Skip to main content
Normal View

Seanad Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 2 May 1951

Vol. 39 No. 12

Arts Bill, 1951—Second and Subsequent Stages.

Question proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

The Bill, as its Long Title demonstrates, is "an Act to stimulate public interest in, and to promote the knowledge, appreciation and practice of, the arts and to establish an arts council". The Bill itself gives a fairly comprehensive definition of the expression "the arts". It includes within its scope matters which ordinarily would not fall within the scope of an expression like "the fine arts". The fine arts will include painting, sculpture, architecture, and the visual arts generally. An extended meaning to the expression "the arts" is given by the definition clause, to include not merely the visual arts such as painting, sculpture and architecture, but also to include music, drama, literature and, in particular, design in industry and the fine arts and applied arts generally. Therefore, the Bill in its scope applies to the visual arts and it applies to drama and literature, and it also applies to design in industry and the applied arts generally.

The Bill proposes to set up a council which will be an incorporated body and will have a director and 11 unpaid members-six nominated in accordance with paragraph (4) of the Schedule by the Government and five co-opted in accordance with the procedure set out in paragraph 5. The general scope and purpose of the council in its work is set out in Section 3. It provides that the council shall, in such manner as the council shall see fit, stimulate public interest in the arts, promote the knowledge, appreciation and practice of the arts, assist in improving the standards of the arts and organise or assist in the organising of exhibitions (within or without the State) of works of art and artistic craftsmanship. The council is also to advise the Government or a member of the Government on any matter (being a matter on which knowledge and experience of the arts has a bearing) on which their advice is requested.

The Bill as it has finally emerged from the Dáil is one which I personally think and which I suggest to Senators is in a very satisfactory state. The council which is to be set up is practically an autonomous body, deliberately designed to have a considerable amount of freedom in its actions and calculated to work in a way that will not be hampered by undue interference by any Department of State and particularly the Department of Finance. In effect, the Council so far as its liaison or contact with the Government is concerned, is responsible through the Taoiseach to the Government.

When it was originally introduced into the Dáil the amount of money that was provided for the activities of the council was limited to the sum of £20,000 per annum. As a result of discussion in the Dáil, the financial provisions contained in Section 5 were altered. There is now no ceiling to the amount of money that may be granted by the Oireachtas to this council annually and the only financial control is that which is exercised by the Government through the Taoiseach. That represents really a fundamental principle in the Bill, a principle that art has to be encouraged by the State in modern conditions and in modern circumstances, but art and all works connected with artistic activities, while being encouraged to the greatest possible extent by the State, should never be controlled by the State. That is one of the great principles embodied in this Bill.

I assume that Senators have read the report of Dr. Bodkin prepared at the request of the Government. He reported in September, 1949. That report had terms of reference which, I think, I need not here repeat. They were comprehensive terms of reference and the subject matter was referred to Dr. Bodkin for his advice and his assistance on all matters connected with the state of art in Ireland and of our artist institutions. This country was very fortunate, indeed, that we had at our disposal a man of the wide knowledge of art and the history of art who was prepared to give us the benefit of his experience and his knowledge and to attach to the report the value of the enormous international prestige which he enjoys not merely as a professor of Fine Arts but also as Director of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in the University of Birmingham and one who has an international reputation as an expert in artistic matters and an unrivalled knowledge of the history of art. In this report he has very frankly set forth his views on the condition of art in Ireland. For us it does not make very happy reading, nevertheless, I think we have to admit that the criticism he makes and the comments that are contained in his report are well founded. When he says that no other country in Western Europe cared less or gave less for the cultivation of the arts than our own country, we have to accept that as a valid criticism and having accepted it see what we can do to remedy that deplorable state of affairs.

Efforts have been made, since the establishment of this State, to do something for our artistic institutions, the National Gallery of Art, the School of Art, Hibernian Academy, National Museum and other institutions throughout the country. They all ended in futility. So far as I was personally concerned, it was one of my personal ambitions to see that that state of affairs, so far as I could achieve it, was remedied. This Bill, merely a beginning and modest as it is, is, at least, a constructive effort to stop the rot and to remedy the failure that has persisted for so long here to do something for the encouragement of our own native talents and for the betterment of our artistic institutions.

We have, I believe, in this country great art treasures. They are very little known, scarcely appreciated. Little attention has been given to the dissemination of knowledge of the art treasures that we do possess and, very little effort has been made to inculcate in our people a knowledge and an appreciation of visual arts.

There is another object in this Bill, one which is, perhaps, a little bit more material than the first object that this Bill sets out to achieve, the knowledge and appreciation of fine arts, the cultivation of our native talents and, we hope, genius. We hope an effort will be made, when this council is established, to bring some appreciation to our industrialists of the vital importance to our country of the application of art to industry. Later on I hope to say a little more about that very important aspect of this Bill.

I said that one of the fundamental principles of this Bill was that the council should be as free as possible from State interference or State control. We have in this country, unfortunately, very few, if any, people whose resources enable them, or who are inclined if they have resources, to endow our art institutions or our schools of art or architecture. The State, therefore, must come in to aid, assist and encourage, but having done that they must step out of the picture and leave to the council the task of encouraging our young people who have latent talent and possibly genius to develop that talent and find an outlet for that genius in painting, in architecture, in the applied arts and design and subsequently, we hope, in literature and the drama.

While, as I stated at the outset, the definition of the arts in this Bill is pretty wide, embracing a number of matters other than the visual arts, nevertheless, I did envisage that the primary purpose at the outset of this council would be to encourage the fine arts and the applied arts and that it may take some little time to reach the point, if I may use that expression, of literature and drama. At all events, we hope to sow the seeds from which some useful growth will emerge. It is well known that the National Gallery of Art, though we have, as I have stated, wonderful treasures of art, has been starved and shamelessly neglected since the establishment of this State. The amount of money allocated each year for the upkeep of the Gallery and for the purchase of pictures has been insignificant, and when you consider the matters referred to in Dr. Bodkin's report as to the amount of money spent by countries abroad on art and design in industry and the applied arts, the conclusion is inescapable that we have been utterly neglectful of our duties in those respects during the past 25 or 30 years.

Small countries like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Holland all spend relatively large sums of money on visual art and applied art. Vast quantities of money are spent by France and Great Britain, and we may assume that it is not all for idealistic purposes or to encourage matters of the spirit, so that those people who may possibly think that, in circumstances like the present, in difficult times when there are many problems, social, economic and financial, which require urgently to be treated, it is somewhat a waste of time to introduce a Bill of this character should take pause when they consider that not merely is there a spiritual benefit derived from the expenditure of these vast sums of money in other countries but that there is also a very material advantage accruing from their expenditure.

Successive Governments during the past 28 years or so, since the establishment of the State, have endeavoured to set up industries in this country. Possibly owing to the difficulty of the task and possibly for other reasons, we have been very largely influenced in the matter of these industries by the very materialistic traditions of the 19th-century industrial growth. We have neglected the very wide scope there is for us to make use of the applied arts, the application of art to our industries and the establishment for ourselves of industries of a character that will, when the arts are applied to them, produce for us industrial products of sufficiently high artistic design as to command a very large export trade. The industrialists of America, and, with far-seeing vision, the industrialists of Sweden, spent quite some considerable amount of money in securing proper designs for their industries, and the Swedish glass industry has now achieved for itself world-wide renown and for the Swedish nation an asset of very considerable value.

That is a field that is open to us here and these two branches of the work the Council will have to do work into the same root and grow towards the same object. You cannot have art properly applied to industry unless you have the conditions in which artists can develop their talent and genius, in which the public have a decent appreciation of art. If there are these opportunities for our young people, if there is design of the highest class and if the public have an artistic appreciation and critical faculty, properly developed, there is, I believe, a wide scope for vast expansion of our industries if the arts are properly applied to them.

I should like to express my own and my colleagues' appreciation of the manner in which this Bill was received by Deputies of all Parties in Dáil Eireann. It was given unanimous approval at all stages and eventually emerged from the Dáil a better Bill than it was when originally introduced. I commend it to Senators as a beginning, as an effort to do something which is long overdue, as something which, if put into proper working order, and given the necessary encouragement by the people, as well as by the Government, will bring great advantage and bear great fruit for our people in the material sense, and, more particularly, in the spiritual sense.

Ba cheart dom a rá, ar an gcéad dul síos, go bhfuil fáilte mhór againn ar an taobh seo den Seanad roimh an mBille seo. Ag an am chéanna, ba mhaith liom a rá ar mo shon féin, go bhfuil aiféala orm go bhfuil an Bille os ár gcomhair inniu. Níor cuireadh an Bille tríd an Dáil go dtí tráthnóna inné agus ní dóigh liom gur nós inmholta é Bille a rittear sa Dáil lá go dtabharfaí isteach sa Seanad an lá dár gcionn é mura bhfuil Bille ann a bhfuil deifer an-mhór leis. Ar chaoi ar bith, is é an sórt Bille é seo nach gá dúinn móran a rá ina thaobh. Chomh fada agus a bhaineann liomsa, níl insan mBille ó cheart ach aon airteagal amháin, Airteagal 3, agus níl fhios agam an bhféadfaí cur leis mar atá sé. Dá bhféadfaí féin, is ar éigin is gá é, mar sílím ó na pointí atá luaite ann go gcuireann sé ar chumas na ndaoine a bheas i bhfeighil na hInstitiúide nua seo alán a dhéanamh ar son na gcuspóirí atá luaite ag an Taoiseach.

Tá an Bille riachtanach. Mar adúirt an Taoiseach, níl cúrsaí ealaíon á gcur chun cinn sa tír an oiread agus ba chóir ó tháinig an Stáit i réim. Ina dhiaidh sin, ba deacair locht a chur, b'fhéidir, ar Rialtas ar bith faoi sin. Dúradh é sin go minic insan Dáil agus níor mhiste é a rá anseo, Sílim, má tá milleán le cur ar aon aicme mar gheall ar fhaillí a dhéanamh i gcúrsaí ealaíon insan tír, nach ar an Rialtas ach ar an bpobal i gcoitinne is ceart an milleán sin a chur. Is fíor nach ndearnadh mórán ach ag an am chéanna, cuid againn a bhfuil spéis againn i mbrainse áirithe oideachais, ní féidir linn gan moladh a thabhairt do mhúinteoirí áirithe agus do mhúinteoireacht áirithe insan tír a rinne cuid mhaith leis an chúis atá molta ag an Taoiseach a chur chun cinn le blianta fada.

