Skip to main content
Normal View

Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 12 Nov 1925

Vol. 13 No. 3


asked the Minister for Justice if he would state the grounds upon which permission to continue residence in Saorstát Eireann has been refused to Herman Gebler, of Waterford, a professional violinist of Austrian nationality, and the authority on which the Minister is acting in refusing such permission; for what period the said Herman Gebler has resided in Saorstát Eireann; if the Minister is aware that Gebler's employers are anxious to retain his services, and that the Executive Council and private employers are employing engineers, musicians and hairdressers of foreign nationalities.

An application was received in August, 1923, on behalf of Herman Gebler for permission to enter the Saorstát for a holiday. The permission was granted, and shortly after his arrival he took up employment as a violinist in Waterford. The usual practice in such cases is to require the alien to leave at once, but representations were made by his employer, who stated that he found it impossible to obtain an Irish violinist to fill the position. The Minister for Industry and Commerce was consulted, and agreed that an extension might be granted to Herr Gebler. Further extensions were granted for various periods, evidence being produced on each occasion that no suitable Irish violinist was available. The last of these extensions will expire on the 20th instant. I am now informed by the Minister for Industry and Commerce that competent Irish violinists are in fact unemployed, and that he does not recommend the granting of any further extension.

The authority for requiring the alien to leave the Saorstát is contained in the Aliens Order, 1925.

As regards the latter part of the question I understand that the Minister for Industry and Commerce will not approve of the employment of an alien in any cases where an unemployed Irish citizen can be secured for the position.

Will the Minister ask the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether there are any engineers unemployed in Ireland while engineering work is being done by Germans?

There are no engineers suitable for the posts.

Will the Minister say whether it is suitable work for engineers to discharge ships?

If certain parties in this House instigate certain people in Limerick to refrain from doing work for which they are offered Trade Union wages, then we will employ whomsoever we can get.

Then it is the policy of the Ministry to introduce aliens to break strikes?

If I allege German engineers are discharging German ships in Limerick will the Minister deny it?

I will not.

You admit it?

And it is permissible under the Minister's policy to introduce aliens to do the work of Irishmen?

These aliens were not introduced to do the work of Irishmen. They were introduced to do work for which Irishmen were not available. If they did other work at the behest of the contractors that is the contractors' business.

Is it the business of the Minister to see that this work for which they were introduced is done by them and no other work?

It is our business to see that the work for which they were introduced is done by them. As to matters incidental to that we have no complete control over them.

Is the Minister for Justice aware that an extension of the original permit was given to Herman Gebler on representations being made to the Department of Industry and Commerce by Herman Gebler's brother and his employer? Is he aware that Herman Gebler's brother was dismissed owing to a family dispute in the Coliseum in Waterford, and on that account his brother subsequently made representations for his dismissal. Will the Minister also state who is to be the judge of competency as to whether or not a violinist is suitable or unsuitable for a position of this kind, and for which the employer says no other man is available. Is there a Selection Board of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce set up to decide, and if so, did that Selection Board come to the conclusion that there was no Irishman available to be chief of the Irish Army Bands for which a German had to be imported into this country?