REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON STANDING ORDERS.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

The first regular business on the Agenda is the Report of the Committee on Standing Orders. I may mention that the copy that was sent out some days ago to the members was prepared in a hurry, and was sent out before it was revised. As a consequence, it is filled with clerical and other mistakes. Since then it has been carefully revised, and an amended copy has been circulated through the Seanad. The Standing Orders number 72, and though the Committee spent a considerable amount of time and labour in their preparation, they are quite conscious that experience will show that they require alteration and perhaps amendment. What I would suggest to the Seanad, if it meets with their approval, is this: if they look at the last of these Standing Orders, they will see it provides for the appointment of a Committee on Standing Orders, that is to say, a permanent Committee whose duty it will be from time to time to recommend changes in these Standing Orders. Now, what I would suggest to the Seanad, as the most convenient thing, would be this: to accept these Standing Orders as the Standing Orders for the next two months. In the meantime, I would like members to study them carefully, and if they think they require amendment or addition, to give notice of these amendments or additions, and then to refer these amendments and additions to the Standing Committee for their report and then to have a full discussion upon them. I think if you do not adopt some course like that you will find it very difficult, and it will occupy a good deal of your time going through them one by one. If you are satisfied to accept them on trial, so to speak, for two months, then, in the interval, you could put down any amendments or suggested alterations or additions and let those go before the Standing Committee, who will report on them to you. Then you can deal with them as you think fit. That is a matter entirely for the Seanad If they would like to discuss them now, of course we will do so.

The Standing Orders are most important. They are the basis of procedure and work in this Seanad, and I think it would not be a waste of time if, at the present moment, we took up the matter and went over them one by one. We need not go through the entire lot.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I am quite in the hands of the Seanad.

I think the matter has been so long now in the hands of the Committee that it is most desirable that the Seanad itself should sanction the Standing Orders under which the future work of the Seanad will be carried on.

How would it be if we took them Standing Order by Standing Order, and if you put it to the Seanad then, does it agree with Order so and so, and if nobody objects we could pass them? Most of them are plain and simple, and they are extremely good Standing Orders, and we could always change them. under the conditions that you suggest, and with which I thoroughly agree. I would suggest that you begin with Order No. 1. Put No. 1, and let it be agreed, if there is agreement on it, and then put Order No. 2. You might agree on a certain number of them without any discussion whatever.

If you put that in the form of a motion and have it passed. There is a strong body of opinion in favour of your policy. If it were put as a motion that would be the best way of dealing with it.

I would move that your suggestion be adopted.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I believe myself it will facilitate the dispatch of business to do what I have suggested, and will improve the Standing Orders better than to have an alfresco debate to-day. Senators have not had until to-day a really accurate copy of these Standing Orders, and it is hardly fair to put them through to-day, because Senators have not had the facility for considering them as they should have. If you adopt them tentatively as Standing Orders for, say, two months, or even for a month, then if you like you can consider them in the meantime and give notice of the amendments you wish made in these Standing Orders. The Committee on Standing Orders can take them up and consider these amendments and report on them.

Perhaps it will simplify matters if we agree to that. If any Member of the Seanad has any objection to any particular Standing Orders he can draw your special attention to it. The first thing you want to do is to appoint a Standing Orders Committee.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I hope the Seanad will not think this is an opportunity for them to avoid considering the Standing Orders. I am quite certain that the united intelligence of the Seanad will discover errors and omissions that have been made in the present draft of the Standing Orders.

I understand the position now is that these Standing Orders are to stand provisionally for the next two months.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

That is the suggestion.

And at the end of that period we shall have an opportunity of making the Amendments.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I hope you will not wait until the end of the period of two months, but that you will make them in the meantime.

In that case, I withdraw my objection.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

The idea is, that you should not wait for two months to consider these Amendments, but that they should be sent in in the meantime.

