Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Sale of Flags in Six Counties.

asked the Taoiseach if, in view of the fact that the British Legion are permitted to sell poppies in the Republic on behalf of British ex-servicemen and the fact that a number of Irish Army ex-servicemen are resident in the six north-eastern counties, he will make representation to the appropriate authority in the Six Counties for the sale of flags in the said area on Soldier's Day under the auspices of the Organisation of National Ex-servicemen.

asked the Taoiseach if, in view of the fact that the sale of poppies on 11th November is permitted in the Twenty-Six Counties, he will seek permission for the sale of flags in the Six Counties on behalf of the Organisation of National Ex-servicemen on Soldiers' Day.

With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to answer Questions Nos. 1 and 2 together.

If the Organisation of National Ex-servicemen desires to seek permission for the holding of a flag-day in the Six Counties on the 11th July next, the appropriate procedure would, I understand, be for the organisation itself to apply for a permit; it would not be proper for me to take the steps suggested in the questions.

Arising out of the Parliamentary Secretary's reply, let it be clearly understood that I have no objection to the collection of funds for the benevolent society of the British Legion down here, but I think the Parliamentary Secretary should make representation on behalf of the Organisation of National Ex-servicemen to the proper authority in the North supporting that body's application for permission to collect there for their benevolent fund.

Why should we assume the application will be refused?

We are not assuming that at all, but it will strengthen the application if it receives the support of some representations from this side.

If a body is capable of standing by itself I do not see why we should suggest weakness by giving it unnecessary props.

There will be very little use protesting after it is refused.

Let us see.