MOTION BY DEPUTY REDMOND—DISABILITIES OF BRITISH EX-SERVICEMEN.

I move

That the Dáil is of opinion that the Executive Council should appoint forthwith a Commission to investigate and report on the circumstances of the British ex-Servicemen in the Irish Free State and their claims (if any) against the British Government in respect of rights arising out of their past services or against the Government of the Irish Free State in respect of alleged discrimination against them in regard to employment on public works or in regard to their general rights.

I must confess this is somewhat of a pleasant surprise. I expected this would be taken during private members' time. Before the motion would be taken, I had intended giving notice through the usual channels that I desired to raise a point of order on the amendment. I hope, sir, that you will not, therefore, object to my raising it now. I submit this amendment is out of order. According to Standing Order No. 42, every amendment must be relevant to the motion to which it is proposed, and must be directed at omitting, adding or substituting words; no amendment which is equivalent to a direct negative shall be accepted. Now, I submit that in both respects this amendment is out of order, but I shall take the last first. The motion proposes that a commission shall be set up, and the amendment proposes there shall be no commission. The words of the amendment are as follows: "To delete all words after the word ‘opinion' and substitute therefor the words: ‘that any representations regarding alleged disabilities of British ex-servicemen in the Irish Free State should be formulated and brought to the notice of the Executive Council by associations or representatives authorised to speak on behalf of these ex-servicemen for consideration with a view to such action as may be necessary or expedient.'" That, I submit with confidence, falls within the definition contained in Article 42, which says that no amendment which is equivalent to a direct negative shall be accepted. I may also point out that there is nothing in this amendment which could not be debated upon the main question, and, that it does not in any way add to or enlarge the scope of the debate, and, as far as minimising that scope is concerned, it takes it away altogether, because it proposes, in effect, that there shall be no commission.

The Deputy could propose his motion and bring forward his point of order when the motion has been proposed and seconded and when Deputy Cooper rises to propose the amendment. If the Deputy prefers I will take the point of order now.

I prefer that it be taken now, because if the ruling is in my favour I need not deal with the amendment.

I humbly submit that the amendment is in order. It has been on the Order Paper for a considerable period, and no attention has been called to the fact that it is not in order. It is not a direct negative; in fact, I intended my speech to suggest a certain direction in which a more limited commission would be valuable. I object not so much to Deputy Redmond's commission as to the terms of reference of the commission and the fact that the commission will have to make its own case.

I had notice of this point of order from Deputy Redmond some time ago. The fact that the amendment has been on the Order Paper is not, of course, sufficient of itself to make the amendment in order. It seems to me that the amendment is not a direct negative, because the purport of Deputy Redmond's motion, as I read it, is the investigation and report on the circumstances of British ex-servicemen with a view to remedying their grievances if any are found to exist. That is the essential part of Deputy Redmond's motion. The commission suggested is a machinery matter, and Deputy Cooper's amendment is an alternative method of investigating and reporting upon the circumstances and grievances of the same set of people. It seems to me, therefore, it is a relevant alternative proposition and not a direct negative to the main purpose in Deputy Redmond's motion.

I submit, with respect, that is not my intention. My intention by the word "commission" is a body which is not the Executive Council, but a body which would be constructed on lines similar to those of other commissions which have been set up, and that the investigation should be made by this representative body which is independent of the Executive Council, and this representative body should report to the Executive Council. I submit there is a very great difference.

When I get a motion and an amendment I have to take that motion and amendment as they appear to me on the paper. It seems to me the main question is the investigation and report on the circumstances of a certain class of citizens, and that the amendment is not a direct negative, because it suggests also an investigation and report, but by a different machinery. I think, therefore, the amendment is in order.

Well, of course I must bow to your ruling, but I beg profoundly to offer my individual disagreement. In proposing this motion I would like the House to understand, if they will believe me, that it is put forward from no political point of view nor with the idea of making a political score. This is purely a non-party question. British ex-servicemen, numerous as they are in this country, are to be found in the ranks of, and supporters of, every political party in the country. I hope that during the course of this debate the attitude that I bring to bear upon it will be understood and followed by others. It is nothing either in the nature of a vote of censure upon the Irish Government or the British Government. My sole object is to have as soon as possible a fully representative, independent and impartial investigation into the whole circumstances of British ex-servicemen in this country. When I say British ex-servicemen, I mean Irishmen who have served in the British forces. There is no other means very well of expressing that position. When it is remembered that there are, as has been stated many times, from 150,000 to 200,000 British ex-servicemen in Ireland, and when one realises that their dependents, taking the dependents on a very low plane as three, would make the total sum of citizens of this country involved in this motion in or about half a million, I think that the House will recognise its gravity.

I make no apology to the House for bringing forward the motion; but at the same time I make no special claims on behalf of British ex-servicemen from the Irish Government. I want them to be regarded and recognised by the Irish Government of the day as Irishmen with equal rights of citizenship in this State. I ask no more and I claim no less. It is somewhat different in regard to the British Government. These men were induced by the predecessor of the British Government and by others who agreed with them to take a certain course during the Great War. I hope that the merits or the demerits of that course will not be entered into at all here this afternoon, because that is not the question before us. They were induced to take this course by several means.

Among other things promises were held out to them, very far-reaching promises in some cases. They were told that if they survived the war they would get special, preferential treatment from the Government which was, then, of course, the British Government. When the time came for these men to be demobilised that state of affairs had come to cease. The British Government was no more in this country, and these men were left in the position of not being able to have some of those promises performed. I am not blaming the Free State Government. They did not make those promises. But what I am asking the Government to do by the setting-up of this Commission to investigate and report with regard to the promises made by the British Government and the obligations which, I say, the British Government are under to these men, is that if this Commission reports favourably in regard to the claims made against the British Government that then it should be their duty as an Irish Government to make immediate official representations to the British Government on behalf of a large body of the citizens of this State. I make the distinction, therefore between the two classes of claims—the first against the Irish Government, and the second against the British Government. The first, as I say, is a claim for equal rights of citizenship, no more and no less. The second is a claim for the fulfilment of solemn obligations and undertakings entered into by a previous British Government and binding on the present British Government.

In regard to those undertakings I do not, this afternoon, propose to go into the details or to examine closely the numerous claims or grievances that are made by ex-servicemen. That is just what I want this Commission for. But I will mention a few of the principal heads of those grievances. In 1919 a Land Trust was set up by the British Government. That Trust was allotted a large sum of money. I think that for the Free State it amounted to about three-quarters of a million pounds. That money was to be expended upon the erection of houses for British ex-servicemen. Any Deputy here can bear me out in this case because I know every Deputy must have correspondence from the men as I have, and it is notorious that there has been the most extraordinary delay in the erection of these houses. A certain number of houses have been erected, and a certain amount of money has been expended, but seven years have elapsed since the institution of the Land Trust, and, to say the least of it, they have made exceedingly slow progress. I will give you one instance in my own constituency. In the city of Waterford there is not a house erected yet by this Trust for the ex-servicemen.

Apart also from the delay, there has been a question of the rentals. Deputies will hardly believe me when I say that the rents charged for British ex-servicemen's houses in the Free State are considerably higher than those charged for ex-service men's houses across the Border in the Six Counties. That is a matter which unquestionably ought to be inquired into. Similarly, when representations were made to the Land Trust, after a long series of negotiations and controversies, some of which are not yet concluded, some of the rentals were reduced. But the reductions were made not from the time that the demand was made but from the time the Land Trust decided that they would make the reductions. There have been representations made by the British Legion and other organisations of the ex-servicemen throughout the country on this question and it is still in abeyance. There is the whole subject of the erection of houses for ex-servicemen which demands instant investigation at the hands of our Irish Government in order that our Irish Government will be strengthened when they go, as they should go, to the British Government and demand that this Trust should be properly carried out.

There is another point of not perhaps so great importance, but it is a matter of extreme hardship on Irishmen who served in the British forces and who paid their insurance stamps while serving there. When demobilised if a man came from Dundalk, say, and his people lived there, and if he chose to go back there and live there and if he required the assistance which was due to him from these payments of stamps, he would not receive a single penny. If he stayed in Newry, a few miles across the Border, he would be entitled to every penny of it. Now I say that that is not right, and that is a matter also for investigation and for some form of reciprocity between two Governments. While on that subject I may say that the same thing obtains with regard to Irishmen engaged in the Mercantile Marine. That is a question, however, for another day. There was also a proposal held out to the men who joined the British Army, and that was that if they survived they would, if they so required, have passages facilitated for them and settlements made easy for them in the British Dominions. That was known as the Empire Settlement Scheme. I want to make my position clear in that regard. I am not proposing that our Government should insist upon a subsidised form of emigration to other Dominions. No such thing. What I am proposing is that in view of the different circumstances of to-day and in view of the fact that we are now a Dominion, that we have our own Government and that we are not in the position in which ex-servicemen would be if resident in England or Northern Ireland, that these men should get something, at least, by way of a substitute for the loss of that benefit or advantage, whichever it may be. Why should they not have some form of subsidy for the advantage which was held out to them at the commencement of the war and which, through no fault of theirs now, has been taken away from them? I say that there is a very strong case now for the Irish Government to put up to the British Government, that they owe these men something by way of a substitute for that proposal.

Then there is the larger question of the administration of pensions generally. I know the Free State Government has nothing to say to the administration of British pensions. But these are Irish citizens, and if they think they are not being treated fairly by those who are under obligations to them, is it not the duty of the Free State Government formally, through the proper channels, to make representations that they should be treated fairly? I am not making a general complaint about the administration of British pensions in this country, but there are grievances and hardships and hard cases, and this Commission would give an opportunity to those who feel that they have grievances to ventilate them and have them brought to the notice of the Executive Council, so that the Executive Council might make representations on their behalf to the British Government.

These are the main heads, as I see them, under which there may be said to be grievances against the British Government. Those grievances may not exist—I am not saying that they are all valid—but what I want is to have an impartial investigation into whether or not they do exist, because so many people believe that they do, and the feeling is so widespread in regard to the matter. In order to allay those feelings, set them at rest, and, if possible, to remedy the grievances, I ask for a Commission to be set up with a view to the Executive Council taking further action.

