Nomination of Taoiseach.

A Chinn Chomhairle, tá sé d'onóir agam an Teachta Eamon de Bhaléra a mholadh mar Thaoiseach. Ní gá dhom cur síos go mion nó go sonrach ar a bhfuil déanta aige d'Éirinn, mar tá sé sin i mbéal na ndaoine.

Ag labhairt dhom ar an rún seo thar ceann Dáil-Cheantair ina bhfuil Gaeltacht mhór, tugann sé áthas faoi leith dhom an Teachta Eamon de Bhaléra a mholadh, as ucht a spéise sa nGaeilge agus an ardmheas agus an cion atá ag muintir na Gaeltachta air. Tá a fhiúntas mar rialtóir agus mar threoraí stáit cruthaithe don saol fódhlach, agus chruthaigh sé na dea-threithre atá ann le linn an uabáis bá mhó a thit riamh ar an gcine daonna. Thairis sin is é an fear ceannais is mó a bhfhuil lucht leanúna aige sa tír seo agus sa tigh seo.

Má 'spáin toradh an toghcháin aon rud thar a chéile, spáin sé gurb é an Teachta Eamon de Bhaléra an duine a theastaíos ó mhuintir na hEireann mar cheann orthu, agus má glactar le mo mholadhsa, beidh Dáil Eireann ag déanamh mar is toil le náisiún na hEireann sa mbaile agus i gcéin.

A Chinn Comhairle, táimse ag cuidiú leis an dtairiscint seo agus cuireann sé áthas agus mórtas orm é a dhéanamh, tharla go bhfuilim im theachta annseo ón Dáilceantar inar tógadh Eamon de Bhaléra ó bhí sé ina leanbh agus inar tháinig sé in aois fir. Is é toil an Dáilcheantair sin gan aon agó go n-ainmneófar ina Thaoiseach arís é.

Ní gá dhom aon chur síos a dhéanamh ar na tréithre agus na buadha fé leith atá aige don ngradam seo. Tá's ag chuile dhuine go bhfhuil a ainm in airde mar Threoraí náisiúnta agus thuill sé clú agus cáil don tír seo agus dó fein le linn a thréimhse fada i gceannas na tíre.

Creidim gurb é leas na hEireann é dáthainmniú agus tá súil agam go nglacfaidh an Dáil leis an tairiscint seo.

Tairgimse don Dáil go nglacfar le Seán Ua Coisdealbha mar Thaoiseach. Ní gá domsa cur síos a dhéanamh ar a thréithre mar tá sean-aithne agus sean-eolas air ag gach duine sa Dáil. Chruthaigh sé a uaisleacht agus a sheasmhacht i gcúrsaí saoirse; tá eolas deimhin aige ar chúrsaí oibre na tíre seo, ar chúrsaí talmhaíochta agus ar chúrsaí lucht oibre. Ní dóigh liom go bhfhuil aoinne sa Dáil is fearr a dhéanfhadh an obair atá rómhainn anois sa Dáil.

I move that John A. Costello be nominated as Taoiseach. In doing so I feel that I am doing a thing which is the forerunner of a new spirit in this country. We have expressed our sorrow in this House to-day at the deaths of three men who were a great loss to the Dáil and a great loss to our frontbench—Deputy Hughes, Deputy Roddy and Deputy Coogan, each of whom in his own way made a great contribution to the work of this House. In their passing and in the events that have since taken place some of us can see the Hand of God tracing a new chapter in the history of our country. James Hughes, in particular, gave a message to us in this House. He supported that message that he had for us here and that he had for the country with as clear-minded a sacrifice of his life as that of any of those who sacrificed themselves for Ireland's liberty and well-being in the past. The night before he went out to speak at an Irish fair to Irish farmers of the message that he had his friends tried to prevail upon him not to go but he said that he had a duty to perform. "As for my life," he said to his brother, "you have no power over it; the doctor has no power over it and I have no power over it. That is in God's hands." The message that he went out to preach was the message he had preached so often here—the harmony that lay between the animal and the plant and the soil and the climate; the harmony that made it possible for the farmer to take from the soil of this country what gives us our sustenance and the things that go to build up our cities and our towns. He saw that, and he preached of the harmony in the animal and the plant and in the material soil of our country which required to be studied and examined and found out so that great production might be brought from that land for our country.

This is a House that has from time to time gone through very difficult days, and which, as a Parliament, can stand comparison with any Parliament in the world for the high manner in which its business has been conducted, no matter under what great strain it may have laboured. If hard words have been spoken on odd occasions in this House I feel that the hardest words that were ever spoken here were spoken to James Hughes when he was speaking on his agricultural subjects. Just as there is a harmony between the animal, the plant, the soil and the climate, which he felt it his duty to preach, there is a harmony between men's minds that has to be studied reverently and worked for as assiduously as any harmony that God established in the soil of the country we live in. I feel that harmony to exist because of the reactions that have come from the country as a result of the recent General Election campaign and because of the movement in people's minds that has made it possible for a number of Parties to say that they are willing to sit in the council chambers of the nation, willing to form an inter-Party Government in harmony and in reverent thought for their responsibilities and their duties to their country, as against the ideas that have been preached contrary to that harmony during this recent election campaign. I feel we are working, with sacrifice, with goodwill, with faith and with hope to establish a fruitful harmony among men of various attainments, various callings and various outlooks for their country.

