In Committee on Finance. - Vote No. 66—External Affairs.

I move:—

Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar £39,276 chun slánuithe na suime is gá chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1930, chun Tuarastail agus Costaisí Oifig an Aire Gnóthaí Coigríche, agus Seirbhísí áirithe atá fé riara na hOifige sin.

That a sum not exceeding £39,276 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1930, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of the Minister for External Affairs, and of certain Services administered by that Office.

I think that the Minister for External Affairs wishes to discuss this and the Supplementary Estimate for £2,763 together.

I take it there is no objection to doing that. We can take a decision separately, if necessary.

I propose at the beginning to indicate certain changes that appear on the face of the Estimate for the Department of External Affairs, and to refer to the scheme of reorganisation which those changes indicate. It will be observed from the Estimate that representatives abroad have been scaled to a particular grade so far as salaries are concerned, with, I think, one exception, and also that secretaries in these various offices have been put in a particular grade, the object being that in the reorganisation we ought so to assimilate salaries and positions that the representatives will be easily interchangeable, not merely with other representatives accredited to foreign capitals, but also with civil servants at home. The difference with regard to expenditure that has to be met, and the expenses that fall on people abroad, is met by giving increased allowances of different types, which are detailed for the different offices in London, Washington, New York and other capitals. That indicates the reorganisation of which I spoke when I was last dealing with this Vote. We have now, if not entirely, almost completely achieved the position which we set out to achieve, namely, that these people will be readily interchangeable, and that no distinction in grade and salary will impede a transfer from one foreign office to another where it seems to us that the change is suitable to the service generally. The Headquarters Vote shows an increase of over £3,000, and an increase in staff, apparently, of six persons. One of the officers attached to headquarters has been assigned for temporary duty at Geneva, so that, so far as that office is concerned, the amount opposite his name for salary must be deducted from the gross increase, giving an increase of about £2,000. That is due to the reorganisation of the headquarters staff in order to cope with the increased duties which fell on them.

Up to about a year ago there was continued in existence the old staff and the old office which had been functioning from about 1922. The organisation had been unchanged pretty well during that time and it was found that the accumulation of work to be dealt with by the office was so great that the officials were being overburdened and the work was not being properly handled. With the recognition of the importance of the office and in advertence to the enormous increase of work that had fallen to the staff, there was a decision that certain changes were necessary and these changes are shown here. The headquarters staff consisted of a legal adviser, a principal officer, two assistant principals and two junior administrative officers. Two old posts have disappeared, the post of a special correspondence officer and one of the temporary administrative officers. The principal officer is, of course, the official to whom I previously referred as having been sent temporarily to Geneva. There is therefore an increase in the headquarters staff of three administrative officers and a very slight increase in the junior staff. There have been a few typists added.

Under the heading of Great Britain, an increase is shown of about £1,000 due mainly to the increased representation allowance that has been given to the new High Commissioner, a representation allowance which was found to be necessary when we had considered what had been allotted to the previous High Commissioner and the inroads made on his personal income by reason of the fact that the personal representation allowance was not sufficient. It will be noted that under Sub-head (B) 2, rents, rates, etc., there is an apparent increase on the face of the Estimate, but the receipts will show that there has to be set-off against that a sum of £470, leaving the net amount estimated this year under that heading less than what was previously estimated. I should point out also that under the heading of receipts there is coming in a sum of £1,180 as rents paid by subtenants for part of the High Commissioner's Office.

In the Washington Office there is a total cost of something over £9,000 representing an increase of a few hundred pounds on last year's Vote. That follows from the ordinary reorganistation of the office where certain posts have been more or less superseded, and where a number of people have been allowed to carry on who are to be superseded. Provision is made for a Minister, a counsel, and a secretary. In New York there has been a considerable change. There is there an increase of £2,000 as compared with last year. The whole character of this office is being changed. Previously there were two officers having different functions, one being a trade representative concerned solely with matters of trade and the other being a Passport Control Officer, who had to deal with visas and the passport of any alien sailing from New York and proposing to land in this country. It is proposed to re-establish this office as a Consulate-General which will have to deal with trade, consular visa, and passport questions not only for New York, but for the whole of the United States, so far as is practicable. The Vice-Consul appears in the Estimates for the moment. This official is temporarily stationed at Boston and carrying out visa functions in the case of aliens sailing from that port. At the moment visas are being granted for sailings from all ports in the United States of America, and the revenue from that is estimated somewhere between £17,000 and £18,000. There is an expectation even since that figure was set down that the receipts under that heading will be found to be increased. It is intended not merely to visa passports, but in future to issue passports from the United States to all our citizens who want these passports and who are sailing from the United States. From that alone we expect to get in an amount of £1,500.

Last year the representation to France and Belgium amounted to £3,700. For these two offices the amount this year is estimated at £5,300, showing an increase of £1,600. It is proposed, at any rate temporarily, to close down the existing offices in Brussels and to close down the existing offices in Paris, replacing these by a Legation in Paris immediately. We will make provision also for carrying on the work which was being done exceptionally well at Brussels. The provision that is made under the heading of Brussels under this Estimate is for only part of the time—until such time as a Legation has been set up in Paris. Similarly the item "Trade representation" under the head of "Irish bureau" will disappear hereafter. Provision is made to carry on that until such time as the Legation in Paris has been established. The last item under these detailed headings is completely new. Up to date there has been no representation to Germany. It is now proposed to establish a legation as soon as approval for this Vote has been given. Provision is shown only for part of the year. It is estimated at £4,400 during the present financial year. The total of the Vote, with these increases, omitting the supplementary, which I will deal with later on, is £59,796, an increase of £11,000 on last year's Vote. The receipts are £28,180, leaving the net expenditure a little over £30,000. The net expenditure for the State on all services is £21,000,000. A calculation will show that we are, in fact, spending here on foreign representation something less than 3/- out of every £100, and that comparison is useful when taken into consideration with figures which I have for a few other countries. In Finland 17/- on every £100 is spent on foreign representation; in Norway, 24/-; and in Denmark, £313,000 is spent on external representation. Those are the only points to which I wish to refer at the moment.

With regard to the detailed headings the sum as set out in the Supplementary Estimate is not, of course, the full amount that will be required for the legation when in full working order for the period of a year. Although there is the intention to get this office at least established as soon as possible, it will not be in full working order until October, and the Estimate is calculated from that date. Those are the details of the officials and of the salaries being paid to those officials, and they represent, so far as I am concerned, almost completely the reorganisation I spoke of previously. We have now got to the point, as I said before, that Ministers have been scaled at a particular rate, and the main officials scaled also at a particular rate, rates which bear comparison as far as the basic rate is actually concerned with certain posts in the home Civil Service. Allowances will be made for the conditions under which these people will have to live by way of extra allowances set out here, representation allowance and transport allowance. The offices, if this Vote be passed, will then compare with establishments at London as previously, Washington as previously, New York, suffering a certain change, and the League of Nations in a transitional period, some change further still being required, Brussels office to a certain extent disappearing for the time being, and new offices being established in France, Germany and at the Vatican. With this staff we will have to rest content for the moment, although there is pressure constantly exerted to have further offices opened up, but one must wait until time shows what the value of these other representations is and the value the State is going to gain from the new appointments that are being urged. At the moment this appears to be the mere minimum representation that any State dealing in any serious way with external matters must have.

Our first association is with the British Commonwealth of Nations. Our membership of that association of States called the Commonwealth of Nations, as I stressed on a previous occasion, is that of a completely independent State, freely associated with other member States and co-equal in status with them. The supreme executive authority in every exclusive concern of this country is exercised on the sole advice of the Executive Council. The Commonwealth conception imports no limitation of the internal sovereignty of any of its members, and imposes no restrictions upon the exercise of its external sovereignty by any such member, save those imposed equally on every international person as a member of the family of nations by reason of the acceptance of the obligations of the Covenant of the League. In the year 1926 the principles underlying the status of each of the members of the Association of States to which we belong were formulated and declared to the world. The declarations then made did not proclaim a constitutional system suddenly established, but rather collected, co-ordinated and consolidated a body of constitutional principles theretofore gradually accepted, but then for the first time authoritatively interpreted and formally acknowledged. Thereafter the principles then formulated were to be universally recognised as the governing factors in the relationships of the member-States of the Commonwealth to each other, and the relationships of each member-State to the Commonwealth as a whole. It was made manifest to the world that the new definition of status then declared postulated far-reaching readjustments in the external relations of the member-States with international society at large. Our contribution to the formulation of these constitutional doctrines was positive, persistent and decisive. The vigilance and diligence which have been exercised in applying them to our routine relations with other States within and without the Commonwealth, in removing anomalous legal forms, in securing the discontinuance of practices that have no place in modern democratic life, and no justification in present constitutional theory, and generally in conforming every aspect of the Commonwealth scheme to the principles on which it rests, has been, and must continue to be, the special work of the Department of External Affairs.

In the autumn of the present year a Committee of Experts from every State in the Commonwealth will meet to discuss the formal amendment or modification, or repeal of enactments still on the Statute Book of the United Kingdom which are inconsistent with the existing legislative powers of the member State Parliaments. Our purpose is that whatever remnants there may be of the old order of Imperial control will be removed and the last legal vestiges of the organisation now superseded swept away. The entire legal framework in which the old system of central rule was held together will be taken asunder and will never be put together again. A new legal structure will take its place, in which no bar or barrier to future constitutional development will be found. The free co-operation which is the basis of the Commonwealth idea, the instrument of its usefulness and the expression of the individual sovereignty of its members, will be clothed in forms which reveal rather than conceal its reality. The House will realise what an amount of watchful, painstaking and highly technical labour that work involves. No more exacting work has been or is being done in the service of the State than that which this Department has to show. It is needless to emphasise the importance of that work and the consequences which must follow its well-doing. The system or polity to which we belong is not a vague and nebulous political formula. Our Treaty with Great Britain and the Constitution of the Irish Free State gave a new direction to constitutional thought, and set going new forces and new processes in constitutional speculation within the Commonwealth of Nations itself. The constitutional historians of this time will hereafter record the great achievement this has been. In a far larger field the historian of international politics will find the landmarks of our progress.

I have adverted to the accepted criteria of status in the Commonwealth of Nations. It is unnecessary for me to review in this House the credentials of Statehood in the post-war organisation of the world. Statehood has now two readily discernible, because well-defined and unmistakable, marks or characteristics the possession of which proclaims it to be a State, entitles it to the rights of a State, and imposes upon it in international life the duties and obligations of a State. There is (1) the Treaty-making power, and (2) the right to diplomatic representation in the capitals of other States. We become signatories to international treaties, commercial treaties and political treaties. We do so because we take the view that the international treaty represents the great and growing conspiracy of peace-loving mankind against the calamity of war. We have sent representatives abroad and we are sending more representatives abroad primarily as part of our contribution to the organisation of peace as the world's most impressive need. Our Legations abroad are not ornamental establishments. Their expenses are, as the Estimate shows, being cut to the bedrock requisite for the position which the Ministers will hold and the duties will in the nature of things be different in the different countries. But they will be informed and dominated by the paramount policy of peace, and of arbitration and conciliation as the instruments of peace. The exercise of the Treaty-making power of this State and its conduct on a larger scale of diplomatic intercourse with other nations are closely co-related because directed, in the first instance, to these ends. I have taken these aspects of the position to show to the House the extent of the work which the Department of External Affairs has been engaged upon and the extent of the work which the continuance of its activities in new spheres will bring in its train.

The traditional national policy of this country has been that Ireland should take her place amongst the nations. Ireland has taken her place amongst the nations. We speak clearly and audibly in the assemblies of the world. At Commonwealth Conference, League Assembly, and in the Chancelleries we have a place, a responsibility and an influence. We have assumed an irrevocable share in the burthens of international life, a share which we could not have shirked and would not have postponed. If our influence is to be increasingly felt in the promotion of progressive causes, and if our efforts are to be thrown more and more into the balance of forces working for the peace and harmony of the world, our new responsibilities must be solemnly understood and seriously undertaken.

We approach this year the opening of three new offices. The Supplementary Estimate deals with the establishment of a legation to the Vatican. In an Irish Parliament I do not think there is much need to put forward arguments to justify the creation of a diplomatic post at the Vatican. Our whole history has received its dominating characteristics from our adhesion to the principles of the Catholic religion, of which the visible head is the Bishop of Rome. This State does, indeed, count many thousands of loyal citizens who do not acknowledge the primacy of the Pope; but there will be very few amongst them who will not recognise that the Papacy is an exceedingly important factor in the affairs of nations and individuals, and that accordingly this State should not be less eager than other nations to secure its good-will and co-operation. For the vast majority of our people, however, whether in this country or scattered through the United States and the various nations of this Commonwealth, this present stage of our history has been pre-determined in all its details by our fidelity to the Church of Rome, and to the illustrious line of Pontiffs who have occupied the Chair of Peter.

From time to time in our history our relations have assumed something more than a religious aspect. In the days of Elizabeth, the Papal Court was the great refuge of exiled Irish leaders. In the final war of the Gaelic chieftains under Hugh O'Neill, the Papacy took a lively interest, being ever active on their behalf with foreign Powers. When the last hopes were crushed and the leaders were compelled to flee, they went to Rome, where they were received with sympathy and generously provided for by Paul V.

The only example in our history of formal diplomatic relations with the Holy See was the sending by Innocent X. to the Confederation in 1645 of Rinuccini, a close personal friend of Eoin Rua O'Neill, who, when the inevitable clash between the old Irish and the Ormondites came, unhesitatingly took sides with the old Irish.

Nearly three hundred years elapsed without any renewal of official relations. Our attempts at making official relations in the immediately post-war period were not successful. The position of the Holy See was rendered exceedingly difficult by the circumstances arising out of the war, and no amount of good-will and tact on both sides could have changed the situation. These were the things that, personally, I had before me when I was entrusted with the task of approaching the Vatican on the point of opening up diplomatic relations between this country and the Holy See. I do not know if any Irishman could have approached that task without feelings of great emotion. Personally, I assert that it was with feelings of considerable emotion that I took the steps preliminary to the opening up of diplomatic relations formally and permanently with the Holy See. I had the task of informing the Holy See that the establishment of official relations would be a source of very great satisfaction, not only to the Irish people here in this country, but also to the millions of our race all over the world. It was the feeling of my Government that the Irish Free State should definitely give to the world this sign that the attachment to the things of the spirit which had been the outstanding characteristic of our people in the days of persecution continued to be the chief characteristic of the organised Irish State. It seemed to us to be especially appropriate that this exchange of diplomatic relations should take place just at the moment when the Vatican State was being recreated and when the Centenary of Catholic Emancipation was being celebrated in Ireland. The Holy Father has been pleased to take cognisance of this latter circumstance and it is hoped that his Envoy will reach Dublin on the 24th June, so that his solemn entry into this State may form the appropriate climax to these celebrations.

I hope every citizen of this State, no matter what otherwise his views may be, will regard this event in its true perspective, detached from the passing quarrels and jealousies of our time and will welcome the Papal representative as the envoy, not only of the religious head of the vast majority of the Irish race, but also of the oldest and most glorious monarchy in the world.

It is my intention to send our Minister Plenipotentiary immediately to Rome on the passing of this Vote so that diplomatic relations with the Holy See will have been formally established by the 25th June.

The establishment of diplomatic relations with France and Germany is an obvious step in the development and expansion of our international relations. France is our nearest continental neighbour. Our paths in history have frequently run together. The roll of honour of her armies contains the names of many Irishmen who gave their lives in her service. There has been a traditional mutual esteem between our two countries for many centuries, and a considerable degree of sympathy has always been found in France for this country in her political struggles.

It must also be remembered that Paris is one of the great world centres of diplomacy and international action, and there is no nation in the world which has not its representative there. To neglect Paris would be to remain outside the great stream of world progress and to ignore one of the most potent means of securing the good will of Europe.

Germany has come more and more into our national life since the war. Her experts have been amongst our best helpers in the reconstruction of this country. She is a great and growing nation occupying a geographical position of great importance between the Latin and Slav peoples, and her commerce is expanding with astonishing rapidity.

London, Washington, Berlin, Paris, Geneva and the Vatican are the great nodal points of the life of nations. Representation at these centres is the very minimum which any country with a State existence should secure. We hope, of course, to extend our representation at a somewhat later date to Canada and some other of our sister nations in the Commonwealth. We are in constant touch with these nations by correspondence, but it is felt that the method of personal contact will become more and more a normal requirement as our relations increase.

The new offices when established will fall into line with those already set up. They will have activities that will change, as I said previously, according to the circumstances of the different countries: but, ordinarily speaking, all these offices will work much along the same lines. I possibly should stress here, simply for the reason that so much vague and ill-informed talk was heard on the last occasion on which the Vote was before the House, the fact that the opening up of these offices—what some people are apt to decry by the title of political offices—is important in the ordinary commercial and trade relations as between this country and the other countries in which we have offices. I did say last year that the main duties of these officials of ours abroad will be primarily that of commercial intelligence, and I stress the fact again, because there is apparently everywhere a disposition to query the opening up of some of these offices and to ask in detail what commercial good, what increase of trade is hoped for from their establishment. Again, one must view the present situation and take that in its relation to what is hoped might eventuate in future. At the present time England is our chief and greatest market. While recognising that fact, and seeking to consolidate our position in that market, an attempt has been made, and will continue to be made, to get openings elsewhere. It was realised in the post-war world that a trade representative who has no diplomatic status has a less easy way of approach to the heads of States, has less authority, has even much less chance of acquiring contact with business people, with commercial people of standing, and, on the whole, has much less authoritative and genuine information to give about the country in which he is representative to the office at home; and his information with regard to openings here, or with regard to what comes from this country, is less well received as coming merely from a trade representative than as coming from one associated with an office of the ordinary type dealt with here.

