The Constitution is that there must be a President elected. You will have to elect a President and have a Cabinet or you are going to break up the Constitution. Now I do ask you not to smash up the Republic, not to break up your Constitution. Try to proceed constitutionally.
FORMATION OF NEW EXECUTIVE
Naturally, I agree to that thing so long as it is President of the Chamber of Deputies, or anything you like. But I simply put that forward as an amendment to the other resolution and I put it forward as my best endeavour to avoid that last vote, and I could only suggest what, to me, seems common sense. I do not care whether you call the principal man here President or not. Even if the word "President" in it is inserted there—if that will make my motion a proper motion then that word may be put in. But, obviously, the thing before us is that we must find some kind of machinery for taking the next step. And I suggest that Diarmuid O'Hegarty should summon the Dáil, and as far as I know the additions to the Dáil will be the four members from Trinity College.
Will they take the oath?
They need not, and you need not, take that oath.
That will be summoned according to the Treaty as the Parliament of Southern Ireland, but it will be what I would call Dáil Eireann. If there is any better Irish term for the Assembly let the people who understand Irish call it that. That is the way I look at it. The way I mean is that Mr. Griffith may be asked to form a Committee and take over and carry on. Words and phrases are no hindrance to us no matter how bitter they be. I am not a lover of words and phrases. What I want is—what I have always wanted is —to get the army out of Ireland. And we will have to establish some kind of contact, and it is the difficulties of the situation that I am thinking of. I suppose someone will have to go into Dublin Castle to see what is there. And we have to meet somebody in there to see that, under our financial clauses, I am to receive back the twenty-three thousand pounds they stole from the Irish Republic. Somebody will have to see to that. MacCready had to go to the Mansion House. I do not know whether it was a departure from principle or a derogation of his status. I do not know whether he was less Commander-in-Chief there subsequently because we called him MacCready. But you have to face details in a practical way like that, and that is how I have tried to work the whole time. I have seen difficulties. I know it is very easy to say that Michael Collins had breakfast with Lloyd George in Downing Street. But there is this much about it that Michael Collins did not have breakfast with Lloyd George. It was said in a newspaper here which was noticeably friendly to me when I tried to make them publish something about the way the Black-and-Tans held them up. It is an easy thing to say about a man. We know what it meant when John Redmond had breakfast with Lloyd George. If I had breakfast with Lloyd George I would tell you so. I only want to try and explain the implication of things. Somebody will have to meet them before they depart, and it is not by saying merely what are flippant things for the time being that we can get to handling the practicabilities of the situation and the difficulties of it. And I had not in my mind when I proposed that resolution any departure from the rules of procedure here. I only meant it in my own plain way as being some contribution to a difficult situation. If it makes it acceptable that Mr. Griffith act as President of the Assembly and is asked to form a Provisional Executive, then my motion can be put in these words. I only want to try to be of help. I had not in my mind that I was departing from any rule of dignity or procedure.
Would I be allowed to ask a question? In the event of this body being set up here to-day will they assume the obligations contracted in the name of the Republic, and honour the pledges given in the Republic's name, when we were instructed to raise money in the name of the Republic?
Anyway, I will do my best to see—and if it is not done I will regard the Treaty as being broken —I will do my best to see that every person who subscribed one pound to the Loan is repaid on the terms on which that money was subscribed.
In view of the resolution of this House in Aguust last that the money raised would be returned by the Irish nation, and that we proposed to raise some more money, I had no personal reason in asking the question but as being one of the men who raised the money.
I second the resolution that Mr. Griffith be elected President, and that he be asked to appoint a Provisional Executive.
I am anxious about one thing; and we have a definite duty to preserve the Republic until the Irish people disestablish it. It must be held to be in existence until then; and this being a Sovereign Assembly I would like to know whether those taking over the responsibility intend to preserve the Republic until the Irish people disestablish it.
Dáil Eireann, as the President said—I must still and always call him President—can only be disestablished by the will of the Irish people. What I propose to do is this—when we adopt the form of Provisional Government—is to arrange for a plebiscite of the Irish people or a General Election on this question as to whether they will have a Free State or a Republic.
About the funds —will you use the funds of the Republic directly in connection with your functions for the Free State? There is a big question involved. You do not see my object. There have been funds subscribed for the Republic. They are bound—we are really in honour bound to use these only for the purpose of the Republic and to maintain Irish independence. Now, why I dislike these proceedings is: you are, in fact, disestablishing the Republic and you are taking over—Provisional Government—the resources of the Republic, and this is rather a serious matter that you should take all these responsibilities. We want to know here in this House which is the Government of the Republic and nothing else, what is to be done with the army and with the resources?
