DÁIL IN COMMITTEE. - MINISTERS AND SECRETARIES BILL, 1923-THIRD STAGE (RESUMED).

Discussion of Section 7 resumed.

I beg to move Amendment No. 32, to delete Sub-section 3.

The object of this amendment is to make the position of Parliamentary Secretaries an honorary one. The whole question has already been discussed pretty fully, and I do not think I need say anything further on the matter.

Amendment put and negatived.

I beg to move Amendment No. 33:—To insert before the word "each" at the beginning of Sub-section (3), line 43, the following words:—

"There shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas to," and after the word "Act" to insert at the end of line 43 the following words:—

"Who shall not by his appointment be declared to be appointed without salary, such," and to delete line 44 and to add at the end of the sub-section the following proviso:—

"Provided however that the total number of persons who shall at any one time be in receipt of salaries as Ministers or as Parliamentary Secretaries shall not exceed fifteen."

The object of this amendment is first of all to provide that the number of Parliamentary Secretaries in receipt of any salary that may be paid, shall not at any one time, together with the number of Ministers, exceed 15. That will not prevent the appointment of honorary Parliamentary Secretaries in accordance with the wishes just expressed by Deputy Nagle. One of the effects of the amendment will be that, on appointment, it must be declared whether a Parliamentary Secretary is appointed with or without salary.

I want to congratulate the Government upon the action they have taken in this matter. They have met the opinion which I expressed on Second Reading when I stated that seven Ministers and seven Parliamentary Secretaries would be enough. I am not going to quarrel with the fact that the Attorney-General requires one more, so that the number fourteen, as contemplated by me, is increased by the Government to fifteen. If they desire to appoint one extra, by all means let them do so. What I call attention to is that when I urged that course on Second Reading the Attorney-General stigmatised my arguments as superficial and unsound. Yet, after mature deliberation, he adopts that very scheme as his own. The explanation is a simple one. I did not convince the Attorney-General. I do not think I have convinced him even now, but I think I convinced the Minister for Finance, who adopted my view yesterday on this matter. This, I think, affords a very good indication of the value to be attached to discussion. If Ministers take a little longer time to get their Bills through, they may be comforted by the fact that in the end they do get their Bills in an improved form, as compared with the form in which they were introduced.

May I point out that while argument may be unsound, conclusions may be sound.

I would like to congratulate the Attorney-General on having introduced this amendment, and I only desire to say that I doubt that such an amendment ever would be introduced but for the putting forward of argument inside and outside the House that was stigmatised by the Government in opprobrious terms.

I might, perhaps, draw attention to the fact that when introducing this Bill, I said it was not intended to appoint more than three Parliamentary Secretaries.

Amendment put and agreed to.

I beg to move Amendment 34. In Sub-section (3), line 46, to delete the figures "£1,200," and to substitute therefor the figures "£600."

My object in moving the amendment is very much the same as that which animated me in moving a previous amendment in regard to the reduction of salaries of Ministers.

In this matter, however, in suggesting the reduction of the salaries of Parliamentary Secretaries, as fixed by the Bill, I am on surer ground than in the case of the former amendment. Here we are dealing with appointments and with salaries to men who have not yet started to perform their duties, and we are dealing with salaries which are to apply to positions that did not exist before. I think, for these reasons, it is very important, at the commencement at least, that the salaries to be paid to the Parliamentary Secretaries should be fixed at a reasonable amount. It seems to me that when we get more experience of Parliamentary work, and know the material of which the secretaries are composed, it would then be in the power of the Oireachtas to increase these salaries, if they thought well to do so. I also think-and it is very reasonable to expect-that we have here in this Dáil many young men who would be anxious to take up the duties of Parliamentary Secretaries at comparatively small salaries, in order that they might serve their political apprenticeship, and at the end of that time might rise to greater eminence and higher salaries.

I would like to say, on this amendment, that I am rather surprised the Deputy did not compare the salary which he proposes to pay in this case with the salary paid in similar employment outside. We are not concerned in getting Parliamentary Secretaries who will serve an apprenticeship at the cost of the State. We are concerned with the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries who will do more than what we call Parliamentary duties, as I have explained on one or two occasions. I have examined this amendment from the point of view of how much extra the Deputy would receive for the duties which it is proposed to impose upon him or to ask him to discharge. In the case of a single man appointed to this position, his salary would be £166 17s. 6d. per annum, a little over £3 a week, over and above what he would be entitled to receive as a member of this Dáil. I thought the Deputy would be in a position to give the Dáil some information as to what is usually paid to the Secretary of the Farmers' Union or a Secretary of a County Council, or some other official associated with the activities of the party to which he belongs, and of which he has got expert knowledge. I would like to know of a case of any whole-time officer to any one of these bodies—a County Council or a Farmers' Union—who has only £166 17s. 6d. per annum. There is nobody that I know of in a position to take up such important duties at this particular price. I think the Deputy ought to take the Dáil into his confidence, and tell us where these great men are to be found who are capable of doing so much at such a figure, because we certainly do not know.

I would like to point out to the President that the Secretary of the Wicklow County Council has a salary of £500 a year, and that although there is only a difference of £160 between a Deputy's allowance here and the salary proposed to be paid to these Parliamentary Secretaries, it is well to point out that it is not intended, I think, that these Parliamentary Secretaries would be living outside the City of Dublin. Therefore, the £360 a year allowance would in that case be more or less a salary. It will not be considered in the light of expenses, because the Parliamentary Secretary would be living at home. The salary of £50 a month for a beginning, except of course in the case of a man of exceptional ability, is, I think, a very fair start. It is a salary which a man in the Civil Service takes years to reach. Therefore, we think that the salary to be paid to these Parliamentary Secretaries should start fairly small, and that they should be given gradual increments in the future.

Amendment put and negatived.

I beg to move Amendment 35, to delete in Sub-section (3), line 46, the figures "£1,200" and to substitute therefor the figure "£800."

The effect of the amendment is to have the salaries proposed to be paid to Parliamentary Secretaries reduced from £1,200 a year to £800 a year. We are all very well aware that this salary cannot be regarded as setting up a very generous standard. But all things considered. it cannot be regarded as meagre or as unfair. A man's work in any Department is conditioned by two things: First, the service he renders, and secondly, the capacity of the nation to pay. The services rendered by these Parliamentary Secretaries would be of a subordinate, if not of a subservient, character. They will not have the responsibility of the Minister, and consequently they will only be filling a minor rôle. As a matter of fact, I think a well-trained Civil Servant would be a greater acquisition, and a more desirable asset in any Department than a Parliamentary Secretary, for, when everything is considered, you must regard your proposed Parliamentary Secretaries for some time to come, at least, as unskilled labourers. Secondly, as to the capacity of the people to pay, I do not think that at the present time, when we are faced with a deficit of eighteen and a half millions, that we should set up a champagne standard of emoluments. It would be very undesirable, all things considered, seeing the poverty of the country, that such high salaries should be paid. I think the Dáil should set a good example and leave the salary of these Parliamentary Secretaries at £800 a year.

I did not know that there were any unskilled labourers in the country earning £800 a year. I do not know whether any are paid that salary down in the Deputy's own county or not. In this case an unmarried man would get £320 a year, over and above his allowances, and, as I said before, we have got no information from the financial experts on the benches opposite, as to what they pay the secretaries of their own Farmers' Union. I think they ought to take us into their confidence and give us some idea as to what they pay these secretaries, because I have very great respect for the organisation of the farmers. I have seen the activities of these men, and I know of their usefulness, and it would be a headline for us, perhaps, if we were told the salaries paid to them. The Deputy stated that the salary he suggested would be, in essence, what a civil servant would get. The salaries paid to Executive Officers in the Civil Service range, I believe, from £700 to £900 a year with bonus. But, in this case, the Deputy proposes to pay less to Parliamentary Secretaries than is paid to the higher Executive Officers in the Civil Service. While the Deputy may say that these Parliamentary Secretaries had not got the responsibility, I may say that they have practically the responsibility of a Minister. with the difference, perhaps, that fewer bricks are thrown at them than at the Ministers.

It is very doubtful whether they will not suffer the same discredit in the event of any catastrophies occurring that a Minister will have to bear. One cannot say that an allowance is not eaten up if the member stays in Dublin. Everybody knows that the expenses in connection with membership of this House are not confined to hotel expenses. A Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary, or anybody of that sort. will have certain expenses over and above what attaches to the ordinary member. It has been stated on many occasions, as a reason why people should be paid a fair wage, that they should have a reasonable hope of comfort or a reasonable chance of keeping themselves free from the burden of debt, and that where such conditions do not obtain one does not get really good results. In this case a Parliamentary Secretary is in more or less the experimental stage. One can only say that during our experience Parliamentary Secretaries have had practically the same hours of work, as, and perhaps on some occasions, even longer hours of work than, Ministers themselves.

When calculating what salary ought to be paid the persons taking up those positions, one must take into consideration the value received for that work. I am satisfied, from my experience, that we have had good sound value for the work. I am satisfied, even with the deficit of eighteen and a half millions that the Deputy has mentioned, that it is still an economic proposition to incur this extra expense. I am not satisfied that a reasonable case has been made for the acceptance of the lower figure.

I think the Minister makes his defence on the assumption that there is somebody in the service of the Farmers' Union or some other Union in receipt of a bigger salary than this. As far as I can gather from his remarks, his whole case turns on that. The highest salary paid to an official of the Farmers' Union—our General Secretary and Organiser—is £700, and that salary was fixed in 1918 or 1919, the peak years. What our policy will be in reconsidering that salary, it is not for me to say at the moment, without consideration. That gentleman has been sent to America on the business of the State. He was described by a Minister as a superman, a man I believe who was not to be found on their own benches. In my time in the Dáil I have seen very little signs of supermen. There may be supermen amongst the Ministers, but I was unable to see amongst the rank and file any trace of these supermen. I think them very ordinary individuals, and the general public think them very ordinary individuals, men who are to be met in almost any walk of life, commercial or otherwise. To offer £800 to these young men who are, as Deputy Heffernan said, being placed on the road to still greater things, I think is a very respectable inducement. Even £800 with income-tax—I forgot to mention that our Secretary is also subject to income-tax—is a very fine start for our ambitious and capable young men. I think the amendment is a reasonable one.

We were charged here the other day with eye-wash, a charge that I resent personally, and on behalf of the Party that I represent. My idea in facing the economic situation, the situation described by the Minister for Finance, was that everybody should lend a hand in tiding over the difficulty, that everybody should accept a cut. That is a very fine doctrine for everybody except ourselves. When it comes to ourselves we find a very different outlook. We find ourselves making a case for ourselves. And our case, when made, is a very bad case in comparison with that which other men in the country can make when the question of a ten per cent. cut is put to them. The case we can make personally is a very poor case, indeed, in comparison with that of every other class of the community. I think this amendment offers fair remuneration even for the super work required from these supermen. We do not begrudge men holidays; we do not begrudge them amusement. But our own officials have not been seen unduly on racecourses or anywhere else. We do not object to anybody else being there, but we do think that £800 is a fairly decent salary to offer. It is as much as this State can afford. Therefore, I support this amendment.

I rise to support the Deputy who put forward this amendment. If the President is anxious to get facts and figures with regard to the salaries paid the County Secretaries of Farmers' Unions, I will be very pleased to give him all the facts and figures he requires. I would be more or less ashamed to state here in the Dáil the actual salaries they receive, and I can say that if the President will base the salaries of his Ministers and of his Parliamentary Secretaries on the salaries of the County Secretaries of the Farmers' Union, we will be perfectly satisfied with the work he is doing in the interest of economy. He also mentioned the Secretaries of the County Councils. In that regard, I see more or less eye to eye with him. I believe the salaries of Parliamentary Secretaries ought at least to be equal to the salaries of Secretaries to County Councils, or, perhaps, somewhat more. But I am also strongly of opinion that the salaries of the Secretaries of the County Councils are in most cases too high, and should be reduced, as also the salaries of other officers of Local Government Boards throughout the country. I notice that the amendments on the paper dealing with this matter are on an ascending scale. They start at £600, go up to £800, and from that to £1,200. I would suggest to the President, before he allows the amendment to be put, that he should do what is commonly done in the farming business —split the difference and fix the salary between £600 and £1,200.

The point I mentioned in connection with the last recommendation that the salary should be £600, still holds with regard to this. The salary is only £322 over that of a member, and no member of the Farmers' Union has proved that £322 is a fair salary for this position.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 31; Níl, 41.

  • Pádraig F. Baxter.
  • Seán Buitléir.
  • John J. Cole.
  • John Conlan.
  • Sir James Craig.
  • David Hall.
  • Connor Hogan.
  • Séamus Mac Cosgair.
  • Tomás Mac Eoin.
  • Risteárd Mac Fheorais.
  • Pádraig Mac Fhlannchadha.
  • Risteárd Mac Liam.
  • Patrick McKenna.
  • James Sproule Myles.
  • Tomás de Nógla.
  • Ailfrid O Broin.
  • Tomás O Conaill.
  • Aodh O Cúlacháin.
  • Liam O Daimhin.
  • Tadhg S. O Donnabháin.
  • Eamon O Dubhghaill.
  • Mícheál O Dubhghaill.
  • Seán O Duinnín.
  • Donchadh S. O Guaire.
  • Mícheál R. O hIfearnáin.
  • Seán O Laidhin.
  • Domhnall O Mocháin.
  • Domhnall O Muirgheasa.
  • Tadhg O Murchadha.
  • Patrick K. Hogan (Luimneach).
  • Nicholas Wall.

Níl

  • Richard H. Beamish.
  • Seoirse de Bhulbh.
  • Próinsias Bulfin.
  • Louis J. D'Alton.
  • Máighréad Ní Choileáin, Bean Uí
  • Dhrisceóil.
  • Patrick J. Egan.
  • Henry J. Finlay.
  • Desmond Fitzgerald.
  • John Hennigan.
  • Seosamh Mac 'a Bhrighde.
  • Domhnall Mac Cárthaigh.
  • Liam T. Mac Cosgair.
  • Maolmhuire Mac Eochadha.
  • Pádraig Mac Fadáin.
  • Pádraig Mac Giollagáin.
  • Seán P. Mac Giobúin.
  • Seán Mac Giolla 'n Riogh.
  • Eoin Mac Néill.
  • Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
  • Martin M. Nally.
  • John T. Nolan.
  • Peadar O hAodha.
  • Criostóir O Broin.
  • Próinsias O Cathail.
  • Aodh O Cinnéide.
  • Séamus N. O Dóláin.
  • Peadar S. O Dubhghaill.
  • Pádraig O Dubhthaigh.
  • Eamon S. O Dúgáin.
  • Aindriú O Laimhin.
  • Séamus O Leadáin.
  • Thomas O'Mahony.
  • Pádraic O Máille.
  • Risteárd O Maolchatha.
  • Séamus O Murchadha.
  • Pádraig O hOgáin (Gaillimh).
  • Seán M. O Súilleabháin.
  • Andrew O'Shaughnessy.
  • Seán Príomhdhail.
  • Patrick W. Shaw.
  • Liam Thrift.
Amendment declared lost.

I beg to move:—"In Sub-section (3), line 46, to delete the figures `£1,200' and to substitute therefor ‘£1,000.'" I did not vote on the last division because I think the salary would be too low. At the same time, I was not anxious to endorse the President's arguments, because I knew they would be probably used against me on this amendment. I shall try and give the Dáil some of the reasons that actuated me in putting down £1,000 instead of £1,200 as a suitable salary for these new secretaries. The President stated yesterday that the reason he was calling them secretaries was because of the British precedent, and because it was a post that was known. In fixing their salaries I hold it is not unfair to adopt a British precedent also. The salary of a first-class British Minister, such as is attached to the Colonial Office, would be £5,000, and the Secretary to such a Minister would get £1,500 a year. The salaries of second-class British Ministers, such as are attached to the Board of Education and the Ministry of Pensions, amount to £2,000, and the Secretary would get £1,200. We are proposing to pay our Secretaries on the same scale as the British Secretaries are paid in the Board of Education and the Ministry of Pensions and other Ministries.

I hardly think a case can be made out for that. There should be some ratio between the salary of the Minister and the salary of the Secretary. It would obviously be absurd for the Secretary to get more than the Minister. I venture to think this amendment preserves that ratio in the fairest manner. A British Minister gets £2,000; our Minister gets £1,700. Where a British Secretary gets £1,200, our Secretary should get £1,000. I suggest, as our Ministers get £300 less than British Ministers, so our Secretaries should get £200 less than the British Secretaries. In that case we preserve the ratio and make a smaller cut in the smaller salary. That is a reasonable contention.

The President will, no doubt, tell me what the total amount will be when he has deducted the salary of the Deputy, together with income-tax, etc. I would like to point out that by being appointed a Secretary, a Deputy will gain certain advantages. Some of his duties as a Deputy will not be quite so arduous as before. He will not be expected to put down questions, and unless questions are addressed to his Department he need not be in his place in the Dáil during question time. He will have facilities, if his correspondence is rather heavy, because he will presumably be given a Secretary from the Civil Service who will help him to deal with his correspondence. There are those advantages to be set off against the £360. It is suggested that he will also get a certain amount of free postage. I do not know about that, but it has been suggested that Ministers get free postage for their correspondence. I can hardly believe it, but yet it is suggested. I am not going to make that a definite charge.

Most important of all, however, is that the Secretary will have his foot on the ladder of promotion. A Secretary of a County Council can never become anything more, but a Parliamentary Secretary, who performs his duty efficiently, and pleases the Dáil with his advocacy, has a very good chance of becoming a Minister. He is not in a blind alley, and therefore I think £1,000 is a reasonable salary. It is not an enormous amount, I agree, but it is an amount consistent with our means, and it is also sufficient to keep up such dignity as the position of Secretary possesses.

The Deputy asked me what is the difference between this salary and what he would receive as a Minister. It would depend whether the man is married or single. If you take a single man, the net salary he would receive, if the proposal was passed, would be £387. That would be in addition to his £360. I do not know whether the Deputy has carefully examined the clause as amended. In any case the words "an annual sum not exceeding a sum of £1,200," do not give any undertaking that in the case of any appointment there would not be a recommendation for less than £1,200. As the Deputy says, there is always an opportunity of having those appointments criticised, and it would be better, I think, that it would be left at £1,200, because as the work decreases—and we hope it will—there will not be the same need for appointments of Parliamentary Secretaries, or, perhaps, for the appointment of them, at such salaries. I do say, from our experience of the last twelve to eighteen months, that it is not a fair comparison to put these Parliamentary Secretaries along side Parliamentary Secretaries to British Ministers. I do not think there is any comparison with the British Cabinet so far as the hours of work are concerned. It may have been a fair comparison during the war. I read on one occasion where a member of the British Cabinet complained they had been working 14 to 16 hours a day. During normal times it is not likely such hours of service would have to be given. It may be so for some years to come, but I think, in the exceptional circumstances of the times, the suggested salary is scarcely a fair salary. Parliamentary Secretaries have not got the same opportunities as Ministers. Even though there is an apprenticeship in an appointment such as this, there is not the same opportunity as Ministers have of making a name or, perhaps, of losing it. It is a case in which a man cuts himself away from his profession or his business without the notoriety of doing it, and perhaps with a good deal of criticism for doing it. The impression sometimes circulated about a person like that is that it is a soft job. I think those Deputies who have come in contact with men doing that work are satisfied that good services have been rendered. I think, in view of the circumstances, the Deputy should not press his amendment.

I am afraid I am not entirely convinced by the President's argument. In practice the maximum salary nearly always stands to be the normal salary. Where it is laid down that it shall not exceed a certain amount, there is always strong pressure brought to bear that it shall be that amount. Once posts are established, and once people draw salaries from those posts, it is very hard to make a reduction. I do not know whether those Secretaries will be acknowledged as Ministers within the Constitution, so that no reduction will be made in their salaries. Even if they are not given that protection, it would be a painful and unpleasant thing to come here and propose a reduction of the salary of an individual you know, and very possibly like. Nothing is easier than to increase a salary. When we are starting let us get on sound lines.

If it is found impossible to get men for the post at £1,000, I am quite certain the Dáil would give its confidence to the President if he said the salary must be £1,200. I think £1,000 is quite enough, in the circumstances of the time, and in view of the fact that these men will not have served a long political apprenticeship. I am, therefore, afraid I will have to stand by my amendment.

The point with regard to having the salary fixed at a lower figure has been raised. There is nothing to prevent the Minister or the Dáil from doing that, but there is this objection: it would mean an Act of Parliament. That is where the difficulty comes in. It would mean passing an Act to give £200 a year more to a Parliamentary Secretary.

The President passes Acts very easily and very quickly.

I am not so sure of that.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 38; Níl, 50.

  • Pádraig F. Baxter.
  • Seán Buitléir.
  • John J. Cole.
  • John Conlan.
  • Sir James Craig.
  • David Hall.
  • Connor Hogan.
  • Séamus Mac Cosgair.
  • Tomás Mac Eoin.
  • Risteárd Mac Fheorais.
  • Pádraig Mac Fhlannchadha.
  • Risteárd Mac Liam.
  • Patrick McKenna.
  • James Sproule Myles.
  • Tomás de Nógla.
  • Ailfrid O Broin.
  • Tomás O Conaill.
  • Aodh O Cúlacháin.
  • Liam O Daimhín.
  • Tadhg S. O Donnabháin.
  • Eamon O Dubhghaill.
  • Mícheál O Dubhghaill.
  • Seán O Duinnín.
  • Donchadh S. O Guaire.
  • Mícheál R. O hIfearnáin.
  • Seán O Laidhin.
  • Domhnall O Mocháin.
  • Domhnall O Muirgheasa.
  • Tadhg O Murchadha.
  • Patrick K. Hogan (Luimneach).
  • Nicholas Wall.
  • Bryan R. Cooper.
  • Darrell Figgis.
  • John Good.
  • William Hewat.
  • Pádraig O hOgáin (An Clár).
  • William A. Redmond.
  • Liam Thrift.

Níl

  • Earnán de Blaghd.
  • Richard H. Beamish.
  • Seoirse de Bhulbh.
  • Próinsias Bulfin.
  • Louis J. D'Alton.
  • Máighréad Ní Choileáin, Bean Uí
  • Dhrisceóil.
  • Patrick J. Egan.
  • Henry J. Finlay.
  • Desmond Fitzgerald.
  • John Hennigan.
  • Seosamh Mac 'a Bhrighde.
  • Domhnall Mac Cárthaigh.
  • Liam T. Mac Cosgair.
  • Maolmhuire Mac Eochadha.
  • Pádraig Mac Fadáin.
  • Pádraig Mac Giollagáin.
  • Seán P. Mac Giobúin.
  • Seán Mac Giolla 'n Ríogh.
  • Eoin Mac Néill.
  • Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
  • Martin M. Nally.
  • John T. Nolan.
  • Peadar O hAodha.
  • Criostóir O Broin.
  • Próinsias O Cathail.
  • Aodh O Cinnéide.
  • Séamus N. O Dóláin.
  • Peadar S. O Dubhghaill.
  • Pádraig O Dubhthaigh.
  • Eamon S. O Dúgáin.
  • Aindriú O Láimhín.
  • Séamus O Leadáin.
  • Thomas O'Mahony.
  • Pádraig O Máille.
  • Risteárd O Maolchatha.
  • Séamus O Murchadha.
  • Pádraig O hOgáin (Gaillimh).
  • Seán M. O Súilleabháin.
  • Andrew O'Shaughnessy.
  • Seán Príomhdhail.
  • Patrick W. Shaw.
  • Séamus de Burca.
  • Henry J. Coyle.
  • Osmond Grattan Esmonde.
  • Alasdair Mac Cába.
  • Seán Mac Garaidh.
  • Mícheál O hAonghusa.
  • Seán O Bruadair.
  • Eoghan O Dochartaigh.
  • Fionán O Loingsigh.
Amendment declared lost.

I move Amendment 37:—

"Before Sub-Section (4) to insert a new Sub-Section as follows: `Not more than one Parliamentary Secretary shall be appointed in respect of any Department of State.' "

I take it this merely puts into words what is the intention of the Minister, but I think it is desirable that there should be a definition in this matter and that the number of Secretaries to be appointed should be restricted to one for each Department of State.

We will accept this amendment, or, at any rate, the principle of it, but it may be necessary to alter the wording of it later on.

I take it that the amendment is accepted and that if any verbal alteration is needed it can be made at a later stage.

Yes, that is so.

Amendment agreed to.
AMENDMENT 38.
In Sub-Section (4), lines 51 and 52, to delete the words "Executive Minister" and to substitute therefor the words "Executive Councillor or Minister not a member of the Executive Council," and in lines 53 and 54 to delete the words "Executive Minister with the concurrence of the Executive Council" and to substitute therefor the words "Executive Councillor or Minister not a member of the Executive Council."

Is it necessary to move this amendment standing in my name?

Part of this amendment has been disposed of on amendment 29, but another part has become necessary owing to amendments passed already.

May I suggest it will be necessary, in view of previous amendments, to delete the word "executive" before "Minister" in lines 51 and 53, inasmuch as it is provided that non-Executive Ministers may appoint Secretaries, so that the word "executive" as placed before "Minister" in each case should be deleted.

That part of the amendment is a necessary consequential amendment to amendments already passed.

I move in lines 51 and 53 that the word "executive" where it precedes "Minister" should be deleted.

Amendment 38 is, therefore, withdrawn, and a new amendment is proposed by Deputy Johnson, in lines 51 and 53 to delete the word "executive" where it occurs before the word "Minister."

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move Amendment 39:—

In Sub-section (4) to delete all after the word "shall" in line 52 and to substitute therefor the words "give such assistance to the Executive Council or such Minister as may be required of him."

The object of the amendment is to make clearer the powers and duties of those Parliamentary Secretaries. I think we have it clear now that they are really, if not so called, Assistant Ministers, and the amendment seeks to make it quite clear that they are to assist the Minister. The sub-section, as it stands, speaks of the delegation of powers, but I think these are rather inadvisable terms to use in this connection. It would rather take from, or might possibly take from, the responsibility of the Minister to this Dáil. I think the position is that even though Parliamentary Secretaries are employed, the Minister, and the Minister alone, is primarily responsible, and it is that I desire to be made clear by the amendment.

I hardly think that Deputy O'Connell's amendment is an improvement on the provision as it stands. I do not quite know whether the provision that they are to give assistance to the Ministers has any relation to the figure at which their salary is placed. I am afraid that the phrasing of the amendment as proposed is not clear enough; but it does occur to me that sub-section (4), in view of the amendments carried, will require some consideration, and I think it might be well reconsidered before the Report stage in connection especially with the two paragraphs inserted on the motion of Deputy Johnson.

I take it the intention is still to retain the Minister as the responsible person in the matter, and that there must be some alteration in the phraseology. It will remove the suggestion that he may delegate not merely duties but responsibilities. I think, in view of that, the Deputy might withdraw his amendment in its present form on the intimation that the intention will be provided for at a later stage.

Mr. O'CONNELL

I ask leave to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Question: "That Section 7, as amended, stand part of the Bill"—put and agreed to.
SECTION 8.
(1) 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 of the Executive Council and to the Oireachtas respectively for all the administration and business of the Department of Defence and for the exercise and performance of all the powers, duties and functions connected therewith.
(2) The Council of Defence shall consist of the following members, namely, the Minister for Defence, who (under the style of "Commander-in-Chief") shall be Chairman of the Council of Defence, and four other members amongst whom shall be distributed the principal divisions or branches of the business of the Council of Defence, that is to say, a civil member being the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence who shall be responsible to the Ministry of Defence for the finance of the Military Defence Forces and for so much of the other business of the Council of Defence as may be from time to time assigned to him by the Minister for Defence and three military members being commissioned members of the said 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 relating to the raising, training, organisation, disposition, personnel, supply, equipment, armament, management, discipline, control and maintenance of the Defence Forces as shall be from time to time assigned to them or any of them by the Minister for Defence.
(3) The Minister for Defence may specially reserve to himself any of the business of the Council of Defence.
(4) The Secretary of the Department of Defence shall act as Secretary of the Council of Defence and shall perform such duties as may be from time to time assigned to him by the Minister for Defence.
(5) The Military members of the Council of Defence shall respectively hold that office at the pleasure of the Minister for Defence.
(6) 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.
(7) The Council of Defence may, subject to the approval of the Minister for Defence, regulate its own procedure and time and place of meeting but it shall meet whenever required by the Minister for Defence so to do and in any case there shall be at least one meeting of the Council every six months.

I beg to move Amendment 1, to delete this section. We have in various parts of the Bill been discussing matters of very great administrative importance. I take this to be a matter of quite a different character altogether. This raises not merely a matter that is important from an administrative point of view, but is important respecting a fundamental principle concerning the future conduct of this State. We are, in this Bill, making provision, presumably, for the administration of a civil body, and of a civil Executive responsible to this Dáil, and quite gratuitously there has been introduced into this Bill a semi-responsible military body which is described as a Council of Defence. This Bill is entitled "The Ministers and Secretaries Bill." The Attorney-General indicates that perhaps at a later stage it might be called "The Ministers, Secretaries and Attorney-General Bill." All those various persons designated in that title are civil authorities responsible to this Dáil. Here we have introduced the principle of persons who shall constitute a military tribunal not responsible to this Dáil. No one military person is really responsible to this Dáil at all.

I wish to draw attention to certain words in particular that fall under Sub-section 6, where it reads, that "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." These are very extraordinary words. We have the words "collectively responsible." I ask, collectively responsible to whom? They cannot be collectively responsible to this Dáil, because this Dáil has no knowledge of any military person at all. It has only knowledge of a Minister for Defence who shall not be a military person. To whom, then, is this Military Council to be collectively responsible? I suggest that the answer is a very obvious one, and not a pleasant one, and that is that the collective responsibility of the Council of Defence will be a collective responsibility to the Army.

The Minister for Defence and myself have participated, from different points of view, in a movement that resulted in the establishment of the Free State, and he knows, and I know, that at an earlier stage when the Army, as the Irish Republican Army, was first established, that it was then placed under Dáil Eireann in the year 1919. Prior to that the movement had been known as the Irish Volunteers. The Minister for Defence knows, and I know, that the Irish Volunteers met in a special deliberative convention to decide whether it would permit itself to be placed under civil authority or not, and the decision taken was that it should be placed under that authority, under a Military Council, and a Military Council, did, in fact, for a long number of years exercise powers that were, under the circumstances, inevitable; but unfortunately this Military Council was not so completely under the Civil Authority as it might have been, and I fear that there is a tendency in this Section to create a Military Council of Defence that is intended to act as a corporate and as a collective body. Collectively responsible, as this Bill says, is collectively responsible not primarily to this Dáil or to the Oireachtas, but to the Army, and that is a very serious state of affairs. In any case there are the words "collective responsibility." It cannot be said that the Council of Defence are collectively responsible to this Dáil, because the only person whom the Dáil recognises in any military authority or responsibility whatever, is not a body comprised of persons, most of whom are not members of the Dáil, but of one person only, and that is the Minister for Defence, who, in order to become a member of this Dáil is no longer to be a military person.

He is to be under this proposal.

Yes, but the words by which he is so placed in that position in this Section are in conflict with the words "collectively responsible." That is the point I want to make. One part of the Section states that the Minister for Defence shall be responsible to this Dáil; another part of the Section states that a Council of Defence shall be created of which he is only Chairman, and that the Council of Defence shall act as a single collegiate body. That leads to the next point that I wish to deal with, which is in Sub-section 2. It says that the Council of Defence shall consist of certain persons, chief of whom is the Minister for Defence.

Here is a remarkable fact with regard to this sub-section 2. As Chairman of the Council of Defence he is no more the Minister for Defence. He becomes there the Commander-in-Chief. He shall be styled Commander-in-Chief. That is not only an undesirable provision in itself, and a very dangerous provision in itself, but it is actually contrary to the law of this country. I have in my hand the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act (No. 30) of 1923. Part I, Chapter I, Section 5, states "the command-in-chief of and all executive and administrative powers in relation to the Forces (including the power to delegate authority to such persons as may be thought fit) shall be vested in the Executive Council." That is part of the permanent provisions of this Act, but, lest there should be any confusion, the very phrase is repeated in the temporary provisions of this Act, in Part IV, where it says "the command-in-chief of and all executive and administrative powers in relation to the national forces" I exclude the parenthesis—"shall be vested in the Executive Council, and exercised through it, in the name of the Minister." In other words, the law of this State has laid it down, quite clearly and quite firmly, that the Commander-in-Chief is not a person, but is the entire Executive Council. That is a safe and right and necessary provision. It has a parallel in the provision in the United States' Constitution, by which the Chief Executive, who is the President, by reason of being Chief Executive of the State, isipso facto the Commander-in-Chief of the United States army. In Ireland, the Chief Executive is held, in fact, in the Executive Council. The provision that I have just read from the Defence Forces Act states that the Executive Council, who have executive authority in the Free State, acting as a body, is the Commander-in-Chief. But here it states that the Council of Defence shall consist of, amongst others, the Minister for Defence, who, under the style of Commander-in-Chief, shall be Chairman of the Council of Defence. In the Dáil we know him as a member of the Executive Council; we know him as a member of the highest responsible authority in this State, in which is vested the Commander-in-Chief of the army, but when he removes himself from here and becomes part of the Council of Defence, which is the Army Council in a new guise, he becomes a military person, though we knew him here in a non-military capacity. We knew him here as a Minister amongst other Ministers, but there he becomes Commander-in-Chief of the army. I say that that is a very dangerous provision to adopt. I do not know that any country would consent to a provision of this kind. In other countries the practice is, as members of this Dáil are very well aware, that there is no Commander-in-Chief, as such, of the army. There may be a Commander-in-Chief appointed in charge of an expeditionary Force; there may be a Commander-in-Chief appointed for an army in a certain location, but there is no Commander-in-chief of the entire army. That is the prerogative of Parliament as it should be and was intended to be. I know that nominally the title is held by the king, but in the various Acts that have been passed (Mutiny and Army Acts) it has been laid down as a principle that the actual command should vest in the authority that issues the money by which that Force is maintained, and the real Commander-in-Chief is the Chief Civil Authority. Therefore, when those words were adopted in our Army Act we were glad that they were adopted. Now they are to be departed from, and I say that if these provisions, standing as they are, are to be adopted, we are taking in a very dangerous principle into this State, a thing that strikes at the fundamental principle of Statehood, which is that the civil authority shall be supreme. I do not see, in any case, why military matters of this kind should come into a Bill of this nature, which is a purely civil Bill. Apart altogether from that, if provisions are to be adopted, they should be of a kind not like the provisions in this section; they should insist that the Minister for Defence is purely Minister for Defence, and that all persons acting under his authority should act separately under his authority as Minister for Defence without admitting the dangerous principle that is embodied in this section. I move that this section be deleted from the Bill.

I do not want to repeat the arguments of Deputy Figgis, which follows very much the lines I had intended to elaborate if I had moved this motion. I would like the Minister for Defence, or the Attorney-General, to inform us whether the army has been established under Section 22 of the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act, and whether, the date has been fixed by proclamation. The necessity for this Section is not understood by me. I cannot understand why it is necessary to insert in this Bill a provision respecting the Ministry of Defence, which has not been found necessary respecting other Ministries.

at this stage took the Chair.

There has been no suggestion, for instance, of appointing a Council to assist the Minister for Fisheries or the Minister for Home Affairs. Nevertheless, each of those Ministers has, within his authority, the right and power to delegate certain responsibilities to persons in the control of his Department. In the Defence Forces Act it is laid down that the Minister may delegate authority to such persons as may be thought fit or that the Minister and Executive Council together may do so, but that the Minister shall not allocate to himself any Executive military command. All the requirements of the case regarding a Council to assist the Minister in the technical work of the Ministry of Defence are already embodied in an Act of the Oireachtas. It seems to me that the introduction of this Section has the effect of placing the Minister for Defence in a different category from Ministers having charge of other Departments. I agree with Deputy Figgis that the effect of the section is to distribute responsibility, notwithstanding the statement in Section 1, that there shall be no derogation from the Minister's responsibility. The very fact that we are, by Statute, asked to appoint a Council of Defence to assist the Minister, imposes upon the Council certain authority, as distinct from the responsibility of the Minister. The fact that there is appointed by Statute a Council to assist the Minister, and that the Council is, in part, named beforehand, imposes upon the Council a responsibility direct to the Dáil, thereby relieving the Minister of some of his responsibility. A Council of Defence, which may be necessary, can be appointed under the present law by the Minister and Executive Council. If the Bill which is before us passes into law, a Parliamentary Secretary may be appointed. But Sub-section 2 of this Section insists that there shall be a Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, rather suggesting that it is contemplated in the future that the Ministry of Defence is going to be a very much more important body than one would hope the future of the country would require. Surely, we are not contemplating permanent Defence Forces of such a character as would require not only a Minister but a Parliamentary Secretary. The arguments that have been used in favour of the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries may be strong in respect of Finance, Justice, Home Affairs, Industry and Commerce and Agriculture, because one can imagine that, as the development of the country proceeds, these Departments will have more and more to do. But if that development, industrially and agriculturally, proceeds in the manner we would like, one would hope that the Department of Defence would have very little to do except keep in being the skeleton of a Defence Force.

We are asked to lay down as a necessity that not only shall the Minister for Defence be a member of the Oireachtas but that he shall appoint a Parliamentary Secretary and that, by law, there shall be established a Council of Defence to assist this Department. One would imagine that it is contemplated that this Department is going to be the biggest and most important of the whole Ministry. I hope that is not the expectation of any Deputy here. There is no necessity, o far as I can see, why the Department of Defence should be singled out for special consideration in this Bill. The Dáil places the responsibility upon the Minister and he has power, under present enactments, to organise his Department in such manner as he may think well. That, I think, should be sufficient. He is in exactly the same position as any other Minister in that respect. I think the inclusion of this Section in the Bill is unnecessary. Therefore, I support the motion to delete the Section.

I have no hesitation in saying, at this stage, that I will both vote for and use every effort to support the amendment Deputy Figgis has moved to delete this Section entirely. It seems to me that it would be rather a calamity if this Section were to go through in its present form. I have never taken part in any military operation and, therefore, I am not qualified to speak technically on the subject—unless, perhaps, a little difference of opinion now and again with some of my friends on the Labour benches might be regarded as a military operation. This whole clause visualises a state of affairs which I, for one, hope none of the Deputies here looks forward to. It places an importance on military organisation which a small agricultural, and I hope peace-loving, country will not consider necessary. Deputy Johnson has said that he hopes—and I also hope—that in the future the skeleton or nucleus of a Defence Force will be sufficient for all the military needs of this country. We are all approaching a frame of mind when we can look on that state of affairs as likely to arise. Under the circumstances, to introduce a clause in connection with the Ministers and Secretaries Bill, such as we have before us, seems to me a very retrograde step in the affairs of State. The Commander-in-Chief, as Deputy Figgis has pointed out, is not a recognised appointment. I think I may accept that as being correct. A Military Council, surely, is not necessary under those conditions. To elaborate all these clauses in connection with the matter seems to me to be entirely unnecessary. Therefore, so far as I am concerned, I propose to vote in favour of Deputy Figgis's motion, and if it be lost to vote on the same lines in connection with every other amendment.

May I say first with regard to the point raised regarding Sub-section 6, where it is stated that the Council of Defence shall be collectively responsible, the purpose is, and it can be amended, that they shall be collectively responsible to the Minister for Defence for all matters entrusted to them. From the point of view of his position in the Executive Council, and his responsibility to it, and through the Council to the Dáil, the Minister for Defence does not stand in any different position to any other Minister. With regard to the Army and its position, and what people who have never touched the Army want to make of it in this country, there is nothing in that but troubled imaginings. Deputy Figgis speaks of the old days, when you had an army that more or less met and asked whether they were going to be subject to the civil power or not. One of the outstanding points with regard to that trouble was that there was a time when the elected representatives of the people did not think it advisable to accept responsibility for the Army or for the Army's doings. In spite of that political position here there was maintained a perfect understanding and a perfect trust as between the Army of that time and the Dáil. And when the political situation was such that the Dáil could see its way to take responsibility for the Army and its doings, it was the Dáil acted, and it was not the Army. With regard to the Ministry of Defence, there is no proposal to put the Minister under this scheme in a different category to any other Minister, as is suggested. But the Ministry of Defence, in that it provides and keeps in readiness the military arm of the State, is in a very different position from any other Minister. There is no other Department of the State that may find itself called on in the same manner as the Ministry of Defence in a time of national emergency. When we realise that the State provides a Ministry of Defence in order to be able to organise its forces and to be able to defend the interests of the State, that does not mean to say that as a people or as a State we are out looking for war. We cannot shut our eyes to the fact that we have been the victims of war in this country, and that the people who lie on every side of us have been the victims of war, and that war in one country has reacted willy-nilly on the peoples of other countries. It is to be prepared for national emergencies, when your defence forces are called into action, that you have a Ministry of Defence.

I have pointed out on the Second Reading that the holders of particular Army positions who, it is suggested, shall form members of this Council of Defence, are heads of administrative Departments. As far as the Military members of the proposed Defence Council are concerned, they administer Departments that run peculiarly into one another. As I have suggested, these heads of Departments would, in time of national emergency, become the Staff of the Executive Commander-in-Chief in the field. In envisaging the problems that would face this country in time of war, personally, I think it would be inadvisable for the Dáil to accept a position by which the Executive Council would simply nominate the Minister for Defence, and would not give any idea as to how that Minister ought to look for the highest possible counsel in preparing the policy, plans, and supervising in a matter of policy the technical plans that must be prepared if you are going to be in a state of preparedness in any national emergency.

It has been suggested that this is giving to the Army a particular position outside and away from the authority of this Dáil. It is, on the contrary, indicating that the Minister will have about him a Council of Defence consisting of persons who have administrative duties of a particular type, but who, for those particular duties, are from time to time the selection of the Executive Council. They have selected for these positions, on the advice of the Minister for Defence, the particular officers who hold those positions, and, therefore, they are much more closely in touch and control the direction from which the Minister for Defence gets his counsel, advice and assistance. It is necessary in the settling of the policy of defence that a number of minds connected with the technical side shall get their proper base, or at any rate shall get their proper arena for the exchange and formulating of views, and it is most advisable that they will be brought together in a statutory rather than in a non-statutory way. It is absurd to say that this Council of Defence suggested is a military tribunal not responsible to the Dáil, and it is absurd to say that this is dragging into what is a civil matter a military body. The functions of the Defence Department are more technical in a way than the functions of the other Departments of the State can be regarded.

As regards the point raised by Deputy Johnson, the Defence Forces, under Paragraph 22, have not yet been called into being by the Proclamation that is contemplated there, for the simple reason that in the reorganisation and settling of our army machinery, we are not in the position that we would like to be in before we call the Defence Forces into being. We are at present working under the latter section of the Defence Forces Act. With regard to the title of Commander-in-Chief, I have already stated that is vesting, in what is considered the most suitable member of the Executive Council, the title which corresponds to the fact that the Commander-in-Chief of the Army is vested in the Executive Council.

On the occasion of the Second Reading of this Bill, I took exception to the inclusion of this Section and I did so mainly upon two grounds. In the first place I said that it pre-supposed the setting up of a Standing Army in this country, and that, to my mind, was a question which should have very serious and weighty consideration before it was decided upon. In the second place, I objected to the various proposals included in this Section because I understood, and still understand, them to be unconstitutional. Almost a week after I gave expression to my views in the Dáil, the Attorney-General made a vigorous—I do not think I would quite style it a virile—reply to my observations. His reply was composed, for the most part, of sneering personalities regarding my own knowledge and the source from which it was derived. I do not know whether this method of argument in the Dáil is worthy of a King's Counsel and the leader of the Irish Bar; but I do know that as a junior member of the Bar I do not consider it worthy of reply. Suffice it for me to say that as it is common knowledge that the Attorney-General favours a change in the robes of Barristers, it would now seem apparent that he is also in favour of a change in their manners.

What I would say to the Attorney-General is, that when he has been as many months in public life as I have been years, he will come to know the true value of personalities. As far as I am concerned in this case, they leave me cold; but after five days of, I presume, incessant labour, the mountain hath brought forth a mouse. What is this mouse? A contradiction of a statement of fact. In spite of the Attorney-General's gibes about my humble knowledge of constitutional law, he does not answer my constitutional point. I stated, as a matter of fact, that in my opinion the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of this country was the king. But that was only incidental to my argument that there was no necessity for the setting up of such an office, and that a person in that position, and at the same time occupying the position of Minister of the Department which controls that office, was in an unconstitutional position. Let us examine the Attorney's-General contradiction and his authorities for it. He is very fond of shying text-books around the Dáil, but I had occasion to look up a well-known text-book known as "The Laws of England," by Lord Halsbury; and I find on page 418 almost exactly word for word the speech of the Attorney-General. It is there stated that the Executive command was delegated-mark the word delegated-to a Commander-in-Chief, who advised the Secretary of State upon all military matters, the latter—that is the Secretary of State—remaining responsible to Parliament and the Crown.

Is that a commentary on the laws of Saorstát Eireann?

Is this a commentary? I am now replying to a contradiction of the statement I made upon the occasion of the Second Reading of this Bill.

The Deputy must address the Chair, and I am afraid he is travelling somewhat outside the scope of the amendment.

With all respect, I submit this is an amendment to delete this section, and that in the Section it is proposed that a Minister of this Dáil shall be styled "Commander-in-Chief." I submit most respectfully that I have the right to argue that there is only one Commander-in-Chief in this country, and that is the King.

Your argument.

It is my argument. Will you allow me to follow it?

at this stage took the Chair.

I made that statement and it was contradicted by the Attorney-General, and the words he used were almost word for word taken from Halsbury's "The Laws of England"; but he forgot to quote some of the remarks made upon the rest of the page.

I think the Deputy has been called to order and he refused to obey the ruling of the Chair. Now he goes on without any permission from the Chair.

I beg respectfully for a ruling as to whether it is in order for me to discuss the status of Commander-in-Chief in this country upon this amendment.

What the Deputy is doing is replying to a speech made, not on this amendment, but that was made some weeks ago.

On the point of order, may I say this is the first opportunity I have had to reply to it, and I am entitled to reply to it.

The Deputy is also discussing the appointment made by the Provisional Government and gazetted I think on the 12th day of July, 1922, and subsequently, I think, on the 23rd day of August, 1922, and is calling that Act unconstitutional.

Further, on that point of order, may I say that I think the Dáil and the country are entitled to know who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Army in this country.

Deputy McKenna should keep to the point of order. This is a Section for the constitution of what is called the Council of Defence. The amendment is to delete the Section. The question, therefore, I take it before the Committee is whether there should be a Council of Defence.

I respectfully submit there is more in the Section than the instituting of a Council of Defence. The words "Commanded-in-Chief"—

The principle of the Section is the constitution of the Council of Defence. Could not objection to other matters be successfully met by amendment of the Section, or by deletion of portion of the Section? If this present amendment is defeated the Section would be open for the consideration of the Committee.

I submit, on an amendment to delete a Section, a Deputy has the right of discussing the whole Section and giving reasons as to why it should be deleted; and whether one is replying to previous speeches or not I do not think that that enters into the consideration.

May I submit that so far as the Deputy has gone he has only reached objection to sub-section (2). I take it it is quite likely he will add to his objection to the Section by criticising other sub-sections, and therefore he is entitled to discuss the merits of sub-section (2) and all it contains within it.

I will hear the Deputy myself.

I will be as brief as I possibly can, but I feel I am bound to reply to the Attorney-General upon this point. The Attorney-General contradicted my statement that the King was Commander-in-Chief. He said that previous English Kings were Commanders-in-Chief, but the office had been delegated to an officer, and that in the year 1904 that office had been abolished; at the time, I believe, it was held by Earl Roberts. Nobody denies that that office was abolished, and if the office was abolished what I say is that it reverted to the Sovereign and is provided in our Constitution to-day in Article 51 where it is stated that the Executive Authority of the Saorstát is vested in the King and where it is expressly laid down to that effect I maintain that the supreme command of the Army in the Saorstát to-day is also vested in the King.

On the occasion of the Second Reading I mentioned the fact that if there was an army at all it was the King's army, and that fact was not contradicted. I still say it is the King's army, just as much as the Attorney-General is the King's Counsel, and just as much as the President and other members of the Executive are the King's Ministers. Now this may seem to some Deputies as beside the point, but it is not, and for this reason, that according to our own Act—an Act passed by the Oireachtas, namely, the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1923 (Part 1, Section IV.), actually bears out the position that I have outlined. It is stated in this Section that it shall be lawful for the Executive Council to raise and maintain an arme force consisting of such number of officers, and it goes on, in Section V., to state: "The Commander-in-Chief and all the executive and administrative powers shall be vested in the Executive Council." According to Article 51 of the Constitution, the Executive Council is a Council consisting of a President and other members to aid and advise the King in the government of this country, and therefore I come back again to my original proposition that the Commander-in-Chief of the Army is vested in the King. When I say vested in the King I say that not in any derogatory sense, because I am as proud to have borne the King's Commission as, I am sure, the Attorney-General is proud to be the holder of the King's warrant.

The Deputy is now travelling outside the amendment.

I challenge the Attorney-General and the Government to give one instance where the Commander-in-Chief or even an officer with a lower designation is also a Minister and head of a Department which controls the Army anywhere throughout the British Empire—I might even say the world. When Earl Roberts was Commander-in-Chief, was he the Minister in the British House of Commons responsible for the Army? Was he the Minister for War in the British Government? Nothing of the kind. I suppose it is because it was not the case elsewhere that we are anxious to make it so here.

This Section, to my mind, is the most, if not the only, obnoxious Section in the whole Bill. It proposes virtually to set up a Council of Defence responsible to a gentleman who shall be styled Commander-in-Chief—a sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde arrangement—a person who may be Commander-in-Chief one moment outside, and Minister for Defence the next moment inside the Dáil. Such a proposal, I say, would not, and never has been, tolerated in any of the Dominions of the King. And there has been no reason put forward so far for this proposal.

Is it that the civil authorities in this country are not to be the masters? Is it that the army, if there is an army, or if there is to be a standing army, is not to be placed permanently under the supervision and control of the civil and not the military authorities? If that is so, what other reasons govern the course which has been taken. I hope, and we all hope, that very shortly we will be able to diminish the army. If possible it would be well if we could adopt the Canadian system, as we have in so many other respects adopted it, namely, have a force of militia or territorials, and not a standing army at all. I say that the bringing in of this proposal in this measure is a very sinister way of enabling the military of to-day to lay the flattering unction to their souls that they will be rulers both of to-day and of to-morrow. I think that it is a bad precedent, therefore, for the future civil government and control of this country, and in making these few remarks I want it to be understood that they are in no way derogatory to the army, because the principle that I am in favour of having applied to our army in Ireland is equally applied to the British army in England, and to every other force throughout the King's Dominions. I believe that if this Section were dropped, and if this, I might almost call it, military policy were not persisted in, that it would give great reassurance and great confidence to the civilian population of this country and show them that the Government are determined that it is to be a civilian and not a military regime which shall rule the future of this land.

I do not propose to address myself to the question of the Commander-in-Chief. I have an amendment on the subject later on, on the paper, and it was my personal feeling that you, A Chinn Chomhairle, should have ruled both Deputy Figgis and Deputy Redmond out of order for skimming all the cream off my milk. There was one passage in the speech of the Minister for Defence which caused me to feel considerable apprehension, and that was when he said that the head of the Department of the Ministry of Defence would be head of the Army Council, and in time of war would be Commander-in-Chief in the field. I hope that is not the considered policy of the Minister for Defence or of the Executive Council. It suggests what happened to the British in 1914. They had no adequate arrangements, no efficient general staff, and no experienced Adjutant-General when they muddled into the Dardanelles. The whole thing was muddled. Artillery were converted into cavalry, and cavalry were transferred to the infantry. It was exactly the same in the Quartermaster-General's Department; everything was in a state of confusion. Is that the policy to be adopted here? The Minister for Defence is to sit here and be responsible to the Dáil or a Parliamentary Secretary acting for him, and the three military members of the Council of Defence are to take the field. I thought that reference in the Minister's speech was merely anobiter dictum and not an indication of his considered policy, and I do hope that he will give a little further consideration to this matter in the light of experience elsewhere and by the light of such experience will alter his present attitude.

As Deputy Redmond is in the House it will not be five days before he hears any observations that I have to make with reference to his remarks. I regret that comments upon the admitted sources of argument should be considered by Deputy Redmond as personalities. The matter he put forward here on the second reading of this Bill was in his own words gleaned from what he called his little experience in the British Army. If the complaint that that experience had not been sufficiently educative is to be regarded as personality or to be called personality then I must plead guilty to personalities, but I think it is quite legitimate and far from impertinence to state that even experience, whether it be on the battle-field or in barrack, may not be quite as informing or educative as other sources of information which are available to the soldier as well as to the civilian and more particularly when that civilian purports also to have a legal training which should place at his command a certain volume of knowledge which he might not have otherwise so easily accessible during the time, that he referred to himself, as his little military experience.

Now I take it that the patriotic speech that we heard from Deputy Redmond will be recognised as his last patriotic speech has been, as material upon which certain broad-sheets built up their futile polemics. I shall look forward with interest to the coming weeks products of that particular Press and I know that I shall find Deputy Redmond the hero of that particular type and clique in this country.

Who does the Attorney-General refer to? Will the Attorney-General kindly say who are the persons that form this particular clique to which he refers?

The Deputy will not have to go far from the haunts of the people in the centre of the city, not far perhaps out of his own path to find the headquarters of the clique to which I refer.

That is not an answer.

Deputy Redmond says this provision for the Council of Defence presupposes a Standing Army. I say nothing but ignorance could produce such a statement. In several of the Dominions where there are not standing armies, there are Councils of Defence, existing by Statute, even in Dominions where the minimum army establishment is maintained, where the militia and territorial system that one has heard advocated, is the system that is established—even in those Dominions provisions are made for an Army Council for the administration of matters connected with the Army and the Department of Defence. There is. I understand, a learned work called "Halsbury's Laws of England." I do not think you will find-and I should not have sought there-material appropriate to a discussion upon the Constitutional status of a Council of Defence, whether in this country or in the various Dominions.

Commander-in-Chief.

Nor with reference to the office of Commander-in-Chief. Deputy Redmond is apparently unaware, because his studies have not carried him, perhaps, to that page of a rather large book, that in none of the Dominions is the office of Commander-in-Chief held by the King —in not one of them. Perhaps another piece of enlightenment, if only a reminder to Deputy Redmond, is this, that the office of Secretary of State for War in England—I mention this by way of correction—was actually held, I think in Deputy Redmond's recollection, by a soldier—the late Lord Kitchener.

Was that during peace or war?

The Deputy knows perfectly well whether it was or not.

The Crown should not be dragged unnecessarily into the discussion. The Crown, as was explained during the long Constitutional debates here, is in this Constitution of ours in an impersonal capacity. I do not propose to engage in any heated discussion as to the King or the King's person, as the Deputy appears to be anxious.

I must really interrupt the Attorney-General. I have never mentioned the King's person. I will not allow that statement to go.

This provision of the Bill is simply for the organisation of the civil administrative side of the army. When the question of responsibility is raised, sight is lost of the preliminary clause in the Section, which provides for the establishment of this Council, without derogating from the responsibility of the Minister for Defence to the Executive Council and to the Oireachtas—which, as a matter of fact, I think should read "to the Dáil."

If there is any suggestive gap between that and Sub-section 6, the matter can be very easily set right. I am sure no one on these Benches will object if, after the word "responsible" in the second line of Sub-section 6, the words "to the Minister for Defence" be introduced. It is the clear sense of the clause. It is the clear intention and meaning. Notwithstanding the sinister recollections and dire fears of Deputy Figgis, there is no question as to where the responsibility of this Council lies, and to whom. This Council of Defence, which has attracted to it a certain amount of perhaps unusual feeling, is really a very simple matter. In all the other Departments which we have taken over you have an organised Civil Service, Departments organised to a large extent on a statutory basis. We are now creating, for the first time, and organising for the first time, a Department of Defence. It has been found in many countries a useful and important thing to have a Council of Defence consisting of the heads of the main sections of the military arm, associated with civilians, as is proposed here; and it does surprise one that the association of the military organisation with those who are responsible in civil capacities calls forth an attack which rather indicates apprehension of some form of militarism, when, in point of fact, the obvious intention and purport of these provisions is quite the opposite. The matter, Sir, is a simple one. It comes here naturally when the Department is for the first time being organised. It makes clear the responsibility and it sets up a check on finance in the person of a civil member. In that connection, I may perhaps be permitted to call attention to the fact that there is an amendment upon the Paper which makes it not necessary to have as a permanent institution a Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence.

While Deputy Redmond may possibly boast a longer time in public life than many members here, and while many members here may possibly boast a longer time in public life than I have spent in it, I do not think, in all the experience that I have had of public life, that I have ever listened to a more mischievous and more mischief-making statement than that made by Deputy Redmond this evening. I say that the pity of it is that it was deliberately mischief-making, and that it is not certainly in the interests of himself or his late Party or his late friends or any friends of this country that a statement like that should have been made here. It is no thanks whatever to the Deputy that after a hard struggle we made friends with our late enemy in this country. In the making of that friendship there was a good deal of give and take on both sides.

Perhaps at a particular time it was not with good-will that there was give and take on both sides. But in view of the Constitution passed here by the late Dáil and the rights that are guaranteed to the people of this country, by reason of that Constitution, I think it is not in the power of any genius—lawyer or otherwise—to indict the Ministry of this country, the people of this country, or the army of this country, with any derogation of status or any giving up of the rights and the privileges of a free people. The very first Article of the Constitution placed beyond all doubt what our position is, and the second Article secures and places beyond any question of doubt the rights and privileges and freedom of the people of this country. I say that it was with the purpose of deliberately misleading the people of this country and of giving the enemies of peace in this country an opportunity for attacking the Oireachtas, that the statement was made by Deputy Redmond this evening. Every single syllable of every agreement that we made with the British I will carry out in the spirit and the letter; but I will not accept from any person the insult that we have given away anything——

I must interrupt the President. By way of personal explanation, will you allow me to say that I never ventured to suggest an insult to him or his Ministry, or even this country, by the insinuation that we had given away anything. What he has got now is what I always wanted— Dominion self-government.

I stated during the course of the Deputy's speech on two occasions that the people's representatives had appointed a Commander-in-Chief. Had they the right to do it? The Deputy says we had not—that the right was vested in somebody else. Why does the Deputy state that? Because he thinks it is going to insult us, because he thinks it will give joy to the people who have tried to wreck this country. We have a right to appoint a Commander-in-Chief. We have asserted that right. That right has not been disputed, and we are going to maintain it. We have asserted the right of the people over any army officers. It has been accepted by the army officers. We are going to maintain it. We may be wrong in the manner in which we set up the machine to exercise that authority, but we have done it to the best of our judgment, and having regard to our experience. From our experience, also, the machinery that we set up here is machinery to see that there will be civil control over the army. I do not know that there is any officer of the army worthy to wear the uniform he is wearing who will dispute that right of the representatives of the people to control the army and control every service there is in the country.

Mr. Speaker, I cannot allow the President's remarks to pass—

Is the official designation of the Ceann Comhairle not "Ceann Comhairle"?

I cannot let the President's remarks pass without making an observation or two. He accused me of mischief-making in regard to the statements I made concerning the status of Commander-in-Chief. I am afraid that I will not be able to disabuse his mind in that direction if he has already so made it up. I can only assure both him and the House that it was the last thing that occurred to me. But what I wanted to show, and what, I think, I have shown, is that according to our Constitution—a Constitution which I thoroughly admire and which I whole-heartedly support—the Command-in-Chief of any Forces in this country is vested in the King.

DEPUTIES

No, no.

I was not mischief-making. That is my point.

I take it the Deputy's point, which I have been endeavouring to grasp since he first spoke, is that the provision in Sub-section 2 of Section 8, which mentions the Minister for Defence under the style of Commander-in-Chief, contravenes the Constitution. Is that the exact contention?

Well, the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act, which was passed on the 3rd August, 1923, and which is valid now and until the 3rd August, 1924, states (Section 5):

The Command-in-Chief of and all Executive and Administrative powers in relation to the Forces, including the power to delegate authority to such person as may be thought fit, shall be vested in the Executive Council—

I would draw attention to the word "vested"—

and exercised through and in the name of the Minister, who shall not, however, allocate to himself any Executive Military Command and who may not be a member of the Forces on full pay.

Under Part 4 of the Act, Section 236, it is set out:

The Command-in-Chief of and all Executive and Administrative powers in relation to the National Forces (including the power to delegate authority to such persons as may be thought fit) shall be vested in the Executive Council and exercised through and in the name of the Minister.

Here in the Dáil we are bound by the Acts of the Oireachtas. When a matter has been settled by Statute it cannot be questioned. If a point is made that something which has been passed in an Act of the Oireachtas contravenes the Constitution that point must be made before the Court which the Constitution, in Article 65, provides for the purpose of deciding upon the validity of any law having regard to the provisions of the Constitution. It would not be for me to decide whether a particular matter was in order on a question being raised that it contravened the Constitution. In this case, we have actually a Statute which states that the Command-in-Chief is vested in the Executive Council. That, I think, prevents the Deputy from making the point that it is not vested in the Executive Council, and if his point is that the Constitution is contrary to the Act, then that point must be brought elsewhere; it cannot be pleaded here.

Perhaps I may be allowed to say that before you, Sir, came in, I actually quoted Section 5 of this Act, and I never suggested that the Command-in-Chief was not vested in the Executive Council. On the contrary, I say it is, of course, according to this Act.

That is what we are bound by. We are bound by our own Acts, and if the Command-in-Chief is vested in the Executive Council by Act, then the Command-in-Chief is vested in the Executive Council. If any point is to be made against that, it must be made in another place and in another way——

Perhaps I may be allowed——

DEPUTIES

Chair!

I have given the Deputy great liberty——

Perhaps I may——

Order! I will not allow Deputy Redmond to speak when I rise. His experience elsewhere should, perhaps, teach him that. I allowed him to speak on this matter for 24 minutes, simply because I did not want to prevent him from expressing anything he wanted to express. The time allowed by the Standing Orders is 10 minutes. I will not allow the point to be raised again.

I will not raise that point again, with due deference to your ruling. But I do think that the President's characterisation of my speech as mischievous is rather unfair, because if there is one thing above all others I do not want to do—and I can say it with absolute candour—it is to imperil in any way the fortunes of this country in the new State in which we have found ourselves. As far as the Constitution is concerned, which the President referred to, I am a complete subscriber to that Constitution. I believe it is, perhaps, the widest Constitution any country could desire, and as one who never advocated anything but a large measure of Dominion Self-Government, such as we are now enjoying, I think I am entitled at any rate to say—as one who never was a Republican, but was always in favour of the present Constitution, which we are now enjoying—that nothing I said was in any way derogatory to that Constitution. Now, Sir, I do not want to occupy any more of your time——

DEPUTIES

Hear, hear.

If you do not want to hear me, you can go outside.

I will protect the Deputy, if he addresses me.

He will not require protection in that respect. I do want to disabuse the mind, if possible, of the President. I do not mind so much about some of his supporters.

A Chinn Chomhairle, is this House to be insulted? Are you going to see that the people on these Benches are not insulted by Deputy Redmond when he says that he does not mind whether or not he insults people on these Benches? On a point of order I say it is disgraceful.

I do not remember hearing Deputy Redmond saying that he did not mind insulting the people on those Benches.

That is what he did say.

I beg your pardon; I never used the word "insulting." Withdraw it.

I understood the Deputy to say that he desired to disabuse the mind of the President of certain ideas, and was not so much concerned about disabusing the mind of certain other persons of those ideas. Is that correct?

That is not insulting.

I think the words the Deputy used were that he did not mind the persons sitting behind the President.

Deputy Hughes will have to take my recollection of the matter.

I bow to your ruling.

I leave the matter there.

I was not in for the full speech made by Deputy Redmond, and I am not sure whether he is supporting or opposing this amendment. I arrived here when he had got into the full stride of his exhortation regarding the British Monarchy.

Did Deputy Milroy hear my ruling on this question?

I did not.

Then perhaps he will let somebody else speak and inquire about that ruling before he makes his speech.

I would like to be informed in regard to that ruling.

If Deputy Redmond spoke for 20 minutes about the King's Army, surely Deputy Milroy is entitled to reply?

I am not desirous of preventing Deputy Milroy from speaking so long as he is in order. I only wanted to know whether he heard the ruling in regard to the question of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and in whom it is vested.

I have no intention of raising the point.

I am very pleased.

I have no intention of discussing the matter of the Commander-in-Chief, because I am quite satisfied that position is satisfactorily filled. While Deputy Redmond was speaking, some lines of poetry occurred to me, which I am sure he will recollect. They are:—

"The boy stood on the burning deck, Whence all but he had fled."

I thought it was singular that amongst all our deliberations, where the King has been the King to whom Deputy Redmond protested his good-will, it never troubled us in the slightest degree. Why he should be unduly obtruded upon us now I fail to see. I do not know whether Deputy Redmond has much knowledge of a place now temporarily described as Northern Ireland——

On a point of order, as the person responsible for the amendment, may I ask if this is relevant?

I am waiting for the end of the sentence.

Deputy Figgis need not be in the slightest degree apprehensive that I am going to ignore him. In due course his time will come. I said I was not quite certain whether Deputy Redmond's knowledge extends to a place called Northern Ireland. I happened to be elected to that Partition Parliament, for the creation of which his party had a good deal of responsibility.

Deputy Milroy is not at all making himself relevant to the amendment.

On a point of order ——

Deputy Milroy will have to accept my view of what order is.

I have no intention of questioning it.

Unless the Deputy can begin to be in order now, he must stop speaking.

I am doing my best. Let me say, with all due respect, that there is hardly a sentence I have uttered that has not been broken into before I was half way through, and it is impossible to address oneself coherently to the Assembly in a matter of this sort if such continuous interruptions are allowed. If the point I wish to make is not relevant to the discussion, I will not press it. It is this: There were 800 national soldiers who applied to be registered as voters in Derry City, and the tribunal before whom they appeared decided against the application, on the ground that they were not soldiers of the King's army. I leave it at that, and I come now to the Deputy who was apprehensive that I was going to ignore him while I was devoting all my attention to Deputy Redmond. I believe the Deputy who proposes the amendment to delete this Section is Deputy Darrell Figgis. To delete this Section is practically a proposal to delete the army. There are many people in this country who would, I am sure, be glad to delete the army. There was a time when they would have been very reluctant to have had the army deleted, and there may come a time when they will betray a similar reluctance. For instance, supposing there was an attack upon that hirsute appendage of which Deputy Figgis is so proud——

On a point of order, allow me to say that Section 1, which has been passed, definitely agrees to the setting up of a Department of Defence, and a question of the elimination of this Section, a proposal for which I am partly responsible, does not at all attempt to go back upon Sub-section X. of Section 1.

I take it the object of this Section, towards which this amendment is directed, is to create some kind of effective head of the Army which will give effective direction to the policy of the State's military arm. I should have prefaced my remarks with this: I take it one of the objections to the Section is the appointment of a Parliamentary Secretary to the Council of Defence. That seems to me to give the Dáil added control over the army. In previous debates I have heard it urged it was quite the reverse. If certain proposals were put forward by the military members of this Council of Defence, a Parliamentary Secretary attending could decline to agree with them and say that he would have to put the matter before the Dáil before assent could be given to them. I do not know what precisely will be gained by the deletion of this Section, or what precisely is the objective of those who support the amendment, unless it be to prevent the State securing an effective military force, coherent in its control and its guidance. I will not raise the matter in reference to which your ruling was given. I regret your ruling has been such, because certain arguments have been put forward which your ruling prevents any attempts to rebut. I do not intend to contravene that ruling.

The arguments I have heard in support of this amendment have not in any way convinced me that anything would be gained by the acceptance of it; possibly very much danger would ensue to the State by its acceptance.

Since I first raised this amendment, we have certainly travelled a very long way. Permit me to express my regret that it should have travelled a good deal of the ground that has been travelled. I do not touch upon that now. I come back to where I was when I raised the proposal that this Section should be deleted. Deputy Milroy says he fails to understand what purpose will be achieved if this deletion be carried. Supposing Section 8 of this Bill does not form part of this Bill, what happens? The army remains the army. The Minister for Defence remains the Minister for Defence. The Ministry of Defence remains the Ministry of Defence. And that Minister in his Ministry may to-morrow, if he so wishes, for his better guidance, create a Council of Defence, without anybody to say him nay. It has been said that a Council of Defence has not been brought into a Bill styled a Ministerial Bill and so given semi-ministerial rank. That is the gain. The Minister does not require this Bill to give him power to create such a Council. It does require this Bill to create such a Ministry, but not to create a Council of Defence. There is certainly nothing to stop him doing it, but by bringing it in and enjoining upon him to do it, in a statutory provision in a Ministerial Bill for creation primarily of Ministries, that Council of Defence is given a semi-ministerial rank in the State, and that is a very deplorable thing to do. I do not criticise the Sub-section as a Sub-section. I criticise the Sub-section because I believe that Sub-section 6 has revealed the minds of those who drafted that Section. It was there stated that the Council of Defence shall be collectively responsible. I asked to whom the Council of Defence should be collectively responsible. The Minister for Defence made answer which left me in extreme wonder, a wonder that was only enhanced when the answer was repeated in so many words again, by the Attorney-General, who said the Council of Defence will be collectively responsible to the Minister for Defence. Let us go back to Sub-section 2. The Council of Defence "shall consist of the following members, namely, the Minister for Defence, who, under the title of Commander-in-Chief, shall be Chairman of the Council of Defence..." So the Council of Defence, of whom the Minister is one, is to be responsible to the Minister who for that purpose is stepping outside the Council of Defence presumably. In other words, the Commander-in-Chief is to be responsible to himself as the Minister for Defence. That might be thought to involve an absurdity, that he should in one capacity be responsible to himself in some other capacity. Let us examine that absurdity and see where it lands us. If the Minister for Defence, as Commander-in-Chief, is to be responsible to himself as Minister for Defence, then there is a distinction between the Commander-in-Chief and his ministerial position, although this Act of the State has stated that the Commander-in-Chief is the Minister plus certain other Ministers.

On a point of Order, I understood your ruling was that the question of the Commander-in-Chief could not arise again. I bowed to your ruling, but I now——

I am afraid Deputy Milroy did not get the whole of my ruling.

I am sorry I did not.

That is the point I raise, and I urge that the matter is of very great importance. The Attorney-General has said here what is perfectly correct and what we all recognise to be true. It is a fact that in the Dominions and in this Free State there are Councils of Defence set up. In the greater number of the Dominions I believe such Councils of Defence exist. It is perfectly true that they are set up by Statute in certain of the Dominions, but not in all. They are not set up in a statute that is called "The Ministers and Secretaries Bill." That is my point. The reason why I think this should be eliminated is because it has no place in a Bill of this character. The Attorney-General drew attention to the fact that the first clause did assert positively that the Council of Defence should be under the responsibility of the Minister for Defence, of the Executive Council and Oireachtas (presumably the Dáil, as he suggested), respectively. I am opposed even to the inclusion of the first paragraph of this section because I do not desire to see in any Bill of this nature mention of a Military Council. But if it were to be left at that first paragraph, a good many of my objections would disappear. It is obvious in the Section as it stands, embodying seven sub-sections, that sections two to seven are in many of their features contradictory to the provision set out in sub-section one. They are contrary also to the earlier enactments of this State. The chief reason which I emphasise, because it is the essential of the case, apart from everything else that has been said, is that there is nothing whatever to stop the Minister from creating a Council of Defence. If this section be deleted, the Minister, the Army, and the Ministry remain, and the power to create a Council of Defence remains.

All that will have been saved, if this Section be deleted, is the creation of a Council of Defence under a Bill entitled "The Ministers Bill," or the giving to it of a semi-Ministerial rank which is not consonant with the place of any Council of Defence in a properly organised State subject to the civil power.

I have listened carefully, in the hope of hearing some reason stated for the inclusion of this Section in the Bill. The Minister for Defence said it was most advisable that this Council be brought together in a statutory way. Now, I am sure the Minister believes it is most advisable, but I think it is due to the Dáil that they should be given the grounds for his belief that it is most advisable, that the Dáil should also be persuaded that it is advisable; but we have had no reasons adduced to us for the inclusion of this Section constituting the Council, in the manner in which it is constituted, to assist the Minister for Defence, thereby distinguishing this Ministry from other Ministries. I hope we shall be acquainted with the reasons which make it most advisable. The Attorney-General says it was simply an organisation of the civil administration end of the Army. Again I want to know why insert that in the Bill? We are told, I think, by the President that it is because in this case a new Ministry is being set up, and that in the case of the other Ministries they are already existing Departments. Hence the reason for inserting this Section in the Bill. But I do not think that can be a reason.

I think the President does not recall the position. It is true, no doubt, that there was a Department dealing with Agriculture and a Department dealing with the administration of Justice. It might also be said, but not quite with the same force, that there was a Finance Department, though I think I have heard it stated, when trying to persuade the Dáil in another direction, that an entirely new Department had to be set up for Finance. But, I ask, will it be contended that there was no Department for External Affairs or anything approximating to a Department for External Affairs. Yet, under Sections I and II, we set up a Department of External Affairs, but we do not, as a matter of fact, indicate in subsequent Sections how that Department shall be constituted, whether the Minister in charge of External Affairs shall have an Advisory Council or not. As a matter of fact, the organisation of the Department is left to Ministerial responsibility in that case. Now, some reason must be adduced, more than has been given, for treating the Ministry of Defence in a different way from that, let us say of the Ministry of External Affairs Deputy Milroy has left again. He does not intend to follow the discussion subsequent, as he did not follow it prior to his intervention. I was going to draw his attention to the fact that his reference to Parliamentary Secretaries was not appropriate, inasmuch as there is nothing in the Bill yet to indicate that Parliamentary Secretaries are responsible to the Dáil. They are responsible only so far to the Ministry.

I want to direct attention further to Sub-Section 6 which Deputy Figgis, who also has gone, dealt with. The Sub-Section says that the Council of Defence shall meet as a collective body. How it could do otherwise, I do not know, but the Section says it 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." It is contemplated in this Section that there shall be entrusted to the Council and not to the Ministry or to the Minister, but to the Council of Defence set up under this section, certain responsibilities by Act of the Oireachtas. I maintain that that is not the same as setting up an administrative organisation within the Ministry as is done in other Ministries. It is contemplated here that the Council of Defence shall be nominated as a body to whom will be entrusted responsibilities directly by Acts of the Oireachtas. If that is not creating a distinction between this Ministry and other Ministries I do not know what it is.

I hope some satisfaction will be given to the Dáil as to the meaning of that, and perhaps while on that the Attor ney-General or the Minister for Defence will enlighten us as to what is meant by the words "or otherwise." I submit that no case has been made for the inclusion of this Section. The Bill would serve all the necessities covering the Department of Defence without the Section. The Minister has been granted powers to act with the Executive Council, which is responsible to the Dáil for the organisation of his Department, and I think it is unwise of the Dáil, notwithstanding the assurances given, that the Army shall be under the control of the civil authority. I fear that the inclusion of this Section defeats the purpose in view. One may ask is there any fear that without this Section the Army would not be under the control of the civil authority. I think that both the Minister for Defence and the President have stated fully and clearly that there is no such fear. Then I say there is no case, even from the arguments adduced from the Ministerial benches, in favour of the inclusion of this Section.

I desire to say a word on a point which Deputy Johnson has referred to. The Deputy referred to the words in Sub-Section 6 "Entrusted to the Council whether by any Act of the Oireachtas or otherwise." That is intended to cover the two methods of entrusting; the one may be either directly by specific Statute, as, for instance, when a permanent Defence Forces Act is passed hereafter. There would be certain things which would be definitely within the duty of the Council of Defence, or there may be other matters referred by other Statures directly and specifically to the Council of Defence. The word "otherwise" would refer, for instance, to the indirect delegation or direction rather of the discharge of certain functions, and the performance of the certain duties by the Minister himself as Chairman and head of the Council of Defence, and responsible for it to the Executive. The meaning of "collective responsibility," notwithstanding the play of Deputy Figgis is, I think, fairly clear. The Commander-in-Chief isex-officio the Chairman of this Council, and through him that Council is responsible to the Executive Council.

The Act to which reference has been made, the Defence Forces Act, is a temporary Act and opportunity was taken then in order to enable things to be carried on until this Bill should be in a position to be laid before the Dáil so as to make temporary provision in that temporary Act for the setting up of a Defence Council. Now, the position of the definite organisation of the various Departments of the State has come to the point at which they must be settled on a more or less permanent basis, and this seems an appropriate time to deal with the matter in this Statute, which is not a temporary Statute.

As regards differentiation between other Departments, I may refer to the fact that in this Bill provision is made for the organisation of the various Departments under different Sections. Section 2 deals with the appointment and the number of principal officers and other officers in the various Departments, and Section XI. provides the machinery for the organisation of the various Departments. It is usual in dealing with that particular type of Department that one refers to others. A military department of this kind could deal with them in that way, but, on the other hand, a fairly established practice now is to provide by Statute for the organisation of a Council in relation to the military section of the Government.

Was that done by the British in the formation of their Army Council?

In the case of the British Army the way it was done was this. In England the army, being directly the army of the King, the whole thing is carried out by Order in Council. I can show the Deputy the Orders in Council which were made after a certain Commission sat in the year 1904, under which all that organisation was given definite effect by specific Orders in Council, and the present organisation in England has been set up under elaborate and detailed Orders in Council. It is true that under the Constitution, the army is the army of the Parliament and of the people, and that this Parliament and this Oireachtas is the established Constitutional Government of the army as of the rest of the population. This section does not, for the first time, create Parliamentary control of the army. What it does is, it associates specifically and beyond all question the government of the army with the civil government.

May I say this, that in speaking in favour of the deletion of this section I dissociate myself utterly and entirely from the line that was taken by Deputy Redmond in support of my motion.

I take it that it is now a question of judgment as to whether or not this is the best machine for controlling the Army. The question has come to that. I must say that it is only right that we should acknowledge the fairness with which this question has been approached by Deputy Figgis, Deputy Johnson, Deputy Hewat and Deputy Bryan Cooper, who spoke on it. This is certainly a new organisation and a new Department absolutely. Foreign Affairs had, to some extent, the advantage of being assisted in the administration of its work by the Civil Service. There is not the same organisation possible in the case of the Army, and we must set up an Army machine of some sort or kind. That is only reasonable. If it were only a football team which was under the control of a particular Minister, somebody on the team would have to be in touch with the Minister if he had charge of it. I do not mean any disrespect to the Army by mentioning it in that way, but we will take it that there is a body of men, twenty or thirty thousand, or, say, only five thousand, and that to that extent they have an organisation. I should say it grew during peculiar times and had to be adapted to still more peculiar times. It is now in a state of discipline and of organisation, peculiar, I suppose to some extent, to all the circumstances and all the phases that it has passed through. We want here to get established by Statute regulations under which that machine will be placed, in the first instance, under the Minister, and, in the second instance, through the Minister under the Oireachtas. The machinery that we have elaborated here in this particular Section is, to our minds, the best method of doing that.

I could have wished that the motion had not been the elimination of this Section, unless some other particular method of control or of administration were to be put in its stead. This is a new service, different altogether to any other that we are administering. I should say that if we were starting tomorrow with regard to the Ministry of Finance that it is possible you would have a separate organisation. You would consider the question of associating the various heads of particular sections under the Minister for Finance in a sort of Council to advise him. One member of that Council, say, would have his mind on administration and expenditure; another member, say, would have his eye to some extent on the question of raising taxation, and so on. At any rate it is open to the Minister at any time to organise such a machine. I do not say it would have been so easily open to him, and I am not saying that now as giving the slightest indication that I have ever heard that the Minister had any difficulty in it. It is right and proper that in a young army we should lay down in black and white what its relations are to be to the man responsible to the Dáil, and how it should be organised. As I said before, an alternative suggestion would be much more satisfactory than a simple deletion which leaves the Minister free to organise the Department in whatever way he wishes.

There are provisions in the Bill, as the Attorney-General pointed out, for describing the organisation of various Departments and stating what may be done. These orders would have to be laid before the Dáil, and I think that inference may be read into Sections XI. and XII.

Will the Attorney-General or the President indicate their view of Amendment No 3, which makes the position somewhat different, and gives authority to the Minister to establish such a Council to assist him, as distinct from a deliberate Act of the Dáil setting up this Council in this manner?

In urging the President to answer that question on the lines that Deputy Johnson would wish, I would like to say that I agree entirely with him that it is merely a question of the best way to achieve what we hope to be the best method of getting the control of the army by this Oireachtas. I would like to feel that Amendment 3 would be accepted. While still perfectly convinced that the amendment I moved was the right one, and that the reasons I gave were reasons why the amendment should be carried and the Section be deleted, I must say that much that has transpired and intervened since then has filled me with a considerable amount of distaste for all that has preceded. I would like to feel that under the circumstances it could be possible to meet half way on this. If this is pressed to a division, I will, of course, vote for my amendment, because I am sure that when the passing distaste is gone my convictions will show that this Section should not remain part of the Bill. I agree very heartily with the President that he looks at it from one point of view, that I look at it from another point of view, but that our common intention is the same, and that is, the best method of getting proper civil control over the army of this Oireachtas.

May I point out in answer to Deputy Johnson's inquiry with reference to Amendment No. 3 that there is this difficulty. In the Council of Defence as proposed —if I may now refer to it in conjunction with an amendment that stands in my name later on—it is proposed to constitute the Council of Defence by having a civil member who may or may not be a Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister, but who must be a member of the Dáil, and whose special charge will be to watch questions of finance. It does occur to me, as a matter of great difficulty—if it be desirable, as we think it is desirable to have a civil member of that kind— to leave the organisation merely to the Minister for Defence. It is difficult to see how he can organise the machine on the lines that are indicated here in conjunction with that amendment. In the case of the other Ministries, you have the ordinary civil service lines and ruts which are as little disturbed as possible in organisation, but here you are creating this new thing. You want to be able to call on a member of the Dáil to assist in this controlling and checking capacity, and it is proposed to associate this additional civil member with the Ministry of Defence, who is, of course, a civil member himself.

That will mean only the addition of one extra to amendment 3, which is not yet before the Dáil. I do not think that that would present any insuperable difficulty. As there is only ten minutes intervening between now and the coming on of private business, would it not be just as well for the Attorney-General to consider this point, and in order that there might be some kind of agreement between the first three amendments, to report progress now.

I do not think there could be agreement to accept the idea contained in Amendment No. 3. You have, in considering this matter, to take yourself to a long drawn-out crisis and to consider the responsibility of the Executive Council and of the Minister for Defence himself.

In reviewing plans from the military point of view, and taking any of the things that war involves for a people, the different aspects, and the strain of war on a people, you have to satisfy yourself in the organisation of the Ministry of Defence that all these are looked at from a systematic point of view. You have to see that you do not arrive in the middle of a crisis, before matters have developed, we will say, to a war point, that the policy, the thought, the mind and the interchange of ideas, were not, perhaps, haphazard. You set down in the organisation of the Ministry for Defence that the Minister for Defence shall have this Council; that it shall be selected from the people mentioned here, who in their ordinary administrative work perform the duties set out for them. That is the way of securing that the very heavy responsibility of foreseeing and foreplanning is carried out in a systematic way by people who have had systematic experience, and whose appointment to the administrative positions they hold have passed the review of the Executive Council. The important point about it is the obligation to have this Council, and it would be entirely getting away from that important point if you accepted Amendment No. 3, were you to simply say, it shall be lawful to have such a Council.

I am inclined to agree with the Minister that the statutory obligation to have a Council of Defence is a very valuable and a very important thing. In some respects I prefer the proposal to Deputy Davin's amendment. A point that I think has not been made clear is why this particular Section is in this Bill and not in the Army Bill which we are to consider in the future. It would seem the natural way to begin an Army Bill by creating your organisation, by laying down such and such a Department to the Chief-of-Staff, such and such a Department to the Adjutant-General; and such and such a Department to the Quarter-Master-General. Having set up your organisation in the Army Bill, you should develop down to the various duties of each branch. It seems to me that this is an excrescence on this Bill. I agree that statutory authority is absolutely necessary, but it would come better in conjunction with the rest of the Army, rather than merely with Secretaries, Ministers, and Schedules, relating to Government Departments. I should have thought that it would be sufficient to detail in the Schedule the responsibility of the Minister for Defence, and leave the rest to the Army Bill that we are bound to have, as at present these are only temporary provisions dealing with military matters.

The fact is the Council of Defence is the Ministry and not the Army. I have not fine feelings on the point as to whether it should be included in a Ministry Bill or an Army Bill, but it is definitely the Ministry side of the question as distinct from the Army side of the question. I would run a smaller chance, I am sure, of getting the financial member of the Defence Council and a Parliamentary Secretary in an Army Bill than I hope to have in a Ministers Bill.

But I gather that the Minister's chance is going to be taken away from him by the Attorney-General.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 19; Níl, 63.

  • Seán Buitléir.
  • John J. Cole.
  • David Hall.
  • Séamus Mac Cosgair.
  • Tomás Mac Eoin.
  • Risteárd Mac Fheorais.
  • Pádraig Mac Fhlannchadha.
  • Patrick McKenna.
  • James Sproule Myles.
  • Tomás de Nógla.
  • Tomás O Conaill.
  • Aodh O Cúlacháin.
  • Liam O Daimhín.
  • Eamon O Dubhghaill.
  • Domhnall O Muirgheasa.
  • Tadhg O Murchadha.
  • William Hewat.
  • Pádraig O hOgáin (An Clár).
  • William A. Redmond.

Níl

  • Earnán Alton.
  • Richard H. Beamish.
  • Seoirse de Bhulbh.
  • Próinsias Bulfin.
  • Louis J. D'Alton.
  • Máighréad Ní Choileáin Bean Uí
  • Dhrisceóil.
  • Patrick J. Egan.
  • Henry J. Finlay.
  • Desmond Fitzgerald.
  • John Hennigan.
  • Seosamh Mac 'a Bhrighde.
  • Domhnall Mac Cárthaigh.
  • Maolmhuire Mac Eochadha.
  • Pádraig Mac Fadáin.
  • Pádraig Mac Giollagáin.
  • Seán P. Mac Giobúin.
  • Seán Mac Giolla 'n Ríogh.
  • Eoin Mac Néill.
  • Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
  • Martin M. Nally.
  • John T. Nolan.
  • Peadar O hAodha.
  • Chriostóir O Broin.
  • Próinsias O Cathail.
  • Aodh O Cinnéide.
  • Séamus N. O Dóláin.
  • Peadar S. O Dubhghaill.
  • Pádraig O Dubhthaigh.
  • Eamon S. O Dúgáin.
  • Aindriú O Láimhín.
  • Séamus O Leadáin.
  • Thomas O'Mahony.
  • Pádraic O Máille.
  • Risteárd O Maolchatha.
  • Séamus O Murchadha.
  • Seán M. O Súilleabháin.
  • Andrew O'Shaughnessy.
  • Seán Príomhdhail.
  • Patrick W. Shaw.
  • Liam Thrift.
  • Pádraig F. Baxter.
  • Earnán de Blaghd.
  • Bryan R. Cooper.
  • Henry Coyle.
  • John Good.
  • Connor Hogan.
  • Alasdair Mac Cába.
  • Seán MacGaraidh.
  • Risteárd Mac Liam.
  • Liam Mag Aonghusa.
  • Mícheál O hAonghusa.
  • Ailfrid O Broin.
  • Nicholas Wall.
  • Caoimhghín O hUigín.
  • Domhnall O Mocháin.
  • Fionán O Loingsigh.
  • Seán O Laidhin.
  • Mícheál R. O hIfearnáin.
  • Seán O Bruadair.
  • Eoghan O Dochartaigh
  • