Fifth Report of the Committee of Selection. - Constitution (Amendment No. 24) Bill, 1934—Second Stage (Resumed).

Question again proposed: That the Bill be now read a Second Time.

Last night, when speaking on this, I had been diverted away from the main arguments that I wanted to use on this Bill by Deputy Corry's unfortunate divagations into pedigrees and such things. I felt, however, that it was useful to point out that Deputy Corry was only treading along a path the track of which had been well beaten and marked out by such people as the Minister for Industry and Commerce, the President and other members of the Government when, from time to time, they seek to destroy any institution of the State. The first attack always comes by way of an allegation that those who compose that institution are remarkable for their anti-Irish views and for their treachery to this nation: for old-time and continuing hatred to all things Irish. That gets the atmosphere: that is the cloud that has to be raised around discussion so that the facts of a particular measure, when put before the House, will not be realised. The smoke-screen having been laid, what did the President say yesterday as to his reasons for abolishing not the present group of Senators—that must be insisted on—but for abolishing the institution of the Seanad? What were the arguments with which he fortified his contention that a single House is not merely suitable for the conditions of this country, but is the only institution that can suitably represent the people of this country in carrying out legislative duties. He gave us the amazing argument that it was merely an accident that a bicameral system existed and was continued anywhere. In answer to that, it is only necessary to say this: that the combined wit of mankind operating in all the diverse circumstances that hold all over the world has, at any rate, come to this conclusion, except in the case of a few of the smaller republics, that the double-chamber system is useful and has not outlived its day. If the President at this time can tell us that it is merely an accident that the two-chamber practice has survived, he should fortify himself with examples to show how and by what accident it has survived against, apparently, what he thinks is the trend of modern opinion in so many States of the world.

That was one argument. The second argument was that the Government had been held up in what he called its march—what might better be described as its progress—down a steep slope to the sea. In what respect has the Government been held up? The two matters alluded to were the Seanad's refusal to accept the Blue Shirt Bill; and, secondly, the request of the Seanad, which appears daily on our Order Paper, for a committee of both Houses to consider what the functions of a Second Chamber should be and what the composition of a Second Chamber should be. Let us consider these matters only from the angle of time. When, by the ordinary expiration of time, will the Bill limiting the powers of the Seanad become law? Many months earlier than this Bill can become law if the Seanad holds up this Bill. When will the Bill, making illegal the wearing of a blue shirt, become law? Many weeks, at any rate, earlier than this measure will become law if it is held up by the Seanad. If, when the Bill limitating the powers of the Seanad becomes law, the Government then finds that the Seanad operates its limited powers upon some later measure, which the Government can present to the people as necessary and as unjustly held up by the Seanad, the Government know that they can then abolish the Seanad in three months and can even make the Seanad in three months agree to its own dissolution. Where, then, is the argument, from the point of view of time, in relation to any of these measures that makes the President so fast in his progress in regard to the abolition of the Seanad? That is not, of course, what his motive is.

Let us leave out of question the personnel of the Seanad. Let us admit for the sake of argument that the Seanad is hopeless in its personnel —I do not admit it, in fact, at all—but let it be admitted for the sake of argument that there is not a member in the Seanad who should be there if it were properly constituted. Let it also be admitted, although again, in fact, this should not be admitted, that there were many measures held up by the Seanad without a shadow of argument and most unreasonably. Do either of these two facts, if facts they were, provide any argument for the wiping out of an institution, for the disappearance of the two-chamber system in this country and for the handing over of control in relation to finance, judges, the making of crimes and so on, to a single House? Sometimes we get a better view of the Government from the Minister for Industry and Commerce than from anyone else. We get from him a closeup of the Government in operation, a sort of slow-motion picture, at times, of what the Government is at. Let us take one vital matter on which he spoke yesterday. As the Constitution is at the moment the independence of the judges is secured by this Constitutional provision, that they may only be removed for stated reasons, that these reasons are limited to certain matters, and removal for these reasons can be achieved only by resolution of both Houses. It was pointed out yesterday that if the Seanad abolition measure goes through, then a simple majority here, operating on any resolution that commends itself to that majority, can remove judges from time to time, as those judges become objectionable to the Ministry in power. The Minister for Industry and Commerce lent emphasis to that point. If the Government thought it desirable to remove any of the judges, he said, they would exercise that power. Now, the present Government did think it desirable earlier to utilise the powers they had in relation to the Chief Commissioner of the Gárda Síochána. They were asked why the Chief Commissioner had been removed. It is peculiar that there should be such an echo by the Minister for Industry and Commerce of the phrase used in reply to that query. Questions were put on March 1st, 1933, with regard to this removal when the President replied:—

"No charge was made against General O'Duffy. He was removed from office because, in the opinion of the Executive Council, a change of Commissioner was desirable in the public interest."

Are we to have similar questions asked and similarly answered about judges, after a resolution has been passed? Are we to have questions like this put down? Was there any real charge of misconduct or inefficiency against a named judge? Are we going to get the answer that such and such a judge was removed from office because, in the opinion of the Executive Council, a change of judges was desirable in the public interest? That particular reason as applied to General O'Duffy's case was analysed somewhat later, when on March 14th on a motion put down about his removal from his office. Then the President went into some more details than were given on the earlier question. He still admitted that there was no charge laid against General O'Duffy, that there was no question of inefficiency and no question of disregard of duty, but there was, to the President, one damaging and conclusive argument against General O'Duffy—it was this:—

"Deputy Cosgrave asked me was there any characteristic in the quality of the new occupant of the office that the old occupant did not have"

and the President answered:—

"I say yes, one; that he was not Chief of Police for ten years under the last Administration."

Is that the test that we are to apply hereafter? The Comptroller and Auditor-General will suffer if ruled by that test? How many of the judges will suffer by the application of that test? The Minister said yesterday that if the Government thinks it desirable to remove judges they will do so. They did think it desirable to remove the Chief Commissioner of Police, the reason given by the President being that he was Chief Commissioner for ten years under the old Administration. That was the test he used. With that as the test removals of judges can be achieved by a simple majority of this House and with a guillotine resolution this can be achieved in the space of one afternoon, without any proper time being permitted for reflection, without even such time as would be required to bring the resolution before both Houses and to have it argued before both Houses. The Minister for Industry and Commerce wipes all these considerations aside. The combination of his and the President's arguments comes to this. If you have two Houses in agreement, then the Second House is a futility. If there is disagreement between the two Houses then, clearly, according to their view the Seanad must be wrong and can cause nothing but confusion. There is nothing valuable in delay, in giving time so as to allow for a little better deliberation in order to permit second thoughts, perhaps, to occur about the removal of either a judge or a Comptroller and Auditor-General. So, if the Ministry have power in this House and not in the other, then that Second House is intolerably stopping their progress and should be abolished. If they have control in both Houses what does it matter that there is a Second House? Let us reduce that to an absurdity.

The Government have a majority in this House; that majority is represented by the Executive Council. Why should the Executive Council have to submit a resolution to this House in which they have a majority? Why come near the House? Why not have instead a resolution of the Executive Council? Take that a point further. We know that the present Executive Council is bossed by the President because he controls his own special newspaper, holds, if not all, certainly the majority of their Party funds and he has all their propaganda under his sway. Is there after all any reason why a President with such funds and such propaganda should consult the Executive Council at all? Has the President at that point not realised his ambition? May he not complain: "With my newspaper, my funds and my new propaganda servant, why should I ever bring in a resolution condemning a judge and possibly have to state reasons?" Remember that with regard to General O'Duffy it was stated that "it is not desirable in all cases to give reasons." That was stated on the 1st March, 1933. Why should the President be put to the trouble of stating a reason even to the Executive Council? That is, at any rate, a reduction to the point of absurdity of the sweeping argument of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. "We have control in this House and we can do what we like. Why should we go to another House? Why, alternatively, come here at all?"

This is not an attack on a particular body of men in whose pedigrees Deputy Corry finds nothing sustaining, expert as that Deputy is on pedigree matters. This is not an attack on this body of men because they held up measures that the Government deem to be necessary and because these necessary measures can be rushed to the Statute Book more speedily under the new procedure. The question has not been seriously argued that any obstruction has been put on progress, even as progress is understood by the present Government. This is simply an attack on liberty. It is an attempt at half truths and false arguments in order to destroy an institution. The institution is to be destroyed not because it is either objectionable or unworkable as an institution, but because President de Valera does not take kindly to the thought that there shall be anybody to whom he will have to reveal his true reasons when it is a matter of removing from a post or office anyone he wants to remove from that position, anybody who has authority, which he thinks they should not have, or anybody likely to become powerful in opposition to him.

We have a Constitution at the moment, a written Constitution, and Constitution amendment measures have to go before the Second House. Under the new conditions that will be changed. Bills to change the measures of the Constitution may, if brought in here associated with a guillotine resolution, possibly get passed into law at one sitting of the House. This Constitution, abused as it has been from time to time, at any rate, contains certain fundamental clauses. Here is one:—

"The liberty of the person is inviolable, and no person shall be deprived of his liberty except in accordance with law. Upon complaint made by or on behalf of any person that he is being unlawfully detained, the High Court and any and every judge thereof shall forthwith enquire into the same and may make an order requiring the person in whose custody such person shall be detained to produce the body of the person so detained...."

The Government knows that recently that particular Article was relied upon in a Constitutional case and relied upon against them and to their discomfiture. Will the Article remain? It can be abolished afterwards by a simple measure which may be passed through this House in one day. Article VII says:—

"The dwelling of each citizen is inviolable and shall not be forcibly entered except in accordance with law."

Is that likely to remain? We know that the Blue Shirt Bill was going to make certain inroads into that, and that the right to search premises on suspicion had been given to a police officer. The Bill with that encroachment has been held up. The Article itself may become objectionable. The Minister for Industry and Commerce may decide that it is desirable in the public interest that police officers should have the right to enter the dwellinghouses of citizens. What security is there that a measure to delete that Article will be subjected to any lengthy process of argument with a view to discovering if there is any virtue in the Article before we bid farewell to it. Article VIII guarantees freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion. Is there likely to be trouble that way? Can it be said that there is no likelihood of trouble in that way? Under Article IX the right of free expression of opinion, as well as the right to assemble peaceably and without arms, is guaranteed for purposes not opposed to public morality. Wipe out that Article and there develops a situation which may please the Government but will please them only as long as they are a Government.

The control of finance is an important matter. So much importance is attached to it that you have, in most countries, this scheme of the appointment of a person free from political control to examine the accounts, and report as to whether or not the moneys have been appropriated in accordance with the financial measures passed by Parliament. Under our Article LXIII the Comptroller and Auditor-General is put in a privileged position. He

"shall not be removed except for stated misbehaviour or incapacity——"

At the moment, on resolutions passed by both Houses, but, in future, on a resolution passed by a simple majority here. Supposing it is discovered that the Comptroller and Auditor-General wants to call attention to something which he thinks has been wrongly done. That independent officer, appointed under the terms of the Constitution as at first passed, is under the new system, to be subject to removal by the Government which, being a Government, controls for the time the majority in this House, and is, therefore, on the argument of the Minister for Industry and Commerce sure of its majority for any purpose. He can be removed, possibly, for the reason that he is going to criticise some action of that particular Government in relation to finance. He may have his report in draft. If its contents are discovered, a simple resolution passed here will remove him and take away from him his power to reveal the irregularities he has discovered. Articles LXVIII and LXIX deal with the judges. The judicial power is by these to be exercised in particular ways, and the phrase occurs in Article LXVIII:—

"The judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Court shall not be removed except for stated misbehaviour or incapacity and then only by——"

As it stands at present, resolutions passed by both Houses, but, as it will be in the future, by a simple majority resolution of this House, brought in, possibly, on notice given in the House only on the day on which it is introduced. Article LXIX is complementary to that. It says:—

"All judges shall be independent in the exercise of their functions and subject only to the Constitution and the law."

If there is in modern times one thing firmly held to and regarded as a rare and precious possession, it is that judges have been given an independent position and that they cannot be removed except by a process which was thought, at any rate, to necessitate a statement widening either in capacity and misbehaviour, and widening it to the point of securing approval of a majority of both Houses. The Minister says that if the Government think it desirable to remove judges, they will do so. It may be pointed out that, at the moment, judges can only be removed for stated incapacity or misbehaviour. But how long will that last? If the present Government want to remove that phrase from the Constitution, is there any obstacle to their doing so if this Bill becomes law? If they suffer no check in the process of removing that phrase, what becomes of Article LXIX, which provides that all judges shall be independent in the exercise of their functions?

Let us consider this point from another angle. Certain people may regard some of the present occupants of judicial posts as unsuitable or, at least, not as good as they themselves would be in those posts. They may be thinking of themselves as the partners in this triumph of the dissolution of the Seanad and not as objects of the triumph. How long will the triumph last? Already, I have seen resolutions passed by clubs and a letter from a Deputy with regard to some of the judges. These were probably inspired by the same mood which moved the Minister for Industry and Commerce when he stated that if the Government thought it desirable to remove judges they would be removed. Supposing there are a few vacancies created and that new appointments are made, what tenure of office will these new occupants have? Only as long as they please the Government that put them in. Will they last one day longer than the Government that put them in? If that is the situation that is to be created, will good men be got to accept the precarious position of judgeship for a few years with the prospect of then disappearing? If this business is persisted in of removing people because it is thought desirable in the public interest and of arguing that it is desirable in the public interest because the men concerned had served for ten years under another Administration—if that starts, you will not stop it for a long time. If one Comptroller and Auditor-General is removed, others will follow. If one judge is removed, others will follow. That is easily understood. If judges are removed because a political majority in this House does not like them, the men who will succeed the judges so removed will be poor types because they will know, first of all, that they have succeeded in an unworthy way and, secondly, that they cannot put many years' purchase on their own judicial lives.

The principle of the independence of the judges was long fought for. It is recorded in many books dealing with the Irish Parliament that one of the things Irish Parliaments fought for— and fought for for many years unsuccessfully—was that the judges should be removable only by resolution of the two Houses of the Irish Assembly. Year after year, when Bills were sent over to England containing that phrase, they were returned. The English Government of those days thought that, while it was desirable that judges in England should be independent in the exercise of their judicial functions, the judges appointed by these Englishmen to preside over legal matters in this country should be dependent for their judicial lives upon the English Government.

Year after year for many years Irish Assemblies exhausted themselves in sending Bills to England containing the provision that judges would not be removable except on resolutions passed by the two Irish Houses and that nobody else would have power to remove them except the particular people who voted in those Assemblies. Somewhere earlier than 1800 at any rate that principle was established, and the principle then established has lasted until now. There is now made for the first time the proposal to put the judges on the bench at the mercy of a political majority in one House and the proposal that that political majority alone is to have any say. The Minister for Industry and Commerce tells us that that power is there at the moment and will be exercised if it is thought desirable.

It is there now.

It is not there now. The only power there now is a resolution passed by both Houses.

Political majorities in both Houses.

It is now necessary that a resolution shall be passed by both Houses, and the only resolution possible must be one grounded on stated misbehaviour or incapacity. That cannot be changed except with the assent of the Seanad. When the Minister gets his way of course it can be changed. Probably we will have substituted for it the phrase that the President used in relation to General O'Duffy: "If it is thought desirable in the public interest," the phrase used by the Minister yesterday. What is considered desirable in the public interest is merely what is desirable from time to time in the minds of the President or the Minister for Industry and Commerce. That is the change that is being asked for at the moment. There are many Articles in the Constitution containing things that were thought valuable when they were drafted, things that were thought so valuable that they have been left in the Constitution to date, but if this Bill becomes law, even the Articles may be changed in accordance with what a political majority at a particular moment may consider desirable. These Articles may be changed in accordance with what a majority, achieved at a particular moment and possibly lasting only for a day or two, may think desirable.

Of course there is the other side to all this. In a sense it is weakening the opposition to this measure to argue as I have done. There are people in the country who will be attracted by the thought that there will be so many jobs to be filled when the Government has created so many vacancies. There will be the fleshpots, and when the lids are off the flesh-pots, the savour will at any rate attract every appetite even though it may not satisfy every appetite. There was a phrase I used before and I will use it again. There are people who may now regard themselves as partners in a triumph but if they pause to think they will soon discover that stability is a thing that matters in any country and if even a judicial post is achieved under conditions which mean that it will last only for a very short period, then it is not of very much value, such people may hereafter begin to regard themselves not as the partners but as the objects of the triumph. What further step have we to take to get clearly and distinctly to the spoils system, when everybody who holds office of any type or of any value will go out with the Government that appointed him? Is that a good thing? If it is not a good thing, how are we to prevent the evil? In olden days when offices used to be distributed as spoils—it was in the decaying days of an Empire—when simply because of the physical force that a man might gather round him that he was recognised, there were people who made bold to say openly to the influential Prefects of the Prætorian Guards of the day: "It is time to cast away this useless phantom of the civil power and to elect as our prince some soldier, somebody educated in camps (like the Minister for Industry and Commerce) somebody who will assert the valour and glory and magnificence, and distribute among his companions the spoils and treasures of this great Empire." Very few of the people elected under these conditions failed to assert the valour and the magnificence of the particular Empire. But they generally failed so far as their followers were concerned in the distribution of the treasures because the spoils were never big enough to go around. In those days the treasures were not exactions and taxes on the citizens but they were the spoils gathered by the sword from neighbouring countries through conquest. Even so, the system did not work. The mind of man working on from these times has consolidated itself all over the world in this, that stability is worth having and that in regard to judges and those who have to deal with financial matters, it is worth while to have such men so appointed to their positions that they cannot be removed therefrom simply because a political majority does not like them. But against history and tradition is the Minister's phrase that if it is desirable in the public interest to remove such people——

Is not that the law now?

It is not the law now.

The Deputy is creating bogeys and knocking them down.

If the question of the removal of the Chief Commissioner of the Gárda Síochána had been raised in 1932 would not the Minister have said it was a bogey? When the question was asked why the Chief Commissioner was removed and whether there was any charge against him we were told:

"No; he was removed from office because in the opinion of the Executive Council a change in the position of commissioner was desirable."

That is not the law in relation to judges.

It may soon be. Is there anything at present to prevent it being made the law?

Not at present.

There is—the Seanad; but will there be anything in the future to prevent it?

No more than in the past.

There are two Houses to be considered at the moment. If I say to the Minister "Is there anything to prevent the Blue Shirt Bill becoming law at the moment" will he say "It is just the same now as it will be in the future"?

Is it the Deputy's argument that there must always be an Opposition majority in the Seanad?

I do not argue anything of the sort. That is not what is being aimed at in this Bill. If it was we would have a proposition for a new Seanad, for a Seanad of some sort. What have we? A proposition to wipe it out, to destroy the institution. That is not removing an Opposition in the Seanad as such; it is removing the institution. The new conditions will not even allow the Minister to parade his well-known capacity for argument in the Seanad as to, say, why a judge ought or ought not be removed. In the future he will not be allowed to go there. The President will rule the roost here and the Minister will be ruled out. I will put the other point to the Minister again. If the majority in this House ought to rule and if the Government (and by hypothesis they do) command a majority in this House, why come to this House at all for approval?

Why go to the Seanad at all?

The Minister must go further. Why does he require a resolution of this House; why not a resolution of the Executive Council? I will put again to him what I put previously when he was asleep. Why ever ask the Executive Council to pass a majority resolution? Why not the fiat of the President? He rules. He has his paper and his moneys, and without him and his funds the Minister knows he personally will cut little ice in the country. The President therefore must have his way. That is the desired thing in this measure. It is not the removal of a particular Seanad as now constituted; it is not an attempt to change the personnel of the Seanad. The aim of the measure is to wipe out the Seanad; to destroy the institution. All the safeguards in the Constitution depend only upon this, that reason and intelligence must be used by way of argument to convince two Houses that what is proposed is right. That apparently is to go and for the future we will have the Minister coming down as in the case of General O'Duffy and telling us simply that the Government consider something desirable—possibly adding that it is not desirable in all cases to give reasons.

The Deputy's Government passed an amendment to the Constitution in 1924.

They did, but they had to convince the Seanad that that was desirable. The Seanad accepted the case made for that amendment.

It was exactly the same words I used.

The Minister used the words only in relation to the Executive Council. But does it mean anything to them that the Constitution imposed the obligation to convince people other than the Executive Council—upon the Dáil and Seanad?

It is exactly the same now.

Then leave the Constitution as it is. The Constitution is there. It is thought desirable in many countries in the world to have a Second Chamber and it is particularly thought desirable in many countries in the world in relation to two sets of people—those who look after the appropriation of your moneys and those who look after the administration of justice. The present security of both is going to be wiped out here and now. There is one country that has ruthlessly and openly gone in for this. I suppose it is a point upon which everyone who has written about the Bolshevists agree—there are many disagreements about what the Bolshevists are actually doing in Russia, and what the Bolshevist Government in Russia mean to do—but there is one thing clear because it is laid down in the Constitution of the Soviets and it has been acted upon up to this, and that is that there is no separation between the Executive and the Judiciary in Russia. It is, therefore, perfectly possible to alter the sentence of the courts in Russia because of political grounds. It is perfectly possible for Lenin "to blame a Bolshevic court for being too lenient to persons dangerous to the Government." Is not that the situation aimed at here? It goes further: "The State in Russia at the moment does not recognise the right of the individual to be adjudged in accordance with definitely legal principles and by a procedure which guarantees the accused a definitely fair trial." The last phrase is criticism, for a Government that operates that system would say that it did give a "fair trial." At any rate, this is recognised in Russia at the moment that laws may be passed aimed at individuals and that these laws may have retrospective effect. I find here an Article in the Constitution that

"nothing may be declared a crime which was not a crime at the date of its commission.'

How long will that last?

How long did it last when you were in office?

I want the Minister to give one example of where we declared anything a crime which was not a crime at the date of its commission.

Who framed the Constitution (Amendment) Act?

Did that declare anything to be a crime which was not a crime at the date of its commission?


Was anybody convicted under that Act of any crime which was not a crime previously or a crime at the date of its commission?

That is another question.

We will wait for the proper answer to that question. That is an Article of the Constitution that was never broken yet.

It was abolished.

There never was an attempt to abolish that Article of the Constitution. The Article stands. If any law were brought in which sought to change that it would be commented upon and it would be queried in the courts, and not only would it be queried in the courts but it would be successfully queried in the courts. Why was not the attempt made? This is another of those phantoms like the factories of which the Minister speaks. But there is an Article which does mean something at the moment. How long have we any security for its retention?

That Article is there still.

It is there still and while we have two Houses it can only be changed by a procedure which has to run the gauntlet of the two Houses. But once this Bill becomes law the Government can operate it at once.

They must put that into the Constitution.

At present such a law would have to pass the two Houses.

The Referendum was there until the previous Government changed that.

The abolition of the Referendum required a majority of the two Houses. Now any change the Minister wants to make will only need to run the gauntlet of one House. I am sure the Minister would like to see the Dáil out too.

It is the policy of the Corporative State to do away with the Dáil.

As the Minister understands it, but that does not go very far. The Minister has become an expert lately on a variety of things. In his colleague's absence he said the people were fools who subscribed to his colleague's loan. He also declared he had a different view of solution from what the Attorney-General held. The Minister has kept from his colleagues the secret of where his factories are.

Factories which are not in this Bill.

I was only dealing with an interjection and have almost finished with it. We used to hear of sabre rattlers but never of teeth rattlers until the Minister came along. But, to come back, there is that Article which ordains that nothing can be declared a crime which was not a crime at the date of its commission. Does the Minister deny that?

Until so long as there is a majority in the Seanad.

Supposing the Government has a majority in the Seanad, is there any value in making that Government go before that Seanad and arguing before them that a thing which was not a crime at the date of its commission ought to be made a crime? The Minister does not believe there is any value attached to publicity by way of argument?

The Deputy can have it here.

But not in the Seanad.

If the Seanad is agreeable. You have to get a majority there.

The Minister has the impression that the purpose of the Bill is to give his Party a majority in the Seanad. That is not the purpose. But even if he had a majority there, it is of value that he shall be made go to that majority with his legislation. Or is it that argument and reason are things that do not commend themselves to the Minister? That clarifies the points on which we separate and the points which distinguish the system we uphold. At present the judges hold their tenure of office by one system and are independent under that system. Under the other they are not. If the difference is a small thing why destroy it? It is a policy that has commended itself to human beings all over the world. Why take it away?

It is not taken away.

That judges should have security of tenure has commended itself to people with much greater traditions with regard to government than we have. Why take it away here? It is of value in countries where judges have been long established in independence. After ten years' experience of the system here is it a proper time to change it?

Who is going to change it?

We do not know. If this measure about the Seanad were introduced earlier and if we had mentioned in the course of the debate on it the case of the Chief Commissioner of the Gárda and the position of the judges——

The Chief Commissioner of the Gárda was not in the position of the judges.

I think the dialogue should cease and the Deputy should continue his speech.

I would like to put the point—what is to prevent the judges being put into the same position as the Chief Commissioner of the Gárda Síochána at the present? The only thing to prevent it is the majority in this House.

And the majority in the Seanad.

The majority in this House after this Bill has been passed. That is all that counts. I will ask the Minister to consider the matter this way—let him parade before himself six or seven worthy aspirants for judicial office and let him ask them would they rather take office under the system which holds at the moment or under the system which would obtain when this Bill becomes law.

Ask Deputy Rice.

That is the sort of semi-impertinent thing the Minister would say. It is no argument.

