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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 4 Jan 1940

Vol. 78 No. 11

Offences Against the State (Amendment) Bill, 1940—Second Stage.

I move that the Bill be now read a Second Time. There are very few changes in this Bill as compared with Part VI of the Offences Against the State Act, passed here some months ago. Section 3 of it corresponds to Section 54. In that, there is no change whatever in the Offences Against the State Act. In Section 4 there are some changes. It says: "Whenever a Minister of State is of opinion that any particular person", and so on. That has been substituted for the words in Section 55 of the old Act: "Whenever a Minister of State is satisfied". The reason that change is being made is to try and get over some legal difficulties that have been raised in the courts. It has been construed that, having the word "satisfied" in the existing Act, the Minister was exercising some judicial functions. Sub-section 5 of Section 4: "Every warrant issued by a Minister of State under this section shall be in the form set out in the Schedule", is new. Section 5 is the same as Section 56 in the former Act. Section 6 is the same as the old Section 57, and Section 7 is the same as the old Section 58. Section 8 is the same as the old Section 59, except that, at the end, Deputies will note in paragraph (d) of sub-section (3), it is provided: "If the commission reports that no reasonable grounds exist for the continued detention of such person, such person shall, with all convenient speed be released." In the old section it was set out: "...should be released within one week." The courts seem to have taken some exception to that. We have tried to meet that by saying, "... with all convenient speed be released". With those few minor changes which, I submit, are a relief to the citizen, this Bill is practically the same as the measure that was passed some months ago by the Oireachtas.

I do not know that any useful purpose would be served by going into the various matters that were referred to here yesterday. I do not know whether we are going to have a re-hash of them here to-day, but I think that every possible angle that referred to the position in the country was debated and discussed here yesterday. I do not know that any purpose would be served by my saying more at this stage.

I find it hard to make up my mind as to what exactly is the view of the Government of the present situation in the country. Now, so far as this Bill is concerned, our attitude is that we will give the Government the powers they ask for. We will give them this Bill, but the powers of this Bill are not enough. There is something required for the common weal to-day that we cannot give, and that can be given by nobody but the Executive charged with the responsibility of government in this State, and that is the clear conviction carried to the people that the Executive of the State have the resolution and the courage to defend the liberties of our people, and to preserve our heritage as an independent nation. Let us not fall into the error of exaggerating the numbers or the power of the comparatively small group of men who are concerned to overthrow this State, but, while avoiding that error, let us not close our eyes to the fact that the issue raised in this country by the attack upon the arsenal is the issue between anarchy and the rule of law. Many people, including, I think, Deputies like the Lord Mayor of Cork——

Please speak for yourself, and do not mind Deputy Hickey of Cork.

——make the mistake of imagining that soft talk is going to remedy the evils that exist in this country.

Truthful talk.

Many people imagine that if you yield to the use of force in the hands of a minority that, perhaps, that would put an end to the confusion and difficulty that have beset this country during the past few years. No greater illusion could ever confound a sovereign people, because if this group got control of the State to-morrow by the use of force, it would be merely a matter of time until some other group, invoking force, would overthrow these usurpers. If the situation were allowed to develop by us, who are the people's trustees, whatever side we sit upon, the day would rapidly come upon this country when Ireland would be, vis-á-vis Great Britain, what Cuba or Mexico were 20 years ago, vis-á-vis the United States of America, and succeeding conflicts between armed mobs in this country would invite intervention by external powers to restore order, as order was restored in Mexico and in Cuba by the United States Government, and on that day let those upon whose shoulders this responsibility rests remember that the Irish throughout the world would become a homeless race. The day this country becomes the subject of repeated intervention by external powers for the restoration of order, and that we have proved ourselves incapable of maintaining it, on that day the Irish people scattered throughout the world have no home to look back to, and the house they left us to preserve and to defend will have been abandoned by us and delivered to those who sought to conquer it unsuccessfully for seven centuries.

That is the issue, and any burking of that issue, or any fear to face it is treachery in the face of the most dangerous enemies that ever confronted Ireland. It is comparatively easy to fight the enemy from without, because he is easy to recognise, but it is often fearfully difficult to combat the enemy from within, because he is hard to recognise, and it is a cruel duty to strike him. But cruel as that duty may be, it is none the less the duty of any legitimate Government in this country, and of any Irish Parliament worthy of the name, to strike, and to strike ruthlessly, in order that Ireland may continue to be a nation and that the world may know that we are capable of preserving our nationhood, and the liberties of the people who live here, against the attempt of any minority, from whatever side it comes, to destroy them by force of arms. We passed one Bill yesterday, and we are about to pass another Bill to-day which, with the legislation already in existence, the Executive tells us is sufficient to enable them to deal effectively with the threat that confronts this country.

I want to say now, that I am convinced that the threat of violence will be dissipated in a very short time if the Executive will say, and mean: "We are going to give persons carrying arms and keeping ammunition ten days to surrender these arms and ammunition to the properly constituted authority, and in respect of any person who will do that now and who is putting his past folly and mistakes behind him we are prepared to clean the slate. But on next Monday week we are going out to get the arms and to get the ammunition, whatever the cost, and we are going to pursue them until the last lethal weapon in unauthorised hands in Ireland has been captured by the Government of this country and thereafter they will be held by them and by nobody else; and that capture will be effected for the purpose not of crushing any party but for the purpose of safeguarding for all time the right of the Irish people, by their free vote, to choose a Fine Gael Government, a Fianna Fáil Government, a Labour Government, or a Republican Government, if they want to do so, and these lethal weapons and these munitions will be held in trust and passed on to whatever Government the Irish people choose, no matter what the purpose of that Government was or the policy of that Government may be."

Unless that is said now, and unless that is done now, we are not going to crash into anarchy, but we shall slowly and degradingly disintegrate into anarchy. We have to face the fact that not only the ordinary plain people down the country, but our Guards and our soldiers are human beings, and if there spreads throughout the country this doubt: "Does this Government mean business, or does this Government intend to sell out when things get hot enough" a demoralisation is bound to sweep the country, because those who are now ready and willing to give loyal service in defence of institutions that at present exist, will begin to say to themselves: "If we do our duty now, if we join in no half-hearted manner in carrying out the purpose of the Government to crush armed attempts to overthrow it, will not the fact that we did our duty now be on record against us when these armed gangs get control, and will not our devotion to duty now be visited upon us when these armed gangs come to acquire the confidential files which reveal the record of our actions?" If that once gets abroad, not only amongst the forces of the State, but amongst the people as a whole, not from the want of will to help, not from the want of courage to do their duty, but from the want of certainty as to what their duty is, thousands of our people will stand aside, and suffer this disintegration to destroy us for the want of that confidence which the Executive and only the Executive can give.

I appreciate the political disadvantages to the Minister for Industry and Commerce and the Minister for Justice of any praise from me, but I want to say this, that deeply as we may differ from these men, and we do, and clear as it is to my mind that there are questions upon which we are poles apart, at least on this side of the House we can recognise the value to the nation of moral courage in the men who are prominently in its public life. Physical courage is a comparatively common gift, moral courage is rare, and I say all honour to the Minister for Industry and Commerce and to the Minister for Justice for the language they used in the House yesterday. Deep as may be the divisions between us there ought to be one common issue upon which we all stand together, as the trustees of the people's liberty, and that is that the majority will rule in this country.

There is no use underestimating the difficulty of those whose past conduct has been interpreted by some of their fellow countrymen as being analogous to the activities that are going on to-day. It is not easy for these men. They differentiate between the situation in 1922 and the situation now. It is not easy for these men to say what they said here yesterday, but without going into argument about the events of bygone years we do say that now we have arrived at common ground, and whatever our differences in the past on these matters or whatever has made the change, we are all agreed now that the majority must rule. I say that to go behind that agreement serves no useful purpose.

Some of us may deplore the road by which we have travelled to that agreement. Some of us may condemn in our hearts most strongly much of what has happened in the past. But it is an inestimable national advantage, whatever road we have travelled to reach that common agreement, that we have got it. It is a real service to this nation that people on all sides of the House should proclaim that together we have reached that common goal.

I see from time to time sneers and jibes in certain organs of the Press in this country at Dáil Eireann; that we are unworthy of their encomiums and their praise. In the particular journal most fond of that kind of codology I would be ashamed of my life to see myself praised. The day the Irish Times places the accolade on me, I will think of retiring into a monastery. But I want to say this, that contemptible as is the circulation of that organ, it ill becomes it to abuse the liberty it has got, by virtue of the zeal with which this House preserves the liberty of the Press, to belittle the Parliamentary institutions of the country. I have seen the Parliamentary institutions working in the United States of America, in Great Britain, in France, in Australia, and in New Zealand, and I glory in the fact that our Parliamentary institutions are as good as, or better than, any of them. I glory in the fact that we are able in this House and in this Oireachtas to preserve our convictions, to fight for our respective beliefs, and, at the same time, in this hour of emergency——

What about the time you wanted them abolished because they were un-Irish?

——to be united in defence of the fundamental issue that unhappily has been raised in this State at the present time. There are few parliaments in the world which can preserve their parliamentary discussion, the vigour of their useful debate, and underneath that present an unbroken front to those who would threaten democratic institutions within the country. This Parliament, I believe, to-day is doing that, and no small measure of credit for that situation is due to the Minister for Industry and Commerce and the Minister for Justice. If there is one thing in the present situation to be deplored, it is that the Prime Minister of this State could not find it in his heart to use words as frank and as effective as these two men saw fit to employ. I glory in the fact that we have intact in this country, despite all the difficulties which have beset us, the right to disagree. I glory that we have preserved to date intact the right of the people ultimately to decide on any issues that may be joined between us. I feel that all of us, whether we belong to a Party or are independent Deputies, whether we are members of the Government or of the Opposition, are individually the trustees of the people's right to those things. I look forward with confidence to the continuation of political disputation in this country and the periodic reference of our differences to the people for determination through the ballot box. On that road lies freedom, liberty, decency, and dignity for our people.

Claptrap about national Governments, that men who are honestly at variance with one another should jettison their convictions and, for the purpose of pleasing the decrepit Irish Times, combine in a futile and confused bedlam behind closed doors——

The Deputy, while objecting to the political views of a journal, should not comment on its circulation or financial status.

If it calls this House decrepit, I suppose I am entitled to call it decrepit, the difference being that its accusation is false and mine is too painfully true. However, if you, Sir, think it improper, I will withdraw it.

The Deputy realise that there is a remedy.

What is the remedy?

It is not for me to say. The Deputy could get more competent legal advice.

I believe that the place for discussion and difference is Dáil Eireann. The more trenchant it is, the more evident its sincerity, the better for the country, always provided that in the hour of national danger this Dáil can come together in the province of a council of state, a board of trustees, to defend their trust. I think we are doing it now—and this cannot be too strongly emphasised—doing it for the purpose, not of crushing any movement in this country, but of destroying for all time the claim to overthrow this State by force of arms; doing it—and this cannot be too strongly emphasised— with no hatred in our hearts for the men who are doing wrong, but with strong hatred of the wrong they do; doing it for the purpose of preserving the trust that was placed upon us to preserve intact the right of the Irish people to elect any Government they please; doing it in the confidence that along that road ultimately lies the future glory of this country, confident that our failure to keep to that road must end in its disintegration and disgrace. I am not going to add much more to what I have said, except this: For good or ill, it might have been for good, but I am sorry to say it appears to me now to be for great ill, the name of de Valera carries weight in this country. It carries greater weight inasmuch as he is the Prime Minister of the State, the Head of the Government of this State.

Did you vote to make him that?

I did. I have no apology to make for it. I did what was right in that situation. There he is, and, at this eleventh hour, that which has done this State great damage can yet be used to do great good. He has a choice to make which is immensely difficult. He has a burden to bear made infinitely heavier by the events of his own past. His record will stand or fall on the question of whether he is equal to the crisis that now confronts him. I challenge him to come out in public now and tell the people on what side it is he stands. Is he prepared to face this threat to popular Government in Ireland and stake his career and, if needs be his life, to defend it? Is he or is he not? The members of this Party and on this Front Bench have given evidence in the past that they were, and will pledge their words that they are now. I am asking the Prime Minister for no evidence drawn from the past; I am asking him only for the supplementary pledge that whatever he risked his life or career for in the past he is prepared to put them in issue now. If he does that, and if those behind him, for whom he is responsible, are prepared to face the blast, the danger that confronts this country is finished overnight. If he is afraid to do it and if he will not get out and let in others who are not afraid to do it take his place, then he sells the citadel of this State from within and he sells it in a way that none of us can prevent him from selling it. He betrays the historic Irish nation to its enemies as Dermot MacMurrough sold it to the British, with this distinction, that those who came after Dermot MacMurrough could wipe out his treachery whereas, if we are sold to the enemy within, then the disintegration and the destruction that will come upon us will scatter the Irish people the world over and leave them a homeless and an abandoned race. It will demoralise the Irish at home to a point which will disable them for all time from emerging as the united nation that Ireland was destined by God to be.

We have listened to a speech from Deputy Dillon and, now that we are all examining our consciences, I would put it to Deputy Dillon and the members who sit with him on those benches that a large part of the difficulty under which we are labouring lies behind the implication in Deputy Dillon's question to the Taoiseach—"on which side does he stand; is he prepared to defend popular government?" The big difficulty of the Government is that a certain number of men throughout the country have been taught that their armed action and their organisation are analogous to the armed action and the organisation with which men on both sides of this House were associated and, particularly, that their activities are analogous to the activities of the men on this side of the House who fought in the civil war. That implication is a lie. It is a disastrous lie for young people to believe. It is a lie without the slightest shadow of foundation in historical fact. The Taoiseach and the members on these benches have more evidence to give that they are on the side of popular government—that is, the control of national activities by representatives freely elected by the Irish people—than a mere pledge in words. They have risked their lives and have given 20 years' or 25 years' service, as the Taoiseach has done, for that ideal. At no time did the Taoiseach depart from that ideal. Are we behind popular government? The Deputy and other members across there threw out a Constitution popularly adopted——

What the hell is the use of this?

The Deputy can go off when it is getting too hot for him.

I do not care two fiddlede-dees what you say. You are a hopeless futility.

And I do not care what you say. Deputy Dillon put forward Deputy Cosgrave as the only man who could save this nation and this situation. If it had not been for Deputy Cosgrave, there would not be a single weapon outstanding in this country. Deputy Cosgrave and the men with him were offered all the arms by the people on this side of the House, when they were in a position to deliver them, on the basis that he should freely accept popular government and popular representation without any oath of allegiance to a foreign king. They were offered these terms on condition that the oath would be abolished, and that men could freely come into this Assembly to advocate their opinions, and they refused that offer.

We stood for the control of this country at all times by the freely-elected representatives of the people. When, at the end of the civil war, the Taoiseach made an offer to the then Cosgrave Government of final peace between the different sections in Ireland, it was on condition that popular government would be really representative here, that representatives of all sections of the community could come freely into this House and, on that basis, that no matter what Government was elected by the people, it should have control of the arms. We could have delivered the arms at that time, but the offer was refused on the ground that the oath of allegiance could not be abolished. The oath of allegiance has, thank God, since been abolished, and if some of the young men who are engaged in armed activity at the moment could only understand that it is a lie to say that the Taoiseach was ever against popular representative government, and that the I.R.A. who fought the civil war were prepared to hand up their arms to a Government freely elected by the representatives of the people, we should have less trouble than we have at the present time. I do not say that we would not have any trouble. You have, unfortunately, sections of men and young fellows who are far from wise. I wish to God they would not be carried away by this lie—that the activities they are engaged in, and that the organisation in which they are, are in any way analogous to the activities engaged in by the Taoiseach, his Ministers and supporters throughout the country several years ago, or analogous to the organisation with which they were connected.

It was with some diffidence that I intervened in this debate at all. I was for seven and a half years Minister for Defence. Like every officer and soldier of the Army who was under my control for these seven and a half years, I got a most terrible shock on the morning of Christmas Eve. Like the vast majority of these officers and men, I felt that what happened on the Saturday night before Christmas was a reflection on my own personal honour. Like them, I propose to do what I can to see that such a state of affairs as existed on the Saturday night before Christmas will never occur again in this country.

It is wrong to say, however, as some people across the House have stated, that the Army is indisciplined, treacherous, or disloyal. The vast majority of the officers who are in control of the Army fought against me in the civil war, but I can give them this credit: that, during these seven and a half years this Government, and myself as Minister, got from them the most absolute loyalty, and that, taking them on the whole, they are as disciplined and loyal a force as any Government has had at its disposal in any country in the world. In saying that, that is not to excuse what happened at the Magazine Fort. There is no possible excuse for that. It has been pointed out that the matter is being investigated by the Army authorities, and I am perfectly certain that the Army authorities, the officers in the Army, the N.C.O.s and the private soldiers of the Army are as much concerned as any individual throughout the country, or as any Irishman living abroad, to see that whatever was wrong on that night will not go unpunished. It should not have occurred. Even though there were a million revolutionaries armed to the teeth and organised to the last degree it should not have occurred in the way in which it did; but if the Army were completely and absolutely indisciplined, and if there were no guard at all either in the Magazine Fort or any part of Dublin, it should not have occurred either, because there should be a spirit in the young men of this country and they should be educated up to the point that that sort of thing is disastrous to this nation.

Fortunately for the future of this country, it was merely a stunt—successful in one detail, but entered upon without full consideration of the ultimate consequences. These people were organised to the point where they were able, by some means—which are being inquired into but into which I do not propose to enter now—to get a certain amount of ammunition, but beyond that they were not able to organise the retention of that ammunition, and I want to point out to these young people that those who are in control of that organisation are not fit to carry out any action that would be of value to this country. They are capable of entering into stunts, but they have not got the capacity or the organising ability to enter into or carry out anything more than stunts.

It is fortunate for this country in one way that when these people felt the urge to embark upon a stunt it was that particular stunt upon which they embarked, and not one that would have brought much more serious consequences upon this country, and I pray to God that we will all learn a lesson and that out of this evil good will come. There are lessons to be learned all around from this occurrence, and while the Government, and myself personally, have lessons to learn from it—and they have been pointed out to us—I want to say that there are lessons to be learned by the Opposition also in this connection. We do not want to go into the merits or the history of what happened a few years ago, but it is wrong to say, and there is no historical justification for saying, that these men are acting in the way that Fianna Fáil and the old I.R.A. acted in the past. The old I.R.A. were prepared to hand in their arms, to hand them to any Government that was elected on a free basis. You now have a Government freely elected by the people of this country and, thanks be to God, you have that Government freely elected and governing under a constitution freely enacted by the people. In such circumstances there is absolutely no moral justification, good, bad or indifferent, for the use of force by any section of the community, and I hope that the people and the newspapers who have been trying to get these young men to believe that they have a moral justification for their activities on that basis will cease that sort of disastrous propaganda.

