Defence Bill, 1951—Report Stage (Resumed).

Debate resumed on amendment No. 8:—
In page 16 to delete Section 4 (1), lines 47 to 49, and substitute:—
(1) The Government, a motion specifically authorising them to do so having first been passed by Dáil Éireann, may by Order under thissub-section declare that a state of emergency exists for the period mentioned in the motion authorising the declaration.—(Deputy Cowan.)

The debate on this amendment has taken some little time but, nevertheless, I think that the time spent on it is warranted by the seriousness of the step proposed in the Bill. I was anxious to get to the bottom of the provision, in so far as I could and I went to the Official Debates for the year 1940, when the same provision that is now in the permenent Bill was introduced by the Minister. At that time, of course, we were in an emergency situation and the Minister introduced his Defence Forces (No. 2) Bill of that year to deal with the emergency situation. At that time, the Minister had, as any Minister in similar circumstances would have, the unanimous and full support of the House. It is very strange that in his Second Reading speech the Minister did not advert to, or give any reasons for, this particular section but when it came to the Committee Stage, Deputy Cosgrave made some inquiries with regard to it. The debate in regard to the then Section 4, which is similar to the section we are now discussing, is set out in columns 1544/45. Volume 80 of the Official Debates. It is so short that I think I shall read it to the House:—

"Mr. Cosgrave: I notice there are certain sections in this Bill which apparently have a temporary character only. Does it follow that once the Bill becomes law, the question of the period of emergency settles that problem. It is only in the period of emergency that this measure will be in operation?

Mr. Traynor: Yes, as regards the emergency provisions.

Mr. Cosgrave: Did the Minister get advice on that? It is altogether a question of law. The Minister is really expressing an opinion. Not one of the expressions in this section is given under the definitions in Section 2.

Mr. Traynor: In fact we have not the power to deal with this except in this manner.

Mr. Norton: I take it the Minister is anxious that the Bill should have a limited period of duration. There will be some limit to its period of duration though it may be in operation for a long period?

Mr. Traynor: Yes, that is right. There will be a limited period of duration as regards the emergency provision.

Mr. Cosgrave: We are prepared to give the Minister power to deal with emergency situations but not to give him powers to continue that emergency situation. We are not fixing the limit of time of the period of emergency but we object to having special clauses embodied in the Bill which normally would not be made statute law in this State except for a period of emergency.

Mr. Traynor: I take it there is no desire on the part of the Government to take these powers other than for a state of emergency. It is a matter that will be dealt with at a later stage when the Defence Forces Act comes along at a later period.

Mr. Norton: Would the Minister consider any provision or give any guarantee that the Bill has a definite duration, that is, a reasonable period of duration, having regard to the emergency provided for in this Bill?

Mr. Traynor: We will consider it.

Mr. Benson: There has already been a declaration of a state of emergency. That exists in the legislation passed here last September. Does this Bill deal with another state of emergency or is it the same one?

Mr. Traynor: I would say it is the same state of emergency. In respect of this Bill we have got to procure certain powers to deal with certain situations with which we have not been in a position to deal previously. This Bill will give us the power to do this. For instance, we have no power to enlist men for the period of the duration. This Bill gives that right and at the end of the emergency to allow the men to go free.

Mr. Benson: Would it not be as well if one declaration of a state of emergency covered both matters? The provisions here would automatically come in with the declaration of emergency which was made last September and possibly that state of emergency need not be made to-day?"

That was the whole discussion on this particular section in 1940. The Minister gave no reason then for that section except that he asked the House within an emergency situation to give him these powers and the House with reservations, as one can see in the speeches of Deputy Cosgrave and Deputy Norton, gave the powers but, clearly, everybody considered that they were only powers for the period of the emergency.

It is true that the Minister did say that the matter would be dealt with subsequently in the permanent legislation and that is what we are dealing with now. My complaint is that the Minister has not given any reason whatsoever why this provision should be in a permanent Bill in a period of peace time.

I have dealt with the constitutional aspect of this and I have stated that in my opinion this particular section is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution. I have also dealt with it on the basis of constitutional safeguards for the people and I want to sum up in a very brief way my objections to the section as it stands.

The Article of the Constitution which deals with emergency situations does declare an emergency such as is visualised in this particular Bill. Secondly, even if the Constitution did give to this Parliament power to invest the Government with such powers it would be unwise of Parliament to give such powers to the Government. In this House we should be concerned with the protection of the freedom and the liberties of the citizen. This House was established for that purpose. One of its prime functions is to preserve the freedom and liberties of the citizen. When this House gives power to the Government — and that means any Government in the future—to declarea state of emergency it is surrendering its powers and surrendering them unwisely to an Executive that may be corrupt and tyrannical.

The Minister asked me last night: "If you have that type of tyrannical Government, what does it matter what is written in the law?" There is something to be said for that, but I want the Minister and the House to realise that the Defence Forces or Government are not acting in accordance with law. If a corrupt Executive at any time in the future made an Order in regard to the Defence Forces which was clearly unconstitutional and outside the powers of the Government, the Chief of Staff and the Army authorities would obey that Order at their peril and each and every one of them who would obey that Order would render himself liable subsequently to be tried by the civil courts and dealt with for acting in an unlawful and in an unconstitutional manner, so that there is protection.

The Army is like the courts. It can only act in accordance with law. It cannot be compelled by any Executive to act illegally, unconstitutionally or wrongly. If we give the powers set out in this section, a corrupt Government, a tyrannical Government, a Government that wants to take over total powers and set up a dictatorship may make the Order and the Army would be bound to obey that Order because it would be a lawful Order in accordance with the laws of the State.

I have spent a considerable amount of time in opposition to this section. I have clearly set out my own view in my two contributions over the past couple of weeks. I request this House not to hand over to the Government powers that the Government need not have, powers that a Government should not have. To surrender the powers of Dáil Éireann in this matter and hand them over to the Government would be a very grave and serious error. In my view it would be a tragedy.

In my view the persons who prepared this Constitution, the Ministers who examined it and approved of it and the people of this country who adopted it were wise when they limited, in Article28, the powers not only of the Government but those of the President and the powers of the Oireachtas in relation to matters of war, armed rebellion and emergency situations. The Constitution clearly says:—

"War shall not be declared and the State shall not participate in any war save with the assent of Dáil Éireann."

That is a very clear provision that this is the House which is invested with the power to declare war or authorise this country to enter upon a war. The Constitution also says:—

"In the case of an actual invasion however, the Government may take whatever steps they may consider necessary for the protection of the State. . . ."

Then it deals with its third—and in my view—very important provision when it says:—

"Nothing in this Constitution shall be invoked to invalidate any law enacted by the Oireachtas which is expressed to be for the purpose of securing the public safety and preservation of the State in time of war or armed rebellion. . . ."

So that in time of war or armed rebellion any law that is enacted by the Oireachtas having for its express object the securing of the public safety is valid. Why did the Constitution go to the trouble of limiting the powers of the Government and the powers of the Oireachtas in regard to war and emergency situations if it intended that this House, the Parliament of the people, should surrender its powers to the Government and give themcarte blancheat any time to declare a state of emergency with all the matters that flow from such a declaration?

I want to say to the Minister that I feel, as a Deputy of this House, this is not a power that the House should surrender to any Government now or in the future. I feel that the Government ought not to ask this House to surrender to it powers which are clearly unnecessary and which have been invoked only when this Dáil gave power to the Government during the recent emergency. Over a period of30 years we have not had to operate such a provision except in a case of emergency when this House gave specific power to the Government to operate the powers.

I ask the Minister to agree to the deletion of this clause from the Defence Forces Bill. It is a dangerous power— a power that may be used by scheming individuals in the future for the purpose of destroying the liberty of the people of the State. If the Minister does not agree to delete this clause then the only thing that is left to the members of this House to do is to vote against the giving of such power to the Government.

I am quite sure that if this House were to pass this section of the Bill it would be violently opposed in the other House. I am perfectly certain that the organs of public opinion in this country, when they realised the grave issues that are involved, would each and every one of them, day after day, call public opinion together against the surrender of such a power to a Government. We are, as it were, at the crossroads here. If we take the step that the Minister asks us to take we may be endangering—in fact, probably we will be endangering—the freedom and the liberties of the people. I will not vote with my eyes open for any such surrender of power which is vested in this House to a Government which can, under the section, declare an emergency whenever they think it necessary and irrespective of whether or not it is necessary.

Deputies MacBride and McQuillan rose.

Deputy Cowan was concluding on the amendment and there can be no further discussion.

Are we not in Committee?

It is the Report Stage.

On a point of order. I never heard of anybody concluding on an amendment of that kind. I understoodthat every Deputy offering himself on the Report Stage to speak on an amendment is entitled to be heard. I have heard Ministers make the claim that they had the right to conclude— a claim which was contested—but if that principle is to be extended to every Deputy in the House then I fear debate will become almost impossible.

Deputy Cowan—and I mean no disrespect to Deputy Cowan—has no more right to conclude a debate on an amendment on the Order Paper than any Deputy of the House. He has not moved a motion. He has moved an amendment on the Report Stage of the Bill. I submit that every Deputy offering himself is entitled to be heard.

There must be some finality.

This is the Report Stage and nobody can speak more than once on the Report Stage.

Nobody offered to speak.

I saw Deputy MacBride rise.

I certainly offered.

Let us get this clear. I proposed my amendment. It was debated. Deputy Colley spoke to it and so did Deputy General MacEoin. Deputy General MacEoin had not concluded when the debate was resumed. Nobody else offered and I was called on to conclude.

I never heard of such a procedure in this House. I have been here for 20 years and in all my experience of debate on an amendment I have never seen it conducted by way of the mover moving the amendment, other Deputies speaking to it and then the mover being asked to conclude. I have heard of that procedure in regard to a motion. I understood, however, that if an amendment appeared on the Order Paper, then any Deputy presenting himself was entitled to speak once on the Report Stage. I have heard Ministers make the claim that they could wind up the debate and that claim has energetically beencontested, but it has never been contested that the mover of an amendment should wind up the debate on the amendment. Deputy Cowan spoke twice. I never heard of a Deputy's right to speak twice on the Report Stage.

The Chair had no option except to call on Deputy Cowan. No one else was offering.

