Public Services (Temporary Economies) Bill, 1933—Report Stage.

Friday, 2 June 1933

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 47 No. 19

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Amendment 1 not moved.

Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee):

[2327] I move amendment 2:—

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

(4) Where a person, who is in receipt of a salary from which a deduction is required by Part II of this Act to be made, earns and receives during the current financial year special remuneration (in addition to his normal salary) in respect of services rendered by him during that year or any part thereof, the annual rate of his salary for the purposes of this Act shall be taken to be the aggregate of the following amounts, that is to say:—

(a) the annual rate of his normal salary, and

(b) the total amount of such special remuneration earned and received by him in the current financial year.

This amendment will go some distance to meet the principle raised in amendment 1, over the name of Deputy Norton. It is so framed as to provide that where the total remuneration earned by a person, whether by way of special remuneration or normal remuneration, does not exceed £300, it will not be subject to a cut.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment 3 not moved.

Amendment 4:—

In page 4, before Section 6 (3), to insert a new sub-section as follows:—

Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections of this section this Part of this Act shall not apply to any teacher in a National School until the Teachers' Pension Fund shall have been rendered solvent.—Deputies J.M. O'Sullivan and F. Lynch.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  It seems to me that this amendment is out of order.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  May I ask the grounds?

[2328]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The amendment seems to be outside the scope of the Bill. It would possibly, and indeed very probably, entail a State charge. The Bill deals with deductions from the salaries of serving officers. It has no reference to pensions, and to allow a condition of that sort to be put in might lead to discussions on many extraneous matters. You could, for instance, have a similar amendment in reference to the cuts in the pay of the Gárda. It might be argued that the cuts in the Gárda pay be not enforced until a boot allowance was restored. In the case of post office officials it might be suggested that the cuts should not take effect until something else was restored. Allowing an amendment of that kind might mean that every grievance conceivable might be discussed.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  May I suggest for your consideration that the amendment is really relevant and, so far as the form goes, it does not impose a charge on the State? I speak now so far as the form goes. I suggest the amendment is relevant. First of all, the amendment deals specifically with the question of the cuts. I quite admit it makes that contingent on certain other things being done, but the principal purpose of the amendment is to deal with the cuts. Secondly, I suggest that in this particular connection there is a special reason why the amendment can be particularly regarded as relevant, because in connection with this pension fund that is mentioned in the amendment a deduction is already made from the salaries of the teachers.

I submit that in the present circumstances, the Bill is proposing a further reduction of six per cent. in reality, unless the Government does what the late Government proposed to do, take the two things in conjunction, namely, the question of the solvency of the pension fund and the question of cuts. The actual cut proposed is a great deal more than the six per cent., because as things stand no benefit can accrue from the pension fund to the large majority [2329] of the teachers. I submit the two things ought to be considered together, as they are closely allied. That was the view, if I may so incidentally remark, of the members of the late Government when they refused to consider them apart. They considered it was unjust to do so. Now the whole position is that a cut is being taken from the teachers at a time when in reality, owing to the refusal of the Government to consider the two questions together, they have a cut that is not being taken from any other branch of the service, namely, the cut of the pensions.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Is the Deputy making a point of order or a speech?

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I am making a point of order.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy is aware he must not argue the merits of the case on a point of order.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I know I cannot argue the merits of the case on a point of order, but I am putting to you the reason why this particular amendment is relevant and why the two should be taken together. I understood you to say that it was not relevant, but I am putting up an argument suggesting that it is relevant, and suggesting why the two amendments should be taken together. It is inevitable that they should hang together. It is from the teachers' moneys that the funds for this Teachers' Pension Fund are taken, and it is most unfair to the teachers that the two things are not taken together by the Government. I suggest that the amendment be considered by itself. As to whether other grievances should follow I do not know, but I suggest that they are not in the same position. What I understand is that this Teachers' Pension Fund stands in a different category from other pension funds. In the case of the civil servants there is no pension fund. In the other case it is not suggested, where you have pension funds, that they are insolvent. Here this fund is insolvent, and I suggest the House [2330] should be given an opportunity of expressing its view that this cut should not be imposed upon the teachers.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  May I suggest that the amendment as it stands is really an interruption only in point of time in regard to the operation of the deductions in these cases? That point of time is related to a discovery which requires to be made by the Executive Council, and that the discovery is a solvent fund. It simply interrupts the operation of the measure until that discovery is made.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  May I point out that the question of the pension fund has been carefully excluded from the scope of this Bill?

Mr. Lynch:  I should like to draw your mind to the fact that the first amendment in the name of Deputy Rice purported to determine the operation of the Bill if the Economic War ended between this and the 31st March next. That was allowing in something which, I think, was far less relevant to the proposals in the Bill than this amendment proposes to do.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  It seems to me that the principal purpose of this amendment is to discuss the solvency of the pension fund and to try to establish a pension fund, whoever would be responsible. The Deputy states that there is no explicit reference to Government liability. The Ceann Comhairle, whilst giving due weight to that fact, cannot close his eyes to the facts of the case. As Deputy Lynch states, I did allow a certain amendment by Deputy Rice. The Bill is termed a Temporary Economies Bill; the purpose of Deputy Rice's amendment was to attempt to fix a period to that Bill. This amendment is moved not to the period of operation of the Bill, but to a section dealing with different categories affected. It is true that on many sections of this Bill the grievances of the classes concerned might be discussed, but it does not follow that amendments framed to redress those grievances would be relevant. [2331] To make the application of the reductions of salaries contingent on the remedying of grievances would not be in order, and on those grounds this amendment and amendment 10 are out of order.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Would you hear me on another point on this matter?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy is aware that once the Ceann Comhairle has given a ruling the matter is ended.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I did not quite catch that you had ruled them out of order.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendments 5, 6 and 7 might be taken together.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Amendments 5, 6 and 7, I think, are dependent on amendment 11.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendments 11, 24, 26 and 51 are inter-related.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Suppose you take amendments 11 or 24?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I do not see how you could take these. Amendments 5, 6 and 7 must be definitely disposed of first.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  It has been done several times here, the discussion is on the main amendment.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Yes, but the previous amendments have not been moved.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  May I point out that the Deputy in whose name the amendments stand had an opportunity of having them discussed in the House this day week?

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I suggest that that is irrelevant.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy in whose name they stand is not here to move them now.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Yes, I am moving them for him.

[2332]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  They can be moved by Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney with the consent of the Deputy in whose name they stand. I presume Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney has the consent of his colleague, Deputy McGilligan.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I move amendments 5, 6 and 7:—

In page 4, Section 7 (1), line 5, to delete all words from the beginning of the sub-section down to and including the word “payable” line 6, and substitute the words “From that portion of the salary earned during the current financial year which is payable as from the date of the passing of this Act.”—Patrick McGilligan.

In page 4, Section 7 (1), line 7, to insert before the word “deduction” the word “proportionate.”—Patrick McGilligan.

In page 4, Section 7 (1), line 7, to delete the word “at” and substitute therefor the words “with reference to”—Patrick McGilligan.

Amendment 5 is consequential upon amendment 11. Amendment 5 is simply consequential. However, I am willing on this amendment, if it is taken now, to deal with the entire question. The question which is raised by this series of amendments here is a question of making legislation of this nature retrospective. I think retrospective legislation is never desirable. Retrospective legislation, when it is based on matters financial, is always wrong. And this not only is based on financial legislation dealing with a financial matter, but it has that other characteristic in a most aggravated form. This amendment purposes to take away a portion of a section by the terms of which persons who have already earned salaries from the State shall be deprived of those salaries. They have a right to those salaries. They have earned them. They are theirs. To take away these salaries is to defraud the labourers of their wages, to defraud servants of the State of the wages which they have earned.

I know that that is not without precedent. What the Government purposes [2333] to do by this section is not without precedent. I know by their Hospitals Bill which recently passed through Committee in this House, by retrospective legislation they robbed the voluntary hospitals. We see now that same principle following upon that precedent and enlarging it. The Bill before the House has for its object to rob the servants of the State, to rob the guards, to rob the Army, to rob the teachers and civil servants. It has for its object to rob everybody who has earned money from the first day of the financial year down to the present. Now you are coming along with an indemnifying Bill to justify that defrauding labourers of their wages. This Bill is unique amongst indemnity Bills. For indemnity Bills have been for things which have been passed and done and finished with, something which had to be done upon the spur of the moment. But this Bill is unique amongst indemnity Bills. This is an indemnity Bill indemnifying the Government for an act which is morally unjustifiable and morally unjust. At the same time this Bill is legalising the continuing of that immoral act. It is also legalising and regularising this illegal and I say immoral stoppage of payments. Until this Bill becomes law every servant of the State is entitled to every penny which he has earned from the State, whether under statute, or under contract, or by rules deriving their force from legislation. He has that legal right. He has got another right, a right built upon a higher and stronger foundation than any law passed by this Assembly could have; he has got the right based upon the immutable eternal principles of justice to what he has earned. It is that right based on principles of justice, that this House is asked by Section 7, as it stands, unamended, to take away.

This is an indemnity Bill. If this were not an indemnity Bill, if the State were not doing wrong, what is the need of this section? If they can legally deprive men of the wages they have earned, why are they coming in here with this section? The other day [2334] the Minister for Finance said that he had power after the Second Reading to pursue the course he has pursued. If my memory is not very much at fault, these cuts began before the Second Reading even. If I be wrong in that, even if he had legal power, which I entirely deny, and most certainly in the case of the Guards he had not, he has not purported by any act of his to exercise that legal power. He has simply, in defiance of the law, and against all the principles of justice, deprived State servants of their salaries and wages. Everybody is entitled to the money that he has earned. I wonder what would be thought of a private employer who was under contract to pay an individual, say, £2 per week and, at the end of 11 months, came to his employee and said to him, “I am going to cut you down to 30/- per week next year, and, because it is my intention to do that, I am going to cut you down to 30/- during this last month”? Is not that the very position which the State is in? The State is under contract to these people to pay them fully until that contract is legally terminated, just as a private employer would be if he had entered into a legal binding contract.

This money is now being kept away in defiance of the principles of justice. Every single penny of these salaries has been earned. To keep these salaries away from the persons who have earned them is to defraud labourers of their wages. That is what the House is asked to do. We know that defrauding labourers of their wages is one of the sins that cries to Heaven for vengeance, and that is the sin which every person who votes for this section to stand unamended is committing, because he is helping the Minister to commit it. “Behold the hire of labourers who have reaped down your fields, which by fraud has been kept back by you, and the cry of them has entered into the ears of the Lord of Hosts.” Deputies may scoff at these words if they like, they may laugh their defiance in the face of Heaven if they wish, but here in this section, if it stands unamended, they will have [2335] defrauded men who have honestly earned wages from the State of these wages. I do not know how strong the ties of Party affiliation may be. I do not know how much Fianna Fáil Deputies may have deadened their consciences and determined, no matter how morally wrong legislation proposed to the House by the Executive Council may be, to put the wishes of the Executive Council before the laws of the Almighty. Let them. But, for goodness' sake, if you pass this section unamended, never have it paraded in this House again that you are a Catholic Party, and that you are not willing to act, when the occasion arises and when it suits you, directly in contradiction of Catholic doctrine.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I should like to know are we taking all the amendments which deal with Section 7 together?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendments 5, 6, 7, 11 and possibly 24, 26 and 51, deal with the same principle.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Amendment 14 is not being dealt with?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendments 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 will go together.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  May I suggest again—I had occasion to call attention to it already in another debate in this House—that hardly a week passes now that we have not an example of retrospective legislation on the part of the Government dealing with the rights of property of every kind? Either we are threatened with such legislation or have had such legislation passed through this House dealing with actual personal property, and now we have such legislation dealing with actual salaries. There may be certain occasions on which a procedure of that kind may be justified, but such procedure, I suggest, is justified only in times of crisis, or when very grave questions are in dispute. What I object to strongly is the renewed evidence, week after week, that it is the settled policy of the Government to ignore any principles in these [2336] matters, to throw them aside as if they were of no value. The open illegality of the action of the Government in this connection is confessed, I suggest, by the section as it stands. Otherwise, there are clauses in this section in connection with which it is impossible to understand why they are inserted. Surely that illegality is not condoned or made legal by the fact that one House of the Oireachtas passes a Second Reading? Nobody can condone that. The Government, without any excuse, deliberately and with its eyes open, determined to do what is illegal.

Does anybody suggest that the purposes served by this Bill, that the miserable savings that are effected here, in comparison with the spendthrift policy of the Government, are sufficient excuse for the Government with its eyes open deliberately doing what is illegal, and then trying to condone or cover over that illegality by subsequent legislation? It is admitted on the very face of the Bill that their action was illegal. I suggest that in a country that has never shown too great a respect for law such a barefaced action on the part of the Government cannot but have, from the point of view of example, deplorable effects. I suggest that the Government—this Government particularly, for obvious reasons—ought to show some respect for the law. Here, without any excuse, or only with the most paltry excuse, it sets about deliberately violating the law, and then it comes along to this House and asks this House to condone its conduct. I suggest that the House would be wanting in its duty to the ideal of respect for law if it did anything of the kind. As I say, we have had in this House too many examples of retrospective legislation, especially where property is concerned. The Government has shown that it is bound by no consideration and no principle. I suggest that the House should accept those amendments standing in Deputy McGilligan's name.

Question—“That the words proposed to be deleted stand part of the section”—put.

Aiken, Frank.
Bartley, Gerald.
Beegan, Patrick.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Carty, Frank.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corkery, Daniel.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Daly, Denis.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Hales, Thomas.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
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.
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.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Victory, James.
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.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Davin, William.
Desmond, William.
Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Everett, James.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Keating, John.
Keyes, Michael.
Lynch, Finian.
McDonogh, Martin.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrisroe, James.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Mulcahy, Richard.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

Question declared carried.

Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I move that if necessary the Dáil sits later than 2.30 p.m. and that the motion for the adjournment be taken not later than midnight to-night.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Is that motion agreed to?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It is not agreed to. No explanation whatever has been given.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy is familiar with the explanation.

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Robert Briscoe  Zoom on Robert Briscoe  It is an alternative to the closure.

[2339]General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Perhaps the Minister would tell us what the alternative is?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  No, a backbencher can give the explanation which the Minister cannot.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Would the Minister consider the alternative mentioned by Deputy Briscoe, that we should have the closure on every amendment, on this Report Stage. Then, perhaps, the Minister would find that he would not get through before midnight.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The granting of a closure would be a question for the Chair.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Considering that the House has sat every day since Tuesday, and that Private Members' time has been appropriated by the Government, and that the Government are now so flaitheamhaileach with its time that they promised a day for Private Members on Tuesday, and, also, that the House sat late last Friday afternoon, will he not reconsider this matter? Deputies have a considerable amount of business to attend to in the country. Some of them travelled on Monday last in order to be here on Tuesday, and most of them must get home to-night if they are to have any chance of doing any business at all. Why in these circumstances should it be necessary to sit late to-night?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Because this Bill must get through its Report Stage to-day. I heard Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney recently saying that Heaven was weeping because we had been acting illegally. We propose to put ourselves right with everybody at the earliest possible moment.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I am pleased to hear the Minister admit that he had been robbing the Civil Service and that this robbery will now only last for a short time.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  What is the necessity for getting the Bill through to-day? The Minister's reply is that it is necessary to clear up any illegality. But this day week he was clear there was no illegality. The Attorney-General [2340] was asked to intervene on that occasion and make a statement as to whether the cuts which had been made on the authority of a Second Reading were illegal or otherwise. He was asked whether a Second Reading defence would be sufficient to make in a court of law against the process of somebody who had been robbed in the meantime. The Minister could not answer that. His Attorney-General would not attempt to answer it, and now we are calmly told that it is necessary to get the Report Stage through. Getting the Report Stage does not help the Minister very much. The Minister could have got agreement to have the Fourth and Fifth Stages taken together provided that there was a legitimate debate allowed upon the Fifth Stage.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Is the Deputy leading the Opposition?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  There is no suggestion of telescoping these two stages. We are simply told that it is necessary to get this Report Stage through; no excuse is made and no reason given to back up that; there is mere assertion simply that it is necessary to-day. have the Report Stage through to-day. There is nothing in this Bill that cannot wait so long as Section 7, sub-section (5) is in the Bill. So long as that is there, there is no reason for urgency, and no reason is given. When this same motion was made in Committee Stage last Friday I asked had the Minister any reason he could offer? I asked is there any class of people in whom he wants to put his claws and upon whom they are not already fastened, and does he think he is going to ease those people who feel they have been legally hacked about by having the Report Stage passed to-day although the Fifth Stage is still to be taken? Will it ease the conscience of the Government to have that Stage taken to-day without any statement as to when the Fifth Stage will be taken, instead of having the Fourth and Fifth Stages taken next week? In order to uphold any principle of procedure and order it is necessary that a Division be taken on this motion.

[2341]Mr. Corish: Information on Richard Corish  Zoom on Richard Corish  We consider this conduct of the Ministry absolutely disgraceful and unwarranted. I presume that the normal procedure in this House is that if the Minister cannot get through certain Bills they take the whole day and do not take any private business. I do not think there was any definite obstruction so far as this Bill was concerned, and our Party, certainly, will not be a party to voting for this motion. As Deputy Mulcahy pointed out, Deputies make certain arrangements in their constituencies, and if this is allowed to be carried on, no Deputy will be in a position to make an appointment in advance.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  There is an old saying that when doctors differ, patients die, but when lawyers differ, lawyers prosper. With regard to the opposition to this motion here, Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney holds that our procedure has been utterly illegal. On the other hand, Deputy McGilligan—a mere neophyte at the Bar—comes along and assures the House that we have no cause to be alarmed.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I did not. I said nothing of the sort.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Deputy McGilligan comes along to reassure Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney who, in a preceding speech, told us that Heaven was standing aghast at the attitude of the Government in this matter and that we were robbing the——

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Hear, hear!

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  ——Well, I suppose robbery does not appal Deputy McGilligan; but there are things that should appal a person with a conscience like his. As to what Deputy Corish said with regard to the necessity for this, I should like to remind the House that on Wednesday last a very definite argreement was arrived at with other Parties in this House to dispose of all the amendments on the Committee Stage by 10.30, and if they were not finished on Wednesday we would have to sit on Friday. Late in the evening, when it was found that some important [2342] amendments might not be properly discussed if the Government insisted on that, I rose and offered concessions and indicated that I should be prepared to allow amendments to be withdrawn and reintroduced on Report Stage if of vital importance. Later, the Leader of the Labour Party said that he would be no party to that arrangement. The Leader of the Opposition—or rather the real Leader of the Opposition—Deputy McGilligan said that since the Labour Party were not going to be bound by the agreement neither would his Party be bound by it.

Deputies either withdrew amendments or spoke on them for some length, and, in consequence, it was found necessary for the House to sit on Friday in order to dispose of the Committee Stage of the Bill. On Friday, amendments standing in the names of Cumann na nGaedheal Deputies, including a considerable number in the name of Deputy McGilligan, under the agreement which had been made with the Cumann na nGaedheal Whips at any rate, were not moved and are now down on the Report Stage. These amendments have got to be definitely disposed of to-day in order that, at any rate, once an agreement has been arrived at that agreement will be loyally observed by the parties to it, even though some others may disclaim it.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  It is very easy for Whips to come to an agreement if they know what they want, but it is utterly impossible for any Whip to serve a front bench in which the Minister speaks in the way in which he speaks here, and who acts in the way he acts here.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Deputy Mulcahy has been careful not to deny that it was a part of the understanding that the amendments were to be disposed of within two days.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  There was no explicit agreement as to what was going to happen to the amendments. It was agreed that there would be the fullest co-operation in disposing of them, and I think that the Minister [2343] was offered the fullest co-operation. I do not want to fight out Whips' disputes here. This is not the place for it. We can make agreements as to how the business ought to be done if the control or the conduct of business in the House is done in a businesslike and orderly way. The Minister cannot complain in any way at all of any want of co-operation in the House generally, and particularly in regard to this Party here. He got full co-operation in the Cement Bill and in the National Health Insurance Bill. He had all yesterday to discuss the “Cuts” Bill, but he put down Estimates yesterday, when the whole of yesterday was available for the discussion of the other Bill.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I move that the question be now put.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  The Minister for Finance misunderstands, I am sure, the mentality of the Labour Party if he thinks that at any time we will be a party to any agreement to put a closure on discussions on a Bill of this kind.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I ask leave to counter one or two of the more audacious misrepresentations that the Minister has made. I will state my point very briefly.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Minister has moved that the question be now put.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Yes but I did not hear his motion being accepted. I have never said that the proceeding under Section 7 of this Bill is legal. I have asked the Attorney-General to get up and say that it is legal. That is the simple test for that. Will it be met? Of course not. As to this agreement on the necessity for getting this Bill through the Minister tried to establish, last Friday, that the agreement bound the Labour Party. He has now gone away from that. He has followed that up with the misrepresentation that Cumann na nGaedheal Deputies said that they were going to break the agreement. They said nothing of the kind.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Of course not, but you did break it.

[2344]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  We did not. Can the Minister understand this? Suppose there is an amendment down in the name of Deputy Norton; it is reached at a particular time; it is moved and let us say that it covers a very important measure such as the “cuts” in the Civil Service. It is clear that once that amendment was moved discussion had to go on and be concluded on that amendment and that no other amendment was possible; and has the Minister now got it into his head that, if and when that was moved, the only discussion that could take place was when Deputy Norton moved it and that no other Deputy had a chance of putting down a substitute amendment on the same point? What was the position of people who wanted to discuss that? Under the agreement it could have been put down for the Report Stage. I never heard that there was any agreement as to the Minister's being the judge of what was or was not a substantial amendment. I have never heard that there was any suggestion that the Minister was to be the judge; but even the Minister could not have denied that the question of “cuts” in the Civil Service was a fundamental matter. We met on Friday last and it was the meeting on Friday which broke the agreement.

What was the consideration supposed to be in all this matter—that in order to prevent Deputies having to appear again in this House after the holiday in the same week the measure would be got through if at all possible in the two days, and that amendments, if not disposed of, would be put down again. Is the Minister trying to assert that no amendment would appear again on Report Stage? Will his Whips say that that was the agreement? Because the Minister did not see fit to inform his Whip accurately as to what he wanted and because, misled by his instructions, the Whip did not see the Labour Party, and because the Leader of the Labour Party moved an amendment which he had in his name, we had got to meet last Friday and sit late and we have now got to meet again to-day and to sit late in order to get it through.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Purely hypothetical.

[2345]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I would like to know where is the hypothesis? There can be no denying the fact with which I started, that once the amendment about the civil servant was moved it had to be concluded. It was a vital matter and could not be concluded in the period of 15 minutes which was left after Deputy Norton moved it. An open breach of the agreement was made on Friday. Will the Minister deny the other statement I made—that there was no agreement with regard to other amendments, that amendments which would appear on the Paper on the Committee Stage would not be seen again, [2346] that they would be disposed of finally to the point that they would not appear again on Report? This is an outrageous procedure and it is brought about by the Minister's own incapacity. The speech he made to-day shows he has not troubled to look over the matter. He should not take on in too active a way at the beginning; he should wear in on it.

Question put:—“That if necessary the Dáil sit later than 2.30 p.m. to-day and the order for the adjournment be taken not later than midnight to-night.”

Aiken, Frank.
Bartley, Gerald.
Beegan, Patrick.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Carty, Frank.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corkery, Daniel.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Daly, Denis.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Geoghegan, James.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Hales, Thomas.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Houlihan, Patrick.
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.
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.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Victory, James.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Anthony, Richard.
Beckett, James Walter.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Bourke, Séamus.
Brodrick, Seán.
Burke, James Michael.
Coburn, James.
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Craig, Sir James.
Daly, Patrick.
Davin, William. [2347]McDonogh, Martin.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
Morrisroe, James.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
Desmond, William.
Dillon, James M.
Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Everett, James.
Fagan, Charles.
Finlay, John.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Hogan Patrick (Clare).
Keating, John.
Keyes, Michael.
Lynch, Finian. [2348]O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Rogers, Patrick James.
Thrift, William Edward.
Wall, Nicholas.

Question declared carried.

Amendments 6 and 7 not moved.

Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  I move amendment 8:—

In page 4, before section 7 (2), to insert the following sub-section:—

The amount of such deduction as aforesaid shall in the case of an officer in the Civil Service of the Government of Saorstát Eireann be reduced by such sum not exceeding the total deduction as is equal to the difference between the two amounts following:—

(a) the annual amount of the cost-of-living bonus applicable to the substantive salary of such officer on the 31st December, 1932, calculated by reference to the cost-of-living index figure in force on January 1st, 1923, and

(b) the annual amount of the cost-of-living bonus applicable to the substantive salary of such officer on December 31st, 1932, calculated by reference to the cost-of-living index figure in force on that date.

The object of this amendment is to provide if possible that in making cuts from the salaries of civil servants some account should be taken of the fact that civil servants for the last 11 years have, through the operation of the bonus system, suffered a very severe reduction in their salaries. I drew the attention of the House to the fact that civil servants were the only State servants whose salaries were related to the rise in the cost-of-living figures and the fall in the purchasing power of money by means of the system of bonus. It has always been the contention of civil servants, and it has been practically admitted by the present Government that the bonus system as at present in operation did not really relate the salaries of civil servants to the present cost of living. In other words, that the bonus was only a fraction of the increase in the cost of living and it will be known that this fraction got less and less as the salary of the civil servant increased. So that the loss under the operation of the present Bill will be such that a point will be reached where the cut proposed to be imposed by this Bill will exceed the amount of the bonus given under the operation of the bonus system.

It has been suggested in many directions that there are far too many civil servants, that we have an over-staffed public service and a far too highly paid Civil Service. But it is not generally known to the public at all events that 65 per cent. of the civil servants receive £3 a week, or less; that nearly 80 per cent. receive not more than £4 a week, and that over 90 per cent. receive not more than £400 a year. About 5 per cent. receive salaries exceeding £500. The suggestion that there are hordes of public officials who are battening upon the unfortunate taxpayers and particularly upon the unfortunate farmer, is a suggestion utterly devoid of foundation. From the introduction of the bonus system in 1921 until January of this year there has been a steady and increased drop in the bonus, due to the drop in the cost of living. The result of that has been that the Exchequer of this State has benefited to the extent of over £2,000,000 at the expense of the civil servants. During the first three months of this year, from January to the 31st March, as a result of a further drop in the bonus, £40,000 was saved to the Exchequer. During the entire of this year, owing to the drop in [2349] the bonus, the Exchequer will be saved something like £125,000. I think it is due to the civil servants that some notice should be taken of these facts. They, more than any other section of the public service of this State, have suffered very severely and have been cut right along the line from 1922 down to the present moment. If I might be permitted to do something which I dislike doing, namely to quote figures, I could bring home to the members of this House and to the public the serious situation in which civil servants find themselves. From the 1st January, 1933, to the 30th of this month salaries will be reduced as follows:— On an inclusive salary and bonus of £161 19s. od. the civil servant will suffer a cut of £9 10s. 0d. Since the bonus in 1921 was put into operation that inclusive salary of £161 19s. 0d., which nobody can say is very excessive, has contributed to the Exchequer, in cuts from the operation of the bonus system, a sum of £95 5s. 0d. This year it will contribute a sum of £9 10s. 0d. under the present Bill. Take an inclusive salary of £414 9s. 0d. That will be reduced by £17 12s. 0d. under the present Bill. The particular person who is in receipt of that salary has suffered a total cut already of £176 16s. 0d. through the operation of the bonus system. A salary of £536 19s. 0d. will suffer a cut of £21 1s. 0d. That salary has already suffered a total cut of £206 13s. 0d. There is no necessity to go through any further figures.

The figures I have quoted are sufficient to show that a very serious inroad has been made into the remuneration of civil servants. There is really no relation between the remuneration of civil servants, even through the operation of the bonus system and the cost-of-living figure or the purchasing power of money. While in the case of other sections of the public service it might with some show of justification be said that their remuneration has no relation to the fact that the cost of living has in some respects fallen, it is perfectly clear that the civil servants' remuneration is related to pre-war salary and has no proper reference either to the drop [2350] in the purchasing powers of that salary or to the fall in the cost of living. I would appeal to the Minister to exercise his discretion, if I may put it that way. I would rather appeal to his sense of justice that he should take into account that civil servants are in an exceptional category in this connection, and that some consideration should be given to them, having regard to the facts which I have brought before the notice of the House.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I should like to say, in reply to Deputy Costello, that we had to take the position as we found it at the close of the last financial year and to seek the savings where they could be best found. But, in drafting that part of the Schedule which relates to civil servants we did take into consideration the fact that they had already suffered some reduction in remuneration, due to the change in the cost-of-living figure. It is quite true that we have not taken into consideration the total reductions which they have suffered since 1923. That is, however, rather because we were not going back to 1923. We dealt, as I said, with the position as we found it at the close of the last financial year, and had to consider that in relation to our requirements for this year.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  I move amendment 9:—

In page 4, before Section 7 (2), to insert the following sub-section:—

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act no deduction shall be made from the salary of any person in the Civil Service of the Government of Saorstát Eireann:—

(a) who was appointed with a special agreement as to the amount of his remuneration and who for the purpose of accepting such appointment gave up the practice of any profession or occupation in which he was actively engaged at the time of accepting such appointment, or

(b) who was appointed subsequent to the 6th December, 1922, [2351] with a special agreement as to his remuneration and who for the purpose of accepting such appointment gave up an appointment in the service of any other country, or

(c) who was appointed to any post, office or situation in the Civil Service of the Government of Saorstát Eireann with a special agreement or understanding as to the amount of his remuneration.

I would make a special appeal to the Minister to give his sympathetic consideration to the categories of people who are comprised in the classes mentioned in this amendment. The object of the amendment is really to secure the maintenance of contracts, not merely for the purpose of maintaining contracts, or preserving the principle of the sancity of agreements, but for the purpose of securing efficient service for the State, and securing that people who are applying for the sort of posts covered by this amendment will be efficient workers, and will give efficient and proper service. The amendment covers a number of classes of people. It covers professional men such as solicitors and barristers, who have become legal officers of the various Departments of this State, and it covers doctors who are employed in the service of the State, and also engineers. In addition, it covers, perhaps, a more important class of professional men or quasi-professional men, economists, financiers, people with specialised knowledge in one department or another in this State.

The State requires, as I said on another occasion, not merely for internal purposes, but for its external relations with the other countries of the world, that we should have the best legal brains, the best financial brains and experience, and the best economists we can secure; and no money that we will expand in securing first-class service from people in these categories will be money badly spent. It will be an economy in itself to pay proper legal men, proper medical men, proper financiers, proper economists. What I want to secure in this amendment, [2352] if it is at all possible, is that people of these classes who have given up the active practice of their profession for the purpose of giving their service to the State, and who entered into a special agreement with reference to their remuneration and other conditions of service, should not have that agreement interfered with by the Bill. As I said, that principle is not merely the principle of the sanctity of agreements, but it is one designed to secure the efficiency and the economy of the public service.

What I have said covers paragraph (a) of my amendment. There is, however, over and above that, if I may put it so, an extra special case in reference to the people comprised in paragraph (b). Paragraph (b) comprises a class of people who were appointed to the Civil Service subsequent to the setting up of the Saorstát, and they were of a kind who had very specialised experience and service, mostly in the British Civil Service. They were mostly people who were reluctant to come into the service of this State, not because they were not desirous of giving their service to the Irish people, but because they had to consider themselves in some degree. People in the British Civil Service have far more opportunity of advancement and promotion than they ever can hope to have in the Irish Civil Service. People who accepted the express invitation of Ministers of this State to come over and give their services to this State gave up considerable prospects of advancement in the British Civil Service. It would be invidious to mention names, and I do not propose to mention them, but there is notoriously one instance of a person who was in the Civil Service of this State on a temporary or loan basis and who returned, let us put it, to the British Civil Service, and who is now occupying a very high position in the biggest and most important department of the British Civil Service. We lost his experience, his specialised knowledge, and the gain that he would have been to this State. He personally gained, but he was prepared to stay on here.

Numbers of people of similar experience and first-class brains accepted the [2353] invitation of the Irish Government to come over and give their service to the Irish Free State and the Irish people. They did not ask for anything exceptional; they did not ask for any special promotion; they did not ask for any special terms. They did not say:“We are making considerable sacrifices in the way of our prospects of promotion in the British Civil Service and there is very little prospect of promotion or of kudos in the Irish Civil Service.” All they said was: “Let us be secure in our positions and our salaries and that is all that we want.” They got that undertaking when they came over with that agreement, given on behalf of the people of this country to secure highly specialised services and first-class brains, and I do appeal to the Minister to consider the word of the Irish people given on behalf of their elected Government in reference to these people.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Of course, I do feel that there is something in what Deputy Costello has argued on behalf of the people who are in the category of paragraph (b) of his amendment. I am not able at this stage to say whether I shall be in a position to do anything special in regard to them, but I shall give the matter consideration.

Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  I am much obliged to the Minister for his undertaking. It is a topic on which I personally feel very keen indeed.

Amendment No. 9, by leave, withdrawn.

[2354] Amendment No. 10 declared out of order.

Amendment No. 11 not moved.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  In regard to amendment No. 12, I must inquire what is the exact application of this section before I speak on it.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I do not know that it is necessary at this stage of the Bill to make any statement on it.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It has never been spoken on.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy had an amendment down on the Committee Stage which would have enabled us to speak on it. The Deputy did not move the amendment then.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  There was no statement made on it.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy did not move this amendment.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Is the Deputy moving the amendment?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Yes. I move amendment No. 12:—

In page 4, to delete Section 7 (4).

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Is the Deputy pressing the amendment?

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

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

Aiken, Frank.
Bartley, Gerald.
Beegan, Patrick.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Carty, Frank.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corkery, Daniel.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Daly, Denis. [2355]Kilroy, Michael.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Lynch, James B.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Ben.
Maguire, Conor Alexender.
Moane, Edward.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Dowd, Patrick.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Geoghegan, James.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Hales, Thomas.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Houlihan, Patrick.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark. [2356]O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Victory, James.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Anthony, Richard.
Beckett, James Walter.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Bourke, Séamus.
Brodrick, Seán.
Burke, James Michael.
Coburn, James.
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Craig, Sir James.
Daly, Patrick.
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.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Keating, John.
Keyes, Michael.
Lynch, Finian.
McDonogh, Martin.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrisroe, James.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

Question declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendments 13 to 17 can be discussed together.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I move amendment 13:—

In page 4 to delete Section 7 (5).

It seems to me that this section, in itself, is the clearest possible admission that there is no authority, outside the section, for imposing any reduction such as is contemplated in this Bill. The only purpose of the section, it seems to me, is to enable the Minister to be in the position to impose cuts retrospectively. In my opinion this section is retrospective legislation of the worst and most reactionary character. If such a proposal was embodied in a Bill when the Minister was in Opposition it would call forth a torrent of his delightful oratorical denunciation upon any Minister who tried to stand up for such a proposition. In the last six years various acts have been passed providing for retrospective legislation. Every one of these was denounced by the Party of which the Minister is a member. The last of these Acts was the notorious Constitution (Amendment Section 2) Act. That was denounced by every member of the Fianna Fáil Party and especially the retrospective provisions of that Act were denounced by the Fianna Fáil Party. If retrospective legislation was bad on that occasion, it is no less bad to-day. This piece of retrospective legislation is as bad, if not worse, than the retrospective legislation contained in that Act to which I allude, and if that legislation merited the Minister's hostility and denunciation, then, I cannot understand, if he is still a democrat, which is highly doubtful, how he can stand for this section.

There is no reason or justification for this section. If the Minister is [2357] going to stand for its introduction into this Bill then he is following along the paths of reaction that have, in some respects, been originally marked out for him by his predecessors. I hope the Minister will not persist in standing over this section. It is unjustifiable and it is completely at variance with the previous protestations of the Minister.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I understand, a Chinn Comhairle that you are taking these amendments in a group?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Yes, 13 to 17.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I think there is some difference between amendment 13 standing in the name of Deputy Norton and Amendment 14 in my name. Deputy Norton's amendment if accepted and if the sub-section was taken out would not leave the Minister in any worse position, if the Minister feels that what he is doing is lawful, apart from any bolstering up of the section which cannot come into operation until the Bill is law. I wanted it declared that no deduction made should be lawful as long as the section which seeks to make the deduction lawful is not law. Deputy Norton criticises the section on the grounds of its being retrospective. It is worse, a great deal worse, than being retrospective; and it is exceptionally bad coming from a Minister who has the audacity to say that the passing of the Second Reading of a measure justifies action at once. If that were so why is there such a thing as “the Provisional Imposition of Taxes” Act giving force to taxes which ordinarily are taken up by the Finance Act. They immediately become law, when passed, but only because there is that special statute attached to them. If the Minister believes that the Second Reading is a justification, and that if brought into a court by civil servants or by a member of the Police Force he could plead the Bill as a justification then he does not want this section. Deputy Norton says rightly that the introduction of this section reveals conscience in this matter. Minister have a gift of giving themselves away in the phrasing [2358] of their measures, but that only reveals their conscience, it does not get over the difficulty.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Deputy Kelly says they have no consciences.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am not sure that that particular phrase has not been repudiated as well as the phrase about personation. The Minister put into the section that every deduction made —and there is this limiting phrase: “which would have been a lawful deduction under this section if this section had been in force, shall be deemed to have been made under this section and to be, and always to have been, lawful.” If it was always lawful why say so? Why call attention to a practice, creating a suspicion in some minds, by saying every deduction which would be lawful if the section was in force? Why, then, the futility of going on to say every deduction which would be lawful, if done in a lawful way, would be lawful when this measure becomes law? When this measure becomes law it would be lawful but with retrospective effect. Here we have a new point of law—and this is now to be taken as having been advised upon by the legal advisers of the Government—to the effect that once the Second Reading of a measure is passed the measure becomes operative. In fact, this measure is operating either legally or illegally, and the only justification we have for it in this House is that the Second Reading must pass. That is not law yet—I do not care what the Minister says. How can anything, not previously lawful, be lawful under it until it becomes law? Why call attention to the payments which would have been lawful deductions if this had been in force? Two points emerge from that phrase: (1) that it is not in force at the moment; and (2) that until it is in force the deductions now being made are not lawful. Yet it is sought to justify this, not by the section, but by the Minister's excuse that the Second Reading has been passed and that therefore this is legal. I want to know specifically—I have asked the question a dozen times already—is there any belief that a person who, believing [2359] himself to be aggrieved and going into court at this moment and able to get an action to have his case decided immediately, would have pleaded, in defence against his action, a section of a Bill—not a section of an Act? If that is so, it is a new defence; and it is the first time that it has ever been urged that it is even to be considered as a defence.

