IN COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - MONEY RESOLUTION—ARMY PENSIONS (No. 2) BILL, 1927.

I move:—

Go bhfuil sé oiriúnach a údarú go n-íocfar amach as airgead a sholáthróidh an tOireachtas aon chostaisí fé n-a raghfar fé fhorálacha aon Achta a rithfar sa tSiosón so chun soláthar do dhéannamh chun Pinsín, Liúntaisí agus Aiscí d'íoc i gcás áirithe le baill fé mhí-chumas d'fhórsá Armtha Shaorstáit Eireann agus do Chóghléasanna Mileata áirithe eile agus chun Liúntaisí agus Aiscí d'íoc i gcás áirithe le cúram daoine atá marbh agus a bhí ina mbaill de sna Fórsaí agus de sna Có-ghléasanna san agus chun an tAcht Arm-Phinsean, 1923, do leasú agus do leathnú agus chun socrú do dhéanamh i dtaobh nithe bhaineas leis na cúrsaí roimhráite sin uile agus fé seach.

That it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys to be provided by the Oireachtas of any expenses incurred under the provisions of any Act of the present Session to provide for the payment of Pensions, Allowances and Gratuities in certain circumstances to disabled members of the Armed Forces of Saorstát Eireann, and certain other Military Organisations, and for the payment of Allowances and Gratuities in certain circumstances to dependents of deceased members of the said Forces and Organisations, and to amend and extend the Army Pensions Act, 1923, and to make provision for divers matters connected with the several matters aforesaid.

This Bill contains a considerable number of miscellaneous provisions, but its principal provisions are those which allow for the payment of pensions in respect of disablement from disease during active service. In the original Act of 1923 provision was made for wound pensions only, because it was felt that that type of provision was most urgent, and also because such an Act could be administered with a reasonable degree of satisfaction.

The administration of provisions such as those of this Act, for giving pensions in respect of disablement due to disease, will be extremely difficult. It will, in many cases, be difficult to determine whether the disease originated while the person was on military service or whether it was not due to service conditions. There was no medical examination when people joined the Volunteers. There was not a satisfactory system of medical examination when people first joined the National Army, and, in a great many cases, where claims will be made the people probably were suffering from disease before joining the Volunteers or the National Army, as the case may be. Because of the difficulties, it has been considered necessary to restrict the granting of pensions to cases in which the disability reaches 80 per cent. It would not be possible to have the full graduated scale of disablement which we have in respect of wounds. The wound is much more tangible and its origin is much less subject to doubt. The degree of disability can be assessed in accordance with a scale laid down in the Act. That is not possible in connection with disability arising from disease. It is extremely difficult to give any estimate of the annual charge that will arise from the passage of this Bill into law, but attempts have been made, for the information of the House, to arrive at an estimate, and it is believed, both by my Department and the Department of Defence, that the cost when the Act will have been in operation some little time, will rise to about £50,000 a year, but should not exceed that. Deputies will understand from what I have said that there are no data on which to make a close estimate, but the facts, as known, have been carefully reviewed, and that is the opinion of the people who have been examining it in the two Departments.

I move:—

To insert after the word "Organisations" where it first occurs the words "(including those known as Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise known as the Irish Volunteers or Irish Republican Army, the Irish Citizen Army and Cumann na mBan)."

This amendment is intended to make clear that sex is not going to be an obstacle to the receipt of a pension under this Bill. It is well known to Deputies that in connection with the Volunteer forces, otherwise known as the Irish Republican Army, there was a woman's military organisation. As the Bill stands, it would seem there is a deliberate or, if not deliberate, a clear omission of women from the benefit of the Pensions Bill, even though, in every other respect, they were entitled to make their claims and have them considered. I have not the slightest idea whether few or many women would be entitled under this amendment to claim under the Pensions Bill, but I think that that is not the question.

The question I want to raise is whether or not a woman who had service in the Irish Volunteers or Republican Army, or in a military organisation closely associated with such organisations, is disqualified because she is a woman. I do not suppose it will be disputed that the Cumann na mBan was, in fact, an auxiliary force closely associated with and acting under the orders of the I.R.A. If it happened that some members of that body, in the course of their service as members, received damage in the same way as men in the Volunteers, then I see no reason whatever why they should be excluded from the benefits of any Pensions Bill brought forward. I do not imagine the increased obligations would be heavy. Whether they are heavy or light, I do not think should enter into the question. We ought not to make a positive distinction between a man and a woman when, for good or ill, both sexes were called upon to do the work for which only one section is being recognised. It is with a view to removing what appears to be a differentiation owing to sex that I put down this amendment to the Money Resolution. I quite understand that if it adds £1 per year to the charge, it could not be moved by me on the Committee Stage of the Bill. Therefore, I desire to press on the House the desirability of making clear that, as far as we are concerned, we are not going to make that differentiation owing to sex alone.

The matter Deputy Johnson raises in a particular way has been under consideration in connection with the administration of the Military Service Pensions Act. Legal advice has been obtained to the effect that sex constitutes no disqualification. If an applicant is otherwise qualified, by reason of service, then sex will not prevent the giving of a pension and, as a matter of fact, one woman has already been awarded a military service pension. The same would apply in the case of this Bill. If a woman has actually given military service, in a military organisation, she will not be disqualified, but the question of whether Cumann na mBan was or was not a military organisation is quite a different matter. In my opinion it was not a military organisation. As Deputy Johnson stated, it was an auxiliary organisation, and I do not see how you could include Cumann na mBan without including Sinn Fein clubs, and, if they were included, the scope of the Bill would be widened enormously.

On the principle that Deputy Johnson raises there is nothing between us. If a woman was by any means a Volunteer, if she, anyhow, became a member of the Army, then she is entitled to anything that a man would be entitled to who had the same qualifications. I think it would be impossible to accept the amendment proposed by the Deputy. I do not think we can go outside the definitely military organisations without being involved in expenditure and a flood of applications which would have to be turned down. Even with their turning down, there would be considerable cost to the State which could not be justified. Members of the Sinn Fein Clubs commonly acted as auxiliaries to the Volunteers very much as the members of Cumann na mBan did.

Perhaps as we are clearing up a doubt with regard to the Military Service Pensions Act, 1924, we would also clear up a doubt with regard to the Wounds Pensions Act, 1923. Perhaps the Minister could tell us whether the latter can be held to apply to a woman who, in whatever circumstances, was wounded and is suffering from a wound arising out of active military service.

