Committee on Finance. - Saint Laurence O'Toole Hospital Bill, 1940—Committee Stage.

Wednesday, 22 May 1940

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 80 No. 8

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Debate resumed on amendment:—

3. In sub-section (1), page 3, line 43, to delete the words “or near,” and to add after the word “Dublin,” the words “adjacent to the site of the existing hospitals.”—(Deputy McGilligan).

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  In the course of the discussion either on the Second Reading or on the Committee Stage the Minister committed himself more than once to saying that he had to get this Bill through in order to enable him to acquire either compulsorily or otherwise a site. According to the Public Hospitals Act, 1933, Section 24 days down that:—

“The governing body of any hospital or nursing organisation in Saorstát Éireann or any person about to establish any such hospital or nursing organisation may at any time apply to the Minister for a grant out of the Hospitals Trust Fund....”

and so on. Section 25, sub-section (7) of the same Act says:—

“A grant made by the Minister under this section for the benefit of any existing or proposed hospital or nursing organisation may be made [938] for all or any of the following purposes, that is to say:—

(a) the purchase of land or buildings including any superior or outstanding estate or interest in land or buildings.”

According to that section the Minister is altogether wrong when he stated there was no power to acquire land. The governing body here has power to acquire land under this section. What therefore is the necessity for this Bill is not clear at all. It is quite obvious in that Section 24 and in Section 25 in the same Act that it is possible for any voluntary hospital to make applications for a grant and it is quite possible also for the Minister to make a grant. It is true that he is bound to receive a report from the Hospitals Commission on the subject. Whether it was by accident or otherwise the Minister misled the House by the statement that he had to get this Bill through in order to acquire a site. That is not necessary.

The next question is the site. It is quite clear from what the Minister has said that he is bound on going outside, away from the present site. He committed himself on more than one occasion to pointing out the unsuitability of the present site. How he stands with regard to that nobody knows—that is to say whether it is his own opinion or Departmental opinion we have not been told; whether it be the Departmental opinion itself or the opinion of the chief medical officer of his Department we are not told. But we do know, and everybody knows, that it is the desire of the patients or potential patients, that it is the desire of the staff of the hospital, both the medical and surgical staff, and that it is the wish of the persons engaged in nursing there and the staff otherwise employed to keep to the present site.

Originally it would appear as if there had been some difficulty between the governing body and another charitable organisation there, the Morning Star. There was never any such difficulty. Every accommodation has been available between those two [939] bodies—between the governing body and the very charitable people administering the Morning Star. It is stressed through all the reports right away from 1933, from the establishment of the Hospitals Commission, that it was desirable, advisable and almost necessary to have this new or reconstructed Richmond Hospital on the same site as it is at present.

There has been introduced into this discussion by the Minister something about a town-planning body. Who is the town-planning body? Has the Dublin Corporation any interest in town planning? Is there any member of the Dublin Corporation, or any committee of the corporation, any representative body outside say an individual, or possibly two, who want to shift the site of this hospital from where it is, away to elsewhere? That hospital has been there for over two centuries and it has served the needs of thousands of people in those two centuries. Almost 100 years ago, perhaps the most celebrated medical man in this country's history went so far as to say that it would be a mischievous thing to shift this hospital from where it is. The principle in this Bill is to build a new hospital and to give it a new name. That is the principle in the Bill. The Minister altered his view. First it was to close the existing hospital and to build a new hospital. Before the Second Stage was reached he altered his view about closing this hospital. The sooner he changes his view, too, about the site of the hospital the better. He has nobody in this House in agreement with him on this matter of changing the site except Deputy McCann. Deputy McCann is so elementary in public matters as not to count in a question of this kind. The Deputy says he wants to go out where there is fresh air. Of the remarkable changes in the history of municipalities there is none more remarkable than the growth in health of the City of Dublin. The improvement in health in the City of Dublin in the last 60 or 70 years is more remarkable than in any other city in the world. Sixty or 70 years [940] ago the mortality in Dublin was 40 per 1,000. Directly the main drainage work was undertaken the health of the city improved. The main drainage alone was responsible for a reduction of about 10 per 1,000 in the mortality in the city. This particular site is flanked with open spaces and lungs.

It is more than advisable from the point of view of the most expert and efficient medical attention that as there is in this hospital a neurological section which has gained for it a name outside of this country, it should be in close proximity to another hospital that is there. The Minister says that no decision has been taken. But there is one decision obvious from everything that the Minister has said and that is that the Minister wants to get away from the present site of this hospital. Now, in so far as Ministerial responsibility for this hospital is concerned, the Minister is considering this hospital possibly for the last seven years. A Bill is brought in here and it does not even indicate after seven years' cogitation what the site of the new hospital is to be. Surely in an Assembly like this we are entitled to know what the result of the seven years' deliberation has been. We are asked to give an absolute cheque of irresponsibility to the Minister. He can go to Raheny for this particular hospital that he wishes, or he can go to Garristown if he wishes, or he can go beyond Cabra out to Ashtown, so long as it is “in or near the City of Dublin”. That is a most unhappy term “in or near”. It could be on the south side so far as this section stands at present.

We are told by Deputy McCann, with his long experience of administration, that if the hospital were removed from where it is at present transport facilities could be provided. At whose expense? We are hearing day after day complaints from the Minister regarding the increasing deficits in connection with hospital administration throughout the city, and in fact throughout the country, and the solution for that is that the Minister, through his mouthpiece, Deputy McCann, says that we are to [941] add to these deficits by incurring the expense of extra transport facilities. It was not for that purpose that these moneys were subscribed or that the Hospitals Sweepstake Act was passed. If we are really interested in the patients, who should be the prime consideration, I say that not a single argument has been advanced in favour of moving this hospital from the present site. If we are interested in the medical and surgical staff, and they ought to be considered after the long and meritorious service which they have rendered in that hospital, the present site is the place where the new hospital should be built. If we are interested in the nurses, or in the relatives who may be visiting patients in the hospital, I say that the present site is the place for it. It is foolish to say that you cannot build an hospital to accommodate 550 people on that site. Persons qualified to know can tell us whether or not that is so. It seems strange that an hospital built within the last 40 years should be scrapped and used merely as an out-patients' department for an institution which is to be built in or near the City of Dublin. Nothing that has been said justifies the removal of the hospital from the present site, and the House ought not to pass a section which gives permission to any Department of State to remove the hospital from that site against the wishes of everybody who has the interest of the hospital at heart.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Is the Parliamentary Secretary not aware that the present site of the Richmond Hospital adjoins the Grangegorman Mental Hospital and that negotiations are at present proceeding—I think a further conference will be held to-morrow—for the establishment in the Richmond Hospital of a mental out-patients' department under the direct supervision of the Resident Medical Superintendent in Grangegorman? He is also aware that a new site for the headquarters of the group of mental hospitals under the control of the Resident Medical Superintendent in Grangegorman has been sought for the last four or five years and in all probability [942] has now been secured. The policy behind the securing of that site, which I think has largely been promoted by the Minister's Department, is that the headquarters of that group of mental hospitals should be removed outside the city. It is possible that that headquarters will be removed to Santry. The price for the Santry site has been agreed to by the Grangegorman Mental Hospital Committee, subject to the sanction of the Minister, of course. When that new mental hospital has been built, there will be a site adjoining the Richmond Hospital covering 60 acres of land. Will that not meet the whole requirements of the new hospital and enable the out-patients' department of the present Richmond Hospital to function, and also this new mental out-patients' department which is proposed to be conducted under the direct supervision of Dr. Dunne, the Resident Medical Superintendent of the Grangegorman Mental Hospital? The Parliamentary Secretary, I think, also approves fully of the new treatment for mental defectives here by the villa colony system that has been such a success in Belfast and other places.

I mention those facts to show that there is no shortage of space for the expansion of Richmond Hospital, which is on a very good site and a site which is suitable for an hospital. I am no judge of the suitability of a site for an hospital, but those who ought to be capable of judging claim that is on a good site for an hospital, being situated in the midst of a densely populated district with no other hospital close to it. One need not be an expert in medical matters to say that the hospital is conveniently situated. Then there is the other consideration mentioned by Deputy Cosgrave with regard to the medical staff. Last night in the City Hall I heard a member of the corporation say that he had succeeded in getting a bed for a patient in the Richmond Hospital after trying all the other hospitals. He said that there was no hospital more accommodating than the Richmond Hospital in taking in a patient. I have found that at on one or two occasions myself. On one occasion, [943] when I was asked to find a bed in a hospital for a patient, I procured a bed in the Richmond Hospital, and within half an hour that patient was operated on for appendicitis. Any other hospital I am sure would have done the same thing, and perhaps that is not an argument either in support of or opposition to this Bill.

I was not present during the previous discussions on this Bill, but I have read them, and I have spoken to members of the medical staff of Richmond Hospital, some of whom have been there for 20 years. They are all against the removal of this hospital to a site outside the city. Surely there is sufficient space around the present site for the extension that is necessary. There might be some case for this if you were confined to the site of the present hospital but, as I have said, there are 60 acres available on the Grangegorman site which is at present under the control of the Grangegorman Mental Hospital Committee, which, in turn is composed of representatives of Dublin City and County, and County Wicklow, and is under the control of the Minister. When that is the case, is no use to be made of the 60 acres there except to sell them to a speculative builder? Why not speculate by extending the hospital. Whatever is required can be got there for the whole hospital. If it is removed to an outside area the out-patients' part will be lost. The air around the North Circular Road is as good as it is within 10 miles from the city. It is as good there as in the Cabra area. I can see no case for removing the hospital, and for that reason Deputy McGilligan's amendment is reasonable and should be adopted.

I am interested to know what ground the Minister has for a change, because that is what it really amounts to, taking power to move outside the city. I should like to have the Minister's views on the mental out-patients department. If any money is required for that, the Grangegorman authorities will give it freely. On the advice of the medical staff, the authorities approved of having an out-patients [944] department. I am glad Deputy Cooney is present, because he is a member of the Grangegorman Board and was present when we got information from Dr. Dunne, the resident medical superintendent, who is very keen on this matter. My recollection of what he said was that in every country in the world they had an out-patients department where mental defectives in the first stage are treated, and that as the proximity of Richmond Hospital to Grangegorman lends itself admirably for that purpose he would take charge of it without any remuneration in order to develop the idea. If an out-patients department has been a success in other countries it should be a success here whenever the Grangegorman site passes over to the Richmond Hospital.

If you want to change the name of the hospital change it, but why change the site? After all the hospital is there for the medical treatment and accommodation of the people, and it should not be shifted to an outlying suburb. The institution should be left in the centre of the city, especially an hospital like the Richmond, which has given such useful service to the community. The reasons for changing should be very good ones. The public have got none, least of all the staff of the Richmond Hospital, which is more immediately concerned with the change than anybody else.

Mr. Byrne:  I did not intend to speak on this amendment but for a remark made by Deputy Belton. It is true to say that he and other members of the corporation, as well as myself, endeavoured to get a patient into five Dublin hospitals yesterday. I have never yet failed at the Richmond Hospital, which on more than one occasion removed patients who were nearly well into a local hotel, in order to accommodate an urgent case. I failed yesterday. The doctor who was in charge went around the wards and then regretted to have to tell members of the corporation and myself that they had no room. After considerable trouble we got the patient eventually into St. Vincent's Hospital, where a bed that was required for a surgical case was given to our medical patient. [945] I put it to the Parliamentary Secretary that the time has come to give Dublin more beds for its patients.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy has wandered from the amendment. He purported to make a statement arising out of a passing remark made by Deputy Belton.

Mr. Byrne:  I obey your ruling, Sir, but I have made my point, that five hospitals in Dublin yesterday had to refuse to receive a patient.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  That point is relevant to the amendment.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Will you allow me to say that I would not say the case was too irrelevant when discussing a hospital that has the very large function of serving the poor, and that there is a kind of wangling to take that hospital outside the city? I stated on the Second Reading that the Parliamentary Secretary had established a record for this House. On a Bill that was introduced he made a case that had no reference to the Bill. Now, when we pass along in discussion we find that the Bill has no reference to what is in his mind. The Parliamentary Secretary has established a second record, he is epitomising here, in his attitude, the ineptitude and thimble-rigging proclivities to deceive which has characterised the Government.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy must confine himself to the amendment. General political criticism of the type indulged in is not relevant to this amendment.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Nothing could be outside the length to which criticism could go on this point.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Chair has stated that a certain kind of discussion is not permissible on this amendment.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Then I leave it to the Chair to look after its duty, and I will pursue what I consider to be my [946] duty in discussing this matter. When dealing with this amendment before, which is to secure under Section 4 that the Minister may acquire land either adjacent to the site of the new hospital or elsewhere, I asked the Minister why he was wasting Parliamentary time by asking Parliament to discuss this Bill and he said he had no power to acquire a site until he got the Bill. When asked if he had given any consideration to a site, he told Deputy Hannigan that the site could not be selected until the Minister had power. When he was asked if he looked for any site the Parliamentary Secretary said not, as the Minister had not power to acquire one.

It is proposed to replace a hospital that has a definite location, a definite function in relation to the treatment of the poor, and in relation to the teaching of medicine in the city, and the Parliamentary Secretary tells us that in proposing to replace that hospital, the authorities have not looked at a single site, that they cannot do so, and will not do so until they get this Bill. A suitable site has been suggested, but the Minister does not commit himself to that. Everything that has been said and everything that we can see shows that some kind of underhand conspiracy is on foot to transfer part of this hospital outside the city. The very fact that the Parliamentary Secretary has the neck to tell Parliament that he wants this Bill, and that the Minister cannot look at a site until he gets it, should awaken our suspicions and at any rate should be a challenge to our intelligence.

The answer to that challenge to our intelligence should be to tell the Parliamentary Secretary to take back his Bill. As Deputy Cosgrave says, this matter has been under consideration for seven years and it is still in such a position that the Parliamentary Secretary brazenly tells the House that nobody has looked at a site. We should tell him that we are not going to be treated in that way. If we want to be more reasonable, we can tell him that, if a site has not been looked at, [947] the function of the hospital cannot have been decided. If the Parliamentary Secretary refuses to accept the proposal now submitted, that any new site acquired shall be adjacent to the present hospital, then we want to know what the function of such a hospital will be, because it will differ radically and completely from the function of the hospital which this institution is intended to supersede. It means that the function of giving convenient and immediate attention to the poor of the city is to be dropped. It means that the function of the hospital as a teaching establishment, so far as medicine is concerned, is to be dropped. It is scandalous that Parliament should be asked to deal with this measure in this way. In the light of the tone of the speech of the Minister for Industry and Commerce and in the light of the actions of the Government in other respects, to hold up Parliament in this way and to waste its time, is going beyond the bounds of political decency. Nothing that could be said would be a sufficiently strong condemnation of the Parliamentary Secretary because of the way he is treating the House and wasting its time when, obviously, much more urgent and important things could have quiet and harmonious consideration here.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I have seldom listened to as much nonsense in so short a space of time as the House has been treated to by Deputy Mulcahy. I do not propose to follow him in his effort to beat the political drum this evening.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  You may have another “belt” at it.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The Deputy may “belt” away at it. He has been “belting” it often enough without making much headway.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I want to prevent your messing up the hospital system of the City of Dublin.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Deputy Mulcahy was in the Department in which I am and I [948] have not found much trace of solutions for the hospital problem, either in the City of Dublin or outside, after his stay there.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  You made a nice mess of it since I left.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  We cleared up part of the mess when we got you out. Deputy Cosgrave suggested—he was followed up by Deputy Mulcahy—that the House was misled inasmuch as it was told by me that new statutory powers were necessary in order to acquire a site for this hospital. Deputy Cosgrave and Deputy Mulcahy may, of their own knowledge, be in a position to give an opinion on that rather involved legal question. They may come to the House furnished with the legal advice of people outside. All I can say in reply to them is that my legal advice— and I am prepared to rely on it—is that the Minister has no power to acquire a site at present for building a hospital to replace the present hospitals and that the present board of governors have no such powers. The powers of the board of governors in relation to this matter are set out in Section 5 of the Act of 1856. Their powers are confined to management. The Act of 1856, which provides for the setting up of a board of governors for Houses of Industry hospitals, does not empower that board, or does not empower the Lord Lieutenant to confer powers on the board, to acquire a site for a hospital. The position is that, until this legislation is passed, a site cannot be acquired. That may be questioned. Lawyers may argue about it. I am not concerned about that. I am concerned with the fact that that is the legal advice upon which I am going to act and upon which I must act. The lawyers can argue about it outside.

We are told by Deputies on the opposite benches that a hospital of 550 beds, with the necessary accommodation for nursing and other staffs, can be built on a seven-acre site. We are told that mysterious architects are unanimously of opinion that this architectural miracle can be accomplished. I do not believe it. I have [949] architectural advice—expert advice— on that question, too. I believe that, if such architects exist at all, they are planning in the clouds and that they would build in the clouds if such an institution were to be provided on a seven-acre site. In the course of discussions with responsible members of the medical staff of this institution, the question of a suitable area as a site for such a hospital was raised. It was represented to this particular member of the medical staff—a very responsible member—that we thought a site of 25 acres would be necessary. He gave it as his considered opinion that 25 acres would not be a sufficient area for a hospital of the dimensions contemplated. If, in fact, a number of architects and a number of people interested in the provision of this institution have advised the members of the Opposition that the hospital can be built on the existing site and that a suitable extension of the existing site can be found adjacent, all I can say is that the members of the Opposition are more in the confidence of the board of governors, or of whomsoever is advising them, than I am or my Department is. We have recently had discussions with representatives of the board of governors and we have never been told so far—the first time I heard of it was in this House—that a group of architects were unanimously of the opinion that this institution could be built on a seven-acre site.

What is the issue before the House in this amendment? The question the House is asked to determine by the amendment is that the site will be at a particular place because the members of the Opposition say they are satisfied that it ought to be there. The Bill as it stands provides that the Minister will select a site, having duly weighed and considered all possible considerations relating to the geographical position of this important institution. But, if this amendment were to be accepted by the House, whether you could find the necessary accommodation or whether you could not, whether the site would be considered to be reasonably suitable or the most suitable or even the most unsuitable, [950] the Minister would be bound to place the hospital there, anyhow.

The House has been asked to select the site, not on the representations of any body of experts set up to examine this question, but on the assurances of Deputy Mulcahy, Deputy McGilligan and others. I am not prepared to accept that position. Deputy Mulcahy is staggered at the thought that the hospital might, in fact, go out as far as Cabra. It might be better if the Deputy would get himself accustomed to the possibility, because if a site at Cabra is considered to be the most suitable site, having considered all the matters bearing on this question, then the hospital will be built at Cabra.

Is Cabra so terribly remote as the House is led to believe? If anybody has sufficient interest in this question as to stroll up as far as Cabra Cross, he will see a sign-post there and that sign-post indicates that it is two miles from Cabra corner to the centre of the city. That may seem a long distance, but if I were going to visit a patient in a hospital I would walk a long distance on the level rather than walk a long way in order to get to the top story of a high building. So far as distance is concerned, if one walks from the centre of the city in another direction and goes out as far as Ballsbridge, one will find a sign-post there that tells you that when you have reached Ballsbridge you are two miles from the centre of the city. Will anybody tell us to-day that Ballsbridge is too far out for the purpose of building a large general hospital? I do not think so. As a matter of fact, the authorities of St. Vincent's Hospital have acquired a site at Elm Park which is considerably further out from the centre of the city than even Ballsbridge or Cabra.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  They have not built on it.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  We have not heard that they do not intend to.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Consult them again and see what they think about it.

