MINISTERS AND SECRETARIES BILL, 1923.—SECOND STAGE.

I beg to move the Second Reading of this Bill, notice of which has been given for a long time past. The Bill interprets the Constitution in the organisation of the Ministries; it sets forth Departments of Government and allocates the various services under the control of each Minister, and places those Departments on a statutory basis and indicates the distribution of State services.

Experience in administration will perhaps be the most useful guide in any further distribution which may be made, and power to provide for such re-distribution or transfer of powers is reserved in the Bill for changes where necessary or desirable.

There is an alteration in the description of one Ministry made at the request of the Department itself. The Ministry for Home Affairs is described in the Bill as the Ministry of Justice. The former term was very wide in description and indefinite in its interpretation. It might conceivably connote the whole of the internal organisation of Government with the exception of the Ministry for Finance. There will be under the Minister for Justice, the administration and business of the public service in connection with law, justice, public order and police, as set out in Sub-section (3) of Section 1 of the Bill.

There is then the Department of the Attorney-General, upon whom rests the responsibility of advising proceedings. The Attorney-General is nominally and actually associated with the President —nominally because the first and last word as to proceedings is with the Attorney-General, and actually, in so far as may be required, in the event of the Attorney-General not being a member of the Oireachtas, and having in consequence to have some person in the Ministry to answer for him in either House. In this arrangement the Executive Council has the general responsibility, and must be prepared to answer for the Attorney-General, but the immediate responsibility for proceedings rests with, and must be accounted for, by the First Law Officer of the State. There is also power in the Executive Council to supersede and dissolve certain Boards.

As the House well knows, there were, during the British administration, quite a multiplicity of Boards and Statutory bodies, and during the last two years it has not been possible to survey the whole field and to see how better we may construct the Government machine. There are provisions of far-reaching importance in this Bill which merit attention and which may provoke discussion. I do not think it is at all necessary to enter into an elaborate explanation of these. The form prescribed for dealing with Bills in the Committee Stage affords perhaps the very best opportunity for dealing, in detail, with these matters, but I think it is not necessary for me to refer to the importance of this measure. From the point of view of the State, it appears to me to be next in importance to the Constitution itself. Engaged here in the consideration of this measure, we are laying the foundations of the future governing institutions in this country. However it may be subsequently altered, the foundations are being laid in this measure, and I think the House appreciates its importance, and that it will get fair and careful examination and analysis. It has so far received a rather mixed form of criticism.

In the Dublin Press, I observe, it has perhaps received the closest and most careful examination from the "Freeman." On the other hand, the "Independent" has concerned itself with one of the smaller details of the Bill and apparently loses sight of, or is satisfied with, the very much more important considerations which are embodied in it. We have had now something like two years' experience of government, and the experience we have gained has been of considerable assistance in compiling this measure. I think if there is one thing more than another that we have learned in the last two years it is that it is not humanly possible for a Minister to work from 12 to 16 hours per day, and for seven days a week; and if there is another thing we have learned it is that there is nothing to be gained from the financial experts of the "Independent."

I did not intend, at any time, to deal with some of the work which is not seen either by the public or the Press or the Dáil on the part of Ministers elected by this Dáil, but I do say that the present Ministry, and those Ministers who are no longer with us now, have effected very large savings— savings sufficiently large, if capitalised and invested at a normal rate, to provide every member of the Oireachtas with the salary of a Minister. That may seem to be a fairly large claim, but I think it is about time that we should deal candidly and fairly with those peculiar forms of criticism which disclose small and incompetent minds.

There have been occasions in the past during the great political changes which have taken place upon which men engaged in public life have had opportunities of showing service to the State. I do say that during the last two years there has been real service rendered to this State by the Ministers —those who are living and those who are dead—which has not been placed before the public, because they simply thought they were doing their duty, and they did not want to get any great public credit for doing their duty. We have to consider in this measure the construction of an institution of government which will make for efficiency. We have had to take over what was left of one Government and what had already been constructed of another. We have had to re-organise what was left of one and to adapt what was there of the other to suit the needs of the country. During the period of which we have had experience—that is the last two years—for something like twelve or eighteen months we have had three Parliamentary Secretaries. Two were attached to me; one in my capacity as President and the other in my capacity as Minister for Finance; the third was Assistant Minister for Industry and Commerce. The Parliamentary Secretary, who was attached to the Ministry of Finance, and the Assistant Minister of Commerce were approached by me in reference to one service which was functioning under the Ministry of Finance, and in the course of their administration of the one particular service they saved a sum per annum almost sufficient to discharge the entire estimate of the Oireachtas. It is not by nominal economies that real results are to be effected, and if excellent services can be rendered by a large number of Ministers we consider that power ought to be given in a measure of this sort to enable the Executive Council to have available for the services of the State such assistance as they consider is necessary.

Generally the Ministries in this Bill stand as at present with slight modification. It is proposed in the Bill to group within certain Ministries services considered to be more suitably connected with others. It will be observed that there is, perhaps, the greatest transfer to the Ministry of Education and a minor transfer of one small service from Agriculture to Industry and Commerce. These alterations, or rather the proposed services attached to the Ministries, will be found in the Schedules. It is possible that Government amendments may yet be moved before the final stages are reached dealing with the various Sections of the Bill.

Section 1 deals with the Ministries. Section 2 deals with the status of Ministers. Sub-section 2 of Section 2 sets down in law what has been the practice observed up to date. That is, wherever the principal officer of a Minister was being appointed the appointment came before and was sanctioned by the Executive Council. Section 3 prescribes the allocation, by the person elected as President, of Departments to particular Ministers, and Sub-section (2) empowers the President to assign two or more Departments of State to a single Minister. I do not think it is necessary to go into greater detail. This building up of a State machine is not an easy operation. It requires time, it requires examination and analysis, and it requires patience. It is only by experience that one can learn, when the machine is running well, how far it would be possible to group one, two, three or more Ministries under one particular head.

Section 4 prescribes without alteration the salaries attached to the various offices. I do not propose to agree to any reduction of the Ministers' salaries. I have no personal objection to any reduction of the salary of the President. During the recent elections and at many other times one heard criticism of Ministers' salaries and of the salary of the President. There is, as far as I know, one office in this country which approaches the salaries paid either to the President or to the Ministers—that is, the salary of the office of Lord Mayor of Dublin. I would say that there is not £100 difference between the actual salary received by the Lord Mayor and the actual salary received by the President. I would say that there are a few hundred pounds difference between the salaries received by Ministers and that of the Lord Mayor of Dublin. It is an extraordinary thing that people do not apparently realise, when criticising small matters like this, that we have now an acknowledged nationhood and that we ought, in discharging obligations to the State in connection with that newly acknowledged nationhood, see that the principal officers of State get salaries in accordance with the dignity of their office.

Section 5 prescribes the collective responsibility of Ministers who are members of the Executive Council. I observe some criticism of that. I do not think it is necessary to speak at any considerable length upon that particular Section. It is laid down in the Constitution that the Executive Council has a collective responsibility. I take it that that means that in so far as the various Ministries, presided over by the Ministers of the Executive Council, are concerned, if any one of those Ministries does not meet with the approval of the Dáil, a vote of want of confidence can be moved, and the other Ministers, who, perhaps, may not be under any ban or subject to any criticism, fall with the fall of any particular Minister, and the whole Ministry goes out of office. It means that in so far as these Departments of State are concerned, one Ministry does not stand independently like the extern Ministers. I do not think it is necessary to go further into that.

Section 6 prescribes the office of Attorney-General, and Section 7 deals with the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries, who must be members of the Oireachtas. In accepting the Treaty we accepted it not alone in the letter but in the spirit, and in the acceptance of it we accepted all that it meant. It meant in this connection two Houses—Seanad Eireann and Dáil Eireann. I must say freely that during the last twelve months the Ministry has not been able to devote to one of the two Houses the time and attention which the second House of the Parliament deserves. There were occasions upon which we had measures concerning a particular Ministry, or the whole Ministry, in both Houses at one time, and it was impossible to attend as much as we would like during that period to the business of the Seanad. I do not know that it will be necessary at any time to appoint more than three Secretaries—any more than three. I believe that the number we had in the last Dáil will be sufficient for the purposes of this Dáil, but I do say that it is impossible to forecast what might be the necessities of the future and, I think, sufficient safeguards are provided for the Dáil in the event of any extravagance. If it were thought that the appointment of an extra Parliamentary Secretary was being entertained there is sufficient authority for the Dáil to deal with any such abuse, if there should be abuse on the part of the Executive Council.

Since reassembling after the election I have not been once in the Seanad. I do not know about the attendance of the other Ministers, but I do say that there ought to be close attention to the business of that House, and that the Ministry should be in a position at all times, to know exactly at first hand and be in touch with the business of the second House.

Section 8 sets out in law the Constitution of a Defence Council to assist the Minister for Defence whose authority is not diminished. I think that during the last twelve months the Council was composed of much the same members as have been functioning, and that has been satisfactory. That is a matter which can be dealt with when that particular Section comes under review, and the Minister for Defence will be able to speak to it. Section 9 empowers the Executive Council to dissolve boards of Commissioners or statutory bodies to which the Section applies. Section 10 empowers a Minister by an order of the Executive Council to function through the agency of another Minister. Section 11 empowers the Executive Council to prescribe the re-distribution of public services amongst Ministers. That I have already referred to, so that I do not think it is necessary to go into it further. Section 12 retains to the Oireachtas full control and supervision of orders made, so that if a board were by order dissolved, and if the Oireachtas were dissatisfied, it is a matter over which they still retain control. Section 13 deals with the authentication of official documents. Sections 14 and 15 deal with the Official Seal of the Executive Council, and proof of official Orders. The final Section deals with the coming into law of the Acts that have been passed.

I think I owe it to the Dáil to acknowledge the patience which has been shown to me personally about the introduction of this Bill. The first mention of it I think was about January last. Though it was not introduced earlier the Bill I think has not suffered by being held up. In considering this measure I think the Dáil will be satisfied that we have not lost time, and that, now that the measure is before them. Deputies will be in a better position to appreciate how difficult the work of building up this Government machine was, and how necessary it is for us at this stage to take the greatest possible pains to see that in compiling this measure we are laying the foundations of a sure and safe institution for the future. I beg to move the Second Reading of the Bill.

On Wednesday I agreed with the proposition that this Bill might be taken to-day although we had only received the Bill in print that morning. I rather expected that it was purely a formal matter, and not one requiring more than assent to the principle before examination in Committee. I realise now that I made a mistake in giving my acquiescence in that proposition, because the Bill does very much more than contain formal provisions. It has not been possible to give that thorough analysis to the Bill that one would like before the Second Reading Stage. So far as I have been able to read through and examine the Bill I am very disappointed at the form it has taken. The Minister said that we have been under a promise of this Bill since January last. I hoped that when it did appear there would be a re-casting of the various functions of Government and administration into something like a scientific form, and that some principle of allocation would have been observed. As the Minister says, not many changes have taken place. Two or three functions have been transferred from one Department to another, from one Ministry to another.

When one looks at the Schedules I, for one, find it difficult to understand what principle is at work in the assigning of the various Departments to the various Ministries. I think there should be some principle at work in doing this, and I think we should know what the principle is. The page is clean, or practically so; nothing has been fixed. When preparing this Bill, one would have expected that some allocation of administrative duties would have been based upon a plan that would have shown some consistency. That, I think, has not been done. There are a number of matters that would require consideration and criticism. Section 8, for instance, dealing with the Council of Defence, would, I think, require careful examination before the Dáil should agree to it. To me it seems to be running counter to the promises made and the assurances that have been given by Ministers and, as I understand it, the intention of the Dáil, that the Minister for Defence shall be a civil Minister responsible to the Dáil, and that the Army or Defence Forces should be a subordinate body, just as subordinate as any other Department of Government or administration. In this Bill the Council of Defence is singled out for special honour. By the way, one notices with interest that this is the only Department to which is set up anything in the nature of a vocational Council. We have a Council in this case attached to the Minister, but the Council comprises people who are not civilians, who are not in the Dáil, and who are not responsible to it, and yet they are raised to a certain level in the Bill, that, I think, is not justified, and that rather places those soldiers in a position not subordinate to the civil authority. "The Council of Defence shall consist of the following members, namely—the Minister for Defence, who,"—and it is strange to put this in a Ministers' Bill—("under the style of Commander-in-Chief) shall be Chairman of the Council of Defence, and four other members,"—a civil member who shall be Parliamentary Secretary. That goes to show that there must be a Parliamentary Secretary for this Ministry, "and three military members being commissioned members of the State Defence Forces, who shall be the Chief of Staff, the Adjutant-General, and the Quartermaster-General, and shall be respectively responsible to the Minister for Defence" for the administration of so much of the business as is defined. "The Council of Defence shall meet and act as a collective body and shall be collectively responsible for all matters entrusted to it in its collective capacity, whether by any Act of the Oireachtas or otherwise." I do not know what that foreshadows. I think we should know exactly what plan we are to work upon. Is it intended that this is the forerunner of a series of vocational Councils dealing with various administrative functions, and that there will be allocated to these various vocational Councils certain collective responsibility?

Is it a departure from the plan that has hitherto been understood that the Minister for Defence, sitting in the Dáil, as a civilian, would be responsible for all the acts of the Council of Defence and for the Army? It seems to be rather shifting the responsibility from the Minister to the Council, and, in the absence of explanation, I do not think that is justifiable or desirable.

The Minister, in introducing the Second Reading, touched upon the various Sections and mentioned Section 6, dealing with the Attorney-General. I do not know whether a further reading of the Bill would make it clear to me, but I am not clear whether the Attorney-General and his office is a Ministry. Is he to be considered a Minister? If not, who is responsible for his department? Is his work part of the Ministry for Justice? It is not. Then, who is responsible? Is the Attorney-General a Minister? If not, is there any Minister to whom he is responsible? That seems to require some clearing, because there are certain administrative functions assigned to the Attorney-General, including charities. Perhaps we shall get some enlightenment on that before the Second Reading stage is finished.

In regard to the provisions for the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries (Section 7), I have occasionally suggested that there was obvious need for the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries to Ministers, that they would do useful work; they would relieve Ministers of certain attendances at the Dáil, when they were required elsewhere, and would help the Dáil to carry on its business in the absence of those Ministers. But, when making those suggestions, I had in mind Parliamentary Secretaries, not Assistant-Ministers, not new Ministers. It rather seems to me that the conception behind this Section is not to appoint Parliamentary Secretaries to Ministers who will assist them in their Parliamentary work, but to appoint assistants to the Ministers who would relieve them of some of their Ministerial responsibilities. That, I think, is not desirable, and I think it is not in accord with the speeches we have heard about the need for economy. In the debate yesterday the speeches of the Minister for Defence and Minister for Education seemed to suggest "one lobe of the brain," as Father Keegan says, "not knowing what the other lobe doeth." Bearing in mind that discussion, and reading this Bill, one is tempted to think of the conflict between remorse and ambition, remorse for the murdered king, Economy, and the desire to fill his place. "Try what repentance can.""We are sorry for our profligacy; we are sorry for the excessive expenditure of the past; try what repentance can, what can it not." The Minister for Finance says "Cut down expenses at all costs and at any cost.""Try what repentance can, what can it not." But what can it when one cannot repent? And they introduce Section 7. We cannot repent because we have to find Ministerial offices. I think there is a need for Parliamentary Secretaries. I think there must be keenness for public service amongst members of the Ministerial party, which would provide sufficient active, intelligent, eager men who are members of the Dáil, who would give all the Parliamentary assistance that is requisite to Ministers and would not require anything like the salaries that are suggested, additional to their allowances as members. It seems to me that a very small addition to the allowances as members would suffice to recoup the keen member of the Dáil who is fitted for the work of Parliamentary Secretary to a Minister to assist that Minister in his Parliamentary work.

The President, in defending this proposition, spoke of the saving to the State, which had, as a matter of fact, been accomplished through the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries. I wonder whether he is quite accurate in that. Was it a saving to the State from the appointment of a Parliamentary Secretary, or was it a saving to the State from the appointment of an Assistant Minister, which is a very different proposition? The Assistant Minister should be attached to the Department in its Departmental work. The office of Parliamentary Secretary is quite a different one. It seems to me that one of the lessons we have learned from last year's experience in the Dáil is the need for Parliamentary Secretaries—men who would be kept acquainted with the general business of a Ministry in respect of Bills, in respect of matters of a Parliamentary kind, which the Minister cannot deal with in detail and of which the Secretary would relieve him. That is not what is proposed in this Bill at all. It is proposed, as a matter of fact, to appoint men to assist Ministers who will also be members of the Dáil, and the assistance is not Parliamentary assistance but Departmental assistance. That, at least, is what I read out of the propositions in this Section. And it may be noted that they are to be appointed to assist Ministers who are to be members of the Executive Council only. A Minister who is not a member of the Executive Council is not to have the assistance of a Parliamentary Secretary unless he appoints him—as he is quite entitled to do—as an unpaid Secretary. But this Section seems to me to relegate those Ministers who are not members of the Executive Council into a position of subordination, which I do not think was ever intended by the Constitution, and which, I think, it is unwise to allow. I think the Ministers for affairs, who are not members of the Executive Council, may well be of the very greatest importance and equal in status to the Ministers who are members of the Council, and there should not be any attempt to place them in a position of subordination or to lower their status.

When we come to the Schedules, one wonders at the result of the year's cogitation, which continues to combine in the one Ministry a Roads Department, a Nursing Board and the conduct of Elections. For the life of me I cannot see the connection. If there is to be a Ministry of Health, let there be a Ministry of Health, and do not give to the Ministry of Health the responsibility for conducting local elections. Surely there is no connection. Surely the responsibility for the conduct of elections should be thrown upon the Minister for Justice and Order. It is a matter of public order, and not of public health. There seems to me to be no justification for retaining that combination. I am disappointed that there is not, as a matter of fact, set up a Ministry of Public Health, where all the health services would be brought under one administration. I am disappointed—but perhaps that is not the word; disappointment rather suggests that one expected something which he had not received—I am sorry, that the Ministry for Posts and Telegraphs is retained as a Ministry for Posts and Telegraph alone. I would like to see a Ministry for Transport and Communications. I would like to see some one responsible for all those functions which have to do with communication —roads, railways, posts, telegraphs, telephones, all under one Ministry. I hope that proposals in that direction will be made before many days are over.

Then we have such a curious combination as the allocation of the Rural Industries branch of the Congested Districts Board to the Fisheries Department. There has been a desire to take away from the Agricultural Department, responsibility for fisheries and to set up a Ministry for Fisheries. I do not think the circumstances of the country justify a separate Ministry of Fisheries. Letting that pass for the moment, if we have a separate Ministry of Fisheries, why add to that Department responsibility for Rural Industries? Surely that should have been transferred to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. There are quite a number of queries one might raise as to the allocation of the various functions, but I suppose this Bill will get its Second Reading, and I suppose also, when we come to discuss the matter in Committee, that these questions will all be raised. I am sorry that the Bill has not given us some recognisable plan, or that the re-assortment has not been made with some regard to the probabilities of the future. The idea of those who say that there should be plans prepared before a building is begun, has not been put into operation. There seems to be no plan in this and a number of the details strike me as being dangerous and others of them as undesirable. I hope we shall get some explanation regarding the position of the Attorney-General, what Minister he will be responsible to, and who will answer for his Department; and also some explanation on the more important question as to what is intended regarding this Council of Defence.

This Bill, as the President informed us, has been promised since the beginning of this year. Its delay has at least enabled us to receive it hard upon the stern admonitions delivered to us by the Minister for Finance with a view to economy. Perhaps, if only for that reason, the delay might have been to its advantage. With regard to what one might call the Second Reading principle of the Bill, I presume it would be that there should be Ministers, and that they should be paid. That is a principle that no one could disagree with.

at this stage took the chair.

I shall not oppose the Second Reading because I am in agreement with that principle. It is a sound principle, and in any case it is a very necessary principle. The Bill, as drafted and put before us, includes a considerable number of matters that are not quite in consonance with that very simple principle which could be provided for in a very simple manner. Before I come upon those matters which, I suggest, should have no place whatever in a Ministries Bill, I wish to touch upon some matters that are included within the ambit of the Bill. The first is with regard to the allocation of services. I think it would have been desirable, as Deputy Johnson suggested, that there should have been a very careful inquiry and a very careful plan made out as to the apportionment and adjustment of one service with another. It is very clear that some progress has been made, and it is greatly for the advantage of clarity that that promiscuous title, the Ministry of Home Affairs, should have been dispensed with, and that there should have been introduced in its place a Department of Justice. I am not aware, after some inquiry, of any country in which such a Department has been created, where there has been created together with it, side by side with it, and ranking almost, if not entirely, as a separate Ministry, an Attorney-General's department.

