DEFENCE FORCES (TEMPORARY PROVISIONS) (No. 2) BILL, 1927. SECOND STAGE.

The purpose of this Bill is very well known to the Dáil, as similar Bills have been before the Dáil on a number of occasions. A Bill such as this is necessary to renew the legislation governing the defence forces, as otherwise the control of the Oireachtas over the Army would, to a large extent, lapse on the 31st of March next, and military law would cease to have effect from that date. It has been understood all along that the present Acts do not consist of provisions for the government of the Army that are final in form. Another Bill constructed in the light of our experience in defence matters will be introduced, I hope and I expect, within the next year. In the meantime it is, as I have just mentioned, essential to provide for the maintenance of the Army until the 31st March, 1929, or until the passing of any Act making similar provision.

With regard to the policy, the formation and the character of the Army, our idea, and the type of army that we propose ultimately reaching, is an army composed of three parts—a standing army, a reserve, and a territorial or a militia force. Up to the present the Army has consisted solely of a standing army. Our idea is that that standing army should be maintained as the framework of a much bigger force, which will include the reserve in the immediate future and a territorial force in the almost immediate future. The territorial force will consist of men partly or wholly trained; but although we aim at having an army, as I say, in this form, which will consist of a standing army much smaller than the present, a reserve which is just coming into being, and the militia which we hope to bring into being at a later stage, there are certain things which make it impossible for us to go quite as quickly as we would like to go. The standing army should, as soon as possible, become the framework of the whole army, but, as I say, there are certain considerations which make it impossible for us to move on towards that end as quickly as we would like.

The political situation has prevented that feeling of security which is a normal thing in most countries, and which, I hope, is being very rapidly established here. Owing to that lack of political security it is necessary for the Army to provide guards to a greater extent than would ordinarily be required. The same political causes make it necessary for us to keep in being more military posts throughout the country than would be needed after a long period of political rest. The defence of our coast, maintained by the British under the Treaty, has required so far that we should maintain a military post nearby.

Though undoubtedly those abnormal causes are passing away with commendable rapidity, for some time to come there must remain considerations that will affect the speed with which we move towards the Army organisation I have mentioned. Another thing that will be a temporary stop to our progress towards that end is the fact that various technical corps, such as artillery, air and other corps, need specialised training which could not be given during the infantryman's period of army service, and therefore the period of service in the case of the corps is longer, namely, five years for the colours and seven for the reserve. That means that the movement of these technical men to the reserve is slower than that of the infantry. The character of the framework which is being formed as a nucleus of our defence forces is modified by this fact and is also affected by the need of maintaining standing troops for the purposes of national defence and for the purposes of training.

In view of the type of army we have in mind, composed of three parts, of which the standing Army will be the smallest, it is necessary for us to consider discipline and training and to consider them to an extraordinary degree. I think that during the present year military training is being carried out intensively and that very good progress is being made. It will be remembered that we sent certain officers to America for the purpose of being able to establish, when they came back, a military college. These men have come back from America and we intend to establish a military college without delay. I do not think I need go into the matter further. This Bill is the type of Bill that has been introduced in the Dáil a number of times and people have criticised us for not moving on to the permanent Bill more quickly. I think we have been well advised of the circumstances that prevented our moving on to the permanent Bill more rapidly. I do think, as far as one can judge the situation, that within the next twelve months we shall be able to introduce a Bill which will supersede the Bill I am moving. I move that this Bill receives a Second Reading, so that the Army may be maintained in being, and so that the Oireachtas will maintain control of the Army until the 31st March, 1929, or until such time that the Bill which I hope to introduce becomes law.

I would like to raise a point of order on Deputy de Valera's amendment. I submit that in so far as it is not a direct negative it is not relevant to the motion but it is perhaps put down by way of analogy to the amendment to the Public Safety (Repeal) Bill, which was tabled on behalf of the Government. The amendment to the Public Safety (Repeal) Bill was a proposal that the Bill be repealed as from a date eighteen months ahead. The real motion was that the Bill repealing the Act immediately be passed so that the amendment in that case was strictly relevant to the motion. It seems to me that this is not relevant or if you do hold it relevant you will open a very wide door for amendments to Second Readings of Bills. If this particular amendment is in order, it would be equally in order—I say it by way of illustration—to put down an amendment saying, that the Dáil declines to give a Second Reading to the Bill and is of opinion that the Gárda Síochána ought to be armed. It might, perhaps, be possible to put down an amendment saying that the Dáil declines to give a Second Reading to the Bill and is of opinion that we should try to get increased activity on the part of the League of Nations. It seems to me that it is entirely wide of the scope of the Bill and suggesting an alternative measure, and is not properly in order as an amendment to the motion, "That the Bill be read a Second Time."

I fail to see the point made by the Minister in connection with this amendment. I cannot see why it is not in order according to the rules. The point in the amendment is, that instead of continuing the defence forces provisions as they stand we should change the form of the Army, and therefore reduce it to a small standing force and a volunteer territorial army instead of the present one.

The motion is: "That the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) (No. 2) Bill be now read a Second Time." The Bill is simple and brief, but it proposes to continue in force the original Defence Forces Act of 1923 with the amendments that have since been made to it. It is, I take it, a Bill to continue the statutory provisions under which the Army is now in being. The amendment seems to me to be an amendment suggesting an alternative—that is, that a defence force of a different kind should be arranged for. The amendment should possibly have some reference to legislation in it and might be improved in that way, but it seems to me to be quite relevant to the motion. There is some question of a direct negative raised. I think that what is called a reasoned amendment to a Second Reading motion is, in effect, itself very often a direct negative—that the Dáil declines to give a Second Reading for a reason. An amendment might be either in the form of a direct negative giving a reason, or a direct negative giving a reason with an alternative, or a direct negative giving an alternative. As this appears to me to establish an alternative, as far as I can read the Defence Forces Act, and as far as the general question of relevancy is concerned, the amendment is in order. It raises the question of the type of army, which is, I think, essentially the type of question raised by the Defence Forces Act itself. It involves not only re-organisation but legislation as well.

My object in raising the point of order was that, in my opinion, if we are to admit an amendment of this type, which goes a great deal further away from the actual motion than the amendment put down by the Government on the Public Safety Act, we shall rapidly reach the stage where it would be possible to devise dozens of amendments which might be moved successively to a motion for the Second Reading of a Bill.

If an attempt is made to devise dozens of amendments to a motion for the Second Reading of a Bill, it would simply be the function of the Chair to see that any such obstructive procedure is not carried out. Notice, of course, would have to be given of these amendments. The Minister gave as an example that there might be an amendment that the Gárda Síochána ought to be armed. That raises a different matter for consideration, and I am not prepared to state, on a hypothetical case, what ruling I would give. The amendment, as it stands, plainly implies a type of army, not an armed police force. That seems to raise an issue which would be quite relevant to the debate on the main question. I am accepting the amendment.