I sought round among the Deputies to see if anybody was offering.

Go and fish.

Will the Chair hear me?

According to Standing Orders the Chair must now put the question.

I am sure the Minister would not wish to curtail discussion on this amendment. Perhaps the Ministerwill indicate that he has no objection to further discussion on it?

Would the Minister recommit it?

There has been no curtailment of the discussion.

It was very definitely and distinctly stated here, on the occasion that Deputy Cowan stood up to speak, that he was concluding. Naturally, I accepted the statement of the Chair that he was concluding and that even I would not have the right to reply. It may relieve Deputies who wish to speak on this section to learn that I have an amendment down to Section 4. The debate can be resumed on Section 4 as easily as it can be conducted at this particular stage.

Very well.

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted, stand."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 39; Níl, 14.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neil T.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Philip A.
  • Brennan, Joseph.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Calleary, Phelim A.
  • Carter, Frank.
  • Cogan, Patrick.
  • Colley, Harry.
  • Cunningham, Liam.
  • Davern, Michael J.
  • de Valera, Eamon.
  • Fanning, John.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Gallagher, Colm.
  • Gilbride, Eugene.
  • Kenneally, William.
  • Kennedy, Michael J.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Lemass, Seán.
  • MacCarthy, Seán.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • McGrath, Patrick.
  • McQuillan, John.
  • Maher, Peadar.
  • Ó Briain, Donnchadh.
  • Ormonde, John.
  • O'Sullivan, Ted.
  • Rice, Bridget M.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Mary B.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Laurence J.

Níl

  • Beirne, John.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Cowan, Peadar.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Donnellan, Michael.
  • Esmonde, Anthony C.
  • Hickey, James.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • MacBride, Seán.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Murphy, Michael P.
  • Norton, William.
  • Palmer, Patrick W.
Tellers—Tá: Deputies Ó Briain and Killilea; Níl: Deputies Mac Fheórais and Cowan.
Question declared carried.
Amendment negatived.

I move amendment No. 9, as set out, with certain words added:—

In page 17, Section 4, to insert at the end of the section, the following new sub-section:—

(5) If, at the time an Order is made under this section, either House of the Oireachtas stands adjourned, that House shall be summoned to meet as soon as conveniently may be.

At the request of Deputy Collins I have added the following words: "but in any event not later than 21 days after the Order is made."

I think that amendment as amended provides ample safeguards for the House and for the public about whom Deputy Cowan is so concerned. There can be no question whatever that there would be any desire on the part of this Government, or indeed of the previous Government, to avail of a situation which would be unconstitutional. From that point of view, it rather surprised me to see Deputies on the opposite side, particularly Deputy MacEoin, voting against a section in this Bill which he himself had sponsored. I know, of course, that the Deputy will have an answer to that, but his action did surprise me somewhat. Perhaps it may be regarded as a testimonial to the eloquence of Deputy Cowan who, on three successive sessions of the House, continued to discourse on his own particular amendment.

We discussed the section in Special Committee, probably at much greater length than we discussed it here, and I thought on that occasion that we had dealt with it fully. This amendment was devised to meet whatever objections were raised on that particular occasion. Any Minister for Defence, especially a Minister like myself who knows nothing at all about the law, must be advised by those who are competent to advise him. He cannot just take something for granted and say that that suits him. If what is contained in the Bill does not appear to suit him, he cannot just fly in the face of the legal advice tendered and to suit himself, substitute something different from what he had been advised was legal and should meet the situation with which he was confronted.

Deputy Collins, last Thursday, in the course of his contribution on this particular section said:—

"This whole section still allows the situation to develop whereby in circumstances short of an emergency and not contemplated by the Constitution we could in fact hand over the normal authority of the rule of civil law to the Army."

Naturally I sought legal advice on that and the legal advice I secured from the highest possible legal authority from which I could secure it states that this is manifestly not so; quite the contrary. The declaration of a state of emergency under Section 4 of the Bill leaves the rule of civil law wholly unaffected, unimpaired. True, billeting may be authorised during a period of emergency but billeting, inconvenient though it may be, involves no violation of constitutional rights.

A man's home is supposed to be his castle. That is the old constitutional precept.

Further, the declaration of a state of emergency under Section 4 of the Bill, even if followed by calling out on permanent service, does not in any way operate to curtail a soldier's right of trial in civil court. That right is lost only if the Defence Forces are on active service. Section 5 of the Bill defines active service for the purposes of the Bill. In the absence of actual military operations the Defence Forces cannot be on active service unless there is a Government declaration to that effect.

I have been further informed that every law is subject to constitutional check save for one exception, and that exception is a law "enacted by the Oireachtas which is expressed to be for the purpose of securing the public safety and the preservation of the State in time of war or armed rebellion"—Article 28 (3) (3º) of the Bunreacht is the reference. There can, therefore, be no escape from constitutional check by covert means. An extra-constitutional measure for its validity must upon its face declare its purpose.

This Defence Bill is not expressed to be a measure "for the purpose ofsecuring the public safety, etc."; and accordingly nothing in the Bill can take from or in any way diminish rights guaranteed under the Constitution. There need, therefore, be no fear that this measure will interfere with constitutional rights.

The scheme of the Defence Bill is that certain provisions come into force immediately and certain other provisions come into force only after the declaration of a "state of emergency." This declaration of a state of emergency is separate and distinct from the declaration by the Oireachtas of "a national emergency" under Article 28 (3) (3º) of the Bunreacht. The declaration of a state of emergency under the Defence Bill confers no constitutional immunity: it is merely machinery whereby the certain other provisions of the Bill can be brought into force.

Deputy Cowan spoke in the course of three sittings. I do not know how much in time that was but he certainly spoke in the belief that he was stating facts which were incontrovertible, but I am quoting from the highest legal authority at my disposal. I am quoting in order to allay whatever fears Deputy Cowan may have aroused in the minds of Deputies who were listening to him because, there can be no question about it, when Deputy Cowan discourses on matters of this kind he can be very convincing. I am sure that he has convinced at least one Deputy of the Opposition, seeing that although he sponsored this Bill, introduced it and secured a Second Reading for it, he was sufficiently convinced nevertheless, to go into the Division Lobby against a section which he had sponsored. I know that I can be told that if the Deputy were still Minister he would be quite prepared to meet the request which Deputy Cowan made through the medium of his amendment. That is what he would say now but, if he were in my place, he would probably say what I am saying because I am pretty certain he would be guided by his legal advisers in the same way as I am being guided.

In addition to what I have already quoted from my legal advisers, Iwould say that such criticism as we have listened to, mainly from Deputy Cowan but, to a certain extent also, from Deputy Collins, fails to distinguish between an emergency declared under Section 4 of the Bill, what we can call a "defence emergency," and an emergency declared under Article 28 (3) (3º) of the Constitution, which is called a "national emergency."

What about the type of emergency that can be declared under the Offences Against the State Act? Have we three categories of emergencies now?

I presume that would come within the category of a national emergency. Before a national emergency can be declared there must first of all be in existence an armed conflict outside the State—I think the Deputy has adverted to that himself— in which the State is not a participant and, next, there must be a resolution of both Houses of the Oireachtas that "arising out of such armed conflict a national emergency exists affecting the vital interests of the State."

A "defence emergency" is a minor emergency, if we like to describe it as such, and could arise out of purely domestic circumstances. A national emergency can arise only out of an external war. A defence emergency does not relax any constitutional guarantees.

Does the Minister propose to give an example of a defence emergency?

The Blueshirts.

This is more of it.

We do not have to refer to that at all. It is an incident that could arise. I did not introduce it.

Deputy McGrath made that most ignorant remark as he is an ignorant man.

The type of emergency of which Deputy Cowan asked for a definition could be an emergency in which certain dangers would be obvious within the State, dangers which might have to be dealt with by adeclaration of this type of emergency within the meaning of the section we are discussing, in which the Army would be empowered to take action.

For instance?

I have given an instance.

I have not heard of it.

I have given an instance where certain dangers might be likely to arise. For instance, a private army might be found to be in existence, mobilised in strength, if you like. If the authorities discovered that there was in existence a reasonably large private army, if you like to describe it as that, or any other kind of army in the mountains or in the glens preparing obviously for the overthrow of the State——

That is a state of armed rebellion.

——that would be the type of emergency which might be described as a defence emergency in which the safety of the people would be the first consideration of the State. The safety of the people appears to have been uppermost in the mind of Deputy Cowan all the time he was talking. I venture to say that what I am saying now and the legal opinions I am quoting have been dealt with more effectively in Deputy McQuillan's speech than in the speech of either of the lawyers who intervened in this debate and who very positively asserted that what we are doing is completely and entirely unconstitutional. What we are doing within the meaning of this section, and what my predecessor was doing as far as lay in his power, is to see that the safety of the public and the State is safeguarded as far as is possible within the meaning of these legal terms.

Deputy Cowan talked about billeting and all the time it was clear to Deputies, and clear even to the Deputy himself I am sure, that what he had in mind was the past. He wastalking about billeting on the people of this country, forcing troops in on them and so forth. He was obviously thinking in terms of an army of occupation——

——an army invading the country. Does he not know that any billeting which would be undertaken on behalf of troops of the Irish nation would be the billeting of friendly soldiers on their own people; soldiers hurriedly moved into a strange area without the paraphernalia for bivouacking, etc.? The only manner in which the officer in charge of these soldiers could secure for them the necessary shelter and rations, etc., would be by billeting them in these friendly houses —the homes of their own people, so to speak. What would be wrong with that? The people would be adequately compensated. It would not be the army of a foreign invader forcing its way into the homes of an invaded people. Billeting need not necessarily ever operate, but to provide for it is a necessary precaution. Every military man of any rank must know that in regard to matters of a military character every possible precaution must be taken as far as may be humanly possible.

Billeting is not a crime. Listening to Deputy Cowan last evening, one would come to the conclusion that our troops belonged to an invading army instead of being the soldiers of our own people going into an area to protect the people. Naturally, we have to assume that, if they are compelled to go into an area, they are going in as the protectors of the people.

Suppose they go in as the enemies of the people? That is what I am worrying about.

