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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 11 May 1922

Vol. S2 No. 10



"To whom does the Minister for Finance expect to refund the £3,050 mentioned in his note of the 28th ultimo? By whose authority was this money paid? Has the official auditor visited London yet, if so, has he examined into the £1,000 as the Minister said he would, and with what result? By whose authority was that £1,000 paid?

This money has now been refunded to Dáil General Funds and will appear in the next statement of accounts presented to this House. The money was paid on the authority of Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff. It was reported to the Cabinet at the very first opportunity. With regard to the second part of the question the official auditor visited London on 3rd May. His report on the accounts, 1st January to 31st March, 1922, is before the Dáil Cabinet at the present moment. The accounts for the half year ending 31st December, 1921, were withheld for audit and the Finance Department is in communication with Mr. Art O'Brien on the matter. This money was paid by the authority of President Griffith and myself, and reported to the Dáil Cabinet at the first possible meeting.

I desire to move that the Dáil adjourns without discussing the reports from the Committee set up under Dr. Hayes' motion until Wednesday next, and I desire at the same time to say to the Dáil that we have agreed to meet in the meantime in the hope of finding a solution, and further, to ask you, Sir, to see that both reports are handed to the Press as coming from An Dáil, as they undoubtedly are, and to secure in that way equal publicity. I desire to move the adjournment.

If I am in order I desire to second that.

Might I not ask if it would not be possible to meet on Saturday, or at the very latest on Monday, instead of adjourning until Wednesday. If the Joint Committee is to meet again to-morrow they can make up their minds between this and to-morrow whether they can or cannot agree. We can meet on Saturday for the necessary business, and that would leave us until next Wednesday to attend to our much neglected private business. I am sure I am only one of many who have to neglect our private concerns. It seems unnecessary to take us away in the middle of every week. Later, say in the week-end, it would not matter so much. Any teacher would know what it would mean to a class to have one teacher on one day and another teacher on another day. In order that that should not happen I have had to get somebody in my place for the last two weeks. In stating my own position I am stating the position of the majority of the members of the Dáil. It would suit them if the Dáil could meet on Saturday, if possible, and I move as an amendment that it does meet on Saturday.

I must protest against this constant delay. It seems like giving more time for eternity. The Republican Party know how far their principles will allow them to go, and the other Party know how far they will go. Are they going to wait until there are 5,000 men killed?


There is a truce on.

There was a truce on last July and it led to a compromise. Are we going to have another one? Every man sitting here will be accused of taking part in a compromise. I protest definitely against any more waste of time. Let the principals come together and settle the thing in three hours.

The Committee was appointed last week in the hope that some solution or agreement between both parties could be arranged. There does not seem to be any way by which it can be done. I saw here at a meeting of the Dublin Corporation how some members of this House openly flouted the authority of the Dáil. If we wait another week it seems to me there will be no agreement at all. I think the sooner we face the issue the better and have no humbug about it. I would not object to an adjournment for a month if any good were to come of it, but in every move that is made for peace an obstacle is placed by the other side. If these ten people come together and have an agreement I will not object but I do not want to be coming here to be making a fool of myself.

We are anxious to take every opportunity to find a basis of agreement. We who have been on this Committee have had 13 sessions, and we are satisfied we have reached a point where a definite answer must be given. Now I think it would be criminal if there is an opportunity to compose our differences if we were not prepared to wait and give another opportunity to this Committee. I do not see any reason myself why we could not find a basis within one hour after we meet on Saturday. So far as we are concerned that is our position. If there is any possibility of restoring harmony and unity to this country it is our duty to pursue it. I agree with the proposal made by Deputy O'Dwyer and I second it.

It is moved and seconded that the Dáil adjourns without discussion until Wednesday next.

In the interests of harmony, if peace can at all be achieved, I would favour this, I would like to know if during the Truce recruiting has been going on?

No reply was made.

There is some reluctance to answer that question. I propose that all recruiting for both parties be stopped during the Truce.

I understand that it is not the intention of those on the opposite side to prevent recruiting. As far as I understand they are definitely opposed to a settlement at all.

I could answer that question by quoting sixty breaches of the Truce on the other side, but I do not wish to do that. I have all the particulars here authenticated. I can say, so far as we are concerned, there has been no recruiting at any time.

put the motion for the adjournment which was agreed to.

I was requested by the mover and seconder of the motion to do what was in my power, I do not know what it is, to secure that there will be proper and equal publication for the reports coming forward from both sides. I am certain that it is the wish of everyone here present that there should be full and equal publication for these two documents, and that so far as we can influence the course of public criticism that it will be in every respect helpful; and the desire of the members of the Dáil has been expressed by both sides.


What objection is there to the publication of the Officers' report?

The document has not been handed in.

The Dáil adjourned till Wednesday 17th May.