Committee on Finance. - Prohibition of Forcible Entry and Occupation Bill, 1970: Report Stage (Resumed).

Debate resumed on the following amendment:
7. In page 3, line 34, after "who" to insert "verbally (otherwise than on radio or television)".
—(Deputy Cooney.)

I had the opportunity since Friday of reading through the contributions made in regard to this amendment by the Minister for Justice and also by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, Deputy O'Kennedy, and they brought me, with regret, to the conclusion that this Bill is even more obnoxious and sinister than I had thought at the beginning. Therefore, Sir, with your permission I should like to raise some of the issues touched on in the speeches I have mentioned. I do not propose to follow any other speeches but these seem to me two particularly important ones which said very similar and complementary things. I mean "complementary" in the sense that they fitted together. The two persons to whom I have referred were clearly of like mind about the Bill.

In this amendment we are concerned about distinguishing between the actual uttering of words directly from one person to another person or number of persons urging the commission of what the Minister has now made, in the course of the Bill, a criminal offence and the advocacy or encouragement, one might say, at a distance by means of any of the media, because it was our conviction that there was a distinction between advocacy and encouragement which took place directly on the spot. The description of events and even offering opinion about events is not just the normal stock-in-trade of the Fourth Estate, not just the normal responsibility of the media; they also have a commenting and opinion-forming role as well as a simple communications role. It was, therefore, with interest and alarm that I read the words of the Minister in opposing this amendment. I cannot, in fact, give a reference for my quotation in volume and column because, while I have read these speeches in their typed form, I have not yet received a copy of the volume of the proceedings of the Dáil. However, I would ask the Chair to take it that I have copied these quotations, which I shall use, and to the best of my knowledge they are accurate and I have no wish in any way to distort what the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education said or to put words into their mouths.

The Minister, Deputy O'Malley, said that if we were to accept this amendment it would "permit all forms of written incitement to commit offences under section 2 or section 3 of the Bill". Then he said: "Newspapers, leaflets, pamphlets, books, roadside advertisements and cinema and television advertising could, with impunity, encourage people to break the law." It is interesting and extraordinarily significant to get a revelation of the Minister's mind on this section because I confess, perhaps not having thought about it as closely as I should, that all I saw there when I first thought about it was an interference, or what I considered to be an interference—the Minister disagrees, I admit—with the right of newspapers and radio and television. We see here that the Minister talks about newspapers and television—he does not, in fact, mention radio but it is clearly in his mind—but then he mentions a lot of other things also and people responsible for the putting out of these forms of communication would come within the category of criminals because we have the transfer of this common law crime of trespass into a matter of criminal law. We, therefore, have it that the persons who incite to commit offences under section 2 are also criminals.

The Minister wishes to catch leaflets also in the net I spoke about on Friday when I tried to get a definition of the size of this net being formed by the Minister. By that I mean how big would be the category of criminals. We all have had experience of the production on the spot of leaflets at a time of stress when there is deep public concern about something. A group of people may get themselves a very simple duplicating arrangement or they may have the more sophisticated arrangement of getting a typewriter to cut a stencil and then rolling off some hundreds of copies on a duplicating machine and these they hand out to anybody who is there to take them from their hands. They lash out copies of some sort of statement or reaction not for money or for sale, and not a structured thing in the way a newspaper or television station is structured, but just a spontaneous reaction of angry people. It is possible —I shall come to this later—that in this spontaneous angry reaction they will break the law but as the Minister points out, and I think we all agree, it has always been—I think this is his phrase, I shall come to it later—"from time immemorial", a crime to incite other persons to commit a crime. That protection is built into the law and has always been. It is perfectly understood by everyone. It is a piece of legal information that has percolated very widely through the community as a whole. People know that if you incite others to commit a crime you are yourself guilty of a crime.

Here the Minister is not relying on that evolved law which, as he says, has existed from time immemorial; he is specifically formulating something which by his own listing of the categories of criminal documentation he would not wish to have excluded from the scope of the Bill. He lists leaflets. Many little actions occur all the time that are contrary to law. I do not know if lawyers have built up a theory about this and if they say: "We are not out to catch the tiny infringements that are a part of living." I suppose there is hardly a person, from the Minister for Justice to more ordinary mortals with less responsibility in upholding the law, who does not commit little infringements of the law all the time. I do not know about you, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, but I am sure I often do, and I probably know it when I am doing it and, because it is trivial, I do not worry about it and I do not think anybody else worries. Provided there is reasonable normality and security in the State, I do not think the law sets out to plug every conceivable gap and to think of every conceivable form of transgression. Yet, in regard to the leaflets produced in the course of some reaction by people to a situation—leaflets not for sale or produced by a structured organisation so that they would be repeated, just spontaneous free leaflets—clearly the Minister has it in mind that this legislation should refer to them. In other words, he must have it in mind to strengthen the position of existing legislation which, as he has stated, has existed since time immemorial.

I ask the same question that keeps recurring in relation to this Bill: why now? What is new about the circumstances in 1969, 1970, and 1971 that did not exist in the half century during which organs of the State have exercised power over this part of the country? We can think of libraries, of trade unions, museums, universities and all kinds of places in which material is stored and is retained for the use of later generations and in which there are collections of such leaflets. I am worried at the specific spreading of a net to gather in criminals who would be guilty of this minor kind of action but against which, if it is serious enough, protection already exists for the public and for the State, and against which the Minister himself has said this protection has existed since time immemorial.

Then, we come to the area of pamphlets. They are different from a newspaper in the sense that they are produced rarely and refer to a particular event. They may be published by someone who has no regular occupation but who feels impelled to express some thoughts about a certain matter. If we know anything of human history, we know that the power of the pamphleteer at certain moments to propagate widely important ideas which became social forces and changed society was a potent one. Perhaps the supreme example in the history of pamphleteering is Tom Payne. However, we have examples from our own country—many of the things we treasure were produced as pamphlets; they were produced once to refer to particular events.

They can be extremely potent methods of arousing public consciousness and of persuading people to change their attitude and behaviour. Successful pamphlets have been important as revolutionary documents in the history of the world. From his own speech, it is clear that the Minister recognises this category of a particular form of communication which he does not wish to have excluded from the powers of this Bill. His reason for objecting to amendment No. 7 is that it would exclude the leaflets and pamphlets I am speaking about. Again, I must ask: why are extra powers necessary at this stage? In the life of this State there have been many flurries of pamphleteering and there have been periods when no pamphlets appeared. There exists the protection the Minister has referred to in regard to incitement and I shall argue later that incitement is a very different thing from encouraging or advocating.

Many protections against the irresponsible, the libellous, or the scurrilous pamphleteer already exist. The protection of the laws of libel against people being attacked exists and it is understood—it is a highly evolved law. Again, the acts which censor certain forms of discussion in this country exist—some of us approve, some disapprove, but the laws are there and people understand about their operation.

This existing prohibition on incitement to commit a crime has always existed but to those existing protections in the law—the Censorship Act, the laws of libel and slander and so on, and the laws against incitement— the Minister has found it necessary to add a specific section in this Bill. This appears to indicate some special situation about which I should like to hear more.

It is not an impossible request to ask a Parliament for increased or new powers. In a sense, all legislation is the request for new powers, but if new powers are sought in relation to the right of people to communicate, then one needs to hear arguments as to what special circumstances exist which makes those powers necessary now, in a way not necessary at a previous time.

In the list of things that would be excluded from the powers of the Bill by this amendment, the Minister goes on to mention books. The task of writing a book is fairly daunting. The number of people who write non-fiction books in any one city at any one time is small. They do not enter on the project lightheartedly. Of course, there are disturbed people who enter on it maliciously, but the task of writing a book, of raising money, of seeking a publisher and of going through the whole gamut necessary for the book to become available to the public in bound form, is an elaborate procedure. The very elaboration of the procedure, as well as the charges involved, automatically excludes a large number of people who might set out to go through the procedure but who never arrive at that point.

Societies, and particularly societies that care about liberty and the extension rather than the erosion of liberty, have always been extremely sensitive about anything that limited the right of people to produce books. Almost a symbol of the effort to turn back the clock of history, and to prevent the inevitable triumph of new and progressive ideas, has been the burning of books. People at large recognise this right to publish a book, unless it belongs to some specific category of objectionable books, unless it is obscene or libellous or unless, in Ireland, it advocates what is described as the unnatural prevention of conception. Otherwise we have a good deal of freedom. This is very precious and valuable.

From his interjection in the debate on amendment No. 7, the Minister clearly recognises books as one of the categories to which this Bill would apply, and which would be excluded from its action if this amendment were passed. So, very much more than newspapers and television and radio is concerned. Then he talked about roadside advertisements and cinema and television advertising. In this context a roadside advertisement might be a bald statement: "Let us take over such-and-such a block of offices."

We then get an area in which we would have to rely on the specific benevolence of judges. In recent years we have not been entitled to rely on that benevolence. We have to take judges as they come in a sort of statistical sense. There are some good judges and some bad judges, some benevolent judges and some malevolent judges. Taking into consideration our mechanism of appointment, with due thought about it, I expressed grave reservations about the quality of many of our judges and about the quality of many of the judgments they hand down. We cannot claim that we can look for any special wisdom or benevolence from our present collection of judges, although there are honourable exceptions in any such blanket denunciation, of course. Taking them by and large, as a group, taking them statistically, they do not inspire me very much—rather the contrary.

It is not just a roadside advertisement saying: "Let us go in and take over such-an-such an office block" that could be construed as an offence. I am worried about the circumstances in which the roadside advertisement simply called people to a meeting. At that meeting a decision might be taken which resulted in a crime, as defined in this Bill, being committed. Therefore we may be getting to the stage of trying to limit the right of assembly as well as the right of free speech. I had not seen this in the Bill previously. The Minister said that this amendment would exempt from the actions of the Bill roadside advertisements. Then I had to say to myself that roadside advertisements were part of the specific area of operation of the Bill up to this. They were in the Minister's mind. The Minister realised that. When he was pushed he listed what would be excluded by this amendment so he must have had them in his mind to begin with.

The vast majority of roadside advertisements in relation to political activities or para-political activities are, in fact, notices of meetings. If there is a notice of meeting and if the meeting then takes place and a decision is taken to carry out what the Minister defines as a crime—I would feel that many of these acts are not crimes but a necessary defence by people of their own rights, but accepting that they are crimes—then, is the advertisement that called the meeting together contrary to this Bill? I do not know the answer to that.

We on this side of the House may be stretching the size of this net which the Minister is spreading to catch people. That may be so. We may be seeing evil intent where none exists. That is always possible. I will go further and say it is something that politicians should guard against when dealing with political opponents. Last Friday there was a reference to charity. I will come back to that later. This is a point well made. We may attribute ill intent where none exists.

The devil's advocate.

We know the Minister.

When he was pushed, the Minister could get up without a prepared brief and list newspapers, leaflets, books, pamphlets, roadside advertisements, cinema and television advertising. When he could reel out a list like that straight out of his head, then those things must have been in his head already. He must have had thoughts about an effort to curb them. Later I will be talking about the difficulties in relation to the freedom of the Press and the freedom of television and radio. They are difficult and sensitive problems and nobody can pretend they are not. When the Minister can reel off such a list I think we are dealing—and I say this regretfully— with an effort to curb the ordinary freedom to communicate which people enjoy.

The evolution of our society is such that, as things become bigger all the time, and as the Government become more centralised and further away from the people, the opportunities for secrecy are greater, even if there is no bad intent. Therefore, it is not enough that freedom of communication should stand still. Because the ordinary evolution of society is tending to diminish the freedom of communication it is necessary for people consciously to push on that freedom and to open the light of the Fourth Estate and let it shine on areas of bureaucratic files and Government files and all sorts of secret knowledge on which it does not shine at present. It is not enough to be neutral. One has to be positively encouraging in relation to this matter of freedom to communicate and freedom to comment.

I will come back to other reasons why I feel suspicious about this and I want to voice my suspicions clearly. I listened to the Minister defend his Bill against various amendments. I did not have a strong opinion on his subjective reactions to the Bill and the amendment at the outset, but now I feel a growing suspicion that the Bill is in fact authoritarian and that it was conceived in irritation and in pique against persons with whom the Minister disagrees. Just now Deputy Sherwin made an interjection about the devil's advocate. I am satisfied that there are many Deputies in the Fianna Fáil Party who are deeply exercised about the provisions of this Bill and who do not like it a bit. They recognise that the charges that it is endeavouring to muzzle the media are well-founded.

I understand that this is a sensitive issue. I understand that the Minister has nailed his colours to the mast. I understand all the cogent arguments, which Deputies of all parties perhaps understand better than other people, about the need for unity, the need for solidarity, and things like that but, at certain times, in defence of their own credibility Deputies in any party must exert pressure against things of which they disapprove. It is not enough to disapprove silently. I suggest that this is particularly important at this time inside the Fianna Fáil Party because, it seems to me, that we are in this Bill recognising two very different parts of Ireland. I do not say this abusively. I state it as a fact. We are recognising a partition. I think all of us would approve, would sustain, would advocate actions in the Six Counties which this Bill seeks to make illegal.

As I do not think we should have legislation about contraception or, for my own part, about divorce either, as it could not be seen to be equitable and freely applicable to the whole State, so we must, I think, legislate all the time for what we consider and claim to be the whole of the national territory. If that is so, then we are proposing here to transfer large parts of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland from the area of persons who properly protest at an outrage, and may therefore be guilty of a common law offence, from that category into the category of criminals.

It seems to me we are asked here to give power to the Minister to suppress dissent, to suppress the reporting of dissent, and to suppress the encouragement of dissent. I can see those powers in the not too distant future being used against persons who may conceivably, under the Whip, be called upon to vote for this Bill. In the most literal sense they are being asked to cut sticks for their own backs because they seem to me, as dissidents and in the positive aspects of the dissent that they voice, to be protesting at very many issues close to the issues that are being raised and that are, in many cases, identical with or overlap the issues being raised by the people against whom this Bill is directed. It may be that there is an element within, I would not say society, because I sincerely hope that is not so, but there is an element which is forging chains, chains which may end up on their own wrists. Surely they ought to think deeply about the wisdom of such a course.

To refer again to the Minister's comment, I go back to this recognition, which he suggested was something we on this side of the House did not recognise about the existence of protection for society as a whole against the sort of actions the Minister is anxious to stamp out. We, of course, recognise that this protection has always existed. I have enumerated some of the laws operating, but I want to quote the Minister on this because it is important to the main theme of the doubts I am trying to articulate. The Minister said on Friday that it is already, and has been from time immemorial, a criminal offence for anybody, whether he be a journalist or otherwise, to incite another person to commit a crime. We recognise both the Minister's own personal legal knowledge and the legal knowledge of those who advise him and, with that statement, nobody can quarrel. It is, indeed, and has been from time immemorial, a criminal offence for anybody to incite another person to commit a crime. We are all aware of that. It does not come as a surprise to us. It is not a matter of proving or disproving it. We recognise it as a fact of law. Indeed, I would think, without being certain of it, it is a fact of law in every country in which law exists.

The question that arises is, if this is so, and the Minister says it is, and we agree with him, then why the need at all for section 4 of this Bill? Leaving section 4 out of the Bill would not in any way weaken or change the law that has existed from time immemorial here, and exists everywhere else as well, the law which gives society protection against incitement to commit a crime. The Minister knows—he made it clear—and everyone knows that these powers exist. Then why have in this form in this Bill this particular section associated with squatting, with forcible entry? What is the reason for it?