[951]Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  So far as the site is concerned, I have not heard any criticism offered either from the hospital authorities or anybody else.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  They are not so enthusiastic as they were.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Perhaps for different reasons. I am sure if the Minister came here and said he proposed to build a hospital at Elm Park, Deputies on the opposite benches would be outraged, and they would have an additional one-and-a-half miles from the centre of the city to back them up. But when the authorities of a voluntary hospital select a site three-and-a-half miles from the centre of the city it is all right. Anything the Minister does must be wrong. I do not think, in the light of the atmosphere introduced by Deputy Mulcahy, in the light of his contribution to the debate and his suggestions about underhand conspiracy and all that kind of nonsense, that I have any hope of persuading the Deputy that all the merits of the argument are on the side of the Government in this case. I shall ask the House to reject this amendment, which is unreasonable and which would entirely vitiate the purpose of the Bill if it were accepted.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Everything the Parliamentary Secretary has said emphasises the case that I make. This Bill is presented to members of the House who are not hospital experts and who are not, even if some of them do come from the city and the neighbourhood of the city, experts in the problems connected with hospitals and the services hospitals provide. We have a certain general knowledge of them, and my protest in this matter is that in the light of the things the Parliamentary Secretary can say with regard to his consultations with the hospital authorities, and in the light of other things said by other members of the House, the House is asked to discuss and pass the measure with the Parliamentary Secretary telling them that, in so far as the Department that he is connected with is concerned, not a single site has been looked at. There is a pretence made to the House that [952] there is no purpose served by looking at a site until they get this Bill; that there is no use in looking at a site until a blank cheque with reference to powers and decisions as to where this hospital will go is put into the hands of the Minister.

We need not refer to recent history in connection with hospitals and legislation relating to hospitals in order to point out that that is a most undesirable thing. The fact that no consideration has been given to any site in the Department is, I argue, a clear implication that the functions of this new hospital have not been considered. Not only will it perform definite functions in relation to medical education and dealing with the poor but, as Deputy Belton pointed out, it is in relation to the foremost institute in the country that deals with nervous diseases and brain troubles. The development of the treatment of nervous diseases and brain troubles requires an additional amount of legislation and hospitalisation work.

Deputy Belton has indicated that certain developments are taking place in connection with the Grangegorman Hospital. He has indicated that very much more ground than has been spoken of—I am not in a position to go into seven acre and 25 acre sites—in connection with the extension of site will be available in the near future in connection with the developments in Grangegorman. Not only would an additional site be available there, but there would be a better connection between some of the work carried out in the Richmond Hospital and the type of work carried out in Grangegorman. There could be arrangements made tending towards an improvement in the manner in which nervous diseases and brain troubles would be dealt with.

Arising out of the discussions that have taken place here and elsewhere with regard to the Morning Star institution on the one side and the Grangegorman institution on the other, I know that there is no difficulty there with regard to space for a site. What does add additional grounds for suspicion as to the Parliamentary Secretary's mind [953] is his suggestion that apparently he knows less about what the authorities of the Richmond Hospital think than members of the Opposition do. That may be, but if that is so it is entirely due to the manner in which the Parliamentary Secretary is dealing with the matter. There is nobody who should know more about the possibilities of developing the site there, there is nobody who should know more about what either the governors or the medical staff in the Richmond think of the present situation and the proposals that have been made, or what is thought about it by the Grangegorman medical authorities, than the Parliamentary Secretary or the Minister for Local Government.

If, in endeavouring to do the best for the medical services of the city, some members of the Opposition have certain opinions, and have had certain consultations: if they understand the direction and the trend of the minds of some of the most important people connected with the Richmond Hospital, and of some of the most important people in the city who are conversant with the functions and needs supplied by the hospital, I say all that is to their credit. We are being asked to discuss and speak to a Bill that has been introduced in a certain way, while at the same time the charge is made that there is something ugly and sinister in the fact that we appear to know more and appear to care more about this than the Parliamentary Secretary or his Department.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I did not accuse the Deputy of caring more about it.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I can tell the Parliamentary Secretary that we care more.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The Deputy can tell the Parliamentary Secretary anything, but he may not necessarily believe it.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I know that with regard to quite a number of things the Parliamentary Secretary is very selective in his beliefs.

[954]Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Quite so.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  If we are to take, as a measure of the Parliamentary Secretary's care for this subject, the fact that he has introduced a Bill that does not disclose his mind, that he makes a speech that does not deal with the Bill, and that, since he entered into exchanges of opinion on the Committee Stage of it, he has done nothing but take up the kind of attitude of a surly dog in the manger—nothing but a bark and a bite—then surely we can consider that he has very little care for this subject. Why is it possible for the Parliamentary Secretary to come into Parliament and say: “I did not look at a site because I could not look at a site until I had a Bill.” In view of that, how can he persuade the House that he has considered the functions and the work of this hospital and its relation to medical education on the one hand and the poor on the other, as well as the study and the treatment of brain cases? If he comes in here and says that he wants this Bill in order that he may go and look at a site, and admits that he has not looked at a site up to the present, then the Parliamentary Secretary can have no conception of what the function of the hospital is going to be.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I wonder did the Parliamentary Secretary go into figures before he said that 500 beds could not be accommodated on seven acres.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Five hundred and fifty.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Well, taking the figure of 550, that would give about 60 square yards per bed even with a one-storey building. That is a matter for calculation and not one to laugh at. I presume the Parliamentary Secretary knows that the site we have decided on taking for the mental hospital building would accommodate 100 beds right away. There can be that much space vacated in Grangegorman. The Parliamentary Secretary is a doctor, and I am sure is aware of the psychology of treating disease. He knows that there were hospitals around Dublin for dealing with tuberculosis, [955] and the last stages of it. It was very hard to find patients reconciled to go to such hospitals. They felt that their doing so would be equivalent to a sentence of death. I am sure the Parliamentary Secretary, as a medical man, knows it to be true that through some little neglect in the early stages of mental weaknesses, chronic insanity sets in later on. It is the opinion of medical men now that if those cases were taken in the early stages a cure could be effected. The Parliamentary Secretary must be aware that there has been a definite increase of insanity in the country. I am not sure whether or not it is due to the worries caused by the Fianna Fáil Administration, but certainly mental tension has not been eased since Fianna Fáil came into power. I hope that, as a matter of grace, the Parliamentary Secretary will assist this experiment in the out-patient treatment of mental cases.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Does that mental stress apply particularly to the supporters of the Opposition?

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I do not know. I think the worries are nearer home, and that they are not diminishing. It will be remembered that the strongest argument put up for the site of this out-patient clinic by Dr. Dunne last Thursday was the fact that our site in Grangegorman adjoins the Richmond Hospital site, and that the actual site of the clinic will be on our grounds, and that we cut off a slice of our ground permanently from the rest of the mental hospital site so that patients attending the out-patient department of the mental hospital would not be seen by the public going in to the asylum, or mental home as it is now called. If the asylum is shifted out of there, does not that facility go with it, and if there is nothing left but the mental hospital, there can then be no camouflage about going to the mental hospital. Going into the Richmond Hospital they are able to pass into the mental wing and they get out-patient treatment, even though they do not touch the mental hospital at all nor do they feel that they are going in [956] there. Is not that a big matter? The Parliamentary Secretary ridicules our idea of accommodating 550 beds on seven acres of land. The Minister, by his regulations, permits 98 working men's houses to be built on seven acres of land; yet he raises this point here. Does not the Department permit a density of 14 houses to the acre— that is practically 100 houses on seven acres of land? How many beds would these 100 houses have? How many people would they provide for? Yet they would be only small two-storey houses.

We all know that there is a general move out from the Grangegorman site. Is there not all that land there with new buildings on it and some of these buildings built for hospitals? I think I am right in saying that at the moment we are spending £70,000 on building. That is substantially correct. Can the ratepayers of Dublin get money so easily that we can spend £70,000 now on what may be scrapped within ten years? If the mental hospital goes out of there and this land is sold to a speculative builder, or the Dublin Corporation build houses for workingmen there, how many of these buildings will go down? It was only on last Thursday that we had tenders for furnishing those new quarters. Are all those new quarters to be scrapped? They are there for the taking over by the Richmond Hospital. It is not seven acres that the Parliamentary Secretary has to play with. He has seven acres immediately and the position is that the Richmond Hospital is standing on the seven-acre site and Grangegorman Hospital is standing on a 60-acre site. It has been definitely decided by the Local Government Department, and they are the prime movers in the matter, that the Grangegorman Mental Hospital should get a site and they have in view the ultimate fact that the Grangegorman headquarters will be on a new site. That is practically settled now at Santry. Let Deputies remember that the 60 acres are beside the seven acres.

Medical opinion in the Grangegorman Mental Hospital is that we are behind time in dealing with mental [957] defectives. That must be camouflaged. Deadly diseases have to be camouflaged. The public want to camouflage mental diseases as much as possible. That has been done. It has gone a long way. We have given Dr. Dunne, the resident medical officer in Grangegorman, the necessary authority to put this thing over. We are meeting to-morrow. I think Deputy Cooney is on that conference that is to meet the governors of the Richmond Hospital to-morrow. I understood the Parliamentary Secretary to convey that the governors of the Richmond Hospital are most anxious to get out of North Brunswick Street. I do not think that is true. Of course it is like allocating a labourer's cottage to a tenant. If a board of health will allocate a cottage to some person that the Minister thinks should not get it, then he puts on the screw and he will give the board of health no subsidy for that cottage. Has the Minister been doing the thinking for the Board of Governors of the Richmond Hospital; has he told them what to do, or that if they do not do a certain thing they will have a very poor chance in the matter? Have they been told that they will get none of the Hospital Sweep money if they do not do what the Minister tells them?

Has the Minister considered the loss of fees to the hospital if it is moved out of the city? How many students will go out to that hospital? The Parliamentary Secretary was himself a student and I am sure he would not register in a hospital that was farthest away from the university or his medical school. Close proximity to the teaching establishment in which the student is registered popularises an hospital. The more remote the hospital is, the fewer are the students it will attract. I think it was Deputy Cosgrave who said that these doctors, physicians and surgeons who are to give their time for nothing in an hospital, perhaps hoping thereby to build up a practice, would find that a lot of their chances of succeeding will be taken from them if the hospital is moved out of its present location to the suburbs where the clientele of the out-physician department will be smaller. A surgeon in that very hospital said to me: “It [958] means the closing down of the out-patient department if we move to Cabra.” This Bill is not freedom to give freedom to the Minister to select the best site. Everybody knows that what it means in practice is that the Minister wants to shut down the Richmond Hospital where it is and to start it under another name as the St. Laurence O'Toole Hospital in Cabra —closing down the hospital in Brunswick Street and opening it in Cabra. Everybody connected with the hospital who is left freedom of choice is against the change. I suppose the present site is three-quarters of a mile from the centre of the city, the G.P.O. Is it not far enough out from the centre of the city? Is it not in a very central position if you take into account the spacing of hospitals in the city? What will accommodate the people of that locality which is densely populated if this hospital is closed down? The Minister has everything he claimed to be looking for in that site. He has seven acres to play with and 60 acres when it becomes vacant. A lot of the buildings on that site can be turned to account. They were built specially for hospitals. Why use them for other purposes, why not utilise them for hospital purposes? It may not be so easy to get money in the future, especially as a lot of the money that was left by trust funds for the maintenance of those hospitals was so badly invested that it may not yield as large a revenue now as it did in the past.

Dr. Hannigan: Information on Joseph Hannigan  Zoom on Joseph Hannigan  Deputies have complained of the unreasonableness of the Minister in coming here with this Bill to acquire certain powers without having first made up his mind fully as to the best site to be selected. It seems that the weight of expert medical opinion and of informed lay opinion is overwhelmingly on the side of the selection of the old Richmond Hospital site. The facts of the case have already been dealt with and I do not propose to reiterate them. But there is one particular point that I should like to take this opportunity of emphasising— Deputy Belton has already referred to it—and that is, that for years the question [959] of setting up a clinic for the early treatment of mental diseases has agitated the minds of mental experts and of medical experts generally in this city. It is a long felt need and I do not think it is necessary for me to emphasise the importance of it beyond saying that it is the experience of many practitioners in Dublin that many cases of early mental trouble cannot be adequately dealt with at the moment because the machinery is not there.

The position that a practitioner finds himself in is roughly this. When he comes across a case of this kind, it is not sufficiently bad to certify for admission to a mental hospital. At the same time, it is sufficiently far from normality to indicate itself as being a potential case of admission to a mental hospital. I am informed by the doctors in Grangegorman and other mental experts that a great many of these cases would be saved the horror of having to enter a mental hospital if a clinic of the type I have indicated were set up. That project has been considered for quite a long time. The position is that if the new hospital were built on the old Richmond site the facilities would be there to put that scheme into operation forthwith, because the new hospital would not only have the necessary propinquity to the Grangegorman Hospital to facilitate the working of the scheme, but, in addition, there would be available X-ray apparatus, pathological laboratories and all the other paraphernalia necessary for its successful working.

This is not a question of Party politics. Deputy T. Kelly, by reason of his long years of service on the Dublin Corporation, must have a very profound knowledge of what is best in the line of housing and hospitalisation for the citizens of Dublin. I listened to him last week with great pleasure emphasising the desirability of the selection of the Richmond Hospital site. While the Parliamentary Secretary indicated, at any rate, last week that he still had an open mind on the matter, I think sufficient evidence has been placed before him to enable him [960] to make up his mind definitely to select the Richmond Hospital site. I put it to him that when the matter is being gone into, if he does make up his mind in that direction, he should overhaul the lunacy laws to permit of the successful working of such a clinic, because, as he is aware, in the present state of the law a person cannot be voluntarily admitted into a public mental hospital—he must be certified. If the law were changed, mental cases could be saved the shame and ignominy of certification and, at the same time, secure the treatment necessary for their welfare.

Whatever site is selected, and I hope the Minister will do the right thing and select the site which all the indications point to as the one he should select, I hope that there will not be the usual years of delay about the selection. We have had that experience in Dublin in connection with the fever hospital, the new tuberculosis hospital, and many other hospitals. For years and years controversy has gone on with regard to the selection of a site. I hope that whatever site is selected, whether it be the old Richmond site, which appears to be the right one to select, whether it be the Cabra site, or whether it be any other site, the Minister will, with the minimum delay, acquire the necessary power and make up his mind quickly so that this project can be proceeded with. It is very important; it is more important now than in the past, because of the delay, and because of the rising costs of labour, the rising costs of materials, and all the other additional expenses which will be involved if the matter is unduly postponed.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  I only want to intervene for a moment to comment on the extraordinary attitude of Deputy Mulcahy. If ever there was a Bill introduced into this House which one would expect would get consideration without any political partisanship being shown, this certainly is such a Bill. Yet I do not think that since 1927 I have heard a more biased political tirade, and for what reason I do not know. I can assure the Parliamentary [961] Secretary that all the Dublin Deputies of all groups are keenly interested in this hospital being built on the site of the present Richmond Hospital.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I wish they would say it and explain it to the Minister and get at the Minister's mind.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  I suggest that this amendment should be withdrawn because of the fact that this conference, which Deputy Belton referred to, is to be held and that Dr. Dunne has asked the members of the Grangegorman Committee to assist him in certain negotiations. This matter will be one of them, and I believe that we would do more good by conferring with the Department of Local Government than by abusing the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary in the House.

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

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  That is what we should be attending to, not making political speeches. The Parliamentary Secretary says quite rightly that, if this amendment is carried, it will vitiate the purposes of the Bill as it would compel the Minister to build on the site of the present Richmond Hospital. We all know that, in the last analysis, the responsibility rests on the experts, legal and medical, in connection with the building of this hospital. That being so, why tie the Minister's hands? He is asking for power to inspect sites and to acquire a site. I say that, in view of this conference that is pending, and in view of the fact that we can in the conference room with the Minister or his advisers put up good sound reasons why the present Richmond Hospital site should be selected, and that we will be backed up by Dr. Dunne, the R.M.S. of the Grangegorman Hospital, whose views I am sure will be given very sympathetic consideration, this amendment should not be passed. What sinister purpose can Deputy Mulcahy see behind this Bill? What sinister purpose could the Parliamentary Secretary have in rejecting this amendment or not showing reasons why he did not inspect sites? I do not see anything sinister in it. I hope that, in the interest of what practically every Deputy desires, Deputy [962] McGilligan will withdraw this amendment.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  What are the legal experts required for? How do the legal experts enter into this?

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  The Parliamentary Secretary has explained that, until this Bill is passed, giving power to acquire a site, he has not got such power, and, not having the power, he did not think it necessary to inspect sites.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I welcome Deputy Cooney's intervention, even though he finds fault with my attitude and approach to this matter. I am perfectly willing to start from this point in the discussion of the matter, but I suggest that if Deputy Cooney had been listening to some of the things we have been trying to get the Minister to understand, and to get a different approach to their examination, he would understand some of us talking so strangely. Deputy Cooney asked that the amendment should be withdrawn because of certain negotiations that are going on. The whole gravamen of my complaint is that this Bill is brought in, and Deputies from Cork to Donegal and from Kerry to Monaghan are asked to take part in a discussion giving the Minister certain powers, when discussions that would make way for the passage of the Bill, and that should have taken place before the Bill was presented to the House, have not taken place. Now, if under the stress of the introduction of the measure, and of the suspicions occasioned by details of it, and things said about it, discussions are now taking place that ought to have taken place before, my point is that the progress of this Bill should be arrested until these discussions have taken place, and that we could be left with this assurance, that the future of this hospital was being discussed thoroughly by those who are experts, and by people interested in municipal control in the City of Dublin, by people responsible for medical education, by responsible authorities of the hospitals and from Grangegorman, all in their proper place, and when these had taken place, and the [963] House was assured that the question had been discussed by experts, some sort of definite conclusion could be arrived at, and the necessary power given the Minister, without wasting more time, and as Deputy Cooney suggested, without the introduction of party politics.

The gravamen of all my complaint is that from what we understand from the Parliamentary Secretary a wrong thing is intended. Our suspicions are greatly increased when we realise that necessary discussions that we thought ought to have taken place before the Bill was presented to Parliament have not taken place. In my opinion, it is because these discussions have not taken place, and because we have not been assured that the functions of the new hospital are definitely appreciated and have been approved that our tempers and our dispositions are being frayed a little by the discussion and waste of so much time. Goodness knows there are any amount of reasons why we should not waste Parliamentary time at present, why we should not allow suspicions to fray our dispositions, after the Minister for Industry and Commerce has told us how difficult it would be to keep 19 out of 20 people working after we had the Information Bureau advising the people generally, without any more information, that reserves which were demobilised a few months ago were now called up, we do not know for what or why; and after we had the Minister for Agriculture wringing his hands and saying that he was hopeless and helpless as he feared that nothing could be done to improve our relations about prices with Great Britain, upon which, according to the Minister for Industry and Commerce, so much of our prosperity depends.

All these things, not to mention greater dangers, might have implications on the economic life of the country. These are all matters which might engage our attention, but because of lack of preparation we have frayed discussions, and we are driven, based on a foundation formed entirely from his own representations and attitude to the House, to form suspicions. [964] We cannot afford to allow suspicions to be unexpressed in relation to the treatment of an institution like the Richmond Hospital, which means so much to the City of Dublin. I welcome Deputy Cooney's intervention and I would like to have some kind of understanding by which it would be possible to stop the further progress of this measure until the discussions that Deputies referred to are brought to a conclusion. Then, with some kind of knowledge arising out of the discussions that the Parliamentary Secretary or the Minister could put before us, we could attend to them in peace.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Would the Parliamentary Secretary be prepared to postpone a decision until this conference has finished its work?

