DÁIL IN COMMITTEE.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

The Dáil is in Committee to continue the adjourned debate on Deputy Thrift's motion, put forward by special leave of the Dáil. I think we should have a time limit for this particular motion. We should be able to dispose of it in a fixed time.

MINISTER for HOME AFFAIRS (Mr. K. O'Higgins)

I do not think we ought to have anything in the nature of a closure on such an important portion of the Constitution.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

Very good.

Mr. J. BURKE

I am very emphatically opposed to the adoption of the principle that underlies this resolution. I am opposed to it on two grounds. First of all, because I think it opens up a big door to intriguing political adventurers into the very centre, the verysanctum sanctorum of the National Government, and secondly, because I think it presumes to dictate to the Irish people who their governors or rulers shall be. In considering measures of this kind it is necessary to look, not only to their uses, but also to their possible abuses. We are informed that this measure is to be considered in conjunction with the possible future establishment of Vocational Councils. If the Government is prepared to bring in a scheme that will enable those Ministers to reach their exalted position by means of the democratic exercise of the franchise, by specific Vocational groups, I will be in favour of this motion. But we have been already told by one of the Ministers that, for the present, this policy of Vocational Councils is merely to be considered as something in the nature of pious aspirations. As long as that state of affairs continues I think that those Ministers in external association with the Government should also be left in the same state of suspended animation. The shelving of the Vocational Council idea in my opinion—and that shelving is apparently definite—takes away from those Ministers all democratic sanction. And I will not permit the people's rights in this matter to be infringed on in the interest of any political experiment, without opposition. It may be said that there is domocratic sanction behind those Ministers in this respect that they are to be elected by the Dáil, and the Dáil is elected by the people. But we all know very well that the Dáil is controlled by a majority, and that majority is controlled by the Ministry. And in actual fact the Ministers in established Governments are nearly always controlled by one dominating personality. That personality may be inside the Dáil or outside of the Dáil. He may be in the Cabinet, or he may be that masterful character, known as the big political “boss,” an individual who holds no political views himself, silent, reserved, keeping all the time in the background, perhaps unknown to the general public, but all the time skilfully manipulating the political switchboard which controls the destiny of the Nation. Again, it may not be such a man. It may be the big publicity magnate, the Lord Northcliffe, or the William Randolp Hearst, who is able to put parties in and out of power at his pleasure. Or, again, it may be the big business trust, the Head or Controller of the big business trust who has all political parties in his pocket. Practically all the Governments of the world at the present day are controlled by a few individuals of this kind. So far, I do not think that being has appeared on the political horizon in Ireland, but even of that none of us can be certain. At all events, there can be no doubt we have plenty of the raw material from which such beings are developed here in Ireland, and the process of developing may be going on here in the Dáil, and out of the Dáil, without our suspecting it. This individual, he may be an individual, perhaps it may be a political clique who will have in reality the power of selecting these Ministers. This individual, like all the rest of us, will be quite human. He will have weaknesses, and there will be cunning and unscrupulous adventurers playing on those weaknesses in order to get themselves into positions and places of privilege in the Cabinet. He will also have his passions and prejudices, and he will gratify, perhaps, those passions and prejudices by placing those men—his own men—in these positions, perhaps in defiance of the people's wishes, and the people will have no redress short of actual revolution. You may say the people themselves may not be the best to select their rulers; but at all events we must, in justice to the Irish people, say there is some level of competency and decency beneath which a man cannot fall in this country and expect to get the endorsement of his fellow-countrymen at the polls. But there is no level or depth of depravity or degradation to which a man may fall and still not hope to be pitchforked into this high position of power in the Government through the perverted use of this insidious instrument. In any case, we have no right to curtail the people's liberty—their inherent liberty—in a matter of this kind merely because some of us believe the people will not make as good use of that liberty as we would if we were permitted to usurp their prerogative. It was a very wise statesman who said, “You may fool some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” The people may not be always an invaluable bulwark or safeguard against corruption and treachery in high places, but in any case they are the best safeguard that can be got to see that corruption and treachery in high places are not long continued. At the present time we are engaged in Ireland in the throes of what is, I suppose, the cruellest, most heartrending struggle that has divided this unhappy country, at least in modern history. In this very Dáil we have a very touching example of the bitter trials that individuals are forced to undergo as a result of this conflict. It is only the consciousness that in doing so we are asserting the fundamental principle of our national life that enables us to go against the grain in the way we are going in fighting this conflict. And what is the principle for which this struggle is being fought? Briefly that principle might be stated to be this, that no man has the right to exalt himself above his fellows and say “I am right; the people are wrong. The people have no right to go wrong, they must follow me.” Yet in substance that is the policy that underlies this principle, although perhaps in a different garb. The people will elect the wrong people. The Government think the people have no right to go wrong. Therefore we must deprive the people of the right to elect their rulers, and select them for ourselves. The people did not relish that doctrine when it was enunciated by ex-President de Valera, and I think we ought to make very sure that the people will take it more kindly when it is put into practice by us.

Mr. JOSEPH McBRIDE

I am quite opposed to the proposition of appointing Ministers who are not members of the Dáil. What is really the proposition? The proposition is to appoint to the function of Ministers super-Chief Clerks. You dismiss them for exactly the same reason as you dismiss the Clerk, but the Chief Clerks whom you propose to clothe with the garb of Ministers are of a very dangerous type, for those men, trained in all the wiles and all the arts of the politician, will, if they think fit, oppose, and very strenuously oppose, any proposition of this Dáil which does not find favour in their sight. In the process of time and through the usual evolution of hero worship, to which this Nation is rather prone, you will arrive at a state something approaching to that of the Venetian Oligarchy. You had Councils of twelve and a Council of 100 in Venice. Venice rose to the height of her glory under some of those Councils but the Councils ultimately dragged her down. This proposition, I believe, will not prove good for the country; it will not be acceptable to the country, and for that reason I oppose it.

Mr. E.H. ALTON

Sir, as I formally seconded that motion perhaps it would be decent of me to give reasons for my action. When I first saw that Article I viewed it, as I am sure everybody did, with the greatest suspicion. I condemned it. It seemed to me utterly out of place in a Democratic Constitution; it seemed to me to be the road to office. I have thought over it and I have come to the conclusion it ought to be tried, for I think we are all aware of the abuses of the Party system that are current in most contemporary Constitutions. Deputy Burke pointed out how the patronage that was of the Government was confined in the hands of a single individual, often some dark, sinister figure in the background—a newspaper proprietor. The very examples that Deputy Burke gave are a reason why we should try some system whereby such jobbery might be avoided, and by which patronage might be removed out of the hands of some single man or a group of men, and brought back to the central Assembly itself. This scheme, I think, removes the patronage from the individual and places it in the hands of the Dáil—the Committee elected by the Dáil to select the candidates from whom these Ministers are finally selected. The chief argument brought against the scheme seems to me that it is not a wise thing to try anything that is strange. There is an assumption in that that the last word in Constitution-framing has been spoken; that the British Constitution is the best of Constitutions in the best of all possible worlds. I, for one, do not believe that, and I think the analogy is completely false. The social, economic, political, and historical conditions that face us are not the conditions under which the British Constitution has been evolved, and I think we should face the facts as we have been called upon to do so repeatedly in this Dáil—face the living facts—of our own country, and not be afraid to make, I confess, an experiment. If mankind were afraid to make experiments where would we be? We would be still sitting in skins, arguing out our little differences with stone axes. Somebody brought in the tag about cheap experiments. There is another which says, "Only by experiment can anything be accomplished." We want to get the best Constitution, and we ought not to be afraid of making the trial. Every Constitution is liable to abuse. It should be the endeavour of this Committee which we have mentioned in the amendment to see that this experiment, as far as possible, should be fool-proof and knave-proof. If we do not find it works, it ought not to be difficult to go back; but do not let us keep clinging to the old exemplar, which reminds me of the criticism of a great scholar, who remarked about those who cling so faithfully to the text of manuscript, however corrupt it is, that they cling to these texts in the way certain gentlemen cling to lamp-posts, not to find light for their own way, but to dissimulate their own instability. One of the reasons that I do urge you to try this experiment is, we will not be a large Assembly and we cannot indulge in luxuries. I think the Party system is a luxury. You have your Ministry with one eye on their political opponents, and the other eye, if they have it, on the common good. We cannot waste efficiency and the brains of the country in that futile game of "King of the Castle," which is all the Party system amounts to. We want everybody, I imagine, in the Dáil to contribute his wisdom to the difficult and intricate problems that face us. We cannot waste time in party victories and political tactics. Of course, I have my doubts about many details. I am very dubious about depriving representatives who have been elected by the country of their votes, when they are elected to one of those special portfolios. But I think that is a matter on which the Committee may report. I do not think there is any grievance upon the constituency. Supposing you did deprive that Minister of portfolio, and force the constituency to elect another member, that constituency is in a particularly favourable position. It has got two friends in the Dáil instead of one. I do not think that the first representative will quite forget his old constituency, even if he is in the position of a Minister. The second reason which induced me to support this motion was I thought it was a short way of dealing with the business before us. I think we have been too much kitten-like, chasing our tails through a great maze of amendments, and I think this motion clears the air, because we are relegating a lot of detail to the Committee. If no better argument could be found for denouncing it than that there are abuses in the present Constitution under the Party System, I will vote for it, and will advise others, as strongly as I can, to do the same. It is a venture, but "nothing venture, nothing win."

LIAM de ROISTE

A Chinn Chomhairle, is mian liomsa cabhrú le bunsmaoineamh an rúin seo, sé sin go bhféadfaidh an Dáil daoine dtaobh amuich de'n Oireachtas do thogha mar Airí Isé an fáth go bhfuilim-se na fhábhar san na so—isé mo thuairim go dtuitean sé amach go minic nach iad na daoine is fearr in aon tír a toghtar mar dhalltaí de Phairlimint na tíre. Má tugtar caoi do'n Dáil daoine dtaobh amuich de'n Oireachtas do thogha mar Airí, beidh rogha níosa leithne ag an nDáil daoine a bheidh oireamhnach chun oibre na tíre do stiúrú do sholáthar agus do thogha chun na h-oibre sin.

Rud eile, dréir an rúin seo beidh a churam féin ar gach Aire: beidh sé freagarthach do'n Dáil i dtaobh a ghnótha féin agus beidh i gcumas na Dála aon Aire amháin do chur amach as a áit agus gan gádh an Aireacht go léir do chur amach de bharr droch-oibre an Aire úd.

Ní thuigim cad na thaobh go ndubhaírt an Teachta de Burca ná béadh aon bhaint ag an nDáil leis na h-Airí úd: Isé an Dáil féin a thoghfaidh na h-Airí úd chomh maith leis an Uachtarán. Mar sin, má's daoine ciallmhara lucht na Dála féin ní toghfar éinne acu ach daoine a dhéanfaidh a ndicheall ar son na tíre. Beidh an ghreim cheudna ag an nDáil ar na h-Airí seo agus a bheidh acu ar na h-Airí eile.