In countries such as England where there is a Minister for Home Affairs, there is an Attorney-General; but that there should be both a Minister for Justice and an Attorney-General, I am not aware. If one interprets the particular kind of a shake of the head that the Attorney-General gave in answer to Deputy Johnson's question, it appears the Attorney-General is not to be responsible to the Minister for Justice. Then at once one is faced by the question that if it be sound and right that a Department of Justice should be created, what has the Clause dealing with the Attorney-General to do in a Ministries Bill? Surely it is a matter for an entirely separate Bill altogether. Amongst these Ministries there are two to which I would direct particular attention. The first is the Department of Fisheries. It is perfectly clear from the statement made yesterday in the Dáil by the Minister for Finance that the necessary finance for the re-organisation of the Fishery industry is not going to be forthcoming. I have had occasion to make some inquiry into this industry, and I am the first to appreciate the great importance it will be in the future re-construction of the country. It is one of the most important of our industries; it could be one of our wealthiest. It draws upon a natural resource that may prove to be quite the richest that we have. But if the money is not going to be forthcoming to re-create that industry as it requires re-creation, and to place it upon a firm and economic foundation, then why should the money be allocated towards creating a Ministry, when the Ministry itself has little to do except to continue the present unorganised state of affairs, which could easily be done by some other department?

There is no need in the present state of the national finances, or in the way in which the national finances will be unquestionably regarded during the next twelve months, for a Department of Fisheries, and therefore, it is desirable on the grounds of the admonition given us with a view to retrenchment and economy, that retrenchment and economy should be begun by limiting the Ministries only to those Ministries that can be expected adequately to function during the next twelve months, and no one will suggest that the Department of Fisheries was one of these. No one is going to suggest that any work is likely to be undertaken in that department that could not quite adequately be done by any one of the other departments. Therefore, the expense necessary in the end should be postponed until the time when it will become due, along with the finance required for the re-creation of this industry.

The next Ministry to which I desire to draw attention is the Ministry of External Affairs. I think this is a Department also that could be dispensed with at the present time. It is doing very little work indeed. It is, in fact, so far as its personnel is concerned, much less a Department of External Affairs than a Department of Publicity. That publicity is not always calculated to assuage some of the national wounds. There is really no need for this Ministry. There is no place for this Ministry, and there is no place because the hard logic of circumstances eliminates this Ministry from any responsibility in the Dáil. That is so on the very face of facts. A fortnight ago a Deputy rose here asking for certain information dealing with the affairs of this country with the affairs of a great and friendly neighbour respecting the fulfilment of one of the articles of a Treaty made between the two peoples. Who rose to answer that question? The only person competent to give the answer and that was the President of the Executive Council. The Minister for External Affairs must necessarily be the President of the Executive Council. It is to the President that this Dáil will naturally look for guidance as to the relations of this country with other countries, and for information respecting those relations, and for responsibility respecting the ordering of those relations.

It will be said that he will want additional assistance in this regard. That is true, or it may be true; but if it is true, then the additional assistance will be required in matters affecting the Civil Service and not in matters affecting responsibility in the Dáil. Therefore I think that here we have the case of a Department that under any circumstances could quite easily and should quite properly be dispensed with. I have suggested that the Department of Fisheries should be dispensed with; but I have said that ultimately such a Department will become necessary. In regard to the Department of External Affairs, I hold very strongly that not only is it unnecessary now, but that it will always be unnecessary, because the people of this country and the Dáil, will naturally look, not to a particular Minister to answer for responsibilities in these, the gravest of matters, but will properly look and always look to the President of the Executive Council. Some of the same kind of criticism is created in my mind by Article 7, and it is helped and furthered by every word the President of the Executive Council has spoken in the Dáil in commending this Bill for Second Reading. Deputy Johnson suggested there was a misnomer in the description of the persons whose services would be required. He has suggested that instead of being Parliamentary Secretaries, in point of fact they really would be Assistant Ministers.

I carry that criticism one stage further, and instead of their being either Parliamentary Secretaries or Assistant Ministers, what really is required, if at all required, is a different apportionment of administrative staffs. He has stated that a certain Deputy on the Contracts Committee, representing him on that Committee, has effected considerable economies for this State. I have no doubt of it; but why could not some official of his Department serving on that Contracts Committee have effected these economies equally well? That particular Deputy was not responsible to the Dáil for the Contracts Committee. He had no functions in this Assembly in respect of that work. The work was strictly as between the Ministry of Finance and the Contracts Committee. Therefore it is not a case either for a Parliamentary Secretary or an Assistant Minister, but strictly a case for allocation of services within the Department concerned. A Parliamentary Secretary is someone who undertakes definite services in the Dáil. The explanation that the Minister has given of the kind of work for which they would be required has shown clearly it is not so much in the Dáil that they will be required, but outside the Dáil in connection with administrative services. For that reason I believe this Clause is not required within the circle of the President's own defence and advocacy of it; but I am perfectly certain it will be very largely desirable at the present moment, especially in view of the discussions that have kept us here during this present week, that they should not be pressed at the present time. Not merely is there a question of actual economy, but in the effecting of that economy there is a question involved of National morale, and there is no question whatever that this proposal, coming after the Minister for Finance has urged economy, will have an unfortunate effect.

The actual additional expense involved is in the nature of about £7,000 roughly, after deducting the allowances that would be received by them as Deputies. The amount may not be large, but if Parliamentary Secretaries truly functioning as such prove to be necessary in the end, let us at least postpone their appointment until we have got our National finance in a better state of order than exists at the present moment. Let them not at least be pressed now. I believe that they may become necessary. Let the proposal not be pressed now, seeing that economies are to be called for in respect of other services. At least, let these economies be started here, and do not let us on one day be asking the people outside to economise and on the following day bring in proposals which, even if necessary, are proposals that do not look well coming so soon after the arguments in favour of retrenchment. It must be remembered that we have managed for 12 months without the official creation of the payment of such persons. Let us at least, even if it gives discomfort, manage for another 12 months, and in view of all that has come about then, and the re-organisation of National finance, let us re-consider the matter at that time. Now I come to a matter that I consider to be the most important in the whole Bill, and that is Section 8.

I read this Section with considerable astonishment. This Bill is called the Ministers and Secretaries Bill. It is not accurately designated as such. It should have been called the Ministers, Secretaries, and Army Council Bill. If an Army Council be required the right place for the creation of such a Council should be in the Army Bill and not in the Ministers and Secretaries Bill. By bringing that into the Ministers Bill a status is accorded to the Army in this country that is not accorded to that service in other countries. We are faced here directly by an attempt to put the Army in a privileged position by which the Council, as created, ranks practically with the Ministry. The words in line 5, page 7, are words to which I draw special attention. Last July we had here in this Dáil an Army Bill that was rushed through in such a manner that we got through 245 Sections in one hour and a half in Committee. The question was several times asked of the Minister for Defence and the President of the Executive Council as to whether the Minister for Defence was or was not going finally and definitely to surrender the title of Commander-in-Chief, and the assurance was given that the Commander-in-Chief was to be the Executive Council in its collective responsibility, and through the third clause of that Bill, now an Act, it is distinctly stated that the Commander-in-Chiefdom is held by the entire Executive Council in its collective capacity. Now, in spite of that earlier profession and in spite of the assurances given that the Minister for Defence shall be a purely civil person holding no military rank, we, nevertheless, have the Minister for Defence using the title of Commander-in-Chief.

Now, I am not desirous of using words in any exaggerated sense, but we all know of certain tendencies that have been in this country for several years. I know, personally, having worked and fought with colleagues for the last seven years, that there was a spirit in Ireland, in the Sinn Fein movement, to regard persons who served on the civil side as persons who did not count in the least degree, and that the real responsibility always lay with the military arm. I testify that that did exist, because I heard expressions used in the inner council of Sinn Fein that the real decisions were taken by those who were responsible for the organising of the army forces of the Republic, as it then was. I see in this Section a clear and definite continuance of that assertion, and therefore I think it is a very undesirable thing that we should have it here. It may be necessary for the Army Council. If the country finds it necessary to have an Army Council and a Commander-in-Chief only in a state of war and not otherwise, why should we find it necessary immediately after the Minister for Finance has told us that acts of destruction have ceased? But even if it is found necessary to have an Army Council and a Commander-in-Chief in time of peace, contrary to practice in every other civilised country, let us avoid endowing it with a special rank, and special status, and special privilege and authority by putting that into a Ministers' Bill. I hope before this Bill becomes an Act that this Section will be cut completely out, and that if there be any matter proper in it for attention it should be passed over now and embodied in an Army Bill. There is only one matter, in closing, to which I desire to refer quite briefly. I think it is an oversight. I presume it will be necessary in Committee to add a Schedule repealing all the earlier Acts which have been superseded in this Bill. I have not seen any such repeal section, but I presume one will be necessary.

As one who represents the party concerned in agriculture, and consequently having to bear the heavy burden of the State, the first section of this Bill that seems to strike me in the face is the seventh Section. Provision is made there for seven Parliamentary Secretaries at salaries of not less than £1,200 a year each. These Parliamentary Secretaries are justified, according to the arguments of the President, by the over-work of several Ministries, or of the Ministers themselves. In the last Dáil we had, I think, two or three— two at least—of what the President describes as Parliamentary Secretaries. We must also remember that in the last Dáil the President held two portfolios, namely, President of the Executive Council and Minister for Finance. We can understand the necessity in that case of a Parliamentary Secretary to the President, but now these two Ministries that were held by the President are held by two Ministers. I think that the work of the Ministry now in the hands of two individuals can very easily be handled by the Ministers themselves. The other was the Ministry of Trade and Commerce, and any of us who were here in the last Dáil know that when the Assistant Minister for Industry and Commerce took up his duties the Minister for Commerce was never here and was engaged apparently on other duties. Now he has been relieved of these duties, and if he has not he ought to have been if he is to keep the position of Minister for Industry and Commerce. If he is so relieved, I for one, and the party to which I belong, and the people we represent in the country, cannot see the necessity for a Parliamentary Secretary for this Department.

The Minister for Finance, in his statement the other evening, said he aimed at cuts all round, and aimed at economising. He aimed at getting good value for the money of the State, and if he aims at these things, and if these things are intended, we ought to get proof of it in this Bill, but the proof is not contained in the Bill. It is far otherwise. We ought to have some sort of proportion in this country, though our heads for the last few years have been considerably swollen about our nation and our nationhood and all the rest. What are the actual facts? The whole population of Ireland, including the Six Counties, is less than that of an English city. It is less than that of the County of Lancashire in England. The County Council of Lancashire is administering more money, and is acting for a population greater than the whole of this country. We ought to have some sense of proportion and not be living in the clouds. I see here "Minister for External Affairs, Parliamentary Secretary." I think that we, as a nation, when it comes to hard facts with us, are really all amateur actors. I do not know of any other country in the world that could produce, as we have produced at the moment, three Governments. We are the Government of the Saorstát, then you have the Government of the Republic, and the Jim Larkin Government.

What about your own?

We have not tried to govern yet, though we gave an example at the North Wall of what we could do. The Bill will create a very bad impression on the public. I have been speaking to several members of the public, and I know from conversations with them that the creation of, to my mind, unnecessary offices will not help to inspire confidence in the Government. Whether the offices are necessary or not, they could, I think, be done without for two or three years. The first thing the Government should do is, by wise administration, to inspire confidence in the public, and to my mind the provisions of this Bill, some of which are necessary and some of which are not necessary, will not help in that desirable direction. I see that under the provisions of this Bill technical instruction is to be added to the Ministry of Education, and taken from the Ministry of Agriculture. I hope that no change will be made as regards the Agricultural Colleges at Glasnevin and Athenry and other places, and that they will still be retained under the control of the Minister for Agriculture. Technical instruction, to my mind, should also be left where it is at present.

I want to say a few words about the Ministry of Fisheries. As a member of an Advisory Board that was set up recently, I have gathered the information that it is not the intention to run the industry of Inland Fisheries as a State concern. I do not blame the Minister for Fisheries for that. I understand that the preservation and the control of the Inland Fisheries are still to be left to boards known as Conservators. Some of these Boards of Conservators may have done their work well. It is said so, and I am not in a position to question it, but these boards that I do know, and have an intimate knowledge of, did not do their business well or anything approaching well.

If the Ministry of Fisheries is going to be a Ministry at all worthy of the name, it should, in my opinion, be a State Department. I think the Inland Fisheries should be the property of the State.

Then if they are the property of the State, why are they left in the hands of private individuals who own and control huge stretches of rivers, in some instances ranging from a distance of from 15 to 20 miles, of our tidal and fresh water? If we are going to develop the fishing industry by State funds, or by State aid in any form, we are I assume going to develop it for the State and not for the private individual. The Minister for Agriculture says that these fisheries are the property of the State, but if there are any interests connected with them which require to be bought out, I think they should be bought out and let the State own the fisheries completely and develop them as a State service. It is only by State ownership that the fisheries can be properly extended and developed.

During the past week I have received several reports, some from Clonmel and some from the Midlands, as far inland as Portarlington, where fish is being destroyed wholesale. During my time I never knew of any protection being afforded for any of the rivers in the Waterford district during the close season. Over hundreds of miles of these rivers there was never any person seen doing any sort of protection duty. Once the open season is finished, the few pounds that remain in the possession of the several little petty Boards, with control over these rivers, are exhausted, and in some districts only one man is retained to do duty during the spawning season. That man is scarcely ever on the rivers. He might go there occasionally to show himself—to show cause, as it were. In my own district the head water bailiff is an old man, 85 years of age. He is a helpless old man, and is not able to do very much, but a case like that gives you an idea of how things are done in the country, and as to the ideas that prevail for developing the fishing industry in the country. Is that, I ask, the idea of the Executive Council of developing one of the most important industries in the country? In my opinion, if the fishing industry were properly developed it would be almost as valuable as the land of Ireland. We have no pollution in our streams or in our rivers. They are the best in the world for rearing and propagating fish, and still they are left in the hands, practically speaking, of a few individuals who have no funds, except what they get from the licenses that are given to fishermen.

It would be better, I think, that the Deputy did not discuss the fishing industry on the Ministers' Bill.

Under the provisions in the Ministers' Bill, I think I am entitled to speak about the fishing industry. It is not proposed to alter the system as regards the development of the fishing industry under the Ministers Bill; it is only a question of protection and of imposing fines. I do not know whether I am in order or not.

The Deputy is not in order in discussing the fisheries.

Am I in order in discussing the justification for a Minister for Fisheries?

Yes, but you have gone outside that.

I do not think I have, with all due respect. If it is not the intention of the State to make fisheries a State concern and protect them by river police I think the Ministry of Fisheries should be struck out of the Bill. If a Minister for Fisheries has nothing to do there is no necessity for a Minister. It has been suggested that the Ministry of Fisheries should be dispensed with. We all know, whatever Ministry this Department of Fisheries is going to be attached to, it will need a staff. It has always needed, a staff. The Department of Fisheries will have to have Inspectors and a head to control it. Surely if fisheries are worth anything they will need a Department? There was a Department always for handling such affairs. Whether the head of the Department is known as a Minister or as a clerk makes no difference if he gives value for the money. If the development and protection of fisheries is left to licensed holders and private holders the development of inland fisheries will never take place. This is a matter to which the Executive Council should give some attention. If properly developed, fisheries would provide a means of subsistence not only for the few people at present living by inland fisheries, but for probably half a million persons.

The Ministry of External Affairs has been referred to—Foreign Affairs, I believe Mr. Gavan Duffy called it. That was a phrase he used to revel in. I do not see why we want a Minister for External or Foreign Affairs. We are concerned with no foreign affairs. We have no colonies and have no interests to clash with any other nation. I think it is ridiculous to be playing with theatricals like this. This Ministry of Foreign Affairs ought to be scrapped and let the Executive Council deal with any foreign matters that have to be dealt with. To my mind, and to the mind of the average man in the country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or External Affairs, or whatever you like to call it, will be known as a Ministry for finding a job for somebody. Every Deputy in the Dáil wants to be plain and to state what the people think. I will not go into the provisions referring to the Army Council now. We can deal with them in Committee when, perhaps, they might be amended and brought down to something like what we think they should be. What I have said is, I think, the considered opinion of the members of the Party I represent, and I hope the Executive Council will take some notice of it.

I should like to express my opinion on certain features of the Bill. There are very valuable features in the Bill, and I have no doubt the Dáil will give it a Second Reading. While one is naturally disposed to say that Ministers should have the machinery which they require to carry on their functions and to do the work of the State there are one or two features that are open to criticism. The President referred to the fact that the most constructive criticism that he had seen in the Press came from the "Freeman's Journal." I wish that the President in his speech had dealt with some of that criticism. He passed over it to a considerable extent on Section 8 as regards the Defence Council. He passed over entirely the very forcible criticism, I think, of that newspaper, against the nebulous character of the functions laid down for the President in Section 1. According to that Section the President is to be a sort of liaison officer and is to look after any documents that no one else may be particularly using and that is really all his functions. There is no exact definition of his position as head of the State. I have no doubt, however, that the personality of the present President would ride over any difficulty in this particular Bill, but we must think of the future, of other Governments, and other Presidents.

I think it might possibly be desirable to bring in an amendment that would strengthen, and make more emphatic the rights of the President which exist under the Constitution, but which might be made somewhat clearer in this Bill. The bulk of the criticism I have heard, and certainly the bulk of the criticism outside the Dáil, has been directed against Section 7. Section 7 is an interesting Section, but the real burden of the criticism is, that this Bill provides for twelve Ministers and seven Secretaries to carry on the work of the State; in all nineteen paid officials, paid members of the Dáil or Seanad. The justification that the President gave—I hope I am quoting him fairly—for adding the Secretaries is this: he said he did not think seven were needed. If so, why take power to create seven? Why not bring in an amending Bill? We are frequently promised amending Bills on other subjects. If it is found that more than three are needed it would be possible to bring in an amending Bill if only as a tribute to psychology. Public psychology is such that if you say you take power to create seven they instantly think you are going to create seven. The one serious criticism I have to make of the Government is that they have ignored the public point of view too much. They have nearly always done the right thing, but very often they have done it in the wrong way and caused unnecessary criticism and friction. The justification for these salaries is in order, I gather, that the proceedings of the Seanad may be attended more frequently by Ministers, or by Secretaries.

I think as far as the proceedings of the Seanad this session have gone the fact that no Minister has been able to attend has not been of very great importance. They have voted a reply to the Governor-General's address. They have passed their own Standing Orders and they have suggested the offering of a reward for some form of alcohol that can be used to develop power. I do not know that the attendance of a Minister was necessary on any of these occasions. As far as I can see in the Bill these Ministers' Secretaries that are to be created to keep in touch with the Seanad will not be able to go to the Seanad at all unless they are members of the Seanad, because the Constitution is perfectly clear on the point. Article 57 says that every Minister shall have the right to attend and be heard in Seanad Eireann, but these Secretaries are not Ministers. The Bill is expressly called the "Ministers and Secretaries Bill." I, therefore, urge the President, if he wishes these Secretaries to go to the Seanad and explain the policy of the Government, to add a sub-section to Section 7 saying that these Secretaries shall be Ministers within the meaning of Article 57 of the Constitution. I think that is a very desirable addition to the Bill. Secretaries to Ministers are almost entirely a British invention. They came about as a result of one of the anomalies of the British Constitution. The British legislature consists of two water-tight compartments, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. No member of the House of Commons can sit in the House of Lords, and no member of the House of Lords can sit in the House of Commons. It was absolutely necessary therefore to have the more important Government Departments represented in both Houses so that where a Minister was in the House of Lords he was represented by a Secretary in the Commons and vice versa. That does not exist here, thanks to that wise provision in the Constitution that Ministers can attend the Seanad, and clearly the necessity for Secretaries is very much less.

I have been looking about for precedents for this Bill. I have gone beyond the resplendent figure of the Lord Mayor of Dublin and tried to find precedents in various foreign countries and in the other Dominions. I find that in only one Dominion is there any precedent for having both a Minister for Justice and an Attorney-General. I do not altogether like the provision for a Minister for Justice rather than a Minister for Home Affairs. If you call him a Minister for Justice I am afraid the tendency will arise to call the Attorney-General a Minister for Injustice—an extremely undesirable thing. In every other Dominion except New Zealand there is either an Attorney-General or a Minister of Justice, but none of them possesses both, and in New Zealand the Minister of Justice is also Minister of Industry, Commerce and Health, so that he performs a great many functions and does not confine himself to justice. The fact has been touched on by Deputies Figgis and Gorey that the President has no other portfolio. He was perfectly right to abandon the portfolio of Finance. That is such a responsible portfolio that he was right in doing so. I do think there was precedent for his taking some other office besides the office of President, and the natural office indicated in that direction is that of External Affairs. The Prime Minister of Canada is able to be Prime Minister of a Dominion double our population and more, and also Minister of External Affairs. Monsieur Poincaré is able to perform the duties of Prime Minister of France and also to act as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the foreign affairs of France are at least as involved and intricate as those concerning the Saorstát. France has a Cabinet of fourteen, that is two more than us. Two of the Ministers, the Minister for the Colonies and the Minister for the Liberated Regions, deal with problems we are mercifully not confronted with. We may have them later, when the Boundary Commission has sat. Until then we are free.

