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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 26 Jan 1972

Vol. 258 No. 4

An Bille um an Tríú Leasú ar an mBunreacht, 1971: An Coiste. (Atógáil). Third Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1971: Committee Stage (Resumed).

D'atógadh an díospóireacht ar an leasú seo a leanas:
An Sceideal
2a. I gCuid I, leathanach 5, línte 32 agus 33, "de dhroim do bheith ina chomhalta de na Comhphobail" a scriosadh agus ", de bhíthin riachtanais na n-oibleagáidí mar chomhalta de na Comhphobail," a chur ina ionad;
I gCuid II, leathanach 7, líne 9, "consequent on" a scriosadh agus "necessitated by the obligations of" a chur ina ionad.
Debate resumed on the following amendment:
In Part I, page 4, lines 33 and 34, to delete "de dhroim do bheith ina chomhalta de na Comhphobail" and substitute ", de bhíthin riachtanais na n-oibleagáidí mar chomhalta de na Comhphobail,";
In Part II, page 6, line 9, to delete "consequent on" and substitute "necessitated by the obligations of".
—(Deputy Cosgrave).

Last night, before I moved to report progress, I had indicated all the arguments I propose to advance in the explanation of our decision to decline to support the Fine Gael amendment which was accepted by the Government and I do not propose at this time to add anything to what I said then.

Faisnéiseadh go rabhthas tar éis glacadh leis an leasú.

Amendment declared carried.

Tairgim leasú a 3:

I move amendment No. 3:

I gCuid I, leathanach 5, líne 36, "do" a scriosadh sa chéad áit a bhfuil sé agus "ó" a chur ina ionad.

In Part I, page 4, line 37, to delete "do", where it first occurs, and substitute "ó".

This is simply a technical verbal change in the wording to change the word "do" to "ó".

Cuireadh agus d'aontaíodh an leasú.

Amendment agreed to.

Tairgim leasú a 4:

I move amendment No. 4:

I gCuid I, leathanach 5, fo-alt nua a chur leis mar a leanas:—

"4º Ní dhéanfar aon fhoráileamh d'fho-alt 3º d'alt 4 den Airteagal so d'agairt chun Airteagal 2 ná Airteagal 3 den Bhunreacht so d'athrú;"


I gcuid II, leathanach 7, fo-alt nua a chur leis mar a leanas:—

"4º No provision of subsection 3º of section 4 of this Article shall be invoked for the purpose of altering Article 2 or Article 3 of this Constitution."

In Part I, page 4, to add a new subsection as follows:—

"4º Ní dhéanfar aon fhoráileamh d'fho-alt 3º d'alt 4 den Airteagal so d'agairt chun Airteagal 2 ná Airteagal 3 den Bhunreacht so d'athrú;"


In Part II, page 6, to add a new subsection as follows:—

"4º No provision of subsection 3º of section 4 of this Article shall be invoked for the purpose of altering Article 2 or Article 3 of this Constitution."

The Chair would point out that Amendments Nos. 1 and 2 are consequential on Amendment No. 4. Consequently, if Amendment No. 4 is lost, Nos. 1 and 2 cannot be moved.

The intention of this amendment is to ensure that in the event of the combined voice of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil succeeding in getting the people to enact the proposed amendment of the Constitution it will still not be possible to avail of this new provision for the purpose of rescinding the assertion made in the Constitution of the right of the people to exercise jurisdiction over the whole national territory and, further, to ensure that it will not be possible to utilise this new provision in order to amend the definition of the national territory in Article 2.

I should like to suggest that if this amendment is not accepted it will be perfectly clear that this is part of the intention of the Government in adopting the shameful and insulting stratagem of refusing to let the people know exactly just how many articles, or which articles of their bill of rights, make the articles of accession to the European Economic Communities, signed on Saturday last by the Taoiseach, illegal and ineffective. There are a number of reasons to suspect that the Government have factually abandoned the historic claim to the fundamental and inalienable unity of Ireland and that they are anxious to withdraw the formal assertion of this made by the people in 1937.

First of all, I should like to refer to the recommendation made over four years ago by the Committee on the Constitution in this regard. This committee sat in 1967 and in relation to Article 3—extent of the application of the laws—the document reads out Article 3 of the Constitution, which provides as follows:

Pending re-integration of the national territory, and without prejudice to the right of the Parliament and Government established by this Constitution to exercise jurisdiction over the whole of that territory...

That is Article 3 of the Constitution. I am quoting now from the Official Report which says:

We have given careful consideration to the wording of this provision. We feel that it would now be appropriate to adopt a new provision to replace Article 3. The wording which we would suggest is as follows:

1. The Irish nation hereby proclaims its firm will that its territory be re-united in harmony and brotherly affection between all Irishmen.

2. The laws enacted by the Parliament established by this Constitution shall, until the achievement of the nation's unity shall otherwise require, have the like area and extent of application as the laws of the Parliament which existed prior to the adoption of this Constitution. Provision may be made by law to give extra-territorial effect to such laws.

This document was signed by six members of the Fianna Fáil Party including two Ministers, the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Local Government and two Parliamentary Secretaries, Deputies Andrews and O'Kennedy.

And the former Taoiseach also, do not forget.

Yes. I am aware that the preamble to this report points out that recommendations made are not binding on the parties represented by the members but although four years have passed the Government have not said that this recommendation is rejected. The Taoiseach did succeed in creating the impression that it was rejected at the last Fianna Fáil ArdFheis but he did not say so. It is significant that a resolution asking the Ard-Fheis to reject the recommendation was not allowed on the clár. As a member of the Party at that time, my cumann was one of those submitting that resolution which did not appear on the clár. Subsequently, it was mentioned in the Taoiseach's reply but he did not, in fact, reject the recommendation made some four years earlier.

If this amendment is not accepted it is reasonable to assume that the intention is underhandedly to accept the recommendation made by the Minister for Finance and the other members of the committee from the Fianna Fáil Party. There are further grounds for suspecting that this is the intention. There is the Taoiseach's speech after signing the Articles of Accession to the European Communities last Saturday. The Taoiseach signed on behalf of the Twenty-six County State. The Prime Minister of Britain, Mr. Heath, signed on behalf of the United Kingdom of Britain and Ireland. The British Prime Minister signed on behalf of part of the national territory of Ireland as defined in our Constitution. He signed on behalf of part of the area over which our Constitution claims that we have the right to exercise jurisdiction. The Taoiseach made no reference in his speech to this fact and I suggest that the effect and meaning of his signature last Saturday must be taken in conjunction with the text of his statement.

His statement not only omits to refer to the fact that the British Prime Minister had purported to sign for part of our country, but the whole trend of his statement indicated complete acceptance of this situation. Indeed, there are passages in it which definitely appear to do this. For instance, according to The Irish Press of Monday last January 24th, the Taoiseach said:

The manifestation of this political will and mutual understanding points towards a future of beneficial and constructive co-operation by our ten countries in the enlarged Communities.

Two of these countries to which the Taoiseach referred are the Twenty-six Counties of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In my view, this statement clearly recognises these two States as legitimate countries which are to co-operate with mutual understanding.

Late in the same Irish Press report the Taoiseach is reported as saying:

Ireland is the youngest of the States represented here today. However, we are one of the oldest nations of Europe.

The Irish State for which the Taoiseach signed is not, in fact, the Irish nation as understood by our Constitution and this statement by the Taoiseach appears to me to suggest that it is. In my opinion the signing of these Articles in Brussels constitutes an implicit acceptance of the other Member States and, therefore, an explicit acceptance of the legitimacy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

I want to know before this Bill is passed if this is the intention. It was the people who made this assertion of their right to exercise jurisdiction over the whole of the national territory and it was the people who defined the national territory. If they are being asked to withdraw this assertion and this definition, they are entitled to know it. That is the purpose of my amendment. If it is accepted, while the effect of the proposed new provision will not be fully known, at least the people will know that the national claim to unity still remains. If this amendment is rejected they will know that they are being asked to abandon formally the claim to the fundamental unity of their country. At least the air will be cleared by the fate of this amendment. It will be known whether the Irish people are being asked to reenact acceptance of the boundary agreement by the Dáil in 1925 which they later disowned in 1937 when they passed the Constitution.

Might I first deal with the immediate issue involved? The position is that the European Communities as at present constituted do not and could not involve any interference with Articles 2 and 3 of our Constitution and, consequently, the idea behind this proposed amendment is totally irrelevant. On the previous Stage there was discussion of the arguments for and against setting out a series of Articles in the Constitution which might be affected as a result of entering into membership. That matter was dealt with. Unless these two Articles, it is argued, are specifically excluded it will mean that they will be affected, that it is to be taken as automatic that they will be affected unless this amendment is accepted. Presumably the same logic applies in regard to every other Article of the Constitution, that because they are not specifically excluded we are to take it that every single Article will be affected, will be set aside. There is no logic whatever in this, in particular in relation to Articles 2 and 3. So far as the Communities as at present constituted are concerned—we are concerned with this matter in the Bill because there is no authorisation to deal with the Communities other than as at present constituted under the present Treaties —they cannot, and could not, involve any interference with Articles 2 and 3 of our Constitution. Consequently, on behalf of the Government I cannot accept this amendment.

However, I should like to make a few comments. First, I have a considerable liking for Deputy Sherwin and I think it unfortunate that he should find himself in the position of repeating arguments which have been made by the leader of his party. I say "unfortunate" because I have noticed that the leader of his party, not now a Member of this House, dealt with this matter in the past but he was too long in politics to make the kind of mistake that Deputy Sherwin makes. For instance, he did not quote what was actually recommended by the Committee on the Constitution, which Deputy Sherwin did——

He did not do that while he was a Member of this House either.

He made references to this report of the Committee and implied that the Committee recommended the abandonment of the claim to the national territory. He did this in a clever way without being specific. I am delighted personally that Deputy Sherwin made his speech because it gives me the first opportunity I have had, as chairman of that Committee, to deal with this matter. I regard it as a deliberate attempt to misrepresent the report of that committee, whether it was binding on parties or accepted——

It was never rejected by the Government.

Whether it was or not, the facts are that the recommendation for the amendment of Article 3 was as quoted by Deputy Sherwin but I think it bears repeating. The recommendation was that the Article be changed to read as follows:

1. The Irish nation hereby proclaims its firm will that its territory be re-united in harmony and brotherly affection between all Irishmen.

Deputy Sherwin did not tell us what was wrong with that statement.

Nobody has suggested that anything was wrong with it.

I am glad we have cleared that point. It also stated:

2. The laws enacted by the Parliament established by this Constitution shall, until the achievement of the nation's unity shall otherwise require, have the like area and extent of application as the laws of the Parliament which existed prior to the adoption of this Constitution.

The next sentence is irrelevant. What is wrong with that statement?

In replacing Article 3 it omits to mention our right to the jurisdiction of the Six Counties. These two sentences have failed because they omit the right of the people.

May I refer Deputy Sherwin to Article 2 of the Constitution? What I quoted was a recommendation of a new form of Article 3 which, of course, would appear with the existing Article 2. Article 2 is and, under that recommendation, would continue to be:

The national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and the territorial seas.

No recommendation was made to change that Article. That Article as it stands was to be read in conjunction with the suggested amended Article 3. How anyone in his senses can suggest that that recommendation amounts to the abandonment of our claim to the national territory is beyond my understanding.

Can the Minister state why in the initial stage there was any purpose in placing in Article 3 "without prejudice to the right... to exercise jurisdiction over the whole of that territory"? What was the purpose of putting that in in 1937? I submit that the recommendation is only a part of the biting away of our claim to the national jurisdiction.

The reason the Committee was set up was that a generation had passed since the Constitution was enacted and it was thought appropriate to have another look at the Constitution. In that context, it was thought by the members of the Committee who discussed this matter that the suggested amendment was more appropriate to the thinking of our people at the time the recommendation was made. I repeat that, taking it in the context of Article 2, nobody could in all seriousness suggest that it was intended that we should abandon our claim to the national territory.

I cannot speak for any other member of the Committee, in particular for members of another party, but I can say that on the face of it it is extremely unlikely that such a recommendation would be made by members of this party who included the former Taoiseach, Seán Lemass, and the other members who have been mentioned by Deputy Sherwin. Many people think it odd that one man claims that he is the only one who was faithful to the founding principles of Fianna Fáil, that the former Taoiseach and the present Taoiseach have departed from them. This is one of the arguments that has been put forward to support that.

Deputy Sherwin also argued that when the Taoiseach recently signed the Agreement at Brussels by doing so he was supporting in some way the British claim to jurisdiction over our Six Counties. Whatever reasons one might have for arriving at that conclusion—and I would seriously dispute it—I would put it to Deputy Sherwin since he has put forward this resolution and made his case, that he was a member of this party and, as such, he supported the policy of entry into the EEC, and so did the leader of his party as a member of the Government. What was involved in membership of the EEC was known and there was never any secret about it; it was the signing of the Treaties referred to in this Bill. Having adopted that stance, it is not good enough to accuse the Taoiseach of selling out on the national interest, to do something that Deputy Sherwin and the leader of his party at all times were prepared to do and so indicated to the public.

These points may be regarded as irrelevant but the arguments were put forward and I had to deal with them. On the specific point involved in this amendment, the logic of it does not stand up as I have tried to demonstrate. The arguments made in favour of it apply to every other Article of the Constitution. I repeat there is nothing in the three Treaties referred to in this Bill which do or could interfere with Articles 2 or 3 of the Constitution. For these reasons I cannot accept the amendment.

This amendment places me in some difficulty. If I oppose it, it may be held I am opposing the historic claim to the Thirty-two-County unity of Ireland; if I support it, I have no doubt my good friends in the Press and the other media will interpret me as operating in collusion with Aontacht Éireann rather than my own party. Deputy Sherwin, who is a younger Deputy than myself, may have done his case some disservice by broadening it into the area of the constitutional committee recommendations and, in a sense, bringing before the House the issue as to whether or not Articles 2 or 3 of the Constitution should be abolished. This is not the issue before the House.

The issue before the House is whether those Articles should be abolished hypothetically by the Supreme Court as falling into those areas in our Constitution whose removal is now, to use the wording of the amended section of the Bill, necessitated by the obligations of membership. The Labour Party took a decision that we would not attempt to amend the Bill in detail because the Bill is so intrinsically repulsive and unacceptable that to amend it would be a useless exercise, a decision which I think was perfectly correct and I stand over it.

If we had chosen to take the decision to amend the Bill in detail, with due respect to Deputy Sherwin, Articles 2 and 3 are not the only parts of the Constitution which would have come under our consideration. As Deputy Keating pointed out on Second Reading, many others would too. Specifically in my case, sections of Article 44 would come under consideration. Deputy Sherwin has tabled this amendment, which I saw for the first time on Monday morning and which I expected to be taken in the House yesterday evening. It is fair to say that no formal decision has been taken by my party as to whether or not this amendment should be supported. It is my view that it should be supported.

Last night Deputy Keating, Deputy Tully, Deputy Browne and I conducted a lengthy debate in which we established to the satisfaction of most intelligent people, I think, that the Fine Gael amendment then under consideration, on the distinction between "imposed on" and "necessitated by the obligations of" was a lawyer's joke and was accepted in that spirit by the Minister. I have a feeling that this view will be accepted by a large section of the public who read the Press which, I am happy to say, reported that debate well in this morning's papers without exception. To pretend that Deputy Sherwin's amendment is on a par with the frivolity and irrelevance of the Fine Gael amendment last night cannot be done.

Therefore I feel that I must support Deputy Sherwin's amendment. I would appeal to all sections of all parties in this unusual situation to come together and agree on this. There are a number of reasons why I do this. The most obvious reason is, of course, that in the constitution of this party we re-quote the wording of the Constitution. "The Labour Party affirm that the national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and territorial seas." That is almost verbatim what is in the Constitution. In fact I think it is verbatim. That is one reason why I could support it. There are others.

That is not a reason for supporting the amendment.

The Minister for Finance with his customary intellectual acumen has anticipated precisely what I was going to say. That is not in itself a reason for supporting the amendment precisely because, as I just said, the amendment does not call the House to discuss the merits or demerits of repealing Articles 2 or 3 of the Constitution. It calls upon the House to consider how this should be done and, if it should be done, whether it should be done by the ordinary people or whether it should be done by a Supreme Court decision consequent upon this disgraceful, badly-drafted, flimsy, terse piece of legislation which is now before us.

Is there not a gap in the Deputy's logic? Perhaps I am anticipating him again but it seems to me that he is arguing that somewhere in the three Treaties there is a provision which will affect Articles 2 and 3.

On the contrary. This point was made last night. Deputy Keating and I conceded that, in its present form, the Treaty of Rome deals specifically with economic objects. Deputy Keating and I and others who go to Europe regularly know that the Treaty is regarded by most of the senior members of the EEC groupings, in particular by the Germans and the French, as outdated and in need of revision. As Deputy Keating correctly pointed out last night, if anyone seriously imagines that, after ten years, after a decade, of economic enmeshment with Europe, we could opt out of an amended section then presented to us in the Treaty of Rome, that person is putting his finger in his eye. By then we would be so much a part of the European Economic complex that we would have no choice.

It has been said, in my opinion meretriciously and disgracefully, by leaders of this Government and by English politicians, that entry into the European Economic Community should be supported not merely on economic grounds but because it will lead to the inevitable ending of Partition, that meaningful barriers will disappear between the two parts of this island since both will be members of a common customs union. This may be true but it may not. As Deputy Sherwin has correctly pointed out, the decision of this country to enter the Common Market on present terms— which I oppose not merely on economic grounds but also on grounds of the loss of sovereignty, the abdication of sovereignty which has been so much a part and parcel of Fianna Fáil policy in the past ten years—could mean the acceptance of existing boundaries.

At some stage in the future the wise men of the Council of Ministers, amongst whom our presence would be ridiculous, irrelevant and absurd, might decide that, in the interests of European stability, or the stability of European capitalism, or whatever word they wanted to put on it, we must guarantee the existing boundaries of the applicant countries and the member countries. Does that mean that at the stroke of a pen the Twenty-six County nature of this country is established? Does that mean that the then Taoiseach, whoever he is, will come into this House and say: "Sorry, chaps. I know we were all fighting for a united Ireland since 1916 but the decision that we have got a Twenty-six County Ireland is necessitated by the obligations of membership"? Then the historic decision as to whether we proceed with or reverse our desire for a united Ireland is determined not by us, not by the people, but by the Attorney General and the Supreme Court. This is the point I am making.

Another way in which the Border could be removed as a consequence of entering the EEC is by the disappearance of the Border. This could well be not the expression of the re-unification of our country but the expression of the re-admission of the Twenty-six County part of the country into the United Kingdom, into the whole economic complex of western capitalist European economics. That is what I would fear. Does the argument that entry into the EEC will lead to the ending of Partition mean that we triumphantly re-unite the Irish nation or does it mean that we accept a second Act of Union and go back, to all intents and purposes, into a federated political structure in western Europe in which we are a flea upon the back of Great Britain?

