As Deputy Brady said, this Bill is meant to update the 1945 Act which was a very forward looking Act for its time. I think it was Deputy MacEntee who introduced it on behalf of Fianna Fáil, who did so many things of a radical nature up to that time. I do not think one can honestly say the same thing about the Bill before us. It is so inadequate as to be practically irrelevant to the needs of our times. Though the advice of those of us who are members of the medical profession may be considered to be suspect because of our special interest in measures of this kind, the Minister can take it that the submission by the Irish Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, of which I am a member, gives a reasonable assessment of the fundamental effects of the Bill. They go on to say:
The Bill is entitled "An Act to make further and better provision for the regulation of care and treatment of persons suffering from mental disorders and to provide for related matters".
As the Bill has little to say about care and treatment, being confined mainly to provisions designed to protect the civil liberties of persons compulsorily detained in psychiatric centres, it is felt that this title is misleading.
Therefore, a more appropriate title would be "An Act to make provision for the registration and supervision of psychiatric centres and for the detention in psychiatric centres of persons suffering from mental disorders and to provide for related matters."
I do not in any way underestimate the true enormity of the task facing the Minister for Health in dealing with the question of the treatment of mentally or emotionally disturbed people because, as I will show, one would have to have the powers of a dictator, and certainly the authority of a united Cabinet with very forward-looking and radical ideas, to deal with the sources of distress frequently called mental illness in any society. There are very few Departments which would not be involved in a comprehensive approach to so reorganising our society.
I am one of those people who believe that in their various complex ways these people are opting out of situations which are personal dilemmas, or dilemmas associated with their lives, work, upbringing or relationships, they find intolerable. The remedy most of them take is to go to what Deputy Brady called the "lunatic asylums". I favour the use of the word "asylum". I know what he was talking about, the perjorative nature of the words applied as they have been in society and the stigma attached to them, but an "asylum" is what many of these hospitals tend to be — they provide peace and an absence of stress.
Many of us have begun to question the use of these instituions over a number of years. In dealing with this matter we have the usual problem of the conflict of generations. I am sure this is a problem the Minister has faced. It is difficult for him as a lay person facing the conflict of ideas within any profession where he has to attempt to arbitrate on behalf of the public. There are two extremes within psychiatry not only in Ireland but all over the world. There are people who consider mental illness as a curable illness and those who consider that what we call "mental illness" is simply a reaction to situations of great stress and one should try to deal with the position the person finds himself in, which is so intolerable. There are many British and American psychiatrists, and some Irish psychiatrists, who take this latter view.
I hope the Minister will not feel I am being capricious or politically motivated in my criticism of his Bill, but I feel his proposals are very remote from what is needed just now. What was made available in 1945 was a great advance — the turning away from the courts, from the scope of criminality, the introduction of the voluntary admission and the upgrading of many of the standards of care in many of these mental hospitals. I have watched these hospitals over 30 years and that can be said to be true. They are not all bad, although some are very bad.
The trouble here is the Minister's—and this applies also to his predecessor, the Taoiseach, Deputy Haughey, because he was involved in the preparation of this legislation—apparent attitude of mind about closed institutions. It is a nineteenth century preoccupation with the general advantages of closed institutions—orphanages, workhouses, the origins of the modern hospitals in general medical care and prisons. They were based on a common ethos of regimentation, denial of individual freedom, paternalist arrogance and an obsession with mystification and secrecy. That can be said about the institutions I mentioned. If anybody is particularly interested, there is a magnificent work by a man called Hoffman on the whole of the hierarchical system within the mental hospitals and the behaviour patterns of all the inmates, not only the people sent there as mentally disturbed but of all who live and work in these institutions — doctors, nurses, social workers and so on.
These closed institutions were justified by a set of unquestioned assumptions about the nature of psychiatric illness and the rehabilitation functions of institutions. They were meant to cope with human disease and psychopathology. This is being widely questioned but apparently not in the Department of Health, if one is to judge by the contents of this Bill
The Bill is not wholly bad. There are obvious advances as mentioned by Deputy O'Connell and Deputy Brady about the preservation of civil rights. This is a very important question, but before I deal with that I would like to share the views of everyone who has spoken so far about the virtual total detachment by the public from the fact that these are the unwanted and rejected people in our society.
