Go ndeonófar suim nach mó ná £334,400 chun slánaithe no suime is gá chun ochta an mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníochta i rith na bliana dar críoch an t-aonú lá is tríocha de Mhárta, 1962, le haghaidh Tuarastal agus Costas Oifig an Aire Gnóthaí Eachtracha agus Seirbhísí áirithe atá faoi riaradh na hOifige sin (Uimh: 16 de 1924), lena n-áirítear Deontais-i-gCabhair.
Le cead an Cheann Comhairle agus de réir an chleachtais a bhí ann sna blianta roimhe seo tá fúm an Meastachán le haghaidh Gnóthaí Eachtracha agus an Meastachán le haghaidh Comhar Idirnáisiúnta a thógáil le chéile.
£501,600 atá sa Mheastachán le haghaidh Gnóthaí Eachtracha. Is £42,470 de mhéadú glan é ar Mheastachán bunaidh na bliana seo caite agus is £26,695 de mhéadú glan é nuair a cuirtear Meastachán Forlíontach na bliana seo caite san áireamh.
Iséard is mó is cúis leis an méadú sin ná gur gá breis a sholáthar le haghaidh (1) tuarastail, pá agus liúntais (£22,970), (2) costas taistil agus fochostas thar lear (£6,000), (3) comhar cultúir le tíortha eile (£3,000), (4) ábhair fhaisnéise (£2,800), agus (5) aíocht oifigiúil (£3,000). Tá £1,500 curtha sa Mheastachán le haghaidh na Comhdhála Ceiltí: ní raibh a leithéid ann anuraidh.
An soláthar breise £22,970 le haghaidh tuarastail, pá agus liúntais, is mar seo a roinntear é: £7,600 le haghaidh na hAmbasáide i Lagos (Cónascadh na Nigéire), £2,300 toisc go mbeidh cónaí arís i Strasbourg ar an mBuan-Ionadaí chum Comhairle na hEorpa, agus £6,000 chun ceithre postanna nua a bhunú i bpríomh oifig na Roinne i mBaile Átha Cliath. Is chun gná-bhreisithe tuarastail agus árdaithe tuarastail an fuíollach.
Is deacair a mheas go cruinn cé mhéad is gá a sholáthar le haghaidh costas taistil agus fochostas thar lear mar gheall ar a fhorleitheadúla is atá na seirbhísí sin agus an t-athrú a thagann ortha ó am go céile. Mar sin féin, tá an claonadh chun breis chaiteachais in a leith—go pointe áirithe de bhrí go bhfuil costas taistil, teileagram agus teileafón méadaithe ar an gcoigrích. Baineann £2,370 den mhéadú £6,000 leis an Ambasáid i Lagos.
Déarfaidh mé focal ar ball mar gheall ar na suimeanna breise faoi na Fo-Mhírchinn C.1, C.2 agus C.3
Tionólfar an Chomhdáil Cheilteach anseo in Éirinn i mbliana agus, mar adúirt mé, tá suim £1,500 curtha sa Mheastachán mar Dheontas-i-gCabhair chun cuidiú le costais na Comhdhála a ghlanadh.
Maidir leis an Meastachán le haghaidh Comhar Idirnáisiúnta (Vóta 50), is lú de £27,220 glan an méid atá ag teastáil (£68,250) i gcomórtas leis an suim a soláthraíodh sa Mheastachán bunaidh anuraidh. Nuair a cuirtear Meastachán Forlíontach na bliana seo caite (£80,765) san áireamh, is lú de £107,985 an Meastachán so.
Tá Cáinaisnéis Chomhairle na hEorpa tar éis dul i méid. Mar sin beidh orainn ranníoch is mó de £700 ná ceann na bliana seo caite a íoc leis an Comhairle i mbliana.
Tá meastachán an ranníocha le haghaidh costas an Eagrais um Chomhar Eachnamaíochta san Eoraip bunaithe ar ranníoc na bliana 1960/61 agus an claonadh caiteachais atá ann le tamall anuas á chur san áireamh. Is dócha go nglacfaidh an t-Eagras um Chomhar agus Forbairt Eacnamaíochta áit an Eagrais sin sul i bhfad. Má thárlaíonn sin roimh dheireadh na bliana airgeadais seo agus, má bhíonn an tír seo ina comhalta den Eagras nua, iarrfar ar an Dáil, trí Mheastachán Forlíontach a thabhairt isteach, cead a thabhairt ranníoc a íoc leis an Eagras nua.
