NOMINATIONS FOR THE SENATE. - MOTION BY THE PRESIDENT.

In Article 82 of the Treaty particulars are set down as to how the first Senate shall be constituted, and that practically follows out the agreement which was entered into by the late President Griffith and the representatives of the Southern Unionists. Now, this resolution was one which the late Mr. Griffith undertook to move at the Session or meeting of Parliament which would adopt this Constitution. It is:—

"That it is expedient that the President of the Executive Council, in nominating the nominated members of the Senate, should, with a view to the providing of representation for groups of all parties not adequately represented in the Chamber, consult with representative persons and bodies, including the following:—

"Chamber of Commerce, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Benchers of the Honourable Society of King's Inns, Dublin, the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland, Councils of the County Boroughs of the Irish Free State."

We have agreed as far as the Ministry is concerned, and I think most members of the Dáil to whom I have spoken agree, that the contract entered into by President Griffith should be kept by us. It was a fair bargain to satisfy those who thought they were being at least politically excluded from having any part or control or co-operation in the Government of the country. It has been put to us by representatives of these men that although their points of view differ from us in many things they can bring to bear on matters which are of great public concern a line of thought that we are unacquainted with. If by including such an order in the Oireachtas, goodwill may be established between all sections of the community, and that we can bring home to these people the fact that we are prepared to work with them for the good of the country, I think that very much good may be accomplished by reason of that fact. For a generation people who are mainly concerned in this proposal have been divorced from close association with the people, and it is hoped to bring them into close association and to get the benefit out of their co-operation in that direction. I formally move the motion.

There is just a point that arises in connection with this proposal. I am not opposing it, but I think it well to draw attention to the wisdom of consulting not only these particular societies but other organisations that are entitled to be consulted, representing the Northern parts of Ireland. It seems to me that it would be desirable to take advantage of the opportunity to invite representation from that part of Ireland which has not been represented here, on to the Senate, and that representative people from the North-East corner—the Six Counties— whether nominated by Chambers of Commerce or the Royal College of Physicians or the College of Surgeons or other societies, or perhaps even by the Trades Council of Belfast or of Derry, may well be brought into consultation, and consider whether they might be prepared to nominate (or consent to be nominated by the President) persons representing labour interests in that part of Ireland. It is within the competence, as I read the Constitution, to make Senators of men or women from that part of the country, who would be prepared to act and show that there is a unity despite the possible dissension of the majority, that there is a unity with the rest of the country in the minds at least of a very large section of the residents in the Northern part of Ireland. I would urge upon the President that when he is consulting these various bodies that he should bear in mind, and ask them to bear in mind, the wisdom of nominating representatives who live and move and have their being in that part of the country called Northern Ireland.

