Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Foreign Army Recruitment.

Thursday, 5 July 1973

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 267 No. 3

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85.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  asked the Minister for Defence if he has made any regulations [417] prohibiting newspapers circulating in Ireland from carrying recruitment advertisements for foreign armies.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  Section 312 of the Defence Act, 1954, provides that it shall not be lawful for any person——

(a) to induce, procure or persuade any person in the State to accept or agree to accept any commission or engagement in any military, naval or air force maintained by the Government of any other State, or

(b) to print within the State or cause or procure to be printed within the State any notice or advertisement in relation to the procurement of personnel for any military, naval or air force maintained by the Government of any other State, or

(c) to publish or cause or procure to be published within the State any such notice or advertisement as is mentioned in paragraph (b) of this subsection which is printed within the State.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  Might I draw the Minister's attention and the attention of whatever Departments are responsible for the administration of this law to the fact that the breaches of these regulations are quite a common occurance particularly in newspapers circulating along the Border and in some of the cross-Channel Sunday papers in the Irish editions that come in here? Have any steps been taken in such cases, or will any steps be taken to prevent breaches of these regulations in the future? They have been breached without any question, and breached on a number of occasions.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  The Deputy's question is relevant and serious in that he draws to our notice a situation which we would not wish to have with us. If he looks at my reply he will see that the printing of the newspapers in question occurred outside the State. This leaves us without the means to stop these breaches. Having said that, all of us here would wish to have the Defence Forces of this State at full strength. All of us would disagree with advertisements soliciting young people [418] to join the army of another State. We would not wish that to happen. Deputy Blaney has a very serious thing in mind. He is right and I will look at it.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  I can see the technicality which arises in regard to the printing but the publishing of or distribution of such newspapers in our territory is certainly contrary to the spirit of the regulations. I would suggest that the Minister might look at the powers to restrict the circulation of these papers within our State if they are not prepared to conform to the intentions of the regulations on this quite serious matter.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  I take Deputy Blaney's point completely. My desire is to bring our Irish Army up to strength and see to it that there will be no question of people, as they are doing at present, spending 100 hours per week—even though some of that time is spent in barracks—to see to it that security arrangements on the Border and such like are carried out. I take that point completely. I am glad that Deputy Blaney has seen fit to draw my attention to the fact that outside newspapers are advertising for recruits. I am advertising for recruits as best I can. These recruits will be used for nothing else but security.


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