I take it that any money that is spent by this House must be submitted to this House and the sanction of this House obtained; and that no money can be spent without the sanction of the House. The estimates have to be submitted and sanctioned and approved. If the House does not agree with any proposal that is brought forward it can reject that proposal. The House is sovereign.
Now, to deal practically with that point in that question— that seems to me to be a very small difficulty, and yet it is illustrative of the whole thing. Now, what proposal would anybody have to make about that? The suggestion I would make would be one that would be offered fairly to the other side. But that is one of the difficulties I foresaw when I mentioned the other day that I wanted a Committee of the two sides. That suggestion was not reciprocated. It can be reciprocated now, when we have been put to the difficulty of fighting them twice instead of once. There are Trustees of Dáil Eireann, and as they (the other side) will not meet us at all, the suggestion I would make is this: that those funds should remain on in trust.
Our accounts are practically ready up to the thirty-first December because, though I have been here every day, and although I was in London for several days, everything in the department has been up to date; and, as a matter of fact, the people who have been paid a weekly salary at the present time—well, that is all illegal because this House has not passed the estimates for the first part of the year 1922. And, in reality, every member of Dáil Staff should be going without his salary at the present moment because they were so very constitutional about things. I hope nobody will tell me or suggest that I have done wrong in allowing payment to go on to these people. You know, constitutionally, you could tell me I was wrong, but in fairness you could not tell me I was wrong. That is the only suggestion I have to make: that these funds should remain on in trust. There has not been a penny that was subscribed used for the purpose of our side since this thing started. Perhaps a sheet of notepaper was used, but I have done my utmost to keep the thing absolutely separate. Well, now, I will let others say whether they have been so very scrupulous in that thing. But the funds are in the hands of Trustees. It would be interesting to many people to know how these funds were safeguarded. If necessary, if I am told, I will publish everything completely—I would prefer to publish everything completely—and show the difficulties, and the vast difficulties, that we had been up against in the matter of these funds.
You may be up against them again.
How can we come to an agreement unless the other side meet us in this way, unless we do arrange it here? The accounts for the last half-year are practically ready. This is not a small job. They will be ready in a few days. The details of working out the balance sheets and so on will take a little time. What I suggest is that those accounts should be published. Then everybody will know exactly what we have on hands, and it can be there as a public record. And, at the same time, that we should make some agreed statement and some arrangement with the Trustees or the House whereby the Trustees would go on keeping these monies on trust on the basis on which the funds were subscribed. If we go on as a Free State my proposal with regard to whoever would be Minister of Finance would be, notwithstanding that—that we try to redeem the old loan, and notwithstanding that, and as an indication of goodwill, and as an indication of competence, that we should hand that money back in America and in Ireland. Now, here is a point: all the lists on which I have written the names of subscribers to the loan were seized by Dublin Castle. I hope nobody will tell us when we get these back that I used influence with Lloyd George. Now, the alternative to getting them back is to put a public notice in the Press asking subscribers to send up their receipts. And I happen to know that a good many of those were destroyed. And if anybody writes up a letter and says he subscribed ten pounds we will keep those letters. We know the total, and if they come to more than the total we will be very doubtful about the genuineness of some letters. I am only wanting to point out that, even in a simple thing like that, we must come to an agreement here as to what we are going to do. And if anybody has a better suggestion to make I will do my best to work out details of the suggestion.
Is that motion before the House—that Mr. Griffith be asked to form an Executive?
The motion is: that Mr. Arthur Griffith be asked to form an Executive.