Níos mó ná uair amháin dúirt mé insan Seanad go mbfhiú do na Seanadóirí níos mó spéise a chur i ngluaiseacht an Cheard-Oideachais agus an Ghairm-Oideachais. Dá gcuirfidís, chífeadh siad an tsár-obair a bhí ar bun insna scoileanna sin agus atá á dhéanamh ag na múinteoirí chun gach gné den ealaín a chur chun cinn.

Do dhein an Taoiseach tagairt don ghá atá ann do lucht gnótha agus trádála agus do dhéantóirí spéis a bheith acu san abhar atá dhá phlé againn faoi láthair. Ní foláir dúinn a rá gur dhein na Scoileanna Gairm-Oideachais obair mhaith sa tslí sin. Do chuir siad múinteoirí ealaíon ag obair ar fud na tíre trí chéile ach is trua nár chuireamar an oiread díobh ag obair agus ba mhaith linn. Do mhúin siad líníocht agus ní hamháin é sin ach do rinne siad a ndícheall chun a chur ar eolas do dhéantóirí chomh tábhachtach is a bhí sé go mbéadh suim acu i gcúrsaí cluana agus deartha. Do rinne siad iarracht ar na daoine a spreagadh chun an tsuim sin a bheith acu san obair.

Ag an am chéanna, caithfimid bheith buíoch as ucht an mhéid oibre a rinne an Brainse Ceard-Oideachais den Roinn Oideachais le blianta sa chúrsa seo. Do chuir an Brainse Ceard-Oideachais, an Scoil Ealaíon agus na Ceard-Scoileanna tríd an tír taispeántaisí ar bun agus sa tslí sin do taispeánadh na pictiúirí dob fhearr a bhí le fáil ar fud na tíre. Do bhí mé féin i láthair ag cuid de na taispeántaisí sin. Ba chúis áthais agus ríméid dhom chomh maith is a mhúin na múinteoirí ealaíon insna Scoileanna Gairm-Oideachais tábhacht agus áilleacht na bpéintéireachtaí do na daoine a tháinig chun iad a scrúdú Má chuir sin áthas agus ríméad orm do chuir sé níos mó ríméid orm an líon daoine a tháinig ón tuaith go dtí na Scoileanna Gairm-Oideachais ó cheann oeann na tíre chun na pictiúirí a scrúdú agus chun éisteacht leis an múineadh fúthu ós na múinteoirí ealaíonn. Ná ceapadh an Taoiseach nó éinne eile nach bhfuil suim ag na daoine ins an tuaith agus sna cathracha insan obair seo. Tá suim mhór acu innti, agus bí cinnte go dtabharfadh an pobal cabhair chun an obair seo a thabhairt chun críche. Tá mórán rudaí ins an tír seo go mba chóir dúinn maíomh astu—agus na daoine a thug iadsan chun críche is beag a fuair mórán díobh as an obair. Dá bhrí sin, ar ócáid mar seo, ba chóir dúinn buíochas a ghabháil leo. Cuimhnímís ar ár bpictiúirí. Is beag a fuair na h-ealaíontóirí as na hoibreacha áilne a thug siad dúinn. Níl duine de na daoine sin gur féidir a rá go bhfuil ioncam seasmhach réasúnta aige as a chuid oibre. Mar sin féin, leanann siad leis an ealaín, bíodh gur féidir leo eirí aisti agus obair a dhéanamh le lucht trádála. Tá mé ag smaoineamh ar dhaoine mar Sheán Céitinn agus Muiris Mac Conghaile. Tá obair bhreágh déanta acu. Níl siad ag faíl an íocaíocht ba chóir dóibh a fháil as an obair atá ar siúl acu chun a thaispeáint dóibh go bhfuilimid buíoch díobh as ucht a gcuid oibre. Tá mé ag cuimhneamh ar dhaoine mar Harry Clarke agus an obair áluinn atá déanta aige—na seoda a dfhág sé insna séipéil agus na hinstitiúidí. Dob fhiú do dhaoine dul na mílte agus na mílte míle slí chun féachaint ar an obair sin. Tá mé ag cuimhneamh ar an obair atá déanta ag an Dun Éimir Guild, Belleek Industries, Cuala Studios, agus mar sin. Na hoibreacha a luaigh an Taoiseach, tá siad ar siúl acu san.

Tá súil agam go mbeidh toradh chomh maith ar a laghad ar obair na Comhairle atá dhá cur ar bun againn is a bhí ar obair na ndaoine a luaigh mé agus a rinne siad gan chabhair. Tá cuid mhaith oibre déanta cheana féin, bíod is go raibh constaicí móra le sárú. Le cúnamh Dé beidh bláth maith ar an obair seo agus má bhíonn bímís buíoch des na daoine a luaigh mé agus a luaigh an Taoiseach.

Rinne an Taoiseach tagairt don mhéid airgid atá ag dul don Chomhairle faoin mBille seo. Do déanadh tagairt don srian atá leis an méid sin airgid. Bímís cinnte go mbeidh na daoine ar an gComhairle sin curamach leis an airgead. Bhí baint agam féin uair amháin le fundúireacht go raibh airgead ag dul dí ón Stát. Tá fhios agam chomh cúramach is a bhí an institiúid sin i gcúrsaí airgid agus chomh cúramach is a bhí siad gan oiread is scilling a iarraidh nach raibh ag teastáil go géar uathu. Bímís cinnte go mba mhaith é gan srian a bheith ar an méid airgid atá ag dul don Chombairle seo. Má iarrann siad aírgead ní bheidh siad mí-réasúnta. Dúirt an Taoiseach go dtabharfadh an Stát eabhair go dtí go dtiocfadh na daoine chun an chabhair sin a thabhairt. Níl dul as sin agus an slí ina bhfuil an domhan faoi láthair. Dob fhiú dóibh siúd go bhfuil suim acu in oideachas agus in ealaín a theagasc do mhuintir na hÉireann go mba rud onórach é airgead a bhronnadh ar institiúid agus fundúireachtaí a bhaineas le oibreacha ealaíon. Beidh Bille ós ár gcomhair i gcionn tamaill a bhaineann le eastáit agus uachta. Bfhéidir go bhféadfaimís a shocrú go mbeadh faoiseamh ó cháin ar an gcuid sin den eastát a bronnfar le haghaidh cuspóirí ealaíon agus oideachais. Ní foláir dúinn teagasc a thabhairt do mhúintír na tíre agus is é cuspóir an Bhille seo ná go mbeidh súim acu insan obair seo.

Mar shampla anuraidh chaith mé tamaill i mBreatain na Fraince. Rud a thug an-shásamh dom sa dúthaigh sin chomh mór is a bhí speís ag lucht gnótha i gcúrsaí ealaíon fré chéile. Bfhéidir gurb é an chaoi nár casadh orm acht scoth na ndaoine, ach bhí mé tré na lán tithe agus dob é an rud ba mhó a raibh fonn ar mhuintir an tí a thaispeáint dom ná píosaí dealbhadóireachta—cloch ná umha greásta nó obair adhmaid—a chuireadar féin dhá ndéanamh, pictiúirí de gach sórt a cheannaíodar ar na taispeántaisí nó a d'ordaíodar ó pheintéirí agus a leithéidí sin. Ní dóígh liom gur chorrdhaoine iad; sílim go mbaineann sé le muintir na Breataine, duine ar bith a bhfuil an t-airgead le spáráil aige. Bfhiú dúinne—agus dfhéadfaí an obair a dhéanamh sa mBille seo—a leithéid chéanna teagaise a thabhairt do mhuintir na hÉireann, ionas go mbeadh meas acu ar na nithe sin agus go dtuigfeadh siad gur onóir dóibh cuidiú le lucht ealaíon, gach brainse de.

Níl rud ar bith sa mBille a bhaineann le litríocht na Gaeilge, le ceól nó le drámaíocht. Is locht é ar chuid mhór de mhuintir na hÉireann a bhfuil an gustal, an t-airgead, an acmhainn acu nach gcuidíonn siad le litríocht, le ceól nó le drámaíocht ar an mbealach a déantar i dtíortha eile agus ar an mbealach ba chóir dóibh cuidiú leis. Is truagh liom nach bhfuil réiteach déanta do mhíreanna seo na healaion, na litríochta agus na drámaíochta Gaeilge agus a leithéidí sin.

Tá trácht faoi dhrámaíocht ann, sa chéad alt—drámaíocht agus litríocht—Ghaeilge agus Béarla.

Tá súil agam go mbeidh muid i ndán rud éigin fónta a dhéanamh ar son litríochta agus drámaíochta i nGaeilge. Céard is féidir a dhéanamh is doilí a rá. Dá n-iarrtaí ormsa nó ar an Taoiseach cén chaoi a bhféadfaí mír a 3 a chur i ngníomh d'abródh sé mar a n-abróinn féin gur deacair é a dhéanamh nuair nach bhfuil mé im údar ar na hábhair sin; is ceist í a fágfar faoin gComhairle nua. Pé ar bith a dhéanfas an Chomhairle i gceist na drámaíochta agus na litríochta Gaeilge cuimhnigh go gcaithfidh treoir a theacht ón Rialtas. Tá mé ar an dtuairim nach féidir leis an Rialtas an Ghaeilge a shábháil nó drámaí foirfe a chur chun cinn i nGaeilge, ach féadfaidh siad i gcónaí a chur i gcéill go bhfuil spéis mhór acu iontu agus fonn mór orthu go rachadh siad chun cinn agus rud ar bith a bfhéidir leo a dhéanamh go ndéanfadh siad é mar Rialtas nó mar Airi go pearsanta.

Ní dóigh liom gur cheart dom an Seanad a choinnéail níos faide le caint ar an mBille seo, ach is maith liom go bhfuil an Bille ann agus molaim an Taoiseach mar gheall ar an mBille a thabhairt isteach. Tá súil agam nár cheap sé aon uair go gcuirfeadh an ghluaiseacht pholaitíochta a mbaineann mise léi i gcoinne tairiscint mar seo mar bhí rún againne i gcónaí an obair seo a chur chun cinn. Muna raibh an deis againn féin an Bille a thabhairt isteach is cúis truaighe dhúinn é. Tá súil agam go mbeidh toradh air fé mar atá an Taoiseach ag súil leis. Féadaimse a gheallúint: rud ar bith is féidir linne a dhéanamh mar ghluaiseacht pholaitíochta nó mar dhaoine, mar shaoránaigh, mar chathraitheoirí, déanfar é le obair agus le cuspóir an Bhille seo a chur chun cinn. Tá súil agam go bhfeicfidh an Taoiseach an lá a bhéas sé bródúil as an lá a thug sé an Bille seo isteach.