In offering John Costello as nominee for Taoiseach I am offering a man who has been selected in that spirit by a number of groups in this Parliament. His selection has been not a question of bargaining but a manifestation of that spirit which is deep in our tradition and deep in our faith. In these days when a stricken world is looking back to the Christian faith and is feeling that if it only could re-grasp that faith and bring that faith to the inspiration of the work of the various nations and to the energising of their powers, something would be done to restore the world, I feel that there is a move in this country to realise what it is the Irishman and Irishwoman hold as a faith and that a sincere and successful effort is going to be made to see that that faith is translated into good works for the glory of God and for the benefit of our country.

In moving that the nomination of Jack Costello as Taoiseach be accepted I salute Deputy Costello. I salute him for the character and ability that has pointed him out so clearly to a number of groups in the House and in the country as the man to hold together and to bind that spirit and to lead it to achievement. I salute him for that and for the sacrifices of varied kinds that he is making in turning his back on his professional life and professional work—a sacrifice of mind in addition to many other sacrifices—in order to preside over that great experiment. I salute also the men who have come together in discussion to decide that, at a time when Ireland's spirit wants to be rekindled in its faith and Ireland's work wants to be directed in that faith, they are prepared to set up, however difficult the times, a Government that will preside over the work of this Dáil and look after the interests of the nation and that will, at the same time, point out by its example that it is only by every class and every creed and Party in this country working together and bringing the full of their capacity to the work of the country that this country can get on.

I do beseech those who challenge us in various ways that we cannot work together and that we cannot stay together to hold their judgments. Criticise us in any way you can and show us the better ways of doing things but we are asking you to give us Deputy John Costello as Taoiseach because by making sacrifices of various kinds he is stepping in to encourage men of various Parties to sit down together and face whatever difficulty arises, politically, socially or economically in Ireland these days. I have the greatest confidence in asking this House to accept the nomination of Deputy John A. Costello as Taoiseach.

I desire to second the motion. I think the results of the recent election and the verdicts of the people on the issues submitted to them render it unnecessary to explain any act of the Labour Party in seconding this motion. We in this country have deliberately elected under our Constitution to provide for a system of Parliamentary government on the basis of proportional representation and the fundamental basis of proportional representation is to provide for representation in the Dáil of numerically substantial cross-sections of our people. It follows, I think, from that that if we are to have cross-sections of our people represented in the Dáil, we ought to contemplate as a corollary to that development cross-sections of our people being represented in an inter-Party Government. It is true that this country has not so far had inter-Party Government. We have had for the past 26 years one-Party Government but, considering the nation's economic position and reflecting on the economic, social and agricultural maladies which afflict it, one can see no special virtue in one-Party Government.

We in the Labour Party, having regard to the results of the election, have decided, therefore, to vote for the establishment of an inter-Party Government, to pool the nation's wisdom and the nation's energies for a policy of national reconstruction, for national regeneration, which the nation has been often promised but of which it has not yet had even a glimpse. We want under an inter-Party Government to strive to organise the resources and the enthusiasm of the nation, to build a new Ireland, an Ireland that will keep Irish men and women in Ireland, that will give them a decent living at home, that will harness their energies and enthusiasm for the task of building up an Ireland of which this Parliament and those who made this Parliament possible can be proud.

We are voting, therefore, for what in our circumstances may seem an experiment in inter-Party Government. But, inter-Party Government is not new to mankind. In some of the bestgoverned countries in Europe inter-Party Government has given the peoples of those countries an incalculably better standard of life than our people can enjoy here. If one considers the small countries in Northern Europe and Switzerland one finds there examples of a decent life well worthy of emulation by our people.

Inter-Party Government, therefore, is a form of government for which nobody need apologise with the examples of good government which can be quoted of small countries in Europe with which we are reasonably comparable. The Labour Party is voting for this motion to give inter-Party Government a trial in this country and we will strive here, if this motion is carried, to give to our people something of the fullness and sweetness of life which inter-Party Government has given democratic people in other countries with which this country is comparable.

On behalf of the newest Party in this House, I rise to support the nomination of Deputy John A. Costello as Taoiseach. The task of the elected representatives of the people after an election is to construe from the results of that election what was the will of the people. In the election which has just concluded, the people by 750,000 votes to 500,000 votes clearly indicated that they wished to terminate the virtual political monopoly which has existed for some 16 years. That was the clear direction to this Parliament. In addition, the people who voted for the different Opposition Parties gave a mandate to those Parties in respect of certain matters of policy which were common to all those Parties. Therefore, in this respect, too, the people indicated their will clearly.

There is one matter which, I am glad to say, is above Party politics in this House and in the country. All Parties and the people are unanimous in their desire to reunite the nation and to undo Partition. I trust that every member of this House at all times will be prepared to co-operate with whatever Government is in power in order to end the unnatural and completely unjustifiable partition of our nation. That is one matter which is above Party politics and upon which the people are unanimous.

There is a number of urgent problems that require to be dealt with, problems of vital urgency if this nation is to survive. Chief among these problems are: emigration, rural depopulation, the fall in agricultural production, tuberculosis. To deal with these problems it is necessary to put the interests of the nation above Party politics. Possibly through tiredness, possibly through over-confidence created by too much power, the Government which has ruled the destinies of this country for a number of years has failed to heed the warnings that have come from every responsible quarter in this nation concerning these problems. It, therefore, becomes imperative to seek a remedy elsewhere.

