In Committee on Finance. - Juries (Protection) Bill, 1929—Report Stage.

Before we take amendment 1, I should like to say that if I put the question of amendment 1 in the form in which it appears on the Paper, it would be impossible to put any question on amendment 2. I propose, therefore, to allow amendment 1 and amendment 2, if necessary, to be discussed together, but I shall put the first question in this form: "That the words from and including the word ‘any' in line 61 up to and including the word ‘offence' in line 65 stand part of the Bill." That will get a decision as to whether the section shall stand and leave room afterwards for a decision on Deputy O'Connell's amendment.

I understand you intend to permit amendments 1 and 2 to be discussed together?

I would rather not, but I have come to the conclusion that it would not be possible to disentangle them.

On behalf of Deputy Ruttledge I move amendment 1:

In page 3, lines 64-67, and page 4, lines 1-3, to delete Section 5.

The effect of the amendment is to delete from this so-called Juries (Protection) Bill the entire of Section 5, which provides for a conviction by a majority verdict of a jury. This section introduces an entirely new principle into the administration of criminal law in this country. Heretofore, it was necessary, in order to secure a conviction at a trial, to get an unanimous verdict of twelve jurymen. If this section remains in the Bill, and the Bill becomes an Act, that unanimous verdict will no longer be necessary and a majority verdict of nine jurymen will be sufficient for a conviction. The principle underlying the old system was that a man was innocent of any crime, or innocent of the crime of which he might be charged at his trial, until twelve impartial persons empanelled as a jury were convinced on the evidence that he was guilty. Now, we are going to make provision that will enable a man charged with some crime and tried for that crime to be found guilty and convicted, although no less than three of the jurymen who listen to the evidence and give their verdict on oath are convinced from the evidence that the individual was innocent of the crime. The introduction of this principle in a Bill of this kind is, in our opinion, not merely nationally unwise, but is likely to create a certain amount of disrespect for the courts and the verdicts of the courts. If a Bill is required to make provision for the protection of jurymen, let it be introduced as such. If there is need for certain amendment in the administration of the criminal law, let a Bill to amend the criminal law be introduced as such. But when we have a Bill masquerading as a Bill to provide protection for jurymen, but in the majority of its provisions having no relation whatever to the protection of jurymen, then we must conclude that the Executive Council are trying to do something by means of a trick which they would not otherwise attempt. The provisions of the section have nothing whatever to do with the protection of jurymen. In the discussion upon the Second Stage and the Committee Stage of the Bill this section was not defended from that point of view at all.

Of course it was.

I do not think so— not by the Minister, I am quite certain.

Yes, I am certain it was.

My memory is as good as yours. The Minister introduced this section as an improvement of the criminal law, and he informed us that, although at the instigation of the "Irish Times" the Bill was to be only a temporary measure, we would probably like this section so much in operation that at the end of the period proposed in the last section we would be coming forward and demanding from him that the Bill be made a permanent measure. Deputies should realise, in the first place, that this section will apply not to certain classes of crimes only, or to those charged with certain crimes only. It will apply in the case of every man charged with any offence who comes forward for trial after the Bill becomes law. if, in fact, it does become law. Every citizen in the State might possibly at some time be charged, wrongfully perhaps, with some offence, and such a citizen, no matter what the charge against him is, when he comes for trial, will be tried in accordance with the provisions of this Bill, and a majority verdict of the jury will be sufficient to secure his conviction.

During the Committee Stage an amendment dealing with this section was discussed, but owing to the motion which the democratic Government opposite put down and passed in order to prevent discussion and amendment of this Bill that amendment did not go to a vote, nor was the discussion on it completed. We hope to give Deputies an opportunity of expressing their opinion upon this one particular point now. The Bill secured its Second Reading, as Deputies will remember, not upon its merits but from speeches made from the Cumann na nGaedheal Benches denouncing certain crimes that occurred in this city which they seem to believe it was their sole prerogative to denounce, although there was no party in this House who did not denounce them with equal vehemence and equal strength. The Bill has never been discussed upon its merits. We do not hope for discussion of the Bill on its merits before it passes through, but surely we do hope to get discussion narrowed down to some outstanding points of danger in the Bill, and this is one of them.

Deputies will remember that it was accepted by speakers on both sides of the House that it is better that a number of guilty men should go free than that one innocent man should be wrongly punished. There have been quite a number of miscarriages of justice under the old system, and if it were possible to have miscarriages under the old system, wherein a unanimous verdict was necessary, how much more possible will it be to have such miscarriages of justice if a majority verdict will suffice for conviction? The principle embodied in the section is one that we cannot accept. We believe the effect of its passage will be that there will not be in the future even the same degree of public confidence in the verdicts of juries which it could be said existed in the past.

Deputy O'Connell has an amendment down to limit this section to crimes other than those in which the capital penalty might be inflicted. Even if Deputies opposite feel that they are committed to the principle of majority verdict in certain classes of trials, we think they should recognise there is a very special case to be made against applying the provisions of this section to trials as a result of which the capital penalty might be inflicted. If an innocent man is charged with some crime and as a result of the passing of this Bill, is convicted and sent to prison for five or ten years, there is the hope that before he dies he would be able to prove his innocence and secure reparation. But if, as a result of the passing of this Bill, an innocent man goes to the gallows and is hanged, you cannot repair the injury done him after he is dead and gone. Innocent men have been hanged in the past even when a unanimous verdict was necessary. How much more likely is it that an innocent man may be sentenced to death and executed under the provisions of this section? I am sure there is no member of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, not even the Minister for Justice, despite the rhinoceros hide that he is developing, can contemplate with an easy conscience the prospect of a man being executed on evidence on which three of the twelve jurymen believe the person is innocent. We know when there is a reasonable doubt as to guilt arising from the evidence at a particular trial, even though the jury brings in a verdict of guilty; there is public agitation for a reprieve and petitions are organised to get the prerogative of mercy exercised. How much more likely is it that there will be public distrust in the verdicts of juries arrived at under this section? And how much more likely is it that there will be this agitation and organising of these petitions in order to prevent the verdict of the court, in such circumstances, being carried into execution?

I am sure if members of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party spoke their minds on this matter to the Minister for Justice they would be able to induce him, if not by their eloquence then at least by their votes, to alter this section as suggested in Deputy O'Connell's amendment. We are opposed to the principle of majority verdicts in any trial. We think it degrading the whole system of trial by jury and liable to make its operation farcical. But even though we cannot succeed in convincing Deputies opposite that we are right in that attitude we hope to be able to convince some of them that majority verdicts should not operate in cases of trials where the capital penalty might be imposed. I think Deputies will realise there is a strong case to be made out against applying this section to trials in connection with political offences. Persons charged with sedition, treason, or misprision of treason are in a different category altogether to those who are charged with more objectionable criminal offences.

We cannot ignore the situation that exists in this country or our recent history. Political divisions here cut very deep, and at the best of times it is very hard to get an impartial jury to try a man for a political offence. The average individual takes a keen interest in politics as a rule and he cannot altogether divest himself of his political bias when sworn as a juryman and it is not unlikely that political bias will influence him in his decision. And in view of the fact that it is difficult to get an impartial jury in political offences we think in trials relating to these offences unanimous verdict should prevail, and we think that the introduction of the majority verdict in such a case is likely to result in a great number of miscarriages of justice. That would apply no matter what way the jury would decide. If there is a man guilty of an offence and because it is difficult to get an impartial jury he is found not guilty, that is in a sense as objectionable as to have an innocent man found guilty, and it is in order to ensure that persons charged with an offence will get a fair trial on the evidence that we are introducing this amendment and asking the House to delete this section.

We believe this section is introduced not to ensure a fair trial but to facilitate the Government in the particular campaign they are now engaged in—a campaign of misrepresentation of the situation existing in this country for their own political ends. There is no party in this House has a greater desire to see respect for law and the machinery of the administration of the law existing in this country than we have. We think that by the introduction of this Bill and its passage through this House in the manner it has been steam-rolled through without adequate discussion or adequate opportunity of amendment, respect for the law and for the courts of law will be considerably impaired in this country. I do not think it would be possible for any fair-minded man to feel that justice was being done if they saw a man brought to the gallows as a result of a trial held under the provisions of this Bill. They would not, I think, take a majority verdict of a packed jury on the matter.

They would take a full majority of a packed jury—a unanimous verdict.

I do not know if we would be in order in discussing this section in relation to other sections of the Bill, but I think I could point out that the Minister has taken powers to ensure that there will be, in relation to these juries, every opportunity given to the State to ensure that only the friends of the prosecution will be empanelled. Every such opportunity will be given and the rights of the prisoner will be curtailed, and despite these additional powers given to the State, powers to pack juries, they are, nevertheless, not prepared to rest their case upon the unanimous verdict of the jury. In order to provide against any miscarriage of their plans, or the introduction of one or two impartial members to the jury, this section providing for majority verdicts is included in the Bill. We hope the Dáil will reject it. We hope that if they will not accept our amendment they will accept the amendment in the name of Deputy O'Connell. We think elementary justice demands it. If the Government have got out of the panic which they were in when this Bill was hurled at the House, it may be possible that representations from members of Cumann na nGaedheal will induce them to agree to the deletion of the section.