As most people will know, the other subject to which I apply myself rather consistently is the question of prisons but, interestingly enough and to put it crudely, there are no votes either in concern for mental hospitals or in concern for prisons. That is a strange feature of a society which makes so many protestations about its humanitarian approach to so many aspects of life, sometimes to the point of hysteria. Down through the years successive investigative journalists have gone into these places of detention of which there are some very bad ones but also some very good ones who are operating on extremely good humanitarian lines of compassion and kindness but who are operating in very difficult circumstances. In some successive magnificent pieces of journalism there have been protests about the institutions that are bad. Some politicians as well as some members of the medical profession have protested also from time to time in this regard. I do not think that Deputy O'Connell is being totally fair to some of the psychiatrists I know who have protested from time to time but who found that there was nobody to listen to their protestations. Now we have the very depressing response of the Government in terms of cutting by a considerable amount the expenditure on mental hospitals. This step represents the most eloquent comment that could be made on the mental hospitals either by the present Minister for Health or by his predecessor who is now Taoiseach. It indicates what their attitude is to the future of these hospitals.
Perhaps the greatest defect of the whole system is the one to which I referred earlier, that is, the faith that we as a society have in the closed institution and the effect of the closed institution on everybody concerned from the patient to the chief psychiatrist. The whole process of instituionalisation is most pernicious, dangerous and damaging in its effect on the people involved. Frequently I have seen people who have been in such places for a long time who could not be encouraged by any means to leave. They are there for life because at some stage they found a situation that was intolerable so far as they were concerned. They came to us and we gave them a brick wall to spend the rest of their lives looking at and left them there. Essentially, that is a betrayal of people who are in the type of dilemma that leads them to seek help from us in the first place.
From the psychiatric point of view, institutionalisation is very unhealthy in relation to all concerned, to the nurses and doctors, the social workers, the psychiatrists and the patients. It is a continuing process. The Minister may have found that change is not possible because of the resistance in this regard by the established institutions. The old-time head of these institutions lived an extraordinary life. A colleague of mine rejected a senior post because he did not want to become an old time provincial prison governor in imperial India where he would have an enormous house and free labour and where he would be totally paternalist and have control over everybody within the institution. These people, after some time, grew to love the actual post more than they loved their work. Consequently, there has been great resistance to change.
I am not underestimating the Minister's job in attempting to bring about change where there would be such resistance but on the question of civil rights there is an important figure that I like to give, though to some extent this may be an over-simplification. Let us take an institution which consists of 300 people under the care of one psychiatric team in a catchment area of 250,000 people and another institution under a different team in a catchment area of the same number where the bed occupancy is 50.
There is little doubt that one can conclude that there are a number of people — extrapolating that to all institutions — who are unnecessarily detained, unnecessarily in prison. Let us be clear that a mental hospital is simply a benevolent jail, that the head of the hospital is a benevolent jailer and that while the attitudes are somewhat different, the deprivation of liberty is identical with that of the jail with the extraordinary difference that if one who is referred to as a "criminal"— and I want to put that word in quotes because I do not believe in criminality — is put away in prison by society, there are a remarkable number of safeguards to protect his rights, regardless of whether he is a petty criminal, a murderer, a rapist, a terrorist or any other such deviant. We have evolved a most elaborate system of defences so far as the liberty of that person is concerned. There are the District Court, the High Court and the Supreme Court with provision for appeals from one of these courts to the other. In the courts there are talented and skilled legal people whose job it is to try to have an accused person exculpated or at least to ensure that he is not wrongly confined to prison and that if he is confined, his confinement is in accordance with the strict rules laid down by this House in respect of the offence concerned. That is our attitude to the criminal in our society. However, in regard to the person who is mentally ill, he needs the signature of the general practitioner as well as the signature of the psychiatrist and, as Deputy O'Connell said, he can be in for life. Such people are deprived of their freedom for the rest of their lives under supervision by doctors.
I am very shocked by the outrageous powers I have as a psychiatrist and as a doctor. I am given the right to deprive an individual of his or her liberty if I wish, with only the minimum security for that individual. I am very glad that the Minister is attempting to introduce some kind of safeguard with the review board and the second doctor. I do not think the second doctor is much of a protection. In our profession we do not usually fight with one another and it is very difficult to question a colleague's conclusions unless they are outrageously wrong. One tends to accept that one's colleague knows the patient better, that he knows the family and the circumstances. The review board and the High Court appeal is a welcome advance.
