In Committee on Finance. - Vote 1—Governor General's Establishment.

I move:—

Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar £1,518 chun slánuithe na suime is gá chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1934, chun Tuarastail agus Costaisí Teaghlachas an tSeanascail (Uimh. 14 de 1923).

That a sum not exceeding £1,518 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1934, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Governor-General's Establishment. (No. 14 of 1923.)

I am not here to waste time.

The Minister is certainly not here to give the House any benefit from his emoluments or his supposed oratorical powers so far as this Vote is concerned, but I suppose silence, even on this, would be better from the Minister than speech.

It would, on the Deputy's part.

We have a Vote now moved in respect of the Governor-General. It shows a decrease of £2,682 on the year, but we know from a footnote that the Governor-General's salary has not suffered any reduction, and when we turn to the items of the Vote we see that the Governor-General is still provided with some servants. The diminution in the servants granted to him is probably supposed to be equated to the diminution in the duties previously demanded from the occupant of that office. It is, however, interesting to note that he has still got a Chaplain and he has still got a Private Secretary, and that is the entire establishment—the Governor-General, somebody to pray for him, to assist him spiritually, and a Private Secretary. That is the establishment, but his £10,000 is still being given to him.

It is for cough lozenges.

It might be, but we are entitled to know, on this Vote, just what is the position with regard to this establishment. Why has the establishment been cut down? What is it proposed to do with the office of Governor-General and the establishment of the Governor-General, and what value is the country getting from the continuance of the payment of the salary that used to be so much magnified and so much talked of to the present occupant of the office, who does nothing for it? We know that the Governor-General is not occupying, at the moment, the house that previously was occupied. I, as an individual, have received, during the last couple of days, an invitation to a function in the grounds of the Viceregal Lodge one of these days. Who is paying for it, I do not know.

It does not come under this Vote.

I am not sure that it does not and, if it does not, it is an item that used to be paid for under this Vote, and I want to know why it is no longer being paid for under this Vote.

Is it not only the expenditure in this year?

We are always entitled to compare expenditure one year with another. That is the principle on which the discussion of Votes has gone and I am keeping to that principle. That is an item of expenditure which formerly was met by the previous Governor-General either out of his salary or his allowances. Who is meeting it this year? Apparently, it is the taxpayer. There is no diminution in the salary being paid to the Governor-General, but he is not being asked to meet the certain expenses which his predecessor had to meet out of that sum, so that the extravagant salary, about which so much used to be made, is still being continued but the same obligations do not rest upon the holder of the office. What happens? Who is paying? Why is this particular function being held in this establishment? Is this establishment being kept up at the taxpayer's expense, simply because a particular function is held there once a year? Apparently it is not a thing that would have been tolerated before. An establishment of that kind, empty for the rest of the year, will be kept open to have one social function in it at the taxpayer's expense. There is provision here this year for the maintenance of the official residence and establishment of the Governor-General. One is entitled to ask, at this point, if it is right that a six months' lease of that particular house was taken, and, if so, why six months, and if any further accommodation, or any alternative accommodation has to be provided for the present Governor-General? What was the idea in having a short lease entered into in relation to the house which the Governor-General now occupies?

We are also told, in relation to this Vote, that there are amounts included in other Estimates in connection with this service. On one Vote the amount is £500 from the Gárda Síochána. Why? Then there are travelling expenses and subsistence allowances to officers of the household—although there is only a six months' lease of it. The officers of the household have been provided for. What officers? Is it the chaplain? Is it the private secretary? Is it the police who are, apparently, being provided out of the Gárda Síochána Vote? When we look we find there is an allowance of a certain sum of money for a motor car, but the footnote tells us that the chauffeur is provided by the Army, and is borne on the Army Vote. Why all this mixture? A chaplain and a secretary provided one way, the police provided from the Police Vote, and a chauffeur out of the Army Vote. Are we trying to make the Governor-General a sort of amphibian, to be carried on as many Votes as possible, or, is it with a view of having the fact tucked away in the Estimates, that the salary was to be criticised as being paid, so far as this Estimate was concerned, and as far as the people are given any information about it, is full? We knew the duties appertaining to the Governor-General before, and we knew the highly-efficient and creditable way in which they were carried out. What are the present duties? When are they carried out? Can we have an enumeration of what is expected? We know one thing is expected, that the Governor-General must be an absentee any time the President is about. The spot-light must never fall on the Governor-General. It is a big price to pay for over-shadowing the Governor-General when the President is about, to continue to charge the same salary, and very nearly the same charges for an establishment, while getting nothing, or next to nothing in return. We might be told, at least, just what was the full repercussion of the incident at the French Minister's house on a famous occasion, and the repercussion that has on the present position of the Governor-General, and in what respect it has restricted his functions.

I do not think the repercussion of any incident arises on this Vote.

I understand that the incident referred to occurred last year, and does not arise on the Vote.

It is easy to make the matter relevant. Is the present Governor-General to be allowed to be the centre of insult to the French Government?

Does the incident arise now?

I ruled that incident out of order and it is rather flippant for the Deputy to say that it is easy for him to bring it into order.

I apologise. I want to explain that I was not trying any tricks of the type, and I am leaving the matter. The Minister for Finance, when moving the Vote, simply said: "Here is the Estimate for the Vote; discuss it any way you please." He is giving us no information. Surely, as I said on the Vote for the Department of Industry and Commerce, when there has been a fairly radical change made in circumstances—at least, to me it appears that only trifling changes are made—when the President has got this person, who gets between him and the limelight, a little bit out of the way, that at any rate we should get the reactions. Are any functions now laid down for the Governor-General, or is any demand made on the present Governor-General with regard to his conduct or where he would be at certain times, when certain other people are in certain places?

Surely no such question could arise. When provision is made for the Governor-General that is sufficient. The functions of the Governor-General do not arise.

The Deputy is in order.

What is sufficient, if it does not relate to the functions which have to be discharged? In that way we should pay anything that the Minister brings in, and we would not be able to discuss it.

Ask what sort of hat he wears.

I would if I thought there was any point to be made on it. At any rate, I would have thought that asking about hats was a rather sore subject to some of these people. Let me add that to the others. Has there been any definite promise got from the Governor-General in regard to hats, and will whatever obligation is put on him with regard to hats be changed, now that people imposing the obligation have changed their attitude?

They have not changed their attitude.

I am sure we will get an explanation which will make that as clear as most of the President's other explanations. Is the hat entirely in order?

The headgear of the Governor-General.

Is there any repercussion of that on the headgear of members of the Executive Council? That will probably arise on the President's Vote. Seriously, I think it is necessary that the House should be given the conditions under which the present Governor-General took employment as Governor-General. That is really what this Vote represents. A great number of people have been able to form in their own minds just what functions were set out as the functions properly to be discharged by the present occupant of the position of Governor-General, but there is a tremendous number of people who feel that very bad use, and undignified use, was made of a rather decent man, in putting him into the position he has been put. The people who put him into that position, and who got that man to degrade himself in the way they have got him to degrade himself, have to make some excuse for their conduct, and they might try to justify themselves on this Vote. It gives them the opportunity. They should tell us, then, in detail just what promises were exacted, what pressure had to be put on the present occupant of that position before he consented to take the post and whether he himself thought the conditions imposed upon him made him not a very dignified person—I might even say, in his own estimation, not a very reputable person. Yet, he finds himself, due to the President, in that position to-day.