As the greater includes the less I am, of course, in favour in this instance of the amendment moved by Deputy Lemass. We made our position clear on the Second Reading. I stated then, and it is my opinion now, that where a man's life and liberty are at stake a majority verdict should not be introduced. I prefer at this stage to confine my remarks to the particular amendment that appears in my name. I suppose I am at liberty to do so and that the two questions will be put separately. There may be no interval between them.

They are two separate questions, of course, and if they could be discussed separately we could have questions put on both amendments. My principal concern was to make sure that the question on amendment No. 1 would be put in such a manner as to leave No. 2 open, and I thought, perhaps, discussions would take place on both. I am afraid the discussion will take place on both in any event. Perhaps the Deputy would prefer to speak to his own amendment afterwards. He may do so if he likes.

Mr. O'Connell

I would prefer that. As it is, we are supporting Deputy Lemass's amendment, and we have made our position clear on that.

Deputy Lemass devoted a very considerable portion of his speech to an advocacy of Deputy O'Connell's amendment. According to your ruling now, and because of the attitude of Deputy O'Connell, I will not at the present moment deal with Deputy Lemass's argument in so far as he dealt with the question of capital punishment as a separate and distinct matter from the deletion of the entire section. It is rather interesting to know that Deputy Lemass informed us in the House that there were some good things in this Bill. His Party suggested that every section should be deleted from the Bill with two exceptions. This is one of the exceptions. I discover that Deputy Lemass is now supporting the deletion of this section. I wonder which of the good things which Deputy Lemass thinks are in the Bill he is voting against, because he did inform us that the Bill contained some good provisions?

The Title.

Some good provision is not the Title. The Deputy cannot slip out in that fashion. He stated clearly and distinctly there were some good things in the Bill, and now it appears that the Deputy, for Party exigencies, is going to vote against the things that he considers himself to be good, or has already voted against them. Let us consider the arguments as far as they deal with his own amendment. He said there was nothing at all in this section which made for the protection of jurymen, and he made the somewhat astonishing statement —I hope he was not in the House when I and the Minister for Finance spoke—that no attempt had been made to uphold the insertion of this section in the Bill because it ensured the safety of jurymen. The very opposite has been the case. We pointed out clearly and distinctly that this section is a great safeguard to jurymen. We pointed out that the persons who wish to assassinate jurymen will desire above all things to assassinate these jurymen who will have found their confederates in crime guilty. If there is a majority verdict they will not know what members of the jury found their confederate guilty. This Bill makes it extremely difficult for them to get the names of the jurymen who have done their duty and who have found guilty persons guilty. That is a difficulty which they will have to face. It will take a great deal of energy and luck to enable them to succeed in surmounting the difficulty. Even if they have surmounted it, and if they do discover the names of the jurymen who were on the jury that found their confederate guilty, they still will have the difficulty of knowing how many of those jurymen brought in the verdict of guilty, and they will have considerable trouble in discovering their names. This section is a real protection to jurymen. Deputy O'Connell said one person, if there was one person dissenting, would declare to his neighbours: "I was on that jury and I dissented." Do you think the average man is in touch with the average would-be assassin? I do not. The average juryman is not in touch with him, and there will be no question of jurymen approaching would-be assassins and saying to them: "Do not assassinate me, because I found this person not guilty; I was for finding him not guilty." There is no such likelihood at all, nor is it likely; in fact, it is certain it will not happen, that would-be assassins will go around and say to various jurymen: "How did you vote?" To begin with, there would be the fear of detection, and secondly, they might not always receive a completely truthful answer.

This Bill is a great protection to jurymen. Deputy Lemass says it should not apply to crimes of sedition, or that it should not apply where members of this association are charged with murder. I do not know whether he applies it to that or not, but these are the very cases in which jurymen do require protection. In fact these are the only cases in which jurymen do require protection. The protection of jurymen at the present moment necessitates that a provision of this nature should be inserted in this Bill. Deputy Lemass made one of the most extraordinary statements— that the people would not be inclined to take a majority verdict of a packed jury. The people would not be inclined and ought not to accept not merely the majority verdict, but any verdict of a packed jury.

Why Deputy Lemass thinks that people should differentiate between a unanimous verdict and a majority verdict of a packed jury I do not know. It is a metaphysical distinction with which perhaps a very acute and subtle instinct might be able to cope, but I know it is a distinction that is a great deal too subtle for me to follow. I should imagine that if there were a packed jury it would be a unanimous verdict. However, that is beside the question, and the Deputy knows it.

There has never been, and never will be under this administration or any administration that I believe will ever rule in this State, a packed jury. No administration now, and I believe no administration that will rule in this State, will ever desire anything else except this one thing, that justice will be done fairly, properly and impartially between the people of the State and those charged with crime. It never has been suggested that juries were packed by this administration. Never. And the wildest charges which have been brought against this administration by the most malevolently minded persons never included any charges of jury packing. No such charges have been made because they did see how absolutely absurd and hopeless they would be, and consequently they never ventured to put them forward. Deputy Lemass says that the best safeguard of the prisoners should be twelve impartial men; that there cannot be justice and confidence in a verdict unless it is the unanimous verdict of twelve impartial men. I have dealt with that argument again and again. That argument is rooted in British tradition and in nothing else whatever.

It is not the tradition of the law of any other country or a feature of the jurisprudence of any other country except those countries whose laws are founded on British law. To say that any countries in which a unanimous verdict is not required, to say that in countries like Scotland the prisoner is unjustly tried or wrongly convicted is absolutely wrong. To say that nobody should regard as impartial or just, as between the State and the individual, the laws administered in Scotland and Germany is, to my mind, absolutely absurd.

It is only persons entirely hide-bound, as Deputy Lemass professed to be for the purposes of this argument, in British tradition could make that statement; by his implication he has professed himself to be hide-bound in British tradition. No one else would have used such an argument. The Deputy declares that it was impossible to take a vote on this Bill the other night. He said the Vote was not taken because the administration did not give time to take a vote on it. The Deputy's memory is very short. A vote would have been taken upon that motion the other night had it not been that a Deputy in the front bench of the Party opposite moved a vote of closure in order that time might be wasted. At any rate the result was that time was wasted. That was the reason the division was not taken. Had it not been for Deputy MacEntee's intervention there would have been a division on Deputy O'Connell's motion.

On a point of correction, the Minister was talking this motion out.

No; I made a clear statement that I would sit down before the time came to take the division.

Is the Minister talking it out now?

No, I am not; I am answering the arguments used by Deputy Lemass as far as his arguments are put forward. I stated definitely and clearly that I was going to make one remark, namely, that the Slater case, to which Deputy O'Connell referred, was a case in which the verdict had been set aside by the Court of Criminal Appeal, and that if there had been a Court of Criminal Appeal in Scotland at the date on which that verdict of "Guilty" had been found the sentence would equally have been set aside then. We have, at the present moment in this country, the safeguard of a Court of Criminal Appeal, which was not possessed by prisoners at the time when the British system of a unanimous jury had grown up or was growing up. The Deputy says that his Party has a great respect for law and for the machinery of the law. I am glad to hear the Deputy saying that. But I wish the rank and file of the Party, and the front bench of the Party opposite, would make a convert of their leader to that view, because the speech which Deputy de Valera made in this House, in which he expressed the view that jurymen were justified in amending the law by finding false verdicts, does not show that there is great respect for the law or for the machinery of the law inhabiting the brain cells of Deputy de Valera.

Would the Minister quote?

Oh, yes Deputy de Valera is always anxious to run away. Moral courage is not Deputy de Valera's strong point.

Are we going to have three hours of this?

As far as Deputy O'Connell is concerned, Deputy O'Connell did not add anything to what he said on the previous night, and I answered him successfully on that occasion.

Oh, yes, I am to move my amendment when you are finished with this, or when this division is taken.

Question—"That the words from and including the word ‘any' in line 6 up to and including the word ‘offence' in line 65 stand part of the Bill"—put.

The Dáil divided: Tá, 54; Níl, 48.

  • Aird, William P.
  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Carey, Edmund.
  • Cole, John James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Daly, John.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keogh, Myles.
  • Law, Hugh Alexander.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
  • McDonogh, Martin.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Hanlon, John F.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearoid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Shaw, Patrick W.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • White, Vincent Joseph.
  • Wolfe, George.

Níl

  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Broderick, Henry.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Clancy, Patrick.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Colohan, Hugh.
  • Corkery, Dan.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Davin, William.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doyle, Edward.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Flinn, Hugo.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Kerlin, Frank.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Connell, Thomas J.
  • O'Kelly, Seán T.
  • O'Leary, William.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipperary).
  • Tubridy, John.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle; Níl: Deputies Killilea and Corish.
Question declared carried.