The reason is not far to seek. The answer is that this is not a reiteration, as the Minister claims it is, of existing law. It is an extension of existing law. It is an increase in power. I offer that as a statement of fact. Before arguing it, let me remind the House that the Minister presents this section 4 as a simple repetition, as a simple reiteration, with no increase in power. That being the case, there is no answer to our point that it is unnecessary. But let us ignore that for a moment. We are, I think, all convinced it is unnecessary. The Minister said it would have been easy for him to drop it, but he declines to do this. At the same time he insists that this section 4 is nothing new; it is simply a reiteration in this Bill of a power we all know has existed from time immemorial. The Minister equates "incitement" with the words used in the Bill "encourages or advocates". In other words, to sustain his argument that there is no increase in power, that this is simply a reiteration of an existing power, the Minister has to argue that the word "incite" has the same meaning as "encourage" or "advocate". He has to argue that and he does so argue. I propose now to quote a few, not all, of the phrases he used. He said that encourage or advocate have precisely the same meaning as incite. That was in the Minister's speech on Friday. Again, he says that "encourage or advocate" means "incite". Then he says that the reason it says "encourage and advocate" is that it sets it out clearly in modern terms. It is just a matter then of modern terms. The Minister suggests that there is, in fact, no new power at all. The protection which the public and the State possess against incitement to commit a crime is a protection that every Member of this House would uphold. It is a necessary protection that individuals, societies and States possess which makes it a crime to incite others to commit a crime. In other words, a person cannot get someone else to commit a crime and then say that it was not he. I am sure every Deputy will agree that is a right which society should possess. I am sure no party has ever tried to introduce legislation which would erode that right. While we might be bitterly divided on many issues I am convinced this is one issue which would find us absolutely of one mind.

Two words are used in the Bill instead of one: "encouragement" or "advocacy" are presented by the Minister as being identical with "incitement". If I wanted to waste the time of this House I would bring in the volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary from the Library and go through the sections which define the words "encourage", "advocate" and "incite". Were I to do that I would prove to anybody with a mind to be convinced and with an ear to listen that they do not mean the same thing as understood in ordinary usage by ordinary persons; they do not mean the same thing as understood by Deputies. It might conceivably be argued —and here I would disclaim any expert knowledge—that in law they mean to say this. It might so be argued, but were it to be the case it would be so surprising that it would need to be specially argued.

I have read through the sections; I have not written down any of the things they say. I am merely expressing now, neither as an expert in law nor in the meanings of words in English, what I take "incitement" to mean. There is already in the world some degree of disapproval in "incitement" because in order to incite one works on people's feelings, one arouses them, one stimulates them, to do something which is, in this case, an offence. The word "incitement" already contains that pejorative overtone. The word "incite" suggests the word "offence" or "crime".

The word "advocate" is vastly more general and vastly wider in its meaning. What one advocates is simply a course of action or simply an action. "Advocate" has a vastly wider connotation and there is no escape from that. I do not think we can allow, with any amount of legal double-shuffling of the precise definition of words which I know lawyers indulge in, like and often make such a lucrative part of their stock-in-trade, "incite" and "advocate" to mean the same thing.

Where there is a doubt about the meaning of words it is the practice in a Bill to have a section which goes in for definitions. I have my reservations, which I shall voice, about the way words are used in this Bill. If one wants to define "forcible entry" more precisely than by saying: "Ah, but you know what I mean" it turns out to have no meaning. In my view it is a phrase which cannot be defined. It is meaningless because, as I will argue later on, all I do as a result of the action of human muscle is forcible, so all entry, unless one is carried into a place, is forcible. To stay in occupation of a place one does not need to exert muscle, so if one is carried in forcibly and simply sits there one would be part of the category which the Minister means to catch. However, that is a semantic distinction which I do not propose to pursue at the moment.

In section 1 of the Bill where there is doubt in interpretation there is definition. In this Bill there is definition of the words "forcibly", "land", "owner" and "vehicle" but there is no definition of "encourages" or "advocates". These words are not used in a special sense as defined in the Bill. They are used in the ordinary sense in which ordinary people who use English with an ordinary degree of expertise understand. The suggestion that the words "encourage" or "advocate" have precisely the same meaning as "incite" is, on the face of it, preposterous and visibly and audibly not true. It is, in fact, more than preposterous because it is a piece of foolishness propounded by a Minister, who is, above all, a Minister for Justice, who both in his private capacity as someone with a legal training and in his public capacity as a Minister for Justice, must be very exactly and nicely concerned with the precise meaning of words. It is not just preposterous to equate things which do not mean the same thing; it is, in my view, sinister because what the Minister is doing is extending existing power imperceptibly although he denies doing so.

It would be arguable for the Minister to say: "We find in the State that people are carrying on both actions and incitement to actions which we think are very bad for the nation as a whole, but we find we cannot catch them by the existing law so we need more power." That would be an open expression of the inadequacy of the present situation and while we might agree or disagree with the Minister we could not question his sincerity; we could not say that what we thought he was doing was sinister. Here the Minister is saying that the law against incitement has existed since time immemorial and that the words he uses "encourage" or "advocate" have precisely the same meaning as "incite" and he put it in the Bill because it sets out clearly in modern terms the old law about incitement. He is suggesting there is no extension of power. He is not arguing that he needed more power and would the Dáil please give it to him in regard to muzzling the media? He is suggesting there is no muzzling beyond the basic necessary muzzles which have existed since time immemorial. He is suggesting no change, but to validate the suggestion that there is no change he has to argue that you would only catch the same number of people in the net labelled "incitement" as you would catch in the net labelled "encouragement" or labelled "advocacy". That seems to me patently untrue, patently absurd. If the Minister argued the case for increased power in regard to the media he might or might not get it from this House. Of course the tragedy is that he will get it anyway. There is nothing, I am afraid, that we in the ranks of the Opposition can say which will deflect him one bit. That he has doubters in his party I know but I know from direct experience that they will not express their doubts. Some of them will cut the rod for their own backs when the moment comes for them to climb up those steps and vote this Bill into a disgraceful law.

The Minister is trying to conceal that there is an extension of powers and this cannot be sustained. It is also something that gives rise to just the sort of doubts, worries, hesitations and attribution of sinister motives which the Minister resents very much but which I am also convinced is true. If the case for more power is overwhelming make it openly and get the power that way. If there is no case for more power in regard to the media, then there is no need for anything in this Bill. Even if the Bill itself were necessary there would be no need to refer to the media. This is an impossible dilemma for the Minister to argue his way out of. If there is no extra power, then there is no need to put it in and if there is extra power, then he must admit it and he specifically denies that there is is any extra power. It is a dilemma but it is a dilemma that worries us very much and makes us doubt his frankness with this House and that leads us, therefore, to the conclusion that, in fact, there is an intention to extend the power to control not, indeed, the newspapers or television but to use the Minister's words, newspapers, leaflets, pamplets, books, roadside advertisements and cinema and television advertising. In fact, there is an intention to extend power over these things by the State but it is an intention that is being denied and concealed and that is what makes it more sinister.

Then we come to the really central bits of the Minister's speech. He says:

The purpose of this whole section to get at the people who are behind the front men in the forms of forcible entry and forcible occupation that we have witnessed so widely in this country during the past two or three years.

Now it is getting a bit clearer. He feels that behind the small number of forcible enterers, and they are few, there is an even smaller number of shadowy persons he wants to get. They are fewer still. Would there be a dozen or two dozen of them? We then find ourselves drafting legislation to catch a tiny number of people, not legislation for the nation as a whole or for criminals as a whole. I do not accept for a moment that this is the intention. If it were the intention, it would be drafted in a narrow restricting way instead of the extraordinarily general way on which I have commented. He is drafting this Bill to catch the people who are behind the front men. I get very worried about Acts of Parliament which are designed to catch tiny numbers of people. Either you can get an Act of Parliament which is a good one and which applies to the general situation and, therefore, catches anyone who transgresses or else you should not have an Act of Parliament at all. Once you start designing particular laws with particular handfuls of people in mind you enter on a very thorny path, a path of repressions. Many people believe that this is, in fact, repressive. The Minister goes on to say:

... I would have been failing in my duty to get at the subversive organisations and the people who make it their business to stay in the background....

The word "subversive" has echoes for me like the words "law and order". I shall talk again about law and order. If it were defined properly I am in favour of it, if the people I hear saying it are not the Verwoerds and the Governor Wallaces of Alabama and the Craigs and Paisleys of Northern Ireland and the Enoch Powells of Britain. I think law and order is a good thing, properly defined. The people who are always talking about it are the sort of people I have just listed who are concerned with repressive order produced by a violation of law, certainly by a violation of human and civil rights. I think subversion is a bad thing if by subversion you mean a concealed, undemocratic and secret effort to overthrow the structures of State from the inside by a conspiracy. Off the cuff that is the definition I would give of subversive organisations —conspiracy, secrecy, working from inside structures without letting people know what is going on. I consider this sort of subversion a very bad thing. "Subversive organisations" is a phrase that in America means active civil rights organisations, which on the lips of a General Tuzo or a Paisley or a Craig or a Faulkner means anybody who is not a Unionist in Northern Ireland. I do not want to pursue the obviously sensitive subject as to who are the subversives in this part of the country at this moment but by any normal definition of subversion it would not mean either of the Sinn Féins who function pretty openly, as openly as they are let, express their objectives and their aspirations and carry on propaganda for those in a very open way. They are not the subversives. Therefore, while I express myself as being against subversion, just as I am for law and order, when I see this phrase used I hear the authentic echoes of repression. The Minister says: "...I would have been failing in my duty to get at the subversive organisations..." I take that to mean that he intends this Bill repressively because I believe that real subversion involves the breaking of existing laws against which most societies have perfectly adequate protections, from Official Secrets Acts at one end to libel, to censorship—the whole battery of legislation. The Minister is not really worrying about what he chooses to bracket as subversive organisations. He is really worrying about dissent, whether it is republican dissent or whether it is militant leftwing dissent or whether, perhaps, from his point of view, most obnoxious, dissent by people who are both of those things at the same time, both militant socialist and republican simultaneously, which makes it the most obnoxious of all.

I think the word "subversive" is a misuse of language applied to those persons when other obvious categories exist nearer home and, as I say, I hear the authentic echo of the McCarthy era and of obnoxious people nearer home, in the UK and Northern Ireland and elsewhere in that word. That deepens my doubt about the Minister's good intentions. That deepens my conviction that what is in his mind is repression. I believe this to be repressive. I believe the repression will bear on some persons now in his own party who may conceivably, under some false sense of loyalty, bring themselves to vote this Bill to become an Act.

I believe it is directed at dissent. I believe it is directed at political ideas which the Minister does not like. I believe the protections which exist under very many existing laws and, and as the Minister says, some of them existing from time immemorial, are perfectly adequate to deal with the problems that the Bill purports to deal with and also to deal with the publicising of those problems.

Charges have been made both in this House and widely from the legal profession to journalists, to the populace at large, that this is repressive legislation aimed at civil liberties, free communication, free publication, free press; indeed, the Minister himself talked, as I quoted him talking, about roadside advertisements, even the right of free assembly. It is also, of course, aimed at trade union rights because certain categories of crimes, even the encouraging or advocating of which are now crimes under the section we are discussing, are part and parcel of the trade union struggle for better conditions in employment.

What does one make of a sit-in in trade union terms? We may be told "Oh, we do not mean trade union sit-ins. We just meant it when Sinn Féin do it." But, if you write laws you cannot write long commentaries saying to judge A in court B, 15 years hence: "Oh, it was not meant to apply to trade unions. It was just meant to apply to the Dublin Housing Action Committee, which disappeared a decade ago." We cannot write laws like that. They go wrong on you.

It was interesting that Deputy O'Kennedy, who came to this House with a liberal image and, I must say in fairness to him, has often said things that I considered to be liberal things by the standard of Fianna Fáil, should feel that he had to go in to bat in such a totally loyal way for the Minister for Justice on this issue because when he did urge the throwing out of this amendment—possibly it was because he was a bit cross; possibly it was because the pressure of the opposition caused the liberal mask to slip a little, as it did with the Minister for Justice—the words that came out, some of which I propose to quote, were to me authoritarian and backward looking words. Let me give you an example of what I mean. Deputy O'Kennedy said:

There can be no neutrality on the fundamental issues as to the maintenance of normal order, of normal peaceable living, of normal responsible citizenship, in this country or in any other country.

Thus far I think we could agree. But, you see, it is a question of whether you get these desirable objectives— normal order, normal peaceable living, normal responsible citizenship—by the evolution of social cohesion with confidence and a faith and a trust in the apparatus of the State or whether you get them in a repressive or authoritarian way.

Which way should we get them? I do not believe that you can legislate for normal responsible citizenship. Normal responsible citizenship is something that grows in people who live in a society which behaves in a normal responsible way itself. The sort of normal responsible thing that that society ought to do so is to provide adequate houses. Because people have protested about the inadequacy of their housing in a vigorous and forcible and non-verbal way, we have the circumstance why this Bill is going through. But, you see, normal responsible citizenship at certain moments means protecting the interests of one's family in a way that is more than verbal. Whether it is a matter of practice on which liberties are founded all over the world, or whether it is a matter of the theology of the Catholic Church for one thousand years, the right of people to protect their interests by force is understood by law, by theology, by history, by people.

I do not see the cogency of the Parliamentary Secretary's interjection.

The Deputy did have a previous amendment to this section which sought to prohibit a person from protecting his property.

This is true but I think there was an effort to put a gloss on this thing which examination of the situation will not bear. We recognise, to paraphrase Deputy O'Malley's words, that the right to protect your property against trespass has existed from time immemorial. It is a common law right and is very widely occurring and existing but if you transfer trespass, which is what this Bill does, into the category of a criminal offence, then you are altering the whole framework in which the reaction of the public to that criminal offence takes place and, therefore, we argued that if you want to make this ridiculous transfer into the category of criminal offence and overturn the whole historically evolved law of trespass, you have to face the consequence of that. The object of that amendment was to make the Minister see the consequence. I do not think it succeeded but that was its object.

However, to revert to the consideration that I was putting forward in relation to Deputy O'Kennedy's speech, I think we are at one, the whole House is at one, about the desirability of maintaining normal order, about the desirability of maintaining normal peaceable living—these are all his own phrases—of normal responsible citizenship. Of course, we are at one in this House, whatever else divides us, about those things. But, the question is how much of that can you get once people do not feel disposed to go on accepting thestatus quo? How much of that can you ensure by legislation? Our thesis is that you can only guarantee the loyalty of all the citizens to the State by changing the State so that the State is worthy of their loyalty. You can only guarantee people's quiescence on the issue of housing provided housing is adequate but if housing is not adequate, in our view, you do not have the right to legislate to guarantee that quiescence. However, I think we all are at one with Deputy O'Kennedy about the maintenance of normal order, of normal peaceable living, of normal responsible citizenship. But what was to me a terrifyingly revealing phrase which I think is relevant because it relates to how we would attain this desirable situation of normal order et cetera, he accused us— in this context, the Labour Party—of wishing to substitute the principles of civil disobedience for the principles of civil obedience. That was his phrase. That is an awful phrase; I do not think there should be principles of civil obedience because I take the word “obedience” to be derived from the verb “to obey” and this seems to me to indicate a repressive approach to the maintenance of order, peaceable living and responsible citizenship. I do not think you can validly approach any of those things which Deputy O'Kennedy said were desirable and which I agree are desirable on the basis of civil obedience.

To the law.

Obedience to the law as distinct from civil obedience? I shall take up that distinction. I do not think it was what Deputy O'Kennedy meant. There might be a better case for Deputy Cunningham's concept than for Deputy O'Kennedy's but I still would not think it was a valid one.

