Veterinary Surgeons Bill, 1930—Committee (Resumed).

Question again proposed—"That Section 2 stand part of the Bill."

Now that the Minister for External Affairs is here, perhaps he will tell us why this particular agreement was signed and what particular object it is intended to serve, and why, when an agreement of this sort had to be made, he departed from the position of the Medical Acts——

It is a completely different system as far as veterinary education and the veterinary profession in this country are concerned, and altogether different from that followed in the Medical Acts.

Will the Deputy be more particular?

If the Minister will first give us his reason for that I shall then go into these points with him. I explained it fully here last night, and even repeated them to such an extent that the Minister for Agriculture endeavoured to prevent me from going on.

I cannot answer the Deputy's question when put in such vague terms as that. There is in fact no departure in principle as between this particular agreement and the agreement regulating either the medical or dental education in so far as these things are regulated at all by any agreement. In so far as they are purely internal they are not regulated either in medicine or dentistry or veterinary science, but for the obtaining of certain degrees foreign to this country, then certain rights given to certain outside corporations in this country as in medicine and in dentistry. If the Deputy goes into that, I may be prepared to answer in detail.

Very well. First take the clause in the agreement with reference to powers and jurisdiction. What that clause means is this: that the London College has all the powers and jurisdiction that it had before the Treaty over every student who takes that degree and is registered. The effect of that is going to be that all teaching in veterinary science in this country has to be adapted to meet the requirements of foreign examiners. The Minister knows well that that does not obtain on the medical side at all. Deputy Hennessy with the assurance of his ignorance of the matter (Deputies: Oh) I mean it only from the point of view that otherwise he would not have made such an uncritical statement——

On a point of order ——

I am sure it is not a point of order but I shall hear the Deputy.

If Deputy de Valera wishes to be offensive I would remind him that what I said was that the general Medical Council prescribe the curriculum and that the Council is predominated by the representatives of the English Universities and licensing bodies.

He said quite a different thing when I was pointing out that as a result of this agreement two of the examiners will be the examiners appointed by the London College and that if there is any Irish faculty established here in any university whose students would go for this degree their teachers will only be privileged to be present at the examination. But they may not set the questions.

Where is that in the agreement with regard to an Irish examination for an Irish degree?

It is here.

With regard to Irish examinations for an Irish degree?

I said very definitely with regard to an Irish examination for this degree. I am going to show how this degree dominates the whole situation. Let us keep to one point at a time.

On a point of order. Is the Deputy opposite to be allowed to impose upon us all over again in this debate a speech he made half a dozen times last evening? I put it to you, a Chinn Comhairle, that it is a gross abuse of the privileges of the House that a Deputy having made about half a dozen second reading speeches in the Committee Stage yesterday, should be allowed to begin the same process all over again the next day.

That may be a point of order.

If the Minister for Agriculture, who was present last night, knew absolutely nothing about the Bill, then we ought to get some information from the Minister for External Affairs who signed the agreement, if he knows anything about it.

Mr. Hogan

That is a point of order, but it is not a fact.

I think the position was explained by the Leas-Cheann Comhairle yesterday evening. Section 2 is the section that confirms the agreement. The agreement is the main feature of the Bill, and the agreement fell for discussion here, if people desired to discuss it, hence what the Minister calls a second reading debate. The debate on the agreement is absolutely in order here, and if not disorderly, would be, I think, ridiculous on the schedule, because we would have already agreed to confirm the agreement. There is no restriction in the Standing Orders on the number of speeches a Deputy may make in Committee, but there is a practical restriction, which is that a Deputy cannot make a number of speeches without repeating himself. This morning the Minister for Agriculture made a point of order that Deputy de Valera to-day was repeating himself, but I understood the Minister for External Affairs asked the Deputy to explain his point. While the point of order could be pressed, that a Deputy has no right to repeat himself, I do not want to interfere in the debate as between the different parties.

Mr. Hogan

It is very painful for the rest of us.

It is very interesting to note the desire of the Minister to closure this discussion. The only reason I am dealing with this is because I want every member of this House to have an opportunity of studying this question and seeing what is involved in it. I say there is something involved in it, and I ask how would any professor in this House— and there are a number of professors in this House that teach certain subjects — like to have himself put into the position in which his personality was to be completely submerged in his teaching, and that he would have to teach for the requirements simply of a foreign examination. I do not think he would like it. If when this agreement is signed there is established a faculty, say, in the Dublin College in the National University, and if the students of that College desired to get the privileges which are in this agreement for those who have the London degree as well as their professors, they will be put into a position in which they will have to adapt their teaching to the requirements of an examination in which they will not be privileged to take any part except the part of observers. It does not exclude oral questions, but it does preclude the professors from setting any of the written questions. Deputy Dr. Hennessy wished us to believe that the situation in that respect is just the same as under the Medical Act. It is not. He went on to say that the British Medical Council arranged the extern examinations in medicine.

I did not say arrange. I said supervise.

What Deputy Hennessy said is in the memory of those who were here last night and are here this morning. What he said — and I have no doubt about this — was that the British Medical Council appointed extern examiners for the examinations in medicine, and that I, as Chancellor of the National University, should be aware of that. I am aware that these extern examiners are appointed on the nomination of the professors of the faculties who are the teachers in these faculties, and that the final appointment is made by the Senate of the University. As far as the curriculum being dictated from outside, I have here a copy of the resolutions of the General Medical Council. They are really only recommendations. The Medical Council is not exactly a federation, but a consultative assembly of representatives of a large number of universities. That is not the position at all in regard to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. In one case the Council is composed of representatives of the teaching bodies. In the other case it is elected from membership all over the country.

Now those resolutions of the Medical Council are of the most general character. They indicate that a certain standard, which is to be determined by the various universities and bodies, has to be attained at entrance. They are all of a very general character. If the House wishes me to read some examples I shall do so.

Keep to the real point.

I am keeping to the real point. I want to clear away the mist created by last night's debate, and show that there is an essential difference between what is operating in the Medical Acts and the words that will operate if this Bill is passed. These are of the most general character. They are not obligations even; they are recommendations. There is a rule that delegations from the Council shall be present at the examinations.

No, it is not "must be."

It is in fact "must be."

It is no such thing.

Not always — when they like.

That is "must."

I wish that the Minister in authority, who ought to know something about this subject, would not try to impress other members of the House out of his ignorance in the matter. That is what it is.

Your ignorance.

No, the Minister's ignorance. I took particular pains to acquaint myself with the procedure. The Minister did not. Occasionally there are visitors who come over to satisfy themselves that the standards are all right, but, in fact, they do not interfere with the conduct of the examinations.

That the tests are all right. That is a very different thing from the standard.

The Deputy is trying to recover the mistakes he made last night. First as to a proof about the external examiners, the medical practitioners in this city had been appointed as external examiners by the University directly without any reference to the British Medical Council. It is an independent appointment. I can give the names to Deputy Hennessy. For instance, there was Sir John Lumsden, Sir William de Courcy Wheeler, Dr. Tierney and others. These were appointed by the National University Senate as extern examiners, the particular function of which is to get uniformity of standard between the colleges within the university. But there has been comparatively little interference with the course of teaching in medicine in the National University as a result of this affiliation. Affiliation is not the proper word to use, they are not affiliated in that sense. The fullest freedom of the professors is permitted, each one is in the position that he can teach his students there what he thinks himself is the best for them in accordance with certain regulations approved by the Board of Studies. He can impress his own personality upon his teaching. If there is something that he thinks it right to teach he need not be impressed with the fact that it is not the sort of question that will be asked at the examination, nor is he put in the position that the students will say: "He is going outside the course and I will not bother about it." He has all the advantage of the direct teaching here of the University over and above the advantages of the examining body under the old Royal University. Under the agreement in this Bill we lose all that in the case of veterinary science because the advantages given under this agreement to the students who have the M.R.C.V.S. degree are such that there will be a compelling incentive to other students who enter for the veterinary science programme to go for that particular examination.

Deputy Dr. Ryan pointed out one instance in the case of the fees. There are to be two guineas in fees to be got every year from anybody who wants to be registered on the Irish register and one guinea will be transmitted automatically if the student wishes to be registered on the foreign register. There is an incentive to go for the degree in order to qualify for that registration. I have said that in the case of the Medical Council regulations the interference is so slight that it does not interfere with the teaching at all. The degrees of the National University entitle to registration in accordance with the agreement made here in this House. In the case of the agreement which it is proposed to ratify under this Bill, we have a London College which is to be given all the powers it formerly had over everybody in this country who will take these degrees. Those who are members of the College in virtue of having got the M.R.C.V.S. Degree are entitled to elect four out of the eight members of the Council. They are entitled, in addition, to vote for other members of the Council if they are on the Irish Register as well. They are going to dominate the position in this way from the start, that they are the only people qualified. Now, the fact that they are on the foreign register will entitle them automatically to go on the Irish Register, but those on the Irish Register having an Irish degree will not be entitled to get on the British Register because those on the British Register, so far as we can make out, must be members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Everything that is possible to be done to secure the position of the Royal Veterinary College and its members in this country is done in this agreement, and in exchange we have got nothing that we could not get without giving up our independence of teaching by another style of agreement that would be somewhat on the lines of the medical agreement. Deputy Hennessy referred to the moneys that would be sent out of the country if we had to send our students over to pursue their course in one of the veterinary colleges in Britain. What we are really doing is this. For the sake of, let us say, seven or eight students, I am taking about 50 per cent., there are about 15 on an average qualified every year.

Nothing like it.

What is the number?

About three.

I have the register here. I think the average is 15. I am afraid the Minister's knowledge of that is as wide of the mark as his information upon some other matters. I can read out the average number of students registered for some years past.

The number qualifying each year?

I have the average of 50 per cent. and I say we have 8 students. We are endowing this foreign college — the London Veterinary College — with a sum of over £5,400 a year. If we are going to provide for those 8 students that the Minister for Agriculture said should be provided for, here is the provision we are making for them. We are endowing an institution with a sum of £5,400 a year — so that on an average we provide out of public moneys each one of them roughly with a sum in the neighbourhood of £670. We are giving each of them the equivalent of a bursary of £2,700 apiece. Are we to be told that we could not, if we wanted, provide facilities for getting this foreign degree? Are we to be told that we could not provide these facilities with a much lesser sum? Where there are recognised colleges abroad one year's additional course in these Colleges will get them the London degree. One year's course in a College that has been recognised by the London College and affiliated to the London College will get them the London degree. To my mind it would be far preferable and far better for veterinary education in this country if you meet the needs of such students. When you begin to consider it, the question is whether we ought to go to such expense to provide for those who want to enter the Indian Veterinary Service or to be placed on the Reserve of the Royal Veterinary Corps or to be in the English Veterinary Corps. The question is, where there are students who want to do that can we from public monies make provision for them to the extent set out under this Bill?

