Constitution (Removal of Oath) Bill, 1932.—Committee Stage (Section 1 Resumed).

Question proposed: "That Section 1 stand part of the Bill."

Mr. Hayes

Before the section is put, I would like to draw the attention of the President to a statement which he made last Friday night in concluding the debate on the Second Stage and when arguing for the deletion of Article 17 from the Constitution. I am quoting from the Official Report of the 29th April, column 1102, at the foot of the page:

I was told—perhaps this is only second-hand and I cannot vouch for it—that Deputies on the Cumann na nGaedheal Benches were so disgusted with the whole performance that they used to walk into the room and say "Sign that for me."

Now, sir, it is quite clear that that statement with all its implications was not made by the President on his own authority. He gave it, in his own words, as second-hand. I should like also to make the point that the statement might be regarded as a joke, but for the context and the atmosphere in which it was made. It was made when the President was arguing that a certain procedure was so humiliating that nobody should subject himself to it. I want to suggest that that statement clearly implies an accusation against certain members of the House that they got somebody else to sign their names to the Oath required by Article 17 of the Constitution. They can answer for themselves, but it seems to me, and it has been suggested to me by many people, that there is in that statement of the President, as conveyed to the House from another source, the clear implication that the officer who was empowered to administer the Oath that the officer who did administer the Oath, actually connived at that and did more —that he signed the document himself for those Cumann na nGaedheal Deputies. That meaning appears to me sir, quite plain and the accusation is made against a person who is of necessity dumb and cannot defend himself.

I was not myself concerned because, as you are aware, the Ceann Comhairle has no responsibility for the administration of the Oath to Deputies. It is done by an officer appointed by the Governor-General, but I have no hesitation in saying that the author of that statement, the person who made that statement to the President, intended to deceive him or else made the statement with a reckless disregard for the truth. There is no truth in it. It is to be noted that the President cannot vouch for it, but when the Leader of this House, the President of the Executive Council, speaking from his place in the House gives publicity— that is what happened—to a statement of that kind, the statement assumes a very considerable importance indeed. A great many people have attached importance to it, and the words get a meaning owing to the position of the member of the House who uttered them. I should like, sir, to invite the President to join with me in saying, now that the atmosphere which we had on Friday night has completely gone and we are much calmer, that it is beyond the bounds of possibility that the particular officer in question or any other officer signed for a Deputy in that particular way, in other words, actively assisted in a fraud upon the Constitution and upon the revenue. I should like the President now to withdraw the authority of his name and his office from that particular statement.

I should like to support Deputy Hayes in what he says. I think it was a most outrageous statement for the President to make——

Mr. Hayes

The President did not make the statement.

From hearsay. There was not an atom of truth in it from start to finish. I do not mind how members on the opposite side reconcile their consciences with the description of removing the Testament and calling the attention of the Chief Clerk to the fact that they were merely recording in the book. That reminds me of certain people down the country who believe that they never take an oath in ordinary evidence if they put their thumbs between their lips and the Testament and that they are free to swear what they like.

Perhaps I should refer to the nonsense that has been spoken by the last Deputy. The attitude of Fianna Fáil Deputies is very different from that of the person who pretended he was taking an oath, who went through the formality of taking the oath, and who interposed his thumb between his lips and the Testament when taking it. There is no analogy between the attitude of Fianna Fáil in regard to the signing of that document and the attitude of a person who gives his evidence in the way described by Deputy Hennessy.

I think that there is no question whatever about it.

I think there is.

None whatever.

I think there is.

Deputy McGilligan can make very nice distinctions when he wants to.

I never broke my word yet.

He can see the difference between the moon and green cheese. There is all the difference in the world between the two cases. With regard to the statement of Deputy Hayes, I am not sorry that he brought this matter up because I want to say that I am not suggesting or did not suggest that the officer in charge was in any way doing other than he was instructed to do. I am perfectly certain that whatever the officer did or whatever duty was assigned to him, he did that interpreting it, as possibly he was entitled, in the least obnoxious way to the people who had to undergo the test. I would say furthermore that Deputies on the opposite benches, Deputy Cosgrave for instance, although he boasted that he had made us take two oaths and regarded it as one of the greatest accomplishments of his life, in practice he did not act up to that, that he was better in fact than he said, that he knew— I suggest that he must have known on account of our public statements —exactly what we were doing and he allowed that particular interpretation of complying with Article 17 to be taken. First of all I accept the statement of Deputy Hayes that so far as he knew——

Deputies

Oh, no!