There is a retrospective side to it apart from this attempt to bully and bulldoze people into accepting the illegality. The Minister knows perfectly well that what prevents action from being taken against them is not that, but the knowledge that they can dismiss civil servants and degrade and worsen them in their positions. Any individual who goes against them knows this, and it is that tyrannical use of power that is saving them at the moment. It is not any appreciation of the fact that that is legalising it now. There is not the slightest belief in that. But there is an attempt now to get away with this: that there are certain people whom we have chosen to hack because they are close to our hands and also because we have them under our control, and anybody who dares to go against us in court knows what is coming to him. That may be successful, but it is not morality and, certainly, it is not law. Look at the type of retrospection itself. There has been always a feeling in this House against retrospective legislation. That feeling is sound in the main. I have never yet found anything in the way of the retrospective validating of a thing that went beyond this: simply saying that “something has happened which was not properly effected and in which there was a flaw; a decision has been given which goes beyond the views of the Oireachtas that passed it; and we are now going to take cognizance of that defect and try to remedy it.” But this measure says: “We are going to do something—not something that we have inadvertently slipped into doing—but we are going to do something which we recognise as being illegal but which, when passed, will justify us in what we have done.” That is quite [2360] different to anything ever attempted in this House before. I want to get that definitely clear. If ever there has been retrospective legislation in the House it has had reference to something which has previously been done through inadvertence and the Oireachtas sets out to amend it or the Government of the day sets out to do so. This is entirely different. It does not look to something that was inadvertently done. It says: “We are going to do something; we recognise that it cannot be justified, as the Act is only going through, but we will take a phrase in the Act which, if the Act ever reaches the Statute Book, will justify us for what we have done.” That is an amazing proposition. Here is something which is clearly not right. We are not going to wait in the ordinary way and to try to validate it in the ordinary way, but we say: “Here is an illegal act; we are going to do it; but we will pass a Bill and, if the Bill becomes law, it will have retrospective effect in that respect.”

Let us take the justice of it, which is an entirely different thing. Proposals for cuts were made. They were made last year in the Budget speech. The Minister entered into negotiations with the various civil servants, the police and other bodies in order to get these deductions by agreement. He failed to get that agreement. He set up a Commission with regard to one of these bodies, and I think he told us that he got four different reports. The idea of that Commission was an attempt to get justification for what he had in mind. We have not seen the reports, but we can only judge, from the fact that the Minister kept the results to himself, that they were not favourable. When this failed, the proposal is made that there are going to be “cuts.” We are supposed to be governed at the moment in a reasoned fashion, that is, that proposals are going to be submitted to the test of debate; points are going to be brought out for and against the measure; and the House makes up its mind as to the justification for, or the objection to, the particular proposals concerned. Ordinarily, people have this to look to [2361] that they can await the outcome of these deliberations. This is supposed to be a deliberative assembly, and it is usual to wait to see what case can be made for or against a proposal before any penalty can be imposed. Generally speaking, a person is preserved from having any attack made either upon his person or upon his property until such time as the Oireachtas, looking to the future, determines that such an attack should be made. But here, after years of fruitless negotiations, which means years of failure to persuade the people to accept cuts in the interests of the State and owing to economic necessity, after a Commission had sat and reported in a way which is no great use to the Minister he comes in here and, without any detailed discussion of this matter, gets a Second Reading passed and because of that, says that that is sufficient. He operates the Bill not merely on this principle of a “cut,” but according to the Schedule which is a matter of the details involved. If there is any sense in having a Bill in this House go through certain stages and be examined in detail—if there is any sense in that, there is certainly no justification whatever for imposing, not what might be called the principle of the matter, but even the details of the measure upon people, prior to this House having had any chance of exercising what it was elected for, namely, deliberation and argument.

This Bill is brought forward, and an automatic majority is secured for it. That majority was secured for it on the Second Reading, not merely for the principle or lack of principle contained in the Bill, but for the details. The details are actually in force, and an attempt was made here on two occasions to prevent discussion on the details. The whole progress of the Bill is marked by everything that is most abhorrent to an assembly of this kind, elected for discussion and argument. The test of legislation is that it commends itself after discussion to a majority of the people. This Bill is abhorrent in every way to that, because the Minister proceeds to enforce the details of it without giving any chance for discussion. He takes [2362] up a completely illegal attitude in so far as justification is concerned, and he proceeds to act before there is the slightest chance in equity given to the people concerned to have their cases pleaded for them, as they cannot plead them themselves. The progress of the Bill is marked by a considerable number of other vicious points. It is a distinct slur cast upon the procedure under which this House usually operates in so far as no opportunity is given for adequate discussion and deliberation on a measure of this importance, and particularly on this section.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Deputy McGilligan is very much concerned about the slur which, he says, is cast upon the proceedings of this House by the inclusion of this section. I quite clearly indicated in my speech on the Second Reading that the Minister for Finance, in virtue of the Ministers and Secretaries Act, had power simply by regulation to make every one of the cuts proposed in this Bill. I said that in view of the extent to which that power was going to be exercised, and in the particular circumstances, I would be loath to exercise it until I had given the Dáil an opportunity of expressing its opinions on the whole general principle. The Deputy is, of course, a fruitful father of Aunt Sallies, and he creates an argument with no substance merely that he may give himself the somewhat doubtful pleasure of knocking it down. He said that I admitted we were acting illegally. I have denied that from the beginning. I made it quite clear that we had the power under the existing law to do everything we have done under this Bill.

The Deputy's colleague was somewhat maladroit in his characterisation of the law. According to a statement made yesterday, a letter was sent to his Department—he was then a Minister—stating the Government had decided to make a cut in the pay of the Gárda Síochána. The Deputy said he did not mean what was in that letter. One never knows what Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney does mean when he talks in this House. I never said we [2363] were acting illegally. To make it quite clear what was the intention of the Government in regard to this matter, this section was printed in the Bill and, if Deputy McGilligan had any doubts as to what was going to be the result of the House giving a Second Reading to the measure, it was quite open to him, if he were concerned, to raise this particular detail and he could have put down a reasoned amendment asking the House not to give the Bill a Second Reading until this particular subsection to which he objects had been deleted. Any member of the House could have done that, but he did not do so. I am quite entitled, in view of the powers already conferred on me by the Ministers and Secretaries Act, to carry out what was my original intention, and that was to impose the deductions and fix the remuneration of all classes of public servants as from 1st April of this year.

Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  I do not think the Minister's statement should be allowed to go, at least without some challenge. As I understand him, he claims that this section is above reproach, because he has power under the existing law to do what he proposes to do by this Bill by virtue of a regulation. I think I am correctly stating the Minister's contention when I say that. I agree with the Minister that he has power to reduce civil servants' salaries by means of regulations, but that power is not derived from the Ministers and Secretaries Act. So far as I recollect —I am speaking from recollection—that power is derived from the Civil Service Regulation Acts. The distinction that has to be borne in mind is this, that the British Civil Service is based on an old theory of Crown prerogative and the British civil servant receives his salary, not for the purpose of clothing himself and feeding himself and his family, but for the purpose of keeping up the dignity of the Crown. So that the King's servants may not be shabby and the King's lackeys may not be ill-fed, the British civil servant receives his salary.

The principle on which the cut would be operated without the authority of [2364] the Oireachtas would be based on the theory that when we took over the Civil Service from the British Government our civil servants were being remunerated for the purpose of keeping up the dignity of the Minister for Finance and for the purpose of seeing that the officers of the Service should not go into their various Departments badly clothed, badly fed or badly shod. Unfortunately, we did not allow that situation even to remain in theory because we passed the Civil Service Regulation Acts, which put the Civil Service on a statutory basis, and those very arbitrary rights which the civil servants are subjected to under the Civil Service theory in England no longer obtain here and it is a fallacy to think that they do, because they do not.

The Civil Service at the present moment is a statutory creation, it is governed by statute, and anything that has to be done by way of administration dealing with the civil servants and affecting their rights, and particularly affecting their salaries, must be done in pursuance of the Civil Service Regulations Acts. While I admit the Minister's contention that he can reduce Civil Service salaries by regulations, these regulations would have to be done and made under the Civil Service Acts and by the machinery in relation to those Acts. The real fallacy in the Minister's argument lies in this, that while he has power to reduce Civil Service salaries by regulations, he has not introduced those regulations but has instead proceeded in another way. In doing what he proposes to do he is acting illegally. That is my submission.

The Attorney-General (Mr. Maguire): Information on Conor Alexander Maguire  Zoom on Conor Alexander Maguire  I would like to make it quite clear to the House that I never advised the Minister—and that the Minister never suggested that he had been so advised—that the Second Reading of a Bill in this House made the Bill law.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  He did, distinctly. The Minister himself made that statement.

The Attorney-General:  We had this question of retrospective legislation [2365] discussed on another Bill the other day. I understood that Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney stated that when he introduced the Hospitals Bill, 1931, the legal position was then completely different, and that he endeavoured to act under that Bill while it remained a Bill. I challenged him on that. Deputy McGilligan made the point that no Bill is law until it is actually passed by the Oireachtas. I understood the Deputy to say that the legal position was quite different to the position under the section which we were then discussing. I think I can readily explain why this section finds its place in the Bill. I am sure it has already occurred to Deputy McGilligan and to Deputy Costello that the Bill had to make a reduction in the annual remuneration of the servants of the State for the coming year. If this section were not in the Bill and the Bill came into force without it, that would mean that the civil servants who up to the time of the passing of the Bill had been paid their salaries in full would, after the passing of the Bill have to face a contribution out of the moneys they already had received. Their salaries for the remaining part of the year would have to be further cut so as to make up for the money they have been overpaid in the previous months. But in order that the matter would be made more easy for the civil servants to meet the intention of the Bill, the collection of the money to be cut was made operative from the date of the passing of the Second Reading. As the Minister points out, the position is that the principle of this Bill has been accepted by this House.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  As a justification, but not as making it legal.

The Attorney-General:  I have already stated that no lawyer would contend otherwise than that.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Except those lawyers who speak to the Minister for Finance.

The Attorney-General:  A Bill has not the force of law until it becomes an Act. On that particular contention I was challenged by Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney a few days ago, and I am quite [2366] sure that Deputy Norton will agree that it is much more reasonable that the deductions should be made as from the date when the Bill was introduced and got the Second Reading passed than that the civil servants should have all the deductions made from their salaries for the year in the months after the Bill had passed.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I think every bailiff in the town would like his money on the same principle.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Why is this House called together and asked to discuss this matter?

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  This is a bailiff's Bill.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  When the Labour Deputies have ceased their little dialogue I will continue. The Attorney-General after the very lame halting defence he put before the House just now started off with an entire misstatement of fact. He said that I had acted upon the Hospitals Bill before it was law. That is absolutely incorrect. I made that perfectly clear on the debate on the Hospitals Bill. It should be plain to the knowledge of the Attorney-General that the Hospitals Bill introduced a scheme but that scheme was not sanctioned until after the Bill became law. The persons who promoted that scheme knew that the Bill was under discussion in the House. They knew that if the Bill became law an amendment of the scheme would be made. That is a perfectly different thing, absolutely a different thing from what has happened in the present Bill. I do not care how much the Attorney-General may endeavour to prevent his own brain acting or how much he may stultify himself but I do not believe that he can drive himself into the belief that the facts are any way similar.

The Attorney-General gets up here and tells us that there are two forms of robbery, one form is a form in which you are to take the money at one stroke. He says it would be very unfair to the civil servants to rob them all in one piece. He says he would prefer the robbery day by day. “We are very charitable robbers, very mild robbers and we will make robbery [2367] as gentle as possible to the persons who are being robbed.” That is really the attitude of the Government but the Attorney-General is not entitled to argue in this House that it was not a robbery.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Do I understand that Senior Counsel is now arguing that something done in the Dáil is robbery?

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I am arguing the opposite. I am arguing that the Minister is guilty of robbery.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Is it in order to refer here to a Deputy as “Senior Counsel?” As I take it the Standing Orders lay down that a Deputy speaks here as a representative of the people. A Deputy, I submit, should not be referred to otherwise than as a representative of the people. In speaking in this House I could not for instance refer to the Minister for Finance as a very mediocre civil engineer.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I do not think there is anything objectionable in calling a Deputy “Senior Counsel”.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It was always understood that a Deputy spoke in this House in a representative capacity. Of course if you rule otherwise I will have great pleasure in using other synonyms about the Minister for Finance.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I will not rule otherwise. I hope the rule will be observed in future that Deputies will be referred to as Deputies.

The Attorney-General:  Is Deputy McGilligan entitled to make use of a point of order for the purpose of insulting a Minister?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  He is not. No Deputy is entitled to make use of anything to insult anybody in this House.

The Attorney-General:  Deputy McGilligan used a point of order to insult the Minister for Finance. I ask that he be asked to withdraw.

[2368]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Where is the insult? Let us get the truth.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Is it orderly to refer to a Deputy in this House who is in fact a distinguished member of the Bar as “Senior Counsel”?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  The Standing orders prescribe that members of this House shall be referred to as Deputy So-and-So.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I withdraw the words “distinguished” and “Senior Counsel” in reference to Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  The Minister for Finance is, as usual, endeavouring to be insulting. I do not mind that. We know the Minister for Finance for some time. Now that the Attorney-General and the Minister for Finance have wasted a considerable amount of time I would like to get back to my speech. I said that the Attorney-General was very kind, and that the Executive Council were very kind to the civil servants, because when they wish to rob the civil servants they want to make the robbery as light as possible. They are to see that the victim is to be very lightly treated. Instead of taking all his money together he is being robbed gradually. Instead of taking all the money at one time from him they will take it bit by bit, so that the robbery may be a little bit less hard upon the victim. The Attorney-General has not got up in this House and has not said in this House that the withholding of these moneys was legally done, and if the withholding of these moneys was not legally done, then the persons who have not been receiving their moneys have been robbed.

Whether retrospective legislation deprives him of the money at once or whether it deprives him by a sum deducted weekly or monthly in instalments, it is exactly the same thing in law. The Attorney-General has not said that in this House because he could not say that the action had been legal. If the action is not legal and if these persons have been deprived of the moneys which they have earned, [2369] then those persons have been wronged. As I said before, you are defrauding labourers of their wages and committing a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance. The Minister tells us that he had full power. If he had, he certinly has not exercised that power, and I deny emphatically that he had any such power. Unless my memory is at fault, before any reduction can be made in the pay or allowances of the Civic Guards, it is necessary that the Representative Body should be consulted and their views considered by the Executive Council. Have any of these things been done? It is necessary that the order reducing their pay shall be laid on the Table of the House and voted upon. Am I correct in that?

The Attorney-General:  That is right.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  The Minister, therefore, had no justification to cut the pay of the Civic Guards. It requires this Bill to do it. It is admitted that, as far as civil servants, and possibly teachers and some other people, he may have power, but he did not exercise it. Until that power is exercised according to the statute empowering him, those persons are entitled to their pay. As regards the Civic Guards, he certainly had no power. Now he comes along, plainly and openly, to rob that body of men. Surely that is the most dishonourable and most criminally wrong thing that any House has been asked to do with regard to persons in their employment. If there is any sense of Justice, any sense of honour, or of right doing, in the members of this House, they will not be guilty of this appalling act of dishonesty.

Mr. Davin: Information on William Davin  Zoom on William Davin  Apart from the friendly squabbles which have been going on between members of the two main Parties and, especially, between lawyer Deputies on both sides of the House, it is an extraordinary situation to find that the Attorney-General should get up in the House and admit that this section is merely put into the Bill for the purpose of regularising what he admitted was an illegal procedure. He laid great stress upon the fact, as also did the Minister, that the [2370] Government were empowered to do by regulation what they are now proposing to do in this Bill. Is it not correct to say that the regulation under which the Minister says he could carry out this administrative procedure would not be effective until laid upon the Table of the House and approved of within twenty-one days of being so laid? In other words, if a regulation was laid upon the Table of the House under any Act under which the Minister claimed to carry out this procedure, the regulation will not be effective, and the salaries will be illegally cut, if such regulation were annulled within 21 days from the date on which it was laid on the Table. I am sure the Attorney-General will admit that. I think it is an extraordinary thing for Deputies of the Fianna Fáil party, who claim to be the real democratic Party in this State, the first democratic Party that ever took charge of the Government, to have to go to the country and to admit, after having heard the Attorney-General, that they are merely being called to this House for the purpose of registering in a penny-in-the-slot-machine-like way decisions of the Executive Council which have been admitted by the Attorney-General to be illegal.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  The issue boils down to this, that the Government have done something that is grossly illegal, and did it deliberately. Either that or the section is futile. Assuming from the arguments advanced that the Government did, with their eyes open, and confessed they were going to do something grossly illegal, they are now asking the House to condone it. There was no necessity for doing it. There was no crisis. There was none of the ordinary excuses that Governments sometimes have to go beyond the law and then afterwards seek idemnification by an idemnity Bill. What the Government have done is, without any excuse, deliberately to act illegally and then come to the House and say: “Condone our conduct.” I do not think the House ought to do anything of the kind.

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

Aiken, Frank.
Bartley, Gerald.
Beegan, Patrick.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corkery, Daniel.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Daly, Denis.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Geoghegan, James.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Hales, Thomas.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Houlihan, Patrick.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus F.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Lynch, James B.
MacEntee, Seán.
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.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Victory, James.
Walsh, Richard.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Anthony, Richard.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Bourke, Séamus.
Brodrick, Seán.
Burke, James Michael.
Byrne, Alfred.
Coburn, James.
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Davin, William.
Davitt, Robert Emmet.
Desmond, William.
Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Good, John.
Keating, John.
Keyes, Michael.
Lynch, Finian.
McDonogh, Martin.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrisroe, James.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Norton, William.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

Question declared carried.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  That amendment covers Nos. 14, 15, 16 and 17.

Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  I move amendment No. 18:—

In page 4, before Section 8, to insert a new section as follows:— Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act this Part of this Act shall not apply to any existing officer or servant referred to in Section 63 of the Court Officers Act, 1926 (No. 27 of 1926), who pursuant to the provisions of the said section of the said Act was offered and accepted employment in a situation under the said Act.

[2373] In moving this amendment I wish to emphasise that it covers a comparatively small number of men in the Civil Service. If the Minister could see his way to accede to the proposal contained in the amendment it would create no precedent whatever in connection with the principles contained in this Bill. I would make a very earnest appeal to the Minister for sympathetic consideration on this particular amendment, which is genuinely put forward by me in the interests of a certain class of State servants, who have a particular and unique case. The Court Officers Act, 1926, was passed in peculiar circumstances. It is the provisions of that Act that give those particular officers a very special case and enable me to make a very special appeal to the Minister on their behalf.

The Minister will probably be aware that in 1926 the courts were, so to speak, cleared out. The old courts of Justice were regarded in the days prior to the Treaty as being the happy hunting ground for sinecures, people who wanted soft jobs, easy money and nothing to do, and who had relatives to place. To a certain extent that criticism was justified. In 1926 the whole lot were cleared out, lock, stock and barrel, deserving cases, good cases, bad cases and indifferent cases, and a new beginning was made in the staffs of the courts of justice. Everybody was dismissed from his post under the provisions of the Act of 1926. Many of those people who were then employed, and who were dismissed under the Act of 1926, were entitled to a life tenure, were entitled to retain their posts, and not to be removed from them without cause being shown for their removal.

There they had conditions of tenure and service entirely distinct from any other branch of civil servants. However, the Government of that time, decided to take the bold course, and clear them out; but they were entitled to their rights, under Article 10 of the Treaty. It was not intended that the Courts of Justice should be entirely denuded of their staffs. What was intended was that a large measure of economy should be effected, and it [2374] was effected. A lot of duds were cleared out and a lot of furniture was dispossessed, and a new beginning was made. It was provided expressly in the statute that the offer of employment should be made to such of the court officials who was considered entitled to remain on by reason of their service and their efficiency. That statute under Section 63 provided that when officers were offered employment, they should be offered employment in a situation, under this Act, carrying with it not less salary than the situation held by them, as such officers, at the passing of that Act. What happened was that in accordance with the provisions of the Act, a written document offering a situation, at not less salary than that which he previously held was sent to each court officer. On certain terms he was offered to be employed in the new courts, and a written agreement was signed, coupled with that offer, accepting the terms proposed. In other words the persons covered by my amendment have a written contract with the State, made for valuable consideration, and it is expressed in a statutory provision that they are to have the same salaries.

Now, this Bill would operate upon that small class of officers to break that written agreement made for valuable valuable consideration. And valuable consideration did not emanate entirely from the Minister for Finance, as one would naturally expect. The Minister for Finance gives nothing for nothing. No Minister for Finance ever does. But in order to secure the services of proper individuals, the Minister, in that letter, waived the provisions of the statute which he is entitled to waive, which provides that a court officer when offered new employment, and when he acceptes that new employment, would, by that acceptance, waive his rights under Article 10 of the Treaty. In order to induce efficient officers to serve in the courts of justice the Minister for Justice agreed to waive that provision and said to these officers: “If you accept the offer we are now making the Minister for Finance will not consider that a waverer of your rights under the Treaty.”

[2375] I suggest it was clear from that that the Department of Finance at the time considered it desirable to get these individuals and that it was worth their while to make that sacrifice to get them. And the men who accepted these positions, in their turn, accepted a tenure less beneficial than the previous tenure they had. They had left a tenure with a better prospect of promotion and I am quite sure that they did not get better salaries. But most of the men covered by this particular section are people who got into the service by open competitive examinations. There is no question of the people retained being made secure in sinecures. They are people who have given expert services, because they are expert servants of the State, in return for a written agreement securing them the same salary as before, and securing them that, not merely by a written agreement, but by statute; so that the proposition in this Bill proposes to cut right across both a written contract and a statutory agreement.

As I said before, there are very few people who will be affected by this amendment, if passed, and they will have a better case than any other case put forward. There is this further fact to be urged in their favour: that they are not paid entirely out of State funds. Litigants are contributing and contributing largely to the expenses of the upkeep of the courts of justice. They have to pay stamp duties on various documents and, of course, that is only one method of raising revenue for the discharge of the expenses of the upkeep of the courts of justice. I admit from litigants does not entirely cover the expenses of the courts of justice or the cost of the establishment in the courts of justice, but it goes some way towards them. It is a relevant fact to be taken into account by the Minister. If he wishes to make economies in the courts of justice administration, the way to make those economies was not, I suggest, at the expense of the people to whom a written contract and a statutory right was given by the Oireachtas, but by increasing the fees of litigants.

[2376] A very small increase to litigants would cover the economies that would be effected if the cut is put into operation under this Bill in respect of those people for whom I speak.

I appeal to the Minister on behalf of this small section of the public service on the ground of justice, on the ground that only a few people are employed under these conditions, on the ground that they have a written contract, and on the ground that this Bill will conflict with the sanctity of agreements. But I make the strongest appeal to the Minister on the ground of general principles. He may effect economies at the expense of these men who are thoroughly efficient, and who carry on very important and very essential technical services in the State. But if the principle is once admitted by this House that a written contract made for valuable consideration, made as a result of statutory provisions, can be set aside by this House by a subsequent Act of Parliament, that will have wider reactions and greater evil effects than this House can anticipate at the present moment. The great danger that exists in this State from the point of view of financial stability is an element of insecurity that exists as a result of statutory enactment by this House. If a decision is given against the Government in the courts of justice it is immediately followed by an Act of Parliament nullifying that. I make the Minister a present of the fact that the previous Government was not entirely blameless in that respect. If anything happens, or a situation arises, or exists, which is inconvenient in the march to be achieved by the Government's policy, it is swept aside, whether based on written contract or statute, by subsequent statutes of this House. I do think it is worth while to sacrifice the very small amount of money that could be got as a result of cutting the court officers' salaries, for the purposes of keeping the principle that written contracts are made to be kept, and that statutes of this House, when passed, will not be lightly or arbitrarily set aside. I make a very special appeal to the Minister on this ground to consider this matter. I am [2377] not making this appeal now, I can assure the Minister, personally, because there are men who are attached to my own profession. I scarcely know any of them except casually in the course of my professional occupation, but they can cause great havoc and expense to this State unless they are efficient in the carrying out of their duties, and they can cause a lot of trouble and expense if they are not efficient. I am making an appeal, not merely on the ground of justice, but on the broader ground that this House ought to be slow to set aside a written contract or a statutory contract, and I appeal to the Minister for his most earnest consideration of this matter.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  From the point of view of the Government, it seems to me that Deputy Costello has not stated the issues fairly in this matter. These Courts of Justice officers were placed in the privileged position in which they are at the present time because our predecessors decided that they were going to reform the existing organisation in this country and decided that, in order to do that, it was necessary for them to dispense with the services of these officers. I do not think that Deputy Costello would be prepared to say, that, in taking that decision and in doing everything that was consequential upon it, our predecessors were doing something which they had not the right to do under Article X and that consequently they had the power under the Treaty and the power which was, of course, conferred upon them by legislation in this House to dismiss everyone of these officers and to say: “We are not going to have anything more to do with you and the only thing we will do is to concede without challenge, that you are entitled to Article X rights.” There were certain of these officers whom they wished to retain in their service, and who possibly if they had been in any other situation than that in which they were could have been quite easily absorbed into the general body of the service and therefore, by virtue of that absorption, would not, under the Treaty have been entitled to these Article X rights at all.

[2378] They said to these officers:“We are reforming the courts and therefore, must abolish your office; we will allow you to remain in exactly the same position as you are in at present so far as your emoluments are concerned.” They said:“No. That will not satisfy us. Under the bond we are entitled to our pound of flesh. We will not come back into the public service on the same terms and conditions as we have enjoyed heretofore. Instead of that, we are going to insist here and now that our Article X rights be conferred upon us. Once we have secured ourselves in those rights, if you offer us further employment upon terms and conditions that will be satisfactory to us, we will consider whether or not we will accept it, and if so, we will agree to the suspension of our rights under Article X during the term of that employment.” That is the position they put themselves in.

Faced with demands of that sort, the Government, because they wanted to retain the services of these men at that time said: “Very well, we will concede you Article X rights; we will offer you this re-employment upon terms not less favourable than you enjoyed hitherto.” That agreement, at any rate, was made between these officers and the Government. The position, as far as the agreement was concerned, is that these men have an option either to take the employment which is being offered to them and to continue in it or else to leave the service and to take their Article X rights. There is nothing in this Bill which deprives them of those Article X rights. They still have those rights. The only thing the Government proposes to do under this Bill is to reduce the salaries paid to these men and that reduction is being made as part of a reduction which is being applied to every person in the service. The rights of these officers is in no way infringed. If they are not satisfied with the salaries and conditions of employment which will exist after this Bill has become law they can still elect to leave the service and they still have their Article X rights, and that is all. That was provided for in the agreement of 1926. Therefore, I suggest [2379] that Deputy Costello is not fair in suggesting that there was a breach of contract. The terms of the contract are there and can still be fulfilled. These men have the right at any time to leave the Government service and to take their Article X rights. Of their own volition they could elect to take these rights and leave the service. Surely, if that is so, the Government also has the right to discharge these men at any time it wished to do so and to compel them to take their Article X rights. We do not propose to do that. We propose to treat them in the same way as every other class of public servant is being treated, and that is that during the period of financial stringency, their emoluments will be reduced by a definite fixed percentage. If they like to accept that, they can do so or, if they do not like it, they can still take their rights under Article X.

These people had so little regard for the position of the Government in 1926 and were so much concerned with their own position that they went to the Compensation Board and had their compensation assessed, and they insisted that this additional right would be reserved to them, that when they did cease to hold office under this Act they could elect whether they would take the compensation already awarded to them under Article X or such greater superannuation as might be awarded to them in 1926. So that, I do not think that any person could say that these men are being ill-treated. If the law were to be applied to them in all strictness, and if the deductions that are now being made were possibly to be taken off some people there would be no case, so far as I can see with regard to this class. This is one class of public servant, so far as I can see, for whom no plea for special consideration could be made properly in this House, because when the time came for them to drive a bargain, they certainly, so far as they could, drove the hardest bargain they could; and there was no consideration of patriotism or even a desire to treat our predecessors with fair play at that time even though they knew they were [2380] coming back into the service with the equivalent of what they had already. They went to the Compensation Board and only agreed to the suspension of the award so long as it pleased themselves to accept it. When they came back into the service they were careful to ensure that if they left of their own volition their full rights under Article X and the compensation awarded to them in 1926, possibly at a much higher rate than it would be awarded to them to-day, would not be affected and that they would carry that with them.

Accordingly, I do not think that the amendment has any special claims for consideration at all and, therefore, even on its merits it should be rejected by the House. I want to make it quite clear there has been no breach of contract, no breach of agreement, with these men. The agreement made in 1926 still exists, and they have the right if they wish to take the compensation awarded to them under Article X. We are not interfering with that in any way.

Amendment 18, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  I beg to move amendment 19:—

In page 4, at the end of Section 8, line 42, to add the words:—

Provided however that an appeal from such determination shall lie to the Civil Service (Compensation) Board established in accordance with the Civil Service (Transferred Officers) Compensation Act, 1929 (No. 36 of 1929), and the said Board shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any such appeal and the determination of the said Board shall be final and conclusive.

This amendment provides that the public servant affected by the provisions of this Bill and about whom a dispute may arise shall have the right to go to the Civil Service (Compensation) Tribunal for the purpose of having that dispute determined. I think the Minister will agree that that particular Tribunal has been found to have worked very satisfactorily, from the point of view of both parties, since its inception. I am not able to envisage very clearly what sort of [2381] disputes will be likely to arise under this Bill which will cause any very great degree of difficulty in determination or any acrimony between the staff and the Minister. But, if there be such disputes, it would be only proper that a Tribunal such as this, which has proved its impartiality and worth, should be resorted to rather than that civil servants should even feel a sense of grievance in that the person who is one of the parties to the litigation should also be the judge.

I have not gone to the extent reached by the amendment in Deputy Norton's name, suggesting an appeal to the court. The Civil Service (Compensation) Tribunal is a very expenditious, handy, impartial, effective and efficient Tribunal. There is not any great likelihood of serious disputes arising out of this Bill, but if there should be any such, it would be more conductive to the efficiency of the Civil Service that there should be a resort to this Tribunal. If such resort is permitted it will maintain the principle that a litigant should not be a judge in his own cause.

Mr. Rice:  I wish to support the amendment. It is quite contrary to fundamental principle and justice that any person, a Minister or otherwise, should be put in a position to determine as between himself and another person whether he is right or wrong. He makes a decision as between himself and a civil servant and the person to whom the right of appeal is left is the Minister who has already decided. It is fundamentally unjust that such a principle should be acknowledged in this House. In a matter of the kind, where a dispute may arise between the Minister and the public servant, the obvious and fair course is to allow it to go to a body already proved to be a suitable and proper body to determine matters of the kind.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I do not propose to accept this amendment.

Amendment 19, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Keyes: Information on Michael J. Keyes  Zoom on Michael J. Keyes  On behalf of Deputy Norton, I beg to move amendment 20:—

In page 4, line 41, Section 8, to delete all after the word “Minister”[2382] to and including the word “final”, line 42, and substitute the words “but nothing in this Act shall operate to restrict the right of appeal by any person affected to a court of competent jurisdiction”.

The argument advanced by Deputy Rice on the last amendment can be equally applied to this. This amendment merely asks that public servants, who consider they are affected adversely in their positions, should have the right granted to any ordinary citizen to have recourse to a court of competent jurisdiction. In the simplest matter affecting the lives of citizens the courts are considered to be fair arbiters between man and man. It is unfair for any Minister to arrogate to himself or his successors, whoever they may be, this right of final appeal. It is unfair to deny the civil servant the opportunity of appealing to the courts. No civil servant would dream of appealing to the courts if he did not feel he had a just case to present. Only the barest form of justice is being asked. The Minister is not, in our opinion, a suitable person for this job, and public servants should have courts of competent jurisdiction left available for an appeal, if an appeal is considered necessary.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It is not possible to accept this amendment. Apparently the Deputy who has spoken is under the impression that this is a novel principle. The Minister for Finance, virtually since the establishment of the Free State, has been the final authority in all matters relating to the Civil Service and, possibly with some exceptions, to public servants generally. It has been his office to determine all disputes of such a nature as, for instance, might arise out of the operation of this Bill. Of course if he were to exercise that function in relation to these matters he would have to determine issues in accordance with the terms of the Bill. Hitherto he has been the sole interpreter and final authority in these matters, and it is not proposed to depart from the existing practice in that regard.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  A phrase of the Minister's which I caught is not a [2383] justification, in my opinion, for his attitude in this matter. Deputy Keyes has moved to insert a certain phrase in Section 8. The phrase is such as would give a right of appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It implies the existence of a right.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Any trifling talk about the situation heretofore is vain in view of what is contained in Section 8. Here is a Bill setting out a definite standard by which the Minister is to limit his cuts, indicating certain persons. Then there is brought into the Bill this tremendous and comprehensive phrase: “Every doubt, question and dispute which shall arise as to whether a person is or is not the person to whom this Part of the Act applies, or as to the amount of the salary for the purposes of this Part of this Act of any person or the amount of the deduction ....” On those three tremendous things now introduced for the first time into the ordinary life of these public servants the Minister is to be the man who determines, and his determination is to be final. Really with that clause in, one might as well take out the schedule and give the whole thing to the Minister. No matter how wide the scope of the Bill, the Minister may go outside it. The Bill is intended to be very comprehensive but no matter how comprehensive it is and no matter what scope is given to it, the Minister can [2384] come along and enlarge it. He can apply it to anybody about whose salary he has something in the way of a grip. He can decide on the amount of salary which calls for consideration by him and decide on the amount of reduction.

The Minister does not want schedules or anything else so long as that clause is there. The Minister argued against Deputy Norton's amendment on the basis of what operated in the case of public servants heretofore. He has not met this amendment fairly. The amendment is put down, because, recognising the tremendous extent of these terrible powers given to the Minister, we think there should be a right of appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction. What is the right of appeal if he would not be allowed to apply it to the person or to the salary of the person in the Bill? On these three points appeals could be taken, but the Minister will not have them. This is a new situation, and the Minister can only meet the new argument of the new section by referring to what has happened up to this. This is a tremendous enlargement of the Minister's powers. It is necessary that on these enlarged powers there should be some limitation. The limitation in the amendment is a limitation of appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction. I submit that it is a very sensible amendment.

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

Aiken, Frank.
Bartley, Gerald.
Beegan, Patrick.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corkery, Daniel.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Dowdall, Thomas P. [2385]Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Mathew.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Houlihan, Patrick.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moane, Edward. [2386]Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.)

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Brodrick, Seán.
Byrne, Alfred.
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Davin, William.
Davitt, Robert Emmet.
Desmond, William.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Everett, James.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Keating, John.
Keyes, Michael.
McDonogh, Martin.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.
Thrift, William Edward.

Question declared carried.

Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  I move amendment 21:—

In page 4 before Section 9 but in Part II of the Bill to insert a new section as follows:—

Nothing in this Act shall take away, prejudice or in any way affect any right of any transferred officer, as defined by the Civil Service (Transferred Officers) Compensation Act, 1929 (No. 36 of 1929), under Article 78 of the Constitution or under the said Civil Service (Transferred Officers) Compensation Act, 1929, or any powers or jurisdiction conferred by the said Act upon the Civil Service (Compensation) Board established in accordance with the said Act.

The Minister should have no difficulty in accepting the amendment, because throughout the debate he has iterated and reiterated his desire not in any way to interfere with the rights of people under Article X of the Treaty or under the Act of 1929. All this amendment does is to put down what the Minister has said dozens of times during the course of the debate; so that, if he is genuine, as I am sure he is, in saying that he has no desire, and the Government have no desire, by any of the provisions of this Bill to interfere with the Treaty rights, or the rights under the Act of 1929, he will immediately accept the amendment. There are certain provisions in this Bill which undoubtedly give grave reasons for misgivings. The Minister thinks that these misgivings are unfounded, proceeds to declare that opposite. The Minister, while he thinks that these misgivings are unfounded, proceeds to declare that he has no intention whatever of interfering with the rights under Article X or under the Act of 1929. If he has not, why not say so specifically? This amendment merely asks him to state specifically what he has repeatedly declared throughout the course of the debate.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It is quite clear from the Bill that it does not propose in any way to interfere with the rights of the transferred officers, and because there is nothing in the Bill which does, in fact, interfere with these rights, there is no necessity for this new [2387] section. As Deputy Costello is well aware, it is very bad, from the point of view of the draftsman, to encumber a Bill with sections drafted merely out of a superabundance of caution.

Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  I entirely deny that principle and repudiate any such suggestion.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  If the Minister read Section 5 again I think he would not talk with such buoyancy about this Bill doing nothing to affect the legal rights of transferred officers. In my opinion, Section 5 is taking away from a transferred officer the right to make a certain pleading before the Compensation Board, which he has until the Bill becomes an Act. The moment it becomes an Act, that pleading is withdrawn from the officer to some extent, in my opinion, under this section. The Minister for Education, when defending this section, said that this was an attempt by the Government to preserve the contract of the officer. Preserve it against the officer's will; preserve it, not for the sake of the officer's interest, but in order to give the Government a lever which might be used subsequently to defeat the officer's legitimate claim for compensation! If the section generally is not intended to be an infringement of the transferred rights of civil servants, the Minister ought to have no hesitation in accepting the amendment, in order to make sure that Section 5 is not to be construed in the sense of constituting an infraction of these rights. If the Minister, in reference to Section 5, declines to accept the amendment, then there is only one fair conclusion to be come to, viz., that the Minister, while affecting to believe that the Bill does not in any way invade the legal rights of transferred officers, knows very well that the Bill is an attempt to put impediments in the path of transferred civil servants.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I should like to supplement what Deputy Norton and Deputy Costello have said. This amendment would never have been put down, certainly would never have been put pressed, only for the attitude taken up [2388] by the Minister for Education on the night the Minister for Finance left him in charge of Section 5. On that occasion Deputy Costello asked for an assurance that in any cases coming before the Civil Service (Transferred Officers) Compensation Board, Section 5 would never be raised against the officers concerned. If it is clear that Section 5 does not affect these rights, that assurance can be readily given now by the Minister for Finance. The Minister for Education refused to give it as a start off. Later in the debate he said that, of course, it would be used. I am not sure that he said it specifically, but he certainly indicated it. When he was pressed, however, on the matter he refused to say that this Bill made no change prejudicial to these transferred officers. He said that they should be in the same position as every other officer in the State, and, secondly, that the change made in their position was only a small matter of getting their salaries cut. If the Minister for Finance believes that the position of the transferred officers is not in any way affected or prejudiced by anything in this measure, he can give that assurance, and the amendment can be withdrawn.