The Deputy will get an opportunity of describing the circumstances in which a native army could go into an area as the enemies of the people. I must admit that I cannot foresee it at the moment. It is possible that an army which revolts against the State may do that. I am only pointing to these matters to show the extravagant distance to whichDeputy Cowan was prepared to go in order to endeavour to convince this House that this was a section which should not be in the Bill. I introduced this amendment for the specific purpose of endeavouring to meet the views expressed at the Special Committee. That Special Committee sat for months and months, carrying out the task imposed upon it. It dealt at length with every one of these amendments. We come in here now and we have Deputy Cowan bragging about putting down 200 amendments. I do not know whether that is to his credit. He seems to think it is.

Over a period of months we dealt in Special Committee with practically every one of these amendments. I went a very long way to meet the views expressed there. Deputy Cowan claims that 200 of these are his. As far as I am aware he is responsible for 120 and I am responsible for the balance. That balance consists of amendments to meet mainly points raised by Deputy Cowan. Yet, here we are back in the House going over every single item that we discussed in the Special Committee. In those circumstances I have very grave doubts as to whether a Special Committee is of any value to the House. I mention this matter regretfully because I thought the Special Committee would be of tremendous value. Such a Committee will be of very little value if, having discussed matters over a period of months, we then come back here and discuss the same matters all over again.

I sympathise with the Minister but I think that hardly applies to the discussion on this particular section which is a fairly fundamental one.

I admit that. I introduced this amendment. Having introduced it, I amended it still further at the request of Deputy S. Collins in order to go as far as was humanly possible to meet the wishes of the Deputies concerned:

"If at the time an order is made under this section, either House of the Oireachtas stands adjourned,that House shall be summoned to meet as soon as conveniently may be."

I thought that was reasonably wide because the House would be called as soon as it was possible to do so. Deputy Collins thought there should be a limitation and, having heard him on the question. I put in this limitation of 21 days. I thought in doing so I was going reasonably far to meet the viewpoints expressed. I think the amendment completely safeguards the public from the point of view of the fears expressed by Deputies in relation to this matter.

The Minister has definitely improved the section by confining the period to 21 days. The Minister talked about the section introduced by me and my predecessor. He conveniently ignored the fact that that section also appeared in the 1940 Act. Had the Minister when the section was challenged given the interpretation that he has given now that would have helped him considerably in his case. It was not the argument advanced by Deputy Cowan or any Deputy of that type that sent me into the Division Lobby against the Minister. It was the speech made by a responsible Deputy, Deputy de Valera. His interpretation, and remember he is a lawyer, was not repudiated by the Minister.

What should I have repudiated?

The type of circumstances under which this section would be put into operation.

For instance?

The Blueshirts, milk strikes, Deputy Cowan's army and so on.

I could not repudiate that. It was an instance, was it not?

I do not think that is the kind of circumstance contemplated, but those are the circumstances in which Deputy de Valera would put the section into operation. I accept the interpretation given by the Minister now. I take it he wasadvised in the matter by his legal advisers and the interpretation he has given explains the situation fully. For that reason I think the amendment is a good amendment and that we can accept it. It does not give all the protection one would like from a Deputy such as the Deputy who dealt with the circumstances under which he would invoke this section. It does not give protection, should he ever happen to be a Minister, from his invoking it. The Minister says that this is for purely domestic circumstances. We hope there will never be any necessity for invoking the section.

I agree with the Minister on the question of billeting. I do not see anything wrong in billeting troops. After all the military will be our own people. Why should they not be accepted as friends more than anything else? I see nothing wrong in billeting where there is a compensation provision. As the nation grows in strength and in civic virtue I have no doubt the day will come when the military will be accepted and taken into the homes of the people without compulsory billeting at all. It is essential, however, the power of billeting should be there.

I think the Minister is a little bit rattled over the number of Deputy Cowan's amendments. One cannot of course restrain Deputy Cowan. One never could.

Surely a Deputy does not come into this House to be restrained.

I do not suggest he does.

He comes in to do his duty. Some language is being used this morning which is not altogether too fortunate for either the Minister or the ex-Minister.

The Special Committee did a very good job. The Minister should not be upset by the present discussion. Where sections are regarded as dangerous it is only wise that they should be fully discussed here. If for no other reason than to ventilate the dangers inherent in thesection and get from the Minister in response to the arguments advanced an amendment to the extent to which he has now amended the section the discussion has been very valuable and has had its merits.

I do not think there is any necessity for petulance in this matter. Everybody agreed we did a good job of work in the Special Committee and the fact that the Minister has brought in a number of amendments indicates that some valuable work was done in that Committee. This is the first opportunity we are getting after 30 years of examining a comprehensive Defence Bill in a broad general way. We have the benefit in the House of considerably more knowledge than was available to this House 30 years ago when the original Act was passed as an emergency Act without any discussion at all. What annoys me about the attitude towards the Defence Forces Bill is that there is objection to taking time to discuss it fully. I do not think that is right.

There is no objection on my part. I merely stated I thought the value of the Special Committee was lost by reason of the fact that we are duplicating the work we carried out on that Committee.

I think the Minister is taking a wrong view. There are many amendments that have been put down on which I believe my view is right. They will, in the ordinary way, be defeated by the House when they are put from the Chair but there are a few that I consider of such vital importance that I would divide the House upon them and the Minister will have to put up with that.

That is part of the day's work.

There is no way out of that. The amendment the Minister puts in here is divided into two parts. One is the result, as he admits, of the discussion we had in the Special Committee and the second part is the result of the discussion we had on my amendment in this House, in other words, "but in any event not later than 21days after the Order." Therefore, the result of the Special Committee was an amendment to call the Houses of the Oireachtas together, and after it was again ventilated on my amendment here in the House, the Minister agreed further to amend it. I was hoping he would have further agreed to leave the section out altogether. I have this feeling—and I think I might as well make it clear to the House— that before this Bill is law this section will be dropped. Therefore, perhaps the less said about the foolishness of opposition to it the better.

I asked the Minister to give some idea of the circumstances in which this power would be used. He has now stated that a domestic situation could arise and he had some difficulty in giving an example of it.

The Minister knows that under the ordinary law, in the event of unlawful disturbances in any part of the country, the Guards deal with it and if they are not able to deal with it, they call in the Army. They send to the local officer commanding for a company, a battalion or a brigade, if necessary. That does not involve a declaration of any emergency situation. The Minister is clear on that. The Minister is also clear that the Reserves may be called out to aid the civil power. There is no necessity for a declaration. I see, Sir, that you are worried about my approach but, after all, the Minister has read out a very carefully prepared statement on this amendment and I am not going to be put in the position that the Minister can make the statement and I cannot reply to it. If the Minister's statement is irrelevant, I cannot be blamed for it. I know the Chair is worried about it but I must reply to the Minister.

I am worried to the extent that I have not heard the discussion.

The Minister has read out a very carefully prepared statement. I am going to answer the points he made and I cannot be restricted in that. In the event of any disturbance such as the Ministervisualised, the Army can be called out and as many reservists as are necessary can be called out to deal with that situation. That is the answer to the Minister. There is no necessity for the declaration of an emergency by the Government. The Minister knows that and we all know it. The domestic circumstances which he visualises are dealt with under the ordinary law and are dealt with under provisions that enable the Army to come to the aid of the civil power and reservists called out to come to the aid of the civil power. There is no necessity for an emergency declaration.

Where then is the domestic circumstance which necessitates the declaration of an emergency? How did Britain, which has been operating under an Act very similar to ours— which unfortunately is the basis of ours—since the original Mutiny Acts, manage to carry on without a section such as this? I wonder if the Minister could find an answer to that? Is there any member in the British Parliament who would allow a law to be passed giving the Government the right to declare an emergency any time they liked? No Government in Britain dare bring in such a section because with the long experience of democracy, with the peculiar and very proper safeguards they have for democracy, the members of the British Parliament would never surrender such powers to their executive or Government.

In regard to the one possible example the Minister gives us there are no grounds or foundation for it and I have been asking all the time what is the necessity for the section. If there is necessity for it, state the necessity for it and the House will be reasonable about it. It was just put in in 1940, allowed to go through without discussion, and now they want to put it in the Bill.

The Minister says he got the best legal advice. Governments always get the best legal advice. Governments dare not act except on the best legal advice but we know and the country knows to its cost, because it has had to pay in the courts substantial sumsof money, that the legal advice they got was not the best nor was it the correct advice. Although it is an elementary protection for the Minister to get the best legal advice he can, that is not a weapon to beat down individuals who may think that advice is not right.

If a state of emergency is declared, as the Minister says, he has only the right to recruit men for the Army for the period of the emergency. In other words, this House says we will have an Army of 12,000 men, no more, and we will pay them no more. By declaring an emergency, the Government can recruit an army of 100,000 to menace the people if they want to. They can call up 100,000 Reserves and if they have not got the money to pay them, they can put them into the houses of the people and make the people feed them. I am not talking about the type of Government of which the Minister is a member or of the type of which Deputy General MacEoin was a member. We have had our experience of 30 years and that is all we have had, but history is reeking of examples of Governments that thought the people wrong when the people were opposed to them and used the iron heel of militarism to crush the people. It is not alone in modern history but it is in ancient history.

Perhaps it is unwise to read history at all to know about what can happen and to try to provide against it in the future. I would like to be just as generous-minded as the Minister. The Minister can see nobody ever doing anything wrong. That is his approach to this problem. He says I would not do it and Deputy MacEoin would not do it—but what about Deputies or Ministers of ten, 30 or 40 years' time? They are not all angels like the Minister or the former Minister. We have to legislate, not for angels but for ordinary human beings, with their ambitions and their prejudices and their maliciousness and their spite. Those are the types we have to provide for and against whom we must erect safeguards. The Minister says that the Army cannot be on active service unless there are certain stated conditionsand unless the Government makes an Order that they are on active service. There will be no trouble about the Government calling out the Reserve by Order or declaring a state of emergency by Order, for a corrupt purpose. There will be no trouble about the Government declaring the Army is on active service—not a bit— so there is no point to be made there.

