Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 1968: Committee Stage (Resumed).

Question again proposed: "That the entry, as amended, relating to the constituency of Monaghan stand part of the Schedule."

Deputy L'Estrange reported progress.

I was pointing out last night that this entry is another typical example of Fianna Fáil butchering and gerrymandering. I said that the Minister had at least two other alternatives which would have avoided this ruthless butchering of constituencies. I do not think it is necessary now to occupy the time of the House by going back over all the facts and figures we produced to the Minister yesterday evening. We know they have a majority in the House and that it is their intention to bulldoze this Bill through.

At the same time, it might be no harm to point out to the House and to the people of the country that when Fianna Fáil came into office there were 61,000 people in the County of Monaghan but in the 1966 Census the population had dropped to 45,732. During those years Fianna Fáil have driven about 17,000 people out of that county alone. Due to their mismanagement of the affairs of the nation and due to their bad government they have driven out sufficient people to have an extra seat in Monaghan. It is entirely wrong for the Minister to get up in this House and try to foist the responsibility and the blame on the Opposition Parties and on the judgement of Mr. Justice Budd. The responsibility for the fact that there are fewer Deputies in rural Ireland today rests on the shoulders of the Minister and the Fianna Fáil Party——

That does not arise.

——because they have driven out those people——

The Leas-Cheann Comhairle ruled this out of order last night and I cannot see any reason for allowing the Deputy to continue with an irrelevant argument.

I have said all I want to say.

Deputy L'Estrange, of course, is well aware that no unnecessary butchering is being carried out. He is well aware that if it is now necessary to transfer portions of one county into another that is because he and his Party and the people in the referendum refused to accept a proposal which would make it unnecessary to do this except in cases where there would be a comparatively large deviation from the national average of population per Deputy.

He must also be aware of the stand his Party took on this matter when it was relevant. When it was proposed to do something about it the official Fine Gael attitude was that it was a matter of absolutely no importance whether a person voted in his own county or in an adjoining county. Yesterday I gave a quotation from Deputy Fitzpatrick's contribution on 28th May, 1968. I can give another quotation today from Volume 235, column 517 of the Official Report of 5th June, 1968, at which Deputy Fitzpatrick said:

I find it very difficult to believe that people have all that dislike of moving from one county to another. Really, the arguments that the Fianna Fáil Party in this House are prepared to adduce to justify these measures are amazing.

As lately as last June, Fine Gael said they found it an amazing suggestion that anyone would have any "dislike of moving from one county to another". It was because they succeeded in getting that attitude accepted by the people that we are now precluded from leaving these people to vote in their own county. Although we have a three-seat constituency based on each of these five counties still, in order to satisfy the whims of the Fine Gael Party, it is necessary to require people from one county to vote in another county.

(Cavan): We are now dealing with the entry in the Schedule relating to Monaghan. I readily concede that I said all I had intended to say in relation to the constituencies of Cavan, Meath and Monaghan when dealing with the entry in the Schedule relating to Meath yesterday. Apparently, for some queer reason best known to himself, the Minister for Local Government wants to drag this thing on. If he does not I must say I am quite prepared to co-operate with him. My position has always been quite clear in relation to the county boundaries. I say it is desirable to maintain county boundaries but it is not fundamental.

When we were dealing with the referendum we were dealing with something which was absolutely fundamental. We were dealing with the type of electoral system which we were going to have here. We were considering whether or not we would authorise the present Minister for Local Government to decide that as few as 16,000 people approximately would qualify for a TD in one area but that the same Minister might make the figure 23,000 in another area. Fine Gael thought that was fundamentally wrong and we told the people we thought it was fundamentally wrong. The people accepted our advice and rejected the advice of the Minister and his colleagues.

That was dealing with fundamentals. The Minister was ordered by the people, or at least his Government were ordered by the people to come in here and prepare a reasonable scheme of constituencies having regard to the decision of the people that they wanted proportional representation retained and that they wanted the constituencies defined within the decision of the Supreme Court in 1961.

I take it the Deputy is now referring to the constituency of Monaghan which is before us. This is not a general debate.

(Cavan): I fully appreciate that but every time the Minister gets up he has a record which he plays which says because the people said something in 1968 he has to do what he is doing now. Every time he plays that record I find it necessary to put the record right by correcting him. I am saying now it was quite unnecessary, as a result of the decision of the people on 16th October last, for the Minister to introduce here the type of monstrosity he has introduced and the type of monstrosity the Taoiseach and himself committed themselves to introduce before the referendum.

I say in relation to the constituency of Monaghan and the constituency of Meath, as amended, the Minister could have produced, had he wanted to do so, a much more reasonable scheme, much more reasonable constituencies. I said yesterday that due to the types of land and the types of farming in Monaghan and in Meath the people have very little in common. They are engaged in different types of farming and they have different types of farms. Monaghan is predominantly a pig-rearing county. It might be said that by and large pig-rearing is unheard of in Deputy Tully's county of Meath. Monaghan is largely a milk-producing area but Meath does not go into milk production at all. They have nothing in common.

I pointed out that Louth and Meath have a great deal in common from the geographical point of view and from the industrial and agricultural point of view. I suggested to the Minister it would have been much more reasonable for him to have had some such arrangement as has been outlined here between Louth and Meath and I pointed out that I had no personal axe to grind in regard to this. The Minister could quite conveniently have had the constituency of Monaghan and Cavan where from the agricultural and the land point of view the people have a great deal in common. I said that they have been operating a joint hospital board for many years and they come into contact with each other to a great extent. They belong to the same province. They are both counties of small farmers. They are both heavily engaged in pig production and milk production. Indeed, up to recently both counties went in for grass seed production which is a type of farming which is practically unheard of in the greater portion of the rest of the country with the exception, perhaps, of Donegal.

I said yesterday if the Minister wanted to be reasonable and to do the reasonable thing he could have joined Monaghan and Cavan together. Whether or not I believe the county boundaries are vital and sacrosanct there is no doubt the Minister does if we are to believe him because the Minister and the Taoiseach are on record throughout last year as committing themselves to the statement that county boundaries should not be disturbed. I am sure the Minister does not deny that that was his gospel last year, that he preached that in this House throughout most of last year and also up and down the country in conventions launching the referendum campaign. The Taoiseach did likewise.

I am sure the Minister would not say, or maybe he will say, that he is fully converted to a new belief that county boundaries do not matter at all. I have made my position clear about them. I do not believe they are fundamental. I believe if they can be conveniently retained they should be retained. I repeat that the Minister's position on county boundaries is clear or it was clear and there can be no doubt about it. Here he is, for some reason best known to himself, splitting up the county of Meath between Cavan and Monaghan. Not alone is he doing that in the entry for Monaghan, which we are now dealing with, but—outside Leitrim I do not think the like of this has happened in the country—the Minister is putting a bit of Louth into Monaghan and a bit of Meath into Monaghan and he is also putting a bit of Meath into Cavan. If the Minister wants to keep this debate going on those lines, I will certainly facilitate him.

The Minister seems to have committed an absolute somersault on the question of county boundaries. He conceded yesterday there are more ways of doing this than one. He conceded he could have constituencies by dealing with the counties Louth and Monaghan and with the counties Cavan and Monaghan and in that way there would be far less disturbance. The Minister also said that he had stated that people had no objection to being shifted about. If you transfer people from one county to another then transfer them in a direction that they would usually travel; do not transfer them in an unnatural direction.

I want to go on record as saying that to transfer people from Meath to Monaghan is to transfer them from one province to another, from one type of county to another and it is transferring them in a direction which they would normally never travel. It cannot be denied that Meath people and Louth people gravitate towards Dublin rather than towards the North of Ireland. That is the sort of complaint I am making. That is the sort of unreasonable approach to this matter by the Minister that I want to expose. I confess that I thought I had done it adequately on the Meath entry yesterday but here we have the Minister bouncing in again with the same old hackneyed arguments he made yesterday, relying on the same arguments in relation to the referendum and in relation to the decision of the High Court, neither of which hold water.

I say that it is patently obvious that the Minister sought to punish the people of the country in general because they did not accept his advice and that he thinks that, by these unnatural distortions and unnatural carving-up of counties and constituencies, he will reap some political benefit for himself by way of gerrymandering —as the Taoiseach had in mind when he wrote his expensive pamphlet The Reasons Why. It will be seen from that document that the Taoiseach warned the people that, if there was not a commission, presided over by a judge, there would be gerrymandering —and here we have it——

We seem to be getting away from the motion before the House relating to Monaghan.

I appreciate that, since Deputy Fitzpatrick was here for only an hour or two yesterday, he may not fully be aware that those whom he left behind to carry on this debate until such time as he would find it convenient to return to the House, repeated this same type of dishonest allegation that he gave to them as their cue in the short period he was here.

(Cavan): I give my constituents great attention.

Even if Deputy Fitzpatrick was not here to hear Deputy L'Estrange, and others whom Deputy L'Estrange was able to force into the House yesterday, he was here when Deputy L'Estrange repeated this allegation yesterday. Therefore, he knows it is incorrect to accuse me of getting up unnecessarily to repeat the refutation of these allegations that Deputy L'Estrange made at his instigation. Nobody knows better than Deputy Fitzpatrick that there is no desire on my part to drag this out. Because Deputy Fitzpatrick did not find it convenient to attend to his duties here in the House for the past two weeks, he had to obtain assistance from Deputy L'Estrange to ensure that this would be kept going until such time as Deputy Fitzpatrick would be present.

(Cavan): I give my constituents great attention —with tremendous effect.

If Deputy Fitzpatrick will look at the report of the debate which took place here yesterday he will note the strain on the resources of the Fine Gael Party yesterday in order to keep this debate going to suit Deputy Fitzpatrick's convenience.

(Cavan): Is this relevant to Monaghan?

It is dealing with the beginning of Deputy Fitzpatrick's last contribution when he accused me of wanting to drag on this debate. Deputy Fitzpatrick went on to say that his position on this question of the breaching of county boundaries has always been clear. To a certain extent, I would agree with that. Certainly, during the debate on the proposal to amend the Constitution in order to permit of consideration being given to the question of county boundaries, his position was perfectly clear to me. His position, and the position of his Party, at that time was that these were matters of no account. I would say that his position now is reasonably clear to me also. His position, and the position of his Party, now is that these are matters of great account and that they should not be breached at all.

(Cavan): What is the Minister's view?

His position now is the direct opposite of what it was in May and June, 1968, and right up to October, 1968. My view, on the other hand, has not changed, My view in 1961 was the same as the view of the then Minister for Local Government— that these were matters of importance —and, in 1959, that these were matters of importance and that it was desirable to adhere to county boundaries as far as possible; that there was nothing undemocratic in having a slightly smaller population per Deputy in one county than in an adjoining county and that there was nothing so undemocratic in that as to require the uprooting of people from one county and their transfer into another. That was why my predecessor in 1959 introduced constituencies that did not do any of these anomalous things that are being done today, as in 1961. That was my view then and that was my view in May and June of last year when Deputy Fitzpatrick held the opposite view— that it was undesirable to breach county boundaries unless there would be some comparatively large difference in the population per Deputy between different areas—and that is my view now. But, in the meantime, the view that Deputy Fitzpatrick had in May and June, 1968, prevailed, and the people have endorsed it. I am accepting that view. I am introducing this Bill because the Constitution requires it.

Deputy Fitzpatrick went on to say that the referendum dealt with the electoral system. Deputy Fitzpatrick knows, of course, that that is not so. He knows that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill dealt with the electoral system. He knows that the Third Amendment of the Constitution Bill dealt with the subject that we are actually discussing here and that he recommended that the permission that we sought to exercise very small amounts of deviation from our national average, for specified purposes, be refused by the people. Deputy Fitzpatrick knows it is incorrect to say that, if that amendment was passed, the Minister could decide to utilise for Party political purposes the small amount of deviation that was proposed. He knows that the Bill proposed to write into the Constitution that this deviation could be exercised only for clearly specified reasons.

I thoroughly agree with Deputy Fitzpatrick that the Government have been ordered by the people to prepare a reasonable scheme in accordance with the constitutional provisions. That is exactly what is being done and what has to be done. I agree, again, that many alternative schemes could be produced but, in my opinion, any of the large number of alternatives that have emanated from the Fine Gael benches are more unreasonable and more undesirable than what has been put forward. Again, I agree that this is a matter of opinion. Our opinion is that the type of solution that has been put forward from the Opposition benches would be worse than this and would be attacked much more severely if it had emanated from here.

It is not true, as Deputy Fitzpatrick says, that the county of Meath has been split for some reason known only to myself. Part of Meath has been added to Cavan and part to Monaghan because the population of Cavan— 54,022—is too small for a three-seat constituency and the population of Monaghan—45,732—even when added to by the transferred population from Louth which is already there, is too small for a three-seat constituency. Deputy Fitzpatrick says that I should have tranferred the population from Meath to Dublin where they would naturally go.