Deputy Hayes or anybody else can only speak within his own knowledge.

Deputies

Hear, hear!

I am not saying that the thing is beyond the bounds of possibility, as he wishes me to concur in saying. I am not talking about things beyond the bounds of possibility, because we know what is possible. But I do not suggest that the officer in charge did anything except interpret as liberally as he could the instructions that were given to him; and I take it that his instructions were to see that a certain book was signed. This is the way in which I myself regarded it having gone through the performance after the statements I made publicly. I said to myself "The instruction that has been given to the officer is to see that the signatures are put in a certain place." And that was the beginning and the end of his responsibility.

I confessed here on the last day that if I were expressly given, without any precedent having been established in the matter, charge of the enforcing for the first time of that Constitution, I would have taken out of these Articles the meaning that I took out of them when I opposed them outside, at a time when I was not aware of my own knowledge of what actually was done. I cannot concur in saying that it is outside the range of possibility. I do believe that the instructions probably given to the officer in charge were that a certain thing should be signed, and that, knowing how obnoxious the whole proceeding was, he interpreted it liberally in that sense, and that he did his duty. I want that to be clear.

As regards the statement I made that members of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party actually said that, I was prepared to believe it, and I believed it at the time. I did not ask who the officers were or anything else, but I was prepared to believe that, when this Dáil first met here, there were so many members on the opposite benches who so detested the doing of that thing that they would have been quite capable of saying: "Sign that for me." I do not say that it was actually done at all. I do not know if I actually said in my statement that it was actually done.

A Deputy

You did.

I simply repeated what I had heard, and indicated to the House everything that I had heard; and the purpose of the whole thing was to show that it was obnoxious, and that even the officers who were charged with the execution of it were themselves compelled to interpret it in the narrowest sense that would be consistent with the doing of their duty.

Mr. Wolfe rose to speak.

Mr. Hayes

On a point of order, before Deputy Wolfe intervenes, there is a particular question at issue here which has been somewhat widened by the intervention of my friend Dr. Hennessy. The narrow question is whether particular words used by the President on second-hand information did, in fact, apart from his intention, convey an imputation upon a particular officer of State. The question as to how members of the Fianna Fáil Party took the Oath is another question. I did not go into that. But I feel that that imputation should be withdrawn. And I suggest to you, sir—I know that it is not a question of order—that the statement has not been withdrawn by what the President has said, namely, that the officer carried out his duty.

What I want to put is this: That the words used by the President in the context and in the atmosphere in which he used them amounted not only to the charge that members of the House said to the officer in question: "Sign that for me," but that the officer signed for them and then witnessed that false and fraudulent signature of his own. That is what he had to do if he did the first thing. I should like the President to make it clear that that imputation is, in his judgment, wholly unfounded, because I am certain that there could not be any truth in it. The clear imputation is there that the officer in question perpetrated a particular fraud. I should like the President to agree with me that that is untrue and that the officer did not do any such thing.

In so far as any imputation of the kind was conveyed by anything said by me, I would have no hesitation in unreservedly withdrawing it absolutely.

May I ask whether the President adheres to the statement that the instructions given to this officer were given by me?

I do not know who gave the instructions to the officer.

It was made in the context exactly as the previous statement that the instructions came from me. I want to know if the President has even a suspicion in his mind that I gave these instructions.

What instructions?

Whatever instructions he referred to when he was speaking about the Clerk.

This is the thing I do know—I know what I did myself.

That is not the point. I was speaking about the instructions.

I know what I did myself.

I am not concerned with that.

There is something wrong somewhere. I know what I did myself first-hand. It is no hearsay.

I asked about instructions.

The President must be heard.