He should take the Ceann Comhairle's advice and keep his mouth shut.

As I say, it is no argument. It is no more an argument than the Minister's rather absurd, and, I think, pretended outburst about violence in this House before. But what I suggest is a good test, a test that can be made a concrete one by the Minister himself, who can ask certain people——

Ask Tom O'Donnell.

That is a very unworthy comparison. As I was saying, there are simple methods by which this whole thing can be tested as to whether the change really means anything or whether it is what the Minister refers to as the removal of something that is old and has outlived its utility, something that is an obstruction to proper progress. There is no attempt made here to argue that the Seanad, as an institution, is no good. There is no attempt to argue that even the present Seanad, as at the moment constituted, is hampering the Government in its development, or that the Seanad, in whatever it has impeded the present Government, will be forbidden their obstruction any earlier by this measure than by the operation of time on other measures. And yet these are all arguments to the merits, and might have been expected.

Let us go back to where I started— that the President wants control for himself. We know the views he has expressed on many occasions. On one occasion, he said that he wished he could do without this Dáil. He does not want to be annoyed even with his majority in the House, or to have about him people who will question anything he does, or subject the things he does to the test of argument. He does not want what was considered to be of value even in the educational sphere, the conflict of mind with mind in order to get, as a result of that conflict, something that would be better than the product of one mind operating on its own. He does not want anybody to hamper him, and he even defines "hampering" according to standards of his own. His idea is single-man government for this country. He may get it for the moment, and a lot of people may look on that as a valuable thing to have and may see themselves marching in the procession behind him; but that procession may change its objective and the people following in it may be trampled upon instead of going on in triumph to some objective. The best objective is stability—stability in regard to certain things, such as the independence of the judiciary; stability even with regard to measures, ordinary Bills—I do not care what the subject of them may be, so long as they are going to be subjected, at any rate, to the conflict with other minds in addition to those this House can provide, constituted as this House is on Party lines and voting, in the main, along Party lines. The President is not going to have that. The march to freedom that he wants is a march to freedom for himself, but that does not mean freedom for this country.

I wish to intervene briefly on this very important Bill. There is such a thing, Sir, as Partition, and we in this House profess, at least, to be interested in abolishing it. When, in this morning's paper, I read through the speeches delivered here yesterday, I could not help feeling a doubt as to the sincerity of those professions. I wonder if the Government gave one moment's consideration, when they framed this Bill and brought it in, to the effect that it was likely to have upon the minds of the Unionists in Northern Ireland. Worse than the Bill itself are the occasion and the spirit of its introduction. If this Bill was a desirable Bill, I am at a loss to understand why it was not brought in several months ago instead of the Bill that, in fact, was passed through this House for limiting the delaying powers of the Seanad to a matter of three months. I do not know what respectable explanation can be given of the fact that this Bill was not introduced then instead of that Bill. To the casual observer, at any rate, it looks as if this Bill was introduced at the moment it was for one reason only, and that was because the President wished to advertise to the world that he was in a temper, because he wished his more clamorous supporters down the country to feel that President de Valera was not going to be put upon by a bunch of Senators. He wanted to make a demonstration of just the sort of pique that it is undesirable that any outside observers should see governing the deliberations in this House.

Apart from the contents of the Bill and the occasion of the Bill and the spirit that was manifested in the selection of that occasion, there are the arguments that have been used in favour of the Bill. Now, it is about time that we made up our minds, once and for all, on this question. There are a million people of our four millions in this country to whose pedigrees Deputy Corry, and others who feel like him, take exception. If we mean what we say when we say that we wish to end Partition, we want these million people in this country. If we want them in this country, with all the rights and duties of citizens of this country, is it not about time that we gave up talking of their pedigrees? If, on the contrary, we are interested in blackening their pedigrees, is it not about time that we gave up talking about reunion and wanting to abolish Partition? If we are to take Deputy Corry's point of view we should deport ex-Unionists from the Irish Free State and we should invite the Northern Ireland Government to deport Nationalists from Northern Ireland. Then we would have a permanent division established of the sort that, apparently, appeals to Deputy Corry and his friends.

That is one political philosophy. Against that, there is the political philosophy that is traditional in Irish nationalism. Parnell said that Ireland could not afford to dispense with the services of one of her citizens. Thomas Davis said that we wanted an Ireland that was neither wholly Celtic nor wholly Saxon but Irish. When Grattan, in his old age, heard some unfavourable remarks made about Castlereagh, who had been his lifelong political enemy, he said: "Do not speak too harshly of Castlereagh; he loved Ireland." Now, we have got to choose between those two philosophies. We have got either to assume that everybody who disagrees with us politically is a bad Irishman, and accordingly take steps to reserve this country for good Irishmen and make Partition something absolutely permanent, or else we have got to learn broadmindedness and be willing to see people with a different political tradition from our own, and even with a different racial background from our own, taking an active part in the affairs of this country.

While I dislike this Bill and am opposed to it, I dislike very much more the arguments that have been used in its support, in so far as these arguments are founded upon the exclusionist spirit. I would appeal to members opposite, if they really do care about the reunion of Ireland— and I am sure many of them do, although it is not present to their minds as constantly as it ought to be —not to use arguments of that kind; arguments which, needless to say, are eagerly seized upon by those people in Northern Ireland who are anxious to see partition perpetuated.

In speaking on the Bill to reduce the delaying powers of the Seanad to a period of three months, I said that I would rather see the Seanad altogether abolished than see a Seanad existing with the powers contemplated by that Bill and with the personnel that was likely to follow ultimately from our present method of election. I do not recede from that point of view. I think that a Second Chamber with powers of delay amounting only to three months would be of very little use. I think, moreover, that the present system of election is bound, as years go on, to produce a body that is not composed in such a way as to be of any benefit to this State. It will consist more and more of mere politicians like ourselves; in fact, politicians probably who have been less successful than ourselves in so far as, perhaps, they have failed to secure election to this House and are provided for by being put in the Seanad.

I quite agree that a House so composed and with powers so limited would be a sham safeguard, and a sham safeguard is a more dangerous thing than no safeguard at all. But, is the only alternative to that to abolish the Seanad altogether? I have not heard any explanation, and I ask any member opposite to provide me with an explanation of the fact that the Government have declined to avail themselves of the resolution on this Order Paper, a most sensible resolution, sponsored in the Seanad, not by supporters of our Party—I think it was Senator O'Farrell introduced the resolution— passed by the Seanad, having nothing in it of Party spirit, or of one-sidedness. I ask members opposite to give me some explanation why the procedure suggested in that resolution has not been followed and why we should not sit down and work at evolving a Second Chamber that would be of undoubted value to this country. Once again, I can think of no respectable reason for refusing to avail ourselves of that resolution. I can only think of the reason that that procedure would not have had sufficient glamour for the supporters of Fianna Fáil down the country who wanted something spectacular as a reply to the audacity of the Seanad in throwing out the Blueshirt Bill.

I must say that I would like very considerable alterations in our present Second Chamber. I think that its delaying power should be at least a year and that its powers should extend to Money Bills just as much as to other Bills. I think that all the historical reasons which originally excluded Second Chambers, or some Second Chambers, from dealing with Money Bills have absolutely no force in this State and at this time one of the prime duties of a Second Chamber in this country should be to help in the matter of national finance and to represent to some extent the point of view of the taxpayer as against the point of view of the politician. The politician is tempted at every election to win votes by making promises which involve the country in enormous expenditure. The Second Chamber should consist of people who do not have to make promises in order to get there; who have no mandates from anybody to execute; who are there to use their independent judgment to the best of their ability; and they should have the power to use that judgment in financial matters at least as much as in every other matter.

I am not suggesting that a Second Chamber should be something whose members are drawn from any one class of the community. I am not suggesting that they should be carefully chosen so as always to block innovations of every kind. I want it to be representative of the poor, of the middle-class, and of the rich. I want it to be composed, however, of people who, above anything else, are nonpolitical, who have not been in the Party political game, and who seem likely, as far as can be judged at the time that they are elected or appointed to be members of that Second Chamber, to use a sincere and independent judgment about every matter that is brought before them, with one thing in their minds alone, and that is, the country's interest.

Second Chambers in other countries have not been a great success. I cannot say that I can point to any particular country and say: "There is an ideal Second Chamber; let us copy that exactly." As Deputy McGilligan has just said, the collective wisdom of mankind prefers even an indifferent Second Chamber to no Second Chamber at all. But, whatever defects can be pointed out in the working of Second Chambers throughout the world in general, those defects are not of the character suggested by members opposite. It has not been the experience of mankind that Second Chambers have been successful in thwarting the democratic will. Quite the contrary. The trouble about Second Chambers in general has been, not that they have thwarted the democratic will, but that they have been almost indistinguishable from the First Chamber in their reactions to the democratic will. One apparent exception to that is the House of Lords in England; but even the House of Lords, on matters where strong democratic feeling is believed to exist in England, has always given way.

At the present moment we may look at what is going on in America. President Roosevelt goes away on a holiday and, forthwith, both Chambers—the House of Representatives and the Senate, compete with each other in piling folly upon folly until he returns, and when he comes back he has to clear up the mess that they have made. And they have made that mess, why? Because both Chambers alike have been so susceptible to log-rolling and to pressure by minorities, who want money spent on this, that or the other. Second Chambers, in fact, to the extent to which they have been a failure, have been a failure, not because they have been anti-democratic but because they have been too democratic, in the sense of giving way, just as the politicians of the ordinary elective chamber are in the habit of giving way, too readily to popular cries, to log-rolling and to appeals of minorities who have the power of influencing votes. If we had a committee here considering what Second Chamber we ought to have in this country, I would like considerations such as these to be fully explored.

This Bill has been brought in in a moment of temper by the President. It has been brought in when there was another method—a far more sensible and non-contentious one— available, which he has not adopted. It has been supported by arguments which are in themselves thoroughly unsound and which are calculated to irritate and alarm in the highest degree, the people on the other side of the Border. I would urge the Government even now to change their minds, to withdraw this Bill and to ask for the co-operation of all sections of this House in producing a satisfactory scheme for a Second Chamber.

The President says there is quite a sufficient safeguard for the people of the country in the fact that this House is responsible to the people of the country; that this House is elected to do certain things and that nobody ought to interfere with its doing those things. That sounds very well but just how much reality is there in it? Is it so awfully easy to decide just for what purpose this House has been elected? Is it so awfully easy to decide just for what a Government has a mandate? Is it to be regarded as having a mandate for absolutely everything that has been included in its electoral programme? Supposing that only a proportion of that electoral programme is carried out, is it to be considered as having a mandate for that particular portion, when, perhaps, the electorate would never have consented to that particular portion except for its being bound up with certain other items which the Government have dropped? What is to happen if a Government forgets about its election programme altogether? What is to happen if a Government gets returned to office because it says there is going to be no tariff war with England and, in fact, there is a tariff war afterwards? What is to happen if a Government gets returned to office because it says that if it gets a second verdict from the people, it will be able to make an immediate advantageous settlement with Great Britain and, in fact, it makes no such settlement? Is the case really quite so simple, quite so straightforward and quite such plain sailing as the President represents? Has not the experience of the world proved that there is far more danger to democracy in the activities of a demagogue than in the activities of a Second Chamber?

If we want to have an ideal Parliament, we have got to reform first our methods of appealing to the people. It is all very well for the President to talk here as if he believed in the dignity of the people. It would be much more to the point if he showed his belief in the dignity of the people and if we all showed our belief in the dignity of the people by the nature of the appeals we make to the people when we are going to them for votes. I know that no Party is without stain in this matter, either in this country or in other countries. Political parties have a habit of promising heaven and earth to the electorate and the fact that they make so many promises, and, sometimes, such wild promises, and the fact that when they get back to office a great many of those promises are hastily forgotten—and perhaps, it is better that some of them should be forgotten—detracts very considerably from the value of the considerations to which the President referred in his speech yesterday with regard to the ability of a First Chamber to represent the will of the people and the impropriety of any other Chamber interfering.

There is, after all, some distinction, too, between a momentary gust of opinion and the permanent will of the people. That is a distinction that has been often drawn and that can perhaps be misused, but nevertheless it exists, and I put it to the House that there is great value, if we can achieve it, in having, along with this Chamber, another composed of those who do not have to appeal for popular support in the same sort of way that we do, who are not encumbered with mandates, or encumbered with promises either, and who are in a position to apply their minds to the merits of each question that comes up.

The circumstances under which this Bill was introduced are such as to make it possible, and natural, even to discuss it in a spirit of violent Party hostility, but I do not want to do that. I hope that other members, if I may say so, will not do that, and that Ministers and their supporters will realise that if their real object is merely to secure a Second Chamber which will not be more favourable to one Party than another on Party grounds, but will do its work in a businesslike and patriotic spirit, we are all most willing to co-operate along those lines. In other words, if they will set up the kind of committee asked for in Senator O'Farrell's resolution, there is none of us who would not be anxious to assist that committee to the utmost of his powers.

I should like to be a member of the committee to which Deputy MacDermot refers, if it is ever set up, not because I feel that I could contribute a lot to it, but for the pleasure of seeing Deputy MacDermot and Deputy McGilligan tearing each other to pieces. No two speeches were delivered from the same bench that were more opposed to each other, in substance, or line of argument. Deputy McGilligan became almost ridiculous in insisting upon the value of even half a day's delay, on the value of a Minister having to go to another House and having to make an appeal, even if it be the same day, to that Second House before a measure could pass. He attaches immense importance to even the smallest delay. Deputy MacDermot, sitting two or three spaces away from him, says that he would rather have no Seanad than a Seanad with merely the power of three months' delay. There is the contrast and the same contrast existed right through the two speeches. That makes me think that if we are creating, as has been said, a dangerous situation by this Bill, a much more dangerous situation exists—and this, perhaps, is responding to Deputy MacDermot's appeal before he sat down—by the lack of anything like cohesion or unity amongst the main opposition.

Every time there is a big debate on here, the differences in spirit, the differences in outlook, the differences in standard of judgment are so obvious that the Opposition becomes almost ludicrous in its disunity. To my mind, seeing that we are now getting nearer to a position where the Opposition ought to count a great deal, that is a much more serious situation than the abolition of the Seanad, even taking it that the Seanad is as precious as some people believe. Deputy Dillon has been fond of taunting us on this side with wanting to get rid of all opposition—that every effort of ours is directed to clearing all opposition out of our way. There are a good many of us here who, so far from that, regard a good opposition as being almost as essential as a good Government. A good many of us are really anxious at the lack of anything like a definite policy on the part of the Opposition, and certainly at the lack of unity on big questions which so obviously prevails with regard to the different members of the Opposition.

I am sorry that this Bill has become necessary because I have a slight leaning towards a Second Chamber. The principal thing to be regretted, I think, in connection with the present situation is that the present Seanad has made itself so unpopular during the last two years, and has done so much to discredit the idea of a Second Chamber, that it would be practically impossible ever to replace it. On account of that, no leader of the Dáil for a long time will be able to satisfy the Dáil, or to satisfy the country, on any proposals for a Second Chamber, even if he becomes convinced, after experience, that a Second Chamber might be useful. The existing Seanad got their chance. They got their chance, and they made a miserable hash of it. If there was anything demanded from that Seanad it is what Deputy MacDermot has just described for any Seanad he would approve of— that they should be non-Party in their outlook, and should not stick rigidly to Party divisions. Surely they did that blatantly and openly during the past two years, and particularly during the past two or three months. It is a very regrettable thing, I repeat, that they have done so much not merely to discredit themselves but to discredit the idea of a Second Chamber.

At the same time, while I regret in a sense the passing of the idea of a revisory body, I think it is possible to exaggerate the value they have been in that respect. Undoubtedly, they have improved very many Bills, and, with regard to technical Bills particularly, their criticism has been of great value. Further, it is to be regretted that many men who obviously have a genius for public affairs may now be deprived of the opportunity of taking any part in them. But a lot of the work that they have done in connection with Bills has arisen, I suggest, from a certain attitude on the part of the Government, "it does not matter very much about accepting the criticism we hear in the Dáil, because there is another House, and if it is repeated there, if the Seanad take up that line then we can accommodate the Bill to meet them." Even the present Government, I think, has been guilty of that attitude. I know that even within recent weeks certain defects in a Bill were pointed out, without any apparent effect on the Minister, those defects being subsequently remedied with his consent in the Seanad. If the adoption of a unicameral system and the abolition of the Seanad make Ministers more careful; if it makes the Government, first of all, more careful of their legislation, more careful to see that the Bills they bring in will be so drafted that they will not lead to litigation or perhaps to injustice; and if on the other hand, and much more important, it leads to a greater feeling of responsibility on the part of each individual member of the Dáil; if it means that each of us has got to watch legislation more carefully, I believe there will be a substantial net gain. It is the case that at present—and I think the Second House is largely responsible for it—a lot of us think we need not worry very much about an ordinary second or third class measure, that it is none of our business and that we need not bother even to read the Bill. In the future I should think that, faced with a one-Chamber Government, there must arise a consciousness that we have a much bigger responsibility than that. For that reason I am inclined to think that, on the whole, there will be a gain rather than a loss in the effect on legislation.

Deputy McGilligan's speech to-day was largely based on the assumption that while the First House would almost inevitably go mad on occasions and do the most foolish things, the Second House, while its majority might be of the same Party complexion, will surely differ; it will keep its sanity. First of all, the assumption that the Dáil will go mad, will start changing the Judiciary, abolishing the rights of the Auditor-General and doing a series of things like that, is rather a big assumption and for practical purposes it need hardly be considered. I wonder how it could happen that such a position would arise as two Chambers sitting in the same building, one of them doing the most foolish things, prepared to give a majority to the most wild-cat and absurd proposals, and the other keeping its sanity all the time, notwithstanding that the majority there would be the same as the majority in the other House. That assumption, to my mind, prejudiced the value of his speech a good deal and made a lot of his arguments rather worthless. On the whole, so far as I can judge, the Opposition is very little concerned about the passage of this Bill. They do not take their own statements seriously and are not much worried about the abolition of the Seanad. I think a lot of them agreed with Deputy Dr. O'Higgins when he said yesterday that he was not greatly concerned with the principle of a Second Chamber—that he did not attach particular importance to the existence of a Seanad on its merits.

He did not say that.

My prejudices are, however, as I have said, in favour of a Second House, and I am rather sorry that the existing one has done so much to make unpopular the principle of a Second House in this country.

I had not intended to speak on this Bill but I should like to say a few words. Is it possible for us here ever to approach a Bill in a non-Party spirit? In the last hour I was beginning to hope that it might be, and then we got the speech to which we have just listened. The essence of that speech was that the actions of the Seanad had been prompted by a Party spirit. Far too much of this debate, on one side or the other, has taken the form of either attack or defence of the actions of the Seanad in the past. I do not presume to follow that line. I simply will content myself with saying that in my opinion the members of the Seanad have played their part as honourable and courageous men, forming their decisions in difficult times on difficult matters, and giving their votes as they deemed would be best for the country and not for Party. It is easy to say afterwards that they acted for Party reasons. I do not believe that the majority of the Seanad ever did so. But it is not in defence of the Seanad that I stand up here; it is to record my belief at any rate that the existence of some Second Chamber is vital for the future good of this country. With Deputy MacDermot I disagree, at least, in one respect. I would rather have a Second Chamber, bad in form as it might be, and even if it simply became a replica of this Dáil, and merely acted as a repeater of our action, which it would not always do, rather than that this Dáil alone should be the sole authority in the State. We have to think not alone of 1935 and 1936 but a great many years ahead. We have to think not alone of the time when the present Government holds the reins of office, or of the time when it may be succeeded by the United Ireland Party, holding the reins of office, but we have to think of future years when probably both these Parties will have gone and some other Party will have taken their place, and may have this Bill if it becomes an Act upon which to frame their actions. Surely we are not proposing here in a Bill of the constitutional magnitude of this Bill something that is in the nature of hand-to-mouth legislation. Are we not trying to put on record something that would be permanently for the good of the country?

Many pictures have been drawn as to what could be done under this Bill. Members of the Government say they would never contemplate doing these things, and the United Ireland Party say neither would they. Can we say what form of Government will be in power ten, 20 or 30 years hence? Can we be sure that in some future Government these pictures will not be realised, and that we might not find ourselves under a Government which would take advantage of the one Chamber to promote revolution, for this Bill is revolution or it contains the seeds that would bring about revolution? Revolution will follow this Bill as sure as night follows day. The President told us that this Bill was brought in because a step was taken by the Seanad which prevented him from dealing with the danger of revolution. I warn him, so far as one human being can warn another, if, by this Bill, he is seeking to avoid a possible danger on the one side, he is bringing forward a danger of a far more vivid character on the other.

The question of one or two Chamber Government is one I would wish the Dáil to consider in a calm and most statesman-like manner, without having any effect as to whether they belonged to the Fianna Fáil Party or the United Ireland Party. The question is: is there any safety for the country in having some kind of a Second Chamber? You cannot dispose of the thing by simply putting forward the logical arrangement the President put before us. It does not settle the question to say it is no use because it contains a majority of the same political complexion as the Opposition or that it is going to bar progress. That is a partial truth not applicable except in extreme cases, not applicable in the majority of cases that come regularly before the two Houses. I hold strongly that in either event whether the Seanad did contain opposition to the existing Government, in a majority, or whether it contained a majority of the same political complexion as the existing Government, that it still would have most valuable functions to perform. And remember that these are only functions of delay at the present time. But in regard to changes in the existing law, all they can do is to held up legislation for some 18 months. What is 18 months in the life-time of a country? No doubt men of action chafe at any delay in the carrying forward of their scheme. But how many cases can we call to mind when men of action afterwards rejoiced because some delay occurred in the putting into practice of their plans and projects? When are these powers of delay exercised? I think even our short experience of 12 years—and 12 years is a very short experience in the affairs of a nation— even in our short experience these powers have only been exercised when grave and uncertain matters were brought before the notice of the Seanad. But supposing you had that other kind of House, supposing you had a House consisting of a majority of exactly the same political complexion as the majority here? Would that House serve no useful purpose? I am sure, and most clear in my mind, that it would serve a very definite purpose because the functions of the two Houses are very different.

I look back upon the ten years I have been here—I have been here longer than that—and in my experience I notice a remarkable change in this House. It is not a pleasant thing, but when we come to think about it it is more or less inevitable that this House should become, and gradually will more and more become, the instrument for registering and recording the decisions of the Executive Council. If you think about it to-day you will see that it is inevitable. It would be amazingly difficult, because of their loyalty to their Party, that members should rise up against authority. Such a condition of things would lead to the disappearance of the President and of the Executive Council and probably there would be a general election. It might mean taking such a step as might lead to a catastrophe to that Party. They are bound to stand together and once they get a majority that majority must carry through the decisions of the Executive Council. Those of us who have been here for any time must realise how much more debate has been debate for publicity purposes and not in the hope of making the slightest change in the voting. We know that would be impossible. Speeches are made for the publicity they get outside. That has become much more marked in the past ten years and will become more marked still as time goes on. There is a vital difference between the functions of this Chamber and that of the Second House. Even if it was a mere replica of this House a Second House could delay action if there were serious qualms amongst the Party as to whether it was wise or whether it might not lead to the catastrophe to which I have referred —resignation and possibly a general election. It could delay action for some time, to give time for mature consideration until either by the lapse of time or, in the extreme case, by a general election, or until mature deliberation convinced one Party or the other as to which course was right, a course that was acceptable to both Houses might be found.

I think that alone is sufficient to show that there is a definite function for a Second House, but I think there is another. We are very liable to be led away by phrases. It is easy to make play about such a phrase as "the will of the people" or "the Seanad must not be allowed to stand in the way of the will of the people." Quite true. We accept that fact. The will of the people is paramount and must, in the end, if it persists, get its way. But are we always certain about what the will of the people may be in a particular matter? Who can speak on that with confidence? At certain times perhaps one can. Immediately after an election, it may be quite clear that the will of the people is that a Party of a certain complexion should be in charge of the Government.

Of course, there is then quite clearly an indication as to what the will of the people is and nobody, Senator or otherwise, could stand up against it, or wish to. Similarly if a Government has taken a certain course, has passed a certain Bill which has been held up by the Seanad, and if the Government appeal to the country and are returned, we must assume that it is the will of the people that that Bill should be no longer held up. We are justified in assuming that the country wishes that that Bill should be made law and we have arranged that that Bill does become law without further delay. But how long are we justified in making assumptions such as those?

A Government is put in office and it must take such steps as it deems right for the best Government of the country. Is it always confident, as it proceeds, that each measure it introduces would receive the support of the majority of the people if they were asked about it? Who can speak with confidence on the matter? Very often there must be considerable doubts in the minds of members of the Executive Council as to whether or not they are taking a step that the country would approve by a majority. They cannot be going to the country continually. But there are other ways by which opinion can be tested. There should be some body, independent of this House, which would voice its opinion when certain action is taken, some body which would be one of the factors in arriving at a decision on a question of this kind and which would indicate whether or not a particular measure did represent the will of the country at a particular time or not. The Government should think of that at the time that they are coming to a conclusion and it should be one of the factors which would weigh with them when they are coming to that conclusion. I think the more quiet consideration that is given to this matter the more we shall see that a Second Chamber of some kind is a vital matter. History tells us, at any rate, that whenever democracy has tried to govern in an ill-considered manner, its course has been short and its descent rapid.

