Tuesday, 25 April 1944
Dáil Éireann Debate
General MacEoin: I was dealing with the Vote for the Minister for Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures, and I mentioned that this was a Vote on which one could speak for hours, and yet not exhaust all the criticisms that could be directed against it.
Mr. Traynor: I am responsible for taking this Estimate through the House, and not the Minister for Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures. If any matter is raised that concerns the Minister for Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures, I shall endeavour to deal with it. If I cannot do so, I will have it dealt with either later in the debate by the Minister for Co-Ordination  of Defensive Measures, or at some later date. I can assure the House that nothing will be lost as a result of the Minister not being present.
Mr. Dillon: I submit that if that is to be established as a precedent, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach should sit on the front bench and let the Ministers get on with their job, as he could bring them a résumé of anything that was said. As far as I know this is an occasion when a Minister is supposed to defend his administration. It is true that a Minister cannot be compelled to attend, and that there is no standing order to force him. It seems to be the ordinary precedent, as far as I know, for the Minister for Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures to attend when part of the Estimate for which he is responsible comes under discussion.
General MacEoin: As many matters have caused grave dissatisfaction to Deputies and to the public, it is very hard to explain the conduct of the Minister for Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures in connection with the censorship, and the activities of that Department. For the Minister for Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures, apparently the Minister for Defence is responsible. I drew attention before in this House to the fact that it is very hard to know which is senior, because the Minister for Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures, apparently, is to Co-ordinate defence and other services, but when it comes to the Vote, it stands out that the Minister for Defence comes in. Surely the history of the activities of the Minister for Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures is one of broken promises. When the Emergency Powers Act was passed through the House, solemn undertakings were given that the greatest discretion would be used in the exercise of the great powers conferred upon the Executive and upon that Minister. It is clear that there has not been a week without some minor or major breach of that promise. No later than last week we had a sample of unwarranted interference by the Minister with an announcement by Dun Laoghaire Presbyterian Church. That was a sample of the type of  attitude that the Minister for Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures adopted. I give way to nobody in standing out for nationalism, patriotism, the advancement of the Irish language, but while maintaining my own faith either spiritually or temporally I must allow for the rights of somebody else who may have a different viewpoint. To utilise powers given by this House in order to bring this country through the emergency, to enforce a certain doctrine, or a certain philosophy upon other people was an outrageous piece of conduct, and the Minister had the effrontery to come to the House to defend it. That was one sample. Speeches made in this. House may be censored and all sorts of things done in the name of the safety of the State. It is like “Freedom, what crimes are committed in thy name.” I think the House should reconsider the whole question, unless the Minister for Defence gives a solemn undertaking to-day that for the future there will be no repetition of such conduct, and that the censorship will not be used except where it is essential to do so. The freedom we have was hard won without throwing it away for the whims of a particular Minister. Every Deputy, as well as the Minister, should be jealous of these rights and should make sure that under no circumstances would anything be done that would in any way lessen them. To do so might create a precedent which could be utilised to scourge some Minister some other day. This is a subject I do not like to deal with at length so I will leave it now.
Dealing with the Construction Corps, I am glad that the youngsters in it are receiving vocational education training, because I feel that there is no place they will get a better training than in the Army. I suggest to the Minister that the corps should be recruited to full strength, and that it might be extended to let in other youngsters who are anxious for vocational training, either in mechanics or in any of the various classes that are catered for in that corps.
Vacancies should be created both in Transport and Air Corps for youngsters to be taught air and motor engineering.  Again that should be extended in my opinion, and I would recommend to the Minister that where these youngsters graduate they would be taken into either of these two branches, Motor Transport or the Air Corps, to be trained. I am sure that air transport will be very important in the future. Now I want to refer again to the Defence Forces, to whom this country owes so much. Very careful consideration should be given to the hardships which these men have gone through when they turn up on parade after harvesting, turf cutting and the like. It is very hard to expect them then to be alert and to be as fresh as a daisy when they do turn up. I think it should be appreciated instead of their being censured and punished. That punishment consists of being struck off the roll, which I think during the emergency is the greatest hardship that can be inflicted on an officer or N.C.O.
Mr. Dillon: While everyone would be inclined to sympathise with Deputy General MacEoin's observations with regard to the L.D.F., while acknowledging that the L.D.F. are volunteers it would be a great mistake if they were to be allowed to be not only a volunteer but a sloppy force. There are in it a sufficient number of men to maintain its efficiency, who are regular in attendance without those who find it impossible to maintain that measure of regularity which in my opinion is indispensable to constitute a military force. It is all very well to be talking about other men being splendid in the hour of crisis who had not been very regular in attendance at volunteer parades up to 1921, but I think that it will be agreed that the circumstances of the L.D.F. are entirely different to the circumstances of the volunteers of that time. The L.D.F. volunteers are expected to form part of a highly-trained army, and if they came to that function in the spirit of the volunteers of an earlier period instead of being a help to the Army they would hinder it. It is very necessary that the L.D.F. should reach a high level of efficiency and the bulk of the members are ready  to make the necessary sacrifices. It should be said that if you have men regularly attending their parades and they see fellows who never come on parade except on the state occasions when there is a bit of kudos to be got out of it, those who are slogging it day in and day out are inclined to resent the fact that those who have borne none of the heat of the day are entitled to collect the laurels.
On another occasion I mentioned L.S.F. claims for compensation not being dealt with expeditiously and I would now point out that there is a similar problem in connection with the L.D.F. There is not a sufficient number of compensation claims in existence to exonerate the Minister from the duty of making a survey of all the claims and satisfying himself that they have not been outstanding too long. I now invite the Minister to give an undertaking that he will call for a full list of L.D.F. compensation claims and take serious notice of any claims more than three months outstanding. I am not saying that there may not be exceptional circumstances in which more than three months is required and in that case the Minister should inquire into it and see what is the reason for the delay. There are one or two matters of considerable importance which nobody seems to have thought of. There are considerable quantities of Army supplies coming into this country. In fact during the period of the American Note when we were deploying our Army to hold up the threatened advance of the American and British there was sent to us by the British large quantities of munitions wherewith to equip the Army and other apparel and vehicles wherewith to move the Army. It is time that we realise that all the supplies we have got come from the British and anything the Army has has come from the British and Americans. Naturally we have not got all we want and equally naturally our Quartermaster-General on the instructions of the General Staff has ordered all the equipment he thought necessary to bring the Army up to the pitch of efficiency which is required. These orders are accumulating and run into very large sums of money. Parts of this equipment are  being steadily delivered by the British, and if they were not being delivered by the British we would not have them and the Army would not be able to move at all. Large undelivered balances are accumulating and at the end of this war it is quite possible that the British and Americans from whom we have ordered our stuff will proceed to deliver large quantities of supplies amounting to £2,000,000 which we will have no means of disposing of at all. Therefore, I suggest to the Minister that the time has come when this whole supply question should be reviewed with a view to minimising as far as possible the probability of large quantities of unwanted equipment being delivered when the emergency for which they were designed has passed away. I would be glad to know if the Minister is in a position to state what was the purpose some weeks ago when correspondence was going on with the American Government for deploying our Forces as if they were concerned to resist some threatened act of aggression. We all recognise that if the Minister for Defence was directed to do that by the Minister for External Affairs he would be bound to do so. If he says he was we can take the matter up with the Minister for External Affairs, but can the Minister tell us if at the very moment when we were careering up and down the country and deploying our Forces the munitions being issued to our Forces were being delivered by the British?
Mr. Dillon: The Minister should not be erupting all over the place. If the Minister wants me to give way to him I will gladly do that but he must not interrupt me. He is bound by the same rules of order as anybody else.
The general impression made on the public by the military movements during the period in question was that precautionary measures were being taken. If that were not the purpose of those movements, the Minister would have been well advised, long ere this, to make a statement to the public that these movements were not of that character at all but were designed to exercise the troops. I find it hard to believe the Minister could have 67 colleagues in his own Party without any of them having informed him that the impression in the country was that the extensive movement of troops, when the correspondence was going on between our Government and that of the United States, was somehow or other connected with that matter. If that was not so and no statement was issued to that effect, I would suggest to the House that that is evidence of the grossest possible incompetence on the part of the present Minister and the Minister for the Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures. They allowed a lot of unnecessary perturbation to be created in the country which, if the Minister's statement to-day is true, was quite unnecessary.
Whatever movements were taking place, they were largely made possible by the supplies from the British and were made material by the prospect of the additional supplies the British were sending. All that is very welcome and the fact that these supplies were made available when we wanted them will place an obligation on us, at the end of the crisis, to honour any contracts  entered into, when delivery becomes possible, unless we give the other party to the contract adequate notice and ask him to be good enough to release us from our contractual obligations in respect of any stuff that will not be available until the end of the crisis. That is a very important matter, which should be looked into forthwith and effective measures taken in regard to it. I do not want to suggest that it is possible for this or any other Minister for Defence to arrange so that he will have on his hands no surplus material at the end of a critical period such as this. It is inevitable that we will have to face certain losses when this position comes to be liquidated; but, nevertheless, these losses should be limited as far as possible.
I want to mention a matter which, at first glance, will seem to be more appropriate to the next Vote—Army Pensions—but, unfortunately, it is not. It is the case of an officer whose health has been undermined in the early days of Army service, who retires from the Army and subsequently manifests tuberculosis in one form or another. It is virtually impossible to establish that that man's condition is due to any injury he suffered on active service. I know men at present dying in sanatoria and, as far as it is humanly possible to judge, they were strong men when they first entered the Army in 1922-23. They left when active service was over and they have been, from a very short time afterwards, battling with tuberculosis, which has been steadily gaining on them. One man has at present a wife and four children and he is dying in a sanatorium. As far as can be found out, there is no fund from which any provision can be made for that man. If he were a non-commissioned officer or a ranker, the Army Benevolent Fund might help, but as he holds a commission he is debarred from that.
I do not want to suggest that the attitude of the Army authorities is one of callous indifference. I think they would be of very great help, in one way or another, if they could. Let us bear in mind that, while it is perfectly normal practice in Great Britain and other countries with old-established  armies, to provide that the Army Benevolent Fund may not be touched for the relief of families of officers, the fact is that from the early days of the Army here there has never been any class distinction. In the ranks are to be found men from very comfortable families, while amongst the commissioned officers there are men who have very little beyond the resources they are earning. If a person such as I describe becomes incapacitated shortly after he leaves the Army, he may sink to a level of poverty which is as acute as that of the humblest private. If the Army Benevolent Fund permits of no allowance being made to the relatives of an Army officer who has become destitute through illness, may I suggest to the Minister for Defence that he should consider forthwith whether some other fund should not be made available in approved cases of the sort I have outlined?
I have a word to say in regard to the Minister for the Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures, who is not here. His administration of the censorship has been a disgusting scandal from the first time he started it. I say deliberately that, from its beginning, it has been characterised by a poisonous pro-Axis slant, that it has been so characterised because the Minister's mind has had a pro-Axis slant since the beginning of this emergency. In my opinion, that has been evidenced time and time again. I think the defence for it is that his object is to maintain an attitude of complete indifference, as between the belligerent nations. For this country to pretend that, as between America on the one hand and Germany on the other, we are indifferent is to misrepresent this country—and misrepresent it in a pro-Axis way. It is not true that this country is indifferent as between these two contenders. The endeavour so to manipulate news deriving from this country as to create that impression abroad, and to promote that feeling here is a pro-Axis activity, for which I indict Deputy Frank Aiken, the Minister for the Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures.
It is well to speak plainly and  bluntly. That is what I believe and that is what the vast majority of the people believe—that he has a pro-Axis inclination. No one thinks it is tactful to say that but, if one Minister is so misrepresenting the whole country, it is better that he should be exposed than that the country as a whole should be misrepresented throughout the world. Evidence of that is abundant, but I think one case will suffice as a type of many others.
An acute crisis arose not long ago, in which American film companies were notified (1) that no film of American soldiers on active service would be permitted, (2) that no film of American soldiers in training would be permitted and (3) that no film showing American chaplains of any faith being prepared for service in the field would be permitted. The Censor next suppressed the preliminary caption of a film, on the ground that the letterpress of the caption had as a background the Stars and Stripes and a picture of the President of the United States of America. At that stage, it came to my knowledge that the American film companies were seriously considering the withdrawal of all film supplies throughout the country. I at once communicated the facts to the Taoiseach and pointed out that a very serious situation would arise if that kind of folly were allowed to continue. I do not know what action he took, as I got no official communication beyond an acknowledgment of the information. I observe that the rigour of those regulations seems to have been mitigated and a very serious injury to this country avoided, which would not have been prevented if the Minister for the Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures had had his way. Fortunately, on that occasion effective measures to prevent his follies were taken in time. Hundreds of other instances of that character have been allowed to proceed because the necessary information for correcting them was not available to those in a position to do so.
Deputy MacEoin referred to the impudent and ignorant misuse of his powers in connection with the Kingstown Presbyterian Church. It occurs to me that if the people of any Church  in this country call their church Trafalgar Church or Worms Church, or any other name with a sentimental attachment to it, no one in this House, or outside of it, has the right to say them nay; but this ignorant bully that we have as Minister for the Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures has the impudence to forbid the papers to publish the name of the Kingstown Presbyterian Church although the advertiser was quite prepared to add the Kingstown Presbyterian Church situate at Dun Laoghaire. How can any reasonable person suggest that the use of the words “Kingstown Presbyterian Church” in an advertisement was calculated to be prejudicial to the safety of this State?
Now that sounds a trifling thing, but that impudent, savage gorilla-like indifference to the rights of peaceful citizens is characteristic of the whole administration of the Minister for the Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures. Mind you, that is not all. This is the kind of mean underhand subterfuge that he resorts to to cover up his tracks. The report of the remonstrance that was administered to him in this House was published in the Irish newspapers, but was suppressed so far as any foreign newspaper was concerned. Now, either the Minister was right, or the Minister was wrong. He claimed to the end that his conduct was right. He defended what he did, he stood over it, and asserted the right to repeat it, but he was ashamed to let anyone outside this country know that he had got to the point that the public spirit of our people was so low that he could do that kind of thing and get away with it, and so although it was published in the Irish papers no foreign paper was allowed to carry it.
Mr. Hogan: I am afraid that Deputy Dillon is misinformed if he thinks that Army officers are the only people who get no allowance if they have to go out  of the Army suffering from tuberculosis. I know several privates who died from the disease, and not only did their families get nothing, but the burial expenses were not even paid. Take the case of a man who goes into the Army in good health. After a short time he contracts the disease and has to leave. When he dies the parents get no compensation, and, as I said, even the burial expenses are not paid. I know two such cases. I do not think the Minister himself is anxious that that sort of thing should continue. It is only right I think that we should try to help the Minister to bring about a change in the present situation by raising these matters here. It is a scandalous state of affairs to say that young men who go into the Army in the best of health, and who later have to leave it because they are suffering from tuberculosis, get no compensation. The Minister knows that it is impossible for a soldier to prove how he contracted the disease of tuberculosis; whether he contracted it in the Army, or whether he brought the disease in with him, and that it developed during his Army service. The fact, at any rate, is that no compensation is paid, and when those soldiers die their parents have to bear the burial expenses. Despite the fact that some of those young men were unemployed and joined the Army in order to help the family, or probably to help unemployed brothers at home, no consideration whatever is given to the families. I am not raising this point in any spirit of captious criticism of the Minister's administration. I hope, however, that he will be prepared to go to the Minister for Finance, and say that as a result of the badgering that he is getting in this House, some alterations in the regulations governing these cases ought to be made.
With regard to the transfer of serving soldiers from one battalion or one brigade to another, the Minister indicated some months ago that it was his policy that serving soldiers would, as far as possible, be left in their home districts. There are many good reasons for that. One is family reasons, and  another is that they might be of some service in the matter of food production. It is quite true that some facilities in this direction are being given. It is also true that some commanding officers when approached on the matter are courteous and obliging, and do their very best to facilitate transfers.
On the other hand there are some officers who think it to be their duty to put all sorts of obstacles in the way, and to prevent serving soldiers getting a transfer from one battalion to another. I know of one case of a Clare man who is serving in Longford and of a Longford man who is down in Clare. Both men are of equal rank. Does that not seem ridiculous? One finds great difficulty in getting them transferred. First of all, you have to get the permission of the commanding officer of the battalion which the man is leaving. You also have to get the permission of a commanding officer of a battalion that is taking the man in. Surely, it should be possible to simplify the regulations and see that transfers could be more easily arranged.
There are practical reasons for this policy which I am advocating. I know a married man who was transferred to another county, leaving a young family to the care and responsibility of his wife. We all know the worry that inevitably attaches to the care of a young family. The family was in Longford and the husband in Clare. Surely that sort of thing is not fair to the mother of a family. The husband should be stationed within easy distance of his home. It ought to be possible to arrange that serving soldiers would be within easy reach of their homes, so that, in the case of sickness or of any difficulty arising in the family, they would be able to go home. Take the case of families in the matter of tillage. I know boys who joined the Army and who were anxious to be within easy reach of their homes, so as to be able to help in the tilling of a plot or two, thereby making available a sufficient supply of vegetables for the family. There are these difficulties to which I have referred, although, as I have said, the Minister has stated that it was his policy that they should be overcome. He said that his policy was  that, as far as possible, men should serve in their home districts. I suggest to the Minister that either himself or some responsible officers should go over the regulations and see how some improvement in them can be brought about. They are important matters, even though they may not appear to the Minister to be very important. I may say that the number of men seeking transfers is reasonably large. I ask the Minister to give serious consideration to that question.
My next point has to do with the increase of 6d. that was given quite recently. Several people have come to me about this. They are anxious to get the sixpences that have accrued to them over a period, but it appears that this money will not be paid until after the emergency. I cannot understand that. If any of those people die before the end of the emergency, then I suppose the sixpences that have accrued to them will go back into the Exchequer. Is there any good reason why this money should not be paid to men when they leave the Army? If there is a case against paying it to them, I would be anxious to hear the Minister make it. When it was decided to give the increase to the men, it should be paid to them on their leaving the Army.
Deputy MacEoin has referred to the question of marriage allowances. We know there is a regulation which provides that a young man must be a certain number of years in the Army before he can get married and become entitled to the marriage allowance. I put it to the Minister, is there any good reason why, if a young fellow does get married, his wife should not be allowed to get the marriage allowance? Why not relax the regulation which prevents her from drawing it? What is sacrosanct about two years any more than one year or six months? Surely it is no crime for a young soldier to get married. If he does get married is there any reason why his wife should be penalised simply because he does so a little time before the people who drafted the regulation think he should have done it.
