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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 3 Feb 1937

Vol. 65 No. 1

Public Business. - Official's Removal from Office—Motion to appoint Tribunal.

I move:—

That a Select Committee consisting of eleven Deputies, to be appointed by the Committee of Selection and with power to send for persons, papers and documents, be set up, publicly to investigate and report to the Dáil on all the facts and circumstances connected with and surrounding the decision of the Executive Council that the retention of Mr. E.P. McCarron in his post of Secretary to the Department of Local Government and Public Health was no longer possible, and to make such recommendations to the Dáil as they consider necessary in the public interest.

In moving this motion, Sir, I am very deeply conscious of my responsibilities, and fully appreciative of the importance of the issues involved, not merely to Mr. McCarron personally, but also to the public service and the community as a whole. If Deputies would consider this matter calmly and impartially and apart from political passion and bias, I think that this motion would be unanimously adopted by the House, because it concerns something which is necessary to the establishment of certain vital principles in the public life of this country. It is necessary, not merely as a matter of ordinary elementary justice to Mr. McCarron, that he should be given some public platform or some public opportunity of vindicating his public character and his integrity and efficiency as a public servant, but it is necessary also in the public interest that public officials—both governmental officials and officials of local authorities—should be assured of the security of their tenure, and that they should feel that in exercising their functions they are entitled to exercise them entirely irrespective of the political policy of the particular Government for the time being. The public is entitled to expect that every Government, no matter from what Party a Government for the time being may be drawn, will get impartial advice from public officials, but that the public officials of this country will not be turned into a further wheel in the political machine of any political Party in this State. Mr. McCarron occupied a very responsible position in the public life of this country and in the public service. He was well known throughout the length and breadth of this country. But if this case had reference to the humblest civil servant, to the meanest man occupying the most subordinate position in the public service of this State, the same principles would be involved and the same issues would have to be considered.

It is over two months now since the public Press conveyed to a startled public the information that Mr. McCarron had been removed from the office which he had held so long and so honourably. The position of a permanent head—we now have to put the word "permanent" into inverted commas—of the Department of State known as the Department of Local Government and Public Health, if not the most important position in the State, was certainly the second most important position in the Civil Service of this State. The Minister for Local Government and Public Health himself stressed the importance of the Department of Local Government and Public Health in the life of every individual in the State in the speech he made to the Cork Chamber of Commerce last month. I am quoting from the Cork Examiner of the 21st January of this year:

"Continuing, he referred to the important part which the Department of Local Government played in the ordinary everyday life of the country. Everybody, no matter what part of the country he lived in, rural or urban area or city, was subject in some way to the operations of the Department."

For nearly fifteen years Mr. McCarron directed successfully and honourably and to the satisfaction of all sections of the community the affairs of that great Department which so intimately impinges on the life of every citizen of this State. He was in touch with public authorities throughout the country. He was in intimate association with men of all Parties in this House, and of all sections of political thought in the country, and there has never been a breath of suspicion against him. There has never been, throughout that lengthy period, a suggestion from anybody, even from the Fianna Fáil Party when in opposition, that he was anything but a man of integrity and efficiency, and of the utmost probity and honour. There has never been a suggestion that he had not carried out his duties to the satisfaction of everybody in this country. He was in intimate touch with the philanthropic associations throughout the country, to their great benefit. Never, as I say, was there the slightest suspicion during all that time that there was anything wrong. During the five years in which the present Government have carried on the affairs of this country there was nothing to show that they had anything but the fullest confidence in Mr. McCarron's administration of that Department. To impartial outsiders it seemed that his Minister went out of his way, in the speeches he made publicly and at private functions, to laud the work of Mr. McCarron in his Department. The phrases he used, the laudations he poured upon Mr. McCarron, were something that I think no other public servant in this State has ever got from any other Minister. Members of this House have listened to the Minister for Local Government and Public Health publicly and privately bearing testimony, as a responsible Minister of this State, to the efficiency and integrity and impartiality of Mr. McCarron. Consequently, the citizens of this State were profoundly shocked when the bald announcement appeared in the newspapers of 1st December of last year that Mr. McCarron had been summarily dismissed from that position which he apparently had held so honourably for so long. Nobody was more surprised than Mr. McCarron.

What was the method by which this announcement was made—this announcement which stirred the public conscience of this country more deeply than it has ever been stirred in the history of this State since it was established in 1922? A bald announcement was made in the Press of 1st December of last year. The first intimation that the people of this country got that anything was wrong came over the wireless on the night before. The news that was sent throughout this country and to all other peoples who listened-in to our station on that night was couched in such language as to bear an innuendo very detrimental to the interests of this loyal, efficient and faithful servant of this State. Care was not even taken that our public radio station should not be used in a manner that would give rise—as it has given rise—to slanderous rumours and lying statements being dissipated, and uneasiness felt by practically every section of the community. Then the Press came along with their announcement. The official announcement was made in a letter to Mr. McCarron:—

"I have to inform you that on the 28th instant the Executive Council removed you from the office of Secretary to the Department of Local Government and Public Health, with effect as from 1st December, 1936."

That in itself was a crime against the public, not to speak about Mr. McCarron. The way that announcement was made and the tone of the communication and the language used would in themselves be sufficient to justify the establishment of a tribunal such as we ask for in this motion. Then the Press came along and, taking only a section of the headlines that appeared in the Press on that day and the following days, let us see the captions that the public of this country and neighbouring countries were treated to as a result of the manner in which this action was taken by the Government and the form which the announcement of that action took. Here are some of the captions taken at random from some of the newspapers. The Irish Press, the Government's own organ, had the heading “Civil Service Sensation”; another paper, “Government Bombshell”; another paper, “Dismissal Sensation”; another paper, “You're Fired”; another paper, “Official Sacked”; another paper, “Sacked Civil Service Chief”; another paper, “Short Shrift.”

What were the public, ignorant of what had gone on behind the scenes, to infer from all this? What was the meaning that was taken by all sections of the community? What was the interpretation that was put upon things by the Government's action? It was that there was something deeply wrong with the administration of the Department of Local Government and Public Health by its so-called permanent head. No reason was given why this drastic action was taken without any notice to the public or even Mr. McCarron, as it subsequently appeared. Rumours began to be spread and to become rife. People asked themselves: "What is at the back of it?" The Government must know these rumours have been going around for the last two months and no action has been taken to justify the probity and integrity and efficiency of this faithful servant of the State, who served all sections of the community here for 15 years and gave his loyal and unstinted service to the present Government for five years, and against whom no complaint was made by the present Government or by his Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary during that period of five years.

No step has been taken or is indicated as being about to be taken to give that small measure of justice to Mr. McCarron. We ask the people's representatives here in the people's Parliament to see that that measure of justice is given to Mr. McCarron, that he is given some opportunity of publicly vindicating his character, efficiency and integrity. It was with no object of getting any political party advantage that this motion was put forward in my name or was put forward by the Party to which I have the honour to belong. What other inference could be drawn from all that I have adverted to except that there was some grave public delinquency behind all this and that the Government had thrown the cloak of silence over it in a spirit of charity towards Mr. McCarron? As people are saying throughout the country and as they have been saying during the last few months, "There is never smoke without fire and there is something wrong." The political hacks of the Fianna Fáil Party throughout the country have been spreading insidious rumours, foul slanders, against Mr. McCarron in an effort to bolster up the Government formed from their own political party.

It is necessary for me to advert as briefly as I can to the circumstances leading to the removal of Mr. McCarron from his office. Mr. McCarron has made certain of these facts known to the public through the Press and it is right that Deputies— if there are independent Deputies, and I am sure there are in this House to-day, who wish to bring an independent judgment to bear upon this question—should get a very short connected narrative of the events leading up to Mr. McCarron's removal from office. It is a matter of common notoriety that so far as any intimation has been given by the Government of the reasons why they removed Mr. McCarron from office, that those reasons were in some way or another connected with an appointment which had been made in the Portrane asylum and had some connection with some events in connection with Ballinasloe asylum.

It is a matter that everybody is aware of that a vacancy occurred in the position of resident medical superintendent of the Ballinasloe Mental Home some short time ago through the death of Dr. Mills, the then resident medical superintendent. In accordance with the settled practice of the Department of Local Government, that post fell to be filled through the machinery of the Local Appointments Commissioners, and intimation was conveyed to the committee administering the affairs of the Ballinasloe Mental Home that the Minister could not accede to the request which had been put forward that a certain medical officer who then held a position in the mental home should be promoted to the position of resident medical superintendent. It is well known that the greatest possible influence was brought to bear upon the Minister and the Government by the Party from which the Government is formed to secure the appointment of a particular individual to that post.

I do not wish to advert any further to that matter. I do not wish to mention individuals' names or go into the controversy at all, but it is necessary that I should advert to it very shortly. It is merely for the purpose of showing that the Minister apparently experienced considerable political difficulty from his own political adherents in reference to the appointment of a resident medical superintendent at Ballinasloe.

The position of resident medical superintendent at Ballinasloe and in all the other mental homes throughout the country is radically different from the position which existed until recently in the Grangegorman mental home, or rather the Grangegorman and Portrane mental homes. The Grangegorman and Portrane mental hospitals are, I understand, the fourth largest institutions of the kind in this State. The position of chief resident medical superintendent was occupied for many years by Dr. Donnellan. He occupied a position fundamentally different from that occupied by every other resident medical superintendent in every other mental home in this country. There was in the case of Grangegorman and Portrane a chief resident medical superintendent and a deputy resident medical superintendent. The chief medical superintendent had his principal functions in connection with the Grangegorman mental hospital—the mental home generally. The affairs of the Portrane mental home were administered by a deputy resident medical superintendent.

That position at Portrane was the only position of its type that existed in this country. It was recognised by the statutory rules governing these matters, and the chief resident medical superintendent had merely super-advisory duties in connection with the Portrane Mental Home. In the year 1925 the position of deputy medical superintendent in Portrane was recognised by the Department of Local Government as fundamentally different from the position of resident medical superintendent in the other homes throughout the country. The Minister will find on his files, if he looks at them, an official intimation to the Grangegorman Joint Committee recognising the fundamental distinction and allowing the joint committee to act accordingly.

Now, this is a matter of very considerable importance in considering the subsequent things which led to the removal of Mr. McCarron. The Department of Local Government and Public Health some time last year intimated to the Joint Committee of the Grangegorman Mental Homes that it was desirable that the officials of the Grangegorman Mental Homes and mental homes generally throughout the country should be retired on reaching the age of 65 years. To that proposal the Joint Committee of the Grangegorman Mental Homes intimated their adherence. In accordance with that decision Dr. Donnellan fell due for retirement last year. It was then the plan of the Grangegorman Joint Committee that they should erect a third mental home somewhere in their district, probably somewhere in the County Dublin. They thought, there fore, that the opportunity was a good one to reorganise the medical staff of their institutions—existing and to come. I must emphasise the fact that this third mental home which was then in contemplation by the Grangegorman Joint Committee would take a very considerable amount of time before it was erected and brought into effective operation.

When the new mental home, the third mental home under the jurisdiction of the Grangegorman Committee, would be erected it would be necessary to appoint a new man to fulfil the duties of medical superintendent there. With the concurrence of the Department of Local Government and Public Health, the Joint Committee of the Grangegorman Mental Homes decided to re-arrange their medical staff and, instead of having a medical superintendent with two deputy medical superintendents, one for Portrane and one for the new mental home, they decided that they would have a chief medical superintendent for Grangegorman and two resident medical superintendents: one for Portrane and one for the new mental home, and so do away with the position of deputy resident medical superintendent. That proposal was accepted by the Grangegorman Joint Committee and by the Department of Local Government and Public Health. The question then arose: what was to be done with the position that had to be filled on the retirement of Dr. Donnellan, and what was to be done with Dr. Blake, who was then occupying the position of deputy medical resident superintendent at Portrane? Deputies will forgive me for again emphasising the fact that the position filled by Dr. Blake was a position unknown in any hospital in the Free State—the position of deputy resident medical superintendent. Dr. Blake had carried on his duties as deputy resident superintendent in Portrane for a period of over five years. He had been in the service of the Joint Committee of Grangegorman Mental Homes for twelve and a-half years. There was no suggestion then, and there is not any suggestion now, that Dr. Blake did not carry out his duties efficiently and that he ought not to be left to carry out the duties he had hitherto carried out in the Portrane Mental Home. The only change that was contemplated was a change in the nomenclature. Dr. Blake, instead of being called deputy resident medical superintendent, was henceforth to be known as resident medical superintendent. There was no vacancy to be filled; there was no appointment to be made.

Dr. Blake could not lawfully be removed from his position in Portrane. There was no appointment that could be lawfully sent to the Local Appointments Commissioners. In that state of affairs the Joint Committee of the Grangegorman Mental Homes requested that Dr. Blake should be confirmed in his new title of resident medical superintendent instead of his former title of deputy resident medical superintendent. The file had been for some time in one of the sections of the Department of Local Government and Public Health, and Mr. McCarron was requested by the Joint Committee of the Grangegorman Mental Homes to have the matter expedited. Mr. McCarron called for that file and saw how the matter stood. Deputies will realise that the Secretary of the Department of Local Government and Public Health would have an infinite variety of duties to carry on from day to day. Indeed it has been to me personally, as one who has seen this particular Department in operation for the last fifteen years, a miracle how Mr. McCarron carried on his multifarious duties with such tact, unobtrusiveness and lack of fuss. He had those multifarious duties to fulfil, and in the course of a few days he reached the file in connection with Grangegorman.

On that file was a letter ready for signature and ready to be sent out. I have not a copy of that letter, but may I state generally this: that Mr. McCarron came to the conclusion that if that letter had gone out from the Department of Local Government and Public Health his Minister would be caused serious political embarrassment? Mr. McCarron changed the letter in a number of ways, very unimportant ways, as will be seen by Deputies if the Minister produces that letter. He changed it in ways which were intended to ease the Minister's political past in reference to the Ballinasloe appointment. Mr. McCarron took the precaution, as he would in any file of a similar character, to put there and then a note on the margin of the file as to the reasons why he changed this letter. That letter should exist in the Minister's file with Mr. McCarron's note on the margin, explaining that there was a differentiation between the appointment of Dr. Blake as resident medical superintendent and the Ballinasloe case.

If that letter had gone out in the form in which it was couched originally, political embarrassment would have accrued to the Minister and nothing have been achieved except to cause unnecessary irritation to the members of the Joint Committee of the Grangegorman Mental Home. This letter, I understand, purported to approve of the appointment of Dr. Blake as resident medical superintendent, and used the phrase "owing to peculiar circumstances". But the Department must have known and Mr. McCarron knew that there were no "peculiar circumstances". That letter stated "owing to peculiar circumstances" they were prepared to approve of Dr. Blake's appointment as resident medical superintendent provided that the Joint Committee gave an undertaking that the new appointment that would be made years hence in connection with the new mental home would be sent to the Local Appointments Commissioners. Now, in the first place, that would, of necessity, without any undertaking, have to be sent to the Local Appointments Commissioners. In the second place, the appointment was not going to arise for years to come and in the third place the existing Joint Committee of Management of the Grangegorman Mental Homes had no authority to bind their successors. Accordingly, Mr. McCarron altered that. He said that there is nothing here happening with regard to Dr. Blake as the Department had already agreed and approved of Dr. Blake as resident medical superintendent. The whole thing occupied about ten minutes of Mr. McCarron's official time that day, and those ten minutes have caused him to lose his position as head of the Department of Local Government and Public Health. They have caused great public uneasiness throughout the length and breadth of the Irish Free State, and have shocked the public conscience of every decent man and woman in this State.