I desire to say I favour the underlying principle of this resolution for two or three reasons. One is that, as everybody knows, it is not always the best people in a country, for administration, that get into Parliament, and, consequently, it is desirable, more particularly in this country at the present time, that a choice should be given to the Dáil to select persons outside the Parliament itself for Ministerial positions. The argument that the Dáil will not have control over such persons, is, to my mind, an argument that has no basis. According to the arrangement which is in the Constitution itself, and which presumably, is the one that would be adopted if the idea itself is adopted, this Dáil is the body that will select, or elect, the Ministers who are not Members of the Oireachtas. Now, it has quite the same control—in fact, according to Article 51 it has the same control—over non-Dáil members, non-Oireachtas members, as we may call them, of the Ministry that it will have over those nominated by the President. According to Article 51, it is the President that will nominate certain members to be Ministers according to the Article dealing with members who are not members of the Oireachtas; it is the Dáil itself as a body that will nominate or select such Ministers. Therefore I think the argument that the Dáil should not have control over them is an unsubstantial argument. Consequently I am of opinion that we will do better service for the country in-having a wider range to select from than a selection from the Oireachtas itself, and also, as far as I judge, the principle of this is making the individual responsible to the Dáil for his own particular Department, which in our case is a most desirable thing. It has always seemed to me a defect in the party system which developed more particularly in England, and which the English have held up as one of the great things in their Constitution, that if a particular Minister is checked by his Parliament he may bring down the whole Ministry. I think that is a defect in any system of Government, and it is far better to have a system of Government, to my mind, and more particularly in this country at the present time, that would make the individual Minister responsible. There is no reason why the whole Cabinet or Government should resign if a particular Minister does something Parliament does not approve of. In this case, as I understand, the Minister is responsible for his Department—he is responsible to the Dáil. The Dáil can check that particular Minister, and, if it so wishes, a system can be devised by which he should resign and have another put in his place. I think these reasons are quite sufficient to justify any member of this Assembly in supporting the ideas contained in this resolution. But this I will say, I do not agree with the particular suggestion or draft of Article 50 in regard to this matter, whereby the majority of the Aireacht would be outside the Parliament. I think it is desirable that the majority of the Aireacht should be within the Parliament and the minority chosen from outside.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS

There is a point in the amendment which is immediately before the Chamber in which it is stated that this Dáil approves as a general principle of the proposal that certain members of the Executive Council need not be members of the Dáil. That, I take it, is only a general principle. In this amendment, to which we are asked to give our favour or adherence, all the other parts are matters upon which judgment would be reserved until the Committee is appointed. In that connection I would like to point out—and I do not propose in what I say now to argue for or against the scheme generally accepted—to bring before the Dáil certain historical facts which I believe may prove of help, because here we are at this moment in Ireland starting out without any support in our own experience. We are compelled, therefore, in arguing with regard to these complex matters, to turn to other countries and to find what their experience may be. It may prove indeed true that our experience of the future will be quite different from what theirs has been. It may prove true that our experience in the future will be quite different from what theirs has been; but we have no reason for assuming that in advance, and in the absence of our own experience it is right for us, and not merely right for us, but urgent upon us, and it is our necessity, that we should turn to the experiences of other countries and see exactly how they have fared in regard to this very matter. It is a remarkable fact, to which I would draw the attention of the Dáil, that we have here in this book, which has been put into our hands, given a certain number of Constitutions of the world, and in not a single one of these Constitutions will a provision be found that Ministers must be members of the legislature. In not a single one of these Constitutions is there any prohibition on any single legislature from going outside to choose Ministers. There were two or three other Constitutions issued since this book was compiled, that I have had an opportunity of studying, and on that very matter I have turned to these and I find they bear out the embodied experience that will be found in these Constitutions bound here. That is a very remarkable fact, and it is all the more remarkable when you turn to another fact, and that is, under no single Constitution and in no practice of any legislature, do they appoint Ministers who are outside the Dáil. Those two facts are very remarkable in their relations with one another. In all countries the Parliament can go outside itself to get Ministers, and yet suffer no constitutional violation; but in not one single country does it do so. That is a fact we should give careful attention to. It might be news to this Dáil to learn that is not only true with regard to England, but it is actually true in regard to England in so far as England has a written Constitution, and we know, in spite of the statement that England has no written Constitution, that she has a written Constitution. It is written in laws and charters that are available, and the Constitution of England is to be found in the Act of Settlement, and it there distinctly states that Ministers must not be members of the Legislature, and for two centuries afterwards England, in whose Constitution it was written that Ministers must not be members of the Legislature, compelled Ministers to be chosen only from the Legislature, because it was found that until it appointed Ministers only from the Legislature, it got Ministers who were subject to corruption, and Ministers over whom she could get no control.

Elected by Parliament.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS

These things I am stating now, if they are arguments, they are not my arguments; they are the arguments of experience and fact. I recommend to the study of Ministers and Deputies a book entitled "Governance of England," by Mr. Sidney Lowe, who writes with no admiration whatever of the present English system; indeed writes in criticism of it; and he brings this fact out that it would be better if Ministers were not members of the Legislature, and that it had been originally provided they should not, but that the Legislature insisted in the end, as the result of experience, that they must, because the Legislature wanted to get control of them.

Mr. THOMAS JOHNSON

Hear, hear. They will under this.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS

Nevertheless, experiments have been made, and I would suggest to Deputy Alton a reflection upon the fact that England herself has lately experimented in this matter. It is not exactly the case that England and the English Parliament do not occasionally go outside the Parliament to get Ministers. Whenever the English Parliament has gone outside itself to get a Minister, it has had occasion to regret it. We remember the experience England had lately with regard to Sir Eric Geddes. The facts in that case are that the English Premier went outside and chose a man of very considerable experience and competency in administration. They found in the end that they had to get rid of that Ministry, and caused the fall not merely of the Minister, but the destruction of his entire Department in administration without getting rid of the rest of the Ministry. That actually was the case. There is an illustration still nearer home. There is the experience of Ireland itself. I said we had no experience of our own to which we could turn. I must qualify that. We have a certain experience to which we can turn. It is not an experience with which we can claim any continuity, but, nevertheless, it is an Irish experience. It is the experience of the Parliament sitting from 1783 to 1799. Any person who has studied the experience of that Parliament will have been frequently puzzled by the curious anomaly it presents to the Constitution. We call it Grattan's Parliament, but Grattan was not a Minister. The Ministers were, for a large part at least, not members of that Parliament. Grattan was a member of that Parliament, and I venture to say, if you study into the facts concerning that Parliament, it will be found, if Ministers had been Members of Parliament, that the Act of Union would never have been bought. I share to the full and sympathise with those who desire to leave it open to the Legislature to bring in Ministers from outside. I believe a Legislature in matters of this kind should be left as free as possible. I feel that we will find our experience in this matter will not very greatly differ from the experiences of other countries; but I would like the Dáil to remember what other countries have found, and among these countries I remember Switzerland, the very country that has been quoted as the chief exemplar of the contrary. In Article 96 of the Swiss Constitution. which, I think, has been quoted here, or to which a reference has been made, and which in the Articles in the present draft is quoted, there reads the following:—"Members of the Federal Council are appointed every three years by the two Councils or by the two Houses in joint session, and are chosen from among all Swiss citizens eligible to the National Council. Not more than one person from each canton may be chosen for the Federal Council."

When I first read this I was very deeply impressed by this fact, and I procured certain works dealing with the working of it, and I discovered this further fact, which I put before this Dáil, as being noteworthy in this connection. This constitution in its first draft was passed in 1848. These words first appeared in 1848. I turn to see exactly how this provision worked out. It was passed in 1848, and I learn from the work written by the chief authority on this matter that since 1848 until this moment, the Swiss Parliament had not chosen one Minister from outside itself. Every Minister who has been appointed has been appointed from among the members of the Parliament. There were other matters which I wanted to mention, but I am informed by the Speaker I must break my speech at this point.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

You cannot make a second speech on that particular point.

LIAM de ROISTE

Deputy Figgis will have a better chance of getting into the Ministry from outside.

Mr. PETER HUGHES

I am extremely sorry that you did not let Deputy Figgis proceed, because we might know in the end which way he was going to vote on this question.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS

Exactly.

Mr. PETER HUGHES

I can assure you that I followed him very attentively and I really could not make out from which side he was addressing the Dáil I want to make plain my position with regard to this motion. I intend to vote against it on the grounds that I do not believe it is a democratic principle for this Dáil to enunciate, that is, to bring in people who are not members elected on a democratic franchise. I think myself that, unfortunately, we have enough permanent officials in this country, and my experience of permanent officials in the past is—that they run the Government, instead of the Government running them. I do not wish to perpetuate such a state of affairs. Perhaps means could be devised whereby certain individuals, not perhaps members of the Government party, might be brought into the Ministry, and might be of considerable use, provided always that the Ministry had the nomination of them, but, as this motion stands at present, I cannot see my way to vote for it.

Mr. THOS. J. O'CONNELL

I will support this motion of Deputy Thrift's, because it seems to me we can in this way get away from the pernicious doctrine of collective responsibility in the Ministry. It is for that reason, mainly, that I am inclined to support it. We know it is the experience in England, and during our short experience in this country, too, that all the Ministers must hang together, and no matter how inefficiently any individual member of the Ministry carries on his business, all the other Ministers—efficient Ministers—consider it their duty to stand up for him and defend him. I believe, by adopting this principle of individual responsibility, we will get away from that. After all, Ministers appointed for internal administration—such as Education, Agriculture, Trade and Commerce—are appointed, or ought to be appointed because of their special qualifications for the posts. They ought not, in my opinion, be put into a position of having to trim their sails in their own department to suit the particular general policy of the Ministry of the time. I believe that this method of selecting Ministers, and making them individually responsible to the Dáil, will make for continuity of policy in particular departments. We know how necessary continuity of policy is in a particular department. Take an example here in Ireland. In the Education Ministry, I think we have had four Ministers within the last eight months. That continual changing of Ministers, because the Government, as a whole, happens to change, is not in my opinion good. There is one thing in connection with this proposal, however, that I do not see the necessity for. That is in the original Article, the provision by which a member of this Dáil, appointed to one of these posts, is called on to resign his seat, and I have heard no satisfactory argument yet from anybody in support of that provision. The President, last night, did put forward an argument to the effect that a Minister appointed to one of these posts would find himself in difficulties with his constituents, seeing that he had to be responsible to the whole country. But, instead of that being an argument against the resignation of this particular Minister it would seem to me to be an argument in favour of the resignation of their seats by all the Ministers. If a man is appointed President of this Dáil he is responsible really for his policy to the whole country, and equally with the man who may be appointed Minister for Education or Local Government, who may find himself in difficulties with his particular constituency over individual matters. But that after all is a detail. It has been stated here that we should not make this experiment—that this country should not be asked to make it. I am not afraid of making experiments. I think that our whole Parliament and Government is in the nature of an experiment. We are starting cut for the first time, and our whole administration will, for some years to come, be in the nature of an experiment, and I would prefer to be original in this direction rather than to be imitative. I think it is not a very wide departure from what is usually done, and I do not think that the risk is sufficient to make us afraid of trying it as an experiment, and, therefore, I recommend this to the Dáil.

Mr. KEVIN O'HIGGINS

The speech of Deputy O'Connell was welcome at this stage because it seemed to me that members were getting away after a particular point that is not the main point, and that is not essential to the proposals. The speech we have been listening to brings us back to the fact that the main point of the proposal is the idea of individual responsibility rather than the idea of non-membership. They will, in fact, for all practical purposes be members of this Dáil. They will attend this Dáil, and they will answer questions in this Dáil. They will speak in this Dáil, and in every respect, except voting, they will be on an equal footing with every member in this Dáil. And that exception of the vote is to save them from the particular stigma attaching to the party spirit and to keep them simply people responsible to the Dáil for the running of certain Departments. They are to bring forward proposals from that Department in a way that will leave free thought and discussion here, and that will eliminate the evils of the party system by which men vote for a particular Ministry under the crack of the party whip rather than bring down the Administration, of whose main policy they approve. Because they approve of the main policy they feel bound to vote for practically every measure that Administration brings along. These proposals will make the Irish Parliament what the British Parliament is not. It will make it a deliberative Assembly that will weigh carefully on their merits the measures brought before it, and solely with an eye to the results of these measures in the country. It will ensure that men will not vote for a particular measure that they think will have evil results for the country, simply to save that particular Administration. That is one thing we must keep in mind, and we must not be diverted from the main object of the proposal to this mere accidental of non-membership. To suggest that the members appointed from outside the Dáil will not be responsible to the Dáil and, through the Dáil, to the people is to suggest a thing which is not, I submit, that the men elected to this Dáil will feel a very real sense of responsibility to this Dáil, and will feel as real a sense of responsibility, and have as real a contact, to this Dáil as the Ministers whom the President may select. Such Ministers may be removed. They may be removed under any one of three heads, malfeasance in office, incompetence, which you will agree is a very general term, or failure to carry out the expressed will of the Parliament. Is there any other reason why they should be removed? These three heads are all-embracing, and give the reasons why a Minister should cease to be a Minister for a particular Department. Is there any reason why the Administration should fall because this Dáil does not approve of the proposals put forward by the Minister, say, for Education? Is there any reason, again, why the Administration should fall because some new proposal of the Minister for Agriculture is not approved by this Dáil? On the other hand, if the main policy of the President and his four Ministers comes to be rejected by this Dáil, is there any reason why the Minister for Agriculture, who is running his Department efficiently and for the benefit and advantage of the country as a whole, should also leave his particular office? Is there any reason, if the Dáil changes its view with regard to the external policy of the country, why some Minister for Education, under whose care education has flourished in the country, should leave his office? These are the glaring and obvious evils of a Party system, and it is these evils we are out to remove. Yesterday I pointed out that under the change in Article 49 you are doing nothing cast-iron in this Constitution. Any time within eight years you can amend that Constitution by ordinary legislation. If we admit the evils of the British Party system of Government, if we can see them clearly, if we admit it is wrong to have a man, almost as a matter of routine, voting against his best judgment under the crack of the Party Whip, is it not worth while to try and get away from that, and try to forge here a system that will enable men to remain in politics and to remain honest.