Before that motion is put I would like to make one or two suggestions. This is the Parliament of the Republic of Ireland. Is Mr. Griffith going to form an Executive to carry on the Republic of Ireland or to form an Executive which will be the Provisional Government, or what is he going to do? I would ask him what he wants an Executive for? Why not go now and call the members elected to sit in the Parliament of Southern Ireland, and form his Provisional Government from that. He cannot form it from this Assembly. I think we must be very clear. The President has said that there can be no co-operation between the Republican element in this Dáil and those who have surrendered the Republic; and there must be no suggestion or innuendos of nice meetings or things of that kind. I do not want to say an unnecessary harsh word, but I must be quite clear on this. Before there is any Executive formed from this House it must be understood that that Executive must be Republican. Others must not be allowed to say that they set up their Provisional Government with the sanction of Dáil Eireann, while the Republican members sat in the House. Let us be clear about that. Well, there is an Executive being set up which is not a Republican Executive. I maintain that we cannot sit here if Mr. Griffith wants to form an Executive which will empower him to call a meeting of members elected for constituencies in Southern Ireland—but he does not need an Executive for that. He has not told us who is to call that Executive. He has suggested that Diarmuid O'Hegarty should call a meeting of Dáil Eireann. But his power comes from Lloyd George and not from Dáil Eireann. Let us make no mistake about it now that this meeting cannot sanction Mr. Griffith to form an Executive which will, in turn, sanction him or somebody else to call a meeting of the people elected for constituencies in Southern Ireland to set up a Provisional Government and an Executive—he wants to call it a Republican Executive. If he says it is, then very well. It is the man whom the Executive sanctions who may call the Provisional Government. If that is so I maintain that not a single Republican member can sit here while he forms his Executive. This is a double vote against Ireland's independence. They voted away Ireland's independence as far as it was in their power on Saturday night, and they have reiterated that vote to-night; because they must have known that the President was not acting on personalities but that he was acting for the preservation of this nation and its independence, even against the trickery of Lloyd George. Evidently he trusts Lloyd George more than he trusts the Republican minority of this House. Let us be quite clear where we stand now. I ask Mr. Griffith to note it and to answer it before this vote is taken. Will he give a guarantee to the Republicans here that he will not use that Executive to set up the Provisional Government? He does not need it. He is only doing it to get nominal sanction from Dáil Eireann which it is not in the power of Dáil Eireann to give him. He can go out to-night and set up his Provisional Government regardless of Dáil Eireann Now, I want to know from Mr. Griffith if, in the event of his getting this Executive, he wants to call it Dáil Eireann? Dáil Eireann is the Republican Government of Ireland and Mr. Griffith cannot use it for his Government. Mr. Collins told us he is going to invite the Trinity College members. Mr. Griffith said: "We brought back Saorstát na hEireann and we brought back the flag." I maintain here that the Free State which he has brought back must not use the flag of the Irish Republic. And that is the flag of the Irish Republic, intimately connected with the Republic, not with Dominion Government, and the people of Ireland will not tolerate it being used as such. Now, the other side have stated they do not want fratricidal war. Now let me tell them what would happen if they used that flag. Every honest Republican would resent any act of the Free State to use that flag as they would resent the Black-and-Tans using it, because it is not the flag of a Dominion State. It is the flag of the Irish Republic and must be kept so. And I maintain they have no power to use that flag until they have got the sanction of the Irish people to do what they are doing; and if they get that those of us who are Republicans still will use our flag with a black band until the Dominion status is changed into a Republic. We must be clear on that. The money question is quite clearly one on which we should have arrangements. That money was subscribed in America for the Republic and not for a Free State. It cannot be used for the Free State, and that money that has been used must be paid back by the Irish nation. Meantime we must not be in any way misled, or in any way fooled into taking any step which is inconsistent with our stand to take; and therefore we must have a definite, and a very definite, pledge from Mr. Griffith, before we who sit in this House as a minority even will be convinced that he will not use his Executive to call into being the Provisional Government of the Free State. If, pending the completion of this Treaty, he is willing to sit here in Dáil Eireann as a Republican Executive, and to keep all Ireland going without any shilly-shallying about it, we will sit here, too. But he must give a definite undertaking to this House that he will not use that Executive power to call the meeting of the Southern Parliament of Ireland, but stand by the Republic. Dáil Eireann is not mentioned from beginning to end in this Treaty. Article 17 mentions how the Provisional Government is to be set up. I again ask all those who are staunch Republicans to stand with us and those who consider gravely where this issue is leading. Again I am making no apology for stressing it, for I know perfectly well that many things have been said, and many things tried, in order to cloud the issue in our minds. Mr. Michael Collins sat there and talked about Dáil Eireann. If anybody could give him a better word to use he will use it. It is very nice playing to the gallery. Again, will Mr. Griffith give us an undertaking that he will not use the power of the Executive to give him a majority of this House to form a Provisional Government, or to start that Provisional Government in any way whatever—that whatever machinery was arranged with Lloyd George he will use that absolutely with a clean-cut line between the Provisional Government's doings and Dáil Eireann's doings? That that Executive which he picks, having a majority in this House, will not be used directly or indirectly to bolster up deeds of this Provisional Government, or to work out the machinery of the Provisional Government. If he gives us that undertaking, then, as far as Dáil Eireann is concerned, and for the preservation of safety, we can sit here. But if he, by virtue of a majority he has in this House, is going to use that Executive authority to get behind the Provisional Government we part here and now. The money you can settle as you like, provided you remember that money was subscribed for a Republic and not for a Free State; and if it is necessary that you should interview one or two members on this side informally, I suppose the President will know exactly how far that meeting is necessary and we can have perfect confidence in him. But in a question of voting we must have a straight answer before we vote. And the Free State must understand that Dáil Eireann no longer holds a Republican minority if Dáil Eireann, by virtue of a paltry majority, is to be subverted to stand behind the Free State. I hope every Republican in this Dáil agrees with me. And I have made my position clear, and I will not, without a definite guarantee from Mr. Griffith that he is not going to play tricks with Dáil Eireann, that he is not going to take the Parliament of the Dáil elected for the Republic, and use that to bolster up the Provisional Government —say what he likes—he has not got the sanction of the Irish people. There are many questions that I should like to ask Mr. Griffith. But that is the main one. Will he give us that guarantee before we sit here and vote on this motion?