With regard to the Irish Government there are also grievances. I have had deputations and communications— possibly other Deputies also have had them—from those who were employed by the British Government in the capacity of temporary clerks when the Free State Government took over. Those temporary clerks were there under certain conditions which were held out to them as inducements by the British Government. If there had not been a change of Government they certainly would have been in a much more advantageous position to-day. I am not claiming that our Government should carry out all the obligations under which the British Government employed these men. What I am claiming is that they should not be put in a worse position to-day than they would have been in the ordinary sense under a British Government. I have asked questions in the Dáil about a number of these men, and about the examinations that were held to enable them to be placed upon a permanent basis. It appears that there were 658 British ex-servicemen serving as temporary clerks transferred to the Irish Free State; that there were 212 left in the service, and that out of this number 158 sat for the qualifying examination in June and July, 1925. They have a grievance inasmuch as while they were not allowed to sit again for reexamination those who had served in the National Army were. There was an agreement in England known as the Guinness agreement which they are demanding to be applied to them here. I am not going into that matter in detail, but I say that there is a special class of case which needs investigation and examination by a tribunal such as I propose, with a view to fair and proper action on the part of the Government.

Again we have the question of employment on public works. I am not going to bore the Dáil once more by raising the question, that I have raised so often, in regard to the method of employment under the grants made for road expenditure. I raised the matter particularly in regard to my own constituency. At first it was turned down, and subsequently, when the President re-investigated it, he admitted that there was something harsh in the matter of employment and made a concession. What British ex-servicemen have objected to has been that though they may be married, with large families, and in poor circumstances, they have been specifically put in a different category—what I might call a subsequent category—to ex-National Army men, who need not either be married or be particularly destitute. In other words, the first people to be employed on these works have been ex-National Army men, whether married or unmarried. Then come the civilians, included among whom are the British ex-servicemen. The President did make some concession to me in that respect in regard to the money voted for Waterford City. But I think there is a distinct grievance throughout the rest of the country on the same score. That is another matter which should be investigated by a Commission.

I do not make any charge against the Labour Exchanges, but there is not a day passes when I ask a man, who comes to me and says he is a British ex-serviceman, why he does not go to the Labour Exchange, that the inevitable reply is not: "What is the use of my going there? I am a British ex-serviceman and I will be told to stand down." I say that in fairness to the Labour Exchanges themselves, and to the carrying out of such administration, such a matter should be open to investigation by a commission such as I have proposed. My reason for proposing the commission is that a commission should be an impartial body of disinterested citizens who will not go into this question with any biased view, but who will make a fair report to the Executive Council, which the Executive Council may act upon as they think right. I think that that is far the best way from the point of view both of the people concerned and of the Executive Council.

The amendment seems to me to be a most extraordinary one. It proposes that any representations—I take the word "any" there to mean "all"— regarding alleged disabilities should be formulated and brought to the notice of the Executive Council by associations or representatives authorised to speak on behalf of the ex-servicemen. I only wish we had associations or representatives authorised to speak on behalf of the great body of ex-servicemen. The unfortunate thing about it is that the great bulk of British ex-servicemen are not connected with the principal organisations. I am not saying that in any way which would be derogatory to these organisations, because I myself hold a very high office in, perhaps, the leading organisation— the British Legion. At the same time, that does not get away from the fact that they do not represent anything like a sufficiently large proportion of the ex-servicemen to say that they are authorised to speak for them. Even if they were authorised to speak for them, even if every ex-serviceman in the Free State was in the British Legion, or any other ex-soldiers' organisation, I say that this amendment is nothing short of an insult to the Dáil and to the whole Parliamentary structure. It is suggested that nothing should be done for anybody except through their own organisations. As far as I can read the amendment, it seems to me to go so far as to suggest that I had no right to move this motion, and that the only method of getting ex-servicemen's grievances remedied was a back-door method, by way of representations to the Executive Council or individual Ministers through various organisations

I desire to say I am speaking on behalf of no organisation. I am speaking on my own sole responsibility. I brought this matter forward as an ex-serviceman myself and as one who, I hope, has taken a little interest in ex-servicemen since the demobilisation. I cannot conceive the lengths that such a suggestion as is contained in the amendment would bring us to if it were adopted. One may as well say that no labour question was to be raised except through trade unions. One might as well say that there should be no committee to inquire into unemployment, that the trade unions should go to a back door or a front door to the Executive Council and make representations in regard to unemployment. Therefore I sincerely trust that if the House has sympathy with the object I have in view, and which, I think, it must have, it will not entertain the suggestion contained in the amendment.

My suggestion is a plain, straightforward one, and one that has been carried out and acted upon by Governments in the past in regard to other large bodies of citizens. Even when I myself proposed a Town Tenants Bill, on the second occasion of my doing so the whole question was referred to a commission. It was not suggested then by anybody that the Town Tenants' League or the All-for-Ireland Town Tenants' Organisation, whoever they may be, were to be the only means through which representations were to be made to the Government for the remedying of the town tenants' grievances. No; the Government set up a commission, and I am merely asking that a similar body should be set up to investigate a problem which concerns a very large body of citizens in this country, many of whom are in a state of fearful want and destitution. That also might be the means of bringing about a better feeling between different classes in the community, and it would show that this Government had some desire to do justice to these men as Irishmen and as Irish citizens.

I ask no more from this Government than equal rights for these men as citizens of the State. But I do ask that this commission be set up to investigate both these problems, and that if it reports favourably, which it may not do, in regard to their grievances against the British Government, that it should be the bounden duty of whatever Government is in power here, on receipt of that report, to make official representations and demands to whatever British Government is across the water. I, therefore, hope that I have not overstated the case on behalf of the British ex-servicemen nor understated it. They are entitled, as Irish citizens, to no more and no less than any other citizens, and as long as I can do anything I certainly will not be diverted from doing what I consider my duty by having it said that no representation should be made except through certain organisations.

I, therefore, sincerely trust that if this goes to a vote the Government will not make it a party question. I do not see how they can make it a party question; I think it would be folly of them to do so, in the first place, and I think it would be distinctly unfair in the second place. Let them not put on the Party Whips in regard to this proposal. I claim for it that it is above party, and that it is a genuine proposal in the interest of a large section of the Irish population of this State.

I beg to second the motion.

I should like to ask Deputy Redmond and Deputy Cooper whether, if the amendment or the motion is accepted, the words "or their dependents" should be inserted after the words "ex-servicemen"?

Yes, certainly.

I would like that that should be made quite clear. I shall give the House one reason why, in my opinion, these words should be inserted. The mothers of soldiers who were killed in France and who got a pension of £1 a week, when they reach the age of 70 get an ordinary notice stating that 10/- is deducted from their army pension because they get that sum in old age pensions. That is the case in England or Northern Ireland; it is merely a matter of exchange and a question of which of the Departments the money is to come from. But in Ireland the mother who loses 10/- on reaching the age of 70, owing to the method of estimating assets in relation to old age pensions here, is left without the 10/- or the 9/- old age pension, and the British Government pockets the 10/- which up to then made up the £1. There is an obligation on the British Government to continue to pay the mother or the dependents of the soldier full pension until somebody else steps in and makes up the difference, but what they are asking now is that when the mother of a deceased man reaches the age of 70, to get free of paying half the pension themselves. They are trying to force the liability on to the Free State by ordering people to get the old age pension of ten shillings. This with the army pension of 10/- they give them makes up the £1 that these people were awarded originally as an army pension on proving dependency. It might be the case of a son who was killed. I believe that if our Government made a suggestion to the pension authorities in England and asked them to fulfil their obligations to the mothers of those boys that the mothers would continue to draw the £1 a week. I know of one case where the mother of one of those boys had her army pension reduced by 10/- on reaching the age of 70, but she did not get the old age pension from the Free State authorities. I do not think it is fair that the mothers of those boys should have their pensions cut by half on reaching the age of 70, and for that reason I ask the movers of the motion and of the amendment to amend their proposals as I suggested.

I move the amendment standing in my name: To delete all words after the word "opinion" and substitute therefor the words—

"that any representations regarding alleged disabilities of British ex-Servicemen in the Irish Free State should be formulated and brought to the notice of the Executive Council by associations or representatives authorised to speak on behalf of these ex-Servicemen for consideration with a view to such action as may be necessary or expedient."

I take it that on the amendment we can also discuss the matters raised in the motion?

I think so. We can take the two things together.

First of all, I desire to say that I am quite prepared to accept the amendment to my amendment suggested by Deputy Alfred Byrne. I agree with a good deal that Deputy Redmond said. I welcome a good deal that he said, particularly his statement that this is not a political question. It should not be. I think there is only one Party in the Dáil that has not amongst its members some person who served in the British Army during the period of the Great War. That Party, I think, is the Labour Party. I regret that, because I think Deputy Anthony or Deputy O'Connell would have made a fine figure on parade, and I should like to have heard Deputy Morrissey's voice reverberate on the barrack square. But I am sure the Labour Party are not less sympathetic towards those labouring men who served in the British Army than any other section of the Dáil. I hope, with Deputy Redmond, that to-night we shall have no discussion of motives as to why men enlisted. Their motives were many.