Professor MAGENNIS

On a point of order, the Minister has told us that the real and essential thing which we are to adopt and to vote upon is the doctrine of individual responsibility. Last evening those of us who spoke on the matter were under the impression that we were to discuss and vote upon the motion of Deputy Professor Thrift. I may have an erroneous document in my hand. It was given to me officially, and it reads this way: "That this Dáil approves of the general principle of the proposal that certain members of the Executive Council, etc., need not be Members of the Dáil." Now, I would like to have your ruling as to the essential thing upon which we are to vote—the doctrine that members of the Executive Council need not be Members of the Dáil, but may be distinguished citizens outside; or is it the doctrine of rejecting collective responsibility in favour of individual responsibility of Ministers?

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

I think the terms of the resolution should be interpreted by the Deputies themselves.

Mr. O'HIGGINS

The motion which we are discussing is: "That this Dáil approves, as a general principle, of the proposal that certain members of the Executive Council, nominated by the Dáil and individually responsible to the Dáil alone for the Departments respectively under their charge, need not be members of the Dáil," etc.

Mr. T. JOHNSON

I would like to add a word or two to the words I used last night for the purpose of inducing my own colleagues to vote as I would like to have them vote—for this resolution. We are not voting for the clause on the Draft Constitution. I agree with the Minister for Home Affairs when he emphasises that the most important principle involved in that resolution is that which says that certain members of the Ministry shall be nominated by the Dáil, not by the President, and individually responsible for their own departments to the Dáil and not as members of a collective Cabinet who would stand or fall with the Cabinet decision. That, to me, is the more important principle involved, especially so in view of the speech of Deputy Figgis, where he points out what you are asked to do in the first case is to see that Ministers need not be members of the Dáil. That is the practice in every other country.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS

I should like to correct the speaker. I said not the practice,—the practice is the other way—but the principle.

Mr. T. JOHNSON

So far as the Constitution is concerned the practice is that there should be no compulsory membership of the Dáil, but the practice in effect is that the Ministers are members of the particular legislative body. That may become the practice in Ireland under the provisions of this motion, but I should like to remind the Dáil that in the instances which Deputy Figgis adduced, particularly the English examples, there is a great difference and it lies here, that no member of the Ministry or Member of the Cabinet was allowed to address the House, or attend the House, or be answerable to the House in any way, unless he were a member of that House, and consequently when Premiers went outside the legislature for a Minister he had to find a seat or else resign. Sometimes he carried on his Ministerial office for weeks or months until he was excluded because of his inability to find a constituency to choose him, but if he had been able to attend the House and to report to the House on the conduct of his administration as is proposed here, that difficulty would not have arisen, and that makes all the difference in the case. The proposals that certain Ministers shall be nominated by the Dáil itself and not by the President, to be responsible to that Dáil directly on account of the administration of their particular department, is one that should commend itself to the Dáil. The fact that that Minister may possibly not be a member of the Dáil should not weigh too much because of this very important principle. As the Minister for Home Affairs has pointed out, he must be at the call of the Dáil, to attend the Dáil to answer any questions to the Dáil, and to give an account of his stewardship in person and not through the mouth of any other Minister. It was suggested to me that this was apt to lead to bureaucratic centralisation, and to leave patronage and power in the hands of men and women perhaps not amenable to the Assembly, but it was forgotten that that man would be responsible in person to the Dáil, and that his office would only last as long as the Parliament itself would last. That before he could take up office again he would have to be re-elected by the Parliament, so that the danger of bureaucracy is very greatly minimised and is no greater under the provisions of proposals than under the conditions of any ordinary Minister who may be politically appointed. I hope that all my friends, at any rate, and any others I can influence, will vote for this proposal.

Mr. G. GAVAN DUFFY

I did not intend to intervene in this debate at all, and I would not have intervened but for the ironical observations made by Deputy Darrell Figgis just now. He delivered an admirable address in favour of the scheme and in favour of Deputy Professor Thrift's amendment, but from the ironical way in which he did it he might have been speaking on either side. He stated with great solemnity and emphasis that numerous Constitutions all over the world provide means whereby a Government can take their Ministers from outside, but that in practice they never do so. Then he said likewise that in the Swiss Constitution, which was 75 years old, they had power to get their Ministers from anywhere, but that in all that time they had never done so. If that proves anything, it proves to my mind conclusively that in the best-run Governments and Parliaments in the world, the President, the Parliament, or whoever may be the appointing authority to appoint Ministers will, if you fail to make mandatory upon him the duty of taking some men from outside, find himself up against vested interests every time, will find it impossible on account of interests of Party or machine, will find it impossible to choose the best men; and is Deputy Figgis going to suggest seriously that in seventy-five years the best Minister for Education and the best Minister for Agriculture were always and invariably to be found among the people elected to Parliament? That is what the argument is, and I assume that it was ironical. In Ireland it would be exactly the same thing. You would get, perhaps, twelve Ministers. Every man in this Dáil knows, in respect to some at least of those, I do not know how many, where political capacity is not by any means the main requirement, it is exceedingly likely that your best man will be outside and not inside the Dáil. I say your President of the Dáil will, owing to Party ties and vested interests, find it impossible to get that best man from outside unless you have a provision whereby a certain number of your Ministers must be taken from outside.

Mr. G. FITZGIBBON

There is a good deal of confusion about this matter, and as it may be even in my own mind, I would like some Minister or someone who may be supporting the resolution to remove it, as otherwise I must vote against the resolution. People talk as if the only question involved here was whether certain Ministers should or should not be members of this Dáil. The Constitution only refers to members of the Executive Council, and that is a Council of Government with the entire control of Finance. We have already passed a Section 36 of this Constitution that no money may be appropriated at all without the advice of the Executive Council. Personally I would not have the least objection to having any number of Ministers heads of their own Department, and not members of this Dáil, if proper people could be found who were not members of this Dáil, but it is an entirely different thing to say that they shall be in the Executive Council controlling Finance. Here it reads as if they were controlling their own Departments. The clause has been read as if these individual Ministers were to be responsible for their own Departments. It is entirely the opposite. In Articles 37 and 36 no money can be appropriated at all except on the advice of the Executive Council and that of the people who are to frame the Budget, which is to be presented by the Minister himself. He may have done that on the motion of that very Executive Council. He comes here from the people who form the considerable portion of the majority behind him, who sent him up to move it, though he may be of an entirely different way of thinking. The main point in this clause is not the number of Ministers. What I object to is not the number of Ministers, but the use of the words "Executive Council," and you are asked to approve of the principle that members of the Executive are not to be members of this Dáil at all. Unless somebody can show me some good reason why this body that is going to have sole control of the finances of Ireland is to be composed, possibly of part, and possibly of a majority, of persons who are not members of this Dáil at all I cannot support it. It is the Executive Council which has to recommend or approve of the granting of titles to the members of the Irish Free State. I do not suppose that there will be many, but that is another of the duties cast on the Executive Council. If this Clause were withdrawn or modified in a manner that so many here advocated that there might be Ministers who are not members of the Dáil, but merely Ministers who would control their own Department and their own Department alone and be individually responsible for their own Department, then I would support it with a heart and a half. But this is entirely a different thing from saying that they should be members controlling the whole finance of the Dáil and of the country. Really Deputy Johnson throughout his speech in this matter appeared to me to labour under that confusion of mind. At least that was the impression the speech conveyed to me. It may be that it was in my own mind the confusion existed. He spoke of Ministers who shall be altogether responsible for their own Departments and he never used the words "Executive Council" at all. He called them Ministers all through.

Mr. SEAN MILROY

Deputy O'Connell spoke of the system in England which made Ministers hang together. But I think if this Article is passed some future generation in Ireland will decide that this present Ministry ought all hang together.

Mr. THOMAS JOHNSON

And now?

Mr. SEAN MILROY

This Article has to be changed very radically before it gets my support. As it stands I intend to fight every stage of these proceedings. I think it is reactionary and subversive of all democratic principle and can only result in government by permanent officials, and God knows permanent officials are the greatest stumbling blocks to democratic progress that any progressive movement has to fight against. We want a Government that is amenable to the will of the people. We want Ministers who are to express the will of the people, whose actions are responsive to the pulse of the people's demands. And I contend that in carrying out the objects of this Article you are doing something that will make Ministers impervious to the pulse or will or desires of the people. Now, the Minister for Home Affairs last night spoke about my love of the British party system. I cannot understand why the Minister for Home Affairs is suffering from that hallucination. I can only come to the conclusion that the poverty of his arguments in favour of this Article indicated that his heart and the hearts of the Ministers are not really on the side of these extraordinary proposals. Now, weigh up the arguments for and against, consider the wealth of logic and reason against it, and observe the bankruptcy of the arguments for it. Both the President and the Minister for Home Affairs have done their best for these extreme proposals. I admire their special pleading, but I do not admire the extraordinary dilemma in which they were placed by trying to foist upon this Assembly and upon the Government some scheme of Departmental, or, I should say, Governmental control which, in their heart of hearts, they must know is repugnant to every democratic instinct, both in this Dáil and in the country. In this debate Deputy Gavan Duffy said a curious thing. He said that it might possibly be that the best men were outside the Dáil and not inside it. Well, when I listened to his arguments, and the arguments of some of the Ministers, I came to the conclusion that that really was the case. These whole proposals seem to me to lack absolutely, confidence for the future of the country. If we are going to interpret this aright, it expresses utter mistrust of what the decision of the people will be. It seems to say the people will not send to the Sovereign Assembly men who can be trusted to discharge efficiently functions of the Government. I can read no further implication into that Article but that. That may be right. The Ministers who at present compose this Government may be quite justified in the opinion they have held, that there is no one else in the Assembly capable of exercising the reins of office. That may be a well-founded decision, but if it is well-founded I have no doubt the country, when it gets a chance, will speedily dispose of the people—outside, of course, of the present Ministry. To assume that this is an Assembly poor in personality, and poor in capacity for administration would, I think, be a mistake, but no one, I think, would assume that this present Assembly has got fixity of tenure in this institution. I believe there will be very considerable changes, numerous changes in the personnel of this institution when the people get a chance. I would not be surprised in the slightest if I disappeared from this Assembly myself. I believe it would be quite possible to get someone infinitely better fitted to discharge the function of representing the people than myself.

Mr. SEAN MILROY

It is quite possible that the Minister may be justified in that assent, but I will require some better argument than he put up for this Article to convince me that he is correct in what he said himself of the present proposal. Now, this is not a matter for banter or joking. It is something that is going to have a most vital effect upon the whole future administration of the country—the most vital effect. And this Parliament, this Sovereign Assembly, which has not quite yet got beyond the stage of drafting Standing Orders to regulate procedure, and which has not really got outside the fetters of alien administration, is embarking upon an experiment which the oldest established Governments have not yet entered upon. Do not let us imagine that the whole completion of Ireland's social evolution is to be discharged by this Assembly. We need not be in too big a hurry. We have waited for 700 years to get rid of foreign control. Surely we can wait for six or seven years to get rid of the relics or heritage of the British party system if we find that it is inimical to this country. But a rush into this extraordinary proposal before we had time to take our bearings is unwise; to launch this country into an adventure, as someone called it, is not, to my mind, exactly what wise and sagacious statesmen should advise the country. I imagine that if we want to advance there is quite sufficient spirit of adventure in the country at the present time. I do not see why this Assembly should view the object of its deliberations and decision in the spirit of adventure. Let us view them in the spirit of reason and common sense and not embark upon rash experiments which may lead us, God knows where. Now, I think I have nearly exhausted my ten minutes.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

You have three minutes more.