(Cavan): I did not say any such thing.

The point is that it was Cavan and Monaghan which had a deficiency of population and not Dublin. In Dublin, the opposite was the case. It was necessary to allocate four extra seats to Dublin without transferring any population from Meath.

The Minister has transferred 20,000 people to Birmingham and Manchester during the past 20 years.

(South Tipperary): The Minister is tending to cause confusion as regards this entire Bill and the thinking that is behind it. He says that he believed back in 1960 or 1961 that county boundaries were important; he says he believed it when the referendum was under discussion here and he says that he still believes it. He claims, however, that the people have given a contrary decision and that the result of the referendum may be interpreted as meaning that the people have said to him that they do not care about county or local authority boundaries and that he may go ahead and break them up as he wishes. This is the interpretation which he has deliberately put on the referendum and this is the defence that he offers for doing what he is doing now to this particular constituency and to the constituencies that we have discussed here during the past couple of days.

I disagree entirely. This is a question of interpretation of the people's decision and which is important and relevant to this Bill. The people did not say that county boundaries were unimportant. They merely refused to accept the Third Amendment which the Minister claimed was calculated to preserve the all-important county boundaries. The people did not believe the first and they took no notice of the second as a consequence. They rejected the third because they beleived that the purpose behind it was gerrymandering. The Minister has used this wrong interpretation of the people's decision to justify this gerrymandering Bill that he is now bulldozing through the House.

(Cavan): This dreary debate is really clarifying the position somewhat because at last we have the Minister pinned down to this point—that in 1961 he believed that county boundaries should be breached only for important reasons, that last year his opinion on county boundaries was the same and that today it is still the same. It does not matter what my opinion is but that is the opinion of the Minister for Local Government. He says that the people, on 16th October, told him to do what he is doing. The people told him no such thing. They told him to introduce a reasonable scheme of constituencies under the law as it stands. The Minister concedes that there are many ways of doing this but he picks on the most absurd one.

For political reasons.

(Cavan): He knows well that it was not necessary to have done all the butchering that he has done. We are labouring this point on this particular entry, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, because nowhere is it more evident than in relation to Meath which is tied up with the constituency of Monaghan with which we are now dealing. He cut Meath into three, part of it for Monaghan, part of it for Cavan and part of it for Meath. This was utterly unnecessary.

The next point which the Minister did not deal with in relation to my last remarks was why, if he is determined to change people from one county to another, he does not change them in a natural direction. I did not suggest, as the Minister knows perfectly well, that he should take people from the constituency of Meath and put them in Dublin. I did say that people from Louth and Meath move in that direction and what I did suggest was that a scheme for the constituency in relation to Louth and Meath should be linked up with those two counties because they are natural associates of the same province, et cetera.

Now that the Minister is doing something in this Bill in which he does not believe, we have unnecessary carving up of counties and if we find somebody doing something in which he does not believe, we must assume that he is doing it for some ulterior motive and the ulterior motive here is obviously for political party advantage. That is what was meant when the word "gerrymander" was coined around Senator Gerry from Massachusetts who wanted to get unfair political advantage for his own party.

There is no denying that as regards this constituency of Monaghan, the gerrymandering and the butchering that have been done there have been done for political purposes, to try to keep Deputy Childers, the Minister for Transport and Power, and Deputy Patrick Mooney in Leinster House. If we had a reasonable Minister for Local Government, out of all the alternatives which have been put to him he could have drawn up a reasonable scheme that would be acceptable to all Parties in the House. He has stated that Fine Gael proposed alternatives but that these alternatives were more unreasonable than his own scheme.

The Chair would like to draw attention to the fact that there seems to be repetition of the same argument with regard to the entry before the House.

The Minister has made those observations and he has got away with it. The Minister believes that if he says a thing often enough and tries to misrepresent the people on this side of the House often enough, some people may believe him.

The people on the other side of the House are past masters at that.

We could learn a lesson from you. You have a President in the Park and I remember his speech when he promised to abolish the Border and to restore the Irish language. Where are those promises today?

The Deputy will have to keep to the Schedule.

They broke every major promise they made to the Irish people.

The Deputy will have to keep to the Schedule.

To come back to this entry, I think it is quite reasonable for us to put forward the alternative proposals we have put to the Minister.

The Chair is not saying the Deputy has no right to do that. What the Chair is saying is that we seem to be repeating the arguments which have been made in regard to the entry.

We want to put before the Minister the proposal we mentioned last night when we were discussing another constituency, the constituency of Meath. We suggested that if a small portion of Meath was put into Louth and Louth made a four-seat constituency, it would be much better because we would be transferring only 8,568 people, whereas in the Minister's scheme it is proposed, for political Party purposes and none other, to get the maximum number of seats with the minimum number of votes, by transferring 22,084 people. How can the Minister tell me that his scheme, which is butchering the constituencies, which is taking in part of Meath——

The Chair would again point out that this seems to be a repetition of the arguments which have already been put.

Yes, when we were discussing Meath. However, if the Minister claims our scheme is unreasonable, we are prepared to put on the records of the House that we believe a scheme that would mean transferring only 8,000 is much more reasonable than the Minister's scheme which envisages the transfer of over 22,000 people.

I am surprised to see Deputies so much annoyed about County Monaghan. From Enniskeen to the bottom of County Cavan represents a distance of 142 miles. The distance from Dublin to Galway is 130 miles, so if you put Monaghan and Cavan together you would have a constituency far longer than from Dublin to Galway.

The Deputy forgot about the Border.

You have forgotten about it for the last 40 years. You will never be let forget about it. The Minister has threatened to establish a second Republican Party if the Taoiseach does not do something about abolishing the Border.

Deputy Mooney is entitled to speak.

(Interruptions.)

You need not talk about the Border. You made good use of the Border. I never smuggled anything across the Border.

I will tell the Deputy something if he does not shut his mouth. I know something about him, and it will not do him much good.

Some people grew rich.

Do not start that dirt or we shall talk about Belgrave Road.

Say anything you like.

The Deputy says things under the protection of the House that he would not say outside.

You made well out of the Border.

You are vulnerable.

The breadth of the constituency——

(Interruptions.)

Surely the people from Monaghan have a right to have a say in the making of their own constituency? You are not denying that?

Why does the Deputy not shut his mouth? If Monaghan and Cavan were put together the breadth of the constituency would be 140 miles. That would be an excessive distance to have to travel. Some Deputies mentioned the Protestant section of the people. I have many friends among this section of the community. We would do nothing to interfere with them. That is only a political stunt of Fine Gael.

I know this whole area very well, and there is no necessity for Deputy Hogan coming from Tipperary to tell us what to do in County Monaghan. We are not interfering with Tipperary. Deputy Fitzpatrick is very keen on putting Monaghan and Cavan together which, as I say, is 142 miles long. What sense would there be in having a constituency like that? Where would the people ever get a Deputy in an area that size?

Deputy Fitzpatrick has been the cause of all this. He stood up in this House all last summer advocating that the people should vote "No" in the referendum. If he had asked them to vote "Yes" on the Third Amendment and "No" on the Fourth Amendment it would have been sensible, but he was afraid PR would be lost. They did not get any help from the Labour Party on this issue either, and so Fine Gael told the people to vote "No" on both issues. I would advise Deputy Fitzpatrick to leave Monaghan and Cavan alone. Joining them would only mean longer distances to be travelled by the people living in them in order to look for TDs when they want them.

(Cavan): Deputy Mooney has shown a keen interest in this matter. I am very interested to know that he credits me with such powers of persuasion that I was able to carry the referendum. What puzzles me is that, if Deputy Mooney was so interested in the tolerance issue, why he did not come into the House all last summer and put his weight behind the Minister and support the proposal——

I did not need any support.

(Cavan):——which he was putting to the country.

The Minister did not get much.

(Cavan): I did not interrupt the Deputy when he was making his maiden speech.

I was here long before the Deputy was.

And he will be here after the Deputy.

(Cavan): He is a marginal Deputy.

We have two seats out of three which is more than Fine Gael ever had.

(Cavan): He had not half the votes in the county the last time. Perhaps that has something to do with the measure we are debating now. Deputy Mooney is talking about the difficulties of Deputies representing a constituency if it is too big. Deputy Mooney is the only resident Deputy in County Monaghan at the present time. Deputy Childers, the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, resides in Dublin, as Deputy Tully told us yesterday, and Deputy Dillon resides in Ballaghderreen, and this was pointed out yesterday when Deputy Mooney was not here——

The Deputy was not here long himself.

(Cavan): Do not worry about me. I would not want to sit in the House all the time to reply to the Minister's arguments, especially when I have more important constituency work to attend to. The Minister plays the same record every time he gets up, and, having heard it once, all I have to know is whether the Minister for Local Government has spoken since I was there, because it is a certainty he will say the same thing. It was pointed out yesterday when Deputy Mooney was not here——

If the Deputy makes the same accusations he will get the same reply. Say something new.

(Cavan): The Minister for Local Government spoke for seven hours. At any rate we were pointing out yesterday that three Deputies in Cavan all reside on the Monaghan border. Deputy Mooney is one of the Deputies who do not like work.

We are not discussing Deputies. We are discussing the entry relating to Monaghan.

(Cavan): I am entitled to answer Deputy Mooney's questions. He is one of the Deputies who do not like work.

The Chair would appeal to Deputies generally to avoid personalities in discussing a measure such as this.

(Cavan): I am afraid——

Deputy L'Estrange had to send out for the Deputy. The Deputy was gone.

The Minister could not get a single Minister or Parliamentary Secretary to replace him. The Minister sent his Fianna Fáil Whip out but none of them would come to do his dirty work. They left him here from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. yesterday.

Deputy Fitzpatrick is in possession.

(Cavan): If the Minister is so interested in my activities I can tell him I was on the telephone dealing with another constituency matter. I give my constituency great attention. It does not matter whether the matter is big or small.

It is lately it happened. There must be an election coming up.

(Cavan): I have put on record here that I was dealing with Meath today in relation to Monaghan and saying that it was quite unnecessary to carve up Meath in the way it is carved up. I do not know whether Deputy Mooney is of the opinion that there is something in common between Meath and Monaghan. I do not think there is. I pointed out that there is a different type of farming in each of these areas and that the people are completely different in agricultural outlook. I pointed out that, generally speaking, Meath people never gravitate towards Monaghan; they gravitate towards Louth or Dublin. I think that is a reasonable argument and that is the sort of argument I was putting up. The constituency of Meath has been unnecessarily butchered for this reason. Deputy Mooney has shown a particular interest in this matter and he is quite entitled to do so as he is a Deputy for the constituency. The mystery of it is that he did not carry on the same campaign last year. He might have been able to save the Minister from such a catastrophic defeat. The Minister and Deputy Mooney know that in the constituency of Monaghan at the last general election the Fianna Fáil Party had a minority of the votes but through some strange happening——

Proportional representation.

(Cavan):——they got two seats.

Proportional representation.

(Cavan): The Minister still has not accepted the opinion of the people. The Fianna Fáil Party found themselves in the constituency of Monaghan in a minority with a couple of hundred votes less then the Fine Gael Party and they found it necessary to do something. Deputy Mooney is anxious to get a life-raft thrown to him in any shape or form.

What about Carnew?

(Cavan): The Parliamentary Secretary had a close run there.

I had a bigger surplus.

Deputy Fitzpatrick.

(Cavan): The Parliamentary Secretary and Deputy Mooney get annoyed about this. The Parliamentary Secretary will be busy enough looking after Wicklow. The Parliamentary Secretary has brought in here statements about Cavan and the last election. I know it is annoying but I have to refer to it. In 1961 there was a general election and, in Cavan, the Fine Gael vote was, in round figures, 7,000. There was a general election in 1965 and in Cavan the Fine Gael vote was 10,050. It went up by 50 per cent and we were within a whisker——

The Chair would appeal to Deputies to co-operate in trying to get the discussion on this matter to move forward.

(Cavan): I certainly will co-operate, but I want to put the record right in view of the Parliamentary Secretary's foolish interjection about this Cavan constituency. In the same contest the Parliamentary Secretary's Party lost a seat. That is the reason very particular care was given to the constituency of Cavan and the constituency of Monaghan by the Minister for Local Government in this measure. That is the very reason. I am glad it has been possible for me to say that. In my opinion they should have lost a seat at the last election. There was a minority of votes for Fianna Fáil. In Cavan they did, in fact, lose a seat. There is the cat out of the bag. Deputy Mooney wants to stay in the House and I do not blame him for that but he is taking a particular interest in this because in some way or another he sees his personal political survival depending on it.

Not at all. What are you getting from me?

