DAIL IN COMMITTEE. - GOVERNOR-GENERAL'S ESTABLISHMENT.

The next is No. 62—the Governor-General's Establishment and the sum is £10,000. This Estimate suffers from the same infirmity. The Vote is intended to carry out the obligation to make provisions for the establishment of the Governor-General. It does not cover, as explained in the note, the Governor-General's salary, which is fixed by the Constitution, and will not be the subject of Parliamentary discussion. A considerable part of the sum now asked for is required to pay for motor cars, etc., and the balance is estimated to be required for salaries and other expenses necessitated by the official position of the Governor-General. I move this accordingly. It is only an estimate, the same as the others.

I rise to move the reduction of this Estimate by £9,000. It is provided all right in the Constitution that the Oireachtas shall make provision for the establishment of the Governor-General but I think that the suitability of the provision is a matter for the Dáil and the Oireachtas, according to the Constitution. The Constitution says the salaries shall be of the like amount of that now payable to the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and that it shall be chargeable to the public funds; otherwise, suitable provision shall be made for the maintenance of his official residence and establishment. I move the reduction, because I think the amount specified in this Estimate is not in my opinion a suitable provision for the Governor-General. I think it is an extravagant provision. The Constitution has laid down that the salary of the Governor-General shall be £10,000. The Minister comes along now, and asks us to pass a Vote of £10,000—for four months, as a matter of fact—for the up-keep of the residence and establishment of the Governor-General. Now, that, as I say, is altogether extravagant, and I think it will be taken by the people of Ireland as altogether extravagant. Indeed I think that there are a good many Governors inside the British Dominions whose establishments do not run to anything like this amount, and in the other Dominions an effort is made to make the establishments as simple and as suitable to the conditions and to the feelings of the people of the country as possible. The same should be done here in Ireland. Personally I think if we must have a Governor-General, and that the salary must be £10,000, that that salary should cover the establishment and all. As the Constitution says we have to make a provision, but that we have to make a provision of £10,000 for this period is altogether out of bounds. If we have to have a Governor-General and his establishment, let us not elevate the establishment into something which nobody in Ireland and which supporters of the Government normally no more than others desire, or than any of us do. I would say pretty much the same if it were for the President of a Republic. It is pretty much the same to me. The office has certain functions and these functions are well understood. They are to a large extent simple, ordinary, and, perhaps in some degree, but not always mechanical functions. Now, I regret very much to see in the papers, within the last day or two, that the late Viceregal Lodge has been made the Headquarters of the Governor-General. Let it be clearly understood that I am not making any personal reference to the present Governor-General or to any future Governor-General. I am trying to deal with the office apart altogether from the person who happens to occupy it, but I wonder if it has never struck some of those responsible for actions like that that the further they get away from old practices the better. There will be a tendency throughout the country when people know that the Viceregal Lodge is occupied by the Governor-General to consider the Governor-General in the same light as the late Lord Lieutenant was regarded. I do not think there is any whole-hearted supporter of the Treaty position who wants that impression to go abroad in Ireland. I think the Governor-General has been a forced imposition upon most people, and that most people would be inclined to want that everything connected with the Governor-Generalship should be as simple, and, if possible, as democratic as ever it could be made. The President has spoken about the staff that will be required. To me it seems that a big staff will not be required, and a big staff is not required in connection with some of the Governor-Generalships. I think some of the Governor-Generals provide, out of lesser salaries than this Governor-General will be getting, Secretaries, and so forth. In other cases the Parliament makes provision or hands over a certain number of Officials from the Civil Service of the Dominion to the establishment of the Governor-General, and while the Governor-General has control of those officials during his term of office or during their term of office the financing of these men comes through, I think, the ordinary estimates for that part of the Civil Service from which they have been transferred. It seems to me what is intended with this big Vote is to set up, if not a Court, a big Governor-Generalship establishment, with a big number of Secretaries, and with every Secretary having his motor car or may be more than one motor car, a big establishment such as you would have if it were a little king that were in the country and not a mere Governor-General. It is altogether out of reason that such money as this should be expended on the establishment of a Governor-General. I want Ministers to say exactly, and I think the Dáil should demand before passing the Estimate, how many of one kind or another of people are going to be in the Governor-General's establishment, what control, if any, the Oireachtas is going to exercise over these people, and whether the cost of the Governor-General's private secretary or other secretaries is going to come out of this Estimate, or whether it is not. I am not objecting to the Governor-General having an establishment; he must have an establishment of some kind, but I do say it ought to be of the very simplest kind, so that there will be no elevation of the position into something nobody in Ireland wants, so that there should be no gang, because I cannot describe it in any other way, of flunkeys of one kind or another circulating like parasites around the Governor-General. It was some little consolation to hear the present Governor-General say that he was not going to have a Court or anything like that, but it seems to me in putting down this Estimate and intending to spend all this money you are going to have a Court in another form. You are going to have a big number of practically idle people. I challenge the Ministry to show that all this money is necessary. The Governor-General in so far as he has connection with the Executive Council in Ireland does not require a great deal of a staff. I am talking now of the office, not of the person occupying the office. So far, for instance, as legal questions are concerned it is his duty and his right to have the free consultation and the free advice of the Attorney-General or whatever may be the title of the law officer concerned. Then so far as his relations with the Imperial Cabinet or the Colonial Office are concerned, he does not require a great deal either. There is even more reason for economising in this thing in Ireland than there is in Australia, South Africa or Canada, because in those countries the Governor-Generals are removed a long distance from London, and those people out there have a desire to imitate as closely as they can the Imperial regal establishments of England with their Courts, flunkeys and the tomfoolery that is associated with Courts. We in Ireland want to cut all these things out, and the very fact that we are only seven or eight hours' distance from London should make it all the more reason that we should cut down this establishment and make it as simple and democratic as possible. The effect of all this is going to be bad in the country, because the good effect in so far as it went of the present appointment and everything connected with it will be neutralised by the effect that will be created by giving an establishment of this kind. I, therefore, move the reduction of the estimate by £9,000.