I know what I did. I assumed the Clerk carried out his instructions. Either he carried out his instructions or he did not. Either Deputy Cosgrave is going to accuse the Clerk now of doing the very thing that I myself said I did not believe him guilty of, either Deputy Cosgrave is going to say now that the Clerk disobeyed his instructions, or the instructions to the Clerk were those he carried out. I know what instructions were carried out and they stopped at the point of signing a certain document. That is all that was done. Public information and private information was given. So that, as far as that is concerned, I am not going any further than saying that I know what was done and that I assume the Clerk carried out his instructions. If he did not, it is between the ex-President and the Clerk.

That is just the point. I am entitled to ask, in respect of that statement, if it is in the mind of the President that I gave these instructions or any of them?

I do not know who gave them.

A Deputy

He never accused you of giving these instructions.

My name was mentioned in the context immediately after the word "instructions." The idea is to get it out that I gave these instructions.

I made it quite clear——

The idea is to get it out to the people of the country, north, south, east and west, that I gave instructions that I could not stand over.

Did you not allow it to be done?

Did you not boast about it?

I boasted about Deputies taking two Oaths. I went this far —I do not know whether I was entitled to do it—I asked to see the book in which I saw the name of Eamon de Valera underneath the form which is prescribed by Article 17 of the Constitution—under the Oath. I saw his name. I do not know whether I was entitled to do it. I had no power or authority, and I had no jurisdiction, and I had no function, in respect of a particular transaction, to appoint any officer of this State to see that Article 17 of the Constitution was complied with by members of the House.

Why did you examine the book?

I have already stated why I examined the book. I hope that will get just as much publicity as the other, and that we will stop this hypocrisy.

This question, in my opinion, is much more important than you would judge from what Deputy Hayes has said, from what the President has said, from what Deputy Hennessy has said, and from what Deputy Cosgrave has said. It has a far more important aspect than that, because, admittedly and unquestionably, the President has told us that, in effect, £7,100 of public money has been embezzled. I am not raising any question for the moment as to whether the Oath was properly taken or improperly taken. But I am accepting the President's statement that he and seventy others returned as members of Dáil Eireann, and now acting as such, have not yet taken the Oath prescribed by Article 4 of the Treaty and Article 17 of the Constitution. I want to go further and say that the President has made another charge against these 71 members in which he himself is included. He has suggested to the House that these 71 members have obtained from the Treasury of this country, which is badly in need of money, a repayment of £7,100 which has been got by them on the false pretence that they had taken that Oath. They have one and all produced certificates stating that they have taken the Oath. If what the President has told us is true, they have obtained by means of false pretences a repayment of £7,100. I also ask the President this in all honesty and conscience— there may be some difficulty in sending the papers to the Attorney-General, because I am afraid that he himself is involved, from what the President has told us of this stupendous fraud committed upon the revenue of the country—will he send the papers at all events to an Attorney-General ad hoc, so that this series of 71 frauds committed by this Government may be reversed? If he will do that, he will get back for the Treasury of the country a very much-needed sum of £7,100 wrongfully obtained by 71 people, each of whom has obtained £100 by false pretences.

If there have been false pretences they have not been on our side. We on this side cannot be accused of any false pretences. We have made our position clear from the beginning. If we got a certificate that we have complied with Article 17 of the Constitution I should like to see the Deputy trying to get redress for it.

That is not the certificate you got.

I wish to ask the President a question arising out of this discussion. I want to put it to the President whether the President of this State, no matter who he may be, has any power or authority to issue any instructions to the officer appointed by the King's representative to see that members elected to this Dáil comply with Article 17 of the Constitution; whether the President has any power or authority to issue to the officer appointed for that purpose any instruction whatever?

Mr. Thomas has.

This question is rather an interesting one. I think the King's representative would act upon our advice.

You were not in power to give him advice.

The question has been put to me by Deputy Morrissey. I am almost certain that in a case of that kind the King's representative would take the advice of the Executive Council.

I am not questioning that.

As to how that particular Act of State was to be done, as Deputy Morrissey asked me that question, I believe we have the power to indicate how that officer was to discharge the duty.

To indicate to whom?

To indicate to the representative of the King here, the Governor-General here.

Not to the officer.

If it passes the rubber stamp, as somebody mentioned. If there is to be a rubber stamp on the thing, if that is your idea. If there is any meaning in the constitutional form at all, it does seem that the representative of the King would give the instructions in the form he was advised to give them.

