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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 17 Jul 1928

Vol. 25 No. 5


I beg to move the Second Reading of this Bill. The object is set out in the long title. The Directors of the National Gallery were advised that they were not in a position to lend pictures for exhibition in this country, or in other countries. This is simply a Bill to get out of that disability, and that is practically all that is to be said in the matter.

This Bill seems to me to be in the nature of a private Bill.

No. In what sense private?

However, its purpose is a very laudable one, and I do not intend to offer any opposition to it. If such local exhibitions would do something towards cultivating the public taste and stopping these execrable prints that we see, not only in houses, but in the churches and elsewhere, it would be very good. I have heard, although I suppose I would not be in order in referring to it now, some criticism of the way in which pictures are kept in the National Gallery. I suppose it would be out of order to refer to the matter now.

On the Estimates.

I shall not do so now.

I understand that, by order of the Department of Local Government, an inquiry was held in connection with the transfer of the Lane pictures. Naturally, that gave rise to the belief that the Government had some hope that it would be possible to get these pictures back. The present is a favourable opportunity for the Minister to make a statement.

I am afraid it does not arise on the present Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

If the House has no objection, and as there is an international exhibition coming off to which the Gallery would like to send two Dutch pictures, I would like the House to give me the further stages of this Bill to-morrow. The Bill is a simple one, and if the House has no objection I would ask for the Committee Stage to-morrow.

Committee Stage ordered for to-morrow.