The ultimate political objective of the Party which I have the honour to represent in this House is the reintegration of this nation as a republic, free from any association with any other country, save such association as may be freely entered into by the will of the people. We cannot, however, claim that in this election we secured a mandate from the people that would enable us to repeal, or seek to repeal the External Relations Act and such other measures as are inconsistent with our status as an independent republic. These, therefore, have to remain in abeyance for the time being. They are the ultimate aims of Clann na Poblachta and I trust that, at the next opportunity, the people will express their support for this policy and give Clann na Poblachta a mandate to carry it into effect. I also trust that the other Parties in this House will see the wisdom of pursuing such a policy.

Meanwhile, I am prepared to co-operate with the other Parties in this House in order to lift public life out of the rut of Party politics and to deal with the problems that threaten the very life of this part of our nation. We as a Party do not abandon, waive, mitigate or abate in any respect any portion of our policy. We merely agree to co-operate with other Parties in giving effect to those portions of our policy upon which there is common agreement. We shall do so honestly, frankly and to the best of our ability, because we believe that that is what the nation wishes us to do and because we believe that is what is best for the nation at this particular time. We shall, however, maintain our identity and policy as a separate Party and organisation.

I have the pleasure of knowing Deputy Costello as a colleague for many years and I have no hesitation in recommending him to this House as a man of honour, of integrity and of ability, well fitted to fill the high position for which he has been proposed by the leaders of the two largest Opposition Parties.

The wish of the vast majority of the people as expressed at the General Election just gone by, I think, leaves no doubt in the minds of anybody what form of Government we should have in this thirteenth Dáil. My Party and I regard the result of the General Election as a vote of censure on a Party that had an over-all majority here and that failed completely to do the things for which the people elected them, things that they should have done and that they could have done. Nobody in this House is unreasonable enough to expect unreasonable things or impossible things from any Government, but the result of the recent election was definitely a vote of censure on the Fianna Fáil Party for not ending some of the evils and some of the national ills which exist in our midst. It was a vote of censure particularly on them by the agricultural community for the mismanagement of our basic industry, agriculture, and the many other things connected with it, such as drainage—a mismanagement which resulted in a flight from the land and a mass emigration from this country unprecedented in its history.

For that reason, the Clann na Talmhan Party is supporting the proposal that Mr. John A. Costello be elected Taoiseach. In doing so we believe that inter-Party Government can do great things for this country and I have not the slightest doubt that these things will be done if Mr. Costello is placed at the head of the Government in this House. He is a man of outstanding ability and we shall all pull together and give him our fullest support in the effort to remedy some of the evils and the ills which exist in this country and to end which not the slightest attempt has been made for quite a long time. For that reason, I recommend Deputy Costello to this House as the best, most suitable and fitting candidate for the position of Taoiseach.

Speaking on behalf of this Party, we feel it our duty to give the country an opportunity of being governed by an inter-Party Government. We feel in doing so that we are interpreting the wishes of the people who cast their votes in the elections. We realise that an inter-Party Government is in the nature of an experiment but it is the one way we see at present by which Irishmen of different political Parties can come together, in a spirit of goodwill, to co-operate for the welfare of the nation as a whole.

I want to say a word on this nation. I am going to vote for Deputy John A. Costello because I believe he is a man eminently suitable for the highest compliment that can be paid in this country; he is a decent man and he comes of decent people. But, Sir, the House seems to have forgotten one of its most important duties to-day. The House was supposed to feel doomed by the result of the General Election. I think it necessary to interpose for the purpose of saying: "Doomed be damned". Fianna Fáil is going out and thanks be to God. I welcome that development because by the action which Dáil Eireann will take to-day, in the name of the Irish people, it will reassert before the world that this country depends on no individual for its existence as a sovereign and independent nation. I do not experience the slightest trepidation in staking my confidence on the ability of a group of men drawn from various walks of life in this country to form a good Government for our people and to do now the things that urgently require doing.

I observe that Deputy MacBride contemplates a long postponement of some objectives near his heart, but I am more optimistic than he. I believe there are events marching in the world to-day in the forefront of which I hope our old friends, the United States of America, will take their stand, and friends, who for us are new, in so far as they have recognised before the world the right of this part of our country to be free, and who I hope will shortly acknowledge the right of the remainder of our country to be rejoined with us—the British people. In that movement I foresee the building of a true citadel of liberty where, with every sovereign nation in the world, our nation will be charged to take its place or stay in isolation at the choice of our own people. For my part, I hope that when that choice falls to be made Ireland, a good soldier in the cause of liberty down through her history, will take her place with those nations who seek to defend the liberty of the world from the greatest threat that has ever challenged it since history was first written. In accepting that invitation, we may see a sovereign, independent and United Ireland delivered from the nauseating frauds of a dictionary republic sooner than we anticipate. Call that sovereign State republic, or what you please, sovereign, independent and standing on its own feet it will then surely be; and it will not owe its existence either to theOxford Dictionary or the Encyclopædia Britannica. We are choosing the difficult way. We are rejecting to-day the facile freedom dependent upon the rule of one man for the complex and difficult liberty of a Parliamentary democracy operated by those who love their country more than they love their Party.

