Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Appointment of Ministers Plenipotentiary to Foreign States.

asked the Minister for External Affairs if he will state what procedure has been adopted under the Executive Authority (External Relations) Act, 1936, in the matter of the appointment of Ministers Plenipotentiary from Éire to foreign States; who signs the credentials and the letters of appointment for such Ministers; and also what is the exact phraseology in the credentials and letter of appointment of the Irish Minister to the King of Italy and Emperor of Ethiopia.

Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary of Ireland to other States are selected by the Government and accredited on their advice. Letters of Credence prepared by the Department of External Affairs are signed by the King and countersigned by the Minister for External Affairs.

With regard to the part of the Deputy's question which related to the exact phraseology of the Letter of Credence of the Irish Minister to Italy I would remind the Deputy that it has not been the practice to publish the text of Letters of Credence. I may add, however, that these have been changed from time to time, and that the general question of the form of all documents of an international character which are at present signed on advice is now receiving attention in the light of the new Constitutional position and the Government's policy.

Arising out of the Minister's reply, might I ask how the King's signature is got; how is the King's consent signified? Is there a messenger sent over? What exactly is the method? Would the Minister for External Affairs tell the House what the procedure is?

I explained that Letters of Credence prepared in the Department of External Affairs are signed by the King and countersigned by the Minister for External Affairs. Is not that the information the Deputy is looking for?

That is not exactly the information I am asking for. I know that the Letters of Credence are signed by the King. What I want to know is this—does the King come across——

Deputies

Oh! Oh!

What I want to know is how the King's signature is got to the document—does the King come across to External Affairs or does somebody from External Affairs go over to the King? That is what I want to know.

We have, of course, confidential posts to the High Commissioner. The High Commissioner delivers any document of that sort.