There will have to be further Orders recommended by the Committee. One important one will have to deal with the question of the relations between the Seanad and the Dáil, as to which a joint conference, if necessary, should take place; and things of that kind will have to be put in our Orders. In the proposal from the Committee it is suggested that a new Stand ing Orders Committee, that is the Committee on Standing Orders, shall be appointed, and proceed to deal with the matter and report to the Seanad as soon as possible. It is quite likely that before the two months elapse you will have reports.

I cannot agree that that is the best course. I am inclined to think that we are too prone in these proceedings to shirk anything that means work. Now, the majority of the Senators have these proposals in their hands for the last 3 or 4 days. In the normal course they will never get much more time than that to consider them. I think there is nothing to prevent us going through them and passing as much of them as we consider proper, and making any Amendments we consider proper. That will not prevent a Committee being set up to consider any other Amendment that might be brought in. Now, what is the haste in regard to the dispatch of business that would make it necessary that we should adjourn these Standing Orders? We have not got a lot of business on the Orders of the Day that should keep us so very long. Why bring people from the farthest part of the country for a couple of hours' session and send them back again without doing the work here that can be done? We have work to do. We have been accused of being a bit slipshod in our methods. I do not agree with that, but I do not intend that we should lay ourselves open to any such accusation. In view of that fact that there is ample time to deal with the business I would strongly oppose the adjournment of the consideration of the Standing Orders for two months. and would earnestly urge the Seanad to come to grips with the business now, and proceed with the matters on the Order paper.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

Perhaps, if the Seanad is not agreed upon this matter, it would be better for us to proceed with the Agenda as it stands.

I would like to remark, as one who comes from the farthest part of the country, that I have only had three or four hours to examine or study these Orders.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I quite realise the position. Perhaps, in view of that, it is more prudent for us, if the Seanad agrees, that we go on now and take the Standing Orders in the order in which they are.

I quite agree with the suggestion made by the Chairman a while ago, that is, to accept these Standing Orders for two months, because I think that all the experience we will goin in the meantime will be of enormous value to us in the drafting of amendments for the final Orders. For that reason, I think, it is rather a pity that we should rush them through to-day without experience of their working. I hope the Seanad will take that into consideration.

I agree with Senator O'Farrell, who suggests a little work. Possibly some of the Senators have given this matter of the Standing Orders a lot of consideration. I had some suggestions, which possibly might meet with the approval of the Seanad. At present there is no provision for getting the Agenda down into the country. As it stands now, there is no arrangement by the Standing Orders to permit of our getting any Agenda in the country. I think it is well that the country Senators should get a copy of the Agenda, and have notice of it in time. There is no provision in the Standing Orders for that, and there are some little things of that kind which might arise from time to time, and which would facilitate a further action of the Committee. For that reason I support the suggestion of Senator O'Farrell, who said we should proceed to work.

I understood Senator O'Farrell to withdraw his motion.

Might I point out that the two courses are not contrary to each other, and that we should spend, as I had hoped we would spend, some time in discussing the report. That would not prevent further amendments, during the two months' period, from being taken up formally and a final decision being taken.

I entirely support the views expressed by Senator Mrs. Wyse Power. I think this copy of the proposed Standing Orders came to many of us rather late. I only got it at two o'clock to-day. I had not time to read one line of it. It is very unfair to rush the matter through now. The Senators should have at least an evening or night to give them an opportunity of reading through it carefully, and, with all due respect, I would ask you to take the vote of the Seanad.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I hope it will not be necessary to take the vote of the Seanad. There is tremendous force behind the argument that there are Senators here from different parts of the country who have come here to-day for the purpose of doing business, and the fact that we do discuss it to-day will not preclude any Senators during the two months from putting up any amendments that they think fit. In view of the possible criticism we might lay ourselves open to by an adjournment of the consideration of the Standing Orders, perhaps the Senators will agree that, on the whole, it is more prudent for us to take the Orders now without any division.