Mr. McCarron regarded that as an ordinary incident in his day's work and forgot all about it. The letter that was sent out reached, in due course, the Joint Committee, and the Joint Committee were pleased at Dr. Blake's appointment being put out of their way. Their proceedings were reported in the Press. The Minister for Local Government and Public Health saw the proceedings of the Joint Committee reported in the Press on Friday the 20th November. On Friday, the 20th November, he told Mr. McCarron that he had seen something in that day's papers concerning the reported proceedings of the Grangegorman Joint Committee on the previous day which was the cause of embarrassment to him, having regard to the political difficulties he had experienced over filling the vacancy in the post of resident medical superintendent at Ballinasloe Mental Hospital and the candidature there of a certain doctor. Mr. McCarron there and then explained to him that there was no parity at all between the position in Ballinasloe and the position in reference to Dr. Blake and he wrote and left for the Minister a memo., which the Minister must have, explaining the difference. He demonstrated to him that, so far from causing the Minister any political embarrassment, if the letter which was originally going out had gone out, the political adherents of the Government Party in Ballinasloe would have said this: "Yes, you are able to appoint Doctor Blake without sending him to the Local Appointments Commissioners because there were special circumstances there. Why are not there special circumstances in connection with Ballinasloe?" and the flood-gates of Fianna Fáil political intriguery would have been let loose on the Government and on the Minister for Local Government and Public Health in particular.

Mr. McCarron saved his Minister from that. He did his duty to his Minister, in full appreciation of his loyalty to his Minister as a public servant and in full appreciation of Government policy. I use that phrase because it occurs later on and because he was accused of a lack of appreciation of Government policy. I shall have something to say about it later on. Are we to take it that that is a lack of appreciation of Government policy in regard to jobs and jobbery and political intriguery? No other meaning can be attached to it, or is attached to it by the public. But if he is accused, as he has been accused, by the letters that came from the Government of a lack of appreciation of Government policy, let any fair-minded Deputy, or any decent person outside this House, take the trouble of considering the facts of this matter. If he does he must inevitably come to the conclusion that Mr. McCarron, when he was acting in connection with the Portrane appointment, was acting not merely in the public interest, but was acting in the interests of his own Minister and his political difficulties, and acting as a loyal, efficient and dutiful servant of the State would have acted in his place and as he was entitled to act as the permanent head of a big State department.

When the letter from the Department of Local Government and Public Health went out, Mr. McCarron thought no more about it. He assumed, as anybody would have assumed, that the Minister would have read his memorandum and would have appreciated what he had done. He assumed, as he was entitled to assume, but he wrongly assumed, that the Minister would have some spark of justice and decency in him, and that before he took any action against him he would have given him an opportunity of knowing what the charges were that were festering in his mind, in his politically corrupt mind arising out of these transactions. I will show the House in a moment that he did not take the elementary trouble to ascertain, or read the fully ascertained facts in connection with the case, before he recommended the Executive Council to dismiss Mr. McCarron for what he had done in connection with Doctor Blake and the Portrane Mental Home. Mr. McCarron heard no more about this matter from his Minister. He assumed that everything was all right. He went on with his work and forgot all about it. He had in his mind the things that his Minister had said during the last four or five years about him. He still had in his recollection the fact that a few days previous to this he had received personal hospitality from his own Minister in the Dáil restaurant, that he was driven home in the company of the Minister after a debate in the House in a Government car, in the Minister's car, and left at his own door. That happened a few days before the incident to which I have just referred occurred. There was nothing to lead him to know or suspect that he had not the confidence of the Minister. There is that fact for Deputies to realise that even then the Minister had nothing in his mind in reference to his lack of confidence in Mr. McCarron.

The next thing he heard was on Tuesday afternoon. His Minister called him in and told him that he had serious news for him. This was on Tuesday the 24th of November when he told him that he had been that day dismissed from his position as permanent head of the Department by the unanimous decision of the Executive Council. I ask Deputies to remember that fact which has not been contradicted. It has appeared in the public Press under Mr. McCarron's own name. The Minister informed him on Tuesday that he had been dismissed that day by the unanimous vote of the Executive Council. Mr. McCarron over his own name in the public Press took responsibility for that statement. I will read it from the Irish Press so that the Government cannot doubt its accuracy.

"The Minister had not read the papers concerning Doctor Blake's position until after my dismissal at the Executive Council meeting."

That statement appeared in the Irish Press on 1st December, 1936— that is over two months ago. I repeat here now what has not been contradicted by the Minister, that he, without telling Mr. McCarron that he had any fault to find with him, and without giving him any opportunity of making his defence or of knowing the charges against him, went in to a meeting of the Executive Council on Tuesday, 21st of last November, and secured from the Executive Council, by what means we cannot know or judge, a unanimous order dismissing Mr. McCarron from his post as permanent head of the Department without knowing the facts, without being in a position to tell the Executive Council the facts, without having the file with him, without having read the file. Could any greater indictment be made against any man, or any public man, than the mere statement of the bald facts I have just made? Can anybody conceive of a greater piece of injustice being perpetrated against any man than has been perpetrated by the present Minister for Local Government and Public Health with the full connivance of the President and his colleagues?

What has the result been? Mr. McCarron got his full pension. I shall advert to that in a moment. If there was anything wrong he should not have got a pension. So sure as if the President and his colleagues had put their hands into the pockets of Mr. McCarron and his wife and young family and stolen therefrom £300 a year for the next 15 years, so sure have they been guilty of the sin of injustice and theft. May I read, for the delectation of the President and his colleagues, an extract from the current issue of the Irish Ecclesiastical Record? It is late for them, so far as Mr. McCarron is concerned, perhaps, to take this into their serious consideration, but at least, if this motion does not do anything more, it will expose the hypocrisy and the pompous humbug that surrounds the Minister for Local Government and Public Health in connection with this transaction and in connection with his public utterances about it. In the current issue of the Irish Ecclesiastical Record a reverend gentleman, writing in connection with constitution-making, says this:

"No matter how excellent our country's constitution may be, we should be ceaseless in our efforts towards making those that man it a little less selfish, a little less uncharitable, a little less ready to forget that the Moral Law binds as surely and as scrupulously in public life as it does in private life. When all is said and done, it is not by having a republic or a two-chamber legislature, or by any such institutional device, that we will be assured of having a good government. No; the best safeguard of the liberties of citizens and the best guarantee that citizens will be well governed lie elsewhere. They lie in a conscience tender and well-informed in the Christian principles of justice and charity on the part of the government personnel."

Can any fair-minded man or woman in this country think that the Minister for Local Government and Public Health or the President or any of his colleagues, who must share responsibility for this action in regard to Mr. McCarron—can any fair-minded person think that the Government personnel had a conscience tender and well-informed in the Christian principles of justice and charity when they dismissed Mr. McCarron without telling him what they had against him, what charge they were making against him, and without giving an opportunity of being heard in his own defence, and leaving slanders and libels being disseminated throughout the length and breadth of the country for the last two months without taking any steps to give the reason why this action was taken? In mere justice to Mr. McCarron, should he not have been afforded an opportunity?

Let me go back to a mere recital of the facts. I told Deputies that the Minister for Local Government and Public Health, without having given the slightest notice to Mr. McCarron that he intended to bring this matter before the Executive Council or that he had any grievance whatever against Mr. McCarron, informed him on Tuesday that he had been dismissed. Mr. McCarron asked why he had been dismissed and he replied that he had not given him his full confidence. More pompous humbug—he had not given him his full confidence! He said that he had not given him his full confidence. Why, then, did the Minister give him his hospitality in the precincts of this House only a few days before, and why did he extend to him the hospitality of his car to bring him here a few days before? Why did he praise Mr. McCarron only a short time previously before the representatives of industry and business in this country if he had not his confidence? Mr. McCarron asked him there and then: "Why have I not got your confidence?" and the Minister was not able to tell him, on Tuesday 20th, why he had not got it. Having perpetrated this outrage, this gross injustice, this gross breach of the moral law, as I say, he was not able to tell him why he had done it. He had not read the file and did not know anything about the facts. Then Mr. McCarron, on the following Thursday, wrote a letter to the Government, or to the President—I forget which—asking that he be informed of the reasons that moved the Government to take this action. To that he got no reply and has never since got a reply. The Government met on Friday the 28th and made another order —this time a formal order—dismissing Mr. McCarron, or, to adopt the phraseology then used, removing him from his office, and granting him the fullest pension they were able to give him under the existing superannuation code. It would be interesting to go through the superannuation code in order to find out the power that illegally justified the Executive Council in doing that. It would be found that they got that power, not because they had no confidence in Mr. McCarron, but because they had the fullest confidence in him; and, because their consciences were uneasy, they gave him this conscience money. This pension is nothing else but conscience money. The money Mr. McCarron got from the Government is nothing but conscience money—inadequate conscience money, I admit, but still nothing more or less than conscience money, because the section under which they have power to give this pension is one that deals with the reorganisation of a Department for the purpose, if you please, of economy. Economy, indeed! Getting rid——

If the Deputy is making the point——

——of Mr. McCarron without giving him——

If the Deputy is making a point about that section, he ought to quote it in full.

After so many years of constant and devoted service in the public service, and having far greater experience than any other official in this country has in connection with the affairs of this Department, they are saddling the taxpayers with that pension in order to bolster up the panic-stricken action of a member of the Government. That is what they did. If they had no confidence in Mr. McCarron, their duty was clear. If Mr. McCarron had done anything which merited dismissal, their duty was equally clear. They should have dismissed him without a pension. He had his rights. He could go to the Civil Service Compensation Tribunal and claim his rights under Article 10 of the Treaty and have it assessed by an independent and impartial tribunal. The Minister would have been entitled to be there, and would have been entitled to tell that impartial tribunal: "You ought not to give any compensation to Mr. McCarron because he has failed in his duty as a public servant, and we are entitled to dismiss him without compensation." They did not even do that. They did not even take the way of granting him his pension under the Civil Service Compensation Act of 1925 or of an order of the Civil Service Compensation Tribunal. They gave him the conscience money in order to try to quell the storm of public disapproval that they knew their action was bound to give rise to.

One of the Ministers rang up Mr. McCarron before the second meeting on the Friday, asking him would he take another job. He was offered a job as Supernumerary Commissioner of Public Works. They had no confidence in him. He could not give his confidence to the Minister for Local Government and Public Health or to the Parliamentary Secretary, Dr. Ward; but he was good enough to give his confidence to, or to be cast upon, the Minister for Finance or his Parliamentary Secretary, Mr. Flinn, in the Board of Public Works. The only reason that has been given or extracted from the Government since this affair has taken place is this rubbish about confidence given to the Minister. The Government are confounded out of their own mouths by their own actions. If they had a lack of confidence in him as a public official, they had no right to offer him a new position or to foist him on another Department or to foist him as a pensioner on the taxpayers of this country.

He was removed on Friday, the 24th, by the second order or decision of the Executive Council. We know nothing about the first order, but as indicating that that order was made, we have the uncontradicted statement of Mr. McCarron that the Minister told him on the Tuesday that he was dismissed by the Executive Council. He was again dismissed on the Friday and this time for the last time.

Now, Mr. McCarron found himself not merely out of the position which he had honourably held for years but he found himself faced with a whispering campaign throughout the country by the Fianna Fáil Party, to try to bolster up this action of the Government. He found that even decent people were suspicious and were profoundly uneasy about the whole transaction. It has come to our knowledge that many decent people in this State are worried about this transaction and feel that there must be something more behind it. I ask Deputies, if they have any sense of justice or fair play, is Mr. McCarron not entitled to a tribunal where he might face an inquiry in the eyes of the public? He cannot get any satisfaction from the Government. He wrote later that letter in which he explained his position. He asked the President to grant him an interview but he was not granted that interview. He wrote a letter and the only thing he could extract from the Ministry, in reply to his request to tell him why it was that he was dismissed, to enable him to vindicate his honour, integrity and efficiency, was the letter which appeared in the Press last week. It was a letter dated the 24th December, 1936, from the Secretary of the Executive Council to Mr. McCarron in reply to his letter of 16th December—eight days afterwards. It took them eight days to think how on earth they would phrase something that would appear to hold water in the eyes of the public and then they evolved this extraordinary and amazing missive:

"I am directed by the President to acknowledge receipt of your letter. He desires me to say that it was with great regret that the Executive Council came to its recent decision in your regard. As you realise, however, the relations between the Secretary of a Department and his Minister are of peculiar importance. In the interests of efficient administration, it is necessary that the Minister, in addition to trusting in the Secretary's integrity and efficiency, should have complete confidence in his discretion and general appreciation of Government policy."

We have that extraordinary phrase "general appreciation of Government policy"—Government policy in reference to jobs that are dictated to them by Fianna Fáil clubs throughout the country. There is no other meaning in that phrase, when you think of jobbery like that attempted at Ballinasloe, where the whole pack were round Ministers for the last seven or eight months. Appreciation of Government policy in connection with jobs and jobbery and political intrigue —that is what civil servants need to have in future. The letter goes on:

"Certain incidents, of which you are aware, culminating in your action in relation to the Portrane appointment, made the Minister for Local Government and Public Health feel that he could no longer have such confidence in you, and the Executive Council consequently decided that your retention in your post as Secretary would not be possible. The President directs me to add that the Council would have been glad to avail of your services in another position in the public service, had you been willing to accept it."

The President would have been glad to avail of the services of this man who was not fit to be a public servant! What sort of responsibility is that in any President of an Executive Council? There is only one explanation of that, that the President was uneasy in his conscience and felt that even the inadequate conscience money he had given would not be sufficient to stifle the whisperings of his own conscience.

Mr. McCarron wrote a long letter repudiating the suggestions contained in that letter. He denied that he was aware of certain incidents as stated in the letter of the Secretary to the President of the 24th December. He asked to be told what these incidents were and he emphatically stated that there were no such incidents. To that again he got no adequate reply. He has got, in the last few days, a letter dated the 27th January in reply to his letter of the 5th January. Twenty-two days this time they took to evolve this missive. This letter from the Secretary, dated 27th January, 1937, has not been published in the Press and that is why I read it. It states:—

"I am directed by the President to state that he has fully considered your letter of the 5th instant. In reply I am to state that the decision of the Executive Council in your regard was arrived at after full and mature consideration. You have already been informed of the reason for the decision, namely, that the Minister for Local Government and Public Health felt that he could no longer have that complete confidence in your discretion and general appreciation of Government policy"—

we have that marvellous phrase repeated again—

"which in the interests of efficient administration it is necessary for a Minister to have in the Secretary of his Department. As there is nothing to add to the statement conveyed to you on the 24th December, the President feels that no purpose would be served by further correspondence."

Then there is a close down. The Minister, we are told, had no confidence in Mr. McCarron and the President so far agreed with the Minister for Local Government and Public Health in his view that he had no confidence in Mr. McCarron, that he concurred in his removal and concurred in the offer of an appointment to this man who was not worthy to have the confidence of the Vice-President. Apparently he is worthy to have the confidence of some other Minister but not of the Vice-President. The Vice-President is something apart from any other Minister in the Cabinet. The Minister for Finance fades into insignificance compared with the Vice-President. Another job is offered to him with another Minister. He is offered a responsible position, the man in whom neither the Executive Council nor the Minister for Local Government and Public Health was able to say they had any confidence. That is the way the matter stands now on the facts. I put it to any fair-minded Deputy in this House is that not a complete justification for the demand we put forward here, that all these matters should be investigated by an impartial tribunal in the interests of Mr. McCarron? Justice, decency and fair play require it. The public interest also requires it.

I have emphasised here up to the present Mr. McCarron's personality in connection with this matter. Before I pass to make a few short observations on the way this matter impinges on this community as a whole, and on the interests of public officials, I want to make one further reference to Mr. McCarron. I have adverted several times to the whispering campaign that has been set on foot by the followers of Fianna Fáil and to the uneasiness that is felt even by decent people in connection with this matter. I want to know what is the reason at the back of all this. There is, apparently, on Mr. McCarron's statement, and even on the President's letter, no reason to justify his dismissal. People feel that there is something at the back of it all. It is due to Mr. McCarron that that feeling should be dissipated. The best way to get it dissipated is to appoint some impartial tribunal to go into all the facts and to put all the papers before them. It is due to Mr. McCarron and his young family, due to their prospects in life for the future. It is due to him on ordinary Catholic moral principles that some action should be taken by the Government to see that the stigma of the innuendoes and the slanders that are going round the country should not be allowed to remain either on Mr. McCarron, his wife or his children.