We may preserve our political sovereignty technically. The Ceann Comhairle will continue to sit in that seat. The Taoiseach will continue to call the Order of Business. The President will continue to sign Bills before they become valid. How meaningful will this be if we are assimilated totally into a western European complex and not merely assimilated economically but bound to accept the obligations which it may subsequently determine to be binding on us if they are necessitated by the obligations of membership? If that is the way Partition is to end I want no part of it; I want out. I say that quite clearly.

My opposition to the EEC differs from that of Deputy Sherwin in that my opposition is also socialist. I object to monopoly capitalism. I object to the EEC on those grounds. At the same time I am at one with Deputy Sherwin in fearing that absorption into this complex could lead to the token ratification by the Supreme Court of what would, in effect, be an abandonment of the entire national purpose which is supposed to have characterised all three parties in this House, not just Fianna Fáil.

I know that in speaking in this way on this amendment I am open to misinterpretation. I know that I will undoubtedly be misinterpreted. I can see the kind of headlines that could be written: "Deputy Thornley again supports Aontacht Éireann", "Where will Deputy Thornley go next?" I have not got up without seriously considering the dangers to which I am exposing myself. There is no joy in this for me. But I would appeal to my colleagues and to every party in the House to bear in mind that what we are debating here is not whether or not Articles 2 and 3 should be abolished. There are people on all sides of the House who consider that Articles 2 and 3 should be abolished. I do not agree with them but they hold that view sincerely. It is a solidly and logically defensible viewpoint and I have no objection, nor could I have, to their holding that view. If a referendum were to be held on the abolition of Articles 2 and 3 I should be found on the side of those who were opposing the change.

So would I.

I am very glad to hear that.

And, I think, so would most Deputies.

What about the recommendation of the all-party committee on this matter?

The Report of the Committee on the Constitution?

I have tried to point out that that does not involve the abolition of the national claim which is, I think, what Deputy Thornley is talking about.

The Referendum.

What I am talking about is the referendum. Thank you, Deputy Cruise-O'Brien. Deputy Cruise-O'Brien and I have our differences on this. I must thank him for his support on this point.

I am talking about the principle of holding a referendum and that is what Deputy Sherwin is talking about, too, and Deputy Sherwin is perfectly right. I put it to everybody in this House, to those who think that Articles 2 and 3 should be abolished and to those who think that Articles 2 and 3 should not be abolished, that Deputy Sherwin's amendment is worthy of support because it exposes, at one of the tenderest points in this portmanteaulike, umbrella Bill and at one of the tenderest points of the conscience of the Minister for Finance as his interjections show, one of the greatest builtin dangers in this Bill and that is the sweeping changes that can be made in our Constitution without reference to a referendum but simply by reference to a Supreme Court judgment that these changes are necessary because they are necessitated by the obligations of membership.

The Labour Party decided not to table amendments of this detailed kind; if they had, they would have tabled many, many more amendments of the kind tabled by Deputy Sherwin and Deputy Sherwin very well might not have supported those amendments. I have no reason to know because I do not know Deputy Sherwin very well and I have not talked with him about this but to me Deputy Sherwin has put his finger upon something fundamental to my conscience, fundamental to my beliefs, fundamental to my principles, and that is the historic claim to a 32-county Ireland. This is fundamental to the Constitution and if changed can only be changed by referendum. If it is changed by referendum, fair enough; I shall be the first to congratulate those who think that it should be changed even though I shall oppose them to the end in having it changed. However, what Deputy Sherwin has pointed to is that a total abrogation of our historic sovereignty, if his amendment is not accepted, is hypothetically possible not at the will of the people but at the will of the Government, in consultation with the Supreme Court. It is on those grounds specifically, and I hope this is understood clearly by everybody both in and outside this House, that I support Deputy Sherwin's amendment and ask other Members of the House to do the same.

I listened with very close attention to the statements made by Deputy Sherwin, by the Minister for Finance and by my colleague, Deputy Thornley. I can understand and, to a considerable extent, share some of the concern expressed by Deputy Sherwin and by Deputy Thornley. In particular, I think that the whole principle involved in this Bill, which is a principle of bringing in an unknown degree of elasticity into our Constitution generally, is very much open to question and the people will really not know what they are voting for. They are being asked to buy a very large pig in a poke. That is generally objectionable and it is objectionable in relation to the Constitution generally. It is also objectionable in relation to Articles 2 and 3. I would further say, with Deputy Sherwin and Deputy Thornley, that if Articles 2 and 3 are to be changed this should be done openly by a referendum.

I think also there is something discreditable, indeed to us all, in the fact that an all-party committee have already actually made a recommendation on this question which has been before us for a long time and that the Government, with whom this initiative primarily rests, have left the thing like Mahommed's coffin, between earth and heaven, without either accepting or rejecting it. The Minister for Finance gives the impression that on the whole he approves of it but would vote against it if it came up in a referendum and I think that probably defines the state of mind of the Government on the question. There is a great deal of intellectual dishonesty in relation to this whole question.

The Deputy's last statement is a very good example of intellectual dishonesty. He knows it to be untrue.

I will make my own speech, if the Minister does not mind. If he wishes to protract it by unruly interruptions he can do so.

Whether it is intellectual dishonesty or just dishonesty I am not sure, but it is dishonest anyway.

The people will judge between the Minister and me on that issue.

Do not embolden and encourage him, for God's sake.

We were talking about the amendment. It is to be welcomed that Deputy Sherwin has taken this initiative and brought this into the open. At the same time, I cannot follow my colleague, Deputy Thornley, in supporting this move and I should like briefly to give the reasons why I cannot support Deputy Sherwin's amendment.

If Articles 2 and 3 were, as Deputy Sherwin has referred to them, particularly Article 3, I would be inclined to agree with him. If we were talking about the right of the Irish people to self-determination for the whole of this island I would agree with him. There are great difficulties in the application of that principle because of the divisions among the Irish people which we should all face very frankly. The principle is a right and sound one but it is not the principle which is enshrined in, in particular, Article 3 which says:

Pending the re-integration of the national territory, and without prejudice to the right of the Parliament and Government established by this Constitution to exercise jurisdiction over the whole of that territory,

What is this Government and Parliament? We know it is a Twenty-six County Government and Parliament asserting its right to exercise jurisdiction over the whole of the 32- Counties. That is a questionable thing. It is not only questionable from the viewpoint of a million Ulster Protestants and Unionists but it is also questionable from the viewpoint of elected representatives of the majority who deny the right of the Twenty-Six County electorate to make laws for them though they do, of course, accept the basic principle of self-determination and want to see it applied, but I am afraid our hypocrisy or inconsequence is best seen when it is put to the test. Not long ago, an elected representative of a section of the Irish people, Mr. Paddy Kennedy, Stormont MP, came down that aisle acting on what he interpreted as being the meaning of this Constitution and he was unceremoniously bundled out. That in effect was this Parliament and Government, established by this Constitution, saying what it really meant, that is to say: "This is a Twenty-Six County Parliament, keep out, not wanted here." It would be entirely reasonable if we said we were a Twenty-Six County Parliament to say "Sorry, you are in the Six County jurisdiction, we are not having you here" but we are combining two incompatible things. We are claiming our right to exercise jurisdiction over the whole island and we are denying it in practice. There is, as in many other areas, a conflict between what we profess and what we actually practise. Deputy Sherwin's amendment serves the purpose of bringing that out. I object to the amendment because I would object to doing anything that would seem to entrench or hallow in some way Articles 2 and 3—particularly Article 3—which have to be taken not only by themselves but in conjunction with the whole Constitution.

What are we doing? There is one thing on which I agree with Deputy Sherwin and Deputy Thornley: I would like to see this island united; I would like to see the people of the whole island united in one State. I imagine that is what we all want to see but, when we say that, we have told only part of the story. The next question is: are we going in the right direction? What have we done with Articles 2 and 3? When you take Article 44 in conjunction with them then what we are doing is telling the people of the Six Counties, of whom the majority are Protestant, that the Parliament and Government of this Twenty-Six County State, whose 26-county electorate enacted this Constitution, claim a right of jurisdiction to your territory and your person and assert, together with that claim, the special position of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. That is what they are being told they will get in this package of our Constitution.

Now, can anybody, who knows the feelings of Ulster Protestants, imagine a worse way of setting about an approach to unity than that? Can anybody imagine a worse way than telling them that, first of all, we have a right to your territory, then we have a right to your persons and then, brother, you had better like the special position of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. Tell them that on the Shankill Road! That is what we have got in our Constitution and not only in Articles 2 and 3 but in the whole corpus of Twenty-Six County legislation for the 32 and the purported imposition of Article 44 (1) and other Articles that relate to them. This Constitution and these Articles in it are not the way to unity. They are a barrier to unity, one of the great barriers to unity, and I do not think anything should be done to safeguard them and I cannot, therefore, support this amendment.

We, in the Labour Party, considered this Bill and decided it was totally to be rejected, that there was no point in trying to amend it because one would have had such a very large number of amendments that, in the end, one would have what amounted to a completely new Bill. There was, of course, no prospect of a series of amendments being accepted and we would have been participating in a charade had we tried to amend the Bill at all.

This amendment pinpoints the great double-think. This does not apply to the Fianna Fáil Party alone; it is a national double-think. This pinpointing of that is a useful thing and the debate on this amendment has been a useful debate. It seems to me illogical to strive to build in special safeguards in regard to Articles 2 and 3 when one does not build in, or try to build in, special safeguards in regard to all the other Articles I enumerated on Second Stage. It is not just these two and, if we pick on these two as meriting special treatment, then we exacerbate the situation in the North. Deputy Cruise O'Brien has referred to this.

Deputy Sherwin has done a useful thing. We ought to face the issues of Articles 2 and 3, in conjunction with Article 44, nationally and debate and decide on them. The Minister cannot make the matter go away by saying that, when you look at the report of the inter-party committee, somehow it did not really involve any significant change in Articles 2 and 3. It may be that he is right but this issue has, I think, been raised nationally both in the South and in the North to the extent that it has to be faced and debated again and people must decide on it. I do not, however, think that it merits special treatment and, as far as I am concerned, the basic logic of our position is that the whole Bill is offensive and ridiculous. We are opposed to it root and branch in all its parts. My party's position is that we shall oppose this amendment as we opposed the amendment tabled by Fine Gael last night and for comparable reasons.

I have a certain sympathy with Deputy Sherwin. We are in the difficulty here that the total proposition in this Bill refers to a great many fundamental issues of quite extraordinary importance and there can be no doubt at all that the case we made last night on Deputy Cosgrave's amendment was a valid case and must be accepted as the answer. This Bill is so sweeping in its implications that it is useless to add a word here or subtract a word there, add a section here or subtract a section there, amend and delete, believing that in that way one has in some degree saved something from the terrible wreckage of this complete abrogation of our sovereign rights as a State. Consider the appalling humbug of a Minister for Foreign Affairs going to Europe and saying we are going to assert our sovereignty when, in fact, the whole act, all the negotiations, the final concluding signature, no doubt the imprimatur of this House eventually, has in its implications the complete handing over of our sovereignty. Whether the claim to national sovereignty goes or not, whether it is upheld or not, it is simply one of the enormously important factors involved in this matter. Had we decided in the Labour Party to amend this Bill, then, as Deputy Keating made clear on Second Reading, there would be a completely new Bill because, going through the Articles of the Constitution, any or all of which can be set aside and the laws enacted under it without referendum, one is presented with a particularly frightening prospect of what may happen as a result of that.

Quite honestly, I am afraid I do not share the views of Deputy Thornley possibly because of some defect in myself; I cannot attach the same importance to this, as Deputy Thornley described it, historic claim to national territory. I am concerned, not with the geographical unity which is Ireland—I think I take the Connolly position in relation to this—but with how people live in this society, within that geographical unity. The implications of amendment of constitutions to me would concern people, would concern how they live, how they grow up, how they are educated, how they grow old, how they are cared for when they are sick. These are the things to which I would give priority: for instance, the simple issue of defence, the right to declare war, the control of our armed forces, the fact that we might get involved in war, that our people might suffer because we might find that this power was taken away from us and that our people would have to fight some war, just or unjust.

Earlier on I became very angry—I know I did—because I happen to be a democrat, a genuine democrat who is grateful to this Parliament. For so many years, I have been permitted to express a dissenting voice, practically always, very frequently by myself, occasionally with two or three others. I am grateful to the Oireachtas for allowing me to do that for so long. It is for that reason that I attach an enormous amount of importance to our rights here as a Dáil and as an Oireachtas; to the fact that we are the supreme authority; we determine the laws; we determine the laws under which the judiciary are appointed.

All of these things that affect our people in a very intimate and very important way are discussed and debated here. We control the decisions taken in relation to education, health, social welfare, foreign affairs, agriculture. All of these things are the things that I feel may be vitiated. This authority vested in myself and all of us here might be vitiated in so far as we accept these proposals here. I find that very frightening. I find that prospect more disturbing than I do the particular one referred to. I share Deputy O'Brien's dissatisfaction with the provision of the existing Constitution——

——and particularly because of the claim made in Article 2 and Article 3 as a preparation for a society in which we would have a united community. I am concerned with community. We will never divide the geographical unity. There is the totality of the single island. It has never been divided. It is still there as a geographical unit. As communities, we are divided, without a doubt. I do not accept the two nations theory. I do accept the two communities; indeed, in my view, four communities, two here in the South and two in the north. The task is to apply oneself to the unity of the communities. I would be more preoccupied with that rather than with this other unity which is also important to me. It is not exactly an abstraction but it does have an academic implication in so far as, no matter what we claim, they happen to own that territory at the present time and possession is nine-tenths of the law. I do not for one moment suggest that we should our demands for total control but I do suggest that this should be directed towards the unity of the two communities. There is the point made by Deputy Cruise-O'Brien in regard to Article 4—the extraordinarily tactless, extraordinarily provocative, gratuitously provocative or stupid claim. Nobody could ever say that Mr. de Valera, the President, is a stupid man. He is not. I do not think anybody ever said that.

I do not understand how he could ever have believed that he could, on the one hand, claim jurisdiction over the total island in which there was this in-built, very divisive conflict on sectarian grounds, and then resent the predictable response which ensued, that was, the determination of the people in the Six Counties to resist this claim which has been asserted here and which we continue to re-assert. I believe that the germ of the anxiety and fear and the military actions now and at other times had their origin in this particular proposal and the exacerbation of hostility and fear implicit in Article 44 of the Constitution.

Everybody will know my views on the Irish language. It seems to me that while claiming territorial right to the total island the Article in relation to the Irish language was provocative. I have always been a friend of the Irish language but I believe that that was another divisive inclusion in the Constitution which I am surprised people are not concerned about, if they are really dedicated to the creation of unity, the creation of a really united community in Ireland. Why is it that there is this preoccupation, in the first place, with the geographical entity of Ireland and the refusal to face the basic conflict between the two communities living within this island and the concern for the constitutional Articles which tend to perpetuate these divisions?

Surely if we are seriously concerned —and I am certain that Deputy Sherwin and Deputy Thornley are seriously concerned—to achieve unity, we must agree that the Article of the Constitution which forbids divorce in a united Ireland——

I do agree

——is another matter which should be dealt with, an Article which was particularly provocative. Surely it must appear to be provocative to those who devised this Constitution and then told these people in the North that this is yet another impediment to unity. We down here claim that we want to see a united Ireland—the others do not want a united Ireland and they are perfectly frank about it —and we have continued to make that claim and the successive Taoisigh of various Governments have made that claim, and yet, we know that all of those impediments, introduced by us and maintained by us, are divisive in their effect, that you can lay claim as long as you like, to the geographical entity of Ireland, but that while you refuse, and continue to refuse, to make the sacrifices—and sacrifices are needed —needed to create what can be called a secular, non-sectarian Constitution, then you cannot begin to move along the road towards the creation of a properly united Ireland as a united community.

So we are satisfied that this Bill is irremediably damaging in all its provisions, that it is highly dangerous in its implications, that it interferes with our basic sovereignty, that it diminishes it certainly, reduces it and will continue to reduce it as time goes on. Surely we were correct and Deputy Thornley will have to face reality. I would make the case that there are many more important amendments, many as important and many more important, to this Bill, and, as we said last night to Deputy Cosgrave, there is nothing that can be done to this Bill which would protect any of the rights which we presently enjoy as a sovereign State once we enter into the Common Market. Were I introducing amendments they would be of a different priority. I would gladly accept this one as well as one of the amendments required here, but there are so many defects in the 1937 Constitution that this single amendment is simply not going to preserve national sovereignty any more than Deputy Cosgrave's amendment last night will.

The Minister in reply to Deputy Sherwin said that Articles 2 and 3 were not and would not be affected by our entry into the Common Market. This is based on the present Treaty of Rome and I take it that what the Minister says is correct, that these two Articles mentioned in the amendment are not to be affected, but there is always the danger that the Treaty of Rome may be changed, and as an ordinary individual here, with no legal training, I want to ask whether if the Treaty of Rome, subsequent to our entry, is changed and any such changes would have effects on these Articles of the Constitution, are we bound by that or have we the right to come back to the people by way of referendum in relation to acceptance of the proposed changes, in a new Treaty or an amended treaty? When the Minister says that it does not and could not affect them, I wonder is he looking into the future, that nothing can happen and no change is likely to be made in the Treaty of Rome to affect those two Articles. I would like the Minister to indicate whether or not if a change were made, we would be bound by our entry or would we have the right to go back to the people and ask them? If the Treaty of Rome were amended in such a way as to remove from our Constitution Articles 2 and 3, could that be done without any further reference to the people because I take it from what he said that this can be done by an Act of this Parliament or of the Community? It is a matter I would like to have cleared up.

The Minister when replying to Deputy Sherwin referred to a former member of this House and a colleague of both of us.

I cannot hear the Deputy and I am sitting in front of him.

He referred to Mr. Kevin Boland. As a Member of the House for some time prior to Kevin Boland coming into it, and a good number of years before the Minister came into it, I thought it a pity that that attack should be made here. The only thing I shall say is that if he were here in this House I doubt very much if Deputy Colley would take him on.

I am damn sure I would take him on if he said what Deputy Sherwin said today.

