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Seanad Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 17 Nov 1971

Vol. 71 No. 12

National College of Art and Design Bill, 1971: Committee Stage.

Section 1 agreed to.

I move amendment No. 1:

To add a new subsection as follows:

"(3) The provisions of this Act shall have effect, in respect of the College, notwithstanding the re-location of the College at a future date on some other site or sites."

This is not an amendment behind which there is any principle. It is a matter of drafting and I put it forward purely on that basis. If the Minister is satisfied with the Bill as it stands, I will not press the matter any further. However, it seems to me that in regard to section 2 (1), having gone to the trouble of specifying the physical situation of the National College of Art, leaves the possibility open that if that location is changed—and that, in fact, will be the case if we are to believe the Minister— we may find that we have a Bill dealing with a college which no longer exists.

If the Minister looks at section 2 (1) he will see that the meaning given to the phrase "the College" in this Bill is a "college of art, crafts and design", qualified by two further phrases, firstly to be "known as the National College of Art" and, secondly, "situate at Kildare Street, Dublin". I would have thought that the latter phrase is unnecessary. We all know where the National College of Art is situated. I suggest to the Minister—if he is satisfied with it, it will be his Department later on who will have to shoulder the trouble, if there is trouble—that the subsection as it stands leaves open the possibility that if the National College of Art is subsequently removed to another site this Bill will not apply to any college whatever. I would have thought it possible to leave out this reference to Kildare Street but if we are going to have it in, and I do not see its necessity, there might be some sense in a subsection, such as the one I suggest, saying:

The provisions of this Act shall have effect in respect of the College, notwithstanding the re-location of the College at a future date on some other site or sites.

As the Senator has said, I suspected when I saw his amendment that it was in relation to drafting. I have got legal advice on this and I am informed that the amendment is not necessary. The definition of "college" here is purely descriptive and in view of section 4 (2) which empowers the board to "acquire, hold and dispose of land" and section 22 which empowers the board "to construct, acquire, provide itself with and equip and maintain such buildings and other premises as it considers necessary" there is no need for further elaboration in the Bill regarding the premises.

I do not agree with the advice the Minister has received but I will not press the matter further. I have done my best in making the point and I think nothing more needs to be said.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Question proposed: "That section 2 stand part of the Bill."

I rise simply to say, in the Minister's hearing, that I regret having used the word "slovenly" on the last occasion in regard to the Irish title of this college. It was an ill-chosen word and I am sorry I used it. I recognise that it may have been offensive to whoever may have been responsible for the drafting of this section. At the same time, I found the Minister's defence of the Irish name of the college unconvincing on the last occasion. He said, both in Irish and English, that the title as it stands is more musical with the contracted form of the conjunction than if we had the full word "agus". It may be more musical but it is very informal. It is informal in a context where informality is inappropriate.

Again no point of principle is involved, but it seems that we have here an "ainm cúl na cinne", a name not formerly in the family of formal names of State boards or authorities under State control, or of Ministers of State, or of Departments of State. There is no sound reason for this departure. If the word had been "agus" as I suggested it would still have been possible, in the event of anyone dealing with it in Irish or speaking Irish in the college, to contract it in speech to the musical form which the Minister prefers. I want to repeat the point while, at the same time, admitting that I probably was unduly offensive in using the word "slovenly" about it on the last occasion.

I hope this is the right section on which to raise this question. This Bill assumes that the College of Art will be only one building in Dublin. Does that do away with any possibility of constituent colleges of art anywhere else in the country that would be associated with the National College of Art and Design? In other words, can you have only one college situated in Dublin? If in, say, Waterford, Limerick or Cork it is desired to have another college of art, would it have to be entitled the Limerick College of Art or the Waterford College of Art, without any association with the National College of Art? I mentioned this point during the Second Stage of the Bill and I am wondering if the Minister could tell us if he has any plans for extending the college, something on the lines of the National University, to other appropriate centres in the country.

In reply to Senator Kelly, to be quite frank I do not think anybody would take offence at the word "slovenly" as such. I feel that the name "An Coláiste Náisiúnta Ealaíne is Deartha" sounds better than "An Coláiste Náisiúnta Ealaíne agus Deartha". I do not want to go into dictionary definitions again in relation to this.

With regard to the point raised by Senator Russell, what we are referring to here is the college which will be established in Dublin. There will be reference, probably in some later amendments, to association. There are amendments which deal with that particular aspect.

I do not wish to delay the House but I asked a question on Second Reading and, unfortunately, I was not able to be present when the Minister replied. He may have already dealt with it. It is an historical point. Am I correct in thinking that the National College of Art and Design, which is to emerge from this Bill—and which has been heretofore known as the Metropolitan School of Art—originated in the Royal Dublin Society?

Was the Ministers and Secretaries Act used or was it part of the legal machinery, whereby the Department of Education was established, which placed under the control of the Minister for Education what had been previously administered by the RDS?

It was under the Ministers and Secretaries Act.

Transferred that function to the Minister for Education?

So far as the actual name is concerned, I do not think there is any statutory basis for it.

Question put and agreed to.
Sections 3 and 4 agreed to.

I move amendment No. 2:

In subsection (2), paragraph (e), to add the following:

"; provided however that a gift accepted by An Bord under section 23 of this Act, if related to the giving of scholarships, bursaries, prizes or other awards, shall not be made the subject of any scheme inconsistent with the conditions under which the gift was made".

This is a matter which I mentioned on Second Stage. It cannot be understood unless one looks at the provisions of subsection (2) of section 23. Section 23 entitles An Bord to accept gifts of works of art, et cetera. We can leave the works of art and everything else aside. Let us just concentrate on the possibility of a gift of money intended to provide prizes, scholarships, or something of that kind, for the encouragement of excellence, made to An Bord and intended for the benefit of students. Let us suppose that An Bord, under subsection (2) of section 23, accept this gift since the conditions attached to it by the donor are not inconsistent with the functions of An Bord. There should be a further provision in the section about which we are now speaking which provides that, once An Bord does that, it may not administer that money if it has taken possession of it in a way inconsistent with the donor's wishes. It does not matter whether the donor is living or dead; once An Bord accept a gift under section 23, having made up their minds that their acceptance is not inconsistent with the functions of An Bord, if the gift is related to the giving of a scholarship or bursary or something of that kind, they should not be allowed to build that gift or the proceeds therefrom into some scheme inconsistent with the conditions attached to the gift by the donor.

I may be told by the Minister that he has perhaps taken advice on this and that it is not necessary. If that is so, I shall have to disagree with him. However, he may also say that, of course, there may be legal redress open to the donor or his representatives if the gift is used in some other way. I would be anxious that a donor of money for the purpose of a scholarship or a bursary or a prize would not be driven to seek a redress in the courts in a case like this. I should like to see our placing a positive duty on An Bord, once they make up their minds to accept a gift of money for some purpose which they think is not inconsistent with their own functions, not to build that money into some scheme, the administration of which would be inconsistent with, or which would not fulfil, the purposes intended by the person who made this gift in the first place.

In fact the Senator anticipated what I was likely to say in relation to this particular matter. I do not think that the amendment is necessary, because if conditions are attached to a particular gift these conditions are mandatory, and there does not appear to be any need to make specific provisions in order to forbid An Bord from transgressing these conditions.

Section 23 forbids An Bord to accept a gift if the conditions attached to its acceptance are inconsistent with their functions. I consider this to be sufficient. Under this particular section of the Bill no need arises to safeguard the donor of the gifts in regard to the conditions laid down for their acceptance for the very reasons mentioned by the Senator. That is, if these conditions are not complied with, the donor has recorse to the courts, or to the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests. If this is so, I do not think that I should, in these circumstances, accept this amendment.

I will not take up unduly the time of the House on this. The Minister or his advisers are, perhaps, failing to make a distinction which seems to me to be clear. Section 23 places on An Bord the duty of making up their minds, when they are offered something, whether the acceptance of this gift is inconsistent with their functions. In other words, whatever official of An Bord is being offered money will be directed to the functions section of the Act, which is section 5. He will run his eye down clauses (a) to (j), and if he comes to the conclusion that the conditions attaching to the gift are not inconsistent with these functions, I take this Bill as requiring him to accept that gift. There may be conditions attached to the gift which, while not inconsistent with the functions of An Bord, may be ones which in the academic administration of the college, An Bord do not wish to give effect to in the giving of a bursary, or a scholarship or a prize. These are two quite separate things. It is perfectly possible for An Bord to say: "We must accept this gift because the conditions attached to it are not inconsistent with our functions. But now we have got the gift and we are going to build it into some scheme of scholarship or bursary or prize, even though that may be inconsistent with the idea which the donor had in his own mind in regard to it." I suppose the likelihood of a sensible board doing this is small. I do not think it is right that a donor should be referred to the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests, or referred to his legal remedies in the courts, if it is possible for us to copperfasten the thing by enlarging this clause so as to prohibit An Bord from building money into a scheme in regard to a bursary or a scholarship or a prize which is not consistent with the wishes of the donor.

I cannot see that Senator Kelly's amendment makes any great improvement because, even without the amendment, if An Bord did what was envisaged here, it would be a breach of trust, and the donor could have recourse to the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests or to the courts. If this amendment is included, the only difference is that they will still have to go to the court to ask for a declaration that An Bord are acting inconsistently with the Act. It does not really improve the position very much.

I admit it does not rule out the possibility that he might have to go to the Commissioners or to the courts—that is quite true. But it would place more clearly before their eyes the duty which An Bord have to adhere to the donor's wishes. That would be an advantage. It may be only a small advantage, as Senator Ryan says, but it is worth accepting on that basis.

I fully appreciate what Senator Kelly is getting at. In relation to An Bord, they would be very much aware that a responsible board would make changes of the type that he has suggested. I should also like to point out that in the Charities Act, 1961, section 47 allows changes in certain circumstances. Under one Act we cannot prevent something that is allowable under another one.

I have studied the Senator's amendment very carefully, and I appreciate what he is trying to do. However, it would be better to leave it open, as it is at the moment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

It might be pointed out that amendments Nos. 3 and 6 are related, and could possibly be debated together, with separate decisions, if necessary.

I move amendment No. 3:

To add to subsection (2) the following new paragraphs:—

(k) assisting, encouraging and co-operating with any school of art, designated by the Minister as an associate school of the National College of Art,

(l) providing where possible, inservice training, and refresher and research opportunities for all teachers of art and design, whether full-time or part-time.

I confess that I have not the benefit of a great deal of discussion with Senator Quinlan about his concept of associate schools of the National College of Art. However, the broad attitude behind this amendment is one with which I would fully agree.

Before going on to deal with the question of the associate schools of the College of Art, I should like to deal very briefly with the second subsection which it is proposed to add to subsection (2). That is:

providing where possible, inservice training, and refresher and research opportunities for all teachers of art and design, whether full-time or part-time.

This is an extra subsection designed to make explicit something which may or may not be covered by the functions given to the board under section 5 as it stands. If the Minister is prepared to give an undertaking that in his opinion section 5 as it stands empowers the board to provide this kind of service, then I would be willing to accept it. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section 5 could, at a stretch, be considered as giving the board the right to carry out the sort of courses that are envisaged in paragraph (1) of the amendment. If the Minister will underwrite this belief on my part, I would be happy to accept it.

To return to the question of associate schools of the National College of Art, the point was made during the Second Stage debate in this House that what we are dealing with here is a National College of Art. The word "National" is in the title and is there by contrast, one might say, to the old "Metropolitan" title of the school. When it was the Metropolitan School of Art it was obviously an urban, localised institution. We are striving to create in this legislation a national institution and I believe the College of Art cannot be a national institution unless it assumes national responsibilities for the fields which it proposes to cover.

This is a small country with a limited amount of talent, and that is nothing to be ashamed of. But we should take our situation seriously and not try and extend our resources in a futile imitation of structures in countries which are much better endowed than we are in terms of people and of money. We should try to adapt our own structures to our own particular needs and situation. I should hate to see the new National College of Art in Dublin bereft of any institutional link with colleges of art of any standing elsewhere in the country. The college in Cork is an obvious example. I presume this was the one Professor Quinlan had so strongly in mind when putting down this amendment.

All too often we have seen the danger of provincialism and this is a danger which affects not only the provinces but the capital city as well. If we have an approach to art and design too rigidly based on the capital, this will make the capital inward looking, ingrown, and would tend to cut it off from the well-springs of tradition and culture throughout the country. On the other hand, if we have this undue emphasis on the urban and capital nature of the National College of Art, the provincial provision—I am speaking strictly in the geographical sense—of art and design, in turn, will be attenuated, cut off from the stimulating influences of the capital and the capital's links with international trends and so on.

We should like to get from the Minister an undertaking of some kind that what we are setting up here will be a National College of Art in every sense of the word. The provision written into this amendment for designating schools of art of standing as associate schools would be a good one, even though it might not involve a great deal in structural terms. It might provide the very necessary psychological link to ensure that art and design in this country are carried forward on a national basis from now on.

I should like to support this amendment. I was here when Professor Quinlan gave the reasons for introducing such an amendment. The underlying reason for putting in an amendment, that the Minister would designate a particular school of art as an associate school of the National College and then the link of assisting, encouraging and co-operating with any school of art designated by the Minister as an associate school of the National College of Art as being a positive duty on the college, was an attempt at decentralisation of art. It was part of the theme which Senator Cranitch emphasised on Second Reading and is one which Senator Horgan has stressed. Senator Quinlan has used the old phrasing in his amend-ment—National College of Art—but this would merely be a matter of drafting.

To designate a school of art such as the school in Cork or any other schools in the country would give an institutionalised structure to the sort of co-operation we want between these schools of art. It would make it easier to have a free flow of teachers between the schools, a free flow of information, and of materials. Whereas, if there is a National College totally centred in Dublin and schools of art around the country with no formal link, it would be much more difficult to encourage the sort of co-operation which is necessary, particularly because we do not have the resources in this country to keep a monopoly of the schools in a particular city or have them underused in terms of the demand from the country.

Although it is not clearly set out what the consequences would be, one good consequence would be the possibility of co-operation, the possibility of giving an associate status to schools around the country to foster an interchange, to foster the possibility of exchange of teachers over substantial periods of time to allow the associate schools to benefit from the development of techniques such as the new techniques of printing, lithographs, et cetera, on which the College of Art would have the resources to spend time and money. This information would circulate freely to the associate college. This would not be a one-way process; it would also be possible for the associate schools around the country to feed information and encourage the interest of the National College of Art in what was happening in the various schools around the country. This is an important point which is in favour of the regionalism and the decentralisation of art and it is the kind of institutional link which would foster this.

I should not like to get myself into a dispute on law, but I am puzzled about the discussion which is taking place here. I am a member of a vocational committee, and we have sent quite a number of students to various schools of art, some to the National College of Art and some to London and other places. Senator Alexis FitzGerald spoke about all the famous artists who passed through the College of Art but he left out one important one, Mulready, who came from Ennis. Some of his paintings are on exhibition at the National Gallery at the moment. We have sent quite a number of students to various places which we thought were more suitable for them. Some of them have turned out to be very good. Some of them are back now as instructors in our own county.

From what I have heard here today it seems that the people resident in Dublin think that we have all the fools down the country. We have not. A school of art has been established in Limerick. Some of our students have been very successful; some of them have not. But we have within our own organisations the opportunity and right to send them where we think they can best benefit. Some of the young people who went to a vocational school went to London and they are back now as instructors. I do not think that the Minister should be pushed too far on this amendment. The facilities are already there if the people want to use them.