Perhaps we should ask him.

He has already spoken on this amendment but no doubt he will have an opportunity in the coming weeks to clarify his position on this point.

The coming months.

I shall come to the matter of obedience to the law because my own belief is that the liberties of this country and every other country enjoying significant liberties have been based on defiance of bad law. There is a very stirring quotation which I would produce if I could find it or remember it from one of the fathers of the American revolution to the effect that defiance of bad law is a duty. I believe that is true. I believe we are in the course of making a bad law that it will be a duty to defy. My point is that what Deputy O'Kennedy spoke about were the principles of civil obedience. This is a bad approach, an authoritarian approach that starts with the word "obedience". It is not just because it is an obnoxious word because of the echoes of childhood when obedience was enjoined on people; it is certainly obnoxious in childhood but vastly more so for adults.

I think Deputy O'Kennedy was contrasting civil obedience with civil disobedience. Civil disobedience has been vastly productive of good, of liberty and of freedom all over the world. It might be said that I was being tendentious or party political if I spoke about it in the context of Ireland because, perhaps, there the betrayal of past attitudes to civil disobedience on the part of the Minister and those who will vote for this Bill would be seen particularly sharply. But who among us does not applaud the civil disobedience of oppressed blacks or Africans, oppressed black Americans and other protesting Americans? Who does not applaud the civil disobedience developed so brilliantly by Gandhi or, if we come nearer to home, the civil disobedience of the civil rights workers in Northern Ireland in the past five or six years? The reason that Northern Ireland is ungovernable by ordinary methods and the reason why Britain can no longer go on in the old way is because of civil disobedience action. In reply, the argument could be made that as I am arguing the virtues of civil disobedience it is all right when you have foreign domination or racialism or where you have the unionists in power but not in this part of the country: I confess I do not see that distinction.

I do not suppose there is any way in which somebody who urges the right of people to civil disobedience in our society at this time can protect himself from misquotation; I do not expect to be able so to protect myself. I do not expect not to be misquoted. Standards decline particularly at election time but even in between elections they are not so good. Of course, my stand and our stand on this will be misquoted but for the record let me try to indicate that I do not believe in civil disobedience as a first choice or as a normal method in normal circumstances of trying to right a wrong. It is a very dangerous weapon and I think it is frequently a counter-productive weapon and frequently alienates significant sections of the community that might conceivably be able to deliver whatever is being sought. Therefore, it is to be used not first, not lightly and not continuously. I write in all those provisos and more but when all that is said it is a right we legislate away at our peril, in my view, because so much of our liberty here and elsewhere has been built on civil disobedience. I do not believe in legislating it away.

The civil disobedience in this case is over a narrow area relating to a particular issue, housing. The question is how one should better spend one's time, whether trying to legislate away the rights of people who, in my view, have done a useful social task in pin-pointing a social evil or in trying to mobilise the resources of the nation to rectify that evil. I do not now want to enter into a discussion of the difficulties of rectifying that evil, financially and otherwise, which everybody recognises. The point is how serious is your effort.

Deputy O'Kennedy spoke about these principles of civil disobedience and again, I thought, terribly revealingly went on to say things that are so surprising from a member of this party. I have said elsewhere that the home I grew up in was one where all the ideas were the ideas of Fianna Fáil of the late twenties and thirties but when talking about the principles of civil disobedience he said: "Whence they have been derived we have never been told, why we should respect them or adhere to them, we have never been told." He introduced this phrase "civil disobedience"; so, presumably, he knows what it means. I do not propose now to define it but I think I know what it means and I think I know what the Parliamentary Secretary means by it. "Whence they have been derived, we have never been told..." I am surprised that anybody who claims to be a republican in Ireland can say that. I am genuinely surprised. I thought that however repetitively it was still handed out, however little belief there was in everything that is meant by Irish republicanism, at least it was still talked about. I did not think that Deputy O'Kennedy could have escaped contact with republican ideas. He is not as old as I am but he is not much younger and I should have thought he must have such experience.

Deputy O'Kennedy suggested that Labour Deputies would some time like us to think that there is absolute freedom and he said there was no such thing. This relates to the general charge that in the amendment we are supporting we believe there should be some mysterious sort of total freedom of the Press. The charge made by Deputy O'Kennedy is a silly one. In opposing this Bill, or in proposing amendments, we are not now seeking to extend the freedom of the Press. It could be argued that it needs to be extended. It could be argued that there are many areas in the life of this State that are needlessly kept secret and this is bad for everyone.

We are not arguing that now: we are simply arguing to protect what exists. I do not think enough freedom exists. Newspapers are subjected to too many pressures that prevent full disclosures—many of them commercial pressures of an obvious kind. However, that is not the issue, and still less is it the issue that we believe in some sort of abstract, absolute freedom for ourselves, for the newspapers, for television and for every protester.

We recognise the limitations that exist on total freedom as acutely as anyone else. We recognise the most severe limitation of freedom, whether applying to a person, to a newspaper or to a political organisation—the limitation of available money. This is an inescapable and extremely imperative limitation on our freedom. We recognise the impossibility of absolute freedom, that there are freedoms that can be abused. We recognise that many limitations on freedom, either of newspapers or persons, are there for social good from which society and the common weal benefit.

This charge has been made by Deputy O'Kennedy. It has been a cock-shot on the part of the Deputy for the purpose of knocking it down. We have never argued for such absolute freedom. If we think about it seriously we will realise that such a concept is impossible of realisation. We have no freedom from death, for example, which is an important lack of freedom; we have no freedom from growing old and many other things. It is not necessary for me to elaborate this point. To suggest we are advocating absolute freedom either for protesters, or for those who report the protest is obviously a hare raised for the purpose of divisive pursuit. We are not even now arguing for an extension of the freedom of communications, although I believe this is necessary. We are simply arguing to maintain thestatus quo.

Deputy O'Kennedy said that we should not try to raise hares about the restrictions on the Press, on radio, and on television that are nowhere implied or stated in this or any other section of the Bill. I understand the Deputy is a barrister and, therefore, he can claim a professional knowledge of the law which others of us do not possess. I cannot understand how it is possible to suggest that section 4, where it is stated that a person who encourages or advocates the commission of an offence under sections 2 or 3 shall be guilty of an offence, is not a restriction on the Press, on radio and television. It is a restriction on them as it is a restriction on the individual. The question is whether it is a proper restriction and we have spent some time in arguing that it is an improper restriction.

I note with considerable interest the accusation that the Labour Party— the Opposition, if I might use that collective term at this time—have been brainwashing the Press into believing that they are in peril when, in fact, they are not. I regret to say I cannot find the quotation from the Minister's speech which would indicate this, but it is somewhere indicated in his speech that somehow the Press would not know about this curb on its freedom if the fact had not been brought to its notice and exaggerated by members of the Opposition——

Is this a quotation?

No, I said I could not find the quotation. I am paraphrasing it but the Official Report will appear tomorrow and there will be plenty of time to correct me if I am representing unfairly what the Minister has said.

I doubt if the Minister said that.

My recollection is that what the Minister said was that we had been indicating to the Press that they were at risk, that they took our word for this and would not have known of this fact otherwise. The great thing about the amount of freedom of the Press that exists is that we are all under fairly close scrutiny. The Press has an opinion, not only of the Members of this House, but of the activities of the various Departments. The interesting point is that frequently it is a fairly consistent opinion throughout the entire Press—it might be called the collective opinion of the Press. It is the job of the Press to be well-informed, to be in touch, to have those judgments. While we can all gripe at certain times in regard to what they say about us it is generally recognised that they do fairly well in this country. The suggestion that the Press's opinion of this Bill came somehow from the politicians is, it seems to me, a great exaggeration of the power of Opposition politicians in regard to the Press, and also a great underestimation of the astuteness of the Press. They are here on the spot. Some of them are vastly more professional than Deputies are. Some of them are at it much longer. The thought that we could peddle them an opinion that they did not already hold, which was untrue or contrary to the facts, is ridiculous, I am bound to say. It does not at all coincide with my experience or my opinion on the matter.

Generally I do not think it worthwhile to pursue any bits of personal vendetta but I want to do so in relation to my colleague, Deputy Cruise-O'Brien, who has already spoken on this amendment and therefore cannot come back on it. I suppose there is no man in this country who is better able to rise above it but, at the same time, there is no man in this country who has been subjected to a more personal and bitter campaign of vilification for political reasons than he. He has certainly been on the receiving end of a very great deal of bitter political abuse. I know from lengthy personal experience that its effect on him is amusement and the sort of mocking of his would-be assailants at which he is very good. It is very funny, indeed, to hear him in action on such attacks. At the same time, I want to refer to what Deputy O'Kennedy said about him because it indicated to me a beautiful lack of consistency and a beautiful desire to have it both ways. He said——

On a point of order——

Will the Deputy give the reference please?

The reference is to the speech by Deputy O'Kennedy on Friday on amendment No. 7. Since I have not yet got a copy of the Official Report I cannot give the volume number or the column.

The Deputy will admit that it is unfair to pronounce these things as quotations when we have just discovered that they certainly are not.

The reason I think it fair to pronounce them as quotations is that I did not write them down as he spoke. Today I went to the Official Reporting section and I transcribed them from the typescript. They are transcribed in my handwriting from the typescript. They are transcribed from the written page in front of me. It will be possible to compare them tomorrow. I claim they are accurate. If they are not, the Parliamentary Secretary will have an opportunity to prove that and to get some mileage out of it. They are quotations in the sense that I transcribed them from a typescript. For the reason I have mentioned I cannot give the reference to the column. I trust that the House will accept them.

I was talking about Deputy O'Kennedy's observations on Deputy Cruise-O'Brien. He said: "I totally question the capacity of Deputy Cruise-O'Brien to judge the charity of any man." That was an interesting enough thought, a nice, laudable appeal to charity which is, after all, something of which everybody approves. At another place he said: "Deputies might come to their rational senses and might desist from making savage, personal, bitter and, I might almost use the word, uncivilised attacks on the Minister."

He cannot have it both ways. We all understand that there is a fair amount of cut and thrust in politics and that we all have a "go" at each other fairly sharply at times. Some of us generate that animosity about ideas and about actions of the Government, but we do not extend it to any persons and forget about it quite quickly. On the other hand, we know that around the House there are personal animosities between individuals which carry on after the event which generated them, but that is more a question of individual psychology than of the disagreements we may have.

The point is that, if we talk about charity and question a Deputy's charity, if a Deputy is accused of being uncharitable, the accuser himself also ought not to accuse Deputies of making savage, personal, bitter and uncivilised attacks because those are the words of uncharity. Anybody has the right to say that at times we are uncharitable towards each other. It is true that we are. Were I to say to somebody else: "You must not be uncharitable towards Deputy so-and-so" and then have a "go" myself in terms that were clearly uncharitable, I would reckon that I was being a bit ridiculous. We have some evidence of this. It is self-contradictory. It is not applying to one's self the standards one is urging other people to apply.

I want to come back to the central thought about the meaning of the words "encourage and advocate", particularly in connection with the freedom to report what actually happens. I do not know if all Deputies received today a copy of the editorial in theRoscommon Herald entitled “A Threat to Press Freedom”. I do not propose to read it into the record. It is a very interesting editorial and, if Deputies have received it, I would urge them to read it and to think about it. The editorial quotes from a letter which I think we have all received. I do not propose to read it into the record either. It is a letter sent out by the Dublin Branch of the NUJ and there is a reference in it to charges which could arise from the investigation, reporting, photographing, commenting on or otherwise editorially dealing with specified activities. This is a wide range of journalistic activities. The word “journalist” has been a bit stretched since radio and television came on the scene.

Let us consider the position if we had what one might call a statistically average Irish judge, if we are to evaluate our judges in the light of some recent decisions they have handed down. Let us look at the interpretation of the word "encourage". What constitutes encouragement? It is clear that, during the war, the simple mention of a whole series of activities was adjudged under our censorship laws as encouragement, because it was prohibited. It was not just prohibited to stop information passing to another country. It was prohibited in order to minimise these activities.

I referred before to the extraordinary fiction about "an illegal organisation" which to some extent is still carried on although it is very widely breached now. But this is a conviction based on the thought that the simple mention of the IRA would be something that would encourage the IRA. The point here is that the word "incite," which is the old word that always existed in regard to incitement to commit a crime, is not coextensive with the words the Minister used, "encourage and advocate". While I think the expressing of an opinion would be essential for the word "incite" to be justified, on the other hand, it is not necessary to express an opinion about events or actions in order to encourage them. In fact, I think that simple reporting, without comment, does constitute or could be held to constitute encouragement. This applies, of course, to pictures also. Of their very nature pictures could be held to incite. Pictures, unless the cameraman is extremely brilliant or unless he sets out with plenty of time to compose a picture, do not involve comment or editorialisation. It is just a simple reporting of events pictorially. This is particularly true of the news photograph because the news photographer has no time to set the picture up. There is no comment. There is no posssibility of staging it. The photographer has not time to pose the picture. He just records the reality as it happens, without comment. Can any of us deny that the simple recording of reality constitutes vast encouragement to people in certain circumstances?

Perhaps I might illustrate this distinction between "incite," which is what the Minister used in his reply on this amendment, and "encourage". It seems to me the Minister was on particularly shaky ground when he suggested there was no difference between the two. He said "encourage" or "advocate" has precisely the same meaning as "incite". "Incite means encourage or advocate." It could hardly be clearer that he means they are the same.

Let me give an example to indicate that this is not so. It relates to someone who is a Deputy of this House, someone now sitting in front of me. I do not suppose there is anybody who forgets a picture of a police alsatian being set at Deputy Dr. Noel Browne, a very dramatic picture indeed. Of course it was not staged and, of course, there was no comment. I cannot now remember what the circumstances were. I cannot remember what the particular incident was. I do not exactly remember when it was. I do not remember exactly what was happening, but I do know that the sight of that picture and that dog encouraged me vastly, and thousands of other people, to support whatever it was that Deputy Dr. Browne was then protesting about. Vast encouragement, as I say, just by a picture and anybody who recalls that picture, the majority of people, however profoundly they disagree with Deputy Dr. Browne on certain occasions, will know what I am talking about because they experienced the same emotion: if this is the way dissent is treated, then I will do my own bit of dissenting.

Reporting is, of course, encouraging. Published photographs like that photograph are encouraging. With the history and the traditions and the attitude we have in Ireland, pictures of police attacks—let me not judge it; it might just as well be police defence—of physical attack, of violence, of assault, of confrontation situations between police and protesters possess, and are well known to possess, and would be accepted by any judge as possessing, an aspect of encouragement for the protest which is there recorded. I do not see how the ordinary experience of the ordinary use of that can be escaped. It has to be like that. It seems to me it is like that.

I know from practical experience— I had better qualify this to ensure there is no possibility of being misquoted; it is as well to close all the doors against misquotation: I am going to give an opinion in a moment about an activity of the gardaí in regard to protesters in Dublin, and squatters, and sitters-in and all the rest of it but, before I do that, I want to qualify it a bit; I am not setting out a blanket denunciation of everything the gardaí do. Neither do I set out a blanket encouragement of everything they do. Like all people, they do some very good things, some very wrong things, and a line in between. But, when that is said, the vast majority are socially necessary and we are very glad they are there. But, having said that, I have seen them use in Dublin against protesters more violence than was necessary. That was my experience. It was also the experience of a lot of other people.

