RESIGNATION OF A SENATOR.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I have to inform the House that I have received a letter from Colonel Sir Hutcheson Poë resigning his position on the Seanad, a letter which I think I ought to read:—

"Dear Lord Glenavy,—It will, no doubt, be within your recollection that in the early part of this year, when I thought of tendering my resignation I was persuaded by the kindly expressed wish of yourself and some other members of the Senate, to defer taking any immediate action.

Having, however, now entered on my 77th year, and finding it quite impossible, at such an age to uproot the home which circumstances obliged me to establish here, and to return to `Heywood,' I feel I am no longer justified in retaining a position, the duties of which I am unable to properly discharge.

Apart from the difficulties (in my case somewhat exceptional by reason of my age and physical disability) of giving regular attendance to the Senate, I feel I am placing myself in a false position, and one that is justly open to criticism, if I continue to occupy a seat when by so doing I exclude the services of some younger, and perhaps better qualified man, and who would probably welcome the opportunity of taking part in its administration.

In these circumstances, I have no alternative but to place my resignation in your hands, and to ask you to bring it before the Senate on the first opportunity.

In severing my connection with the Senate, it is no mere figure of speech to say that I do so with sincere and genuine regret, and with a warm and grateful appreciation of the invariable courtesy which has been extended to me, by you, sir, as Chairman, and by all the members of the Senate.

I shall always esteem it a privilege to have been permitted to take part, for however short a period, in the deliberations of the first constituted Senate of our country, and to have been associated in some small degree with a Ministry which, by its high ideals of policy, its courage, and its fearless determination to uphold the interests of all classes, has succeeded in re-establishing law and order, in the face of almost insuperable difficulties, and in restoring the country to a condition of peace and quietude, happily very different to that in which it found itself when it was first called upon to function.

Yours very sincerely,

Hutcheson Poë."

I take it I have the authority of the Seanad in writing to Sir Hutcheson Poe saying that we regretfully accept his resignation and part from him with the very greatest regret. I should mention that it is my duty now to fix a date for an election to fill the vacancy. I think, in view of the Christmas recess, the most convenient date I can fix would be the second Wednesday on which the House sits after the recess. I would remind the House that the date for the handing in of the nominations to fill the vacancy runs for seven days after the new election has been fixed, so the date for sending in nominations for the vacancy will run for the next seven days from the present date.

I think that is a very sudden and unexpected notice to send in the names within the next seven days.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

That is prescribed by the Standing Orders. I am only carrying out Standing Orders

The notice was only given to-day.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

Surely we must obey our own Standing Orders. The Standing Order says that the moment I receive notice of a vacancy I must inform the House. The next Standing Order says that, within seven days from the date of fixing the election, nominations have to be sent in. It is not my doing. I am only carrying out the existing Standing Orders under the orders of this House.