It was not a very appropriate occasion to attack a man like Mr. Boland who stands very high in the estimation of the people. The Minister went on to say at one time when Kevin Boland was a member of the Government he was in favour of entering EEC and Deputy Sherwin as a member of the Fianna Fáil Party supported that view. That could be true. I have supported up to now the proposal that we should enter EEC but I find in talking about the EEC to ordinary people that the fellow who is in favour of it now may be against it half an hour later and vice versa. The fact that somebody supported it yesterday does not necessarily mean he supports it today or will tomorrow. Many people just cannot make up their minds. I am sure the Norwegian Minister in charge of fisheries was pro-EEC but just a few days before his Government signed in Brussels he resigned because he was not satisfied with the way the negotiations went. It is no point to make that because somebody supported the Government in their proposals six or 12 months ago to negotiate satisfactory terms to the EEC that he should not change his mind. Many people have a very open mind about the whole matter.

I am glad Deputy Sherwin put down the amendment. I was interested to hear what he and other Deputies had to say. I was glad to hear what the Minister said and I hope he can assure us that what he has said is right and that Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution will not be affected by our entry, and that if there is any subsequent change in the Treaty of Rome there is no obligation on us to accept it and that it will be referred to the people. As Deputy Sherwin and others have said, it is the people who put those Articles there when they accepted the Constitution in 1937.

Let me recall to Deputy Brennan that when I referred to the fact that Deputy Sherwin, as a former member of this party, and the leader of his present party as a member of the Fianna Fáil Government, had supported entry into EEC I was making that point in relation to a point raised by Deputy Sherwin about the signing of the Treaty in Brussels on Saturday. It is, of course, correct as Deputy Brennan says, that somebody could be in favour of entering the EEC in principle but on completion of negotiations could be dissatisfied with the terms arranged. That is not the point at issue here which is that anybody who supported entry by this country into the EEC knew that on completion of the negotiations we would have signed on our behalf the Treaty of Rome, that this matter would have to go to a referendum and if approved by the people Dáil Éireann would be asked to ratify the signing of that Treaty. I make that point in the context of a point made by Deputy Sherwin when he alleged that when the Taoiseach signed that agreement in Brussels he was signing away, or contributing to signing away, our claim to our national territory. My point is that if that argument is now true it was true five years ago or ten years ago when the decision was made to go into the EEC. In my opinion it is not true, but if it were true it is a bit late in the day to make this argument on such a fundamental issue.

Could the Minister give any firmer assurance than that it is not true in his opinion?

The Minister is posturing.

Is Deputy Thornley suggesting that it is true?

Like Deputy Sherwin and Deputy Brennan I seriously fear it may be true.

That is another point.

I should like an assurance other than the Minister saying "in his opinion"——

That is another point altogether. I have already dealt with it and I shall deal with it again. I am now talking about the fact that the signing of the Treaty of Rome was alleged by Deputy Sherwin to have been an abandonment of our claim to our national territory by the Taoiseach. It was in that context I made the point about his having supported this policy before and about the leader of his party having supported it.

Deputy Brennan raised the point about whether it was possible—having listened to the arguments put forward here it seemed to him it was being argued that it was possible—as a result of our entry into the EEC under the terms of this Bill being put to the people, for a situation to arise in which Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution could be affected, abrogated or amended in some way without a referendum of our own people. He is quite right in thinking that argument was made; it was argued that way from the Labour benches. I went into this in some detail yesterday and I shall not repeat the whole argument now but I shall put it as briefly as I can.

I refer Deputy Brennan to the Bill and he will see in the Schedule that it refers to three Treaties specified. Those Treaties have been published and are available to Members of the House and anybody else. There is no provision in any of those Treaties which could, under any circumstances, enable or bring about a change in Articles 2 or 3 of the Constitution. This point is accepted by members of the Labour Party who have spoken in the debate but they say although that is not an issue in the Treaties—which is what is going before the people—developments will take place in the Communities and when it comes to a point where such an issue might be raised either it will be contended that this was a necessary consequence of membership and therefore if the Supreme Court say it was, then these Articles will be changed or, alternatively, or in relation to other matters, some of their speakers have argued that if you did have a referendum the people would not have any choice. This was one of the matters I referred to last night when I spoke about what I thought was the disturbing assumption by Deputy Keating in some of the arguments he made.

I would remind the House that this Bill is making provision to ask the voters to decide whether they wish to allow our Constitution to be amended in so far as is necessary to enable us to adhere to the three Treaties which are specified. There is no provision in any of those Treaties which anyone can contend could affect Articles 2 or 3 of the Constitution. We have discussed in another context possible developments which might take place within the Communities.

It has been agreed that any developments of that kind alleged to arise out of those Treaties would be ultra vires those Treaties. If we accept that, then we reach the stage of saying it cannot happen under the Treaties to which we are asking the people to adhere. We are left with the argument that it can happen in another way, that because we have become so enmeshed in the EEC that we cannot say “No”, even in a referendum. That was one of the arguments made and I shall deal with it.

The Minister's gloss distorts it so much that I must intervene and say that argument was not made.

I shall leave it to the Deputy if he wishes to elaborate. I do not wish to misrepresent the argument that was made.

I recognise that in five or ten years we could have a referendum and the people could vote "No". There is nothing we could do about it but it would be a hollow exercise in pseudo-democracy. The people could exercise the formal right but it would not be a real right. I did not say they could not vote "No"; they could, but it would not make any difference because you would not have any powers of economic decision left.

That is even worse than the point I thought the Deputy was making. I thought what he was saying was that we could have a referendum but that the people would not have a real choice because the economic consequences would be so great they would have to vote in a particular way. I think what the Deputy is saying now is that even if they voted the other way we would not get away with it. Am I misrepresenting the Deputy again?

I think the Minister put it right the first time. If we took the quixotic luxury of voting "No", the only effect it would have would be to produce a major social and economic disruption, but it would not be a real alternative.

To arrive at that conclusion one has to assume first that there will be another referendum which will arise because a new treaty is being negotiated. No one has tried to explain in this House, in support of that argument, how it could come about that if a new treaty were being negotiated among the members of an expanded Community if one, or more than one, of the ten countries decided not to adhere to the new treaty, how they would thereby by implication suffer very seriously economically or in some way be expelled from the club. It has not been made clear how they will suffer economically. We are talking about a new treaty, perhaps a treaty with political associations.

Looking at the situation as of now, it is a fair bet that more than one of the members of the expanded community would not adhere to such a treaty. If they did not, does that mean they will suffer seriously, that the whole structure of the Common Market which will have been built up will be withdrawn from them? We are getting into the area of surmise and this is the objection I made last night.

The facts are that if there is a referendum held in this country on foot of the terms of this Bill and if the people vote "Yes" to allow a change in our Constitution, all that can authorise is such changes in our Constitution as are necessary arising out of our adherence to the three Treaties specified in the Bill—nothing else. Any developments which could take place within the terms of those Treaties could not in any conceivable circumstances affect Articles 2 or 3 of our Constitution.

What could happen would be some new form of treaty being developed to which we might be asked to adhere and which would entail a further referendum. Can anyone visualise a new treaty arising for accession which would involve interference with the fundamental claims of each of the member States in regard to their national territory? Anyone who thinks about this will realise that no such matter will arise; it could not arise. None of the member States would be prepared to accept something of that nature.

The United Nations did.

Is Deputy Sherwin saying that by joining the United Nations——

I am referring to the British veto some three years ago at the United Nations when we applied for UN troops to be brought into the Northern situation. Britain vetoed that request and it is in this context I was speaking when I referred to the United Nations.

The position is that in any international organisation such as the United Nations or the EEC, as a matter of practical expediency, existing boundaries are recognised, that is, existing practical boundaries in which jurisdiction is exercised by each of the governments concerned. There is nothing in any of these Treaties referred to in the Bill or in the UN Charter which would prevent, for instance, the reunification of this country. There is no such thing in any international Charter to which we have adhered. However, that is somewhat a reverse of the point that is at issue in this amendment.

It is my central point: the whole question of boundaries and our right to exercise jurisdiction.

I have tried to demonstrate that there is nothing of this kind in the Treaties referred to in this Bill. They are the only Treaties that are referred to, not any others that people might think of as hypothetical. Only the Treaties which exist and whose terms we know are referred to in this Bill and are enabled to be dealt with in our referendum. Those Treaties cannot affect Articles 2 or 3 of our Constitution. If anyone disputes that I challenge him to point to the provision in any of those Treaties that could be so interpreted.

Given the attitude which has been adopted by Labour Party speakers on this Bill, the attitude of Deputy Thornley in this matter is the most logical we have heard. I disagree fundamentally with him but at least his contribution is consistent with the line that has been taken by his colleagues in relation to the rest of the Bill. It is very revealing that when it comes to Articles in the Constitution about which some of his colleagues are not unduly concerned, they seem to me to change step. Deputy Thornley is at least being consistent in what he is doing.

I will not say giving the Labour Party as a whole the benefit of the doubt because I have not got any doubt on this, but attributing to them the belief that they do not wish in an underhand way to sacrifice Articles 2 and/or 3 of the Constitution, it seems to me that it would be reasonable for them to say: "We believe that every Article of the Constitution is in danger if you pass this Bill—" and that is what they said—"but if we cannot save all of them at least under this amendment these Articles could be saved." They are not saying that.

I am saying it.

Deputy Thornley is saying it but a number of his colleagues who have spoken are not saying it. The real reason is that they know as well as I know that all this talk about the possibility of developments, or making theoretical and hypothetical points about what could happen, is so much moonshine. They know that what is concerned here is what is in the Bill and what is in the three Treaties and nothing else. The inconsistency and hypocrisy of their arguments is being revealed in their attitude to Deputy Sherwin's amendment. I exempt Deputy Thornley from that but not the rest of his colleagues who have spoken.

Is it not extraordinary that the Fianna Fáil Party, who are finding it terribly difficult to make up their own minds, and to get their own Members to do what they want them to do, can have a Minister on the front bench who is prepared to formulate policy for the Labour Party and tell us what we should do? I want to show the dishonesty of this approach. I am surprised at it because I respect the Minister as a person. His approach is dishonest because, in effect, what he is saying is that even though he is arguing that Deputy Sherwin's amendment is wrong some other party should support it so that Deputy Sherwin will not feel that he is alone.

They should be consistent.

The Minister did not say it was wrong. He said he did not agree with it.

I did not hear Deputy Crowley saying very much.

I can well understand why the Deputy should be so annoyed.

Deputy Crowley can make his own contribution. We believe that the whole idea is wrong. We believe that the Bill should not be introduced. We believe that as it is framed it is wrong. The Minister suggested that we could save parts of the Constitution but he knows that cannot be done here. The Constitution will be saved at the polls and I am sure the Minister will find that out.

We respect Deputy Thornley's point of view and that of anybody who wishes to support a particular amendment, but the Labour Party are opposed lock, stock and barrel to the Bill. To try to put a plug in little holes here and there is not the solution. The Minister said that a suggestion that there could be a change in the set-up of the Common Market which would affect the position about Articles 2 and 3, among other things, would be objected to by other states. Is he not aware that at least three states in Europe have refused to join the Common Market? Is it not true that Sweden refused to join the Common Market because she is neutral? Is it not true that Austria and Finland will not join because of an agreement they have on neutrality?

I do not think that is quite right but I will not argue with the Deputy.

It is near enough to it.

It is close enough to it to defeat the Minister's argument.

It does not defeat Articles 2 and 3. The Deputy will concede that.

The Minister is now trying to be slick. A few moments ago he said that the constitution of the Common Market could not or would not be changed because other countries would be opposed to it. He said that if a number of countries opposed something, it was not likely to happen.

If the Treaty were to affect Articles 2 and 3.

The Minister went much wider than that. He referred to certain defence commitments.

I do not think I even mentioned the words "defence commitments".

Political commitments. It really amounts to the same thing. The Minister does not think we are so naïve that we do not understand that when you talk about political commitments at present you are, in fact, talking about defence commitments.

If we go into the EEC and we are then asked to do something which we do not want to do, even if we are allowed to have a referendum on it here—as Deputy Keating said if we have the luxury of voting against the proposal—would the Minister try to explain to us how we can get out of it? In what way can we say to the other nine countries: "We do not like this and therefore we are not playing this hand. We are sitting out. You continue on"?

Is this a new Treaty?

If a new Treaty is suggested and if it is tied up with general EEC policy. It does not matter what it is and the Minister is, perhaps, more aware of this than anybody else in the House. If we accept membership of the EEC and gear all our economy to membership, the Minister knows that after a number of years there is no way in which we can pull out. There is no way in which we can sit out a hand and say: "You finish the game. We are not taking part." If that were so, the EEC would fall down because the member countries would take part only in what they felt would benefit themselves. The whole idea of the EEC is that it is a joint effort.

I should hate to accuse the Minister of being dishonest about this but his approach and the approach of the Government to this issue are dishonest. Deputy Brennan was very close to it when he said it is generally accepted in the country now that people who were in favour of membership, on taking it over and finding out what is happening, are changing their minds. On the day of the referendum, no matter what big guns are in favour of membership, I believe the Minister will find that it will not wash. Right along the line the approach of the Labour Party has been opposition to this idea. We are particularly opposed to the garbled version which is being put before the electorate. The Minister said yesterday that they wanted to have a clear vote for or against membership. Nothing could be more difficult than the proposal which is being put before the electorate. The whole approach being so dishonest and being recognised as dishonest, the Government will not get away with it.

Deputy Sherwin is entitled to his point of view. He quoted the report of the constitutional committee. The Minister was chairman of that committee for a period. He must know that any matter which was raised at the committee, and which was thought worthy of being put down on paper, was included in the final recommendations. Even if only one person agreed with it, it was included in the final recommendations. There are things in the report which he and I might entirely disagree with individually. But because of the way the committee was set up we were not entitled to make any objection.

Deputy Sherwin was entitled to read out what he saw as the written report. For anybody here to suggest that trying to opt out of any interference with Articles 2 or 3 of the Constitution was a safeguard is, I am afraid, again trying to cod the people. It is no safeguard. There is only the one safeguard for them and that is not to accept it in its entirety.

Lest my silence be taken by Deputy Tully as meaning that I do not agree with entry into the EEC or with the stand of the Government, I stand up to state categorically that it would be disastrous for this country not to go into the EEC. While I would not accuse Deputy Tully of being dishonest, the spokesmen for his party were certainly being dishonest when they talked about these hypothetical treaties that would be made when we go in and how we could not get out for the reason that we would be so tied up economically with the Community that it would not be in our interest to do so. Of course it would not. This is why we are going into EEC.

Let us keep to the amendment.

This point has been raised by Members of the Opposition. We see it as being economically advantageous to this country to go in. I was rather surprised to hear Deputy Cruise-O'Brien and other speakers placing much more stress on divorce and other subjects than on the claim to our national territory which is in Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution. We know that Deputy Cruise-O'Brien is the official spokesman of the Labour Party.

The Chair wishes to keep the debate to the amendment. There will be an opportunity later to discuss all the implications.


I did not bring up divorce. It was brought up by Members of the Labour Party.

The Deputy will bring it up at the next election though.

That may well be. It is rather significant that the Labour Party are being totally dishonest in this exercise when they talk about all these treaties or new obligations that might be put on us. They are just trying to raise hares, to give substance to an argument that has no substance. I would remind Deputy Tully that the people will decide conclusively for entry into EEC. Of that I have no doubt whatever. All the jargon and all the excess verbosity that is generated in this Chamber will not change their ideas.

Of course, we should all be concerned about Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution and we are concerned and very concerned that they should not be interfered with in the slightest but the Minister has stated that they will not be interfered with and I think this should meet Deputy Sherwin's request.

The Minister was chairman of a committee that said they should be changed.

We are constantly fed up listening to Deputy Cruise-O'Brien's pro-Faulkner line.


Deputy Cruise-O'Brien or Deputy Keating will not stop me from saying what I want to say. Their dishonest arguments will not have any effect on the people. They know what Deputy Keating and Deputy Cruise-O'Brien represent. They certainly do not represent the Irish interest.

Would the Deputy please keep to the amendment?

As far as Deputy Sherwin's amendment is concerned and Articles 2 and 3, the Minister has stated that these two Articles will not be affected and we all accept that they will not be affected.

We do not all.

Not all of us.

Thank God I cannot speak for you.

I have, of course, challenged anybody to show any provision of the three Treaties which would affect Articles 2 and 3.

We will come back in five years.

Deputy Tully will appreciate that that challenge will not be answered.

I do not want to describe anybody as being dishonest. Deputy Noel Browne, for instance, has sincerely held views for which I have the greatest respect. I do not agree with 90 per cent of what he says but I know that he sincerely holds those views, unlike other Members who will move before any wind in order to try to gain a political point. The arguments that were raised in favour of Articles 2 and 3 or against their violation I think are unfounded. We, in this party, would be the first to put such a situation right.

Deputy Sherwin is a sincere politician. He put down that amendment because he believed there could be some danger but now the assurance of the Minister has been given and I think he should accept that that is the case and not be dragged into the web of Labour's internal difficulties.

Deputy Sherwin would not know anything about your difficulties of course.

They are only looking for some way out of their own difficulties. If the Labour Party were totally honest they would have put down amendments to everything, in regard to every Article of the Constitution that they thought would be affected. Of course they did not because they prefer the carte blanche condemnation of the whole thing.

Hear, hear.

I think behind it all Deputy Tully is a European, even though his party probably does not allow him to say so.

I am an Irishman first. That is the trouble.

I stood up lest my silence should be taken by Deputy Tully or by anybody else as meaning that I am not in agreement with the whole stand of the Government on this issue.

The debate has become pretty wide and I suppose anything that has been said could be deemed to be relevant. No matter what the last speaker has said or the Minister may say, I think he must, within his own heart, if he does not publicly express it, admit the honesty and consistency in the opposition by the Labour Party to the Government's proposal to apply for full membership of the EEC.

I want to make it clear that as far as the Bill itself is concerned and section 3, we welcome, as we said on Second Stage, the proposal to put the issue before the people even though they may be somewhat confused by the White Paper, which is a pretty tough document even for some Members of this House to get through. I know the Government will have their agents throughout the country unwillingly engaged in a propaganda campaign to induce the people to vote for full membership of the EEC.

As far as the second part is concerned we have expressed our total opposition. We are opposed lock, stock and barrel to that part of the section which says: "No provision of this Constitution" and so on, which in effect gives the Government a blank cheque to do what they please as far as the Constitution is concerned and to say that it is consequent on the three Treaties mentioned in the first section.

I shall not debate here now, maybe at another time, the rights or wrongs of Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution. The Labour Party agreed that there would be no amendment to this section because we believed that this blank cheque should not be given to the Fianna Fáil Government or to any other Government. In saying this, we also meant that there was no support for any amendment from any side of the House by way of vote. I do not disagree with people making their views known on any Article of the Constitution but, as far as we are concerned, we are totally opposed to the terms of the second part of section 3 of this Bill. I said we do not want to give the Government a blank cheque. Neither do we want to give them a blank cheque with reservations and, if there are to be reservations about Articles 2 and 3, then there should be reservations about other Articles in the Constitution as well.