There will be pessimists who will hope that we shall fail, but there will be more of those pessimists among the enemies of Ireland outside Ireland than will be found within the country itself because those who hope that we shall fail will hope to see established before the world the fact that Irish people are unable to govern themselves unless led by the paternal hand of a leader. A long history proclaims that that is not true. What we do here to-day will demonstrate not only to our own people but to all who hate this country that, at a time when one small nation after another in the Europe in which we live has lost its freedom and surrendered its destiny into the hands of one man, this small nation confidently and courageously takes its liberties out of the hands of one man and places them in the safe keeping of a group of democrats who believe that Parliament under a democratic Government is capable of carrying this country through any perils that may confront it in the future.

Let me say in conclusion that those who will constitute this Government of to-morrow must face that task in the knowledge that they are presented with as formidable a task as has ever been presented to an Irish Government in the past. But my recollection strengthens me in the belief that a Government of Irishmen serving Ireland will be equal to whatever perils may cross our path. Generations of our people have undertaken the impossible in the past. They have not failed to date. Fianna Fáil has left after it a task so formidable for its successors as to daunt all except those unafraid of the impossible. No merit in any individual here will give him the courage necessary to face his undertaking, but the memory of what has been done in the past will give us faith to face the future in the belief that we can succeed.

In that faith and under the leadership of Deputy Costello I hope to see a Government formed to-day upon which the generations of the future will look back as the turning point not only in this country but in Europe—as the day on which a small nation faced with the choice between one-man government and true democracy chose democracy and proved to be right.

When this chapter of Irish history comes to be written it will carry as its title "The Downfall of De Valera" because responsible historians of the future will attribute the main cause of that downfall to the desire of the outgoing Taoiseach to concentrate all power in his own hands and to his refusal to share with other Parties the task of building up this country. We all know that no democratic nation depends for its existence or its future upon the whims of any one man. Outside that group that the Taoiseach has formed around himself we know there are men in this country who love freedom and justice. We know there are men in this country who are determined to make a success of government of the Irish people by the Irish people. The election which brought into existence this 13th Dáil was an election called without justification and in a sense of utter irresponsibility. Just as King Herod sought to destroy an Infant rival so Eamon de Valera sought to destroy a new Party in the field. He failed to destroy that Party completely but he has succeeded in destroying his own. When I tried to instil into the mind of that senile delinquent, the Minister for Local Government, some sense of responsibility and when I reminded him of the danger of a mid-winter election which would inflict a grave injustice on a large section of the rural population by depriving them of their right to vote I was told by that gentleman that I was suffering from cold feet. He will have plenty of time now to cool his own feet and I suppose that to-day he bitterly regrets that he did not try to cool the feet of his chief when that gentleman started pawing the ground looking for fight.

I have taken a stand consistently in this House since 1939; I have never deviated from that stand. I believe that this is a democratic country. I believe that under the system of proportional representation which is enshrined in our Constitution and which the Taoiseach is unable to uproot from that Constitution, every section of the people has a right to send its representatives to this House and the system of proportional representation provides that each section shall get representation in proportion to the amount of support which it receives from the electors. Now, I want to ask the Fianna Fáil Party for the last time: if a Government is formed by the majority of this House, will the Fianna Fáil Party be prepared to take their place in that Government and co-operate in it as a Party? I do not believe in a Government confined to one Party. I believe in carrying the system of proportional representation to its logical conclusion and having in this country a Government of all Parties. The Fianna Fáil Party, in recent weeks, through their Leader have frequently declared that they will not co-operate with other Parties. They have frequently declared that they will not take office until they are returned to power as one Party. But, during his political career, the Taoiseach has eaten enough of his own words to choke an elephant and it would not do him any harm if he were to eat his words again and agree to come into a Government under the leadership of Deputy John Costello.

This nation is facing one of the most serious periods in its existence. Economic problems of the gravest nature confront us. The solution of these economic problems demands that the best brains in the nation and the best brains in the House should be concentrated upon the tasks of government. The solution of these problems demands the whole-hearted co-operation of the Parties represented in this House. I read in one of our leading daily newspapers, theIrish Independent, an article which endorsed the view which I have so frequently expressed. In that article the paper said:—

"Surely it is well worth trying how far this country can get by pulling together rather than by pulling against one another. A national Government, and by this we mean a Government in which every group, including Fianna Fáil, should be represented, would command that respect, confidence and goodwill which will be so valuable an asset in the work that has to be taken in hand. No Party has got a mandate from the people; but all Parties have."

All Parties have been instructed by the people in the clearest possible way to co-operate, inasmuch as no Party has been given a majority. For weeks the song has been dinned into our ears: "Dev can do everything better than they can—yes, he can", but the people have answered: "No, he cannot", and the people having so answered, I think it is desirable that Fianna Fáil should accept the will of the people and should co-operate in a really and truly national Government representative of all Parties. I am making that plea in a spirit of sincerity, in the sincere desire to see the best thing possible done for this country. Some may say that that is an idealistic proposal. I do not think that anybody, even their worst enemies, will describe the people who run theIrish Independent as starryeyed dreamers. They are practical men and, having made a sound suggestion, I hold that we would be wise in adopting it.

The advantage of an all-Party Government is that you can have the experience and assistance of all Parties. In addition to that, an all-Party Government, representative of all Parties, has a definite unifying influence. We need that influence in a nation such as ours, in a new State such as ours. Other countries, older countries, with long traditions of self-government can indulge in the pastime of Party strife. But our country, struggling as a small democracy in the most difficult period of the world's history for democracy, cannot afford the luxury of Party strife. Through the unifying influence of all being joined together in the one Government we can help to strengthen the national fabric. We can give confidence to minorities, particularly the minority who are still excluded from the control of our national Government. We can help to inspire confidence amongst those people by showing them that we are capable of doing justice to and giving the fullest possible rights to every minority.