The Minister says in his amendment: "We will call the Dáil together within a period of 21 days". Can one imagine what happens? A corrupt Government declares an emergency, recruits 100,000 men right away or does anything it likes, calls out the Reserve and puts its military feet on the throat of the people. In 21 days it will call the Dáil together—but where might that army have some of the opposition to the Government? In Mountjoy? There is no safeguard there. There is no guarantee that the Dáil Deputies would ever reach the Dáil within a period of 21 days from the time all those steps have been taken improperly and with an ulterior motive by the Government. That is what is worrying me. Twenty-one days! If it were 21 hours I might see something in it.

It says "within". It could take two hours or it might be inside 24 hours.

I do not know where the 21 days came in, because even in the days of the old coaches before railways were established you could call the Dáil together within 21 days. It is all right for the Minister to say it might be two hours. Whatever limit is laid down in legislation is going to be adhered to. We had an example of that here only the other day in regard to the Civil Service arbitration, under which the award need not be published for a certain period, and exactly to the minute of that period it is published and not a minute sooner. Ministerial promises in regard to what may be done are worth nothing. We had it in regard to the News Agency Bill in this House, where the clearest and most specific promises were made to this House, and the moment we accepted them different things were done. I may be different from everybody else but Ibelieve in having the law of the country very clear and very precise and not based on promises or good intentions. They say that hell itself is paved with good intentions. Deputy MacEoin says that what the Minister proposes is an improvement.

That is all it is.

It is the very slightest improvement. The Bill was improved a little after Committee and a little after the debate in this House and perhaps it will be improved again. I certainly will not vote against putting in this provision, but it is not worth anything to provide against the sort of situation that I can visualise. We are allad idem—if I fall into a phrase of Deputy Collins's on this matter—on all sides of the House. There is really no fundamental difference between us. I believe that we should have safeguards. The Minister depends on the goodness of human nature, on the integrity of the Ministers that we will have for the future. From the legal and constitutional point of view, I think it is better to have the approach that I have—the doubting, untrusting approach—because I think that history has shown that that is the only thing we can do. We need no constitution, no safeguards or anything else, if we are to depend on the reasonableness of human nature.

This is a matter that has not yet received its full consideration. I have fought it as best I could in this House and in the Committee. I feel that certain enlightened organisations of public opinion will probably take this matter up—it is the sort of thing they ought to take up—and when it has got reasonable consideration the Minister will see how unwise it is to write into a Bill a provision that might be used very drastically against himself at some time in the future. I ask the House to ponder on that. We have decided to put in the section now, but the Bill is not law yet. We will agree to this ministerial amendment, but I would ask the Minister to be patient with Deputies who are trying to do what they consider to be their duty in this House. We probably could speed up things if we would not botherabout matters that we consider to be fundamental—but I do not think speed in that case would, in the long run, be helpful.

I have listened to the arguments for the last few days on both sides of the House and I have listened to Deputy Cowan at great length in the arguments he put forward. I want to differ with Deputy Cowan on this last amendment. He refers to what a corrupt Government will do or might do in the future. If a corrupt Government of the type he visualises becomes the Government of this country, it does not matter what provisions you have in the Act.

I dealt with that point earlier this morning. I am sorry the Deputy was not here.

If a corrupt Government wants to do anything, they will do it, in spite of all the sections which may be passed here by us in Dáil Éireann. Deputy Cowan gave me the impression that we were going to try to do something to save the country from a dictatorship and he said that if the section were dropped altogether, it was possible that we might never have any difficulty. Surely every Government will be elected by the people and if any Government are so lacking in a sense of their democratic responsibilities that they will do something to prejudice their own political future, it surely must be a corrupt Government and the provision will not protect the people. I do not see what machinery this Dáil could devise which would save the country from a corrupt Government, and if there were a dictator Taoiseach or Minister for Defence who decided on a certain line of action there is no Act of Parliament he will have any regard for. That is the point on which I differ from Deputy Cowan.

The amendment put forward by the Minister definitely deals with a normal state of affairs. A democratic Government in this country in the future will always be guided by the will of the Irish people and if the people decide that a certain Government should be in office, surely it is their desire then thatthat Government should rule in a reasonable and democratic manner. If the democratic institutions are challenged by any section, surely it is not unreasonable to ask that the House should give adequate powers to the Government to deal with such a challenge. If an emergency arises, hours and minutes may be vital. Are we to deprive any democratic Government here of adequate powers in this regard? If we wish to save the country from dictatorship are we going the right way about it? We have no guarantees for the future but we are merely trying to do what ordinary logical reasoning demands.

Deputy Cowan argued on a very fine issue, but the Minister has put up what I think is a very reasonable amendment, an amendment which is designed to protect the interests of the people. Posterity may be anxious to criticise or amend it, but I am convinced that that is so. I feel that the provision which Deputy Cowan seeks to insert would not save the country, if the type of people he visualised are in office in the future. We must have a Government in the country and certain decisions will always have to be taken, but Parliament will always have a chance of criticising and no political Party governing the country will jeopardise their political existence by doing something unpopular because they know that, even if it means a gain of a temporary nature, it will be of no political advantage to them in the long run.

I welcome the Minister's amendment as in some measure remedying some of the evils which, I am afraid, flow from Section 4. I do not think Section 4 is necessary and I feel that it is unwise to fill our Statute Book with numerous provisions giving autocratic powers to the Executive or to the Army. In our Constitution, there are provisions, very far-reaching provisions, which, in effect, nullify the constitutional guarantees contained in the Constitution, whenever the Oireachtas decides that a state of emergency exists. In addition, we have on our Statute Book the Offences Against the State Act whichenables the Government by proclamation to bring into operation a state of emergency, which enables the trial of civilians by military courts known as the Special Criminal Court.

These are two very drastic powers. Do we really need a third one? I would ask the Minister to consider that position very seriously.

I want to make it quite clear that I am not suggesting that the Minister is introducing this section from any evil or ulterior motive. I think probably the section found its way into the Bill because of what seems to be the inevitable tendency of bureaucracy to encroach steadily on the ordinary rights of the people. That is a constant, and very often an imperceptible tendency but it definitely exists. I think that permanent officials, bureaucrats, have generally a desire to extend the powers of the Executive. They resent any interference with their powers by the courts and feel that their authority is thereby somewhat circumscribed. That is probably the origin of the section.

I think the section is misconceived because in my opinion the Minister has all the powers that he requires under Article 28 of the Constitution and under the Offences Against the State Act. It is most unusual to provide for three different types of emergency and to have three different statutes dealing with emergencies. Unfortunately we have had a rather bad record, a rather bad history, since the State was set up in regard to this matter. Our Statute Book is bulging with Emergency Powers Acts of one kind or another. The public got into the habit of having legislation of that kind but I think it is undesirable. It is undesirable to have three separate and distinct states of emergency provided for in three separate pieces of legislation.

I am not so sure that I have the same confidence as Deputy Cowan as to the unconstitutionality of the section. I certainly should not like to express a view on the unconstitutionality of the section without making a little further research. It seems, having regard to the number of decisions that have been made in regard to the liberty of the subject under the provisions of our Constitution, thatprobably the section does not infringe the Constitution very obviously. I believe that to a large extent the value of the Constitution as an instrument to safeguard personal liberty has been greatly exaggerated. A number of amendments were made to the Constitution and a number of decisions have been given on the interpretation of the various Articles of the Constitution which I think have nullified to a great extent the value of the Constitution as an instrument to safeguard personal liberty. It is doubtful, therefore, whether this new provision would be regarded as being contrary to the Constitution.

Undoubtedly, in examining legislation of this nature we should examine it not from the point of view of normal conditions but from the point of view of abnormal conditions. It is very seldom, when power is given to a Government, that the Government does not use that power at some stage or another—sometimes unreasonably in the stress of political passion. Therefore it seems to me that this section is likely to be used at some stage or another. If it is not likely to be used there is no necessity to have it in the Bill. A section of that kind is a temptation to an executive in times of political stress or political passion. Very often alluring arguments can be put forward for using powers of this nature. It can be said: "We can dispose of a difficult situation by availing of the powers we have here."

I think some Deputies referred to the milk strike as being an instance of a situation in which powers of this nature might be used. I am sure every Deputy is glad that extraordinary powers were not used in the course of the milk strike. It would have aggravated the situation very seriously if such powers had been used. I am taking the milk strike only as an example but there is no doubt that there are many situations in which the Government might be tempted to use these extraordinary powers when such powers are available to them, without recourse to a full parliamentary debate here beforehand. As I have stated, we have had a bad history from that point of view and I think we should make every effort wecan, in a period such as this when we have internal peace, to get away from that type of legislation particularly when we do not think it is necessary. I think that the Government have all the powers they can ever need in Article 28 of the Constitution and in the Offences Against the State Act, powers which, indeed, I consider to be too far-reaching as things stand.

There is another reason for which I would appeal to the Minister to reconsider Section 4. Unfortunately, our Army and Defence Forces grew up largely in the atmosphere of civil war. For many years membership of the Defence Forces was identified with certain political views. At a later period again the Defence Forces were used in connection with the Special Criminal Court, internment camps and with extraordinary military courts. I am not mentioning these things in any way to revive memories of that period but merely to register the fact that, unfortunately, our Army since its inception was identified from time to time with sharp, internal political differences. That has been bad for the Army itself. I would, therefore, deprecate giving any powers which would enable the Army to be used in internal matters which are bound to be linked up to some degree with politicians unless it is absolutely essential to do so. I think we should aim at keeping the Army as far removed as possible from internal political issues. Powers of this nature, if used, are bound to bring the Army right into the political arena in the same way as it was brought during the civil war and afterwards for many years and, again, to a certain extent in the political arena during the subsequent period.

That has been harmful to the development of the Army. I think we should all agree in the House to try and remove the Army as far as we can from matters of that kind. The Army should not be used as a police force. If the Army is used as a police force from time to time, and if Army officers sit on military courts and special criminal courts of one kind or another, it tends to bring the Army into disrepute with that section of the population against which it is used and henceto bring it into the field of controversy.

I would like the Minister to consider these aspects of the question very carefully. I would also like the Minister to examine the position with reference to the powers that the Government already have under the Constitution and under the Offences Against the State Act. It seems to me that the provisions of Section 4 do not add very much to these powers. They may be convenient from an administrative point of view. It may be convenient to provide in a Bill for certain things that may be done in a period of emergency which is defined by the Act, but I think that that is largely the bureaucrats' approach to the problem. I am not suggesting that the Minister himself has that approach. I am quite certain that the views which are being pressed on the Minister by his Department or by the Army would be the same whoever was Minister. The unfortunate tendency that exists is inevitable. The tendency always is to try and secure more power. We have that in every sphere of public administration.