As far as Deputy Crowley's comments are concerned, we said it was the bounden duty of the Government to spell out in detail what Articles of the Constitution need to be changed in order to make our Constitution compatible with the Treaty of Rome. As far as Articles 2 and 3 are concerned, yes, but it is the people who will have to decide whether or not they want these changes. It is only the people who should be allowed to change the Constitution. This is not an argument, and could not be, as to the merits or demerits of Articles 2 and 3.

The Taoiseach has established an all-party committee to try to get agreement in consultation with people in the North as to what parts of the Constitution need to be changed. I assume that, as happened with a similar committee four or five years ago, all Articles of the Constitution will be examined to see what changes should be made in order to evolve a Constitution acceptable to the majority of the people of the whole country. The Minister has given us an assurance that Articles 2 and 3 will not be changed by legislation here. Now I accept the Minister's word, but I do not think it is sufficient for him just to say that here in this House. As I say, we are totally opposed to any amendments to this particular section of this particular Bill because we are opposed to the proposal of the Government, with the support of the Fine Gael Party, that anything deemed to be consequent upon membership of the EEC which necessitates a change in our Constitution can be done here by this House.

Deputy Corish may have misunderstood me. I was not asking anybody to accept my assurance on this. I was merely saying that the Bill refers to three specific Treaties and I asked if anybody could show us one provision in any of these Treaties under which Articles 2 and 3 could be affected. It is not my assurance. It is what is in the Bill.

The Six Counties are part of Britain. We did not sign for it.

The Taoiseach suggested it would be too complicated to sum up all the changes that might be necessary in the Constitution. That was the original situation.

That is true.

The Minister will appreciate there can be no black-and-white answer to the question he has put. These are matters of shifting opinion in relation to the Constitution. It is important that the approach of the Labour Party should be understood and well understood.

Deputy Sherwin and Deputy T. Fitzpatrick (Dublin Central) rose.

Deputy Fitzpatrick.

Before Deputy Fitzpatrick speaks, may I point out that, while I have no axe to grind, the Minister spoke, a member of the Labour Party spoke, a member of the Fianna Fáil Party spoke and then it came back to the Labour Party again. I am not necessarily here as an Independent. I have offered but I will yield to Deputy Fitzpatrick.

The Deputy had an opportunity earlier.

(Dublin Central): I shall be very brief. Deputy Corish argued that this referendum was giving the Government a blank cheque. That is surely misleading.

Not one bit.

(Dublin Central): We will be voting on the three Communities. What the people will vote on will be specified and Deputy Corish and others should not try to mislead the people.

I said it would be very difficult for the people to absorb the contents of the White Paper but, as far as the second part of the proposal is concerned, it gives the Government of the day licence to change the Constitution in any way they may deem necessary.

You bet it does.

It does not.

(Dublin Central): There have been a great many misleading statements by the Labour Party in this debate. They are using the debate as part of the referendum campaign. This is most unfair.

It is about time the campaign started. The Government have been spending the people's money campaigning for the last year.

(Dublin Central): It is alleged this will involve us eventually in defence commitments. There is no mention of defence in any of the three Communities we are joining and, if the question of defence did come up at some future date, we will have a Minister who will make sure that our view will be put forward. Deputy Keating said we would have no choice and the commitment would be forced upon us. I do not think that will be the future evolution of the Community. The situation is spelled out quite plainly and people should not mislead others into thinking they are voting for something for which they are not voting.

I admit I am no expert on the EEC. Neither was I able to afford a journey to Europe to consult with others there, but I did meet a number of Norwegians here and I discussed various matters with them. A great number of amendments have been made to the existing three Treaties and it is of these amendments applicant countries should take note. The Minister asked us to point out anything in the Treaties impinging upon Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution. I admit I am at a loss to indicate any. However, I believe that, having joined the EEC, as no doubt we will, we will have very little control over amendments to the Treaties by the enlarged Community. As was pointed out in the papers recently, we hear very little about the people in Luxembourg. We know our voice will be a small voice, comparatively. If we join I hope our voice will be a strong one but, considering the role of Britain, France and Germany, I think our voice will be a small one in the enlarged Community. As Deputy Keating pointed out, if there is something to which we object, no doubt our members will make our views known. The possibility is that we will have very little influence. We would be faced with a decision if something were enacted or adopted by the Communities or any of the institutions of the Communities to which we objected. If we objected sufficiently strongly, I wonder what our situation would be if we had to withdraw from the European Economic Community or if we would have the moral courage to withdraw. That is for the future, I admit.

We are departing from the amendment.

Many Deputies have enlarged on the amendment. The Minister enlarged on the amendment.

The Chair is most anxious to keep to the amendment.

I submit to the Chair. I should like to go back to the point the Minister made when he referred to what I had to say relative to the Treaties. I did not mention Treaties in my speech. I said that the signing of the Articles of Accession on last Saturday by the Taoiseach on behalf of the country had certain implications. I indicated in my speech that the Taoiseach signed on behalf of our Twenty-six County State. I indicated that Mr. Heath signed on behalf of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Taoiseach's statement must be regarded as one of the most important statements that he has ever made because it was made outside the State to an audience comprising the proposed enlarged Community. That speech clearly indicated that when we speak of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as an applicant member state and as we speak of another applicant state, Ireland, meaning the Twenty-six Counties, he clearly recognises these two states as legitimate states which are to co-operate in mutual understanding.

It is this implication that I am very worried about, the implication that we accept the situation by our signature. I do not know whether or not people in Fianna Fáil are willing to accept the implication or dismiss my fears in regard to the importance of this implication. I am trying to suggest to them that they should think more deeply about it.

Supposing we do not go into the EEC and Britain does go in, does not this consolidate it even more?

Let us keep to the amendment.

We are not discussing the merits of the EEC. We are discussing this Bill. My party or I have not made a statement on our attitude towards the rights or wrongs of EEC entry. We are talking about this Bill on which the people will have to vote. Not too long ago we were shocked and annoyed when Mr. Heath said in a telegram to the Taoiseach, "This is none of your business" when the Taoiseach was talking about what was happening in Northern Ireland, supposedly a part of our national territory. The British Prime Minister had the cheek to say, "This is none of your business". We are joining the enlarged Community, if we do join, with a Government headed by Mr. Heath who had the audacity to say what he did say. In my view the reaction of the Taoiseach was not as strong as it ought to have been.

The signing of the articles in Brussels constitutes implicit acceptance of the other member states. This is what I am referring to when expressing my fears. I should like to dwell on this point. If after we join the European Economic Community, or are in the process of joining it, the British Government make an issue of our Article 2 and the existing Article 3, in regard to which recommendations were made to have them altered, what would our situation be in the last moments of negotiations? What would be our reaction if the British Government made mention of our position vis-à-vis Article 2 and Article 3? What would our Government's reaction be? We are claiming the right of jurisdiction over territory which the Government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland say is their internal British business. That is what I am talking about. What would be the position if consequent on or subsequent to our joining the EEC, Irishmen at any time should react in the way they are reacting in the North of Ireland today, perhaps after a period of calm? Will not the British Government exercise the same type of vetoing power that they have exercised but will exercise it on a wider scale and on an international front as they did three years ago in the UN when our request was made for recognition——

The Deputy is getting away from the amendment now.

I am not so sure, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, that I am. I am trying to indicate my reasoning in putting down the amendment. I fear that subsequent to our joining the EEC the British Government may legitimately claim that our Constitution is repugnant to the enlarged Community in that we have accepted the claim of the British Government made in their description of their application as being in the name of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Surely that works both ways?

In what way?

If the Deputy claims that by membership we are accepting the British claim to the Six Counties, surely he can argue equally well that the British are accepting our claim under Article 2 to the Six Counties?

It is quite possible in a sense, if in fact our Taoiseach last Saturday, in his statement, had put that point across to a new audience.

I am afraid it has nothing to do with the legalities of the situation what speech the Taoiseach made.

The Taoiseach signed on behalf of a Twenty-six County state.

He signed on behalf of Ireland and it is so described in the Treaty.

For Heaven's sake, Minister, come off it.

That is what it says.

The application of Ireland is for a Twenty-six County state.

It is on behalf of Ireland. Ireland is defined in the Constitution. If the Deputy is arguing that we are giving something away by signing, it is equally true to say that the British are giving something away. He cannot have it both ways.

Keep the argument made in 1926 alive.

The Deputy it trying to change the subject.

I want to make the point that the position in relation to Great Britain and Northern Ireland could, in my view, effectively cause problems for our Articles 2 and 3 after we join the EEC, if that is to happen, if the British Government categorically say that their entry was very explicit and that they meant every single line in relation to their entry in the name of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. If the Minister can assure me that the European Community or Parliament will accept Ireland's reaction to a claim by the British in the years ahead that the British claim is wrong and the Irish claim right, I would then have second thoughts on this amendment.

Why does the Deputy attach so much importance to a possible claim by the British when, with equal validity, the same claim could be made by us?

I think the British influence in the enlarged Community is going to be a damn sight stronger——

I wondered if that is what was in his mind. He is talking about British influence and not about the legalities at all.

I am talking about the bulldozing power of the British Government in every field in which they have had an influence.

If he is, he is not talking about this.

A Deputy

That is one of the reasons we are anxious that that domination would be reduced.

As the Minister pointed out, I was a member of the Fianna Fáil Party——


This is not a free-for-all. There is only one Deputy in possession.

We heard the man who for 12 months advised the people of Ireland to join the Common Market.

Absolutely untrue, irresponsible dishonesty on the Deputy's part. I am accusing the Deputy of being irresponsibly dishonest.

I listened to it attentively for months.

If I may be allowed to continue, the Minister made mention of my previous role as a member of the Fianna Fáil Party and spoke of my presence and support for the entry negotiations. He also asked whether I fully accepted what was happening, and I would like to indicate to the Minister that a great number of members of the Parliamentary Party of Fianna Fáil were very disturbed by the fact that the White Paper was not issued at a much earlier stage so that people would have an opportunity to discuss it and make their views on it known.

I do not like interrupting the Deputy again but I did say when talking about that that a man could when he saw the terms say "I do not agree with that", and the real point at issue in referring to the Deputy's former membership of this party was in relation to the signing of the Treaty; anybody who supported in principle application for membership of the Communities had to contemplate the signing which the Taoiseach did recently in Brussels. That was the point I was making.

And the Minister has pointed out that the legalities of the whole thing would make my point invalid. I saw that that occasion was a very vital occasion for our Taoiseach to put clearly in print and on the records of the speeches that went on that day our position in relation to the situation in Northern Ireland and our right to jurisdiction over that territory and our claim that the British Government should pack their bags, so to speak, and leave. That is the point I was making.

I was a member of the Fianna Fáil Party and I am especially going back to the last Ard Fheis. I mentioned this in my speech then and I want to refer to it again. It was mentioned a great number of times that the Fianna Fáil Party has never rejected or accepted the recommendation in relation to Article 3 of the Constitution and the Minister said today that Kevin Boland, a former Member of the House, was flying this kite. Let me point out and put on the records of this House that as a Minister in the Government, Kevin Boland on more than one occasion—I am quite sure the Minister will not disagree with this—asked the Cabinet, not alone the Fianna Fáil Party, to reject this recommendation and on none of these occasions did the Cabinet see fit to make its view known. A great number of cumainn of Fianna Fáil put down resolutions with a view to ascertaining the view of the Fianna Fáil Party in relation to Article 3, but at the last Ard Fheis, despite the number of resolutions put forward, these did not appear on the clár and when the Taoiseach was replying—I am speaking here from recollection—he referred to this flying of the kite by Kevin Boland in relation to Article 3 and said: "Our position in relation to Article 3 is as it always was."

I think I can correct the Deputy's recollection on that. What he said was that the Government's position in relation to the proposal regarding Article 3 was exactly the same as it was when Kevin Boland was a member of the Government.

I am making known to the House that the Government never made a decision on their attitude in relation to Article 3 and therefore what the Taoiseach said—and he must have known this—was nothing at all.

There is no inconsistency in the two statements.

He is a master at saying nothing at all.

The Minister has suggested that the attitude of the Government in relation to this Article was as it was and I am trying to indicate that the Government never, in fact, made that decision. Maybe the Minister cannot—he probably is confined to secrecy——

I am actually.

Kevin Boland is not so confined and he confided in me, and as it is a very vital matter for supporters of Fianna Fáil throughout the country and for other people, I want to get on the records of the House that the Government did not see fit to take this question at Cabinet level and did not, in fact, make any recommendation and therefore what the Taoiseach said at the last Ard Fheis was, in fact, meaningless. I wonder—and I question the influence of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party in this case—why the Fianna Fáil Party were allowed to be steamrolled into not making a firm decision.

This is getting away from the amendment before the House.

I accept that, but it is important in relation to Article 3. I am trying to establish my reason for being fearful that Articles 2 and 3 might have a somewhat short future. I have tried to indicate my reasons to the House. I mentioned the Ard Fheis last year when an attempt was made by subterfuge to get over that very awkward point. I pointed out today that on the committee which suggested that recommendation there were two Ministers of the present Cabinet and two Parliamentary Secretaries. So it is not difficult to see why there should be reluctance to make a decision on that. The Minister for Finance mentioned that the late Seán Lemass, the former Taoiseach, was a member of that committee, but it is only fair to point out that he came in only at a very late stage, a long time after the recommendations in relation to Article 3 were proposed. He must have come in when the committee were dealing with the later Articles of the Constitution. It is not fair to suggest that because the late Seán Lemass was a member of the committee——

Is the Deputy suggesting that the late Seán Lemass disagreed with that recommendation? If so, I must contradict him.

I am not suggesting that. I am questioning why the late Seán Lemass should have put his name to it.

This document is not before the House for discussion.

To indicate briefly my position in relation to the Bill I should say that on Second Stage I voted against the present form of the Bill. I explained then that I considered the manner and mode of the Bill objectionable and that it was an insult to the people that the Government did not see fit to explain exactly the implications of their Bill before they put their pen to paper and gave the Government power to do what they would like to do or would do as a consequence of joining the EEC. It is very unfair and I made my position quite clear. That does not indicate that when it comes to a decision on supporting our entry into the EEC I shall or I shall not support it. I disagree with the manner in which the Bill is being put to the people. It makes it very difficult for the ordinary people, about whom the Minister spoke, to understand what is involved.

Last night the Government accepted an amendment from Fine Gael while freely admitting that the amendment made very little difference to the subsection the Government are proposing to add to Article 29. I proposed my amendment in the hope that in the future Articles 2 and 3 would not be tampered with despite pressure from Britain. I am not worried about pressure from Germany or elsewhere but about pressure from Britain in that regard. If this Government remain for long after we join the EEC I do not think they are strong enough to withstand British pressure. I must accept the authority of the Minister when he says that the Rome and Paris Treaties do not indicate any danger to Articles 2 and 3 but I am not convinced, putting it bluntly, that this is so. Amendments can be made to these treaties without introducing an entirely new Treaty and if amendments are made which in fact would affect our jurisdiction over the Six Counties, then we do not have to have recourse to the people who can decide whether an Article should go or not. Jurisdiction over the Six Counties is a political and economic matter and it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that Britain might say that it is an economic matter and that they should have absolute jurisdiction in that part of this country and that they could not have another member claiming jurisdiction over the same territory. I am not as experienced in speaking here as other Deputies——

The Deputy is not doing too badly.

I should like to take up a point mentioned by Deputy Browne earlier. He said that if this amendment were to be accepted he would see a need to introduce other amendments in regard to other Articles of the Constitution and he mentioned divorce and other matters. It must be accepted, I think, that there are no circumstances in respect of reunification in which we can legitimately talk in terms of this Constitution being amended to suit an enlargement of the territory over which we have had jurisdiction up to now; it will not be an extension of the Dublin Government over the 32 counties or an extension of the Stormont Government over the remainder of the country. I am convinced that we must talk in terms of a completely new constitution and I think in those circumstances Deputy Browne's point regarding divorce and so on can easily be considered if the minority concerned make a sufficiently strong case. They can have an effective voice in regard to the new Constitution for all Ireland.

I am not convinced that the Government faced the reality of British pressure in relation to the last stages of our entry to the EEC and what can happen subsequently. I am quite certain the Government have not looked at the dangers of the bulldog approach of Britain. I was hopeful that not so much by amending subsection (3) which the Government have proposed but by adding a further subsection (4), in no way could the people of Ireland feel unsure that their historic claim to jurisdiction over the whole territory could be undermined by the influence of the British Government, which we have seen to be very strong.

I have considerable sympathy with the point of view put forward by Deputy Sherwin. Some speakers said this evening that there are equally important Articles in the Constitution. Of course, from a certain point of view every Article is of equal importance, but I believe these two Articles are fundamental. I do not like to hear words like "hypocrisy" being used about them. To be quite fair, they made a provision for the future; they were an effort to show that things might change, that this country would become reintegrated and become a nation. Northern ministers have said "this country" when they speak about the Six Counties. Has the Minister ever heard them say this on television?

The Six Counties are not even a complete province, as Deputy Blaney has pointed out. Therefore, I have considerable sympathy with the proposition put forward by Deputy Sherwin in this amendment. At the same time, when Part II comes up for discussion, if I am present in the House I will indicate that I agree completely with the point of view put forward by Deputy Corish that this Bill is an outrage. No similar Bill has ever been brought into this House. I see that Deputy FitzGerald is smiling. Can he tell me if any Bill like this has ever been introduced in this House?

My smile related to the word "outrage".

Can the Deputy tell me if any Bill resembling the one we are discussing has ever been introduced here? This is a Bill to abolish the Constitution. If the people approve of amending the Constitution, the Constitution is gone and people may argue about it as they like. I do not claim to be a constitutional lawyer but on two occasions in public I have been proved right. One was about an electoral Bill and more recently in the hurried piece of legislation which was passed by this House I said it would not stand up. That was vindicated. I do not claim any prescience——

The Deputy realises that in that case it was not because it was a hurried piece of legislation because the provisions found to be unconstitutional existed in Acts passed by this House many years ago.

Can the Minister state if these Acts have been amended?

Not yet, I think.

I hope the Government are working on them.

Obviously they come into the same category, but it was not due to the hurried nature of the Bill.

I do not agree with the Minister but we are entitled to disagree. The Minister is entitled to make his point and I have no objection to this. I believe it was due to the manner in which the Bill was rushed through and if some thought had been given to it the result might have been different. The argument from the Government benches was that the Opposition had asked for it but this was not the case.

A Member said that we were elevating these two Articles into a special position. The fact is that they are in a special position. The constitution of the Labour Party, including amendments adopted at last year's conference, states in paragraph 2, section 2, that the Labour Party affirms that the national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland. To my mind these Articles are in a different category to other Articles in the Constitution; in fact they are at the beginning of the Constitution and they are fundamental to it. Deputy Sherwin has pointed out that Mr. Heath was extremely insulting in his utterances but it should be pointed out that he subsequently said in public that it was a reasonable attitude for any Irishman to wish to have this country united. He also added that the British Government were not going to force the Northern people into the Republic. However, it must be stated that by his actions he withdrew from the stance he had taken when he sent his telegram.