There are varied activities and there are various functions which these foreign representatives have to perform. I take the London office as an example, because, as I say, England at present is our chief and greatest market. But, if I do stress London, I do not want it to be taken that I am minimising at all the efforts, or even trying to decry the efforts, of representatives elsewhere than in London. One might easily point to the balance of trade as between two countries. One might take any of these countries where either we had representation previously or where we intend to open up offices and say, "What have we to offer these countries?" or better still, "What have these countries to offer us?""What is the possibility of success in improving the economic situation in this country by reason of representation abroad?" A short-sighted view might easily lead one to declare that as far as all the offices, excepting only London, were concerned there is no function for our representatives abroad, and that our representatives abroad, in so far as they have been in operation for some years, have not been successful. That is, as I say, the short-sighted view. One could again, in opposition to that, take, say, the flow of trade as between this country and Belgium prior to the establishment of any representation there, and see what increase there has been, and decide as to whether or not that increase has been entirely to our advantage. But that would be leaning too much, or giving in too readily to the short-sighted view which will seek to judge everything merely by trade results. There is the point of view of intelligence acquired, the point of view of information supplied, and the point of view of precedent, and the comparison made and contrast instituted between what happened in other countries and what is happening here; and all this information and contrast and comparison leads, if people receive the information intelligently, to development in this country. There might be an enormous amount of information circulated as between the External Affairs Department and the Department of Industry and Commerce, and through them to traders and industrialists in this country, and no appreciable increase shown year by year in the volume of trade passing between the two countries. I stress that because I have found a disposition to rule the value of all that has passed simply by the trade that is passing, and to say that the office is successful or unsuccessful according as the volume of trade has increased or decreased.

I could go into detail with regard to the information supplied from all the other offices. I take the function of the Commissioner of Trade in Great Britain as being an office about which people here in this country would know most. I would like to deal with some of the duties performed by this office, which might be a revelation to people who think that they know all that is done or neglected by that particular office. Other offices which are not so near to our vision and which do not appear to be so important in our regard, may have just as good a case from the point of view of information supplied and the development suggested as the Commissioner of Trade in Great Britain may have. I have had reports from the office in London showing that the officials radiating from there—the word is badly used, because there are very few of these officials—have duties throughout Great Britain and not confined to London merely, and I could summarise the functions of that office under a number of heads.

A great part of their work is performed in effecting introductions between commercial people on both sides. A great amount of time is spent in that office in providing commercial intelligence to people here about England and to people in England about this country, and a great amount of tact and a great amount of research is required to give advice about openings for commerce and about the standing of commercial people.

On the question of marketing, the Commissioner in London, and the whole office in London have been very alert, and people here will have read of some of the activities of that office in this particular respect. They will have known of the exhibition of Irish produce made on certain occasions. They will have heard from time to time of the reports that appear and filter into the Press from producers with regard to advice that is given as to marketing, the better conditions that prevail in competing countries, and suggestions as to how produce that is well found here and produced here in good quality should be presented to the buying public in those countries into which it is sent in the best possible way. A great amount of time, particularly of the outdoor staff, has been spent inspecting commodities that come across from this country, and a great deal of effort and a great amount of diligence has to be observed by that office in dealing with certain commercial disputes that arise from time to time, and in seeing that not merely is justice done, but that lessons can be drawn from particular episodes about which disputes arise. The movements of markets and prices are surveyed at short intervals and reports are frequently sent home, and the two Departments of Government in this country are regularly in possession of the latest information with regard to the trend of prices and the state of markets for Saorstát goods. Certain traders' interests from time to time get involved and assume an importance that cannot be left to the individual trader to protect, and where there seems to be an item falling for consideration that has a repercussion and reaction, beyond the individuals themselves it is the duty of the office to be vigilant and on the watch and to intervene to see that no harm, at any rate, will come, possibly, even to the individual concerned, but that certainly no harm resulting from a bad display of goods, bad marketing or goods badly sent, or even sent under false pretences, should ensue to Irish produce in general as a result of activities of one or two traders.

Publicity has to be given to everything that comes from this side and publicity has many forms; through the Press, through exhibitions and displays that from time to time have been made in the biggest retail stores in England, through window display competitions which are again becoming a feature of the Commissioner's work in London and are becoming more and more demanded as the fame of one exhibition spread from one neighbourhood to another. In addition to that there have to be conferences attended with representative associations, and arrangements made so that the exchange of goods can be facilitated. Questions frequently arise on the matter of transport of goods between the two countries and here, again our office in London being situated close to the main railway system which deals with our produce find themselves in frequent consultation so as to get complaints enquired into, to get differences smoothed over, and, even, at times, to get questions of special rates gone into where consignments are of a particular type, or where the particular numbers seem to deserve these.

There are customs details to be attended to arising out of a variety of matters. Recently tourist development has assumed an importance which one or two years ago it neither had nor seemed ever likely to have. Here again the London office is playing a considerable part, but the end of its activities there is not even approaching. There have been established in the past few years a number of commercial committees upon which we have had to have representatives both from this side and from the London office. Recently there was established a railway committee on national development. There has been sitting, for a long time, an imperial economic committee. There has been co-operation for months past with the Tourist Association not merely of this country but of Great Britain and Ireland. On the Imperial Shipping Committee we are represented, and on the Empire Marketing Board we have a permanent representative, and there are a number of other minor committees dealing with research and commercial matters in general on which we have taken certain action.

In addition to dealing with the work which is thrown on it, through the activities of the offices abroad, the Headquarter staff has to consolidate the position which I previously referred to as being now obtained in the Commonwealth of Nations and in its association with other States, members of the League of Nations. There are also separate items that arise from time to time for special consideration. The two Departments of Industry and Commerce and of External Affairs were concerned in the question of treaties —the Department of Industry and Commerce being mainly concerned in the details of commercial treaties. Negotiations have been opened with eight countries on the basis of the most-favoured nation treatment for the conclusion of commercial treaties. The countries in question are: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Spain and the United States, and proposals for the opening of negotiations with a view to concluding treaties have also been made as between the Irish Free State and Greece, and the Irish Free State and Turkey. Political treaties are rather more the concern of the Department of External Affairs on its own. The question of making arbitration treaties with the principal of European countries and the United States has been under consideration for a long time. It is hoped that some of these will be completed in the course of the present year. It is proposed—I put in the remark here in answer to comments that have been appearing in the Press and notices elsewhere—to adhere to the protocol against the use of asphyxiating gas in war. There are a variety of special questions that fall for consideration from time to time. One international conference on the question of copyrights occupied a lot of time about a year ago, and an exchange of views has been going on since on the convention that proceeded from the conference dealing with the matter. In the spring of next year a conference has to be attended dealing with the codification of international law and the preparation of views on that, and a statement is at present under consideration.

The question of passports I dealt with specially in connection with the offices in Washington, New York and Boston. Of course, an amount of work under that head falls also on the headquarters staff of the special passport office at home. It will be understood when I say reports coming from our representatives abroad on a variety of matters, not to the same extent by any means as I have described as being part of the function of the Commissioner in London, but nevertheless extending over a vast number of subjects and going into great depth as far as investigations are concerned—that the examination and distribution of these reports to people likely to be interested and to get benefit from them entail a considerable amount of work even upon the headquarters staff. I simply again refer back to the activities I speak of with regard to the office in London and ask people to make up their minds whether or not even the reorganised staff at headquarters for which I ask provision in this Vote seems to be either extravagant in numbers or in the emoluments granted to those people for dealing with the reports founded on the activities of those offices abroad.

There has not been and there cannot be given to the Dáil, in sufficient clarity or in sufficient amount, evidence of the work of these people. It is clear that there should be—and it is a thing towards which I am working—a presentation of reports at least from the office in London and the presentation of reports annually by the offices abroad to the two Houses of the Oireachtas. It will be understood that that was impossible heretofore with a staff which was changing, and with offices which were not and could not have been established on a permanent basis because there had been no clear view, and there could not have been a clear view, as to the exact situation in any of the countries mentioned. We now have a fairly clear view of the whole situation. The staffs and offices have been reorganised and new offices, as I indicated, are about to be opened. From this onwards it will be the aim that, in more detail than during previous years, members of the House will have an opportunity of gauging from reports the value of the information supplied by these offices and the extent of their activity. When I say the members of the House have not an adequate opportunity of dealing with that to-day I do not mean to convey there is merely a compilation of information by people abroad channelled through the offices here and pigeon-holed and inspected only by people who may happen to be interested and who may happen to inquire. There is quite a good distribution of this information to the people definitely interested, to advisory committees operating under the auspices of the Department of Industry and Commerce in the different industrial groups in this country and to commercial people of every type.

The difficulty all along has been to get organisations to deal with in this country instead of individuals. After a certain amount of endeavour we have got to a point. There had always been a certain amount of organisation amongst the trading and importing classes as opposed to the industrialists and the people to whom we would ordinarily look for an increase in exports. There are now in operation a big number of advisory committees representing the different industrial groups, and most of these are actively functioning. Some from time to time failed and refuse to meet or do not find that they have any interest in common on which they could meet, or they have so many disagreements that it would be better they did not meet. On the whole there is a tendency, which in another department I have tried to foster as much as possible, towards cohesion amongst groups of definitely organised bodies, and our information is circulated through these bodies to different commercial and industrial interests and any business groups that we can find taking an interest in and likely to benefit from the information we have got. The information is disseminated mainly through the Department of Industry and Commerce. In addition, quite an amount of information has been specially called for. There has hardly been a Commission of Inquiry on any subject in the last three or four years which has not requested information regarding conditions which seemed to offer some sort of contrast to conditions abroad. On every occasion where information has been requested we have found our offices abroad able to get authoritative views expressed and have proper information supplied. That is an important side of the work. There are a great many members of this House who have served on Committees from time to time and they have found themselves in a position to request information about conditions which seemed really to afford a good comparison from other countries. I think they will realise, and could give testimony here, that on every occasion when information has been asked that information has been supplied readily, authoritatively, and in great detail.

I now submit this Vote to the House. I pointed out the increase in the offices previously established, the increase brought about owing to reorganisation and the increase necessary by reason of the opening of three new offices. I have simply indicated, as a sign of what is happening in the rest of the Department, what has happened in the office of the High Commissioner in London, particularly on the trade side. The smaller items of this Vote do not, I think, call for any explanation other than what I have given on B2, where there is a big increase on the London side. I stress again that if people are disposed to quarrel with the amount of money to be spent on external affairs and propose to base their criticisms on the money spent and the value received from it merely on the flow of trade as between this and any other country, that they are going entirely on a wrong basis. I will get back to the figure I quoted previously, and I will take the expenditure of this State as shown in this book. It is £21,000,000. The entire Vote asked for our foreign representatives amounts to less than three shillings in every £100.

Mr. Byrne

Could you give a comparison with Belgium?

I have not the figures at the moment, but I could get them later. I invite comparison with any other nation in respect of the actual money that is spent and the value that is received. I ask those people who served on Committees to remember the information that was provided for their use from time to time by our foreign offices. There has been proceeding here for four or five years past—the extent of the movement I will indicate in another Vote—a quiet but very steady change over in the position of this country from being almost entirely agricultural to being partly industrial and partly agricultural. On another Vote I intend to go into the details and to show the extent of the change. The change has been considerable and steady, and I claim that the activities of the out-offices of the Department of External Affairs and the activities of the headquarters staff have helped to a degree that is not recognised at all in the steady change over in conditions in the country. One is apt to divide trade representatives abroad into sections, one representing industry and commerce and agriculture and the other dealing with external affairs. There should be no such distinction made.

It is quite unfair to people who have in the past been doing very good work under very bad circumstances, under circumstances of disorganisation, disorganisation that was necessary, disorganisation that at any rate was inevitable, because a clear view could not be had of the situation. By another Vote it will be seen what the extent of that change over has been. And if one examines this Vote and the offices that have been opened abroad and takes the test—and it is not a decisive test—from the figures that can be got of the flow of trade in any of the countries here mentioned and this country, there will be there given some evidence of an increase. And when we get the report published hereafter showing the information circulated by the people abroad, either because it was requested specially or called for by some body or committees that were sitting here in Ireland, seeing that it was likely to be of use to certain people, I think there ought to be agreement on that basis that the amount of money spent is negligible in comparison with the importance of the office.

In this year, in which the Estimates generally have shown a reduction, this Estimate shows an increase. But this Estimate could easily have shown even a bigger increase. I make no promise whatever that a further increase may not be necessary in the future. I make no promise whatever as to that, because I claim for this service, as I do for all services, but for this service in particular, that the expenditure on it very well repays itself, and that that expenditure is very well worth what is spent, not only in the matter of status, but in the value received in the way of information and the increased activity between this country and other countries in which we are represented abroad. I move this Vote.

I move that the Estimate be referred back for reconsideration. I—and I think I can speak for those here with me on these benches—would not at all cavil at the amount of money set forth in the Estimate here on this Vote under Foreign Affairs; we would not object even if more money were spent for this purpose, if we could afford it, on one understanding, and that is that we could speak for Ireland and that we could truly say what I say the Minister did not truthfully say when introducing this Vote a short time ago, that Ireland has taken her place amongst the nations.

The Minister must have spoken with his tongue in his cheek. Ireland has not taken her place amongst the nations. The Irish Free State has to some extent, if you like. But you cannot talk for Ireland, and well the Minister knows it. He is from the Six Counties himself. His home place, where he was born, is cut off from being represented by anybody speaking in the name of this House or anybody speaking as a representative of this Assembly or of the Government elected by this Assembly. I wonder if the Minister for External Affairs made that point clear when he spoke as he told us he did to His Holiness? He talked of Ireland re-opening diplomatic relations with the Vatican.

Ireland has not re-opened diplomatic relations with anybody anywhere. We feel, and feel deeply, on this misrepresentation of Ireland's position that is going on even here to our very faces and that has been done to-day even by the Minister himself who attempted not alone to try to put his finger in our eyes—and he ought to have gone beyond that stage now— but in the eyes of the world, or in the eyes of anybody who will read his remark that Ireland has taken her place amongst the nations of the earth. I wish to the Lord it had. It might have done so if some of the Minister's colleagues had only a little more courage. We would not object to the amount of money spent, even although we are as heavily taxed as we are, in sending representatives to the various nations mentioned in this Estimate, to America, France, Germany, Brussels or elsewhere, or even to Greece and Turkey, two countries that the Minister so appropriately put together.

We would not object to sending those representatives if we could afford it. If we could afford it we would be glad to send them in Ireland's name. We would be glad to send representatives abroad. We would insist on sending representatives abroad, because we believe that Ireland's history as a nation, if we could speak for Ireland, Ireland's history and status, and Ireland's record in the past, and Ireland's hopes for the future, if she were free to-morrow, would entitle her to send representatives abroad, and entitle her to claim a status amongst these nations, great or small, that would be equal to our history, which is something not to be ashamed of. As to the salaries of representatives, very large salaries in some cases, they look big for a poor country like ours. But these representatives have to live in countries where the cost of living is high. Certainly, those who live in America, and perhaps those who live in London, have to meet a very high cost of living. I do not know so much about France in the last five or six years.

Perhaps the cost of living is high there too, and the same, perhaps, applies to Germany, but the figures here on the Estimate are perhaps the lowest sums that can be given to those representatives abroad if they are able to uphold the dignity, whatever it be, that attaches to their position. But we object to any penny of that money being spent so long as there is attached to it any shadow of misrepresentation of Ireland's position. If the instructions given by the Minister to the representatives he sends abroad are in the nature of the remarks he made here to-day about Ireland's position and about Ireland taking a place amongst the nations, then these gentlemen—these representatives abroad—are misrepresenting our position. They are lying to the public wherever they are. They are there speaking in the name of a partitioned country, and in the name of the Twenty-Six Counties and not in the name of the historic Irish nation which the Government betrayed and partitioned.

That is our position. That is one of the reasons, if not the primary reason, why we object to spending any money in so far as individuals are concerned on a service which misrepresents the country's status, misrepresents the country's position, and misrepresents her future. We would not object—I know I would not object—to the staff being increased to cope with the work imposed upon the headquarters staff by reason of the increase in the number of representatives abroad. But, to our minds, the whole External Affairs Vote is vitiated by that idea—that these gentlemen, owing to the instructions they receive and owing to the equivocal position of Ireland to-day, misrepresent Ireland and her condition. The Minister spoke of re-opening negotiations with the Vatican and referred to Rinuccini and Hugh O'Neill. Why? If Hugh O'Neill came back here to-day he would be an alien. He would have to pay his ten shillings for his visa. If Rinuccini were back here to-day he would probably be doing what he did in his day, denouncing and excommunicating the Treatyites, excommunicating them for being false to their oaths. That is what he did. Probably the Minister has not read much of his history or else he would not have brought his name into the discussion. Rinuccini did a man's part when he was here. He stood for the independence not of 26 counties but of the whole 32 counties, including that from which the Minister comes. We would be very happy, indeed, if we could welcome here any representative who would renew and reopen the diplomatic relations that were broken when Rinuccini was recalled because he denounced the Treatyites of his day. It would not be necessary to say these things—some of them are not pleasant to say—if the Minister faced the position frankly and honestly and did not talk about Ireland taking her place among the nations. Let him be honest, fair to himself and his Government. Tell the truth and people will then know exactly where you stand.

Is it a fact that Deputy de Valera, the Leader of the Deputy's Party, attended an inter-Parliamentary Union Conference in Berlin as representative of 26 counties?

Certainly; but did he not tell them that he represented 26 counties, and not 32?

I am sure he did. I have no objection to the Minister sending out representatives for 26 counties provided that he lets the people know on whose behalf they are speaking. Let him be straight and honest and not talk, as he does, about Ireland taking her place among the nations, a lie that is not worthy of a Minister, even a Minister of the Free State. We believe in diplomatic representatives abroad and we believe that they are not only desirable, but necessary. If the Minister sent his representatives abroad to tell the world what the exact position is here, how the country has been partitioned, and if they let the world know exactly that we are hoping some day to use our diplomatic influence, be it little or great, to retrieve our lost province and to restore Ireland's unity as well as her independence, then it would be worth sending Free State representatives abroad; but when he sends them abroad with a lie on their lips, we cannot stand for it. We need not be ashamed to speak abroad in the name of Ireland. There are few nations that meet in international conclaves that have a prouder record than we have or that can demand as a nation her rightful place at international councils. We may be a poor and impoverished nation to-day, with our territory reduced, but that does not get away from the fact that we have a record and a history of which we need not be ashamed. I believe, with the Minister, that it would help Ireland and Ireland's trade if our position were better understood abroad and if we were properly represented there, but you should not send representatives, either diplomatic or trade, who will misrepresent the situation here.