I am going now to give immortality in the pages of the journal of this House to a gentleman of whom I never heard before, and of whom I do not want ever to hear again, a gentleman of the name of Tracey, whose name appears in the Cork Examiner of January 21st, 1937, as attending a meeting which the Vice-President addressed and made the speech to which I have already adverted. Mr. Horgan, of the Chamber of Commerce, had asked the Minister in justice to Mr. McCarron to make some statement in reference to Mr. McCarron and the Minister had got out of the difficulty by resorting to what I have described in the course of my remarks as the pompous humbug of which he is such a past master. He said:

"I am not going to answer any questions regarding him. What I have said about the Government acting with a full sense of its responsibility bears upon that action as well as upon every other action the Government has taken as a Government since it came into office."

That is the flapdoodle and humbug the Minister is trying to get away with in connection with this transaction. Up gets Mr. Tracey, and he is reported as saying——

Who, in the Dáil, is responsible for Mr. Tracey?

I am speaking on the necessity for the appointment of a special tribunal because of the innuendoes that are going around. I am referring to a statement made by a member of the Cork Chamber of Commerce. While the Minister was saying this, Mr. R. Tracey, H.C., called out: "We are not going to be bossed by any Castle clique. Sack the whole damn lot of them and it would be a better job." That is the sort of thing the members of the Fianna Fáil Party may hesitate to say, because of the law of slander, because juries, irrespective of political affiliations, will not stand over these gross slanders of public men. They will hesitate to say that Mr. McCarron was guilty of selling public property, of doing something which involved moral guilt, but they will spread that sort of thing which to the ordinary, unthinking mind, bears a horrible innuendo. Mr. McCarron is one of the "Castle clique." He was educated at the same school at which I had the honour to be educated—the Christian Brothers' school at North Richmond Street. He was a member of the Gaelic League for many years, subscribed to it, and was a member of the sub-committee. He forced his way upwards in the ranks of the British Civil Service here at a time when that was practically an impossible job. It was certainly a Herculean job under the Local Government Board, as it existed prior to the change of Government. He did that by merit and nothing else and all the time he remained a Catholic and an Irishman. When it is said that he is a member of "the old Castle clique," I hope the Minister for Local Government will now, even belatedly, have the decency to repudiate it.

I have occupied the attention of the House too long, but I must refer to the incidence of this matter on public officials and on the public service generally. This is a matter of supreme importance to Mr. McCarron. He must be vindicated in some way. I hope I have done my part in his public vindication in the country. Time does not permit me to say all I should like to say in this connection. We gather from a report in the Press that the Government have brought up their supporters by means of a special Whip to outvote this motion and defeat it. We have heard a number of killing slanders put around by members of the Fianna Fáil Party in connection with Mr. McCarron. The issue is important to him, but it is also important to the community. In the first speech I made in this Assembly, I dealt with the dismissal of another public official, and I said at that time that it appeared to me that the Government wished to have about them in the key positions of the public service only what the Americans call "nodders" and "yes men." I was right then, and the action in this case emphasises that. Every civil servant, from the most junior to the most senior official, knows that his position depends upon—to use the phrase in the Secretary's letter—"appreciation of Government policy." He is not to give an independent and impartial view on the problems that fall to be dealt with by him from day to day. Whether he is a senior or a junior clerk or a so-called permanent head of a Department, he is to act in the interests of the Government's political policy, in the interest of their jobbery, intrigue and corruption. Civil servants have no longer any sense of security of tenure. Their jobs now depend upon their being adherents of whatever political Party happens to be in power for the time being. If they do anything contrary to the political views of that Party, out they go. That does not conduce to efficiency in the Civil Service and does not make for a loyal or dependable Civil Service. The community, as a whole, are entitled to be assured that the civil servant will advise whatever Minister is in power for the time being to the best of his ability on the problems that fall to him to advise upon from day to day. They are entitled to be assured that, honestly and to the best of his skill and ability, the civil servant will give an opinion absolutely independent of political Party motives. Otherwise the Civil Service is nothing but a corrupt political machine and the sooner it is got rid of the better.

While this motion involves the interests of Mr. McCarron, it also involves the security and integrity of the Civil Service. It involves the interest of the community, as a whole, in having an efficient, impartial and independent Civil Service to advise political Ministers, who come and go. That being so, the case is complete for appointment of this tribunal. If the Government refuse, only one interpretation can be placed upon their action. They have acted unjustly, harshly and without justification towards Mr. McCarron. They have refused to give him any explanation of the reasons why he was dismissed. They have not allowed him any opportunity to answer the charges or alleged charges— because no charges really exist— against him. He demands a public inquiry, whatever its nature may be— I am not interested in its form; whether it be a judicial committee or a committee of the Dáil—for his vindication. In addition, the interest of public officials, both in the Civil Service and in local affairs, requires that that be done. If the Government refuse to comply with this motion, judgment will go against them by default. We, who support this motion and speak to it, are addressing the members in the House, but we are also addressing a wider jury outside this House. We have stood as a Party and have made very great sacrifices as a political Party—the individuals who are leaders of this Party have made very great personal sacrifices—in the interest of justice, truth and honour.

We stand for justice here. The Minister for Local Government, who has been guilty of a gross breach of the moral law, smiled here to-day publicly at a reference by me to justice. We demand justice, if not from this Government from the jury outside. The judgment of every decent-minded person in the community will go against the Government and in particular against the Minister for Local Government and Public Health.

I beg formally to second the motion. I presume the Minister is anxious to get in now.

We will want to hear a little more.

Do you? It is quite characteristic, the usual dodge so that you cannot be answered. I am not surprised. I watched the President and the Vice-President while listening to one of the most eloquent speeches I have ever listened to in this House, and I am not surprised that neither of them is anxious to answer that speech. They are adopting the usual practice. The President is now handing it down to the other members of his Government that they dare not put up anything and leave sufficient time to answer. Again and again he has tried that particular practice here. He is pursuing now. Does the President or the Vice-President hold that there is no case to answer, that they have not heard enough, that an indictment such as the terrible one to which we have listened is one that can be lightly thrown aside by the usual practice of the President to run away from the issue and to speak so late that there would be no opportunity of answering the misstatements and the misleading arguments of the Government? Here is a case in which elementary justice is in question and that practice is to be followed to prevent the Dáil and to prevent the country being provided with adequate time to hear an answer to any case made by the President or the Vice-President. We all admit that nobody wishes to discuss these personal things in this House if it could possibly be avoided. There is always an element of embarrassment where they are concerned, and it is only a sense of duty that compels people in the position of those on the front Opposition Bench to put down a motion of this kind, a sense of duty to the country, a sense of duty to the Civil Service and a sense of duty demanding that a wrong that has been done should be righted, at least so far as it is now possible to right it.

I do not think Deputy Costello overstated the case when he spoke of the shock with which the country and the Civil Service received the news of the dismissal of Mr. McCarron. I ask members of the Executive Council to remember this: that we are all, I presume, destined to finish our lives in this country. That being so, it is of vital interest to us to see that the Government of this country is clean; to see that one of the principal props on which the State rests is above suspicion. Does anybody pretend that the action of the Government in this matter within the last two months is such as to ensure that feeling of confidence on the part of the public and on the part of the Civil Service? If they had made up their minds to undermine the confidence and to shake the morale of the Civil Service could they have gone a better way about it than the way they proceeded in this particular case? We should not tolerate in the case of the Government dealing with civil servants what would not be tolerated for a moment in the case of a private individual dealing with his employees. Imagine such a thing taking place in any big business or in any big undertaking in this State at the present time —a man dismissed on the mere whim— because that is practically what it comes to—of a Minister of the Executive without reasons given, or reasons asked for; without any inquiry, with absolute refusal to go beyond the statement that he was dismissed—for that is practically what the President's letter comes to.

That is not an example of just dealing that the Government should show the country. The Government, and no one more than the President and the Vice-President, make great play with Christian principles. Is this an example of the application of even the most fundamental Christian principles? Christian principles are well to talk of when they cost nothing, but whenever there is an opportunity the Government violates them with little or no provocation. "They have the power and they will exercise it!" What is that but the very denial of such principles in the public and moral spheres? I am well aware of it and the "hear, hear" that I heard from the benches opposite—even rather shame-faced—that reached this side when we had a quotation from Mr. Tracey of Cork. It did not require the "hear, hear" given to that particular statement from the opposite benches to convince us that some, at least, of the followers of the Fianna Fáil Party will be delighted at the action taken by the Government. I know perfectly well that there are a number of people whose views are represented by that "hear, hear," but there are very many more decent men in Fianna Fáil whose minds are extremely uneasy and whose consciences are uneasy about this whole business. Remember, we are all responsible, as this House elected the Government and stands by the Government in its majority, and the Government is responsible for this particular action. Anyone who has the future welfare and the present reputation of this country at heart cannot but look with dislike and dismay at the action and conduct of the Government in this matter.

I confess it is extremely difficult to estimate the damage that has already been done by the action taken by the Government at the latter end of last year. Damage has been done, and it will be extremely difficult to remedy that damage now by any action that this House may take. But, at least, it can do something, it can go some distance to minimise that damage; it can go some distance to convince the public that men who perform their duty are not there to be dismissed; it can go some distance to allay the fears of the Civil Service that because they follow their conscience and give sound advice to a Minister they will be dismissed. If an inquiry of the kind we ask for is set up, something might be done, not merely to right the wrong, but something might also be done to restore some of the lost confidence before irreparable damage has been done to the public service and to the country. I am rather surprised that the Minister is not aware of the fact that confidence has been shaken. It may be that that lack of confidence —I cannot describe it as anything else except real fear—that prevails at present in the higher ranks of the Civil Service may have not as yet gone downwards from the higher ranks. But you know perfectly well that it will go down, and go through all the ranks; that there is no reason why you should stop at the higher civil servants—at secretaries of Departments. If this kind of injustice is to be meted out to men who do their duty, there is no reason why the Vice-President of the Executive Council— who apparently stood silent when Mr. Tracey was interrupting him in Cork —should not bring it down to the ordinary members of the Civil Service. Is there any reason why they should get better shrift than Mr. McCarron? It is not merely the confidence of the higher branches of the Civil Service that has been shaken. It is not merely there that fear is to be felt; it will inevitably be felt right through. It is to the interests of every one of those servants who served this Government—as they served the last Government—faithfully, that this case should be probed to the bottom, and that we should have some reason given for the extraordinary action of the President and the Vice-President in this particular matter.

What is the feeling now? Is the President unaware of it? Is the Vice-President unaware of the fear that exists in the ranks of the civil servants? Is he unaware that now the watchword is "Tread warily. Be careful what advice you give the Minister. Take account of his political susceptibilities. If you do not, in the language of some years ago, ‘you are for it'." Is the Minister aware or is he unaware that that is the feeling widespread amongst certain ranks of the Civil Service at the present moment? Can he understand how it could be otherwise? Can he understand how his conduct is not bound inevitably to have that result? How can it fail to have it? Take the case of a civil servant occupying the position that Mr. McCarron held—a civil servant who had bouquets continually thrown at him in public by the Minister. I mention a few of the places in which it was done publicly, to show you what the alleged lack of appreciation of Government policy means. Publicly the Minister—some-times there were Deputies present— again and again spoke in appreciation of Mr. McCarron's great work in the Department. I presume that is the policy of the Department; I will come to the question in a moment whether it can be anything else. In Arklow, Athy, Ballinasloe, Ballyshannon, Carlow, Dundalk, Cork, Dungarvan, Dun Laoghaire, Ennis, Limerick, Nenagh, Tullow and Waterford the Minister took the unusual step of going out of his way to throw bouquets at the man who he now says has not his confidence, and has not the necessary appreciation of the general lines of Government policy! After all those— I do not say fulsome; they were deserved—open tributes to the work of Mr. McCarron, to the integrity and value of Mr. McCarron to the Department, is the Minister now asking the House and the country to believe that this man did not understand what the general lines of Government policy were? On the face of it the thing is absolutely ridiculous.

"In the interests of efficient administration, it is necessary that the Minister, in addition to trusting the secretary's integrity and efficiency, should have complete confidence in his discretion and general appreciation of Government policy." At a dinner given by the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce the Minister said he was glad Mr. McCarron was there on that particular occasion so that he could pay tribute to the excellent work he had done for the Department. What, then, does the Minister require? As head of a Department, where was there lack of appreciation of the policy of the Minister? If so, in what? There was one thing, and one thing only. The whole context points to one thing only—appointments, jobs. That is the one thing for which Mr. McCarron has never stood—anything in the nature of political pressure in regard to appointments. For ten years he did not stand for any pressure brought by Deputies or anybody else. He did not stand for it, I have no doubt, in the case of the present Government either. He gave his sound, honest advice. Is it for that he was sacrificed? Has the Minister indicated, since he took this extraordinary action, what other course could have been pursued or should have been pursued either in the Ballinasloe case or in the Portrane case? Has he indicated that in public? Does he think the public has no right to know those things? Does he think they should wait until it is dragged out of him here—if it is dragged out here in the Dail—some attempt to make an answer to those questions? Does he suggest that Dr. Blake should have been dismissed when there was a rearrangement of positions there in connection with the Grangegorman and Portrane Asylums? Does he suggest that he should have been dismissed? I am waiting to hear the Minister say "Yes." If not, what other line was there to pursue except his nominal promotion in the way in which he was nominally promoted?

In the Ballinasloe case—I do not think Mr. McCarron had anything to do with it—was not the ordinary precedent followed? What happened then? The Minister himself told Mr. McCarron, at that famous interview, that he had got into hot water as a result of what was done in Portrane having in view what was done in Ballinasloe. That is the whole offence. Because the only procedure and the proper procedure was followed; because the Minister got into panic, into hysteria, so far as his own followers in a certain portion of Ireland were concerned, the secretary of the Department has to go. The Minister is in trouble with his political followers because he administered—as he is bound to administer—according to the precedent in connection with those appointments, and the secretary has to go! That is a nice sense of responsibility on the part of the Minister. Every Government has to meet attacks of this kind in connection with those appointments, but this is the first time that I have seen the secretary of a Department dismissed because the Minister followed the ordinary precedent in regard to those appointments, and followed the only course that was open to him. There may be people who are degraded enough to be placated by the action now taken by the Minister. If that is so, I am sorry even for the lowest ranks—I am speaking morally—of the Fianna Fáil Party. If the Minister thinks he has covered his dispute with his followers in Ballinasloe by dismissing the secretary of his Department, whom, time and again, he went out of his way to compliment on the excellent work that he has done for the Department, he has undoubtedly a low conception of some of his supporters. Possibly he is right; he may be speaking from experience.

You pay civil servants highly—some of them highly. What for? To flatter you, is it? Is that the idea, or is it to give to the Minister sound advice, which he may or may not follow? That is his privilege; he can make up his mind. But surely what you pay a man highly for is to give you what he thinks is the proper thing, not what he thinks you want? Is not that the obvious reason why you pay a man a high salary—because you think his opinion worth something; not because, beforehand, if I may use the phrase, he will give you what he thinks is already in your mind? The man would not be worth £3 a week if that is all you wanted him for, but apparently that is now the headline set out by the Minister for Local Government and by the President to the Civil Service of this country—"God help you if you give your opinions, if you have not an appreciation of the political outlook of the Government." That is what it comes to. That is the only way in which any responsible civil servant can read the present action of the Government.