There is another point to which I want to refer very briefly and that is the question of confidence in the country, the credit of the country. I am convinced that the existence of a Second Chamber does conduce to confidence, hope for the future and credit. Both credit and confidence are delicate plants, easily killed. An injury to them may mean irreparable damage to the country. It is very easy to destroy; it is very difficult to build. There is every reason to satisfy ourselves that action such as is now contemplated may not inflict such a serious blow on credit and confidence as may do us very great harm. What are you going to gain? Is it worth the risk? You have passed a Bill which will come into operation some time very shortly and which gives to the Seanad a power of only three months' delay. Is it worth while abolishing the Seanad altogether in order to get rid of that three months' delay? What is three months' delay? It is put forward, not seriously I think, that the cost of the Seanad is very great. I think the cost is trifling. The presence of the Seanad will contribute to a feeling of confidence and to the hope that things will improve.

Would it not be far better, as Deputy MacDermot said, to make use of the opening which has been offered to you by the Seanad and to consider this matter with the help of everyone—and never was there a time when the help of everyone was more necessary than it is at the present moment—without trying to make things worse by bitter remarks about the past which I do not propose to follow? We should try to get everyone to assist us in seeing what we can do to make things better in the future and in seeing whether it is possible to get some form of Second House which will commend itself to the majority rather than take this step which may seem trifling to some, but which may prove irrecoverable and inflict irreparable damage on the country.

The speech to which we have just listened has been full of doleful forebodings about the future. It is an admission that what we do to-day may bear fruit to-morrow as what we have done yesterday is bearing fruit to-day. This Bill, in my opinion, is the complement of that measure which abolished the Initiative and the Referendum, which deleted Articles 47 and 48 of the Constitution. In all properly organised States there must be a segregation of functions, a division of power, but also a co-ordination of authority. And when those instruments, among whom power and authority are divided, differ as to their rights and responsibilities, there must be some means of resolving the difficulty if a constitutional crisis is to be avoided. In the case of our Constitution as it was originally evolved, at least in that portion of it which I might refer to as being of domestic concern, a means of resolving such a difference of opinion as has arisen between the Dáil and the Seanad was adequately provided for without precipitating that catastrophe to which Deputy Thrift has referred; without precipitating a needless and useless appeal to the people involving the resignation of the Executive Council. Where a difference of opinion arose in regard to an important matter of principle the people themselves by their direct vote could by means of the Referendum have been asked to determine the issue, but Deputy Thrift and those who are now opposing the passage of this Bill through the Oireachtas have deprived us of that resort.

I support this measure with a certain amount of regret because I am one of those who believe that the bicameral principle has advantages, but I also support it with a deep and full conviction because I believe that if the Seanad in its present form is not abolished at the earliest opportunity then the principle of representative government will perish in this country. I have said that I believe that the bicameral principle has certain advantages, but it can only be advantageous if the functions of both Chambers are clearly defined, and if in particular the functions of that Chamber which is not directly representative of the people are carefully limited.

In some countries the domain of external affairs is one in which Parliament, whether they have a single Chamber or whether they have two Chambers, seldom trespasses. In other countries only the representative House has real power in matters relating not merely to finance but to the preservation of public order. In these countries the matters which remain after these important responsibilities have been excluded are those which are of common concern to both Chambers. Under our Constitution, the Seanad is definitely precluded from controlling public finance. In this country, by precedent, the Seanad deliberately segregated itself from interfering in matters relating to the preservation of public peace and order. By its attitude in regard to a Bill amending the law and depriving a present Deputy of this House of the advantages of a writ of habeas corpus which had been issued by the courts in his favour, by its action in regard to, I think, the Treasonable Offences Act of 1925, by its action in regard to the Public Safety Act of 1927 when, as has been said, in the space of less than two days it made law a Bill which had been passed through the Dáil by a minority of the elected representatives of the people coming fresh from the people after the general election of June, 1927, and by its action in 1931 in regard to the Constitution (Amendment) Act the Seanad definitely acknowledged that the judgment of the Executive Council in matters relating to the preservation of public peace must go unchallenged whether it was right or wrong, whether it was wise or unwise.

If the Seanad wished to fulfil a useful function in the public life of this country—and I am one of those who are prepared willingly to acknowledge that there is in the present Seanad an amount of experience in relation to commercial and public affairs—it would be of great public service provided that it confined itself to its proper domain. If the Seanad had been consistent in adhering to the precedent which it itself had created this constitutional crisis would never have arisen and there would have been no necessity for this Bill.

We have heard from Deputy McGilligan about the many important principles that are now at stake. We have been told that the independence of the Judiciary depends upon the maintenance of the bicameral system in this country. The liberty of the subject is a principle co-equal with that of the independent of the Judiciary. One cannot exist without the other, and if the Judiciary must be independent it is independent primarily in order that the liberty of the citizens should be preserved. Three measures, one of them, I repeat, passed by a minority of the elected representatives of the people, were passed through the Dáil and the Seanad seriously infringing and, in certain circumstances, altogether withdrawing the right of the private citizen to his liberty, and the Seanad did not raise a finger to defend that important principle.

We have been told that the principle of the control of the Dáil in regard to public finance is at stake because one of the most important officers in this State, the Comptroller and Auditor-General, is guaranteed his independence under the present Constitution. Of what use is security of tenure to the Comptroller and Auditor-General if he is not going to be permitted to exercise his functions? In the year 1926 that important officer wished to scrutinise the grounds upon which public money was given to private individuals in this country in the form of what are called Army Service Pensions. He was insisting on his right when the then Executive Council, of which Deputy McGilligan was a member, brought a Bill in here withdrawing from the scrutiny of the Comptroller and Auditor-General any document relating to the grant of a military service pension. That Bill was not merely passed through this House but was passed by the Seanad without amendment and became law. What is the use of having a Comptroller and Auditor-General secure, if you like, in the tenure of his office, if, when he proposes to exercise his functions in opposition to the will and wish of the existing Executive, that Executive brings in a Bill here to chloroform him and leave him powerless? The fact of the matter is that when in both Houses, as there was here in 1925, you have a sufficient majority, a majority equivalent to two-thirds of the elected representatives of the people, the whole theory of judicial independence at once disappears and the judges become as much subordinate to the Executive Council—even if you have your two Chambers as you had in 1925—as it has been argued they might become if this Bill were passed into law. But if all these important principles were at stake these were the matters to which the present Seanad should have given deep consideration before they embarked upon the course which has brought about the present situation.

I have said that the Seanad had established the principle that the judgment of the Executive Council in matters relating to the preservation of public peace and order should go unchallenged. Upon no other ground than that can they justify their acquiescence in the four measures to which I referred, the measure overriding the writ of habeas corpus issued in favour of Deputy Donnelly, the Treasonable Offences Act, the Public Safety Act, 1927, and the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 1931. In every one of these the principle of the liberty of the subject was at stake and if the majority of the Seanad felt that it was their duty to defend that principle then upon that issue, they, by holding up one or other of these measures, ought to have forced a General Election, have forced an appeal to the people. They were the more bound to do that in 1931 than they were in 1925 or 1927, because in 1925 and 1927 the Referendum was there—and the Initiative, of which advantage might have been taken by those who were to be affected by these measures. By their inaction they had assisted the then Executive Council to abolish these two most important powers of appeal to the people. Having left the people powerless in face of the action taken by the Executive Council, which was not as the later election proved in accordance with the will of the people, they should have forced that General Election before the Constitution (Amendment) Act of 1931 became law.

A General Election on the question whether policemen should be allowed to be murdered with impunity or not. They were defending liberty by their action.

The people passed judgment upon them and that was not the verdict of the people.

The people stood for the murder of policemen?

The Deputy was as able an advocate of the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 1931, as anyone else.

Is that Act enforced at the present time by your Executive?

Only against farmers.

Having failed to force a General Election upon that issue the Seanad are debarred from creating such a crisis in relation to the Wearing of Uniform (Restriction) Bill, which they held up. What was the position in relation to that Bill? We had an organisation forming itself upon a military basis, enlisting men in its ranks, giving uniforms and military titles to men, many of whom have since been found to be in the illegal possession of arms, making an appeal to old prejudices in this country, trying to revive old bitterness, telling one section of the people what they had been able to do them in 1922 and 1923 and making it quite clear in their public pronouncements—such, at any rate, of those of their leaders as were comprehensible by ordinary individuals —that it was their purpose to use these Blue Shirts in the same way, as Deputy Costello stated in this House, as the Black Shirts were used in Italy and the Brown Shirts in Germany.

On a point of correction, may I say that Deputy Costello never said anything such as the Minister for Finance has suggested?

I will tell you what Deputy Costello said: The Black Shirts have won in Italy, the Brown Shirts are winning in Germany and the Blue Shirts are going to win here —presumably by the self-same methods.

No. That I submit, with respect, is a deliberate perversion of the ex-Attorney-General's words. He never used that expression. The President knows that. Quote Deputy Costello.

I repeat that Deputy Costello said: "The Black Shirts have won in Italy, the Brown Shirts are winning in Germany and the Blue Shirts will win here." He left it to be implied at any rate that it was not merely by their shirts they were going to win but by their castor oil and rubber truncheons.

I think the quotation should be given.

I understood the Minister not to have quoted but paraphrased Deputy Costello.


He put a few nails in it.

They were nails out of one of the Blue Shirts' batons. There was the position that one section of the people were going to be massed into a private army. Does anybody think that the other section of the people was going to remain inert, and to find itself defenceless when the Blue Shirts did what the Black Shirts did or what the Brown Shirts did and when the priceless blessings of this corporative state were going to be superimposed upon them?

I submit that the line of argument the Minister is following is quite irrelevant to the Bill before the House.

The Minister in arguing the nature of a measure rejected by the Seanad should not go into details as to the merits of that measure.

I am not proposing to go into the details of the measure. I am stating the circumstances under which it was introduced. I am pointing out that the Executive Council of the day were faced with as serious a situation in relation to public peace and order as has been witnessed here since 1922 and that they had reason to understand——

On a point of order, shall we be entitled to discuss the circumstances in which measures passed by the Seanad were introduced?

Measures which have passed the Oireachtas may be discussed in this House only in the course of amending legislation.

On a point of order, I submit that if the Minister for Finance is going to discuss each measure which the Seanad rejected and which contributes fuel to the flames of his indignation, we are free to go down through the statute books since 1922 and discuss what the Seanad did to each measure submitted to them and whether they did themselves credit or discredit in their action on each occasion. That would obviously give rise to wide irrelevance.

The Chair does not rule on hypothetical questions. If and when the matter arises, a ruling will be given.

That is good enough.

I am merely trying to prove that the Seanad on previous occasions accepted the judgment and opinion of the Executive Council, supported by a majority of the Dáil, in matters relating to public peace and order; that they had established that as a principle and that, in the circumstances in which the Wearing of Uniform (Restriction) Bill was introduced, it was quite clear to the Seanad that as dangerous a situation might arise as those who were responsible for the Acts of 1925, 1927 and 1931 thought existed when those Acts were brought in and became law. I am merely making that point. It must be manifest to all impartial observers that a dangerous situation was arising, in regard to which the Executive Council would have to take special measures. A Bill was duly introduced. That Bill passed through the Dáil, went to the Seanad and was rejected. As I said, it could only have been rejected because the Seanad was no longer concerned to defend the representative principle in this country. One of the features of the organisation with which members opposite have become identified is that the principle of elective government has been entirely discarded. We are told that people have got to be nominated by the director-general of the new organisation, that he appoints his immediate subordinates and that they, in turn, appoint those who are to serve under them. It may be that, for the purpose of getting into the saddle, the new organisation will avail itself of the existing franchise and will go before the electors, as similar organisations have gone before the electors in other countries, promising them a new heaven and a new earth. But the moment it is in the saddle, the people will be told that there is no use for elective institutions any more, that representative assemblies have no functions, that they have got to be abolished and that the only thing that matters is the Party which is the State and the State which is the Party.

In this country a civil war was fought, as was said, to make effective the principle of the will of the people. The will of the people, as expressed through its properly elected assemblies, the will of the people as expressed in the ballot box—for that principle many lives have been lost and much treasure has been expended. This Government was faced with a movement which, in essentials, challenged the continuance of that principle. We saw that, if the position were allowed to develop further, the maintenance of our representative institutions might be secured only at the cost of another civil war. We brought in the measure I have mentioned and the Seanad, even with these circumstances in front of their eyes, aware that their action was bound to precipitate a crisis of this sort and lead to the introduction of a measure of the kind now before the House, cast the dice in favour of their own abolition in the hope, I believe, that before the Bill would become law, the gentlemen who stand for the abolition of representative assemblies would have secured control of the instruments of Government. Once they had shown themselves no longer concerned to maintain the precedent which they themselves had set up, of leaving the judgment of the Executive Council free and unfettered in matters relating to the preservation of the public peace, I became convinced that there was nothing left but to remove them at the earliest possible moment, because they were a menace to the maintenance of democratic institutions. I became convinced then that, even though there is something in the bicameral system, provided that the House which is not directly representative of the people keeps strictly within its own domain and exercises only functions in relation to affairs which are properly of common concern, whether we had something to replace the existing Seanad or not, at the earliest moment the present House must go.

Deputy MacDermot has confessed that he does not think that the existing Seanad is of great utility. He has given us his views as to how a new Seanad could be constituted. I think that, in some aspects, at any rate, his suggestions have not been seriously considered even by himself. He wishes to have a non-political Seanad. I cannot see how any Seanad could remain non-political. He may mean a nonpartisan Seanad. That is to say, its members should be drawn from some ill-defined section of the people which takes no interest in public affairs and has no political principles whatsoever.

Might I intervene for a moment? What I suggested was that a useful Second Chamber would consist of people who had not taken an active part in Party politics, who were not professional politicians, who had not got to make promises to get elected and who are not in the same position as we are in regard to mandates in connection with their election.

I cannot see why Deputy MacDermot should describe the members of this House as professional politicians.

Some of the Ministers are very amateurish.

I am not using the word professional in any offensive sense. I apply it to any of us here, myself included, any one whose main occupation is Party politics.

Presumably the Deputy means any person whose main occupation is public affairs. In order to participate in public affairs with any effect a person must find some other persons who agree with him as to the end to be sought and the means whereby that end is to be attained. He must find some other person who has a common purpose with himself. Otherwise he would merely be one of these peculiar people who become sectarians and destroy ultimately all human faith and prevent the achievement of any common purpose in this world. If Deputy MacDermot's idea is that the Second House should be composed of people who have never taken any interest in public affairs——

——who have no experience of public affairs and who, above all things, have not given any pledges nor made any promises, then I confess that I should prefer to entrust the public affairs of this State to the judgment of the existing Seanad, bad and all as it is.

Deputy MacDermot mentioned, and I think it has some relevance to the point, that at the general election we told the people that if they returned us we would abolish the Seanad in its present form. One of the reasons why he thinks that a Second House would be desirable in the present circumstances is that this House is over-weighted with mandates. He says, in any event, who is going to interpret the mandate? Well, if not the representatives directly elected by the people, then certainly not the representatives of the defeated Party in the election. Just over 12 months ago we came fresh from the country, charged by the people to administer their concerns, to preserve peace and order and to govern this community ——

And to settle the economic war.

And also to reduce taxation. We will produce promise for promise.

We were charged by the people to govern this country. Whatever other mandate we got, that was the principal one, that we were responsible for the maintenance of public law and order.

Why do you not carry that out?

Whoever is going to interpret that mandate, it is certainly not going to be the representatives of the twice-defeated Party in these elections, as the majority of the Seanad at present are.

That was the promise— all the rest were statements, just statements.

Another point made by Deputy MacDermot, who seems to think that, after all, the Second House, which has never gone directly to the people since 1925, should be the principal factor in the administration of this country, is that there is a distinction between a momentary gust of opinion and permanent will. I admit there may be, but in this case where does the distinction lie? But for a mere accident the change of Government, which took place in 1932, might have taken place in 1927. In fact, in June, 1927, a majority of the elected representatives of the people were opposed to the continuance in office of the then Cumann na nGaedheal Government and, but for a political stratagem, the device by which Articles XLVII and XLVIII were deleted from the Constitution, the Oath which was abolished in 1932 might have disappeared in 1929. The fact that a Republican Government is in office——

——is not due to any gust of momentary passion in 1932 or 1933.

Ask Tom Barry about that.

Did the Minister say Republican Government?

I will ask the Chair to request Deputy O'Neill to have manners.

Have sense, you.

Did the Minister say a Republican Government?

The return of a Republican Government to office——

This is no Republican Government.

——was merely the culmination of the gradual return—— The boon companion of the Black and Tans, of course, would not recognise a Republican Government when he saw one.

Nor would Tom Barry.

Will the Minister repeat what he said? Has he made a personal reflection on me?

That is impossible.

The Minister is in possession.

The Minister made some personal reflection on me.

Interruptions often provoke disagreeable replies.

I want the Minister to repeat the statement so that I can have an opportunity of contradicting him.

The Deputy will have an opportunity of participating in the debate if he desires. At present the Minister is in possession.

I cannot listen patiently if untruths are hurled at me by the Minister.

The Minister for Finance, who we must suppose is a responsible officer of this Government——

Is this a point of order?

This is a point of order. The Minister for Finance has made a suggestion and, in view of the atmosphere that has been created in this country by dubbing members of the Opposition in this House as traitors, Imperialists, etc.——

A point of order!

This is a point of order. Of course it may not be understandable to some bucolic people, I admit. The Minister for Finance has suggested that Deputy O'Neill was the companion of the Black and Tans. That is a lie and well the Minister for Finance knows it. If the Minister for Finance has any guts let him go to the North, where he ran out of, and say that.

The Deputy's intervention was not on a point of order; it was a speech, and a disorderly one at that.

Yes, I know it is not palatable to the Minister for Finance.

A very serious allegation has been made by the Minister to the effect that I was a companion of the Black and Tans. I did not hear it very clearly——

Neither did the Chair.

I heard it.

The Minister for Finance will proceed.

I will obey your ruling, but there is a further point of order. Perhaps you will be able to control some of those people who have no respect for the Chair or for Parliamentary institutions.

I would ask you, a Chinn Comhairle, to see that such a deliberate lie by the Minister should be withdrawn.

It is a deliberate lie.

The Minister should withdraw it. He made the charge in a moment of pique because I questioned his right to call himself a Republican or to call his Government a Republican Government.

What I did say was that the boon companion of the Black and Tans would not recognise a Republican. I did not call the Deputy a boon companion of the Black and Tans.

You did. I heard you.

I did not.

The Minister denies having so referred to the Deputy.

It is a most outrageous thing for the Minister to make such a charge.

The Minister states that he did not charge the Deputy with being a boon companion of the Black and Tans.

I know no reason why Deputy O'Neill should take that remark to himself. I was dealing with the point which was made.

Deputy O'Neill can take care of himself inside or outside the House. We do not put land mines outside our opponents' doors.

I wish one of them would go off.

You are only cowards and gangsters.

Does Deputy Anthony state that Deputies here put bombs outside their opponents' doors?

Yes, I say it and I will say it outside the House just as well as inside. However, let the Minister make his speech.

I am glad that Deputy Anthony wants to listen. I was dealing with the point which was made yesterday by Deputy O'Sullivan and repeated by Deputy MacDermot that in certain matters a distinction must be drawn between a momentary gust of opinion and the permanent will of the people. I understand, however, from their point of view that the distinction must be drawn so that the validity of this Government might be challenged and the authority which it has got from the people might be impaired. I have pointed out that but for a mere accident the change which took place in 1932 would have taken place in 1927 and that again but for the fact that Articles XLVII and XLVIII were deleted from the Constitution, the Oath would have disappeared in 1929 instead of in 1932, and that it would have gone by the direct vote of the people. I was saying that the reason for that was that the Government which sits here now sits here not because of a momentary gust of opinion that caused a passing change in the people's will, but because the people are going back to their old allegiance and are returning to the political faith which sustained them from 1916 to 1922. On the other hand the Seanad which has held up this Uniform (Restrictions) Bill, and which the measure now before the House is to abolish, is a body which is representative of a twice-defeated Party and was brought into being as a result of a momentary gust of opinion. Most of the men who constituted the majority against the Uniforms Bill in the Seanad were nominated by the last Government as a result of what I might call the khaki election of 1923. They received no direct mandate from the people. They were the creatures of our predecessors and our predecessors were the creatures of the civil war, and the civil war at the moment represented a lapse of the people from the principle and doctrine of Irish nationality. We here are representative of the permanent will of the people and these creatures, as I have stated, are representative of a momentary gust of opinion——

In what year?

These people who were standing against us——

The Minister is out in his history.

He will have to send for Seán Og O Kelly.

Does Deputy Dillon acknowledge him as his leader?

No but aithnigheann ciaróg ciaróg eile.

That is why birds of a feather flock together in support of the Seanad.

In any event the action of the Seanad has created a crisis which can only be solved in one-way—either by another appeal to the people or by the abolition of the Seanad. We came to this House fresh from the country 12 months ago with a mandate to abolish the Seanad. There is no reason why we should seek a renewal of that mandate. The people have already given us our instructions and our authority, though we may have deferred the exercise of that authority in the hope that those who are representative of the defeated Party in two General Elections, 1932 and 1933, might conform to the will of the people and might accept wholly and without reserve the authority of this Government in matters in relation to public peace and order. We were prepared to defer action in the hope that that might be the outcome even of the present situation, but when we have found that that hope was vain and futile, the only thing left for us is to do the will of the people and to abolish the body that stands in its way.

Mr. Hogan (Galway):

The Minister for Finance stated that part of the programme of the Fine Gael Party was to abolish representative government, that is, as he puts it, to abolish the Dáil. That is not so, but I want the Minister to understand this, that a Party is entitled to go out on a programme of abolishing the Dáil as it at present exists. That is quite legitimate. It is extraordinary that that has not yet penetrated to the minds of the country. It is quite open to any Party to frame a programme and to do its best to carry out that programme of abolishing the Dáil as it at present exists. It is extraordinary that various Parties in the House have up to the present failed to appreciate that. That is not, in fact, the programme of the Fine Gael Party and the Minister himself knows that it is not. But I am not concerned with his incorrect and inaccurate statements; very well he knows himself that they are incorrect and inaccurate. What I am concerned with is the implication behind the statement—that a Party would not have the right to have such a programme. As a matter of fact the Party has a perfect right to have such a programme. But where the big distinction arises between the former Cumann na nGaedheal Party and the present Fianna Fáil Party is this, that a Party would not have the right, on behalf of its particular programme or alternatively on behalf of a programme to maintain the Dáil as it at present exists, to go out and make civil war, to go out and shoot people, to intimidate people and to commit murder. They would have no such right. They would not have the right to adopt such methods if their programme so far from being a programme to abolish the present Dáil, was that very idealistic programme of establishing the Republic.

That does not seem to have penetrated into the minds of those on the benches opposite, and that is because they have not the instincts of democracy or of liberty in them. In England, a democratic country, any body of men, who can get a following, can preach anything they want to preach, provided they keep within the law. They can advocate and foster and develop anything, provided they keep within the law, and they have the full benefit of the law to do it. Here, apparently, you cannot, even legally and constitutionally, advocate and develop and foster the programme of the present Opposition, even if you keep within the law and even if you keep within the Constitution. But you may break the Constitution and the law, and commit every crime in the calendar, apparently, if you call yourself a Republican, or something like that.

To a civilised person like me—and I am using the word in a general sense —to a European, it is painful to have to listen to the kind of drivel that comes from those benches across the House. If you represent the country, and so far as you represent the country, this country is not fit for self-government. I am not saying that this country is not fit for self-government —I want to make that plain, because one is so likely to be misinterpreted —but so far as the point of view of the Minister for Finance and that of the Minister for Industry and Commerce and, in particular, so far as the point of view of the President represent the point of view of the country, I say that the country is not fit for self-government. So far as that is the point of view of the country, the country is not fit for self-government. That is the long and the short of it.

This is a Bill to abolish the Seanad, and the one argument that, on the surface, would appear to have some force, is the argument that the point of view of the majority of the Seanad is not the point of view of the majority of this House. They have made that case. Supposing we admit that. Of course, I am admitting it now for the sake of argument. If you examine it in detail, of course, it does not hold water at all. In a great many matters, I should say that, if there is any intelligent view on the benches opposite on economics and finance and such matters, the members of the Seanad, whom they call ex-Unionists, hold the same view, except that they hold it more intelligently and with more information. Even if, however, I did accept the view that the point of view of the majority of the Seanad is not the point of view of the present Government Party, how far does that carry us? The function of a Second Chamber is to delay, and the purpose of that delaying power is to give the people a chance to consider and decide. That is the function of a Second Chamber. We all learned that in First Arts. I will go back further than that. We learned it when we were children. We learned it when we were in Junior Grade. When we were in the Intermediate Grade we all knew that the function of a Second Chamber is to delay.

A Second Chamber should be somewhat more cautious, somewhat more prudent and somewhat more conservative than the radical Party in any assembly. If it is not more cautious, more prudent and more conservative, it is no use. That is the function of a Second Chamber. Is it that you do not understand that, or that all this is so much insincere talk? Bulgaria or Roumania are not first-class countries —I have no quarrel with them and do not want to start a war, so Deputy Anthony need not be disturbed—but, honestly, you would not have this sort of bilge talked in the representative assemblies of these countries. We used to call ourselves a great people and say that we were fit for self-government. You would not have all this pettifogging and humbug on really important constitutional issues in such countries as I have mentioned. You would not have it in those parliaments, and I never thought much of them. The function of a Second Chamber is to delay, and if the Party opposite consider that they are a radical Party and an extreme Party, politically and economically, then, they should not complain at all because the Seanad delays some of their Bills. That is its function.