The Acting-Minister for Industry and Commerce, speaking on the two Estimates which have been before us, stated as clearly as any man could state that the election propaganda by the President and his Party was in the nature of sharp practice, that it was—the Minister made no secret of it—part of the policy of that Party and its Leader to indulge in the habit of pulling the wool over the people's eyes. Part of the sharp practice and of the pulling of wool over the people's eyes was what I might call the blackguardly propaganda with regard to the Governor-General which was indulged in up and down the country. We were told that it was perfectly scandalous that anybody should have more than £1,000 a year at a time when the man who was responsible for that propaganda had more than £1,000. The amount of the Governor-General's salary was placarded on the old walls and formed the subject of an enormous number of speeches. The picture was drawn, in the first place, of the Governor-General at the end of the telephone getting orders from England. Later on, he was depicted as a man getting £10,000 to put in his own pocket. We were told how many unemployed that amount would feed and how many old age pensions it would pay. The people who put about that story knew perfectly well that the occupant of this office of Governor-General was no more getting possession of this £10,000 to put in his pocket than President de Valera is getting possession, to put in his pocket, the Dáil bonds money which was discussed here for some time.

The Deputy said last week he was getting it.

I can repeat that, for that matter, When you get money to put in your pocket, you can say: "I did not get it because I gave it to such an object."

Can the Deputy refer to that on this Vote?

I drew an analogy. The occupant of the Governor-General's office until last year received an emolument of £10,000. Everybody knows that a vast proportion of that was paid out in pursuance of his functions, which included the holding of garden parties, receptions, the entertainment of distinguished visitors and so on. Last year, there was a complete change. The propaganda to which the country was treated about the absurdity of putting money into this office of Governor-General had a certain meaning behind it. It has been perfectly clear to every intelligent man who has observed things here that the real objection to the Governor-General was that one person wanted to have the pre-eminence of political leadership in this country and also wanted to have precedence of all other people in relation to the State. That was the real objection to the Governor-General. There was talk about Irish freedom and all that. That was, as the Minister for Industry and Commerce would indicate, clearly pulling the wool over people's eyes and hood-winking them. It was part of the sharp practice which, as the Minister indicated, was the chief stock-in-trade of the Fianna Fáil Party in getting into office. During this year, there was a change, not only in the office-holder, but in the whole function of the office of Governor-General. Deputies will remember that certain correspondence was published—letters from the Governor-General and other letters, with the mark of caddishness in every line, addressed to the Governor-General. Following upon that, the Governor-General was removed prior to the termination of his term of office. Why was that? The Governor-General who then was in office refused to take orders as to the social or private functions to which he would go. When he was invited by a foreign representative in this country, he dared to go, when the President of the Executive Council and his Ministers were also going. That was regarded as an impossible thing because it was perfectly absurd to think that the President of the Executive Council should not have precedence over the Governor-General. That was the whole reason. The whole propaganda against the Governor-General—blackguardly, as it was— had one object and that was to allow a position to arise which would gratify the maniacal vanity of one man.

We were told of the important economy there was to be effected. The occupant of the office here receives £10,000 a year. Why? I know that the terms of the Treaty and our position as a member of the Commonwealth of Nations indicate that the Governor-General should receive appropriate emoluments. But what is being done with this £10,000 a year? We all know that, up to the change which was made by the present Government, the vast bulk of the money was spent in the service of this State. A large part of that money was spent in doing things which would otherwise have to be paid for out of some other fund. Deputy McGilligan has referred to the fact that we are invited to a garden-party in the Viceregal grounds. Unless we hear to the contrary, we can take it that the cost of that garden-party is going to be borne on the Vote for Public Entertainment. The ridiculousness of such a thing as a garden party or a reception was part of the propaganda of the Fianna Fáil Party. There was an appeal made to the most ignorant people in the country——

The suggestion is that everybody in this country should be just the type of the Deputy who is interrupting but that is not good enough for every country. Every country and every society must be ordered hierarchically. The Deputy would like to think there was nobody better than he is but, if that were so, this country would be a completely uncivilised country. Here is a very great scandal—that whereas heretofore £10,000 was paid and used in a way obvious to everybody, that money is now being paid out and the functions it was used to fulfil are now going to be paid out of the taxpayers' pockets. Heretofore, we paid this £10,000 and certain things were done. We continue to pay this £10,000 and we have to pay again for the very things paid for previously out of that £10,000. It is generally understood around the country that the Governor-General is ordered and that he is not allowed to live the life of an ordinary, human being. If somebody invites me to go to his house, I decide whether I go or not. It is generally understood that the present occupant of this office occupies it only because he has agreed to terms that are degrading to human nature, that he is not allowed to invite people to his house and that he is not allowed to go to various functions or to other establishments. What condition does that create? As I stated here on another occasion, in every civilised country the instruments of Government provide certain protections for the people against a complete despotism. When there was a king as absolute monarch, Parliament grew up to limit the powers of that monarch. In America, which came into existence as democracy, you have Congress, the Senate and the President fulfilling certain functions, thus depriving any one of them of the opportunity of acting as despot over the people. In this country the last function of the Governor-General is removed. So far as one can see, he has no function now but to receive £10,000 a year. He is not allowed to appear in public. On one occasion, I think he did appear at a little function down in Blackrock. The President also appeared. Apparently, that created a certain awkward situation and, so far as I know, he has appeared nowhere in public since—certainly, in no place where there was any possibility of the President appearing.

Now, if there is to be any sort of order in this State, there must be this hierarchy. The Governor-General is actually the symbol of this State. He is beyond Party. The existence of the Governor-General represents in the Government organisation something which is independent of Party. He might have been a member of the Fianna Fáil Party before, but once he gets into this office he is clear of, and independent of, Party affiliations. What have we got to have in this country? We are to have every symbol and reality of State closely allied and identified with Party. The Governor-General, therefore, has to be done away with. A Party leader, the President of the Executive Council, has to have precedence.

The same thing obtains in the United States.

It does not obtain in the United States. It is that sort of ignorant remark that plays the devil with this country. In the United States there is a President. There is also a Parliament, the House of Representatives, and there is the Senate. Here we have only the Czar, de Valera, —nothing else. There is no other power. When President de Valera, with his pawns behind him, decides that he wants a certain thing done or a certain thing not done—and usually what he wants done is clearly against the best interests of this country— there is no power to restrict him. He is now apparently determined that the Seanad will be able to delay his action only for three months. The Deputy opposite says that the same thing prevails in the United States. That is not so. In the United States the President has enormous powers. Here the Governor-General has none. He is not even allowed to go to a social function. He is only allowed to take possession of £10,000 a year.

That is the situation. And in order to pander to this maniacal vanity we are now having to pay out of taxation for the Garden Party which will be held in the Viceregal Lodge in a few weeks' time. The cost of that is being put upon the people. The other day I pointed out that when Deputy Cosgrave was President and he went to Rome, he went there as a pilgrim and he paid for it out of his own pocket. When the new President comes in, with all the talk about——

Did Deputy Cosgrave pay for his trip to America?

He paid for his trip to Rome. There is no analogy between the two journeys.