Representations have been made to me in respect of young men who, having  matriculated in the university, joined the Army. What do they find? That they are stuck into offices and get no opportunity whatever for promotion. The officer who puts them in to do the work of the office in some cases may be very well able to do that work himself, while in other cases he may not be able to do it; but he will find those young fellows are capable of doing the work and, because they are capable, they are kept there and they get no opportunity of promotion. These may seem very simple and minor matters to the Minister, but they are highly important to the serving soldiers. I will ask him to go over these matters carefully and get senior officers who are sympathetic with the point of view of the serving soldier to give them immediate and favourable consideration.
Sir John Esmonde: I should like to draw the Minister's attention to a point of view in connection with our Army which, I think, deserves some consideration. We have had in existence since the commencement of the emergency what is, for the size of our country, a substantial Army. The primary purpose of an army is to defend its country and, in the course of defending this country, the members of our Army go through the full cycle of training and eventually reach the stage when they are ready to engage in the active combat for which years of training have perfected them. We are now in the fifth year of the emergency and the Army has had no active military work, in the sense of what is the soldier's real job, fighting, to contend with. Nobody is more pleased than myself to know that that is so, but I think it is a matter that should be taken into consideration when approaching the question of the general standard of the Army in this country.
As a younger man I was a soldier, and I am very proud that I did all my soldiering, both in the barrack square and on the battlefield, with men of my own country. Drawing on my experiences, I know where weaknesses are likely to arise in an Army such as ours which, if properly trained, as I am sure it is, would be standing on tip-toe for something to do. The Irish soldier— and I am sure he is the same in this  generation as in the last; perhaps more so, now that he is defending his own country—likes action. Probably the underlying reason why a great many of our people left civilian occupations to join the Army, apart from being in a position to defend their country, was because it was also for the purpose, possibly, of getting into a scrap at some time or other. I am glad that opportunity has not arisen but, speaking now with the very greatest regard and friendship and with a desire to help our Army, that is a matter that the people responsible for the Army should take into consideration.
We have a well-equipped, well-trained force of men, born soldiers, men with natural instincts to fight, who have no fighting to do, and it will be very hard to keep these people up to scratch unless particular attention is paid to the line of thought which I have now brought to bear on this discussion. Speaking from my own experience—but, of course, things may have changed—a good infantry man can be trained in six months. That being so, many of our soldiers were brought to the highest state of perfection very nearly fours years ago and they have had nothing to do ever since, except ordinary routine duties and what they would have to do on manoeuvres. I am sure the Minister and the Department are bearing that in mind. I would like it to be borne in mind in connection with our Army. The point is that you bring a fighting force to a certain pitch of excellence and, like a battery that is not utilised, that state of excellence is likely to run down and to be affected by reason of inaction. We cannot stress that aspect too much.
In that connection, I wonder are the Army authorities, having perfected those who enlisted a considerable time ago, having perfected their soldierly capabilities and qualities, directing attention to their future occupation? Have the Army authorities, after keeping those men in good fighting spirit, morally and physically, considered giving them some alternative form of occupation? Has sufficient attention been given to training men for work in their post-emergency lives? Are they  being prepared for suitable occupations when they leave the Army? I should like to hear from the Minister that some steps are being taken in that direction, because not only would that be of use to the men themselves, and also for the country afterwards, but in addition to that, it would be an ingredient in keeping the moral standard and the fighting qualities of the Army at the highest possible pitch.
To have an Army of our own is a badge of our independence, something which we should be proud of. It is something of which I am proud. I would like to see the Army at the highest state of perfection. I am very sorry, indeed, that there is a prohibition with regard to members of the Dáil. They are not allowed to become members of the Defence Forces. I think this is one of the few countries in the world where members of the Legislature do not obtain the right to defend their country. I believe it is the duty of all citizens to help to defend their country. Perhaps I am advocating a change of legislation. I think there is a section of an Act of Parliament which prohibits members of the Dáil being members of the Defence Forces. I consider, it a pity, having regard to some of the speeches made here from time to time, that that prohibition exists. If it were not in existence, I believe the interests of our Defence Force and the interests of the Legislature could be firmly knitted.
I was interested in the remarks made by Deputy Hogan about soldiers serving away from their homes. Certain cases have come to my notice recently and, having regard to the fact that the Army machine is now perfect, I presume it would be in the interests of economy if soldiers were stationed as near their homes as possible so that the married men could visit their wives and families, as they often have occasion to do. It is all the more necessary that that should be so now, in view of the difficulties of travelling from one part of the country to the other.
There is another question in connection with the Defence Forces, and keeping up the spirit of efficiency in the Army, which I would like to mention. It is generally admitted that there is a considerable shortage of agricultural  labour in different parts of the country. A great many of our serving soldiers are qualified farm workers and they and their parents have from time to time made representations to the Department to be relieved of Army service for the purpose of helping on farms. I think that is a matter that should be encouraged. If anything were to happen, these people could be brought back at a moment's notice. In the meantime, they would be doing useful work, work which they seem anxious to do.
From my experience of the Minister's Department when I bring matters to their notice, I should like to pay a tribute to the efficient manner in which they are dealt with. That end of the Department, which I have some experience of, is very well run. If the rest of the Army is run on the same basis, I do not think there would be anything to complain about. Very often these requests for releases for private reasons, such as farm work, etc., are turned down, possibly for reasons which appear good to the Army authorities, but do not appear so good to the public.
Passing from the Army, as we are also dealing with the question of censorship, I should like to refer to one matter. The Censor has been given enormous power by this Parliament and he is quite within the letter of his rights in excluding from publication certain matters, certain names, if you like, provided he can justify that. But my submission is that the Legislature never intended that he should edit matter submitted to him; that is to say, take out a word or a sentence and insert another word or a sentence. That is not censorship. I want to give an illustration of what happened during the last 12 months in connection with the censorship. Although it may only be a small matter, it came under my notice, and there must be hundreds of similar cases well known to the Press. During the last general election there was a convention held in a certain constituency and there was sent up from that convention the name of a candidate who had been elected to stand for a particular Party. Deputies are aware that there are two kinds of  barristers—those belonging to the inner and the outer bar. Sometimes the members of the senior bar have after their names the letters K.C. and sometimes the letters S.C. On this occasion, a member of the senior bar was chosen to stand for Parliament, and accordingly his name, with the letters K.C. after it, was sent up for publication in the Dublin Press on foot of the official report that emanated from that constituency convention. If, in his wisdom, the Censor considered that our integrity or our safety was in jeopardy by the use of the letters K.C. after that man's name and he thought that these two letters should be wiped out and could prove his case on that aspect of the matter, I should have nothing further to say. But what did the Blue Pencil do? Blue Pencil struck out the letters K.C. and put in the letters S.C. That is only a very small matter so far as that particular case is concerned, but how does it affect broader and bigger things? The illustration I have given is, I think, a particularly apt one. I am glad to say that the newspaper concerned decided not to put in anything at all. But I say that the Censor is going entirely outside any mandate he had from this House in substituting for certain letters other letters of his own. I do not care whether the particular individual concerned is called a K.C. or an S.C.; it is the principle involved that matters. While the censorship is bound to tread upon everybody's toes from time to time, I think there must be other cases of a somewhat similar kind. In conclusion I should like to say to the Minister that I think he can depend on all of us to assist in every way that lies in our power in safeguarding the high traditions of our Army and promoting the esteem in which it is held by the people of the country.
Mr. Blowick: I made application to the Minister's Department on two or three occasions for the release of men from the Army for family reasons. The Minister would be conferring a great favour on the families of such men if he could release them from the Army. I am referring to young men from country districts who joined the  Army at the age of 16, 17 or 18 and whose fathers have since died. I have a few cases in mind. One case is that of a young man whose father died suddenly. He is the eldest of the family and the next brother to him is also in the Army. The other four children are at school. In that case there are about 20 acres of land to be looked after. The point I want to make is that a case such as that should get favourable consideration by whatever board decides the matter. When the Minister is satisfied that the case is not a bogus one and that the man does not want to shirk his duty, and particularly when there is another member of the family in the Army, I think he should consider the case at once. The other case is that of a married man who, when he joined, got an assurance that he would be released at any time he wanted. The only persons at home are his wife, three children not yet of school age, and another child who has just started school. The result is that that man is losing money by being away from his farm. He has to pay labour to do the work and, of course, when the master is not at home, that is not always satisfactory. I want the Minister in cases like that, which he is satisfied are genuine and reasonable ones, to grant permanent release from the Army.
There is one other point which I want to bring to the Minister's notice. During the time when communications were passing between this Government and the United States Government a group of L.D.F. went around to certain places inspecting bridges, etc., where, at the beginning of the emergency, earthenware pipes were put down, presumably for the purpose of being filled with explosives, if that became necessary. The point I want to make is that at the time they went to examine these places the people were coming from second Mass on Sunday and their activities caused absolute panic and terror in these country districts, where people may not take as calm a view of things as people in cities and towns who are better informed.
That occurred over a wide area of  my constituency on a certain Sunday morning and caused widespread panic. What I want to know is who ordered these men to take that action? Remember that it was the men who put down the pipes originally who tore the surface of the road to examine them. They had no apparent object but to look at the pipes, but one definite result of their action was the creation of widespread panic over half a county. I wonder what was at the back of it, or what was the meaning of that action in opening the bridge at a time when 1,800 or 2,000 people were coming from Mass. There was nothing to be gained by it because the men who put down those pipes knew that they were still as they put them down. As I say, it caused widespread panic, and old people in particular were absolutely certain that an invasion was at hand, if it had not already occurred. If that took place in the course of manoeuvres by the Army, I would not care so much, but as the men concerned put the pipes there and maintained absolute silence on the subject, to me it appeared to be just a piece of black-guardism. No explosives were put into the pipes, in the first instance, and these men put none in. I should like the Minister to give us some reasonable explanation of their action and an assurance that more care will be taken in regard to such matters in future.
Mr. Kennedy: I want to plead for more co-operation between the L.D.F. and the L.S.F. When the Cosantóirí Áitiúla were formed at the beginning there was a general recruitment of what now constitutes the L.D.F. and the L.S.F. They were formed into A and B divisions and afterwards became the L.D.F. and L.S.F. Later on, the liaison officers were appointed for the two forces and there could be more co-operation and more harmony between them than exists at present. The L.D.F. are inclined to despise the work of the L.S.F., which is not to the good of either force. The Minister dealt with A.R.P. in his statement, and in the rural districts in the provinces, A.R.P. work devolves on the  L.S.F. So far as I know, the L.D.F. have no responsibility for it.
The duties of the L.S.F. have become more exacting and almost impossible to fulfil. A recent divisional or district circular to the L.S.F. dealt with the following duties: Foot drill, first-aid, A.R.P., and patrols. I know one district which embraces part of two counties where the L.S.F. men are on patrol from midnight until 6 o'clock in the morning and they are doing that work to the satisfaction of the inspectorial staff. There was a time in the beginning when these patrols were shared by the L.D.F. and L.S.F. Now all that work as well as work in connection with A.R.P. devolves on them. The point is being reached at which the L.S.F. is too small in its personnel to carry out all these duties, and certainly some of the work in connection with A.R.P. in towns like Athlone, Mullingar and Trim should devolve on a section of the L.D.F.
On the question of first-aid, there is this situation: there is a V.A.D. section of the Red Cross; first-aid is taught to the L.S.F.; and, in some places, there is an ambulance unit attached to the L.D.F. There are three different sets of instructors teaching the same subject, and, in case of hostilities, there is no provision for co-ordination of these services. There is no co-operation, and I have endeavoured in vain to bring about co-operation. It may be that it is confined to my own district, but the district of which I have knowledge embraces half a county. There are very efficient Army N.C.O.s—not many—who go around training these ambulance units and I advocate, as I have advocated in vain for two years, that when these N.C.O.s arrive in a district to give a course, the men in the L.S.F. and those attached to the Red Cross service should be brought in and given the benefit of that course. Not only that, but there should be a decision as to where their duties could and should dovetail. There is at present one doctor attached to the L.S.F., who gives his course; there is another doctor attached to the L.D.F., who gives his course; and in places they  are actually jealous of one another. Any attempt to co-ordinate these services has failed, and I put it to the Minister that he should see to it that there is more co-operation in the future.
In this year the Government, the Defence Council and the Dáil should seriously think of a drive for recruits for all these forces. In many places the personnel has dwindled and no fresh recruits have come in, and the time is now opportune for a drive for recruits. We have talked of post-war planning in relation to every Department under discussion so far and I sincerely hope that, in the post-war period, the Army will never be allowed to fall below its present strength, that it will be maintained at least at its present strength for the defence of the country, and that the policy of this or any future Government in this country should be to provide the best possible Army that is needed for the defence of our country.
Mr. Anthony: I want to put one or two cases before the Minister in the hope that he will give a satisfactory reply, which, of course, is asking a whole lot from that particular Department in this country. Deputy Blowick mentioned one of these in connection with the administration of the Army. It is a matter which I should like to emphasise and, indeed, which I had intended to raise in any case. I refer to the question of getting leave for soldiers on compassionate grounds. As I have said, that has been already alluded to by Deputy Blowick. Frequently a farmer has a son who would be almost invaluable to him when the farmer himself, or a worker on the particular farm concerned, becomes ill and is unable to follow the usual occupation of husbandry. In such a case the farmer finds that the services of the eldest son, or the second eldest son, as the case may be, are necessary to carry on activities on the farm. Now, there is considerable difficulty in getting such a boy or young man released from the Army in present circumstances. I quite appreciate the position of the Minister for Defence. I can quite understand that it takes a certain amount of State money to  make a good soldier, and that therefore the State is within its right in making it rather difficult for a soldier to leave the Army, even for very important considerations such as that of agriculture, but I want to draw particular attention to the distinction between what is known as indefinite leave from the Army and complete discharge from the Army. Quite apart from agriculture, let us take the case of some industrial concerns. The proprietors of such an industry may be quite agreeable to take back into their service a young man who may claim to have been discharged from the Army on what is known as compassionate grounds, but employers are rather loath, when they see that the man has been granted indefinite leave, to engage that operative or worker, because they do not know what it means or when the man may be recalled for duty. In many of the cases with which I am conversant, a good case could be made for complete discharge rather than for this thing of indefinite leave, although the contrary can be true in other cases. I have known of cases where the men concerned thought that indefinite leave meant that they would not be called up for duty again except in times of immediate danger or emergency, but that does not satisfy employers, and therefore I would ask the Minister to consider the question of arranging for leave for the type of soldier I have in mind.
Some ten or 12 years ago I advocated that a system of deferred pay should be operative in the Army, so that a soldier, on discharge, would not be dependent on his people for his keep for five or six months after his discharge at least: that he would be in a position of relative independence for five or six months, until he could find some useful or gainful employment. I understand that a system of deferred pay has been in existence for some time, and I also understand that some arrangement has been come to with the National Health Insurance Society whereby the soldier would be kept in benefit, but I should like to have some assurance from the Minister, when he is replying, that that is the case.
 I am concerned, however, with another phase of conditions in the Army, and that is the case of a soldier who dies and leaves a widow. There are many such cases, I understand, but some three, four or five of such cases have come to my notice within the last 12 months. Quite recently I sent a communication to the Minister's Department in that connection. Possibly that communication will be replied to within the next six months, if I have any kind of luck. The purpose of the communication was to call attention to a case where a serving soldier fell ill and where his wife had been communicated with. The next thing that she heard was that her husband was dead, and the widow of that serving soldier got about £7, and was also informed that she could not receive the deferred pay, to which the soldier would have been entitled on his discharge from the Army, until the termination of the emergency. If there is anything more illogical than that kind of thing I should like to hear about it. I quite understand that the question of deferred pay might be agreed to by a serving soldier who had left the Army, even where he was discharged as medically unfit, but where it is a case that the man has actually died, and his deferred pay is kept from the widow, I cannot understand the position at all.
Mr. Anthony: The Deputy might as well ask: why should the man die? That, however, is the position according to what I have heard. Now there is another aspect of the administration of the Army to which I should like to refer, and that is in relation to the censorship. I should like the Minister to take particular note of what Deputy Blowick said a moment ago, because I think that it is a matter of which the Minister himself should be aware. In that connection I should like to point out that a relatively small incident— relatively small in relation to international affairs—occurred a short time ago in County Cork. We have had alleged cases of parachutists landing in  this country, but we also had a case that occurred a couple of years ago in Kinsale, where two or three men—I forget the exact number—came ashore in a collapsible boat. Now, Kinsale is 12 or 14 miles away from the City of Cork; the people of both towns are in almost daily contact, and, therefore, even if there were 45 boards of censorship in existence they could not possibly conceal the fact that these people had arrived in a collapsible boat in the town of Kinsale. The result, however, of the operation of the censorship was that the number of people who had landed from a collapsible boat in Kinsale Harbour—two or three people, as I have said—was magnified to 40 or 45 people. The same kind of thing occurs every day in other parts of the country. The censorship will not allow the publication of a certain thing while everybody in the town or area concerned is talking about what has happened. As a result of that kind of thing, the censorship in this country is a scream, and anybody who knows anything about these happenings knows that the operation of the censorship not alone is a scream, but is scandalous. We had a case, not so long ago, where the British papers, that are allowed to circulate in this country freely, published certain paragraphs which were censored so far as our own newspapers were concerned, and where the proprietors of newspapers in this country were warned that they would publish these things at their own risk.
We are asked in this Vote to pass a sum of £8,260,000 odd, and I think it will be conceded that that is a huge expenditure on an Army for this small country. I feel that most intelligent observers of events in this country and of world-wide events—events having certain reactions and repercussions on this country—will agree, if we are frank and honest, that it is about time that we became a little more conservative and that we should not be too liberal in this matter of expenditure on an army in this country. I suppose we may assume that this is an educated Assembly. Therefore, let us examine the question without having regard to the gallery, and ask ourselves how long are we to keep on paying this  huge amount for the maintenance of an Army in this country. Again, let us be frank and honest on this question. I do not want to be told that I am a defeatist or anything like that, because I believe that I am as good an Irishman as the Minister ever was— possibly a better one—and with as clean a record. I want to ask can we afford this expense? Let us see the utility or the futility of it. I know we have no flying fortresses nor have we the latest equipment in fighting planes or machines of that description.
We must, of course, admire and pay tribute to the young men who, when they were called upon, joined the Volunteers, the L.D.F. and the regular Army and did everything that was asked of them. Now they are getting tired and rusty, but when they were called upon they were there to fight if the necessity arose. Our people have manifested their patriotism, not for the first time. They made it quite manifest that they were prepared to defend their country. Now that things are easing off a bit—though I agree with the Minister for Defence and the Minister for Industry and Commerce that we are not yet out of the wood— I still say that this huge expense cannot be borne indefinitely by the country. There should be a little bit of soft pedalling at the moment, and now that we are almost out of the wood it is time that we cut down this huge expenditure on the Army. I do not want to advocate some things which the Minister could do which have been suggested here already and which would mean increased expenditure, but I should like to advocate that even if more money had to be stopped from our soldiers by way of deferred pay, it would be a good idea if they had some fund of that kind to fall back upon when they come out of the Army. I think some fund should be created—again I may be told that I am advocating further expenditure but I am not—to which the soldier would himself make some contribution and which would ensure that when a man fell ill and had to be discharged from the Army he would not be thrown on the scrap heap, for that is what is happening in many cases at the moment.