I am glad that the President agrees with me that the representative of the King in this country cannot act except on the advice of the Executive appointed by the people of this country.

Ever since the last Governor-General went out. I knew it was different at the time of the Treaty, I said so. When I was talking of a certain advance made by the other side, one of the advances that I gave them credit for was that the Governor-General, instead of being as he had been before, an agent of the British Cabinet, was no longer the agent of the British Cabinet.

Then the King is a rubber stamp? What about the Oath?

I intervene for the purpose of correcting one of the many mistakes made by the President to-night. Deputy Wolfe made the point in regard to the money. The President's counter to that was that if someone certified that he and his Party had complied with Article 17 of the Constitution it was not for him to object. That was not the certificate by which the President got back his money.

What was it then?

The certificate was this: "I certify that so and so has duly taken the Oath as a member of the Oireachtas," and that was how you got back your £100.

If Deputies would get away from the £100 and take up Section 1, I should be glad.

Question—That Section 1 stand part of the Bill—put.

The Committee divided: Tá, 77; Níl, 67.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Clery, Micheál.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Cooney, Eamonn.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Curran, Patrick Joseph.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Everett, James.
  • Flinn, Hugo V.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Gormley, Francis.
  • Gorry, Patrick Joseph.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Humphreys, Francis.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kennedv, Michael Joseph.
  • Keyes, Raphael Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Bryan.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moane, Edward.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Kelly, Seán Thomas.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas J.
  • O'Rourke, Daniel.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Níl

  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Brasier, Brooke.
  • Broderick, William Jos.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
  • Finlay, Thomas A.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Gorey, Denis John.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Hayes, Michael.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • Keating, John.
  • Keogh, Myles.
  • Kiersey, John.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • McDonogh, Fred.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Myles, James Sproule.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • O'Brien, Eugene P.
  • O'Connor, Batt.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Hara, Patrick.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Neill, Eamonn.
  • O'Shaughnessy, John Joseph.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Shaw, Patrick Walter.
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • Vaughan, Daniel.
  • White, John.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.
Tellers—Tá: Deputies Boland and Allen; Níl: Deputies Duggan and P. S. Doyle.
Question declared carried.

I am withdrawing my next amendment until the Report Stage.

I do not know whether that is carrying out the pact. That is not completely carrying out the agreement made this morning.

We were to conclude the Committee Stage. If the President is going to argue about the equities of the situation there is time to discuss it; if not, we will hold over the discussion.

I did not hear what Deputy McGilligan said about equities.

Surely the equities of the arrangement were that there should be time to discuss it.

We did not interfere with the time.

Very well—withdrawn until the Report Stage.

The obvious interpretation was that we were to have this Stage dealt with to-night. The Deputy is quite within his rights to withdraw the amendment, but I understood that the honourable understanding arrived at to-day was that these should be disposed of now.

After the last performance the President put up I am not taking him as a guide on anything.

I said only the Committee Stage could be discussed.

Very well.

On Section 2, I know it is useless appealing to the Dáil to reject this Article, but one must point out the situation to them. This section in effect is a section to deprive the Treaty of the force of law. The purpose of it is fundamentally to get rid of the Oath. The President yesterday said his action was not breaking the Treaty. I do not think he meant that to be taken very seriously. It was possibly said as the result of the pact with Labour, whereby he would put up some bogus case to enable them to save their faces. I call attention to the type of argument put up by the President. He explains that this controversy and this discussion we have flow through Articles I an II of the Treaty; and when one asks how is it that Article IV lays down that the Oath is to be taken, he explains that Article IV was put into the Treaty solely because there was a variation in the form of the Oath from the form of the Oath that was taken in Canada. He considers that that is a good argument to put up, for instance, in any discussion with the British Government. When the British Government say: "Here is an Article referring definitely to one positive thing" he says "yes, but that is not binding, because it was only consequential upon a certain situation that existed under Articles I and II," and that it had been put down specifically for the reason that there was a variation in the Oath as compared with Canada. When we go back reminiscing up to the time the Treaty was signed I may mention that among the people who know me I am regarded as having a memory that is notoriously exact.