I want to support the amendment in so far as it relates to the question of associate colleges of the National College of Art and Design. This college will be designated an institution of higher education and no other college of art in the country will be so designated unless it has some form of association with the National College of Art and Design. I am sure the Minister would agree that we must visualise in the years ahead that there will be a very big expansion in the number of young people going to colleges of art either for the pleasure of producing pictures, pottery or some other form of visual art or engaging in commercial design. It would be completely wrong to assume that by situating the National College of Art in the city of Dublin only this growing demand would be properly catered for. I do not wish to sound parochial but if I refer to my own native city of Limerick I do so in the knowledge that it is a regional capital of some 300,000 people with very close and friendly associations with the neighbouring counties Clare, North Tipperary, North Kerry. With its links through Shannon Airport it is becoming more and more a cosmopolitan centre and would be an obvious location for an associate college such as I have in mind and such as this amendment seems to suggest. It would be a pity at this stage if the Minister and his advisers could not look sufficiently far ahead as to visualise a devolution of this National College of Art and Design throughout suitable centres elsewhere in the country.

This new Bill offers the Minister an opportunity of doing that even though, in fact, it may not come into effect for some years to come. It would give a tremendous impetus to the number of students entering colleges, schools of art, or classes of art as they only are in some centres. We live in an age where status counts for something. There is no doubt about it that it is not the same thing for a boy or girl coming out of the National College of Art as against a boy or girl coming out of a local art school or even an art class attached to a vocational committee. I would strongly press on the Minister to adopt this or some terms that would leave room for an expansion and devolution of the teaching of art under the aegis of the National College of Art and Design throughout the country.

I should like to support what other speakers have said on this amendment. If we are going to use the term "National" in the title of any college of this nature then we have got to make it a truly national college and look at things from the national point of view. We need to look at situations, as Senator Cranitch and other Senators have pointed out, of art colleges and art schools in other parts of the country, not just in my native city of Cork, or in Limerick as referred to by Senator Russell, but in all parts of the country. We want to make sure that these institutions are not hamstrung by some legislation and made automatically second rate institutions. Surely we are in the era now in which education is something which involves sharing of facilities, sharing of staff and sharing of students. I feel that by designating the college purely as we have it in the Bill and by not allowing for situations which certainly will arise in the future in art education in this country we could be putting through legislation which would seriously jeopardise the future possibilities of co-operation and of sharing of facilities which I have referred to.

I feel very strongly on this. The difficulty is that we cannot always compare our situation with that of other countries in which institutions like colleges of art could spring up because of a private donation or colleges, such as in the United States or the Continent where private institutions set up colleges of art and design, because I do not think in this country we are ever going to have enough money going around for this sort of thing to happen. All our art colleges are going to be State colleges. Whether we like it or not they will all be financed basically by the State. As a result, all the colleges involved will be bound by the regulations which the Minister, his Department and, indeed, this House combine to set down.

I would not like to see a situation arising where by being too inflexible in this regard we hamstring co-operation between one college which is a National College of Art and another college which may not be on the same level. I feel that the National University of Ireland, as it is constituted, is not just based in Dublin. It has constituent colleges in Cork, Galway, Maynooth as well. This, therefore, justifies the term "National". The term "National" is a dangerous one unless one realises its implications and this amendment, as I interpret it, is an attempt to use the word "National" in the title in its truest sense and, therefore, I would support it.

Inasmuch as the Minister and his advisers are, so to speak, the architects of the new programme in national schools concerning art and craft activities, it is reasonable to suppose that they will give very sympathetic consideration to this amendment. The point has already been very well made by the previous speakers that "National" in this sense should mean national. On the Second Stage debate I made the point that the capital is not, and should not be regarded, as the cultural centre of this country.

During the years ahead I can foresee a large expansion in art and trade activities all over the country. It is true to say that already that has started. In the Cork School of Art at the moment there are 120 wholetime students whereas six or seven years ago there were only 16. I believe that the Department will be most sympathetic towards encouraging art in every form throughout the whole State. The only fault I find with this amendment is that it says:

assisting, encouraging and cooperating with any school of art, designated by the Minister as an associate school of the National College of Art.

We can imagine the Minister designating the Cork School of Art, the Limerick School of Art and possibly Waterford, as associate colleges at some stage or other, but then there would be other schools in smaller centres of population throughout the country who, in their own way, may at any given point in time be regarded as worthy of association with the National College of Art. There are difficulties there but since the main thing in any institution is the oil on which it runs, or the goodwill behind it, we may be reasonably satisfied that on present indications in the Department of Education every sympathy will be given to art and cultural activities of that sort throughout the whole State. I look forward to hearing the Minister's views on this point.

We can all agree on this amendment that it is largely an enabling one because it is governed by amendment No. 6 which says: "The Minister may by order designate any school of art as an associate school of the National College of Art." There is in the same section a provision by which the Minister can also revoke this order. Therefore, no action can be taken then under amendment No. 3 unless the Minister approves fully of it. Indeed, he can revoke his approval just as readily by using the powers provided under section 6.

I would envisage that the development here might not be an overnight one. The first task is obviously to get things in order here in the National College of Art. Very soon after that, the Cork college and possibly the Waterford and Limerick colleges could be brought into association. It is highly desirable in all forms of activity that we should have national co-ordination and national co-operation. We have aimed at that in various other facets, especially in the co-ordination that has been achieved through the Agricultural Institute. The same is provided here.

I am really more interested still in the second part of amendment No. 3, that is a means of keeping the teachers and the programmes up-to-the-minute in the various schools of art designated under this amendment. This is something that does not seem to be appreciated nearly enough by the Minister and his advisers, the necessity to provide constant refresher courses for teachers or, more important still, in subjects that are rather personal like art and design, providing opportunities for teachers to get time off occasionally. It might take three months or six months to go somewhere to find out what is happening, to learn what is new, to try to assimilate it and then incorporate it into their courses back in their parent institution. That, of course, is the only way you can keep instruction alive and worthwhile. There is no point in teaching outmoded designs any more than there is any point in teaching outmoded science.

I believe the National College would have a real function in this because I do not envisage the teachers in the designated schools of art being regularly sent to England, the continent or America. I regard that as being much more exceptional. It should be quite normal practice that every four or five years they might spend a term at the National College and do some teaching there as well as attending some lectures for their own advancement and possibly engaging in some research projects. All this would be very worthwhile. From our experience in the universities, in our effort to try to keep abreast of what is happening and to try to change our courses to reflect this, we cannot value sufficiently highly this ability to get away from the local scene to see what is happening elsewhere.

What is stopping them?

Finance. Teachers working 25 hours a week with rather low salaries are not in a position suddenly to take unpaid leave for six months to go abroad, or even to go to Dublin. What is commonplace between university institutions should equally well apply to the development of art and science. We are sadly lagging in both of these, especially now that the college has been charged with design. Design has a great potential for contributing to our economy. That is something that is changing very rapidly and teachers have to be kept up-to-the-minute.

Therefore, I would appeal to the Minister to accept this power that we are giving to him. Indeed it is not my form in general to give undue powers to the Minister or his Department, I am generally fighting against that, but in this case it is worthwhile that we should entrust this power to the Minister. I appeal to him not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Perhaps I should say that I am always suspicious when Senator Quinlan comes with a gift horse. This matter was also mentioned by Senator Horgan. The whole matter is provided for in the Bill in section 5 (2) (c): "providing courses and lectures for the further training of teachers of art as such teachers,". That is broad enough to deal with all the matters which have been referred to by Senator Quinlan. Perhaps also the Senator is not aware that even at present opportunities for retraining are available to teachers. Many opportunities have been made available to teachers in the College of Art to go abroad for training.

The second point raised was: "assisting, encouraging and cooperating with any school of art, designated by the Minister as an associate school of the National College of Art,". First of all, perhaps I should say that there was an unfortunate analogy in the matter raised by Senator West when he referred to UCC and National as being constituent colleges of the National College. I looked very hard at Senator Professor Quinlan to see how he was taking it, to see whether or not he favoured what was said, so that I could make up my mind in relation to the full question of university education.

With regard to this amendment, let me say that, apart from the teaching of art by private individuals over whom I have no control and over whom I do not intend to take any control, the only recognised schools of art in this country are those which are operated, as Senator Honan said, by the vocational education committees. These committees are statutory bodies and I have no authority to alter the status of their schools. There is nothing to prevent the students from these schools entering the College of Art provided they are fully qualified to do so, just as in the same way students from other educational institutions can enter the university provided that they are so qualified.

One thing that struck me about the general discussion, in particular on the Second Stage, was the emphasis which was being laid on the autonomy of this particular body by the various Senators who spoke here. Yet in this amendment they wish to give me power to declare other schools of art to be associated schools, whether the new board would approve of this or not.

As I have said, the students in the various schools of art throughout the country can do a very considerable part of their art education in these schools. But I think it is inevitable that they would finish their courses in the College of Art in Dublin, because it is very difficult to provide the full range of facilities that are necessary in, for example, the diploma schools and in other small schools throughout the country. I think it is reasonable to say that, if in the schools which are controlled by the vocational education committees they are enabled through the education which they receive to enter the National College of Art, this is an association between these schools and the College of Art. So far as I am aware, it is possible for those who are interested in training as art teachers to do the whole course in these other schools, apart from the principles of teaching which are done in the College of Art.

For these reasons, and in relation to the matter of the autonomy of the board, I feel that I should not accept the proposals put forward. There is nothing to prevent An Bord from recognising courses in other schools of art. Examination successes attained as a result of these courses can ensure that the students concerned will be eligible for admission to the National College of Art.

I should like to take up two points which the Minister has made. First of all, my reference to the National University and the fact that it has four colleges. At the moment it still is the National University and I am sure, as the Minister knows and as Senator Quinlan would agree, one of the great problems in the National University is the terrific number of students in the constituent colleges, especially in the college in Dublin. This is certainly one of the main reasons why the colleges want their autonomy, because they have become so big. I never envisaged a situation in which there are 8,000 or 10,000 students doing art in one college in Dublin or even 3,000 students doing art in one college in Cork. I do not think that the reasons which are encouraging the National University to seek autonomy will arise in the case of the art colleges because of the difference in scale, and scale is very important.

The other point which I should like to take up is that the Minister says that subsection (2) (c) here will provide the facilities which Senator Quinlan has asked for. I am not trying to put words into Senator Quinlan's mouth, but one of the things he referred to was the question of sabbatical leave, or going abroad for service, having done some of your service in this country. I think this is most important. It is not entirely a matter for the academic world. I had a meeting with a group of business men in one particular profession during the week and we discussed the differences in our profession. They made it quite clear to me that in their particular business, which is insurance, the insurance world had become so technical that there was a lot of thought being put into the idea of people in that profession having sabbatical leave, having a chance to move into another firm to do something completely different and then return to their original job without any danger of loss of salary, loss of increments or loss of status.

I should like to ask the Minister about this question of somebody who wishes to go abroad from an art teaching job in this country. The obvious country for him to choose, because of the problems of finance, travel and so forth, would be the United Kingdom. If he went and spent some time in the United Kingdom would it be recognised for incremental purposes, would he return without ending up in worse position as regards increments than if he stayed in this country? I think the answer is that he would not, because service teaching in the United Kingdom is not recognised as far as increments are concerned.

Perhaps we could appeal to the Minister again on this matter. The Minister seems to sympathise with what has been said, and there is a minor disagreement between us in that he says that this is provided for under subsection (2) (c). We can as reasonable men look at this and see if perhaps the Minister could produce some modification of it on Report Stage. There is an essential difference between the amendment which I put down and paragraph (c). They are not contradictory but it calls for inservice training. The words "further training" are much more vague and I doubt whether they could be constructed as providing inservice.

In any case, the second part is much more important: that is, providing refresher and research opportunities for all teachers. What I have in mind by "refresher opportunities" is the opportunity for a certain number of teachers each year to come to the National College of Art and take part in regular teaching there, and also probably have some research opportunities there, or attend some lectures that would aid their further training.

I am not suggesting that the only way refresher courses can be got is for those wanting to go abroad. I regard going abroad as being the top level, applicable mainly to the National College of Art, who are charged with art education at a higher level than the schools of art will be I consider that the College of Art in spending a period conducting refresher courses would fulfil the same function for the teacher in the local school of art as going abroad would for the teacher in the National College of Art. I regard it as vital in order to keep the teachers in local schools up to date with affairs. This does not preclude such teachers from being given the funds and facilities to go abroad periodically for six months.

There is a vital difference between what the Minister has provided and what I have suggested. I am asking the Minister to note the phraseology. There is no question whatsoever of giving the National College of Art power over the local schools of art which are controlled by the vocational committees. It is "assist, encourage and co-operate with" which I think is as it should be. Also, while the local schools obviously will not aspire to reach the level of the course which would be provided in a national college, many of their courses will cover the first or second year of a more extended course in the National College of Art. Again, it is necessary to keep these in close touch.

We are all trying very hard to improve this. We are trying to put our experience at the disposal of the Minister and we are trying to argue this in a rational manner. Therefore, I would appeal to the Minister, between now and Report Stage, to look at the points we have raised and see if he cannot accept the amendment as drafted. Perhaps at Report Stage he will let us have a Government amendment which will meet the needs we have outlined.

I am against these amendments for three reasons. First of all, I do not accept Senator Quinlan's contention that the services, help and co-operation which are provided in his amendment are not already provided in section 5 under the functions which the board have. I certainly cannot see any difference between inservice and refresher courses and further training. They certainly can mean the same thing. There may be some point in the question whether the functions include research. Research does not seem to me to be a very important thing in this context. In any event I think Senator Quinlan is splitting hairs when he says that the functions of the board are not sufficient and that what he is providing is something extra.

In regard to having schools of art designated as associate schools of the National College of Art, I am against it as I feel this would create many difficulties. It would create a difference between one school of art and another because one is designated and another is not. It would cause friction. It would cause unnecessary priorities and distinctions between schools of art and it would be very difficult for the Minister to decide what rule of thumb he should use and in what way he should decide which schools of art should be designated as associate schools. All this difficulty, friction and bad feeling would be built up amongst those schools of art which are not designated.

I cannot see the purpose of it. According to this amendment, it is merely to enable the board to give certain aid and so on which, in my view, can be given without any necessity to designate certain schools of art as associate schools. The purpose is one which is quite unjustified, particularly when these aids can be given by the board without creating associate schools.

I am also against the idea from a legal point of view. I think that there is a principle in interpretation of Acts which could be dangerous in this context and that is where the Act spells out that schools of art must be designated as associate schools in order to get certain help and so on, then, by implication, any school of art which is not designated as an associate school would probably be regarded as not being qualified to receive any help from the board. In that way a situation would quite likely be created in which a school of art, merely because it is not designated, would not qualify for assistance, whereas at the present time any school of art who the board thinks is worthy of support can get it. It is for that reason that I think the idea of having designated associate schools is quite unnecessary and is a rather dangerous suggestion which might have the opposite effect to the effect Senator Quinlan obviously desires.

Some of the arguments to which I have been listening against the amendment remind me of similar arguments being put up for years past when Limerick sought to have a university in its precincts. We were told that it was unthinkable to have an institution teaching degree courses. But, lo and behold, as the Minister knows, we are to have opening next September a national institute for higher education with degree courses. All the impossible things that could not be done a few years ago are now about to be done.

I do not think we should take the wording of the amendments to pieces, bit by bit. The reasoning behind it, being supported by both sides of the House, is that the National College of Art and Design should not become the "Dublin institute", and that any formula, even other than that outlined in the amendments that would bring about the desired regionalisation or devolution of the National College of Art, would be acceptable, I am sure, to the proposer, Senator Quinlan, as it would be to me.