Mr. O'Farrell

I welcome this Bill for many reasons, but I welcome it especially for what is stated, that one of the purposes of the new Arts Council should be to improve the standards of the arts and to promote knowledge, appreciation and practice of the arts. I am not particularly concerned with sculpture, painting or architecture. Those things somehow always get, if not the attention they deserve, at least a considerable amount of attention, but I am concerned with raising the standards of design in industry and with the application of art and design to industry. I do not know exactly how this council proposes to carry out its functions. I do not know whether it will be able to award scholarships or studentships or give financial assistance to people who are studying art in one form or another. I hope they will, but I hope that the council will not be composed of cranks and that cranks will not have the monopoly on it. Whenever you talk about art in this country or in any country with which I am familiar it is the cranks who do the talking and who are called artists. The definition of artist nowadays is a man with long hair or a woman with short hair; they seem to need no other qualifications than that. When I see pictures exhibited by a lot of modern artists I wish that we had not any modern art. They are not painting; they are not pictures. If anything at all, they are a puzzle.

I should like this country to develop an artistic conscience and an artistic outlook. There is nothing distinctive in our art at present. Our generation has given nothing you could call artistic to Ireland or to the world. We are living on the reputation of the past, on dead designs. If you talk about Irish art you mean the remains of Irish churches and monasteries, a few round towers, a few Celtic crosses and the illumination of the Books of Kells. We have nothing apparently newer than that to talk about. Everything else we have is imitative, and I am afraid that too often we imitate not the best but the worst the world has to show. Even in literature we have nothing to boast about for the past 40 or 50 years, perhaps a poet or two, but beyond that very little. There has been nothing worth while in my generation, in my opinion, in the drama.

I will leave those things, however, which have been dealt with and talked about by others and go back to applied art. We have no artistic appreciation, no realisation of the importance or significance of art in our daily life. The houses we build now are built by mass production. They are built in the cheapest possible way without any design, any decoration and sometimes even without any consideration of their functional value. We pack our people into square boxes built as cheaply, as rapidly and as nastily as possible and then wonder why our people have not got an artistic outlook on life. I think that other generations were far more artistic and that the artistic sense was more deeply rooted in them than anything is rooted in us to-day. I can remember even as a small boy when going around in the country through the farms, a man was not satisfied to put up just a rick of straw or a rick of hay-there was a certain amount of craftsmanship and design, of delight and beauty, in the finished article. He did not just throw the hay or straw in a heap and leave it there. There was design in everything—and where there is design there is good art.

Let us go back in history as far as human knowledge can go. I suppose that the first wheeled vehicle designed was the wheelbarrow. It was so perfect in design and so good for its purpose that it has never been improved on, and the only thing they have done is to put a rubber tyre on the wheel. The scissors has never been improved on. The three-legged pot, so perfect for its purpose and so full of beauty of its own and in its utility too, is another example. The spoon you stir your tea with, the first time it was designed it was perfect. We do not aim at perfection or beauty now. We aim at utility and utility never gives good design or, satisfactory quality.

I do not suggest we should go out to design everything anew for ourselves, but there should be something distinctive in our life, in our outlook, if as we claim we are different from other people, different because of our historical associations, different because we live in this country, different because of our blood, our breeding, our, hardships and our outlook. What is there to show we are different? We have not anything. We had Irish tweed, lace, a few things that were distinctively Irish, years ago, but we have none of these things now. The very hand-spun industry has been killed by bad workmanship and design and by producing for a cheap market.

If we had kept up the quality of our woollen goods-and there was a time when we had to struggle to produce any woollen goods-Irish tweed could have a reputation the world over that it would deserve and that it has not got because it does not deserve it. I hope more attention will be paid, therefore, to the application of design in industry and applied art and not merely to splashing any colour on canvass or cardboard. We are inclined to enhance the value of a man who paints a picture on a piece of cardboard or on a piece of canvass and put too small a value on the man who produces a beautiful article whether it be a curtain, a tweed suit or a wheelbarrow. Much more could be done in this country, and I hope the council will devote some attention to it, in the matter of church ornamentation and design. Inside our churches not enough is done for the encouragement of Irish artists. It is imitation where it is not importation. We import our statues and where we do not import we imitate things from abroad. A nation which divorces art from craftsmanship is doomed to become deadened. When I look around this room and look at the ceiling above me, I say that that is no artist's work, that it is the work of an artist craftsman. No man could sit in his office or studio with a piece of paper and design something like that: the man who designed that and the man who carried it out knew what plaster was capable of doing. He had to know his materials as well as know his art. Some of our best artists were always craftsmen. I would like to see that our artists were craftsmen still and that our craftsmen were artists.

I have a distinct grievance against some of the industrialists, in that they do not promote anything to encourage young Irish artists. That applies not not merely to the industrialists but to the commercial studios. I have known young men to study and go to the College of Art, even to exhibit a picture or have it taken and exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy, and go on further to the technical schools and do a course of commercial art; and when they look for a job in the city as commercial artists there are asked for £300. They presented their credentials and indicated what they had learned and they were told that it was not worth a button to them, that if they were not trained in England or abroad the firm had no use for them. I know one of those men—he is my son, and I have no grievance about him and am not looking for a job for him. He decided that if the people to whom he applied did not want him he would make a living for himself and is doing so as an artist and craftsman. I am merely mentioning it because I had to keep him and pay his fees, and even when he had a picture accepted at the Royal Hibernian Academy he was asked for £300 to begin his teaching over again. There is no encouragement being given to our Irish artists and no encouragement to applied art in this country. I hope that this state of affairs is not going to apply to other people.

I am delighted that, whatever else we may have had a hand in passing since we came into the Seanad, I can always look back and say that this Bill was passed while I was in the Seanad and I think it is one of the most important Bills that has come before this House since the last election. I attach more importance to it for the future of Ireland, for the reputation of Ireland and for the industrial future of Ireland, than to any other Bill we have passed here. We should build up a reputation for ourselves in appreciation of art in this country and if we can do that within our own country we will get a reputation abroad which will have a financial advantage.

There are one or two points which are proper to the Committee Stage but I wish to mention them now so that the Taoiseach may think over them before the Committee Stage is reached, which I believe will be later to-day. I would like to add my views to the general chorus of congratulation on the excellent Bill which the Taoiseach has brought before the House. The Bill was originally good when brought before the Dáil, but it has been greatly improved in its passage through the Dáil. The attitude of the various Parties there, in its their efforts to amend and improve it, augurs well for the future success of the new organisation. I particularly welcome the Taoiseach's narrowing of the functions of the institution in its early stages. It would be impossible to find any director who would be equally capable of directing the very large number of activities in the original definition, but I take it from what the Taoiseach says that that difficulty has been foreseen and will be met.

There is a small matter in the Schedule which I would not refer to now but for the fact that we may be taking the Committee Stage to-day and I would like the Taoiseach to have notice of it. Regarding paragraphs 4 and 5, dealing with the membership of the council, I would suggest that members should not retire at the same time. There is something to be said for a certain staggering, to give continuity of administration and policy. I belong to several councils of this kind and can say from experience that where a small number retire each year it is much more satisfactory than when a council goes out en bloc and a new one comes in in the same way. The complete changing of membership is embarrassing for the director and bad for the continuity of policy.

There is another matter, one of general principle. In these hard times, with rising prices, high taxation and high income-tax, when professional people are asked to give their services they might reasonably expect some small fee. That matter was discussed in this House on the Nurses Bill. I feel that it is unfair at a time like this to ask professional people, who have very little opportunities of making additions to their income, to give their highly skilled professional services without some small remuneration in return. I just mention that because I think it is a matter of general principle. I hope the Taoiseach, when nominating the council, will appoint people generally cultivated rather than experts in particular fields to assist the director. Those are two or three little points that arise in connection with the Schedule. I draw the Taoiseach's attention to them at this stage in order to give him an opportunity of considering them before the Schedule is reached in the evening.

I want to say a few words in connection with this Bill. I welcome it. I think it is a step in the right direction. As a craftsman, I would like to approach the Bill from the point of view of a craftsman. I am a bookbinder and I am the secretary of the Bookbinders' Union. I am very much impressed by the suggestion in the Bill to stimulate interest in the arts, particularly in relation to craftsmanship. I have seen craftsmen who were artists and artists who were craftsmen in the bookbinding industry. Now, unfortunately, that art is a dying art and everyone has added his bit to the debasing of that art, particularly the Stationery Office. It was not a question of getting an artistic job but getting a cheap job done. I am afraid that employers are not to be blamed for turning out a cheap job.

We hear a lot about the Book of Kells and the Four Masters. I suggest that if the Four Masters and the monks who wrote the Book of Kells were asked the following morning for their time-sheet, I am afraid we would not have much of the art to be seen in these productions. The Four Masters and the monks who wrote the Book of Kells are not remembered for what they wrote but rather are they remembered for the way in which they decorated what they wrote. It was an appreciation of the artistic manner in which they did the job that has assured the work of the Four Masters and the Book of Kells remembrance to the present day.

On this question of arts, as Senator Séamus O'Farrell has mentioned, people are expected to visualise artists as persons with long hair who live in the clouds. The common herd are supposed to know nothing about art. I had an experience in that regard which shook me to my foundations. I was appointed by the Corporation to the Committee of the Municipal Art Gallery. Regularly at the meetings we had presentations of paintings. I understand that the Municipal Art Gallery is chock full of paintings that are not good enough to be put on the walls, either that or else there was no room for them. Three or four paintings were exhibited. One of the paintings depicted the head of a Connemara woman. I was very much impressed by it and I said to a professor who was standing beside me: "That is a splendid picture.""It is," he said, "but it is not art." What is art? I did not know. It appeared a pleasing picture. You have that mentality applied to many things. The man in the street who knows nothing about art could tell you whether it was a good or a bad picture.

The Bill tends to help Irish artists, Irish writers, Irish sculptors. I hope that the council will do a good job when set up and not be encouraging writers, artists and others to go out of this country to vilify and belittle it. Over the last 30 years, we have had writers, particularly, who made their money in this country and then went out of it and blackguarded the people and everything the people held dear. If it is proposed to help Irish students, I hope that these students, when they are assisted, will help the people of this country and the country generally.

