Constitution (Amendment No. 24) Bill, 1934—Second Stage (Resumed).

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

When the House adjourned last night, I was speaking of the position of the United States. The Senate in the United States has, without any doubt, played a very important part in the history of that country since the Constitution was adopted. It has played that part because it has got very special functions, because the founders of the Constitution divided up the machinery of Government into its constituent parts, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. They had a written Constitution and that Constitution was to be interpreted by the Supreme Court. I should like to remind Deputies who have studied the American Constitution that the working out of that Constitution in practice depended very largely on the interpretation which it received, from time to time, from the Supreme Court. There is hardly a doubt that Chief Justice Marshall played as big a part in making the Constitution of the United States what it is, in practice, to-day as any of those who founded the Constitution. On the interpretation of the Constitution largely depended how it was going to work. Had there been a judge of a different mind in the Chief Justice's place at the time, it is quite possible that the Constitution of the United States would have worked out quite differently from the way in which it has worked out. That Constitution gave to the Senate specialised powers. It gave these powers largely because the Executive power was altogether vested in the President. His acts in relation to certain matters were open to review by the Second House and the Second House had to concur in order to make them effective, notably in the case of treaties. The fact is that in the United States of America the Second House has been the predominating Chamber. It was constituted in a very simple manner, due to the fact that the United States represented the union of a number of previously independent States. The simple device of giving two representatives to each of these States was adopted as a means of allaying certain jealousies which naturally arose amongst the States. If, to-morrow, we had the union of this country and if there were to remain in the Six Counties a certain local Parliament and we were constituting here an all-Ireland Parliament, a very good case could be made for a Seanad on somewhat similar lines.

Hear, hear.

But that is not the position here at the moment. We are not finally making the Constitution of this country by this Act. We are not looking farther ahead than the period that we have to go through in order to work out the salvation, in the first instance, of this part of the country. Nothing that we are doing, I hold, cuts across or delays the day when that union of the whole country, which we all desire, will be brought about. If I may be permitted to digress—I think the matter was raised from the Opposition benches—I should like to point out that the difference between our attitude and the attitude expressed by Deputies on the opposite side is simply this—that we are not satisfied that any steps which we might take here and now to win the North, as Deputies on the opposite side would put it, can be effective. No steps suggested from the opposite side are being accepted in the Six Counties as helpful; there is the same antagonism to the propositions put forward from the other benches for the union of Ireland as there is to ours. In my opinion, the day of unity is going to come much more rapidly by our policy than by the policy proposed from the opposite benches. However, that is merely accidental to this debate and I do not want to discuss it. It was a natural thing that we should in all our acts here have in mind that very fundamental political question, the most fundamental of all our political questions, I will admit.

With regard, then, to the United States of America, their system does not help us to judge the efficiency of Second Chambers in countries where there is responsible Government in the sense of the Executive being immediately responsible to Parliament. It is quite a different system and there is no use in trying to draw deductions from the success of that system in the United States as to its probable success here. I might point out, too, that in the United States the difficulties of changing the Constitution are extraordinarily great; nevertheless they put through in the United States the Prohibition law which was, notwithstanding all the safeguards and all the checks there were—and I am expressing this opinion as an observer—disastrous for the United States and had again, by the same cumbrous method, to be repealed. What does it prove? It simply proves that there is and can be no finality in human actions like this, that there is no finality in government. It is right that we should try to get the best and I take it that we are here differing on both sides of the House not on personalities, not on the immediate programme of the political Parties, but on certain fundamental issues.