We have Bills before us which we are asking the Dáil to implement. Those Bills will give the Government certain powers of internment in cases where they are not able to bring proof of illegal activity. It is unfortunate that a democratic Government should have to ask for such powers. But are democratic Governments to be so circumscribed that their hands are bound and that they cannot use powers of internment in order to prevent a successful revolution by a party who would be prepared to intern all and sundry who dared to speak against them? If we believe in democracy, the Government in power in a democratic State must be armed with the powers necessary to defend democracy against revolutionary bodies who are autocratic in their outlook.

We hope that there will be very little call made upon these powers of internment, but in the last analysis it is better that a situation should not be allowed to arise in which the Government would have to use force against force. If there is an organisation which invokes the fear of death as an argument against the people and against the Government, then I think that all people in the country and all members of all Parties in this House should be prepared to support the Government in using these powers of internment as a counter argument to the fear of death which a certain organisation is using. If, unfortunately, the powers of internment and the powers of jailing do not put an end to illegal activities and revolutionary activities worse consequences may befall the country. I hope that parents throughout the country and those who have influence with young people will keep them out of such organisations, that they will point out to them that we are a small nation, and that in these days small nations should have discipline, that small nations are falling like nine-pins over the world, and that if this small nation is to survive it must have discipline, and the Government elected by the people must have at least the support of all good citizens in seeing that no revolutionary action will take place here.

If we are to decide any item of national policy by force, the utilisation of that force will result in a waste of energy which should be devoted to the solving of the undoubted social, economic and political ills from which this country suffers. I think the people of the country should thank God that in this crisis in the world's history we have got so far on our national road to complete independence that we can keep the biggest portion of the nation out of this disastrous war. They should think for a moment what would have been the consequences to the country had not the progress of the last seven or eight years been made towards the recovery of our political independence, as represented in our Constitution, and towards the recovery of vital portions of our national territory, together with the abolition of certain clauses in the Treaty which would undoubtedly have put this country into the war. We have a lot to strive for. It will require discipline and hard work on the part of the people, the Government the Guards and the Army in order that we may make progress. We have, thanks be to God, a lot to be grateful for in the progress that has been made during the last 20 or 25 years.

I hope that this stunt that took place in the Magazine Fort will do good to the country in the long run. I find great difficulty, owing to the great shock, in seeing any silver lining in the cloud; but if it brings home generally to the people the need for discipline, if it brings home to the Army that no officer or soldier can dare for one instant to depart from the routine laid down for the guarding of posts and other matters like that, if it brings home to the Guards throughout the country that they must be particularly active in tracing down people who might disturb the peace of the country, or tracing down arms which might be used against the people of this country, then there will be some little silver in the lining.

I want to say again that that will not excuse the original formation of the cloud. What has occurred should not have occurred and I feel as humiliated about it as any member of the public who has been thinking about it and to whom it must have been a great shock. I have this confidence, however, that the Army is in a sufficiently healthy condition to react in a vigorous manner to this false blow that has been inflicted on it. The people throughout the country can see for themselves that instead of succumbing and wilting under this shock, it has brought the Army to its feet, and by its activities in conjunction with the Guards, has succeeded in recovering a large portion of the ammunition that was taken from the Fort. But there are still other arms abroad. Apart from every round of ammunition that was taken from the fort, there are still arms that must be recovered. We admit the criticism that we have been a tender-hearted Government, that we have not behaved with ruthlessness in putting down armed activities and armed organisations.

Mr. Brenann

They do not count.

I think that, notwithstanding this latest incident, our policy in the past has been the right one. We gave every opportunity to these men who have these arms to drop their activities without it being said to them that they were beaten to it by force. We have made every possible appeal to them to give up such activities and, if they had ideas as to how this country should be governed, to go forth to the people at elections and get their support for those ideas. There was some little excuse for the armed forces of the law here, all the forces of the law, not being as much on the alert as they should have been because, for a number of years past, this organisation has been preaching that it did not mean to take any action against the Government in this part of the country. They have said that in their papers, in conversation, even in their wireless broadcasts.

That is no excuse.

It is no excuse, I admit, for anybody not being on the alert, but it is something which the members of this organisation should ponder over. They were organised on the basis that there was not going to be a civil war here, and when enrolled in that organisation their membership was taken advantage of to commit what was an act of war against the people of this country. They were organised on a different basis, and they have committed an act of war in an undeclared war that is reminiscent of the undeclared wars that have been in operation in other parts of the world for some time. But that sort of game does not pay in the long run, and particularly it does not pay a small nation, or an organisation within a small nation, that wants to secure its freedom and wants to secure social progress.

Some of those people justify certain actions of theirs by saying that they are only following the example of large empires. Well, large empires can be vicious and can get away with it, but the strength of a small nation is in its virtue and in the virtue of its people. Any body of men that is going to make progress here for the complete recovery of our national territory or for the advancement of this country politically, economically or in any other way, must do it on the basis of fair play, justice and truth. We have certain portions of our territory to recover, and over that question we have certain difficulties with our neighbour. We have told our neighbour that she was responsible for it, but the Government has also told the people of this country, and those who are anxious to see our territory re-united, that we do not believe in force as a solution of it, and if force is not a solution of that problem, when used by a Government supported by the people, it is worse than useless when attempted by a small handful. A stunt might be carried out, but it could not ultimately be successful any more than the stunt at the Park was successful.

I hope and pray that the people throughout the country who have any influence with any of those young fellows who are in this organisation will try to teach them sense, and that they will try to stop the flow of recruits to it. It is not a very big body, but small bodies organised with determination can be dangerous. I do not think that this is an occasion when the Government should follow the advice tendered by Deputy Cosgrave, and retire from political life because of this particular incident. Deputy Cosgrave, as was pointed out by the Minister for Justice, did not retire either as head of a Government or from political life when incidents as important as these occurred before. With 20 men I took ten times as much stuff myself, and Deputy Cosgrave did not retire as head of the Government.

But this is an occasion for an examination of conscience on the part of the Government, on the part of the Opposition, on the part of the Army and the Guards, and of the people throughout the country to see that this organisation is weakened in every way possible, and that the members in it who cannot be taught sense will be put under lock and key so that their activities will be restricted, and so that the arms which might be attempted to be used against the people of this country, bringing disaster in its train, will be recovered and put under the control of the Government elected by the people.

The discussion yesterday pretty well covered the normal lines of the discussion which would take place on this Bill, but I want to-day to avoid, as far as possible, a mere repetition of the sentiments which I expressed yesterday. There were, however, some statements made this evening which ought not be allowed to go unchallenged. Deputy Dillon, in his speech, which was reeking with vengeance and with malice, and malice not against the people who have caused our only political problem in this country, but malice against fellow-Irishmen, exhorted the Government to do much more than even the Minister for Justice, under much provocation yesterday, indicated his intention of doing. As I listened to Deputy Dillon I could not help thinking that I was listening to more concentrated humbug in this House than I had ever listened to before. Deputy Dillon's main concern was not to allow this country to get into the position vis-á-vis Great Britain that Mexico had got into in respect to the United States, but Mexico to-day possesses much more freedom in respect of the United States than this country possesses in respect to Great Britain. Deputy Dillon is concerned only with seeing that kind of fragmentary annoyance that for a time the Mexicans caused the United States. He is not concerned at all with seeing that there is no end, and can be no end, to our problems vis-a-vis Great Britain until Britain abandons her attempt to try to instal permanently here her armed might as a challenge to the indivisibility of the Irish nation. Mexico, at all events, has no Six-County problem. She has no Mexicans torn from her side and incorporated in another country. The Mexicans to-day do not render homage to the United States as they were compelled to do, when some people advised them to take then the same line that Deputy Dillon advises this country to take to-day.

I could not help thinking, in the course of Deputy Dillon's speech, that it was the case of the poacher turned gamekeeper. He was brimful of advice to the Government as to what they should do with this organisation, which he described in such unmeasured tones. He was anxious to give advice to the Government to go further, possibly, than they intend to go, and, so far as he is concerned, one shudders at the thought that the responsibility for ordered conditions in this country should ever rest in his hands. His whole speech was a speech which was characteristic of just a pious political hope that the Government would strike, and strike ruthlessly, and strike against whom? Against certain Irishmen whose main fault, as I said yesterday, is that they have believed longer than their teachers some of the things which their teachers taught them. It is not so long since Deputy Dillon used to appear in another pose, and it is not so long since we used to look on members of the Fine Gael Party coming into this House enshrouded in blue shirts. It is not so long since its titular leader declared at Kinsale that they must make life intolerable for those who opposed them. The Fine Gael Party was not then fortified by the votes of the people. They had no majority then. They were a minority Party, yet notwithstanding that, the titular leader at all events declared that they must make life intolerable for those who opposed them. Is not that a nice variety of democracy?

He was standing for law and order.

The Deputy was not then in the Party. He only came in at the end. It was rather a shock for people who were in the Party then, but who subsequently went out of it. We had that speech at Kinsale from the titular leader of the Blueshirts, that they must make life intolerable for those who opposed them. Will anyone try to defend that as democracy? Can anyone say that that variety of democracy was fortified by the votes of the majority of the people? Deputy Dillon talked about the majority vote yet he gave utterance to language of such violence. We had another reference to-day by Deputy Dillon concerning the preservation of Parliamentary institutions. They are substantially the same now as they were in 1934. We have still the same leader, now happily departed, and the same Fine Gael Party that declared that the Parliamentary institutions of this country were un-Irish and ought to be abolished. The institutions which the titular leader then wanted abolished are now something that Deputy Dillon wants to have preserved.

Deputy Dillon is probably right in wanting to preserve these institutions. The only regret I have is that he did not say long ago to his now departed leader that these institutions were such as should not be subjected to his bull in a china shop antics of 1934 and 1935. Some of us have longer memories than Deputy Dillon imagines. He said the political and economic programme of the Fine Gael Party was the same. If any of the speeches and declarations, orally and in the Press, meant anything, they clearly indicated the intention to set up here a totalitarian State, to suppress popular Government, and to bring about the same kind of regimentation that I fear this Bill will bring about in respect of anyone the Government of the day dislikes. Deputy Dillon may now pretend to shed crocodile tears about the assault on democracy, but he knows well that he stood for a Party and for a political programme that would have torn to shreds any pretence at democratic Government.

I want to say something about the Bill now. Neither Deputy Dillon nor the Minister for Co-ordination of Defence once mentioned it in the course of their speeches. The object of this Bill is the same as the one that was before the House yesterday. It is to get hold of any persons that the Minisster suspects of being likely to interfere with the preservation of peace and order in the State. That does not mean that full responsibility rests upon the Minister, because malicious and evilly-disposed persons may report to the Minister, and if any plausible case is made, people may be incarcerated in internment camps. I happen to know what happened during the recent round-up, when a person who was at one time a member of the Old I.R.A., and who had not been for many years in the organisation, but was a member of the Labour Party, believing in constitutional action, had to suffer the indignity of having his house raided, his person searched, and being subjected to an inquisition which could not possibly have been sustained on the basis of any evidence whatever. Inquiries which I made, to try to find a shred of justification, failed hopelessly to reveal any ground for subjecting that person to such treatment.

That is the kind of tyranny which the Executive Council and the Government of the day can be guilty of once they get power of this kind. Once they have the power to raid, to search and to intern, they are not going to be concerned with evidence as justification for their conduct or for the indignities they heap on other people. In this amending Bill they are seeking power to arrest and to detain persons without charge or trial. In fact, they are seeking power to intern people as if they were aliens and had no interest in this country, except to destroy it, or to aid some foreign Power to bring about its re-subjugation and assist in its annexation. No one can pretend to believe that the Bill represents the mentality of anybody with an interest in the country. No matter how much we may disagree, and no matter how much we may be opposed to the Government, the power to arrest and detain people without charge or trial is, in my opinion, nothing more than tyranny. There is no difference in my view in a supposedly democratic State, and the detestable regimentation of totalitarian States, when both of them possess the right to arrest citizens, to throw them into jails or concentration camps, and to keep them there, feeling all the time that they will never be called upon to prefer a charge against those who have been arrested, or to bring them for trial before those who are capable of administering justice in an impartial and unbiassed fashion. Because I believe these things, and because I am opposed to that kind of tyranny, I propose to vote against the Second Reading of this Bill.

The Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures was in sackcloth and ashes this evening, and well he might be. Probably in no other democratic country in the world would a Minister, after what happened on the Saturday before Christmas, still be a member of the Front Bench. It is a tribute probably to the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures and the tender-heartedness of the Government that a Minister for Defence who was then in office is still in office. The mess and the blundering of that episode will live for a long time. The incapacity and incompetence that accompanied it has done greater disservice to a democratic country than has ever been done by a democratic Government. The Minister this evening put a white sheet around the Army. There was no need for him to do that. It is a black sheet around himself he ought to have put—a black flag—and if there was anything to spare, it should be spread over whatever is left of the dignity of the Minister for Defence. Nobody in this House has anything but admiration for the Army. I certainly want my view recorded that I have nothing but admiration for the Army. I have that admiration in face of the many efforts made to undermine the independence of the Army, and to get them to believe that they were being injected with another body which was trying to keep them straight. The Army cannot be made the scapegoat of the recent incident in respect of the Magazine. Individual Army officers, the rank and file, lieutenants, captains and commandants, are not expected to know what is in the Government's mind.

I presume that there is not communicated to them what view the Government have of their armed opponents within the State. But, in the face of that kind of immunity from what happens, and in face of the fact that it apparently does not share the confidence of the Government, the Army that has functioned in this country since 1922 has, in face of many temptations to the contrary, served the Irish people faithfully and well.

It ill becomes a Minister, whose national title is the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures, to come to the House and, in the Gilbert-and-Sullivan fashion adopted by him this evening, pose as a defender of the Army. He ought to be the greatest apologist for the Army, because it is his bungling and incompetence, and the bungling and incompetence of his colleague, the Minister for Defence, which brought about the position which arose in this country on the Saturday before Christmas, a position which probably would not arise in any other country in the world, no matter how inefficiently it was governed. It was left to these two Ministers to plumb new low depths of inefficiency and incompetence. The Army is not responsible for the mess and for the incompetence of the Government. Whatever high members of the Army have to say to it, the one thing the rank and file cannot have fastened on them is the responsibility which properly belongs to the Government and to these two incompetent and inefficient members of the Government. It is true that the Government is a tender-hearted Government, as the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures said; it was a tender-hearted Government when it permitted him to speak from the front bench to-day.

We are not going to get ordered government in a country with our past with the type of inefficiency, incompetence, bungling and messing which was displayed by the people responsible for the preservation of State property, and by the two incompetent Ministers whose bungling led to the creation of the present state of affairs. We have a past in this country; everybody in the House knows that past. It is a past such as probably no other country has had. It is a past that we probably will not get over for a very considerable time. We do not help to get over it by pleading guilty to the type of incompetence that this country has been confronted with during the past fortnight.

I regret more than any words of mine can express that there should be in this country a body which purports to be a second army, which purports to be a rival to the people's Army, which purports to constitute an authority opposed to the popularly elected Government. I believe in one Government and in one Army. But I do not think that you will get either one or the other by the inefficient methods which are in operation to-day. Nor do I think that you will get an acceptance of the conception of one Army and one Government by resorting to the road chalked out for us in this amending Bill. This amending Bill does violence to the Constitution. It tramples on every right which the ordinary citizen had under the Constitution. It would have been much better for us if we had set down on a post-card certain inalienable principles which could not be interfered with in a time of malice or in a spirit of vengeance or maliciousness, rather than to have a fluffy, pious document served up to us as a Constitution, which only lasts as a Constitution and as the title deeds of the people so long as the Government in power permit the people to enjoy those privileges.

Under this Bill we are making shreds of the Constitution. We are tearing it up and trampling underfoot the most vital principles in any organised community, the right of a person to be regarded as innocent until such time as he is proved guilty; the right of a person not to be thrown into jail or into a concentration camp until a charge has been prefererd against him and he has been found guilty in accordance with the law of the country. It is because I believe that there is no salvation for this country along the road of the right to arrest and intern people without charge or trial, and along the road of the concentration camp, and because the arrest and detention of people, even innocent people, without charge or trial could not help to make those people regret whatever misdemeanours or crimes they may be guilty of, but would rather tend to encourage them in the opposite direction, that I am opposed to giving to the Government powers to take a line which, in the long run, in my view, will re-act seriously upon the unity which I think is more essential in this country to-day than ever.

Might I make one suggestion to the Minister responsible for this Bill and to the Government? Even now, with their emergency powers giving the right of internment and, under this Bill the right to arrest without charge or trial, they might pause and think and see whether there is not another road which could be followed; whether they could not abandon that line of coercion which is indicated in those measures, and see whether they could not do what the Taoiseach said ought to be done when he spoke in New Ross in 1932: "He did not believe that in this country they were so vicious-minded that there was a class of people that had to be governed by coercion Acts. That was the British attitude towards this country. Was it to be their fate in this country that they were always to have Irish Governments like that?" They should pause and think now and see whether there is not another road which could be travelled, a road which does not mean the concentration camp and the jail, which does not mean arrest and detention without charge or trial, a road which is probably calculated, if wisely and sagaciously explored, to give to the country what it needs more than anything else to-day— the maximum amount of unity amongst all the people in the country and all parties within the country.

There is one thing in which I agree with the Minister for Defence and it is that we have seen in the last couple of years many small and young nations enjoy their new-found liberty for a very short period. I do not want to see anything happen in this country which would jeopardise the liberty which our people have won. I do not want to see this country, either by the negligence of the Government or by the futile activities of any organisation within the country, jeopardise the liberty for which too many people have made sacrifices. In this awful European catastrophe through which we are passing, this awful holocaust, is it not possible for the Government to recognise that there may be some other road, a somewhat better road, for the achievement of internal peace in this country and for the attainment of the maximum measure of national unity? The Government can try that road. I, for one, feel that even a modicum of success along that road is calculated to yield to this country much more useful results than the bitterness, hardship, hatred and vengeance which the road of the jail and the concentration camp will produce.

I suggest, therefore, to the Minister in charge of this Bill that, before embarking on a policy of implementing these two Acts, he might endeavour to arrive at a modus vivendi by giving effect to some other policy and endeavouring to enlist the assistance of some other agency which would give this country, in the dark days through which Europe is likely to pass, an opportunity of creating peaceful internal conditions while trying to harness, at the same time, the maximum power which the nation has at its disposal to end once and for all the greatest political crime in this country—the crime of having six of our counties torn from us. A course of that kind is calculated to yield a much greater measure of success than the coercion, bitterness and hatred which represent the road which we are now travelling so far as these Bills are concerned.