May I ask for information as to what is to be the nature of our discussion? Is it finally to settle the form of these Orders, or will there be an opportunity of comparing the Orders as a whole? Because it is quite possible that one Order which we have amended would conflict with another Order. There ought to be some opportunities of what I might call a second revision when we see the amended Standing Orders as a whole.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

Sir Nugent Everard, would that not be met in this way: If we go through them to-day one by one and then adopt them provisionally for two months?

That would be quite satisfactory and practicable.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

What I propose to do is, if there is no objection made to any order to pass on to the next.

Some of us would like to hear the Orders read out. If I cannot speak Irish myself, I would like to hear the right pronunciation of the words "Cathaoirleach" and "Leas-Chathaoirleach," and to hear them read by the Chairman.

Standing Orders 1 to 7 put and agreed to.

Standing Order 8:—

Sittings of Seanad Eireann.

"The meetings of Seanad Eireann when in Session shall, unless otherwise arranged, open punctually at 3 p.m. Should no date be fixed by the Seanad for the continuation of an adjourned meeting, the Cathaoirleach shall appoint a day for re-assembly."

Could the hour of meeting be altered and made a little earlier? Could we, for instance, meet 1½ hours before lunch? I do no want to press the matter, but it occurred to me that the present hour of meeting is rather late.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

Of course it would be open to the Seanad if any particular business were urgent to change the hour of meeting for a particular day, but I am afraid an earlier sitting would be very inconvenient for business members of the Seanad.

Would it be possible for members of the Seanad who live a considerable distance from Dublin, and who have difficulty in reaching the city, to receive earlier notice of the resumed meetings? Perhaps a little more notice could be given, together with some idea of the probable length of the sitting.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

As regards this meeting, I directed notices to be sent out fully ten days ago. As regards the other matter raised by Senator Jackson, it would be very difficult to give earlier notice and at the same time prophesy how long the sitting will last, because business will come in in the interval. Matters of various kinds will intervene to upset the prophecy. As far as I can possibly do it I shall certainly arrange the longest possible notice to be given to Senators, with an estimate of the length of time that will be occupied at a particular sitting.

I think the convenience of members of the Seanad would be met by a general, and not a fixed, rule regarding meetings. There is in Ireland at present a very large amount of essential legislation which is being prepared, and for week after week we will have legislation introduced here or in the Dáil. Tuesday or Wednesday should be the day on which the Seanad should commence its work each week.

Wednesday would be the most convenient day for those who have to come from the South.

While, of course, the difficulties of travelling to meetings are very great, they are no greater for the members of the Seanad than they are for the members of the Dáil. People who have accepted responsible positions will have to put up with a certain amount of inconvenience in the interests of the Nation. Standing Order 8 does not specify any particular day in the week. I would have a strong objection to postponing the meeting each week until Wednesday, and I would urge that this Order as it stands should pass. Let us try and make the very best of the difficult circumstances under which we are working.

It would be very desirable if Senators who live a considerable distance away would be notified of the date of meeting by wire, in view of the uncertainties that exist with regard to the post.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

The point raised by Senator Goodbody is a real one, and it might be met, though it involves a considerable outlay. As long as matters are in their present unsettled state perhaps the best thing would be to give Senators residing at a distance notification by wire as to the date on which the Seanad will re-assemble.

Standing Orders 8 to 13 put and agreed to.

Standing Order 14:—

"The Cathaoirleach shall examine every Notice of Motion to ensure that it shall be as brief as possible, and that it shall' contain no argument or personal imputation upon any member of the Oireachtas.

"The Cathaoirleach may amend any such notice, and may consult with the Senator with a view to securing its compliance with the Standing Orders. Should the responsible Senator object to such amendment he may withdraw the Motion."

I think it would make the order much clearer if after the word "Senator" in the second paragraph the words "responsible for same" were inserted.