Maidir leis na Fo-Mhírchinn a bhaineann leis na Náisiúin Aontaithe, tá laghdú £30,390 dulta ar an ranníoc leis na Náisiúin Aontaithe agus laghdú £8,990 le haghaidh an Fhórsa Éigeandála na Náisiúin Aontaithe, mar fuarthas cead na Dála cheana féin, trí Mheastachán Forlíontach i leith le Vóta 1960-61, chun na ranníocanna so 1961 a dhíol roimh deireadh na bliana airgeadais seo caite: £34,825 a vótáladh le haghaidh na Náisiún Aontaithe agus £7,330 le haghaidh an Fhórsa Éigeandála. San am céanna vótáladh £27,700 le haghaidh ranníoca na tíre seo faoi chomhair costas imeachtaí na Náisiún Aontaithe sa Chongó (O.N.U.C.) i 1960: tá £10 curtha sa Mheastachán seo le haghaidh an ranníoca i mbliana. Tá méadaithe de £1,500 agus de £2,500, faoi seach, ar ár ranníocanna le Ciste Leanaí na Náisiún Aontaithe agus leis an nGníomhaireacht Fhóirthinte agus Oibreacha. Tá soláthar á dhéanamh den chéad uair le haghaidh ranníoca don Chiste Speisialta a úsáidtear chun cuidiú leis na réigiúin gan forbairt: £8,950 atá againn á chur ar fáil don Chiste.
The increase of £3,000 in the Grant-in-Aid for Cultural Relations with other countries will I am sure be a source of satisfaction to Deputies as it is to me. The first Grant-in-Aid in 1948/49 amounted to £10,000. In 1957/58 and 1958/59, however, it was found necessary, because of the difficult financial situation then prevailing, to reduce the Grant-in-Aid to a little over £2,000.
I need hardly stress to Deputies the national importance of disseminating abroad a wider knowledge of our cultural achievements both past and present.
In administering the Grant-in-Aid I have, of course, the benefit of the advice of the Cultural Relations Committee which is composed of persons of recognised competence in their respective fields. I wish to take advantage of the present opportunity to thank once more all those members who have in the past given such excellent service on this Committee and to express, at the same time, my appreciation of the generosity with which the present members are putting their time and knowledge at the disposal of the State.
Publicity can play an important part in the advancement of Irish economic interests abroad. My Department is devoting close attention to methods of improving the dissemination in foreign countries of information on Irish affairs, with the object of developing exports, tourism and foreign investment in the Irish economy. In order to enable the Information Section of the Department to extend its activities in this field the amount provided under this Subhead has been increased from £8,000 to £10,800 this year. During the years 1950/51 to 1956/57 the average amount provided under this heading was £10,000.
Approximately half of the sum mentioned will be devoted to the publication of the Department's Bulletin, a weekly information sheet circulated to some 10,000 addresses in all parts of the world. This bulletin is the main official medium for the dissemination of information on current affairs and Government policy to foreign newspapers, foreign Governments and influential friends of Ireland abroad.
The Information Section is also responsible for a series of other publications on Irish affairs, including an illustrated factual booklet which will be distributed in a few months' time through the Irish diplomatic and consular offices abroad. Films, photographs, books, gramophone records and other publicity media are likewise supplied to Irish offices overseas to meet requests from newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations and many other sources.
An important part of the Department's publicity work consists of the reception and briefing of the foreign journalists, economic writers, television and radio personnel and other visitors connected with publicity activities who are being attracted to this country in increasing numbers. In this, as in all other aspects of foreign publicity, we co-operate closely with the other Departments and the State-sponsored agencies active abroad in the context of the Government Programme for Economic Expansion.
The increased provision of £3,000 for official entertainment is required because distinguished visitors of various kinds are coming to Ireland in greater numbers and a greater number of international conferences are being held here. This is a development which is to be welcomed. It is all to the good that the important people and organisations in other countries should become better acquainted at first hand with our people, our way of life, our outlook and aspirations. In the current year we shall have had quite a number of very distinguished visitors, including the Papal Legates sent by His Holiness for the Patrician Year, the President of Tunisia, the President of Indonesia, the Prince and Princess of Monaco, the Prime Minister of Canada, the British Minister of Agriculture and the German Federal Foreign Minister.