(Cavan): So far as I can hear, the Deputy and the Minister are not waiting for the Bill to become law. They are reconnoitring up there and making a gallant effort to find out all about me. They might have the common decency to wait until the Bill becomes law before they set out on that business. That was brought about by Deputy Mooney's interjection.

A Leas-Cheann Comhairle, I want once again to refute Deputy Hogan's allegation that I am doing anything to cause confusion with regard to this Bill. On the contrary, the large number of people that Deputy L'Estrange has been able to coerce into coming in here on the Fine Gael side have all been putting forward their own piecemeal solutions for different parts of the country without any coordination whatever. Any confusion there may be is obviously on the Fine Gael side of the House. I have never said that the people decided in the way that Deputy Hogan said, that they decided that county boundaries should be breached or made any positive decision. The decision they made at the request of the Opposition Parties was that the Government may not operate any significant deviation from the national average of population per Deputy in order to avoid the breaching of county boundaries. Deputy Hogan knows that he is wrong when he says that there was any proposal in the Third Amendment of the Constitution Bill to operate a rural versus urban bias. He knows that that is not so, that the proposed small deviation from the national average of population per Deputy could only be operated to take account of clearly specified reasons and that the question of giving greater representation to rural areas as opposed to urban areas was not one of those reasons and that therefore it could not be utilised for that purpose. Knowing that to be flase he comes in here again making this deliberate false allegation because of the fact that he is benefit of any other ideas to prolong this debate and postpone the enactment of this legislation and postpone the revision of the constituencies——

He has plenty of ideas. He wrote a book on it.

——and prepare the way for the holding of the next general election in the vain hope, I suppose, that Fine Gael will be able to resolve their internal differences before that time comes and possibly even in the hope that even at this late stage they may be able to make some new rapprochement with their former coalition Parties. I think I have made it clear what my opinion is with regard to this matter of county boundaries: that they should be adhered to in so far as is possible. I have said that that opinion of mine has not changed, that county boundaries are important but the decision that has been given to me is that I may not deviate significantly from the national average of population per Deputy in order to adhere to county boundaries.

(Cavan): The Chief Justice said otherwise.

In those circumstances I approached this task of revising the constituencies with the objective of breaching county boundaries only where it was required in order to achieve near equality of population per Deputy.

I have said a number of times that I agree there are many solutions but I do not think any solution has been put forward that is as reasonable and as workable as the one that we have put forward in this Bill. It is necessary now to breach county boundaries in this case because of the fact that the population of Cavan and the population of Monaghan——

You have driven out 50,000 from this area.

——are not sufficient and because of the fact that we decided that this monstrosity of a constituency, which Deputy Fitzpatrick wants for his own benefit, of Monaghan and Cavan should not be created.

I was interested to hear Deputy Fitzpatrick saying that the people of one county should be joined to other areas towards which they naturally gravitate. I do not think the people of Enniskeen naturally gravitate towards Dowra. There is no need for Deputy Fitzpatrick or anybody else to point out that I do not believe in this policy of breaching county boundaries. There is no ulterior motive involved now that it is being done in a number of cases in this Bill. The only reason it is being done is that the Constitution requires it to be done.

Deputy L'Estrange's allegation that these areas of County Meath are being added to Cavan and Monaghan for political purposes in order to regain the seat that was lost in Cavan at the last election and in order to retain the two seats that we have held for some considerable time in Monaghan is a rather peculiar allegation because the two Opposition Deputies from County Meath have claimed that these areas are the areas where they get their major support. Deputy Farrelly and Deputy Tully are both on record as saying that these areas of County Meath have been selected for extradition from County Meath because of the fact that these are the areas where they get their support. I must say I think it is a great tribute to the effectiveness of Deputy Mooney and his colleague, the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs and Transport and Power, to assume, as Deputy Fitzpatrick and Deputy L'Estrange do now, that these traditional supporters of Deputy Farrelly and Deputy Tully who will now be voting in the county of Monaghan will naturally vote for Deputy Mooney and Deputy Childers.

Indeed, more direct evidence of that belief amongst the Fine Gael Party than what Deputy Fitzpatrick and Deputy L'Estrange have said is that the result of that proposal in so far as the Fine Gael Deputy for County Monaghan is concerned is that he decided not to contest the next election at all.

(Cavan): What about Deputy Lemass? You drove him out, according to my information.

If Deputies opposite can think of no other way of keeping this debate going until such time as the frantic efforts of Deputy L'Estrange over the past two weeks to get sufficient of his Deputies here for a vote are successful maybe we might reach some other arrangement that would not involve this interminable wrangling with the Chair about irrelevancy. Maybe if Deputy L'Estrange could now give an estimate of what he would consider a reasonable total of Fine Gael Deputies in the House we might adjourn until such time as his efforts meet with this small amount of success. If Deputy L'Estrange would tell us how many Deputies he wants here and when he thinks he will have them——

You are talking through your bloody hat. I have not been in the Party Room today. I was talking to one of the reporters outside the door who wanted some information. You are talking through your hat.

——we might adjourn. How many do you want? I believe you got 12 yesterday and I actually counted 15 here today.

You were beaten by 234,000 in the country and that is what has gone to your head.

If I could suggest different tactics by Deputy L'Estrange—I counted 15 here today—if he could hold them and get five or six more, would that not be enough?

I will mind my own business. You mind yours.

I suspect what they are at is what Deputy Fitzpatrick suggested Deputies Mooney and Childers are at, they are trying to get themselves known in the new constituencies that it is proposed to create and possibly they are even doing what has kept Deputy Fitzpatrick out of this House while this Bill was being debated, trying to catch up on the arrears of work for their present constituents that they should have been doing for the past three or four years. Deputy Fitzpatrick was able to spend a reasonable amount of time in the House before but now he has to be running out on constituency business that, if he managed his affairs properly, he would have finished long ago.

He had to travel 80 miles to his constituency last night, leaving at 9 o'clock.

It is quite natural that Deputy Mooney should show a keen interest in his constituency. His contribution here was quite a useful one. He demonstrated more effectively than I could the absurdity of the solutions for his area put forward by Fine Gael Deputies.

I can only say that the solid and continuous support Deputy Mooney gets in his constituency is a tribute to his continous activity on behalf of his constituents and that is why, no doubt, he can still get 5,000 more votes than Deputy Fitzpatrick can get in his constituency. It is not surprising, therefore, that Deputy Fitzpatrick is making such a desperate effort to annex another county, with which he apparently has associations, in order to improve his vote.

(Cavan): I will let the Minister in on a secret. Part of our object here in analysing this Bill as closely as we are doing, with particular reference to this entry, is to encourage the Minister to talk and to talk and to talk, because we know from experience that on the eve of a national contest the more the Minister talks the better it is for us. He talked in this House for months last year and the result was that his Party were defeated to the tune of a quarter of a million votes. We will have another national contest this year and I believe if we can persuade the Minister to come in here and to talk as he is doing now he will antagonise the people to such an extent that it will do us incalculable good and his Party irreparable harm.

Question put and declared carried.
ROSCOMMON.

Amendments Nos. 26 and 27 have already been discussed.

I move amendment No. 26:

In page 13, in the first column, to delete "Roscommon" and to insert "Roscommon-Leitrim".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 27:

In page 13, in the second column of the entry relating to Roscommon, to delete "Clare-Galway" and to substitute "Clare-South Galway".

Amendment agreed to.
Question proposed: "That the entry, as amended, relating to the constituency of Roscommon stand part of the Schedule."

This is most blatant. It is the worst type of gerrymander perpetrated.

Here we go again.

It is typical of a Party and a Minister who are fighting for their political survival. We know that the Fianna Fáil Party and their mohair boys are fighting for their political survival. We know, as the Minister for Agriculture told his Ard-Fheis, that many of them had not seats to their trousers a few years ago and there is no doubt they will go to any length to gerrymander constituencies to hold on to representation and to do what harm they can to Deputies who differ from them. In one part of this constituency, 1,975 voters are being put into Clare-Galway. In another area, 4,884 people are being put into North-East Galway and in another area 3,474 are being put into North-East Galway. Then, to bolster up the chances of Deputy Lenihan, the Minister for Education, the great promiser, 4,024 people are to be taken from his home town in Westmeath and put into Roscommon. The county is being mutilated to help the chances of Fianna Fáil.

At the other end of the county, Leitrim has been liquidated. It was not enough for Fianna Fáil, since they came to power in 1932, to drive more than 20,000 people from lovely Leitrim. In 1932, the population of that county was 55,907. Now, because of Fianna Fáil maladministration and bad government, the population has been reduced to 30,570, more than 20,500 of its people having gone to Liverpool, Birmingham, Coventry and other places.

In respect of this constituency, we have put forward different propositions and we have shown how, without interfering unduly with the constituencies, with only a few minor changes, Roscommon and Leitrim could have been made a five-seat constituency; a small part of Leitrim in the north could have gone to Donegal; Sligo could have been left a three-seater; Mayo could have been left a five-seater and Galway could have been divided into two constituencies of three and four seats respectively. Of course, that would not suit Fianna Fáil because when there is so much at stake—let it be learned that in the coming election there is a good deal at stake for Fianna Fáil Deputies and for the mohair boys now attached to them —Fianna Fáil have no hesitation in adopting this tactic. They are now the Party of the "haves". After the Ard-Fheis they adjourned to the Shelbourne and the Hibernian hotels.

This has nothing to do with the Schedule.

Fianna Fáil know that if they do not get extra seats in the west some of their Deputies will have to go back and work for their living instead of, as many of them are doing at the moment, fattening like political parasites on the State. We object to the type of gerrymander that is taking place here. There is no denying that it has been done to injure Deputies Joan Burke and P.J. Reynolds. Deputy Burke is a hard working Deputy and no matter what Fianna Fáil try to do she will get back into Leinster House. Deputy Reynolds and his father and mother before him have represented the people of Leitrim truly and well. The people there know that and no matter how Fianna Fáil work against him he will be back here after the next election proud to represent his people.

Fianna Fáil have tried to put Leitrim off the map. The word "Leitrim" was not mentioned, of course, until the grass root boys and the county councillors came up and appealed to the Minister to restore Leitrim as an entity. He did not do it. The only thing he did was to put back the word "Leitrim". Despite the worst Fianna Fáil can do, Deputy Reynolds will be back here because the Irish people love justice and fair play. They love to see all of the people cherished equally.

Fianna Fáil have never hesitated to use the people's money to buy votes. In Roscommon and in every other county they are putting Fianna Fáil before the State. Their idea here, as in other constituencies, is again to get the maximum number of seats in this area with the minimum number of votes and in order to do the maximum amount of harm to the Fine Gael Deputies. The Minister told us across the floor of this House that Fianna Fáil would win the referendum by 100,000 votes. He misled his own Party and he misled the country. The people in Roscommon will not now believe him and his political intrigue and gerrymandering will be defeated in Roscommon as his proposal in the referendum was defeated.

What is happening in this part of the country is quite obvious. There is a movement of voting population by the Minister to the constituencies of East Donegal, South-West Donegal, East Galway, West Galway and probably also to the new Galway constituency. It is easy to understand the reason for the movement from counties like Leitrim, Sligo and Roscommon. One has only to look at the results of any general election to discover that these three counties do not give a majority vote to the Fianna Fáil Party.

The gerrymandering started in the 1961 revision. Roscommon was left as a four-seat constituency and likewise Sligo/Leitrim. East Galway was a five-seat constituency because Fianna Fáil knew they had a slender majority there and would get three seats out of five. West Galway was a three-seat constituency; Fianna Fáil got two seats and Fine Gael one. Clare was a four-seat constituency and there the Fianna Fáil Party got two seats, Fine Gael one seat and Labour one. Now this constituency has been gerrymandered by moving portion of it into Galway and this is done in order to deprive the Labour Party of their seat in Clare. North-East Donegal was a three-seat constituency returning two Fianna Fáil Deputies and one Fine Gael Deputy. In South-West Donegal, again a three-seat constituency, there were two Fianna Fáil Deputies and one Fine Gael Deputy.

The people rejected the Minister's proposal for the straight vote. I do not agree with Deputy Mooney that it was Deputy Fitzpatrick who got the people to reject that proposal; Deputy Mooney said Deputy Fitzpatrick got the people to reject it because he talked so much in this House. I do not think that is the reason they rejected the proposal. I believe the proposed amendments were defeated because the people were afraid of the Minister for Local Government and they were not prepared to give him that kind of power. He comes in here now and he tells us that he does not want to interfere with county boundaries and he does not want to breach boundaries except where there is no alternative. If that is the approach, then the situation in Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon is unique. Why not put Roscommon and Leitrim together and make that a five-seat constituency? The answer is quite obvious. If that were to be the situation Fianna Fáil would get only two seats and Fine Gael would get three. Sligo is ideal for a three-seat constituency. Again, the Minister knows that, if Sligo were made a three-seat constituency, Fine Gael would get two seats and Fianna Fáil would get one. That is the reason why Leitrim is being carved up. During the referendum the Taoiseach, who found time to come down to Leitrim, warned the people that the county would be butchered and "butchered" was the word he used.