Then we have all this talk about thwarting the will of the people. The will of the people is not thwarted. At worst, from their point of view, the Seanad can only hold up any Bill for 18 months. It can hold it up just for 18 months. It must become law then. Take note of this, however. This is not the first attack on democratic government that has been made by this Dáil. I do not want to go back to 1922 and 1923, but it is just a cold fact that the people opposite, who are talking about the majesty of the people and the triumphal progress of democracy, attacked every principle of democracy in 1922 and 1923 and attacked it in arms and in a most cowardly way. They used arms, and every other method they could use, against democratic rule and the will of the people. You cannot get away from that. You will never blot out that. I do not want to remind you of it. Even if you accepted democratic rule now, you can never get away from that. People thought that you had learned better since you came into the Dáil, but now there is this attack on the Seanad—on an integral part of sensible democratic government. What have your Party done since they came into the Dáil first? What have they done since the last election? What did they begin to do in 1930? You made a determined attempt to abolish the Opposition and to prevent them from exercising their constitutional rights. Is not that so? Is there anyone here who will deny it? The Seanad was exercising an absolutely perfect constitutional and legal right when it held up the Blue Shirt Bill. It had that right and was exercising it. We have a perfect right to criticise any of your schemes and to oppose any of your schemes, political, financial or economic. If we fail to do that, and to do it honestly, we are not exercising the functions which we have been sent here by the people to exercise.

We are just as much a part of the democratic machine as you are. We are just as necessary a part of the democratic machine as you are. That would be a truism in any other country except this country that used to be held up as a great country, with great traditions and with a great love of democracy and democratic institutions. It would be accepted as a truism in Poland or in Venezuela, or even in Spain. Of course, the British and the French and the Germans would take it as absolutely axiomatic. Here, however, what is accepted, even in second and third-rate countries, as the fundamentals of democracy is denied, and it is denied here in the name of democracy, in the name of patriotism, and even in the name of religion. What cant! What humbug! How disintegrating and demoralising all that is for this unfortunate country that had never had any experience of democracy!

As I said previously, you did not begin your attack on democratic institutions in this country with your attack on the Seanad. I am going back only as far as 1931. Your first attempt was to kill the Opposition and prevent it from using its legal and constitutional rights, and not only its legal and constitutional rights, but its legal and constitutional duties. President de Valera, at the very beginning, in order to put us, so far as he could, in an impossible position, dubbed us as traitors and stated that our opposition to the economic war and to his handling of the economic war and of the English quarrel was the opposition of traitors and of people who were attempting to play the English game. He had not yet the impudence to introduce a Bill here in the Dáil to abolish the Opposition. That has yet to come. But, so far as was possible, he raised against the Opposition all the forces of ignorance, all the forces of anarchy, all the forces of bigotry and tyranny in the country, and he made one of the most typical and dastardly statements ever made in this country—even worse than the statement he made to the effect that the people had no right to do wrong—when he said, in connection with the attempt to blackguard and break up our meetings: "I cannot make people or causes popular." That is the statement that has been made by every ignorant and cowardly tyrant all down history, in every country and at every time, when he wanted to invoke the mob and to invoke anarchy to kill his political opponents.

The Deputy might relate his argument to the Bill for the abolition of the Seanad.

Mr. Hogan

I am making this point: that this Bill to abolish the Seanad is an attempt to kill democratic institutions in this country, but that it was not the first attempt even since the advent of the present Government into power; that the first attempt to kill democratic institutions in this country was the attempt to kill the Opposition and prevent it from exercising its legal rights. I suggest that that is perfectly relevant. I go on and point out that there was no Bill introduced in the Dáil to abolish or supersede the Opposition, to put them out of Parliament. They could not go that distance—that has to be done yet. What was done instead was to invite every ignoramus, every lout, every organisation, every petty tyrant, everybody in the country who thought his interests were affected by the impartial government they could get from us to go and attack and blackguard us and prevent us from exercising the right that an Opposition has in any country—the right of free meeting and free speech.

This is not the first attack. I should like to get that over to the country. The first and the most dangerous attack that was made on democracy in this country was the attack made on the Opposition, beginning in 1931 and going on at the present moment. I do not take the Minister for Finance very seriously. So far as you can take him seriously, what was underlying all his speech? That there was an absolutely vital necessity to suppress what was called the Blue Shirts, so apparent, so imperious, that the Seanad should have immediately recognised it and fallen in with it. Was not that underlying the whole of his speech? Yet the Blue Shirts, both in policy and in action, have kept strictly within the law, and nobody can deny it.

It would be well for the Government —I do not speak of their masters, or their followers through the country, the I.R.A.—but it would be well for the Government if they kept within the law. They went outside the law already to suppress that organisation. You may disagree with its policy, but that organisation up to the present, both in its official policy and in its actions, has kept entirely within the law. Yet, it is to be suppressed, and the necessity for suppressing it is so imperious that the Seanad is to be abolished, with all the consequences of the abolition of the Seanad, because it did not agree to the Bill suppressing that body. Why? Because they say that they disagree with their policy; that the Blue Shirts—to use the name they are given—have a policy which would alter the constitution of the present Dáil. Just imagine an argument like that being put forward in any assembly, and by people who call themselves democrats! So far as I know, the Blue Shirts have put forward no such policy, but they have a perfect right to do it and to persuade the people to adopt any such policy, if they can do it. What would be wrong would be if they did, as Deputies opposite and as the Party opposite did, when they committed murder and robbery and numerous other nameless crimes in order to effect their policy. That would be wrong, and you would be entitled then, if they did that, to go to the Seanad, and the Seanad would respond.

Deputies or Parties in this House may not be accused here of murder. This is not a judicial tribunal.

Every time it is the same.

The Vice-President was the first man who used the phrase.

Mr. Hogan

I will accept your ruling, but you will ask me to darken counsel worse than it is at present. I must not be asked to pretend that the killing of McCurtin, the killing of Ryan, the killing of Carroll, and the killing of these jurymen, was anything more or less than murder, pure and simple. That is what I am talking about.

Nobody ever said anything else.

The statement made by the Deputy was that the Party opposite had committed murder.

Mr. Hogan

The people who backed them in the country. Let me go further. When the Minister for Finance was speaking he made the point that the Seanad, quite cheerfully, freely and at once, passed the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 1931, and they did it simply at the request of the then Government, because the Government wanted it passed. What was that Act passed to deal with? I do not mind treason or sedition. Treason generally is a foul crime, although it is not recognised here. I do not mind treason; I do not mind sedition; I do not mind any of these other very serious crimes; but what crimes were committed before that Act was passed? There were a couple of jurymen killed and the Minister for Finance knows it, and killing jurymen is killing liberty, killing democratic government, and striking home at its heart. They were admittedly killed because they would not perjure themselves in court; because they did their duty. There was a Superintendent of the Guards killed. There was a young labourer named Ryan also murdered because he would not perjure himself. A man called Carroll was murdered in Dublin. The official organ of the I.R.A., of the people who supported you at the last election, gloried in it and admitted it. It was in face of that situation that we passed this Constitution (Amendment) Act. Can that be denied?

The Minister for Finance compares the situation, then, with the situation a few weeks ago, when the Seanad threw out the Bill for the suppression of the Blue Shirt organisation. Is not that darkening counsel? This country has not much experience of self-government; it has got very little experience of it. It was born in revolution. In 1931, the country had a really great chance, and it was not allowed to take it. We had to fight in 1921, 1922 and 1923 for the ordinary principles that are accepted as a matter of course as the fundamentals of democracy in every other country. All during our tenure of office we tried to keep something democratic and free, something first-class, if you like, in the way of government before the people, and all that time we were attacked, the people were corrupted, and propaganda of the most unscrupulous kind was used against us.

Now we have the present Government in power. What are they doing? Steadily, from beginning to end, they are darkening counsel. As I said, this country has very little experience of self-government. This country expected an awful lot from self-government. Then this present Government got in. They are taking advantage of the inexperience, or, if you like, the ignorance of a big section of the country to demoralise them. What will be the result of the whole thing? There will be a reaction against democratic government in this country. There will be reaction against democratic government even in your time which will surprise you. When the people are thoroughly disillusioned; when they are reduced to a very bad and depressed state, both financially and economically, there will be a reaction not only against nationalism but against democratic government in this country which will surprise you, and if there is such a reaction you will have to take your share of it.

I believed firmly in democracy. Do you know why? Because I believed we were as good as the English, and that if the English could make a success of democracy, we could do it. How many people believed in democracy in 1921, and have changed their minds since? I do not say that I have changed my mind, but how many people did? How many people believed in decent, sensible democratic government, with individual liberty, and, at the same time, a rule of law, in 1921 and believe in it now? Have not a big number changed their minds? That number will get greater and your political, your economic and your general policy is bringing the day of disillusionment and demoralisation nearer. There is a great danger that democratic government will fail in this country, and it will be a bad day for this country when that happens, because I honestly believe, and we honestly believed, that the country was fit for democratic government. There is a great danger that it is going to fail. Who is going to kill it? You are going to kill it, and you are going to kill it by pandering to the lower instincts of everyone in the country, by trying to give every man to-day, for the sake of a certain amount of political credit, what he wants immediately, regardless of the future, by the fast and loose way in which you are bedevilling the finances and economics of the country and, above all——

There is a Bill before this House dealing with the abolition of the Seanad. I find it very difficult to relate the last ten minutes of the Deputy's speech to that measure.

Mr. Hogan

I was going to add— above all, by your propaganda, and in particular the propaganda you have carried on in connection with this measure, and by the way in which you have handled the Constitution and the democratic machine. There is a certain standard of intelligence and character required in order to make democratic government work. That is proved in every country. It is because the people of countries like Spain, the Latin Republics, Bulgaria and Greece and such countries are not up to that standard that you have these constant revolutions and rebellions. These countries have no Partition issue, remember. They have not just exactly the same issue as between Republic or Free State, or in or out of the Empire as we have, but, at the same time, there is constant revolution there. They cannot seem to get any rule of law that all parties will obey, and that will enable the country to progress, and it is because the character of the people is not up to it.

Is this in order?

Mr. Hogan

Yes, it is in order.

The Deputy is not in the Chair.

You are not even in order.

Mr. Hogan

It is because the character of the people is not up to it but it is because the character of the people in France——

Bulgaria and Greece!

Mr. Hogan

I notice one thing about Deputy Kelly and that is that he hates the truth like poison and always has.

Hates it like work.

Mr. Hogan

No, like poison. That sort of well-meaning——

Not well-meaning.

Mr. Hogan

——pseudo-patriotic person has done an awful lot of harm in this country. It is because the character of the people of countries like England—notoriously, England—and France and Germany, except when under the stress of the losses of the Great War, is up to a certain level— not the education or intelligence but the character of the people; they are Europeans—that democracy can work, and the people can carry on and progress economically and financially under democracy. Unless we can get the character of the people of this country up to that level, democracy will not operate and what you are doing by all your propaganda and all this talk about democracy is to demoralise them. Democratic government, parliamentary government, is a very fine and very complex machine with checks and counterchecks of all kinds. It has to be handled carefully, sensibly and above all things, with a certain understanding of the permanent interests of the country. It has to be worked sensibly and patriotically. A Rolls-Royce car is a very fine machine but if you put an ignoramus in to drive it and he drives it up a bog road, it becomes broken down. You are driving the democratic machine to bits. Take the Treaty, for instance, and the Constitution under it. It was a very delicate mechanism. It was capable of doing its work but you went in, ruthlessly and cynically, and broke it up and on every part you put a needless strain—a strain that you knew it could not bear—and that is what you are doing now in regard to this. You are abolishing the Second Chamber and what are you after? You are after what every coward and every tyrant is always after—a dictatorship. That is the President's line of thought. He is the outstanding example in the country of a man who is not up to the level of democratic self-government. I know plenty of people in private life who hate argument. They hate to listen to you and if they are bigger than you, their instinct is to hit you. The Englishman never does that; the Frenchman never does that.

Egypt and India.

Mr. Hogan

He will do it, of course, for economic reasons, but I am talking now not of the English as a State but individually. You meet certain men who do not want to argue with you. They hate to hear the truth, and there is nothing they dislike more, there is nothing has a worse reaction in their minds, than to hear something which they suspect to be true, but which they do not like to face up to or to believe. They lose their tempers at once. They cannot understand argument which is argument—the give and take of debate and discussion which is the mark of all successful democratic government. They cannot understand that, and, of all people, that is the President. He obviously has been aiming at dictatorship for some time. Just before the Dublin elections he made a few speeches which, in my opinion, knowing him well, were very significant. He spoke about the Opposition. He, in fact, as good as said that they should be abolished, and he then went on to say that it would be a good job if the Dáil could be adjourned for six months. Anyone could see where he was going.

He is not able, and never was, to hold his own on equal terms. With him it must always be "Stones loose, dogs tied." He will fight always if one of our hands is tied behind our backs. It was perfectly obvious to anybody who knew him, and who knew his past history, that the man was going for a dictatorship if he could, but the Dublin elections brought him to his senses. Now here is another chance. The Seanad is to be dissolved, and when the Seanad is dissolved, we all know— Deputy McGilligan has pointed them out—the reactions that will or might have on the judiciary and on the other constitutional democratic checks in the country. We will wait and see what occurs, but I may tell you this, and I may tell him this, that he is too late. You want a little bit of courage and, above all things, you want the sense of the country behind you even for a dictatorship, and by the time you have abolished the Seanad you will not be able to rule this country with a dictatorship. You need not try any tricks on this country. You will have to keep the law the same as we kept it. You will have to rule within the Constitution as we ruled within the Constitution. I was going to say that you are no better than we, but I refrain from saying that.

Mr. Hogan

You will have to keep the law and this dictatorship will break in your hands. It would be a good job for the country if you plucked up a little courage, and the reason I speak about President de Valera, and not of the members of his Party, is because his Ministers are, apparently, so many dummies.

If the Deputy's "you" is applied to the President, the Deputy must speak of him as "the President" and not in the second person.

Mr. Hogan

I said "President de Valera," surely.

For the last five minutes the Deputy has been referring to the President as "you." The Deputy should address the Chair.

Mr. Hogan

I speak of President de Valera and not of his Ministers, because the Ministers are, quite obviously, dummies. We all know that on various occasions they have differed from him on very vital matters, and we know the result that came to the country. The real truth is that the President and his Ministers are not the masters at all. The people outside are the masters. There is no doubt about it. It is the people outside who are the masters in this country. The Minister for Industry and Commerce knows that he is not doing himself justice in a great many matters. I know very well that the Ministers are not free. They would not continue a wrecking course like this if they were free. That is the real trouble. They can make up their minds, if they are aiming at a dictatorship, that wrecking the country first and holding it by force afterwards will fail. I would put it to them to pluck up courage. We had to do it. We had to face a queer situation in 1922 and 1923, especially in the beginning of 1922. We had to face a desperate situation, and we faced it. We had to face our own friends and the people who had supported us before, and we did it because we knew we were doing the right thing for the country. What a country you could make this if you faced up to the situation in the same way as we faced up to it; if you shook off your fears, and broke all those connections with illegal organisations outside, if you acted like Irish men and patriotic Irishmen, and gave up this drivel that you talk on democracy and on the Republic, while killing democracy in your every act. If you did that, if you got down to work, recognising the rights of the Dáil, and above all the rights of the Opposition and the rights of the people, you would get help from every side; you could alter the Seanad if you wished, and we could make something of this country. But, mind you, it has got to be done quickly, because if the present situation goes on much longer, if the present financial and economic wrecking continues very much longer, it will be extremely difficult to save the situation under any democratic form of government.

The most I can say about Deputy Hogan is that I really do think he believed what he said. If that is the truth, he is an object of great sympathy; he gets my sympathy, and, I am sure, that of most of the Deputies in the House. According to Deputy Hogan this country was the finest country in the world up to 1932. The people were the finest people in the world, capable of ruling themselves. The country was as good as any other first class country in the world up to 1932, but in the country since 1932 there is only a pack of cowards, buffoons, idiots, ignoramuses and louts to use the terms used by Deputy Hogan. They are all louts, cowards, fools and ignoramuses since 1932. What made us all cowards? Why is the country a dirty, despicable place to live in, as Deputy Hogan has said? According to him, it has been a dirty, despicable place to live in since 1932, simply because the country, as they were entitled to do, turned Deputy Hogan and his Party out of office. They are a lot of louts since 1932, because Deputy Hogan is not still Minister for Agriculture. They are not fit to rule. The lowest country in the world is more independent than we are. Bulgaria, Latvia, and any third class country is a fine country, but here we have only dirty native Irish. An Englishman is a decent man; he will never hit you without good cause, but the dirty native Irish of this country are a disgrace to the world.

What a disgusting speech. What a degrading speech. Are there men on those benches over there—even if they disagree with us—even if they disagree with the majority at the moment—who do not class that speech of Deputy Hogan's as being as disgusting a speech as was ever made by any Irishman, or ever made by any Englishman about Irishmen? It is disgusting listening, in 1934, to an Irishman with a depraved mind, such as Deputy Hogan appears to have developed since the Irish people turned him down in 1932. He appears to have a superiority complex. The Ministers of this Government are all dummies. The President is ruled by a lot of louts outside. The people who elected us are all buffoons and ignoramuses, but Deputy Hogan is a superior man. He has a superiority complex.

At any time I would prefer a man with an inferiority complex to a man having a superiority complex, as Deputy Hogan appears to have. A man having an inferiority complex may deserve a little sympathy at times, but a man with a superiority complex is an object of ridicule to everyone. Deputy Hogan is fast developing into that type of object of ridicule. If many members of his Party think, as he does, about the dirty native Irish who have returned this Government, I think it is time that they should examine their consciences, and go back to the period when they had an opinion of the people of this country. They should read occasionally articles written in English newspapers by Englishmen. They could have read even last Sunday some newspaper extracts by Lord Castlerosse about the native Irish, and how they disliked being governed by foreigners. Even through reading the statements of our old enemies they will come much nearer to the spirit of the real native Irish which we are fast departing from, if you take Deputy Hogan and his disgusting speech as an index to the minds of many members of the Opposition.

Democracy is to be defended by the retaining of the Seanad. If the Seanad goes, this Government can do nothing but what is degrading and disgusting. Nothing but what is degrading and disgusting is expected from us by Deputy Hogan, because, of course, we are of an inferior class. Did not Deputy Hogan and his Party have just as dictatorial powers for ten years as this Government can have after the abolition of the Seanad? They had the very same dictatorial powers. They had their majority in both Houses, and they used their majority in both Houses. Neither judge, jury, nor anybody else could stand in their way. The law and the decisions of the courts were wiped out when it suited them. They had dictatorial powers. Nothing stood in the way of the powers they had during those ten years, because they used their majority in both Houses to suit their own ends. Could not a Dáil and Seanad with a majority in both Houses, thinking along the same lines, be just as dictatorial, and abuse its powers to as great an extent, as this House working alone? Is it not the same thing all the time? A Government having a responsibility to the people, a Government knowing they have to go back and account to the people for their actions sooner or later, will surely not abuse its powers in that way.

If the people opposite had such a care for democratic rule there was one Article in the Constitution which should have remained. I refer to the Referendum, which has been mentioned several times in this debate. Deputy Hogan did not talk about the buffoons, or louts, or blackguards, or ignoramuses, or the dirty native Irish who supported him in removing the Referendum, when it suited his purpose and his Party's purpose to have it removed. Surely we can take a lot of what they say as simply coming from rank minds. The Seanad never got a chance from the Opposition. I do hold that since this Government came into office the Seanad never approached, on its merits, or viewed in that way, any measure passed by this House. They looked at it, first of all, from a political standpoint, and obeyed the orders of the Whips of the Party opposite. Is it not true that before certain measures had gone through all their stages in this House, certain leaders of the Opposition Party stated in public outside that the particular measures would not pass the Seanad? At one time when a particular measure was before this House—it had not gone to the amending stage in this House, and nobody knew in what form it was likely to leave this House—General O'Duffy stated outside that the Bill would never pass the Seanad. Where did he get that information? He got it in either of two ways. He was told by the people in the Seanad that they would not pass the Bill, or he gave them his instructions, which he knew would be obeyed. It was either one or the other. Is that the type of Seanad that is going to defend democracy here—a Seanad which would take instructions from leaders over there as to what they would do with measures which the Government had passed for the welfare of the people? We had a statement by Deputy Cosgrave yesterday that nobody could think of the Seanad changing its mind to suit the policy of any Government —this Government or any other Government elected by the people. Taking that as being the real principle behind the Seanad, where is the use of having elections at all? Where is the good in going to the people, having an election and getting a certain mandate when you know beforehand that people in the Seanad are going to prevent you putting that mandate through and that they are not going to accept the policy adopted on certain definite lines by the people at the general election? The dictatorship of the Seanad is going to prevent the Government, at least for a very long period, putting through, in the form of legislation, the will of the people. A fight is being made here in this House against this Bill. But I hold it is the most popular measure ever introduced into this House. It is accepted by the Fianna Fáil representatives of the people. It is accepted by the representatives of Labour and, time and again, it has been accepted by prominent members of the Party opposite.

The abolition of the Seanad was advocated very strongly some time ago by a prominent Deputy opposite. Here is one statement: "He hoped the day was not far distant when proportional representation will be a thing of the past. He also hoped, and looked forward to the day when there would be a reduction in the number of T.Ds. in the country and representatives in the Seanad, and he hoped that that body would be abolished altogether. He thought nobody would regret the fact if that body disappeared. He could not see what it existed for and he did not see what purpose the Seanad served." That was a speech made at Crossmolina, County Mayo, by Deputy Davis on 19th June, 1927, so that in abolishing the Seanad we are to have, according to his own statement, the wholehearted support of Deputy Davis who is Chairman of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, and one of its most prominent members. After having had experience of the Seanad functioning since 1922 Deputy Davis, in the year 1927, advocated its abolition. He poses as a responsible Deputy in this House and he said he could not see what that body existed for or what purpose it served. Will Deputy Davis, when a division is taken on this Bill, vote for the abolition of the Seanad?

We were assailed by Deputy McGilligan and Deputy Hogan in that disgusting speech he made, for attacking the rights of democracy and going in for a dictatorship. We are only, in reality, doing what we got a mandate to do and what Deputy Davis advocated in 1927. I am sure if we could look up the records we could find many quotations from other Deputies, pointing out that the Seanad was not a useful institution and should be abolished. Could anybody ever take the work of that House seriously? Look at the records. Let us ask ourselves what was the average per cent. attendance from Senators from 1922 to the present time? How many Senators chose to remain away in foreign lands rather than come over and do the serious work that they now pretend that they are doing? What was the average number of hours the Seanad sat every year? It is well known by Deputies opposite, as well as by those on this side of the House, that they never took their work seriously. Except for three or four Senators, the others practically ignored the institution altogether. They only came in their numbers to the Seanad when this Government got into power, and when it found that it would be able, by obstructive tactics, to hold up the work of the Government. That cannot be denied. The whip went out when the Fianna Fáil Government was elected to Senators to come from no matter what land they were in, and to stop every Bill that the Fianna Fáil Government passed. Is not that the truth? Were whips not sent out to Senators in England? Was there not, on one occasion, a cable sent to a Senator in France to come back and help to obstruct Fianna Fáil measures?

Deputy MacEoin knows that it is not nonsense, or if he feels it is, he is less informed than I give him credit for. It is well known, all over the country, that the response of Senators to these summonses was wonderful. These Senators all became great citizens as soon as the Fianna Fáil Government came into power. No expense was too much for them, whether they were in England or elsewhere, to come back for the Seanad. Their own business even was of little interest to them when the Fianna Fáil Government came into power; they must all be at the Seanad to obstruct measures passed by the Dáil. Contrast their action and activities since the Fianna Fáil Government got into power with their action and activities for the ten years previously, and they will be found to have been ultimately moved by objection to this Government elected by the will of the Irish people. Therefore, I hold this Bill is not only a Bill to abolish the Seanad, but to abolish a dictatorship in this country which existed in the hands of a group of individuals whose only interest was to prevent this Government from functioning here.

I am not going to make a long speech upon this matter, but having heard Deputy Cleary's statement that our Party whipped up Senators to oppose the Fianna Fáil Government, I felt it was necessary to interject the single word describing his assertion as nonsense. I now rise to repeat that expression. It is nonsense. I leave his assertions there because I am perfectly satisfied that they are not worth further comment. But I wish to discuss the matter before the House, and not the action of either the Government or the Opposition, their past records, or anything like that. When the Treaty was ratified, a number of Irishmen with a great regard for the people of this country, and who had fought for it, proceeded to establish Parliamentary institutions. The Parliamentary institution that they established, and thought best for the people of the country, and the country generally, was the two-Chamber system. The section of the Constitution that established that declared that the Oireachtas shall be composed of "the King, the Seanad and the Dáil." To-day we propose to change that and in future the Article of the Constitution shall read: "The Oireachtas shall be composed of the King and the Dáil." I suggest it would be more fitting that when we make such a change in the State we should go the whole way and declare that the Oireachtas shall be the Dáil, and nothing else. I do not like the idea of having it written in the Constitution that the Oireachtas of this country, the Government of this country, shall be composed of the King and the President. I would not like the President to be in the position of saying: "The King and myself have decided to do so and so." Mind you, that is the state we have arrived at. The Republican leader and the Monarch are going to stand hand in hand, and if that is the system, then Deputy Cleary and the whole lot of us fall for the position of establishing the absolute right of His Majesty the King and Mr. de Valera, their heirs and successors for ever to reign in this country.