We know how the Revenue Commissioners want more and more power in order to be able to levy income-tax or tax of one kind or another. I think there is evidence of that tendency for power in public administration but it is the function of this House to resist that tendency. I certainly insist that a very strong case should be made before there is any further yield in that direction.

The Minister made some references to the value of the Special Committee that dealt with the Bill. I sympathise with his anxiety in connection with the number of amendments and the length of discussion that may take place in the House. I would, however, like to point out to the Minister that no matter what Special Committee was set up a matter of this kind is very fundamental and it is well that it should be thrashed out in the House. I do not think he should allow that to prejudice him in any way against the use of a Special Committee. I think there should be a good deal of felicitation at the quantum of the amendments that have been put down. Ithink this is one matter upon which there should be discussion. It is a fundamental problem.

I am glad there has been this discussion. I would ask the Minister to reconsider the whole question of Section 4 and to consider whether these powers are really necessary or not. The amendment in so far as it gives at least some degree of safeguard is welcomed by me.

As a layman, I think we have had a big lot of confusion introduced into this debate in regard to this section. It was claimed that it was unconstitutional. Sub-section (3) of Section 4 I think, would rule out that idea to any ordinary man. It says:—

"A period of emergency shall be deemed for the purpose of this Act to exist."

As I see the position we are trying to set up a permanent Army Bill and make provision for situations which may arise.

This section to me seems to provide the basis for a Government to have legal powers to call out the Army in an internal emergency. I think that power is very, very necessary for any Government to have in a proper, legal way. I was impressed by a statement made by Deputy Cowan earlier to-day in which he said that Army officers would be liable if they carried out an unlawful order of the Executive. Whatever the position may be, I think that this section simply makes it clear that, when the Government consider that an internal emergency of such a magnitude has arisen, they have legal power to call out the Army and that the officers of that Army will be safeguarded in carrying out that order. I think that power is absolutely necessary for any Government to have. There are dangers in regard to such power but there are any number of other powers that have to be given to a Government which are also dangerous. The argument that a corrupt Government could misuse the power is the only one that I see has any weight in it. How to provide against that is something which, I think, is beyond the power of any man. As Deputy Burke remarked, all the laws that you could make would not stop a corrupt Government fromdoing whatever it wanted to do. Our only safeguard is to see that the proper people are kept there. It was alleged that, at the moment, if something happened somewhere the Guards could call out the Army.

The Chief Superintendent of the Guards.

Suppose it was very widespread. Suppose it happened in different parts all over the country. Suppose things were happening one hour after the other in different parts of the country and that the Army was getting word of it and was dealing with it peacefully. Would it not be far wiser for the Government to order the Army chiefs to deal with the situation completely, as one matter? I think this power is absolutely necessary. I think you could not possibly leave a Government without it—provided you are going to have faith in a Government.

Was it not without it from 1922 to 1940?

That may be. I do not know whether or not that is the position legally. As I see it, it is simply a matter of giving that power now to a Government to deal with an emergency. I think it is a power which a Government should have to enable it to deal properly with a situation. I can see that it could be a temptation and that a corrupt Government could abuse it but, for the life of me, I cannot see that that is a superior argument to the fact that a Government should have power to deal quickly and in a legal fashion with such a situation, if it should arise. If we have to wait until the Dáil meets before that power is given then, by the time the Dáil could be got together or what members of it could be reached or could attend, the situation might be out of control. On the balance, I am prepared to give the power to any Government that we can see is likely to arise—and, as I say, we cannot protect ourselves against a corrupt Government—and not try to blame them afterwards for not doing this, that and the other thing, which possibly they had not the power to do.

Amendment put and agreed to.

Would the Minister reconsider the need for the section?

That matter has been fully considered. The House must remember, as I mentioned initially, that this was discussed for a long time by the special Committee. Arising out of that, it has been given considerable examination by the legal authorities, the Army and by the civil side of the Department of Defence. This now fully represents the distance that we are prepared to go.

Of course, the Minister might not tie himself like that. It is conceivable—and I hope it is right—that the organs of public expression will take up this matter now. I think the Minister would be unwise to say that they will not alter it.

I think the Deputy is over-stressing that altogether.

I move amendment No. 10:—

In page 17, Section 5 (2), line 21, to insert, "during a period of emergency," after "Government".

The purpose of the amendment is to provide that an Order declaring the Defence Forces to be on active service may not be made unless a state of emergency for the purposes of the Act has already been declared. I promised the Special Committee to have this proposal examined and the various authorities concerned do not object to it.

That is one of the points we discussed on the Special Committee. I am glad that the Minister was able to bring it in.

Amendment put and agreed to.

I move amendment No. 11:—

In page 17, Section 5, to insert, before sub-section (3), a new sub-section as follows:—

(3) An Order under sub-section (2) of this section shall, if not previouslyrevoked under sub-section (4) of this section, cease to be in force on the expiration of the period of emergency current at the time the Order was made.

This amendment is consequential on amendment No. 10.

Amendment put and agreed to.

I understand that amendment No. 12, which appears in my name, is out of order.

Amendment No. 12 not moved.

I move amendment No. 13:—

In page 18, Section 12 (2) (c), line 30, after "force" to add "or an officer of the Reserve Defence Forces when he is ordered or employed on service or duty for which as an officer of the Reserve Defence Force he is liable."

Our Defence Forces consist, to put it briefly, of a Regular Force and a Reserve. The Reserve may be called out in times of national emergency as during the period of the recent world war. When Reserve officers are called out they become part of the Defence Forces and officers and soldiers may be promoted to higher ranks in the reserve during the period they are called out. The fact that a man in reserve is called out on permanent service does not alter his status. He is still a member of the Reserve although he is on permanent service. During the last emergency you had officers who were gradually promoted, I think, right up to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. I am not sure if some of them were not appointed to higher ranks. During that period, the officers of the Reserve were, in fact, in charge of battalions, commands, brigades, and held very high and important field appointments. One would imagine that where an officer of the Reserve shows great ability he should be entitled to be appointed to any of the higher positions in the Defence Forces— positions such as that of Chief ofStaff, Adjutant-General, Quartermaster-General, and so forth. An officer of the Reserve may, if he has ability, be appointed in charge of the whole field forces. This section restricts him, however, from being appointed to the positions of Chief of Staff, Adjutant-General or Quartermaster-General.

It was the experience of nations such as ours in the last world war that officers who were on the Reserve and were recalled to service were found to be much more efficient in the circumstances that arose than some of the persons who had been serving in the permanent forces all the time and, in fact, did rise to the highest positions. This is a poor country financially. We have not a tremendous lot of money to spend on the Defence Forces. Consequently, our limitation at the moment is about 12,000 permanent men and as large a Reserve as we can possibly have.

I think it is unfair to the Reserve— and particularly to Reserve officers who have proved their efficiency to the extent that they may become officers in command of a field force or as high as a division or higher—that they can be deprived of the opportunity of being Chief of Staff, Adjutant-General or Quartermaster-General. The Minister countered this by saying: "If we have an officer of that ability we will retire him from the Reserve, commission him in the regular Army in the rank of colonel, major-general or whatever it may be and then we will make him Chief of Staff or Adjutant-General or Quartermaster-General as a regular officer." I think it is entirely wrong to do that. It is unfair to the Reserve. It is not intended as a reflection on the Reserve, but in fact it is. The section says:—

"Every person appointed to a principal military office shall be an officer of the Permanent Defence Force."

The expression "principal military office" is defined as meaning any office being that of Chief of Staff, Adjutant-General or Quartermaster-General. What I am doing in my amendment is this. I am proposing to add thereto"or an officer of the Reserve Defence Forces when he is ordered or employed on service or duty for which as an officer of the Reserve Defence Force he is liable." The Minister, for some reason or another, does not like the amendment. I think it is a good one, and that it should be adopted, and because I think that, I have put it down.

I should like to say that I see nothing wrong in Deputy Cowan's suggestion. I think he made a very good point when speaking about the size of our standing Army. In peace-time, it is limited to in or about 12,000 men. In the case of an emergency, the State would have on active service, and at its disposal, an Army of maybe ten times that size. I think that, without any quibbles whatever, the right of promotion from the very bottom of that Army to the highest rank in it should be open to everyone who is serving in it.

We are familiar with the saying that every soldier has a chance of becoming a Field Marshal. Well, under the terms of this section, it would be impossible for a Reserve officer to become Chief of Staff, Adjutant-General or Quartermaster-General without special steps being taken by the Minister, or by the Department, to call him first an officer in the permanent Defence Force.

I think there is a suggestion contained in the Bill that the members of the permanent Defence Force are of a superior type altogether to the men who are on the Reserve. I believe, however, that it is more than likely that you have better leadership and better brains in the Reserve and in the general pool that is available to the Government in a state of emergency than you have among those who are serving all the time. I do not want to be taken as being actually critical of the higher ranks of the Army as they are at the moment, but I think it is a well-known fact that, in the ordinary everyday walks of life, you will find men with a greater elasticity of mind, especially when itcomes to military matters, men who take an active interest in tactics, manoeuvres and in all that pertains to Army life.

I should like the Minister to tell us what objection he has to accepting Deputy Cowan's amendment. It is all very well for the Minister to say: "Well, if we find that an officer in the Reserve is of that great importance and has all that ability that you suggest would entitle him to be appointed Chief of Staff, then we can take steps to make him an officer of the permanent Defence Force," but why is it necessary to have it stated definitely in the Bill that, before an officer in the Army can be appointed to one or other of these high posts, he must be an officer in the permanent Defence Force? The officers in the Reserve at the present time are doing an excellent job in peace-time. They are members of the civilian population and are helping this country at the present moment in a far bigger way than any officers in the permanent Defence Forces. In view of that, I think that an officer should not have to change his title in order to become Chief of Staff, Adjutant-General or Quartermaster-General.

I want, first of all, to disabuse Deputies of the idea that Reserve officers cannot be promoted. They can, and we have had examples of that during the emergency. Reserve officers called up during that period gave excellent service, and if they deserved promotion were, in fact, given it in due course.