I agree, to a certain extent, with Deputy de Valera that a great many of them enlisted from very much the same motives that actuated American citizens of the United States who went to Canada and joined the Canadian forces. There was no enthusiasm for the British Empire, but there was, as one who enlisted and never returned said, "not for King or flag or Empire, but for a dream born in a herdsman's shed and for the simple scripture of the poor." That was the highest motive, and I hope that we will have no recriminations over the graves of those who fell or the fate of those who survived. I was peculiarly glad to hear Deputy Redmond say that this is not a political question. It confirms a belief that I had, that he had no knowledge of a leaflet that was issued in the County Dublin during the June election. I shall quote a few words from it: "If you served in the Great War, or if you lost anyone dear to you in the Great War, then vote for ——," and there followed the names of the three National League candidates. I think reopening wounds and reopening sorrows for political purposes is a thing that Deputy Redmond would never have allowed. I come to the question of grievances—not the grievances, if any, as to alleged discrimination, but grievances that I do admit frankly exist among British ex-servicemen. These fall under two heads, as Deputy Redmond said. There are grievances against the British Government and there are grievances against the Government of the Saorstát. I have not Deputy Redmond's advantage in being learned in the law, but I have always felt that if you put two prisoners in the dock at the same time, charged with different offences, you are not likely to get speedy or satisfactory justice. That is what Deputy Redmond's motion proposes to do. It is a double-barrelled motion, intended to bring down the British Government with one barrel and the Saorstát Government with the other. The only doubt he has is whether he will succeed in hitting the British Government, but he is quite sure that he can bring off the second barrel against the Saorstát Government.

The grievances against the British Government are fourfold. First, there is the grievance with regard to pensions. With regard to the point raised by Deputy Alfred Byrne, that matter has already been taken up by the British Legion, through its headquarters in London, with the British Ministry of Pensions. They are the people who can most readily and quickly remedy that. We are doing all in our power to have their grievance remedied. I do not intend to dwell long on the question of pensions. I have not very great knowledge on this matter, but the essential thing is this: that the laws relating to pensions and the code governing the administration of war pensions are identical in Great Britain and the Saorstát.

Not altogether. There is no medical referee here.

That is not a very great point. Broadly speaking, the practice is the same in both countries, and I suggest it would not be practical politics to get the British Parliament to pass a Bill improving the condition of our pensioners and at the same time doing nothing for their own. On this question there is a common interest between the ex-servicemen in Great Britain and the ex-servicemen here. They both have grievances, and we have been striving, by working together with the ex-servicemen in Great Britain, to try and get the grievances complained of remedied.

I come to the question of housing. A great deal of what Deputy Redmond said on this is justified. I have taken a fairly active part in relation to this matter. I can say this, that the only satisfactory action that has been taken has been by this Government, and the only sure shield against injustice has been the influence of the Government of the Saorstát. I was with the President time and again on this matter when I was an Independent member of the Dáil. He was always accessible and was always anxious to help us. Will a committee or a commission, if set up, do any more? Will a commission set up by the British Government to examine the housing problem here be an improvement on the present position. I do not believe it would. I do not believe that any commission, merely reporting to the Saorstát Government on the question, could teach the President anything about housing.

Deputy Redmond raised a point about insurance benefit. What use will a commission or a committee be there? The real difficulty is that the rate of benefit in Great Britain and Northern Ireland is different to the rate of benefit here. The facts of the case are perfectly well known. The British Government will not fall in with our desires, and so far all our pressure and all our influence with them has failed. I do not think that a commission could make them do it. Then the next point of the Deputy was in regard to emigration. I think Deputy Redmond was a little inaccurate in the statement he made in regard to that. He said that promises were made at the commencement of the war that ex-servicemen would be facilitated in the matter of emigrating to the British Dominions. I do not think there was anything of the sort said at the beginning of the war. I think that was a post-war promise. At the beginning of the war the statement made was that "this was going to be made a land fit for heroes to live in." It was only when it became clear that it was beyond the power of the then British Government to achieve the fulfilment of that promise that emigration to the colonies was suggested as a substitute. At that time the Saorstát was in being. While it would be a great help to us if some men not likely to get employment were to find employment overseas, I think it is very doubtful whether many of them are not too old to go away. Many of them, particularly those without previous training, could not hope to make a success of their lives in a new land. Deputy Redmond did not stress that point. I need not labour that further.

I come now to the Deputy's grievances against the Saorstát. There is the grievance that Deputy Redmond alluded to at some length as regards temporary civil servants. The ex-servicemen have a grievance in that respect. That grievance, as far as I can gather, was this—that an examination was set up at which they were entitled to compete. That examination was set up for a limited number of vacancies—I think, 300. All who qualified at that examination—to the number, I think, of 450 —were made permanent civil servants. There were some who did not qualify, and that was a hardship on them, because the bulk of them were men over 40 years of age, who find it not easy to compete in examinations with young men. They have not the faculty of acquiring knowledge so quickly. At similar examinations in Great Britain, men of this class were given a certain number of merit marks. A man who was a civil servant for two or three years, of whom there was knowledge in his Department that he was an efficient official, was entitled to a certain number of merit marks. I think these men have a certain grievance that merit marks were not given them here. I think the position of these temporary civil servants might be a very suitable matter for inquiry by a commission or a committee. But I think that the commission or committee should be limited to the question of these temporary civil servants alone. Such a commission could report in a comparatively short time. The problem is comparatively small and could easily be resolved in three months. It requires more consideration than has been given it by the Government of the Saorstát up to the present. There has been long delays in dealing with it through representatives on Civil Service bodies and so on, but I should prefer to see the committee or commission inquiring not alone into the question of British ex-servicemen, but also into the cases of all temporary clerks, including ex-National Army men. I have always held that the British ex-serviceman is a citizen of the State and must regard himself primarily as a citizen of the State. It is not of any service to him to single him out specially.

Deputy Redmond's next point had reference to the preference given on road work to ex-National Army men. It is, I believe, a fact that 50 per cent. of the members of the National Army were men who served in the British Army. In that sense, that preference is a 50 per cent. preference to ex-British servicemen, and I would sooner have a 50 per cent. preference than no preference at all. Deputy Redmond suggested that the size of a man's family should be the criterion. If that were to be so, the ex-British soldier who was not in this country for three or four years, but who was serving in Palestine and Mesopotamia, would be in a worse position as compared with the ordinary labourer who did not serve than he is now. I think Deputy Redmond's intended remedy there is worse than the disease, so far as the ex-serviceman is concerned.

Deputy Redmond instanced the Labour Exchange. He said he made no charge against the Labour Exchange, but that all the men were under the impression that there was discrimination against them. I know of many cases of British ex-servicemen, who are also ex-National Army men, who have been unable to get employment through the Labour Exchange. But I do not think the state of affairs is peculiar to them. I think you will find in every section of society complaints that there was nothing doing at the Labour Exchange. In any case, Deputy Redmond proposes to set up a commission to see whether this charge, which he does not make himself, is justified. I have, I think, now summed up Deputy Redmond's arguments. I have dealt, more or less briefly, with every head of his argument, and I confess that I do not understand on what he based that passage in his letter to the "Daily Mail." He said in his letter: "The resolution is founded upon the ex-servicemen's claim to equal rights of citizenship and to equal treatment by the Legislature of all who are citizens of the Saorstát." I heard no instance given of unequal treatment by the Legislature. Deputy Redmond and I would have failed grossly in our duty if there had been any unequal treatment during the past four years by the Legislature. Deputy Redmond referred in his letter to "equal rights of citizenship." The only thing Deputy Redmond brings up in support of that is this question of temporary civil servants. He may say they have not the same rights as ex-National Army men. Though I have admitted their grievance, that is surely rather a small matter to hang a charge upon. I think Deputy Redmond must have been reading Burke, and that he realises that anybody can bring an indictment against a nation. He has brought this indictment, in what I believe is the most widely-circulated paper in the world, on the strength of 600 temporary Civil Service clerks, and he has brought the charge of unequal treatment by the Legislature on no basis at all, so far as I can discover.

I do not like to interrupt Deputy Cooper, but perhaps he was not present at the commencement of my speech, when I specifically said that I did not intend this motion as a vote of censure on the Government—that what I wanted was an investigation into statements and claims made in a widespread manner.

I understand. Deputy Redmond does not move his vote of censure on the floor of the House but only in the columns of the "Daily Mail."

I did not do it there either.

Let me quote the Deputy's letter again. "The Resolution is founded on the ex-servicemen's claims for equal rights of citizenship and to equal treatment by the Legislature." That implies that there have been unequal treatment and unequal rights. It is censure, though it is not a vote of censure, because one cannot move a vote of censure in the Press— fortunately. As regards discrimination, there is only one thing to be said. This spring the Chairman of the British Legion of ex-Servicemen came over to Ireland to investigate this question of discrimination. He travelled all over the South of the Saorstát. He saw men of all sorts—not men connected with the Legion only. When he came to the end of his journey, he reported that in one district he thought the Home Assistance Officers were exercising some discrimination against ex-servicemen. That was a matter for the local authority and not a matter for the Government. That is all the discrimination that I have been able to discover as existing. So far as I know, ex-servicemen have equal rights of citizenship. There are grievances. I have acknowledged them. The question before the Dáil is: How are those grievances to be remedied? That is really a question of machinery.

To begin with, Deputy Redmond wants a commission. I wonder why he chose the word "commission," because there are precedents in the shape of commissions dealing with matters that concern the British Government and the Government of the Saorstát. Does he intend the British Government to be represented on this Commission? Is he so enamoured of the precedent of the Boundary Commission? Is that the sort of commission he wants? He said he wanted a commission that would be a disinterested body. If it is only a Saorstát commission, the British Government will not admit that it is a disinterested body. They will say that it is established to protect Saorstát interests. If, on the other hand, it is a joint commission, will it have the same result as the Boundary Commission? Is the Deputy prepared to accept that? Surely, the Government is the constitutional medium for making representations affecting citizens of this State to the Government of any other State. The right course, I suggest, was taken by Deputy T. Murphy last week when he put down a question with regard to housing for ex-servicemen, and asked the Government to make representations to the British Government on the matter. That is the course contemplated in my amendment. But the real crux of the question is this: Will the Commission be a speedy and effective method of remedying the grievances of the ex-servicemen? I say it will not. Deputy Redmond talked about the great bulk of British ex-servicemen being unconnected with any organisation. Deputy Redmond knows that the British Legion does not ask whether a man with a grievance is a member of the Legion or not. It has always taken up the grievance of an unorganised ex-serviceman as well as the grievance of those who are its members. I think three-fourths of our pensions work is done on behalf of men who are not members of the Legion. We have never been exclusive, and we have never said that we will not intervene except a man is an active member of the Legion. How, otherwise than by the methods proposed in the amendment, are unorganised men to put their cases before this commission? There may be 20,000 of them. Is every one of them to come up and give evidence before the Commission? Is the commission to enter into the case of every man who wants a house built and cannot get it, of every man who thinks the rent of his house is too high, of every man who has a pension grievance, of every man who is unemployed, because that is what is contemplated by Deputy Redmond's commission? Only that commission, he said, can get at the unorganised. It can get at them by inviting them to come and give evidence before it, and the result will be, if his plan is carried, that the sittings of that Commission will be Kathleen Mavourneen sittings—"it may be for years and it may be for ever." It would take years to report. I do believe that it would lead to no effective action. It would raise fruitless hopes, and it is wicked and cruel to raise false hopes. The Government, as I have said, have always been accessible; they have always been ready to listen, and I hope they will always be ready to listen. I hope and believe when there is a change of Government that the new Government will recognise that the ex-servicemen are citizens of the State, and deserve to be considered. The Government have always been accessible and ready to listen to these grievances and to do their best to remedy them.