Is that the situation we are arriving at? Yes, it is. It is not a laughing matter. When the Second Chamber goes there is nothing to stop a Parliamentary majority in this House enacting a statute that all legislative, executive, and judicial authority be vested in the King and the President, and it will never again be necessary for us to meet. There is nothing to stop that Parliamentary majority declaring that the following shall be the Oath we shall take—and I should like to see Deputy Kelly swallowing that Oath, and he will swallow it, just as the present occupant of the Viceregal Lodge has swallowed it—that we shall bear true faith and allegiance to this Parliamentary system, namely, the King and the President, their heirs and successors for ever. Mind you, Deputy Kelly can appreciate the difficulties and the dangers of that. I should like to remind the President and the Dáil that when we fought for this country we fought for certain principles. It was for freedom from the outside enemy, for freedom within, for the establishment of Parliamentary institutions that would have checks upon the Executive. As Army officers, some of us felt the necessity for that. The judiciary feels the necessity for that. Take away this Second Chamber and one of the most effective checks is removed.

Deputy Moore, speaking a moment ago, declared that he was satisfied that there was a necessity for a Second Chamber, but he was satisfied that the country would be amply recompensed if the taking away of that Chamber compelled the Executive Council and Deputies in this House to have a greater sense of responsibility. I am glad that he admits that they have not that sense of responsibility at the moment. I am perfectly satisfied that if they had, in the pique of the moment —and I assert that this Bill is brought in in a moment of pique, simply because the Second Chamber did not see eye to eye with the Executive— this measure would never have been produced. I think it is bad judgment, and shows a lack of foresight on the part of the Executive Council to bring in a Bill of this nature in such a manner. I would ask them to consider it, not from the Party point of view. I would not speak on the matter at all if my feelings on it were dictated by a Party point of view. I am looking at it from the countryman's point of view, from the Irish point of view only.

I feel that it is absolutely essential that we should have a bicameral system of Parliamentary government so that no matter what Government is in power, their actions, hasty or otherwise, will be subject to review and subject to some delay at any rate. Abolish the Seanad and you take that away, and you get, instead, all the things I outlined a moment ago. You leave then a system under which it would be possible by a majority vote in this House on any one day at 3 o'clock to suspend Standing Orders and pass a measure to establish that the sole executive, legislative, and judicial authority in this country shall be vested in two people. Is that anything that any Deputy who has any sense of responsibility in this House will stand for? I certainly have no brief for certain people in the other House, but I do agree with the principle that this country needs the service of every one of its sons. I certainly believe that no matter what the opinions of people were in the past, whether they are on the Fine Gael Benches or the Fianna Fáil Benches, no matter what their records may have been in the past, when they are working in the interests of the country, this country needs the help of all its sons. I would ask the Executive Council, and the President who is listening to me, to take this matter very slowly and not to rush it. I am satisfied that when he has examined the matter in a cool manner he will have a different outlook. I would advise him even to go away with the Minister for Finance for a short holiday, and I am satisfied that when he would have cooled his brow a little bit, and when he would come back, he would see that this is a measure that would be best left on the shelf, together with many other measures that have been left there for a considerable time.

It is unfortunate, yet true—perhaps I should say unfortunately true—that much time is taken up in this House by Deputies in contradicting and controverting misstatements made by other Deputies. The kind of speech delivered a few moments ago by Deputy Cleary from the Government Benches is typical of the cross-road orator and that kind of oratory which must have influenced very many uninformed electors at the recent general election. His attempt to misinterpret and to misrepresent Deputy Hogan was one of the most clumsy attempts at misrepresentation to which I have ever listened. It was particularly clumsy in view of the fact that he should at least give members of the House credit for having some intelligence. It was clumsy because he attempted to make it appear that Deputy Hogan looked upon the electors of this country or, at least, a certain proportion of them, as the "mere Irish," or the "dirty Irish."

Anybody who knows the record of Deputy Hogan, ex-Minister for Agriculture in this country, knows that he is an honourable and a bonny fighter and because he has, if you like, an unpleasant habit—unpleasant in this country at any rate—of telling the truth in relation to political events, and because he has the honesty to proclaim, not exactly in those words, that we are not all saints and scholars in this country, he is told that he is holding the "mere Irish" and the "dirty Irish" up to ridicule of our own people and the peoples of other countries. That is a clumsy attempt, a dishonest attempt, the kind of speech and the kind of attitude of mind that have been, possibly, more responsible than anything in this country for the return of the Fianna Fáil Government. Deputy Cleary wanted to make it appear that Deputy Hogan spoke of the majority of the people of this country as louts and blackguards. He should remember that Deputy Hogan spoke of those who broke up meetings and who attempted to break up meetings as louts and blackguards, and I shall give them the same name—the louts the blackguards and the corner-boys who attempted to break up meetings held by the official Opposition in this country. We had another silly exhibition given here this evening by a Minister who, at least, should have some sense of responsibility.

The Minister for Finance spoke about what he was pleased to term "the proper domain" of the Seanad, the proper domain in his view being that the Seanad should act, to use the words of one of his own Party in another connection, as a rubber stamp for the Executive Council in this State. I take it that, in the view of the Minister for Finance, the "proper domain" of the Seanad would be to register the views of this Assembly, whether the members of the Seanad believed that this Assembly was right or wrong. He spoke, to use his own words, of the dangerous situation that was created by the establishment of the Blue Shirt organisation. Of course he knows as well as I know, and as well as every decent citizen of this country knows, that the Blue Shirt organisation has proclaimed to the four winds of Erin that it is a constitutional Party and that they will not, and do not suggest it, force their views on the people of this country. Neither will they use arms or lethal weapons. The Minister for Finance suggests that a dangerous situation has arisen in this country. Hence, because the Seanad did not pass the Wearing of Uniforms Bill, popularly known as the Blue Shirt Bill, they should be cleared out.

I agree that a dangerous situation has arisen in this country, a dangerous situation for Fianna Fáil, in so far as it meant that the Blue Shirt organisation, of which, by the way, I am not a member, guaranteed a measure of protection for every citizen of this State who wished to put his views before the electorate. This is considered to be a very dangerous situation indeed by persons not constitutionally minded. But, whilst all this talk about abolishing the Seanad and creation of a dangerous situation is directed against constitutional assemblies, we never had any legislation introduced by the present Government seeking to put down illegal organisations which openly proclaimed week after week that they intended to upset even the present Administration by force of arms. President de Valera himself, to whom I give credit for certain very pious opinions and views on these matters, suggested on one occasion that he might by kindness induce the members of the organisation to which I have referred to become very good boys.

I would suggest that the Deputy return to the measure before the House.

I was attempting to relate the action of the Seanad in refusing to pass the Wearing of Uniforms Bill to a situation which has arisen and that still exists here. However, I will leave that at your suggestion and proceed in the most orderly way. During this debate we have heard a good deal from the Government Benches about mandates, particularly the mandate alleged to have been given at the last general election for the abolition of the Seanad. Not even the President himself, when speaking on the First Reading of this measure, suggested the abolition of the Seanad, but undoubtedly in his speeches he did definitely state that the Seanad as at present constituted should be abolished. This Bill is entitled "An Act so to amend Article XII of the Constitution as to abolish Seanad Eireann as a Constituent House of the Legislature," etc. I challenge the President to state here if he has got a mandate to abolish the Seanad. In his published speeches outside, and in his speeches here he has never yet suggested the abolition of the Seanad. Undoubtedly, he did suggest that the Seanad, as it is at present constituted, should be abolished. That is an entirely different thing from abolishing the Seanad altogether.

I feel that the President, when he proposed to deal with the constitution of the Seanad, must have had in mind an attenuated kind of assembly with limited powers—for instance, lessening the period during which Bills passed in Dáil Eireann could be held up by the Seanad. The impression which I gathered from the President's speech on the occasion of the hold-up by the Seanad of the Wearing of Uniforms Bill was that he would seek at some future date to curb, or curtail, the powers of the Seanad in that particular direction: in the direction of holding up Bills of this character for a period of 18 months.

As I have just indicated the Bill that we are discussing proposes to abolish the Seanad without any reservations whatsoever as to its future constitution. At least there is no indication given as to the future intentions of the Government in relation to a Second Chamber of any kind. I feel that a good case could be made out not alone at this period of our history but some years ago for a curtailment of the powers of the Seanad: for a reduction in its personnel, but in the present circumstances, and I use those words advisedly, I feel that a curtailment of any of the powers vested in the Seanad would not be a wise or a prudent thing for our people to do. We have in these matters something to guide us in the example of other countries. During this debate many of those countries which have a Second Chamber Government have been mentioned, but with the recent experience, quite fresh in our minds, of what has happened in Spain, I think we should be very slow before we rush into legislation of this kind.

The President must be well aware that, at the moment, it cannot be said things are normal here. We have at least two or three branches of the I.R.A., which is admittedly an armed force, whether their numbers are large or small. They might be called three sections of one army. Perhaps a better description would be to say that they are three distinct armies. The President cannot deny that. It is common property. I say that, in present circumstances, if to-morrow morning there was a general election— and these are some of the circumstances that I want to relate to my remarks— it might happen that the United Ireland Party would get a small majority of two or three in the Dáil, remembering that the majority in the Dáil to-day is only one over all other Parties—the present Government has only got that majority over all other Parties. Yet, bearing that in mind, legislation of a very drastic character, interfering with the Constitution, which is enshrined in the Treaty, has been introduced. I always held fairly strong views on Second Chamber government. I want to suggest that Fianna Fáil came into this House with a very bad tradition. They came here with a tradition of destruction, and without any record of constructive work. This Bill is another evidence of their destructive character and policy. They have nothing to show in the way of construction, but they have a whole lot to show, and a tradition in everything that is included in the word destruction.

Of course, they find it very difficult indeed to depart from that unholy tradition, a tradition which, by the way, has many adherents amongst a section of people which has always something to gain by loot and by periods of civil disturbance, but very little to gain during periods of peace. That class is fairly numerous in every country, and while it is not so numerous here, it is unfortunately of fairly large dimensions.

Does the Deputy include in that class the Seanad, with which this Bill is concerned?

I am including in it persons who want to pull down the Seanad as an institution of this State. I have just suggested that the Fianna Fáil Party have been wonderfully active in pulling down. Whether that gentle exercise of pulling down finds expression in the tearing up of railways, or in damaging other institutions of the State that it took ten weary years to build up; whether it found expression in one or other of these ways, the fact remains that their contribution towards really constructive effort has been far outweighed, and is not at all to be compared with their wonderful powers of destruction. I feel that in the Seanad we had, under existing circumstances, the only safeguard for minorities in this country, from hastily conceived legislation which might be passed by this Dáil, which has just a majority of one. Speaking of minorities, I certainly must deprecate some references by members of the Government Party, more particularly by responsible members of that Party—and it is conceded that they are very few indeed—and even by one of their Ministers. The Minister for Industry and Commerce thought fit in this Assembly to refer to members of the other House and, of course, incidentally to the class they represent, as "the old gang."

We have it enshrined in our Constitution that the rights and liberties of all citizens of this State shall be protected. Coming from a responsible Minister who coupled with the names of two respected members of the Seanad the epithets, "the old gang" and "the old ascendancy gang," which I thought were relegated to the past, it was simply a manifestation on the part of the Fianna Fáil Party that everybody who differs from them, whether in politics or generally, must be elbowed out of this country. "Get rid of the ascendancy gang!" Translated, that means that if one differs with a majority of his fellow-countrymen he must get out or get shot. That is not the principle enshrined in the Treaty. We had this disgusting exhibition of religious hate, rancour, and class prejudice introduced by no less a person than the Minister for Industry and Commerce. We had all hoped and prayed that that had died out long ago. We are preached to about the spirit of Thomas Davis, Wolfe Tone and all the rest, and then we hear repeated "the old gang." If some of the heroes we read of in history were alive to-day, possibly they would be called members of the old gang, because they came of good old Irish stock, but were not of the Catholic Faith. For the sake of the honour of this House, which I hope will, one of these days, have a tradition for good manners, I am glad the Ceann Comhairle very properly rebuked the Minister for indulging in such language.

The rulings of the Ceann Comhairle should not be commented upon.

I am not commenting. I am only praising the ruling of the Ceann Comhairle.

I must have misunderstood the Deputy.

I do not want to use a hackneyed phrase, but I am intrigued. In any case, I am most anxious to hear from members of the Labour Party some reasons for their attitude, other than those advanced by Deputy Norton, when speaking in support of this Bill. I would like to know from the Labour Party, whose benches by the way are empty, what has caused the wonderful and almost revolutionary change of front in their attitude towards the Seanad.

I can throw my mind back to 1921 and 1922. I remember that, in 1921 or 1922, a discussion took place as to whether or not the Labour Party should contest the elections. In or about the same period, a number of vacancies were to be filled in the Seanad and, whilst it had been argued that the Labour Party should not then contest the elections, many other persons in the Labour Party at the time held the view, and took the stand, that in the interests of the persons whom, at that time, they represented, to some extent, at any rate, they should go into the elections. Shortly after that, an election took place for the Seanad. It will be within the recollection of Deputies that the whole of the Free State was made one constituency for the purpose of that election. At that time, we had no less than eight members of the Labour Party seeking election to a body which their leader condemned last evening. There is something most inconsistent in that. Personally, I would not go into Parliament unless I subscribed to its Constitution. Apparently the Irish Labour Party held one view in 1921 and 1922 and hold quite a different view to-day. What has caused that complete volte face remains to be seen. I do not know what attraction the Seanad had for the Labour Party then or how they find it unattractive to-day. I wonder if they found, on becoming members of the Seanad, the soothing balm of Gilead that we read about in our young days, parcelled out in the shape of the monthly allowance. Did they find in it a kind of dope which allayed any pain caused by their severance from principles to which they had paid so much service—mainly, lip service. I think that this House and the country are entitled to get from members of any Party advocating the abolition of the Seanad better reasons than the reasons advanced here yesterday evening. They are entitled to be told why the Labour Party find it difficult now to believe in the continuance of the Seanad, the constitution of which they subscribed to and into which body they sent so many members. If they have such an inherent dislike and objection to the Seanad, why should they have displayed so much enthusiasm and industry over a period of ten years in endeavouring to get into it?

Since the Referendum was abolished, I have voted in two or three Seanad elections in which the electors consisted of members of this House and the other House, voting together. It had been said that the Seanad is not elected on a popular basis, that there is no direct representation of the people in that House. I think it will be generally agreed that the members of this House are elected on a very wide franchise—a franchise which is supposed to be the widest and broadest in Europe. It might be argued very logically from that—this should appeal to the mind of the President—that if we, representing the people, vote for the election of members to the Seanad, the people are represented in that House. If we, voting in conjunction with the members of the other House, elect members to that House, then it can be said that the people have representation there.

A good deal has been said here about what might occur if at any time a dictatorship was established here. The history and traditions of this country show that the people would not tolerate a dictatorship for a moment. But if I had my choice between a dictatorship and the kind of mob law I have seen here and there throughout the country —happily I do not go to any of these meetings—I should certainly choose a wise dictatorship. I should prefer that to the unbridled mob law I have seen here and there. I should choose a dictatorship, for instance, before an Executive or Parliament or any form of government which would permit the placing of a land mine outside the door of a political opponent——

That has nothing to do with this Bill.

The Minister for Finance dealt with dictatorships, and I am just referring to his remarks. One of the reasons he advanced for the abolition of the Seanad was that they had thrown out a Bill which was aimed at putting down a disorderly organisation—namely, the Blue Shirts—which might eventually result in a dictatorship. I am just saying that, if I had my choice between a dictatorship and the kind of mob law I have seen obtain under the present Administration, I should choose a wise dictatorship. I should choose a wise dictatorship before I would choose an Administration that permits, if it does not openly encourage, the placing of land mines——

The Deputy has been told that such incidents are quite irrelevant to the debate on this Bill.

I am not allowed to mention a land mine?

Not in this debate.

I was attempting to demonstrate why I should prefer a dictatorship, which has been mentioned——

The Deputy's preference for a dictatorship to other forms of government is not relevant.

The Minister for Finance referred to the dictatorship which might eventuate if the Blue Shirt organisation had not been suppressed. It was he who referred to the dictatorship. I want to show why I would prefer a wise dictatorship to the mob law that manifests itself from time to time in parts of the country. I believe that this Bill is largely the result of a campaign directed against individuals in the Seanad rather than against the House itself. That may appear to be a rather strange assertion. It has not been made by any other speaker. I feel —I may not be right in this—that this Bill has had its urge because of the antagonism of certain members of the Executive Council to certain members of the Seanad.

I want to submit that there is another way of dealing with these people in the Seanad who, perhaps, may not see eye to eye with the President. I appeal to the President to make it clear to our fellow-citizens outside this House, who to-day are feeling that, although they are intensely Irish, there is a set being made upon them, that that is not the fact. We have a minority of citizens in this country who do not profess the same faith as we do and their position is about to be made intolerable in many parts of the country as a result of the passing of this Bill. It is putting one more weapon in the hands of a certain section of our people and it is rather unfortunate that that spirit is introduced in the South. I feel there are members in the President's Cabinet who have brought that bitter feeling into the South that has existed too long in the North, and they are causing more trouble in this country than all organisations here put together, secret or otherwise.

Some time ago I listened to the Minister for Finance telling us to put on the garb of St. Francis. The spirit in which this particular measure has been introduced certainly makes it clear that the garb of St. Francis will never be worn by any members of the Fianna Fáil Party. A measure more tyrannical, more unchristian, more intolerable than this measure for the abolition of the Seanad has never been introduced in any other Parliament in the world. It is the most intolerable legislation which could be fashioned in any democratic country. I have listened to the speeches made by members of the Government Party, and the majority of those speeches, whether Front Bench or Back Bench, were not so much in opposition to the system of a Second Chamber as personal animosity to certain members of the Seanad. It is regrettable that they adopted that attitude. For some considerable time speeches have been delivered which are calculated to bring about a sort of class war. Those speeches are tending to bring about a position of affairs which will undoubtedly end in a class war. I would like, particularly, to call the attention of Deputy Norton to the speeches he has been making. They are all marching in step with the type of legislation which we are now discussing. We are told to get rid of the bankers, the brewers and the Unionists. That was shouted down in Castledermot and also at Bruff. That is merely preparing the way for this and other similar types of legislation.

The people of this country are, at the present moment, prepared for anything. It is difficult enough for them to stand up to the economic turmoil, but now they are going to have political turmoil. I think the President and his Cabinet should thank God that they have a Seanad, instead of endeavouring to abolish it, because of the action of that body in holding up the Blue Shirt Bill. If that Bill had been passed into law it would not be a question of the ordinary rule and writ of law passing in this country; it would mean the internment camp for tens of thousands of the community. As it is, the Seanad have given us a chance to pause, a chance to think, a chance to get together in some form or other. They have hesitated to approve of legislation, which is nothing but a challenge to the young people, and which in my opinion, and in the opinion of many other people, will never come within measurable distance of bringing peace in this country. It is the opinion of very many people that such legislation could never be implemented without destruction, trouble and bloodshed. The Seanad, in exercising their functions carefully and with great thought, saw dangers ahead, and they held back this legislation. Because they adopted that attitude they are now to be removed as a monstrous menace.

We on this side of the House are grateful to the Seanad for holding up that Bill. The members of the Seanad are certainly to be thanked for the attitude they adopted. I hold it would be far better to close up the Dáil altogether rather than proceed with the introduction of measures of this type. If the Government are anxious to bring in measures of this kind it would be far better for them to walk down to Dublin Castle, where the atmosphere would be more congenial. It would be far better for them to cease pretending, to cease this mockery of democracy. The position at the moment would appear to be that anybody who opposes this Government, no matter in what respect, is to be bludgeoned out of existence.

Because the Seanad desires to see fair play it is to be bludgeoned and battering-rammed out of existence. I believe that in Westminster Abbey there is a statue of Castlereagh, and underneath it are the words "Ireland will never forget." There will be more statues yet put up in this country, and Ireland will not forget. But the point is that any sober thinking man can visualise the repercussions and impacts of this measure. There is no doubt whatever that Deputy Thrift to-day made a case against this measure. I listened to his words, and if his words are not listened to by the Government, and if his warnings are not taken to heart by them, then, of course, there is no use in any of us of the official Opposition expecting that our words will be listened to. Every day, or at least every week, there are new political sensations in the Press. It seems that the people in the country, as a sort of compensation for the economic and political turmoil, get a sop in the form of some new thrill and some new sensation every week. This Bill is another of these thrills.

If prosperity in this country were to be marked by political sensations and political thrills, this would be the wealthiest country in the whole world. For some time past we have been gradually prepared for something of this drastic nature. Sapping speeches and gun-cotton charges in country districts have been made, and now they are to be fired. By degrees the people of Ireland will lose all faith in democratic institutions. We on these benches have tried to expose the tyranny of all these things, and especially we have raised strong points and strong arguments against this Bill. I have heard nothing from the far side except something of a personal nature or something indicating a personal advantage more than anything for the benefit of the country. I oppose this Bill purely because of a sense of justice and a sense of fair play. I oppose this Bill as an attack on a young democratic country, a country with barely 12 years of parliamentary institutions. If we are to continue moving at this pace, then certainly within the next two or three months there will be nothing here worth reckoning except the Executive Council, which can use their power in any way they like or in any way they please. The time will come when an order over-night can be a writ of the law of the land, and nothing will be saved as far as individual liberty is concerned. All will be exposed to any form of political ordinances which are reminiscent of the old days of slavedom in the Belgian Congo.

But we are not a people who can stand for that forever, and, in my humble way, as a back bencher, I wish to utter a solemn warning to the Government that this sort of thing cannot go on. I warn them that the young people now coming up who have no connection with the bitter past, recent though it may be, will not stand for this tyranny, and that sooner or later their young hot blood will resent it. Where will all that bring us to? Where will all this thing end? At present we are trying to carry on in the country here under the most appalling difficulties, and we are trying to pretend to the world that there are no difficulties. This kind of legislation simply exposes us before all the world, and tends to confirm the view that we are an unstable people carried away in the heat of the moment, people who carry out the most extraordinary and intolerable measures, and that we do these things because we are an extreme and intolerant people.

I do not wish to add any fuel to the fires of the past, but when one hears members of the Opposition being classified as an "accursed crowd," and when we hear ourselves classified as "traitors" and all that sort of talk that is being used by the Government Deputies and supporters, one finds it rather hard. All these attacks on us and calling us traitors simply mean in some quarters the word to go ahead; it is an intimation to those opposed to us to try and beat us off the road, as it were. This sort of legislation and this sort of talk is calculated to stir up that feeling against us outside. To-day it is hard for a public man to get up at a public meeting and speak within reason so that nothing said or done will be calculated to bring about again conditions which we want to forget. Every day our position is being made worse and worse. We have here before us a Bill for the abolition of the Seanad, because, as they allege, that Seanad backed up the Opposition and refused to accept Bills sent up by the Government. The Seanad refused to accept these Bills, because they were dangerous and calculated to inflame feeling. At our public meetings we have to get up and ignore all these things. Else we are called traitors and it is said that we are trying to stir up turmoil and trouble. This measure will make things very difficult for us.

Recently the President made a speech down in Clonmel, and in that speech he referred to the property classes. He referred to those who, in the opinion of his audience, probably had too much property. That was the sort of thing that was pulled out in front of the meeting and dangled, as it were, before the people as much as to say: "These are the people we are going to deal with; and now the Seanad Bill makes a fine background and a fine stage for finishing off the classes which they represent."

This is not Irish nationalism. It is nothing for which this country has worked its way up to 1934. It is not for this the country worked during long years of struggle for governmental and sovereign independence. It was not for this our forefathers worked and died. This is not what the Irish National Party dreamt would happen. This sort of thing is not what any patriot, who ever held Irish interests dear, had at heart or worked for or believed could possibly happen. This Bill is a challenge to democracy in the country and, if it passes, the people may make up their minds that before 1934 is completed an entire dictatorship will be established. When such a dictatorship is established, depend upon it, there will be a day of reckoning. That day, I hope, will not come in my time, for I have already seen and read of enough bloodshed and turmoil.

This is a Bill of a new type. It is a Bill of an entirely new type. This is a Bill of a type which has never been introduced into this House before. It is a Bill of a type which, I think, seldom has been introduced into any House, because this Bill before the House is a punitive measure and nothing else. It is designed as a punitive measure and is being carried into force as a punitive measure. This is a Bill introduced to punish members of the Seanad who exercised their constitutional rights and, in exercising their constitutional rights, held up, as they were entitled to hold up, a piece of very bad legislation which had got through this House. They are to be punished for that. We all knew that they had their choice. It had been mentioned, and not obscurely mentioned. Everybody knew that the alternative before the Seanad was "Fling out the Blue Shirt Bill and your Seanad goes." They did fling out the Blue Shirt Bill and here now, hot-foot that very evening, comes this punitive measure to punish those Senators because they have acted, as they were entitled to act, according to their best judgment and according to the dictates of their consciences. Because they would not stifle their own judgment and because they listened to their own consciences rather than obey the mandates of the President and his Executive Council, then, if you please, the whole Seanad has to go and the whole parliamentary system of this country has got to be disorganised.