The point of difference here, however, is that the amendment suggests that there should be no limitation to that promotion and that, if necessary, it should extend into what is known as the headquarters staff. Perhaps I should explain that the chances of an officer in the Reserve reaching that rank would be almost nil. The reason is that a very limited number of officers go into the Reserve. Most of them serve out their time up to the age limit. When they reach the age limit, they sever their connection with the Army completely, so that if they docome back to the Army it is only on a voluntary basis. In the case of an emergency they can volunteer for service.

The position, therefore, is that the only people usually available from the Reserve are officers who had left the Army a considerable time before. It may be that they left before reaching the age limit, perhaps to improve their positions in civil life. Bearing these points in mind, you have a very limited number to call from. The main reason —and that is what Deputy McQuillan is concerned with—why it would be undesirable to do what the amendment proposes is that the Reserve officer would have to go out at the end of the emergency: that is to say, that a Reserve officer, who might be in the position of Chief of Staff, would have to resign when the end of the emergency came. That would be entirely undesirable because at that particular period his services might be required to an even greater extent than before because he would then be facing a most difficult position, namely, getting rid of a large emergency Army and making the necessary arrangements for demobilisation and so on. From that point of view, you would, perhaps, be losing the services of the individual at the precise moment when they would be most needed.

If there is such a man in the Reserve, the simple method of availing of his service is to give him a permanent commission, which can be very easily done. In that way, if it is so desired, he can be appointed to any one of the principal offices referred to in the section. I would say that there is very little between us in the point under discussion, but I would have to hold to the fact that it is unnecessary. If there is such an individual, the method which I have suggested is a method by which he can be very easily appointed.

I should like to make a few observations.

The Deputy has already spoken on the amendment.

I proposed the amendment.

Before Deputy Cowan concludes, I want to say a few words. I think the Minister has explained the situation fairly well, and I do not think it is wise to press this amendment. If there is an outstanding officer in the Reserve, he can be permanently commissioned. That gets over the difficulty of having to retire the moment the emergency ceases and it regularises the procedure.

I would not be too happy, having some experience, about having it as a right of the Reserve officer to get the promotion. When he leaves the Army, he may become a very efficient administrator or executive in a prominent business concern or even in a political Party, for instance. He could become very influential and consider himself well worthy of an appointment as Chief of Staff or anything else right away, and there could be what are known as American efforts to get to position and rank exercised in the Army.

The Government and the Minister, in taking this line, are taking the safe one. If the officer is good enough, he can get a permanent commission, and then he automatically remains, even after the emergency is over. I think the Deputy should not press the amendment.

Again, as in all these things, we approach the matter from different viewpoints. I believe, and I think everyone will agree, that appointments such as Adjutant-General, Quartermaster-General and Chief of Staff, while important, are not the most important appointments in the Army. They are staff officers. The most important officer in the Army is the officer who commands a fighting field force. That is so, whether it is a small army like ours or a big army like the British, the German, the Russian or any other army. It does seem strange that a man may rise to command the biggest field force that we can have, that he can be in command of the forces on active serviceagainst an enemy and that he should be deprived of the right to be a staff officer on General Headquarters staff, in the position of Chief of Staff, Adjutant-General or Quartermaster-General. He could be an Assistant Chief of Staff, Assistant Adjutant-General or Assistant Quartermaster-General. He could be in charge of any of the branches or bureaux of the General Staff. He could be Director of Training or Director of Intelligence or anything else but we say in this Bill that he may be anything but he will not be Adjutant-General, Quartermaster-General or Chief of Staff. That is what I think is wrong. The Reserve officer should not be limited or restricted in that way.

Deputy McQuillan has expressed a very sound point of view in regard to the Reserve. If we face a serious crisis we need to have in the vital places the very best men that are available. Our military history has proved that the mere fact of long years' service in the Army does not make a man the best officer. Napoleon, when somebody said to him that he had served with him in ten campaigns and should be promoted, pointed to a mule and said: "He has been with me in ten campaigns and he is a mule still."

When a situation of national emergency arises the Government and the State are entitled to have the very best men in pivotal appointments. It may be that a Reserve officer would be an excellent Chief of Staff, an excellent Adjutant-General or an excellent Quartermaster-General, but he cannot become any of these things without going through the formality of resigning from the Reserve and the Government going through the formality of deciding to make him a regular officer with the rank of colonel or general, sending it to the President, having all that cod of removing him from being a colonel or general on the Reserve to a general in the Regular Army. That is all codology.

The only objection the Minister has to the proposal is that if the emergency ended, the reservist would leave and consequently the State might lose the services of a particular officer when they would need them. The Billcontains a very special provision for the appointment of an Adjutant-General, a Chief of Staff or a Quartermaster-General. It says that every holder of a principal military office shall hold that office for such terms not exceeding five years as may be specified in the instrument of his appointment but shall be eligible for reappointment on the expiration of the term. So, we are only bandying words about when we say that when the emergency ends and the Reserve is being disbanded he will have to leave. If he is appointed Adjutant-General, he will be appointed by the President on the advice of the Government for a period of five years or such shorter period as the Government intends. There is no question at all of his having to clear off the moment the emergency is over.

Our military experience in the last 40 years has shown that one did not need 20 or 30 years' square-marching to make one a great leader of men. We do not have to go back a long distance to recollect that we have had a Michael Collins, that we have had a Seán MacEoin, a Liam Lynch and an Oscar Traynor in this country, who became great military leaders, without the advantage, if one may call it so, of having all their initiative curbed by long years of regimented routine.

Amendment put and negatived.

I move amendment No. 14:—

In page 18 to delete Section 12 (2) (d), lines 31 to 35, and substitute:

(d) No holder of a principal military office shall hold that office for a continuous term of more than three years and one day.

This is a matter about which there has been considerable controversy. This Bill provides that a person who is appointed Chief of Staff, Adjutant-General or Quartermaster-General shall hold office for such a period, not exceeding five years, as the Government may decide. My amendment is that no holder of a principal militaryoffice shall hold that office for a continuous term of more than three years and one day. There has been quite an amount of discussion in regard to that over the years. When these posts were first established there was no limit.

During the early stages of the Army, when we had the situation that was then known as the mutiny, the matter came under consideration in this House and the then Vice-President, the late Mr. Kevin O'Higgins, said that there had grown up a sense of proprietorship and that it was undesirable that that should be continued. Then there was introduced into the Ministers and Secretaries Act a provision that these appointments would be for a period of three years and no longer, and that operated with considerable satisfaction in the Army for many years. Then the system developed of reappointment and men were appointed for a period of three, six and nine years, and perhaps longer, so that the original intention was departed from.

Now the Government propose to make it five years and to make provision for reappointment, so that if a man is appointed for one term and is then reappointed he may serve ten years in one of these important posts. In my view, and I think it would be the military view, that is too long. The average period of service of a long-term soldier is 20 years. An officer serves somewhat longer, not a great deal longer. That means, as far as these officers are concerned, that if you have this system of reappointment you will have the position in which persons may be in the top offices insecula seculorum.That is all right in certain circumstances, but it is all wrong in others.

I think the original idea of three years was quite good, because the intention was, and I think it was a wise intention, that if you had a man in the post of Adjutant-General for three years and at the end of that time he was sent to a field or command appointment, he would refresh himselfwith knowledge of how things happen outside, he would see the difficulties in administration from a different angle, and he would come back a much better man and be able to get things done. There has grown up in Governments a sort of laziness in regard to these matters. They will say: "He is getting on well; he has not put a foot wrong in the last three years, and we will put him in there again." That has been the tendency for quite a number of years. As one who has served in the Defence Forces, I can say that the ordinary officer or soldier did not just like that. Ministers may think it very desirable just to have people there who are safe people, but it does not work so well for general efficiency.

I think that the original intention of a three-year period was a wise one. I understand it is the position in England in regard to the Chief of the Imperial General Staff and the officers who hold these high ranks. I do not know what the position is in other armies, but I know that in America that system must not operate because one Chief of Staff was there for a very long time. I should like if we could get back to the position we had originally of having a movement around. It adds to efficiency and prevents that spirit of proprietorship growing up. That spirit of proprietorship is very unhelpful to efficiency. If a person is a strong-minded character and takes some objection to an officer or soldier, he can prevent the promotion of that person for a long period. I do not want the Minister to tell me that I am imagining things when I say that. One of the very serious grounds of objection was the fact that people who were kept too long in jobs of that kind were able to avail of personal objection to individuals to the extent of preventing their promotion, although they were men of high character and honourable and efficient.

I am not accepting this amendment. Without wishing to repeat what I said at the Special Committee, I should like to say that the extension of the period to five years is not my decision. It is, however, a decision with which I fully agree and on the Second Reading of the Bill Iexpressed my views very strongly on that point. The reasons which I gave were that in a period of three years it is almost impossible for a man holding such an onerous position to acquaint himself fully with the duties of that position. It takes him quite a considerable time to get what I might describe as the "hang" of his office. Then he has to set out on a tour of inspection, to examine all the various posts, acquaint himself with the officers in these posts and try to find out the ability of these officers and so on. All that takes a considerable period of time. In between, he has to endeavour to get a grasp of the administrative side of his office.

When looking forward to three years it may appear a long time. When looking forward to five years, it may appear a very long time. But when one looks back on five years it seems to have gone like a flash. Owing to the amount of work which a Chief of Staff, Adjutant-General or Quartermaster-General has to perform, he only becomes fully acquainted with his work in three years and if he is to leave anything behind him by which he can be remembered it will be done in the period succeeding the three years. I fully agreed with the proposal brought in here by my predecessor to extend the period from three to five years. I was also in favour, and I said so on the Second Reading of the Bill at that time, of the reappointment, if necessary, for a further period of a particular individual. But I did put in this qualification, that it should not happen in peace-time. If, however, by any chance, there is a man of outstanding personality who is highly efficient in such a position, it should be possible to reappoint him and the Minister should not be shackled by anything which would prevent him from reappointing such an individual. Deputy Cowan is in favour of that. He is in favour of removing the shackles. Here is a case in which that principle ought to be applied and discretion left with the Minister. If the Minister wishes to reappoint an outstanding individual he should be in a position to do so.