When some of us were children, a long time ago, we used to go out in the morning and look at some of the bushes. We used see there little lumps of what seemed to be like suds. If you grasped it, you found in it a little thing which resembled an insect or a young bird—you did not know which. We used to call it the "cuckoo's spit". I have not seen any for a long time. Perhaps I do not go where children go. My only interpretation of Deputy Norton's speech to-day is that it is related to the "cuckoo's spit", that his effusions that gather around him not alone in the early morning but in the afternoon and late at night, prevent him from seeing the things that are outside. That is my only explanation of the Deputy's attitude.

You never had good vision.

I do not know that the "cuckoo's spit" ever saw anything. Any time I saw him he was surrounded by suds which appeared to be his own effusion. Whether he saw anything when these were removed I do not know. What you would have if you took away from Deputy Norton the suds he exudes on some of these subjects, I do not know. I have an idea of his complaint, but I am not able to prescribe for it.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach said: "There is something happening which can end this Constitution and can end the liberties of individuals which we are trying to protect." He also said that it was possible that this country would get into a position in which it might lose everything which it has got —that is, everything in the nature of the State's status, political liberties and economic independence. That was on the 3rd January, 1940. The fact that these words were spoken in an Irish Parliament by the Prime Minister or Taoiseach on the 3rd January, 1940, suggests very strongly to me that dealing with this particular measure I should keep to certain facts. It explains why I do not wish to follow either the Minister for Co-ordination of Defensive Measures or Deputy Norton along some of the lines pursued by them.

I do welcome the statement of the Minister for Co-ordination that he in his personal and official capacity, so long as that official capacity lasts, will see that no internal disorder and no internal organisation established on force inside this State will be allowed to attack State institutions or the liberties, rights or property of the people. I welcome that from the Minister. We are told by the Taoiseach that something was happening here which "can end the Constitution, end the liberties of individuals which we were trying to protect" and may, in fact, end this State. In such circumstances, we have to face facts and the clearer we get down to what the net facts of the situation are and to what action is required, the nearer we will get to defending our rights and liberties and to setting aside any unnecessary words, speeches or references to the past that cannot help on the 4th January, 1940, or immediately subsequent dates.

In face of a statement like that of the Taoiseach as to what the present situation is, we have a leader in the Irish Press this morning referring to the attitude of the Opposition on the Bill before this House last night. Referring to the “curiously perverse attitude” of the Opposition in yesterday's debate, they said it was not difficult to explain. But they did not attempt to explain it. Referring to the Opposition attitude, the paper says:—

"Would it not be reasonable to expect that the necessary amendment would be passed at once but, instead, the Opposition proposed that the amendment should be held over until they had discussed constitutional issues which may or may not be involved. In short, they wished to approach an urgent problem in the slowest and most cumbersome manner possible. That, to say the least of it, is not very statesmanlike. If the purpose was merely to delay the Government in obtaining powers to which they were, admittedly, entitled, the tactics of the Opposition could be described in even less flattering terms."

That was written on the 4th January in relation to the attitude taken by the Opposition on a measure presented to the House on the 3rd January to rectify a situation brought about by a court decision of the 1st December. Urgent action was required to give the Government certain powers considered by them to be absolutely necessary in circumstances in which something was happening which could "end this Constitution" and "end the liberties of individuals which the Government were trying to protect" and which might bring about the loss of everything we had got in the State. Let us have facts, because it is public opinion which is going to be our first line of defence against any dangers and which is going to throw back any disorderly or destructive elements in the country. Therefore, it is essential that the public should know where they stand with regard to the machinery and the forces —Parliamentary and otherwise—at their disposal to deal with the present situation: So far as the Opposition is concerned, the position is that on the 1st December—a full month ago—the Opposition were prepared to sit late in Parliament to give the Government powers which were necessary to hold a situation of which it was considered they were losing grip because of the judgment delivered on the 1st December.

Now, that is what the position of the Opposition was. Not only were they prepared to sit for additional Parliamentary time, but they were prepared to give the Government such powers as the Government considered they should have; and the Opposition were prepared, in addition, to pool any legal qualities or any legal capacities of which the Opposition could boast—and that is no inconsiderable quality or capacity—in order to see that whatever steps were to be taken would be the right steps and the most effective steps. Despite that, as I say, all that the reputed organ of the Government is able to bring itself to write is that the Opposition were impeding the Government in the Government's efforts to get legislation passed that was considered essential: that we were prepared to deal with this matter in the slowest and most cumbersome manner, and that not only were we not statesmanlike, but something worse. How can public opinion be enabled to strengthen the machinery of Parliament so long as in organs of the Press, that are supposed to be the mouthpieces of the Government, or at any rate the disseminators, through the nation as a whole, of what the Government is thinking inwardly, such things as that can be printed? It must be remembered that that was printed in circumstances in which, even allowing for the lag of time that the Government allowed themselves, the Government were proposing machinery last night for getting these powers; and they could have had these powers in their hands to-night, after the Seanad had finished its labours, but they would not accept a simple amendment that we were proposing to the Bill, the effect of which would be to clear up certain matters in connection with the Constitution, so that it would be absolutely unquestioned in any court in this country.

A lot was said by the Taoiseach yesterday as to the simplicity of words, and how perverse it would be for judges of the courts not to take simple words as bearing the meaning that this House attached to them. As I say, we were providing simple words. The words we were suggesting were making the matter absolutely more clear, and therefore it need not have been necessary for any newspaper to write, as two newspapers have written, that they might or might not be constitutionally watertight. They would have been watertight constitutionally if that amendment had been accepted, and the powers that the Government were looking for would have been in their hands to-night after the Seanad had finished with its labours. Now, on the facts, the Opposition is prepared to assist the Government, in the most expeditious way, to have any powers that will enable them to deal with any kind of armed attack, either on the people of this country, the institutions of this country, or on any people outside. Does any Minister, speaking here in the House, deny that? Does any Minister, speaking here in the House, deny that the powers they are seeking for now, as powers effectively and practically contained in their Acts, could not have been in their hands on, say, the 2nd September last? Do they deny that the Opposition was prepared, if required, to sit late on the 1st of December and to assist them in the moulding of legislation and in the passing of legislation? If they cannot deny that, what are they going to do to correct the misinformation and the misleading of the public by such words as are written in the organ which, as I say, is reputed to be the mouthpiece of the Government?

As to the Deputy's opinion of what, I presume, are leading articles in two newspapers, I would like to draw the Deputy's attention to the fact that the documents quoted are not official and that the Government has no responsibility for them.

The Government, Sir, has a responsibility for taking cognisance of every phase of activity in the country that will injure the morale of the people in dealing with their difficulties, just as they are responsible for trying to keep track of every piece of subversive activity in this country, and therefore I suggest that it is injurious to the morale of the people of this country to try to persuade the people that, in this Parliament, the people represented by Deputy Cosgrave, or by those in Opposition, are hanging back in any way in stating their preparedness to defend this nation, or hesitating to defend the State against those who are striking against the Constitution and the liberties of the people, or to suggest that there is any action or any assistance of ours that can be given that would not be given to constituted authority in this country and to rid the people of whatever dangers there are. I mention this for the purpose of showing that that was not so, and, assuming what will be said to-day from the Government side with regard to this measure, to show that, in so far as the Opposition Party here is concerned—and it is a big and influential Party, which can be of assistance to the Government, not only here but elsewhere in the country—that we were prepared one month ago to put into the hands of the Government the powers that the Government now say they want, because in dealing with a situation which can be described by the Taoiseach in the words in which he described it, there are certain things that are much more important than powers of internment. The first is public opinion; the second is the Police doing their duty; and the third is the Army; and it is only where public opinion and the Police and the Army have failed, that anybody or any Government is reduced to falling back on powers of internment. In the matter of public opinion, I said yesterday that the Minister for Justice—when, at one particular stage, he seemed to be in a difficulty as to what he should say to the House—was finding it very difficult to speak and answer questions raised here while the Taoiseach was holding his hand on his mouth. The speeches made from the Government Benches yesterday did not give the House, and therefore the country, the facts to which I think the country is entitled in order to help the people to understand the present situation and to help the Government to deal with it.

The Minister for Justice said yesterday that the organisation against which it is particularly intended to use these powers was strong in certain counties. It seems to me that we can weaken the power of public opinion to deal with the present situation by withholding from the people particulars as to the strength, the distribution and the direct objectives of this organisation. Many speeches have been made here which would suggest that this is a very subtle, threatening, widespread, mysterious, secret organisation with very considerable powers to do damage. I think it would be wrong to allow public opinion to get any idea of that sort. I think there is nothing in this organisation that an awakened public opinion could not deal with. I believe that public opinion, properly awakened, could completely prevent this organisation from being injurious to the country. I think that if public opinion were awakened sufficiently in relation to the members of this organisation the arms would drop from their hands and the mischievous bent in the minds of the greater part of the members of that organisation would be removed. Sun and air are required to deal with the disease that is operating amongst the members of that organisation.

As I have already indicated, the Minister for Justice said that the organisation was strong in certain counties. The House should be told what the counties are and the extent of the ramifications of the organisation in these counties. It would then be possible for the people of any one of these counties to realise how small is the threat to their liberties, their property, their lives and our national neutrality. Surrounded by a strong and appreciable public opinion, with normal conceptions of nationality and national life, with normal conceptions of Catholicity and Christianity and the application of Catholic thoughts and beliefs to the discharge of their social duties and the carrying on of their public life, I do not believe that the county in which this organisation is strongest, has most money and is best armed, would allow it to last for more than a couple of months if the membership of that organisation, its strength, its type of organisation and the type of work the members were carrying on—the objects they had in front of them in so far as the Government knew them—were put plainly before the House and brought plainly before their neighbours. I believe that should that happen the members of the organisation would recoil from looking their neighbours in the face, they would drop their weapons, and all the disease would go out of their minds.

This is not a big organisation, a strong or a disciplined organisation. You have a few people with a definite intent and a certain amount of technical qualifications. Then you have a mob whose minds are affected by a lot of the legacy of thought that has been left to them from the political platforms in this country during the last few years. I ask any of the Ministers who know anything of the situation, do they think that the completest publication of the conditions of the organisation, its armament, equipment and objectives in any particular county, even the county in which they are strongest, could do any harm? I submit that it is absolutely necessary to give the people a chance of realising how weak and infinitesimal and worthless, from the point of view of doing serious damage to this country, the members of this organisation are, if they are properly brought out into the open. I should like to be told what are these strong counties. If we are told about them, public opinion in the other counties could afford to look around in a more vigorous and courageous way. They could track down and see how small the danger is in these counties in which the Minister cannot say that the organisation is strong.

It is the duty of the Government to do that and it is also their duty to state in a most explicit way what are the objectives and the plans of this organisation for doing damage in the Six Counties or in Great Britain. If damage is going to be done by this organisation in the Six Counties or in Great Britain, we should be assured that the Government here, with the machinery at its disposal, the Police, the Army, and the public here, are acquainted with the situation and can find out what is going to be done and who is going to do it. Our reputation with people abroad demands that our Government should be in the closest possible connection with the Governments of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, either to help them or to receive their help, so that citizens of this State would not be allowed to damage property or endanger the lives of the people in the Six Counties and in Great Britain and would not be allowed to endanger, in the way in which it has been suggested here, the political relations between ourselves and the Governments of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We should see to it that nothing shall occur that might injure our position of neutrality in the present European conflict.

Are there any reasons why our Government should not make it known to the British Government that they are watching the situation here and that they are going to prevent damage being done and that, in so far as co-operation and an interchange of opinion between the Government here and Great Britain or the Six Counties could stop this thing, that they are going to stop it? Public opinion here, if it is to be organised and if it has to face up to its responsibilities, will have to understand that there is nothing at the present time preventing an interchange of opinion and co-operative action between our Government and the Government of any country in which people operating from here are likely to do damage.

We have not been told anything in that respect. I suggest that it is of the greatest possible importance that we should be told it and, if we are told these things, and if the public here can be persuaded that definitely and seriously the Government are going to leave nothing undone to prevent damage being carried out in this country or in those other countries —nothing undone in the matter of an interchange of opinion and co-operation with those other countries in which damage might be caused—if our people know that, then they will know where they stand. I think they can be persuaded that the organisation with which we are now concerned is not a serious threat to the lives or the liberties of the people of this country and that its members can be prevented from doing damage in other countries. I think they could be persuaded that there is the necessary co-operation and exchange of opinion between our Government and any other Government whose people are likely to be affected. It is absolutely essential that all doubt, and all injurious imaginings, would be swept away from the minds of our people as a whole in order that they would be of any use to the Government in strengthening its hands to deal with the present danger.

The next thing is the police. I do not want to go back into past things. I am dealing with the situation described on the 3rd January, 1940, in terms that show that the Taoiseach and his Government consider it serious. I do not want to go back into the circumstances in which weakness were brought into police administration which affect the police at the present time. But I have information—one cannot avoid it coming one's way— that some of the most loyal, some of the most effective and some of the most disciplined men in the police force, both officers and men, have for some years past felt that they cannot do their duty as their intelligence, their conscience and their lights would normally suggest to them. Political whisperings inside the force, and political favouritism throughout the country in discriminating between individuals and between different classes of people in the application of justice, have brought that about. Can we have an assurance—I do not mean of police changes in any part of the country but rather in the attitude of the police in every part of the country—that will convince the people that the police force is going to trace out disaffection, disorder, crime, irregularities, lawlessness and breaches of the law, and that men who do that are not going to be prejudiced in their position as police: that, generally speaking, the people can realise that the police force is there for police purposes only, detached from personal antecedents or political antecedents of policy?

In the searches that were carried out in the City of Dublin the other day for the lost ammunition, members of the Gárdaí went through places saying: "What use is it for us to be going around trying to find these things? If we do find them, the fellows responsible for putting them there will probably be let off under the First Offenders Act." As I have said, I do not want to go back. I am thinking of the position to-day, of the people of the country to-day and of the strength that they can be to the Government. The people, by their own actions and courage, cannot be of any direct strength to the Government except there is a police force there that is going to do the job of a police force. That force, by its scrupulous regard for its functions in the State and its detachment, can be of assistance to the people, and can receive from the people the assistance that the people can give it. That is the second assurance we want. We want it verbally, first. I am not making accusations of any kind, but in my opinion that assurance is essential if the whole public fabric here is going to be strengthened to deal with the present situation. We want it verbally, and the public will want to see it very quickly in the general attitude of the police force throughout the country to their duties.

The next is the Army. The Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures suggested this evening that there were some lessons that could be learned by the Opposition out of the raid in the Park. He did not indicate what they were. I agree with him, and I am glad to find myself able to say it, that the raid in the Park may bring good. It ought to, and it ought to help in bringing the Government to the position of realising that public opinion must be strengthened. Public opinion can only be strengthened if it feels that the Government has confidence in it, as well as by showing that the police force is completely and absolutely brought back to its proper functions, and that the Army is also properly strengthened. What I would say to the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures is that when he was bringing about certain changes in the Army we advised him against them. I think it would be disastrous if young men in the Volunteers at the present time, however organised and however much we objected to the lines upon which their organisation was set up, should lose confidence in themselves or be humiliated by anything touching any aspect of the raid on the Magazine, or on any section of the Army.

I think it would be disastrous to take a leaf out of Deputy Norton's book of counsel: that any man in the Army would get it into his head that a soldier, taking the responsibilities of a soldier and of the uniform, was not taking with these definite responsibilities that required definite reactions on certain occasions, or that soldiers failing in their duty could escape the consequences of that failure. That should not be allowed. It cannot be forgotten that we have complained here that the political control of the Army over the last seven years has been such that the officers in it have been prevented from acting as professional people—of using their professional intelligence to perfect the Army as a machine, and of directing the Army's mind to the problems that the Army is there to solve. I do not want to say any more than that. I do not think there is anybody who doubts that the Army of this country, with its limitations, as far as its men and officers go, is a disciplined and efficient machine, measured by the equipment that it has.

What we want to be clear about is, that the Army will not lose confidence in itself, that the people will not be allowed to lose confidence in the Army, and that it will be made perfectly clear, in so far as there have got into any section of the Army men who are not prepared absolutely to accept their responsibility as soldiers when they get into that uniform, that they will be cleared out; that everybody will be respected for what he is, and for what he may be made, with, as we may hope, less intrusion of the political mind and direction coming from the Government and the Minister interfering with the professional carrying on of the work of those officers responsible for the Army.

There is another thing too that, from the point of view of strengthening public opinion, we want to have made clear. We want to make it clear that this country is being run, and is going to be run, as a democracy. That is a thing that, as far as the Taoiseach goes, the House has had no evidence of. The dominating thing to my mind in the debate yesterday was that there was one thing the Taoiseach was not prepared to do. He was not prepared to allow Ministers to take this House into the confidence that perhaps some of them would be prepared to take it. The Ministers seem to my mind to be divided into two sections, some of whom face facts and have opinions of their own, and whose appreciation of facts and opinions could be taken but to whom the Taoiseach says "This is what I think should be done." The other group seems to be people who fail to realise that they should face facts, who have given up facing facts or having opinions of their own. That is the decision with regard to the Government, and it reflects itself over the whole Party, that when he makes up his mind "that is that." Anything that would reflect alongside that, whether his appreciation of facts is right or not, or whether his plans for dealing with the situation are right or not, the result is that we get a state of things that cannot give rise to anything but an attack, you might say, on the Government, or even on their past.

There is one thing which will stop all unnecessary talk, all unnecessary references to the past, that will bring every member of this House behind the Government in giving it assistance and, in a great way, bring every person in the country behind the Government in dealing with this situation, and that is by the Government concentrating on serious and persistent action in dealing with the country's problems, and by a clear and spontaneous admission of facts, and as to why they are dealing with things in a particular way. That is going to guide a considerable volume of unnecessary talk that will inevitably group around the Government and impede it, if what we are presented with is not a statement dealing with the situation, but speeches from the Government Party on the front bench that attempt to cover up facts, speeches that put them in blinkers and that would put the House and the country generally in blinkers. The second outstanding fact in the situation, no matter what the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures may say about it, is that the Taoiseach was not half so explicit and was not so effective in dealing with the I.R.A. situation as he was when dealing with the Supreme Court or any other court that might be as perverse in its attitude towards the deliberations and the work of the Legislature as Deputy Costello suggested there was a definite probability that it might be.