Of course not.

What about the expenses of the Deputy's trip there too?

Deputy Cosgrave went to Rome, and he paid the expenses of the trip out of his own pocket.

A visit to Rome on the part of the President, or the ex-President, is not pertinent to this Vote.

I brought it in by way of analogy.

Nor is the cost of any entertainment that may be given in the Viceregal Lodge pertinent to this Vote.

Oh, yes, it is.

There is no provision in this Vote for that.

Last year the maintenance of the Governor-General's——

The Deputy is in order in discussing the office and functions of the Governor-General, and he is entitled to make certain contrasts.

May I point out that the House in the Phoenix Park is no longer the Governor-General's establishment, and there is nothing in this Vote for its maintenance, nor will the cost of any entertainment that may be held in the building fall on this Vote?

It should fall.

It ought not to fall, and the Deputy is well aware that it ought not.

I suggest that it ought.

These coming functions are associated with a medical congress and an educational congress. There was a previous occasion when a great number of doctors came here for some such congress and there was a garden party in the Viceregal grounds. There were receptions in the Viceregal Lodge and they were paid for out of the £10,000 voted. Now we have to pay the £10,000 and over and above that we have to pay for these things. It is necessary and right and proper that there should be these State entertainments. The Governor-General, as his functions became more limited, became more and more associated with acting as host on behalf of the nation. Now he is not permitted even to do that. It was clearly understood for the last ten years that this money was voted in the major part for that purpose. Presumably he is not now even permitted to do anything of that nature and yet we have to vote other moneys for entertainments.

The whole position seems to me to be perfectly scandalous. In so far as this State has the constitutional position that it has, it is within the power of the Government, with its majority, to take steps, if it so desires, to change the whole constitutional position of this country. If it ever does that, I would protest under any circumstances; but I would protest, particularly, if you are going to have a position where you would have a political leader becoming the head of the Government and becoming the supreme head of this State. I would regard that as a disastrous and an appalling situation, but that is the situation we are getting now.

We hear a lot of talk about the economies that are being made. The President tells us he has reduced his salary by £1,000 a year. The Governor-General's establishment now costs £2,682 less than it did last year or than it was estimated to cost last year. The truth is that during the period of office of the predecessor of the Governor-General far more than £2,682 was spent over and above what is included here, in doing useful and necessary national work. My objection to this Vote, apart from the unmasking of the appalling hypocrisy of the Party opposite in its political campaign, is that, strictly speaking, we have now, and with a definite object, gone to the point of making the occupant of the position ludicrous while, at the same time, we are giving this £10,000 a year. Having given that £10,000 for a purpose, we now have to vote other money to the President for official entertainments. The whole situation with regard to the Governor-General has been brought about for no other purpose than to pander to a special vanity.

Why has the Governor-General a travelling allowance? Is he allowed to travel on official business? Is there any point where, as Governor-General, he travels? Why are the police there? The late Governor-General had such things as Aides-de-Camp, which formed part of the dignity of his office. What are the police there for if the whole purpose of the Government is to deny all dignity to the office? Are the police there because the President is afraid his late associates might do something drastic merely because the Governor-General is there as the representative of the King? Why are these other moneys involved? The Governor-General has a motor car and they give him £300 and chauffeurs. Under what circumstances would the Governor-General, as at present established, require a motor car, or a chauffeur, for the fulfilment of whatever functions pertain to his office? I would like to know that. I would be very glad to believe that the Governor-General was going to fulfil his functions in such a way that he would require a motor car and a private secretary, but so far as we can judge, he is only allowed to use the motor car if he is not using it in the fulfilment of his office.

He is only allowed to use a motor car if he is using it for a purpose which should not be borne on this Vote. He is only allowed to telephone and to send telegrams providing that he is telephoning or telegraphing in a way that should not be provided on this Vote. He is only allowed to travel provided he is travelling in such a way that it should not be borne on this Vote. I understand we are paying the items that are on this Vote strictly on the understanding that those moneys will be expended in such a way that they should not be included in this Vote at all. We were told that the present Government stood for economy. We are spending £10,000 here on the stipulation that this country shall derive no benefit from that £10,000, because if it derived any benefit from it that might in some way put the President down a little in the order of precedence which exists here.

Sir, I feel there must be some explanation of this Vote that we have not heard, because on the information we possess I cannot imagine a single conscientious Deputy voting in favour of it, especially any Deputy in the Labour Party.

Conscience has nothing to do with them.

The clerical duties performed by the present Governor-General would be amply repaid by a salary of £500 a year, and so far as we are aware he has no responsibilities and no social duties. I feel that there must be, though I cannot imagine what it is, some explanation for our being asked to vote this money, which looks on the face of it simply throwing away a substantial sum.

Mr. Rice

There has been considerable speculation and considerable curiosity in the public mind, since the appointment of the present occupant of this office, as to what his salary would be.

I rise to draw the Deputy's attention to the fact that the salary of the Governor-General does not come under this Vote. It is on the Central Fund, and consequently is not open for discussion here. Incidental references have been made to it, but a detailed discussion of the salary does not arise on this Vote.

Mr. Rice

Perhaps I might put it this way? There has been considerable speculation in the public mind as to what is the present cost to the taxpayer of maintaining this office. That curiosity was excited by the propaganda of the Fianna Fáil Party during the occupancy of that office by the previous holder. We were told that a salary of £10,000 a year was being wasted, and that the money spent on the maintenance of the household was being wasted. The public were not told, of course, that that money was spent on public purposes, and on national purposes, and that probably every penny that was expended in that way went out amongst the people of this country. I say, therefore, that there has been considerable speculation, because nobody who had heard that propaganda, and nobody who realised the change that was being made in this office by the present Government, expected for one moment that this office was now going to cost any more than a very nominal sum. Having regard to the amount of public money that is being spent on this office now, we are entitled to know what are the functions to be fulfilled in return for that expenditure. The Governor-General, so far as we know, is confined to his residence. He seems to be interned in his residence at Monkstown. The public would like to see him occasionally, and they never do. There is no office in the world analagous to that of the Governor-General of this country at the present moment, except perhaps the position of the Dali Llama in Lhasa. He is confined in the holy city, and nobody is allowed to see him except his monks. The nine monks who preside over the destiny of this country now are the only persons allowed to see the Governor-General. We should like to know whether he is ordered to remain inside the grounds of his residence, or is he allowed to take physical exercise outside? Is he allowed to go to the nearest pillar-box when he wants to post a refusal to any invitation to a national or social function? The people are entitled to know what they are receiving for the money they are spending on this Vote at the present time.

In intervening in this particular debate I may say at the start that I am not very particularly interested in who is the Governor-General at any particular moment. Neither am I interested in the relative social levels of the President and the Governor-General.

You do not believe in the Hierarchy!

I will speak, with the Minister's permission and without his interruptions, about the views that are agitating the people in my constituency with regard to this particular Vote. Seeing that we have a Governor-General who is allowed to fulfil no particular function in the life of this nation; seeing that we have a Governor-General who is not allowed to carry out the ordinary known duties of a Governor-General in this country, we are interested to know why and for what purpose these large sums of money are being voted. Heretofore people could understand, whether they agreed with the position or not, paying a Governor-General who did the work of a Governor-General, who acted as the nation's host, who filled a particular niche in the affairs of the nation, and so released the President of the Executive Council and the Ministers of the Executive Council from doing the work for which they are paid—administering, governing and generally looking after the Government services of this country. We had a Governor-General who acted as the national host; who entertained distinguished visitors from other lands; who spent a considerable portion of his salary on such entertainment, attending functions and managing the really higher social side of affairs in this State.