We have to be logical in regard to this question. If you claim to have the right, as the Fianna Fáil Party claimed for the past 16 years, to exclude every other Party from the Government, it would be only a small step to go further and exclude minority Parties from the Dáil. If minorities have a right to representation in the Dáil, in the national Parliament, they have an equal right to representation in the Government. The people who rule in the totalitarian States would probably say that a Government in which all Parties have representation is fantastically idealistic. We have found that in all the democratic countries it has worked, and there is no reason why the idea which I am putting before the House will not work. There is no reason why a Government representative of all Parties cannot work effectively for the solution of our national problems.

It is desirable that the confidence of our people should be established. It is desirable that the co-operation of every section of our people should be secured. It is not desirable that the Government which will be formed to-day will have to face an organised opposition whose aim will be to discredit it in every possible way. That would not be in the best national interests. We can, if we are wise to-day, lay the foundation of a system of Government which will endure, a system of Government which will be as typical of our country as the system of Government that prevails in Switzerland and that has been so long associated with Switzerland is typical of that country. That system has succeeded in Switzerland for many years.

There are two logical courses before us. We must adopt either this idea of representation of all Parties or abolish the system of proportional representation. The two things do not fit; the system by which the people elected a Dáil, the system of proportional representation, does not fit in with the idea of Party Government. We must abolish either one or the other and I am hoping that to-day we will, for all time, abolish the idea of Party Government in this country.

As a newcomer to the House, I realise that in speaking now I am incurring grave risks. Through lack of experience, I may be in danger of wandering in my remarks. Not being accustomed to Parliamentary procedure, I shall have to rely more or less on chance that I shall keep within the rules of order.

As an Independent, I rise to make a last-minute appeal for unity. I do so by the direction of the Party that put me forward in the election. In deference to the wishes of the members of that Party, I make an appeal for an all-Party Government. It is obvious to everyone that, as a result of the election, no one Party is in a position to form a Government. In the circumstances, a Government must be formed by a combination of two or more Parties. Obviously, an all-Party Government would have a decided advantage over a Government formed by a number of Parties.

The position before the country to-day is serious. The prospects of-its survival, if the spirit that has remained since the civil war is carried on, are not very bright. Those who have the future of the country at heart take a very serious view of the conditions that now exist. I do not think I could do better, in order to bring the seriousness of the position to the notice of the people, than by quoting an extract from the Lenten Pastoral of Most Rev. Dr. McNamee, Bishop of Ardagh:—

"Concomitant with the continued stream of emigration, and, scarcely less menacing to the future of our country, the extraordinary rush in recent years to sell out houses and lands and to abandon homesteads that had been a family possession and pride for generations.... For these grave threats to the very existence of the nation, the rising tide of emigration and the steady flight from the land, some remedy must be found and found quickly. Otherwise we shall have to resign ourselves to the dark pessimism of those who hold that Ireland is already a dying nation, bereft of faith in the future and the will to live. If that were so, it would matter little what our political status would be, or by what political designation it would be called."

Those few words put very clearly the seriousness of the position with which this House is faced. It requires courage and self-sacrifice to face up to that position but, with goodwill among all Parties, there is no reason why our difficulties should not be overcome.

I make a last minute appeal for peace in the hope that the Taoiseach, Deputy de Valera, will even now give the word that will put his Party in with other groups in the formation of a national Government. I am doing this by the direction of my constituents. I hope no one will say that this is impossible. Where there is a will there is a way. There is no reason why this should not be done. If it is done, we can face the future in a happy mood, in the thought that Ireland will have the services of all her sons in the trying period that lies ahead. I would be glad if the Taoiseach, Deputy de Valera, will assure the House that he and his Party will be willing to throw in their lot with the other groups. Failing such an assurance, my directions are to vote for the formation of a Government composed of all the Opposition Parties.

Mr. Maguire

Whatever may be the consequences of the proposed alignment of Parties, it will definitely be the result of our proportional representation system. Proportional representation was introduced here many years ago. Theoretically it is sound and, down the years, it has been accepted as a good method of election. It has, indeed, become part of our Constitution. That was no hasty decision; it was a decision arrived at after many years of experience. The people were appealed to, to return a strong party Government; but the election did not result that way. I submit that that position is due largely to the principles embodied in the system of proportional representation, which has been stabilised in our Constitution. Yet, I believe that what was good for all the years up to now, what was accepted as democratically sound, even if it is inconvenient at such a stage as this, should be accepted as a good, sound method of representation.

The result of the election has created a situation here which is not entirely unique. Similar situations developed in the past. They have been met in various ways; on some occasions they have been met by the major Party forming a Government with the assistance of smaller Parties.

This occasion is unique in so far as the smaller Parties have combined and, having a majority, have determined to form a Government. All that is quite within the rights conferred by the Constitution. It is the outcome of the system of proportional representation which aims at giving representation to minorities. If that principle be right at the beginning, then its embodiment in its entirety is also right if smaller bodies come together and, as such, carry on the government of the State. The only thing that creates a sensation on this occasion is the fact that that proposition—the logical and reasonable conclusion to our system of election— is now for the first time being put into effect.

