances, and if I could get an indication that the Minister would reconsider these matters arising out of compulsory duties and overtime, as well as the question of these trip allowances paid by reason of the fact that an officer is travelling on his [1479] official duties, I should be glad to withdraw the amendment.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  With regard to the question of trip allowances, and allowances covering expenses as well as remuneration it will be our duty to allocate the respective portions of the allowance to its own proper category. With regard to the case of overtime it is rather more difficult. If the Deputy will withdraw the amendment at this stage I will have the matter further examined in order to see what we can do.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  The Minister will reconsider all three items of the amendment?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Yes, I shall see to the three items.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I take it that the Minister will indicate to me his decision before the Report Stage, so that I can repeat the amendment on Report Stage if necessary.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Yes.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Minister is going to find out how far these things are divisible, so much into remuneration and allowances and so much for expenses.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  No, I will consider whether it is proper to deduct from the salary, which only during a temporary period is earned at a rate subject to deduction, the deduction to which it would be thus subject for that period, in a case in which over the whole of the period for which the Act would operate the bulk salary earned would be less than would be subject to deduction.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Why should payment for overtime be paid to persons in one employment only, and not to other persons who have to travel?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am afraid that is a question the Deputy should have put to the Minister for Finance in the last Government. It does not arise here.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I am putting the question to the Minister now. He says he will consider the amendment in reference to one class in receipt of an allowance. Why not [1480] broaden it so as to include persons who receive overtime and do not travel.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Probably I may not limit it to those who travel.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Neither does the amendment.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I understand the Minister's explanation to be given to quite a good point. He is going to consider remuneration paid to people in temporary capacity in the Civil Service.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  No, I said remuneration paid for a temporary period.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  To anybody, whether fully established or whether only temporary in the Civil Service.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  To anybody.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment 9:—

In sub-section (1), line 42, to delete the words “or otherwise howsoever.”

I want to find out what these phrases mean.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  “Otherwise howsoever” means in any other way.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  What is the meaning of the phrase “than paid under”?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I think that it is quite clear from the context what the words mean.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Is there any example of a payment which is not a fixed payment and which is not paid under statute, order or regulation?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Certainly. The fees paid to counsel are not paid under statute, order or regulation.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  How are they fixed?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Sometimes by agreement.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Is it suggested, when they are fixed by agreement, that you should cut off a certain percentage?

[1481]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Certainly.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  It would be quite in keeping with your policy.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Make a bargain and break it the next day.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  What is the meaning of “fixed” in that connection? I thought that the fees paid to counsel from time to time—since that example has been taken—were fixed. It was understood that they were fixed.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It seems to me that it will be necessary for Ministers——

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  To explain their Bills.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  When they come with a Bill, to bring a copy of the “Universal Dictionary” for the use of Deputy McGilligan.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If there were a dictionary sufficiently universal for the needs of the Minister, I should not mind making him a present of it. What is the meaning of the word “fixed”?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The word “fixed” means “determined”, in this case.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Have the fees paid to counsel, from time to time, not been determined? I understood they were. Therefore, they would be covered.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  They are not covered by statute, order or regulation.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If they are fixed, they are determined.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  They are not fixed or determined by statute, order or regulation. If the Deputy is not capable of reading or construing the phrase, I cannot help him.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Why put in “statute, order or regulation or otherwise howsoever” unless there is some variety of cases to be covered? I could understand a group of cases, which could not be caught by a precise phrase, being put into some sort of compendious phrase like this. But the Minister cannot give us an example.

[1482]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Fees or remuneration determined by custom.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Is the only example under that head, fees paid to counsel?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Engineers' fees would be another example.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Professional fees?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Yes.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That could be put in a phrase which would enable us to understand where we were. In ordinary circumstances a phrase like this might serve a certain purpose but along the line that is being followed anything is understandable—

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Except the Deputy.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  In the Civil Service, special remuneration is paid from time to time to officers who act on commissions. It cannot be said that that is fixed though there is a normal rate depending on the amount of time put in. I doubt very much if that rate exceeded for any commission a sum of about £50. I do not know whether it is the idea of the Minister to get this idea of sacrifice and necessary suffering down through the Civil Service by reducing this remuneration say by £10. Is it intended to catch such things as that? There are payments made from time to time to members of the Civil Service in respect of commissions. Would they come under the sway of this provision? It is easy to fix the remuneration for the future. Every man who goes on a commission will know that in the present rigid circumstances he is not going to get as much as he previously might have expected but there are people serving on commissions at present—they have made a half-way passage—who went on with the knowledge—it is common knowledge in the Civil Service—of these special payments of a particular amount. Are these going to be affected?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Can the Deputy give me an instance of the type of commission he has in mind?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Bankruptcy Commission. A civil servant from my own Department served on that.

[1483]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy says there are commissions going on.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Any number.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Which of them does the Deputy think would come under this provision?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I refer the Minister to the commissions down in the Estimates. Will any of those come under the provision?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Possibly the members of these commissions will not be paid.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Then the civil servants will have to do this work, which was always considered an extra, as part of their ordinary duties?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Nobody knows better than the Deputy that it was not always considered an extra.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Are these things going to be caught by this phrase?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  What is going to be caught is all salary, pay, wages, commission and fees paid otherwise than under statute, order or regulation.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Only otherwise?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  In addition to payments made under statute, order, or regulation.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  It is quite obvious that the Minister does not know whether or not there are cases to be covered by the clauses which it is proposed in this and other amendments to strike out. He is putting in those phrases on the off-chance that there will be a case or two cropping up. He wants to make the provision water-tight. Does he not consider that there is a lot of time wasted in trying to cover things of that kind?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  There is no time wasted. We do not waste time. Times have changed.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment 10:—

In sub-section (1) line 44 to delete the words “or on any other basis.”

Here we have a calculation by reference [1484] to a period of time and by reference to work done. What is the other basis?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Whatever is not included by reference to a period of time or by reference to work done.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Is there any example present to the Minister of a payment made which has not reference to the time or to the work done?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Yes, a visit. A person might be engaged to do something at so much per visit. The visit might be for an indefinite time.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I suggest that amendments 11 to 14 be considered together.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  15 might also be taken.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  And perhaps 16.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  No. 16 is an enlargement.

Amendments:—

11. In sub-section (1), line 44, to delete the words “and also includes” and substitute the words “but does not include.”—(James Fitzgerald-Kenney)

12. In sub-section (1), line 45, to delete the words “and benefits.”— (Patrick McGilligan)

13. In sub-section (1), lines 45-46, to delete the words “whether paid in money or given otherwise than in money” and substitute the words “paid in money.”—(Patrick McGilligan)

14. In sub-section (1), line 47, to delete the words “but does not include” and substitute the word “or.”—(James Fitzgerald-Kenney)

15. In sub-section (1), line 50, to delete the words and brackets “(other than a uniform allowance).”— (James Fitzgerald-Kenney)

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  The object of these amendments is to ensure that allowances which are made to various persons, and which are affected by the [1485] provisions of this Bill, shall not be subject to any “cuts.” In my opinion, as far as the Guards are concerned, the persons who will be detrimentally affected will be the officers. The Bill does not apply to the rank and file of the Guards at all, and their allowances will not be touched. I would point out to the Minister that officers of the Guards are going not only to have their actual salaries reduced, but also their allowances. If the Bill stands as it is at present, the allowance for uniforms and the plain clothes allowance to such officers as use plain clothes will be treated with gross injustice. As far as I understand, the basis of the Bill, as put forward by the Ministerial Party, is that all these officers are overpaid. That is not so. The officers of the Guards are not overpaid. It has been the experience of everybody connected with the administration of the service that during the last few years the State has been deprived of the service of very efficient and very excellent officers, owing to the fact that these officers were not able to make ends meet upon the salaries they were receiving. Consequently they got into debt. It is essential that no officer of the Civic Guards who is in debt could be retained, because a man in debt is in the power of another person. That is a position which could not be tolerated in the Civic Guards.

I will refer to another question which, I dare say, might be more on the general question, but might as well be dealt with now, because it is hard to segregate them. I know one particular superintendent of the Guards, a man of tremendous ability, who was more suited for the position which he occupied than any other man throughout the force. No one in the force was more capable of performing the duties of the particular post than the officer in question. He found he could not support his family in Dublin upon the pay he was receiving, and in consequence he applied to be transferred. He had to be transferred to a country station where his abilities had not at all the same scope for employment that they had in Dublin, which I say was a very serious loss for the [1486] State. I emphasise that in order that the Minister might understand it, having regard to the positions which Gárda officers must keep up, and the expenses thereby entailed. As it is very difficult for a Gárda officer to make ends meet, it is most desirable that they should be in an independent financial position. Now, not only is it proposed to cut down the ordinary salaries, but it is proposed to cut down the allowances, which it is very necessary for them to have.

The question of housing will show how very unjust these proposals are. Some officers are housed in barracks at the State expense. All rooms in barracks are occupied by members of the Guards and they receive no housing allowance. I cannot say at present what numbers receive housing allowances as I have not got the particulars, but a considerable number of superintendents and chief superintendents do not receive these allowances because they are provided with houses.

To take a specific example. The chief superintendent of Roscommon is provided with a Government house, but the chief superintendent in Sligo is not. By this Bill the housing allowance of the chief superintendent in Sligo is cut down very heavily because allowances are put in at the end, and when allowances are cut down to the maximum a man may be brought down from one scale to another. Supposing the deduction is 8 per cent., then the housing deduction must be at 8 per cent or it may possibly go to 8½ per cent. In itself that seems to me to be a specific injustice. There is an undertaking by the State to every member of the Civic Guard that he will receive accommodation. That accommodation is given as far as it can be provided in barracks, or in houses which are the property of the State. It is only when that accommodation falls short that a housing allowance is made. I would press upon the Minister, as far as uniform allowance is concerned, that it is absolutely essential, and that as far as plain clothes allowance—which the new section deals with—goes and the housing allowance, they should not be cut at [1487] all. The question whether the salaries should or should not be cut arises on a subsequent amendment. I would press the Minister to accept the view that the allowances should not be subject to reduction.

What I have said about the Guards could be repeated almost word for word about officers in the Army. They are to receive barrack accommodation and uniform allowance. Where there are not sufficient married quarters the officers find houses outside. Why are they not to be given the amount necessary for them to be housed? That is part of their contract with the State.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  There must be a great deal of confusion about this Bill in the minds of those moving the amendments. I cannot understand, since the House has accepted that there are to be economies in the public services, why it is necessary to make a distinction between civil servants, national school teachers and persons employed in the uniformed forces. The civil servants and the national teachers have to provide houses out of their salaries. Surely it is part of the contract with officers of the Gárda that houses should be provided. The State recognises that, and when it does not, makes a cash allowance. It is part of the salary which in total provides for the housing and for the accommodation of a member of the Guards and his family, just as a civil servant's remuneration covers the provision of a house for himself and his family. Similarly, the State requires a Guard to wear a special garb and he wears it. If uniform is not provided, cash is provided. But a civil servant cannot turn up in the office clad only with a fig leaf. The State allows a civil servant to exercise his own personal taste in the choice of his garb, but insists that he shall be properly clothed. The State when it pays remuneration to the civil servant does not say that so much is for uniform and so much is for housing. But we all know, nevertheless, that the remuneration of the civil servant and the national teacher covers housing and clothing, and we propose [1488] to make that subject to reduction under the Bill. If there was anything logical in the Deputy's attitude he would approach the problem in this way: so much of the civil servant's remuneration, that part which covers the clothing and housing of his family is to be free of tax; and so much of the national teacher's housing and clothing for himself and his family is to be free of tax. The Deputy knows that in present circumstances he could not possibly defend that before the country, and therefore he makes the illogical reservations expressed in the amendment. The logical way, when considering public servants is to take into consideration everything they receive from the State, either directly in cash or by way of perquisites attaching to their offices. As it is necessary to make economies, we have to evaluate the remuneration of public servants at its true value in the terms of the cost of living. In view of that, we have to take into consideration the allowances paid to the officers of the Gárda and of the Army, and in any other uniformed and special sections of the public service and to make them subject to this Bill.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I think that when the Minister was speaking he should not have referred to logic. Logic is about the last word he should have used, for anything more illogical than his speech I myself could hardly imagine. I would urge upon the Minister that when he indulges in reasoning it is a great thing to get one's major premises right first and then start drawing one's conclusions; but before drawing conclusions it is necessary to get the major premises right. There is all the difference in the world between the allowance of an officer in the Civic Guards or an officer in the Army and the allowances of a civil servant. An officer in the Guards or in the Army has got to provide a uniform for himself over and above his ordinary clothes. An officer in the Guards or in the Army cannot wear his ordinary clothes whenever he likes. Officers in the Guards or in the Army have got to have this uniform ready to wear on certain occasions. Similarly, with regard to housing. No [1489] officer in the Guards or in the Army can really buy a house, whereas a civil servant can. The officer in the Army or in the Guards must always hire or rent his house. The civil servant knows, if he is in a position here in Dublin, that he can purchase his house because he will be here in Dublin for the rest of his life. In exactly the same way, the national school teacher can build his own house with money provided for that purpose by the State and it is not proposed that on moneys advanced to him for that purpose the amount of repayment he makes is going to be increased under this Bill at all. An officer in the Guards or in the Army must live not only in a certain place but in a place very close to his barracks and the difference between his case and that of the civil servant is a very broad and real distinction.

I certainly impress upon the Minister as strongly as I can that, if he wants to act fairly to the force— I have already pointed out to him how terribly illogically this thing will work out, how some will suffer and others will not suffer; I noticed that he entirely glossed over that part of my remarks—if he wants to have an efficient and contented force, the worst thing he can do is to take up this policy of pin-pricking and of looking out for every single place that he can find to say: “Where can I possibly take another whack at this force?”

I shall have something more to say, of course, upon this matter when dealing with the amendments specifically referring to the “cuts” in the Guards' pay, but there is one little remark, which I saw reported in the newspapers the other day, to which I should like to draw the attention of the Minister for Finance, because I am very anxious to see how the Minister for Justice is going to vote on this and subsequent amendments. The other day, I see, the Minister for Justice was giving decorations at the Depôt—the Scott medals—to the men who had earned them, and the Commissioner of the Civic Guards, Colonel Broy, in the presence of the Minister, made this remark:

[1490]“He could say that the Minister had spared no effort to eliminate the ‘cuts’ and to minimise their effects as much as possible.”

Well, of course, if the Commissioner, Colonel Broy, knows that the Minister for Justice spared no efforts to eliminate the “cuts,” he can only have heard that from the Minister himself, and I take it, being a man of tact and judgment or he would not be in the position where he is, that Colonel Broy must have made these statements with the consent of the Minister.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I should like to know whether the Deputy is in order in making these statements.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I am merely drawing logical conclusions. I conclude from these remarks that Colonel Broy can only have got this information from the Minister for Justice— and the Minister for Justice was present at the time—and if he had got it confidentially he would be too terrified of the Attorney-General and the Official Secrets Acts to divulge it. I am interested to see how the Minister for Justice is going to vote in this particular instance—whether he will spare no effort to minimise the effect of these “cuts” upon the Guards and whether, later, he will spare no effort to eliminate the Guards from these “cuts” altogether. I will be very anxious to know how the Minister for Justice, who, in this discussion which affects his Department so vitally, is not in the House, will vote when the Division comes.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Do I understand that it is proposed, in computing the national teacher's salary, to take into account the value of his residence?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  No.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Is that clear in the Bill? Is it clear that that is excluded?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy's understanding passes human comprehension.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I want to know is it definitely excluded in the Bill.

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

[1491]Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  The Minister does not know! I thought not.

[1492] Question put: “That the words proposed to be deleted stand.”

Aiken, Frank.
Bartley, Gerald.
Beegan, Patrick.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Daly, Denis.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Donnelly, Eamon.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Fagan, Charles.
Finlay, John.
Flinn, Hugo V.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Geoghegan, James.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Hales, Thomas.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark.
Kilroy, Michael.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Lynch, James B.
MacDermot, Frank.
McEllistrim, Thomas.
MacEntee, Seán.
McGovern, Patrick.
Maguire, Ben.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moane, Edward.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Dowd, Patrick.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Rogers, Patrick James.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Victory, James.
Wall, Nicholas.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Anthony, Richard.
Beckett, James Walter.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Bourke, Séamus.
Brodrick, Seán.
Burke, James Michael.
Corish, Richard.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Davin, William.
Desmond, William.
Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Keating, John.
Lynch, Finian.
MacEoin, Seán.
McGilligan, Patrick.
Morrisroe, James.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Neill, Eamonn.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Reidy, James.
Rice, Vincent.
Roddy, Martin.
Thrift, William Edward.

Motion declared carried.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  The decision on amendment 11 disposes of amendments 12, 13, 14 and 15.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  How does it dispose of amendments 12 and 13, which deal specifically with the one point: benefits paid otherwise than in money.