I rise, A Chinn Chomhairle, to second the amendment of Deputy O'Shannon. I think he has put the case fairly clear, but I would like to add that it has been the aim of this Dáil —both of the Ministers and of the Deputies—to cut down extravagance in the way of rates. Only a few moments ago we heard from one Deputy in a case where we are bound to expend rates— that of the lunatic asylums—that there was a danger that we might overdo the thing. Here we have a case where you will not suffer by reducing this Estimate. For that reason I think that the salary already cut out for the Governor-General should be quite sufficient for the up-keep of his establishment. Like my colleague Deputy O'Shannon, I am not objecting to the person who holds the position, but I am objecting to the fact that we are establishing in Ireland something that there is not in any other democratic country. As a matter of fact, the whole cry in Ireland a few years ago was the terrible salary paid to the Lord Lieutenant, on the grounds that it was such waste, and now it is proposed to expend the same sum on our own Governor-General. For that reason, and that reason only, I would ask that the Government would accept the amendment and reduce this item to £1,000. I think they will have the general approval of the country for it.

Deputy O'Shannon made one remark from which I have to differ and that is the suggestion that Mr. Healy should not be put into the Viceregal Lodge. I on the other hand think it is the best possible place to put him. Imagine if Earl Spencer or Buckshot Foster who were in this place twenty or thirty years could come back to the Phoenix Park and were told that Tim Healy was living there; fancy their consternation.

The Governor-General should not be referred to as Tim Healy.

I am only quoting what these gentlemen would have said of him.

These are hardly words to ascribe to an Earl.

I did not agree with them when they were living and I do not think I would agree with them now. Since I became a member of the Dáil I travel first class and as I was travelling the other day I met some gentlemen who evidently always travelled first class and one of these remarked that when they put Tim Healy into the Viceregal Lodge they might as well have given Ireland a Republic, so they would agree with Mr. Cathal O'Shannon. Mr. Healy is the nominal Head of the State, call him by what name you will. I think on account of the terrible damage inflicted upon Ireland in the last four or five years the ratepayers and the taxpayers are entitled to expect that we should economise in all directions, and I am in favour of economy, although I cannot go to the extent of supporting this amendment. I understand that the cost of fumigating the Viceregal Lodge would amount to nearly the whole £10,000 in this Vote.

After the explanation I am afraid I must still challenge this Vote. At first I was an advocate of giving the Governor-General £10,000 a year, but I am certainly now very much surprised to see £10,000 put down for four months. I hope that does not mean that we are to have a permanent Estimate for £40,000. If so, I am afraid we are not putting before the people the doctrine of efficiency and economy, and I cannot support it.