As I said in the Special Committee —and I repeat it here now—it shouldnot, and I do not think it ever will, occur in an ordinary period of peace. I do not think I can add anything to that. I think it is a reasonable section and that it should be left as it is.

The idea underlying the three-year period is that promotion will be opened up. Under the Defence Forces Act, 1924, it was the intention, as far as I am aware, that when an officer had served three years at the top, as Chief of Staff, Quartermaster-General or Adjutant-General, he should move out and not down to a command or down to anything else since, being human, it would be very difficult for a person to go down the line and start serving in a junior capacity under someone over whom he had been in command previously. That happens in monasteries and places like that, and even there it is not always taken too kindly.

The principal idea is to open up the promotion line, and I think we should do that. If promotion is held up unduly there is a clog. If there is a chance of promotion that is an incentive to younger officers to do their best. For that reason I feel reappointment should not take place. Whether it is three years or five, that should be the end of the service as Chief of Staff, Quartermaster-General or Adjutant-General and the officer should move out, in order to give an opportunity of promotion to someone else and not hold up promotion.

The Minister says five years is necessary in order to give the holder of an office time to leave something behind him. Let us hope he will not leave an emergency. I suppose five years is a reasonable time for that purpose. Three years is too short. If the holder of the office was not moving out, but merely going back down the line, three years would be too short in my view because he would be going back to serve under someone over whom he was in command before that. On the whole, I think the period should be five years, but that should mark the end of one's glory in the Army. One has got whatever pips one is entitled to and has worn them with honour orotherwise. Five years without reappointment would be better than either the amendment or the section as it stands.

While, in the main, I subscribe to the principle enunciated by Deputy MacEoin I would be in favour of one variation. It has happened that somebody who has occupied the position of Quartermaster-General or Adjutant-General has subsequently been appointed Chief of Staff. I would allow for that kind of progression in this promotion list. Deputy MacEoin would not. If the Government in its wisdom thought such progression wise I would allow for it.

We are faced with a somewhat vexed question because we have at the moment a large number of senior officers in or around the same age, all naturally jockeying a bit for any promotion or distinction now remaining to them. I think, therefore, we must address our minds now in relation to the problem on the basis that membership of the Army Council is looked upon by the senior personnel as the zenith of attainment. I believe we would create a bad principle in allowing officers who have served with distinction at the highest level to revert to line command.

Three years or five years will always be argued one way or the other. If the appointment is non-repetitive five years is not an unreasonable period. I think an officer should not serve longer than three years in the Quarter-master-General's or the Adjutant-General's branch. On being appointed Chief of Staff, however, it should be open to the Government to give him that appointment for five years and at the end of that period he should not be retained in the service of the Army. I admit there might be circumstances in which the Government might wish to retain the services in such a post of an outstanding officer, an officer of reasonable youth perhaps and extreme distinction. In a state of emergency or actual war one can readily understand the necessity for retaining the services of such an officer. I would likethe Bill framed in such a way that there could be no question of switching an officer from senior back to junior command. Where an officer is Chief of Staff or a member of the Army Council, if the Minister so elects to decide, for a period of five years, either of two courses would be open to him. If he had been Quartermaster-General or Adjutant-General he could go up the scale to Chief of Staff but having served in this capacity as Chief of Staff he must then leave the Army. If that does not happen you have the extraordinary situation which has arisen where the Quartermaster-General yesterday finds himself the O.C., Eastern Command, to-day, or the Quartermaster-General of four years ago, finds himself O.C., Western Command, to-day. That is not exactly what I might describe as the best design of command control. I do not think it has been fair to the officers themselves and I do not think it is, in the main, fair to the Army. It allows for, should I say, a lack of decisiveness that must inevitably ensue. You may have the feeling that perhaps tomorrow the man you are purporting to command may replace you as O.C. in one of the branches of the Army.

We are all sceptical of the question of promotion as between corps. We do not like to create an atmosphere where people are vying for that type of promotion. Take the case of a young colonel who is appointed Chief of Staff in the morning. In five years' time, perhaps, he may find himself O.C. of a corps or a director of some particular corps in the Army. I do not think that is desirable, and my attitude to the Minister is this. We are anxious in every way to co-operate with him in what he might consider was the more suitable period, but we would advocate that there would be no question of going back into the normal service of the Army. Once a person has served in his capacity as a member of the Defence Council, whether as Quartermaster or as Adjutant-General, he has the right of succession to Chief of Staff, but, having served his period as Chief of Staff, whether it is three or five years— we will not quarrel with the Minister about that—he should automaticallybe transferred back on to the Reserve and not be called back unless the exigencies of an emergency created by a war would need him.

I think I shall have to give a very short lecture on responsibilities. I did not intend to go into these details, but it seems to be necessary. The Army, as we all know, is built up by certain units and formations, for instance, the company, the battalion, the brigade and the division. These are what are known as the active service elements. Then we have the administrative organisations such as commands; and then we have the superior administrative organisation, the Department of Defence, over which the Minister presides. Under the law the command-in-chief is exercised through the President and the Government by the Minister. As far as Army headquarters—the Department of Defence—is concerned, the Minister is the superior authority.

In the military system command is more important than staff; in other words, the man who commands a division is more important than the staff officer of a corps; similarly, the man who commands a brigade is a more important individual than the staff officer of a division. To get down to some of the details, the man who leads a command like the Curragh Command, the Western Command or the Eastern Command is, in my opinion, a more important man than the Adjutant-General, the Quartermaster-General or the Chief of Staff.

You can have, and we often have, in charge of a command a colonel, Adjutant-General, a Quartermaster-General or a Chief of Staff. That may be so; in other words the superior officer is in what Deputy Collins would consider the junior formation.

I would not consider it, but technically it is.

I merely want to put things right so that we will understand where we are. An Adjutant-General deals with one part of the Army. He deals with recruiting, with courts martial, with discipline, medical services and matters relating toadministration. It is his function to look after these administrative details. The Quartermaster looks after the matter of supplies, such as clothing, food, etc. The Chief of Staff is concerned with the training of the Army, intelligence services and organisation. I hope some experts will not cavil with me, because I want to put it in as short a way as I can. Combining these people is the Minister in the Department of Defence, who is, if you like, the commander-in-chief of them.

The Minister and the Government may be looking for a man to be Adjutant-General, and they select a very fine colonel. They put him in charge and he is very efficient dealing with these particular matters but he is not in command of anybody in a command below. He is administrative staff officer to the Minister and all his directions are issued by and with the authority of the Minister. When he completes the term, whether it is three or five years, there is no reason, as Deputy MacEoin says, why he should be thrown out. There is no reason why he could not be promoted to take charge of a command or sent to a corps, or there are many other jobs in the Army he could fill.

Similarly with regard to the Chief of Staff, who is the chief to the Minister, when his term of appointment is over he may be sent to take charge of a command; in fact he may be promoted to take charge of a command. That has happened frequently and there is nothing wrong with it. If he is a good officer there is no reason why, when his term of office has expired, he should be just thrown out. I do not agree with the suggestion of moving out.

Having said that, I come back to the proposal in the Bill that an officer may be appointed to one of these offices for five years or, as set out in my amendment, he may be appointed to it for a period just exceeding three years. I agree that you may have circumstances where you have a very excellent officer and you might like to keep him on. Perhaps, from the point of view of general efficiency, it might be desirable that that should be done but, putting it against the difficulties and thepossibilities of inefficiency, I think it is wrong and I think it is the general military viewpoint right down the line of officers.

If inefficiency arises, of course, he can go out long before the five years.

Efficiency is a relative matter. A Minister is often in the worst position in the world to know whether things are running right or not. To him everything seems to be going right, but right down the line, in the battalions, the brigades, the companies, the barracks, you will find people saying: "That is a shocking stumour up there," and the Minister may think he is the most efficient man in the world. That happens, and I feel myself—and I speak with a considerable amount of experience of it— that you have the most efficiency when you bring the man in there for his period of office of three years. He does his job well and he goes out at the end of those three years to refresh himself with further knowledge in a new appointment. If the Minister made inquiries from officers, he would find that that is the general viewpoint.

I would not like to restrict a Government—they should have considerable liberty in matters of this kind—but there should be no reappointments. That period of three years in that particular staff appointment is adequate. It does not help towards efficiency to keep reappointing particular men because they happen to give satisfaction to the Minister. What we should really be concerned with is the efficiency of the Defence Forces as a whole.

I can see the Minister's point in regard to this. If one could be sure that, although there is provision for appointing up to five years, that would not be considered routine and that the first appointment that occurs after this is passed——

It says "not exceeding", so one need not go that far.

The trouble is that once you put down five years and appoint a man, if he is consideredworthy by the State for appointment at all it is a reflection on him if you do not appoint him for the period of five years. If the appointment is proposed for two years, then, if it were my case, and if I were eligible for a five-year appointment, I would be inclined to say, using the lurid language of Deputy Dillon: "You can stick it up your ganzy".

The age limit could come in to defeat a man.

If he has reached within two years of the age limit, let him rest in peace somewhere down the country. That is why I say there are certain difficulties. This will be the normal thing instead of the abnormal.

Question—"That the words proposed to be deleted stand"—put and declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 15:—

In page 19 to delete Section 13 (4), lines 18 to 20.

The Department of Defence is run as a Department and not as a military division or brigade. It is run by the Minister with the assistance of certain staff officers, some military and some civil. The Bill provides for the appointment of an officer to command the Defence Forces in the field, but this new provision says that the Minister may appoint the Chief of Staff "to co-ordinate the business or any of the business of the principal military branches of the Department of Defence." My amendment proposes to delete that. This provision would take the Chief of Staff out of his principal function and give him military command, which is undesirable in the peculiar set up we have in regard to the Army in this country—and which they also have in Britain in regard to their Army. In Britain there is no thought of giving the Chief of the Imperial General Staff power of co-ordination, as that power is placed by Parliament in the Minister. The Minister's power and duty is to co-ordinate and he cannot hand that over,as it would mean giving over military command. We have three people—the Chief of Staff, the Adjutant-General and the Quartermaster-General—as staff officers, each equal in his own sphere as far as the Minister is concerned, and the Minister co-ordinates. By providing that he may delegate that co-ordination, he gives the Chief of Staff power over the other two, which we do not permit. That is a fundamental misconception.