[1493]An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  The decision on amendment 11 clearly disposes of amendments 12, 13, 14 and 15.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  An amendment was moved to delete the words “and also includes,” and to put in instead the words “but does not include.” That is to say it would have ruled out allowances paid in money. How does the negativing of that, negative also an amendment which aims only at the ruling out of benefits paid otherwise than in money? I have put down the amendments to permit of the inclusion of certain things paid in money, and have specially directed my attention to the exclusion of benefits given otherwise than in money.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  When the Ceann Comhairle was here it was definitely ruled that amendments Nos. 11, 12, and 13 would be taken with 14 and 15.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Who said that? I have no knowledge that the Ceann Comhairle said that.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am putting it to the Leas-Cheann Comhairle now that the negativing of an amendment seeking to exclude an allowance, whether paid in money or otherwise, has nothing to do with the rejection of a much less wide amendment, which aims only at the exclusion of benefits paid otherwise than in money.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  They are all interdependent.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I think it has been intimated by the Ceann Comhairle that these amendments are interdependent. I think there is no doubt that the decision we have taken rules the other amendments.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  In the discussion which we had it was clearly ruled by the Ceann Comhairle that my three amendments, Nos. 11, 14 and 15, and the Minister's amendment No. 16, should be taken together. They were the amendments which were voted upon a few moments ago. These other two amendments, Nos. 12 and 13, were not mentioned from the Chair.

[1494]Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I am certain the Ceann Comhairle mentioned only four amendments.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  He mentioned Nos. 6, 7, 9 and 10 and then he went on to mention 11 to 14.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  What is Deputy McGilligan's point?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It was proposed under the Bill to include allowances or benefits, whether paid in money or otherwise than in money and then to exclude certain things. Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney moved to exclude all these things. I am moving to exclude only benefits paid otherwise than in money. Surely that is much narrower than an amendment to exclude everything. It is a much less wide amendment.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I think the House will remember that the amendments specifically mentioned were 11, 14, 15 and 16. These were distinctly mentioned.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  If we agree that No. 16 was carried——

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It is negatived.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It has not been negatived.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  What has been decided by the House is that the words stand part of the Bill and therefore amendment No. 16 has been negatived.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Amendment No. 16 could not have been negatived because it was not moved by me.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  On that argument I would not move 12 or 13.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I do not think there is any use in discussing amendments Nos. 12 and 13. I think a decision has already been taken on them. If the Deputy, however, presses the point I shall allow him to move them.

[1495]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I think the amendments are quite distinct, but I am not going to argue it. I can say what I want to say on the section.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Amendments Nos. 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 go together.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Have we not already discussed amendment No. 16?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I do not think any Deputy on the Opposition Benches can move a Ministerial amendment unless that Deputy is convinced that it is a proper amendment to be accepted. I move amendment No. 16:—

In sub-section (1), line 50, after the word “uniform” to insert the words “allowance or a plain-clothes.”

The House has already decided that where an allowance is paid for a garb of a particular kind, it is to be considered for the purposes of this Bill as remuneration. It is consequential on that, and merely as a logical extension of that principle, that I propose that where the kind of garb which the officer wears is one of his own election as to colour, shape and other characteristics, that it for the purpose of the Bill should be regarded as remuneration.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Would the Minister tell us how many officers and what class of officers this amendment applies to and whether it applies to the Army?

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Does the Minister suggest that Army officers can appear in a blue shirt to-morrow?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am not aware of the fact that any allowance is paid to an Army officer for the purpose of providing himself with a blue shirt.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Would the Minister answer my question: how many, if any, officers of the Guards receive a plain clothes allowance? I know there are some, but I want to know in what circumstances officers of the Guards receive a plain-clothes allowance, or if there are now any officers receiving a plain-clothes allowance.

[1496]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am not in a position to say, but if the Deputy would put down a Parliamentary question he would get the information.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Surely it is not necessary to put down a Parliamentary question on a point put to the Minister in the course of the conduct of debate. It is usually assumed that the Minister knows the Bill he is conducting through the House. The Minister now, according to himself, is moving an amendment which may be absolutely meaningless, an amendment, in other words, making the House ridiculous.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It is not.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Can he tell us if any officer, or what class of officers, gets a plain clothes allowance?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  As the Deputy knows, there are inspectors who get a plain-clothes allowance.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  The Minister said that inspectors received a plain-clothes allowance. I want to get that specifically. Does the Minister make that statement? I am afraid he does not know.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I should like the Deputy to know.

Amendment put and agreed to.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I move amendment No. 17:—

In sub-section (2), page 3, line 3, after the word “offices” to add the words “and such aggregate amount shall be subject to such deduction as would be appropriate thereto if the whole of such aggregate amount were—

(c) where one only of the said offices is a whole-time office, the salary of such whole-time office, or

(b) in any other case, the salary of that one of the said offices the salary of which is the greater or greatest.

Section 3 of the Bill, as it stands, provides for the aggregation of salaries where there is more than one salary [1497] paid but it does not state specifically what scale of deduction is to be applied to the aggregate salary. The amendment, as will be seen, is intended to make this provision.

Amendment 17 agreed to.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I move amendment 18:—

In page 3, to add at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows—

(3) Where the Minister is satisfied that the amount of the salary of an office has been fixed on the basis that an undefined part thereof is of the nature of an allowance for expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of the duties of such office, the Minister shall determine for the purpose of this Act the proportion of such salary which is attributable to such allowance and thereupon the proportion so determined shall not be included in or form part of the salary of such office for the purposes of this Act.

It happens that there are certain cases where remuneration covers more than personal service. It may include office expenses, rent and other expenditure of the sort, but it is not specifically indicated how much of the salary or remuneration is allocated for this purpose. The purpose of this new sub-section is to allow the Minister for Finance to determine for the purposes of this Act what proportion of such salary is attributable to such expenditure and to exclude it from the operation of the Act.

Amendment 18 agreed to.

Question proposed: “That Section 3, as amended, stand part of the Bill.”

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  On Section 3, we have got it declared now that the word “salary” includes:

All salary, pay, wages, commission, fees and other remuneration:

and there have been cases where commission has been paid:

whether fixed or paid under statute, order or regulation or otherwise howsoever, and whether calculated by reference to a period of time or by [1498] reference to work done, or on any other basis, and also includes allowances and benefits (whether paid in money or given otherwise than in money).

There is then the exception that it is not to include:

any payment made by way of allowance for or reimbursement of specific expenses incurred nor any payment (whether separate or included in other remuneration) which is expressly made as an allowance (other than a uniform allowance).

I should like to find out from the Minister, as he did not mention it as one of the things that might come under these vague phrases of his, whether he does intend to bring under these additions such things as the fees paid to medical officers for vaccinations, for registering births and deaths and such matters. If so, does the Minister know that a deputation was received five years ago which urged that these registration fees which are paid nowadays to professional men should be increased? At the moment, a medical officer in charge of a dispensary gets one shilling for entering up in his register either a birth or a death. With regard to a birth, there has to be entered up the date of the birth, the child's name, the name of the parents, generally, the maiden name of the mother and the place of birth, and, in the case of a death, there are very much the same particulars to be entered up, and, thereafter, if a person wants to get a birth certificate or a dependent or anybody interested wants to get a death certificate a sum of 3/6, I think, has to be paid, one shilling for the filling in of the document and 2/6 to cover the medical officer's trouble in searching back through the years.

The medical officer gets one shilling for entering up these particulars in relation to a birth, and one shilling for very much the same particulars in relation to a death, and if these are queried after the event — at any time. I believe, and not only immediately on the occasion of the birth or death — there is a search fee of 2/6 given. That makes 3/6 in the case of either of those two things, when not taken [1499] immediately on the happening of the event or the registration, and, as I say, five years ago, there was a deputation which urged an increase in these fees, and the deputation got a judgment that it was believed that no first-class or second-class serivener could be got to do the work done by these medical officers for the rate at which they were paid. I am assuming that whatever emoluments a dispensary officer gets arising out of these things will suffer a cut to the same degree as his ordinary salary is being cut.

The vaccination system is even worse. A long process has to be gone through with regard to vaccination. The medical officer's duty is to compile an alphabetical index book from the register of births, and, with regard to each prospective vaccination, there have to be entered up, I think, ten separate items — the name, the date of birth, the date of registration, the names of the parents, the maiden name of the mother, I think, also — and then there has to be a statement made as to whether there has been vaccination carried out, whether it has been postponed, whether it has taken, and whether it is going to be tried again. Later — and I think the fee includes all this — there has to be a register of defaulters made out. This is handed to the relieving officer and it is his duty to notify the parents and to impose on them whatever coercion he can to have the child brought in, and, if the child is brought in these, the particulars I have mentioned have got to be entered up.

If the coercion is successful in the case of a defaulter, and, if the infant is brought in in the ordinary way, vaccination has to be performed, and there has to be a dressing put on. There has to be inspection, generally, inside a week, and the medical officer is responsible for the vaccination until it is healed. The average period of healing is, I think, about three weeks. There has to be a register of successful vaccinations brought up to date and handed to the registrar at the union at the end of the month when the medical officer draws his pay, [1500] which is at the magnificent rate of 2/- for every successful vaccination. That is included, I am assuming, in some of the vague phrases which the Minister has given us. I do not know whether that payment is calculated by reference to time or to work done, but I am assuming, at any rate, that it forms part of the remuneration and is, consequently, going to be cut down.

I think the Minister is very wise in doing what he proposes to do under amendment 18, just passed, that is, to have a determination as to the amount of salary that is in the nature of an allowance for expenses necessarily incurred and to have it segregated from the salary which is to be cut. I think he might go further and come to the conclusion that neither vaccination nor registration of births or deaths pays. It is actually going to be an encumbrance on a man because it will swell the amount of his emoluments and will thereby bring down the amount of salary he will get.

These wholetime payments were fixed very long ago and the movement there was with regard to them amongst medical men was rather towards getting them increased than getting them reduced. Now, they are going to suffer in a double way because these little things will be added in as part of a man's emoluments and will put the salary at a higher level than that at which it would be if he were not getting these things and, consequently, he will suffer a bigger reduction. I think that that might be attended to. I did put down amendments with a view to elucidating this paragraph and to find out exactly what was the number of people paid on commission, what people get other remuneration which is not salary, pay, wages, commission or fees, how these things are paid if they are not fixed or paid under a statute, order or regulation, and what is paid without reference to a period of time or to work done. In relation to that the only answer was a visit. Surely a visit is paid in relation to the work done? Surely the basis of the visit is work done?

[1501]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  No definite quantum of work is assigned to a visit.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Neither is there in relation to a civil servant's pay.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  He is paid on a basis of time.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I also have my doubts about that. That means payment scaled according to hours. Surely not? We did get the example of the visit. That is not a payment by reference to work done. I do not know what the consideration of the payment is. In the absence of more explicit information, I am calling attention to a couple of outstanding things that have been brought to my notice. I think there is a great case to be made for having these small payments definitely segregated from emoluments.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I would like to point out how really vindictive the Minister is towards two services in the State. The House has just passed an amendment setting out that where an undefined part of the salary is in the nature of an allowance for expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of a duty the Minister may determine how much is applicable to expenses and that is to be deducted from the amount on which a reduction is to be made. Where there is a defined part of the salary necessarily incurred in the performance of the duty, that is not to be. In other words, the only people who come under this statute are the Guards and the Army. They are the people who get defined sums for necessary expenses such as the purchase of their uniforms. And because it is a necessary expense and a defined sum has to be paid for it, it is put upon a completely different footing. If an officer of the Guards is receiving a sum in salary which includes his uniform allowance he will come under the section, but because he is receiving a defined sum for this expense, he is not to come under the section. It seems to me to be ridiculous and it can only be a vindictive spirit which dictates this ridiculous attitude.

[1502]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  There is really no substance in what Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney has said. With regard to the point raised by Deputy McGilligan, I would like to call attention to the fact that the amendment which I proposed relates only to the salaries payable under Part II of the Act. There will be no aggregation of the salaries where they are payable under two Parts. Therefore, while it is true that superintendent and district registrars would be subject to a deduction with the qualifications introduced by the new amendment No. 18, nevertheless, as the major portion of their salaries would be payable by local authorities the deduction, if they were to be subject to one, would fall under Part III of the Act. In their case there would be no aggregation of the salary payable by the local authority and the fees received from the central authority. Therefore, this amendment would not operate, as the Deputy said, to make their salaries liable to deduction at a higher rate.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Minister says there is only aggregation where a person holds two or more offices from the salaries of which deductions are required by the same Part of the Act. Supposing a person is due for a deduction under Part II and under Part III, he is worse off; there will be no aggregation and he will have deductions from both. Is that so, or is it not so? It is a new situation. Supposing you have a person liable for a salary deduction under Part II and under Part III, does the Minister hold that in that case the person would be excluded from the deductions altogether.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It may happen.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It is not sufficient to say it may happen. What is the certainty of it?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  If the salary were below the limit affected by any Part——

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Then he is not liable to deduction?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Yes.

[1503]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Let me take the person whose salary is above the point at which deduction is made. He is liable under Part II and also under Part III. Surely, so far from being safeguarded by this aggregation he is penalised?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  He is not.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  But there is a deduction under both Parts. If there is an aggregation he is subject to deduction under the higher of the salaries, but not under both. Supposing a man is above the level at which deduction is made under Part II or Part III, would he not suffer?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Not if he is under in one Part.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If he is above the level at which deduction is made under Part II, a deduction will be made?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Yes.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If he is above the level under Part III a deduction will also be made, so that he will suffer two deductions. Instead of being saved in the way the Minister indicated, he is liable to two deductions. In a proper case the Minister's answer about aggregation falls to the ground.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  No, it does not.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It is obvious there will be two deductions.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Will the Deputy consider the case of a person receiving a Civil Service salary of £700 a year? He receives that under Part II. He receives from some other public source a salary of £200. If these salaries were aggregated and he was to be cut under Part II on a salary of £900, the Deputy will see that he would be cut at a much higher rate when the salaries are aggregated than if they were made separate.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I have not argued to the contrary. I say that in a proper case where a man is getting a salary above the level at which deduction is made by reason of payments from the local authorities he will suffer. If he also has a salary which, when added to [1504] this emolument, brings him above that level, he will also have a deduction made. I think that is a hardship. Does the Minister think that any man is paid at 2/- per vaccination or 1/- per registration of a birth or death in the manner I have described? Would it not be better to exempt these things altogether?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Of course the fact that he must act as superintendent-registrar of births, marriages and deaths is a condition attached to the office which he carries. He draws a salary as dispensary doctor on condition that he discharges the duties of superintendent-registrar.

Dr. O'Higgins: Information on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Zoom on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  That is not a condition in the appointment of a dispensary doctor.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Does the Deputy mean to tell me that in the case of a medical officer appointed to a dispensary it is not obligatory on him to accept and discharge the duties of superintendent-registrar?

Dr. O'Higgins: Information on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Zoom on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Certainly. It is not obligatory.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Then he seeks the duty willingly?

Dr. O'Higgins: Information on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Zoom on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  The point I am making is that it is not a condition of his appointment.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  May I say, then, that he does look for this office?

Dr. O'Higgins: Information on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Zoom on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  He does accept it, but it is not obligatory.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Then the case made by Deputy McGilligan falls to the ground.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Why?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Because the remuneration is adequate.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If my argument falls to the ground it is not because of anything that the Minister said in countering it.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  The Minister spoke of men who enjoyed a salary of so much from the Civil Service and so [1505] much from another source. Would that mean any other source, or would it be a public source?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  A source within the terms of the Bill.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Will the Minister refer us to the limiting part of this section? “Salary” includes salary from any source whatsoever, according to the definition in Section 3, whether fixed or paid under statute, order or regulation or otherwise. It is the meaning of the word “otherwise” that I ask the Minister to determine.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am awfully sorry for the Deputy, but I do not see how this Bill covers anything else but salary from a public source.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  It is on that I want to be quite clear. I want to be quite clear that it does not cover anything else, that the salary must come from a public source, and that no account can be taken of a man who is a part-time official, and receives a salary from another source. I want to see that he cannot come within this Bill except——

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  If the Deputy will look at the section——

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Will the Minister shut up for a moment? The Minister is continually interrupting, and will not allow any Deputy to finish the sentence he is addressing to the Chair. It is a habit the Minister has. He has always acted in that way — it is not alone on this particular Bill, but——

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I want to point out——

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  May I suggest that the Minister be asked to preserve some signs of listening. Again and again he has offended by interrupting Deputies, and again and again he has been asked to keep quiet, but he cannot possibly do so.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Neither can the Deputy.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I called on Deputy O'Sullivan to speak; he is entitled to speak without interruption.

[1506]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  But the Deputy expects to be answered.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Order, order!

