PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT. - ELECTIONS.
The PRESIDENT said he did not propose to submit any written statement as it would be merely a summary of the activities of the various Departments already given in their Reports.
He had an important matter, however, to bring before the House, and it was the question whether members elected at the coming elections were to be recognised as the new Dáil. The Ministry were agreed that they should and he was sure that the House would be of the same opinion. He thought the best procedure would be that this present body would dissolve automatically on the assembling of the new body, and that the present Ministry would resign and hand over all its powers to the new House. He then moved formally the following motion:
1. That the Parliamentary elections which are to take place during the present month be regarded as elections to Dáil Eireann.
2. That all deputies duly returned at these elections be regarded as members of Dáil Eireann and allowed to take their seats on subscribing to the proposed Oath of Allegiance.
3. That the present Dáil dissolve automatically as soon as the new body has been summoned by the President and called to order.
4. That the Ministry remain in power until the new Dáil has met and will thereupon resign their portfolios through the President.
F. FAHY (Galway, South) thought it would be almost impossible to bring all the members of the new Dáil together.
The PRESIDENT said he thought they would be able to bring all the members together for one meeting. They could suggest to that meeting, when the Ministry had been elected and all the formalities completed, that the House appoint a special Committee, consisting of, say, twenty members, and meetings of this Committee could be arranged. It was obvious, he said, that the whole Dáil could not meet as they had been meeting in the past. It would be a matter for discussion at the first meeting. He thought the proper procedure in summoning the first meeting of the new Dáil would be that the President of the Ministry or the Speaker of the old House should issue the notices. He thought the President would be the natural person under the circumstances.
The MINISTER FOR DEFENCE considered that since it would be the President who would be in charge until the new Dáil assembled, it was he who should be responsible for bringing them together.
The SUBSTITUTE DIRECTOR OF AGRICULTURE asked if it were perfectly clear who were entitled to be summoned to the new Dáil.
The PRESIDENT replied that everyone elected to the Northern or Southern Parliament was entitled to be summoned, Unionists and all.
After further discussion the President's motion was adopted unanimously.