—I move amendment 2:—

"In page 3, line 65, after the word ‘offence' to insert the words ‘other than a crime for which the penalty of death may be inflicted.'"

As I am anxious that we should have an opportunity of having a fair discussion on all the amendments on the Paper to-day, I do not want to deal at any great length, or indeed at all, with the arguments I advanced on the last occasion, when I had this amendment on the Paper. The amendment which I have down which seeks to exclude from this majority-verdict section cases in which the death penalty would be involved is one that, I think, should not be decided lightly by members of this House. They are taking a great responsibility in giving a decision upon this matter. The big point that I see in favour of my amendment is that this is a temporary measure. It no longer purports to be a reform of the criminal law. It is a measure now admittedly being taken to deal with a special emergency that has arisen in the country.

That is the position which the Government have now admitted to be the case. I feel very strongly that this is not the time a measure of this kind should be introduced that makes such a drastic change as is proposed in this measure whereby a man may be convicted, sentenced to death and executed, while three members of the jury who have heard all the evidence have an honest, bona fide, conscientious belief that the case has not been fully proved against him.

There were some points made by the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Finance in the course of their arguments which I would like to refer to very briefly. The Minister for Justice said: "If you get nine men who are perfectly satisfied in their own minds that there is no room for any reasonable doubt that the person charged before the court is a guilty person and has committed the crime with which he is charged, why should that not be sufficient?" Again he says: "If you have your nine, why should not that be adequate?" Once again he says: "If nine sensible ordinary citizens are of the opinion that a man is guilty, surely that ought to be sufficient?" I want to make the point, it is not the number that I am concerned with. I think it is Deputy Dr. O'Higgins who said that there is nothing sacrosanct about twelve. It was fixed in some arbitrary way at some time or another. I quite agree. There is nothing sacrosanct about twelve except tradition. I do not mind whether it is nine, ten, eleven or twelve. The point I am anxious about is that there should be unity among the nine, ten, eleven or twelve. The Minister for Finance in summing up his speech said: "I think there is no danger, with the safeguards that exist, with the disposition of a jury not to convict in a capital offence, with the review of the Court of Criminal Appeal, and the review that will afterwards take place by the Executive, of a person being sent to the gallows for an offence of which he is not guilty." Let us take those points—the safeguards that exist, the disposition of the jury not to convict, the reluctance of the jury to convict in cases where there is a capital sentence involved. I am afraid the Minister was inclined to lay too much stress on that point, and attach too much importance to it altogether. I am afraid that the Minister for Justice was straying perilously near the attitude which the Minister for Justice says was taken up by Deputy de Valera. I take it it is the duty of a juryman who carries out his duties conscientiously to convict if he is satisfied that there is clear and definite evidence irrespective of the result that may follow. That is the clear, obvious duty of a juryman. If he does otherwise, he is not doing his duty. It is a well-known principle that it should be the juryman's duty not to convict if the evidence is not clear against the prisoner. Surely the same reluctance ought to apply no matter what the result should be, the same desire ought to be present in the mind of an honest juryman not to convict a man unless he is absolutely certain the man is guilty.

Take the second safeguard. We have the review of the Court of Criminal Appeal. Much has been made of that point by the Minister for Justice. I hold that this is an argument that should be left outside this altogether. It will not apply, and will not be brought into operation in the case of a majority verdict unless it can also be brought into operation in the same circumstances with a unanimous verdict. I am quite certain the Minister will not say it will be a ground on which to build a case before the Court of Criminal Appeal that this man was convicted only by a majority. The Minister will not say that, I am sure. Then no additional protection is afforded, because there is now a majority verdict.

Who suggested that it should be an additional safeguard.

Mr. O'Connell

Let us leave the Court of Criminal Appeal out of it.

Mr. O'Connell

The argument is that you have this as a safeguard. You have it now as a safeguard on the unanimous verdict. Therefore, it ought not to be urged as anything special, that is not present already. It ought not to be urged as an argument in favour of a majority verdict. I suggest it ought to be left outside it altogether. It applies now in the case of the unanimous verdict. It cannot be used or invoked for the protection of the criminal in the case of a majority verdict except on grounds that would apply in the case of the other verdict.

Let us take the other safeguard— the review that will always take place by the Executive. The same argument exactly applies as in the case of the Court of Criminal Appeal because I am quite certain the Minister will not attempt to say that there will be greater care exercised by the Executive Council in the case of a condemned criminal under the new system than there ought to have been and I am sure was always exercised in cases where unanimous verdicts applied. The Minister could not possibly give a pledge of that kind or make any statement to that effect. The same care must be exercised, so that the safeguards which the Minister puts forward in the nature of arguments in favour of this majority verdict in the case of a death sentence, seem to me to disappear altogether.

The Slater case was mentioned. The Minister told us what happened as the result of the setting up of the Court of Criminal Appeal, but if that had been a case where the death penalty had been carried out it would be little consolation to Slater if it was found after twenty years that he had been wrongly convicted. That is the whole case I make for excluding the death sentence, the possibility of inflicting an irreparable punishment on a man who may have been improperly found guilty. There is just that one possibility, a slight possibility I am prepared to admit. Even if it were possible, as the Minister said once, in the next hundred years, it should be avoided. There are many people who have strong views on the question of capital punishment. That is another matter, of course.

The Minister on the last day and to-day, to some extent, pointed out that there is nothing in this but British tradition. He was rather inclined to twit the Fianna Fáil people for supporting this because it was founded on British tradition. I am not afraid to say that if there are things that we have inherited from the British or anybody else that we find are sound, there is no reason why we should not adopt them, but every reason why we should adopt them. I think the Minister would be the first to admit that of all codes of justice the British has had a longer tradition behind it of being fair and sound, built up after a long series of years and taken as a pattern by very many countries throughout the world. Perhaps it is that other countries have not reached the stage—I do not know, of course, as I am not qualified to speak on legal history—where a unanimous verdict was in fact necessary and afterwards departed from. If the Minister would tell us of any such case we would be interested to know of it, any case where, in fact, other countries had reached the stage when a unanimous verdict was necessary for the death penalty, and then changed and went back to the majority verdict. Perhaps the Minister would give us a few instances of that. I again stress the point that this is a temporary measure. In the year 1931 we go back again to the unanimous verdict. The Minister, if he says otherwise, will only be speaking as a prophet, because as the Bill stands we are to go back again in 1931 to the unanimous verdict. I suggest that we ought not to try experiments when it is a question of life or death. We will be trying an experiment if we include in this measure the provision which my amendment seeks to delete. If the Minister is not prepared to accept it, and if it goes to a division, I trust that members will not cast their votes lightly when there is such a very important matter at stake.

I think that Deputy O'Connell's amendment should meet with the unanimous approval of the House. I am convinced that it is as easy a matter to convince twelve jurymen of the guilt of a prisoner as it is to convince nine. Another reason why I am in favour of the amendment is, that a unanimous verdict was the law in this country previous to the Treaty. It is the established law in Great Britain, and I have yet to learn that the people in the Free State have discarded the British law. As Deputy O'Connell said, British law is considered to be the fairest law in the world. If the British Government insist on a unanimous verdict before a prisoner is found guilty, I think it is only right and fair that we should think twice before we change the law that has existed here up to the present. As the Minister for Justice pointed out, this Bill will only be in operation for a few years. Might I say it is a pity the Minister found it necessary to introduce the Bill at all. As a member of this House, I am exceedingly sorry that certain things that happened in this country have been responsible for the introduction of this Bill. I am sure that all Deputies are prepared to give all the support they can to the Government to put down crime. As far as I am personally concerned, I have no traffic, and never had any, with people who commit crime. On the other hand, I think it is asking too much of Deputies who do not belong to either of the great Parties to swallow every provision contained in this Bill. As has been pointed out, the fact of three men out of twelve not being convinced of the guilt of a prisoner will, I think, be a bone of contention as to whether the sentence imposed was just or unjust. I would appeal to the Minister to allow, if at all possible, this amendment of Deputy O'Connell's to pass, and to hope for the best. I believe that time will perhaps do a lot more in bringing that section of our people to realise their position than the introduction of a Bill such as this will do. I believe that, after all, the spirit of true Christianity must assert itself in the minds of that section, and I have no doubt that the Minister, if he agrees to accept the amendment, will have no reason to regret it.

For the reasons I have stated, I cannot see why it should not be as easy a matter to convince twelve jurymen of the guilt of a prisoner charged with a particular crime as it would be to convince nine. I hope that, with good-will prevailing, the Minister may not have occasion to put all the provisions in this Bill into effect. I feel very strongly in being asked to depart from what has been the established law in this country for centuries past. That law has given general satisfaction, and it lays down that before a person is condemned to death a unanimous verdict must be obtained from the jury. At the moment I am inclined to stand by that, seeing that it has been the law here and that there is no reason, as far as I can see, for departing from it now. It has worked well in England and worked equally well in this country. I have no doubt but that there can be, and ought to be, twelve jurymen found in the Free State who would be honest enough and who would have the moral courage to do their duty and bring in a true verdict and have that verdict unanimous.