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Withdrawal of the amendment does not do any harm.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I speak without authority, but I am sure the amendment would not be pressed now if the Minister showed a disposition to give this conference a full chance to explore every avenue, and to do what is best in the interests of both hospitals. It is a test for the Parliamentary Secretary. I am sure he wants to do the right thing and this is the opportunity. Will he take it? If necessary I am willing that the House should meet to-morrow. Will the Parliamentary Secretary agree to postpone this now or, alternatively, will he agree to the amendment coming on at a later stage?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I think we have had sufficient discussion. Better have it disposed of now.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  What about the conference?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Any representations that the conference may have to make will be duly considered.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Better have them before than after.

[965]General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I should like to hear Deputies from Cork, Donegal or Limerick telling us what they think of this business.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  They will not bother about it.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  As the representative of a Dublin constituency I would like to express what is in the mind of some people regarding the background of the debate on this Bill. The Minister for Finance when closing a debate on the Financial Resolutions recently, complained of the unreality of the situation of people here discussing a Budget as if it were a normal time. If it was unreal to discuss finance then, what could be more unreal than to discuss whether the Richmond Hospital is to remain where it is or be built at Cabra. Really, the Dáil is rendering itself utterly futile and ridiculous in the eyes of the people when hours are spent discussing these proposals. Personally I do not know where the funds are to build the hospital. I have not been able to find out if they are still there and what amount. I have considerable doubt whether they will be spent on any hospital, and if they are to be spent, there is great difficulty about who is to decide. We are emulating what happened in the time of Nero in discussing this mythical hospital, and whether the Richmond Hospital is to be at Cabra or not. The proposal is that we should mark progress, wait for a calmer atmosphere and until we find out where the hospital will be built, and until the Minister will have some idea where he wants to build it. Except from Deputy McCann I have not heard any plea from any of the Dublin Deputies for the removal of the hospital to Cabra. Deputy Kelly hoped that the Minister would review the situation. Deputy Cooney asked us to postpone the amendment because there is going to be a conference to-morrow and the Minister cannot make up his mind until he hears the views at that conference.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  I did not say that.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Deputy did not [966] put it in that way because that would be insulting to the Minister but that is what the case he made comes to.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  No.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Deputy Cooney asked that the amendment be not pressed because it is to be considered by the Minister at a conference. Everybody here, he says, is in favour of the Richmond site; let the Minister be free to put the hospital where he pleases but we will convince him at the conference to-morrow. That is Deputy Cooney's attitude.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  The responsibility is on him.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  No. It is on us. We are the Parliamentary institution. We are not handing over our viewpoint to the Minister.

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

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am coming to that. I asked the Deputy what he meant by “legal experts” and the view I got was that the Minister—the Parliamentary Secretary himself put up this plea—could not look at a site and could not consider the whole thing hypothetically until he got power to acquire some place. That that should be put forward as an argument is ludicrous. That it should have bemused Deputy Cooney is surprising. Why could he not look at sites? Cannot the question of the population to be served and the whole situation with regard to internal staffs, the students who are going to attend, medical staff and so forth be considered in relation to various sites without the Minister having power to acquire a yard anywhere? Deputy Cooney is fussed up about what he is told the legal experts think must happen before a site can be considered. That is all nonsense and Deputy Cooney knows it.

What is the expert view on this question? If I have to enter into discussion of this unreal subject I hope I shall not get too far into the area of unreality. What expert said that a [967] 550-bed hospital could not be built on this site? I have not been referred to a single expert who has said that. I know that the Hospitals Commission recommended building on the present site. They are supposed to be expert. The Parliamentary Secretary would stand over them as experts in some respects. They asked for an extension of the hospital on the present site. Under pressure, they put up a second proposal, but only under pressure. No architect has yet put his name to the statement that it is not possible to build a 550-bed hospital on the present site. That is the main contention, secondarily made. The first contention was that the population in a certain slum area are removing out to Cabra and that it would be better to get there first with the hospital. No argument as to fresh air was put up until Deputy McCann put it up. The Parliamentary Secretary knows, what Deputy McCann may not know, that the average stay of a patient in these hospitals is three weeks. You have to balance the consideration of fresh air and whether you are going to get better air at Cabra than at the Richmond with the solace which patients receive from being visited by relatives and whether you are going to get them better attended to at Cabra than on the present site.

The present site serves one-sixth of Dublin's population. Deputy Kelly tells us that the area is to be cleared. The hospital stands on a good, healthy site. It provides ample room for extension and various architects have already advised that a 550-bed hospital —which is the hospital aimed at—can be built on that site. There are certain “lungs” of Dublin in the neighbourhood, giving fresh air in abundance. Building on the present site offers a possible conjunction with Grangegorman. A suggestion to that effect has been encouraged by the medical officers both of Grangegorman and the Richmond.

You get a conjunction of these two viewpoints—no expert has yet declared that the hospital cannot be erected on the present site and the Hospitals Commission reported in favour of that [968] site. When turned down on that, they as a secondary consideration, proposed something else and that was not Cabra. The proposal is to remove the hospital from a densely populated area, where it supplies one-sixth of the population of the city and where it is conveniently situate, on a healthy site, to the outskirts of the city. That is what we are discussing.

This removal will have certain repercussions. The nursing and other staffs will not be so conveniently circumstanced. In addition, you have the outstanding matter of the provision for teaching. If the hospital is moved out to Cabra, it will inevitably, I am told by experts in this matter, mean that as a teaching hospital which students will visit it will be no more. If that be the situation, you will, undoubtedly, get a deterioration of the medical staff attending there because the way in which the profession is built up means that those who do charitable or honorary work at these institutions depend on the students who serve under them to send them patients later because they are attracted by the work done in this honorary way. That is a thing of the past if the Cabra proposal is adopted. Cabra may make some provision in the way of advanced appliances, but they will not get a steady attendance of students there.

I am told that it is possible to provide transport. I look forward to the day when the medical students' bus will go out to Cabra, calling around to the various places where students are accommodated and trying to collect all these gentlemen at an early hour to transport them to Cabra. Then, the bus will have to bring them back and disembark them at the various places in the city to which they want to get. Such a suggestion could not be made by anybody who has a clear recollection of how “medicals” are scattered throughout the city. We are discussing a very vital matter. At first, on Second Reading, the Parliamentary Secretary gave people the impression that Cabra had never been mentioned or seriously considered. In that way a certain antagonism to this [969] proposal was avoided. The Parliamentary Secretary came back to this question, and I want Deputy Cooney to turn to page 280 of volume 88 of the Parliamentary Debates, where he will find that the only argument made by the Parliamentary Secretary was in favour of Cabra. There is nothing in his viewpoint other than Cabra. He started off with the statement: “If I conveyed the impression”—that was on Second Reading—“that Cabra was outside consideration as a possible site, I would like to disabuse the minds of Deputies who may have come to that conclusion as a result of the discussion on Second Reading.”

After that, there is half a column of argument entirely based on the removal of part of the population in a north-westerly direction. They have swarmed out to Cabra, and the argument is that it is better to get the hospital out there. The tendency was to show that, if his mind was not entirely set on Cabra, it was moving in that direction. Deputy Cooney says that it would be better to withdraw the amendment and that, when they meet the Parliamentary Secretary, they will disabuse his mind of the idea regarding Cabra. It is here he should disabuse him of that idea. It is here we should get arguments for and against Cabra. I suggest that we have had no argument from Deputies in favour of Cabra. The argument was entirely in favour of reconditioning the existing hospital and extending it on the present site. Deputy Hannigan has a view of his own regarding a municipal hospital, but his argument on the question of site is in accord with the arguments addressed to the Parliamentary Secretary by all the Deputies from Dublin with the exception of Deputy McCann, and he founds his argument on a contention which the Minister disregards.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  I want to subscribe to the opening words employed by Deputy McGilligan. I regard it as an outrage on this country that the Oireachtas should be engaged in its Lower House discussing a Bill for the establishment of a hospital that may well never be built and discussing sites for the [970] Richmond Hospital, while in the Upper House we are discussing the correct spelling of Irish words and whether advanced Celtic studies are desirable at this stage or not. And all this while the bottom is falling out of the world, while the country is surrounded with grave and imminent dangers, and while the people of the country look to us, their legislators, to be in common council for the defence of the essential interests of our people and of our country.

I think it is right that this House and the country should know that we asked the Government to postpone consideration of this Bill yesterday on the ground that it was no fit subject for discussion or investigation at the present time, and that the emergency was so great and the dangers so menacing that the minds of Deputies should not be distracted by discussions such as we have been listening to in this House for the last three hours. Our suggestion was categorically turned down. We were informed that it was the Government's settled decision that this Bill must be proceeded with to-day. In my opinion, when the people read to-morrow that the time of Ministers and Deputies was taken up for hours arguing over the comparatively trivial matters here raised, they will turn with disgust from our Parliamentary institutions, and they will say that public men who could display the irresponsibility of arguing whether the Richmond Hospital is to be built in North Brunswick Street or Cabra, while the whole of civilisation is in peril, and while the very territory and survival of this State is in danger, are quite unfitted for the positions they hold.

It is right that they should know that the responsibility for this grotesque proceeding is not on our shoulders, but on the shoulders of a Government who insist on proceeding with this ridiculously irrelevant business to-day. It is a shame and a disgrace to Parliament and it ought to be stopped now. If anybody but the Parliamentary Secretary was sitting where he is now, this Bill would be withdrawn and left by for further consideration, when proper attention could be given [971] to it in the light of the situation that may exist when further proceeding with the proposal for this hospital may be possible. To continue this discussion now is ludicrous and irrelevant. No responsible Deputy can give it the calm and detached consideration that a detailed matter of this kind should have.

We are disgracing the Parliament to which we belong; we are justifying every critic of democratic institutions who described them as futile talking-shops by our conduct here to-day; we are vindicating every tyrant who seeks to overthrow such institutions and who says that you can always trust democracy to choke itself with words. This is all irrelevant and, instead of proceeding with such measures as this, Deputies should be banding themselves together to face the threats that confront us. I appeal to Deputies to have some sense of proportion of the times in which we live and put an end to this ludicrous discussion.

Mr. T. Kelly: Information on Thomas Kelly  Zoom on Thomas Kelly  Surely, this cannot be in order?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The whole thing is out of order—the whole Bill is outrageous.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  I want to know why we should be obliged to sit here to listen to a lecture on procedure and manners.

Mr. Byrne:  A very necessary lecture.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  I am making a definite submission.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  Is this procedure in order, this lecture we are getting from Deputy Dillon?

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  If I may, I should like to make a submission.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  On a point of order, I must ask for a ruling.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  On the point of order, I make the submission that my remarks are addressed to the point of a proper discussion of the amendment on the paper. I suggest it is impossible in the circumstances in which we are meeting.

[972]An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Fionán Lynch  Zoom on Fionán Lynch  Deputy Cooney gave us certain reasons why this amendment should be withdrawn. Deputy Dillon is approaching the matter from a different standpoint.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  My reasons were entirely confined to the amendment.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Fionán Lynch  Zoom on Fionán Lynch  The Chair suggests that the business of the House be proceeded with. The House has arranged to do certain business in a certain order and that order must be followed.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  I have little to add. I merely think that this procedure here is irrelevant and shocking. I believe the people will be appalled when they realise what we are doing. I urge the House to chuck it.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  The Deputy has described the procedure of this House as irrelevant and shocking. Is that in order?

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  It is certainly in order.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Of course it is.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  I must ask the Chair to give a decision in regard to this procedure.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Does the Deputy want to stultify the statement recently made by the Taoiseach?

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  If I am out of order, I look with confidence to the Chair to rule me out. But Deputy Allen is not in the Chair. I do not want to quarrel with Deputy Allen. Every Deputy is entitled to his views. I respectfully submit that this business should be postponed to a time when we can consider it in a different atmosphere from that in which we are obliged to meet to-day. If Deputy Allen takes the view that the proper matter to be engaging the minds of the Legislature at this time is whether a hypothetical hospital is to be put up in Cabra or in North Brunswick Street, when the very existence of this State is in peril, according to the Taoiseach himself, and when the best counsels of everybody should be gladly brought together for our common defence and protection, then I disagree with Deputy Allen and [973] I am glad to let that matter be judged by the people. If the people take Deputy Allen's view, I do not want to represent them. I do not believe they do.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  Is all this in order?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Fionán Lynch  Zoom on Fionán Lynch  I do not think this is in order. At the moment we are dealing with amendment No. 3 and the Deputy should address himself to that.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  It is virtually impossible, I suggest, to give this amendment the calm and detached consideration it ought to get in the present atmosphere, and I urge the Parliamentary Secretary to indicate to the House that he is prepared to consent, by the leave of the House, to the postponement of this business to another day when, the more urgent matter having been disposed of, it can be approached with calm and deliberation. There is no urgency about this Bill. It is unthinkable that the hospital will be built the day after to-morrow or when this Bill passes the Houses of the Oireachtas. I believe that to postpone the Bill now would create in the public mind the impression that we, whom they look upon as their trustees, have some sense of responsibility; I think a continuation of the present discussion will create the idea that we are a lot of irresponsible people who have no appreciation of the dangers that confront our country.

Mr. T. Kelly: Information on Thomas Kelly  Zoom on Thomas Kelly  We have listened to all the dreadful things that Deputy Dillon thinks will happen. The point is that we here have every confidence in our Government.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It has not confidence in itself. The Taoiseach addressed the people the other night on the wireless on this very situation.

Mr. T. Kelly: Information on Thomas Kelly  Zoom on Thomas Kelly  We are impeached by Deputy Dillon while we are sitting here calmly considering a very mundane measure. We have every confidence in our Government and in their ability to meet any dangers that may arise.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  We have no confidence in them at all. What was the appeal over the wireless for?

Mr. L.J. Walsh: Information on Laurence Joseph Walsh  Zoom on Laurence Joseph Walsh  What exactly are we discussing?

[974]An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Fionán Lynch  Zoom on Fionán Lynch  At this point the House must go back to the consideration of amendment No. 3.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I think some Fianna Fáil Deputies had better read the statement broadcast by the Taoiseach. Apparently they do not know the situation.

Mr. Bennett: Information on George Cecil Bennett  Zoom on George Cecil Bennett  There was a suggestion made to the House, if not by the mover of the amendment, at least by some others, that the amendment should be withdrawn if the Parliamentary Secretary would agree to defer further consideration until such time as the conference, which is to sit to-morrow, will come to a decision. I advocate that course to the Parliamentary Secretary not only for the reasons put forward by Deputy Dillon, but for other reasons. Deputy Cooney accused Deputy Mulcahy of making this particular Bill a Party matter, making Party capital out of the debate. Who is making Party capital out of it? The Parliamentary Secretary himself. He is trying to force it down the throats of Deputies. There are many Deputies here who are very little concerned with this measure. So far as I know, the Dublin Deputies are practically agreed on one point and the Parliamentary Secretary apparently does not agree with them, but other Deputies have no particular concern in the matter. Why should Deputies from the rural constituencies be drawn into this acrimonious dispute? In my opinion it could be settled, and probably will be settled, by a conference. Why should the Parliamentary Secretary use his majority in favour of this site for a particular hospital in Dublin, and force this section through the House. Deputy Cooney accuses us of making Party capital out of this. My suggestion is that the decision on this site should be left to the Deputies representing Dublin, and that the Parliamentary Secretary should not ask the members of his Party in Donegal or other counties, to vote on it. Apparently the Parliamentary Secretary does not want to take a fair course on this. He wants to get his Bill passed. I venture to say that members of his Party, representing country constituencies, [975] have not read the Bill, as I have not. It is stretching the credulity of most Deputies to ask them to give a decision on this. I think the Parliamentary Secretary should agree to the course that has been suggested, namely, to postpone the Bill until such time as he will have an opportunity of making up his mind on it, having read the discussions that have already taken place. If Deputies in all parts of the House agree, I think that we, from the country, should leave the decision on this to the Dublin Deputies. They understand it. We do not. If, however, the Parliamentary Secretary insists on using the Parliamentary majority he has at his back in order to get the section through, then I will be obliged to vote on the other side.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  I am sure that many Deputies representing rural constituencies must wonder what all this row is about. We had an extraordinary spectacle a few moments ago when Deputy Dillon wanted the proceedings of the House suspended. Three hours ago the House ordered that certain business should be taken to-day. If Deputy Dillon had any objection to make to the procedure then outlined, that was the time for him to make his objection, and not in the middle of a discussion on a simple amendment to a simple section. The Deputy wants the proceedings of the House suspended in view of things that are happening in some other parts of the world.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Ample objection was made last night to this business.

Mr. Smith: Information on Patrick Smith  Zoom on Patrick Smith  That is not so.

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

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Order! Deputy Allen is in possession.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  Not long ago Deputy Dillon wanted something done to stem all the armies of Europe from invading this country. There is nothing wrong in the section that the House is discussing. Deputy McGilligan, in his [976] amendment, wants to compel the Parliamentary Secretary to remain on the present site. I do not think that either the Government or the Parliamentary Secretary can give way on this. They will have to take full responsibility for their decision. I am quite sure that, if Deputy Cosgrave was the head of a government, he would not accept an amendment of this kind. What would be said if some Deputy brought in an amendment to some Bill compelling the local authority in North Cork to build in a particular field and in a particular townland in the town of Macroom. I am sure the Cork Deputies would kick up a big row. I do not know where this hospital is going to be built in Dublin.

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

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  I think it is the Parliamentary Secretary who should have the ultimate responsibility for deciding whether the hospital should be built on the present site, or adjacent to it, or in Cabra or between the present site and Cabra. If he does anything wrong he will have to answer for it to the country and to the House. We all know that a very large sum of money will be required to build this hospital, wherever the site may be. Therefore, it is natural to conclude that full consideration will be given to the question of the site. I know there is a difference of opinion about the site, even amongst the present medical staff of the existing hospital. They are not in agreement as to whether the present site is the most desirable one or not, and Deputy McGilligan and Deputy Mulcahy need not try to put it across the House that they are in agreement. Deputy McGilligan mentioned that the report of the Hospitals Commission favoured the present site. What, I think, they stated in their report was that the modern tendency was to take large hospitals to the outskirts of cities.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Will the Deputy tell me where they stated that?

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  In their first general report.

[977]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Does the Deputy know what they went on to say about the Richmond?

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  I know quite well what they said about the Richmond. Anything they said about it was not objected to—to get more hospital accommodation within the shortest possible space of time. They also referred to the efforts of St. Vincent's Hospital to go outside the city, and approved of that. The Deputy, I am sure, will admit that. The proposed site for the new St. Vincent's Hospital is about three-and-a-half miles from the city, and I am sure the medical students will be able to find their way out there.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Does the Deputy know that?

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  I know that at the present time medical students are going out to a hospital that is a greater distance from the city than either Cabra or Elm Park. Deputy McGilligan is aware of it, too.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Where is the hospital that the Deputy refers to situated, and is it a teaching hospital?

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  It is in the County Dublin, and is used to a certain extent as a teaching hospital. It is an orthopædic hospital. It is not a medical hospital.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That bubble is burst.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  At any rate, the students are going out there, and apparently find no difficulty in doing so. I am sure Deputies from the country must wonder what all this row is about— whether the Parliamentary Secretary should have power to decide on the site where the hospital is to be built, whether it be the present site or any other site adjacent to the city. That is what the Deputies opposite are trying to prevent by this amendment.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  The Deputy is quite right. Why should the Parliamentary Secretary get the power?