The consistently dismissive attitude of the public towards those unwanted people is quite distressing. Psychiatry is an unsatisfying profession for many reasons. The general feeling one gets is that the people in mental hospitals are women whose husbands want to get rid of them, men whose wives want to get rid of them, children whose parents want to get rid of them, or parents whose children want to get rid of them. Psychiatrists are being used to intervene in what are frequently disagreements between individuals. They are being given this extraordinary power of depriving a person who is always the loser and who can be indicted of having been in a mental hospital before or who has given a lot of trouble and is deprived of his or her freedom. That person is put behind bars for the rest of his or her life. Very few psychistrists escape being presented with such problems. They are often presented with parents who cannot control their child, a young adolescent who is giving a lot of trouble. The psychiatrist is told that if that young person is not kept in he will harm his parents or somebody else and the psychiatrist will then be indicated as the person who let him out to cause all the trouble.
I do not believe that anybody who knows anything about psychiatric hospitals will doubt that a large number of old people are in those hospitals. Most doctors have had the experience of trying to get persons of 65 years and over into hospital, and have gone to the Bed Bureau and so on to get such people admitted but have failed. The young people possibly are not able to keep the old person with them any longer, possibly because of modern flat development with the absence of any place for the old person, a growing family and other problems. There is a very strong compulsion on the psychiatrist to admit to a psychiatric hospital somebody who has nothing else wrong except that he or she is too old and is a nuisance.
Many old people are in psychiatric hospitals not only because of the selfishness of young married people with growing families who have no longer room for them; if it was possible for old people to live on their own, if there were sufficient domicilary, meals-on-wheels, laundry services and all the other facilities which would make it possible for such people to remain in their homes they would not have to be admitted to psychiatric hospitals. The Bill will not stop that type of thing happening. The Minister's answer to me may possibly be that it is a much broader question.
The problem also arises in relation to the alcoholic. He is possibly every second or third person who is admitted to mental hospitals. What on earth is the person with a drink problem doing in a mental hospital? Why are there not special institutions for him? Of course, the same is true for the mentally handicapped. What is the function of the mental hospital? There are, unfortunately, very great misconceptions about mental illness. In fact, there are those of us who deny that this is an illness at all. Certainly, it is worth putting on the record that there is no cure. There are many misconceptions about the role of the new great phenothiazine drugs mentioned by Deputy Dr. O'Connell, the new mode changing drugs of the late 1950s and 1960s. They are not a cure. All they have done is to make it possible to apply a straitjacket or to avoid the locked door. They have very much changed the character of the closed institution but nobody is cured by these effectively stupifying drugs. What they do is reduce a little the capacity to feel the pain, stress, agony of mind.
The origin of distress still lies within the person's life and, there again, the Minister has made no suggestions whatever, neither on the curative nor on the preventative side. On the curative side one would apply changes over the whole spectrum of the passion of lives over our society. On the preventative side, there would be the introduction of educational changes, particularly revolutionary, radical, educational changes in attitude to parental control and, then, education in our schools. There is no reference to these whatsoever. These are the things which the radical sector of the psychiatric profession have looked for from the former Minister for Health and now the present Minister.
Possibly, in his reply the Minister will comment on the inadequacy of the Bill. Possibly that was deliberate, in so far as he felt that it should not be dealt with in this legislation. At the same time, however, it is a long time since the last Bill in 1945 — almost 40 years — and I presume this Bill is intended to deal with these problems in society over the next 20, 30, 40 years. Does it even mark time? I do not think that it does. This is an improvement on some of the undesirable features of the old custodial institutional approach to mental illness but it does not touch the needs of many young psychiatrists whose attitude is completely different. There are some people who obviously, must be kept in isolation for their own sakes and for the sake of the community — I do not deny that — but they are in the minority. Ideally, the Minister should have provided for an Act to make provision for the registration and supervision of the psychiatric centres and, in those centres, wide facilities, unorthodox facilities and accepted ideas, but a fairly free hand for different concepts of approach to the care of people who are psychiatrically ill and disturbed.