We have now a position where the Governor-General is, by order, prohibited from fulfilling any of those functions, from appearing, in fact, as Governor-General in any walk of the national life. I could understand an Executive Council that would say: "In spite of the fact that provision is made for a Governor-General in the Treaty, the whole procedure is too costly in a country that is hard up against it, in a country where the money is rapidly running out, and we will abolish the office entirely." I would have a certain amount of understanding for that point of view, and a certain amount of respect for the honesty and courage of the people who took that point of view. I have nothing but contempt for the men who, being afraid to abolish the office, make every mean attempt to demean it, and, having demeaned the office so that the Governor-General occupies a more lowly and more humiliating position than the humblest person in the land, they then turn around to the taxpayers of the country, and to the Parliament of the country, and say: "In spite of the fact that he has no functions to fulfil, in spite of the fact that he dare not appear in public, in spite of the fact as Deputy Rice said, ‘he is really an internee in a private house in Monkstown,' you must nevertheless put up £1,200 a year personal expenses, £100 travelling expenses, £110 for telephones, £300 for motor expenses and £240 for renewal of motor cars." What is all this about?

Will the President or the Minister for Finance, or anybody on the benches opposite, tell us what return the State is getting for that money. We have heard from the Government Benches, and in fact from every side of the House, that financially the condition of this country is serious. We have reached a point where the standard of wages is set by the Government at a lower level than it has ever reached before, and because it has reached that point it has been necessary to dismiss men in permanent employment in order to make room for those out of work. With that position before us, this House is asked to vote a sum of £110 a year for telephones and telegrams for a man who has no functions to fulfil. Why, that sum of money alone would keep a family in fairly good circumstances for a year. Then we have the sum of £1,200 a year for personal expenses. Personal expenses in connection with what work for this State? Is it the work of signing a Bill once a month; writing his signature once or twice a month and, if it is not for that, what is it for? In what capacity does the present Governor-General travel? For what purpose are we asked to vote this money for a motor and for motor renewals. In what State capacity is the telephone and telegraph station used in connection with the office now? As far as the world knows, and as far as this Dáil knows, the Governor-General is allowed to play no part in the affairs of this country beyond signing a Bill, and even that has got to be done in secret: it has got to be done behind closed doors.

Now in times such as these when we hear so much talk about taxation having reached the peak point, when money really matters and must continue to matter to people in a position to vote or to refuse to vote it out of the public purse, I would like to add my voice to the voices of other Deputies, and ask for some justification for these particular sums of money. What is the justification for the £1,200 for personal expenses; for an appointment such as that of controller of the household in the small private residence now occupied by the Governor-General; for the £100 for travelling expenses, in addition to the £110 for telegrams and telephones, and the £300 for personal allowance? I think the House should be told what those sums are required for, and what return the State is getting. We are asked to vote this money and we are entitled to know what it is for. If the Governor-General is fulfilling no functions in this State then we are entitled to know what is the justification in asking us to vote money towards the expenses of certain functions.

When the appointment of the Governor-General was officially announced, Kildare was, naturally, very proud. I think it was the first time that it had the honour of having one of its sons selected for such a high position in the State. After a while, the people began to wonder and ask: where is this Governor-General gone to? Nobody can find him. Nobody can ever meet him or see him. Then the name was changed from Governor-General to that of An Seanaschal, and whether that is the name of a patent medicine or not, I do not know. After a while, when inquiries failed to obtain any information, the intelligence service announced the fact that he was at some seaside resort between Kingstown and Dublin.

There is no such place as Kingstown.

Well, between Dun Laoghaire and Dublin. After a while, when the Punchestown Race meeting was announced to take place, we got this: with great regret An Seanaschal cannot be present at Punchestown Races. Immediately, Kildare lost all interest in An Seanaschal. He is supposed to represent all sections of the people, and yet when 40,000 people assembled at an international competition we got the same message again: that An Seanaschal regrets that he cannot be present. When anybody, any big institution or any big organisation, desires to pay honour to him, the same announcement is made: that An Seanaschal regrets that he cannot attend, with the result that the thing is becoming a fraud and a farce, and is recognised as such here and outside. For that reason I am opposed to voting this sum of £10,000 a year for An Seanaschal, because I think the money could be put to a more useful purpose.

This office, which costs nearly £13,000 a year is, we find, still in existence. That will be news to the people of the country after all that was said about it. It will be news to them to learn that it has not been abolished.

Will the Deputy vote for its abolition?

So far as paying for the office is concerned it has not been abolished, but so far as getting any use from the office is concerned it has been abolished. We were told that it was only a rubber stamp. Well, £13,000 a year is a rather big sum to pay for a rubber stamp. A previous speaker referred to garden parties that were given by previous Governors-General, and when that reference was made Deputies on the back benches opposite burst out in laughter. That only shows the limited intelligence and knowledge of the back benchers opposite. I have never been at a garden party of any description in my life.

Well, you will.

That rests with me and not with the back bencher who has interrupted because I still have a free will. I showed that I had a free will when the President opposite tried to take it off me. That free will was tried to be taken off me when I was one of 45——

That is not a bit relevant to the Vote for the Governor-General.

But I am dealing with the Governor-General. I was one of 45, and I was ordered by the President that I should not attend Mass because the Governor-General was there.

That is not true.

The Deputy will deal with the Vote which is before the House and not with whatever happened previous to this in any Party that he belonged to.

The Deputy has made the statement that the President endeavoured to prevent him from attending Mass. The President has said that is not true. Does the usual rule prevail in this case?

The Deputy said nothing of the kind. A point of order has been raised, and I trust I am in order in speaking to it. The Deputy said quite a different thing to what the Minister states. He stated that he had been ordered not to attend Mass when the Governor-General was present. I simply rise to point out that the Minister did not repeat what the Deputy said.

Whatever the statement was the President averred that it was not true.

It is not true in any form.

Surely the President can speak for himself.

If a statement is made which the President says is not true, what is the position?

The statement is a serious statement. The Deputy alleges that the President instructed or ordered him not to attend Mass while the——


—— Governor-General was present. The President said that statement is not true. I think, considering the seriousness of the statement, the Deputy ought to withdraw it, and to accept the President's denial.

On a point of order, did the President deny the statement, or did the Minister for Finance, on behalf of the President, deny it?

I distinctly heard the President say that the statement was untrue.

On a point of order again, I must confess that I did not hear the President, and neither did I see the President rise.

I heard the President say "No," but it was quite clear that what Deputy Belton said must not have reached the man sitting beside the President. It is quite clear that there was a misunderstanding reached between these two seats over there as to what the Deputy said. I want to have the definite statement. What has been denied?

What the Deputy said.

The statement I made was true, and I stand by that statement. A division was forced by me in the Party on it.

The statement is untrue.