I listened with attention to the statement made by the Minister for Defence with respect to the Executive policy concerning the type of army they purposed having finally. I was very glad to note that there is a considerable approach towards the type of army which we think ought to be the type we should have in this country. Naturally, when you ask yourself what is the type of army you are going to have, and whether you can afford the expense of the army you require, you have first of all to ask yourself what is to be its main objective. The question for us is whether the objective of the army is to be the objective that most armies in normal countries have, namely, that of protecting the State and the nation against an outside aggressor, or whether we are going to have the continuation of an army which, as far as we can see, is going to function in this country mainly on the lines of Lord Birkenhead's policy of wishing Irishmen to keep down, as I think he said, the turbulent population of the south of Ireland in the interests of Englishmen. When we look around, we must ask ourselves what outside aggressor have we got to fear? Is the attack on the liberties and rights of the Irish people going to come, say, from France or Germany, or from what quarter is it going to come? I think every Irishman will have to admit that the one quarter from which we have been attacked in the past is not from Germany or France, but from across the Irish sea. If we want an army to protect ourselves it is against the one Power that has been the aggressor in the past on our rights and liberties, and the Power, indeed, which has attacked us and interfered with our rights within a very short space of time. We all know that the Treaty was forced upon the representatives of the Irish people—that those who accepted it and submitted to it took it as an alternative to immediate and terrible war. Therefore, I say that the one Power against which we have to defend ourselves is that Power across the water. If we want an army to defend our rights and liberties at all, it must be an army which will give us the best possible defence against attacks from that quarter.

If we ask ourselves, "How are we going to defend ourselves from such attack," I think we will not be very long in examining the question before we convince ourselves that an army such as has been maintained for the last four or five years is not the type of army to defend us against such attack. If we are going to defend ourselves against any Power, we can only do it in the way we did before, and that is, not by a standing army of this particular normal type, but by a force which will make it impossible for that foreign Power to rule in this country or make it very expensive for them at any rate. I do not think that any army which we can afford to raise is going to be effective in preventing an invasion, for instance, of our coasts here by the British. Suppose there was a difference of opinion and that they invaded our coasts, I do not think any army we are likely to raise in the form in which it is at present is going to be an effective defence. Our defence will, I say, in the future lie, as in the past, in having a territorial volunteer force which will make it impossible, or at least very costly, for that one Power to try to establish its rule here amongst us. On that account I say we ought as quickly as possible to get away from the present army organisation, and get to a small standing army which will be the nucleus from which we can expand in case there is need for defending ourselves.

Now it is obvious that that small standing force will have to have within it a technical corps mainly, and I have not, at the moment, sufficient data to enable me to say exactly what the size of that central nucleus or standing army should be. I had hoped that the Minister for Defence would give some indication as to what the size of the standing portion of the army would be, and what would be the size of the reserve and what would be the size of the territorial army. He has not given that though I think that he has the material from which he could very rapidly get these material facts, and we have not. But if we take, for example, some of the small Continental armies, for instance, Switzerland, Denmark and others, we get something to go on. Let us take Switzerland. We find there that roughly the standing portion of the army is about one-tenth of the total, and I say that if we are going to have a territorial force, let us say, for example, of 50,000 men we ought to be able to get on with a standing army of not more than five thousand and as far as we are concerned we shall reduce it to the point below which we could not go if it was to be effective at all.

The organisation, then, we think, ought to be on a territorial basis. We think that we could, if we had an organisation on that basis, bring down the present expenditure on the Army by at least one million pounds. Again, without the actual details—the cost of the various corps, and so on—we cannot prove that in figures, but our belief is that we could reduce the cost of the present Army by over one million pounds at least, and that that could be done in a comparatively short space of time. We think, for example, an effort to reduce that should be made within a year.

Now if we cannot get a force which is going to be effective in defending us against aggression from the only point from which we think aggression is likely to come, then I say any money spent is absolutely wasted. I think it is not necessary for me to outline any further what our views are on this matter, because to do it in detail would require that we should have at our disposal the staffs and the information which the Minister for Defence, at all events, has. We have got certain information but not sufficient to enable us to make this case out conclusively. However, until we can be shown that it cannot be done, and that a reduction on those lines and an army of that particular type cannot be set up, we cannot vote for this particular Bill, and, therefore, we will have to oppose it.

There is another matter that, of course, anybody speaking on this has to refer, and that is whether the idea of an army here is to be that of simply an addition to the British Forces. In other words, is the Irish Army to be maintained simply to be handed over to the British in time of war? I think the Minister for Defence said on one occasion, when he was Minister for External Affairs—perhaps it would be just as well to quote his exact words.

I might assist the Deputy. I said in the case of a "general attack." It would be better for the Deputy to get my exact words instead of the lying propaganda that was used.

I will quote the exact words. I want to deal with that "general attack."

You can quote my exact words.

The Deputy had better quote the exact words.

I think I had better get the exact words. He said: "We need not blink the fact that it is quite possible in the event of a general attack on these islands, it is perfectly obvious our Army must co-operate with the British Army. It is practically inconceivable that our Army would ever be opposed to the British Army," but that our officers, etc., should go to learn. The points I am going to deal with are these two statements: "We need not blink the fact that it is quite possible in the event of a general attack on these islands, it is perfectly obvious that our Army must co-operate with the British Army." What is meant by a "general attack upon these islands"? As well as I can remember, when the Great War was on, the appeal to Irishmen was that the safety of these islands was imperilled, and that this Great War was, in fact, a general attack upon these islands. Irishmen were asked to go out to that war to fight in order to repel this general attack upon these islands. Are we going to be dragged into all these wars? Are we going to be dragged into any war that the British may regard as a war of aggression? Has any aggressor ever admitted at any time that the war they were engaged in was a war of aggression? They have always claimed that it was a war of defence. We may be perfectly certain that any war will be put down as a war of defence, and a war for the defence of these islands, and the attack will be represented as a general attack upon these islands. Therefore, what is going to happen is that the Irish forces are going to be simply a part of the British Army in repelling these general attacks. That is my view, anyhow. I think that that ought not to be our policy. We should insist upon having I believe a policy of general neutrality the right of maintaining our neutrality. is the proper policy for this country. It is the one policy we can afford to maintain, and we ought to maintain it, and we ought not to commit ourselves to engaging with the British Army in anything that they may choose to call the general defence of these islands. "It is practically inconceivable that our Army would ever be opposed to the British Army." As I indicated at the start, I think if we are ever going to see that force of ours as a defence force, it is to defend us against aggression from England. That is my view, and I think there are Deputies here who will agree that that is much more likely to happen than that we would be defending ourselves against the United States or France, or any other country. I say that if we are to defend our people it must be against one Power that in the past has been interfering with our rights and attacking us. I say in that matter we ought not to organise our Army with a view to making it an effective auxiliary of the British. We ought to organise our Army to defend the rights and liberties of our own people. And it is because we think the present organisation of the Free State Army, and keeping such a large portion of it as a standing army is not the best way, that we propose our amendment.

