The title of the Bill to which I am asking that a Second Reading be given is an Act to make further and better provision for the maintenance and preservation of the State and the public safety.
The assassination of the Vice-President of the Executive Council is still fresh enough in the public mind to make it a comparatively easy task to establish that the State and the public safety are endangered to such an extent as to throw the duty upon the Government of bringing forward special legislative measures, designed to deal with the danger and to throw upon the Oireachtas the duty of protecting the representative institutions of the State by granting the powers sought. It will, however, be useful to give in some detail and in the light of the Vice-President's assassination a retrospect of revolutionary movements in the country. We have always been aware of the existence of such activities. Ever since the days of the civil war the Government has not been ignorant of the existence of disappointed and vindictive revolutionaries, who have sought, by every means in their power, to subvert the State, its representative institutions and the public peace and security. Measures such as the Treasonable Offences Act, 1925, were passed to enable their activities to be dealt with by ordinary process of law within the Constitution. Sometimes it was difficult enough to induce sections of the Dáil to agree to the passing of such legislation. At all times we have people who live in a fool's paradise or who stick their heads in the sand like the ostrich, persuading themselves that if they do not see certain facts then those facts do not exist. I doubt if there are many who have not been shocked into a sense of the reality of the position by the brutal and cowardly assassination of the late Vice-President. Lest there be any, however, and for the better information of others, who have not always fully appreciated the responsibilities of the Executive Government in dealing with dangerous movements, I propose to show how revolutionary organisations have developed since 1923.
I start with 1923, because I think everybody is familiar with the revolutionary elements responsible for the civil war. The attack on the State, and the challenge to its institutions, which occupied a large part of the years 1922 and 1923, were undoubtedly largely the enterprise of a body of men who had banded themselves together, at least in a loose kind of way, in a military organisation with a definite headquarters control of a military character subject, nominally at least, to the alleged political control of those members of the Dáil who, having voted against the acceptance of the Treaty in January, 1922, formed themselves into an irresponsible political group. This political group appears to have had sufficient influence with the main body of irregulars to induce them to cease armed activity in May, 1923. By that date the National Forces had quelled the revolution to such an extent as to induce the leaders to abandon further armed activity. There was, however, never any surrender of arms, and there remained throughout the country numbers of irresponsible youths who, whilst dumping their arms, still regarded themselves as attached to companies, battalions and brigades of an irregular army organisation.
In the year 1924 efforts were made to reorganise the broken forces of the irregular army and paid organisers went round the country endeavouring to stir up revolutionary enthusiasm, inspecting dumps of arms, and enjoining the irregulars to train themselves in military duties. Pseudo courts-martial were set up to try various internees and others for having recognised the Government of the country by signing forms of undertaking, surrendering arms, giving bail, etc., and various persons including some very prominent irregulars were expelled from the irregular army organisation as a result. The headquarters staff and others were paid a weekly wage for their work.
The office where a lot of these activities were carried on was found by the police in August, 1925, in Roebuck House, Dublin. Many papers were captured there indicating who was Chief of Staff, Adjutant General and so on. The papers also indicated that efforts were then being made to purchase artillery in Germany and rifles in Italy and France. In or about the same time the whole intelligence records of the irregular forces were captured and a so called Director of Intelligence arrested. He was tried, refused to recognise the court, was found guilty and sentenced to one year's imprisonment. About the same time a very elaborate office with elaborate records was discovered at Dunboden House, in the Midlands, and a person arrested who, from the papers found, was, known as the Officer in Charge of the Midland Division of the Irregular Army Organisation.
I might perhaps add that this organisation extended its activities to Northern Ireland, a Belfast battalion being in existence. This Irregular Army Organisation was nominally under the control of Mr. de Valera, who at that time was regarded as the President of the Irish Republic, Mr. Sean Lemass being Minister for Defence and Mr. Frank Aiken Chief of Staff. At that time the organisation might be said to have been merely potential in its danger to the State; the gentlemen whom I have mentioned appear to have been able to maintain some degree of control and having half surrendered in May, 1923, did not deem it expedient to embark on any armed attack on a big scale. There is reason to suppose that certain elements of this organisation were anxious to establish some kind of secret society within it, the function of such a society being to control and direct policy and the manner in which the military organisation should be utilised. There is also reason to suppose that the more politically minded persons scented danger in such a departure and, as far as is known, they were successful in preventing any development on such lines.
