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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 15 Feb 1928

Vol. 22 No. 1


Question again proposed: That the Bill be read a Second Time.

I do not know what is the use, at the present day, in persisting in those antiquated ideas of compelling any official, in order to get his daily bread, to take a declaration of allegiance. We were challenged here that we cannot bring forward cases of individual officials who had lost their positions because they would not subscribe to that oath. If the Minister for Local Government and Public Health has a week to spare I guarantee to him it will take him a full week to go into the cases of individuals who have lost their positions and their daily bread because of their refusal to subscribe to that declaration. Is it going to be the case that no individual in this country is going to get any situation whatsoever unless he belongs to a particular political Party? That is the whole question. I wonder will any Deputy on the opposite benches have the nerve to say that they believe that the compelling of men to make that declaration is going to change their ideas or that it is going to make them more loyal to a particular Party? Does any member on the opposite benches think that compelling members of this Party to sign a shameful declaration is going to make us any more loyal to King George and to England? Do they think that it is going to make us accept King George of England as having any claim or any right whatsoever in this country? Do they think that it will prevent any individual in Ireland, whenever he thinks the opportunity is ripe, from striving to break all connection with England? Is not all this clearly intended to debase the individual? This is striving to make slaves in an age when freedom should be the watchword and the watchery. I have known fathers of families who were driven out of their positions, who were dismissed from their employment, because they did not subscribe to this declaration. I can give cases if required.

Can the Deputy say how many cases?

I stated, before the Minister came in, that if he is prepared to give a week to the matter I can promise him it will take him that time to inquire into all those cases. We can give him not one, or ten, but forty cases. The thing has become a common practice.

The Deputy had many weeks since the Bill was last discussed here to get these figures.

We have a lot of these cases in Cork County. I could not give you the exact figures, but if the Minister is prepared to give a week in Cork, I will give him a whole lot of them. I ask again—What is the use of this declaration at the present day? Its purpose is only to afford a certain spiteful satisfaction to one political Party and to compel another to bend the knee. That is the sole use of it, and that, I take it, is the sole intention of the Government at the present time in enforcing this test.

I cannot see any other reason that can prevail in the minds of the Government to enforce this declaration on an opposite Party. They know in their hearts and souls that if they do compel them to bend the knee it is not going to have the slightest effect on that Party any more than if you compel a member of this Party to sign a shameful declaration out there to be loyal to George of England. It is not going to make us any more loyal, and I think that has been recognised long ago. Is it going to make them better servants of the State and more efficient to compel them either to starve or bend the knee? I cannot see how it will. The only test that should be imposed for any public office is a man's efficiency and capability to do the work. We have so many of these tests, from the man with a spade and shovel up to the man at the head of a Department, that I am surprised at the last General Election the Government did not get a sweeping majority, considering how many individuals are depending for their daily bread on a certain political Party. A man cannot take a spade and shovel to work on the road unless be belonged at one time to one army. Mind you, that was not the unpaid army, the volunteer army that fought the Tans. That army was not given preferential treatment in employment. Preferential treatment was narrowed down to a political army. The same applies to every position of trust at the present day. I had a case a short time ago before the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, and I find that you cannot get a temporary postman's job unless you are connected with a certain political Party.

It would be better if the Deputy confined himself to the Bill and not deal with other matters.

I think it is relevant, because it refers to a political test and the Bill deals with a political test. Let the Government Party take their whips off and allow members to vote freely; then we will see how many individuals here are in favour of a political test so that a man may earn his daily bread. Leave the matter to the commonsense of the whole House. Take off the whips and let every Party vote freely. let our Party vote freely and let the matter be tested. I throw out that challenge. I suggest they are too much afraid that someone would kick against it. I consider it an outrage that men who went out believing they were absolutely right, acting on the advice of some of those who put the political test there—men who fought against the British during the British occupation of this country—should be subjected to this declaration simply because they continue in the same belief and adhere to the same teachings that were taught them by some of the members opposite. They are now to be deprived of their daily bread because they will not swallow all their political beliefs and subscribe to the declaration. It is an outrage and it is showing a very mean spirit among the members of the Executive Council who imposed the test. There is no commonsense in it. If men remained in the Post Office during the Tan period and subscribed to tests I do not think that that made them anything more loyal to England.