 Men have joined the forces and have contracted T.B. while serving. Many of them were over age when they joined up and were unable to go through a course of very severe training. I know cases where officers and men have been called up on the reserve. They had been away from active participation in field sports and physical “jerks”, to give the training the name by which it is better known in the Army. It was found that the heart or some other part of the anatomy gave way in the course of training. These men have, in some cases, been thrown on the scrap heap without pensions. I know cases of officers who threw up good positions in order to join the Army. These men are now wondering what is going to happen them when they leave the Army. In some instances they have got guarantees that they will be taken back again by the firms with whom they were previously employed, but I want to know from the Minister has the Department made any representations to such employers to ensure that these men will be taken back again in their employment when they leave the Army? I know one young fellow who threw up a job in which he was earning £600 a year. He joined the Army as a lieutenant and some time later got married. He is now wondering what is going to happen him when he leaves the Army. He has been promised that he will be taken back into his old employment but it is just a pious promise.
These are some of the matters to which I should like the Minister to direct his attention so as to reassure these young men, some of whom have been promised reinstatement in jobs from which they resigned to join the Army, that they will be reinstated. I know of one case of a young man who joined the Army and who was promised that at the end of his service he would be taken back into his old employment, which was in the drapery trade in Cork. That young fellow has since been discharged from the Army as medically unfit and his former employers have refused to take him back into their service. These may be mundane things but they are things in  which the human touch, on the part of the Minister, can be made manifest. I think that some preparation should now be made by the Minister for the period when the Army comes to be demobilised. Let me remind the Minister that, if and when the Army has to be demobilised, he will be faced with a lot of trouble if the matters which I have mentioned are not attended to. At the same time I feel like Deputy Blowick, and others who have spoken, that our post-war problems will be far greater than our present problems. Because of that, I should like to urge the Minister to take every possible precaution now to obviate any disturbance in the post-war period.
Mr. Larkin: I have listened with some attention to this debate and I want to ask is there anybody on any side of the House who has any common denominator to govern his mind? One gentleman wants more money spent on the Army, another wants a larger proportion of the soldiers' pay deferred, while a third suggests that all money due to soldiers should be paid immediately. Still another Deputy thinks that the Army costs too much. Personally I think we have got the cheapest Army in the world, and I know something of armies in other countries. You are getting service from these men for practically nothing. We have got a body of men in the Army who are working not for wages but for an insult, whereas a lot of loafers are hanging about, living on the people of the country, particularly within a stone's throw of here, people who would not contribute to the Army only they are forced to contribute. If the Army had any consciousness of the treatment to which they are entitled —it may be treason to say this—they would get respect or at least as good treatment as other services and other workmen get. Of course the way the Army that brought us into being was treated by this Government and another Government indicated what this Army could expect. I do not know whether my own colleagues, if they were in power, would agree to do anything better, but the manner in which the I.R.A. and the I.C.A. and the men  and women associated with them were treated, was a headline of what you were going to do with this Army.
We hear about men who have developed organic diseases in the Army, but how can it be otherwise when these men are not treated as an army but as a second-hand clothes shop? What are you paying for the Army? Less than £10,000,000 and that includes equipment and stores of all kind. What is the actual cash given to these men—officers and gentlemen? I am not speaking of officers apart from the gentlemen. I am talking about the gentlemen of the rank and file whose fathers I know. They are the finest and cleanest body of men of any armed force in the world, and I know something of armies in other countries. We have, of course, a few black sheep, but the conditions allow of that. Some men were allowed into the Army without examination of any kind. I know of one case where a man of 70 years of age was allowed to join and he came to his death soon afterwards. Many other men developed some form of organic trouble after joining the Army and were then allowed to go home.
I know one man myself who was in a fairly good position. He was out, not in 1916, but in 1914 and 1913 as well. He would go into the Army and he left his job. He is still in the Army. He ought to be allowed home. He has given quite enough service to his country. What he is getting in the Army now is paltry remuneration compared with what he was getting in a big public utility concern. I know another man who has nine children. He is a sergeant in one of the battalions close to Dublin. He never complains. One of his boys is working; the others are not working. He gets his Army pay and he seems to be jolly and comfortable— never to have the belly-ache, such as some of the gentlemen who have been referred to seem to have. A gentleman on the opposite side who has spoken referred to a man who joined the Army and got fed-up. Now, he wants to get out and his excuse is that he wants to go back to his farm. What about the men who gave up their jobs in commercial and industrial concerns in this  town and other towns? Have they not as good a claim to a share of the loaves and fishes as this other gentleman?
I understand that we spend about £10,000,000 on the Army. Sweden is a country of 7,000,000 people. It is a nonbelligerent State and it spends £364,000 a day. Take the other things that come into the bill into consideration and Sweden is spending £110,000,000 on her army. Yet, we talk about the amount of money that we are spending on the Army. We have accumulated £170,000,000 since the war and we have £34,000,000 in the savings banks. Somebody must be putting money into the joint stock banks and the savings banks. Somebody is doing well but one man is not doing well. He has to accept an invitation to go down to some aliens' theatre to get a little amusement. The Army is used as an advertising dodge. Despite all this talk of our jealous appreciation of the Army, the soldiers must march to the theatre and stand up while a vote of thanks is passed to a gentleman who is only using them as an advertisement. I remember when the first batch went down to a certain theatre. People used to be allowed in at that time of the day for a shilling. As soon as the Army went there, the price went up to 1/6. The gang responsible are getting more money because the men in the Army came along and sat beside them. They were marched down like a lot of sheep. If I had been a private, I know what I would have done. They would have put me in the guard-room.
In the days before we established the present Army, we were talking about a citizen army. In Switzerland, they have a citizen army. In the case of the Government which preceded the present Government, it would have been dangerous to give every man a rifle to take home and I think it would be dangerous for the present Government to do that. I do not think that they would be long in power if they did. But if we ever get into power—I think that I am speaking now for my Party—we shall have a citizen army. We shall not have conscription by force but by a sense of duty. Each man will have his gun and his gun will be  directed and controlled in a democratic way.
I do not think that anybody can challenge the statement that we have an intelligent, a gracious and a generous body of officers. They are of as high a standard physically, mentally, and from the point of view of everything that makes a man, as any body in any country. I know some of them personally. Many of them I know by sight for years. They are everything that one would wish to see. We ought to give them—men and officers—a larger measure of appreciation, and we should treat them well when they have to retire either for reasons of illness or other reasons. I think that statistics will prove that there is less crime in this Army of ours than in any army the world knows. The members are amenable to direction, and they show good sense on every occasion. When they get on public vehicles, they do not indulge in swank or swagger. The only thing I regret is that they are not in closer touch with us. It would be a good idea if, instead of having provincial battalions, we had battalions attached to particular areas, so that they would be closer to us.
I remember the Taoiseach inviting me on a Saturday evening to discuss the Construction Corps with him. We spent a few hours there after the others had gone home. I warned him that the Construction Corps would never be a success. There should be a training field for young men, but there is a peculiar “mindology” amongst our people. They will not be forced into a thing, and I think the Government would be well advised to reconsider the whole question. There are 8,000 men in this town between the ages of 14 and 20 who never worked. Yet they are going about well disciplined. One gentleman suggested that the Army should be trained to provide cheap labour for industrial capitalists. I suggest that the men in the Army be given the best education possible. But do they receive education while they are in the Army? They do not receive very much useful education. I think that they might be given more education. Young men who have missed  matriculation or men who have graduated should have opportunities of going further. There are some opportunities for education in the Army. One of the best features I saw in that connection was the teaching of our own language. I would almost compel every man to learn his own language if I were there. A lot of people do not like that language. An opportunity was not given to many thousands of our people to learn the language. Those who do know it because they were born in a certain district and it was their natural vehicle of expression while about their own homes do not appreciate the position of the others. When you are in an area such as that in which most of us live, you know the antagonism you have got to meet. Sometimes it comes like inspirational fervour to hear that this language of ours will have to be reckoned with.
I have a quarrel with the Censor, but it is not on the grounds on which the gentleman who sat down, and who has a peculiar complex, quarrels with him. When the power of censorship was given to an officer of the Executive Government, it was definitely understood that it would not be abused so far as expression of their needs by a particular group, particularly the organised workers, was concerned. To my surprise, any time I find any oppressive measure taken by the Censor, it is always against the organised workers. I propose to take an opportunity to write to the head of the Government—I do not often annoy him by writing to him—pointing out that his word and the word of the Executive Government have been broken. The appropriate Minister ought to have some little sense of responsibility.
In this House, and outside it, for the past two years we have heard praise for the men who go down to the sea in ships, but I do not think that any men have been so badly treated by any Government or by any capitalist class as the merchant seamen of this country. In other countries the work of merchant seamen has been eulogised and there have been expressions of sympathy with them. Medals have also been awarded them.  No men in the marine service have run through so many dangers in the course of their work as the merchant seamen of this country. They were sent out in sieves to bring back cargoes and were confronted by dangers that could not be expressed in words. While running into convoys and running out of convoys they were brutally murdered because they had no means of retaliation. It was just like a case of hunting dogs. What did we do for them in return? We gave to a bunch of aliens, with the exception of one gentleman associated with them, control of the lives and conditions of these men. Even their wages conditions were arrived at by a foreign government. When these men protested against such conditions they had to submit to what Frank Aiken——
Mr. Larkin: ——says. The Minister, a man who comes from the working classes, deliberately denies them the right of expressing their views. There has been in the office for the past few days a statement from men who were actually on board these ships, but their views—those of illiterate or semi-illiterate men—have not been allowed to be made public in the Press, despite the undertaking given by the Government in this House that there would be no interference with men or women engaged in industry that required an adjustment of grievances. There are ships lying in the port for the past five days that we begged and borrowed, and when the men on them tried to adjust their grievances because of the conditions under which they work, they were denied the opportunity to put their case before the public, while the employers, so-called, were allowed to do so and to lie about these men. Statements were made that these men were trying to hold up the country, that it was blackmail, that they were lying in a port in the western ocean and when ordered to go to another port, wanted to get a bonus. That is a deliberate lie. A British marine surveyor stated that  the ship they were on was not seaworthy, that it was not fit to go to sea and that it should be put under repair. As there were no means of docking at St. John's they were then advised to go to Boston. There was a cargo of grain on board. That is one of the most dangerous cargoes to carry when water is getting in. After being repaired the ship was passed for the home voyage. The men claimed, as was their right, in view of the undertaking given, and in view of the unseaworthy condition of the ship when it reached Boston, Mass, what they were entitled to. They undertook to take this sieve home. It was not a ship which in ordinary conditions would be allowed to go to sea. That ship was taken home by our men and because of some little friction the crew were put ashore. When they tried to have their case stated they could not do so. These men took risks that no Deputy ever faced. I suppose not one Deputy here understands what they endured during the past few winters. I ask the Minister, at least, to see that the undertaking given is carried out, and to take off the censorship in this case so that the men may have the right to express their views. Seeing that they volunteered to work for this State, they would not be the cause of jeopardising its safety. I know these men since boyhood. They worked under different flags but they came back here to work under our flag, and to carry out their duties under right direction. Put men who are not aliens in charge.
Mr. Larkin: I am speaking of interference with these men. Surely the question of bringing food to this country concerns its security. However, as the Chair has been kind to me, I bow to your ruling. As one who sometimes says hard and bitter things. I think the Minister knows that I am deeply sensible of his responsibility for these men as well as for the machinery of the Department. But for these merchant seamen we could not carry on. As one who knows them, I ask the Minister to see that they get  a measure of justice and the right to state their case. Do not drive them to desperation in case they leave this country to take service under a foreign flag. I would not take the Minister's position unless I was assured of power of direction and control so that there would be a proper appreciation of labour and ordinary wage conditions. They should get the humane treatment that the trade unions have forced ordinary employers to give. Some day I hope to see the men in the Army organised, and trade unions to protest them.
Mr. L. Cosgrave: It has become fashionable to pay a tribute to the Army, particularly in Ministerial pronouncements. I am more or less in agreement with a good deal of Deputy Larkin's remarks concerning such tributes. It is highly desirable that tribute should be paid to the Army, to the L.D.F. and the L.S.F., but a tribute as such is meaningless unless we intend to back it up by adequate and just treatment of the men at the conclusion of the emergency. So far as I am aware and so far as most people are aware no provision of any kind is being made to absorb the men or to secure that men who have left employment or their own vocations to serve the country will be taken back on the cessation of hostilities. We have had many pronouncements from time to time that the Government would get employers and firms to take back into their employment those who were formerly employed by them and to reinstate them on no less advantageous scale of wages than they enjoyed prior to joining the Army. That is all we have got. It is time, after four years of the emergency—nearly five, now— that men who joined the forces, particularly married men and some who have since got married and men who have got dependents of one kind or another, should be given some definite statement that so far as paying them tribute from the Government and the State is concerned it will be a real tribute and not mere words, because, as far as I can see, the tribute, so far, is mere words. It may be said that the time has not yet come, but certainly the time has come to assure  many thousands of our countrymen who acted in a very patriotic manner that they are going to be adequately provided for and that they are going to be rewarded at the conclusion of the emergency. Deputy Anthony mentioned the question of demobilisation. I do not know what plans, if any, the Government has for demobilisation, but it is due to the people in the services that provision should be made for them at the end of the emergency. A number of people have left their own trade or employment and they have no guarantee that at the end of hostilities work as good as that which they enjoyed prior to joining the Army will be available. I think it is essential that, sooner or later, and the sooner the better, the members of the Defence Forces should be given a definite statement of Government policy as to how they are going to be demobilised and how they are going to be rewarded and provided for. There are a couple of points which arise on this Estimate and which merit consideration. I am glad the Minister and the Department accepted the advice given here some six months ago, concerning the pay of the men in the Defence Forces.
Since then an increase has been granted in pay and an increase in marriage allowance which was certainly deserved and did not come one bit too soon in view of the rising cost of living which the soldiers had to contend with on the small allowance that they had. While the men have been given an increase, the pay of the officers has all the time remained static. In fact the basic grade of pay for the officers is the same now as it was when the Army was originally founded. I think the Ministry is aware that after 12 months from 1924 or approximately at that time the basic rate of pay was to come up for revision. I do not know whether it did ever come up for revision. If it did, it was not revised or if it was revised, it remained at the same rate. Numerous promotions have taken place in the Army since the emergency, and in many cases promotion has not meant any increase in pay or if it has it has meant an increase which is very inadequate to compensate for the corresponding increase in cost of living. The  6d. a day deferred pay which has been mentioned and which has been held until after the emergency should in my opinion be paid to a man if he ceases to be a member of the Defence Forces, not if he goes on indefinite leave, but when he ceases to have anything to do with the Defence Forces it might as well be paid, unless there is some hazy idea in the back of the Minister's mind of re-enlisting him.
Mr. L. Cosgrave: Or it should be paid to the widow. It is questionable, however, if there is much advantage in withholding deferred pay from the men. Most soldiers that I have come into contact with find that the cost of living is so high that they are forced to adopt all means to offset the expenses which they have incurred. While it is desirable that something should be available for them at the end of the emergency it is questionable whether conditions will ever be worse. As far as I can see they have no promise that they will be better but the cost of living can hardly go much higher. If it keeps going up as fast for the rest of the emergency as it has gone up since the beginning, then the 6d. a day or an increase of some kind will have to be granted to the men. There are a couple of other matters which have been mentioned. One is the releasing of men for harvest work. I do not know what principle guides the Department of Defence in releasing men to take part in harvesting or agricultural operations. As far as I am concerned I have had nothing but satisfaction in dealing with them, but then I have been given the opportunity to know my way around the Department of Defence from both sides and they always paid prompt attention to my requests, but the ordinary citizen who cannot or who has not thought of approaching a Deputy finds considerable delay before he or she can secure the release of a son or husband or boy to engage in harvesting operations. I would advise the Minister to give some general intimation to the members of the public or at any rate to the members of the Defence Forces as to the  necessary steps to take in order to secure the release of men for harvesting operations.
It is well known that if a man makes application for exemption for a certain period if the exemption is held up until that period has elapsed the usefulness of that individual has probably ceased. Harvesting is a short period and similarly for spring work there is a short period, but the period is particularly short in connection with the harvesting. The most expeditious method possible should be employed to secure that any soldier, if he can satisfy the Department or if the Guards can be satisfied in the case of an individual applying for a member in the forces that the man is required for agricultural work, will be made available and it should not be necessary for Deputies or others to have to intervene on his behalf. There is another matter which has been mentioned and that is co-operation between the L.S.F. and L.D.F. As far as I am aware the relations between the L.D.F. and the Army have never been too happy. They have worked moderately well, but in one particular area there was a misunderstanding and dispute and as a result the L.D.F. has dwindled to very small proportions. It has become so small that there are only eight men in it and it is nicknamed “The Eighth Army.” That may be an exception. I am sure the Minister is anxious to have the fullest co-operation between the Army and the L.D.F. In any disputes, he has advice on the Army side and it is desirable he should endeavour also to get independent advice. I appreciate that disciplinary and other regulations must guide the conduct of the Army towards the L.D.F., but I appreciate that disciplinary and other regulations must guide the conduct of the Army towards the L.D.F., but I would advise the Minister not to be guided solely by the Army authorities in dealing with the relations of the two bodies.
It would be highly desirable for the Government to take up the question of preference for ex-members of the Defence Forces in regard to outside employment. That could be done, if necessary, by an Emergency Powers Order, though I hate to advocate any increase in those Orders, so as to introduce  compulsion where soldiers or ex-soldiers are suitable for a vacancy and thus give them a preference over ordinary individuals. That would be an effective and real way of paying tribute to the Army.
It sounds well and looks well to pay verbal tribute, but the real way in which we can demonstrate our gratefulness to the members of the Defence Forces is by ensuring that they will not suffer by joining but, on the contrary, will obtain a preference over the individual who has not joined. There are exceptions, where an individual may not have been able to join or may have served the country in another fashion. However, there are thousands of able-bodied individuals who have joined no service and who do not wish to contribute anything to the defence of the country. Deputy Larkin has described those people as “loungers”, and he was perfectly right. Many persons are or were receiving doles, who have been completely warped, so far as a patriotic outlook is concerned. They deserve no consideration, in comparison with those who have become members of the regular Army, the L.D.F. or the L.S.F.
I was very glad to hear the Minister mention the provision of an Army hospital for those who have contracted tuberculosis while on Army service. It is certainly time that some provision was made. Many Deputies here have had their attention drawn to cases of soldiers who have contracted tuberculosis on Army service, or who have had it aggravated by Army service, and who were thrown on the local authority. It would not be so bad if the local authority assisted them, but very often they were sent home to their families where, as well as being a financial burden, they have in many cases continued to disseminate the germs of the disease. I hope the hospital which is being built will accommodate at least all the serious cases, if not all the minor ones.