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  Why not? Who has a better right to decide?

[978]Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  The governing body of the hospital.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  Not at all. The hospital was maintained out of State funds up to the advent of the sweepstakes.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  It was managed very largely by a subscription of £5,000 a year, which was paid to the hospital every year except in the last year for which I was responsible for the administration of the Government of this country.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  Any deficit they had was paid.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Approximately £5,000 was paid, and as a matter of fact, it had been maintained by the British Government ever since 1856. But after the war it was found that the management could not balance their accounts on that sum; a new board was set up, and they took in patients and balanced their accounts on that. We have not had any reason why the Minister, above all other persons in this country, should suddenly get this authority to select a site for this hospital. We have been given no reason whatever for that. The Minister is a solicitor by profession. What special dispensation of Providence is there to confer on him any special light as to where the site of the new hospital is to be fixed? If we take the Parliamentary Secretary, his practice is in another direction. He was not attached to an hospital, so far as I know. I am not making any case against him, but even if he were attached to an hospital I would prefer to have the governing body or the medical staff of the hospital select a site. Even as a medical expert, why should the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary get this power? What reason is there for it? Not one sixpenny of Government money is going into this hospital.

Mr. Allen: Information on Denis Allen  Zoom on Denis Allen  It may.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  It does not. The Bill says that there will not be one penny of Government money going into it; not one penny raised by the Government of this country since they took office has gone into it. Why [979] then should they come along and take this power now? It is a new power they are seeking. The Minister wants us to give him power to select a site. We want to know what reason is there for giving him that power? What special default has there been in the governing body that the power should not rest with them? We are told by the junior member of the House that there are two hospitals in England on the outskirts of cities. What are the facts about them? One of these hospitals was set up at a great cost, and it has not one acute case at the present moment. It is an absolute failure as an hospital.

Mr. McCann: Information on John McCann  Zoom on John McCann  Medical opinion would controvert that.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  But it does not.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Competent medical opinion does not controvert fact. What I am speaking of is fact, not argument. Perhaps the Deputy can understand it; he may learn. Unfortunately this country has had to learn much from incompetent decisions and incompetent Ministers within the last eight years. The Deputy ought to learn that now.

Mr. McCann: Information on John McCann  Zoom on John McCann  I have not learned much from those benches since I came here.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Yes, that would be impossible. It is one of those cases in which that could happen.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Deputy McCann should not give up hope altogether.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Oh, no. We have here a body of which Deputy Allen was a paid member in 1933 and 1934. The first general report of that body, the Hospitals Commission, says:—

“The Mater and the Richmond Hospitals, Dublin, the development of which is contemplated on their existing sites, are examples of hospitals where sectional development could be allowed to proceed without putting too great a strain on the Hospitals Trust Fund.”

There is a little bit of genius behind [980] that. I suppose they did not go any further possibly because they had only one or, perhaps, two medical men on the Commission, and they had no special dispensation from Providence to fit them for the selection of sites.

What does the Parliamentary Secretary say against that? He says as reported in column 1663 of Volume 79, No. 6:—

“The site of the existing hospitals is rather restricted, and for a large modern hospital it would be well to have considerably more space. Proposals of the Dublin town planning authorities for the replanning of the neighbourhood would have the effect of cutting off portions of the lands. This would further restrict the site and leave it inadequate for a large hospital. It would, therefore, be necessary to seek a new site.”

That is pretty plain language for Deputy Cooney. The Parliamentary Secretary then goes to say:—

“At present neither the hospital authority nor the Minister has power to acquire land for the purposes of these hospitals, and it is now proposed to make the necessary legal provision.”

This is a new power for the Minister, responsible to nobody, or, if you like, responsible to Parliament. But that is not much good to the patients, to the medical staff, or to the students who are going to go there if in years to come they find that the Minister has made a mistake. It is little good to tell them that he is responsible to Parliament. All they can do in Parliament is to turn him out of office, but the people may send him back again. That thing of being responsible to Parliament is of very little use to those who are injured if a wrong step is taken in the selection of a site. What does the Parliamentary Secretary say further? “The Minister is empowered by the Bill to dispose of the lands on which the existing hospitals are situated or any portion of them.” What does that mean? It certainly does not mean that the Minister intends to retain the present site. When some Deputies in their innocence [981] tell us that this matter is still the subject of consideration, we wonder whether it is a subject of consideration, or whether the decision has already been made or given. Then the Parliamentary Secretary goes on to say in the Second Reading speech: “The net proceeds of any such proposal are to be paid by the Minister into the Hospitals Trust Fund.” Is that put in for sport or amusement or merely to fill up any gaps there would be in the draftsman's work? Surely that must reveal an intention to dispose of the present site. Surely whatever site the Minister has in mind is not the present site. Then he goes on to say: “It will be necessary on the Committee Stage to submit some amendments in relation to the provision regarding the closing of the existing hospitals.... I propose to submit amendments providing for the closing in whole or in part of the existing hospitals in such manner as the circumstances may require.” I think it is fairly clear that whatever the Minister had in mind, he had certainly made up his mind that it was not the present site on which the hospital was to be built. He says in column 1666 that “it is not considered possible to build a new hospital on the present site, for the reason, with the information before me, that it appears there is not sufficient room available on the site. If property adjacent to the present site can be procured, it does not follow that the present site will not be used in conjunction with whatever additional property may be secured but the position appears to be, as far as I could examine it, that the existing site as it stands does not provide adequate accommodation for the proposed new hospital”. If anybody can tell me that that matter is still under consideration if words mean anything, I make him a present of his judgment and of his wisdom. What is the reason for the non-success of the hospital that was referred to by Deputy McCann as having been built outside a city?

Mr. McCann: Information on John McCann  Zoom on John McCann  That was not in Birmingham. I know nothing about that.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Yes; the Deputy [982] knows nothing about it, except that he was told by somebody of this hospital having been built outside the city. That is the most unfortunate thing about it. Not only was the hospital in Birmingham connected with the medical school, but that school was moved with the hospital to the outskirts of the city. The result gives a very grave warning. No acute cases are being treated there, and its wards are occupied by incurable cases.

The main concern we should have in this matter is the suitability of the site for patients and its proximity to the homes of those who will require attention. The second is, and it is almost as important as the first, to maintain this hospital as a teaching hospital. That has not happened in the other case. Notwithstanding the fact that they brought out the other institution along with it, it has not been a success. Is it considered advisable to maintain this hospital as a teaching hospital? If this is a means of directing public attention to the importance of having it still maintained as a teaching hospital, we must give consideration to the question of its proximity to the teaching establishments in the city. A student attends the hospital at 9 o'clock in the morning, and he can get away to a lecture at 10.40 at present. What time will he get away from the other place? He has three possible schools to attend. This hospital differs somewhat from the case of St. Vincent's Hospital, which is to be removed to Merrion. This hospital attracts students from the three colleges; it is not bound to any one of them. I know of a doctor who is putting his son to medicine, and who had intended that he should go to the Richmond Hospital. But when he saw this Bill he said he would not send him until he saw where the hospital was to be built. There was a good reason why he should send his son to the Richmond Hospital, because he had been there himself.

We have, in the first instance, the report of the Hospitals Commission with regard to this site. We have the reasons for it, and there are more reasons even than the financial one. We have the fact of its proximity to [983] the other institution which is there. We have its long association of over two centuries with the present site. This House is asked to give to one individual the selection of the site. The consequences will have to be borne by other people. The loss that will ensue will be the loss of the unfortunate patients, the students, the medical and surgical staff, and all those employed in the hospital. If the matter were likely to be the subject of further investigation, I would have no hesitation in recommending the withdrawal of this amendment. But, on the facts as they stand, with the Minister practically committed to a site which is not the present site, we feel bound to press the amendment.

Mr. P.S. Doyle: Information on Peadar Seán Doyle  Zoom on Peadar Seán Doyle  Deputy Allen and Deputy Cooney expressed astonishment at the attitude taken up by those who are supporting this amendment. I suggest to Deputy Allen that the opinion of the Dublin representatives in the Dáil, most of whom have experience of municipal and social welfare matters, is worth considering. I wonder what Deputy Allen would think if we went down to the County Wexford and expressed an opinion as to a site for an hospital there. With one exception, the Dublin Deputies of all Parties are united in suggesting to the Minister that the new hospital should be built on the present site as being the most desirable from many points of view. I do not want to repeat what has already been said in favour of the present site; but I do say that there is a decided public opinion in favour of it. My experience on public boards for many years has shown me that there is a decided objection to the building of hospitals outside towns or cities. That is one reason why I take the view that the present site should be selected for the new hospital. There is plenty of space there for expansion of the hospital in order to provide additional accommodation. I think that the Minister ought to change his mind and not insist on changing the site of this hospital. As I said, public opinion is in favour of the hospital remaining where it is.

Mr. McCann: Information on John McCann  Zoom on John McCann  I seem to have been [984] singled out because I gave my opinion on this amendment, and because I consider that a site on the outskirts of any city is the best place for the erection of a modern hospital. I gave as my reasons that sunlight, fresh air and quietness were important factors in the cure of disease. I cited the case of Birmingham and of the new Local County Council Hospital at Tooting. Nobody informed me of these things. I can read the British Medical Journal as well as Deputy Cosgrave. I gave my opinion because I believe that that is the best place for an hospital. The argument has been advanced here that if the Richmond Hospital was transferred to Cabra or some such site it would lose a certain number of students. I think that is all nonsense. Deputy Cosgrave knows as well as I do how long it would take to get from the site of the present hospital to Cabra. It is a matter of not more than four or five minutes in a 'bus. I have no axe to grind in this matter, but I think that there are axes being ground in connection with it. I want to give my view that, so far as the voluntary system is concerned, it is long since dead and buried. I want to give my further view that the sooner the State takes control of hospitalisation in Dublin and in the country generally the better for the poor people.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  That is a very wide question.

Mr. P.S. Doyle: Information on Peadar Seán Doyle  Zoom on Peadar Seán Doyle  With reference to Deputy McCann's remarks about people having axes to grind, might I point out to him that Deputy T. Kelly and Deputy Cooney, who sit on the benches with him, are with us in this matter? He ought to question them as to whether they have an axe to grind. They are guided by public opinion.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  On this amendment, Deputy McCann, like every other Deputy, is entitled to his point of view, and his point of view ought to be weighed by the arguments on which he bases it. He talked about two hospitals being removed out of cities. The answer has been given with regard to one of these that it has been [985] proved not to have been a success. It has been definitely stated and cannot be contradicted that that particular hospital is more or less derelict, so far as acute cases are concerned, and that it has only chronic cases in its wards. This matter was considered by the Hospitals Commission and I have here excerpts from three reports of that commission. In the first report they say very openly and without the slightest question of obscurity: “In the North City, the enlargement of the Richmond and Mater Hospitals on their existing sites is recommended.”

They were considering having two large hospitals. In the second general report they say:—

“If the hospital is to be rebuilt and extended as recommended by the commission, the utilisation of the site to the fullest advantage necessitates that the roadway from North Brunswick Street to the Legion of Mary premises should be closed and an alternative approach provided to the latter.”

They are still recommending in the third report in 1937. We are told that there was a difficulty as to accommodation. That difficulty no longer exists. In the third report they say:—

“The Hospitals Commission has considered the new proposals submitted by the Board of Governors of the Richmond, Whitworth and Hardwicke Hospital in connection with the future development of this hospital, which accompanied your letter of the 3rd ultimo, and has directed me to send you herewith its observations on these proposals.”

That was addressed to the Minister. It concerned proposals put up by the boards of the hospital after they discovered that the Department was rather against the idea of building on the present site. They continue:—

“The new proposals envisage the provision of two hospitals, one in [986] the city and one in the country. It is stated that the idea has proved satisfactory in London, but the commission is of opinion that the great disparity in size between London and Dublin detracts very much from consideration of the former city as a satisfactory guide to hospital development in Dublin. Furthermore, in most instances in London the development of hospitals in the country in association with city hospitals is most evident in those city hospitals which are so large as to be unwieldy if further extended on existing sites. The value of property adjacent to the principal existing London hospitals is out of all proportion to that in Dublin, and so much beyond the financial capabilities of those hospitals that some alternative has had to be found to enable extension to be undertaken.”

They go into details about the disparity in costs, and counter-calculations are made. They went on:—

“The commission is, therefore, of opinion that the new proposals of the Richmond, Whitworth and Hardwicke Hospital ought not to be entertained.”

Three times in three yearly reports the commission put up their viewpoint without any obscurity, one about building where they were; secondly, maintaining that point of view; and thirdly, having considered a contrary proposal and turned it down, bring in the question of London. London was brought up by Deputy McCann. The other case was that of Birmingham, with which we have dealt. We are up against this matter finally, because there has been no argument put forward to sway the mind of any rational person in favour of going away from the present site. The only plea was to leave it where it is. I propose to proceed with the amendment unless I get an undertaking from the Government that the matter will be left open for discussion again.

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

Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Denis.
Boland, Gerald.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Brennan, Martin.
Breslin, Cormac.
Buckley, Seán.
Carty, Frank.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corry, Martin J.
Crowley, Tadhg.
Derrig, Thomas.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Fogarty, Patrick J.
Friel, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hogan, Daniel.
Humphreys, Francis.
Kelly, James P.
Kelly, Thomas.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick J.
Loughman, Francis.
Lynch, James B.
McCann, John.
Maguire, Ben.
Meaney, Cornelius.
Moore, Séamus.
Morrissey, Michael.
Moylan, Seán.
Mullen, Thomas.
O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
Rice, Brigid M.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Smith, Patrick.
Walsh, Laurence J.
Ward, Conn.

Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George C.
Benson, Ernest E.
Broderick, William J.
Brodrick, Seán.
Byrne, Alfred (Junior).
Corish, Richard.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John A.
Daly, Patrick.
Dillon, James M.
Dockrell, Henry M.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Everett, James.
Fagan, Charles.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Giles, Patrick.
Hickey, James.
Hughes, James.
Hurley, Jeremiah.
Keating, John.
Keyes, Michael.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Murphy, Timothy J.
O'Higgins, Thomas F.
O'Sullivan, John M.
Reynolds, Mary.

Question declared carried.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment No. 4:—

In sub-section (2), page 4, line 4, after the word “hospital” to add the words “and may so acquire land either adjacent to the site of the new hospital or elsewhere for the purpose of providing substitute lands for a local authority or for any person from whom lands have been acquired under the immediately preceding sub-section of this section”.

It is proposed to add certain words to sub-section (2). As the sub-section stands, it enables the Minister to acquire lands either by agreement or compulsorily where the land is adjacent to the hospital, but for a stipulated purpose—that is “for the purpose of facilitating the extension or enlargement of the new hospital.” I had thought that the phrase, “for the purpose of facilitating the extension or enlargement,” would have been sufficiently wide to cover the acquisition of land for the purpose of exchange with, say, a charity in the neighbourhood, or any other person or corporation upon whose property the hospital would encroach. I gathered from the statements made on Second Reading that the phrase is not interpreted in that liberal way. Therefore, I put down the amendment to enable what I have in mind to be effected. I want the Minister to have power to take lands either by agreement or compulsorily where the purposes are to provide substitute lands for a local authority, or any person from whom [989] lands have been taken under the previous sub-section. In short, it is for the purpose of facilitating exchange.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  It is not usual when acquiring land for the purpose of this kind to acquire additional land for the persons from whom the first land is acquired. When land is acquired for the purpose of a hospital site, or for extending a hospital, compensation is paid for the land so acquired. The persons to whom compensation is paid are free to acquire compensatory land if they require additional land at all. A local authority has already power compulsorily to acquire land for its own purposes. If the Minister compulsorily acquires land from a local authority for the purpose of extending the site, that local authority can, in turn, acquire land compulsorily.

I do not think that the amendment is necessary. If land were to be acquired for the purpose of exchange, considerably further consequential amendment of the Bill would be necessary. The law relating to compensation for land compulsorily acquired deals with compensation in the form of money. If compensation in the form of land is to be substituted for money, far-reaching further amendment would be necessary. I do not think that it is necessary to do that. I am advised that the position is fully covered by the proposal in the Bill and the existing law in relation to the compulsory acquisition of land.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If the Parliamentary Secretary's advice runs along the lines indicated to the House, it cannot be regarded as very sound. He says that if land is taken from a local authority, that local authority will have power to acquire other land compulsorily in lieu of the land taken from it. Where do they get that power? A local authority is strictly limited in the purposes for which it may acquire land compulsorily. It may be that, having lost certain lands, they set about acquiring others, and they may not be able to make a case for that acquisition which would bring them within the terms of their ordinary powers.

[990] In any event, the local authority is not the sole object of this amendment. This refers to the local authority or any other person. The particular people I have in mind are people connected with a charity that is in the neighbourhood. This was one of the objections indicated by the Minister for Local Government when he put forward a proposal to the Richmond Hospital. He said that they could not find alternative accommodation for the charities operated by the Legion of Mary. If the Legion of Mary are ousted from their present position, having no power which enables them compulsorily to acquire other land, what is their position? The Parliamentary Secretary's answer is that they will be paid. So they will, but I know the way in which these payments go. Nobody who has had any experience of these inquiries that are held by the inspectors for the Department of Local Government, in order to associate a price with land compulsorily acquired, has any confidence that the person ousted would get such money as would enable that person to get, on a free arrangement, adequate accommodation in the neighbourhood. The price would go up immediately.

It could be said definitely that this would be a very wide and far-reaching amendment if it were in a form tending to compulsion; but it simply enables the situation to be met in this way. Suppose an occasion arises—and it may arise in the instance I have in mind— it could be said that while it might be necessary to extend this hospital, in order to do it they would have to eject a charity in the neighbourhood, a charity that had grounded itself firmly, and it would be unfair to move it elsewhere on the chance of purchasing substitute land in the neighbourhood with the money paid by way of compensation. I merely suggest that land should be obtained for the purpose of providing substitute land for any person from whom land has been acquired. The amendment would not need to be operated more than occasionally. I had only one particular case in mind, and I thought the phrasing was wide enough to cover what I had in view, but it appears [991] that was a wrong conclusion. I want to enable the Minister to have power to make this exchange.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I might inform the Deputy, in case he does not know it, that the land occupied by the particular charity he mentions, the Legion of Mary, is State land. It is vested in the State under Article 11 of the first Constitution. The land was made available for the charity by the Dublin Board of Assistance. The board has power, under the Public Assistance (Acquisition of Land) Act, 1934, to acquire land for that or any other charitable organisation. In the event of the Minister acquiring land from that particular organisation—and this is in reply to Deputy McGilligan's argument that the Legion of Mary could not acquire compensatory land— the Dublin Board of Assistance have statutory power to provide any additional land that might be necessary in compensation for the land that might be taken from them.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Has the Minister the statute under which the board acquires? What are the compulsory powers?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The Public Assistance Act, 1937. Section 2 (d) sets out:—

“... by providing premises (with all requisite furniture and fittings) for use by such society for the purpose of so affording relief to poor persons.”