That matter was discussed at the same time as the question which comparatively recently arose in connection with the Military Service Pensions Act. The opinion given was that if a woman gave service which, if she had been a man, would have entitled her to a pension, she is equally entitled.

I am afraid the Minister will have to be convicted of a charge of trying to evade the issue while pretending to be sympathetic on the principle. A woman who was a member of the Irish Citizen Army, for instance, which body is named here, would undoubtedly be entitled to be considered a legitimate recipient, notwithstanding her sex. I want to know what is the basis of the test whether a person was a member of the Irish Volunteers or not. The Bill deals with certain military organisations and refers to the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army. Whether it is intended that the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Army are to be synonymous terms, I do not know. There were people who were members of the Irish Republican Army who were not members of the Irish Volunteers in the early stages. Does the Minister pretend there is a roll of such persons? I think he does not. He accepts the word of reputable people that such and such a person was a member of a particular organisation. So that there is no definition and no record of Irish Volunteers. They were a military organisation, and you take the word of an individual who says that so and so was a member of that organisation. The Minister has used Sinn Fein clubs as a parallel, but Sinn Fein clubs did not pretend to be a military organisation. Cumann na mBan did.

Pretend?

Well it was used by the Irish Republican Army as a military organisation.

As an auxiliary.

As a military organisation. In the year 1920 that body, in fact, published a statement of its constitution and rules, and right through that statement are clear proofs that it was a military body. The declaration is made in its constitution and statement of policy that its purpose was "to develop the suggested military activities in conjunction with the I.R.A.," and that it was "to continue collecting for the Defence of Ireland Fund and any other fund to be devoted to the arming and equipping of the men and women of Ireland." There are many other phrases of that kind, but here we have a distinct rule in regard to its branches. "The captain shall be senior branch officer and shall issue all orders; decisions regarding internal working of the branch shall be made by the three officers controlling the branch. These officers form the Company Council. Orders from I.R.A. officer must come through Cumann na mBan captain." Will any Deputy, who was familiar with the activities of the I.R.A. at that time, deny that the military activities of the Cumann na mBan were under their direct direction and control? The rule states that "the branch shall keep in touch with their local I.R.A. battalions or companies. For purposes of military organisation and operations captains of branches shall take orders from the local I.R.A. Commander." That is so far as words and rules make the position clear.

It could be proven much more clearly that the Salvation Army is a military organisation if you were depending on words and terms.

I was going to say that that is the position so far as words and terms are concerned. But the Minister ought to know, and certain other Deputies in the House do know, as a matter of fact, that many of the members of that body did in fact do those things at the direction of, and in association with, the I.R.A. If that is denied, and denied by those who know, then I subside. But I make the assertion, and I challenge denial. Now, if that is the position, surely the people who acted in that manner in a body which was a military organisation and was accepted by the regular army as an auxiliary ought to be included in a Bill of this kind. I think that that deliberate omission is not worthy of the organisations that made use of that body, and I do not think that the House ought to agree to it. I think when the question arises as to whether the services rendered which led to disease or wounds come into consideration under cover of an Army Pensions Bill that we ought to make it clear that the House is in favour of not excluding a woman on account of her sex, and that is in fact what I am asking the House to agree upon.

I can only say that Deputy Johnson is asking the House to agree to a great deal more than that: he is asking the House to agree that an organisation which was not one of the military organisations—it was an organisation that helped the military organisations but was not one of the military organisations—should be regarded in the same way as far as giving pensions to members is concerned as an actual military organisation. I see no grounds if we admitted a body like Cumann na mBan why we should refuse to go an inch further and admit organisations like Sinn Fein Clubs which acted with and for and assisted in many ways the actual military organisations.

Would a person who was a member of a Sinn Fein club be designated a volunteer if he were acting in the capacity of a volunteer for the time being?

No. We have been very careful about that in connection with the Military Service Pensions Act. Thousands of people went out simply because they were not concerned in the military operations.

Yes, but you have no records.

Discussing the legal difficulty rather than the difficulty of fact, I hesitate very much to step into the matter. As far as any particular responsibility for the lines upon which the Cumann na mBan organisation was organised, I think a complete historical research would be able to establish that, say, the General Headquarters Staff of the Volunteers were not in any way responsible for the lines upon which Cumann na mBan was organised, and that the initiative as to the lines of their organisation and as to the greater part of their activities came from the Cumann na mBan organisation itself. But it is a fact that locally members of Cumann na mBan organisations did assist local volunteer officers in matters that would be regarded as military duties. I take it from what the Minister has said that a member of the Cumann na mBan organisation who, by engagement in military activity brought herself within the scope of any of the Pensions Acts, would receive the benefit of these Acts. If that is a fact, and I think it is only right and just that it should be so, then I do not want to enter into the argument as to whether the title Cumann na mBan should appear in our legislation. I would be quite agreeable with the Minister's reading of what the motion should be and what the terms of our legislation should be. If that is the case, then I have not anything more to add.

Will the Minister, before he answers, say whether the phrase "disabled members of certain other military organisations" would include persons in the category of Deputy Mulcahy's statement, that is, whether a person called in to do work under the direction of a Volunteer Officer was a member of that organisation because of the work he or she was doing? Otherwise the people Deputy Mulcahy has in mind would be excluded if we pass this motion in this form.

The position is simply this: If a woman gave the sort of service that would entitle a man to qualify for pension——

If she were a member of the organisation.

But the organisation had not a muster roll and it is really a matter of fact that has to be established on the best evidence available in each particular case. It was not a question of attesting or signing a form or of entering names upon a muster roll.

This matter really becomes more serious. There is no muster roll. Therefore the only certificate of membership is to come from those who were familiar with the persons concerned. Now that has been the practice under the Military Service Pension Act, so that under this proposition of the Minister, if the ex-Volunteer Officer or a member of the Army now, were to certify that such and such a person were a member of the organisation, even though that person were a woman, and because of particular service rendered, such certificate constitutes membership.

No, not at all.

What is membership then? There is no roll, or record, and the Minister has to rely on the certificate, or an accumulation of certificates if you like.

That is more like it.

He must get two or three or five or ten people to certify that such and such a woman was engaged in the particular service, which was probably secret, and only known to one person. I think the phrase "membership" here must, unless the reference to military organisation is enlarged, automatically exclude a woman, unless, in some special case, where an accumulation of evidence can be brought to bear that that particular person was openly known to be an active member of the organisation.

It excluded men too—a much larger number as a matter of fact.