The bait that was held out to these men was that there would be no opposition to their getting an increase of salary if they subscribed to that test declaration. It was put up to every individual who did look for an increase of salary. The taking of that test declaration decided whether or not a man was entitled to an increase of salary. The signing of it decided whether he was loyal to the Government—the signing of his name to a degrading document of that kind, and it was nothing else. I hold that those who were starved out and compelled to sign that declaration were not anything more loyal to the Government because it succeeded in making them subscribe to such a declaration. They would naturally feel that they had been debased, degraded and deprived of their manhood by a test declaration, and also that they would not be any more loyal because of having to sign it, but rather they would feel that they would have satisfaction some day for being obliged to sign it. That, I suggest, is the frame of mind that the individual would be in who had been degraded by being compelled to take this test declaration. They were degraded into doing so in order to provide the bare necessaries of life for their wives and children. I suggest that the time has come now to have an end put to these tests and declarations and for these political distinctions between Irishmen. It is high time that they should be brought to an end. Is it not an outrage that men who left decent positions during the Tan period and went out to fight when there was no pay for fighting, should now be deprived of the necessaries of life unless they submit to the signing of a test declaration? If the Government have any confidence in the justice of their case let them take the whips off and have a straight division on this. These political tests were definitely used for the giving of increases of salaries and promises of that description. While these promises with regard to increases of salary were being given the people who paid the salaries and the pensions were gradually being starved out of existence.

In order to preserve, to some extent at least, the sequence of this debate I think it would be well that we should recall for a moment the position with regard to this discussion at the time of the Recess. As I remember it, Deputy MacEntee had delivered a very powerful and successful appeal to the House in order to prevent by every possible means in his power this Bill becoming law before the Recess. In making that appeal the Deputy put before the House some powerful and cogent arguments. Let us recall what he said and the circumstances under which he spoke. We were then within a week or two of the floating of the National Loan. If the floating of that loan had failed, this country would have been put into a position of financial discredit if not bankruptcy. Deputy MacEntee warned us as to what was before us if we passed this Bill. He told us, fairly and squarely, that to-day "this Government is in power, but that to-morrow we will be there, and that if we are there we will not honour the commitments of the previous Government." He hoisted once again the flag that was so useful during the last General Election, the flag upon which were emblazoned the words "We will pay no debts." For a moment he reminded me of the words of the Leader of the Opposition, or perhaps I should say one of the leaders of the Opposition, or the leader of one section of the Opposition. He reminded me of the words of Deputy de Valera who a few weeks previously was asked: "Will your Party, if it comes into power, honour the first National Loan?" The answer was "Yes." And he was asked: "Will your Party, if it comes into power, honour the second National Loan that is now being projected?" and the answer was "Yes." He was asked: "Will your Party, if it comes into power, pay as every sane man knows they would have to pay, the mortgages which are a charge on the farm of every man in Ireland for the purchase money he has borrowed?" and Deputy de Valera told us that question "requires further consideration." We all understood, when he said that, that he was only giving to the hot-heads of his Party a line of retreat. Now where are we and who are we? Which party are we to believe? Are we to follow and believe in the party led by Deputy MacEntee? Are we to follow his section or the section of the party led by Deputy de Valera, who says "Pay your debts," or are we to follow the party led by Deputy MacEntee, who says "Do not pay your debts." Which are we going to follow?

On a point of order. What has all this to do with the Bill under consideration—the payment of debts?


That was the position that Deputy MacEntee put before us. So that I may not misquote him, let me read his words. He said: "We will not accept any responsibility for the commitments entered into by the majority in this House"—that is a plain, straightforward declaration—"and remember that though we are in a minority we inevitably are going to be a majority to-morrow." Pass the Bill, says Deputy MacEntee, and we will wreck the country. Ireland will then become financially bankrupt within a fortnight or two and all you have got to do is to pass the Bill. Is it any wonder that Deputy MacEntee made a strong appeal to the House not to pass the Bill before the Recess—to postpone the financial crisis until after the Recess, because bankruptcy would inevitably follow once you had floated from this House the banner emblazoned with the words "We pay no debts here."