If a soldier is discharged as medically unfit, after a fairly lengthy period of Army service, and is told later that  no pension can be awarded to him, as in the opinion of the board or of the Minister, his disability did not arise from Army service, he is naturally annoyed and seriously grieved. His family have a serious complaint against the Army on that account. I concede that the disease may not be attributable to Army service—or, as a letter I have received from the Department of Defence says, “aggravated, excited or accelerated by Army service”—but if a man has six or seven years' service and is discharged then as medically unfit, surely a person with the lowest intelligence can realise that his contraction of the disease was due to that service. If he had to undergo the ordinary physical training in a week state of health, it certainly accelerated or contributed to the disease from which he is suffering.
As Deputy Larkin has said, the Army, in comparison with other armies, is not costing such a large sum. It is a considerable sum for this country and one which I would not like to see expanded, but for the sake of maintaining a good name and showing that we really value the services the members of the Defence Forces have rendered, I believe the relatively small sum which would be necessary to defray pensions, gratuities or bounties—or whatever kind of benefit would be regarded as most suitable for these men —should be paid. The medical examination they undergo on entering the force should be sufficiently searching to ensure, as far as medical science can, that they are not suffering or likely to suffer from any undesirable disease. If that is properly done, the number of cases of tuberculosis afterwards will be relatively small and the amount of compensation to be paid will be correspondingly small.
In conclusion, I hope the Minister will take note that I, in conjunction with another Deputy, regard the action of the Minister for the Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures, in not being present in the House to listen to the debate on an occasion when his Vote is being considered, as grave discourtesy to the House.
Mr. Connolly: The importance of the Army Estimate can easily be realised  when one reflects on armies in general. The Army is an instrument which has moulded society and, even to-day, in a world of war, the Army is one of the most important instruments in society. Therefore, we should give it grave and due consideration. However, at the present time we are not entitled to give it such searching and detailed examination as would ordinarily be required. I propose only to submit a few thoughts on the question of what has been, in my opinion, erroneously called the post-war period of the Army. So far as the Army is concerned, I believe there is no such thing as a post-war period There is only an inter-war period. The Army must be conceived, brought into being and maintained with the prospect that there will be another war following this war. I am certain that those who have any knowledge of continental countries believe that the old volcano of Europe has not done erupting, and that this will not be the last emergency which will come to us. I certainly feel that we will have to face another emergency and should consider carefully what should be the policy in regard to defence during the inter-war period.
The Minister should undoubtedly take into consideration the lessons of this present war. I have no doubt that he is doing so, and that the Army is fully instructed in that regard. I trust that the Department over which he has control is paying due regard to the lessons which have been learned in this war. Whether the Army, constituted as it is, is in his opinion the best instrument to meet what may be a worse emergency is, of course, a matter of opinion. There is the question of how the inter-war period may be availed of to improve our defence forces: whether we should maintain them on the basis of a regular Army as at present, or whether we should, in some form or other, modify that conception of it in order to have some amalgamation with the forces which were created during this war—the L.S.F., the L.D.F., and the A.R.P. Whether we should attempt to have these amalgamated or coordinated in order to have a service more genuinely a national defence service than the present Army, is a matter  to which I think the Minister should address some remarks.
I asked, on a previous occasion, for a direction by the Taoiseach himself in regard to the statement he made at Dundalk on the 12th September of last year to which I received no satisfactory reply. As it concerns this Minister's Department intimately, I trust that he will address himself to it. The statement is reported in Volume 91, No. 7, Columns 2307-8. On that occasion the Taoiseach said:—
“Accordingly, not merely for the present, but for a long time into the future, we would need our manhood to be trained. We would have to have them trained as at present in the voluntary forces or, if we could not have them in these, it might be necessary for the existence of the nation that compulsory training would be introduced.”
I should like to know what is the policy of the Government in regard to this question. The Minister may have his angle upon it, and I am sure he has, but I should like to know it. I am perfectly neutral on the question, but unless it is properly brought out in all its aspects, it is very hard to form an opinion on it. Perhaps the Minister will address himself to the question as to what form the defence services of this country should take during the inter-war period. There will be the question of mobilisation to consider. Deputy L. Cosgrave addressed some remarks on that and put forward a view which could not be sustained by the members of these benches. I am in agreement with most of the other parts of his speech in regard to the treatment of members of the Defence Forces, but on that one question of issuing an Emergency Powers Order for the purpose of giving a preference to members of the Defence Forces, I think that if he examines it himself, he will find that it is not a policy which he would really endorse. He would find that, instead of conferring any benefit on the  members of the Defence Forces, in fact he was doing them a great disservice, because he would be putting them, in relation to their fellow workers in employment, in a very invidious position which would, in many cases, react against their social, if not their economic position. But apart from that, very careful thought should be given to this question of demobilisation after the war.
There should be some sort of priority or some sort of treatment for the members of the Defence Forces. The question of demobilisation is often looked upon as a departmental matter, and is just considered from the point of view of the Army itself. I suggest to the Minister that, as we have to take into consideration the return of something like 150,000 members of our race from war industries in Great Britain, the Department should consider carefully a scheme of demobilisation in relation to the needs of industry and agriculture. There should be some form of priority for men who are trained, men who were without employment owing to the emergency conditions and went into the Army so that they might assist the resurgence and recreation of different industries in the country.
The same applies to agriculture. Then there is the case of those who went into the Army as an emergency measure, and who having in the past fought a bit, have what may be called the old-time conception of the British Army—that it was composed of the riff-raff of the country. I may say, of course, that the Army is not of that type at all. Some of those men may not care to return to peace-time ordinary routine or to industrial employment. There should be some question of having an option as between those who want to remain in the Army and those who do not. In other words, on this question of demobilisation, the Minister should concern himself not only with the needs of industry but with individual wishes.
With regard to the whole question of the Army of the future, I believe that  in the civilised society we have now, there will be an Army in the future for quite a considerable time. The Minister should direct his attention to the question of training not only for war but for peace. If there is to be some basis for national service, some means should be created for training them in the best possible way for their work in war and also for the work of peace which will follow that. I believe that the Army should be made the most highly efficient in Europe. Despite our size, and the tremendous difficulties in regard to other forces which we may have to meet, there is still the possibility of making it very expensive and very injurious for other forces that might come in to attack us. They might find that their military game would not be worth the candle. There is the possibility, I think, of training a small army to a most efficient degree. That is why I suggest to the Minister that the question of training the Army should be reviewed, not that it has proved inefficient. The new methods of defence and attack should be taken into consideration in the future training of the Army. There should be an attempt to get away from the old regulation routine. The methods that were employed at Waterloo would not do to-day. That age is passed, and the age of modern warfare has developed.
On this question of the reorganisation of the Army, there should be the possibility of the ranker rising as quickly as possible to the top. Nothing should be put in his way. Every opportunity should be given to enable him to give himself the education, qualifications and training that will enable him to rise as quickly as possible to the highest command.
It has been the experience in this war that in many cases the rankers have made the best generals. There is no doubt about that. If there is one lesson to be gained from this war, it is that a man of 45 years of age is too old for a high command. The best generals in the German and Russian armies are men under 45 years. It is the very rare exception in this war that anyone over 45 years is in a position of command. The stress and  strain of modern warfare are such that it could not be otherwise.
That is a matter that should be seriously considered by the Army authorities here. They should consider the possibility of allowing the best of those in the ranks to attain high command rapidly as a reward for merit and for exceptional ability—not merely literary ability, but on account of their enthusiasm, national tradition and the other qualifications which we hold should constitute the best possible background for those now in the service of the country. I think the idea of an army where everything works in a very routine manner, where you step up from private to corporal, and from corporal to sergeant, and so on right along the line in a very weary way from year to year, is entirely outmoded. That method of conducting such an essential service as the Army is fast disappearing. We should have the right to seek out the best material in the Army from the start, and those who possess the highest qualities should be raised to the highest positions of command in the quickest possible time.
There are a few points I should like to mention with reference to the Air Force. I am sure that the Minister has a full appreciation of the importance of the Air Force. It is now being indicated to us, in a way that we cannot ignore, that the main force of the future will be the air force. I suggest that we should endeavour, in the inter-war period, to develop our Air Force to the greatest possible extent for defence purposes. Of course, an air force by itself will not be sufficient. Everyone knows that it must be backed up by an aero industry. That is a very significant weakness in our whole line of defence—that there is no aero industry in this country. The Minister may not be aware of the necessity for such an industry. I suggest the importance of the matter cannot be overlooked, and it is time that the Minister for Finance should be asked to consider favourably the creation of an aero industry, so that by the next war we shall have adequate backing for our Air Force.
I might develop that point by suggesting  that the Minister should take a more comprehensive view and consider the question of establishing an armament industry here. We may not be able to do it on a large scale, but we have certain resources in this country which we could utilise. We might consider in the future not devoting the whole of our expenditure, such as is contained in this Estimate, to the current needs of the Army, but for the purpose of building up in the rear of the Army in order to supply the Army with necessary equipment and with arms of all descriptions. We should consider the creation of a State-owned armament industry which will put us in a favourable position, a position in which there will be no criticism along the lines mentioned by Deputy Dillon.
Mr. Moran: I was amazed at the outlook of Deputy Anthony as expressed in the House. He said that the subject-matter of this Estimate is futile and it is useless to be spending money on it. I understand the same views were expressed, to some degree at least, by Deputy Blowick. I thought we had got over that mentality in this country. In view of recent happenings, I think it should have been brought home to every Deputy that in this emergency we should at all events keep our insurance against danger paid by endeavouring to have, as far as we can, a strong Army until the dangers that threaten us have passed. If the mentality of Deputy Anthony had been given expression to some years ago, where would we be now? If the people who went out to write this country's history in 1916 and in subsequent years had the same outlook as Deputy Anthony, the struggle for Irish independence would never have taken place, because people might have felt that it would be futile for us to assert ourselves as a nation. If we are going to remain as an independent unit, if we are to preserve our nationality, we must at least have an army, because otherwise we would simply invite our own destruction.
I got a pleasant surprise when I saw this Estimate. I thought that this year it would be much higher. From the point of view of encouraging people to join the Army, and encouraging the  people who are in it, giving them something to look forward to, I think we could go much further. I think the best way to show our appreciation of the men who are sacrificing some of the best years of their lives in the national interest during this emergency is to plan something definite for them in the post-war period. I suggest that in future certain marks should be given for emergency service by the Appointments Commission, for instance, in the case of people who are being examined for public appointments in the State. Special marks should be given for Army service.
I was rather amazed to come across some instances of the way in which people show their appreciation of young men who are in the Army. I have come across the case of a medical student who unquestionably had a very brilliant career before him but who decided to join the Army at the beginning of the emergency. He was a graduate of the National University in Dublin and he was in the West endeavouring to do his M.D. degree, but he would not be allowed to sit for his M.D. degree in the Galway University, although it is a constituent college of the National University and although he had the permission of the Registrar of the National University in Dublin. Because of his duties in the Army, he could not get to Dublin to do that examination. He was informed in Galway that when he did not take out his M.B. degree in Galway University he would not be allowed to sit for his M.D. degree there. That is an extraordinary attitude on the part of the authorities, and the Minister should take steps to see that students of medicine or engineering or other professions who are in the Army should not be treated in that way in the future. Those people, those brass hats in No Man's Land since the emergency started, should not be allowed to dictate to those young men and make things difficult for them when they are trying to improve themselves and at the same time are sacrificing the best years of their lives in the national interest.
I suggest that soldiers who, because of some accident in the Army, are invalided,  should be treated in a more reasonable manner from the point of view of compensation. Some of them are discharged without any compensation, and that is very unfair. While I do not suggest that something along the lines of the Workmen's Compensation Act should be applied to them, I do think that some reasonable provision should be made. I have come across cases of young men who, through lorries overturning or through some other form of accident, received permanent injuries. This is apart altogether from cases of tuberculosis. Something should be done for these people because there are some of them who have been maimed for the rest of their lives and have little chance of recovering. Nothing has been done for them by the State.
I would again suggest to the Minister that there should be a unified control of our defence services. That would embrace men who are not actually in the Army—men who are in the L.D.F. and the L.S.F. There should be unified control of those people by the Army. There are a lot of cross-currents at the moment and I have had some experience of differences of opinion between Gárda and Army officers and I believe it would be for the betterment of the Defence Forces, of all branches of the forces, if they were unified under Army control. I think there would be less cause for complaint, less friction, and that things would run much more smoothly.
In conclusion, I should like to join my voice to that of Deputy Connolly on the question of the development of an aircraft industry and, in particular, to direct the Minister's attention to the necessity, in the interests of the Army, of establishing air centres or airfields throughout the country. There are some of these in the country which were formerly used as airports. Day after day these places are being sold and are disappearing, whereas, if action were taken in time—the Minister has the Construction Corps to do work for him in connection with them —these could have been preserved for the State. It will take much greater expenditure and much more work at a future time to re-establish those once  they are allowed to go. In view of the modern development of armies and, particularly, air forces, I ask the Minister to bear that in mind for the coming year and, where such airfields are still available and it would not take a lot of money to re-establish them, to see that they are preserved. It is much better to do it now rather than to do it when it will have to be done at greater cost at some time in the future.
Mr. H.M. Dockrell: I suggest to the Minister that, while we are living in an emergency, and it is quite right that no information ought to be divulged which might be of service to some people who do not wish us well, there is quite a number of items in this Vote in connection with which the Minister might still try to maintain the ordinary framework by dealing with them. What possible objection could there be to giving the expenses in connection with the National Blood Transfusion Council? Is there any objection to giving details of the expenses in connection with the issue of medals commemorating the 1916 Rising? There is a number of other items such as these as to which, even in war time, information could be given without disclosing anything which might be of disservice to this country.
I should also like to ask the Minister if he can give us any idea of what is the amount outstanding. I know he would have to make an estimate, but we would like to have an estimate, even within £100,000, if he feels he would be allowed to give it, because there is always a time lag between the ordering of these things and the supplying of them. Although £8,600,000 seems an enormous sum, one would like to know what is the real bill and what the ultimate bill will be.
I should also like to refer to a matter in connection with the censorship, which is under the control of the Minister's colleague, the Minister for the Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures. Last week I addressed a question to that Minister and, in reply, he made a statement, but it certainly was not an answer. I should like to get a reply to some of my  queries. I should like to mention at the outset that there is no question that the township which was originally called Kingstown has now been changed to Dun Laoghaire. Dun Laoghaire is its proper appellation, and most people, who do not forget, usually refer to it as Dun Laoghaire. But apart from that, a number of side issues seem to have crept in. There were certain places and institutions there before the name was changed from Kingstown to Dun Laoghaire. Amongst them is the Presbyterian Church, which was called Kingstown Presbyterian Church.
Of course it is the Kingstown Presbyterian Church. But I should like to point out to the Minister that the Irish Times does not insert notices of religious services. It puts in the notices that are handed in. It does not start to mess them up in the way that the Press Censor apparently has recently started to do. Coming back to the Minister's reply, here is another very interesting item of information which the Minister gave me and for which I did not ask. By the way, I am very glad to see that the Minister has come into the House because, of course, this is the only occasion on which questions such as this can be raised, and it is rather invidious to be raising it vicariously with his colleague, the Minister for Defence. The Minister for the Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures last week also informed me:
I do not know when that treaty was signed with the Irish Times and really it does not interest me. I am very glad to hear that the Minister is satisfied; but, as I say, I did not ask about it and it really does not interest me. Again, the Minister in his reply stated:—
“I am also aware that it was suggested to the Irish Times by the censorship that the item `Kingstown Presbyterian Church, Dun Laoghaire', should appear as `Dun Laoghaire Presbyterian Church, Dun Laoghaire', or simply as `Presbyterian Church, Dun Laogh-`aire', as it appeared last week in the issue of the 14th April.”
What the Minister does not tell you is the Censor's suggestion to the Irish Times that the item could not appear in its original form. That was a very naive suggestion and looks very like compulsion. The announcement was under the heading of “Presbyterian Churches” and, therefore, the proper way to put it in was as it was put in, that is, “Kingstown Presbyterian Church, Dun Laoghaire”
These notices appeared up to a short time ago, but apparently somebody drew the Censor's attention to the fact that our neutrality was endangered by the appearance of “Kingstown Presbyterian Church, Dun Laoghaire.” I think there is a reason for it. We heard during debates on the Constitution about the “last link with the Crown” and it seems as if we are about to break the last link with the Crown. Deputy Esmonde referred to the refusal to allow the letters K.C. to appear after a man's name. I believe these letters stand for “King's Counsel” and it is further evidence that the word “King” cannot appear during the continuation of hostilities. If that appeared in “General John Regan” we would all say that it was a travesty, that it was not true, but in this case the word “King”, in such words as “King's Counsel” and “Kingstown”, cannot be mentioned.
 I should like the Government to be honest about it. Either let the word “King” be excised from the dictionary in this country, or let us adopt a symbol for it so that everybody will understand that it is a word which cannot be mentioned. I thought when I mentioned this matter to the Minister, that we had heard the end of it, but the Minister, in spite of what happened last week and in spite of age and experience, is continuing ignorant. The Irish Times nominally is still refusing the advertisement in that form. Is not that a pretty pass? Talk about comic opera and buffoonery! Did anyone ever hear of such goings on? I should like the Minister to be honest and tell us the truth. Can the word “King” be mentioned no more in this country? This is not a question of the people of a township refusing to recognise the name “Dun Laoghaire.” It is a matter of names older than the re-naming of the township. Are these people to be allowed to retain these names?
That is just what the censorship is not doing. By the process of the red pencil or the blue pencil, places which have legal names and are described by a particular name are to be re-christened because the district has been re-christened. If the Minister were logical, he should insist that every place in the township of Dun Laoghaire in the name of which the word “Kingstown” appears—and I could mention quite a number—ought to have its name forcibly changed.
Mr. Dockrell: That is called O'Connell Street by everybody, so far as I know, but that is no reason why a place which was called “Sackville House,” or something like that, should be changed to “O'Connell House.” I suggest that the word “Sackville” should not disappear from the language. We have all seen places re-named from time to time, but to suggest that the old name, where it has been given to certain places in the district, should disappear, is nonsense. To show the absurdity of the position, if a man were referring to the township 25 years ago, would he say he lived in the township of Dun Laoghaire, then called Kingstown, or Kingstown, now called Dun Laoghaire, or would he speak of Kingstown at that particular time? I suggest that the time for the stopping of this nonsense has arrived, and more especially has the time arrived when this action is done under the guise of censorship during a national emergency, because it is merely bringing the censorship into disrepute and dragging the censor and the Government into absurdities, as a result of which they will sooner or later find themselves faced with an impasse.