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Evidently the Minister has not the remotest conception of order, or of how a debate should be conducted. He has again and again shown his want of knowledge of this Bill by not giving the information asked for on the ground that he did not know it. I suggest that another Minister be given charge of the Bill. I want to be quite clear that nothing in the Bill will enable the Minister, if he thinks fit, to take into account salaries received elsewhere, salaries got otherwise than fixed by statute or regulation. I want an answer to that question. The Minister could wait until I sit down, and then he could answer the question.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  He cannot.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I cannot penetrate the dull, obtuse intellect of Deputy O'Sullivan. But I have already told him that nothing in this Bill will affect remuneration obtained from private sources.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That is the intention of the Bill but the question here is does the Bill limit it so that private sources will not be brought in. I think the definition of “salary” given in Section 3 of this Bill was intended to be tied down to salaries drawn from what we may call public offices. But in fact it is not so clearly tied down as the Minister seems to imagine because the word “salary” is defined as including “all salary, pay, wages, commission, fees, and other remuneration, whether fixed or paid under statute, order or regulation or otherwise...”; paid one may say in any way under the latter part of the section and whether calculated by work or time or any other thing. Now when we come on to the deduction it is quite clear that the deduction can only be made from salary which is paid to him as a public officer. But surely the amount of the deduction from that office might also be in regard to a salary earned otherwise than from [1507] a public office. I see no limiting phrase in the definition which makes the Minister's meaning clear. I am sure the intention of the Bill is what the Minister says, but we have a number of people pointed at in Section 6, people who are employed in any other civil capacity whether permanent or temporary in the public services of Saorstát Eireann. It is clear enough and it is possible that there are people who are temporarily employed in the public services and are in receipt of emoluments and who while in receipt of those emoluments are capable of getting emoluments from other sources. I am sure it is not the intention to have the deductions made in respect of anything except what he receives by way of salary from the public employment. But that is not clear. Perhaps if the Minister will give me a limiting phrase it will clear the matter. I do not see any limiting phrase in the Bill. I suggest the matter is worth looking into. We do get this very wide phrase and I suggest that the section can be read back to line 40 in the definition. If it is not possible to relate it back to the words in lines 40 and 42 in Section 3 then I think that there is that loophole. That deduction must be made from the amount of salary a person receives from his employment in the public service but the amount of it may be determined not by what he gets in the public service but what he gets outside the public service. Now if that is absolutely impossible where is the limiting phrase in regard to it?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I suppose Deputy O'Sullivan is the proud parent of this mare's nest. He seems an appropriate person to occupy such a role. If the Deputies had taken the trouble to read this Bill we would not have the time of the House wasted. In sub-section (2) of Section 6 there is quite clearly a limitation on the power of the Minister to make deductions in respect of salary. That section reads: “This part of this Act applies to a person whether his employment is a whole-time or part-time, or is for particular work or a particular occasion, and whether the amount of salary is fixed [1508] by statute or otherwise but this part of this Act applies to a person only so long and in so far as he is employed and remunerated in the manner mentioned in the foregoing sub-section of this section.” That is to say: is employed as “a commissioned officer in or a chaplain to the defence forces of Saorstát Eireann or a member of the Gárda Síochána, teacher in a national school, or in any capacity in a preparatory school, or in any other civil capacity, whether permanent or temporary, in the public service of Saorstát Eireann and is remunerated wholly or partly (whether directly or indirectly) out of the Central Fund or moneys provided by the Oireachtas or a fund under the control of a Minister.”

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  May I point out that the Minister has completely missed the point?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  No, he has not.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I may be allowed to point out that he has. The point I raised was this: whether there was anything in the section to provide that “salary” did not include any salary that came other than from public funds. The Minister has not shown that. All he has said is that the deduction only applies in respect of State salary. But let us take it that a man is a whole-time officer at a salary of £150 a year. The man has from another source a salary of £400 a year. So far as this section is concerned, what I want to know is this: is it quite clear that that £400 is absolutely excluded and that it is not possible under the section to take into account, in making up the Minister's mind as to what may be deducted from the salary of £150? I suggest that Section 6, which the Minister read out as an answer to the point raised, has got absolutely nothing to do with it.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Is that the only answer the Minister has to the point raised? It clearly does not cover the ground.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It does. Only so long and in so far as the person is employed — in no other way.

[1509]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Let us consider that: “Only so long and in so far as he is employed and remunerated in a manner mentioned in the foregoing sub-section of this section.” How do you get away from the difficulty mentioned? Let us take a person remunerated partly out of the Central Fund or some other fund under the control of the Minister and receiving emoluments from some other source. The word “salary” as defined here includes everything he gets. It does not say everything he gets from that source.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  From that source.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If that were there it would be correct, but it is not there.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It is not necessary.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That is what we are arguing. The fact that the Minister has suggested that phrase seems to me to indicate that he feels it is necessary. Certainly it is necessary, it is water-tight then. It is not intended to catch any other moneys. Is it capable of extension so as to catch them?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  No.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Why?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Because it is not.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am not so built that I shall accept the ipsissima verba of the Minister on a matter of interpretation of this Act, or of any Act, but in particular on the interpretation of this. In the short space we have been at it already it is clear that he has not considered, and could not have considered, points raised for the first time. If it was not for a peculiar type of vanity, the Minister would have no great hesitation in admitting it. Why could not this be brought up again on the Report Stage with the statement that it has been put before those better fitted to judge, without any derogation from the Minister's status, whether the phraseology is capable of extension to the case we have mentioned?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  But it is not.

[1510]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That is the difficulty.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  If the Deputy will turn to the Schedule.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  There is another argument. Every argument that is made shows the weakness of the case.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  No, it does not.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  What does the Schedule amount to? It simply says: “There are the salaries from which deductions are to be made.”

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  And the salaries are drawn from the public service and nothing else.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am not saying that a deduction is going to be made from any salary other than one paid to a man in the public service because it cannot be done; but the amount of the deduction the Minister will make from the salary is under his control is another thing. Is it one calculated in relation only to the money he gets from the public service?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Certainly. If the Deputy will turn to the Schedule he will see that.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Whatever strength there may be in any other argument made by the Minister, the Schedule has not any strength in it as an argument, because it merely says: “There is the source from which you are to get the deductions.”

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  And there are the cuts.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  And there is the amount. The amount is a percentage amount. There is the source from which this money is to be gathered in. Then you turn back to find out how the percentage deduction is to be calculated and it is calculated by taking in everything that a man earns.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  In the public service.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If there were somewhere in Section 3, which defines this, something about the public service I would be satisfied, but it is not there. As long as it is not there, I think it is still open to that interpretation. Nobody [1511] wants it. All we want is merely a statement that that point will be considered.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Is that all the Deputy wants?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Absolutely.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  There is no substance in it, but, if it pleases the Deputy, I will consider the point.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I will admit that the Minister thinks there is no substance in it. Honour is satisfied.

The Attorney-General (Mr. Maguire): Information on Conor Alexander Maguire  Zoom on Conor Alexander Maguire  This is a rather ingenious point raised by Deputy O'Sullivan, but I think that the Title can be looked to.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Does the Title ever rule a Bill? We have never had that ruled here.

The Attorney-General:  Perhaps I may be wrong, as I have never come up against this point before. I am only suggesting to the Deputy that if the Bill is passed into an Act with this Title to it, the Title can be looked to to construe a particular section. The Title provides for the making of deductions from remuneration payable out of public moneys. Then as to Section 3 (1), I think Deputy McGilligan is wrong in saying that that can be construed as defining salary as anything other than remuneration attached to an office. If you go on to Section 7 (1), I think it is made clear. That sub-section states: “From all salary which, during the current financial year is earned by and payable to each person to whom this Part of this Act applies, there shall be made a deduction calculated at the rate stated and in accordance with the provisions contained in the Schedule to this Act which are applicable to such person.” The deduction is only from the salary.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That is agreed, but how much?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Turn to the Schedule.

The Attorney-General:  I admit that the point is an ingenious one, but I do not think it can possibly be interpreted [1512] in the way the Deputy stated. May I add this? If there is any doubt whatever about it, we will make it right.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I am quite willing to accept that. May I point out that the Title merely says that the deductions must be made from public moneys. That was never in dispute. In the whole argument that was common ground. What we want to know is whether, as the actual words of the Bill stand, other money can be taken into account in calculating what is going to be deducted.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It could not.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I am speaking, through the Chair, to the Attorney-General. I am asking whether other money could be taken into account in calculating the amount that might be deducted, as well as the amount coming from public funds. If the Attorney-General agrees to look into it, I am satisfied. If there is any doubt I want it removed.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It could not.

The Attorney-General:  I think the Deputy has not read the Title, which provides for the making of deductions from remuneration payable out of public funds.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The governing word is “from.”

The Attorney-General:  The deductions are to be made out of public moneys. I think it is quite clear that the point could not arise. I do not think there is any substance in it.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  In view of the discussion that has taken place, will the Attorney-General undertake to consider the matter and see if, in his considered judgment, the wording of the section carries out the intention? If so, we shall be satisfied.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Let us see what is the point raised by Deputy O'Sullivan — that is, if he still remembers it. It was this: that a person might be employed in the public service. He must either be employed whole-time or part-time. In addition to the [1513] remuneration which he drew from his employment in the public service he also had remuneration from another source, and I understood Deputy O'Sullivan to say from a private source. May I ask Deputy O'Sullivan if that is correct?

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Possibly.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Is that the point the Deputy made?

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Yes.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Well then I ask the Deputy to turn to the Schedule of the Bill. I ask him to turn to Part IV, which is the only part which deals with part-time and whole-time service. Quite obviously remuneration which is covered by whole-time service must be the remuneration which the public servant draws when he serves whole-time as a public servant. That is the only remuneration which the Minister for Finance or any other person can take cognisance of. If he draws remuneration from a private source it must be for work done outside the ordinary hours of a public servant. Section (a) of Part IV covers that case, and covers it definitively. There can be no doubt as to what and how much remuneration is to be the subject of deduction.

On the other hand, a person may be employed in a part-time capacity. That is the only case I can conceive which would fulfil the conditions laid down by Deputy O'Sullivan, that is that the person would draw remuneration as an employee in the public service, and at the same time, out of some other work which he does in a private capacity elsewhere, would receive remuneration from some other source. If he is a part-time employee there can be no question at all as to how his salary is to be computed, because the deduction has to be a proportion of the full amount payable to him out of public funds, and from no other source.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  That is the difficulty.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That does not satisfy the matter at all. I should like, since the Attorney-General is going to look into the matter, to draw his attention [1514] to two points which he made. They both converge on the same point, and not the point which has been discussed. What is the long Title of the Bill? I have never yet heard anybody announce that the long Title of a Bill should be taken to govern the measure. We have here, over and over again, found ourselves forced by necessity into enlarging the Title of a Bill when the content of the Bill was clearly outside the Title. The Attorney-General may have a case in mind, but I know no case where the Act was restricted by reason of the Title.

The Attorney-General:  The Title of an Act may be looked at so as to gather the intention of a phrase.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Let us look at it. That is all we are bound to do. What does the long Title come to? I do not want to read it. The part to which the Attorney-General drew special attention is “provide for the making of deductions from remuneration payable.” The governing words are “deductions from.” We have always admitted that the only fund from which these deductions can be made is the moneys paid to a person while he is in the public service. Whether the amount deducted will have relation only to the moneys originally paid for service of a public type, or whether something else will be brought in, is the point we are arguing. The Attorney-General referred to Section 7. That section refers to this point again, and the source from which these deductions are to be drawn. Referring me to the Schedule I do not think carries me any further. When we get to Part III what does the Schedule stand as? A model. It is not down as a regular rule. It is not an absolute criterion. There are to be certain deductions made. I think the phrase runs through all those paragraphs 9, 10 and 11 —“having regard to the proportion of such grant ordinarily applied to the payment of such salaries, to the deductions from salaries to be made under Part II of this Act, and to the other circumstances of the case.”

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  That has nothing to do with Section 3.

[1515]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It is the whole point we are arguing. I only rose this last time to say that the Attorney-General seems to have fixed his mind too much on what is not in dispute. From what fund are these deductions to be made? Supposing our contention is right — I hope it is not — it does me no good to have it said to me: “You are in receipt of £900 from the public service, but you have another £600 outside, and we are going to make a deduction based on £1,500; we will only deduct it from the £900.” We might say, in answer to you: “Sour grapes! You could not get at the other £600. You can get at the £900, and if you make a deduction on the basis of my getting £1,500, it is very little solace to say ‘we are tied down and can only take it out of the £900.’”

Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  Might I ask the Minister whether, in fixing the proportion of the salary that he considers is a proper allowance for expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of duties of a position, he will take into account certain variable factors, and whether he will make provision for altering the proportion according as those factors change? For instance, in the case of an employment exchange manager I presume part of his salary will be considered as an allowance for expenses necessarily incurred in the provision of premises. That premises obviously pays rates and rent. If, two or three days after the Minister has fixed the proportion referred to in the amendment, these are raised through the falling in of the lease or something of that kind, the official would have a very big grievance if the Minister did not provide for such a contingency. Is it intended that the proportion will vary from time to time in order to make provision for such variable conditions as that?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Yes, according as the expenses vary.

Section 3, as amended, agreed to.

(1) Nothing in this Act shall affect the amount of salary by reference to which the amount of any compensation, [1516] superannuation allowance, pension, or gratuity is computed nor the amount of salary by reference to which contributions to a pension fund or under a superannuation scheme are computed, and accordingly deductions made under or by virtue of this Act shall not be taken into account in the computation of any such compensation, allowance, pension, gratuity, or contribution nor in the calculation of any average on which such computation is based.

(2) Where a person who has been granted a superannuation allowance or a person is in receipt of a salary from which a deduction is made under this Act, the amount of such allowance or pension actually payable shall be computed by reference to the full amount of such salary, and such deduction shall not be taken into account for the purpose of such computation.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment 19:—

In sub-section (2) to delete the word “full,” line 18, and substitute the word “reduced,” and in the same line to delete the word “not.”

This amendment is put down to get some illumination on what exactly sub-paragraph (2) of Section 4 means, and, if it means what I fear, to guard against a particular happening. I want to take, first of all, the case of a person granted a pension. I may take a specific case. People have been granted pensions under what is called. I think, the Military Service Act. There were I.R.A. pensions granted, and there was a sliding scale with regard to payment. Those pensions have deductions made from them according to the amount of salary which a person is in receipt of from, say, occupation in public service. Do I read sub-paragraph (2) of Section 4 correctly in assuming that for the future although a cut is made in the salary which a person was getting he is deemed to continue at the old rate of salary, and that, therefore, his pension, which has been cut down because he is in actual receipt of certain moneys, will not be allowed to move up although in fact he is not [1517] in receipt of these moneys? That is what it amounts to. There will be some definite hardship on people whom it was never the intention should suffer under a measure of this sort, and if that is so I would press my amendment. It would add at the end that the deduction will be made in relation to the actual facts of the case, and not in relation to something that is deemed to have been the facts. The superannuation case is the one that bothers me most. I do not know whether the same consideration or arithmetical consideration would hold there, because I had not a concrete case before me. Again if there are people in receipt of what are described as superannuation allowances and also remuneration in some grade of the public service, and if that particular superannuation allowance is cut down under some sliding scale, according to what money they are in receipt of, then this paragraph means that the superannuation allowance will continue at the cut-down rate in relation to the moneys received by the person. If that is so, I think it is rather an unjust arrangement. Certainly I am on firm ground in regard to I.R.A. pensions. It was always regarded as a hardship to have pensions given under such conditions cut down, because the person was in receipt of other moneys for different services. And it was a deplorable practice that those persons should be condemned to be cut because of some others who were not cut. If the Minister can give me an example of people in receipt of superannuation allowances and getting remuneration from the public service I could argue that.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy may take the interpretation put upon the section as correct. If a person is in receipt of a military service pension, and subsequently gets employment in the public service, that re-employment is in the nature of a boon to him. If the salary attached to his present position is equivalent to the salary he enjoyed in his former office, his Civil Service pension is wholly suspended; if less his Civil Service pension operates to bring his emoluments consisting of salary and pension up to the emoluments [1518] enjoyed by him in his former office. In the case of a person in receipt of a military service pension the procedure is different. His military service pension is reduced by reason of his employment in the public service pro rata. If his salary as a public servant is £550 a year or more then it is wholly suspended. That is the position and we think it is a justifiable one. This deals with salaries. It deals with the salary of persons reduced by reason of their employment in the public service and takes no cognisance of the pension position whatever. If it happens, in present circumstances, that a person is employed in the public service and draws something as a pension as well, we leave the pension untouched. His salary is cut the same as that of any other employee in the service and that is the only just and equitable basis to go on.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Is it clear that his pension is not touched?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Yes, it is clear.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Why? Is it “other remuneration” received by a person?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It is not remuneration.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It is not remuneration, whether fixed or paid.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Pension is not remuneration.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Then “salary,”“wages,”“commission fees”—that group of phrases — excludes pensions.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Pension is not affected by this Bill.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Intention and actual facts are two things. I am contrasting. Would the Attorney-General let his mind turn on to this, as to whether pension could not possibly be included under such special definition as salary or as salary, pay, wages, commission fees, and other remuneration, leaving out the other vague phrases?

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  The Minister copied this section from a previous Bill introduced by the Deputy.

[1519]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That may be. But the intention may be different; and, at any rate, if it does not effect the purpose, it would be wrong to have the phrase carried in here. I am against this whole scheme in regard to military pensions and I.R.A. pensions.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  You should speak to your own amendment.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am speaking definitely and clearly to my own amendment, and if not, I would be ruled out by the Chair. It is not beyond doubt whether pension is dragged in under the heading of salary.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It is quite beyond doubt.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Apart from that, and leaving out superannuation allowances, I am going to divide the House for the reason that military service pensions or I.R.A. pensions are to be kept at a particular rate, to which they were limited by reason of the fact that people were in receipt of certain service moneys, and are to be kept at that rate when people are not in receipt of those moneys. They are not [1520] a very numerous class, but the pensions grants were grants for a particular service and should not be played about with. If for nothing else than that, I shall have to divide the Committee.

The Attorney-General:  I do not think there is the slightest doubt that the definition does not cover pensions. I fail to see what words the Deputy could suggest.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  “Other remuneration.”

The Attorney-General:  You cannot speak of superannuations and pensions.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Is pension “other remuneration”?

The Attorney-General:  No, not in my opinion. I do not know why the Deputy raises it unless he has got some reasonable suggestion. I see no cause for doubt.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I raised it because there was doubt in my mind about it.

Question put: “That the words proposed to be deleted stand part of the Bill.”