The Attorney-General is again in the House. He has previously taught the Minister a little law this morning. Would he agree that Section 5 in no way affects or prejudices the position of the transferred officers? If we can get a statement from him on that matter it might enlighten either the Minister or those who are putting forward this amendment. Could the Attorney-General back up the Minister in his statement that there is nothing in this Bill which in any way affects or prejudices the rights of the transferred officers? Could he say if there is any possibility, under this measure, of their rights being in any way prejudiced or affected, because even if there is only a bare possibility, without any intention to use it deliberately to prejudice their position, then the argument that the Minister for Finance has used falls to the ground. It is said that this is superabundant caution. There has to be caution if there is even the [2389] possibility that this measure will be used to prejudice their rights. I should like if the Attorney-General would give us the benefit of his advice as to whether Section 5 could be in any way used to prejudice the rights of the transferred officers, or whether they would be in exactly the same position after the passage of this measure as they were in before.

Mr. V. Rice: Information on Vincent Rice  Zoom on Vincent Rice  On the Second Reading of this Bill I expressed considerable doubt as to what was intended under Section 5. I expressed the hope that some information on that section would be given to the House by the Minister at a later stage. Apparently there is no desire to give any such information. We have the position here that under Section 8 the Minister is made the final judge as between civil servants and himself on the most material questions that affect the civil servants.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  This is not an amendment to Section 8.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  This affects the whole measure, Section 8 and everything else.

Mr. Rice:  I am dealing with the amendment before the House, and I am pointing out that under Section 8, to which the Minister refused to accept any amendment, he is made the final judge as between himself and the civil servant, first of all as to whether the civil servant comes within this part of the Act or not; secondly, as to what his salary is; and thirdly, as to what reductions there may be. No court will be entitled to interfere, when this Bill goes through, as between the [2390] Minister and the civil servant on those matters.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  And the bailiff.

Mr. Rice:  No court can interfere and, having regard to the views that the Minister has already expressed here as to what is meant by any particular section, I am wondering what is going to happen when he is given those powers. He refuses here to accept an amendment which merely attempts to set out in express terms what the position of the civil servant is. Last week, when I moved the first amendment to this Bill, the Minister rose in his place and informed the House that if that amendment were accepted it would take away the rights of the civil servant under Section 4. I advised him, before he makes those wild statements in future, to consult the Attorney-General as to what the meaning of sections is. A more irresponsible statement I have never listened to in this House, from a Minister or anybody else, than that the effect of a saving section was in fact to take away rights. If that is the Minister's mentality, and if that is his mental equipment for the purpose of interpreting those people's rights, then I say, if the House gives him all those powers without limitation, God help the civil servants over whose rights this Minister presides. It is a Power that should not be given to any Minister, and particularly having regard to the present occupant of the position of Minister for Finance, it certainly should not be given now.

Question put: “That such new section be there inserted.”

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Byrne, Alfred.
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Davin, William.
Davitt, Robert Emmet.
Desmond, William.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan. [2391]O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Everett, James.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Keating, John.
Keyes, Michael.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Norton, William.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, The. [2392]Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

Aiken, Frank.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corkery, Daniel.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus .
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moane, Edward.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Amendment declared lost.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I beg to move amendment 22:—

In page 4, Section 9 (1) (b), lines 54-55, to delete the words “or in the form of dividends.”

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Is the Deputy taking amendments 22 and 23 together?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I can deal with amendments 22 and 23 and 28, 29 and 30 but possibly there may have to be separate divisions. Section 9 as drafted is applicable to any board, commission or company and other bodies as long as it falls under the description of paragraph (a) of the section. The section applies to every board, commission or company or other body (a) “which was established by or under a special statute or for the establishment of which express provision was made by a special statute or which, though incorporated under statutes of general application, is regulated in part by a special statute, and (b) the whole or part of the surplus revenue of which is payable to the Exchequer either specifically or in the form of dividends or of repayments of advances.” I am assuming that this section by these phrases catches under it the Electricity Supply Board, the Currency Commission and the Agricultural Credit Corporation and I would like to have these three bodies removed from the scope of the measure. It shows the lengths the Ministers have been driven when they try every little bit of logic to bring in bodies only related to the State by the nature of some of their activities or by reason of repayment by them of advances made to them by the State. The Electricity Supply Board is an obvious example. That body when established, it was explained, was to be a body of a commercial type. The Act which gave it its origin and foundation set out to establish it clearly apart from the State. The phrase current in this House was that the body to be set up was to be flung, as far as possible, from the State and to be kept at the fullest arm's length, and as far as possible outside the scope of the authority of the State except in one thing, namely that the members of the Board were appointed only for a limited period, and could be removed under certain [2393] procedure and the reasons for the extraordinary powers given them were that there was to be publication of their activities and the result of their activities. But everything spoken, round about the time of the establishment of that Board, tended to this: that the Board was to be as far as possible regarded as an ordinary commercial enterprise flung far away from the controlling authority and State supervision.

We did give it money, and that money is being repaid. But we did say that, as long as there was any money owing by it to the State interest had to be paid on outstanding advances, and there was a period after which both interest and sinking fund had to be met by it. There had to be a modification of the scheme with regard to that Board in the sense of allowing it the remission of some of the payments which had previously been exacted from it, but the principle of the scheme has never yet been interfered with.

The Electricity Supply Board got the advantages of State credit being put at its disposal, but it had to pay for it. It had to pay the issue price of any loan out of which it got those moneys, some percentage of the money and the interest and the sinking fund bore a relation both to the life of the assets built out of State advances and to the period for which the State had to repay the moneys it had borrowed. The principles of that are still in existence. Payments are still being made. The accumulations reserved for these purposes are still there. There has been no change so far as the Board is concerned, or so far as this State is concerned except what was done under a regulation of the Oireachtas. But just because that Board is engaged in repaying advances then it is thought that the State should come down with its axe on the members of the Board and, through them, on the personnel of the Board, the Board's servants. It is bad enough to have, what I previously described as the immorality of segregating, for this type of attack, people just because they were in a certain position in relation to the Government. Their [2394] salaries were near enough at hand to be cut. It is an aggravation of that to have it extended to people who are not so close at hand, but on whom certain coercion can be brought to bear by reason of the fact that the Board is repaying advances—not that it is looking for money or that it has any need of funds at the moment or that they could not get those funds elsewhere by a public issue—but just because in the past they have been granted State credit and are now paying off a debt in accordance with the Act, the members of the Board first and the servants of the Board afterwards are going to have their emoluments reduced. I cannot see any reason in this. I cannot see why this Board should be picked out in this way.

Similarly, with the Currency Commission and the Agricultural Credit Corporation. In both these instances an attempt was made by the Oireachtas of the time to give these bodies something in the way of an autonomous position. It was not so clearly defined as in the case of the Electricity Supply Board, but certainly an attempt was made to give them considerable freedom and as near an approach to complete autonomy as possible. But, because in one case there has to be a repayment of advances made and in the other case payments by way of dividends this immorality is extended again to these two bodies and their autonomy is being interfered with in the same way as the autonomy of the Electricity Supply Board is being interfered with. There is a definite breach of the principle on which these bodies were established and of the way in which they were allowed to appoint their own servants. I cannot see the reason —I suppose I should call it the lack of reason—for picking out these bodies.

Let us take the justice of any attack on these salaries. It is very hard to get any line on the logic of the Minister in this at all. In the case of the police we were told that we must remember that their salaries do not fluctuate according to the cost of living and, therefore, are not subject [2395] to a bonus. Their salary is fixed, we are told, and does not fluctuate in the same way that the bonus type of salary fluctuates. When we come to the Civil Service, that is forgotten. In their case there is a more callous statement, which is to the effect that it is recognised that the civil servant's full pay has been decreased because of the decrease in the cost of living, but that in addition to that there is going to be an additional cut put upon him. When we come to the case of the teachers, we are just told simply that the State wants the money and that they are going to get it this way. In fact, we got a very definite statement from the Minister for Finance to-day that there is no other way in which these moneys can be got. So that we are definitely out in the open now so far as the old promise of the £2,000,000 economies is concerned. The most we can get, evidently is this £280,000 and we can only get that by hacking the salaries of the public servants.

However, the argument against the teachers was that their salaries were established in far off times relatively, and that therefore there was some room for adjustment in those salaries in consideration of the stringent times now upon us. None of these arguments have any application either to the Electricity Supply Board or the Agricultural Credit Corporation or the Currency Commission. These bodies are of very recent appointment, comparatively. In the case of one of these, the Electricity Supply Board—by far the largest of them as far as numbers of officials and employees are concerned—the salaries were not even put upon anything that could be called a firm basis until very recently. There is even a process of grading going on in that Department at the moment. But certainly anything in the way of grading was in an upward direction, because the Board realised when it started that it had no means of knowing what its financial position might be in the future and, because of that, it did pay low rates of wages and enticed people into its employment on these rates, but with the promise that, [2396] when their financial prospects improved and when they got into smoother water financially, there would be a stabilising of conditions, and something in the way of granting security of tenure and a better scale of salaries. These employees are all people of recent appointment. Even at the time they were appointed, as far as normal conditions are concerned, there is no reason to believe that things have got any easier for them, and there cannot be any argument used in relation to these people such as has been used with regard to the Civic Guards or to the teachers to the effect that the times are so vastly different from the normal times when the salaries were fixed, and that therefore there is room for adjustment at the moment. The salaries were not fixed in any firm way. People were got in under the promise of increased emoluments and better times. They were told they were in rather a provisional way, that the salaries were fixed at what was considered to be the minimum, and every hope was held out to those people that any movement in regard to their positions or status, or in relation to their employment, would be in an upward direction. Now, instead of that they are to be cut.

We even get further. I asked a Parliamentary question after this Bill made its appearance as to the savings estimated as likely to accure to the community generally from the cuts likely to be imposed under the Bill in the case of the Agricultural Credit Corporation, the Currency Commission and the Electricity Supply Board. I was told, in the usual evasive way, it was impossible to make any estimate because the schedule had not been fixed or determined. At that time the cuts were in operation in the case of certain groups. I was told, at any rate, that the whole thing would be an approximation at the best. I was also told by both the President and the Minister for Finance that the savings in the Agricultural Credit Corporation or the Currency Commission would be inconsiderable. The phrase was used by the Minister for Finance that the saving that would be made in this connection would accrue to the community [2397] generally and would not accrue directly to the Exchequer. We were told that any savings made in the case of these two Departments would be used to pile up reserves. Again, we were told that the savings would be inconsiderable.

The position is that in the case of the Currency Commission we are to have a reserve piled up as a result of the saving of a few miserable pounds. That reserve would be the direct result of getting after the salaries of the people employed there, salaries fixed not so very long ago. As regards the Electricity Supply Board, there might have been a better case made to the effect that the salary savings would be something considerable. But even that phrase was not used. There was rather a decrying of the amount that would be saved. We were told that whatever would come off the salaries will accrue to the community in the way of cheaper electricity. Not alone is that the greatest rubbish, but it is well known to those who spoke it that it is the greatest rubbish. There will not be any saving which will accrue to the community, by way of the cheapening of electricity. Anything that may be saved has been more than taken away from the Board and, therefore, from the community, by one item alone, the increased price of coal under the penal tariff. The Electricity Supply Board has got to have its supplies of coal and that coal is subject to a tariff and the Minister has had to admit that the coal required cannot be got elsewhere.

It is all part of the general idea that everybody in the community has to be humiliated because of the Government's incapacity. The people who are to be humiliated are those who have that thin line of affiliation with the Government in that they are actively engaged in repaying moneys that this Government did not give them. They are repaying moneys which, in more enlightened times, they got, and because of that they have to feel the whip like everybody else. This is a rather petty type of revenge, and it is an immoral extension of what is already immoral—the whole method by which these people have been picked out for these cuts.

[2398]Minister for Education (Mr. Derrig): Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  I do not propose to reply at length, because there are so many questions of moral obliquity in this Bill that I do not feel competent to deal with the question from that point of view. I suggest to the Deputy that when he tells the House that because the late Government instituted the Electricity Supply Board and made certain arrangements in relation to it that that is going to bind future Ministers for Finance in whatever arrangements they have to make regarding economies, I think he will not get many people to agree with him. If promises have been made to the officials of certain bodies, I have no doubt those promises and the general position of those autonomous or semiautonomous bodies will be carefully considered by the Minister when he is inquiring into the question as to what reduction he proposes to effect in their remuneration. The Deputy has laid great stress on the principle of this matter. I see no principle. This is a Bill to effect economies. It is an essential feature of the Bill that the servants of all public bodies receiving grants from the Government will suffer. If differentiations were to be made we would never get to the end of it. There may be anomalies, and some cases may be harder than others, but all these matters will, I have no doubt, receive the careful consideration of the Minister before he comes to any decision.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  There is a certain amount of pleasure in hearing the Minister. On the few occasions when he intervened in this Bill he gave the impression that he did not believe in it. There was no conviction in the manner in which he backed up the principles of the Bill; he certainly put forward no defence. The three bodies mentioned here are not receiving grants from the Government. The E.S.B. does not receive any grant. I suggest the effort of the Government to deal with those bodies and to interfere in the salaries they give to their employees, reveals the whole purpose of the Bill. I suggest that from the statements we have heard here about the amounts expected to be saved by [2399] this section from these three bodies, and also from the confession that the saving will not go into the Treasury at all, it is quite clear, more clear here than elsewhere in the Bill, that the purpose of the Government is simply to set the headline for everybody to be cut down all round.

That has been made clear in public by various members of the Government. The purpose is not to effect economies or to save money for the State. The purpose is to set a headline for all bodies, public or private, in the State. In no sense are those three bodies State institutions. They were set up by the State, but every effort was made to see that they were conducted as far as possible as private business institutions. Here we have an attempt to set a headline, for instance, to banks.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  No.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  We have an attempt here to set a headline to scientific undertakings and big business undertakings as to how they are to deal with their employees. Is there any other purpose served by the effort to bring these bodies into this Bill? There is no necessity for bringing them in. They were brought in by force. Those officials were pulled, practically by the hair of the head, by main force, into this Bill in order that the Government could set a headline to other institutions in the country in furtherance of its policy to make everybody suffer.

By certain portions of this policy he has made some people suffer. The only comfort this gives is that he is able to say to other people: “Well, now, we will make everybody else suffer as well as you.” The Minister's outlook is this. In effect he says: “Even though the State will get nothing out of the salaries we are saving so far as the Electricity Supply Board, the Agricultural Credit Corporation, and the Currency Commission are concerned, at least we are determined that if other people are suffering because of our policy, the people in these institutions will suffer as well.”

[2400] It is absolutely clear and it was noticeable that the Minister when replying did not touch that point put up to him—as to why these people were brought in. There was no effort to show that these were State institutions. When they were being set up the House took the trouble to see that they would be independent of State control. It required a big effort to show how they could possibly be brought within the scope of this Bill. Logic required it that they would be kept out, but it was simply because the Government wanted to put into force their general policy of levelling, and levelling down the standard of living that these were brought in. You have here three ordinary businesses, commercial undertakings, and the only purpose the Government can achieve by bringing them in is that they propose here to set a headline to various other business institutions in the country.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I will take a division on amendment 28.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Then amendments 22 and 23 are negatived?

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

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendments 24 and 26 go together.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  They are consequential on amendment 5.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  They are related to 5, 6 and 7. I take it they are covered by 5. It is the same principle.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  More or less.

Amendment 24.

In page 4, Section 9 (2), lines 56-57 to delete all words from the beginning of the sub-section down to and including the word “payable,” line 57, and substitute the words “From that portion of the salary earned during the current financial year which is payable as from the date of the passing of this Act.”— (Patrick McGilligan.)

Not moved.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendments 25 and 27:—

[2401] 25. In page 4, Section 9 (2), line 59, after the word “as” to insert the words “such body after consultatation with.”

27. In page 5, Section 9 (4), line 7, to delete the word “Minister” and substitute the words “body concerned,” and in line 8 to delete the words “body concerned” and substitute the word “Minister.”

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  In speaking on amendments 25 and 27 it is necessary to consider not merely Section 9 but Sections 10, 11 and 12. Sections 9, 10 and 11 insist on certain deductions being made from certain salaries which are not under the control directly of the Minister or else from grants made in the case of certain bodies. Then Section 12 deals with deductions from salaries consequential on deductions from grants. This deals with cases where certain bodies get grants from the Minister. Then somebody is to make a reduction in the salary paid to the individual employed by that body. Under Section 12 it is the body itself that is to make the determination as to the deductions that should be made from the salary. In Sections 9, 10 and 11 it is the Minister who is to do certain things. I do not approve of letting the Minister wash his hands of these things and then throwing the odium of enforcing the individual reductions upon the body which gets these grants. You have it right down through the sections in the same way. Section 12 is the section in which the individual employee will find his emoluments reduced, and the onus in making the deduction is thrown upon the body concerned. I want the whole thing put into the hands of the body concerned so that the deductions that take place as well as all the odium will be met by the body. Alternatively, if the Minister wants to take upon himself the odium, let him do it clearly and openly instead of doing it in this secret fashion in which it is to be done under this Bill. I am moving that instead of the Minister directing the amount of deductions to be made under this section it shall be the body that shall determine it after consultation [2402] with the Minister. Having regard to the deductions to be made in Part 2 in the circumstances of the case, amendment 27 is really to the same point. I am moving both.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  This amendment would take away responsibility for the decision from the Minister for Finance and would hand it over to the persons concerned, the persons who would suffer as a result of the decisions they have to make. That would be to hand over to them the question of deciding whether they would make a deduction in their own salary or not. That would be quite impracticable.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Will the Minister explain why he makes that statement?

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  The Deputy proposes to leave the deductions to the Board.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  How? There is nothing of that kind in the amendment.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  Well, that is the interpretation I placed upon it.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That is a different statement. What I say is that the Board is to say there is to be a deduction.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  Apart from that altogether the Deputy wants to take official responsibility from the Minister for Finance.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I would like to take official responsibility for doing anything rash from the Minister for Education.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  We would like to have the assistance of the Deputy in this matter but his action on the Bill has shown that he does not understand it.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Minister in charge of the Bill clearly does not understand it.

Amendment 25, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment 26 not moved.

Amendment 27 by leave withdrawn.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment 28:—

In page 5, at the end of Section 9 to add a new sub-section as follows:—

[2403]“Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections of this section this Part of this Act [2404] shall not apply to the Electricity Supply Board.”

Amendment put.

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Byrne, Alfred.
Coburn, James.
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Davin, William.
Davitt, Robert Emmet.
Desmond, William.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Keating, John.
Keyes, Michael.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrisey, Daniel.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

Aiken, Frank.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corkery, Daniel.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Flynn, John.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Amendment declared lost.

The following amendments were put and negatived:—

29. In page 5, at the end of Section 9 to add a new sub-section as follows:—

Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections of this section this Part of this Act shall not apply to the Currency Commission.—(Deputy McGilligan.)

30. In page 5, at the end of Section 9 to add a new sub-section as follows:—

Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections of this section this Part of this Act shall not apply to the Agricultural Credit Corporation.—(Deputy McGilligan.)

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I move amendment 31:—

In page 5, line 13, Section 10, after the word “grant” to insert the [2405] words and brackets “(other than a grant to an approved society under the provisions of the National Health Insurance Acts, 1911-1933)”.

It seems to me that so many bodies will be affected by the terms of this section that it is likely that national health insurance societies might likewise be affected. If there is any danger of that happening, my amendment seeks to exclude national health insurance societies from the provisions of this particular section. The State pays two-ninths of the cost of administration under the National Health Insurance Acts, and there seems to be a likelihood that, since a grant of that kind is made by the State, the national health insurance societies would presumably come within the scope of the section. At the present time if the Government proceeds with that intention it will mean that the employees of national health insurance societies will have to suffer a reduction in their already low salaries. Even part-time officers will be affected too, because if the Government cuts the administration costs of the national health insurance societies it will mean that inevitably the societies will be bound to cut the salaries.

The present administration costs are low, and will not bear any increase in salaries. If those costs are cut it inevitably means that the salaries and wages of the officials affected will also be cut. Any cut in the present administration costs would impose a considerable hardship on the societies. In 1912, I think, the administration costs per head per annum were 3/5. Now the cost is 4/5 per member per annum, an increase of 30 per cent in the interval between 1912 and 1933. When the Minister considers the increased cost of rent, stationery, labour, buildings and telephones; the increased complexity of the Act, due to the issue of so many new regulations, and the additional work which has been thrown on the societies by reason of the increased number of claims, I think he will realise that any reduction in the administration costs of the societies will not only cause hardship among them, but can only be met by substantial [2406] reductions in the already low rates of wages and salaries which are paid to the employees of approved societies. I hope the Minister will see his way to accept the amendment.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  I regret that I cannot accept the amendment. It introduces again, like a great many other amendments, a principle of differentiation, and if accepted would vitiate the whole principle of the Bill. It would interfere with the discretion of the Minister for Finance. I have no doubt that in this particular case all the facts will be before him when making a final decision. There are not sufficient grounds for differentiation in any case.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Could the Minister say whether a member of the Ministry informed a deputation recently that it was not the Government's intention to apply the Economies Bill to national health insurance societies?

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  I do not know what a Minister may have said to a deputation.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  We will bring the gentlemen into the Division Lobby on this.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  You have taken a long time to open your eyes.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Your misdeeds opened my eyes pretty quickly.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Is the Deputy challenging a division?

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

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  Am I entitled to ask if there are a sufficient number of Deputies who require a division?

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  May I submit that we have been discussing this matter for the past half hour, and there were only six Deputies in the House?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Minister is entitled to ask whether a sufficient number of members require a division.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Is anybody entitled to ask how many people will be in opposition?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  That has to be decided on the vote.

Amendment put.

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Byrne, Alfred.
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Davin, William.
Desmond, William.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Keating, John.
Keyes, Michael.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

Aiken, Frank.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corkery, Daniel.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Little, Patrick John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Amendment declared lost.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I suggest that amendments 32, 33, 35, 39, 40 and 42 might be discussed together.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Some of these are to Section 10 and some to Section 11.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  That does not matter. We could debate the principle involved in these amendments.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Very well. The principle I am aiming at is to permit the same thing in both these sections. I think there would be some slight difference in application. I shall first move amendment 32, which is:—

In page 5, line 18, Section 10, to delete the words “wholly or.”

Later on I wish, in amendment 33, to delete the words “amount of such grant which falls to be made in the current financial year” and to substitute for them the words “portion of such grant made in the current financial year which is ordinarily applied otherwise than in the payment of such salaries.” and then to delete certain verbiage in Section 10. I will take these three matters first. The effect of the section, as it stands, is that where a grant is made for certain [2409] objects and that that grant is wholly or partly available as payment of salaries there shall be deducted from the grant such sum as the Minister shall determine, after such consultation with the governing authority of such institution or body as he shall think proper. The effect of my amendment would be this: I must move to take out the words “wholly or” because my amendment would, I think, apply to the grant partially available for the payment of salaries. I want the deduction made from the part of the grant ordinarily expended otherwise than as salaries. I seek to have the salaries immune, so that the deduction would be made from the grant from the Government to the central body of money expended in other ways than the payment of salaries. I want to relate it to the upkeep of buildings, various types of apparatus and so on, but that it should have no relation to the payment of salaries. If it is necessary to have these economics I think the first stress should fall not upon the emoluments which certain people were given to believe would continue to them under the various contracts under which they got their employment and that only when the Minister had failed in that attempt and in the task of finding this £280,000 of economies should he approach the salaries of people fixed on a basis that encouraged certain expenditure, that induced them to lay out a programme for the education of their children, and that has some relation to the type of house they live in and certain other commitments made by them and which could not be readily or immediately changed.

Recently in England when the financial crisis came upon that country, and they began to consider grants made by the State they did follow the line of approach that I have indicated. They looked after different bodies and associations inside that grant, and tried to find whether there would be any great harm done by the non-recruitment of extra people or by the curtailing of expenditure on new buildings or by refraining from maintaining existing buildings in the ordinary fashion in [2410] which these buildings are maintained or by neglecting to purchase, say, apparatus of a particular type which might ordinarily be required but which, in critical times, might be done without. In relation to universities in particular—and they come under this section—even at the height of the critical period in which Great Britain found itself a couple of years ago, they decided that they would not make deductions, or that they would not recommend deductions to be made, in the salaries of their university personnel. They did distinctly say that they were going to stop building grants and, particularly, where the building grants were for extensions of buildings. With more reluctance, they said they would even stop the moneys going to the upkeep and repair of existing buildings but they certainly said they would prefer to have those set out as a matter to be cut and to save on rather than the salaries of their personnel.

In this country, where salaries are certainly not excessive and, in this debate, where there has been an abandoning by the Ministry of their old profession that salaries were excessive, it seems to me that every attempt should be made to scratch money from every other little pocket and from every other source from which moneys might be obtained rather than to cut moneys that are paid out as salaries to the people who will come under this. I do not know whether that line of approach was followed by the Ministry before they decided to cut salaries. I rather gather that it was not but, again, we have to get back to the spirit of something approaching vengeance that is running right through this, the spirit that people have got to be brought low, this idea of sacrifice, as it is euphemistically termed, without there being given to the people any explanation of what necessitates the sacrifice or whether it was unavoidable or not.

I am assuming that there has been no approach made to these savings, even if they are considered necessary at all, along the lines I have indicated, but that there has just been this blind wiping at individuals, as it is the easier, although the more unjust of the two types of operation. I hold that [2411] this House should have before it, and should get an opportunity of discussing and deliberating on, a suggestion that they should try to see if there is any other way of saving money through the grants made to local bodies of the types mentioned here, without touching the moneys that go to the upkeep of certain people and their families. That is why I move the amendment.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  If this amendment were to be accepted, it would mean that, while greatly limiting the scope of the section, in fact no deductions might be made from the salaries and the purpose of the Bill is to effect, so far as possible, deductions from salaries.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That is quite right. We have got it at last.

[2412]Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  In this case, the amendment and the other amendments would cut across the whole principle of the Bill. I do not think that any useful purpose can be served by discussing the matter.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That is right. They want to reduce salaries. It is on the record.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I do not think any useful purpose would be served by adding anything to what the Minister has said.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Amendments 32, 33, 39, 40 and 42 are all connected. I will put amendment 32.

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

Aiken, Frank.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brain.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corkery, Daniel.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killiea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Davin, William.
Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Everett, James.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Keating, John.
Keyes, Michael.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

[2413] Question declared carried. Words ordered to stand part of the Bill.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  That decision governs amendments 32, 33, 35, 39, 40 and 42.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment 34:—

In page 5, line 23, Section 10, to delete the word “such” where it first occurs in the line and in line 24 to delete the words “as he shall think proper”.

There are to be deductions from grants to certain classes of bodies. The Minister has been given power on the vote taken to make the deductions. He is given power to make these deductions “after such consultation with the governing authority as he shall think proper”. Why the words “as he [2414] shall think proper” rather than “after consultation with”? If there is going to be a cut made, the body whose grant is to be cut should be approached. It should be incumbent on the Minister to approach the authority concerned. That, of course, can be done through officials but the obligation should certainly be there.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The question which the Deputy has just put is one he could have put more effectively on the Committee Stage if he had chosen to move this amendment.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Impudence will be met with divisions in future.

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

Aiken, Frank.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corkery, Daniel.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Little, Patrick John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Mathew.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Davin, William.
Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Everett, James.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Keating, John.
Keyes, Michael.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

[2415] Question declared carried.

Ordered: That the words proposed to be deleted stand.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment 36:—

In page 5, at the end of Section 10 to add a sub-section as follows:—

Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-section this Part of this Act shall not apply to the National University of Ireland or to any of the colleges of that university.

I know that an attempt has been made to delude the House into the belief that this section does not apply. If that is due to inadvertence I should like to point out the mistake that has been made. If, as I believe, it is due only to an attempt to get in in a more subtle way what the Ministry found they could not get in by a direct attack, I want to prevent that. When this Bill was introduced——

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Is this a proper amendment to this particular section?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I presume that if a Minister does not give a reason as to why it is not a proper amendment, that is sufficient justification for speaking on it.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I ask the question because university colleges are definitely ruled out under this section.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I was just coming to that point. As the Bill was introduced the phrase ran “Where a grant is made annually, under statute or otherwise, out of the Central Fund or moneys provided by the Oireachtas to a university, college, or other educational institution (not being a secondary school)”. That has now been changed so that the university does not come under that part of the section. The phrase we have now is “Where a grant is made annually, under statute or otherwise, out of the Central Fund or moneys provided by the Oireachtas to any educational institution (not being a university, a university college or a secondary school)”: but it goes on to say still, “where a grant is made to a board, commission, company, [2416] association, or other body (whether corporate or unincorporated).” The university is certainly one of these. There was a University Commission which established the whole university system in the country. I am not going to take it, after the devious attempts which the Ministry made to get the universities to interrupt their whole autonomy, as if I recognised that they did not know what they were doing. I am moving, therefore—I have it absolutely clear-cut—that “Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-section this Part of this Act shall not apply to the National University of Ireland or to any of the colleges of that university.” I want to point out the danger that exists for educational institutions of the university type under the measure as it stands because, if their position is capable of being so interpreted as to bring them in as a commission or as a body corporate or unincorporated which receives a grant under statute or otherwise out of the Central Fund or moneys provided by the Oireachtas then, not merely this Section 10, with its deduction, falls on that university body but Section 12 also falls on it.

Section 12 is to be taken into the consideration of this amendment. On the basis on which I am arguing that it is still possible to include the university under the phrase which is in Section 10, it is possible to make the deduction from that university body where it receives a grant out of the Central Fund or out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas. When that fund is depleted, then you get Section 12. That body then has to make such deductions as, with the approval of the Minister, shall be thought proper, having regard to the amount of the deduction made, the proportion of the grant and other circumstances of the case. That is a definite and clear-cut attack upon a matter of very great importance to Catholic education in this country. One of the things that was fought for years was that there should be Catholic educational institutions of the university type founded in this country and founded without any possible interference from Government.

[2417] On two or three occasions when the Catholics were offered educational facilities of a type that might have suited them, they were refused under the authority of the members of the Hierarchy speaking at that time, because they were to be under the control of the Government of the time.

We are certainly not going to let throught in any slipshod fashion any phrase which might give certain powers to a Minister who knows nothing and cannot, from his position, know anything about university education. Even if he knew as much as the wisest head in the university could know, we are not going to allow a Minister to have anything to say to the internal arrangements of the university. One would have thought that, before blundering in this way, there might have been some consultation with people who are knowledgeable in this matter, people who have some touch with the history of affairs relating to Catholic education and some knowledge in particular of the fight made for university education in the country.

We know quite well the way this Bill was started off. The Minister for Education openly and rather clumsily announced to-day that it is a reduction of salaries Bill. There is nothing more or less in the minds of the people behind it than that. It is purely to be a hacking of salaries; salaries are to be reduced. We know it is directed, in the main, against the people whom the Government always directed their propoganda against at election times— members of the Civil Service, the Gárda Síochána, the Army and the teachers. The teachers, not being university teachers, were certainly the object of hostility in the beginning. Then there was an extension of the measure to bodies so very thinly tied on to the Government by reason of the fact that they are paying dividends to the Government out of moneys received by them or are making repayments of advances granted to them by a previous Government. Then there is the further extension to educational bodies. As the measure stood first, it was quite clear that it entered into [2418] the consciousness of someone connected with the drafting that the University College might have its grants reduced and, once its grants were reduced, then the man who would decide what salaries should be paid to individual professors would be the Minister for Finance.

That invasion of university rights had never been thought of here. There may be a provision in a particular Act which has a phrase which, loosely interpreted, might be regarded as giving this power; but it certainly was never intended in that way. I think any use of it in the way intended under this measure—and I think it is still intended under this measure—would have been quite indefensible and illegal. The idea of striking at the university did enter somebody's head. A certain amount of thought was apparently given to this matter and we had the decision of the Ministry as first put up. The Minister is going to determine salaries as between individual professors. That is all that Section 12 can mean. On another vote I tried to get certain people who, if not the originators of this attack on the university, are at any rate the people put up as the mouthpieces through which the Government policy would be announced to the electors, to indicate their point of view. I hope they will do it on this occasion. I find that the start of this matter about university salaries and of interfering in university autonomy and making discrimination—actually it was made in advance as between different professors—was first unfolded to the public in an election address promulgated on behalf of two of the Deputies allied with the National University.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy is now on the origin of some hypothetical policy.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am going to show it is distinctly in this measure. We were told by two Deputies in this House, backing the Government, that the National University has a very special duty to the Irish nation. I have here the election address of Deputy Mrs. Concannon and Deputy Maguire. the Attorney-General.

[2419]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  What has this to do with the particular amendment under consideration?

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  Please do not intervene. Allow the Deputy to proceed.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Here is what the election address says:—

“The National University has a very special duty towards the Irish nation. From it come the majority of the scholars and administrators of the country. The University, as we envisage it, should be more closely associated with the life of the country, not only culturally but also economically. It is not a colourless or half-Anglicised education that our students require, but an education that is truly Gaelic in instruction and outlook.”

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Can the Deputy relate that to the amendment under discussion?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Certainly, if I am allowed to finish the quotation.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy should at least respect the Chair.

Mr. V. Rice: Information on Vincent Rice  Zoom on Vincent Rice  Fianna Fáil does not like this.

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  We do like it.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I will read it as explicitly as I can for the Deputies' benefit.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  On a point of order. There is nothing in this section and there is nothing in this amendment which proposes to bring in the universities for consideration at this stage. Therefore, I suggest the whole of the Deputy's speech so far, particularly in so far as it is based upon a document which is not before the House, which cannot be tabled in the House and which is not a public document, is out of order.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  On the contention that the universities are not properly before the House, I have made my point that the universities are——

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

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  ——included in the phrase “board, commission, company, [2420] association, or other body (whether corporate or unincorporated).” If that is not so, my amendment should be accepted.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  In reply to that, and again on a point of order, the universities are definitely excluded from one part of the section—“(not being a university, a university college, or a secondary school).” Having been definitely excluded from the operation of the section in that way, they could not be brought in by any other phrase in that section.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I do not think there can be any doubt that the amendment has a certain relevancy and is in order. What I am not quite clear about is how the Deputy is relating what he is quoting now from an alleged election address—how that is related to the Bill before us.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Having the firm foundation to stand upon that the amendment has relevance, I hope to build up my argument, and I hope to show that what I have been reading is quite relevant also. If my amendment is not carried there is, at any rate, the possibility that the universities are brought in under Section 10. If they are brought in under Section 10, Section 12 is applicable to them. Section 12 is to fall by Section 10. Section 10 was always intended to have its application to the universities when the universities were clearly and definitely in the Bill. We have got to take Section 10. It states that deductions shall be made from grants to certain classes of bodies. I do not see how the argument can proceed in connection with any grant unless these two sections are taken together. There is a possibility of a cut being made in the university grant, and if that is possible then the authorities governing must make such deductions in the salaries as with the approval of the Minister they think proper. That is bringing in the Minister to decide what the salaries of university professors are to be. I have to return again to my little pamphlet.