Our situation is that it is more than a wish, it is a right.

I am with the Deputy completely. When people talk to me about our claim being a questionable claim, I do not agree with them. Is there not the island of Ireland? They misquote Connolly in this connection. Connolly's attitude was that he was not interested in the ground and he was right. The ground is only relevant because of the people who walk on it. When Connolly spoke about this he did not mean he was not interested in the island of Ireland. Connolly is often misquoted in this connection.

Who said that?

Will the Deputy quote what Connolly said?

The Deputy is attacking somebody for saying something about Connolly.

I think the Deputy was not here when the reference was made.

It has been said many times, not only in this debate. We are not legislating for ground, we are legislating for the rights of people. I believe that if the Supreme Court did not take the line that this was a matter for decision by the people and that the legislature had done this political act, they would hold this Bill to be unconstitutional. They might well take the view that they were not there to prevent Dáil Éireann taking a Bill of this sort to the people. If they acted as lawyers this Bill would not stand. I am not a lawyer but I can understand how they operate, and how they interpret documents.

The Minister made the challenge that we should point out to the House how the Treaties to which we adhered last Saturday will affect this issue. The number of Deputies in this House who have read the Treaty of Rome right through—and I hate to cast any aspersions on my colleagues—is very few. I know that Deputy FitzGerald has not only read it but that he has studied it.

And Deputy Thornley.

Well he is a political scientist and, if he would not read it, who would? I do not believe that the total number of Deputies who have read it right through would go into two figures. I have no doubt about that. It is not easy to read these long documents.

The same might be true of the Bible.

And Das Kapital.

Some of us have read the expurgated edition.

I did not mean that bible.

The Deputy sounds like Deputy Crowley now.

Deputy FitzGerald has never taken that stance politically. These two Articles in our Constitution have not the slightest influence on the people in the North. Until recently— and this is developing rapidly like a lot of other things—the North was run by the landed interest there. Can anybody deny that? That landed interest was submerged in England with the repeal of the corn laws in 1844. The British are insisting on imposing on this country a condition of affairs they got rid of themselves more than 125 years ago.

This whole business is really about power. It is not about religion or anything else. It is about jobbery at the highest level just as it is in the Fianna Fáil Party. It is fundamentally concerned with who controls the giving out of the gravy. I have every sympathy with Deputy Sherwin's amendment but I agree with Deputy Corish on this one-section Bill. I will speak at some length on the section when we come to it. They compressed two different ideas into one sentence in this Bill. They would not even divide it into two parts. They shoved it all in together.

I support the amendment but I do not think it is any use. We have the right to talk here. That is the only right we have. We have one sanction against the Government. We did not put it into operation yesterday when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Local Government was sitting where the Minister is sitting now with nobody behind him.

When this amendment came to be discussed there was a bigger attendance on the Fianna Fáil benches. Does this mean that the Fianna Fáil people are concerned about this suggestion? Are they caught by the hip by this amendment? That may be. Since I have never been a member of the Fianna Fáil Party I do not know whether they are. They may well be concerned about it. It highlights something else about which Deputy Corish was speaking in general terms. This Bill really gets rid of our Constitution completely.

Chuir sé íonadh orm agus inniu ag éisteacht le Teachtaí a bhí ag iarraidh a chur treasna gurab é bhí i gceist acu an náisiún seo, Éire, agus níor chuala mé oiread agus focal amháin uathu i nGaeilge.

Chuala tú. Labhair mé féin Gaeilge inné.

Agus mise freisin.

Chomh fada is a bhaineann sé leis an leasú atá os ár gcomhair anois.

Is ceist eile í sin.

Sin ceist eile. Níl aon dabht faoi sin. Tamaillín ó shin—agus chuir seo ar mire mé—dúbhradh go raibh Teachtaí annseo nach labhrann, daoine nach gcloistear rud ar bith uathu. Bhí Teachta anseo in aice liom. Is Teachta é nár rinne rud ar bith riamh chun an Teach seo a mhaslú. Labhair sé. Is é an toradh a bhí air go ndearna Teachta eile iarracht ar beag a dhéanamh de. Is iad seo na daoine a bhíonn i gcónaí ag trácht ar chneastacht agus ar charthanacht. Nuair a labhair an Teachta seo—agus níor thug sé aon mhasla—sé an freagra a fuair sé ó na daoine seo nach raibh cead aige a bhéal a oscailt. Rinneadh é sin in ainm na saoirse.

Tá mé cinnte nach í ceist an náisiúin atá anseo ar chor ar bith mar dá mb'ea bheadh rud ar bith cloiste agam i dtaobh an náisiúin agus i dtaobh saothúlacht na tíre. Tá a fhios agam go raibh Teachtaí anseo a chaith droch-mheas ar daoine a labhair sa Teach seo an tseachtain roimh Nollaig. Tá siad anseo anois ag iarraidh a chur ina luí ormsa agus ar Theachtaí eile nach bhfuil aon tsuim againn sa náisiún. Nuair a bheidh rud éigin le rá acu amach anseo tá súil agam go gcloisfidh mé roint Gaeilge uathu. Dá mbeadh suim sa tír acu do dhéanfaidis amhlaidh. Maidir leis an mBille——

Cén fá gurb é tusa an chéad duine i Fianna Fáil a labhair i nGaeilge?

Ní h-é.

Ní h-eol dom gur labhair éinne ód thaobh i nGaeilge.

Labhair an Teachta O'Donovan.

Is cuma faoi sin. Níl mé ag iarraidh aon phointe mhór a dhéanamh ach ní féidir liom glacadh gur ceist náisiúnachais nó ceist a bhaineas leis an dtír seo atá faoi chaibideal siúd is nár chuala focal amháin i nGaeilge ón duine a mhol an leasú seo nó ó einne a chuidigh leis.

Na rudaí atá san mBille seo rachaidh seo os comhair na ndaoine agus muna mbíonn siad sásta cead acu na rudaí seo a chaitheamh amach. De bhrí go bhfuil na socraithe déanta tá seans ann go raghaimid isteach sa Chomhphobail. B'éigin don Rialtas athraithe a dhéanamh. Ní fhéadfaidis é sin a dhéanamh gan athraithe áirithe a dhéanamh ar an mBunreacht. Sin é an fá go bhfuil an Bille anseo. Raghaidh sé os comhair na ndaoine agus muna bhfuil na daoine sásta sin sin. Ach chun dul isteach sa Chomhphobail ní mór dúinn aontú leis na conraithe atá ann agus ní féidir linn é sin a dhéanamh gan an cheist a chur os comhair na ndaoine. Bhí ciall éigin le leasú Fhine Gael mar theastaigh uathu nach ndéanfaimid ach na leasuithe úd a bhí ag teastáil díreach uainn chun dul isteach sa Chomhphobail. Measaim nach raibh aon ghá leis an leasú seo. Measaim nach bhfuil sé fírineach.

(Cur isteach.)

Dúirt mé go raibh ciall éigin le leasú Fhine Gael. Glacaim go mb'fhéidir go raibh imní orthu maidir leis an bpointe sin ach nuair a chuala mé an Teachta Sherwin, an té a mhol an leasú seo——

Ó Searbháin.

Gabh mo leithscéal. Níor chuala mé riamh an leagan Gaeilge ded ainm ná ní fhaca mé riamh i nGaeilge é. Ná tóg orm é muna bhfuil sé agam. Dúirt an Teactha Sherwin nach raibh sé sásta agus gur cuireadh imní air nuair a chuala sé an rud seo agus an rud úd á rá ag an Taoiseach. Nuair a bhí Caoimhghín Ó Beoláin ina Aire Leasa Shóisialaigh rinne sé socraithe áirithe le rialtas Shasana i dtaobh cúrsaí pinsean. Bhí na "reciprocal arrangements" ann. Nár chuir Caoimhghín Ó Beoláin a ainm eis na conraithe sin? Nár ghlac sé leis na conraithe sin? An bhfuil an Teachta á rá go raibh sé ag cabhrú leis na Sé Contaethe a choinneáil ann?

Bhí sé ag cabhrú leis na daoine ó thaobh cúrsaí pinsean de.

Ach glacann tú gur shínigh sé conradh le rialtas Shasana?

Sea. Má ghlacann tú leis sin ó do Thaoiseach féin ní thuigim cén fá go n-abrófá liomsa nár cheart domsa an rud céanna a ghlacadh óm Thaoiseach féin. Bímis céim ar chéim. Ní féidir leat a rá de bhrí go ndearna duine amháin rud áirithe go bhfuil sé mí-cheart agus nuair a rinne duine eile an rud céanna go bhfuil an ceart aige.

Ba mhaith liom cheist a chur.

While a member of the Fianna Fáil Party I, like many others, wished to improve my Irish and I attended classes, like my colleague in Dublin South-West, Deputy Dowling. I must say, while not apologising necessarily, that I cannot put the point I want to make, fluently. I should like to point out to Deputy Tunney that there can be no comparison between the importance of Kevin Boland, as Minister for Social Welfare, signing a reciprocal agreement in relation to social welfare recipients and unemployment benefits and the Taoiseach signing Ireland, in relation to the articles of accession, into Europe. There is no comparison and it is rather naive of Deputy Tunney to suggest that there is a comparison.

I do not want to stop the Deputy but this is Committee Stage and he will have every opportunity of speaking later.

I do not wish to say any more but——

Acting Chairman

The Deputy could have replied to the point later.

Deputy Tunney did yield to me.

Tá amhras orm i dtaobh na ndaoine úd atá ag iarraidh chur ina luí orm gurab amhlaidh atá imní orthu maidir leis an náisiún seo. Tá níos mó i gceist maidir leis an náisiún ná cúrsaí "jurisdiction" amháin. Teastaíonn uaimse Éire a bheith saor agus Gaelach. Séard tá i gceist agam nach bhfuil na daoine seo dáiríre maidir leis an bpointe atá siad ag iarraidh a dhéanamh—go bhfuil an náisiúnachas ag dul idir iad agus codladh na h-oíche.

Tá na conraithe ann. Má táimid chun dul isteach sa Chomhphobail caithfimid glacadh leis na conraithe sin agus ní thig linn glacadh leo gan an cheist a chur ós comhair na ndaoine. Tá mé cinnte nach cúrsaí náisiúnachais atá i gceist.

Ní fhéadfainn-se glacadh óm chara anso, an Teachta Céitinn, go bhfuil suim ar bith aige i saothúlacht, i gcultúr nó i dteanga na tíre seo. Níor chuala mise riamh é ag caint futhu. B'fhéidir go ndearna sé é in áit eile. De réir mar fheicim-se é níl suim i rud ar bith aige ach i gcúrsaí airgid. Tá mé cinnte go gceapann sé ina chroí gurb é an rud is fearr don tír seo é. Tá a fhios aige freisin go raghaimid isteach so Chomhphobail agus go bhfaighidh sé brabach as ach ní thuigim an chontrárthacht aigne a chuireann d'iachall air bheith in aghaidh rudaí.

Tá súil agam féin agus ag cainteoirí eile go n-éireoidh siad feasta—beidh mé anseo ag éisteacht leo—ag iarraidh cur treasna ormsa gurab é atá i gceist acu an náisiún, an traidisiún agus an Gaelachas. Tá súil agam, nuair a bheidh siad ag caint níos déanaí—go mbeidh siad i ndan a chruthú domsa gurab iad sin atá i gceist acu. Má airím iad agus é seo á dhéanamh acu beidh mé sásta a bhfuil ráite agam go dtí seo a tharraingt siar ach go dtí go gcloisfidh mé é sin uathu ní thig liom gan aon tuairim a bheith agam ach gur seafóid agus dochar atá á ndéanamh acu agus go bhfuil siad ag láimhseáil an leasaithe seo chun rudaí nach mbaineann go díreach leis an leasú a chur treasna.

It is not my desire to prolong this debate. I just want to say what I hope will be the last words I will want to say on this amendment. The debate has proceeded on a very high level, with the exception of a few noises from the usual quarters, particularly Deputy Crowley, whose political obsession seems to be with cows, contraception and divorce, an interesting triad which would be a fit subject for study by some Freudian disciple. However, we will pass over that. In the main, the debate has proceeded on a very high level and I should like to extend my praises to Deputy Sherwin for introducing the amendment and for the manner in which he made the case here for his amendment. For a person in virtually total political isolation and inexperience he has stated his case in a most detached, objective, logical and rational manner. He deserves our congratulations.

I should also like to thank my colleagues. When I rose to support this amendment I did so with great trepidation because I feared I might appear to be acting in a fractious and divisive manner. In the main I accept totally the thesis put forward by Deputy Corish and Deputy Keating that this Bill is so totally unreasonable that to amend it would not be worthwhile. I am glad they and others have made these points.

I was afraid that the debate might deteriorate into sabre-rattling in an effort to prove who were the best republicans. Happily this was avoided. I should like to thank the Minister for Finance for what he said about my constituency: Timeo Danos et dona ferentes. In this case I believe the Minister is sincere and I am glad he recognises the consistency in my action. I am totally at one with the Leader of the Labour Party, with Deputy Tully and those others who spoke about the futility of amending this Bill and I am glad my support of the amendment has not tended to show any division on these Labour benches and has generated a most valuable, useful and relevant discussion. I prefer the Labour Party attitude to that of Deputy Sherwin and I would prefer Deputy Sherwin to oppose this Bill totally, as we do, but Deputy Sherwin is a man of independent mind and he is entitled to his own views.

As the Minister for Finance correctly pointed out, the essential difference between some of my colleagues and myself is that, since the amendment was bravely tabled by Deputy Sherwin, I felt, to quote the Minister for Finance, that it was worth trying to salvage something from the wreck. Where I differ from my colleagues the difference is one of emphasis. Articles 2 and 3 take precedence over every other Article of the Constitution and to salvage them alone would at least be worth something. However, I accept the force of Deputy O'Donovan's argument and I am at one in essence with my colleagues. I thank the Minister for what he said about me.

There are three points the Minister made in his last contribution. He made much of the point that the three Treaties referred to in the Bill do not contain aspects which would be binding on Ireland in political or military terms or would not necessarily guarantee the borders of the Twenty-six Counties and what is called the United Kingdom as it stands. This may be true. It is some years since I read the Treaty of Rome, but the Minister's implication that the Twenty-six Counties would not be bound by subsequent amendments to these Treaties is naive in the extreme. In fact, a Supreme Court decision that such changes are necessitated by the obligations of membership will be all that will be required. The Minister, if he is honest, should read the relevant sentence in Part II of this Bill:

No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State necessitated by the obligations of membership of the Communities or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the Communities, or institutions thereof, from having the force of law in the State.

I am not a lawyer but the operative words there are "acts done or measures adopted". That could mean adopted in the past, in the present or in the future. Surely the whole purpose of this disgraceful piece of legislation is to provide precisely for a situation in which the Government can say to us that we did not read the small print and did not realise what we were letting ourselves in for; we accepted the obligations of membership and the Government can now shove anything they like down our throats. That is why I am in total sympathy with Deputy Sherwin in his amendment.

Again, the Minister says the amendment is unnecessary because what is envisaged will not happen. The Minister flippantly last night accepted a Fine Gael amendment, one of the biggest tactical blunders he has made in this House, because he said it was not important. But he will not accept Deputy Sherwin's amendment and the obvious implication is that he will not accept it because it is an important amendment.

Finally, the Minister correctly drew a distinction between the stance taken by Deputy Keating, by me and by others last night and the stand I might appear to be taking today. I shall not quote what Deputy Keating said last night, but my point of view is identical with that of Deputy Keating. To use a referendum to enable this country to opt out of what had obviously become a package in ten years time would be a ludicrous exercise because our commitment to the Community would be so great that, while the technical power to vote "No" might remain, in economic and political fact the only way in which we could vote "No" would be by precipitating complete economic collapse here. To this extent I agree in toto with Deputy Keating that the provision to retain referenda is not in itself a massive guarantee of the preservation of the traditional freedoms, such as they are, and they are not many, of this country. I think my point of view is quite consistent here; I think it would be better if the people were given the last chance to consult by referendum rather than simply allow the Supreme Court to decide. There may not be many of us left but we would at least have this final, ceremonial, quixotic gesture. That is why I share the misgivings of Deputy Sherwin.

This debate has been a high level debate but, at the risk of behaving as the Minister for Finance behaved last night and usurping the functions of the Chair, I would suggest—I do not mean this in reference to the present occupant of the Chair—that this debate in the hands of successive Chairmen, changed its emphasis from the simple issue proposed by Deputy Sherwin, that the repeal of Articles 2 and 3 should only be possible by a referendum, to the circumstances in which national unity should take place. I am thinking particularly now of the contributions of Deputy Cruise-O'Brien and Deputy Browne. This is a different thing. Briefly, if Deputy Browne and Deputy Cruise-O'Brien concert a campaign for the repeal of Article 44 of the Constitution, if they concert a campaign for the repeal of the provisions against divorce in the Constitution, if they concert a campaign, as Deputy Browne is doing, for the repeal of sections of our criminal code which prevent even the discussion not to mind the practice of contraception in this country, I would be the first to stand beside him on that barricade. Whatever might divide us on point of emphasis, both my colleagues in the House now will concede that they believe that to be true.

I do not believe we have the right to impose sectarian ethics as Catholics upon our fellow-countrymen and I see no merit in the imposition of sectarian chastity belts upon people who do not share our essential prejudices. I say that as a Catholic and I am not ashamed of what Deputy Crowley may say about me.

This debate, which I feared would demonstrate division in the ranks of the Labour Party, has demonstrated the opposite; it has demonstrated a degree of unanimity in the party and has also demonstrated, with the heroic exception of Deputy Sherwin, that it is on these benches alone that the fundamental issues of constitutional change are being tackled fairly, squarely and openly, not on those benches and not, I regret to say, with one or two honourable exceptions, on the Fine Gael benches.

It has been a useful debate. In the main, I agree with Deputy Corish that this Bill is unamendable. It does not lie in my hands to suggest to the proposer of the amendment whether he should press it to a vote or not. On the whole, I believe he should not. The debate in itself has served a useful enough purpose. I do not even press the Government to endorse the amendment because I know I would be wasting my breath but I do say that if we can get out of this debate only an assurance from the Minister for Finance that the repeal of these two Articles would not be entertained without reference to a referendum, that would be something; that would satisfy me. If that is not done then, whether I am in public or private life at the time, in this House or outside it, I shall come back and shout "shame" with all the power of my lungs at the Fianna Fáil Government if, which God forbid, they are still in office.