Throughout 1925 the police seized large quantities of arms and ammunition and treasonable documents of all kinds, and succeeded in making it difficult for the irregular organisation to carry out any unlawful enterprises. In November, 1925, in the course of a search for arms and treasonable documents an important document was found on a prominent irregular leader who was known as Quartermaster-General. From this document it was clear that it was proposed to hold what was called an Army Convention, that is, a meeting of representatives from all over the country of the various units of the irregular army organisation. Notices of motion for such a convention were given in the document, many of which showed that in the organisation there were dangerous irresponsible elements. For example, one brigade said that the irregular army could not be maintained as an organisation if no policy other than that of constitutional agitation could be put forward; another that the army should not be subject to any political party whatsoever; another that "the Government," meaning Mr. de Valera's party at the time, should not accept any proposals affecting the independence of the country without first having the sanction of the then existing army council. Others advocated a coup d'etat; others that the age limit for recruits should be reduced to 16 years; others that the irregular army should be empowered to deal effectively with any public representative who solicited the support of any section of Republican opinion in any compromise with any foreign usurping authority—usurping authority being, of course, intended to refer to the Saorstát Government; others advocated the establishment of a fund or war chest for the purpose of financing a revolution; others that the organisation should get in touch with all revolutionary organisations within the British Empire with a view to joint action, and so on.
I will quote three of these notices of motion in full. They were as follows:—
(1) That a limited number of picked men be sworn into a Secret Military Organisation, the majority of its members being in Ireland, with others in England and America. That a clause be inserted in the Constitution of the Secret Organisation whereby all its members in whatever part of the world they may reside shall be liable to be called upon for active operation when and where required. That an open organisation on the same lines as the Irish Volunteers be formed, but its members to know only as much army policy and secrets as are absolutely necessary for them in the discharge of their duties. That both organisations be directed and controlled by a governing body or Supreme Council of, say, ten members of the Secret Organisation in Ireland, with one each from England and America, who could define army policy. That this Governing Body or Supreme Council choose one of its members to act in the position of Dictator to direct military policy.
(2) That a powerful Secret Military Organisation shall be built up in England, directed by about ten members of the Organisation sent over from Ireland for the purpose, with the intention of waging active military operations there in the event of England waging war against us or assisting the enemy of the Republic in time of war or revolution.
(3) We are of the opinion that the present policy of passive resistance is destroying the spirit and discipline of our army, and that the policy mentioned is not an effective way of making the enemy realise that they have a strong opposition in the Republican movement. Furthermore, we are of the opinion that the Free State Government completely ignores us as an opposition and believe that our army is being held only as a menace to their party, and consequently is quite harmless, and to combat this return of our menace, compliment us by passing Treason Bills which are to them very inexpensive. In view of this we request resort to other means which will have the desired effect. We are unanimous in adopting this resolution, and recommend it to the Army Convention for consideration. We may add that G.H.Q. has our full confidence as a Company.
At the Convention held on the 14th November, 1925, the constitution of the Irregular army organisation was completely altered. The army withdrew its allegiance from the "Government" (the Government meant Mr. de Valera and his confreres), and an Army Council with supreme authority and dictatorial powers was set up. At this stage, therefore, the Irregular army which had carried on the civil war under Mr. de Valera's direction and had remained nominally under his direction up to the end of 1925, now cut itself adrift completely from all control of any body who pretended to represent politically any section of the electorate and the various motions of a violent and revolutionary character, to some of which I have referred, were referred to the Army Council for decision without any comment from the Convention at large. We have a copy of the Constitution agreed on on this occasion. Membership was open to anybody over the age of 16 who accepted the objects as stated. These objects were to be secured by force of arms and military organisation to that end. An Army Council was duly constituted. We have the names of the first members of this Council. The Irregular Organisation subsequent to this date appear to have drifted away completely from Mr. de Valera. Amongst the various activities were, rescue of prisoners from Mountjoy, armed attacks on police stations, firing on police patrols, firing on military patrols, blowing up picture theatres and robbing banks— for example, at Ballinamore, where one of the raiders was shot by the police in a bank robbery, the raider was identified as a member of the Irregular organisation. In Cork a trap-mine was laid to murder members of the police force; attempts were made to intimidate jurors. The "O.C." of the Midland division whom I mentioned as having been captured in Dunboden House was amongst the prisoners rescued in Mountjoy and was later found in London with 16 revolvers in a suit-case. Armed raids on money lenders were carried out in Dublin, Limerick and other centres. The leaders in each case produced what they called official authority from the I.R.A. In November last a number of police stations were raided and two policemen were murdered. An Irregular paper published what they called an official statement in which the Irregular army organisation accepted responsibility for the raids.