I do not think we can accept that Order. After all we would be just as a lot of schoolboys in a class with the Chairman teaching us how to get along. This Order would mean taking the personal liberty of every member of the Seanad, and I am not prepared to accept it. It may be a question of taking an ordinary Senator's opinion against the Chairman's, but I think ordinary Senators are entitled to have their opinions on matters of this kind. If the notice complied with the Standing Orders I do not think that the Chairman would be entitled to strike it out or compel the Senator to withdraw it. Personally I will not subscribe to that. I believe that every Senator has sufficient sense of honour not to put down in a Notice of Motion anything that will impute wrong against any other Senator, or any member of the Dáil. I believe no member of the Seanad will put down long-winded resolutions that will make everybody tired. I do not think it should be at the discretion of any one member, even the Chairman, to interfere with the Notice of Motion.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

May I say that I do not covet the power at all. It was not introduced at my request or at my desire. In the House of Commons it is not the Speaker who rules on that matter, but the Clerk at the Table. That is subject to appeal to the Speaker. Here there is no power given to the Clerk; it is given to the Chairman.

And therefore there is no appeal.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

Personally I do not covet the power.

If notices of motion are somewhat cumbersome, or if some controversial points crop up, I think really the Chairman here should have the same power as the Clerk at the Table in the House of Commons.

I think it is most important that the Chairman should have this power. It is held by the Clerk of the House in other institutions. As a nation, we are both inflammable and given to making long-winded speeches, and I think we should have the usual restraints.

I would suggest that the latter part of the first paragraph should read: "Shall contain no argument or any personal imputation."

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I think if you made it read: "Shall contain no argument, or shall contain no personal imputation," it would be clearer

If the Chairman were to have the power of deciding on any motion, there would be no means for a Senator appealing. That is a position that should not be allowed to arise.

I think, if you look at the Standing Orders, certainly all the Standing Orders available for us, including those of the Senates of Canada and Australia, you will find that similar provision is made, and I think it would be impossible to conduct business and prepare an Agenda if the Chairman had not power to rule on the three grounds mentioned in the Standing Order, namely, that it shall be as brief as possible, that it shall contain no argument, and no personal imputation upon any member of the Oireachtas. I suggest that either by custom or by definitely introducing it in the Orders, it should be understood that if the Chairman has to veto a motion he should report the matter to the Seanad. That would be a safeguard for the Chairman and the members of the Seanad.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

The Seanad may be confident that the power given to the Chairman is not going to be abused. From what I know of the members of the Seanad, they would be only too glad to accept a suggestion from me if they saw their motion did not come within the Standing Orders.

In years to come there may be violent conflicts of opinion on matters that come before the Seanad and between members and the person acting as Chairman. For that reason I am opposed to giving such large powers to a Chairman.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I hope I will not be here when that conflict arises.

I hope you will. There are matters that will be discussed in the Seanad from time to time that, I suppose, will occassion violent conflicts of opinion. As Senator Yeats says, we are a very inflammable people. I suppose it is our nature to be so. There will be questions discussed on which there will be violent differences of opinion, and I, for one, do not wish to have members put in the position that, if they want to put down a motion on the Agenda, it will be subject to the Chairman's veto.

Would it meet Senator Farren's views if the Clerk were put in with the Chairman? The discussion calls back to my mind that, in my unregenerate days, I was constantly tripped up by a Standing Order of a somewhat similar nature in another Assembly. I was not allowed to put in anything of a personal nature in a notice of motion, and I sympathise with the view expressed by Senator Yeats, because I often felt extremely angry when not allowed to draft a question in a particular way, and when told by the Clerk at the Table of the House of Commons that my motion was out of order. I used to consider it a grievance, and in the nature of an insult, to be called to attention by the Clerk. I did not mind the Speaker. I looked on him as a respectable and fatherly man.

No Senator would be guilty of making an attack on another.