Deputy Costello suggested that inside 24 hours, if necessary, when the Seanad has done its work, the Government could have all the powers it wanted, and that they would have our assistance in getting those powers. If pursued the other way, there was a danger of delay. Speaking with his experience at the Bar and with his experience as Attorney-General for a long period, Deputy Costello said that there was a danger under the Bill passed last night, that a habeas corpus application might hold up the Government in dealing with the present situation. The same thing might happen here. The fact is, if that does happen, then the Government is held up. The Taoiseach's reply to that was that it was a lot of steam. “After all that steam,” he said, speaking of the speech made by Deputy Costello, “let us get back to business,” and the business was to tell us that there was a very serious situation here, that he was prepared to run the risk that the Judiciary is going to take a perverse view of things, if it took the view that the ex-Attorney-General thought it was possible it would take.

The other thing we want to make sure of is this: Are we going to have a democracy? Is this country going to be carried on as a democracy? In my opinion, it is not being carried on as a democracy to-day. With a situation as serious as that, we are not told of the strength of this organisation, and we have not any recognition of the changed attitude that requires to be brought about in the Guards. We have not had a statement as to what our relations are with other countries whose people and whose property are imperilled by the activities of citizens of this country. When we are threatened that the court system will have to be changed if the Supreme Court is so perverse as to take an attitude such as was reflected in the opinion of the ex-Attorney-General, then I say that line must undermine the confidence of the people, and the fact that it must undermine the people would mean that we are not to be allowed to conduct affairs here as a democracy. After all, it is possible for the people to compare the legal history—let me be invidious if you like—of people who speak on our side on legal matters with the legal history of members of the Supreme Court. So that I would wish that that particular statement of the Taoiseach last night would be cleared up a little bit more before we run the risk that a habeas corpus application made, following an action of the Government under the Bill that was passed last night, might create a state of uncertainty and alarm in the people of the country as to the relationship between the Taoiseach and the Supreme Court.

Again I wish to summarise my appeal. Public opinion has to be informed, and it has to be informed in the way I say. It has to be assured with regard to the police. The Army has to be made confident in itself, and the thing that will make the Army confident in itself is if it is made to realise that the dead political hand of suggestion as to its future and its objectives will be removed completely, and that professional minds will be allowed to work on professional lines. The more professional minds are allowed to work on professional lines, the more effective will be the instrument that will be there to serve whatever Government is in office. The people should be informed as to the effective relationships that exist between our Government and other Governments who may be affected by the actions of our citizens, whose actions may react on us in the way in which Ministers have suggested, rather than stated, that they fear. We should in these critical times not take any hasty action with regard to the relationship between the Supreme Court and this Legislature. Following that, the Government, facing the situation with all the help that we have shown they have here in this House, and may get in the country by doing what we suggest with regard to strengthening public opinion, should show that all of them, from the Taoiseach down, are prepared to concentrate on the difficulties of to-day. In facing the difficulties of to-day, they should be prepared to carry their tenderheartedness to this point. Where, without prejudice to the safety and security of our people, they can offer an amnesty to people who have been operating in this way, people who have been dragged into this organisation, they should offer that amnesty. They must be aware that there are many people in this country who would be very glad to be relieved of the responsibility that has been put on them, partly even by the speeches and the pronouncements of the present Government, which has made them feel responsible for being members of this military or political organisation, or whatever other kind of organisation that you have. With an offer of an amnesty, and with a clearing, particularly, of the ground by showing what the objects of this organisation are, I believe they could decimate the strength of this organisation to-morrow.

As I suggested, it has not half the strength it has been stated to have. By an exposure of its objects and the falling away of its members by giving an amnesty to anybody who leaves it, they would immediately find themselves with no very great threat to any of the liberties of this country or to any of our people and, therefore, no danger to ourselves of being embroiled either with Great Britain or the North of Ireland by anything which might happen at the hands of a section of our people here.

Mr. Morrissey

I have not very much to say on this matter, but there are a few points arising out of the speech made by Deputy Norton that I should like to make. I did not hear the whole of his speech, and I am not very sorry for that. But I heard enough of it to show me that, apparently, the Leader of the Labour Party has learned nothing in the last ten years. The aspect of this situation to which I should like to address myself is this: its reactions on that particular section of the community that the Labour Party are supposed to represent directly—the workers in this country and, in particular, the unemployed. The first essential in this or any other country, in my opinion, for a reduction in the number of the unemployed or a solution of the problem of unemployment is to maintain the credit of the country as high as it possibly can be maintained; to give the people the feeling that they can enter into employment, into business, into industry, into the development of any of the resources of the country you care to mention, with the feeling that the credit of the country is going to be maintained; that there is going to be one Government, and one Government only, in the country; that there is going to be peace in the country, and that the people are going to be protected in their lives and in their property and allowed to carry on their work under the most peaceable and the most favourable conditions.

When you have a war or a rebellion or a disturbance, or even a threat of war or rebellion or disturbance, we know what the adverse reactions are, and we know that the community as a whole suffer. We know that whether it is a war or a rebellion or an armed disturbance, call it what you like, that those who suffer most and suffer for the longest period are the poorest people in the country. Does Deputy Norton seriously think, as Leader of the Labour Party, that the irresponsible speech he delivered here to-day is going to be helpful? Does he think that it is going to give people outside, reading that speech coming from the Leader of a Party, confidence in the future of the country? I understand he described Deputy Dillon's speech as the greatest amount of concentrated humbug he ever listened to. The Deputy, apparently, does not listen to his own speeches. The Deputy talked in an airy way of all coming together in one happy family and having one united people in the country. The Deputy, of course, did not suggest to the House or to the Government how that can be done, what proposals, what overtures, what offers, the Government can make to the minority in this country that will bring about the situation that Deputy Norton would like to see in the country, and that everybody else would like to see.

We have to-day in round figures 120,000 unemployed. What laid the foundation for that huge number of unemployed? Every member of this House and, particularly, every member of the Labour Party knows that the foundation was laid by the civil war. Not one of them will dare to deny that. Does anybody for a moment think that, with the feeling of insecurity there is in the country, we are going to make any impression upon what might be called a huge army of unemployed? Is it not inevitable that if this menace continues and grows, there will be more and more unemployed and not only that, but the country will be gradually—perhaps not gradually— brought to the position in which it will not be able to provide in the meagre way it is providing to-day for those who are unemployed? I must confess that I find it difficult to understand how any elected member of this House can take up the attitude taken by Deputy Norton. I find it particularly difficult to understand how that attitude is taken up by a man who professes to be guardian of the rights and liberties of the workers and the workless. We have got to face facts. Deputy Hickey says "Hear, hear." I hope Deputy Hickey will face facts.

Mr. Morrissey

Unfortunately, he is not doing so. I should like to ask Deputy Hickey or Deputy Norton this question: If to-morrow morning they were sitting on the opposite benches and were faced with the situation the country is faced with to-day, what would be their solution?

There would not be 100,000 unemployed.

There is sufficient power already to deal with it.

Mr. Morrissey

If the Labour Party took up the weak-kneed and irresponsible attitude adopted by its leader in those circumstances, they would not have 100,000 unemployed, but 200,000 or 300,000.

That is your opinion.

Mr. Morrissey

I can give only my opinion. I claim to have a little experience of this House and to have some knowledge of the workers and of the unemployed. I have my own opinion about the Government and their competence, but I do feel that when I speak of the Government I am speaking of the majority of the people, because that is what they represent so long as they sit on those benches. When we are asked to vote special powers, drastic as they are—nobody denies that they are drastic—we are asked to vote those powers not for the protection of Ministers or of the Fianna Fáil Party, but for the protection of all classes of the people. You are asked to decide here whether this House and the people sent here by the freely-given votes of the people are going to lay down the laws and enforce them, or whether some fellow outside who thinks he is a legislator on his own, can take any means he thinks fit to force his opinions down the throats of the people.

We, of this Party, stand for the principle, and have always stood for the principle, that the only persons who have legitimate authority to govern this country are those elected by a majority vote of the people in the exercise of their sovereign rights in a free election. As the present Government have been elected by a majority vote in a free election, they, and they only, have the power of government. They have the power of life and death. They are the trustees of the rights and privileges of the people. They are the custodians of the people's property. This power comes from God to the people, and it is a very grave and solemn responsibility. The Government are charged with the responsibility of preserving these sacred rights and handing them down to their successors. If any subversive element in the community challenges those rights and attempts to usurp the power of Government, it is the solemn duty and responsibility of the Government to destroy such an organisation. If the Government come to this House and say that they have not sufficient power to deal with such an organisation within the ordinary law, then we, who are the representatives of the people, are bound to give the necessary emergency powers to the Government to deal with a situation of that sort. I believe that if a menace of the character described by the Minister is present, the Government are entitled to demand, and it is our responsibility to give them, the powers necessary to deal with such a menace. This Party gave these powers when the Offences Against the State Bill was before this House a few months ago. A number of Deputies at that time pointed out that they were very chary about giving those powers, that they were not too confident about putting such extraordinary powers in the hands of a Government which, on its record, did not deserve to be entrusted with unlimited powers. We asked for an assurance from the Government that these powers would not be used against the ordinary citizens who had no intention of aiming at the destruction or overthrow of the State. We got that assurance, and I am sorry to say that I believe that that assurance has not been loyally adhered to and that the powers that this House has given to the Government have been abused. Quite recently we have had the case of the Offences Against the State Act being used against an organisation in this country in connection with which, certainly, no ordinary man could understand why such powers were used. The very title of the Act indicates that the Bill is to be used against any organisation with intentions to overthrow the Government or to overthrow constitutional government in this country, or any organisation the aim of which is to destroy the State—in other words, against any individual or organisation who offends or commits a crime against the State. Yet, this Act has been used against a farmers' organisation in this country, an organisation which was involved within the last few weeks in a purely internal trouble, in a purely internal trade dispute, and the Government abused the powers that this House entrusted to them against people of that sort.

One thing that I demand is that the Government should give this House an assurance that, if the powers that are sought for in this Bill are given, such powers will not be used in the future against individuals or organisations of that sort. It is for the reason that these powers have been used in that way that many of the Deputies, on this side of the House at least, hesitate to give to the Government the powers now being sought, realising at the same time that, since they are the duly elected Government and the legitimate Government of this country, charged with the preservation of the people's rights and the people's properties, if they demand these powers, then the powers will have to be given to them; but we expect that the powers now sought should be used against the people that this House intends they should be used against, and not against ordinary, decent and harmless citizens who, because they were engaged in an ordinary trade dispute, were brought up before a military court and charged under the Offences Against the State Act.

The record of the Government, as I said before, will make it difficult for them to crush out this organisation and to face up to their responsibilities in the matter, but I was certainly encouraged last night when I heard the Minister for Industry and Commerce express his views. He had the moral courage, at all events, to admit that he was wrong in 1931, and he told us that he made some irresponsible speeches and that, through his experience as a Minister of State, he now realises that he was wrong in 1931. I believe that he was honest in facing up to his responsibility, and that the Minister for Justice also was honest in his expression of opinion. I believe that they were both honest in the expression of their determination to wipe out and to destroy this organisation that is proving a menace to the future of this country. Like other Deputies, however, I also felt that the attitude of the Taoiseach was anything but convincing—that there was no feeling of security and no assurance given by the Taoiseach with regard to the use of the powers that this House is going to give to the Government. In his talk to the Ard-Fheis recently the Taoiseach talked about the use of force and said that he would sanction the use of force if he thought its use would be effective. That sort of talk, to my mind, is not going to strengthen the hand of the Government in dealing with this organisation. I believe that the vacillation and hesitation of the Taoiseach are bound to have a weakening effect on this instrument once it is placed in the hands of the Government. Deputy Dillon asked the Taoiseach this evening a categorical question, would he tell this House and the country where exactly he stood and what were his intentions with regard to the use and application of the powers sought for here in this Bill? I think that the Taoiseach should come in here, before this Bill is passed, and tell the House and the country exactly what he proposes to do in dealing with the menace that is facing the country at the present time.

The Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures got on his feet to reply to Deputy Dillon, and to my mind his speech was an apologia for the actions and misdeeds of those people—those misguided people—to whom he referred; but he, too, hesitated to show his determination that he was prepared ruthlessly to destroy this organisation and wipe it out for all time. To my mind, the Government are speaking in different voices in this matter, and the people who do not want to have this kind of thing turning up every few years want an assurance from the Government, without any qualification or hesitation, that they are determined to finish and clean up this organisation for all time. When one goes back over the history of the last 15 years in this country, and when one remembers what has happened, one is amazed to find that we are there economically at all, since we have been hampered so often by situations of this sort.

I should like to know how long is the most important work of all, the work of nation-building, going to be delayed and hampered by menaces of this kind? This sort of thing is sapping the strength, the moral fibre, of our people. Our energies are being dissipated by these incidents cropping up, particularly at the present time, when all our strength should be used to build up our economic position, to rehabilitate the position created by the economic war, especially when there are opportunities offering to develop agriculture and restore it to the position it occupied prior to 1931. I feel that if the work of reconstructing our main industry is delayed, and the opportunities that are offered to develop it during the period of the war are missed, then there is no future at all for the country.

I have no hesitation in giving the powers sought by the Government to deal with the present situation, provided we get an assurance from the Government that those powers will not be abused, that they will not be used against people who have no intention of aiming at the destruction of the State, and who may be involved merely in an ordinary dispute. On another occasion, such people were brought before the Military Tribunal and charged. I think the use of emergency powers in such circumstances really amounted to an abuse by the Government. Without an assurance that nothing like that will be allowed to happen again, the Government cannot expect the House to vote for this Bill. We are entitled to such an assurance, and I hope we will get it.

The Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures described the Magazine Fort incident as a stunt. I think that was a very mild way of referring to it. I think such an incident has made this country and the Government, and the institutions of the country, the laughing-stock of the world. I think it was a most regrettable incident. It was certainly a very serious thing for the Government, and the Minister who was responsible for seven and a half years for the custody of the people's property in the Fort has put himself in a most humiliating position and has placed the Government in a humiliating position. It appears that he has failed to realise the enormity of such an occurrence, and he overlooks how disgraceful a thing it is that such an incident should happen in this country. I feel it could scarcely occur in any other country in the world, and there is an explanation needed.

The Minister responsible refers to the whole incident as a stunt. At the same time he told us that his honour was besmirched because of this stunt. I agree with the Deputies who have suggested that the Minister should have resigned. This occurrence was of such a serious nature, and showed such a lack of responsibility on his part, that he should have resigned. The whole thing shows that he has no sense of his responsibility at all. We were told by Deputy Norton that the Army was not to blame for this. If the Army and if the Minister are not to blame, I do not know who is. It is a matter in regard to which, at some future date, the Government must answer to the House and they must be prepared to clear it up. I propose to support this Bill on the condition that we get an assurance that the powers granted under it will not be used against ordinary citizens who have no subversive intentions.

I think the Minister was here last night when an amendment was moved to the Bill we discussed yesterday, and I understood then from the Minister in charge of the Bill that an indication would be given to us, when the present Bill was being dealt with, of the result of the meditations of the Minister on the possibility of accepting the substance of that particular amendment. Perhaps the Minister will be able to enlighten me on that matter before I go any further?

We are not accepting the amendment in that way. It is provided in the section setting up this commission that a judge of the High Court may be a member of that commission.

We will try, in any case, to see if we can get a member of the High Court on the commission.

I do not want to embarrass the Government. They have made up their minds, apparently, that they will not put it in the Bill. I do not agree with them; I thoroughly disagree with them. There was no reason given against putting it in the Bill. There is no use in wasting time on that now. What we want is an independent person; if you can get a judge of the High Court and leave it to him alone, yes, but there is no use in appointing a judge of the High Court and two other people who may be civil servants, and, therefore, answerable to the Minister and subject to removal. There is no use in appointing a person who is removable during the operation of the Bill. Would the Minister be prepared to meet our wishes in that respect?

Then, of course, he is not meeting us at all. I think he will be the first to recognise that.

As the Deputy is aware, there were three Acts passed here by the previous Administration, two of them temporary and the other one permanent.

The Minister is apparently illustrating the fact that the Government learns no wisdom. What is the result of the operation of the commission referred to in the Act of 1926? What lesson does the Minister learn from the operations of that commission? How did it work?

It worked all right.

I understood from the Minister then responsible that it did not work at all.

I do not know anything about that.

There was a statement made in the House yesterday—I think Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney indicated——

I thought it was Deputy Boland who was being referred to.

He was not then responsible, at least not to the Government recognised by this House at the time.

I just want to point out that only six people applied since we brought it in, and the six people were released.

By the commission.

I put it to the Minister that it is not easy, and it is the experience of several Governments that it is not easy, to work an Act of this kind satisfactorily: that if you do not take great care the instrument will break in your hands. You have one of two alternatives: either the instrument you are forging now will break in your hands unless you show great wisdom in the way in which it is exercised, or else you will have to abandon any pretence at democratic institutions. I said that the Government should be very careful as to how they use these powers. If I may use the phrase, any analogous repetition of the incident that occurred here before Christmas can only have one effect, and that is, to completely discredit an instrument of this kind. It is an instrument giving tremendous powers to the Government. It is meant to deal with a really grave menace, a menace that has been acknowledged and proclaimed by some members of the Government. If the Government use that instrument unwisely or lightheartedly, it may be very dramatic. It may be an arresting gesture when you have a strike—it is dramatic, at all events—but it can well prove disastrous to the instrument itself. Even with the best working of this instrument, its effect will be, to a large extent, an in terrorem effect. The value of the continued use of it over a long period of time against the very people against whom you are forging it, will diminish as time goes on. That is common sense, common experience.

Therefore I would strongly put it to the Minister, in the interests of this particular measure which we are forced to accept, because we think it is necessary for the safety of the State, that, if that instrument is to continue effective, there can be no question of its being used lightly. As I explained yesterday, it is very difficult for us to feel easy on the matter. We got pledges. We understood that this Bill —I cannot call it a major Bill any longer owing to the extraordinary procedure which I shall refer to in a moment—is not an amending Bill.

It is styled an amending Bill.

It is repealing and re-enacting.

There are very few changes.

There are not nearly as many words changed as there were in the Bill we had yesterday. However, I do not want a repetition of what we had in connection with December's farmers' strike, first because I think it was grossly unjust and disastrous to governmental institutions and fatal to the operation of this measure itself. It is quite an easy thing when a Government gets powers of this kind—the temptation is strong and I am not indulging in any undue criticism—but the temptation is strong to use them to the full. You have this legal power and you will say "Let us use it on every occasion." That is bad policy, a fatal policy. The Government should not, for instance, have assumed last December—I am referring to the occasion of a strike—when the main Act was in force that, therefore, the ordinary courts were not operating.

But this part of the Act was not in force.