The point is to be borne in mind in connection with what Deputy Johnson said, that certificates, in this matter, are not so much certificates by themselves as certificates for cases in which there has been active military service as a member of an organisation, and, whereas, there might be very great difficulties in accepting a certificate that a particular person was a member of a particular organisation, there is not so much difficulty when you reduce it down to a certificate in the case of those people who have given a particular type of active service, and that that certificate is further restricted to people who, in the giving of that particular type of service, have suffered disability as a result of wounds or disease arising from them.

I ask the Minister to take note of the definition clause, of the Bill, which describes membership of two particular bodies—Irish Volunteers and Citizen Army. It does not say persons who gave a particular service but who gave that service as members of such bodies.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divided. Tá, 14; Níl, 35.

  • Séamus Mac Cosgair.
  • Tomás Mac Eoin.
  • Risteárd Mac Fheorais.
  • Pádraig Mac Fhlannchadha.
  • Tomás de Nógla.
  • Ailfrid O Broin.
  • Aodh O Cúlacháin.
  • Liam O Daimhín.
  • Eamon O Dubhghaill.
  • Seán O Laidhin.
  • Pádraic O Máille.
  • Domhnall O Muirgheasa.
  • Tadhg O Murchadha.
  • Pádraig O hOgáin (An Clár).

Níl

  • Earnán de Blaghd.
  • Thomas Bolger.
  • Seoirse de Bhulbh.
  • Próinsias Bulfin.
  • Máighréad Ní Choileain Bean Uí Dhrisceóil.
  • Patrick J. Egan.
  • Osmond Grattan Esmonde.
  • Desmond Fitzgerald.
  • John Good.
  • John Hennigan.
  • Patrick Leonard.
  • Liam Mac Cosgair.
  • Pádraig Mac Fadáin.
  • Patrick McGilligan.
  • Risteárd Mac Liam.
  • Eoin Mac Néill.
  • Liam Mac Sioghaird.
  • Patrick J. Mulvany.
  • John T. Nolan.
  • Peadar O hAodha.
  • Seán O Bruadair.
  • Risteárd O Conaill. Séamus O Cruadhlaoich.
  • Eoghan O Dochartaigh.
  • Peadar O Dubhghaill.
  • Eamon O Dúgáin.
  • Donnchadh O Guaire.
  • Fionán O Loingsigh.
  • Risteárd O Maolchatha.
  • Séamus O Murchadha.
  • Máirtín O Rodaigh.
  • Seán O Súilleabháin.
  • Seán Príomhdhall.
  • Patrick W. Shaw.
  • Nicholas Wall.
Tellers.—Tá: Deputies Morrissey and Davin. Níl: Deputies Duggan and Sears.
Amendment declared lost.

I do not want to hold myself responsible for adding any great amount to what it may be necessary to find when administering this measure, but I think there are types of cases that would be excluded if the Bill becomes an Act in its present form. When considering our responsibilities for pensions or gratuities for people who rendered services pre-Truce, or subsequently in the National Army, I think there would be general agreement that we have a far greater obligation towards the dependents of those who lost their lives when serving the country, or were wounded, or became physically unfit as a result of such services. If the House was good enough, as it was under previous Acts, to give fairly reasonable pensions to young men, who undoubtedly undertook great risks, but who came out of the conflict physically fit in every way, then I think they should make provision for cases where life was lost, or where the individual became physically unfit as a result of these services.

I have one or two cases I will quote as typical of ones that cannot come under the Bill as it stands, but which involve considerable hardship on dependents. I have a case of a soldier who served at Ballinasloe, who was on patrol duty at 1.30 a.m. When returning towards the town he met with a cycling accident at Aughrim, was taken to hospital, discharged from it, and then demobilised from the Army. He died some time after the accident. The man died subsequent to demobilisation, and an application was made for a gratuity under the provisions of the Military Service Pensions Act, 1923. The following was the reply received:

With reference to your application for dependent's allowance or gratuity in respect of your son, Michael, I am directed to inform you that the Army Pensions Board has now considered your claim and all the facts in connection therewith, but owing to the fact that the injury in respect of which your son died was not received on active service, it is regretted that no award can be recommended within the terms of the Army Pensions Act, 1923.

That is the case of a soldier who joined the National Army at a time when men were required. Undoubtedly the man met with the accident while he was on active service, but, because he was demobilised from the Army as unfit subsequent to the accident, a claim is not entitled to be considered under the terms of the Bill. I claim that the widowed mother of that soldier is entitled to the consideration of the taxpayers of this country, and I put it to the Minister that it is a case which should be provided for. It does not come under the Bill as it now reads. The provision which would debar cases of the kind from being dealt with comes under sub-section (4) of Section 12. In order to bring in such cases it would be necessary to exclude the words "in the course of his duty." While these words are included in the Bill such cases cannot be sympathetically considered by the Board that will be set up to administer it when it becomes an Act. I appeal to the Minister to try and see the injustice that is being inflicted, perhaps unconsciously, in cases of that kind. I am making no plea to the Minister for a pension.

Was not this man on duty at the time of the accident?

I tried to make it clear that he was on patrol duty, met with an accident, was taken to hospital and subsequently discharged from the Army. The claim was turned down because he was not on active service. Certainly he was not on active service when he died, because he had been demobilised previously. I have correspondence in connection with the case.

We are dealing with another Bill now. There is another Bill with new provisions before the Dáil, and I do not think that case would be excluded.

I gave the Minister the words in the sub-section. They will compel the Board dealing with the Act to exclude cases. I appeal to the Minister to exclude the words I mentioned from the Bill, so that the Board would be enabled to sympathetically consider cases of the kind. Will the Minister tell me if this type of case can be dealt with under the present Bill if it becomes an Act as it is now worded?

There is no change in wording from the old Act. I think there is a misunderstanding. By inadvertence Deputy Davin mentioned the Military Service Pensions Act when it should be the Army Pensions Act. There is no change in the phraseology of this Bill which would bring this case under it if it was turned down under the old Act.

Sub-section (4) reads:

Every person who is discharged from the forces on or after the 1st day of October, 1924 (whether before or after the passing of this Act) and is at the date of his discharge suffering from a disablement due to a wound received on or after the 1st day of October, 1923 (whether before or after the passing of this Act) while he was a member of the forces and in the course of his duty as such member may, if the degree of such disablement is at the date of such discharge less than twenty per cent., be granted—

Surely if it was received in the course of duty it was received while on duty and acting as a soldier.

If the Minister gives a definite assurance that cases of that type can be dealt with by the Board that will be set up under the Act, I am prepared to let the matter rest where it is now. As I read the Bill I cannot see from the wording that cases of that kind can be dealt with.