This affects not merely people in the high position of Mr. McCarron; it affects others as well. Mr. McCarron rose to that high position from the lower ranks of the Civil Service. The action of the Government affects, as I have said, not merely highly-paid officials, but everyone in Government employment. I wonder whether this is an effort on the part of the Government to prove the necessity of Deputy Norton's motion in connection with the Civil Service? If they were anxious to create a scandal in order to make it absolutely necessary for the House to accept a motion of that kind, they could not go a better way about it. Are they relying on the fact that civil servants hold office at their pleasure? They are certainly interpreting the word "pleasure" in a very unethical and non-legal sense. Surely this was done because of a whim of the Minister for Local Government when he was in a pet? I wonder did he threaten to resign if Mr. McCarron was not dismissed? I find it hard to believe that any body of men who call themselves responsible could have acted as the Executive Council acted—even then their action would be inexcusable unless something of the kind occurred.

What is the explanation of their action? I have had acquaintance with the work of civil servants for years. I have always spoken of it highly. There is a great deal of misinformed criticism of the Civil Service in this country. I have watched officials working and I have come into contact with many of them, especially the higher officials, both in my capacity as a Deputy and as a Minister, and I may say that I have nothing but admiration for the work and the genuine devotion to duty of the great bulk of them. Amongst the hardest worked and the most zealous of civil servants was the man whose case we are discussing here to-day. When I was first elected to this House the only time I could see that man, who was then head of his Department, was when he ought to have been at home, between 7 and 8 o'clock at night. That was the only time when I could see him to draw his attention to certain matters, because he was so busy during his ordinary working hours.

I do not think that the President, or the Vice-President, would have the impudence to pretend that that man did not give the same loyal, self-sacrificing service to his Government as he gave to the previous Government. Is there any suggestion that he did not? Why the dismissal without the slightest attempt at investigation? That is the amazing thing about it. When did the dismissal take place, on the 24th or the 28th? On what occasion did the full and careful consideration, which is referred to in the last letter expressing the President's views, take place, the full investigation of the case on the part of the Executive Council? What kind of an investigation did they make? Did they even once ask this high official, whose work nobody praised as much as the present Minister, for an explanation of anything? Did they give him an opportunity of putting his case before them? Did they not dismiss first? There was, I admit, a note submitted by Mr. McCarron on the Portrane case telling the Minister quite truly there should be no reason why he should be uneasy about that, that the course adopted was the proper and only course. Beyond that, was there a single opportunity given to this civil servant to put his case before either the Minister or the Executive Council? Is that the conception of justice that prevails in the Executive Council?

Certain events occurred. On Friday the Minister expressed a certain amount of uneasiness over certain news that appeared in the Press with reference to Portrane, which he wrongly relates to certain events that occurred in Ballinasloe. On Tuesday, when Mr. McCarron goes in to him, he says: "I have not much for you to-day, Minister," and the Minister says: "Well, I have very serious news for you. The Executive Council have unanimously dismissed you.""Why?""You no longer have my confidence.""Why?""You no longer have my confidence.""In what instance, and how, have I forfeited your confidence?""You no longer have my confidence." It was a mere reiteration, parrot-like, of that particular phrase. Apparently that was all that could be got out of the Vice-President or that has since been got out of the Executive Council in connection with this matter.

The Minister was challenged again and again. "Had I your confidence last week when we were in such and such a consultation?""Had I your confidence when you spoke of me at that dinner given by the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce?""Had I your confidence then?" No reply, no instance given by the Minister in which there was any sacrifice of confidence on the part of Mr. McCarron except the Portrane instance, and there was no justification to show why that should have induced the Minister to lose confidence in Mr. McCarron. Quite the contrary. But the Executive Council and the Minister take refuge in the fact that they have the power and they will use it. That is not just.

You have dismissed a man who has served this country and this Government exceptionally well, as the Minister himself has so often proclaimed. You have dismissed him without giving him an opportunity of being heard, without asking him what case he had to make. The Minister for some reason was in a panic or was affected with hysteria of some kind. That is the only explanation the public can see. Since then there have been rumours. Why should not there be rumours? How could it be otherwise? The Executive Council do not profess to attack the integrity of this particular official. Do the Executive Council not know the ability of many of their followers to whisper all sorts of things for which they cannot be brought to book, to whisper these things through the country? What is the ordinary man to think when you have an apparently responsible Government taking this action? Surely the drastic action cannot have been taken on the case put up by the Minister for Local Government? I have not met a single person in the country who believed that that is the reason for the dismissal. How could they or anybody else believe it? The thing is too nonsensical.

Do not the Executive Council see the grave injustice they are doing this particular official by the action they have taken and by now refusing an inquiry into the whole matter so that we will know definitely where we are both as regards the justice of this case and the foul slanders that are going about without a tittle of foundation? An important point is involved as regards the confidence the Civil Service as a whole will have in the Government. It often takes the Executive Council a long time to make up their mind. It is often extremely difficult to get definite and clear statements from members of the Executive Council, and particularly from the President and Vice-President, but there was no lack of haste in this particular case.

The Minister and Mr. McCarron were on friendly terms on Thursday and Mr. McCarron was dismissed on the following Tuesday. Is not that the sequence of events? That was certainly quick going and all the time no hint was given to him that he was to be dismissed or that his case was discussed by the Executive Council or even a hint that his case was going to be discussed by them. I am speaking now of the 24th. He was dismissed then and he knew he was dismissed, for he was informed, but apparently it was on the 28th that he was finally dismissed. When was the careful consideration given to the case? Where was the careful consideration to which the President's letter refers when he writes:—"After full and mature consideration"? Where is the evidence of either full or mature consideration of that case? Was there any inquiry into the matter? Who held the inquiry when a dismissal was decided on, on the 24th? There was no inquiry on which the Executive Council could act and no evidence was brought forward by the Department. Was Mr. McCarron himself called upon? Not a bit. Surely that is a violation of the most ordinary canons of justice and not merely a violation of justice but of decency. Not merely a violation of Christian morality but a violation over which pagan morality would not stand. A man with any morality would be shocked by proceedings of that kind. What is it all about? Simply an emotional brain storm on the part of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health to which the Executive Council give way. That is the best explanation we have got of the action of the Government in connection with this matter.

We have here a high official who never knew he was to be dismissed until he was told that he had been dismissed. He never knew he had a case to meet until he was told he was dismissed. The Minister will apparently say that the confidence of the Civil Service is unchecked. I am expecting to hear irresponsible statements from the Minister and I expect him to take that particular line. When during the long years so far as work is concerned, and so far as the work accomplished by Mr. McCarron is concerned during the association of the Minister with Mr. McCarron, was there any real disagreement between them on matters of policy? Can the Minister show any disagreements? Can he explain that the obvious and only interpretation that can be put on the President's first letter is the one put upon it by Deputy Costello? Remember we are told that integrity or efficiency are not enough. Efficiency on the part of a secretary surely includes appreciation of the general policy of the Government or the general policy of the Minister. How could you have an efficient secretary of a department unless he gave full satisfaction in that respect? Whatever else does this addendum mean except the obvious interpretation that Deputy Costello put on it? Apparently Mr. McCarron was to act as a kind of screen for jobs by the political Party opposite. I would be glad to hear the Minister give an explanation. "Integrity will not do.""Efficiency will not do." How can a secretary be efficient if he is not in harmony with the policy of his Ministers? The President knows perfectly well what his letter written in connection with the two appointments means. There was the Ballinasloe appointment and the Portrane appointment. The President's letter must be read with each of these two cases in mind because in the Ballinasloe case there was a row because a certain appointment was not made. The President's letter can have no other interpretation for members of the Civil Service except the one put upon it to-day. Then the letter goes on—and I suggest in a very cowardly fashion, because there is no explanation of it given afterwards though such an explanation was asked for—it was merely an effort to cover the tracks of the Minister in this matter—"certain incidents of which you are aware culminating in your action in connection with the Portrane appointment." What were they? Were they incidents in connection with that appointment or not, or were there other incidents? What is the meaning of the President's letter? In that particular case he was asked by the man that he had dismissed without inquiry, to mention these incidents and not one of them has been mentioned up to this. What is that but a cowardly subterfuge to try to cover over the conduct of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health and the Executive Council in this matter? What else does it mean? Mr. McCarron in his letter of January 5th said he knew no such incidents. Deputies will notice that the letter on behalf of the President says "certain incidents of which you are aware". The man accused says he knows of no such incidents and he asked to be told what these incidents were. Has he been told them? He has not. In his last letter the President reiterates—and I notice that the letter was not sent until this notice of motion was handed in—his previous reply. There are a number of serious issues involved in this particular case. A grave injustice has been done. The Government is always under the impression that because it has the power to do things, it can do these things again and again and without any restraint by the moral law. It claims that the civil servants hold office at the pleasure of the Executive Council. I am not going into that now.

Certainly it was never intended that civil servants could be dismissed without a moment's notice and for no reason. The other day in England three men working in Devonport were dismissed, but only after an inquiry into their conduct. They were doing technical work and confidential work. Even there they were not dismissed without a careful inquiry. I am not going into the question whether that inquiry was or was not adequate. It did not give satisfaction to all parties, but an inquiry was held. Even the British whom you run down did not proceed to ignore the canons of justice to the extent which the Minister for Local Government and Public Health and the Executive Council has done in this case. Are these the foundations on which you are to build a new Ireland? Is this your conception of justice? On the grounds of ordinary decency and on the grounds of ordinary justice it is the business of the Dáil to support this particular motion. There is no other way of clearing up the matter. In the interest of this country, in justice to the Civil Service and in justice to Mr. McCarron, there is no other way to clear up this matter except by a full inquiry. Therefore it is that we are asking for this inquiry. It is very hard to tell how far this case will shock the whole Civil Service. I believe it will. I believe it has done so already. My information is to that effect, and I have no reason to doubt the correctness of that information. I cannot see how it could be otherwise. But this Government cares nothing for justice, they care nothing for the welfare of the Civil Service and the welfare of the State, so long as they can give temporary satisfaction to certain political supporters of theirs. That is the only explanation of their action that I can see. That is the only explanation that we have heard of the conduct of the Government up to the present.

This motion is a motion to set up a committee to review a judgment taken by legal and competent judges on a matter connected with administration in the Civil Service. Now, the day that an Executive Council allows another body to be set up to review a judgment which it has arrived at, after full consideration, then on that day that Government has to disappear. The only way that a Government can deal with a resolution of this sort is to regard it as a motion of censure, and it is as a motion of censure that we are regarding it, and it is as a motion of censure that we propose to resist it.

Now, we have listened to two ex parte statements made from the opposite benches. All sorts of allegations have been made against the Government: their corruption and their want of justice and all the rest of it. There has not been, during the whole time, an attempt to consider what is the position of the secretary of a Department in relation to his Minister, and what these relations must of necessity be if there is to be efficient administration of the public services at all. I wonder how many Deputies in the House will disagree with something which I had occasion to quote when the matter of the dismissal of General O'Duffy was here formally before the House. On that occasion I reminded the House that, in connection with that particular matter, a former Minister for Justice had said:

"The law, however, does envisage the possibility of circumstances arising which, without reflecting any discredit on the individual concerned, might render it undesirable in the interests of the State that he should be any longer permitted to retain his appointment."

Why is the secretary of a Department of State specially to be appointed by the Executive Council? If the position is of such importance that the appointment has to be made by the Executive Council, is there anybody who will hold that, if it is in the interests generally of the public administration that it should be made by the Executive Council, that it should not be revoked by the Executive Council?

What are the relations between a Minister and the secretary of a Department? One of the speakers this evening spoke of the daily miracle of the work that is performed by the head of a Department, but remember that for that daily miracle the Minister is responsible, for every item of it, and how can the Minister of a Department possibly be responsible for it if confidence between him and the secretary does not prevail—the utmost confidence? If, in the course of their intimate contact, for it is intimate contact, any incident arises which makes it impossible for the Minister to retain that confidence, then it is the duty of the Minister to get instead of the official in whom he has lost confidence an official in whom he will have full confidence. That is the whole theory of responsible Government, using, in so far as it is possible to do so, permanent civil servants in order to implement it. Is the Dáil going to say that that is not right and proper? Is the Dáil going to say that, when a situation arises in which the Minister in his conscience and judgment loses that confidence, he is to go on administering his Department, depending on somebody in whom he ultimately has not trust? It is quite obvious that the thing could not continue. Whilst there is nobody who has a greater desire to see civil servants retained with the fullest possible security—I would go further and say civil servants who are in high positions and, above all, secretaries to Departments, retained if it is at all possible to retain them— I for one am not for a second going to hold that if the secretary to a Department loses the confidence of the Minister with whom he has to work that secretary should be retained. Now, lest there should be any misunderstanding of my attitude, or feeling that I do not appreciate the value of permanency on the part of people in charge of Departments, I want to say this, that I fully appreciate the importance of the continuity of officials in public administration. In the administration of the Departments that I am concerned with myself, from day to day I have experience of the value of having men who had precedents to which they could point, who had previous decisions to which they could point, who have all that accumulated knowledge over a long period of years of the various things that crop up in a Department—of having such people there as counsellors.

They had better be careful.

They have no need whatever to be afraid, none whatever.

After the Vice-President praised his secretary he got dismissed.

The Vice-President or any Minister is anxious every time to be generous. Is the generosity of the Vice-President now to be used as an accusation against him? Every Minister is anxious to give to the permanent officials who are with him as much credit for the work of the Department as can possibly be given to them. I may very well have reason to believe yesterday that I could fully trust a person, but an incident may occur to-day which would change my mind in that regard to-morrow. The whole basis of the system of Government that we have, and of administration that we have, is that there is a supreme law here which elects an Executive of administrators, and these administrators are personally and collectively responsible to the Dáil for the administration of their Departments; for every tittle of administration of their Departments they are held responsible, and rightly so, but they have necessarily to delegate, or to permit to be performed in their name, functions, in the main, by the secretary. He has to interpret the mind of the Minister to the officials. He has to interpret the Government policy to officials. There is the suggestion here that this reference to lack of appreciation of Government policy in my letter had reference to jobs. Is it not quite the contrary that is meant clearly and patently? The point is here that the Government had decided that the Appointments Commission was to be used to the fullest possible extent. Here was a case, too, in which the Appointments Commission should have been used, in my opinion. Where is the question of jobbery? Is it not quite obvious that it was the duty of the Government to see that that policy would be carried out uniformly everywhere, and that any suspicions that might arise anywhere in regard to the uniform, the just, administration of that policy would be dissipated?

It is not easy, with all the charges and allegations that have been made about appointments, to have a position which is absolutely clear, and one of the things that the Government has at heart is seeing to it that all public appointments which will be made by the Appointments Commission should be above reproach, and that the Appointments Commission should be uniformly used. What, then, is the suggestion of using somebody as a screen for jobs? Somebody, we are told—the secretary of a Department— is objected to for advice that he gave. Where has there been a suggestion of a question of advice? Forsooth, if we do this, we are insisting that the heads of Departments should give to the Ministers advice which they think the Ministers will like. As a matter of fact, every civil servant of any quality knows perfectly well — particularly those civil servants who have to advise Ministers on any matters—that his duty, the one thing he is supposed to do, is to give, to the best of his ability, honest advice to the Minister whether the Minister takes it or not. The Minister may have a different opinion —not infrequently that is so. Frequently—perhaps in the majority of cases—the Minister's opinion does coincide with the advice that has been tendered to him by the head of his Department; but are we going to take up the position that the Minister must take the advice? One would imagine, from some of the things that have been said, that if the Minister ventures to disagree, or to insist that it is his view or the view of the Government that must be taken, and not the view of the civil servants, some permanent wrong is being done to the Civil Service.

What is all this about? I have been trying to find out what are the allegations against the Government in this motion or in the speeches that have been made. The suggestion is that we dismissed this man because he did not give us the advice we wanted: because he did not cover up some political jobs we wanted to perpetrate. Where is there the slightest evidence of anything of the kind? There is none —none anywhere. If you want to investigate it, let it be shown here. Let anybody show where there is the slightest indication in any action we have taken that we dismissed the man because he gave us advice we did not want to take or because he was not willing to be a screen to cover up some political jobs the Government wanted to perpetrate. Is not the evidence all to the contrary?