Mr. Cafferky: The army in any country to-day is a very important body, and, on the first occasion on which I spoke in this House, when I had the privilege of dealing with the Army, I voiced my protest against the way in which they have been dealt with, and in particular the weekly wage they receive for the magnificent contribution they are making to this State in the sense in which they are prepared at any moment to lay down their lives in the defence of the civil population. Therefore, I hold that if any man in this country should be given a just and reasonable allowance, it is the soldier who is prepared to lay down his life and make the supreme sacrifice in the defence of the womanhood and manhood of the country; and although £8,500,000, or almost £8,750,000, may be a large sum for a small country like this, I think that if we had the details as to the amount that is allocated in the form of wages to the serving soldiers in the Army, it would be found that the amount to be accounted for in that regard would be very small.
The Army, taking them as a whole, are a body of men of which we can be justly proud, particularly when we consider the economic situation that  existed here in 1939, and that still exists, when so many young men in this country were prepared to come forward and acknowledge the Colours and defend the independence of this country to the extent that they were willing and eager to take an oath of allegiance that if they should be called upon to do so they were prepared to give of their best in the defence of this State. I feel that the young men of this country to-day are actuated by equally as strong and noble a patriotism as the men who went out in the Easter Week Revolution, and, that being so, I hold that it is unfair for anybody to suggest that the amount of money spent on the Army to-day, although perhaps the country can ill afford it, is too great. If that money is spent in an economic way and in the best interests of the soldier—and when I talk of the soldier I mean the plain private or common soldier, who is of as much importance, according to the way I look at the matter, as the man who is wearing a brass hat—I think it is well spent and that we should not begrudge it.
Deputy Anthony, in the course of his remarks, seemed to think that it was an exorbitant sum and that now, seeing that the emergency is beginning to wear away to a certain extent, a reduction in this Estimate could be brought about. In that connection, I wish to say that there is one thing against which I should like to protest in this House, and that is that any Deputy should get up in this House and deliberately and intentionally misrepresent what another Deputy has said, knowing in his heart of hearts that even if the Deputy concerned had used certain words or phrases, he did not mean them to be taken literally and was trying to the best of his ability to convey something to the House that he thought was in the best interests of this country. I think it is a wrong attitude for any Deputy to adopt— whether he is a member of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Labour, Clann na Talmhan or any other Party—to get up here and, for some political or perhaps personal purpose, of which nobody but himself is aware, try deliberately to misrepresent what another Deputy has said and to present him as a man who  has no respect for the Army or as a man who feels that it is of no use in this country, and without whom the country would be just as well off. I think that that is a wrong attitude for any man to adopt, but unfortunately it is an attitude that I see being adopted here daily. Almost every day on which we meet here I see cases of Deputies getting up and trying to read into statements made by other Deputies something that is altogether different from what was meant. Deputy Moran, my friend from Mayo, made a statement to that effect, and he made it still worse by coupling it with Deputy Blowick's remarks.
Mr. Cafferky: He said, in effect, that he was sorry that Deputy Blowick had associated himself with Deputy Anthony in trying to discredit the Army of to-day. Now, neither Deputy Anthony nor Deputy Blowick made any such statement to-day, and I was here in the House during their statements. The purport of Deputy Blowick's remarks was to appeal to the Minister to take into consideration the possibility of releasing from the Army certain men who, when joining the Army, had left their families in certain circumstances and where, since their joining the Army, either the bread-winner of the family or an elder brother had died, with the result that there was now a necessity for the soldier to get back into civil life in order to do essential work. Deputy Blowick asked the Minister to take such a factor into consideration. If any Deputy could describe that as discrediting the Army of to-day, the Army of yesterday, or the Army of tomorrow, then his intelligence and mine must differ very much.
Deputy Liam Cosgrave made the point that even if it was only for the good name of it, it would be right to give the private soldier a reasonable allowance. Yes, for the good name of it, it may be; but there is something more important than the good name, and that is, the necessity for it. That is what I am considering. I am not  worrying as to whether people outside this State may consider that we have a good name or a bad name; I am considering the necessity of paying a higher remuneration to the soldier in this country if he is in need of it. If you believe, as I believe, that the soldier of to-day in this country is the most important citizen in the State, in so far as he is prepared to lay down his life in the defence of the general public, then there should be no hesitation, as Deputy Larkin said a short time ago, in giving him a wage equivalent at least to that of a man who works in any of the industries in this country or who works as a clerk or uses a typewriter in any office in this country. The fact, of course, is that the soldiers are not organised. They certainly are organised so far as Army discipline is concerned, but they are not organised so far as the things to which I have referred are concerned, and I suppose that that is why they get the miserable allowance of 18/5 a week, plus certain other small allowances. I am not sure, but I think the weekly allowance, from Wednesday to Wednesday, is 18/5 a week.
It has been suggested by some Deputies that there are no facilities for preparing soldiers now in the Army for the post-war period—preparing them for trades, for instance. I do not think that is quite right. I understand that certain facilities are provided. From my own knowledge, and as a result of coming into contact with some soldiers, I understand that such facilities are provided. For instance, I spent some time last night with a young man from my own neighbourhood who is in the Army, and he praised the Army highly, and particularly the facilities that are granted to young men, who are prepared to take the opportunity, to spend their time in a useful capacity and become acquainted with work that would be useful to them afterwards. He gave the Army a very good name in that regard.
One complaint that I should like to put before the Minister is in connection with the early tea-hour in the afternoon for soldiers. I forget whether it is 4 o'clock or 4.30 in the afternoon, but the soldiers consider that that hour is too early, as it is a very long  fast between that hour and their next meal on the following morning. Dinner is at 12.30 or 1 o'clock, and tea at 4.30, and it is a very long fast from 4 o'clock or 4.30 until the following morning. Of course, they can go out and buy something extra in the canteens outside, but that means a reduction in their weekly wage and imposes a heavier burden on them. Even before I came into this House I heard it suggested that if the tea-hour was at 5.30 or 6 p.m. the soldiers would be better satisfied, because they would be better fitted to walk out and would not feel that they wanted anything more to eat before bed-time, except in special circumstances. I feel that if anything could be done in that regard, so as to have the tea-hour at 5.30 instead of 4.30, it should be adopted, particularly as the soldiers themselves seem to desire it.
Deputy Liam Cosgrave also suggested the introduction, if necessary, of another measure into the many measures coming within the scope of the Emergency Powers Act in order to give preference to the men who are serving the country to-day. I can well see Deputy Cosgrave's point of view. He advocated it not for the purpose of victimising civilians but from a certain desire to recognise in some way that many thousands of young men gave up good positions to enter the Army and because he felt that they should be remunerated in some form for that sacrifice. One form, he felt, was that they should be guaranteed, if necessary by legislation, that they would get first preference in filling any positions that would be going, or that they would get back the positions which they had vacated to join the Army. Like Deputy Connolly, I would be afraid that that would create a prejudice against men who left the Army. You would have people outside the Army who were perhaps just as interested in the country and who, perhaps, had left the Army at an earlier period who would feel that it would not be good citizenship to confine all these posts to men leaving the Army. I think that it might be better if some other method could be devised apart from introducing an Act of that kind to compensate individuals  who were good enough to join up.
Although we are spending over eight and a half million pounds on the Army to-day, I feel that the country would be prepared to spend even more if it meant giving higher remuneration to the serving soldier. One thing I cannot understand is why, when the ordinary soldier gets an increase, it should mean that every other grade within the Army gets an increase. In the debate on the Vote for the Minister for Justice a few days ago, I referred to the same thing in connection with the Gárda Síochána. The Minister for Justice told us that he had got round the Minister for Finance to grant an increase to the ordinary Guards but then he found out that the pay of the higher ranks in the Gárda would also have to be increased. I think that is wrong. You cannot compare men who enjoy big salaries with men who have only a few shillings a day. I think the man holding a high rank would be a very jealous-minded individual if he demanded an increase when the ordinary soldier gets only a few coppers extra. Some of these men in the higher ranks, the brass hats, get close on £1,000 a year, and I think it wrong that they should get an increase when the ordinary private soldier gets a little extra remuneration.
In regard to the question of releasing men for tillage purposes, I think it was Deputy Anthony who appealed to the Minister to consider utilising the Army for saving the harvest and other tillage purposes. Now, I would be agreeable to that on condition that the Army man released for that purpose would get a wage equivalent to that received by the ordinary farm labourer—£2 per week, or whatever it is. I would oppose the suggestion very much if he had to work in the fields for a soldier's rate of pay. I do not think that Deputy Anthony suggested that, but I should like it to be understood that men released from the Army for that purpose should not be asked to work for a soldier's pay only.
Mr. Cafferky: I am sorry if I misrepresented the Deputy, but I wish to make that point myself. It would, no doubt, be very essential during the harvest that part of the Army should be used for saving the harvest, on condition that these soldiers will get ordinary labourer's wages, and that instead of the farmers being asked to billet them—many farmers might not have sufficient accommodation to put them up—they would be billeted in adjoining towns. They could be taken out to the farms by some form of transport in the morning and taken back in the evening.
As regards the L.D.F. and the L.S.F., there seem to be different types of uniform in use down in my county. The trousers and jacket do not appear to be made of the same material. I should also like to point out to the Minister that I have noticed—I do not know whether it is wrong or not—men wearing these uniforms of the forces when bringing home turf or going to the bog. I do not mean that they are wearing second-hand coats or uniforms. They are uniforms which were evidently intended for active service. I think it is an insult to the Army and to the country generally to wear these uniforms in any occupation but the service of the State, unless the uniform has been discarded and is no longer considered fit for use as the official uniform of the State. I may say that I do not know of any hatred or any dissatisfaction existing between the L.S.F., the L.D.F. and the Army or police forces. Recently when a bogus rumour was spread in my part of the country about the landing of parachutists, the efficiency of the L.D.F. and the L.S.F. was proved to be up to standard. They all turned out in the early hours of the morning. They responded to the call in a magnificent fashion, and their general behaviour was well up to requirements of Army discipline and to the standard expected even in the case of actual invasion. I do not think there was any of this chaos or dissatisfaction  which was referred to by some Deputies.
In conclusion I should like to assure the Minister that the country will be behind him whenever he sees his way to assist the ordinary soldier whether by extra remuneration or by the provision of additional facilities. The country is always prepared to accept the burden as far as that is concerned. I think that it would not be safe to reduce the strength of the Army in any way at the present moment. We cannot accept it that the emergency is over, or that it is decreasing in gravity because the peculiar type of war which we are now experiencing may be here to-day and a thousand miles away tomorrow morning. One can never tell where it will break out. It would not be wise, therefore, I suggest to reduce the strength of the Army or reduce the amount of money that we have been spending for the past four or five years. Even though we may feel individually that the war is drawing to an end, I think it would be wrong at this stage to reduce the Estimate or the strength of the Army. On the contrary, I think the best idea is to maintain the strength of the Army and even to recruit more men for it, so that we cannot be taken by surprise in any form.
Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures (Mr. Aiken): I wish to reply to certain criticism offered as to the operation of censorship in the debate here to-day. Deputy Dillon erupted into external affairs to-day for the first time since he blazed the trail for the American Note. He said to-day that I was pro-Axis. Deputy Dillon is too old not to know that, when he accuses me of being pro-Axis in the operation of the censorship, he is not just accusing a private Deputy—Deputy Frank Aiken, as he himself said—but he is accusing me as Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures in a Government which the Irish people have elected in order to maintain their neutrality and the rights of this nation. Upon what evidence did Deputy Dillon base this indictment? “I have one case,” he said, “which will suffice as a type of many others.
 An acute crisis arose not long ago in which American film companies were notified (1) that no film of American soldiers on active service would be permitted”. That is untrue to the knowledge of all regular film-goers in this country. As a matter of fact one of the best active—service films of this war—an American film—has been shown in practically every cinema, so far as I know. Deputies may remember the famous action in which American naval men repelled an attack upon an aircraft-carrier by Japanese planes. That was one of the best pictures of the war. It was objectively done and I wish we could get more pictures of that kind—objective pictures of the war —without their going out of their way to ram propaganda down our throats. If they were available, we should have more of them circulated in the country.
Deputy Dillon's second point was that no film of American soldiers in training would be permitted and, coupled with that, there was the third point that no-film showing American chaplains of any faith being prepared for service in the field would be permitted. That American soldiers in training are shown in our pictures is well known to all film-goers. What may be capable of misrepresentation is the fact that a film purporting to depict the activities of chaplains in the American Army was withdrawn in this city but not on the initiative of the censorship. This film dealing with American chaplains, having been passed by the Censor, was withdrawn because it was repugnant to Catholic teaching. That was done by the exhibitor at the instance of Catholic authorities in this city. One of the incidents in it was a Catholic chaplain supposed to be reading the Talmud into the ear of a dying American soldier. Anybody even slightly familiar with Catholic teaching would know that Catholic chaplains cannot, under Canon Law, or in accord with Catholic philosophy, act in that manner. That is Deputy Dillon's case —(1) that no American soldiers on active service would be permitted to be shown in the films—a lie to the knowledge of every film-goer in this country.
Mr. Aiken: It is untrue to the knowledge of all the film-goers in this country. The next points in Deputy Dillon's case were that no film of American soldiers in training would be permitted and that a film relating to the activities of American chaplains was stopped. In fact, it was passed and withdrawn only at the instance of the Catholic authorities in this city. Deputy Dillon went on to say that we had stopped the caption of a film because it purported to picture the American President and the American flag. There is a rule in the film censorship, for a very good reason, that where blatant propaganda is flaunted in the faces of the people, it is stopped. That is to say, propaganda which might create incidents here. Similar incidents have been created not only in neutral countries but in belligerent countries. The film censor, acting on his general authority, stopped this particular caption which had the American flag in the background. Before Deputy Dillon interfered, the film companies had approached me and that particular caption was restored, simply because the flag was not being flaunted in a belligerent fashion.
We have been very lucky, indeed, that, during this war, there have been no incidents that caused bad blood between ordinary Irish people. I leave Deputy Dillon and the group on the other extreme aside. The rest of the Irish people have come together to defend this country. We prevented—I claim some credit for it—propaganda being circulated on the films and in the papers that would have made our people react violently against those on whose behalf it was circulated. It is only the other day that, in a country which is not neutral, two soldiers were killed in a picture house in an incident arising out of the exhibition of a film. We do not want that. If we allowed certain types of films to appear in our cinema shows, the reaction of the viewers would be misrepresented in many cases as it was on one  occasion when a lady wrote off to a friend in America regarding an incident in which she was concerned. A picture was being shown in which the British A.R.P. were portrayed rescuing people from a demolished house. When a shot of a British Mayor appeared, this lady thought she would lead the audience in a cheer. Her effort had the opposite effect. Nothing would have happened if she had kept her mouth shut and her hands quiet. Because the people re-acted, not against the picture that was being shown on the screen but against the action of this particular fifth columnist, who wanted to create trouble in the country, she misrepresented the country abroad as applauding the bombing of British cities.
I want to come to this question of my being pro-Axis. To the knowledge of all the Deputies here and to the knowledge of well-informed people throughout the country, the censorship here has had one aim and one aim only—that is, to support our people here in the attitude they decided to adopt regarding neutrality. I am not responsible if that policy is not pleasing to Deputy Dillon, and to certain people from across the water who pat him on the back, but I am responsible for seeing that the will expressed here constitutionally, and which I have been appointed to uphold, will be upheld so far as I can do so. That is all we have done. I could give a thousand instances where we cut out violent propaganda being circulated here, not only against the Axis forces but against the Allied forces, which would bring upon me from people who are particularly interested, accusations not of pro-Axism but of pro-Commuism, pro-Black-and-Tannery, pro-English and all the rest. All I claim, and all that we seek is to be pro-Irish and nothing else. We have cut out violent atrocity propaganda which, as everybody knows, in the last war was lies. If you want to read some of the lies circulated by both sides read a little book, costing sixpence, by Lord Ponsonby entitled Falsehoods of the Last War. They were told by both sides.
We in this country do not know the  truth of the atrocity stories, but we try to prevent our people becoming excited, or making war one upon another, simply because of alleged atrocities in other countries. While we have tried to give our people a correct and a balanced view of the issues in this war, as expressed by the various leaders, we have prevented the unbalancing of our people by violent propaganda. I want to emphasise one thing we have done, and that is, that not a single word of the leader of any State engaged in this war has been cut since the war began. As far as the censorship is concerned, if the belligerent Powers wanted to get the cause they were fighting for conveyed to the average people, they were quite free to do so through the mouths of their various elected leaders.
I want to go back again to this pro-Axism. I have only brought a few samples here to-day of what could be said on the other side. If I am accused by Deputy Dillon of being pro-Axis, on the basis of a case that does not exist in truth, what would he call me if I allowed our papers to publish an accusation against the wife of the American President, which was published in England under a four-column heading, and also in the Six Counties under a four-column heading: “Bundles for Eleanor” in a contemptuous fashion? Because that was a contemptuous form of propaganda, even though it was published in England, we did not allow it here. If I am pro-Axis on the basis of a case that does not exist, what am I supposed to be when I stopped this statement by a German spokesman which was pushed over here by a British newsagency:
Am I pro-English when I stopped that sort of violent denunciatory propaganda, which has no advertence to the causes of this war or what is involved in it? If I am pro-Axis because I stopped American pictures, I must be pro-British and pro-American when I  stopped that report. Am I pro-American when I stopped a Japanese allegation that the Americans used gas? This is it:
I want to say that we stopped that sort of atrocity propaganda from all sides. If I did not stop one particular piece of propaganda, I do not know what Deputy Dillon would call me. Perhaps he or somebody else will say that I am pro-Russian because I stopped this message which came from Washington through an American news agency:
“The Catholic National Conference meeting in Washington charged Russia with holding 2,000,000 Poles as virtual prisoners, in an attempt to force the Polish Government to agree to Russian claims on pre-war Polish territory. The Conference estimated that of 2,000,000 Poles deported to Russia about 400,000 succumbed to hardship and ill-treatment and that 140,000 were allowed to leave for the Middle East.”
“After describing Britain's alliance with Bolshevik Russia as “monstrous” Herr Von Papen declared that “the British Empire was disintegrating, and that the United States entered the war to prevent internal revolution.”
Will Deputy Dillon accuse me of being pro-British because we stopped an Italian allegation that explosive pencils were dropped by the R.A.F. during raids on Turin? I cannot spend any more time on that question now. I understand there has been reference here to-day to Dun Laoghaire, and that there was a slight hint by some speakers that the reason we stopped the Irish Times calling Dun Laoghaire “Kingstown” was because we were anti-Presbyterian. I yield to no man inside or outside this House in my respect for those Presbyterians who were in the forefront, side by side  with other religious denominations in the fight for Irish freedom. Of all the Protestant denominations, I think the Presbyterians were the leaders in that respect, but I most certainly object to the Irish Times trying to browbeat me into submitting to their dictatorship, simply on the threat, that if I do not yield to them they are going to say that I am anti-so-and-so.