Would Deputy Cooper say whether the Government made representations to the British Government in regard to the Land Trust?

On several occasions. I thought Deputy Redmond knew it.

No, I asked them to do it.

Deputy Redmond spoke of his commission as being the only method of getting grievances remedied. It is not the only method, it is not the most useful method, it is not the most effective method. The only effective method, in my opinion, for getting grievances of the ex-servicemen remedied is by the adoption of the amendment which I now move.

As one who is fairly conversant with the schemes existing in the Free State for the benefit of ex-servicemen, I would like to explain the machinery that is in existence at the moment. The information which I am going to give the Dáil is official and is computed for the month of September, 1927. At the present time there are five war pensions advisory committees operating in the Irish Free State, with a total membership of sixty-two. In addition, there are 524 voluntary workers appointed by these committees, whose function it is to assist disabled men, and widows and dependants of men who lost their lives in the Great War. As members of committees also act as voluntary workers, the total number of voluntary workers is 586. There is an area office at Dublin and another at Cork, together with two whole-time sub-offices and thirty-six part-time suboffices in various parts of the Free State. The total staff employed as at 30th September was 164.

The following figures give some indication of the amount of work performed at these offices during the month of September last. There were 3,602 direct interviews; 456 applications were dealt with and 1,711 disabled men were examined. The average four-weekly expenditure on pensions alone (not including other expenditure of the Ministry on administration or special allowances to disabled men undergoing treatment) was to disabled men £86,500; to widows, £25,300; to dependants, £13,300.

The British Ministry of Pensions have appointed these area advisory committees, and they have nominated two or three persons from each county in the Free State. Those persons attend at the head area advisory office whenever meetings are called. They appoint sub-committees. That brings up the rather limited number, I admit, which I have given here. I want to pay a tribute to these persons who have brought such extraordinary benefits and such a large influx of money into this country, and joy and happiness into many and many a home. Only for the fact that they travel long journeys to attend these meetings and to ventilate grievances which the ex-servicemen and their dependants suffer from, the ex-servicemen certainly would be much worse off than they are at the present time. The work of the area advisory committees is to see that claimants receive the maximum pension, gratuity, treatment allowance, sickness benefit, educational grants, grants from voluntary funds, and other innumerable benefits that I could mention. We bring these claims under the notice of the British Minister of Pensions direct, and we, being the body nominated by the Ministry of Pensions, I believe, have more influence with them than any other body that could be appointed. Pensioners or dependants can appear before those committees, and if they have any complaints to ventilate we certainly give them the fullest possible hearing. The British Ministry of Pensions are very sympathetic, and if there is any possibility of falling in with the claims we put before them they do so. But, as Deputy Cooper mentioned, there is a code of rules which would apply both in England and in Ireland, and, of course, there are cases which they are not able to deal with. I want to give to this House an illustration of the extraordinarily good work that these committees are able to do. I want, if possible, to remove whatever prejudice may have existed in the past, because if there was prejudice against ex-servicemen there should not be prejudice against widows and orphans, and mothers who lost their sons in the Great War. As an illustration of what we were able to do—the committee of which I have the honour to be chairman —we have sixty children at the present time being educated at Summerhill, Athlone Convent, Sligo Convent, Salt-hill Industrial School and many other such places. The Ministry of Pensions pays for their maintenance, education and clothing. If it was not for these committees and those voluntary children would be in the County workers a large number of those Homes, or, worse still, they would be with tramps on the side of the road. They would be nobody's children. I say it is up to every Deputy to go into every institution in the Free State and find, if possible, children who are eligible for the same education, and have their cases brought before the proper authorities. That is the kind of work that these committees and these voluntary workers are engaged in. It is a great pity that we have not more voluntary workers. We have found it very difficult to obtain voluntary workers, and although Deputy Redmond takes considerable interest in the ex-servicemen, and although it was mentioned at the last election that nobody should vote for persons except the National League candidates who support ex-servicemen, I say we have got no help whatever down the country from persons who may be supporters of Deputy Redmond.

I have given the sum of money that came into the Free State in September. I believe that amount could be very much increased if more persons took an interest in these people, because there are a great number of people not able to ventilate their own claims. They should have someone to help them, and I believe during the past two years they had very few to help them. Persons in receipt of a dependent's pension can appeal for an increase if they can show that their circumstances have become worse since the pension was awarded. In other words, if a wife has lost her husband, or perhaps a boy who has been working and bringing in something to the house gets married or otherwise leaves her, that woman is entitled to appeal and get her case reconsidered. In many such cases we have been successful in getting the pension increased.

I hope I am not travelling outside the scope of the amendment, but what I have to say now is of such vital importance that you, sir, will give me more scope than usual. It is in connection with the certificate of death given in the case of an ex-serviceman. That certificate is of the most vital importance to the widow, children or other dependents of that man. While I know there are a number of medical men in this House I wish just to mention a few cases that have come to my notice with regard to the cause of death. If a man is discharged from the Army suffering from chronic rheumatism and dies of heart disease, if the primary cause of death is not shown, his widow and children are not entitled to receive a pension. If a man is discharged suffering from bronchitis and dies of phthisis, if also the primary cause of death is not shown, he is not eligible for a pension. The same thing applies to malaria. A man may be discharged from the Army whose disability was malaria and die of pneumonia. I mention those cases because I have seen the greatest possible hardship inflicted owing to a careless doctor's certificate. While I know it may not be exactly right to raise it here, I think I shall not get a better opportunity again.

With regard to Deputy Redmond's motion and Deputy Cooper's amendment I find myself in great difficulty, because I think it is a thing there should not be a division on. I am sure we are all agreed that something ought to be and could be done for the purpose of assisting ex-servicemen. My reason for explaining the present machinery is to show that they are not, by any means, neglected. In the year 1924 there was a Free State advisory council formed of which General Sir William Hickie was the Chairman and Sir Henry McGloughlin, Vice-Chairman. I shall not read the long list of other people on that committee. That committee was in direct touch with the British Minister of Pensions and brought all the cases it was possible to bring under his notice. Owing to the existence of the area advisory committees that particular committee lapsed and is not functioning so that, as far as I can see, even if there were a committee appointed as suggested by Deputy Redmond, I should be surprised if it would have more influence with the British Government than the large number of persons, well-known supporters of ex-servicemen, who were appointed on the Free State Advisory Council and who met in Dublin very regularly and undoubtedly did a very great deal for ex-servicemen.

I am in complete disagreement with the second part of the resolution because, as far as my experience is concerned, I have never found any discrimination in the counties I represent against ex-servicemen. No doubt a large number of them are unemployed but they are no worse off than all the other unemployed. Colonel Crosbie, Chairman of the British Legion, who came over to Ireland very recently went from one end of the country to the other and reported that ex-servicemen in the Free State were in a very bad way, that a large number of them were unemployed but said he could not find one single concrete case of a man being victimised because he was an ex-soldier. With that statement coming from the Chairman of the British Legion, sent over here to investigate, I do not think there is any necessity for me to say anything further on the matter.

With regard to housing, ex-servicemen have a very decided grievance because there was originally a sum of £1,500,000 allocated for the erection of houses in the Free State and Northern Ireland. Subsequently this sum was reduced by £200,000, and how much of that £1,300,000 is unspent at present I am not in a position to say. There are 1,859 soldiers' houses erected in the Free State at present and 162 in the process of building, and these will be handed over before Christmas. Deputy Redmond said there were no houses built in Waterford. I do not know why, if he took as much interest in ex-servicemen as he says he does, because I got 65 houses built within three miles of where I live, at a cost of £50,000, in the Mullingar area. I mention now that the rents of these houses are too high. These houses cost more than the houses in Northern Ireland and England—I believe £100 more. The houses here cost £800 and the houses in Northern Ireland and England £700. That is a matter. I think, that ought to be considered by the British Government, because undoubtedly between rents and rates the houses are too dear here. As I said before, I am in complete agreement with the Deputy that this country has been badly treated by the British Government in connection with houses, because 200,000 men returned here from the war, and the number of houses I have given is very small. I received a letter the other day which I intend to read, and which is only an illustration of innumerable other cases in this country. It is dated the 8/11/'27 and is addressed to me. It reads:—

"Dear Sir,—I am much obliged for cheque £2 which you obtained for me from the Irish Guards Fund. It is very welcome as I am unemployed, and am living with my wife and five children in a house with practically no roof. I receive 12/- per week for a gun-shot wound received at the battle of Ypres, and as I cannot get work this is my only means of living. The house has practically no roof, and on a wet night I have to remove the children from where their bed is in order to keep the clothes dry. So I hope you will see and bring my case before the authorities."

