This Bill is intended to last for 12 months. A Bill may be introduced before that which will end the operations of this Bill and be a substitution for it. On that undertaking the Dáil did not give a detailed examination to the Bill. I would like to comment on two things. Section 4 is:
(1) The officers of the Civic Guard shall be divided into the several ranks specified in the First Schedule to this Act, and all such officers below the rank of Surgeon shall be appointed and may at any time be dismissed by the Executive Council, and may be from time to time promoted or degraded by the Commissioner in accordance with regulations made under this Act.
(2) The men of the Civic Guard shall be divided into the several ranks specified in the First Schedule to this Act, and shall be enrolled and appointed, and may be from time to time promoted, degraded or dismissed by the Commissioner in accordance with regulations made under this Act.
The Executive Council appoints officers of the Court under that Section. That preserves absolutely the principle that the Executive Authority wielded in the country is the delegated authority of the people. That may be said to be pooled in the Executive Council and delegated out to individuals. The position held by officers in the Civic Guard will be given by the Executive Council and can only be withdrawn by them. I want to make it clear here, as in the Dáil, that the Executive Council will act on the advice of the people who control the force. It would be a bad thing if in a young police force any idea was to prevail that there was to be an appeal from the decision of their authority. In practice there will not be any such appeal. It might happen that members of the force might think that they were able by establishing friendly contact with politicians to find a way out of any disciplinary difficulties they might get into.
That will not be the position. You cannot preserve a disciplined efficient force and proceed to undermine it by allowing personal connection to creep in. The Executive Council will act through well defined channels on the advice of its officials. I do not want to say that the Section is purely theoretical, but I say to a very large extent the Executive Council will act on the advice of the person at the head of that police force. Senators might be interested in the declaration taken by members of the Guard. It is in the Second Schedule to the Bill. It is proposed to have 807 stations established in the country, and we think that will be sufficient for its requirements. At the moment we have between five and six hundred and we are going on with the distribution of the force. I am glad to inform you that the general discipline efficiency and morale of the Force is eminently satisfactory. The people have been co-operating loyally with the Force and have shown that a responsible civic spirit is asserting itself in the country. That is perhaps the most healthy symptom we have at the moment, the manner in which the people realise that those men unarmed amongst them weilding an authority and power which is really their delegated power and authority and are enforcing laws which have the sanction of their members in Parliament. I think the civic spirit will grow, and if it does, the future of the country is assured despite the adverse conditions associated with the birth of this new State.