The next line of the charge, apparently, is that we did this thing hastily —that the man got no opportunity. There are certain things you do not want to get outside evidence for.

Outside evidence?

Yes, outside evidence. There are certain things you do not want to get outside evidence for. You have the evidence before you, evidence which justifies and warrants your action; and this was a case in which it was so. Statements have been made from the opposite benches which are not in accord with facts. I will leave it at that.

What are they? What are the facts?

I am not going to go into the details here or even to review and to give the reasons, further than they have been stated in the letter, for the decision that the Government has taken. I think it would be altogether wrong. I think that in these matters the attitude of the Dáil must be this: either they will have to depend upon the Government for doing things correctly, properly, honestly and justly, or, if they find that the Government does not, in their opinion, do these things properly and honestly and justly, they should put in other people.

Why should we discuss anything in that case?

There are certain things we are discussing, but there are certain things that the Government will not go into detail about.

There are a whole lot.

Very well, then, put out the Government—that is what your motion is—but the Government has very deliberately and with full appreciation of everything concerned decided that no longer is this particular gentleman, Mr. McCarron, the former secretary of that Department, to remain as secretary of that Department. The Government has a right to do that if it feels that the proper and efficient administration of the Service is going to be served by doing so. The Government would not be doing its duty if it did anything less. For Mr. McCarron, personally, as an individual, the Government showed consideration in every way; but if, whether on account of special consideration or regard for an official, you have to maintain him in a position in which you have come to the conclusion that he is a misfit, as he will be if he is out of accord and if he has lost the confidence of his Minister, then you will be doing harm to the public services, if, out of undue regard for him, you are going to allow him to continue in the Service. Mr. McCarron had an opportunity of sending to the Executive Council anything he wished to say in his own regard. He has published the letters he has written and we have given our reply— the reply which the Government gives here to this Dáil, and it will give no other reply except that.

An opportunity before the 24th November?

I said he was given an opportunity before he was dismissed.

Before the 24th November?

I am not going, by question and answer, to have an interrogation on this matter here. I say that the statements as stated by Mr. McCarron and his advocates on the opposite side are not in accord with the facts.

What are the facts?

I am not going further than what I said before, and that is that he had an opportunity of presenting to the Executive Council any statement which was made in his regard, and before the Executive Council took action they saw the memorandum which he had submitted to the Vice-President. Again, I say the fundamental position is this—either you will admit that the Executive Council has the right and the duty to get the best possible and the most efficient secretaries for the Departments which are administered by the Ministers, or not. I say they have; and, with due consideration for Mr. McCarron, they made it clear that it was for want of that confidence there that he was being dismissed, and he was dismissed with full consideration, in so far as it could legally be given, for his personal position. Before he was dismissed or removed from office an opportunity was given to him to go into another post where the same individual confidence was not necessary, a post of equal value. We have been told of the £300 a year or something like that that he has lost. Mr. McCarron has lost it because he was not prepared to take a post of equal value in the Civil Service.

After being previously told by his own Minister that he was dismissed.

There is an immense difference. The secretary of a Department has to be in every respect the Minister's alter ego. The Minister has to take responsibility for his actions. I say there is an immense difference. There is the same difference that there was between putting General O'Duffy somewhere else—perhaps it would have been wrong, in some people's opinion, to put him anywhere else—but there was the same difference between putting him somewhere else and putting him in a responsible position as head of the police force. There is an immense difference between offering him another position of equal value in which his abilities and efficiency otherwise might be availed of, and leaving him as secretary of a Department when, by reason of certain failures of judgment or discretion or of appreciation of what was the fundamental Government policy, the Minister lacked confidence in him.

We have not then behaved either high-handedly or unjustly. We went to the furthest letter of the law so as to give him the highest retiring pension in view of his ability and the services he had rendered. We would have retained the ability which he had shown in another position in the Civil Service had he been willing to accept that but, when he was not willing to accept it, I say the Government is not going to be placed in the position in which a man can say: "You will have to hold me on; you will have to retain me in this position whether in fact I am regarded by the Executive Council or the particular Minister as the best and most efficient person or not." That is what the real issue is, whether the Government or a Department is to be forced to continue on a man in whom the Minister has lost confidence. Everybody knows that there can be no efficient administration if that were the position.

That is not the issue.

That is the issue, precisely the issue and none other. The Government has offered to him a position elsewhere where that confidence was unnecessary and it has given him a pension, the biggest that could possibly be awarded him under the law. How can it be said, then, that there is any other question at issue except that he should be retained in the position that he occupied, even when the Executive Council or the Minister had lost confidence in him? I have said the Executive Council are the judges. They are appointed by law and, in the nature of things, they must be the judges. They are accountable for their judgments to the Dáil as a whole, but while that Government is in office there is no reviewing of their decision. The day that you review their decisions in these matters and the day particularly that you find judgment against them in these matters, there is no question of the Government retaining office any longer. It could not do it. Its whole power to administer would be destroyed. You can vote the Government out and I do not object to that. I think it is very good—it is one of the values of having Parliamentary institutions—that, in cases of this sort, if there should appear, on the part of the Executive, unfair or improper treatment of anybody, any failure of justice, the Government should be fully arraigned for it before the Dáil as is being done here to-day through the mouths of the Opposition. That is all right. I have nothing to say to that. What I do say is that it must be in that form and none other, but the proposal to set up a committee to inquire into the facts, to pronounce judgment, in other words, on the Executive Council, is quite impossible with the continuance of that Government in office. You can vote the Government out but you cannot have a Committee of the Dáil reviewing or revising their decisions in matters in which they are made by the law and the Constitution the supreme judges.

We, then, take full responsibility, as the Government, for what we have done. What we have done we have done in the public interest. There is no question of political victimisation, no question of personal animosity. The assertions have been made that this man was removed from his office as secretary because he has not given to the Minister the advice which the Minister wanted or because he was not willing to act as a screen for some political jobbery which the Minister had in mind or which the Executive Council had in mind. The Dáil cannot take it that these assertions are true when they are quite contrary to every indication. I do not think there is anything further I have to say about it. Former secretaries of Departments have gone into positions in the Civil Service similar to the position which was offered to Mr. McCarron and they did not regard it either as a lowering of their status or as an insult. I think it is necessary in the public interest that what I quoted before from a former Minister for Justice should be clearly understood— that there is the possibility of circumstances arising which, without reflecting any discredit on the individual concerned, might render it undesirable in the interests of the State that he should be any longer permitted to retain the appointment. Therefore it must be understood that being transferred from one office in the public service to another does not necessarily mean that there is any discredit attached to the person concerned.

That brings me to, perhaps, the last thing I should deal with. There have been suggestions that the Government, somehow, circulated certain reports. There have been suggestions that the first announcement went, somehow, over the wireless and it has been hinted that the Government were responsible for that announcement. The Government was not responsible for that announcement any more than it was responsible for the publication of any of the letters. These letters were published by Mr. McCarron himself, who also published a statement. So far as I have been able to find out, this news came to the broadcasting station via the newspapers to whom Mr. McCarron himself had given the information. If, then, the broadcasting station, in giving out the news in that particular form, did any injury to Mr. McCarron, do not say it was the Government that prompted it. It is also said that Mr. McCarron deserves to be protected from some of the insinuations made against his character. We made no insinuations against his character. We made quite clear the basis on which the Executive Council decided to remove him—that they had lost confidence in him. That is practically what it means.

For the reasons I have stated. For want of appreciation——

We have been given no reasons.

For want of discretion in his judgment, as was shown clearly by that one instance, as well as others.

In what circumstances?

I shall not go any further than what I have stated. As I said, you have your remedy if you think that this Government acted in the spirit in which previous speakers suggested it acted. Your remedy is to put out the Government. As long as this Government is responsible for public administration, if it finds that there is a secretary of a Department, or any other public official in whom it is essential they should have the utmost confidence— if they are satisfied that they have reason for no longer reposing the necessary confidence in him, this Government will remove any such person. If you do not do that, you will not have efficient control of administration. If you do not have that position, you will have a Government which will only be a laughing stock because it will not be able to do its work. Is that a threat to the Civil Service? Is that weakening the sense of security that civil servants have? We have been four or five years in office. We came into office under conditions which led a large number of people to think that no civil servant or public official would be safe or secure. I gave a promise before the election—about two or three years——

To restore the teachers' salaries.

That we would administer the services we got honestly and efficiently and that no public servant need fear our coming into power if he did his work conscientiously, honestly and efficiently. Because efficiency was bound to be impaired if this situation were allowed to continue, we remedied that situation in the only way in which it could be remedied. The very fact of our making the offer we did should make it clear to everybody that there was nothing against Mr. McCarron's ability, that there was no indication of all those terrible things which, it is said, were implied in our removal of him from office. We stated clearly and definitely why we removed him, and if it should ever happen again that a situation would arise in which we should have to decide whether it was necessary in the interest of efficient administration of the public services that the secretary of a Department should be changed to another position, then he will be changed, so long as we are in office. If the Dáil thinks that in this or any other case we have acted harshly or improperly, there is only one way in which they can deal with the matter. That is, dismiss the Government from office.

The President says to-day, on second thoughts, that he welcomes discussion in the House on matters analogous to that which at present engages our attention. In the next breath, he says he refuses to discuss the relevant facts and that, if a judgment is to be come to by this House on the issues raised in this connection, that judgment must be one of censure on the Government. There must be no detached consideration of the facts of this case by any member of the Fianna Fáil Party. These are the President's clear words—that he forbids detached judgment in this case and that any member of his Party who desires to secure justice for this civil servant must, at the same time, desire to put the Government out of office. The President goes on to say: "We transferred this man." He quotes from a document in the course of which he points out that it has been stated by a previous Minister for Justice that circumstances can arise in which a civil servant is transferred from one position to another without any kind of reflection being made upon him. But you did not transfer Mr. McCarron; you dismissed him. You dismissed him twice. His own Minister told him, in the first place, that he was dismissed and declined to assign any reason except that he was not giving him his confidence. He was then formally dismissed by the Executive Council. It was as an afterthought that somebody confidentially told him, in an unofficial way, that a position as supernumerary Commissioner of Public Works was open to him if he cared to have it. The public had been informed that he was dismissed from his office. It is noteworthy that the President returns again and again to the statement that no reflection is implied on a civil servant whom it is proposed to transfer. There was no proposal to transfer Mr. McCarron. There was instead, a final, irrevocable and unreasonable dismissal.

The President said that the Opposition, in opening this case to-day, showed no desire to appreciate the relations that must exist between a secretary of a Department and a Minister. So far as I am aware, we all appreciate it—my colleagues far more than I. They are all men who have had ministerial experience. Nobody challenges the statement that there must be absolute confidence between the Minister and his secretary. Nobody denies that they could not carry on if they did not trust one another completely. We all know that. But, in this case, we have made manifest that the Minister did not say, "Something happened yesterday which has thrown a flood of light on other matters." Instead, he says, "An incident occurred yesterday which is the end of a series of incidents which have robbed you of my confidence." The same Minister who said that went out of his way all through the country to pay tribute to the peculiar efficiency and helpfulness of Mr. McCarron. Not only did he do that, but he went out of his way in the most public fashion in Dáil Eireann to associate familiarly with Mr. McCarron and mark out by his appearance with him in personal intercourse that he was a person who enjoyed his confidence and, to a degree known only to themselves, his personal friendship. He had no hesitation in being seen about in his company outside office hours. Is it rational for any reasonable man to believe that, while the Vice-President was going out of his way to demonstrate to all beholders the measure of his confidence in Mr. McCarron, at the same time he distrusted him? I entirely agree with the President, and so do all my colleagues, that no Minister should be asked to retain as permanent head of his Department a man in whom he has no confidence. But are we to accept the proposition that a man who has given long years of honest service to the State is to have his whole position jeopardised at the passing whim of the particular Minister to whom he is responsible?

Surely the Minister ought to be able to lay the facts before not only the Executive Council but this House if needs be. Surely he ought to be able to satisfy the House—whether the House agrees with him or not—that there were facts upon which a reasonable man could come to the conclusion that the secretary was not playing square. He could then honestly say, "It may be that other members of the House do not agree with me, but I had to do the work. I had to work with this man and, the moment these facts became known to me and I ceased to have confidence in him, I was not going to be a hypocrite. It may be that somebody else would have confidence in him but, on these facts, I had not, and I would not continue to work with him." That has not happened. The President has asked, "Are we to use the generosity of the Vice-President against him now if he did speak generously of his secretary; is that to be used as a weapon against him?" We want to use no weapon against the Minister. In raising this matter, we are not asking for generosity; we are asking for justice. We do not want generosity for any member of the Civil Service. We do not want the Executive Council to strain a point in a matter of this kind. Nobody admits more readily than I do that, from a man occupying Mr. McCarron's position, a very high standard of conduct is necessary. There is no room for generosity or looseness. He must conform to a much higher standard of conduct than a minor civil servant. His conduct must be beyond all suspicion and reproach.

Our case is that his conduct is beyond all suspicion. We say he is entitled to credit for that. If the Minister had come forward and said perfectly honestly to Mr. McCarron, "Look here, the fact is you and I do not get on, and we cannot do our job together. I recognise that you are acting honestly according to your lights, but we clash and cannot see eye to eye in the work to be done, and we are not going to do the job. Therefore, I am going to ask the Minister for Finance to find a place of equal status and equal remuneration for you. Will you go there? I say perfectly plainly that if you are not prepared to assist me to get efficiency in the administration of the Department, by indicating your readiness to retire to another office, I will have to go to the Executive Council and say that I cannot get on with you, that I cannot get the work of this Department done with you. These are the plain facts." I do not see how anyone on these benches could have complained if the Vice-President was in a position to get up and say that that interview took place. No one could blame him seeing that, for one reason or another, they could not get on, that they were crosswise; that they were suspicious of one another. Maybe neither was justified, but we know once that situation developed there was no use in trying to carry on with the relationship that subsisted. Is that asking for generosity? I do not think it is. It is only asking for the barest justice for a man like Mr. McCarron who, we all know, has worked like a black in the public service, and long after official hours, when he thought it was necessary to do so. Was that asking anything more than the barest justice, seeing that the President admits that there is no charge of turpitude against Mr. McCarron, no charge of impropriety and no charge of misconduct? Was it anything more than the barest justice for the Minister to send for him and to say: "We cannot get on and I want to get rid of you? Probably the relationship that has grown up between us makes you want to get rid of me. We must part, but the Executive Council, in view of the years of service you have given, will be glad to facilitate that parting without the slightest difficulty in view of your integrity and efficiency."

I have had reason to complain on more than one occasion that the present Government seem to think that if you do not penalise a man in his pocket it is all right; that he has no other claim against you. That is not true. A man might gladly be penalised in his pocket if he could maintain his honour and his reputation. A man's honour, reputation and prestige are of much greater value to himself and his family than his income. A man's name is higher, particularly in a community such as that in which we live, a small community. We know that Mr. McCarron stands very high in the matter of honour, reputation and integrity in the opinion of the people, and that his children are always proud to boast of him. It is, therefore, important that there should be no reflection on him.

That is more important than the loss of a couple of hundred pounds in salary. The Government do not seem to be able to get over that. If the Vice-President came forward honestly and boldly said: "I recognise that Mr. McCarron is a zealous man, but we cannot get on. It may be my fault, but, as I have been elected Vice-President of this State, I have to do this job and I am simply going to ask to have him transferred elsewhere." Mr. McCarron would then have no complaint. Every rational man would have said that the Vice-President might be a cranky man, that God made him so, but, at least, he was a man and had been decent enough when getting rid of him. He knew Mr. McCarron to be zealous and enthusiastic, but they could not get on. What difficulty was there about that? No damage would have been done to Mr. McCarron and no conceivable damage to the Vice-President. At first people might be inclined to joke about it, but ultimately they would see that it was a decent and courageous thing to do, to state the facts, and then no one could complain and no reflection would be cast. The Government had offered him another job. There was a man with 15 years in the public service before him, drawing his salary and doing his work, and there would be no difficulty about it. There would be the feeling not only with the Minister but throughout the country that they could publicly face the facts. I am going to pay the President an unexpected tribute, because—although I have very little use for him as a politician—this is the kind of thing I expected he would do. It is one of the strange and queer gifts he has of doing the kind of things that our people like, of being handsome in matters of this kind. I believe he tries to be honest, and I believe he would do so in this case only that he does not want to let down the Vice-President. He thinks the Vice-President has got himself into a mess and he is trying to cover him.