"To delete all the words after ‘That,' and add the words: ‘The Dáil declines to give a second reading to a Bill having for its purpose the continuance of the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Acts, 1923 to 1927; but is of opinion that the Defence Forces should be organised before March 31, 1928, on a volunteer territorial basis, with a small permanent training and maintenance establishment.'"

I wish to say a word or two on that portion of the amendment that, I take it, we may discuss. The motion before the House is to give a Second Reading to a Bill to continue in force in this country the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act of 1923. I suppose the number of Deputies who have seen the Act is probably small, but I am quite certain that the number of Deputies who have read it is smaller still. I doubt, outside the Government Benches, if even there, there is anybody who has read the Act which consists, I think, of about 250 sections. That Act was before the Dáil in 1923, a few days before the general election of that year. The Dáil then or since has never had an opportunity of discussing a single section scarcely of that Act. That is the present position: that this vast and complicated measure which legalises and governs the Army never got an hour's consideration in the Dáil. At the time it was introduced we were told that it was a purely temporary measure and that opportunity would be taken, in the course of the next twelve months, to have a Bill introduced which would put the Army on a permanent basis. I certainly would pay more attention to the promise made by the Minister for Defence, in the course of his opening remarks this evening, to the effect that he would have a Bill brought in twelve months hence if I were not aware that that promise has been repeated almost year after year since 1923. We had that promise made in 1923, and we had a definite promise from the President, who then was Minister for Defence, in June, 1924, that we would have that Bill before Christmas. I believe a similar promise was made last year when they were continuing this Act, and we have the same promise made again to-day. I would like to know what greater strength there is behind this promise than there was behind the promises made in 1923, 1924 and 1925. Perhaps, after all, it might have its advantages.

I believe, as circumstances have turned out, that there is an advantage in the fact that no permanent Bill has been introduced up to this. Undoubtedly the circumstances now are different to what they were at any time previous to this year. We have now a full representative Dáil. In framing a permanent Bill and in deciding what kind of an army we are to have, it will undoubtedly be of much greater advantage to the country as a whole and to the general stability of the country, that such a Bill can be framed by a full representative House than one where you had one-third of the elected representatives absent from the Dáil. To that extent there has been a certain advantage. There is no doubt whatever that the time has now come when there ought to be a consideration of the position with regard to the Army. As Deputy de Valera said, the purpose of the Army must be taken into account when considering what the future organisation of our Army is to be, but be that as it may, at the moment we are asked to consider the motion before us.

I believe that the Act now in force will expire on 31st March, 1928. The effective clause in the Act of 1923 was the one which gave the Executive the power to raise and maintain an army in this State. If that Act is not continued—in other words, if the Bill now before us is not passed—it might happen that on the 31st March, 1928, we would have no Bill or no Act legalising the Army, unless, of course, in the meantime, that is between now and the 31st March, 1928, we set up what might possibly be a new scheme for army reorganisation, and at the same time passed legislation through this House legalising that army. Apart altogether from what views we may have as to the future of the army or as to the line army organisation should take, I hold the view that it would not be physically possible in that time to set about what might very well be a wholesale reorganisation of our Army and at the same time introduce and pass through the House what must necessarily be a very complicated measure. That, I think, would take almost three months to go through the House and get consideration section by section. I do not believe it would be possible to do that between now and 31st March, 1928—at least, to do it effectively. That is the view that I take of this Bill, and that is the reason I am prepared to vote for its second reading.

With regard to the scheme of re-organisation, so far as I can gather, there is not a great deal of difference between the suggestion made by Deputy de Valera and the suggestion made by the Minister for Defence. In principle and in essence I believe they are the same. The Minister said that their intention as to what the army ought to be was a small standing army —much smaller, he said, than it is at the present time. Deputy de Valera's idea is the same—that it would be organised thereafter on a volunteer basis with a reserve. In principle I do not think there is any difference between these two points of view. Therefore, the question boils itself down to this: How soon can this re-organisation be carried out? Deputy de Valera suggested that all this could be done before March 31st, 1928. I must confess and say definitely, as a result of my experience here, that it could not be done and that if it were done in that time it would not be done with the care and consideration that such an important question deserves from the House and the country generally. We have the promise again, as I say, for what it is worth, because I am forced to say that from my experience of previous promises, that a new Bill would be introduced before the expiration of the period for which this new Act is asked. As between the two suggestions that have been made, I am prepared to support the Second Reading of the Bill on this occasion, but, I say definitely, on this occasion.

Deputy de Valera referred to— perhaps it is as well I should say a word on that—the purpose of the Army. Of course it is intended should be used to protect this country, to defend this country against outside aggression from any quarter. I think it should be our purpose in this Dail and in this country generally to try and get the idea cultivated at home and abroad, so far as we can help to do so, that the occasion would never arise and ought not ever arise when the Army should be used in that connection at all: that our ideals, our aims and our thoughts should be directed towards peace rather than war, even a defensive war. I believe there are many forces in this country and outside of it, in Europe, America and elsewhere working at the present time in that direction. I believe it should be the aim of this country and of representative people of all shades of opinion in this country to make it plain that the Irish Free State has as its object the creation of peace at home and abroad. That is an idea that on all occasions we ought to put before ourselves, not only because peace in itself is good and is a good thing to be aimed at, but because we are bound to lose in the case of almost any war that will occur and that involves even our neighbouring countries.

I am with Deputy de Valera entirely in what he has stated as to the attitude the Army should adopt in case Britain is involved in war. I am entirely in favour of the view he has stated—that it ought to be neutral, and that it ought to have the right to be neutral. If the Army is to act independently or in co-operation with that of any other country, that should be done only with the authority of this Parliament. The Army should have the right to take any action which this Parliament directs it to take. It ought to be under the complete control of this Parliament, and there should be no binding arrangements beforehand with any country. There should be nothing in the way of a binding agreement as to how the Army should act or the line we should take in this country. Our Army should be under the control of this Parliament.

That brings me to another point, which I think it would be advisable to mention in this connection. There is in this country a certain doubt in the minds of a great many people regarding the relation of the Army to the present Parliament or any Parliament which may succeed it. I had occasion, on the opening day of this Dáil, to make reference to that point and I should like to refer to it again. I think we should take an early opportunity, in view of the doubt that exists in the minds of many people, of explaining clearly that the position to be maintained is that there is to be one army in this State and that that army is to be subject to this Parliament; that there is no reason or need for any army distinct from the army maintained under the control of the Executive appointed by this Parliament. I ask for a declaration from the leader of the Fianna Fáil party—I should be very glad to have a declaration from him—on this matter, and I believe such a declaration would tend to increase the stability which is gradually growing in this country. On the other hand, it has been the experience of many Deputies within the last few months—especially during the elections—that the impression got abroad, and was encouraged by many supporters of the present Government, that the Army and the Police should and would be loyal only to the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, if the Cumann na nGaedheal Party formed a Government.

Would the Deputy mention the name of any supporter of the Government who made such a statement?

