FINE GAEDHEAL.

Cuirim an rún so os bhúr gcomhair:—

"Go dtugtar £5,000 ar iasacht do Choiste Gnótha Finé Gaedheal i gcomhair costas bunaighthe an chumainn."

("That a loan of £5,000 be granted to the Coiste Gnotha of Fine Gaedheal towards the expenses of founding and organising this Cumann.")

This motion is that £5,000 be loaned to the Executive Council of the Fine Gaedheal for the expenses of founding and organisation. If that were agreed upon by the other side, there would be no necessity for my speaking on it.

It is not agreed.

The last day I agreed on our side, without any question, to a motion of £2,000 for the Tailteann Games. These were part of the same enterprise that was started when we were all of one organization, when our only idea and hope was that the organizations working for Irish freedom and the ideals of liberty throughout the world would co-operate more closely than they had been with the aid of some sort of central organization. This organization of Fine Gaedheal was founded and was intended to form a single connecting link between the several self-determination and other organizations in support of Ireland which had been formed by those of our race and all sympathisers with Ireland throughout the world. The idea of starting it was that one Congress should be held by which this one central organization should be set up. It was the keystone of an organization started three or four years ago when the movement to establish the Republic was begun. The organization of our race throughout the world was something of value not only to the motherland but in this way: it meant that Irish native culture should have some channel by which it might be able to influence our own people and peoples of countries in which they live. On the other hand it was a channel by which Ireland might benefit from those of her race in other lands. The central idea is that whilst they could only act as citizens of their own country, still as members of the Irish race they would be sympathetic with their mother land. There was never a time when Ireland so badly needed the co-operation of her children as now. When the Minister of Foreign Affairs may find that he is not able to function and when there is a grip on him under the new Free State Constitution, you will be very glad to have some unofficial non-government machine by which Ireland's interests in foreign countries can be safeguarded. The author of the Sinn Féin doctrine ought not to be opposed to an organization of that sort to assist Ireland in foreign countries. The Congress which set up that organization met in Paris. We were met there by the same arguments as here. We were met by obstruction and bound because of the majority. Now the man who said he would have fair play for minorities and fair play for Unionists——

A DEPUTY:

Did you give fair play in Paris?

Many of the delegates to Paris had come before there was a question of the Treaty. They came with the feelings of those they represented, who were strongly Republican at the time. If any one wants to know what is the genuine feeling of those of our race abroad it is this—and it is a right feeling—that while they naturally want Ireland as free as she can be—full freedom is what they desire for Ireland —they are not going to dictate to the people of Ireland. Therefore, they did not try to dictate to the people of Ireland and I would be against them if they did. They want to help the people of Ireland to obtain their full and complete freedom. And certainly a terrible back sliding has taken place when this aim for the affiliation of the Irish in countries abroad and their organization from a political point of view to assist the people of Ireland in their efforts to obtain to the full their natural rights and secure for her her full rights is questioned. When that becomes a contentious question, then I repeat, Party has gone mad.