Deputy O'Reilly of Cavan has made an appeal that all Parties should combine at this stage. That, of course, would be the ideal position, but, remember, an Opposition is always required, no matter what form of Government you have. I am not at all satisfied that a unanimous combination of all Parties would, in itself, make the best Government. I realise, however, that we are dealing with a situation at the present time that may call for extraordinary valour. It has been stated by responsible people not only in this House but outside of it— by people inside and outside of England and outside of Europe—that a very extraordinary situation exists in the world at the present time. We see the menace there is to Europe which, apparently, is going to be the battle-field. That battle-field has been prepared by countries outside of Europe. We see the internal position in the case of our next-door neighbour —England. We see how her financial foundations are tottering and are being shattered in the present crisis. We have our leaders—the Pope, the Irish Hierarchy and other responsible people —teaching us and telling us of the menace that confronts us. Perhaps, this is the time when such a gesture should be made for the first time in the history of this State-the gesture to have a Government representative of all Parties so that we might be able to meet that menace. To the simplest person, that menace must be obvious. I am not suggesting that at any time of crisis in this country Parties have not combined to indicate that they were prepared to act as a united force to meet any menace that might arise. Should such a situation develop in the future, I have no doubt unity will again make itself manifest. I say that because there are men in the different Parties in this House who have already given evidence of their unselfishness and of their willingness to sacrifice themselves in the interests of their country. They may be divided for the time being on Party policies, but where this nation's interests are concerned we can say to the world that they are not governed by foreign or by international interests. Our interests are entirely controlled, and centred in the defence of our country.

Perhaps at this juncture I may sound the note of appeal and of warning that we are going to have an experiment in Government. It might also be well if we had a further experiment by one group, representative of all Parties, but perhaps one experiment at a time is sufficient. Members of this House have to interpret, according to their lights, the authority which they received when they were elected to it. I have to interpret mine. I have been returned to this House as an Independent Deputy. I recognise full well that I was returned by a majority of people who have Fianna Fáil leanings. They returned me contrary to the advice of the leaders of Fianna Fáil who, quite definitely, did me a serious wrong, as far as they were concerned, by refusing me an investigation. I have no leanings towards the Leader of Fianna Fáil, but my personal feelings in the matter must be sunk in spite of his effort to destroy me and to malign me, and to put an imputation on my character and on my children's characters. I worked for years in Leitrim and outside of it in the building up of Fianna Fáil and, in earlier years, of Sinn Féin, yet in spite of all these implications a sufficient number of people who still believe in Eamon de Valera as Leader and in his Fianna Fáil policy repudiated his advice and backed my return as a member of this House. Their ambition, however, is that Eamon de Valera should still be Leader. Personally, I do not think so, but I must interpret the wishes of the people who elected me and I am going to give expression to them to-day. I am, accordingly, going to vote for Eamon de Valera. I am not asking too much, I think, if I support the claim put forward by Deputy O'Reilly, of Cavan, namely, that the Fianna Fáil Party should take the same view as that expressed by the Deputy and enter into an agreement with the other Parties at this stage. I suggest they should do that in view of the present world situation which is so serious. The suggestion is that they should agree on the formation of one common Government for this country, thereby setting an example to the whole world. If that were done it might have the effect of creating a better feeling amongst those countries which are now drifting so widely apart and are preparing for the next world war. Such a gesture, if acted upon, might have a very good effect indeed.

The new proposal made on behalf of the different Parties for the formation of a Government is quite within the Constitution and in accordance with the method of election enshrined in the Constitution. It is really a good experiment, and I hope it will be successful. I have no animosity towards that proposal. As I have said, I believe that the policy of Fianna Fáil was good. It was fundamentally good. It gave us a secure Government and encouraged industry. It encouraged, as far as possible, enterprise, and did its best within the limits of the resources of this State, to provide social services for the most necessitous sections of our people. If it is possible for another Party to do these things better, then I say welcome to that new Party. I will watch with interest the setting up of a joint programme by combined Parties in this Dáil. If that policy is generally sound, if it can protect and develop and give the necessary stimulus to our agricultural and industrial production, if it can improve upon the present position, it will be a God-send. I hope it will improve, above all things, one section of the community whom I represent— for whom I have always spoken, but my words have fallen on deaf ears in this House—the victims of the conquest in the past, the refugees who were driven before the Cromwellian and Elizabethan conquerors. They have never been redeemed from their position, and shame on the national Governments for their neglect. There is no country that has not, as its first consideration, given attention to the refugees. The people who were driven from their homes in the early conquests back into the bogs of Connaught, Clare and Kerry have been neglected. There is a lot of patriotism and drumbeating now about the Six Counties and the neglect of the partitioned part of the country, but more necessitous and more imminent was the necessity, according to justice, to attend to the wounded soldiers or refugees driven from their homes by the conquerors in the past, under terrible conditions, and their successors forced to live still under terrible conditions.

If a Party forms a Government here that will embody a scheme to deal with that national outrage, it will receive from me sincere sympathy and help. As things look, with a proposed government grouping of Parties coming to power, I will watch with interest their programme. I will watch to see how far they can embody schemes to make better conditions for the people who are poor and have been neglected. In the meantime, I repeat that the policy of Fianna Fáil has been sound and has given confidence and proper results. Many people will be sorry if they are turned out of office, as they were well led, generally, in national and international matters. I have had to complain of Deputy Eamon de Valera's treatment of me, but it is no reason why I should say he has not proven to be a worthy leader of this country. In so far as public opinion goes, judged from the size of his Party, he is still regarded as the first preference as leader. It is a pity that he cannot see his way, after all these years, to sacrifice his will by having his Party included in any Government that may be to-day born.