I do not want to go down to Mayo or Wexford or Tipperary, or any other place. I am not making a charge against any prominent Deputy or any representative man. I say that impression was created. I believe it has been created. I believe there are many Deputies in the House who will support the contention I make, that that impression got abroad. I believe that that idea is in the minds of some of the humbler members of the Gárda Síochána and the Army—that that is their duty. That, I think, is their belief. I should be glad if the position were made clear. I believe it is the duty of the present Government to make it clear. I have no hesitation in saying that there was talk and whispering going on that if, for instance, the Fianna Fáil Party happened to be returned to power at the last election something catastrophic would occur in regard to the police and the Army. It was suggested that the Army would resist disbandment, and that there would be all sorts of trouble. I believe it is the duty of the present Government to make it clear and definite that it is the duty of the Army and the Police to give faithful service to and obey this Parliament no matter who may be in power—whether it be Fianna Fáil, Labour, Farmers, or Cumann na nGaedheal.

And the duty of the Civil Service, too.

I have no doubt about the Civil Service—none whatever. Many of the civil servants have served under different governments and have given equally faithful service to all. They have a tradition of service behind them, as it were, to different parties coming into power. It is not the same in the case of our Army and Police. They are new bodies, bodies who have never served any party or government but one—the Cumann na nGaedheal Party. Some of them believe that if that Party go out of power they may possibly have to go out along with them. Ministers and Deputies may say that that is a foolish belief. It may be a foolish belief, but the fact that it is foolish does not necessarily mean that it does not exist. I believe that the Government would be well served and would be doing a good service to the country as a whole, and to the stability of the country, if they made plain that it was the duty of both these bodies to give faithful service and to be obedient to any government in power in this State. I do not wish to suggest, for a moment, that the Government has not that view, or that the Ministers have any other view than that. But it is well to express it and emphasise it— especially now in view of the awkward circumstances in this country. If that were done, I think it would help to increase the growing stability in the country, just as I believe that a statement from the leader of the Fianna Fáil Party, that we would have one army and that any changes in that army would be only made as a result of legislation in this House, would be equally useful at this juncture.

I am voting for the Second Reading of this Bill without expressing any other view at the moment on the suggestion that has been made than that, in general, the principle seems to be a sound one. The principle has been equally accepted, as far as I can see, both by the Minister for Defence and by Deputy de Valera. The principle I refer to is in respect of the lines along which our army ought to be organised. The temporary Act which it is now proposed to continue does not, perhaps, deal with organisation. I believe an Act would be necessary even if Deputy de Valera's idea as to the army were carried out. Perhaps Deputy de Valera has read the Act through. I do not believe he has. I have not read it through, either. As far as I could gather from the headings of the chapters, it deals—except in the effective clause which gives the right to the Executive to set up an army, which clause is necessary no matter what army you have—with the internal government of the army by officers and that sort of thing. Its main point is not in connection with the organisation of the Army. It does not really touch upon how the Army should be organised. I believe this Act is necessary, in any case, and I cannot, therefore, support the proposal that we should refuse to give the Bill a Second Reading. If the idea of Deputy de Valera is that which he put forward in respect of a previous measure—to bring pressure to bear on the Government—I agree that it is necessary to bring some form of pressure to bear in order to get the Government to hurry up. But I think that, in this case, delay has its advantages. I might throw out a suggestion to the Minister that before he finally comes to decisions with regard to the form the Army ought to take and before he puts these decisions into the form of a Bill, to be presented to this Dáil, that he might consider the question of setting up a select committee representative of all parties in the House to consider, in a general way, the lines on which our Army ought to be organised and what the purpose of our Army ought to be. He might, in that way, get suggestions that would be helpful. I cannot consider anything more harmful than having a scheme of army organisation which would be supported in principle even and largely in detail by only one particular party in the House. That certainly is a matter on which there ought to be agreement secured from all parties. I believe the Minister would be well advised if he gave consideration to the suggestion. I am only throwing it out as a suggestion that he might set up a committee representative of all parties in the House to consider the lines the organisation ought to take.

I am not yet a member of the Labour Party, and I doubt if they would accept my application if I desired to make one. All I can say in regard to what Deputy O'Connell has said is that I am like the old lady who was getting rather feeble and was not able to go through the whole of her prayers every night. She was told by the priest that everything was in the intention. She tied a rosary beads to the head of the bed and she used to look up at them and say, "My Lord, them is my sentiments." As far as Deputy O'Connell has gone with what he has said both in regard to the motion for the Second Reading and the other motion I am in agreement. It is hardly necessary for me to say to Deputies who have been in previous Dáils that every time this army question came up for discussion I proposed that the standing army should be reduced and that it should be placed upon something in the nature of a territorial or reserve basis. I was scouted at first by the then Minister for Defence, but I was very pleased to see his colleague, the Minister for Finance, actually stating in his last Budget statement that that was now the considered intention of the Government. I was also pleased to hear from the present Minister for Defence that that is their intention. I sincerely hope that they will proceed with that intention. As Deputy O'Connell has said, we had several intentions expressed in the past by the Executive, but the execution of those is another matter. I am in favour of a small standing army in this country, but I am not in favour of anything on the scale, size and equipment of our present army. I think a territorial force would be a good thing for the youth of the country. I think it would be a good thing for the stamina of the country, and, of course, I am in favour of only one army.

Another point that must be considered is that there should be no permanent army. The Army is only the servant of the State and it must be brought into existence every year by the State. Certainly at no longer periods than one year would I be in favour of the creation of anything in the nature of a permanent army. In regard to what Deputy O'Connell said about the feeling that was abroad concerning the position of the members of the Army and the police forces, I desire to endorse thoroughly his remarks. I would also add in regard to the civil servants, as far as I am concerned personally, I actually went out of my way during the last two elections to disclaim any suggestion that if ever a party came into power I would be opposed to any of these institutions or members of them being unduly interfered with, because that was the notion abroad. Even among civil servants—I will not say among the older members of the Civil Service, but there is a very large new element in the Civil Service recently recruited—for some reason or another in large departments like the Post Office and elsewhere I have found the feeling abroad that if any government were to take the place of this Government, they and their jobs were done for.

I think that Deputy O'Connell's suggestion is a very proper one, because I think it is the duty of the Government to allay these fears and suspicions, and, through their spokesmen, to tell the people of this country, including the members of these public services, that they must be regarded as servants, not of one particular government, but of the State, no matter what that government may be.

I have really nothing to add to what Deputy O'Connell has stated with regard to my position on these two motions. If there was any possibility of a new organisation being brought into existence, before March, 1928, I might be in favour of supporting the motion, though, as Deputy O'Connell has said, there is nothing very much in substance between the proposal as outlined by the Minister and that of Deputy de Valera. But we must have an army. The State must have an army of protection against aggression, whether it is internal aggression or external aggression, and in the meantime I fear that we would not be able to consider adequately any new proposal as to what form it should take. It is for that reason I shall support the Second Reading, in the hope—I hope it will not be an unfounded one this time—that something will be done shortly in the direction of curtailing the existing standing army, and placing the new one, to a large extent, on a territorial basis.