As I have already pointed out it is a case of analogy that I am drawing. I am now expressing my fear of a similar use being made of what is in this section. At that time you had the ordinary courts fully functioning. They were in no way threatened. There was no need for interference with them, and yet the Military Tribunal came into force. We may have been wrong, but in view of the assurances that we understood had been given to us by the Government we were gravely shocked at that, and felt that we had been deceived. I do not say that that was deliberate on the part of the Government. There is no good in bringing charges of that kind, but at the moment it makes our position, as the Minister will understand, an extremely delicate one. I hope that when the Government gets these powers, it will use the greatest wisdom in their operation for the sake of ordinary justice and of the ordinary man in this country whom this Act is meant to protect. That is the purpose of the Act—to protect the ordinary man in this country. He may violate the law, but so long as there is what one may call an ordinary violation of the law the ordinary courts are there for him. But this is meant for a purpose of a specific kind namely to deal with a menace of a very particular kind. It should not be used for any other purpose. As I have said already, even if you confine it to that you may find, if you do not operate it with vigour at the start, that it is a measure that will cease to have an in terrorem effect. Even if you confine it to those who are trying to upset the established rule in this State by force of arms, there is that danger. Take repressive action of any kind, even a military occupation. People can grow accustomed to it. Even there you have to be careful. To use it for any other purpose will simply break the weapon in your hands.

I want some assurance, because when I asked for it I failed to get it. I asked the Minister for Justice yesterday for an assurance of some kind, and I do not think he gave it—I mean the kind of assurance that I have asked for now. I think it is a reasonable demand. The Government certainly have no reason to complain of the attitude that we have taken up as regards these powers, or of the way that we have defended the right of even the Government with which we fundamentally disagree on so many things, a Government about whose competence we have very strong views. But, in spite of our strong views on this particular Government, we have defended the principle that so long as they are the Government their position as the Government cannot be challenged, except in the one legitimate and constitutional way.

This Bill, as I have remarked already, is a peculiar one. It is quite unique in my experience in this House. We take an Act that was passed last June and we repeal one part of it with a few modifications. I shall not call them minor or unimportant, but they certainly are not voluminous. The most important one, I think, consists of a change of three words where, for the word "satisfied", we substitute "is of opinion".

Instead of putting in these words as an ordinary amendment we repeal the part and we re-enact the whole part as a new Bill with that modification. That is certainly unique practice for this House. I do not object to it. I wish that we could get the Government to do things with a little more originality, instead of quoting 1926 and so on. They should defend what is being done now. Here they have shown originality. Although they were asked, they have not explained the machinery which is to operate. The idea is that when this Bill passes the two Houses it goes before the President, who apparently will have qualms—I should not say will have qualms; that would be lése majesté according to the Taoiseach yesterday—but the President may have qualms about signing. Therefore, he will refer it to the Supreme Court. The Taoiseach does not know whether he will do that or not—he most carefully refrains from knowing! Yet we are spending a whole day calmly introducing three new words in order to get a decision which the President may never ask for.

I gather that the Taoiseach has not had the matter before the President. At least he has not so told the House. He rather implied the opposite yesterday, but he was careful not to say anything as to whether he had not put it before him. I put it to the Minister now in charge of the Bill, as a man of considerable legal experience. Does he think that it is a proper thing to ask a number of judges to pronounce on an important matter of that kind which may not be argued by both sides before the court? The whole mentality of our judges, as the Minister knows, is that they have to hear the case on both sides. They are not being asked for counsel's opinion. That is not their position. They are asked to give a decision. The whole mentality is that: "I cannot pronounce unless I have heard both sides argued."

Will they not do that?

The court.

The Government will argue their side. Who will oppose it?

The court assigns. That is set out in the Constitution.

That emphasises the element of unreality. It will look like a put-up job. Here you have a court appealed to by the Government whose advocate will appear. Who is asked to attack? Not those primarily interested, but a person appointed.

Is not that the general procedure elsewhere, as in France?

The difficulty about me is I have not that knowledge of Continental countries that the Deputy has. I pretend to speak of our mentality here. I have not the slightest doubt that for everything you could get an analogy in some other country. The whole judicial machinery, the whole position of the judges, and the administration of the law is different in France to what it is here. However, why was it that the Government thought it advisable to adopt this very original and hypothetical procedure, because it still depends upon the unknown decision of the President and his hesitation about signing a Bill of this kind? He had no hesitation before about the matter. Why is that confined to this Bill?

Is there any decision against certain points in this Bill?

We passed a Bill yesterday, and I should be surprised, if you tried to use that Bill against a person, if a habeas corpus might not be granted on the ground that it was unconstitutional. There is quite as much ground for doubting the constitutionality of one Bill as the other. I admit that the “exercise of a judicial act” turns up here. The question I referred to is whether power of detention is within the scope of the Constitution. You try it for this Bill, but you do not try it for the other Bill. However, that is a matter for the Government.

We heard an extraordinary speech from the Minister that sometimes I call the Minister for Defence. He almost assumed the guilty mantle of defence for himself to-day. Therefore, if we occasionally make a slip by referring to him as the Minister for Defence instead of referring to him as the Minister for the Co-ordination of Supplies —what the co-ordination is we do not know——

Defensive Measures.

There was a passage in the speech that made me extraordinarily uneasy. I do not know what it meant. He referred to the time of the foundation of this organisation a few years ago, saying that then it was not meant for civil war. Perhaps I had better not pursue that matter further. I must say the couple of sentences he devoted to that made me profoundly uneasy. Apparently, as long as the organisation was not definitely for civil war, it could be more or less ignored. But leaving aside certain implications that I do not want to go into, surely the organisation was there.

The present Minister for Local Government himself definitely, though not at all as fully as I should have liked, when introducing what I might call the primary Bill—Offences Against the State Bill—pointed out its dangers. Why was it not dealt with? I should like to stress what Deputy Mulcahy said: that the success of these measures and the success of the State depends on a clear statement from the Head of the Government on this whole matter. It is no good for the Head of the Government to come down and say that he has made his views clear when a great number of people do not think anything of the kind. That is the difficulty. I should not be surprised if the majority of the people at the present moment do not agree with my statement about the Taoiseach's cloudy statements. He may think that he has clearly stated his position on this particular organisation and the manner in which it should be dealt with, but he may take it from a Party that is giving the Government these powers ignoring the advice we got from a number of our friends, who said: "Why can you not let them stew in their own juice", that the country is entitled to and wants a clear lead from the Government if it is to avoid disaster.

We could not allow the Government to stew in their own juice, for the very simple reason that it is the country which would be stewing in its juice if we hampered the Government in this matter. Despite all our reservations gathered from past experience, our sense of responsibility to the country compelled us to give the Government these powers. But we are entitled to ask in return for that, and the country is entitled to ask, for a clear and unambiguous statement, not from the Minister for Justice, not from the Minister for Local Government, not even from the Minister for Co-ordination of Defensive Measures—what a fantasy— not even from the Minister for Industry and Commerce, because, with all respect to these Ministers, and I respect the efforts they made to clarify the situation somewhat, it is not what they say that counts. Let us be clear on that. It is what the Taoiseach says. Unless we have a clear statement from the Taoiseach a great disservice is being done to the country. This country can smash up from despair. Unemployment and other things may help people to despair, but, if the people are in a state of despair and bewilderment combined, that might easily prove fatal. Then anything can happen. Then any kind of policy, no matter how mad, how unjust, how revolutionary, may be expected. That is the danger.

I am not making in any sense a Party speech, but I think it is the experience of everybody here that, at the present moment, public opinion is in a state of extraordinary fluidity. It can go anywhere. If it be allowed to drift in a certain direction, then to sweep on in that direction, nothing that this Government or any other Government can do can save the country. Public opinion is, I think, still capable of being canalised for good. It is still capable of being moulded in a beneficial way. But it is the responsibility of the Head of the Government to take the first step in that direction. He should leave aside his penchant for argument, for scoring debating points, and, if it helps, ignore our very existence and give a clear, definite statement and lead. Let him, if he likes, say to anybody that belongs to this illegal and revolutionary organisation up to the present, who has had dealings with this organisation: "We are quite willing to give you a certain period to clear out and have nothing more to do with it." But, after a certain period, there should be no doubt what the attitude of this State is going to be and what the measures are that will be taken, no matter how distasteful.

I see very little hope of this measure which we are now passing being successful unless something of that kind is done. It is public opinion in the long run that will decide. Here you have the members of the two major Parties in this House agreeing—our Party with some qualms because of past deceptions—that, if the Government ask for these measures, they must get them. Do you think that that view is as fully backed up in the country as you would like it to be amongst the supporters of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael? I put that before you for your very serious consideration. Do you not see that the country is drifting away from the idea of a Government exercising powers even to save the country? The longer the country continues without a lead in this matter, the more disastrous it is going to be. A great deal more important even than the passing of these Bills would be a clear statement, definite and strong, from the Head of the Government. That is much more important than the passing of measures such as we are engaged in at present.

We can pass these legislative measures, but unless you can get public opinion behind you, unless you can convince that public opinion that the measures will be used and will be successful, it is useless to pass these measures. We are wasting our time and the country is going to drift. The only question is: how long is it going to take to get into anarchy? If it is to be "rescued" it may well be only by any kind of fantastic scheme or organisation that comes along. There is no reason why that should occur. I think the situation is serious. It is because I think it is serious—I thought it serious 12 months ago—that, whatever difficulties and hesitations I might have in giving these powers to the Government, I could not take the responsibility of refusing these powers. The situation is serious, but not hopeless. What I want the Parliament and the Government to do is to prevent that situation from becoming really hopeless.

The Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures speaking today referred to the "stunt" of December the 23rd. That was a serious event. But the seizure of the actual ammunition was perhaps not the more serious side of that particular "stunt." It was the discredit done to governmental institutions which was much more serious in the long run than the taking of all that ammunition—even if the greater portion of it had not been recovered.

What occurred in the courts, where a judge of the High Court declared certain actions of the Government unconstitutional, was a shake to governmental institutions. It was because we felt that we put down our motion yesterday to avoid further shocks of that kind, because those shocks do not merely damage Fianna Fáil. Perhaps as partisans we ought to rejoice that they do damage Fianna Fáil. But they do something that is much more serious. They damage State institutions and governmental institutions, no matter who is responsible for the Government in this country. They damage this country.

Take the reaction even of the judge's decision. The reaction through the country was not good. That was undoubtedly regarded as a triumph and an addition to the prestige of this illegal organisation whose activities have called forth these Bills. It is similar with this carrying off of a successful coup in the Magazine Fort. The repercussions of that through the country everybody knows of. It is not merely a condemnation of the Minister for Defence, the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures, or the Government themselves. If it were limited to that I should be the last to take out my handkerchief and weep, however much I might object to the actual coup itself. But the damage has gone much deeper than that; it has shaken this State.

There would be grounds for hope if we could be sure that there was a real determination on the part of the Government, not merely to carry these measures through Parliament as a kind of gesture, but to get behind them the goodwill of the people as a whole, in the belief that this organisation is not going to be allowed to triumph. Anybody who has watched the politics of this country or any other country knows that by anything it does with success and eclat an organisation increases its prestige and strength. The longer you have an organisation opposed to our governmental institutions, carrying out coups either in court or in military fashion, the more prestige it will get. The organisation is extremely dangerous, but I do not think it is incapable of being dealt with at present. But every month that goes by increases the danger for the country. As regards the measure itself, I think we got any amendments we could get out of the Minister last year, but I do not think that we really interfered with this portion of the Bill.

Is the Deputy willing to be assured of the Minister's earnestness?

I want a clear statement.

What would be a clear statement?

If I write out the statement for the Taoiseach, I know what will happen. The Taoiseach will commence to correct it and, eventually, nobody will know what it means.

If the Taoiseach were to make 100 statements, none of them would be clear to the Deputy.

I am not giving merely my own views, but the views of the people here, the views of the majority of the people in the country, and, I dare say, the views of very many of those who support Deputy Moore himself, as to the clarity of the statements of the Taoiseach. If the Taoiseach makes 100 statements, there will be very little clarity left. If he makes 200 statements, there will be less. I want to get rid of that. Let him banish us out of his mind and make a clear statement. Perhaps the Deputy thinks that it is not worth while doing that.

What I fear is that it is the Deputy's own suspicions that constitute the barrier.

I am not going to argue these things. I have given sound advice for what it is worth. The Deputy may think that I am not sincere. I cannot do more than I have done. I am not in a position of responsibility. I gave that advice to the Government without any heat and without any bias because I think the advice is worth listening to and for no other reason. I ask for some assurance that there will be no light-hearted use of those powers. I think that is reasonable. In the interests of the Bill, it is necessary. I think also that we are entitled to ask for a definite statement of policy but not from individual Ministers. They themselves would be the first to acknowledge that, however able and important they may be in the estimation of their Party, it is not what they say that carries weight. I am sorry that that is so because we have had statements from Ministers which, if they stood alone and could be accepted as the final view of the Government, would, to a certain extent, ease the situation.

I am sorry the Government does not see its way to give us a commission which would be independent. That would make for smoother and better working and for sounder belief on the part of the people in the law. It is no answer to say that we did certain things in 1926. In dealing with illegal activities for 13 years, we should have learned something. I cannot understand the attitude of the Government but they have the majority and can vote us down. I am convinced that power is necessary to deal with this armed menace. I was convinced of this before the Park incident. That incident did not shake my conviction. When I hear people speak of liberty and democratic institutions, I cannot believe that democratic and liberal institutions mean the giving into the hands of any body of men the right to interfere with the lawful avocations of their neighbours and, if necessary, even to shoot them down. I do not know how licence of that kind can be justified in the name of liberty. I have always felt that, for some reason, there is a great deal more sympathy with the man who is guilty of these criminal activities than with the victim, and I think that the Government should get the powers which are necessary to deal with such a situation. To allow a thing of that kind to establish itself in the country is not to preserve liberty but to destroy liberty.

I have offered certain advice to the Government which, at an earlier period in their career, I might have thought that they might accept—but I have learned to be pessimistic on that. I have never known the Government to accept a good suggestion from this side. It is not offered now as from this side or any side. I give it in the interests of the country and the Dáil as a whole. Despite the reservations which I have made, it is because I feel that real liberty can only be preserved if certain organisations are dealt with so that the liberty of other people will not be endangered or the established institutions of the State upset, that I am compelled to give my support to this Bill.

Deputy O'Sullivan treated Deputy Moore very lightly. Deputy Moore asked him to accept the Government's assurance about certain things.

That was not my interruption. I asked: "Is the Deputy willing to be assured?"

Willing to be assured of what? He asked the Deputy if he was willing to be assured that the Government had certain good intentions. I should like Deputy Moore to know my opinion on that. I would accept the Government's assurance on nothing as regards this Bill. Anything that could be put into black and white in this Bill I would insist on being put into black and white. I am afraid that the ex-Minister for Justice, having taken over the reins from the present Minister for Justice to-day, cannot feel at all happy about this amending Bill. Part VI of the original Act is repealed because of a certain judicial decision. It is entirely re-enacted in the Bill before us to-day. There are certain alterations. In Section 55, where the words were, "where a Minister of State is satisfied", a change is made to the "opinion" of a Minister of State. To meet a certain situation, the Government present us with a Bill of this nature, and, in their anxiety to get through all its stages, it is possible that they will leave as big a loophole as was left in the last Act.

On the question of a judicial act, the Minister was usurping the functions of the Judiciary and, in my opinion, the functions of the Judiciary are being usurped still further by what is being done now. The Minister establishes a certain thing in his own mind and feels that it is right, and because he thinks it is right he does that. Now, certain steps can be taken as a result of what An tUachtarán may do, and the matter may go to the Supreme Court. Deputy Moore got an assurance as to the position there, because the suggestion was made that it was possible that it might be a one-sided affair, with the President on one hand and the Supreme Court on the other hand. I am not saying that it was a breach of the Constitution. Deputy Moore said that a one-sided court was quite common in France, but he could also say that even in France, during the last six months or so, and in other countries, if you travelled far enough, you would find precedents for emergency legislation of that sort. I do not think, however, that it would be right for Deputy Moore to suggest that the Minister here should look to France or any other place for examples of emergency legislation.

I found it very hard yesterday to agree to giving to the Government the powers sought for in the first Bill, and I find it equally hard to agree to giving the powers sought for in this Bill. Whatever may be said of the speech of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, he evidently has his mind made up, but from the speech of the Taoiseach yesterday it did not appear that he had his mind made up, and for that reason I felt convinced that one ought not to give the Government these powers. I felt still more convinced that these powers ought not to be given when I realised the attitude of the Minister for Justice with regard to the amendment proposed last night. Apparently, both he and his predecessor are wildly in love with the idea of commissions, and apparently they are in love with the idea of putting upon the person detained the onus of going before the court or commission in order to clear himself. The onus here is being thrown on the person concerned.

Has there not been a decision of the House on that amendment?

Yes, Sir, but the Minister in his opening statement, suggested that when guarantees were being asked for, that was one of the reasons for the setting up of this commission, and my point is that there is actually no guarantee, and one of the reasons for which I asked for safeguards, and my strongest objection to this Bill, is because it might be used against people whom it should not be used against, and when the Minister said that six persons, and six persons only, appeared before the court or commission and that they were all released, I think that that proves my point. Either these people were or were not members of an illegal organisation, but of the six persons arrested, all were released. What I do not understand in connection with this, and what I object to, is that, having got the powers they got yesterday in the Bill, which I suppose is practically law now, what earthly hesitation has the Government in giving a guarantee of the constitutional rights of the citizens of this country or of giving to an individual who may be interned a chance of going before a court at some time or another? What is the objection to giving such a guarantee? I would be much easier in my mind about these Acts and these powers that are proposed to be given, if I could be satisfied as to why the Government will not consider giving any sort of a reasonable safeguard or guarantee. The farthest they will go, however, is to say that they might consider it, or that they might put something of that kind in the order, or in the Act, but the order can be revoked at any moment, and actually there seems to be very little use in saying anything about these matters because, although the Minister for Co-ordination of Defensive Measures and the Minister for Industry and Commerce have made strong statements here to-day, from which one would hope that they are sorry for their attitude in connection with certain things in the past, it is not good enough. The expression of true contrition is not good enough without the amendment of our lives. I remember the Minister for Industry and Commerce saying that he was sorry for certain things he said in this House and outside it. That, apparently, was a straightforward attitude; but the trouble that I see is that the Government hesitates to give any of these guarantees. There is no good in saying that the Government did not use these emergency powers for political reasons, or that these emergency powers would not be used against anybody except members of terrorist organisations. Let us take one instance. If a member of the Army reserve, for instance, had any association whatsoever with a certain Party three or four years ago, in the opinion, I am sure, of the Minister for Defence, or of a Fianna Fáil Deputy, or even of a member of a Fianna Fáil Cumann, he was gone out of the organisation immediately. On the other side, however, Army reservists and the volunteers were supposed to be non-political, but still we had the spectacle of volunteer officers here in Dublin parading in the streets and afterwards appearing publicly on political platforms.