Deputy O'Connell replied to my remarks the other night, but he replied to contentions which I really did not make. I did not suggest that additional safeguards were being provided with the setting up of the majority verdict. What I did say was that the formal and informal safeguards were so ample that even with the majority verdict there was no danger of a man being sent to the gallows for a crime of which he was not guilty. The Court of Criminal Appeal is undoubtedly a great safeguard, and it is a new safeguard. The Court of Criminal Appeal was not established here until about three years ago. It is not one of the things that we have always had. It means that trials have to be very carefully conducted, and that great attention has to be paid, not merely to seeing that there is no substantial injustice done, but that there are no technical informalities: that nothing is allowed to weigh against the prisoner in the slightest that should not be allowed to weigh against him. It means, as I have said, that trials have to be conducted with extreme care. Now it is the duty of jurymen to convict on the evidence, irrespective of what the results of the conviction may be. All of us know that there can hardly ever be a case in which there is not an element of doubt. Scarcely ever could you have a prisoner before a court and have no element of doubt as to his guilt. There will be some element of doubt. He might tell some story which might be true, although the weight of evidence is against it, and you might say that where a prisoner does not dispense with a jury trial altogether by entering a plea of guilty, there is a doubt in every case. What the juryman has to do is to weigh up the evidence to see if there is a reasonable doubt, and if there is to give the prisoner the benefit of it. But, if a juryman were to say to himself, "I will not agree to a verdict of guilty in this case if there is any doubt whatever possible," then you could have no convictions. The possibility of error which a juryman would put out of his mind if the most that might happen to the prisoner was to get, say, three years' penal servitude, would weigh with him very much when it is likely that the prisoner will, if convicted, be put to death.

There is, therefore, a reluctance on the part of jurymen to convict in capital cases. The evidence has to be stronger in capital cases than in other cases. The evidence that would produce a conviction where the sentence would be three years' penal servitude would have no chance of securing a conviction where conviction would mean the death sentence. It seems to me that while Deputy O'Connell says that this Bill has become merely a Bill to deal with an existing difficulty he then proceeds to forget the existing difficulty, and to forget the circumstances that have caused this Bill to be introduced. He says that if there are three jurors who have an honest, bona fide and conscientious belief that the prisoner before them is not guilty then that prisoner ought not to be convicted. What we are dealing with is a case where a conviction will not be given, and where a conviction will be refused for other reasons. We are dealing with a case where jurors have been subject to a good deal of terrorism, to a campaign of terrorism in its less acute aspect, lasting over a period of years, and culminating in the shooting of a juror at his door. What we want to do is to end that campaign of terrorism. Police measures are taken to deal with it. We want to make it impossible for the terrorism to succeed in its object.

The Deputy who last spoke said that we should hope for the best and that time will do its healing work. Time will do its healing work if it is given a chance, but it will not do its healing work if terrorism can be successful and is allowed to spread its demoralising effects. What we want is to make it impossible for terrorism to be successful, and that is better than the punishment of the terrorists. The real object of punishment is to prevent a repetition of the crime. A better way of preventing crime is to make it impossible for criminals to get the results they desire rather than the detection and punishment of those who do it. We ought not to make it easier for a man to escape punishment if he commits murder than if he commits a lesser offence. I said the other night, and I think I may repeat it, that while it may be fairly easy to terrorise one man out of twelve it is more than four times as difficult to terrorise four men out of twelve. In any group there will be one or two timorous people, but you do not very often meet any group of people in whom as many as one-third could be called cowardly or be easily terrorised or intimidated. The position is that in order to prevent a prisoner being found guilty who ought to be found guilty four men have to be terrorised, and I think thereby the campaign of terrorism is going to be brought to an end. Deputy O'Connell said that he did not care about the number twelve, that the number twelve was arbitrarily fixed what he wanted was unanimity, and that there was no special virtue in the number twelve.

Mr. O'Connell

Deputy O'Higgins said that. I was quoting what he said.

The Deputy was quoting with approval. The Deputy said he did not care whether the number was ten, eleven or twelve if there was unanimity. He said—I took his words down—"It is unanimity I want." There is not, as I said the other night, unanimity under the present system. It frequently happens that a man is tried not by twelve, but by a series of trials by thirty-six jurors. The fact that he has to be tried by thirty-six jurors shows that there is not unanimity—that in two cases there has not been unanimity. It might happen that more than a fourth of the thirty-six might have been amongst those who declined to find the prisoner guilty. Though Deputy O'Connell says he attaches no special importance to twelve, he actually is attaching special importance to the number. There are quite a number of Deputies—we have them in the Labour Benches, and I think they practically include all the members on the Labour Benches, along with Deputy Coburn, who has just taken the line now—who say they will support the Government in all measures necessary to put down crime. When measures are introduced for that purpose they say these measures are not reasonable. Since there has been a Labour Party in the Dáil that has been their consistent attitude. They have been all right in their professions, but so far as their votes are concerned they are all wrong. So far as I know, they have seldom given a vote for any of the measures that were necessary. Perhaps if they had been more ready to support those measures that support would have been useful.

This measure differs from many of the measures we have introduced, because in most of the measures that have been introduced we have sought powers to do certain things in cases proved necessary. Here we are actually amending the law and the amendments will come into operation. I think the fault of some of our past measures was that they simply held out a threat which was not to be put into operation, and that there was a tendency for people outside who were engaged in these conspiracies against the State to lie low for a time and then when the measure was repealed and a certain length of time had elapsed, and it seemed unlikely that measures so stringent as some of those which had been enacted would be put into operation, they proceeded to act in some particular way. Now we are proposing to make what is really a very moderate change, a change mostly in routine procedure. One substantial alteration of the existing law is the majority verdict. When various Deputies referred to British law they were using too wide a term. A majority verdict is the principle of the English law. The Scottish system has, from anything I have ever heard, worked quite as well as the English system, and it is a system which is just of as much advantage to the prisoner in ordinary circumstances as against him. If it sometimes leads to a conviction where there might be a disagreement, it often leads to a discharge where the prisoner might have been kept on in custody.

But the real thing we have to remember about this is that the occasion of it, whatever may be the fate of it at the end of two years—and I hope that most of the provisions, with perhaps some slight modifications, will be embodied permanently in the law of the land—is a difficulty and a certain public danger which has arisen, and we should not alter the Bill now to make it less likely to be effective for dealing with that difficulty and that danger. I do suggest that to exempt from the operations of one of its sections the worst type of criminal would not be a right thing to do. I think that there is not the shadow of possibility that any man will be convicted on a capital offence who is not guilty of a capital offence. On the other hand, if we had to have a unanimous verdict, and if some one of the murderers whose crimes are recent were detected and brought to trial, tremendous efforts at terrorism would be put forward and would be likely to be successful. If they were successful, terrorism would have a new lease of life. The man who had been brought to trial, whose guilt had been clearly proved, but who got off because the jury had been terrorised, would go out and plot and encourage and execute new crimes.

The speech which we have listened to was a speech, not in favour of the Bill or of this section of the Bill, but in favour of the abolition of the jury system. The Minister says that the main purpose of this section is to prevent the terrorism of jurors. According to the Minister it will be more difficult to terrorise nine jurors than it would be to terrorise twelve. We are against this section and against the Bill, because we do not believe that it will have the effect of putting an end to that terrorism which the Minister speaks of and which we all know exists. The Minister talked of this amendment and of this section as if the only effect of the Bill was to change the jury from twelve to nine, as if, when the Bill becomes law, the jury will be empanelled in the same way, and that the prisoner and his counsel will have the same rights of challenging jurors as before the introduction of the Bill. I think you have got to look not only at this section but at the Bill as a whole, and I do not believe that the Minister himself or any member of the Government thinks that he will put an end to this terrorism by this measure. The Minister is certainly not going to improve the position, or get the people of the country behind the Government in their efforts to put down terrorism and crime, by making veiled charges of cowardice and of shirking their responsibilities against the Labour Party and members of it. I say it here, and I am prepared to say it outside, that the Labour Party have always stood up to their responsibilities in this House and in this country when the terrorism was much greater than it is to-day.

Terrorism before the Treaty, too.

The Minister said that no member of the Labour Party had ever voted for any measure which was introduced by the Government to deal with crime and terrorism. That is not true. The Labour Party refused—and time has proved that they were quite right in doing so—to give their support to very many measures brought in by the Government. Time has proved that those measures did not have the effect that the Government thought they would have had. Time has proved that Labour was right.