I question whether Deputies here are inclined to spend public money in that way. But suppose we thought it advisable to make provision for them would it not be far better for us to establish here a Veterinary College? I believe with the conditions in this country and the natural ability of our people we could have here in a short time a reputation in veterinary science that would not be less than our reputation in medical science. The reputation of the medical profession in Dublin is as high as in any part of the world.

I do not speak as the Minister for Agriculture spoke when he told us that the M.R.C.V.S. degree was the best in the world. These are statements one should not make wildly. I think it will be admitted that the position of medical teaching in Dublin is as high as that of any country in the world. There is no reason why we should not be able to establish just as good a reputation for our veterinary faculty. It would be better policy for the country to establish, in connection with one or other of the colleges here, a veterinary faculty, and give that endowment that is already available to this faculty. That college could not fail to be recognised. If it were not recognised we would have to bear it. There would be no excuse for refusing to recognise it. If that college were recognised, then one year's additional course would enable the students to get a degree. Travelling studentships worth about £200 a year are available in the National University. That may not be quite sufficient to cover the travelling cost, but the amount is an indication of the sum which might fairly be given to brilliant students who are expected afterwards to return to the country and give it the benefit of their service. If the £200 travelling studentship were sufficient for a course like that, you would be able to do it altogether for £1,600 a year in the case of the eight students.

In my opinion, there is no case whatever for making this particular agreement — none whatever. It is a bad agreement from any point of view. It is going to put a millstone round the neck of any single institution in this country that sets out to have a separate faculty in veterinary science. The Minister for Agriculture fired the first shot in the campaign of foreign domination when he told us that the M.R.C.V.S. degree was the best in the world. He has taken very good care whether it is the best in the world or not that it will be the most attractive in Ireland in future if this Bill goes through. When this matter was mentioned the first time the Minister apparently did not understand it. It struck me that, being the representative of a university, he himself could not have gone through all the negotiations to bring this about, and that with the other business he had in hand he was obliged to allow officials to bear part of the work for him. I cannot understand it.

I ask members of the House not to do what is here proposed. If it is proposed to establish the veterinary profession here in this country and to establish an education for the veterinary profession, it can be done in an independent way. No one really is going to suffer for it, and everybody has got to gain. I would have expected that before an agreement of this sort was made or before it was brought here for ratification, a faculty of veterinary science would be established, that degrees would be given as already in the case of medical science, and that when such a thing was done and with the position of professional education here at home provided for, then there might have been negotiations to get recognition just the same as outside institutions get recognition. If there was something like a fair bargain made afterwards I suppose we could not complain; but there is no evidence in this of anything like a fair bargain. It is altogether one-sided, and the British Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons get everything. They are going to have their fees here collected for them, and every inducement given to Irish students to go into that institution, and with that dominating position and the privileges given to it, it is hopeless for an Irish institutions to start and make any headway against it.

I do not know whether it is something sacred pertaining to the famous old cow which was once so notoriously for sale, that makes Deputy de Valera so excited about the Veterinary Surgeons Bill.

That is one of the little myths by which the Minister is hoping to ride off——

There is something mystic about that famous animal, and everything pertaining to its care in this country has to be scrupulously regarded. The Deputy seems to be in doubt with regard to the particular representative capacity in which I appear in this House. I have, at any rate, permitted myself to go before the electors of a particular University on a few occasions. The Deputy has notoriously avoided that. With regard to this farrago of nonsense that has been talked about this agreement, I noticed that the Deputy merely described himself correctly as speaking from the depths of an almost inevitable ignorance in this matter. He was absolutely bewildering himself with analogies that do not hold as between the systems of medical and veterinary registration in this country. He seized upon a phrase setting out that certain things—rights, powers, jurisdiction, etc.—shall be deemed not to have been affected by the establishment of the Free State.

These same words are operative with regard to the Medical Act and the Dentistry Act in this country, so far as education is concerned. The same words may not be used, but the effect is exactly the same. We take the old situation that held here in the case of medicine prior to the establishment of the Free State. We have the old situation in dentistry and we re-establish it as if the Irish Free State had not come into being. We will do exactly the same thing in veterinary science. There are one or two points of detail arising from the different constitutions of these three bodies as they were established here prior to the Treaty, but so far as the agreement is concerned its effect is exactly the same. You re-make the old situation. That is exactly the position. If the Deputy says that is not the case, will he tell me where is the old situation not re-made in the case of medicine and where is the old situation not re-made in the case of dentistry, just as the old situation is being re-made in the case of veterinary science?

The Deputy is bewildering himself and is attempting to bewilder the House with a lot of nonsense in regard to extern examiners. Here is the situation with regard to medicine. There were Colleges recognised here as giving a proper qualifying diploma prior to the Free State and why do State and they were afterwards recognised. Why were they recognised here prior to the Free State and why do they continue now to be recognised? They are recognised because the Medical Council has the right to supervise examinations in order to see that the standard is kept. The extern examiners have nothing to do with that; the inspectors have. If the inspectors demanded to be present at every examination in connection with medicine they would have to be allowed in; it would not be a question of allowing them to be in attendance now and again. If the standard showed any signs of falling off they would at once comment upon it because they are entitled to be present at every examination. The reason they do not come so often here is because they have an old-time knowledge of this country and the standard that medicine always reached here. That is one reason why they do not come so often. They go as often as they wish to other places where degrees are given entitling to the practice of medicine.

What is the position with regard to the Veterinary College? There was only one licensing corporation ever in existence with regard to veterinary science and the degree was the diploma of the Royal College of Veterinary Science. There was one central institution and there were recognised colleges. There is no college recognised outside the old United Kingdom and no college will be recognised outside the old United Kingdom. Attempts have been made on many occasions by some of the Dominions to have their colleges recognised, but in every case recognition has been refused. The position is that we proceed to reestablish in regard to veterinary science what we did in regard to both medicine and dentistry. We are remaking the old situation and that leaves us no more under the domination of an outside body with regard to veterinary science than it does with regard to medicine or dentistry. The inspectors are there and if they report that an examination is not being conducted according to the proper standard, then that college can be wiped off. That is the exact situation. None of this talk about extern examiners should be allowed to bewilder the House to the same extent as it has bewildered the Deputy.

Ask Deputy Hennessy.

Reference was made to the extern examiners, but that was not the point that Deputy de Valera was trying to make. He wanted to ride away with a definite idea about the extern examiners. He wanted to make out that they were appointed in a different way, but until I drew his attention to the matter he carefully omitted to mention the inspectors.

I did not.

They were mentioned several times last night when the Minister was away on delicate negotiations.

The Deputy did not mention them this morning. We have heard a lot of metaphysical nonsense with regard to correct teaching and the impressing of personality. Are we going to have the personality of a teacher in veterinary subjects precluded by the fact that an examination is going to be set by outside people? You might as well say that you prevent the impressing of personality by medical professors on their students because there is an inspector always in the background ready to close down if the examination does not reach a particular standard. There is a lot of unnecessary mysticism. If one were speaking of philosophy or of certain of the humanities one could pay a great deal of attention to this matter of impressing personality, but I would like to have a little more detail with regard to the difficulty a veterinary professor is going to have in impressing his personality through the medium of the two or three subjects that come under the ordinary system of veterinary education.

Reference has been made to fees and in this matter, too, I think the Deputy failed to understand the Bill. The fees will go across only if a man desires to take out a particular degree. Here remains the two guinea fee until the Veterinary Council, with the consent of the Executive Council, may otherwise determine. Let us take a situation where 90 per cent. of the people who come forward as students in veterinary science do not want to take the M.R.C.V.S. degree. Undoubtedly there will have to be a change in regard to the fee. One guinea will be passed on only in the case of people who get special privileges from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Because they get special privileges they must pay the fee. The Deputy stated that we are giving an endowment to the extent of £5,400 a year for eight students. He talked of some fifteen students but I do not know where the fifteen come from. The people of whom I speak are those who are qualified each year. There were two qualified in 1930, there were three qualified the year before and five the year before that. I do not know where the average of fifteen comes in. It is more like my average of three per annum, certainly for the last three years. Where does this endowment of £5,400 a year come from? The Deputy states that this is an endowment given under this agreement. By no means. If this agreement is not passed and these people do not pay the fee they can be deprived of their titles. They are not paying under this agreement.

All this hugger-mugger about endowment is as far from the mark as the Deputy's statement about the number of students and also his talk about extern examiners. The Deputy thinks it is hopeless for an unaffiliated institution to set up a faculty to teach veterinary science. There is one college in this country that does not think it is hopeless and it is prepared to take on that task. It is going to get that task. In that College they have no fears with regard to the future and I do not see how it emerges from the agreement that they should have fears. Let us assume for the moment that veterinary education is going to be as sound as I believe it is certain to be and let us imagine that the people who heretofore have sought the other degree will not be so anxious to get it and will content themselves with taking out the diploma given by University College, Dublin. Where is the hopelessness in the situation? They can eventually dominate the register; they can dominate the whole profession on the teaching side and by degrees they will even come to dominate the body of practitioners throughout the country. They will not do it for some time, and it is because we recognise that that certain parts of this Bill are put in.

The Deputy makes the point that the people on the register on the other side have the right to vote both for those who are to go on the general council and the Irish council. Of course they have. There is no other body at the moment to vote, and there is not any other person who would be entitled to vote. There is no use in blinding oneself to facts. When this body of practitioners becomes any way numerous then legislation can be and should be changed. To set out to say now that people who do not exist shall have the right to appoint so many members on the Veterinary Council does not seem to me to be treating legislation seriously. The Deputy also made some remarks with regard to recognition. He said that the college established here under the auspices of the National University could not fail to be recognised. The Deputy said previously that it was no use to be recognised for the purpose of qualifying M.R.C.V.S.

I did not say that.

Just the same as outside institutions get recognition? They do not get recognition except on conditions.

May I explain again what I thought I had already made very clear, that a certain institution recognises private students who give one additional year in an affiliated college.

There are certain colleges in certain of the Dominions which are recognised in this way, that a student follows a certain course of four years; in addition he goes to London, where he takes out an examination after a year, and then a diploma may be granted to him. Instead of that we have this system here. We are re-establishing the old system of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and their examinations are as much under our control as they are under their control. The principal teacher in each subject is to be an assistant examiner. An examiner has not that control over teaching, and if the Deputy had any knowledge of academic life he would know that.

Of course we have to depend on the Minister for that.

I think the Deputy ought to recognise that fact. If I may compare records in this matter——

As far as teaching is concerned. I have not the slightest objection.

I had only experience of one university, not two like the Deputy. I had not even the catastrophic experience of a second university that the Deputy had, but I know a great deal about academic life and examinations and the conduct of them, and how far a teacher can impress his students—at least in the University. If the Deputy wants to challenge that point let him make his point immediately. It is a thing that I would be interested to discuss at length.

