COMMITTEE ON PROCEDURE.

Before the Dáil goes into Committee on the Adaptation Bill I would like to get authority from the Dáil on another matter. The Committee on Procedure appointed some time ago held a number of meetings and decided upon a set of draft Standing Orders to govern intercourse between Dáil Eireann and Seanad Eireann. The Committee met again this morning and passed the following Resolution:—"That the Committee on Procedure be empowered to invite co-operation with Seanad Eireann in relation to Orders bearing on intercourse between Dáil Eireann and Seanad Eireann, and to such other matters of procedure and privileges as may from time to time arise."

If that proposal meets with the approval of the Dáil I would like to have if formally proposed and seconded, so that we shall have the authority of the Dáil to get into communication with the Seanad.

I beg to formally propose that the Resolution be adopted.

I beg to second that.

As I understand this resolution it means that the Committee is being given a very wide power, and, I think, that in view of that fact at least one member of the Ministry ought to be on the committee—"Matters of procedure and privilege as may from time to time arise bearing on intercourse between Dáil Eireann and Seanad Eireann." I think that a reasonable request.

It is understood, of course, that any proposal decided upon in conference with the Committee of Seanad Eireann would come before the Dáil for approval.

It is to obviate any further difficulties in the future that I make this suggestion. I do not know that you will be troubled with the attendance of a Minister unless matters arise which the Ministry would consider of importance. It may help to get the work of the committee through more evenly, and it may also avoid having to reject recommendations from the committee should such recommendations not be found suitable by the Ministry. I do not think that is an unreasonable demand, and it is mainly for the purpose of facilitating the work of the committee that I am making this suggestion.

Would not that matter be in the hands of the President himself?

It would be possible for any Minister to attend as a substitute for any member on any occasion. We have it clearly defined that when a Deputy cannot attend he may send a substitute. If the Deputy happened to choose a Minister as a substitute there is nothing to prevent him, and that would secure the attendance of a Minister on particular occasions when it was thought necessary.

I have made my protest, and I cannot subscribe to the resolution in the circumstances.

Motion made and question put:—
"That the Committee on Procedure be empowered to invite co-operation with Seanad Eireann in relation to orders bearing on intercourse between Dáil Eireann and Seanad Eireann, and to such other matters of procedure and privileges, as may from time to time arise."

I think it is agreed.

We will have a division on it.

Is the President serious?

I am, perfectly. I do not want any trouble on it afterwards.

The Dáil divided: Tá, 18; Níl, 22.

Tá.Tomás de Nógla.Riobárd Ó Deaghaidh.Darghal Figes.Tomás Mac Eoin.Seán Ó Ruanaidh.Liam Ó Briain.Earnán Altun.Gearóid Mac Giobuin.Liam Thrift.Tomás Ó Conaill.Aodh Ó Cúlacháin.Séamus Ó Dóláin.Cathal Ó Seanáin.Peadar Ó hAodha.Seán Buitléir.Nioclás Ó Faoláin.Domhnall Ó Muirgheasa.Domhnall Ó Ceallacháin.

NílLiam T. Mac Cosgair.Donchadh O Guaire.Uáitéar Mac Cumhaill.Seán O Duinnín.Domhnall Ó Mocháin.Séamus Breathnach.Risteárd Ó Maolchatha.Domhnall Mac Cárthaigh.Eoin Mac Néill.Pádraig O hOgáin.Seoirse Mac Niocaill.Fionán Ó Loingsigh.Criostóir Ó Broin.Caoimhghin O hUigín.Proinsias Bulfin.Proinsias Mag Aonghusa.Eamon Ó Dúgáin.Séamus Ó Murchadha.Tomás Ó Domhnaill.Earnán de Blaghd.Uinseann de FaoiteDomhnall Ó Broin.

Are we to accept that as a vote of no confidence in the Committee? The Committee contains a majority of those who usually support the Ministry, and it was the unanimous recommendation of that Committee. Do I assume that the Dáil has no more confidence in that Committee? If so, I take it usual consequences will follow.

I think the matter has been rushed upon us before we were aware of what it involved. I think the best thing would be to refer the matter back to the Committee. To refer a matter of this nature back to any Committee is not necessarily an expression of lack of confidence.

I took the view that the Committee were not in possession of all the facts. That is the reason I voted for the Government.

I support the suggestion of Deputy Milroy that this question be referred back to the Committee, because I think the vote was taken without understanding the facts of the reason for this Motion. This is, as Deputy Johnson says, a unanimous recommendation of the Committee and it was purely a Motion introduced here in order to make it possible for us to proceed in an orderly way. We wished to get in touch with the Committee on Standing Orders.

This is a speech now on the Motion which has been lost.

The Motion is not on the Agenda as far as I can see.

It is not the first Motion that has been introduced without being on the Agenda.

And what is more, I have seen a copy of some of the business which was before this Committee and I think the Committee has not lost the confidence of the Dáil, and that it still has it, and that it would be possible to regularise the matter in dispute very easily if it requires to be done, and no one knows that better than the Chairman.

Do you mean the Chairman of the Dáil?

The Chairman of the Dáil should not be accused of things he possibly does not know. If the President means to insinuate that this need not have happened if the Chairman of the Dáil had done his duty he should withdraw that remark. I have no information which I have not placed at the service of the Dáil. I would like the President to withdraw that remark here and now.

The remark I made in connection with the matter is that if the Chairman knows, and he does know, what has been in dispute, it could have been regularised if the Ministry had been communicated with. The Ministry is not asking for anything exceptional; it is asking to be consulted on matters in which the relations between the two Houses are being considered. Certainly, as I understand the business, the Ministry is a sort of spokesman of this Dáil, and ought to be consulted on matters of this kind, and I do not see that I have got to withdraw anything.

I do not know that it is my business to communicate the proceedings of the Committee on Procedure to the Ministry. It was not my business, and I did not do so for that reason, and I do not know how this could be regularised, because I do not know what is in dispute. I think we ought to leave the matter now until a later date and get on with the business on the Order Paper, which is that we go into Committee on the Adaptation Bill.