We have many other indisputable proofs of the existence of an organisation with revolutionary objects to be achieved by force of arms—an organisation which grew out of Mr. de Valera's civil war, but, having grown up to a certain stage, cut aloof from his control and direction. The split in the Sinn Fein Organisation which gave rise to the formation of the new Fianna Fáil Party seems to have had certain repercussion effects in the ranks of the dictatorial Irregular army organisation, and we have information to show that a meeting of the so-called army council discussing the possibility of Mr. de Valera's Party entering the Dáil suggestion was made that any representative T.D. who took the Oath should be shot as a traitor. The army council however, despite their previous break away from any political affiliations, seem to have formed the opinion that the split in the Sinn Fein organisation was something that should be avoided and they appear to have taken upon themselves the rôle of peacemakers. We have already published the document issued by them on that occasion to the various units of their organisation when their efforts to secure cooperation between the various republican elements had failed. It will, perhaps, be useful to repeat the contents of that document:—
1. The Army Council directs that the following statement be issued on the above matter, and that the same be transmitted to Volunteers of all ranks:—
"For some time the Army Council had under consideration the situation existing in the Republican movement which was created by the division which arose in the Sinn Fein organisation over a year ago, and which led to the defection of a considerable membership of that organisation and the creation of a rival organisation known as Fianna Fáil.
"The Council realised that as the date of the General Election in the Free State drew near, the differences between the two organisations would be accentuated, and that it would be inevitable that these differences would involve volunteers; that morale, discipline and comradeship of the Army would in the result be affected detrimentally. The council was of opinion that if disunity did not exist, or if unity could be restored to the extent of getting the two political organisations and the Army to agree to such an arrangement as would enable them to work together at the elections, and to agree in advance as to the policy which would be pursued in the event of a majority of Republican Deputies being returned, there were indications that the present Imperial Colonial authorities could be defeated."
2. "It would only be to secure the return of a majority of Republican Deputies that the Army Council would consider it worth striving to get the necessary agreement. In its opinion the return of a minority only would not advance the Republic, but that on the contrary the existence of such a minority would be a factor of danger."
"In view of the advantages that would accrue from the election of a majority of Republican Deputies, it was felt that every effort should be made to achieve this result. The Council accordingly decided that the Chief of Staff should summon a meeting of the full General Headquarters Staff and of the Commanders of Independent Units, and ascertain their opinions. This meeting of Officers was held on the 9th of April."
3. "The Army Council placed before this meeting for its consideration, proposals which it believed would constitute a basis for agreement between Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and Oglaigh na h-Eireann, and which would be acceptable to all Republicans."
"These proposal were considered in detail by the Officers, and the proposals which were to be submitted to the other organisations were agreed to." The following are the proposals:—
1. That all bodies stand for the restoration of the Republican Government as the de facto Government of the Republic of Ireland.
2. That as a means to achieve this end at the forthcoming elections, and to prevent clashing and overlapping, a panel of candidates shall be agreed to by the bodies.
1. That for the purpose of this agreement a National Board shall be constituted, consisting of:—
(Here would be inserted names of personnel to be agreed on.)
(a) All panel candidates must be approved by the National Board before being adopted.
(b) The Board shall remain in constant session during the election.
(c) The Board shall deal with cases of friction arising out of this agreement and shall give decisions on any matters requiring them.
(d) The Board shall see that the Pact is faithfully observed.
(e) The Board shall ensure co-ordination of all necessary activities.
(f) The Board shall before the election select the personnel of the Executive or Cabinet.
(g) The Board shall in all cases of doubt in the interpretation of this agreement be final interpreters and in all cases its decisions shall be binding on the members of the Board and on the parties to the agreement.
1. A joint appeal or manifesto shall be issued by the parties to this agreement appealing to all voters to support the panel candidates. This appeal or manifesto shall either be issued by the National Board or shall have its approval.