The Minister, when preparing this revision, decided to take the name of the county off the political map and, as Deputy L'Estrange says, it was only when some of the grass roots of the Fianna Fáil Party came up here to Leinster House and talked to the Minister that he decided to put Leitrim back. What he did was to call constituencies, Roscommon-Leitrim, Donegal-Leitrim and Sligo-Leitrim. The Minister for Local Government—a very busy man, according to himself— found time to go down to Leitrim before Christmas to a Fianna Fáil jamboree and he disclosed there that he was going to put Leitrim back on the map. This is the way he tries to hoodwink the people of Leitrim. Leitrim is divided into three parts.

We had some talk earlier here about the Border. Everybody was blaming everybody else for the Border. Now we have the Minister for Local Government creating more borders than ever existed in the past. If there were any little bit of sincerity in the Minister he would leave Sligo a three-seat constituency and Roscommon a five-seat constituency. Roscommon has been ferociously butchered. Portion of it has gone to the new Clare-Galway constituency, portion to another Galway constituency, and portion of Leitrim that was in Roscommon is put back into Sligo-Leitrim. It is an odd situation, but the number of votes taken from South Leitrim, which were in Roscommon up to this revision and which are now put into Sligo-Leitrim, is the very same as the number of votes being taken out of Westmeath and put into Roscommon. I am curious to know why this has been done. Some people think it was done at the instigation of the Minister for Education, who wants to protect his own seat. Other people think it was the Minister for Education who got South Roscommon divided so that he would not find himself with Councillor Doc Callaghan selected as a candidate in the Fianna Fáil interest because the councillor, he is afraid, would take the seat from him. If that is what Fianna Fáil are doing, protecting individual seats, then I do not think this is a fair approach. It is not being fair to the people in these counties.

Every Deputy is entitled to try to protect his seat. The Minister for Local Government will get an even more telling answer in the general election than he got in the referendum. I do not think anybody, even the Taoiseach, knows when the election will be held. I do not think the Minister knows what is going on in his own Party. I believe there are a number of Ministers in the Party who are not speaking to one another. The situation is becoming desperate but apparently they are agreeing to preserve this desperate situation by gerrymandering the constituencies.

(South Tipperary): As two previous speakers have said, this is an example of madness on the part of the Minister for Local Government and on the part of the Party he purports to represent here. Here we have a traditional county, Roscommon, being virtually mutilated.

Roscommon, taking it as an administrative unit, as a county, is only a little short of the population necessary to form a three-seater in its own right. I see no reason why the Minister could not have done that. When discussing the other contiguous areas on the western seaboard from Donegal to Clare, I have already outlined to the Minister, step by step, how we could establish three four-seaters and six three-seaters for that area, instead of the ten-by-three rule which he is proposing in the Bill. Roscommon could be a three-seater quite simply and practically within the confines of Roscommon county, but he is proposing to mutilate this area in the following fashion.

He is proposing to transfer 1,975 people to Clare-Galway and he is proposing to transfer 7,938 people to North-East Galway. That makes a total of 9,913. Then, to balance that shift of population on the western side, he proposes to transfer 4,025 people from Athlone west urban in order to compensate in Roscommon for the people he is transferring into Galway—the new constituency of Clare-Galway or Clare-South Galway, as he calls it in his amendment. That means a total transfer of 13,938 persons in respect of that county, arising from his mad desire and devotion to forming ten three-seaters.

I told the Minister when discussing this previously that a transfer of 953 people, namely 290 from Taghboy and 663 people from Ahascragh—that is a total of 953 people from Galway—and added to the official county of Roscommon would give you sufficient population to form a three-seater in Roscommon on its own. Surely that is a far more reasonable method of dealing with this question than the method employed by the Minister?

He admitted here that he thinks the preservation of the local authority boundaries or constituency boundaries is important. I agree, not for emotional reasons. Many of our public representatives are also county councillors in their own areas. It is a help if they happen to be members of local authorities and Dáil representatives for a particular area. They cannot do that if part of the county is in one constituency for Dáil purposes and in another constituency for county council purposes. Surely it is very desirable from a smooth functioning point of view to have them conterminous?

Against the figure of 953 which I have suggested we have the figure of 13,938 suggested by the Minister. He cannot complain that a three-seat constituency is too big. It is the minimum we can have under the Constitution. For the neighbouring counties, Clare, Galway, Roscommon, Mayo, Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim I have suggested three four-seaters and six three-seaters, instead of the Minister's ten three-seaters. That is not a great departure from what he has suggested, and it could be done with a much smaller shift of population than he is proposing. For instance, the shift of Roscommon population which I suggest is approximately one-fourteenth of what the Minister suggests.

For the life of me I cannot see by what system of logic any Minister could make a defence in a situation like that. The figures are damning. I have been after the Minister for the past couple of days. He is like a punch-drunk boxer running around the ring. All he is able to utter and mutter is "referendum" and "Budd". I have reached the stage where I hate to hit him any more. Having pinned his ears back so often it is mutilation to go after him again. If he gets up to speak now I am sure it will be "Budd" again.

There are only seven more occasions on which Deputy Hogan and his colleagues can repeat these so-often refuted allegations. Of course, they can do it as many times as they like on each of these. At least we have got through quite a large part of the Electoral Bill and I suppose we can see some end to the constant repetition of this completely unsubstantiated charge that this is being done in order to gerrymander. It has been established that what is being done in this Bill is being done only after the Government have taken every possible step open to them to avoid doing it. We took every step we possibly could to obtain from the people permission to revise the constituencies in a rational way. These breaches of county boundaries which the Opposition pretend to find so objectionable now, but which they saw as completely unobjectionable only a few months ago, are being made because the Constitution requires it and because, in our opinion, this is the least objectionable way in which what we consider this objectionable provision can be operated.

Deputy Hogan says he does not agree with it. He produces different schemes, piecemeal schemes for each different constituency. There is no continuity. He has a different one every time, one more objectionable than the other. He produces figures which are not the total figures with regard to shifts of population and, then, he continues to make the point that the objective should be to make the total shift of population as small as possible, without any consideration as to the extent or the wholeness of the communities being transferred from their own traditional county into another county.

Apparently Deputy Hogan believes it is all right to put people into a position where they will feel they are disfranchised, so long as they are a comparatively small number of people only, that individuals are not important that, so long as they are a small percentage, it does not matter if they feel disfranchised or completely lost in the constituency into which they are transferred. That has been the approach of the Fine Gael Party all along. To them it is purely a matter of figures and percentages and the individuals involved do not count.

I suggest that there is also another point of view. When people have to be uprooted and put into another constituency, in order to lessen the sense of frustration and the feeling of disfranchisement that those people must have, the idea should be to transfer a reasonable number of them so that they will form a significant part of the new constituency, so that all the Deputies for the new constituency will find it advisable to pay equal attention to their views and their needs as to those of the county with which they are more naturally associated. What is being done with regard to Roscommon is inevitable because of the fact that Roscommon is inevitably involved in adjustments with other constituencies and the need to transfer the portion of what is described as Athlone town, which lies west of the Shannon, known as West Urban, to Roscommon, the county in which it is physically located. This necessity arises because of the fact that Roscommon is involved in adjustments with Galway.

I agree all those adjustments are undesirable but they are inevitable because of the rigid requirement of the Constitution which the Fine Gael Party sought to have copperfastened in regard to the constituencies. Deputy L'Estrange says we have made a different proposition. Of course that is the understatement of the year. I agree we have made a different proposition. Every Deputy who spoke made at least one proposition which differed from every other one that had already been made. Deputy Hogan, I think, probably made as many different propositions as the rest of the Fine Gael speakers put together.

With regard to the particular proposition Deputy L'Estrange put forward on this occasion, I may say I have not bothered to check all those propositions up to now but because of the fact I knew what Deputy L'Estrange had to say, as he had said it so often already, I decided I would check over the particular proposition he put forward with regard to this particular constituency we are discussing. What Deputy L'Estrange said was that what should be done here was that Roscommon county, as an entire county, should be joined with the portion of Leitrim which would remain after some of it had been transferred to the county of Donegal. The very minimum that would have to be transferred from Leitrim to Donegal is 5,619 and that deducted from the population, which is 30,572, leaves a population of 24,953 which when added to Roscommon, 56,228, makes a total of 81,181. This is just sufficient for four seats, not five as Deputy L'Estrange contends.

This, apparently, is the type of proposition that has been emanating from some of the Fine Gael Deputies in this regard. While I have said that in my opinion what is proposed here in many cases is objectionable, it also seems they are just put forward without any reference to the requirements of the Constitution. As far as I understood the last time I checked some of those Fine Gael proposals, the five-seat area involving what was called Leitrim was the whole of the two counties of Roscommon and Leitrim plus part of Donegal—some of Deputy O'Donnell's constituents which Fine Gael are so anxious to deprive him of. As I said earlier, the number of those people who could be transferred from Donegal and still leave sufficient remaining for the one five-seat constituency which Fine Gael advocate for Donegal would be anything up to 13,409, so the constituency that I understood Fine Gael would be advocating was a constituency comprising part of Donegal, the whole of County Leitrim and the whole of County Roscommon, but there were of course variations on that theme.

There were suggestions regarding part of Leitrim and Sligo but I do not consider that would be a desirable solution. I think to have almost the whole of County Donegal as one constituency would not be a very reasonable type of constituency and I do not think a constituency stretching from Ballyshannon right down to Shannonbridge would be a reasonable type of constituency at all. I think in the vast area from Donegal to Clare, including the whole of the Province of Connaught, which has to be represented by a maximum of 30 Deputies, the most reasonable solution for the area is to have ten three-seat constituencies. Even at that the constituencies will be very large, extensive and, I think, difficult for Deputies to cover. But I think it is the best we can do under the circumstances. The decision of the Government with regard to this area was to have ten three-seat constituencies and, having made that decision, those other adjustments that have to be made throughout that whole area naturally follow.

The thing about the Opposition's approach to this whole matter is that when we are discussing this Bill piecemeal, as we are at present, they can base their whole approach by starting from the particular constituency that happens to be under consideration at the particular time. That is why they can put forward so many different propositions, as Deputy L'Estrange calls them, because they are not interrelated in any way. Unfortunately, when you have to undertake the practical proposition of drawing up a scheme for constituencies for the whole country you cannot adopt that piecemeal type of approach. You have to look at the problem as a whole. What has happened with regard to County Roscommon arises because of the decision to have three-seat constituencies and because of what that involves in other counties such as Donegal, Clare, Sligo and Mayo. Therefore, all those solutions that have been put forward are, in my opinion, less reasonable than what is proposed. I have agreed already that is a matter of opinion.

Deputy Hogan believes it is of no importance that small sections of the community should be put into constituencies in which they will be submerged in other counties. I do not think that is a very desirable approach and I do not think that just because a group of people is small in number their interests should be considered as of no importance. Deputy Hogan disagrees with me so we can only agree to differ.

Deputy Reynolds put forward what I have no doubt appears to him to be a very simple solution, that is, to put Roscommon and Leitrim together and have a five-seat constituency. First of all, assuming the figures are allowable for that, which they are not, I cannot just consider Roscommon and Leitrim alone. I have to produce a scheme of constituencies for the whole country and, therefore, unlike Deputy Reynolds I cannot see the simple approach of just considering the area Deputy Reynolds happens to be interested in.

That is why Roscommon and Leitrim just cannot be considered on their own. If Deputy Reynolds would get a copy of the census report he will see that the population for Roscommon is 56,228 and for Leitrim 30,572. If he adds those together, he will get a total of 86,800 and if he divides that by five he will get a quotation of 17,360. In case Deputy Reynolds——

Divide it by four.

If you are putting five seats into it——

I did not say five: I said four.

——as Deputy Reynolds advocated, and if you want to get the population per Deputy you divide by five, not four, and you get 17,360. The people decided that, even for the purpose of avoiding the breaching of county boundaries, you could not have that amount of deviation from the national average of population per Deputy.

I said four, Minister.

These changes, then, are being made because they are required by the Constitution. I must say that I was wondering, when Deputy Hogan stood up, which of his many solutions for this area he would produce. On this occasion, it was the Taghboy-Ahascragh one.

(South Tipperary): That was the one I had in mind all the time.

That is one of the many possibilities. You could transfer Taghboy and Ahascragh from Galway to Roscommon if you only had Roscommon to deal with and if decisions made elsewhere did not preclude that type of solution. However, as I said, the first decision that we made was that there should be three-seat constituencies because of the vast extent of the area, the comparative sparseness of population and the fact that, therefore, only 30 seats could be allocated to the province of Connacht and to the large counties of Clare and Donegal. Having made that decision, these shifts of population were, I believe, necessary.