Let us come to the system we have in operation here. In 1919, when we declared the Republic, we had to establish a Parliament. We did not think of a Second Chamber Parliament. It may be objected, I know, that it was only a temporary provision. I hold that we are in a transitional stage yet. That was adopted as a transitional method to meet certain difficulties. There might be the objection to that analogy that it was a one-Party House. I thought that with the modern orientation of policy on the part of Fine Gael the one-Party system was something that they were trying to aim at. At any rate, we adopted it. It was our own and I hold that for transitional purposes—during a transitional period in any case—it is far more effective from a national point of view than would be a two-chamber Assembly. Once more, perhaps, I might advert to the fears that are expressed. It is said that the Second Chamber is a check on the impetuosity of the elected representatives of the people. Why have we to check this? Because a majority Party might rush "to this or that extremity," if I might use that phrase. We are told that there is a danger, with a majority here, of rushing to extremes, doing things that are rash, playing, if you like, a political game unfair to the minority. But there are two sides to that political game. I wish that play-acting or playing would not occur. The business we are at is much too serious for it. We had it even this morning. These things are human and you cannot help them. They are just little manoeuvres. These manoeuvres, even if it is not completely possible to avoid them, ought not to affect us and they will not affect us in a fundamental issue.

As far as playing the political game is concerned, it is the duty of the majority to put its political programme through. On its shoulders rests the responsibility. It will be held responsible for all its acts. The Opposition are in a comparatively free position. They can indulge in manoeuvres and if there is a danger that the majority should act in a way that would be detrimental to the national interests I say the minority can act in that way, too. They have been complaining recently that their actions in Opposition have been called unpatriotic. They object very strongly to that being said. I remember sitting on the benches on the other side for years and I do not think a Minister stood up to speak once, in an important debate anyhow, without saying something that was objectionable to us. There was not a name that could be invented that we were not called.


Murderers, looters.

Is a looter a traitor?

Perhaps I will be allowed to dwell on that matter sufficiently long in order to make my attitude quite clear. I want to point out to those who are in Opposition that it is an unfortunate fact that political Parties do abuse members of other political Parties; they do abuse each other in this manner. I deprecate it; I think it is wrong; I think it is of no use whatever. Why is it that one section is said to be unpatriotic? Because certain acts are being done which those who call the name regard as not in the national interest. That was the attitude taken up by the previous Executive here, I take it. No matter how much the Opposition to-day object to that they are doing far worse things in Opposition than they did when they were here in office calling names, because they are constantly suggesting unpatriotic things. The very men who sat here and spoke about authority coming from God, the men who asked for respect for authority, are the very people who, when they go to the opposite benches, speak of this as a gangster Government, talk about corruption and suggest every single thing that can be suggested to bring the Government into disrepute. Is that good for the country? I remember my predecessor here, the present Leader of the Opposition, many a time ending up his speeches—I am sure if you search the records you will find that my memory is not wrong in that connection—by constantly stating "That is not patriotic."

We regard the actions of members of the Opposition at the present time as not being patriotic in the objective sense. I am not suggesting that they are acting from unpatriotic motives, but I do suggest—I have said it and I repeat it—that their actions are not in the best interests of this country at the present time. I had better not continue the digression; I entered into it because of the suggestion that this political game is going to be played only or altogether by the majority.

I brought in this Bill at this particular time, and I will admit that the immediate cause of the bringing in of this Bill was because I saw that a political game was being played in the Seanad, a game which was detrimental to the interests of the country. That is the immediate and the proximate reason for bringing it in as regards time but not as regards the ultimate intention. It was due to come along in any case. We brought it in this time because we wanted to show quite clearly to the public and to the members of the Seanad what the position was. I expect the Seanad are going to hold up this Bill for a period. They are probably not going to vote their own demise.

I want to repeat that I brought in this Bill to show the country the extent to which opposition to the elected Government of the country can be carried on in playing this game. What have they opposed us in doing? They have opposed us in our measures to give effect to the national policy which was twice assented to by the people. They suggest now that the consequences were not known to the people. What might be the consequences? I said to the people that it was within our right, within the Treaty even, to remove the Oath, and I hold that view to-day. And I said that even if it were not within the Treaty, though I believed it was, it was essential in the best interests of the country, in the interests of peace and stability here at home, to get rid of it. The people knew that. The people supported us, but the Seanad objected to our putting it through.

We had a Franchise Bill dealing with the election of local bodies. It was a Bill to give a vote to the same class of people who in the more important matter of the Central Government have been given a vote. We wanted to get these younger people—those people to whom the people on the opposite benches are appealing—to take an interest in local and national affairs. We wanted them to have an immediate and practical interest in local as well as national affairs. The Seanad stopped that Bill from becoming law.