I do not care what I am accused of in the wrong. I suppose certain folk will say that we are anti-Catholic because we stopped the German bishops denouncing Communism. There are certain people who do say it. They have also said that we are anti-Catholic and pro-Communist because we stopped the Archbishop of Baltimore saying this. He declared that:—
“America's new-found friend had been responsible for the murder of 20,000 bishops, priests and nuns during the Spanish Civil War. Under the influence of Red Russia and Stalin, a quarter of a million people had been murdered in Spain.”
We also stopped him from saying in our newspapers that Stalin was “a blood-stained murderer who had grinned when three million people died of hunger in the Ukraine.” I cannot read it all. I suppose we are anti-Catholic and Pro-Russian when we stop the German bishops saying:—
“We hear with joy from numerous soldiers' letters how our troops have cleansed desecrated, and frequently preserved, churches in those regions freed from Bolshevism and have restored them again. In order to smash for ever the military drive of Bolshevism our country has taken up arms, and we at home must leave the job to our soldiers and brothers in arms. But Bolshevism is not only a physical power that can be conquered with outward means of arms. It is also a system which tries by sinister and mostly disguised propaganda to sever and lead astray nations.”
There is one type of propaganda I object to. I have seen too much of it. It is Church bodies saying in various countries that if we are  not fighting on their side we are pro-devil. I object to the Irish Times getting somebody to get up here and say that because we are against their putting Dun Laoghaire down as Kingstown we are pro-devil. What is the history of this question? It was said here to-day that the Presbyterians had always called this Kingstown Presbyterian Church. For 20 years the Irish Times described the Presbyterian Church, Dun Laoghaire, as the Presbyterian Church, Kingstown. We insisted on the Irish Times changing Kingstown into Dun Laoghaire.
Mr. Aiken: The thing is this. I have shown what we have done to try to keep the balance of our people in this emergency. The Deputy may not agree with me but he must believe me because I have shown the evidence. I do not mind anybody making a slip and calling a town by a name it was well known by, but I do object to somebody for a political purpose trying to push an English name down my throat when the people have adopted legally the Irish name for it. Here in the case of Dun Laoghaire after a number of years it had been changed by the Act of a foreign Power and the people came together and legally re-adopted the Irish name. I think it is most insulting and likely to lead to bad blood between Irishmen, which we do not want, if some person, and not by mistake or inadvertance but by deliberate action, tries to ram that name down the throats of the Irish people. I want to say this. It is not a new thing as far as the Irish Times is concerned. We are frankly at daggers drawn. They have a different outlook from the outlook of the vast majority of the Irish people on many things. Take, for instance, the completely insulting manner in which they were alluding to the President before we entered in.
Whether anybody agrees with the Constitution or not, the Irish people have a right to make their own Constitution  and to say what person will take precedence over all others in the State. In the Constitution, in Article 12, I think it is, it was enacted by the Irish people that the President shall take precedence over all others. What does the Irish Times do before we took steps to stop it? They did not give him precedence over all other persons in the State. He sometimes came after every hyphenated person in the country. I have one instance of it here where the only precedence he gets is over an advertisement for corsets in one of the down-town shops. He is put in at the bottom of the list in the social and personal column. This is some of the background of the dispute we have had with the Irish Times. The vast majority of the people in this country do not want any trouble between different creeds and classes. I want to say that this was said to be an advertisement put in by the Church Body for 20 years, but for 20 years it was a news service of the Irish Times used for the sale of this paper, not for the remuneration obtained from the space in the column. It was just like the reports of football matches or the reports of horse races, and so on, and they gave in the same way a schedule of the services that were to take place in certain Churches. For 20 years that was a news service. It is said by some responsible heads of that paper that they now receive a token payment. I do not know. For 20 years it was published as a news service and the only thing it was called was the Presbyterian Church, Kingstown. We did tell them to change Kingstown to Dun Laoghaire in deference to the wishes of the people of the town and to prevent bad blood from arising between the people who do not want this sort of thing.
Dr. O'Higgins: I think the House has seldom listened to anybody who introduced themselves as a peacemaker charged with the responsibility of keeping the peace to address an Assembly in a more bellicose manner and more belligerent way than the speech we have just listened to. I think most Deputies, particularly experienced Deputies, will admit that they have witnessed the most extraordinary  exhibition of bad temper and unbecoming behaviour that was ever exhibited by any Minister in any of the world's Assemblies. He showed himself during the course of that exhibition as a man absolutely incapable of standing up to criticism, a mass of prejudices and a lump of intolerance, a person that was presuming to carry out functions in the name of Parliament that were never given to him by Parliament. We are not interested in Parliament in the petty vendettas of Minister Aiken and the Irish Times.
These things may be of immense importance to the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures, but it is not for carrying out such a vendetta that he receives payment out of public funds voted by this Assembly and taken out of the pockets of the people. There is nothing in the legislation passed in the Emergency Powers Act, which established a censorship, that gave that individual the right to decide by what name any person or town would be called. There is nothing in that Act giving power to that individual to say whether elastic stockings or the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures should come first in any public newspaper.
It may be very desirable that we all should learn geography from the Minister and that our pronunciation should be the same as his. That may be desirable from his point of view or from a national point of view, but he is answerable to-day for carrying out certain duties and responsibilities, which are specially defined. There is no member of this Assembly who is not totally dissatisfied with the manner in which the censorship has been carried out. To many people, it is nauseating to hear any reference to it. The most brutal, most ruthless and most unjust actions have been taken by the Censor; and if people ask the reason why, they need only cast their minds back to the antics of the last half-hour. It was sheer, narrow-minded bigotry for a whole half-hour, an unworthy exhibition, interspersed with “I” and “my views,”“what I uphold” and “what  I stand for.” That kind of intolerant mentality has damned censorship for all time in this country.
The Department was created on the night of the outbreak of war, as a result of an agreement honourably entered into between the Opposition Parties, sitting on that awful occasion. We were anxious to ensure that reasonable control of the Press would be exercised in a reasonable manner. We were anxious, nervous and cautious about passing over power to any individual to control the Press and public statements. At some time during that night, a formula was found— that it would be “a censorship of news, but not a censorship of views”. To what extent that formula has been trampled in the dirt can be judged by the exhibition we have witnessed in the last half-hour. It has worked out in practice to be far more a censorship of views than a censorship of news.
Sooner or later, this Parliament by general agreement, with the consent of the majority Party, will establish some tribunal of appeal from the activities that are carried out by “I”. People are victimised because they transgress a rule that “I” believe in—that mixing of “I” with the nation and with the Parliament, and that “I” being the most narrow-minded individual in this Assembly. People have been deprived of the instruments of their livelihood, because they found themselves in conflict with “I”. That is done in the name of peace, and it is interspersed with sloppy phrases about fair play.
Away back through my life under different Administrations, under home and alien Governments, I have seen from time to time gross acts of major injustice perpetrated against humble individuals. There have been more glaring injustices against obscure individuals carried out by the Censorship Department here, from which there is no court of appeal, except to one individual, and the answer of that individual is: “what I believe in” and “what I am going to carry out.” That is done as an agent, a Minister and a spokesman of a Parliament that calls itself a democratic body.
 I never saw a real opportunity before to convince Deputies of the injustices which it is possible to have perpetrated within any single Department, but that opportunity is afforded to-day merely by letting Deputies ponder over the exhibition we have just witnessed. It was an exhibition of intolerance, of impatience, of truculence and of bigotry. It amounted to saying to all: “I have the power and you will bend the knee.” Since it is an individual with that outlook and mentality that is selected to balance the niceties, the pros and cons, the whys and wherefores of censorship, is it any wonder that five years after the outbreak of war, we now find the censorship tucked away inside another Minister's portfolio? The Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures is the one Minister who will not find it necessary to come to the Dáil to answer for his Department. Year after year we will have another unfortunate Minister acting as the apologist for the doings of the censor. I protested each year from 1940 against the hiding of one Department inside another. I repeat that particular protest. I would like to see, as long as this emergency lasts, the Army Estimate going through, year after year, without discussion and without division. I should like to see it go through with one tick of the clock. An exhibition of unity of that kind would be far more effective than thousands of speeches. That is impossible, and will continue to be impossible, as long as the most controversial Department in the State is tucked away inside the Estimate for the Department of Defence. If the Government is well advised, and if the Taoiseach has the interests of the Department of Defence and of the Army at heart, this is the last year that the Estimate will be presented to the House in this particular form.
Mr. Corry: There are a few matters that I wish to deal with. I would not agree with the statement made by Deputy L. Cosgrave that there is any friction between the L.D.F. and the Army authorities. There may be in his district, but not in Cork. So far  as I know the Army authorities have always been only too anxious to assist and co-operate and help out the L.D.F. forces.
Mr. Corry: Not in Cork. Will the Minister say if there is any reason why the tillage obligations are not being carried out at the Curragh and Ballincollig? Coming up by train Deputies see small spots of bad land tilled by farmers in their efforts to obey the tillage regulations, while at the same time they can see hundreds of acres, stretching across the country, which could be utilised for the growing of wheat or oats, lying untilled. Is there any reason why in the present emergency the Army authorities should not fulfil their tillage obligations at the Curragh and Ballincollig?
I was glad to learn that the Minister proposes to establish a hospital or sanatorium for the military. Will he say when something is going to be done about it? A hospital cannot be built in a day, a week, or a month. I have in mind the case of a company sergeant who had 18 years' service in the Army. He was stationed at the Curragh, and was discharged suffering from T.B. Apparently, the only reason for his discharge was that the Army authorities had no sanatorium to send him to. He was discharged, and at once became a burden on the rate-payers of Cork County. He was first sent to Doneraile Sanatorium, and when he became too bad was taken to Cork District Hospital. Before his death I endeavoured to get the Army authorities to make some provision for the funeral expenses, but they refused to do so. That man served during the Black and Tan period and gave good service in the Army for 18 years. The only thing that saved him from a pauper's grave was that his brother, an ordinary agricultural labourer, claimed the body and buried it.
In my opinion, that sort of thing should not have occurred. I think it is an appalling case. I have since received a letter from the Department  of Defence to say that the brother may now make a claim on the Army Benevolent Fund. I think that, when the Army authorities have not a hospital to which to send T.B. cases, the cost of looking after such men should be borne by them. When I wrote to the Department about the deferred pay that was due to this soldier—the increase of 6d. granted some time ago —I was told that the relatives could not claim the sum that had accumulated until the end of the emergency. I do not think the Minister should allow treatment of that kind, and I hope he will have the position rectified at once. Cases such as I have mentioned should not be allowed to occur in the country.
I am not much concerned with the explosion of Deputy O'Higgins. The Deputy should be very grateful that there is a censorship of views in this country. If the views that he expressed, that he did not believe in neutrality as he said here publicly, were published in the constituency that has inflicted him on this House, I do not believe that he would be a member of the House to-day. There is little difference between his views and the views of Deputy Dillon.
Mr. Corry: No, the Taoiseach never opposed neutrality. Deputy O'Higgins got flurried to-day because the Minister responsible for censorship, who was attacked in this House and  charged with being pro-Axis, dared to stand up and defend himself. If his statement is correct that Deputy Dillon blazed the trail for the American Note, why is not Deputy Dillon in jail or somewhere else?
Mr. Corry: That was the statement made by the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures. As a Deputy representing the constituency that would have to bear the brunt of the result of Deputy Dillon's foolishness and of his endeavour to plunge the country into that struggle, I certainly have the right to demand why that Deputy is not put behind barbed wire. There are better men behind it, men who did not do one-twentieth of the harm that Deputy Dillon has done this nation during the last four years. I do not wish to delay the House further. I would not have spoken were it not for the wild attacks made by Deputy O'Higgins because the Minister dared to stand up and take responsibility for the particular portion of the Vote which concerns him, and to defend himself against the wild attacks of Deputy Dillon.
Mr. T.J. Murphy: I desire to support what has already been said in connection with the cases of a number of men serving in the Army: that on compassionate grounds there should be a wider application of sympathy by the Department in the case of men whose home circumstances are peculiar. They should be posted as near as possible to areas near their own homes. You have serving soldiers whose only relatives at home are a widowed mother or an aged father. Requests have been made in connection with some of those cases. They are quite genuine, and I hope they will receive attention. The commanding officers, perhaps, have not seen their way to accede to the representations made. I feel the Minister would be willing, and I do not think there should be any insuperable difficulty, to facilitate applications of that kind so that people in such domestic circumstances would be in closer touch with their  relatives more frequently than they could otherwise be. I want to support that plea.
I would also like to plead for a more generous reception of the applications from small farmers for the release of their sons from the Army in order to attend to whatever work they can do at home. In some cases their earnings may be able to supplement the family income. Numbers of these cases have been dealt with sympathetically, but in other cases that I have experience of I am afraid I could see a good deal of ground for differing with the decision arrived at, having regard to the circumstances that I knew to exist. I would ask the Minister to review, generally, the guiding principles that decide applications of the kind.
In the absence of the Minister for the Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures to-day, when reference was made to his Department, my mind hearkened back to an idea not very far away from it whenever that Department is under consideration. The point is whether there is any necessity for that Department. It seems to me an extraordinary, thing that, inside the shelter of the Department of Defence, that particular Department is being maintained, while the most miserable efforts are being made in varous parts of the country to secure paltry economies. I know that in the Department of Posts and Telegraphs the most extraordinary attempts are being made to secure economies in the cases of lowly-paid postmen. Posts as they become vacant are amalgamated and reductions are secured accordingly and, in the case of temporary postmen filling vacancies while awaiting permanent appointments when the emergency is over, wages are reduced and smaller amounts are offered to the persons temporarily selected.
Having heard the Minister this evening, another thought arises in my mind. I adhere to the view that there is no necessity for this Department. It is an extraordinary evidence of redundancy of office in this country at a time when there is a good deal of stress on many people and when there are  outstanding attempts by State Departments to secure small economies in various directions. This seems to me a very obvious economy to effect, and I know no reason why the Minister for Defence could not assume and discharge the responsibility of this office. It seemed to me to-day that there was an added reason for reconsidering whether this Department should continue, and that reason is the outlook of the Minister. It seems to me that the Minister can be, and is likely to be a danger in that office frequently.
I do not usually intervene on matters of controversy that have arisen in connection with the Minister's Department, but I regret very much the unfortunate speech we listened to this evening. I think it was a most unfortunate statement. It seems to me that the Minister, in talking about preserving a balance for the purpose of safeguarding neutrality, has entirely lost all sense of proportion. I know no reason why the Irish Times should not refer to Dun Laoghaire as Dun Laoghaire. I think it is a stupid policy, whether that policy is carried out of set purpose or not. Surely, whatever the reason for it, to invoke this machinery for the purpose of making a change like that is absolutely ridiculous, and that the Minister should work himself into a heat on a subject of that kind here is surely a most unfortunate, extraordinary and inadvisable procedure.
I had reason to think that the relations between the Minister and his colleagues and the Irish Times were cordial. In fact, I have a recollection of the hectic weeks before the election of 1938, and even of the last election, when the Irish Times went out of its way to make sure that the Minister's Party became the Government of this country. Every friend of the Irish Times all over the country became a rabid supporter of the Government and all the country saw a most extraordinary change in that direction. If this family row has developed, it is none of my business, but I think the Minister, by talking about this matter and invoking the full powers of his office for the purpose of bringing about this change, is making himself ludicrous and is bringing the Parliament  into utter disrepute so far as his actions are concerned.
The Three Tailors of Tooley Street, describing themselves as “We, the people of England”, did not cut a more fantastic figure than the Minister invoking the full powers of his office as Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures to change a name, to get a newspaper to use a different name for a particular place. The whole thing seems to me to be utterly fantastic. I cannot conceive any national principle involved or any serious injury to any vital interest in this country if the Irish Times persists in its ill-considered policy. I feel that the Minister ought to reconsider his whole attitude in this particular matter. I do not know what the other reasons may be that led the Minister to talk in such an angry way over such a small matter, but surely it is altogether out of proportion to the value of the particular subject under discussion? I will leave the matter there.
Captain Giles: If we had some truth and less bluff this country would appear far different in the eyes of other countries in the world to-day. We need a general review of the whole military situation. That sort of thing is long overdue. For four or five years our tongues have been tied. We have been doling out £8,000,000 or £9,000,000 a year to keep up an appearance of military might. What are the facts? Is it not a fact that we would not have our Army equipped at all if we did not get a few third-rate British rifles or the few guns that came across the Border? One would think we were one of the most formidable forces on God's earth.
The fact is that there are many countries that do not even know we exist. Our people have to listen to all this bluff. It is time that the people had their eyes opened. Many of them already have their eyes open and they know damn well where they stand. They know that the only protection the  country has is what Britain is giving it. They know that if Britain wants to take us over, there is no one in this country, big or small, who can stop it. It is time the people were told where we stand.
I am one who can face realities, one of those who went through the troubled period, who went through many prison terms. I like to face facts. The Germans and the British and all the other belligerents know damn well our strength and our weakness. There is no use in thinking that we are bluffing them; we are only bluffing the people of this country. The bluff is that the people have to find £8,000,000 or £9,000,000 per year and pay through the nose for all this military bombast.
We have too many of these false alarms. It is my belief that they are political false alarms to bolster up the Taoiseach by making it appear that he alone is saving the country from war. It is time that stopped. We have contributed far more than any other country of its size in the world. We have about 150,000 of our men and women working in British factories. We have many thousands more young men paid at a fairly high rate in this country and costing the country £10,000,000 for no other purpose than to keep us neutral. England has got far more out of this country than the country itself is getting. It is no wonder that she will respect our neutrality. Why should she not? We are the only bright spot in the British Commonwealth so far as Churchill and others are concerned. I defy contradiction of that.
I ask for a general review of the whole military position and that this top-heavy military machine should be co-ordinated and made into something efficient. We have too many military forces, one overlapping the other. We have the Army and the so-called Air Force, the L.D.F., and the L.S.F. What you want is one decent Army and one decent police force and to out out all the rest. We are doling out boots and clothes and other things to a lot of people who would be better off if they were left to till their land or work in the bogs. A good many of  them are sick and tried of the game that is going on. I know a great many men who made great sacrifices to join the L.D.F. and the L.S.F. and these other organisations and who work hard in them after doing a hard day's work in the fields. I know others who only go out to parade when there are boots and overcoats to be given out.
I think it is time that a distinction was made between the men who make sacrifices and those who are only there for what they can get out of it. I think it is time to close down a lot of these military side-shows and have one efficient Army. That is the kind of talk that the country needs. I know that it is dangerous talk for me from a political point of view, but I do not care. I see what is going on and I know what will happen when the war is over and we have to demobilise thousands of men from the Army. It is not safe for this country to have every young man with a rifle in his own home. We know what the background of this country is and the political passions and hates in this country. We have too many trained men in this country and far too many of our young men well trained in Great Britain. They are getting big money and, when they come home, they will not settle down on a dole of 14/- or 15/- a week. These are things which we should take a note of.