Question put and agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 28 and 29 have already been discussed and agreed to.

SLIGO.

I move amendment No. 28:

In page 13, in the first column, to delete "Sligo" and to substitute "Sligo-Leitrim".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 29:

In page 13, in the second column of the entry relating to Sligo, to delete "South-West Donegal" and to substitute "Donegal-Leitrim".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 30:

In page 13, in the second column of the entry relating to Sligo, to delete "Roscommon" and to substitute "Roscommon-Leitrim".

Amendment agreed to.
Entry, as amended, agreed to.
NORTH TIPPERARY
Question: "That the entry relating to the constituency of North Tipperary stand part of the Schedule" put and agreed to.
SOUTH TIPPERARY.

Amendments Nos. 31 and 32 seem to be cognate and might, therefore, be discussed together.

(South Tipperary): I move amendment No. 31:

In page 13 to delete the entry relating to South Tipperary and to substitute the following:

Name

Area

Number of Members

South Tipperary

The administrative area of Tipperary South Riding except (a) the part thereof which is comprised in the Constituency of North Tipperary, and (b) the District Electoral Divisions of Carrigbeg (Urban), Tullagharton, Ballybacon, Newcastle and the townlands of Ballybeg, Ballymorris, Ballynamona, Burgesland, Flemingstown, Garrancasey, Greenmount, Knockeen, Moloughabbey, Moloughnewtown in the District Electoral Division of Tullaghmelan.

Three

In this amendment I am advocating that South Tipperary should be treated as a three-seater and Waterford should be treated as a four-seater and not, as suggested in the Minister's Bill, South Tipperary, with a bit of Waterford, as a four-seater and the remainder of Waterford as a three-seater.

To put the House in the picture, let me give the population figures. The population of Tipperary North Riding is 53,843 and of the South Riding 68,969, so that the county as a whole has a population of 122,812. The population of Waterford county is 73,080. Therefore, ab initio, Waterford would appear to have a greater claim, on a population basis, to being a four-seater than Tipperary South Riding.

Now, in 1961, a population transfer of district electoral divisions was made from Tipperary South Riding to Tipperary North Riding. That transfer amounted to 2,597: it was necessary in so far as the population of North Riding would appear to have gone down. Now, in this Bill, there is a further transfer of two district electoral divisions—again from South Tipperary to Tipperary North Riding—giving a population transfer in this case of 875. That means that the total transfer now will be 3,472 according to the 1965 census. This will give Tipperary North a population of 57,315, that is, 231 above the minimum for three seats. It reduces Tipperary South to 65,497. However, by adding 10,749 from West Waterford, this gives, for the South Tipperary-West Waterford proposed four-seater in the Minister's Bill, a population of 76,246. That is a small margin of 134 above the minimum for four seats.

I submit that a better arrangement, in terms of population transfer, would be to make South Tipperary a three-seater and County Waterford a four-seater. Waterford needs a minimum of 3,132 population to become a four-seater. Tipperary South, with its population of 65,497, needs a transfer out of 2,413 as a minimum under the Constitution to qualify as a three-seater. While Tipperary South has sufficient population to make Waterford a four-seater, I thought it might be expedient to spread the transfer on to another county.

Cork is a large county—if not the second largest then the largest in Ireland. So far, under the Minister's Bill, it has got only a small transfer. There has been very little mutilation of Cork county, as a county. In fact, the total transfer from Cork is only 2,025 and that is on the Kerry border. North-East Cork, which is the county from which, I am submitting here in my amendment, a small transfer should take place, is only 63 below the national average. Therefore, North-East Cork is in a position to allow for a transfer, without upsetting its level and bringing it too much below the national average. As far as rural counties go, Cork is one of the counties with a pretty large population per Deputy.

I have suggested in the amendment the areas which it might be possible to transfer and I have suggested that South Tipperary should consist of the administrative area of Tipperary South Riding except (a) the part thereof which is comprised in the constituency of North Tipperary—which I have already dealt with—and (b) the district electoral divisions of Carrigbeg (Urban), Tullagharton, Ballybacon, Newcastle and the townlands of Ballybeg, Ballymorris, Ballynamona, Burgesland, Flemingstown, Garrancasey, Greenmount, Knockeen, Moloughabbey, Moloughnewtown in the district electoral division of Tullaghmelan. I have also suggested that Waterford as a four-seater, should consist of the administrative county of Waterford and in the administrative area of South Tipperary the district electoral divisions of Carrigbeg and so on as I have mentioned in amendment No. 32 and in the administrative area of County Cork the district electoral division of Konckmourne and the townlands of Kilmacow and Lackenbehy in the district electoral division of Curraglass.

The Deputy's colleague in North-East Cork would not agree with that.

(South Tipperary): Strange to say, all the Cork men have agreed with me. This transfer of population is inconsiderable as compared with the transfer of population which would take place under the Minister's Bill. The position is that under the present system, more than 11,000 people in 1961 were transferred from Waterford into South Tipperary and this is a difficult constituency geographically.

The Minister, when speaking here in the debate on the referendum, adverted to the ridiculous situation of throwing 11,000-odd people across the Comeragh mountains into South Tipperary. If one travels from most parts of South Tipperary into this South Tipperary-West Waterford constituency, one must go over what we call the "V" which is part of the Comeragh mountains above Cloheen. It is a difficult situation geographically and I am suggesting that instead of transferring these 11,000-odd people—that figure has fallen now to about 10,750 people—it would be more reasonable to transfer about one-third of that figure from Tipperary to Waterford.

The minimum required by Waterford would be 3,132 and the transfers suggested in my amendment amount to 2,413 so that 719 more will be needed from somewhere else and I have suggested that they could be got from the area between East Cork and West Waterford by bringing in the district electoral division of Knockmourne which amounts to 687 persons and the townland of Kilmacow which provides 29 persons and also the townland of Lackenbehy which provides seven persons, making a total of 723 persons, these last two townlands being in the district electoral division of Curraglass.

That is the amendment I have put down and I consider it to be a more reasonable solution that the Minister's. Admittedly there are other alternatives. For instance, instead of bringing in Knockmourne and a couple of townlands from Curraglass, you could bring in Curraglass and a couple of townlands from Knockmourne. The present transfer of population from Waterford to South Tipperary is 10,749 persons. That is a much larger figure than the one I am suggesting which is a little over 3,000. This would entail much less mutilation of county boundaries and the transfer of 10,750 persons, which is the Minister's proposal.

On general principles, the Minister has offered the view that in transfer of population there is an argument to be made for transferring large areas of population inasmuch as that a large area will, so to speak, be able to make its personal impact on the county to which it is transferred.

And have a Deputy of it own, which Waterford has.

(South Tipperary): A Deputy of its own, but in each transferred area like that even if it does succeed in having a Deputy of its own, it will really only succeed in having a Deputy of its own of one Party.

Now we see the reason for this.

(South Tipperary): The only justifiable transfer to my mind may be one of two types. Either you transfer a small number of people and keep the amount of distress to a minimum—all populations who are transferred like that are disaffected people—or else you amalgamate two counties. The population has to be big enough to enable it to have a reasonable chance of providing a Deputy of any of the three major Parties.

I may point out that in West Waterford there was a notice of motion before Waterford County Council on this matter. It was unanimously agreed that West Waterford should be returned to Waterford to provide an integrated Waterford constituency in conformity with County Waterford as a four-seater. I may mention also that the two Fianna Fáil Deputies who are members of Waterford County Council voted to have West Waterford put back into Waterford.

Did you test yours in Tipperary?

(South Tipperary): I would be anxious to know how those two West Waterford Deputies will vote here today.

Allegations have been made on every part of this Schedule that gerrymandering was involved, that the layout of each of these proposed constituencies was directed against the interests of some individual Fine Gael Deputy. Deputy Hogan has now let the cat out of the bag when he discloses that this was aimed at the elimination of Deputy Fahey from this House. I do not think Deputy Hogan will get rid of Deputy Fahey as easily as he thinks.

The Deputy's proposals involve the transfer of a district electoral division and part of another electoral division from the proposed constituency of North-East Cork, which has already been passed by the House. We have an amendment to adjust that after it has already been agreed. It also involves the transfer of 2,413 of Deputy Hogan's South Tipperary constituents from their own county into the county of Waterford. Deputy Hogan apparently considers that because these people are small in number they do not count, that because there are only 2,413 of them they are of no importance and that they may with impunity be submerged in the four-seat constituency which he proposes to create around the county of Waterford. I agree they form a comparatively small community but, unlike Deputy Hogan, I do not think that because the number of individuals is small they should be ignored like this.

The existing situation is that there is, as Deputy Hogan has said, a substantial number of people from Waterford county joined with the part of the administrative county of South Tipperary for electoral purposes, and, as Deputy Cunningham has pointed out, these people, because they form a significant element in the constituency of South Tipperary, have been able to elect a representative. In other words, they have not suffered disfranchisement because of having been transferred to another county. This illustrates the point I have been making, that these people have not the same sense of frustration and disfranchisement as will the 2,413 Tipperary people that Deputy Hogan proposes to transfer to County Waterford.

I would point out also that this proposal would make the population per Deputy of the South Tipperary constituency exactly the maximum permissible. I do not know if the solution that achieves that exact result is within the spirit of the Constitution. It certainly does not disclose that there was any effort made to comply with the actual terms of the Constitution, to have the population per Deputy as near as practicable the same in different constituencies.

One of the principles underlying the scheme of constituencies that I have proposed in the Bill is that any constituency the population of which is within the permitted range in accordance with the Constitution and which is not affected by the constitutional necessity for changes in neighbouring constituencies would not be disturbed. In accordance with this principle the constituencies in the south eastern part of the country, including Waterford, are exactly as they were constituted under the 1961 Act. There is a slight adjustment in the case of the two Tipperary constituencies because that was unavoidable but, apart from that, the constituencies in that part of the country have remained as they were. Deputy Hogan's proposed amendments involve the disturbance of 13,885 people from the existing constituency of South Tipperary and North-East Cork and involve the breaching of the CorkWaterford boundary in addition to the Waterford-Tipperary boundary, and all in the laudable effort of Deputy Hogan to get rid of some of his present constituents and in the process to try to get rid of Deputy Fahey.

It is obvious that Deputy Hogan is conceding the pending by-election in the South Tipperary constituency. Apparently he does not visualise the embarrassment of a colleague when he proceeds to contest this three-seat constituency which he proposes in the next general election. Indeed, that is a bit of realism on the part of Deputy Hogan, because he will not have that embarrassment, as he well knows. But, as I say, it is not surprising that he should want to get rid of this part of the constituency which he was elected to represent. He may as well admit that he has never represented this part of his constituency. Of course, it is too late now to try to make the appearance of doing so, in the same way as Deputy Fitzpatrick has tried to do, because time is running out. I agree with Deputy Hogan that these people are likely to give their votes to the Deputies who have actually represented them, and that must weaken Deputy Hogan's chances considerably.

I also agree with Deputy Hogan that a three-seat area is easier to represent. In fact, I think this is one of the fundamental principles in the Bill. We have endeavoured, where it was reasonable to do so, to introduce three-seat constituencies but, because the distribution of population in this part of the country did not call for any disruption in the existing constituencies, the operation of creating a three-seat constituency was not carried out in that part of the country.

I can see Deputy Hogan's objection to having to cross the Comeragh Mountains to get to his constituency, although if he is an admirer of scenery it is a nice journey. However, it is a pity that Deputy Hogan did not think of this before 16th October when I drew attention to the fact that compliance with the Constitution did involve this anomaly for Deputy Hogan if he decided to represent the constituency for which he was elected. If he decided to represent the constituency for which he was elected making occasional journeys over the Comeragh Mountains but in May, June, July, August, September and October this journey over the Comeragh Mountains was of no importance to Deputy Hogan. Now it suddenly assumes such gigantic proportions that he proposes disrupting the whole constituency layout in that part of the country and transferring these 13,885 people out of the constituency in which they are at present into the constituency of Waterford.

Back to their own county.

I must congratulate Deputy L'Estrange on getting Deputy Fizpatrick back to the House once again.

(Cavan): The Minister could not get anybody to relieve him last night.

These frantic efforts of Deputy Fitzpatrick to catch up on his constituency work which he has been neglecting since 1965 have been very embarrassing to Deputy L'Estrange, who has been wearing himself out running up and down the stairs and in and out of the door looking for Deputy Fitzpatrick. At least he has had another temporary success.

(Cavan): I shall not stay here very long.