Apart from the Patrician year celebrations a number of major conferences have already been held or will take place here during the year March, 1961 to March, 1962. Among them are:—
Conference of the British Section of the World Council of Churches; Congress of the Association of Attenders and Alumni of the Hague Academy of International Law; W.H.O./I.L.O. Seminar on the problem of Health Services in Small Factories; Congress of the International Seed Trade Federation; Convention of Lions International; Annual Conference of the Institute of Journalists; European Branch of the International Committee of Catholic Nurses; Congress and General Assembly of the Alliance Internationale de Tourisme; Meeting of the Executive Committee of the International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences; Meeting of the Society for Old Testament Study; Annual Meeting of the Cambrian Archaeological Association; International Catholic Boy Scout Conference; Triennial Congress of the International Alliance of Women; Conference of the Prehistoric Society of Great Britain; International Conference of Cardio-Vascular Surgeons; Annual meeting of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland; Meeting of the British Soil Science Society.
During the year there have been certain developments which are important for our tourist trade. The Council of Europe and the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation have repeatedly exhorted member countries to simplify their immigration regulations insofar as possible so that increased international travel may lead to greater mutual understanding between the peoples concerned.
Under arrangements recently made nationals of France, Belgium, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, who wish to come to Ireland for a visit not exceeding three months and who do not propose to take up employment here, may do so on production of the Identity Cards issued by their domestic authorities and a Visitor's Card issued by the Irish authorities. The latter document, which is intended for the use of Irish immigration officials, is supplied free of charge to the visitor. It is proposed to extend this arrangement to nationals of other Western European countries in the near future.
As regards visas, agreements for the total abolition of visas already exist with Belgium, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain. It has now been decided to abolish the visa requirement also in respect of nationals of Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Tunisia and Turkey.
In the spring of this year an international Conference on diplomatic relations was called by the United Nations at Vienna from 2 March to 18 April, 1961. It was attended by the Irish Minister to Switzerland and Austria and an official of the Department. Eighty-one Governments were represented. The Conference adopted a Convention on Diplomatic Relations, an Optional Protocol concerning the Acquisition of Nationality by Diplomats and their Families and another Optional Protocol concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes. The Convention and the Protocol on Disputes were signed, subject to ratification, by the Irish delegates.
The Convention deals generally with the establishment of diplomatic relations, the functions, duties and rights of diplomatic missions, the appointment, immunities and privileges of diplomats and their families, and similar questions. Until now, most of these matter have been based largely on practice and custom rather than Agreement, and even those which could be considered as of general acceptance were often imprecise in their character.
In connection with the ratification by Ireland of these agreements, the great majority of their provisions are already enforced here, and there is no difficulty for us in accepting them. It may be necessary, however, to clear up through legislation, a number of smaller matters. My Department is now considering this aspect.
The year 1960 saw a further substantial increase in the value of our exports—by almost 17%. This increase has been maintained so far this year, the value of total exports during the first five months being 20% greater than during the corresponding period of 1960. It is, of course, a function of my Department through its Mission abroad to explore all possibilities for expanding exports and to propose and arrange for the negotiation of trade agreements where these are calculated to serve this purpose. During the year, trade agreements were concluded with France, Western Germany and Finland, Spain, which became a full member of O.E.E.C. two years ago, has initiated moves for a substantial liberalisation of imports and the globalisation of bilateral quotas. This entails in the same cases the revision of bilateral trade agreements and we may find it necessary to re-negotiate our bilateral agreement with Spain.
In the agreement with Germany, provision was made for a three-year-understanding on trade exchanges with a clause for covering improved facilities for imports of Irish products into Germany. Arrangements were made at the same time for discussions with regard to items which are now liberalised in either country but which may be removed from liberalised lists. During the year discussions and a useful exchange of views also took place with Japan on matters of mutual interest in relation to trade matters.
It will be recalled that during the negotiations which culminated in the Supplementary Trade Agreement with Britain of April, 1960, arrangements were made for the establishment of a joint Committee on Economic Matters which would meet from time to time as circumstances required. This Committee met on a number of occasions in 1960 and other more restricted meetings have also been held.