If the Bills which were introduced and which the Minister challenges us now with not having supported had the effect that they were intended to have, there would be no necessity for this Bill. I did not intend to intervene in this debate, but I do say that we are dealing with a very serious matter, serious from the point of view of the murder of jurors and from the point of view of the terrorism which is being attempted against the jury system, an attack upon the whole jury system, but serious also from the point of view of seeing that no innocent man is condemned to death, and it is our duty, while doing all we can to protect the lives of citizens who are doing their duty as citizens, to see that no innocent citizen loses his life as the result of a change in the law which we consider is for the worse. The members of this Party have at all times, both in this House and on public platforms outside, denounced terrorism and denounced murder. They have taken their part in the government of this State, and they came in to do so against the wishes of both sides of the House; they came into this Parliament to assert the right of the people to decide who was to rule the country, who were to be their elected representatives, and the Minister ought not to forget that. When the Government brought in this Bill Deputy O'Connell told him that this Party was prepared to support a much stronger measure altogether than this Bill for dealing with the present conspiracy.

He would have voted against it if it had been introduced.

The Minister finds strange things funny.

The Minister in his attitude to-night reminds me of his attitude in 1922-23.

Go back to 1920.

That is only a passing reference, sir.

And a passing fancy.

I do not think that the Minister in charge of the Bill himself believes that it will have the effect which he says it will have. I do not think that the Executive Council believe it, and I certainly do not think, in view of his experience of similar measures, that the Minister for Finance believes that it will have the desired effect.

I have not very much to say on this subject, though it is a very important subject indeed. I might repeat a remark I made the other night, speaking on, I think, the Second Reading of this Juries (Protection) Bill, as it is called. I said that the propositions in the Bill went to the very fundamentals of the law system of this country as we have known it and as it has been adopted here. I believe that the system of law in England—and I have some little acquaintance with the systems of law in other countries in Europe and outside it—for the Englishman is as fair a thing as there is. I believe that the Englishman gets justice in his own courts. I do not say that we in Ireland, as we knew English law administered here, got justice, but I do say, from living in England and watching things as they happen there, and from living in other countries, that from my experience of the English people's legal code the administration of law in England is as fair as, and probably fairer than any other system I have had experience of.

There is one other remark that I will make, and I want to address it particularly to the Minister for Finance. I am sorry he is gone. It is not my fault that he is not here to hear it, but I hope that he will read it. I noticed his enthusiasm for the reduction in the number of jurymen necessary to convict in a capital offence or in any offence. I think he would be, from my knowledge of him, even more enthusiastic if they did away with juries altogether. He is out for radical changes, and judging from my knowledge of him, I believe he would be more satisfied if he could do as he did before——

Let us keep to this question.

Shoot men out of hand, without a jury.

Let us keep to the majority verdict.

I am keeping to that.

The Deputy will have to obey my ruling.

Oh, certainly.

He will have to keep to that particular point and speak on the amendment. He will have to speak to the amendment and nothing else.

I am insisting on speaking to it.

The Deputy cannot in a vague way, or in any other way, make any personal accusations against the Minister for Finance or any other Deputy. There is no use getting into a state about it.

I can assure you that if there is anybody getting into a state it must be yourself. Certainly I am not. But I will refer people back to the history of 1922, or to later history, and will say no more. I refer to the Minister for Finance in particular. There is no man in this House, or outside it, who evidently loves juries less than he does, and if he got his deserts before a jury there is no man who ought to fear a jury more than he ought. I wish he were here to hear that.

Would you let him be convicted on a majority verdict?

I will have an opportunity of telling him that to his face. I would hope that he got justice and nothing more. I would not want to see him getting anything else from a jury of his own peers. I think this amendment ought to receive the serious consideration of the House. With our history such as it is, good and bad, our recent history even, as we have known it, and the things that have happened, no Party in this House should rush in to make radical changes of that kind, where there is a doubt that a man charged with an offence may not get—an offence that will perhaps leave him open to the death sentence—the benefit. We ought to be very careful and to walk very warily and slowly in introducing such a radical change in the law, which would leave it open, having regard to the state of the country, for any man, no matter who he is, poor or rich, no matter what his estate or caste is, to be executed by mistake, or executed at a time of high feeling, when otherwise he might escape capital punishment.

I do not purpose dealing with the contemptible attack which has been made on the Minister for Finance. I think that attacks of that nature, coming from the source from which that one came, can be very safely treated with the contempt which they deserve. As far as the rest of the Deputy's speech is concerned, it was simply mere words. Deputy O'Connell objected to points which the Minister for Finance had made in a previous discussion. He said that there was not more reluctance to convict on a capital charge than upon an ordinary charge. To a certain extent he is correct. He is correct that evidence in both cases is required in theory to put a case beyond reasonable doubt, and that it is quite sufficient in murder to put a case beyond reasonable doubt. It is quite possible if you had what I might call mechanical jurymen, persons completely free from all human emotions, simply intellects and nothing else, that verdicts would be in fact the same on capital charges as on ordinary charges. But you can never get rid of the human element, and, in fact, whatever it may be in theory, it has always worked out that juries do require, though in theory they do not need to require, more evidence in capital cases, and there is more reluctance in capital cases, in fact, in finding convictions than there is in other cases. That is what does actually happen in real life, whatever theoretically ought to happen.

Of course, the Court of Criminal Appeal does exist. It exists exactly the same whether the number of the jury is increased or decreased, or whether you have a unanimous verdict or a majority verdict. That is not the question at issue here. The question at issue is: Is a majority verdict going to be unjust to a prisoner, and will it be more unjust on a capital charge? My answer to that is, if you have nine men who are satisfied, and if you have over those a Court of Criminal Appeal— you have also the exercise of the prerogative of mercy, always exercised after consultation with the Judge—and if there was any doubt, the system will be as perfectly proof against a miscarriage of justice, against the conviction of an innocent prisoner, as any system really could be. There is no real danger of a miscarriage of justice. Miscarriages of justice undoubtedly will occur in very exceptional cases. There might be mistakes of identity or something of that kind, but those miscarriages are just as likely to occur if there were twelve jurors. Deputy O'Connell said that this should not apply to capital charges, because the mistake could never be rectified if there was a mistake. That is an argument which would do away with capital punishment altogether, because a jury of twelve might make a mistake.

The chances are less.

I do not agree that the chances are less.

Mr. O'Connell

You did the last time.

No. I say that we have here a case in which we are satisfied that nine men will bring in a correct verdict just as likely as twelve. If you get nine persons who are willing to convict you should be satisfied that real justice is being done.

Mr. O'Connell

What about the other three?

Even though the other three, for various reasons, be not satisfied, you have got the Court of Criminal Appeal. In the case of twelve you have also got the Court of Criminal Appeal. It is quite possible—I do not know that it has happened since that Court was established—that twelve persons might make a mistake just as it conceivably could happen that nine might make a mistake. If twelve make a mistake, Deputy O'Connell's argument comes into force, as you cannot undo an injury that has been done. If you press his argument to its logical conclusion it means that you should have no capital punishment at all. That may be a correct view. Deputy O'Connell said that there are, and I know there are, certain persons who think that capital punishment should be abolished. I do not hold that view. I think it is required in the present circumstances. In most countries where it was given up, in France for instance, they had to go back to it. Deputy O'Connell also said that there is no reason why we should not adopt the British tradition. I quite agree that if it is good we should copy it. We have had a British system of law in this country, and where it has been found good we accepted it, but we should not sit down in slavish veneration of any system of law. We should consider whether a system evolved by the English people for their own purposes, and which is admirably suitable to that country, is suitable here. It is our duty, as the legislative assembly for the Irish Free State, to make up our own minds, to see what is the best for this country, and we must not be tied down by precedents of other countries. They may serve as useful guides. They do serve as useful guides, and it will, no doubt, help us when arriving at a conclusion as to what is right and proper for our own country, to see what other countries are doing, but that must not be taken as the complete and final guide. We must decide what is the proper system of law to set up in this country, and what system of procedure is most likely to do justice between the State and the individual citizen. I submit that it is to be found in this system which we are now suggesting, and which is embodied in a temporary measure. As I have said, it was largely in response to the suggestions made by the Deputy on Second Reading that I brought in my own amendment. I believe that experience will show that this makes more for justice than the existing system, with its constant disagreements, and I ask the House to reject the amendment.

resumed the Chair.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 49; Níl, 58.

  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Broderick, Henry.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Clancy, Patrick.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Colohan, Hugh.
  • Corkery, Dan.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Kerlin, Frank.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Connell, Thomas J.
  • Davin, William.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doyle, Edward.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Flinn, Hugo.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • O'Kelly, Seán T.
  • O'Leary, William.
  • 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.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Carey, Edmund.
  • Cole, John James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Daly, John.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Egan, Barry M.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • 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.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connell, Richard.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Hanlon, John F.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearoid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Shaw, Patrick W.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • White, Vincent Joseph.
  • Wolfe, George.
Tellers—Tá: Deputies Anthony and Cassidy; Níl: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle.
Amendment declared lost.