I think it would be sufficient if the powers of the Chairman were limited to examining every notice of motion and ensuring that it was drafted so as to contain no personal imputation upon any member, and complied with the Standing Orders. I think that would cover the whole point.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

That is a lame and impotent order. If he comes to the conclusion that it does some of these things, what is he to do?

Of course he rules it out, naturally.

In the event of a conflict of opinion between the Chairman and a Senator proposing the motion, I suggest that the matter be referred to a Committee selected by the Seanad.

Somebody must have the power to rule on notices of motion, and if you have not got it, to whom is it to be given?

There is an exactly similar rule in the Standing Orders of the Dáil, giving precisely the same power to the Chairman. If we wish to maintain equality with the Dáil, we should give you the same power as they give to their Chairman.

I think the power of the Chairman is restricted in the right of revision and amending of notices of motion, and this is clearly defined under three headings. If a notice of motion is not in compliance with the Standing Orders, clearly then he cannot accept it. A notice of motion must not contain any argument. The third heading was that it should contain no personal imputation. I think those three are clear. If he said any of those should be deleted in the interest of order and procedure and harmonious debate in this Seanad then there might be some grounds for his objection.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

The second paragraph was put in in relief of the Senator, that is to say, he is given an opportunity of coming and consulting with the Chairman and saying "What will put this right?" and the Chairman will say "Just strike out this or that." I should think that in 99 cases out of 100 that is the course the Chairman will take. That would be in relief of the Senator.

I suggest that this Order be passed subject to any verbal alteration that we may agree upon. This Seanad has elected you as Chairman, and has thought you a fit and proper person for that purpose. I am sure as Chairman you look upon yourself as the servant of this Seanad in all matters, and if you were to rule on matters of this kind in a way which gave dissatisfaction to the majority of the Seanad, the Seanad would very soon make themselves felt in the matter. I move that this Order, No. 14, be passed as it stands.

I second that.

Question put "That Standing Order 14 be accepted and passed."
Agreed.
Orders 15 to 20 inclusive, put and agreed to.
Standing Order 21.—
" A motion to rescind or amend a Resolution can only be made on notice that shall specify the Resolution to be rescinded or amended, and furnish the terms of the motion to be made; but no motion shall be allowed to appear on the Agenda Paper to rescind any Resolution of the Seanad within six months of the date of its adoption, except with the written assent of not less than twenty members of the Seanad."

I would like to lessen the number required to rescind a resolution. The Order says 20 members of the Seanad, that is one-third of the whole. It might be difficult to get 20 members. In the Dáil it is 25, about one-fifth of the whole. I suggest that we take one-fifth here, and make it 12 instead of 20.

I would oppose that on the ground that, as far as I can gather, the number named in the Dáil was to cover the number of representatives attending the Dáil at the present time, and would probably have been raised if there was any understanding that the full attendance of the Dáil would be available. I think it is only reasonable to require that before any resolution passed by the Seanad is allowed to be raised again and the whole thing gone over and discussed that at least one-third of the total membership should be behind the demand for re-opening the question.

Question put: "That draft Order No. 21 be agreed to."
Agreed.
Standing Order No. 22:—
" No Senator shall discuss a matter raised in any previous debate during the same Session upon a motion or Bill not being then under discussion, except by the indulgence of the Seanad for personal explanations.
" A Senator who has spoken on any matter, the subject of a motion, may not again enter upon it when speaking to the adjournment or to an amendment."

May I ask what this means? I am not quite clear about it: " No Senator shall discuss a matter raised in any previous debate during the same Session upon a motion or Bill not being then under discussion."

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

What that means is this—it is not clearly worded, and is ambiguous—what it means is that if a matter has been already raised upon a motion or Bill that cannot be raised again unless the same Bill is under discussion.

I understand now, but I think this should be amended to make that quite clear.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I think it is fairly clear. It means not being under discussion when a Senator tries to raise it a second time.

I suggest that we might refer this Order to the Committee on Standing Orders.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I shall undertake to call their attention to it.