I congratulate again Deputy Sherwin on his performance and would again like to thank my colleagues here for the courtesy, the high level of consideration, which they have given to attitudes upon which it has become evident in this debate we differ only in degree of emphasis rather than on fundamental principle.

In order to give Deputy Sherwin a chance to get here to have his amendment put, if he so wishes, I should like to call for a House. He should have the opportunity at least of saying what he wishes to do with this amendment.

Notice taken that 20 Members were not present; House counted and 20 Members being present,

I propose to be very brief because we will have another Stage on which to discuss the Bill in general. I rise to reply, if it is possible to do so, to a specific point made by the Minister for Finance. He said that he challenged anyone on these benches to find any reference in the three Treaties that are mentioned in the Bill which constituted a threat to Articles 2 and 3 that this amendment is about, or indeed, which implied a threat of military commitment. Now, there are no such articles. For what that statement is worth to the Minister for Finance, there are no such articles in any of the three Treaties, no articles which constitute the specific threats which he challenges us to provide. That is true. But the ECSC Treaty is 21 years old and the Treaty of Rome and the EURATOM Treaty are 15 years old and there is a general recognition of the need for revision.

I am really coming back to repeating a thought that I expressed last night and will try now to express it very briefly. The Minister objected to what he calls suppositions being introduced and I know that the same things looked at by different people are described in totally different words but what he chooses to call suppositions and to consider impermissible, I would call prudent forethought. I would make this comparison: he says that the objections and doubts and worries that we have been raising—I think as an exercise in prudent forethought— have not been about the legalities and to that degree he is absolutely right. It is perfectly true that they have not been about the legalities of this Bill. We are not lawyers. They have been about the realities. The two things do not always coincide.

I would make this comparison: if you have a steep hill and have a motor car parked on that hill and somebody puts the car out of gear and then releases the brake, the car will proceed with increasing speed down the hill and there is a great chance that it will hit someone who is at the bottom of the hill and then the person says: "I did not arrange for the accident. I did not know the car would run down the hill. All I did was to put the car out of gear and to release the brake."

The Minister says that all we are concerned with is the actual provisions of these three Treaties. What we are concerned with is the on-going real situation and the threat this poses to us. One cannot dismiss the suppositions. One cannot say that the debate must be confined, as indeed it has not been confined, to the legalities. We have to raise the question of the dangers and while there is, indeed, no threat, as I have said, in the written word of the Treaties, in the reality of what they will commit us to there is the most profound threat, not just to Articles 2 and 3, but to many other Articles of the Constitution.

We have had almost a mini-debate here as to which Article we consider most important. If it is possible to single one out, personally, I do not think it is Article 2 or Article 3. I do not think it is Article 1. To me the most important Article is Article 5. It is a single and absolutely clear and unequivocal sentence:

Ireland is a sovereign, independent, democratic state.

In EEC circumstances, in any understanding I have of the word "sovereign", it will cease to be sovereign. In any understanding that I have of the word "independent", it will cease to be independent. Therefore, Article 5, in my view, will become meaningless and the problem I have is to decide in regard to Article 2 and Article 3 particularly, which refer to claims to jurisdiction over the national territory. I do not see how a State which has lost its sovereignty and its independence can, in other than purely legalistic terms, set about exercising its jurisdiction or its claims to jurisdiction over anything. We are not talking about the small print and we are not talking about the legalities. We are trying to raise what I consider to be the realities and to protect the people against these dangers. The Minister may get cross with that and may indeed get cross at the length of time he has had to listen last night and again today. but the issues are real and I concur with Deputy Thornley in thinking that the debate has been serious and good, and I want to express by gratitude for the permission given by the Chair to Deputies to discuss the realities and not to confine us just to legalities.

Because of the points which I have raised in relation to the Taoiseach's recent statement, which I described as being his most important statement of recent times, when he addressed the Convention which signed the Articles of Accession, I call on the Taoiseach to make at his earliest convenience a full and clear statement so that the Europeans and the British —especially the British—can have no doubt in their minds as to our constitutional position and our claim to jurisdiction over part of that territory which Britain calls her country. I submit further that if nothing else came from this debate, we should get, although it is four and a half to five years after, the Government's actual decision in real terms on their rejection or acceptance of the recommendation made in 1967, in relation to Article 3.

Acting Chairman

Is the Deputy pressing the amendment?


Cuireadh agus cailleadh an leasú.

Amendment put and declared lost.
Tairgeadh an cheist "Gurb é an Sceideal, ar na leasú, an Sceideal den Bhille".
Question proposed: "That the Schedule, as amended, be the Schedule to the Bill."

I am not quite certain as to whether it is logical that I should oppose this. I have not withdrawn the amendment—I have allowed the House to declare its decision on it.

Acting Chairman

The Schedule, as amended, comes up now.

I am in the same difficulty for much the same reasons. I understood that the amendment had been lost but we have to get some guidance as we are pretty inexperienced. Is the Schedule now being put to us?

As amended by the Fine Gael amendment.

Acting Chairman

The question before the House is that the Schedule, as amended, be the Schedule to the Bill.

Surely it is in order to discuss it before it is put?

Acting Chairman

Yes. I am giving the opportunity for a discussion on it.

I was interested in the comments and remarks made on the last amendment, particulary those by Deputy Sherwin, Deputy Brennan and the Minister. I am in the rather unusual position of having listened not only to these people but to their fathers before them in the Fianna Fáil benches, and I am afraid that I am not being completely complimentary when I say that I believe the authentic voice of Fianna Fáil which I at any rate knew on those benches is the voice of Deputy Brennan and the voice of Deputy Sherwin. Knowing the record of the Fianna Fáil Party over the years, knowing the peculiar mystique which that party created about itself since 1932 and the extraordinary cult of republicanism, nationalism, freedom and independence—all of which words to which most of us have listened to over the years, had powerfully emotive overtones, particularly republicanism, nationalism and independence—I believe it is an extraordinary development that we should see the Fianna Fáil Party introducing a Bill of this kind, a Bill which is completely and totally destructive of the wonderful—castles in the air, some people would call them—institutions, as they would like to call them, which they created here since 1932 under the mystical words of independence and republicanism.

As Deputy Keating said, the danger to Article 5 is derogation from what is implicit in Article 5, a "sovereign, independent and democratic State". To accept this derogation from all that is implicit in Article 5 appears to me to be the most monumental betrayal by the present controllers of Fianna Fáil policy of what was for many years in the mouths of people like Deputy Brennan's father, and the Minister's, Deputy Colley's father, and most of the other people I have heard talking here, a complete betrayal of everything they stated and re-stated, emphasised and thought about and defended time and again here and outside, at chapel gates and street corners, wherever and whenever they were called on to talk about their ambitions for Ireland and the kind of Ireland they wanted.

Now this is all being effectively set aside in this Bill, in that last very important sentence "...acts done or measures adopted by the Communities, or institutions thereof, from having the force of law in the State". We a sovereign State now accept that there are people outside this State who may determine in relation to all the very important aspects of the life of a living democracy and the institutions the State established that the powers we have up to now held here and which were established under our two Constitutions are to be handed over to people outside the State.

I happen to be an international socialist and, therefore, have very mixed views about nationalism. To me it seems very much akin to racism. I do not think any race or group, any colour, creed or nationality is superior to any other. We are all exactly the same but this is not a view subscribed to at any time to my knowledge by the Fianna Fáil Party which has always been what could be called a bigotedly nationalist, chauvinist political organisation avidly grasping every vestige of right they possibly could gain to this State to the extent, in fact, of a form of racialism: we are the ancient and historical Irish people with our rights, dignities and responsibilities and the contributions we have made to Europe and all this sort of thing which I suppose is essentially a measure of national insecurity. But it was manifest in practically all the institutions we created, particularly during the 40 years since 1932.

I should be fascinated to watch the reaction of the Fianna Fáil Party I knew of old or even of the present leadership of Fianna Fáil if they were on this side of the House and the Blue-shirts—as they would no doubt call them—were in control and the Blue-shirts, Cumann na nGaedheal or Fine Gael, whatever you wish to call them, had brought in all these proposals about the right of this Dáil to enact any legislation it wished without any outside interference, about deciding how the judiciary should be appointed, deciding whether we will or will not go to war, how we will organise our Defence Forces, whether or not we will have conscription here, and this very important Article 5—"sovereign, independent, democratic State", the one Deputy Sherwin was worried about, the territory, the whole nation, de jure control and all the other very important Articles of our Constitution. If a blanket Bill, a one line Bill of this kind were brought in by the Fine Gael Party, who all through the years have been condemned by the Fianna Fáil Party as the betrayers of the national freedom movement, as people unsound on the national issue, people not really as republican as they were, people who sold out in 1922, I wonder what the reaction of those benches would be. Would we have got that eloquent speech from Deputy Tunney tonight about the defence of the traditional attitudes and beliefs of the Irish people if the Labour Party or the Fine Gael Party had brought in this Bill?

Curiously enough Deputy Crowley put his finger on it in one remark he made: suppose we do not go in and Britain does. Here you have the whimper of the lost child: nurse has gone out; what shall we do? Britain has gone in; how can we stay out? This is the party I have heard saying: "Let us whip John Bull." Do they recollect that expression from one of the Fianna Fáil leaders, the late Seán T. O'Kelly? This is the party that withheld the annuities and fought the economic war against Britain. This is the party which is now so frightened that they are all the time looking over their shoulders to find out what Britain is doing because whatever Britain does, we do. I am not manufacturing that. We know it is on the record here that when Britain was rejected and had to withdraw her application we did precisely the same thing. Talk about independence! Talk about freedom! Talk about autonomy or about the sovereign rights of an independent, democratic State!

I have said in more than one way that this is a puppet Parliament, puppet to forces within the State, quite obviously. After 50 years of predominantly Fianna Fáil rule, Deputy Crowley is right. There is no such thing as independent action in this situation. Because of our economic dependence on Great Britain, our freedom is gone and our autonomy is non-existent. Independence has been part of the mythology of the Fianna Fáil Party during their long period in office and never was that more clearly demonstrated than by the introduction of this Bill. It is the price we pay to go into the Common Market, the price we pay to be permitted to remain tied to Britain's coat-tails in doing whatever they decide to do.

This Bill is a blank cheque. We will do anything to remain a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations, which we have never left from the economic point of view. To talk about freedom and exercising sovereignty is part of that old fraudulent mythology manufactured by Fianna Fáil, and now completely and utterly exposed. I imagine they regarded it as a hateful and distasteful decision to be forced to give up the wonderful fantasy world in which they have lived since 1932. That is why I am not greatly impressed by the claims of the Constitution. The right of private enterprise has been primarily responsible for the fact that we are completely dependent on the British and that we have the defective services of which I have spoken so frequently. Fianna Fáil are now attempting to bulldoze through this House this very dangerous piece of legislation. Whatever little power we have—I have never believed that this Parliament had any great independence because of our economic subservience to Britain—we are now agreeing to give it over to a new group in Europe.

We have been told we will have a representative in Europe. Does anyone seriously believe that whoever we have in Europe will make the slightest difference if major changes are proposed which the Community believe are important for them? Does anyone believe that the Minister for Foreign Affairs will be any more effective in winning for Ireland major concessions which we consider to be in the national interest—whatever that might mean—than he has been in relation to the negotiations on the sugar issue and the fisheries question? Will he be any more successful in stopping developments contrary to what we would like?

The Labour Party, and I personally, know what it is like to be in a minority. I have been in a minority all my political life. One of the important things about being in a minority in a democracy is that one has no power to make significant changes if the majority vote against it. This flows from the simple belief in the right of the majority to make decisions for the minority. It is implicit in our position in the Common Market that we will not be able to oppose effectively anything we may not like.

I was astonished at the false sense of security of the Minister for Finance. He appeared to believe that it was unthinkable that the EEC would agree to make fundamental changes in the structure of their society at any future time. This false sense of security is made obvious by the fact that he is now in the process of involving himself in a treaty within a group all of whom are making, and will continue to make, the most far-reaching and fundamental changes in all their institutions of government, in the methods under which they will operate their industry, agriculture, fisheries and every aspect of their lives.

This is not the last treaty that is likely to be made. It is not the last treaty in which people will agree to make fundamental changes. Once we are in we lose the powers we have now that we are outside. The Minister for Finance professes to be puzzled by our belief that once we are in we will become enmeshed in the Community and be unable to extricate ourselves. Is our case not proved to the hilt by the reality of our present position, expressed so succinctly by Deputy Crowley when he asked: "Suppose we do not go in and Britain does?" Deputy Crowley expressed precisely what we are frightened about. At present we are members of one economic bloc; we are prisoners within that bloc because we are economically subservient to the greater partner. That is what we meant by our fear of being enmeshed in a situation from which we could not extricate ourselves, even if we were given an opportunity to have a referendum. We want to make it a meaningful referendum, so that, as Deputy Keating said, if we say "no" we can get out.

We are trapped. We are prisoners. We know we are. We can prove we are, the proof being that we are already going through that precise experience, the experience of being linked economically to a powerful partner who does something and, because of the years in which we built up this web, this intricate web, this economic web which has bound us to Britain, finding ourselves trapped in that web and unable to do anything other than what Britain is doing. That is the position as the Government see it. We believe that there are alternatives. There is the alternative of an independent trading agreement. There is the alternative of some form of association. There is the alternative of looking for other markets elsewhere.

They are not ruled out of course. You can do both.

We were accused of not suggesting alternatives. I want to emphasise that this decision must be a most emotionally traumatic decision for the long-time members of the Fianna Fáil Party, many of them genuinely believing in the mythology created during the de Valera era and, to a much lesser extent, in the Lemass era. The late Seán Lemass was a much more realistic person in his assessment of a position. When he sat on the constitutional committee I believe he began to understand the great defects in the Constitution. If he had been longer in that position, eventually he might have moved towards dealing with the realities of the situation and undoing some of the damage which eventuated from the 1937 Constitution. He was beginning to change. We know that because of his visit to the North and so on. He is not here now and, perhaps, it is better not to talk about it, but he gave the impression that, once the de Valera period was over, he was taking a rather different approach to the whole thing.

I believe that people like Deputy Sherwin and Deputy Brennan are in the true tradition, whether it is a good one or a bad one. There is a lot of fantasy, a lot of myth, and a lot of make-believe in it. I think they went wrong in many ways but, for good or evil, they represent the true tradition of what they fondly hoped would be the party that would create an independent Ireland with a very special national pattern, cultural pattern and a life style peculiar to our country. The most worrying part is that the Minister for Finance, speaking for the Government, appears to be completely unaware of the fact that in this Bill they are betraying every single one of the aspirations and political objectives for which the Fianna Fáil Party was founded and in the pursuit of which policies that Party for so long dominated public life in this country.

I listened with a good deal of interest to this discussion. There has been a shaking out of attitudes and a rehashing of many old and fondly held, or allegedly fondly held, views in certain quarters. I do not propose to get involved in that at this stage.

I want to make it quite clear that, so far as we are concerned, what is involved in this is that the amendment I moved on behalf of this party, and which was accepted, was designed for one purpose only, to limit the extent to which any amendments of the Constitution would be made. As Cuid II was originally drafted, it went beyond what was necessary and made it possible to have consequential amendments of a character that could extend the limits of the three Treaties mentioned here.

We are satisfied that the change that was made was essential for two reasons. One is that it makes it quite clear that the Schedule, as now amended, can apply only to the Rome Treaty, the Euratom Treaty and the Coal and Steel Treaty. The question of defence or a military commitment of any character is entirely excluded. The Treaties make no reference to it. The change in the phraseology that was accepted is an improvement and that has been recognised by at least one Fianna Fáil speaker tonight.

The presentation of this legislation either in its original form or its changed form does not make a great difference to the decision which the voter will have to make, because the voter will vote "yes" or "no" on the question of entry. It makes a difference to this extent. Hereafter there can be no change in our Constitution of a consequential character. In other words, whatever changes will be made must be necessitated solely by the obligations of membership.

This matter arises because of the need to get a clear decision from the people. I want to clear up any doubts or misconceptions about it. We must be clear about the EEC. I do not want anyone to vote for it because of any misconception about its terms or about some of the difficulties involved in membership. People should be equally clear about what the alternative is. The people must decide. In the course of the next few months there will be ample time to discuss this matter and to talk about it here in considering the White Paper.

The alternative is a situation in which the Six EEC countries and Britain—because they are the ones we are concerned with principally; and possibly Denmark and Norway as well—have a common external tariff against our goods both agricultural and industrial. There are difficulties, and I do not want for a moment to minimise them. The worst service Government Ministers can do in advocating the case for this is to overstate or overplay the case and to pretend that if we become a member of the EEC we are in a Golconda. Life is not that way. We will have difficulties no matter what advantages there are in it but the difficulties of membership in a situation in which Britain and the Six are members, are far less than they could be in a situation in which we would have to trade with a common external tariff against our goods.

I got replies last week to a series of statistical questions regarding our trade with European countries, the EEC and further afield. Anybody who reads them must recognise the absolute conviction with which one can argue that there are no alternative markets. That was one of the old myths of Fianna Fáil, that there were alternative markets all over the globe. The only market we have succeeded in developing, as a result of our initiative in establishing the Dollar Export Board, is the American market. According to the figures I got last week we bought £45 million worth from them and we sold £43 million worth to them. If one looks at China, Russia, or anywhere else our exports to them are infinitesimal. The only other markets we did any reasonable business with, and the balance was in every case against us, were the EEC and Britain. The volume of our trade was overwhelmingly with Britain.

There is no use in appeals to the emotions, in saying that we are dominated by Britain, confined to the British market. We will sell anywhere if we can get better terms. We do sell some things to Japan. Some blood-stock buyers come here and they help to increase the trade. There is not the slightest use in appeals to the emotions, in saying we are dominated. If we can sell anywhere else let us do so. That is one of the myths that have been shattered by the hard facts of experience. One of the expressions used was that crying for the British market was like crying for the moon, that we should go on a diet of light beer and honey and that the best bees were Egyptian bees. That was great stuff for the Fianna Fáil backwoodsmen 30 years ago or more but it is completely shattered and we should not let anybody else revive it now.

If we can get a better alternative let us go for it but if there is not one we ought not to put our workers or our farmers at risk. We ought not to put more of them at risk than are at present at risk. We ought to accept the fact that if there is no better alternative, and I see none, then it is in our economic interest to join the EEC. Of course, we are dominated because of the size of their population, because of their worldwide trading interests. We are on the edge of Europe. We have, to a great extent, a common language, common currency, a whole lot of advantages and assets. It can work both ways but by and large, economically, there are advantages.