The Minister mentioned as an objection the present autonomous standing of the vocational education committees throughout the country. Like Senator Honan, I am a member of a vocational education committee. I do not think that the members of any vocational education committee would stand in the way of any development that would be for the betterment of the young people who wish to enter a college of art. There is no doubt that the solution to this problem is not the solution that was put forward to the people of Limerick years ago—that if you want to get a degree all that has to be done is to give somebody in Limerick or Ennis or Nenagh a grant or some form of subsidy and send them up to one of the Dublin colleges. That is not the answer. I think we have become more and more aware that an institution or a college sited in its own locality is far better both for the students and for the community amongst which it rests than the alternative of sending young people up to Dublin or elsewhere to get their degrees.

I am sure Senator Quinlan would be agreeable, if his amendment does not meet the Minister's viewpoint, to have the Minister bring in an amendment on the Report Stage which would give the Minister such powers at some future date. With the development of art and design throughout the country the Minister should be in a position, without having to bring in another Bill to this House, to designate an institution in Cork, Limerick, Waterford or elsewhere as an associate of the National College of Art and Design. That, I think, is what the majority of the House desire. If Senator Quinlan's wording is not sufficient or is defective in any way we would be glad to invite the Minister to put down a suitable amendment himself.

It is not purely a question of whether Senator Quinlan's wording is suitable to the Minister or not; it is just simply that I do not see the need for it. The Senator has mentioned "assisting, encouraging and co-operating with any school of art". This is, in fact, what is being done at the present time. I have already mentioned that, in my view, what Senator Quinlan seeks, in relation to the second part of his amendment, is available under section 5 (2) (c). I should also like to point out that in section 5 (2) (a) there is wide scope provided and this point was not mentioned by the various speakers.

With regard to the point raised by Senator Russell that it was not possible to have degrees conferred in Limerick and that it was necessary to give grants to young people and send them to Dublin or elsewhere to obtain their degrees, I do not remember that that was in dispute Perhaps it was in dispute before my time. The dispute during my time was whether or not the institute should be called a university. By not calling it a university we were setting up something which could be developed in a new way and which, in my view and in the Department's view, would fill a vacuum in Irish education. It was felt that what should be done in Limerick was that students should get grants to go to other universities, but Senator Russell considers that it would be more relevant to establish the institute in Limerick. If I were to follow that line of thought to its logical conclusion I would be establishing institutes of higher education all over the country. I recognise what Senator Quinlan is trying to do. He feels that, perhaps, he is improving the Bill, but I do not see any need at all for the amendment. All of the things he is desirous of having can be achieved under the Bill as it stands.

On section 5 (2) (g), I should like to ask if the Irish Countrywomen's Association will be recognised as one of the associations in this regard. I am surprised that nobody has mentioned this organisation which has done more than any other group to focus attention on the poor quality of design, craft and art in this country. Any resurgence that has been witnessed is due to the Irish Countrywomen's Association. They have given lectures throughout the country in an effort to improve our appreciation of arts and crafts. I have here the Scandinavian report on design and I think it is true to say that the Irish Countrywomen's Association is the only body who has studied this report.

It is all very well to talk about colleges of art and universities, but unless you have a broad base you cannot have the apex of the pyramid. Until the ordinary people of the country learn to appreciate good craftmanship and good design we are wasting our time talking about colleges of art and design. It is about time that associations who are doing so much good work in this field—associations such as the Irish Countrywomen's Association—received the recognition they justly deserve. I have spent some time in the College of Art and I started my career in the art world. I may not have reached the heights in that field that many other people have reached but I feel I have contributed more in focusing attention on the atrocious designing we have at present and the lack of qualified people in the design world. I hope when the board is established there will be at least one place given to the Irish Countrywomen's Association.

I am very disappointed at the approach of the Minister to this amendment. I do not think he grasps the real intention of the amendment. If I understand the Minister correctly, he claims that at present the College of Art is giving all the assistance that is desirable to the local schools of art. My information is contrary to that. I do not think there is any worthwhile assistance being given at present. My intention in the amendment is to ensure that the new college, under new management, will not continue the policy of contempt for the local effort, by ensuring that it is written into the Bill. Can the Minister give any example of where in the last four or five years the National College of Art provided any opportunity for any teacher of art, either in Cork, Limerick or Waterford, to come to Dublin to conduct a course for three months and to attend lectures which would familiarise him with the more up-to-date techniques of the art world. I believe that no such help has been given in the past. I want to try to ensure that such opportunities are given as a statutory obligation under the Act. This could be done by the acceptance of my amendment which says:

providing where possible, inservice training, and refresher and research opportunities for all teachers of art and design, whether full-time or part-time.

Senator Ryan, if he were here, would note that that is not in any way confined to schools designated under section 6. Therefore, I think he has not read the Bill very carefully when he attempts to point out an absurdity that does not exist in it. If subparagraph (1) of my amendment were written into the Bill it would mean that in the staffing of the National College of Art there would be so many temporary posts carried which were to be filled by teachers from the schools of art throughout the country. There might not be many of these posts at the start; it would depend upon the demands on the financial resources. However, there would be a very positive provision for this need. The board, at least, would have to take cognisance of it and show in their staffing that they had positions for, say, ten, 12 or 20 whatever you wish, teachers for three months on leave of absence, and that they were being paid by the national institute while they were there. The national institute would, perhaps, send some of their own teachers as replacements, or the vocational education committees might grant the leave of absence, find replacements and give leave without pay to the teachers or with whatever pay arrangements would be made, and let the teachers take the positions in the School of Art. That is what we have in mind, and there is nothing in section 5 at present that would in any way warrant the establishing of a National College of Art earmarking any sums for financing temporary posts for teachers in the School of Art. That is the point with which we are mainly concerned.

I am satisfied that what is in section 5 covers all these eventualities. I should like to refer to the query from Senator Quinlan in relation to what co-operation there was between the College of Art and the various schools of art throughout the country. I have already referred to the fact that a student in one of the schools of art can enter the College of Art if he has reached a certain standard, and he can become trained as a teacher by doing the principles of teaching in the College of Art. If he has reached the required standard, he can enter the diploma schools in the College of Art. Whatever else may be said about it, this is certainly encouragement and co-operation.

Have students not got the same rights in any of the London colleges or elsewhere, provided that they can show that their basic training conforms to the standard required? Surely they can apply for admission to any other college? I do not see that it is any favour from Dublin to the near-provincials that their students are accepted when they have reached the necessary standard in their training. Surely that is not anything that we must doff our hats to? We need far more than that. Surely we are not going to start off the new college by acknowledging that such a thing is co-operation or encouragement.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Is the amendment withdrawn?

On Report Stage the Minister might consider doing something to meet some part of the case, which has been made from both sides of the House. I should like to refer especially to Senator Cranitch's excellent contribution. He is a teacher, as we all are. We are talking about a subject of which we have experience. I should even go so far as to say that perhaps we have something to contribute to the thinking of the Department of Education on this subject.

I feel that Senator Quinlan has a point. It is a case of finding a formula, but I certainly could not suggest one offhand. In relation to section 3 (1), I think there is a case for looking at this section of the Bill again and perhaps putting in some further clauses to cover what he has in mind.

I do not see that there is any need for it; if I did I should certainly have a look at it. I am not convinced by the arguments put forward that anything has been said here that is not covered in the section as it stands.

Amendment put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 18; Níl, 30.

  • Belton, Richard.
  • Butler, Pierce.
  • Dooge, James C. I.
  • FitzGerald, Alexis.
  • Fitzgerald, Jack.
  • Horgan, John.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Lyons, Michael D.
  • O'Brien, Andy.
  • O'Brien, William.
  • O'Higgins, Michael J.
  • Owens, Evelyn P.
  • Prendergast, Mícheál A.
  • Quinlan, Patrick M.
  • Reynolds, Patrick J.
  • Robinson Mary T. W.
  • Russell G. E.
  • West, Timothy T.


  • Ahern, Liam.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Brugha, Ruairí.
  • Cranitch, Mícheál C.
  • Crinion, Brendan.
  • Doyle, John.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Farrell, Peggy.
  • Flanagan, Thomas P.
  • Gallanagh, Michael.
  • Garrett, Jack.
  • Hanafin, Desmond.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • Keegan, Seán.
  • Keery, Neville.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • McElgunn, Farrell.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • McGowan, Patrick.
  • Nash, John J.
  • Norton, Patrick.
  • O'Callaghan, Cornelius K.
  • O'Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Sullivan, Terry.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Sheldon, W. A. W.
  • Walsh, Seán.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Quinlan and Russell; Níl, Senators Brennan and J. Farrell.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 4:

To add to subsection (2) the following new paragraphs:

"( ) establishing and carrying on schemes for the provision of studios for artists on such terms and subject to such conditions as An Bord thinks fit.

( ) providing a foundry equipped with all necessary materials for casting in metal and establishing courses and training in such art."

This amendment is to add two further paragraphs extending the powers of the board of the new college. My purpose in proposing this amendment arises out of a conviction that this Bill is not wide enough to meet the real problem of the situation in relation to art education. As was emphasised in relation to the last amendment from both sides of the House, this is the National College of Art and its role is a very important one in stimulating the appreciation of art and in stimulating artists. I am glad to see that section 5 which sets out the terms of reference of the board, is wider than the staff-student relationship of a college. It has already opened its scope to the training of teachers of art and to the retraining of our teachers, in other words, to the giving of refresher and retraining courses. It also provides for the giving of lectures. Section 5 (2) (d) states:

providing, if it so thinks fit, lectures on art, crafts and design for the public by members of its academic staff and other persons whom it considers suitably qualified for the purpose.

I hope this will mean that a number of artists, art historians and experts will come from outside the country and from around the country and lecture to the public. This would be a valuable contribution to art education. To complement this, one must see in what way the National College of Art and Design can also provide an important facility for the artists who are living in the country and who are very much in need of encouragement and education in their work. In framing the first amendment, it is not the wording that is important here, but the principle involved. I would be happy to modify the wording on Report Stage, if there is some minor drafting difficulty, provided the principle were acceptable. The first paragraph of the amendment—

"( ) establishing and carrying on schemes for the provision of studios for artists on such terms and subject to such conditions as An Bord thinks fit"

—is the type of arrangement which one meets in other countries, such as Norway, where studios are made available in a college of art or an art centre either at a nominal rent or free on a scholarship basis on terms and conditions which the board would draw up for artists so that when they leave the College of Art they would not be thrown immediately on their own resources. They would not have to start from scratch and acquire premises that can be used as a studio, or try to find the money necessary to equip studious and so on and meet with all the problems and expense which would deter them from trying to work as artists in the country.

It is extremely important that they be given this facility. It would be a gain to the community if the artists had these studio facilities and were able straight away to do what they had been trained for—in other words, to work as artists in the community. In addition the College of Art would gain greatly. It would have a wider concept. Just as there is a crisis in the university, where the university is not performing the role in the community that it ought to perform, so the National College of Art will be too narrow if it is just a teaching school with a staff-student relationship, and if it is not a working place for artists as well, encouraging them and letting them learn with the facilities there and letting the students learn with them and having this interchange. So the first paragraph of the amendment is an enabling section to allow the College of Art to perform this function.

I am aware that in proposing this amendment I am indirectly—and I think I should do it more directly— criticising the Arts Council for not having, as arts councils in other countries have done, set up an art centre, and for not having created a centre where artists can go and can avail of the facilities available. On the Second Reading I showed that the policy of the Arts Council is not adequate at all for the purposes for which they were set up, that they are out of touch with the real necessities in the art world and that they are diverting too much of their money towards the patronising of already wellknown artists. However, the College of Art has the possibility, if we give it statutory form, of implementing this important function.

The second part of the amendment, which would allow the College of Art to provide a foundry equipped with all necessary materials for casting in metal and establishing courses and training in such art, would meet one of the major problems for young sculptors and artists who wish to cast in bronze or other metals. The equipment is fantastically expensive. Casting is a process which requires a great deal of time to learn. It is something that the College of Art could provide in a very positive way. If the equipment were available to artists and if they were encouraged to come along and learn from one another as craftsmen this would provide a great service to the art community. It would be a very positive contribution to art education in the sense that it would not be confined to the three or four years a student spends at the College of Art.

Before saying any more on this I should be interested to hear whether either or both of these extensions of the functions of the College of Art would appeal to the Minister and if he is prepared to accept this amendment.

I am afraid I cannot accept these amendments. I do not propose to make it mandatory on the board to embark on schemes which could very easily prove controversial and which the board themselves, in fact, might object to implementing. I feel that the provision of studios by the board for artists would place the board in an invidious position. I do not think it has ever been accepted that it is the function of a college to provide accommodation afterwards to enable its graduates to earn a living. If we followed this analogy we could see a situation where the university would be obliged to provide surgeries for dentists, for example. If the board themselves wished to provide a couple of studios in the college there is nothing in this Bill which prevents them from doing so.

With regard to the second amendment, I do not propose to make it mandatory on the board to equip themselves in any specific manner. The board themselves should be the best judges of whether or not a foundry is required. Generally speaking, I suppose it could be said that a foundry is an industrial undertaking, but I do recognise the points made by Senator Robinson in relation to it. The board could, of course, direct their attention to the points made. I certainly would not feel that I should make it mandatory on the board to provide specifically in these particular type of instances for these particular matters. I feel that here again the board, if they are to be a worthwhile board—and we all expect and hope that they will be—will know themselves what line they should follow in relation to the provision of a foundry, for example.

In regard to the studios, I can imagine the problems that the board would build up for themselves if they were to undertake the provision of studios for those who have graduated from the college.

Unfortunately, I was unable to be present at the Second Stage debate, but it seemed to be a very worthwhile discussion. I should particularly like to refer to Senator Robinson's speech on that occasion and to compliment the Minister on his idea that he might direct the board to read Senator Robinson's contribution and, in fact, read the other contributions that were made in this House. Some of the matters that were touched on were matters which, as the Minister has said, it is difficult to include specifically in the legislation; but they are matters of such tremendous importance that if the board fails to recognise them the College of Art will not be the improvement we hope to make it on the present college. I should specifically like to refer—and Senator Robinson's amendments are directed towards this end— to the problems of younger artists. The Senator has mentioned in this amendment the problem of providing for young sculptors a foundry equipped with the materials. There is a tremendous problem of expense here. I can see that the Minister feels that it would be difficult to include in the legislation a directive setting up one specific scheme rather than another. It is tremendously important that this should be mentioned, and should be mentioned with the feeling with which Senator Robinson has done so, both now and on Second Stage.

Another category of young artist I would refer to is the person working on stained glass. We have a great tradition of stained glass in this country. We do not have to go very far from here to see some of the best stained glass of the 20th century, not just in this country but anywhere in the world. There again the artists have a tremendous financial problem because the processes involved are so difficult and expensive. This should be firmly brought to the attention of the board.

Our young artists are going to play a more and more important part in society. They have a duty to us in that. It is a duty in the sense that every nation must be made aware of the higher things in life. Our artists are the section of the community which helps to make us aware of the individual. I must say that I have been tremendously impressed with Senator Robinson's case. She seems to be a person who has very deep feeling for many of the arts and has an intimate knowledge of the background of people who work in these areas and especially of the younger people and their problems. I hope the Minister will direct the attention of the board, when it is set up, to these problems and get them to look at them in a broad and liberal way, not just in a restricted rather old-fashioned sense. I hope that by doing so, our discussion here will have achieved something.

I should like to support this amendment. In doing so I think I am correct in saying that, if we add these two new paragraphs to subsection (2), we will add merely to the functions of the board, which are defined as including powers and duties. The phrase of the Minister is not apt when he says that he does not think it desirable to make it mandatory on the board to provide for these functions and have these powers. The fact that the Minister sees difficulty and problems arising for the board in providing studios seems to me to be an excellent reason for spelling these items out as among the functions of the board. Such little knowledge as I have suggests, in particular with regard to the provision of studios, that this could be found to be a very useful function.