Germany has a Cabinet of twelve, including a Minister of Railways, which we have been spared. As to the smaller countries—I look to the smaller countries rather than to the larger countries like France and Germany— Denmark has a Cabinet of ten, including a Minister of Railways, and the Prime Minister there has another portfolio, that is, of Finance. Norway gets on with a Cabinet of nine, and there the Premier is also Minister of Finance. In Sweden the Premier, Monsieur Branting, is Minister of Foreign Affairs as well and has a Cabinet of twelve, without, as far as I can discover, any Under-Secretary. Switzerland, which is perhaps the closest parallel of all, has a Federal Council of seven Ministers and a President and Vice-President, and these Ministers get £1,000 per annum each, or £200 less than the Secretaries are to have under this Bill.

I am not, as a matter of fact, attacking the Government on the plea that the salaries in the Bill are excessive. There is one omission I notice. The salary of every other Minister is laid down in the Bill, but the salary of the Attorney-General is not laid down. I do not know if he proposes to do anything so grossly unprofessional as to work for nothing, but I think it would be desirable to indicate what the Attorney-General is to receive. He belongs to a highly-paid profession. I am not suggesting that he should receive a small salary. I think he should receive a salary at least as high, if not higher, than that of the Ministers. I should be prepared to give him the same salary as the President. Perhaps the President could answer what the salary proposed to be given is. We will leave it for the Committee Stage.

I turn from Europe—where Cabinets, on the whole, as I have shown, are not larger and, in some cases are smaller than our own—to the various British Dominions which form a certain parallel with ourselves. I take Canada first. It must be admitted that Canada, which is our exemplar under the Treaty, has set us a very bad example. The Canadian Cabinet is large, unquestionably, but Canada has two particular problems to deal with. In the first place, the Canadian Constitution is a Federal Constitution, and every State in Canada—at least every large and important State—feels entitled to a Minister in the Cabinet. Secondly, they have the bi-lingual problem of the French-Canadians, particularly in Quebee, who also insist on a large representation. Therefore, the Canadian Cabinet consists of sixteen members as against our twelve. That includes a Minister for Railways, a Minister for Immigration— immigration is not one of our problems at the present time, though emigration may be—a Minister for the re-establishment of soldiers in civil life (while I should not be sorry to see such a Minister here whose duty it would be to see ex-soldiers are resettled, we have not got one)—a Minister without Portfolio, and a Minister of Marine. So that taking away these five, the Canadian is eleven against our twelve. They have got three Under-Secretaries instead of the seven proposed here. One of these three Under-Secretaries is for the re-settlement of soldiers in civil life. To come to South Africa. South Africa is a wealthier country, I think, than we are. Our gold and diamonds have yet to be discovered. South Africa is able to manage with a Cabinet of ten, including a Minister for Railways and a Minister for Lands—the lands in the Government hands—so that, properly speaking, they have eight as against our twelve—Interior, Health and Education are all combined there. Australia again gets on with a Ministry of eight, and it has two Assistant Ministers, who may be taken as Under-Secretaries. I think.

There are also three other Ministries— Repatriation, Works and Railways—so that they have eleven Ministers all told. But they have eight as compared with our twelve doing the same functions, and they have only two Assistant Ministers. There is a provision in Australia, which I venture to think is a very desirable one, that the total salaries of Ministers and Assistant Ministers is not to exceed £15,300 a year. As far as I can make out, under this Bill, our expenditure is going to be about double that, assuming that all the provisions of the Bill are going to be carried out and assuming that the Attorney-General is paid commensurately with his merits. Assuming that he receives a salary equal to that of the President, we shall be spending £30,400, and Australia spends £15,300. What is more remarkable still, the United States gets its Government for £30,000, or £400 less than we are proposing to spend under this measure. There really seems a slight lack of proportion there. The one Dominion I have not dealt with is New Zealand. New Zealand has a Cabinet of nine; there Justice and Industry and Commerce are combined. We have to add Railways, without portfolio. They have in all nine Ministries, as compared with our twelve. The salaries of these Ministers, with the exception of the Prime Minister, is £1,170, or £30 less than we are proposing to give our Secretaries. It is a better-paid business to be a Secretary in this Dáil than to be a Cabinet Minister in New Zealand.

I have gone into these points, because I do think when we are laying down the scaffolding on which the fabric of the State is to be built up we should take the widest possible view and consider every possible method by which expenditure can be reduced and by which the thing can be put on a good and secure footing. I would like to make an alternative suggestion. I am not opposed to the appointment of Secretaries, but I think the salary is too high. I believe we would have done better if we had had more work done by Secretaries and less by Ministers. It is easy to elevate a Secretary to a Minister, but it is not so easy to change a Minister into a Secretary. I should like to see in the Executive a President who would be responsible for External Affairs, and who would have a Secretary to deal with External Affairs. I may say that my suggestions are not intended to affect any individual. I should be quite willing to see existing Ministers continuing, but vacancies when they occur should be filled by Secretaries. Then I would have the Department of Justice and the Department of Internal Affairs put under a Minister for Internal Affairs, and have Secretaries for Local Government, Commerce and Industry and Posts and Telegraphs. I believe the Minister for Internal Affairs could exercise a general supervision over these Departments as well as doing the work of his own Department. I would give the Minister for Defence a Financial Under-Secretary because of the commitments of that Department for the last year or two. The claims against the Department are enormous, and it might, as a temporary measure, be desirable to have special provision there. The Minister for Finance, I think, could not subdivide his functions. The Minister for Agriculture might have a Secretary who would specialise in Fisheries. Also, you would have the Minister for Education in the Council and the Attorney-General, and it might reasonably be said, with a view to co-ordination, that there should be a Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the whole Council. That would give you seven Ministers and seven Under-Secretaries, and it would mean a very considerable saving. One point occurs to me. Assuming that only a small proportion of these Secretaries are to be found in the Seanad—the average Senator is not the kind of person who would desire office, as he has got business affairs of his own that would make it impossible for him to take up this work—you are going to take 19 salaried Ministers out of an Assembly that is only 100 strong, and if we anticipate, as we may, that the dominant party will naturally and rightly appoint these Ministers, from their own party, you are going to take 19 paid officials out of a party of little more than 60. It does seem wrong. I remember criticisms being directed against the British Cabinet during the European war because of the number of Parliamentary Private Secretaries. They had something like 50 out of 350 members holding office and in receipt of pay in the House of Commons: that is one-seventh. By this Bill it is proposed to have one-third of the dominant party in receipt of salaries or holding office. I hope I am misreading it, but that is how I read it. I do not dispute for a moment what the President asserts when he says the Ministers are overworked. I have every sympathy with the Ministers. They have been through a hard time, and they are, I think, overworked; but the reason, I think, is not that there are not enough Ministers, but that their offices are not properly organised. Again and again we find—I certainly find it—that in order to get anything out of a Government office it is necessary to go to the Minister. If you go to the Minister you get a thing done. In order to get every 2½d. thing attended to and every small claim of a constituent dealt with, you must go to a Minister. You will write letters, and you will receive postcards of acknowledgment, but unless you put a question definitely to a Minister you cannot get anything done. That is wrong; it is a symptom that there is something wrong in the whole organisation of the offices. It is not fair to Deputies to be continually dragged into these affairs by their constituents. It is not fair to Ministers themselves. Their attention is being dragged away from things that are of real importance to attend to matters of departmental detail. If their Departments were properly organised. if the Heads of them—the responsible Civil Servants—were properly organised and we had the thing running smoothly, it would not be necessary. I believe the remedy for this excessive burden that rests on the shoulders of Ministers is to be found, not in the creation of more Ministries and more Secretaries—remember that every one of these Secretaries will have a staff of his own and will have a Private Secretary and a number of people to keep him in touch with the affairs of Government—but in the re-organisation of the offices. I should be very glad if it were found possible to give us a rest from legislation of every kind next year. Let the Ministers organise their offices and let us concentrate on the Estimates and cutting down of expenditure. I believe in that way we shall do far more good than by creating these extra Ministries.

Owing to the very short time at my disposal for going through this Bill, I have not had an opportunity of carefully studying it. I, for one, regret it was not possible to postpone the Second Reading of this Bill until some time next week. I am afraid the habit is rather growing in this Chamber of regarding the Second Reading of Bills as merely a formal process, whereas, so far as I understand our procedure, it is not to be looked upon in that light. When a Bill is introduced the first time, true enough, it receives a general assent. But upon the Second Reading, Deputies generally should have an opportunity of going into any details they may desire by way of criticism. Personally, I should have favoured disposing of the Governor-General's Address before proceeding with any legislation. I consider that it now being two months since we listened to the Governor-General making his Address, which should be—and, I presume, was—the then considered policy and programme of the Government, that it is not right that that Address and that policy and that programme should be spread over such a length of time and so much of a Session that at any moment, as has actually occurred in this instance, the Government may by subsequent statements enlarge upon or otherwise alter their original programme. However, the Dáil has thought fit, through the Government, to deal out the Governor-General's Address piecemeal and interlace it with various forms of legislation. I, for one, certainly do not complain of delay in the introduction of the measure at present before us. During the last year, true enough, owing to very many reasons and through no fault of their own, the Government had to introduce in a rather hasty fashion many legislative proposals. But I say that that time has now gone; the time for hasty legislation has ceased. In future the policy of the Government should be ratherFestina lente in regard to legislation. The Bill that we are now considering is of the utmost gravity and importance. I think that it is really a corollary to our Constitution, and while that necessitates its introduction without any unnecessary delay, I think that it further necessitates every possible scrutiny and care.