Might I interrupt the President? The Government certainly had no mandate for that measure, and it was not in their election programme.

The Deputy is not as innocent as that remark would suggest. The Deputy knows full well that no Government can possibly get mandates for everything it is called upon to do during its period of office. The whole theory of government is simply this: that you have representatives of the people entrusted during the period they are in office with work in the interests of the people and expected to carry on the Government in their interests. You cannot say in advance all the possible things that have to be done. Does anybody think for a moment that if that issue of the Franchise Bill were put to a vote it would not get the support of the majority of the electorate? I am certain it would, and I am certain that nobody could make a case against it, because I hold that if people over 21 are worthy of taking part in the election of a Government for the whole country they are equally well entitled to get a vote for the local administration, which affects them too. I think that it is wise and good to bring our younger people to take a practical interest in these matters. I am perfectly certain, if there were a Referendum on it, you would get a majority of the people in its favour. The fact that the Opposition thinks that is proved by the fact that they do not want it. Why? Because they think that in the restricted register they would do better.

The General is in favour of it.

Yes, their leader, General O'Duffy, says he is in favour of it.

We will give him an oportunity of getting the political Seanad to follow him. We have the Seanad then acting in a manner which is as dangerous as the manner in which it has been suggested the majority would possibly act. We have the Seanad acting, as is obvious to every person in the country, in a narrow political way. They are acting as a political Party and playing a political game. They are the allies of the Opposition and they are engaged in the policy which has been expressed by some members on the opposite side of putting the Government on the rocks. I suggest that that is not a very noble policy—I use the word "noble" fearing there may be objection to the word patriotic. It is not a very noble policy for any Party that their purpose should be to put the Government on the rocks, irrespective of the fact that the Government were elected by the people and that the interests of the country are very largely dependent upon not putting the Government on the rocks.

Now is there safety in a single Chamber? Take this body here. In the old Republican days we regarded the Dáil as the Government. We looked upon every member of the Dáil as a member of the Government of the country. That is how everybody here in this House should regard himself. We regarded the Assembly as a whole as the Government. We regarded the Executive Council as a committee of that Government and so it is to-day. It is removable by a vote of this House. Every member of the Dáil whether he sits on those benches on the opposite side or on these benches here is a member of the Government. He is a member of the Government wherever he sits and when he comes here and gives his voice and expresses his opinion, he is acting as one of the people's representatives and is engaged in the work of the Government. But the purely Executive side are responsible to the House as a whole and I say there is far greater safety for the country as a whole if each one of us here, whether on the opposite benches or on these regard ourselves as people responsible for the good Government of this country. All our acts and actions should be prompted with that idea. We will get far better work done if we think on these lines.

It is suggested that we have some animosity against the minority. There are members on the opposite benches who have sufficiently intimate knowledge of what I have said and done and these gentlemen know that that charge of animosity is not true. They know that I stood up for proportional representation in order that all sections of the community might be properly represented. I stood up for that even when it was known to be against our party interests. I stood for it at the last election and at the previous election also. Why? Because it gives equality of opportunity—in so far as it can be reasonably obtained by all classes—to get proper representation in this House. When they get equality of opportunity I think it is unwise for them to get more, because if they get more they stand out as a privileged class. They become the butts of all sorts of attacks. I think it is unwise of them to seek for more and I think it is far better that they should not be associated here in groups in the future merely because of past associations. I think it is unwise, therefore, that there should be special provision of the kind that there was in the Seanad for any part of the people.

Now are we breaking faith with the Unionist majority? It has been suggested that we are breaking faith with the Unionist majority who got special representation with regard to this Seanad. I say we are not. The special nomination was intended for the transitional period—a period of 12 years. The whole of that period has lapsed and after that period any special representation which they got would disappear. There would have to be according to the present system certain nominated members, a certain panel, and this panel will very rapidly get the complexion and produce in the Second House a House which would be a replica of this House. It will not be elected at the same time. The position is that you will have a majority, at one time, of the same view as the Executive, in which case it will act as the Seanad has acted during the time of our predecessors. At another time, the majority will be opposed to the Executive, politically, and then the Seanad is going to act precisely as the existing Seanad has acted in our regard. I, therefore, feel that no really good case can be made for the Seanad as it is constituted with us at the present moment.