In taking amendments 3 and 4 I will put amendment 3 in the form—"That the words from ‘whenever' in line 4 down to and including the word ‘court' in line 27 stand." That will enable amendment 4 to be put. Otherwise amendment 3 would defeat amendment 4 as well.

I move amendment 3 standing in Deputy Ruttledge's name. I do not know what time the guillotine falls in this discussion.

At five minutes past ten.

In view of the fact that there is only a limited amount of time available for the discussion of the remaining amendments to the Bill, I propose to confine my remarks on this amendment to that portion of the section which deals with the recognition of the Court and the penalties to be inflicted on those who decline to recognise it. There are many matters in this section to which we object, but this is the one point to which we object most, and therefore I intend to keep the discussion as far as I can on that one point so that we can get a decision and proceed to discuss the other amendments which are on the Paper. This portion of the section is designed to penalise a man for possessing an idea. It is the first time that the Government has attempted to inflict penalties on individuals for possessing ideas contrary to their own. They are now doing it, and I think it is only a natural development. They have been following along the lines of the British Government in their coercion policy, and they will ultimately reach a stage below the lowest stage which the British Government ever reached. If persons charged with offences come into court, are disrespectful and create disturbances there is, I think, within the existing law adequate powers to deal with them. The passing of this section will not materially increase these powers, nor is it, I think, designed to increase these powers.

The kernel of the section is the provision for dealing with those who, though not attempting to create disturbance or cause any riot in court, stand up and say they do not recognise the authority of the court. The section provides that in the event of a person refusing to recognise the authority of the court the judge shall have no discretion but shall be obliged by the terms of the Bill forthwith to sentence him to suffer a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months. As I have said, if a man refuses to recognise a court established by this State he is giving expression to a view and the expression of that view is not in itself a crime nor do I think that this Bill should attempt to make it a crime. There is quite a number of people in this State who do not recognise its authority nor the authority of any of its institutions.

An Leas-Ceann Comhairle took the Chair.

While the Government could justify itself in taking action against these persons if they endeavoured to give expression to their views by taking action to overthrow the State, I do not think they are justified in sending to prison persons merely because their views, with respect to the legality of this State and the steps that were taken to establish it, differ from their own. I do not think that the Government are even anxious that the prospect of maintaining peace and order within the country should be increased. I say that deliberately because I think that this section is introduced and that these powers are being acquired by the Government because they hope they can operate them to create disorder. There is, as I said, a section in the country the members of which do not recognise the legality of the State. You have prevented a section of the people from being represented here; you have prevented them from taking part in the political activities in the country and you are now going to prevent them expressing their own views even in the dock. The persons composing that section of the community are not criminals. They are not murderers. They are people holding a particular view which they are quite entitled to hold and for which they ought not to be made subject to persecution.

I have said, and I hold very strongly that this Bill was introduced not because the Government wanted to increase their power to maintain peace and stability, but because the Government want to maintain a position in this country in which they will be able to pose as the Heaven-sent leaders of the people, and the only Party capable of maintaining law. The other day we got additional proof that that is the design of the Government. The introduction of the Bill and its extraordinary provisions are proof of that fact. Deputies here who may doubt the accuracy of what I am saying, have only to look at this morning's "Independent," and to read there the slanderous and scandalous letter which was published over the name of the Deputy Whip of the Party opposite.

It has nothing to do with this amendment.

In a way, Leas-Chinn Comhairle, it has. This Bill and this particular provision in the Bill is, I think, introduced for the purpose of keeping alive the political feuds that divide our people. The letter to which I refer was written for the express purpose of keeping alive the sectarian feuds which at long last had disappeared from amongst us.

It was not written by the signatory though.

I do not think so. I agree with Deputy Moore that the particular letter referred to——

The Deputy must keep to the amendment.

I said in the discussion on the previous amendment that we are anxious to see respect for the law and for the instruments of the law exist among the people. I say, however, that the Government are making it impossible for decent men to have any respect for the law or the courts in consequence of the introduction of and the attempt to pass this measure. It is very easy to destroy public confidence in the administration of justice. One such case as the case of Seán MacBride, in which a man was held in prison for five months, and then tried and found not guilty, does more damage to public confidence in the administration of justice than the labours of the Minister for months could repair. The introduction of this Bill and its passage, as I have said, in the particular manner in which it is being passed—steam-rolled through without adequate discussion—is going still further to lessen any public confidence there may remain in the administration of justice under the Executive Council. They have given adequate proof that political bias is the sole driving force behind them, and that so long as they can score a point against their opponents or win votes at an election they are careless as to the consequences of their action in the country. If an individual who is publicly known not to be a criminal, who is known to be a more honourable man than any member of the Executive Council, is charged with, say, uttering seditious sentiments, brought into court, and, in pursuance of the dictates of his conscience, states that he cannot recognise its authority, and as a result of saying so is automatically sentenced to imprisonment under this section, there are very few people even amongst those who do not hold the same views as that individual, who will have any respect for the administration of law afterwards. I should like to point out that that individual, having done his automatic six months' imprisonment, when he comes up again, if he still adheres to his views and takes the same course, can go back to prison for another six months, and the process can be repeated for the duration of his natural life. As I have said, a person brought into court, who takes up a disrespectful attitude, or creates a scene or disturbance, can be dealt with by the existing law. It is not necessary that this section should be in the Bill in order to find means of dealing with him. A person who, without creating disturbance, merely expresses his view that he cannot in conscience recognise the authority which constituted the court, is not a criminal and should not be punished as a criminal for doing so.

This section is not necessary in the Bill. There is nothing in this section, at any rate, which provides for the protection of jurors. I doubt if the Minister, astute and clever debater as he is, will be able to show how the life of one juryman will be made in one degree safer by the inclusion of this section in the Bill. On the contrary, I think that this section is likely to operate in the other direction altogether. I, therefore, urge those who are anxious to ensure that every provision for the protection of jurymen shall be made to support the amendment which I am moving to delete the section. If they do so, they will be making the Bill not merely better from their point of view, but better from the point of view of the administration of justice as a whole. We know that there is very little public respect for the courts or the machinery of justice in this country at present, very largely due to the policy which the Minister has been following since his appointment. It will be a very hard thing for the Minister's successor to restore respect for the law to the place it should occupy amongst the people, because of the attitude which the Minister is now taking up. But we are anxious to make the job at least as little difficult as we can, and in order to help us in that direction, we ask the Deputies opposite to support the amendment and vote for the deletion of the section.

Does the same ruling hold as on the last amendment, that we are free to discuss the narrower amendments on the amendment of Deputy Lemass?

The amendment moved by Deputy Lemass will be put in such a form as to enable Deputy O'Connell to move Amendment 4 afterwards.

I have listened to a good many strange speeches in this House, but I do not think I ever listened to a stranger speech than that which has fallen from Deputy Lemass. He told us that he and his Party are anxious that respect for the law should be widespread amongst the people, and, in the same breath, he told us that a man who by his action defies the courts which are administering that law and set up under the authority of this Dáil is a person who has committed not only technically no crime, but in his view committed absolutely no offence. He says that there are people in this country who do not recognise the legality of this State, and it is for these people that he pleads. Is it not perfectly obvious that that refusal to recognise the legality of the State is in itself the very essence of sedition?

I shall avail of the opportunity to speak now on this amendment in order to put forward the arguments for my own amendment, as otherwise I may have to wait until after the division on Deputy Lemass's amendment, and may not have an opportunity of speaking. I have set out the words which I object to in this particular section, and the Minister will note that I am not asking that the portion dealing with disrespect should be cut out. I am confining my amendment entirely to the words "refusal to recognise the court." Deputy Law talked of what sedition is. I always understood, and I have often heard it declared both inside and outside this House by members and supporters of the Government, that a man was free to go on a public platform or anywhere else, and say that he was not satisfied with the form of government established in this country; that he was anxious to have a Republic set up, or it may be a dictatorship or an absolute monarchy, or any other form of government he wished.

He is free to hold that opinion, and he is free to express it, but he is not free to say in court that he holds that opinion. That is my reading of the section. He is not free to say that he does not recognise the law, or that he does not recognise the court. When I mentioned my objection to this section to some people they said: "We must have respect for the law." By all means let us have respect for the law and for the courts. But in the very manner in which this section is drafted the Minister has shown that it is not disrespect, because it is segregated from disrespect.

"(1) Whenever a person charged in the Central Criminal Court or in the Circuit Court with any crime or offence at any stage of his trial in such court on such charge by any act or omission displays gross disrespect to the court or refuses to recognise the authority or jurisdiction of the court ... or in any other way acts disrespectfully towards the court."

If that is to be judged as disrespect to the court why make the distinction? Is it a crime for a man to hold a certain view or opinion? Is it a special offence to say that he holds that view? A man may hold an opinion, a queer, quaint, fantastic, eccentric opinion, and express that opinion, but he is subject to the law and must obey the law, and so long as he obeys the law and is a law-abiding man I hold he is entitled to hold that opinion and express it. The Minister will not say that is not so. Here we are making a new offence.

