REPORT OF STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE. - ORDER 39.

moved the following amendment:—

"To insert after Order 39 a new Standing Order to read as follows:—

" `Teachtai who hold an office of profit under a Minister, and whose appointment has not been brought before the Dáil for sanction, shall not vote on any motion involving a question of confidence in the Ministry."

I sent in this amendment as a new Standing Order. It has been suggested that such an Order should be embodied in the Constitution. I am not certain whether it should be in or not. I think it should certainly be an Order of this Dáil in one form or another. I recognise the present situation, and I recognise that there are difficulties, and I really put this down to draw attention to the risk that, if we do not meet such a situation, a very grave scandal, not necessarily in this particular Dáil, but at some future Assembly, may arise. If Ministers are free to appoint to offices of profit Members of the Chamber, Members of the Dáil, that practically means the purchase of votes for any motion they may put forward. When Members of the Dáil are appointed to positions of profit, whose names are not brought before the Dáil for sanction or approval, it is not a desirable practice at all—it is very undesirable—that they should be allowed to vote on any question, particularly a question affecting the Ministry—one involving confidence. I would like to hear some views on this, but I do not want to press it at this stage unless it is generally acceptable. If it is generally acceptable, by all means let it go; but I think it is very desirable that attention should be drawn to the matter so as to prevent such a practice being confirmed and carried through for a future Dáil.

I second that.

I think we would all agree with the object Deputy Johnson had in view in putting down the amendment, and I think we should certainly have legislation which would define what offices men may hold without affecting their status in the Dáil. As the amendment stands it would go a length we could not agree to. For instance, an officer in the army holds a position under a Minister, and we could not agree to disfranchise officers in the Army at present. The purpose Deputy Johnson has in view is one we entirely sympathise with.

With that understanding I withdraw the amendment with permission of the Dáil.

Amendment withdrawn.