2. Each party shall be free to issue one election address each for all panel candidates who are nominees of its party. These election addresses shall be submitted for approval of the National Board. The following must be explicitly stated in each such address and in the public pronouncements of the candidates:—
(a) The repudiation of the Treaty.
(b) The repudiation of partition.
(c) The repudiation of all financial and other arrangements or obligations entered into with the Government of Great Britain.
(d) The abolition of a standing army and the organisation of the defence forces on a territorial basis.
3. Each panel candidate shall sign a pledge and an undertaking, pledging undivided allegiance to the Republic of Ireland proclaimed on Easter Monday, 1916, and by law established on the 21st day of January, 1919, and undertaking that he or she will not take an oath or make a declaration of allegiance to the British King or his representatives or to the Constitution of the Irish Free State or to any other imposed Constitution.
1. The successful panel candidates shall meet immediately after the election.
They will elect the Executive or Cabinet previously selected by the National Board.
They will then adopt the Ministerial policy for urgent economic matters.
The Executive or Cabinet will then proceed to the necessary administrative steps to give effect to this policy.
1. The military situation shall be dealt with in accordance with the following line of policy:—
(a) The removal from Dublin and vicinity of all enemy military forces, and this being done, that they be disarmed and demobilised.
(b) All armament to be placed under the control of Oglaigh na hEireann.
(c) The maintenance of Oglaigh na hEireann, and the placing of the Organisation on a Territorial basis.
(d) That the Army Council of Oglaigh na hEireann shall be the Advisory Council to the Minister of Defence.
1. The Second Dáil Eireann and the present Republican Government shall retain their present position until a Government functions as the de facto Government of the Republic of Ireland.
1. The signatories to this agreement shall solemnly bind themselves both by oath and in writing to carry out in every way and to do their utmost to secure the carrying out by their followers and colleagues of every clause of this agreement and every decision of the National Board, and, if they in any way fail to do this, to resign and retire from public life.
4. "The proposals were submitted by the Army Council to the Standing Committee of Sinn Fein Organisation, and to the National Executive of the Fianna Fáil Organisation.
"The following are the official replies received from these organisations:—
"FROM SINN FEIN:—`The Standing Committee is prepared to accept your invitation to send two delegates to meet two delegates from your body and two delegates from Fianna Fáil in conference, on the understanding that our delegates' powers are limited to the extent of the guarantees of which a copy is enclosed. Unless this basis is accepted the Standing Committee cannot see its way to send delegates.'
"The following are the guarantees set forth by Sinn Fein:—
1. That members of Fianna Fáil should give a guarantee that they will not enter any foreign controlled Parliament as a minority or majority, with, or without an oath, or other formal declaration.
2. That in the event of getting a Republican majority the representatives of all Ireland will be summoned immediately, and the Free State Constitution and all Imperial commitments will be repudiated.
3. That the Government of the Republic is recognised as the only lawful Government of the country.
"FROM FIANNA FÁIL:—`The memo. on suggested basis for co-operation between the Republican parties for the general election was placed before the National Executive at its meeting on yesterday. It was unanimously decided that the proposals were not acceptable as a basis for discussion.'
"In acknowledging this communication to Fianna Fáil, the Army Council asked: `As you do not indicate that the objections were to any particular proposal, is the Council to take it that the entire proposals were unacceptable?' To this communication Fianna Fáil replied: `We have to inform you that the proposals were not discussed in detail.'
5. "In view of the reception accorded to our proposals by the two political parties the Army Council decided that nothing further could usefully be done in the way of endeavouring to achieve co-ordination, and so cease their efforts in this direction.
6. "The Army Council reiterates the view that the election of a majority only of Republican Deputies, who would repudiate the so-called Treaty, and all Imperial commitments entered into as a sequel to it, is really worth securing; that while the present division exists in the Republican movement there is little hope of such a majority being returned. The energies of Volunteers if elected as Deputies are therefore in danger of being frittered away in futile political agitation, calculated to divert their minds and activities from the means set forth by Oglaigh na hEireann to achieve our object. Having done its utmost to secure co-ordination between the different Republican bodies and having failed, the Army Council feels it its duty to impress on Volunteers that the chief object of Oglaigh na hEireann, i.e., to establish and uphold a lawful Government in sole and absolute control of the Republic, can more surely be achieved by the means set forth in the Constitution, namely:—
1. "Force of arms.