Aiken, Frank.
Bartley, Gerald.
Beegan, Patrick.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Carty, Frank.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Curran, Richard.
Daly, Denis.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Doherty, Joseph.
Donnelly, Eamon.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Fagan, Charles.
Finlay, John.
Flinn, Hugo V.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen. [1521]O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Dowd, Patrick.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
Fearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Rogers, Patrick James.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Geoghegan, James.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Hales, Thomas.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark.
Kilroy, Michael.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Lynch, James B.
MacDermot, Frank.
McEllistrim, Thomas.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Ben.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moane, Edward.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen. [1522]Ryan, Martin.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Victory, James.
Wall, Nicholas.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Anthony, Richard.
Beckett, James Walter.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Brennan, Michael.
Brodrick, Seán.
Burke, James Michael.
Byrne, Alfred.
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Davin, William.
Davitt, Robert Emmet.
Desmond, William.
Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Everett, James.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Keating, John.
Lynch, Finian.
MacEoin, Seán.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
Morrisroe, James.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Murphy, James Edward.
Myles, James Sproule.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Neill, Eamonn.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, Gearoid.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Reidy, James.
Rice, Vincent.
Roddy, Martin.
Thrift, William Edward.

Question declared carried.

Section 4 ordered to stand part.

The making under this Act of a deduction from salary paid under a contract of service shall not operate to terminate such contract, and such contract shall, notwithstanding the making of such deduction, continue to subsist but subject to the obligation or right to make and the obligation to suffer such deduction.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment 20:—

In line 22 to delete the word “and” and substitute therefor the words “unless the person from whose salary paid under such contract of service a deduction under this Act is made or proposed to be made claims that the making of or proposing to make such deduction shall operate as his discharge and the termination of his contract of service, and in the absence of such claim.”

I put down this amendment to get certain elucidation on the meaning of the section, and to guard against the danger which might possibly lurk, which I think decidedly does lurk, in it. (Section read). I can imagine there being a very innocent and, in fact, quite a praiseworthy idea behind the section. It might be regarded if there were salaries fixed by statute, by order, regulation or otherwise, and if the appropriate or fixed salary was not paid, that the moment it ceased to be paid, there was a breach of contract, whether persons wanted to have that contract broken or not. In that sense, this section must cover such a contingency as a good case, which would allow a contract to continue. There [1523] is also the possibility that it may go much further. It may go to the point that it prevents a contract being deemed even to have been broken, and so consequently would encroach on the rights of civil servants, and particularly on the rights of transferred officers of the Civil Service. I want to save one without permitting the other by putting in the phrase in my amendment. By my amendment I want to save that the contract would not be immediately broken because salaries were reduced. I do not want to allow that the salary can be reduced and that a breach of the contract can be effected — in fact, that a breach did not need to exist — on the will of one of the two parties to the contract. As the section with my amendment would read I am putting the onus on the person who says he regards the contract as broken and that he has been discharged, with whatever consequences may thereafter follow. “In the absence of such claim” the contract shall continue to subsist subject to the right to suffer such deduction. I would like to have a declaration on the section, whether or not it is intended to break contracts entered into with civil servants, and particularly State contracts enshrined in an international document, the phrase used by the President of the Executive Council when this matter was under discussion on another occasion. We ought to be definite. There is either an attempt to break through a contract of service with civil servants and other people. by the State, or else it is not so intended. If it is not so intended then why frame a phrase which would permit such a thing to be done? It should not be there. We should avoid it by some phrase, approximately such a phrase as I have in my amendment. At any rate, I set down the purpose of my amendment and I want to hear what is said on it.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  The object of the section as it stands is to ensure that the present position remains in fact, as between employer and employee, and that the contract as it stands [1524] remains. The only change the Government proposes is in regard to a reduction in remuneration. There is no intention of interfering otherwise in the contract. As far as they are concerned the position will be exactly the same as before. What Deputy McGilligan wants is that a party to the contract should be enabled to take certain action and to determine a decision which in any event should be given by a tribunal after it had heard the merits of the case. It seems that Deputy McGilligan's amendment would tend to give to one party to the contract what it does not give to the other party—to with the Government. In any case, I think the section as it stands does not interfere with rights of civil servants. As regards transferred officers I am advised that under Section 10 of the Treaty whatever rights they had are still maintained to them. They can go to the Compensation Tribunal if they think they have a case. If they think this section entitles them to put up a case, and if they have been discharged and the contract terminated, they can go before the Compensation Tribunal. I think the Deputy should be satisfied with that. If the amendment were inserted it would mean that the issue would be prejudiced. The Compensation Tribunal is there and the civil servant, if he says that his position has been worsened or his contract terminated, can go there. As regards the civil servants who are not transferred civil servants, I am advised that the position, even with the amendment inserted, would not, in fact, strengthen their position. They would have no greater rights than they have at present. So that, if the main contention of the Deputy is that he is interested in the case of the transferred civil servants and fears that their rights have been prejudiced, I think the section preserves that. The section in fact preserves the rights of these servants and preserves the contract. The Deputy, in this amendment, proposes to hand over to one party to the contract the right to say whether in fact, the contract has been determined or not. The general attitude of the Government in this section is to ensure that matters will [1525] remain exactly as before and that no changes would be made between the State and its employees who are affected by the Bill.

Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  I should like to know from the Minister whether he means by that that Section 5, if passed as at present, will not be used before the tribunal as a defence to any action or proceedings brought by a transferred officer claiming to retire under this Bill. I should like a specific answer from the Minister to that.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  I could not give a definite assurance in advance as to what might happen in the hypothetical case which the Deputy has suggested.

Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  Therefore, the Minister cannot say whether the intention is to impair the rights of transferred officers under Article 10 or the Act of 1929. I understand that the purpose of Deputy McGilligan's amendment is to extract from the Minister a statement of Government policy as to what is the meaning of this Section 5 in relation to the rights of transferred officers under Article 10 and the Act of 1929, and I suggest that the virtuous attitude taken up by the Minister in connection with this matter is quite untenable because the shoe is on the other foot. The Minister suggests that Deputy McGilligan, by his amendment, will bring about a position whereby one party to the contract will be entitled to repudiate it, so to speak. The inference from that statement of the Minister is that it will be the civil servants or other officials affected by this Bill who will be in that position; but the Minister overlooks this very important and vital consideration, that this section itself enables one party to the contract to say: “Away with your contract; we will break it; you can stick to your part of the bargain but we will not keep ours.” That is what this means. We are under a contract, expressed or implied, with civil servants and other people employed by the State, to give them a certain remuneration. Notwithstanding that we are breaking our side of the contract we force them by law to undertake their part of the [1526] bargain. If that is not unilateral breaking of a contract I do not know what it means.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I do not think the Minister can have understood Deputy Costello's question. The Minister was asked by Deputy Costello for an assurance that this section, if passed as it stands, will not be used as a defence on the part of the State if any transferred officer takes a case before a tribunal, to which he is entitled to go, on the basis that his salary had been reduced. In reply to that, the Minister said that he could give no such assurance. The conclusion from that I think is that the Government either do intend and have definitely made up their minds in advance to use this section as a defence in an action brought under the Transferred Officers Act, or they have not yet made up their minds to use it as a defence. It either means that in such a case a statement will be made that this Act of Parliament overrides the earlier one, and that consequently there is a new situation, or it may mean that the Government have not yet made up their minds to do that but that they are certainly not going to prejudice their future by telling us that they will not so use it. I suggest that that is dangerous. It will not bring very much comfort to civil servants, particularly when they remember that we were told by the President on a former occasion that these transferred officers had their rights and that these rights were enshrined in an international agreement which this House could not change. Yet the Minister will not tell us here that he stands over that phrase and that the present Government do not intend to use this section, if passed in its present form, as something overriding the previous position or overriding the Act guaranteeing the present position to these officers. The Minister rather gives the impression that the Government have made up their minds so to use this section.

I do not, by my amendment, put it in the power of one party to this contract to break the contract by unilateral action. I put in the word [1527]“unless” and the force of it is merely to negative what the section wants to achieve, that is that the making of a deduction by the State, by unilateral action on the part of the State, shall not operate to terminate the contract “unless the person from whose salary a deduction under this Act is made or proposed to be made claims that the making or proposing to make such deduction shall operate as his discharge and the termination of his contract of service and in the absence of such claim.” I say it shall operate only if the people affected do not claim something to the contrary, but I do not say that their claim is final and conclusive. I only say that I put a stop to this section from running against them. The matter would then have to be determined by the particular tribunal concerned. What I want to do is to get the balance back as it was previously — that there are two parties to the contract each with rights and there is a tribunal with judicial powers to determine the position. What we are faced with now is that the Government wants to have this position achieved by this section: they are going to make deductions from salaries and then can say that that is not a breach of the contract, that the House has passed it and if anybody is foolish enough to go to the Compensation Tribunal he will be met with this. He will be told that the State has decreed that that is not a breach of the contract. He will be told: “We are going to keep all our contracts as guaranteed to the civil servants except in this one particular, that we can shift your salary up and down as we please,” and, of course, they know it will be down. We want to stop that. I thought we could have stopped it by getting a statement from the Minister that he did not intend to use the section in this way, but the Minister has refused to say that there was no intention to use this defence in any action that may be brought under the old transferred officers guarantees. We have to conclude that the Government are going to break their contract and to plead that this House has given them leave to do [1528] it and has given them the right to do it or else we must conclude that they do not know whether or not they will have to so use it in the future.

In any event, I want to hark back to what was said here in the Debates of the 19th May of last year where, in answer to a question of the late Deputy Finlay, the President said:—

“There is no intention whatever to interfere with the rights of civil servants in this legislation—none whatever. They are amply safeguarded.”

and in answer to a further question the President said:—

“Article 10, as far as it gave them rights, is gone. This is a document, an agreement, which is completely setting aside Article 10, because it gives effect to the intention that is actually in the Bill itself —‘for the final determination in accordance with their will.’ That is a final document, a new Treaty, if you like. It is an international document safeguarding their rights, and their rights are not dependent on Article 10. This is the document on which their rights depend, and there is no suggestion——”

At this point he was interrupted by Deputy Cosgrave, who said:

“Is it open to the Legislature at any time to repeal, alter, or amend that Act as it stands?”

and the President's answer to that was:

“It is not, because it embodied an international document. There was an international agreement.”

Now the Minister for Education, in a casual moment, tells us that he cannot give an assurance that this is not intended to be used as a defence in the way the President said it could not be used because it would be an attempt to override an international document.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  These casual moments which Deputy McGilligan speaks of are very trying. The Deputy proposes a particular amendment, but in the course of his disquisitions in the House he manages to depart clearly from it and to explain to the House what it [1529] means or what the implications of it are. If Deputies read the amendment they will appreciate the fact that Deputy McGilligan, in his effort to clarify matters, proposes to give to every transferred officer the right to say, when these cuts operate, that he is discharged from the service. By reason of that fact he can go to the Compensation Tribunal and get the specially favourable compensation terms that the 1929 Act lays down. If Deputies believe that the Government, when it is trying to effect economies, should not at least get a square deal but should be tied up by an amendment of this kind then they are simply proposing to lay down as the law that, what the civil servant affected by the cuts claims, shall, in fact, be the determining factor. If Deputies believe that economies can be effected in that way then they should certainly support Deputy McGilligan's amendment.

The Deputy has made no case whatever why the amendment should be inserted. He has a legal doubt in his own mind but what does it amount to? Surely the Deputy ought to be able to get over the doubt in the section, if there is a doubt, without proposing to hand over the entire determination of this question to the persons affected and without giving the State any right in the matter — to leave it to every civil servant to be entitled to say: “I claim that this action of the Government entitles me to compensation as a transferred officer under the special terms of the 1929 Act.” If that course were adopted, then not alone would we have no economies but the State would have far bigger liabilities than it has — tenfold liabilities in proportion to the economies that we are seeking to bring about under the Bill. Under the amendment every single transferred officer, simply because he claimed that he was affected in a particular manner — that this action of the Government operated to his disfavour — could say that he was entitled to get that compensation. There is no mention at all of the State.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That is not my amendment.

[1530]Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  Deputy McGilligan has not answered the point that I made that the section, in fact, makes no difference whatever. It makes a difference in regard to the remuneration. A reduction is made in the remuneration, but as regards the legal contract it is unimpaired. If we were to accept the amendment we would simply be accepting the position that every one of the State servants affected by this Bill could declare themselves to be adversely affected, claim for compensation and leave the service. I do not think that, without further argument on the question, any serious Deputy could agree that Deputy McGilligan's point of view could possibly be accepted. In my opinion it would negative the whole force of the Bill and the economies it is proposed to make as well as add enormous liabilities to the State. As I said in the beginning, it is not even fair to Deputy McGilligan because presumably he wants to hold the balance evenly between the State and the employee, but that is just what he does not do.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Why?

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  Because “unless the person from whose salary paid under such contract of service a deduction under this Act is made or proposed to be made claims”— that is to say if he just claims——

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  What will happen?

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  ——that his contract is determined by these cuts, then he will take the usual action and apply for compensation, I presume, under the Act Deputy Costello referred to.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Will he get it?

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  He has the full right at present to make his application in the usual way to the Compensation Tribunal. Deputy McGilligan wants to give a decision in advance. He also wants the Minister for Finance to come forward in the House and give an assurance that he is not going to take certain action in the event of this case being triable at law; that he is not going to take action to defend the rights of the State as he sees them and as he is charged to look after them, [1531] but that he is going to let the whole question go by default and award compensation to the civil servant in advance. I do not think any Minister for Finance could possibly give any such assurance. I do not say that the Minister for Finance is not endeavouring, as I have said, to give the civil servant the ordinary fair play that he had. There is no proof, except the legal doubts that exist under Deputy McGilligan's amendment, that his contract is being interfered with. If it is being interfered with, let us remember that the civil servants in question have the ordinary rights to go before the Compensation Tribunal, and if they can substantiate their case there they will get compensation in the usual way.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I think the Minister has been more successful in attacking Deputy McGilligan's amendment than he has been in defending the section.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  And then only because he has not read my amendment.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  The position at the moment under the Civil Service (Transferred Officers) Compensation Act, 1929, is that an aggrieved civil servant whose salary has been reduced, whose conditions of employment have been materially altered to his detriment, or who feels that the contract with him has been broken can, of his own volition, go before the Civil Service Compensation Board and there make a claim in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Now this section prevents a civil servant pleading that his contract has been broken although his conditions of service have been materially altered to his detriment. The position, therefore, under the section is that from their being no obstacle in his way heretofore to go before the Compensation Board and plead that his contract has been varied to his detriment, he now finds himself in this position: that Section 5 will be used as an impediment against him when he goes before the Compensation Board.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  And is intended that way.

[1532]Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  It can have no other meaning, because the official side of the Board will be entitled to say: “Your contract is not broken. This is only a deduction and your contract is still preserved.” I think this is a case of killing the cat with milk. The Government's attitude in the matter is not nearly as generous as the Minister for Education painted it, because the clear purpose of the section is to say to an officer: “Although your conditions of service have been altered to your detriment, notwithstanding, your contract is not broken.” Why say that at all? Is it not clear that the contract is broken when a person's conditions of service have been materially altered to his detriment? While the Minister says he objects to Deputy McGilligan's amendment because he claims it gives power to an individual civil servant to operate a break in the contract, still the Minister is insisting in Section 5 that even if it is advantageous to a civil servant to plead that his contract has been broken the Minister will not permit him to do that. As between an individual civil servant on the one hand having, say, 60 per cent. of the case, with 40 per cent. being on the Government side all the time, I would be prepared to take a risk and give the individual civil servant more power in the matter, seeing that he has got to fight his case against the Executive Council all the time.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  He has to fight against the law — not against the Executive Council.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Well, fight against the law.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  And the law has been changed.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  As Deputy McGilligan says, here is a new law grafted on to the other impediments that are against him. In the case of an individual civil servant who is fighting the law, I certainly would be on the side all the time of giving the individual civil servant the advantage, because fighting the law is an expensive pastime for the individual civil servant, as the [1533] President knows. I think there is much more to be said for Deputy McGilligan's amendment in the circumstances than for the section.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I want to press my amendment, but I want Deputy Norton thoroughly to understand it. As the situation is at the moment, there is a contract between certain transferred officers and the State. As this section goes, the Minister for Education has told us that, although the salary is going to be reduced, they want to have it that that does not break the contract. I want it otherwise, but I do not want to have it that there is a breach of contract simply because the civil servant says there is.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  What is the meaning of the amendment then?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If the Minister would follow it a little more painstakingly he would discover. The section runs: “The making under this Act of a deduction from salary paid under a contract of service shall not operate to terminate such contract.” I want to hit that. I want to stop the force of that phrase and to say “shall not operate to terminate such contract unless the person affected”— let us put in that phrase for the purpose of the legal argument that is to follow —“claims that the making of such deduction... shall operate as his discharge and the termination of his contract of service.” That does not mean that it does so operate — that is a matter for determination by the Tribunal — but it does this, and it is what I want to achieve; it stops the overriding force of the clause which the Minister for Education is standing over. A civil servant can say: “I claim, I do no more than that, that that breaks my contract, and, therefore, I am in the same old position. I can go to the Transferred Officers' Board.” I put the phrase in at one time which would definitely put an end to the contract—“whereupon the making of such deduction shall operate as his discharge”— but I cut it out. What the amendment provides at the moment and what I want to have is: the State can say to everybody: [1534]“This does not operate as a breach of your contract,” and unless the person is vigilant in regard to his own rights and claims that it does, then his contract is not deemed to be broken. If he claims that it does, then it does not mean that his claim is satisfied. He has got to prove that before the proper Tribunal. I say that in the absence of such a claim the contract shall continue to subsist. In other words, if there are civil servants who will say: “We recognise that a certain situation exists; we will allow certain deductions to be made and we will not stand on our contractual rights,” they can give that accord to the State in the matter, but if anybody has rights and wants to stand on them, I want to put them back to the old position. The Minister has read into my amendment a phrase which is not there. I do not suggest that once they claim, the contract can be terminated.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  What is the meaning of the phrase then “claims that the making of or proposing to make such deduction shall operate as his discharge.”