The situation which was required by the circumstances that existed in 1961 has been established. There is no need in so far as the distribution of population is concerned to change it now. For that reason we did not propose this unnecessary disturbance of the existing situation. Deputy Hogan, for personal reasons of his own, is proposing this disruption of the situation. I do not agree with him. I wonder if Deputy Hogan got the sanction of Senator Garret FitzGerald on this proposal of his which is completely contrary to the proposal put forward on behalf of the Fine Gael Party. All talk on behalf of the Fine Gael Party but with different voices. Deputy Hogan may think he has rehabilitated himself with the Carrick-on-Suir people and he is proposing this transfer to other areas. That is a matter for the Fine Gael Party. I have given the reason why we avoided disrupting the situation in this area.

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand."
The Committee divided: Tá, 64; Níl, 47.

  • Allen, Lorcan.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Barrett, Sylvester.
  • Blaney, Neil T.
  • Boland, Kevin.
  • Booth, Lionel.
  • Brady, Philip.
  • Brennan, Joseph.
  • Corry, Martin J.
  • Crinion, Brendan.
  • Cronin, Jerry.
  • Crowley, Flor.
  • Cunningham, Liam.
  • de Valera, Vivion.
  • Fahey, John.
  • Fanning, John.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Fitzpatrick, Thomas J.
  • (Dublin South Central)
  • Foley, Desmond.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gallagher, James.
  • Geoghegan, John.
  • Gibbons, Hugh.
  • Gibbons, James M.
  • Gilbride, Eugene.
  • Gogan, Richard P.
  • Haughey, Charles.
  • Healy, Augustine A.
  • Hillery, Patrick J.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Kenneally, William.
  • Kitt, Michael F.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Browne, Patrick.
  • Burke, Patrick J.
  • Carter, Frank.
  • Childers, Erskine.
  • Colley, George.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Lalor, Patrick J.
  • Lemass, Noel T.
  • Lemass, Seán.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Lenihan, Patrick.
  • Lynch, Celia.
  • Lynch, John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Meaney, Tom.
  • Millar, Anthony G.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Mooney, Patrick.
  • Moore, Seán.
  • Moran, Michael.
  • Nolan, Thomas.
  • Norton, Patrick.
  • Ó Briain, Donnchadh.
  • ÓCeallaigh, Seán.
  • O'Connor, Timothy.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Malley, Desmond.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Wyse, Pearse.

Níl

  • Barrett, Stephen D.
  • Belton, Luke.
  • Belton, Paddy.
  • Burke, Joan T.
  • Byrne, Patrick.
  • Clinton, Mark A.
  • Coogan, Fintan.
  • Coorish, Brendan.
  • Cosgrave, Liam.
  • Costello, Declan.
  • Costello, John A.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Patrick J.
  • Desmond, Eileen.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry P.
  • Donegan, Patrick S.
  • Donnellan, John.
  • Dunne, Seán.
  • Dunne, Thomas.
  • Esmonde, Sir Anthony C.
  • Farrelly, Denis.
  • Fitzpatrick, Thomas J. (Cavan).
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Gilhawley, Eugene.
  • Governey, Desmond.
  • Harte, Patrick D.
  • Hogan, Patrick (South Tipperary).
  • Hogan O'Higgins, Brigid.
  • Jones, Denis F.
  • Kyne, Thomas A.
  • L'Estrange, Gerald.
  • Lindsay, Patrick J.
  • Lyons, Michael D.
  • McLaughlin, Joseph.
  • Murphy, Michael P.
  • O'Donnell, Patrick.
  • O'Donnell, Tom.
  • O'Higgins, Michael J.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas F.K.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • Pattison, Séamus.
  • Reynolds, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, Richie.
  • Sweetman, Gerard.
  • Timmins, Godfrey.
  • Tully, James.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Mrs. Lynch and Geoghegan; Níl, Deputies L'Estrange and T. Dunne.
Question declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.
Question: "That the entry relating to the constituency of South Tipperary stand part of the Schedule" put and declared carried.
WATERFORD.
Amendment No. 32 not moved.
Question: "That the entry relating to the constituency of Waterford stand part of the Schedule" put and declared carried.
WEXFORD.
Question: "That the entry relating to the constituency of Wexford stand part of the Schedule" put and declared carried.
WICKLOW.
Question: "That the entry relating to the constituency of Wicklow stand part of the Schedule" put and agreed to.

We now come to the postponed sections— sections 3, 4 and 5.

I thought we would first go through the Schedule as a whole.

There will be no further discussion on the Schedule.

I thought the Schedule as a whole would be put.

SECTION 3.

Question proposed: "That section 3 stand part of the Bill."

(Cavan): This is the section which specifies the constituencies for which Deputies will be elected to this House in the next general election. I wish to say briefly that in section 3 the Minister has done what he promised to do before the referendum, and he has done it very effectively; that is, he has gerrymandered the country from top to bottom. I was rather surprised when the referendum was over to learn that the Minister for Local Government proposed to continue to act in this office notwithstanding the fact that he was completely rejected by the people to the tune of a quarter million votes. I was also amazed when I learned that the Minister, whose electoral reform proposals had been rejected in a national contest, proposed to bring back to this House further proposals for electoral reform by way of revision of constituencies.

I say that, because the Minister stood committed to introducing absurd proposals. In the discussion in this House on the referendum, the Minister intimated time and time again that the requirements of the Constitution in reference to constituencies as they stood, and as they stand at present, were unworkable and both he and the Taoiseach made it quite plain, both verbally and in writing, that it would be necessary, if the Third Amendment to the Constitution Bill was not carried, to butcher constituencies all over the country.

That was the frame of mind in which the Minister for Local Government set upon the task of revising the constituencies. He had a preconceived idea about the feasibility of the task to which he was committed. He had convinced himself—I will give him credit for that—in the House during the long and dreary months of debate on the referendum proposals, a debate which went on week after week and month after month and which many of us thought futile. However, it proved fruitful: the Minister's long, agonising contributions to the debate were very valuable because they convinced the people that the Minister was up to no good and they rejected his proposals. The Minister had convinced himself before he set about drafting this Bill that his task was impossible. He thereupon set about justifying himself by bringing into this House, not a reasonable scheme of constituencies, not the best possible scheme he could devise, but the most absurd scheme within his competence. He has succeeded in that.

Now I am satisfied that the electorate will react to these proposed revisions just as they reacted to the referendum proposals. Not alone has the Minister introduced these absurd proposals but he has gerrymandered the whole country. We have an example of that in the West of Ireland where some rearrangement was necessary. In arriving at that rearrangement the Minister made sure that those counties which could be regarded as favourable to Fianna Fáil retained, or even increased, their representation. A glaring example of that is County Galway, which not alone increases its preCensus number of Deputies of eight but is given a bonus of one in order to arrange three constituencies favourable to the Minister and his Party. That is what the Minister set out to do.

Donegal is another example. According to the Minister, before the referendum, Donegal would have to lose a seat. But the Minister has seen to it that it will not lose a seat. Mayo has seven seats at the moment — three Fianna Fáil and four Fine Gael, despite the fact that the Fianna Fáil Party have two Ministers in that county. The Minister has seen to it that its representation will be reduced from seven to six. Clare, the pride of the Fianna Fáil Party, could never be relied on to give the Party more than two seats out of four. Down through the years there has always been a Labour seat in Clare. The Minister arranged matters there by reducing the number of seats to three in the hope that the Labour seat will disappear. The same can be said about Roscommon. It was a "dicey" one for the Minister and his Party, so he reduced it from four to three.

I want to make a passing reference to Leitrim which has been dealt with already. Leitrim has been annihilated, as foretold by the Taoiseach in Drumshanbo; it has been divided into three and distributed, quite unnecessarily, between three other counties. In all these constituencies—let it be noted— the Minister has created three-seat constituencies. He could argue he was honest in that if that were the pattern throughout the country. If the Minister were to be taken seriously in his statement that he does not believe in proportional representation and that he wanted to reduce the effectiveness of proportional representation to a minimum, while one would not agree with him, one would have expected him to produce three-seat constituencies throughout the country. He created three-seat constituencies where he hopes Fianna Fáil will get a majority of the votes, two seats out of three. He hopes that will be the result, but I believe he will be just as far out in that vain hope as he was in his forecast of the result of the referendum.

If the Minister were sincere about proportional representation and if he wanted to create the same pattern throughout the country then one would have expected him to create three-seat constituencies right into Leinster and the city of Dublin. There are no three-seat constituencies in the city of Dublin. There are four-seat constituencies all over the place. Again the hope is that the Minister will gain a political advantage for himself and for his Party. The Minister has created utterly unnatural boundaries, putting a piece of Meath into Monaghan, and another piece into Cavan and putting practically the whole town of Athlone into Roscommon, to please the Minister for Education. All this indicates that the Minister's efforts are not bona fide. All this is evidence of the fact that the Minister wanted to gerrymander the constituencies for his own benefit and the benefit of his Party. This is a most reprehensible performance. If the Minister were honest in all this he would have sought independent advice.

I said he should have an independent commission. He tells me a commission is not possible without a Constitutional amendment. I do not agree with him in that. I say that is not so. Even if it is so, the Minister, without any trouble, could have set up an informal committee of this House to report to him and advise him on the new constituencies. He did not do that. He did not do it because he wanted to have the last word, because he wanted to do the job that he thought would best suit his own Party and do as much damage as possible to the Opposition Parties.

I have no doubt that the people will realise what the Minister has set out to do. The people can no longer be taken for granted. That has emerged from the result of the referendum. The people can no longer be relied upon to act blindly or without considering serious proposals in a serious manner. When the referendum was first mooted, and the intentions of the Government first disclosed I remember saying that the slogan against those proposals should be: "They are not fair." I believe that message got across to the people, that the proposals of the Minister were unfair and unjust. I think they knew that and, knowing what he was at, they reacted violently. It is not an exaggeration to say the people reacted violently to the Minister's referendum proposals.

One would have thought that the Taoiseach would have heeded the warning and said: "Here is a man who is discredited; here is a man who has been rejected by the people; here is a man whose proposals were not accepted by the people, and I am asking for trouble if I ask the same Minister to do a similar job." As we all know, the Taoiseach had his own troubles in the weeks following the referendum. He was being challenged. There was complete disharmony in the Fianna Fáil Party, and he preserved the status quo. He took this gamble, and for that he must be blamed.

I would not expect any other sort of Bill from the Minister, having listened to him here for months last year, knowing his views on PR and knowing his views on tolerance. The Minister complains that he is forced to do what he has done here because he did not get sanction for his tolerance proposal. He indicated during this debate that, if he had been given the Third Amendment of the Constitution by the people, he could have done a reasonable job. The House and the country have seen the result of the Minister's handiwork operating within the reasonable guidelines provided by the Constitution.

He asked the people for a blank cheque. He asked the people to empower him to differentiate between constituencies to the extent that it would take as many as 23,000 people to qualify for a TD in one place—in Leitrim we will say—and that it would take only 16,000 people to qualify for a TD in Galway or Donegal. The wisdom of the decision of the people can be appreciated when, as I say, we see the Minister's handiwork operating within the reasonable confines of the Constitution. The people are entitled to ask themselves: "What in the name of goodness would he have produced, or what would he have done, if we had given him a blank cheque?"

I know this Bill will go through the House because the Minister will insist on its going through. In the constituencies as they will be when the Bill becomes law, we will take on the Minister and his Party, just as we took them on in the single constituency of the Republic of Ireland. As I said earlier today, I am satisfied that the Minister in these proposals will have done his own Party irreparable harm and our Party considerable good.

On this occasion Deputy Fitzpatrick started off by saying I had succeeded in gerrymandering very effectively. He alternates between two propositions: one, that I have gerrymandered very effectively, and the other that the result of this Bill will be to reduce Fianna Fáil strength. I have not got the dictionary which Deputy Fitzpatrick carries around with him but, as I understand the word "gerrymandering", it means arranging constituencies so as to get Party advantage. If I have gerrymandered effectively I must get some advantage for the Fianna Fáil Party as a result of that gerrymandering. Deputy Fitzpatrick's contention, then, is that we will do better in the general election that will be fought in these constituencies than we did in the last general election when we got 72 seats. I wonder what Deputy Fitzpatrick's forecast is? By how many seats will we exceed 72 as a result of this very effective gerrymandering? Of course, he knows there is no such thing. He knows that when constituencies have to be disrupted, the most likely thing is that every one of the Deputies involved will feel that he is losing as a result. That is my experience. That is what the position is. When I have time I must go through the debates and find out how many times Deputy Fitzpatrick has contradicted himself in this matter.

The remainder of his contribution was a return to his favourite theme, a personal attack upon me. I want to assure him that I consider the fact that his main objective is to attack me personally, the highest compliment I could be paid. I am glad to know that his objective is to get rid of me. That is the most sincere tribute I could be paid.