I do not want to promise that particular case can, but it could be debated at more length when we come to this particular section. Certainly a considerable number of cases which could not be dealt with under the old Act will come within the scope of the present Bill when it becomes an Act.

Will the Minister take a note of the terms of the reply quoted by Deputy Davin, that "the claim could not be conceded owing to the fact that the injury in respect of which your son died was not received on active service"? I do not think there is any change in the present Bill from the old Act which would allow of this sort of case to come under it.

I am satisfied to leave the matter to the Minister to deal with.

What is the date on which the accident occurred?

December, 1923.

My impression is that the case is covered by this Bill, which brings it up to the date of the 30th September, 1924.

May we assume it is the intention of the Minister that the case of a wound or death due to circumstances of that kind should be brought within this Bill? That is to say, that you are not going to refuse because the wound was not received or the death did not occur while on active service.

There is what we might call, roughly, a workmen's compensation section to this Bill, which deals with that sort of case.

Up to the date I have mentioned.

I am prepared to let the matter rest on the understanding that it is the intention of the Minister to make provision for that kind of case, which, as has already been mentioned, under the Army Pensions Act of 1922, has been turned down.

Turned down because they did not come under the Act of 1923.

The President is aware that people in the country do not read Acts, and even if they read them do not clearly understand the meaning of them. We will let that case lie.

It is quite possible for a man turned down under the Army Pensions Act of 1923 to come under the scope of the present Bill. Cases have been turned down under that Act that will not come under this Bill, but numbers of cases will, and that is the reason the Bill was introduced.

I hope the Minister will see the point in this matter. The woman received a reply to her application stating that her son did not die while on active service. He met with the accident while on active service, and was taken to hospital, subsequently demobilised as unfit, and died some weeks after demobilisation.

Does not the Deputy understand that the decision was strictly within the law as it then stood, and that no Minister had power to go beyond the law as it stood then. This Bill is with a view to remedying some of the limitations in the Act of 1923.

I want to bring under the notice of the Minister another type of case which is somewhat different, though it probably would not be as strong a case as the one I have mentioned. The Minister for Finance, and the Minister for Defence particularly, must be aware that during the 1922-3 period a number, in my opinion a very small number, of soldiers were shot accidentally while on active service. I mentioned here on the last occasion a case where a soldier was out on leave for the evening. When returning to his barracks he was challenged by the sentry, and I admit, according to the evidence before me, and according to evidence at inquiries subsequently held, did not respond to the challenge of the sentry, who in the performance of his duty fired and shot the young soldier dead. There was no inquiry of any kind and no inquest, which, in my opinion, there should have been, and it was only when the young soldier's mother came to make an appeal for funeral expenses that the circumstances under which this young man was shot were inquired into. When I put the case up to the Ministry regarding the allowance of funeral expenses in this case, a military inquiry was ordered and held. It was found at the inquiry, at which nobody represented the individual who was shot, that this young man was guilty of misconduct, and, therefore, under the circumstances, the Ministry declined to pay anything in the way of funeral expenses. I claim that this was not a case of deliberate misconduct. I would go so far as to say that it was negligence, but there is a somewhat slight difference between negligence and serious misconduct. Many things occurred during that period, as Deputy Byrne said, under the Standing Orders at the time.

That is a most serious thing.

I put it to the President that it is a much more serious thing to be responsible for granting pensions to Army officers not physically unfit, and who mutinied against the present Government.

That is not before us.

I said the present Executive Council are responsible for granting pensions to young men who mutinied against the Government of which the President is the head. That is a more serious thing than the shooting of a young soldier who failed to answer the challenge of a sentry. The number of cases I have in mind is not many. I asked the Minister on a previous occasion as to the number of cases that occurred. Perhaps he could give now the exact number that would be brought in under a heading of this kind. I am not making a case for a pension in this case but for a gratuity, or that some consideration should be given to the direct dependants of a young man of that kind who was foolish enough not to recognise the Standing Orders to which Deputy Byrne referred, but we all know that Standing Orders were fairly widely interpreted during 1922-3, and many things happened during that period that would not happen in an army properly established.

I ask the Minister to see if it is possible to include cases of that kind. In this particular case there was no inquest held, as far as I can make out. There was no open inquiry which would enable soldiers serving in the barracks to say exactly what did happen. I have files which I can produce to show that there was responsibility even on the officers in charge. The military in Durrow in Leix occupied a house belonging to fairly well-to-do people. The discipline was such that the soldiers and officers actually tore down the banisters and stairs. They broke up the furniture and the doors and made firewood out of them. The Board of Works record will prove that there was very little reference to, or regard for, the Standing Orders.

Was it the only place at which that happened?

How would you deal with people who tore down the stairs and broke the furniture? How was such action punished? The fact is that some of the men who did that sort of thing obtained pensions under the recent Pensions Act. The plea I make is for the young man who joined the Army with the sole desire of serving his country. An incident occurred which you regard as serious misconduct. I claim that it was serious negligence.

I am taking the Deputy's own description. I do not remember the case. I take it the Deputy describes it as a case of serious misconduct?

Negligence.

Well, serious negligence.

The President will have to admit that much more serious cases than that occurred, and that the people responsible were dealt with in a much more lenient way than the particular person I have in mind. If the Minister wants to refer to the file—and there is a fairly lengthy correspondence on the matter—I will give him every opportunity of investigating the facts.

The whole idea of pensions and gratuities is the extent of dependency. In this case the mother had to make provision for the funeral of the young soldier. The Government, although they may plead that we should not incur heavy financial liabilities in the matter of pensions and gratuities, should certainly go so far as to make it possible for an individual in the position of the mother of that soldier, responsible as he was for negligence but not serious misconduct, to meet the expense incurred at the funeral.

I do not believe there would be more than 20 such cases and something should be done—the Bill should be so amended—to enable cases of that kind to be sympathetically dealt with. Has the Minister for Defence found out since the Second Reading debate how many cases of that kind occurred?

I have not.

If the Minister wanted to make a good case against it he should have given us the actual number. If there are only one or two cases, why should we waste time arguing the matter? The Minister and the Government generally should take the human view and enable cases of this sort to be dealt with.

I would like to hear a good case made on the matter before I alter my opinion. The whole thing hinges on serious negligence. Deputy Davin admits there was negligence on the part of this man in approaching a sentry when he was challenged. I say it was serious negligence, and all the Acts passed up to the present, and this measure, point out that a pension shall not be paid to any person who, by serious negligence or misconduct, made himself liable for death or disease.