That is according to yourself.

I want no interruptions from the Deputy. Anybody who knows me knows when I refer back to the situation at the time of the Treaty that I am giving the facts. But I do not need to go back further than to the President's statement on Friday night last. I refer to column 1091 of the Official Report where the President said: "On December 3rd, 1921, when the Irish delegates who were sent to London came back to report and when they brought the latest British proposals to us, I remember there were three or four Articles before they came to the Oath. Then there was the Oath. It was not this form of Oath at all; it was the direct form of Oath that you have in Canada and Australia."

Now the President says that Article IV only exists in the Treaty because there is a variation in the form of the Oath. On that last week-end that I remember so well the British Government presented us with what was called a final draft. That final draft is almost identical with the Treaty as we have it. It contained an article setting forth the form of the Oath and that Oath was identical with the Oath in Canada. Imagine now the President, if you can imagine him, going over to negotiate with the British. The British will say "You are breaking the Treaty" and he says "I am not" and they say "Here is Article IV setting down most specifically the Oath to be taken"; and he says "yes, but it is not mandatory." And they ask him to explain that and he says "The Oath is in Article II, though it is not mentioned there and consequently it is not in Article IV." He will say that the Oath was put in there because we were taking a different form of Oath from the Oath taken in Canada. Now the British can turn about and bring out that document; they know that that document was the real document over which the fighting arose in the negotiations; that document contained an Oath identical with the Oath to be taken by Canada. The British put up the ultimatum that we must decide without any further hugger-mugger. The Plenipotentiaries brought it to Dublin. Then this variation in the Oath was made to meet President de Valera's wishes. The Plenipotentiaries went back to London, making the variation in Article IV of the Treaty. The President's argument that Article IV would not need to be in there at all is completely negatived by the fact that the real big discussion on the Treaty was on Article IV during the time that Article IV which the British insisted on being inserted, was identical with the Oath in Canada. That just shows the appalling situation this country is liable to be put in. It is not as if the President has forgotten these circumstances. He assures us that the British would not have bothered about this because they got all they wanted in Article II and we would still have to take the Oath. He said they never would put it in because they had agreed to a variation. The British know that is not true and President de Valera if he were in London negotiating with them would have to admit it is not true.

Not a bit.

It is remarkable if the Oath was never put in because there was a variation; it was put in, according to the President, with no variation whatever. They were breaking on exactly that point. Finally, the British yielded to the extent of permitting a variation in Article IV. They did not say, prior to that, that the Oath was contained in Article II, and was it not in the final discussion with President de Valera that Article IV was imported into the Treaty? It merely changed it, and the President's argument of yesterday might be all right here to save the faces of the Labour Party.

They do not want their faces saved. They know what they are doing.

I hope they do not. As far as this is a matter that has to be discussed with England, it will mean putting up such bogus arguments that they can be proved false. It is not a matter of construing anything; it is merely a matter of known fact. With regard to the President's argument about the weaker nation, he accused me of attempting to misrepresent him. He said: "We are entitled, being the weaker nation upon whom this Treaty was imposed, to get the last letter out of our legal rights and we propose to get the very last letter." Unfortunately, the Attorney-General tended to confuse this matter. When you talk about legal rights, if you take a thing to a municipal court they will construe legal right and legal power in terms solely of municipal law. The arbitrament of this international document is not a matter for a domestic court and should not be, as the President said. It should, if it goes to any court, be a matter for an international court, and the international court would necessarily completely disregard municipal law. They would consider the international contract, and would decide what the law was in terms of international law in that international court.

When the President says we must get the last letter out of our legal rights, he was referring in terms of our municipal law. Legally here we can break any treaty we like. In discussing this matter, the word "legal" should apply to international law and not to domestic law. The President implied clearly that when some other country makes a contract with us, when a strong country makes a contract with a weak country, the whole thing must be weighted on the side of the weaker country. I declared that a damnable doctrine for the reason that the making of treaties between a strong country and a weak country was always a great gain to the weak country. The strong country has the means of enforcing its will on the weak, but it yields to a sense of honour and to its desire to appear well in the eyes of its neighbours. These things are extremely important and absolutely vital to small countries.