It is proposed to set up certain Departments of State. That, of course, cannot be quarrelled with. Amongst those Departments we find various designations, and in the Schedule we find the various items that will be attended to by different Ministers. A Department of Justice is to be created. With that also I am in complete accord, but, like the previous speakers, Deputy Johnson in particular, I fail to see— and I think we deserve an explanation on this point—why the Attorney-General is set down in this Bill, or in what capacity he is set down. Is he to be a Department, is he to be a Minister, or is he to be the Legal Adviser of the Crown? In other Dominions, and also in Great Britain, the Attorney-General is the Legal Adviser of the Crown. The complete executive authority in this country, by the terms of the Constitution, is expressly vested in the King, and I would like to have explained what is the nature of the Ministry, if any, which the Attorney-General will represent and speak for in the Dáil. Why is he not included in the Ministry of Justice? Is it because —I do not for a moment suggest that it is, but it might possibly be—that the present Minister for Home Affairs, who is to be the new Minister for Justice, and the present Attorney-General might find it rather difficult to know, if they were both in the same Ministry, who should be on top?

I do not know any other reason, and I think we are entitled to an explanation. The Attorney-General in other Parliaments—apart from his position as representative in those Parliaments— is there merely as a Legal Adviser. What I want to know now is: Is our Attorney-General in the future, leaving aside questions of present personnel, to sit in the Dáil as a Minister for a department, and what salary he is to draw—there is no mention, by the way, of the salary of the Attorney-General. In what capacity is he to sit in this Chamber?

So far as the Department of Local Government is concerned, I am in no disagreement with the proposals to place matters other than those strictly applicable to Local Government within its purview, because, in my opinion, our object should be to curtail Ministries and have as few as possible, instead of creating separate Ministries for every item of administration. It is true that it would be very desirable to have a Ministry for Health, but I contend that we are not yet in a position when we can afford to create these entirely separate Departments. Because it is not only creating one Minister; possibly the salary of the head of the Department is only a very, very small item in the final expenditure on that department. It is not merely creating an extra salary, but it means the setting up of separate staffs and separate administrative bodies. Therefore, I have no objection to the inclusion in the purview of the Minister for Local Government of questions affecting health.

There are two departments which, in view of the pronounced policy of the Government in regard to retrenchment, I think should be scrapped, and scrapped without delay. The Dáil is already aware that I am in favour of the scrapping of the Ministry of Fisheries. The subject matter of that Ministry is of the utmost importance to this country. But, again, let me impress upon Deputies that if a country with more than ten times our population, and I am afraid a good deal more than ten times our wealth, does not run a separate Ministry of Fisheries but is satisfied to have matters affecting its fisheries controlled by its Minister for Agriculture, surely we, in this infant State, might be able to adopt a like course. The other Department that I refer to is what is styled "The Department of External Affairs." Really, I think everyone must admit that we have heard very little of or from the Department of External Affairs. I entirely agree with Deputy Figgis' remark that all inter-State matters should be dealt with in this Chamber by the President of the Executive Council. The Minister for External Affairs, it appears—though, mark you, there is nothing in the Schedule about this Department, which is rather striking— also looks after what is known as the Publicity Department.

Well, now, I take the greatest objection to this Publicity Department. I take objection to it on strictly constitutional grounds. I say that no Government should have at its back a publicly paid Department, which they can use, and which I am afraid has been used in this case for nothing but purely party propaganda. It is just the same thing as, during election time, Ministers utilising Government machines for electioneering purposes. I say that the Government should abolish this Publicity Department. It is not a Department of Publicity. I know so little about it that I think it is a Department of hush. However, be that as it may, I say that it serves no useful purpose, and in the future, as I am afraid somewhat happened in the past, it may serve a very dangerous and unconstitutional purpose. Therefore, from the point of view of economy alone, and for the reasons which I have also roughly outlined, there is no reason, I contend, why these two Departments could not and should not be immediately done away with.

Coming to the text of this measure, especially in regard to Section 7—and here I may say that in my opinion Sections 7 & 8 are the two most important and probably the two most controversial Sections of the Bill—I would like, if I may, in a very short time, to give my impression to the Dáil as to the establishment of what are called here Parliamentary Secretaries. What are meant by Parliamentary Secretaries? In other Parliaments there are Parliamentary Secretaries paid and unpaid. The paid Parliamentary Secretaries are usually styled Under-Secretaries for the various Departments. From the nature of these proposals in this Section it is obvious that what the Government proposes to do is not to create Parliamentary Secretaries, but to create Under-Secretaries who shall act as Ministers and share the Ministerial responsibility of the Government. It has been stated that for some time Parliamentary Secretaries—I do not know what they were called—rendered very useful services in administering Departments. Well, I grant all that. But why call them Parliamentary Secretaries? Why raise them to the status of Under-Secretaries, and treat them as Ministers? Why not have them paid Secretaries of those individual Ministries for the purpose of administering the Departments, and not, as is suggested here, for the purpose of taking the Ministers' places in the Dáil? There is great need for national economy as has been especially shown during the course of the debate during the last couple of days. I think that it is really asking too much of the Irish people to swallow the suggestion that the Government—who yesterday cut down old age pensions and teachers' salaries and who to-day propose extra Ministers, because that is what the proposal is—is embarking seriously and sincerely upon a policy of retrenchment.

Now this matter will not rest here. It will be debated in Committee. So I will leave it for the moment. Coming to Section 8 I notice that a Council of Defence is to be set up, and that that Council shall have for its Chairman a Commander-in-Chief; and that Commander-in-chief is to be the same person as the Minister for Defence who has a seat in this Dáil and is to be responsible to this Dáil and to this country for the conduct of the Army. In the first place let me say that this proposal seems to pre-suppose that we are always going to have a Standing Army in this country; a Standing Army in its strict and literal sense and not a Militia Force. That is a conclusion which, I venture to say, should not have been come to without careful discussion and deliberation and decision by this Dáil.

In the second place, it is a proposal which, to my mind, undermines the Constitution. For if there is one thing apparent in our Constitution, which I am glad to say is very largely a borrowed one, it is that the Military Force, whatever it may be in this country at present and in the future, shall be subordinate and subservient to the Civil Authorities. I think it is an exceedingly bad precedent, and I think it is uncalled-for departure from previous customs, to have a Minister in this Dáil part and parcel of the Armed Forces outside this Dáil. It has been recognised in all Parliaments throughout the world that no Military Officer as such shall sit in that Parliament. That principle has been departed from in time of war. But we are not at war now, so we are told. Neither are we, I hope, preparing for a time of war. Therefore, I think that it is a bad thing for the future Constitutional position of this country, as a constitutional democratic State, to have a person specifically styled by Act of Parliament Commander-in-Chief sitting as a member in this Dáil. But I do not really know what is the purpose of this proposal.

I am certain of this; there is more in this than meets the eye. An ordinary person reading this Section would not be able to understand why there is this anxiety to have a Minister for Defence styled Commander-in-Chief. As far as I am aware, and I have had a little Army experience, there is only one Commander-in-Chief in this country, according to our Constitution, and that is the King, because this Army is the King's Army. That may not be palatable to some of us, but it is the fact. That being so. I do not see why there is the necessity of having this Minister here being styled, I will not say styling himself, Commander-in-Chief and this outside Council to assist him. There should be one authority and one authority alone to deal with all Departments in this State, whether Civil or Military, and that is the Civil authority of Constitutional Government. I could go through very many more of these Sections if I so desired. But as I said in the beginning, I have not had the time to study carefully every aspect of this Bill, and I very much deprecate, therefore, the very hasty manner in which it has been brought forward. I think it would have been much preferable and more in the interests of all concerned if a little more time could have been given to its perusal before we took the Second Reading. There are many things that I disagree with in this Bill, but there are many things also that I agree with. The latter decidedly outweigh the former. There is a necessity for the introduction of this Bill. I hope considerable time will be given to its careful scrutiny and discussion in Committee, and that when it emerges from that stage it will be truly the expressed will of the members of the Dáil who want to see a constitutionally governed country in the future.

Dealing simply with Clausé 8, the first portion of the Clause states very distinctly and definitely "There shall be and there is hereby constituted a Council of Defence to assist the Minister for Defence in the administration of the business of the Department of Defence, but without derogating from the responsibility of the Minister for Defence to the Executive Council, and to the Oireachtas, respectively, for all the administration and business of the Department for Defence and for the exercise and performance of all the powers, duties and functions connected therewith." It will be quite clear from that Clause that there is no portion of the work of any person, in the Army or in the Ministry of Defence, that is not delegated to that particular person by the authority of the Minister and the authority received by the Minister from the Oireachtas. I hope that before we are through with this Bill it will be quite clear to everybody in the Oireachtas that there is not any proposal here to have a serving Military Officer taking part in the deliberations of this Dáil or a member of it; that the Minister who will be in charge of the Department of Defence will be a civilian pure and simple; and that in vesting in him the title of Commander-in-Chief, which title and position has actually existed here and may exist again in time of national emergency and warfare, you are simply vesting in him a title which in peace times must lapse.

resumed the chair at this stage.

You are vesting it in the responsible member of the Executive Council, simply for the purpose of vesting the title in a body in whom the Command-in-Chief of the Army is vested and must always be vested. In speaking no doubt we use words and adjectives, perhaps possessive pronouns, that we are accustomed one way or the other to use, and when I speak of the Army here, and when I think of it, I think of it as the Army of the Oireachtas which it is by the Constitution. The proposal definitely naming this Council of Defence in this Bill is I think a wise one. The Ministry of Defence is a peculiar Ministry.

Its organisation is very intricate. It has to fulfil peculiar functions. Now, the persons who are named here are the Chief of Staff, the Adjutant General, the Quartermaster-General and, what is proposed here, a finance member, because this Parliamentary Secretary, who shall be responsible to the Minister for Defence for finance, might more properly be called the finance member of the Defence Council. Those four persons are heads of Administrative Departments that go to make up what is called a Ministry of Defence. The Minister, as Chairman of that body, is a civil member of it. He is the person on whom rests complete responsibility for the Ministry. The other members of the Council, as individual heads of Administrative Departments, will have certain very clearly defined duties. Roughly, the Chief of Staff will be responsible for military policy and for the training of his Army. The Adjutant General will be responsible for providing him with his Army, disciplining it and setting out necessary rules of conduct. The Quartermaster General will be responsible for provisioning the Army, whether with accommodation, with clothing, or with food, and the finance member of the Defence Council will be the head of an Administrative Department charged with control of finance. I think it will be appreciated, when we go more deeply into the matter, that there are very many grounds why the person responsible for the administration of the department of Army Finance, should be an elected member of this Dáil.

It would certainly give you greater security that Finance problems are properly thought out, and that the whole scheme of Finance of the Army receives due consideration, and receives it at the hands of a person who is not a mere official. The Minister himself must of necessity be relieved of the mere detail needed in that particular work while not being relieved in any way of the ultimate responsibility for it, because, first, he will, no doubt, give his primary consideration to secure that the Army machine is efficient, and when an Inspector-General's Department will be set up, when inspection is not half inspection and half organisation, you will come to the time when the Inspector-General will be responsible to the Minister for Defence also.