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I do not say that. I say that unless the person claims, certain things shall operate. I do not say that on the claim being made the discharge shall operate. I say to a person who is making the most of the force of the section: “Notwithstanding what we do in regard to you, there is no breach of contract; the old contract still subsists.” That is my amendment. There is, however, a serious situation revealed here. The Minister says: “We are going to keep our contract, but we are going to reduce their pay.” What is there in the contract of service about which the transferred officers have been agitating for years except pay and pension, which depends upon pay? I want now the old position, the position which we were told by the President could not be dislodged by any domestic act of the State because it was enshrined in an international document. The Minister says now: “We are not changing that international document. We are only going to change it in a [1535] small particular.” Let me say that I think Deputy Norton used a most inappropriate phrase in referring to this as killing the cat with milk. Unless he is referring to the free milk, that the civil servants might be killed by the free distribution of milk, the phrase was most inappropriate.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I was referring to the Minister's speech.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If the Deputy suggests that the Minister in dealing with the question was full of milk and honey, I agree. We are told now that if this is a breach of the transferred officers' rights, it is only a little bit of [1536] a breach — the usual excuse that is given. It is only an interruption of their pay. I wonder was that what President de Valera had in mind when he said in answer to Deputy Finlay last year that these men's rights could not be interfered with because they were enshrined in an international document? Are we now to be told that though they are enshrined in an international document we cannot interfere with these men except in the matter of remuneration? If that is what was meant it should have been more clearly stated. I shall certainly press the amendment.

Question put:—“That the words proposed to be deleted stand.”

Aiken, Frank.
Bartley, Gerald.
Beegan, Patrick.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Carty, Frank.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Daly, Denis.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Doherty, Joseph.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Flinn, Hugo. V.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Geoghegan, James.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Hales, Thomas.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark.
Kilroy, Michael.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Lynch, James B.
McEllistrim, Thomas.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Ben.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moane, Edward.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Dowd, Patrick.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Victory, James.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Anthony, Richard.
Beckett, James Walter.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Brennan, Michael.
Brodrick, Seán.
Byrne, Alfred. [1537]Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Everett, James.
Fagan, Charles.
Finlay, John.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Good, John.
Keating, John.
Lynch, Finian.
McDonogh, Martin.
MacEoin, Séan.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
Morrisroe, James.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Murphy, James Edward.
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Davitt, Robert Emmet.
Desmond, William.
Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S. [1538]Myles, James Sproule.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Neill, Eamonn.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, Gearoid.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Reidy, James.
Rice, Vincent.
Roddy, Martin.
Rogers, Patrick James.
Thrift, William Edward.
Wall, Nicholas.

Question declared carried.

Section 5 agreed to.

(1) This Part of this Act applies to every person who, at any time during the current financial year —

(a) is employed —

(i) as a commissioned officer in or a chaplain to the Defence Forces of Saorstát Eireann, or

(ii) as a member of the Gárda Síochána, or

(iii) as a teacher in a national school, or

(iv) in any capacity in a preparatory college, or

(v) in any other civil capacity whether permanent or temporary, in the public service of Saorstát Eireann; and

(b) is remunerated wholly or partly (whether directly or indirectly) out of the Central Fund or moneys provided by the Oireachtas or a fund under the control of a Minister.

(2) This Part of this Act applies to a person whether his employment is whole-time or part-time, or is for particular work or a particular occasion, and whether the amount of his salary is fixed by statute or otherwise, but this Part of this Act applies to a person only so long and in so far as he is employed and remunerated in a manner mentioned in the foregoing sub-section of this section.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections of this section, this Part of this Act does not apply to any judge of the Supreme Court, the High Court, or the Circuit Court, nor to any justice of the District Court.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendment 21 is the first of a series of amendments which aim, in the first place, at limiting the persons to whom the cuts are to apply, and, later on, in reference to the schedules, aim at excluding certain categories completely. I suggest that the amendments dealing with the separate categories be taken together and on the one now before the House, dealing with commissioned officers and chaplains, amendments 21, 22 and 25, 26, 97 and 98 be debated together and that two questions on No. 25 should give a decision on the two classes included in that category. In other words, “that the words ‘commissioned officer’ stand,” will be the first question and the second question will be “that the words ‘or a chaplain’ stand.” The principle may be debated now.

Dr. O'Higgins: Information on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  Zoom on Dr Thomas Francis O'Higgins Snr.  I beg to move amendment 21:—

In sub-section (1), line 27, after the word “person” to insert the words “other than a commissioned officer in or a chaplain to the [1539] Defence Forces of Saorstát Eireann.”

In putting down this amendment to exempt commissioned officers and Army chaplains from the operation of this measure, I was influenced by certain considerations. I put it down, in the first place, because Army officers and Army people generally are the most defenceless body in the country when it comes to legislative interference with the conditions of service. Every other body of public servants dealt with under this Bill, whether doctors, civil servants, school teachers or Civic Guards, have all some representative body which is in a position to put up a case, either to Deputies or to the general public, against the operation of the Bill, with the result that Deputies and the general public understand the position of each of the other services to which this Bill applies.

The Army people have no representative body, no council, such as other services have. They are prohibited by regulation from writing to the Press. They are prohibited by regulation from approaching members of the Oireachtas with regard to service conditions. In other words, they are entirely gagged and have no machinery for ventilating their views, or putting up their case to Deputies. I am not against that particular position. I think it would be very unwise if Army officers were free to write to the Press. But it may not be generally understood that no body of public servants has received so many reductions in increments in the last five or seven years as Army officers. It is true to say that the pay, according to rank, remains unchanged, but their increments have been very drastically reduced by a curtailment of allowances — a reduction in allowances — and, in particular, by reductions in rank.

There have been many Army reorganisation schemes and the result was, in the main, that officers, when being fitted into the new organisation, got a rather substantial reduction in rank. That meant a substantial reduction in pay. I think nobody will argue that the pay of the Free State Army is high. As a matter of fact, it is low [1540] compared with the pay of other armies. One must also take into account that the prospects of promotion in our Army are very slight, by reason of the fact that the higher posts are held by comparatively young men. There is no great difference in age between the highest officers in the army and the junior lieutenants, so the prospects of promotion are rather remote. I do not think there have been three promotions within the last three years. That being so, and taking into consideration the fairly low standard of pay, I do not really think their pay can bear any further reduction. Officers have various expenses which they cannot avoid. They have mess and general expenses common to mess life. They have to pay more for insurance premiums than any civil servant, or anybody else affected by this measure. I think they are in a peculiar position, a position that should receive very serious and sympathetic consideration.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  What the Deputy has said would apply almost equally to all the other public servants with whom this Bill deals. I am not going to assert, for one moment, that the pay of officers in our Army is high, judged by any other standard than the capacity of our people to provide at this moment. If it were not for that fact this Bill would not be before the House. I do not question the sincerity of the Deputy's statement. I am glad some person has risen to put the point of view of the Army before the Dáil. What the Deputy has said is quite true — this is the one branch of the public service that is denied public expression. But it is not true to say that the Army has been defenceless. The Minister for Defence was himself a soldier and has a soldier's instincts and regard for the Army. He has pressed their cases as strenuously and as strongly as the Deputy would, I am sure, if he were in the Minister's position. There is no factor in favour of the Army that has not been before the Executive Council. There is no factor to which the utmost consideration has not been given, a consideration which has been [1541] depened and intensified by the appreciation which the Executive Council feel for the attitude which the Army has taken up during the past few years. If it were possible to extend to it undue consideration, that consideration would have been extended, but the position is, as I said at the beginning, that while we do not for a moment assert that the Army pay as compared with the rates that prevail elsewhere is high, nevertheless it is higher than our people can afford at the present moment.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I think the House will agree that the Minister has not met the case put forward by the mover of this amendment. In fact, I think the Minister's whole statement is a refusal, practically speaking, to meet the case and to discuss this or apparently any other amendment — I presume this will be the line taken up — on its merits. He did not suggest that the pay of the Army was unduly high. The fact is that the Army pay is low — I might say unduly low — in comparison with any ordinary standards. Take, for instance, a doctor or an officer — any rank in the service that you wish. Take a captain and take the pay paid here and compare it with the pay in England and you find there is a difference of £80 a year. That is to say he gets £80 a year less here. The Minister will reply that the two countries are different — that England is a rich country. I was always under the impression in the case of the English Army that those who got commissions had, generally speaking, private sources of income of their own. If you take that into account when one makes a comparison between the two sets of officers, the difference is more striking. In the case of a captain, leaving out the allowances, there is a reduction in the pay here of between £70 and £80 a year, roughly speaking.

In addition, we must realise the fact that precisely because this is a poor country most of those who get into either the Civil Service or the Army or the various teaching bodies are men who have no private source of income of their own. That is a fact, and I [1542] doubt if the Executive Council paid attention to it when making these cuts, though the Minister said that all relevant facts were taken into account. If all relevant facts were taken into account they seem to have exercised no influence whatever on the decision to which the Executive Council came.

If Deputies examine the Bill they will see right through it one thing that is particularly clear. That is that there is a great deal more desire for mathematical accuracy on the part of the Executive Council than there is for justice. The very figures for their justification that the Minister himself gave on the Second Reading — and the fact that it should appeal to the President was quite natural — were purely a mathematical justification.

Leaving out altogether the human element these cuts in the pay of the servants of the State are not merely unwise but unjustifiable. Undoubtedly one of the facts mentioned by Deputy O'Higgins applies particularly to the Army. The Minister said that the various considerations applied equally to the other services, but there is this one difference in the case of the Army in comparison with the other services. That is the impossibility of rapid promotion. All our men in the Army are young men. There has not been rapid promotion, and from the very circumstances of the case there could not have been rapid promotion. There has been, as Deputy O'Higgins pointed out, definite reductions already in salary.

The whole thing aimed at by the Minister in his defence of this Bill left out of sight altogether these concrete circumstances which colour the whole consideration of the case. The Minister was looking out for something in the way of mathematical accuracy in framing the Bill and left aside altogether considerations of justice. The Minister says this is as much as the country can bear. That is his one standard. How he arrives at that is beyond the power of the ordinary Deputy to understand. It is quite obvious that the Minister when imposing taxation thinks that there is nothing that this country cannot bear. It is only when cutting down salaries [1543] that he raises the point of the capacity of the country to bear. In the midst of all the extravagance in which the Government has indulged, this trying to save some thousands of pounds on a service like the Army has no justification whatsoever.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Desmond FitzGerald  Zoom on Desmond FitzGerald  There is one matter I would like to put before the House. The Army is a new service in the country and the rates of pay were fixed rather arbitrarily at a certain period. The intention was that at a later period these rates would come under the review of the Minister. Remember that the actual gross cost of the Army had to be taken into consideration. We, for the purpose of Budget calculations and for the purpose of the Estimates, fixed the normal cost of the Army at £1,500,000. We attributed its higher cost to the fact that there has been a civil war during which there had been a very large number in the Army. The Minister himself at the time ridiculed our proposal that the normal cost of the Army would be £1,500,000. But for the purpose of borrowing money it was necessary to demonstrate that that was the correct figure. In 1927 the Army cost £2,300,000. The cost of the Army was since reduced by £1,200,000. Now, during that period when the Army had been reduced, if justice had been done, undoubtedly the pay of the officers would have been reviewed and it would have been increased. But at the time nothing could be done. I, personally, was responsible for this enormous reduction.

The cost of the Army was reduced during my time from, I think, £2,300,000 to £1,100,000. If I had been less drastic or less successful if you like, the Army would, when the present Government came in, have been costing considerably more. If I had not been engaged during that period in so drastically reducing the cost of the Army and concentrating on that, there is no doubt but the pay of the officers would have been increased. I think that the officers understood that once we got the position stabilised, their position would be considered in the light of justice rather than in the exigencies [1544] of the moment. If the pay had been increased as it should have been, there is no doubt but the same ratio of reduction would now be proposed, and these officers would be getting more than he proposes to give them. If the cost of the Army had not been reduced the Minister would have accepted it at a much higher figure. If it had only been reduced, say, to £2,000,000, the Minister would have accepted that figure and he would have proposed a reduction and would justify that by saying, irrespective of the merits of the case: “this is as much as the country can afford to pay.” He is saying now, “this is as much as the country can afford to pay,” and is fixing it at that figure, merely because the present Government's predecessors made drastic cuts in the cost of the Army. As I have already said, if normal circumstances prevailed at that time the officers' pay would have been increased. If it had not been necessary nationally to bring down the cost of the Army to the normal figure in that short time, the Army would not be reduced to the figure to which the Minister now proposes to reduce it.

With regard to the chaplains, I want to point out that chaplains are in a peculiar position in this way, that they are actually appointed by the bishops and can also be removed by the bishops. Consequently we have no graduated rate of pay. We have a fixed rate of pay for the chaplains. There are chaplains who have been ten years in the Army and they are getting paid exactly the same as if they had only one year's service. Their leaving the Army or their staying in it does not depend on the Government or on the Minister, but on the ecclesiastical superiors of the chaplains. Some of them have been there ten years. Still there is a fixed rate of pay and no chance of increase. It is certainly most unfair to a man who has been in that position for ten years that he is given no chance whatever of an increase. The increase in the period of service gives no increase in the rate of pay. In these circumstances it is most unfair in the case of chaplains to say to them that they are [1545] to have their salaries cut. On the other hand, if chaplains had been appointed and dismissed by the Government instead of being subject to their ecclesiastical superiors, this Government as well as the last Government would have taken into account the length of service and they would have provided as their years of service increased for increments in their pay. But now there are cases in the Army of chaplains who have given ten years' service without any chance of an increase of their emoluments, and the Minister arbitrarily comes along and says they must be reduced, presumably on the ground that that is as much as the country can pay. But if the predecessors of the present Government had not been so successful as they were in reducing the Army in about four years to less than half what it was previously, then the Government would have estimated what the country could afford to pay upon a much higher figure than they were paying when the Government took office.

Mr. Kent: Information on William Rice Kent  Zoom on William Rice Kent  Notwithstanding all that has been said with regard to the Army, the question is, can the country in the present economic condition of the farmers afford to maintain the Army we have at present? To my mind, every man in this State should be a member of an Army to defend the rights of the country. I avail of this opportunity to protest against maintaining such an Army in this country [1546] while the farmers are in a state bordering on economic ruin. It takes a large amount of money from the taxpayers to maintain this Army which we cannot at the present time afford to pay. As a member of the Centre Party, I say emphatically that we should abolish this Army which we cannot afford to maintain. What is the Army for?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy is aware that we are not discussing estimates now.

Mr. Kent: Information on William Rice Kent  Zoom on William Rice Kent  I understood we were considering a big estimate for the huge Army we have at present.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  We are not discussing estimates at present. We are discussing whether or not the pay of commissioned officers should be cut.

Mr. Kent: Information on William Rice Kent  Zoom on William Rice Kent  The pay of commissioned officers should be cut. In the present economic condition of the farmers, I maintain that we cannot afford to pay the salaries of commissioned officers. My opinion is that every man in Ireland should be prepared to defend his country. In the present conditions, I maintain that we cannot even afford to pay a recruit to the Army, not to say a commissioned officer. I maintain that in the event of an invasion it is the duty of every Irish citizen to be prepared to defend the country and to fight for Ireland's rights and an Irish Republic.

Question put —“That the words ‘commissioned officer’ stand.”

Aiken, Frank.
Bartley, Gerald.
Beegan, Patrick.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Carty, Frank.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corkery, Daniel.
Corry, Martin John.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy. [1547]Holohan, Richard.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Killilea, Mark.
Kilroy, Michael.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Lynch, James B.
MacDermot, Frank.
McEllistrim, Thomas.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Ben.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moane, Edward.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Curran, Richard.
Daly, Denis.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Doherty, Joseph.
Donnelly, Eamon.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Fagan, Charles.
Finlay, John.
Flinn, Hugo. V.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Geoghegan, James.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Hales, Thomas.
Harris, Thomas. [1548]Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Dowd, Patrick.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Rogers, Patrick James.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Victory, James.
Wall, Nicholas.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Anthony, Richard.
Beckett, James Walter.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Bourke, Séamus.
Brennan, Michael.
Broderick, William Joseph.
Brodrick, Seán.
Burke, Patrick.
Byrne, Alfred.
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Davin, William.
Davitt, Robert Emmet.
Desmond, William.
Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Everett, James.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Good, John.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Keating, John.
Lynch, Finian.
McDonogh, Martin.
McEoin, Seán.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
Morrisroe, James.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Murphy, James Edward.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
Myles, James Sproule.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Neill, Eamonn.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, Gearoid.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Reidy, James.
Rice, Vincent.
Roddy, Martin.
Thrift, William Edward.