I was rather disappointed with the opening address of Deputy de Valera. His argument was moderately put, as his arguments generally are. There was very little in it to quarrel with. It was remarkable rather for what he left unsaid than for what he said. As one of the very few members speaking on behalf of all sides of the House, and who never, prior to coming into the Dáil, took an oath of allegiance to any king or monarch, I was anxious to hear an exposition of the new theology of which Deputy de Valera has accepted the paternity. I thought we would have an explanation from him on this question—why, to what extent, and for what period has the operation of the Ten Commandments been suspended? Does the suspension of the operation of the Ten Commandments apply only to members of the Dáil, and why should it not be equally extended to civil servants serving under the Minister for Local Government? What is the difference? Yet we were told that it would be a shameful thing to ask servants of the Local Government Department to take a simple declaration, whereas the taking of an oath of allegiance by members of the Opposition was merely an empty formula. Were it not for the assistance of Deputy MacEntee we would be still in the same state of ignorance as we were before Deputy de Valera spoke, for Deputy MacEntee has assured us that the taking of this declaration by any man against his will means nothing? In the name of Heaven, why should Deputy de Valera or Deputy MacEntee keeps us here talking about nothing? If it means nothing what is the objection to it?

There is a third Party in this House. There is a Party represented by Deputy Corry who tells us that he knows a number of fathers of families who are to-day suffering from want because they would not take this simple declaration. He has suggested that the Minister for Local Government should go down to Cork and hold an inquiry. We would be very glad to see him there. He would be always welcome there. Deputy Corry suggested that the Minister should stay for some weeks there. I would suggest a longer task that will keep him there for years. Let him come down and inquire into the number of sons of people who have taken the oath of allegiance and who occupy their present positions by reason of the salaries they received having taken the oath of allegiance. The first witness I would produce for him would be Deputy Corry. Let there be no mistake about who took the oath of allegiance. I am not in receipt, either through myself or anybody belonging to me, of any pension.

You did not tell that to the Orangemen.


I am not talking of West Cork at all. I am talking of East Cork, and I want to get the Minister for Local Government to hold a much bigger inquiry than that suggested by Deputy Corry. I want him to hold an inquiry as to how many members of the House are sitting here as a result of their parents having taken an oath of allegiance and whose parents are to-day in receipt of pensions by reason of their having taken the oath of allegiance. That is the inquiry I want him to hold, and I think I have got one Deputy who will be there to give some very reliable evidence.

Deputy Wolfe has made an allusion here, I take it, to my parent?


Why Deputy Corry should take it to himself I do not know.

My parent was not an Orangeman.


I said nothing against him.

No; but I hope to answer Deputy Wolfe's question somewhere else.


It was indeed suggested by Mr. de Valera that this was a political test, and you were told over and over again by Deputy Corry that it was a political test. I want to make it clear beyond doubt that this is no political test. Let there be no humbug about it. It wants nobody but a man of ordinary intelligence, of very ordinary intelligence at that, to see that it is no political test, that it is a promise by a man to serve no political party, or no section. It is a promise by the man to serve his employer faithfully. It is true, apart from the fathers of the many families to whom Deputy Corry referred, that somebody from some bench said during the debate he heard somebody who knew somebody who had heard somebody say he had known a school teacher who had taken the oath. In other words, I take it that this Bill is to be enlarged and that the Minister for Education of the future will have to send into the country teachers who will teach the young idea how to shoot from behind hedges. I I take it if the Opposition came into power to-morrow, my friend Deputy Corry would be the Minister for Education.

I have allowed the Deputy a good deal of latitude, but I cannot see what the future Minister for Education has got to do with this Bill.


I was merely suggesting the effect of passing this Bill. I believe that if it is to become law in the case of the servants of the Local Government Department, there is no logical reason why it should not also become law in the case of teachers. My point is this, that this declaration is a promise, not made on oath, to serve your employers faithfully and to mind your job. If any man should object to taking a declaration of that sort he is not fit for that job, whether he is a father or a son, and the sooner he is cleared out of the job the better for the job and the better for the country. I not only suggest that this declaration should be kept in force, but that it should be more stringently enforced than it is at present. I would suggest to the Government, taking the case of some of their officers, the case of rate collectors and others, that these officers ought not to act as Government political agents. I think any rate collector or any other Government official who acts as a Government political agent is not carrying out the spirit of this declaration. I say that against the Government. I do not say for one moment that they have so acted with the knowledge or the cognisance of the Minister for Local Government, but it is right to say that it has been done. Members on other benches, members on the Labour benches, and I myself, have had to complain. My appeal to the Government would be not merely to hold to the declaration, but to see that it is observed, and observed in a much more stringent manner than it has been hitherto. Let a man who takes a job say: "I will carry out my duties without fear, favour or affection. I will not be the servant of any political party. I will be the servant of one country only, and that Saorstát Eireann."