The Minister when talking about sending representatives abroad—this is a matter which in all fairness we should stress—referred to our co-equal position, how we had advanced and how we are co-equal partners in the commonwealth of nations. The Minister talked about the status of our representatives abroad, but he did not tell us, as he should have, that the representatives which he sent abroad most recently had to have their credentials signed, not by him, not by the President, but, as in the case of the recent Envoy to Washington, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Queen Mary, Prince of Wales—I am not sure about the Duke of York—and the Prime Minister of England, Mr. Baldwin. These were the people who signed the credentials of the Free State representatives. They are a Committee of Regency, or something like that, owing to the illness of the King of England. If the King of England were well enough to sign them I believe he would have done so. When these people go abroad and hand in their credentials, signed by a Committee of Regency, I believe that there is a certain honourable understanding that they must be, so to speak, good boys and not hurt the susceptibilities of the people who sign their credentials. That understanding may not be expressed on the paper. In fact, I know it is not, but the fact remains that their credentials are not signed by the heads of the Irish Free State. These documents are signed by the King of England, if he is well enough to do so, or by Queen Mary, the Prince of Wales, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and up to recently, Mr. Stanley Baldwin. In future they will probably be signed by Mr. Ramsay MacDonald. These are the gentlemen—and ladies—who sign the credentials of what the Minister calls Ireland's representatives. God help Ireland's representatives who speak with credentials signed in that manner.

It will be better in future with a Labour Government in England.

I do not think that will change it. Mr. Ramsay MacDonald is as much an Englishman as Mr. Baldwin.

He is a Scotchman.

Although he is going into power he is not trying to upset the English Constitution as the Deputy's Party is trying to wreck ours.

The Deputy seems to be very much concerned with the British Constitution, but I am not.

Mr. Sheehy

I admire the Labour Party; they are a sensible lot.

Why do you not join them?

Mr. Sheehy

I am in favour of Labour and always have been.

We will have the Deputy next time.

It looks like it. I say when the credentials of the Free State diplomatic representatives are signed by such people as the King of England, the Queen of England and others, there must be some understanding not to hurt, injure or interfere with the interests of the British Empire so long as they hold such offices. In fact, I would not be surprised if there were some understanding that when they go abroad to Washington, France or anywhere else, as diplomatic representatives, from part of the entity known as the Commonwealth of Nations, British nations, they must act in concert with and in consonance with component parts of the Commonwealth, in such places as Washington, Paris or Berlin, that though they may not have any written instructions, they would be false to their position if they took a direct line of their own, a separate and distinct line in diplomatic matters that might affect that Commonwealth of Nations and stand for Ireland as against these other component parts of the British Commonwealth. They must be to some extent affected in their public and perhaps in their private capacities, by such relationship, by the fact that their credentials are so signed and that they are so accredited, through such channels. Though coming from part of Ireland they are accredited through England, through the heads of the British Government, through British Kings, Queens and the like, to these other nations. They are bound to be affected, and whether they originally took that stand, the Empire stand, or not, they are evidently induced. and they are certainly encouraged to do so, once they occupy that position.

I am fortified to some extent in that view by a little document that somebody sent me here recently. It is the heading to the notepaper of an organisation called the "British Empire League." It gives the names of perhaps about one hundred—I will not read the whole of them—of the most important and distinguished people from all parts of the British Empire. The patrons are His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen. Then it goes down or up, whichever way you like, and on the list is the name of one of the Free State representatives, Professor T.A. Smiddy, M.A. Is it part of the instructions of that representative from the Minister in pursuance of the policy of standing by the Empire that he preached here to-day, that the representatives he sends abroad are to join such organisations for boosting the British Empire and to stand for that organisation as against Ireland, Egypt, India or any other nation that might be in conflict with that Empire? It is certainly a changed position. It is certainly additional proof, if any were necessary, that we have changed from what the Minister referred to as Ireland's national traditional position. We have run away from it very much. We have forgotten it. We have now joined the Commonwealth of Nations, and we instruct our representatives, Mr. T.A. Smiddy and others, to uphold the British Empire and all its component parts against all-comers and against all those with whom we used to sympathise in days gone by as nations rightly struggling to be free. The Minister also spoke of the equality of status of what are called the Dominions. In that regard I wonder if it occurred to him that there is a law in existence which prevents anybody being King of England, except a gentleman of one faith. The King of England, whoever he is, according to these laws must be a Protestant and can be nothing else. I am not very materially interested in the religion of the King of England, but there is a test of that co-equality of status of which the Minister speaks. If you have that equality of status, why have not we the right to demand that there be a Catholic king? I guarantee if the Minister tried to pursue equality on these lines, he would be soon told where he got off, as the Americans say.

The equality of status is a mere phrase, a chimera that means nothing. If the necessity arose for Ireland to insist on her equality we know what would happen. We have no right to legislate for the King of England. If we had equality of status we could make a law leaving the King of England free to choose any religion he pleased so far as Ireland or the Free State was concerned. That we have no authority to do. So much for our equality of status judged from one point at any rate. As regards the Supplementary Vote, I understood from the Ceann Comhairle that these two Votes were being taken together and that the vote on this motion would be taken to cover the Supplementary Vote.

They are being discussed together, but they will be put from the Chair separately.

The Supplementary Vote raises matters of great importance. There is no Catholic in the country who would not receive with great joy the news, if it were true, that Ireland was in a position now to re-open diplomatic relations in Ireland's name with the Vatican. Every Catholic would be proud and happy. It would give a cheer to Irish hearts that they have not known for a long time if such an announcement could be made. There is no Catholic who would cavil at spending money on such a diplomatic relations. There is no Catholic but would feel that we had gone a long way on the road to restoring Ireland to her proper position if such an announcement could be made with truth. But it is, to my mind at any rate, humiliating that when negotiations are opened to renew and re-open relations with the Vatican—it is an excellent thing to have such communications with the Vatican and to know that we are in close touch diplomatically and otherwise with the one person who speaks, religiously at any rate, for the vast majority of the Irish people—such diplomatic relations can only be re-opened in the name, not of the Ireland that the Popes of by-gone days knew, but of a partitioned country.

We have the very centre of Catholicism, Armagh, the Primatial See of Ireland, cut out and excluded from any connection with the diplomatic relations that are now being re-opened with the Vatican. It is a humiliating position that when such diplomatic relations are being re-opened, we have to acknowledge that it is England and England's Minister to the Vatican that is entitled to speak in the name of the Primatial See of this Catholic country of Ireland, not the Irish Free State, nor the diplomatic representative that the Minister for External Affairs here will send. That representative will have no status and no right to speak in the name of the Catholic Church at Rome or elsewhere. He will speak, as the other diplomatic representatives will speak, in the name of a partitioned country. It is particularly odious, when sending a representative to the Vatican, that the representative will have to play second fiddle to the British Envoy there. That Envoy claiming, as he will claim, to speak for Armagh, the Primatial See of Ireland, will claim precedence over anyone you will send to the Vatican. I do not know how the Vatican officials will get over that claim once it is presented to them.

To my mind, there are two bases on which this matter of the diplomatic relations of the Irish Free State with the Vatican should be considered. The first one is the sending of a representative from the Free State to Rome. Subject to the remarks I have earlier made about the misrepresentation of our position by diplomatic representatives abroad, I would say that there is plenty of good work that such a representative could do at Rome. He could be kept busy, if he wished to be busy, by contesting and fighting English influence at the Vatican, where such influence is attempted to be used to the detriment of Ireland. I know a little about these things, but even if I knew nothing in my own personal way, history tells us what these influences are, and how watchful any Irish representative at Rome must be. He would have to be up early and up late watching the interests of Ireland, fighting for the rights of Ireland against English interests and influence there.

Is there anybody who has any doubt in that matter? If there is anybody simple enough not to know what is going on there and the influences that are sought to be brought to bear on the Vatican against Ireland's interests, he has only to read a book published about six months ago, the life of the late Archbishop of Dublin, written by Monsignor Walsh. It is probably in the library. Anyone who wants to get information will get very valuable information in that book as to the fight Archbishops Walsh and Croke had to make in the eighties for Irish rights against the power and influences of England. You need not go beyond that book, but if anyone wishes to go further there is plenty of material. Whole libraries could be filled by documents and statements of one kind or another showing how English influence was used to the detriment of Ireland and how the Vatican was sought to be used as an instrument for the keeping of Ireland in subjection. Any man, provided he be the right kind, sent from the Irish Free State to Rome could have plenty of hard and profitable work in looking after Irish affairs there and in doing his best to contend with the influences that will be used against him and the position he stands for and against Ireland's interests.

Of course, to be of real value, to be able, in a thorough-going and successful fashion, to compete with England, such a representative ought to be able to speak for Ireland. Unfortunately, no representative we can send out there can speak for Ireland. Not alone can he not speak for Ireland—he can only speak for part of it—but he will have a representative there to meet and contend with who is able to speak with authority for the other part of Ireland and for what, from the Catholic standpoint, is a very important part of Ireland indeed—the Primatial See. It will not help any representative we send out there in that fight, even if he is willing to make that fight—and I am not sure whoever is sent will be—that his credentials will be signed by the King of England, or Queen Mary, or the others whom I mentioned earlier, because it will put him in an inferior position to the diplomatic position England has already established at the Vatican.

Difficulties will arise as a result of the partition of Ireland when the diplomatic relationship of the Irish Free State with the Vatican gets working. There will be difficulties at Rome for the Irish representatives, but such difficulties will be nothing to those that will arise here as a result of the partition of Ireland. Very serious difficulties will arise for our people, the Church, and the Vatican representative. Imagine the position of the Church in such circumstances. The dioceses of Ireland are not coterminous with the boundary of the Irish Free State. You will have the greater part of the Archdiocese of Armagh outside the diplomatic sphere and influence of the Vatican representative, but you will have a material part of this diocese inside the Free State area. Who is going to settle the differences that in all probability will arise when it comes to arranging where the power of the diplomatic representative begins and ends so far as Irish Free State dioceses are concerned? That is an important question, and it will certainly give rise to serious trouble in the days to come. The Minister did not tell us what the status of the Vatican representative will be, whether he will be a nuncio, a delegate, or envoy, but whatever status he will have he will occupy a dual position; he will be a diplomatic representative of the Vatican State, accredited, I suppose, indirectly through England, to the Irish Free State Government, and as such he will deal, like all diplomats, with ordinary affairs of State, but he will also occupy a position in relation to the Catholic Church here, and in that position he will be the authorised agent of the Vatican to the Irish Hierarchy. What authority he will have over the Irish Hierarchy, of course, I do not know.

Surely that does not arise on the Vote?

It is very material.

There is nothing about it in the Vote.

There is, certainly. You cannot send a Minister to the Vatican without the arrangement, that evidently the Minister has made, that the Vatican sends a Minister here. That naturally follows. On that position, seeing that it is one that is bound to have important consequences here, I would like to know —I have serious doubts and misgivings in my mind on the matter—whether those who are very intimately and seriously concerned in this matter, those whose views ought to be given very serious consideration in a matter of this kind, were consulted, for instance, the Primate of All Ireland or the Archbishop of Dublin; whether, for instance, the place where the new diplomatic envoy of the Vatican will reside was considered. Was any bishop or any priest consulted before the Minister made this arrangement. I would be glad if the Minister would be kind enough to inform us whether these people were consulted and, if so, whether they are satisfied with the arrangement. If they are, so far as the Church is concerned I have nothing further to say.

This matter of the representation here of the Vatican is a serious one, because it raises religious as well as political issues. We of the Fianna Fáil Party believe that we speak for the big body of Catholic opinion. I think I could say, without qualification of any kind, that we represent the big element of Catholicity.

Do you speak for the bishops?

We do not, but we speak for the big element of Catholicity. I do not want to go into that. Let the Minister examine the counties and the representation and I will abide by the result. We think that this is a matter that may affect the future of our country seriously. Going into our history we know that efforts have been made by England to interfere in a very material way by using the Vatican with Ireland's fight for freedom in days gone by. These efforts have been made repeatedly. If a representative of the Vatican of that kind is here we would not like that any effort should be made to use any such diplomatic machinery in the future to interfere with any attempt that may be made, constitutionally or otherwise, to restore the independence and unity of Ireland. These are important things that are bound to arise. They will be more likely to arise as a result of the new arrangement which the Minister asks us to provide money to bring about.

I do not suppose that we are entitled to discuss the question of the position of the Six Counties in connection with this arrangement. It would be very interesting to go into it if the Chair would permit us to do so for a few minutes, and see how the Six Counties are likely to be affected.

The Deputy may take it that I would not allow him.

Into the Six Counties. Have you any authority there?

A LeasChinn Comhairle, give the Deputy a chance to bring them in.

That is what I would like to do. I want to see the Vatican position used to help that. I would like that this re-opening of negotiations between the Irish Free State and the Vatican would be used to help to restore the unity of Ireland. If it could be used to do that I think it would be money well spent. I do not know if it ever occurred to the Minister in connection with his arrangement about the Vatican sending a representative here or if any mention were made of it in these negotiations that such diplomatic representatives here would be in no way associated, directly or indirectly, with the court of St. James. I mention that for this reason. I remember in the early days of the war hearing of efforts being made to have a diplomatic representative from the Vatican sent to London. The British Government sends an ambassador to Rome, but the British Government does not allow the Vatican to send a representative to London. In the early days of the war efforts were made to secure diplomatic representation for the Vatican in London. These efforts were not successful, but suggestions were made at that time that a nuncio might be sent to Dublin and that he would be the diplomatic representative for the British Islands. I do not know if in the sending of a diplomatic representative to Dublin there is any suggestion that such representative should be in any way associated with the court of St. James or that there should be in any way a link between Dublin and London so far as Church matters are concerned. If anything of the kind were contemplated it would be a further reason why I, for one, would vigorously oppose spending our money for such purposes.

There is one other matter I should like to refer to. As I said earlier, we do not object to the Minister sending representatives abroad and increasing the number or spending a little money on such matters, always on the understanding that the true position is stated and understood. But in that connection, even for the good name of the Free State which, after all, is a material part of Ireland, I should like to be satisfied that the Minister is taking the greatest care to select people whose record is without blemish—people who will bring honour and not dishonour on the Free State or on any part of Ireland. Of course I do not suppose we are to take the newspapers as gospel for anything the Minister may be about to do, but I have seen names mentioned from time to time, and from my own personal knowledge I believe that there are things against some of the persons mentioned that would render the men concerned unfit to be sent abroad as representatives of the Free State. I speak of things that are on the records of the Minister's own Department, that are in the dossiers and on files, and that he should know about, and that the Secretary of the Department should know about—some of them anyway. I will not mention names, but I think the Minister ought to examine carefully the names that have appeared in the Press and see that he is absolutely secure in the type of men he proposes to send—if the Press be correct—to some places abroad. At any rate, even for the Free State, I would say: "Send the best you can get; send men who will do you credit, and who, if they are sent to represent the Free State, will not do Ireland's good name harm, but, in fact, will increase its prestige. That is what I would be anxious about. In that connection the Minister ought to reexamine the names that have appeared in the Press and the files in his office.

There is one other matter. Some months ago I was asked if delegations that have gone from here from time to time to Geneva and other places, representing sometimes employers and employed, and sometimes bodies with no particular qualifications of that kind, and who had their expenses, I presume, paid, had ever submitted any reports. No reports of any kind were ever submitted here or ever appeared from these delegations as to the result of these conferences, and beyond the information they themselves gave, or some information that perhaps was supplied to the Department, nobody seems to have been much the wiser as the result of their visits. We would be glad to know that in future such delegations will be asked to make formal reports to the Department and that such reports will be made available for Deputies.

If at any time I had any thought of supporting this amendment, I have no doubt whatever as to what my action ought to be after listening to Deputy O'Kelly's speech. I find it more difficult day after day to discover where exactly Deputy O'Kelly, and presumably his colleagues, if they support the line he has taken, stand in relation to this State and Parliament. The whole thing seems to have been one wail of despair, or rather one continued effort to belittle the status of this State. That seemed to be the whole gist of his speech— we are such a poor nation, such a poor State; such a poor people! It reminds me of a jazz tune that was pretty familiar to listeners-in last winter: "We are miserable, oh, so miserable, down on Misery Farm." That is his attitude. He talks of the misrepresentation of our position abroad. It is nothing to the misrepresentation of our position that we heard to-day. He starts off by declaring that we dare not in future refer to our country as Ireland. It is unfortunate that six counties are not within the ambit of the Irish Free State and of this Parliament. That is an unfortunate position which we all regret. But it is not a unique thing in history, as Deputy O'Kelly knows, that portion of a country has been for a time outside the country's jurisdiction. In 1870 France lost two of its fairest provinces, but it did not thereafter cease to call itself France, or to speak of itself as France to the nations of the world. Germany has lost some of its provinces, but it does not go round calling itself the German Free State, or German something else, but still calls itself Germany.

My experience in meeting people outside this country would lead me to believe that the best service we can do to the country is to continue to call ourselves and speak of ourselves as Ireland, and not to go advertising, as Deputy O'Kelly would have us do, the position we are in. I cannot understand what Deputy O'Kelly's point of view is in seeking thus to weaken and, to some extent, misrepresent the position which this State occupies. I know, in any case, that if it ever happens that Deputy O'Kelly will hold the portfolio of External Affairs in this Parliament, then indeed our position will be a rather extraordinary one. What would the Deputy have us do?

Tell the truth.