From Deputy O'Connell's remarks I must occupy a rather unique position in this House, because I have read the Act. I read the Act some time ago. I am prepared to admit that when I was endeavouring to acquaint myself with the constitution of the Free State Army it had nothing to do with the business that is before this House, but I can assure Deputy O'Connell, having read the Act, I would advise him to vote against it. I am going to do so, at any rate, because I think it is in the best interests of this State that it should not be continued. We are told that this Bill that is now before us is a simple one and it has been repeated from year to year. It is, I submit, just as important as the original Act of 1923, and as any of the amending Acts introduced since. It provides, as we know, for the establishment of a standing army, a provisional military force. I submit that in the circumstances that exist in this country to-day there is no justification for the maintenance of a provisional military force of that nature. The Minister has told us that within twelve months a Bill will be introduced to make permanent legislation concerning the defence forces of the State. Deputy O'Connell has pointed out that that is a promise that has been made before, and has not been kept. It is being made now again.

I would like to have information from the Minister as to whether the Bill which he proposes to introduce or which he promises to introduce within twelve months is going to contain the provisions necessary for the establishment of the force which he outlines—a small permanent standing force, a larger reserve and a much larger volunteer territorial force. If we could feel certain that that Bill would be introduced within twelve months and would contain proper provisions to bring about a force of that nature it is possible that our attitude towards this Bill might be slightly altered, but the Bill, as it stands at present, is such that we do not feel we could be justified in voting for its continuance. The military force which exists in this country, the standing army, as was pointed out by Deputy de Valera, would be practically useless to defend the nation against any of the great military powers who under any conceivable circumstances might decide to invade this island. It is organised on the lines of the military forces on the Continent, a hard shell easily cracked by superior force. If the real purpose of the defence forces of this State were to defend the island against outside aggression and particularly against aggression on the part of one Power from which our history has taught us to expect it, an entirely different organisation would be necessary, not a hard organisation that could be cracked with a blow but a soft one on which blows would have little effect, and whose purpose would be, as Deputy de Valera stated, to make it not impossible for an invader to establish himself here but to make it impossible for any outside authority to rule with comfort in this island. If the force that is to be maintained is intended as a defence force it is useless. It is too small; it is powerless. If it is intended as an auxiliary police force, an armed constabulary for the purpose of maintaining internal order only it is too big and certainly much too costly.

There is another danger which we, as representatives of the people, must take into consideration. A standing army in the hands of an unscrupulous executive could be made a menace to the liberties and rights of the Irish people. I am not suggesting now—there is no election on—that the present Executive is unscrupulous. I know that is a matter on which there might be a decided difference of opinion in this House. Personally, and I think I can speak for a number of Deputies on those benches, I consider the term is much too mild. In any case, the point I want to make is that a standing army in any country, in the hands of an unscrupulous executive, can be used for party purposes and against the interests of the nation. In this Act which we propose to continue there is one section which provides that the Minister can appoint to commissioned rank in the Army persons other than citizens of the Free State. Again we are talking of an unscrupulous executive. An unscrupulous executive can use that section to officer the army with hirelings from other countries with no interest in this country except the pay and the loot they can get out of it, and to use the army thus officered against the people of the State and to maintain themselves in power, if necessary. The Act also provides that it can be utilised for the prevention and suppression of internal disorder within the State. That is a very dangerous phrase. Who is going to decide what constitutes internal disorder, and having decided that, who is then going to fix the exact moment at which the process of preventing internal disorder is going to begin? Remember, I am merely pointing out the dangers which would arise from this Act being in the hands of an unscrupulous executive, and when we know it can be officered with persons with no national interest in the country, and utilised under the terms of a very loosely-worded section for the suppression of internal disorder, I think we can see that there are motives which would inspire us to oppose this Act other than that the machinery it establishes is not the most efficient possible.

Again, the present force is a partisan one. There is no good denying that and saying it is otherwise. It is. Its history has made it so. The whole course of its development has been such that it could not be otherwise. It was originally formed to fight the Deputies on these benches. We fought against it, and the spirit of opposition between the Party represented here and the Army in existence has not died. This Act, if continued, would enable that partisan spirit to be continued. The Act provides that officers are appointed and hold their commissions at the pleasure of the Executive Council. They can be removed at any time the Executive Council so decides. It is obvious that men who are in the positions and who feel they are indebted to the particular Executive on that bench opposite for their positions and continuance in them will develop a partisan outlook. I cannot say that people on the benches opposite have been very scrupulous in the use of the term "government" at election times.

You see "Vote Government" and a poster of that kind is likely to cause considerable confusion in the minds of the ordinary people. I would be very much in favour of the introduction of legislation to prevent that happening in future. I suggest for your consideration that the issuing of a poster of that kind, "Vote Government," when it relates to Cumann na nGaedheal government might, in some respect, be taken as contempt for the Constitution. The point I want to make is this, that unless the force that exists at present is reconstituted on an entirely different basis and for an entirely different purpose than the one for which this force was formed that partisan spirit is going to continue and the danger of disturbance following a change of government will continue.

We have been told of the importance of adhering to the principle of one army in the State. We have always stood by the principle of one army in the State, but it must not be a partisan force. It must be a national force formed to defend the liberties and rights of the Irish people and open to every Irishman, no matter what his political or national opinions may be, who desires to serve that purpose. There has been, since 1923, a development of ministerial policy obvious which is in the entirely opposite direction. In the 1923 Act there was, for example, an oath or declaration which recruits subscribed to and by which they pledged themselves to defend the country against all enemies whomsoever. That oath was deleted by the amending Act of 1924, and another declaration was substituted by which the officers and men of the Army and recruits joining the Army pledged themselves to maintain this State and the Constitution of this State by law established. I know there are hundreds of suitable young active men in this country who would be only too willing and glad to join a force that was intended to defend this country against all enemies whomsoever but who would not lift their little fingers to defend a constitution imposed on this State by British law or any other means.

If you want a defence force that is going to be effective in defending the State against outside aggression you have got to give up these little finicky points, and you have got to consider the main thing, which is the defence of the nation, and leave your forces open to everyone who is willing to serve the nation as a soldier in that capacity. There is another small point which, I think, this is the proper place to deal with. In the amending Act of 1924, in this declaration that I mentioned, a clause was inserted by which the officers and the men of the Army undertook not to belong to any political organisation or political society. Now, I am doubtful if the insertion of a section of that kind is in strict accordance with the letter of the Constitution. The officers and men of the Army are part of the electorate. They voted in the election of every member of this House. In fact, Deputy Gorey, I think, owes his presence here to the fact that he got a big majority of the military votes in the by-election in Kilkenny. I do not see why the men who have votes and who have as much to say in the creation of the Parliament of this State as anybody else should not be entitled to associate with others for the purpose of educating themselves, if nothing else, in political matters; and I would suggest, also, that candidates at an election, and political parties who are behind the candidates, should have an opportunity of placing their views before all the electorate, if necessary by a personal canvass of the electors in the barracks.