Reporting the actions of the gardaí on these occasions could be construed as encouraging. In my view that kind of reporting is extremely important because it forms a very necessary check. Everybody chooses his own job to accord with his own personal needs and personal psychology. There are some gardaí—they are a small minority, but they exist—who are in the Garda Síochána because the possibility of doing a bit of bullying or a bit of "lurrying up" appeals to them. It corresponds to some psychological need they have. I have seen them in action. I have seen them use more force than was necessary. I have seen them single out particular people for harsh treatment. I say this recognising where I am saying it, recognising how serious it is.

I believe, for example, that Máirín de Burca is subjected to more violence than is necessary by the gardaí because they are angry with her and they are annoyed with her. The pictorial evidence of that, without comment, is very important for the protection of the liberties of ordinary citizens against excessive zeal on the part of the gardaí and similar bodies. My belief is that that sort of reporting would either be inhibited or directly outlawed by this Bill and that would be a threat to the liberty of persons not to be intimidated by the gardaí at a time when the gardaí had made a snap judgment of their own that something was a bad thing and should be stopped. They obviously made that judgment about squatting. I think the majority of people would agree with them. I think that would be most people's opinion, but it does not permit the guardians of law and order to "lurry up" the persons committing actions with which most people disagree, even if the actions of those "lurried up" are in contravention of the law. Just as the curbing of the Press is a first step towards an authoritarian situation, the use of excessive force and intimidation is a similar first step. The good police forces which can be totally relied on in any imaginable circumstances exist in the freest country where the greatest openness, the greatest democracy and the greatest freedom of the Press exists. The really degraded police forces which are a disgrace not only to their own profession but to mankind as a whole exist in places like the southern states of America and in South Africa where these things do not exist. We have a danger to the free reporting which involves another threat to our liberties as well as the danger of free assembly.

The freedom of the Press is a tug of war; it is not an abstract thing; it is not an absolute thing. There are people making continuous efforts to erode it for their own reasons which seem to them perfectly good reasons. It is not surprising that civil servants very often should not want full disclosure and full discussion. Neither is it surprising that large companies should want to prevent full disclosure and full discussion of things which they are engaged in. It is perfectly possible for the interests of large companies or civil servants or particular pressure groups to be in conflict with the interests of the population as a whole. The reporting action therefore is a very important guardian of all our liberties.

The freedom of the Press is not static or abstract; it is a tug of war; it is a dynamic balance between those forces trying to enlarge that freedom and those trying to minimise it. The efforts to minimise it are continuous and therefore it seems to me that anything which seems to weaken not just free reporting but free discussion is retrograde in our society. It is retrograde particularly in regard to the specific forces that are what one might call targets of this Bill because the best way to deal with them is by a two-pronged attack. First to remove the grievance and second to let the total blare of publicity, discussion and the free democratic inter-play of argument and counter-argument bear on them. This is the way in which they take their real place in society which is a place corresponding to their real strength. That is a very trivial place. We are making them big, we are making them special, we are making them martyrs, we are giving them social leverage, we are diverting people from the central issues and problems and the mechanisms of solving those problems, if we introduce legislation which is aimed, as the Minister clearly admits, at tiny numbers of people, making them altogether too important, using, as I have said, a sledge hammer on a very small nut.

That is the wrong way to do it not only in relation to this part of the country but profoundly the wrong way to do it this year in relation to the whole country. Until I can hear a vastly more convincing defence of this section I shall continue to believe that it is, in fact, an effort motivated by spleen and venom against trivial opponents, which in its carrying out involves threats to the liberties of the Press, of assembly of trade unions of every one of us, to the right of dissent which, as I said earlier, are as important inside political parties as they are in society as a whole.

We oppose this Bill in its totality, line by line. It is inconceivable in content, it is repressive. I have tried not to use more emotive words but the sharper words which have been used are in my view valid ones. If one wants a precise semantic analysis, this category of criminal act of forcible entry, of forcibly occupying is meaningless. It may be meaningful in the sense that at this moment everybody knows what it means but of being meaningful in a decade hence and of being meaningful in terms of a rigorous definition it is my considered opinion that these crimes when analysed have no meaning. When phrases like that are without meaning it is all the easier to pour into them whatever meaning a particular situation or a particular Government at a particular time may require.

It comes down to this: one cannot have it two ways. If there is nothing new in this Bill in regard to freedom of expression and freedom of communication then it is unnecessary. If, as the Minister argues, there is no difference between "incitement", "encouragement" and "advocacy" and if the law against incitement has existed since time immemorial then there is nothing new and if there is nothing new there is also no need for it at all. If, on the other hand, as I believe to be the case, there is something new which justifies the existence of section 4, which prevents the Minister, when its inadequacies are pointed out to him, from dropping it that something new is a limitation on the freedom of the media.

It could be argued that the Minister's refusal to drop this section when the inadequacies and dangers are pointed out arises simply from petulence, pique and the inability to admit an error from the inability to say, "I am sorry I was wrong, you were right, we will drop it." Although I am not one of the Minister's greatest admirers I think this is to do him an injustice. I do not think he is acting out of pique, I think he is acting out of deliberate intent. It would be less serious if it were just pique. It is quite deliberately thought up, it is purposeful and it is not the same as the existing law. Words lose their meaning completely if this section is a reiteration in what is called, "modern terms of existing law." It is not that; it is new, it is different, it is an extension of power and for me the most regrettable decision of all is that it is absolutely considered and deliberate. Were it just pique, were it just the unwillingness to admit an error, were it just the determination to stand over the formulation of some Parliamentary draftsman, which had not previously been clear to the Minister, it would not be serious, it would not be sinister, it would just be a bad formulation which can arise in the best regulated houses. The Minister could then say, "Sorry, this was wrong, I accept the validity of the criticism from across the floor, I accept the validity of the criticisms which have been expressed privately inside my own party, although not publicly. We will drop the whole thing." The Minister's refusal to do that is not pique. It is quite considered and quite deliberate and in my view very dangerous for the future, for the freedom of the media as a whole, indeed, for the freedom of expression, for the freedom of assembly and for the freedom of basic trade union rights in regard to a particular sort of trade union activity.

It is for that reason I have devoted this time to analysing what the Minister is up to. I support this resolution which although it does not go sufficiently far does at least alert people to the dangers and does permit people like myself to refer to those dangers and to talk about them. It is for that reason that those of us who see this danger and oppose this development must continue to struggle against the implementation of this Bill in every way that lies open to us. While I realise that it is a Bill that refers to forcible entry and forcible occupation I realise that that phrase could, in the context of a Bill that is related to the inadequacy of the housing situation, itself be construed, were it used outside the privilege of Parliament, as encouragement and would, therefore, be itself a crime.

This is a democratic Parliament. The last Deputy who spoke is fighting for democracy, according to himself. He transgressed the laws of ordinary courtesy at the end of a term in this House by speaking for about two and a half hours. This Deputy states that he stands for democracy, that he is against the Forcible Entry Bill, but he tries here to stifle democracy within this House. If he wants to speak until Christmas Day I will be here to hear him.

If he had something to say it would have been different.

When I came into the House he had spoken for so long that he was down to a whisper. According to Deputy Keating if our homes are invaded we are to kiss the people and welcome them and sleep on the doorstep. If that is the democracy Deputy Keating stands for I do not stand for it and the people do not stand for it. As far as charity and goodwill are concerned, I can challenge anybody in this House. I have been as charitable as any Deputy could be towards our less fortunate brethren who might want help from any of us. I am against this sheer hypocrisy from Deputy Keating. It is sheer unadulterated hypocrisy. I say that if a man buys his own home he is entitled to it. If a man is a tenant of a home from the corporation or from anybody else I say he is entitled to that home and nobody has any right to invade it. Deputy Keating says that he has. Deputy Keating is a most honourable man. Deputy Keating says that if anybody went to his home tonight he is such a charitable fellow that he would leave him his home, that he would go out and tell his wife and family to go out to the coal house or to some place like that.

I do not intend to go on interrupting but my speech is on the record and I should like to say that the version being offered by Deputy Burke is, of course, a travesty of what I said and it makes me think that he does not know what I said.

Deputy Keating spoke for two and a half hours and I never interrupted him. If he is not able to take it——

He has a lot of things on the record.

If Deputy Keating had his way we would not have this democratic Parliament here. He has tried by every means in his power to stifle democratic and free speech here. We have reached the time when hypocrites like Deputy Keating and others who say that if I buy a home I am not entitled to say——

The Deputy must not use expressions like that in regard to Deputies.

I am sorry, Sir. If I transgressed the laws of courtesy I apologise to you because you are a very gracious Chairman. I shall put it another way. The statement made by Deputy Keating was a terminological inexactitude.

Right first time.

If the Deputy wants an interpretation of that I shall give it to him at another time. This is what we are faced with here. Is there any man in this assembly or outside it who feels that if he is a tenant of a house or if he purchases a house that he is not entitled to defend that house? I am not afraid to stand up and say what I believe. I will not be a squeamish character who will play up to the mob in the street. I have always tried to help these people in all the years I have been here. Here is a man transgressing the laws of democracy and taking up the time of this House for two and a half hours stating that everything we are doing to defend the ordinary citizen is completely wrong. Is it wrong to protect the homes of our people and to say: "That is your home no matter who you are, no matter what your political views are, no matter what society you come from or no matter what country you come from so long as you are a citizen of this country." We are trying to defend that here and we are being accused of being dictatorial.

(Cavan): On a point of order, may I point out that the subject of this amendment is whether the act of encouraging or advocating the commission of a crime under sections 2 or 3, in writing, is an offence or not? That is the subject matter of the amendment we are now discussing.


Deputy Keating spent two and a half hours dealing with how Máirín de Burca should be treated. Deputy Burke is entitled to make his points.

The Chair will decide these points.

(Cavan): May I point out to the Parliamentary Secretary that I listened for an hour to Deputy Keating, very carefully, and he could not be found out of order.

Deputy Burke is entitled to refer to the points made.

May I thank my learned and honourable colleague, Deputy Tommy Fitzpatrick, for bringing me back on the rails. I remember when the South African team came here. The very same people who are talking over there wanted to suppress the Press and stop it from giving any notoriety to these people when they came to our country. This is the kind of freedom of the Press these people are talking about. Thank you, Deputy Tom, for inspiring me.

He is relevant now, anyway.

It is all right to speak with one tongue today and with another one tomorrow and another one the day before yesterday.


Deputy Tom is a very honourable man.

(Cavan): It is like Sligo, where the houses are few and far between.

There are enough there to elect both of you. Is it not strange that what happened yesterday was right and what happened today is wrong, because Deputy Keating says so? He is the author of all goodness in this House. As a matter of fact, he is the wonderful international arbitrator that we have in this country. I have nothing to say of him personally. He is a decent man. He represents part of County Dublin with me. According to Deputy Keating, we are the real savages over here; we are the people who do not look after the poor, who do not build houses, who give nothing at all; we are here to crush the people.

They could not get the land off him to build the houses.

I will not go into that because that would be personal. The man is entitled to 1,000 acres if he wants them. I believe he has a couple of thousand acres. Good luck to him. That is his own business.

What inspired that remark? Christian charity?

If I have 10,000 acres, it is my business; it is no affair of this House. I am not following that line.

(Cavan): That is telling Deputy Dowling off.

Could we get back to the amendment?

I have spoken to amendments long before the Deputy was born and will after he has gone out of the House. I will be here after him.

On the Adjournment?

One sees here in a democratic Parliament a Deputy trying to transgress the laws of democracy for two and a half hours suggesting or alleging that we on this side of the House are not concerned about anybody and that Deputy Keating is concerned about everybody. Who does he think he is? It is all very fine. I can stay here until Christmas but Deputy Keating thinks he is going to keep the staff of this House here. He is supposed to be a Labour man. The staff of this House want their holidays.

Crocodile tears.

These are the people who are supposed to consider the staff of the House. They are not concerned with the staff one way or the other. The journalists want their holidays.

(Cavan): Freedom of speech they want and freedom to express opinions.

We are on amendment No. 7.

Deputy Burke is concerned with the Press.

I am concerned with the Press being here when they should be on their holidays. I am concerned with the staff of this House. I am concerned that democracy should exist in this Parliament and that there should be a little charity towards everybody. I suppose when Deputy Keating got up today he thought he was making a wonderful impression that he was concerned about the Press and about the staff of this House. His only concern is about Deputy Justin Keating. He was not concerned about trying to muzzle the Press when the Springboks were here. Not at all. That was another day. They play one tune today and another tune tomorrow. This is what we are up against in this Parliament.

I have wonderful regard for you, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle. You are a most courteous, kindly fellow and I would not transgress the laws of courtesy as far as you are concerned. Deputy Tom Fitzpatrick gave me a little bit of help there for which I am deeply grateful.

(Cavan): The Deputy is more than welcome.

When one sees the kind of thing that is going on one wonders where we are going in this Parliament.

Not on our holidays.

They talk about freedom and what we stand for. Is it freedom to ask the Press not to say anything about the Springboks? Is it freedom to ask that the Press be kept out of the Labour Party conference when they had a private conference? Is this the freedom we are speaking of? Is it freedom to enter my home or your home or anybody's home and take it over? Is that the freedom we are fighting for and that our forefathers fought for over the years? Is that the freedom we should have here? Is that the freedom we are standing for? Lest I should say anything personal, I want to assure the Leas-Cheann Comhairle that I do not intend to transgress the laws of courtesy here but I was a very disappointed public man when I listened to the terminological inexactitudes of Deputy Keating this evening.

Has the Deputy got away with calling the Deputy a liar because he learned a few new words today?

Arising out of the remarks of the last speaker I want to say that I have not talked to Deputy Cluskey and I have not talked to Deputy Andrews, both of whom are the Party Whips but I think I can undertake to give a guarantee that the staff, the journalists, the Deputies and everybody concerned with maintaining this House open and in action, can all go away on their holidays on Friday night next, if the Labour Party have anything to do with it, if Deputy O'Malley, the Minister for Justice, drops this Bill, No. 1; or, if he does not wish to drop this Bill, he can reintroduce it in the autumn. There is no problem as far as we are concerned in coming to that arrangement and I am quite certain it can be done if we can get the consent and approval of the Minister for Justice. So, if the staff are aggrieved as Deputy Burke seems to think they are aggrieved and if the journalists are aggrieved as Deputy Burke seems to think they are, then the people who must be blamed for this continued debate on this contentious and completely scandalous piece of legislation are the Minister for Justice and those who support him, including Deputy Burke, who came in just now to defend him.

In relation to the charge Deputy Burke made about the Springboks, a number of members of the Labour Party held the view that we should ignore the fact that these people had come to Ireland to play football with our people. We felt that these were— are—men who for reasons I will deal with later are not people with whom one should play games—put it that way —and we expressed an opinion and, as Deputy Burke correctly says, we asked the Press not to talk about the Springboks.

Now, Sir, the Press decided to talk and to write about the Springboks and in that they were exercising a perfectly proper function but there is a world of difference between a party which ask the Press to take a particular line of action and the action of a party— it may be Deputy Burke's party—the Minister for Justice's party—the Fianna Fáil Party—who tell the Press that it may not comment in a particular way under penalty, in the first case, of a fine not exceeding £50 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both such fine and such imprisonment: on summary conviction, in the case of second or subsequent offence under this Act, to a fine not exceeding £100 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both such fine and such imprisonment and, on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both. This is the party that is calling for a democratic approach to the problems of journalists in Irish society. There is nothing wrong in expressing an opinion about a matter of importance of this kind. This is the essence of democracy and of the democratic practice but when that wish is translated into the authoritarian section of an Act as laid down in this proposed law then the journalists should, indeed, begin to fear for themselves and with justification.