It would be a sin to get rid of the Minister.

I thank Deputy Fitzpatrick for it. The Fianna Fáil record with regard to local government is not confined to the matter of the referendum. We will have a very good record with regard to local government to put before the people. That is one of the main reasons why we expect to have a greater number of Deputies after the next general election than we had after the last general election. It has nothing to do with the constituencies. It has to do with their adjustment and particularly with the contrast that those adjustments provide as between our performance and the miserable performance of the alternative Government. Our record in local government embraces a lot more than the referendum. It embraces the significant improvements in housing, water and sewerage schemes and so on.

(Cavan): I think the House will be open for debate on this.

The Deputy may think nothing of the sort. The question of housing does not arise on section 3 of this Bill.

The Minister knows that Fianna Fáil will shortly be on the roads.

(Cavan): I know the Minister would rather be talking about anything other than the referendum.

I only mentioned this in passing because the long dissertation on the referendum seemed to imply that it was on this single issue, which was of a non-political nature, that the effectiveness of Fianna Fáil in so far as local government is concerned would be decided. However, we will go on to deal with the proposal in the referendum. This was a single proposal. It was divided into two. There was a proposal to change the electoral system, which was rejected by the people. It was no more than that. Combined with that was a proposal to allow a very small amount of scope in regard to population per Deputy in different constituencies in order to have regard to such practical considerations as the existence of county boundaries. This proposal also was rejected by the people.

The referendum proposal was no more and no less than that. The result of the decision on the Third Amendment of the Constitution made this Bill necessary in order to comply with the Constitution. This is being done in order to comply with the provisions of the Constitution. I am perfectly satisfied, particularly after this debate, that the proposals we are making are the most reasonable proposals that are possible. They involve the least disturbance of the population and constituency layout.

Did you ever hear worse than that?

They involve the most reasonable size constituencies. We have obviously tried to eliminate the large five-seat constituencies. As a result of this Bill there will be only two of that type of constituency. Those are the areas known as Carlow-Kilkenny and Leix-Offaly, where the movement of population did not require any adjustment to be made. Those are the only two remaining five-seat constituencies. No doubt further changes in the distribution of population will result in those two also disappearing eventually. Of the 42 constituencies there are only 16 constituencies which are not three-seat constituencies. Of those, eight are in Dublin, where the areas involved are small. Of the remaining six constituencies, five are four-seat constituencies at present where either no adjustment or only small adjustments were necessary and the sixth outside Dublin, is North-East Cork, which is at present a five-seat constituency.

The obvious tendency disclosed by the Bill is to have as many three-seat constituencies as possible. At least one prominent Fine Gael speaker, Deputy O'Donnell, agreed during the debate on the referendum that three-seat constituencies were the most desirable because they went furthest to enable the people to make a definite decision at election time. It is quite true that this is so, that it is in circumstances where there is a preponderance of three-seat constituencies that the people are most likely to be able to elect a Government. Fine Gael conclude in those circumstances that Fianna Fáil must always be returned as a Government. That may be so. I would not argue with that point of view.

I think, as Fine Gael do, it is just as unlikely in circumstances like these that the people will ever elect a majority of Fine Gael Deputies but I think it is a rather poor reflection on a Party putting themselves forward as serious contenders to form a Government that they should believe that in those circumstances of three-seat constituencies Fianna Fáil will always get the majority. Deputy Fitzpatrick, contrary to the tendency we have adopted and followed in this Bill, advocates more large five-seat constituencies, particularly in the west of Ireland, where I think there is an obvious reason for moving towards three-seat constituencies. As I have said earlier in this debate the average area of a three-seat constituency in the west of Ireland would be 970 square miles and the average area of a five-seat constituency, which Fine Gael favour, would be 617 square miles. The peculiar thing is that during this debate the same Deputies who were advocating the creation of those large five-seat constituencies in the sparsely populated western areas were also complaining about the distances which would have to be travelled in some constituencies from one point to another.

This is typical of the contradictory nature of the Fine Gael approach. We had Deputy Fitzpatrick arguing that because Clare was a four-seat constituency, and because Fianna Fáil had very strong support there, Clare was reduced to a three-seat constituency and arguing again that because Roscommon was an area in which Fianna Fáil had weak support it was reduced to a three-seat constituency. Obviously, no matter what Fianna Fáil did would be wrong when apparently it is alleged it would be good tactics on the part of Fianna Fáil to reduce a four-seat constituency in which they are strong to a three-seat area and to reduce a four-seat constituency in which they are weak to a three-seat area.

I have dealt on a number of occasions already with the question of seeking independent advice. It hardly seems necessary to do it again. Deputy Fitzpatrick has not specified the type of advice he recommends. When somebody suggested setting up a non-political body—I do not know if there is such a thing as a non-political body— that person said if it was done it would be 90 per cent Fianna Fáil and that that would not be independent advice. I am assuming Deputy Fitzpatrick had in mind a body such as the commission, which was proposed in the Amendment to the Constitution, on which there would be representation from both sides of the House. I pointed out that if that is what is in mind you could not hope to get agreed advice from such a body if there were more than one Fine Gael representative on it because Fine Gael have failed to agree on this matter here themselves.

Deputy Fitzpatrick knows that of course I did not, and the Fianna Fáil Government did not, ask for a blank cheque in regard to drawing up constituencies in the Third Amendment of the Constitution Bill. We asked for a very small amount of scope, smaller than that available in any other democracy we know of, to be utilised and this was to be written into the Constitution only for clearly specified reasons. Deputy Fitzpatrick and the Fine Gael Party know it could not be utilised in the manner he suggested. If that proposal had been accepted there would probably be only the one possible and reasonable solution to this question of drawing up a scheme of constituencies in accordance with the present system, unlike now, when as Deputies opposite themselves have shown, the number of possible arrangements is practically infinite. There does not seem to be any limit to it. The longer this debate went on the more suggestions of different solutions came from the opposite benches. There are innumerable possible solutions now. If the proposals we suggested or advocated requiring adherence to existing established county boundaries had been carried there would possibly have been only a few rearrangements of constituencies but, of course, that would not suit Fine Gael because they would not be able to make this ridiculous and bogus song and dance they are making now.

(South Tipperary): The Minister has just stated that he set out to create as many three-seaters as possible: he thought that was desirable in the interests of manageability of constituencies. He also mentioned three-seater constituencies as desirable from the point of view of being able to return a Government. I agree with him as regards manageability. Two-seaters would be even more manageable. If the Minister's objective was, and if he had been guided by it, to produce three-seaters with a view to bringing about a set of circumstances where the election of a government would be achieved with a measurable degree of certainty, why did the Minister not make three-seaters in Dublin? If the three-seat constituency system is the one which will elect a Government—which we accept as a desirable thing—why did the Minister not extend the three-seater idea to Dublin? If it was valid in the country, why was it not valid in Dublin? The answer is quite simple. The Government have some measure of support in the country but have lost considerably in Dublin and, therefore, the three-seat and the four-seat constituencies were introduced—three-seaters in the country, in the hope that the Government would get two out of the three seats, and four-seaters here in Dublin in the hope that they might pull in and get two seats out of four.

If the Government introduced three-seat constituencies here in Dublin, their fear would be that they would get only one seat out of every three seats. That is the reason why the Minister introduced the three-seat and four-seat rule and that was the overall plan for the entire country. Furthermore, at the last referendum the Government asked for only a small amount of scope which would not be abused——

Not "would not" but "could not".

(South Tipperary):——could not be abused. I am not so sure the Minister would not be able to get a way around it.

Hear, hear.

(South Tipperary): Certainly, the country did not believe him and the people showed their disbelief in no uncertain fashion. Considering that the Minister is now within the straitjacket of the Constitution, and is accepting the Budd judgment as the correct interpretation of the Constitution, then, within that straitjacket, he has done an excellent job of gerrymandering. With much lesser scope, he is now abusing the electoral system to the limit, which really goes to prove that the people, when they refused to trust him on the occasion of the referendum and refused to give him, as he called it, “a little more scope”, were well advised to do so. If he can do what he is doing now, within the limited scope of five per cent, what could the Minister not do if he had succeeded in getting what he called “a little more scope” from the electorate at the last referenda?

On more than one occasion during this debate the Minister mentioned that I was just putting up piecemeal suggestions here and there as regards the entire Electoral Bill when, in fact, in so far as the Bill was taken in stages, I dealt with these stages as they came up and made any suggestions I had to make. If there was an area in respect of which I had no ideas to offer, I said nothing. For the entire area of the west of Ireland, I gave the Minister a completely different solution from the one he presented to the House. He presented a picture of about 30 seats— ten three-seat constituencies. I offered an alternative of six three-seat constituencies and three four-seat constituencies, giving the same number of Deputies from the west of Ireland.

The Deputy will appreciate that we cannot go back on matters discussed on the Schedule. We are now confined to a general debate.

Everything that is in it, without going into detail.

(South Tipperary): The general pattern I offered on the west of Ireland was quite different from what the Minister suggested. He had the simple solution of ten three-seat constituencies. I suggested the alternative of six three-seaters and three four-seaters and this could be accomplished and would give reasonable size constituencies with a small displacement of population relative to the numbers the Minister has offered to us. On my suggested arrangement, there would be population displacement in the west of Ireland for the entire area stretching from Donegal down to Clare west of the Shannon and including those two counties of approximately 9,000-odd as against the Minister's displacement of 59,000. I submit that it takes an extraordinary stretch of imagination to understand the approach of the Minister, if he was trying to be logical and if he agrees with the importance of local authority boundaries and the importance of keeping them coterminous with Dáil constituencies in so far as it is practicable and possible under the Constitution so to do. I have offered him an alternative method giving him reasonable size constituencies, no five-seater and a majority of three-seaters under which the transfer would be of 9,000 people as against 59,000. I submit that that is a reasonable suggestion for the entire western area. I have gone into the details of all these counties as the debate progressed.

As the Leas-Cheann Comhairle has said, it is not necessary and neither is it permissible to go into these same details again. Regarding the other regional area comprising Louth, Meath and Kildare, these would of course involve Cavan and Monaghan and I have offered a suggestion——

The Chair must point out that we cannot go back on individual portions of the Schedule which have already been discussed and which have already been disposed of as far as the House is concerned.

The Deputy cannot think of any other way to delay the Bill.

(South Tipperary): I am taking them as regions.

They have already been discussed as groups. They were taken both individually and as groups in so far as they affected each other.

It is rather difficult to delay it. It is a pity about the Rules.

The Minister breaks the Rules more often than anybody else.

The Deputy together with Deputy Harte holds the record for being put out of the House.

The Minister for External Affairs, Deputy Aiken, and Deputy Smith, an ex-Minister, hold the record.

(South Tipperary): Unless I can discuss the Budd judgment——

The Budd judgment would not be relevant.

(South Tipperary): Apparently I cannot deal with them individually and I cannot deal with them in groups——

The Deputy will have to go back and say again what he has already said.

(South Tipperary):——and I asked if I could discuss the Budd judgment and I was told that that was talked out already but the Leas-Cheann Comhairle was too polite to say that it was talked out entirely by the Minister. Taking the Minister's proposal over the whole country—I presume I can at least discuss the entire country——

I am afraid Deputy L'Estrange will have to get Deputy Fitzpatrick back.

Will the Minister get someone to take his place?

The Deputy could not get Deputy Fitzpatrick back yesterday.

He was here for four or five hours and he was doing constituency work.

He was not doing constituency work last night.

He is entitled to do that and he has now gone for a cup of tea. The Minister cannot even get anybody from his Party to relieve him while he has a cup of tea.

I do not want any tea.

Deputy Hogan on section 3.

(South Tipperary): The Minister blandly suggests to the House that he still has consideration for county boundaries and that he has never varied in his viewpoint in that regard and yet he produces a Bill which involves at least 14 breaches of county boundaries. In doing that he has transferred 101,000 people outside the local authority areas and he says that he is doing that at the direction of the people of Ireland. I am not aware that the people of Ireland ever voted on an issue like that; I am not aware that the people suggested that the Minister should do that and I am not aware that the people of Ireland would approve of that.

The Chair does not like to interrupt the Deputy but these matters have been discussed during the discussion on the Schedule to the Bill and the Chair does not now want a repetition of arguments that have already been put forward when various sections of the Schedule were being discussed. The Chair is trying to keep the discussion within the section as it is at the moment.

(South Tipperary): The Chair is becoming so restrictive in his admonitions that the discussion will be completely nullified.

The Ceann Comhairle informed me that it was wide open.

The Chair is trying to keep the discussion to section 3 as it is at the moment and to avoid repetition of matters already discussed.

The only subject which the Deputy has not discussed so far is the weather.

(South Tipperary): I would tell the Deputy that I have contributed far more to this discussion than he has.