That is not true at all.

I do not expect you would get up now. The thing can be settled now and substantial justice done all round. That is all I am primarily concerned with. To tell you the truth, I do not care a fiddledee-dee if there is an inquiry or not, but for the fact that a man who I know has been a loyal servant should be amply vindicated and properly treated, I think the situation can be met now by the Government taking formal action saying they are glad to pay a tribute to this man's perfect integrity, perfect efficiency, the only trouble that arose being that he could not get on with the Minister and that the Minister could not get on with him. "We do not put any blame on the Minister or put any blame on Mr. McCarron. There are the facts. We were quite prepared that Mr. McCarron should be retained in a position of equal responsibility. We had not a position of equal status, but we are quite prepared to say now that we will give him a position with an equal salary. It cannot be a position of equal status because there is none to offer, but if he does not like to take it we will give him for the remaining 15 years the full salary or allow him to go on superannuation."

I am concerned about this man of integrity and distinction being completely vindicated. I want to see that his children can say, as they are entitled to say, that they have been proud of him in the past, and that they are proud of him now. All sides in this country recognise him as a man who gave unusual and generous service to the State, not only a fair return for the salary he drew, but who worked in the highest traditions of the Civil Service of this State and did not spare time or trouble when he was discharging work in whatever position he filled in the public service.

I would be sorry to introduce a controversial note or heat into this question but heat, I suppose, we must show. I cannot believe that there is a very large difference between anyone here desiring to see substantial justice done to this man. The President has put the theory that you cannot reject anything the Executive Council does without smashing the Government. Let me call the President's attention to another parliamentary institution not a million miles from here where dockyard men were concerned. When the suggestion was made from the Labour Benches in the British House of Commons that an inquiry should be held both the Prime Minister and the First Lord of the Admiralty at first rejected it. They said it would be unthinkable to discuss the dismissal as they would probably have to make statements that would not be consistent with the safety of the State. Then we were given the results of an inquiry that was held by responsible civil servants with regard to the five chaps who were dismissed. Responsible officials asked them to weigh their decision favourably towards the men and they reported that every doubt was given in favour of the men. It was only when distinguished civil servants reported that after giving them the benefit of every doubt they felt bound to advise the Admiralty to dismiss the men. It was only then that the First Lord brought the matter before the Cabinet and said: "Now, I am not bringing it myself. I have had it examined first by the secret service of the dockyard. I then had it referred to three eminent civil servants and I have them instructed to re-examine it and to give the benefit of every doubt to these five men. It is only after these preliminaries that I now come to the Cabinet and lay the reports of those two bodies before them and to say that I cannot be responsible for the safety of the dockyard if you do not dismiss them." Then, and only then, was dismissal decided upon. "And," says the Prime Minister on this occasion: "I am glad these cases are being raised here and being discussed and every point raised in regard to them. I will willingly discuss every point except in so far as I cannot reveal my sources of information; but I do allege that acts of sabotage took place about which you will all know in the past. I cannot tell you how these men are connected with them but if the dockyards are to be safe, these men must go."

In regard to a secretary who was dismissed, the Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Air, in Great Britain, he was given the opportunity of appearing before a tribunal and did appear before a tribunal, and answered categorical charges where he said that he did not interpret his actions as being wrong at all and where the Minister for Air said he thought they were and the man after a full trial was then discharged. I ask the President to compare that attitude with the attitude he has taken up here to-day, that is, that he will not discuss the facts at all, that once the Executive Council examine the facts and pass judgment on them, it becomes a question of confidence; that you must not view the question from a detached point of view and that you must make up your mind that you vote to put out the Government or you vote to put out Mr. McCarron. That is not reasonable.

The President, in the course of his observations, said that the action taken in regard to the appointment of Dr. Blake gave rise to the gravest dissatisfaction on the part of the Minister, but does the President forget that this matter was brought under the attention of the Minister months ago and that the course proposed was approved by the Vice-President?

That is not true.

Surely there was a resolution from the Grangegorman Joint Board——

I will simply repeat that all the statements from the opposite benches are purely ex parte and half of them are wrong.

There is no use in looking ferocious and inciting us to say offensive things which we do not want to say, but it is difficult to make our case at all if, when we make a certain statement, the President says it is wrong, and when we reply, perfectly civilly "In what particular is it wrong?" the President's eye flashes and he says "I will not tell you."

May I intervene for a moment to say that I am trying here to see that a vicious precedent is not started. It is quite obvious that if this thing is going to be examined in detail, every case will be examined in detail and you will make administration by the Government impossible. You have either in these matters to trust the court that has decided on the matter or get rid of the court and put some other court in. You are not here in a position to examine this case in detail. If you put up a commission to examine it in detail, you are setting up a body to revise the court which is the competent court in regard to the matter, and that court cannot stand if you do. There are a number of things I could have replied to, but I do not want to establish a precedent in regard to details. There may be a number of cases in which the details would be altogether against the public interest, and even against the individual concerned, and I think that the Dáil has to take the position that either the Government has done its duty properly or it has not and they should get rid of it. That is why, though I contravene and controvert a number of the statements made here in regard to the facts, I took up the position that we are not going into detail on the matter.

It does make discussion a little difficult, because the President will not discuss it. He says: "I simply say we did this and there is an end of it." My answer is that either you ought to give a man a tribunal to appear in front of so that he may rebut allegations made against him or come out overtly in public and say: "We make no allegation of impropriety against him. We know him to be an excellent, scrupulous and conscientious man. It is solely a question of temperamental unsuitability. The Minister cannot work with him and he cannot work with the Minister. We have offered a job at the same salary. We have not got one at the same status. If he does not want that, recognising the value of his splendid services in the past, we offer his salary to the end of his period of 15 years, and a pension thereafter. We only do that because a crisis has arisen which makes it impossible to retain him in his present position. We cannot retain the Minister and the Secretary. We have to retain the Minister, and, therefore, the Secretary must go." If that generous gesture had been made, all this trouble need not have arisen. Surely when a man has given a life of unselfish service, when you think of his family— and it is not the money that worries me—surely he is entitled to that little added vindication.

I ask the House to believe, if they will, that so far as we are concerned we want no political kudos out of this, and if a way can be found in which a generous gesture can be made, fully vindicating Mr. McCarron, I shall be delighted to hear it. We want to be the cause of no gibes or jeers at anybody even if it emerges that there was a little haste or difficulty. That could happen in the best regulated family, and a dignified and safe way out of such a difficulty is sometimes hard to find. I say on our behalf that we want to put no obstacle in the way of a dignified and proper advance out of a position that has given rise to very deep and serious apprehension in the minds of many. We would much sooner believe, and would be much happier to know, that no Government in this country desires to victimise anybody and we would be much happier if every section of the community, rich and poor, would know the same thing. That settled, we can quarrel about politics in other regards or on other occasions.

I am concerned now to secure that the peculiar circumstances in which these matters must be raised in this House by an Opposition attacking a Government and the Government defending itself against opposition, will not result in a public servant who spent his life in the service of this country being ground between the upper and lower millstones. I would sooner the two millstones drew apart and that he were carried honourably out of this impasse; but, and I think that the Ministers will agree with this, if substantial justice is to be done after what has occurred, we must have a very ample vindication of Mr. McCarron. There may be difficulties about giving that, but whatever difficulties there may be on the Minister's side, let me give them this assurance: they will not be added to by anything we say or do if we get any indication from the other side that it is desired not only to be strictly just, but in view of any misapprehension that may have arisen in the past, to be handsome in the compensation that is made to Mr. McCarron and to be honest, straight and plain in the estimation of his service and character in the Civil Service of this country.

I should like to say a very few words on this subject, all the fewer because Deputy Dillon has just said for me a great deal of what I otherwise should wish to say.

It seems to me that there are two separate issues raised by this debate. One is whether Mr. McCarron was fairly treated and the other is whether the Dáil is entitled to ask from the Government a statement of the facts to enable it to say whether Mr. McCarron has been fairly treated or not. As regards the first issue— whether Mr. McCarron was fairly treated—there is one point about which I am not clear, and about which I hope the Government will not refuse to give an answer, and that is, was the offer of a position of equivalent value made to Mr. McCarron on the same occasion when he was first informed of his dismissal from his post, or was that offer made to him on some subsequent occasion? A good deal seems to me to turn upon that point. It is one thing to tell a man that you have come to the conclusion that in the interests of the public service it is better that he should be in another post of equal value. It is another thing to call a man in and say to him melodramatically: "I have got some serious news for you; the Executive Council has unanimously decided on your dismissal", and then after a subsequent interchange of letters and further interviews to offer him at a later date a post of equivalent value. If that was the course of events, if there was an interval of that sort between those two happenings, I do think that on the evidence before us—which I admit is woefully incomplete—Mr. McCarron was unfairly treated.

After all, so far as we can make out, what is the most that is alleged against him? It is alleged against him that he showed a lack of discretion in not having the Portrane appointment made in such a way as to protect the Government against all suspicion of not using the Appointments Board in a case where they ought to have used it. Now, quite evidently, Mr. McCarron is not accused of having done that in a corrupt spirit. If there were any suggestion that Mr. McCarron had been corrupt, he certainly would not, at a later or at any date, have been offered a position of equivalent value. All that it amounts to then is that, according to the Minister for Local Government, Mr. McCarron was indiscreet, and showed a lack of political sensibility, shall we say, in not realising that the Government should have been better protected against criticism by the method in which that appointment was made. The President says there were other incidents, but he has refused to give us any hint of what those other incidents were. We are entitled, I submit, to assume that those other incidents were at any rate not more serious than the one incident of which we have been told. I suggest that that one incident is an unbelievably trivial ground on which to call a man in and say to him "I have got something very serious to announce to you. The Executive Council has unanimously decided on your dismissal." Just exercise a little imagination and a knowledge of psychology and think of the shock that an announcement of that sort must give to a public servant of long and distinguished service to the State.

I am an Independent member, and, although there are certain subjects on which I differ profoundly from the Government, nevertheless in the ordinary jog-trot of Parliamentary business and of administration I have felt it my duty to give general support to the Government so long as I have been on one of the Independent Benches. My instinct on an occasion such as this would be to support them if possible, but I must frankly confess that on the facts as they have been so far disclosed to us, it does seem to me that Mr. McCarron has been the victim of an injustice, although I agree that it should be within the competence of the Government to decide that even a head of a department might be better employed elsewhere in a post of equal importance and equal value. But that is not the sort of decision that was reached, so far as the matter has been presented to us here for our consideration this afternoon.

Then there is the other matter, as to whether the Dáil and the country are entitled at all to know about the reasons for an action of this sort in relation to a Civil Service post of great importance. I suggest that the sense of humour of the President of the Executive Council must have entirely deserted him when he said at one moment that it was a happy feature of Parliamentary Government that we could discuss a matter of this sort here and take a decision on it, and then a moment afterwards declare that he would give us absolutely no material on which to base our decision.

Are you not making a great case without any material?

I have said, two or three times over, that I am expressing opinions on the basis of such scanty material as is available. The President may be keeping up his sleeve material that would exonerate the Government. I submit that if there is such material he has a duty to disclose it to us. I suggest that a high quality of Civil Service is one of the greatest assets that a country can have. It is in that respect, if any, that the British system of government commands the admiration of other countries. The fact that a head of a department in Great Britain is treated as having almost the same security of tenure as a judge of the High Court is of incalculable value to the whole machinery of government. I am glad that the President has recognised as explicitly as he has done to-day, in words at any rate, that it is desirable that civil servants in important positions should be men of the highest quality. I would add to that, for my part, that they should be men who are not afraid of responsibility. The curse of any badly run business or any badly run country always is that there are hosts of people anxious to run away from responsibility, to cover themselves against any possible criticism, and to shove any decisions of importance on to somebody else. It is not at all desirable, of course, that a civil servant should be acting in conflict with the wishes of his Government, but it is important that civil servants should realise that the Government expects them to be men and not mice, and that civil servants should above all things feel that they are not going to be offered up as sacrifices to appease the supporters of the Government of the day.

The present Government are at least singularly unlucky on this occasion if their conduct has been as virtuous as they claim it has been, because it is within common knowledge that there was a fierce agitation against the Department of Local Government, and inferentially against Mr. McCarron in particular, as its permanent head, over the Ballinasloe appointment. Superficially, what we see is this: we see Salome, in the person of Doctor Ada English, demanding from King Herod, in the person of the Minister for Local Government, the head of John the Baptist—in the person of the unfortunate Mr. McCarron —on a charger. That is what it is apt to look like to the general public, and there is a danger of civil servants getting the impression that they will be sacrificed, if the Government finds itself in a tight place, in order to appease the supporters of the Government.

I do not believe—and I will say it quite candidly—that either the President of the Executive Council or the Vice-President, the Minister for Local Government, would sacrifice a man for those motives. I do not believe it, but I do say that it is the duty of Cæsar's wife to be above suspicion; that it is the duty of the Government to make it plain to the country that they have a high conception of the status of civil servants, and that it is the duty of the Government when it does take such violent action as to call in a very high civil servant and tell him that there is serious news for him and that he is dismissed and to hold him up to the country as a person who has been dismissed—I say that when a Government has done all that, it certainly ought here, as would the Government across the water in Great Britain, to make plain to the Dáil and to the country what are the reasons that justified its course of action.

I merely want to observe that it seems to me that the proceedings here this afternoon mark another step in the simplification of our institutions. We have already disposed of all the institutions of the State, with the single exception of the Dáil, and now we hear from the President that it is impossible to allow the Dáil to review any decision of the Executive Council. He says that his view is that the Executive Council is responsible and, if it makes a decision, all that the Dáil can do is to vote against the members of the Executive Council and put them out of office. He says it is impossible to allow the Dáil to review the decision of the Executive Council. I may have misunderstood the President. I may be putting the matter further than he intended it should be put, but I do not think that I am really doing any injustice to his point, because the rest of his speech made it perfectly clear that he was not prepared to allow this House to discuss the decision of the Executive Council.

This House cannot discuss any decision unless it knows the facts. The President told the House that before he spoke there were two ex parte statements. An ex parte statement is a statement made by one party to a case, of the case as it appears to him. The matter would no longer have remained in the position of an ex parte matter if the President had chosen or if the Vice-President chose, to state the other side of the case, but that apparently is not to be done. Therefore it comes to this, that this House is not only not to be allowed to review the decision of the Executive Council in this matter, but it is not to be allowed to discuss it because a discussion is impossible without knowledge of the facts. The President has stated that we have only an ex parte statement of the case and he has explicitly declined to state the other side, if there be another side. It therefore comes to this, that the position of Mr. McCarron, the late secretary of the Department, cannot be examined by this House, and it is impossible for any independent, fair-minded Deputy to determine the merits of the case.

The President said he is prepared to treat this motion as a motion of censure upon the Government. Are we to be asked to censure the Government for removing Mr. McCarron from office without knowing the facts? The Government, through the mouth of the President, have stated explicitly that they will not defend their position before this House. If that be true of this particular decision, why is it not to be applied to every other decision in matters of all kinds? How is Parliamentary Government to be maintained? How is the Dáil to discuss any matter which may come up for decision if the President, or the person responsible for Government action, can come to the House and say: "We have decided that we will not allow it to be discussed. We will not state the facts. If you do not like our decision put us out and do so without knowing the facts. We have an answer but we do not choose to give it"?