It is true that, under subsection (1), the board will have this power anyhow. But when there are, under subsection (2), a long list of particular functions the needs in question ought to be expressed in—to use the language of Senator West—modern terms and show recognition in this legislation of modern practices in this country and elsewhere.

I have been associated with a scheme which will provide, in due course, national benefit under which someone in another art form—the world of the theatre—has left his place when his widow dies as a place for creative work by artists and has given elaborate powers in his testamentary documents. He recognised the need for such a place in the modern world. That gift has been accepted by the Minister for Finance and will in due course come to be enjoyed by the nation. We ought to try to take a wide and modern view in defining explicitly what are the general functions of the board. I must say that, when I read this particular amendment, I felt I should support it. I was encouraged to express that support by the Minister's suggestion that in some way this would be mandatory on the board. Any such body may have conferred upon it powers that they may choose never to use or may never have the finance to use. But it would highlight for the board the kind of function that the Legislature was expecting them to exercise assuming that they found they had the resources available.

There is also the general question that Senator Horgan in particular has referred to from time to time—this whole question of communication. Anything inserted into this Bill which indicates an awareness by the Legislature of the kind of problem that artists are conscious of and feel the need to be assisted in is a good thing. Senator Keery on Second Stage made a rather interesting suggestion that there is something anarchic about the artist in that he does not easily fit into legislative mould, perhaps inferring that he is not easy to please. That may be so. But the fact that he is not easily pleased does not mean that one should not endeavour to please him. If the responsible Senator, supported by others whom I hope are not considered irresponsible, suggests that there is such a need and if we are clearly giving expression to a function which will be a power, although not mandatory on the board, then the Minister ought to hesitate before he turns down this amendment. The Minister would be breaking new ground as Minister for Education if he accepted this amendment in the second House of the Oireachtas.

I just want to say a few words. I would certainly support the spirit of this amendment. I should like to see the thought behind it being written into this Bill. I am not sure to what extent the writing in of these additional paragraphs to subsection (2) would or would not make these functions mandatory on the board. Personally, I would not fear if they were made mandatory, but at the same time I can recognise that the Minister might reasonably object to them being made mandatory. For that reason I should like to suggest that between now and Report Stage, the Minister on the one hand and Senator Robinson on the other might consider amending these amendments slightly so as to make it clear that while we want the board to have the authority to exercise these functions at least we would settle for them having them on a discretionary basis.

Subsection (1) of section 5 says that on and from the establishment day An Bord shall carry out the management of the college. That does not give them these particular powers. It carries on "and the organisation and administration of its affairs". That again does not give them these powers. Then it has a general phrase "and shall have all such powers as are necessary for or incidental to those purposes", that is, to the purpose of carrying on the management of the college and the administration of its affairs.

Looking at subsection (1) closely, it is quite clear that the subsection does not contain any powers to exercise the functions which are suggested in this amendment. Consequently, there is no question, to my mind in any event, of the situation being that, whether or not this amendment is accepted, the general powers given to An Board in the Bill would give them general discretionary powers to exercise these functions. I do not think they would. There might be some doubt if these amendments were written into subsection (2). There might be doubts then as to whether the functions were functions which it was mandatory on the board to fulfil.

I would go a long way in agreement with Senator Alexis FitzGerald. On balance, I think that even if they were written in, as they are proposed to be in this amendment, they would not be mandatory on the board. I could appreciate the Minister having some apprehension about it and it would seem to me that, if we were to add a further paragraph at the end of subsection (2) to the effect that "in addition to the foregoing may also exercise the functions of" and then set out what is here in the amendment, it would be making it clear that the board on a discretionary basis, if they thought it proper to do so, could carry out the functions which Senator Robinson is suggesting.

I wish to support this amendment quite strongly and the reasons given should speak for themselves. I should like to add one or two other reasons to this. At present the Minister and the Government are concerned with joining the European Economic Community. It seems reasonably likely that we will be members within a year or two. It is agreed by all that then we are going to be up against it to try and maintain our cultural identity Therefore, the provision of support of art becomes vitally necessary as a factor in maintaining that cultural identity. It is the young artists whom we need to encourage, to give them an opportunity by aid on a decreasing basis over some period—perhaps of five years maximum—by which they are enabled to find themselves, to give expression to their art and to build it up gradually in such a way that after a certain period they will be able to carry on for themselves and finance their own studios

I would take it that the intention of the supporters of the amendment is that these studios should not be for an indefinite period. The provision is here that they will be "on such terms as the board would agree". Therefore, it is a type of post-graduate inducement to enable the artist to get on his feet and to give him the opportunity, at his most imaginative and creative time, of being able to develop some original line, when he is freed from the present necessity of trying to subsist in that period. I think that is vitally important. For that reason I would urge that this should be one of the many factors that is involved in preparing for the Common Market and for the future of our tourism. When we go to other countries we see works of art of varying shades—some might not call a lot of it art—of production from people labelled as artists, some good, some bad, some indifferent. In all countries they are making a most valuable contribution to the economy. I do not think we have developed that in any way here, apart from souvenirs "Déanta sa tSeapáin". That is about the limit of our imagination.

On two counts we have to face up to this. If we face up to any measure of subsidisation, which is what this really is, of these young artists, the obvious place to do it is at a place that will be concerned with art as a whole and, therefore, this board fills the role ideally. The present amendment, or some modification of it, should be inserted. I appeal to the Minister to show that we are making some progress here; otherwise I think we might as well abandon the Committee Stage, if we cannot seem to be getting anywhere.

The Minister said that the board of the College of Art would be made up of people with an appreciation of art and artists themselves. The artists on this board might be of such a selfish nature that they would try to promote what they were interested in personally rather than promote art in general. The acceptance of this amendment or an equivalent of it, would be an advantage. Senator Robinson spoke about a foundry for metal casting and Senator West about stained glass— possibly the two most expensive sections of art. They are expensive in the sense that the raw materials used are expensive and would not be available to many good artists in these media. I am sure the House knows of the Stone View in Upper George's Street in Dún Laoghaire where Edward Delaney has a casting and moulding foundry and also in the Vico Road where Miss Herne lives. They would be pleased if there was a central foundry in the College of Art or anywhere so that everybody could use it and possibly thereby reduce the price.

I presume Senator West was referring to Miss Hone when he was talking about stained glass. These are expensive items and maybe the board will look at the expenditure that would be involved in these two matters. Therefore, it is well that they be mentioned here or wherever Senators FitzGerald or O'Higgins suggested they should be mentioned. I am supporting the principle of this amendment. If there is an alternative method of bringing it in anywhere else it would suit me just as well.

I accept Senator Robinson's good intentions in relation to the amendments that she has put down here. I appreciate the lay-out in which she has put them down. Senator West pointed out that I mentioned on a previous occasion that I would suggest to the members of the board that they should read the discussions on every Stage of this Bill. This is a very far cry from saying that I should make it obligatory on the board to do something which, as I have stated earlier on, could create very serious problems for us.

There may be an argument in relation to the word "mandatory" but I would suggest that Senators would be very naïve if they were to assume that, if I should add these two subsections to the Bill, it would not become, in a sense, mandatory in so far as the board would be told that they were not carrying out their functions if they did not carry out the provisions in these two subsections.

I have already given my reasons why I thought that it would not be a good thing. I would create too many problems and difficulties if I should highlight the matters involved in these two subsections.

Senator FitzGerald appeared to think that perhaps it would be a good thing to highlight them, but I found in dealing with previous legislation that if particular matters such as this are highlighted the impression is given that many other matters which are equally important are not regarded as being of importance at all simply because they have not been highlighted.

As I have already pointed out, the question of providing studios outside the college would place the board in a very difficult position. I think that a teaching institution should not engage in anything which would put it into conflict with either employers or union interests. There is no doubt that a foundry, commercially operated by the National College of Art, would be responsible for all kinds of conflicts. It would be another matter to establish a small foundry for teaching purposes. I am sure that the board would direct their attention towards a matter such as this, but to actually put a statutory obligation on them is quite a different matter.

Obviously, one of the problems that the Minister has is that this would impose a mandatory obligation. As I made clear when I moved this amendment, I was prepared, if the matter was accepted in principle, to re-phrase either the wording or, in this case, to remove this element of duty imposed on the board. The important thing to me is to create the possibility for the board; and I agree with Senator O'Higgins that, on the present reading of the section, they would not have the possibility of doing this. It is particularly to write in this possibility that I moved this amendment.

If I might just make one further submission on the point, I think it is a matter of the scope of art education. I should like to begin by referring the Minister to his reply to the Second Stage of the Bill on 11th November, 1971, column 1199 of the Seanad debates, when he stated:

Senator Robinson spoke about the community as a whole being involved in art. I would very much agree with her that this is something which should be aimed at. However, without going into the situation in the past, I should like simply to say that the activities in the college in recent times have succeeded in divorcing the community from the college and from the whole art situation, as Senator Keery mentioned.

Then he goes on to deplore this fact. I said on the Second Stage that we are in danger of transforming this present situation ultimately to new buildings under a new authority but without getting to the basis of it, without creating a living art institution for the art education in its wide sense. That is why I was glad to see that to some extent the powers of this board extend outwards to the retraining of teachers who come in from outside, to the provision of lectures to the public who come in from outside. The important people who need continuous art education and continuous links are the young artists. The way in which they will get these links is to provide, if the board can do so, and this might be considered in the contract to build a new college of art, a number of studios which would be available on a scholarship basis. As was mentioned by Senator Quinlan, this would be a sort of post-graduate facility for the students. The same would apply to the establishment of a teaching and by no means a commercial foundry for young sculptors and those working with expensive equipment and with metal.

The positive gain there is that this would bring the college into community activity. It would involve the working artist in the community with what is going on in the college. It would involve the college with what is going on in the art world. It would be less cut off and less academic. This would remove one of the reasons for the present possibility of alienation from the art world and from the community. The Minister is possibly right in saying that there is too much alienation at the moment between the college and the wider art world in the country.

Therefore, to enable the College of Art to perform these two valuable functions would be a significant contribution to art education. It would bring the college into a more positive role in relation to artists and give them a link with it. I regard this merely as a part of our attitude towards education and I link it with the crisis in university education in another sense.

I am sure the Minister has heard this argument, which was made during the debate on the Higher Education Authority Acts but the university, in my view, is no longer a valid concept if it is cut off from the community and if it is just providing teaching facilities. The Minister mentioned in replying to me that the function of the College of Art is teaching. I do not agree with him. I think the function is wider than that. It is education in art and it is a much broader community relationship than just teaching a certain number of students for a certain number of years and giving them a diploma or the training or re-training of teachers. It is very much a function of operating in the community, providing outlets for the graduates of the College of Art so that they can make a livelihood here. It is not good enough to allow students to go through the College of Art if at the end of their course they have not the possibility of living and working in Ireland as artists.

I think, if these amendments are accepted, we would be giving the College of Art a more constructive role in this field because we do not have the kind of art centre that other cities have —such as Brussels, which has a magnificent art centre, or London, where they have the South Bank Centre, where facilities are provided for artists. I do not want to labour this point too much, but I would see it as a positive improvement for the National College of Art if it were to provide working facilities for young craftsmen and young artists working in the country who would be mingling with the students, who would be able to avail of the actual material advantages of the College of Art and who would, therefore, bring a welcome breath of air into the college. Given the Minister's comment on the Second Reading that he would welcome more community participation and more links with the College of Art, I think this would provide it and would help to solve the present alienation, the present seeming irrelevance of much that goes on in the College of Art. This would be of positive benefit to the young artists in the community and to art education in general. Therefore I propose to withdraw the amendment and re-phrase it for the Report Stage in the hope that, in the meantime, the Minister will have reconsidered this. I propose to accept a variation of the suggestion put forward by Senator O'Higgins so that it would clearly not be mandatory, but an enabling power, enabling the board of the College of Art to do this.

While I appreciate the case Senator Robinson has made—and I think she appreciates the difficulties I face in regard to this—I think that the board, when set up, will certainly give full consideration to all the points of view put forward here. Nevertheless, I cannot visualise any form in which the proposals put forward here could be accepted by me for the very cogent and practical reasons that I have given.

May I comment on what the Minister has said? I was impressed by the cogency of the argument made by Senator O'Higgins that, under subsection (1), the board would, apparently, not have the power to do these things if it was undesirable for the board to do them. I should like to direct the Minister's attention to section 23, under which the board is empowered to "accept gifts of works of art, money, materials, equipment, land or other property". I take the view that this is not an extensive enough power in so far as it does not include the words which appear in a later section, section 27(2), because money would not include "stocks, shares and securities". I think these words would be construed as just and generous and that these words would not, in fact, be inserted if they are not expressed. Suppose you have someone coming along who is as keen about this as Senator Robinson and is prepared to back his or her idea with a gift of premises backed by funds to enable them to be used as studios for artists. Then you would have the position that, if Senator O'Higgins's view of subsection (1) is correct—and I was impressed by it as Senator Robinson seems to have been impressed by it—the Minister would not have the power, unless he makes an additional order under subsection (3), which might for other reasons be inconvenient and undesirable.

Without wishing to lower the tone of the debate, the values of society can be derived from an examination of what public moneys are spent on. If it is thought proper for public moneys to be spent on stables for horses I think it much more desirable that we should have some power to spend money on studios for artists. The Minister might, between now and Report Stage, open his mind a little more than he has done in the course of this debate to the proposal which is contained in this amendment. I accept the view, which has been expressed, that I may have gone too far in saying that I did not think that to give the board this power would be to make it mandatory on it to give these powers but, of course, this can be very easily dealt with by suitably amending the amendment, by some such words as "if it so thinks fit" or "at the discretion of the board" to make it clear that it would not be compelled to do what, in its wisdom, it did not think it should do at the time.

I thought I might make a point, through the Chair, with regard to a problem that might arise under section 23. In advance of reaching section 23, I wish to make the point that in that section the power over the board seems to be limited to money, which certainly does not include "stocks, shares and securities". "Materials" does not include "stocks, shares and securities". "Equipment" does not include them nor "land or other property" which I think would be limited to the previous words. I think section 23 will require to be amended anyhow because this is quite a possibility. Stocks, shares and securities are, and have been, given to the State under the State Property Act and have been accepted by the State. The board here, which may inspire people to make bequests, ought to be fully empowered to receive all that might possibly be given to it. Maybe the Chair will allow that there was a relevance in what I said but I realise that I could be out of order if I developed it any further.

I am not a legal man and I could not say exactly what the situation would be in relation to stocks and shares. However, I would say that if the board were left stocks and shares it would have to be possible to realise them and then they would become money. With regard to the analogy made by Senator FitzGerald when he said that money could be spent on stables for horses but not on studios for artists, I do not know what analogy is there but I could refer perhaps to a more relevant one, which I mentioned earlier, that I could see an analogy between the provision of studios for artists by An Bord, and the provision of surgeries for doctors and dentists. I am pretty certain that none of our universities is ever likely to engage in the provision of these types of facilities for their graduates.

I do not want to lower the tenor of this debate. I appreciate what Senator Robinson is trying to get at. There are difficulties which are of such a kind that I cannot envisage a possible type of amendment which I could accept in relation to matters such as these on this section.

There is an important point to be cleared up before we leave this amendment. That is the legal question, on which I would be in no way competent to say anything, as to whether section 5, as it is set out at the moment, prevents An Bord from doing precisely what Senator Robinson has advocated in amendment No. 4. We want to be absolutely clear. Both of her proposals in amendment No. 4 involve the spending of considerable sums of money. They are important things which I think An Bord should do. I am not competent to judge if we should make them mandatory by including them in the way Senator Robinson has put them forward. Before she withdraws this amendment, as it stands, it is very important for the House to know whether the section, as it stands, prevents An Bord from carrying out functions such as this, which require large sums of money.