I have not the slightest interest in making comparisons. I have sufficient knowledge of the conduct of examinations to know what I am talking about.

The Deputy's talk this morning would not lead one to believe that he was any more successful as an examiner than in other respects.

The Minister surely did not set examination papers?

As an assistant?

I set examination papers. I am afraid that Deputy Ryan has not very much knowledge of that side of university work.

I do not claim to have.

I am speaking then with an authority recognised by everybody.

I am surprised to hear that an assistant in a university set examination papers.

The Deputy is not so old that he cannot suffer a few more surprises. He has survived this one excellently. This agreement is not any humiliation. It is on all fours with the agreements in the case of the medical practitioners and the dentists. There are small points of difference arising from the previous history of the veterinary college as compared with the previous history of the other two. There is no humiliation in it. If our students want to take degrees in a university college in this country, and to take them in large numbers, then they can begin to dominate the whole profession — teaching, practice, and so on. The way is open for them, and we are looking towards that. There is no humiliation and no domination in this. There is nothing in it that anyone need be ashamed of.

There was a surprise left for this morning after the surprises of last night. We were surprised last night to have a Minister put up by the Executive Council to defend this Bill who knew nothing about it. We expected at least that the Minister for External Affairs, on his return from his delicate and difficult negotiations, would know something about the matter. Evidently he knows very little about the Bill. He has made statements that are absolutely wrong. He does not know about several things that cropped up in connection with this agreement and this Bill. For instance, he has made the statement that if this agreement was not brought in the veterinary surgeons in this State would have to pay their fees to the British Veterinary Council. If the Minister had gone into that point, or had been advised by someone who had done so, he would know that it is actually illegal under the British law for the British Veterinary Council to collect fees in the Free State. I would like to inform the Minister that an Act was passed by the British Parliament in 1920, dealing with Veterinary education and the regulation of the Veterinary Register. In Clause 4 of that Act it was set out, for the first time in the history of the veterinary profession, that veterinary surgeons practising in the United Kingdom would be compelled to subscribe a guinea per year as a registration fee. Sub-section (4) privides that the section shall not apply to members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons who do not practise in the United Kingdom. I believe it is held by lawyers in this country and by members of the Executive Council that we no longer belong to the United Kingdom so that under the British Act the British Veterinary Council could not legally collect fees from their members in the Free State. In spite of that the Minister says that if this agreement had not been made they would have to continue paying their fees to the British Veterinary Council.

The Minister says that there is an analogy between the agreement made with regard to the medical profession and this one relating to the veterinary surgeons. He says that in both cases we went back to the position as if the Free State had never been established. That is exactly what the Minister has done. He has gone back and has handed over complete control of veterinary education in this country to the council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in London. He has given them that control as if the Free State had never been established.

The Minister for Agriculture, who is also a lawyer, was asked last night if there was any legal necessity for this Bill. He said there was a grave doubt about the matter. I do not know whether we are to be guided by the opinion of the Minister for Agriculture on matters of law or by the Minister for External Affairs either, but if there is a grave doubt as to whether there is any legal necessity for this Bill or not, and if the Bill is only putting us back into the position we were in before the Free State was established, then, in other words, this Bill is bringing us completely under the control of the Royal Veterinary College in London. Why were not steps taken to make certain that there was a legal necessity for the Bill before we were asked to suffer such a humiliation? The Minister who introduced the Bill, when driven to the point says there are some matters in it that can be altered later by amending legislation, or that can be discussed on the Committee stage and amended.

On the second reading of the Bill there was a long discussion on one particular clause in it in which farmer-Deputies were particularly concerned. The Minister, after putting up a brave defence for a while, said in the end that could be amended on the Committee stage. Now when he is attacked about the fees and when the injustice is pointed out to him of making veterinary surgeons in this country pay two guineas a year, whether they go on the general register or not, he says that can be amended.

I say that provision allowing for a smaller fee is in the Bill.

Two guineas.

No—"on condition."

So that if this Bill goes through the position of a man qualifying at Ballsbridge this year will be this: it will cost him nothing to go on the general register. His two guineas will be collected in any case. If he goes on the general register he can vote for four to be elected on it and also vote for the other four. If he does not go on the general register he will not have that advantage. If he goes on the general register he will have the option, if he wishes, of going to Northern Ireland or to Great Britain, but he will not have that option if he does not go on the general register. Everything that is in this Bill is calculated to force people to go on the general register, and once they are on then this Bill, if it becomes an Act, will be there to collect fees from these people and hand them over to the Veterinary Council in Great Britain.

The Minister contradicted the figures given by Deputy de Valera about the numbers that qualified. If the Minister is right about the figures and if he bases his arguments on them, the position is that we qualified two last year, three the year before, and five in the previous year. Surely we can absorb that number of men in the Free State. These figures give an average of three per year, and surely three men coming out each year ought to be able to get work in the Free State. We learn from the register itself that there are about 250 veterinary surgeons in practice in the Free State. If we only supply three qualified men per year it means that the average life of a veterinary surgeon in practice must be about 50 years. Surely we ought to be able to absorb here the three men who qualify each year. What, then, is the necessity for the Bill at all?

Why have the numbers dropped?

The necessity for this Bill, then, is to encourage more men to go in for the veterinary profession?

To keep them at home.

To encourage them to seek a career in Great Britain. We are to endow these men. The Minister wants to know where the endowment comes from. This House votes £5,400 every year for the college in Ballsbridge. We subsidise the export of veterinary surgeons, but we refuse to subsidise the export of other things that might be better for the country. The examinations here are not under our own control. They are under the control of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in London. The agreement sets out that the General Council will appoint two examiners, and that the Council in the Free State will nominate the principal teacher to be the third assistant examiner. But he must not be trusted to set the papers. He may be an Irishman teaching veterinary medicine in Ballsbridge. If he were to know what was in the papers he might give hints to his students. He could not be trusted. You must get two good men over from Britain who may be trusted to keep their mouths shut and not to tell what is in the papers. The papers are to be sent over under seal, and are not to be opened until the day of the examination, because we could not trust our professors to keep secret what was in the papers.

We are told that we have control of the veterinary profession here. We have not got control. We have not even got equal control with the Royal College in London. The Minister knows that, because it is in the agreement he signed. He knows that if the veterinary surgeon living in the Free State, who is on the general register here, as well as on the general register in Great Britain, commits an offence within the Free State, or if he is charged with professional misconduct, the Veterinary Council in the Free State is not permitted to try him. They are not to be trusted. Our men here at the head of the veterinary profession are not thought fit to know what professional misconduct is. They will be allowed to nominate one man on the Veterinary Council here, who is also on the General Council in London, and two others. With these three, two men will come across from the General Council in London to try a man here for professional misconduct, so that we are again going back to the position before the Free State was established. We shall have three men from the Veterinary Council in London to try a man here for professional misconduct. That is the position we were in before the Free State was established. On the other hand, a man on the General Register and on the Free State Register, living here, if he commits an offence in Northern Ireland or in Great Britain, will be tried by three members of the General Council in London without any representative of the Free State Council. Where is the reciprocal treatment there? There is no equality; no reciprocal treatment. It is altogether unlike the practice with regard to the medical profession, I would remind Deputy Hennessy, because I could see from the remarks he made to-day that he looked up the subject last night.

I did not. The Deputy looked them up.

[An Leas-Cheann Comhairle took the chair.]

Deputy de Valera pointed out the difference with regard to the examinations. They actually appoint the examiners here. As the Minister was not here last night I would like to show him the inequality. Any person on the general register can automatically go on the Free State register by paying a fee. A man qualified in any of the colleges in Great Britain can automatically come on our register. There is nothing to prevent a man who was qualified in Scotland or some other place getting an official position in the service of the Free State Government, and we have no opportunity of finding out whether such a man was properly qualified or not.

The examiners appointed by the General Council in London can hold examinations in the Scotch or British Colleges behind closed doors as far as we are concerned. We do not know whether men from these colleges are properly qualified or not, and they can come here and get on our register and practise veterinary surgery. If we send men to practise in Great Britain, the British, as Deputy Hennessy says, are entitled to find out if they are properly qualified. Perhaps the Deputy is right. But if the British are entitled to find out whether our men are properly qualified, are we not equally entitled to find out whether men who come across here are properly qualified? We have got no such right under the agreement.

I raised another matter last night in the absence of the Minister. Perhaps, as he is here now, he will be able to tell me whether it was through ignorance or not that he stated on the Second Reading that treason was not mentioned in the agreement. That statement was made on the Second Reading by the Minister, and it would lead Deputies to believe that the Minister, in signing the agreement to that effect with Mr. Thomas on behalf of the British did so without knowing what was in it. That was one definite departure from the agreements that were signed dealing with medical practitioners and dentists. The agreements signed dealing with medical practitioners and with dentists contained a clause dealing with crime, felony and misdemeanour. It did not contain anything about treason. When Bills were introduced dealing with medical practitioners and with dentists, treason was introduced into them in this House, but when this agreement was signed treason was brought into the agreement. On the Second Reading the Minister asked Deputy Fahy where treason was mentioned in the agreement. Evidently the Minister did not know it was there. Evidently the British representatives put it in, so that if we were inclined to change our minds in this House we could not do so. We must put treason into the Bill this time the same as we did before. Either that was the case or the Minister — perhaps as a sop during those delicate and difficult negotiations — offered to put treason into the agreement in the discussion with Mr. Thomas, to show that the Minister was really in earnest in his negotiations, and that we were going to be loyal subjects of the British Empire.

The Minister told us about the average number of students. I have got the prospectus of the Veterinary College. The latest year for which particulars are given is 1928. Here are the numbers. In 1924 there were 21 students. That is for the December examinations. In July, 1925, the number was 15, and in December 3, it was 9. That is 24 in all. In July, 1926, there were 8, and in December 3, making 11 in all. In 1927 between the two examinations the number was 12, and in 1928 it was 6. The number I gave was a fair average for those years. I had not got that later information, and I think if we are going to take an average and ask how many students are likely to come, we should not confine ourselves to two or three years as they might be exceptional. When we try to argue this and to point out the merits we are immediately challenged to personal combat by the Minister for External Affairs. He says: "Let us compare our records." That sort of challenge is one I do not care about meeting, but if we are to go into it, the Minister's own record is not so extraordinarily wonderful at all. When the Minister talks here about his own academic record and his connection with academic matters one would imagine that he was one of the most brilliant students who ever passed through the halls of any university.

Do not be personal.

I was not personal until personal remarks were made.

The Minister blew his own trumpet and he is being answered now.