Mr. O'Connell

He has not failed to show us that the representatives we send abroad are, in fact, doing more than they are sent to do in representing this State. But, if he is to be logical, he would propose to abolish completely the Department of External Affairs. Does he propose that? Does he propose that there should be no such Department, no foreign representatives of any kind attached to the State, until such time, whenever it may come, as the Six Counties are within the ambit of this Parliament? Is that the proposition of the Deputy? Are we to hide our heads until that comes about, whenever it may come about? He expressed anxiety to get in the Six Counties. We are all as anxious as he is to get in the Six Counties, but if there is one thing that will keep the Six Counties out of this State it is this continual belittling of the State, the powers of the State, and the status that it occupies in the world. That certainly, to my mind, is the one thing. They are not going to come into a miserable little State-let, such as Deputy O'Kelly pictures. Why should they do it?

As I say, I find it more difficult day after day to discover exactly what the position of Deputy O'Kelly and, presumably, his colleagues is in this matter. I think he does no service to this State when he tells us that our foreign representatives are going abroad with the lie on their lips, and that they are going to the Vatican with the lie on their lips. I am beginning to doubt whether Deputy O'Kelly has a really true conception of the position at all. To my mind, he got frightfully involved in regard to this matter of our representative at the Vatican. We are not discussing here, and we have no right or authority to discuss here, the representation of the Catholic Church in Ireland at the Vatican. That is not the position. We are sending a representative of the State to the Vatican. Most of Deputy O'Kelly's references to that particular part of the Vote seem to be a criticism of the possible future action of the Vatican representative here. We are not discussing a Vote for the Vatican representative to the Irish Free State. What the Vatican representative may or may not do is not a subject for discussion here at the moment.

Again, the Deputy dealt with the question of equality. He derides the idea that there is co-equality among the nations. Our duty is to insist upon every possible occasion that there is such equality, and to keep on insisting that there is such equality, and to do everything that may be necessary to have that equality recognised not only by States members of the British Commonwealth but by other nations in the world. We are not going to reach that attitude, if we desire to do so, by adopting a line of criticism such as Deputy O'Kelly did in his speech to-day. He says that our representatives are sent abroad on the understanding that they are not to hurt or injure the interests of the British Empire.

I take it that the first duty our representatives should have in their minds is to protect our interests against every other body; but that it is not part of their duty to go with a tomahawk against England or any other country, that it should not be their duty to go out and injure the interests of any country but to play their part in bringing about friendly co-operation between all countries and the representatives of all countries with which they may come in contact. That ought to be the duty of the representatives of the Free State. We hear very often from the Fianna Fáil Benches —in fact it is very difficult for speakers on those benches to get away from it—of our relations with England and what England is doing and is not doing. I wish we could get away from England some time. Let us set the example in this Dáil and forget about her for some time, stand upon our own legs and talk about ourselves. Even Russia would be preferable for a change. I did not intend to take very much part in this debate and I would not have spoken at all were it not that I felt it right that a protest should be entered against the line taken up by Deputy O'Kelly in his speech. It seems rather strange that from time to time Deputies on both sides of the House, who were, and let us presume are, nationalists in the highest sense of the word, or who claim to be at any rate, must be reminded of the necessity of maintaining and strengthening the national attitude.

There are some points arising out of this Vote about which I would like to ask the Minister. He tells us it is proposed to issue reports from the various Legations as to the activities of their representatives abroad. That would in my opinion be very desirable. I would like to ask the Minister how it is that we have not up to the present issued a Saorstát year-book. Does that come within the purview of his particular vote?

No, that belongs to the Statistics Department.

Mr. O'Connell

In any case, I think it is a matter that ought to be attended to. Many countries publish a year-book in which all sorts of information about the industries of the country are given, and these books of reference are extremely useful, to commercial people especially. I imagine that our foreign representatives especially would find such a year-book extremely useful in their activities abroad. Because of the information which a satisfactorily and carefully compiled book of that kind would give to our representatives abroad I think it is essential that such a book ought to be published every year. I found, in the course of a visit abroad last year, many inquiries being made as to whether or not we had such a year-book or whether I could tell people where they would get copies of it, because amongst the members of the British Commonwealth, especially Canada, Australia and New Zealand, such year-books are published, and people gain a great deal of information from them.

There is another matter. The Minister mentioned that he hopes to extend the number of Legations. I would very strongly urge that at the earliest possible opportunity direct representation should be secured especially in Canada. It is a growing country with a very considerable Irish population. It is a country that at the present time imports a considerable quantity of goods that we could supply if the traders there were kept in touch with the quality and the special variety of the goods that we would be in a position to send them. They do import a considerable amount of goods from England and Scotland that we would be in the position to supply them with, and I believe a representative of ours, especially in Montreal, would be of valuable service to the country.

There is one question on the matter of equality of status that I intended to ask the Minister to find out—what progress had been made in regard to it or what progress is likely to be made or whether any action will be taken in regard to it at the Imperial Conference. The Minister will remember the incident when Britain declared that she would not recognise the interference of the League of Nations in any dispute which arose between members of the Commonwealth; whereas such arbitration might be recognised if a dispute arose between a member of the Commonwealth and another country other than a member of the Commonwealth. I say definitely that while that position holds, if it is the position and if Britain insists upon that position, then there is no equality of status. I would urge the Minister and the Executive Council to have that point clarified and to insist that there should be equality. I know that at the time it did occur, I am speaking from memory now, the Executive Council did hold the view that the League of Nations should have a right to arbitrate in matters of dispute between members of the Commonwealth. I believe that was the view that was held at the time and that is the view that we should continue to hold. I should like to know if any progress has been made towards getting that view recognised. Taking the view I do I am in favour of the extension of and the strengthening of the representation of this country in other lands. I have an idea born of a certain amount of experience that the people of this world take other people largely at their own estimation. One of the greatest nations in the world has been largely built up on that spirit, known to themselves as boosting.

I think if we went in a little more for the policy of boosting ourselves rather than belittling ourselves that we would make more progress in the world. I believe that ought to be our line. The more one learns about other countries the more one will discover that there are very many things in this country that we can boost ourselves on. I believe that that should be our attitude, and I believe that this sum which is asked for in this Vote is money that will be well spent. While there may be criticisms, criticisms that I and those sitting with me in this House have often got to make, we are not complaining that the Executive Council are, as Deputy O'Kelly would have us believe, pretending to be what they are not, but rather we complain of their not insisting on being what they are.

I conclude that on this amendment we are entitled to discuss any point; that we are taking the whole subject of External Affairs now, and that there will be no further discussion. That being so, there is a matter that I want to bring to the notice of the Minister for External Affairs. I previously brought it to the notice of the former Minister. I put a question to him on this matter. I want to bring to the Minister's notice the difficult position of desirable aliens in this country. In fact, these aliens do not hold any status at all. Of course there are large numbers of aliens who could not be considered desirable, perhaps, for different reasons. They might come here to start a competition in some way that might be detrimental to our own people, or otherwise they might not be of use to the country. But there are certain numbers of people in this country, foreigners who are attracted by the country, who would be desirable and who would like to settle down in this country if they could get a status. There seems to be a difficulty in a great number of cases in attaining that position.

The former Minister for External Affairs told me that this matter was engaging the attention of the Executive Council, and that at a suitable date it would be dealt with. I should be glad to know if there is any likelihood of this matter reaching maturity at an early date? Because in the case of persons of foreign extraction with whom I am acquainted, and who are very likely to make desirable citizens of this country, the position is difficult in many ways. They feel that it would be a great advantage to them if their status in this country could be clearly defined, and that they could become citizens of this country by naturalisation. There seems to be, for one reason or another, considerable difficulty in this matter. Perhaps the Minister would kindly say whether anything has been done. The late Minister indicated to me some time ago that there would. As regards other parts of the Vote, I should just like to say this, that I agree with what the Minister says—that the expenditure on establishing relations abroad through our having representatives in other countries is money well spent.

It is not an advisable thing, as is generally held, to have all one's eggs in one basket. Though everybody would desire an increase in our extensive trade with England and everybody would like to see it grow more extensive than it is, still the more we can increase our trade by other means the better it will be for the country. In that respect I agree with the Minister that the money that we are spending on that will be an increasing expenditure. I think that money will be money that will be well spent and money that will be of advantage to the country.

I agree with every word that Deputy O'Connell has said in his criticism of Deputy O'Kelly's speech. I do not think there is anything that Deputy O'Connell left out that I would like to have said myself. I think it is deplorable that a Deputy of this House should so set himself to run down his own country for what was, shall I say, just pure Party purposes. I wonder what Deputy O'Kelly and his Party have ever done to lessen the difficulty of drawing the Six Counties into the Saorstát? Personally, I have never seen anything that they have proposed or accomplished that could be said in any way to have facilitated that most desirable consummation. The Vice-President on one occasion made a rather pertinent remark in regard to our relations with the North. He compared our present and future relations with the Six Counties to the relations between two neighbours who did not know one another very well, neighbours who were living side by side. One of these neighbours looked over the wall into his neighbour's garden. He was not quite sure whether he would know his neighbour or not or whether the neighbour was worth knowing. He looked over the wall and he saw that his neighbour's garden was well kept, that his buildings were in good order, and he said: "That is a man I would like to know; I think it would be an advantage for me to know that man." So it is with the Northern counties. When they see that it is to their advantage to come in with us, that day they will come in and there will be no further trouble in the matter. Nothing will ever be gained by belittling our own status here. To think that anybody could possibly imagine that we can make the day of unity between the two parts of the country draw nearer by belittling our own status is a very far-fetched idea.

Deputy O'Kelly said that the reading of Archbishop Walsh's life would reveal the malign influence which England exerted against our country at the Vatican. Well, it is now proposed that we should have a representative of our own at the Vatican. Is it likely that that representative will do anything detrimental or will do anything that is not to the best interests of this State, appointed, as he will be, by this Government or by any Government that is likely to be here? I fail to see such a possibility. Deputy O'Kelly draws a deplorable picture of the evil that is being done to the Catholic faith by the division that has taken place between the North and South in Ireland. I always understood that the Catholic faith was not bounded by parishes or provinces or countries, that it was universal. In the case of the Protestants of this country a division makes no difference. Much more is that the case so far as the Catholics who belong to the more widespread faith are concerned.

I listened to Deputy O'Kelly's speech with deep regret that anyone in this House should think it part of his duty to run down his own country in the way the Deputy did. I hope there are not many others who hold such opinions as those to which Deputy O'Kelly gave vent to. Indeed, I hope that neither in the House nor outside the House are there many such people. I do not believe there are. Of course, I have not the slightest idea of voting for this amendment. I did not really mean to say very much about this amendment, because, as I have already said, Deputy O'Connell has voiced everything that was in my mind. I entirely agree with everything that Deputy O'Connell has said, every iota of it. I sincerely hope that this amendment will be rejected by a thumping majority.

resumed the Chair.

There was a matter of information which I hoped the Minister was going to give the House when he was introducing this Vote. That information was in connection with details as to the working of these offices abroad in connection with trade development generally. I quite appreciate the difficulty of these offices abroad developing trade, and I, for one, do not want to suggest for a moment that representatives abroad should act as commercial travellers. I also realise that representatives abroad go with the development of trade. It is not that representatives go abroad for the purpose of saying: "We are here representing our country and we have these particular articles to offer on the one hand, and we are prepared to discuss certain international relations on the other hand." Usually when a country develops an interest in another country, that country requires somebody in the other country to protect its interests as well as to protect its own citizens. As the Minister pointed out, with the exception of England as far as our trade interests abroad were concerned, we would not have a right to vote money for representatives abroad for that purpose. But now that we have those representatives abroad and, particularly since we have some experience of the work of these men abroad, we should be able to outline some policy with regard to trade development generally. There was a time when we had a representative in Germany. That office was closed down and we ceased to have a representative there, notwithstanding that, as compared with other countries and possibly with the exception of America and England, that was the one country with whom we had a trade interest not only with regard to imports, but also with regard to the development of exports. Now we are going to have a representative there.

Mr. Byrne

What were the exports?

There were plenty of exports, and if the Deputy likes I will give him some details.

Mr. Byrne

Give me some details now.

Fish were sent in quantities to Germany and wool was sold in smaller quantities with a developing trade. Perhaps Deputy Byrne does not know that and he might like to dispute it.

Mr. Byrne

The exports to those countries were very small.

The wool sales practically ceased when we ceased having a representative in Germany. I happen to have had experience of the connection in the early days between this country and Germany. I know attempts were made to develop trade and certain results did come about. I do not want to ask for reasons why things changed, but I would like the Minister to outline what course he or his Department will take in trying to develop trade generally. I know it is a difficult subject. If this country had articles to offer at prices which would attract foreign buyers, we would not require representatives abroad for the purpose of getting people to buy our stuff because the articles would sell themselves. We have in this country a tremendous quantity of raw materials which could be utilised abroad and also here if we had some means of utilising them. No effort is being made by the Department of Industry and Commerce through our foreign representatives to find out how best to utilise our raw materials. That is a type of work which they could usefully do. They have the entrée into all the offices abroad and they could there get information and statistics with regard to development which would be of considerable value to the people of this country. According to the way the Minister spoke, he seemed to indicate that we might expect a certain income from the sale of visas and passports. We have quite a respectable proportion of our population in America and we do require contact with our citizens who are in America. Therefore it is necessary to have a representative there. I cannot understand how the Minister can speak of all the different out-offices of the Department of External Affairs in the same manner.

The Minister speaks of making these foreign offices provide the same kind of service. We know that each particular country will require a distinct and separate service based on the conditions prevailing in that particular country. I would like to hear from the Minister, for the information of the public generally, what facilities are going to be offered to the citizens of this country to develop trade abroad, how we are going to be represented for that purpose, and whether our representatives are going to act abroad for our citizens as the representatives of other countries act here for theirs. It is all very well to say that we have got a trade representative here and an Embassy there but what I want to get is some idea, other than that conveyed by the mere expression "trade development" as to how our trade representatives are going to set about doing that. I am sure that the Minister will say that people should go to his Department and that they would get all the information they want there. They may get a certain amount of information there but this is a new departure in a sense and the Minister should be in a position to say why he hopes that this country is going to benefit in regard to trade development by having representatives abroad. The Minister did not lay much stress on that point when introducing the Estimate though he gave a detailed statement, and I hope that when replying he will tell us how our representatives abroad are going to develop trade. I do not suppose that they will have show-rooms or open shops, such as that which the Canadian Government have in Dawson Street here, showing the produce of the country. I do not know whether the Government will sent abroad the ship which recently called at English ports displaying samples of Irish products. I hope that the Minister will tell us what these representatives propose to do to help the export trade of this country.

Mr. Byrne

I think that everybody will congratulate the Minister on his excellent speech in introducing this Estimate. He gave us a great deal of useful information and he clarified the whole position in regard to the activities of our representatives abroad. He dealt with the duties of those representatives and pointed out that they fell under two heads. First, political or quasi-political duties, and, secondly, what might be termed commercial duties. The strange thing is that though differing from Deputy Briscoe I am almost in the same position as he. I should certainly like to know how our trade representatives abroad mean to develop trade. We have been told by the Minister that certain things like exhibitions were dealt with by our representatives. Speaking, however, as a business man, like Deputy Briscoe, I may say that I have had sad experience of exhibitions, and I know that very little monetary return is derived from them. The Minister told us that there will be representatives in Washington and London, and I am sure that no one will quarrel with the representative who will shortly be acting for us at the Vatican.

The Minister stated that he proposed to discontinue our trade representation in Belgium, and that it was his intention to set up a Consulate-General in Paris. In the course of his excellent speech the Minister said that one of the most valuable features of trade representation was the fact that this country would be put in the position of being able to draw valuable comparisons between ourselves and countries abroad. I am not considering the Vote from a political point of view. I recognise the great importance of maintaining the political status of this country abroad. I agree with every word which Deputy O'Connell said, but, looking at the Vote from an entirely commercial standpoint, it strikes me that if there is one country with which valuable comparisons can be drawn it is Belgium. I asked the Minister a question regarding the amount of money which Belgium was spending on trade representatives abroad, but he was unfortunately unable to give me the figures.

If we draw a comparison between Belgium and ourselves, I think we will come out of it very badly. Belgium is one of the most progressive countries in Europe. It has no unemployment problem. In fact, within the past few months, about 10,000 extra men have had to be drafted into Belgium to deal with industrial pressure. In Belgium the coal industry, the glass industry, glove-making, machinery, hardware and other industries are all in a good condition. Looking at Belgium from an agricultural point of view, there is a valuable object lesson to be drawn. Anybody who studies external affairs knows that Belgium is able to supply all her home requirements so far as cereals are concerned. These facts should be valuable to us, especially on the eve of industrial development. I agree with Deputy Briscoe when he asked the Minister to state what methods our trade representatives abroad intend to use to develop trade.

Are the Belgians such fools as to grow wheat?

Mr. Byrne

I believe that they are self-sufficient in that respect. That may be one of the points which this country can with advantage inquire into. I am not one of those narrow-minded individuals who for party advantage would ask a question such as that just asked by Deputy Moore. We are now on external affairs which should be discussed apart from party. It seems to me that many of the industries existing in Belgium could easily be studied with advantage to ourselves. That is one of the reasons that I demur when the Minister informs the House that he does not intend to continue our trade representation in Belgium. I believe that if useful information can be obtained so far as our industrial and commercial future is concerned, it can be obtained with greater advantage from Belgium than from any other country. The Minister gave a clear résumé of the duties of our trade representative in London and pointed out that that representative acted in various capacities. He also stated that it was part of the duties of our trade representatives to inform various countries as to the products of this country. That was one of the reasons why I asked Deputy Briscoe what this country was able to sell so far as France and Germany were concerned. I know no commodity which France could with advantage to herself buy from this country.

Guinness's stout.