The truth is that there is nobody who can say that this is the correct and only way in which to deal with people looking for help from stresses of society. Indeed, in order to understand the impotence of the psychiatrist, the grandiloquence and grandiose terminology of schizophrenia, melancholia, endogenous depression, exogenous depression and all this, really means very little indeed. We are simply giving very elegant names to the man who is unhappy with his wife, or a wife unhappy with her husband, a lady who is having two many children or living in high-rise flats under crowded conditions, a man with a job he cannot stand, an old person who is rejected and left alone, or a young person who has been subjected to the frequently depressing experience of childhood in our society, both at home and in school. You can call them whatever name you like, but they are the simple realities. What changes can you make in a hospital which will improve the conditions in the home from which the young or old person, rejected husband or wife in the first place ran away to the institution? I may be presumptuous in saying this, but I think the reality of the thinking of psychiatrists is a sense of total futility of one's role in psychiatry and the slightly degrading role of psychiatrists. I found it very difficult indeed to continue to accept the fact that I know that this is the problem — the person arrives at the gate of the hospital, is taken in and the stress relieved for a while because the patient is separated from, at least, the stress and, to that extent, comes to some kind of peace with himself or herself and then the patient is sent back to the instigating cause, the source of that distress. The lady may have been beaten by her husband because he, poor man, is working in the wrong job or has a drink problem, has too many children or is married to the wrong lady. They are unhappy and unfortunate people. To hand that person a handful of valium does not solve anything.
It is this preoccupation with the mythology of the power of psychiatry and the power of psychiatric hospitals which is perpetuated in the Bill. The Minister has completely ignored the substance of his enormous problem and has continued to accept the validity of the mumbo jumbo which passes for therapy in the average psychiatric institution. It is very like the period in my time with regard to tuberculosis when we did so many terrible things, in good faith, to our people in the hope that we would make them better but sometimes we made them much worse. It is like the infectious fevers until the specific medication and the improved social conditions came to hand and that was the end of our problem.
I am not blaming psychiatrists for doing what they do. They do the best they can in the circumstances, taking their background, their education, the facilities given to them by the State and the general outlook. However, they are still to a considerable extent in the witch-doctor, medicine-man state of medicine and they do their best to conceal this truth from society. There is a need for care on the question of individual liberty and the danger of trusting the psychiatrist not because he is a dishonest or an immoral person or such like. I do not wish to appear critical but because of the difficulty of this task and the need which has grown up to which he has unfortunately subscribed, of creating the impression that he is supplying the answer to our needs, he has to do this for his own sanity; otherwise, he would feel a complete fraud. His life is made particularly difficult.
Questions I should like to put for consideration relate to the difficulties that a psychiatrist faces on the issue of releasing someone likely to commit violent crime or who is likely to commit this violent crime on himself or herself, suicide. It is a very serious dilemma and psychiatrists would like to share the responsibility for making that decision with someone else, with some lay people, people who can look at this matter from the outside, legal people or enlightened lay people. It is one of the sources of the high bed occupancy in our institutions. It is a perfectly reasonable fear of a psychiatrist that the individual he is dealing with will take his or her life if he or she leaves the hospital. If that happens the psychiatrist has to face the coroner's inquest and all the unpleasantness that involves. He will be faced with the question of a person who will react violently and take someone else's life or assault a person and cause serious bodily harm.
This is the dilemma which psychiatrists face. It is one reason why they should welcome, instead of being apprehensive of review bodies. Those review bodies should be welcomed as an attempt to share the responsibility of deciding whether a person is suited or prepared for life outside. It may sound like moral cowardice to speak like that but it makes a lot of demands on the psychiatrist and it means that it can lead to a reluctance to take such a decision. The result is that the person who is under suspicion for suicide or homicide is kept indefinitely in an institution adding to the Minister's problem relating to our mental institutions. A number of people are kept in because of the difficulty of taking a decision whether to discharge a person who is a risk to himself or other people.
Too much is asked of our psychiatrists. Too much is demanded of them and they are given too much power. Too much is demanded in the way of expectations of what can be done by individuals in closed institutions to solve the social problems of society which are really the problems of the Departments of Social Welfare, Justice, the Taoiseach, Health and Education, if one is to consider the origins of distress in society. Everybody seems to be quite happy to use the dreadful description — I hope I will not be misunderstood when I use it — of the human trashcan of psychiatry of the mental hospitals, the rejects, the unwanted. My fear always was that I was giving a certain measure of respectability by my professional pretentions to this effectively callous and cynical rejection of the problem people and the incarceration of them in our benevolent jails, frequently on flimsy charges. Obviously, in the case of old people there is no justification whatsoever.