[2421]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Before the Deputy returns to the pamphlet I have a point of order. The amendment before the House says that “notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-section this part of this Act shall not apply to the National University of Ireland or to any of the colleges of that University.” I submit that the Deputy is bound to confine his speech to showing that this amendment should be accepted and in doing that I submit that no matters anterior to the present Bill are in order.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  These points of order are purely vexatious.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I am endeavouring to keep Deputy McGilligan to the Bill and, to prove the relevancy of his argument, I have asked him to show how the amendment is related to the section. I am endeavouring to do that.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I submit that the amendment is in order. I will also show in dealing with this amendment that this election pamphlet is in order. I will show that there was a definite action taken by the Government in the way of attempting to make a deduction from university salaries and to take away university autonomy. If, as the Minister says, the university is so clearly cut out in another section, in Section 10 as amended, why not accept my amendment? My amendment puts the matter beyond all doubt; but it is not going to be accepted by the Minister for the reason that the Government have pretended to exempt the university. In reality they have not exempted it, other words bring it in. It is covered by the words “a body corporate receiving moneys.” They still have a weapon there in their hands as given to them in Section 12 and they shall have in mind that they are going to interfere in the teaching of the university by reason of the hold they will have over the salaries of the individual professors. The public already got notice of this. They got notice of it in the election address of the Fianna Fáil candidates to the constituents of the university. They were told in that address that it was not [2422]“a colourless half-Anglicised education that our students require, but an education that is truly Gaelic in instruction and outlook.” The University must be Gaelicised through and through. The University was a colourless, half-Anglicised university.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  What has all this got to do with the amendment?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I submit that was the aim that the Government had. Their intention was revealed there. They are taking power over the professors' salaries.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I refer the Chair to the Long Title of this Bill. There is nothing in it about university education. The speech of Deputy McGilligan is dealing with a certain feature in university education.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  There has been no change in the Long Title from what it was when the Bill was first brought in. The Long Title was then the same and you had university education in the Bill as it then stood.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  So far I have not discussed university education.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I have to refer to a particular phrase used in this pamphlet “not only culturally but also economically.” Let me get down to bedrock facts in relation to Sections 10 and 12. This means that the salary of the professor who teaches according to the mind of the Ministry is going to be cut partly or hardly at all and that the salary of the professors who teach according to their own ideals will be cut. That power is there. Is that what we mean by university autonomy? Is it desirable that the Minister should have that power now? Supposing you get a Ministry in office which is taking action of a particular type. I would ask the House to remember the sort of University Bill originally introduced which the Hierarchy of this country ordered the people of the country to refuse. The Minister with this power will have made the way clear so that those people who operate certain doctrines can and will hack at certain salaries. Once that principle [2423] is accepted and preached it is easy the second time to act on it and the whole university system can be swayed by people who hold certain views. They are doing that with the backing of the two people who represent the university here, the people who issued the address to the university constituents where they talked about cultural and economic teachings. With regard to the Attorney-General, we are told he was to make the university a seat of learning worthy of the nation and of its traditions. What has he done since he came here? Cutting professors' salaries. What have we here as a result of the efforts of these two people who were going to make the university “worthy of the nation and of its traditions”? The Minister expresses astonishment that anybody could find any possible interference with the university system and its regulations, or with the professors and the teaching they give their students. By degrees it was borne in on them that there was a tide of opposition arising against the proposals and then they had to make the half-hearted repentance that they have made, and they had to come along and try and fool us into believing that because the University is taken out from the one heading of educational institution that it is not possible to bring it in under any other heading, with the further bit of veil given in Section 13. One would have thought that the President, whose chief vanity, I suppose, is that he is Chancellor of the University, and who prides himself more on the multiplicity of the honorary degrees he received than any man I ever knew——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  That has nothing to do with this amendment.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am going to make it—would have thought fit to consult the university authorities before he ventured on such a scheme as was in the measure when introduced and which to my mind is still there. Why should there be any slackening of anxiety with regard to the university and its teachings and freedom from [2424] political interference nowadays from what there was before? Many attempts were made to found a university system of a type in the country. Among the matters that were for ever in dispute and under consideration by the old Irish Parliament, I suppose, the two things most often discussed were the question as to whether the judges were to be free and independent and their salaries beyond any chance of grabbing; and whether the university, if established, was to be on a basis of freedom or whether it was to be under control through the financial grip. In both cases the thing that was looked to was the control of finance. We know very well that heads of Bills were sent from the Irish Government long ago to England insisting on the freedom of the judges and putting forward proposals about universities, and any time they were sent forward they were turned down on the basis that the freedom of the judges might be one thing in England and university freedom——

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  What has that to do with this amendment?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  ——they are brought in as an analogy. They are the same in principle, but the Minister in his stupidity cannot see that they are relevant. There is exactly the same point at issue, whether you are making certain people free from interference. There were two things that were very definitely fought about—the control of law and order in the country and the control of education, or the absence of control of it. What is simply happening is that this Ministry, which pretends to be so keen on freedom, which pretends to be so national and so Gaelic in its outlook, which pretends to be so liberal in everything, has gone more reactionary than the people whose proposals brought about the condemnation of the hierarchy of the country. They did try to delude the university people who went on a deputation to them that there was no intention of operating against the university in this way. There was an appeal made —that no reasonable man could believe that there was any such attempt made. Nine reasonable men from the three [2425] colleges were sent up because, in their reason, they believed that the weapon was there to be used, and that there was evidently going to be use made of it.

As I say, we had this pretended weakening on the part of the Ministry, this giving-in, this delusion that the University was out of this, and that the Minister for Finance cannot come in and cannot operate there as against one professor whom he dislikes, and another professor whom he likes. The Minister for the future, I suppose, will regulate not merely the finances of the country, but the financial teachings that will come from the University. That will be a poor day indeed. Why should the Minister take power to discriminate as between the different men and women appointed to university posts? Why did he ever think of taking it?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I suggest that the Deputy ought to show where that power is taken in the Bill.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Section 12.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Not at all.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I can analyse Section 12. It has been admitted that my amendment was relevant and it can only be relevant because there is still the possibility that the University can be brought in under Section 10. It is, therefore, possible to cut the grant made for the National University and its Colleges under Section 10. If that is so Section 12 says that whenever a deduction is made from a grant, any board, authority, committee or other body receiving such grant may make such deductions as such body, with the approval of the Minister, shall think proper, having regard to various things.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  May I point out that there is nothing that empowers the Minister to make these deductions?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  There is not.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Consequently, the Deputy is out of order.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That is what made the nine people, who were described [2426] as unreasonable, think that the use could be made that I think may be made of it. If that use could not be made of it, why did the Ministry pretend to cut the University out of Section 10? Why were they driven to take the University out of Section 10? Was it because of the agitation which had arisen over the assault upon the economy of the University? Where else does that assault find its base except in Section 12, and the phrase I have referred to? Is that a delusion? Why could not the Minister, in the intimacy of his office, have converted the people, who visited him to discuss the matter, to his point of view? Why did he pretend to yield and say, as he said this morning, that he cut the University clean out of the business? He is still keeping in Section 13 power to cut the grant. The only thing he is pretending to change is his power to interfere with individual salaries.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Minister never claimed that power. It is not in the Bill, and the speech is out of order.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Why the change? The Minister is no judge of order. He is as little a judge of order as a judge of the capacity of university professors and the necessity for cutting their salaries. That was the power he took to himself, and it was on that basis the whole argument has gone with these people.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I take it The Minister has no power to cut salaries.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I take it he has.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It is not in the Bill.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I take it it is there. The Minister, if he replies, can tell us why he made the change which this Bill shows from the Committee Stage, and why he has still kept power to make the cut in the amount of the grant, and what has he excluded from himself which was previously in the measure.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I take it it is the governing body has the power to interfere with the salaries and only the governing body.

[2427]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  With the approval of the Minister.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  The Deputy might as well say that the Minister for Local Government has power to cut the salaries of public officials without any interference by the local bodies.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Under this Bill he has distinctly, as we shall see on Section 12.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Yes, we were told it.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That is a very good analogy. Distinctly he has.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Might I again direct attention to the wording of Section 12 which states that “any board, authority, committee, or other body receiving (directly or indirectly) such grant or part thereof may make, from the salaries earned and payable in the current financial year by and to persons in the employment of such body, such deductions as such body shall, with the approval of the Minister, think proper ...”. The only person who has power to make a deduction under this section is the grantee.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  But the Minister has cut the grants, prior to that, by Section 10.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  If all Deputies are like Deputy McGilligan they do not understand what approval means.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I am trying to keep Deputy McGilligan from suggesting that the Minister has direct power to initiate a cut in the salaries of the staff of the University.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  On a point of order, may I submit that the Chair has ruled that Deputy McGilligan's amendment is in order? May I suggest that from the point of view of order Deputy McGilligan is entitled to put his interpretation of the particular section to the House, just as the Minister is? I want to submit that numerous points raised by the Minister were not points of order but of interruption.

Mr. MacEntee rose.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Is this a point of order?

[2428]An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I want to hear it.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  May I point out that Deputy McGilligan's amendment is to Section 10, and not to Section 12, which the Deputy is discussing at the moment?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  There may be certain interrelation.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Of course there distinctly is.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I take it Deputy McGilligan is addressing himself to the power this Bill gives the Minister to interfere with the autonomy of the University. I take it that is the strong point Deputy McGilligan is endeavouring to establish. I cannot see how he has established that the Minister is entitled or empowered to deal directly with the salaries of the staff of the University, and to interfere with the autonomy of the University in that direction, that is to say that the Minister can discriminate as between certain professors on the University staff.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  As the Minister is, in the end, the approver of the whole thing, surely the Minister has control over the University governing body. If there is a certain cut in salary, and the Minister refuses approval, surely he can beat down the governing authority to make the changes he requires.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  The Deputy does not suggest that the Minister can pick out Professor A and cut him £50, while Professor B is not to be cut.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  He certainly can. That is the argument which lies on the section, whether it is a correct argument or not. The Minister wants to get after Professor A. He refuses every scheme put up until Professor A is reduced to the level to which he thinks he ought to be reduced. What is simpler than that? The anxiety of the Minister to disabuse the public mind or rather to confuse the public mind about this is a matter to be noted. He is very anxious to pretend [2429] that this power never was there. I want him to face up to this point. Why has the change been made in this measure? Why have we the pretence that the University is cut out of Section 10, because if it disappears from Section 10 it is out of Section 12? Why the Minister's anxiety to cut the University out of Section 10? There are only two things can be done to the University under this measure as it was originally introduced; the gross amount of the grant payable to the University can be reduced; after that the Minister can see that that reduction is brought down through the salaries of the university professors in such a manner as he approves. He still keeps the power to make a deduction from the grant. That is under Section 13. What is he pretending to get rid of? The power to get at the individual salaries of the individual professors? What I want to know is why did he pretend to take the University out of Section 10, if it was not for the purpose of getting rid of the argument and the objection that this Bill, as originally introduced, and I hold still, gives him the power to break in on the scheme on which the University was founded, and to get at the salaries of the individual professors? That is for him to explain.

The University has been established on a particular scheme, and it was not one that met with entire approval. When the University Act of 1906 was introduced and passed there was considerable discussion as to whether it should be accepted. In the end it was accepted as a workable compromise. The main point upon which it commended itself to the people of this country who were interested in educational matters from a Catholic angle was that it established a rather rigid scheme with regard to the appointment of professors, and with regard to the salaries on which they should work. There is a whole scheme laid down. The University is made, to all intents and purposes, a legislative body. The Charter which established it allowed for the establishment of a governing authority. It gave that governing authority power to bring in statutes, which statutes had to lie on [2430] the Table of the House of Parliament. They might be rejected, but they could not be amended; at any rate the University could refuse an amendment. No amendment could be made that was outside the Charter. The University had its own legislative powers tied down to two things—the method of the appointment of professors, and the emoluments on which those professors would carry out their duties. This certainly breaks in on the second of these. It is a matter of somewhat doubtful legality as to whether, introduced incidentally in the way in which it has been, it over-rides the Statutes of the University, but there is an attempt made to do so. It is a scandalous thing for a Government which professes anxiety for the interests of Catholic education in the country to give a Minister, no matter who he may be, the power that there is under Section 12, the power that by operating the control of the purse he can, in the end, operate the whole fabric of the University institution. He can get at people through the particular matters they are teaching, in every branch of their teaching, languages—the Gaelic language in particular—economics, the moral sciences and everything else. The Minister has the grip over the future that by getting at certain professors, whose doctrines he does not like, he can finally reduce them to the point that they would either have to live as a class of martyrs, suffering under his persecution, or else get out.

An Ceann Comhairle resumed the Chair.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  On a point of order. I would like to direct the attention of the Chair to the words of the amendment, which are are follows:—

“Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-section this Part of this Act shall not apply to the National University of Ireland or to any of the Colleges of that University.”

I should also like to direct attention to the following words of the section: “not being a university, a university college or a secondary school.”

[2431]Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  On a further point of order——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Minister has not concluded his point of order.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The universities are definitely excluded from the operation of the section. The argument upon which, I think, this amendment might be held to be in order is that because there is certain ambiguity in the words “or to a board, commission, company, association, or other body,” it might be held that they would be brought within the ambit of the section. I am not holding that this is a sustainable argument, but I do say that the only ground upon which this amendment might be held to be in order is that it is necessary in order to clear up an ambiguity within the section which exists by reason of the fact that when a university is specifically and explicitly excluded by one phrase, it might be held to be implicit in the words “board, commission, company, association or other body.” But I am putting this point: that any discussion we might have upon this amendment should be confined entirely to this question as to whether, in view of the ambiguity that might be held to exist within the section, it is necessary to have this amendment, so that it would be made quite clear that the University would be excluded. So far, the Deputy has utilised this amendment to discuss matters that I hold arise on Section 12.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  May I point out, a Chinn Comhairle, that the Leas-Cheann Comhairle has already ruled upon that point. The Minister was in the House when he so ruled and I submit it is an abuse of the privileges of the House to ask the Ceann Comhairle, who has only just come into the Chair, to rule upon a matter that has already been ruled upon by the Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

Mr. V. Rice: Information on Vincent Rice  Zoom on Vincent Rice  The point the Minister has just raised was already made by him, and overruled by the Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

Mr. Bennett: Information on George Cecil Bennett  Zoom on George Cecil Bennett  The Minister has attempted several times to order the course of the debate.

[2432]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If there is a ruling shall I get the right to revert to the Minister's remarks?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Deputies should not raise rulings given by the Leas-Cheann Comhairle to be commented on by the Ceann Comhairle.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  It was the Minister did that.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Universities have been excluded, but the Minister says there is ambiguity. As far as I understand, Deputies are on the question of ambiguity and, if that is so, the Deputy is entitled to argue it.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I wonder, a Chinn Comhairle, did you misunderstand the point I raised. You have just said that Deputies should not raise the rulings of the Leas-Cheann Comhairle in order to be ruled upon by the Ceann Comhairle. Did you not mean that the Minister for Finance should not raise that point?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I meant that it should never be raised by anyone.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I am merely pointing out to you, sir, and to the House, that it was the Minister raised the point. He, previously, raised the point when the Leas-Cheann Comhairle was in the Chair and was ruled out of order.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I pointed out that the only ground upon which it would be in order was that there would be fear of ambiguity in the section.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Would the Minister explain what were the points he raised?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  They arose out of the irrelevancies of the Deputy's speech.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Minister did raise the question of the irrelevancies of my speech and each time he raised it he was rebuffed by the Chair. Will that tie him now any faster to his seat or is there any process that would keep him in his seat?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Has not a Deputy the privilege of asking the ruling of the Chair when he thinks that another [2433] Deputy is wandering outside the rules of order? When a Minister discharges his duty I think he should be protected from the insolence of an irrelevant Deputy.

Mr. Rice:  Is the Minister entitled to indulge in disorderly interruptions?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Minister is within his rights in raising a point of order.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Can he indulge in continuous interruptions by way of points of order and indulge in abuse?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Minister has raised only one point of order since I have returned to the Chair.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  You, sir, could not have any experience of what the Minister has been at during the last 15 minutes. Really there ought to be something in the way of a limit to the number of times the Minister can raise irrelevant points, and all the time be rebuffed by the occupant of the Chair.

There, again, the important point is ruled in order, that the universities are still in Section 10; there is still ambiguity about their being there, but they are in Section 12. Section 12 operates and operates to destroy the autonomy of the university system. That was a thing for which the Catholics in this country fought hard. It was a principle they would not abandon in the face of most attractive offers in other respects. And it is rather an amazing thing that when these other schemes had been rejected even when they were put in the most attractive way, we should now come to find the defects of the old scheme brought into a system that was accepted, as I said, more or less, as a compromise. This matter, which the Minister now pretends to be of no substance or importance, has got to a point that the University authorities themselves have got anxious about the matter. I think I am revealing no secret when I say that the authorities of Maynooth have got greatly disquieted over the matter and that we have the Hierarchy in line with the protest which the lay-folk of the University have decided to make against this Section 12 which is still in the Bill [2434] and may be brought in to operate against the University. After a great deal of consideration they put their thoughts in writing for the benefit of the Ministry and they circulated a memorandum which contains their doubts to quite a number of Deputies in this House. I propose to make a short quotation from that as showing what they thought of this measure and pointing out what it was that raised their apprehension.

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  Whose thoughts is the Deputy expressing now? The Bishops, is it?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The thoughts of the people who wrote the memorandum to which I am referring. It was prepared by the staffs of the three colleges of the National University, and lest there might be any misunderstanding, I understand that everything in this memorandum was approved by the authorities in the College of Maynooth and that this can be taken as having their approval, certainly in regard to all the points on which I am now going to touch. The memorandum referred to Section 10 of the Public Services (Temporary Economies) Bill in application to certain limitations of the Minister's powers and it goes on to say that:—

“Whereas until now the Minister for Finance and his officials have had no power to very the college endowments, Section 10 of this Bill gives him liberty to make such reductions in them as he shall determine ‘after such consultation with the governing authority of such institutes as he thinks proper... having regard (a) to the proportion of such grant ordinarily applied to the payment of such salaries; (b) to the deductions from salaries to be made under Part II of this Act, and (c) to the other circumstances of the case’. These apparent limitations to the Minister's power are in reality general indications concerning a decision which will, in fact, be arbitrary and final. In reading this section the ordinary member of the Oireachtas will probably have in mind such bodies as county councils and boards of assistance already [2435] subject to the Ministry. There is a danger that it may not be realised that in effect the section is supersending the colleges as autonomous corporate entities and undoing the settlement of the university question. The Dáil is not setting up a commission of educational experts, or even one of public representatives. It is being asked to institute an inquisition of civil servants and to approve beforehand of their unpredictable predictions.”

The Attorney-General (Mr. Maguire): Information on Conor Alexander Maguire  Zoom on Conor Alexander Maguire  What the Deputy is reading is a reference to Section 10. Are the universities not out of Section 10?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Oh, dear, has that to be explained again to a late comer who has not taken the trouble to read the section? Where are the universities out of the section?

The Attorney-General:  I am asking the Ceann Comhairle, not the Deputy.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  It is not for the Ceann Comhairle to interpret a section. Deputies are entitled to argue that certain interpretations may be given to the section.

The Attorney-General:  I ask if it can be ruled that the universities are in the section when the words are qualified by the phrase “not being a university, a university college or a secondary school.”

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I ask you, sir, can it be argued——

The Attorney-General:  I am asking you, sir, to rule——

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  And, in opposition, I am asking the Ceann Comhairle if it can be argued that the universities are exempt from a section which goes on to say “...or a board, commission, company, association, or other body”? Excluding them as an educational institution does not exclude them from a commission or board. Maybe the Attorney-General would apply his mind to that?

The Attorney-General:  I ask for the Ceann Comhairle's ruling. The section makes it plan, on the face of it, to any [2436] intelligent Deputy that university colleges are out of the section and the suggestion that they can come in under other words is absurd.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  It is not the duty of the Chair to interpret Bills beyond saying what is in order. The Deputy is entitled to argue that university colleges do come in under certain terms of Section 10.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Government has already intimated that it has no desire that universities should be included——

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Accept my amendment.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  ——within the ambit of this section and, as a matter of fact, on Committee Stage, it introduced an amendment which definitely, in the opinion of the Government, excluded universities from the operation of the section. In pursuance of that intention, a further new section in the Bill dealing specifically with universities was introduced. I suggest that the only ground on which the amendment can be in order before the House is if the Deputy had introduced it in order to clear up an ambiguity which he says exists within the section and the only thing he is entitled to discuss is whether that amendment is necessary to clear up that ambiguity. He is not entitled to go beyond that and to discuss all the questions which he holds arise under Section 12.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Can I make my point again? We are told that Section 10 has specifically excluded universities. I hold that it has not. You, sir, have refused to rule, even on the seductive appeal made by the Attorney-General that you should rule what an intelligent Deputy would think. I presume that you refrained from that because the repercussion on the intelligence of the Attorney-General might have been too severe. The universities are in the section——

The Attorney-General:  I should like to ask whether it is in order to object to a Deputy being irrelevant. If it is so in order, how can it be declared whether he is relevant or not without ruling what the section deals with? I [2437] suggest that universities are excluded and, therefore, the Chair is in a position to rule that the Deputy is irrelevant and, for that purpose, to interpret the section.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Is it now open to every member of the Fianna Fáil Party, in turn, to put the same question to you, sir?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Deputies and Ministers and the Attorney-General are quite in order in asking for a ruling from the Ceann Comhairle on this section. I do not know whether the argument of the Deputy is based on the Bill as it originally stood——

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  No, it is not.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy should take into account the fact that the universities have been ostensibly excluded, but he may argue that there is ambiguity or doubt about the intended exclusion.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am entitled to argue that they are still in the Bill and that is what I am arguing.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  On that, I put it to you, sir, that the Deputy is entitled only to deal with the ambiguity and to argue that this amendment is necessary to remove that ambiguity and that he is not entitled to discuss the amendment or any other point of view.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy is entitled to discuss the amendment before the House that “notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-section, this Part of the Act shall not apply to the National University or to any of the Colleges of that University.”

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Government having already intimated its opinion that the section does not apply to universities, it being arguable from the words of the section itself that the section is not intended to apply to the universities, I submit, one again, that the Deputy must confine himself to the question of ambiguity.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am not going to be ruled by the Minister. Let us get this clear, if it is possible. The Bill, [2438] as it was introduced, had a Section 10, which ran:—

Where a grant is made annually, under statute or otherwise out of the Central Fund or moneys provided by the Oireachtas to a university, college or other educational institution (not being a secondary school)....

That part of it is changed so that it now runs:—

where a grant is made annually, under statute or otherwise, out of the Central Fund or moneys provided by the Oireachtas to any educational institution....

and then it runs:—

not being a university, a university college or a secondary school.

There is the change that is made. Now, let me leave out that part—let us assume it is not there. The old measure ran:—

Where a grant is made annually, under statute or otherwise... to a board, commission, company, association or other body (whether corporated or unincorporated) and such grant is wholly or partly available in the hands of such institution or body for the payment of the salaries of persons employed by such institution or body, there shall be deducted from the amount of such grant which falls to be made in the current financial year such sum as the Minister... shall determine having regard to the proportion of such grant ordinarily applied to the payment of such salaries....

That is still there. There has not been the slightest change made in it. The words: “not being a university, a college, or a secondary school,” have not been inserted after the words “or other body (whether corporate or unincorporated),” which might have put the matter beyond reasonable doubt. We have all that excluded but the universities brought in under the description of educational institution. Is it certain that they are excluded entirely from Section 10?

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

The Attorney-General:  Certainly, they are.

[2439]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Attorney-General is very alert in coming in at this time. We, some time previously, had a legal matter and I noticed that he left the House almost immediately —I do not know whether he was sent or whether he left it of his own accord. How can anybody argue that a university being a commission and, certainly, being a body corporate or unincorporated, receiving a grant——

The Attorney-General:  Because it is specifically excluded.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  ——it is specifically excluded from the description of educational establishment?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  And the section must be considered as a whole and you must not forget that you have in the phrase “Commission or body corporate or unincorporated.” At any rate, if all this is as clear as the Minister and the Attorney-General say, why not accept my amendment? Does it not put an end to this once and for all? Does it impose any handicap on the Ministry in their activities against these other bodies if they accept the phrase: “notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-section, this Part of the Act shall not apply to the National University or to any of the Colleges of that University”?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Because it is wholly unnecessary and tautological.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Very good; that is the balance of consideration. It is clear beyond all doubt to both the Minister and the Attorney-General that universities are not in but there will be an embarrassment of words, there will be a surplus of words, if the phrase goes in. I hold, on the contrary, that it is still possible to bring the universities in as a commission or body, corporate or unincorporated, receiving a grant.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  By no stretch of interpretation could they be brought in.

Mr. Bennett: Information on George Cecil Bennett  Zoom on George Cecil Bennett  There are other interpretations besides the Minister's.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  So long as this phrase can be so interpreted that the universities can come in under it, I hold that there are all the dangers that were [2440] in the original Bill, Section 12 being as it was and Section 10 still giving a loophole to shoot at the universities and I am entitled to argue this whole question of the university autonomy and the attack made on it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I think the Deputy should confine himself to the possibilities of their being included and to the ambiguity which he says exists.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  And to what will follow, if they are included. Surely, that is a matter for argument. If I am to get rid of the ambiguity, surely the strength of the case I can make is founded on what will flow if the ambiguity is discovered to be present? I cannot make any great case, otherwise.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Government having definitely accepted the principle that the universities are to be excluded from the operation of this section, the universities are being excluded from Section 12 of the Bill.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  They are not.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It is not in order for the Deputy to go further and argue what is going to happen if they are included in Section 12, the Government having definitely made up its mind that they are not included. I submit that he must confine his speech to submitting to the House the reasons which, in his mind, make it essential that these words should be included in the section.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That is what I am arguing.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  To a point of order, since you have come into the Chair, sir, the Minister for Finance repeatedly and the Attorney-General, on two occasions, have got up to discuss a matter on which you have definitely given your ruling. You have ruled that Deputy McGilligan is in order. Your ruling is now being challenged by the Minister for Finance and I respectfully submit to you that neither the Minister for Finance nor the Attorney-General nor any Deputy in this House [2441] is justified in questioning the rulings of the Chair.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Chair does not take it that the ruling is being questioned. The Ministers responsible have given an assurance that, in their opinion and in the opinion of their advisers, the universities are not included in this section and they suggest, therefore, that the question of ambiguity alone arises. The only question that arises is whether or not the universities come under the operation of this section.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I must protest. Once the question of ambiguity arises at all, a Deputy is entitled to argue as to the evil consequences that will follow if the ambiguity is allowed to remain. What good are assurances from Ministers in respect of a statute? This Bill is on its way to the statute book and, when some other Minister is operating this measure, there will be no use in our telling him of the assurances given by those people. That is what may happen if, in fact, the universities are brought in under this provision. So far from their being any question of ambiguity, I cannot see that there is any doubt about it. There is certainty that the universities are brought under it and the proof is this: there is an amendment which clearly cuts them out. It adds three lines to this measure. Why not accept it?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Might I suggest—I put this as a point of order—that if the Deputy wished definitely to exclude the universities from the operation of Section 12—all his remarks on this amendment have, I think, been confined to the effects which would ensure if Section 12 were to be applied to the universities—his amendment should have been down to Section 12.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I happen to have an amendment to Section 12. I cannot argue it out of its turn.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Since the Deputy has admitted that he has an amendment down to Section 12, I submit that his speech on this amendment [2442] must be confined to the question of ambiguity. The other issues which could be raised in regard to Section 12, if the universities were included, he will have an opportunity of discussing on his other amendments.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It is a pity that the Minister would not let his eye run down the list of amendments before rising to make a foolish point like that. I have down an amendment to Section 10 and I have down a similar amendment to Section 12. I thought that I had to put both down. Suppose I refrained from putting an amendment down to Section 10, clearly I should be met, when I came to discuss Section 12, with the statement that the universities are out of Section 10, and, therefore, that Section 12 has no application to them. I have, therefore, got to move, firstly, to exclude them from the operations of Section 10 and, secondly, to exclude Section 12 from having any application to these bodies.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy on this amendment can only deal with ambiguity.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am not accepting any limitation in regard to ambiguity. I put it quite definitely for a ruling that I am entitled to say that the universities are within the scope of Section 10, as it now stands, and, being within Section 10, that they suffer from the repercussion of Section 12; that Section 12 gives the Minister final power to approve of the salaries and, that being so, that the whole scheme of university autonomy is gone. I have no argument to make merely on the question of ambiguity. The only strong argument I can make is to show what was definitely intended; what, I think, is still intended and what can still operate against the universities, Section 10 being amended to the point only to which it has been amended and Section 12 remaining without amendment. There is no freedom of discussion in this House under the campaign of continuous interruption to which I have been subjected this evening on a matter of great importance, a matter which so raised the anxiety of those interested [2443] in education that they made the protest they did to the Minister, which drew in the authorities of Maynooth College and which, I think, drew in the criticism of the Hierarchy.

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  No.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I used the words “I think.”

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  It is necessary to use them.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I have always said “I think” in that connection. I do not make any alteration or reservation in regard to what I said respecting the staff of the College at Maynooth. If the universities can be brought in under Section 10—as I hold they can— and if the Minister can operate on them under Section 12—as I hold he can—then the arguments set out in this memorandum from which I was attempting to give a quotation are quite relevant to the discussion we are having at the moment. This represents the considered views of the staffs of the three colleges——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I presume that that memorandum was written before words purporting to exclude the universities were inserted in this section?

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

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy is therefore quoting at length from a memorandum drawn up to meet a situation which has changed.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The transfer of what was written to the present circumstances is my responsibility but it is a responsibility I shall easily carry. These arguments were sound, in the opinion of the people who urged them, when the universities were clearly inside Section 10. They had no doubt as to what Section 12 meant in those circumstances. If it is still possible for the universities to be brought in under Section 10, or suppose we go beyond that and say it is extremely likely that the universities are still in under Section 10 or if we can go to the point of saying that the universities are still in under Section 10, is a very easy [2444] responsibility if I transfer the arguments they urged under the old circumstances to the present measure. Taking that as my responsibility, here is what they said:—

In reading this section. the ordinary member of the Oireachtas will probably have in mind such bodies as county councils and boards of assistance already subjected to the Ministry——

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I should like to ask the Deputy one question——

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  That is not a point of order.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Has the Deputy authority to quote——

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Order!

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  “There is a danger that it may not be realised that in effect the section is superseding the colleges as autonomous corporate entities——”

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  This is a private document.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  “And undoing the settlement of the university question.”

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Has the Deputy authority to quote this document?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Whether the Deputy has authority to quote that memorandum is a matter for the Deputy himself. It has been explained that the document was written under certain circumstances. The circumstances have altered since and the Deputy is quoting the document on his own responsibility.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Has he authority from those who supplied the document to use it?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If I have not authority, I shall answer for it afterwards. I am not going to give the Minister any further satisfaction than that.

Again may I quote. Referring to Section 10, these people said:—

“In reading this section the ordinary member of the Oireachtas will probably have in mind such [2445] bodies as county councils and boards of assistance, already subjected to the Ministry. There is a danger that it may not be realised that in effect the section is superseding the colleges as autonomous corporate entities and undoing the settlement of the University question. The Dáil is not setting up a commission of educational experts or even one of public representatives; it is being asked to institute an inquisition of civil servants and to approve beforehand of their unpredictable decisions. If we advert to the extremely wide definition of “salary” in Section 3, it will be apparent that the Bill practically means handing our entire administration over to the Ministry of Finance, for every transaction except the purchase of material, rents, maintenance and the like, can be regarded as salary. The mere fact that the declared purpose of the reduction of endowment is a cut in the salaries of the staffs is itself a most definite infringement of the autonomy guaranteed by Parliament and Charter. An enforcement of economies in general by an Act reducing the total grant, is quite within the powers of the Oireachtas. But it is not open to it, without raising very fundamental questions of principle to dictate to the colleges how they are to adjust their responsibilities and functions to the altered grant. It is still more reckless and reprehensible to claim to subject us to the officials of the Ministry of Finance, who, however excellent in their own domain, are quite unfamiliar with academic problems and educational matters.

I hold that the danger is still there, and that the comments which were relevant previously are relevant now. The danger to which they call attention being there, I take the responsibility of saying for them what they said to so many people, because this memorandum was widely circulated.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Have those responsible for the memorandum told the Deputy that they are included in the section, as amended?

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  They are not members of the House.

[2446]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Some person has communicated to the Deputy a memorandum prepared by these people. Are we to assume that Deputy McGilligan is not competent to speak for them?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am speaking for them. I can finish with a very short quotation from the rest of it. They go on to refer to Section 12:—

The full measure of bureaucratic control now proposed can be seen in Section 12, which professes to authorise each governing body to make such deductions in individual salaries “as such body, shall, with the approval of the Minister, think proper.” Section 12 is consequential on Section 10, and both sections combined constitute that direct attack upon our autonomy to which we take the most emphatic objection. The whole system of university administration is swept away by this claim to empower the governing bodies to override and dispense with statutes and to make any or every alteration in the salaries of individual Chairs which has “the approval of the Minister.” The power freely to fix salaries is central to the whole question of university autonomy and to the whole efficiency of the colleges as teaching institutions. Once that power is interfered with, no matter on what pretext or with what protestations, the university is thereby inhibited from freely making its own arrangements in respect of the wide variety of interests that fall within its knowledge and capacity as to the teaching needs of education. We brand as despotic and dangerous the principle of this innovation which, had it been enacted by the British Government, would have been denounced with fervour by the whole country. Individual and corporate liberty may be so slowly, separately and subtly undermined, that the process may proceed almost unobserved.

According to Section 12 the salary of each one of us is to be determined by “the approval of the Minister.” And, therefore, according to constitutional [2447] usage, the Minister is responsible to the Dáil for every such act of approval. Hence it is open to any member to ask a question, and to start a debate on the adjournment of the House, on the salary of any Chair and on the teaching and qualifications of the holder. Thus the university institutions which are alone recognised for 93 per cent. of our people are to be subjected to complete Governmental and political control, while the minority is alone to have a free and independent university.

I can speak on another occasion on university professors as such, apart from university autonomy. I have been dealing with a certain amount of history in relation to the fight made for free university institutions. I think I may refer to the fact that learning as such was one of the things on which our ancestors were supposed to have prided themselves. They were supposed to have prided themselves, particularly in the facilities they granted to learned people, the honours bestowed on them, and the pay and the emoluments given them. This liberal group that is now a Government has decided on a measure which the Minister for Education, most appropriately speaking on this matter, said was aimed first and foremost as an attempt at a reduction of salaries. That was his phrase to-day. It is a good thing that we should have that clearly stated, and it is a good thing that in this context we are not sparing the literate. People whom the ancient Irish delighted to honour are going definitely to be cut, without any appreciation of the position which they previously occupied, or the salaries or emoluments which they previously enjoyed. Incidental to all this, and relative to the present discussion, even such grants as were given in aid of the collection of folklore in the country are being hacked about.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Is that in order?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  There is, generally, an attack in this Bill, and it is in the forefront, on every cultural institution the country has. That is done by two [2448] people who announced to the electorate of the University that they were going to improve it beyond all knowing. It is a great thing to promise—like most of the other promises. The Attorney-General was to work untiringly to make the University itself a seat of learning worthy of the nation and its traditions. The implementation of it is peculiar. He was to work untiringly to make the University worthy of the nation and its tradition. We had a tradition with regard to learning. A professor in olden times, we are told, was seated at the King's shoulder, sat beside him at the feasts, and shared his portions— he has got the Government's cold shoulder. He was picked out for honours, and not merely picked out for honours but took them as a man who was worthy. These people in the old days were given good conditions of living, were given everything that made life easy. They were spared, except there was definitely a savage attack made to destroy the culture of the country. Education suffered by the measures adopted now when attacks were made on the moneys paid them. It was recognised that there was a consequent lowering of the dignity of the people in these positions by the decrease which was associated, not so much with the men as with the particular things they taught, and so decay came on and grew. Now we are going to make the University a seat worthy of these traditions by hacking at these moneys.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Is the Deputy discussing Section 12?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am discussing Section 10. If it is the wish of the Chair I will discuss the question again on Section 12.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The discussion does not arise on Section 10.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Very well. I will withdraw until Section 12 comes up.

Mr. T. Kelly: Information on Thomas Kelly  Zoom on Thomas Kelly  The Deputy took over two hours.

The Attorney-General:  I do not mind what the Deputy said about me and my election promises. I know [2449] that that election, and the memories of it must be very painful to the Deputy, and I suppose I cannot blame him for harking back to it. I stand by anything I said in the election circular. I should like to say that, as the Bill now stands, I seldom heard in the Dáil a speech more unjustified by circumstances. The Government have announced that they do not intend that universities should be covered by this section, and under the guise of the specious arguments that the words do not carry out that intention, the Deputy has succeeded in unburdening himself of the speech which, apparently, he had prepared to deliver as the section originally stood. I suggest it is bordering on the dishonest, and can only have been intended to get publicity for views, which it was quite unnecessary to state on this section.

I am going to deal with these views in a moment, although I did suggest to the Chair that they were out of order, but I take it that when the Deputy has been allowed to develop them I might be permitted to say what my attitude is in regard to the universities. When this question first arose I met a group of university representatives. The Deputy was also invited to meet them, but the Deputy was not there. Had he been there, he would have seen that the nine representatives from the three colleges had a friendly, frank discussion about the whole matter. I suggested to the representatives there that their fears with regard to the interference with their autonomy were, in my view, almost completely unjustified, but I listened to everything they had to say. I attended, subsequently, when they interviewed Ministers and others, and, as a result of my intervention, if I may claim it, concessions were made to meet their fears, fears which in my opinion were absolutely unjustified. Those who represented the universities never took up the stand which has been taken up here, that the Government were not entitled if the situation was such that economies were required, to ask the University to bear a share of the burden as well as everybody else. They did not take up that stand, and it would have been quite unreasonable [2450] to take up that stand. All they complained of, and the matter upon which I sought to allay their fears, was that by reason of the powers conferred upon the Minister by this Bill there might be some interference with their autonomy. I felt then, and I still feel, that the campaign in that regard was worked for purely political purposes and that the suggestion running through the Deputy's speech and running through the correspondence of those who suggested that here was a sinister attempt to allow the State to interfere with the autonomy of the University, was quite unjustified.

Here was a Bill introduced to effect economies in a certain way, to effect economies by attempting to spread the burden as widely as possible over all services which derived their supplies from the State. The suggestion that by some underhand means this Government intended to utilise that measure to cut the salary of Professor A. or B. in the way in which the Minister desired is absolutely unworthy of some of those who wrote these letters, and I am certainly astonished to hear it coming even from Deputy McGilligan. I say the intention behind the Bill as it originally stood, was to make the University bear its share of the burden, to spread the burden as evenly as possible, and to adapt to the University some of the scale contained in the latter part of the Bill. In the discussion with the representatives of the University we had none of the suggestions, or none of the heat, that we had here from Deputy McGilligan. Perhaps if he had been there we might not have been even able to get along as successfully as we did.

As I say, since the amendment was introduced into the Bill I have heard not one single word of complaint from those who feared that the Bill was an interference with the autonomy of universities, and I think that is some justification for saying that the fears of the University and the fears of Maynooth College, fears which I thought were quite unjustifiable, and fears which I say were aroused by some people from political motives, have been allayed by the amending of the section as it now stands amended.

[2451] The wording of the Bill, even as it stood, was the draftsman's effort to meet the intentions of the Government. It is the wording of the draftsman, for which I am responsible as Attorney-General, to meet the Government's intention. I suggest that the Deputy wandered away from the question of any ambiguity which might still be in the section. In my view—I have already said it and I have given it clearly as my opinion—the wording of the section does achieve the object of excluding the University from this section. That is not alone my opinion. The Deputy knows it is the opinion of the man who has been for a long number of years in charge of drafting Bills and settling amendments such as this, for the previous Government as well as for this Government. Even if I had not my judgment to rely upon I certainly should be prepared to take his opinion against that of Deputy McGilligan. I notice that not one of the legal gentlemen who were sitting behind the Deputy and who were listening to the debate, took the view that there is still in the section something which may rope in the universities. The words then are obviously intended clearly to exclude that. That being the position, the intention of the Government having been stated from these benches and the intention having been clearly embodied in the new draft, I do repeat that I think it is wholly an unjustifiable procedure on the part of the Deputy to seek to capture a few votes of university graduates by pretending that only he is active here on behalf of the universities, and that their fate or future would be seriously interfered with by the provisions of the Bill.