Would the Deputy relate that to the Emergency Powers Bill?

I am relating it to that, Sir. My point is that if the Government would abuse their ordinary powers, what would they not do with these powers that are now sought? You had such cases in 1934—that a man, because he had a certain political complexion, went out of the Army as fast as was possible, while you had another man who appeared in uniform leading a parade in Dublin and could also appear on a political platform at the same time. Where is the administration of ordinary law there?

The question of the administration of the ordinary law in 1934 is not relevant.

Stick to the canon law.

I think that Deputy Kelly would be a far better judge of canon law, because he has the most canonical appearance of any Deputy in this House.

Dalkey Island.

There is another point I do not quite understand in this amending portion of the Bill, where it says that the "Minister may by warrant under his hand... order the arrest and detention of such person...." The next sub-section says that "Any member of the Gárda Síochána may arrest without warrant any person in respect of whom a warrant has been issued by a Minister..." Is the point behind that, that the Minister in his office gets a warrant typed out, puts his name to it, adds his seal and then sticks it into the desk and it is transmitted by telepathy or some other means to some officer in the country, who arrests the person without the warrant? If a warrant is issued by the Minister, why would not the warrant itself, or a copy of it, be produced at the time of the arrest? A man cannot be arrested, according to the law, even under this measure, until the Minister issues the warrant. There is no reason why the warrant or a copy of it would not be available.

That would be all right if the person in question was obliging enough to turn up where the particular warrant and the Guard happened to be.

There ought to be some provision to indicate that the warrant was in existence at the time the arrest was being effected. Remember that it is the document which effects the judicial act, which puts the man into prison and keeps him there. What is the form of the warrant? " by this warrant order the arrest and detention of the said ............." The Government are asking for legislation that will help them to mend their hand, that will get them out of the position they were left in because of the Habeas Corpus actions. Does the Minister for Supplies, who is now here, or the Minister for Justice, seriously think that the courts will uphold a thing like that?

That is a matter for the courts to decide.

It is a matter for the courts to decide. The point I want to make is that the Government's way to amend legislation is to bring in a Bill that is doubtful in its characteristics and that is very alike to the measure that failed already. Apparently, the way they are going to work the thing is that they will wait until something happens and then they will go to the Supreme Court and ask them to give a decision. Why not do the thing properly? Is it possible that the Government would not mind a loophole being in this Bill and that they are prepared to go on until another Habeas Corpus action would succeed? It is amazing to anybody that they should adopt this procedure. It was perfectly obvious what happened and yet they come along and tinker with the situation in this fashion. It is plainly tinkering with the whole thing. I hope that by the time it does eventually reach the Supreme Court the Minister will have realised that it is a rottenly drafted Bill. He should have taken heed of the warnings given him by Deputy Costello.

I want to make this clear, that unless the Government—and, like Deputy O'Sullivan, I mean by that the Taoiseach—indicate definitely what their intentions are and what their policy is, and unless they are going to give some safeguards which they are obviously reluctant to give, I find myself in the position that I would not feel justified in giving them the extraordinary powers they ask. Unlike other people in this House who appear to be satisfied about the integrity of individual Ministers, I am sorry to say that I must object to putting into the hands of individual Ministers this power of detention and internment. If I could be satisfied that individual members of the Government are people who could be relied upon to use these powers with justice to citizens and to the State I would willingly agree to grant them. If I could be satisfied that Deputies could go home and say to themselves: "We are satisfied that these powers will be used in a proper manner, in the manner for which they were intended, and they will not be used against people in respect to whom there was no intention to use them when the legislation was in troduced," then I would have no objection. Unless I could conscientiously feel myself in that position, I think I would not be justified in giving into the hands of individual members of the Fianna Fáil Government the powers now asked for.

If the Minister wants to get this emergency legislation willingly here and if he is as serious in looking for it as he says he is, then he should meet other Parties in the House half way. We have been told that if we do not give the Government this legislation it amounts to sabotaging the State. They want co-operation in these things; they want everyone to come and help them, but the moment anyone makes a suggestion that will, first of all, help to make better laws and, in the second place, suggest any guarantee of the liberty and right of the individual the Government will not give in. I should like to hear from some Minister why is it that the Government will not agree to put into this and the other Bill any guarantee of individual liberty?

Like the last speaker, I find it difficult to support this Bill. I believe a Government in a democratic State, charged with the preservation of law and order and of life and property, are entitled to whatever powers they ask to enable them to carry out their functions. I base my reluctance to give the special powers asked by the Government on lines similar to those given by the last speaker. Being a lawyer, he has dealt with the niceties of the law. I do not propose to follow him along those laneways and by-ways into which he has gone, but, reading this Bill as an ordinary citizen who now and again has to invoke the law, it is very hard to get any clear legal decision in this country. In this Bill we have it set out that whenever a Minister of State is of opinion that any particular person is engaged in activities which, in his opinion, are prejudicial to the preservation of public peace and order, he can have him arrested.

Looking back on the use, or abuse, of the special powers that have been given to the present Government, I do not think that the greatest apologist for the present Government can deny that they have been used with a tinge of politics. There were cases where lives were lost, where lives were taken, and where the Government themselves could not deny it. They accepted the crimes as crimes of murder, and referred to them yesterday in this House as crimes of murder, and yet those crimes were not investigated by the special courts that were then functioning. But other crimes, or alleged crimes, were put before the Military Tribunal. That, to my mind, should make any member of this House cautious in giving the Government exceptional powers. If we are to be convinced that a Minister is to be vested with the powers asked for here, why are not the crimes defined?

Let us carry that a bit further. If a certain organisation is a danger to the State, and if the exercise of the powers which the Government are now seeking is to be confined to those people who are challenging the Government's right as a Government, to people whose aims and objects are to overthrow the State as at present constituted, why is not that set out in the Bill? If, in the opinion of the Government, there are such organisations in the country, why are they not named so that we will know what we are talking about? If the organisations that the Government schedule have the aims and objects I have mentioned, aims and objects challenging its right as a Government, then the Government would have to prove before the commission it is proposed to set up or before the courts, that certain organisations had those intentions, and, secondly, that the people arrested were members of them, or that the Government had reasonable grounds for suspecting that they were members. I have no technical knowledge of the law, but ordinary common sense would seem to suggest that if you invest individuals with those exceptional powers the people arrested should have some protection to show that they do not belong to the scheduled organisations, or if they do, that those organisations have not the intentions imputed to them.

The Minister for Supplies is present. It is not so long since I read a speech of his in which he stated that the objective of Fianna Fáil was a republic for 32 Counties in our time. Now, we were all young and impulsive. We all had the ideals of youth. I think that the youth of our generation produced more politicians than any generation of Irishmen that ever went before us, or that I hope will come after us. But, looking back on our own day, and on the achievements made by physical force in the previous generation, it is true to say that the youth of this country was attracted to stuff like that a generation ago. Previous to our day, there were no achievements by physical force that could be pointed to except glorious failures. But in our day there were actual substantial achievements after a period of failures over 700 years. At the end of that, something substantial was achieved. Therefore, it is natural for the youth of the succeeding generation to say: "Well, our fathers carried the torch a certain distance by certain methods, and we will endeavour to carry it a bit further by similar methods." In my opinion, that statement by a Minister of State—an Irish republic for 32 Counties in our time—was an encouragement for thoughts of that kind, whether our ideal be an Irish republic for 32 Counties in our time or in any other time.

I do not quarrel with ideals of that kind. Those of us here have gone through the strain of 40 years of this century, probably the greatest epoch-making period in Irish history or world history. We could not have gone through that without learning a lot. We all know that, viewed from any angle, the attainment of an Irish republic for 32 Counties in our time is the greatest balderdash that a grownup individual could preach. I say that, having no quarrel with the ideal, but knowing that its achievement in that space of time, if in any time, is impossible. Let us consider how that reacted on young fellows who, so to speak, saw Victoria crosses and iron crosses flung around for alleged bravery in the various little rows, dignified as wars that we had here. Like the young Napoleon, these young fellows longed for a period in which to outdo the greater Napoleon.

I am afraid that loose talk like that was done for political purposes, to hold a certain young and advanced political wing as principal workers for the Fianna Fáil Party at election time. We had terrible incidents happening. I was speaking at a meeting in O'Connell Street at which the Guards were hooted and pelted. There was a loud-speaker on a pole, and a man climbed up while the Guards were around and cut the loud-speaker off the pole. That man was not interfered with. The Guards dare not interfere with him. That was only a few years ago. We had full control of law and order here when an Irish Government was in control, and when a Fianna Fáil Government was in control. Why did they permit that to happen? If you sow the wind you have the whirlwind, and you are now appealing to us, and to the whole country, to reap the whirlwind. I say that you were wrong in not enforcing law and order then. You are wrong in not enforcing it now. I say that without any political animus, without any bitterness, or raking up of old sores. It is terribly difficult for a poacher to turn gamekeeper.

He always makes the best one.

Not if he belongs to the poachers' organisation.

He makes the best one for catching poachers but not for preventing poaching. He knows the byways in which to catch poachers, but that is all that can be said for him. As one who at 17 years of age joined the republican organisation, and who has been more or less through the whole struggle since, both in London and in Dublin—because there was a time when the republican organisation hardly existed outside London, where the headquarters were 53 and 54 Chancery Lane—I ask myself this question: Are succeeding generations of Irishmen to start where we started, or are they to start where we leave off? We got political freedom in 1922. Great credit is due to the people that achieved that freedom. Look at the abuse we have made of it since. Look at the state of the country to-day. What good is freedom if it does not give the people a good living? Is this country as capable of giving a good living to the people to-day as it was on the day that General Macready and the British Army marched down the quays? I say it is not, and I cannot be accused of being pro-British. At that time we were handed over a country free of debt, a working concern, with credit capable of borrowing money for any business purpose.

To-day we are a nation with perhaps £100,000,000 of a debt, with our credit gone, with 120,000 people idle, and with this mess that is before the House to be cleaned up, not by democratic control but by special emergency legislation. Are we fit for government? Is the Government fit to govern? I am not speaking as a revolutionary. I am speaking as a business man and as a farmer who has built up a business as well as farming, and I claim to know both. I ask the Minister, who is a good business man, a successful professional man, and a good all-round citizen, what is the outlook for this country now? I do not care if the mess is going to be cleaned up by one man, even by a dictator. If it lay in my hands and if I thought a dictator would clean it up I would give him the power. I see no hope of reconstruction in these proposals. Three weeks ago this country, that we got free of debt and a going concern 17 years ago, asked for the paltry sum of £7,000,000 and could not get it. Would it have got seven pence if the Magazine had been successfully raided at that time? There is a war around our coasts, yet we have 120,000 people idle. There will be more idle because we are rationed in supplies that we cannot produce ourselves, and in raw materials.

I wonder if people think whither are we going? Are the ordinary people to be for ever made the playthings of politicians, of tin-pot politicians and tin-pot revolutionaries? Look back on the history of this country, on the economic strength it used in the Anglo-Irish war, in the civil war, and in the economic war. Now we are going to have another war. I say, without any bitterness, that the Front Bench of the present Government trained these fellows. How are they going to be suppressed? The Minister for Industry and Commerce last night said that he was sorry for what he said on a previous occasion. Well, at the time he said that we know the stuff that was talked and the promises that were made. These promises were not fulfilled. The young fellows that were trained up on these wild promises, if they do certain things, may, I suppose, be shot by their teachers. Is not that a terrible responsibility? I think it would be better for the ultimate government of this country if there was a criminal code drafted so that any politicians who made such promises would be interned. If we had these politicians who made wild promises during the last ten years interned, we would have no budding revolutionaries to-day.

However, we have the situation and we must deal with it. I would not trust a Government with the loose powers that are sought in this Bill, and with the methods of using them that are so loosely described in it. We had the Minister for Justice defending the use of these special powers in a recent farmers' strike. I was not a party to that strike. My own view of the demands put up was that they were hardly what an organisation could strike for. They were doing, as alleged, certain things which were not lawful.

But the Minister for Justice asked the House were they, as a responsible Government, to allow farmers to proceed in that way? Of course, the obvious answer to that is that if people break the law they must be made amenable. The farmers' strike itself was lawful; but if the farmers, in carrying out the strike, committed unlawful acts, there was the ordinary machinery of the civil courts to try them. Surely it is not going to be suggested that the Farmers' Federation in the strike a few weeks ago challenged the authority of the Government to govern? Surely it is not going to be suggested that the Farmers' Federation is an organisation that wants to overthrow the present, or any Government, by force of arms? Any member of it who breaks any law must be amenable to justice, and there are the ordinary courts before which to bring him. If members of the Federation committed an offence why were they not brought before the ordinary civil courts instead of before the special courts set up under the emergency powers? With that in our memories how can they ask for these special powers? As far as my vote is concerned, I would not give them these powers, because they have not been faithful to their trust in the past. I would give it to them if they would enumerate the special offences they have in mind, and say that anybody guilty of these offences, or reasonably suspected of being guilty of these offences, would be dealt with under these special powers. If they circumscribed themselves in that way, they would not have much latitude for abusing their powers.

If the Government loses its head, if its imagination runs riot, and every Minister magnifies in his mind every act that he thinks a suspected person is committing or is about to commit, we may have thousands interned in this country. If that is going to be the political stability of a country that is reeking with economic and financial instability at the present time, if that political instability is to be demonstrated by concentration camps throughout the country, what hope is there for this country? Are we not up against the end of our existence as a separate State? To quote a famous phrase, we are not "with heads erect marching into the British Empire," but we will be crawling into the British Empire to save us from economic ruin and starvation. That is what all the victories and sacrifices have led to. Can the Government offer nothing better?

Remember, they are wholly responsible. It is not so long ago that we were told in this House: "We know that there are guns about, but we will not bother about those guns unless the people come out and parade with them." What have they the guns for? To use a homely country phrase, is it for stirring stirabout? The Government knew they had them and did not bother about them. The ammunition stolen from the Magazine Fort was not paraded about, but they went after it. They found that the scholars were able for the master. Then the master set out to look after the scholars that he had taught well but not wisely. I am sure the Minister heard the old ballad years ago: "The master used to beat me, but he dare not do it now." The scholar is not afraid of the master now, but the master is afraid of the scholar. All the consolation that the present Government have out of a situation that has brought this country to the verge of bankruptcy and that has piled up the national debt of this country is: "They are our pupils and we taught them well."

I listened to Deputy O'Sullivan eloquently pleading that a clear-cut, unambiguous statement should be made by the Taoiseach, telling both Parliament and the people where exactly he stands and what is his view with regard to the activities of illegal republican organisations in this country. I can endorse the expression used by Deputy O'Sullivan, but I must confess that I am long enough in this House to have long ago given up any hope I ever had of ever getting a clear-cut unambiguous statement from the Taoiseach on any matter whatever. But it is not superfluous or out of place to make such a request at the present moment. He is the head of a Government that is bringing in two Bills to arrest, imprison and intern mainly young Irishmen, and we have on the records of this House his ruthless, determined opposition to any such measures and his heated and eloquent pleas and apologias on behalf of such methods when the coffins were passing along the road in front of Leinster House.

If we have young men engaged in illegal, anti-State, military operations to-day, it is mainly because of the teachings of the Taoiseach. It is because of that that it is most imperative, if these Bills are intended to mean anything but a hollow political bluff, that a clear-cut statement should be made by him on behalf of the whole Government. When I ask and demand such a statement I am speaking in no Party spirit. I can respect any man opposed to me who, like the Minister for Industry and Commerce last night, stands up and admits, like any of us must, that mistakes have been made in the past, that some of his past actions were mistaken, and some of his past utterances unfortunate. I do not repeat these remarks because of the fact that, by implication, they pay a tribute to the path pursued by people over here. I repeat them because of the fact that statements such as those made by a Minister send a clear message to everybody engaged in illegal activities in this country that, no matter what happened in the past, the nonsense of the past is behind us; it is the business of the future that has to be done. It was a clear, brave statement. No matter where we sit in this House, we have got to respect that kind of statement coming from a man who is big enough to admit mistakes made in the past.

Nobody engaged in illegal organisations can this evening or to-morrow say "The Minister for Industry and Commerce is more than half with us." Irrespective of where he stood ten years ago or ten days ago, he has made his stand to day and to-morrow clear and he has justified his position as a Minister in asking us to subscribe to a Bill such as this. As Deputy O'Sullivan says, statements of that kind coming from Ministers mean nothing as long as we have statements by the Taoiseach on the records of this House that men who were caught red-handed in murder were merely misguided youths, stimulated by the highest patriotic motives. Statements such as those have never been withdrawn. It was various statements made by Deputy de Valera from this bench, when he justified every horrible crime or the perpetrators of the horrible crimes, that produced in the past Bills such as this from a Government which sat on the opposite side. Before his Government is justified in interning a single man, young or old, they have got to make clear to the country that they have set their face against their own nonsense in the past, and that there is a clear-cut determination on their part to stand in the future for things that are right and against everything that is wrong.

There is a sneaking suspicion in the minds of everyone that this Bill is aimed at that to-morrow, or the day after, they will have their own leaders back in their old camp. Deputy Belton said that the unfortunate thing was that the head of the Government, in bringing in Bills such as this, was in the position of a schoolmaster punishing his pupil for learning his lessons only too well. Before any schoolmaster is entitled to punish any student for learning his lessons well, he has got first to make a statement to the effect: "I was teaching you out of the wrong book. I want you to forget the things I taught you in the past, and learn the lessons I am going to teach you in the future." That statement must be made. It is a crime for the present Government to intern or imprison anybody for following their teachings until they make a clear-cut statement, through their chief, repudiating their own teachings from the inception of this State. There is scarcely a Deputy sitting on the opposite side that, within the life of this State, did not follow the present head of the Government in the very same line of activity as the head of the Government is condemning and asking permission to intern people for to-day.

We can sympathise with the Government in their dilemma. We can sympathise with the Government in their difficulties because of their own past, but we can also sympathise with the poor, confused youth of the country, who was doing eight years ago exactly what he is doing to-day. But, then, he was doing it to the cry of "Up de Valera," and de Valera gave him his patronage. To-day he is engaged in the same activity and de Valera gives him the jail. If that youth is puzzled and confused, cannot we have some consideration for him? He may be living in a remote place. He may not be up here in the gallery at night listening to the hair-splitting, quibbling speeches we get from the head of the Government. Is it out of place, when circumstances such as these exist, to ask for a clear-cut statement, of one or two sentences, that it is a crime now, as it was in the past, for anybody, no matter how high-sounding his praises, to engage in activity against the security of the State, to enter the ranks of any military organisation other than the Army functioning under the Parliament of the people—in other words, to subscribe to the principle that in any healthy State there can be only one Parliament, one Government, and one Army, and that no matter who preached the contrary within the lifetime of this Irish State, that man and his teachings were wrong.