I should like to assure Deputy Wolfe and other Deputies who are constantly rattling the financial sabre, that if he and his friends, with all their money bags, cleared out of Ireland, the Irish nation would survive. This playing on the crass ignorance of the populace about matters financial, and this using of the magic of the black art about money matters is coming to an end very soon, not only here, but all over the world. It was a very good imperial weapon, but it is rusty. As to this declaration that this Bill is introduced to do away with, if the Ministry are in earnest in their various pleas for unity they will leave this to a free vote of the House and abolish it. I do not minimise for a moment the declaration or formula that we went through in coming into this House. It is a degrading thing— it is even more degrading than this declaration—but let them begin here and it will be a lever for the bigger thing. We want to get King George out of this country as much as Big Bill Thompson does in Chicago, and when an Executive pledge their solemn allegiance to it, and say earnestly from platforms that an oath is an oath, and then expect from their servants through the country allegiance to them, they indirectly and deliberately get allegiance to King George. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot go down to Beggars Bush Barracks and tell the men secretly there that your ultimate object is a republic and that you are striving for that, and then go out and hob-nob with the big guns of Molesworth Street and dine with them and drink the health of his Majesty and pretend loyalty. You cannot have the two things. It is neither healthy for this nation nor good for it, and perhaps if it were done away with we would not have had the tragedy of Tim Coughlan's death and the debate we had this evening.

In my own county there were two Irish teachers dismissed because they would not comply with this declaration of allegiance. We profess earnestness about the spreading of the Irish language. As long as that declaration exists these Irish classes will not be a success. Whatever chance there was of their being a success that declaration killed them, because the teachers who took up the positions have the stigma on them of being blacklegs. The Minister for Local Government asked Deputy Corry how many have been affected. The number is irrelevant. If it is only one or one hundred and one the fact is there of the evil of that declaration. The effect on these Irish classes is a very real effect, and they will never be a success until that declaration goes. The Irish taught in these classes has become known as the King's Irish, where teachers have been dismissed down in County Galway and in these two particular areas in my own county.

Tá á lán daoine ann agus is beag de Gaedhilg an Rí a bhíonn acu.

Is beag. If we are to get back to the spirit of Pearse—the spirit that actuated him in his propagation of an Irish-speaking Ireland, "not Gaelic merely but free as well, not free merely but Gaelic as well," we will do away with this declaration. It will be the beginning of the end. I earnestly appeal that this should be left to a free vote of the House. If, as has been often told us, the people are supreme, let them be supreme, and let them owe allegiance only to an Irish nation. The matter of the referendum on the question of the oath will be a simple matter if you do away with this declaration, and you will establish that unity which is necessary for any progress to be made in this country—national unity, which does not exist at present.

We introduced this Bill not in any party spirit and not for the purpose of stirring up any spirit of disunion, and not certainly in any arrogant way. We had hopes that the spirit in which it was introduced would be reciprocated perhaps to some little extent. However extraordinary it would be to expect it in the light of past experience, we had hoped and expected that it would be reciprocated to some little extent in the changed conditions by some at least of the Party opposite. However, in view of the line along which this debate has proceeded, it would seem that any hope of that must be abandoned and that we will have in this division, as we have experienced all through since we came in here, the Whips put on and the Party spirit rising above anything that may be nationally good or may make for the advancement, as we see it, of the national ideal.

The Minister for Local Government admitted in his speech at the opening of this debate that this clause was not in the original Bill, but came from the other House that some people call the Upper House, which others call an ascendency, and that we refer to here as the Senate. Before this clause came from the Senate the Party opposite who had control of the resources and administration of Government by a coup d'état or otherwise—at any rate hold it by force—had been acting upon the lines and in the spirit that we see exemplified and portrayed to-day. That spirit was something that we find in the ages long past in France and other places—L'état, c'est moi—the State, it is I. The people on the opposite benches by a coup d'état, and so forth, having succeeded in getting control of the government, having won some little military victory, started out to wipe out any possibility of opposition in the country. For months before that attempts were made to keep people from getting positions—certain people who local bodies believed were worthy of support, who even Cumann na nGaedheal bodies had believed were worthy of support. A little body in Dublin constituted as a Government had assigned to itself the position of having all the knowledge, and because those people had shown some tendencies which did not correspond with theirs, decided that they should be denied a livelihood in their own country. All these things led up to the introduction of this clause.