Deputy Davin has not made any case, in my opinion, that would justify me in including this particular individual or his friends who may be living. If there was no serious negligence on behalf of that man he would come under this measure. It remains to be tried by the board that will be set up whether there was serious negligence in this case. If there was not serious negligence on the part of that soldier who unfortunately lost his life, his dependents will come under this Bill.

Who will prove or disprove it at this stage?

It cannot be proved unless by the persons who want to get the pension or gratuity. The onus lies upon them and it is the same in every case. The Army authorities are not going to look for a case and prove it for the individual. The onus lies on the individual, and if the case is proved a gratuity or allowance will be granted.

The file in connection with this case is in Portobello and it can be examined. The reply to the claim for a gratuity was that the young soldier was guilty of serious misconduct. I think the Minister will agree that he paid a drastic penalty for his misconduct?

It was not, at any rate, a case of open mutiny. The Minister will admit that pensions were given to men who did openly mutiny, and that was a far more serious thing.

Could we not deal with this case first and then deal with other cases afterwards? Does the Deputy think negligence should have been excluded from the last Act?

I am making a plea for the amendment of this Bill so as to bring in cases of the kind I mention.

And compensate for negligence?

If you like, yes.

That is a very tall order.

But we are to take the facts into consideration.

I would like to know from the Minister whether men who volunteered in 1917, who joined the National Army in 1922, who contracted disease, who were demobilised in 1923, and who died at the end of 1924 in hospital, will be considered? There are three cases of that sort in Athlone and the parents had to bury them and had to bear the funeral expenses. I was in Athlone when one of those men was being buried and I endeavoured to get the officers to give a guarantee to the undertaker before the funeral arrangements were carried out, but I was refused that. I brought the case before the Minister for Defence and I raised the question here in the House, but the £10 that it cost to bury that soldier is yet due to the undertaker in Athlone. I refer to the case of Green, Peter's Street, Athlone. Then there is the case of Morrissey, who lived in Irishtown and who was killed in an operation in Cork, where 13 men were blown to atoms. The woman in this case was given £50 compensation for the loss of the boy.

What was the date?

It was in 1921, and he was killed while operating with the column. The case is that of Morrissey, Castle Street, Athlone. As I say, £50 was paid. It was granted actually three years ago, and it was paid less than six months ago. This woman was in a very destitute condition, primarily due to the loss of her boy, who, prior to going on the run, was earning from £2 10s. to £2 16s. a week. Surely something better than that could be done under this Bill. Some more relief could be given to the dependents of those men.

I want to ask the Minister whether this Bill will include the cases from the North of Ireland, and whether it will apply to men who were active as Irish Volunteers from 1916 to 1921 in the North. I refer to the cases of men the houses of whose parents had been destroyed and their property burned by the forces of the British Government. Some of these men were arrested by the Northern Government in 1922, and were kept in internment until 1923 and 1924. Will these men, Irish Volunteers, who are still living in the North, be entitled to come in under this Bill?

No. This is a Bill which provides compensation for loss sustained through wounds and disease. The man who was in the Volunteers in the North or elsewhere and who was neither wounded nor diseased does not come under the provision of this Bill, and it was never intended that he should.

Some of those Volunteers who were acting in the Six Counties during the trouble and who may have been wounded and contracted disease should, I submit, come under this Bill. They should not be left to the mercy of the ratepayers of the Six Counties by this Government for whom they fought. These men rendered as good service to the Free State as the Volunteers who lived in the Free State, and I certainly fail to see why they should not come in under this Bill. Some of these men are now incapable of earning a living for themselves, and they should be compensated by this Government just as well as if they had lived in the Free State.

There is another case that I wish to bring before the Minister. It is the case of a young Volunteer who joined the National Army. This was young Moore, from Ballynacargy, in Westmeath. The remains of this Volunteer were taken back to his father's home by four National Army men and left there on the floor. That was during the time of the Provisional Government in 1922-1923. Having brought his remains home to his father, these four National Army men never said a word as to how the man died. Now that man was killed, and I went to Athlone to make inquiries about the case and could find no record of it there in the barracks. General Seán McKeown was then in Athlone and he searched the register and could find no record of the man's death. I applied for compensation for the man's father, who was very old and unable to earn anything to support himself. After about two years there was something about £50 paid to him. It has never yet been proved how that young man met his death, though I have asked here in the Dáil for an inquiry to be held. I am aware that there were in Athlone three soldiers who could come forward to such an inquiry and swear that that man was shot by his own men and not altogether by accident. Two of these men are still alive. I want to know whether under this Bill we can get an inquiry to decide whether that man died a coward or a hero.

That is not one of the purpose of the Bill.

I am looking for adequate compensation for that case, and I would like to see proved or disproved that the man died in the way I suggest—that is to say, that he was shot dead by his own men.

That matter does not arise at all under this Bill.

It arises in this way, that adequate compensation was not paid to the parents of this man, and I want to see something paid them which will prevent them applying for outdoor relief or being a burden on the charity of the Vincent de Paul Society. It is not right that people whose son offered his life in the service of the State should now suffer for that reason. Neither can we expect that the ratepayers should support the dependents of that man.

I am not at all satisfied with the amount of pensions proposed to be granted under this Bill. I am not at all satisfied with the proposed amount for the man who loses his left hand. The basis that he has lost only 50 per cent. of his earning capacity would be unfair to him. I would like to see such cases graded. If a tailor loses his left hand he loses his entire earning capacity. The same applies to a farm labourer, a mason or a carpenter. Nobody will employ such men. It would be different in the case of a man working in a clerical capacity in an office. I think that before permission be given for this motion that we should have some idea of the amount of money that is going to be devoted to compensation under this Bill. The Minister himself said that he could give no idea whatsoever of the amount of money that would be involved through this motion being passed. I would ask that before the Bill passes through its remaining stages that the amount of money should be specified. I want to know whether the Minister at a later stage will consider amendments to increase the amount to be awarded where a man loses, say, 50 per cent. of his earning capacity. I say that in such a case £1 1s. a week for a single man and 26/- a week if married would be entirely inadequate. No member of the Dáil, except a Minister, can move a motion increasing an estimate of this kind. I think it is right that the Minister should give more consideration to the dependents of men who have lost their lives on behalf of the State or to men who have contracted disease which has incapacitated them from earning enough to support themselves and their dependents. I think that something more than 21/- a week should be given to such men. Men who laid down their lives fighting for this country or who contracted disease in that service should be considered, and the Government should not allow their dependents to be a burden on outdoor relief or on the Vincent de Paul Society. That is not the proper treatment to give to men or the relatives of men who sacrificed their lives for their country.