It is suggested that there is no safety for anybody if the Seanad goes. That reminds me of the talk of one of the leading members in the opposite benches, who was a Minister here at the time. He went around the country saying that nobody could be safe with a shilling in his pocket if Fianna Fáil were elected. There would be no safety for anybody if he had a shilling in his pocket.

He was not far wrong.

Do I understand the deputy-leader of the Opposition to say that that statement was not far wrong? That is more of the pretence which the people in this country understand full well, but which outsiders do not understand—this suggestion that this country is in a state of collapse, when everybody knows that it is, perhaps, one of the soundest countries in the world at the present time. We are passing through a difficult agricultural and economic crisis. So are other countries, and they are in a far worse position than we are. I do not want to digress too much along that line. We will have it again. But it is indicative of this attitude, that there can be no safety so long as the country is governed by representatives such as we are. We represent the majority of the Irish people—at least, the majority of the people in the Twenty-Six Counties at the present time. Those who say that there is no safety, and so on, are casting reflections on the majority of the Irish people. No man will be safe with a shilling in his pocket unless the gentlemen who were here formerly are put back here! Is not that what they mean? In pursuance of that propaganda they do not mind to what dangers they may expose the country.

We had here also the suggestion that there would be a rush on the banks, and that, if the Seanad was there, there would be time, at least, to rush in and take your money away out of the banks. That was the suggestion of the Leader of the Opposition. To rush away and try to save your own little pile—that was the idea. The suggestion was that there was danger and that everybody had to rush for safety because there was an Executive here that had no regard for their interests whatever. Then the judges were referred to. The judges are to have no safety unless they have the Seanad to protect them. With the previous Executive they would not have had much safety, and, as it is possible that the previous Executive may come along again, some people would say: "Well, we ought to provide some safeguard for the judges, because the previous Executive took part in something which, certainly, did not show very much respect for judicial authority." They did not show very much respect for judicial authority when they suppressed the Supreme Court of the Republic because it ordered them to bring a certain prisoner to court and to explain why he was in custody. Their answer to that was to suppress the courts, and these, mind you, were the courts of an institution which each one of them had sworn to maintain. Then, we have their record later, when there was an appeal in the case of a pending execution, and they did not wait for the appeal to be heard, but executed the man in the meantime. There was not much respect for judicial authority on that occasion.

Mention has been made of cases that were brought recently to the courts in our regard. What did we do? We obeyed the courts. This Executive, that could not be trusted, obeyed the courts. What safeguard, I say, would a Seanad be—a Seanad in which there was going to be a majority of the same type exactly as the majority here for the other Party—what safeguard was that going to be? Were not the very self-same political considerations going to be the considerations in that Chamber as to whether the Executive that did these things was to be turned out or kept in office? You cannot save these things. The best safeguard for the judiciary is for it to establish itself soundly in the good repute of the people. There is no other way. We had a case here—I think it was before we came into office—in which questions were asked about the conduct of a judge, and the Minister in charge, very rightly and wisely, said that we had to give them their independence or worse things—no matter how much we might disagree with the things they did— would befall us. We have got to depend on them to do their duty conscientiously in accordance with the law. There is no other way. If we try, by any special methods, to discipline them, there is extreme danger, as was suggested then, that we would be doing more harm than good. We have to depend on them, and if we have to depend on them, we must also depend on the character of the elected representatives of the people. It is for the people themselves to see that they get proper representatives, and not to vote for people who would be capable of doing any of the things that have been suggested from the opposite benches.