That is what I feel. I must repeat it and make this protest. I think it is a wholly wrong thing that this wrangle should have gone on because the Deputy must have known that these arguments were quite unnecessary to convince these benches after the Minister had stated that we had gone as far as possible to meet the fears of the University. He should have been quite content with that. If it turns out, despite the views of the draftsman, [2452] despite my views, despite the views of many other men who have examined the section, that there is still a slight ambiguity in the section, the Government is pledged, by what has been said here, to see that that ambiguity should be cleared up. After all that, a person of the Deputy's knowledge and experience should know the position created by the Government making such a statement here, and I do protest against the speech which the Deputy has made and against the way in which he has sought to excite the fears of those who are watchful for the University and anxious to preserve its autonomy.

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  I have been definitely challenged to intervene in this debate. Deputy McGilligan has read out for the House portions of an electoral address which was issued by the Fianna Fáil Committee in connection with University representation in this House at the beginning of this year. I did not write that address. My colleague, Deputy Conor Maguire did not write that address. I did not sign that address, nor did Deputy Conor Maguire sign it. It had far more force in my opinion because it was written by others. It has now become a mandate. It was not an expression of our opinion, but after that address was issued we went to the University electors of the country and we all know the result. Two of our candidates were returned, one at the head of the poll. I think that is a sufficient answer to Deputy McGilligan. I have only to add that over every word of that address I stand, and stand thoroughly.

With regard to another matter, Deputy McGilligan has said that certain expressions in that address were a threat to the autonomy of that university. I forget the exact expression he used, but it was something about Gaelicising the University. As regards the autonomy of the University I have no definite opinion on that. I have never studied the question. What I do say is that the autonomy of the University must always be subordinate to the autonomy of the country, and if we sinned in attacking it then we did so [2453] in very good company. I have before me an extract which goes to show that, on one occasion, this House went so far as to interfere with the autonomy of the University by actually prescribing the conditions under which professors would be appointed. If that was not a very much more serious interference with the autonomy of the University than a mere question of salaries I do not know what to say. In 1929 the Oireachtas passed an Act entitled “University College Galway Act.” This was an Act “to make provision for increasing the annual grant payable to University College, Galway, and for securing that persons appointed to offices and situations in that college shall be competent to discharge their duties through the medium of the Irish language.” One of the provisions of that Act reads:

It shall be the duty of the Senate of the National University of Ireland, the governing body of the college, or the President of the college, as the case may be, when making an appointment to any office or situation in the college, to appoint to such office or situation a person who is competent to discharge the duties thereof through the medium of the Irish language: provided a person so competent and also suitable in all other respects is to be found amongst the persons who are candidates or otherwise available for such appointment.

Under that provision there is far more interference with the autonomy of the University than in anything proposed here.

There is another matter to which I wish to refer which clearly shows that under the last Administration there was interference with the automony of the universities. Under the last Government, about 1923, when Dr. Eoin MacNeill was Minister for Education, the Ministry appointed a Commission “to determine how University College, Galway, could best engage in some special work of national importance, e.g. the fulfilling of the functions of an Irish-speaking university college through conducting university teaching and general subjects [2454] through the medium of Irish.” The Commission reported in 1926. I think that is all I have to say. If the provisions of the Act dealing with University College, Galway, did not constitute interference with the conditions under which the professors are appointed, then I do not know what to say.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I take it from the speech of the Attorney-General that there is just a possibility of doubt, regarding the wording of this section, that the universities may be included. There is just that possibility, he said. If there be, what is the objection to accepting the amendment? The amendment leaves the matter beyond a shadow of doubt. We want to take that precaution. We have been told by the Attorney-General how interested the people he met from the University were when told that there was no intention of interfering with it. If that be so what is the awful objection to accepting the amendment. There is frightful opposition to this amendment on the part of the Ministry. Two members of the Ministry interrupted more than once when a case was being made for its acceptance. Their horror at the very mention of the amendment is so great that a Deputy on this side was interrupted during the whole course of his speech this evening.

If the Attorney-General had not said that the Government is pledged I would not be so suspicious. Twelve months ago the head of the Government, speaking from his place on the opposite side of the House, was asked by me if, in connection with an International Agreement enshrined in an Act of the Oireachtas passed in 1929 protecting the rights of civil servants, it was in the power of this Oireachtas to alter, repeal or amend that Act and he said no. But this Bill is doing it. It just represents what, in my opinion, a pledge of this Government is worth. A pledge from the same people is not worth while wasting words on. This amendment will place a question which is in some sort of doubt beyond any possibility of doubt. Deputy Mrs. Concannon spoke of the Act of 1929, and [2455] said that under it there was interference with the autonomy of the University. There was no such interference.

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  Did not that Act lay down the conditions under which professors in University College, Galway, should be appointed?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  By the Senate of the University.

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  It laid down the condition governing appointments by the University.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  What was the condition? Competency.

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  A knowledge of the Irish language was one and competency.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  And the Senate of the University was to decide that. That is the best evidence one could have that the autonomy of the University was not interfered with.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  There was never any interference, or any attempt at interference, by the late Administration during the ten years it was in office with the autonomy of the University, and the interruption of Deputy Mrs. Concannon clearly proves that. If the Oireachtas gives a grant to a university is it the Deputy's contention that the University may do what it pleases with it? Surely if I make a disposition in respect of a certain sum of money to any body that I have control over, it is not interfering with the autonomy of that body if I express a preference as to how the money should be applied.

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  I submit there was interference with the autonomy of the University by laying down the conditions under which University professors were to be appointed.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  If it be held that laying down conditions, under the circumstances I have mentioned, was interference with the autonomy of the University then I have nothing further to add. Grants were given, but the appointments were to be made by the [2456] Senate of the University. The Senate had the appointment. Therefore, I hold their was no interference.

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  Yes, but the conditions were laid down beforehand by an Act of this House under which the appointments were to be made.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  What were the conditions?

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  One was a knowledge of Irish.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  And competency.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  So far as the pledges of this Government are concerned I regret, in view of the specific statement made to me across this Chamber that it was not within the power of the Oireachtas to alter, repeal or amend the Act of 1929—enshrining an international agreement—to have to say that the pledge with regard to this Bill is not worth much. The Minister for Education stated to-day that this was a Bill for cuts in salaries. It is more than that, and no case whatever has been made against the amendment.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Deputy Cosgrave is like Deputy McGilligan on that famous occasion when the representatives of the University met the representatives of the Government: he was absent during the greater part of this debate and did not hear Deputy McGilligan himself admit that possibly there was this ambiguity which we deny in the section. On that we are much more competently advised than either Deputy McGilligan or Deputy Cosgrave. If there was ambiguity in the section which we deny, there were other ways in which it might be removed. The Deputy himself suggested that a certain form of words might be incorporated “to a board, commission, company, association or other body whether (corporate or unincorporated),” which would quite clearly, to his mind, exclude the University.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Why not put them in?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Because they are not necessary. As I have said, we have competent advisers. We do not have [2457] to rely on the apprentice hand of Deputy McGilligan to help to draft our Bills for us. The apprentice hand of the Deputy betrays itself in this amendment—this ridiculous amendment, which would, quite possibly, involve the University in the very dangers about which he has been so eloquent all day. During that portion of the most ridiculous and unprincipled speech I have ever listened to in this House——

Mr. Minch: Information on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  Zoom on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  The finest speech ever made in this House.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  ——the speech in which the Deputy quoted documents which he had no right to quote, I asked him, through the Chair, to tell the House whether or not he had the authority of those who prepared that memorandum to quote it here.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  As to that question, there was a covering letter addressed to “Dear Mr. McGilligan.” I think that is me.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I asked the Deputy to quote the authority and he said he had the permission of the authorities of Maynooth College.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I did not.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  You said that you were competent to speak for them, at any rate; and I deny that. It is characteristic of the Deputy—the Deputy who is sitting on the threshold of university representation and who, if there is another election will be kicked outside.

Mr. MacMenamin: Information on Daniel McMenamin  Zoom on Daniel McMenamin  Wait and see.

A Deputy:  There will not be another election.

Mr. Minch: Information on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  Zoom on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  Deputy McGilligan said he took responsibility for reading it.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Of course, he took responsibility for reading it. Anybody who accepts his responsibilities in the same light manner in which Deputy McGilligan accepts them would take responsibility for the breach of confidence of which he has been guilty to-day. These documents were not sent to him in his capacity as a party politician but to inform him of the case [2458] that the representatives of the University were going to make to the representatives of the Government before they met them. Once they had met the representatives of the Government and expressed their satisfaction at the way in which the Government had met them, it was a breach of trust for Deputy McGilligan to use those documents in the manner in which he has used them.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I got that communication also and I have not been informed of the satisfaction of the persons whose names are appended to it.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  At any rate, the representatives of the University have not addressed any remonstrance or any protest or any communication of any kind to say that the amendment in the form of Section 13 has not met their case fully and fairly.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  So far as I am concerned, their communication stands for me.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Deputy McGilligan is now trying to set himself right with the representatives of the University. He could not attend with the others on the occasion when they were meeting representatives of the Government. He was elsewhere on private business. He was elsewhere, and with as little profit to his clients as he is to his constituents when he is present here in the Dáil.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Who did attend? Was Deputy Mrs. Concannon there?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy is now trying to save his face with the University by making a political speech.

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  Deputy McGilligan has asked about my attendance on the occasion. I was willing to attend if the conference could be put off until 2 o'clock instead of 12 o'clock. On the Thursday I got notice to attend on Friday at 12 o'clock. I had important business to attend to and I communicated with Dean Hynes and asked him if it would be possible to put it off till 2 o'clock the next day. I had no car [2459] and no means of going. Dean Hynes knew my views and was perfectly satisfied with the attitude I took in the whole thing, and, therefore, I have no apology to make for that.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Deputy McGilligan, the custodian of the rights and privileges of the University, was here and was free to attend. He was not there and he knows nothing about what transpired at any of these discussions.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I was there.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy was not there.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I was there.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  On what occasion was the Deputy there?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  On the occasion on which the Attorney-General——

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Give us the date.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  On the occasion on which the Attorney-General met the University people.

The Attorney-General:  Not when I was there.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  No.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Deputies will note the ingenuous mind of Deputy McGilligan. I said he was not there when the University representatives met the representatives of the Government.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  There was no such invitation issued.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I said that the Deputy was not there. Deputy McGilligan said he was.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  There was no such meeting.

Mr. Minch: Information on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  Zoom on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  Ask again.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Which section does this belong to—is it 10 or 12?

Mr. Bennett: Information on George Cecil Bennett  Zoom on George Cecil Bennett  Is it relevant to what we are discussing whether Deputy McGilligan was at the meeting or not?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  At any rate, Deputy [2460] McGilligan was conspicuous by his absence on an occasion when it was desirable, in the interests of the University, that he should be present. He did not meet them at that time and, apparently, he has not met them since or he certainly would not have read to the House a memorandum which was prepared when circumstances were entirely different and before the views of the University representatives had been heard by the Government and before the position of the University in regard to this Bill had been met by Section 13.

It is too late now for the Deputy to endeavour to repair the consequences to himself of his own neglect of University interests. The University people know what he is. Some four years ago the Deputy's position as a representative of the University might be considered to be unchallengeable. At the election of 1932 he was definitely replaced in that position of triumph at the top of the poll and since the election of 1933 he has been——

Mr. Minch: Information on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  Zoom on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  I submit that this is a personal attack.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  ——he has been sitting on the doorstep of the University; and all simply because, during the years he was in power as their representative, he definitely and shamefully neglected the interests of the University. The reason he took up the time of the House to-day is in an attempt to repair and restore his own position. I think that, so far as he personally is concerned, his position has not been improved by the exhibition he made here to-day when, as I say, and as I repeat, he read to this House a document which was prepared in entirely different circumstances and which to-day, at any rate, after the position of the Government in regard to the University, has been clarified, I am certain would not emanate from any responsible representative of the University.

Professor Thrift: Information on Prof. William E. Thrift  Zoom on Prof. William E. Thrift  I would like to suggest to the Minister and the Attorney-General that this proviso is not in its right place. It is really a [2461] matter of drafting. If you read the words:

...moneys provided by the Oireachtas to any educational institution, board, commission, company, association or other body (whether corporate or unincorporated) not being a university, a university college or a secondary school...

I do not think there could be any doubt about it. I ask the Minister to consider [2462] the drafting of the section and, if he considers it impartially, he will find there is ambiguity.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Attorncy-General has already indicated the position of the Government in regard to that.

Question put:—“That the said new sub-section be there added.”

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Byrne, Alfred.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Keating, John.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Fatrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Browne, William Frazer.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Crowley, Timothy.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killiea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.

Question declared lost.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendments 37 and 44 might be debated together.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Yes, but they are really separate points.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  If the Deputy desires a separate decision on them it is open to him.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Not a separate decision. I move amendment 37:—

In page 5, Section 11, to delete all words from and including the word “or” where it firstly occurs, line 32, down to and including the word “authority,” line 33;

and amendment 38:—

In page 5, Section 11, line 38, after the word “concerned” to insert the [2463] words “and after consultation with the local authority concerned.”

Amendment 37 seeks to cut out of Section 11 the words indicated. In amendment 38 I want to put in other words after the word “concerned” and to insert “and after consultation with the local authority concerned.” The first amendment is aimed at this: I want to take away from the scope of the section the words “or to any committee or other body the members of which are appointed wholly or partly by the local authority.” Let these deductions be made from grants to the local authority and let it not be done in the case of subsidiary bodies which are appointed partly or wholly by local authority. There has been no indication put before the House as to the groups to which this might have reference. When the Minister is going to make these cuts he is to make them after consultation with every other Minister who appears to be concerned. There is great delicacy in not treading upon other Ministers, but the people who apparently should be consulted are the local authorities and that is what I move to do. This seems to be an entirely different matter from the matter which arises under Section 12 although it has some relevancy to it. Here again we have the curious matter that the Minister makes the deduction from the grant which is payable to the local authority, but when it comes to doing the odious work, that odious work is left to the local authority. That arises under Section 12. All I am asking at the moment is that where the deduction is made there should be at least consultation with the local authority.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Is the Deputy pressing the amendment?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I would like to hear some answer to it.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I have already told the Deputy how he is to be answered.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Does the Minister refuse to make any explanation?

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Or to answer the case.

[2464]Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  The local authorities are to be driven. Surely the Minister ought to have the courtesy to explain his refusal. His proposal is to take a slice of the grant without consulting the local authority. He would consult his colleagues, but the subsidiary statutory body set up by the local authority and the local authority would not be consulted. He is going to commit the local authority to a fight with the local employees. He is to go out to the local authorities' constituents and tell them as he has already told them and as Deputy Brady told them in the County Dublin, that the moneys were there available to help the people of County Dublin, while as a matter of fact, these moneys were not there. He wants to use this quietly to deduct the grants from the local authorities. Take the local authority of the County Dublin which he represents. He deducts from the Dublin County Council and the subsidiary bodies constituted by the county council these grants. Then when the odious job of recoupment comes along it is the local authority which is to be recouped out of the salaries and wages of their employees. The Minister stands aside and Pilatelike, washes his hands of the case and tells his people that it was not the Government did this but the local authorities.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Are we discussing amendment 38?

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

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendment 38 is in the name of Deputy McGilligan. Do we take it that the discussion on 37 will rule 38 and that there will be no further discussion on 38?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Yes, I discussed both.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  What I want to get clear is that the discussion will not be repeated on 38. There could be a division on it if the Deputy desires it.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  We know that the cast iron majority will drop in here at the end of the discussion and vote the way they are told. We know what will be the final result, but we want to demonstrate [2465] to the public outside that no sympathy has been shown by the Minister, not even the courtesy of a reply or a comment as to why he rejects this amendment. He is going to cut grants off his own constituents. We can make the case a one constituency discussion, but it is applicable to all constituencies in the same way. He is going to cut a lump sum off the grant and then we are to make up the loss by taking it off the salary of the employees with the approval of the Minister. If, for instance, we try to recoup ourselves and we reduce the salaries of certain officials, is there any likelihood that the Minister may say in his own mind: “This official has been very good to me in the elections and I will not sanction a cut in his case.” Why is there this reluctance to consult with the local authorities? If a sum has to be deducted, why should not the local authorities be consulted? I am afraid the Minister has fallen in with the bad ways of his colleague and that he is going to mandamus all along the line now. If he wants local authorities to co-operate with them he should start off by co-operating with the local authorities. He will find his path a very thorny one if he sets out to drive the local authorities. Starting with the cut on the grants in bulk if he wants that apportioned without any friction, he had better show sympathy with the local authorities and ask their co-operation. He would gain more in one half hour's consultation than in six months' fighting, even with a strong Bar, including the Attorney-General and the ex-Minister for Justice, etc. If he wants fight he will get plenty of it from the local authorities. If he wants co-operation he will get it equally. If he throws down the glove we shall take it up, if he refuses co-operation and refuses to accept the amendment providing for consultation with the local authorities. If he accepts that I, as a member of a local authority, will feel satisfied. Although I oppose the principle of the Bill. I must feel that [2466] the Minister and his Government want to co-operate in the adoption of the principle of the cuts and that they want to co-operate with the local authorities and meet the convenience of the local authorities. If he does that, I can speak for some who are opposed to the principle of this Bill, and say that he would get co-operation, where perhaps otherwise he would not get it. Is it worth while for him to refuse that? Objectionable as the Bill is, and more objectionable still as are the causes which brought it about, he should try to remedy the causes and root out the weeds, instead of cutting the weeds. If the Minister wants co-operation, he has his chance now, and probably it is his last chance.

Mr. Minch: Information on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  Zoom on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  One of the most unpleasant features of this Bill, which I object to as a county councillor, and which county councils object to, is that whereas we are not allowed to play any part in the making of the appointment of officials when vacancies occur, the Ministry hold the power to make us reduce the salaries when it suits them. In other words, the odium is placed upon us to say to these officials: “We are going to reduce your salary; we are going to bring down your standard of living and to place you in a lower position than you originally thought you were going to occupy.” It is the Minister who is doing it, but we are apt to take the blame. It places local authorities in a most invidious and most unpleasant position. We get all the knocks and none of the credit. When vacancies occur, the Appointments Commissioners send down three names in alphabetical order. We discuss these names and we send them back and the appointment is made. They shoulder the responsibility of making the appointment, but we are to do the dirty work in the way of reducing salaries and lowering the standard of living of these officials.

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

Aiken, Frank.
Blaney, Neal. [2467]Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Crowley, Timothy.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Hayes, Seán.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel. [2468]Killiea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
MacDermot, Frank.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moylan, Seán.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.

Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.

Question declared carried.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I move amendment 37a:—

In page 5, line 35, Section 11, after the word “shall” to insert in brackets the words “(save as is otherwise provided by this section).”

Mr. MacGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  What does it mean? Are we getting any explanation?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I think the explanation is clear. The amendment is “after the word ‘shall’ to insert in brackets the words ‘(save as is otherwise provided by this section).”

Amendment put and agreed to.

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

38. In page 5, Section 11, line 38, after the word “concerned” to insert the words “and after consultation with the local authority concerned.”

Amendment declared negatived.

Amendment No. 39 not moved.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I move amendment No. 39a:—

In page 5 to add at the end of Section 11 a new sub-section as follows:

“(2) No deduction shall be made under this section from a grant to a local authority, committee, or other body for or in respect of services administered by or under the control of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health where the Minister is satisfied, after consultation with the Minister for Local Government and Public Health, that such body has made, from the salaries earned and payable in the current financial year by and to persons in the employment of such body, deductions approved of by the Minister after such consultation as aforesaid.”

The purpose of this amendment is to reserve to the local authorities the fruits of any economies which may be effected under this Bill in the salary of local servants.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That requires a little bit more enlargement in the way of explanation. It is a very amusing finish to a measure which was required [2469] in the public interest. Of course, we had the change mentioned by the Minister for Education to-day that the primary purpose is to cut salaries. Here we have an amendment brought in which proposes to follow an entirely new principle from what was spoken of on the Second Reading. Originally we were told that it was necessary to cut the grants given to local authorities in order to save that money for the Central Fund, and the people who would suffer by the saving which was going to be a gain for the Central Fund were the people whose salaries were to be cut. Now all that is changed. Provided always that the salaries are cut, the grant will be given in full. It is such a differentiation from the old principle that it requires a little bit more explanation than the Minister has given. Previously the proposition was to save money for the Central Fund by reducing the total amount payable to the local authorities. A necessary consequence of that was that the salaries were going to be cut. I suppose this is in accordance with the new bit of savagery announced by the Minister to-day that the primary purpose is the reduction of salaries. Once the Government is assured that the salaries will be cut the grant will not be reduced. It is something to which attention should be called.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  May I enquire whether any legal sanction has been given to this particular section by the advisers of the Minister? Have the local authorities, by reason of this section, power to reduce salaries other than what is enshrined in this particular statute? It seems to me that normally they have not got that power, but do they derive it from this section? It may be found, after a moment's consideration, that they have not got that power. I do not think they have. I have had some experience of local authorities; and our local advisers usually put the formula that a salaried officer had entered into a contract which could only be changed by agreement between the two parties. Does this section, as drawn, give to local authorities powers they have not got at present? I do not think it does.

[2470] Then the situation will be this: That if a local authority does something which appears to them on the face of it that they have the legal right to do they are entitled to make that saving. If on the other hand, they do not, the Minister will deduct from them such an amount as would equal the deduction itself.

Mr. Minch: Information on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  Zoom on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  This appears to be nothing short of diabolical bribery by which the full grant will be given to county councils or local authorities provided they reduce wages and salaries. There is nothing more unpleasant for a county council or any representative of a local authority than to be put in the invidious position, when facing the electorate, that he must fall in with the reduction of salaries with a view to obtaining an extra grant from the Government. How long this is to last I do not know. It is not easy to explain to the people the wrong position in which county councillors can be placed. It is diabolical bribery, nothing more nor less. It is most grossly unfair and places local authorities in a position in which they never ought to be placed.

Mr. Bennett: Information on George Cecil Bennett  Zoom on George Cecil Bennett  As Deputy Minch has said, this is a bribe offered to local authorities to hurry on the cuts they are to make in the pay of local officials. The Minister has not answered the point made by Deputy Cosgrave whether this does give local authorities the right to cut salaries. I do not believe they have the power, and I think it is due to the House that the Minister should answer that point. If it is legal for local bodies to cut salaries, still, the Minister is placing a tremendous responsibility upon local bodies, if they accept this bribe, to cut salaries in this financial year. To what purpose are they to cut salaries? There would be no gain to the State. If the local bodies accept this bribe to hurry on and rush in with the shears to cut the salaries of local officials the State will not gain anything by it.

Donnchadh O Briain: Information on Donnchadh Ó Briain  Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Briain  But the ratepayers will.

[2471]Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  This amendment is intended to compel the local authorities to reduce the salaries of their officials. That is, in effect, what it means. Whether the local authorities wish to reduce the salaries of any officers in their employment under this section they will be compelled to make such deduction, whether it is justified or not, unless they are to suffer a reduction in the grant given by the Government. Why? Because I take it the Government have at last realised that the finances of local authorities are even in a much worse state than the financial affairs of the State after two years of administration by the present Government. I put it to the Minister that the local authorities will be compelled to make this reduction in order to make up for the great increase in, among other things, home assistance which they have had to pay as a result of the failure of the present Government to provide employment for the people of the country. Even in my own county I find that because of the failure of the Government to provide for the unemployed and destitute, the rates have been increased very substantially. That increase is far greater than can be met by any saving or reduction on salaries that would be carried out by the local authorities under this section.

I think it will be admitted by Deputies who have experience of local administration that, generally speaking, the officers employed by local authorities are poorly paid and particularly in view of the circumstances obtaining in the country to-day. Will anybody, with a knowledge of local administration, suggest for a moment that the dispensary doctor with anything from £200 to £300 a year is overpaid, especially in view of the fact that if the dispensary doctor does his work properly, under modern conditions, he must keep and maintain a motor car. It used to be said some years ago, and with some justification, that the dispensary doctor had a certain amount of private practice. So far as I know, and I have got the opinion from many dispensary doctors in remote parts of Ireland, they still have private practice, but there is no money in it because [2472] the people have not got the money to pay the doctor. Doctors are still called out to a farmer or to his family, and the doctor, being a doctor, attends to the call, but the farmer, unfortunately, is unable to pay him. Deputies from rural districts know what I say is quite true. I observe that one Deputy does not agree with me, but, perhaps, the conditions in his part of the country may be better than in mine. I am quite satisfied of this that it would take much more in reduction, than would be made under this section for the South Tipperary County Council or Board of Health to make up for the increase of 3/7 in the £ in the rates this year. 2/3 of that is due to additional outdoor relief that had to be provided by the board, to meet the increased distress and unemployment in South Tipperary, and 1/4 is as a result of the Government's reduction in the agricultural grant. But what I object to in this is the Minister's attempt to force the local authorities to do what he thinks should be done by means of bribery. I say, so far as I am concerned as a member of a local authority, I refuse to be put into that position. I protest against the Minister trying to put me and other members of local authorities into the position, that whether we are satisfied or not, that the salary paid to any official is sufficient or not, unless we are prepared to sacrifice our grant, we must reduce that salary.

I do not think any such proposal was ever made or suggested in this House before. The Minister did not even attempt to justify it. He did not even give an explanation. If the Minister would give half the thought to these amendments or be half as anxious to accept these amendments and other amendments as he is to obstruct Deputies who are trying to make their own case—and he has been indulging in obstruction all day—we, perhaps, would get through the Bill much more quickly and we might know what the mind of the Minister and the Government is on this particular amendment, if they have any mind on it at all. Certainly, it has been changed very often, but I am now putting it that this is unfair to local authorities. I am not [2473] concerned with whether it is going to hinder or harm any candidate in the forthcoming election, but I do suggest that it is unfair that the reduction will have to be made by the members of the local authorities from the salaries of all officials, whether they are well or ill paid. Deputies ought to keep that in mind.

There may be officials in this country employed by local authorities who are well paid. There may be officials who are in receipt of salaries which, in the opinion of the members of the particular local authority, are greater than they should be, but this provision, if passed by the House, will apply to those who are badly paid, and I have no hesitation in saying that there are officials in this country employed by local authorities who are not paid the salary they should be paid or a salary equal to their experience and the amount of work they do for the particular local authority. As a member of a local authority and as a member of this House, I want to put that point of view before the House. As I said before, I have never seen anything like it in this House and I hope we will never see it again.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  How is a local authority to approach this matter at all? As pointed out by Deputy Cosgrave, no local authority has power to reduce the salary of an official. Where does it get that power in this amendment? Section 11 says:—

Where a grant is made annually, under statute or otherwise, out of the Central Fund or a fund under the control of a Minister or out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas to any local authority or to any committee or other body the members of which are appointed wholly or partly by a local authority and such grant is wholly or partly available for the payment of salaries there shall be deducted from the amount of such grant

It is at the Government's option. Previously, the Minister refused to accept an amendment providing for consultation with the local authorities. [2474] The Government have the right to deduct the grant in Section 11 and the proposed amendment says:

In page 5 to add at the end of Section 11 a new sub-section as follows:

(2) No deduction shall be made under this section from a grant to a local authority, committee, or other body for or in respect of services administered by or under the control of the Minister for local Government and Public Health where the Minister is satisfied, after consultation with the Minister for Local Government and Public Health, that such body has made, from the salaries earned and payable in the current financial year by and to persons in the employment of such body, deductions approved of by the Minister after such consultation as aforesaid.

What authority has a local body to reduce salaries? The Minister is going to add this to the section and, up to that point, there is no section in the Bill and, I understand, there is no Act of Parliament—of course, I have not at my command the able legal advice the Minister has—which gives that power, but, as a member of a local authority for a number of years, I can say we have always been told that we have no authority to interfere with the salaries of permanent officials and I should like to know from the Minister where and when we got such authority. I think that some councils have, in the last few years, suggested a reduction and appealed to the Local Government Department but they were told that they had no authority to reduce the salaries of permanent officials. Here, we are told that, if we do not, this grant will be reduced. We are, at present, dealing only with Section 11, but Section 12 says:—

(1) Whenever a deduction is made under any of the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Act from a grant, any board, authority, committee, or other body receiving (directly or indirectly) such grant or part thereof may make, from the salaries earned and payable in the current financial year by and to persons in the [2475] employment of such body, such deductions.

We are empowered to deduct from the salaries whatever deduction is made in our grant, but have we any authority to make the deduction from the salary until there is a deduction from our grant? The Minister, in the section he now wants adopted, says that, if we make the deduction in salaries, there will be no reduction in the grant. Which of them is telling the truth, or where are we? Where do we get our authority? We have no statutory authority, up to the present, to cut the salaries of officials of local government bodies. My reading of these sections is that the Minister can make a cut in our grant commensurate with the amount of that grant that goes for the payment of salaries. In the next section, he empowers the local authority to cut the salaries of the officials to an extent that will recoup the local authority for the amount of the grant that has been deducted from them. That can be understood. Whether we accept it or not, it is logical, but here, in what he now proposes to insert, he says that no deduction shall be made in the grant if we have already cut the salaries, which we have no authority to do. The Minister merely rose and said: “I move.” Does he move that we break the law? I wonder where is the learned Attorney-General, who told our local authority the other day of all the pains and penalties we incurred and what blackguards we were because we questioned the authority of the law and the learned judges who gave a solemn decision against us with costs without any deduction. He is absent now. Really, every member of a local authority would want and Attorney-General at his elbow to be able to do his job at all so involved is this matter. Certainly, it is an important matter and I should like to hear the superior intelligence of the Minister for Finance adumbrate this amendment.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  This amendment is an amendment which, most certainly, gives rise to difficulties and [2476] an amendment in respect of which I think the House was entitled to some explanation from the Minister when he was introducing it. It was introduced by the Minister for Finance with a statement which appears to me to be an entirely misleading statement. The Minister told us—these were roughly his words—that this amendment is an endeavour to give to the county councils the savings which will be made in the salaries of officials. I cannot see that at all.

So far as I can understand, this amendment, placed where it will be placed in this Bill, will have absolutely no such effect. We must consider now the position of affairs. As the Bill originally stood, it was a logical document. Under Section 11, the Minister was entitled to make deductions from grants made to various local bodies. Under Section 12, the local bodies were entitled to pass on the effect of these cuts to their officials. That is how the Bill stood when it was introduced. The savings in consequence went into the general exchequer. What is the effect of this sub-section? (Amendment read). That takes away from local bodies the powers of cutting down under Section 12. They can only cut down under Section 12 when a deduction has already been made from their grant. Therefore, this visualises a cutting-down completely and entirely apart from the effect of Section 12. That is perfectly obvious. Where is the power given to cut down? It is not given by Section 12, because that section could not come into operation until after certain sums had been deducted. Therefore, there can be no cutting down under Section 12 and there is no power in the local bodies to cut the salaries of their officials. Consider what the local bodies are supposed to do. They are supposed to cut salaries not only from the officials who are paid out of the various grants which are mentioned in the first part of Section 11, but from all their officials—“salaries earned and payable in the coming financial year by and to persons in the employment of such body.” There is no limitation in that sub-section to persons who are paid out of the grants mentioned in Section 11 as it stands at present. They [2477] are to cut down the salaries of all their officials. And by how much? They do not know. The Minister for Local Government and Public Health and the Minister for Finance are to be complete and absolute masters of the situation. They will say: “We shall make deductions from you, unless you cut down the salaries of your officials completely and entirely out of proportion to the grants which are being given.”

There is nothing tying down or limiting their powers in this proposed amendment. It makes the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Local Government taken together, absolute dictators. It enables them to say to the county councils: “Unless you reduce your salaries by 75 per cent., we shall reduce the amount of your grants.” I do not believe in the principle of giving absolutely unlimited power into the hands of Ministers. As I have pointed out, I believe that this sub-section will never and can never be brought into action. There will be no saving for the ratepayers—absolutely none. The savings will go into the Exchequer as before. This sub-section, as I read it—I should like to hear it explained otherwise—is merely an endeavour to make local bodies believe that they are getting the savings, whereas, in fact, the Minister is going to bring the savings into the Exchequer precisely as he would have done if this amendment had never been introduced.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I shall put the amendment.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Are we to get no explanation from the Minister?

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  I should like to appeal to the Minister to give us some explanation.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I should like——

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  On a point of order, is the Minister entitled to make a second speech? We are not in Committee.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  ——Before Deputy Belton asks the Minister to make an explanation, he had better consult Deputy Morrissey. Deputy Morrissey, quite obviously, does not want an explanation.

[2478]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It should have been given at the begining.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  The Minister has been so keen on points of order himself that I want to keep him in order.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Deputies had asked the Minister to speak and I assumed that the Minister had not spoken on the amendment.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I had already spoken on it.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Minister is correct in saying that he spoke on it but he did not explain it.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I have explained it.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Apparently, we are to get no explanation.

Amendment put and declared carried.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Amendments 41 and 43 appear to deal with the same matter.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment 41:—

In page 5, Section 12 (1), lines 49-50, to delete the words “with the approval of the Minister.”

Amendment 41 is a biggish item in itself. Amendment 43 is quite a different matter. It proposes to cut out the sub-section which says that, before giving approval, the Minister shall consult with every other Minister who appears to him to be concerned. That is a very small matter—consulting with Ministers supposed to be concerned. But since this Bill aims at the whacking down of salaries, I do not see how anybody else is concerned but the Minister for Finance. Amendment 41 deals with an entirely different point. I am moving to cut out the words “with the approval of the Minister.” I am still of opinion that Section 10 applies to the University and, consequently, that Section 12 applies. As Section 12 still applies, in my opinion, to the University, I want to have the Minister removed from any interference with University salaries.

If a body is going to have a grant cut, and if perforce it has got to make a cut in salaries, I want, at any rate, to have [2479] no interference by a person not capable of understanding university requirements with no qualifications which entitle him to put himself up as a judge in that matter, and even if he had qualifications, by the fact that he is as a member of the Government bound to forbear from interference in the University, if the principle of university economy is to be maintained. Consequently, this is a vital matter and very different from the amendment with which it is suggested it should be taken, amendment 43.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Very well.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  As the section stands, with the words to which I object, “with the approval of the Minister,” it would run this way:—

Whenever a deduction is made under any of the foregoing provisions from a grant, any board, authority ...receiving such grant... may make from the salaries earned and payable...such deductions as such body shall with the approval of the Minister think proper having regard to the amount of the deduction so made from such grant... the proportion of such grant or such part thereof, ordinarily applied towards the payment of such salaries, and to the other circumstances of the case.

What extra is added by getting the approval of the Minister I do not know, if it is not to be used in the way I expressed my fears. The Minister tried to make out that the phrase mentioned in reference to the University means nothing really, that it does not give control over the salaries, or individual salaries. If that is so, drop the phrase. I know there is an objection to dropping the phrase, and it is a substantial one. The phrase is meant to have a meaning, and the only meaning is to give the Minister power which, if thoroughly understood by the bodies concerned, would excite their very violent apprehension. As I said when quoting the document from the University, this is not a commission which has been set up to enquire into [2480] this matter. It is not even a representative body—elected representatives of the people. It is simply that the Minister, acting through civil servants, is going to decide individual payments. It might be any employee, say of a local authority, or any educational institution, such as there is in the Bill, which has been specially excluded, or

any educational institution...or to a board, commission, company, association, or other body (whether corporate or unincorporated).

The individual salaries of all these people, say the individual salaries of those on the Electricity Supply Board, are to be subject to the approval of the Minister, and people established by the Oireachtas at one time as governors of these institutions are not going to have their full powers in relation to very important matters, that is to say, the pay to be given those servants. If the phrase has not the meaning which I am assured is there—and I do not see that it gives the Minister anything except embarrassment—if it has the force that I think is there, then it is an undesirable thing that the power should be given to the Minister. He makes a deduction from the grant given to a body. It is open to that body then to make whatever economies it can to meet the reduced grant. If it cannot make them otherwise than by way of cutting salaries, it has to cut them, setting whatever standard it likes to set up. The only thing is that there are terms of reference given and that it will have to fashion it to the amount of grant “ordinarily applied towards the payment of such salaries, and the other circumstances of the case.” Who is better qualified to judge the other circumstances of the case—and there will be a variety of circumstances about every individual case—than the body which appoints, and which has to pay? As the phrase stands, “with the approval of the Minister” that is thrown into the hands of the Minister. He is the final authority. It is quite true, as Deputy Belton stated on another amendment, that he gets rid of the odium, and passes down the responsibility of making the cut to the institutions, the [2481] local authority or the body getting the grant. They are the bodies that Tom, Dick and Harry will regard as interfering with their salaries. It is on them the reduced salaries will come, but, in the background—when the cut in the salaries is made, and a cut of a [2482] special kind in individual salaries—is the Minister in this phrase.

The phrase ought to come out.

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

Aiken, Frank.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Crowley, Timothy.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGuire, James Ivan.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrissey, Daniel.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

Question declared carried.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  That decision also governs amendment No. 42.

Amendment No. 43 not moved.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I think the decision on amendment No. 37 governs amendment No. 44.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  About vocational education committees?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  The Deputy can have a separate decision on it if he likes.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Amendment 44 which relates to the officers of a vocational education committee has never been under discussion nor has anything remotely approaching it.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I thought amendment 37 dealt with local authorities.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Amendment 37 had nothing to do with local committees. This amendment at any rate does not mean that the cuts shall not take effect. It only says that they shall be postponed. I move the amendment which is as follows:—

In page 5, at the end of Section 12 to add the following sub-sections:—

(3) This section shall not take effect [2483] in respect of any officer of a Vocational Education Committee unless and until the Minister for Education shall have prescribed a scale of salary applicable to such officer under Section 3 of the Vocational Education Act, 1930.