Mr. SEAN MILROY

Good. I may be able to get three more arguments before I finish. The Minister for Home Affairs suggested that the amendment to Article 49 would enable us to change these Articles later on if we find they are not effective. Well, I tell you when permanent officials dig themselves in securely it will take more than what is embodied in that amendment to Article 49 to get them out when we want to get them out. Deputy Alton said something about this Assembly acting like kittens chasing their tails. If this is passed I tell you, if what is recommended and embodied in this motion is passed, we will not be going like kittens chasing our tails, but we will be chasing the idea of democratic government through a maze of official red tape. I am utterly opposed to this. I said yesterday that I was open to conviction. There has not been a single sound argument urged in favour of this proposal since the motion came before the Dáil. There has been an absolute bankruptcy of argument, of intelligence behind the advocacy of it; and I intend, until there is a change in that respect, to oppose this motion and all that it comprehends as tenaciously as I can, as I think it is retrogressive and anti-democratic and subversive to the thing we are trying to establish—that the expression of the people's will shall be seen and felt through this Assembly.

CATHAL O'SHANNON

I do not think Deputy Milroy will really want the Dail to believe that all the intelligence and democracy is always behind whatever he backs up?

Mr. MILROY

Oh, yes.

CATHAL O'SHANNON

And that there is no intelligence behind anything else. When speaking yesterday, I put my views as clearly as I could, and I do not intend to put them again. I only intend to refer to one or two points raised by Deputy Fitzgibbon and Deputy Milroy. I am not, as I indicated yesterday, very enthusiastic at all about the original proposal as it is in the draft, but then one cannot get up a great deal of enthusiasm about any kind of machinery, and this is a piece of machinery. I am not even enthusiastic about the Constitution, let alone about the Executive Council. There is, I think, a fatal defect indicated by Deputy Fitzgibbon, and it is included, I am sorry to say, in Deputy Thrift's proposal. That is the question of members of the Executive Council. If it were the Ministry it would be quite a different thing altogether. It may have escaped my notice yesterday evening, but I certainly am backing the proposal, and if I am to back it now, I would make it the Ministry, and not the Executive Council. As Deputy Fitzgibbon and others well know, in other Constitutions, particularly in Dominion Constitutions, there are Ministries and Councils, not altogether distinct in personnel; but I do back the thing now for the Ministry to a certain extent as an experiment. I do not see any reason at all, certainly there has not been any convincing argument put up, against the proposal as applying to the Ministry, or why it should not be tried as an experiment, seeing that, according to the change made yesterday in Article 49, I think, if it is a bad thing, it will be easy for the next Parliament, or the Parliament coming after, to change it. Quite easy; and I think that the experiment is worth trying, but it should be the Ministry, and not the Executive Council. When I support Deputy Thrift's motion, it is rather to get the reference back to the Dáil. Precisely so, that it may come up not exactlyde novo, but he thrashed out again by a small Committee in which the details may be worked out, more at all events to my satisfaction than in the original articles, and brought up here in a more concise and practical form, that would meet the points of view of those who are reluctant to accept it, Deputy Fitzgibbon and others, on certain points, but who would like to try the experiment on other points. It seems to me Deputy Milroy's argument about Ministers might as well apply to the appointment or choice of the Ministers by the Dáil. I do not say that this Dáil or any future Dáil will be the repository of all the wisdom. As a matter of fact, I think it largely will not be, and on this thing, if not on the question of foreign war, I am willing to let the Dáil experiment a bit, and the people— the electors—can pull it up if it goes wrong. If I understand Deputy Milroy aright, the same argument can be applied against the choice or confirmation by the Dáil of the appointment of the other Ministers.

Mr. MILROY

You do not understand Deputy Milroy aright.

CATHAL O'SHANNON

I will support it, and the argument advanced in support of the whole idea has made me more and more convinced that it ought to be tried. As I say, I am not very enthusiastic about it. If I am to support Deputy Thrift's motion I think the wording would have to be changed to Ministry. I would not have those not directly responsible having power, any share of the power, of the appropriation of finance.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS

I would like to make this point, before the Deputy goes further, that I think the Ministry and the Executive in the Constitution were intended to be interchangeable terms.

Mr. T. JOHNSON

We can alter that.

Professor MAGENNIS

The one great feature of Deputy Thrift's proposal, which recommends it to me in so far as I can agree with it at all, was to save the time of the Dáil by referring to a Select Committee all these different points, so that the Dáil can discuss in full Committee of the Dáil the report which would give us light and leading. Now, we spent a considerable time last evening and to-day trying to determine what it is that is contained in the motion, and that we are to vote upon. There are really now, as I understand the interpretation of the Minister for Home Affairs, really three things contained in this: first—the important thing—the proposal to refer certain articles to a Committee. For that I will most certainly vote. There is also the declaration that this Dáil approves that certain members of the Executive Council need not be members of the Dáil, and that I hold or submit is the central part of the motion as it is now worded. The Minister for Home Affairs asks us to believe that the essence, the kernel, of the thing in it is not that on the doctrine of individual as against collective responsibility of Ministers. Now I defy the Minister, according to any rule of commonsense, to support his contention that this Dáil "approves of the general principle of the proposal that certain members of the Executive Council nominated by the Dáil and individually responsible to the Dáil alone for the Departments respectively under their charge," etc. That is a description of the members, and nothing but a description of the members who need not be members of the Dáil. Suppose some one stood up and proposed here that Deputies wearing white hats shall not receive any allowance for expenses. That would not, if we passed it, commit us to any doctrine about the wearing of white hats. It would merely proclaim if and when a Deputy should so choose to decorate himself that this penalty would follow. With all due submission to you, I maintain that if I vote Tá in this division I am really voting for one thing of which I heartily approve, for another thing of which I do not approve, and for another thing which I am asked to believe on faith is contained by some sort of implication in the words, and is not contained. If Deputy Johnson proposed as a distinct proposition that this Dáil approves of the doctrine of individual responsibility I should support it and vote for it. It is a most important thing to have a declaration of the Dáil on this very material question. I do not know if it has been done intentionally, but Article 50 has been linked up with quite a variety of other things altogether different. Observe that these in and out Ministers, as I call them, who are members of the Dáil for the purpose of speaking and answering questions, but are not members for the purpose of voting, are to be appointed by a Committee of the Dáil. And we were told because the electorate sent the members that may ultimately compose that Committee to this Dáil that therefore the electorate were controlling the selection of the Ministry. Is there no precedent to guide us in this matter in the history of other countries? You are all perfectly aware that in the original Constitution of the United States provision was made for the appointment of a President, the highest Executive Officer. The people elected a college of electors, and they in their superior wisdom did select the men who were to select the President. That is still on paper, but it is evaded, and it is a thing quite easy to evade, and it could work on parallel lines here. We have seen already how Committees are appointed in this Dáil. The very first time there was a question of appointing a Committee the Deputy who proposed the members of the Committee in a moment of absentmindedness lapsed into the expression of the ordinary meeting: "I have been asked to propose this resolution." In a future Dáil in the members of the Select Committee who are to appoint these in and out Ministers there may not be the same frankness and honesty of statement, but the fact will be that there will be those who will arrange beforehand who shall form the personnel of that Committee, and that Committee so selected is to select a small number of men to control all the entire appointments. Only the pretence is there that certain members of the Ministry are selected by the people. I do not know if I am at liberty to debate the further point, because I really do not know how much or how little is in this resolution. What is the idea in all of this thing? That you are to have permanent heads of departments working out, with all their special ability and all their excellent qualifications, all great constructive schemes. What is the period of office they are to hold? Their stability of office is for four years—four years in which to build up the machinery of the constructive institutions. And the man from outside the Parliament who has distinguished himself in some department of public activity is to be invited to give up his own profession, and to come here to be a Minister for four years. And not only that. If he has been selected by a constituency he has to resign his seat, and at the end of four years, or perhaps even earlier, because remember he may be dismissed for incompetence, and incompetence, as the Minister for Home Affairs is careful to tell you, is a very wide term. Suppose the Minister of one department wants to spend money, and the Minister for Finance wants to have a good Balance Sheet to produce in his Budget, may not that be deemed incompetence, if the Minister for Finance is the dominant personality of his Cabinet? There are a dozen interpretations of incompetence. So that this distinguished man from outside the Dáil may find himself before four years have elapsed a man retired from his profession, without his seat and with the animosity of his constituency, because he has plunged it into another election, which under another system of representation has returned, perhaps, someone of a party the opposite to what he was representing. He is without his profession, without his constituency, without his Ministry, and this in the name of democracy. Is that the new experiment that you are to try upon the Irish Nation, at the very outset of its career? We have heard enough in other Parliaments about experiments. You remember that the sending of a great army to Gallipoli was called a gamble. It was supported as a gamble. Are we in the very first stage of our attempts, in constructing the basis of the Irish Nation to try these Gallipoli tricks? It seems to me that to support this thing because it is novel, is merely thead captandem argument of young people. We passed an Article of the Constitution a few days ago, which gives universal suffrage, and we shall shortly have every boy and girl of twenty-one years returning members of the Dáil. Strange to say, Deputy O'Shannon did not like that. He did not say he did not like it, but he forecasted resolutions in future Dáils, notwithstanding the fact that we are to have universal suffrage. We are trying experiments, remember, at a very rapid rate. Universal suffrage with the age of the electors twenty-one is an experiment. This other is an experiment. I repeat the making of a college out of which to select, or by instrumentality of which to appoint Ministers is going against the whole experience of the political workings of the political machine in the United States.

Mr. WM. DAVIN

I think that Deputies who have spoken in opposition to this fantastic proposal or novel experiment have been looking at it from the point of view that we are going to do something that will come into operation to-morrow instead of the fact that we are committing ourselves to a clause in the Constitution which will allow a future Dáil in the nation to do something upon these lines if it so chooses. I raised a point in connection with this matter last night, and until that particular point is cleared up to my satisfaction, I cannot make up my mind what way I will vote. It is on the lines of the speech made by Deputy Fitzgibbon, who proposed that the point could be got over if this proposal of Professor Thrift were allowed to be amended in this form. I do not know whether it is open to amend the amendment, but, if so, I would propose that: "This House approves of the general principle of the proposal that the minority of the members of the Executive Council nominated by the Dáil are individually responsible to the Dáil alone for the Departments respectively in their charge and need not be members of the Dáil." Deputy Burke, who, to a large extent, was supported by Deputy Milroy, seemed to be under the impression that the people of Ireland, in future, may not always be a bulwark against treachery in high places. I think we are providing against treachery such as that referred to by Deputy Burke, by the Referendum, which is now part of the Constitution, and I feel that this Dáil or any future Dáil in Ireland, will never do anything radically wrong without being pulled up by a section of this Dáil that will allow the Referendum on whatever the particular matter may be at the time. I would like to face this thing, not from the point of view of how the Party system worked in England. As far as I am concerned, I would not like to see the Party system in England working in this country. I remember reading—and I may say I am not an historian, and I do not like looking upon experiments of this kind as to how they have been supported by history in this or that country—but I remember reading a case where in the British House of Commons, a Minister—I think Mr. Masterman was his name—was unable to find sufficient support at one, two, or three elections to get himself elected as a Minister of a certain Department, and I think, in the meantime, he carried on the functions of the particular office he held in the British Cabinet at that time. I do not think this Dáil, or any House of Parliament, wants to do that, by putting into the Constitution something that will allow that to go on. I think the clause submitted by Deputy Thrift would provide against such a thing as that happening in this country. I want, however, to see that it will be clearly laid down in whatever clause is agreed to, so far as this particular point is concerned, that Ministers responsible for matters of policy must be elected Members to this Dáil, and must be a majority of the members that go to make up the Executive Council. If I can get a satisfactory answer upon that particular aspect of the case, I am prepared to vote for this novel experiment, no matter how much I may dislike nomination or co-option. I think it is quite clear to every member of the Dáil that, while we may vote for the general principle that is enunciated in the amendment put up by Deputy Thrift, it will be for this Dáil, or the future Free State Parliament or Parliaments, to say whether or not it would be desirable to have nominated officials or Ministers responsible to this Dáil. It may be, as in the case of other countries referred to by Deputy Darrell Figgis, that they will not agree to put these things into operation, but I want to be quite clear that the majority of the Executive Council will be elected members of this Dáil, and responsible to this Dáil and the country so far as matters of general policy are concerned.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS

I would like to answer the point raised by Deputy Gavan Duffy, who referred to my irony, and he went on to say—and I ask Deputies to pay careful attention to this, because, in the historic phrase of Deputy Milroy, "he let the cat out of the bag"—that unless it were stated in the Constitution that a certain proportion must be—whether the Legislature like it or not—the Legislature would never do it. In other words, the proposal is that we here are to be asked to insist that a certain thing should be done which future Legislatures would not do if they had any option in the matter. I think that was a very significant remark for Deputy Gavan Duffy to have made. I admire his frankness, but I do not so much admire his discretion. Deputy Magennis referred to this, on the other hand, as a gamble. I think this is a gamble. Some of us may like a gamble, but let future Legislatures gamble if they want to, but do not let us insist beforehand that they must gamble, however little disposed they may be to do it. With regard to the one argument that was raised by Deputy Davin I want to touch upon that before coming to the matter raised by the Minister for Home Affairs. Deputy Davin said there was a check in the Referendum. I think we had better recognise—and I ask members to look over that clause dealing with the Referendum and think over it carefully to-night, and I think they will see, so far as the Constitution is concerned, the Referendum will be a dead letter unless it is put into operation by the Senate. It is a physical impossibility to get the required signatures in the time required by the Constitution. The Referendum will be no guard. The Minister for Home Affairs brought in a new point which, I agree with Deputy Magennis, is not in this resolution at all, except brought in as by way. That is that the real point to be stated is not whether Ministers were not members of the Legislature or are not to be appointed, but whether Ministers are or are not to have collective responsibility. I agree that there is a very strong case that there should be a loosening of the bonds of collective responsibility, but, while there should be that loosening of these bonds, on the other hand we must remember the very, very important Constitutional point of efficient working to which Deputy Fitzgibbon referred, that, however the Executive responsibility may be loosed, however the administrative joint responsibility may be loosed, there must be some one common responsibility in coming down to the Legislature and asking for the expenditure of money, and that joint responsibility has been already adopted by us. I think that that is a wise and necessary provision, and that, whatever else be done with regard to providing the loosening of these bonds of joint responsibility is the one point we should be very careful not to impair. We know exactly what has happened in several of our County Councils where there has not been some gathering up of single and joint responsibility in the expenditure of money and where it has happened that monies have been spent on one matter, then on some second matter, and then on some third matter, and after these monies have been voted the enquiry has been made as to what reference the responsibilities incurred had to the liabilities of the exchequer, and I think the liability of the exchequer ought to be considered before the responsibilities have actually been incurred. The third point in the discussion is with regard to this Committee. I think every advantage would be served by letting a Committee be appointed and letting a Committee go over the Articles, either representing them as they are now or revising or rejecting them and substituting others for them, leaving this Dáil entirely free to a new consideration of the Articles, as they will be presented by the Committee, without being bound in any way. That is a case for which a very strong argument could be made out, and in that sense I would like to see a Committee appointed. The part I object to in the resolution of Deputy Professor Thrift is that we should be asked to agree to a principle and then, although I believe in the resolution itself that principle is perfectly clear we should be informed at a later date by a Minister that the principle to which we agreed is not the principle actually in the resolution. We ought to be perfectly clear of what that principle is, and so far as I am concerned I would agree with the principle that there should be a loosening of the bonds of collective responsibility. I agree, too, on the matter of legislative freedom— freedom of future Legislatures. I agree that if the Legislatures want to appoint members as Ministers who are not members of the Legislature they should be free to do so. The point I would like to make is that we must not stand here and say that future Legislatures must do so whether they like to or not; whether they find it convenient or inconvenient.

Mr. P.J. McGOLDRICK

I expect to hear before the close of this debate some Minister explaining the position a little bit more clearly than it has been explained to us so far. I would be prepared to support the motion of Deputy Thrift, subject to certain safeguards; but I would not be prepared to give a blank cheque to any person upon this matter. I would first wish to make sure that it will only be a minority, in any case, of Ministers who will be selected outside the elected members of this Dáil. After that I would wish to be satisfied that these Ministers who are selected would be individually responsible to the Dáil alone for the departments under their charge. In the case of an estimate for Supply coming from these departments, should the Dáil disapprove of this, it should not be taken as a defeat of the Government, and should only involve the retirement of the Minister in question. We want to be able to control extravagance without changing Governments. The danger of these bodies is the danger of extravagance. I would like to know if this proposal has any meaning in another direction. There are certain agencies in this country that are at present diverted from this Dáil, and they are standing by themselves on account of the allegation they make that they have not sufficient elective power in the country to enable them to have representations here proportionate to what they believe their interests and their importance would need. I would like to know if there is any suggestion in this motion that this is meant to be used as a lever in the hands of the Government for the purpose of enabling these interests that are at present so hesitant, to come here, and to have a uniformity of affairs in this country. If it meant that, it certainly would, I think, deserve the support of the members of the Dáil as an experiment, but only to the extent that of the Ministers of the Executive only a minority would be selected outside this Dáil. If I were satisfied on these points, I would support Deputy Thrift's proposal.

Mr. D.J. GOREY

There is one aspect of this resolution that I am more or less in agreement with. It provides, I think, some protection for the people of the country from the Parliament. Judging by some of the speeches, or, rather, the multiplicity of speeches, I do believe the country ought to be protected from the Dáil. To my mind, the Ministers outside of the Parliament will be more or less super Civil Servants. We know that most of the heads of those Departments are very hard to remove— so hard to remove that death has to come to remove some of them. Fortunately for us and for the nation, death did come and remove some of them. I have no objection to this proposal, but I want to know how are these Ministers going to be removed? Will a vote of want of confidence passed in this Dáil remove any one of those Ministers? If that were so. I would be satisfied; but if there are going to be lengthy investigations and inquiries and wire-pulling, I do not like it. If a clear vote of want of confidence will remove a Minister I will support the proposal. There is another thing I want to have made clear. It has been said that the electing of a Minister will involve a contest in his district, and it is said this would not disfranchise his constituents. I know it could happen. Take a constituency sending five members here, three of whom would be of one way of thinking and two of another way of thinking. If you select one of these two as a Minister, and then have an election back in his district, it is possible one of the two would be disfranchised. I do not think there ought to be any sending back to the constituency. I think the Minister ought to be allowed to retain his seat without any re-election. If you are going to have re-elections you will knock the bottom out of Proportional Representation. While you have Proportional Representation you cannot be sending a Minister back for re-election; you will have to have one thing or the other. I do not like that suggestion of 4 in or 8 out. I would be more agreeable to, and would probably support, a motion where you would say a majority in and a minority out. I think it deserves a trial. The majority should be elected by the country; a majority of the Executive Council should certainly be elected. I think if you say "may" instead of "shall" in this Article, it would meet the wishes of most of the people in this House. To say "shall" would make it mandatory.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

It is Deputy Thrift's motion we are dealing with, and not the Article.

Mr. D.J. GOREY

If you use "shall" in the Article when it is finally framed, you would make it mandatory; if you say "may," it is optional, and I think that is good enough. If I can get an assurance that there will be no re-elections, and that a vote of want of confidence of this Parliament will remove a Minister elected in accordance with the proposal I certainly will support it, but not until these things are made clear.

Mr. J.B. WHELEHAN

While I should most certainly strongly advocate the individual responsibility of Ministers, I must say I cannot at all approve of this motion, for the simple reason that we are asked here to adopt another principle, and that is that Ministers who have not been elected to this Dáil may be brought into an Excutive Council or the Ministry. On the face of it, it is quite clear that a candidate who might have been turned down at the polls would be taken and placed in the Ministry of the country. I do not think that would be a very democratic course. Apart from that, at the present moment in this Parliament we are advocating the supremacy of Parliament and we are advocating the principle that the people shall control the Parliament. I think it altogether inconsistent, at a time when we are doing that very important matter, to propose that we should bring in people who have not faced the electorate for one reason or another, or who possibly might have been turned down by the electorate, into the very Ministry of the Parliament. Neither do I think it proper that people should be allowed to sit and speak and answer questions in this Dáil who have not been sent here by the people to do these things. I am not at all sure that we cannot find the means if, as I strongly advocate, a Committee be appointed to look into this whole question of the Executive Council, whereby Ministers may be made individually responsible other than by the proposal now submitted to the Dáil.

It is very desirable that there should be an individual responsibility of Ministers for their Department, because I think it absurd that a whole Ministry should be turned down for the inefficiency or negligence of one of its members. A Ministry, after all, is a human institution, and every human institution is quite liable to error, but it is not fair nor just that a whole Ministry should be turned down for the negligence of one man. Neither is it fair that the whole country should be turned upside down and thrown into the vortex of an election because one minister for one reason or another has neglected to perform his duty: I would strongly advocate, therefore, that Deputy Thrift would so modify his motion, that the Dáil would not be committed to the principle of external, or what I would call "out" Ministers. If he will modify the motion in such a way I will certainly support it, but I will have to vote against it if it is to be put in its present form.

Mr. ALFRED BYRNE

I am going to vote against this motion. I am against any body of men being brought into an Assembly such as this if they cannot win the confidence of the electors. I am also against nominated bodies, no matter from what side they come. I know in Professor Thrift's motion it says details of the provisions for appointing such ministers and for regulating their position should be referred to a Committee of the Dáil to be nominated by the Ministry. Why should they be nominated by the Ministry? If the motion did pass with these words out of it the Committee to look after these individuals brought in should be appointed by this Dáil, each member having his share of responsibility in fixing the duties of such Ministers. I am against nominated bodies and I am against unrepresentative men getting into this Dáil. I think, as has been said so often by all the other speakers, that it is a reactionary measure, and it ought not to be supported.

Mr. WALTER COLE

Before coming to the other points I would like to refer to one or two things that seem to me to be a bit contradictory, both in Professor Thrift's notice of motion and in the Articles that follow, and they all turn on one another so intimately that it is very difficult to refer to one without having reference to the others. The motion before the Dáil arises out of Article 52, but Article 53 upsets Article 52, so where we are between them I would like to have some guidance on. The motion before the Dáil suggests that the Committee selected should be one for appointing such Ministers and for regulating their positions, and the details of provisions should be referred to a Committee of the Dáil to be nominated by the Ministry to consider and report to the Dáil. In Article 52 it is proposed that the Committee should be a "Committee of Members of the Chamber/Dáil Eireann chosen by a method to be determined by the Chamber/Dáil, so as to be impartially representative of the Chamber/Dáil; such Ministers shall be chosen with due regard to their suitability for office." Now Article 53, about ten lines down, says:—"The term of office of any such Minister shall be the term of the Chamber/Dáil Eireann existing at the time of his appointment, or such other period as may be fixed by law." Between all these different proposals you have possible Ministers appointed, should this motion be carried, by a Committee of the Dáil nominated by the Government. On the other hand, you would have the Dáil, if Article 52 were carried, enabled to appoint a Committee, which Committee will itself appoint Ministers, and if 53 were passed you would have legislation possibly carried under which these Ministers might have a term of office different from the Dáil or the rest of the Ministry.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

The Committee provided for in the motion before the Dáil is a Committee which would suggest back to the Dáil machinery for the appointment of these Ministers or for the carrying out of the principle which is embodied in the resolution. It would therefore supersede 52, 53, 54 and 55.

Mr. COLE

Would not the resolution be subject to the provision of Article 53, "that the term of office of Ministers might be changed?"

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

The Committee to be appointed by the Dáil, if this resolution were carried, would make suggestions to the Dáil, which would supersede all those.

Mr. COLE

All the other Articles?

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

That is the understanding clearly.

Mr. COLE

I am glad you have given that instruction, because, according to that, 52, 53, 54, 55, and possibly, I am not quite sure about 56, but certainly the other five Articles, will all disappear, subject to what new suggestions the Committee set up may propose to the Dáil.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

That was exactly what was arranged—that the Committee would report to the Dáil, and that we would defer these Articles now and consider them on the report of the Committee.