In effect, that is what the President has told the House to-night. It marks a new stage, an interesting stage, in the simplification of our institutions. It requires very little further, we can proceed but little further, before Parliamentary Government ceases to exist and, with the Seanad and the other institutions of the State, the Dáil will go and the country will be depending on an Executive Council and a docile Party, prepared to support the decision of the Executive without knowing what they are doing.

I respectfully suggest that plain justice to Mr. McCarron requires that the House should approve of the setting up of the committee that is asked for to consider the facts of this case, or that at least there should be some defence made to this House of the action which has been taken. As I understood the President's speech, he took up his attitude entirely on the position of Mr. McCarron as the secretary of the Department. Are we to understand that the secretary of the Department stands in a wholly different position from any other highly-placed civil servant? Are we to understand that other civil servants holding high office are not exposed to the same danger of arbitrary removal and dismissal?

The President mentioned another case of removal from office—he used that euphemism instead of the more unpleasant word "dismissal" when he referred to the case of General O'Duffy. Apparently the same rule applies to the commissioner, the head of the Guards. No doubt a case may arise in the future when it will be applied to some other civil servant. It may be applied, I would imagine, to any civil servant, high or low, and the position the House is faced with is that the President is prepared to come here and say "We have removed that man. We recognise his ability and his years of service, but he holds office at our pleasure. He will not get any explanation; we will give none to him or to the House." That is the attitude that has been taken up.

The President said that Mr. McCarron got a certain opportunity—his words were "an opportunity of sending a memorandum to the Executive Council." As I understand the chronólogy of the matter, such opportunity as was given was later in date than his removal from the office. He was removed from office first and it is stated he was then given an opportunity of sending a memorandum. I would like to ask the President or the Minister for Local Government, or anybody else who may have any knowledge of the facts, what is it suggested Mr. McCarron should have sent a memorandum about? He got an opportunity, it is said, of defending himself. Why, he has never been charged. What is his memorandum to deal with?

"I am told," Mr. McCarron might say and did say, "that I have lost the confidence of my Minister." How is he to defend himself against that unless he is given some indication of the acts of which he has been guilty and which have caused him to forfeit that confidence? He asks for that information and is told at some stage of the proceedings that a series of incidents of which he is well aware, culminating in the Portrane incident, have caused him to lose the confidence of the Minister. It is said he got an opportunity of defending himself by sending in a memorandum about incidents of which it is alleged he was aware. He replied forthwith, in effect, "I know of no such incidents." Is it just, is it fair, that the Executive Council should say to any man, much less a highly-placed civil servant who has something like 40 years' service, "There are certain incidents of which you are aware" and, when he denies knowledge of any incidents, they refuse to indicate them? Is it fair in such circumstances to come here and say that Mr. McCarron was given an opportunity of sending in a memorandum?

With what would such a memorandum have dealt? How could Mr. McCarron have dealt with charges which have never been formulated? Surely under the plainest justice the humblest citizen or the humblest civil servant has a right to know the charge that is being made against him. This matter raises, as has been said, issues of much greater importance than the personal issue between the Executive Council or Minister and Mr. McCarron, though, goodness knows, that is serious enough so far as the individual is concerned. But there is a much graver issue involved, and that is the position of the civil servants of the State, the permanent officials, who must, with changing Governments. continue to maintain and carry out the machinery of Government. What has been Mr. McCarron's fate last month may be the fate of any civil servant, highly-placed or low, in the near future. Are they to have any protection? Is this House satisfied with the position that the Executive Council, through its Minister, can dismiss a civil servant and can come to this House and refuse to allow that dismissal to be a subject even of discus— sion? Because until the facts are known discussion is in any real sense impossible.

It is true, of course, that we have inherited or taken over the British system under which civil servants hold office at the pleasure of the Executive Council. That may or may not be a good principle. It may be suitable to the organisation of such an immense body of men and women as the British civil service. It may be suitable to a complicated State and to institutions such as the British Constitution, where you have not only the idea of the Crown as the father of the people and the protector of the rights of the people, but where you have other bodies, such as the Lords of the Treasury under whose jurisdiction civil servants come and upon whom civil servants are dependent for their pension rights and dependent in other matters. There are in the British Constitution conditions under which the British civil servants serve. There are these different bodies and a number of checks and balances which insure some protection against arbitrary action by the Executive. In this country we have arrived at a point of simplification, where none of these checks and balances exist. We have no independent Lords of the Treasury to deal with civil service pension rights. We have no idea of the Crown standing there protecting the individual against injustice. We have nothing but the arbitrary action of the Executive Council, responsible if you like to the Dáil, but maintaining the position that it is not bound to defend its position against the Dáil. It may be that Mr. McCarron, like many of the older civil servants, is in a more favourable position than the civil servants of to-day and to-morrow. Mr. McCarron as a transferred pre-Treaty civil servant has the protection of Article 10 of the Treaty. So far that Article at least has been maintained in full effect and efficiency and those civil servants who had pre-Treaty service and who are regarded as transferred officers have protection to that extent. Until the Dáil shall see fit to deprive them of it they have this particular protection. Mr. McCarron's fortunate situation so far as pension rights are concerned may be attributed to his pre-Treaty rights under Article 10.

We are facing a situation in the future when civil servants will have no protection. The position as presented by the President of the Executive Council to the Dáil to-day is that the civil servant high or low, whether he is the secretary of a Department, a junior executive officer or clerical officer, must submit to dismissal without the right of coming before any independent tribunal or arbitration board or without the right even to have his position examined in this House. He must go out in the dark. He has the right to a pension, if that seems good to the Executive Council, but without the offer of any other position. That is the claim made here on behalf of the Civil Service, and it is as well that it should be realised that that is the position. The matters involved in the speech delivered by the President here to-day raise that issue in its most definite form.

The Deputy who has just sat down seemed to be under the impression that in dealing with this instance of the removal of an officer in the Civil Service from the post which he had held, and in resisting this motion which has been put down by Deputy Costello, we were adopting an attitude which was a new and novel one in this House. We are not responsible for formulating the governing condition in regard to the tenure of all officers in the public service. That was formulated by my predecessor and adopted by the Dáil on the 26th April, 1924, when the following statutory regulation was made:—"Civil servants other than those holding temporary appointments shall hold office under the will and pleasure of the Executive Council." There is no reference in that regulation to any appeal tribunal, to any process of investigation into the validity or invalidity, justifiability or unjustifiability of the removal or dismissal from office of any civil servant. And yet, Sir, that principle has not, as I have said, been formulated by us; it was formulated by my predecessor and endorsed by the Dáil on the 26th April, 1924, and it is precisely under that tenure that the officer concerned in this motion and every other person in the public service has held his position since. Nor, Sir, is this the first time that a proposal has been made that the circumstances under which an officer was removed from his post should be investigated by the Dáil. There was a similar proposal made in May of 1926. The officer concerned in that instance did not hold a very responsible post in the Civil Service. When he was removed from his office he was not given a very substantial pension. He was dismissed without a pension, and that issue was raised in the House and was dealt with by the then Minister for Justice, Mr. Kevin O'Higgins, who presumably was advised in this matter by the then Attorney-General.

And this is what Mr. O'Higgins said— the reference is Dáil Debates, Volume 15, column 160—in reply to the demand for an inquiry into the circumstances of the dismissal of that officer:—

"This is a new tenure that is suggested for civil servants, public trial or pension. We are not prepared to accept that."

A little earlier than that, on the 25th July, 1934, a question was raised in the course of the debates upon the Estimate as to what was the proper body to determine the competence of a chief officer of a Department, and this principle was laid down by the then Leader of the Labour Party, Mr. Johnson. The reference is in Dáil Debates, Volume 8, columns 2213-2216. Mr. Johnson said:—

"The question of the competence of the chief officer is not the kind of question that ought to be the subject of an inquiry by a committee of the Dáil. I think if we got into that line of policy and procedure we would be relieving the Ministry of their responsibilities. No committee of the Dáil can with any sense of responsibility undertake to judge of the competence of an officer acting under a Ministry."

In the same debate a member of the Government Party, Mr. McGarry, said this, and I presume he was speaking in accordance with the then policy of his Party:—

"Do not take me as saying that I want an inquiry into the competence of the officials for that is a matter for the Ministry and not for the Dáil. The official is not responsible to the Dáil but the Ministry is."

The then President of the Executive Council, Deputy Cosgrave, in the course of the same debate, said this:—

"That line of thought"—

referring to this proposal for an inquiry into the competence of certain officers

—"would lead us to a big field. If every dissatisfied officer who wishes to make a statement in good faith does so, and I am sure a number could be made, then the Department in question is to be the subject of inquiry by reason of grievances being ventilated or allegations made here. I do not think I could subscribe to a policy of that sort. I do not know that it would tend to the discipline of the Service:—

And earlier still, on the 23rd November, 1923—the reference is Volume 5, columns 1222-1223—my predecessor, the Minister for Finance, Mr. Blythe, said, dealing with the position of officers of the Civil Service:—

"There are other officials, just as important as the Civil Service Commissioners, who are removable at the pleasure of the Executive Council—the Revenue Commissioners, for instance. The Revenue Commissioners discharge extremely responsible duties, and duties in which the Executive Council might be tempted to interfere far more than in the case of the Civil Service Commissioners. The Revenue Commissioners are removable at pleasure."

And, again, later on in the course of the debate, he said this, speaking of the person whom it was proposed to nominate as one of the Civil Service Commissioners:

"Remember, that as Secretary to the Ministry of Education he is under the will and pleasure of the Executive Council and his services can be dispensed with at any time."

He did say, in that connection, that if his services should be so dispensed with we will yield to a proposal in the Dáil to set up a special committee to investigate the circumstances of his removal. So that I think the House will agree with me that Deputy Lavery was entirely mistaken when he said that the attitude which we had taken up in regard to this proposal this evening was a step in the simplification of the institutions of the State, and was a step towards the ultimate abolition of the Dáil. In fact, we are merely maintaining here the policy in regard to civil servants and their tenure which was formally adopted by the Dáil in 1924, which was maintained by our predecessors, which we have maintained ever since, and which the general public outside has always understood that tenure to be.

And which does not apply to Mr. McCarron.

And which, as Deputy Costello ought to know, applies with much greater rigour to the head of a Department than to any other officer in the Civil Service.

He has got it with much greater rigour, anyway.

The position is this, as I see it, and as the law stands: the head of a Department is more likely to be transferred from that post to another than any other officer in the Civil Service, because what is the position? That under the Constitution all the powers of government and all the executive authority which derives from the people fall, by virtue of that Constitution, to be exercised by the Executive Council which this Dáil has established, and that Executive Council is responsible to you. You have given it that authority and imposed upon it that responsibility because you have that confidence in it. What is one of the first prerogatives that you give to the members of the Executive Council? Under sub-section (2) of Section 2 of the Ministers and Secretaries Act it is laid down that the Executive Council shall, on the recommendation of the Minister for the Department concerned, appoint the principal officer of each of the State Departments. It quite clearly implies that if the individual who holds that Ministry should cease to hold it and another person takes his place, the newcomer may make his own independent nomination to that position, the position not indeed as that of head of the Department but as principal officer only in the Department. According to the Act it is not the person who is commonly referred to as the secretary to the Department who is head of the Department. It is the Minister who is the de facto and the de jure head of the Department, and the other is only a person whom he appoints to act for him and is, consequently, a person who may, without any reflection upon that person's integrity or ability, be removed from that office if the Minister does not wish any longer to delegate to him the powers, functions and authority which the Minister, and the Minister alone, is responsible to this Dáil for exercising. Without the Minister's sanction and consent no principal officer in a Department, or secretary to a Department, can act in any way whatsoever.

That is the statutory position. Mr. McCarron is not the first officer to be removed from the secretaryship of a Department. There have been others. In every case, they have been removed, not because they have been guilty of any dereliction of duty, not because they have been guilty of any disgraceful conduct, but simply because the Minister felt that he could not have confidence in them in regard to every particular and because he felt that so long as they were his principal agents the affairs of that Department would not be administered as he himself would administer them if he had time to attend to them all. That is the position in which a head of a Department stands to a Minister. He is the principal agent of the Minister. He is nothing else than the agent of the Minister, and yet we are told that the purpose of this motion is only to do simple justice—when, in fact, it seeks to coerce the Minister into placing his confidence where his own judgment and conscience tell him that confidence would be misplaced!

In what part of the motion is that?

In the whole of the motion. That is the purpose of it. What other purpose has it? It is to intimidate the Government, and to intimidate the Minister. What justification have we heard for putting down a motion of this sort on the Order Paper? What justification has Deputy Costello, who moved the motion, offered in support of it? I think there were three grounds put forward, so far, in the course of the debate. One of them was the manner in which the announcement was made. The President has told the Dáil that the Government was not responsible for the broadcast report of Mr. McCarron's removal. I gathered that it came in the ordinary way from the newspapers, that it was part of the ordinary news service which is supplied to the Broadcast Authorities, and that it was sent out by them on that basis merely as an ordinary news item. Yet that was the first ground upon which Deputy Costello based his case for this motion.

And that is the first reply.

The second was the captions which appeared in the newspapers. Now, what responsibility have we for the captions which appear in the Press? If a newspaper says that this or that person is sacked, are we to come to the Dáil and answer because the editor or the sub-editor, or whoever writes the headlines, is so tactless or, perhaps, so inaccurate as to put it in that way? And yet, that is the second ground upon which this case has been made.

The third ground which was made by Deputy Dillon was that in England, before people who had been employed in the dockyard had been dismissed, there was first of all an inquiry by secret service agents. Does Deputy Dillon or Deputy Costello desire that before a Minister withdraws his confidence from a public servant, or before he feels that that officer's ability might be better employed in some other post than that which he at the moment holds, we should, out of the Secret Service Fund, retain sleuths and spies and detectives to follow that civil servant and to probe into all the transactions of his public and private life in order to satisfy ourselves that the Minister's confidence should be no longer placed in him? We were told that even after this investigation in Great Britain, there was a further investigation which was conducted, I believe, by three higher officers of the Civil Service. What sort of condition of affairs does Deputy Dillon or Deputy Costello, or any sensible Deputy in this Assembly think would be brought about if, before a civil servant was removed from office, a State trial should be held at which the judges would be three civil servants and at which the complainant would be the Minister who was responsible to the Dáil, and at which the evidence would be that of secret service agents whose names could not be divulged? That, Sir, is the sort of inquiry which Deputy Dillon was holding up to us as a model method of dealing with a position of this sort.

Is it not clear, even if the worst and most specific charges were to be made and considered, that it would be quite impossible for a tribunal of that sort to sit in judgment between a Minister and the principal officer of his Department? Or would this principal officer be satisfied with a sub-committee of Ministers? Would not the same position arise? Do you think that Ministers, who share collective responsibility with their colleague in this matter and who share responsibilities with each other in everything the Government does, whether in relation to the Civil Service or to other matters of public interest or public concern, could institute the sort of inquiry which Deputy Dillon has held out to us as the model way of dealing with a case of this sort? How could they possibly constitute that Court of Inquiry? I think, however, that the most novel suggestion of all came from Deputy Lavery. Now, the issue is really this: That a Minister, having accepted, or a Minister having nominated, if you like, the head of his Department for an unspecified term, there being nothing in that act to give permanent tenure, for there is no contract of service between the head of a Department and his Minister except this: that so long as the Minister is fully satisfied with the head of his Department, that Minister will continue to repose in that civil servant the confidence which is necessary if their joint relationship is to continue to exist. That is the issue which has arisen here—whether a Minister who has once placed that confidence can withdraw it if he sees fit— if he, in his own judgment and according to his own lights, sees fit to do so. That is the issue which Deputy Lavery suggests should be tried by a committee set up by this Dáil. I should like to see Deputy Lavery or Deputy Costello formulate an indictment or formulate terms of reference, the essence of which was to try whether a civil servant had, justly or unjustly, lost the confidence of his Minister. I should like to see the evidence which could be brought to enable us to formulate an answer Yes or No, in the affirmative or in the negative, to a charge of that sort.