That is a terrible charge from an Irish Guardsman who undoubtedly served for many years in the war. That man and many others like him ought to be provided with houses. The number of houses that were to be erected in the Free State was 3,600, and the number already built is 1,859. I hope that this is a matter that will receive the sympathetic consideration of the British Government. I say that the matter of the ex-soldiers has not been as yet fairly dealt with. With regard to the delay that has occurred in the building of these houses, I must say that I do not understand it, because there is a large sum of money available, and I cannot give a better illustration than the one I am going to give. In the town of Athlone eight ex-servicemen's houses were sanctioned to be built six months ago. An inspector was sent down there to inspect many sites in Athlone. He returned to Dublin, and nothing has been heard in Athlone of these sites since his return. I hope that the Government will bring under the notice of the British Government the great necessity for additional houses for ex-servicemen. I believe that these men are entitled to receive more gratitude than they have been receiving in that particular way. I am sorry that Deputy Redmond was out when I mentioned one matter, and it is this—I find myself here in a very considerable difficulty. I hope there will be no division on this matter, in which we should be in agreement, because there is an absolute machinery in this country to ventilate any grievances the ex-servicemen have got. We have a large number of responsible men all over the country connected with the Legion. They meet regularly to ventilate the claims, grievances, and troubles of the ex-servicemen, and if they would report to the Executive Council here, if they have any particular grievances, or if they are not quite satisfied with the treatment they have received from the British Government, the Executive Council might be able to do better in that way for them than anything that the Commission might do. I would be very sorry to see a division taken as between the proposition of Deputy Redmond and the amendment of Deputy Cooper on a subject in which all of us are most anxious to help.

As one who comes from a district where there are thousands of ex-servicemen, I must say I was delighted this evening to listen to the little scrap between Deputy Redmond and Deputy Bryan Cooper. I think it is one of the best things that could have occurred to ventilate the grievances of the ex-servicemen. I recognise that both these gentlemen were aiming at one object, and that was the betterment of the circumstances of the men with whom they associated in the Great War. There is one thing I would like to point out, and that is: the ex-servicemen in any district where they are in large numbers are a great source of revenue, because they get their pensions every Friday morning, and I assure you they do not go to the banks with them. Every town in which these men live is the better of them. For that reason I think it is the bounden duty of everyone here to help them. I know it would be a most pleasing duty for President Cosgrave to do what he could for them. I can say that, from my experience of the President. It would be a great help to them if their grievances were brought before the British Government by our Executive Council acting in co-operation with the Legion of Ex-Servicemen. The latter, I think, should serve just as well as a commission. I do not object to a commission if it is an improvement on the Legion of Ex-Servicemen, but I do not think it would be an improvement. Would it be an insult? Would not such a commission take away from the ex-servicemen and from the Legion a right which they possess, and that is the right of appealing to the British Government? The men themselves should be the better able to know what is the best in a matter of this kind, especially when they are led by such able advocates as Deputies Cooper and Redmond.

As regards the housing problem, I think the ex-servicemen are very badly treated. In Fermoy there are thousands of ex-servicemen, as can be understood when I tell you that Fermoy was a large military centre. In Cobh, where there were thousands of sailors and soldiers, there are fifteen or sixteen cottages built for the ex-servicemen. There are none at all built as yet in Fermoy. We have a promise of fifteen houses in Fermoy out of a possible 150 that is due to the men. These fifteen will be built in the very near future, but that is a very insignificant number in satisfaction of the claims of Fermoy ex-servicemen and the numbers that were sent away from Fermoy to defend the rights of the people across the Channel. However, I hope we will get more of them. I believe the rents of these houses are too high. The rents should be an addition to the pensions. A lot of these pensions, just like the pensions to our own people, are too small, and these people tell you that they did quite as much as the people with the big pensions. We do not know whether they did or not. However, I think this is a matter on which there should be no division. We are all agreed that if this money comes into the country to build houses it will be adding to the wealth of the country, and we would all be delighted to help in that. Employment would be given in the building of the houses, which in the first instance are so much needed, and in twenty or thirty years' time they will be used, perhaps, by the descendants of the ex-servicemen. A great many of these men, indeed nearly all of them, are as good Irishmen as any others in the country. As regards employment, there may be some little difference, but I agree with Deputy Cooper when he says that 50 per cent. of them at least were in the National Army, and surely in that way they have a bit both ways. For that reason the whole of the grievances cannot exist. Whatever grievance does exist will, I am sure, be forcibly brought forward by Deputy Cooper and his Legion or by Deputy Redmond and his Legion—I suppose there are two Legions now. It is helpful for ex-servicemen to have two such legions with so small a difference between them. I believe that the little fight this evening between these two leaders is a friendly fight and one that will cause no division in the House, at any rate for such a worthy purpose as, in the first place, building houses for these men and thereby giving employment, and secondly, as was pointed out by Deputy Byrne, getting fair play for the dependents, the wives and mothers of the soldiers. I think it is a very good thing this evening that Deputy Redmond put forward this motion, and that Deputy Cooper put forward his amendment. The ex-servicemen will be glad to-morrow when they read the newspapers to see that this matter has been taken up.

In rising to support the motion of Deputy Redmond I may mention that I do not speak on this question of ex-soldiers as one who is entirely ignorant of the subject, because I happen to be an ex-soldier myself. As a matter of fact, the only brother I had in the world is buried three miles north of Cape Helles. I know something of the matter at all events, and I suppose Deputy Cooper would tell me I have since fallen from grace. There is no need to reiterate what has been so ably said on the matter by Deputy Redmond. He has detailed a number of the disadvantages under which ex-soldiers and their dependents labour. No doubt, there are many disadvantages. Deputy Cooper holds that all those grievances should be put through certain organisations like the British Legion and so on. But there are hundreds and thousands of cases of ex-servicemen who do not belong to any of those organisations. It would be simply impossible for those organisations to deal with the cases of men who do not come on their roll.

In addition to the disadvantages enumerated by Deputy Redmond there is one other typical thing. For example, if an ex-soldier, who has been in receipt of a pension, and say he is a man who has been badly wounded, goes into a mental institution, his pension goes to his maintenance while he is in that institution. In certain cases if an ex-soldier has a widowed mother or other dependents there is a small amount of five shillings a week, perhaps, paid to that dependent or dependents while the ex-soldier remains in the institution. But if that ex-soldier dies in the institution the pension dies with him, and in many cases widowed mothers and others who are genuine dependents have been deprived of the support given them by the ex-soldier when he was alive. I have one typical case in mind, where an ex-soldier went into an institution, died there, and all his widowed mother was granted at the time of his death was £7 to cover his funeral expenses, although he was her only support. I am sure Deputy Cooper would be surprised to hear I made representations to the Pensions Department of the British Government on her behalf, and I must say they did pay a pension to the mother; they awarded her five shillings a week in addition to her old-age pension. There are, perhaps, hundreds of cases like that, and these are all cases that do not come ordinarily within the scope of the British Legion or any other ex-soldiers' organisation. Deputy Daly has told us that fifty per cent. of the ex-soldiers served in the National Army. I am beginning to think the other fifty per cent. must have served in the I.R.A.

There is another matter that I will risk boring the House on. It is a matter I mentioned before but, as they say in our country, I am a sort of crabbed individual if I do not get satisfaction. It is the matter of the ex-Connaught Rangers who mutinied in India. To my mind they have been not alone shabbily, but disgracefully, treated by the Free State Government. Those men were serving in India and they found that certain things were happening in their own country which did not come up to their standard of fair play. Before that they had risked their lives in the fight for the freedom of small nations and it appeared to them that certain things were happening in Ireland which should not happen there; in other words, that their country was being overrun and treated in a way they did not approve of. They showed their disapproval by staging a mutiny. I hold it is a more difficult thing to mutiny in the British Army and get away with it than it is for a policeman in this country simply to leave the service in sympathy with a national cause. As proof of that I point to the fact that some of these men were executed, others were shot during the course of the mutiny. As I have said, some were executed and others were brought home and imprisoned in England. J.J. Daly was executed.

Is the Deputy not wandering a bit?

I am only showing the circumstances surrounding the cases of the ex-Connaught Rangers who are ex-British servicemen and I think in this instance there is a big grievance against the Free State. I will not quote. I have the names here of some of the men who died as a result of their prison treatment. Those men, remember, were serving in a tropical climate. They were full of malaria and other tropical diseases. They were thrown into prison in England and as a result of the prison treatment some of them are since in bad health. Almost all who have survived are unemployed and some of their dependents are in starvation. I hold that those cases should come within the scope of the investigation of this suggested committee. I am sorry that this amendment was proposed by Deputy Cooper because I think this is a thing we should have agreement on. It is absolutely essential for the welfare of these ex-soldiers because they have genuine cases, definite contracts, and in many cases those contracts have been broken. It is up to us to see that those contracts are carried out as far as it is possible to carry them out. I am sorry to see the amendment proposed. I am sorry that we are not all able to get together on this matter and endeavour to have the grievances of the ex-soldiers remedied.

Am I in order in asking now if the President or members of the Government will agree to Deputy Redmond's suggestion that this matter be left to a free vote of the House, and that the Whips be taken off?

Certainly you are in order.

AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE

It is not a matter of order. I cannot decide the matter for the Deputy. It is a question whether the President chooses to answer.

It is a matter of lobbying.

Mr. MURPHY

I am sorry the President is not here. Perhaps the Minister for Finance will say what the views of the Government are?

Does the Deputy mean the amendment or the motion?

Mr. MURPHY

I mean that the House should be given an opportunity to express its opinion freely without the Government Whips being put on. Give Deputies an opportunity of deciding whether the grievance of ex-soldiers should be dealt with; in other words, it should not be made a Party question. We all agree that there are grievances and they should be remedied. One Deputy may consider one method better and another Deputy may have the opinion that a different method would be suitable. The point is: are the Government leaving it to a free vote of the House?

We are very strongly of opinion that the method proposed in the motion is not a method that should be adopted; that it would be unsatisfactory from any aspect, and we will certainly do our best to defeat it. I am not saying that the amendment proposed by Deputy Cooper is the only possible alternative, but it does seem to members of the Government to be a satisfactory alternative, and we will vote for it as against the motion.

Is Deputy Cooper's amendment the Government alternative? Is he the Government's spokesman?