And it is Party gone mad to oppose a loan of £5,000 to cover the initial expenses of this organization until it is able to get back the money from the organisations which will affiliate with it. This money in Dáil Éireann has been subscribed mainly by those organisations or members of those organisations. To prevent them now being helped at the top and to cause a delay I think is a shame. If it is opposed by the other side it is a shame. I did not expect it would be. I say this as to Paris—members of this Assembly went out to Paris and they said it would be nothing but cultural, men who knew that culture alone would not keep this organisation together. What keeps them together is the desire to help the people of Ireland to achieve her full rights. I don't think that anybody on the other side has said that Ireland has achieved her complete independence. Therefore, the organisation is to help Ireland, from that point of view, on the rough road that she may have to travel. It was said that this was "Party." When this, as a fundamental aim, was put forward, it was opposed. Finally, it was accepted and when it became a question of officers, a number of officers were elected unanimously. The President, Vice-President and Hon. Secretary were elected unanimously. There was unanimity there. It came, after some sort of argument about Party methods, to the appointment of an Executive Secretary at the first meeting of the Executive. It happens that only one member of the executive has the same political views, in so far as they wish to express their views, as the present Cabinet. I admit that but I do not think one ought to veto any man because he happens to represent a different political faith. It came to the appointment of an Executive Secretary. That Secretary had served Ireland well. He had served Dáil Éireann well as Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He was a man who knew the details of the work, because he, more than anyone else, had done the organising work necessary in order to bring the Congress together. Then an exception was made. His appointment was not made on Party lines but the suggestion was that a Co-Secretary should be put there to watch him, with equal authority—a suggestion that no business man would dream of for a moment. I am trying to anticipate the Minister for Foreign Affairs who was going to speak on this subject. The Co-Secretary was suggested. He was to watch the other man. I think we ought to have come to a time when we ought end this thing—when you have two opposite forces causing a nullity. This man was chosen Hon. Secretary. He had experience. He resigned his position as Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs because he found that his work there was going to be curtailed by the restrictions of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. He was either not to be there or to be put into the humiliating position that another man had to be put to watch him. No business man would have two secretaries as Executive Secretaries. You could get nowhere with it. We decided that we would not stand for that—for that rule that you have an example of here, with a Catholic and Protestant, one watching the other. We find that the Hon Secretary who was here in Ireland was able to watch and see that his Executive Secretary would do his work, and the President and every member of the Committee would have an opportunity of going in and examining the whole correspondence if they so desired. The man being efficient and the best for the position and on grounds of practical work, we refused to change that appointment. Because of that, those bitter things were written over here. I say that appointment was made in all good faith and honesty. He was a servant of Dáil Éireann and perhaps some one wanted him to be penalised because he was a Republican and because he wanted to have Ireland free and to secure for Ireland her rightful place amongst the nations of the earth. It was because of that that we would not turn him down or put a spy to watch upon him. That can be the only objection why £5,000 should not be loaned for it is on good security. The people who subscribed the millions to Dáil Éireann will also subscribe this.

I would ask the majority party to agree to this and not make it a Party matter.

I wish they would. I would not have made a speech about it.

I second that.

Some of us have no intention of opposing this but we do not know what it is about. I have been a member of the former Cabinet, and of the present Cabinet and I know nothing of this thing. I do not know on what basis the delegates to this Convention in Paris were elected. I am not going to support it or oppose it until I know what it is. On what basis were the delegates to that Convention elected?

First of all, the idea of the Congress was a Cabinet agreement. The delegates were elected and sent by the Executives of the principal Irish Organisations throughout the world. From America some did not come when they found that the Treaty was ratified, because they felt—some of them anyhow—disgusted. Others had come from Australia from the principal organisations there. They were sent as their official representatives.

Official representatives?

What organisation did the representative from Java represent?

There were also in addition to the delegates individuals from different countries who were allowed attend the Conference but they had no vote. There were representative Irishmen from such far off places as Java.

MR. FITZGERALD:

I suggest the representative from Java had a vote and I would like to know how he had.

What organisations in America and Canada were represented?

The principal organisation in America contains 800,000 —that is the Association for the Recognition of the Republic.

I know the principal organisation in America has not 800,000 members.

You do not know anything of the kind. The Association in South Africa was the Irish Republican Association. In Australia it was the Self-Determination League and also the they similarly expressed their views. We did not have a representative from Canada. In Great Britain you had the Self-Determination League and also the Self-Determination Association in Scotland. The first conference naturally had to be to a large extent tentative just as your Tailteann Games this year will not be of the same character as those that will follow. It was intended that there would be a re-union of the race, a central re-union of the race, every three years. The next time it would be in Ireland, the time after that it might be away, while the following re-union would be back again in Ireland. The whole idea was simply to keep the aims of the organisation where they are. The first meeting had naturally to be of a tentative character.

With your permission, A Chinn Chomhairle, I should say now that I am very sorry it should be necessary to oppose this motion. I think an all-world organisation of Irishmen would have been an admirable thing, and I am sorry to oppose this. The objection is not to a world Congress of Irishmen. The objection is to the particular Association for which this money is asked. I am surprised that a vote is asked for here to-day by Deputy de Valera, who knew, or ought to have known, from the evidence in his possession as well as in mine, that the matter was bound to be highly contentious. I will give you the evidence in my possession—what I think is material—in order to show you that in this matter I am trying to adopt an impartial attitude. The only reports sent in to me are reports condemning this particular Association and I must be guided by them. And I wish to say this—this matter has not come before the Cabinet because I did not have the material to bring before it.