Let us be clear about it. I intervened in this because it concerns an officer of the State, and the dignity of this State. I did not want it to go abroad that there was any disrespect intended by the President or by Deputy Belton. Accordingly, when the statement was made that the President ordered Deputy Belton not to attend Mass when the Governor-General was present, I thought it was sufficiently serious. On the President's correction of that statement, I suggest that the Deputy should withdraw it.(Interruptions.) I heard the President definitely state that the statement was correct.

We did not hear it.

I am sure the Deputy will take my word that I heard it. I heard the President distinctly state that that statement was not correct. I intervened because I did not want the impression to go abroad that the President or any Deputy in the House reflected on the officer of State concerned, whoever occupied that position.

Although I quite accept your statement, sir, that the President said "No," and the mere fact that you state so is sufficient for me——

The Leas-Cheann Comhairle said that he heard the President deny the statement.

That is the usual footy kind of remark the Minister makes. It is quite clear—I put it again—that Deputy Belton's statement was not clearly heard. There was a row going on at the time, and his statement was not clearly heard by the two occupants of the Front Bench because it is obvious, unless the Minister wants deliberately to misrepresent Deputy Belton, that he did not hear the last few words of Deputy Belton's statement. I suggest that it is also possible that the President did not hear the last few words of the statement. That being so, the President has had an opportunity since of denying that statement, and I suggest that we have had no denial. I am accepting fully that the Leas-Cheann Comhairle heard the President deny it, but what is not clear to the House is, what the President meant to deny.

Mr. Belton rose.

On a point of order, you have ruled, sir, that a statement made by Deputy Belton must be withdrawn. That ruling, I submit, should be insisted on.

Deputy Belton makes no statement in this House that is not true.

On a point of order, is this to be a precedent that when a statement has been made, and a ruling from the Chair that that statement should be withdrawn——


The Minister has raised a point of order.

Is this, henceforward, going to be the guiding principle or order in this House, that when a Deputy has made and repeated a statement, and when, in the hearing of another occupant of this House, the truth of that statement has been denied by the person about whom it was made, and when subsequently, the accuracy of the Deputy who raised the point first was questioned, and the statement was then repeated by the Deputy and was again denied——

Deputies: Oh, no!

Yes, because it was on that occasion that the Leas-Cheann Comhairle heard the denial. Is that Deputy to be allowed to proceed without retracting the statement that has been denied.

The Minister's speech was not a point of order at all.

I did not call on the Deputy to proceed. I asked him to withdraw the remark in consideration of the President's denial. I called on him to withdraw it, and I still expect him to withdraw the remark. The Minister is a little bit previous in suggesting that I called on the Deputy to proceed.

I want to know your version of what occurred, sir. Do I understand from you that after what Deputy Belton said had been made clear, you then heard the President deny it?

I heard the President on two occasions. I am nearer to the President's seat than the Deputies on the opposite side. I am sure the House will accept my statement that I heard the President on two occasions contradict what Deputy Belton said.

That is not the question I asked. I asked whether, subsequent to Deputy Belton's statement as to what he said, and also subsequent to my making it clear what he did say in answer to the Minister for Finance, the Chair heard the President deny it.

The statement I heard was subsequent to Deputy Belton's remark, and I think, in consideration of that, that Deputy Belton ought to withdraw the remark.

On a point of order, I submit that the President ought to rise in his seat when he is speaking. I accept what you say, sir, but I respectfully submit that the House is entitled to hear the President's denial, if it is a denial, and that the President, just as well as every other member of the House, is supposed to stand up, when he makes any statement, whether it be short or long.

You are always making points of order.

And you are always making points of disorder.

This is an important point, and I suggest that it is not too much even now to ask the President to get up and deny the statement, if he wants to do so, so that every person in the House can hear it. The President does not deny it.

If Deputy Morrissey is asleep in the House, we cannot be blamed for that.

Am I to take it that Deputy Belton withdraws the remark?

I do not know exactly the position in this House——

Am I to take it that the Deputy will withdraw the remark?

I do not know exactly the position of the matter or what the President——

Let us be clear about this: either the Deputy accepts my statement that I heard the President categorically deny that he ordered Deputy Belton to remain away from Mass because the Governor-General was to be present, or he rejects it. I have asked him to withdraw the statement because of the importance of the two people concerned—the President of the Executive Council and the Governor-General. I ask him now again to withdraw the remark, and then proceed with his speech.

In deference to the ruling of the Chair.

There was——

May we take it that the remark is withdrawn?

There was this thing about the statement——

What is the use of saying that?

In deference to the request from the Chair, to conform to the usages of the House, and in obedience to the Chair's request, I withdraw it.

The remark is untrue?

The remark is true.

That is the respect for the ruling of the Chair.

Is it in order for one Deputy——

You must not treat the Chair with contempt. The Minister for Finance ought to conduct himself.

It is because this so rattled the President and the Minister that he cannot conduct himself.

I wish to say that I was there and the remark was untrue.

You were there when the order was given, is it?

I was there on all occasions on which the President and Deputy Belton took any part.

The Minister will have to conform to the rules of the House as well as any other Deputy. Deputy Belton withdrew the remark and the Minister for Finance has no right to say that Deputy Belton was telling an untruth—none whatever.

May I point out, with all respect to the Chair, what I did say?

The Minister said it was untrue.

I beg your pardon, I did not say that. Deputy Belton said, "I withdraw the remark" and I said "as untrue."

Is it in order even for a Minister to challenge the ruling of the Chair?

He has not challenged the ruling of the Chair; he has challenged the accuracy of the remark I made. He says he did not say "it is untrue." I understood him to say "It is untrue." He now says his remark was "as untrue." I must accept the Minister's correction then.

"As untrue."

May I submit that Deputy Belton had to submit to what you, sir, as Leas-Cheann Comhairle, said and the Minister for Finance ought, at least, to do the same?

When some interruptions were made I was proceeding to speak about the garden parties given by the Governor-General. It shows how much removed from the economic life of this country the back benchers over there are who laughed when the question of a garden party was mentioned. A garden party only gives a few hours recreation to those who go there and, particularly, to the ladies who admire or, perhaps, are jealous of the dresses of other ladies present.

What about the tall hats?

These are only to be carried in the hand in Paris. For the business people of Dublin however, garden parties have a different meaning. For weeks before big garden parties took place at the Viceregal Lodge, either during the régime of ex-President Cosgrave, or the previous régime, the trades people of Dublin were working overtime.

And the Deputy who says "Ah" knows it.

They used to hire the clothes for it.

Perhaps that brought business to the Deputy. In every market held in Dublin, in addition to the business houses, trade boomed prior to a garden party. If you go to any of the markets in Dublin they will tell you the amount of stuff that used to be sent to the Viceregal Lodge during the season, as it was called, in the then society. That was an important function. Another function for the Governor-General who was above Parties in this country, and who should be a man of experience, intelligence and education, as the two first occupants of the office undoubtedly were, was travel through Great Britain and attend industrial exhibitions there. Those of us who have experience of life in Great Britain know how much the patronage of a distinguished personage like the Governor-General of the Free State extended to the exhibitions would further the sale of Irish produce in the British market. That was also an important function. It is a great loss that we have a live Governor-General instead of an internee. An incompent Ministry, dominated and bull dosed by an incompetent President, drove this country up against the economic ramparts of England, leaving it there to starve and wither before these ramparts, with nobody to make a gesture of a settlement, until this country some day will rise up in rebellion against the bull-dosing that is driving it to the brink of destruction. If we had a live Governor-General he could have found ways and means of bringing the two parties together and long before now have effected a settlement of that dispute to the mutual advantage of the two countries; that is, unless President de Valera, who started the trouble does not want it settled. That would be an important function; an obvious function of the Governor-General. Instead of that he is set up—I speak with no offence to the present Governor-General, a man, who no doubt, in his walk of life is a good Irishman, who played his part well in the fight for Irish freedom; nobody will deny that, nobody could deny it. But, it is not because a British soldier wins the Victoria Cross that he will be given the highest position in the administration of the Government of England.