Mark you, this is very much more than a Constitution Amendment Bill. This is much more than an amendment of the Constitution. This is a very drastic alteration of the Constitution. It is a destruction of the Constitution, as we knew it. I very much question whether this Bill, if it becomes law, will have the effect of abolishing the Seanad. I very much question if this Bill, which is before the House now, is constitutional because, as I say, it is not an amendment of the Constitution, it is a destruction of the Constitution. There is all the difference in the world between a Constitution which consists of two Chambers and one which consists of one Chamber, and one only. They are two absolutely different things. There is no resemblance between them, and, if this Bill becomes law and is held to be constitutional, the Constitution we will have then will be an absolutely different Constitution to the Constitution which we have at the present moment.

If this Bill becomes law, as has been pointed out many times, it puts this House in complete control of the affairs of State—unchecked control— and since the system of Party government is in existence in this State and is known to be very strong in this State, it makes whomever is in the Executive Council, whatever men compose the Executive Council for the time being, absolute masters in the country and free to do anything they like, unchecked and untrammelled in any way. All that is being done for no other reason than to punish certain individuals. In order that the malignity of the Executive Council may have full vent, the Constitution is to be destroyed and a dictatorship in this House is to be set up. Some time ago, we were told, of course, that proportional representation made the Seanad unnecessary. That is not so. Under proportional representation a Party has a majority in this House at the present moment, and, having that majority, the Executive Council, when this Bill becomes law, for the future can do any single thing they please and merely have their decrees registered.

Certain arguments, or attempted arguments, have been put forward to show why this Bill was introduced. Not a single one of them can bear examination for a minute. The first argument that was put forward was on the ground of expense. That is not the reason why this Bill was introduced, and everybody knows it. That is not an argument put forward seriously or honourably. Everybody knows that the abolition of the Seanad was not dictated by any considerations of expense. What is the next argument we got? The personnel of the present Seanad was put forward as an argument. The Minister for Industry and Commerce, yesterday afternoon, gave his description, by example, of the two classes that he would like to see excluded from the Seanad. He mentioned the Jamesons and the Granards. Just think of those two wide classes. They seem to have nothing between them except the fact that they are Irishmen. You have one man, a Protestant, an ex-Unionist, a man who is also one of the leaders of commercial life in Dublin. You have the other man, a Catholic, and a life-long Home Ruler. We are told that neither Protestant ex-Unionist nor Catholic Home Ruler is to have a place in the Seanad. Those are the two classes that the Minister for Industry and Commerce singles out as an argument that, since persons of that type are in the Seanad, there should not be a Seanad at all. Personal malignity against certain individuals, and not because of any views which they held, dictated remarks of that kind.

Let us come on now to the argument which the Minister for Finance put forward to-day. He said: "The Seanad allowed seven Bills to go through when the Cumann na nGaedheal Government were in office, and would not allow our Bills to go through." He mentioned the Constitution (Amendment No. 17) Act, and he harped back to it again and again. That is the Act that is usually called the Public Safety Act. The Seanad were very much attacked at the time when that Bill was enacted. They were attacked by the members of the present Government Party and by the whole Fianna Fáil Party. Yet, the Fianna Fáil Party have got to admit now that the Seanad were perfectly right and that they were perfectly wrong the whole time, because, if ever they got a mandate they got a mandate to repeal that Public Safety Act, and, instead of repealing it, as they had pledged themselves to do again and again, they issued proclamations putting it in force. Surely, having adopted that Act and declared publicly and openly that it is necessary for the good government of the country, it is absolutely absurd for them to come along now and say that the Seanad did a wrong thing in passing a piece of legislation which they now admit to have been correct. The Minister for Finance asks: Why not leave all questions of the administration of the law and all questions of the preservation of peace in the country entirely to the Executive? Why should they? That, however, is not the reason why they are being attacked by this Bill. If that were the only wish the Government had, if the only wish they had was that the powers of the Seanad could be curtailed so that they should have no powers to amend any legislation dealing with the preservation of peace in this State and of order in this community, then a Bill of that nature could be introduced. This, however, is not a Bill curtailing the powers of the Seanad. This is a Bill abolishing the Seanad altogether. What has been their crime? The crime of holding up a Bill designed to crush the legitimate, lawful, political opposition in this State. It is perfectly legal and lawful for men to wear Blue Shirts. Political badges, perfectly legally and lawfully, can be worn. It is an honourable thing to wear a Blue Shirt: it is an honourable thing to wear a political badge which shows that you are a member of a Party that you are proud of; a Party which is standing against crime of all sorts: a league, like the League of Youth, of young men and women who have joined together for one great purpose, that great purpose being——

It is not in the Bill.

It is not in this Bill, I am aware, but that is the Bill the rejection of which has caused this particular measure to be introduced. That is put forward by the Minister for Finance as his only argument, and I respectfully submit that, if you are going to abolish the Seanad because they have rejected a particular Bill, some reference to that Bill is perfectly in order.

It is perfectly in order to make reference to it, but surely not to dwell on the merits or demerits of the particular organisation that the Bill was introduced to deal with.

I respectfully submit that I did not dwell for any length on that. I do not think I referred to it for more than two minutes. Certainly I did not refer to that Bill at anything like the length that the Minister for Finance referred to it. But, because they did what was right, and I believe that in the action they took they had the support of the majority of the people, out of sheer vindictiveness and malice the Executive Council introduce this Bill to abolish the Seanad. We are getting a very nice example of what things are coming to. A legislative body acts constitutionally, as it is entitled to do, in spite of threats that have been openly or covertly made to it, and, forthwith, in a spirit of animosity—I do not describe it as pique, as certain persons have described it, as I think pique is too mild a word—in a spirit of deliberate animosity, an angered individual, or, it may be, a set of individuals set about their work of vengeance.

Some time ago in this House Deputy O'Higgins spoke about a Spanish vendetta, and the President rose up some time afterwards and declared that the word vendetta was not associated with Spain. We are aware that the word vendetta is an Italian word. But the spirit which is behind the vendetta is a spirit which is rampant in Spain and rampant in some gentlemen of Spanish extraction. I should like to mention just one anecdote to the House, because I think it has a bearing upon the attitude of the Executive Council and a certain member of it to-day. The anecdote is that the Spanish patriot, Ramon Narvaez, on his death-bed when exhorted by the priest to forgive his enemies, exclaimed feebly: "Father, I have no enemies, I have shot them all." That is the Spanish way, and that is the way the Executive Council wants to act in this country. It may not go to the length of shooting, but anybody that stands in its way, or anything, be it large or be it small, that checks it in its wild and mad course is to be mercilessly swept out of existence.

This is a bad Bill. It is as bad a Bill as could be introduced in this House. Every country wants time to make up its mind. Chance decisions made at one moment may not be the abiding will of the people. We all know that elections are won in countries which are properly governed very often on catch-cries and there are enormous changes. We have seen such things as "khaki" elections in England and enormous majorities and an enormous turn-over in a couple of years. If you are going to have unchecked legislation in this State then you will have Governments, elected by a temporary wish of the people, performing acts which may be in their consequences impossible to redeem. Very hastily, and without any consideration, this Bill is brought into this House, and I sincerely hope that there will be sufficient manliness in this House to throw it out.

I should just like to make a few observations in connection with this Bill. When I ask myself is a Second Chamber necessary, I find the question has been answered by a Government Deputy, during this debate, when he said that Bills have been improved and amendments which had been inserted by the Seanad had been accepted by the Government. In my humble opinion that is an absolutely sufficient reason to convince me that a Second Chamber is necessary in this country. There is a Second Chamber in most other countries. Why is this hasty legislation introduced to abolish the Seanad? The Minister for Education said that drastic and revolutionary legislation should not be introduced except on an appeal to the country. I have yet to see legislation introduced into this House so drastic or revolutionary as this Bill. The function of the Seanad is to examine legislation passed by this House and, in its wisdom, to see whether or not the Government in power have acted hastily and, if necessary, introduce amendments. As I said, amendments made by the Seanad have been accepted by the Government. A lot has been said about mandates and everything else. Members of the Government say that they have not been able to put their policy into operation. Certainly, the Seanad has not prevented the Government from putting their policy into operation. What has the holding up of the Uniforms or Blue Shirt Bill got to do with putting their policy into operation? What have the Blue Shirts done since this Bill was passed? What have they done against the law? So far as I can see, everything through the country is the same as it was before that Bill went through this House. There is no good in anybody trying to convince me or trying to convince the country that the holding up of the Blue Shirt Bill is the one and only reason for the Bill before the House.

I cannot understand the opinions expressed from the Government Benches. Deputy Córry has said that the only fault he found with the Bill was that it was too late. He went on to refer to pedigrees and so on which I would not stoop to reply to, and I think it ill becomes Deputy Corry to talk in this House about things like that. I suggested on a recent occasion, and I suggest it again, that it should be possible for members on every side of the House to stop this kind of language which is not a help to anybody. Deputy Corry never stands up here but he has something to say of that sort. I heard other members on the Government Benches regretting that it was necessary to abolish the Seanad. I heard Deputy Moore stating that he was unable to reconcile the views expressed by Deputy MacDermot and somebody else on those benches and asking what they meant. I have heard the Minister for Finance even expressing regret that it was necessary to pass this Bill and to abolish the Seanad, and other members have spoken in somewhat similar terms. How can the ordinary man reconcile the views of members of the Government who have spoken on this Bill? I certainly cannot, and I have no doubt in my mind that the only person responsible for this Bill is the President himself and that the reason for his introducing it is because the Seanad was not agreeable to accept the views of the Government in connection with the Uniforms Bill.

What is the Seanad there for? If the Seanad agreed to all the legislation which is passed, it would not fulfil its function at all, in my opinion. It is there for the sole purpose of looking into the legislation passed by any Government, and, if they think necessary, inserting amendments, holding it up and so on, and that is the function which has been performed in the past. When the Seanad is abolished what will be the state of affairs? Any Government in power can pass any legislation they like in a hasty manner, and certainly no Government, no matter from what side of the House it comes or from what Party it is formed, should have the power in their hands to introduce legislation overnight and have it available next morning. That is not the idea of democratic government. I do not see that such power should be put into the hands of any Executive and I think no case has been made for the abolition of the Seanad. It has been said here on a good many occasions that a reconstitution of the Seanad might be desirable and nobody will object to that. What we strongly object to is the abolition of the Seanad altogether. A reforming of the Seanad might be desirable and necessary—I do not know; I am not well versed in legislation—but I do say that the abolition of the Seanad is one of the most drastic and revolutionary pieces of legislation introduced in this House since it was established, and I think no case has been made for it. I express the hope, like other members of the Opposition who have spoken, that, at the last moment, the Government will see its way to amend this Bill and to reconstitute the Seanad in some way or other as to give some check on hasty legislation which might be passed by any Government in this House.

The President yesterday evening in introducing the Second Reading of this Bill said that he had put it before the electorate at the last election and that he had got a mandate to abolish the Seanad as at present constituted. I do not intend to labour those words because the leader of the Opposition dealt with them last evening. "As at present constituted"—the President did not pretend to the House that he had got a mandate from the country to abolish the Seanad. The progression of the President in this matter is rather interesting because he has made a speech within the last couple of months in which he suggested that he was open to consider some alternative form of Second Chamber. He is progressing rapidly from day to day towards a dictatorship here—I love to see the President smile and I am very happy to see him smile; he smiles at my statement now. But he did state within the last couple of months, and perhaps more recently than that, that he was open to consider some proposal for an alternative Second House. We are open to do that, too, and the President has had on the Order Paper of the Dáil for many months past a proposal of that kind from the Seanad itself. This sinning Chamber is willing to reconsider a reconstruction of itself and they sent a message to this House which appears on the Order Paper of this House every day and which has appeared on the Order Paper of this House every day for many months past:

That it is expedient that a Joint Committee consisting of five members of the Seanad and five members of the Dáil, with the Chairman of each House ex officio, be set up to consider and report on the changes, if any, necessary in the constitution and powers of the Seanad.

That message has been treated with discourtesy by the Government. There have been a number of occasions when this House has adjourned for want of business and the Government has not given the House any opportunity of discussing this proposal from the Seanad. One can only come to the conclusion that the President does not desire to have any Second House at all. He did say, on a recent occasion, as I have mentioned already, that he had not made up his mind, that he had no particular views, as to a Second House but he conveyed to the awe-stricken public who listened to him that he was willing to consider the question of a Second House constituted on some different basis from the present House.

His whole speech last night— I listened to it with great care —was directed to one point only, and that was that he was going to have no Second House at all. He emphasised the very small point that a Second House cost a certain amount of money, and that the value which the people got from it was not a proper return for the expenditure. Last night the leader of the Opposition drew what I considered was a perfect parallel. He referred to Cromwell and the Long Parliament. The nearest parallel in modern history to Cromwell's Government in England, from the execution of Charles until the Restoration, is the Government by President de Valera and his Party at the present time. Cromwell contemptuously said to the House of Commons: "Remove that bauble." We have that situation paralleled in this country now. If anybody had any doubt as to what is the objective of President de Valera in his present policy would not that doubt be removed by the speech of the Minister for Industry and Commerce last night? One of the safeguards that the people of this country have against the tyrannical action of any Government is the independence of the judges. The Minister for Industry and Commerce last night told the House that his Government were prepared to remove a judge at any time if they thought it right to do so. Is not that a perfectly appalling proposition? I know that there are many members sitting on those benches who realise, just as well as I do, that that is a perfectly appalling proposition. If you interfere with the independence of the judges in any country then you have chaos in that country. That is a lesson which has been learned by every country through the experience of centuries—that the one institution which you cannot interfere with, the one institution you cannot tamper with, the one institution which you must keep independent of interference by the Executive, is the judiciary.

We were told, last night, by a Minister who, we must assume, was speaking with the authority of the President, that they are prepared to remove a judge at any time. Now the safeguard in this Constitution for the independence of the Judiciary is a safeguard similar to that existing in the British Constitution, so far as you can say they have a written Constitution. The judges in England are removable only under a statute passed in 1875 and renewed by a limited statute. They are removable only for misconduct, or incompetence, on a vote of both Houses of the legislature. One can understand perfectly well that that is a complete and perfect safeguard against the removal of a judge from his office by reason of anything except real misconduct, or incapacity. It means that he is perfectly safeguarded against the temper or the passion of any Government which may happen to exist at the particular time. We have that same safeguard in our Constitution, under, I think, Article LXVIII, that judges can only be removed from office by a vote of both Houses, on those very definite grounds. That safeguard is to be removed, as was pointed out from those benches yesterday evening. We were prepared to consider any alternative proposal which the President might like to put before the House as to a Second Chamber. One of the things we wanted to preserve, above all, was the independence of our judiciary, because it would be a bad day for this country—I do not care what Government is in office—if any Executive were in a position to remove a judge because they disliked a decision that he had given. I should hate to see it. If President Cosgrave were back in office, with all my confidence in him, I should hate to see him put in a position to do that, because if he could do it a worse Government coming after him could also do it. I should hate to see him in a position to do that. While I know that he would never abuse the power, I should hate to see him put in a position to do it, because it would be a justification for any Government coming after him to say: "President Cosgrave could do that. We can do it, too, and we are going to do it now."

I think it is a deplorable and an appalling situation that the President is producing by this Bill. Perhaps the President may not have considered implications of the Bill, but I think it is a deplorable situation. A Government may come after President de Valera's Government which will, perhaps, take a different view as to liabilities and responsibilities. Is it not a deplorable situation for the President to create that a Government coming into power afterwards may say: "We dislike the decision of Judge So-and-so, and we will remove him from office for that reason"? We had, as I say, this safeguard up to the present time, that that could only be done by a vote of both Houses. The safeguard of the judges was that you would not get two Houses to vote for the removal of a judge because of a decision he had given. You might get one House to do it in a moment of passion, but you certainly would never get the second House to do it. Therefore, the judges were safe and they were independent. We had in very recent times an interesting illustration of what the alternative would mean. General O'Duffy, Mr. Kilcoyne and another man were arrested because they were wearing blue shirts. A proceeding was brought in the High Court for habeas corpus, claiming the release of those prisoners. Counsel appeared for the Executive Council, and we must assume that what they stated was the President's view as to the law, and as to what should be done. Counsel appeared for the Executive Council and they claimed and argued that no longer was there any habeas corpus in this country. It was an amazing claim that Article VI of the Constitution was dead and gone. Now let us look at what Article VI of the Constitution says: “The liberty of the person is inviolable, and no person shall be deprived of his liberty except in accordance with law.” It goes on to say that “Upon complaint made by or on behalf of any person that he is being unlawfully detained, the High Court and any and every judge thereof shall forthwith inquire into the same and may make an order requiring the person in whose custody such person shall be detained to produce the body of the person so detained before such court or judge without delay and to certify, in writing, as to the cause of the detention and such court or judge shall thereupon order the release of such person unless satisfied that he is being detained in accordance with the law.” What is the claim made on behalf of the Executive Council as regards General O'Duffy and Mr. John O'Sullivan who were detained in Arbour Hill prison? That the court had no right to interfere with habeas corpus in this country, that, in fact, habeas corpus was dead in this country, and that the Article of the Constitution which says that the liberty of the person is inviolable, and that no person shall be deprived of his liberty, except in accordance with law, was dead and gone, and that General O'Duffy and John O'Sullivan could be deprived of their liberty by a process which was not in accordance with law. That was the case and the argument put forward by Counsel for the Government.

Are we to hear all the arguments on both sides?

We shall see the relevancy of the Deputy's argument.

Mr. Rice

I am pointing out that one of the objects of this Bill is to destroy the independence of our judiciary, and I am pointing out that one of the consequences of destroying the independence of our judiciary would be that the law of habeas corpus would be gone. If the President objects to my argument I shall wait for a ruling upon the point. I say that the argument put forward on behalf of the President of the Executive Council, in that case, was that the law of habeas corpus is gone, and that the Executive could deprive a citizen of his liberty by their own motion, could put him in jail and could not themselves be interfered with. Our courts do not stand for that, and, fortunately, the judges did interfere. We were told last night by the Minister for Industry and Commerce that the Executive Council themselves, if they thought proper, could remove a judge because they disliked him.

The Minister did not say anything of the kind.

Mr. Rice

The Minister said last night that the Executive Council were entitled to remove a judge.

He did not say they would, but he said they could.

Mr. Rice

I do not care whether he said they would or they could. He conveyed to this House that the Executive Council could and would remove a judge if they decided to do so. I say that it is an appalling situation. In saying that, the Minister has destroyed the confidence of the people of the country. He has not destroyed the independence of the judiciary, because, thank God, the judiciary do not care about the threats of any temporary Government, but he has destroyed the confidence of the people in their judiciary, and I say that is an appalling situation to create.

If there were any doubt in anybody's mind as to the object of this Bill that doubt would be removed by the speech made last night in regard to the judges by the Minister for Industry and Commerce. This Bill is quite obviously designed to set up a dictatorship. We have in the Party opposite in this House a one-man Party which would collapse to-morrow if the President retired from it. The Fianna Fáil Party was described last night as a Party of "yes-men" and "nodders." That is what it is. That Party would not last for a week if President de Valera was not there to lead and control and direct it. I do not know whether the President regards that as a compliment or not, but whether he does or not, it is a fact. The Party opposite would collapse under the pressure of public opinion within a week if President de Valera was not there to direct them and make them toe the line and prevent them from starting a revolt at Party meetings talking about the country being in such a terrible state and all that. It may be a tribute to the President, but if it is I pay it to him willingly. Every member of the Party opposite knows perfectly well that it could not last a week, and that it would utterly collapse if the President ceased to be leader of it. Some members of the Party opposite are farmers, but they are afraid to go to the fairs at the present time lest they should meet some of their constituents.

Let the farmers speak for themselves.

What about Constitution (Amendment No. 24) Bill, 1934?

Oh, I could not answer that.

Mr. Rice

The President last night in introducing this Bill spoke of the danger of producing revolution. He said—I tried to take a note of his words—that if the view got abroad that the Second House could check the voice of the people, that would foster a revolutionary spirit. It was said last night that it was refreshing to hear the President preaching against the creation of a revolutionary spirit. Some people who have studied his career might have thought that he rather enjoyed creating a revolutionary spirit. One would take him much more seriously in suggesting anything about a revolution than the Vice-President when he talked about producing guns. No one took the Vice-President very seriously, but one would have to take the President very seriously if he talked about these things, because we know he is a very serious person. It was rather refreshing to hear him deprecating a situation that was likely to create a revolutionary spirit. Might I suggest to the President if he has reformed, and does not like a revolution, that he is taking a very good way of producing another revolution if he persists in trying to repress by force and other unjustifiable means every political organisation opposed to him. As a person of peaceful views I hate all revolution, and I suggest to the President that if he persists by unjustifiable means in trying to suppress lawful opposition to him, and to suppress young people who are joining in that lawful opposition to him, then he is going a very good way about producing another revolution in this country. Young people in this country are told by the President that they must not wear badges; that they cannot describe themselves by any outer sign as belonging to a certain organisation. Might I suggest to the President, if that is right, persons who become members of the Fianna Fáil clubs will also be guilty of an offence against what he considers should be the law, because they too will be labelling themselves members of a political organisation?

The President has introduced this Bill as a way of getting rid of political opposition in a certain House. It was said in this debate already that the President is aiming at a dictatorship. Of course, the President disclaims all that. I do not know whether it has been mentioned in the debate already, but the President in the House last year, treating this Dáil with contempt, said that "it would be a very good thing to give this House a six months' holiday or longer so that Ministers could do their work." What did he mean by that? If he gets rid of the Seanad how many months holiday does the President intend to give the Dáil? Will he call it together occasionally to vote funds for the carrying on of the economic war, in the intervals between the times that he is sending over secret emissaries to try to arrange a settlement of the economic war? The President wants to get rid of the Seanad under this Bill. He has also a simple way of getting rid of the Dáil, at any rate, for a considerable number of months at a time. The only reason why Charles I ever called his Parliament together was when he wanted them to vote money. President de Valera, I think, would have to call us together now and again to vote him money also. The unfortunate thing in the case of King Charles was that, having to call the House together to vote money, the members started to vote other things when they assembled and eventually they took off his head.

The Minister for Finance to-day told us that he belonged to a Republican Government but he took part in an attempt to trample on, I think, some sound Republican principles when he supported the President in his introduction of this Bill, a Bill which was introduced with very little explanation or education of the general public as to what the President had in mind. Apart from the fantastic misrepresentations of the Minister for Finance of some of the ideas held on this side of the House with regard to what might or might not be a suitable Second Chamber, Deputies on the opposite side have expressed surprise and some amusement, and thought it a matter worthy of ridicule, that different expressions of opinion should be made here as to what a Second Chamber might do and how it might be composed. It just shows how little Deputies on the opposite side know of sound Republican lines of action. They start by wiping out a Second Chamber that is in existence and the President says that he has not been able to think of anything to put in its place. The trouble is that there are too many things that can be thought of to put in its place.

I mentioned here to our Republican Ministry, recently, that there were some principles expounded by what I suppose you could call, in a particular humour, the greatest Republican of them all, George Washington. I would ask Ministers, now that they are continuing more and more to label themselves as Republicans, to have a look at some of the principles that should be supported by persons calling themselves Republicans, because it seems to me that the position at the present moment is that all the principles that should be, or that are supposed by the Ministry and by Deputies on the far side to be held by them, have been discarded behind the label "Republican." In his last political testament, or what he thought might prove to be his last political testament, George Washington happened to refer to some of the things that are troubling Ministers and Deputies on the opposite side. He warned his readers that:—

"In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion."

When we come up against an endless variety of opinions, or a certain variety of opinions, in debate in this House, on this side and on the other side, we realise that the trouble, when you wipe out the Chamber that is in existence, and that has been functioning for so long, is to choose from the very great number of possible Chambers that could replace it. The President tells us that he has found nothing to suggest in its place. Contrary to any possible mandate he got from the electorate he proceeds to wipe out the Seanad completely, and when he tells us that he can think of nothing to put in its place, the President's position is that he does not want to put anything in its place. He simply wants to clear the Seanad out, and to clothe himself in laws made on the vote of this particular House, which means the vote of his own Party in this House, supported or not by the Labour Party, which again means the vote of his own Cabinet or which means, finally, his own vote. Deputy Thrift asked Deputies and Ministers to-day to look a little bit ahead. He might very well ask them to do so, because every step that Deputies on the far side have taken in their political career has been a step leading them to something of which they had no conception, and the driving force that has been pushing them ahead, and upon which they have taken their decisions, is a desire merely to push ahead to prove that they were right all the time.

I would ask Deputies to look a little bit further ahead. Deputy O'Grady told the people in Miltown-Malbay some time ago that this was the first time in history that this country was administered according to Christian principles. I ask Ministers and Deputies on the opposite side to try and look ahead and to think of this country reduced to the position in which it had grown tired of threadbare Christianity, or Christianity as expounded from the opposite benches, when you had a Government which had given up Christianity, and when you had still a few Christians left in the country, because their Christianity is threadbare, so threadbare that we have them declaring now, both themselves and their colleagues in the Labour Party, that they are Catholics. Look ahead and see your country left with this one Chamber, dependent on this one Chamber, its people at the mercy of this one Chamber for the administration and the carrying out of its laws, and try to think that you want to leave an example of democratic government to your people. The independence of the judges, the position with regard to the freedom of meetings and the freedom of expression of different opinions, are absolutely essential to any kind of democratic government.