Question declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  On amendment 25 I am putting a second question.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  On the second question, is the Minister objecting to the elimination of the word “chaplain”?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Oh, yes.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  As far as we can see from the Estimates there are, in all, 11 chaplains in the whole Army, and the sum in question is about £250. Does the Minister think the State is unable to afford that?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  They are members of the Army.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  They are not; they are chaplains to the Army.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  They are public servants.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Does the Minister suggest that they are attested soldiers?

[1549]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  They are public servants paid out of public funds.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  They are not paid servants; they are chaplains and not officers.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  They receive money out of the public funds.

[1550]Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  And the State cannot afford that sum!

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I am putting the question that the words “or a chaplain to” proposed to be deleted stand part of the section.

Aiken, Frank.
Bartley, Gerald.
Beegan, Patrick.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Carty, Frank.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corkery, Daniel.
Corry, Martin John.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Curran, Richard.
Daly, Denis.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Doherty, Joseph.
Donnelly, Eamon.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Fagan, Charles.
Finlay, John.
Flinn, Hugo. V.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Geoghegan, James.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Hales, Thomas.
Harris, Thomas.
Holohan, Richard.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Killilea, Mark.
Kilroy, Michael.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Lynch, James B.
MacDermot, Frank.
McEllistrim, Thomas.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Ben.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moane, Edward.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Dowd, Patrick.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Rogers, Patrick James.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Victory, James.
Wall, Nicholas.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Anthony, Richard.
Beckett, James Walter.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Bourke, Séamus.
Brennan, Michael.
Broderick, William Joseph.
Brodrick, Seán.
Burke, Patrick.
Byrne, Alfred.
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Davin, William.
Davitt, Robert Emmet.
Desmond, William. [1551]Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Everett, James.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Good, John.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Keating, John.
Lynch, Finian.
McDonogh, Martin.
McEoin, Seán.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
Morrisroe, James.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Murphy, James Edward.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Neill, Eamonn.
O'Reilly, John Joseph. [1552]O'Sullivan, Gearoid.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Reidy, James.
Rice, Vincent.
Roddy, Martin.
Thrift, William Edward.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendments 21, 22, 26, 97 and 98 are not moved. With amendment 23 I shall take Nos. 27 and 102 and shall put the question on No. 27.

Amendments:—

23. In sub-section (1), line 27, after the word “person” to insert the words “other than a member of the Gárda Síochána.”—(James Fitzgerald-Kenney.)

27. To delete sub-section (1) (a) (ii) —(William Norton, James Fitzgerald-Kenney, Richard Anthony.)

102. To delete Part II. —(William Norton, James Fitzgerald-Kenney.)

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  The first of these amendments is amendment 23.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The whole principle may be debated on amendment 27 if that amendment is formally moved.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I move amendment 27. The reason why amendment 23 is necessary is that if you deleted merely the words “as a member of the Gárda Síochána or,” which is amendment 27, the Guards might — indeed, I think, would — still be caught by the remaining words of the section. To make the matter perfectly clear, it seems to me to be necessary not alone to delete the words proposed to be deleted by amendment 27, but to insert the words contained in amendment 23. The effect of these amendments is that the Bill shall not apply to the Gárda at all. Earlier in the evening, I dealt with the question whether this Bill should be applicable to the officers of the Gárda or not. A great number of the arguments which apply in this case I have already used in relation to the officers of the Guards. I shall not go over them again. I shall content myself with the general statement that, in my opinion, the officers of the Guards are not overpaid, that it is very difficult for them to make ends meet and to keep up the social position they have to keep up and meet the requirements which they have to meet. I am perfectly satisfied that there are practically no officers of the Guards who have been able, out of their pay, to make those savings which they may require for a rainy day when they may have to meet extra expense for family sickness or something of that nature. I gave further specific instances earlier in the day and I shall not repeat them.

I now turn to the general question — whether these cuts should be made applicable to the inspectors, sergeants, and Guards. In my opinion, the pay of the Guards should not be touched at the present time. It is more important at present than it was in any period in the history of our country that the pay of the Guards should remain undiminished and that nothing should be done which might cause discontent in the Force. There is no use in our shutting our eyes to the present condition of affairs. There is no use in our shutting our eyes to the fact that in this State we are in a very serious position. I know that the argument of the Government is that the country is so reduced financially that it is unable to pay the Guards or to meet the expense of the other services in full. That is due to the way in which the Minister himself has maladministered the finances of the country. There is one primary necessity, [1553] one thing upon which public money must be expended, because it is the prime need of the State — that is, in securing the service of a proper, efficient and contented force of Civic Guards. That is more necessary at present than it ever was. We are facing an economic crisis and, in addition, nobody who knows anything about the internal affairs of this country can regard the present situation with anything except the greatest apprehension. We know that there is an armed force which is allowed to drill without check, let or hindrance——

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  The A.C.A.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  The A.C.A. is not an armed force. The I.R.A. are allowed to drill without check or hindrance. They are allowed to spread any doctrine they may choose to spread. How these doctrines are being spread by that association and kindred associations anybody who has read the various weighty pronouncements by the Bishops during the last few days must realise. People who do that must know the position the country is in. This is a body which is standing between this country and——

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  On a point of order I would like to have a ruling from the Chair as to whether the Deputy's present observations are in order.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy is in order in giving reasons why the pay of the Gárda Síochána should not be reduced.

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  Is he in order in referring to statements made by the Bishops?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Quite in order.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Deputy Smith evidently objects to the words of the Bishops. Possibly if Deputy Smith read the Bishops' Pastorals they would have a very excellent effect. I would suggest that he should do so.

Mr. Donnelly: Information on Eamonn Donnelly  Zoom on Eamonn Donnelly  We do not exploit them.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  No one who looks round the country can help seeing that there is a determined effort being made to impregnate this State with [1554] shocking doctrines, and to spread these doctrines, if need be by force, and that the people who are standing between that association and law-abiding citizens, the persons to whom the Farmers' Party, as well as any other Party, look for protection, are the Gárda Síochána. Of course we were told from the Centre Party Benches that the country cannot afford an Army. Possibly we will be told that the country cannot afford the Civic Guard force. If it cannot afford a Civic Guard force, then God help the farmers. The whole economic structure of this country rests upon this, that order will be preserved. Now you have got a force, owing to instructions coming down, as we see regularly, with one hand tied behind its back, maintaining order, or endeavouring to maintain order.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Has the Deputy any proof of that?

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Unless this force is contented you will be asking too much if you ask it, or ask individual members of it, to risk themselves and things that are dear to them in carrying out the duty of preserving law and order. This is a time, above all times, when it is pre-eminently necessary that there should be a contented police force. Every person must be aware that these “cuts” are causing grave discontent in the force. I quoted earlier to-day words used by the Commissioner of the Guards in the presence of the Minister for Justice, as reported in the “Irish Press,” in which he evidently gave utterance to these words which had been uttered to him by the Minister: “He could say that the Minister had spared no effort to minimise the cuts, and to minimise them as much as possible.” I had not high hopes, but I thought that, possibly, the Minister in whose presence the remarks were made, and from whom Colonel Broy must have heard the facts — because I do not see how Colonel Broy could otherwise know Cabinet secrets — would explain, but the Minister did not by his voice make any endeavour earlier to minimise the effects of the “cuts,” and I suppose now he will make no effort to [1555] eliminate the “cuts” by voting in favour of these amendments.

If the words uttered in the Minister's presence are correct — and the Minister did not deny them — then we have it that the Minister for Justice is of the opinion that there should be no “cuts” in the Guards at the present time. I am sure Colonel Broy did not make these remarks incautiously. He cannot be so completely tactless a person as to make them incautiously, and yet attain to his present position. Therefore it must be the deliberate wish of the Minister for Justice to let it be known that he was opposed root and branch to the “cuts,” and that he wished to have the Guards eliminated. The House should bear in mind, and Fianna Fáil, Centre Party or other Deputies who wish to vote against this amendment should bear in mind that there is evidence that the responsible Minister was opposed to these “cuts.” I do not know whether the Minister will have the courage of his convictions or not. I said a few moments ago that I thought he would not on this matter, but the House must bear in mind that it is a matter of prime importance to the State — more important now than ever before — that the Gárda Síochána should be a contented force. We know that the result of these “cuts,” if they go through, will leave them discontented.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  What about the kicking cow?

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  As I said on the Second Stage no matter how the Minister may try to gainsay it, and no matter what kind of apology may be made subsequently on platforms by the Fianna Fáil Ministers and spokesmen, the proposal to include the Gárda Síochána within the ambit of the “cuts” is a direct attack on wage standards. Deputy Cooney has trade union connections, and Deputy Cormac Breathnach is president of a trades union organisation. I put it to these two Deputies with trade [1556] union knowledge and experience, that the passing of a section of this kind, to cut the wages of the Gárda Síochána — wages which are as low as 50/- a week — will be an event the significance of which will not be overlooked by grasping, greedy employers in this country. This section, so far as it includes the Gárda Síochána, is an attack on wage standards, and is a direct incitement to private employers to invade wage standards. I think the Minister for Finance in Fianna Fáil, which claims at times that it is a working class Government, which is never slow to profess that it is standing for Christian, social principles, in this Bill is definitely setting a headline for every private employer to attack wage standards above 50/- a week. Gainsay what you will, try to apologise for, or to cloak it, that is the real significance of the section.

I put this question to the Minister, and to Fianna Fáil Deputies who stand for a working class policy, and who profess working class ideas: is this the kind of section which they ought to be supporting? At times you hear people claiming that they are following in the footsteps of the late James Connolly. People who desire to claim Connolly for their own should remember that it is not for slashing wages of 50/- Connolly would stand, if he were alive. I am not making a case for the exclusion of the Gárda Síochána in order to make them good policemen, in the sense that Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney was concerned about. I am making a case for the Gárda Síochána because they are Irishmen, because they have got to lead decent Christian lives, and because they are entitled to lead decent Christian lives. I am not concerned merely with their physical prowess. I am concerned with their human needs, and it is on that basis I make a case for the Gárda Síochána. Everyone knows that in the last ten years, in a period of revolution, a police force was built up which, by its fairness, by its courtesy, by its integrity, and by its honour, commanded the respect of all sections. We do not desire that a force built up with [1557] care and patience should not be decently paid, much less too well paid. We do not desire to see the members of a force of that kind subject to wage cuts, and instead of being able to devote their energies to their particular duties, being compelled to balance these duties with the problem of how to pay their debts. It is because I believe that it is not good business and not good police business to slash the wages of the members of the Gárda Síochána that I am associated with this amendment. I cannot understand on what grounds it is sought to include the members of the Gárda Síochána in this section. I have here the Fianna Fáil election manifesto issued over the signature of the President on the 9th February last. In that manifesto — a manifesto which did service and got votes in the last election — we had this declaration by the President:

“We do not propose to seek economies by restricting the social services or by cutting the salaries of the middle and the lower grades of the civil servants. These salaries are, in most cases, barely sufficient to meet the costs of maintenance of a home and the support and education of children.”

Here we have a definite admission by the President of the Executive Council that the salaries of the middle and lower grades of the Civil Service are barely sufficient to meet the cost of the maintenance of a home and the support and education of children. Members of the Gárda Síochána are in receipt of wages which do not compare favourably with the middle grades of the civil servants. If, therefore, members of the Gárda Síochána are in receipt of wages less than that level which is barely sufficient to provide for the maintenance of a home and for the support and education of children, how much worse off will they be when a Bill of this kind is passed to legalise cuts in their wages?

We do not need even to draw on our own imagination to find out what salary the President had in mind when he was writing that manifesto. Speaking [1558] in the Town Hall of Rathmines on the 1st February last year the President said:—

“It is not our idea to start cutting the lower salaries. I have often expressed the view that £1,000 was the limit, but with regard to the smaller salaries of £300 or £400, I hold that those in receipt of them are getting nothing execessive. These are not the salaries I had in mind for the cut. We could always feel certain that these smaller salaries were being spent inside the community and for necessaries, while much of the larger salaries were spent outside the community and often on luxuries.”

Here we have a definite admission from the President, firstly, that people in receipt of salaries comparable to the middle and lower grades of the Civil Service, had an income only sufficient to maintain a home and support and educate children, and secondly, the President followed it up with figures in the Rathmines Town Hall and says: “I regard the smaller salaries of £300 or £400 as nothing excessive.” If that was true in February of last year, what has happened to make it untrue to-day? If £300 or £400 were nothing excessive in February of 1932 what has happened to justify a cut in this Bill not on salaries of £300 or £400 — but on salaries of 50/- a week? I say to the Minister that the precedent he is setting to private employers is a dangerous one and will do serious harm. It will start a wage slashing campaign which will produce industrial strife and turmoil because the working class people of the country will defend the wage standards which have been built up after many years of struggle and many years of sacrifice.

This proposal to cut the pay of the members of the Gárda Síochána is bad business from a police point of view. It is bad business from an industrial point of view. It is setting a headline for private employers and it is part and parcel of the policy that you can feed a dog by feeding him on his own tail. It is not going to be any remedy for the situation which the Minister is endeavouring to deal with. [1559] It is not less purchasing power that the community wants, but more purchasing power, and if the Minister can pass this section with the aid of his majority there will come a day when he will be sorry for the groats that he is saving here to-day.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  If there is one section in this Bill which deserves to be considered on its merits and not as a political issue it is that part of the Bill which relates to the Gárda Síochana because, when the definitive scales for the Gárda were fixed in 1924, they were fixed by a pay order promulgated by a colleague of Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney. That pay order was accompanied by a memorandum which quite clearly related the scales of pay of the Gárda Síochána to the cost of living figures. It was laid down there, and it was accepted by the late Government and by the Oireachtas of the time and by the Gárda Síochána themselves without question, that as soon as the cost of living figure fell below 70 there should be a revision of these scales so as to make them conform to the principle upon which they were originally based. The cost of living figure is now not 70. It is far below 70. It is in the neighbourhood of 55, and, consequently, even if there were no financial crisis — if we were only to maintain the position which was settled and determined by our predecessors — we should have to consider the special case of the Gárda Síochána and apply to them the same principle as has been applied consistently, without any question or any opposition from Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney, to the civil servants. So that, I say, the Gárda Síochána, at any rate, are in that special position that their pay, when it was definitely fixed in 1924, was fixed with reference to the cost of living figure at the time. Therefore, there cannot be any question of injustice in this matter if we propose now to consider revision of the scale.

Apart altogether from that, apart from this special circumstance which affects the Gárda, we have to take into consideration the general factors which apply now to the [1560] budgetary situation. Notwithstanding anything that has been said on the part of the Opposition, this Bill is not based upon a settled Government policy to reduce salaries or to reduce emoluments of any kind. If it were, it would not be a temporary measure. It would be made a permanent measure and there would be no provision fixed for the cessation of its operation. This Bill is designed to meet the present position and if we exclude the Gárda Síochána from it, then, on every ground of justice and equity, we are bound to exclude every other service, some branches of which, such as the Army — I do not want to make invidious comparisons — may have a stronger claim, on their merits, to reconsideration than the Gárda Síochána. If we once proceed to exclude the Gárda Síochána from the operation of this Bill then the Bill falls to the ground and every other service must be excluded. What is going to be the consequence of that?

I would recall to Deputies the situation with which we were faced here when I had to produce the annual financial statement to the House. I pointed out how, after borrowing so far as borrowing was justifiable, and after making a reasonable and proper allowance for over-estimation, we had to impose another £140,000 of taxation. Yet another £277,000 was wanted. Were we to go further. It is quite true that the taxes which were imposed by the Financial Resolutions passed by the House on the 10th May were primarily protective in their nature, bringing in little revenue, but we hope more than compensating for their tax burden by the extra and additional employment which they will ensure. After having taxed the products which could be produced or grown here at home were we to go further and find this £277,000 by putting additional taxation on tea, sugar or tobacco? You cannot, in a matter like this, play Mr. Facing Bothways. You either have to stand for this reduction or stand for additional taxation on the farmers and the workers: upon those who can least afford to bear it in this State. There [1561] is not another penny piece to be got out of Income Tax or Property Tax, and the only way in which the Budget could be balanced, if this Bill were not before the House, would be by taxing the food and clothing of the working classes, or by reducing the provision which we are making for unemployment relief.

Those who talk about depriving the people of purchasing power had better examine the position critically and carefully. We are not depriving anybody of purchasing power. The purchasing power will still remain in the pockets of the poorer people of this community. Those who are in the public service—let us face the facts— at the moment are very much better off than those who are out of it, at least than the majority of those who are out of it. Those who vote now — let me make this clear — for the exclusion of any one section of the public service from this Bill are voting against the Bill as a whole, because the economies which are proposed in the Bill can only be made operative if every section of public servants feels that it has been treated equitably and justly as compared with every other section. Therefore, I say this Bill must be considered on its merits. As I said a moment ago we are not depriving any person of purchasing power. We are simply refusing in this instance by imposing additional taxation, to transfer that purchasing power out of the hands of the taxpayers and putting it into the hands of public officials. In the hands of the taxpayers I believe that purchasing power will yield the biggest return in happiness and contentment to the community as a whole.

On the question of the reductions which we are making, in regard to the Gárda we have heard a lot of the 50/- a week. The average wage of a member of the Gárda is 75/- per week, or £195 per year. Will anybody tell me that a single man with £195 a year cannot stand a cut of 2/6 a week? That is the average wage of a young unmarried Guard. Is anybody going to tell me that he cannot stand a cut of £6 10s. 0d. a year in our present necessities?