That is the point.

Mr. O'Connell

We are making it an offence for a person to hold and express, without disrespect to the court, what is his particular view. The Minister and all his judges and juries, or rather, I mean, all the king's horses and all the king's men ——

And all the King's Counsel.

Mr. O'Connell

And no powers that the Minister can invoke in this House, and no action of this House, can prevent a man holding an opinion so long as he is silent. But he makes it a crime and a special offence punishable in a particular way, mentioned here, for a man to say that he does not recognise the authority of the court.

How do you bring such a person into court?

Mr. O'Connell

He is brought in by the law we make.

For holding a particular opinion?

Mr. O'Connell

Oh, no. I assume the man committed a crime. If he committed a crime he is subject to the law. If he says he does not recognise the court that should have no effect on the court which says, "We do not care three straws whether you recognise our authority or not; we have authority and are going to exercise it and punish you if you are proved guilty." That is the position at the present time. Will the Minister tell us how this particular offence which is created in this Bill is going to protect juries, because this is a Juries Protection Bill? He will not change a man's opinion by punishing him for it. He will continue to hold that opinion, it may be assumed. Let us assume a man holds an opinion, and holds it very strongly without expressing it. He is not punished for that. I fail to see how this is anything else than a punishment for a political opinion or a political view held by a person and expressed as his particular view in court. I think, so far as I am concerned, if a man acts disrespectfully or contumaciously towards a court of law the court has power to punish him, but merely for a man to say he does not recognise these institutions set up and refuses to give evidence or take any part——

Oh, they never do that.

Mr. O'Connell

Well, whether he does or not he is going to be punished here if he says he does not recognise the court. Merely for the expression of that sentence he is to be punished, possibly to the extent of six months, and as Deputy Lemass says, for a further six months if he repeats the offence. I hold that that is introducing something new and never heard of before. I would like the Minister to give a precedent for a provision of this kind in any code of laws in any country in the world.

I shall do so when the Deputy quotes a similar offence committed in any other State in the world.

Mr. O'Connell

The Minister has not stated on Second Reading, or on any other stage of the Bill, what particular danger there is, what particular reasons he has for including this in a measure for the protection of juries, or for any other purpose whatsoever. It seems to me it is a most extraordinary provision, and no matter how the Minister may argue it I do not see how he can get away from the fact that this is punishment for holding and expressing a particular political view, and so far as it does that I certainly think it ought not to be included in a measure of this kind.

Again I may say that this other provision, for which I have also an amendment down, and which is included in this section that Deputy Lemass wishes to delete, is open to grave objection. The judge will have no discretion when the prisoner says, no matter how respectfully he says it, no matter even if he prefaces his remarks with the words "May it please your lordship," but to sentence him forthwith. There is no question of "may" or "may in his discretion," as I suggest there should be. He shall forthwith sentence him. I put it to the Minister that that is going entirely too far, and that that is not going to do any good. That very kind of thing is the thing that will lead to disrespect for our institutions, and whatever may be said about the section Deputy Lemass seeks to delete, taken as a whole, I cannot conceive any argument that can be effectively used for including that particular sentence that I am anxious to delete or that should take from a judge the discretion that he ought to have.

I want to be very brief. I agree that Deputy O'Connell has put his finger on the point when he said that what is happening here is the manufacture of a new crime, and a new crime of this particular quality that it involves perpetual punishment. It is a crime which can be manufactured for a man outside himself. All that the Executive Council need do, or all that any misguided representative of their police force need do, is to make a list of all the people whom they do not think will recognise the court, and by just doing that they automatically, under this Bill, condemn any such person to perpetual imprisonment. Now, that is the real fact. A man is in a certain state of mind. The Executive know that if they do a certain act they will create a condition in relation to him, in relation to the court, which will create a crime for which he can be perpetually imprisoned.

I have just heard two most astonishing speeches. These were the speeches by Deputies O'Connell and Lemass. While those Deputies worked themselves up into great indignation against this section, neither of them seemed to have gone to the trouble of reading the section, or, if they have read it, although the wording of the section is very clear, they brought themselves to make misleading statements to the House as to what the section contains. Indeed, I cannot understand how they brought themselves to make such misleading statements. Deputy Lemass a few moments ago talked about the anxiety of himself and his Party to see the law, the courts and the institutions of this State properly respected in this country. A moment afterwards he says he thinks it is quite right that a certain person should say openly in court words in contempt of that court, and that that court had no right and no jurisdiction.

I said nothing of the kind.

How that is showing respect for the court and how the court should brook that insult to it and to the entire State, I do not know. Deputy Lemass spoke about persons who refused to recognise the legality of the State. There are certain persons who refuse to recognise the State. We know there are certain persons who are in a great state of confusion of mind on this matter and who do not know whether the State is legal or illegal. When asked that question these persons proceed to quibble very much. We know where to find these persons. We find them on the Fianna Fáil Benches. But there are certain persons who are quite determined that this State and the legality of this State, founded as it is upon the voiced opinions of the majority of the Irish people, shall be recognised all through this State.

The Deputy said there were many high-minded persons who refused to recognise the court. He said there were high-minded persons whose sense of patriotism will not allow them to recognise the court. I do not know that such persons exist. Those who up to this have refused to recognise the court do not seem to have any of those very high ideals about which Deputy Lemass talked. For instance, the last example we had of these was the considerable number of five or six prisoners refusing to recognise the court. Having refused to recognise one court they recognise another court, and they applied for a writ of habeas corpus. Then, when they could apply to get bail the leader of that group instructed the others not to get bail. He, anyhow, did not get bail himself, and the others not applying for bail the leader himself makes application through the Visiting Committee of Mountjoy Prison that he might be allowed out on parole. What is the difference between being allowed out on parole and getting bail? It is the difference between getting a favour from this terrible tyrannical Government, and getting what he was entitled to by the laws passed by this tyrannical Government. The only difference is that in the one instance there is a pecuniary sum fixed in the case of getting bail, which sum, if the bail is broken, will have to be paid. In the other there is no bond to be estreated. That is the only difference. There can be no difference between recognising the court and the authority which sets up the court. Of course, the high-minded leader in this instance, if he got parole, would be free, but conscience would bind his unfortunate followers. That is one example of these very high-minded, high-souled, noble young men who will not recognise the court.

The Minister is quite clear that he is talking about men who were found not guilty.

Yes, after being six months in prison.

Yes, and the Deputy knows these are the very persons about whom I am talking. Deputy O'Connell talked about every person having a right to express his views. Persons have a right to express their views as to who are going to be the Government of this country, but certainly persons are not entitled to express their views as to criminal methods of carrying out these objects.

Mr. O'Connell

Surely I never said that.

Perhaps the Deputy will allow me to finish my sentence.

Mr. O'Connell

I do not want the Minister to put words into my mouth that I never used.

I am not putting words into the Deputy's mouth.

Mr. O'Connell

The Minister declared that I said every person had a right to express his views about criminal methods.

I said no such thing. What I said was that Deputy O'Connell thought that persons should be entitled to express their opinions. I said that they should be entitled to express their opinions about the formation of a Government by lawful means, but they are not entitled to express their opinions that the Government of this country should be changed by illegal means.

Mr. O'Connell

Right.

They are not entitled to insult the courts of this State. The Deputy wants to know why they should be punished for refusing to recognise the court. Because it is an insult to the court; because it is an insult to these courts set up by the Oireachtas elected by the majority of the people of this country. These courts are the lawful and legitimate courts of the State, and because they are the courts of this State they must be recognised by every citizen in this State. These persons can be mute of malice if they like; for being mute of malice they are not to be punished, but they are to be punished for openly insulting the court and informing the court that it has no jurisdiction to try them, that it is an illegal court. In these cases they are committing contempt of court and they are insulting the institutions of this State publicly and openly. Deputy Lemass is really rather an enigma to me. I cannot really understand Deputy Lemass.

We cannot give the Minister understanding.

On occasions the Deputy shows such astuteness and on other occasions such extraordinary simplicity. The Deputy says that the court will sentence the prisoner to six months automatically, and Deputy O'Connell says pretty much the same thing about an automatic sentence of six months. There is no automatic sentence of six months.

Mr. O'Connell

Surely what I said was that it was possible.

What the section says is that the person guilty of an offence against the court shall forthwith be sentenced by the judge to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months. There is nothing in that section saying to the judge, "You must sentence him to six months' imprisonment." Deputy Lemass knows that, and everybody who has read the section knows it. The judge may say, "I sentence you to imprisonment until the rising of the court," or "I sentence you for a day or a week." That is as clear as daylight, and if Deputy Lemass had read the section he would see that.

I said that.

I beg the Deputy's pardon. He said an automatic six months. What does the Deputy mean by that, unless it is that the judge must pass that sentence whether he likes it or not? Certainly, what the Deputy conveyed to the House, or must have meant to convey, was that the judge had no discretion and that he had to sentence the prisoner to six months.