As a Representative of the National University it is, I fear, incumbent upon me to obtrude myself—though just for a few minutes at most—into the consideration of this matter. It was, I think, on the 18th September last that the President of An Dáil either read to us or circulated a copy of that compact which the late President Arthur Griffith and the present Minister for Home Affairs of the one part, entered into with certain representatives of Southern Unionists of the other part. Now in that document, which I studied very carefully, and I have read more than once in the interval, it is stated that the representation to which the present motion of the President of An Dáil refers as representation for all parties not adequately represented in the Chamber, was to be a representation for the minority party, a representation, that is, for what was formerly known as the Southern Unionists. Many of them, we know, repudiate that description now, and would regard it as offensive to apply it to them, but inasmuch as it is a term used in that minor Treaty it might be more convenient—and I protest my intention is not to be offensive in any sense—to continue to use the term. In that agreement representation was to be secured in some fashion in the Senate for certain bodies the political complexion of which was understood to be describable by the term Southern Unionist. Now amongst the bodies to be consulted for the purpose of securing this minority representation in the Senate, which otherwise could not be secured in An Dáil, a certain number of bodies were set out as to be consulted, and they are set out here again. There was, as I read it, a danger that once the nominees were elected to the Senate, that they might be thought to take their places there by virtue of some professional pre-eminence, and that the political origin of their being specially nominated might be lost sight of as historical fact. You can easily see what the consequences of that might be as regards other professional bodies—I hasten to say, before I develop my point, that I congratulate the President on the mode in which he has obviated, so far, I think, as words can go to obviate, the possibility of any such misunderstanding, and it is merely to put it on record on behalf of the National University of Ireland, that I am now speaking on the matter—there was, I say, reason to fear that when representatives chosen, say, on the recommendation of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland should take their seats in the Senate, that the public would look up to these as being the men of mark in the Medical Profession, selected because they were outstanding men in the Medical Profession, and then it would appear as if medical men, graduates of the National University, for example, occupied some species of inferior status to those other men whom the late President and others desired to do honour to, although our graduates are men who deserve well of their country. I think it therefore incumbent on me, even at the risk of being wearisome and tedious, to impress upon the Dáil this fact that in the present motion of the President it is declared "that it is expedient to consult with representative persons and bodies, including the following." This consultation is not limited to these bodies; I take it there is implied in this an undertaking to consult with other representative bodies as well. Now, the bodies mentioned are the Chambers of Commerce; they, of course, would be able to inform the President of An Dáil as to who in their bodies are men of eminence in business and commercial circles, who by reason of their political predilections would possibly not find favour with the electorate. I take it that the Chambers of Commerce are intended to give light and counsel with regard to commercial and industrial Unionists. Now we come to the Benchers of the Honourable Society of the King's Inns, Dublin. That body, I think—I speak subject to the correction of Deputy Fitzgibbon—along with the Bar Council of Ireland, represents the barristers—the principal branch of the Legal Profession in Ireland—and here again, if members eligible for nomination to the Senate are recommended by this body, it will, of course, again be under the compact with the late President Griffith because they are Southern Unionists, and not because they are the most distinguished lawyers in the country. And then again, the next body to be consulted is the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland, and that undoubtedly is the official body associated with the solicitors' profession —the other branch of the Legal Profession in Ireland; and once more it is necessary to bear in mind that when that body recommends candidates for election to the Senate it is because the recommending body regards them as Southern Unionists who require this assistance to bring them into the new Parliament of Ireland. These recommendations are all because of the pact made by President Griffith. Now, I would not have spoken at such length only that I believe it was most necessary to have it impressed upon the Dáil that when the President put into the present motion the words, "including the following," he is divesting the original document embodying the pact of a great-deal of what to us, in the National University, was highly objectionable because, if you bear this in mind, the College of Physicians of Ireland, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, form a conjoint body, for conferring medical degrees, or rather licences to practise. They represent one licencing body; Trinity College, or Dublin University represents another. The National University, which has three medical schools—one an exceptionally large and important medical school in Dublin, another in Cork, and another in Galway— represents a third. Now here is a licencing body,pari passu with the licencing body mentioned in the pact, and I do not intend, and hope I shall not be taken as intending, even in the remotest way to suggest any reflection on the body named here. It is merely to secure equality and to obviate any possible misunderstanding with regard to the result that shall be attained by the President when the recommendations of these bodies come up with the list of their nominees.

I welcome the determination of the Ministers to consult Commerce, Science, and the Law, and I presume they will also consult the Engineers and other eminent Societies, but in consulting these bodies I would wish the Minister to assure me, or to assure himself rather, that there is some reformation in the mode of election to Fellows of these Colleges. Now, the first College on the list is the College of Physicians. I have been told by very eminent physicians in the City of Dublin, men who have worked for a very considerable number of years, worked practically all their lives and stand at the head of their profession, that it is next door to impossible to be elected to a Fellowship to the College of Physicians if they do not wear the cloak of the University of Dublin, of Trinity College; while at the same time men of practically no experience, or of a few years' standing, no eminence whatsoever, will be pitchforked into it if they have the appendage of Trinity College. Now if such is the case, if I have been rightly informed that such is the case, I hope the Minister will bring pressure to bear on these Colleges—the College of Physicians in particular has been instanced. and I suppose the same thing holds good with the College of Surgeons—that there will be reformation in the mode of election of the governing body of these Colleges.

I suppose, Sir, it is incumbent on me to say something, as I have been President of the College of Physicians for the last three years. I deprecate, perhaps more than anyone, the introduction of the question of religion into this matter, but perhaps as I am driven——

Might I remind the Deputy that the question of religion was not introduced, unless he may be wanting to introduce it himself.

I am extremely sorry. His remarks then have no meaning and there is no necessity for me to discuss them.