Very few Government Deputies contributed to the debate. We should be grateful to those who have, even to Deputy Burke for his—in my view— fatuous contribution but the interesting common thread running through the speeches of all these Deputies, Deputy Andrews and Deputy O'Kennedy and Deputy Burke—I heard most of them —and of course, through the Minister's, is the apparent complete inability to understand the simplest tenets of the democratic idea in a society such as ours. Deputy Cruise-O'Brien spoke at considerable length and with great eloquence and most forcibly on this particular point, of the very tenuous ephemeral nature of the whole democratic idea of public life in Ireland and how very close to the surface with all the parties, with the exception of the Labour Party on its record—I regret referring to these things—is this idea of force, and setting aside of Parliament with the purpose of setting aside the democratic idea.

This is particularly emphasised in the speeches of the Fianna Fáil Deputies today and especially in Deputy Burke's contribution and his criticism of Deputy Keating for having spent two and a half hours in debate here. In fact, he spent something like four and a half hours in debate and more power to him. Why should he not do that? Is it not our function to debate, to put forward a point of view, listen to each other, differ from and refute each other where we feel we can do so with effect? Why did Deputy Burke not sit here for the four and a half hours and listen to the excellent points made in the most coherent and persuasive speech by Deputy Keating on this very important Bill? Why did not Deputy Burke, appreciating the significance and importance of the Bill, sit and listen to Deputy Keating and give us four and a half hours, or nine hours or 21 hours or as many hours as he liked, in defence of his particular thesis which was so cleverly, cogently and effectively criticised and attacked by Deputy Keating and Deputy O'Brien?

No attempt was made to answer the case put forward by those Deputies. It is the Government Deputies who are acting in contempt of the House. I listened to both Deputy Keating and Deputy O'Brien all through and I do not think the Ceann Comhairle or Leas-Cheann Comhairle had any need to bring them back to order or suggest they might be in any way out of order in their contributions. These speeches were made in a perfectly orderly way in accordance with Standing Orders on this very important issue. They did not transgress in the slightest the idea of democratic practice here. I have recollections of Fianna Fáil Deputies speaking for very long periods at different times and nobody suggested there was anything wrong. I think Deputy Smith talked for three days: I spoke myself for at least three days on the subject of education in 1957 and I have no apology whatever to offer for that because of the importance of the subject. I was making no attempt to delay or hold up the House at the time.

Whatever great differences there have been in the whole Labour Party pattern in its parliamentary life the most consistent trend throughout has been its rejection of anything except the dialectic, except debate and discussion, except the right to talk and the right for the other side to talk back, to discuss, criticise and differ and then, by listening to everybody, by giving everybody the right to speak for as long as they wish, to come to some sort of concensus of opinion or agreement which somehow represents the views of the majority of the people in Parliament.

I was very interested in Deputy O'Kennedy's and Deputy Andrews' contributions, particularly in Deputy O'Kennedy's. They were very interesting in that they were, I thought very civilised, thoughtful and in many ways, effective contributions, infinitely more effective and valuable than any contribution the Minister made. They made telling points; they disagreed with us; they made a case as to why our amendment had weaknesses; they ridiculed the Labour Party. All that, it seems to me, is in the essence and process of debate. The interesting thing was their apparent inability to understand the process of the whole business of discussion, introduction, Second Stage, Committee, Report and Final Stages, the whole process of trying to create intelligent legislation that is likely to be valid and upheld in the courts. There are all sorts of suggestions: some of them are wild, some are intelligent, some of them are unlikely to be accepted and some have no validity at all. However, the purpose is that they must stand up to discussion; they have to be defended, and the alternative has to be a better choice if it is to be sustained. That is the purpose of this amendment. It has defects; we do not think it goes far enough, but it goes part of the way in order to make the Bill a better Bill.

The whole tenor of the O'Kennedy-Andrews contribution was that because we put forward or supported this amendment it must be the law, that if we were in power there would be no question of our listening to Fianna Fáil if they were in Opposition. They tried to say that there would be no question of telling us it was a silly amendment, that there would not be the general pattern of debate. Whatever differences there are between us, the one thing we are most jealously anxious to protect is the idea of democracy which we see gravely threatened by this section as by no other section.

A case could be made in simplistic terms for Deputy Burke's approach to the right of an individual to occupy his home. That was effectively answered by Deputy Cooney and Deputy Fitzpatrick in particular. In their knowledge of the civil law there was no question of any threat of this kind. However, in this section there is no justification whatever for the proposals embodied in it.

Chesterton said of Christianity that it had not failed; it had never been tried. Equally, this is the case with democracy. It is an extremely sensitive instrument of the Government and, in my view, probably can be operated only in a highly educated and completely literate society. To an extent, however, we can try to make it work in our difficult circumstances. One of the saddest things about the democratic process is that an individual as insensitive and, I must admit, as intellectually and ideologically limited as the Minister, is able to get elected to the democratic assembly and to be given these extraordinarily wide powers as Minister for Justice. Having been given these powers, as part of this marvellous process of elections and political debate, he is empowered to destroy the whole democratic process. One of the most frightening things about the basic naïveté of the democratic process is that we leave ourselves open to having an individual who does not appreciate the extreme sensitivity of the process and the special nature of the democratic idea. Because he wants to achieve some relatively unimportant end in a particular way he can take a short cut to achieve this end, to hunt out these people whom he says are behind the innocents who go into the houses and squat. There has never been any suggestion that there is more than a small number of people involved, but in order to get at them he brings in a measure that can lead to the complete annihilation or emasculation of our Parliament. That is what is being done in this section.

Ireland is a moderately advanced society. There have been considerable improvements in educational standards and the inevitable result is that people criticise and question to an increasing extent. The dramatic explosion of the communications media, in addition to the infrastructure of education, is now allied to the enormous influence of television and is infinitely more powerful than the books that, in their time, were the great enlightening experience for humanity. Television is now more potent because of its attractiveness and ability to present facts and because its views and attitudes can be transmitted to even the most illiterate. It is one of the great changes in our society and it has been responsible for major changes in societies throughout the world.

In the old days the masses could be kept in a state of semi-literacy, or educated specifically in relation to trades and crafts and, therefore, were not a danger from the point of view of reading too much about what they should, and could, have. Television has ended all that. Now we have a medium of communication which is able to put forward the most advanced and radical views about the way of life of people, the conditions in which they live, about the advances made in some countries and the failures in others. Television can demonstrate the methods by which the advances are achieved and the impediments which prevent advance. All this has been put across in Irish society.

In the few years I have been in public life, I am conscious of the remarkable speed at which ordinary people have become more critical and questioning of old accepted beliefs and ideas. It is for that reason that many Governments and Ministers for Justice have become worried. We see it everywhere: in West Germany, in France, in Holland. In many of the one-time dedicated democratic societies we have seen many of them reach for their pens and for their legal sanctions in order to try to close the flood gates and to stop the expansion of mass knowledge in all their societies, and we have seen the repercussions, people saying: "We will not stand for this kind of conditioned society any more; we must have improvement; we must have a betterment in our conditions." This leads to varying forms of the diminution in the freedom to express a point of view— freedom in Parliament right up to and including freedom in the newspapers, on the radio, on television, in books, and so on.

This is the great temptation for the Government when they find themselves under intelligent and rationalised criticism as to their failures in different branches of their activities, in relation to social services, housing, health, or whatever it may be. Obviously, according to the politicians here, it is easier to suppress criticism than to deal with the factors from which the criticism arises.

The main subject of criticism with which this Bill is concerned is criticism in relation to the homeless in Ireland. Obviously the Government can act in one of two ways. They can say the problem is not there, that it is not a serious problem, and ignore it. Then, if they are reminded that the problem is there, that it is serious and that people will not continue to tolerate it, they can suppress the criticism and stop this disagreement with the Governmentdiktat:“The Government have said this is not so, that this is not a serious problem and therefore it is not a serious problem, and by law they will insist that you will accept that it is not a serious problem. You cannot continue to dissent from the Government and insist that it is a serious problem, whether you are a homeless person, or a socially-minded person and it does not matter whether you are for housing action or whether you are a member of Sinn Féin, or Fine Gael, or Labour, or Fianna Fáil, or whether you are a private citizen belonging to no party.”

I get a certain amount of satisfaction out of reminding people of the Christian principle of not passing by on the other side. You have a good home of your own and you are very happy and contented, and so are your family. You see a homeless person. You cannot stand the sight of the person who has no home. According to the Christian principles which we were all taught, you take sides with him against the people, or the Government, or the society, you feel are in some way denying a fundamental right to that unfortunate person. The simple thing to do, of course, is to pass by.

There are a number of people who will not, and I do not care whether they are Communists, or members of Fine Gael, or Fianna Fáil, or Labour, or Sinn Féin, Provisional or anybody else. If people display a social consciouness about serious issues, if they happen to be journalists in theIrish Times, or the Cork Examiner, or the Irish Press, or The Independent or Radio Telefís Éireann, I applaud them for their decision to side with the minority, with the weak against the strong. I would have thought that was a most fundamental and most desirable manifestation of Christian charity in a society such as ours.

Instead of that, according to this Bill, if the Minister has his way, we will have an escalation of penalties to be imposed against people: from six months to three years imprisonment, and fines of from £50 to £500. These are the penalties to be imposed for displaying what I believe are the most laudable emotions possible on the part of one human being towards another human being in times of trouble.

One aspect of the Minister's behaviour was dealt with particularly well by Deputy Fitzpatrick in his contribution about the discriminatory application of the laws in our society. I think it has to be referred to again. The Minister has not applied the law on a number of occasions. The Minister knew quite well at the time that, if he wanted to make a charge against Miss Kenny of theIrish Press, she certainly did not in any way attempt to evade that charge. I remember raising the question of the Minister's behaviour on the law relating to family planning.

That has nothing to do with this amendment.

On the discriminatory application of the law, Sir? At that time, the Minister refused to apply the law, even though he knew that the law had been broken. He then applied the law to Deputy de Valera in a completely discriminatory way in relation to the incident of the reporting of the divorce case.

Deputy O'Kennedy, who is surprisingly critical of the Labour Party, made a general charge against us that we were attempting to replace by civil disobedience the principle of civil obedience. Most of us were very surprised that a man we still believe to have considerable talent and intelligence should have used this kind of phrase to convey the impression that in some way or other the use of civil disobedience is a disreputable proposal by a political party or made on behalf of a political party. He professes not to believe that it had ever been properly defined, or that he had ever heard that it had been, or ever heard from whence it had been derived, or why anybody who believed in the general principle of civil disobedience should be held in any respect. I am quite astonished that a Deputy like the Parliamentary Secretary, Deputy O'Kennedy, should be so confused about this wonderful principle, in my view, of political action in world history.

I remember some years ago—ten, 11 or 12 years ago—being asked to say whom I thought was the most remarkable political figure in modern history. The usual names were put forward, some of them very close to home. Some were obvious ones, Lenin, Marx, Connolly, people of that kind, people with whom I would have a certain sympathy. These were the names put forward, but the man who impressed me most was, Mahatma Gandhi. He it was who effectively liberated the entire sub-continent of India by the use of civil disobedience. None of the others present mentioned him. None of the others mentioned —Connolly, Lenin, Marx, Castro— achieved their objectives without killing somebody, without hurting somebody, without locking people up, without putting people in prison. All the military force of the British Empire was unable to do anything to this man. They were certainly unable to combat the enormous power and force of this extraordinary man and they were unable to stem the movement he led to victory with his bare hands. This was the use of civil disobedience and the hunger strike which brought a great empire to its knees. Gandhi succeeded in doing just that. Civil disobedience is something in which those of us in the Labour Movement are proud to believe because it does not involve the necessity of one man killing another or one man taking away another man's liberty.

Civil disobedience runs through many of the most notable of effective, peaceful protests which have changed the face of society all over the world. For the Parliamentary Secretary, Deputy O'Kennedy, to feel that the Labour Party should be in some way ashamed of advocating this kind of approach to the solution of particular problems is something that astonishes me. Surely he would approve of the achievements of the suffragette movement. Women's suffrage was an achievement of this kind.

The Deputy is on general principles now. He should keep to the amendment.

These points were made by Government Deputies in criticising our contribution to the debate and I am replying to those criticisms. The Parliamentary Secretary, Deputy O'Kennedy, spent some time ridiculing the Labour Party for holding views of this kind. Quite clearly he does not understand that views of this kind are particularly powerful in their influence.

I think it would be reasonable for the Labour Party to say that the most powerful force altering conditions of work for workers is a form of civil disobedience, namely, strike action, the withdrawal of labour. It is on the basis of that very simple principle of civil disobedience that the whole, great, powerful, now immensely strong transnational world trade union movement is based. It is based on the idea of peaceful refusal to collaborate, walking up and down outside the factory, or whatever it may be, allowing the factory or whatever it may be to carry on, if it can. Usually it cannot because of the wonderful solidarity of the average working man in a situation of that kind. The immense power of the simple decision to refuse to collaborate, causing inconvenience, sometimes distress, sometimes hardship particularly to those on strike, has changed the face of society. But this is part of the whole process, the hardship, the inconvenience and the distress, of changing society in a peaceful way.

We resent being ridiculed when we put forward on this section views in the tradition of the Labour Party, when we resist this nostalgia, as Deputy Dr. Cruise-O'Brien described it, for force which seems to run through so much of what has been so wrongly described as the republican movement here in the past 50 or 60 years. We resist that temptation. It is, of course, far less dramatic, far less exciting, simply to go on strike or to chain oneself to a railing, or, like Mahatma Gandhi, to go on hunger strike and refuse to raise his hand against another human being. We saw this, too, in the quite funny speech of the Parliamentary Secretary, Deputy Andrews, in his criticism of our amendment because we said we would not forcibly eject anybody. A case can be made for going to the extreme of rejecting force everywhere we can. There is a method for dealing with a situation of this kind. The gardaí are there. They are the experts. We do not believe force should be used.

The basic trend in all the contributions by the Fianna Fáil Party, and even by Deputy Burke, has been that in some way or other we are soft, we are not manly, soldierly, militaristic-type individuals who will man the barricades, go to war and so on, in defence of our principles. We are not that kind of people and we are very proud we are not that kind of people —I certainly am. I do not think history will ever justify that action by the end result and the bitterness which occurs.

Deputy O'Kennedy was particularly critical of our last amendment. He seems to overlook the fact that the provisions of section 4 will make new criminals. Under section 4, which this amendment attempts to amend, a person, that is any person, can become a criminal. It is not just a person who will put an individual out of his house but any person who encourages, advocates and so on, becomes a criminal so that we now have a completely new class of criminal involved in this piece of legislation. Deputy O'Kennedy had no difficulty whatsoever in coming in here to defend this particular proposal. Newspaper men, radio and television commentators, and in particular ordinary individuals taking part in any kind of protest action can become criminals. Most politicians have at some time helped or encouraged a number of these causes. The Minister for Justice said, and Deputy O'Kennedy supported him that since the beginning of time nobody has been permitted to advocate or incite to a criminal act. It has for time immemorial been a criminal offence to incite another to commit a criminal act. We all know that is the general trend of their comments. What disturbs us very much is that the word "incitement" has been enlarged. As Deputy Keating said the word "incitement" has a very specific connotation and buried in the minds of all of us is the idea that you incite somebody to do wrong and therefore one appears to follow the other, but you should not be allowed to incite somebody to do wrong. None of us differ on that point at all.