Deputy Hogan has been pointing out that this is not the first attack on democracy in this country, that this attack has come about because the first attack failed. The first attack was an attack on members of the Opposition Party in the Dáil to try to get them to shut their mouths and to cease to shoulder the responsibility they had to express their opinions on public affairs. The second attack was an attack on public meetings outside. And now, because these two attacks have failed, there is an attack on the Seanad. We are going to get institutions of Government now, according to the Ministers opposite, that will be more responsive to public opinion, and that will rest more directly on the expressed will of the people, as the Ministers say. There is another Washington principle that Ministers might remember. He said:—

"Promote, then, as an object of primary importance institutions for general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a Government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened."

But the next step, after the suppression of the Seanad, is to go back on the attack that failed, and that is an attack on free public meeting, free public expression of opinion, and free discussion of the public, national and economic affairs of this country. We have had samples from the Ministry that rules this country in a Christian spirit. As the Minister for Finance is so strong on the matter, I will confine myself to a quotation from him as early as September, 1932, in Cavan, when he said:—

"Ireland's cause has often been betrayed before, but never except when public life in Ireland has been as degraded as in the days of Castlereagh has Irish treachery flaunted itself in the public eye. In the past we have had Sham Squires, Leonard MacNallys, and Captain O'Sheas, and a host of other furtive, secret hypocrites posing as patriots, but until Cumann na nGaedheal gave the lead such men did not dare to come out into the open."

And he warns generally that "further manifestation of treason in the face of the enemy will be dealt with speedily and promptly." That is the Christian operating. Now let us consider what is going to be the position when the non-Christian gets going after turning from the Christianity that is given out in samples by the Ministry itself. When, as I say, the Seanad goes, then the Ministry on the far side is going to return to its attack on freedom of public meeting and free public democratic expression of opinion. When the Ministry does that, we will want the courts, but are we going to have the courts? Anything that has been said by Ministers on the far side indicates that we are not going to have the courts if it does not suit the Ministry to have the courts, and they gave us an example to-day.

Just see what is going to happen when a judge can be removed by a vote of this House, which means a vote by the Fianna Fáil Party, which means a vote of the Ministry, which means the will of the President. Deputy Smith of Cavan addresses himself to the position of judges in a letter printed in the Irish Press to-day which I will read. It is headed “Remarks by District Justice”:—

"In yesterday's issue of the Irish Press you publish a report of the proceedings at Dungloe District Court where a number of men were charged with riotous assembly at a public meeting recently held at Annagry, County Donegal. The District Justice, in the course of his remarks, read what he called an article from ‘Mr. de Valera's paper’ dealing with the creation of disturbance at public meetings.

"I am not now concerned with the article or with any of those charged, but I think it right that someone should inform District Justice O'Hanrahan that while the majority of people have no objection to his being either a politician or a judge, we certainly have a decided objection to his being both at the same time.

"He should make up his mind as to which of those two callings makes the strongest appeal to him; for conduct such as that indicated in your report of those proceedings will bring no credit to him as a judge and is certainly not conducive to inspiring confidence on the part of the public as to his impartiality.

"District Justice O'Hanrahan has a few more colleagues who would profit, in my opinion, by taking this hint. It represents the feelings of a great many people who will be very glad to see the courts presided over as courts of justice should, and leave political misrepresentation to the politicians.

(Signed) P. SMITH."

That is the stuff.

And that is the stuff that is going to make Fianna Fáil people down the country stand on their hind legs, and say, as Deputy Donnelly did to-day, "We'll stand by him when he clears the courts."


Let us see what District Justice O'Hanrahan's sin is. It was a case that came before him in which 50 men who, when a Fine Gael meeting was being held in Annagry A.O.H. Hall in County Donegal on the 10th December, burst into the hall 15 minutes or so after the meeting had been in progress. They rushed in and jostled their way through the crowds until they were halfway up the hall. Then they commenced cheering and shouting "Up de Valera", "Up the Republic" and "traitors" to the men on the platform. No one was able to enter the hall and they had to be forcibly ejected with the assistance of the Guards. When they got outside they sang around the hall until they were pushed back a distance of about 200 yards. Five of them were charged before District Justice O'Hanrahan with unlawful behaviour, and the District Justice's sin, as reported in the Irish Press and on which Deputy Smith bases this attack, is this: District Justice O'Hanrahan said, after the police evidence had been given:

"That he was satisfied that all the defendants were present at this most improper and unlawful performance. He would refrain from making any comment on their behaviour, except to read a leading article published some time ago in Mr. de Valera's paper, the Irish Press, dealing with the creation of disturbance at public meetings. In all the years he had been there he had never before had to open a law book to read the law on unlawful assembly. Could he pay any better tribute to the people of Donegal than that? Alluding to the statement that the word ‘Traitor’ was shouted at those on the platform, the Justice declared ‘that any man could stand up and shout that word at Mr. Cosgrave after his fight in the South Dublin Union in 1916 is enough to make all who died for Ireland turn in their graves.’”

The report continues:

"To remove ill feeling in the district, he would let the cases stand for six months, but if there was a repetition of such conduct, there would be no second warning, but a plank bed, for those responsible, no matter to what Party they belonged."

Where is the crime? Is the crime that he read an article from "Mr. de Valera's paper"? Is the crime that he considered it abhorrent that any man in this country would walk into a meeting addressed by Mr. Cosgrave and call him a traitor? Which is the crime? In fairness to Deputy Smith, I will take it that the crime is in reading from what the District Justice called "Mr. de Valera's paper." I think that is supposed to be the insult to the President. I expect what the District Justice did read was from the leading article of the Irish Press of December 18, 1933. What leads me to that conclusion is that the Irish Independent report winds up with the statement: “Mr. MacMenamin, State Solicitor, said that such conduct would not be tolerated as far as the State was concerned.” The Irish Press did not give itself away like that. It made no reference to the emphatic statement of the State Solicitor. If that was from the article in the Irish Press of December 18th, 1933, instead of a lecture to the culprits, it would read much like this:—

"Peace or chaos? —Is it going to be said that a Republican Government cannot govern? ... It was said before Cumann na nGaedheal was defeated that Republicans could not rule, that an armed section of the people would be favoured and permitted to act illegally. The Fianna Fáil Leader answered that charge by guaranteeing to every section in the State a full equality before the law and full protection for the force of the law. On that no less than on other pledges the people elected this Party to the government of the Twenty-Six Counties."

It goes on to say that

"people must be allowed to have their public meetings. But this effort to maintain order against those determined on disorder would fail if when they had been arrested and sentenced, they were not placed and kept in prison. It is no choice of the Government that they should be there, or that, being there, they did not enjoy the liberties of the citizen who has not broken the law. Mr de Valera said the Government would wish to do without either courts or prisons, but no society has yet been so perfectly organised that that is possible, and it is obviously not possible here. Imprisonment is the only way society has in serious cases of protecting itself, and must use that way to withstand for the whole people the chaos that would follow such acts as the head of the Government referred to at Tralee."

Deputies and a Minister on the far side said "Hear, hear," when Deputy Smith says District Justice O'Hanrahan must choose between being a politician and a judge, and that other people on the bench should take the tip. Where is the crime?

I want to know what crime a judge committed when Deputy Mulcahy suppressed him in 1922. The only judge I know of to have been abolished was Judge Crowley. I want to know what was his crime?

I want to know if judges are going to be wiped out by the vote of the Fianna Fáil Party, and if the excuse to be given is that Judge Diarmuid Crowley was not taken on as a judge by the Provisional Government in 1922.

Why should judges make speeches instead of giving judgments?

It is important to know from the Party who, on hearing this report read, said "hear, hear," to Deputy Smith's letter, where the crime is on the part of District Justice O'Hanrahan when dealing with the case at Annagry.

What was Judge Crowley's crime?

I am not quite clear as to how Judge Crowley's case comes into this debate.

Deputy Mulcahy knows what the crime was there.

It comes in all right.

It may come into Deputy Mulcahy's argument, but I am not quite sure that it comes in under this Bill.

If Ministers on the far side are asked if judges are going to be removed from office by the vote of this House, apparently the answer is yes. When we ask we will be told "you removed Judge Crowley in 1922." We can go back to that later if the Minister likes. The fact is that the President introduced this Bill, and on the day the discussion comes on there is printed in the Ministerial Press the letter of Deputy Smith, and the threat against the judges—a hint to the judges. When the terms of the letter are read out from the Front and Back Benches of the Party opposite, we have "hear, hear." What is the "hear, hear," about? Where is the crime? Speaking very detachedly I am interested to know that we have reached a stage in this country when a District Justice, passing over a crime says: "I am letting you off this time, but I will deal with you next time," and he reads as a bit of instruction a leading article from the Irish Press, or a bit of a speech of the President as to the way people should respect the rights of public meeting. That is a great advance and a great tribute to the Deputies on the opposite benches. My interest in the report was most detached when I read it. I think the case requires even more superficial consideration, and perhaps a good deal more deep consideration by Deputies on the far side, or by Ministers, before they say “hear, hear,” to the tip to the judges. I think they wrong themselves if what they say here has any meaning. If the intention is what the Minister for Defence suggests, then Deputy Smith's letter is all right.

Perfectly all right in every line.

Perfectly. It starts the game. The public information for Fianna Fáil clubs is: "Deputy Smith is right." There is no necessity to go further back into the case. There is no necessity to understand what has happened. One of the Deputies in the Fianna Fáil Party who is now and then held up particularly as the type of Deputy to be, and the type of citizen to model oneself on has said that the judges ought to take the hint. Fianna Fáil opinion through the country crystallised says: "Yes, those fellows ought to take the hint." The atmosphere is fully prepared for the removal from office of a judge by the vote of one House of what is then the Oireachtas. The arguments that have been put up by Ministers coincide with what the Minister for Defence and Deputy Smith said, and with the "hear, hears." We are to take it then that Ministers are quite satisfied they are going to have a position in which they can remove a judge by an Executive Council decision recorded on the minutes of this House. The process of arriving at that decision enables the Ministry to go ahead with their policy when the work they have in hand is to wipe out the Seanad. The campaign to wipe out the Seanad, according to the mildest of them, Deputy Little, who according to a report in the Irish Press of April 7th, told his followers when speaking at a meeting of the Comhairle Ceanntair in Waterford Town Hall:—

"They could not afford to let the Seanad stand in the way of the march of the nation.... There was a group in the Seanad which represented the old English element, and they were trying to impose a new kind of Dublin Castle rule with Blue Shirts, and attempting to make a national Government, elected by the majority of the people, impossible."

The old English element, the new kind of Dublin Castle ruling by Blue Shirts! Deputy Norton refers to the same thing in another kind of way. At Naas on 18th April, he refers to "the soupers, the proselytisers, the remnants of the old ascendancy gang.""Those" he says "were the people who had the effrontery to talk to-day about St. Patrick's Blue." Ministers talk of unifying the nation. They have got into a position politically and economically that they did not intend to get into. They took wrong judgments and they got down blind alleys. They do not know what to do and, because they got into that position, they turn about to take dictatorial powers. They are the unifiers of the nation who would bring every rank, class and creed into one band to serve the nation and make use of its resources. Yet, they have to turn round and divide the people of the country into the old English ascendancy gang, the soupers and the proselytisers. I do not believe that there ever was a country where the persons who were intended to be included under these terms—people who did not stand in with the broad national movement of the past—were so ready and so willing to co-operate and to merge themselves in the general body of the people in endeavouring to build up the institutions of the country and to carry on the business of the country as they were in this country. Both Ministers and back-benchers on the opposite side know that perfectly well. They know that if there was any institution which made it possible for people to co-operate in that spirit it was the Seanad. A very small number of these people came into the Dáil. Will any Minister suggest that those of what they would call "the old ascendancy gang" who came into the Dáil and who would be classed, as has been done by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, with members of the Seanad for the purpose of pillorying them and castigating them politically —will any of them say that they have been refused help or co-operation by these men or that they have been offered opposition by them that could not have come from the most patriotic and honest of Irishmen? Not a single Deputy on the opposite benches can make that assertion. What can be said of the members of that class in the Dáil can be said of the members of the same class in the Seanad. We have the apostles of unity and the followers of Tone and Davis going down the country and talking in this way of Irishmen who are building up this country and doing the nation's work here. They talk, too, of producing unity while they are reducing unity to the question of tall hats or something like that. Ministers when they come in here should try to get away from the expressions they use in the country and should adopt a different tone in dealing with these matters. There is not a country in the world where people, who were, because of political or other circumstances, in a position of ascendancy, patronage and power such as was occupied by the people who are described as "the ascendancy party" here, behaved as well as they did here. No Minister, no member of any class of society, and no extreme Nationalist can point the finger of scorn at these men for any lack in carrying out in a practical way their business here. People who talk in terms of unity and of linking up every creed and class use the most unchristian, bitter, and lying language about a class that deserves as well of this country as any other class. These people, considering the change that has come about in their position politically and otherwise, have, perhaps, given more proportionately to the building up of a decent, political and social spirit in this new State of ours than any other class. The men and women who were added to the Seanad, not after a khaki election in 1923, as the Minister for Finance said to-day, but after an election which accepted the Treaty of Griffith and Collins in 1922, the people who are spoken of by Deputies on the opposite side as "England's nominees," were men like the late Martin Fitzgerald, the late Doctor Sigerson and women like the late Mrs. Stopford Green. Before the Christian Ministry on the far side go too far in developing the particular type of class spirit that they want to develop, they might think over their associations with these people not only since they came in here to the Oireachtas but before that. They might examine who they really were and realise that it was this House, in their absence, who selected them and put them into that position.

The Seanad is to go. So little argument can be advanced for that course, that these unity birds have to descend to these low methods to make the going of the Seanad possible. Why has the Seanad to go? Every Minister will agree that this country is in a very serious economic difficulty if we look only at the agricultural side. The President told the people of Clonmel of how fast he was taking the land from people who, in the past, had nothing to do but look out through their windows and see the bullocks growing fat. That is going to be quickened up. The Minister for Defence addressed some of his people in County Louth in these terms, as reported on 22nd January in the Irish Press:

"The output of wheat, oats, barley and fruit this year will show whether a much more drastic change in the occupancy of land than we anticipated will be necessary."

The quickening is to be much more drastic and, I suppose, the farms of smaller valuation and acreage will be divided much more quickly if the output of wheat, oats, barley and fruit this year does not satisfy the Ministry. These lands are to pass into the hands of others. At what time is this to happen? At a time when small farmers, well established in the industry, with family traditions in the industry——

Is this really relevant to the debate?

If the Deputy did not pursue the argument as to the quickening of this work I believe the debate in relation to the abolition of the Seanad would be considerably quickened.

The absence of the Seanad is not a thing that is going to make that go quick. The howling of the Fianna Fáil mob, the howls of the Fianna Fáil Party, and the howls of the Fianna Fáil Ministry are going to make that go quick. My point is that when that work is going on quicker, as a result of that, the Opposition is going to be silenced. The Seanad to-day is a danger. It is the third danger tackled. The first danger was Mr. Cosgrave, and some of his colleagues; the second was the Irish people who supported him, and the third danger is the Seanad. The Seanad is, apparently, going to go. All the other dangers were too tough, but with the Seanad gone we can work back on the more serious dangers. The Fianna Fáil Party will be dividing up these lands at a quicker rate with the country silenced, as it can be, by the Ministry, who can wrap themselves round in a sheet of law by operating their majority in this House. They can remove a judge, in the same way, who does not exactly see the law, or operate the law, in the way in which they would want it operated.

What are the circumstances in which that is going to happen? The land will be divided and given over to new people—at what period? When people well established on the land are not able, as a result of the Ministerial policy, to make a living on the land. They are jumping in by bad judgment, going along a road not knowing where it leads them, and they are going deeper and deeper while the dictatorial tail lashes more viciously. At Clonmel the President talked, more or less, on the question of traitors. Here is the extract from the Irish Press:

"Having touched on the Government's industrial policy, Mr. de Valera said that their opponents now were at precisely the same tactics as at the time when it was necessary to have the last election they were weakening the morale of the people."

The industrial breakdown is now coming, and the Opposition have to be blamed for it. As the war which was won, apparently, by Deputy Norton, such a long time ago, is getting nearer and nearer in its harassing grip down on the people, the traitors must be dealt with. The President is already preparing a scapegoat for the industrial breakdown.

There is going to be no such thing.

Deputies repudiated that they can do in respect of money under this Bill things that they could not do under the present system. Deputy Little, at Clonmel, follows the President and says:—

"...the reason they were taking steps to abolish the Seanad was that that body was trying to make government impossible. The Government was strong enough to go ahead with its policy, and it would do so, but the banks and the rich men would have to help them to start industries to absorb the unemployed."


The Government, he said, is strong enough to go ahead. We have the industrial breakdown coming and scapegoats must be found. The Opposition must be got after, as it can be more effectively got after when the Seanad is gone. As regards this interesting little thing about getting the banks and the rich men to start industries, we would like to hear the President give an explanation. We would like, also, to hear him deal with questions such as were raised by Deputy Cosgrave yesterday when he indicated that the position was that there was no measure that could not be introduced when the Seanad has been abolished, no measure that could not be introduced and passed, through this House, within six hours. Deputy Cosgrave dealt with the financial implications of that. It would be interesting to hear from the President, with even some of the left-handed bluntness that we heard from the Minister for Defence on the judges, something as to what the effect of the abolition of the Seanad will be on his policy with regard to making the banks and the rich men start industries to absorb the unemployed.

Are you against that?

It is just a question of again going along a certain road not knowing where you are going and finding yourselves up against difficulties, not knowing what to do about them. So you scrap the Seanad and say: "Oh, as regards the bankers, we will get after those fellows and when we get after the banks in this country then everything else is going to be all right." Finally, there is one question that I will put to the President He is now providing us here with the machinery of a Government that he says will be more responsive to the people's wishes. I will read him this again:—

"In proportion as the structure of a Government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened."

Is it the President's line that, not having been able to crush that danger —the Seanad was a danger—not having been able to crush the danger that was and is Cosgrave, not having been able to crush the danger that was and is the Fine Gael organisation, including the League of Youth, he crushes the danger that is the Seanad? I suggest that it is for the purpose of getting back on the other dangers and crushing and stifling opposition that he is now taking this action. I will ask him, in conclusion, what about the grand Republican principle that is enshrined in the quotation I have given him from George Washington.

It was interesting to listen to the brevity and the ill-considered statements of the President when introducing this Bill to abolish the Seanad. The President must remember that he is not the only man in this country who has read and studied something about Constitutions. Without being experts in Constitutions, or the arts of government, we know that in government, as in every other sphere, experience teaches and all the experienced governments of the world have two chambers.

The President did not go so far when he made his claim for having a mandate from the electorate to do a certain thing. He did not claim that he had a mandate to do what he was proposing. He claimed he had a mandate to abolish the Seanad, as at present constituted, but his Bill now is to abolish the Seanad without any qualification. The President has been an expert in abolishing things. He abolished the Oath, he abolished the Governor-General. He is now abolishing calves and he wants to abolish the Seanad. The abolition of calves is only a manifestation of his general policy which is on the high road to the abolition of any decent standard of living in this country. Deputy Mulcahy quoted a scribe in the Irish Press about a political judge. This scribe wound up by putting it to this justice that he should be either a justice or a politician but not both at the same time. I do not know the justice personally, but I do know what he did. I know what he did for people on whose heads there was £1,000 blood money, and that at a time when members of the Front Bench of Fíanna Fáil refused to shelter those two fugitives in this country.

Is it right that we should go on to discuss this article?

No; it is not; it is not in order to discuss an article in the Irish Press which does not deal with this Bill.

Before you came in, Sir, it was discussed at length.

I am only concerned with my own rulings.

A matter that was dealt with already here was a letter in the Irish Press giving a tip to justices that they had to be either politicians or judges. What was quoted here was a statement of the justice upon which that letter was written. The question arose as to what would be the position of the judges if the Seanad were wiped out. But what was the offence to which a Deputy of this House drew attention? He said the judge ought to quit or ought not to quit, and the importance of that was that here we have a letter saying the judge ought to be a justice or a politician or quit, and that letter was “hear, heared” from all parts of the Government Benches. A question arises: What are the offences for which judges are to be removed by the vote of the Fianna Fáil register in this House?

The Deputy is making a second speech.

Mr. Kelly

That is as clear as mud.

I submit, A Chinn Comhairle, that this matter was discussed at length; a considerable number of interjections were thrown from the benches opposite, and I was only trying to show that——

I ruled that a discussion on some article in the Irish Press dealing with a judge or judges is not in order on this debate. The Deputy having been so informed, proceeded to discuss that article to cries of “hear, hear” from members of his Party. That is not orderly.

I submit, Sir, that before you came in——

There can be no such submission once the Chair has given a ruling.

May I submit, Sir, that you were not in the House a few minutes ago. It is not an article in the Irish Press that was under discussion. It was a letter written by a Deputy of this House and I want to submit, before An Ceann Comhairle resumes the Chair, that Deputy Belton is quite in order.

I have ruled that he is not.

Again I submit, Sir——

The Deputy knows that a ruling of the Chair cannot be questioned. The Deputy is well aware of that fact.

May I submit that your ruling is contrary to the ruling of An Leas-Cheann Comhairle?

The Deputy must submit once the Chair has given a ruling.

I want to submit a point of order.

I will hear no more points of order on this matter.

I am entitled to submit on a point of order——

Deputy Belton.

Very well.

I accept your ruling.

Two rulings!

I would have thought——

The Deputy will please sit down. Deputy Morrissey must explain what he meant by referring to "two rulings."

The ruling you have given now, Sir, is completely different from the ruling that was given before you took the Chair.

The Deputy knows that rulings by previous occupants of the Chair are not referable to the Ceann Comhairle when he takes the Chair.

But, Sir, I am entitled to submit that your ruling is completely different from the ruling given by An Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

It is hardly fair for a Deputy to say——

Is this a point of order?

It is. I am rising to a point of order. The point is whether it is in order for a Deputy to refer personally to the Chair in the manner in which the Deputy has——

You have ruled on that already, Sir.

I think setting up what has taken place before you took the Chair——

I protest against this. If the Chair will not hear our representations on this matter and if we are not allowed to submit a point of order, I protest against the President being allowed to speak on it when we are not allowed to speak on it. I submitted to your ruling, Sir, without demur.

I was quite ready to submit without demur. It was the Deputy's colleagues who demurred.

Deputy Belton.

A lot has been said in the course of the debate on this Reading of the Bill, not against the institution of the Seanad but against the personnel of the Seanad. It is not fair to attack a body because of its personnel. That institution, no matter who comprises it, no matter who are members of it, is either good or bad for the country as an institution. It should be dealt with on that plane and not because of the personnel of the institution itself. In making that remark I have no mental reservation and no hostility to the personnel of that institution. The members of the Seanad have been called an ascendancy. But what does the Bill before us propose to do but to set up a new ascendancy, and not an ascendancy of a class or a number of people but an ascendancy that when it is boiled down to finality is an ascendancy of an individual, a dictatorship? Has the record of this embryo dictatorship for the last two years been so beneficial to the country that all impedimenta in the way of that dictatorship's continuance should be cleared out of the way? In every democratic State in the world there is a Second Chamber. The Second Chamber we have here may not be the best possible. But no attempt has been made and no argument was put up by the President to suggest how that Chamber should be improved. In fact, the arguments used by the President were entirely for its abolition. That is the Bill before us—a Bill for a Single Chamber Government—Government by the resolution of a cast-iron majority.

As Deputy Cosgrave pointed out, in opening the debate on this measure, the banks may close at 3 o'clock one day and they may open on the next morning at 10 and find that the Government is in control of the banking system of this country and of the savings of the people of this country. That is a possibility of Single Chamber government. He was asked, by way of interruption, what benefit would arise to the people if we had a two-Chamber parliament, and, when a Bill would be rushed through this House in one day or overnight and sent up the following Wednesday to the Seanad, what advantage would arise to the citizens of this country. Deputy Cosgrave, in reply to that, said that the people would take the hint of what was coming and take their savings out of the banks. That view of Deputy Cosgrave was not attacked or refuted from the Government Benches. If we are reduced to a Single Chamber Government, with the possibility of the banks having the nightmare over their heads that any morning, when they open their doors, they may find that the savings of the people are appropriated, or rather misappropriated, by the Government through a Bill passed into law overnight, will that give confidence for the economic development of this country? Will it induce people to be thrifty? Will it encourage people to have savings, to work their business at a profit, to invest their savings in their business, and to reinvest their profits in the development of this country? Will that be the result of the Single Chamber Government to which this Bill proposes to reduce us?

Look over the records that we have. Look at the condition of poverty to which the country has been reduced. Take any industry you like, and the record of the Government, in its own opinion, is sufficiently strong to give it authority to abolish the Second Chamber, because they allege that the Second Chamber stands in the way of putting their national programme and policy through. The most that the Second Chamber can do is to delay measures from this House. If the time during which they are authorised to delay those measures is, in the opinion of this House, too long, it can be limited or varied in other respects, but no such suggestion is made in this Bill. The object of this Bill is to get the Second Chamber out of the way of this House altogether.