(4) Whenever this section takes effect in respect of any Vocational Education Officer the deduction from the salary of such officer shall not exceed a sum calculated in accordance with Part IV of the Schedule to this Act.

The amendment is to the effect that this section shall not take effect in respect of any officer unless and until the Minister for Education shall have prescribed a scale of salary applicable to such officer under Section 3 of the Vocational Education Act of 1930, and it goes on to say that whenever the section shall take effect in respect of any such officer, the deduction shall not exceed a certain amount. There is a reference to the Vocational Education Act of 1930, Section 111 of which gives the Minister power as follows:—

“The Minister may by regulations made under this Act prescribe scales of salaries for the various classes of teachers employed by vocational education committees.”

Sub-section (2) of the section is the important one. It says:—

“A vocational education committee shall not pay to any teacher employed by it a salary which is less than the salary to which such teacher is entitled in accordance with the scale prescribed by the said regulation in respect to the class of teachers to which such teacher belongs.”

That Act therefore gave the Minister for Education power to prescribe scales of pay and when these scales of pay were prescribed they were mandatory. It was mandatory on the particular body affected to pay them. The teachers have been always pressing that these compulsory scales, that is scales which would be compulsory along the lines set out in the section, should be established.

The power has not been used. There [2484] are certain scales in operation at the moment, but they are not of the mandatory type that Section 111 refers to. These vocational education teachers make the point, and I think there is substance in it, that until their position has been regularised and a certain amount of thought and deliberation given to the matter of their pay —until it has been fixed in accordance with Section 111—there is nothing firm upon which to operate such a cut as this. What is happening at the moment is that salaries fixed low provisionally are being taken as the foundation for a cut. These teachers take up the position, and I think there is a certain amount of strength in it, that the first step should be to approach this in the normal way—to find out what is the scale that will operate here in normal times, and then, if necessary, put them in the position that other people are being put in by imposing a provisional cut limited to a year.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  I should say with reference to this amendment that, as the Deputy probably knows, this matter of scales of salaries is not one solely for the Minister for Education in consultation with the Minister for Finance. It is a matter also for the local committees. The Minister for Education has only permissive powers under the Vocational Education Act of 1929 in connection with this matter. Scales of salaries for vocational education teachers, so far as I am concerned, is a matter that I am endeavouring to push forward. It is also a matter for local authorities. As regards the proposed sub-section (4) that in making deductions from the salaries of vocational education officers regard shall be had to Part IV of the Schedule to the Act, I think I can assure the Deputy that that matter will be considered. With regard to the general principle, the proposal of the Deputy is simply to postpone this Bill, so far as it affects the employees of vocational education authorities, for what may be an indefinite time. There would be no justification for postponing the operation of the Act in regard to these particular officers. So far as their interests are concerned I do not think there is any question but that there [2485] will be no injustice in the treatment of them. The whole position in regard to them has been carefully examined.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  This is the second time I think that the Minister, in refusing an amendment, has tried to convey that the Bill does not mean anything so far as the classes concerned in the amendment are concerned. At least I take it that is what the Minister was trying to convey. Now he must know perfectly well that, owing to the circumstances that prevail in this country and owing to the rather recent growth of this particular type of education, these are a particularly poorly paid type of public servant. I do not think the Minister will contend the opposite. If he says that no injustice will be done to them, does that mean that so far as they are concerned the Bill is not operative, because he must know that there can be no real interference with their salary without doing an injustice to them.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  I mean no injustice in regard to them as compared with other classes under the Bill, in particular with regard to the classes mentioned by Deputy McGilligan in Part IV of the Schedule to the Act.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  The pledge then does not mean that the Act will not apply to them?

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  No.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  I am sorry the Minister is taking up that attitude, but I am glad we have clarified it at all events because undoubtedly twice, as I have said, the House, due no doubt to no fault whatever of the Minister, could be under the impression that though the form was kept to that when he came to apply it the reality would disappear. Now I gather that is not the case. The Minister has pointed out that there are difficulties in applying the scale. I suggest that these difficulties are precisely the reasons why this class should be exempted. If the scale the Minister thinks is a just scale cannot, owing to certain difficulties and owing as I understood him to imply to the opposition of his colleague the Minister for Finance——

[2486]Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  No. I said nothing like that about the Minister for Finance.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  ——But the Minister was careful to point out that there were other people concerned in the making of these scales of salaries besides himself. He mentioned particularly the Minister for Finance. Of course I do not blame him for that view, but may I be excused if I thought that he had some reason for mentioning, particularly, the Minister for Finance and the local authorities. The fact that there are difficulties in prescribing the scales is no reason why they are not prescribed and should not be taken into account when we are considering the question of cuts. I understand that some time ago a deputation was received by the authorities at which the vocational education teachers were told that their salaries would not be raised. They had applied for better terms and they were comforted by the fact that their salaries would not be raised because the salaries of other teachers would have to be cut. I suggest that at that time the Ministry had made up its mind to cut the salaries of other teachers. What I have stated has been represented as an accurate account of what took place. If so then what was conveyed to them is not contained in the Bill. I am sorry the Minister does not see his way to accept the amendment which is a very reasonable one because, as he says, it cuts across the whole policy of the Bill.

Amendment negatived.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Amendments 45, 46, 47, 48 and 49 seem to have the same principle running through them.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  But they have an entirely different application.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  But they have the same principle running through them. Could they not be discussed together?

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  It may take a very long speech, for instance, to deal with the case of the doctors. Then there are various other classes.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  They all deal with professional classes.

[2487]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I will deal with the case of the doctors, and after that the Chair can possibly give a ruling as to whether or not it would be well to have the other people dealt with separately. I move amendment 45:—

In page 5, at the end of Section 12 to add a new sub-section as follows:—

Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections of this section this Part of this Act shall not apply to medical officers in the employment of such body.

There can be no controversy that the Act is intended to apply to medical officers, nor can there be any quibbling that the Act, as drafted, carries out that intention. I want to get all medical officers withdrawn from the scope of this measure. The medical men who are affected by this, or who felt that they were going to be affected by this Part of the Act, met to consider their position as it is at the moment under the local authorities and to consider what change was going to be made adverse to them if the measure went through as it is phrased. The meeting was given a certain amount of publicity in the Press and they have since circulated a memorandum, I think, to all Deputies of this House. In that memorandum they dealt with the various categories of the medical people, who are attached to local authorities, under the different headings of county medical officers of health, assistants to county medical officers of health, those medical officers who are in the mental hospital service, county hospital surgeons and, finally, the poor law medical officers or, as they are better known, the dispensary medical officers. Then they call attention to their salaries and fees and want to know are they being cut also. I asked previously whether it was intended to cut the fees for the registration of births, deaths and marriages and also the fees in relation to the Vaccination Acts. On that, the only satisfaction that I got was to be told that these fees were going to be cut, although there was a little bit of a dispute as to whether they would be cut under Part II or under Part III of the measure.

However, the doctors make their [2488] case apart from the distinction of the groups into which they divided themselves. They make their main case on two or three broad lines. They say that their position differs from that of other people who are being cut in their salaries, such as the lay civil servants, the Civic Guards, the national school teachers, and so on. They also point out that they are a learned profession and into that they read this meaning: That they have been required to spend many years of study in order to equip themselves, even technically, for the posts that are thrown open to medical men. They point out further that the posts thrown open to them are those that require rather specialised qualifications, and that necessitates that, in the case of the ordinary medical man who, in the main, would not get qualified until he was somewhere between 22 and 23 years of age, he cannot get any experience that would be counted sufficient to consider himself as qualified for such a post. Added on to that, he has to have considerable experience of a post-graduation type and, in the main, it is required now that those appointed to public positions in the medical line have to study for and obtain the Diploma in Public Health. That, again, entails special study, and it means that a man must work himself up to the point in his practice where he is able to leave his practice for the year, or possibly a longer period, that he has to study in Dublin or in one of the other University Colleges in order to get the Diploma in Public Health. It is no small thing to ask a young man who has just entered into the profession that he should work for a sufficient period to enable him to have sufficient savings put by on which he can afford to leave his practice, and possibly have to pay a substitute in his area to look after his practice for him while he comes to one or other of the colleges to take out his diploma.

Not merely is this requirement of a diploma almost necessary now in public appointments, but, in addition, the struggle for them has got to be so great that a man has to be qualified, not merely by having that diploma, but by having considerable experience in actual public health work. That [2489] cannot be got here in the main. That means that most of these people have to take themselves to England and acquire an experience in some way related to the work or the activities they will have to perform afterwards if they succeed in getting one of these appointments. That again means a postponement of the date on which they can be ready to make application for any of these posts and it is an extraordinary case if a medical man, making an application for a post of this kind, should succeed on his first application. There have been cases of medical men succeeding on their first application for a post as county medical officer of health; but that is a post which has been established only recently in this country and the people who applied for it found themselves to be the only people with the requisite qualifications. Consequently, they succeeded on the first attempt.

All that, consequently, means that when any medical man has secured a position in the public service, he enters it at a much later age than, say, lay members of the Civil Service. As a result, the period of service which he has to look forward to for the purpose of making savings on which to live for the rest of his life, or for the purpose of piling up pension rights, is a very small period; with the necessary consequences again that any pension for which he qualifies will be a very small one indeed. This makes it all the more necessary that he should save, and save considerably, before taking up any of these posts.

The medical teachers in the university—and I presume that they come under this also—have to be rather specially commented upon. It has been recognised everywhere that they have been cut in their salaries as fine as they can be. The universities, which have been rather cramped for financial resources have, in the main, not been liberal, to say the least, towards anybody who can be described as a part-time teacher in a university. The medical men are, in the main, amongst that group. Their salaries have been reduced to a very small point indeed. There is no saving possible in what they get from the university and it is [2490] very hard to see how the man who has achieved the position of teacher in a medical capacity in the university can make any great saving in his family budget. Certainly, the Dublin man can make none. These men require a certain amount of leisure to fit themselves for their work. They are nearly all in outside practice and they have got to add on to that the work of teaching and examining. If they do not get a sufficient amount of leisure it means that neither their teaching work nor their professional work is going to be up to the mark or up to what is expected from them. If these Chairs are finally brought to the point that the emoluments got from them are not sufficient to pay a professional man for the loss of his time—merely evaluating it on that point—then, of course, the necessary result is going to be that the best men will not offer themselves and those who afterwards will be instructing the youth of the country, who are devoting themselves to medical pursuits, will not be the proper type of people. They will not be the type of teachers from whom the best medical knowledge can be derived.

The county medical officers of health are a somewhat new body. They constitute one of the newest of the medical services of the country. It is quite definitely laid down with regard to these appointments that in order to be qualified a man must have a diploma in public health, having gone through a two years' course for that. The only place in which he could get training in administrative work is still England, or else on the Continent, where such schemes have been established. It means, at any rate, that the great majority of our people have to spend a period of time in England. The great majority of those who have got appointments have spent some time in England. Having got appointments in England, they were induced to resign these appointments and take up positions here where the salaries are undoubtedly much smaller, and where it can also be said that the work is harder in the sense that there are probably more cases brought under a doctor's notice. They surrendered promotion chances and pension rights, [2491] very valuable indeed, and came here to take up work at salaries fixed on a lower scale.

It can be readily recognised why these salaries were fixed on a low scale. Anybody who looks back on the period, not so long ago, when these county medical officers of health positions were established, will remember that the county boards of health did not, at the start, favourably receive these appointments. In order to gild the pill as much as possible for local authorities who had to foot the bill, the salaries were scaled down in an extraordinary way. The officers who first took up the appointments had held out to them these inducements, that if they succeeded in their work and if they succeeded in impressing on the minds of the people in the locality that their work was of benefit, then they could count upon a betterment of their conditions, and particularly a rise in their pay. Not merely did they suffer from the point of view that the salaries paid here in the medical line are much lower generally than the salaries paid for similar work in England, but they suffered particularly from the fact that it was a new service, one that had to be forced in somewhat on the local authorities.

Considerable reluctance was displayed by local authorities in the adoption of these medical officerships and the removal of that reluctance was only secured by having the salaries reduced as low as they could possibly be reduced. It is now proposed to have the salaries of these men cut still further. At the time when the salary was first fixed for these posts there was an association of county medical officers of health. After meeting and discussing the matter they passed a recommendation to the effect that £800 should be regarded by the members of the association as the minimum at which any one of them would take up the work. The scale was fixed then.

The county medical officers of health have assistants, and whatever can be said about the principals themselves it will apply with much greater force to the assistants. The assistants are in receipt of salaries which are already [2492] far too small to permit any deduction being made if there is still to be a livelihood left to them. The work they are engaged on is mainly connected with tuberculosis and, outside that, the inspection of school children and school clinics, two types of work which have always been regarded as of the utmost importance. The assistants, in view of the nature of the work they do, are paid at scandalously low rates, yet it is now proposed further to reduce those rates.

Those in the mental hospital service have been suffering from a peculiar disadvantage for years past. Their salaries have always been regarded as very low in comparison with the salaries paid to men in similar positions in England. The allowances they get, which count for pensionable purposes, are rated very much lower than the allowances given to their colleagues in England. The people who go into these positions go in at a relatively late period. The peculiarity of the new situation is that under the Local Appointments Commissioners it has been a rarity, if it has ever happened, that one of the senior medical officers in the asylum has secured any of the better appointments that fall vacant and that are thrown to the Local Appointments Commission for filling. Invariably the younger men obtain the posts and the older men have been left to follow along as before.

Mr. Derrig: Information on Thomas Derrig  Zoom on Thomas Derrig  Who is to blame for that?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am not blaming anybody. I am merely stating it as a fact to be taken into consideration in this discussion. I am blaming this cut. These people are cut in these circumstances. The surgeons in county hospitals are also paid on a very small scale. They have been for years agitating about a betterment in their conditions. In the main, their grievance has been that they are supposed to be specialists of certain work, all-round people almost of a certain type, and they get rates which would be offered to very junior people getting into practice for the first time. These county hospital surgeons have to be expert so far as surgery of the eye, [2493] the ear, the nose and throat is concerned. They have to be expert workers in abdominal surgical work. That work very often falls to be done by them. In recent years they have been asked to fill the bill in reference to x-ray and pathological work. Notwithstanding all the work that is definitely coming in to them, there has not been any change for the better in their salaries. Now it is proposed to take something from them, something of the poor emoluments that are paid to them.

The cases of hardship to which I have referred are insignificant in comparison with the ordinary dispensary doctors, the poor law medical officers. Their salaries have been the subject, I suppose, of meeting after meeting, agitation after agitation, and deputation upon deputation has visited Government offices to complain about the salaries paid. The salary here starts at £175, rising to a maximum of £300. Some of them start a little higher. It can go in exceptional cases to £350 a year, but that £350 maximum which a doctor gets at the end of a certain period includes his out-of-pocket expenses. I think it will be admitted that a dispensary doctor in the country can hardly get along without at least a Ford motor car. When it is considered that the doctor has to purchase the car and pay the expenses of running it, it will be observed how very little he is getting as actual salary for the work he does.

Deputy Morrissey referred in an earlier part of the discussion to what was told to him by certain dispensary doctors. They certainly described their situation in a very pointed way at the meeting they held to discuss this situation when it was developing. They pointed out that they are probably worse off than anybody else as a result of the serious conditions existing in the country. It has been their experience for years past that in a time of depression it is the doctor's bill that is the last one to be paid.

As far as the present depression is concerned the doctors have got to the point of admitting themselves that they would rather not get a call from a private patient than get one, for while they suffer from the fact that a great [2494] many people now pass themselves off as destitute for the purpose of getting red tickets, they get some payment in these cases. Though their travelling expenses are increasing every day while they are drawing something from these visits, they feel there is to be some payment, whereas in relation to the private patient in the main, the person who still has enough dignity not to place himself amongst the ranks of destitute persons, has another way out of the difficulty. That way is to postpone the payment of the doctor's bill until conditions improve. That means that whatever addition doctors used to have to their official salaries arising out of private practice, has almost altogether gone now.

I think the consulting rooms of the medical men in Dublin would bear witness also to the devastated condition of the country as it is at the moment. Certainly, as far as the poor law medical officers are concerned they have been subjected to extraordinary hardships recently and they see no prospect of things improving. They further see that they are going to be called more and more to come to the relief of persons who are amongst the new group who are calling themselves destitute. The salaries of the medical officers are not increased by reason of the extra numbers they attend. I know one medical officer who detailed to me the number of red tickets on which he has attended, and he said right through the year the average which he would get would be about 4,000. The average would be three visits on each ticket. That would be the number of visits he would have to pay entirely. If you take the turnover of that in a year and relate it to the salary of say £300 in the year paid to that man for attendance on the poor, it means if the whole lot is to be regarded as a salary, and he has to pay his locomotion expenses around his area out of his own pocket, he is getting something in the nature of sixpence per call for medical attendance on those people. It is proposed to cut that because the Minister for Education is anxious that salaries should be reduced.

I have already spoken of the fees that are paid for registration of [2495] births, marriages and deaths, and the fees that are paid in connection with the carrying out of vaccination. There are certainly other fees which medical men get and about which there has been trouble for years past. That is in connection with the fees paid for attending members of the Gárda Síochána and the payments for medical assistance under national health insurance schemes. There are payments also for appearing at coroners' courts and at other courts. I am to assume that as far as any of these funds are paid from grants or alleged to be paid from grants made from the Central Fund in all these cases they are to suffer cuts. There is an exceptionally good case to be made in relation to medical men generally.

Even Ministers themselves know that there is a special case to be made for dispensary medical officers and certainly it is approaching something like knocking the pennies out of the blind man's cup to cut down the small payments that are paid for these additional services that medical men do, that is, these registration fees and those fees which they have always regarded as moneys that could not be offered to a good type of clerk for doing the work which they, as medical men, are asked to engage upon. I do not know what the saving is to be. We can get no statement as to the saving there will be in the separate groups proposed to be cut. But I cannot imagine that there is going to be anything great in the way of saving by tackling this particular group of professional men in the country.

I think there should be even at this late moment some hesitation on the part of the Government before proceeding further with this Bill. It is the most extraordinary case of hardship that has yet come for discussion. I do not believe there was any thought given to the consideration as to the position in which these men will find themselves. If any thought were given to the position of these men when they were induced to take up certain work this section would not be in the Bill. I doubt if there has been any time given to the consideration of the position of medical officers of health [2496] or the ordinary dispensary doctors. I think most people would shrink aghast from any proposal to cut the salaries of those folk no matter what the position is to which the country has been brought.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Will the Minister not reply? I see he does not intend to. I am sorry. Perhaps he is right. He made a very poor defence in any case in which he intervened up to the present and possibly he feels that there is no defence to be made now. I only want to stress one particular case and that is the case put forward by Deputy McGilligan—the case of the ordinary dispensary doctor. I quite admit, as far as the county medical men are concerned, a great deal could be said. Anyone connected with the establishment of these services knows that at the time the salaries for the county medical officers of health were fixed they were fixed as low as possible owing to the great difficulty in getting a number of county councils to have them at all. Considering the qualifications that are required from those men it is a question whether it would not be better to scrap the services altogether or to do them properly. That is not what is being done. You are really calling upon men to do very expert work and not paying them properly. Whatever may be said against the comparison with salaries elsewhere, remember that where the medical profession is concerned comparison with the salaries in England is highly irrelevant because numbers of our young men go over there and there is the danger that you will have the less better qualified men attracted to the positions at home so that we would keep at home only the men who are mediocre. That has been the result of the salary-cutting that has gone on and you have seen it in other spheres as well.

I want to ask the House to consider what we are doing so far as the ordinary dispensary doctor is concerned. It brings my mind back to what used to be a common thing when I was a young man. The boards of guardians used to meet fortnightly and fortnight after fortnight they would [2497] spend the time of the meetings discussing whether they would pay a medical man £100 or £130 a year. At the same time, they would not mind squandering a couple of thousand pounds in other directions. The whole battle at the Board was over that miserable salary. It is in that way precisely that the Ministers are acting now.

I would ask the House to consider how these medical men are hit at present. They are hit in different ways. In the first place, so far as their income is concerned they are hit by the increased income tax. In the second place they are hit, as everybody who comes across medical officers in the last six months knows, because they are getting no payment for private practice. A medical officer does not take up a position as dispensary doctor because of the salary attached to it. Everybody knows that it is not because of the salary of £270 to £350 a year that a man takes up a position as [2498] dispensary doctor. That is not the consideration or at all events it is not the main consideration as to why he takes up the position. He does it in order to establish himself in a particular district. Now, unfortunately, as a result of circumstances which we need not touch on particularly here, but with which we are all familiar, the doctor's private practice is, to a large extent, destroyed. One of the principal considerations is gone, and whilst that consideration has gone the medical officer is being cut down in his salary for the work he has done for the poor. There were many instances in which the Ministry put up no case whatever in defence of the policy they are pursuing. I am not surprised that the Minister, who for the moment is in charge of the Bill, should prefer to meet this particular matter with silence.

Amendment put.

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Byrne, Alfred.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McGuire, James Ivan.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

Aiken, Frank.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Killilea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
MacDermott, Frank.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.

[2499] Amendment declared lost.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Shall we take this decision as governing veterinary surgeons?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I have not mentioned the words “veterinary surgeon” since we started. I propose to speak entirely of veterinary surgeons now. I move amendment No. 46:—

In page 5, at the end of Section 12 to add a new sub-section as follows:—

Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections of this section this Part of this Act shall not apply to veterinary surgeons in the employment of such body.

Surely a special case can be made for veterinary surgeons. There used to be a very flourishing veterinary college in this country, because there was once a flourishing business for veterinary surgeons to look after. By degrees, as the motor car and other forms of transport replaced the horse-drawn vehicle, the possibility of employment for veterinary surgeons decreased. At the moment, I doubt if there is any great livelihood for veterinary surgeons in the country, other than what they get when they are attached to local authorities. Private practice is almost at vanishing point. There is an exceptionally lucky individual here and there who gets attached to a training stables, or who, living in the vicinity of a training stables, is brought in for work in connection with that establishment. In the main, the veterinary surgeon, if it were not for the little bit of foundation he has got to rest on in whatever he gets from the local authorities, could definitely despair and leave this country. We would have done with that type of professional men. The emoluments they get from the local authorities are very small. The private practice there is to be done is very small indeed, and the fees that are given have gone down from what they used to be.

[An Ceann Comhairle resumed the Chair.]

Veterinary surgeons used to rank very highly amongst the professional men in this country from the point of view of the moneys they were able to [2500] earn, and the life they were able to lead. I suppose there is no type of professional man in whom there has been such a change wrought by circumstances as in those people. Although I do not think their case of hardship is equivalent to that of dispensary medical officers, they specially merit some consideration at this stage. I move to have them exempted from the proposals of the Bill.

Amendment negatived.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment 47:

In page 5, at the end of Section 12 to add a new sub-section as follows:

Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections of this section this Part of this Act shall not apply to engineers in the employment of such body.

There cannot be the same case of hardship made with regard to these people as with regard to dispensary doctors or veterinary surgeons, but there is this consideration which can be put forward with regard to them. There is very little outlet for professional men in this country. There was a time when no engineer could get employment here. For some years past there was an increase in the employment for engineers, and we got to the point where we had to call back engineers from other countries. They got fixed into certain positions, and as those called back were the younger men who went abroad to enter into engineering there is no great hope of vacancies arising at a sufficient rate to give people a reasonable prospect of employment. Outside of the engineers who got employment in the country on account of electrical development, there is a small number of people who were employed by the local authorities. There is a certain number of others who are employed in a temporary way under the Board of Works for drainage schemes and things like that.

As far as these people are concerned, they have been for years past agitating that the emoluments which they receive are very meagre and ought to be increased. Instead of there being an [2501] increase there is to be a decrease. The prospect has always been held out to them that an increase would be given if things got better, but there was no suggestion that their salaries were regarded as excessive or that there would be a cut imposed. We are now cutting in succession medical men and veterinary surgeons. If this amendment is refused the engineers will also be doomed, and, no doubt, we would go on to cut other classes of professional men.

Does the Minister hold out any hope for trained people in the country? What inducement is there for people to get educated for professional work if the salaries that they receive for work done in relation to the county councils are to be subject to decrease in this way? We hear a lot of talk about the State being a good employer, and about the State being the best employer. We now have a reversal of that principle here. People are simply picked for this type of slaughter because they are nearest to the Government. No argument has been made that they are paid excessive salaries. No such argument could be made with regard to any of those groups I am speaking for at the moment. They are singled out because they find themselves located peculiarly near to the Government, and because their salaries are controlled in some way owing to their being attached to a Body which gets a grant from the State. No argument, capable of exciting anybody emotional, could be advanced to show that they are paid too much, and that consequently there is a justification for their being cut. They are just being picked because of their location near the Government or local authority. If we are going to look for the development of any sort of engineering in the country surely we ought to try and keep in the country as many of those people as we can. We should look for a variety in the pursuits of the people of the country, because when there is a variety in the pursuits of the people there is better intellectual development. We should aid that by seeing that when they have educated themselves they are not going to have their salaries hacked and torn because they [2502] are in a position near to the Government.

Mr. Minch: Information on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  Zoom on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  I rise to support every possible defence against the attacks on professional grades. The engineering profession in this country at the moment is in very low water. I am quite sure the House appreciates the position in which a Bachelor of Engineering of the National University, a man who took an honours degree, had to accept four guineas a week and was glad to get it. It is quite obvious that if this position in which the professional people find themselves to-day is to be attacked by salary cuts, it will make it thoroughly impossible, uneconomic and unattractive for them to seek university education and qualify in a professional capacity in this country at all.

Amendment 47 negatived.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment 48:—

In page 5, at the end of Section 12 to add a new sub-section as follows:—

Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections of this section this Part of this Act shall not apply to solicitors in the employment of such body.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I have only this to say about this amendment that nobody who knows anything about the work that solicitors attached to those local bodies have to do, and the peculiarly arid branch of law that they have to make up, and the special expertness they have to show in their handling of the local matters, would, approaching it from that angle, ever attempt to reduce their payments. Most of the people who attach themselves to these bodies as solicitors, find, in the end, that the work is of such a specialised character that in the main, in a large number of cases, at any rate, they can do no work other than the work they do for the local authorities. It is a specialised branch of law in which a person has got to be an expert going into it at all. It is very intricate and complex. People who have gone into it have done so with the knowledge that there was a great amount of work [2503] there to be done, and work that brings them in nothing in the way of excessive salaries. Solicitors attached to local authorities are among the hardest worked of professional people. It can be said, and with justification, that there is plenty of work in the country for solicitors. But a man who specialises in that type of work, when he finds himself, in middle years, forced out because there is not the same livelihood in it as before, will find it very hard to change into the general line of practice in the profession. It is hoped that this is only an emergency we are in and is only temporary. If so then these people might very well be left out and exempted from these cuts.

Mr. J.P. Kelly: Information on James Patrick Kelly  Zoom on James Patrick Kelly  Deputy McGilligan finds himself in the happy position of being everybody's advocate to-night. He has advocated the case of vocational officers, medical officers, veterinary officers, engineers, civil servants, members of the Gárda and of the Army and so on. I was wondering what case he was going to make for the solicitors. I find that, perhaps, he has made a worse case for them than he has made for any others. The solicitors attached to local bodies are not full-time officers, and they earn fees outside their special work for the local bodies. I would certainly oppose this amendment because I think the solicitors receive fees amply sufficient for the work they do for the local bodies. It is very hard to understand the attitude adopted by the Opposition. One day we are told there is an economic war and that the farmers in the country are suffering. Another day we are told there is unemployment, and another day we are asked where are the economies we promised. Another day they come along, just as to-day, and tell us not to economise, and oppose every effort we make to bring about economy. I think I might be pardoned if I refer to the fact that when the Opposition were in power, and went to look for economies, they reduced the old age pensioners, and they took ten per cent. off the teachers. In view of these things it is very hard to understand their attitude to-day. I certainly oppose the amendment to [2504] have solicitors excluded from the scope of the Bill.

Amendment put and negatived.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment 49:

In page 5, at the end of Section 12 to add a new sub-section as follows:—

Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections of this section this Part of this Act shall not apply to county surveyors or assistant county surveyors, with professional qualifications, in the employment of such body.

I am going to add this group, also to those for whom I am making a special advocacy. I am very glad that Deputy J.P. Kelly drew my attention to the fact that there are still a number of Fianna Fáil Deputies who do not understand the promises made of economies by the Fianna Fáil Party. The Deputy said he could not understand the attitude of the Opposition. He told us there is an economic war on. That is not denied. He told us the farmers are suffering. That is not denied.

Mr. Donnchadh O Briain: Information on Donnchadh Ó Briain  Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Briain  And they have been suffering for a number of years.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  But they never got the castigation before they are getting now. There is now the 40 per cent. of plunder put upon them and that is added to whatever was added to them before.

Mr. Donnchadh O Briain: Information on Donnchadh Ó Briain  Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Briain  They are standing it well. They are not going to sell their country for the price of a bullock, as the Cumann na nGaedheal Party wants them to do.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That is the attitude of a Fianna Fáil Deputy sitting here in regard to the impoverished farmers. He tells us they are standing it well. If they are standing the Deputy as well as they are standing the deprivation they are suffering they will come out of the struggle very well. We are told by Deputy Kelly that we do not want any more taxation. But the Deputy's Party promised two years ago that there would be no more taxation, that there would be a reduction [2505] of taxation. The Deputy says that we are objecting to their economies and that when they come along with economies in this Bill we object. We object because that is not what they promised. It was denied that that was coming. Would the Deputy listen now, if he never heard before, to what the policy of the Fianna Fáil Party was with regard to economy? We were told that the Fianna Fáil Party was satisfied that substantial economies were feasible without reducing the social services, without inflicting any hardships upon civil servants or those in Government services or without impairing in any way the State machinery.

Mr. J.P. Kelly: Information on James Patrick Kelly  Zoom on James Patrick Kelly  In what way have we impaired the State machinery?

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  Deputy Kelly's investigation compels us, apparently, to have a Second Reading debate.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Second Reading debate, so far as I am concerned, will not go very far. Fianna Fáil had examined, we were told, the Estimates and was convinced that a saving of many hundred thousand pounds could be made, not including such items as the sum of £1,152,500 paid to the British Government in respect of R.I.C. pensions and other similar payments not required by the Treaty. The burden of taxation could be lightened by £2,000,000 per year. Where has it been lightened by £2,000,000 per year?

Mr. T. Kelly: Information on Thomas Kelly  Zoom on Thomas Kelly  It is being lightened here.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Deputy has voted for dead men, in his time, according to his own profession. I think he must represent a dead man, so far as his observation is concerned. The Minister for Finance said that we were to have a reduction of £2,000,000 of taxation without in any way impairing the public service. Instead of reducing taxation by £2,000,000 he has already added another £4,500,000 and the man who sees nothing strange in that has no appreciation of figures. On a recent occasion I pointed out that Deputy Cooney promised to reduce the Army by £2,000,000. I was challenged [2506] for that quotation and the date of it. I am not yet able to supply them, but I am able to say that the statement was made by Deputy Cooney in Grangegorman, not at it. May I say that that is an appropriate spot for most of the Fianna Fáil promises to be made in.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Will the Deputy leave Grangegorman and come to the Dáil?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If Deputy Kelly is not satisfied, we can take up this point on the next amendment which deals with the National University.

Mr. J.P. Kelly: Information on James Patrick Kelly  Zoom on James Patrick Kelly  I shall be glad if the Deputy will turn now to the surveyors.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Deputy did turn away from the solicitors to the economies which Fianna Fáil had promised. I have only this much to say about the surveyors. “County surveyors and assistant county surveyors who have professional qualifications”—I have specially put in that last phrase because, if there is any examination or any test which is supposed to be of difficulty in the country, it is the test which county surveyors and assistant county surveyors who have professional qualifications have to pass. I have known engineers and men of standing in different professions who had, for years, been trying to get the county surveyor's examination because of the high standard of attainments it indicated and who had to apply, time and again, before they got that particular qualification. Here, we have people who not merely got the mark of having that qualification, but who got a post in competition with others who have the qualifications—and they say that this qualification marks a very high degree of attainment, indeed —and now, just because the Government are out to reduce salaries, these people are to be reduced. There is no appreciation at all of the work that men give in relation to the pay they are receiving. There is just this blind reaching out; there are folk near us and we are going to catch them and cut their salaries and [2507] whether it is an injustice to individuals, or whether they deserve it, we are not stopping to consider. Their salaries are going to be cut and it is going to be done by a scale, but in the application of the cut itself and of the scale to individuals, consideration of their attainments, the time they take to get into their positions and the work they give in return has gone by the board. We just want a cut and we are going to get it.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I should like to support Deputy McGilligan on this amendment and I should like to ask members of the House if they would take into consideration the fact that there are assistant county surveyors in this country to-day employed as whole-time officers at £300 a year.

Mr. McMenamin: Information on Daniel McMenamin  Zoom on Daniel McMenamin  And less.

Mr. O'Brien: Information on Donnchadh Ó Briain  Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Briain  Not bad!

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I did not quite catch the interruption from Deputy O'Brien, but I think it was “not bad.” The Deputy gets an allowance of £1 a day, or £360 a year——

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Not bad!

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Not bad for the Deputy. An assistant county surveyor employed as a full-time official cannot possibly carry out his duties without a motor car, for which he gets no travelling allowance.

Mr. O'Brien: Information on Donnchadh Ó Briain  Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Briain  Question.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  The Deputy questions that? The Deputy knows nothing whatever about the work of local authorities or about the work of any officer of local authorities.

Mr. O'Brien: Information on Donnchadh Ó Briain  Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Briain  Question.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Deputy Morrissey is in possession and he must not be interrupted.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  If Deputy O'Brien would consult some of his own colleagues, who are members of local authorities and have some knowledge of the work being performed by county surveyors and assistant county surveyors, they would probably put him right. The Deputy should know that the duties of county surveyors and [2508] assistant county surveyors have been increased tenfold within recent years. The amount of work which has to be performed by these officials in the making of roads and other matters is altogether out of proportion to what had to be performed a few years ago. The Deputy should know that. Any of his own colleagues will tell him that and that work which they have to perform must be increased if employment is to be given to those who are unemployed to-day. I put it to any member of the House that it is utterly impossible for an assistant county surveyor on £300 a year to do his work efficiently and well as a whole-time officer and maintain a motor car and to provide for himself and, if he is a married man, for his family, even the ordinary decencies of life on that salary. I suggest to the House that to offer £300 a year to a man in that position, who is a Bachelor of Engineering and whose education must have cost a considerable sum of money, is no inducement to parents to go to the expense of giving their sons a university education with a view to securing degrees.

I want to say this that, so far as I am concerned, irrespective of the position occupied by any man in this country, he is entitled to get a salary or a wage sufficient to maintain him in decency and comfort and to enable him to do his work efficiently. £300 a year—and that is to be reduced—to a man who, at present, is probably responsible for seeing that anything from £20,000 to £60,000 is well spent and that the taxpayer and the ratepayer who provide that money get value for it. I am suggesting that a man who is not decently paid is not going to be in a position to get the most efficient service and to get full value for the money spent and when Deputies cannot make up their minds as to whether a full-time officer, who has to do, at least, as much travelling, if not more, than any T.D., and who has to maintain a position at least as high as most T.D.s can afford to maintain, and who has as many calls upon him as the average T.D., can maintain his proper position, they should have some regard to [2509] whether they can themselves make any money, if they are doing their duty to their constituents and doing their duty here, out of the £360 they get. I think it will be admitted by most Deputies, and, particularly, those who represent rural constituencies, and who have to travel at their own expense from town to town and village within those rural constituencies and attend to their correspondence, that there is no member who can make any money out of that £360 per year. Certainly, no member who has to come from the country and remain here from Tuesday to Friday or Saturday can do so and we ought to have some regard for those men who are trying to do work in very difficult circumstances and who, I suggest, are already, in very many cases, inadequately paid.

Mr. B. Brady: Information on Bryan Myles Brady  Zoom on Bryan Myles Brady  I want to make a few brief observations in reply to Deputy Morrissey's remarks. I think he should have more respect for the intelligence of those members of the House who are members of local bodies than to make the statement he has just made in regard to surveyors and assistant surveyors. In the constituency I represent, Donegal, we have eight assistant surveyors and two county surveyors and these gentlemen, in addition to their salaries as whole-time officers, receive an allowance of 5d. per mile for travelling expenses. In addition to that, they get a bonus or grant from the fund for main road upkeep, the lowest of which grants is £80 per annum.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  That does not apply everywhere.

Mr. Brady:  These are additions to their salaries and I think that Deputy Morrissey should acquaint himself with what county surveyors and assistant county surveyors throughout the Free State get before he accuses Deputies of not knowing what assistant surveyors get.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  That does not apply everywhere.

Mr. Brady:  It applies in my constituency.

[2510]Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  I am speaking for my own county.

Amendment 49 put and declared lost.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment 50:—

In page 5, at the end of Section 12, to add a new sub-section as follows:—

Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections of this section this Part of this Act shall not apply in any way to the National University of Ireland or to any of the colleges of that University.

This amendment brings us back to the National University. We have already passed Section 10, which has an admitted ambiguity, to say no more.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  An alleged ambiguity.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  At the end of the discussion, if one could get hold of any argument at all, the Attorney-General wound himself to the point that there might be an ambiguity and that if there were discovered to be a loophole, we had a Government assurance —as if the courts are going to take cognisance of a Government assurance and as if the courts are going to take cognisance of an assurance given particularly by a Government which, as Deputy Cosgrave mentioned to-day, gave an assurance regarding an international agreement on Civil Service salaries when they compare it with the position under this Bill. There is the possibility—I think the certainty—that the University is still covered by Section 10 and, that being so, the University is subject to all that is in Section 12. On Section 12 there has been a refusal to take out the phrase “with the approval of the Minister.” That is the phrase that excited the anxiety of the University people in the memorandum which I read. When I am speaking of that memorandum, as it has been asserted, firstly, that it is not lawfully in my possession and, secondly, that it was supposed to be something in the nature of a confidential or secret document, I feel bound to put on record the covering letter sent to me with it. The letter is as follows:—

[2511] Dear Mr. McGilligan, I suppose I should introduce myself as the person referred to.