This attempt to injure a political Party, even when the success of that attempt would mean the injury of the country as a whole, is something that no good representative of the people should stand for. It is wrong. It is an abuse of politics. We cannot arrange a system by which we will have our political questions better managed or better solved than they are by the present system. At least, we do not see it. The Party system is there and, I suppose, would be difficult to get rid of. Like the question of the judges, suggestions that have been made for getting rid of it involve dangers greater and more fundamental than the dangers which are in the system. What it does call for, however, from each elected representative of the people is for him to act honourably, to keep always before his mind his responsibility, and to adhere always to a high standard of conduct. If we do not do that, there is nothing going to save us, and there is nothing going to save the country. We have here a proportional representation system. One thing it does, besides giving possibility of representation to groups and parties that have political and economic programmes, and that is that the system is such that any person who serves his people reasonably well has a chance of re-election.

With a single-member constituency, however, members who were in office, or Ministers who were in office, very easily can be thrown out and their services and experience lost. That is not so here. It very rarely happens that you will not have back again in the Assembly those who have given really good service. We have the example of the previous Ministry. In the opinion of a considerable number, at any rate, they have given good service and they have been returned by their supporters on that basis. We have, therefore, here the continuing possibility, under the system of proportional representation, that you will have here henceforth, on both sides of the House, people who have had to shoulder responsibility, who have some idea of what it means and who are not going to rush to those extremes that have been suggested as possible by the opponents of this measure. I do not know that there has been anything further said to which I need reply. I have summarised the difficulties at another stage of constituting a Seanad and the difficulties of deciding what power should be given to it.

Might I ask the President to deal with one point before he concludes? I would have mentioned it earlier only I was reluctant to interrupt him. When he was referring to the fact that the Government should be considered as a Committee for the whole of this House and that we should all co-operate so far as we can in seeing that the work of government is well carried out. Taking it that that is his point of view, I want to ask him just why he has not availed himself of the resolution passed by the Seanad and asked us to co-operate with him in setting up a joint committee to consider this matter.

I am glad the Deputy has reminded me of that. The reason why I did not take the responsibility of putting before the House the resolution of the Seanad was, as I pointed out last night, that I was a member myself of a joint committee of the Dáil and the Seanad which considered a question of this particular kind. My experience during that period taught me that these questions were being considered again from a narrow political standpoint. I do not think we would get anywhere with such a committee, if it were established. If this transitional period were over and if there was a question of determining finally the Constitution of this country, I would strongly advocate this being done—that a commission should be set up deliberately selected for this work.

Why not now?

You have got a good long year, I expect, in which all these things can be considered. I am going to refer to certain things that will be considered, but I am answering at present the point put by Deputy MacDermot. I do not think that such a committee is the right committee to examine this question. If you want to have it examined as it ought to be examined you want, in addition to the members of this House, other people on it. You want some kind of a commission that will furnish its report and, when its report is there, that action will be taken upon it by the Executive, just as will be taken on any other Government measure. Somebody has to take the responsibility for the scheme and put it through Parliament and to the country, if necessary, and the only way in which you can do that is for the Executive to take charge of it. I cannot see any such committee as is suggested doing anything really effective.

I was a member of such a committee formerly and I was responsible for proposing that the election be changed from the people to an election by this House. Do you think that I did not know what was going to happen? I deliberately put that in because, in the first place, I did not want the Second House to get the authority which it was likely to get by being directly representative of the people. We were setting up a rival authority. I do not think such an authority should be set up. I can see nothing but danger in this clashing of authority. There must be some authority clearly and well-defined on whose shoulders responsibility can be placed. In order that that Second House might not have the authority which it would have got from election by the people, I proposed this method. There were other considerations no doubt. It was an impracticable system. It was a very difficult system to carry out in practice. There were difficulties about it, and all these helped to get the change accepted. I proposed that it should be election by this House. Why? Do you think I did not see that it was ultimately going to get the same political complexion as this House? I did it because I wanted to get the people to see clearly that in practice it was going to result in a Chamber practically of the same character as here, that it was going to be merely a duplication, and that the very things that are happening were bound to happen. Give us an alternative. I would have preferred if I could devise a Second Chamber that would be satisfactory. I have the same ideals with regard to what a Second Chamber should be as some Deputies who are opposing this measure, but I cannot realise them; I cannot get even near them; I cannot see anything but dangers. You will have a rival authority if the political complexion is different from that of this House and you will have unnecessary complication and an addition to the machine if it is the same. That is what it amounts to.