What about an advertisement in the "Independent"?

An advertisement in the "Independent" is one way undoubtedly. I do not know if the ordinary rank and file of the Army read the "Independent." I certainly hope not. But, mind you, I am not to be taken as arguing, or as being taken in favour of a system of that kind by which political candidates and parties can go amongst the members of the Army advocating different political theories. I believe the Army would be much safer if put upon the same basis as the members of the Civic Guard, and if they had no vote at all, and were merely servants of the State, divorced altogether from matters of political interest. I think that a very strong case can be made out for the abandonment of the present system of a permanent military force, and the institution of a volunteer force on a territorial basis, such as was mentioned in our amendment and outlined by the Minister in his speech. He was not sure whether that would be instituted in twelve months or in twelve years, but he corrected himself, I think, and he said twelve months. We hope so. I would be glad to hear that it is the purpose of this Bill, which he states he is to introduce, to provide for such a force. It would be much more efficient if it were properly instituted, and if the right spirit were behind it; it would be much more effective as a defence force, and as Deputy de Valera pointed out, it would cost much less, and that is a factor which we must undoubtedly take into consideration.

I will be interested to hear the Minister for Defence when he concludes this debate dealing with this point. If the present force is merely to be continued indefinitely from year to year, maintained as the Minister said because of some political situation which may possibly arise as he sees it, then we are going to vote against the Bill. Personally I am certain, and I feel that if the right spirit went into the making of legislation of this kind, if there was a definite indication that the national policy which should be decided by this House, for this portion of Ireland at any rate, was a progressive policy, progressing towards that old ideal of national independence, if we could feel that the government in charge of the State was working towards that end, then you could throw your Army open to every citizen of the State, establish it on the widest possible territorial basis, and with no danger whatsoever of any Executive elected by this House. It has got to be done in the right way, not in the spirit of party, not for the purpose of taking party advantage of the arguments that were used during the recent elections, but for the purpose of establishing in this country an organisation of the patriotic youth, armed and trained to defend the rights and liberties that are common to us all against any possible outside aggression.

As to the organisation of the Army, as far as I could make out, Deputy de Valera's ideas do not differ a great deal from ours, but they seem to differ a great deal from the ideas of Deputy Lemass. The Army exists for protection against any and every enemy, whether that enemy be outside or inside. Deputy de Valera suggested that it was to keep down the turbulent Irish in the south of Ireland in the interests of England. It is to keep down the turbulence in this country that the Army exists, solely and exclusively in the interests of Ireland. Deputy de Valera propounds what might be called a doctrine of war, the idea being that the only possible enemy of this country in the future is Great Britain. I often wonder why, as far as we can judge their history, our ancestors—my ancestors in two ways—did not fight—did not generally put up a better fight against my paternal ancestors, that is when the Normans came. It now strikes me that from the time the Danes had been here there had been de Valera parties, who used say: "All our army organisation must be directed against nothing whatever but against the Danes, and we must consider no other possible enemy in the future."

It would be more intelligent for them to have said: "Our Army should exist to protect this country against any and every enemy, whether those enemies be Norman-French, Vikings or turbulent Irish, who may be national enemies in their attempts to upset the State." I said on a previous occasion that I considered it almost impossible or practically impossible that the Irish Army should be pitted against the Army of Great Britain. I presume in saying that that no matter what party is in power in this country, no matter what Dáil may exist in the future, that the ordinary commonsense and ordinary intelligence would prevail. I insist upon believing that if the party opposite were to get into power that no matter what they may now say and no matter what they say during election time that even amongst them some vestige of intelligence will assert itself and when it comes to the point they will not pit whatever army they may have, whether a standing army, a territorial army, or such an army as they have in mind, against the greatest Power in the world.

Surely the decision would not rest with us.

The whole control of the Army and every decision with regard to it rests with this House, acting in the name of and on behalf of the people.

The Minister has misunderstood me. These forces are defence forces. The decision as to whom they will fight will be decided by whoever attacks them.

When I name any individual State I must presume it will not go out of its way to attack this country, and on the Deputy's showing in that case one may assume that it is practically certain that our small army will not be pitted either aggressively or defensively against the army of this great Power which is adjacent to us.

I do not want to deal with remarks about the Treaty being forced upon us; I might go on dealing with that matter for quite a long time. The army, as I have said, is a defensive force, a national defensive force against any and every enemy. It is controlled by this House in the name of the people of this State, and exists solely in the interests of the people of this State, to protect their rights whether they are attacked by enemies outside or armed enemies inside. Whatever situation may arise, as long as I am in the position that I occupy, and as long as I can persuade this Dáil, the Army will be used for that defensive purpose, and for no other purpose.

As to organisation, Deputy de Valera, unlike Deputy Lemass, seemed to realise that even in an army the major portion of it is composed of a territorial force and a reserve force. Deputy Lemass, although he says he has read the Bill, is the only Deputy who really convinces me that he did not read it. Deputy de Valera realises that you must have a framework, and he suggested that what applies to Switzerland could apply here—one in ten. That is about possible. Deputy de Valera proposed a standing army of about 5,000, which means on a ratio an equipped force of trained and semi-trained men to the number of 55,000. He proposes to equip and maintain such a force for about £1,100,000 annually. I have not gone sufficiently thoroughly into the figures to know whether that is humanly possible. I do not think it is humanly possible in this country at the moment to bring down the cost of the Army as much as that. So far as I am concerned, I cannot make any promise of reducing the cost of the Army by £1,000,000 within one year. If I attempt to make any such promise I will be promising a thing which would be nationally harmful.

There seems to be a tendency to think that the Bill, as it stands, commits us exclusively to a standing army, and precludes the possibility of an army organised on the lines suggested. I say it does not. At the present moment—it could not have been so a month or two ago—our Army does consist of a standing army and a reserve. The reserve at the moment is much smaller than the standing army, but the movement towards the reserve is continuous, and is controlled, so that as regards the existing Act, although the Army can consist of a standing army and a reserve, there were certain circumstances under which the Act was drawn up, and there are certain inconveniences in the Act which make it necessary to have a new one. There is very little change in the Act, and an army organised on the lines set out by Deputy de Valera could actually be run under that Act.

Does not that dispose of Deputy O'Connell's objection?

The point is we will have no Act.

If this Act is not renewed, you will have no Act on the 31st March next. When I spoke about a general attack upon this island —I may be unfortunate, but I have a habit of using words in their meaning—when I talked about a general attack, I meant a general attack.

It is as clear as mud.

There was practically the assertion that our Army existed to be dragged into Britain's wars, or something like that. The proof of that was that Deputy de Valera stated: "That is my view of it, anyhow."

Mr. BOLAND

We do not know what you did at the Imperial Conference. We would like to know something about that. If we heard it we might have a different opinion.