As Deputies are aware, the Government decided last August to approach the Contracting Parties to the GATT with a view to seeking terms of accession which would ensure the maintenance of the special trade relations between this country and Britain enshrined in our trade agreements. Our application was discussed with the Contracting Parties in some detail last autumn. No conclusions were, however, then reached and the Contracting Parties proposed that the discussions be continued during the tariff negotiations which were due to begin on 1st January this year. In fact, however, these negotiations did not open until the end of May and it was then decided that our application would not be further considered until September.
When presenting the Estimates in June last year I spoke about the second Conference on the Law of the Sea which had been held in Geneva some months earlier and had concluded without, unfortunately, any agreement on the major issue of the extent of the territorial sea and exclusive fishery limits. I then repeated the Government's hope that it would be possible to secure agreement on extended fishery limits rather than to take unilateral action in this regard. I regret to say that, so far, there has been no significant progress towards an agreement. Attempts have, however, been made during recent months with the object of trying to secure more general acceptance of the U.S./Canadian proposal which fell short by only one vote of the requisite two-thirds majority at last year's Conference. There was also a meeting in The Hague some months ago of countries concerned with fishing in the North Sea. We participated in that meeting and our support for the U.S.-Canadian proposal was again made known. That proposal, as Deputies know, is for the extension of territorial waters from anything up to six miles with a total of twelve exclusive fisheries.
At a time when we are all conscious of the existence of a division in Europe, although there may be varying opinions as to its real significance, it is encouraging to be able to report a constant progress towards increased European co-operation within the Council of Europe. I think it can fairly be said that the last twelve months have witnessed a serious reassessment within the Council, more particularly on the Assembly side, of its true potentialities.
I may point to a significant departure which has just been initiated in the field of the Council's activities. I refer to the ad hoc Conferences of Specialised Ministers such as, for example, the Conference of Ministers for Education which was held in Hamburg in May and the Conference of Ministers for Justice held in Paris in June. These Conferences are still in an experimental stage and have not yet been institutionalised but we may look forward to considerable practical results from the increased understanding of each other's problems and the interchange of solutions which it seems reasonable to hope they will achieve. For example, ever closer co-operation in the sciences with a consequent elimination of waste and speeding-up of progress is essential if Europe is to maintain her traditional place in an increasingly competitive world. Countries like Ireland, above all, can gain much from such co-operation. To encourage it will be one of the chief tasks of the Council during the coming year and we expect that the meeting of Ministers for Education will have given a fresh impetus to the fulfilment of this task.
Again, the harmonisation of various laws in Member States at which the Council aims, will eliminate from the everyday lives of our citizens a multitude of inconveniences. In this field the Council has already accomplished much and it continues steadily, both through its Government experts and through its Parliamentary Committees, to lay the foundations of future progress. Perhaps not the least of the Council's accomplishments since its foundation has been to make public opinion aware not only of the need for, but of the practical possibility of, such harmonisation and co-ordination.
Under the auspices of the Cultural Fund, the Council is organising an exhibition of Romanesque Art in Spain this summer. Some of the outstanding exhibits will be on loan from this country and we may hope that in future exhibitions organised by the Council, this will continue to be the case. The opening for signature of the European Convention on the Academic Recognition of University Qualifications represents a further advance in the field of co-operation on higher education. It provides for the reciprocal recognition of non-professional university qualifications. I hope that Ireland may in the near future become a party to the Convention. Another Agreement open for signature concerns the duty-free importation of medical and surgical apparatus. This year also, as in previous years, Irish citizens will have the opportunity of seeking Council of Europe Fellowships which are intended primarily to encourage research into various aspects of European civilisation and the problems connected with European integration. These Fellowships are tenable for one year as from 1st January and are worth £438.
Perhaps I should also mention that during the year Mr. Martin Maguire, a former member of the Supreme Court was elected a member of the European Commission on Human Rights to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. James Crosbie. I would like to take this occasion to pay tribute to Mr. Crosbie for having served as the Irish member of the Commission for many years—years in which a number of very important cases came before the Commission including that affecting Mr. Gerard Lawless which only finally concluded after three and a half years on 1st of this month. I need hardly add that the favourable decision reached unanimously by the Court is a source of gratification to the Government.