Some of the people thought I was only rainbow chasing when speaking against the Treaty. I want to make it plain here and now that this vote will be for the President of Dáil Eireann—that Mr. Griffith is going to be proposed as President of the Republic of Ireland, and that he will get power to carry on the Republican Government of Ireland. I want it to go forth from this House that any time he will make use of the machinery of the Republican Government and substitute it for the Provisional Government, then we will walk out in a body. Also, I want to make it clear that an arrangement will be come to immediately as regards the money subscribed, and that not a three-penny bit of that will be used to bring this other Government into existence—that is, of the funds. These funds were subscribed for the Republic. Lloyd George will be able to supply plenty of funds for the Free Staters. Another question is that as regards the flag. That flag is Republican. That flag is sacred to me and to my family, and to every member who sacrificed anything in this glorious fight for the Republic. And any attempt that will be made to use that flag by the enemy as far as I can go I will preserve that flag to the best of my ability, even to the cost of my life. I hope that Mr. Griffith will make it clear what flag he is to use in the Free State, because he will never use the Republican flag except over the dead bodies of some of us.
I rise to put publicly some questions of which Mr. Griffith received notice this morning:
(1) Whether he has any further communication, direct or indirect from the British Government in connection with the Treaty?
(2) Whether he has been informed by them what kind of legislation they propose to pass in the British Parliament in order to carry into effect the Articles of Agreement?
(3) Who should summon the members of the Southern Parliament under Clause 17 of the Treaty and when? Would they continue in session?
(4) Whether the proposed Provisional Government will be elected by and from these members?
(5) Whether the Provisional Government will act in conjunction with the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and will it function under the statuory powers conferred by the Partition Act?
(6) What are the powers referred to in Clause 17 which will be transferred from the British Government to the Provisional Government?
I rise to protest with all the weight and force of my being against any attempt being made to use the name of Dáil, which is the Government of the Irish Republic, and its machinery to set up a Provisional Government, and to establish the Free State in accordance with a British Act of Parliament. It is no time, perhaps, for angry words. But I do think that I would be untrue to what I believe if I did not rise at this juncture to make this protest. This Free State derives no authority from the Dáil. It derives authority solely and absolutely from the British Government. And the vote that was taken on Saturday and the vote that was taken to-day—so far as these members who voted for the Treaty, and so far as those members who voted against the President of the Irish Republic—was, I am convinced, a vote for the disestablishment of the Irish Republic as far as they could make it. There is no use of our mincing words, or pretending that we are going to stick to the Republic while, at the same time, we are undermining the Republic. Now, if this Free State is to be established let it be established in accordance with whatever terms Mr. Griffith made with Mr. Lloyd George, and do not use the Government of the Irish Republic as the machinery for doing so. I do not want to say any more. I only wish, in view of this possibility, to voice my last protest against this crowning act of iniquity against the Irish people.