I would like, A Chinn Comhairle, just to say one sentence; it may help to disabuse the Deputy's mind. As a Fellow of Trinity College this is the first time that I ever heard it put forward by anybody that the Royal College of Physicians was in any respect an appendage of Trinity College, Dublin, and I think that members of the Royal College of Physicians would not be satisfied with the suggestion that it was.

May I say that the College of Physicians had no knowledge of this request, nor did they ask to be consulted.

There has been a good deal of talk about having consulted the College of Surgeons and the College of Physicians instead of some other body. We have eight doctors at present in the Dáil. I think whatever the other Body is, the College of Physicians and the College of Surgeons are very well represented here. Possibly there are some representatives of the College of Physicians and the College of Surgeons amongst these eight doctors. I believe there are two or three members, perhaps more, but that is not the point. There is no imputation either upon the bodies included or the bodies excluded. The real idea, I think, in the minds of those who put up that proposition was that it is from such Institutions as those mentioned that you would get representation that was not then in the Dáil. Possibly now after the Elections a different set of propositions would have been put up, but at that time those were the bodies from whom the representatives of what were called Southern Unionists thought they would get that leavening. We all know that the late Dáil was exclusively a political body. Politics were the whole substance out of which it was composed. Now this Dáil is not so constituted. We have very respectable orders of the community—Labour, Farmers, Doctors and Universities. I know, too, one gentleman who sought to impress upon myself and other Ministers the rights of women. I think he was responsible for the exclusion of a lady from this Dáil. I am not sure, but I think so.

You do not refer to me?

However, that is the case we are putting up with regard to this Seanad. We hope this Seanad will be a success. It will be very largely responsible for the success of the Oireachtas. If bad feeling should be raised between the two Houses, then the Seanad will be of no use. If good feeling, goodwill and co-operation are the result of the relations between the two Houses, then I think there is little doubt that they will be a success. It is for that we hope, and in order to bring that about I am utterly indifferent as to the type or style of individual that will be in that House. I note what Deputy Johnson says about bringing in somebody from the North, but he will observe it is from groups not adequately represented in the House it is proposed to select. If, for example, the North were to accept that co-operation and that good feeling that I believe every single member of this Dáil entertains towards the North, I am satisfied that you would have both a different Dáil here and a different Seanad. But if that be not the case, do we serve any useful purpose in bringing in those Deputy Johnson desires—I mean that particular order? What will happen here, to my mind, is this, if the Oireachtas of the Free State be run on the basis which I believe is the intention and the hope of every member of this Dáil, the days of the North keeping out are very few and we will live to see them coming in, and coming in in that way—impressed with the solid work we are carrying on—will be the best way to get them in.

Motion agreed.

I would like to ask the Dáil to adjourn for a week. There are quite a number of matters that I have spoken of here at question time under consideration. When the Dáil sits from three until eight o'clock it will be readily understood that there is very little time to discuss those matters. We have such things as the election of 30 members, and preparations for that would occupy the attention of the Minister for Local Government. There is the question of compensation which I am dealing with now, and even sometimes on Sunday, and sometimes very late at night. It is not really getting the attention we would like to give it. There is also the Franchise Bill and several other matters I cannot remember now. I do not think it would be reasonably possible for us to put up propositions which would save time here unless we get a week or so to prepare them. I propose, with the consent of the Dáil, an adjournment until this day week at three o'clock.

I second that.

Before the Dáil adjourns I would like to know what steps have been taken to appoint Committees to go into the cost of living? Have any steps been taken to appoint these Committees?

I think I may inform my colleague that at least certain steps, to my knowledge, are being taken with regard to the appointment of a Central Committee, and I presume also with regard to the appointment of local committees, when the time arrives. I have that assurance from the Minister responsible.

The Minister informed me he had seen 28 people this evening since he came here at three o'clock. I presume he is seeing other people now. Does that assurance satisfy the Deputy?

Oh, yes; as long as the matter is not being forgotten.

The matter has not been forgotten.

Is it possible to get a hint of the business that may be before the Dáil when it meets?

I will endeavour to have the Order circulated on Monday, if possible, but on Tuesday morning at latest.

I would like to draw attention to the fact that we in our Standing Orders adopted a certain Committee in Procedure, but nothing was done in that because of the pressure of business. You may give that your attention in the meantime.

Motion made and question put: "That the Dáil do now adjourn to Wednesday, November 1st."

Agreed.

The Dáil adjourned.