In the President's mind, the arch-crime that the Seanad committed was that it did not pass, like an automatic machine, the measures sent up by this House. If that is the President's conception of a Second Chamber, then he is quite logical in wanting to abolish it, because, if the Second Chamber is to be simply an automatic machine for the parliamentary majority in this House, then we have no use for a Second Chamber. It will serve no useful purpose, and the President is quite right in introducing a Bill to abolish it. But there are other people in this country who can look into their hearts as to what this country wants as well as the President. Let us see what is this national policy that the Seanad has stood in the way of. Let us take the promises. Let us take the mandate, and the other mandates that the Government claim to have got in the country. Did they get a mandate in the country to impoverish and abolish the only industry in this country that was able to stand on its own legs?

Surely, the Deputy will realise that there has been ample discussion of the economic war in the last few months, and will not attempt to resume that debate now.

I do not want to go into any discussion on the economic war, but I submit, Sir, that with reference to the case attempted to be made by the President and his colleagues, to the effect that the Seanad stands in the way of the Government putting through their national programme and their national policy, it is relevant to see what is this national policy and national programme that is going to make this a land of milk and honey, and that this wicked Seanad has stopped the Government from putting over on this country.

Economic policy is not relevant.

I submit, Sir, that the case made is that the Seanad stands in the way of the Government putting over their national programme. Now, the counter case for the Seanad is that that policy, which the President and his Government was trying to put over, was not a good policy, and that the Seanad was justified in holding it up in the best interests of this country.

Therefore, the Seanad are the final judges?

Well, I thought that, in a democratic country, the final judges are the people of the country.

That is more like it.

Well, then, will the President submit this Bill to the final judgment of the country?

A Deputy

Another election.

We did submit it.

Will you submit your policy to the people of the country?

You will get a nice toasting this time, if we do.

Deputy Donnelly said: "We did do it." Did the President say, in this House, when moving the Second Reading of this measure that we are now discussing, that he submitted to the people of this country a request for a mandate for the abolition of the Seanad?

As at present constituted.

Is this a Bill to abolish the Seanad as at present constituted?

It is a Bill to abolish the Seanad. I should like the Deputy to try to analyse the meaning of those words. What is the need for adding the words "as at present constituted" if the mandate the President was seeking was to abolish the Seanad? What was the need for those words? Will the President or Deputy Donnelly answer that? I will give way to them if they are prepared to answer it. No, they will not answer it. Therefore, the President has introduced a measure for which, on the authority of the words spoken by himself, he has not sought or got a mandate from the people. I repeat the question again. Is the President prepared to put this to the final judges, the final court of appeal, the people of this country?

Not at all.

Of course he is not any more than he is going to put his policy of the slaughter of the calves to the country.

I thought that was coming.

You will hear more about it.

One and sixpence for the skin of calf that would be worth £3 a couple of years ago. That is the policy that this wicked Seanad is trying to put obstacles in the way of, and good luck to the Seanad. They are serving the people of this country well—better than the President is serving them, and the President knows it well. Let him go down to the farmer and offer him 1/6 for the skin of his dropped calf that three or four years ago he would get £4 for, and see how he would look at him. He will find that he is not the sheep that he thought he was. He will find that the farmer will turn out to be a wicked ram. This wicked Seanad is standing in the way of national progress, and national progress is the slaughter of the innocents. Abolish the Seanad and then the amateur butcher will get out with his knife and the poor calf will get little quarter. I am afraid the President is mistaking the Seanad for the calf. I hope that the slaughter will not be as bloody in the case of the Seanad as in the case of the calf. We know of the millions that the President juggles in and we know what a juggler he is in millions. The Seanad has no control over money matters, and yet the President was thrown back on his own resources and on the mandate that he got from the plain people of this country, and he could not float a paltry loan of £6,000,000. Even the despised Dublin Corporation got more money subscribed than his Ministry got subscribed to a loan.

That is not true.

I am right in that.

Mr. Kelly


No good corporator ever ran down the Corporation. I am surprised at an old Alderman of the Dublin Corporation, who, even though he is not an Alderman now, is still known as "Honest Alderman Tom." Everybody knows who that Alderman is.

Mr. Kelly

Never mind the "honest."

I am surprised at a colleague. Is it not a terrible pity that this wicked Seanad stands in the way of a Government that could not raise £6,000,000 on its own? Is it not a terrible calamity to this country that the Government's national economic policy cannot go through? This policy that was to be based on a saving of £5,000,000—that whatever the British market was worth to this country, it was not worth a free gift of £5,000,000. Read Chamberlain's statement yesterday and you will see that we are paying them the £5,000,000. Is the Seanad responsible?

The Deputy having got away from the economic war has arrived at the land annuities. Such digressions might lead to a six months' debate.

We have not yet dealt with the Oath.

The whole Bill hinges on the fact that this wicked Seanad will not allow the Government to apply and develop its national economic policy. I did not mention the land annuities and the economic war for the purpose of discussing them. I mentioned them as the starting point, the national savings that were to finance the big push in industrial and tillage development in this country. But they have failed. It is to cover up that failure that the President wants a scapegoat, and that scapegoat is the Seanad. That Seanad, we are told, is composed of the ascendancy class. Names have been mentioned here. I do not say anything to people who recruited or fought for the British, but there were honourable men and women who, in the spring time of the Sinn Fein movement, were the spearheads in that movement, who carried on an anti-recruiting campaign, and who, for these efforts in the national movement, were made Senators. Foremost amongst them I might mention the name of Mrs. Alice Stopford Green, who wrote those pamphlets in London, when the men who were put on the bench by the President were able-bodied men recruiting unfortunate young Irishmen to fight for Britain in France, but too cowardly to go out themselves. These men adorn the bench to-day, put on that bench by the President. A writer had the audacity to do a certain thing, but the Ceann Comhairle has ruled on it, and I will not mention it. As to this floating away on the wave of national sentiment, we are too old at the game to be fooled by that. You may fool youngsters, but you will not fool old veterans. I could develop the President's arguments a good deal, but it would be a pity to curtail the time of the President's reply. The House generally, and Deputies in these benches in particular, will be glad to hear the President and the case that he will make for the abolition of the Seanad, even though it would be irrelevant to ask him to make a case for the slaughter of the innocent calves.

It might be worth while to deal with a few of the misrepresentations before we get down to the real principles behind this Bill. In the first place, it is said that this Bill was hurriedly introduced in pique. I think there were some worse words used at a later stage—in a spirit of vindictiveness, malignity, or as a vendetta or something of that sort. I must have been looking very far ahead indeed if I could foresee, for example, in 1928, when this matter of the Seanad was before the House in respect of lengthening the period for which it might hold up Bills and so on, because I find when looking over the speech I made on that occasion and the arguments I put forward, that I practically said the same things that I said when moving the Second Reading yesterday. I was put on a Joint Committee of this House and of the Seanad in 1928 to consider what changes might be made in the Constitution and in the powers of the Seanad. I attended every meeting of that Committee and I listened to the arguments put forward by the various members of it; I read books on Second Chambers and their history and their value as a part of governmental machinery, and during all that time I did not hear a single good argument which would convince me that, if we were starting here a new Constitution, a Second Chamber was either necessary or fundamentally useful.

However, I have more than once said here in the House that I believe I am a Conservative, and I thought that—as there were quite a number of Second Chambers in existence in various States—what was and what was working had something to recommend it. I kept an open mind during all these years, ready to hear from any source any suggestion as to how a Second Chamber that would be really useful might be constructed, and in all these years, with open ears and ready to receive any suggestion in an attitude favourable to the acceptance of such a suggestion, I have never been able to get, in anything I read or listened to, a suggestion that would satisfy me that it was worth while spending money on a Second Chamber. I use the phrase "spending money," because if an institution is not going to be of some use, there is certainly no use in spending money on it, and I can honestly say that in all that time I have never heard a single argument that would convince me that it was worth while spending money on a Second Chamber. I am, however, quite ready to give weight to the argument I have just mentioned, that the fact that things exist and work is an argument for continuing them, and I have given full weight to that consideration; and if I come here to the House for the removal of this institution, it is because I am convinced that if there is ever an argument to be put forward or any constitution for a Second House to be devised, it will only be devised when it is certain that the present Chamber is going to disappear.

In introducing the Bill, I challenged the Opposition to suggest a type of Second Chamber that it would be worth while establishing, and they have not met the challenge. Not one member of the Deputies opposite, in my hearing, at any rate, or in anything I have seen of their speeches, has said what use the present Seanad is, or suggested how that Seanad might be revised so as to be a useful instrument of Government. I shall come back to that question again, but before I continue on it, I want to talk about this mandate. What was said? What was it I wrote in the manifesto which was our election programme? I said this:—

"We propose to abolish the Seanad as at present constituted and, if it be decided to retain a Second Legislative Chamber, it is our intention to reduce considerably the number of its members."

What is the meaning of that? I say that it is quite plain. It indicated that the present Chamber as at present constituted would, undoubtedly, go. It indicated further that if there was to be a Second Chamber—and it left that question clearly one to be determined, to be determined by this House, to be determined by the Legislature and by the ordinary methods of determining it-it would certainly be reduced in its numbers. There was no misrepresentation in that. The attitude expressed in that has been the attitude that for five long years, whenever I spoke of the Seanad, I indicated as my attitude. It has not changed and, mind you, as I have said, I should be very glad to change it, and very glad if anybody could indicate how we are going to have a Second Chamber here that would serve any useful purpose.

I have spoken about the undoubted influence there ought to be on any thinking person of the fact that we have two Chambers in many other countries and that they work. That is a very important argument and I do not want to minimise it in the least, but if we reflect on how these countries, in the main, got these Second Chambers, we begin to lose much of our admiration for them. I think it was said of the British House of Lords that one had only to go and see it and one's admiration for it would immediately cease, and we find that when we consider the Second Chambers of other countries and see how they operate, we begin to lose our respect very much for them. Take the British Second Chamber, the House of Lords. We know how it developed. We know, in fact, that the Second Chamber system in most countries has come about in more or less the same fashion, the later ones through imitation of the British system and the earlier ones through the same causes that produced the British system. We have got in history the cases in which you had either hereditary chiefs or an invading force that got power by the sword and these gradually, owing to the pressure of the people whom they ruled in their areas, allowed the people a little share of Government. They had it all to themselves at the start and it has been a continual struggle over the centuries for the people to win just a little bit of their right to govern themselves from the chiefs and princes who held the power originally, and, therefore, history tells us that these Second Chambers have been a remnant, a part of the defensive armour of—I will use the word without any reference to words that have been used recently—the ascendancy class.

It was a class protection and we are being taunted here with putting class against class. If there is one thing that is dangerous in this country it is to keep a House that would appear to be a class House. These Second Chambers, for the most part, arising from historical causes, have been due to the fact that the people did not get completely into their own. It was so in Rome, and it has been so in Britain and elsewhere. America has been mentioned. In the case of America there was a conscious drawing up of a Constitution. There was a Constitutional Assembly. Various men who had given a great deal of consideration to government came together, and finally what we know as the present American Constitution was devised.

It was suggested by some of the speakers on the other side that all the theorists and the practical people who have been engaged in the task of moulding Constitutions have been in favour of the Two Chamber Parliament. That is not so. America has reminded me of it. Franklin was no mean political thinker. He stood for the Single Chamber. Adams was no mean political thinker. He stood for the Single Chamber. It is not then only the unfrocked priests who held that view—as if that had something to do with it. The phrase that a Second Chamber is either unnecessary if it is of the same view as the first, or becomes mischievous if it is of a different opinion—it does not matter who mentioned it—has, since it was made or written, been used by everybody, whether he was for a Single Chamber or against it, as crystallising the very great difficulties that there are in forming a Second Chamber. He was not the only Frenchman concerned with the Constitution who said the same thing. You had Condorcet holding the same opinion. It is, therefore, ridiculous to say that political thinkers have been unanimous, or that there has even been anything like a fair measure of unanimity amongst them that Second Chambers are either necessary or wise. In fact, you find as you go along that admiration for the Second Chamber has gradually lost its force. The more modern thinkers who are dealing with present day affairs and conditions are gradually coming to the conclusion that, when all is said and done, a Single Chamber Government is the wisest. It is not only the more modern thinkers who hold that view. Take, for example, the third Earl Grey, writing in 1853. He was a man who had given considerable thought to this question. He had been a protagonist in favour of the Second Chamber, and when he writes in 1853 what does he say? I will give you his exact words: "I now consider it very doubtful, at least, whether the Single Chamber Legislature ought not under any circumstances to be preferred."

We have heard of the disastrous effects of Single Chamber government. We had a professor of history speaking, and one might have expected that—instead of leaving it in that vague way to frighten us—if he had any example which might frighten some, even if it would not convince anybody who was not going to be convinced by phrases, he would have given us that example. Where are the examples? Has a single member on the opposite benches, in talking of the dangers of the Single Chamber system, given us any single example of disaster? If they have, it will be found that the disaster is not due to the Single Chamber system operating in those countries, but to other causes. Let us not then be frightened by this talk that a Single Chamber Government means disaster. Because I happened to use the words "Upper House" here—unfortunately anybody who has read much about the two-Chamber system is inclined to do so, because of the nomenclature which is adopted largely by English writers on the matter—and although I immediately corrected it, the Leader of the Opposition took it as evidence of some inferiority complex. In this particular building it happens to be the Upper House, anyway. If I wanted to defend it in that way I could do so. Who have given evidence of the inferiority complex here? There is not a single speaker on the opposite benches who, from the time he started to speak until he ended, did not, half a dozen times, indicate that the representatives of the people were not able to take care of the people's interests, but had to get some other class or section to save them. Who exhibited this inferiority complex? There are in the Fianna Fáil Party 77 members elected by the Irish people. Are those 77 representatives of the people going to concur in all the frightful things that were threatened by the Leader of the Opposition if this safeguarding Seanad were removed?

The Seanad is to be a check. Is it to be a check? It is a check in one direction, but it is not a check in the other direction. Get us a Seanad that will act impartially, that will be a real check on extravagances of one kind or another, whatever Party they are coming from, and then we will talk to you. Let us get it. Tell us how we will get it. It is suggested that I am a theorist. All of us, of course, when we talk of a Seanad have a vision of a body of elders, men of probity. We have all the same ideas that were written into this Constitution about what the Seanad should be—men of probity and integrity, of sound judgment; men who have given evidence of their love for the nation by loyal service to the nation. Get them for us. Show us the machinery by which they can be got, and then we will begin to see that there is a possibility of having a real Second House which will be of infinite value. The world has never been able to get that yet. Political considerations in that House are going to determine votes, just as freely as political considerations determine them here. How are we going to get those men? Are they to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition if he should be in power? Do you think that when nominating them he will not go through the list and make sure that there is a majority in that body which is not going to prevent him from putting his programme into execution? He would not be fair to himself or to the people who elected him if he did not do so. He would prove quite clearly that he had no belief in his programme if he nominated people who were going to oppose him. I frankly confess that, if I had the nomination. I would scan very carefully the list of my nominees to see that I was not going to erect something which would be a barrier to the things that I thought should be done in the interests of the nation, and that the people had elected me to do.

You cannot get away from those considerations. Nominate them? You have those political considerations in the nomination, and when you have nominated them what respect have the people for them? None. There have been nominated Chambers, and their influence has been nil because the people had no respect for them. Elect them? How are you going to elect them? Are you going to elect them directly by the people's vote? Are you going to establish another House so that it might be a rival authority—so that there will be a clash of authority between them? You have got to have sovereign authority resting somewhere. It has got to be somewhere. You cannot always be going to the people for it. That reminds me that of all those people who were looking to the Seanad as the safeguard of the people's liberties not one referred to the safeguard put forward by Deputy Norton.

If I wanted to have the people safeguarded I certainly would prefer that the people themselves should be that safeguard rather than that they should be safeguarded by a section of the people elected in the manner I have described. If we elect them directly we shall have a rival authority. Why are certain Bills dealt with in this Dáil removed from being rejected or delayed by the Second House? Why are Money Bills in a special position? Because we know that the Government of the country, and the business of the country, could be held up if there was a possibility of some rival authority rejecting measures of that sort. That is what the Seanad has done. It has long ago proved by its actions towards the work of this Government that it had no care for the interests of the country as a whole and that it was playing a political part. That is to be expected and happens in practically every other country. I say, if you elect them directly you are going to have rivalry of authority, or even if you elect them indirectly. The moment you have them indirectly elected you will be up against the same difficulties. You have difficulties almost insurmountable in creating a Second Chamber and constituting it properly, and you have difficulties equally great when you come to the question of its powers. What powers will you give it? The powers of delay? For how long? In some cases it may not matter whether the delay is long or short provided it was over a reasonable period. But the ordinary time of a Government to remain in office and do their work is a matter of four or five years. It is well that the people should, in that time, have an opportunity of passing judgment upon their elected representatives, and the Government they elected, and it is right that the Government should have authority in that time to carry their Bills and not to have the greater part of that time wasted by a Second Chamber not directly elected by the people. Is such a Chamber to have the right to tie the hands of the people and the hands of the Executive Council for the greater part of that time? The former Administration, wise in its generation, feeling that it might have to leave office soon, took as one of its first steps before it left office occasion to extend the power of the Second Chamber to hold up important measures that might be brought before it by the new Administration for a period of 20 months. Is 20 months a right period?

We intimated in the discussion on a previous Bill—and there is no inconsistency between what we did then and what we are doing now —that we intended to end the Second Chamber and that a Bill such as this now before the House, would be brought in. When we proposed to cut down the time of delay to three months, to an effective five months, we were told by one of the leaders of the Opposition, Deputy MacDermot, that he would prefer to see the Seanad abolished rather than to see it degraded. To limit the period of time of delay is evidently to degrade the Seanad. Where are we to draw the line? Twenty months in some cases might be tolerable but there are occasions when prompt action is demanded by the Executive. Are we to be in the position that if we take action in such circumstances we have afterwards to go looking for an indemnity, or are we to have at our disposal useful machinery that will enable us to take the action that the safety of the people demands? It is an extremely difficult question either to determine the methods of selection of the Second Chamber or to determine its power. There again the whole history of what happened shows that if they are really to be effective they become dangerously effective in the sense of blocking, and that in fact did happen in the case of the English House of Lords when a certain Party was in power. For 50 years Irish representatives in the British House of Commons, aided by the Liberal Party in the House of Commons, were trying to win a measure of self-government for this country. They were blocked all the time during that 50 years by the Second House. The measure which had finally to come was blocked by the action of that Second House across the water. Why is it tolerated to-day? It is, of course, tolerated by a Conservative Government because it will never oppose them; its interests are the same. It broke the Liberal Party in Britain and prevented that Party from pursuing its ideals such as they were. The Labour Party, when it comes back to power in Britain, will be faced with the Chamber that it knows perfectly well is going to block it in its progressive measures. There are checks by these Second Chambers in all directions but they are always checks in favour of vested interests and privilege, and they are checks against the march of the people to their rights. They never work in the opposite direction. They never work when it is a question of aggression by those who have on those who have not. They are never used then. I say there are no real effective checks which operate impartially. There were no checks in this country when the former Government was in power. The position as indicated by several speakers, one after another, practically gave the previous Executive every Act they wanted. I need not refer to them. They were referred to several times. The most conspicuous of them was the Constitution (Amendment) Act. We are asked are we not using it? Yes; we are, and one of the reasons we are using it is because we know that if we passed through this Dáil a measure that would enable us to preserve order, and went to the Second Chamber we know that in order to defeat us, and try to cripple this Administration, they would vote against us.

We have had the leader of the Party in Opposition outside telling the young people how much he wanted them into local government. But when we come to the Seanad with a Bill which would enable the people to elect representatives in their local affairs, what happens? It is stopped in the Second Chamber and blocked. When the previous Executive went to the Seanad and asked powers to enable them to set up a military tribunal whose decisions were not to be reviewed by the courts, and could only be reviewed by the Executive Council, they passed it and passed it hastily. The danger of revolution did not worry them then, but when we come along, believing that it is necessary for good order in this country that the wearing of political uniforms should be forbidden, there is no disposition to help us to maintain order. There is no regard for the people's will. There are none of these supposed safeguards.

For years the question of the Oath was debated in public. It was well known to be our policy to abolish it, and that it was one of the principal planks in our programme at the elections. We were elected; we brought in a Bill to abolish the Oath. We were newly elected by the people— no doubt about that. Did the Seanad pass that Bill? Not at all? They said we must go back again to the people, or else wait for a period of 20 months although, in our opinion, it was necessary that the Oath should be removed if we were to have settled conditions here. The Seanad paid no attention to us or to our needs or our view of what was good for the country, or the people's view of what was good for themselves. We went to an election, and we were re-elected. The Bill went up again, and again they wanted to insist that they were the sovereign authority by telling us: "No, you will not get this Bill unless you go and negotiate with Britain." Of course we were able to put the Bill through in spite of them, but that attitude did not show any disposition on the part of the Seanad to have any regard for the wishes of the people whose interests and will they are supposed to safeguard.

There have been suggestions here that this measure is an attack upon a certain section, the minority in the country. There is no truth whatever in that. I can stand up here and say that I have, as much as anybody on any side of the House, advocated fair play for every citizen in the country. I stand up for fair play, but I do not stand for privilege, and there is a difference. We have here proportional representation. It does not operate, I admit, in every area. The result of it does not give representation in full to every group or every minority, but every considerable political minority in this country can get, and does get, representation under it. We have here in this House a fair sample of the people as a whole. We have a fair political sample. That is what proportional representation does. If you take the total number of voters, and the number elected for each Party, you will find that roughly it does work out well. We have here a fair sample of the people, and what has happened with these particular sections? We may take it they are represented here as in the Seanad. What have they done here? They acted here as they acted in the Seanad.

We have here professors representing a University, representing, if you like, a minority. Do they take this detached view which the members of the Seanad would be supposed to take? Do they take detached views on public matters that come before us here? We have prosperous business men representing the same group. Do they take an independent or a special view? They do not. They naturally—and I am not finding any fault with them for doing it; I am very glad, for one, to say that I would wish and hope that this aloofness which is a remnant of the past situation will ultimately disappear —ally themselves with the Opposition. They allied themselves with the Opposition when the Opposition were the Government. Why? Because they had a very good political reason for it. Again I say that I find no fault with them for doing it. They believed that the views of the Opposition were politically nearer to their own than were ours. They supported them, and I find no fault with them for that, but it proves one thing quite definitely, and that is that representatives of the same minority in the Seanad would act in the same way in the Seanad as they act here.

I remember—it was perhaps, at first, a bit of a shock but it was a useful political lesson for me—when I came in here to sit on the opposite benches. I came in here, rather innocent if you like, expecting that on a matter like the Constitution where there was a constitutional right involved, I would at least be supported in maintaining it by members who were not as tied to Party as were members of Cumann na nGaedheal at the time or members of the Farmers' Party who even then were just the same. What happened? This particular group on whom I depended to act in a non-Party manner about a constitutional question, were the very people who torpedoed an Article of the Constitution. They tell us that there is some sacredness in a Second House in which there would be representatives of that sort, that the Constitution was somehow to be safeguarded by them. Not a bit of it. Again, remember, I am simply arguing this thing out, talking common-sense, not wishing to impute improper or dishonest motives or any disgraceful kind of conduct to them but pointing out to them that the facts are there, things to which we cannot blind ourselves if we have any sense. The fact is that the minority here do act in a political way, that they did not mind this Constitution which gave the people the right by referendum to determine a certain issue, because it was felt by the Government of that day that the decision would be against them, and they were afraid to allow that question to be determined in accordance with the existing Constitution. They were afraid to allow that question to be determined by the people, and in order that our Party might not be able to exercise that right under the Constitution, in a shamefaced way they deleted that Article of the Constitution.

We had the same thing in the cases referred to here already, in the cases of the judgment of the courts. When the courts did not give judgment in the way they thought right, they proceeded immediately to coerce the courts by changing the law. What safeguard have you when that can be done? You have none. The only safeguards for the people in the long run, are the goodwill, the honesty and the integrity of the people's representatives. When you can show me how you can solve these problems and guard against these evils under the present system, then I for one will be convinced that it is possible to get an effective Second House. I say the responsibility of showing that is on those who stand for it, because if we were here for the first time thinking out a system of representative government, would we dream of a check like that? We would not because we would see too clearly that it was not going to be effective, that it did not act as a check in the cases in which it should have acted as a check. Who are really to be the judges as to whether a thing is to be good or not? Are we going to allow judgment to be passed by a House that is not elected by ourselves or by the people? Are we going to give that function to some nominated people? I admit freely that if you can produce for me a system, to show how the Seanad can be constituted of men of extraordinary probity, who will not be influenced by political considerations, who will be all-wise on all these things, then we can have a Second Chamber as a safeguard. When you can produce a Constitution that will give the Irish people such a safeguard, then I say you will have solved the problem, but it has not been done yet.

You may remember what happened in America. There the people consciously sat down to devise a Constitution and they divided the functions of Government into three parts. They divided them into the judicial, the executive and the legislative. They had a special problem to solve there because there were a number of States that were independent. There was a question of trying to get some sort of League of Nations built up internally. They had a special problem to solve and what they did was that in regard to certain of the executive aspects, they gave the Second House, the Senate, specially defined functions. Its position is very different to the position of our Seanad here. I move the adjournment of the debate.

Debate adjourned.
The Dail adjourned at 10.30 p.m. until Friday, 20th April at 10.30 a.m.