They are not trying to delay it. They are not afraid of a general election.

(South Tipperary): I do not know how many more times the Minister will tell us about the Budd judgment but when he has finished talking about that——

The Chair does not wish to hear about the Budd judgment any more.

(South Tipperary): Can the Minister tell me how he pretends to justify so many breaches of county boundariese in this Bill when it has been pointed out to him from this side of the House that half the number of breaches of county boundaries would suffice and yet give reasonable constituencies?

This is the second week that this farce has gone on here. I had occasion last night to call attention to the repetition. There is not the slightest honesty in those people over there. They have been complaining about Monaghan, Cavan, Donegal and the lot of them. The only one they considered serious enough to call a division on in the full two weeks was the proposal to take 725 of my constituents and throw them into a maximum gatherum, a piece of Waterford, a piece of Tipperary and a piece of East Cork. The people who are complaining about breaching county boundaries are here proposing to breach three county boundaries. Where is the honesty or the decency in that? If I stand up and make an argument I will follow it to its natural conclusion by calling a division of the House on it. These people over there complain about Monaghan, complain about Donegal, complain about Cavan——

The Deputy will appreciate we are starting to go back on the Schedule.

But Deputy Corry is not repeating himself.

I occupied very little of the time of the House on this matter. I am only calling attention to the deliberate waste of time of this House for a full two weeks, when those putting forward arguments were not prepared to follow them to the logical conclusion of getting the opinion of the elected representatives on what they were proposing.

We shall do that on the Schedule.

I did my damnedest from 9.30 to 10.30 yesterday to get you to call a division, but you knew you had only 17 Fine Gael Deputies. You had to search every hole and corner in the House trying to collect them, and you failed.

You could not even hold Deputy Fitzpatrick.

I know the truth is a scarce thing in this House. I know it is unpalatable. If Deputies over there put down an amendment to take 720 people out of another county to add to two more counties in order to make up a constituency, and they call a division on that, I would not waste my time on them. They have neither decency, honour nor honesty.

It is 723 people.

I am a long time here and in Cork County we were handed back, after ten years, a piece of the town of Youghal that was thrown into County Waterford for ten years. It was like a squeezed orange with not 20 people having employment in it. We are sick of this kind of thing. People do not want it. That is why we brought in the referendum.

We cannot discuss the referendum again.

The people did not want that sort of thing. They wanted a Deputy that could be nailed down and made do a bit of work. You are over there now for 36 long years. There have been two changes of Government during that time, three years in which——

This is irrelevant.

——you were pulling against one another and getting smashed up; three years more and you ran the country into bankruptcy and ran out with a tax on ladies' curlingpins imposed by the Minister for Finance. I have been here for 36 years and I shall be here for 36 years more looking at you.

It is very interesting to listen to Deputy Corry's remarks about decency, honesty and honour and about people putting up arguments and voting on them in this House. Deputy Corry is going out of the House and I want to remind him that he came in here and proposed amendments on the Cork Boundary Commission Bill and then went into the Lobby with Fianna Fáil to vote against his own amendments.

This has nothing to do with section 3.

That may be so but——

The Chair will not allow anything that is not relevant.

It is very hard to listen to the like of that from a man who proposes amendments here——

The Deputy must come to the section.

This section proves to the House and to the people that Fianna Fáil have a mania for the exploitation of our people for Party political purposes. This ruthless changing of people and chopping of county boundaries and of constituencies is for one reason only, and that is to try to perpetuate the Government in office. I asked the Taoiseach a question a few months ago and I was told that 1,220,000 people had left the country.

This matter is not relevant to section 3.

Section 3 refers to 144 constituencies and specifies the have been two changes of Government in Ireland.

Section 3 deals with what will occur after the passage of the Bill, and it is not connected with people who may or may not have left the country. It deals with constituencies.

The Minister made the argument while you were out and while the Ceann Comhairle was in the Chair.

The Chair would ask the Deputy to deal with section 3.

There is no necessity to have this gerrymandering, this ruthless chopping and changing of county boundaries and constituencies involving 14 pieces of over nine counties and changing 101,000 people instead of changing only six pieces of constituencies involving fewer than 40,000 people. That is one proposition that was made to the Minister and he refused to accept it.

This is an argument which has been put forward previously.

The Minister spoke at length, while you were not here, about three-seater constituencies.

The Chair is not concerned with what happened when the Leas-Cheann Comhairle was not here. What the Chair is concerned with is avoiding repetition of the discussion that has already taken place.

The Minister only replied to Deputy Fitzpatrick, and he ran away and Deputy L'Estrange ran after him.

On the section I claim I am entitled to discuss the fact that there are now 26 three-seat constituencies, 14 four-seat constituencies and——

That is in section 4, which we have not come to. It was also discussed on the Schedule.

I cannot understand your ruling, because the Ceann Comhairle told me that on this we were entitled to discuss anything that is in the Bill. The Minister spoke at length about the referendum, about the people's wishes and about what had happened in this regard. However, I think we are certainly entitled to point out the vindictive type of gerrymandering that is taking place in this Bill, that it was deliberately done to suit the Fianna Fáil Deputies and their other candidates and to harm as many as possible of the Fine Gael Deputies. We have given examples of different areas where this has happened. I shall not go back over that, but it is another effort to try to rivet Fianna Fáil in power against the wishes of the people. They know their backs are to the wall at the present time. They know they are fighting for their seats and indeed "seats" is the operative word at the present time because we have so many of the mohair boys who have so much to lose and who had not a seat to their trousers——

Again, the Chair would point out to the Deputy that matters like this have been repeated previously. We are dealing with section 3.

That is the reason I raised it. Unless Fianna Fáil get back the maximum number of people, whether they are entitled to it or not, the mohair boys who had not a seat to their trousers in the past and who are battening like parasites on the people of this country——

This would seem to be more relevant on the Second Reading of a Bill like this and not on the Committee Stage.

It would seem to be more relevant to some tailor or other.

Talking about Taca——

The Chair does not want any comments. Will Deputy L'Estrange please come to section 3? The Chair would appeal to the Deputy to keep to section 3 in order that the debate may move forward.

In their efforts to rivet themselves in power Fianna Fáil are due 100 per cent for gerrymandering and work well done. They have nothing to learn from the Unionists in the North as regards gerrymandering. The Minister has deliberately set out to deprive Fine Gael and Labour Deputies of seats in certain parts of the country.

We did not.

Why is it that in the Dublin area, where the Fianna Fáil vote has dropped so low, the Minister has all four-seater constituencies, hoping to get two seats out of the four?

We have heard that before.

In other areas he has three-seaters, hoping to get two of the three. The Minister has produced a vindictive Bill against the express wishes of the people, expressed a few months ago when there was a massive vote against the Fianna Fáil Party. The people love freedom and justice. They like a Government prepared to give justice to all sections of the people and to cherish all sections of the people equally. This Government have not done it in the past and they are certainly not doing it in this section of the Bill. An enraged electorate are only waiting for the chance to show their rage. The Fianna Fáil Party will face a massive defeat such as they suffered on 16th October last.

I am not going to be too long at all and I will come straight to the point. Perhaps the Minister would be so kind as to give me information, if he can. At the present time we are working, so to speak, on the register of electors that has been compiled in September and October of last year and finalised in the various constituency areas in the last week or two. I do not know whether or not this exercise has been worth while because this register of electors will be in operation from 14th April next. I do not know whether we are going to have a general election before 14th April. If we have it, and if we have it before this Bill is law, we will have to operate on the old constituencies.

I should like to know from the Minister what effect the changes now proposed in this Bill would have on the register of electors. What effect will it have on the new register? Will it be necessary to take a census of the people entitled to vote or will there be, as I imagine, a transfer from one to another? The Minister nods his head so I presume that will be the case and it will not be necessary to take a new census. What amount of time will be taken? Will there be a big difficulty in this or has this work been done before the passage of this Bill into law?

Apart from Deputy Corish's query and Deputy Martin Corry's contribution, everything else that has been said since Deputy Fitzpatrick escaped from the clutches of Deputy L'Estrange, and nailed Deputy L'Estrange and Deputy Hogan to keeping this going on their own, has been out of order. Since Deputy Corry was on my side there is no need to reply to anything he said. Since I do not want to co-operate with the Fine Gael Deputies in ignoring the rules of order I will just deal with what Deputy Corish has asked me.

The position is that until this Bill is enacted by the two Houses of the Oireachtas the present constituencies are the only legal constituencies. Therefore, the register will have to be compiled on the basis of these existing constituencies. Even after this Bill is passed the existing constituencies will be the constituencies for by-elections. Possibly Deputy Corish is more immediately concerned with the constituencies in which the by-elections are imminent. I agree that the other constituencies are relevant also but certainly in so far as the constituencies in which by-elections are imminent are concerned, it is on the basis of the present constituencies that they will be contested. There is always the possibility of other by-elections before a general election. Registers will have to be compiled for the existing scheme of constituencies in any case. I would not be surprised if the people who are in charge and responsible for the compiling of registers have plans in mind for the compilation of the new registers that will be required for the proposed scheme of constituencies, but there will certainly be no authority for them to start compiling registers for these constituencies until the Bill becomes law. What will be done then is that the existing registers will be adjusted to take account of the new constituencies. That will obviously take a certain amount of time. I do not know how long it will take. All the information will be available and it should not take too long. They will have to be printed. I do not know how long that will take but it would not be legal to do it until the Bill has been enacted.

May I ask the Minister are county registrars entitled to engage in this switch legally? A certain amount of expense must be incurred.

Are they entitled to incur expense in this operation? No, they really would not be. It is the county secretaries, not county registrars now.

Question put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 62; Níl, 44.

  • Allen, Lorcan.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Barrett, Sylvester.
  • Blaney, Neil T.
  • Boland, Kevin.
  • Booth, Lionel.
  • Brady, Philip.
  • Brennan, Joseph.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Browne, Patrick.
  • Burke, Patrick J.
  • Carter, Frank.
  • Childers, Erskine.
  • Colley, George.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Corry, Martin J.
  • Cronin, Jerry.
  • Crowley, Flor.
  • Cunningham, Liam.
  • de Valera, Vivion.
  • Dowling, Joe.
  • Fahey, John.
  • Fanning, John.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Fitzpatrick, Thomas J. (Dublin South Central)
  • French, Seán.
  • Gallagher, James.
  • Geoghegan, John.
  • Gibbons, Hugh.
  • Gibbons, James M.
  • Gilbride, Eugene.
  • Gogan, Richard P.
  • Haughey, Charles.
  • Healy, Augustine A.
  • Hillery, Patrick J.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Kenneally, William.
  • Kitt, Michael F.
  • Lalor, Patrick J.
  • Lemass, Noel T.
  • Lenihan Brian.
  • Lenihan, Patrick.
  • Lynch, Celia.
  • Lynch, John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Meaney, Tom.
  • Millar, Anthony G.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Mooney, Patrick.
  • Moore, Seán.
  • Moran, Michael.
  • Nolan, Thomas.
  • ÓBriain, Donnchadh.
  • ÓCeallaigh, Seán.
  • O'Connor, Timothy.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Malley, Desmond.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Wyse, Pearse.
  • Norton, Patrick.

Níl

  • Barrett, Stephen D.
  • Belton, Luke.
  • Belton, Paddy.
  • Burke, Joan T.
  • Byrne, Patrick.
  • Clinton, Mark A.
  • Coogan, Fintan.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Cosgrave, Liam.
  • Costello, Declan.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Patrick J.
  • Coughlan, Stephen.
  • Desmond, Eileen.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • L'Estrange, Gerald.
  • Lindsay, Patrick J.
  • Lyons, Michael D.
  • McLaughlin, Joseph.
  • Murphy, Michael P.
  • O'Donnell, Patrick.
  • O'Donnell, Tom.
  • Dockrell, Henry P.
  • Donnellan, John.
  • Dunne, Seán.
  • Dunne, Thomas.
  • Esmonde, Sir Anthony C.
  • Farrelly, Denis.
  • Fitzpatrick, Thomas J.(Cavan)
  • Gilhawley, Eugene.
  • Governey, Desmond.
  • Harte, Patrick D.
  • Hogan, Patrick (South Tipperary).
  • Hogan O'Higgins, Brigid.
  • Jones, Denis F.
  • Kyne, Thomas A.
  • Larkin, Denis.
  • O'Higgins, Michael J.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas F.K.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • Reynolds, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, Richie.
  • Timmins, Godfrey.
  • Tully, James.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Mrs. Lynch and Geoghegan; Níl, Deputies L'Estrange and James Tully.
Question declared carried.
Section 4 agreed to.
SECTION 5.

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 3, line 2, to delete "South-West Donegal" and to substitute "Donegal-Leitrim".

Amendment agreed to.
Section 5, as amended, agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.