The imprisonment, as I said before, of a single individual by the present Government in the absence of such a statement would be absolutely unjustifiable. The Minister for Industry and Commerce, so far as one Minister could, speaking for himself, gave utterance to such a statement. Speaking as a member of a Party opposed to him, I want to make clear that nobody is jubilating because he had to stand up and make such a statement but that we appreciate the bigness of a man who was capable of making such a statement. If such a statement came from the head of the Government, far from making it difficult for him, he would get help and assistance that he might not have felt himself entitled to expect or ask for. That assistance cannot be given either fully or with confidence as long as we have the double shuffling we have witnessed here for the last seven years—one step forward, two steps back; one step on right lines and another on left lines, merely the speech of the successful politician playing one hand to-day and another to-morrow, bidding for support on the left to-day and on the right to-morrow, never staying long "put" in any particular position and leaving everybody guessing as to where he is going next.

We had that absurd, discreditable speech from him yesterday evening, repeated I believe, to-day in the Seanad —the head of a democratic Government and the leader of a democratic Parliament hurling defiance at the courts of the land because their legal view of English phrases may not coincide with his. If he were the most distinguished lawyer that this country ever produced and then found himself head of the Government, such statements and such sentiments would not only be the height of presumption but they would be unforgivable in any country that called itself democratic. He has been for the last seven or eight years at the head of the Government, and every one of those seven or eight years bears the brand of intolerance—intolerance of people, intolerance of Parties, intolerance of institutions. So long as people are content to say "ditto" to everything that he says, then persons, Parties and institutions are all right, but the very minute that any of these people, Parties, or institutions, dared to have minds of their own, which differed to any extent from his mind, then these persons, Parties and institutions disappeared one by one. We have had the Dáil altered in its constitution; we have had the Constitution itself altered, we have had the Seanad abolished and then reconstituted, and we have had heads of Departments going with even less consideration than would be given to the most subordinate being in any country in the world. The only institution that has not been tinkered with so far is the judiciary of the country, and last evening and to-day we had an indication that their turn has come. That may be the intention of the Taoiseach, but let me say that it is my belief that his own turn has come; and not the turn of the judiciary. Let me say that the turn for any head of a Government has come when the Government are driven to the point of threatening the judges of the land for doing their business honourably, even though it may be awkward for the Government.

We get those kinds of threats thrown around when we are asked to pass legislation in order to give any Minister, over his signature, or anybody acting on behalf of a Minister, the power to enter any one of our homes and whisk us away to an internment camp without any obligation on anyone to tell us why that should have been done, or without onus on anybody in this State to charge us with an offence. Yet, the times are so dangerous and so critical that, for the first time in the history of this State, you have the main political Opposition Party agreeing to give such powers to the Government. That has happened for the very first time here. Never on any previous occasion—even, as I said, when funerals of victims were passing the front gate—was there an Opposition in this House big enough to give such powers to their political opponents; but now for the first time you have an Opposition in this House giving these powers freely to a Government which they do not trust, and to a Government in which they have no confidence; and giving these powers, moreover, without any proper case having been made for the giving of these powers. That is being done, because we believe that the situation in this country is so serious, as a result particularly of the political jugglery and corruption of the past few years, that militant organisations which had practically ceased to exist eight years ago have been resurrected and have battened in the smiles of the leaders of the Party opposite, and now have grown so big that they have broken with their old leaders and with their old masters, and are now belching defiance.

We are giving these powers quite freely, as I say, but we would venture to give advice to the Government, and to give advice as people who introduced and administered internment Bills such as these, and as people who are always quite agreeable to learn by experience. We merely make one request, and that is: that a prisoner, when locked up, should have a right to appeal to the court for his release, and that the onus of proof should be there to show that he was engaged in illegal activities or a member of an illegal organisation. The only answer that we have got to that request is: "You did the same thing yourselves 13 years ago; you did exactly what we are doing now." Well, it is just as well that we are not swelled-headed, because the only defence the Government has for anything they do is to tell us that we did the same thing 16 or 17 years ago. However, we are not inclined to be swelled-headed, and we are not ashamed to admit that certain mistakes have been made. The members of the Government then were young and inexperienced men. They had only had two or three years' experience of an Irish State, an Irish Parliament and an Irish Government, and they did what appeared to them to be right in the absence of any experience. In the light of experience, afterwards, they found that certain things could be improved upon, and, if they were doing those things again, they would do them in a different way. Yet, when those men come in here to give advice, the only answer they get is: "This is what you did yourselves 15 years ago."

Have the Minister opposite any minds of their own? If they have not any minds of their own, are they gone beyond learning from the experience of others? Surely, what is intended by this Bill is to put in, and to keep in custody people who should be put in and kept in, and surely you are anxious, when you put people in, to give the people confidence in the fact that if those concerned feel that they are improperly interned, there is a speedy path for release.

Now you are going to intern people who, in the main, are engaged actively in opposition to the Government, and the only room for confusion is between those engaged actively, politically, against the Government, and those engaged actively, militarily, against the Government; and perfectly legitimate mistakes can be made. First of all, there is a certain amount of overlapping, but the idea here is to tell anybody who feels that he is improperly arrested that there is a method of release in which he can have confidence. Now, seeing that the person concerned is opposed to the Government and has no direct contacts between him and the Government, what confidence do you think he will have in three Government nominees, every one of whom is removable at the will of the Government from day to day? Would not every one of these people say—would not I myself say, if I were in that position—"If the Government want to put me in, they will put me in, and they would not put me in if they wanted to let me out"? These three nominees of the Government, put in there at the pleasure of the Government, will do what the Government tells them to do and nothing else. I would have quite a different view, however, if there was a right of appeal to the courts of the country, and I have yet to hear, after two days' debate here in the House, what really sound objection there is to replacing that commission by the High Court. No case was made against the High Court. The only reply so far extracted from any Minister was that this Party, when it was the Government 13 or 15 years ago, had a Bill with a similar clause. That line of argument is too cheap, too childish for an assembly such as this.

Anybody who spoke on this side in reference to this Bill tried to be helpful and tried to place at the disposal of the Government any experience he had in the past. Internment is a very awkward weapon for any Parliament or any Government to handle. It is full of snags, full of difficulties, and if people who administered internment schemes in the past can see a way of making it work more smoothly, surely their voices should be listened to?

We had Deputy Moore's remark that the French legal system differed somewhat from ours. I do not pretend to know, but I remember at the time when an Internment Act was being introduced here in the past there was a very distinguished Frenchman present one day and he said to a friend of mine: "You people in this country go to a lot of trouble about your internment schemes and your internment legislation. We do not in France; we have very few internments, but many inquests." That is what we do not want in this country. We go in for internments rather than inquests. We want to make the internment system satisfactory from the point of view of government and, above all, satisfactory from the point of view of the innocent man who may find himself caught in a big net.

Whether we get the amendments or the alterations we are seeking or not, whether we get the declarations which we ask for or not, we are asking for these declarations not only to strengthen the hand of the Government in the work they have got to do in the future, but also to strengthen the hand of Parliament in facing up to what it has to face up to in the future. We are opposed to the Government politically, but we are as much concerned as any member of the Government in the survival of democracy and democratic institutions in this country. There were times in the past when the very word "democracy" was a holy humbug in this country. There were times in the past when real supporters of real democracy were beginning to disappear. There were times in the past in this country when we called ourselves a democratic State, but when the minds and the votes of democrats were directed to gangsters.

Any Government at any time that wants to grapple with that kind of thing and wants to crush it, quite aside from political kudos or political expendiency, will have the help and assistance, public and private, of every member of this Party. If the Government are going to come in for odium, if they are going to come in for political loss by having to introduce and implement Bills such as these, I wish I could speak with a loud enough voice to reach every elector in the country when I say that that Bill, though introduced by the Government, has the support of every member of the Fine Gael Party and that, in times such as exist and in times such as appear to be before us, if we were sitting over there we would introduce exactly the same Bills. The amendments we suggest are merely amendments designed to make it easier to keep the right man indefinitely, and easier to expedite the release of the wrong man.

Not that I would hope to offend against any ruling which this House has ever given, but just because there are certain courts referred to, or commissions, and, in the background, there are certainly courts referred to, I would like to be assured again that there is a ruling that it is not permissible to criticise judges. I understood that was always a ruling of the House.

In fact, I understood that attention was called to the point yesterday that it was not regarded as quite permissible even to compliment a judge for fear that it might evoke an uncomplimentary allusion.

The Chair suggested to a Deputy the danger of commending a judge lest some other Deputy might express a different opinion.

It was merely to get the matter clear that I have referred to it. I understand that a challenge has been given in the other House as to whether that ruling was ever given or whether it is proper, and the challenge has been made by the head of the Government.

I am not concerned with the proceedings of the other House.

Yesterday we heard what was apparently a fumbling beginning to an attack on the judiciary. That has boiled over to-day. The Taoiseach of this State wants, I understand, freedom to discuss and criticise the judicial power in the country and even individual judges. I do not propose to follow him in any line he takes up in that regard, and I hope that the ruling again recommended in this House will last. To a certain extent, in the measure before the House, we are setting aside the judiciary and in a very particular way the precise measure we have before the House is a rather roundabout and, to my mind, a clumsy way of trying to override a decision a High Court Judge has given.

Let me make my position clear in this. I think it is always the right of this House, and certainly at times it is its duty, when Deputies find the courts have given a decision which is not in accord with the legislative will of the people, that they should amend that and try to establish what they think is in accordance with the views of the people whom they represent. I would like to have it appreciated by the House just what is the particular background into which we are fitting this measure that we are now discussing. Yesterday, as far as this House was concerned, we let go, as the Government gave it to us, a measure which they introduced to increase still further the powers they got under the Emergency Powers Act of September, 1939. We did put on the Statute Book in June, 1939, the Offences Against the State Act. We are now repealing a certain part of that and endeavouring to re-establish it with a few changes. But the main bulk of the Offences Against the State Act, 1939, is still law in this country. What is the situation with regard to everybody in the country arising out of yesterday's legislation? Very little distinction for the future is to be made between the national and the non-national.

As far as yesterday's legislation is concerned, we gave this further power to the Government of arrest and detention without a warrant of any person when it appears to a Minister that it is expedient that such person should be arrested and detained. That would seem to be comprehensive enough for anything. The only limitation on that is that the measure may lapse if the war situation, which has developed, were suddenly to cease. But, even if the war did come to a sudden end, the Government is not entirely without extraordinary powers. Part VI of the Act is to be repealed, but all the other parts remain. When Part V was introduced I do not think the full value of it was appreciated, and it may take some little trial in the courts before the full extent of the powers in it are understood. I will summarise them briefly. Under Part V of the Act, the first step to be taken is that the Government passes a proclamation whereby that Part of the Act comes into force. When it does come into force, it is open to the Government either to declare certain offences to be scheduled offences or not to do so. If they declare certain things to be scheduled offences, the main result of that is that they can remove anyone charged with a scheduled offence away from the ordinary courts to the special courts. We know that is the Military Tribunal. If offences are not scheduled, the Government's powers are not lacking still if they can get the Attorney-General of the day to certify that, in his opinion, the administration of law and order has broken down. In that situation the Government will have complete control, and can take every person charged with any of the matters in respect of which the Attorney-General so certifies away from the ordinary courts and up to the special tribunal.

When I read the Bill first I understood this double machinery was meant to achieve this purpose: it was thought that at times you might have a person in the Attorney-General's position who would be more attentive to legal niceties than the Government of the day. In those circumstances, the Government of the day can relieve the Attorney-General of any responsibility by scheduling offences. They take the responsibility of saying that law and order have broken down, and of declaring that certain offences are offences not proper to be tried before the civil courts. There is no test imposed which could be tried out in a court action as to whether the Government are right or wrong in so declaring. If they do not decide to go so far and get an Attorney-General who is not concerned about attending to legal niceties or unprincipled enough not to care, then they can get the Attorney-General from time to time to certify with regard to certain people that on certain occasions law and order had broken down, whereupon the people apprehended are whisked off to the Military Tribunal. While people are under such control under the later part of the Act reestablished by this Bill, they can be asked certain questions. If they refuse to answer or give information, that is an offence in itself for which they may be tried before the Military Tribunal and given jail periods. That, again, would appear to be comprehensive enough. In fact, provided always that the war situation lasts, that is the most that any Government could require. They are bringing in this measure to re-establish Part V of the old Act.

This part of the old Act has been held to be unconstitutional for one reason. In one particular section it was laid down that a Minister had to be satisfied that certain things were happening. The judge held that, in so acting, the Minister was performing a judicial function, and that there was no power to pass over judicial functions to a Minister as such. In any event, in the circumstances of the case it was held that there was no evidence that the Minister had had proper material on which to form a judicial opinion. But in the background there was something more in that judgment, to which I must refer later.

As far as these two measures are concerned, I think people outside will welcome them. I think people outside would welcome them still further if they felt that the Government had broken with their past and were going to operate, as well as they could, these two measures. I think people outside would be still more in favour of this measure if they felt that the Government had not only broken with their past, but that they were going to get rid of the incompetents in their ranks. Remember, as well as the charge of unconstitutionality laid against this measure, and so found, the judge also found that there was gross incompetence in those who were attempting to carry out this Act in the simple matter of drawing up a proper warrant for the arrest and detention of the particular person before him. He found that the warrant was bad, and bad in several respects. I understand that the Government were afraid to risk a group of other habeas corpus cases being brought because a similar type of warrant was used in which the same error had crept in. Who is paying the penalty for that? Is there anybody going to be laid open to public censure for that? The Government, as a group, are under public censure, but who is the individual responsible? We want no scapegoats. There is someone with Ministerial responsibility for that matter, someone whom we put into a responsible position, and who failed in his responsibility. There is not a stir amongst the members of the Government. But incompetence was clearly declared by the judge in his decision. We are asked now simply to remake these powers. We are asked by the Government to give them this measure. With regard to internment, this is the power the Government are seeking:

"Whenever a Minister of State is of opinion that any particular person is engaged in activities which in his opinion are prejudicial to the preservation of public peace and order ... then the Minister may by warrant under his hand ... order the arrest and detention of such person."

Lest there should be any difficulty about the warrant this time, we have a new statutory simple form of warrant. I said yesterday that apparently the Government were looking for what I described as fool-proof powers. They believe they have got them here. They are even asking in this legislation for machinery so that their blundering and incompetence cannot make them go wrong. We give them the Bill with a good heart, but let us at the same time express our dissatisfaction that until the incompetents are cleared out there can be no confidence that even this measure, if it gets through the constitutional crisis, will be handled effectively.

In March of this year the Offences Against the State Act was introduced. It carried this which we are now introducing as part of it. When it was introduced the Minister in charge of this Bill was in charge of it. I have been trying to revive my memory but, as well as I remember, the case that he made for that measure was founded upon a proclamation issued by certain people who would try to describe themselves as his legitimate successors —handing over his Government to the remnant of the army that he left behind. In addition to that, I think the only other event to which the Minister alluded was that explosives had been put on a 'bus in the area of Donegal, and that three well-known members of that army, as it calls itself, had been killed in Donegal in the explosion. These were the only two incidents. He used the term to describe them that was alluded to by the Minister in that speech. He excused himself when replying by saying that he could have recited a long litany, but that he was not going to bother doing so.

The House was asked to give the Government these powers, and to give them this measure, by which they could arrest and detain without warrant. They were asked to repose that power in the hands of the Government, and the case made by the Minister was founded on a proclamation which handed over the army to the control of the government of the republic. We were told that explosions had killed three people in Donegal, and that explosives were put on buses. Outside of that there was a long litany which the Minister was not going into. To-day I understand the Minister added nothing to what he said on 2nd March, 1939. When the Taoiseach was speaking here he asked the House to give them powers under the Emergency Powers Act of last year. He said that it was not the powers that mattered, that what mattered was whether the people continued to have confidence in the Government. If the Government want the confidence of the country reposed in them, have they not obligations towards the people? Ought they not make a case? Ought they not at this moment strengthen the case beyond what was made in March? Ought they not make such a case as would give us an opportunity of justifying ourselves to our constituents in handing over these powers anew to the Government?

I suppose we can take the two debates as being somewhat joined. Yesterday the Minister for Justice did recite some matters. It was not a very impressive recital. It was sufficient in any event to make people concerned about the country say that they would grant the extra powers to the Government. One feels that a case could be made. And the feeling that a case could be made leads to a certain amount of disquiet and concern as to why a case is not made. The only answer I think that can be given is that the Ministry have not yet definitely parted with their own camp followers. They have not yet decided that the time has come to get away from them. The door is still to be kept open; the way of retreat back to them is still preserved. That, as well as the feeling of incompetence that pervades the Government, is the feeling that paralyses anyone who wants to see the people of the country preserved by giving the Government whatever powers they think are necessary. Yesterday I referred to a message that was sent by the Taoiseach to troops at a particular period. At that time there was another famous message sent. People were addressed as the legion of the rearguard, and were told that the republic could not be maintained by arms and they were asked to take certain steps. I am sure the Minister remembers what the steps were. The message ran:

"Comrades: The arms with which we have fought the enemies of the country are to be dumped. The foreign and domestic enemies of the Republic have for the moment prevailed."

Is that all done with? Has that all passed away? That is a long time back. That was not the last we heard of it. Allusions have been made to the statements that came from many of the present Ministry after they came into this House. In 1929 we were told: "We entered a faked Parliament which we believed in our hearts to be illegitimate, and we still believe it." Do we still believe that? "We faced a junta then which we did not regard as the rightful Government of this country." That is from a publication called The Nation, dated 23rd March, 1929, edited by the person who is now Vice-President of the country. Three speakers at different times took up the cry about the Government here not being the legitimate Government, and the Dáil not being legitimate. We are told that legitimate authority lay outside the Dáil. We were told that it was necessary to keep a large police force “because of the moral handicap which prevents community support.” The people responsible for these statements were the President and the Vice-President of the country. The person who is now Minister for Supplies, about the same time, when the question was put to him, said he accepted the view that “the title of the Dáil to legislate for this country is faulty.” Is that still the idea? What has been done to make people outside get away from that idea?

We know of another occasion in this House when the Taoiseach said that once the oath was removed there would be a complete change of attitude on the part of the people. Is there such a complete change? Have these people been aided to make the change by speeches that come from the Government Benches? Why, after being acquiescent in these matters for a long time did the Taoiseach think it necessary in the Seanad, within the last 18 months, to refer again to the idea of force? Why did he give his benediction once more to force, simply saying that he did not believe the use of force at this time would bring any good results, but that if he thought the moment appeared opportune, the there was a different situation, and one might begin to think of force? The statement was repeated at the last Fianna Fáil Ard-Fheis. Why that vacillation? There had been a period in which we know the present Ministers were outside and had to get support somewhere, and they decided they would get it by appealing to these people. They changed all that particular energy, enthusiasm and idealism into wrong channels. They turned it to their own benefit, and in a cynical way they then decided to forget what they promised having got inside the House, but they always kept the door open, and the line of retreat was always preserved.