I am not afraid of any record. When I went through the university I went through as a teacher, at the same time doing my own work. I had to educate myself, and I did it as a teacher, doing my work honestly as a teacher. I am not ashamed either of having been associated with another university. I went to that university because I intended at the time to do engineering. There was no other place in Dublin at which it could be done except that university and the College of Science. I had the choice either of doing engineering there if I were going to do it, or of doing it outside the country. I chose that university. I intended giving up the profession which I was in as a secondary teacher to go for engineering, but immediately I was about to enter on that course I was given an appointment as professor at the Training College at Carysfort, and because I was interested in teaching and because I felt that there was future work, good work nationally, and work which satisfied me personally, I gave up the other idea.

It is true that I did go for a scholarship on entering that university, and that I did not get it, just as it is true that I tried for a scholarship elsewhere and got it. It is disgusting to talk of this sort of thing, but when the Minister tries to impress members of the House that he himself is a superman, and that anyone who tries to criticise him is really no one, one has to answer these things. Myths are being created and they hope to get away with such myths. It pleases certain people to believe them, but the people of the country are waking up in regard to these myths about incapacity and the rest of it. When the circumstances of the time are examined calmly and dispassionately, I have no doubt that my judgment and my conduct in these matters will bear examination. I am not the slightest bit afraid of it. The Minister talks about a mythical cow. That matter has been twisted around. It was Lloyd George who used that phrase. When I explained the position of British Ministers in regard to the situation in the privacy of our own councils, I said that he reminded me of a man trying to sell a cow at a fair. That, however, was unscrupulously twisted about by people who wanted to defend their own conduct, as if I was selling Irish nationality, and that my attitude towards it was that of a farmer going to a fair with a cow.

We are not in the slightest bit afraid of the Minister in regard to any contrasts he may make about negotiations. My attitude was that unless we were able to make a bargain which we could stand over, unless it was a bargain that would be of advantage to the Irish nation, a bargain that would put the Irish nation on its feet, then it was better to make no bargain at all than to make a rotten one such as has been made. This is a rotten bargain. It is absolutely the same type of bargain as has been made in other respects and when it is pointed out——

Deputies

Sit down.

What is Deputy Dr. Hennessy's point?

A Deputy

It is not much anyway.

Keep your temper. I can talk to the Deputy outside if he likes.

When the disadvantages of this agreement to the country are pointed out and that it is going to subordinate Irish veterinary education to the requirements of a foreign college we have the Minister who made that agreement trying to pretend to the House that its operation will be the same as that in regard to the medical agreement. If he attempted to tell the truth he would know that it will not. He says that the old situation is resumed. The old situation is resumed, but there is a very great difference as regards the old situation. In the one case he admits that there is a dominant college, only one institution which holds its own examinations. It is the very same as if students of the National University were going to be prepared for the examinations of London University. There is no comparison whatever between the operations of the Medical Act and their consequences on medical education and what is going to happen in veterinary education if this agreement is accepted. Every teacher in the College will be put in the humiliating position of being simply a coach and a crammer to prepare students for a foreign examination.

I think it is up to us to stand for the dignity of our own institutions. There was a protracted fight made for the establishment of a National University here. I am surprised that I have not already seen the members from Trinity College standing up for their own institution. Probably they may not care to do so as they may not be going to establish a Faculty of Veterinary Science but, if they were going to do so and were interested in it, I am certain that they would stand up and say that their college was not going to be put in the humiliating position of being merely grinders and coachers for a foreign examination.

Let us see where we stand in this. This foreign body is going to examine and to send its examiners here. Permission is going to be given to teachers in the College who are preparing students for the examination to be present. They will be merely observers. Such a teacher will not set the examination, but will be allowed to set oral questions. He is, however, definitely prohibited from setting written questions. He will be a mere cipher. On the medical side it is quite different. There the teachers teach their own courses. There are certain regulations under the General Medical Council about five years' courses, but there is no interference here under the medical register. The inspectors can be present to satisfy themselves that the standards are all right. No professor worth his salt minds outside people being present when he is conducting his examination. He has confidence in himself and in his ability to conduct examinations. Outside men cannot interfere with the conduct of the examination, though they may report that in their opinion the standard was not quite right. That report goes back to the College for consideration, and the College authorities can take their own action. There are appeals and all the rest, but there is no real interference with the teaching. The system enables the institution to be autonomous, to do its own courses, and to do its own work.

If these regulations are going to be made here under this Bill you are going to have absolutely new conditions so far as universities are concerned. If there is going to be a Faculty of Veterinary Science established it will be in a position such as no other Faculty in the University is in. Students will, as a matter of course, go in for this outside degree, because the advantages given under it are such as to be compelling. Deputy Dr. Ryan mentioned the matter of the fee. It is an annual fee. In regard to the medical register, so far as I know, and I am open to correction, there is only one year's fee, and it is not, I think, an annual one. Here, however, an annual fee of two guineas is demanded of every registered Irish veterinary surgeon. If he wants to be registered abroad, one of these guineas has to be sent out, and, of course, as there are privileges attaching to registration abroad, he will say, "Use one of these guineas to put me on the other register as well."

There is not the slightest trace of any attempt to secure equality of treatment under this agreement. There are no words that we could use, without appearing to be extravagant, that would indicate the nature of the agree ment. A hope was expressed last night that members of Cumann na nGaedheal would do this and do that in regard to this measure. My own belief is that if Cumann na nGaedheal Deputies read the agreement and tried to understand its implications as to what it means, they would in their own private party meeting, if they did not want to vote against it, ask the Minister to withdraw it. You could go on with the Bill. You could set up an Irish Council under it. You could establish a faculty and go on with your own education. Then, as I said before, if you want to get these advantages for seven or eight students you can do so.

Deputy Dr. Ryan pointed out that the number was less than the number I mentioned, and if that is so it makes the matter worse. If, however, there are seven or eight students, taking an average over a number of years, and if they require to go outside, we can make provision for them otherwise than by subordinating our whole system of education in order to meet their requirements. The obvious way that would occur to anyone who wants recognition outside would be to try to get the same recognition given here as in the case of other colleges. I made it quite clear that I did not say that their degrees were not going to be recognised. I made it quite clear that there is recognition given. The student is exempted from a certain year's course, but attendance at one session at an affiliated college will give him the M.R.C.V.S. degree if he wants it. I hope that private Deputies will not vote for this motion.

I agree with much that Deputy de Valera has said, and I am very glad to see him stand up as strongly as he did for the autonomy of universities, but I think he has carried his remarks too far and too wide in regard to that autonomy. He generalises too much. What I think he stands for, and what I would stand for as strongly, is the complete autonomy of a university as regards its teaching and examinations in regard to its own degrees, its own diplomas and certificates, whatever they may be. If, however, a university definitely undertakes to prepare its students for the diplomas or degrees of another institution, it is autonomously making use of courses that are laid down for these outside degrees or diplomas. So far as I can see, there is nothing in the Bill which interferes in the very slightest degree with the autonomy of a university which wishes to set up its own courses, its own examinations, its own diplomas, for veterinary students.

It will remain afterwards to be decided whether the State will accept the teaching given for such diplomas and make it a legal qualification in the Free State. There is nothing, so far as I can see, in the Bill which interferes with the Free State, through its own Universities, giving its own education in regard to veterinary students who wish to practise veterinary science within the bounds of the Free State. That, I think, is the vital point. We reserve to ourselves complete authority as to whether we will or will not accept our own qualifications for the education and experience, whatever it may be, that is required from those who are going to practise veterinary science within our own bounds. We cannot expect any other State to do more than secure its own authority and its own supervision over the qualifications upon which it insists within its own bounds. I think that Deputy de Valera generalises far too widely, but I support all he said, and I am glad he said it, about insisting on the maintenance of the autonomy of our own Universities completely in so far as it relates to their own work.

There seems to have been a great deal of heat engendered on this rather interesting subject. I was not present last night when the Minister for Agriculture was speaking, but when I came in shortly afterwards, I found that Deputy MacEntee, like Queen Victoria, was not amused. The same could be said, judging from the tone of the debate, of the entire Fianna Fáil Party. I only intervene in the debate to do what I can to prevent the impression going out, as a result of Deputy de Valera's attitude, that there is a danger that there is going to be some peculiar situation set up in regard to veterinary education in this country or that it is going to be treated differently to the manner in which medical education is treated. Deputy de Valera talked in his long tale about a twisted cow — about the autonomy of the universities, and especially about the autonomy of the Medical Faculty in the universities and how they were altogether freer in their work than the Veterinary Faculty would be if set up in pursuance of the policy laid down in this Bill. As Deputy Thrift stated, there is, of course, a great deal of value in the autonomy of university teaching, but I think, from my experience of the Medical Faculty — which is not very great, but it is something— that the autonomy of the Medical Faculty in our universities can be exaggerated. For example, even the very framework of the examinations laid down for our medical students is not decided by our own universities. It is decided by the General Medical Council. A year or two ago the first year medical examination was changed altogether and two new examinations were substituted, not by the universities, but by the interference of the General Medical Council. The whole tendency and the whole orientation of university medical education are in the long run laid down and decided by the policy of the General Medical Council. Inside that there is plenty of autonomy and the professors have every opportunity of impressing whatever personality they care to impress upon the students. In medicine, or in any particular science, when the university decides to give a diploma which is recognised by other authorities it must, I think, conform its teaching and machinery to the wishes of these authorities.

As far as I understand this Bill, it differs only from those in medicine and dentistry, as the Minister has said, in the fact that the provisions for the education of veterinary surgeons in this country have been somewhat different in machinery from the provisions for the education of dentists and doctors. It just happens that instead of there being several teaching institutions there has been only one, which is jealously guarded and has a sort of monopoly for itself, especially in England, Scotland and Wales. The provisions of this Bill will, as far as I understand them, set up very much the same provisions, taking account of the difference in veterinary teaching in this country, as exists for medicine and dentistry. If there happen to be a special kind of machinery for dealing with the training of veterinary surgeons, this Bill has to be accommodated to some extent to that machinery, and the autonomy of Irish institutions is only to be affected by this Bill in so far as Irish institutions propose to train students for degrees given by foreign institutions. If Irish institutions want to do that, no matter how Deputy de Valera may complain of it, or no matter how the Fianna Fáil Party may murmur, they will always have to accommodate themselves to the wishes and regulations made by these foreign institutions. Perhaps Deputy de Valera and his Party would like that we should forget the existence of these foreign institutions or the necessity of keeping our institutions in line with them. Their attitude in this matter is the same as their attitude on the rules of order and debate in this House. They are constantly complaining that they have not got a whole machinery of government of their own, a whole Land Commission, and secretaries in order to put them on a level with the Ministry. Their attitude on every other subject, as I said, is very much the same. They want to take nature, shatter it to bits, and remould it to the heart and desire of Deputy de Valera. It cannot be done. They will have to accommodate themselves and our teaching institutions will have to accommodate themselves to the facts of the situation. The facts of the situation are that if we want to grant diplomas to people who want to use these diplomas outside Ireland, we will have to accommodate ourselves to the rules laid down by other authorities for these diplomas, but only for these diplomas.