[1562]Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  May I ask the Minister a question?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Will the Deputy please sit down? I am not giving way.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  If the Minister does not give way I cannot help it.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  May I ask the Minister this?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I am not giving way.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  It is not correct to say that £195 a year is the average pay of a Guard.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  75/- per week is the average.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  For a Guard?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  For a single unmarried man. In addition, those who are married have an allowance of £20 a year, and they are not being cut. Those who read the Bill and look through the schedule will see that the married Guard is excluded altogether. That is why I say we have got to get away from claptrap in this case. We have got to consider the facts, to be honest about the facts, and that is why I say there is no person in this House who professes to have any regard for the taxpayers of the country, the farmers, labourers and workers, or the shopkeepers who can vote for the exclusion of the Gárda Síochána from the Bill.

Deputies Bennett and Anthony rose.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Deputy Bennett.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  My name is associated with this motion and I have not spoken yet. Am I not entitled to speak?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Deputy Anthony is entitled to speak, but is not entitled to any preference. I did not notice the Deputy rise in his place. If I had I would have called on him as no member on that side of the House has yet spoken.

[1563]Mr. Bennett: Information on George Cecil Bennett  Zoom on George Cecil Bennett  Notwithstanding the eloquence and the fury with which the Minister for Finance approached this question, I intend to vote for the amendment. Possibly the best case for excluding any section of public servants from this Bill could be made in the case of the Gárdai. That case was well made by Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney and by the Leader of the Labour Party. For the reasons given by both of them — mainly because of the reduction in salary by one Deputy, and by the other because it affected the loyalty, efficiency and contentedness of the Gárdai, which I regard as indispensable to this State — I intend, as I have already said, to vote for the amendment. I am voting for this and other amendments for other reasons which, perhaps, it is just as well I should state now. Speaking as a member of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, and mainly as a farmers' representative, I cannot say that I agree with the view put forward by the Leader of the Centre Party in supporting this Bill. If there is any section of the community which at the moment should be in opposition to this Bill it is the farmers. The economic war has put the farmers of this State in an almost impossible, yea, in a very impossible position.

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  May I interrupt the Deputy? I do not know if I heard him correctly, but I understood him to say that the Centre Party was opposing the Economies Bill. That, of course, is not the case.

Mr. Bennett: Information on George Cecil Bennett  Zoom on George Cecil Bennett  I mean the “Cuts” Bill. You are supporting it. Whether you are supporting the amendment or not, I do not know, but you are supporting the Bill. As I was saying, the farmers have suffered more by the economic war than any other section of the people. They are reduced to the position in which they have to depend on doles and bounties to keep them in existence: doles and reliefs which they did not ask for or demand, doles and reliefs which must fall on other sections of the community and, perhaps, as heavy as any on the people it is proposed “to cut” under this Bill. The Minister [1564] has definitely stated that this Bill is only designed to remain in force while the present position continues. There has been no case made why any representative of the farmers should back this Bill. I intend to support amendments moved to exclude any section of officials from the Bill. I repeat that the farmers of the country have suffered more from the present position than any other class. They have to depend on reliefs and bounties to keep them going — reliefs and bounties the cost of which other sections of the community have to share in and must bear. Whatever might be said for a Bill of this kind in normal circumstances, when there was a general all round endeavour to economise, this Ministry, which history will never call an economic Ministry, cannot come before the House and say that a paltry sum of £277,000 is any setoff against the huge sums that they have themselves imposed on us by their actions. I did not intend to speak on the Bill at any great length. I do not think I shall speak on any other section, but I just want to emphasise what appeared to me the natural course for a farmers' representative to take on the Bill. That is to vote against the Bill, and I intend to do so.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  I rise to support the amendment with which my name is associated. I want to say, by way of preface, that I threw my mind back while the Minister for Finance was speaking to a speech made by Mr. Blythe when Minister for Finance, and I recalled that he made almost the same kind of apologia for inflicting a cut on the Gárda Síochána that the present Minister does now. To me, and to many other persons who give any thought at all to public administration, and particularly to national administration, it must be very obvious that it is an absolute confession of failure, on the part of the present Ministry, of their economic policy, when they have to resort to the cuts suggested in this Bill, without taking any particular item in it. It has been contended with a good deal of sense, in one or two very [1565] logical speeches to-day to which I have listened, that the main reason, the dominating factor which has compelled the Minister for Finance to suggest that these drastic economies should be enforced in the various Departments under his control, was the failure of the present administration in its economic policy. That is the important fact that emerges from the debate so far as it has gone. We have heard a good deal to-night, and on other occasions, about the widespread industrial and economic depression that exists in other countries. We hear it frequently stated in this House, from the Government Benches, that people are suffering in Northern Ireland and in England, and yet the Governments there have not thought fit or wise to reduce wages or the emoluments of the police forces.

I do not want to read out a lot of figures, but I should like to give a brief comparative statement of the salaries and wages paid to the Guards in this country and the rates paid to police forces in other countries which I shall mention. We find that when a Guard entered the service in the year 1922 he started with a salary of 70/- weekly. He went on a certain scale of increments until he reached 78/- in his fourth year, 80/- in his fifth year, and so on. The rates were somewhat similar in Northern Ireland for the rank and file in that particular year. In 1924, following cuts in the Guards' salaries, we find that on appointment a Guard got 50/-. During this period there had been no change whatsoever in the rates paid in the other countries.

Mr. Donnelly: Information on Eamonn Donnelly  Zoom on Eamonn Donnelly  Who pays the police forces in Northern Ireland?

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  I am sure the Deputy does not contribute much to them.

Mr. Donnelly: Information on Eamonn Donnelly  Zoom on Eamonn Donnelly  Where do they get the money?

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  Let the Deputy get up and say something coherent.

Mr. Donnelly: Information on Eamonn Donnelly  Zoom on Eamonn Donnelly  You are quoting figures for Northern Ireland. Who pays the police forces there?

[1566]An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Deputy Anthony must be allowed to make his speech without interruption. That should be clear by this time.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  In a statement made by the then Minister for Finance, Mr. Blythe, he said that under no circumstances would he contemplate, while he held office, any further reductions in the pay or emoluments of the Gárda Síochána. We had, again, the statement made by the President to which Deputy Norton has referred, the statement which he made in Rathmines. I do not want to advert to this, because it has been referred to already by more than one speaker, but it must be evident to everybody that increased discontent will follow on this constant nibbling at the pay of the police forces in this country. That is admitted even by the Minister himself. He contended that the police force spells a whole lot, particularly in present circumstances. We all know the advantages of having a contented police force, a sufficiently paid police force. Without introducing the name of any other country, I may say that it is common knowledge that there are in other countries corrupt police forces, and the view of many people of sound judgment in these countries is that the main cause of the corruption to which I refer is the relatively low wages paid to these policemen. It must not be forgotten that even across Channel at the present moment the Government authorities, or the heads of the police authorities, are considerably agitated about a practice which has grown up of allowing members of the police forces to attend various public functions as special stewards, and so on. Our police forces, I hope, will never be forced to seek employment of that character.

I should not like to see the police force here reduced to the necessity, as police forces in some other countries have been, of having to seek employment to make both ends meet. I want to suggest very seriously to the Minister that it is highly essential that a minimum standard should be established for the Gárda Síochána, below which any cuts should not be effected. [1567] There was no argument advanced so far by the Minister, or by anybody on the Government Benches, as to why the standard of the Gárda Síochána should be less than the standard set for any other of the State services. If we are to make any comparisons let us face up to the whole issue and not take it piecemeal. What do we find? The teachers, over a period, have been cut ten per cent. and remember I am going to vote against any reduction in the salaries of the lower paid teachers.

Army officers have not been cut. The Gárda officers are not cut. The basic salaries of civil servants were not cut or, at least, any reductions that did take place in what was known as the cost of living bonus, and we do know that the cost of living bonus fluctuated downwards, and we also know that the essence of this bonus is the fact that it does fluctuate. In the non-commissioned ranks of the Gárda Síochána, I include every man up to and including the rank of inspector. There appears to be some confusion of thought in this matter and the reason I refer to it is because I have another amendment on the Order Paper and because there is a further amendment in the names of Deputies Dillon and Wall. The inspector is not an officer in the full sense though he is graded as such. The officers will recover this cut in their ordinary increments, whereas the inspector will not be able to recover in increments, thus showing that there will be a grave injustice done to the inspector who is cut in salary without any chance of getting the basic rate back.

In these non-commissioned ranks to which I have alluded, we find that, if this cut becomes operative, they will be subjected to a cut of 17 per cent. and that, inclusive of pension, it will represent a cut of 19½ per cent. That means that the non-commissioned ranks of the Gárda Síochána will have lost practically 25 per cent. of their basic pay since they were subjected to the first cut in 1924. I am not going to go into the figures although I have collated some figures which would give the actual amount which accrues to [1568] the State in pounds, shillings and pence as a result of these various cuts. I do not want to labour that side of the question.

It might be information to many members of the House that, under this Bill, the ordinary Guard will have been subject — these are all, I should say, cumulative cuts—to a cut of £39 6s. 2d. per annum, the married sergeant to a cut of £48 12s. 2d., the unmarried sergeant to a cut of £53 6s. 9d., the married station sergeant to a cut of £49 19s., the unmarried station sergeant to a cut of £54 14s. 3d., and the inspector to a cut of £65. I am given to understand that the representative body of the Gárda Síochána, or some body acting on their behalf, made certain representations to the Minister, or to whatever other Minister may have been concerned, and they made to him certain suggestions by which the Minister might get almost as much revenue as he will be enabled to get under this sub-section when this Bill passes through the House. Amongst other things, they suggested that the total savings effected in the case of the commissioned ranks by these cuts would be £28,000——

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  I don't wish to interrupt the Deputy, but might I ask whether we are now discussing amendment No. 27?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  We are discussing amendments 23, 27 and 102.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  We are not discussing the principle of Nos. 28 or 29 as yet?

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  No. I am given to understand that the representative body, or some body acting on their behalf, made some suggestions to the Minister as to how this amount of money could be got without inflicting much hardship on the Gárda Síochána. The cuts would bring in something like £28,000, but it was pointed out that the consequent decrease in income tax of, roughly, £3,000 would make the total saving, roughly, £25,000. The alternative method that the representative body submitted to the Minister was that there is something like [1569] £19,000 spent in officers' locomotion allowances, and they endeavoured to show that, as a means of effecting economy, the system applying to that particular branch of expenditure in the Department of Justice might be reviewed, and they pointed out that, with that, and a revision of the system of inspections by officers, a sum of £10,000 could be saved.

In addition, I understand that they proposed that £10,000 should be taken from the reward fund which is the property of the force and is governed by the Minister for Justice, the Chief Commissioner and the Minister for Finance. I should like to hear from the Minister when he is replying whether he gave any kind of sympathetic hearing to a representation of that kind, because one of the strongest arguments that can be put by a member of any Government to criticism of this kind by any Opposition Party is the very obvious one: “what do you propose as an alternative; how do you suggest I should find the money I am endeavouring to find here?”

Here is a case in which the men themselves offered to find a very substantial portion of the money and the Minister would have the satisfaction, if he gives way even on that point, of knowing that he had done his duty by the employees of the State. I could indicate to the Minister, but I think it is not the appropriate time, a way in which he could have found the revenue. I shall reserve that very valuable suggestion until a later opportunity presents itself on the Finance Bill. I will show the Minister three ways in which he might easily get the revenue without hurting any of the lower paid people in the Civil Service, and without inflicting any of the hardships that his Party suggested they would not inflict when going before the electors at the last general election. I was not going to read that document again because it has been read by several members of the House, at one time or another, but it is such a gem that it is worth even repeating. It says:

“Fianna Fáil is satisfied that substantial [1570] economies are feasible without reducing social services, inflicting hardship on any class of Government servants or impairing in the slightest degree the efficiency of the administrative machine.”

Then, here is another gem: It must have been taken out of Malachy's Collar of Gold:

“The burden of taxation can be lightened by not less than £2,000,000 per year.”

What does the Centre Party say to that?

Mr. T. Kelly: Information on Thomas Kelly  Zoom on Thomas Kelly  Give us some more. We are beginning to like it.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  You ought to be able to sing the chorus now.

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Robert Briscoe  Zoom on Robert Briscoe  You are singing dumb now.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  I have pointed out some of the things that the Irish policeman cannot do because he is not allowed to do them. He is not allowed to do some of the things that are commonly practised on the other side of the Channel.

That makes my argument all the stronger that the salaries of Guards should not be reduced. I am not advocating that certain higher-paid officials should not suffer some reduction of salary, but I want to suggest that the Gárda Síochána at their present rates are down to bedrock, and any further cuts in wages or emoluments are bound to have serious repercussions unless human nature has terribly changed within the last 20 years. I am not going to refer to the state of the country. The police officers are there and they know and understand their duty, and are prepared to administer the law as they find it. But the Minister and Deputies must know that under the present circumstances — I am not saying it is so, but it may be — that many reports of a serious character are not reaching the Ministry because of a fear in certain parts of the [1571] country that if these reports reach the Chief Commissioner of Police other reports will come from the local Fianna Fáil clubs.

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Robert Briscoe  Zoom on Robert Briscoe  Give us the gem again.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  The Deputy will have to confine himself to the amendment. It has nothing to do with the duties of the Gárda Síochána, or whether they are carrying out their duties, which I think the Deputy is hinting at, and that should not be stated here.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  In case there might be any misconception, I will say that I believe the Guards are carrying out their duties under the most difficult and trying circumstances. Whilst I agree that in some Departments there might be valid reasons why salaries should be reduced, I see no valid reason for reducing the wages paid to the Gárda Síochána, particularly in view of the fact that they have already suffered cut after cut and they have got promises both from Mr. Blythe and from President de Valera that they would not be cut further. The President in a memorable speech said that he considered salaries from £300 to £400 should not be reduced.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Michael Brennan  Zoom on Michael Brennan  I would like to compliment the Minister for Finance on his speech. He made some disclosures which are, to my mind, most valuable. He stated that this Bill was designed to meet a financial crisis. That is very different from what we heard when the Budget was introduced. We were then told that the revenue was buoyant. He also cleared the air when he told us that this was designed definitely to meet the present situation. In other words, the Bill is designed to meet the situation created by the economic war. It is a temporary measure. We now know exactly where we are. The Deputies who are supporting this Bill should realise that if our resources continue to diminish for another year as they have diminished during the last 12 months a very serious situation will arise. Will they be prepared to meet [1572] the more serious economic situation created by diminishing resources by having another cut? If the economic war continues that is the situation you will have to face. If it continues for another year after that will Deputies still be prepared to have yet another cut and further diminish the purchasing power of the people?

Apparently what the Government are setting out to do is to bring everything down. Under normal circumstances there might be need for the revision of higher salaries, but, as the Minister says this is definitely designed to meet the present situation, that does not arise. This is all part and parcel of the economic war, and any savings made as a result of the cuts now proposed will be simply to assist the Government to continue the war. The people do not benefit in any shape or form. I will oppose the Economies Bill on that principle alone and I will support the amendments similarly on that principle. I maintain that support of this Bill——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  The Deputy is making a Second Reading speech. Perhaps he will come to the point as to why the Gárda Síochána should not be included.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Michael Brennan  Zoom on Michael Brennan  I did not intend to speak on the Bill at all until the Minister made those definite statements to the House. He also made a very important statement. Notwithstanding all we heard about the revenue being buoyant, the Minister intimated that not another penny piece could be got out of property taxation. I can quite believe that. But what about the £2,000,000 that we were to save? Apparently we cannot have that; all that was in the air, so to speak. With regard to the Guards, I think the case on their behalf has been very well put by Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney and Deputy Norton. I do not want to say anything about any type of person who is mentioned in the Bill. I am supporting this amendment because I am altogether opposed to the principle of the Economies Bill.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  We heard much talk in the House to-day of the disloyalty that [1573] would result because of the cuts. This appears to be the chief argument by Deputy Anthony against a saving of £250,000, and he suggests a minimum standard. I, for one, on principle am against the cutting of low salaries and against the payment of low wages. I would like to make that clear, but there are Deputies in this House who are against the cutting of the salary of any official whatsoever. Deputy Anthony is looking for a minimum standard. What minimum standard is he prepared to give the unemployed man with a wife and children? Is it not fair that a single man earning £3 15s. a week should lose 2/6 in order that that 2/6 should be devoted towards the providing of employment for a man with a wife and children and who has no 2/6 at all? That is the side of the question that Deputy Anthony does not bother with. Then we had Deputy Brennan, and Deputy Brennan, like all the Deputies on the opposite benches, has the economic war on the brain. It is Deputy Brennan and those with him who are responsible for the setting up of an inflated standard in this country, a standard that the people and the taxpayers cannot bear.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Michael Brennan  Zoom on Michael Brennan  Deputy Corry is very easy about what the people can bear.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  I am very easy about it! I tell the Deputy that if the present Government does not cut these salaries a Government will come in here that will do so. It will not be a cut of £250,000 they will make in officials' salaries but a cut of £4,000,000 or £5,000,000. It will come to that. If Deputies consult their constituents they will very quickly be told about it. It is all very well for Deputies opposite to speak about cuts. But Deputies opposite and their Executive Council did not trouble about those unemployed people. When they were in office they had no money for unemployment. They did not bother about providing it. The poor could starve, men could die of starvation in this country, and it was not the duty of the Government to look after them. Neither was it the duty of the Government apparently to [1574] provide houses for those who were living in condemned slums, nor——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Could we have any reason why the amendment should not be inserted in this Bill?