In many other fields of practical interest, Conventions are under consideration covering such matters as the European Social Charter, the treatment of legal persons, consular regulations, arbitration in private law, standardisation of certain laws on patents for inventions, further expansion in the field of human rights and in the functions of the European Court of Human Rights, repairs of orthopaedic appliances for the war disabled, foreign money liabilities, liabilities of inn-keepers and punishment of road traffic offences. It is the purpose of these efforts to develop a deeper sense of co-operation and solidarity among the European Member States in accordance with the aims of the Statute of the Council of Europe.
I should now like to refer to the contributions we have made to the United Nations' effort in the field of international aid. The Dáil will be happy to learn that we have been in a position to maintain our contribution to the Office of the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees and to increase substantially our contributions to the United Nations' Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees and to the United Nations' Children's Fund. Deputies are aware of the magnificent response made by the Irish people to the appeal for the World Refugee Year. Ireland's contribution of over £71,000 collected entirely by voluntary subscription is a very significant one and the Irish Red Cross, who organised the national collection at the request of the Government, are to be congratulated on their achievement.
The major portion of this money has gone to the programme of the U.N. High Commissioner for the settlement of the refugees problem in Western Europe. As a direct result of the success of the World Refugee Year throughout the world rehabilitation and resettlement of refugees in Europe is now almost completed and the world conscience has been relieved of at least one specific burden of human misery. It is impossible of course to forget that there are many others. £15,000 of the Red Cross collection was placed by the High Commissioner at the disposal of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.
The following communication has been received from the Agency's headquarters:—
We are happy to be able to inform you now not only that we have received from them the generous contribution of £15,000 through the Office of the High Commissioner, but also that we plan to put this money towards doubling the capacity of our men's teacher training centre which opened in September in Ramallah, near Jerusalem, Jordan.
The opportunity to embark on this project is most welcome for there is an urgent need for trained teachers, not only in UNRWA schools, but in the Middle East in general, and the benefit will be reaped, not only among the refugees, but in the area as a whole.
Further subscriptions to the World Refugee Year received after its official closing date formed the nucleus of Irish aid to starving refugees in the Kasai Province in the Congo. Considerable as is the achievement represented by the Irish contribution to the World Refugee Year in terms of cash, I think the Dáil will agree with me that the year achieved even more significant success in awakening Irish public opinion to the effectiveness of international co-operation for the relief of suffering and hardship throughout the world. We are confident that the spirit of the World Refugee Year will continue to animate Irishmen and women in the future and will help to increase international understanding in all spheres for the common benefit of mankind.
During the past year Ireland has been called upon to play an enlarged and, I believe, a constructive role in international affairs. In the main this development arises from the changing world situation combined with the particular features which distinguish our position.
The past few years have seen the emergence to independence, without revolution or strife, of over 20 new nations, mainly in Africa. We in Ireland through our missionaries and teachers have many links with those countries: many of their prominent citizens have indeed been educated here. We welcome the achievement of their independence and sincerely hope that it will lead to prosperity and happiness for their peoples and by removing potential causes of friction, bring greater stability to the world. We recognise that they have immense difficulties to face, as have all new states in this rapidly changing world. In so far as a small country like ours can assist them in overcoming their problems we stand ready to help.
Prominent among the countries which attained independence within the past year is Nigeria. This is, of course, the country in which there is the greatest concentration of Irish missionaries and one with which we have many other close ties. The Government therefore, decided to open a mission in Lagos which will, I am confident, prove advantageous not only for the very large numbers of our nationals working in the Federation but in other ways also.
The attainment of sovereignty by the Belgian Congo was, as Deputies are aware, the prelude to much dissension and strife. It is idle to seek to apportion blame for events there. Rather must the aim be to provide the means for the restoration of order and development and for the Congolese people to work out their own future unhampered by outside interference. Last July the Dáil approved the dispatch of Irish troops to take part in the United Nations effort to achieve this objective. The problem has at times seemed very grave and even intractable. At present the outlook is somewhat brighter and there now appears good reason to hope that the determination of the vast majority of the members of the United Nations combined with the anxious care of the Secretary General will in time enable the Congo to conduct its own affairs with internal harmony and in accordance with the principles of the Charter.
We in Ireland can feel proud of the way our troops served the United Nations forces in the Congo and have helped in bringing about the improved situation there. We mourn the loss of our men who fell at Niemba as well as the tragic death of Colonel Justin McCarthy. We realise, however, that they died in a noble cause and that their names are inscribed in the Roll of Honour of those who rendered a vital service to the cause of true peace.
