In sub-section (1) after the word "Act," line 23, to add the following words: "provided however that no pension can be revoked on the grounds of lawful political activities of those receiving a pension, or entitled to receive a pension."
I would remind the Dáil that the men most likely to be affected by this amendment are men who came into the national movement from what I may describe as political or patriotic motives. They played a big part in bringing around the Treaty, and by their actions they did much to establish the Saorstát. It is largely due to them that the Dáil is meeting here to-day to discuss those matters. Those men may join any of the existing political parties which support the State, or they may, if they wish, form new parties. I think no one will contend that they have not a legitimate right to do so. I think that is admitted by everybody. On the Second Reading, the Minister for Defence gave us an assurance that there would be no victimisation or interference with legitimate politics. I fully accept that assurance, but I wish to remind the Dáil that we may not always have the same Executive Council or the same Minister for Defence, and I think it is necessary to guard against victimisation in the future in political matters. It is because I am anxious for the safety of the State that I want to put beyond all doubt the proposition that men of this type have a right to go into a constitutional movement. I believe, if this amendment is accepted, it will make for the safety and security of the State, because it will remove any misapprehension these men may have. If they go into constitutional politics they should know that they will not be penalised in any way. I hope the Minister will accept the amendment.