I do not wish to traverse ground that has already been travelled by several Deputies and that will probably be travelled again, but I would like to revert to the case to which I drew the attention of the Minister on the Second Reading of the Bill. I would like to know if the Minister has given any consideration to that case, or if he is now in a position to make any statement as to whether the provisions of this Bill will be extended to meet it, and other cases like it, which are likely to arise. I am glad that the President is here, because he is intimately acquainted with the circumstances of the case to which I refer and of which I might as well give a brief outline. It is the case of a member of the R.I.C., a County Inspector's clerk, which was a very responsible position, and the fact that he occupied it showed that he was a capable man and was well able to perform the duties imposed upon such men. He was a confidant in the office of the R.I.C., and he utilised the position he held in order to give information to members of the I.R.A. who were active about the district. He fell under the suspicion of the R.I.C. and he had to leave that body. He joined an active service unit of a battalion operating in the county, and I am sure that every member of the Government Party knows what kind of love both the regular R.I.C. and the Black and Tans bore towards members of that body who left and joined the Irish Republican Army. He had on several occasions to fight for his life and to flee so that he should not be murdered by the gang of murderers who were let loose on the country at that time. I quoted before from a letter from a man who was then his officer, who was in charge of his brigade, who is still a high officer in the National Army and who, as everybody that knew him will acknowledge, both within the National Army and within the Republican Army, was a capable soldier, a man who knew the merits of a soldier and who knew what active service meant. An ambush was arranged by this particular brigade, and after dealing with one section of the Crown forces all one morning, the small party engaged had to retreat across the country, over hills, hedges and walls and such obstructions as the countryside usually affords. While doing so they were met by another party of Crown forces whom they had not counted on meeting. This body attacked that worn-out party of Republican soldiers, and the man to whom I refer, with another, fought a rearguard action, covering the retreat of their small party. Although asked by his officer to make his escape and not to allow the brunt of the fight to fall upon him, he refused, until the attacking party had retreated. He then dropped dead from sheer exhaustion. Anybody who knew the state of the country at the time knows that a good many of these people who were on active service were not in a position to have certain meals or certain sleep. Probably this man had not two nights' sleep in the week, and anybody can realise the exhaustion of that man after fighting an action during the morning and then meeting a fresh force that he had not counted on meeting. Under the terms of the Act of 1924 the dependents of that soldier cannot get compensation because he was not killed in action. I am sure that nobody will argue but that that soldier died in action and gave his life for his country as much as if an enemy's bullet had gone through his heart or his brain or through some vital organ, and some of us who made representations to the Government were told that an amending Bill was in a state of incubation. Now it has come to us and we find that it contains no provision whatever to meet such a case, that there is no alteration in the terms of the original Act. A person must have been killed before his dependents were entitled to any compensation.

The Deputy has not read Section 14. There is no mention of R.I.C. or ex-R.I.C. in it.

Mr. HOGAN

Would the President refer me to the portion of it that covers the case I mentioned?

Sub-section (a) would probably cover the case. I cannot say that it would. I am not a lawyer.

Mr. HOGAN

"Disease attributable." Surely the President does not suggest that this is a case of a man dying from disease attributable to service? This is the case of a man dying from exhaustion, having been forced by the enemy to retreat. That, surely, is not a case for giving a gratuity for disease contracted on service. Disease contracted on service, I take it, would mean consumption, rheumatism, or some other disease contracted through being out in the open. Surely, this is not such a case, and the President will agree that this was not a case of disease contracted on service.

I do not agree.

Mr. HOGAN

I do not agree, anyhow, that it is a case in which a gratuity should be paid. It is a case in which a pension should be paid to the dependents.

The Deputy has got away from his first point. The Deputy is abandoning the first point.

Mr. HOGAN

I am not abandoning anything. If the President will tell me what I am abandoning I will meet the case.

Your weakness in connection with the interpretation of (a).

Mr. HOGAN

"Every person who died before the 1st day of October, 1924, whilst serving in the forces and whose death was due solely to disease." Does the President suggest that that man's death was due solely to disease contracted while he was on active service?

I think a person dies either from disease or wounds. A person in health does not die.

Mr. HOGAN

I did not suggest that a person in health does die, but does the President suggest that it was disease that he contracted that killed this man, or does he think that the man's dependents are entitled to less fair treatment from the Government than if an enemy's bullet had gone through his brain? I suggest that because the enemy did not shoot him that the treatment should be as fair as if he were shot.

Would the Deputy explain to me in what way a man can die other than from disease or wounds?

Mr. HOGAN

I did not think the President was going to quibble about a man who died for his country.

I am talking about disease or wounds.

The point is that he was killed in the course of his duty. He did not contract disease and then die from it.

You can die without contracting disease.

He was killed in the course of his duty.

I did not know that that could happen in that way.

There are many things that you do not know.

Is not this a discussion for the Committee Stage of the Bill? There is nothing in this Motion about disease or anything else.

We are discussing the scope of the Bill now. If this motion is passed the Deputy will not have any further opportunity of discussing the question of widening the scope of the Bill.

Mr. HOGAN

I submit that this is a case of whether there will be extra cost put on the Government or not, and that therefore I am entitled to discuss it.

The Deputy does not know what he is discussing. He has not read the Bill or the amendments.

Mr. HOGAN

I have read the Bill.

He has not read the amendments.

Mr. HOGAN

What amendments?

The Minister's amendments.

Mr. HOGAN

Where are they?

I understood that they were circulated.

Mr. HOGAN

The President has had this case before him for three years. He is intimately acquainted with every fact of the case and still he tells me that I have not read the amendments. That is certainly not a fair way to meet the case.

But the Deputy has not read the amendments.

I move the adjournment of the discussion until the amendments have been printed and circulated.

I think the amendments have been circulated.

They have not been printed.

They were circulated about half-past three o'clock, but no Deputy who has been attending to this debate has had time to read them.

These are amendments to the Bill and not to the motion.

Mr. HOGAN

Will the President refer me to the amendments covering this case?

On page 2, Section 14. "In sub-section (2), page 8." It is getting so near the elections now we like to be talking.

Mr. HOGAN

The President knows that I went to his office two and a half years ago about this case, and there was then no election in the offing. I challenge the President to say that I am raising this case because of the election. If the President wants to turn this debate into an election stunt he can, but I will not.

There is an election pending now.

Mr. HOGAN

There is.

We are not discussing elections now.

Mr. HOGAN

Prevent the President from discussing them. Let him meet the case fairly. I am not going to discuss these amendments that have not been circulated in time.