Mr. COLE

I should be very glad to vote for such a Committee on the lines just laid down by Deputy Whelehan, which would refer all these five Articles, and possibly the sixth, to such a Committee, if that suggestion that we don't adopt the principle could be knocked out of this resolution, so that the whole matter would be considered openly by such a Committee of the whole Dáil. I would be very glad to have such a Committee if the idea of a Committee of that nature could be accepted by the Government, so that this whole question, which everybody can see is very involved in its nature and its implications, which really require a great deal of thinking out, could be considered. There are possibilities that in a discussion in a Committee things would be seen more clearly than in one day's debate in the Dáil. If such a Committee could be set up, it would be by far the best way to deal with this whole subject. Undoubtedly there are very serious objections to our supporting it, if such conditions as these for setting up a Ministry were imposed. There have been so many arguments already used against the appointment of some men, who might be appointed in this way, that very few are left; but there is one very important one, that seems to me not to have been touched upon. It is quite possible that under this system a Minister defeated at an election could be reappointed by the Dáil or by the Government through the Committee of the Dáil, and he might be reappointed, although he might have been defeated at an election and rejected by his constituents. There is nothing to stop this Minister from being reappointed in this way. There is nothing to stop the head of one of the Departments, a Civil Servant or a junior in one of the Departments, being appointed—a man who has been under the authority of the Dáil— over the Dáil. Undoubtedly these Ministers would have far more independent control than Ministers who are actually representative of the Dáil and subject to the daily intercourse in the Dáil in a way that one of these nominated men would not be. Another very strong objection to it was pointed out by Deputy Fitzgibbon and others, that although not members of the Dáil those men would still be the controlling body over the finances of the nation; if seven or eight of them were nominated you would have a two to one majority of men controlling the entire finances of the nation against the elected deputies who were members of the Executive Council, and then on the other hand if these men were not on the Executive Council, then you would have another evil. You would have the whole of the finance of the nation under the control of the four remaining members of the Executive Council, and I think it would be a very undesirable thing, that all proposals in regard to finance, should emanate from only the four members who were members of the Executive Council, who were also members of the Dáil. I do not believe this thing can possibly be workable, and I think human nature will always be exactly the same as it has been. If a man has thought or desire to serve his country to the best of his powers and to place at its disposal his services, in 99 cases out of 100 he will find his way into public life, and will probably find his way into the Dáil, or be nominated to the Senate. Professional men who have given themselves up to the pursuit of Art and Science may, some of them, be desirable in the Government. Now and again they will find themselves on the way to the Dáil or the Senate. The Senate has a large membership of 180 or more, and if 12 men cannot be got out of so many who would be fit to join the Ministry and take control of affairs, then we will be writing ourselves down as a hopeless lot and justifying the argument of those who say we are not fit for self-government.

Mr. WM. O'BRIEN

Up to the time the Minister for Home Affairs spoke I myself and the majority of deputies were under the impression that the basic principle we were discussing was that of individual responsibility of Ministers. On that question I gather from the speeches there is very little difference of opinion. My mind is made up in favour of having a large number of the Ministers with individual responsibilities, but I cannot see that there is any necessary connection between the question of individual responsibility of members and the question of "in and out Ministers." Unless I am mistaken in the French Chamber there are a certain number of Ministers who have individual responsibilities. Most of the speakers have been rather definitely opposed to the provision that a certain number of Ministers, more particularly the majority, should not be members of the Dáil, but most of the speakers, so far as they have expressed the opinion on that point, have been in favour of individual responsibility of Ministers. It would be a good thing if we could disentangle these two principles and vote on them separately. I think the result would be different to what you would get by embodying the two in one resolution. My mind is made up in favour of having individual responsibility on the part of Ministers in charge of certain departments, such as Agriculture, Education, Local Government, and matters of that kind, but I favour the proposition that some Ministers need not be members of the Dáil. I quite see certain circumstances where individual Ministers would be a success as heads of departments, and through purely local circumstances might fail to retain their seats in the Dáil. A few years ago Sir Horace Plunkett had to give up his position as head of the Department of Agriculture because he could not retain his seat in the House of Commons. Most of the people in this country thought that he was a success in that position, and that it was unfortunate he could not retain it, and not be obliged to make way for a place hunter. I think the resolution ought to be amended, and have two separate votes taken on these two principles: the question of individual responsibility, and the question as to whether a Minister should, or should not, be a member of the Dáil. I am in favour of permitting a certain number of Ministers, more particularly if that number do not make a majority of the Ministry.

Professor THRIFT

I did not intend to speak, but I do think it necessary to point out that it seems to be very difficult indeed to keep our thoughts to the one principle to which I was wishing to draw attention. There are certain restrictions in the clause. It was just that we might not be affected in our judgment on the main point, that I suggested the appointment of a committee. The proposal seems to me to have many difficulties in it, but I think the Government were entitled to get from the Dáil at this stage a definite and clear expression of opinion as to whether they would consent, under any terms to having as Ministers some persons who had not been elected as members of the Dáil. If that were put forward in that form merely, somebody would immediately raise the question, are they to be appointed by the Government themselves, or will they be selected by this Dáil? It is for that reason I added a restrictive clause that such members be elected or nominated by the Dáil. With that restriction the Dáil itself gets control. I fail to see reason in the claim that we are showing a lack of confidence in the people so long as the Dáil itself has the appointment of the Ministers. If the nominations were in the hands of one person, then these points that have been urged as objections to this I suggest might very reasonably be put forward. As long as the Dáil itself keeps control of those whom they nominate to the office the objections could not reasonably apply. The arguments put forward were arguments against detail, not arguments on the main point that there should not be any Minister who is not a member of this Dáil. The Committee, if appointed, as I trust it will be, will take good care that these proposals, when they come back to us, shall guard against the dangers apprehended. Now, I would myself be very glad to give that Committee a completely free hand in the whole decision as to what is to be done regarding the Executive Council. It is perfectly easy to get a definite decision on this question, and I think the Government are entitled to ask us to-day whether we will or will not have that thing. It is before us for a long time, and it was before us long before we spoke here, and most of us had made up our minds as to whether we would permit it or not. Personally, I think it would be a very good thing. It would avoid the dangers of Party Government, and would avoid the necessity of having an excessive number of permanent officials. I mention that because it was used as an argument against this by several speakers. If you do not secure continuity by some such device as this you will have to secure it by the appointment of permanent officials in these Departments, as is done across the water, and that is a very expensive plan. This will save the Administration a considerable amount of money when we work out and establish our administration. I think the advantages are very substantial for that reason. I think most of the objections urged are objections against details which it is the business of the Committee to deal with. I only ask the Dáil to do nothing more to-day than to say if there are certain restrictions, that the Ministers must be nominated by the Dáil, and should be individually responsible for their own departments to the Dáil—with these restrictions I ask the Dáil to agree to allow the possibility, not mandatory at all, of there being at certain times certain Ministers who have not probably attempted to obtain a seat in this Dáil. Now there were two or three points mentioned to-day to which I wish to draw special attention. The first one is a question of how many. That is a detail. Nevertheless it is an important detail, and I fancy there are some who will say "I will vote for this if I were certain there were not going to be too many, but as there is a danger of there being too many, I shall vote against it." I feel absolutely certain the Committee would not come back to this Dáil favouring more than a minority, and I agree there should be a minority of the Ministers capable of this position of not being elected members of the Dáil. I think if it is stated in an amendment that the number of such Ministers should be not more than a minority of the Ministry, I would accept that, and possibly if that were put forward it might be accepted without dissent. An important point was raised by my colleague Deputy Fitzgibbon. It was valuable in this way, that it puts the finger on a place to where we may have to go back to what has been done with regard to a previous part of the Constitution. That is what a later reading is for, to give the opportunity of modifying previous clauses. Now I want to get the Dáil clear as to the Executive Council. We are to have an Executive Council of twelve. In Article 36 the Executive Council are to have certain powers, and in Article 54 it is stated that the Executive Council are to have collective authority. It does not say that each member of the Executive Council of 12 should have an equal voice in the decisions of the Council. It was always intended that decisions on finance should be come to by the body with collective responsibility, and if decisions were overruled by the Dáil it would involve the resignation of only those responsible, and not involve the resignation of all. That is one of the points I want the Committee to deal with, because I think it is a point that requires immediate consideration. We may have to revise some of what we did with reference to the Executive Council in the previous Article. Now, the Committee may say, While your Executive Council consists of 12 members, you have to decide that a certain number of them, say 8, should act as a body to decide any questions coming before this Dáil, and the others may act with them in a consulting capacity, and need not have a voice in deciding what is to come before this Dáil. I think that would be a reasonable way of proceeding. I do ask the Dáil to come to a decision on the one point —with certain restrictions, while keeping control in the Dáil over abuses. In that way the Dáil, and through the Dáil, the people, may have Ministers who have not submitted themselves to the suffrage of the people. The amendment allows us to avoid the necessity for any Minister who has been chosen from this Dáil being thrown back on his constituency. It may be advisable in certain cases, but the amendment does not bring that in. I ask the Dáil to give a decision on the question, will you or will you not allow of the possibility of having at some time or another Ministers who have never been elected by the people to sit in this Dáil?

Mr. FITZGIBBON

I ask the mover of this resolution will he suggest these words in his resolution?:—(The resolution says:—"That this House approves of the general principle of the proposal that certain members of Executive Council nominated by the Dáil, and individually responsible to the Dáil alone for the Departments respectively under their charge, need not be members of the Dáil," and so on) now, I ask the mover if he would insert after "proposal,""that certain Ministers who shall not be members of the Executive Council," and then go on with the rest of the resolution? That is, that these nominated people who are not members of the Dáil shall not be members of the Executive Council?

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

I have an amendment:—"That the word "certain" be deleted in line 2 of the resolution, and that the words "a minority of" be inserted. I will accept that amendment if any Deputy proposes it?

Mr. DAVIN

I move that.

Mr. SEAN MILROY

I would like to make a suggestion. What I would say is this, that Article 50 should be sent to a Committee of the Dáil without prejudice, one way or another, to our case, that the Article in the light of the discussion that has taken place here in order to try to bring it to something of the nature that will remove the objections that have been voiced here. I suggest that you send it to a committee for re-drafting.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS

On a point of order, Sir, I ask you for your ruling on this—whether the suggestion that has been put forward by Deputy Milroy might be put to the Dáil.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

That is not a point of order.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS

What I ask is whether the proposal he puts forward is not the only proposal that can be practicable, for this reason—suppose the Committee were to adopt a form of words that did not embody the principle recommended in the debate, would you rule it out of order?

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

That is a hypothetical question, and I am not here for answering hypothetical questions, because they can be innumerable. I will ask the Clerk to read the motion as it would now appear.

The CLERK of the DAIL

read the motion as follows:—"That this House approves, as a general principle, of the proposal that a minority of the members of the Executive Council nominated by the Dáil, and individually responsible to the Dáil alone for the Departments respectively under their charge, need not be members of the Dáil, and that the details of the provisions for appointing such Ministers and for regulating their position should be referred to a Committee of the House, to be nominated by the Ministry, for consideration and report to the House. That the consideration of their Report should come before the House later whilst in Committee on the present Bill."

Mr. T. JOHNSON

Is it understood that Deputy Fitzgibbon has moved his second amendment? If so, I will second it.

Mr. FITZGIBBON

If you get your colleague to withdraw his.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

I have the amendment proposed by Deputy Davin, and amendments in Committee do not require to be seconded.

Mr. GAVAN DUFFY

Would not Deputy Davin withdraw his amendment in favour of Mr. Fitzgibbon's?

Mr. DAVIN

I am quite prepared to do so, if the words I want are inserted.

Mr. FITZGIBBON

I think mine meets what Deputy Davin wanted; that is, to add to the terms of the resolution the proposal that certain Ministers shall not be members of the Executive Council nominated by the Dáil.

Mr. GOREY

Did you say "shall not"?

Mr. FITZGIBBON

Yes.

Mr. GOREY

Well, I will vote against "shall" every time.

Mr. FITZGIBBON

The words are "shall not," Mr. Gorey.

Mr. DAVIN

I am not satisfied that Mr. Fitzgibbon's amendment makes it quite clear that the majority of the members of the Executive will be members of the Dáil.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

Deputy Davin's amendment is the amendment before us, and unless it is withdrawn another amendment cannot be taken.

Mr. ALFRED BYRNE

Can you tell me whether I would be allowed to move the deletion of the word "Ministry" and substitute "Dáil"? I think we ought have that done by the Dáil and not by the Ministry. That is, the nomination should be by the Dáil and not by the Ministry.

Will the Deputy vote for the motion if that is done?

Mr. SEAN MILROY

Is it impossible to hope that the Ministry will not consent to have this matter sent to a Committee, to have it re-cast?

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

That is a further amendment.

Mr. SEAN MILROY

I am not proposing it. I am speaking of the amendment before the Dáil.

Mr. DAVIN

I cannot withdraw until it is quite clear that the majority of the Executive Council is composed of members of this Chamber.

Mr. FITZGIBBON

My amendment makes it perfectly clear that there will be no one on the Executive Council who is not a member of this Dáil. All of them must be members of the Dáil.

That makes it perfectly clear.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

The Dáil is not going to get any further until this thing is got in order.

Mr. GOREY

It is hard to keep some things in order.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

The most difficult thing to keep in order in this Dáil is the Deputy who has spoken.