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The board of assistance may do that in respect of a charity. Where is the compulsory acquisition?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The board of assistance have the power.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  What is it limited to?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  For the purpose of affording relief to poor persons.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I think the Parliamentary Secretary will realise that that does not quite meet the point. Any argument as to the site of the present charity being more or less State owned does not arise at all. I am talking about the site to which the [992] charity will have to move if the land is taken from them, the land which they occupy at the moment. If the board of assistance have power to acquire land compulsorily, that does not quite meet the situation either. It might tend towards it. I do not know what their powers are, but they are tied very expressly.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Perhaps I might quote a section from the Public Assistance (Acquisition of Land) Act, 1934. Section 3 sets out:—

“A public assistance authority may, for the purpose of its powers and duties, acquire land either by agreement with the consent of the Minister or compulsorily under this Act and the Acts incorporated therewith.”

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Does that carry forward to the other Act?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I think so.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am told by the Parliamentary Secretary that the situation is clear because the land is more or less State owned. Supposing they do not care to exercise their powers in favour of the charity? I would be anxious to have some co-ordination and I think it ought to be the same person who carried out both operations. I agree it would be an enlargement of the existing law if this were going to be used in a general way, but I suggest that it will only be used for odd occasions and on such odd occasions it would be convenient for the Minister to do both things. As to this being a novelty, it is no such thing. It was found, in the course of the Shannon operations, that where the canal, as it was projected, divided lands, it was necessary to take powers there to acquire land not merely for the purpose of building the canal through certain people's lands, but to acquire portions of separated holdings on either side of the canal in order to consolidate the holdings on one or the other side. There was exactly the same power taken there and it was used effectively. This does not throw any obligation on the Minister and I suggest that it is power he may need.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I am not disposed to accept it. I foresee another complication [993] Suppose the Minister acquires substitute land for a particular charity and the charity refuses to accept that land, would the Minister not require power to compel?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  To sell it?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  That in another matter altogether.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Surely the Minister would not acquire land until, in consultation with the charity, he had agreed with the charity that the land he proposed to purchase would be suitable for the charity?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  In the case of this charity, they have no right or title to the land; they are only permitted to use it by the Dublin Board of Assistance.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  They might be treated as people who had squatters' rights. In the correspondence that passed between the Richmond Governors and the Minister, one of the difficulties raised was as to whether or not alternative accommodation could be found for the charities operated by the Legion of Mary. Now it is understood that the accommodation will be got, but can the Legion of Mary be facilitated in the neighbourhood? If it is not possible to facilitate them by the compulsory acquisition of land in the neighbourhood, then I want to give the Minister this power. He says he does not want it because he has it already. That is contrary to the argument he recently made use of.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  In their present situation they have not any more than a squatter's right. They are working in the area through the facilities given by the Dublin Board of Assistance. As a matter of Government policy the work that is being done is most important. It is absolutely essential social work. I take it that it is the policy of the present Ministry to help to develop what was the policy of the last Ministry, because here you have definite work which it is necessary to have continued and carried out.

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

[994]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Yes.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Before the amendment is put, may I say that here we have a suggestion being made to the Parliamentary Secretary that a certain simple power be taken which will make it possible, without any complication or development of a dispute, to acquire land in the neighbourhood, land which may be required in order to extend the ground upon which the Legion of Mary is working at the present time, and in order that they may pass some land which they at present control to the hospital. The Parliamentary Secretary is deliberately refusing to take that power.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  It is not the simple problem that the Deputy represents it to be at all.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Let us hear what the difficulty is.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  There is the difficulty in regard to compensation which Deputy McGilligan admits.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I want to say that the Parliamentary Secretary is simply adding to the difficulties. His plan seems to be to leave as many difficulties around him as he possibly can in order to prevent a situation which, as Deputy Cooney says, every Dublin Deputy with the exception of Deputy McCann wants to see carried out: to see the hospital developed so that it may fulfil all its functions on the present site. The Minister is refusing to take that power. He is afraid of the development of the present site because it might then be suitable for keeping the hospital where it is.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The Deputy knows that is not so. The Minister has power to acquire the site either compulsorily or by agreement. He can acquire that site, or one adjacent to it, or a site anywhere else. That matter has already been determined. The issue raised in this amendment is a different issue altogether, namely, that the Minister should arm himself with powers to acquire land for the purpose of exchanging it in compensation for other land acquired. That would [995] be a complicated and rather dangerous procedure to adopt. He can acquire any land that is necessary for the extension of the existing site. He has the power to compensate but that compensation will not take the form of land but of money.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The Parliamentary Secretary is putting himself in this position, that if he acquires a particular piece of land he will disable a charity that is engaged on very important work at the present moment. What we are asking him to do is to take power that when he acquires that site for the purposes of this hospital, and invades the area covered by this charity, he should also take power to acquire compulsorily lands that are adjacent to where that charity is working now. If he does that it can continue its work on ground which extends from the ground on which it is working at the present time. If it pushes its way in on top of this charitable institution, it will secure that this charitable institution will be able to push its way a little ahead on to the site that is already there.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  If the Minister disables a charity, as the Deputy has suggested, he has the power to compensate, and compensate in money. That compensation will be adequate to the estimated loss of the charity concerned.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  But it will not enable the charity to buy satisfactorily the additional ground necessary to extend itself and remain where it is.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  That is too big an onus to put on the Minister.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  The amendment does not confine this to a charitable institution.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  No; but it does not say that in the ordinary course compensation is to be an exchange of land. Experience is surely some guidance. In connection with the Shannon scheme it was discovered that the amount of money which people, whose farms had been separated by the driving of the canal, got did not enable them to purchase [996] lands adjacent to the bit of the holding left to them from another land owner whose holding had also been divided. The Government of the day had to take power to enable them to amalgamate the holdings on one side of the canal and on the other side. Provision of that kind had to be made by way of amendment. If this amendment was setting a fashion that compensation would be given in land instead of in moneys, it would be quite legitimate to say that it was a wide extension of the existing law for a purpose that had not been clearly disclosed. But it is only an enabling clause, and is confined to the purpose of substituting land where other lands have been acquired for the purposes of this Bill. It is certainly going to be of very limited application.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Deputy Cooney must be aware that there is an adequate site there when certain parts of the ground covered by Grangegorman are taken into consideration, as well as a certain part of the ground covered by the Legion of Mary institution. If and when some of the grounds of the Legion of Mary institution are taken for this hospital, it will be necessary to acquire ground to the north of the present site occupied by the Legion of Mary in order to give the latter a sufficiently large site on which to continue the work they have in hands. It will be necessary to get land there in order to substitute it for the accommodation that is between the hospital and the Legion of Mary. What is proposed here is to give the Minister power to acquire that land as if it were acquired for this hospital direct—to exchange the land that it would acquire to the north of the present Legion of Mary site in lieu of the southern portion of the Legion of Mary site which it is contemplated would be required for the hospital extension.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Take the case of the Grangegorman Committee. They are looking for a site for the new mental hospital. In the event of their compulsorily acquiring a particular person's holding which may be quite on the cards, if this power is given, then that person might, through various channels, [997] attempt to bring pressure on the Department to facilitate him in respect of other lands convenient to where he is now. The result may be a general hold-up and a certain amount of chaos and delay.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The action that may be taken by the Grangegorman Committee to acquire land for their purposes does not arise in connection with this Bill at all.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  This Bill is called the “Saint Laurence's Hospital Bill”.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Would it not apply to the other hospitals?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  We could deal with the case.

[998]General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The Grangegorman Committee are at present proceeding under the powers they have to acquire additional lands for their own purpose. That action stops at that.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Why should they not be entitled to the same facilities as are proposed in the amendment?

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  If Deputy Cooney wants to raise additional difficulty in preventing doing the job in which he is interested, then he can join the Minister's class and make difficulties rather than resolve them and have the work done.

Amendment No. 4 put.

Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George C.
Benson, Ernest E.
Broderick, William J.
Byrne, Alfred.
Byrne, Alfred (Junior).
Cosgrave, William T.
Daly, Patrick.
Dockrell, Henry M.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Everett, James.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Giles, Patrick.
Hickey, James.
Hughes, James.
Hurley, Jeremiah.
Keating, John.
Keyes, Michael.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Murphy, Timothy J.
O'Higgins, Thomas F.
O'Sullivan, John M.
Pattison, James P.
Reynolds, Mary.

Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Denis.
Boland, Gerald.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Brennan, Martin.
Breslin, Cormac.
Buckley, Seán.
Childers, Erskine H.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corry, Martin J.
Crowley, Tadhg.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Fogarty, Patrick J.
Friel, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hogan, Daniel.
Humphreys, Francis.
Kelly, James P.
Kelly, Thomas.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick J.
Loughman, Francis.
Lynch, James B.
McCann, John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Ben.
Meaney, Cornelius.
Moore, Séamus.
Morrissey, Michael.
Moylan, Seán.
Mullen, Thomas.
O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
O'Grady, Seán.
Rice, Bridget M.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Smith, Patrick.
Walsh, Laurence J.
Ward, Conn.

Amendment declared lost.

Question proposed: “That Section 4 stand part of the Bill.”

[999]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  We are in this position that, without there being any real argument put up for going elsewhere than on the present site of the Richmond Hospital, and in the teeth of three reports presented by the Hospitals Commission, the House has now decided to allow the Minister to have the Bill with a section in it which enables him to go elsewhere. By way of further protest against this, even in this atmosphere of complete unreality, I propose to divide the House on the section.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The situation is really worse than that. The Minister has refused to take power to extend the site, if necessary, in the direction of the Legion of Mary buildings. He has stated emphatically that he does not believe those architects who, apparently, have been advising the Opposition that on the present site a 550-bed hospital can be erected; that architects [1000] who look at the present situation and suggest that are the kind of people who would be prepared to build in the clouds; and that he does not believe in people who talk in that way. He has told us that we had better prepare our minds for this hospital going to Cabra; that it will go to Cabra if he thinks that that is the proper place for it to go. He addresses the House in that way, taking powers to do anything he likes in the matter of this hospital and, at the same time, telling the House that he has not looked at a single site. That gives us some idea of the extent to which he has reviewed the functions of this hospital and the change that will be brought about when the present hospital is done away with. I say that it is a scandalous way to treat this House in the present times and that it is an outrageous way to deal with medical interests in the City of Dublin.

Question put.

Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Denis.
Boland, Gerald.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Brennan, Martin.
Breslin, Cormac.
Buckley, Seán.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corry, Martin J.
Crowley, Tadhg.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Fogarty, Patrick J.
Friel, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hogan, Daniel.
Humphreys, Francis.
Kelly, James P.
Kelly, Thomas.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick J.
Loughman, Francis.
Lynch, James B.
McCann, John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Ben.
Meaney, Cornelius.
Moore, Séamus.
Morrissey, Michael.
Moylan, Seán.
Mullen, Thomas.
O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
O'Grady, Seán.
Rice, Bridget M.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Smith, Patrick.
Walsh, Laurence J.
Ward, Conn.

Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George C.
Benson, Ernest E.
Broderick, William J.
Byrne, Alfred.
Byrne, Alfred (Junior).
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John A.
Daly, Patrick.
Doyle, Peadar S. [1001]McMenamin, Daniel.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Murphy, Timothy J.
O'Higgins, Thomas F.
Esmonde, John L.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Giles, Patrick.
Hickey, James.
Hughes, James.
Hurley, Jeremiah.
Keating, John.
Keves, Michael.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick. [1002]O'Sullivan, John M.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget M.
Reynolds, Mary.

Question declared carried.

Section 5 agreed to.

Amendment No. 5 not moved.

Sections 6 and 7 agreed to.

(1) When the Minister has acquired under Part II of this Act a site for the new hospital, he shall by order do the following things, that is to say:—

(a) certify that he has acquired such site.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment No. 6:—

In sub-section (1) (a), page 5, line 24, to add after the word “site” the words “including any extension of the area of the site”.

I understand that the word “site” may be interpreted as not including an extension of the area.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I do not understand the Deputy's amendment. Does it imply that it is necessary to define “site”? I understand that “site” means such area as may be necessary for the purposes of the Bill or for the purposes of establishing a hospital.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If that is the understanding it is odd that, while in Section 4 you have the word “site”, in sub-sections (1) and (2) power is given to acquire land adjacent to the site. Apparently there is a difference between “site” and “land adjacent”.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  It is for the purpose of extending the existing hospital.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The word “site” does not apparently exclude extension. There is a distinction made in the Bill between site and something required to extend or to enlarge. That would seem to me to tie the person acquiring down to something which has been described as “site”. I want to make it wider. It may be that at some time someone will decide that such and such an addition would be made before the hospital is built.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I will have the matter further looked into.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Section 8 agreed to.

(1) There shall be established on the establishment date a board (in this Act referred to as the Board) to be styled and known as “The Board of Governors of the Saint Laurence O'Toole Hospital” to fulfil the functions assigned to it by this Act.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I move amendment No. 7:—

In sub-section (1), page 5, line 37, to delete the words “the Saint Laurence O'Toole” and substitute the words “Saint Laurence's”.

This is a consequential amendment intended to change the name of this hospital from “Saint Laurence O'Toole's” to “Saint Laurence's”.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  There is more than one Saint Laurence. There is a celebrated saint called Saint Laurence of the Gridiron, after whom the Escorial is called. If the word “O'Toole” is eliminated, any distinctiveness in the association of the hospital with Saint Laurence O'Toole will be gone. If the intention is to have the hospital called after the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Dublin, that should be mentioned somewhere in the Bill. What the hospital will be called by the people is another question. The hospital, under this amendment, will be Saint Laurence's Hospital, but will not be Saint Laurence O'Toole's [1003] Hospital. In the ordinary interpretation, the Laurence mentioned will be Saint Laurence of the Gridiron. Great as he was, Saint Laurence O'Toole's fame is confined to this country, whereas the fame of Saint Laurence of the Gridiron is almost universal.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  In Ireland the name Saint Laurence refers to Saint Laurence O'Toole and to nobody else. If Deputy Cosgrave would consult some of his clerical friends—perhaps he has done so—he would find that in the Ordo sanctioned by the Bishops of Ireland for the use of the Catholic clergy in reciting the Divine Office and celebrating Mass, the feast of Saint Laurence O'Toole is noted under the heading “Feast of Saint Laurence.” In the Ordo no feast of Saint Laurence O'Toole is set out.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  The Ordo is for the clergy. It is quite possible that, if you looked up the name of Saint Laurence of the Gridiron, you would not find the words “of the Gridiron” after his name either. Outside the ProCathedral, I do not think that there is a stained glass window to Saint Laurence O'Toole anywhere, but there is a stained glass window in another church to Saint Laurence of the Gridiron.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  No other saint than St. Laurence O'Toole is known to the Catholic Church in Ireland or to the Irish people as Saint Laurence. In Ireland, Saint Laurence means Saint Laurence O'Toole.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Rubbish. Even in the history books, he is described as Saint Laurence O'Toole.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Has the learning of the Parliamentary Secretary been lately acquired? We had the word “O'Toole” plastered over this Bill up to now.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  That was an oversight.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Parliamentary Secretary is flush with information now——

[1004]Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  The complaint made was that the hospital would be commonly known as the O'Toole Hospital.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Yes, and that was a reasonable complaint. The point can be urged home by the Parliamentary Secretary. But I did not know that the phrase “St. Laurence O'Toole” was being comprehensively wiped out of the Bill.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The point was not urged by me. I made my point against the point which Deputy Cosgrave was trying to make.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  There is no use in parading learning that was not there this day last week.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I wish the Deputy would learn some week.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  The Parliamentary Secretary ought to try to behave himself. We are discussing a Bill. It is not the Parliamentary Secretary's Bill; it is a Bill of this House.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I could not learn to behave myself from you.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Nobody would take the Parliamentary Secretary as a tutor of anything except insolence. Nobody would take him as a tutor of manners. With an ordinary piece of behaviour, would the Parliamentary Secretary say whether this amendment is designed to wipe out the phrase “Saint Laurence O'Toole” from the whole Bill?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  It is desired to submit this amendment.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  We will vote against it, because this is the place where that should be stated.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  This mixture of learning, lately acquired, sandwiched in between various items of insolence, is not manners.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The Deputy need not lecture the House about manners.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am not lecturing the House. I am lecturing the Parliamentary Secretary—the one person who requires it badly.

[1005]Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The Deputy cannot teach anybody manners.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  If the Parliamentary Secretary had been treated more roughly as a boy he would be a better man now.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The Deputy could not have been treated roughly because he would not have stood rough treatment. He was not physically able to take rough treatment.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Parliamentary Secretary should remain silent——

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I am inclined to regret that I saved him from rough treatment.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Are we to take it from the Parliamentary Secretary's lately acquired knowledge about saints——

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Are you disturbed about it?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It does not disturb me. The disturbance may be due to the fact that the knowledge came late.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  It is too bad to disturb you.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  This matter can be discussed quietly.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Sure.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Is this the sort of thing to which we are to be treated?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I am helping the Deputy along.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It may be the Deputy's idea of “helping” but it is not mine.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I shall stop if it is not assisting him.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It will neither assist nor disturb me. I am trying to continue, and will do so as long as I am permitted by the Chair. No exhibition of vulgarity or bad manners on the part of the Parliamentary Secretary will knock me off. If I may get away from the insolence and bad temper of the Parliamentary Secretary, these both being evident to anybody looking at the Parliamentary Secretary at the [1006] moment, I want to say that, when I made the suggestion that this phrase if left in the Bill would mean that the hospital would be called by one term, and that an obnoxious term, that suggestion, apparently, found favour with the Parliamentary Secretary.

Hence we get this late idea of wiping out the phrase, “Saint Laurence O'Toole,” from the whole measure. When the first amendment was produced, I heard Deputy Kelly speak in an angry state of mind against this, and I thought that the proposal was that the name was to be put down as “Saint Laurence's,” but that some phrase would be left in the measure which would associate the hospital with Saint Laurence O'Toole. I think that point could be urged and should be urged without any exhibition of bad manners by the Parliamentary Secretary in dealing with it.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The Deputy is setting a bad example so far as manners are concerned, and that is nothing new.

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

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  If I were not listening, I would not be able to intervene.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  This gutter-snipe performance——

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Never mind the gutter-snipe.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I am trying my best to avoid him.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  You live in that atmosphere; you cannot get out of it.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I have been away from the Parliamentary Secretary for a long time.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Thank God. I hope you stay away.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I can continue this as long as the Parliamentary Secretary, but it is not edifying.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Fionán Lynch  Zoom on Fionán Lynch  It is not edifying when dealing with the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Surely we can have this matter argued in a proper way. [1007] Is it meet and proper for a Deputy to say that if this hospital is to be associated with the name of Saint Laurence O'Toole, that name should appear somewhere in the Bill. I say it should. I also have the definite objection that if the name is left there the hospital will be known by an [1008] ugly title. Therefore, I suggest that the phrase, “Saint Laurence's,” should be substituted for the longer phrase in any place where it is appropriate to nomenclature, but nothing else. I think the point should be answered, but not vulgarly.

Amendment put.

Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Denis.
Boland, Gerald.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Brennan, Martin.
Breslin, Cormac.
Buckley, Seán.
Carty, Frank.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corry, Martin J.
Crowley, Tadhg.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Fogarty, Patrick J.
Friel, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hogan, Daniel.
Humphreys, Francis.
Kelly, James P.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick J.
Loughman, Francis.
Lynch, James B.
McCann, John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Ben.
Meaney, Cornelius.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Mullen, Thomas.
O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
O'Grady, Seán.
Pattison, James P.
Rice, Brigid M.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Smith, Patrick.
Walsh, Laurence J.
Ward, Conn.

Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George C.
Benson, Ernest E.
Byrne, Alfred.
Cosgrave, William T.
Dockrell, Henry M.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Giles, Patrick.
Hickey, James.
Hughes, James.
Hurley, Jeremiah.
Keating, John.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Murphy, Timothy J.
O'Higgins, Thomas F.
O'Sullivan, John M.
Redmond, Bridget M.
Reynolds, Mary.

Amendment declared carried.

Section 9, as amended, put and agreed to.

(1) The Minister shall, before the establishment date, make an order (in this section referred to as the principal order), and the following provisions shall apply and have effect in relation to the principal order, that is to say:—

(a) the Minister shall, in making the principal order, provide for the following matters:—

(i) the number of members of the Board,

(ii) the method of appointment of such members,

(iii) the term of office of such members,

(iv) the resignation and disqualification of such members, and

(v) the filling of casual vacancies amongst such members;

(b) the Minister may, in making the principal order, do any one or [1009] more of the following things, that is to say:—

(i) provide for such other matters in relation to the members of the Board as he thinks proper,

(ii) divide the members of the Board into such and so many classes as he thinks fit and make different provisions in respect of different such classes.

(2) The Minister may, whenever and so often as he thinks fit, by order under this sub-section amend (whether by addition, deletion or variation) in such manner as he thinks fit the principal order, and, in particular, may by such amending order do anything which he could lawfully have done by the principal order and may also by any such amending order, amend an order previously made under this sub-section.

(3) The Minister may, whenever and so often as he thinks fit, by order under this sub-section revoke any order made by him under sub-section (2) of this section.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I move amendment No. 8:—

In sub-section (1), page 5, lines 42 and 46, and in sub-sections (1) and (2), page 6, lines 5, 12 and 19, to delete the word “Minister” where it occurs in the said lines and substitute therefor the words “existing governing body”.

The purpose of the amendment is to make a radical change in what is proposed in the Bill. The Bill proposes that there is to be made what is called a principal order which is to provide for the number of members of the board, their method of appointment, their term of office, the resignation and disqualification of such members, and the filling of casual vacancies. Under paragraph (b), the Minister, in this principal order, may provide for such other matters, in relation to the members of the board, as he thinks proper. In sub-section (2) the Minister is taking power that, having made the principal [1010] order, he may at any time amend it by addition, deletion or variation. I propose to have the Minister in all these matters substituted by the existing governing body which is defined as “the governors of the existing hospitals established under the Act of 1856.” My proposal, therefore, is to make this radical change in the method of the appointment of the new board in relation to all the matters I have mentioned. In that way we will have continuity between the existing governing body and the body or board of the new hospital.

I have put down this amendment with deliberation. I do not see that it is the function of the Minister of any modern Government to interfere with regard to the composition of a board to run a hospital. It is not a public hospital, and I do not understand how it is going to be the function of any member of a Government to provide for the appointment of members of such a board, their method of appointment, resignation and disqualification, and the filling of casual vacancies. It seems to me that is peculiarly the function of boards of the type that at the moment are the governing authorities of all the hospitals in the City of Dublin. I presume I am going to be answered by the statement that, at the moment, the board is to some extent under the control of the Government. If it is, it is because such powers were given in the old days. Powers of the kind were more or less common in the days when the Act of 1856 was being drawn up. We have advanced considerably since then. If we were to write into an Act of the year 1940, as being proper to this year, things which were thought proper in 1856 and which have simply been continued, it could be attributed more or less to inertia, and to an incapacity to deal with this urgent matter. We would be giving a new life to these old principles.

I may also be met with the argument that neither the present Government nor the last Government has interfered to any great degree with the appointment of members of such boards. I found myself on that particular argument by showing that many of the powers written into these old [1011] Acts have, in fact, fallen into disuse. It is well known that under the change of Government in this country, and through the operation of the Ministers and Secretaries Act, a number of the powers which had been vested in the Lord Lieutenant and other functionaries in the old days, came by delegation of function into the hands of the Government of the day.

Many of these have been neglected, such, for example, as the appointment of the Provost of Trinity College. The nominations sent forward by the ruling authorities in these institutions have, I think, in all cases been accepted by the Government of the day. What I am proposing here, therefore, is that we should end the old system and mark our appreciation of the new system, and write into this Act of 1940 that there is to be no interference by the Government in these matters. It may be considered proper that there should be a new scheme drawn up by the existing boards to mark the evolution that has taken place. If the rules and regulations of the present boards are found not to be up to date, that better provision should be made to deal, for example, with members who do not ordinarily attend the meetings, I suggest all that should be done by the boards of governors which will be better qualified than the Minister to deal with the new situation as it develops.

My proposal is, in principle, directed against interference by the Government in such intimate matters as the conduct of a board of governors of a hospital, their method of appointment, resignation and so on. There is only one thing that may be objected to in so far as the amendment is concerned. Sub-section (4) provides that “every order made under this section shall have the force of law”. It may be said that it is a rather extreme delegation of powers to give an outside governing body the right to make orders and then to give those orders the force of law. But the orders refer only to internal matters: the number of people to be appointed to the board, their method of election, resignation, [1012] the filling of casual vacancies, and so on. In so far as that is a limited delegation of powers, I do not think it is too wide. In the case of the universities, the scheme is that the governing bodies are given the power to make their own statutes and to carry them a certain distance in the way of making them statute law. The obligation, however, is placed on them to lay those statutes on the Table of the House of Parliament for so many days. Until that is done they have not the force of law. However, that is a matter that could be dealt with by way of amendment if the principle that the Government should not interfere in the matter were carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Amendments Nos. 8 to 13 propose two alternatives to the powers of the Minister to regulate the appointment of the board. Amendments Nos. 8, 11, 12 and 13 all go together and seek to place power in the hands of the governing body. The decision might be taken on amendment No. 8. Amendments Nos. 9 and 10 seek to restrict the exercise of the Minister's power. The decision might be on amendment No. 9.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I take it, Sir, whatever the decision—assuming that an adverse decision is taken on amendment No. 8—it will not affect the discussion on amendments Nos. 9 and 10?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  No, except they are alternative proposals. One of them seeks to remove the Minister's power, and the other seeks to restrict it.

Mr. Hurley: Information on Jeremiah Hurley  Zoom on Jeremiah Hurley  I wonder would I be in order on this section and amendment in asking the Parliamentary Secretary how he proposes to constitute the new board? On that matter I would like to urge on the Parliamentary Secretary the necessity for appointing representative people on that board.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I think it would be better if the Deputy reserved his remarks for the section. It has first to be decided whether the Minister will appoint the board or not.

[1013]Mr. Hurley: Information on Jeremiah Hurley  Zoom on Jeremiah Hurley  If I get a chance later——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Yes, on the section.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  On amendment No. 8, I want to say that Deputy McGilligan has himself answered his own arguments in favour of this amendment. He has adverted to the fact that the Minister, under the Act of 1856, has vested in him powers which he proposes by this amendment to take away from him. In fact, if Deputy McGilligan's series of amendments calculated to curtail the Minister's powers were all to be carried, the only function the Minister would have in regard to this hospital would be to provide a site and to provide the money to build the hospital or, at least, to certify that the hospital was required.

Under Section 5 of the Act of 1856—

“The Lord Lieutenant may, when he shall deem it expedient so to do by order direct that the management of the House of Industry Hospitals shall be vested in a board of governors to be partly nominated by the Lord Lieutenant and partly elected by the subscribers to the said hospitals, in such proportion as the Lord Lieutenant shall from time to time determine, and the Lord Lieutenant shall from time to time determine the number of members of which such board shall consist, and the qualifications of such members as are to be so elected by the said subscribers”.

There were, in fact, no subscribers and under the Act of 1856 the Lord Lieutenant appointed the board of governors entirely. The powers vested in the Lord Lieutenant under Section 5 of the Act of 1856 passed to the Minister for Local Government and Public Health. During the 18 years since the Free State came into existence these powers have remained vested in the Minister for Local Government and Public Health and during the ten years when Deputy Cosgrave was head of the Government in this part of Ireland, these powers were vested in [1014] the Minister for Local Government and Public Health. Since Fianna Fáil took office as the Government these powers have been vested in the Minister for Local Government and Public Health and it is now suggested that all that should be changed; that the powers vested in the Minister in relation to this institution should in fact be vested in the existing board of governors. I am not prepared to accept the proposal. The powers that have been vested in the Minister in the past are vested in him at present and he seeks no further powers under this Bill. The powers he has are to be retained by the Minister. No reason whatever has been advanced and I cannot conceive what reason could be advanced as to why the Minister should divest himself of the powers he has in relation to this. A lot might be said and possibly a good share will be said about the voluntary principle. I have not a word of criticism to say about the voluntary principle except this—in the debate in this House recently on the Hospitals Bureau Bill suggestions were made that if that Bill was passed the voluntary hospitals would not co-operate with the Minister in the development of these hospitals to meet the needs of the sick poor of the Dublin area. Now the Bill has been passed and the people who take it upon themselves— with what authority I know not—to speak on behalf of the voluntary hospitals have stated in public that the voluntary hospitals will not co-operate with the Minister in any scheme for the full development of the voluntary hospitals to meet the needs of the poor of Dublin.

People who speak or write in that strain may not, as I say, speak for the voluntary hospitals, but they may. At any rate, so long as that possibility exists it seems to me that it would be entirely foolish and short-sighted to hand over the power of control which is vested in the Minister at the present time in the case of one hospital in Dublin at any rate. I do not know what arguments are to be advanced but I wish to say this, that it is proposed to retain the powers vested in the Minister at present under the Act of 1856 in toto.

[1015]Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  The Parliamentary Secretary can scarcely understand exactly the position with regard to this hospital. His entire case in respect to the holding of the powers that are in the Act of 1856 is that the powers are there, that they are statute law and that they have been exercised for 18 years. Now, I wish to say that the exercise of them during 18 years admits of very considerable qualifications. They were exercised for the first ten years, at any rate, at the request of the governing body. The suggestion of the governing body was accepted. There was certainly very much more reason for not interfering with the law during those ten years than what there is now. Now, there is not a vestige of evidence to be found that during those nine or ten years this House voted any sums of money for that hospital. Since the Minister's Party came into power not a single penny has been voted for it. Any authority that he exercises—assuming that it is an authority that is an expansion of what is in the Act—is an interference. Why should there be an interference in this present case? There is a governing body there. What is the complaint against them? They are administering the voluntary hospitals. It is in the line of succession of the appointments made since 1856 but it stands in a different position from the previous governing body. In 1919 the Hospital Committee applied for a bigger sum of money than was voted to them. The general impression was that it was a Government hospital. It was called so in the City of Dublin and it was stated in both Houses of Parliament in England that it was a Government hospital.

The Government stated they would give the £5,000 a year, or whatever the sum was, and no more. They advised the governors, if they wanted to keep the hospital open, that they had better alter their plans and take in paying patients and so on. The governing body resigned, and then the surgical and medical staff came together and decided that they would themselves make every effort to maintain and keep the hospital open. They nominated, I think, six of their [1016] number, and put up the remaining names to the Lord Lieutenant, who was then the person in authority, and stated that if that board were appointed they would do their best to keep the hospital open. Some members of that medical staff wrote cheques to meet current liabilities. They took in some paying patients and, so far as their resources permitted, they treated the sick poor. That was the situation then.

Some eight or ten years ago the hospitals found that they were unable to make their accounts balance and, through a member of the medical staff of one of the hospitals, they promoted a Bill to provide money for the hospitals. It might be said that the Government's help in connection with that was to loot what they could out of it. They took 5/- in the £ income-tax out of what was raised for the hospitals. Now they want to regulate the administration of the other 15/-. They want to regulate who is to administer this hospital and so on. What is the purpose of it? Here is a governing body that has functioned to the advantage and satisfaction of the various persons concerned—the patients, their relatives, the staff, and the employees, etc. Is there anything wrong with the body that has been in authority during these years? We are now brought to this position, that the Minister shall, before the establishment date, make an order prescribing the number of members of the board, the method of appointment of such members, the term of office, and the resignation and disqualification of members and so on. At any time he can alter and amend the orders that he has made.

It is a great thing for the City of Dublin that its hospitals are what are called voluntary hospitals. It would be a great pity to interfere with them, unless there is cause of complaint. If there is, we want to hear about it. If there is a cause of complaint we would prefer that some effort should be made before bringing it here to see if accommodation could not be found. If accommodation cannot be found, or there is a major cause of complaint, they should tell us about [1017] it and put forward their suggestions for meeting it. But, at a time such as this, when this hospital has gone through a lean and difficult time and surmounted practically every obstacle that could possibly be placed in its way, when it is one of the most up-to-date hospitals in the country, with operating theatres which are air-conditioned, mainly through the work of the governing body, why should there be an entire alteration and a provision that on a particular date there will be two boards operating, the outgoing board and the incoming board? From the way in which this Bill has been drafted, one can see the distinction drawn by the Minister between the two bodies. Wherever the new board is mentioned a capital B is used; and whenever the existing governing body is mentioned three small letters are used. They are not even given the courtesy in their expiring days of a capital letter.

I should like to know what case the Minister has to make for his interference in this case. Is he making any contribution of any sort or kind towards improving the situation? Is he bringing any money into it? Does he intend to bring in any money? What improvement is he going to make under this arrangement that the present governing body could not make? I think Deputy McGilligan's amendment is a sensible one, that it is in keeping with the spirit of the age and with the character of the institution; and that it should commend itself to any person who has had treatment in this hospital.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Apparently the Parliamentary Secretary is not going to reply to Deputy Cosgrave's statement. I suppose we can understand the spirit in which the Parliamentary Secretary would listen to Deputy Cosgrave and not make any attempt to reply. It has been suggested that the provision in Section 10 as it now stands is just giving life to an old thing that was heard of about 1856. I do not think anybody here would be misled by any suggestion of that kind. What we see here in this measure is absolutely brand new. It is one of [1018] those “isms” the suppression of all mention of which will provide an absorbing and full-time occupation for an additional emergency Ministerial appointment. The proposal is that, in respect of this hospital that has been run on voluntary lines, we are to have a new situation under which the Minister shall make an order determining the number of members who will be on the governing board, the method of their appointment, and the term of office of the members. He will set out all about their resignation, if resignation is required. He will set out everything dealing with their disqualification. He will set out all the arrangements for dealing with casual vacancies. He will set out such other matters as he may think proper in relation to any members on the board. He will deal with different members on the board in such different ways as he thinks proper. He can change his mind as often as he likes about anything that he has power to do. This is all proposed in relation to an hospital with the long-established record of the Richmond Hospital, and with the relations that it has with this city. If the Minister were proposing something like that for an hospital in, say, Ballydehob, we would be outraged at the thought of it. I do not think that he would seek to exercise his power in this particular way in connection with an hospital in Ballydehob.

I should like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary why Ministerial powers of this kind are being sought. I suggest that they are not sought because of anything carried over from the past working or administration of the hospital, but that they are an absolutely brand-new intrusion into public dealings with hospitals. How is it that we cannot get some kind of answer to the objections raised to this scheme by Deputy Cosgrave? What about this new “ism” which we are not allowed to mention, lest we come under Ministerial edict and suppression? How is it that while these powers are looked for by the Minister he does not appear in the House to give any reasons for asking for these extraordinary powers?

[1019]Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Would the Deputy tell the House what new powers the Minister seeks in the Bill that he does not hold at present?

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The Parliamentary Secretary was told by Deputy Cosgrave that a statute was inherited in 1922, and that at the request of the governors of the hospital there was no change in the statute made in the meantime.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Then the Minister has powers at present that he is seeking in this Bill?

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The Minister has.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  He has or has not?

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  He may have, but the position is that the law is being put into a different set of words in the circumstances outlined and traversed here. The administration of the hospital has been radically different from what was implied in the words of the existing statute. Will the Parliamentary Secretary say that the hospital has been controlled in recent years in a spirit and in a way that is suggested in the section? Is it not a fact that any steps taken by the Government with regard to the hospital in recent years, except the withholding of certain grants from it, have been taken at the suggestion of the present governing body?

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I cannot understand the view point that Deputy Mulcahy has put forward or the amendment. It seems to me, as far as the hospital and its administration are concerned, that there is much greater power vested in the House and room for criticism if the Minister is empowered to do these things. At least a Parliamentary question can be put down as to why so-and-so was done, or why a thing was not done in a particular fashion. We can have an annual discussion on the Minister's Estimate as to why he acted in a particular manner with regard to certain appointments.

From the point of view of the House and of preserving control, that seems [1020] to be a more effective way to exercise some control over the hospital than the existing board, a board which under Section 9 is “a body corporate with perpetual succession, and to make appointments.” Once power is given to that kind of board, then you have to put up with what it does, and cannot ask the Minister if he heard what the board did on a particular occasion, and if he proposed to take action. Deputies might be told that there was no effective power to do so, whereas if the Minister gets the power proposed in Section 10, which, in fact, he is supposed to have, there is some power over the administration of the hospital.

I could understand two points of view, either that there should be a little State interference or voluntary hospitals. As far as State interference makes for efficiency and adequate supervision, by making people realise that their activities are under supervision and control, I am in favour of such supervision. I cannot say if other people share my views. I question if we have not reached the stage when voluntary hospitals will have to give way to municipal hospitals. I believe that many eminent members of the medical profession believe the same thing, that it is much better in the national interest to have municipal institutions. I know that voluntary hospitals provide a very substantial income for certain people who, under the guise of ministering in voluntary hospitals, can presume to lecture everyone and to imagine that they are omnipotent in the world of medicine. The income they get from these hospitals should, at least, make them civil. On inquiry, Deputy Mulcahy will find from medical men here and elsewhere that the method that is functioning of filling appointments is far from being democratic. There are some hospitals in this city where young doctors dare not look for an appointment. It is probably as easy to secure election to this House or probably to the Presidential Establishment as for some young doctors to get into some city hospitals, while it is very easy for others. Because I know these facts, [1021] which are known to medical men, I am in favour of giving the Minister these powers, if he has not got them. If he has them, this is merely a reaffirmation of his position. I am giving the powers because if he exercises them there is a method of control in the Minister and in the Administration.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Now we have the issue really knit as between two contrasting points of view. What passed for argument with the Parliamentary Secretary is now definitely stated. The Parliamentary Secretary told Deputy Norton that he is doing nothing except what he could do. He harped on the word “vested” and was on safe ground. If the Parliamentary Secretary asks whether in the time of the last Government equal powers were there he will get a different answer. I object to renewing in this legislation old powers which had lapsed. Deputy Norton raised a new issue. Let us consider the prospect that he contemplates. He wants to have the situation with regard to this hospital—and, no doubt, he would like to see it with regard to other hospitals—such that Deputies would be able from time to time to put down questions to the Parliamentary Secretary to know why such a patient was not admitted or how a particular appointment was made. Once the Minister gets that power, and the thin edge of the wedge is introduced, other things are looked for. I object to that. I think it is a very bad principle. There might be a case made for it where public money was being devoted to such purpose. Remember that this House took what was considered to be a big step towards socialism when the Electricity Supply Board was set up. Vast accumulations of the people's credit were given to that board and the only thing asked in return was publicity, that there would be a regular report and that the Minister would have power to ask the auditors appointed by him, but paid by the board, for information, so that the public would get information and that the House would have an opportunity of debating it. We wanted to remove the board and appointments made under the board, and everything [1022] about the board from day to day interference by Parliamentary criticism.

Mr. Hickey: Information on James Hickey  Zoom on James Hickey  It would be no harm if there was more light thrown on that board.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Possibly, but let the Deputy remember that the opportunity for debate has been available to him since 1927 and never once availed of.