I do not want to say anything of a jarring character, but I will sit down on this note. I was in Rome last year. Many of the buildings in Rome, particularly on the outskirts, were bombed. While I was in Rome buildings were being built up in that massive way for which the Italians are noted. A man said to me: "Is it not good to see these people who as a result of two wars are comparatively poor compared with our standards, doing such a magnificent job?" He said that the only effort we had made was the Store Street building. That was an effort to erect a decent building and it was sabotaged for political reasons. The man who said that was not a politician. He was simply stating what many of us feel. No matter who attempts to improve the beauty of this city of ours or of the country they should get credit for trying to do something that nobody else has attempted.

I would like to say, first of all, that I welcome this Bill, but, I think, in reading the case made by the Taoiseach on the introduction of the Bill to the Dáil, that he made such a splendid statement it is very hard to add very much to it except to support it in every way. I gathered that it got full support in the Dáil, as is deserved. We have in this country not only a great heritage of artistic achievements of the people, but in our museums and galleries a great responsibility in the present in the wonderful works of art we have and in the material we have in our human beings for the production of works of art. It is obviously our duty to preserve the goods and to train the human beings to produce more works of art. Therefore, I think this Bill is a very fine one.

As Dr. Bodkin has said in his report, we have shamefully neglected the arts in the past 25 years. Although that is the case, I think we must not be too despondent because 25 years is a very short period in the history of a nation, and particularly in the history of art. Although we are starting rather late in the race, I think, now that we have made a start, if we go about it in the right way, we can make up for lost time and do things right. We all admit that it is our duty to study and preserve our works of art, but one of the most important things to be done is to foster and reward scholars and scholarship to train our younger generation to take up the learning passed down from previous generations and so pass on our accumulated knowledge.

There is undoubtedly great scope for painters, sculptors and artists in our country to-day, an old nation but a new State. Churches have been frequently mentioned and I do not intend to labour the point, but one cannot speak about this subject without mentioning the immense field available to artists and to art in our churches all over the country, both in respect of pictorial art and sculpture. Our public buildings and State offices are quite bare—one has only to look around this room—of representations in painting or sculpture. Town planning schemes offer plenty of scope. We have splendid building schemes all over the country, but, though they are very efficient, there is not in them very much to give pleasure to the aesthetic sense and there is here a wide field for the commemoration of our historical episodes and characters, as well as our modern personalities.

In addition, there is the field presented by our theatres. One has only to go to France to see the wonderful use made there of the vestibules of theatres for the encouragement of the work of modern artists. In every building put up, provision is made for their decoration by the artists of the country, which not only helps the artists but brings material benefit to the country in being an advertisement for these artists. Luckily, in Ireland recently, there has been a renaissance of the stained glass industry. Stained glass is being increasingly used in our churches and the work is being carried out by Irish artists, notably Miss Evie Hone. In sculpture, however, we are at a very low ebb, both in the matter of the number of sculptors and the quality of the work done, but that again is due to the fact that the patrons are lacking. Perhaps in this Bill the patron will be found in the shape of the State which has very much more to be relied upon nowadays than in the past.

It has been remarked already—it was mentioned in the Dáil—that art is usually associated with social snobbishness. There is an idea that it is rather a pose to say that one is interested in art, that many people are really only posing and that the ones who are really interested in art are effeminate, but that is not the case. Every person is capable of some appreciation of art, but undoubtedly only the select few have a high degree of awareness of art. That is due, particularly in this country, to the fact that we have no instruction in the history of art in our schools, primary, secondary or university, a point which is referred to in the Bodkin Report. Most of the art appreciation in this country has been acquired in the individual's home or by individual study after leaving school, and it is therefore very important, as Dr. Bodkin points out, that something should immediately be done to introduce some form of education in the history of art in our primary and secondary schools and, above all, in our universities. Dr. Bodkin suggests that, if it were started in the universities, it would move downwards, but it can also be said that it should start from below, that there should be some art teaching in our primary and secondary schools. The subject is not even on the curriculum at present, and it is absolutely essential that something should be done in the matter, because the teaching of the history of art represents the first awakening to the appreciation of art, and it can be done through the provision of simple and suitable text-books, graded to suit each class.

Furthermore, this is one of the ways in which the wireless can be used to great advantage. The director of our National Gallery in Dublin could be placed in the broadcasting station for two half-hours a week and talks given by him, which could be listened to in the schools, and such training should be on the school curriculum. Not only should these be taken advantage of in the schools but there should be radio talks in the evenings, say, from 7 to 7.30 p.m., when the grown people could listen as well. I know that talks of this kind would be appreciated but they are completely missing from our programmes at present.

In case some Senators have not had time to read Dr. Bodkin's report, I should like to quote one or two extracts on this subject. He says:—

"In Irish schools, the subject of art, in either the historical or the practical aspect, is neglected. Few of the principal schools and colleges, for either boys or girls, employ trained teachers to deal with it, or possess the requisite accommodation and equipment for the purpose."

With regard to the universities he says:—

"The status of the fine arts in Irish universities is negligible and precarious. The National University employs occasional part-time lecturers in the history of art, and Trinity College maintains a chair of the history of fine art ‘for the lifetime of the present holder only'. His is an honorary post with no defined duties. In this neglect of the fine arts in university education Ireland occupies a regrettably unique position."

Later, he makes a proposal in this connection. He says:—

"The establishment of a chair or chairs of art in the Irish universities seems to me to be a matter of vital and urgent importance.... The present apathy, amounting almost to an antagonism, towards art in Ireland is largely attributable to that lack of opportunity for study of the arts at a high level from which our best minds have suffered for so long. If the history of the fine arts was recognised and encouraged as a proper subject for university education, the demands for its inclusion in elementary and secondary school programmes would soon become irresistible, to the great advantage of the State.

"The university is obviously the most favourable source for the recruitment of the administrative staff of public museums and galleries. In England graduates who have taken a good honours degree in some such subject as languages or history are often selected to fill appointments of the sort, provided they can give evidence of an acquaintance with, and a genuine interest in, the fine arts, even if they possess no specialised knowledge of them. Their professional training is then completed in the institutions to which they are assigned."

I want to say a word now about a very important subject. If we are to develop any art programme, it is no good having plans and schemes, unless we have the people to carry them out and it is absolutely necessary, if we are to bring these plans and schemes to fruition, that we should have a trained, contented and enthusiastic personnel to carry them out. This can only be done, as in any other walk of life, by providing proper payment for such people, with proper conditions of work, not only material but mental conditions, conditions in which these people will be mentally free to apply their minds fully to their job and not have to be worried about where they are to get the money to feed, clothe and house themselves and their families.

The conditions must be such, too, that they will be happy in their work and not bound up by restrictions of all kinds, annoying bureaucratic restrictions, making them feel that people will not give them a free hand and that they are tied up in every way. They should feel free to work, and to work in a scholarly way. That is something which has not existed in the past. There is no doubt that our scales of remuneration to our scholars in our museums and galleries and art institutions are very much below the scales paid in other countries. I think that the degree of restriction or restraint under which our officials work in this country is almost unparalleled anywhere. I gather from the spirit of the Bodkin Report that attention has been drawn to that point and I hope notice will be taken of it by the new council.

I saw a letter which was printed last week in the papers. It found fault with the idea of spending £20,000 on such a thing as art in this country when it was alleged everybody was starving, when the cost of living was so high, and so forth. I am all for freedom of speech, but the manifestations we have of freedom of speech in our correspondence columns in this country are, I sometimes think, a very good argument against it. I often feel that I should like some of these letters to be suppressed. Their writers are frequently drawn from the poorest intellects in the country. To talk of the expenditure of £20,000 on art as being waste at a time when our citizens are spending millions on sports! I think the editors ought not to allow that type of letter to appear.

I agree with Dr. Bodkin's sub-suggestion which gave the inspiration for this Bill and which the Taoiseach in his speech told us gave rise to the idea for this Bill. I think also that the Government chose the right part of the suggestion to be put into operation. Therefore we have this Bill to-day setting up a council which, in the words of the Taoiseach, is to be a small body which will be as far as possible autonomous, entitled to work on its own, free from the trammels of the Civil Service procedure and will be subject merely to the Government. Dr. Bodkin went on to suggest that a department or sub-department should be set up. He said:

"I think it desirable that a department or sub-department of fine arts should be established as a branch of some Ministry or, preferably, directly under the control of the Taoiseach.... Its business would be to correlate and supervise the administration of existing art institutions and to act in an advisory and consultative capacity with such Ministries as might from time to time require its services."

The part I do not like about the suggestion, although it is not in the Bill, but it might come from the setting up of this council is: "It should be charged with the direct responsibility for the administration of the present National Gallery, National Museum and National College of Art...." It goes on to say then:

"It would, perhaps, have to be set up by special legislation in view of the provisions of various Acts of Parliament and the Dáil by which the Board of Governors and Guardians of the National Gallery, the Board of Visitors of the National Museum and the National Monuments Committee are at present constituted. Such committees, if maintained at all, should not be called on to exercise any but advisory functions."

This suggestion would turn the Board of Governors of the National Gallery and of the other bodies I mentioned into merely advisory bodies and I think that would be wrong.

The Taoiseach quite rightly said we should as far as possible get away from bureaucracy, which has been the paralysing hand on our museums up to the present, especially financial bureaucracy. It is not so much the amount of money that has been controlled as the way in which it has been controlled. I think these boards should be made more autonomous than they are at present, and that the council should engage in the task of co-ordinating these bodies—in other words, I think that the bodies should be autonomous but that they should be properly co-ordinated. They should be given a grant, and their executive functions should be greatly expanded. They should have the obligation, naturally, of reporting annually to the Minister. The directors of the museum and of the National Gallery and similar galleries should be appointed by the board and their appointment ratified by the President. If the governors of these boards are chosen for the right reasons and possess the qualifications necessary, you will get boards which are able to appoint their directors for their scholarly attributes whereas, on the other hand, if these institutions are going to be controlled again by Ministries the directors will be appointed for administrative reasons, very often without any scholarly qualifications at all or perhaps only minor ones, as has happened in the past. The emphasis in these appointments should be on scholarship; minor posts can be filled by administratively trained officials. At present our directors are engaged in administrative duties which take a very great part of their time-time which should be employed on work in the cultural side of the museum. If a man is going to be a director of a museum there is an immense amount of research and scholarly work all the time which he must do. He has to keep in touch not only with the past—learning more and more all the time—but he has also to keep abreast of what is happening in the art world to-day, and a lot is happening to-day. Art direction has been brought to a very high pitch of efficiency. If our museum directors are to do their job properly they must be thoroughly trained and up to date in their job, like a good doctor. They should not be expected to have themselves bound up in administrative work. Therefore, I suggest that the top positions should be in the hands of scholars and the lower down posts should be filled by people skilled in administrative work.