I have attempted to give accounts of it now and again. It is a rather difficult situation when one says "In the event of a general attack upon this island," and people then very carefully misrepresent what you say. Following the words "In the event of an attack upon this island," someone drags in something about war. It is difficult to deal with a situation like that when you have a very powerful and well-financed organisation using quite a lot of space in the newspapers carefully to misrepresent what one has said. I hope that we never will have to use the Army in warfare. Does it follow that the Army is therefore unnecessary? I do not think so.

Deputy Lemass has told us that Deputy Gorey was elected on the military votes. Well, it was not the military votes that really put him in; they made up the little balance of difference. In the same way, although our Army may not be sufficiently great to overcome any of the armies of the great Powers —and the people across the way there seem to be quite disappointed that we cannot put up an army which would, like the army of Alexander, seek new worlds to conquer—our Army is not necessarily useless. Even though the Army is not strong enough to overcome such armies as Alexander led, it is not useless. Every war has been won, just like the election, by the little number that made the majority.

I suppose you think the next war will be won by Ireland's Army?

If the war is going to be fought in this country, I hope it will be won by Ireland's Army.

For England?

Deputy O'Connell asks what greater strength there is in the promise made this year as compared with the promises of other years. Well, we are four years nearer the permanent Act than we were in 1923. The Deputy may be able to get up and point to occasions when I promised something definitely and failed to fulfil that promise. It may be so, but I cannot remember such an occasion.

Mr. O'CONNELL

The last Minister made many promises.

It is this Minister who is speaking at the moment. Such an Act as a permanent Act could not possibly be drafted and passed into law in this House in the time at our disposal, namely, before the 31st March, 1928. When one talks about the promises made last year, one must remember that we had two general elections in the meantime and that a whole lot of things happened which tended towards the postponement of measures. Deputy O'Connell hopes that the Irish Free State will be associated with every movement for peace. I hope so, too. I think we have done our share in that matter. In any case of war, it is undoubtedly sure to be bad for this country. We stand for peace all the time and our very enthusiasm for peace makes it all the more incumbent on us to maintain our Army.

Will the Minister give us his point of view as regards Deputy O'Connell's remarks about neutrality?

My own opinion is this: the Army is controlled entirely by this House. I believe the intelligence and the patriotism of this House, no matter what Party is in power, will be always such that the Army will be only used, and this country will only participate, in war when the interests of this country require it. It seems to be quite overlooked that the Army is controlled by this House and even your Executive Council can only commit you to participation in war in the case of an actual invasion.

Does this House control the manufacture of munitions supplied to that Army?

This House controls the money that pays for the munitions, and that I think is a very effective control.

May I ask the Minister——

Ministers are naturally cock-shots, but it can be carried too far.

I have not asked one yet.

You will arrange, sir, that the Deputy shall ask the 151st question.

The Deputy can ask the question when the Minister has concluded.

The relation of the army to parliament is absolute subjection to the parliament. A partisan army! As far as the influence of the Government is concerned, it is quite possible that the Government, which has shown a certain amount of energy, has put more energy into this than anything else: to create a government machine here—police, army, civil service, etc.— which will carry on, no matter what government is in power. We have been accused of calling ourselves the Government Party. Since the last election I have seen an advertisement in a newspaper, paid for by the Party opposite, which described us as the Free State Party. Can a party which calls us the Free State Party turn round and suggest that we are trying to use the Army as a party force? The Army is the army of the Free State as by law established, and the army of the only Irish State known internationally or that has been known internationally for 100 years. We have the epithet thrown at us, and rejoice in it, and accept it—"the Free State Party." We are the Party that have stood for the Free State and the Army and the Constitution, and the Army of the Free State will stand for the Free State and be subject to whatever government is legally in power here.

A DEPUTY

And be forced to vote for them.

I cannot understand people unless they speak clearly.

And vice versa.

So far as the members of the Government are concerned, we can only take responsibility for our own business. So far as I am concerned, I never in any way tried to create the impression that we had failed in our great objective: to create a police force, an army and a civil service, and all Government services, which will carry on irrespective of what particular government is in power. I have never failed to make that clear. We have done our best and I believe we have succeeded. Deputies say that moving on towards a reserve, etc., is not founded on fact. It is founded on fact, and is actually in operation. Already something like 1,000 men are in the Reserve—not quite 1,000 yet I think. Deputy Redmond suggested that there should be no permanent army—that it should be brought into existence every year. We need not go into an argument on that. That is based on an entirely English view of things. In this country the Army depends solely upon the Government and the Parliament—that is the constitutional position here. In England, theoretically the army exists, and is held in existence, by the King. That is what makes it necessary, but that remains theory only.

Parliament will not let them have it for more than a year at a time.

Here Parliament itself owns the Army, and it need not be so parsimonious with itself as it might be with somebody else. Deputy Lemass said that I suggested that this Bill was not very important. What I did suggest was that this position has been debated on a number of occasions here before the Deputy came here, and, therefore, there is not very much new to say about it. I did not suggest it was unimportant. I think it is important. Deputy O'Connell has pointed out, and I have pointed out, that it is so important that the whole Army position collapses if this Bill is not passed and law by the 31st March, or if this Bill is not passed, that another Bill should be passed in the meantime. The new Bill, like the present Bill, will make provision for the Army as outlined—that is to say, an army consisting of three parts. Deputy Lemass stated that the existing army was practically useless against any great Power. I can admit that we cannot beat any great power, or any combination of great Powers, by ourselves.

What is the purpose of the Army.

The purpose of the Army is to defend this country against any and every enemy, internal or external.

Even when useless?

It was the Deputy said it was useless, not I.

The Minister is after saying now that it is useless.

Then we come to "the unscrupulous executive." The Deputy rather nicely says that there being no election on now he does not suggest that the present Executive is unscrupulous. I have no doubt that if an election were on to-morrow he would promptly get up and say that the present Executive is unscrupulous. He says that the Army was brought into existence largely against the Deputies opposite. If he wants proof of the lack of unscrupulousness, of the extreme scrupulousness, tender-heartedness, almost to the point of crime, of the present Executive, there are 57 proofs of it in this House now.

A DEPUTY

Why did you not shoot the rest of them?

The Deputy thinks it is a terrible thing that one of the reasons for maintaining the Army was the prevention of suppression of internal disorder. That is one of the functions of it. In the event of internal disorder, if the Army is required under existing circumstances, the Army will be used promptly for the suppression and prevention of internal disorder. We are asked who is going to decide what is internal disorder? There is a legal machine; there is this House and the Government elected by this House; there is this House supreme here to decide whether and when there is internal disorder.

Will the House always meet to decide, or will it be Birkenhead?

It might really happen—it has often happened in history—that a criminal attempt is made to overthrow the State, and that is exactly the point that is in the Constitution when it says that the whole House must decide except in the case of invasion. In the case of invasion, the Government can use the Army against the invaders even without calling the House together. In the event of any criminal organisation of sufficient strength and power and armament to threaten this State, obviously if the House is not meeting the Government has one clear duty, and that is to suppress that attempt.