Perhaps Deputies might begin to understand how the whole rationalisation of my approach to political attitudes stems from my concept of society. Where one is faced with a lady running away from her fertility, having an unnecessarily high number of unwanted children, locking her up in an institution is a temporary solution. It is an appalling solution in my view. It breaks up the home and the family. She is supplied with valium or one of the other drugs, when obviously society should be providing for effective family planning. When a husband and wife are living in a continuing hate relationship to the detriment of their own relationship and their children's relationship, the answer is not a psychiatric hospital, but some kind of divorce legislation. People are living these terrible beehive existences in multi-rise and high-rise flats because of the bad planning of society. They are overcrowded or living with their in-laws. More housing is the answer.
These are the proposals the Minister should be putting to us. We should not continue to accept the old 19th century concept of the closed institution and its merits. It is a most damaging concept for the treatment of people who are unhappy in society. It is a damaging to everybody involved. There should be an attempt — there is nothing certain about it — to retain people in community centres in which they are encouraged to live normal lives, or as nearly normal as possible. If an old person is being troublesome in the home, he or she could be taken into a community centre for the day and in that way ease the burden on the parents or the children. Difficult people in society should be taken off the hands of parents and children and treated normally within a community centre.
By sending them off to a closed institution, a process which the Minister is facilitating in this Bill, we are making little or no contribution to the real problem in society. Some of our approaches to these things are interesting. We should attempt to help people to maintain a sense of normality instead of imposing the idea of sickness and invalidism and institutionalisation. We should look after these individuals within society and send them to swimming pools, to the seaside, on bus tours, to the theatre, the cinema, singing pubs or race meetings.
It is impossible to get money to take people on a bus tour to the swimming pool in Blackrock but money is available for the most costly and exclusive drugs to stupify individuals, which is what these drugs do. They changes the personality of the person. I consider it a great impertinence for any individual to change the personality of another individual in order to suit society, and to make him adapt to society rather than changing society and making it possible for him to live a normal life. Money is available for the most costly drugs or appliances, or procedures, out other possibly more effective forms of care for these people are ruled as unacceptable.
The Minister will get two views on this. He will probably be applauded by some of the patriarchs living out their viceregal lives in these great institutions with the best will and the best intentions in the world, but completely destroying the individuals within the institutions. On the other hand, I can assure him that attempts are being made to change the approach to the stress problems in society. There are new social attitudes to legislation on divorce and contraception, housing, social supports, domiciliary care for old people. Dozens of different kinds of amenities should be available to keep these people out of mental hospitals. This would be of advantage to the Minister.
There is also the question of education mentioned by Deputy Brady, Deputy O'Connell and others. We have desperately seriously inadequate educational facilities for parents, and not just mothers, on the whole question of the complexity of the process of psycho-sexual development of youngsters in personality formulation. There is virtually total illiteracy on this subject which does so much damage and which is the source of so many pictures of emotional distress in later life because of the damage done in the first nine years of life by ill-advised parental attitudes. There is no reference to this. There is no suggestion that the Minister believes this is seriously necessary, or that he has made any provision for it. In fact, as we know, we are cutting the estimate for this sector of the Department.
There are the other great social diseases like tuberculosis and fevers which affect the mass of the people predominantly. There is very little one can do with the end product of the defective social conditions in society. The psychiatrist is there to conceal society's inadequacies. But the solution lies in the schools, in the homes, in recreation, in what is called quality of life, the size of classes, job choice, suitability, vocational advice and in an important feature in our society which is very damaging indeed, the physical punishment of children in childhood. Where it is clear that there is no cure beyond the cure I have suggested of prevention, there is a need for research for a so far undiscovered cure. There is no question of serious moneys intended for research, so it must be clear to the Minister why I cannot agree with a Bill such as this.
On Committee Stage we will be able to deal with some matters in greater detail. In relation to the voluntary patient the Minister has not made it completely clear. The voluntary admission was a great advance in 1945, but the only point is that the Royal College of Psychiatry is worried about the possibility of a voluntary patient who would turn out to be a suicide risk or a homicide risk. What can we do about these people? It is quite a problem because, obviously, if the hospital breaks faith with a voluntary patient such as this who then decides that he does not wish to come in and the hospital says that he will have to, it would be very damaging to the hospital and the hospital can be quite sure that they will never see him again. That can be discussed later on on Committee Stage.