It is the money resolution which we are on now.

Mr. HOGAN

I am going to discuss that, and on that resolution I asked the Minister for Defence to make a statement whether any provisions have been or are going to be made to meet this case. I will read a statement in regard to this matter from an officer in the National Army under whom the man served:—

"He served for some time with the East Clare Column, having been previously appointed Brigade Police Officer, and some time in June, 1921, was one of a party of ten Volunteers who were surprised and pursued by a large body of R.I.C. This little Column had already that day a long fight with another party of R.I.C., and at the time of their second encounter the men were absolutely worn out from marching and fighting. Only Healy and the Column Commander were able to offer any effective resistance, and they covered the retreat of the others, falling back and fighting every inch of the way. The day was terribly warm, and Healy for some time was showing signs of distress, but even when instructed to get away refused to do so. He kept on fighting until the pursuers were beaten off, and immediately afterwards he collapsed at his post and died from exhaustion in a few minutes."

If the President does not believe me, and I am not asking him to do so, I ask him to believe the statement of a high officer in the Army, and I ask him to put that statement against his statement about an election in the offing. I ask him to think of an election in the offing if he does not treat fairly the dependents of those who gave their lives for their country.

We will answer for that, and more along with it. We will do so by actions, not words.

I was hoping that the Minister would indicate his policy on this matter, in as much as, as already pointed out, this is the occasion on which we ought to have an indication whether the Minister is responding to the case made on the Second Reading of this Bill. We have had no intimation from Ministers as to what extent they are prepared to concede the claims made during the Second Reading debate. The President referred to a series of amendments which have been circulated in typescript within the last half hour, and he expects us, presumably, to take that as a statement of Government policy. That is not treating the House fairly. If we are expected to be satisfied with the circulation of three sheets of typescript without having time to look at them and see what their effect would be, I take it that the President is merely trifling with the Dáil. I hope, at any rate, before we discuss the amendments in Committee, we shall, at least, have one day to examine them. I am going to ask the Minister for Defence, who is responsible, to give the House some indication as to his intentions regarding the claims put up on Second Reading also now.

He has taken it to be the best course not to make a statement now, so that we are bound to repeat to a considerable extent the argument which we used on Second Reading. If he made a statement explaining what were his intentions we might have avoided these repetitions. On the Second Reading Stage certain claims were put up with regard to different classes of cases, and I am going to question the Minister in regard to two or three of these classes of cases. The Minister for Finance in introducing the motion practically told us that in regard to cases of sickness or disability from disease he was not going to modify the 80 per cent. disability. I think that there is a clear case in equity for a modification of that figure. I cannot understand where, and why, there should be a clear distinction fixing a minimum of 20 per cent. in the case of wound disability and raising it to 80 per cent. in the case of sickness disability. It is stated that a wound can be easily identified and that sickness cannot be so easily identified, but in the very section affected you are requiring that it should be identifiable as being directly and solely attributable to service. Once you have assumed the possibility of such identification with service you have removed entirely, in my opinion, the plea for making 80 per cent. the minimum. If you can attribute disease to service you ought to bring it as low as the wound disability. You require to be satisfied that the disease is consequent upon, and, as you say, solely attributable to service. If that can be done, it can be done in respect of 20 per cent. as well as 80 per cent. disability. I fear that the effect of that is intended to remove out of the sphere of influence of this Bill practically any disability due to disease. If it is at all permissible to prove that disease is directly and solely attributable to service then there is no case for requiring that that disability should be 80 per cent.

Again, we have had no evidence of what the Minister's intentions are regarding cases of deaths, shall we say, or disabilities to any degree, due to accident—let us say the shooting of one soldier by another. A case has been known that I mentioned some days ago of a man being shot in bed. It remains to be seen whether it is the intention of the Minister that such a case should come within the scope of the Bill. We ought to know the intention of the Minister, and then we ought to be able to find a means of ensuring by the language of the section that such a case would be brought within the scope of the Bill. I fear that the phrase "in the course of his duty" may be held to remove such a person from the scope of the Bill. From the way these Acts have been interpreted in the past one would imagine that a soldier was not in duty bound to go to sleep or lie in bed—that it was not in the course of his duty. That is a matter of doubt. Active service has been held in some contingencies to be service during the period of hostilities, no matter what other service a man was engaged in. If "in the course of his duty" is intended to mean all the time that a man is under orders, so long as he is not negligent or guilty of misconduct, then it seems to me you have no need to put in that phrase, "in the course of his duty." I am hopeful it will be in order on the Committee Stage to discuss that particular phrase with a view to its deletion.

Then there is another phrase running right through the Bill which clearly is intended, or if not intended, will have the effect of limiting severely the number of persons who will receive disablement benefit due to disease. That is the phrase "solely due to service." I am not able to speak with any authority on death due to disease, or death certificates, or anything of that kind. It requires a medical expert to tell us something on that question. But I have read a few death certificates, and I find very many of them indicating more than one cause of death—a complication of diseases. I can see that if you are going to make it necessary to prove that the death was due to disease solely attributable to service you are making it the easiest possible thing to rule out an applicant. A person had measles as a child, say, and a certain weakness of one of the organs develops, having no effect upon the general health. Then a disease attributable to service ensues. A doctor would say that the second disease would not have caused death but for the weakness consequent upon the infantile disease. This word "solely" would make it impossible for the applicant to receive a pension, and I think that the effect of that word is to restrict very greatly indeed the number of applicants who can prove their eligibility for a pension. I hope that the Minister will agree to delete that word so that this very severe restriction will not be maintained in the Bill.

Again I would like to have some indication from the Minister—although it is not necessarily ruled out by the fact that this is merely a Money Resolution—as to whether he insists upon the gratuity system—that is, the lump sum gratuity system, as distinguished from periodical payments. As we urged on the Second Reading, the system of lump sum gratuities is very often harmful rather than beneficial to the recipient, and I think that the Minister ought to agree to modify the Bill in such a manner as would enable him to use discretion, and that the normal method of giving a gratuity where there is a family should be by means of periodical payments rather than by a lump sum.

It is on these points I should like to have some statement from the Minister as to his intentions—whether the amendments he has circulated are intended to cover any of them, and, if so, which of them, and in what manner? I think that the discussion ought not to be extended until we have had some statement of that kind from the Minister, so that we may know exactly where we are and what to look forward as to the fulfilment of the intentions when we are reading the amendments which he has circulated.