Suppose it is the Executive that is guilty of criminal intent?

We do not expect the present Government to fall just as quickly as our opponents do. As to the throwing out of epithets like "partisan force," every force is a partisan force; we are all partisans here, and I hope we all stand for this State in the most partisan, narrowminded, ignorant way against every other State that may stand against this State's interest. The officers hold their commissions at the pleasure of the Executive Council which is in existence for the time being. When a new Executive Council comes into being the officers, just like civil servants, will hold their positions at the pleasure of the Executive Government.

The whole Civil Service?

Yes, every civil servant holds his job, if I am not mistaken, at the pleasure of the Executive Council.

Then they are not appointed permanently?

I have made my statement and if anybody wants to contradict it he can do so. Deputy Lemass stands for one army, not a partisan army, but a national army standing against any and every enemy, internal and external, I presume. Well, we are both at one in that. He objects to any change in the oath from 1923 to 1927: "To maintain the State and the Constitution as by law established"! Does anyone suggest that the Army should not have its function of maintaining the State and Constitution as by law established?

By British law established.

By the law of this State established.

But by force of British arms.

Well, what is proposed about it?

Will the Minister continue his speech on the Bill?

Yes, but I like to give a nice polite answer to everyone. The Constitution was passed, and it is law in this country.

A DEPUTY

It is not law in the Six Counties.

It is not law in the Six Counties, but I am not going to bother about any more of these interruptions. As long as the present Government is in existence, and as long as this House exists, and as long as the State exists, and as long as Ireland exists, whatever army is established by the State shall maintain the State and the Constitution as by law established, whatever the State may be at that time, or whatever the law or the Constitution may be at that time. Deputy Lemass seemed to regret, though he carefully refrained from saying so definitely, that we cannot have political meetings in all the barracks. There was a wistful note in his voice when he talked about the possibility of meetings in barracks. They are splendid places for political meetings, but political meetings will not take place there while the present Executive is in power. Deputy Lemass seemed to think we were abandoning the permanent standing army. Neither I nor Deputy de Valera propose to abandon the permanent standing army. The permanent standing army must be there as long as we have an army, but the difference is that instead of only having a permanent standing army we have a permanent standing army in direct relationship with two other sections of the Army, namely, the reserve and territorial or militia forces.

As for the right spirit in legislation, that is what is called in French "nuance."

A DEPUTY

What is that?

I understand "nuance" in verse and poetry, but I do not understand it in the drafting of Private Bills. When we bring our Bill along I hope that clarity will be its outstanding feature. The Bill, when brought forward, will be marked by clarity providing for a standing army, a territorial and reserve force, possibly limiting the power of the Executive as to the extent to which it can raise the standing army, but at the same time allowing a certain amount of latitude. In fact, a Bill that will allow this country to evolve for itself an army maintained for the one purpose for which an army here should exist, namely, for the defence of the lives and property, rights and freedom of the people of this State.

There is just one question. I did not know that the Minister who moved the Second Reading of the Bill was going to have the final word. We heard nothing about the Naval Defence Conference. I would like to hear what is the position in respect of that.

It was postponed.

Indefinitely?

Postponed to a date to be decided on.

I should like to ask the Minister whether we could get any indication as to the date on which he proposes to bring in the Bill?

I hope it may be brought in within the next year. But it will be a long business for the draftsman, and I do not think I would like to go any nearer than that. When looking forward to a date it appears long, but afterwards when that date arrives and we look back to the time when it was announced it seems much shorter.

We are trying to look forward, and we will be looking back in a year's time and find that we are again being cut short and told that there was no time for this to be done, and that we shall have to pass another Act like this for another year.

In connection with the supply of munitions I would ask the Minister in the event of this country being cut off by a blockade seeing that at present we get all our supplies of arms and ammunitions from England what he proposes to do? He says we have control of the cash, but from my experience of military life it is a very difficult thing to fire hard cash out of a rifle.

In the event of a complete blockade, undoubtedly we would be short of munitions because although it is a fairly simple matter to manufacture munitions in this country, there is always the raw material that would have to be imported. The only thing is that we hope we will have a little inkling beforehand that there is going to be a blockade and then the Dáil will vote large sums of money to be spent in providing material for munitions before the blockade is set up.

AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE

took the Chair.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 50; Níl, 81.

Tá.

  • Frank Aiken.
  • Denis Allen.
  • Gerald Boland.
  • Patrick Boland.
  • Daniel Bourke.
  • Seán Brady.
  • Robert Briscoe.
  • Daniel Buckley.
  • Frank Carney.
  • Frank Carty.
  • Michael Clery.
  • James Colbert.
  • Eamon Cooney.
  • Dan Corkery.
  • Martin John Corry.
  • Fred. Hugh Crowley.
  • Thomas Derrig.
  • Eamon de Valera.
  • 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.
  • Thomas Mullins.
  • Patrick Joseph O'Dowd.
  • Seán T. O'Kelly.
  • William O'Leary.
  • Matthew O'Reilly.
  • Thomas O'Reilly.
  • Thomas P. Powell.
  • Patrick J. Ruttledge.
  • James Ryan.
  • Martin Sexton.
  • Patrick Smith.
  • Richard Walsh.
  • Francis C. Ward.

Níl.

  • William P. Aird.
  • Ernest Henry Alton.
  • Richard Anthony.
  • James Walter Beckett.
  • George Cecil Bennett.
  • Ernest Blythe.
  • Séamus A. Bourke.
  • Michael Brennan.
  • Henry Broderick.
  • Seán Brodrick.
  • Alfred Byrne.
  • John Daly.
  • William Davin.
  • 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.
  • Patrick Leonard.
  • Finian Lynch.
  • Arthur Patrick Mathews.
  • Martin McDonogh.
  • Michael Og McFadden.
  • John Joseph Byrne.
  • Edmund Carey.
  • Archie J. Cassidy.
  • James Coburn.
  • John James Cole.
  • Hugh Colohan.
  • Martin Conlan.
  • Michael P. Connolly.
  • Bryan Ricco Cooper.
  • William T. Cosgrave.
  • Sir James Craig.
  • Patrick McGilligan.
  • Joseph W. Mongan.
  • Daniel Morrissey.
  • Richard Mulcahy.
  • James E. Murphy.
  • Joseph Xavier Murphy.
  • Timothy Joseph Murphy.
  • James Sproule Myles.
  • Martin Michael Nally.
  • John Thomas Nolan.
  • Richard O'Connell.
  • Thomas J. O'Connell.
  • Bartholomew O'Connor.
  • Timothy Joseph O'Donovan.
  • John F. O'Hanlon.
  • Daniel O'Leary.
  • Dermot Gun O'Mahony.
  • Gearoid O'Sullivan.
  • John Marcus O'Sullivan.
  • William Archer Redmond.
  • 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 Boland and MacEntee. Níl: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle.
Amendment declared lost.
Main question put and declared carried.
Committee Stage ordered for Thursday, 24th November.