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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 30 May 1928

Vol. 23 No. 19


With reference to the Official Reports, which are, I understand, published under the supervision of the Ceann Comhairle, I want to draw attention to the headings under which my motion for leave to present a petition in accordance with the provisions of Article 48——

The Deputy has not given notice of this, and I do not know what it is about.

I want to say that the heading under which the debate was given in the first instance was "Petition to Amend Constitution." Of course it is nothing of the kind. It is, if anything, a petition to give effect to the Constitution. It was changed in the next issue to "Petition for Initiation of Constitutional Amendments." That is nearer to it. It should be "Petition for Provision for the Initiative." In the next issue there is a reversion to the original form—"Petition to Amend Constitution." I just want to say that I think these are quite misleading headings.

I have had no notice of this, and I do not know if the Deputy means to say that the headings are intentionally misleading or are simply incorrect.

They are misleading to anybody who looks at them. If you were to take the substance of the petition or the matter dealt with under that heading you would be misled.

If the Deputy had drawn attention to it in the usual way it would, of course, have been altered in the bound volume.

Could it be said that they were unintentionally illuminating?

I formally draw attention to this, and I should like to see a change made in the bound volume.

It is never done in that way.

The Deputy has taken an extraordinary way of doing a simple thing. He could have the matter changed by simply mentioning it. I think none of the three headings is a correct heading, but the Deputy will realise that the Editor of the Debates and the official reporters have to deal with a great variety of subjects, and have to put up headings to them. They are not necessarily constitutional experts and cannot always hit on the correct heading to put to a matter of this kind or any other kind. However, the matter is susceptible of easy remedy.