The soldier has his place. The ordinary patriot has his place, but when it comes to filling an important office it must be filled by an individual with qualifications. It is not because of any disrespect for Donal Buckley by his old colleagues that they say whether it is that he is stopped from filling that post in the best way for this country or whether it is done of his own volition, there must be a certain amount of consent on the part of the individual concerned or otherwise he would not allow himself to be eclipsed and put in the corner out in Blackrock in the way he has been. If he did not consent to the humiliation of that office, he would have functioned in it as his predecessors had done, and if any attempt were made to humiliate him he would have stood up against it, in the way his predecessor stood up when an attempt was made, a very foul attempt, to humiliate him. There are rumours about this office that should be denied. There are rumours afloat that in addition to this £10,000 there are certain offices paid out of the public purse in the household whatever it is. Rumour has it—I would be glad to have it denied—that members of the family——

There are Estimates before the House. These Estimates contain all the information that Deputies require about the cost of the office. I think that rumours should not be mentioned here.

The President is aware that although there are figures in the Estimates there are no names in the Estimates.

The figures give the remuneration for certain offices.

Every office? Rumour has it that some of the offices are filled——

Let us be clear about that. One cannot discuss every rumour one hears in connection with an Estimate. There are figures placed before us as to what the cost of the office is. We should discuss the Estimate on that basis and, on that basis, we need not mind what the public or the Press states or what rumour floats about about anybody.

If it is too delicate a point I shall pass away from it. I hope that in fulfilling these offices, anyway, due regard will be given to the unemployed and that there will not be duplication of offices. Like the previous speakers, I am at a terrible loss to know, as I am sure the country will be at a lose to know, why, seeing that the office of Governor-General has pretty well passed out of the life of this country except for the payments attached to it, there should be an allowance in respect of salary and wages for a household staff of £608, and why there should be an allowance to the Governor-General of £1,200. We have a provision for the maintenance of the official residence and the establishment of the Governor-General of £1,200. Why should all these big sums go for some uses that are not quite apparent to the ordinary man? It is strange why the residence, the seat of this important personage, should have been removed from the Viceregal Lodge out to Blackrock. It was mentioned by a previous speaker that there was only a lease of six months taken for that house. I hope that the ordinary practice of renting a house in the city was complied with and that the Governor-General, or those acting on his behalf, paid half a year's rent as security, because certain whimsical things have been done in the past, and from the way in which this office has been administered recently, one does not know but that the tenant might go away without any notice at all.

We have an item of £100 for travelling expenses. I do not know where the travelling takes place. Then we have got telegrams and telephones £110 and an allowance to the Governor-General for a motor car of £300. Last year a sum of £240 was allowed for a motor car replacement fund. The allowance to the Governor-General for expenses and the provision for the maintenance of the official residence and establishment of the Governor-General amounts to £1,200, telegrams £10 and telephones £100. We have all these expenses to the State and no attempt has been made to explain the function for which this £13,000 has been paid. Previous speakers have referred to the fact that the Governor-General is interned or marooned and cannot go out without leave. He was not able even to play a representative part at a recent Rugby football match. Of course, certain people applaud that. That is the epitome of patriotism. There was a time before we got our freedom that I approved of that and practised that. For nearly 20 years I played Gaelic football and hurling and nothing else. I agreed with that at that time.

A Deputy

Who is denying that?

When we got freedom these rules should have been relaxed and, apart from that, at an international Rugby match, where representatives of this country are meeting representatives of another country in a sporting contest——

Who prevented anybody from going to the Rugby match? Let us get out of this rut and discuss the Governor-General's Vote. Whether he would or would not go to a Rugby match, there is no responsibility for that in this House.

It is not who went or who did not go that bothers me or that might bother this House, but the Governor-General, I understood, refused to go.

There is no responsibility in this House whether he goes to a Rugby match or a Gaelic match.

Is that your ruling? I submit that, as he is a representative of this nation, no influence should be brought to bear on him to take sides in a matter of that kind. Whether a man plays Rugby football, Gaelic football or any other football, he is a citizen of this country. This is the sort of cheap patriotism we have nowadays by people who, when we were struggling for our freedom, played Rugby and would not play Gaelic.

Surely the question of the advice or the non-advice of the Governor-General cannot apply on this Vote.

But the functions of the Governor-General and the actions of the Governor-General can be passed under review on this Vote.

There is no responsibility on this House as to whether the Governor-General goes to a Gaelic match or to a Rugby match, and there is no use in discussing it when the House has no responsibility for it.

I accept your ruling; it clears my mind. Of course it can be interpreted that the Governor-General has no functions at all. That is what I was thinking myself, but I thought I would elicit some information as to the exact functions of the Governor-General, if any. I now find he has none, and the taxpayers of this country will feel gratified that, despite all that has been said by the Party opposite, the Governor-General exists in the one way that matters to the taxpayers, that is as a loss to the taxpayers. The Governor-General exists to draw his salary for doing nothing. When the previous Governor-General was there he drew the same salary, but he did something and it was quite in keeping with the outlook, policy and achievement of the present Government that though they are not doing anything except in a negative way still they are costing the country more than their predecessors. Though they promised to achieve much they have only achieved the negativing of the effects of some offices. But they have not reduced the cost of those offices to the country. They have diminished the efficiency of those offices and our next Vote will give us what the President's Office costs and its efficiency.

This is not a very pleasant Estimate to discuss, because we find here in this Estimate a sum of £2,318 to be voted by this House, and that sum, as far as one can see, is a sum of money which is going to be completely and entirely wasted. Now, there was a post here, the post of Governor-General. The Governor-General is the head of the whole State and a member of the Oireachtas. As head of the whole State, as Governor-General, he receives a salary of £10,000. In addition to that, for the upkeep and maintenance of his establishment he receives these other sums in the Estimate. Now, if he were Governor-General, if he acted in the spirit, or if you like if he were allowed to act in the spirit in which the Governor-General should act, then no doubt, the sum of money for the upkeep of his house and the other expenses would be perfectly right and perfectly natural. But we want to know why this amount of the taxpayers' money should be paid to a Governor-General who lives the life of a recluse? Go anywhere you like and where will you see the Governor-General? There may be any public business, any State ceremony in public places where men frequent, where you would expect to find the head of the State, representing the State. But you find him nowhere. It may be very admirable that a man in the position of the Governor-General or any other position should live the life of a recluse or the life of a hermit. But surely to goodness, if the Governor-General wishes, or the Attorney-General for that matter, or anybody else wishes, to retire into what is, for all practical purposes, a hermit's cell, then he might be allowed to practice the virtue of poverty in that cell and not be given as well as £10,000 a sum of £2,318, which we know he is not going to spend. We look through this Estimate and we see the salaries and other things which are being paid to the Governor-General.