Question put: "That Order No. 22 be agreed to."
Agreed.
Orders 23 and 24 also put and agreed to.
Standing Order No. 25:—
"Senators so withdrawn or suspended from attendance in the Seanad shall take no part in full meeting of the Seanad for the period of suspension determined by the Seanad; but they may continue to act on any Special Committees of the Seanad of which they may be members."

May I ask what is the meaning of "Shall take no part in full meeting of the Seanad." What does the word "full" mean?

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I think that means when there is a quorum, when there is business being transacted. I think the word "full" should be left out.

It might refer to the fact that you allow members suspended to attend Committees. I think that is quite obvious from the context. I think that is quite right.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

It is a contrast between a Committee and the Seanad.

Quite right, and may be left there.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

It might be as well to leave it out, because the contrast will exist.

It says: "They may continue to act on any Special Committees of the Seanad of which they may be members." That refers to Special Committees. It is to discriminate as between a meeting of the Seanad and a meeting of the Seanad having resolved itself into Committee, so that a member would be debarred from either attending a full meeting of the Seanad or a meeting of the Seanad in Committee.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

Will the word "ordinary" do? "Shall take no part in an ordinary meeting of the Seanad"?

The word "Special" is referred to in the whole of these Orders.

"In any meeting of the Seanad."

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

"Shall take no part in any meeting of the Seanad"— then the exception comes in. The word "any" I think will meet it.

Question put: "That Order 25, as amended, be agreed to."
Agreed.
Standing Order No. 26:—
"The Cathaoirleach is the sole judge of order in the Seanad, and has authority to suppress disorder and to enforce prompt obedience to his ruling."

I notice that this Order states that you have power to enforce obedience to your ruling. How is it proposed that you execute that ruling? In the original draft there was power to call in someone to help you.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

You are quite right to call attention to that. The reason it stands in its present form is that we have not made any Standing Orders providing for a regular custodian for the security of this Seanad. That we hope to do by arrangement with the Dáil, so as to avoid overlapping and duplication of expenditure. Accordingly, we deliberately omitted to put this in, but it is a matter that will certainly have to be arranged.

Question put: "That Order No. 26 be agreed to."
Agreed.
Order 27 put and agreed to.
Standing Order No. 28:—
When the motion: "That the question be now put" has been carried, and the question consequent thereon has been decided, any further motion may at once be made which may be requisite to bring to a decision any question already proposed from the Chair; and also, if a clause be then under consideration, a motion may be made:“That the question, ‘That certain words of the clause defined in the motion stand part of the clause,’ or ‘That the clause stand part of or be added to the Bill’ be now put.” Such motions shall be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate.

There is a small point I should like to make clear on this. Let us suppose that the closure was carried on an amendment in the beginning of a Clause. Does this Order mean that it would be impossible to move an amendment to anything subsequent to that closure motion?

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

No; I think what that means is this, if you were dealing with a particular clause or matter and the motion "That the question be now put" has been carried, then the motion putting the question has to be put at once.

That is all right, but it is a point you might also consider a little more fully. These small details of interpretation want to be watched carefully.

Question put: "That Order No. 28 be agreed to."
Agreed.
Standing Order No. 29 also put and agreed to.
Standing Order No. 30:—
Divisions.
"When any question is to be put to the Seanad the Cathaoirleach shall announce that ‘the question is that,' thereupon reading or stating the question, requiring that as many as are of that opinion shall say‘Tá’ and as many as are of contrary opinion shall say ‘Nil.’ He shall judge from the answers to his questions and declare which side, in his judgement, is in the majority. If the declaration of the Cathaoirleach as to his decision on a question be challenged, he shall order the Seanad to divide. The Clerk of the Seanad shall then call the roll of Senators, who shall reply ‘Tá’ or ‘Nil,’ as the case may be. The Clerk shall then hand a Division Paper stating the result to the Cathaoirleach, who shall announce the numbers to the Seanad, and declare the result of the division. In giving their votes Senators shall attend in their places, and rise when recording their votes.”