Looking up the debates, as already pointed out to this House and in the Senate, so far as we can see no case was made out for the inclusion of the clause. It was not shown by reference to any details or by any particular case that they were getting control of offices such as this clause in this Act was supposed to provide for or that they were getting these positions and should be cleared out, or that they were getting in in such numbers that they might be a menace to the State. No facts of that sort were brought forward because there were no such facts. The objective apparently was that, at that time, with depression and so on in the country, certain people holding office who might be expected to apply for the increases in their salaries or emoluments should be deprived of their rights by the Government. The tide of emigration, so far as it was flowing in regard to certain people in the country, was not flowing fast enough.

The Minister for Local Government, in making his case, tried to emphasise the point that £1,070,000 was paid to the Local Taxation Account. It would appear from the point of view as he expressed it, and from the point of view he tried to emphasise and to impress it upon the House, that that was a gift from the people opposite to the country. I do not think it makes the slightest difference whether it is collected by direct or indirect taxation; it is the people's money, and whether it is collected directly from the ratepayers or is sent down to the local bodies from the Taxation Account does not make the slightest difference. But we have to bear in mind when we hear so much about the will of the people and about the choice of the people that the local bodies are elected by the will of the people, and that those local bodies represent the will of the people more clearly than can be ascribed to the Party opposite. In the election of those local bodies you have not the same interest taken politically by the Civic Guard and the Army, and so on, as you have at election time on behalf of the Government.

The Minister for Education tried to emphasise that loyalty to the State was not loyalty to a Party. No matter how that fact may be emphasised or repeated by the Party opposite it will not efface the effect in the country that the people opposite have got it into their heads that they are the Government, and that they are going to remain and continue as the Government, and that the Cumann na nGaedheal Party is the Government of the country. It has not been regarded otherwise, and I am afraid it cannot be regarded otherwise. It has been said here with a good deal of insistence that there is a great difference between loyalty to the State now and the loyalty that used to be insisted on years ago. The Minister for Education has been to some extent challenged in this debate that he encouraged teachers in the past to refuse similar political tests, and rightly so. The particular tests in the North were opposed. We here for a somewhat similar reason to that of the Minister for Education, who encouraged them to oppose it and to resist it as far as they could, are endeavouring as far as we can to urge this House to take the same steps and to smash and to resist this political test here. One can understand, to some extent, the argument put forward in regard to what is described by the Minister for Lands and Agriculture as treason at one time and treason now. That is a very debatable question and raises up a very wide vista. But I think it can be very easily disposed of if I am to follow on the lines of the Minister for Agriculture when he talks of this Constitution "as by law established."

There was an Act previous to the Treaty which, I think, also recited the phrase "as by law established." It was a Home Rule Act or something like that. People were wise enough not to take much notice of it. It said something about "as by law established." It might have been constituted of a different personnel from the later Home Rule Act, or Treaty, which also was "by law established"—by British law established. People do not understand the wonderful difference that is supposed to have arisen. The Free State is part of the British Empire and it pays tribute to the British Empire.

No tribute is being paid, and the Deputy knows it.


Six millions a year is paid.

What name do you call it by?

It is not tribute.

Only one-fourth of the revenue?

It is not tribute.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

I do not think there is very much in a name, but I make the President a present of the distinction. I do not know what they call it in America.

The Deputy is trying to make people believe it, when he knows it is not tribute.

I know that this country is bled to the extent of six or seven millions a year. Deputy Tierney made a long speech about this question also of loyalty. I can understand Deputy Tierney's interest in having this clause retained. The Deputy represented North Mayo one time, and he told a Convention in Ballina that he had thousands of applications for jobs. Almost everyone who voted for him asked him for a job. In fact he was asked to compound a felony and to do other things by those people who voted for him. That was the natural result of giving out bags of coal at the election at which he was returned. I can understand Deputy Tierney, harassed as he was that way for jobs, trying to confine the jobs to the little, narrow coterie of people who support the Party opposite. That is understandable and reasonable. I do not want to go into Deputy Tierney's arguments. I do not think there is anything in them, except that I can understand the necessity he feels of keeping what little jobs there are in the country for those people.