One wonders where on earth is this money going. It is a very unpleasant thing of course that you would see a Dublin comic paper making a joke like it made last month about the Governor-General when it had a notice that the Governor-General had gone on his holidays and then the note of interrogation, "from what?" That is all a very unpleasant state of affairs in this country. But, as I say, if the Governor-General lives the life of a hermit, or is compelled by the circumstances, which I need not go into because the whole House knows it, to live the life of a recluse, why should he, at the same time, receive this sum of money in addition to his £10,000 a year? The Governor-General is the non-political head of this State! he is supposed to expend the salary he receives and all his other allowances in entertaining and in upholding the dignity of the position. It is for that this sum of money is being paid. But now we find that this is being done in duplicate, that the Governor-General is receiving a salary as Governor-General, and is receiving this further sum of £2,318 to be voted to him to-night. But the work he had to do and the expenses that he had to defray out of these sums of money are being incurred and defrayed elsewhere, and the taxpayers have got to pay them on the double. We find that the entertainments that the Governor-General ought to give out of these sums of money are being given by the President of the Executive Council, and of course, out of the Entertainment Fund that comes out of the pocket of the taxpayers. The Governor-General is receiving this sum of money to entertain, and the entertainment is being done at the cost of the taxpayers, by the President of the Executive Council. This is taking place in a year in which, by common consent, the finances of this State are in a very bad condition.

Now, as far as I am concerned, I certainly would have no objection to the voting of this sum of money or a larger sum of money, to a Governor-General who was expending that money; to a Governor-General who was upholding the dignity of the office—not merely in private but in public. But I do not see why this money should be paid to discharge liabilities which we know are not being incurred. Because right down through the whole matter runs the idea and has run the idea that the office of the Governor-General is not an office of profit. It is not supposed to be. The Governor-General is not supposed to go out of office a richer man than he was when he went into office. The whole theory of the Governor-General is that it is not a position in which a man is to be put in order that he may get rich out of that office, that he may live on nothing, and, as the expression goes, "feather his nest." That is not the idea. The idea is that the Governor-General is to come out of that office, if anything, a poorer man, because he is supposed to expend every single penny of his salary and he is supposed to expend every single penny of his allowances in upholding the dignity of his position. I have not said or suggested that in public or private as far as the Governor-General is concerned that he, as an individual, lowered the dignity of his position. But as far as being in public he is not taking that position in this State that the Governor-General should take, and it is to enable him to take that position and to uphold its dignity that these sums of money are being voted to-night.

I am intervening in this debate for the purpose of coming to the assistance of the Government; because I think there is something to be said for this Vote. There is something to be said in favour of the view that we are going to get something for the expenditure of this money, and that however expensive it may be on the country, there is some hope that there may be a return to the country for the expenditure of this sum of money. The reason I take that view is this—that it would appear that this country can learn no lesson except at very great expense. This country can learn at the expense of the amount of money comprised in this Estimate, the value of the instrument that was signed by Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith, and the extent of the liberty that was achieved by them, and by the actions of their successors, Kevin O'Higgins and Deputy McGilligan. The present Government have demonstrated by their action in reference to the office of the Governor-General all that was achieved by Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith and subsequently by Kevin O'Higgins and his successor Deputy McGilligan at later Imperial Conferences.

For a number of years the people of this country were told by the propagandists of the Fianna Fáil Party that the Governor-General was an officer who represented the British Government and the British King. They were told that he represented in this country all that was hateful in British rule, and that he was the embodiment of British interference in Irish affairs in this country. And we were not believed, and our predecessors were not believed when we told the people of this country that they had in the instrument that was signed on the 6th of December, 1921, an instrument which gave them power to achieve for this country the fullest possible freedom. We were not believed when we said that there can be no interference in the affairs of this country under that instrument, either through the instrumentality of the Governor-General or otherwise.

The reports of the Imperial Conferences of 1926, 1929, and 1930 were proof to this House of the advance that had been made by Kevin O'Higgins and Deputy McGilligan. These advances were explained to this House and to the country. One of the most outstanding achievements of these great men was the fact that they made it clear and apparent to all that the Governor-General was not the representative of the British Government in this country, but that he was the mere embodiment of the people's will, that he was merely giving expression through the Executive Council to the people's will in this country, either external or internal, through the office of the Governor-General. These are matters that are now made clear to the people. It remained for the present President of the Executive Council and his colleagues to show by their actions last year in connection with the office of the Governor-General that we were completely and absolutely free from any domination in our affairs, external or internal, from this office of the Governor-General; that he was the mere nominee of the Executive Council of this State, and the mere instrument for registering the people's will in this State. I say if this Vote is passed, and if it makes this clear to the people of this country, then it is worth the price. If the actions of the President and of his colleagues who, in their treatment of this office for the last year degraded it, if you like, make it clear that the freedom achieved under this instrument, which has been so much reviled by them, but which has been worked by them during the last 18 months—in that this office of the Governor-General, upon which they cast so much ridicule is merely the instrument by which the Executive Council's decisions are registered, then I say this Vote will be cheap at the price. Unfortunately, it is a big price to pay for that in the present economic circumstances, but it is a price which I for one would be prepared to pay.

I have been some years in this House and never before was I so interested or amused in any debate as I was in this. I remember, when on the opposite side of the House, pointing out how ridiculous it was to spend vast sums of money on what I said was practically the position of a rubber stamp. I remember how these gentlemen sitting opposite, talking about the office to-day, used to stand up here, and if I dared say a word about the person who was then Governor-General, the Chair was appealed to and I was silenced as being one who was out of order in referring to so exalted a personality. Now, what a change we have got. We have these gentlemen on the other side, and while they have only to look through the Estimates to see the extent to which that item of expenditure is reduced, they still complain of the cost, talk of the waste of the taxpayers' money on this utterly worthless office. When we pointed out the cost when it was far greater the gentlemen opposite said that this was an essential office. Now, we are quite frank, and if it was possible to completely abolish the office, we would do it, and I hope yet one day to be able to do it completely and absolutely.

The Governor-General to-day is performing all the constitutional functions that any of his predecessors performed, performing all the constitutional offices and functions under the Constitution. But the gentlemen on the other side did not want merely a Governor-General who performed the functions of his office; they wanted a Viceroy and a Court here. That is what they wanted; and because we have cut down the office and made it strictly one in accord with the Constitution—as I say, we propose still to do more—of course we have offended the gentlemen opposite who wanted to have a nice little king of their own. They wanted a Viceroy operating around here with his own Court. We do not want that. We were compelled on account of the pledge we gave the people, to maintain the office. We have kept our promise and cut down the cost, and confined the functions to the narrowest possible limits. And before I go into details and show how far we have gone in that respect, I would like to refer to the speech made by the former Attorney-General. It is true that we pointed out after the Treaty that the Governor-General was the direct agent of the British Cabinet. The Deputy spoke as a former Attorney-General and I ask him can he deny that the Governor-General was in that position for many a year, and that in all the years that we were out against him as the agent of the British Government he was, in fact, the agent of the British Government and I was one of the first people in the country—certainly I was, I think, the first person in the Opposition— to state that a big change had been made. I think I was one of the first and I gave full credit for that change inasmuch as after the 1926 conference the Governor-General undoubtedly no longer was the agent of a foreign cabinet and a foreign Government but he is none the less and the office is none the less distasteful to the vast majority of the Irish people and if there was to be expression given to the wishes of the vast majority of the Irish people there would be no such thing as a Governor-General here.