Does the Minister agree that subsection (1) would give An Bord the power to do this, if they wanted to?


If the Minister's case is that the amendment is unnecessary because the power is already there, then why should he object to the suggestion made that we should insert it in a discretionary way?

As I mentioned earlier, the reason I objected is that, if we are to put in certain specific things in a discretionary way, it would immediately highlight these things as compared with, for example, other matters which could be equally important. Because they are not especially specified in the manner in which I am being asked to insert these two subsections, quite possibly An Bord would not pay the same attention to them.

It is now 6 o'clock, which is the normal time for suspending the sitting. Do Senators wish to carry on with this amendment until it is finished?

I wish to make one short comment, if I may. It must be stated that the provision of facilities for young artists is not as far-fetched as it may sound. It is very like the position of post-graduate facilities. It could be more analogous with the position of readers' tickets to libraries of colleges that deal in books. This is an art college, a National College of Art, for the promotion of art education in this country, and it depends on how broadly you see that. It depends on how important you think it is that young artists can live in this country. They have been neglected for too long. We are talking about how the State is spending money on the National College of Art, and this would be a way of making the College of Art more relevant to the community.

Despite the Minister's rather pessimistic approach, I will, with the leave of the House, withdraw the amendment and hope to frame one that may be acceptable on Report Stage.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Business suspended at 6.5 p.m. and resumed at 7.30 p.m.

I move amendment No. 5.

To delete subsection (3).

This amendment, if accepted, would delete subsection (3) of section 5, which gives power to the Minister to assign functions to the board. I find myself in a dilemma because it is under this subsection that the Minister could assign the functions we had been discussing before the tea break, namely, extra functions to the board. As I framed the amendment, I could see positive advantages in giving this power to the Minister and also positive defects. Therefore, I felt it would be better to frame the amendment and then discuss it in the light of that.

There is a danger in giving power to the Minister to assign functions to the board from time to time and then to make further orders varying or revoking this assignment of functions. It interferes, to some extent, with the autonomy of the board. It is not allowing the board to decide whether it is capable of assuming those functions, whether it has the resources or whether its own plan for art education and its own policy is such as will permit it to do so. I should like to hear a brief account from the Minister as to how he would envisage using this power. It is a two-pronged thing. It could be interfering with the autonomy of the board and, at the same time, it could also be used creatively to increase the functions of the board, which I would welcome.

As the Senator has said, I find it difficult to understand why she should wish to have this subsection deleted, considering the arguments which were put forward previously in relation to another matter. There are many functions which might, at a future date, be given to the board—for example, to act as adviser on art education to the Minister for Education or to act as a co-ordinating body for the development of art education. As Senator Robinson has stated, it could also enable the Minister to give the functions to the board which we have been discussing. In a teaching way, there is nothing to prevent An Bord being associated with other schools of art through recognising courses followed and by recognising results obtained in lieu of similar courses in the National College of Art.

As I mentioned earlier, there are some courses which, of necessity, would have to be done in the National College of Art because of the lack of facilities in relation to these particular courses. If, in relation to paragraph (a) of subsection (3), section 5, we wanted some extraordinary function given to the board, such as the ones we have been discussing, there is nothing to prevent me from making such an order. It is accepted that, if power were not taken here, the board could find itself circumscribed by the preceding subsections.

My use of this power in rescinding orders would operate in such a way that, if the board found that a particular function given to it was not suitable and suggested to me it was onerous or that it would be preferable not to have that particular function, having tried it out, I could make the change then. Generally speaking I would make orders of this kind, or revoke orders, on the advice of the board.

Following on what Senator Robinson and the Minister have said, I should like to ask whether a scheme such as the setting up of a foundry in the school, or, for example, doing something in the post-graduate line, would have to come under section 5, subsection (3), in which the Minister would have to make an order, or could those schemes be put into operation by the board without the Minister having to make an order? This is important because clearly the board will not want to be in a position in which the Minister is continuously making orders if it has to carry out any innovation, and, as we have said, innovations in art education will be tremendouly important. Some may need money, some others will be more simple, but I was not clear in the discussion before the tea break whether this section is framed so that the board could not carry out these schemes without the Minister making an order.

Of course the board can do all the various things which are laid down in a general way for it. If a foundry were necessary in relation to teaching, there would be no question of the Minister having to make an order, but if the foundry were to be used in a commercial way, it might create a different situation.

With the leave of the House, I should like to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 6 not moved.
Section 5 agreed to.

The Chair feels that amendments Nos. 10 and 13 are related to No. 7 and suggests, therefore, that amendments Nos. 7, 10 and 13 should be taken together.

I move amendment No. 7:

In subsection (1), line 2 to delete "not being less than eight nor more than ten" and substitute "not being less than thirteen nor more than fifteen".

The basis of this amendment is to give reasonable representation to the staff on the governing body because the success or failure of the National College of Art depends solely on the staff. Whether or not the Minister likes the staff there is no other way to operate but to make an act of faith in them and let them get on with their task. The Government have control through the purse, which is the most powerful control of all, and obviously the budget has to be scrutinised by the Minister's Department, as long as it remains below a third level institution, or by the Higher Education Authority, when it becomes a third level institution. If the Minister is serious, or indeed honest, in stating that he wants to separate this from the Department and give up Departmental control I suggest that this requires that the staff concerned must have aduquate representation on the governing body and that the Minister cannot himself nominate a majority of that governing body.

From experience of the running of educational institutions, especially the university, and looking at the structures of many others, it is our view that anything less than five members to represent the staff is totally unsatisfactory and unrepresentative. One just cannot represent a staff, which in this case, between whole-time and part-time members, may run anywhere in the order of 50 to 70, by two people and have the governing body adequately briefed, responsive and aware of the points of view of the different sections of the staff. My preference would be for more than five but in the interests of keeping the governing body to a reasonable number of people—I would suggest 15—then five staff representatives is the minimum that can be accepted.

I do not feel that the staff would feel they had any part in the institution if they are confined solely to two representatives. For one thing you have the conflicting interests of art and the design function that is being added on. You have the part-time staff, whole-time staff and the other various sections, senior staff, junior staff, and so on. If you have a straightforward election procedure by which the members concerned can vote one, two, three, four, five and elect five of their members on to the governing body you will have the first prerequisite for success. The staff will feel that their place on the governing body has been recognised.

I would ask the Minister if he at any stage had any consultations with the staff of the College of Art or any of their representatives. Did he ascertain what their ideas were about the composition of the future governing body? If he did, I would be very surprised if they considered two was adequate. I do not wish to detain the House on this. It is an obvious point and one which the Minister should immediately agree to. After all, five out of 15, one-third for staff, is just a minimal representation. I suggest three from the students in that three makes it possible to operate a type of proportional representation selection between the students. Three would succeed in getting some coverage of student opinion.

It is totally wrong in setting up this new body to say that the students and staff are both to have the same representation on the governing body and together they will constitute only one-third as against the Minister's seven nominees. It is a very wrong basis on which to start and I appeal to the Minister to meet us on this, to take it for granted we have experience on governing bodies, we see how our various institutions operate, and anyone concerned with those would give advice similar to that which I have given in moving this amendment.

I should like very briefly to support this amendment. Professor Quinlan has put the arguments very well. One particular argument which appeals to me is the fact that under the present provisions for a quorum of the board the quorum will be five, under section 13. It would be possible for the board in its operation to consist purely of the nominees of the Minister. This might be an unrepresentative board. To enlarge it and give more staff and student representation in the proportions Professor Quinlan has put forward would make this less likely and make staff and students feel that they were better represented on the board. It can perhaps be dealt with later in the section.

Senator Quinlan asked me to make an act of faith in the staff. I have, in fact, not only made an act of faith in the staff but in the students as well in relation to this. I do not wish to repeat this ad nauseam but this is the first time that we have made statutory provision for students on a body such as this. The numbers on the board, that is nine to 11, were very carefully considered when this Bill was being drafted. It was decided that these numbers were the most appropriate, being sufficiently large to allow for adequate representation and sufficiently small to ensure that the board would be able to perform their functions effectively and expeditiously. I do not see any particular reason why I should change the position. The amendments arise out of a view expressed by the Senator during the Second Reading and, of course, also expressed by him during the present discussion, that the college representatives should have a majority on the board. This I do not accept.

Not college representatives—

It is tantamount to the same thing from the type of amendment that has been put down here by the Senator. I stated in the Dáil that the college is there to serve the community and not the community the college. During the course of the discussion in the Dáil a Member of the Opposition felt that an arrangement such as the one suggested could lead to inbreeding and this is a view with which I agreed. I am trying to ensure that inbreeding will not stultify the development of this college. The Senator suggested that if I were honest in my endeavours to set up an autonomous board I would agree to his proposals. I take it that he is suggesting that the persons appointed by me to An Bord would be subservient to me. This, of course, is very far from the truth. When I appoint members of the board they will be members of an independent autonomous board. If they were the type that would be likely to be subservient to a Minister I would not have a great lot of respect for them.

The same thing was said when the Higher Education Authority Act was going through the various Stages, namely, that the nominees of the Minister were likely to be people who would do exactly as the Minister wanted. Of course, since then they have proved very effectively that they are an independent body and, not only are they independent, but they have shown themselves independent. I have no doubt that in relation to this particular situation the members appointed on the board by me will act independently and in the best possible interest of the college.

For these reasons I am convinced that the number we have decided on nine to 11, which was very carefully considered before we decided on them, is the most appropriate number for this board, and the proportion between the various groups is reasonable. It is particularly reasonable when one considers the fact that this is the first time we have made statutory provision for this particular type of situation. I feel I have done a reasonably good job in relation to this matter. I also feel that the board, as proposed by me, would work more effectively for the reasons I have given than the ones proposed by Senator Quinlan in his amendment.

The Minister spoke about the college serving the community. We would all agree with him there. That is one of the points we have been discussing all along and the attitude of the House is to find how best the college can serve the community. There are different views on this. It has been argued very cogently on Second Stage that this college will function better with more freedom and more autonomy. Although the Minister says this is the first time he has made statutory provision of this type, this does not necessarily mean that all boards of this type which exist in this country have been set up by legislation. Some of the older institutions in this country, which would now normally come under legislation of this type, were set up as institutions which were not necessarily Government controlled. Certainly when they were set up there was a rather different idea as to the amount of control that would be exercised by the Department of Education or the relevant Department. They have methods of government which essentially have developed themselves. Because of this they have, of course, had more autonomy. I do not think that they have been any less successful. My argument would be that the more freedom and the more autonomy one can give a body such as this the better able this college will be to serve the community, if it is essentially a board that is able to take important decisions within what will be fairly clearly defined limits.

I feel very strongly that there should be larger staff representation. The proportion is too small. Naturally, the college is going to depend on the quality of the staff and, incidentally, on the quality of the people who are nominated to the board. Opposition members of the board are tremendously important. We all realise that there will be Ministerial nominees. We hope that the Minister, when he nominates his board, will be imaginative and that the average age of the nominees will be considerably less than the present retiring age in teaching institutions. One of the problems is that Government nominated bodies have a tendency to have a high average age and to be composed of rather cautious people.

We have stressed the need for initiative, for boldness and imagination, especially where the arts are concerned. If we are to see this college get out of the rut into which it apparently has got itself it will require imagination and boldness. It will require people who will be prepared to disagree with the Minister, with the Department of Education and with Members of this House. I feel strongly that the composition of the board, which the Minister has here, should be changed and I would support Senator Quinlan's amendment. It is easier to increase the number of people on the board and change the fractions. When you have got a bigger number then you have got more whole numbers which divide into it. This makes things a lot easier. Therefore, I strongly suggest that the Minister accept this amendment, because I feel that a body in which the teaching staff have relatively small representation—two out of ten excluding the director—is not a healthy situation. The staff view will not come through strongly enough and it is essential that it does. I should also like to see the number of students increased by at least one-fifth of the total number.

I might say, in reply to Senator West, that we have been discussing community involvement, and if we are to have community involvement then we must have an outward looking situation rather than an inward looking situation. So as to endeavour to have this there will be more members from outside on the board than from inside, but not many more. It has been mentioned here that the number of staff relative to the total number on the board is small. The number of staff and students relative to the board is not small, but the number of staff relative to the total teaching body is high. The suggestion seems to be made all the time that this board will not be an autonomous board. I want again to stress the fact that the board when appointed will be an autonomous body and will act, I would hope, in the best interests of art education and the development of art generally in the country. If we are to ensure that we have an outward-looking situation, where we will have people on the board who will be able to look at the whole situation not only in the college itself but in the college's relationship to the community at large, it is essential that we should have a reasonable number of people from outside on the board. The fact that they are Ministerial appointees does not in any way suggest—and I want to repeat this— that they will be subservient to the Minister. Their task will be to try as best they can to develop our art education and art in general, and this I am sure they will do.

I take it that the Minister's silence on his consultations with the staff means that, in the usual authoritarian fashion, the staff of the College of Art have not been consulted in any way about what is being provided here. Certainly, they have not in any way acquiesced to the governing body as proposed. I reiterate here again, without fear of contradiction, that anyone concerned with third-level education knows that the cardinal rule is that the governing body must be provided largely by the institution itself. It is the motive power for change and for advance and for development and it has to come from the institution itself. If you cannot get that then no part-time board rushing in to meetings once a fortnight, having already lost the agenda, will make an effective contribution. That is only practical experience and common sense.

Is it not time that the government recognised that the country is made up of other groups besides the mighty Civil Service and mighty State Departments? In a short time, unfortunately, we are going to have bureaucrats superimposed on this edifice, and then who is going to wield the power? If we are serious about getting each group to play its part within the community we must do more than give lip service to the principle of subsidiary function, and realise that it is a complete travesty for the State to arrogate to itself the right to do things that can best be done by subsidiary organisations. That is the cardinal principle.

If the subsidiary organisations could pay for what they are doing.

We are all taxpayers and everybody is contributing in that way. In the case of any board or body of which I have been a member it is the people who are directly involved in the success or failure of the venture who always make the main contribution, the people whose bread and butter comes from what is at stake. It is a great pity that the Minister and individuals do not know as much about the running of the country when they are in government as when they are in opposition. It is quite easy to talk to the Labour Party in England; they have very same views, and ex-Ministers always have sane views about how to curb Civil Service power. Once they are in government and under Civil Service power it is impossible to get any curbing of this power.

The Senator is going rather far afield from the amendment.

It is really a statement of lack of confidence by the Department of Education in the personnel of——

The Senator appreciates that the Minister takes decisions on this legislation and is responsible for them in this House.

We will take it as a statement of lack of confidence by the Minister in the personnel, either now or in the future, in the College of Art to make a substantial contribution to the direction of the college. Why there should be anything sacrosanct about nine or 11 is hard to understand. If you get nine or 11 around the table you will do better than if you get 15. That brings into question the validity of the parliamentary or various political bodies, with their committees of 15, that are supposed to wield all the power. I wonder how they function with 15, when they do much better with 11? Have you to kick out four?

The Senator never had the guts to establish any party with 15 or anything else. It comes ill from the Senator to sneer.

Senators should not interrupt.

If he cannot—

Is this a point of order?

Yes. If the Senator wants to have a board and if he wants to have a college of art functioning—

That is not a point of order. That is an interruption. Senator Quinlan to continue without further interruption.

On a point of order. Has the Senator any right to introduce extraneous matters of this nature here when we are discussing a technical Bill?

The Chair is trying to keep the Senator strictly to the amendment and would be helped in that task if the Senator was not interrupted.