Deputy Esmonde also made a speech in favour of the retention of the clause, but he was reminded that when this matter was before the Dáil on a former occasion he was against it. Deputy Esmonde said he did not remember. It is a convenient way to forget—rather to get out of these things, and apparently if you are a while on the Government Benches, it is not very difficult to get hold of excuses. He follows up that, and says, "Very well," if he did vote against the retention, he made a very serious lapse. Perhaps I should hope that as a result of the three months' adjournment, and after a bad winter he might have a serious relapse and vote against its retention. You have the position here, and I do not want to over-emphasise it or go into it in detail, by which the people on the Government Benches seem to be struck with awe at the very idea of not having all these tests and enforcing what they call loyalty to the State and confining people's activities in every possible way towards supporting or buttressing up that State.

We should remember, after all, that a couple of centuries have not passed with some members opposite when an Act was on the Statute Book, as by law established, which would confer perhaps not altogether as much but some little self-government on the country, and when they were advocating resistance to it by every means possible, by whatever means suited at that time, to get it out of the way and put something better in its place. That is what we advocate to-day; that is what we on these benches shall always advocate, by whatever means are best at the particular moment. At the same time we have to bear in mind that the people opposite, when they were calling out for allegiance to the State, were working themselves in enlisting people into a secret organisation, even in the barracks and so on, to work for something else. They were worthy of a place then on the Government Benches, and we find them to-day with somebody who at that particular time held an opposite view, like Deputy Cooper or somebody else, and we find all those people coming together, including Deputy Wolfe, who would only be too happy to prosecute anybody who seven or eight years ago would say that English law was not the right law and should not be obeyed and enforced. Perhaps the Minister for Local Government sees Aughrim's slopes through Khyber Pass, but it is very difficult for the ordinary person to understand it, and difficult in a debate like this to try to get out what is the real reason if you are to get beyond a position of prejudice for the retention of that law. There is no reason that could be adduced, no reasonable reason or excuse for its retention. It is kept there purely and simply as an example of the Government's determination to try to drive from the country and prevent their getting a living in the country, people who do not agree with them absolutely. It is the act of a Party, the act of a section of the country who think, although there are people in the country who subscribe to taxation and contribute to the administration of the country, that because they hold different views from them they have no rights in the country. If the people on the opposite benches had been somewhat consistent, if they had always since the Free State was established shown as much interest in it as they now do openly, and if they had not tried to start I.R.B. organisations in the barracks, we would see some little force in the Minister for Local Government's statement as to the reason for this. There can be no reason except a political one. As I said at the beginning, we try to approach this thing dispassionately in the hope that a new and different spirit might obtain in this House and that the people opposite might be prepared to take the view, owing to the changed conditions, that there was no necessity to have these things, which appear to be relics of the disturbed period.

However, that spirit does not seem to be amongst the people on the Government Benches. If this House by a majority decides on the retention of this clause we can only hope that the country will rid itself of this test, as it rid itself in the past of other tests, imposed perhaps by different personnels but deriving their powers from very much the same sources. This test has been imposed by a little paltry clique or faction that calls itself a Government. It is kept there purely as a Party test. It is not loyalty to the State; it is loyalty to a Party. It was introduced and passed because it was known that it would affect certain people in the country at a time when the country was disturbed and when the people opposite were in the full flush and heat of having got some temporary military victory and when they thought that they were in a position to stamp out everything that represented republicanism, when they thought perhaps that the tide of the youth of the country in the direction of complete and absolute independence would be stemmed by this. That was one of the objects of raising this barrier. I hope that they will see in this vote that they might as well be trying to keep out the tide with a graip, that by tests, coercion, and all other methods that have been tried in the past they cannot prevent the youth and people of the country from thinking in the terms of the complete independence and unity of this country. These political tests will fail and are degrading; they should not be necessary in any country. If we are told the country is peaceful and is acting on the will of the people and so on, if all those things are supposed to exist and the full will of the people is behind this Government, then why is it necessary to resort to these miserable methods and these British tactics which we find exemplified in this political test? Take, for example, a man who held a certain position as a clerk to a certain council. Now under this section he was quite entitled to hold on to his position. But if he applied for an increase of salary, no matter how long he was in it, he would be required to take this political test. That seems illogical, and certainly seems a very peculiar thing.