Why not abolish it?

The Deputy knows full well, although he was not in the House at the time, the reason why the Treaty was taken. It might be just as well to remind some of the people why it was. The late Michael Collins was mentioned by a Deputy on the other side. Look up his speeches and see why he took it, and look up the speeches of any of the people who took it at the time, and see why they took it. They took it because it was the alternative to war—to immediate and terrible war. That was Lloyd George's phrase, and that is why they accepted the Treaty, and why they accepted the office of Governor-General. If the office of Governor-General is retained to-day, it is because there is a fear in certain people's minds that, if it were abolished, you would have a renewal of some war. The people on the opposite side are crying out about the tariff war, and because there are people in this country who feel that if they completely and thoroughly ended the Treaty, there would be a renewal of a war of one kind or another, by a big State against ours, they are compelled in that particular way to submit to the retention of an office like this. We made a change in the occupancy. Why? Because we wanted to make it quite clear that the Governor-General functioning in this country, anyhow, so long as we were the Government, would just do what the Executive Council told him to do, and nothing more and nothing less. We wanted to make that quite clear and we made it quite clear that that is the position. It is the position, and it will remain the position as long as we are the Executive Council. He is, so far as we are concerned, to remain the instrument—it does not matter who holds the post—of the Executive Council of this State.

The personality of the present occupant was mentioned, and I shall just refer to it in passing. There is not a better Gael in Ireland, or a better man, than the present occupant of that post. He took the post as a matter of national duty, at a big sacrifice to himself, and he did it because he felt it was necessary to do it in the general interest of the country. He accepted the position on that basis and on no other. There was only one Deputy who had common sense enough to ask a question before he went a foolish distance with regard to the cost. I will give some of the particulars of the cost, and I will compare them later with the costs of his predecessor. As a result of the changes made during the last year, the entire cost of maintaining the office of Governor-General, including his salary, which is charged on the Central Fund, and the charges in this and in other Votes, is expected this year to be £5,083 as compared with £26,452 last year. It was really amusing to listen to these people talking now about economy on an expenditure which is only one quarter of the expenditure they themselves stood for. Listening to them talking one would think that all the entertainment of the State was borne by the Governor-General out of his £10,000 a year. Nothing of the sort. In addition to the £10,000, there was a further £16,000 for the upkeep of his establishment in other Votes. I am giving the total sum this year in our case as £5,000 and it will not amount to that because, as it was the first year, we were not able to estimate accurately what the cost would be, but I am perfectly certain that the cost of these items will be far less than the amount that is down here in the Estimate. Is it a fact that all the entertainment was paid for by the Governor-General out of his £10,000 a year salary? Nothing of the sort, because there were other Votes for entertainment. Going back beyond last year, which was exceptional on account of the Eucharistic Congress, to the previous year, when the Governor-General was costing £27,000, with his £10,000 salary, we find that there was, under Vote 66, for instance, provision for a sum of £1,250. It is suggested that we have put Votes elsewhere to make up for the loss of entertaining by the Governor-General. Look elsewhere for our Vote, and it will be found that it is only half, in respect of entertainment, what it was when the Governor-General was taking £10,000 a year. The present Governor-General is not taking £10,000 a year. We have to put £10,000 a year down in these Estimates, because it is a statutory salary payable out of the Central Fund. We are bound to offer it to the Governor-General, but the Governor-General is not bound to receive it, and the Governor-General is not, in fact, going to take it, and has not taken it. The total sum will not be more than £2,000, free of tax, so that, instead of this £10,000, of which we heard the previous speakers talking, it has been cut down to one-fifth of the sum.

As I have said, it might be worth while going through some of the items. The allowance to the Governor-General for the maintenance of his household has been reduced by £1,800 and travelling expenses by £75 and, as a matter of fact, these travelling expenses will not have to be paid unless they are actually incurred, and we do not believe that they will be incurred. Telegrams and telephones have been reduced by £80. If the Governor-General gets telegrams, I suppose he has to send replies and, while the sum we have estimated on this head is reduced by £80 we expect that, in fact, the actual saving will be far more. For the first year, however, we were unable to estimate it accurately, and to fine down the Estimate, as closely as if we had previous experience, under which circumstances we would be certain about the amount which would actually have to be borne. Reductions in the staff have resulted in a saving, on wages and salaries, of £787. There is an increase of £60 in the allowance for the Governor-General's motor car, which arises from particular circumstances. The previous Governor-General had three or four cars, a motor van and a whole number of other things, and the expenditure was not at all to be compared with that for this year. In addition to the saving of £2,682 shown on this Vote there is a net reduction of £10,877 in the charges on other Votes in connection with the Governor-General's establishment. That is attributable chiefly to the closing of the Viceregal Lodge and to the fact that the Governor-General has taken up residence in a comparatively small house, rented and maintained out of his allowance of £1,200 in the past year.

What does it cost to keep up the Viceregal Lodge at the moment, or is it being kept up?

The Viceregal Lodge at the moment has not been definitely allocated to any purpose. I have not the exact sum here, but it is estimated that the cost will be about £3,000, instead of £9,800.

Is the Viceregal Lodge at the disposal of the President?

At the present moment its permanent use has not been decided. There are two or three propositions.

Its temporary use is at the disposal of the President?

There is no question of the temporary use of the Viceregal Lodge being at the disposal of the President. The Viceregal grounds are to be used for a particular function in connection with meetings of the World Education Conference.

Or for any other purpose the President wishes?

Or for any other purpose that is prudent, just as, for instance, other State places would be at our disposal if we wanted to use them for any special State purposes. I have explained with regard to the Governor-General's salary, that it is fixed by statute. The present occupant of the office has declared his intention of not retaining more than £2,000 of this sum. That will be free of income tax. At any rate the net result will be a saving of £7,800 on one item alone. To sum up, the total estimated saving is £21,369. That is not a bad saving, it is over 80 per cent. of the cost compared with that under our predecessors. I only wish that it were possible to proceed as rapidly with certain other portions of our programme and to have as good a show at the end of one year.

I would like to ask the President a question. I know it is silly, but certain ill-mannered references were made during the discussion to the Governor-General being an internee. I should like the President to say that the Executive Council places no embargo on the natural or social life of the Governor-General, and never has done so. Deputies can laugh at that but it is just as well to make it plain.

Question put.
The Committee divided: Tá: 50; Níl: 36.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Cleary, Mícheál.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Daly, Denis.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • O'Doherty, Joseph.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hales, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Kelly, Seán Thomas.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Richard.


  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Belton, Patrick.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Broderick, William Joseph.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Davitt, Robert Emmet.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • O'Connor, Batt.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • O'Neill, Eamonn.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, Bridget Mary.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Roddy, Martin.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Traynor; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.