Before the motion is put I would ask the members to think very carefully whether they need vote upon it, and whether they need set up an Executive authority in this House— a Government of which the head is going to be, ultimately, the head of the Free State. Now, I think that has been one of the crying tragedies of Irish politics— that whenever an Irishman has got in touch with an Englishman, and has bound himself to do something, he is always prepared to be better than his word. I think there is nothing in the Articles of Agreement laid before us which would make it imperative upon the Irish signatories to these Articles to secure control of the resources of the Republic. And it is to secure control of the resources of the Republic that the motion which we are now considering has been introduced. It does not say that those who are to form this Provisional Government are not to be, at the same time, the Government of Dáil Eireann. It does not say it, and therefore we should not permit it to be done. It only says that a meeting shall be called of those who have been elected to the Parliament of Southern Ireland, and that includes, remember, the four members elected for Dublin University who would not take, as we have done, the oath to the Irish Republic. Now, I suggest that by the letter of their bond the signatories to the Articles of Agreement might leave this Assembly, might take with them the majority which they have secured in it and, somewhere outside the Assembly of the Irish Republic, summon their supporters and those other members for Southern Ireland who did not sit here— they may have him selected there from the Provisional Government. I suggest that that is a step which would be best in the interests of the nation. Because, so long as they take over the resources of the Irish Republic, they will be told that they are bound to use those resources in order to establish the Irish Free State. The Minister for Finance stated that he was prepared, if he could, to refund to those who subscribed to the Loan of the Irish Republic the monies which they had subscribed. I tell him if he takes this step to-day to secure control of the resources of the Irish Republic, and then goes forward and, as the Government of the Irish Republic, sets up the Government of the Irish Free State, Lloyd George will tell him he is bound in honour not to refund those monies.
But then, support I say to him I do not take my opinion from Mr. Lloyd George. I am Michael Collins.
You would have deal with your Prime Minister, who say that he would not dishonour his signature and become immortalised in history. I do not want to make any part capital out of this. I only ask you not to do anything you are not bound to do. A way out can be found if you want to find it. Instead of electing a man as President of this Assembly who is bound by his honour and by his signature—he has told you what his signature means to him—instead of electing him now at your Chief Executive elect some other member of this Assembly if you will, who will hold the resources of the Republic in trust for the Republic. That is the way out. He need not use them for the moment—he may give you every chance of setting up your Free State. But, at any rate, you yourselves will not be stultifying yourselves later. If England betrays you you can go back then and use your resources to make her honour bond which she in history has so often dishonoured before. We are now in the position of Grattan and Flood. If Grattan had not permitted the Volunteers to be disbanded the Act of Union would never have been passed. Now, you can not—this Government of the Irish Free State cannot—control the army of the Irish Republic. I believe that you will secure for the President or for the Chief Executive that I propose you should elect—I believe that you can secure for him for the interim period between now and the time that you come to submit the Irish Free State as an agreed and detailed proposition, and as an actual fact, and not as a general statement of Articles of Agreement, not as a scrap of paper to be dishonoured—I believe that between now and that time you can secure a neutral President of this Assembly to pledge himself solemnly that he can act; that the army of the Republic will preserve towards you, at any rate, an attitude of friendly neutrality; if you are afraid that we should use that army to subvert your Government or that—at any rate you may have your fears. If it should happen that after a General Election in England you should be told, as the Catholic Bishops who supported the Union were told, that Mr. Pitt was no longer in office—therefore, in order that you yourselves should have something solid to stand upon, I would suggest that you try and follow the way I am putting before you. Do not elect Mr. Griffith whatever other man you elect; do not select Mr. Griffith to be head of this Assembly; do not elect those who are bound by their signatures. It does not matter to us whom we will have if we cannot have a Republic. But it matters a great deal to the nation that the man who is President should not be one who has signed that Treaty in London.
To whom will the Provisional Government be responsible?
To the Irish people.
What I would like to say is to express a regret that some of our members feel it necessary to assume an attitude of bitterness and hostility to others. Now, the note that President de Valera had struck after the result of the vote, was the guiding note to this assembly. I think if we had to part we would part as good friends, believing that each side was thinking well for Ireland. I would ask certain Deputies here who have said bitter and cutting things to try and let that drop and to realise that whether they give us credit or not for sincerity—to realise that we are as sincere as it is possible for us to be; that we acted in what we considered the best interests of Ireland. We feel we have not, in any sense, betrayed a single scrap of Irish interests or Irish honour, and we believe, in taking the vote taken to-day, we did it, not with the intention of defeating their ideals, but to prevent the resources of this nation from being used to wreck the Treaty which the Dáil approved of last Saturday night.
We feel strongly the other way, and that is the way people in the country look at it. It is nearly impossible to get a way out; absolutely impossible, because the Chief Executive at the other side will not be able to satisfy anybody. People will be all the time suspicious that the resources of the Republic will be used to undermine the Republic. The situation they have created is a very awkward one.
Can we not go forward in the future and drop this attitude of embittered hostility towards each other?