Mr. Byrne

Deputy Davin speaks of Guinness's stout. I thought France had a preference for light wines, but apart from Guinness's stout and Jacob's biscuits, which are being sold in these countries, we want something in the way of increased exports from this country, and if we send trade representatives abroad I say there should be some return from these trade representatives. The Minister was perfectly conscious of that viewpoint in the country when he stated that there was a large volume of opinion in this country anxious to know what we were obtaining from the £70,000 spent on this Vote. I have been asked by many very well-informed people: "What are these trade representatives doing? What are your trade representatives in France and in Germany going to do for you?" I was surprised when I heard Deputy Briscoe say that some little trade existed between Germany and ourselves. I am one of those who go to the Statistical Department to study the statistics of exports and imports, and I say no trade exists except an import trade.

Deputy Byrne asked me a moment ago to give him a list of the exports to Germany. I could not give him a list now, but perhaps he does not know that all animal fats exported from this country, although they may go by a roundabout way, eventually go to Germany for the manufacture of soap; also all the offals coming from factories killing pigs and sheep go to Germany for the manufacture of sausages. There are numerous other items which would surprise the Deputy. There is a tremendous trade, and the possibilities are immense.

May I say to Deputy Byrne that Deputy Briscoe did not say that he was opposing the Vote or did not given any reasons for doing so?

Mr. Byrne

The thing that concerns me is that our statistics are published, showing that our exports as far as France and Germany are concerned are entirely negligible. I am not going to argue that there may not be a possibility of developing trade, but what I do suggest, as a business man, is that we should have something in our minds that we are going to sell to Germany or to France for these trade representatives to develop when they are going there.

And how to do it.

Mr. Byrne

And how to do it. I may inform the Minister that I had practical experience of acting in other countries for firms, and if the Minister tells me that certain information, as to the standing and status of firms in this country, is supplied to business men in England by the office in London, I can tell him that such information is entirely negligible from the Londoner's point of view or even from our own. I can speak with practical experience in that matter, and I say that any English firm of standing has its own representative here, and they do not need to send to his office to get any information as to the financial or commercial standing of any firm engaged in trade in the Saorstát. I agree with Deputy Briscoe that we should certainly have some idea as to the particular line of development upon which our trade representatives abroad are going to act. The Minister said that this is a Vote that cannot be considered as value received. At the same time, he recognised the volume of criticism that is at present being directed by the common people of the country against the spending of this sum of £70,000. The main principle upon which any firm engaged in commerce and industry acts when it sends representatives abroad, and I have heard the principle explained many years ago, is: "We do not care what salary we pay, we do not care what your salary is, whether it is £1,000 or £2,000; what we do care is that for that £1,000 or £2,000 we must have a quid pro quo. We must have a profit on every pound we pay."

I suggest to the House, speaking as a business man, that that is the principle on which most firms act and it is the principle which this House must act upon nationally. The people want a return for the money spent. Speaking for this side of the House, as one entirely in favour of the Vote, I think it is in the interests of the people generally that this principle should be enunciated. We are going to spend £70,000 on this Vote. The Minister says that there can be no direct value as a result of the spending of that £70,000. He further went on to say that the Vote for this particular office would be increased and that as far as he personally was concerned he would give no guarantee that it would not further increase. While supporting this Vote I am not going to go all that distance with the Minister. I am going to see, speaking in the interests of the business people of the City, that where any Department of the State is spending money, especially on commercial development and the development of industrial enterprise, that the State is going to get something tangible from it.

If the Minister takes the viewpoint that we are going to get value for the money spent I am with him at once but I am certainly not going to take what was, in my opinion, the platonic viewpoint that we are only going to get indirect results. Any firm which sends representatives abroad scrutinises the expenses sheet and the return for these expenses. If there is not a balance in favour of the firm sending such representatives abroad, the representation is pretty soon discontinued. I realise that our trade representatives cannot act in the capacity of commercial travellers, but there must be some definite line on which they can act. This House is entitled to know along what particular line these representatives are going to travel. If the Minister can give us some information on these heads I for one would be delighted to receive it and I would be delighted to know that these trade representatives are furthering the interests of our industry and commerce abroad. I would like to be in a position to inform the many people whom I have met and who adversely criticised the spending of this £70,000, that the State will get a reasonable and fair return for the money spent.

It is my intention to oppose this Vote for the reason that I think we are not getting value for the money spent. It is a well-known fact that most of our external trade is done with England. That being so, I think it should be the duty of the Minister for External Affairs to take all steps necessary to increase that trade, and also, if necessary, to increase trade with Northern Ireland. I think we, as a poor country, are not in a position to keep foreign representatives in these countries. It is all right talking about status and equality, but the question of trying to mark time and keep step with these foreign countries is like a young man with an income of £3 endeavouring to maintain a standard of living the same as that of one with £20 a week. We have to recognise the fact that we are a poor country, and that these thousands could be better spent here in the Free State on the provision of houses for the working classes and the giving of employment. There are one or two questions I would like to put to the Minister in connection with the Unemployment Insurance Scheme.

This is the Vote for External Affairs.

I think it is a very material question. Unemployment Insurance in connection with Northern Ireland affects the position of workers who have to migrate to Northern Ireland and Great Britain, and I think that is a matter that the Minister should deal with in his reply. Workers who leave the Free State and have occasion to work in Northern Ireland or Great Britain find when they come back that they are denied their benefits. This has been brought up frequently in the Dáil. I would like the Minister to give an indication to the House of what steps he proposes to take in the near future to have this state of affairs rectified. Besides it is a rather significant fact that whilst reciprocal arrangements can be made for the professional classes none can be made for the working classes as far as Great Britain and Northern Ireland are concerned.

I intend to oppose this Vote, not perhaps for the same reason that speakers on the other side may vote against it but simply and solely because I think it is our duty in this country to conserve all our wealth for our own country. Our chief duty should be to increase our trade with England which is and has been our best market, and as far as I can see will be our best market in the future. For that reason I think it is simply a waste of money to have representatives in Belgium. France, the United States and Canada. I disagree with most of the speech delivered by Deputy O'Connell that we should increase our expenditure as far as our representation is concerned in these countries. We get no return, absolutely none, as far as I can see, judging by the trade returns, and I cannot see why we should increase our expenditure by one halfpenny. In fact, we should decrease it as far as possible and concentrate all our efforts on increasing our trade with Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

There is another important matter to which I would like to call the attention of the Minister for External Affairs. What steps does he propose to take in regard to the Border question to mitigate the disadvantages that the people who live in close proximity to the Border-line are suffering at present? I happen to represent a constituency the chief town of which is next to the Border-line. I know from the complaints made to me that the business people of Dundalk and districts adjacent to the Border-line are seriously considering whether they will ask me to table a motion to move the border-line on to the Boyne, because the disadvantages we have suffered as the result of the setting up of this border-line are manifold. Trade has decreased, unemployment has increased and some of the chief industries have been closed down as a result of this border-line. I hope the Minister, instead of having representatives in these foreign countries, will look nearer home and have a representative in Northern Ireland, and do something that will mitigate the baneful influences of a line which, in my opinion, ought never to have been made in Ireland.

I was listening to Deputy O'Kelly talking about this poor, miserable, impoverished, partitioned country. It seemed to me that at the time he was talking in that way the whole world was talking in an opposite strain. They were talking of what an extraordinary little island this is to be able to win the greatest sporting event in the world. We in Ireland to-day have an Irish bred horse——

Did you have a bet on it?

—and an Irish owner winning it. I say that the opinion of the world is in direct contrast to the opinions expressed by Deputy O'Kelly. Millions of money have been spent in order to succeed in what a plain, common Irishman has been able to succeed in bringing to this country to-day. I would not have intervened in this debate at all only to say that the world believes that this is a great country, and it is a poor day when Irishmen here in an Irish Parliament are trying to make little of themselves.

There is just one matter that the Minister neglected to explain when he was describing the future work of the Saorstát representatives abroad—that is, with regard to whether the Minister to the Vatican is to have any trade responsibility. It would be rather anomalous, I think, if he were to be in the same position as an ordinary consul—that is, having commercial responsibility, if his mission is to the Vatican State only. If he is to be responsible for the Free State relations with Italy, either formally or informally, we would be glad to know it. If these reports which the Minister refers to which are received from foreign representatives are as important as he makes them out to be, reports about Italy would be especially important, because if there is any country that seems to be doing things boldly and efficiently it is Italy. If this is an important part of the functions of a foreign representative, then certainly the reports from Rome would be of very great importance. We will have to be content, I suppose, to take the Minister's statement as to the value of those reports on trust for the present until they appear. I once had to read through a lot of reports furnished by British consuls abroad, and recently I read a report of the British representative in Spain. I confess that anything more colourless than that and a number of other ordinary consular reports I have never read, or anything more useless for trade purposes.

We are content to take the Minister's statement on trust for the present that the reports that have been furnished are valuable. I think the Minister was inclined to indulge in leg-pulling when he said that the Saorstát is rapidly proceeding from agriculture to industry. That is rather news for a lot of us, seeing the flour mills closing down and the woollen mills until very recently moribund. Seeing the sweet industries purchased largely by foreign companies which of course do not intend to develop an export trade, and seeing very few other industries appearing, it is very difficult to understand that statement. If it would not be out of order, I hope the Minister will give us a few facts that will enable us to grasp his points.

Have you read the Census of Production Reports?

Have you seen any indication there?

Not a great deal, I confess.

That is not the fault of the reports.

That statement has another interest in this way. The late Professor Oldham, from whom the Minister may have learned his economics—I do not know whether he did or not, but, at all events, he was professor of national economics at the National University some years ago—always held that Ireland was an industrial and pastoral country. It is rather strange now to be told that Ireland is turning from agriculture to industry. At the time when Ireland was one, trade statistics would go to prove that the country was largely industrial, but since partition took place there is not quite the same case for it. Unless the new developments in Ford's of Cork are to be taken as signifying an extraordinary change, I cannot see very much reason for the statement at the moment.

There is another thing that the Minister might have told us about. Several times during the year he was questioned about the possibility of trade with Russia and relations with Russia. In his speech on this Estimate I do not think he even once mentioned that country. He did not tell us whether there is any possibility of opening trade with that country, whether our Minister to Germany is to have any responsibility in that connection, whether he is to report on the position or do anything to enable the Saorstát to get some hold of the rapidly growing trade of that great country. It is obvious that these years are important. The relationships with Russia during these years are going to be permanent or they are most likely to be permanent. If we are out of the picture and if Russia is able to get her requirements from other countries, later on, when we may desire the Russian markets, when perhaps our woollen factories or some other of our industries will have grown to such an extent that foreign markets will be much needed, then we might feel very keenly the mistake we are making at present in neglecting the opportunity of getting into trade with Russia. In that connection it should be remembered that the foreign trade of Russia is in the hands of the Government. So it is not a matter of persuading individuals or anything like that, and trade relationships built up by a government are more likely to be permanent than if they arose in the ordinary way through an individual manufacturer here getting in touch with importers in Russia. I hope the Minister will give us some information on that matter when he comes to reply.

It seems to me that Deputy Byrne furnished rather a damaging reason for rejecting this Vote. He quoted Belgium as being in such a horribly backward position that she is actually growing enough cereals for her own use. What is our trade representative doing in Belgium? We have been told that we have the greatest Minister for Agriculture in the world, and he has said that such a policy is a policy of lunatics. Assuredly our representative in Brussels ought to have made known to the Belgian authorities that a policy like that is going to lead them to disaster.

The Belgians are not growing wheat here.

He should have interest enough in the country in which he was living to endeavour to convert the Belgians from such a suicidal policy.

It is good policy in Belgium.

I thought it was Canada that converted our Minister. When he saw what could be done in Canada he realised that it was utterly impossible in any of these countries to grow wheat with profit.

He was speaking for Ireland only.

I am afraid there is inconsistency in more than one Minister's statements. There is inconsistency, I think, in the attitude of the Minister for External Affairs. When he was questioned some time ago upon the possibility of trade with Russia he as much as said that a representative in Moscow or any representative abroad who would have responsibility for Russia would not have any responsibility for developing trade between the countries. He would only interfere when individuals on both sides had presented to him some difficulty that they could not get over as far as trade was concerned. That was his statement.

You will have to quote that statement.

To-day he was emphasising the importance of these representatives from the trade point of view. Deputy Byrne got very emphatic with regard to the uselessness of sending trade representatives to countries when we had no foreign trade. I think the very same argument could well be applied to the policy of sending political representatives when we have no foreign politics. If there is anything in the argument of Deputy Byrne and Deputy Coburn that trade representatives abroad can only be justified when there is foreign trade, it is an overwhelming reason for not having political representatives abroad when we have no foreign politics. When the country is in such a position that a Minister can go to election meetings and make claims which he dare not make in this House——

What are you talking about?

Is this the first introduction of the election? If so, Deputy Moore should be proud of it.

The only reason I can imagine for having trade representatives abroad would be if there was a vigorous industrial policy at home; if there was a policy which would lead one to hope that we would have manufacturers in due time that would require an export trade, or for which an export trade would be a valuable thing. If there were signs that that was the case, then, even under the present conditions, I would be inclined to think that it would be wise to have representatives abroad so that they would at least know their job by the time the opportunity occurred for being useful. But, in the present circumstances of the country, so far as we can see, the Government has no industrial policy. Their whole attitude appears to be to let industry disappear, and they are acting in a directly opposite way to most of the countries on which their representatives abroad will be reporting—that is, they are neglecting the powers of the State for the purpose of protecting industry. So long as that policy prevails I, for one, cannot see the value of sending trade representatives abroad, and I intend to support the amendment.

All I have to say can be said in a few sentences. It would be a very great mistake if this debate upon External Affairs were to end upon a note purely commercial. I entirely dissent from the point of view put forward by Deputies Byrne and Coburn. Our representatives abroad are, and will in future be even to a greater extent, very much more than mere trade representatives. That they should be concerned with the trade of the country and its industrial prospects is undoubtedly right and proper. To my mind, the chief purpose of the policy is that there should be in Europe a plain, visible proof of the new status and the new place which Ireland has taken among the nations of the world.

That is the primary purpose for which we send representatives to London, Washington, Paris, Brussels, Rome and Berlin. It really seems to me sometimes that our people—many of them, at any rate, North and South—find it impossible to accustom themselves to the change. They do not realise what has happened to this country. One gets curious examples of it. It is a long time since the Battle of the Boyne. It is even a good long time since someone, I think John Mitchel, reminded the people of the North that the Pope served no writs in Ulster. Yet, only yesterday, as I was passing through the Six Counties on my way here from Donegal, when the train was steaming out of the station at Portadown, I noticed an arresting placard on the wall adjuring the people of that district to remember the year 1690, and it was coupled with an assurance, which I am sure no one needed, that there was no Pope there. We laugh at our neighbours in the North-Eastern counties; we laugh at the lady who, anxious to keep her children away from a dangerous pond, warned them that it was full of "wee Popes." I sometimes think that we in the Free State, too, have our own curious obsessions and curious lingerings in the past, not so remote, but no less definitely dead and past, than the years of the seventeenth century. We do not think of there being Popes in ponds, but we seem sometimes to think of kings' heads in every hedgerow. I wish we could get it into our heads that, just as the Pope serves no writs in Ulster, so the King of England serves no writs, and in no wise interferes in any other respect, in this Free State. Because, all through the speeches we have heard on various occasions from the opposite benches—less I think to-day than usual, but still it was implicit in a good deal of what Deputy O'Kelly said—runs the notion that this country is still in some mysterious way under the thumb of Great Britain, that there is some strange and maleficent power in the Crown of Great Britain which makes it in some way impossible for us to be what they call free.

Might I ask them to consider what our present position is in regard particularly to our foreign relations? In the past, the position in practice was—I am not talking so much of constitutional theory—that in dealing with domestic or foreign affairs the Crown meant the British Cabinet. Does anybody suggest, when we are dealing with domestic affairs or external affairs, that it now means that in the long run? Is it not perfectly obvious that the Crown in that sense no longer exists? Is it not obvious that the Crown in our domestic affairs means, in fact, the representative of the King acting on the advice of the Ministers elected by this Dáil? Does it not mean, in the terms of the new relations established, more particularly by the Imperial Conferences of 1923 and 1926, the King, acting through the Ministers elected by this State, and the plenipotentiaries appointed by them? Why should we, as Deputy O'Connell rightly asked, go on belittling ourselves? We have a great and noble status in Europe. Surely, instead of belittling it at every possible turn, we ought rather to be proud of it and take every opportunity of emphasising it. It is on that note and not on the other that I should like this debate to close.

There are one or two points I should like to ask the Minister. Would the Minister tell us what exactly the position is now with respect to the exequatur for the consuls? If we are free, I expect that his signature is all that is necessary, and that as Minister for External Affairs his credentials are being given to our representatives abroad. There is also another matter. We are busy establishing diplomatic relations with other countries. Will the Minister assure us that if there should be such trouble as would lead to the breaking off of diplomatic relations, say, between Great Britain and France or any other country, with whom we are establishing these relations, when this trouble arises we will not have also to break off relations? These are matters which are of importance for us as showing whether or not we have indeed that status we pretend to have. The attitude of Deputies on this side with respect to the position when they ask that our representatives abroad should tell the truth is simply this: We regard the Treaty and the status that has issued from it as being the result of force from out-side—that we did not voluntarily accept this position—and it is the hope of a very large section of the people of this country that the status that the people would freely choose they will one day attain. We do not want representatives of any part of our country to make that task more difficult when the time should come. But if the Executive Council have it as their policy to maintain the independence which they say they have— to maintain that at every point, and not to tolerate interference from outside, then every step that the Ministry take in pursuance of such a policy we will support. We are at present asking that this Vote be sent back for reconsideration, because we are not satisfied that the Ministry are really determined upon that course. We imagine that what the Ministry are trying to do is to pretend to have a status which in fact we have not. That is the difference between us; that is the difference between members of this side, apparently, and Deputy O'Connell and the Ministry. We differ upon that point. We say that we are not going to get the complete freedom which our people want simply by making it appear that we are satisfied with the present position.

It is not fair to Deputy O'Connell, in his absence, to suggest that Deputy O'Connell held or expressed any such view.

Did he not say that we were belittling the position, and that we were free, and all the rest of it? That is what I understood to be his criticism of Deputy O'Kelly's speech.