I should like to support Deputy Johnson in his plea that either this discussion be postponed or we have some statement of policy from the Minister. In doing so I should like to recall to Deputies a little of the history of this Bill. It was originally proposed by the Government to set down this Bill, of which we are now considering the Money Resolution, and, presumably, the Money Resolution for this day last week. At the request of myself and other Deputies they agreed to postpone it until Thursday, and I and other unofficial Deputies handed in amendments on that basis. The Dáil did not sit last week, and the Bill could not go on until to-day, but the Government amendments were not handed in until after the Dáil was sitting to-day, about four o'clock. That makes it almost impossible for us to discuss this resolution, because we are in the dark as to what the Government proposes to do, and we are in the dark as regards our amendments, as to how far the passage of this resolution may not rule them out of order.

For instance, I put down an amendment to delete sub-section (3) of Section 7. That is to say, the section providing that the Army Pension Board's decision shall be final. The Minister for Defence here proposes to do the same. My amendment was a consequential amendment. I proposed to set up a form of appeal board. What the Minister is going to do I have not the faintest idea. There is no provision for an appeal board—no substantive provision. Possibly he intends an appeal to the law courts—I do not know; nobody can know. How can we discuss this resolution effectually or valuably as long as the intentions of the Minister are in the dark? I would seriously suggest that we should either have some time to allow us to gain a little more light—that is only one of many points which will probably arise in these five pages of amendments— we should either have time to consider them or the Minister should tell us what he proposes to do.

I do not think any case has been made out for postponing this discussion. After all, the principle of the Bill has been accepted by its passage on the Second Reading. The words of the present motion are not restrictive. This motion is not restrictively drawn, and I did not think that there would be any question of defeating this resolution unless Deputies were so dissatisfied with the general scope of the Bill that they wanted the Bill to be defeated or withdrawn. Matters on which the Minister may be prepared to vary the Bill can and will be properly discussed on the Committee Stage. I do not think that they really arise now. There is no doubt that there is perhaps now an easier opportunity of discussing matters that are not in the Bill, than on the Committee Stage, though even on the Committee Stage in the discussion of a particular clause it can be criticised because it does not contain certain other matters.

With reference to what Deputy Johnson says about eighty per cent. disability, I do not think it would be at all possible to meet him in any way. Our view is that it will be almost impossible to be sure in the circumstances whether or not the disability is due to disease solely contracted in the Army. As I have said already, there was not that sort of medical examination that there was in the case of men who joined the British Army for the European war. There was not the same medical supervision and constant medical examinations and inspections during the period of service, and I am quite satisfied that no matter how much care is exercised in the administration of this Act, out of every ten people who get pensions five, and perhaps seven, will be people who should not get them. People will put forward cases which are not sound cases and it will be impossible to rebut them. No matter what committee or authority is administering the Act they will be forced to grant pensions in cases where they should not really be granted.

The view that we have taken about the matter is simply this: that undoubtedly there are certain cases of people who are disabled because of disease solely due to military service. We want to deal with those cases, but we appreciate the great difficulty of distinguishing those cases from other cases where it will be alleged, but not truthfully, that the disability is due solely to disease caused by military service. The method that is proposed to be adopted is simply this: we will not give a pension in respect of disability due to disease except where the disease has reached such an advanced stage that the applicant is practically disabled from work. In that case we feel that even although a great number of pensions will be granted that ought not be granted, at any rate they will be granted to people who did give military service and who are actually in dire need of them. Eighty per cent. disability does mean, as I have said, that the person will be unable to earn his living, will be unable to work, or practically unable to work. It would not be possible to come down as low in the scale as 20 per cent. disability when we are dealing with disability due to disease. There will probably be applicants who were suffering from a 40 per cent. disability before they ever entered the Army. We have an almost arbitrary scale fixed in the case of disability due to wounds. We say that the loss of an arm means so much, or that the loss of a foot means so much, but you cannot have any such scale in respect of disability due to disease. You have to leave it to the Board, and it would be impossible, because it is so entirely a matter of the discretion of the Board, to fix varying payments for 80 per cent., 70 per cent., 60 per cent., and so on down the scale.

This Bill, if passed as it stands at present, will involve a fairly heavy charge. We do not want to have men who did give service and who are disabled because of that service, in want. We realise that in meeting their case at all we must open the door to many cases that are not really deserving cases. We want to deal with the whole matter in a reasonable way, bearing the two points of view in mind —first, that these cases ought not to be neglected, that something reasonable ought to be done for them, and on the other hand that the burden of the charge should be kept as low as possible. I think we really are doing a great deal. I have experience myself, in connection with another Act, of the difficulty of distinguishing between cases in which a pension should be granted and in which a pension should not be granted. I have examined the files of the resigned and dismissed R.I.C. men and have signed certificates. I have been as careful and as cautious as possible about granting pensions, but I am completely satisfied that a great many people have got pensions who should not have got them. Those cases were so similar to others in which it was fairly clear that a pension should be granted, that it was impossible to refuse them. Whatever Board or Authority is administering the Military Service Pensions will find itself in the same sort of difficulty. There will be statements and evidence put up on which they might have certain doubts, but because of the lack of medical records it will not be possible to disprove them. It will be possible in fact to do nothing but accept them, and so pensions will be granted to very large numbers of people who either had disease before they entered the Army or acquired the disease in circumstances which make it fairly certain that it was not due to the conditions of service.

A number of other cases, such as people who are accidentally shot and killed, are dealt with in various sections of this Bill. The case of the soldier who is shot, say, in bed, will come within the scope of the Bill, and other cases of that kind. In some cases according to date there will be differences of treatment. In some cases the dependents will simply be the wife or children; in other cases they will be the father and mother. We are providing in the Bill for all those cases where the soldier is accidentally killed, where if he were a workman, he would be entitled to compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act.

Is this another new Bill?

I think the Minister deserves this to be said: that the strictness of his ruling in face of the difficulty is going to leave out a considerable number of people who undoubtedly received their disability to earn a livelihood, owing to their service in the Army or even their disability to earn half a livelihood, while the Government has been very generous in their treatment of military service which did not result in wounds or disease.

Question put and declared carried.

May I ask the Minister if he will agree to give us at least one day to examine the amendments. I think the early proposition was to take the Committee Stage to-morrow, but in view of the series of amendments, it is quite impossible to examine and to do justice to the matter in the short time allowed.

I understood Deputy Johnson only wanted a day.

I am suggesting Thursday.

Very good.

The Dáil went out of Committee.

I move: "That the Dáil agree with the Committee in the Resolution."

Question put and agreed to.
Committee Stage of Bill ordered for Thursday, 10th February.