I do not think Deputy Cowan is right. We look upon the Chief of Staff as the senior officer in the Army and he ranks as such. Those with experience of serving in the Army know that his position is looked upon as the zenith of ambition to which an officer can go. The Deputy may talk airily about a change of command, whether of command brigade or division brigade, or whether command brigade and subsequently down to battalion units; but it does not alter the fact that the Army looks upon the Chief of Staff as the senior officer. He is, in fact, senior and takes precedence over the officers of any command, any brigade or any other portion.

If he is senior in rank.

Whether senior in rank or not.

It is not nonsense and maybe I have been in the Army more recently than Deputy Cowan. The situation did arise that for a period we had a general as officer in charge of a division, but the situation never arose that we had the Chief of Staff of lesser rank than a major-general. We may have had an Assistant Chief of Staff who was a colonel, but the Chief of Staff himself from the date of his appointment will assume a higher rank than that of colonel and does, in fact, take precedence over every officer in the Army. I think the Minister will bear that out.

Personally, I cannot find myself in favour of the amendment. I do not see any analogy between our Army and the armies of an empire withHome Command, Coastal Command and a number of such armies, as distinct from its divisions, and a co-ordinating unit, or a unit of command known as the Imperial General Staff. The Chief of that Staff is not dealing only with the armies in England but is co-ordinating the units of the New Zealand Army, the Australian Army, the Canadian Army and other armies within the purview of the Imperial General Staff. Our Army has a limited number of divisions and I cannot see the situation arising, whether a battle situation or war situation, where we would want to appoint somebody other than the Chief of Staff to be the virtual commander of the forces in general. I have not seen that arise before now. The Minister deals with the Chief of Staff as the army head of the Army, as distinct from himself, who is, through Parliament, the chief of the civilian side of the Army and co-ordinator between the Government and the Army itself. In the final analysis, the Minister really represents the technical position of the President as Commander-in-Chief, but in all dealings between the Minister and the Chief of Staff the Minister deals with him as the man who is in command of the Army.

I am afraid Deputy Cowan is mixing up co-ordination and command of the forces in military language.

No, I am avoiding that. My view is that it is the Minister's duty to co-ordinate.

"The Minister may delegate to the Chief of Staff the co-ordination of the business or of any of the business of the principal military branches of the Department of Defence." This is one of the points on which I was fully convinced that I had satisfied the Deputy in the Special Committee.

I always thought it was wrong.

It is one of the things I referred to this morning and for referring to which the Deputy regarded me as being petulant. This has beenoperated so long as I have been associated with the Department of Defence. All that happens is that the Chief of Staff sits down with his two senior officers. They constitute the headquarters staff and we have now got to the stage at which we make the Chief of Staff a higher ranking officer than any other officer in the Army. The only Major-General in the Army to-day is the Chief of Staff and it is natural, because he is the superior officer, that his instructions will naturally be obeyed. In the co-ordinating of the affairs of the headquarters staff as between himself, the Adjutant-General and the Quartermaster-General, the Adjutant-General or Quartermaster-General is not precluded from having audience with the Minister. They continue to interview the Minister on the subject matters of their own departments and the Chief of Staff does not, in any sense, interfere with that type of work. He wants to see these men assuming their full responsibility and coming down to interview the Minister.

The Chief of Staff does not in any sense interfere with them, but when it becomes a question of the all-round efficiency of the Army, these three men sit down, and it is the natural function of the Chief of Staff to be the senior partner and, if necessary, to say to the Adjutant-General: "I want you to do certain things in regard to hospital accommodation," or to the Quartermaster-General in respect of stores, and to see that it is done. Outside that there is absolutely no interference and everything works smoothly. As I say, I thought this was one of the points on which I had fully satisfied the Deputy in Special Committee.

It again cuts right across one's conception of these things. The Act—it is an English conception, which we have followed—does not provide for what is known as the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces. They have avoided that in peace time and even in war time, so far as Britain is concerned, they have the Commander-in-Chief a part of the forces, but they have been adamant all the time on not allowing to grow up in any military officer power such as could begiven to a military officer under this section. The Minister is the man responsible to Parliament. The command in chief is exercised in a very peculiar way, through the President, the Government and the Minister, but the Minister is the person whose prime duty to the State it is to co-ordinate the activities of officers with statutory functions, and it is a very wise safeguard for the house to keep so that the Minister is the person who co-ordinates and that, if any directions are to be given to staff officers, they should be given by the Minister; but when you create the position of a Chief of Staff having the right to order the Adjutant-General and Quartermaster-General about, you deprive them of the staff independence they have under the statute, and to a large extent you allow encroachments on the constitutional power of the Minister operating for this House. However, I can do nothing in these matters except put my point of view.

Amendment declared negatived.

I move amendment No. 16:—

In page 19 to delete Section 14, lines 21 to 33.

This section provides for the setting up of an inspector general and when the Minister has spoken, the House will find that the inspector general is another of these persons who is appointed with the same sort of powers as the previous section proposed to give to the Chief of Staff. In other words, there is again this biting away. In the old British Acts, they had an inspector general. I forget the reason for it, but I think they had some very old commander-in-chief who was of Royal family and they probably set up this inspector general as some type of person who would get the work done that this fellow should have done. We provided for it in our 1923 Act and we operated it once or perhaps twice. At the period of the mutiny, General O'Duffy was brought in from the Guards and appointed Inspector General of the Army. He was appointed Inspector General and was superior to everybody. I think it was operated some time afterwards in differentcircumstances, but there was only one —perhaps two—instances of its operation. There is no reason for an inspector general. What is an inspector general? We have the Minister, the Chief of Staff, the Adjutant-General and so on and we have all these provisions for co-ordination. What does an inspector general do? I do not see any necessity for it.

To some extent, I have to agree with the Deputy in respect of the value of the inspector general, but it has been, as the Deputy said, in the Acts since 1923 and there is no reason why we should disturb it. We can leave it there, letting it lie in a sort of comatose state until such time as there might possibly be some work an inspector general could carry out. I cannot see myself that there is any work for him.

This is contemplated purely as a permissive section?

It is not worth bothering about.

So that at any future date, if the Government think it necessary to appoint an inspector-general, they will have the power.

It is a sort of an appendix which could be removed.

We could delete it, if we wished, but why bother?

I think the Minister should agree to delete it.

It is not worth bothering about.

It is not worth taking it out now that it is in.

Amendment declared negatived.

Amendment No. 17 is out of order.

It has been ruled out of order and I cannot speak on it unfortunately.

The only thing Iobject to is this, and I would ask the Minister to reconsider it. The President in this country has no powers of directing anybody. The President acts on the advice of the Government. He has no power to direct anybody. I, therefore, wished to delete the words "under the direction of the President" and to substitute the words "subject to the Constitution." It has been held by the Ceann Comhairle that that is a wrong way to put down the amendment, and the amendment has been ruled out of order. I would ask the Minister, however, when the Bill is in the Seanad to consider the point which I have raised. The one person in the State who cannot direct anybody to do anything is the President.

I shall have the point considered.

I move amendment No. 18:—

In page 20, Section 17 (3), line 33, to delete "the Defence Forces or any part thereof" and substitute "any unit, element or part of the Defence Forces".

The section provides that power to command the whole Defence Force may be given to certain officers and "the Defence Forces" would include the Department of Defence—in fact, everybody in the defence services. In other words, if the power provided in this section were operated, the complete command of all the Defence Forces, Reserves, Regular Army and everybody, would be placed in the control of one individual. That is contrary to our conceptions of parliamentary control, control as properly exercised, in my view, through the Minister acting for the Oireachtas. The amendment I have put down provides that the Government may appoint a person to command a unit, element or part of the Defence Forces. I think the Minister would agree that there is a good deal to be said in regard to that. The Government can appoint a person to command any unit, element or part of the Defence Forces but they would have no right to appoint anybody tocommand the whole Defence Forces which would include the Chief of Staff, the Adjutant-General, the Quartermaster-General, etc.

I do not know that I entirely subscribe to Deputy Cowan's idea. I can see the necessity for a supreme authority in the field to command all units of the Army. If we have three or four commands or even a number of divisions, it will be necessary to have some co-ordination of command, some control over those in the field, as distinct from control of the Army itself. We must envisage the possibility of a whole-time commander having complete charge in that type of action. He might have under his control in that type of action divisional and brigade commanders. I think it would be undesirable to create a situation in the Army where, through lack of co-ordinated control, some activity of the Army might break down. I am inclined to the view that we are not here dealing with far-flung armies or with a question of astronomical divisions. We are dealing with the question of a very limited number of men and divisions and I think that it would be necessary, in the event of some large-scale field activity, that there should be some officer specifically in command of the general action as distinct from having a number of unit commanders responsible to their own particular divisions. Is there any difference between putting one general officer in command of a particular field operation and putting a command O.C. in command of a brigade or a brigade O.C. in charge of a battalion?

I think the Deputy misunderstood what I said. Myobjection is to appointing somebody to command the whole Defence Forces. If this section is passed the Minister can appoint somebody to command the whole Defence Forces, including the Chief of Staff, the Adjutant-General and so on.

I think we are being too meticulous. In the ultimate analysis, if a question should arise as to whether the Minister is exercising this power of putting somebody in control of the Defence Forces, doubtless he will be able to establish that the necessity to do so has arisen. I cannot see the Minister going outside his Chief of Staff for the purpose of such an appointment.

The actual position is that I did delegate these powers to the Chief of Staff in the last emergency. These powers were delegated with certain safeguards and there could be no question of the Chief of Staff attempting to do something that should not be done. It was amply provided that the Chief of Staff should act within these safeguards and the arrangement worked satisfactorily. There was no question at any time of any difficulties between either the Minister, the Government or the Chief of Staff. There was purely a delegation of the powers of the Minister, with certain safeguards in certain circumstances, to the Chief of Staff. I do not think there is anything that we need worry about in that arrangement. This merely provides that we can do so again if the necessity should arise.

Amendment put and negatived.

The Dáil adjourned at 2 p.m., until Wednesday, 25th February, 1953, at 2 p.m.