I should be glad to get that courtesy from the Leader of the House. If you have a scheme of electing two representatives from the staff of the College of Art, you will have two diametrically opposed people. One will be representing the extremists faction and the other representing the conservative. What a combination to which to present the considered view of the staff. If you have five you will get a spread of opinion and you will ensure that the most important section in any body, whether it is the College of Art, or a political party or any other, that is the broad centre, is well represented. You will not get the broad centre represented with a selection of two.

I do not know where I am living when I hear all the pious statements about wonderful representatives appointed by the Government to various governing bodies where they have the right to appoint them, as in this instance. I have yet to see a governing body to which Government representatives were appointed that their party political colours were not right on their chests as the most obvious qualification to be on the board. I am not saying——

I am sure they have the guts to wear them.

Senators should not interrupt.


When we have a Fianna Fáil Government, we have a Fianna Fáil man on and immediately other parties take over he is kicked out and a man wearing inter-party colours arrives. That is totally wrong in an institution, and if a few are selected in that haphazard manner the vast majority must come from regular electoral processes where they are selected without any regard whatsoever for party labels. It is the party labels that have bedamned this country and it is about time we realised where it is heading.

The Senator is ranging too far from this amendment.

It has to be a combined or a community effort. The staff should be allowed to play a proper part in this. I do not regard two members out of 11 as a proper part; I regard it as an insult to the staff concerned, and they would support that view. What I propose is the minimum to ensure representation and to ensure that we can correct the mistakes of the past two years. We should wipe away the memories of the reports and recommendations.

These matters do not arise out of this amendment.

It is no wonder the people are asking why they are paying for universities.

I must ask that the Senator be allowed to proceed without interruption. The Senator should restrict his remarks to these amendments. He should not go into extraneous matters and should not reply to or invite interruptions.

Then I will try to avoid all the taunts of Senator Ó Maoláin. In a case like this it all boils down to the Minister saying that two out of 11 is a generous and an adequate representation of the staff on the governing body of what will be a third-level institution. This is nonsense. It sets the whole thing off on the wrong foot. Nothing less than five can represent the cross-section of opinion. Five out of 15 is a very modest staff representation on the governing body. I ask the Minister to take this seriously and not say that representation is being given where none is given. The staff would be better off to have no representation on these terms.

I think the crucial point is the business of the majority of outside representatives. Nobody denies that there should be independent people on the board. The question is whether they should be in the majority or not. The Minister has them in the majority. I do not see the argument for this. I do not see why there should be more outsiders than insiders. If the college is to be outward looking it would be better to have a minority of outsiders. The problem about having them in the majority is that the real problems inside the college may not be fully dealt with. I should like the Minister to say why, in this situation, he has a majority of nominated people. All the common-sense arguments would suggest that it should be the other way around. The only conclusion I can come to is that the Minister is being cautious and that he feels that at some stage there may be a row inside the college and that the outsiders will want to be capable of being influenced to somebody's advantage. I should like to hear from the Minister what is the argument behind this, because I just cannot see it?

I find t rather difficult to reply to Senator Quinlan because he becomes somewhat emotional on these topics and particularly so when he gives lectures on bureaucracy which seem to have some reference to practically every section in the Bill that is being discussed by the Seanad.

I want to make it clear to the Senator that I make the decisions in my Department. I represent the people and I take advice from the officials and I make the decisions. The fact that the Senator does not agree with me in the decisions I make is quite a different matter, but it appears rather peculiar that if I accept what the Senator says I am being liberal and when I disagree with him I am being bureaucratic.

I have already explained my reasons for the number. I will not go into that again. I also replied to the question put by Senator West. I told him I believed it was important that this would not be an inward-looking institution, that I felt that in the particular circumstances that it was essential that we should have the number I mentioned from outside the college. Senator Quinlan asked what was sacrosanct about this number? There is nothing particularly sacrosanct about it except that, in my view, it would be an effective number to deal with the problems which arise in relation to the college. Of course, there was nothing sacrosanct about the numbers suggested by Senator Quinlan either.

I should also like the Seanad to note that there will be a further member of the staff, in the person of the director, on this board. Therefore, the situation would be that, if we were to decide on nine people, we would have two representatives of the staff, two representatives of the students and the director. This is being as liberal as anybody would expect.

I still do not quite understand why this college will necessarily be an inward-looking body if there is a minority of outsiders on the board. As far as I can gather, what the Minister is saying is that unless the contrary is true the college will be inward-looking. I should hope it will not. That is one of the things we want to ensure. I do not see that to do this one has to have a majority of outsiders. The danger is that no college can effectively be an outward-looking body unless they can settle their own problems amicably. This must be clear to everybody. The first thing the board must do is to run the college as efficiently and as artistically as they can. If they do not do this they are doomed from the beginning. If the board has a slight majority of internal people I do not see why the college should not then be an outward-looking body.

I have given my reasons for this. I do not think it is necessary for me to go into it in any greater detail. I pointed out that the number of staff and students would total five. I think that I have been reasonable in my allocation of the numbers on the board.

It is wrong to regard the director as a representative of the staff. He is there for the staff, students and the public. This is his function.

Is he not on the staff?

Being a director is his main responsibility. He is not elected to this board by any procedure. He should be treated as being independent. Anyway one more or less does not make any difference.

I am sorry the Minister cannot see his way to accept this proposal. We feel a little disturbed in that this is the fourth Bill to be piloted by the Minister through this House and we have taken part in the discussion of approximately 100 amendments. There must be something defective in our mental makeup on this side of the House, because we have never been able to get the Minister to see the validity in our points of view. We have had other Ministers in the past who were willing to consider our proposals. We had a Minister for Education, the late Deputy O'Malley, who many times——

This does not arise on this amendment.

I think it arises from what the Minister has said.

We cannot go into past history.

It does not arise if the Minister accepts the amendment.

Standing Orders are not affected by that question.

The Minister should realise that when we have a score of 100 per cent against us in Ministerial rejections of our amendments we are bound to feel that we are talking in some type of padded cell here and that there is some defect somewhere.

I should like to say, in reply to what the Minister has said, that I would not object to his suggestion at all if the board was to be an overall body which met, somewhat like the governing body of a school, once a term and gave some general directions and directives and dealt with the distribution of finance and such matters. As can be seen from the Bill, the board is really the executive which runs the show. In this case I must go on record as saying that I think it would be highly unsatisfactory if there was not a majority of internal members in an executive of this type. The teaching staff, in particular, are under-represented.

The teaching staff put their views to me and they did not express any dissatisfaction in relation to the number of representatives they will have on the board. I intend this to be my final contribution on these sections. I think the mistake being made here is that we are concerning ourselves not with what the board will do but with what each different section will do on its own. One would get the impression that when the board is set up there will be a constant conflict of interests. This is not as I see it. I know that there will be different opinions voiced. I know that it will be necessary, on many occasions, to get a consensus.

When the board is appointed and when the members nominated by me, who as I said before will be independent members, take their places on the board with the teachers, the students and the director, I assume—and I hope I assume correctly—that this board will see it as its duty to develop art education in the country generally, to see what way it can improve the situation in relation to students and so on and that we will not, in fact, have a body which will be broken up into a number of factions. The fact that the debate seems to be moving along these lines will not have a very good effect because it will give the impression that each of the groups concerned will be interested only in their own particular situation. I do not see it that way. I see a board as a body which will make its decisions with a view to improving the situation for the students and for art education in general.

I think the Minister should give us credit for having experience on boards and knowing that the caricature of a board he has suggested does not exist. Boards do pull together. In my 20 years experience on them I have not, at any time, found any splitting up into groups at war with one another which the Minister has pictured for us.

That is exactly what I am saying.

That is not the issue. The issue is whether the people concerned—the two staff representatives —have the full confidence of their staff members and whether the staff feel satisfied that their points of view will be well and truly put to the board, so that when board decisions come up for consideration they will feel adequately represented. The staff will not feel adequately represented by two members. I think that is the worst feature of the board as proposed.

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand part of the section."
The Committee divided: Tá, 27; Níl, 14.

  • Ahern, Liam.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Cranitch, Mícheál C.
  • Crinion, Brendan.
  • Doyle, John.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Farrell, Peggy.
  • Flanagan, Thomas P.
  • Gallanagh, Michael.
  • Garrett, Jack.
  • Hanafin, Desmond.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • Keegan, Seán.
  • Kerry, Neville.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • McElgunn, Farrell.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • Nash, John J.
  • Norton, Patrick.
  • O'Callaghan, Cornelius K.
  • Ó Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Sullivan, Terry.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Walsh, Seán.


  • Boland, John.
  • Butler, Pierce.
  • Dooge, James C. I.
  • Lyons, Michael D.
  • McDonald, Charles B.
  • Mannion, John M.
  • O'Brien, Andy.
  • O'Higgins, Michael J.
  • Owens, Evelyn P.
  • Quinlan, Patrick M.
  • Reynolds, Patrick J.
  • Robinson, Mary T. W.
  • Russell, G. E.
  • West, Timothy T.
Tellers:—Tá: Senators Brennan and J. Farrell; Níl: Senators Quinlan and West.
Question declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 8:

In subsection (2), lines 11 to 13 to delete "and the members nominated for appointment to An Bord under subsection (6) or (7)".

This seeks to allow An Bord nominate their own chairman. We do not see any reason why the minority should be treated so obviously as a minority, that the two staff representatives should carry labels on them reading "Unfit to be Chairman". Consequently, I move that the choice of chairman be left to the good sense of An Bord. Already the Minister has insisted on getting his majority of seven to two, so he need not have any further doubts about the position of the two staff members. I cannot see why one of those could not be elected as chairman. It is not necessary to advance any further arguments on this because it is one of those self-evident facts and a self-evident claim of injustice to the staff they are not elected as full members of the board with all the rights and privileges pertaining to members of the board, and that means the right to be elected chairman if the occasion should arise.

The effect of this amendment would be to leave it open to An Bord to appoint a student or a teacher as chairman of An Bord. It could result in a situation where you would have the director responsible for the staff and students being subject, as a member of An Bord, to the authority of one of the teachers or students. Nothing could be more likely to lead to an extension of the trouble we already have had.

I have gone a long way in endeavouring to meet arguments in relation to this matter. I had intended originally that the chairman would be nominated by the Minister. In deference to the arguments put forward in the other House, I decided that I would agree to allow the board to nominate from among its members a person to be appointed as chairman by the Minister. It would be a strange situation to have a director who is responsible for the control of the staff and students, being subject, as a member of An Bord, to the authority of one of the teachers or students.

Surely the Minister is not suggesting that, after nominating seven members, this all-wise board would elect a student chairman of An Bord? How grotesque can we make the argument?

Would the Minister make it clear that his only objection to this amendment is the fear he has expressed that it might lead to a student being elected chairman of the board? If that is so, this could be resolved very easily by deleting the reference to subsection (7) from the amendment.

The other argument the Minister put up, which was in conjunction with the possibility of an appointment of a student as chairman, was that the director might be subject to the authority of a student as chairman of the board. How real is that fear? It is unreal on the grounds Senator Quinlan has argued. Even if a student chairman were appointed, how real is the fear that he would have, as chairman, power and authority over the director? What are the functions of a chairman? Surely they relate to meetings of the board, and to the conduct of those meetings? How does that give the chairman any special authority?

Subsection (4) states:

Subject to the provisions of this Act, the chairman of An Bord shall hold office as chairman on such terms as the Minister determines when appointing him.

Has the Minister in mind that the terms of appointment, which will be decided by him when the chairman is appointed, will give some special degree of power and authority to the chairman? Apart from that, there is no realism in the arguments which the Minister has made against this amendment.

There are many arguments which can be made. Senator O'Higgins asks what is the function of a chairman. The function of a chairman of most bodies of this kind is that he should be detached, and that he should not be directly involved in the matters which are being discussed and decided on by the board. It seems undesirable that the chairman of this board should be a member of the staff whose activities and whose operations are possibly being considered by the board. There are very strong arguments why the chairman of this board should not be a member of the staff. Is this not the principle of it, that he is detached? The arguments in favour of not having a member of the staff as chairman of this board are very strong. They can be defended and justified and are good principles.

As I read subsection (2) (b), if the Minister appoints a board consisting of nine members, which is likely, five of those members will not be eligible for election as chairman. The five concerned can vote for the chairman.

All of the board?

All of the nine members can vote for the chairman. In other words, the chairman will be elected from a minority of the members by the total number of the members of the board. This strikes me as a unique situation. I think Senator Ryan has made a good case for the director not being a member of the board.

I take particular note of what Senator Russell has said in relation to the chairman being elected by a minority of the board. When it suits the argument the total number on the board is taken as nine and when it suits in a different direction, the total number on the board is taken as 11. When Senator Russell is discussing the number available for chairmanship, he refers to nine and some other Senators, in referring to what they declare to be the meagre representation of the teachers on the board, refer to 11. Senator Quinlan held up his hands in horror when I suggested that a student, under the terms of his amendment, could be chairman of the board. The Senator ought to have a look at his amendment.

It was not horror —only amazement.

The Senator will see he included student membership. He includes the right of a student to be chairman and then raises his hands in horror if the student is elected as chairman. I cannot see any sense in this.

With regard to what Senator O'Higgins has said, I would agree very much with Senator Ryan's statement. Apart altogether from what I have said previously, I feel it would be wrong in principle that a member of the staff or the student body, who are involved in the ordinary day-to-day running of the college, should act as chairman. It would be very difficult for a person in such a position to see the wood for the trees. The chairman, in my view, should be impartial and neutral. The fact that the chairman will be elected from the group of nominees who will not be actual participants in the ordinary day-to-day working of the college is the only way we can have a chairman of this kind. Personally, as I said at the beginning, I favoured having the appointment of the chairman left to the Minister. I could see very many reasons why this would be the best way in which it could be done. But, having listened to the arguments in the Dáil, I finally decided that I would make the change. I put forward an amendment on this basis myself. It is unlikely that anybody can argue a very strong case in favour of this particular amendment. I certainly have not heard one.

The Minister may have misinterpreted me. I held up my hands in horror at the Minister's line of reasoning which suggested that this all-wise board, on which he appointed the vast majority, would appoint a student as chairman. This would be a very irresponsible act. I was aware in drafting this amendment that it did allow the possibility of a student being elected chairman. I had confidence in the board concerned using its discretion and in the vast majority of cases they would not even consider a student for that post. But, if in their wisdom they voted for that and we have confidence in those men, why not accept their decision? That is democracy. I do not think it would happen. I would scarcely consider it worthwhile guarding against it in an Act of Parliament. If it did happen there would have been some very remarkable case for it, and the board would have been aware that it was an extraordinary occurrence and that they were appointing some most extraordinary representative of the students and that he fully merited appointment as chairman.

As regards the director being subject to the chairman, perhaps we should look more closely at subsection (4) and see what terms the Minister will prescribe for the chairman of the board. I would have thought the terms simply meant the tenure of his office, as is normal when a Minister appoints a chairman. In this case he is not appointing him but he is determining his conditions. I did not think he could in any way write into those conditions any power over the director. In fact, the chairman is presiding at the board meeting. He has a vote the same as everybody else. That is his position. I cannot see why, with the case so firmly and heavily loaded against the staff, with two out of 11 on the board, the Minister must even go further and write in that none of those shall ever be chairman. There may be a staff member who is an obvious choice as chairman and the board in its wisdom should be free to appoint such a person. The way it is loaded I do not believe a staff member would be appointed. Yet, in justice and fairness to all minorities and to this minority of two out of 11, we have got to insist that at least they should have the possibility, however removed, of gaining some of the crumbs from the majority.

I do not think Senator Quinlan should lean too heavily on the democratic end of it. Democracy is a very important thing but he should remember that this is a democratic institution setting up the College of Art. It is a democratic government. It is for the people, and the people are going to pay for it. It is not unreasonable to suggest that the representative of the people should have some control over this institution. Democracy can be looked at in two ways.