We made during our period in office, and some of them have been revived since, a number of bilateral agreements with European countries. It is a long time ago. Some of them worked reasonably well but none of them worked sufficiently well because in almost every case we were the weaker partner. The purpose of the EEC is to expand trade. I do not suggest that it is perfect. I do not suggest that we will be a dominant power in it but it has worked in the interests of a number of small countries. Not one of them would opt out of it. Of course, they are free to do so. There is no doubt that you can leave the outfit at any time if you want to. There is no question about that. This idea that we will be somehow bound hand and foot when we go in, that we will be in Long Kesh internment camp or a similar institution and cannot get out is wrong. That is not so. You can leave at any time if you want to. I have discussed this with politicians from other European countries. They were across the board as far as parties were concerned. They were not confined to one party. They all said that if they had the chance again they would opt for membership. I discussed this in Brussels, at the Council of Europe and elsewhere. I asked them if they would leave and they all said they would prefer to stay in. They are free to go out and we are free to go out. I do not say it is perfect. If I have any reservation it is only this: that I have some mental reservation when I find myself travelling the same road as Fianna Fáil because of their gross ineptitude, the crazy policies they pursued over the years and their general attitude even to this matter. That is my only reservation and I am prepared to suppress that in the public interest——

In the national interest.

In the national interest. The only alternative is a situation in which we have to surmount this tariff. I believe that it is in the people's interest that we should go in but it is entirely a matter for the people. We want to put the facts as clearly as we can before them, not to appeal to the emotions by saying that we will be bound hand and foot or that we are giving away a bit of our sovereignty as though we were about to start an expedition to the Isle of Man, to Malta or somewhere else.

We are not giving away anything. We can decide anything we want ourselves. We went into a number of international organisations and played a part in them. They are not perfect. They never were perfect and never will be. This is not perfect but faced with the alternative of the EEC, which consists of the Six with Britain, Denmark and Norway, because of the volume of our trade, leaving aside entirely the question of the other objectives of the EEC to which I suppose most people would subscribe, but on the assumption that you wipe them out for the moment and stick rigidly to trade, operating a common tariff against us and our trying to trade with anywhere else, then I believe that it is in our economic interest to go in. We are an independent State of Twenty-six Counties, able to take our own decision and our people have the right to decide, after the Parliament elected and responsible to the people puts the issues before them as clearly as we can in the form of a piece of legislation. I believe that it is in their interest to decide to go in but they are absolutely free to decide either way. My view and the view of my colleagues is that it is economically a better choice to join the EEC than to face the much more difficult economic and trading position of the alternative because there is only one alternative— to remain outside.

I do not think negotiations have been particularly brilliantly handled. I believe a lot of them could have been better handled but whether they could or not they are the terms that are now available and I do not believe that you could get any better terms in some form of illusory trade agreement or in some undefined form of association. If that were possible others would be in on the game to. I do not know of anybody else that was in on it. I have not yet heard of any other workable trade agreement being made or any other form of association that would give us something better. We could discuss this until the end of the year. The agreement that was made is not perfect. It could be better and it might have been worse but there is no workable alternative. It is as simple as that. We have a duty to put the issues clearly before the people and let them decide. They must take the decision and we naturally must accept it.

I want to spend a little time talking, as Deputy Dr. Browne did, about the different contributions to the debate. I said last night that I found the debate very interesting. This was primarily because of my interest in the subject. But I found the debate today also very interesting, not for the same reason as last night's, because I said very little myself. What was so very interesting was the way the House divided and the way one amendment was accepted and another rejected illustrating, if illustration was needed, the realignment that is emerging in this House. The position that is now taken up on the facing benches—they are in agreement—is what I can only describe, as I understand it and as I interpret Irish history, a classic, mainline Cumann na nGaedheal position.

I thought it appeared slightly socialist or internationalist.

There is international capitalism and international socialism.

Deputy Dr. Browne is an authority on everything except socialism.

I did not take the interjection seriously because it was a lighthearted interjection.

The Minister took the Deputy's remarks seriously.

The decision to abandon the path laid down in this Constitution, that Ireland is a sovereign, independent, democratic state, and to seek the economic protection of a much larger group is a logical, coherent and consistent development of the Cumann na nGaedheal position. It is not Fine Gael that has shifted an inch. They are able to say, faced with a Bill like this, and a course of action like this, that they were right all along.

(Cavan): Hear, hear.

Fianna Fáil in its present leadership is, by the actions it is taking and the steps it is willing to take, admitting that Cumann na nGaedheal were right all along. The other interesting realignment—I do not know if Deputy Sherwin is still with us, but Deputy Thornley complimented him on the way he fought his corner today—is that the voice of Deputy Sherwin was really the voice of Fianna Fáil. So was that of Deputy Paudge Brennan, as I recall that voice from my childhood. They were speaking with the voice of Fianna Fáil in the late twenties, the thirties, the forties and the fifties up to 1957 or 1959. It was a very interesting realignment and one asks oneself what are the differences now in regard to the most important single action this Parliament has taken since the foundation of this State, because that is what this is. I am very grateful to the occupants of the Chair who saw the debate in that light and who were not too restrictive It is an important debate.

What is the difference now between the Taoiseach, Deputy Lynch, and Deputy Cosgrave in politics, in aspiration, in the direction in which the country is going? I think there is none. There is a difference in behaviour and a difference in the sense of fair play and a difference in what I would call decency, but then Fine Gael has not been subjected to the stresses of ruling for so long, almost uninterruptedly, and having had the difficulties of coping with all sorts of problems, both internal and external, so it is easy for them to behave in a more gentlemanly fashion. I think they do so behave. I think, by and large, they are nice chaps and more likely to tell one the truth, but that is quite a different thing from their politics. I think—who am I to judge? —they were sincere and I was moved by the searching and the querying of Deputy Sherwin today because he was asking himself why the change. why the betrayal of everything for which Fianna Fáil stood. Perhaps he does not think it is a betrayal of everything but it is at least a betrayal of the main lines of Fianna Fáil policy all along.

What is Parliament for? Why did our Taoiseach, when he might have been expected to carry on the Fianna Fáil tradition and roar like a lion in reply to Mr. Heath, fail to roar like a lion? The Brussels speech is one example. We have a document setting out the Taoiseach's speeches over a long period. What was the reason why he was suddenly unable to say a cross word to Mr. Heath or to Britain? I think there is an answer and the answer is the reason the two parties have drawn together. The answer is that, with the industrialisation of the thirties and the industrialisation of the late fifties, Fianna Fáil has now much greater ties to big international companies and international finance organisations than Fine Gael has. They are still respected in the county towns. They have the doctors and the lawyers and the respectable parts of the county towns and they have some urban middle-class people.

And some working-class people.

They support all three parties.

All four parties.

Quite so. Let us say all six parties. We are not now talking about the way people vote and what the rank and file believe. We are talking about what leadership does. Fianna Fáil is much more a party of big business than Fine Gael is. The Taoiseach—I will not use abusive words, just descriptive words—has come to be dependent on big business and, becoming dependent on this on the one hand he cannot, on the other hand, roar like a lion at Mr. Heath. It is an impossibility. He cannot face both ways. Some of the backbenchers of the Government party were quite confused and angry today and that was the reason for their petulant lashing out. They felt themselves to be precisely in this dilemma. They knew this was not the Fianna Fáil they grew up with and they could not understand how it came to be different. They could not understand the turnabout. They could not understand why the Civil War was a mistake and why all the objectives of the Fianna Fáil party have suddenly gone, and most of the Constitution, and they cannot understand how all this happened and, not understanding, they got very cross and very abusive. It is quite natural to lash out in such circumstances. But it was all very interesting because it indicated the realignment. It also indicated the continuance of this party, the Labour Party, as the Connolly Republican Party, with the socialist republican tradition, which believes in democracy and independence and sovereignty, as Article 5 says, and it adds to it, of course, the beliefs that all these things can be guaranteed only by socialist measures or measures that are partly socialist. We are the inheritors of the radical position. Fianna Fáil has brought in racism and bigotry in the belief that the Catholic, Celtic tradition somehow has the right to dominate all others. I know they get some hangerson of other religions but, in essence, when pushed, they seem to me to take this Celtic, Catholic, racist stand on these bigotries which they themselves wrote in in page after page of the 1937 Constitution. So that we are getting back to the position where we are getting that national impetus towards sovereignty, independence, democracy, but purged of the excrescences and the disgraces that Fianna Fáil brought into it and which they had to bring in, in a way, because they were compromising right from the moment they started.

Deputy Browne talked about Fianna Fáil having to abandon the wonderful fantasy world that they built up. I do not believe they will. The depressing thing is that once people take on voting habits, only a tiny proportion of them have the courage ever in their lives to change their minds and the rest go on doing what they started doing. You get changes in the voting pattern because new people come in at the bottom of the pipeline with new voting patterns and new habits but if you take the voting pattern by sets of ten year intervals you will see the tremendous upsurge in Fianna Fáil support which started in the late twenties and early thirties and is still working its way through the pipeline and, alas, it is a terrible reflection on our democracy; it is very sad and it makes the politician's work very sad because he will say, "What is the use of talking reasonably? Why not stand at the street corner and utter the same old emotive, conditioned reflex, catcheries? Why not refer to this one word, the places or the number dead which set the whole irrational thing in motion because that is what gets the punters out?" A very depressing conclusion, but that is the way it is.

They will not abandon their wonderful fantasy world. They will go on living in it and they will go on with this pretence in this issue that they remain the party of all these previous things, but that we have no choice. That is the way they get over it. "We hate it, of course. We hate abandoning our Constitution. We love it still. We will sing our Republican song, once it is after hours, with anybody. We are the true inheritors. We guard the Holy Grail." That is great stuff late in the evening. They will do this thing at the same time and they will not see any contradiction. One hopes the young will and one hopes that the minority —alas, a minority—of people who have the courage to look at the thing and change their minds, will. I think the majority will not.

I want to tease out what happens when you have the sort of growing together that will inevitably take place if we adhere to the Communities because I want to try to deal seriously with the question of whether really there is a going back, of whether at a certain stage of the proceedings we would have a choice or not. Let me say first, that we are not in the areas of certainty. We agreed about that last night. The Minister said that we were dealing in suppositions. I said earlier that I thought we were dealing in reasonable and prudent forethought. The same actions may look like these two different things from opposite sides. We have a right to deal with these things, to try to think ahead, to try to look at the on-going situation rather than look at simply the legalities. We have taken it that way, I am glad to say, in this debate.

First, we have seen the use of a veto on certain crucial issues or, put it the other way round, we have seen a unanimity rule in the Community with six nations but we have also seen the introduction, of course, of qualified majorities. Another thing we have seen is a very great paralysis. One only has to read the views of a man like the Commissioner for Foreign Trade, Dahrendorf, who under the thinly disguised pen name of "Wieland Europa", wrote an article extremely critical of the paralysis that had overtaken the Community. He wrote that as a commissioner. Because even with six, where there are certain unanimity rules and certain weight of majority rules, it becomes extremely difficult to act. With ten it is certainly vastly more difficult, arguably impossible, to act at sufficient speed. Therefore, I believe—and there are good grounds for believing—and I am not making it simply as a debating point or as something that might happen, I am making it as something that is likely to happen, that we will see the erosion, not alone of unanimity but also of weight of majority and we will end up, in perhaps a decade, perhaps longer, with more and more decisions being taken by simple majorities. I think it has to be that way if the Community is to function because we see an argument going on at this very moment as to whether, when the significant and vastly important economic discussions between the United States and the Community are resumed in the near future, Europe ought not to be represented by a single person. That is the argument now. It may not happen. I do not think it will happen this time but it is being raised that the Communities of six or ten, or whatever, should be represented by one man. It is possible, of course, that when he comes home and says, "This is the package I got", this nation or that will reject it but the pressures on them not to reject it would be very great. So that you are not even at unanimity rule or weight of majority but you are delegating your power to make the most important economic decision facing Europe in the next decade, namely, its relationship and its mixture of conflict and co-operation with the United States, to be argued for and to be decided on by only one spokesman. It is a long way from unanimity rule and weight of majority. I think it will move that way. I have more reason to think it will move that way than anybody has to think it will move the other way.

In that circumstance we have I per cent of the population and one-half per cent of the GNP. That is the weight we are throwing into the scale. It is not a power of veto. It is not a power to prevent anything we do not like. That is what we are throwin. In the end, the argument is an economic tug-of-war.

Of course, this Bill provides for the growing together of the economies. That means, of course, the sort of provisions that the Community has already made, both laws and acts and measures in regard to free movement of labour, free movement of capital, free movement of goods. If you back out after the free movement of labour, OK. If a lot of your people have gone overseas you wash your hands of them then because you are no longer part of the Community. This is nothing strange for Ireland. We have allowed people to go overseas for a long time and have washed our hands of them. But if the laws or acts or measures relate to the free movement of capital, then we will have an interpenetration of ownership on a vastly greater scale under the provisions that this Bill will make possible than we currently have.

The Chair would gather from the Deputy's remarks that he is engaging more in an economic debate. There is provision made for an economic debate in regard to the terms of accession at a later stage.

I recognise this. If you feel it is out of place, I certainly will not pursue that line of argument. The reason I was doing so was that it did relate to matters that were brought up in the debate. I did not feel I was introducing new matters. If you think so, I will certainly bow to your ruling.

The Chair is anxious to preserve the right of Deputies to discuss the other economic implications of entry when the White Paper is before the House.

This is something that we will have an opportunity to come back to at other times and I would omit that section of what I was going to say except, if you will allow me to express it very briefly—it will be a matter of one or two sentences— that by the time you have an inevitable equalisation of tax, an inevitable equalisation of social welfare—because you cannot have big differentials in living standards and still retain population—by the time you have a unified foreign policy, then in fact, even if you retain formal power to retreat from the Community, you do not possess a real power. This is directly relevant to something Deputy Cosgrave said: "You can leave the outfit at any time." We are back to this distinction we have been making all through the debate that one may possess a legal right but one does not possess a real right. I recognise that to Deputy Cosgrave, as someone with a legal training, as, indeed, to the Minister, the legal right may seem the most important but it does not so seem to me. Legal rights which cannot be genuinely exercised, and there are many such, are not very much use to anybody.

I propose to leave that section entirely in what I want to say because undoubtedly there will be another day and talk almost finally about the arguments which Deputy Cosgrave put up about there being no alternative. He said—I wrote down his words—"If there is no better alternative" and "if there is no alternative market". I think that really he is under a misapprehension, a factual misapprehension, because he talked about a common tariff three times and said that the alternative to full membership is a common external tariff against our goods, both agricultural and industrial. If we were simply to sit and do nothing, we would face a common external tariff against our goods, agricultural and industrial, but I do not think anybody is advocating that course.

I believe that Deputy FitzGerald agreed with me recently—whether he agreed with me or not, it is my opinion —that any country in the world, as I think one might say, that approaches the Community and says, "We want to have no quotas or tariffs in regard to industrial produce either way"—I am not using the phrase "free trade in industrial produce" at the moment because it does not quite mean the same thing—but I am saying that any nation that goes to the Community and asks for the complete abolition of quotas and tariffs in regard to industrial produce in both directions will get it without even an argument. The Community has negotiated this with countries all over the world, in every continent, and, in fact, the Community has vast trading arrangements so that the suggestion that when you go into the Community you trade with the other members but that your external trade stops is patently contrary to the facts.

Deputy Cosgrave talked about this common external tariff three times and I understood him to believe that if we did not become a full member, our industrial goods would have to face tariffs, quotas, or both, or would have to face a common external tariff. My conviction is that factually that is simply not so. It just is not true, in my understanding of the way the Community conducts its trading relations. Were it to be so, were this simplistic presentation, that you have to be either totally in or totally excluded, true, then its sequel which Deputy Cosgrave and people on the Fianna Fáil benches also believe, we have no choice, would also certainly be true but I am arguing the premise is factually simply not true. We do not have that problem in regard to our industrial produce which is more than half our exports at the moment.

And the Deputy accepts the corollary, that it means that in or out of the EEC, we face free trade in industrial goods and any reference to redundancy being caused by the EEC will be an attempt to mislead the workers in the ensuing debate. That comes anyway—this free trade?

I avoided the words "free trade" for precisely this point and it will take me a little time to answer the Deputy, but I hope you, Sir, will grant it to me. I said that there would not be tariffs or quotas——

And that would be made clear to the workers of Ireland in the campaign by the Labour Party?

Sure—there is no problem at all there.

I will listen to all your speeches with care to make sure it occurs in every one of them.

Deputy FitzGerald, as an economist, knows that free trade means more than its textbook definition. He knows that in a full free trade situation there will be no intervention by a Government in the rule of the market place, that there will be no subsidies, no direction of capital, no special protections of any kind. The reason that we profoundly fear the industrial competition of the Community is precisely because we can maintain no differential protection of any kind in regard to the direction of investment, giving more incentives than anybody else. We have to face not alone the movement of goods at the frontier, unhindered by tariffs or quotas, which we are quite willing to accept but we also have to face that we can give no special differentials. We can give more than the central countries but cannot give any differentials greater than any other peripheral area. We cannot have an auction as to which Government will give most.

That will save us some money.

Yes. The Deputy can make the interjections and there is some point in them. It is true that it may save us some money but it may lose us some jobs. It may lose us in my view a vast number of jobs, because we have been spending money I think correctly to make jobs. It will save the money and lose the jobs. I have taken a long time, Sir, on what is a serious point and you are bearing with me patiently. The worry is that you have free trade meaning uncontrolled market forces, and let me give an example of what this means which I would have come to earlier if I had not abbreviated a previous section of my remarks, in regard to dumping. I think the definition given of dumping on page 99 of the White Paper—I do not propose to discuss it; I am merely using it as an illustration —is inaccurate. It is a definition which I think economists would not accept. However, that is an aside. The reason there cannot be dumping, according to paragraph 73 on page 99, is that as the enlarged Community will itself then form a single market in which dumping in the accepted sense of the term cannot take place, so that you abolish the name of the items and abolish the threat to our industries by the big textile factories of Italy or whatever. You do not make things go away by explaining that the word does not apply to the process any more, if you consider it a united market. I think the danger is just as great.

However, to return to what Deputy Cosgrave said when he talked about a common external tariff against our goods both agricultural and industrial, we can have the free movement of goods without quota or tariff at our frontiers with the Common Market as a whole, et cetera, without any problem—you can take that as conceded even before you get to the table—but we will retain the power of giving the differentials, to use the whole power of the State and its financial institutions to preserve jobs, to locate industry, to give specific industrial incentives, to differentiate, in fact, and not to have the full play of market forces because we believe that the full play of market forces without the industrial incentives and the direction of capital, and the free trade at the frontier, in the full sense, will destroy much of our industry which we do not believe is competitive. This is the first part of Deputy Cosgrave's argument, that we had no alternative.