Oh, no; he is not.

But he is a member of the Government Party?

Yes, he is a member of the Government Party.

Mr. MURPHY

Unfortunately I am not sufficiently cognisant of the rules of the House, but I take it from the Minister that the Government Whips will be put on.

I agree with Deputy Redmond in hoping that the substance of this debate will find favour with all Parties in the House, because there is no Party that does not reckon amongst its supporters men who have served in the Great War. It is a matter that concerns the whole country. From what I have read and heard from people in touch with ex-servicemen, these men have very great grievances. I am not so intimately connected with them as Deputies Redmond and Cooper. Although I served 11 years in the British Army, it is 38 years since I left it, and I am not very well acquainted with the present rules and regulations. However, my interest in the men's welfare still remains, and I am desirous that everything to which they are entitled by their service, and that was promised them by the British Government, should be obtained for them. It seems to me that the British Government are very slow in carrying out part of their engagements, notably the spending of the money that was to be given for building houses here. That is a most important matter not only for the men themselves, but in connection with the employment that the building of the houses will give throughout the country. At present I believe that at least 30,000 of these men are in a very bad state, and are adding to the unemployed which we have in the country. If these men had what they seem to be entitled to they would not be adding to the number of people who are without the means of living. Therefore, I think that it is right and proper their case should be taken up and presented in the best possible way to the British Government.

The question is, by what means will their grievances best be remedied. Deputy Redmond thinks a commission is the best way. I do not agree with that. If the matter were not so very urgent, perhaps a commission could be set up on which the British Government would naturally have to have representatives. To my mind, however, that would entail a very long period of waiting, and these men cannot afford to wait. It is necessary that they should get what they are entitled to at once. Therefore, I think it would be much quicker and much more efficacious if their needs were presented to the Free State Government through the responsible leaders, through the trustees appointed to look after the expenditure of this money, so that their outstanding requirements should be stated clearly through this body, on which, I think, there are five or six important members who ought to have at their fingers-ends the needs and requirements of these men. I think that is the quickest and the most efficacious method of having their needs brought to the attention of the British Government. If the case were properly represented to the British Government, and if the matters in dispute were clearly stated there ought not to be any difficulty in this matter being settled to the advantage not only of those men, but of the country, through the spending of the money to which they are entitled.

It is very hard for an ordinary Deputy to make up his mind what to do in connection with this matter. Deputy Redmond puts down a motion asking for a commission to be set up. Deputy Cooper has an amendment asking that the grievances of these men should be put forward through the medium of the British Legion. Deputy Cooper's amendment stops at that. Although he mentioned that the Executive Council would then take up the matter with the British Government, there is nothing specifically mentioned in the amendment which requires them to do so. I think that at this stage we are entitled to a statement from the Government as to what they are prepared to do in connection with the undoubted grievances of these men. Deputy Cooper stated that the President has always been accessible to hear the grievances of ex-servicemen, but he has not told us what measure of success has been attained by the President in so far as these representations are concerned. Everybody knows that these ex-servicemen are suffering from a great many grievances. Deputy Redmond has mentioned many —I could mention a great many more. He has mentioned that so far as he knows no houses have been built for them in Waterford City. The same thing applies to Wexford, which, as Deputy Redmond knows, sent a great number to the Great War. A gentleman visited that town on numerous occasions, and every time he came there he promised that the houses would be built in the very near future. He has been offered facilities by the Urban Council so far as free sites are concerned, and although it is three years since his first visit, not a single house has yet been built.

As I said, it is very hard for ordinary Deputies to arrive at a decision as to what they are to do in this matter. We have Deputy Redmond on the one side and Deputy Cooper on the other side with different view-points as to the means by which those grievances could be remedied. I think it is due to the House that the Government should let us know if anything has yet been done to bring the matter before the British Government. These people are Irish citizens, and are entitled to have their grievances remedied. I have been informed on various occasions that the President has made representations to the British Government, especially in regard to housing, and we are entitled to know if anything has come out of these representations. Lavish promises were made to these people during the recruiting campaign, but very few of them have fructified since these unfortunate men came back. In the interests of the common citizenship of the country, everybody here should see that strong representations are made to the British Government, so as to make them realise that they cannot make promises to Irish citizens and break them as disgracefully as they have done.

I feel under certain obligations to add a few words to those already uttered in connection with this matter. I am speaking as an ex-member, not of the British forces, but of Dominion forces, and I realise that owing to the political change which took place in this country between the time when Irishmen joined the British forces to serve in the Great War and the present time those men have become to a certain extent nobody's children, and that their grievances are not receiving the attention which they would receive if no change of government had taken place. When I say that, I do not imply any blame on the present Government, but I do say that the political changes have had a detrimental effect on the interests of these ex-servicemen. Our status has been changed from being portion of the United Kingdom to being an independent member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. It is well known that the ex-servicemen of the Dominion forces were extremely well treated by the Dominion Governments, and Irish ex-servicemen have the right to claim that they will not be treated any worse because of the fact that we have become a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Like Deputy Corish, I am rather in a difficulty about the motion and the amendment. I accepted it that Deputy Redmond was putting his motion in a non-party spirit, and that the House was meeting the motion and the amendment in the same spirit. I believe it is up to us in this House to devise and recommend some measures whereby the attention of the British Government will be directly called to the grievances of the ex-servicemen, but it is difficult to decide what are the best methods to recommend for that purpose. The appointment of a commission seems to me to be a somewhat dangerous procedure. We are now dealing with the British Government from the point of view of an independent country, and we must be careful, in my opinion, not to take any action that will affect our relationship with them from that point of view. It seems possible to me that if we were to appoint a commission to go into these grievances, if that commission is regarded as an official commission set up by the Executive Council to sit in judgment on the treatment that the British Government are meting out to the ex-members of its forces, that is rather a dangerous direction in which to have the attention of people directed.

I am not prepared to say that Deputy Cooper's amendment meets the case fully. Perhaps some suggestion might come from the Ministerial Benches before we are finished. Anyhow, I am perfectly sure that there are grievances which ought to be remedied, and I am perfectly sure there is general agreement here that the men who offered their services in the Great War are as good and as patriotic and as loyal Irishmen as those who did not, and that in so far as our treatment of them is concerned they should not be placed in any worse position than any others seeking the guardianship of this country. In particular I think special attention ought to be directed to the delay in completing the obligations in regard to the building of houses.

In my own particular constituency in some towns, apparently, the British Government has met its obligations fairly fully, but there are other towns where the building of ex-servicemen's houses has not yet been commenced. In my native town of Cahir I believe they have only just started, and this only as a result of the representations of a very efficient representative in the district. In Cashel, although the local council has been making representations for some time, I believe a start has not yet been made with regard to building houses. It is quite evident there has been delay in this particular matter just as there has been neglect in regard to other grievances of the British ex-servicemen in this country. I think it would be a good thing if a general expression of opinion came from this House instead of this motion being pressed, and if anyone concerned gave thought to devising the best means of meeting the grievances that exist we might do something helpful for the British ex-servicemen, and that is what we are all endeavouring to do.

I rise to support the motion moved by Deputy Redmond. Deputy Cooper in his amendment would have the ex-servicemen voice their grievances through the British Legion, or some other ex-servicemen's organisation. There is general unanimity on the fact that the majority of ex-servicemen do not belong to the British Legion or to any other ex-servicemen's organisation. There are in Ireland to-day many ex-British servicemen in dire distress who, prior to the Treaty in 1921, took service with the I.R.A., and these men who, like myself, joined the I.R.A. on their return from France, will not seek help through the British Legion to-day. They have helped to make the Treaty afait accompli; they have done in the Black and Tan war more than a man's part, and this House should not ask these men to go back to the British Legion, or any other ex-servicemen's organisation, because they are in want. These men are Irish citizens. They may have taken the wrong step in their participation in the Great War—that is a matter of dispute—but these men joined the I.R.A. in pre-Truce days with a national outlook common to the whole country, and these men will not seek help or any favour through the British Legion. I could refer Deputy Cooper to many hundreds throughout the country. This House should not ask these men to remain in want and dire distress because they will not submit to such a display of Imperialism once again.

That is a very intelligent speech to which we have just listened, and it is in keeping with some of the other statements I have heard or have been made in connection with this matter. We are told we have approximately one hundred thousand ex-British soldiers in this country. How are we to get information regarding their needs? Is it through each man bringing in its own needs to the commission? Has the Deputy who has just spoken any experience of previous commissions? Has he any experience of 100,000 men having grievances or, to take him at his own words, being in want, and who will not consider the advisability of coming together and banding themselves into some organisation and putting their needs in a businesslike way before an investigating body?

The House is asked to discuss this question in a non-party spirit. Let us look at what is meant by the non-party spirit. There is always a claim for a non-party spirit when people want to get their own way. We are invited to consider it in a non-party way, taking as much support as we can from those who stand for what sense there is in this House. That is the non-party spirit in which we are asked to set up a commission and put on trial two governments, neither of them appearing before it in order to make their case. That is not a business method. Have any of the great international lawyers who have spoken known a commission of this kind being set up by any other country to consider cases of this sort? Has the Deputy who has just sat down and who has had continental experience ever heard of such a commission as this being set up on the Continent to inquire into the relative merits or demerits of the Magyars or the CzechoSlovakians in connection with the disposition of territory that took place on the Continent? Not at all. This commission is an excellent way, the Deputy says, and should not bind anybody to put his case through an organisation. This is a commission which is to try two governments, and in respect of which no case has been made for their trial. What case has been made? Six hundred civil servants, we are told, were temporary. An examination was held, and now the claim is made that another examination should be held. Was there ever a case put up whether on the adjournment of the House or by motion asking that there should be a second examination? Has there ever been a representation made to the Minister for Finance by Deputy Redmond to consider those cases?

No, but I believe there has been.

You believe there has been. That is "dubhairt bean liom" again.

I must be allowed permission to answer the President. I have not done so, but I am informed that the non-permanent Government Clerks' Association, of which these men are members, had done so, that their members have actually put their whole case before the Minister for Finance, and that he has their case at present in his Department.