We could, of course, adopt here the system they have in Norway. It has been operated successfully in Norway over a considerable period. They have frankly faced that situation. What they do in Norway is that after an election they select from the House a number of the members who form what is called a Second House. That Second House has certain functions. If there is any difference of opinion it is resolved within three days by bringing the two Houses together as one. We could, by changing the Standing Orders, provide that there be a committee of the House selected for the purpose that would re-examine Bills, after they have got to a certain stage here, from the point of view of improving them and so on, and they could, if we desired it, impose such a delay as will be thought advisable in any particular case. There is a straightforward recognition there of the fact that it is impossible to constitute in a permanent manner a Second House that will not have all the objections that our particular Seanad has. Some of them would be even greater. Let us acknowledge that. Let us take the attitude that this House is the Government; that the Executive is simply a committee of that Government, and let us arrange for the type of examination necessary to ensure that drafting mistakes are corrected and that any implications of principle overlooked during the passage of a Bill in the Dáil will be attended to.

Even with our Second House what has our experience been? Has it not been that every major measure which passed through this House, whether in the time of our predecessors or our time, after it has been in operation for a while revealed certain difficulties and had to be brought back again and the House has had to pass some amending legislation. That is all due to human fallibility and we cannot get away from it. There is no use in complicating the machinery to deal with these matters. With a small modification, if we want to have a modification, of the Norwegian system, we can have it here and I would propose that the moment the Seanad, in its present form, would disappear the Standing Orders of the House would be changed so as to make provision of that sort.

There is only one other thing that, perhaps, I should refer to—the question of the Referendum. The Referendum would really be the check that is required. It would be the authoritative check, a check by the people themselves on the action of their representatives. That would be the ideal check but there are difficulties which it is not necessary for me to elaborate in applying it. It is going to be expensive and it is going to be difficult. Before any question like this is put, there would have to be a certain amount of public education, of campaigning and all that and to get these questions understood so that their merits may be weighed and judged by the electorate is not easy. Therefore, the Referendum, though I admit that from the point of view of popular Government and democracy it is ideal, is difficult in our particular circumstances. I know that it is operated very frequently in Switzerland and I would say that if we here were past the transitional stage and if we had got to a permanent position in which we were framing a permanent Constitution for this country and if we were going to have a written Constitution, I would like to see that changes in that written Constitution would not be effected without such a vote. I know they use the Referendum frequently in Switzerland. I have not examined conditions there sufficiently closely to be able to say whether we could, by modification, apply it here. My belief is that the Referendum, except in special cases, such as changes in a written Constitution or something of that kind, is not a practical method of determining political issues in a country like ours.

I will end by referring to the remark of Deputy MacEoin. He put his finger on something I thought was going to be discussed much more than it was. He indicated that he would have preferred to see a different phrase eliminated from the one which we are eliminating. I share his view on that. If it were a question of my will, my desire, pure and simple, I would eliminate that, but we cannot do that at the moment. I hope it will be done. I believe that ultimately it will mean more for the peace of this country and good relations with our neighbouring country than are possible in the present conditions. I can only say to Deputy MacEoin and the others that I hope to see the day when it will be done, either by this particular Executive, if it gets a mandate for that purpose from the people, or by others. I hope to live to see the day and I believe that it will mean a real getting down to a position in which there can be genuine goodwill between the people of this country and the people in the neighbouring island.

How about Partition?

That will go, too.