We enclose copy of a memorandum submitted to the Executive Council by the staffs of the three colleges.

That shows that this is not a document submitted to me prior to discussion with the Executive Council.

It concerns the inclusion of the colleges within the scope of the Public Services (Temporary Economies) Bill.

It goes on in a later part to say:

As we consider it vital to the whole future of university education that the principles embodied in Sections 10 and 12 be deleted from it, we are asking the leaders of the different parties as well as the representatives of the National University to give the matter their sympathetic attention in case it should come up for debate.

That document, sent to the leaders of parties—at least stated to me to have been sent to the leaders of parties—as well as to representatives of the University, with the request that leaders of parties, and representatives of the University, would give the matter sympathetic consideration in case it comes up for debate, does not appear to me to be a confidential document. Apart from that, I took the precaution of asking the person who sent me this document if it was open to me to use it in debate and I got the answer “yes.” I wonder is everybody's conscience at ease in the matter now?

The final part of the letter is as follows:—

“Trusting to have your sympathy and support.”

The Attorney-General got that letter, as I got it, and, notwithstanding that, he says it is a confidential document. He has his own view of confidential and secret documents. He tried his views out in the courts without a great deal of success to himself. I think he should suffer a little embarrassment in speaking here about secret and confidential documents.

The Attorney-General:  I do not think that I made any reference to a confidential document at all.

[2512]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If not, I should give the Attorney-General more credit for discretion than I did.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I take credit for the discretion. It was I who referred to the document as confidential.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Minister is going to take credit, or discredit, for a bit more. Let the Minister take this warning from me. If, later on, he chooses to refer to me professionally in connection with the University, and to any profits which I may derive, he should tread very lightly on that subject—as delicately as if he were going on eggshells, because there can be a fearful repercussion and kick-back on him. I say no more but I hope the warning will stick.

Mr. T. Kelly: Information on Thomas Kelly  Zoom on Thomas Kelly  That is a threat.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  We know it is. If people who live in glass-houses are going to throw stones——

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy had better have the repercussion now.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  ——Let the Minister contain himself.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy ought to have it now and show what sort of man he is.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am not going to be enticed into competition with the Minister on that particular ground. The Minister ought to recognise how vulnerable he is in that particular matter.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Minister is not vulnerable in any respect and nobody knows that better than the Deputy.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  So far as vulnerability is concerned, one can hardly speak in this House without exciting the Minister. Vulnerable! One can hardly speak about the Minister without exciting him. He is silent at last.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I do not know what innuendo the Deputy——

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If the Minister is going to speak, I shall give way.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  ——If the Deputy thinks he can say anything, he had better say it.

[2513]Mr. Traynor: Information on Oscar Traynor  Zoom on Oscar Traynor  Let him get on with the bluff.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Call the bluff.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Call it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendment 50.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am moving this amendment on the strength of the representations made to me and on the strength of that document. It is not a confidential document and cannot be classed as such. Nobody can attempt to say that it is, after hearing the covering letter which I read. That document states that the anxiety of the University people was aroused by the proposals that were, and in my opinion still are, in this measure. The Attorney-General has told us that he met university representatives, or representatives of the different colleges, at a time he said, when I did not meet them. The Minister for Finance, who did not know enough about this, referred afterwards to a meeting of representatives of the University with representatives of the Government. There was never such a meeting to which I was invited. There was a meeting of representatives of the different colleges. I indicated that I should be there at a certain time. I was there at or about that time. Some of the members of the deputation thought fit to wait to meet me and to tell me what had happened. Since the Attorney-General has thought fit to talk about that interview, I may say that they told me that they thought there had begun to dawn on the Attorney-General an appreciation of the danger they thought was in the Bill. I knew the dawning that would come to the Attorney-General; it would be no Easter dawn, no sudden emergence. It was about the Report Stage that he realised that there was some danger in this provision. That is the situation in which we are. So far from that deputation feeling that the Attorney-General had been convinced by their arguments and was coming to their aid, I am afraid the people I met did not express themselves as kindly towards the Attorney-General as the Attorney-General expressed himself [2514] to-day. The other representative of the National University thought there had been previously an interference with university autonomy. I think that this House will have a better appreciation of what university autonomy means, and not so much appreciation of the value of university representation, after hearing that Deputy.

What was the example? The example given was an example which showed clearly that when more money, or new money, was being given in aid of a new faculty, or for the better building up of an old faculty it was brought within the ordinary framework of university conditions. The money was given on the basis that the Senate and the governing authority of the University College referred to would take the most competent person and the money was given, in relation to the Irish language, on the ground that the person knew Irish. That is supposed to be interference with the autonomy of the University. I am very glad the example was given, to pick out the argument that the Deputy had before her. It was going to serve the Deputy's purpose very well. It served its purpose very well, but it shows how particularly anxious the late Government was, in giving money, not to have any interference with the whole scheme of the University. If there is going to be money given to provide faculties not hitherto there, I say that the only way that can be introduced is by granting the moneys inside the ordinary competence of the University, and the only way is by declaring that the Senate and the governing body of the University Colleges referred to will determine who the professors are to be. If the phrase is not interference with university authority, we have a funny use of the phrase, and I do not know what university autonomy means. The phrase I referred to in the document, and to which I called special attention in an amendment is “with the approval of the Minister.” I propose to quote again the section from the memorandum:—

“The full measure of bureaucratic control now proposed can be seen in Section 12, which professes to [2515] authorise each governing body to make such deductions in individual salaries as ‘such body shall, with the approval of the Minister, think proper’.”

These are the people for whom the Attorney-General has not much to say. He thinks they were urging this for political purposes, or some of them. That is his method of meeting the criticism of these people. Three representatives were appointed by each of the governing bodies. The Attorney-General's way to wipe out their argument is to say that he was convinced some of them were using this for political purposes. They had met previously. There was discussion in the three colleges and so disquieted were they that they appointed three representatives to go to a meeting. These nine met, and these nine eventually delegated the drawing up of a document to some one or two, which was approved by the lot. It shows that there is fear.

“The full measure of bureaucratic control now proposed can be seen in Section 12, which professes to authorise each governing body to make such deductions in individual salaries ‘as such body shall, with the approval of the Minister, think proper’.”

That is the phrase upon which they found the whole anxiety. We were told that the approval of the Minister meant nothing. When we got to the section and discussed taking out the phrase for which there is no excuse, that it meant nothing, there was no attempt to put up any argument. No attempt was made to do so. I say if it means nothing let it be removed. It clearly puts control in the Minister, and it is still there. If Section 10 is held still to encompass the University it gives the Minister power to interfere with individual salaries, and that being the case nobody can say there is not outrageous interference with the University. That is recognised everywhere as a lever by which a Government can enforce its will upon a teaching body. Because there is Government [2516] control of certain institutions in France the Catholics in France established a special Catholic institution; because of the same cause in Italy, the Catholics in Italy established a special institution there; and, because of the same control over the institution, the Catholic University at Georgetown was set up; because there was the same flaw in the proposals previously made here by the British Government, before the 1906 Act was passed, the hierarchy declared against the proposal put forward. That is now in this Bill, and merely to say that it is not intended, that there is an attempt to remove it does not get away from the original crime of introducing this thing without consultation with people with more knowledge of the matter, who could have given them warning about the danger.

There is no excuse now for ambiguity, to put it no higher than that. No Government is going to be accused of intent to take up that attitude towards a university body. The phrase always has got to be used: “Think of what some other Government with the same power might do.” Think of it in that line, but let us assume that the present Government having this power, is not going to interfere, is not going to discriminate and is not going to pay attention to the doctrine taught. Is some other Government going to operate in the way we fear? How can it be denied? There is the possibility of the Government acting in that way when we know what happened in France, Italy, the United States, and previously in this country, and that not only were proposals made and institutions founded in which there was distinct control in the State in the subject matters of teaching, but that control made it impossible for Catholics in these countries to accept the institutions so founded. There is only one way to end this. Anxiety has been caused and it is still there. It is not asking too much of people that they should end this whole matter and put it beyond dispute for all time. No matter what we have blundered into at the beginning, here is rectification of the whole situation by taking the [2517] amendment notwithstanding anything done, so that nothing in this part of the section shall apply to the National University or any of its colleges. That puts the thing beyond dispute and that is what should be accepted.

The Attorney-General:  I have already made an ineffectual effort against Deputy McGilligan's outlined amendment, in which he dealt with this matter as glibly as if the Bill had not been altered in the way it has been. He has made the suggestion that it takes a long time to dawn on me that there was some new argument in respect of the University. I should [2518] think if it was ever to dawn on his intelligence, that between the discussion of the last amendment and this one, there is nothing in his argument to show that the University is still captured by either Sections 10 or 12. I drew the Deputy's attention particularly to Section 13, which makes it quite clear that the method of dealing with the University is different from that set out in Sections 10 or 12. I am convinced that the Deputy knows he is quite wrong in his assertion, that the Bill can be said to affect the University.

Amendment put.

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Byrne, Alfred.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

Aiken, Frank.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Killilea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
MacDermot, Frank.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.

Amendment declared defeated.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  In the course of his speech on the last amendment Deputy McGilligan, so far as I could hear clearly what he said, used in regard to myself an expression something in the following terms: “On this question of profits, the Minister is particularly vulnerable, so vulnerable that he should tread lightly, as lightly as if he were treading on egg-shells.”

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I did not say that.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Will the Deputy be good enough to repeat to the House what he did say?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I said that if hereafter the Minister decided to talk to me [2519] in relation to profits which I derived from the University, he should remember to walk delicately on that matter as if he were treading on egg-shells.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Now we have heard what the Deputy did say. I know no reason why, in regard to the University or anything else, I should tread lightly or speak delicately. If the Deputy does he should be good enough now to put before the House the reasons which led him to make that suggestion here, and in some way to impute to me something which was dishonourable or discreditable to me as Minister. If he does not, I think he should be asked to withdraw the statement.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Is this a point of order or what is it?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Minister asked my permission to raise this matter. I gave him such permission as I understand, from the Deputy's words, that it was a reflection on the personal honesty of the Minister.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It was not by any means, and was never intended.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Why should it be a delicate matter to me unless it is a matter of which I have reason to be ashamed or one which I wish to be withheld from the public? I am not conscious that there is anything. I have no connection with the University. I am proud to say that there are associates and relatives and people who are very dear to me associated with the University, and I am certain that they have no reason to be ashamed of that association. The University has no reason to be ashamed of it either. If Deputy McGilligan wishes in the House to raise this matter, as he has raised it, by innuendo, I think at least he ought to be man enough to say plainly and bluntly what he does intend to convey to the House and to the public.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  May I ask again is this a point of order or what is it?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I have explained to the Deputy that the Minister asked my permission to raise [2520] the matter of a reflection made on his personal honesty by the Deputy.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I did not make any such reflection.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Then the Deputy should state definitely that he meant no personal reflection.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I will not state any thing of the sort. That would convey the impression that I had done so. If the Minister is going to raise any point like that he ought to raise it in its context, and state what he said about me.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I did say in regard to the Deputy, if my recollection is right, that if his presence elsewhere brought as little profit to his clients as his presence here did to his constituents. It was a matter of regret——

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  That was a personal reflection on the Deputy.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I do not think so.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Minister said a great deal more than that.

Mr. Rice:  It was an offensive reflection.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I do not regard it as offensive because of where it comes from.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It is not a matter on which I should expect the Deputy to have any delicacy whatsoever.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I have not, seeing that the Minister said it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendment 51. I take it the amendment is not being moved; that it is covered by amendment 5.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  No. I intend moving amendments 51 and 52 and to discuss both together.

I move:—

51. In page 6, line 4, Section 13, to delete the words “in the current financial year” and substitute the words “in respect of that portion of the current financial year subsequent to the passing of this Act.”

[2521] 52. In page 6, line 5, to delete the word “five” and substitute the word “one.”

Section 13, in the amended Bill, provides:—

Where a grant is made annually, under statute or otherwise, out of public moneys to a university or a university college, there shall be deducted from the amount of such grant which falls to be made in the current financial year such sum, not exceeding five per cent. of the amount of such grant, as the Minister shall determine.

It is proposed to amend the section by the insertion of the words set out in the two amendments. The situation we have reached with regard to the universities is this, that they are still capable of being open to attack under Sections 10 and 12. The Minister may decide that it is not politic, in certain circumstances, to use that power; that he may only use the power given here under Section 13. What is the power given under Section 13? To reduce the grant up to a maximum of five per cent. What is going to happen then? I suppose the Minister will tell me that he has washed his hands of them and that the universities can make ends meet as best they can. Now if cuts are going to be imposed I think this is a better way of doing it than what was proposed in Sections 10 and 12 originally. But the power taken under Sections 10 and 12 will still operate under this section in regard to the National University and its colleges. It is an indefensible proposal. If the grants are going to be cut by five per cent., then that means that the salaries in the colleges of the National University are going to be cut. There are other ways in which savings could be made. Savings could be made in expenditure on and upkeep of buildings. For the future there can be no putting aside of whatever little sums may have been put aside from time to time to equip buildings and rooms in buildings. That may mean that, for the future, students will not have the same amount of equipment at their disposal in the laboratories, or that [2522] they will have to pay more for breakages than they are paying at the moment. I doubt that even scratching out all these things and scratching out of them as much as possible that it is going to be open to the governing authorities of the National University and its colleges to refrain from imposing a cut on their staffs.

The moneys that were granted for the upkeep of buildings were always very meagre. Members of the staff of the National University in its early days, for the first 12 years after the buildings were erected, know well that it was almost the bodily heat of the professors and students that dried out the walls of the building. It was certainly notorious that the students used to congregate on the steps to get whatever there was of winter sun rather than stay in what were supposed to be centrally-heated class rooms. That was due to the small sums given for coal for heating the building in its early days when it was very damp. The sum allowed was so small that the building was only heated during a limited portion of the year, and then only for certain hours of the day during the portion of the year it was heated. Some of the grants have recently been increased, but the colleges have grown and the equipment of the students required is much more expensive than before. The moneys spent on equipment and laboratory material as well as the moneys spent yearly on breakages now far exceed what was spent in the old days of which I speak. From what I know from past experience of the University and its finances the reduction of the grant means that there is going to be a cut imposed on the members of the staff.

So far as I was concerned we were dealing during most of the day with the University as an institution and paying little attention to the personnel of the staff. Now university professors occupy a peculiar position in this country and one that should be adverted to. I made a distinction already between the civil servant and the business man, the business man who submits to the vicissitudes and changes of life, who takes the good when it comes and the bad when it [2523] comes. The civil servant, amongst others, opted for a life of more security but less chances of success. He did not find his emoluments increased when there was a boon, but he had the advantage of not in the main suffering when the slump came. That is changed now. As I said before, that old-time security has disappeared, and if it disappears once there will be further attempts made hereafter as and when times get worse.

The civil servant, at any rate, had this: that there were positions open to civil servants which they could get when they were fairly young, and, although they entered at very small salaries, they had increments, in the main, yearly; and there were some plums which a man might get after a fair number of years' service, but not by waiting until almost the end of their days before these prizes came within their grasp. At any rate, there was promotion outside the ordinary incremental advance made from time to time. Compare that with the case of the university professor. I think there is no doubt that it can be said with regard to those at the top of the civil service that they could earn more by their ability in the outside world but that they have been willing to forego that in return for security. Similarly with regard to university professors. It will be admitted that, as a whole, they are men of sufficient calibre that, if they had gone into outside posts and engaged in ordinary activities in the world, they would be in receipt of much greater salaries than they are getting at the moment. But they are distinguished from the civil servants in this way: that they do not, in the main, go into these positions young. They go into these positions, at the best, in early middle age, and ordinarily they go in in later middle age. They have no annual increment. They do not rise from year to year. They generally go into university posts from other teaching activities and there is no work so badly paid in this country as the ordinary teaching activity; and the man who enters into a post at late middle age has had [2524] very little opportunity of having savings put by before he gets that post, and he has a very small period of years as a professor in which he can make any savings against his later years for the education of his family and for anything in the way of dependency that there may be attaching to it.

There is a special case for these people, and they are specially singled out in this further way—that the number of university appointments in this country is very small indeed, and the competition for them is very great. Amongst an exceptionally clever group of people the men who get these posts are marked men so far as attainments go, and they have, in the main, succeeded in getting these appointments, of whatever type they may be, only in their later years when they have had no chance of saving and when they have a limited amount of time left to them in which to make up enough against their declining years. There is a pension fund attached to the University, or rather the college, of which I speak. But it is a very small thing. It is made up of deductions from the salaries of the professors from year to year, and the fund still suffers from the same disadvantage as the professors—the disadvantage to which I have referred in regard to the professors themselves. The moneys from which the fund is built up are deducted from the salaries of these men who have a limited period in which to draw these salaries. It is notorious about the three colleges—I have no pleasure in saying it—but I do not remember an occasion in my period in University College, Dublin, in which one of the professorial body died, that there had not to be some attempt on the part of their colleagues to assist their dependents. We take these men of exceptional ability, for whom there are very few posts, and who are doing good work, notwithstanding the criticisms of people who are appealing to the credulity of university electors, and we are going to cut the salaries of these people or, at least, to put them in the position that, if they cannot scratch out this money, which [2525] the Minister is going to take from them, by depriving the students of some of the advantages they should get in laboratories or else by putting a strain on their own health and the health of the students by cutting down the fuel, they have got to have their salaries cut. If that is the attitude of the present Government in relation to learning and the people who stand for learning in this country, they should stop the hypocrisy of pretending to the country that there is anything of liberalism in their composition.

I referred previously to the kind of traditions that this country had in relation to learning. There was a time when the institutions of a scholarly type that were here were attacked and when the professors of old were defeated in their emoluments and the positions they held. I have here a quotation from the Annals which talks of the special provision of Ireland as being the provision made outside religion for knowledge. The statement was that:—

“Every tribe maintained and rewarded its own poets, judges, historians, preceptors in law, music, or literature. In their hierarchy a king, a bishop, and an ollave, were the three most noble. They had the same ‘honour price’ and the same rights of giving sanctuary. ‘According to the ordinance of science’ no king could set anyone above an ollave, or chief professor of his branch of learning.”

Then follows a list of things that were supposed to be due to him. There is a reference to the story told that, when one of the English Kings, Richard II, met certain of the Irish Kings, he objected to the custom they had of sitting down to table with their men of learning and insisted that a special and a lower type of table should be brought for these people, but the kings objected to this and “looking on each other refused to eat, saying they had been deprived of their old custom in which they had been brought up.” Now, an Executive Council, which is acting on the calculation that it is not going to have any deductions by way of income [2526] tax or otherwise made in the salaries established for themselves, is going to cut the salaries of the ollaves in the country.

Mr. T. Kelly: Information on Thomas Kelly  Zoom on Thomas Kelly  What Annals are you quoting?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I will not answer when I am addressed in that way.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Deputy McGilligan will continue.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I will not take much longer. There came a time when there was an attempt made, as an attempt is being made now, to cut down the moneys being paid to those people and there is one phrase here that I think should get currency. A variety of phrases was used by the scholars of the time when engaged on their manuscript work. One man wrote “A dinnerless Tuesday is a cold thing, Donall, and immediately before Christmas, too”. Another wrote—and I hope this phrase will get currency too, because it is going to have peculiar application to this country very soon:—

“Here we are at Shrove-Monday: and in my opinion, James, the watercresses of starvation-land are hard fare.”

That is what our professors are getting; that is what the whole country is getting, of course. The watercresses of starvation-land—that is the fare that we are going to mete out to a body of exceptionally qualified men and we are doing it just because the Minister for Education says that salaries have got to be reduced.

Mr. T. Kelly: Information on Thomas Kelly  Zoom on Thomas Kelly  They have £800 a year and not the watercresses of starvation-land.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Order!

Mr. T. Kelly: Information on Thomas Kelly  Zoom on Thomas Kelly  The Deputy is talking about the watercresses of starvation-land.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Order!

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Let us get the comparison. There are many statements [2527] as to what were the rewards of art and letters in the old days.

Mr. T. Kelly: Information on Thomas Kelly  Zoom on Thomas Kelly  £800 a year is not bad now.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The salary of £800 a year is just what strikes the Deputy. That is the mentality we are up against now.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  If the Deputy cannot restrain himself I shall have to take notice of his interruptions.

Mr. T. Kelly: Information on Thomas Kelly  Zoom on Thomas Kelly  I kept quiet all day, sir.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  To go back again to the Annals:

The rewards of art and letters were great.

The currency had changed.

Twenty cows was thought a fair price for a poem, and costly gifts were offered, jewelled goblets, horses and hawks, fine feather belts and spur-straps, and the like;

But even in those days there was a certain amount of forethought in regard to these men of learning.

but, cried the judicious bard, “without borders in which to maintain cattle, without a share of imperishable patrimonial soil, the very pick of thy treasure and of thy various gear is but all vanity to me!...”

They wanted security in those days, too. The imperishable patrimonial soil, something the Minister could not cut, was what they were looking for, and that they got in the later days. They thought professors in our days had security also, and civil servants thought they had security. Now they find they have not, and it comes to a question of whether they are going to be forced away from their secure positions. If they are so forced it is not by reason of any consideration of excess salaries paid to them, because that has not been argued. No question of excess salaries has come along here.

Again, I submit on this matter the case I have made in relation to other groups. Nobody has shown that there [2528] was any sitting down and calm thinking applied to the question of the attainments a man must have to get any of the posts to which I have referred, the money he gets and the work he does in return. In these particular instances there ought to be some regard paid to the dignity of the work, the character of the work, the people they are teaching and the benefit the country hopes to get eventually from the people whom they are teaching, if their teaching is what it should be. We just get again the little bit of pettiness that the Minister for Education was so free with to-day. Salaries have got to be reduced, and when salaries have got to be reduced we are not caring whether the previous salary was too small or too great. There is a salary there and the salary at the moment is the thing to be hacked, and we are going to hack these people as well as everybody else.

If the reduction in the grant to the extent of 5 per cent. is made, that will impose upon them the necessity for cutting the salaries of the professors. A reduction of 1 per cent. could be effected without doing much harm to the institution or the students, but if they make a reduction of 5 per cent. there is something to be taken off the salaries and, in the present situation, notwithstanding all I have spoken this day in relation to medical officers, veterinary surgeons or anyone else, no greater crime could be committed than making the cut apply in the case of the professors we have in the country at the moment in these university institutions.

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  I should like to say that if the House were to accept those two amendments, amendments 51 and 52, we would be committing an outrage on the principle of university autonomy, of which the Deputy professes to be a protagonist. I understand from the university representatives, with whom I have been in close touch for the last few months, that the provisions contained in Section 13 are the direct result of negotiations between the university and the Government and, therefore, they have been freely accepted by the university authorities as quite a satisfactory [2529] settlement of a difficult question. I do not think, when that agreement was arrived at between the university authorities and the Government, that we here have any right to impose any other interpretation.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It is easy to make an arrangement when you have a pistol [2530] at your head. Does the Deputy mean to say that was freely entered into?

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  Yes, it was, so I understand.

Amendment 51 negatived.

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

Aiken, Frank.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooncy, Eamonn.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Killilea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
MacDermot, Frank.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Byrne, Alfred.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
McFadden, Michael, Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I move amendment 53:—

In page 6, in Part I of the Schedule, to delete in the tabular statement the following:—

4 per cent. per annum from the first £100 of the annual rate of salary.

Plus 5 per cent. per annum from the next £100 or part of £100 of the annual rate of salary.

Plus 6 per cent. per annum from the next £100 or part of £100 of the annual rate of salary.

Plus 7 per cent. per annum from the next £100 or part of £100 of the annual rate of salary. and substitute the following:—

“Where the annual rate of salary does not exceed £400—Nil. “Where the annual rate of salary exceeds £400.”

The purpose of this amendment is to endeavour to secure that in the case of commissioned officers and chaplains in the forces of Saorstát Eireann there shall be no deduction in the salary where the salary does not exceed £400 per annum. It seems to me that, quite apart from financial considerations altogether, it is an extremely undesirable thing that reductions in salary should be inflicted on officers in the [2531] defence forces of Saorstát Eireann. One finds it difficult to understand the justification for cutting these salaries, except, as was often said during this debate, that they are convenient to the hands of the Minister. They are within the range of his axe. They are suffering this cut because the Minister does not want to take other and more sensible methods of raising the necessary funds to balance his Budget. That is why he proposes to inflict very severe salary reductions on officers in the defence forces of the State who come under his axe. There are also deductions on chaplains to the defence forces. Looking over the Estimates I find that in the case of chaplains they are paid a rate for part-time services, I presume, varying from £30 to £130 per annum. That low rate of salary is paid to chaplains.

I would say at once that our Army officers are paid a rate of salary lower than that paid in any other army in Europe. When you consider that a lieutenant in the Army gets a salary approximating to £4 10s. a week; when you consider that he is obliged by the Army regulations to conform to certain social standards; when you consider that he is prohibited from frequenting certain parts of the house in cinemas and theatres; when you consider that he is obliged to keep out of the path of the common people, and generally to behave as if he were well endowed with money, one wonders how it is expected that such an officer could live on his pay as an officer in the defence forces of the State, maintain a decent social standard, pay his way, and support his wife and children in decency. Yet that is the kind of one which is singled out for attack in this Bill.

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  Do I understand the Deputy to say that it is lower than every other army in Europe for lieutenants?

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I said our Army officers.

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  It does not apply to this particular grade.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Perhaps not in one or two countries, but I would say in respect of this country that we do not [2532] want, at all events, to see going into the defence forces of the State exclusively the kind of people that go into the defence forces of other States. If we take our next-door neighbour as an example, many of the people who go into the Army in Great Britain are well-to-do financially. Many of them have parents of considerable social prominence, and many are well endowed with this world's goods. Our Army is, in the main, a working-class Army—an Army of working-class people who, in other years, one might meet earning their daily bread with the sweat of their brow. It is because we have excellent officers, and because they are obliged to depend exclusively on the salary which they receive as members of the army, that we ought to ensure that the salary is adequate, that it is a decent salary, and such as will relieve the members of our defence forces from the constant anxiety of wondering how they will pay their debts and conform to the high social standard set forth in the military regulations.

I regard this section, and I regard Part II, Part III, Part IV and Part V as a very definite tearing up by the Fianna Fáil Government of the promises upon which they secured the votes of the people at the last and previous general election. In February, 1932, we had the President's statement at the Rathmines Town Hall. We must remember that Rathmines, which is in the Minister for Finance's constituency, was selected as the venue for this oration by the President. I am perfectly satisfied that it was no stray oration by the President; that it was no accidental curtain by the President. The President went to the Rathmines Town Hall to make a very definite statement in the centre of a constituency where it is well known that civil servants and many other people affected by this Bill reside. I am not suggesting that he was brought there specially by the Minister for Finance, but I would have no hesitation in saying that when the speech was reported in the Press next morning the Minister had added a few more thousands on to the No. 1 votes got in that district. The Minister knew that [2533] that trick out of the bag of political tricks would work well in Rathmines and resound over the County Dublin. The President's declaration was not sufficient. The Fianna Fáil Party published, not merely in its own newspaper, but in other newspapers, a declaration over the signature of the President, and this is the contract which the public servants of the country have with this Government, if one is to regard public declarations made in this manner as binding upon a Government once a Government is elected. Before I quote that, I want to quote the words and figures of the President in the Rathmines Town Hall. He said that persons in receipt of salaries of £300 or £400 per year were getting nothing excessive. £300 or £400 per year was not excessive, according to the statement in the Town Hall, Rathmines, on 1st February, 1932, in advance of the general election of that year. Nine days later there was, apparently, still no case for reducing these salaries, because over his own signature, and very likely written by himself, the President declared: “We do not propose to seek economies by restricting the social services or by cutting the salaries of the middle and lower grade civil servants. These salaries”—obviously the £300 or £400 that the President referred to nine days previously—“are in most cases barely sufficient to meet the costs of the maintenance of a home and the support and education of children.” Notwithstanding these wise words from the President, we now find that the Government has completely somersaulted in its outlook on the salaries of public servants. £300 or £400 per annum was barely sufficient to meet the costs of maintenance of a home and the support and education of children. Yet to-day, in this Bill, the Fianna Fáil Party are trooping into the Division Lobby against the very declaration made by the President in February, 1932. Under this Bill we are cutting the salaries which the President said, in February, 1932, were barely sufficient to meet the costs of maintenance of a home and the support and education of children.

Right through this whole discussion [2534] there has been no attempt to justify the tearing up of that solemn declaration by the President, the tearing up of that bargain which public servants of the country regarded as something binding on them, on the one hand, and the Government on the other. The only one justification we have had for this until to-day was that it was necessary to do this in order to feed the poor and lowly. It came out much more frankly to-day when the Minister for Education said that this is frankly a Bill to cut salaries. A Bill to cut salaries, without any trimming, said the Minister for Education! To feed the poor and lowly, said the Minister for Finance, in an earlier declaration. You may deprive the poor and lowly of this country of food and physical nourishment, but you cannot deprive them of their intelligence. There is not a poor man or a poor woman, or a lowly man or a lowly woman, who does not know that a statement of that kind made by the Minister for Finance is the merest claptrap and dope. Everybody knows that the poor and lowly are going to get nothing whatever out of cutting salaries in this manner. What will happen is that the purchasing power in respect of these people will be contracted. What he saves by contracting their purchasing power, and what he takes out of the pockets of these people, the Minister says he is going to hand out to the poor and lowly. If the Minister imagines that he is discharging his social responsibility, and that the full sunlight of his Christian social policy will be let in on the people when they get the quarter of a million taken out of the pockets of these people, in defiance of a moral contract with the Government, the Minister misjudges the intelligence of the people, even though he may have some appreciation of their physical necessities.

This part of the Bill is unjustified. It is particularly unjustified in respect of the members of our defence forces. Our commissioned officers, as I said, come from the plain people of the country. They are all ordinary working-class people who donned the uniform as a means of livelihood, in the same way as a carpenter, perhaps, will [2535] wear his overall when he goes to his work. We ought to make sure, if we are going to have an Army, that it is a decently paid Army, and, in any case, we ought not to expose ourselves to the odium of maintaining an Army and, at the same time, not paying decent rates of wages to those whom we are prepared to call upon at all times, not merely to give their energy to the nation, but if necessary to risk their lives in its defence.

Mr. Minch: Information on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  Zoom on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  I rise to support Deputy Norton's very able appeal on behalf of the army officers. Anybody associated with an army knows that if they are financially worried or if distressful conditions are imposed on such officers the whole organisation suffers.

During the Great War one of the big difficulties which the British Government and the War Office had to face was the demoralisation that was setting in amongst the second-lieutenants. What was the cause of it? After inquiry it was discovered that it was the bad pay they were getting which brought about the demoralisation. There is not the slightest doubt whatever that if the army officers of Saorstát Eireann are to be reduced to a lower standard the whole social position will suffer. As I have passed through the Curragh on many occasions, and have seen the spendid way in which they turn out, and the splendid manner in which they uphold the national dignity of this country, I feel that I would be lacking in my duty to this House if I did not stand up here to-night and make the strongest possible appeal that they be not brought under this cut. I have made an appeal on behalf of every single profession, but the Army particularly is dear to me. I strongly support Deputy Norton that even at this eleventh hour something should be done to give them security of tenure, and make them, what we would all like to see them, the finest and the best Army in the whole world.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  This is a matter, sir, on which I already spoke. I then suggested that the whole Army [2536] ought to be excluded from the operation of this Bill. I still think that is the proper line, and I am sure Deputy Norton quite agrees with me.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I put down an amendment on it.

Professor O'Sullivan: Information on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Zoom on Prof. John Marcus O'Sullivan  Quite so. I think that we both had an amendment on this particular line. I am now supporting this amendment because it is the second best, and not because I think it is the most desirable in itself. In addition to the circumstances which I am very glad Deputy Norton reiterated—one of them particularly—when he made a contrast with other countries, I had occasion to point out that not merely have we a lower standard of pay here than in any other country with which most people are familiar, but in that particular country many of the officers have private sources of revenue. That is not the case here, and we demand in many respects that they keep up the same standard of life. We take steps to see that they have not the same pay, but we make the same demands on them. That is not fair. There is another reason which I think should not be lost sight of, and it is this: as was pointed out already, the officers here, even those holding senior positions, are all young men, owing to the fact that our army has only recently been established. The chances of promotion are accordingly very slight, comparatively speaking. That is all the more reason, I suggest, for the House to accept this amendment. Deputy Norton referred to various promises made during the elections. There are many simple people in this country, and I have not the slightest doubt that those promises and speeches were effective in the main purpose they had in view. They did take in a large number of simple people. The figure of £400 has been mentioned. I gather that the Treasury expect to save, roughly speaking, about £280,000. Has anybody asked himself how much of that is going to come out of salaries under £400? By far the greater bulk of the saving will come from precisely the same people to whom protection was promised. [2537] Take the national teachers, for instance. The great bulk of the saving is to come from them, and the great bulk of them have salaries under £400. You have, therefore, a gross violation of promises. We have here, and the present Government has tested it, an Army that has shown itself loyal to this State no matter what Government is in power, and it is an insult that they should now be treated in this way by the Government.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  There is just one point which has not been mentioned in connection with this Schedule, and that is that a commissioned officer in receipt of £100 a year is subject to a reduction of £4 per annum. That does not happen in any of the other Schedules, and it is an extraordinary thing that a person with a little over 35/- a week is suffering a reduction. The Army is singled out to suffer in this way, and it falls heavily upon people with such a small salary. Certainly no case has been made for it, and we might hear some reason for the reduction.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I did not intend to intervene but for the ridiculous point which has been made by Deputy Cosgrave. There is not in the Army any officer who, when his allowances are taken into account, has less than £300 a year.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Why put it down then?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The scale has merely been put forward in order to ensure that equal deductions would be made in the Army scales of pay.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  The words of the Schedule are: “Where the annual rate of salary does not exceed £100—4 per cent. per annum of the salary.”

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Deputy Cosgrave had much longer contact with the Army than I have had, and he had many more opportunities of studying the Army. If he had really given it the consideration which he wishes to induce this House to believe he gave it he certainly would not have got up here and made the foolish and futile point which he has made. I again repeat that when allowances are taken into [2538] consideration there is no Army officer, as far as I know, who has less than £300 a year.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Then what is the meaning of that sentence?

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Superabundant caution!

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I think it is most unfair to this House, and certainly requires some explanation, that the Minister, having introduced a Bill the Schedule to which contains these words: “Where the annual salary does not exceed £100—4 per cent. per annum of the salary,” now gets up and tells us——

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Before the Deputy makes as foolish a statement as I think he is going to, may I point out that no officer——

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  With great respect, I am in possession, and unless the Minister is raising a point of order he is not entitled to intervene. The Minister now comes into this House with the absolutely ridiculous statement that there is no person to whom this Bill will apply whose salary is less than £300 a year, and yet he introduced a Bill which has these words in it: “Where the annual salary does not exceed £100—4 per cent. per annum of the salary.” What is his explanation? “I wanted it to look nice and to look very much like the other cuts.” What way is that to treat the House and the country? In other words the Minister gets up and informs us that he has introduced a Bill in which there is absolutely sheer nonsense.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Oh, no.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  That is the position he has taken up on the last amendment.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  There are chaplains attached at present.

Mr. Bennett: Information on George Cecil Bennett  Zoom on George Cecil Bennett  And you are going to cut them.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The House has decided that.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Now we completely understand the Minister's [2539] mentality. I would much prefer—and in this case I can be very, very charitable—I would much prefer to attribute it to the Minister's complete ignorance of the Bill, rather than a deliberate attempt to deceive the House. Here there are persons in receipt of 35/- per week.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  But not officers.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  And from them this amount of 4 per cent. is to be deducted. A good deal was said to-night about Fianna Fáil promises. The whole country must now perfectly well understand what Fianna Fáil promises are. This Schedule, and everything else going through this Bill, makes it perfectly clear that the Fianna Fáil Party considers that it is entitled, at any time it likes, to turn round and say, as they said to-night in substance, that their election promises were made in order to deceive. They have deceived, and done their work, and now they are flung aside. For years the Fianna Fáil Party have made it clear to the country that such a thing as honour they have not, and they have made it clear that the binding force of the Ten Commandments is a matter of no importance.

[2540]Mr. Bennett: Information on George Cecil Bennett  Zoom on George Cecil Bennett  I think it is iniquitous that the Minister should make a statement such as he has just made. In anticipation of what Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney was about to say the Minister interpolated the insulting remark that Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney was about to make a fool of himself. These are not the exact words, but that was the insinuation. The Minister himself has attempted deliberately to deceive this House on that question, when he said that £100 a year did not apply to anybody.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  No, I said to officers. Officers was the word I used.

Mr. Bennett: Information on George Cecil Bennett  Zoom on George Cecil Bennett  The Minister attempted to conceal the fact from this House that there was any such position as an officer receiving £100 a year. He knew there were chaplains receiving £100 a year, and these were to be cut without informing the House. And this is the Minister who has the audacity to say that an ex-Minister was about to make a fool of himself. I say this is trifling with the House. I say if anybody made a fool of himself, or deceived the House, it was the Minister himself.

Question put: “That the tabular statement in Part I of the Schedule stand part of the Bill.”

Aiken, Frank.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
MacDermot, Frank.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Byrne, Alfred.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick. [2541]Minch, Sydney B.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Mahony, The.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McMenamin, Daniel. [2542]O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

Question declared carried.

Tabular statement in Part I of the Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I move amendment No. 54:—

In page 6, in Part II of the Schedule, to delete that part of the tabular statement dealing with the rates of deductions from salaries of unmarried Gárda, married Gárda, unmarried sergeant, married sergeant, unmarried station-sergeant, married station-sergeant.