May I make a completely different point which I hope will appeal to Senator Quinlan? It seems to me that one's attitude towards this particular amendment depends on the sort of picture one has of the working of a board or committee. An example of chairmanship, although in this case it is a formalised example, is the way the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad or the Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil operate. Chairmanship facilitates business at a board if it is largely confined to presiding, controlling the balance of the discussion, keeping order and so on. I understand that to be the hallmark of the chairman. That means that essentially one cannot regard a chairman, and in my view should not regard a chairman, as a person contributing in a major way to the debate or discussion at the particular board or committee concerned.

One of the reasons why I welcome the staff and student representation on this board is that the staff and students can contribute to the actual debate and discussion. If one member, whether a member of staff or a student, is taken out of the committee to act as chairman, if the business of the board is to carry on in an expeditious way, it is taking away from the voice of staff and students. I am putting forward this view in opposition to Senator Quinlan because I feel the way the Bill is phrased at the moment guarantees that the role of the staff and students is a role of contribution to the discussion and it leaves the job of chairmanship as it should be, namely, presiding at the meeting.

I wonder does Senator Keery realise that under another provision of this Bill, section 13, it is open on particular occasions for any member of the board, including the academics and students to be elected as chairman for particular meetings?

Certainly. One always has to make provision for contingencies.

If that can happen why the objection here?

Senator Keery's contribution has thrown a new light on this. The chairman is going to be only a referee.

You cannot carry a referee in a team of 11. We may carry a referee in a team of 90 in the Seanad—and probably need a referee—but in any board as small as 11 the chairman has to be full and active member. I take it that the Minister's case rests on the fact that this man is going to fulfil a positive role in this and will have to work and will not be a type of harmless referee who will let the others do the talking and he blows the whistle.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Is amendment No. 8 withdrawn?

In deference to the Minister and to his fear of this bogey that at some time some irresponsible group might elect a student as chairman, I shall withdraw the amendment and rectify this defect before Report Stage.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 9:

To delete subsection (4).

I was querying the terms the Minister has in mind which he cannot include in the provisions of the Bill. The only term I can think of is the period of appointment of the chairman. What other terms can he have? Therefore, I move this amendment for the purpose of eliciting information, so that perhaps on Report Stage we may be able to improve the Bill when we know what is meant by the word "terms".

I regret I cannot follow Senator Quinlan's argument. His amendment is to delete subsection (4) of section 6. Section 6, subsection (4) reads as follows:

Subject to the provisions of this Act, the chairman of An Bord shall hold office as chairman on such terms as the Minister determines when appointing him.

The Senator wants to eliminate that and put nothing in its place. That actually is the amendment. Therefore, a chairman is appointed: Who fixes his terms? Are we going to have chaos and anarchy at every board meeting? The chairman can arrogate to himself any powers or any authority he wishes. If this amendment is to mean anything, Senator Quinlan should say what he wants in lieu of the subsection. His request that the Minister states in advance what are going to be his terms and so on does not seem to be sensible. It is like saying we are going to tear down a state but we do not know what we are going to put in its place. That is just as sensible as this amendment. We fix no terms for the chairman of this board. We do not allow the Minister to fix them. We do not suggest that anybody else fixes them.

Senator Nash is taking a very legalistic view of this. The terms of the chairman are laid down in section 7: he shall be appointed for three years. The chairman can take unto himself powers that are not provided in this Bill. The only powers provided are what the chairman shall do under section 2. I cannot see and I am asking what are the other terms that would have to be specified. His removal is provided for, so what terms are necessary?

First, I wish to say that a similar amendment to this was proposed in the Dáil and was rejected. I do not propose to accept this one. One of my reasons for opposing the amendment is that I thought it would be undesirable for the chairman, for example, to engage in commercial activities allied to art and to take part in other activities which would not be in keeping with his position. There is no question of laying down duties for the chairman in relation to this. Amendments such as this spring from the thought that the section has been introduced in order to place some form of disability on the chairman or to introduce purely restraining conditions on him. While it is not proposed, for example, to attach remuneration to the post of chairman there could be circumstances in which it might be thought desirable to pay him an honorarium. This could be done under this subsection. These are a few of the ideas I had in mind in relation to the terms.

The Minister does not propose then to assign any of the extraordinary powers that Senator Nash thought might come in under this Bill?

I did not suggest extraordinary powers. I suggested the absence of——

I mean the only extraordinary power is the question of an honorarium?

I gave far more than that in my reply.

The length of his term of appointment is specified.

We understand that. I mentioned another matter which I felt concerned about.

The Minister mentioned restrictions principally. He made it clear enough under the terms of appointment that he did not propose under this subsection to give any particulars powers to the chairman. I do not think the subsection would enable him to do so.

Then the subsection appears to be a relatively harmless one. Having got that, I can withdraw the amendment. It does not do any harm but, on the other hand, it does not confer any of the extraordinary powers that Senator Nash suggests.

I did not suggest extraordinary powers.

In other words, the chairman could function just as well without this clause as with it, apart from perhaps a few extra pounds which he might get by way of honorarium.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Amendment No. 10 has already been debated with amendment No. 7.

We did not reach a decision on No. 10. We got a decision on No. 7, but not on No. 10.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

There is a possibility the Senator can have a decision but he cannot have a debate.

I hope to table a more suitable amendment on Report Stage.

Amendment No. 10 not moved.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Amendment No. 12 is an alternative to amendment No. 11 and, accordingly, amendments Nos. 11 and 12 must be taken together. Amendments Nos. 14 and 15 should also be considered in this connection. Amendments Nos. 14 and 15 are also alternatives and when debated must be taken together. It is open to the House to decide whether they want to take Nos. 11, 12, 14 and 15 together in one debate, with separate decisions if necessary. Further, amendment No. 18 relates to the same general question. It would be possible to take the group of Nos. 11 and 12, the group of Nos. 14 and 15 and amendment No. 18 together for the purpose of debate.

I will move amendment No. 18 on behalf of Senator Kelly and I have no objection.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Has Senator Quinlan any objection to that grouping?

I move amendment No. 11:

In subsection (6) to delete all words after "College" in line 32 and substitute "by a postal ballot based on proportional representation."

This amendment refers to the accepting of a nomination in such manner as may be approved by the Minister from time to time. We have a standard of giving representation that is fair and honourable and just, that is by proportional representation. I do not see why we shilly-shally about this. We can just simply put in "that representation shall be by proportional representation" and I suggest that it be by postal ballot. In an academic community this outmoded idea of election meetings is totally wrong and is almost like providing a Roman circus for the members concerned while you sit down and see your colleagues voted on. I could also add that various members go out to try to ensure that some of their colleagues seen very rarely turn up to cast their votes. We should modernise this. I think the postal ballot is the answer and we should have the method of proportional representation. With two it is very difficult; it is really the alternative vote in that instance. Perhaps the Minister will say that he would approve such method of election, but I think he should go further and put an end to the Bill.

Amendments Nos. 12 and 15 are in my name. Their purpose is to provide an alternative to what Senator Quinlan has proposed, that is, to delete the words "any section" in relation to the election of members of the staff or students to the board. I sought to have the words "in such manner as may be approved by the Minister from time to time" deleted because I think that this is an undue interference by the Minister in wanting to approve a scheme for the appointment of the staff members or student members to the board. It reads as a patronising control that is not necessary in the circumstances, and my amendment was simply to delete the words. I would, in fact, be prepared to withdraw my amendment in favour of Senator Quinlan's proposal because that is the best method of election. If it is written into the statute it will not be a matter of controversy. I should prefer that method to the vague "from time to time as approved by the Minister" because I do not think this is a matter where the approval of the Minister is relevant. It is better that the staff and student members are either regulated as we write it into the statute, or else that they regulate their own methods of nominating to the board. At least let us give them that much autonomy.

I take it we can only move one amendment at this stage.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Amendment No. 11 is the only matter before the House.

I simply want to indicate that, assuming—and I hope I am not being too naïve about this—that the Minister indicates that he will accept Senator Quinlan's amendment, it will not then become necessary for me to move amendment No. 18. What is involved here is the same idea as that advanced by Senator Quinlan in his amendment, that is, the idea that the election should be carried out on the proportional representation system. In the amendment in Senator Kelly's name we will be suggesting that that system should be applied, but that it should be done within the framework of the structure that the Minister has suggested in this section. In other words, while the manner of the elections will be approved by the Minister, in approving of the manner in which the nominations will be made, the Minister shall, in so far as is practicable, prescribe a manner of nomination that shall be proportionately representative of the academic staff and of the students of the college.

The only difference—and I suppose to some extent it can be regarded as a substantial one—between that amendment and the amendments moved by Senator Quinlan is that Senator Quinlan says—and I can see the force of his arguments—that we should write directly into the Bill that the elections will be by means of proportional representation, the postal ballot, while amendment No. 18 says we accept that the manner of the election will be prescribed by the Minister, but in prescribing it he will take steps to ensure that the election will be such as to give in effect to proportional representation, both on the academic side and on the student side.

I should like to speak against these amendments, because, while I appreciate their intention, I really have some grave reservations about them. Members on the other side of the House tend to base many of their arguments on the fact that Ministers with powers may possibly do some harmful thing. I should like to say—and again it is not intended as a criticism but as a statement of fact—that academic staff and students from time to time can do some extremely odd things.

I have some experience of academic organisations, staff and students, which have run into enormous difficulties simply on this problem of trying to agree on the best way to get representatives of staff or students on to various organisations or committees. There are particular problems where—and I think this is true to some extent about the National College of Art if it remains something of the same size—the staff are a relatively small number of people, and we are talking about nominations and elections to a small number of posts. When one is working with a small electorate and a small number of candidates a proportional system can lead to extraordinary complexities and peculiar situations. I have known one small society which literally ground to a halt for a couple of years after somebody at a time of enthusiasm for proportional representation got the constitution of the society changed. They had grave difficulty on a couple of occasions in getting agreement on how on earth they could possibly agree on officers elected.

I suggest also that the wording of the subsection as it stands at the moment—I think the phrase is "shall be nominated for appointment to An Bord by the members of the academic staff of the College"—could mean that they need not necessarily be elected by the staff of the college. I do not throw up my hands in horror at this because my understanding in practice of the way student bodies and staff bodies can work in some circumstances, particularly if there is a students' union or an academic staff association which is representative of all the people concerned, namely all the staff or all the students, is that many of these organisations like to be able, either through the executive committee or at a general meeting, to nominate a member to represent them and they do not feel that an election is necessary for a specific purpose of this kind. They are quite satisfied that the annual general meeting of the staff association or the students union has dealt with the matter quite satisfactorily. The other point I would make is that, just as it has been argued by the Fianna Fáil Party on other occasions that when circumstances change or as history evolves cases can be made in a general sense for a change in an electoral system in our community, so I think circumstances can change in institutions of any kind. Different circumstances can best be met by different methods of election or nomination. Hence, I also welcome the phrase "from time to time". It is an indication that the matter may be reviewed from time to time rather than being something which is written specifically into the Bill.

I shall end on the point that I take the phrase—and I can be accused of holding the position that as a general rule Ministers are people of reasonably sound minds—"in such a manner as may be approved by the Minister" in a section of this kind usually as meaning that given a recommendation acceptable in the main to the body of people concerned, that approval, generally speaking is a formal approval. I certainly do not see anything sinister in this. In view of some of the snags I have referred to that can crop up from time to time in the system of nomination and election, it is no harm to have what would generally be a formal power in the Bill.

For those reasons the section seems to be sound, particularly because it is flexible, because it indicates the possibility of change from time to time and because it allows staff, should they so wish, to nominate people in a way other than through an election.

I have already rejected in the other House a somewhat similar amendment to these amendments. There, I explained, and I repeat here, that I propose leaving to the teachers and to the students to choose whatever system they wish, and if I consider it a fair and reasonable one I will approve of it. I might mention here that I would insist on a secret ballot.

I might also remind the Seanad of something I have already mentioned in the other House, that is, that on a relatively recent occasion, when it was proposed to send a delegation to see me in relation to matters concerning the college, the students themselves insisted on the straight vote system. In fact, they underlined that this was the system the Minister's own party preferred. I will admit that they quite probably did it with tongue in cheek and that they had a particular objective for having that type of election at that particular period, but nevertheless it is a fact that they wrote to me in those terms.

I feel that it would be preferable in these circumstances to leave it to the staff and to the students to decide on the system they would prefer, and if I found that they system were reasonable and fair I certainly would approve of it. It should be noted that "approved" is the operative word here. Also, if it were found that a particular type of election decided on on the first occasion did not work out as the majority of the students would have liked to have seen it work—I am not speaking of the particular individuals that would be elected—but if they felt that some other type of election system would be better, then they could put forward proposals for another occasion and it would not be necessary to come before the Houses of the Oireachtas to make the change as it would be if we specified in the legislation the particular system of election which should be adopted here.

My difficulty is in trying to understand the approach of Senators who, on the one hand, persistently stress the great need for almost absolute autonomy in relation to this college in other sections of the Bill. Yet, when it comes to this particular type of situation, they wish to bind the students and the teachers in the manner in which they would wish to elect the representatives to the board.

Senator Robinson goes to the opposite extreme in relation to this particular matter. Again, I want to stress that my attitude towards this is that I should leave it to the teachers as a body and to the students as a body to decide what type of election they would prefer. Provided it was a reasonable and fair method of election, I certainly would be only too glad to approve it. I believe that, in writing into the Bill a particular type of election, we are tying them to something which they themselves may not feel is fair as far as they are concerned.

However, the fact that I do not propose to accept these amendments does not mean that the students and teachers themselves, from the amendments put down here and from the discussion on the amendments, may not find a system which they would think would be suitable in their particular circumstances.

Would the Minister give an assurance that he would not disapprove if the students or the academics decide on proportional representation?

Certainly. There are so many different types of proportional representation but if I think the system is fair——

The mere fact that it is proportional representation will not influence the Minister against it?

Not in the slightest.

I do not want to go back on proportional representation and everything connected with it——

I might say that there could be some difficulty in a proportional representation system where two people have been elected. I suppose there could be systems where it could be operated. There are so many different systems that I do not propose to go into them.

I withdraw my amendment in deference to Senator Robinson's amendment which will probably be more likely to be acceptable to the Minister. It leaves it open to the staff and students to make their own system. You cannot go very far wrong in selecting two, provided you do not bring in that grotesque system of the straight vote which would lead to all sorts of hacking and splitting at student level, just as at national level. It could lead to all the evils that we spend hours outlining here. Indeed, we have only to look across the Border to see the effects of that.

I hope the Senator is not proposing to have a discussion on methods of different electoral systems. If the students or teachers preferred another system rather than proportional representation, and if I thought it was a fair system, well, I should certainly approve of that, too.

Provided there is an alternative vote or a transferable vote?

I am not tying myself to anything.

A simple straight vote is, to my mind, the worst possible election that can be devised or ever will be devised.

If I could get the body of students who wrote to me they could have a discussion with the Senator on that matter.

As I listened to Senator Keery and the Minister I became more convinced that the amendment tabled under my name is, perhaps, the best solution. I do not follow the Minister beyond a certain point. I follow him to the point where the staff and students should be allowed to choose their own method of election in order to nominate the two staff and the two student members to the board, but after that I cannot follow why the Minister then qualifies it by saying that he would approve provided it is a fair method. That is my major point. It is not necessary to have this control through approval. If you accept staff and student representation to the board and if you accept that they have the right to nominate them, why do you need this further control of approving their scheme of doing so?