I should like to stress again that in the past—I hope it will not happen in the future—financial cheeseparing has been the main feature in the conduct of our art institutions.

A tendency in the past, especially under the Party system—we have had it on both sides—seems to be that the appointments of governors of museums and galleries are influenced by Party politics. People are appointed more because of their political affiliations than anything else. It is not sufficient qualification to be made the governor of a museum if you happen to have a superficial interest in buying an odd water colour or a jar or something else in a commercial art gallery. More than that is required. I suggest that the qualifications for these posts should be more thoroughly examined in future, even if it means going outside the political friends of whatever Government may be in power.

I have been informed by the museum and picture gallery authorities of the absolute necessity for a good photographic art library. It is badly needed for reference in this country by students and scholars. We all know of the Courtauld Institution in England where there is a library of works of art of all periods and of all countries. I would suggest that the new council should bear in mind the necessity for a good photographic library both for photographs of our own works of art for reproduction purposes and to provide a reference library where students can go to study the various aspects of art. It is absolutely necessary. The poorer a country is the more important it is to have a good photographic library because you can get very good representation and can get quite a good idea of the works of art which you wish to study from modern photography.

I would like once more to compliment the Government and the Taoiseach particularly on introducing this Bill.

I shall be brief. Up to the present the debate has ranged largely on the pictorial and plastic arts and I feel that we should stress another art which I do not think has been stressed to its full justification in the Bill, the art for which this country has been famous for hundreds of years, the art which has carried the voice of the country around the world: music.

I mention this only to show in what way it can be brought in. According to Section 3, one of the activities of the council will be to organise and assist in the organisation of exhibitions within and without of the State of works of art and artistic craftsmanship. Surely we want to extend that to include performances. This Bill should promote not merely the showing of pictures and similar works but the performance of music and drama as the Taoiseach has stated in his introduction to the Bill. The only fault I can find in the Bill is that it does not emphasise music and music is an extremely important factor indeed in the culture of our country.

I have drawn the attention of the Minister for Finance to this point twice—in vain. It is not entirely relevant but perhaps you will permit me to mention it. One of the functions of the council will be to promote the knowledge, appreciation and practice of the arts. One of the best ways I think to promote the practice of the arts is to make the instruments of the arts reasonably cheap. At the present time musical instruments are taxed. I feel very strongly that musical instruments which are not made in the country should be free of tax. The tax is very high and some artists are very poor people; some may be poor artists as well but even so they cannot afford the price of a good fiddle, a good harp or a good oboe, and I do hope that something can be done to remedy that. In the same way a painter's materials are expensive. The price of pigments and the price of oil paints are high, while a painter pays as much for spirit varnish as he would for liqueur and those things should be distinguished. This matter should be dealt with in some way. I hope that you will not think this irrelevant but I wish to raise the point that one of the best ways to promote the arts is to make it easier for the artist to produce works.

This is a point which I will raise on Committee if I am interpreting this correctly. I see that the ordinary members of the council shall—"unless he sooner dies or resigns..."—I take it that "he" should be "he or she".

The Interpretation Act has that point.

Those are the three things. We could emphasise a little more the importance of music in our country and help art by making it easier to get the machinery for work. Like everyone else I welcome the Bill. It is like spring flowers suddenly blooming in the midst of a frightfully cold winter and we should cherish these flowers whether we are cutting them ourselves or not.

It is getting late and I will not detain the House very long. I have also three small points to raise like Senator Professor Fearon. I welcome the Bill, particularly as a member of a family engaged in the linen trade in the Six Counties. We know the importance of industrial design. I think I could mention—but I will not —the name of a firm in the linen trade of world-wide renown which has reached that point simply because its directors have been big hearted enough and wise enough to give full scope to artists and pay for good design. That firm has reaped a rich harvest in the linen trade simply from its emphasis on design.

As for encouragement I do not know whether anyone here knows the works produced under the aegis of the Council of Industrial Design in Great Britain. Beautiful designs have been produced for such ordinary things as coffee pots. It is encouraging to think that in this age we can produce beautiful things when we want to. Some of the silver ware produced under that council is beautiful, quite up to the best standards of the 18th century.

I hope that under sub-section (2) of Section 3 of this Bill somebody will have something to say about such things as the forecourt here and the new structure on Leinster Lawn. I approve of the obelisk but what in the name of heavens the fish pond is for and the queer thing with the shape like a shell I do not know. Who sees these things beforehand? I thought in my innocence that we as members of the Oireachtas might see the designs before these things are done but we have got to take what the Board of Works gives us. I hope that under sub-section (2) of Section 3 these things will be more carefully considered in the future.

My third point is rather a matter for general policy. I think that you can do a lot by helping artists but that it is much more important to give artists the background of an enlightened public opinion. We may have passed out of the stage when we had rich patrons of the art, but I hope we are not going directly into the stage when the State is the entire patron. I think that bodies acting under the State can do a lot to educate public opinion. For example, the Six Counties Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts has produced a most extraordinary reaction. People in the Six Counties have gone ballet crazy; when they hear that a ballet company has come to Belfast the people come from all over the Six Counties. They come from the back of the Sperrins to Belfast and from the most rustic parts of the Six Counties to see the ballet. If anyone had told me 20 years ago that they would be so enthusiastic I would have said that it was nonsense. A lot can be done to create public opinion and artists will benefit more in the long run from an educated public opinion than from a direct subsidy from the State.

Those are the three points I wanted to raise, and I will not delay the Taoiseach except to welcome the Bill and congratulate him on what he has done in introducing it.

Captain Orpen

I want to raise three points. Like others, I welcome the Bill more especially from the aspect of the artist-craftsman and craftsman-artist. Many years ago I had considerable experience in trying to bring home to the people the problems that face the craftsman in the production of well-designed goods.

The whole difficulty is to convince the potential buying public that the well-designed and the interestingly designed is something worth valuing and cherishing. Experience shows that the most effective weapon one could use with the public is showing them how the thing is made. Senator Ireland has brought up a point which is very important, that it is more necessary to create an interest in artistic things amongst the public and utilise funds available for that purpose than to use those funds directly to encourage and assist financially the producer. I entirely agree. You must attack, at the final end, the consumer, the general public; you have to interest them first, and the easiest way to do that is to try—it depends on the product and the material—to show them how the thing is made. For example, some 20 years ago we were trying to stimulate and recreate interest in hand-wrought iron work in England, but did not make much headway until we put two forges into Selfridge's window in Oxford Street. It drew such a crowd that the police had to interfere and stop it. The point is that if you can draw the attention of the public to how the thing is made, half the battle is won, and you can then begin to instil ideas of design and good workmanship.

This country has a tradition of high skill in certain trades at certain times. Probably our eighteenth century silversmiths in Dublin and elsewhere reached a higher stage of development in that particular type of material than almost anywhere else, especially in the treatment of silver without over-distorting the medium which they were using. That is one of the essential characteristics. You can produce an article which makes one say: "Ah, how wonderful", but it is never beautiful if the material is so distorted in the process of manufacture that you feel that the material for the rest of its life would be uncomfortable.

While it is quite legitimate in the initial stage, I hope that when the council gets into its stride it will not limit its function under Section 3 (2). I dislike the limitation in sub-section (2) which seems to say that the council shall advise the Government only when they are asked. I think that that sort of advice is never much good. They should be entitled at all times to give advice unasked.

If they see something they do not like, they should not feel diffident in going to the Government and telling them it is awful. Whether this council as envisaged by the Taoiseach is the right body or not, we require some sort of body to which we may look as a court of appeal, something like what they have elsewhere—I think it is called the Fine Arts Commission in England. One of the functions would be to see that the community at large is not suddenly presented with some monstrosity of a building which, if only the public had been well and truly informed when it was about to be erected, they would not have been presented with as a fait accompli—a building that may be ugly or a building that may not fit the site. I want to stress that point—to fit the site—as that is the essence of all craftsmanship. I referred to it in one sense at the beginning of my remarks by saying that the distortion of the material is a crime. In just the same way, the architect can perpetrate a similar crime when he makes a design on the drawing-board which in itself is a very desirable one but which does not fit the site. That has happened. Possibly this council or some other could act as a court of appeal whose function it would be to keep its eye out for potential damage to our country by unthinking people, something that could be prevented if caught in time. Like other Senators, I welcome this Bill.

Like Senator McGuire, I feel that the Taoiseach in his admirable introductory statement said almost all that needs to be said and with every word of his most of us agree. That implies a welcome to the Bill as cordial here as it was lucky enough to obtain in the other House. One particular thing that the Taoiseach stressed and which is a cause of rejoicing to us is that he was persuaded in the other House to raise the ceiling of the amount allotted for the implementation of this Bill. When we read the grandiose objects shown in the Title and then see the amount allotted at first, we are reminded of the famous line in Horace: "The mountains laboured and produced a ridiculous mouse." It would not be possible to do anything worth speaking of with a ceiling of £20,000. The Taoiseach need not be afraid that the Irish people, when asked for money for a worthy object, will be stingy about it. It will give a return not only temporal but spiritual.

Art in its broadest acceptation is a part of the beauty of life which God means us to enjoy and learn to see, and not only that, but perhaps to learn to wish to reproduce. For that reason, I would be very glad if stress were laid by the council on the fostering of craftsmanship, as mentioned by Senator O'Farrell and his colleague. We need the old traditions of craftsmanship and that we could go back to them has, I think, been proved. During the years when so many of our young men were interned, when they had nothing else to do they began to use their hands, and in every internment camp they made rings and brooches. The design may not have been particularly artistic, but the craftsmanship was remarkable, considering the implements which these young men had to use. I myself have something which I treasure very much. It is a cross made from an old meat bone, and it is a marvellous thing when you realise the implements which were used in producing it and the unskilled hands which moulded it. I think we should educate our people to use their hands and their eyes in the seeing and making of things that are beautiful. It is along these lines that our education should be moulded and it should not be confined to something which is got out of books. In this country it seems that the practice is that if we are to learn something it must be put into books first and then sent back to us. What we want to do is to learn to see the beautiful things and then to reproduce them.

Another reason why I welcome this Bill is that it will retrieve for this country someone who would be very valuable to the country. I hope that the amount of capital will be provided and the Bill will be implemented quickly so that we may see its fruits in the very near future.

Senator McGuire and others have talked of the alliance of art and commerce. I hope it will not be out of order for me to say that Senator McGuire has himself given clear indications of that alliance. I sometimes go to Messrs. Brown Thomas and have admired the artistic way in which the premises are laid out and the goods displayed. I think such an arrangement could be incorporated even in the most humble of our shops. If such an education were given our shops would not be so ugly as some of them are. These things could also be applied to the homes. The Irish character is fundamentally simple and honest. We do not want to have flamboyant things. We just want simplicity and the things that are useful; we want cleanliness, beauty and an ordered life.