There exists—let us be blunt about this—a real problem and a big problem with regard to agriculture, but there are two things to be said in reply. The Community has relations with regard to agricultural produce with many countries in the world. We could weaken our case profoundly by saying that we could not get anything. That is not a good way to go to the bargaining table. I have heard people say that they would not give us this and they would not give that. They have made large concessions, firstly, to traditional suppliers, but, secondly, anyone who looks at the evolving world agricultural situation sees very great pressures towards a liberalisation of agricultural trade policy. For what it is worth, I put the prediction on the record that the common agricultural policy in its present form will not last five years, and the high food prices and the protected market for the sort of livestock products we produce will not last five years in the Community. Long before the full transitional period, which in some cases is ten years, is over, this specially protected market, which now looks so desirable, will be gone. I say that as a serious prediction which is now on the record. Had we got in in 1961, we would have had a great decade like the farmers of Europe but to think that the coming decade, 1972 to 1982, is going to be as good as 1962-72 is a piece of economic madness and people are being irresponsible in peddling the next decade in European farming on the basis of how good the past was. The past was magnificent. There were political reasons for it which do not now apply and there are political and economic forces tending to open up this protected market, some of them from competitors and some from inside because industry wants cheap food. These are very powerful forces which in my view predominate. Nobody for a moment denies the rise in milk and beef prices at this moment but one must seriously think forward and try to give valid advice. Are we here, perhaps, because our estimates of the future are a little wiser and better than those of other people? Do we not have a responsibility to try to give that sort of leadership and have we not, therefore, a responsibility to study these things and have opinions about them?

I am offering a prediction which will be in print in a day or so. It carries the risk of being wrong. It is much easier not to make predictions. Then you cannot be wrong. But I think it will go that way and therefore I think that, of course, we can tell the farmers the prices—nobody can stop them knowing; they are quite astute about the prices of their produce all over the world; they know them—but I think we are being irresponsible if we tell them that in our view these prices are likely to continue because in my view they are not likely to continue. Neither is the present form of the common agricultural policy with its simple, protected home market producing these surpluses likely to continue.

I am sure the Deputy appreciates that we are getting into an economic debate again.

I was replying to the actual quoted statement of the Leader of the Opposition, Deputy Cosgrave, that we would have to climb over this common external tariff both in the case of agriculture and industry. I believe this is invalid; in regard to industry, inaccurate; in regard to agriculture, a misleading simplification. If you think the Community has no trade with outside countries you go in if you want to trade with them; you cannot trade over their external tariffs and if you do not become a full member you are completely shut out. That does not bear examination if you look at the external trade of the Community but the choice of fully-in or fully-out is to me an entirely false one. Everybody agrees that there are no large alternative markets to be found easily; of course there are not. Everybody agrees about the figures, that we have four-fifths of our trade with Britain plus the Six. With the world in semi-recession you do not find alternative markets on a large scale. Of course not, but the suggestion that we shall be cut off in this way is one that I do not accept. Therefore, the suggestion "totally-in or totallyout" seems to me not to represent the facts. I do not want to use abusive words; I know Deputy Cosgrave says things seriously and we are trying to talk reasonably to each other, that we are not scoring points or abusing each other. I think he is simply wrong about this, that he does not understand the situation correctly. Therefore, I think his presentation of "fully-in or fully-out" is not in accordance with the facts and that our choice ideally is not fully-in or fully-out but half-way in: industrial "free trade," if I can use the free trade in inverted commas, plus the best deal we can get for agriculture at this moment but guaranteeing our sovereignty and our right to use it, not as a big abstraction to frame and hang on the wall and feel good about but to protect jobs and develop regions in a positive, creative way. I do not guarantee it, but I think we can negotiate something. You must go and try and if you fail you must come back and say you failed. I believe we can negotiate a mixture. I see no problem about industry. I am satisfied that the best future for our industry is with the "free trade" in inverted commas, but with industrial incentives and protections as well. I am satisfied that is best for our industry.

Of course there is an agricultural difficulty about which I have spoken but I believe we can negotiate something that gives us the "free trade", gives us very much higher agricultural protection at the higher agricultural prices and also retains sovereignty, choice and the recognition of our special position as much the most underdeveloped country, much the weakest economy of the group and also an economy which differs from all the others in being partially colonial. I use that word not as a term of abuse but as a description of an economy dependent on a larger and more powerful one, which ours has always been.

I was moved to put these points in reply to what Deputy Cosgrave said. I think he said it sincerely and clearly and I think he is wrong in the ways I have indicated. Were the choice as he presents it, his conclusion would be right but the choice is not as he presents it and therefore we need a half-way-in position, simultaneously guaranteeing trade and sovereignty which is the ideal one and which I believe to be negotiable and which I have no right to say is not negotiable until I have tried and failed.

This is the great defect of our Government and this is why I believe this Bill should be rejected. It empowers the Government to take this dramatic leap into the unknown and gives them carte blanche, blanket power to do a very great deal of a kind that we do not know at the moment because it is an unknown situation, without having explored it and then exploded the alternatives of associate membership or of trade agreement or of participation in EFTA and coming under the blanket agreement which EFTA is negotiating with the Community. These are at least three possibilities and there are a few others. When they have been examined and shown to be defective I, if they are shown to be defective, would have to say that full membership is the best, much as I hate it, and I would say so. But until that has been done I think this Bill is contrary to the national interest and should be rejected.

There are some points I should like to make in reply to the last speaker. First, it seems to me that in this debate we have an impression of very net positions. I do not think the positions are as net as they are stated to be unless people have greatly changed their minds because it is a striking fact that when this matter was debated in extenso 18 months ago the views expressed by Labour speakers were somewhat different from those expressed today. I do not think this is just a shift in opinion; it is to some degree, and understandably when faced with the referendum, the taking up of tactical positions. I think it is fair to say that at that time speakers who in this debate have expressed themselves as apparently very hostile to the idea of EEC membership did have a somewhat different position. Deputy Tully at column 2092 of Volume 247 of the Official Report said:

...we know that if Britain joins we have no option under present circumstances except to do likewise.

That was a fairly firm and plain statement. We also have Deputy Thornley's equally plain statements and he has been very active in the debate in the last couple of days and I think most people listening to him would have sensed that he appeared to be against membership. But I am not sure that position is as net as might have appeared from the way in which he presented it in the debate today. Eighteen months ago at column 1754 of the Official Report he said that his view of EEC had softened since the time he and I first exchanged courtesies in a television studio some years before. That softening was something which he, in fact, made more explicit subsequently. At column 1814 he stated:

The Government are correct to reactivate our application for membership of the Common Market. They are correct to do so because, as has been pointed out by other Deputies in this debate, there is absolutely no alternative.

At column 1816 he stated:

Good luck to the Government in its negotiations if it is prepared to dig in its heels in Europe and make quite clear that the minimum number of Irish workers will be made redundant...

The theme of many Labour speakers in that debate was more related to gingering-up the Government to negotiate well. At column 1818 he stated:

As I say, it is inevitable that we should enter this if Britain does and there are opportunities for us in it...

With respect, Deputy FitzGerald is quoting me with great facility but out of context. I said that some sort of negotiation was necessary but since then we have seen the Government's terms. It is a very long time ago and much water has passed under the bridges since then.

Naturally Deputy Thornley considers it necessary to defend himself on the issue. The quotations I have given say nothing about anything other than joining the EEC if Britain joins. In fact, in his speech at that time he was not one of the Labour Deputies who made such a distinction. Deputy Keating said it would be disastrous if we did not forge a link with the Common Market —I am quoting from memory here. Deputy Thornley's position was somewhat different. Deputies on the Labour benches will recall that I did them the honour of reviewing their speeches in the Irish Times——

The Chair would remind Deputies that we are discussing the Schedule. We are not widening the issue at this point.

I thought it desirable to remind the House lest the House or the people should think the position is quite as net as it may have appeared from a debate in which necessarily a certain degree of apparent polarisation has taken place.

Will the Deputy permit me to say that if my position had softened on that point it has hardened again since I have seen the results of the Government's negotiations? Deputy FitzGerald and myself have in common the fact that we speak at considerable length—greater in his case than mine, perhaps—and our prose is so lambent and precise that it can only be given its full flavour if it is quoted in its entirety rather than ripping chunks of it out of context——

The Chair would remind Deputies that we are discussing the Schedule. We are not concerned about matters discussed on the Second Stage or any other matter in regard to previous debates.

I appreciate that. I realise that if I were to do justice to Deputy Thornley's speech perhaps I would not be in order. Deputy Thornley's views oscillate from time to time——

They mature.

Apparently they mature up and they mature down, they soften and they harden. To me this is oscillation, but at least Deputy Thornley and other Deputies on the Labour benches express their thoughts frankly and do not hide behind the veil of hypocrisy which, as Deputy Keating said, has covered much of what the Government have said.

Deputy Keating suggested that in Deputy Cosgrave's speech the issues have been put in an unduly net way, that there is a half-way house before us. He suggested that the amendment to the Constitution involves changes which are not necessary; he says that we should not be discussing the Schedule because there is a solution which would not involve changing the Constitution, which would produce economic benefits, or at least avoid losses, in a manner which would make it a better alternative. This is a proposition the Deputy is entitled to put, but we are entitled to make a few brief comments on it lest his remarks should mislead the House and the nation.

He has made it clear here, as he did on radio last Sunday week, that the Labour Party's view is that in or outside the EEC trade barriers must go. It is important that this message should go from this House and if any point of the debate is emphasised in the Press tomorrow I hope it is that point. There has been considerable confusion caused in the public mind by some speakers—I do not mean particularly Labour Party speakers; there have been other publicists of the anti-Common Market lobby and, I am sorry to say, some trade union officials, who have been implying, and in many cases stating openly, that if we do not join the EEC we can continue industrial protection. This is a fallacy, as has been ably demonstrated by Deputy Keating. That point should be cleared out of the way because it is an important issue.

Deputy Keating said that while the Labour Party are in favour of the freeing of trade in the sense of removal of tariffs and quotas, they do not accept or favour a situation in which this is accompanied by what he described as the removal of our power to take other kinds of action to promote or safeguard industries. I should like to comment briefly that this is not a full or fair statement of the facts. Deputy Keating expressed it in more precise language at one point. He said we would be entitled to favour our industry more than industry in the central area of the Common Market but not more than in other peripheral areas. I commented that would avoid competition——

The Chair has pointed out already that we are entering into an economic debate which will come at a later stage.

I was attempting to reply precisely and briefly on points made by Deputy Keating, when he was guided by the Chair but was not prevented from making certain points. If I reply with similar brevity on these issues I hope I will remain within the rules of order and I hope the Chair will recognise that.

The Chair's difficulty on these matters is that other Deputies tend to deal with issues raised.

I appreciate the Chair's difficulty but these points have been raised by Deputy Keating in the course of his legitimate argument that we should not support this amendment. He argued implicitly, if not explicitly, that this amendment should be rejected because it is possible to achieve the objectives which the amendment sets out to achieve in economic terms by other less drastic means. If he has the right to argue thus and sustain his case by suitably brief economic arguments, I think I am entitled to reply that this amendment is necessary. The alternative is not realistic. I should like to put to the House that this Schedule, as amended, should be passed and that is the argument I am putting forward.

With regard to distinguishing between the different kinds of free trade, so far as aids are concerned, the Protocol we have negotiated permits us greater freedom of action than any other country with the exception of Italy in respect of southern Italy. There has been no suggestion that we should be inhibited from giving any kind of industrial grants, our tax reliefs can continue, and if they are questioned at some stage at the end of the transitional period any alternative system of tax relief must be as effective in achieving the economic and social objectives the tax reliefs achieve.

Therefore, the distinction made by Deputy Keating is not a valid one. However, the important point about which everyone should be clear and which is the view of all parties of this House—is that we face the removal of tariffs and quotas inside or outside the EEC. No trade unionist or workers should be misled into believing otherwise. No trade unionist should be led to vote against membership believing that by so doing we can maintain quota and tariff protection. I am not sure about the position of Aontacht Éireann on this matter, but all other parties in this House are clear on this point.

The most important point in what Deputy Keating has said relates to agriculture. It is vital that the people should understand that while a free trade agreement is open to us with the EEC, as Deputy Keating pointed out, and while he is right in saying that this must be negotiated because the alternative would be loss of employment by a high proportion of the 35,000 workers engaged in manufacturing exports to the United Kingdom market, the real issue is agriculture. Here he was vague and inexplicit, as he must be and as are all the other speakers who have opposed the Common Market. He knows that there have been no agreements negotiated by the Community with any country which make any provision for the import of dairy products other than the special case of New Zealand which has a five-year phasing-out period and no guarantee of anything after that time.

That is the only exception made. No doubt we could get a similar five year phasing out period but there is no prospect of any such agreement. This Community has had a surplus of dairy products, now has it again, and will, under normal circumstances, continue to have it. We have no prospect of disposing of this surplus outside the EEC at anything other than bargain basement prices, yielding something like one new penny a gallon of the 19 new pence a gallon for milk the farmers would get with EEC membership. It would cost us between £130 million and £190 million pounds to subsidise production at that price with the likely scale of output in 1978, which is inconceivable. These are the facts the people must be told.

On the question of beef, while certainly in a trade agreement we would get access to the EEC for quantities of beef it would not be unlimited free access. It would be liable to limitation at any time and, with the competing exports to the EEC from other countries like Yugoslavia and the Argentine, the limitation could be severe. Moreover, they would not be at the same prices as EEC members would have. In those circumstances the reality is—and there was a lot of talk of reality rather than legalism in Deputy Keating's earlier remarks—that outside the EEC we face free trade just as much as inside it so far as tariffs and quotas are concerned.

Redundancy will be just as much a problem, despite what Deputy Keating has said and the distinction he has attempted to draw between the aids that will be given inside or outside, which is, I think, a totally false distinction. He has not made clear the disastrous effect on our dairy industry, and through it, on cattle output. This reflects also upon our ability to sell at good prices and with free access to the market for out cattle. These are crucial to the economy of this country. We in this party will make it plain to the people that this is the issue.

It seems to the Chair that what the House is doing at present is anticipating the economic debate on the White Paper.

This is my concluding sentence on this issue. The reason why we will support the Schedule and put it to the people and say that, as amended by Fine Gael, they should support it, is that the economic argument is a net and clear one. Deputy Cosgrave was quite right in saying there is no middle ground that we can find that will not be a quagmire drawing us into economic disaster. To that extent the picture painted by Deputy Keating is inadequate and incomplete.

So much for the economic side. In conclusion I should like to say again that the amendment we put down is of great importance. I can understand the tactical reasons that led the Minister for Finance to play it down. No doubt he has his difficulties on his own side on this matter and Governments are not notable for their generosity to Opposition parties. The case has been made clearly in this debate in a manner which has not been challenged effectively by any speaker. This amendment makes a significant change. Although there may be a divergence of view as to the degree of uncertainty attaching to the words "consequent on membership" there is attaching to those words a sufficient penumbra of doubt for it to be vital that that doubt be removed and the issue put to the people as a net and clear one so that they can say to themselves: "This amendment does no more than is necessary. Not one jot of our power or our sovereignty is given away more than is essential for membership of the Community which is essential to our national wellbeing."

To have put an amendment in any other form to the people, in a form which would leave room for doubt on that issue, or would make it possible for ill-disposed people to argue that more was being done than was necessary, and that the Government were getting powers which they might use at some stage to the disadvantage of the people, or that would open up the way without further consultation with the people to defence pacts of some kind or another, would have been disastrous. What we have done in this debate and in launching the referendum debate, as we are doing here by passing this Bill, is to ensure that the issue before the people will be a net issue, and that as much as possible of the confusion that could surround it is removed. We shall try to ensure that the arguments are put clearly and concisely. We shall try to ensure that confusion and ambiguity will be ruled out and that the people will be faced with a clear and a net issue. It is the job of the Opposition to do that. This part of the Opposition have done it. I regret that, on this occasion, we have not had as much assistance as usual from our colleagues in the Labour benches, but I am sure that there will be many future occasions when we will find ourselves collaborating closely again on other legislation.

Cuireadh and cheist.

Question put.
Rinne an Choiste vótáil: Tá, 75; Níl, 9.
The Committee divided: Tá, 75; Níl, 9.

  • Allen, Lorcan.
  • Barrett, Sylvester.
  • Boylan, Terence.
  • Brennan, Joseph.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Brosnan, Seán.
  • Browne, Patrick.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick J.
  • Burke, Richard.
  • Carter, Frank.
  • Childers, Erskine.
  • Colley, George.
  • Collins, Edward.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Connolly, Gerard C.
  • Coogan, Fintan.
  • Cooney, Patrick M.
  • Cosgrave, Liam.
  • Cowen, Bernard.
  • Cronin, Jerry.
  • Crotty, Kieran.
  • Crowley, Flor.
  • Cunningham, Liam.
  • Delap, Patrick.
  • Dockrell, Henry P.
  • Dowling, Joe.
  • Dunne, Thomas.
  • Esmonde, Sir Anthony C.
  • Fahey, Jackie.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • FitzGerald, Garret.
  • Fitzpatrick, Tom (Cavan).
  • Fitzpatrick, Tom (Dublin Central).
  • Foley, Desmond.
  • Forde, Paddy.
  • Fox, Billy.
  • French, Seán.
  • Geoghegan, John.
  • Gibbons, Hugh.
  • Gibbons, James.
  • Gogan, Richard P.
  • Healy, Augustine A.
  • Herbert, Michael.
  • Hillery, Patrick J.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Hogan, Patrick.
  • Hogan O'Higgins, Brigid.
  • Hussey, Thomas.
  • Kitt, Michael F.
  • Lalor, Patrick J.
  • Lemass, Noel T.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • L'Estrange, Gerald.
  • Loughnane, William A.
  • Lynch, Celia.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • McMahon, Lawrence.
  • MacSharry, Ray.
  • Meaney, Thomas.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Nolan, Thomas.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connor, Timothy.
  • O'Donnell, Tom.
  • O'Malley, Des.
  • O'Sullivan, John L.
  • Power, Patrick.
  • Smith, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Taylor, Francis.
  • Timmons, Eugene.
  • Tunney, Jim.
  • Wyse, Pearse.


  • Browne, Noel.
  • Cruise-O'Brien, Conor.
  • Kavanagh, Liam.
  • Keating, Justin.
  • Murphy, Michael P.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • Thornley, David.
  • Sherwin, Seán.
  • Tully, James.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies S. Browne and Meaney; Níl: Deputies Tully and Kavanagh.
Question declared carried.
Faisnéiseadh go rabhtas tar éis glacadh leis an gceist.
ALT. 1.
Níor tairgeadh leasuithe 1 agus 2.
Amendments Nos. 1 and 2 not moved.
Aontaíodh an tAlt.
Section agreed to.
Alt 2 aontaithe.
Section 2 agreed to.
Aontaíodh an Réamhrá agus an Teideal.
Preamble and Title agreed to.