I want the Committee which will be going through these resolutions to consider whether "Tá" and "Nil" are the best answers to give when you put the question. I think "Beadh" and "Ni bheadh" are better. "Tá" and "Nil" are senseless in some cases.

I have an amendment to this Order, which is, after the word "challenged" in the middle of the paragraph, to insert the words "Or if any Senator demands a poll." As the Order stands no Senator can ask for a poll unless he challenges your ruling, which might be an implication on it.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I do not see what other way he could challenge it, except by asking for a poll.

If these words were inserted it will give the right to any Senator to demand a poll. There are some important divisions here where it is necessary to have the names of the Senators voting on each side.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

The only way you could challenge the Chairman's decision as to whether the "Ayes" or "Noes" have it is by demanding a division.

It sometimes happens that your decision as to the result of the poll might be correct and the obvious one, but Senators may desire to have the names recorded.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

But they can do that by challenging a division. The words "as to his decision on a question be challenged" will do no harm in the Order.

The words I wish inserted in substitution for these are "or if any Senator demands a poll."

I think that should be accepted. I think the point that Senator Linehan wants to make clear is that it is not to be taken as an imputation or any reflection upon the Chairman.

I wonder if that would lead to a waste of time, because in other Assemblies I have known it to happen that people call for a division to waste time. I think a division should be called for by more members than one. I would say by at least 5 members. Time might be frittered away by a Senator asking for a division on every matter that would arise.

Why not put it this way: "On a division being called for by the proposer and seconder?"

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

Supposing there is no proposer and seconder—your amendment would not cover that at all. Perhaps you would accept the suggestion of Senator Mrs. Wyse Power, which would meet the case, or say "or if three Senators call for a division," or "if three Senators rising in their places call for a division."

The original suggestion of the Senator who spoke last was five Senators rising in their places. I think five would be better.

I do not understand English very well, but I do understand that Order all right as it is. If a Senator wants to challenge a division let him.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

Whatever purpose a Senator has in his mind he can always get a division by challenging the decision of the Chairman. If he wants to have the votes recorded he can do it by challenging the Chairman's decision. I think it is wiser to leave it as it is.

Question put: "That Order 30 be agreed to."
Agreed.
Orders 31 and 32 agreed to.

I should like to say that we have done now very nearly half the list of Standing Orders. I do not think it was suggested that we should do the whole number to-day, as we have some other matters on the Agenda. Perhaps we could adjourn the rest of the Standing Orders until to-morrow.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

Perhaps you would allow us to get down as far as 38. That would be half of the list absolutely.

Some of these Orders are merely formal, and we ought to go on with them as long as we could.

Orders 33/35 inclusive agreed to.

Standing Order 36:—

"Committees shall, as far as possible, be representative of all parties of opinion in the Seanad."

I would suggest there that somebody be appointed to call these Committees together; it does not say in any of these Orders who is to call them together.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

It is the duty of the Clerk—it is the duty of the Officer of the Seanad and his Staff.

I have given notice of an addition to Order No. 36. That Order reads: "Committees shall, as far as possible, be representative of all parties of opinion in the Seanad." In order to carry out this, it will be necessary to know what are the parties in the Seanad. In order to ascertain that, I suggest the addition of covering words: "Provided that for the purpose of this Order no Senator shall be deemed to be a member of any party unless he shall have furnished in writing to the Clerk of the Seanad the name of the party to which he belongs." If it is necessary to have this rule in existence, it is necessary to know who the parties are. If you do not know that, you have not the matter clear.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

Supposing the party should consist of himself, how would you deal with it?

Would the word "Sections" not do?