2. "Organising, training, and equipping the manhood of Ireland as an effective military force.
On these means it directs that Volunteers must mainly concentrate, and genuine national activities directed to the creation of a revolutionary situation favourable for military action should be supported actively by Volunteers. With many citizens the contesting of elections is regarded as an end in itself. With us doing so can only be a means to an end. After the overwhelming Republican victory at the polls in December, 1918, a war had to be fought. That electoral victory undoubtedly put us in a strong position to wage war, as also would such a victory help us again. It is the impossibility at present, without co-ordination, of gaining it that influences the Army Council to urge concentration on other methods.
7. "In conclusion, the Council demands that each Volunteer will give undivided allegiance and unquestioning obedience to the Army authority and to officers. When Army orders may be held by any party to be in conflict with its policy or programme, and with which a Volunteer may be affiliated, he must obey such orders. A Volunteer who gives conditional allegiance is of no use to Oglaigh na hEireann; he may prove to be a positive danger in times of difficulty or crisis."
8. "You are hereby ordered to have the above statement of the Army Council transmitted to all ranks in your unit without delay. You will order the holding of Council meetings and parades at which it will be read at once. Have sufficient copies made and circulated."
We have now, in May, 1927, reached the stage where the Irregulars had finally broken with all political affiliations following on the rejection of their overtures for co-operation between themselves, Sinn Fein and Fianna Fáil. It may be assumed that all those vicissitudes led to many defections from the organisation as it existed in the civil war, and as it existed after the Convention held in the end of 1925, when the new Army Council was constituted, and we may assume that the men still left in some kind of organisation with revolutionary aims, and based on force of arms, were the more desperate, irresponsible and dangerous elements. This is the organisation, however, which repudiated the assassination of Mr. O'Higgins. Whilst it is assumed that this organisation as a whole did not plot and carry out the assassination of Mr. O'Higgins there is very little doubt that some section of it did, and that is a matter which remains to be investigated. It is clear, however, that this revolutionary organisation is a menace to the peace and security of the people, and to the lives and liberties of the people, and steps must be taken to break it up and to make its continued existence impossible or at least difficult. So long as you have such organisations you will have young men joining them and learning to acquire the adventurous revolutionary outlook. Many of these young men will not have known the horrors of civil war, will be inspired with some false romanticism, some species of heroism, and will be filled with a desire to emulate the deeds of others who went before them.
The members of this organisation who have taken upon themselves the rôle of assassin will, if steps are not taken to cope with them, plot to carry out more hideous and violent crimes. There is no shadow of doubt whatever that the assassination of Mr. O'Higgins was not the work of some individual or individuals inspired with some personal hatred or some desire for revenge—Mr. O'Higgins was assassinated because he was Vice-President of the Executive Council and Minister for Justice. The men who committed this hideous and brutal crime will commit other crimes if steps are not taken either to capture them or to deprive them of that moral assistance, which persons, who are not prepared to go as far as they do, will give them. There is no doubt that many activities carried on and many statements made by various people who dislike the present Government or the present Constitution encourage more desperate men to embark on evil deeds. The dissemination of seditious literature, the formation of societies to preach sedition and violence and hatred of the State and its institutions, all inevitably provide the soil from whence the more thoroughgoing revolutionary and assassin springs.
The Public Safety Bill contains the minimum powers which the Executive feels are necessary to cope with the present position, and I think that Deputies would be lacking in a sense of responsibility, lacking in a proper regard for the stability of the State and its institutions, callous of the personal safety of the Ministers of State and of public representatives if they declined to give to the Executive the powers now asked for.
I now come to the Bill itself. When dealing with a civil war position experience has shown us that the Constitution imposes no undue limitations on the Executive Government. In normal peace times the Firearms Act, the Treasonable Offences Act, and the general criminal code are perhaps not inadequate; but for dealing with a position midway between these two conditions we have at present no suitable powers. To deal with the remnant of the organisation which was responsible for the Civil War, and in particular that portion thereof which has now made up its mind to resort to assassination as a political weapon, we require something more than a direct attack on those immediately concerned. We must deal with the insidious and poisonous propaganda which their camp followers delight to indulge in. There are persons in the country who perhaps would not adopt assassination as a political weapon to attain their ends, but when that end happens to be the same as that of the assassins it will happen that the assassins will not be altogether denied moral support, if not directly at least by innuendo.