Will the Minister for Defence explain whether the Minister for Finance is to be responsible to this House for the Finance of the Army, or is it the Financial Secretary to the Army who is to be responsible to this House for Army Finance?

That is not so. The Minister for Finance will be responsible for the whole finances of the country.

I am talking of the finances of the Army?

The financial member of the Defence Council will be responsible through the Minister for Defence for the finances of the Army.

That is a very grave statement, indeed.

In their individual capacities, I say that they are heads of Administrative Departments. I fail to see the Deputy's point that because the financial member of the Defence Council is responsible for the finances of the Army through the Minister for Defence, that that relieves the Minister for Defence of his responsibility to the Minister for Finance in Army matters.

My point is, that in respect of Finance for all the services the Minister for Finance is responsible to this House, and that no service is separately responsible for its finances except through the Minister for Finance.

May I ask the Minister for Defence if this is what he means, viz.: that in Council the Minister for Defence shall have the Financial Secretary to the Council responsible to him for the amount that is allowed to him by the Minister for Finance?

Yes, as well as being the Head of an Administrative Department, each man is responsible directly to the Minister for his own particular Department. As a group they form a Council of Defence to advise the Minister—a Council analagous to the Army Council in Great Britain. As well as that, the organisation of the Defence Department on top has to be in a position to provide you from the three Military Members, viz.: the Chief of Staff, the Adjutant-General and the Quartermaster-General, with what would be called a General Headquarters, actually there in existence and ready for any national emergency, and over which the Commander-in-Chief could be appointed. They would have particular sides to their minds that would enable them to discharge efficiently and with economy their duties from the general administration point of view of the Ministry of Defence; they would be able to turn around and act as Chief of Staff, Adjutant-General and Quartermaster-General to a Commander-in-Chief actually appointed in the field.

It is very unfair, I think, to those people who have shouldered the responsibility during the last five or six or ten years in Ireland to charge them in any way with a tendency to be possessed of or to develop a spirit that ordinary persons working on the civil side do not count. It is a fact that to a very large extent, the responsibility did rest with persons who held military positions in pre-Truce days, and not only did peculiar military responsibilities rest with certain persons then, but very peculiar civil responsibility rested with them. I think I have on more than one occasion here drawn attention to the fact that there was no group of persons in the country in the two or three years preceding the Truce who had a greater respect or a greater appreciation of the duties and positions of persons who held purely civil authority than those who were at the head of the Army. I might also say of the more junior commanders here and there through the country that there is plenty of documentary evidence available in correspondence and memoranda that will show that in time. As I say, it is not fair and only prejudices an understanding of things when statements like that are made here. The actual position is, that you will have a civil Minister. It is perhaps as well to have a Council of Defence. You must have it, and it is not a vocational Council. It is perhaps as well to have a second civil member in that Council who will be a representative in this House and who will be charged with the peculiar responsibility of Finance. As well as that, you will have three military members, and because that particular Council is mentioned in the Ministers Bill here I do not think that that vests the Minister for Defence with any special authority not equally held by any other Executive Minister—in view of the understanding in the law laid down that there is general responsibility in the Executive Council which does not vest the Minister with any special authority and which does not raise the Army to any special pinnacle of pomp that in the ordinary way it is not entitled to. It is mentioned here in order to indicate in the Ministers Bill the essential parts of the Ministry of Defence as distinct from Army organisation pure and simple which will be dealt with in the Defence Force Bill.

I rise with a growing sense of my own importance. I listened yesterday to the Minister for Agriculture when he very kindly described me, in contrast to my friend, Deputy Johnson, as being the leader of the employers. I was not aware that I had a large following behind me on these benches, but I fully appreciate the importance of his remark, and, after all, if there is one man in the Dáil that ought to know the lie of the land, it is the Minister for Agriculture. Now, in my new capacity, I think I see behind the Government benches quite a few men that I could ask to change over and range themselves behind me. That, I think, has a quite important bearing on the position that I take up on this matter. But when I add to that and say to this august assembly that I am largely in agreement for once in a way with the remarks that I have heard falling from the lips of Deputy Johnson, the Leader of the Labour Party, I think the Government must, of necessity, take cognisance of the seriousness of the position on this matter that has been very fully discussed to-day. Speaking in my new capacity, I would venture to suggest to the Government that the passage of this Bill would be facilitated enormously by the deletion of Sections 7 and 8. These two Sections embody principles that, I think, in this particular case of emergency, should be left out or dealt with in some other way. This Bill probably has had an exceptional experience in having such a prolonged debate on the Second Reading. This Bill, that is essentially important, should go through with as little controversy as possible. Therefore, I would respectfully suggest that, at all events, between this and the Committee Stage, the Government should seriously consider if they cannot fall in, in some way, with the express desire of a large number of Deputies in this Dáil. This question of Parliamentary Secretaries comes up at a very unfortunate time. I am not going to criticise and say whether it is right or wrong, but I think it comes up at a singularly inopportune time, and I think the Government must recognise that. Section 8 covers a matter about which, to say the least of it, there will be a considerable difference of opinion, and I think no good purpose could be served at this stage by forcing through a Section of that kind in a Bill designed for the purpose of fixing Ministries. The only other thing I would like to say, in emphasis of this, is that when I find myself in agreement with Deputy Johnson, and when "him and me is friends," I carrying behind me all the employers and he carrying behind him all labour, well, I think nothing else matters, because we will have settled everything.

Mr. O'CONNELL

There was just one point arising out of an interruption by Deputy Figgis during the speech by the Minister for Defence, that I would like to see definitely cleared up, and that is the position which this financial member of the Army Council will occupy. I wish to know if there is to be any differentiation as between the Ministry of Defence and other Ministries in this connection. The reply given by the Minister for Defence seemed to imply that, assuming two or three millions, or whatever the sum may be, were voted or provided by the Minister for Finance for the Army, that then it will be the business of this new financial member to be responsible to the Dáil for the administration of that sum. If that is to be the case, I think that it is introducing a new principle, a principle which, in any case up to the present, has not been introduced, although it is possible it might be a good principle. Take, for instance, the Ministry of Agriculture or of Education. The Minister is not allowed by the Minister for Finance to spend the sums voted to the Ministry he is in charge of in any way he pleases. The Ministry of Finance is continually supervising the actions of particular Departments of particular Ministers. Is that, I ask, to be the case in this particular instance? I think it would be well if that point were definitely cleared up.

It really does not interfere with the functions of the Minister for Finance in any particular. All expenses will have to be sanctioned, as well as all new expenditure. No expenditure under any sub-head of a Vote can be taken out of that particular Vote, and the other precautions that exist to check expenditure will continue to exist in the case of the Army.

Are the same functions exercised by the Minister for Finance with regard to other Departments to be exercised by the Minister for Finance as regards Army expenditure?

Yes, exactly the same. The proposals will have to be put up and sanctióned by the Minister for Finance.

Is it proposed to have Financial Secretaries to answer for every Department in the Dáil?

Do we understand that it is the Executive Minister that is responsible to the Dáil in respect of the monies voted by the Dáil, and therefore that it is the Minister who is responsible and not any member of the Finance Council?

That entirely conflicts with what the Minister for Defence said in regard to the Army Finance Secretary.

It must be a great consolation to Deputies in the Dáil, and in fact to the Press and critics outside, to have something to talk about which they can misunderstand and misinterpret, and generally spread themselves with a formal show at least of plausibility and without any thought. The Ministry of Fisheries has not been treated fairly. Deputies have got up and deliberately made statements which are not in accordance with anything that we have proposed in regard to that Ministry, or in accordance with any policy in regard to that Ministry that is in any document before the Dáil. We are told it is a terrible thing to constitute a Department of Fisheries. The Department of Fisheries always existed, and I hope the Press will take a note of that; and I also hope that Deputies will not repeat that charge again. We are not setting up a new Department, because the Department of Fisheries always existed.

Are you not setting up a new Ministry?

Mr. HOGAN

We are making it possible to have a Minister at the head of the Department of Fisheries.

That is very much the same as setting up a new Ministry.

Perhaps the Deputy would allow the Minister to continue his speech?

Mr. HOGAN

I would also suggest that Deputy Redmond would make his meaning clear when speaking, and not attempt to make his meaning clear when somebody else is speaking.

I have made my meaning clear, but somebody else is referring to a thing I did not suggest or say.

Mr. HOGAN

Is it suggested that there should not be a Department of Fisheries?

No, a Ministry of Fisheries.

Perhaps Deputy Redmond will remain silent.

Mr. HOGAN

Deputies have got up one after another and talked about the setting up of a Department of Fisheries. Is it suggested that there should not be a Department of Fisheries? Does Deputy Figgis, who takes a great interest in fisheries and fishing, suggest that there should not be a Department of Fisheries?

When that question is put to me, even though it is only a rhetorical question, I am entitled to reply. I have been asked a question by the Minister, and my answer is that in a Ministries Bill the Department of Fisheries should be allocated to some existing Minister, rather than create a new Minister for it.

Mr. HOGAN

Deputy Figgis, like Deputy Redmond, should have stated that while he was making his speech; he did not state it. I listened to him for a quarter of an hour, and his speech was simply a railing at this Department of Fisheries, as he used the word, and, of course, the implication is that we are setting up a new Department with new officials, new Executive officers, and new clerical officers, all at the public expense. Deputy Figgis knows perfectly well that that is not so. Every Deputy knows that there was always a Department of Fisheries attached to the Congested Districts Board. An arrangement is now being made by which a Minister will be responsible for that Department. We can afford to disagree about the wisdom of that course, but let us agree to differ on the real issue. The real issue is whether it is worth while putting one man in charge of what Deputy Gorey said was a most important service in this country and, what no one can deny, is a most important service; whether a man should be individually responsible for that, giving all his time exclusively to it, and not having his time taken up with questions of agriculture, questions which really are quite enough for any one man; with industrial and commercial questions, which are also quite enough for one man; giving his whole time to what is equally the work of any one man, no matter how competent he is— the development of the fisheries of the country. That is the issue, and not whether a Department of Fisheries should be set up. Everyone knows it; there is no use in repeating it again. Let us have the facts anyway. Deputy Gorey said truly that it is a most important service. It is a most important service. The point which Deputy Redmond made, that England is ten times as wealthy and has ten times the population is a point, like the flowers that bloom in the spring, that has nothing to do with the case. The importance of fisheries to a country like this cannot be judged by the importance of fisheries to a huge industrial country like England. I would like to hear any Deputy of any party—he would be brave— alleging that the fisheries of this country are not such an important service as to justify the attention of any single Minister.