Mr. Hickey: Information on James Hickey  Zoom on James Hickey  We asked several questions about the Sugar Board and did not get information.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I agree with regard to the Sugar Board that it is a bit of a scandal, but the scandal with regard to that board and the State has been unchanged. We did not get any information arising out of it. There is a bit of scandal even with regard to some hospital matters. We have asked where are the hospital funds and we cannot get any information. I would like to see it made incumbent on a Minister to produce details once a year, but I object to day to day interference.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  I never contemplated that, any more than I would ask why So-and-so was not admitted to the Army.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Deputy Norton wants to ask the Minister why an occasional appointment was made. There will be a variety of opinions as to whether appointments were good or bad. I do not think that would be good for the hospitals. I could understand it if public money was given to the hospitals. That is not the case. There is not 1/- of the taxpayers' money here. What happened was that a scheme was established mainly for the running of sweepstakes and the accumulations were to a certain extent to be managed by certain people. They raised certain moneys and the State dipped its hands into the funds and, so far, all the State has done with regard to these funds is to lessen them and to take part of them for the relief of general taxation.

[1023] All the Minister is going to do in this connection is to pass over some of the moneys subscribed by others who got tickets in the sweepstakes to the hospital. He is giving no other grant to the hospital. The Parliamentary Secretary says that this happened in 1856. Public money was going to the hospitals in 1856, but we have a new situation now. I do not mind Deputy Norton saying he would agree with my point of view in one respect and diverge from it in other ways. As to whether the Minister or the existing governing body should have control, I do not think there can be any real contest. The people do not want the Minister to interfere. Deputy Norton has withdrawn from the attitude I understood him to take up and says that it is only when something irregular has happened the Minister should interfere. Then, why not associate with the board something in the nature of public representation? In this case, the Minister represents nobody. Where public money has been given, he has properly a place. But he has nothing to do with this matter. If you could get somebody to represent the subscribers, there would be a case for putting them on. But that cannot be done. The Minister merely gives over some of the money of subscribers which he has pilfered for this purpose. The statutes governing the old board could be examined to see if something in the nature of local representation could be attached to it. Does anybody really think that hereafter the Minister is going to interfere in connection with the board? We have the experience of two Governments [1024] to put against that. Over a long period of years, they have not interfered in regard to this matter. They have simply taken what came from the board. I suggest that we leave that as the foundation of the new scheme. Let us make changes if we wish, but let us not make a radical change, and the change here proposed is a radical change.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  What about the alleged threat of the hospitals not to work the bed-bureau scheme?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That should be taken in its context.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  Who is to deal with that?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  How can you deal with that? In connection with the bed-bureau scheme the hospitals were asked if they would facilitate certain investigations which would take place and provide certain information. Most of them said they would. That understood, they were asked to accept something else—Ministerial interference. They say that that is not good for a hospital. I agree with them, though the Deputy may not. They have made a distinction. They are prepared to provide information but, when as an essential part of that, they were asked to join in the scheme under the last Bill, they said no, because it would involve Ministerial interference. So far as giving information is concerned, I have not found anybody to object to it. But they object to the second part—Ministerial interference.

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

Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Denis.
Boland, Gerald.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Brennan, Martin.
Buckley, Seán.
Carty, Frank.
Childers, Erskine H.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Crowley, Tadgh.
Everett, James.
Flynn, John. [1025]Little, Patrick J.
Loughman, Francis.
Lynch, James B.
McCann, John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Meaney, Cornelius.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Mullen, Thomas.
Murphy, Timothy J.
Norton, William.
Flynn, Stephen.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Fogarty, Patrick J.
Friel, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hickey, James.
Hogan, Daniel.
Humphreys, Francis.
Hurley, Jeremiah.
Kelly, James P.
Kelly, Thomas.
Keyes, Michael.
Lemass, Seán F. [1026]O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
O'Grady, Seán.
Pattison, James P.
Rice, Brigid M.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Smith, Patrick.
Walsh, Laurence J.
Ward, Conn.

Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George C.
Benson, Ernest E.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John A.
Dockrell, Henry M.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Giles, Patrick.
Hughes, James.
Keating, John.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Mulcahy, Richard.
O'Higgins, Thomas F.
O'Sullivan, John M.
Redmond, Bridget M.
Reynolds, Mary.

Question declared carried.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I move amendment No. 9:—

To delete sub-section (1) (a) (ii), page 5, and substitute the following sub-paragraphs:—

(ii) the number of members of the board to be selected from the surgical and medical staff of the hospital which shall not be less than one-third of the total membership of the board;

(iii) the method of nomination by the existing governing body or by the board after the establishment thereof of suitable persons to be appointed by the Minister as members of the board and of submitting two alternative nominations, if so requested by the Minister, in respect of each appointment to the board, other than the members selected from the surgical and medical staff.

The passage of this amendment would mean that there will be a definite proportion of the board drawn from the surgical and medical staff and, as regards the rest of the members of the board, where vacancies occur the appointments would be made on the recommendation of the board itself. In case there was any difficulty between the Minister and the board on the question of appointments, alternative nominations for each vacancy would be made.

Deputy Norton, commenting on some of my remarks on the last amendment, subscribed wholeheartedly to full ministerial control of the board—at least, his words suggested that he did. His reason for doing so was that the fact that the board was entirely controlled by the Minister gave members of the House power to question any matters in relation to the carrying on of the hospitals—power of criticism. My intervention on the last amendment, rather than on this amendment, arose from the fact that when criticism was offered and information was asked by the Leader of the Opposition on the last amendment there was none forthcoming and we had a situation where the Parliamentary Secretary was sitting dumb, completely ignoring the request for information or the criticism that was made on the proposals in the measure. I do not see that it is any great advantage to a member of the House to get power to ask for information or to offer criticism with a spirit like that and I do not think the House [1027] can be satisfied to accept the position as shown in Section 10.

Deputy Hurley asked the Parliamentary Secretary how he proposes to form the board. I think it might have been a help if, in dealing with the previous amendment, the Parliamentary Secretary had given some information as to how he proposes to form the board. My proposal here is that the board will be formed on the same lines as at the present time; that is, that there will be a statutory provision by which at least one-third of the board will be drawn from the surgical and medical staff and additions to the board, the filling of vacancies, will be carried out by the board as a whole, as they do at the present time, and as they have done ever since 1922. They usually nominate a person to fill the vacancy and then they get the Minister's consent to that.

I should like to add that there is provision under amendment No. 15 to enable the Minister to keep in complete touch with the board, and the way in which the work of the hospitals and of the officers and servants of the board is being carried out. Under amendment No. 15 the Minister may by order direct a medical officer from the Department of Local Government and Public Health to attend meetings of the board and the board shall afford to such medical officer, when so directed, reasonable facilities in obtaining necessary information. That puts the Minister into the most satisfactory possible position to supervise the work and to see what is being done, if he has any reason for considering that he should supervise the work at close quarters. It leaves him completely free from any personal responsibility for the bad carrying on of the hospital by reason of the fact that he has appointed the board.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The section in the Bill, as it stands, empowers the Minister, by order, to provide for the following matters: the number of members of the board and the method of appointment of such members. In the first paragraph [1028] of Deputy Mulcahy's amendment, the Minister would be under a statutory obligation to constitute the board in such a way that one-third of the membership would be drawn from the medical staff.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  That is not less than one-third.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I agree that the representation of the medical staff on the board of governors is desirable, but I do not agree that the Minister should be under a statutory obligation to give the medical staff one-third of the total membership. Such a concession would be a curtailment of the statutory powers which the Minister holds at the present time in relation to the management of this institution. It is to be remembered that the functions of the first board to be appointed will be confined entirely to the provision of the new hospital, and clearly the constitution of such a board would be very different from the final constitution of a board to be charged with the duty of administering the institution. On a board whose functions and duties would be confined to the provision of the new hospital, you might well require a much higher proportion of technical advisers than of administrators. The reverse might hold on the governing body of an institution that was already there. You might, indeed, and probably it would be desirable, have other technical advice than medical advice.

The second paragraph of Deputy Mulcahy's amendment provides for the method of nomination by the existing governing body or of suitable persons that would be prescribed by order, and for the submitting of two alternative nominations in respect of each appointment. That would hand over to the board the right of nomination, so that the board would have the sole right of nomination to the Ministry. As I see things, that would not be desirable, because outside bodies, other than the board of governors, will ultimately have representation on the board of governors. Provision will have to be made when this hospital is being established, for representation from [1029] the Dublin Corporation, for example, or the Dublin Board of Assistance, when the time is reached that the new hospital will be taking charge of a big proportion of the patients that are at present provided for in St. Kevin's Hospital, and, clearly, the Minister must be free to provide for nomination by such a body as the Dublin Corporation, or possibly by other social organisations that may be deeply interested in the administration of such an institution. As I have said, it is desirable that the medical staff should be closely associated with the management of the institution, but I do not think it is desirable that a statutory obligation should be put upon the Minister to give a minimum of one-third of the entire personnel of the board to its medical staff.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Again, the Parliamentary Secretary's contribution marks the half-baked proposals that are being presented to the House. All of us have been led to suspect that there are definite proposals in the Parliamentary Secretary's mind, but in so far as an outline of them is given in his words in the House, they are certainly very half-baked indeed. We are told now that the board, under Section 10, is not going to be the board that will run the hospital, but is to be one that will have just one task in front of it, namely, the building of the new hospital. It will not even have the job of acquiring the site. The Parliamentary Secretary is to do that himself. If he has given any consideration at all to this, can he not tell the House now what kind of a board he thinks ought to be set up for the purpose of seeing that the new hospital is built? Will he say what difficulty he has in letting us know what kind of a board he has in mind for seeing that the new hospital should be built?

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I do not think any Bill that has come before the House ever had so many hateful complications as this, or in respect of which so many hateful admissions have had to be made. The Parliamentary Secretary's [1030] view is that you must have one body appointed to build the hospital and a different body to administer it. Who is going to have the primary responsibility in the new hospital? Obviously, the surgical and medical staff. Why not charge them from the first with responsibility for the kind of hospital they are going to have? One would imagine from the Parliamentary Secretary's statement that it is only from Departments of State that anything in the nature of efficiency can come. What is the Parliamentary Secretary's own record in connection with the building of hospitals through the country? He has had one hospital constructed and completed without any water supply, and in another, in a different part of the country, there is no method for the disposal of sewage. There was another in which the rain was coming down and the Minister sent down an official in dry weather to inspect it. Obviously as there is no rain in dry weather, no rain was coming down when the inspector went there. Having regard to that fact the Minister, his advisers and his whole system of regimentation does not commend itself to me. Here is the case in which, as has already been pointed out, the surgical and medical staff will be ultimately responsible. Who is responsible for the construction of the Mayo clinic in America? Did the Minister find a separate board set up by the State to deal with that matter? He certainly did not. This board of governors has in its line of succession from its previous controlling bodies as fine a hospital in this State as there is in any other. But that governing body is not to be trusted to build another hospital. The body that in a time of stress was able to keep its hospital doors open—doors that would otherwise be closed—is not to be trusted now to build the new hospital.

Has the Minister made any inquiries of the surgical and medical staffs of other hospitals and of persons interested in other hospitals as to what is the ideal arrangement? If he does he will get an admission from quite a number of medical and surgical members of the staffs of other hospitals that [1031] the particular constitution of this governing body is one that appeals to the whole of them. For what reason? Obviously matters that should go before the governing body would be matters for which they had agreement with the surgical and medical staffs before these matters come to the board. Accommodation is almost settled before it goes to the governing body. At all events something comes up which has been the subject of serious consideration previously. It is recommended by the body as a whole.

What is needed in this case is harmony between those charged with the very serious responsibility of administering those hospitals. What is the position under the new dispensation? First of all there is the Minister; next there are his nominees, the Hospitals Commission, then the Minister's officials, and the existing governing body of the new body charged with the responsibility merely of building the hospital and leaving it there. There is no responsibility on them afterwards. It is to be subsequently administered by three bodies. The Minister's functions will be entirely confined to the provision of the new hospital and clearly the constitution will be very different from the final constitution which will be charged with the duty of administering the institution. It would really seem as if the Minister were considering something in the nature of a Chinese puzzle. He trusts nobody. He has no ultimate confidence in anybody. The old body will administer it, the new body will build the hospital and in a year or two there will be another body administering it. The thing is ridiculous. The Minister should re-write the Bill.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I ask the Parliamentary Secretary would be tell the House what kind of body he proposes to set up for the purpose of building this hospital.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I cannot give the constitution [1032] of the board which it is proposed to set up under the Bill until the Bill has been passed.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Again I ask the Parliamentary Secretary who is putting a Bill here before the House and who, under this section certainly is presenting as nice a Chinese puzzle as anyone could put into a section of a Bill, just to tell the House what the position actually is. He comes here and tells us he wants these powers, that there is an hospital to be built but that until the Bill is passed through five stages in the Dáil and is afterwards passed through five stages in the Seanad that he is not going to open his privileged mouth to tell us what kind of a board he is setting up to see that this hospital is built. I ask the Parliamentary Secretary again to tell us what kind of a board it is proposed to set up to see that this hospital is built?

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Nobody has asked the Parliamentary Secretary to reveal the names of the members of the first or subsequent board at this stage. But it is a matter of some importance that we should know the lines upon which he is thinking what type of representation will be given? Will the representation be on the basis of the medical staff, the Dublin Corporation, or the board of public assistance? Will any effort be made to get representation for persons representative of the generality of the patients who use the hospital, or will any effort be made to get representation for certain social organs or for the workers who will form the bulk of the patients in the new hospital? That is not asking the Parliamentary Secretary to reveal any Governmental secrets, but I think we are entitled to ask him to take the House into his confidence and let us know the lines on which his mind is working.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The board that will be constituted for the purpose of building the new hospital will, I believe, be largely, perhaps entirely, drawn from [1033] the most active members of the present board of governors. Then the hospital will be provided, but it will be a considerable number of years before it will be ready. The question of a wider representation will then be examined. The board, I think, that is in mind will have first representation for the corporation, then for social and other organisations intimately interested in the administration of the institution.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  The accommodation in this particular hospital is not very extensive. I am informed now that the position will be that you will have the existing governing body, and when its business is concluded you will have your new board. If that is the case, surely it ought to be possible now to get accommodation from the board; it ought to be possible for the present Minister to get suggestions from them. It ought to be possible to ask them to make suggestions and have one board there right from the start so that the body from the beginning would be responsible for the building of the new hospital and ultimately for administering it. If we take the Minister's statement the constitution would be very different from the final constitution which would be charged with the duty of administering the hospitals. Surely the Minister does not want three boards. He tells us now that is what will happen. Has any approach been made to this governing body to see whether any accommodation could be reached between the Minister and them with regard to its constitution? There might not be a single member of the medical board on the governing body. We have no guarantee that the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary will be here this time 12 months or even in six months' time. There may be changes of personnel or of Government and the new Minister does not inherit the undertakings the Minister has given to the House or his obligations——

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Or his wisdom.

[1034]Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  The new Minister can have six boards instead of three boards.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The present Minister will not have three boards, as Deputy Cosgrave suggests.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  He will have two.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  These two will be one or, possibly, they will be replaced. It will largely be a matter of merger. It is desirable, perhaps, that we should have two boards. We should have a board of the usual type which will provide a new hospital. The existing Board of Governors will carry on the administration of the existing institution during the very considerable period that will elapse until the new hospital is built and ready for use.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Will the Parliamentary Secretary give an undertaking to the House that the medical members of the present board will be appointed to the new board? He can think over that and tell us on the Report Stage if he likes.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I will give an undertaking that a reasonable proportion of them will be appointed, but it may be a substantially smaller board for the purpose of building the hospital than the existing board of governors. Undoubtedly, there will be a reasonable proportion of the medical staff appointed, perhaps, indeed, a larger proportion than would be on the ultimate board.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I am putting forward the suggestion for this reason: I do not know whether this applies to the medical profession or not, but I suppose they have some of the ordinary infirmities that beset mankind. If a particular man is on one board and not on the other he may have a suspicion that the particular surgical or [1035] medical work he is engaged in may not be satisfactorily dealt with. I am putting forward that suggestion purely in the interests of harmony. I do not know the names of the members of that board, except one. Deputy Mulcahy has put down an amendment which ought to meet any of the difficulties that may arise in connection with this matter. He introduces a new principle with regard to membership of the board.

His amendment No. 15 proposes:—

The Minister may by order direct a medical officer from the Department of Local Government and Public Health to attend meetings of the board and the board shall afford such medical officer when so directed reasonable facilities in obtaining necessary information.

My own impression is that such a medical officer would have more influence than a majority on the board. Whatever he would have to say would be listened to with respect and consideration and every effort would be made to accommodate him. He would have first-class information. The members of the board would share their confidence with him and he with them. That would have a much more harmonising influence than the Minister's proposal of inspections, etc.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Might I mention to the House and to Deputy Cosgrave in particular that, so far as harmonising influences are concerned complete harmony has existed between the Department and the board of governors on this question? This debate has certainly been anything but harmonious and it does not reflect the relationship that has existed and which we hope will continue to exist between the Department and the board of governors. Perhaps if there were less of that kind of interference there would be less chance of endangering the harmonious relations which have existed.

[1036]Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I am glad to hear that. I would be glad to hear it also from the other side. There are always two parties to a bargain. I should like to know from the Parliamentary Secretary if his conception of a representative here is that he should accept every word that falls from the benches over there and every recommendation and say “Thank you” for whatever he is told.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I do not suggest that at all.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  We are in danger of getting into that position.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The most inharmonious things in the discussion of this Bill from the day it was introduced were not the words spoken by any section of the House but the words left unspoken by the Parliamentary Secretary.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The ones spoken by some Deputies were certainly bad enough for anything.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  They were not bad enough to fill the gaps left by the Parliamentary Secretary in his contributions to this discussion. We did manage to squeeze a few words out of him. We now know that there is going to be some representation of the medical staff on the special body to be set up to deal with the building of the hospital. I do not know that very much more was squeezed out.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I do not take kindly to squeezing.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  If the Parliamentary Secretary cannot offer to do his Parliamentary duty by subjecting himself to that kind of process, he ought to invent some kind of process [1037] by which he can do his Parliamentary duty and give us the information to enable an intelligent and therefore harmonious discussion of things to take place. But from the way in which we have been treated from the opening of this Committee Stage, not to speak of the Second Stage, we are left in the position that we cannot get any information on any of these sections except by pounding it out of the Parliamentary Secretary and then we only get an odd grunt of information from him. We have not got any reasonable explanation as to why there should be a special committee for the building of this hospital and why there should be another committee to administer it. We are only left to imagine, from the beautiful subtlety of Section 10, that that section provides for the doing of the one and the other. We are simply left to infer that. But, from the Parliamentary Secretary's remarks, the Minister retains the power of doing anything he likes with regard to this board and he will not accept any kind of modification of this power.