Deputy O'Connell did not say that. He did not say that we were satisfied with the freedom that we had.

Then he should have had no difficulty whatever in understanding Deputy O'Kelly or the position that Deputy O'Kelly took up. He should not have imagined that Deputy O'Kelly was belittling this country.

That is a matter of opinion.

Yes, and accordingly your opinion is different from mine. That is what it amounts to. I say anybody who wants in this House honestly to understand our position can easily find a basis for it. We are quite sincere in it. There are two lines of foreign policy: one would be the present position; one would be to do, apparently, as the Ministry seemed to be doing at one time if they held to it consistently, and that is, to say we are free and to stand up for it. Every step they take in that direction we will support them, but that is a different thing to making it appear that we are free when we know we are not, and simply making that an excuse for taking no other action in the direction of securing freedom, and for tolerating interference which should not be tolerated by anybody who thinks he is free. As to the point of view expressed by Deputy O'Connell, that we should talk here in the Twenty-six Counties of the whole of Ireland, and regard the Six Counties as a lost province, such as France regarded Lorraine, France may have spoken of France, but the fact that the lost province was there, and was to be recovered was kept definitely before the eyes of the French people as one of their main objectives for more than a generation until they finally succeeded in getting back what they believed was theirs.

Before the French people?

Yes, before the French people, and when the contest came about France took care, also, that the whole world should know that there was a lost province. When six of our counties were cut away against the wishes of the majority of the people of the whole island, it is very bad policy for us to close our own eyes to that fact or to let other people forget it.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle took the Chair.

Now with regard to the trade benefits. We are not objecting, as Deputy O'Kelly pointed out, to the expenditure of this money. It is of course, more than appears on the face of the Vote, because in other Votes there are other sums being paid really for external affairs. These are sums that arise for external affairs such as the Vote for the League of Nations, and so on, making a total of £75,511, which is the sum spent. We are not objecting to that, but we would like, as other Deputies pointed out, to see concrete results as far as possible. Everybody knows what the Minister himself clearly indicated. He realises that you can set up a very large organisation of this kind keeping a headquarters staff engaged communicating with representatives abroad, getting reports and sending communications of various kinds with very little value for it. We know that. The Minister realises it, too, because he referred to it in one of his statements as a reason for not extending our representation to other countries. As far as we are concerned, we believe that this money could be well spent, but we have no means of definitely knowing, for instance, what help is given by our representatives abroad to commercial firms here and what information is really passed on from our Department to them and generally what is the value of the information that comes from outside. Undoubtedly the trade side shows very little results.

We find here that of our exports and re-exports to the United States our exports to the States in 1924 amounted to £242,184; in 1927 it went up to £462,000; in 1928, according to the preliminary report—and I think there is not much parcel post between the United States of America and us, and the final figure is not likely to go up very much—it was down to £311,000, so that you see in 1924 the trade was £242,000, in 1927 £462,000 —I have not got the intermediate figures—in 1928 it went back again to £311,000. We are not getting very much by way of value directly from our trade representative there. If you take the trade with other countries we find that to France in 1924 we exported goods to the value of £86,825; in 1927 £103,322, and the preliminary report gives for 1928 £80,000, so that in the year 1928 you were back to a smaller amount than in the year 1924.

Well, as I say, from the trade returns we had not got much to encourage us. There is very little to prove that we are getting value for our money, but still the attitude of our Party is not based on that. We do not expect to get from the money that we are spending, from this £75,000, such direct returns in trade, and we are prepared to spend it without these returns. But we are anxious that our representatives abroad will not misrepresent the situation. We believe they do. It is, of course, only quite natural for them to do so. The representatives can only carry out the policy of the Ministry. It is only natural that they should express the policy of the Ministry. We think that it would be very much better for the future if the position as it is were frankly stated abroad, and no pretences made. I do not think that anybody would belittle himself or his country, by simply stating what the position is here and how it came about.

We here on this side of the House will give every possible assistance to the Ministers. They need not imagine for a moment that any success that will be attained by efforts in trying to get more freedom for the country will be the cause of jealousy to us or that we will go out of our way to minimise it. But we believe that whatever hope there is of advance along that direction lies in frankly recognising the position as it is, and where there has been interference calling it interference, and where interference has been continued the Government should try to stop that interference. I would probably be called to order by the Chair if I were to go back and point out the number of ways in which there is interference, indirect perhaps, but persistent and constant interference, which I do not think that any Deputy in this House would desire, and interference for which no member of the House would stand. If the Government were to say clearly how this interference——

When and where is the interference?

In the very Constitution under which you work, the fact that the House has to accept some thirteen Articles of the Constitution, the fact that the Constituent Assembly was told by Great Britain that there were thirteen Articles to be put into that Constitution and that they must not alter a comma in one of them.

Now, what about the Estimate?

Do not get uneasy. I was questioned and I was replying to the question, and I say that a Constitution has been imposed upon this House, and that there is, in consequence, constant, persistent interference, I believe that no member of this House wanted that interference at the time the Constitution was adopted. No one wants it now. I think that the attitude of the Ministry for External Affairs ought be to resist any attempt to interfere. I put this question about the position of the consuls and also the position that may arise if there should be, for instance, a breaking off of diplomatic relations between the countries in which we, in common with Great Britain, have representatives. There is another point also: what is the position with respect to a country in which Britain has no representative?

It has been suggested that the Minister has been hedging in some of his answers in respect to Russia. There was a considerable trade with Russia in herrings. I understand. I have not looked at the matter very carefully myself, but I understand there had been a considerable trade in herrings and in fish with Russia. That trade is cut off or it has fallen off, and one of the reasons why no attempt has been made by the Free State Ministry to re-establish that trade is because at the present moment there is no British representative in Russia. I want to know whether the Minister is accepting the position that where there is not a British representative the Free State cannot have a representative.

Deputy de Valera has suggested if he has not actually stated that we are supporting this Vote for the purpose of enabling the foreign representatives of this State to misrepresent the status of this nation in the countries where they are stationed. That is certainly not a fact. Deputy O'Connell neither stated nor suggested any such thing. Deputy de Valera's speech, however, appears to me to be a covering up of the ground which Deputy O'Kelly travelled over in a very muddled way. I do not think that Deputy O'Connell would have taken that very strong line but for the muddled speech that was made by Deputy O'Kelly. Everybody knows and Deputy de Valera himself must know that he is only preaching to the converted when he states or suggests that we should not close our eyes to the fact that we represent only a Twenty-six County State. We all know that as well as Deputy de Valera and the countries in which our representatives are stationed know it perfectly well and I do not know where the misrepresentation comes in. I want to hear it stated by any other speaker that may come from the Fianna Fáil Benches what representative of this State in any country in which he is stationed is misrepresenting the status of the Saorstát. When I hear some definite charge made in this direction or some proof given, then I will agree that there will be something in the way of sense in the speech of Deputy O'Kelly. Deputy de Valera himself is, as was pointed out here, a member of a branch of the Inter-Parliamentary Union which from year to year sends its representatives to world conferences of that Union held in different countries. That conference was held last year in Berlin. Deputy de Valera and Deputy Little went there with members of other Parties in this House and I did not see any report in the Irish papers in regard to any protest made at that assembly by Deputy de Valera regarding the low status of the Saorstát or this Parliament with which he himself was associated.

May I say that I did make the position quite clear. In fact I made it so clear, that some people said here that it was for propaganda purposes I went there.

At any rate Deputy de Valera accepted a nomination of a branch of that Inter-Parliamentary Union which is naturally confined to the Twenty-six County Parliament, and in that way he himself committed himself to advertising by his presence on that institution the Twenty-six County Parliament to which he so often refers. At any rate, so far as I can see, and I am speaking personally in this matter, we will have the Thirty-two County Parliament whenever the people in this State or the people in the Six County Parliament and their supporters will either by force or persuasion bring that about. Deputy de Valera having associated himself by his presence here with constitutional action could in his own way help to bring that about. In our own good time it will come about, and the sooner it comes the more it will be welcomed by all the members of this Party. We are not subscribing one penny to be used by any representative of this State to misrepresent the status of this country in any country outside the Saorstát. The allegation that we were is like the statement that was made here this evening by Deputy O'Kelly when he suggested that the Fianna Fáil Party are the only Party that can claim to represent the Catholic religion in this country. Was there ever such a silly statement made by any member of any House, especially an Irish House of Parliament? There are other people in this House —we do not want to boast about our religious activities—who can claim to have as strong views on Catholic questions as Deputy O'Kelly or even the best member of that particular Party. It is the first time I learned —and I learned it from the statement of Deputy O'Kelly—that the Fianna Fáil Party claims to be a sectarian Party. I did not believe that until I heard the Deputy suggest it in the House.

Mr. Byrne

In Sligo they say it is not.

I believe the representatives of this State at Geneva from year to year have done everything possible on every occasion when they were afforded an opportunity to advance the interests of the State and to represent, not misrepresent, the position here. If they have not done so, and if there is anything to be said against them, let us have it stated here. We will then know where we are and how we should deal with such a representative or with the Minister who is asking for money to be paid to the individual or individuals concerned.

Deputy O'Kelly says we are not re-opening diplomatic relations with anyone. Surely he does not even pretend to believe that is correct in so far as it applies to the representative to be appointed to the Vatican. Deputy O'Kelly also stated that we should have publicly consulted the bishops of the country before any representative was appointed and get their approval for any representative we would like to send to the Vatican. I am not sure whether the Minister had consultations with the heads of the Catholic Church. I would like to hear him upon that point. Anybody who heard Deputy Briscoe's critical but constructive speech on this Estimate would imagine that he did not belong to the same Party as Deputy O'Kelly. With regard to the value of representatives of this State abroad, Deputy Byrne apparently wants to have a balance sheet showing the actual returns and the value of these people in the places where they represent the Government. Deputy Byrne must know, as I am sure he has read the returns furnished from time to time by the Department of Industry and Commerce, that the value of the exports from this country to Great Britain have increased to a tremendous degree during the last two or three years.

Mr. Byrne

On a point of explanation, I mentioned that in my opinion representatives in London and Washington were vital, but I wanted to be informed what were their activities in Germany and France.

The Deputy wanted a balance sheet produced by the Minister to show that some returns actually came to that Department in the shape of money for the expenditure incurred in the payment of trade representatives abroad. He used the word "abroad." If he studied the returns he would have noticed the increase in the value of exports from this country to Great Britain since the trade representatives were appointed. There was certainly good value, I think he will be inclined to agree, given by the trade representatives in Great Britain. I have come in contact a good deal with the trade representatives in England and I have very good reason to know that the trade representatives there have been a very valuable asset to the people who want to sell and get sale at the best possible price for the food which is produced here and which must in the ordinary course be exported to Great Britain. I want to pay a well-deserved tribute to the trade representatives in Britain who have been doing very valuable work. The increase in the value of our exports would not be as great as it is to-day were it not for the very valuable work done in Great Britain by the representatives of the Department of External Affairs.

Deputy Davin has talked at length about this subject.

About five minutes.

A little more. As far as I can see he ought to be on the Government Benches, because there are certain things that could be and should be criticised by the Labour Party which were not criticised by Deputy Davin. He talks about the representative in England and what he has done to boost Irish trade. I can say plainly and plumply, and I can prove it from the daily papers, that we are not having the same volume of trade with Britain as we had formerly. Further, we are not getting the same price as a country which is not tied to the British Empire, and that is Denmark. When our representative across in England can secure a price for Irish goods equal to the price given to Denmark—and we have all the improvements that have been suggested by the Minister for Grass or the Minister for Agriculture—then, and not till then, will I agree with Deputy Davin. We have a Minister in Washington, and we will soon have one at the Vatican. If the one at the Vatican is as useful as the one in Washington he certainly will be a very useful asset, but he will not be worth the money. What have we got from our representative in Washington except words. Those words were to the effect that Ireland was now happy and contented: that she was turning the corner. That is all we have had from him. We have here twenty-six counties although we have thirty-two counties on our stamps. The Six Counties are left out. He never says a word about those at all. We did not see any reference to them in the "Irish Independent." If Deputy de Valera or anybody else makes a speech nobody hears about it, because the daily Press ignores anything that might be detrimental to the twenty-six county Free State.

You got three columns in the "Independent" to-day.

Of what kind?

It was good stuff.

The Deputy should read it.

Was it about Mr. Jinks, I wonder, or the Derby? It certainly was not about Fianna Fáil propaganda or the Fianna Fáil case.

Yes, it was.

What about the Estimate now?

We hear a lot about those gentlemen who go along as representatives of the so-called Free State. Deputy Davin goes out of his way to support those gentlemen and the Estimate for their upkeep. If anybody can prove to me that they have been of benefit to the Free State, or to Ireland as a whole, I will believe them. Seeing is believing.

Deputy Briscoe will, according to his speech this evening.

Will he? Deputy de Valera spoke about this so-called Free State, the twenty-six county Free State. How are we to expect that the men appointed as representatives of the Free State in foreign countries will uphold the dignity of the whole of Ireland when the Minister for Finance does not do it? He is the gentleman who formerly stated that the road to freedom was a sword path through our enemies.

I think the Deputy will have to be more relevant. The Deputy has been irrelevant up to the present.

I am taking one member on the Government Benches as an example.

The Deputy will have to speak to the Estimate and the motion.

He is the gentleman who this week——

The Deputy will have to talk about this Estimate and Deputy O'Kelly's motion and nothing else.

The policy that governs those men who were appointed to represent the Free State in foreign countries must of necessity be the policy of the Executive Government of the Irish Free State.

Hear, hear!

If the views of the Executive Council are represented by the sayings of the Minister for Finance that will not be the policy of the people of Ireland as a whole, because that would be misrepresenting Ireland. These representatives go to foreign countries and state that we are absolutely contented, that we are free when we are not free; I take the example of the Minister for Finance. If he wants to deny it, let him do it. I will accept his word for it, but his words were these——

The Deputy must not get back to that again.

If the Minister wants to deny it, he can.

The Deputy must deal with the Estimate.

We are spending money on men who are not going to put our case before the nations of the world, either in Geneva or elsewhere. They are governed, as I have said, by the Executive Council, and when I wanted to quote a prominent member of the Executive as proof of what I have said An Leas-Cheann Comhairle tells me that I am not in order. If the Vice-President wants to deny what he has already said I will accept his word. If he will not deny it, it must go by default, but until he denies it and until these men put the case of Ireland before the nations of the world we certainly are not going to vote money to them, because we would only be voting money to them under false pretences.

Before the Minister concludes, I would like to express my deep regret that another split in the Labour Party was made evident in the course of this discussion.

Like Fianna Fáil.

Mr. O'Connell

Question.

There is enough division amongst our people to make us all deplore the fact that the movement towards reunification should have received a set-back.

We have had Deputy Davin assuring us that neither he nor any member of his Party would support this Vote if money was to be used to misrepresent in any way whatever the situation existing in this country. We have Deputy O'Connell, the titular leader of that Party, telling us that neither he nor any member of his Party thinks that our representatives abroad should even refer to the Irish Free State, but should talk all the time about Ireland. I do not know if Deputy Davin is leading the split, or is merely incapable of understanding the lead given by his leader. Deputy O'Kelly's speech, according to Deputy Davin, was particularly muddled, but I do not think that Deputy Davin's speech was very clear. Perhaps he was influenced by the example of Deputy O'Kelly, and thought that it was his duty to make confusion more confounded.

It does not suit you. That is what is wrong with it.

It gives me an opportunity of making this speech. The Labour Party appear only recently to have taken an interest in national affairs. Now that they are taking an interest in them, it is our duty to instruct and encourage them.

Put up Deputy O'Kelly again.

I think that Deputy O'Kelly was responsible for training at least three of the public representatives whose salaries we are discussing, and if he was capable of training men who, in the opinion of the Government, are capable of representing the Free State at the Vatican or Washington, surely Deputy O'Kelly is capable of training Deputy Davin? Deputy O'Connell wants us to talk about Ireland. I wonder why? Is it because he thinks by constantly talking about Ireland we will, by some political system of Coueism, achieve the unity we all desire? Does he think that by saying, "We are a free country" every morning, and twice after meals, we will get better every day in every way and get nearer to that freedom we desire? Does it imply that Deputy O'Connell, now that he is allied with Cumann na nGaedheal, is anxious to lower the flag and to accept our existing status as the goal of our national aspirations? I think that the Deputy's anxiety to talk about Ireland, and to get our representatives abroad to do the same, is due to the fact that he wants to avoid being called on to make any effort to re-establish the Irish nation.

To talk about the lost provinces of France and Germany is only another attempt to misrepresent the issue. As Deputy de Valera said, France lost her provinces by force, but she remained steadfast until she got them back. The French Government never accepted the partition of France nor glorified it as a great victory and a good bargain. That is the fundamental difference in the position. Whereas we have people here who are prepared to accept our present status as final and conclusive, the people in France had stiffer backs and got back their provinces again. Deputy Law thinks that the difficulty is that some people do not appear to realise that a change has taken place. It seems to me that Deputy Law himself failed to realise that a change has taken place. We, perhaps, are over-conscious that a change has taken place, but he thinks, like Deputy O'Connell, that by ignoring it and by ceasing to talk about it, it ceases to have effect. He talks about our representatives abroad being visible proofs of our status. He speaks as if he were proud of that status. There are others who think that to have visible proofs of our status in Europe is really a national shame, because our present status is something to be ashamed of. Deputy Law thinks that the King of England has no influence here and has long ceased to have it. If he thinks that, I would ask him to introduce a Private Member's Bill, which I will second, to delete any one of the thirteen Articles of the Constitution referred to by Deputy de Valera, and I have no doubt that he will win the by-election in Donegal.