I think that General O'Duffy made some statement or other and he knows the answer he got. The Deputies are saying the same thing and they are getting the same answer. There is nothing in their policy, in my opinion, that is going to bring the day of ending Partition nearer than is in our policy. I believe our policy, on the contrary, would bring it more quickly and I am quite prepared to tell the Deputy why—because the fear which people have of something taking place is far greater in their imagination than the actuality. It is the fears that are troubling at present. Once there is seen here in operation in the TwentySix Counties a properly governed State with good social conditions, with stable conditions reached, you are going to have far more attraction for people in the Six Counties than you could have at the present time, because they would know full well that the solution put forward by the Deputy was only a temporary one, anyhow; that you had not got down to bedrock, but they will know, in the other position, that you have got down to bedrock and that, after that, whatever developments take place will be developments of co-operation and greater friendliness and that the difficulties will all have been passed.

The Deputy, I think, accused us of having this step-by-step policy, this pin-pricking policy and so on. I do not want that; I detest it. I agree with the Deputy that there is harm in it and I would rather end it at once, if the people were prepared to do it with us, than to be carrying on this step-by-step policy. But it is not practicable at the moment. We are doing what we can and we are going to make it easier for that step ultimately to be taken, and I say again that so far as our separated friends in the North are concerned, there is far greater probability that they will come quickly in when they see conditions as they are. I say that this suggestion on the part of members on the opposite benches that the minority here are unfairly treated and all the rest of it is wrong. I do not want to use stronger terms and I will not use any term as strong as I feel about it. That is misrepresentation. They know perfectly well that our policy is not due to any attitude of vindictiveness or anything of that sort. We want to have the minority as members of our community, entitled to take part and taking part to the extent that their ability enables them and their usefulness to the country entitles them to take part. With regard to the Opposition and the suggestion of vindictiveness, that I have some hatred against members of the Opposition, I have felt all the time, and feel it still, that whether we like it or not, the fate of this country for a considerable period is going to depend on the action of the two sides of this House.

Poor Collins, poor Griffith!

The whole lot of them-Mellowes, Rory O'Connor and Lynch.

If we all went on these lines, we would not get very far. They are not helpful, and the Deputy knows full well that the things that happened were not of my will.

The wall of glass.

Let him alone.

I suppose it is impossible to get certain people to deal with questions as they ought. I was going to say that whether we like it or not members on both sides of this House, as Davis said:—

"In fortune and in name are bound By stronger bands than steel,

And neither can be safe nor sound But in the other's weal."

Bear that in mind. It is a fact, and it is the duty of everyone on both sides of the House to try to work in such a way as will bring about the improvement and welfare of this country. No other action is worthy of anybody who pretended at any time to serve his country. If there has been vindictiveness it has not been on this side of the House. With regard to the suggestion that we are, by this Bill, attacking the minority, there is no truth in it. Under any circumstances, I would take the same action as I am taking now. The House of Lords was suffered to carry on in England when their powers became, to a certain extent, limited, and when they did not finally stand in the way. The Seanad might possibly have been allowed to carry on—£30,000 a year, or whatever the amount is, might be spent on it—just as a bit of show, but it would not have been necessary. Under the present circumstances, it cannot be allowed to carry on, because it is acting in a way which is obviously detrimental to the country's interests. It is because of that that I say it is better to get rid of that House; that it is better for us to concentrate here on our responsibilities, each side recognising the part it has to play in working out the national welfare, in leading the people, in legislating for the people, in organising the people, and doing it in a way which is going ultimately to mean for the people the highest standard of living they can get.

Question put: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time.
The Dáil divided:—Tá: 70; Níl: 51.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Cleary, Mícheál.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Daly, Denis.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Donnelly, Eamon.
  • Dowdall, Thomas P.
  • Flinn, Hugo V.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hales, Thomas.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O'Doherty, Hugh.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Kelly, Seán Thomas.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Victory, James.
  • Ward, Francis C.


  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Belton, Patrick.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Bourke, Séamus.
  • Broderick, William Joseph.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Curran, Richard.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • Davitt, Robert Emmet.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Dolan, James Nicholas.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Finlay, John.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • McDonogh, Martin.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGovern, Patrick.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Morrisroe, James.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Naily, Martin.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Neill, Eamonn.
  • O'Reilly, John Joseph.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, Bridget Mary.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Rogers, Patrick James.
  • Thrift, William Edward.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Traynor; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.
Committee Stage fixed for Wednesday next.