The Parliamentary Secretary says it will be necessary, some time in the far distant future when the hospital is built, to have representatives of the Dublin Corporation on the board. If this hospital will not be built until some far distant date, I cannot understand why the necessary discussions between the various bodies involved have not taken place, a definite principle established, and plans arranged before this House was asked to discuss a Bill drafted in this way, and before it was asked, as a result of unsatisfactory consideration of the matter, to go through the type of discussion we have had to-day.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It seems to me to be a very unsatisfactory position that we have reached at this late hour on this matter. We started off with a statement from the Parliamentary Secretary that he could not allow his mind to wander over the details of such things as the people who were to be on the board until he got the power of [1038] appointment. That, if it were true, would mark him down as a person of limited intelligence who could not speculate as to the type of people who should be appointed, or the categories from which he would select certain people for the board until he has power to establish it. His argument was so unsatisfactory and so lacking in persuasion that the Parliamentary Secretary abandoned it. We were afterwards told by him, by this odd process of extracting information that has gone on, that there was to be a board immediately set up after the establishment date whose main duty would be the building of the hospital. We were told that that board, having different functions, would have a different position from the board which would administer the hospital. Then, a little later, by a still further painful process of extraction we got these words:—

“Those who are considered the most active members of the present board.”

That would be at a time when that board will be operating with the existing governing body still alive. Later, when the existing governing body is defunct, on the transfer date, there will be a new body instituted to run the hospital. That will be a larger board and will have to make provision for outsiders. It is lamentable, to my mind, in this particular year of grace, that we should be considering the appointment of local representatives on a hospital board.

I should like to have an example given me of any such board on which local representatives have been worth their appointment. I know that they have been on certain boards rather a distraction. They may bring in a point of view which may be very proper and necessary in local affairs, but the point of view they bring in in any board that I know of is that they are a complete distraction and serve no useful purpose. Yet, apparently, we are at the point when we are going to have, not merely Ministerial interference [1039] but provision for local appointments on the board. The only consolation I get is that we have reached this point of recognition of one board, that the Minister let the cat out of the bag, when he said that there will be many days before this hospital will be built. I believe that is the soundest thing that was said. I am still querying where are the funds from which this hospital will be built, where they are located, where they can be easily dislodged, and whether the [1040] dislodgment of any of such a large amount would do the fund any harm. I want to know when it is proposed that any money will be let loose for building any hospital. I think the most satisfying thing was the statement that it would be a long, long time before it would be built. I hope it will be longer even than the Parliamentary Secretary thinks.

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

Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Denis.
Boland, Gerald.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Buckley, Seán.
Carty, Frank.
Childers, Erskine H.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Crowley, Tadhg.
Everett, James.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Fogarty, Patrick J.
Friel, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hickey, James.
Hogan, Daniel.
Humphreys, Francis.
Hurley, Jeremiah.
Kelly, James P.
Kelly, Thomas.
Keyes, Michael.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick J.
Loughman, Francis.
Lynch, James B.
McCann, John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Meaney, Cornelius.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Mullen, Thomas.
Murphy, Timothy J.
O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
O'Grady, Seán.
Pattison, James P.
Rice, Brigid M.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Smith, Patrick.
Ward, Conn.

Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George C.
Benson, Ernest E.
Byrne, Alfred.
Byrne, Alfred (Junior).
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John A.
Dockrell, Henry M.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, John L.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Giles, Patrick.
Hughes, James.
Keating, John.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGilligan, Patrick.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Mulcahy, Richard.
O'Higgins, Thomas F.
O'Sullivan, John M.
Redmond, Bridget M.
Reynolds, Mary.

Question declared carried.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I move amendment No. 10:

In sub-section (1) (a) (v) page 6, line 4, to add after the word “members” the words “by the remaining members”.

This amendment provides that, when the Minister makes his principal order, the terms of the order will be such that, when casual vacancies have to be filled, they will be filled by vote of the remaining members of the board.

[1041]Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  This amendment is calculated, like many of the others, to curtail the Minister's powers. Apart from that objection, by the constitution of the board certain bodies, such as Dublin Corporation, may be entitled to representation. It would be wrong that the board, as a whole, if a vacancy occurred by the death, resignation or other withdrawal of a member who had been appointed or nominated by the corporation, should appoint his successor. If the corporation nominated in the first instance, they should be the nominating body in the second instance. Whether other organisations than Dublin Corporation will have a right of nomination I cannot definitely say at the moment. I am opposed to the amendment on the general principle that it is a further effort to deprive the Minister of powers which he enjoys at present.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The 1856 lot.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I am opposed in principle to being side-tracked in putting up a proposal by talk about things that are not in the section. When I see Dublin Corporation or some such body in the section, then I will be able to harmonise my amendments with that position. I think the section should be amended to give at least that amount of power to the board—that casual vacancies be filled by the board itself.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  It appears from what the Parliamentary Secretary says that he considers himself and his successors honest, but that he regards the board to be set up with his imprimatur as not to be trusted to do what he or they would do. Obviously, if there was a vacancy on the board amongst the representatives of Dublin Corporation or any social institution, the governing body would communicate with the corporation or the body concerned and get their nomination. Why is it to be assumed that the board will not act as impartially as the Minister? The [1042] Minister will nominate them. He will have confidence in them. Why should they not be given the autonomy which the responsibility of their office and the confidence the Minister reposes in them warrant? It is unfortunate that we should start off with such suspicion of the board. It is very unlikely that the board will depart from one of the unwritten rules in connection with representation. The filling of a casual vacancy is not a very important matter. Even where politics run riot, there is an honourable understanding between persons that an agreement arrived at will be carried out. While the Dáil had the filling of vacancies in the Seanad, before the Minister's Party came into the House, that was an unwritten rule which was generally accepted and acted upon. Why should it not be acted upon in this case?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Fionán Lynch  Zoom on Fionán Lynch  Is not amendment No. 10 governed by the decision on amendment No. 9?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It is an entirely different matter.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  It is an addition. The other amendment was a subtraction and an addition.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I understood the Ceann Comhairle to rule that these two amendments stood together.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Fionán Lynch  Zoom on Fionán Lynch  The Chair would like to be informed of the meaning of the phrase “remaining members.”

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  If there are 12 members and one resigns, the 11 members would sit down and, in their wisdom, select the twelfth member, after communicating with the outside body concerned.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Sub-section (2) meets the point put by the Parliamentary [1043] Secretary. If they belonged to different classes, and one member died, the vacancy would be filled by the remaining members of that class. Every point he has mentioned is met by that.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The section, as it stands, with amendment No. 10, would mean that the Minister in his principal order would provide for the number of members of the board, would provide for the method of appointment of members, would provide the term of office, would provide for resignation and disqualification and for the way in which casual vacancies would be filled among such members by the remaining members of the board. He would outline the period that would elapse and the arrangement that would be made for selecting a person to fill the vacancy, and that would be done by the remaining members of the board.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Fionán Lynch  Zoom on Fionán Lynch  Should it not read “the filling of such casual vacancies amongst such remaining members”?

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

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  In this matter we are merely endeavouring to help the Parliamentary Secretary.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Fionán Lynch  Zoom on Fionán Lynch  Is the Parliamentary Secretary prepared to accept that help?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I am not disposed to accept the help. Deputy Cosgrave complains that the new body is not to be trusted. I could suggest, on the other hand, that the Minister ought to be trusted. If a new body or, for that matter, the present body, have not the powers that Deputy Cosgrave proposes to give them, I suggest the Minister has those powers and, if there is [1044] any distrust, in what direction is it? I say it is the distrust of the Minister, when Deputies opposite refuse to leave vested in him the powers he at present possesses.

It is regrettable that we should start off, as Deputy Cosgrave says, in an atmosphere of suspicion; but the atmosphere of suspicion, I suggest, has been created by Deputies opposite. They have created suspicion around the actions of the Minister; what he may do and how he may use the powers vested in him, powers that have been possessed for a number of years and which never have been abused in the past. If we are to start off in a better atmosphere and have honourable understandings, trust and confidence ought to extend to the Minister as well as to other people.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  This is the usual debating trick. Distrust is immediately suggested whenever an objection is taken to a point of principle. This is not a question of distrusting the Minister in the sense that he will abuse the powers given to him, but the objection is rather in the sense of showing that it is not a proper function for any Minister to have. There are certain powers vested in the Minister. Again we have a certain stress placed upon the word “vested” and there is no stress on the word “exercised”. The reality of the situation has been that the casual vacancies have been filled by co-option and the Minister signs on the line. That has been the practice, and I deny contradiction on that point.

As regards vesting, the powers are there in abeyance. I thought the argument might have been advanced that it would be good to have them there because of a possible abuse of its powers by the board. That, of course, would be distrust of the board, and the Parliamentary Secretary would not have such a thought in his head. In 1856 certain powers were vested in a [1045] Lord Lieutenant and those powers now come down to the Minister. When the Lord Lieutenant had those powers vested in him there was this consideration, that the State was putting up money. The position was that he could carry on certain vested powers which have, in fact, fallen into disuse at a time when we are having such a fundamental change as now. It is really a question of the Minister getting money which was subscribed by the people who took tickets in the Hospitals Sweepstakes and he is going to divert some of that money to a particular hospital. It is not costing the State anything. He pilfers some part of the fund built up by the subscribers to the sweepstakes. He decides now that he wants the powers that were once given to the Lord Lieutenant under the Act of 1856. I suggest that the circumstances have entirely changed. Of course, this may be considered a very small point.

The other argument apparently has been dropped, the argument in regard to a vacancy on the Dublin Corporation. In case it does come about, we are told that if there was a casual vacancy on the Dublin Corporation, then the remnant of that lot ought to be allowed to reappoint in the case of that vacancy. That is all possible under Deputy Mulcahy's amendment. If we take paragraph (b) of Section [1046] 10 we find that the Minister may divide the members of the board into such and so many classes as he thinks fit and make different provisions in respect of different such classes. There is the overriding consideration that the remaining members of a class will co-opt to the casual vacancy when one of a class dies or resigns. I object to any of these powers being given to a Minister, not because there is any question of distrust, but because I think it is not a function that should be given to a Minister in these days. It is not a personal matter; it is a matter of principle.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  The Parliamentary Secretary indicated that these powers were vested in the Lord Lieutenant. We are accepting that. He always took a nomination from the board, and so it happened for a period of ten years. Now, according to what the Parliamentary Secretary tells us, we are going to depart from that and it is no longer to be a question of nomination by the board. We ask why, and the Parliamentary Secretary says the Minister is not to be trusted. Is it any wonder he is not, because he proposes to depart from what has been the practice for 84 years, and for no good reason?

Amendment put.

Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George C.
Benson, Ernest E.
Byrne, Alfred.
Byrne, Alfred (Junior).
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John A.
Dockrell, Henry M.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, John L.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Giles, Patrick.
Hughes, James.
Keating, John.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Mulcahy, Richard.
O'Higgins, Thomas F.
O'Sullivan, John M.
Redmond, Bridget M.
Reynolds, Mary.

Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Denis.
Boland, Gerald.
Brady, Brian. [1047]Cooney, Eamonn.
Crowley, Tadhg.
De Valera, Eamon.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Fogarty, Patrick J.
Friel, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hickey, James.
Hogan, Daniel.
Humphreys, Francis.
Hurley, Jeremiah.
Kelly, James P.
Kelly, Thomas.
Keyes, Michael.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick J.
Brady, Seán.
Buckley, Seán.
Carty, Frank.
Childers, Erskine H. [1048]Loughman, Francis.
Lynch, James B.
McCann, John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Meaney, Cornelius.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Mullen, Thomas.
Murphy, Timothy J.
O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
O'Grady, Seán.
Pattison, James P.
Rice, Brigid M.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Smith, Patrick.
Ward, Conn.

Amendment declared lost.

Mr. Keyes: Information on Michael J. Keyes  Zoom on Michael J. Keyes  I move amendment No. 14, standing in the name of Deputy Norton:

Before sub-section (4) to insert a new sub-section as follows:—

(4) Every order made by the Minister under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as conveniently may be after it is made, and if a resolution annulling such order is passed by either House of the Oireachtas within the next subsequent 21 days on which that House has sat after such order is so laid before it such order shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under such order.

I do not think this amendment requires very much explanation as it is self-explanatory, and I trust the Minister will see his way to accept it. It aims at preserving the authority of the House in any action taken by the Minister. He has been vested with very wide powers and I trust that any such order which the Minister may make will have the sanction of the House. I think that would be of assistance to the Minister himself as well as preserving the control of the House. He would be sure that he was acting with the approval of the majority of the members of the House. In view of recent legislation it is necessary to have such safeguards, and I do not think there is anything objectionable in asking that the Minister should be subject to the principle of democracy and of the democratic control of the House and that orders be tabled here for consideration of the members. Then, if a majority of the House wishes to annul them it should be within their privilege to do so. I ask the Minister to accept the amendment.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I have no rigid objection to the proposals contained in the amendment, but I have some doubts as to the desirability of opening up discussion in the House on the constitution of the board. It must be remembered that very many organisations will be seeking election to the board and will have to be disappointed. Already, many social organisations have made representations to the Department as to the desirability of giving them representation on the board of governors.

In all probability the list is not yet exhausted. I have a sufficiently open mind on it, but if we are to have discussions in this House as to the rights of various organisations to representation, and their prior claim to other organisations that have got representation, [1049] I have some doubt as to whether it would be in the interests of the institution. However, if there is a strong feeling in the House that it is desirable to have these orders laid on the table, I am open to persuasion.

Amendment put and agreed to.

Question proposed: “That Section 10, as amended, stand part of the Bill.”

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I should like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary when he anticipates that he will issue his first principal order?

[1050]Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  It is rather difficult to give any reliable indication of that inasmuch as the order will not be made until after the site has been acquired. I cannot indicate to the House at present how long it may take to acquire the site. Clearly, the views of many interested parties will have to be very carefully considered and the field will have to be fully surveyed before a decision on the matter can take place, but I assure the Deputy and the House that so far as the Department is concerned we are anxious to get on as rapidly as we can.

Question put.

Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Denis.
Boland, Gerald.
Brady, Brian.
Brady, Seán.
Buckley, Seán.
Carty, Frank.
Childers, Erskine H.
Crowley, Tadhg.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen.
Fogarty, Andrew.
Fogarty, Patrick J.
Friel, John.
Harris, Thomas.
Hickey, James.
Hogan, Daniel.
Humphreys, Francis.
Hurley, Jeremiah.
Kelly, James P.
Kelly, Thomas.
Keyes, Michael.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick J.
Loughman, Francis.
Lynch, James B.
McCann, John.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Ben.
Meaney, Cornelius.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Mullen, Thomas.
Murphy, Timothy J.
O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
O'Grady, Seán.
Pattison, James P.
Rice, Brigid M.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Smith, Patrick.
Ward, Conn.

Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George C.
Benson, Ernest E.
Byrne, Alfred.
Byrne, Alfred (Junior).
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John A.
Dockrell, Henry M.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, John L.
Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
Giles, Patrick.
Hughes, James.
Keating, John.
McMenamin, Daniel.
Mongan, Joseph W.
Mulcahy, Richard.
O'Higgins, Thomas F.
O'Sullivan, John M.

Question declared carried.

Question proposed: “That Section 11 stand part of the Bill.”

[1051]General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Does Section 11 refer to the two different kinds of boards?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  It refers to the new board. The old board carries on until the new board takes over.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I understand that there is provision to the effect that the governing body shall give facilities to the new body and provide accommodation. Would it not be well to amend this section in some such way as that the board, after consultation with the Minister, shall do so and so? Obviously, the Minister does not want to have any clash with the existing body, which may meet on a particular day. I think it would be advisable to have some sort of understanding to prevent the two meetings taking place at the same time.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Yes, but surely it is not necessary to incorporate that in the statute. Before fixing a day for the meeting of the new board, the Minister can find out whether there is any question of a clash taking place. I hardly think it is necessary to put that in here.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  Very well.

Question put and agreed to.

Question proposed: “That Section 12 stand part of the Bill.”

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Sub-section (6) of this section says that whenever at the election of chairman of the board, there is an equality for two or more persons, one of these persons shall be elected by lot. What is meant by “lot?” Does it mean just tossing a penny?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  I could not tell the Deputy what is the legal definition of “lot,” but I think it is usually done by a draw.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  By drawing what?

[1052]Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Oh, two bits of straw, I suppose, if you happened to be short of anything else.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Suppose they have not any straw?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Then they might have bits of string to pull.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  That would be more like it—strings to be pulled.

Sections 12, 13 and 14 put and agreed to.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the board shall not, without the consent of the Minister—

(a) exercise, in relation to any office or employment under the board, the powers conferred on the board by sub-section (1) of Section 16 (which relates to officers and servants) of this Act, or

(b) exercise, in relation to any person for the time being holding any office or employment under the board, the powers conferred on the board by any of the following provisions of this Act, namely, sub-section (2) of Section 16, Section 17 (which relates to removal from office of officers and dismissal of servants) and sub-section (4) of Section 40 (which relates to transfer of officers and servants of the existing governing body).

(3) The Minister may, whenever and so often as he thinks fit, by order declare that the powers conferred by any one or more of the following provisions of this Act, namely, sub-section (2) of Section 16, Section 17, and sub-section (4) of Section 40, may, as [1053] respects any person who is for the time being the holder of any specified office or employment under the board, be exercised without the consent of the Minister, and whenever any order is made under this sub-section and is in force, the powers conferred on the board by such of the said provisions as may be specified in such order may, in relation to any person who is for the time being the holder of the office or employment specified in such order, be exercised without such consent.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I move amendment No. 15:—

Before Section 15 to insert a new section as follows:—

The Minister may by order direct a medical officer from the Department of Local Government and Public Health to attend meetings of the board and the board shall afford to such medical officer when so directed reasonable facilities in obtaining necessary information.

This was meant to be part of a scheme suggested in my amendments Nos. 9 and 10, but since the Parliamentary Secretary has not seen his way to accept these amendments, I do not think the necessity for amendment No. 15 arises.

Amendment No. 15, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I move amendment No. 16, standing in Deputy McGilligan's name:—

In sub-section (1), page 7, to delete paragraph (a).

This is one of a series of amendments dealing with matters which it was [1054] hoped would not be insisted upon. The sub-section says:

“Subject to the provisions of this section, the board shall not, without the consent of the Minister ...”

and then goes on to state the various things which the board cannot do without his consent. That is a particularly delaying kind of procedure. Suppose the board wishes to appoint certain officers. The positions concerned may be quite unimportant, and yet the board has to await the sanction of the Minister before making an appointment. I think it is putting the board in the position of a board of guardians or a board of health, and I do not know why it is intended to do so. There must be some particular reason that the Parliamentary Secretary has in mind but, as it stands, if the board required the services, presumably, of even an office boy, they would have to wait for the Minister's sanction. Surely it is not intended that in a case of that sort the sanction of the Minister should be required. If it were the case of appointing, let us say, an architect, does the Minister intend in that case that he should be informed of the name of the proposed architect in order to consider whether or not he will approve of the appointment, and delay proceedings in that manner? I think the Parliamentary Secretary should explain to us what is his own idea with regard to that.

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  If this amendment were accepted it would empower the board to appoint officers without reference to the Minister. In sub-section (2) of Section 15 the Minister is empowered to exclude, by order, officers to whose appointment Ministerial sanction would not be necessary. It is intended to retain the power and right of sanction in so far as important officers are concerned, but with regard to minor officers, after consultation with the board and, I hope, by friendly arrangement, minor officers will be excluded under sub-section (2) from the scope of Ministerial sanction.

[1055]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  But the Minister can immediately revoke any exclusion order made and thus bring every officer again under his control?

Dr. Ward: Information on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  Zoom on Dr. Francis Constantine Ward  The Minister has complete control. There is no question about that.

[1056]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Yes, and that is what this amendment is aimed against. I move to report progress.

Progress reported.

The Dáil adjourned at 10.30 p.m. until Tuesday, 28th May, 1940, at 3 p.m.


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