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  The argument put up by the Opposition is that this cut is altogether owing to the economic war.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Michael Brennan  Zoom on Michael Brennan  So the Minister for Finance told us in his own words. He made the present crisis the reason for the cuts.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  I question that.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Michael Brennan  Zoom on Michael Brennan  The words he used were “the present crisis.”

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  There has been a crisis for the last five years. In this country with one section of the people living in poverty and hunger and the other section getting the fat of the land a crisis was being created. Of course, I would be told that there should be a minimum standard. Deputy Anthony will tell me I am a Communist and another Deputy will tell me I am approaching Russian politics but let us get down to bedrock——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  And to the amendment.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  Yes, let us get down to the amendment. I maintain as things stand and as things have been in this country for the past five years that these cuts and much more serious cuts should come. The case that has been made here to-night both by Deputy Bennett and Deputy Anthony reflects very little credit on those for whom they speak. I do not believe that the particular class for whom they speak have their feelings expressed here by these Deputies. When you have the case of a single man who was getting £3 15s. a week we are told that, if he is cut 2/6 in order to provide employment for others, he is going to become disloyal. If these officials are going to become disloyal because of 2/6 a week——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I do not want any reflection cast upon any set [1575] of officials who are not represented and cannot get their views heard here.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  The statement that I repeated now was made by Deputy Bennett——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I did not hear it.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  He said they were going to be disloyal officials if this cut were carried out.

Mr. Anthony: Information on Richard Sidney Anthony  Zoom on Richard Sidney Anthony  Nobody said that.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  I have not the official records here but I know that the statements were made. I, for one, am not prepared to believe it. I consider it is time that these cuts were introduced. They are not enough but I am supporting the Bill as I consider a sop is better than nothing. That is the sole reason why I am supporting it, because a sop is better than nothing. If we are going to say that single men at a salary of £3/15/0 a week are not going to be interfered with, then we are to consider carefully the position here. Deputy Anthony made a special plea here for inspectors and other officials. As far as I can see we have made provision and we are making provision for those who have no sheltered position, for the unemployed. Those who have not any sheltered position are the people who require consideration. The sooner other Deputies in this House realise that position the better. The people of this country have been heavily taxed by a standard of salaries for which there is no reason. This portion of the country consisting of twenty-six counties is not in a position to bear these salaries and they cannot be justified. We have heard arguments here to-day as to what salary this position was worth, what that position was worth and what the brains of this gentleman and that gentleman were worth. They are just worth what this country can afford to pay and no more, and the sooner Deputies opposite get that into their heads the better. They may be worth these salaries to America, but as far as this country is concerned we cannot afford to pay a sum of £13,500,000 a [1576] year in salaries. The sooner all people get that into their minds the better.

Mr. McGuire: Information on James Ivan McGuire  Zoom on James Ivan McGuire  I rise to support this amendment. I do so, first of all, for the general reason I have already stated when speaking on previous amendments, that is that there would be no need at all for these reductions in the wages of the Civic Guards except for the economic war policy of the Government. I find it rather hard to understand the attitude of two Parties in this House with regard to this whole Bill. One, the Labour Party——

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  You never forget them.

Mr. Corry: Information on Martin John Corry  Zoom on Martin John Corry  The other is the lawyers' Party.

Mr. McGuire: Information on James Ivan McGuire  Zoom on James Ivan McGuire  ——supports the policy of the Government in the continuance of the economic war, but it refuses to vote the supplies which are necessary for the continuance of that war. The Centre Party ardently oppose the Government's policy in the carrying on of the economic war, but they step into the breach, do what the Labour Party will not do, and vote the supplies for its continuance. The economic war policy of the Government is the whole meaning of this Bill. That is the reason why the Gárda Síochána salaries and wages are being cut—to enable the Government to carry on the economic war. But for that economic war there would be no necessity for this Bill at all. I support the amendments for the specific reason that the Gárda Síochána are in an altogether different class from the other classes which are affected by this Bill. They are a class, the members of which have no vote at Parliamentary elections. They have no voice in deciding what is to be the Government of the country. For that reason I think they should be the very last class to be affected by a Bill such as this. It cannot be said that a mandate for the carrying on of the economic war which necessitates this Bill came from the Gárda Síochána, as they have no votes. As I said, they should be the very last to be affected by a Bill such as this. The same cannot be said of other classes affected by the Bill, but we shall talk of them [1577] later. Of course the Bill in its entirety can be opposed on the general ground that the members of this Party are not going to do anything to help the Government out of the quandary into which they have walked with their eyes wide open.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Now it is out.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I did not intend to reply, but I think the statement which has just fallen from Deputy McGuire deserves to be emphasised. Last year, in the maintenance of the rights of this people, the Government, with full consideration, came to a certain decision and determined that what belonged to the people of this country was going to remain here for the use and benefit of the people. Our right to do that was challenged in the House. We were told that we had not a mandate. We went to the people and the people gave us a mandate. Now the Deputy rises in his place and blares forth his treachery and his want of patriotism on a measure like this. That Party, he says, will do nothing to help the Government out of the quandary in which they have been placed; will do nothing to help the Government to fulfil the trust reposed in them by the people; will do nothing to fulfil the will of the people; the will of the people, for which members sitting on those benches over there hauled men to their death, some of them without the consolation of religion on one holyday on 8th December, 1922——

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  On a point of order——

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  —— the will of the people for which the Civil War was fought and lost——

Chair, Order, order, and interruption.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Deputy MacDermot is raising a point of order and speakers must give way when a point of order is raised.

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  I respectfully submit to you, sir, that this is irrelevant to the amendment.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  —— the will of the people of which we have been made [1578] the repositories on this issue is now to be flouted by Deputy McGuire and the members opposite. That explains the whole conduct of the Opposition towards this measure which we have brought before the Dáil—that they will not help the Government out of this quandary in which they have been placed; that they will not help the people of the country to make their will effective; that they will not help them to maintain their rights against every other power.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  We shall have to get back to the amendment dealing with the Gárda Síochána.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  That explains their whole attitude to this Bill. This Bill is necessitated, not by the economic war, not by the dispute with England, but by the struggle which we are waging against want and unemployment in this country. We could have dispensed with these cuts, we could have forgone these cuts, if we had been willing to do what our predecessors did for ten years when in office— refused to make as adequate a provision as our means would permit to deal with the want and poverty that is widespread. If it had not been for that, we could have forgone every penny piece of the cuts which are necessary to secure these social services economies. When we first came into office in 1932 and saw the problem confronting us, when we realised that the true extent of unemployment had been concealed from the people for the preceding ten years, when we saw how an attempt had been made to fake the register, to keep men from registering——

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  On a point of order. I heard you, sir, from the Chair, reprove Deputy Brennan for making a Second Reading speech and spreading out into a discursive statement on general policy. If Deputy Brennan was out of order when you ruled in that way, the Minister is out of order now.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Deputies give the opportunity to each other. When one Deputy becomes irrelevant another Deputy becomes equally irrelevant when replying. I have given [1579] the Minister a good deal of latitude to reply to some of the statements made by Opposition members, but I think he has had scope enough and should now return and tell us why the Gárda Síochána should be included within the provisions of the Bill.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Gárda Síochána should be included in the provisions of this Bill because certain moneys are necessary if we are to provide the relief, inadequate and all as I freely admit it is—the relief which we are going to provide to the utmost resources of the community for those who are in suffering amongst us. That is why the Gárda Síochána should be included. If they are not included, as I said, this Bill falls to the ground. In that connection I should like to say that this Bill is not introduced because of the economic war. It is true that that has added to our difficulties, but, before the economic dispute started last year, we clearly saw that some economies of this sort would be necessary if we were to be able to make that provision which we thought necessary to meet the public needs.

As to statements made here about 50/- per week, I should like every Deputy to get that figure out of his mind once and for all. The only person who could be in receipt of 50/- per week in the Gárda Síochána would be a recruit, and that only during the six months in which he was in training in the Depôt. Recruiting for the Gárda Síochána has been stopped for the past 15 months. Consequently, there is no person in the ranks of the Gárda Síochána receiving only 50/- per week. It is probable that the lowest paid man in the Gárda Síochána is receiving 64/- per week; that is £166 a year. Will any Deputy declare, if a man is receiving £166 per year, living in barracks if he is a single man, messing with his fellows, living as economically as possible, with uniform provided for him—there is no uniform allowance in question here—that we are going to interfere with his ordinary human needs if we reduce that man's pay by £6 10s. 0d. per year? He will still have £160 to provide himself with food [1580] and clothing, apart from uniform, and to put something by.

I want to make it clear that the average wage paid to the Gárda Síochána is over 75/- per week; over £195 a year. Most of the Gárda are men with long service and, if married men with family responsibilities, they get a housing allowance of £20 in addition to their ordinary pay. These men are not being cut at all. If there was any sincerity in the arguments advanced and the calls that have been made for retrenchment and economy; if Deputy Anthony's performance, when he read out that alleged pronouncement of the Fianna Fáil Party, had been anything else except an exhibition of slimy hypocrisy; if he had been merely concerned about the workers whom he represents, he would not be here clamouring that the force be excluded from the Bill. Here is a force which costs the State £1,635,000 a year, and we propose to save about 2 per cent. of that. He would have said it should be much more. We would not have acceded to his request because we prefer to be fair and just, and we do have consideration for the human needs of which Deputy Norton spoke. For that reason we have deliberately excluded 50 per cent. of the Gárda; the married men in the ranks of the Gárda are excluded from this cut. The non-commissioned officers of the Gárda we have met, I think, with very fair consideration.

Mr. O'Leary: Information on Daniel O'Leary  Zoom on Daniel O'Leary  In the case of the married men their wives have votes.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  That is just the mentality that guided our predecessors in all their operations, and that is what left them where they are. That is what left Deputy O'Leary sitting up there. This Government, no matter how unpopular it may be, and notwithstanding the fact that every member of the Gárda may have friends and relations with political influence, is not deterred by political considerations from doing its duty to the general mass of the people. We feel they cannot pay any more. We feel the cuts must be extended to every branch of the public service, and that is why the Gárda are included in this [1581] Bill. We must get from every man according to his resources, and those who are in the public service can afford to help the public out now.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I was not going to speak on this, but I got a little bit of news or information from the Minister, and I cannot resist looking for more information. He told us that the necessity for these cuts was there when he and his colleagues took up office. If that is so, this cut is not sufficient. It should be 40 per cent. more. If the necessity for the cuts was there when the Minister and his colleagues took office, why did they start the economic war? Was it to wipe us out altogether? Following the lines of Deputy Brennan's remarks, when we grow poorer and poorer every day we will want to have a sliding scale downwards to cut all public servants. I agree that there should be equality of sacrifice. That would be the logical line for the Government Party to take, and for the Labour Party, who were their natural allies in producing the conditions which necessitated the “cuts” in the salaries of public officials. The Centre Party's attitude I cannot understand at all. They are neither fish, flesh nor good red herring in this matter. They oppose the economic war, but, as some Deputy has said, they are voting supplies to keep it on. This Party here is the only Party consistent in connection with this economic war. We oppose it, and we oppose giving supplies to it.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Does the Deputy find the Party irksome, seeing that it requires consistency?

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I do not find the Party irksome, but if I were sitting with the Deputy there I would feel very irksome, and I think the Deputy must feel his seat very irksome to-day.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I beat the Deputy once as he knows.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  And you know how it was done. The Deputy was Republican that time; I think it was for the first time in his life.

[1582]Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  The Deputy has been everything.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  He has been Nationalist all his life, and nothing else, and is still.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Get back to the Gárda Síochána.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  We will get back to the Gárda Síochána when the interruptions cease and when the Ministers cease going back into history which they, of all people in this House or in this country, should try to forget. No case has been made for the reduction in the Guards' salaries or wages. The Minister for Finance told us he got a mandate. We know how the mandate was got. Deputy Anthony reminds him of how the mandate was got; he accuses Deputy Anthony of alleging something against Fianna Fáil. He did not reply to Deputy Anthony when Deputy Anthony asked him to deny the propaganda which Deputy Anthony had quoted. He gives the salary of the Gárda Síochána; he mentions £175 or £195 and asks could they not afford £6 a year of a cut. Perhaps the Ministers, when they have done with their little consultation will remember that tradesmen have more than the Guards; that there is not a tradesman —carpenter, bricklayer, plumber or plasterer in the City of Dublin to-day who is not earning £4 a week. If a married Gárda with less salary than that must contribute £6 or £7 a year, why not the plasterer? Why not the bricklayer? Why not the carpenter? Why should not their wages be cut?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I do not want to interrupt the Deputy, but did I understand him to say that married Gárdaí were suffering this cut?

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Yes.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Then the Deputy had better look at the Bill.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Well then may I take it that if the single Gárda gets married the cut will be restored to him? I am giving way; I am waiting for the Minister's reply.

[1583]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  If the Deputy is anxious to make a match on those terms I will consider it.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  No, but I would anticipate a boom in matrimony. It is a very natural question. If a married Guard's wages are not going to be reduced, but a single Guard's wages are going to be reduced, then the natural, logical, and sensible way out for the single Gárda is to get married quickly. If he is not able to get married in time will the Minister undertake that, on his getting married and producing his marriage certificate, the cut will be restored to him?

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  It is in operation already.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Well then it does not rule out my question. I should like an answer to it. The Minister is not inclined to answer that. The Gárda who was not fortunate enough to be married before the Minister introduced this Bill, has now to bear a reduction in his pay as a contribution to the economic war.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy takes this up, as he does everything else, wrongly.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  He has to contribute £6 of his salary, which is small enough already, in order that we may give butter at 6d. per pound to John Bull, in order to carry on the economic war, and to help the rake's progress who, following the course of every other rake, becomes a robber when he finds his resources running out. He puts his hand into other men's pockets, while preaching the policy of self-sufficiency, trying to hold a market from which we have been turned out. Will Ministers face up to this? Before the last General Election they declared there was no need to cut the Guards in their pay. During the very election of last year, which gave the Minister for Finance his portfolio, he preached from every platform in Dublin the monstrosity of trying to reduce the Guards in their pay. He will not deny that. I am dealing with the Minister's policy, and his public statements. From [1584] every platform the Minister for Finance declared the necessity of protecting the Guards in their salary and wages. It was his constant theme; it was the subject matter he preached in every speech that he delivered from every platform in Dublin.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Were you at all of them?

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  No, not at all of them, but I know the substance of the Minister's speeches and he has not attempted to deny my statement. I heard every one of the Ministers opposite at that time, and all their spokesmen in the City of Dublin, and it was the same theme they all spoke on. Yet the Minister for Finance has just informed us that when they took up office they saw, in one week, the wages of the Gárda would have to be cut although during the previous week they were preaching to the multitude that the wages would not be cut. Still the Minister for Finance has the audacity to tell us that the Government are carrying out the will of the people, while they are carrying out a policy opposed to that which they preached on every platform. If all the nonsense and lies and humbug, preached off Fianna Fáil platforms, were brushed aside, and the true facts put before the people the Fianna Fáil Party would not only be out of office now but would never again occupy office, and well the Deputy opposite, who laughs, knows that. He was in no way sparing in his promises when he got on the platform.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  He promises to deal with you at the next election.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Only that we must have some regard for the matter that we are discussing I would tell the Deputy opposite something he would not like to hear. It was not upon a policy of economy that the Deputy was elected.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Or on A.C.A. votes.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Or on 250 personators that the Deputy had hidden in the Banba Hall?

Mr. O'Leary: Information on Daniel O'Leary  Zoom on Daniel O'Leary  At 24/- a week I suppose.

[1585]Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  The Deputy will not deny that, or the 250 more that were in the Fianna Fáil Committee Room in O'Connell Street under Mick Price.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  What price were they paid for that?

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Too high for the Labour Party to pay. I hope, now, we have heard the last of the will of the people from Deputies opposite. If the will of the people were carried out, as preached by the Minister for Finance and his colleagues, salaries would be doubled and trebled instead of being reduced. A year ago the Minister told us that it would be necessary, in the light of the knowledge and experience he got when he took up office, to reduce the Gárdai though he and his colleagues were not out to reduce them. Does he know anything of the life a Gárda has to lead in Dublin? If he did he ought to be thinking of increasing their pay instead of reducing it.

I am not going to suggest that if you cut off a few shillings a week from the pay of the Gárda you are going to make him disloyal; neither am I going to suggest that by taking a few shillings off him you are going to make him more loyal. A member of the [1586] Gárdaí is not a stick or a stone; he is a human being. He is not a sheep to be driven. He has a “thinking box” which is as good as that of many people in higher stations, if not better. It is not human that by reducing his salary he should become more efficient or loyal. Just as would happen to us all he is likely to take less interest in his business, as we would be likely to take less interest in our business if we found that it was not paying, or if we found that we were not getting a return for our labour, and that we were not getting what we were entitled to. He will become indifferent and if the Guards become indifferent what sort of law will be administered in this country? It is no good having good solicitors, barristers and judges if you have not a loyal and efficient police force, for in the last analysis the police are the people on whom the law rests. If they do not do their duty, protecting the lives and property of the people, there will be very little security for life and property in the State.

Progress reported. The Committee to sit again to-morrow.

The House adjourned at 10.30 p.m. until to-morrow, Wednesday, at 3 p.m.


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