I think the Minister has made it clear to any intelligent person that there is going to be every opportunity for our colleges to set up their own machinery for the training of veterinary surgeons in so far as veterinary surgeons are needed in the Irish Free State. What is more, the provisions which give the executive council power to take registration fees clearly imply that when such machinery is set up for the training of veterinary students in Ireland the executive council will take care that these students who are trained in Ireland for Ireland will get every possible advantage in this country. I do not see what more anyone can ask in this Bill or any other Bill. We can, if we like, turn our backs on the whole existing apparatus for the training of veterinary students. We can shut our eyes and forget that English institutions exist. Our students in medicine and dentistry have to accommodate themselves to the fact that English institutions exist. That happens in every branch of science, not only in medicine and dentistry and veterinary science but also in every other science, and the autonomy of the university is no greater than nature allows. The university has to accommodate itself not only in medicine and science but also in subjects like my own. We have to take into account that a standard exists, that there are people in other countries who know something about our subjects and our teaching has to be kept up to an international level. In doing so, we depart from that ideal glass wall autonomy for which Deputy de Valera seems so anxious. We have to face the facts of the situation and this Bill gives an opportunity to provide, in a satisfactory and thorough manner, for those of our students who want to get an opportunity in this country to qualify under the regulations of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and also makes ample provision for those in the future who wish to become qualified as veterinary surgeons in Ireland. I intervened to prevent whatever danger there may have been after the hysterical intervention of Deputy de Valera and his party that the public might get it into their heads that there was something peculiar and mysterious done by this Bill. Anyone who understands the situation, reads the Bill, or pays any particular attention to the matter cannot believe that there is anything mysterious being done or that any other course is being taken except the sort of course which was taken and the sort of policy which has been pursued in relation to the kindred sciences of dentistry and medicine.

Deputy Tierney said that the General Medical Council had a direct say in the framework of the examinations for the various universities. He spoke, in the same breath, of the autonomy of the universities. The professors in the medical faculty in the various universities have always at all times prided themselves on their autonomy, and as far as I know the General Medical Council have no say whatever in the framework of the examinations in the various universities. In fact, in Trinity College and in the National University the examinations are not conducted even in the same subjects in the medical faculty. The General Medical Council recognises the medical degrees given in Dublin, because, as Deputy de Valera pointed out, the medical teaching in Dublin has gained a reputation second to none in the world. Deputy Dr. Ryan mentioned some cases of reciprocity. No attempt has been made to refute these statements. The attempt to say that this Bill places the veterinary profession on a par with the medical profession in this country is not at all correct, because, as has been pointed out by various speakers on these benches, there is an absolute compulsion on the student who qualifies in veterinary science in this country because of the advantage that the register holds out to him to go on it.

That would not hold in medicine?

When a student is qualified in medicine he is asked only to pay one registration fee. When a student is qualified in veterinary science he is asked to pay an annual registration fee, and certain advantages are held out to him.

That is just one point in the Bill. There are other points which hold an inducement to the student. In fact, it is practically compulsory on students who qualify in veterinary science to go on the other register.

I would like to deal with a matter or two raised by Deputy Thrift. It is very easy for Deputy Thrift to deal with the purely theoretical aspect of the Bill. He has no practical interest in this. He has indicated that Trinity College is not going to establish a faculty of veterinary science.

Pardon me, I did not mean to suggest that.

I think there was an indication of that. We are interested in much more than the theoretical side of this. We are interested in the practical working out of this scheme, and I say, and Deputy Thrift or nobody else can contradict it, that under this scheme any faculty that is established in any of the universities is going to be handicapped. Take, for instance, the representation provided in this Bill. Take the control that will be exercised afterwards. The electors for four out of the eight are to be those who are registered in the foreign register. They are permitted afterwards to have, in addition to that, a vote for the other four as well. How long will it be after an independent faculty is established before the Irish universities get anything like a fair representation on that Council? It seems to me it would take a generation before you get anything like fair representation of the students or graduates of any of the new faculties that would be established. If there is this demand for students going outside, an effort will be made undoubtedly to meet that demand, and how are you going to meet it? Deputy Thrift put himself in the position of being registrar of this particular faculty, and trying to arrange for it. He has got to do either of two things, as far as I can see. He has got to take the foreign requirements and make these dominate the whole situation. He signs up his students along one line and says "we will take the degrees and examination as equivalent to our own." You may have your own examiner if you like, but you will have the domination of the foreign examination and you will have to fit in your course to it. I know that there are some people who will make a Z of themselves to accommodate themselves to a certain Minister indicated, there are authorities in the National University, or any of the Colleges who welcome this method and are satisfied with it, I say they are mighty easily satisfied. In order to accommodate themselves to any situation, apparently they would be prepared to live their lives in the form of a Z. I do not think that is a right position to take up.

The position we ought to take up is that we have certain home requirements that ought to be met. We have certain ideals in veterinary education, and we ought to set out to attain these. If this is done by a common examination, so to speak, then it is to be dominated by outside influences. We would be back to the old position of the grinder. There is another way of dealing with it. That is to run the two classes side by side, prepare one class for one course and another for the other. Then there is immediately a question of standard set up, and there are internal difficulties. For instance, if one tried to do it by arranging some sort of post-graduate course, then one degree would be said to be superior to another. If this agreement is ratified, in practice what is going to happen is, that the requirements of the foreign examining body are going to dominate the whole of the teaching here, and you have to accommodate yourself to it.

Deputy Tierney says that we have been able to accommodate ourselves to the medical requirements. I have got the medical regulations here. If Deputy Tierney wanted to read them he could get them in the calendar of his own College. They are of the widest possible type. There is no difficulty in conforming to them. For instance, in the first subject here we have—"In every course of professional study and examination the following subjects shall be included. No. 1, Elements of General Biology." The course of instruction includes practical work in the fundamental facts of vegetable and animal structure, life history and an introduction to the study of embryology. You might as well have left it the elements of general biology. It is the same way under every one of the other headings. The only exceptions, they say, are chemistry, physics and biology — instruction in these subjects in their application to medicine. Next we have human anatomy, human physiology. "This course shall include dissection of the entire body, and the history of the elements of embryology, bio-chemistry and bio-physics." Does not anybody who has any association with curricula or with courses know that out of that all you need to be given is human anatomy and human physiology. No teacher is restricted to that.

May I interrupt the Deputy. Will he take account of the fact that as well as these general regulations it often happens that University courses in these subjects are very much interfered with by the regulations of the General Medical Council? The pre-registration examination has practically changed the whole teaching of first year's medicine in my own College and in any other college that prepares students.

What I would conclude from that is that if a regulation to have a certain standard of entrance is to turn topsy-turvy the whole of the institution to which the Deputy belongs, then he ought to be mighty careful about letting in outside examiners.

The Deputy tries to turn what I said into a gibe against the college to which I belong. The General Medical Council in its wisdom decided that a change was necessary to prepare first-year students for their course in medicine. That did not happen because there was anything the matter with the particular college. It is an illustration of the fact which I want to try to bring home to the Deputy that under the system prevailing for medicine, which he seems to think is ideal, the General Medical Council in fact interfered to quite a considerable extent not only with programmes, but with the actual arrangement and machinery for teaching in the Colleges.

I did not suggest that I regarded it as ideal. I regard it as tolerable. I regard it as one they might live up to. I certainly did not mean it as a gibe of any kind, but I wanted to bring home to the Deputy that if the prescribing of a certain standard at the beginning, before students are allowed to be registered as having entered upon their medical course, is going to turn things topsy-turvy and interfere with what would be domestic arrangements within the College, how much more is there going to be interference, when you have got examiners coming over? The situation is going to be that which we had under the old Royal University, when you had an examining body, and the students and teachers in the different colleges compelled to conform to the requirements of the examination. The examinations became the programme. I say that that is tolerable. It does not interfere too much. I did not say it is ideal. Neither am I so foolish as to forget that if we do want privileges abroad, if our students want to get foreign degrees they must conform to the requirements of these foreign institutions. Let them, I say; that is their business. I did not suggest, at any time, that there should be any stop put to these people. I have even suggested that if it were necessary to facilitate them, certain bursaries or other sums of money might be made available for them to enable them to complete the extra year. I have not suggested that we should dictate to foreign bodies what should be their course for degrees for students. What I am arguing is as to the advisability of muddling our whole veterinary education here to meet such requirements. That is what I object to. I said there is no reason for it — that the necessity of meeting these foreign examinations could be provided for otherwise; that this is the worst way, because it does interfere with the domestic freedom of the teaching within the colleges. It is bound to do that.

The privileges given to the foreign examining body and to the students who will have got this foreign degree are of such a nature that they are going to dominate the whole situation afterwards. We will see in greater detail, when we come to other parts of the Bill, that there is no provision whatever in the Bill to meet these. I do not believe this agreement should be entered into. It is wrong and inadvisable, a waste of public money, and it is giving a wrong outlook to our education. I do not want to say anything harsh, but I was more than surprised that the Minister for External Affairs should introduce it.

Although Deputy Thrift, I believe, has no immediate interest in the matter, I am surprised that he would put his own university in this position. His university is likely to have a greater number of these students going to it than the other universities. If there are, are they going to provide at all for the home students? Deputy Thrift may feel that the majority of the students in his college are for export. He may therefore be inclined to say they are the majority of the students, and we are dealing with these. But we, at any rate, are not satisfied that the majority should go abroad. We see that there is room here for our own students, and that there are careers for them. There are about 250 veterinary surgeons at present. This is an agricultural country. Deputy Hennessy told us that England is our great market, and that it is a great thing to know that our degrees were recognised by the British people who will be eating our meat. I wonder if the Danish veterinary surgeons have got the M.R.C.V.S.

The Danes do not export cattle to England as we do.

They export cattle products. There is a great deal of dead meat coming in from the Argentine and Denmark.

It is well examined.

The English are also anxious about their own bodies. If they recognise our medical degrees and permit Irish medical men to practise on their bodies; if they are accepting the security they have got under the Medical Act, the same sort of security ought to be sufficient for them as far as veterinary surgeons are concerned.

Are the British going to accept the services of our veterinary surgeons? If they can get their own veterinary surgeons would they not employ them? When the United States wants to make sure that our emigrants are healthy they take care to have their own doctors. If they do employ Irishmen they are directly employed by them. They will not take any certificates from our medical men. Very wisely, they look after themselves. There is not the slightest point in the suggestion that we ought to satisfy the English because there is a market for our cattle and animal products in Great Britain. If there is they ought to be satisfied with having the safeguards which are in the Medical Acts applied here. If Deputies have not studied the matter themselves I do not think it is going to help them to make up their minds to have one person say "yes," and the other person say "no" on different sides of the House. One thing I say is that if this is passed and we ever get a majority in this House that is one agreement that is going by the board.