I feel that the electorate who voted for me and supported me did not give me a mandate to approve of Deputy Costello's selection as Taoiseach. At the same time, I have respect for that selection, and if Deputy Costello is approved of as a Taoiseach for this nation in this Parliament, I shall do my utmost to co-operate with his Government and so make it possible for each Ministry under his control to do good work for the nation. I personally do not approve and did not intend to support Deputy Eamon de Valera as Taoiseach, as in supporting him I feel that I would have supported the Leader of a Government which had neglected my constituency for the past four years. Several speakers have referred to emigration and to the neglect of the land. I regret that, in so far as my constituency is concerned, nothing has been done, and there has been a wholesale flight from the land and from the countryside, particularly in the poorer and remote districts of South Kerry. As far as I can see, Government Ministers resident in Dublin consider Dublin as Ireland. They forget that we exist and that there are such places as Kerry, Cork, Clare and Donegal. Remembering what has happened in the past four years, I could not personally support Deputy Eamon de Valera as representing that régime and that Government. However, I have to bear in mind that a large number of people who sent me here would wish me to support him and, in deference to their wishes, I shall support him. I regard myself as their servant from South Kerry and I am simply acting on their behalf and on behalf of the majority.

In conclusion, I join with Deputy O'Reilly and Deputy Maguire in appealing to Deputy Eamon de Valera, if he can still see his way to do it, to join in a national Government. This inter-Party system is something new. It is not correct to call it "inter-Party" Government, the proper name for it is a group system, a sort of bargain system, putting forward a national programme for all Parties to back, irrespective of the Party to which they belong, selecting the ablest men in each Party. If that can be done, it will be a great day for this country and this Parliament. I make my appeal to all, in a spirit of conciliation and goodwill. Whoever is Taoiseach, I shall be faithful to his Government and assist him on behalf of the people who sent me here and I hope that the new Government will show results and be an asset to the nation.

Deputy O'Reilly, of Cavan, struck a new note and gave expression to a thought which was running through many minds as well as his own. When Deputy Cogan was speaking and asked Deputy Eamon de Valera if he were prepared to share in a national or coalition Government he shook his head in dissent on two occasions. Are we to take that shaking of his head to mean that he is not prepared to come into a coalition or national Government and that he is standing by the speeches he and some of his followers made during the election campaign, that he would share responsibility with no other group or section? If we could have an assurance from him on that point, it would clear matters before the whole country. I would ask him to give expression to his thoughts as well as shaking his head in dissent and say what he meant by it when Deputy Cogan asked him if he would share in another Government. If we can get from him on that point what his views are for the future Government, it will clear the air.

Personally, I support to the full the nomination of Mr. Costello and I congratulate the groups on having a man like him to go forward, a man who has made great sacrifices and given up his prospects in his profession for the good of the country.

I earnestly hope, with other speakers, that no matter what Government is in power, they will do something to stop the flight from the land and the emigration from the cities; to prevent those men who are discharged and who have been discharged from the National Army within the past two years from finding a new home across the water. I think that something ought to be done in that direction. As far as I know, the Government have failed miserably in their intent to deal with the unemployment brought about by the discharge from the Army. There is no use burying our heads in the sand and feeling that everything is well and that prosperity is here. Prosperity is not here. Depression has set in, unemployment has become too plentiful to be good for the country and the British Passport Office is beginning to get busy again. I think that no matter what Government is in power, if they fail in their duty to give employment, and remunerative employment, to their citizens, they have failed hopelessly. I support the election of Deputy Costello as Taoiseach and will give him every help I can, with the other Parties, to bring prosperity to the country.

Question put: "That Éamon de Valera be nominated Taoiseach."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 70; Níl, 75.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Dan.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Breslin, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Buckley, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Burke, Thomas.
  • Butler, Bernard.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, James.
  • Kissane, Eamon.
  • Kitt, Michael F.
  • Lahiffe, Robert.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick J.
  • Lydon, Michael F.
  • Lynch, John.
  • McCann, John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • McGrath, Patrick.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Patrick J.
  • Moran, Michael.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Carter, Thomas.
  • Childers, Erskine H.
  • Colley, Harry.
  • Collins, James J.
  • Corry, Martin J.
  • Crowley, Honor Mary.
  • Davern, Michael J.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • De Valera, Vivion.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Friel, John.
  • Gilbride, Eugene.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Kennedy, Michael J.
  • O Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Ormonde, John.
  • O'Rourke, Daniel.
  • O'Sullivan, Ted.
  • Rice, Bridget M.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Mary B.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheehan, Michael.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Walsh, Thomas.