I ask the Minister to have a genuine review of the whole position. There is no use talking about military might. We had a lot of bluff a few months ago about removing the representatives of belligerent countries. We had people saying: “The Taoiseach saved the country; God bless the Taoiseach; we must congratulate him on this.” The fact was that he really did nothing at all; absolutely nothing. All he did was——
Captain Giles: ——to recognise the Statute of Westminster and to act upon it, a statute brought about by the work of Collins, Griffith and O'Higgins. The second thing he did was to send a Note to every Commonwealth country——
Captain Giles: Then, of course, we are told that we have an Air Force. To my mind, our Air Force is a huge joke. Our air machines are nothing more than wheelbarrows when compared with modern machines. The few old crocks I see flying over the midlands would hardly keep a man in the air at all. If you are to have an air force, then have a proper one; not one that is a joke. The machines we have are only second-hand ones handed over by England. The Minister should let people know where they stand and not have so much of this bluff. He should stop these false alarms. We have our Army rushing out night and day mining roads and bridges and alarming country people. It is all pure tomfoolery. Everybody knows that there was no hope or thought of fighting, seeing the Army moving about in such a way set the people mad, and old people were weeping and kissing goodbye to their sons going to take up duty with the L.D.F. and the L.S.F.
If this country is ever to get anywhere it must stand for the truth. The whole idea that I see behind most of our Army manoeuvres is directed to one purpose: to see that Fianna Fáil gets all the prestige they can out of them. People taking part in them are used more or less as side shows. If there is a parade and an honest Deputy wants to have his say on a platform. he may have his say but it will never appear in the Press. If a Minister speaks, or some other person who can stick out his chest a little more, his speech is reported under big flaring headlines. There is very little danger to this country during this war as long as the British Empire is able to stand up, because she will use you for what you are worth. You are her greatest asset. She has got many thousands of men and women to help her. A sum of £10,000,000 a year is being spent to defend this country and you are sending out cattle, pigs, poultry and butter. What more can you do? I ask the Minister if that does not give us a huge bargaining power. Is it not time that we should get fair consideration from  the British Government? Is it not time that we should say to them that we have made big sacrifices, that they should realise that they have partitioned this country and given us no chance to reunite the country? Some of our great patriots denounce Deputy Anthony and Deputy Dillon. For what? For telling the naked truth. I am not one of those who want to go into this war. I want to see our country kept intact. I do not want to see tomfoolery and political connivance going on to keep us more or less under the cloak of the Taoiseach. At present we cannot even get a cartridge to shoot crows that are destroying the crops. If we want an old rifle or a shot-gun we have to beg for it. It is time all this bluff was stopped. In fact, one gets so sick of it, that one would almost say: “Was it worth fighting for freedom here at all?” We have too many political and so-called military bombasts and the sooner we get shut of them the better.
Mr. M. O'Sullivan: I should like to urge on the Minister the rather special position of those men who, since the advent of the emergency, joined the national colours and were subsequently discharged as medically unfit. Following their discharge, there does not seem to have been any consideration as to how they were to be treated in the matter of compensation or any effort made to secure employment for them. The Minister, I am sure, is aware that there are a very large number of cases coming under this particular category. There is another type of case, and that is where an individual soldier was incapacitated as the result of accident during the course of duty. A couple of these cases have come under my personal notice and, I presume, other Deputies have had the same experience, so that there must be a very considerable number of such young men who, on joining the colours, left a fairly good post, were injured in some way or another, were subsequently discharged as medically unfit and not provided with either disability pension or compensation in any form, and who were obviously not in a fit state to resume their ordinary employment when discharged.
 I think that an abnormal amount of time has been taken up by the Department in coming to some decision on these particular cases. I know that there is a good deal of bitterness and it is absolutely unfair so far as the individuals are concerned. Seeing that this case is typical, I strongly urge the Minister to take it into special consideration.
With regard to deferred pay, a matter which has been referred to rather frequently to-day, it would appear that this privilege, or whatever you may care to designate it, was intended to operate only on the conclusion of the emergency. I think that was made quite clear, the reason presumably being that, on the conclusion of a man's service, he would receive an amount, in the form of a bonus or gratuity, which would enable him to take his place in private life again. If that were the reason, however, it would appear to me that the amount which would have accrued by that time, unless emergency conditions continued over a longer period than we believed they would, would be inadequate for such a situation; but the position in that respect becomes worse when we consider the type of person to whom I have referred, the man discharged as medically unfit, for whom there is no compensation and no work, and who is still deprived of this deferred privilege. I urge the Minister to reconsider the original instruction given in that respect, and, on the basis of ordinary commonsense, fair play and justice, to see that it is revoked, so as to ensure that when a man is discharged medically unfit, he will at least get the amount which had accrued to his credit under this heading. That is a matter which is causing anxiety amongst a number of the men affected.
Finally, I should like to draw to the Minister's notice the position with regard to the Glen of Imaal explosion. Quite recently, the Minister issued his findings in the matter, and to me it would appear as if the matter were approached in a rather cold, official way and without due regard for the tragic circumstances surrounding that incident. From an examination of the personal circumstances of one of  the relatives, it would appear that a re-examination of this case might very well be ordered by the Minister and I would be glad to see—I am sure that he himself would also—his officials looking on this matter as a tragic incident of an isolated character, and that the ill-effects which that incident brought on the families and dependents of these men should be removed in as gracious a manner as possible in the circumstances.
Mr. A. Byrne: In the atmosphere created during the last hour or so by the discussion of Press censorship, the Minister may overlook one or two of the small points which have been raised and I should like the Minister to say if he has done or intends to do anything with regard to the 1916 issue of medals. I understand that a number of people are still waiting for these medals and that a number of others who got medals are now rather in poor circumstances and hoping that they will get a gratuity of some kind. The Minister may remember that when the Supplementary Estimate was going through, every Deputy received a deputation of the 1916 men who asked that a gratuity as well as a medal should be given. While the medal and the colours are nice to have and something to be very proud of, they do not buy very much and a gratuity would be very welcome.
I also join with my colleagues in asking the Minister, in connection with the deferred pay of 6d. per day, not to wait until the emergency is over to give it to the widows of men with four and five years' service. That deferred pay should be given at the time a man is discharged as medically unfit, or to his widow when he dies, and not at the conclusion of the emergency. I wonder if one might ask whether the Minister has anything in mind for an improvement of conditions generally for those young professional men and others who are making the Army their profession, because the pay of 8/- or 10/- per day does not give a young officer very much on which to live up to the position expected of him in the Army. One would like to see increases  all round in the Army. Other Deputies have spoken on that point, and I am sure the Minister will give it every consideration, but it would be well if we could tell these young men that Army life was going to be made more attractive for them as a permanent livelihood, because a number of young men would wish to go into the Army and give the country the benefit of their brains and ability.
Might I also ask if there is any hope that some day the Minister's Department might put aside a sum of money yearly for the housing of soldiers? All Deputies, and especially those associated with local authorities, have met young soldiers and elderly soldiers, with large families, who, there being no married quarters for them, are put in competition with other citizens who are seeking housing accommodation. Young soldiers will tell you that although they have been in the Army for six, eight and ten years, and some for a much longer period, and though they have four, five or six children, they cannot get a house. I wonder would the Minister consider the possibility in days to come of housing more of the married men in married quarters, or contributing something towards the building of houses to an outside authority who would look after them, and who would be glad to help the Government in their efforts to house these men. Finally, I should like to have an assurance from the Minister that the question of a gratuity as well as a medal for 1916 men will be considered.
Mr. Meighan: Two cases of hardship have come to my notice which I should like to place before the Minister. One is the case of a young man—a member of the L.D.F. It was necessary for him to undergo an operation some months ago. He is living with a sister on a small piece of land, and the night before he went to hospital he had to remain up to attend to a cow about to calve. In the morning he set out for the hospital and wore the military uniform, or rather overcoat, as he had not a sufficiently warm one of his own, and when he went to the local station  he was arrested. He was of a rather delicate constitution, and when I saw him in the hospital all that was worrying him was the fact of having been arrested for wearing the uniform, the disgrace of having to go to court, and so on. All that had a very bad effect on him, particularly as he was about to undergo an operation. I have not heard since what transpired in that case, and I am sure that the Minister would scarcely sanction the taking of any disciplinary action in that man's case, but I would like to have an assurance from the Minister to that effect, or that, if any disciplinary action is likely to be taken, he will undertake to deal with the case sympathetically.
The other case that I have in mind is that of the wife of a private soldier who was ill in Galway Hospital. She was unable to bear the expenses of visiting her husband, and the military authorities informed her that the expenses would be paid. Accordingly, she went to visit her husband, but her expenses have not yet been paid. The people concerned are pressing her for payment and she made application to the military authorities some time ago, but nothing has been done. I have the particulars of the case here, and I can place them before the Minister or the officials of his Department later on, but I should like to have his assurance that that case will also be dealt with as expeditiously as possible.
Mr. Byrne (Junior): During the past year we have had several spates of wild and fantastic rumours circulating here regarding the military situation and our relations with the belligerent Powers. There has been a great tendency to believe anything that is told to one, such as that troops are massing on the Border, that warships are coming into Cobh Harbour, and all that sort of thing, and I have been wondering whether or not the policy of the censorship is to a great extent to blame for that state of affairs. I think that if a little more news in the military line were to be released, people would not be so much inclined to believe these things or to exaggerate stories of that sort. As the House very well remembers, during the particular week-end, a couple of months ago,  when certain Notes were being exchanged, all kinds of rumours were afloat, with the result that everything was held up, everything was at a standstill, and no business was done at all. In fact, there was almost a mild panic. In my opinion, that could have been avoided, and ought to have been avoided, if the Taoiseach had made a statement earlier—say, on the previous Friday. If a statement had been made by the Taoiseach earlier, all that could have been avoided, because we all know that immediately after he made a statement in the House on the following Tuesday, and through the House to the people of this country, it was clear that there was no need for anybody to be upset, and things went back to normal at once. My idea at the time was that the Taoiseach or the Government Information Bureau, or some body like that, ought to have made some statement several days prior to the Taoiseach's statement on the Tuesday.
A lot of these kinds of rumours and exaggerations are probably due to the fact that the public know very well that certain little things are happening although they do not appear in the newspapers. For instance, there was the case of the landing of parachutists in Clare. That was kept out of the papers for a long time. Why? Why keep it out of the papers for a long time, since it was already known to a great many people? The story gradually became known generally, and, as a result, of course, in many cases it was very much exaggerated. These people were supposed to be spies, and so on, and some people believed that there were 30 or 40 of them, instead of three.
We all know how stories of that kind become exaggerated as they go along, and I think it is a very stupid policy to be keeping every little thing out of the papers. If the public were to get some news now and then, they would not be so much inclined to exaggerate. They know that certain things are happening, and when they do not read about them in the newspapers, they exaggerate those happenings and the story goes from one to another, each one telling the other that they have got it on good authority, mar eadh. I think the Minister should give serious consideration to that kind of thing.
Mr. O'Leary: Previously, in the debates on the Army, I brought certain things to the Minister's attention, and I want to repeat them to-night. The Minister has appealed, to-day for recruits for the Army. I say that you will never get recruits—young men— if you are going to retain from them their marriage allowance for two years after they get married. That is what is happening already in the Army. In my own neighbourhood, in Enniscorthy, I know of the case of a woman, with a child, who has been on home assistance for a very long time because her husband in the Army had no marriage allowance. I know of another case in Enniscorthy of a soldier, who originally came from Fermanagh, and got married to a girl there. He was discharged from the Army and had to go home to his people, and his wife and child had to remain for two years on home assistance. I am glad to be able to say that the Minister has now got a pension for that man, but that is the sort of thing that is happening.
I should also like to bring to the Minister's notice the case of young men who left their employment in order to join the Army, some of whom have since been discharged and have not regained their employment. To my own knowledge, some of these young men, after being discharged from the Army, were not taken back to their former employment, and I should like to know from the Minister whether or not there is any compulsion on the employer to take them back. I certainly know of one case where a young man joined up and, although he has now been discharged from the Army for a considerable time, he has not yet got his job back.
Another thing which has been referred to, and which I should like to repeat, is the matter of soldiers having to sign a form before they get their discharge. Some other Deputy said that that was not true, but in my own town of Enniscorthy I have interviewed men who have been discharged from the  Army and they told me that it was quite true and that they would not get their discharge from the Army, whether because of ill-health or for other causes, if they did not sign some form—that they would get nothing from the State unless they signed that form. Only the other night, when I was leaving the House, I met a man in O'Connell Street. I did not ask him his name, but he said he was from Limerick, and he told me that that was quite right and that if you did not sign the form you would not get any pension. Now, I do not believe that soldiers are telling all these things to Deputies without there being some truth in them, and I should like to have some assurance from the Minister on that matter when he is replying, because it seemed to me that some Deputies backed up the Minister's statement last year that that was not the case. To my own knowledge, so far as Enniscorthy is concerned at any rate, I can say that I have been informed that it is the case, and I am prepared to submit the names of the men concerned to the Minister or his officials.
Mr. O'Leary: There is a special allowance in this Vote for men who served in Easter week and Deputy Byrne referred to it. Some time ago I put down a question to the Minister for Defence on this matter and I also had one to-day. A great grievance exists throughout the country, especially in Enniscorthy and other areas in Co. Wexford, amongst men who have been turned down and who have submitted all the evidence necessary to the referee. I have some of it in my possession to-day. Some of these people had this evidence signed by the verifying officers for the area, yet they  have been turned down. That is why we are fighting to have their cases reopened. What additional evidence can these men get other than that already submitted to the referee regarding their actions in 1916 and up to 1921? I understand that every Deputy in the House last week got a circular on behalf of the old I.R.A.——
Mr. Flanagan: I have only one request to make on this occasion. I desire to draw the Minister's attention to the numerous applications that are at present before his Department from members of the Defence Forces for agricultural leave. From my experience of the applications that are sent in from the various soldiers to their commanding officers, and also from my experience of letters to the parents of these soldiers, I know that it takes a considerable time before a decision is given. At the present time there are many farmers' sons in the Defence Forces. They have answered the call of the nation in giving their services and I think that during the present emergency, when there is such a shortage of labour in rural districts, the Minister ought to give sympathetic consideration to these applications, especially this year, as there was never  a more acute shortage of labour in rural districts than at present. I understand that these farmers are applying to have their sons released on a month's or six weeks' agricultural leave. I should be very glad if the Minister could look into the matter and make strong representations to the Army authorities with a view to having consideration of these applications speeded up as soon as possible.
As I am on my feet, I should like to refer again to some statements I made here when an Estimate for the Minister's Department was being considered in this House before Christmas. I referred then to the fact that members of the Irish Army were being supplied with permits to proceed to the Six Counties where they were eligible for the British Army. I think that the Minister ought to look very seriously into this matter because since I last spoke in the House in reference to it, I have known several cases which go to prove that the practice is still going on. Permits are sent down from Belfast to any member of the Defence Forces applying for them to a certain address in Belfast. The soldier is furnished with all information and he requires no passport. He goes straight across the Border and within 24 hours afterwards he is a member of the British Army. I think it is a disgraceful state of affairs, if the Minister is appealing for further recruits for the Defence Forces and at the same time is allowing the British Army to rob the cream of the Irish Army. I know numerous persons who have gone to join the British Army in that way and no steps have been taken to prevent their going. The Minister, as far as I am aware, has not made any inquiries into the issuing of these permits here in the Twenty-Six Counties by the Government of the Six Counties. I should be very glad if the Minister would look very carefully into these two points. I quite realise that Deputies have to curtail their speeches and at this juncture I do not propose to say anything further. I understand the Army Pensions Vote will be taken here to-night and I shall reserve any further remarks I have to make until that Vote is taken.
Mr. Corish: On the last occasion, some months ago, when this Estimate was discussed, complaints were made on the question of the meagre allowances given to soldiers' families by almost every Deputy. I am very glad that since that debate there has been an increase in the allowance given to soldiers' families, but I understand that in the allowance given, guardians of soldiers' children are not included. I think that is a most extraordinary thing. The Minister for Industry and Commerce recognises that a guardian of children is in the same position as the wife of a recipient of unemployment insurance. I know of a case where a grandmother is looking after the children of a soldier and that woman has not been given the increase, although she feels the stress of existing conditions in so far as the increase in the cost of foodstuffs is concerned in the very same way as every other person. I would urge on the Minister to insist that whatever increase has been given it should be extended to guardians in the same way as to the wives of soldiers.
I cannot understand for a moment why a soldier should be treated differently from any other person in the community. I cannot understand why a soldier should be asked to work for a lesser wage than he would be paid if he were in civilian employment. I suppose I shall be told that that system operates in other parts of the world, but I think it will be found on examination that in other armies, even in peace-time, the remuneration of soldiers is ever so much higher than is paid at the present time by our Government. Of course the Minister will tell us in round figures what the Army is costing. It is all very well telling us that it costs the ratepayers that amount, but there is little use in telling that to the unfortunate man who is trying to keep a wife and children on the very meagre allowance given to him by our present Government.
I want to draw the attention of the Minister to the question of men overstaying their leave. In many cases, a man gets home to his wife and family for a week-end. Unfortunately, on some occasions, he stays a day over  his time. I do not want to appear to countenance that. I say that he should return at the stipulated time. Immediately he overstays his leave, his C.O. sends up word to the separation allowance or family-allowance section of the Department of Defence and that man's allowance is stopped. He may return in a day or two afterwards but, strange to say, his C.O. does not, immediately he arrives, send up word to the allowance section, with the result that some Deputy like myself has to get in touch with that section before that man's allowance is reinstated. I suggest to the Minister that, in a case of that kind, the moment a man returns to his barrack, the least that should be done would be that the C.O. would notify the allowance section of his return. He is smart enough in reporting on the day on which he fails to return. In consequence of what I regard as dereliction of duty on the officer's part, that man's wife is often left without the allowance for a fortnight.
A good deal has been said here about the question of indefinite leave. To my mind, that is a most important matter at present. Many farmers all over the country have made application to the Department of Defence—in some cases through Deputies—that certain soldiers should get leave so as to help them at agricultural work. I must say that any time I approached the Minister in this connection he always helped me. What I complain of is that, when an application is made by the farmers, accompanied by an application by the soldiers themselves, too much time is allowed to elapse before anything is done. In a great many cases, the time during which the soldier would be required to help on the land is almost past and his usefulness is not as great as it would have been if he had been released at the proper time. I suggest to the Minister that due and proper attention should be paid to an application made this year either by a farmer or a soldier. In some rural parts of the country, there is a shortage of labour. There is no question of that. In other parts, there are, perhaps, too many people unemployed. The position is so urgent this year, because of the necessity of  getting certain foodstuffs, that it would be well if the Minister would arrange that men would be released the moment application is made, provided the application is bona fide.