Certainly they would not; we cannot afford it.

I accept the challenge, that it does not justify the appointment of a special Minister.

At the present time.

Mr. HOGAN

We have something clear anyhow. We have the issue knit as to whether one man is to be appointed to look after fisheries. That is the whole issue.

As Minister.

Mr. HOGAN

As Minister—and come here to the Dáil and speak for it, take full responsibility, and have no excuse for negligence. We have at least the issue knit. I hope that is understood. It is not a question now of setting up a Department, but it is a question of putting one man in charge of fisheries, who shall speak for that service in the Dáil and be responsible for it.

As Minister.

Mr. HOGAN

I think that is worth whatever salary will be paid the Minister. I agree with Deputy Gorey that fisheries have been neglected. I do not care how much or how little money the State is able to put into fisheries at the moment. The efficiency of that Department can be increased, and any man at the head of that Department who gives his whole time to it will give returns to the State which will be well worth his salary. That is our case in this matter. I want to point out, further, that under this Bill any Department can be amalgamated with any other Department without extra legislation and put under one Minister. I do not think anything could be fairer than that. I do not think the question arises here as to whether there should be a Ministry of Fisheries if once Deputies admit that in the near future a Ministry of Fisheries might be necessary. This Minister's Bill does not propose to make mere temporary arrangements. It proposes to make fairly elastic arrangements in regard to the organisation of the services of the State, not temporary arrangements, but arrangements which will last for a long period, and which, I take it, will be only changed gradually by Acts of Parliament which will be passed with reference to specific problems. We say there is a necessity now for a Minister who will take sole charge of fisheries. We are certain, and I would like to hear Deputy Johnson on the question, that in the near future when more money can be spent on it, a Ministry of Fisheries will be necessary, and can be justified. We think so, and there is very little between us. It is not a question of a Department of State and of money being thrown away. Is it suggested that the fishery service should be given in charge to the Minister for Agriculture? If so, why? What has Agriculture to do with it? It is another example of the fact that it is easier to take what you hear than do a little thinking for yourself. Fisheries were administered by the Department of Agriculture before the Treaty was signed. So was technical education, including the teaching of French, Irish, shorthand, book-keeping, plumbing and carpentry. So was the School of Art.

The head of the Department of Agriculture was supposed to run the School of Art and look after the teaching of painting, the National Museum and the National Library. No one suggests that the School of Art should be left to the Department.

No one suggested that they should appoint a new Minister.

Mr. HOGAN

Deputy Johnson returns to that point. I have gone a little further now. We have dealt with that. No one suggested that the School of Art should be left to the Minister for Agriculture, and yet the only reason advanced for leaving fisheries to the Department of Agriculture is that the service was always there. That is what it comes to. If Deputies want to be helpful I would suggest that they should address themselves to the question:—(1) Is a Ministry of Fisheries justified? (2) if not, to what Department should fisheries go? Let them give us their reasons and then we will get at things much more quickly and may get results. There is no question about it, the Department of Agriculture should not control technical education. Education should control education. Deputy Johnson mentioned the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries and its bearing on the Extern Ministries. The Section reads:—

"The Executive Council may from time to time, on the nomination of the President of the Council, appoint so many persons, being members of the Oireachtas and not exceeding seven in number, as the Executive Council shall consider necessary, to be Parliamentary Secretaries to the Executive Council or to Executive Ministers."

The Deputy pointed out that that was leaving out Extern Ministers and that was a thing he did not approve of. He thought that the Extern Ministers were entitled to the same assistance in that respect as anyone else. I think that paragraph is quite sound. I do not think the Executive Council would be entitled to appoint Parliamentary Secretaries for Extern Ministers. It may be that later on Parliamentary Secretaries will be required by Extern Ministers. If so the machinery will have to be provided. I do not think it would be in the spirit of the Constitution that the Executive Council should be entitled to appoint Parliamentary Secretaries to Extern Ministers.

There are a few observations that I want to make on this Bill but they will not occupy the Dáil very long. Before coming to the matter that perhaps I would be expected to address myself to more particularly, there are some other topics I wish to touch upon, even though it may keep at least one learned and gallant Deputy in suspense as to particulars of a certain office. There is one thing that will have struck everybody since the Treaty was endorsed by the people, and that is the fact that certain persons take a peculiar delight in trying to detract from the national status which has been attained by this country by virtue of that international Treaty. Persons who have not contributed in any way to attaining that very large measure of independent national status seem to think something is to be gained—I do not know what—in contracting, or seeking to contract, the position that this nation now holds. I understand this Constitution which has been enacted by the Dáil has been described as a borrowed Constitution. I did not catch whether it was stated to have been borrowed from any constitutional enactment of the year 1914 or subsequently, but it is, at any rate, the work of the people's Parliament here, and whatever aspersions may be cast upon it, it was thought out, thrashed out and discussed here by the people's representatives. When I heard Deputy Figgis commence by saying that the principle of this Bill might be taken to be admitted, because its principle was the establishment of Ministries, I was somewhat surprised, because I thought that that Deputy, of all others, would have remembered the Constitution.

The number of Ministers, the Ministers themselves, and their executive authority are contained in the Constitution. You could appoint twelve Ministers under the Constitution, certain of them within the Executive group with joint responsibility, and certain of them outside that group with individual responsibility to the Dáil.

What does this Bill do? It performs the complementary function of taking the whole field of administration in this country and dividing it into its natural departments, or as near as we believe we have been able to reach. Valuable suggestions have been made for better organising these matters, but this Bill takes the field of administration of the country, divides it into its natural compartments, and enables these compartments of administration to be assigned either singly or in groups to the Ministers whose Executive authority and whose duty to execute the laws of the country is derived from the Constitution.

Is that not established?

No. The Ministers as Ministers, and the Executive as an Executive, rest upon the Constitution. Assigning to them particular branches of administration is the matter that is facilitated by this particular measure. It is not quite correct to assume that Schedules are the matters of importance to look to. In Section 1 the various administrative functions are set out by general description. The Schedules are not exalted Schedules. They merely take existing units of administration and assign them to the heads or divisions which have been described in general and comprehensive terms in Section 1 of the Bill. It occurs to me that some of the references that were made to the office of the President arose from a misunderstanding of that position. The President is, under the Constitution, the head of the Executive Government. He nominates the Executive Ministers. He will chose what Departments he will bring into his Executive, and usually they will be Departments with which policy will be largely concerned. He is the co-ordinating Minister and head of the Executive under the Constitution. As President, he does not necessarily take one of the Administrative Departments save in so far as some branch or unit of administration, responsible to the Executive Council as a whole, may have that responsibility expressed to the Dáil through his voice as head of the Executive.

As regards the office of Attorney-General, that office is not the office of a mere legal adviser. As it has existed in this country, as it exists in Great Britain, and in each of the Dominions, it is an office that represents the Executive and the State in various legal proceedings. It is the business of the Attorney-General to defend public rights, for instance in connection with public rights-of-way, if they are invaded. The matter of charities has been mentioned by Deputy Johnson, and it is as representing the public as a whole that the Attorney-General has always appeared in proceedings relating to charities, it being his duty to see, on behalf of the State, that the public get the full benefit of charitable provisions and charitable benefits.

Is he not instructed by a State Department?

He is not instructed by a State Department. He is the person who represents the Executive in Court. He advises the Executive in Chamber. He does not hold one of the Administrative Departments, and he is not one of the 12 Ministers under the Constitution. Though the office is usually described as a Ministerial office, it is essentially different from the office of Minister of Justice. The Minister of Justice is responsible for providing the machinery of the Courts, the police and the rest of the machinery which ensures the administration of law and the maintenance of public order. It is a fact, as Deputy Cooper has mentioned, but it is only an accidental fact, that in the various Dominions the office of Attorney-General is combined with other offices in a particular individual. It frequently happens in some of the Dominions that the Prime Minister himself holds the office of Attorney-General, and that elsewhere the Minister of Justice holds the office. It might be that the Postmaster-General would hold the office, but if he held the office, he would in relation to that particular office, act in a separate and independent capacity, performing quite independent duties. Under this measure it is quite possible that while two or three Ministries may be united in a particular person who may be capable of answering to the House for them, when another and more learned and certainly more gallant Deputy perhaps reaches Ministerial rank his more extensive administrative capacities will be utilised in the combination of this and other offices. But a Minister of Justice, as Minister of Justice, is responsible to Parliament for providing the machinery of the administration of justice and the machinery of maintenance of public order. If he also holds the office of Attorney-General he is responsible to the Executive and he represents the Executive in a wholly different capacity.

I remember in the last Dáil Deputy Gavan Duffy had some notion that the Attorney-General would be answerable to the Dáil for everything, including outside Ministries. That is not so. His office is purely associated with the Executive Government. On the acute question that the learned and gallant Deputy has referred to, I would refer him to the Estimates of last year, when his eager curiosity will be satisfied. I only want to say one or two other words on the other provisions of this measure. As regards the question of Parliamentary Secretaries, Deputy Johnson will realise—we certainly realise it—that this House does not contain, as other Houses do, scions of the great capitalistic houses who eagerly assume the office of Parliamentary Secretary, as a method of displaying their political figures in the public eye. If Parliamentary Secretaries are created here, they will be created for the purpose of doing certain work and of performing certain services. As I think everybody here is a worker for his ordinary living, if certain Deputies are required to discharge these duties, which will absorb their time, the circumstances require that they should receive some stipend. But that remuneration is not as Deputy Gorey said to be no less than £1,200. It is that it is not to exceed £1,200. When you read that in the light that the salary so to be provided, not exceeding a sum which may be sanctioned, will come up annually in the Estimates in the manner in which it is provided in the Bill, there will be an annual opportunity for discussing it, and the position will be very uncomfortable if an unreasonable arrangement has been made.

As regards another matter of detail that was mentioned, the Conservators of Fisheries have been grouped in the Department of Fisheries. The Bill contains provisions which will enable statutory bodies which now exercise administrative functions to be dissolved and merged in the administration by the head of the department. There are great difficulties in the matter of Conservators of Fisheries at the present moment, particularly in the North. It may turn out that it will be more desirable in this country to merge the administration by Conservators into administration by the Minister.

I might perhaps at this stage move the adjournment of the debate.

Debate adojurned.

I move the adjournment of the Dáil until Wednesday.