I must say that some of the statements made here reminded me of a picture I saw once of a man having his tooth drawn somewhere about the 14th or 15th century. The doctor had a huge tongs and other people held the patient and the doctor's heel was upon the man's chest. He had the tongs in the man's mouth and the man's face was the picture of agony, and underneath was written: "The more he shrieketh and the more he groaneth the greater strength had he." And I assume that people in order to prove their nationality must make strong statements. Now I am prepared to accept the reduction of £9,000 if gentlemen opposite will provide the establishment reasonably required for the Governor-General with the remainder.

LABOUR DEPUTIES

"Agreed. We will do it."

But I want information at once as to how it is to be done. I do not want people to say take a man from this or that establishment so that we will not see the amount that you are spending upon the Governor-General's establishment though they know that they will have to pay. I regard that as what I would call financial hypocrisy. Do not let us think that we are not paying the charge simply because we are putting the amount on somebody else. If you take a person from one branch of the Civil Service you charge him to the service he is going to, but you do not save by taking him away from a particular service because you have to replace him by somebody else. If there is a sum down here for £10,000 it does not mean that that sum is for a quarter or for a third of the year, or what the cost of the establishment will be. Everyone knows you have to provide a certain equipment for this establishment. Certain officers have to be provided for this establishment who formerly would not be needed to be provided, and I agreed to that, and those who signed the Treaty agreed to carry it out in every possible way in order that if any accident occurred they would not be responsible. I am prepared to guard a man in the Viceregal Lodge at any time just as carefully as I would guard myself or any of my colleagues. It is a question of honour, and I am not going to say—not having taken sufficient precautions—that it is not my fault. The Estimate is a provisional Estimate. I do not know that much can be saved, if anything can be saved out of it. I am not in a position to say that this will be sufficient; it is an Estimate pure and simple to enable us to carry out our obligations, and our obligations to the Constitution, and I am prepared to stand by it notwithstanding the groaning and shrieking that takes place from Deputies opposite.

There is no need for the President to get indignant about the shrieking and the groaning. There is no shrieking or groaning about this particular thing at all. We have said repeatedly that having accepted the imposed Treaty we shall work the imposed Treaty and all its implications to the best of our ability, but that is not going to compel us to swallow things that neither the Treaty nor anything else compels us to swallow. The President might reasonably have spent the few minutes he was on his feet in explaining the nature of the establishment he intends to provide, but he has not made that explanation, and instead he has challenged us to provide a suitable establishment for the Governor-General on the amendment moved. We agree to take up the challenge and to provide a suitable establishment and he has no need to come along and to tell us that the new Governor-General has to be safeguarded and protected when we know that the money for that safeguarding and protection will not come out of this particular Estimate, but will come out of the Army Estimates, because if that job is necessary, and if it is necessary that it should be done by anyone it is the Army forces that are going to do it and its cost should come out of their Estimates.

That is in the Establishment charges.

The President has spoken then as if I wanted to take Civil Servants from one Department and put them into the Governor-General's Department. What I suggested has been done in some of the Dominions where the ordinary Civil Servants with £300 or £400 a year are lent to the Governor-General's establishment for the official duties of the Governor-General. Whether any such course is desirable here or not is beside the question. I want to impress upon the Dáil that the Parliaments of other Dominions are extremely careful of the money they spend on the establishment of their Governor-General. I want this Dáil to be the same. I have heard of Secretaries and Private Secretaries in other Dominions—Dominions much longer established than this one and of greater population where the Governor-General and his Staff have a great deal more work to do than here and they are compelled to get on with a couple or three secretaries at reasonable salaries. But it is intended in this country that there shall be jobs for people in the Governor-General's establishment and a good deal of this money will be spent on nothing else but keeping people who are not doing an honest day's work at all, in the upkeep of the Governor-General's establishment. For the same reason I object to the Vice-regal Lodge. It is a great big barrack of a place with certain architectural qualities. It might be turned into a much more useful thing than the residence of the Governor-General. As a matter of fact there was a Governor-General in one Dominion, but when he was presented with a big establishment he found that he had no need for that establishment at all and he turned part of it over to useful purposes not of a materialistic kind, but made it into a musical conservatory. It was of some use to the people of the Dominion. I think the Estimate here is extravagant and very far from reasonable, and I think that the sum we are willing to vote to the Governor-General leaves him plenty for all his purposes.