Has the Deputy got a copy of the representation that was made?

I cannot say that I have.

And that is the case that is now made and put to the House, and we are asked to pass judgment on it. A Deputy who is not in the position of Deputy O'Dowd, who is not a lawyer, and who, of course, has all the defects of a man not a lawyer, that Deputy, who has had some legal experience, comes here to make his case, and his brief is so imperfect that he has not even got a copy of the representations made to the Minister.

I think the President misunderstands me. He asked me if I had got a copy of it. I thought he asked me if I had got a copy of the case made to the Minister for Finance. I have not, but I have a copy of the case made to me.

It is a copy of the case made to the Minister for Finance that I want to have, and I think the House is entitled to have it.

The Minister for Finance is sitting next you and he can give it to you.

When a Deputy is attempting to prove a case I think the House ought to be put in possession of it. The whole case in respect to the 100,000 of whom we have been told comes down to approximately 200 men. Would the Deputy correct me in that figure? The motion, we are told, is purely non-party. It is with a view to getting a decision from the House in a non-party spirit, and with a view to helping these men. Is this the way to help them, or is this the way simply to score off politically—to put us in the position of being in the dock with the British Government? Is not that what is behind this motion?

A DEPUTY

That is where you should be.

That is where some of you would like to see us. Some of us were put in the dock by the British Government when some of you were very comfortable and perhaps in very safe places.

A DEPUTY

The same applies to you. Some of your supporters were very safe too.

The Deputy, at any rate, is very safe at present.

I do not know whether we are or not. I wonder does the President feel safe.

The amendment at least has this much in its favour, that it asks for representations regarding disabilities to be put before the Executive—to put the Executive in the position of being able to make representations and to take such action as in the circumstances may be necessary or expedient. The motion goes on to say: "In respect of rights arising out of their past services or against the Government of the Irish Free State in respect of alleged discrimination against them in regard to employment on public works or in regard to their general rights." What are they? The only case that Deputy Redmond could make in respect of discrimination, and it is not discrimination against them— it is discrimination against me, against Deputy Redmond, against Deputy O'Connell, against Deputy de Valera— is that there is a preference given of about one-tenth per cent. to ex-National Army men in respect of road work, and it is on the cards that they would get that even if that preference were not there.

The Dáil is in the position to express its opinion regarding this commission. I know of no commission and I know of no personnel of a commission established here to make a case regarding the grievances or alleged grievances or claims which would receive satisfaction from another Government in the circumstances. I do not say that the same result would apply to bona fide representations made in respect of those men by one Government to another. If the Dail desires to get a business solution of this it is in the amendment. It is not in the motion.

EAMON DE VALERA

Tá fhios ag gach aoinne nach rabhamar ar aon intinn leis na daoine a chuaidh isteach in Airm Shasana le troid do dhéanamh 'san chogadh mhór. Ach biodh san ma ratá, is Eireannaigh iad agus tuigimid go maith an caoi in a bhfuil siad. Ma cheapann siad gur ab é a leas go gcuirfidhe an coimisiún seo ar bun, ni cuirfimid-ne in a choinne. Mar sin, támuid i bhfabhar an rúin agus inaghaidh an leas-rúin.

I would like to say a word or two with reference to the examinations for temporary clerks. As the President stated, there was no discrimination against British ex-Army candidates, but there was a certain discrimination in favour of ex-National Army candidates. The examination for temporary clerks was held in July, 1925. 1,244 temporary clerks entered for that examination. The 651 who qualified were appointed. These included British ex-Army men. These British ex-Army men had had previous opportunities, at least some of them —perhaps the great majority—of entering the permanent Civil Service, because examinations for ex-British service men had been held before the change of government. There was even an examination held subsequent to the change of government, at which British ex-servicemen had an opportunity of competing. We decided to give one further opportunity to ex-National Army men, and, in consequence, in May, 1927, an examination was held, as a result of which 128 ex-National Army men were admitted to the Civil Service. They got a preference over every other candidate, those who had never been in the British Army and those who had, by getting this second chance, but there was no discrimination against British ex-Army men. What happened was that there was no discrimination in their favour.

With regard to the motion, and to what Deputy O'Dowd said, it may be that large numbers of ex-British Service men would not enter any of the existing organisations, but it would be possible for them to come together in some other way and form some other organisation to sift this matter and to find what genuine case they have, so that it might be put up in an authorised way to the Executive Council, and so as to give the Executive Council ground for making representations. I believe that representations made by the Executive Council, after having the cases examined in this way, would be much more likely to secure some good for the ex-servicemen than anything that could result from the commission suggested by Deputy Redmond. The setting up of a commission such as that necessarily means putting the British Government in the dock. I think that if the British Government were to set up a public commission in England to consider whether or not the people who had claims against us, or who thought they had claims, were right in their claims, we would be irritated and annoyed by it. We would not be more disposed to do good for those people because of that. I do not say this motion would damage the ex-servicemen, I say it would prejudice those who would have to deal with them. Deputy Wolfe said that the British Government should be represented on the commission.

I do not think it would be desirable and I do not know whether we could arrange to have the British Government represented on a commission set up here. If they are not represented, they will not appear before the commission and what will happen will be that they and their actions will be tried in their absence with the result that, almost inevitably, such a commission will go wrong in some of its findings. If they could not or did not hear one side of the case and heard the other side, it would be almost impossible for them not to go wrong in some of their findings. Because of some extravagances of that kind, the position of the ex-service men would be prejudiced. I do not say that Deputy Cooper's proposal is ideal. If we were to consider the question further, we might discover a better way of dealing with it. The better plan might be to have these two proposals withdrawn and have the question further considered. But Deputy Cooper's method does give more hope of having something done for the ex-service men than the method that Deputy Redmond suggests. Under Deputy Redmond's motion, there can be only one side of the case considered. If we were dealing with grievances that ex-servicemen might have against the Saorstát Government and not against the British Government, then the setting up of a commission would not have the objections I mentioned in reference to the claims they have against the British Government and I think that is the main thing. I suggest to Deputies that we should not be trying to score in this matter. We should try to find what is best for the ex-servicemen. I suggest most sincerely that the proposal of this public commission is not what would be best for the ex-servicemen.

If the proposal of the Minister for Finance is accepted by Deputy Redmond, my amendment will certainly be withdrawn. My only desire is that in this matter it shall not be taken that the Dáil is voting for or against the ex-servicemen. That is why I do not like to withdraw my amendment, which is an alternative, though possibly an inadequate and unsuitable alternative, to Deputy Redmond's motion. If the Deputy withdraws his motion, I shall be glad to withdraw my amendment and co-operate with him in trying to find some more suitable method of dealing with the matter.

It has been suggested that I should withdraw this motion. At the back of that suggestion there seems to be only one reason. That is embarrassment. Embarrassment to whom? Embarrassment to the British Government on the one side and to the Irish Government on the other. I am to withdraw my motion that the claims and interests, rights and grievances of the ex-servicemen should be investigated by an impartial tribunal because it might be an embarrassment to the British or the Irish Government. All I can say about that is that the reason the ex-servicemen require this motion is because of the state in which they are to-day. That state of affairs has reached such a stage that Field Marshal Earl Haig has actually made an appeal in Great Britain for the destitute and suffering ex-servicemen in this country. Everyone knows that Colonel Crossfield, to whom Deputy Cooper referred, in his report, which was published in this country, gave a fearful description of the condition of many of the ex-servicemen here. My complaint is that something has not been done, so far, and not that representations have not been made through the British Legion and other organisations, because I know these have been made. I agree with Deputy Cooper that when he made personal representations to President Cosgrave the President took up individual cases and probably did a great deal for them.

May I interrupt the Deputy? As a personal explanation, I should like to point out that I never made personal representations to the President in this connection. I have always gone to the President in conjunction with a deputation from the British Legion, authorised by the Legion. I have never made personal representations of any kind.

I withdraw the word "personal." Deputy Cooper made representations in some capacity and, possibly, the President acted upon those representations. But that is not my complaint. Here in the Dáil, by way of question and answer, I elicited the fact that houses were not being built in this country by the Land Trust to the extent they should be. I asked whether representations would be made to the British Government officially, and the President declined to make them. Furthermore, I can say, when statements are made by many Deputies that they are anxious to have more money brought into this country from the British Government for expenditure on houses for ex-servicemen, that I do not complain that the money is not coming in. My point is that the money is there. There are three-quarters of a million there. It has been there for the last seven years and has not been expended, as it should have been expended, upon these houses and in supplying the needs and necessities of these men. It has been suggested that a commission would not be advisable, because it might embarrass the British Government. Where is the embarrassment? Neither the British Government nor the Free State Government is to be brought to the bar and indicted at this commission.

On a point of explanation, if nobody else referred to embarrassment, I certainly did. But the point I made was not about the embarrassment of the British Government, but the effect on the prospects of having something done for the ex-servicemen.

I was endeavouring to show that the commission I was anxious to have set up was not to be regarded as an indictment of either Government. It was to be a commission of inquiry—a genuine commission of inquiry—to ascertain what the position of the ex-servicemen was. That is for the Government to find out, and it is for the benefit of the Government that I propose this motion. The Government cannot know what the position is to-day. If they did, and if they had been true to the people they represent, they would have acted long ago on their behalf.

I want the Government to set up a commission to find out impartially what the position of the ex-servicemen is. It will be a purely Irish commission, and will have nothing to do with the passing of a vote of censure upon the British or Irish Government. It will be a matter of investigation entirely, and when that investigation is concluded the Government will be in the position to know what is the true state of affairs and how they should act in the matter. I certainly think that no reason has been shown why there should not be a commission. What harm is a commission going to do? Supposing it is discovered that these grievances are only imaginary, will that be any great loss to the Government or to the country? Won't it be a satisfaction if such results follow. Supposing it is discovered, on the other hand, that there are genuine grievances, will not the Government be only too pleased to acknowledge that they have discovered something and can act upon it, in the interests of a large section of the people of this country?