I also welcome the Bill, which I think is a step in the right direction. I think that time will prove that it is one of the most important measures with which this House has had to deal. We all feel only too strongly that there has been a decline in all the arts in this country over many years. For the last 40 or 50 years all over the country there has been a decline in music, literature and architecture, and that decline has been rapid. We have only to look around us to see the debasement of agriculture and the terrible ugliness of the things that have been put up. I cannot allow the opportunity to pass without referring to the thing of ugliness which has been put up outside Leinster House. It is a monument to the loss of art in Ireland and it shows how barren we are of ideas in such things when a monument of that type can be put up in front of any premises and particularly a place of such beauty as Leinster House. On several occasions I have felt that I would like to have put down a motion asking to have the statue of Queen Victoria brought back there.

The decline in literature has been mostly occasioned by the types of books which are published and the types of pictures which are presented to the people. We must all agree that there has been a consistent decline in art in this country; perhaps that is to a large extent due to the materialism of the age which has affected this country as well as others; to the rush of life in which we find ourselves and to many other things of that nature. We are poor in the matter of arts and in the world of culture. It is time that something such as this was done to try and retrieve our position. Other countries in Europe, when overrun, have got themselves out of their position by their people studying the arts and advancing in them. We have always felt that a free Ireland could do much in the culture of the world. The Irish nation in the past has helped to save the world when Christianity was almost extinct and we had always hoped that a free Ireland would play its part in the culture of the world; but, alas! the only contribution which Ireland seems to have made to the culture of the world over a great many years has been the sweepstakes. In the past, Anglo-Irish literature had been suppressed and we should see to it that we restore our position in music, art and literature. We must strive to revive those things and to make them and architecture a living force. We could take examples from countries such as Spain, Italy and others who have much to offer in the fields of art.

It is to those countries we should look and it is those people we should copy. If we allow ourselves to turn to England and to America we shall be lost, for art in those countries has long since passed away. In those countries they have the modernist thing they call art and which is not art at all. It is to those countries in which there is a living art and a living literature that we should turn. The council that is being formed should see to it that our students are sent out to those countries where they will get an opportunity of imbibing the spirit of those countries and bringing it back to Ireland.

We should impress on our people what art in its wide sense means. It means that internal striving of the human soul towards perfection. From the very earliest stages we see that striving of early man for perfection, making everything better and better. That has always been the case. It is that wonderful instinct of striving for perfection—the proof of the God given origin of man—that has created the whole civilisation as we see it to-day. To-day we see a big change. Instead of that culture of beauty and striving for perfection, there is all over the world the culture of ugliness which to-day has debased art, literature, music, architecture and everything else. That is what we have to watch.

I would impress on the Taoiseach that, when forming this council, he should put on that council men who have the real Irish spirit, the real Irish Christian spirit and men who are not so affected by the mechanical or materialistic age we see around us. If that is not done, all our efforts will be in vain. If he accepts men who are steeped in the Irish spirit and who are enthusiastic, this Bill will be a success. It will be a measure that will redound for all time to the Taoiseach's credit. I wish every success to the Bill.

I wish to be associated with the other members who have paid tribute to the Taoiseach and to the Government in introducing this Bill. I should like to say what a pleasure it has been to be present on an occasion when something is done for the furtherance of culture in the country and especially for the advancement of fine arts. I think there are few people, who have the interest of Ireland at heart, who are not seriously worried to-day by the low cultural standard of the country as a whole and, above all, the lack of a sense of quality and a sense of taste. I feel that if we are to give, as it were, once more a soul to Ireland, we will have to revive our artistic tradition and our sense of taste. To do that, I think this Bill goes a long way towards making a beginning—in fact, more than a beginning, because I belong to that school of thought which believes that wherever art has flourished the State will be found the principal patron in spite of the long record of individual patrons of art. If we look at the history of ancient Greece, Athens or Rome, or the Republics of Italy and the Corporations of the Low Countries, we see that the State was the principal patron of the arts. It always has been the tradition of this country that patronage of the arts and patriotism should go hand in hand. Among the great men who have fought and given their lives for Ireland some of these have also been those ones who have done the most to further the arts.

I think I have mentioned in this House before the contribution of people like Charlemont, whose name is associated not only with the Irish Volunteers and their determination not to lay down their arms until Ireland was free, but also with the making of Dublin into the second capital of Europe in the artistic sense in the 18th century, and of Davis, who pleaded for more money and for more thought for the future of art in this country. It is interesting, looking through his essays, to see the things he hoped for from the restoration of a Parliament in Ireland. It would give "society and support to the writers and artists and it would give them a country's praise to move and a country's glory to reward them". To-day we are doing something that an Irish Parliament might well be proud of.

I think there is a very mistaken idea that culture is something that can be overlaid on top of ordinary education in the way you can spread butter on bread. There is very little recognition for the fact—a point which Senator O'Dwyer has just made so admirably —that anybody who knows how to do anything well or make anything well, and who does it well with the creative spirit of a human being acting for the honour and glory of God is a cultured person, and the nation that has people who work and think like that is a cultured nation. In this sense the doing of anything whatever well, or the making of anything at all, is as near as I can get to defining culture.

In our particular case, where it is a question of reviving not only our old cultural tradition, but also our interests in the arts, I think we have to begin somewhere. One of the things that has to be done is the encouragement and co-ordination of learned bodies and societies, both literary and artistic, who have for a great many years now in many cases fought a lone battle for the arts. Without the foundation of a council such as the one envisaged by the Taoiseach, there would have been endless difficulties in this work of co-ordination and improvement in learned societies, bodies, artistic institutions, galleries, museums and art schools. For that reason I welcome it.

I think it will encourage the council to know that the Parliament and the Government of the country is behind them and that this is but a first stage and that there is more to come. As Senator Mrs. Concannon says the people of Ireland will not grudge the money for this purpose. I hope the Government will see its way later on, with the advice of this council, to establish a school such as other countries have, say, in Rome. Nearly every European country has its school in Rome, to which their students can go and study for a period of years. I hope also that we will have the equivalent of the Prix de Rome because it has made such a valuable contribution to art in other countries. To enlarge for a moment on that point, it is not only a prize won by the student who goes to Rome for a period—the student of architecture, painting, sculpture and so on—a prize which is given in the various branches of the fine arts, but, on the satisfactory completion of his study, the student is immediately given a State commission, to erect a building or statue, or to paint a picture, the statue being placed in a public park or the picture in a public building. In that way, great encouragement is given to artists and students of art.

I do not want at this stage to dwell on the details of what might be looked into by this council. I merely want to welcome it in a general way and to refer to one other point which, I think, is of immense importance, the sincere desire of the Taoiseach and the Government that this council should give particular attention to the matter of industrial design. I do not think it can be too often said that good design has nothing to do with cost. In most cases, it does not cost any more to design something well. In fact, it usually costs more to design an ugly thing.

There is a mistaken idea right through this country, in every sphere of life, that good design costs more. We have seen the face of Ireland ruined in recent years by badly-designed houses. However efficiently and well these houses were built and however well they met the demand of our time, the face of our country has been ruined by lack of design, by poor design and by a lack of the aesthetic use of our native materials. In the various industrial fields, we have seen the whole taste of this country perverted over a period of years by bad design.

People refer to mass production and sigh at the thought of it, because it must inevitably mean ugliness, but mass production can mean one of two things. It can mean that everything is good and everybody will have a chance of having well-designed things at reasonable prices, or it can mean that everybody gets a bad and an ugly thing. That is the only choice we have to make in regard to mass production. Mass production is typical of our age and something we should welcome, if, coupled with mass production, we accept only the highest standard of design, always bearing in mind that it does not cost more to be well designed. The only way in which we can cultivate a taste for anything is to accustom the people to it. Constant use of well-designed objects is the only way in which to cultivate the people's taste, but the people are often fobbed off with tenth-rate copies of the industrial designs of other countries merely on the excuse that that is what the people like, and the people have to like it because they get nothing else.

The valuable advice which this council will be able to give the Government on that subject will pay dividends far beyond those of any other industrial enterprise we have had. The support which Parliament in unanimously passing the Bill has given to it will be an encouragement to the people and will awaken their interest in such matters. It is interesting to think back to a city like Florence where the shape of the dome of the Cathedral was decided by the mass of the citizens coming out in the street and voting whether it should be allowed to remain in position after it had been built. We have a long way to go in this country before we reach that stage.

We have had the good luck in this country not to have been completely stripped of many of the works of art— silver, glass, paintings and so on—in private collections, and I should like to suggest that one of the matters on which the council might advise the Government is the further measures which might be taken to ensure that what remains in the country will continue to remain here, and not be sold and sent abroad, where admittedly higher prices are very often obtained. I quite realise that it is a difficult problem, because private owners are, I suppose, entitled to make the best bargain they can for their own possessions, but there are a great many things going out of the country which, in the interests of the people as a whole, should never have left the country.

Senator McGuire referred to that portion of Dr. Bodkin's Report which deplores the lack of educational facilities for the fine arts in the universities, and, to have it on record, I should like to point out that University College, Dublin, has had its Chair of Architecture since the early 20's and architecture has always been regarded as the mother of the arts. I welcome this Bill and I congratulate the Government on being so far-seeing as to bring it forward, because we all realise that the yardstick by which all our aspirations are measured by other countries is our outward indication of our appreciation of artistic things. The history of our country is recorded in stone in the buildings of Dublin and that one thing alone has won for us a reputation as a country which appreciates art—a fine Georgian capital. We owe a great debt not only to our Celtic tradition of art but also to our Anglo-Irish tradition of art. I hope this council will have the support of the whole country. I know that it is something which the people of the country will welcome.

The length and variety of debate on this Bill have shown how genuinely strong is the support the Bill has in the House. I do not want to prolong the debate unnecessarily, but I should feel that I was lacking in my duty if I did not say a word of appreciation of it, both on behalf of myself and on behalf of the university graduates I represent. The two main items on the Order Paper for to-day are culture and agriculture, and that, I think, is a good thing. At a time when others are arming with guns and bombs, we in Ireland are trying to build up the world's food—food for the body by agriculture and food for the mind by culture and scholarship. I think that that is the right policy for Ireland to-day. I think that that is the right policy for a small country and I think that, in our business here this afternoon, after our fashion, we are symbolising our approval of such a policy. We must always remember that our country is a small country, but it has been given two special gifts by Providence—the fertility of our lands and the fertility of our minds. In these two things we can compete in open competition with any nation in the world—in the products of our lands in terms of eggs, butter and horse, and in the products of our minds in terms of art, literature and scholarship. In that, it differs from most of the products of our heavy industries and our commerce. We cannot compete in an open market with the nations of the world for making aeroplanes or engines or motor cars or whatever you like. We cannot do it. Nature has not given us the resources. But in the products of our lands and in the products of our minds we can reach the highest degree of excellence.

I follow here what Senator Miss Butler has just been saying—that this is not simply an internal matter. The good name of our country depends on achieving the highest degree of excellence in some few things. We cannot do it in all things but we can do it in a few. I would insist here that a box of good butter opened in Peru, stamped "Made in the Republic of Ireland," is one of the best ways of raising the reputation of the country. Simple, wise people will say that a country which can produce butter like that must be a good country. If we can do the same thing with our art, if we can produce sculptures and paintings which are known to have been fostered in the Republic of Ireland, it will stand more to our national prestige than second-rate industrial or commerical products. I insist on that. If we are wise we will all insist always on these gifts of the land and the gifts of our mind. I need not emphasise that we have done this in the past. The Book of Kells has been mentioned, the Ardagh Chalice, Cormac's Chapel. These are the things the people come to see—not the putting of toothpaste into tubes and so forth. They come to eat the products of our land. Our name stands high in the history of the world to-day because of the writers and artists we have produced. Names like Synge, Yeats, Joyce and Shaw are names that make Ireland great. I do not want to labour this fact but on the whole we have been talking this afternoon from the point of view of internal welfare. I insist that our external welfare depends on this too. On behalf of myself and Dublin University I offer the Taoiseach our sincerest congratulations on producing this Bill. Properly worked, it will bring a finer standard of life at home and a greater respect for Ireland abroad and soon the harp which stands at the head of this Bill and of our note paper, when we write from Leinster House, will no longer be a symbol of a hope or of a past but if the fostering of music and painting and sculpture and literature as envisaged in this Bill really succeeds then the strings of that harp will ring out again.

Very little remains for me to say except to express my very warm appreciation of the manner in which this Bill has been received by Senators on all sides of the House. I should like to express, without any hint of condescension, my appreciation of the high standard of the debate this afternoon. Every Senator who spoke made a valuable contribution and numbers of constructive suggestions which, I feel, will be very useful to the director of this council and to the council itself when it comes to be set up. It is a matter of great gratification that we have, in this period of strife and stress, such a unanimous and, I may say, enthusiastic support for a Bill dealing with matters of the spirit, the fine arts.

Therefore, I ask Senators to allow me to pay tribute to them and to accept my thanks and the thanks of my colleagues for the manner in which this Bill has been received. For me, it is the fulfilment of a personal ambition going back over many years. I have no doubt that the way in which this Bill has been received both in the Dáil and in the Seanad—reflecting as it does unanimous opinions of all Parties, and therefore the unanimous opinion of the Irish people, that this art council should be set up and set to work immediately—will be a source of great strength and encouragement to the director of the council when it is set up.

There is very little in the speeches that have been made which requires comment from me. I agree with Senator O Buachalla that some very good work has been done by the vocational teachers and by the technical education branch of the Department of Education. He, and I think Senator O'Farrell, and perhaps some others, referred by name to the work that has been done by some of our Irish painters. I should like to add my tribute to the tribute paid by those Senators to those Irish painters, some of whom were named. I do not propose to name specifically any of those painters and craftsmen and artists because you inevitably leave some of them out. I think it would be right, however, that we should regard the passing of this Bill as a tribute to, even if a belated tribute, and a recognition of those Irish people in particular, men and women, who served Ireland aesthetically and who worked in difficult times without much encouragement or assistance from public funds, bringing Irish arts and crafts to a position of honour and enriching the artistic heritage of our country.

Perhaps I was a little bit gloomy in some of my opening remarks about the position of art in Ireland and the neglect of our arts and crafts. I think that, on the whole, we have no reason for pessimism. I think the debate on this Bill in the Oireachtas gives us reasonably good grounds for hope in the future. We are not, in this Bill at all events, erecting a tombstone for Irish art. On the contrary, I think that we are doing something of really constructive national value. Some of our painters, even some of our living painters, and craftsmen have made international reputations for themselves and have brought reflected glory on their country. Our poets and dramatists have achieved international repute, even in this century. It is because we have hope in the future, and the fact that we face the artistic problems of the future with courage and hope, that we feel it is worth while setting up this art council and making a real effort to undo the lethargy of the past quarter of a century and more.

Perhaps I might deal very briefly with some points of detail which were made on the Bill. Senator O'Farrell and Senator O Buachalla dealt with that part of the Bill with which I, personally, have very great concern— the part dealing with industrial design and the encouragement and revivification of our old Irish crafts and handicrafts. When I first mentioned the project of setting up some body to encourage the arts I mentioned this very matter. When I spoke in the Dáil on the 20th July, 1949, I said:—

"We have lost, or nearly lost, the old crafts for which our people were famous in years gone by. We wish to receive these crafts and arts if we can."

Therefore, I have great sympathy with the points put forward by Senators Butler, O'Farrell and Colgan, who thought that we should concentrate upon the necessity for combining art with craftsmanship. I do think it will be one of the most important functions of the arts council to try to revive the old arts and crafts which have very nearly passed away from among us.

Senator Fearon was worried about Irish music. I pointed out in my opening remarks that music, including Irish music, falls within the scope and definition of the arts in this Bill and I have no doubt that if this council strengthens in its functions and gets more public support, starting, as I personally hope it will, on visual arts and applied arts, it will then go on to music and drama and achieve for Irish music and drama and for international music and drama something really worth while.

With regard to Senator Fearon's concern about tariffs on musical instruments, surely he will have an opportunity of dealing with that matter on the Finance Bill. In the meantime, however, when the arts council is set up I have no doubt that its director on being apprised of the facts will fulfil one of the functions I envisage as being the functions of the director and of the council, namely, to bring matters of that kind to the appropriate Government Department, and be a source of annoyance, nuisance and worry to that Department until the claims and demands are seen to.

Senator O'Brien was worried about some matters of detail in the Schedule, particularly clauses 4 and 5 about the appointment of members. I fully appreciate the point he wishes to make, that there should be a sort of rotation in the appointment of members, but I think that that can be achieved in the scheme that is in the Bill. We discussed this in the Dáil, and eventually decided to leave the scheme as it stands. Members can be elected at the end of five years, the whole lot of them, and therefore two or three will not be left while the rest go. The Government of the time when appointing new members will have before them the amount of work done by the members, the capacity they have shown and the zeal they have exercised in the performance of their functions. Those are matters upon which I envisage the membership of the council will be determined. The Senator can rest assured that his point will be met in the Bill.

I confess that I do not follow Senator O'Brien when he suggests that a fee should be paid to voluntary members of the council. I understand his anxiety that young artists and professional people should get paid for their professional work. I think, however, that a greater principle is involved in the fact that the Bill expressly provides that the appointed and co-opted members should not be given any remuneration. We have far too little appreciation of voluntary effort in this country, and it should be encouraged. I think that the Senator's point can really be better met by the arts council using their funds to encourage artists by getting designs, work and advice from the very people he wishes to encourage than by making those people members of the council. I thought that his suggestion rather contradicted the idea, with which I am in entire agreement, that the members of this council should be nominated for their general culture rather than for highly specialised knowledge.

Senator Orpen, I think, was worried about the fact that the Bill provided that the council should give advice only on request. I would suggest that the Bill is quite wide enough to enable the council to give advice without request and that the section which worried him merely imposes on the council the duty of giving advice if and when they are requested. In my view, one of the many functions of the council will be to give any amount of advice without it.

These are the matters of detail which struck me as requiring an answer. I would like, in conclusion, to thank Senators on all sides of the House for the manner in which they have received the Bill and not merely for the encouragement they have given to me and to my colleagues in the Government but for the lead they have given to the people in their expressions and in the contributions they have made on this debate.

Question put and agreed to.
Agreed to take remaining stages to-day.
Section I agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 2 stand part of the Bill."

Could the Taoiseach let us have a little more assurance on Section 2 (3)? Senator Orpen's point was that this restricted advice by the council to the Government and there seems to me to be a little ground for thinking that they could only speak to the Government when the Government spoke to them first.

I do not think so. The idea is that the sub-section imposes a duty upon him to do it—they shall on request give their advice.

Could we insert in Section 3 (1) (d), in connection with the organising exhibitions, the word "performances" so as to include music and drama?

If the Senator reads paragraph (d) with the definition, he will be satisfied that the definition would cover the point, as the word "art" includes drama, and if you have an exhibition of drama it includes a performance.

In that case it would be even clearer.

Would not sub-section (4) (a) cover the point, as it gives the Government power to confer additional functions?

On the Second Stage, I commented on the possibility of literature, drama and music being overlooked, and Senator Hayes pointed out that art as defined in the Bill covers these matters. It is reasonable to assume from the discussion so far, however, that the idea is to postpone attention to literature, drama and music, and that the council should concentrate on painting and sculpture for some time. The question of drama is a very urgent one and that of Irish drama is particularly urgent. Even if the council itself feels that it cannot undertake work on behalf of literature, drama and music at present, something could be done in the meantime by the Government itself giving expression to its desire that these arts should be promoted and by giving a lead in this respect.

Under sub-section (1) (a), could we get any idea as to how the stimulation of appreciation is to be done? Is it inherent in the wording of Section 3 that this council will be entitled to make provision for adequate buildings to house the arts? Would they be entitled to go ahead with the promotion of museums, galleries and theatres, in Dublin or elsewhere? Will the council itself undertake teaching and instruction? If not, has the Taoiseach any idea as to how the council is to achieve the aims he has set for it? He is the architect of the Bill and he must have something in his mind on this point. On the other hand, I may be unreasonable in expecting him to go into details and if the House indicates that I am unreasonable I will not press it. It will be absolutely essential to undertake a considerable amount of teaching if anything is to be done at all. Will the council provide assistance to other bodies to hold courses of instruction?

The Vocational Education Committee of County Galway has over a long time been interested in this particular work, and out of its own resources it has provided special courses of instruction in drawing, leather work, rush work embroidery, dyeing and so on. Whether An Comhairle would take notice of such a body as the Vocational Education Committees and would be entitled to come to their assistance in providing courses for their teachers or students is a matter on which I would like more information.