Mr. WM. O'BRIEN

But he is always to the point.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

Deputy Davin's amendment is before the Dáil. He is moving an amendment substituting for the word "certain""a majority of the members."

I take it that I am entitled to speak on that amendment. I do not know that it would be wise to adopt this. The suggestion that has been made by Deputy Fitzgibbon would leave it unnecessary to adopt this. The amendment you were discussing a while ago would leave it unnecessary to secure the point that Deputy Davin has in his mind—to ensure that the minority of the members would be outside of the Executive Council. It would take some time to explain that, I think. If the various services require the services of Ministers who are not members of the Dáil— that is, if there be more services which require members who are not members of the Dáil, more services which would require a clear vote of the Dáil, a free vote of the Dáil, apart from the parties and groups in the Dáil, there would be danger in adopting Deputy Davin's suggestion. For example, if a number of services which actually require the members of the Dáil to be Ministers responsible for policy, and so on, is a minority of the services, and that the responsibility of the Executive as far as these members were concerned is quite distinct and clear, then there would really be no useful purpose served in having a minority, because you would include in the group of political matters services which are not essentially political, and these services then would not be free for discussion in the Dáil. The real purpose which was behind this whole intention would be defeated. Now, I was rather struck with what we call the infirmities of the case that has been made against the proposal. One of the Deputies stated that, in the case of a man rejected at the elections being put up for the Ministry here, there would be nothing to stop him being elected a Minister. I think that case suffers very much by having it exaggerated—that is true here as elsewhere. The Minister to be nominated has got to be recommended by the Committee, which is impartially representative of the whole Assembly. If this rejected individual runs the gauntlet of being nominated by such a Committee, which in essence is a fraction of the entire Dáil, he has still got to be elected by the Dáil before he will reach Ministerial preferment. There is the security there, and every man on that Committee has the responsibility cast on him in appointing him, and they will bear in mind whether it was by reason of any serious act of his he was really rejected at the poll, so that I take it that the nomination in the first place by this impartial Committee, representative of the entire Dáil, and the subsequent election of the man will secure that the person so appointed will be a fit and proper person for the office. There were other cases mentioned—Grattan's Parliament, where we were reminded, that Ministers were nominated. I would like to know if the Dáil were inclined to think that the Committee of the House nominated those Ministers to the House, and that the House subsequently elected them. That certainly, whether it was intended to lead the Dáil to believe that, was the impression conveyed, though I scarcely think it was intended. But there are innocent members in this Dáil who might have concluded from the way the case was put that that was the machinery that was adopted. Those of us who are not so innocent know that it was not the case. Some cases were mentioned, of other countries not having adopted this system, and I think it was fairly clear why they had not done so. There are vested interests in representative Government, and where there is continuity of Government and where stable conditions exist for a great number of years this particular experiment is unnecessary. We know, each of us who have run the gauntlet of elections, the various disadvantages of standing for a constituency. I think Mr. Dooley, the celebrated American humorist, speaking to a friend in this matter, said he would have to look up his genealogy before he would consent to allow himself to be nominated for any position, because, he said, a remote ancestor of his might possibly have misconducted himself, and it would be a great shock to him at the election to hear it for the first time. Now, there is objection made to the fact that the Dáil by a single vote is not in a position to exclude the Minister. Is that fair? I think it is perfectly fair. A snatch vote at a given moment might jeopardise a very brilliant and promising Minister—a very honest Minister. The proposal here is that a snatch vote would not put such a Minister out of office, and this impartial Committee would, in fact, try that Minister and report to the Dáil; and I expect a fuller institution would hear the complaint than the institution which rejected or gave the snatch vote against him. There were other cases mentioned against this proposal. That was that the political boss might exercise overwhelming influence and might ram any Minister here, whether the Nation wanted him or not. During the last 5, 6 or 7 years I think we have not had any experience of political bosses. The Press was also mentioned—that the Press might stunt for political Ministers. The Press has not been particularly active, or, at least, was not a very great asset in the fight during the last five or six years. The Press had to be fought during that period. I think from the beginning of the Rebellion of 1916 very few newspapers supported that action, although a great many of those in political life at the moment think the movement started from that period. So it had to start against the Press, and I do not think the Press as powerful an instrument in this country as the Deputy thinks. There was also talk of a trust affecting us. There is no big trust that I know that would have any such effect on people outside, or on the people in this Dáil. It is mentioned that this is not a democratic proposal. Under the old Constitution of the Dáil, the President came along here and nominated his Ministers, and in essence, if you rejected that nomination of the President, you practically rejected the President. In this case you restrict the President's autocracy to a certain number, and the Dáil gets an opportunity of putting up the others. From my point of view, I think there is very much more to be said for that than for the individual, and my recollection of a previous Parliament is, speaking for myself, and I think for one or two others, that not one of them knew they were going to be nominated for these particular positions at the particular time. Now, it was intended here that the Ministry of Finance, at all events, would be one of four, and, as I said last night, I do not agree with four only being members of the Executive Council. It ought to be much larger. The Ministries we have in mind are Finance, External Affairs, Defence, and Home Affairs, so that there is no need for any misgiving regarding extern Ministers bringing up proposals to the Dáil without the responsibility of the Executive Council. It might not generally be known what are the fundamentals of Government finance, or Local Government finance, and the member who spoke about Local Government finance, I think, must not have very exact knowledge of its ramifications. Rates are struck for specific purposes, and it is not open to a Local Authority to spend more on a particular purpose than is raised in rates. It does not exactly mean you cannot exceed it by a single penny, but it must be kept within that ambit, and if you raise rates for poor-law, you cannot spend them on asylums or police. I think we demonstrated that at some great difficulty and not a little trouble during the last two or three years, when laws were passed in another place, leaving open to decree-holders for criminal malicious injuries funds that were not actually raised for that purpose, so that there is no point in that argument so far as that business is concerned. With regard to the suggestion of Deputy Byrne that this be referred to a Committee to be nominated by the Dáil, I wanted to know, if we put that in, would the Deputy vote for it. That is a fair question, because as far as the Ministry is concerned it is not making this—this matter is free to the Dáil. But if the principle be adopted that is mentioned here, it is certainly our business to see that the persons appointed to consider that and make it workable and useful, and to save the time of the Dáil, would be persons sympathetically concerned with it. In the ordinary way I would have no objection to having this matter, this particular proposal, put to an impartial Committee of the Dáil. You can see in this matter parties do not arise, and the necessity, which in the ordinary way will arise, for having an impartial Committee does not really arise in this case, because there is a certain entanglement here that has got to be worked out. It was not mentioned here, I think, by those who criticised this proposal, and said it was not a proposition that was in operation in any part of the world, that Messrs. Hughes and Hoover, two of President Harding's most respected Ministers, are not members of either House. Of course it may be a lapse, but I would imagine that the constitutional expert would have recollected that. The point with regard to this is, that unless there be some permission given for this particular principle in the Constitution it cannot subsequently be embodied, or at least it cannot be acted on by a future Ministry. This Ministry has, I think, a very modest appreciation of its own abilities. They do not think for a moment that the Ministry is indispensable. Personally, from what I know of them, they would be rather glad to return to the usual walks of life that they were engaged in. We know the diffidence with which certain people looked upon election. We know people who would render service to the State, but would not stand for elections. We know also that if they did stand they would be elected. I have not any particular person in my mind. Even it has been put up to us in the last three or four years that certain people would do work, and we have certainly nobody in mind at the present moment to bring into the Dáil if this were passed and the Saorstát were set up to-morrow. It ought to be a matter for this Committee to settle. First of all I think there is general acceptance of the individual responsibility. Then the question is whether this permission ought to be given. I think it ought. I do not think it ought to be necessary, although I rather approve of it that members so appointed from the Dáil to what we call extern Ministries shall be bound to resign their seats. I think it would be rather a good thing if they did, but we would not be bound. This Committee can settle that point. This is really a most vital thing for us, and there is no waste of time in spreading out the discussion of it.

Mr. MILROY

I think I can speak upon this amendment.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

I do not think you can, because you have already spoken.

Mr. MILROY

The amendment is quite a different thing.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

The amendment is not quite a different thing.

Mr. MILROY

It is a most extraordinary ruling.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

The amendment is directed against a particular thing in the motion. It does not affect the principle of the motion on which you have spoken three times and protested four times.

Mr. MILROY

And I am prepared to do the same all over again.

Mr. DAVIN

May I say one or two things in reply?

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

Yes. We will put the amendment then when you have finished.

Mr. DAVIN

I merely wish to draw the attention of the Dáil to the fact that we have disposed of Article 50 up to a certain point, up to line 11. In that part of the Article already disposed of it says that "there shall be a Council to aid and advise in the Government of the Irish Free State/Saorstat Eireann to be styled ‘The Executive Council/ Aireacht.' The Executive Council shall be responsible to the Chamber/Dail Eireann." My contention in moving this amendment is that the majority of that Executive that is going to be held responsible to this Dáil should be elected members of the Dáil. I hope the Dáil will appreciate that in spite of anything the President has said in opposition to it. I do not think there is anything further to deal with, only I hope the Dáil will, at any rate, by passing this amendment establish the fact that whatever Executive Council is set up under the Constitution of the Irish Free State that it will at any rate be a majority responsible to this Dáil for all its action and will not, I hope, be influenced in any way by a majority of that Council who are not responsible to the people of this country.

Mr. O'HIGGINS

Has Deputy Fitzgibbon handed in his amendment?

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

No.

Mr. FITZGIBBON

My amendment is:—"That this House approves as a general principle of the proposal that certain Ministers who shall not be members of the Executive Council need not be members of the Dáil."

Amendment put: "That the word ‘certain' be deleted and that the words ‘minority of' be inserted in line 11 of Deputy Thrift's amendment."

The Dáil divided: Tá, 21; Níl, 35.

  • Pádraig Ó Gamhna.
  • Tomás de Nogla.
  • Riobárd Ó Deaghaidh.
  • Liam de Róiste.
  • Pádraig Mag Ualghairg.
  • Tomás Mac Eóin.
  • Domhnall Mac Carthaigh.
  • Liam Ó Briaín.
  • Éarnán Altún.
  • Sir Séamus Craig.
  • Liam Thrift.
  • Pádraic Ó Máille.
  • Tomás Ó Conaill.
  • Aodh Ó Cúlacháin.
  • Séamus Éabhróid.
  • Liam Ó Daimhín.
  • Risteard Ó hAodha.
  • Seán Ó Laidhin.
  • Cathal Ó Seanáin.
  • Seán Buitléir.
  • Domhnall Ó Muirgheasa.

Níl

  • Donchadh Ó Guaire.
  • Úaitéar Mac Cúmhaill.
  • Seán Ó Maolruaidh.
  • Seán Ó Duinnín.
  • Micheál Ó hAonghusa.
  • Domhnall Ó Mocháin.
  • Darghal Figes.
  • Seoirse Ghabhain Uí Dhubhthaigh.
  • Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt.
  • Seán Ó Rúanaidh.
  • Micheál de Duram.
  • Ailfrid Ó Broin.
  • Micheál de Staineas.
  • Gearóid Mac Giobúin.
  • Liam Mag Aonghusa.
  • Seosamh Ó Faoileacháin.
  • Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
  • Piaras Béaslaí.
  • Séamus Ó Cruadhlaoich.
  • Criostóir Ó Broin.
  • Caoimhghin Ó hUigín.
  • Tomás Mac Artúir.
  • Séamus Ó Doláin.
  • Aindriu Ó Láimhín.
  • Proinsias Mag Aonghusa.
  • Éamon Ó Dúgáin.
  • Peadar Ó hAodha.
  • Séamus Ó Murchadha.
  • Seosamh Mac Giolla Bhríghde.
  • Liam Mac Sioghaird.
  • Tomás Ó Domhnaill.
  • Éarnán de Blaghd.
  • Uinseann de Faoite.
  • Domhnall Ó Broin.
  • Séamus de Burca.
Amendment declared lost.

Níl

Pádraig Ó Gamhna.Tomás de Nogla.Riobárd Ó Deaghaidh.Liam de Róiste.Pádraig Mag Ualghairg.Tomás Mac Eóin.Domhnall Mac Carthaigh.Liam Ó Briaín.Éarnán Altún.Sir Séamus Craig.Liam Thrift.Pádraic Ó Máille.Tomás Ó Conaill.Aodh Ó Cúlacháin.Séamus Éabhróid.Liam Ó Daimhín.Risteard Ó hAodha.Seán Ó Laidhin.Cathal Ó Seanáin.Seán Buitléir.Domhnall Ó Muirgheasa.