The judge has to sentence him.

He must, of course, sentence him, but he can sentence him to any period, not necessarily six months. It is just the same as in the case where the law sets out: "If so and so commits a certain offence he shall be liable to imprisonment for six months," or something of that kind. The accused person need not get the whole six months, and in this case it is exactly the same. The judge will take all the facts and circumstances into consideration. It is absurd to suggest that it should not be an offence in the very face of a court to tell that court that it has no right and no jurisdiction, and to do so wantonly and deliberately. We are told that conscience may prevent an accused person from recognising the court. Conscience never makes any of them refuse to cross-examine witnesses or to call witnesses of their own. If it does, it very seldom happens, and it is always in the most absolutely clear cases. Perhaps I should not have said always, but it happens again and again that persons who refuse to recognise the court at one moment proceed the next moment to recognise it as a tribunal, and they very often take part in the proceedings either personally or through a solicitor or counsel.

That did not suit you yesterday.

This particular section has been completely misrepresented to the House. An offence is committed, a deliberate insult is offered to the court. If we are going to have respect for the law, if we are going to make every single person in this country respect the law and the institutions of the State——

Make them respectable.

We are going to make every person in this country respect the institutions of the State.

Not at all.

If we are to have that respect for the law which is essential, then it follows that a section of this nature is absolutely necessary. We are not going to have persons who are brought to our courts because they are charged with criminal offences, deliberately and wantonly insulting our judges.

Do not bring them in so.

We will bring every person into the courts who breaks the laws of this country.

Every person except the Civic Guards.

But you cannot get convictions.

The Minister has stated that he is going to compel respect for the institutions of the State. Does he propose to make it a crime or an offence if a man declares that he has no respect for this Dáil or for the Oireachtas? The Dáil, the two Houses of the Oireachtas, are institutions of the State, and a man may declare that he does not recognise their authority. Does the Minister propose to make that an offence?

If a person enters into any of our courts and says, in face of our courts—he may say what he likes about the courts within limits outside—that he does not recognise them, he is committing an offence. He cannot insult our courts in that fashion.

I thought the Minister was going to explain what this section had to do with the protection of jurymen?

It has this to do with the protection of juries: juries are part of the institution of our courts, and when we have our courts properly respected it will also come about that juries will be respected.

That will take a good while.

That is the best yet. Can the Minister give us an idea who the prisoners were to whom he has alluded? Who were the prisoners that he talked about? We know the Minister's reputation for misrepresenting facts and consequently we would like to know if what he mentions is or is not true.

I would like to raise one point in connection with the sentence the judge will have to impose in view of the non-recognition of the court. Could that be a recurring sentence? The prisoner could be sentenced to whatever period the judge may think fit up to six months. That same prisoner could be brought up again. He could adopt the same attitude. Can he be sentenced for the same offence twice?

Mr. O'Connell

It would be for a second offence.

There is no fear of a man being sentenced twice?

He can only be sentenced once for an offence, but he may be sentenced an indefinite number of times for an indefinite series of offences. If a man commits larceny once and is sentenced, he may be sentenced a dozen times for different larcenies. In the same way for contempt of court he may be sentenced a dozen times. He cannot be sentenced more than once for each individual act of contempt of court.

The section in the Bill could very easily put a man in the position of receiving recurring sentences. He could be brought up before a judge and put into the dock. He would refuse to recognise the court and the judge would immediately proceed to sentence him to a period of imprisonment up to six months. The man may again be brought before a court and he may adopt the same attitude. In those circumstances he could be kept indefinitely in jail without being brought to trial.

Quite right.

If the judge thinks it right and proper, he should be so kept.

The judge has no option.

He has. He need not sentence him to six months.

But he must sentence him.

He could sentence him until the rising of the court.

The Minister has not answered my question.

I am perfectly willing to be more specific on any question that you wish to put me. I would like to know from the Deputy what particular instance he wishes me to refer to.

The Minister and Deputies ought to address the Chair.

The Minister made disparaging remarks about certain prisoners. We know the Minister's reputation for telling the truth, and we would like to find out who the prisoners were so that we can be sure of the facts.

If the Deputy means who was the prisoner who applied for parole——

Yes, we would like to have his name.

I am perfectly willing to give it to the Deputy.

It has nothing to do with this amendment.

I am perfectly willing to give it to the Deputy in private or in public.

If this method of penalising people who happen to hold certain opinions is adopted, it will only mean that we will be soon getting back to the period of the rack and the thumb-screw.

It did not need any rack or thumb-screw to bring you into this House.

Listen to the brilliant magician of the Front Bench.

Question put: "In page 4, that the words from and including the word ‘whenever' in line 4, to and including the word ‘court' in line 27, stand part of the Bill."
The Dáil divided; Tá: 60; Níl, 47.

  • Aird, William P.
  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Carey, Edmund.
  • Cole, John James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Daly, John.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Egan, Barry M.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Shaw, Patrick W.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • 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.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connell, Richard.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Hanlon, John F.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearoid.
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • White, Vincent Joseph.
  • Wolfe, George.

Níl

  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Broderick, Henry.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Clancy, Patrick.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Corkery, Dan.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Davin, William.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doyle, Edward.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Flinn, Hugo.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Kerlin, Frank.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Connell, Thomas J.
  • O'Kelly, Seán T.
  • O'Leary, William.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tip.)
  • Tubridy, John.
Tellers:— Tá: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle; Níl: Deputies Kerlin and Killilea.
Question declared carried.

Mr. O'Connell

I formally move Amendment 4:—

"In page 4, line 27, to delete all words after the word ‘Court' down to and including the word ‘thereof,' line 33."

I have said all that I have to say on it.

resumed the Chair.

Question: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand part," put.
The Dáil divided. Tá, 60; Níl, 48.

  • Aird, William P.
  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Carey, Edmund.
  • Cole, John James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Daly, John.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Egan, Barry M.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Hanlon, John F.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearoid.
  • Good, John.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • 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.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connell, Richard.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Shaw, Patrick W.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • White, Vincent Joseph.
  • Wolfe, George.

Níl

  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Broderick, Henry.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Clancy, Patrick.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Corkery, Dan.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Davin, William.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doyle, Edward.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Flinn, Hugo.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Kerlin, Frank.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Connell, Thomas J.
  • O'Kelly, Seán T.
  • O'Leary, William.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
  • Tubridy, John.
Tellers:— Tá: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle. Níl: Deputies Anthony and Cassidy.
Question declared carried.

I move Amendment 5:—

In page 4, line 35, to delete the words "shall forthwith" and substitute therefor the words "may, at his discretion."

It seeks to give the judge a discretion whether or not to inflict a sentence.

As I pointed out, it is in the discretion of the judge, as the words stand, to sentence a man to imprisonment.

Mr. O'Connell

Why not have the words "may, at his discretion?"

Do you accept the amendment?

Question—"That the words proposed to be deleted stand part"— put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 60; Níl, 47.

  • Aird, William P.
  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Carey, Edmund.
  • Cole, John James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Good, John.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Jordan, Michael.
  • Keogh, Myles.
  • Law, Hugh Alexander.
  • Leonard, Patrick.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
  • McDonogh, Martin.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Daly, John.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Egan, Barry M.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connell, Richard.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Hanlon, John F.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearoid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Shaw, Patrick W.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • White, Vincent Joseph.
  • Wolfe, George.

Níl

  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Broderick, Henry.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Clancy, Patrick.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Corkery, Dan.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Davin, William.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doyle, Edward.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Flinn, Hugo.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • French. Seán.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Kerlin, Frank.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • McEllistrim. Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Morrisey, Daniel.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Connell. Thomas J.
  • O'Kelly, Seán T.
  • O'Leary, William.
  • O'Reilly Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
  • Tubridy, John.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle; Níl: Deputies Anthony and Cassidy.
Amendment declared lost.

Under the provisions of the Order of the House of the 29th May, I will now put the Main Question, which is: That the Juries (Protection) Bill, be received for final consideration.

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá 58; Níl, 49.

  • Aird, William P.
  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Corey, Edmund.
  • Cole, John James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Good, John.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • 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.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Daly, John.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Egan, Barry M.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connell, Richard.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Hanlon, John F.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearoid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Shaw, Patrick W.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • White, Vincent Joseph.
  • Wolfe, George.

Níl

  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Broderick, Henry.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Clancy, Patrick.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Corkery, Dan.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Davin, William.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doyle, Edward.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Flinn, Hugo.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Kerlin, Frank.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Connell, Thomas J.
  • O'Kelly, Seán T.
  • O'Leary, William.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
  • Tubridy, John.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle; Níl: Deputies Kerlin and Killilea.
Motion declared carried.
Ordered: That the Fifth Stage be taken on Wednesday, June 12th.
The Dáil adjourned at 10.20 p.m. until Friday at 10.30 a.m.