The interesting development has been the addition of the words "encourage or advocate". This brings us into a completely new area of danger where all of us as politicians, are concerned. I would like to remind the Minister that he is legislating for the foreseeable future, and most of us who think we can foresee the future politically tend to believe that the Fianna Fáil Party are not going to go on endlessly in power. If the provisions of this Bill are unjust, it is possible that if the Fianna Fáil Party should revert to its great radical days, its great liberal concern for suffering humanity, which is there and no one can ever deny it, some of them, including the Minister, might find themselves in a position in which they are going to break the law. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that some member of the Fianna Fáil Party who is now supporting this Bill may find himself encouraging or advocating something which he believes is perfectly reasonable and perfectly justified under the circumstances of the particular situation.

As Deputy Keating said, "incite" means to urge or to stir up a person to do something. "Encourage" means a number of things; it means to embolden, to incite and to advise a person to do something or other, to promote or to assist. The word "encourage" is so wide in its implications and in human and political activity generally that it seems to me, as a layman, it will be completely impossible for the courts to interpret what the Minister has in mind in this particular section. It is too dangerously wide to allow it to remain as it is. It is quite obvious that the word "embolden" is a simple enough word generally intended to mean the encouragement of somebody who is anxious, worried or unhappy; or somebody who has suffered a setback, is distressed in some way or other, suffered a loss and feels the loss very much, some sort of timorous person. It is a very vague word but the trouble is, of course, that one cannot be specific about the particular act or decision which would embolden such a person. What has one done? What must one do to see that one does not embolden an individual in such a situation? If one simply does nothing at all does one embolden somebody? If one turns the other way and takes no notice does one give them support in their idea? That word will confuse and torture the unfortunate judiciary and the legal profession if ever an attempt is made to relate the action of an individual to a particular set of circumstances in which he is accused of encouraging or emboldening a particular individual who is in distress of some kind or other. How does one encourage a person? Surely it is endless in its possibilities?

If you attend a meeting, if you applaud, if you contribute, if you circulate leaflets, if you put up posters telling that the meeting is on, if you speak at a meeting, if you sit on the platform while the person is speaking and you do not ostentatiously get down, is this all, in sum, encouragement, the breaking of this particular new criminal law? If that is so, surely not only the journalists, the radio and television people, but there is virtually nobody who at some time will not break the law—lay people, trade union leaders, occasionally church leaders who may take sides on issues of this kind and, in that way, encourage people to carry on with their particular form of protest. If you refuse to discourage somebody from doing something, is that encouragement? Most people know well that if a traffic warden does not bother moving a person who is parked on the double line it is a negative act but it could be an encouragement to the person to break the law. Silence, the fact that you do not criticise the individual for what he is doing, tacit consent—could that be an interpretation of this very broad provision in this section?

If any of the men who led the freedom movement 50 years ago had survived and were to write about their activities—Connolly in the GPO, Jim Ryan in the GPO, if Mr. de Valera, the President, was to start talking about his forcible occupation of Boland's Mills, if Rory O'Connor, Cathal Brugha, had survived to write their stories, the people of the Land League—would they not, in fact, have encouraged in their own way the young people of today who sometimes completely misunderstand the different circumstances of that time? They all acted as leaders, and gave encouragement to young people to continue what they believe is fighting for freedom. Are these people to be called criminals under this Bill because what they have done stands there as part of our heritage, part of our history and because all of these deeds were in their own way honourable, certainly courageous? How can we separate this kind of action from the action of an individual who today decides to go to a meeting and by the most innocent act is accused of supporting or encouraging what purports to be an offence under this Bill?

The Minister asked if journalists, the newspapers, television, the radio were to be above the law. Of course, nobody suggested that they should be above the law least of all the journalists, the editors of newspapers or the television and radio people. They do not want to be outside the law at all. They have never had any difficulty in not inciting somebody to rob a bank, to rape somebody or murder somebody or batter somebody to death. It has never been a problem with them because of the sense of social responsibility which all of them have in the exercise of their function as journalists.

None of us has any rosy or extravagant beliefs in the quality of journalism generally in a society such as ours. We know that the newspapers are subject to many great pressures, pressures with which we completely disagree—I certainly completely disagree with them— pressures from the industrialists, pressures from businessmen, pressures from the wealthy section who happen to own these newspapers because that is the kind of society we live in. If you have a cheque book you can establish a newspaper. I spent most of my life working in a society in which most of the things in which I believe and have talked about from time to time have been anathema to most newspapers in Ireland over those years but, having said that, it is still true that there is access to the Press. If one is misrepresented, if something is said with which one does not agree, I have always found it possible to gain access for correction or for putting forward a point of view in any of these newspapers no matter how much they may have disagreed with what I believe and what I have said. To that extent the Press has played a very useful role and does play an indispensible role in a society such as ours. There are obviously periods in which the Press is more enlightened and more liberal and gives a fair representation of different points of view. Sometimes it appears to me to be better than others. Some newspapers are a little bit more liberal or a little bit more right wing than others. There is this variation and it is a very healthy and desirable variation in the Press and in their presentation of the news as they see it. The danger we see here is with the kind of freedom or to what extent we agree with it or feel it should be enlarged or restricted. The kind of freedom that is here at the moment, we believe, is a very precious and very important thing to a Parliament.

Deputy Cruise-O'Brien said that we were interdependent, each of us depended on the other to a considerable extent. We could attenuate their freedoms; they can suppress our points of view. So, we are both really very powerful influences in a democracy of our kind and we both have to have respect for one another and we try to have respect for one another. This provision here, in our view, is an attempt in a very serious way to delimit and restrict the freedom of the Press in relation to its right to comment.

We do not have any illusions about the whole role of the Press in a society such as ours. Yet, I think it is fair to say that, whatever the reasons—and I have my own reasons. I will not bother you with them tonight—there appears to have been a change in attitude. I suspect the competition of television in particular has created a need for a very active type of journalism in Ireland in recent years and the papers have responded and, it seems to me, it has created a demand for the good journalist, not just the hack, political journalist who will say anything he is paid to say, a sort of hired journalistic prostitute who will work for anyone and does not mind what he says. We have moved away from that kind of journalist and have moved into the area of the journalist who is a very good journalist—it does not matter whether he is a right wing journalist or a left wing or a middle of the road or whatever it is—but he can get a job on a paper simply because he is a good journalist and he can comment critically and analyse a situation; he will deal with it; apply his own standards, values, and arrive at his own conclusions, no matter whether it pleases or displeases the man who is paying him.

That is a most welcome development in journalism in Ireland. It has been in other countries for some time, where you get a left wing journalist like Michael Foot working for Beaverbrook, or Alan Brien or a number of these other people, right wing journalists working for theNew Statesman, who are simply concerned that the contents of their newspapers are readable, stimulating, critical and that it will sell their papers. Because, I believe, of the expansion of literacy in our different societies, the old predigested hack which has been given out so readily, the general preoccupation with writing a good sports page and a good horse racing contribution, no longer is enough in Irish journalism. We find that is the case in all the newspapers, even the Irish Press, which everybody knows was a strictly political news sheet at one time or other. It served its function at the time it was introduced by Mr. de Valera. It was an important function —to propagate the views of the Fianna Fáil Party and so on, and I am not criticising that, but it did lapse then into simply becoming a sort of “Fianna Fáil can do no wrong”— uncritical—and the people stopped reading it.

In latter years we have seen the evolution right across the whole spectrum of newspapers in Ireland the ebullient, questioning, critical, analytical, thoughtful, socially concerned journalist and particularly, of course, that is notable in relation to the female journalists right across through the famous Mary Kenny, Rosita Sweetman, Mary Maher, Nell McCafferky, Eileen O'Brien, June Levine—all of these people who have transformed the whole pattern of journalism in Ireland by, of course, the involvement of women readers as well as men in social issues of one kind or another.

We are entering into an important phase in newspaper journalism in Ireland. We are finding that the newspaper proprietors are tending to give a free rein to their journalists to produce good newsy newspapers which comment freely but responsibly and correctly on society as they see it without caring whether it will please or displease the people who own the newspapers. That is a most welcome development because it can only mean that right across the newspaper readership of the three major newspapers you will get an enlightened readership and that readership being the electorate, you will get an enlightened electorate and the whole pattern of politics will be eventually transformed through the influence of newspapers.

We see this development here and we see how jealously this right of Press freedom is guarded. Probably the most heartening example of this is in relation to the United States. Many wonderful things are coming out of the United States. I have been critical of the United States on many occasions but I think most of us agree that it is showing a remarkable capacity to insist on its basic democratic structure and the survival within a society, which had tended to become authoritarian in various ways, of this radical feeling amongst the community, the radical right to protest, to differ, to dissent. Whatever one may say about the United States and its various involvements and so on, the wonderful thing is that this right to dissent is still there. They can still go into the streets—they take a great risk when they do—but they are able to do so. They go to jail and they get out again. There is this great intellectual ferment in that society which is a wonderfully healthy thing as long as it is permitted and it is being permitted and that is a tribute to the States. It is still being permitted. Throughout its history, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution has been the most wonderful safeguard of all.

In spite of the notorious abuse of the American Press in censorship, suppression, slanting and all sorts of other invasions of personal privacy and all these things it comes back to the one thing concerning all of us on this side of the House tonight, this basic tenet of the democratic right to dissent.

There was this wonderful decision the other day when the US Supreme Court upheld the right of theNew York Times and the Washington Post to publish the material based on the Pentagon papers. This is a marvellous tribute to the US Constitution and its framers. It was Jefferson who said: “If we have to choose between a Government without newspapers or newspapers without a Government we would always choose the latter.” I think Deputy Fitzpatrick made that point of the importance of the newspapers. Deputy Cruise-O'Brien dissented from that and said we were interdependent but this expression of Jefferson's shows the tremendous importance of the necessity to retain intact the absolute integrity of the Press to the extent we can but in particular, in regard to the right to comment.

The framers of the American Constitution deliberately insisted on the right to retain free speech and the freedom of the Press as the two great freedoms in a democratic society. They refused to concede to any American Government since the Constitution was framed the right to prior restraint on publication and free speech unless the safety of the community could be clearly demonstrated by the Government to be imperilled. This could not be done in relation to the Pentagon papers. The obvious case is where if the papers were to say at a time of war: "This is where our army or our marines are." Obviously, this could constitute a grave danger to the safety of the State and would not be permissible. But on this occasion it was decided that the newspapers were not in any way interfering with the basic safety of the society or the State. They insisted on retaining this great privilege which we are here still fighting for in this amendment. That constitution has endured for 200 years and in all that time the US Federal Government has never been able to persuade the courts to stop the publication of any newspaper and the US has survived.

This freedom is a very precious thing in any society. The distressing thing here is that the Minister appears not to appreciate the seriousness of the results of his action. The Americans went even further than ourselves in the Labour Party. We felt the less said about the Springboks the better and we were criticised for taking that point of view and making that comment but the Americans believe that even the vicious, backstreet pamphleteer has a right to print and publish his literature if he wants to. This right was upheld in 1931 by Mr. Justice Hughes who decided that kind of pamphleteer of which most of us would disapprove also had his rights. So, it is not just a little local concern that we in the Labour and Fine Gael Parties are expressing: this is a matter of international concern. In many countries this privilege does not exist and I have no doubt they are very much the worse as a result.

Deputy Keating dealt with journalists' protests about this, their letter of protest. In passing, I shall only say that I was surprised the Minister should hold in some way that we had frightened the journalists into believing something; that what we were saying was untrue and that these people were not fit to decide for themselves whether section 4, in fact, threatens their freedom or not. I have no doubt that it does. The Minister made much of the point that these people must toe the line, newspaper editors, journalists, radio and television commentators, like everybody else must obey the law, but he has failed to deal with the fact that it is this law that we question, sections 2 and 3, under which they have to refrain from comment, from criticism and refrain from encouragement. As Deputy Keating said, the taking of photographs, reporting of an incident and all these things can be interpreted as encouragement. The change from the use of the word "incitement" to the much broader word which is capable of any interpretation you wish to put on it, the word "encouragement" is the dangerous element which makes this Bill so objectionable from our point of view.

It would not be the first time that a Parliament passed a bad law. Apparently this House has passed ten laws which have been declared unconstitutional. How did we manage to do that with all the wonderful hinterland of advice, not only from Deputies who happen to be lawyers, but from the many experts who are available in the Departments? I am not criticising them, implicitly or otherwise, but it is possible that a bad law might be passed, it is possible that an unjust, anti-social law might be passed. It is a measure of the Minister's arrogance that he should believe it could not happen to him. The sad truth is that in the whole of world history—whether the States concerned were monarchies, were republics of the various kinds of democracy that have existed, or were feudal States—many bad laws have been passed and some of them are still in force.

Does an editor, a journalist, a politician, a trade-union leader, a church leader, or an ordinary civilian discharge his function as a human being and as a member of a community if he stays silent when he knows an injustice is being perpetrated? We can take the example of the Nuremberg laws: according to the dictatorship that promulgated them they were just laws. The laws prevented a Jew from getting a job, from holding a profession. They said a Jew must wear the Star of David—the insignia of his humiliation; there were laws about the rights of Jews to marry; laws in connection with the expropriation of their property and the denial of the most fundamental rights to them.

What is the role of an editor or a television or radio commentator in such circumstances? Because many of them protested in the early years they ended up in the concentration camps with the Jews they had tried to defend. Having started to undermine this important function of the whole democratic principle—the right of free speech and freedom to publish—the road was open to complete dictatorship by the few and this insistence on the absolute obedience to the lawmaker—in this case the lawmaker being the Minister for Justice.

If editors of newspapers in Germany in the 1930s protested, they were guilty of a crime and were punished. Their crime was to claim that all human beings have the same basic human rights of dignity and various other simple constitutional rights we accept here. Because of this they became criminals and went to jail. Our editors and journalists may in the future encourage or advocate a perfectly reasonable procedure. They may say: "You have no right to take away that man's property because of his religion or his race; you have no right to deny that individual the right to practice his profession because of his religion or race; you have no right to prevent him getting married; you have no right to treat those children as people who must be brought up isolated, withdrawn, in a ghetto life, because of their religion or race." It is a simple enough leader for a morning or evening paper to carry, or a simple enough statement for a radio or television commentator to make, but for advocacy of that simple basic principle that man or woman could go to jail as people did go to jail in the past. Under the terms of the Minister's Bill they can and will go to jail for advocating these basic human rights. It is for that reason that we object to the Bill.

These laws I have outlined were the laws of the land as put forward by the Hitlers and the Goebbelses. They were put forward as just laws, on whose implementation the whole safety of society depended. The integrity and purity of the great Aryan race depended on the implementation of such laws. That was the particular matter they were concerned about, that was their pet hobby-horse. The Minister's hobby-horse is the handful of people he believes to be communists in the housing action committee.

Is this country in such a condition of imminent collapse and anarchy that a handful of people of this kind can stand up against us and overthrow the Government? The Minister knows the position better than we do; is this what he is trying to convey to us? Are the Army and the police in such a state that a handful of men and women— and nobody has suggested that many are involved—are prepared for somecoup d'état and that we must have this type of legislation to ensure they do not get their way? We know things are bad and that the situation is dangerous in Ireland. In truth, this is not because of the activities of the handful of people the Minister calls subversive. The sad truth is that the threat to the State comes from a completely different direction. It comes from members of the Fianna Fáil Party and, what is worse, from prominent members of Fianna Fáil. That is where the threat to the State lies— not in these people.

