Very well. I move Clauses 1 and 2.
THE PRESIDENT'S MOTION. - CLAUSES 1 AND 2 MOVED.
There is an amendment. Amendment 1 refers to Clauses 1 and 2.
In moving Amendment 1, I would like to say that it was pointed out to me yesterday by members of the Ministry that the substitution of the word "Ministry" instead of "Government" in all cases would scarcely suit the purpose I had in mind, and I admit the justice of the criticism. In some cases, therefore, the word "Government," which means not specifically portion of this Dáil, but rather the general fact of government must necessarily remain by the retention of that word, and to that extent I would like, with your permission, to change the meaning of my amendment so that the two paragraphs under the discussion of the Dáil at the present moment would thereby read in the following manner:—
"WHEREAS the Ministry has entrusted to the Army the duty of securing the public safety and restoring order throughout the country, and has placed on the Army the responsibility for the establishment of the authority of Government in all parts of the country in which that authority is challenged by force."
In that case it would merely mean the elimination of the word "the." In the second amendment, instead of the words "Army Authorities," we should substitute the words "Minister for Defence," the purport being, as I explained to the Dáil, instead of putting into the hands of undefined persons the penalty of death in respect of undescribed offences and unscheduled offences, the defined Army Authorities be the Minister for Defence, and substitute the words "Minister for Defence," so as to give the charge to some person who is a member of this Dáil, and as a Minister appointed by this Dáil is responsible to this Dáil. The second paragraph would then read:—
"AND WHEREAS the Minister for Defence has represented to the Ministry that in order to discharge effectively the duty and responsibility so placed on him it is essential that he should have power to establish Military Courts or Committees with full powers of inquiring into charges and inflicting punishment on persons found guilty of acts calculated to interfere with or delay the effective establishment of the authority of Government, and that he should have power to detain in places whether within or without the area of the jurisdiction of the Government persons arrested by him, and power to control the dealing in and possession of firearms."
In the second place the word "Government" is substituted by "Military," and where "Military Authorities" appears the substitution is "Minister for Defence."
We are not inclined to accept that amendment in its entirety. We are prepared in certain places where the Army authorities are mentioned to be more explicit, and to state what the Army authority in question is. We will insert there, in the first line of paragraph 2:—"And whereas the Army Council has represented to the Government," and so on.
Who are they?
The Army Council consists of the Commander-in-Chief, Chief of Staff, Adjutant-General, the Director of Organisation, and the Director of Intelligence.
Deputies must not speak, when sitting down, across the Dáil to one another. The questions must be put to any Minister through me.
Again, in places where there is mention of "Army Authorities" we would insert there "Army Council," and so on throughout that paragraph—"and that the Army Council should have power to authorise the detention in places whether within or without the area of persons in military custody, and power to control the dealing in and possession of fire arms." As to the suggested change of the word "Government" to the word "Ministry," that is not acceptable, and the reason for its non-acceptance is, it is not in accordance with the facts of the situation. We are at the moment a Provisional Government, and this Parliament is at the moment a Parliament to which the Provisional Government is responsible. It is not proposed by any act of ours to acquiesce in any departure from that position. If pressed for a reason, I can give it.
Can the Minister give us the date of the official notification of the change in the Army Council? Since the death of the late Commander-in-Chief there was a vacancy of course. I understand, if I am not mistaken, there were three members to whom authority was given. Now there appear to be five. Has that been officially announced at any time?
No, it has not been officially announced; but it is realised that in these cases where there is great responsibility, that that responsibility should be shared by the most responsible officers in the Army. This Council has been constituted an Army Council by reason of the standing of each one of the officers—the position which he holds in the Army.
Will that supersede the Council of Three?
Yes. The Council of Three has already been superseded— in one case by death and in another case by transfer.
Can we speak of the Army Council as existing when no official announcement has been given?
Has this appointment of a new Army Council been made by the Provisional Government or made by the Army?
It has been made by the Government.