Along with Deputy O'Connell I do not understand section 16—removal to Garda Síochána station of person believed to be suffering from severe mental disorder. Everybody would have his own meaning for the phrase "severe mental disorder". To that extent it is meaningless and it is slipshod to include it in the Bill. This occurs again in section 19.
I have already commented on whether the business of a second practitioner is an advance. Deputy O'Connell and Deputy E. Collins referred to the difficulty of getting two doctors in rural areas. I am greatly in favour of increasing the safeguards of the person being admitted but I am not sure if the second doctor is a serious safeguard as well as being a difficulty in an emergency in a rural area. If I thought that added greatly to the protection of the person's individual liberty and rights I would not mind the inconvenience, but this question can be considered further on Committee Stage.
The right of the inspection of dwellings is a very dangerous right to give and it can be dealt with later. I am interested in the question of transfer. Section 29 says:
A person detained in a psychiatric centre may, in his own interest, be transferred to another psychiatric centre in accordance with this section after consultation with the person and, if available, with the applicant for the reception of the person in the centre.
Section 30 says:
The Minister may designate a district psychiatric centre or part of any such centre as a special psychiatric centre for the transfer under section 31.
That means to Dundrum, does it not? I would be very slow to accept that principle. A person coming into a mental hospital as a voluntary patient could be certified and he could then find himself under this section transferred to Dundrum. That is outrageous. This could happen in the circumstances of the sudden uncontrollable violence of somebody. I referred to a mental hospital as a benevolent jail but there is no doubt that Dundrum is anything but a benevolent jail. A big headline in one issue of last week's Irish Independent referred to new security measures for the hospital and said
Security at the Central Mental Hospital in Dublin — where a gang attempted to spring a convicted killer last Monday — is to be tightened up.
The article goes on to deal with plans for the electrification of the wall and the building of a control room to monitor it. Whatever about the poor people who are sent there from courts, it is certainly a terrible place for the poor devil who goes into a mental hospital as a voluntary patient and then finds himself in this dreadful place. This will certainly not be what he had intended when he walked into the hospital. Is the Minister happy about this? Would it not be better to create an institution if necessary for all the people who suffer from emotional disturbances of one kind or another including psychopaths? I disagree with the proliferation of institutions but I would prefer to see an alternative to going to this dreaded place in our culture, the Dundrum Mental Hospital. I will oppose that on Committee Stage. My suggestion would simplify conditions on occasions where there are particularly difficult cases. The section as it stands would give rise to an undesirable development and I intend to oppose it.
I wish I could be more helpful to the Minister as regards the form the review body should take. The number of doctors should be greatly outweighed and non-medical people should be in a majority. The Minister may come back and ask, are they the only people capable of making a definitive, worthwhile decision? The Minister has moved away from acceptance of the fact that the doctor is the final, correct and only person to make a decision and, having done so, he should stick to that and increase the size of the review body so that instead of having three people there should be five. However, that is something we can discuss on Committee Stage.
I presume the question of legal aid has been looked at from the point of view of people who make appeals to the High Court following committal. I am not sure about the question of the Medical Council with the consent of the Minister making rules about treatment, although I am not a person to be worried about the curtailment of rights of members of the medical profession. Indeed I have spoken against it throughout my contribution on the Bill. I can imagine the Medical Council agreeing to proposals which could be disagreeable and because of that they could become acceptable when they should not be. If we look back we can see what we did in regard to other diseases, blood letting, leeches, the extraordinary things we did in tuberculosis — as O'Shaughnessy said in The Doctor's Oilemma“stimulate the phagocytes”, the attempt by us to deal with something which is way above our capacity — the use of leucotomy, the cutting out of parts of people's brain, insulin shock treatment and ECT, which is still used in convulsive therapy and which is real which doctor medicine, irrational and undesirable. It is still widely used. It would be better to leave it to the individual doctor's discretion. He is answerable to society and to his patient for what he does. However, this is something that can be discussed.
This is an advance on what was there before but it is a sad feature of the record of the Fianna Fáil Party and this Government with the great advances made by them in the 1945 and 1947 Acts that all one sees now in legislation is a depressing conservatism which has completely dominated the thinking of the party.
I have attempted to show how remote this Bill is from the needs of the time. This Bill will be out of date in a relatively short time and this is sad particularly when it may have to last us for another 40 years. It is a pity that a young Minister, new to his Department, could not have adopted a more enlightened attitude.