Before this is put I would like to raise a question as to why we should consider this formality necessary. It was passed over on the last occasion, and I have no doubt a case could be made out for it by quoting the example of the British House of Commons, and British practice, but it seems to me we ought not automatically to fall into this procedure unless there are substantial grounds for doing so. I tried to understand why such a procedure is necessary in England, and so far as I could understand it, it is only necessary because of practice having its roots in a bad past, and there is absolutely no necessity for it here. We have a Constitution which very clearly says that the Governor-General is going to act on the advice of the Executive Council.
That provision does not apply in England, and it is because of the old relationships between the Crown and the Parliament that some such provision of this kind was found in practice to be desirable to prevent evils, abuses, on the part of the Crown. That practice has persisted over there, because of the unwritten Constitution. I think it is not desirable, in any respect, that we should simply fall automatically into the practices of the House of Commons at Westminster, but if we are going to adopt its forms, and many of them are desirable, we should only do so when we are convinced that there is reason for it. In this case, so far as I can see, there is no reason for it, and while I do not want to press the matter very strongly at present, I would urge upon the President the desirability of making a case, satisfying himself and satisfying the Dáil that it is essential to the proper conduct of affairs that such a resolution must be passed, before the Committee stage of a Bill is entered on. Think what it means ! We are supposed to give authorisation for the expenditure of certain moneys— amount not stated—which may be necessary to be spent, if a certain thing happens in the future, to wit the passing of an Act of Parliament. Surely, it is clear that the passing of the Act is an indication of the intention of the Dáil that the money shall be provided. To fall, as I said, automatically into this procedure which requires a resolution containing a promise that we will vote certain moneys for certain purposes, undefined, seems to me to be without any warrant or justification. If it is necessary that such resolution of Ways and Means should be passed—if it is not considered enough that the passing of an Act by the Dáil is automatically an assurance that we are prepared to vote the money—then such a resolution ought only to come before us when the Act has gone through, or when it is at its final stage. There is nothing in our Constitution that requires this procedure, and unless there is good justification, that is not explainable in anything I have been able to read, I think we ought not to follow this procedure in the future, and I would hope if such resolution has to be moved at any time in the future that the President would explain the reasons for it and satisfy the Dáil that these reasons are good.