Níl

  • Beirne, John.
  • Belton, John.
  • Blowick, Joseph.
  • Brennan, Joseph P.
  • Browne, Noel C.
  • Browne, Patrick.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Byrne, Alfred Patrick.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Cogan, Patrick.
  • Collins, Seán.
  • Commons, Bernard.
  • Connolly, Roderick J.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Cosgrave, Liam.
  • Costello, John A.
  • Cowan, Peadar.
  • Crotty, Patrick J.
  • Davin, William.
  • Desmond, Daniel.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Maurice E.
  • Donnellan, Michael.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Dunne, Seán.
  • Esmonde, Sir John L.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Finucane, Patrick.
  • Fitzpatrick, Michael.
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Giles, Patrick.
  • Halliden, Patrick J.
  • Hickey, James.
  • Hogan, Patrick.
  • Hughes, Joseph.
  • Keane, Seán.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Kinane, Patrick.
  • Kyne, Thomas A.
  • Larkin, James.
  • Lehane, Con.
  • Lehane, Patrick D.
  • McAuliffe, Patrick.
  • MacBride, Seán.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • McQuillan, John.
  • Madden, David J.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, Timothy J.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Gorman, Patrick J.
  • O'Higgins, Michael J.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas F.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas F. (Jun.).
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick.
  • O'Sullivan, Martin.
  • Palmer, Patrick W.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Redmond, Bridget M.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Reynolds, Mary.
  • Roddy, Joseph.
  • Rooney, Eamonn.
  • Sheldon, William A. W.
  • Spring, Daniel.
  • Sweetman, Gerard.
  • Timoney, John J.
  • Tully, John.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Kennedy and Kissane; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Keyes.
Motion declared negatived.
Question put: "That John A. Costello be elected Taoiseach."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 75; Níl, 68.

  • Beirne, John.
  • Belton, John.
  • Blowick, Joseph.
  • Brennan, Joseph P.
  • Browne, Noel C.
  • Browne, Patrick.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Byrne, Alfred Patrick.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Cogan, Patrick.
  • Collins, Seán.
  • Commons, Bernard.
  • Connolly, Roderick J.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Cosgrave, Liam.
  • Costello, John A.
  • Cowan, Peadar.
  • Crotty, Patrick J.
  • Davin, William.
  • Desmond, Daniel.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Maurice E.
  • Donnellan, Michael.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Dunne, Seán.
  • Esmonde, Sir John L.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Finucane, Patrick.
  • Fitzpatrick, Michael.
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Giles, Patrick.
  • Halliden, Patrick J.
  • Hickey, James.
  • Hogan, Patrick.
  • Hughes, Joseph.
  • Keane, Seán.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Kinane, Patrick.
  • Kyne, Thomas A.
  • Larkin, James.
  • Lehane, Con.
  • Lehane, Patrick D.
  • McAuliffe, Patrick.
  • MacBride, Seán.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • McQuillan, John.
  • Madden, David J.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, Timothy J.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Gorman, Patrick J.
  • O'Higgins, Michael J.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas F.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas F. (Jun.).
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick.
  • O'Sullivan, Martin.
  • Palmer, Patrick W.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Redmond, Bridget M.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Reynolds, Mary.
  • Roddy, Joseph.
  • Rooney, Eamonn.
  • Sheldon, William A. W.
  • Spring, Daniel.
  • Sweetman, Gerard.
  • Timoney, John J.
  • Tully, John.

Níl

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Dan.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Breslin, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Buckley, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Butler, Bernard.
  • Carter, Thomas.
  • Childers, Erskine H.
  • Colley, Harry.
  • Collins, James J.
  • Corry, Martin J.
  • Crowley, Honor Mary.
  • Davern, Michael J.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • De Valera, Vivion.
  • Ormonde, John.
  • O'Rourke, Daniel.
  • O'Sullivan, Ted.
  • Rice, Bridget M.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Mary B.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Friel, John.
  • Gilbride, Eugene.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Kennedy, Michael J.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, James.
  • Kissane, Eamon.
  • Kitt, Michael F.
  • Lahiffe, Robert.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick J.
  • Lydon, Michael F.
  • Lynch, John.
  • McCann, John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • McGrath, Patrick.
  • Maguire, Patrick J.
  • Moran, Michael.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheehan, Michael.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Walsh, Thomas.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Doyle and Keyes; Níl: Deputies Kissane and Kennedy.
Motion declared carried.

Thanks be to God that I have lived to see this day.

Order. Deputy Flanagan should not start off on the wrong foot so early in this new Dáil.

I wish to express my deep appreciation of the honour that has been conferred upon me by the vote which has just been taken. This position was not sought by me nor wished for by me in any way. I would like to make it clear to this House and to the country that I lent neither my name nor my personality to any political manoeuvre. I consented to this nomination at the request of a number of Parties who felt that the interests of the country required that there should be an inter-Party Government and that the Prime Minister of that Government should occupy a position in political life detached from the controversial bitternesses of the past. It was in response to the urgent desires of all those Parties that I laid aside my own personal interests in order that this should come about.

I feel that there are very onerous tasks in front of the new Government which must now be formed. I will have to shoulder serious responsibilities for which I am in no way fitted. At the same time I am quite confident, from my contacts and knowledge of the men who are joining in this Government, that everybody will work for one purpose and one purpose alone, namely, the good of all sections of the people.

I know, too, that there are on the benches opposite me men of patriotism, honesty and courage, and I think that the country expects from them that they will give this new Government support and help and if that is accorded to us I think we can look forward with some hope and considerable confidence to the solution of some of the more pressing evils which afflict our country to-day.

I suggest that the Dáil adjourn until 7 o'clock this evening.

When the House resumes business at 7 o'clock the Deputies on my left will take their seats on the right and the Deputies on my right will take their seats on the left, in accordance with precedent.

Business suspended at 5.30 p.m., and resumed at 7 p.m.