Did you ask anybody in authority for a report? reports you got were ex-parte reports sent in by people who wished to prejudice the thing.

The reports I got were ex-parte reports certainly. They will speak for themselves. They are people whose names I know, people whom you will respect and whom this House will respect. All I can say is this —the Cabinet has not had this matter before it. I cannot with the evidence in my possession, recommend the Cabinet to agree to this vote—to what Deputy de Valera euphemistically calls a loan, but which would be a gift, because on the last occasion we spent £5,000 or £6,000 in the belief that the money would be subscribed and the amount subscribed, of that £5,000 or £6,000, is £250.

If it is not agreed by the other side, I withdraw the motion and the money will be got. We got 5,000,000 dollars before and the money will be got now. With the leave of the House, I beg to withdraw the motion.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs must explain the situation.

If the motion has to be withdrawn and the Minister of Foreign Affairs is to make a report which he might have to make on the estimates, will we have an opportunity in this House to answer the report of the Minister?

I am asking the presiding officer. I stand here until I get a decision on this.

I have stated you will have an opportunity on the next occasion when my report reaches me of having that report brought before the people here.

That is too long.

If the motion be withdrawn, is the Minister for Foreign Affairs entitled to speak on a withdrawn motion? I want to have this thing out with Mr. Duffy. I prefer to have it out here. If the Minister for Foreign Affairs is going to read these reports, will those who were on the delegation but have not handed in reports and who did not know reports were expected—considering that the whips have agreed that we finish to-night— have an opportunity of answering this?

ACTING SPEAKER:

If the Assembly agrees to the withdrawal of the motion that has been made, as this seems to be a highly contentious matter that most members of the House know very little about, it can be discussed in the columns of the Press by putting the reports in the Press.

I make a suggestion that I think would meet both sides. I have not a great knowledge of this question. I propose this—that two from each side go into these reports and present them to the House under an agreed Chairman. There are some people who have misgivings about it. If we are not going to have a public wrangle here now, that will meet the case. Let the reports be published under the auspices of this Committee. I do not want to be adopting a Party attitude on this, because I believe I have a better idea of this Irish Race Congress than any man on the other side or on this side.

We all know the Minister of Finance hides himself. Is the suggestion that the Committee go into the reports?

I quite agree to that.

Meanwhile we might not discuss this any further.

I wish to point this out, that it would have been the normal course for me to present this House with a report upon the Paris Conference. I did not do so for the express reason that I did not want to make Party capital out of the reports I got, there was so much indignation raised on the other side. I wish to say this clearly that, so far as the Cabinet was concerned, nothing was brought up and it was not mentioned until the other side raised it.

The judicial mind of the Minister for Foreign Affairs ought have suggested to him, when charges of that kind are made in ex-parte reports, that he might at least ask the other side what they have to say about them.

If I had the slightest idea that it was to be on the Agenda, I would.

ACTING SPEAKER:

This House gives leave to Mr. de Valera to withdraw the motion.

Motion by leave withdrawn.

ACTING SPEAKER:

The suggestion of the Minister for Finnace is that "Pending a consideration of the motion a Committee of two from each side examine the reports under an agreed Chairman so that their report shall be presented to the next meeting of this House."

We, on this side, were not aware that the deputation going to Paris were representing different sides. We did not know either that the man who made the report and was put in charge of the delegation was not a member of this House and if he had been aware that the other side had sent in reports of which we were not even given a copy to examine, we could have sent in reports also. There have been a lot of complaints in this House about the obstructionist tactics on this side. We were promised that this Dáil would be conducted as it was before the Truce and that there would be public sessions. We naturally expected that when men were summoned from all over Ireland to this Assembly that the Government would put something before us of a constructive nature so that the Dáil would proceed to function.

Is this Paris?

I am coming to Paris. I am at Dublin—on my way to it. We were presented with the estimates without a report from any of the Departments and I was particularly anxious to have a report from the Department of Foreign Affairs. We were denied that. I had some pertinent remarks to make on that. I went to Paris. I know exactly what was intended when the proposition to have a world gathering was first made. (To Mr. M. Collins). If you want to take the Chair come up and take it.

I have not spoken a word.