We have always understood that at no time have there been any extern examiners in medicine in Trinity College. Trinity College has not allowed extern examiners at its examinations.

They always appoint them. I followed Deputy de Valera on the theoretical lines on which he had been speaking, but I followed him with a great deal more goodwill on the practical points that he has raised since, because it seems to me that these academic points are not going to arise. It is true, as Deputy Tierney says, that in medicine there exists the theoretic domination of the General Medical Council over the education given in the universities, but in practice it hardly ever means more than this: that the university, of its own free will, wants to make its courses as good as they can be made. It has its own representatives on the General Medical Council, who hear the whole subject discussed and express their own views as to what that education ought to be, and it adopts the recommendation made with the object of improving medical education. Here I think the theoretic domination of the Council will prove in practice to be a mere nothing. A university setting up a faculty of this kind would itself desire to make the education in that faculty of the best kind. It would, therefore, be ready to adopt as its course the lines of teaching which have been found in practice to be of the first quality. Whatever theoretic objections there may be, to my mind the practical ones will turn out to be almost of an immaterial kind.

The speeches made by Deputies Thrift and Tierney have done away with all the arguments urged against this provision except one or two small points. Deputy Dr. O'Dowd intervened to say that in his opinion the universities have always claimed that they had autonomy. So they had. As Deputy Tierney said, the frame-work of any medical examination system is laid down by the General Council. The thing which Deputy de Valera with all his reading from the University Calendar and regulations cannot get away from is this, that if the General Council like to-morrow to establish a particular system of examination and inspection and, by that to divert the course of medical education, they certainly can do it for those who are going to take out their degree. The loose way in which it is conducted at present does not get away from that point, that the General Council if it likes, for those who want to take the degree recognised by the Council, can rule at every point in detail, which it does not do at the moment. That it relaxes that inspection system, that it is rather easy in its mind with regard to the conditions here, does not get away from that point. If it is easy in its mind that is because there has been a long connection and experience of medical education here, and the system under which medical examinations were held. But let people quote regulations as they like, the last thing is this, that the Medical Council can rule. The Council do rule. They are only accepted because it is realised that within that general scheme at present there is autonomy. If they exercised the rule in a way in which it is not liked here the people could cut adrift. Deputy Thrift said correctly that there is not one line, as far as the agreement is concerned, that has a direct impact upon a course of veterinary teaching in this country. Deputy de Valera says that the examination is going to be set by certain people, and that the examination dominates the course. He even went the length of giving the analogy of the old Royal — a completely different state of affairs existed there — and said the examination became the course. It might have in systems where extern students ruled, and where the men who did not attend lectures and tried to study for an examination by reading in their spare time, naturally went to the examination records to see the type of questions that were being set by the examiners, and accommodated themselves to that system. But in the teaching system it is different. It is a mid-Victorian idea, that the questions for the veterinary examination rule the teaching. It is ludicrous. It definitely does show a complete lack of touch with the teaching institution.

I have been longer in touch with teaching institutions than the Minister.

The Deputy may have been, but he has got out of touch with the system for some time. Supposing there was some point on which there was a divagation of thought, there might be a fear that an examiner, with set views, might prejudice students who answered questions along other lines, but there are no such theories coming to the top with regard to veterinary education. If they do emerge, and if it is seen that a wrong type of training is being insisted on here through the mode of the examination set by outsiders, it is within our power to change it. At present there is no prospect of that happening. I cannot understand the Deputy's point either, viewed from another angle. Our students are going to be taught in a particular way by the professors here, because these professors see ahead the examination papers likely to be set in a particular way by outsiders. The alternative is to get the college recognised as a place where the two, three, or four early years may be passed, but where for the final year's teaching the student has to go abroad, has to go over to the very people who are only exercising their influence, if at all, at long range through an examination paper. He is to sit under these people for the fourth term. What is it governs the whole course of any system of education? It is not the preliminary years. It is the qualifying examination — the last year.

I should like to point out that you have to separate the two classes of students. First, there are those who want to go away. These are the people who are going in for a foreign degree. Let them go. You will have your own final year for your own students.

Our people are going to be teaching here and have certain students before them, some, as we all know from the facts of the situation existing at present, a minority who are only looking for an Irish diploma, and the majority who are looking for a foreign diploma. The majority are going to take out four preliminary years here, and are going to go abroad for the final year's training and to sit for the qualifying examination. Is that going to have as big an effect on the training, even in the earlier years, as the setting of an examination paper, with an influence at a long distance, as I called it before?

It will not influence those who remain at home.

The Deputy spoke of influence brought to bear upon students through the teaching of our own teachers from the fact that the majority of our students were going to sit for that examination?

They would not bother about them if they were wise. They would have their own course.

What is going to be the difference in the system of training if we cut ourselves completely off from the Veterinary College in London? Is there any big point arising in which we see a new diversion given to teaching here as opposed to the present? When that emerges we can see the danger. So far from there being any danger, I do not think we can see the possibility of any great divagation between the two systems. The Deputy, possibly, through his experience in other matters, may have gone into this more deeply than I have, but I am taking my views from people who have been professors. I do not put up a certain amateurish point with some quasi-political mysticism. I am going on the exact things submitted to me by people who are experts. I am not enamoured of the Deputy's argument with regard to the teachers' difficulties that are going to result from these examination papers being set on the other side.

The whole course determined by the examination?

The whole course determined by an examination, and it would not be determined by men having to go abroad and take a qualifying examination for the last year. As Deputies Thrift and Tierney pointed out, in this matter we are dealing with those who want to go in for an outside diploma. So far as those who do not want to go in for an outside diploma are concerned, if they are the majority, the situation will right itself. This Bill does not impose anything in the way of influence or terror upon the teaching staff. They can go along as they like. They are teaching for a diploma that will enable the students to practise in this country, and that is entirely and completely within their control. Deputy de Valera wants to know how long will it be until we get an equal representation for the men who qualify to go on the Irish Register only, how long it will take to get proper dominance in the Council if we only start now? When does the Deputy want us to start? We can only start when we get the people qualified. The Deputy wants to give representation to a non-existing class. It will be time enough to deal with that when the matter arises. Deputy Ryan raised a variety of points which were really more irrelevant than Deputy de Valera's. There were, however, two points raised by him which I might deal with. The first was with regard to the fees. The fees are not fixed. The fees are such fees as shall be determined by the Executive Council, and, until such determination is made, two guineas. Two guineas even is not fixed. It can be changed the day after the passage of the Bill.

Perhaps he will change it before then.

Not in the ludicrous fashion that the Deputy tries to achieve by an amendment. It can be changed, however. The two guinea fee is not actually there at all. It is only if another determination is not made. What will rule the fee in the end is this: What are the expenses as regards the upkeep of the home register with regard to home students, and that portion of the foreign register which has to do with those students who take out that foreign degree. That is the only thing that will rule. There has to be some experience gained as to what the expenses are likely to be, what the number of students are likely to be, and then one can get a division as to the fee. There is no question of two guineas. There is no question of an incentive by way of a fee to people to drift across. The figures were referred to. The figures were small. I asked why are they small — why have they fallen off in the last three years? Because the students have realised what apparently Deputies have not realised, that the examinations conducted here were, in fact, illegal, and that the diplomas were not being legally granted. These people do not want to have their diplomas in any way clouded, and quite a number who ordinarily would have taken their degrees in Ireland have gone to other institutions. The Deputy talked of encouraging these men to make their careers abroad. Many of those who went to other institutions to get a degree intend to make their careers here, but they want to get a degree which will entitle them to practise abroad if necessity drives them. There is no question of even encouraging their career abroad. The legal point with regard to degrees drove a certain number of people to take their training in other institutions.

With regard to the famous point about treason, some Deputy spoke on the Second Reading about striking off every person being in the agreement. I said it was not in the agreement, and neither is it, and I say so still. What is in the agreement is that if a person is adjudged guilty of treason in this country and is after that put off our register by our Council he will not be able to go to England and say he is a member of the General Council and then come back here by virtue of that channel. That is my clause in the agreement and nobody else's. I am not going to have people adjudged guilty of treason in this country being shoved back on us as veterinary surgeons because an English authority did not think them guilty of treason. I would like the Deputy to ponder over that.

Why did the Minister ask "Where is treason in the agreement"?

The whole question under discussion at the time was about people being knocked off for treason. There is nothing in the agreement imposing on us the necessity to drive the people off because of treason. If the Deputy thinks there is we will go through the agreement with a microscope.

Deputy Fahy said that treason was brought into the agreement for the first time.

No. The discussion centred around striking off for treason.

Question put —"That Section 2 stand part of the Bill."
The Committee divided: Tá, 66; 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.
  • Connolly, Michael P.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Crowley, James.
  • Daly, John.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • Dolan, James N.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Egan, Barry M.
  • Finlay, Thomas A.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Gorey, Denis J.
  • 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.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
  • McDonogh, Martin.
  • MacEóin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Myles, James Sproule.
  • 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, The.
  • O'Reilly, John J.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Reynolds, Patrick.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • Tierney, Michael.
  • White, John.
  • White, Vincent Joseph.
  • Wolfe, George.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.

Níl

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Broderick, Henry.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Clery, Michael.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Colohan, Hugh.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Flinn, Hugo.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Mullins, Thomas.
  • O'Connell, Thomas J.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Tubridy, John.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle; Níl, Deputies G. Boland and Allen.
Question declared carried.
SECTION 3.
(3) The Council shall consist of eight members who shall in the first instance be nominated and subsequently be elected by the persons and in the manner provided in this Act.

I beg to move amendment 1:—

To delete sub-section (3) and substitute a new sub-section as follows:

The Council shall consist of eleven members appointed, nominated or elected from time to time as follows, that is to say:—

(a) one shall be appointed annually by the Executive Council;

(b) two shall be appointed annually by the Executive Council to represent the Universities and Colleges in Saorstát Eireann recognised for the time being by law as empowered to grant in Veterinary Science diplomas or degrees which confer on the possessor thereof the right to be registered in the register;

(c) eight who shall in the first instance be nominated and subsequently elected by the persons and in the manner provided by this Act.

The purpose of this amendment is, I think, clear, following the general discussion we have had on the agreement. Its main purpose is to provide that some fair representation would be given, in the early years at any rate, to home students who are registered on the home register, who do not want to be registered on the foreign register, and who are anxious to have purely home degrees. There may be some objection taken to the wording. I had to try to get some words which would fit in with the general framework of the Bill and I used the word "appoint" as distinct from "nominate." The word "nominate" is used in a particular sense in the Bill and I did not want to disturb that. The draughtsman will, no doubt, look into the matter. In this case the intention is that over and above the eight representatives provided for in the Bill there should be three others, one to be appointed by the Executive Council. I think in the case of other councils they have representation. I think they have representation on the medical and dental councils: and, as there is public money involved here, I think it is only right that there should be a representative of the Executive Council.