The functions of our representatives abroad have been, we are informed, to constitute visible proof of status, to look after trade matters, and to get information. On this matter of getting information I think that the Government are really suffering from an inferiority complex. Surely it should be their function, as the greatest Government in the world, to give information and not to receive it. We have the Minister for Agriculture informing us that the Americans, Germans, Belgians, French, Russians and all the rest are following an obsolete economic policy and that if we follow them we will be destroyed. Deputy Moore described him as the greatest Minister for Agriculture in the world, but it seems to me that he is not only the greatest Minister for Agriculture but the greatest economist in the world. It should be his duty, through our representatives, to show all the other countries the error of their ways and to put them on the right track before they are destroyed. Ministers have constantly assured us and the various electors throughout the country that no better Government ever could, or ever did, exist in any civilised country, so that instead of having representatives in Paris, Berlin and elsewhere to get information they should have them there as sorts of centres from which information concerning sound economics could be propagated amongst the ignorant peoples of Europe. If they are, in fact, getting information, it seems strange that it has not reached the Government Departments. Deputy Moore referred to the horrifying fact that the Belgians are self-supporting in the matter of cereals. It is amazing that that information has not reached the Department of Agriculture. If the Belgians are so horribly stupid as to develop their land and to grow their own wheat there must be some reason for it. I think that the position in Belgium is very little different to our position and that if that can be done there it can be done here. The Minister for Agriculture thinks that it requires some sort of miracle to do it here. It is out of the question to do it here; it is not worth considering. The fact that we did it before he was born, and may do it after he is dead, does not seem to have entered his mind.

The Deputy must keep to the Estimate.

One of the functions of this Department is to educate European countries, not to educate the Government. I am criticising it on the ground that it has failed to educate the Government. I realise that it is, perhaps, too severe a criticism to say that it has failed to educate the Government. We, of the Fianna Fáil Party, who are much cleverer than the representatives abroad, have also failed to educate the Government.

Failed lamentably.

In addition to the function of the Department in connection with trade, it seems to me the Minister should have given us more information than he did. He invites us to inspect the trade statistics, and tells us that we would find visible proofs there that the representatives abroad were doing good work which amply repaid the State for the expenditure in maintaining them. Deputy de Valera has also referred to some of the trade statistics which seem to indicate the contrary. The Minister's challenge was accepted with results which he did not anticipate. If he has at his disposal figures which do show that trade has been increased in this country with any other country through the instrumentality of these representatives, I think he should have given them to us. The most extraordinary feature about the Department is the continued reluctance of the Minister to give us any information concerning it. I recollect that when we were discussing the Estimates last year the Minister stated that it was impossible to give information because re-organisation was to take place. This year it is impossible to give information because re-organisation is taking place.

On what point does the Deputy want information?

The information we want concerns the work these representatives have done to find markets for any goods produced in this country or for any of our agricultural produce. If they have done any work in that respect the results should be indicated by the trade statistics and it is not indicated there. I doubt if it could be indicated there in consequence of the Minister acting in another capacity. I noticed that outside the ranks of the only realist Party in the House, Fianna Fáil, the occasion of the discussion of these Estimates seems to loose the springs of everybody's fancy. The Minister for Foreign Affairs started by telling us that we were becoming an industrial country. It is only natural that weaker minds like that of Deputy O'Connell and others in the House should follow him in these flights of fancy. I have seen no sign of this great change towards industrialism here. On the contrary, there has been a change in the opposite direction. We think it would be to the credit of the Department if, despite the true situation here, we were able to show that we were increasing our exports abroad. We have not seen that in the statistics. We have nothing else to go on but the assurance of the Minister which is not good enough for us. I was foolish enough to risk some of my money on a tip for the Derby given by the Minister for Agriculture, and I am never going to risk anything again on the word of a Minister.

In view of some of the remarks that have been made, I think it is right that I should say a word as far as my position and the position of my Party are concerned. I think it is only fair to state that we do not accept the present position as a final settlement. I think that is well known all round, and that the Labour Party has made that point time and time again inside and outside the House. At the same time it is a position which the country has accepted, and we ought to take advantage of it to further our position through the medium of our representatives abroad. It is regrettable if a representative appointed by the Minister for External Affairs before going to another country has to receive his credentials from the King of England. I certainly regret that that should be the case, but at the same time it is the position accepted by the majority vote of the country and we must make the best of it for the moment. I submit that that position, which some of us reluctantly accept, is not worse than the position occupied by the Fianna Fáil Party in this House. They say they are here reluctantly. In my opinion, that is analogous to the position taken up here by some of us who want to see this country eventually united and entirely free. As far as I am concerned, in voting for the Treaty that was my attitude. I have said that time and time again, and I believe that was the attitude of most of those who voted for the Treaty—that it was to be used as a medium towards achieving something better. I want to make that perfectly clear.

I think people will agree that one of the surprises which always occur round about the time of this Vote is the fact that the discussion, as Deputy Law has indicated, seems to tend always towards trade activities. We hear very little appreciation, very little argument, and very few points raised with regard to status, although national status is a thing upon which a certain split took place in this country. One might say it was the very point on which the civil war was fought. It is certainly the point upon which people in the Fianna Fáil Party have besmirched many reams of paper and put up all sorts of vain imaginings. But when they get an opportunity in this House, on the Vote for External Affairs, as they do on other occasions, to raise points about status, to tell us whether we are misrepresenting the position, whether we who accept the Treaty position are misrepresenting that Treaty position, by saving that it gives us more than in effect it does, they do not utilise it. I asked on the last occasion when this Vote was before the House why people should take their worst suspicions and their greatest fancies and put them up here as facts. Let us have some argument and some evidence that they are facts. We have had an opportunity of raising every question in regard to the status of our representatives, how they are sent out and recalled. How many points have we had raised? The position of exequaturs; who signs the credentials of our representatives; the question of what might occur in any country where we are represented and where at the same time there is a British representative, if there occurs a breach of diplomatic relations between the British representative and that country, and an indication from Deputy O'Kelly that the whole thing is farcial because this country is only a twenty-six county country.

The analogy of misrepresentation was very well seized on by Deputy O'Connell, and the ambiguity of Deputy Lemass as to the attitude of France did not confuse the issue one bit. Deputy O'Kelly precisely stated that he objected to these people being sent abroad because they represented 26 counties. The answer came: when two provinces were taken from France did France withdraw diplomatic representatives from every country? That is the net point argued, not what these people said when they got to certain courts, because a certain portion of our country was not included. That point has not been made. France did not withdraw diplomatic representatives and sit down and whine at home, and what is called "represent the true position" to their own people by withdrawing diplomatic representatives elsewhere. She continued to act as a State, to harbour her own feelings of revenge and her own desires to get these provinces back, and she succeeded in the end. She did not adopt any childish attitude such as Deputy O'Kelly would have us adopt by refusing to send people abroad because somebody— he or Deputy de Valera—imagines that people sent abroad are misrepresenting people at home. Why did we only get the imaginings? Can we get any hint as to whether any individual abroad said anything inaccurate with regard to the status of this country? This is the occasion to have the incident developed. We have read often in papers that, given an audience, statements could be made with regard to the status claimed for this country and not actually secured, that that would be shown, and the hollowness of our schemes exposed. But here was the opportunity; statements could have been made and answered by debate back and forward in the House. They were not made and we get merely one single statement from Deputy O'Kelly in the whole of his speech that because we stand for twenty-six counties only at the moment we should send no representatives abroad. Somebody imagined that we are misrepresenting the position, and the person who imagines we are misrepresenting the position then asked two or three questions which I imagine are supposed to elicit information which will go to show the weakness of our position. What is the position with regard to the exequaturs of consuls? Those at the moment are countersigned by the Minister for External Affairs, and are issued in the name of the head of the State, as accepted at this moment in the Treaty, in the name of the King. The credentials to anybody we send abroad are signed in the same way.

Why not by the Minister's own signature?

Because that is not what is done. The credentials of anybody going abroad are signed by the head of the State. Remember that does not begin and end the situation and that it is not placing the matter in a proper perspective, no representatives can be sent abroad to represent this country unless the Executive Council have taken the opinion of this House and determine that a post is to be established.

Why is the British Minister's signature necessary?

There is no British Minister's signature. If the Deputy imagines that is so there is no such thing.

I merely want information. I want to know what are the signatures that are on the exequatur.

I am answering the second question with regard to the credentials of foreign representatives chosen by this country to go abroad.

In asking the first I was speaking with reference to consuls.

That document is issued in the name of the King and is countersigned by me.

Yes. If the Deputy had read the 1926 Imperial Conference Report he would have seen that stated. With regard to a representative going abroad, the King issues the credentials, but no representative can be sent abroad until the Executive Council decides that the post should be established, and itself selects a name, and the credentials could not be refused to such a person when so selected. That is the interference of the King in this matter, the stamp, as it was said before, put on the document. A particular headship was accepted in the Treaty and that is being abided by. Certain changes are going on with regard to some of those documents, and anyone who wants to know what is the latest with regard to them should have read the 1926 Imperial Conference documents, which do not end the situation either.

I am asked, further, as to the position of our representatives abroad where the British also have representatives in the same capital and where there is a breach of diplomatic relations as between the British Government and the State concerned. I think the question was: Would we automatically withdraw our representatives? Taking the word "automatically," we would not automatically withdraw our representatives. We have a further choice as to what is done. If our representative is withdrawn he is withdrawn by the King on the advice of the Executive Council of this State. We do realise we have entered into a certain association with the British Commonwealth of Nations and standing on that relationship and accepting it at the moment we would look to see what were the practical difficulties in the situation. We would look first and foremost to our own interests, but certainly we would look to the interests of the people with whom we are associated in that Commonwealth, and the action that would follow would be free action determined by the practical considerations that would arise under the situation.

Like the free acceptance of the Treaty.

The Treaty was accepted, and it can be broken at any moment. The Deputy spoke, as he often spoke before, of a Constitution imposed on people here and imposed on this House. He was held up by the Chair on one occasion for using the term. The Deputy ought to be clear about the matter, that if and when he gets the vote of the Irish people to back him for a particular action the Treaty can be broken and the Constitution can be wiped out, but in so far and so long as the Treaty is accepted the Constitution holds. The Constitution can be changed in various ways without infringing on the Treaty, but people have to face up to certain circumstances, and people are facing up to them, and we are taking the Constitution and the Treaty as it stands and are moving ahead on the status that has been secured by the Treaty.

Apparently the only points that can be raised here to impugn that status are the two or three items I have mentioned, the exequaturs of consuls, representatives going abroad, breach of diplomatic relations when there is double representation and something occurs to call for it, and the fact that there is only a twenty-six county State here. It would be well to understand that that represents the highest level of criticism that that Party has to offer with regard to the Treaty and the whole Constitution and with regard to our external situation.

Not at all.

We were taking you easily.

Deputies have been always pleading for a chance to make their case known.

The Minister knows quite well that if I were to go into the fundamentals we are dealing with here I would be stopped by the Chair very soon.

If the Deputy cannot make his case on status on the Vote for External Affairs without getting irrelevant it is a fault in the Deputy and not in the situation. Surely status and such other things lie for consideration on the Vote for External Affairs. The opportunity was given but no advantage was taken by the people who are gasping for the opportunity to knock holes in the Constitution and to show that the whole idea of status was falsely represented to the people. Criticisms can be urged. If it is stated that I am falsely representing or inaccurately stating let me see where there was an important point made against the situation that there is now. Deputy O'Kelly when asking a question simply blundered into statements with regard to the Regency Council and talked of documents recently signed by, amongst others, the late Premier in England and the Archbishop of Canterbury. No such signatures have ever been put to any document coming from this country since the Regency Council was established. As far as this country was concerned, we took steps immediately on the first occasion that offered after the Regency Council was established to point out how completely absurd and wrong it would be to have political people like the Prime Minister of England signing in the name of the King and that there could be immediately imported into that some idea that the British Government was interfering. That point of view was accepted and no such signatures were ever put to any document that emanated from this country.

The Regency Council will be further discussed. It arose in an emergency. As far as we were concerned, it arose on one particular document and the position taken up was accepted. The matter now lies over for further consideration to regularise the whole thing, but we would have to be alert to see that there should never be any trace apparent even of political domination by the British Parliament over any act that the Executive of this State does. That is a position that has to be maintained. In so far as the Regency Council means anything it means recognition and acceptance of that point of view. It was well the point was raised, although it might have been better for Deputy O'Kelly if it was not raised in the form of asserting something which certainly he could not have known to be true, something which was vague, which he was suspicious about. It is something to have suspicions elevated to the region of facts, so that we can get an understanding of what the situation is. There are many such suspicions. If we could only get them raised on a particular occasion, such as we have got, they could be wiped out and the people in the country could see where we are.

Deputy O'Kelly would not be surprised if our representatives, when they go abroad, have some secret agreement not to open up negotiations or to indulge in any activities which would in any way interfere with the political status or the economic position of the British Empire. No such agreement exists. He would not be surprised if a secret agreement existed.

He said he would not be surprised. Neither would I.

He would not be surprised if there was such agreement. That is the sort of thing that passes for a responsible statement. He would not be surprised if there was something. Then there is some point of view brought forward which will shortly appear in the periodicals, I suppose, as a fact, that there is a secret agreement.

Between whom does the secret agreement exist? The Executive Council who choose the people to go abroad and the people who go abroad. On that point I can state definitely there are no agreements of that type. The suggestion that there are is always put forward in this ambiguous way—"would not be surprised if there were." Does anybody seriously suggest that there are these agreements? Again I may assert that there is no such agreement. It may be alleged that there is agreement between these people who go abroad and the British Government. Secret agreements can be alleged on any occasion. If it is stated that they are secret obviously I would know nothing about them. But surely the State would be unfortunate in all its representatives if just because they have their credentials signed by the King they felt bound not to do anything contrary to the interests of the British Empire even although what they thought should be done was in the interests of the Irish Free State. It certainly would be a breach of any undertaking, open or implied, with the Executive Council if these representatives who go abroad failed to take action which was for the good of this State even though it in some way happened to conflict with either the economic or political status of Great Britain. That is the position. Our representatives go there representing us first and foremost. I agree with Deputy O'Connell that they do not go out armed with tomahawks looking for the scalps of British Government officials. They are sent out remembering that we have an association with the British Commonwealth of Nations and that their first and foremost duty is to this State.

Deputy O'Kelly sought to create mischief with regard to one point, that of the Vatican representative, by suggesting in the question which he asked that there was hostility on the part of the hierarchy towards the appointment of a Vactican representative here. Deputy Davin answered him on the point of consultation. Did Deputy O'Kelly speak for any member of the hierarchy in his mischievous attempt to suggest that there is anything but a welcome on the part of the hierarchy here for closer relations with the Vatican State? I would like to have some indication of the authority behind his suggestion if there be any authority behind it, or am I to take it when that statement was made it was recognised as being so weak that it had to be buttressed up with the extremely absurd statement that the Fianna Fáil Party represent the bulk of Catholic opinion in this country. Fianna Fáil now representing the bulk of Catholic opinion in this country deem it their right to speak, although unauthorised to speak, for the hierarchy with regard to the appointment. Deputy de Valera does not like our diplomatic representatives abroad for this reason, that they may make more difficult the task which has to be achieved in the future.

Before the Minister leaves that, would he tell us directly if he has any indication of approval from the hierarchy with regard to the action he has taken?

Does the Deputy mean explicitly?

Explicitly or implicitly.

None at all. Having answered that, I think it is only right that I should get an answer to what I have asked. When Deputy O'Kelly makes the mischievous suggestion that there was a reluctance on the part of the hierarchy to accept closer relations with the Vatican, is he speaking with or without authority?

I have never attempted to speak for the Irish hierarchy.

Deputy de Valera does not want some task made more difficult in the future. What task? I presume it is the achievement of what has been called "the ultimate goal." How is that going to be made any harder by our sending representatives abroad? I suppose we get back to the old suggestion that these representatives misrepresent our status here. Apparently they should have been withdrawn. We should have adopted the course of not sending anybody abroad until the whole thirty-two counties were united. I thought Deputy de Valera made a statement some time ago as regards the Six Counties that on a question of policy it was better not to speak too much about them.

I do not remember.

It was a newspaper statement.

If you give it all we will have its meaning.

Deputy de Valera might indulge us by giving us his point of view on the Six Counties.

At the proper time and place.

The last statement I heard from him on this matter was that he would blast certain people out of the way.

You never heard it.

We have that stated.

You did not hear of it?

The Deputy has been very badly treated by the Press then. Has the Deputy any policy on the Six Counties?

When the time comes I shall talk about the Six Counties.

I think the Deputy is now acting on the policy he asked others to act on, not to speak too much about it. If he can look down into that mine of information in his own heart and find out what the Irish people want, with regard to the Six Counties and tell us, we will know something of what he expects us to tell our foreign representatives to proclaim to the world as a proper policy for this State as interpreted by him. We do not get any statements except just Deputy O'Kelly's point, that because there are only twenty-six counties we should not send any representatives abroad.

Where did I say that, and when?

If the Deputy has not said that he has been misunderstood not merely by me, but by three other Deputies.

I certainly have been misunderstood. I made no such statement. Even although Deputy O'Connell did put that statement into the Minister's mouth, I made no such statement.

Mr. O'Connell

Not into the Minister's mouth.

When you were speaking you stated that I said we should not send any representatives abroad until we had thirty-two counties.

Mr. O'Connell

I said it was the implication in your speech, and anyone listening to you, or reading over afterwards what you said, can draw no other inference.

I said we should not have misrepresentation, even although we only represent the Twenty-six Counties, and if there were to be misrepresentations, and if those going abroad, whether instructed or not, did misrepresent the position, then I for one would not be in favour of giving a halfpenny towards sending representatives abroad.

Mr. O'Connell

Carrying the flag of only twenty-six counties.

They did not understand it at all.

That is quite so.

Mr. Jordan

You cannot blame him for that.

Probably the Deputy will indulge us with his interpretation of what has been stated.

Mr. Jordan

You might not understand that either.

The Deputy might risk his reputation.

Mr. Jordan

I have too much respect for it.