Is the motion before the House: "That this assembly asks Mr. Griffith to form a Provisional Executive?"
I second that motion.
I understand that Mr. Collins suggested something else be added to that. Because I believe that is as ultra vires as the discussion you permitted at the opening of the Session for half a day.
I submit that you are working on very dangerous grounds. I submit that if you are going to subvert the Constitution you are going to make a situation that will make it impossible for the Republican members to remain in. They will not remain there any longer or by their presence give it any sanction. You must elect a Republican President of this assembly, and you must elect him as Chief Executive for this State—otherwise the Parliament no longer exists as such.
Am I to take it that the majority in this assembly has no rights?
Will you answer the questions we asked you?
The majority in this assembly must abide by the Constitution until it is altered.
Article 18 of the Treaty determines the procedure in this matter. Here it is: "This instrument shall be submitted forthwith by His Majesty's Government for the approval of Parliament, and by the Irish signatories to a meeting summoned for the purpose of the members elected to sit in the House of Commons of Southern Ireland and, if approved, shall be ratified by the necessary legislation." Now, I submit that this Session of Dáil Eireann was summoned a fortnight ago to discuss the ratification of the Treaty. That you ruled the ratification of the Treaty out of order, and it was altered here without the sanction of this House and is entirely irregular. "Approval of the Treaty!" I submit that motion before you now is ultra vires as much as the other motion as the only legitimate step is to abide by Clause 18 and to go strictly in accordance with it. Those members who sit for constituencies in Southern Ireland include the four members of Trinity College, and those cannot attend a meeting of Dáil Eireann until they take an oath of allegiance as we have done. And I accordingly would suggest to you that we should adjourn and that you and the leaders on the other side should see how you can put our proceedings in order.
Are we discussing particular clauses of the Treaty? If we are, let us discuss them. I would like to go into discussion on Document 2. But if we are discussing particular clauses in the Treaty it seems to me we cannot say how the British will do a particular thing until we have asked them. I cannot tell until we ask them. And if we have to do it publicly through you we will ask them. The point is, if we are discussing the clauses of the Treaty—all right, then, —we can discuss them. If my motion is not in order, rule it out of order. What I suggest is this: that we should adjourn this discussion as leading to nowhere. And the tactics on the other side are obstructionist tactics.
The proceedings to-day from the beginning were conducted by consent. There was no notice given of any motion up to now. It is by consent of the Assembly that these motions that came before the Assembly were taken. They did not fulfil the orders of the Assembly. A day's notice should be handed in. The same applies to the motion in my hands now.
In that case I will write it out fully. I will put it in as a notice of motion, and let us adjourn or do anything at all.
This is a very difficult position for the other side.
And you are making it more difficult. Well, do as you like.
If you take over the Presidency of the Republic and go on with the Treaty you are creating a great deal of difficulty in that; and you are creating a great deal of suspicion in the minds of the people. So I suggest that we should adjourn.
I thought so—at last the cat is out of the bag. Now, this consideration for our side comes rather curiously. All right. We do not want to adjourn if you do not. I know we want to consult amongst ourselves because the difficulties are great. But let us adjourn.
I am quite prepared to go on.
We do not understand it. I do not know whether the Chairman of the Delegation is prepared to answer those questions.
To put the matter in order, I move the adjournment. I would like to know whether I am in authority in my office. Do I give up my department until the Minister for Local Government is elected?
The Republic for the moment is without a head.
I presume I am acting in authority.
If you want to keep to the Constitution you have got to elect the Chief Executive who, by his office, is head of the State. If you elect the head of the Republic you have to set up your Executive officers and go ahead.
I want to know where I am. I do not want to take on any powers I have not got.
You have got none now.
Then I formally move the adjournment. I understand that this building is going to be used to-morrow for University purposes. If so, you want to make some arrangements.
Have you any official communication to that effect?
Somebody told me that the lectures were starting to-morrow.
Do not mind what somebody told you (laughter).
I want to make one observation of a personal nature. I have tried to conduct myself as well as I could. The suggestion has been made from the other side that my putting you that question was meant to embarass the other side. I put you a question as to whether that motion was in order, and you replied it was not. That is a sufficient vindication for me. I repudiate that suggestion.
If you, Mr. Speaker, will tell me what I have to do —if I have to give in a notice of motion for to-morrow—I will do it.
Yes. Any business that is not taken up with the consent of the House can only be discussed on notice.
I second the motion for adjournment.
The House adjourned at 6.45 p.m., to 11 o'clock on Tuesday, 10th January.