I do not think that any purpose will be served at this stage by going into this matter more fully, because I feel that on the Government Benches, with the Whips on, the members will vote in the machine way they have always voted and that there is no hope, with the front Government Bench having taken up the position that it is going to maintain this test and going to continue those coercionary and repressive measures, that any time I might spend in trying to urge this question would have any effect. I can only hope if the Whips do remain on in this particular division that the time is not distant when this clause and this repressive measure will go the way all repressive and coercionary measures, all repressive and reactionary bodies, have gone in the past.

Question—"That the Bill be now read a Second Time"—put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 64; Níl, 75.

  • Frank Aiken.
  • Denis Allen.
  • Richard Anthony.
  • Neal Blaney.
  • Gerald Boland.
  • Patrick Boland.
  • Daniel Bourke.
  • Seán Brady.
  • Robert Briscoe.
  • Daniel Buckley.
  • Frank Carney.
  • Frank Carty.
  • Archie J. Cassidy.
  • Patrick Clancy.
  • Michael Clery.
  • James Colbert.
  • Hugh Colohan.
  • Eamon Cooney.
  • Dan Corkery.
  • Richard Corish.
  • Martin John Corry.
  • Fred Hugh Crowley.
  • Tadhg Crowley.
  • William Davin.
  • Thomas Derrig.
  • James Everett.
  • Frank Fahy.
  • Hugo Flinn.
  • Andrew Fogarty.
  • Seán French.
  • Patrick J. Gorry.
  • John Goulding.
  • Seán Hayes.
  • Patrick Hogan (Clare).
  • Samuel Holt.
  • Patrick Houlihan.
  • Stephen Jordan.
  • Michael Joseph Kennedy.
  • William R. Kent.
  • Frank Kerlin.
  • James Joseph Killane.
  • Mark Killilea.
  • Michael Kilroy.
  • Seán F. Lemass.
  • Patrick John Little.
  • Ben Maguire.
  • Seán MacEntee.
  • Séamus Moore.
  • Daniel Morrissey.
  • Thomas Mullins.
  • Timothy Joseph Murphy.
  • Thomas J. O'Connell.
  • Patrick Joseph O'Dowd.
  • Seán T. O'Kelly.
  • Matthew O'Reilly.
  • Thomas P. Powell.
  • Patrick J. Ruttledge.
  • James Ryan.
  • Martin Sexton.
  • Timothy Sheehy (Tipperary).
  • Patrick Smith.
  • John Tubridy.
  • Richard Walsh.
  • Francis C. Ward.


  • William P. Aird.
  • Ernest Henry Alton.
  • James Walter Beckett.
  • George Cecil Bennett.
  • Ernest Blythe.
  • Séamus A. Bourke.
  • Michael Brennan.
  • Seán Brodrick.
  • Alfred Byrne.
  • John Joseph Byrne.
  • Edmund Carey.
  • John James Cole.
  • Mrs. Margt. Collins-O'Driscoll.
  • Martin Conlan.
  • Michael P. Connolly.
  • Bryan Ricco Cooper.
  • William T. Cosgrave.
  • James Crowley.
  • John Daly.
  • Michael Davis.
  • Peter De Loughrey.
  • Eugene Doherty.
  • James N. Dolan.
  • Peadar Seán Doyle.
  • Edmund John Duggan.
  • James Dwyer.
  • Barry M. Egan.
  • Osmond Thos. Grattan Esmonde.
  • Bartholomew O'Connor.
  • Timothy Joseph O'Donovan.
  • John F. O'Hanlon.
  • Daniel O'Leary.
  • Dermot Gun O'Mahony.
  • John J. O'Reilly.
  • Gearoid O'Sullivan.
  • John Marcus O'Sullivan.
  • William Archer Redmond.
  • Patrick Reynolds.
  • Desmond Fitzgerald.
  • James Fitzgerald-Kenney.
  • John Good.
  • Alexander Haslett.
  • John J. Hassett.
  • 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.
  • Patrick McGilligan.
  • Joseph W. Mongan.
  • Richard Mulcahy.
  • James E. Murphy.
  • James Sproule Myles.
  • Martin Michael Nally.
  • John Thomas Nolan.
  • Martin Roddy.
  • Timothy Sheehy (West Cork).
  • William Edward Thrift.
  • Michael Tierney.
  • Daniel Vaughan.
  • John White.
  • Vincent Joseph White.
  • George Wolfe.
  • Jasper Travers Wolfe.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Boland and MacEntee. Níl: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle.
Motion declared lost.