In the Congo, too, we have been honoured by the invitation to the Chief of Staff, Lt. General Seán Mac Eoin, to act as Commander of the United Nations Forces. More recently Dr. Conor Cruise O'Brien has been seconded to the United Nations Secretariat and has been assigned by the Secretary-General as his representative in Katanga.
It is not only in the Congo that we have undertaken increased responsibilities. Our Permanent Representative in New York, Mr. F.H. Boland, was elected President of the Fifteenth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, one of the longest and most contentious sessions in its history. While Ambassador Boland's task was at times extremely difficult it is generally recognised that he conducted the proceedings throughout with efficiency and impartiality. Finally, in order to solve a deadlock and at the urgent request of the Western European states we agreed to stand for a split-term vacancy on the Security Council for the year 1962. The voting will take place during the forthcoming General Assembly Session.
At its last session the Assembly endorsed, without a dissentient vote, an Irish resolution calling for the limitation of the further dissemination of nuclear weapons. This was the third occasion on which we brought before the Assembly the great dangers inherent in any increase in the number of states possessing nuclear weapons. Each year we have been able to secure additional support for our proposals to stop the spread of these weapons. This year, the Assembly passed a resolution calling on nuclear states, pending the negotiation of a general agreement, to undertake voluntarily and unilaterally not to supply nuclear weapons to other countries, and upon non-nuclear states to agree not to manufacture or acquire them. This is we believe a positive step towards an agreement and one which we hope will diminish the danger of nuclear war. It was indeed one of the few resolutions that emerged during the Session which had so many difficult problems to face and which found most of them, temporarily at any rate, insoluble.
Another suggestion on which our delegation concentrated during the last three sessions of the Assembly is the creation of areas of law in which arms would be limited, foreign troops excluded and disputes settled peacefully under the aegis of the United Nations and with the co-operation of the Great Powers. I am convinced that the gradual organisation of such areas, which is entirely in line with the United Nations Charter, would go far to reduce tension between the Great Powers, solve many of the most delicate and dangerous situations which threaten the peace, and lead ultimately to the rule of law and limited armament in the world as a whole.
The Delegation was also able to play what may, we hope, prove to be a useful and constructive rôle in a matter affecting two States with which we have traditionally warm and friendly relations. That was the question of South Tyrol which is the subject of dispute between Austria and Italy. The Irish Delegation presented a conciliatory draft resolution on this question which, after negotiation and some amendments, was passed unanimously. We hope that the negotiations which have opened as a consequence of this resolution will finally result in a solution acceptable to two States between whom friendly relations are so important at the present time.
As in previous years the Irish delegation, in association with a number of other countries, requested inscription on the Agenda of the Assembly of the item concerning the racial policies of the Government of South Africa and voted for the resolution condemning the system of apartheid. It did not, however, vote for the resolution calling for the severance of diplomatic ties with South Africa or for the imposition of sanctions since we believe that such measures would not accomplish their end and might, indeed, be self-defeating.
Another new danger spot exists in Angola. The distressing news of what is happening there is meagre but it seems only too true that there has been great loss of life. It is to be hoped that peace will speedily be made in line with the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council. During the last session of the Assembly we voted for a resolution which called upon the Government of Portugal to consider urgently the introduction of reforms in Angola and for the implementation of the Assembly resolution of 4th December, 1960, on the granting of independence to colonial peoples and countries.
I very much fear that the international situation in the months ahead will continue to be marked by tension, with the risk of anxious developments in various parts of the world. It is some comfort, however, to recall that the United Nations has been able to solve or alleviate many dangerous situations in recent years such as, in particular, the Suez crisis of 1956, the Lebanese crisis of 1958, and the crisis in the Congo. I am convinced that if the member nations work earnestly for the implementation of the Charter they can gradually solve the other serious problems which confront us. This year the Organisation and its loyal and devoted Secretary General have come under heavy attack from the Soviet Union and its allies. The Irish delegation vigorously supported Mr. Hammarskjoeld and the Secretariat against the attacks which if successful would have destroyed the effectiveness of the Organisation. We recognise of course that the United Nations has its defects but it represents the best prospect and indeed perhaps the only hope, for the evolution of world order based on justice and the rule of law.