We have these oracular statements and ambiguities. The old idea of attracting an oracle used to be that a person of an excitable temperament was swung over a chasm with some vapours coming out of it, and from the vague words that person uttered in a state of coma one was supposed to draw deductions. Deputy O'Kelly has been speaking very oracularly on that analogy, and we get nothing from it, although we may be able to interpret it both ways, which is the best possible way for the oracle. Deputy de Valera has refused to glance into his heart and tell us what the Irish people wish us to have representatives abroad say with regard to the status of the Free State. Someone previously introduced something about racing. I sometimes feel with regard to Deputy de Valera's tips that he should star some of them. Sometimes I think he does not really mean some of the things he says, but when he has a real searching look into his heart we should have that "nap" selection. I should like a "nap" selection on the Six Counties, and not refuge behind the "blast-these-people-out-of-the-way-policy," which was certainly his at one time.

You have got me up now all right. I said with respect to that "blasting" policy on one occasion that it was necessary to blast Carson out of the way, and so it was.

I have not yet got much instruction for the foreign representatives on the correct representation of this country. The position is not to be made more difficult by sending all these people abroad. How is it being made more difficult by sending them abroad? The Deputy himself asked, in order to get information to show the weakness of the position, by whom would the credentials be signed. If it is a weakness in the case, the representatives who go to the Vatican, to Berlin and to Paris will be armed with credentials signed by the King, and that will be open and notorious. Is there misrepresentation of the position there? I think there is, because the full facts are not known. The fact is distorted by literature disseminated by the Fianna Fáil Party that the King has any authority in this matter, other than merely signing. We select the representatives; we decide where posts are to be established; and we get the people sent out. We are the authority in it all. That is not so notorious. If the Deputies had their way, that would be obscured and would not be open and notorious to the people of the countries to whom we send representatives; but that is the point of view that we want to make open and notorious to them. Is that misrepresenting the position? The Deputy imagines that the Minister pretends to establish a status that we have not got. Is there anything used in connection with any of these representatives to indicate that they are from a thirty-two county State? Should we send them out with a document which would say, "Ireland minus six counties"? Is that what the Deputy would have us do? Let us look at the analogy of France. Is that what France did in regard to Alsace and Lorraine during a period of forty years when these provinces were torn from her? Is there any misrepresenting of the position there in the situation that we simply have to submit to here owing to particular circumstances— the circumstances being the refusal of the Six-County people to join this State? There is no misrepresentation with regard to the person by whom the credentials are signed. Where is the misrepresentation? The Deputy imagines that we pretend to a status we have not got. We want to get the status understood. Last year I invited discussion on the question of status. I asked that points should be raised in order that we should get a chance of meeting them in argument. What points have been raised? The four or five that I have gone over. Has an inferior status been shown by anything said here to-day? There has been a definite and clear-cut recognition of a particular thing— the acceptance of the headship of the King in the Commonwealth of Nations. That is clear to everybody. If that is a limitation, it is accepted. Let us recognise how far the limitation goes and do not exaggerate it beyond the bounds of the credulity of people willing to believe what is forced upon them. We want to get the status explained. It is late for people to begin to study the Imperial Conference Report of 1926, but, late as it is, let it be studied.

We might as well have this thing finished.

The Deputy must not do it now.

The Minister wanted to know what is the position.

Next year we can get the discussion. The Deputy will then have assimilated this whole document. He may even then have before him another document showing further things.

What the Minister stated is not in this document here.

I have put explicitly certain things, and I hope accurately, as far as I know.

It is not here. I looked it up to make certain.

I suppose we can get that particular point—if it is a point and if there seems to be any doubt about it—cleared up, if the Deputy puts down a question about it.

The Minister referred me to a document and I find he is not correct. Then I can assume that in connection with other documents, if I had a chance of examining them and checking them, he would not be found to be so correct either.

If the Deputy asserts that I made an incorrect statement then, as a point of order, he might raise it. These, at any rate, were the criticisms on matters of status raised by Deputies opposite. Other points were raised of a minor type. Several points on the trade side I am leaving for the moment. Deputy O'Connell asked a question with regard to a year book, and I intimated that that was a matter which should be raised on another Vote. Since it has been raised I might say that what really handicaps the bringing out of any Year Book up to date is, first of all, that there was no well-founded information about the country, especially on the economic side. It was only since the publication of the census of population, and the census of production, and the reports founded upon them, that information of an authoritative kind has been put before the country. There the foundations are laid on which to build these things, and it should be possible to get that information kept up to date, and it should be possible to have it put into a properly constructed and well-edited year book, but it is only possible when there is a special organisation to undertake the editing of that book. At the moment the Department that would have charge of the Statistics Bureau is working beyond the resources of the people there in their official hours to get out the ordinary reports of the census, and it will be some time to come before we are in a position to compile what the Deputy wants.

The question has been raised several times, and I can assure Deputies it has not been lost sight of. I do not promise any book immediately. It can only be done when the work of the Statistics Branch cases somewhat.

With regard to direct representation with Canada, I did mention in my opening remarks that Canada was in the forefront with regard to direct representation. It is possible that there may be a representative there this year. That certainly would be so if there had been more money given to the Department for its activities this year. Canada stands first for consideration once that situation cases. The Deputy asked a question in regard to status, and I think his point got back to the question of the registration of the Treaty with the League of Nations. Our attitude there was that the Treaty was a registrable document and one that we were bound to register.

Mr. O'Connell

I think it had reference to the question of the boundary.

Our position was settled once and for all as far as we are concerned by what happened in regard to the Treaty. That document was received. We held that we were, in the fullest possible sense of the meaning, a fully qualified member of the League of Nations, and in that way we have our associations with everyone else, and disputes, if disputes do arise, could be brought before that particular assembly. We know that point of view is objected to. We have registered our point of view and the matter rests there. At any rate the particular document was registered after objection was raised to the receipt of it. To that extent we are satisfied with the situation.

Mr. O'Connell

My question was: Was there any development or was there likely to be any discussion or development upon the point at the next Imperial Conference I think the matter will arise in connection with the Kellogg Pact.

If it does arise in connection with the Kellogg Pact, then it becomes an urgent matter; but at present there is no dealing with that particular matter. We accepted a certain situation as we made it for ourselves by a particular action.

I am afraid I cannot promise Deputy George Wolfe legislation to deal with the difficult position of the persons he described as desirable aliens coming into this country. Quite a number of aliens, desirable and otherwise, have become citizens. With regard to the future acquisition of citizenship that was left over for legislation. That legislation has been delayed and will be for some time, because the matter is not really urgent. There are a very small number of persons concerned, and legislation which affects a very much greater number of people will always have to have precedence. There is another matter in connection with aliens which does arise and that is the question of aliens coming in at all and operating a particular trade. The Department of Industry and Commerce try in every case to see that if a person is coming to take employment he is only allowed in when there is no native able to engage in the occupation.

Mr. Wolfe

Will the Minister deal with the matter at some future date?

There will have to be legislation on the acquisition of citizenship, but at the moment the Aliens Act is quite sufficient. There is to be legislation on the question of citizenship, but when that legislation will come on I do not know. I think all the other criticisms dealt with the trade side of this question. I was amazed to find Deputy Davin describing the utterances of Deputy Briscoe as a sound contribution to the discussion. One amazing point to me stood out in Deputy Briscoe's discourse and that was that good articles sell themselves. It seems to me that that runs counter to the theory of advertisement and commercial representation that exists everywhere, and it is not a theory that I would like to stand over if facing a crowd of Irish businessmen who will tell you in one breath that their manufacture is as good as can be produced anywhere and in the next breath that they cannot get into the foreign markets, and tell you the reason is that they cannot get any connection with foreign buyers. That is the gap we are trying to fill but can approach only in a very small way, with the limited number of foreign representatives, both diplomatic and trade, that we send abroad. The Deputy is anxious to know the line of policy pursued by the Ministry in the development of trade.

I went with great length and care into the activities of the Commissioner in London. I said that I took his position as a model because England was at the moment the biggest market and that the activities of our representatives elsewhere would change according to the changed conditions of the other country. One does not try to get the trade representative in France, Belgium or Germany to occupy himself to the same degree in trade matters as our representatives in London. There are not the same number of matters arising for consideration, there are not the same complaints to be attended to, there are not the same number of demands to secure transport facilities and favourable treatment by the customs, or various other matters, that arise from time to time. The activities may not be so varied, but if any of these things seem to have value as between the trade of this country and of Germany our representative is there. Deputy Byrne queried a statement I made with regard to the value of commercial intelligence as giving an indication to the commercial standing and reputation of a firm or trader where any manufacturers here wished to deal with the trader abroad, and he scouted the idea that the information of a departmental official could be of any use, because he said all well-known firms had representatives here. Of course, in that instance there would be no application to any officer of the Department. But if people here were dealing with people in America or in England not of good standing or of no approved commercial reputation then undoubtedly there is an advantage in having someone on the spot to go to who can get contact to make enquiries and to get an authoritative answer and give correct information.

Deputy Moore was as solemn and as mournful as usual over the position of the country. There used to be a natural history series of distorted comment and one referred to the ostrich hiding his head in the sands, and whistling the sad plaintive airs of its native country. That is Deputy Moore's position. He does not see that there is industrial development going on. I never said that there was any great development taking place. I said there was slow but steady improvement in our condition, and I refer the Deputy to the census of production. The Deputy astonished me by going back to Professor Oldham and quoting a statement of his that this country at the time was an industrial and pastoral country. If that had any bearing upon the argument being made it meant that we were when Professor Oldham was writing a highly industrialised country. Why then does the Deputy query the suggestion I am on at the moment, that there is more industry now in the country than there was five years ago?

I thought I made that clear.

The statement that certain flour mills have disappeared, that certain woollen mills had been in a moribund condition until the tariff revived them, and that some businesses had gone out of existence has been made by the Opposition. I certainly never could understand the point of view of which Deputy Lemass was the first to become spokesman in this House. That is, that every decayed or every disappearing or disappeared business in this country is to stand as a black mark against the Department of Industry and Commerce. That in itself is an outrageously silly suggestion. It can only mean that if Deputy Lemass becomes at any time Minister for Industry and Commerce we will have the position that a firm which ordinarily a fortnight afterwards would make its appearance in "Stubbs's Gazette" will then only make its appearance in Deputy Lemass's office, be given State money, and the country will then be in a healthy condition. Bankruptcies will be stopped. It is quite proper in the condition of things in any country that the weaker firms should go to the wall and the bankruptcies should occur in the cases of badly-managed or ill-managed firms. It would be a most outrageous thing if public money were to be spent in order to keep these badly-managed firms on their feet. Deputy Moore has got his eyes fixed upon the flour mills that are gone and upon the woollen mills that have disappeared. But, nevertheless, Deputy Moore should have some sense of regard for the census of production returns and should see whether they give any indication with regard to the growth of industry and the production of wealth in this country. If he examines the returns he will be able to see if my statement, that in the last five years there has been going on a slow but steady approach to a better balance between industry and agriculture in this country, is borne out. I made no bigger statement than that.

Will the Minister allow me to explain? What I said about Professor Oldham was that Professor Oldham claimed, in his time, that Ireland was largely an industrial country. That was my statement, and I think there is nothing wrong or inconsistent in that statement with any of the remarks that I made.

I am not so very much concerned with the state of things Professor Oldham wrote about. I thought it was agreed by everybody here that there was a bad balance as between agriculture and industry in this country in 1922. We had not sufficient industry and we had too much dependence upon agriculture. That situation has now improved.

How do you prove that? You do not prove anything of the kind.

From the Census of Production figures.

They do not prove it.

I cannot give statistics as to what was there in 1922——

You have not got them.

But I do say that I was backing up what I think is the prima facie case made by the returns, even if there is no comparison entered into. The Deputy may say that we had a wrong idea of what the country was in 1922. That may be. There are evidences, however, that our view was fairly accurate and that we have now new groups of industries started in the country since 1922 and new wealth created. Even setting against these the businesses that have gone out, I do not think it will be denied that there has been a great change. I do not regard the disappearance of many of these businesses as any loss whatsoever.

Is the Dundalk Distillery no loss?

That may be.

Were the Cotton Mills in Cork any loss?

What cotton mills?

The Cork Spinning and Weaving Mills—were they any loss?

A loss certainly. So are these other things a loss— every one of them minus signs. But there are the plus signs. Both should be shown. I say that my statement is one that simply should not be queried, and it is that there is more industry in the country now than there was five years ago. That, at any rate, represents a tendency towards which we have set our minds. The position is that there is a disappearance of that state of things, the old state of things in which agriculture was predominantly the interest in the country. That has been achieved. There has been a turn over to the industrial side, and I believe that turn over is much greater than people imagine. That has been brought about without bringing any great hardship on the people.

Is it not true that seven out of every nine occupied people in Ireland are engaged in agriculture?

Yes. If the Deputy said eight that would not disprove my contention. I think the Minister for Agriculture made a statement here the other night that statistics were the greatest curse of the country at present. They are if badly used, but not if properly used. Why should people be so angry with me, or pretend to be so angry with me, for saying that there is something taking place that we all desire to see occurring? I say this change has occurred; the figures can be produced and the figures are there for Deputies to argue over and to make their case on. Deputy de Valera queried what information was passed on, what the value of the information was, and to whom it went. To speak again of this information is going to delay this House for a considerable time. Take one instance. This information has been passed on from one of our representatives in Belgium. I am speaking in a very rough and ready way now, but I should say, taking the heads under which the information has been compiled by that representative, that at least sixty subjects have been contributed to by him on different occasions. Some of these were on direct application by people here. Others were to individual Departments in the country. The channel for this information is through the Department of External Affairs, then Industry and Commerce, and from that to the various advisory committees, and so on to different groups of industry.

Our whole difficulty is that up to date we could only deal with individuals and we could only approach an individual firm. One was always up against the suggestion there that there was prejudice being shown against several firms, and that one firm was being favoured. The fact of the matter is that information is passing backwards and forwards, quite good information. The difficulty is to get it distributed throughout the country in a suitable fashion. People should not blame trade representatives abroad for not supplying information when the fact of the matter really is that in some instances information of a very valuable type has been got and manufacturers here have actually refused to work on it. I can give you one instance. On no less than three occasions representations were made to me that if woollen manufacturers here would turn to the manufacture of a fabric for the upholstering of motor cars there would be an immediate sale found for the material. One suggestion made was the output of one million yards of a type of material that could be easily produced here, yet not one manufacturer would touch it. It meant, no doubt, the changing of some machinery to a small degree, but manufacturers here would not think it worth while to interest themselves in the proposal. I do not say that the order would be confined to one million yards. There is every possibility that other orders would come along. Anyhow, the suggestion was made, valuable information was supplied, but nothing was done. Of course, in the minds of some people the absence of a flow of trade of that sort might be put down as a failure on the part of our representatives abroad. But the advice was given and it was not accepted. Of course, there may be good reasons for not accepting it.

There is really any amount of useful advice given. These representatives have shown that they can answer any queries put to them, and they give us very useful hints to pass along. There are other methods of publication. Certain things are published in the Trade Journal and the Department is given any amount of information for distribution. The result is that plenty of information is percolating through the country districts and it originates from abroad. I thought I made it quite clear that people should not take the trade returns between two countries as a measure of success in our representation abroad. I asked Deputies to refrain from judging merely on the trade returns. The returns only show direct imports and exports, and to that extent, at any rate, they are a false indication of the entire volume of trade passing between two countries. I would never found a case on these returns even if we could segregate direct from indirect exports.

What are the representatives doing to encourage direct trade between Ireland and countries other than Britain?

I would have to get back to my files with regard to two countries to give the Deputy definite information. I do know of representations that were made in a very persuasive way. They resulted in certain conversations taking place and certain plans being promoted for the establishment of a direct shipping service as between this and one other country, simply because one of our representatives was able to segregate a certain amount of material which was classed as a British export because it went to England, and from there went to the foreign country. He pointed out that there was a very big trade passing between this and the other country in reality, although the material was classed as a British export.

Could the Minister, without being indiscrect, state the name of that country?

I think the firm would be revealed once I stated the name of the country. I will give the information to the Deputy in confidence afterwards.

An Ceann Comhairle took the Chair.

There have been attempts to get direct shipping services established. Efforts have been made to get someone in another country to inaugurate a service. Attempts to get people here to establish a direct service have not been successful. With regard to Russia, Deputy de Valera, by implication, tried to make the point that we were avoiding having direct representation with Russia, because the British were not represented there, and because it is more or less understood as part of British policy not to have representatives there. It has never been suggested to me that we should not be represented in Russia. No general principle has ever been suggested to me that we should not have representation in any country in which Britain is not represented. Russia is pretty well the only example at the moment. I do not hold myself precluded from having representation in Russia at any moment. The way is open to appoint representatives and to open up representations when we think it fit to do so. At the moment, as far as I can gather from the Department of Fisheries, the herring trade that used to go to Russia is diverted in part to another country, and part is still going to Russia through that other country. We are not of opinion that the expenditure of money in Russia would help the export of one or two articles that we find can be exported to Russia. Once a case is made for representation in Russia as likely to bring about good commercial or political results, we will have representation there whether the British are represented there or not.

Is it with the Minister's approval, consent or knowledge that the representative at London has become a member of this Executive Council of the British Empire?

I know nothing about it, to start with. I will have to examine what the council is before I give an answer.

You know nothing about it?

I do not see anything wrong with what the Deputy read.

You know nothing about it?

Not at the moment.

Amendment put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 34; níl, 65.

  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Corkery, Dan.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Flinn, Hugo.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gorry. Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Kerlin, Frank.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • O'Kelly, Seán T.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipperary).
  • Tubridy, John.

Níl

  • Aird, William P.
  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Carey, Edmund.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Cole, John James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Colohan, Hugh.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Connolly, Michael P.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Davin, William.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Doyle, Edward.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Jordan, Michael.
  • Keogh, Myles.
  • Law, Hugh Alexander.
  • Leonard, Patrick.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
  • McDonogh, Martin.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connell, Richard.
  • O'Connell, Thomas J.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Shaw, Patrick W.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • Wolfe, George.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Kerlin and Killilea; Níl: Deputies Duggan and P. Doyle.
Amendment declared lost.
Main question put and declared carried.

In accordance with the agreement reached we will now take the Supplementary Estimate.