Owing to the signing of the Treaty, the organisation lapsed. And I may say now, that all the organisations in America were invited to attend this gathering. There was one Department I was particularly anxious to have a report from. That is all I have said in three days and I hope it does not cause you any unpleasantness. (To Mr. Mac-Grath): I was not out with a muck-rake like you anyway.

I want to know what he means.

repeated the observation.

I think that remark ought be withdrawn.

I never abused personal confidence.

I think that remark ought to be withdrawn.

The Hon. Secretary of the Association, T.H. Kelly, if written to in this matter will supply you with a full report. As he is not a partisan in this matter, because he is not here interested in our immediate political questions, I think it would be very much better if you get a report from him.

His side has asked to be allowed to put in reports from their side.

When I spoke of partisan reports I spoke of one member who wanted to create this very thing. I saw the original letter or the letter that was sent to a number of delegates. You have got from these delegates, I presume, a certain independent report.

I have a report from the delegates representing Government policy in Paris, and numerous independent reports from the Colonies. I agree that it would be quite fair to give your side an opportunity——

A charge has been made in these reports. The proper way to deal with a charge is to let those who are charged have an opportunity of defending themselves.

ACTING SPEAKER:

This is the motion now:—

"Pending the consideration of the motion that a Committee of two from each side examine the reports under an agreed Chairman so that the report be presented at the next meeting of this House."

If there is any difficulty in understanding that, I will be too happy to withdraw it. I have made no charges against anybody. I saw from the temper of the two sides that there are going to be charges. That's plainly what it is. I presume that there are reports sent in to our Minister of Foreign Affairs. I assume that the other side have reports also. And there can be no difficulty about having two from each side. That is what I mean.

I was going to suggest that the Minister for Foreign Affairs had some ground obviously for opposing the loan. He says that is based on a certain report. From newspaper correspondence and correspondence that I got copies of, I can quite well understand the nature of the communications he has. In these, certain charges are made. Now this charge of the opposite side—the charge of Party tactics—I deny. There were no Party tacties whatever and in connection with the appointment of Executive Secretary he was appointed in a normal fashion.

There is a very important point which is this—that many delegates from accredited organisations who were present in Paris stated in a letter to Mr. de Valera that they considered that there had been partisanship.

Because you went round canvassing them.

MR. HAYES:

I just want to point out the fact that these people considered that the organisation was not one to be supported makes the organisation one that cannot properly be called a world organisation at all. That is the particular point which we want to get emphasised. There are countries—Australia, South Africa, New Zealand—whose representatives in Paris repudiated this organisation. But the air of injured innocence that is adopted is no use. When you know that independent people who went to Paris not from Ireland but from outside Ireland——

The Minister of Education was the one Party man—the one mischief maker in Paris.

MR. HAYES:

That is not true.

And I will say this also, that it was due to an ex-parte letter written to a representative of this organisation misrepresenting the position. They took it up and expected that this was an impartial account without hearing a word of what happened at the Committee.

MR. HAYES:

I was not the member.

You are the mischief maker and you know it.

If we are going to appoint a Committee for the next meeting or if we are not going to appoint a Committee let us say so.

I think if the Minister of Finance would substitute the word "investigate" for "examine" it would be better.

I think the word "investigate" is a more hurtful word, because it carries with it an implication that there is something wrong.

I agree with the Minister of Finance.

It is a question of whether it would not be better if people decided to investigate.

Get an outside Chairman.

The proposal is that each side appoint two and that the four appoint a Chairman. That is not impossible.

Is it agreed that if I communicate to Deputy de Valera and his friends the reports they will then give a written reply?

My connection with the matter will cease after my motion here. I will do nothing further in the matter. The Hon. Secretary, if communicated with, will give you a report. The appointment of the Executive Secretary is the matter in point. If the communications are sent to him and if he is asked what he has to say or will he meet this Committee, I am sure he will be very glad to do it.

ACTING SPEAKER:

The suggestion has been made that the formation of this Committee be left to the respective parties.

The motion of the Minister of Finance was agreed to.

ACTING SPEAKER:

The names of the four Deputies in connection with the suggestion of the Minister of Finance in regard to the motion of Mr. de Valera are:—Deputy Dr. MacCartan, Seamas O'Dwyer, Con Collins and Robert Barton.