As regards men discharged owing to T.B., the Minister has declared in many cases that his Department has no responsibility in cases of that kind. I presume that every man entering the Army is examined by a doctor and surely the doctor knows whether the man is suffering from T.B. or not. He may contract T.B. in the Army. If he does, I suggest it is the responsibility of the Minister in view of the fact that the doctor passed him when he offered himself as a recruit. The disease may be aggravated by his time in the Army and the arduous tasks he has to discharge. It is an absolute scandal to see men thrown out of the Army and left to the waves of the world because they have contracted T.B. or because the disease has been aggravated during their period of service. They may have wives and large families depending upon them. The Government was very glad to get them to step into the gap of danger but, in the circumstances I have described, it holds up its hands and says it has no responsibility for them.
Mr. Donnellan: I ask the Minister, during the coming summer particularly, to release in all cases, if possible, men for the harvest. Unless something is done in that direction, I fear that there will be a terrible shortage of man-power in the rural areas. I got a letter to-day which surprised me and which, I am sure, will surprise the Minister. The men who joined our Army, led by a sense of responsibility to the nation, should be respected by this Parliament and by the nation. I got a letter to-day from a constituent of mine who was discharged from the Army. He spent 227 days in the Central Hospital, Galway, and now his father gets a bill for £78 12s. Od. for his maintenance and is to be compelled by law to pay it. He cannot afford to pay. This man went into the Army in the best of health. He spent nearly three years in it and he has been discharged in bad health. He is now a physical  wreck, so to speak, after 227 days in the Central Hospital in Galway, while his father is to be compelled to pay this bill of £78 12s. 0d. Does any Deputy think that that is encouragement to any father to allow his son to join the Army or to any young man to join the Army? If anybody thinks so, he is a very bad judge of human nature. This is not a T.B. case such as was referred to by the last speaker. In cases of men who are discharged from the Army owing to ill-health, arrangements should be made for them to spend a certain time in hospital so as to give them an opportunity to recover. When the Minister is replying, I shall look out for a statement by him regarding the case I mentioned.
Mr. Broderick: I was pleased that the last two speakers referred to the question of availing of the help of the Army in the coming harvest. On more than one occasion I referred to this question in the House but I never had the advantage of having the Minister for Defence to listen to me. My remarks were addressed to the Minister for Agriculture and he appreciated the seriousness of the position, but it was not in his power to deal with it. Right through the past few years and during this year, we had the Taoiseach and prominent Ministers and public men going through the country exhorting the farmers to grow as much food as they possibly could. Exhortation, to point out the necessity for it, is quite good, but there is very little need for it. Farmers realise the position. But that kind of assistance is of very little use when it comes to harvest time. I remind the Minister that farmers were compelled to finance the whole of the wheat scheme out of their own pockets. They got no aid from Government circles and now the majority of them are facing a harvest which is entirely beyond normal requirements and their capacity to deal with. They are appealing for assistance. It is the Army only which can help them.
There was a shudder when the Minister for Agriculture stated that he was not going to keep the Army standing by to save the farmers' crops. It is not a question of a farmer's crops  now. It is a question of the nation's crops, because that is the one thing that the nation depends on for survival in this crisis. If the one reserve that farmers have is to be denied them, the country is going to face disaster. Almost every farmer is now compelled through necessity—and I do not object to it—to have three times more crops than he can deal with, at a time when the majority of the labouring people have left for another country, and when a big percentage of farmers' and farm labourers' sons are in the Army. Who is going to save the crops? Who will collect the harvest upon which the country depends? I gave my experience last year when I got the assistance of the military—rather late I admit—and I should like to pay a tribute to their efficiency. I am 40 years associated with agricultural production, and the saving of the harvest, and I never met men so capable or so wholeheartedly enthusiastic as the soldiers I had working for me. The same can be said of every farmer who had soldiers working for them in that part of the country. We have men able and willing in a dire national necessity to co-operate, but you have a Minister telling us that he would not allow the Army to be a stand-by for the harvest. The nation's interest should be the interest of the Government. No matter how bad the weather every farmer can save as much as will suffice for the requirements of himself and his family, but if other sections in the State suffer through not allowing the military to assist farmers, it will be the Government's responsibility.
I speak very strongly on this question. I suffered intense loss last year, but I am faced this year with 30 per cent. more crops than I had then. Every other farmer is in the same position. Though the loss may be severe, I am not concerned about it. The State should be seriously concerned at the prospect of a bad harvest as well as inadequate assistance in the way of machinery and help to save it. The Minister for Defence is in the position to save the country by allowing the Army to help. Farmers are not asking for compulsion.
 Compulsion is not necessary. The men in the Army are only too anxious to co-operate. All they want is the sanction of the Government. Remember, farmers are not asking for the help of these men under unfavourable conditions. They are asking for them because there is no other labour available and when a certificate from labour organisations shows that no other labour is available and that substantial payments were being made. Apart from what the men are paid, nothing could repay them for the way they worked. I put it to the Government that the farmers have done their part; they planted the crops and have staked their all on their work without assistance from the Government. They financed the whole wheat scheme. Is the Government now going to allow farmers to look at crops, in which they invested their all, rotting for want of assistance? That is the problem. Is the Government going to allow food upon which the nation depends to rot because they will not allow the Army to save it? It is a matter for the Government to decide. If the men are not available this year the responsibility rests entirely on the Government's hands.
Mr. O'Donnell: I think Deputy Broderick struck a very good note in his remarks and touched on the kernel of the whole question. I say definitely that farmers want the help of the whole nation as well as that of the military this year. Every farmer's son in the Army should be released for farm work. Military manoeuvres will be coming on soon. Some members of my family were on manoeuvres last year and enjoyed them as a kind of holiday. I may strike an unpopular note when I say that it is a very serious matter to have these men going on manoeuvres in June and July. This is not harvest-time but the beet is being thinned, turnips and mangolds are being thinned and the hay is being saved. I live beside a military camp in which there are a couple of hundred men and, despite what was said by one Deputy, there was very little friction. There was camaraderie between the different forces. The L.D.F. attended concerts in the military barracks and the  military attended social functions held by the L.D.F. No men were more popular than Army men with the L.D.F. I do not know how the harvest is going to be saved. I know that when six gross of scythes were ordered one merchant got three dozen. I mention that to show the necessity there is for mobilising all the help that can be got as well as the Army. There are no parts available for reapers and binders. There were 45 applications in North Tipperary for 13 binders. Parts for mowing machines are missing so that men will be wanted for binding. Failing that nothing remains but the scythe. Experts at that work may not be available. The big bulk of the men in the Army belong to the land. They can stook and stack while the binders do their work.
Mr. O'Donnell: I think that is his job. The production of food is very important. The clergy pray for us, the soldiers fight for us, but the farmers feed all. After six or eight months in the Army these men are fully trained and what are they doing this mechanical drill for? We have sent for them to the local barracks and we do not get them until after three or four in the afternoon. They are grand fellows, every one of them, and we are glad to get them, but it seems that the Minister for Defence has not full control in this matter. It is hinted that there is some little friction between the Department of Defence and the Department of Agriculture. I do not know if that is so, but the soldiers should be released. Let them give up that mechanical form of drill. There must be something more than military mobilisation. I would like to pay a tribute to the young men in the Army. Three men were going along the road one evening and there was a poor farmer who needed help—he was getting in the hay—and as these three men passed he asked for help.
I spoke to Deputy Corish of this before. The three young men went in at 1.30 in the afternoon. I have this from a son of mine and a man who  was in the team. They were good men and one of them was an expert in handling a rick. They did good work and as they were going away they were treated well by the farmer. He wanted to give them something but they said: “That would be servile work and we joined the Army to serve the country.” That was a grand thing and that is the spirit of the Army. Someone said: “Oh, well, they were not in the Army”, but they were grand fellows and that is the spirit of the Army. I hope the Minister will see to it that these men are released. The country wants them and it is a time to mobilise labour, to save the country from famine.
Mr. Traynor: I feel myself in a somewhat difficult position in replying in general to the varied type of debate which took place here to-day. There have been tributes paid by some Deputies to the Army. Deputy Larkin, I was very glad to notice, for the first time in this House, spoke not only generously of the officers of the Army but actually spoke on their behalf in regard to raising their salaries. Heretofore, the officers, strange to say, have been left almost as outcasts while every voice has been raised, perhaps rightly so, on behalf of the rank and file. Knowing as I do the magnificent work the Army are doing it is healthy from my point of view to find one or two Deputies speaking appreciatively of that type of work. Now the Army has a special task to carry out and I am vested with the responsibility of seeing that that task is effectively carried out. I do that as far as in me lies. How effectively I do it remains to be seen and will, no doubt, be judged rightly. I find it rather difficult to quite understand how I can carry out that particular task and at the same time direct, as members of the House have appealed to me so strongly to direct, the activities of the Army in a totally different direction from that for which it  has been established. I, perhaps, have not got very much experience of the rural districts and I cannot say with any kind of effectiveness whether the statements here about shortage of labour are true or otherwise. We have very often been reminded in this House of the very large number of unemployed who are in this country at present. I think Deputies would be much better advised to direct their minds and their thoughts in the direction of the unemployed with a view to carrying out the type of work which has been referred to here this evening rather than to diverting the Army from the important task which it has to carrying out. The Army at the present time has hardly any likeness to the Army which was here at the beginning of the emergency. They have learned to use weapons to-day with which they were not acquainted at the beginning of the emergency. They have carried out forms of training which were not hitherto in use here and they have indulged in a very active training known as battle drill which was never operated in this country before.
I am very glad to be able to say that as a result of the policy of the Army of inducing every man to play whatever game or to take part in whatever sport he felt inclined to we have built up a type of young manhood that makes as fine athletes as there are in any other country in the world. As a result of that policy it has formed the basis of the battle course which these men have had to undertake and the battle course is probably the most arduous type of training that soldiers in this country or in any other country in the world have ever had to undergo. Participation in the sports and the games which I have mentioned has gone a long way towards hardening these men for the battle course and again the battle course has hardened the men to such an extent that they can participate in these games and hold their own with the best. That is a very desirable position to have reached and I think we can be very proud of the stamina and staying power which the Army possesses, and which, if they are ever called upon to  go into action, will carry them to the limit of their activities.
Many Deputies have made reference to various points in the course of the debate. There have been many references made to the Local Defence Force and to the fact that they were not supposed to be pulling so to speak with the Local Security Force. I do not know anything in regard to that but I would be very sorry to believe that the Local Defence Force, which is composed of the same type of young manhood as the Local Security Force, should find anything to differ about in the service which they are giving. I deplore it, if it exists, and I hope it does not. If Deputies who have spoken on that matter can give me any evidence, I would be prepared to have it examined. Personally, myself and the Minister for Justice—who is responsible for the Local Security Force —are on the very best of terms, as far as trying to co-operate is concerned; and I can see no reason why the rank and file should differ. On many occasions, he has acceded to requests made by me in relation to the Local Defence Force, and I have done the same with him.
Deputies have raised the question of agricultural leave and the delay occasioned sometimes when Deputies make representations. The best way for any man to secure leave quickly is to apply directly to his commanding officer. Until he does that, the machine cannot move towards granting that leave. It is useless for Deputies to write to me or make efforts to get the Department to move, if the individual himself has not made the initial application to his commanding officer. If he has made the application and we know it has been made, we can get in touch with the particular unit and speed the matter up, if there is a possibility of releasing the man.
Mr. Traynor: I was about to make it clear that agricultural leave or any type of leave, can only be granted if the authorities are satisfied the individual  can be released. There are certain cases of key men or others doing something of particular importance and the military authorities concerned will regard these services as being of greater importance than release for the type of work which is sought. As far as we are concerned, we investigate all applications. Deputies should not, however, allow themselves to be taken in by every individual who applies for agricultural leave. We have had numerous applications for such leave from individuals who had no intention, good, bad or indifferent, of doing agricultural work, but who were anxious to get out for a holiday or for some other purpose. When the usual inquiries were made, it was found that, in many cases, the individuals who made the applications were not going to the farmers whose names they gave and, in fact, did not think that any inquiries would be made. I have no doubt that those individuals, approaching Deputies, would secure the services of the Deputies in the belief that they were genuine cases.
Mr. Traynor: I would be glad if other Deputies would act as Deputy Corish acts in that matter. In regard to men discharged from the Forces and left without any means to help them along, there will always be certain difficulties and certain hard cases. The position is governed by Acts passed through this House and Regulations existing in the Army. Deputies know I cannot go outside the Acts and, if a man is discharged from the Army as being medically unfit, he has then no further connection with it and the Army authorities can do nothing in his case. Deputy Corry, I think, mentioned that a man had to be buried at the expense of the local people. That may have occurred, but I would suggest to Deputy Corry that the particular man, when he was dying, was not a member of the Army and, therefore, the Army could do nothing about his burial.
I am not going to deal with Deputy Dillon's outbursts, other than to say  that he was just reiterating rumours he had heard. As I tried to point out, though he would not allow me, the rumours had no foundation in fact, He was just telling of something he had heard—something, I believe, of which he had no practical experience; yet he talked about it here as if it were a fact. As far as the particular period to which he referred is concerned, there was a certain situation and it was my duty as the responsible Minister to see that the Army was in an efficient state to take any action it might be called upon to take. I did that, and beyond that nothing further was done. There was no marching or countermarching, and nothing in the nature of bellicose action. I was not responsible for any rumours that arose. As far as one can judge, rumours grow up like weeds, as quickly as possible. They are added to, unfortunately, by individuals who seem to talk for the sake of talking. I have no responsibility for whatever rumours may grow out of the precautions I found it necessary—and the Army authorities found is necessary—to take. If I did not take those precautions and anything were to happen, I know that my head would be on the block, and Deputies would have little sympathy for me.
Deputy Blowick referred to some activities which took place on a bridge. I should explain that certain precautions were taken at the beginning of the emergency by the Army— very effective and efficient precautions. It is true that the chambers he spoke about were placed in certain bridges, or were actually constructed in certain bridges, and were closed up and left there, until the inspection on the occasion to which the Deputy referred.
I am afraid that the Deputy is exaggerating when he says that the L.D.F., or whatever unit it was, that went to inspect chambers on the bridge caused people to go into a state of panic. I do not believe that our people are so easily panicked as that. Again, I should say that if the L.D.F., which probably were responsible for that particular bridge, did not examine it and see that it was  in a perfect condition for whatever operation the military engineers might find it necessary to carry out, they would not be doing their work either. It might be possible that, instead of finding a hollow chamber, they might find the chamber filled with concrete or something else. If that were so, the usefulness of the work carried out by the military engineers would have gone for naught. Therefore, these examinations and inspections are very necessary.
Other Deputies spoke about leave on compassionate grounds, and referred to indefinite leave and so on. So far as it is humanly possible to deal with compassionate leave, we do so. In practically every case, where the breadwinner of a household dies and the son is a member of the armed forces—if he is the only one left to replace the breadwinner—then invariably we endeavour to release that man, and very often we do so at very great inconvenience because, for example, he may be a special type of keyman in a unit. In spite of that we have on very many occasions released a man of that kind on compassionate grounds so that he may be permitted to go out and replace a father or elder brother and help to keep the home going. That, as I have said, has been the invariable practice, and I do not think we will depart from it. As regards indefinite leave, I think it was Deputy Anthony who said that he does not like the use of these words. I should point out that the granting of indefinite leave to a man is the only way in which he can be released from the temporary section of the Army. In the regular Army a man goes on what is known as the Reserve. There is no Reserve in the case of temporary men. Therefore, when they go on indefinite leave, they are as much on the Reserve as the man from the regular Army is. I am sorry that Deputy Anthony found it necessary to speak in the way he did about the necessity for having an Army at all.
Mr. Anthony: I brought to the Minister's notice the case of the widow of  a soldier who was passed medically fit and subsequently died in Mallow Hospital. She got a sum of about £7. I was told that she could not get the deferred pay due to the deceased until after the emergency. Surely she should get the deferred pay.
Mr. Traynor: I will deal with the question of deferred pay in a moment. I was dealing with the remarks that the Deputy made in regard to the necessity for the Army. In that respect I also deplore the references made by Deputy Giles. I think they were regrettable, to say the least of it. With regard to deferred pay, for some considerable time I have been making strenuous efforts to have this question settled more or less on the lines asked for by many Deputies. I can see no good reason why deferred pay should be withheld from the relatives of a deceased soldier, or from a soldier whose services are terminated. I am endeavouring—I do not know with what success—to have that position remedied, and if it is it will mean that in future the widows, mothers or sisters or next-of-kin of deceased soldiers will receive their deferred pay, and individuals, whose military service is terminated, will also receive it. In the case of men who continue to serve, I think it is desirable that they should have something in the nature of a small nest-egg to fall back upon when going out. It amounts to about £9 a year. It would mean, in the case of a man who had four years' service that he would have £36 or £40 when going out. I suggest that such a sum will be of great use to men to help tide them over the time that elapses between leaving the Army and getting fixed up in civil life.
Deputy Connolly, in the course of his speech, referred to what he described as the inter-war period, and asked that I should give an idea of what the Army intended to do in that period. If I were to do so I would be attempting to give a forecast of something that I know nothing about. I have no intention of making prophecies. Even if I were to do so, I do not think anyone here would regard the attempt as being of any worth. Deputy Connolly's reference to the  inter-war period, and his use of that term, I took to mean the period between one war and another. He wanted to know what type of Army we will have then and said that the situation will have changed as regards strategy, munitions and so on. I could not possibly deal with a situation of that kind. The present war is so different from the last one that I think anybody who would have at that time attempted to prophesy regarding it would have been laughed at.
Deputy Martin O'Sullivan referred to the Glen of Imaal case. There, again, compensation to the men and to the relatives of the deceased is governed by the Acts passed by this House. Where it is possible to operate the legislation in favour of individuals, that, naturally, is done. I can assure the Deputy that the most sympathetic consideration is given to the injured and relatives of the deceased men in that disaster. It is, unfortunately, true to say that some relatives—not very many—of the deceased men have not been awarded compensation because it could not be proved that they were dependent on the individual soldier. For that reason it was not possible to provide for them. On the other hand, every soldier who was injured in that disaster and who survived it, has been attended to, and I think fairly dealt with. At any rate, he has been dealt with generously  within the meaning of the particular Act governing his case.
Mr. Larkin: I was not present when the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures was speaking. I am anxious to know if he had anything to say about the matter that I raised in connection with seamen and firemen, and if a statement is to be released for publicity.
Mr. Traynor: The Minister relieved me for tea, but even if the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures did not give any answer on the question raised by the Deputy, the Deputy has a means at his disposal of ventilating the matter, and that is by putting down a motion.
|Last Updated: 18/05/2011 22:16:09||Page of 23|