The purpose of this amendment is to secure the exemption from any cut of Gárdai, sergeants and station-sergeants. This amendment was the centre of a debate on the motion to delete the members of the Gárda Síochána from Section 6 of the Bill, and it probably is not necessary to travel very far over the ground, but I might say to the Minister that precisely the same case as was made for the previous amendment can be made for this amendment. Here is a body of people in a wage-earning category, and it is sought in this Bill to single them out for special attack and, as I said to the Minister on Committee Stage, the action of the Minister in slashing wages amounting to £3 per week is an event which will not go unnoticed by the employing community in this country. The Minister, the last day, expressed astonishment in the way only the Minister can express astonishment, finishing on a very high note, that any responsible Deputy could possibly challenge the morality or economic justification of the Government cutting a salary of £160 per annum in the case of a person, to quote his own words, living in the circumstances of an unmarried guard. That, of course, if it means anything, means that a single tradesman ought to be singled out for attack. It means, of course, that we have a declaration from the Minister and a headline for private employers in the country, that £160 per annum for a single person is something that, if cut, nevertheless leaves a person as much as he is entitled to from this Government, and, presumably, as much as this Government thinks he is entitled to.

On the last day the Minister made a lot of play with the statement that nobody with less than £3 4s. per week would be cut under this Bill. I made inquiries in the meantime, and I find that, on that occasion, the Minister exaggerated the figure he used. In any case, here is the plain position in the case of an ordinary Civic Guard who reaches a maximum weekly wage of £4 3s. per week, he reaches that figure only after 22 years' service. Assuming that a guard enters the service of the State at the age of 20 years, he will be 42 years of age before he gets the normal maximum of 83/- per week, and, after that 22 years' service, he will not get even that normal maximum of 83/-, because he is singled out for attack in this Bill. I do not think it is a wise proceeding for the State to underpay its police force. Our police force is not merely normally paid less than the police force in Great Britain and the Six Counties, but, here in this Bill, it is sought even to pay them still worse, and that is the attitude that apparently the Minister is attempting to defend in this House. In my opinion, it is very bad business for the State to underpay its police force. Underpaid police officers are not good police officers and can never be good police officers. Underpaid police officers are subject to all kinds of temptation, and if they are compelled, through economic necessity, to succumb to that temptation, there is a very serious risk of the integrity of the whole force being undermined.

[2543] It has been the accepted policy of the Government that, in order to free the police officer from certain financial liabilities, and in order to avoid any exposure to certain other kinds of vices, he ought to be paid a decent salary. Here, apparently, the State is proceeding on the assumption to squeeze the police officer down to the lowest possible figure. Every time you are in financial difficulty, try to squeeze the police again. I tell the Minister definitely that while he may imagine that, in one respect, he saves the pay of the guards, I think that what he saves in that respect he will lose in efficiency, and there is grave danger that continued economic pressure on the Gárda may produce in this country, through sheer economic necessity, the evils which have been produced in another well-know country through the same cause.

Mr. Minch: Information on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  Zoom on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  I rise to oppose this cut in the pay of the Gárda Síochána and to support Deputy Norton. Everybody knows that, in the country towns particularly, the Gárda Síochána contribute to every single charitable object during the course of the year. They have to participate in the local social life of the station, wherever it may be, and it is deplorable that we should come now and lower them to the position which Deputy Norton referred to, in which they are open to corruption and will, probably, lose the dignity which the force has upheld. It seems to be monotonous to be getting up here time and again and putting forward arguments here. The Minister is absolutely silent. We make the strongest appeals on the different amendments, as they come before the House, and we are met with nothing but silence. We can do no more than protest. The machinery of legislation beats us in the Division Lobby. One thing we are doing is making a strong fight for those who cannot come in here and defend themselves. I hope that even at the 11¾th hour something may happen to nullify this onslaught of wage-cutting and salary-cutting in the case of the Gárda, the army and other professional classes.

[2544]Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  I feel obliged to support this amendment by Deputy Norton on the ground that the Gárda Síochána have got such extraordinarily difficult duties to perform owing to the special circumstances that prevail in this country at present and on the grounds that so much has already been done to provoke discouragement and despondency in their ranks. I am very loath to oppose any part of the Economy Bill on the general ground that it is due to the farmers to spread the sacrifices due to the economic war amongst all classes of the community. But I feel that the farmers, many of whom are poor men living in isolated districts, have a very special interest in seeing that the Civic Guard be kept efficient and contented. They have very difficult conditions to contend with owing to what I conceive to be the very mischievous general policy of the Government. I do not think that we can afford to try the Civic Guard any more severely than we have already tried them and are trying them as a result of recent events.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I am supporting—and supporting wholeheartedly—this amendment. It does not go quite so far—it deals only with a certain class of Guards—as the amendment which stood in my name which has already been dealt with.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Or mine.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I am referring at the moment to my own views rather than to those of Deputy Norton, though on this matter our views entirely coincide. We were told some time ago that the object of this Bill was to make savings for the State. The Minister told us that, having wrung every single farthing out of the taxpayers' pocket, having exhausted every possible source of revenue, he was driven to make cuts in the salaries of persons who, admittedly, were not overpaid. I must here deal for a moment with one thing that Deputy MacDermot said. Deputy MacDermot said a few moments ago that since the farmers were bearing losses every other class of the community should bear losses. Deputy MacDermot does [2545] not seem to be aware that every other class of the community is not bearing losses. A clerk or servant employed by a private company or by a bank is not suffering any loss. His salary is not being reduced.

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  He will probably lose his employment.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  There are persons employed by private individuals and by public companies at salaries far greater than any civil servant gets and these persons—

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  Might I put it to the Deputy that large numbers of these people are losing employment.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I am perfectly aware that a considerable number of people are losing employment, but those who are being kept in employment are not having their rates of pay reduced in the slightest. This is not a measure which is saving money for the farmers. So far as it is saving money, it is saving it in order that the Government may have ammunition that they can fire off against the farmers for the destruction of the farmers' interests. That is what this Bill does. This afternoon, we had a new departure—a change of front. Another Minister, not so guarded in his utterances, came in and he let us know what the whole of this matter was about. It is not a Bill to effect economies. It is a Bill to effect cuts. It is not because the State wants the money that they are taking £33,000 from the whole of the Guards or a considerably lesser sum from the sergeants and men of the Gárda. That is not the main object of the Bill. The main object of the Bill is wantonly to deprive these men of portion of their pay, wantonly to lower their pay. That is the position in which the Bill stands at the present.

If there is one thing—I have said this on many occasions in this House, but I take advantage of this Bill to repeat it—necessary to any State, it is a thoroughly efficient and contented police force. That is necessary to every State. It is more necessary to this State than it is to most States [2546] and it is more necessary to this State at the present time than it has been at any time since the State came into existence. This is not the time at which an attack should be made in any shape or form upon the salaries of the Guards. They have more than police work to perform. They have a great number of other duties to perform. They are saving thousands of pounds to the State by doing work which would otherwise have to be done by inspectors specially appointed. They are doing a tremendous amount of work besides their police work and they are carrying on their police work in face of greater difficulties than they have ever had to face. We know that, at the present moment, the Guards can see offences against the law being committed and that they are powerless to intervene. Men may drill. Men may go out with machine guns. Men may practise as much as they like and the unfortunate Guards, endeavouring to keep the peace, can merely stand by and look on. Their difficulties are becoming greater and greater every day. The call which the country is making on them is greater and greater, and the exertions which they have to put forward are daily becoming greater and greater. It is under these circumstances that this House should show it is solidly behind the Guards, that it is fully determined to show the Guards they have got the sympathies of this House behind them in carrying out their duties.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  In respect to their pay. We cannot discuss them otherwise.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Quite so. But the House will not show that if it does not say to them: “You are at the present time face to face with tremendous difficulties.” This is just the time, in which we are under a debt of national necessity to them, that, for the sake of making a cut, their pay is cut down. That, as we have been told by the Minister for Education, is the main object of this Bill. This amendment does not go far enough, as it is confined merely to sergeants and Guards. It does not touch the officers or the inspectors.

[2547] In my opinion, there should be no cut in pay for any class of Guard, whether officer, inspector or sergeant. Since it does go a certain way, since it does help the sergeant and the unmarried Guards I intend to give it my whole-hearted support.

Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  I would have elected to have spoken on the subject of the cuts in the payment of the Guards at a much earlier stage of the Bill, but, for reasons which I have already explained, I was unable to do. At this late hour very little time remains, so that I will confine my remarks to one or two observations. Deputy MacDermot's reason for his exceptional support of the clause in this Bill was grossly unfair to the farmers. He based it on the thoroughly selfish reason that the farmers have a very special interest in seeing that there is a contented police force, in order that they will have some measure of protection. It was only because they have that selfish interest, that he and his Party will support an amendment designed to protest, if not to secure some measure of justice for the Guards. The farmers of this country have a better reason for supporting this amendment than a thoroughly selfish reason. They have two primary reasons for doing so. In the first place, the Guards, officers and men, are largely recruited from the sons of small farmers, and I should say that it would be of very special interest to the fathers of these men to see that they are not made the victims of the Minister's axe, victims, not for the purpose of economy, or for the purpose of helping them in their struggles for economy, but for the purpose of carrying out, or pretending to carry out, election promises, and to cut for cut's sake. They have a better reason than that for protesting against cutting the pay of the Guards. The reason is that this country cannot afford these economies. I pointed out on another section that this country cannot afford the economies alleged to be contained in the Bill. The whole social structure in this State depends upon the impartial administration of justice, [2548] and the impartial administration of justice in its ultimate analysis depends on the proper conduct of the Guards “on beat,” and finally, on having a proper type of Guard doing that duty, and doing it for the State and for the citizens of the State. The lives, the liberty and the property of the people of this State depend upon the impartial performance of their duties by the Guards. We have every reason to be proud of the way the Guards have performed their duties in the past, and it is poor recompense to them for the services they have given, that these cuts in pay are being imposed. The House should remember this: Deputy Norton has put forward the plea against these cuts from the point of view of a Labour representative, that it is setting a headline for employers. It has a deeper significance than Deputy Norton thinks, because the pay of the Guards has been related, so far as it has been related to anything, to the pay of labourers and the pay of unskilled workers, when in fact, the humblest Guard “on beat” should be related really to the skilled craftsman, as he cannot be turned out on the street to do duty by merely putting a uniform on his back. He has to go through a specialised course of instruction. He was expected by the last Government, and by this Government, to devote his leisure time to improving himself, and in particular improving his knowledge of the Irish language. It must be remembered also that from the ordinary ranks of the Guards are recruited the officer ranks. A man must have been a Guard before he can become an officer, and must go through the ordinary routine of a Guard in the street. That means that you must get men of a good type and with a fairly good education for the Force. If you are going to subject them to cuts in pay, if you are going to subject them to being political puppets in a political campaign, as in the last few elections, you are not going to get the proper type of men in the Civic Guards. If you do not get the proper type of men you will not have impartial administration of justice between man and man.

[2549] You will not have men in the Guards who will stand fairly in the courts of justice, in criminal courts particularly, between the State and the prisoner.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  I do not think it is right to say that the Civic Guards are the puppets of political parties, or were the puppets of political parties in any general election.

Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  I stand corrected. What I intended to convey was that in the propaganda of the last two elections of certain political Parties, the cut in the pay of the Civic Guards was made one of the points in their political programme. I think the Guards, being deprived of votes, should be left outside politics. That is a point I wish to make. It is time for all political parties to recognise that. This cut in the pay of the Guards is one of the greatest sins in this Bill. It cuts deep down to the fundamentals of sound State policy and I protest against it, not on selfish principles, but because I think it is being subjected to a political test.

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Timothy Joseph O'Donovan  Zoom on Timothy Joseph O'Donovan  I would not intervene in this debate were it not for the remarks of Deputy Costello. This Party is supporting this amendment, but not for the reason the Deputy suggested, simply because the Guards have been recruited from the agricultural community. That is not so. The farmers have a special interest in the Guards.

Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  I quoted the Deputy's leader.

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Timothy Joseph O'Donovan  Zoom on Timothy Joseph O'Donovan  I took a note of the words used by Deputy Costello.

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  What words of mine were quoted by Deputy Costello?

Mr. Costello: Information on John Aloysius Costello  Zoom on John Aloysius Costello  That the farmers have a very special interest in having a proper force of Guards.

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  That is perfectly true, but that does not imply that I have only a selfish interest.

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Timothy Joseph O'Donovan  Zoom on Timothy Joseph O'Donovan  I have taken down Deputy Costello's words and I can say [2550] that he made use of these words. We are not supporting this amendment or standing over it because the Guards have been recruited from our people. We stand over the amendment because the Guards are the one body in this State that we recognise have done very useful service. I know that if they were living on their fathers' farms at the moment they would not be able to get 50/- or 7/- a week or whatever rate of wages they have. Their wages would be nil but at the same time they are doing very useful service. They are a clean body standing for law and order against any individual or body of individuals. Because we recognise that we are here to support the amendment.

Mr. Minch: Information on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  Zoom on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  Is the Army not a clean and efficient body?

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Timothy Joseph O'Donovan  Zoom on Timothy Joseph O'Donovan  I am not dealing with the Army now. I am dealing with the Guards and I am supporting this amendment.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It would be a good thing to get clear, although it is only an incident, why Deputy MacDermot on behalf of the Farmers' Party intends to support this amendment. I understood that his remarks to-night, if not exactly phrased as before, followed along the lines of a previous statement of his. He had previously stated in the House that the Government were either under the guardianship or the sway of the I.R.A. and that Cumann na nGaedheal had got something in the way of protection from the A.C.A. while the people whom he had the good fortune or misfortune, if you like, to represent, had nobody to look to but the police.

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  I did not say that to-night but that is quite proper.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  What was said to-night was the follow-on of that.

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  No it had no bearing on that. It was an interlude.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  At any rate, there is some reason why Deputy MacDermot should be supporting this. I had understood it to be that the farmers in the country wanted protection and that the farmers hereafter [2551] would be looking still more for protection and that the only protection they could get—this is how his thought ran—was from the Guards and therefore we must have a contented Gárda Force. I think that is a fair statement of what he said.

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  That is one reason.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That is one reason, the reason on which Deputy Costello commented and Deputy O'Donovan criticised Deputy Costello for so commenting on the phrase used.

Mr. MacDermot: Information on Frank McDermot  Zoom on Frank McDermot  What phrase?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The phrase upon which Deputy Costello has commented and the thought is there in Deputy MacDermot's mind, whether expressed or not, that what he is looking to is that the Guards must be a well-satisfied force because the farmers need protection. I support him in that. Everybody in the country needs protection.

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Timothy Joseph O'Donovan  Zoom on Timothy Joseph O'Donovan  On a point of explanation, what Deputy Costello said was that we had a special interest in the Guards because the Guards were recruited from the agricultural community. That is not the reason we are standing for this amendment.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Deputy Costello did not say that that was Deputy MacDermot's point of view but he said that it should have been. He said that was the reason which Deputy MacDermot should have adduced but which he has not adduced.

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Timothy Joseph O'Donovan  Zoom on Timothy Joseph O'Donovan  That would be a still more selfish reason.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Possibly but the whole thing is a combination of various types of selfishness. Every argument used here is really based on selfishness.

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Timothy Joseph O'Donovan  Zoom on Timothy Joseph O'Donovan  We are not discussing it from that point of view.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I also think it is necessary to have a contented police [2552] force in the country. I do not care who is looking for protection, whether it be the farmers or anybody else. I think that what Deputy Costello said was quite to the point, that if the police forces are not going to be contented, are going to become discontented by reason of the frequent attacks made upon them, by reason of the fact that they are apparently getting contrary orders in regard to the carrying out of their duties, by reason of the fact that there is no certainty of the treatment which will be given them if they do carry out their duties, and if, on top of all that, their salaries are going to be cut—in all these circumstances it can hardly be expected that the police, being a human body, will behave between man and man with that impartiality which up to the present they have shown. It is very hard to ask these people, in all these varying circumstances of contrariety, not knowing where they are, with this lack of certainty in their position, and now with an attack upon their livelihood, to behave with the old impartiality and with the old zest for their duty which they had previously shown.

I want again to refer to some statements of the Fianna Fáil Party in regard to cuts in the Guards' pay. I do not see any of the more famous economists of the Party now present. I want to repeat again that Deputy Briscoe said that “because Fianna Fáil had opposed the Government attitude on the question of the Gárda reduction the Gárda reduction had not been enforced. That was the Fianna Fáil attitude as expressed by Deputy Briscoe on the 19th January, 1932. Deputy Cooney, speaking in Grangegorman, said that “the Fianna Fáil administrative programme included the saving of two millions on the Army and half a million on the Civic Guard, and that, with the savings that could be effected on other overpaid Departments, would be put into productive industry.” In this way, he said, they had come to the conclusion that they could solve the unemployment problem in 12 months. In the opinion of Deputy Cooney this saving of half a million on the Civic Guards was to be [2553] done without inflicting any hardship on the force.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  You have the wrong Minister for Finance.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Deputy Briscoe thought that the intervention of the Fianna Fáil Party had saved the reduction in the Gárda pay, but let us leave these lesser lights. The present Minister for Industry and Commerce had something to say in reference to this matter. Referring to the reduction in teachers' salaries and in the pay of the Gárda, he said there were 101 avenues in which economies could be effected without inflicting hardship on anybody, and that the reduction of the Gárda remuneration—in this he shares Deputy MacDermot's views— was unwise, because it was obviously desirable that in any country they should have guardians of law and order who were adequately remunerated. He said further that the cuts were unfair, because there were 101 other ways in which economies could be effected without inflicting hardship. Why should we not have a little committee consisting of Deputy Briscoe, Deputy Cooney and the Minister for Industry and Commerce, and let us get an idea from them of the manner in which these economies could be effected without inflicting hardship on anybody, because, remember, the Minister for Industry and Commerce considered it was a hardship to cut the remuneration of the Gárda? There should be some appreciation on the part of the Ministry that that type of phrase as used by them got them power. They staked their whole case on being able to effect economies without cutting the salaries of the Guards. Have they anything to say now in their own defence when they are asked the question why these cuts are necessary? We are told at one time that it is because of the economic war, and Deputy MacDermot agrees with that. We are told on another occasion that the economic war has nothing to do with it. There is a denial when one reminds the Ministry that they used to flaunt the salaries of various people, including some of the Guards, on their election posters, and we are told that there is no definite [2554] policy on the part of the present Executive to cut salaries. After that had been stated in the House, the Minister for Education to-day admitted that this is not a Bill to effect economies. The Minister boldly confesses that it is a Bill to effect cuts for the sake of cutting. It is on that, I think, Deputy Norton is founding his main objection to these cuts.

It is a reduction of salaries that is aimed at. It is not economies that are to be effected, but with the resulting savings we are going to get cuts made and enforced. I think that is what rightly excites the apprehensions of Deputy Norton. In the case of a Guard with a salary of a little over £3 a week we are going to get some reduction made. Surely that must immediately bring to the minds of employers of unskilled labour in this city and throughout the country the thought that if a Guard, with whatever training and experience he has had to fit him for his work, and at present earning something like £3 a week can be cut by the Government, which is supposed to be the best employer, then individual employers will proceed to hack at the wages paid at the moment, and once a salary grows, the more incentive there is to get a bit knocked off it. Undoubtedly there is going to be a little bit of a model set here to employers through the country. They will have the same excuse as Deputy MacDermot would give with regard to every other cut for which he has voted to-day: that it is necessary to spread the burden of the economic war. I often wonder, when we speak of the burden of the economic war, what frame of mind we are drifting into in regard to it. We do not like people to celebrate the victory, and yet we are told——

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  On a point of order. I note that on the Committee Stage on amendment 27 we disposed of the question as to whether we were going to make any deduction from the remuneration of the Gárda Síochána. The Deputy is now confining his speech entirely to that question, as to whether a cut should be imposed on them or [2555] not, though the matter was settled in Committee.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  This amendment deals with the rates of deductions.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  And the rates will have to bear some relation to the circumstances in which the cut is being enforced. If the effects of the economic war were just about half as beneficial as they are we might only have to cut by half, but why are we cutting to this extent?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I would again draw the attention of the Chair to the terms of the amendment we are now discussing. “In page 6, in Part II of the Schedule, to delete that part of the tabular statement dealing with the rates of deductions from salaries of unmarried gárda, married gárda, unmarried sergeant, married sergeant, unmarried station sergeant, married station sergeant.” The purpose of the amendment is to rescind a decision which has already been given by the House on amendment 27 in Committee. Accordingly, I do not think the Deputy is entitled to discuss the question of rates at all. I think the discussion so far has been very largely out of order.

Deputies:  Oh!

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It is very delicate on the part of the Minister to suggest that the discussion has been largely out of order.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I do not think it could be avoided.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Deputies, of course, should confine themselves to what is before them, that is the rates of deductions from the salaries of certain members of the Gárda Síochána as set out.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am directing myself, I think, entirely to the point to which you have referred. This is an amendment to delete portion of a [2556] certain tabular statement.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  Dealing with rates of deductions.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  And I am speaking in support of an amendment in the name of Deputy Norton and others that a certain tabular statement dealing with rates of deductions should be deleted; in other words that these deductions should not be taken from the people who are mentioned in the amendment. That is the topic I am discussing, and in discussing it I am referring to the reasons we were given for having deductions at all, and particularly for having these deductions. I was saying that Deputy MacDermot introduced the matter of the burden that various people have to bear: the repercussions on this country of the economic war and of the necessity that came from that to keep the reductions in force against the people in regard to whom we propose an exemption. I would like to get the full effect of the present circumstances—how these circumstances will be changed by the acceptance of this amendment—considered. What saving is going to be achieved by this amendment? How much does it come to in the year? How much of the £280,000 will not be secured to the Government if this amendment is accepted? What fraction of the brunt of the economic war will have to be borne by somebody else if not borne by those people referred to in the amendment? I will put the matter in another way. Why are these people to be deprived of the fruits of victory in regard to the economic war? We have got all the moneys that we looked to to get out of it. We are building up a new economic war situation in the country. Deputy MacDermot said to-night, with a great deal of brazenness I thought, that he knew a considerable number of people who were losing their employment. Has he ever heard the Minister for Industry and Commerce talk on that subject? Does he not know that the figures of unemployment are going down at the rate of nearly 2,000 or 3,000 a week? For one week in the neighbourhood of Athlone we got the figure of 2,000 people.

[2557]An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  What has that got to do with the amendment?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It has to do with it in this way that we have been told these cuts are necessary because of the situation to which the country has been brought. I am analysing the situation to which the country has been brought any why it has been brought there, and I am attempting to establish the case that the individuals named in the amendment should not have their salaries cut to the extent proposed.

Mr. Kennedy: Information on Michael Joseph Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Joseph Kennedy  A Second Reading speech.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Deputy is not in the Chair. What is the necessity for cuts in the circumstances that Ministers so often boost as having been achieved? The moneys that we sought to gather in from England are here. We have more employment, more tillage, a better economic situation, but there are a few flaws in the argument, of course. Both property tax and income tax cannot yield 1/- more. The Minister announces that savings have got to be made in the easiest possible way, and this is the best way to achieve them. For this reason they are going to cut 2/6 a week from an unmarried guard, 4/6 from an unmarried sergeant, 2/6 from a married sergeant, 5/- from an unmarried station-sergeant and 3/- from a married station-sergeant. The House is being asked to negative the amendment without the Minister telling us how much of this £280,000 that he looks to get will leave him if the individuals mentioned are cut to the extent set down here. You have got to meet the case in another way. Deputy Costello referred to it in an incidental way; but let us get more concrete about it. Supposing there is discontent amongst the Guards by reason of these cuts in their salaries and that they feel that keenness in regard to their duty no longer merits their attention and may, in fact, draw down condemnation; and suppose that they become—I will not say neglectful of their duty—but not so keen on it as they were before, how many little bits of destruction of property [2558] would it be necessary to have in this country to wipe out the savings that may be effected under this? I do not believe there is a Guard in the force who can think of this “cut” without thinking at the same time that the Government, which insists on cutting his salary in this way, just prior to this Bill, introduced another Bill which imposes about £70,000 on the country for property which was destroyed at the time when the Guards were trying to save it. If that sort of folly were cut out this particular cut in the salaries of the Guards and public servants would not have to be put into force. If that discontent does spread, nobody can be very critical.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  A disgraceful statement coming from an irresponsible Deputy.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  What I have just said has been criticised as disgraceful. Is it disgraceful to call attention to the hardships the Guards are suffering at the moment? Is it more disgraceful to call attention to these hardships than to inflict them. Is it more disgraceful to put the Guards in such a position that they do not know where they stand if they do their duty under the law, or to call their attention to it? I consider that the disgrace is in putting them in such a position and in nothing else.

We had built up a force in a particular way. We got them, at any rate, content about their work. They were not always content about their emoluments, but we got a return from them in service which is, at least, as good as was given by a similar force in any other country. Now, in this reckless, blind, grabbing at money we are going to demoralise the entire force.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The question at issue in this amendment would appear to have been decided in amendments 27, 28 and 29, and, as the Deputy is largely traversing the ground covered on that occasion, I should like you, sir, to take a motion from me that the question be now put.

[2559]Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  This is the second time that the Minister has made an appeal against the decision made by the Leas-Cheann Comhairle. I think it is grossly unfair for the Minister to appeal against the decision of the Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  That is an unjustifiable statement from Deputy Norton. The Leas-Cheann Comhairle did not give a ruling with regard to amendment No. 29. I am not challenging any ruling of the Leas-Cheann Comhairle. I am merely pointing out that the whole thing has already been covered by Deputy McGilligan in a long debate, and I invite a motion that the question be now put.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Was the Chair not appealed to on the point raised now?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  On amendment 27, but not on 29.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  The Minister said 27, 28 and 29.

(Interruptions).

[2560]Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  May I ask, with all respect, is the Minister engaged in a campaign of obstruction or is he trying to intimidate the Chair? He is doing either one or the other. My point is that he has challenged a ruling on amendments 27, 28 and 29. It is on the records made two minutes ago. The Minister is either indulging in a campaign of obstruction or he is trying to intimidate both the Leas-Cheann Comhairle and the Ceann Comhairle.

(The Ceann Comhairle resumed the Chair.)

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I should like to repeat that I did not raise any point of order as to amendment 27. I said that it was debated at length in the Committee Stage on amendments 27, 28 and 29. I now move that the question be now put.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I am not prepared to accept that motion now.

Deputies:  Hear, hear.

Question put:—“That the tabular statements immediately following the heading in Part II of the Schedule— stand part.”

Aiken, Frank.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Byrne, Alfred.
Cosgrave, William T. [2561]Fagan, Charles.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
MacDermot, Frank.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan. [2562]Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

Question declared carried.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  On behalf of Deputy Anthony, I move amendment 55:—

In page 6, in Part II of the Schedule, to delete the words “inspectors and” where they occur.

In moving this amendment, I am actuated again by a desire to limit the proposed cut to the smallest possible number of persons. There are in the Free State 55 inspectors. It is sought in this Bill to include these inspectors in Part II of the Schedule and thereby to bring them under the axe which is busily at work right through the whole Bill. In my opinion an inspector of police is an officer who has many important duties to do. He has of necessity a decent social position to maintain. He cannot be eternally worried with debts, or how he is going to live and pay his bills. Where an inspector is a married man with a family, he finds it extremely difficult these days to live on wages which are something slightly over £5 a week, with a maximum of slightly over £6 a week. The inspector in the Gárda Síochána starts off with a salary something slightly over £5 a week, never reaching more than something slightly in excess of £6 a week. He is not the kind of person who has anything to spare to make contributions to the poor and lowly referred to by the Minister in his Second Reading speech.

I suggest to the Minister that in the case of these people who hold important positions in the life of the community, people whom we are entitled to expect will be trustworthy, honest and of the highest integrity, that it is impossible for them to maintain that position if subjected to these cuts in their salaries. The amount of money that the Minister will receive by reason of including them in the scale of cuts on superintendents' and other officers' salaries will be negligible. I say that because there are only 55 such officers in the State, and having regard to the duties they perform, their present rate of salary is inadequate. I hope the Minister will agree that in relation to these officers there is not the good case for cutting their salaries that he imagines there is. They are important officers discharging important duties, and their pay, far from being excessive, is, in my opinion, utterly inadequate.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  I rise to suppost this amendment. An inspector of the Gárda is in a very curious position, because he does not receive the pay of a superintendent, and yet an inspector is, for a great number of purposes, forced to keep up the same position that a superintendent has to maintain. The House may be aware that one of the principal duties which an inspector has to perform is that when the superintendent goes upon leave the inspector takes up the position of superintendent, and while the superintendent is on leave he discharges the duties of the office. While he is carrying out that position and discharging its duties, it is pretty obvious that he has got to live at very much the same rate as that at which a superintendent would have to live. I have pointed out already, and I wish now to reiterate it, that it is essential for the well-being of the Gárda Síochána that the inspectors and superintendents should be adequately paid. If not they get into debt, and I have already pointed out that the Gárda Síochána has lost the services of very many excellent men, very many excellent officers, because they were unable to make ends meet. It is absolutely [2563] essential to the police force that an inspector and superintendent shall not get into debt. That is so much so that when it is found that an inspector or superintendent is in debt his dismissal from the Gárda follows immediately. And that must be. That is necessary, because a debtor is always in the creditor's power, and you cannot have an efficient police force if you have your officers, to any extent at all, be it great or be it small, in the power of other people. I am satisfied that inspectors at the present moment are, if anything, underpaid. I believe a good case could be made for that. In fact, I think I would be nearer the mark if I cut out the words “if anything” and said definitely and distinctly that they are underpaid. Cutting their salaries lower would be a very great blunder indeed, and at the same time a very small saving to the finances of the State. While at the same time it will be a very great loss and detriment to the proper discharge of their duties by the Gárda.

Mr. Minch: Information on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  Zoom on Capt. Sydney B. Minch  I wish to support this amendment. Everybody knows that one of the first things that gets around in a rural town is the fact that an inspector of the Gárda has got into debt. That brings him down completely in the eyes of the people of the district in which he officiates, and at the same time it affects his influence [2564] and efficiency as an officer with the members of the Gárda themselves. Those who serve under such an officer could not look up to him when they know that he cannot stand in an independent position and cannot uphold a good social position. An inspector has something a little over £5 a week, and in these days that is a very low salary. It is not enough to maintain the position which these officers are supposed to keep up. That will affect the efficiency of the Gárda as a body and not alone will it react on the inspectorate but it will have its influence down along the whole ranks of the force. As I said here before, one of the big causes of demoralisation setting in amongst officers was that their pay was inadequate. It was only when they got out of debt and were put in a position to pay their way that they became efficient officers and got the respect from those under them which was so essential for the morale of the force as a body. It is not my intention to delay the House much longer, but I want to say that over and over again I have had reason for opposing these cuts no matter at what category or force they were aimed at. I honestly believe that it would be a bad day's work for this House when they would bring the Gárdá down to such a state that they would take little interest not only in their country but in their own social life and standard.

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

Aiken, Frank.
Blaney, Neal.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Derrig, Thomas.
Doherty, Hugh.
Flynn, John.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
Killilea, Mark.
Kissane, Eamonn.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
O'Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Grady, Seán.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.

[2565]Alton, Ernest Henry.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Byrne, Alfred.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Daly, Patrick.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
McFadden, Michael Og.
[2566]McGilligan, Patrick.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Minch, Sydney B.
Morrissey, Daniel.
Norton, William.
O'Connor, Batt.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Thrift, William Edward.

Question declared carried.

The following amendment stood in the names of Deputies Norton and Corish:—

56. In page 6, in Part II of the Schedule, to delete in the part of tabular statement, dealing with deductions from the salaries of inspectors and superintendents and other officers the following:—

4 per cent. per annum from the first £100 of the annual rate of salary.

Plus 5 per cent. per annum from the next £100 or part of £100 of the annual rate of salary.

Plus 6 per cent. per annum from the next £100 or part of £100 of the annual rate of salary.

Plus 7 per cent. per annum from the next £100 or part of £100 of the annual rate of salary,

and substitute the following:—

Where the annual rate of salary does not exceed £400—Nil.

Where the annual rate of salary exceeds £400.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  In the Committee Stage of this Bill it was stated by me that there would be two Divisions on amendments dealing with the Gárda Síochána, one on an amendment of which I think the old number was 27, and the other on the old amendment 103, which is covered by No. 56 on the Order Paper.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Is that the amendment which was to meet the opportunity which was to be given to Deputy Dillon?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Yes, No. 103 and this amendment, with No. 54.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Deputy MacDermot has left the House. I happened to meet him and I gathered from a remark he made that he had no knowledge that this opportunity was going to be allowed to-night. I therefore suggest that it might be held over.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  It was definitely stated by me twice to Deputy Dillon, when the dispute arose, that there would be a Division on amendment 103. However, if Deputies desire a Division now, they can demand it.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  They are not here. I am not referring to what happened on the Committee Stage, but I do not think any member of the Centre Party has adverted to the fact that an opportunity was to be given to-night to move on that very point. It was not clear on the Order Paper. It seems to me that in equity that chance should still be given.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  May I point out that the members of the Centre Party already had an opportunity of expressing their point of view in regard to those who do not belong to the officer ranks of the Gárda Síochána on [2567] amendment 54. They have exercised that right on that amendment.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That may be the Minister's view on the matter, but I am taking it from the ruling that you yourself, sir, are not convinced that the chance promised has been given. If that is so, I think the chance might be held over.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  My statement was accepted by Deputy Dillon that on amendment 103 the Division would be taken on amendment 54, and the Division has taken place on it. I am not saying that amendment 56 is covered by amendment 54.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I misunderstood it.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It was disposed of on the Committee Stage by agreement.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Do I understand, sir, that you are limiting action on this amendment to a division? Are you ruling out a discussion?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  On the understanding that was reached in the Committee Stage. I do not know, in face of that agreement and two pronouncements from the Chair, that there should be a discussion.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I do not want to break any general agreement. I did not understand it in that sense but if there was general agreement I do not want to break it on this particular amendment. It is a matter for other Deputies.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  As far as I understand the agreement was with regard to a division. I do not think there was any agreement for the curtailment of discussion.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  There was a distinct agreement that there was to [2568] be a division on amendment 103—the discussion took place in the Committee Stage—and that 54 would cover 56.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  May I remind you, sir, that the whole question of the Gárda was to be disposed of by two divisions. One was to take place on amendment 27 and the other on amendment 103.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  There was to be no limitation of amendments to be put down on Report Stage. The amendments might be disposed of by two divisions, but nothing could be said in the Committee Stage to bind other amendments for the Report Stage.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Do I take it that as far as 56 is concerned there can be a division, but that there ought not to be discussion?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  If the House desires a division on it, very well. Do Deputies wish to challenge a division?

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I do not wish to challenge a division if there has been general agreement.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  There has not been general agreement.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I shall put the question.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  There has been a certain amount of confusion in regard to an agreement. If there was such agreement, as Deputy McGilligan pointed out, you could not limit the matter to two amendments. There could conceivably be a half a dozen amendments.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I have been asked what was the attitude in Committee regarding the two amendments which were then before the House. It was distinctly understood that on [2569] some six amendments there were to be two divisions, one on 27 and the other on 103 which is now amendment 54. I wish to know whether the House now desires a vote on 56?

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  If you are clear on that, I think the House will be quite prepared to accept it.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Information on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  Zoom on James Fitzgerald-Kenney  As far as I understand, a Chinn Comhairle, in the Committee Stage you made a statement, which was clear to the whole House, that there would be two divisions. As a matter of fact the second one was never reached. What I understand now is that the Chair says he is anxious that an opportunity should be given to Deputy Dillon because he did not have the opportunity before, but I submit that anything that happened in Committee does not affect any amendment which is properly before the House on Report Stage and this amendment is properly before the House on the Report Stage.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Has the amendment been moved?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Deputy Norton moved the amendment.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  May I suggest that you should take the Division in view of your ruling in Committee Stage?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  If the House desires it.

Question—“That the words proposed to be deleted stand”—put and declared carried.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I move amendment 57:—

In page 7, in paragraph (a) of Part III of the Schedule, to delete the words “Is less than £175” and substitute the words “Is over £400” and to delete from and including the figures and words “200 but not less than £175—5¼” to and including the words and figures “Is £450 or more ...8.”

[2570] This amendment deals with the position of teachers in national schools.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  And 58 is covered.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  58 deals with the same subject, but it seems to be not necessarily covered by 57 because it is asking something less.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  If 57 is defeated 58 falls with it.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  This is a most extraordinary Bill in many respects, and the Ministry's attitude in the matter has been still more extraordinary. Here we have a Bill dealing with the whole position of the scales of remuneration, not merely of officers definitely in the public service, but officers even remotely connected with the public service and only to some extent paid out of the Central Fund. The purposes of this Bill is to legislate for a definite reduction in the salaries of all the people affected by the Bill. I have seen many efforts by Governments in European countries to inflict wage reductions on public servants. I have had an opportunity of reading many of these Bills, but I would say that, from the point of view of vicious comprehensiveness, this Bill would easily win a prize in any of the Treasuries in Europe because the cuts imposed by the Bill are not merely comprehensive but almost every corner is scraped to squeeze money out of people whose remuneration is affected. This Bill has been notable for one chief fact: that is, that not once during the Committee Stage— and we are now on the 57 amendment out of 63 amendments submitted on the Report Stage—has the Minister budged from his original intention, as set out in the Second Reading of the Bill. The Minister would steam-roll this Bill through the House, not by argument——

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy has not yet come to the point of the amendment, and as the whole matter was [2571] discussed on amendment 30 I ask that the question be now put.

Mr. Morrissey: Information on Daniel Morrissey  Zoom on Daniel Morrissey  Why?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I am not accepting the motion, but the Deputy should come to the matter which deals with salaries of teachers in national schools and not continue a Second Reading speech.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I am coming to that now. I suggest to the Minister that this is an amendment that he might well accept, because of his personal commitments in this matter. When the Teachers' Organisation made some kind of a bargain with Cumann na nGaedheal—an unsatisfactory bargain, in my opinion—one of the people who denounced that bargain, lock, stock and barrel, was the present Minister for Finance, and in that [2572] attitude he was supported by the present Minister for Industry and Commerce.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Come to the amendment.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  The Minister is trying to dictate to the Chair and to every Deputy in this House. I suggest, sir, that if it is possible you should vacate the Chair and let the Minister take it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I suggest that the Deputy should move the Adjournment.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I move the Adjournment of the debate.

Debate adjourned until Wednesday, 7th June.

The Dáil adjourned at 12 p.m. until 3 o'clock on Wednesday, 7th June, 1933.


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