The real purpose of the amendment is to try to get indirectly, seeing they cannot get it directly, representation for the students of the institution that may be training students for home service. When the Minister was introducing the Bill he said that Section 31, which I read out last night, clearly foreshadowed the establishment of a faculty in one of the Universities. I asked the Minister for Agriculture to develop that theme and indicate their plans. The Minister for Agriculture was unwilling to do so. I do not know whether the Minister for External Affairs is equally unwilling, or whether there was anything in that statement of his at the time. If they have a plan in their minds for establishing such a faculty, then there would be two members appointed by the Executive Council on the Irish Council to represent the institutions that would be in training. In that way you would get from the start some representation for the students who are being prepared for home service.

If you leave conditions as they are under the Bill, here is the position. To start with, you have got all the existing practitioners with the M.R.C.V.S. degree, and the great majority of them would be registered in the foreign register. They are all entitled to register in the home register once it is opened. They will elect four members of the Council and these are to be the Irish representatives on the London Council. There will be four out of thirty-six. These four will sit on both Councils. The four who will be elected on the Irish Council will be elected by the graduates of the London College. These graduates are also entitled to vote a second time, and they are entitled to vote for the other four as well. They are assured of one-half from the very start, and they are assured of the other four until such time as those on the home register catch up with them.

Might I draw attention to the fact that the Deputy's argument is so interesting that there is not a quorum present?

Unfortunately that happens.

If the Leas-Cheann Comhairle will direct his attention to the gallery he will see that there are any number of Deputies interested.

Deputy de Valera may proceed. A quorum is now present.

What Deputy Wolfe has referred to is one of the difficulties here. When important public matters are being discussed there are scarcely half a dozen Deputies listening. It is not our fault. We considered this difficulty before, and we suggested that some arrangement might be made to suspend the session at meal times. The same thing happens at every sitting. There are a few of us arguing one at the other. We are not likely to convince each other, and yet the people whose votes will decide the issues, who will really be the jury, are not here to listen. I regret that state of affairs just as much as the Deputy who made the remark. If we do not make provision of that particular kind we are going to have a situation in which the Irish Council is going to be elected by those who are entered on the London register. In order to even up that equality I see no way in which we can provide for it other than by what is suggested here. The only way in which we see provision can be made is to give the Executive Council the right to appoint one member representing them if they wished; that is, some one member of the profession in whom they would have special confidence. The two to be appointed would represent any institution or institutions that might have faculties in veterinary science. The idea of giving nomination to the Executive Council is that I cannot see any other simple way of evening up the inequality which is bound to exist from the start.

The difficulty with the amendment is that it seeks to equalise an inequality by giving nomination to people who do not exist. That does not seem a sound thing to do. It is out of accord with the ordinary system whereby this type of council is built up. The ordinary course and the course which those who are more expert at draftsmanship that I am advise, is that if and when a new university is set up, or a university already existing is granted recognition of its degrees, then in legislation dealing with that, that will be the time to give representation. The amendment provides that two shall be appointed annually by the Executive Council to represent certain universities and colleges. These universities and colleges with that particular condition do not exist. The time to change the Veterinary Council properly arises when legislation recognising the degrees or diplomas of the universities is brought forward.

Will legislation be necessary for that?

Quite definitely.

Supposing the National University set up a faculty in veterinary science, would not the Council be competent to recognise that without legislation?

No. They are entitled to recognise things which are the law for the time being, and to grant degrees in a particular way. A university can set up a faculty in veterinary science, as it has established a faculty in law, but that does not entitle anyone who gets the degree to practise. Certain other professional degrees are recognised. Certain universities grant degrees in divinity, but, I understand, they do not entitle a man to preach.

That would correspond with the Council?

No. The whole thing has to be done under the law. If we establish, as we intend to very soon, a particular university in such a way that it can have recognition given to its degrees for the purpose of professional practice, which it now has not, then will be the time to fit in members on the Council. Some years ago I took up this question of getting a transfer of the property, and of everything else, from the Veterinary College to University College, Dublin, and had in mind the establishment in the University, of which it is a college, faculties, in such a way that professional degrees might be granted and be regarded as qualifying for professional practice. It was a difficult, complex sort of matter. We were definitely afraid of one danger, the danger being that if students began to see arrangements being made for the establishment of new faculties that would grant professional rights, and nothing being done with regard to the arrangements with the Veterinary College in England, we would certainly have a much more marked drift across than there is at the moment. We tried to have the agreement first. The agreement has been a point about which there has been delay. I have very definitely the intention, if the Executive Council's desire is so expressed, that the property, buildings, and emoluments now granted to the College known as the Veterinary College should be transferred to or incorporated in the shell of the National University of Ireland, with particular relation to University College, Dublin. Legislation to that effect will be brought forward at some future date. That will be the time to deal with this matter of representation. We cannot see at this moment that it would come in. It would be out of accord with the ordinary run of legislation that representation be given to a non-existing body.

I am quite prepared to accept that if the Minister promises that if this faculty is set up there will be a definite representation given to the university or to the college.

I think I can be relied upon to see to that.

If the Minister says he can be relied upon to see to this, I do not see any reason why he should not give a definite promise.

I think the Deputy must rely on what I said.

If the Minister is so indefinite that he will not give a promise, I will have to force our views. I am quite willing to withdraw the amendment if that simple indication is given. If he says definitely that he is prepared to give representation to the university the moment a faculty is established there, I am satisfied. I see no reason why we should not get an assurance in explicit form. The Minister gave no explanation with regard to clause (a), that a representative, even temporarily, be appointed by the Executive Council. There is no reference to the representation of any institution. That clause does not suffer from the fault that the Minister imputed to clause (b). The advantage, to my mind, is that there is undoubtedly going to be domination on the Council in the earlier years by the holders of extern degrees. At least let us have some representation, even four and four. The Minister I hope later may be prepared to divide the Council. Let the extern students vote for four. As those on the home register would have four, then the appointee of the Executive Council would hold the balance. That would be, at least, some indication that the home position was not to be a subordinate one. I would ask the Minister carefully to consider that, and to agree that in the present circumstances it is advisable there should be an appointee from the Executive Council. As well as I remember, there are two representatives of the Executive Council on the medical register and one on the dental register.

There are other nominations. In the case of the other two councils it is mixed — a nominated and elected body.

Does the Minister mean that in this case the other members are elected, and that therefore this is cutting in across a scheme of complete election?

That is the point.

Is there any reason why the scheme should not be of one kind, why there should not be one appointed member on a council of eight? He is not going to dominate it. Remember that this department of agriculture is being handed over. It is State property at the moment, and is directly under the control of the Minister for Agriculture. This is a question of the control of the profession. It seems to me, therefore, that there is no argument against having one appointee of the Executive Council. State funds will undoubtedly be involved, and I think it is not unreasonable that the State should have one representative out of nine.

With regard to an appointment by the Executive Council, as I have said, in the other cases it is a mixed body, nominated and elected. In this case there may be nomination at the beginning, but when the Council has regularly established itself we expect it will be a completely elected body. Therefore we do not think it necessary to have a representative of the Executive Council on it. Our experience with regard to the Medical and Dental Councils is that we should be cut away from all those bodies. Certain Ministers have touch with the particular bodies, and it is better that should be exercised in a particular way from the outside than by having one member sitting on the Council who is in a hopeless minority.

Generally speaking, our experience of people elected on these bodies to represent the Executive Council has been that where there is any difficult policy to determine the onus of determination — I am speaking now not so much of the medical councils, but of other outside bodies — is thrown on that particular individual. We, therefore, had no thought of appointing in this case. Our opinion is that if we have to go into this system of appointment the time to determine that will be when the university college is getting power to grant degrees for professional purposes. I have already indicated my intention clearly enough with regard to the second part of the amendment.

I will have to proceed with my amendment then, because I think that the system of representation provided for in the Bill is hopelessly unbalanced and unfair.

Is the balance going to be rectified by putting on two people elected by a body not existing?

I said before that I was not pursuing that point. The Minister is not prepared to give a definite assurance with regard to this. That is quite clear. In that case I must persist with the amendment. The Minister thinks that it would be beneath him to give us a straight indication of what he proposes.

I have already given quite a straight indication and do not propose to go any further.

I want to get an indication from the Minister that when this is to be done it will be so.

I have given my answer in my own way, and I am not going to be dictated to.

In that event we will deal with this in our own way. The Minister is not prepared to give an explicit promise. We think that to wait until the appointment system is introduced is altogether wide of the mark. I am willing to admit that there is a certain amount of reason so far as paragraph (b) is concerned. As regards (a) I am not going to accept what the Minister has said, because I think that it is absolutely necessary in the present circumstances to have some such representation. I must, therefore, press the amendment.

Question put —"That sub-section (3) stand part of the section."
The Committee divided: Tá, 62; Níl, 43.

  • 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.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Connolly, Michael P.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Crowley, James.
  • Daly, John.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • Dolan, James N.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Finlay, Thomas A.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Gorey, Denis J.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Jordan, Michael.
  • Law, Hugh Alexander.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
  • McDonogh, Martin.
  • MacEóin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Myles, James Sproule.
  • 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, The.
  • O'Reilly, John J.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Reynolds, Patrick.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • Tierney, Michael.
  • White, John.
  • White, Vincent Joseph.
  • Wolfe, George.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.

Níl

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Clery, Michael.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Flinn, Hugo.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Mullins, Thomas.
  • O'Connell, Thomas J.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Tubridy, John.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.
Tellers—Tá: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle. Níl: Deputies G. Boland and Allen.
Motion declared carried.
Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
SECTION 7.
(3) From and after the final establishment of the Council the elected members of the Council who are not general elected members should be registered veterinary surgeons resident in Saorstát Eireann and shall be elected by the registered veterinary surgeons who are for the time being resident in Saorstát Eireann.
(5) Registration in the general veterinary register shall neither disqualify nor be a qualification for being elected or holding office as a limited elected member of the Council or for voting at an election of limited members of the Council.

I move amendments Nos. 3 and 4:

To add at the end of sub-section (3) the words "and are not registered in the general register."

In sub-section (5), to delete the word "neither" in line 33, and the words "nor be a qualification" in line 34.

The object of the amendments is to provide one set of voters voting for both parts of the Council. Those who are registered on the London Register first of all vote for four, and then they are allowed to vote for the remaining four. I think they ought to opt which four they prefer to vote for, and, having voted for four, I do not see why they should be allowed to vote for the others. The Minister indicates that from an early stage he thinks it is possible, though I am not so sanguine, that a number of those who are registered at home will not arrange to register on the London Register at all. I think that is most unlikely as long as the present position regarding transfer fees remain. Accordingly, I think it is only fair that whatever number are at home should, at least, as they are intimately connected with the home situation, have their proportion on the Council. It may for a little while work in their favour from the point of view of numbers, but I think if there is an undue balance in that way it is justified. The effect of the amendment is that those who will choose to vote for the four first members, and who are on the outside register, should not be allowed to vote for the remaining four who should be voted for by those on the home register only.