For at least two years anyone observing the changes would have felt that we had got away from that, but in the last 18 months we had a return. We had a return in the Seanad with the speech to which I referred. It was repeated and underlined at the Ard-Fheis, and yesterday a speech was made which was not a clear-cut and definite statement to those people outside. That is the difficulty we have about this matter. It is a very definite difficulty. We are asked now—and it is very hard to justify to any super-minded person and to justify ourselves to our constituents —to give the Government these powers. People have analysed these powers much as I have done to-day. I know that sufficient powers now reside in the Ministry by which they can intern political enemies. They can intern people who differ from them merely on points of economy. There is no questioning that in the courts. They can bring people to the ordinary courts on a summary charge, but on production of a certificate from the Attorney-General they can get these people removed to a special court. It is somewhat difficult to justify that to the ordinary people. There is only one way. Sometimes one is driven to the expedient of painting too painful a picture of what is happening. That creates panic. That is not good for the State.

The Ministry leave us without help. The Ministry gave us a very meagre statement as to what is the situation that led up to this measure. People may be inclined to say: "Well, in the background there is possibly something." The Minister has spoken of a litany of events which he could recite if he cared, but he thought it was better not to. People will take a lot for granted and say: "They are not bringing in measures like these without there being some reason." The next query comes, and that query has been repeated more than ever since the raid on the Fort. Was there collusion about that? Who helped those men? Was it possible that such a concentration of lorries and men at a place in the Park where lorries are ordinarily unknown could have escaped observation? Was it possible that all the din and turmoil there must have been in getting so quickly loaded up such an amount of stuff should have escaped notice? Was there anybody in touch with these people? Did anybody help them?

Immediately that question is asked one's mind flies back to that statement of the Taoiseach. It is quite clear, no matter what may be said about other members of the Cabinet, that he has not given up or parted with these old degenerate days of his. There is disquiet over that matter. Of course, it is a situation that nobody could attempt to justify, that one would hand over power of this type to people pretending to require it in order to put down certain irregular forces at a time when they were either favouring them, conniving at what they were leading to, or slackly using powers against those people so that they were able to grow in strength. A half-hearted application of measures which should be sternly and strongly used leaves a bad effect. That is the general feeling that there is about this.

Lastly, there is the other point. It is hard to find words to describe the feeling there is in the country with regard to the incapacity. No blame, no matter how phrased, can really do justice to the incapacity that has been observed in the last six or seven months. That litany is so long that I do not propose to recite it here. But, in the matter of finance, in the matter of supplies for the country, in the matter of looking after the economic situation of the country, in those matters alone, the Ministry are by their actions in the last three or four months transforming what was surmise on the part of a number of people about that complete incapacity into absolute certainty. Is there nobody able to give any explanation for the raid on the Fort? The Ministry have not thought fit to ask for any resignations over that. The Ministry are, apparently, quite satisfied that no member of the Government ought to be held up to public odium and scorn for what happened. Is that a matter to be explained except on grounds of the grossest incompetence?

When the public mind gets a shock, which undoubtedly it did get from that occurrence, the only way to restore confidence is to have a searching inquiry and to find out who was responsible and, when the blame is placed, ruthlessly to victimise the person responsible. Again I want to say that I want no victims amongst the lower ranks. This country is run on the basis of executive responsibility amongst Ministers. All of them have responsibility for each other's acts, but there is a division of labour amongst the members of the Government. We divided out that labour with regard to defence matters amongst two people. Are both to blame or, if not both, which one of them is to blame, because one must be to blame? Is it possible that in any country there can be a situation in which the greatest arsenal that the country has can be entered and a vast amount of ammunition taken and that the country could easily accept that occurrence having taken place, that nobody was to be made responsible for it?

Let me leave out of consideration any idea of collusion. Collusion brings in a new aspect, and, of course, if there is any person in collusion, that person should be victimised immediately. Collusion being left out, the idea of incapacity is all the stronger. Was the Fort not thought worth while guarding? Were there no arrangements made about guarding the Fort which would be better than the ordinary guarding of a gaol? Are there no arrangements about people having a way of signalling other than the telephone, which is so easily cut? How many armed men were in that place? Is it not a fact that one shot fired in the air would have made that raid a failure? Is it possible that, out of the number of people who were armed in the neighbourhood of the Fort, not one person had sufficient time simply to fire a shot in the air? Were people provided with weapons which would even fire a shot in the air? Are we to believe that for three and a half hours one area in the Park was entirely deserted?

I do not like to interrupt the Deputy, but he is touching on matters which no doubt will be raised later on. I would remind him, however, that there is a commission of inquiry sitting on these matters, that the questions which he is now asking are no doubt questions which will present themselves to that commission, and that it would be better, having said as much as he said about Government responsibility in this matter, not to go further into detail in regard to it.

I want to mention the commission, as the Minister has brought it to my mind. A commission is sitting composed of whom? Officers able to deal with what their superiors did, or are they?

I should say that perhaps that is a matter which will arise immediately out of their report.

I propose to ask questions about it now. As far as I understand anything about that commission, it is composed of Army officers. Unless they have got extraordinary terms of reference, they are not allowed to bring in a report which will criticise Ministers. I imagine not.

They have got the widest possible terms of reference which would enable them to examine the whole of this matter from top to bottom.

The Minister believes that, in the ordinary circumstances of life in this country, a military officer who reported, say, that the Minister for Defence had been guilty of negligence, would have a happy life hereafter. What nonsense.

It would be hereafter.

It would be very much hereafter.

That is a very ill-judged statement for the Deputy to make.

I say that the setting up of a commission like this is merely camouflage. It is again an attempt to get a scapegoat below, and that is what I object to. If the Government came in here the other day with two Ministers even temporarily suspended, even if they added certain other people, one would not have minded. There would be an appreciation that the situation was being dealt with some way decently. We are told that there is a commission sitting. We know well that it is a commission of Army officers. Anybody who understands the ordinary run of opinion in the country knows well that these men dare not report that, say, the Minister for the Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures and the Minister for Defence were guilty of negligence. In any event, they are not the people to report that.

The commission required is a parliamentary commission. If it is not that, it is a commission of judges. If it is not that, it is a mixed bunch of judges, parliamentary representatives and ordinary people. It should certainly be composed of people who will never come under the control or discipline of those into whose conduct they ought to be inquiring. I should like to see the Minister—when he held the office of Minister for Finance recently—if anything had gone wrong with the finances, coming in here and saying that he had personally set up a commission of civil servants to report to him and ascertain if he himself had been guilty of negligence. This commission is only for purposes of delay. This commission, even when it does report, will have solved nothing. So far as this country is concerned, it is not bothering about whether individual officers did or did not do their duty. It has yet to be proved that any of them failed in his duty. What the country wants to know is what were the conditions around the Fort that night, what were the orders, what was the old system of inspection, if it had been changed, whether, after these 50 odd dangerous individuals had been let loose, following the judgment of the High Court, any special precautions were taken in regard to that area, whether there were any police reports regarding the activities of the men let out. I read into the statement of the Minister for Justice in March that amongst the things these people wanted were arms and ammunition. One would really have thought that, in the difficulty in which Ministers found themselves in not having work to occupy the otherwise idle hands of many of the volunteers and reservists who had been called to the colours, they would, at least, have seen that there were a fair number of people about the fort, that the outlying approaches would be guarded, and that there would be two or three lines, not necessarily of defence, but of persons able to give warning of the approach of the people who raided the place that night. This matter will have to be probed much more deeply and thoroughly than it can be done here and now. I voice the public anxiety about this matter and that anxiety will not be quelled or even stilled until we are told that, even temporarily, the Minister for Defence or the Minister for Co-Ordination or, better still, both, have been put aside until their reputation—very much besmirched at the moment—has been cleared, and cleared by a committee composed not of their colleagues who want to whitewash them, not of Army officers who may have to live subordinate to them, but by people in an independent position able to pass judgment on anything they find.

Nobody can deny that there was incompetence about that whole matter. I have heard very few attempts to deny that there must have been incompetence. I think that the Minister, in an interruption, said that he did not attempt to argue that the Government were without blame. Is there any appreciation that they feel that blame, that they feel it keenly? Is there any appreciation that the affair has really shaken the public and has certainly destroyed public confidence in them? Do they think that they can carry on with the same team, two members of which have their reputations so badly befouled by this particular incident? It is because the Ministry come in so complacently, with the same group, and with these little namby-pamby phrases that they are not without blame and that matters will be attended to hereafter, that people are shocked. The people are particularly shocked that folk such as those should ask to be entrusted with the further powers contained in this measure.

I shall grant to the Government, on their demand, these powers, but I want it to be realised that it is on their demand I do so. This is a situation that they have helped to bring about. They want the means to meet it, and I will give the means to them. But it is a situation of their own making and it is they who are demanding the powers. We give these powers with reluctance. We do not know that it is right to give them at all. But there are two reasons why we give them. We do not think it is right to leave these people to say that they required these powers and did not get them, and we do not want to give these people any longer any excuse for failing to put down those they have helped to strength in the country.

There is the further reluctance arising out of this matter of incapacity. I suppose we shall have no more errors in warrants once we have this simple form of warrant prescribed by statute. There have been other errors of administration. Leave these alone. It may be a somewhat delicate matter to work an Act like this properly, but to guard a fort is a simple matter, and in the very plain duty of guarding a particular arsenal the Government have failed. Yet they are still holding as members of their group one or two or, possibly, three persons who are under suspicion in regard to that matter. Nevertheless, they ask us to treat them as if they were fully competent and to give them these powers.

Yesterday the Taoiseach showed a disposition to attack the courts. If there was any doubt about his attitude yesterday, I believe it is cleared up to-day. To-day a question was raised as to whether the Government have shown any disposition to attack the I.R.A. That is a very fair question to ask and one that ought to be answered. There is another question to be asked. Are they going to attack themselves? Are they going to turn their eyes inwards and weed out the incompetency and incapacity which have been so clearly demonstrated recently? Let them attack themselves first. Let them clear up the mess internally. Then we shall have some confidence in their capacity when attempting to face the I.R.A. It is only when they have cleared up their own ranks and attempted to face the I.R.A. and failed by reason of something in the nature of court judgments that they can begin to talk about what the judiciary have done to them. I give these powers with no enthusiasm. I believe that still further errors will be committed, and I will not have that belief eradicated from my mind until I see certain members eradicated from the Government itself.

This Bill is similar to portion of an Act passed here some time ago. The matters that have been dealt with here were embodied with some minor alterations in the Offences Against the State Act. One would have imagined that, due to that, and that we had here yesterday a discussion dealing with these matters, we would not have a debate for something like six hours on the various pros and cons and the various irrelevancies arising on this Bill. The Opposition, true to form, has always gone out of its way to suggest by innuendo and insinuation that it would not trust this Government with the powers sought. I say to them here and now: "Do not give us the powers if you think so". If the Opposition have so much doubt and difficulty about making up their minds, if they are genuine in their doubts, if they think that these powers are either going to be misused or abused, then, if they are honest men, they should not give us these powers. They can keep them. That is the test of whether they are honest or not. If you think that we are going to misuse these powers, that is a matter for yourself.

The test, at any rate, as to whether you believe we are going to abuse or ill-use these powers is: will you give us those powers? We have had the usual references to the police and the usual references to the military and we had suggestions and innuendoes flung around the House that we had interfered to such an extent with the police force and to such an extent with the military in this country that they had now got to the position that you could not trust them. You know that that is not so. In the ordinary course of things various changes are made from time to time. When the people opposite were on these benches here they made various changes from time to time, and it was not insinuated then, any more than it could be insinuated now, that as a result of those actions, in the normal course of things, you had a position here as a result of which you could not rely on the police force or on the military.

We are told that we have talked tenderly about the I.R.A., that there has been a lot of soft talk, and that now we cannot carry conviction to the people. At once, I will admit that we tried to see a way of dealing with these people, and in some vague way I could see, from what Deputy Norton said, that something like that was in his mind. We saw two ways of dealing with the situation and we tried one way. We tried, so far as was humanly possible for us to do so, to pursue a course that we thought would succeed. I am sorry to say, however, and sorry to admit, that we find ourselves at the present time in the position, not so much that the course we were pursuing was the wrong one, but that because of other circumstances that have suddenly come upon us, arising perhaps from the world war or something like that, the course we were following has not succeeded.

Does the Minister say that it is due to the war?

I say that it might have accelerated it. So far as we are concerned at present, at any rate, the position is that we recognise that there is a dangerous situation in the country. We recognised that that position was there at the time we asked for those powers originally. When Deputy McGilligan points out a litany that I might have read out in this House, I did state that the litany, taking it in its details, might be small in so far as the details themselves were concerned, but that the cumulative effect of them would point very definitely to the trend of events and to something somewhat similar to the situation with which we are confronted to-day. Deputy Norton talked about the dangers of this Bill. He gave an example of where some wrong information had been given about some person and where that person's house was searched and so on. That is inevitable in any country, but if that person has not some incriminating documents on him, or if the police have not some information about him, then that individual is quite safe.

Deputy Hughes referred to the danger of these powers being used against the farmers' organisation, I think. Well, this Bill that we have before the House was never used for that purpose. Deputy McGilligan suggests that there was collusion with regard to this raid on the Magazine Fort. I do not feel that I am justified in referring to that. The Deputy may criticise commissions or courts of inquiry in any way he likes, but I feel precluded, while these courts or inquiries are sitting, from referring to them in any way.

I believe that the Government's position has not been strengthened, but has been considerably weakened by the attitude of the Opposition here. Every time that the Government brings in any measure here we have the same sort of talk as we had on this measure, the same sort of discussion, to the effect that you cannot trust the Government with such powers, and the same sort of talk about the Government's insincerity in dealing with these matters. If we want to get any distance in dealing with this matter and in dealing with it effectively we require the help and co-operation of everybody and of every Party in this House, and I do not think it has helped matters in the slightest, but rather the reverse, that we find ourselves here now with an Opposition which gives to you with one hand and tries to damage you with the other.

We recognise that there is such a situation in this country at the moment that without these powers we cannot effectively deal with that situation. We recognise that the situation at the present time calls for definite action and for strong action. We have been asked as to what is the strength of this organisation in the country. As the Minister for Justice explained yesterday evening, we do not regard its strength as formidable in the country. Deputy Mulcahy wanted to know what was its strength in every area. I do not propose to give that information, nor do I think it would be any benefit to the House, or to the country either, to do so. In connection with this question of internment you will have, probably, 50, 60, or perhaps 100 people interned. I would not think there would be any more, but at any rate nobody will be interned who will not have the right of appeal to this commission. He will have the right to submit himself before the commission and if he can satisfy the commission that he is not guilty or has not been connected with that organisation or guilty of any offence, then he will be released.

There has been some point made about this commission, about having an appeal to one judge. I do not accept that amendment, because it is essentially a matter in which you cannot get legal proof. If you had legal proof against those people, then you would have them charged and they would not be interned. If you set up a High Court judge as the person before whom these people shall go, then you will be bound by the laws of evidence and so on. I do not think that is a tribunal or commission that would be suitable for cases of this sort. There are not or there will not be any cases in which we can get legal proof of any sort that will not be brought before the special courts or the ordinary courts as the case may be.

I do not think any purpose whatever is served in going into the irrelevancies, insinuations and innuendoes that have been going about the House all this day. I will say at once that we recognise that there is a position in this country that is dangerous to the country, and we are determined to see that that position is remedied, and that the organisation responsible for it is stamped out. I do not think that it is of any service to the country, or any benefit to the country, that we had so much talk here about various matters, some of them going back over a long period of years. I could answer most of those things if I desired to follow Deputies along those tracks.

I recognise that we are faced with a dangerous situation, and I feel that it is the duty of this House, the duty of everyone of us, to co-operate in stamping that thing out. We are anxious and desirous that in doing so there should be as little suffering as possible inflicted on the people of this country or on the people of that organisation. We are anxious that those people would even now, even at this time of day, perhaps late in the day, see the error of their ways. There is no hope for those people along the lines they are pursuing, the lines of force. There is no justification for force and, before we have to take the action that is indicated in these Bills that have been before the House yesterday and to-day, I would appeal to those people strongly, if my appeal could reach them, or if my appeal would have any effect on them, that they should turn away from the path that they are following and come back to the only way in which I can see any chance of progress for this country, and that is to get into the constitutional organisations of the country. The services of those people to this country, many of them, might be valuable if they would only throw themselves into the constitutional movement, recognise the Government of this country, recognise its Parliament and its institutions.

When I say that we are determined to stamp this thing out, I do not say it in any bitter way and I do not say it in the sense that I want to get after people for the purpose of getting after them. I say it simply and solely because the Government have got to do their duty; they have to deal with this matter or get out. There is a long history attaching to this matter and I believe that those people are misled in thinking that they are continuing this fight in the way that it was known to be carried on years ago. There is no necessity for them to do what they are doing in order to achieve their objects. There is no necessity for them to have recourse to arms or anything of that sort. They have the Parliament of the country to come into, if they can secure the votes of the people. They have the Parliament to utilise so that they can get any policy they wish put before the people and carried by the people.

If they are not prepared to do that, there is only one alternative open to a Government and that alternative is that they cannot allow the position that obtains at the present time to continue. You must have ordered government in the country; you must secure ordered government, no matter what the cost. I will say to those people that they ought to recognise that fact and, before it is too late, they ought to give the country an opportunity by getting away from those methods that they have been following. The country is anxious to give them an opportunity, and I strongly appeal to them to come into the constitutional organisations and work for the good and the betterment of the country in that way.

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 64; Níl, 8.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Benson, Ernest E.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Browne, Patrick.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Childers, Erskine H.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John A.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Fogarty, Patrick J.
  • Friel, John.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hogan, Daniel.
  • Hughes, James.
  • Humphreys, Francis.
  • Keating, John.
  • Kelly, James P.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Kennedy, Michael J.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kissane, Eamon.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Loughman, Francis.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • McCann, John.
  • McDevitt, Henry A.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Moran, Michael.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Morrissey, Michael.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Munnelly, John.
  • O Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Loghlen, Peter J.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Sullivan, John.
  • Rice, Brigid M.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Laurence J.
  • Walsh, Richard.


  • Burke, Thomas.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Everett, James.
  • Hannigan, Joseph.
  • Hickey, James.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Norton, William.
  • Pattison, James P.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Smith and S. Brady; Níl: Deputies Keyes and Hickey.
Question declared carried.