If it is to be established that when a small country makes a treaty with a big country, the small country can say afterwards that it is going to interpret that treaty—in the words of our Attorney-General—in the Irish sense and not in the English sense, instead of in the sense of the Treaty and its intentions, then that will mean that every big country, when there is a matter to be negotiated with a small country, will have only one means of settling it, and will be justified in using only that means and that will be force. If that doctrine were to be promulgated, and if we were to adopt that method any time we make a treaty with some stronger power, then it would mean putting this country into a position that it would invite every country stronger than it is to assert its will by power, force of arms, rather than by friendly negotiation. It was for that reason that I called that a damnable doctrine.

As regards the Treaty, on this side it has been assumed that everybody is agreed the Treaty ought not to be broken. There was one good reason why we should have protested against the British insisting on the Oath being taken. The British always said of us that we were unfit for self-government. Here was a situation in which we made an agreement with them, and it was contingent upon the Irish people accepting that arrangement that there was to be an election. The insertion of the Oath implied that when the Irish people had agreed that a certain form of Government should prevail here, that Government which is so necessary in order that our social life may be ordered and that we may fulfil our destiny, it was necessary to see that the men called upon to legislate would give the minimum loyalty that the law of all time insists from its citizens. There was a question as to whether our people would give that. That was an occasion when we might have very readily said to the British that it was an insult to have that Oath there.

Yesterday, I think it was Deputy Dillon who said a most outrageous thing. He said that when the sovereign Irish people had decided upon certain forms he, in his idiosyncratic manner, was going to refuse honour to the flag symbol of the State and to refuse honour to the National Anthem. I would have thought that that would be a thing that we all would have condemned. At a time when we have a State functioning and existing for the purpose of fulfilling the necessary condition of promoting the social order, and at a time when certain forms connected with that State demand our loyalty and our service, a Bill is brought forward which admits that not merely is that loyalty not to be demanded from the ordinary citizen, but that it is not even to be demanded from the people who come here to legislate. In other words, people may come to legislate, make laws, and at the same time these very legislators must be free to plot against the State. That is what we are actually doing. It is for that reason that I feel some of us are prevented from saying what we think of the statement made yesterday by Deputy Dillon.

I want to make my own position clear. I do not share in this general agreement that the Oath is actually a statement of existing fact. This seems to me to be a perfectly hypocritical proposal. We leave the existing State there and we say it will be all right and no one will have a right to complain so long as we keep our mouths shut about what the existing conditions are. This clause aims at completely eliminating the Treaty. It really aims at refusing to accept any of the obligations we accepted by the Treaty. We did accept obligations. This proposal is disgraceful to national honour. National honour and national interests are completely united, completely equal, because we have only the appeal to honour in the world and not the appeal to force.

The President rose.

I should like to remind the House that we shall probably have two divisions before nine o'clock.

I voted for the first section of this Bill. Now, we are called upon to vote for the second section. This is a Bill to remove the Oath——

As the President has given way in order to allow the two divisions to be taken before nine o'clock——

You think I should give way? I shall not vote for this section because, if it is not a breach of the Treaty, it is unnecessary to pass it and, if it is, I do not want to pass this section.

Question put: That Section 2 stand part of the Bill.
The Committee divided: Tá, 76; Níl, 68.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Bradv, Bryan.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Clery, Micheál.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Cooney, Eamonn.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Curran, Patrick Joseph.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Everett, James.
  • Flinn, Hugo V.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Gormley, Francis.
  • Gorry, Patrick Joseph.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Humphreys, Francis.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Keyes, Raphael Patrick.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moane, Edward.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Kelly, Seán Thomas.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas J.
  • O'Rourke, Daniel.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Níl

  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Brasier, Brooke.
  • Broderick, William Jos.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
  • Finlay, Thomas A.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Gorey, Denis John.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Hayes, Michael.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • Keating, John.
  • Keogh, Myles.
  • Kiersey, John.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • McDonogh, Fred.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Myles, James Sproule.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • O'Brien, Eugene P.
  • O'Connor, Batt.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Hara, Patrick.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Neill, Eamonn.
  • O'Shaughnessy, John Joseph.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Shaw, Patrick Walter.
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • Vaughan, Daniel.
  • White, John.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies G. Boland and Allen; Níl: Deputies Duggan and P. S. Doyle.
Motion declared carried.
SECTION 3.