I would like to have some answer to two enquiries I want to put to the Minister on this subject. If this Dáil authorises the Army Council to do certain acts, is the Army Council directly answerable to this Dáil, and through whom? If I am not correct in saying the Army Council is directly answerable to this Dáil, the Army being, as we all admit, the servant of this Dáil, through the Minister for Defence, therefore the authority for this should be given to the person authorised to speak in this Dáil on behalf of the Army Council. The second question is with regard to the substitution of "Ministry" for "Government." In view of the fact that the President stated that the Government was the whole Assembly of the Dáil, then the statement made by the Minister for Home Affairs is to be taken as a withdrawal of these words by the President of the Ministry.
The answer to the first question is, the Minister for Defence; the second is metaphysical. I might have it my way, and other people their way, and that is all I have to say about it.
I think we should dispose of Amendment 1 first; that is, the substitution of "Ministry" for "Government" in certain places.
The amendment was put and declared lost.
Now with regard to the second matter, to substitute the words "Minister for Defence" for the words "Army Authorities," the Minister for Home Affairs has suggested that there are really two amendments there.
This is the official amendment. That the second paragraph will read:—
"AND WHEREAS the Army Council have represented to the Government that in order to discharge effectively the duty and responsibility so placed on them it is essential that the Army Council should have power to set up Military Courts or Committees with full powers of inquiring into charges and inflicting punishment on persons found guilty of acts calculated to interfere with or delay the effective establishment of the authority of the Government, and that the Army Council should have power to authorise the detention whether within or without the area of the jurisdiction of the Government persons in military custody, and power to control the dealing in and possession of firearms."
I move this amendment, A Chinn Chomhairle.
We can take this amendment first, and then take the other.
Whatever course is agreeable to you. I would just like before it is being put to say I am not bringing this with any desire to impede the course of this amendment, but, in view of the fact that subsequent criticism will be made that this might mean the setting up of a Military Dictatorship, I will vote for "Minister for Defence" in preference to "the Army Council," because the Minister for Defence is a member of this Dáil and the Army Council is not directly responsible.
The Clause as amended was then read and declared carried.
Now, there is my amendment.
Yes, there is your amendment to substitute in the Clause "Minister for Defence" for "Army Council."
"Wherever the words `Army Authorities' appear to substitute the words `Minister for Defence."'
As perhaps this might create a precedent for future action, I should like to ask for a vote upon it.
On a division the amendment was declared lost, the voting being 18 for and 41 against:—
Pádraig Ó Gamhna.Tomás de Nógla.Riobard Ó Deaghaidh.Darghal Figes.Tomás Mac Eóin.Seoirse Ghabhain Ui Dhubhthaigh.Ailfrid Ó Broin.Tomás Ó Conaill.Aodh Ó Cúlacháin.Séamus Eabhróid.Liam Ó Daimhin.Pádraig Mac Artain.Cathal Ó Seanain.Seán Buitléir.Nioclas Ó Faolain.Domhnall Ó Muirgheasa.Risteard Mac Fheorais.Séamus Ó Dubhghaill
Liam T. Mac Cosgair.Donchadh Ó Gúaire.Uaitear Mac Cúmhaill.Seán Ó Duinnin.Micheál Ó hAonghusa.Domhnall Ó Mócháin.Seán Ó hAodha.Liam de Roiste.Pádraig Mag Ualghairg.Peadar Mac a' Bháird.Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt.Seán Ó Rúanaidh.Pilib Mac Cosgair.Micheál de Staineas.Domhnall Mac Carthaigh.Earnán Altún.Sir Séamus Craig.Gearóid Mac Giobuin.Liam Thrift.Eóin Mac Néill.Pádraic Ó Máille.Seosamh Ó Faoileachain.Seoirse Mac Niocaill.Séamus Ó Cruadhlaoich.Risteard Mac Liam.Caoimhghin Ó hUigín.Proinsias Bulfin.Tomás Mac Artuir.Séamus Ó Dóláin.Liam Ó hAodha.Seán Mac Eóin.Proinsias Mag Aonghusa.Éamon Ó Dúgáin.Peadar Ó hAodha.Séamus Ó Murchadha.Liam Mac Sioghaird.Earnan de Blaghd.Uinseann de Faoite.Domhnall Ó Broin.Séamus de Burca.Micheál Ó Dúbhghaill.
The Clerk will read the two clauses as they now stand.
The Clerk of the Dáil having read the two clauses, a motion that they stand as part of the resolution was put, and declared carried.