I should like to see the evidence which would be brought before any tribunal to enable that tribunal to decide whether the Minister was justified or not in showing lack of confidence in a public servant because remember the heads of Departments stand in two capacities in relation to a Minister. They are there as his advisers. It has been said in the course of this discussion that our action in regard to the principal officer of the Department of Local Government has been such, that it will inevitably engender in the Civil Service an atmosphere and an attitude of tame acquiescence in everything which a Minister proposes to do, that we shall replace our independent advisers by a team of "yes" men. That is not so. I do not think there is any danger whatever of that. Ministers, when they come to the Dáil with any proposals they have to submit to the House, are going to be subjected to the most searching criticism that can be advanced against them in public. In many cases their principal critics will be men who have themselves held office so that that criticism will be informed with an inner knowledge of the Departments concerned and of the problems with which these Departments deal. They are not going to come to a decision in regard to any matter of policy until they have thoroughly thrashed it out in their own Departments. The first thing any Minister, who values his position in the public life of this country, will say to his permanent principal officers is: "I want you to criticise any proposal which I suggest. I want you to criticise it and to investigate it as searchingly, as closely and as ruthlessly as possible because the objections and the criticisms which you may make will be nothing to the criticisms with which I may possibly be faced when discussing it with others. Therefore I want to know all the answers to these criticisms in advance."

Accordingly I do not believe—because it is not the attitude of civil servants which really determines the decision in these matters; it is the attitude of the Ministers—that with the criticism which exists in the public life of this country, you will ever get Ministers who will try to silence the criticisms of civil servants in their offices. But it is only in the offices of Ministers that civil servants have the right to criticise. Outside them, they must carry out the decisions of their Ministers in regard to policy, irrespective of whether they, as individual civil servants or whether the Civil Service as a whole, disagree with those decisions. The civil servant stands in his capacity as a competent adviser. He also stands in another capacity. The civil servant stands there as an administrator, bound to administer the Department in accordance with the policy laid down by the Minister, not in accordance with the criticisms which may have been urged against the Minister's policy here in the Dáil, not in accordance with the criticisms of some other unnamed entity outside the Dáil, and not in the way in which members of the Opposition want his Department administered. The Civil Service is there to administer honestly in accordance with the Minister's policy because it is the policy of the majority of the Dáil and is the policy of the majority of the people of the country at the present moment.

Is that the accusation against Mr. McCarron at the moment?

That is the position.

Is that the accusation?

That is not the accusation. I have not come to any accusations. I have not made any accusations. I am laying down the principles which, so long as we have a democracy, must prevail unless that democracy is to become what is the very degradation of democracy, a bureaucracy in which Ministers will be nothing more than the scapegoat for the Civil Service whenever trouble arises.

We agree with all that.

This is the first time I have heard that principle accepted from the other bench.

You have learned that from us.

It is only precedents you are working on.

I have learned one thing from Deputy Costello's speech and that is how not to make a case. I am going to deal with that before I sit down.

The Minister did not want to learn much in that line.

I want to deal with this matter very fully because, in the course of Deputy Costello's speech we heard some extraordinary statements. There was a phrase which was used in the correspondence which has taken place with Mr. McCarron to which Deputy Costello adverted, to which he referred at great length and with a great deal more heat than even I am accustomed to show when I have a bad case. It had been said that we stated that Mr. McCarron had failed to show a proper appreciation of Government policy. Well, let us be clear about that.

I am not speaking of what the particular policy of any Government may be. I am not speaking with particular reference to this case. I am speaking of the general rule, a rule to which the fullest effect was given by our predecessors. I do not by that mean to imply that we are following in every instance what we sometimes think were questionable precedents, but at any rate the first thing we have got to learn in this Dáil —at least some members of the Opposition have got publicly to accept it—is that every civil servant is in the service to help and not to handicap, not to hinder Ministers in discharge of their responsibilities to the Dáil. He certainly is not there to create difficulties for his Minister.

On a point of order, the Minister is speaking to the motion but, if he is speaking to the motion, he is making implications against Mr. McCarron. If his statements are not implications, then they have simply nothing to do with the motion.

I fail to see, on a point of order, any objection that the Chair can raise to the Minister's statement in laying down the general rules for the Civil Service. This is obviously a Civil Service case.

I was saying, Sir, that the civil servant is there to help, not to hinder, not to handicap the Minister. He certainly, as I was saying, is not there to create, without warrant or justification, difficulties for the Minister in the discharge of the responsibilities he has to discharge to the Dáil.

Is the Minister charging Mr. McCarron with that?

I am going to deal with Deputy Costello's speech.

Is there any agreement as to when the vote on this motion will be taken?

There was an order of the House to-day that the vote be taken before 9 o'clock.

I do not think so.

That was announced to-day at the beginning of public business.


Yes; and no objection was raised. The debate on the motion opened at ten minutes to five—four hours ago.

I take it that the Government do not want to prevent somebody from having an opportunity to reply.

Deputy Costello has the right to conclude.

Theoretically, but not practically, I have that right.

Can the time not be extended by unanimous wish of the House?

The suggestion comes rather late.

Can it not be done now, late as it is?

It is a very important motion and Ministers have spoken at length upon it. The Minister for Local Government has not yet spoken, and I suggest that the debate continue until 10.30.

He would not like that at all.

The Minister does not want to discuss the matter.

We want to hear as many of the Government speakers as possible.

I have laid down the general principles——

On a point of order——

Am I to be interrupted in this way?

Even if the Minister is petulant, I am entitled to raise a point of order. Is it not customary, when an arrangement is made that a debate on a motion is to conclude by a certain time, that an opportunity is provided for the mover of the motion to reply? I understood that to be a recognised arrangement.

It is an understanding usually acted on, but there is no rule.

Is it intended to depart from that arrangement, and does the Minister for Finance intend to go on until 9 o'clock?

The Chair has no idea how long the Minister intends to speak.

Surely the Government, since it is being attacked, is entitled to defend itself?

Let it take as much time as it likes to defend itself.

I want to get back to the point at which I stopped. I laid down the general principle that civil servants are appointed to help and not to handicap or hinder Ministers. They are, certainly, not appointed to put Ministers in a position of public embarrassment. No civil servant is entitled of his own motion to put a Minister in a position in which he would have even the appearance of acting inconsistently with the policy which he has laid down. Now, I do not intend to go into the details of this matter any further than they have been disclosed by Deputy Costello. Deputy Costello said that, in dealing with this Portrane question, a letter was submitted to Mr. McCarron which he felt, if it went out, would cause the Minister serious political embarrassment.

Let me make the matter quite clear. I believe that amongst other things which the head of a Department has to take into consideration when giving advice to his Minister is the political situation. He is in quite a different position from that of other civil servants. He is in that position because he is supposed to have special qualities. One of these qualities is ability to gauge the effect of any action of the Minister upon public opinion. It is because our predecessors felt that this quality was of particular importance, as we have likewise felt, and as universal experience elsewhere has shown it to be, that our statutes provide a Minister should have the right to choose his principal adviser and that the special position of the secretaryship and headship of a Department has been recognised in them.

Let me get back again to the question of this letter. What happened in this case, according to Deputy Costello's statement—and I am not going any further than his statement—I am, for the purpose of this debate, accepting that particular portion of Deputy Costello's statement as being correct. What does Deputy Costello say—that a letter came before the principal officer of the Minister for Local Government, the person who was concerned to look particularly and primarily to the interests of that Minister, and that he saw that this letter was going to be a source of public embarrassment to him. Surely, before he let that letter, or any other version of it, go out, it was his duty to go to his Minister and say: "In view of the policy which you have laid down since you became head of this Department and in view of the policy which you have pursued in regard to the mental hospital appointments not merely in Galway but elsewhere, if this letter goes out, it will be read by the public as sanctioning an appointment to the new post of a resident medical superintendent in Dublin without reference to the Local Appointments Commission. You have already compelled the Mental Hospital Committee in Galway and the Mental Hospital Committee in Longford-Westmeath to avail of the services of the Local Appointments Commission in relation to posts of the same nature. Is it not clear that you will be attacked—possibly by ill-informed persons—if you allow what appears to be a promotion to the position of resident medical superintendent to be made in Dublin?" That was the position. That, to my mind, was essentially a case—I want to say this because I have a particular responsibility in this matter and I have already stated it in private —in which the head of the Department ought to have gone to his Minister and safeguarded him against even the appearance of inconsistency. He ought to have pointed out how this letter would possibly be interpreted and construed. That was not what Mr. McCarron did, according to Deputy Costello. According to Deputy Costello, Mr. McCarron contented himself with writing a note on the file pointing out to his own satisfaction but not, apparently, to the satisfaction of his Minister, the difference between the appointment which was going to be made in Portrane and the appointments which had already been made by the Local Appointments Commission in the case of Mullingar and Ballinasloe.

The President told the Dáil that the appointment should have gone to the Appointments Commission.

That is so.

That leads to another point. We are told that this was done because a certain person and others formed the view—I am not going to say that the view was hastily formed or was formed mala fide; I am sure the view was honestly formed—that this was not a new appointment by way of promotion. Our advice is that that is not, in fact, the position. We have had the best legal opinion available to us in regard to this matter. We have been advised that, in fact, it was not merely a promotion but a wholly new appointment. What position would the Minister for Local Government— who, according to Deputy Costello, in order honestly and consistently to follow up the policy that so far has been and will be henceforth in force in regard to local services, that is, that appointments would be made by the Local Appointments Commissioners—be in to withstand the demand and the request of his own friends, and not merely the request of his own friends but of those who are political opponents—because in regard to Galway and Ballinasloe there was an unanimous demand on the part of everyone on the committee, no matter what their complexion—for the promotion of a certain officer? The Minister who had resisted that demand in every case was now faced with this position, that if challenged in the Dáil in regard to this appointment he would not be able to deny that he had been advised when he took legal advice on the matter; that he had been advised that this was both a new appointment and a promotion. Yet the officer who ought to have foreseen that that was the probable outcome of the letter which was being sent out to Portrane, the officer who was supposed to act for the Minister, and for whose actions the Minister was to take responsibility, did not feel enough concerned about the matter to go to the Minister, though he was aware of the difficulties created by these appointments in Ballinasloe and Galway, and call his attention to the difficulties which were likely to arise. Deputy Costello said that. I am not taking any other words except Deputy Costello's, that the officer who was aware of all the difficulties previously created for the Minister did not think it worth his while to seek the Minister's personal sanction for what he was going to do in his name in an important matter of this sort.

It has been alleged also that the Minister for Local Government did not express to the head of his Department his concern at what had been done in his name. The allegation has been made here that this thing was done hurriedly, that it was done without consideration, that it was done without any notification whatever to Mr. McCarron. I am not in a position personally to vouch for what took place between the Minister and the head of the Department——

Could you not find out?

—nor probably is there any written record. I do not think that even Deputy Costello would have the hardihood to doubt the word of his colleague in such a matter, and I do not think anybody in this country would refuse to take the word of the Vice-President in regard to it.

The President stated a thing to-day that we cannot possibly believe.

The Minister for Local Government has told me that when he read the announcement in the Press he discussed the matter with Mr. McCarron at very great length and told him that he regarded it as a most serious matter, and that Mr. McCarron in his own interest should consider it a very grave one.

Deputy Mulcahy is after making a remark that I think is not in order, or that should be made by any Deputy, that the President said a thing that he could not possibly believe. I always understood that when a Deputy makes a statement in accordance with the rules of procedure it must be accepted.

Nonsense. Is there not as much right to look askance at a statement which anyone makes here as there is for looking askance at election promises?

The word of a Minister or of a Deputy in the House is always accepted.

I want to be clear about this.

The Chair is clear that these queries arose from an interruption—a disorderly interruption. If there were less interruption there would be fewer points of order.

Not merely was Mr. McCarron told that the Minister for Local Government was greatly concerned about this matter, not merely did the Minister for Local Government discuss it with Mr. McCarron at great length, but he also told him that he must consider it a very grave matter from his own point of view. Mr. McCarron, at any rate, presented the Minister with a long memorandum, justifying his action in sending out that letter. The memorandum was considered by the Minister for Local Government, and having considered it in the light of his discussion with Mr. McCarron, he felt it to be his duty to come to the Executive Council and to say, because of this incident—and other things that were not raised in this debate—though and in my view this is of sufficient importance—"I cannot allow Mr. McCarron to administer the affairs of the Department of Local Government any longer in my name." After prolonged discussion and consideration—because there was no hasty decision in this matter—the Minister for Local Government felt that he could go back to Mr. McCarron and say, more by way of preparatory statement than anything else, that his removal from office had been decided upon. But he was not, at that stage, removed from office. Mr. McCarron asked if he could submit a memorandum to the Executive Council.

No wonder the Minister for Local Government keeps out of the House.

You were kicked over there.

Mr. McCarron was told that anything he wished to say would be submitted to the Executive Council and could be considered by them. It was only some days later that Mr. McCarron was formally removed from his post as secretary of the Department. There was full and ample time for consideration of every factor involved in this matter. The fact, as has been stated, that the Government was prepared to transfer Mr. McCarron to another post in the Civil Service——

It was announced that the vote would be taken before 9 o'clock, but I am informed that there is general agreement that this discussion should continue. If that is so the debate might go on until 10 o'clock. Deputy Costello would be allowed to intervene at 9.30 at latest.

An agreement to my knowledge involves two parties, and this is the first I heard of any suggestion that this discussion should go on to 10 o'clock. At least there should be the courtesy of having the matter brought to our attention.

I was informed that Deputy Costello and others desired more time. I did not speak of agreement, but I said I was prepared, if there was agreement, to suggest an extension of the time. That could only be granted by agreement. If the Deputy does not want to reply we can have the vote now.

At least I should have been given the courtesy of being told what the President has stated, in view of the fact that a few moments ago it was understood the vote was to be taken at 9 o'clock. If there is a fault in the matter it is the fault of the Chair.

We welcome the extension.

The Opposition asked for an extension but the Chair pointed out that at the beginning of Public Business it was announced that the vote would be taken before 9 o'clock. Subsequently, the President informed the Chair that he understood an extension was required and that the Government would be prepared to agree to an extension to 10 o'clock, if the House so desired. Before the time fixed for the vote— at two minutes to nine—I rose to state the position. I now wish to know whether the House desires to continue this debate to 10 o'clock, it being understood that Deputy Costello be given half an hour to conclude.

So far as I am concerned with the question of getting in at 9.30, I am prepared to waive my right of reply in favour of those people who want to speak. Five minutes would do me, or no minutes at all. I am prepared to allow a number of people who wish to speak on this motion to do so if necessary.

I take it there is agreement to go on to 10 o'clock?

There is only one additional word I want to say. It is that if we go on until 10 o'clock, there is surely no business we can turn to and usefully do between 10 o'clock and 10.30, and I suggest that we go on until twenty past ten.

My offer was made mainly to allow the mover of the motion an opportunity of replying. If he does not want to reply, I see no point in it.

That is the usual Presidential quibble.

The Deputy spoke for an hour-and-a-quarter.

He is too decent with you.

There being no agreement, I shall put the question.

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 44; Níl, 61.

  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Bourke, Séamus.
  • Broderick, William Joseph.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Curran, Richard.
  • Daly, Patrick.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Dolan, James Nicholas.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Lavery, Cecil.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGovern, Patrick.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • Myles, James Sproule.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Neill, Eamonn.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, Bridget Mary.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Rowlette, Robert James.
  • Wall, Nicholas.


  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Cooney, Eamonn.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Donnelly, Eamon.
  • Dowdall, Thomas P.
  • Flinn, Hugo V.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Neilan, Martin.
  • O Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.
Tellers:— Tá: Deputies Doyle and Bennett; Níl: Deputies Little and Smith.
Motion declared lost.