If you come to my office I will show you what it is we want.

I want to support this motion. The Estimate represents £10,000 for the establishment for four months. The President has some experience of local government, and he knows that there are sometimes appointments made at a settled salary, with a house and an official as Secretary, but I challenge him to produce anywhere any such appointment which would mean a stated salary and other charges which are equivalent to three times the amount of his salary. We are assured that this by no means necessarily entails that the annual expenditure for the establishment will be £30,000, but we are also warned that this may not be enough for the four months. We see the possibility from the President's statements that the sum required for the establishment may be very much greater than this £30,000 annually. We have no assurance. We have this assurance though, that if we pass this Estimate that the Ministry, in association with the Governor-General, will be empowered to spend £10,000 between now and the end of March, and I think the President will agree that it is usual, though not universal, that when public bodies have money granted to them, especially where there is a large number of people waiting for a chance to eat up that money, that the money will surely be expended. We have had all kinds of assurances during this last year. If the object is not to set up a Court, we accept that, but it seems that the object is to go as near to setting up a Court as possible. I think the example that is being set is a very bad one, and I object to this Vote on the ground that, as I foresee the future in Ireland, we have to tend towards simplicity rather than extravagance. I think we have to get out of the orbit of London, and out of an attempt to copy the life in London by the establishment of a simpler life, consonant with the country's possibilities and the agricultural basis of its internal life. We shall not be able to call upon the world to supply luxuries, and I maintain we have to face the prospect of simplifying life in general in Ireland. It would be very much better for us all, but it would be a very bad thing if on the one hand we are going to set up establishments based on an expenditure of £10,000 for four months, and on the other scale, force people to live under the hunger line. I doubt whether any Deputy would have the hardihood to go to his constituents, unless they were selected, and justify the addition to the salary of the Governor-General of £10,000 a year or four months for the upkeep of his house and office. I do not believe any Deputy outside the area of Rathmines would face his constituents and persuade them that this was a justifiable expenditure. I hope Deputies will have the hardihood to vote for the amendment and turn down this proposed expenditure of £10,000 for the establishment charges.

I think I made it quite clear—of course one cannot make it sufficiently clear for some people— that this did not mean £10,000 for every four months. Certain charges, it is well known, such as motor cars, which are essential, are in that, and members know that these are expensive items, and I challenge Deputy Johnson to go to any constituency in Ireland and tell them that this can be done for less.

I do not know.

You know what those things cost as well as I do.

And the Ceann Comhairle knows the cost of the particular articles required for these things. There is not a single clerk up there at the present time. The establishment of the Governor-General consists only of those who were seen with him, namely, three officers of the Army. This is at present under consideration, but we are not given to such extravagance as to put up an extravagant establishment there, and nobody knows that better than the Deputy who has spoken.

Am I right in understanding that this £10,000 includes a vast amount of non-recurrent expenditure which is necessary in the setting up of the Governor-General in his new position in whatever residence we in the Treaty have provided for him, and that it is not going to be £30,000 for years to come, but merely for the setting up now of the Governor-General as such?

Yes, that is quite correct.

I am very glad to hear that assurance, because these big establishments and big staffs have nothing to do. The country will not stand it. There is an idea in the country at present that a good deal of jobs— I do not believe it, because I happen to have some knowledge—but the people generally believe that there are a good deal of jobs being made to put men into them, so that the more you take the public into your confidence the better for the future. In presenting these Estimates for the future the whole strength of the establishment should be put down in black and white, and if you take the Dáil and the public into your confidence there will be no caviling. Half telling a story is the worst form of telling it. I will vote for the Estimates on the President's explanation.

The entire establishment, as I said, consists of three Army officers, who have eight hours' duty each day, and who have to inform me when they go on duty and when they go off duty. That is the entire establishment at this moment.

In that connection, is it to be accepted for the future that the Governor-General will be in residence at what has hitherto been known as the Viceregal Lodge? Surely that is in itself acceptance of a question of policy that is a matter of debate—whether the person occupying the position here as the Head of the State should be there in an establishment obviously too large for the needs of the office, when he would be much better occupied, it seems to me, in this city. I do believe that a large establishment of that kind, or a large house of that kind, in this the twentieth century, is becoming more and more supererogatory, and it could be much better and more profitably turned into a public hospital.