Donchadh Ó Guaire.Úaitéar Mac Cúmhaill.Seán Ó Maolruaidh.Seán Ó Duinnín.Micheál Ó hAonghusa.Domhnall Ó Mocháin.Darghal Figes.Seoirse Ghabhain Uí Dhubhthaigh.Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt.Seán Ó Rúanaidh.Micheál de Duram.Ailfrid Ó Broin.Micheál de Staineas.Gearóid Mac Giobúin.Liam Mag Aonghusa.Seosamh Ó Faoileacháin.Seoirse Mac Niocaill.Piaras Béaslaí.Séamus Ó Cruadhlaoich.Criostóir Ó Broin.Caoimhghin Ó hUigín.Tomás Mac Artúir.Séamus Ó Doláin.Aindriu Ó Láimhín.Proinsias Mag Aonghusa.Éamon Ó Dúgáin.Peadar Ó hAodha.Séamus Ó Murchadha.Seosamh Mac Giolla Bhríghde.Liam Mac Sioghaird.Tomás Ó Domhnaill.Éarnán de Blaghd.Uinseann de Faoite.Domhnall Ó Broin.Séamus de Burca.

Mr. W. COLE

Would it be in order at this point to ask the Government if there will be any reply to a query put once or twice during the discussion asking if the whole subject matter of the Clauses 50 to 56 would be referred to a Committee to report to the Dáil without committing the Dáil to anything, the Committee to be representative of the whole Dáil?

Mr. KEVIN O'HIGGINS

Our feeling is that this Constitution is a sufficiently long time before the Dáil and before the people to enable Deputies to have examined it, and we would not accept that. We want a decision on the principle of these Executive proposals, and we are willing to leave details to be reported on by the Committee.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

Deputy Fitzgibbon's amendment will now be considered.

Mr. G. FITZGIBBON

I have said all that I have to say in support of it, and I am not going to say it all over again. The only principle that the Dáil is committed to by my amendment is that there may be certain heads of Ministries who are not members of this Dáil; but it safeguards the whole Dáil from being committed in any way to recognition of people who are not Members of this Dáil, as on the Executive Council. The Executive Council runs finances and runs the general policy of the country, and I am entirely opposed to having people on that Council who are not Members of the Dáil. I am in favour of the principle that certain people who may not be Members of this Dáil, but who have special qualifications, may be made subordinate heads of Ministries. They will be consulted by the Executive Council on matters dealing with their own concerns, but they will have no voice in the general policy of the country.

Amendment—"To insert between the words ‘certain' and ‘Members,' on the second line, ‘Ministers who shall not be,"—put.

The Dáil divided: Tá, 34; Níl, 20.

  • Pádraig Ó Gamhna.
  • Liam T. Mac Cosgair.
  • Donchadh Ó Gúaire.
  • Seán Ó Duinnín.
  • Domhnall Ó Mocháin.
  • Tomás de Nogla.
  • Riobárd Ó Deaghaidh.
  • Pádraig Mag Ualghairg.
  • Tomás Mac Eóin.
  • Seoirse Ghabhain Uí Dhubhthaigh.
  • Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt.
  • Seán Ó Ruanaidh.
  • Ailfrid Ó Broin.
  • Domhnall Mac Carthaigh.
  • Maolmhuire Mac Eochadha.
  • Liam Ó Briain.
  • Éarnán Altún.
  • Sir Séamus Craig.
  • Gearóid Mac Giobúin.
  • Liam Thrift.
  • Pádraic Ó Máille.
  • Tomás Ó Conaill.
  • Aodh Ó Cúlacháin.
  • Liam Ó Daimhín.
  • Caoimhghin Ó hUigín.
  • Aindriu Ó Láimhín.
  • Risteard Ó hAodha.
  • Seán Ó Laidhin.
  • Cathal Ó Seanáin.
  • Éamon Ó Dúgáin.
  • Liam Mac Sioghaird.
  • Éarnán de Blaghd.
  • Seán Buitléir.
  • Domhnall Ó Muirgheasa.

Níl

  • Úaitéar Mac Cumhaill.
  • Seán Ó Maolruaidh.
  • Micheál Ó hAonghusa.
  • Liam de Róiste.
  • Darghal Figes.
  • Micheál de Duram.
  • Micheál de Staineas.
  • Seosamh Ó Faoileacháin.
  • Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
  • Séamus Ó Cruadhlaoich.
  • Criostóir Ó Broin.
  • Séamus Eabhróid.
  • Séamus Ó Doláin.
  • Proinsias Mag Aonghusa.
  • Peadar Ó hAodha.
  • Séamus Ó Murchadha.
  • Seosamh Mac Giolla Bhríghde.
  • Tomás Ó Domhnaill.
  • Uinseann de Faoite.
  • Séamus de Burca.
Amendment declared carried.

Níl

Pádraig Ó Gamhna.Liam T. Mac Cosgair.Donchadh Ó Gúaire.Seán Ó Duinnín.Domhnall Ó Mocháin.Tomás de Nogla.Riobárd Ó Deaghaidh.Pádraig Mag Ualghairg.Tomás Mac Eóin.Seoirse Ghabhain Uí Dhubhthaigh.Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt.Seán Ó Ruanaidh.Ailfrid Ó Broin.Domhnall Mac Carthaigh.Maolmhuire Mac Eochadha.Liam Ó Briain.Éarnán Altún.Sir Séamus Craig.Gearóid Mac Giobúin.Liam Thrift.Pádraic Ó Máille.Tomás Ó Conaill.Aodh Ó Cúlacháin.Liam Ó Daimhín.Caoimhghin Ó hUigín.Aindriu Ó Láimhín.Risteard Ó hAodha.Seán Ó Laidhin.Cathal Ó Seanáin.Éamon Ó Dúgáin.Liam Mac Sioghaird.Éarnán de Blaghd.Seán Buitléir.Domhnall Ó Muirgheasa.

Úaitéar Mac Cumhaill.Seán Ó Maolruaidh.Micheál Ó hAonghusa.Liam de Róiste.Darghal Figes.Micheál de Duram.Micheál de Staineas.Seosamh Ó Faoileacháin.Seoirse Mac Niocaill.Séamus Ó Cruadhlaoich.Criostóir Ó Broin.Séamus Eabhróid.Séamus Ó Doláin.Proinsias Mag Aonghusa.Peadar Ó hAodha.Séamus Ó Murchadha.Seosamh Mac Giolla Bhríghde.Tomás Ó Domhnaill.Uinseann de Faoite.Séamus de Burca.

Motion, as amended, put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 35; Níl, 19.

  • Pádraig Ó Gamhna.
  • Liam T. Mac Cosgair.
  • Donchadh Ó Gúaire
  • Seán Ó Duinnín.
  • Domhnall Ó Mocháin.
  • Tomás de Nógla.
  • Riobárd Ó Deaghaidh.
  • Liam de Róiste.
  • Pádraig Mag Ualghairg.
  • Tomás Mac Eóin.
  • Seoirse Ghabhain Uí Dhubhthaigh.
  • Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt.
  • Seán Ó Rúanaidh.
  • Ailfrid Ó Broin.
  • Domhnall Mac Carthaigh.
  • Liam Ó Briain.
  • Éarnán Altún.
  • Sir Séamus Craig.
  • Gearóid Mac Giobúin.
  • Liam Thrift
  • Pádraic Ó Máille
  • Tomás Ó Conaill
  • Aodh Ó Cúlacháin
  • Liam Ó Daimhín
  • Caoimhghin Ó hUigín.
  • Seán Ó Laidhin
  • Cathal Ó Seanáin
  • Éamon Ó Dúgáin.
  • Liam Mac Sioghaird.
  • Éarnán de Blaghd.
  • Seán Buitléir
  • Domhnall Ó Broin.
  • Nioclás Ó Faoláin.
  • Domhnall Ó Muirgheasa.
  • Domhnall Ó Ceallachain.

Níl

  • Úaitéar Mac Cúmhaill.
  • Seán Ó Maolruaidh.
  • Darghal Figes.
  • Micheál de Duram.
  • Micheál de Staineas.
  • Seosamh Ó Faoileacháin.
  • Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
  • Piaras Béaslaí.
  • Séamus Ó Cruadhlaoich.
  • Criostóir Ó Broin.
  • Séamus Éabhróid
  • Séamus Ó Dóláin.
  • Proinsias Mag Aonghusa.
  • Peadar Ó hAodha.
  • Séamus Ó Murchadha.
  • Seosamh Mac Giolla Bhríghde.
  • Tomás Ó Domhnaill.
  • Uinseann de Faoite.
  • Séamus de Burca.
Motion, as amended, declared carried.

Níl

Pádraig Ó Gamhna.Liam T. Mac Cosgair.Donchadh Ó GúaireSeán Ó Duinnín.Domhnall Ó Mocháin.Tomás de Nógla.Riobárd Ó Deaghaidh.Liam de Róiste.Pádraig Mag Ualghairg.Tomás Mac Eóin.Seoirse Ghabhain Uí Dhubhthaigh.Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt.Seán Ó Rúanaidh.Ailfrid Ó Broin.Domhnall Mac Carthaigh.Liam Ó Briain.Éarnán Altún.Sir Séamus Craig.Gearóid Mac Giobúin.Liam ThriftPádraic Ó MáilleTomás Ó ConaillAodh Ó CúlacháinLiam Ó DaimhínCaoimhghin Ó hUigín.Seán Ó LaidhinCathal Ó SeanáinÉamon Ó Dúgáin.Liam Mac Sioghaird.Éarnán de Blaghd.Seán BuitléirDomhnall Ó Broin.Nioclás Ó Faoláin.Domhnall Ó Muirgheasa.Domhnall Ó Ceallachain.

Úaitéar Mac Cúmhaill.Seán Ó Maolruaidh.Darghal Figes.Micheál de Duram.Micheál de Staineas.Seosamh Ó Faoileacháin.Seoirse Mac Niocaill.Piaras Béaslaí.Séamus Ó Cruadhlaoich.Criostóir Ó Broin.Séamus ÉabhróidSéamus Ó Dóláin.Proinsias Mag Aonghusa.Peadar Ó hAodha.Séamus Ó Murchadha.Seosamh Mac Giolla Bhríghde.Tomás Ó Domhnaill.Uinseann de Faoite.Séamus de Burca.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

As a matter of procedure the motion which is carried provides for the nomination of a Committee by the Ministry. The nominations will have to come before the Dáil and the Dáil will have to go out of Committee to deal with the matter.

I have ten nominated. I have not asked any of them if they will act. The names I have are:— Deputies Fitzgibbon, Thrift, Johnson, Davin, Gavan Duffy, O'Connell, Gorey, McGoldrick, Sears and D. McCarthy; quorum—five members; terms of reference—Resolution as amended and adopted, with Articles 50 and 59 of the Constitution, with power to examine witnesses and report by Tuesday, 10th inst.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

I think the terms of reference might, perhaps, be made more clear.

It is embodied in the resolution, and I do not like to go outside it.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

The resolution is not the terms of reference all the same. It is really to arrange the details of the provisions for appointing Ministers who shall not be members of the Executive Council, and need not be members of the Dáil, but shall be nominated by the Dáil, and be actually responsible to the Dáil for their Departments. Those are the exact terms of reference.

Very good.

Mr. THOMAS JOHNSON

Tuesday is rather short. I would say rather towards the end of the week.

Could we not say Wednesday, and let the Committee report to us if they like on Wednesday?

Mr. GOREY

Do you mean that we should have to stay over for the weekend?

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

The position is that with the determination of this motion of Deputy Professor Thrift all the clauses in that particular section are deferred—that is to say, from 50 (b) to 59, inclusive. We can proceed with the rest, and we actually have on the Orders Paper up to 71. These could be taken on a day to be arranged next week, and we could then come back to these particular clauses.

The motion was put and declared carried.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

In order to appoint a Committee we should formally make a report from Committee to the Dáil itself.

Mr. D.J. GOREY

When is it proposed this Committee will meet?

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

It will meet for the first time when the Dáil rises to-night.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS

May I make a suggestion that it might help the Committee if the President were to nominate one of these persons as Convener of the Committee?

If that be agreeable, I will propose the first name on the list, Deputy Fitzgibbon.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE

It is agreed that Deputy Fitzgibbon be Convener. The Dáil will now go out of Committee.