Is that what the Deputy aims at, because the amendments go a good deal further?

Perhaps the Minister would point out how they do.

The Deputy indicated four members of the Council and leaves the Council for the first period to consist of only those who are registered on the General Register because in fact the class to whom he gives voting power in sub-section (3) do not exist. How is he going to get over that?

At the very start there is a system of nomination, is there not? The moment the register is established——

It might be the 13th May.

The moment it is established it is to be presumed, if there are to be classes at all, that there will be some people in the classes.

Where are they to come from?

Those who may not choose to be registered abroad at all. It is really an equivalent to an option for those who are registered on both. At the start they will be registered on both and they can exercise an option. They can choose to be registered on the home register only and vote as such. The point I want to provide for is that they should not vote on both. I do not think that is reasonable. I think there would be some voting in both classes.

Although you laughed at me.

I say it is unreasonable but I do not think it is likely. However, I think those on the home register—

Although it is improbable they will be there at all.

According to the Minister, I am trying to provide for all possibilities in this particular direction. As it stands, what happens is that the whole eight will be elected by those outside. It does not matter whether the number is four or eight. They are going to have the whole Council to themselves for a considerable time. My amendment is likely to make a change fairly rapidly, but without it the Bill is simply giving the other party complete control.

The amendment as it stands is utter rubbish. People who will vote for the second four are to be elected by Veterinary Surgeons resident in Saorstát Eireann and not registered on the General Register. There are no such persons.

Not at the start.

When are they likely to come into being? At least not before the establishment of a degree conferring Corporation in this country other than the Royal Veterinary College. Therefore, for some period the change is going to throw the whole Council into the hands of people in the first group. It is going to be composed of the first group, the people in sub-section (2).

That would be sufficient.

But the Deputy is taking power from these people.

It cannot take power at the outset. It will take considerable power the moment the other class comes in.

The idea is that a man who has done everything to get the degree of M.R.C.V.S., and done everything to get himself on the register, so that he can flow to our register, will then suddenly say to himself "For the purpose of voting for the Council I am going to remove my name from the General Register." The Deputy is making a distinction which is not there as between these two classes. It is not as if they were a group of foreigners coming in from outside and dominating the Council over the natives. These are natives. They have to be residents of this country. They have to take out their degrees, and they must be citizens of this State.

The Deputy thinks that once a man gets the degree of M.R.C.V.S., he is going to have a foreign outlook even though he is resident here. He said that if a man sits for the examination and gets on the register he will immediately wipe his name off the General Register because he wants to vote for a small group. If the Deputy wants this amendment considered seriously, and its purpose effected, let him put it down on Report, and make a voter on both registers opt as to whether he will vote for the first four or the second four. That is not what this is doing.

I am quite prepared to deal with it on the basis of option. The Minister has made no case as to what is likely to happen in the future. There is a suggestion from Deputy Dr. Ryan that should help in the matter. That is the question of fees. If an Irish veterinary surgeon at home had only to pay 10/- to get on the Irish Register, and to get on both had to pay 30/-, or whatever fee may be suggested, then there would obviously be no inducement to the veterinary surgeon who is practising at home to get on the register. In that way eventually we might be able to get into a situation in which you would have a number on the home register and on the foreign register. The ideal system would be to have an option for those who are on both registers so that they will only vote once, but those who are on the home register, as well as those who may opt for the home register, will elect four.

If the Minister says he is prepared to meet a proposition of that sort on the Report Stage I am quite willing to withdraw the amendment and to frame it in a form other than that which is here. Even as it is here, it is very much better than the situation as it stands without it. On the Report Stage the Minister can frame an amendment that will give the power of option to those who are on both registers, and to those who ought to be on the home register. If the Minister is prepared to consider this sympathetically I am prepared to withdraw it pending the Report Stage.

Let me get the position clear. The Deputy has used three terms — am I prepared to meet him, to accept it, or to consider it sympathetically. The phrase I used was that I would look into it. The Deputy has got into a mess over this amendment. It does not achieve what the Deputy seeks. If he wants to achieve that purpose he would be well advised to withdraw the amendment and bring it in on the Report Stage or else he can let the House decide on it now. I cannot possibly say what the sense of it will be on the Report Stage until I see it.

I agree that the House has a right to decide on it, but in case there is agreement the House is not likely to divide. If the Minister is prepared to go into it——

The idea is not clear to me.

Perhaps I will make it clear. As I understand the Bill, the arrangement in connection with the Council is going to operate in this way. Those who are on both registers will be able to vote for the four who are special to themselves and they are able to vote also for the limited four. Their numbers are likely to be such that they will control the Council for a very long period. I do not think that that is fair or right. I want to have a provision made so that those on the home register only will be able to have at least representation on half the Council. In order to effect that, and to prevent anybody having two votes, the system should be that those who are on both registers would opt as to which they would vote for. Those who opted to vote for the limited four would be added to those who are only entitled to vote for the limited four on the home register. That would mean dividing the representation between those who are clearly, by their option, interested in a special way in the foreign register, and those who indicated that they had no such interest, that they are interested specially in the home situation.

As explained now, the proposal is very unattractive. Where we differ is on points of principle. I do not think that a man has denationalised himself in any way by getting the degree of M.R.C.V.S., or that he denationalises himself by holding on to it.

I am not suggesting that he has denationalised himself. There is, as the Minister knows, a certain amount of esprit de corps, call it what you like, a certain spirit among people who have the same degree. They look upon themselves as being slightly different from those who have got other degrees. There is a possibility that there would be a certain clannishness in that regard. I do not suggest that it would be denation-alising because they took an outside degree, but I do think that those who take a home degree and who have launched themselves definitely, once and for all, on the home seas are likely to be interested in the Irish situation very much more than others. These people are much more likely to be interested in the Irish side of the situation. The others will have some outside interests. They may be people who are going into the Indian veterinary service.

They will not be entitled to vote.

I am trying to indicate that there may be a considerable difference of outlook between people who serve in the Royal Veterinary Corps and those who lived here and worked here under Irish conditions.

The Deputy spoke of those who launched themselves on the Irish sea. Are we going to say that a man is not interested in Irish conditions because he takes his degree in the R.C.V.S.? Although sprung from this country, while abroad he has not the right to vote. While they are resident in the Irish Free State these people are entitled to vote. If a medical man in this country decides to take the Fellowship of the College of Surgeons that will not change his outlook. He is getting the additional degree for the purpose of bettering himself in his home practice. The division the Deputy is making is an artificial one, that the people who get the home degree are different from the people who get the home degree plus some other. As long as they are practising in this country I do not see how it can be argued that there is a wrong outlook.

I am not prepared to accept that.

You can put down your amendment for Report Stage.

Before I withdraw I would like to point out that it is not the degree alone that is in question. A man who was resident and practising in Ireland has to pay a guinea to be registered. He is doing that for some definite purpose and not merely to improve his practice.

What is the purpose? To get the M.R.C.V.S. degree and hold it.

He can hold it as far as I know.

No, except by paying his fee.

In this Bill there is a distinction. If a man has the M.R.C.V.S. and wants to go on to the general register he has to pay a guinea extra. Assuming that he has the M.R.C.V.S. and says: "I am going to practise here at home. I do not want to pay the guinea."

But he wants to keep the M.R.C.V.S. at the same time.

No, he wants to practise.

Will not our own Council allow him to practise if he has a home degree?

Even if he gets his qualification in Ballsbridge.

Suppose a man gets the M.R.C.V.S. through examinations and gets on the home register. He comes home and gets on it from the flow of the general register to this country. He says: "I am not going to pay a fee to the general veterinary register." What title has he to be a veterinary practitioner at all? He has none.

He has the knowledge.

The Deputy knows well that there are quite a number of men in the country with good medical qualifications who have not passed certain examinations and are not allowed to practise.

If he comes from the general register must he continue on the general register for the rest of his life?

That is a point we must stretch out later: but I cannot see the equity of the situation of using this college as a means for getting the examination and then allowing a man to come in here and practise at home without paying the fees that practitioners in England have to pay.

He is paying his fee here.

If the Royal College of Surgeons is not getting a fee from a man the Deputy knows that there is legislation by which they can recover the fee from practitioners in the United Kingdom. The tendency definitely is that the payment of a fee annually is essential to the continuance of the right to hold a degree.

Payment of the fee is within the United Kingdom, and why specifically put in a clause applying it here?

Their whole system applied to those who were resident and practising in the old United Kingdom. They did not want to say, with regard to a man in Australia or Canada: "We are going to keep an eye on you with regard to professional misconduct, and so on." That state of things will not operate with regard to practitioners in this country. They would include us in the old United Kingdom, but that law, being passed, made a new situation. The Deputy will have to consider the likelihood of the Veterinary College taking action against men getting degrees and not going to pay fees.

Cannot the men remain at home?

They lose cognisance of a man outside.

He is still on the general register.

The situation is different with regard to this country.

Here is the position apparently then. Here we have a degree of such a character, according to the Minister, that you have to continue to pay a fee before you are entitled to have that degree at all, but it is not altogether so ridiculous as that. In England, what happens is they are empowered to take legal action to recover the fee. They do not take his M.R.C.V.S. from him. They are only entitled to proceed against him and compel him to pay the fee. The point here is they were not able to do that.

By reason of the change.

What is being done is the Free State Council is going to be a collecting agency for them. The point about this continued payment of money in order to be able to retain the degree is different from any other degree I know.

Dentistry is the same. There is a fee there for registration.

Do you mean here or in England?

Both places.

Is not the penalty that if you do not pay you may be removed from the register? If a dentist has got a university or other degree he is not going to be deprived of that degree. He may be deprived of his right to be on the register because there is a certain fee prescribed. In this particular case, if a man goes and gets a foreign degree, if it is to be of any use to him, he has to continue paying for it. Surely the Minister does not suggest for a moment that if a man gets the M.R.C.V.S. degree and gets on our register here he will be compelled to pay to the London College, either directly or indirectly, or he will not be allowed to practise here?

I think so. Here is the situation. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons will not make it a matter of striking off the register but will say "we can sue for it as a civil debt." They cannot sue in our courts. What is the natural alternative? They have not people under their own control. The people may be citizens of another country. Does the Deputy imagine that they intend to allow those people to continue to hold their degree without paying a fee? They cannot sue for the fee. The obvious remedy is for them to say "very well, we will adopt the medical system. If the fee is not paid there will be a report to the register who will strike them off."

I move to report progress.

The Dáil went out of Committee.
Progress reported. Committee to sit again on Wednesday, 25th March.
The Dáil adjourned at 2 p.m. until Wednesday, 25th March at 3 p.m.