I shall not move the amendment in my name until Report Stage.

Question put: That Section 3 stand part of the Bill.
The Committee divided.
Tá: 76; Níl, 65.

Aiken, Frank.Allen, Denis.Bartley, Gerald.Beegan, Patrick.Blaney, Neal.Boland, Gerald.Boland, Patrick.Bourke, Daniel.Brady, Bryan.Brady, Seán.Breathnach, Cormac.Breen, Daniel.Briscoe, Robert.Browne, William Frazer.Carney, Frank.Carty, Frank.Clery, Micheál.Colbert, James.Cooney, Eamonn.Corish, Richard.Corry, Martin John. Kelly, James Patrick.Kennedy, Michael Joseph.Keyes, Raphael Patrick.Kilroy, Michael.Kissane, Eamonn.Lemass, Seán F.Little, Patrick John.Lynch, James B.McEllistrim, Thomas.MacEntee, Seán.Maguire, Ben.Maguire, Conor Alexander.Moane, Edward.Moore, Séamus.Moylan, Seán.Murphy, Patrick Stephen.Murphy, Timothy Joseph.

Crowley, Fred. Hugh.Crowley, Tadhg.Curran, Patrick Joseph.Davin, William.Derrig, Thomas.De Valera, Eamon.Everett, James.Flinn, Hugo V.Flynn, John.Flynn, Stephen.Fogarty, Andrew.Geoghegan, James.Gibbons, Seán.Gormley, Patrick.Gorry, Patrick Joseph.Goulding, John.Harris, Thomas.Hayes, Seán.Hogan, Patrick (Clare).Humphreys, Francis.Jordan, Stephen. O'Grady, Seán.O'Kelly, Seán Thomas.O'Reilly, Matthew.O'Reilly, Thomas J.O'Rourke, Daniel.Powell, Thomas P.Rice, Edward.Ruttledge, Patrick J.Ryan, James.Ryan, Robert.Sexton, Martin.Sheehy, Timothy.Sheridan, Michael.Smith, Patrick.Traynor, Oscar.Walsh, Richard.Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Níl

Alton, Ernest Henry.Anthony, Richard.Beckett, James Walter.Bennett, George Cecil.Blythe, Ernest.Brasier, Brooke.Broderick, William Jos.Brodrick, Seán.Burke, Patrick.Byrne, Alfred.Byrne, John Joseph.Coburn, James.Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.Conlon, Martin.Cosgrave, William T.Craig, Sir James.Davis, Michael.Desmond, William.Dillon, James M.Dockrell, Henry Morgan.Doherty, Eugene.Doyle, Peadar Seán.Duggan, Edmund John.Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.Finlay, Thomas A.Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.Good, John.Gorey, Denis John.Hassett, John J.Hayes, Michael.Hennessy, Thomas.Hennigan, John.Keating, John.

Keogh, Myles.Kiersey, John.Lynch, Finian.MacDermot, Frank.McDonogh, Fred.MacEoin, Seán.McGilligan, Patrick.McMenamin, Daniel.Minch, Sydney B.Mongan, Joseph W.Morrissey, Daniel.Mulcahy, Richard.Murphy, James Edward.Myles, James Sproule.Nally, Martin.O'Brien, Eugene P.O'Connor, Batt.O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.O'Hara, Patrick.O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.O'Leary, Daniel.O'Mahony, The.O'Neill, Eamonn.O'Shaughnessy, John Joseph.O'Sullivan, Gearóid.O'Sullivan, John Marcus.Reidy, James.Roddy, Martin.Shaw, Patrick Walter.Thrift, William Edward.Vaughan, Daniel.White, John.

Motion declared carried.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies G. Boland and Allen; Níl: Deputies Duggan and P. S. Doyle.
Section 4 and Title agreed to.
The Dáil went out of Committee.
Bill reported without amendment.

When is it proposed to take the Report Stage?

To-morrow week.

Is it taking precedence of the Budget discussion?