No similar suggestion was made when a commission was proposed in regard to the grievances of the town tenants, or to the question of unemployment in this country. The President's speech this evening could have been made upon the proposal to set up any commission that was ever proposed to be set up. He asked how were these people going to come and make their representations. He said they have not got an organisation and so forth. The same thing could have been said about the town tenants. The same thing could have been said about the commissions that have been set up to inquire into the arterial drainage or any other subject matter under the discussion of any other legislature in any country in the world. That is no argument against the setting up of this particular commission. The attitude of the Government is, with respect to them, a purely Party one. They were asked if they would take off the Whips. I asked them in my original statement and they were asked subsequently by an Independent Deputy. It took considerable time to elicit the information that they were not going to take off the Party Whips. It will be interesting to discover after this discussion has taken place why the Government would not take off the Party Whips. What is in this motion which the Government should oppose as a Government if they are all so keen and anxious as to the welfare of Irish ex-servicemen, and if they are all so anxious about it as a non-party matter, when they insinuated that I, as the mover, brought it forward in a party strain? If I did that why not take off the Whips and let the Dáil vote as they please on it and they can say to the country in the morning that it was a free expression of the opinion of the Dáil? No; it is they that are making it a party matter and refusing, as a Government Party, to set up an impartial commission which would investigate the alleged claims—the grievances if any—of a huge body of Irish citizens whose claims, in the past, have been neglected or set aside.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 63; Níl, 66.

Tá.

  • William P. Aird.
  • Ernest Henry Alton.
  • James Walter Beckett.
  • George Cecil Bennett.
  • Ernest Blythe.
  • Séamus A. Bourke.
  • Seán Brodrick.
  • John Joseph Byrne.
  • Edmund Carey.
  • John James Cole.
  • Martin Conlan.
  • Michael P. Connolly.
  • Bryan Ricco Cooper.
  • William T. Cosgrave.
  • John Daly.
  • Eugene Doherty.
  • James N. Dolan.
  • Peadar Seán Doyle.
  • Edmund John Duggan.
  • James Dwyer.
  • Osmond Thos. Grattan Esmonde.
  • Desmond Fitzgerald.
  • James Fitzgerald-Kenney.
  • John Thomas Nolan.
  • Richard O'Connell.
  • Bartholomew O'Connor.
  • Timothy Joseph O'Donovan.
  • Daniel O'Leary.
  • Dermot Gun O'Mahony.
  • Gearoid O'Sullivan.
  • John Marcus O'Sullivan.
  • Martin Roddy.
  • John Good.
  • D.J. Gorey.
  • Alexander Haslett.
  • Michael R. Heffernan.
  • Michael Joseph Hennessy.
  • Thomas Hennessy.
  • John Hennigan.
  • Mark Henry.
  • Patrick Hogan (Galway).
  • Richard Holohan.
  • Michael Jordan.
  • Patrick Michael Kelly.
  • Myles Keogh.
  • Hugh Alexander Law.
  • Patrick Leonard.
  • Finian Lynch.
  • Arthur Patrick Mathews.
  • Martin McDonogh.
  • Patrick McGilligan.
  • Joseph W. Mongan.
  • Richard Mulcahy.
  • James E. Murphy.
  • Martin Michael Nally.
  • Patrick W. Shaw.
  • Timothy Sheehy (West Cork).
  • William Edward Thrift.
  • Michael Tierney.
  • Daniel Vaughan.
  • John White.
  • Vincent Joseph White.
  • George Wolfe.

Níl.

  • Frank Aiken.
  • Denis Allen.
  • Richard Anthony.
  • Gerald Boland.
  • Patrick Boland.
  • Daniel Bourke.
  • Seán Brady.
  • Robert Briscoe.
  • Henry Broderick.
  • Daniel Buckley.
  • Alfred Byrne.
  • Frank Carney.
  • Frank Carty.
  • Archie J. Cassidy.
  • Patrick Clancy.
  • Michael Clery.
  • James Coburn.
  • James Colbert.
  • Hugh Colohan.
  • Eamon Cooney.
  • Dan Corkery.
  • Richard Corish.
  • Martin John Corry.
  • Fred. Hugh Crowley.
  • William Davin.
  • Thomas Derrig.
  • Eamon de Valera.
  • James Everett.
  • Frank Fahy.
  • Hugo Flinn.
  • Andrew Fogarty.
  • Seán French.
  • Patrick J. Gorry.
  • John Goulding.
  • Seán Hayes.
  • Samuel Holt.
  • Patrick Houlihan.
  • Stephen Jordan.
  • Michael Joseph Kennedy.
  • Frank Kerlin.
  • James Joseph Killane.
  • Mark Killelea.
  • Michael Kilroy.
  • Seán F. Lemass.
  • Patrick John Little.
  • Seán MacEntee.
  • Séamus Moore.
  • Daniel Morrissey.
  • Thomas Mullins.
  • Joseph Xavier Murphy.
  • Timothy Joseph Murphy.
  • Thomas J. O'Connell.
  • Patrick Joseph O'Dowd.
  • John F. O'Hanlon.
  • Seán T. O'Kelly.
  • William O'Leary.
  • Matthew O'Reilly.
  • Thomas O'Reilly.
  • Thomas P. Powell.
  • William Archer Redmond.
  • Patrick J. Ruttledge.
  • James Ryan.
  • Martin Sexton.
  • Patrick Smith.
  • Richard Walsh.
  • Francis C. Ward.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Shaw and Cooper. Níl: Deputies Redmond and Coburn.
Amendment declared lost.
Motion put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 66; Níl, 64.

Tá.

  • Frank Aiken.
  • Denis Allen.
  • Richard Anthony.
  • Gerald Boland.
  • Patrick Boland.
  • Daniel Bourke.
  • Seán Brady.
  • Robert Briscoe.
  • Henry Broderick.
  • Daniel Buckley.
  • Alfred Byrne.
  • Frank Carney.
  • Frank Carty.
  • Archie J. Cassidy.
  • Patrick Clancy.
  • Michael Clery.
  • James Coburn.
  • James Colbert.
  • Patrick Houlihan.
  • Stephen Jordan.
  • Michael Joseph Kennedy.
  • Frank Kerlin.
  • James Joseph Killane.
  • Mark Killelea.
  • Michael Kilroy.
  • Seán F. Lemass.
  • Patrick John Little.
  • Seán MacEntee.
  • Séamus Moore.
  • Daniel Morrissey.
  • Thomas Mullins.
  • Joseph Xavier Murphy.
  • Timothy Joseph Murphy.
  • Hugh Colohan.
  • Eamon Cooney.
  • Dan Corkery.
  • Richard Corish.
  • Martin John Corry.
  • Fred. Hugh Crowley.
  • William Davin.
  • Thomas Derrig.
  • Eamon de Valera.
  • James Everett.
  • Frank Fahy.
  • Hugo Flinn.
  • Andrew Fogarty.
  • Seán French.
  • Patrick J. Gorry.
  • John Goulding.
  • Seán Hayes.
  • Samuel Holt.
  • Thomas J. O'Connell.
  • Patrick Joseph O'Dowd.
  • John F. O'Hanlon.
  • Seán T. O'Kelly.
  • William O'Leary.
  • Matthew O'Reilly.
  • Thomas O'Reilly.
  • Thomas P. Powell.
  • William Archer Redmond.
  • Patrick J. Ruttledge.
  • James Ryan.
  • Martin Sexton.
  • Patrick Smith.
  • Richard Walsh.
  • Francis C. Ward.

Níl.

  • William P. Aird.
  • Ernest Henry Alton.
  • James Walter Beckett.
  • George Cecil Bennett.
  • Ernest Blythe.
  • Séamus A. Bourke.
  • Michael Brennan.
  • Seán Brodrick.
  • John Joseph Byrne.
  • Edmund Carey.
  • John James Cole.
  • Martin Conlan.
  • Michael P. Connolly.
  • Bryan Ricco Cooper.
  • William T. Cosgrave.
  • John Daly.
  • Peter De Loughrey.
  • Eugene Doherty.
  • James N. Dolan.
  • Peadar Seán Doyle.
  • Edmund John Duggan.
  • James Dwyer.
  • Osmond Thos. Grattan Esmonde.
  • Desmond Fitzgerald.
  • James Fitzgerald-Kenney.
  • John Good.
  • D. J. Gorey.
  • Alexander Haslett.
  • Michael R. Heffernan.
  • Michael Joseph Hennessy.
  • Thomas Hennessy.
  • John Hennigan.
  • Mark Henry.
  • Patrick Hogan (Galway).
  • Richard Holohan.
  • Michael Jordan.
  • Patrick Michael Kelly.
  • Myles Keogh.
  • Hugh Alexander Law.
  • Finian Lynch.
  • Arthur Patrick Mathews.
  • Martin McDonogh.
  • Patrick McGilligan.
  • Joseph W. Mongan.
  • Richard Mulcahy.
  • James E. Murphy.
  • Martin Michael Nally.
  • John Thomas Nolan.
  • Richard O'Connell.
  • Bartholomew O'Connor.
  • Timothy Joseph O'Donovan.
  • Daniel O'Leary.
  • Dermot Gun O'Mahony.
  • Gearoid O'Sullivan.
  • John Marcus O'Sullivan.
  • Martin Roddy.
  • Patrick W. Shaw.
  • Timothy Sheehy (West Cork).
  • William Edward Thrift.
  • Michael Tierney.
  • Daniel Vaughan.
  • John White.
  • Vincent Joseph White.
  • George Wolfe.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Redmond and Coburn. Níl: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle.
Motion declared carried.

I am prepared to accept a "No Confidence" motion in respect of that division.

EAMON DE VALERA

Táim sásta.

Will the President kindly repeat his statement?

I am prepared to accept a "No Confidence" motion in respect of that division, and I am prepared to give Government time to-morrow or the next day.

Why not now?

I was not speaking to the Deputy. I will be able to speak to him to-morrow on that matter.

resumed the Chair.