I think this is really one of the most difficult Orders we have come to, because when you come to describe us here in the Seanad as belonging to parties you raise a serious question. I thought in the Seanad that you got away from parties, and that we were not going to have cliques, and that you would leave it to the good sense of the Seanad in that way to nominate a Committee. We have our own individual opinion about things. I do not believe there is any member of the Seanad at present sitting here who is belonging to a party, or in any way shaping his actions or votes in the interest of any party. But in the Standing Orders to admit a precedent that in the Seanad we are going to split into parties and the Senators are asked to state that they belong to such and such a party would be a great mistake. I think that is a great mistake, and if it is at all possible we should try to avoid any such statements about the Seanad.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

Would this meet your views: "The Committees, as far as possible, shall be representative of all interests"?

Would it be better to delete the whole Order?

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I think it would be better if you say the Committee shall be representative of all interests. There are certain distinct interests represented here. It occurred to me that there ought to be a direction to have regard to that fact.

Would you substitute for that "all shades of opinion"?

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

"Interests," I think, would do.

Supposing you were setting up a Committee on a special subject, say, of medical interest, for instance, why should engineering be represented on that Committee? I hope to have a Committee on Art. Should Engineering necessarily be represented on that?

I propose it be deleted altogether.

I second that.

Do not the Medical Profession practise on all sections of the community, and do not the Legal Profession practise on them, too? I do not think it is fair to delete this Order. I propose that "all interests" be substituted for "parties."

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

Would you add "so far as reasonable"?

Put in the word "interests" instead of "parties." We have no parties here now.

I would call for a vote on the resolution.

It is perfectly certain that some day or other we shall have to have some provision of the sort. I am not at all sure that we could not meet the situation perfectly and fairly by substituting the word "interests."

I think it would be better to rule it out, and for this reason: we have a Committee now to divide the Seanad into different Committees. It is hoped that each of these Committees will consist of all people interested in that particular branch of the subject. Senator Yeats has mentioned Art, for instance. The very purpose of these Committees would be completely upset by saying that on the subject of Art we must have medical men and lawyers, and Radicals and Tories and Sinn Feiners, and all other classes of people, and in matters of Engineering and other classes we would have the representatives of Art, and so on with Agriculture. But on Agriculture we have to have agriculturists of all opinions

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

As a matter of order, the question before the Seanad is the amendment to delete this

Would it meet the case if it read, "That the Committee shall, as far as possible, be representative of all interests concerned"—that is, concerned with the subject matter for which it would be formed. If there was a medical question, it would be useless to put a farmer on it, though I would be entitled to representation if all parties were entitled to representation.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

The objection to that is to make it exclusively consist of one set of interests. What you want to do would be done best in this way. "The Committee shall, as far as possible, contain representatives of the interests involved." Is there any objection to that?

I object to it. Surely any Committee appointed will be for some special object. This contains the imputation that you might appoint a Committee without any interest.

Amendment put: "That Order 36 be deleted."

The Seanad divided—Tá, 29; Nil, 10:—

TáJohn Bagwell.Thos. Westropp Bennett.Mrs. E. Costelloe.J. G. Douglas.Sir Nugent Everard.Dr. O. St. John Gogarty.J. P. Goodbody.Mrs. Alice Stopford Green.Capt. Greer.Sir John Purser Griffith.H. Seymour Guinness.B. Haughton.A. Jackson.A. Jameson.Sir John Keane.T. Linehan.Clayton Joseph Love.Ed. McEvoy.James McKean.E. MacLysaght.Sir Bryan Mahon.Colonel Moore.Michael O'Dea.B. O'Rourke.J.J. Parkinson.Col. Sir Hutcheson Poe.Mrs. Wyse Power.The Earl of Wicklow.W.B. Yeats.

Nil.Wm. Barrington.Dowager Countess of Desart.Sir T.H. Grattan Esmonde.Thos. Farren.C.J. Irwin.P.W. Kenny.Thos. McPartlin.George Nesbitt.J.T. O'Farrell.Dr. G. Sigerson.

CLASS="CP">Amendment declared carried
Orders 37 and 38 put and agreed to.