To preserve, in particular, the youth of the country, the hysterical, the morbid, the neurotic and the impressionable elements of the country from inoculation with poisonous doctrines and ideas, it is, in our judgment, absolutely essential that the Executive should have power to suppress all associations of persons who set out to achieve a particular object, whether lawful or not in itself, by violent or criminal means. If such associations are allowed to flourish they will inevitably breed assassins and criminals. The Bill, therefore, proposes that the Executive should have power to declare associations which advocate or suggest violence to be unlawful, and membership of such associations will then become criminal, to be punished as such.
The possession of documents relating to unlawful associations will be a criminal offence, and will also imply membership of such associations, punishable accordingly, unless the contrary is proved.
To deal with young persons under 16 who are at present being educated in violence, a special place of detention will be established, wherein such young persons may be kept for a period, not longer than one year, and the parents and guardians of such young offenders will be held responsible.
It will be an offence to publish any matter concerning associations which have been duly declared to be unlawful, and the printers of such documents will be liable to have their printing machinery forfeited. Newspapers or other periodicals may be suppressed on an order of the High Court on proof that the paper has published seditious matter, or matter emanating from an unlawful association, and power is taken to prohibit the importation of newspapers of a dangerous character.
Power is also taken for the expulsion of dangerous persons. It is contemplated that the Executive would be in a position to form an opinion as to the persons responsible for plotting against the State, but in certain circumstances it may be difficult to produce evidence that would satisfy a court. It may be quite clear that certain persons are a menace to the public security, but yet it might be difficult to have them dealt with by a court. In these circumstances it is a reasonable precaution to make it more difficult for such persons to carry on their conspiracies.
Power is also taken to enable persons to be detained pending the investigations of serious crime. When a serious outrage takes place it frequently takes a considerable time for the police to complete their investigations. It is an entirely unreasonable thing to expect them to make their case the day after the outrage. It is equally ridiculous that dangerous persons who might reasonably be suspected of having some connection with the outrage should be allowed to move about at large, free to conspire to carry on further crimes. I understand that in other countries it is a part of the normal law that persons should be detained without remand pending the investigation of serious crime.
To deal with insults to State authority by criminals who refuse to recognise the authority of the court, such refusal is made a crime in itself, duly punishable. It is perfectly absurd that persons who enjoy the protection and security of the Constitution and the State should openly flout its authority when charged with serious crime. It may satisfy certain neurotic people, but I think it would be healthy to give these neurotics less opportunity for satisfying their desire for the sensational.
Power is also taken in the case of persons found guilty of offences under the Treasonable Offences Act or the Bill to make them ineligible for employment under or for pensions from certain public authorities.
By way of provision for the future, in case further outrages take place, and also by way of warning to persons now contemplating such outrages, power is taken to set up a special court which, at the option of the Executive Council, will be a military court. I propose to take out the provision in the Bill for an alternative court of three judges. These powers will be invoked if secret organisations continue their plan of violence, or if any attempts are made to interfere with the ordinary courts. In the event of such special courts having to be set up the death penalty will be imposed for treason or murder, and may be imposed for the unlawful possession of firearms.
Let me repeat that the assassination of the Vice-President was the work of a section of the remnant of the armed organisation which was responsible for the Civil War. The assassination was plotted and carried out as a blow against the security of the State, and those responsible will attempt to carry out further deeds of violence if special steps are not taken to show them that they have no chance of success. To apprehend and punish the actual assassins, or the conspirators behind them, would be of the utmost value and importance, but it is equally important to make it clear that the people are not going to be overawed by violence, and that revolutionary changes in the Constitution are not likely to be achieved by deeds of violence. We regard the present Bill as moderate. It is not panicky. No law-abiding citizen has any reason whatsoever to be afraid of its provisions. It is the minimum that any government entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining the State or preserving the public peace or security could ask for. It is, possibly, too moderate in parts.
I ask the Dáil to give the people a chance to live their lives in peace and security, and to consider the disastrous economic effects, including much unemployment, which are likely to ensue if powers are denied to the Executive to deal effectively with the menace to stability which is indicated by the assassination of the Vice-President. We feel that we are doing our part to protect the public, and we ask the Dáil for full co-operation in our heavy task.