When the toy industry—out of which we had such great hopes when it was established in Connemara during the term of office of the last Government— was first mooted, one of the things its organisers insisted on was the provision of art courses for the prospective workers. Fortunately, we had excellent art teachers on the staff and we sent them to Connemara and provided them with buildings, though not ideal buildings. In a few months' time, the sponsors of that business paid tribute to the magnificent work done by our teachers and to the progress of the students under them. The result was that, when the industry got going, really beautiful articles were produced. It is too bad that that industry met with the fate it did. I want to stress the point that instruction and teaching will have to be an important branch of the work of this council if it is to go anywhere near achieving the aims set down for it. Is it intended that it should engage in activities of this kind?

Again, is it inherent in the section that this council can provide scholarships? That might be possible under sub-section (3)—"the council may co-operate with and assist any other persons concerned directly or indirectly with matters relating to the arts, and the assistance may include payments by the council upon such terms and conditions as they think fit". The provision of scholarships seems to me to be essential if the work is to be done as quickly and as efficiently as we would like it to be done. I am anxious to know whether scholarships will be available. To give another instance from the Vocational Education Committee, we are very interested in the improvement of the standards of the arts and crafts. We sent one of our teachers to Sweden for training in various arts —dyeing, weaving, rush basket making and such like. People may say that that is a far cry from sculpture and painting.

Senator Stanford made reference to the improvement of the crafts. It is one of the most important things the council could do. The Taoiseach expressed the hope that some crafts that are dying or gone, should be brought back again. For years we have been trying to do that. We established special courses for blacksmiths. We brought the blacksmiths of the county together into the vocational school and we got the best smiths in the country to instruct them in various aspects of their craft, with excellent results. Again we have been endeavouring to get a course going for hand-weavers, all in the hope of improving the methods of work and of improving the design. It is important that scholarships should be available to people to carry on their studies and to improve their technique and knowledge in every way. I hope that it will be within the power of this body to make such scholarships available.

The position in Section 3 seems to be somewhat ambiguous in this regard and it is doubtful whether they can award such scholarships or not. If not, it is a very great pity. In the section there is reference to the organisation of exhibitions of works of art and artistic craftsmanship. It seems to me that if we are to promote craftsmanship the council will have to be interested in the matters I have indicated, such as these craft courses and scholarships. The numbers of crafts that still remain in Ireland is very small and I think I am correct in saying that they could be counted on the fingers of one hand. It is going to be a big job to hold on to these and a still greater task to revive some of the crafts which the Taoiseach has expressed the hope of seeing revived.

When one considers the development of machinery and the competition on all sides one can realise how difficult it is to keep the crafts going at all. We know of the difficulties of getting apprentices for many of the crafts. Tailoring is in itself an excellent craft, and yet that industry of hand-tailoring is dying because apprentices cannot be got to go into it. It may be said that tailoring is a far cry from the general trend of this Bill, but I do not think so. If we are to have a revival of craftsmanship then we must have the craftsmen, but I would like to know if the Taoiseach visualises that the council will get to work on these particular matters.

That is about all I want to say except to refer to the fact that reference has been made to the stress that should be given to assistance by industry. I think the people who have raised that matter have rendered service to industries and to the council. I can give a number of instances of industries that have been borrowed from this country and developed successfully in other countries. In that connection I would point to the magnificent lace industry of Brittany. That industry, I think it would be right to say, came out of Connemara at the beginning of this century. At the time of great depression some thoughtful people came to the West of Ireland and took back to Brittany with them a number of lace makers. They got these girls to work on the Irish designs, and even still in Brittany the simpler forms of lace are known as Irelandais. They developed these designs as far as they could, and gradually the manufacturers then began to introduce their own designs, which became incorporated in the Brittany lace itself. That industry became of tremendous economic value to Brittany. Orders poured in from all over the world, and the difficulty, year in and year out, has been to keep up with these orders. That is an instance which emphasises the references that have been made by various speakers to the interest which industrialists should take in this work and in the council.

Again reference was made to the necessity for putting various aspects of Irish culture properly before the world. That is a matter which cannot be overstressed and should be a particular work of this council. I would like to see panels of lecturers nominated and sent abroad to lecture on various matters of culture in this country. There is no reason why lecturers should not go abroad to deal with the early art in early Ireland—with the high crosses, the gold crosses, the Book of Kells, work on textiles and so on. There is no reason even why some lecturers should not be sent abroad to lecture on education in Ireland, on the schools, and particularly the hedge schools, and to indicate to the people of the world the things in which Ireland has always been interested. If the state of arts in Ireland is not what we would like it to be then the people of those countries could be shown that there are various historic reasons why they are not so.

I have raised these points and I do not know how they will be disposed of, since the Taoiseach is not here now, but at least I would like to have it on record that I have raised them. If they can be satisfactorily answered then that is well and good, but if not then perhaps at some time we can have them adjusted.

Senator Ó Buachalla takes a considerable interest in this matter but I do think that the things he is asking the Taoiseach to answer must be left to the council as it was the intention of the Bill. The Bill proposes to set up a council to take certain steps in all these matters and they should not have to be told by the Minister or by anybody else the things that they will do, though they may accept suggestions from the Senator or other interested persons. Under the Bill the council will be in a position that they are taking the places occupied by the patrons of these arts in the past and they will be doing the things which the patrons used to do.

It is not possible to answer in detail the questions that Senator Ó Buachalla has asked. I do not think it would be possible for the Taoiseach to answer. For example, he asked whether this particular council would have power to build a concert-hall or build museums. The Senator has touched on one of the things that are dear to my heart. There is such a thing as an open-air folk museum in the Scandinavian countries and for which we have material which is fast disappearing. Such a thing is being done in Belfast and I would like to see that kind of museum here. I do not know whether this council can do it.

Has it the power to do it?

Section 5, sub-section (1) provides:—

"There shall be paid to the council annually out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas a grant of such amount as the Taoiseach shall determine."

Therefore, any project of the council which would require money would need the approval of the Taoiseach. Therefore, nobody can answer whether the council will build the concert hall or whether it has the power to do it. The council has only power to do it, if the Taoiseach makes the money available to it.

Sub-section (1) provides among other things "to stimulate public interest in the arts." Does it follow from that that the provision of a theatre is essential? Does it follow from that that we ought to have adequate galleries and so on?

I could not say.

Has this council power to go ahead and have these buildings provided?

I would not say so. The council presumably has power to make certain requests to the Taoiseach and I doubt if the council would say, in the early stages of its career, that it intended to build a concert hall or a museum. I do not know whether the council would undertake teaching. If I were a member of the council, I would advocate that the council might consult with the Department of Education and endeavour to have things done in school which might help toward the appreciation of art rather than undertake teaching itself. I happen to be vice-chairman of a Committee on Cultural Relations set up by the Minister for External Affairs. It was set up with wide terms of reference. The Cultural Relations Committee has a certain limited grant, but this council is in the position of not having a limited grant. That is one of the improvements made in the Bill in the Dáil. The Cultural Relations Committee do certain things suggested by that Minister, certain things suggested by its own members and certain things the members are asked to do by other people, that is, after the committee has considered the matter. Fundamentally, the real trouble with Senator Ó Buachalla's question is that he is asking that the Taoiseach should put himself in the place of the council when it has been created and say what it will do. For example, will the council give scholarships? The answer is: I do not know. The Cultural Relations Committee has actually given one or two scholarships.

Will the council have power to give scholarships?

Mr. Hayes

There does not seem to me to be any limit on the council at all. Take the phraseology—"to stimulate public interest in the arts". The stimulation of interest in the arts seems to be a phrase of such extraordinary breadth that you could do anything at all under it, if you had the money. It would stimulate an interest in the arts here if we had a better museum. It would stimulate interest in the arts, if we had a better national library to assist in improving the standard of the arts. The main difficulty with regard to art in the country is not so much the artists as a lack of interest in what they do. The first thing the council would do would be rather to direct itself to the public than to helping the artists. In the long run, that would help the artist, too. It would destroy the foolish idea which Senator Colgan adverted to and condemned, the notion that only the very rich or very learned can enjoy the arts. The council might do something about that. As to whether it can give scholarships, or erect buildings, it seems to me that its powers are quite unlimited. With regard to lecturers going abroad there is at present a lecturer from University College, Dublin, in Scandinavia and this Cultural Relations Committee assists lecturers in that regard. The whole purpose of this Bill is that the powers shall be as wide as possible but when the council meets it will be in the position that the Cultural Relations Committee is in and that every committee is in of having to do first things first. There are people available to do certain things and if you want to do other things you will not be able to get personnel to do them. therefore, you do first the things for which you have the personnel. And, therefore, the answer to Senator Ó Buachalla's question is: "Yes, the powers are there but the council is set up for the express purpose of determining in what order and to what extent it will exercise its powers." Nobody could say what its first suggestions would be, but that it has power to make suggestions and take action on a great variety of matters there seems to be no doubt whatever.

Mr. O'Farrell

Section 3, sub-section (1) of the Bill provides:—

"The council shall, by such means and in such manner as they think fit (a) stimulate public interest in the arts."

It is left to the council to decide the manner and the means, whether it will give financial assistance or assistance of any other sort. I had the same idea in mind as Senator Ó Buachalla when I was talking. I raised the question that it might be necessary to give grants of some sort or to give scholarships to people who would be engaged in the application of art. The Taoiseach did not deny that that was so. The drafting of Section 3, sub-section (1) (a), etc., is, I think, a piece of the most skilful drafting that I have seen in any Bill. It says:—

"The council shall, by such means and in such manner as they think fit (a) stimulate public interest in the arts."

That could be interpreted as referring to the building of theatres, the subsidising of existing theatres and the doing of any things they wanted to do, if they desired them keenly enough, provided they have the financial resources. Sub-section (3) of Section 3 reads:—

"The council may co-operate with and assist any other persons concerned directly or indirectly with matters relating to the arts——"

I drew attention to that.

"May assist directly or indirectly". It goes on:—

"——and the assistance may include payments by the council upon such terms and conditions as they think fit."

The whole idea of the Bill is to leave the council as much power as possible and to insert the State as little as possible. The best patrons in the history of art were the patrons who did not prescribe either the subject or the treatment of works or art, and the State should not so prescribe either, so that as much freedom as possible will be left. Senator O'Farrell was quite correct in saying that that section and the other sections give ample power. It is a question of money and order.

Question put and agreed to.
Sections 4 to 8 inclusive, Schedule and Title agreed to.
Bill received for final consideration and passed.
Business suspended at 6.15.p.m. and resumed at 7.15 p.m.