Well, it was at my request that the Governor-General went into that establishment. It is a very large establishment—much too large, I think, for the Governor-General's own comfort, if it were to be consulted; and the Governor-General is rather anxious that it should be utilised, if it can be utilised; but I do not know whether it can or not. This Estimate for a residence for the Governor-General and everything in connection with it came upon us this week. The Estimate was not under consideration by us previous to that. This was a shot at the Estimate —an arrangement for housing the Governor-General in that place. So, after due consideration, the Viceregal Lodge was decided upon for many reasons. It will be open to review if and when circumstances permit.

If you can assure Deputy Gorey that he would be the second Governor-General he would vote for it.

It would not reassure the Deputy if he heard it.

It is very fortunate I did not.

Motion made and question put: "That the Dáil in Committee, having considered the Estimate required in the year ending 31st March, 1923 to pay the salaries and expenses of the Governor-General's establishment, recommend that the full Estimate of £10,000 be adopted in due course by the Oireachtas."

The amendment is that the Estimates be reduced by £9,000.

The Dáil divided:—Tá, 13; Níl, 33.

  • Tomás de Nogla.
  • Riobard Ó Deaghaidh.
  • Tomás Mac Eoin.
  • Tomás Ó Conaill.
  • Aodh Ó Cúlacháin.
  • Liam Ó Daimhín.
  • Padraig Mac Artáin.
  • Seán Ó Laidhin.
  • Cathal Ó Seanáin.
  • Seán Buitleir.
  • Nioclás Ó Faoláin.
  • Domhnall Ó Muirgheasa.
  • Domhnall Ó Ceallacháin.

Níl

  • Liam T. Mac Cosgair.
  • Donchadh Ó Guaire.
  • Uáitéar Mac Cumhaill.
  • Seán Ó Lideadha.
  • Seán Ó Duinnín.
  • Micheál Ó hAonghusa.
  • Domhnall Ó Mocháin.
  • Séamus Breathnach.
  • Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt
  • Seán Ó Ruanaidh.
  • Micheál de Duram.
  • Domhnall Mac Cártaigh.
  • Earnán Altun.
  • Gearóid Mac Giobúin.
  • Liam Thrift.
  • Liam Mag Aonghusa.
  • Pádraig Ó hOgáin.
  • Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
  • Criostóir Ó Broin.
  • Proinsias Bulfin.
  • Séamus Ó Dóláin.
  • Proinsias Mag Aonghusa.
  • Eamon Ó Dúgáin.
  • Peadar Ó hAodha
  • Séamus Ó Murchadha.
  • Seosamh Mac Giolla Bhrighde.
  • Liam Mac Sioghaird.
  • Tomás Ó Domhnaill.
  • Earnán de Blaghd.
  • Uinseann de Faoite.
  • Domhnall Ó Broin.
  • Séamus de Buroa.
  • Micheál Ó Dubhghaill.
Motion put and carried.

Tá.

Níl.

Tomás de Nogla.Riobard Ó Deaghaidh.Tomás Mac Eoin.Tomás Ó Conaill.Aodh Ó Cúlacháin.Liam Ó Daimhín.Padraig Mac Artáin.Seán Ó Laidhin.Cathal Ó Seanáin.Seán Buitleir.Nioclás Ó Faoláin.Domhnall Ó Muirgheasa.Domhnall Ó Ceallacháin.

Liam T. Mac Cosgair.Donchadh Ó Guaire.Uáitéar Mac Cumhaill.Seán Ó Lideadha.Seán Ó Duinnín.Micheál Ó hAonghusa.Domhnall Ó Mocháin.Séamus Breathnach.Deasmhumhain Mac GearailtSeán Ó Ruanaidh.Micheál de Duram.Domhnall Mac Cártaigh.Earnán Altun.Gearóid Mac Giobúin.Liam Thrift.Liam Mag Aonghusa.Pádraig Ó hOgáin.Seoirse Mac Niocaill.Criostóir Ó Broin.Proinsias Bulfin.Séamus Ó Dóláin.Proinsias Mag Aonghusa.Eamon Ó Dúgáin.Peadar Ó hAodhaSéamus Ó Murchadha.Seosamh Mac Giolla Bhrighde.Liam Mac Sioghaird.Tomás Ó Domhnaill.Earnán de Blaghd.Uinseann de Faoite.Domhnall Ó Broin.Séamus de Buroa.Micheál Ó Dubhghaill.