I find this very hard to follow. It sounds patronising. It sounds as if you do not really trust them. You allow them to put the scheme to you and you will then approve of it. I find this very hard to accept when we are dealing with a third level institution and the staff and students of that college. It would be preferable to leave the method of election and the choice of nominees to the board, to the staff and students and not to have this rather humiliating phrase of "provided it is a fair method," and "provided, all else being equal, the Minister will approve from time to time". I do not think that is necessary or desirable.

Senator Robinson presupposes that maybe one system will be put forward on which all the students agree and, of course, that would be an ideal situation. Supposing three different factions of the students put forward three different systems of election, supposing there is a lot of disagreement as to whether it should be proportional representation or some other system, somebody must be in a position to approve a system of election. If there is disagreement, which there might easily be, by the students or by the staff, somebody must be in a position to say: "In all the circumstances this is a reasonable system".

They can vote on it.

What system would they use to vote?

It seems the Minister is maintaining a grip on the situation in two ways. First, the system of nomination must be approved by him. I think that is clear. Secondly, there is no question—I think it was Senator Keery who pointed this out—of the students or the staff nominating directly to the board or electing directly to the board. They make the nomination and then the second grip of the Minister comes in. It rests with the Minister as to whether or not he will make the appointment to the board following the nomination made as a result of the election. I do not know whether it is implicit in the section or not, but it does not seem that it is made mandatory on the Minister, in this section, to appoint to the board those who are, in fact, nominated by the students or by the staff. I know that there is a subsection which says that the appointments should be made as soon as practicable or something of that kind; but I am not sure, on my reading of the section, that this matter could not foul up even after the nominations are made by a refusal from the Minister to make the appointment.

I do not see how I could refuse.

Could the Minister say what in the section makes it mandatory on him to make the appointment?

Section 6 (7) (a) says: "Two members of An Bord shall be students of the College and shall be nominated for appointment". If they are nominated for appointment to An Bord——

Subsection (5) deals with the appointment.

Ordinary members should be appointed by the Minister.

I do not see that the Minister has any alternative.

Perhaps the Minister could have a look at that again.

Yes, I will but I do not see that I have any alternative to appointment.

I think it should be made absolutely clear.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 12:

In subsection (6) to delete all words after "College" in line 32 to the end of the subsection.

I wish to press the amendment.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 13:

In subsection (7), line 34 to delete "Two" and substitute "Three".

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 14 not moved.

I move amendment No. 15:

In subsection (7), paragraph (a), to delete all words after "College" in line 36 to the end of the paragraph.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 16:

In subsection (7), paragraph (b), before "shall" in line 38 to insert "and subsection (6)".

The purpose of this amendment is to make subsection (7) more logical. As section 6 (7) (b) reads at present it states: "The first appointments under this subsection shall be made as soon as reasonably may be after the establishment day, but An Bord may act before such appointments are made." That refers to the appointment of students, but there is no similar provision in reference to the appointment of members of the academic staff to the board. The intention must have been where the nominations were from the staff or the students. It is possibly a question of drafting. I may, in fact, have missed the point, so I do not wish to press it very hard. It seems to me that the first appointments under this subsection and under subsection (6), that is in relation to the staff, "shall be made as reasonably may be after the establishment day, but An Bord may act before such appointments are made". Otherwise, it seems to be discriminating against the student members, that the board may act before they are appointed but it may not act before any of the other members are appointed.

Perhaps the Senator has not got the point of what is intended here. When she says that the effect of the amendment would be to delay the appointment of the teacher representatives as well as the students that is so but as I have already said paragraph (b) was inserted to meet the peculiar circumstances of the college being closed and, therefore, having no students there following approved courses. This circumstance does not apply to the teachers. Because of the fact that we have not got students following approved courses—and that is the definition of "student" given in section 1 of the Bill—it would not be possible to have the student representatives elected. Unless it were possible for me to open the college before establishment day I could not form a board with student membership, and I wanted to ensure that I could establish a board.

I would prefer—and I hope it might be possible—to open the college before the actual establishment day so as to ensure that the students would be enabled to elect their representatives, so that we would have student representation from the very outset. I cannot be certain of this because of the quite obvious difficulties, but I would wish that that were so. Otherwise, I had to ensure that at least I could form a board and that was the reason why this subsection was inserted.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 17:

In subsection (7), paragraph (b), line 40 to delete "but An Bord may act before such appointments are made" and substitute "and An Bord may not act before such appointments are made".

The explanation given by the Minister meets the point that is involved in amendment No. 17 also. It is obviously desirable, if at all possible, that An Bord should be completed before it commences to act. The concern in amendment No. 17 was to try to ensure that the student representatives would in fact be elected, or nominated and appointed, before An Bord would commence to act. It is of some importance to try to ensure this, if at all possible. The functions laid out in section 2, which can be undertaken by An Bord, are of course matters of very considerable importance and which would be of vital concern to the student body and, accordingly, to the student representatives. It was not apparent why it was being provided in the Bill, as it stands, that An Bord could act without the student representatives being elected. However, I think the Minister has given an adequate explanation of that now. Certainly I should be prepared to accept his assurance that, if at all possible, he will have the college reopened so that the students' nominations and appointments can be made before An Bord is set up.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 18 not moved.
Question proposed: "That section 6 stand part of the Bill."

Arising out of section 6, there are just a few points for clarification. Subsection (6) says: "...nominated for appointment members of the academic staff of the College...". Subsection (1) defines the students of the college, but nowhere do I find a definition of what is meant by "academic staff of the College". That is something that would need to be put right before Report Stage. In fact, the definition of "student" is contained in section 1. I was not present when section I was being discussed. I consider that the student definition, "student of the College", is too loose. It says:

student of the College" means a person who stands entered in the student roll of the College and is following an approved course of study there.

In other words, is this a full-time course or a part-time course? If it is a part-time course what level of a part-time course would be recognised?

I do not see that it is too loose, because an approved course is an approved course, irrespective of whether it is full-time or part-time.

If it is only a two-hour course on one night a week, would the Minister say that he recognises such a person as a student on an equal footing with somebody who is there full-time?

The Senator may not approve of the definition, but it is an approved course.

I have raised that one, but the other one, the absence of the definition of a member of the academic staff, in other words, is it full-time?

I shall check on the academic staff aspect of it in the definition. I shall see if it is necessary.

I think it should be made clearer than it is.

It seems to be of importance, having regard to a subsequent section of the Bill which, as it stands, empowers An Bord to act through its officers, because the definition section defines an officer as including a reference to a member of the academic staff.

The academic staff would be officers of——

The definition states:

A reference in the Act to an officer of An Bord includes a reference to a member of the academic staff of the College.

We should know clearly what is meant by the academic staff when that kind of definition is here, having regard to the fact that, later on in the Bill, the power is being given to delegate to its officers the functions which An Bord can exercise under the Bill.

Of course, the term officer of An Bord, referred to by the Senator includes a member of the academic staff.

That is where the whole thing needs to be clarified.

We will have a look at that.

I do not want to delay on the point. It is not helped by the wording in respect of the transfer of staff, where it refers to "academic or other staff of the College". Again, there is not any clear definition. The point that I wanted to make on section 6 refers to the suggestion that has been made by a number of people, including most recently the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, that the nomination of outside members to An Bord should be by outside bodies. I was wondering if the Minister would give some indication of whether he intended to consult groups such as the RHA, the Arts Council and the National University, who would have a great interest in how the college would be run. It is not in the form of an amendment. It is an attempt to try to ascertain the type of person whom the Minister is considering to nominate. As these people will form the majority of An Bord would the Minister give some undertaking that he would consult and, perhaps, even accept suggestions from these outside bodies, who have a great contribution to make from the point of view of, to quote the Minister himself, the college being there to serve the community. What sort of links is the Minister prepared to have with them in appointing people to An Bord?

Of course, I hope the Senator will appreciate that I will make the appointment and certainly I shall consult with all those various groups, and with those who desire to consult with me. I shall give a great deal of consideration to any proposals put to me by any of these bodies. Obviously, I shall have to make up my own mind eventually as to whom I shall actually nominate.

Arising out of the Minister's reply earlier in connection with the academic staff of the college, I would urge the necessity to see that the service of full-time staff carries more weight than part-time service of one or two hours a week. You could not obviously give such a person the same weight or influence in electing representatives as you would give to a fulltime officer.

So far as I can ascertain, there does not seem to be any problem among the staff in relation to that matter.

They are most unusual if that is so.

Is uppose they are. I have not had any suggestion from them that one group should have greater voting power than another.

In a case where the part-time staff may outnumber the full-time staff it would lead to trouble to put the part-time staff in a position where they could dominate the nominations.

The Senator will appreciate that one of the difficulties and problems relating to the College of Art and one of the unfortunate facets regarding it is that there are so few permanent teachers there. If I were to take the Senator's suggestion into consideration I would be weighting it too heavily in the opposite direction. I would prefer to leave this to the teachers I cannot give any guarantee here that I will put any more weight on one particular teacher's vote than on another.

Arising on that, it is likely that the part-time staff will greatly outnumber the full-time staff. That is to be expected where there are so many people who are capable of contributing a few hours' teaching. That is why I again appeal to the Minister to look at this amendment which I withdrew and which I propose to re-table, and to try to increase the number of representatives from the staff. The Minister will find that, if he does that, it will be much easier to accommodate the various part-time and full-time senior or junior groups he may get within the college. When the Minister refers to the members of the academic staff of the college, what voice there will he recognise? Will it be the staff association of the college? It should be.

Of course. I am aware that all the teachers are members of the staff association.

It should be the staff association.

They will make up their own minds in relation to this. I am not giving any guarantee here that I will place more emphasis on one teacher's vote than on any other. I have had no complaints from the teachers, as I have already stated, and I am not going to introduce something new into what is a very difficult situation.

That will come. We will be surprised if it does not. In dealing with the students under this section I would again appeal to the Minister to act through whatever student organisation there is within the college, just as he should deal and act through whatever staff association is within the college.

I cannot deal with whatever student association is in the college because there does not appear to be any particular student association in the college. There are associations which are self-appointed, and individuals who are self-appointed. The only way I can deal with the students in relation to the election of students is as a group.

Surely they must have spokesmen if you are to deal with them as a whole?

There are self-appointed spokesmen.

Who is the Minister going to deal with?

I am going to deal with all the students as a body if I can.

The Minister will meet all the students?

I will not meet all the students. I was in the college and went all through it.

Was the Minister reconnoitring an escape?

No. The Minister passes in through the door and comes out through the door.

Not through the window, like some Ministers.

Surely the Students' Union of Ireland have certain rules for recognising student representative councils?

The USI have had their own difficulties in relation to the College of Art. There is no need to go into all that.

Could I just comment on one matter in this section? Subsection (2) (a) states:

The chairman of An Bord shall be appointed from time to time as occasion requires by the Minister and may, if An Bord so requests and the Minister thinks fit to do so, be removed from the office of chairman by the Minister.

Is that necessary? If you are going to have a small board, a minimum of only nine members, assuming you do not accept an amendment from Senator Quinlan to increase the number of the board and do not appoint the maximum number of 11, you could have a situation where you have two academic members, two student members, one director and four outside members, so to speak. A situation could arise where the majority could request the removal of the chairman. That would be an undesirable situation. It still says: "if the Minister thinks fit" and presumably he might not think it fit in such a situation. It would be a most unusual thing for the board to remove the chairman. There should be something written in here to the effect that the reasons should be stated in writing. It should not be a snap vote to have the chairman put out of office.

He will not be. The Minister has to give a decision in the matter on what the Minister thinks fit. I should like to point out that, so far as I can remember, the original drafting of this section was "that the chairman of An Bord shall be appointed by the Minister and removed from office by the Minister". After discussion in the Dáil. I accepted the arguments put forward by the Senators' party and I changed it to its present form.

It is an improvement. I do not like it myself. The Minister is on the same note, in subsection (5):

A member of An Bord shall be appointed by the Minister and may be removed from office by the Minister.

That subsection is not in accord with the Minister's desire to have an autonomous board. I do not think it should be inserted in the Bill at all. It is not compatible with independence or autonomy. If the Minister insists on retaining it there should be a stated reason in writing by the Minister for the removal of a member. He should not be removed at the whim of a Minister. This is not just an academic point I am making. I speak with some experience of what can happen, shall we say due to incompatability between a Minister and a member of a board. This section is undesirable.

This was not questioned in the other House. That does not mean it should not be questioned here, of course. The point is there would be only a relatively small number of reasons why a Minister would remove a member from the board. I am satisfied that a Minister would not act irrationally in a matter such as this. There could be reasons why he would find it imperative that he remove the member from the board I do not think I should make any change here.

Does the Minister not see the force of Senator Russell's argument. This is a new departure. The Minister is entitled to feel a certain amount of gratification that he has been able to achieve the new departure here in this Bill. It is an effort to solve very great difficulties that have existed. If there is any doubt about at least the reasonable independence of the board it will do a lot to destroy the effectiveness of this legislation. As Senator Russell pointed out, in subsection (5) it is not necessary for the Minister to give any reason. I do not think for a moment that the Minister will act simply on a whim in relation to this, but from the point of view of a person who may feel suspicious there is no way that I can see under the subsection as it stands to remove those suspicions. It could be argued that if the Minister wanted to play either college politics or any other kind he could shatter the whole scheme that is set up here by making appointments and making removals the following day.

I could not visualise this type of thing happening.

I am not suggesting that it would happen.

We had a long discussion on this question of giving reasons and I have very strong opinions on this particular matter. For that reason I am afraid I could not accept any suggestion that I should change the method.

Did I hear the Minister say he had very strong views on it.

Strong views on this question of giving reasons and so on.

If the Minister holds such strong views about it, does that not immediately make one suspicious about the independence of this board?

When I say "strong views" I mean what I feel for very good reasons. I went into considerable detail on this on previous occasions. I do not propose to go into it again. So far as I am concerned, I cannot imagine any Minister acting in the manner which has been suggested here by the Senators.

I can assure you that a Minister can, and in fact has from my personal experience, so acted. I do not suggest for one moment that the present Minister would be unreasonable. In my view, he would act very much to the contrary. But it can happen that a Minister, for reasons which I do not propose to go into now, can take action of this kind and dismiss a member without giving any reason good, bad or indifferent. The member concerned has no redress. At least the Minister should be obliged to state his reasons in writing to give the member concerned an opportunity of defending himself.

Under this subsection, as it reads, the member has no means of repudiating the Minister's action or showing his bona fides in this. It is a most undesirable subsection and the Minister has advanced no reasons for it, beyond the fact that he is very strongly in favour of it. He has not supported his reasoning by giving any special examples of what could happen. The Minister should consider withdrawing this subsection if he wants to have a board that is independent and autonomous. To my mind the two are contradictory. It is a most unlikely situation. What would happen in the event of a tie if there were two candidates for the position of chairman? Going back to my example, the Minister threw a red herring across it by referring to something Senator Quinlan had said. What that had to do with what I said I do not know, where I said you have a board of nine——

I specified nine.

——one could be missing. You could have an even board with two candidates and you could have a tie in the voting. What happens in that case?

I would leave it to the good sense of the board to resolve it.

There are two points I should like to make.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

The two points would need to take minus two minutes each in order to allow us to adjourn at the usual time.

I should like to refer to subsection (2) (a), because many times in the Seanad we have battled to have this power given. In other words, that a director or a chairman could not be removed by a Minister without the board having requested it. Now it is being revised at last and I hope it becomes a precedent. The second point is that I should like to support Senator Russell's plea for another look at subsection (5) and for the deletion of the second part of the section.

Question put and agreed to.
Progress reported; Committee to sit again
The Seanad adjourned at 10.5 p.m. until 10 a.m. on Thursday, 18th November, 1971.