The whole history of human society is, regrettably, littered with examples of completely unjust laws whereby societies with no right to power attempted to cling to power by their implementation of unjust laws. The Springboks were mentioned a little while ago. Does anybody know anything about the total absurdity of the laws in South Africa where they are attempting—and succeeding I must confess—to prevent the majority of the African people from getting rightful control of their own affairs and possession of their own territory and property? They have there the Suppression of Communism Act. It is a wonder that the Minister did not call this Bill the Suppression of Communism Bill. I suppose he knew well that he would be laughed out of the House because it is so patently absurd. I do not think anyone believes that the Communist Party has any power in this society— a negligible crowd of unimportant nobodys, representing nobody, standing for nobody, and certainly controlling no significant body of opinion in our society.

The Suppression of Communism Act in South Africa is much the same as the Hitler laws. Basically it has much the same broad ideas as the Minister's Bill. All of the terrible conditions under which the black Africans live in South Africa cannot be criticised or commented on. In relation to white people they cannot sit on the same benches in the park. They cannot buy a stamp in the same post office. They cannot sit in the same part of the bus. They cannot sit on the same side in the cinema. They cannot see a football match or a cricket match in the same part of the ground, or even in the same ground. They cannot be a member of a cricket team or a football team. That is our objection to the Springboks: the absurdity of the idea of sportmanship in a team, whether they are cricket players or football players, with this completely unchristian attitude to their fellow human beings, the attitude that a person is inferior simply because he is coloured, or because the colour of his skin is different from the colour of their skin. We suffer from that type of thing as Irish people. Everyone knows that : "Cattle and Irishmen, this way"—the emigrant ship. This was not so long ago really.

This kind of petty, but to the unfortunate African, terribly serious type of provision consciously and deliberately humiliates and attempts to degrade, as was the case of the Jews in Germany. It certainly succeeds in depriving a person of the most basic and fundamental human right to proper housing, proper education and a proper opportunity in life to develop himself, his mind, his ability and his intelligence to the extent that he has the capacity to do so.

It was because of this attitude by these people purporting to be sportsmen in tolerating this kind of provision in law that we objected to taking any notice of the Springboks at all. We wanted them to be treated with the silence of contempt. With all respect to their own humanity, it was only with contempt that we could consider the attitude, standards and values which they applied to their fellow Africans in South Africa, or to the black Africans in South Africa, because they would not claim to be fellow Africans. It is interesting that our view has been greatly supported since that time by most of the competing countries in the Olympic games. These people who allege that they are sportsmen are not being allowed to take part in the games because they discriminate against the black Africans.

In South Africa, just like in Germany in the thirties, most of the unfortunate newspaper editors and journalists are silenced now. I believe there are very few of them who dare to exercise their most important single function—defended in a wonderful way by the Supreme Court in the United States the other day in relation to the Pentagon Papers—the right to publish and the refusal to grant to the Government a prior right to veto what they intend to publish as long as it does not endanger the safety or security of the State. Because of their race and because of their colour, these terrible things are done to the unfortunate black Africans.

In case Deputies feel that these are terrible people—Voerster and Verwoerd and all these people—with a dreadful record, for "black Africans" just substitute the Irish homeless man and his wife and children. Substitute them if you are feeling in any way superior because it cannot happen here, and could not happen here, and does not happen here. It will happen here under this Bill, and the black African becomes the Irish homeless person whom Deputy Burke advised to buy a house. Buy a house! The builder's labourer, the road worker, the artisan is to buy a house. Let them eat cake. Remember? We heard that before, at the time of the French Revolution. Let them buy a house. How insensitive— but there is no use bothering with that kind of contribution.

In many countries where they lost the journalists' right to print or be damned, as the saying is, they lost a freedom so important that to a considerable extent I must share the view of Jefferson that it is probably more important—and it is certainly as important—that there should be a free Press than that there should be a free Parliament, and any reduction, modification, attenuation of this freedom is a bad thing. We may feel they could be more liberal, they could be broader, and we resist and oppose any attempt to reduce these freedoms. In South Africa we have the position the Minister for Justice wants in Ireland in which the television, the radio, the newspapers and, of course, the politicians in Parliament, are utterly muzzled and cannot comment adversely on what they see as the iniquitous inhumanity of man to man, the White South African to the Black South African. What we have here is the iniquitous inhumanity of the men over there on those benches, with their own homes to house their own families —I do not in any way wish to deny them these happinesses and these pleasures—who would be content to see others denied these basic rights and, if they continue to fight for them, or others continue to fight for them and support them, those who continue to fight for them—the journalists, the politicians, the trade unionists, whoever they may be—will be put in jail. This is the road towards which we are heading.

Recently I saw in Spain where a magazine writer was put in jail for advocating divorce. We know the prohibitions and the restrictions on the Spanish Press. We know there is restriction on criticism of the Government, criticism of the fact of poor men in jail, untried, members of the Basque Liberation Movement, and a complete suppression of various other attempts by people there to rid themselves of dictatorship.

I used to hear people talking about dictatorship and saying that it is not a bad idea because it brings a reaction and, out of that reaction, you get revolutionary changes. I do not share their view at all. I have a tremendous admiration for the appalling efficiency of dictatorship, once it is established, and its capacity to continue to survive. The expertise in the creation and maintenance of dictatorship is now pretty well documented. It is pretty well perfected and it is completely and totally frightening in its capacity, having destroyed the idea of free debate, dissent, criticism, disagreement, to see that it stays that way.

The Minister's over-simplification of the idea that these people must obey the law is so puerile that he cannot possibly have given serious thought to the underlying dangers in this sort of over-simplification, the principal danger being that we simply have his authority to tell us that such a law is a just law. Other speakers have referred to the number of just laws there are in Northern Ireland. They told us something, too, of the effect they have and the position of the minority there under these just laws, the position which has driven them and is driving them to the present state of impending anarchy, the position which is threatening the whole Six County area of the northern province of Ireland, the appalling, continual, widespread, unjust discrimination against the minority in that society, all carried out under perfectly, as far as the authorities are concerned, just laws passed by their parliament. If one comes into conflict with these laws then one is breaking these just laws. No houses, gerrymandering, discrimination in relation to the voting pattern, discrimination in relation to jobs and job opportunity, a complete and absurdly unfair pattern of senior positions in the various services, in administration, in the civil service, in the local authority, the police, the judiciary, and so on, but a just society as far as the laws are concerned.

In fairness to the North of Ireland, it must be said that it is possible for a newspaper to criticise these things and, by criticising, those who criticise encourage, and even advocate effectively, the breaking of these laws by the various devices mentioned by Deputy Keating. Simply to refer to breaches of the law is in itself a form of encouragement. But that is not to be so down here. Even that remaining privilege given to the minority in a grossly underprivileged society, the North of Ireland, is to be taken away down here. The privilege of having a Press which supports you in your distress and in your appeal against injustice, as you see it, against the callousness of the authorities in their discrimination against you, is to be taken away. With Hitler it was race and religion. In South Africa it is colour and race. In Northern Ireland it is again race and religion. But these are all just laws. These are the laws against which the Minister tells us that, because they are just, we must not comment, we must not criticise, we must not, by criticising, encourage and so advocate a breach of the law.

May I remind the House what are just laws? Again, based on race and religion, applying to the whole of Ireland, the laws that prevented an Irishman, because he was an Irishman, carrying his name, owning property, getting a university or a higher education, and the various other many laws which were designed to ensure that he became a second-class citizen in his own country, like the Jew in Hitler's Germany and the Black South African in South Africa today. The Penal Laws were all just laws.

The then commentator had no right to encourage anybody to break these laws. They went to jail too. The Minister for Justice's predecessors in power believed in the jackboot too, as we know to our cost as a race, simply by being of that race and professing a particular religion. It should be remembered that under similar laws the expropriation of the old Irish race and the consolidation of the estates took place. If a person did not agree with them he ended up in jail simply because he commented on them and because he encouraged, incited or advocated a breach of these laws. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries one could have been reading the Minister for Justice's provision in section 7: a fine, imprisonment for six months; a fine, imprisonment for 12 months; a fine, imprisonment for three years for advocating, encouraging or inciting a breach of the law.Plus ca change, plus c'est la même chose. Here we have exactly the same thing. How little things have changed. The case I make always of course is that we never had any revolution, all that happened was that a small group took over at the top and the class structure of our society continued unchanged.

The Minister's case that because he makes a law ergo it is a just law I do not think holds water for one moment. There are many other illustrations I could give from all over the world and throughout history but surely the case is established. There are many editors, journalists, radio and TV commentators, politicians, trade unionists and clerical leaders of all denominations who may feel they must disagree with the Minister. They may wrongly disagree with or dissent from the Minister but to be able to do that above all things they must have the most precious right of democracy in even the most primitive sense, to differ. We are convinced the Minister is taking away that right in section 4.

While I support and welcome this amendment I feel it does not go far enough. The words "a person" means any person. It is a most far-reaching, global proposal that anybody who contests the justice of the provisions here —and we contest these provisions as being unjust—and disagrees and expresses that disagreement becomes a criminal liable to imprisonment. Surely this is a dreadful provision in a piece of legislation.

Think of the people covered in addition to those I have been talking about. Think of the great commentators and the great playwrights who have from the beginning of time right up to the present satanised the militanists and the warmongers of their times in their plays. Probably no country has produced finer and better playwrights than we have. One of the greatest social commentators—and from whom I learned a tremendous amount—was Bernard Shaw in his many critiques of society, made through the drama, in plays such asMajor Barbara, John Bull's Other Island, A Doctor's Dilemma—in the last named my own profession was satirised perfectly legitimately. Shaw, Brecht and O'Casey all come under this provision and any of them could have become criminals because they advocated that sections 2 and 3 should be laughed at, ridiculed and the subject of protest. Yeats in his defence of the Easter Rising would be another criminal to add to the long list of criminals created under this section. The great philosophers from Socrates to Bertram Russell advocated one thing, the right to concern oneself in the first instance with human conditions, the right to consider them, to question them, to state a case, to listen to the dissenting and to try by discussion and by debate to come to a civilised, considered decision which might advance a human being's understanding of himself in the society in which he lives.

I was surprised by Deputy O'Kennedy's comment, and I still do not understand it, that he did not believe that during discussion on a television broadcast if criticism was made, if encouragement was given by somebody on a television programme that that did not, in that way, involve the television company. I do not understand how that comes about because the fact that the television might be free from this prohibition in section 4 would be a very valuable advance in our community.

Probably the most valuable, effective, influential catalyst in the creation of a very much more liberal and tolerant kind of society here in the past 20 years has been the influence of the television commentators. We know that an attempt was made to control this terribly powerful mechanism for education, this device for propaganda and indoctrination by controlling the body which controls the company. It was mostly composed of people, of course, who were favourable to the Fianna Fáil Party and everybody knew that. But it went wrong. I confess I was surprised the first time I went on television when I noticed the extraordinary youth of the average person in television. This, when one thinks about it, was absolutely inevitable. Because of the youth of the whole art of television they had to be young people but, being young, they were necessarily rather more uninhibited, rather more radical. They tended to be iconoclastic, somewhat irreverent, not so hide-bound by the old clichés, attitudes and ideas which most of us grew up with and grew to know in the process of living in a society of this kind. Because of the fact that they had absolute control of the editing of the programme, of the choice of subject, of the pattern which it took, there is no doubt that they were influential in the very remarkable advances which have taken place in our thinking here. What we tend to discuss now would be subjects and attitudes which would be inconceivable only ten or 15 years ago. That we have reached that state of intellectual liberation I attribute largely to the influence not only of our own television but also outside television. That indirectly has stimulated the newspapers and we have got a very much higher quality of journalism. Political thinking, even though it is not as advanced as we would like it to be, is very much more advanced than what it was.

Probably the most outstanding of these programmes was one in which recently—I do not wish to discuss it now—effective attempts were made to emasculate, eliminate and embarrass the powerful force that it was, the television programme under Muiris MacCongail and to which our own colleague, Deputy Thornley, contributed so much during his time on that programme.

It is very important for all of us that we should fight as doggedly as we are trying to do any attempt to restrict the potentially wholly good influence of enlightenment and education which we expect from a good television service. We believe that an attempt is being made in this Bill to reduce the power of the television and radio service. I assure the Minister we will continue to oppose, in every way that we can, this attempt to diminish in a very serious and significant way this power of the Press, radio and television and involve ourselves in a meaningful way on different social issues under threat of fine or imprisonment.

Probably the most important source document for all of us is that extraordinary document, the Proclamation of the Republic, extraordinary because, of course, and it is rather apposite here to refer to it, this wonderful document was written and produced by a handful of very brave men while in forcible occupation of the GPO. For that reason, of course, they were criminals in the O'Malley style and they paid the supreme penalty. We have not got as far as that yet but they were criminals, this was a criminal document. That document guaranteed civil liberty and equal rights and, of course, we are concerned because we feel that the homeless person and his children are denied equal opportunity in contradistinction to the promise of that Proclamation. We can only believe that Deputy O'Malley has never read that Proclamation—that is nearly impossible to accept—or having read it, that he has never fully understood it and certainly if he did read it and understood it he has now, for some reason best known to himself, decided to ignore it. Not only that but in relation to the democratic programme of the First Dáil, which is the basis of the Fianna Fáil policy statements, this Bill equally implicitly denies all the undertakings and guarantees, in particular in relation to civil rights and the right and freedom to comment, the right to differ and the right to publish and print and the right to retain in all its components the serious, living, dynamic, creative, parliamentary democracy in Ireland.

Having listened to the members of the Labour Party here for the last four or five hours, one finds it interesting to see how they operate in their protection racket, the protection of the bullyboys, thugs and other people who were forcing people out of their homes, depriving people of their homes in this city, in the not too distant past. The forces that are at work in relation to protection, the people who are applying these forces on the Labour Party at the moment will be interesting when they are revealed.

We are all aware now of the Labour Party's regard for the unfortunate people who have been deprived of their homes in this city over the past number of years. There have been disgraceful scenes in this city in relation to the weaker section of the community, where people were brought together by groups in an effort to deprive them of their homes. We are aware, and it has been stated in this House and elsewhere, that there are groups in operation in this city and have been for some time and now, with the support of the Labour Party, as clearly outlined in their opposition to certain sections of this Bill, they want to protect a particular group of people who have no right and who have no regard for the right of the individual or for basic rights. We have heard a great deal about basic rights from Deputy Dr. Browne and Deputy Keating but the rights of the unfortunate people on the waiting list of Dublin Corporation are completely disregarded when houses have been occupied by groups in this city and people have been deprived of their rightful homes. People who returned home from hospital found their furniture thrown on the roadside and they had no place to go because squatters had moved in and occupied, aided and abetted by subversive elements in this city.

Is this the type of jungle law that we want, that groups can take and occupy a home, irrespective of right? We have had too much of this and it is only right that there should be some measure which will protect rights, and will ensure that the weaker sections who are unable to look after themselves will have the right to the ownership or occupation of a flat or house to which they are duly entitled. How many people had to suffer hours, weeks and months of misery because of subversive elements in this city, aided and abetted by members of the Labour Party, and now being aided and abetted and protected by members of the Labour Party, in this protection racket we have seen here tonight?


We know—and it is quite clear now from statements that have been made by members of the Labour Party—and I will deal with members of the Fine Gael Party in a few moments because they are not immune either from this type of thing —of the complete disregard for the people that I have mentioned. We are aware that houses or flats have been allocated to couples on the waiting list and when they arrived to take them over they found they were occupied by members of subversive groups.

As I said before, they were aided and abetted by members of the Labour Party, and, indeed, by some Members of this House. Nevertheless, they are here tonight to protect them. They have no regard whatsoever for the rights of the weaker section of the community. They should think of what has happened in the past and if they are sincere about the protection of the rights of the individual, of the basic rights we have heard about from so many speakers, they should ensure that people who are entitled to accommodation will get that accommodation and will not be deprived of it by any group or organisation who take it upon themselves to allocate in the way in which they have done. I have mentioned the protection racket of the bullyboys and the thugs who have operated in this city for so long. That is a clear indication of Labour Party policy. There was no mention of the unfortunate people deprived of their homes. There was mention, for the benefit of the Press Gallery, about the rights of journalists. There was mention about other sections of the community when the Public Gallery was packed by the friends they brought in to hear them speaking but no reference at all to the weaker section, the people who must be protected, who are unable to protect themselves. It is unfortunate that we have representatives in this House who encourage and advocate the bullyboys who have been carrying on this type of activity for so long in our city. When the time comes, the people of this city and country will be well aware of the pattern that has developed in this House, will be well aware of the activities that have been in operation in this city for so long, in an effort to deprive the weaker groups of their rights.

I have mentioned disgusting scenes in Dublin. Over a period the scenes have been too disgusting to talk about in this House. Some of them have been mentioned in the House and outside but there have been many more which I personally would not like to speak about. Deputy O'Leary may laugh at the unfortunate people deprived of their homes.

I am laughing at you.

This may be funny to Deputy O'Leary.

You are very funny.

Deputy O'Leary has a roof over his head. Many of these people have to suffer much misery for months and months because Deputy O'Leary's friends outside were going to occupy houses. He may laugh and it may be very funny to him that people would be dispossessed and deprived of a home. This may be funny to Deputy O'Leary and other members of the Labour Party, something to sneer at, but this is a very important and a very basic issue, that people who are entitled to accommodation will get that accommodation. Deputy O'Leary may laugh and sneer all he likes at the weaker section of the community but the last laugh will come when these people have to decide who will represent them in future in the Dáil. I am quite certain that they will not support people who would sneer at them in this House.

Those of us who represent Dublin constituencies especially are well aware of the confusion caused in the minds of people by the racketeers who have been operating in this city in relation to vacancies that occurred, so that people would have prior knowledge of vacancies and installed in them people not entitled to accommodation. We have in this city a priority list of persons entitled to accommodation. This is the way the people must be housed—in accordance with the housing list drawn up by members of the corporation at the time.

Did you say the racketeers were in Dublin Corporation?

I did not say the racketeers were in Dublin Corporation.

Did the Deputy say the racketeers were in Dublin Corporation?

I did not. The racketeers were outside.

The Deputy said they got inside information from the corporation.

Some of the Deputies got inside information from Dublin Corporation and gave it——

This calls for an inquiry.


It is quite obvious that Dr. O'Connell is concerned about people deprived of their homes. I do not blame him if he becomes concerned and tries to confuse the situation but it is well known to him and other Deputies. Deputy O'Leary has silenced them now. He has taken the grin off his face and Deputy O'Connell has come to the rescue because they do not want to hear the truth.


Deputy Dowling on amendment No. 7.

In relation to section 4 and amendment 7 which refer to offences of encouraging or advocating offences under sections 2 and 3, I should like to go a little further and refer to some other statements by members of the Labour Party in regard to the rights of journalists and other people and in regard to the rights of the individual. We find that when the Springboks were here a year or so ago an effort was made by Labour Party members to intimidate the Press not to print news in regard to the visit of the visitors. They did not succeed in intimidating the Press but these are the people who speak now about members of the Press being impeded in some way by this Bill. We know how far they went. We know that the Press were locked out of the Labour Party conference because it was felt that journalists could not be trusted. Again, Deputy O'Leary may sneer——

I am laughing, not sneering.

——but they were not allowed in because the Labour Party felt they could not trust the journalists or that they had something sinister to hide which they were discussing behind closed doors. Perhaps it was the protection of the bullyboys that I spoke about earlier. We now have a clear indication of Labour Party thought in relation to freedom of the Press. They tried to intimidate the Press in relation to individuals who came as guests. There was one member of the Labour Party, the philosopher from Limerick, Deputy Coughlan, who had different ideas from those of Deputies Browne and O'Leary and many other members of the Labour Party. His absence tonight on this issue is very noticeable because he did not tolerate the type of nonsense the Labour Party members were indulging in at that time.

He is paired with An Tánaiste.

I am not concerned about that. I want to say something further about intimidation and rights of the individual that we have heard so much about from Deputy Dr. Browne and Deputy Keating and the others who have spoken, the basic rights. What did they do when this group of footballers came? They intimidated waiters in hotels because they did not want them to serve the footballers and some waiters had to leave the hotels because of intimidation and the unions stood idly by.

Is the Deputy attacking the unions now?

I am attacking the people who intimidated waiters and if the trade union intimidated people they, too, are wrong. I stand for the rights of the individual and nobody should be intimidated as they were intimidated by members of the Labour Party who paraded with their banners through this city and Deputy O'Leary was not behind the door. It was suggested that these footballers should not be served with meals, that their baggage should not be checked out and that they should not get hotel accommodation or transport. These are the basic rights the Labour Party speaks about now. Were these people who came here to be deprived of these rights? Is this selective justice by the Labour Party? This protection racket that is being operated here must be exposed. The people know only too well the type of individuals in the Labour Party who tried to intimidate so many people not so long ago. That included Deputy O'Leary and some of his front bench friends who paraded up and down at Lansdowne Road and elsewhere and were not behind the door in trying to intimidate the Press. We have a free Press which did not bow to Deputy O'Leary and his friends on that occasion.

We must find out exactly what they mean by basic justice and basic rights. If a person comes from South Africa is he not entitled to certain rights? Should these rights apply only to certain sections, only to people nominated by the bullyboys who have been operating and are protected in this city? We must have rights for everybody and we must be clear on this. The Labour Party will have an opportunity now of expressing themselves as to the type of rights they want. Is it rights in relation to some people and not to others? The unfortunate worker who had to leave his job during the intimidation practised during the visit of the Sprinkboks had to leave his job because he was intimidated. He was a trade unionist. Deputy O'Leary may smile; he may have been a member of the Deputy's union. But Deputy O'Leary and his friends were the intimidators at that time and they cannot deny that.

I do not want to go into great detail in regard to the Labour Party. What we have heard in regard to basic rights is very interesting in view of the fact that the Labour Party projected this image some time ago in this city, in Limerick and elsewhere. They were politely told off in Limerick by the great man himself, Deputy Coughlan. He spoke about the Johnny-Come-Latelies in the Labour Party and put some of these people in their box. It was no harm to put Deputy Desmond and a few more in their box. It is Deputy O'Leary's delight to hear someone criticising Deputy Desmond. I was glad to see the smile on his face when I mentioned that.

On a point of order, I do not see what this has to do with the amendment.

So much has been said about basic rights that I want to find out what they are so that I can proceed to discuss the Bill or the section. Deputy Dr. Browne mentioned everybody from Gandhi to Mickey Mouse. I listed about 30 people he mentioned including Gandhi. One of the things Gandhi was responsible for was the disobedience, as he terms it, that took place in this city in regard to the occupation of houses. I shall not do a world tour like Deputy Browne or Deputy Keating but I should like to draw the attention of the House——

Come up out of the sewer.

——to the fact that there are some countries where the basic rights of people are not respected. These are socialist countries where they bring out the big tanks and crush the people when problems arise and where people are not allowed to stand around, where editors and politicians are not allowed to comment. When they do, they go to the wall. Tonight we heard the Irish brand of socialism. What type of socialism that is I do not know; it would be hard to define but we should like to have it clearly defined so that we would know exactly what is in the mind of those people who are so terrified about this particular word, "encourage". It only relates to one word "encourage".

(Cavan): That is the next amendment.

Deputy Browne placed great emphasis on the word "encourage". It is gratifying to see that there are people who are concerned about liberty and about threats to television and the Press and the pictures that appear in the papers. Deputy Keating told us he was drawn to a cause because he saw a picture of a dog in the newspapers. He said he did not know what the cause was but he was drawn to it because he saw a picture of a dog and Deputy Browne in the newspapers. This shows the mentality of the people in the Labour Party; here was a man drawn to a cause because of a dog, who has given us a description of a world tour from India to Baghdad, through the Kremlin and back home, with some familiar stops on the way—he spoke of some of his friends, Marx and other people.

I would point out what a simple picture can do and how the people in the Press have confused Deputy Keating. I would ask the Press people to tell their editors about Deputy Keating's comments and to ensure that offensive pictures will not be published in future which might encourage the Deputy to do terrible deeds, in view of the fact that he was drawn to the Labour Party because he saw a picture of an alsatian. I hope the editors of the papers will be more cautious in future. This should probably be extended to television also. As Deputy Keating was so confused by the picture of the dog, one wonders what he would do if he saw a litter of pups.

Deputy Keating said he was concerned about the brutality of the Garda Síochána. The gardaí are like politicians: if they do something they are wrong; if they do not take some action it is said that they have no interest. Although Deputy Keating spoke about the brutality of the police, some time later he saw a garda in the gallery and then he was apologetic for what he said. He said the gardaí did a great job.

It is amazing to see how the picture has changed from one Labour speaker to another. It was gratifying to see the changes in tactics. I should like to point out in relation to comments that have been made in regard to trade unionists that there is a section in this Bill which states:

Nothing in this Act shall affect the law relating to acts done in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute within the meaning of the Trade Disputes Act, 1906.

(Cavan): That was put in as a result of criticisms that were made.

An erroneous impression has been created by Deputies who indicated that trade unionists will be subject to intimidation. This is completely ruled out by this subsection. The trade unionists have nothing to fear, nor has anyone who is not breaking the law anything to fear. I should like to deal with some of the problems that have been mentioned by the intimidators and their protectors on my left. This Bill will protect the weaker sections of the community and I will support the Bill so long as it does this. I am not concerned about any section other than the weaker section in the community because these are the people I represent.

(Cavan): Is the Deputy dealing with section 4?

I am dealing with section 4 and, as Deputy Fitzpatrick knows, this relates to offences under sections 2 or 3—the question of entry and of remaining in forcible occupation. We know about the "kick-ins" that have taken place in this city. This Bill will prevent the "kick-ins" and the "sleep-ins" that have taken place in many of the houses in Dublin. Some of the houses have been let by subversive groups and these groups are being aided and abetted. If this sad state of affairs continues, people who are entitled to protection will not get it unless the bullyboys and the thugs or the Labour Party so decide. The vested interest the Labour Party have in disruption and intimidation is obvious. They wish to keep people unsettled so that the unsettled section may blame the lawful authorities for not taking action.

The Government have been blamed for not acting in defence of the weaker section. Some of the people who blame the Government have been encouraged and stimulated by the Labour Party. I was surprised to see some of the intelligent men in Fine Gael support some of the attitudes of the Labour Party. I believed that in regard to honesty of purpose and to the allocation and ownership of homes the attitude of Fine Gael was somewhat on the same lines as Fianna Fáil. I and others would agree that those entitled to accommodation should get it. We have seen in the past efforts being made by the Labour Party to ensure that people would not own their own homes. The Labour Party endeavoured to bring about a situation in which people would not have an opportunity of owning their own homes. They extended that further to ensure that people would not be able to sleep in their own homes and that their homes would be occupied by other people who were not entitled to them. This is a terrible state of affairs. Criticism has been levelled at the Government over the past year or so in relation to the protection of this section of the community, in relation to the squatting situation and in relation to the occupation of buildings. If this Bill affords that type of protection, I am fully behind it.

We must ensure that the officials of the local authorities and others are not intimidated in any way by subversive groups in this city. I hope that the responsible Members of this House will support this Bill which is intended to eliminate the type of intimidation we have seen throughout this city. I am quite certain that people with honest minds will support the section. I know that a token resistance has to be put up by some people in the House but this type of protection racket that we have seen here tonight by the Labour Party goes beyond that and identifies them with these groups who have been roaming the streets and occupying houses for so long.

On one occasion a person died in a house and, before the corpse left the house, the squatters had moved in. When I mentioned this before I think it was Deputy O'Donovan who asked if they had not a right to do that.

I did not say that.

People who are rightly entitled to accommodation must get accommodation.

If I am to be quoted I should be quoted correctly.

No person should be pushed into accommodation by groups——

The Deputy is so stupid that he does not even remember it correctly.

I remember all about the Deputy. People should not be pushed by outside groups into accommodation to which they are not entitled. The Labour Party appear to agree with the operations of this element None of their speakers mentioned the weaker sections of the community who have been deprived of rights in this city and elsewhere.

The amendment deals with the encouragement of the offence of incitement.

It is in relation to section 4.

The amendment seeks to qualify the offence.

Amendment No. 6.

(Cavan): We dealt with that last week.

The fact is that the Deputy does not know what we are discussing.

The Deputy should turn the page the other way around.

"In page 3, line 34, after `who' to insert `verbally (otherwise than on radio or television)"'. Is that the one?

He has been speaking for half an hour and now he reads the amendment.

I listened to so much bull for so long tonight——

That you decided to carry on with a bit yourself.

Section 4 provides that a person who encourages or advocates the commission of an offence under section 2 or section 3 of the Bill shall be guilty of an offence.

What is the offence?

Get an Oxford dictionary. Go up to the Park.

Hold on a minute.

(Cavan): He is doing his homework.

Do not confuse me.

He will stick it out for five minutes more anyway.

Now we are back on the track again.

The Deputy is only starting on the track.

I could say a lot about radio and television except that my lips are sealed at the moment. I will have an opportunity later on to discuss the problems I want to discuss in relation to some of the matters raised here tonight.

Tonight we heard a lot of talk about the rights of the individual. Of course, everyone has rights but with a right goes a responsibility. Those who talk so loudly about rights never mention responsibility. This is unfortunate. The Labour Party should have a balance between rights and responsibilities but they disregard the question of responsibility in its entirety. They harp on rights—some rights that exist and some that do not. I hope that other members of the Labour Party who will be contributing later on will take into consideration the fact that there are such things as responsibilities. We have a responsibility not only to this House but also to the weaker sections of the community. We must protect the weaker sections of the community. That is what this Bill is intended to do. I would say that one of the reasons why this Bill was introduced was that there was pressure from the public in relation to the activities of groups who were depriving individuals of their rights.

Remind them about the Springboks.

The Springboks will be dealt with by more able people than I. I want to deal with another aspect of the——


——of the discussions that have taken place so far. Censorship has been mentioned by members of the Labour Party but censorship hidden or concealed is still censorship. We know that on the question of the Springboks the Labour Party tried to apply censorship to the Press, censorship about which they now speak so loudly. They tried to intimidate the Press through the unions or otherwise. It is disgusting to me to think that we would bring visitors here and then endeavour to intimidate the Press in some way and try to ensure that they would not report the fixtures or their activities. We heard about Government Ministers and others who from time to time phoned RTE and said: "Do not do this or that" but the Labour Party have participated in that type of campaign.

We want to know if they will still try to intimidate the Press. Do they oppose this Bill so that they can pursue that line of activity? Are they to decide who is to be fed in the restaurants, who is to be accepted in the hotels, who is to travel in private transport, who is to travel on the Aer Lingus planes, whose baggage will be checked or who is to be served meals? Do they feel they will be caught up in a web when they try to carry out this type of activity in the future? If so, it is no wonder that they should worry about the introduction of this Bill. If the Bill does nothing more than eliminate this type of tactic which insults people, I am behind it. They intimidated some workers. As I said, in one hotel a waiter had to flee because he was carrying out his duties.

Debate adjourned.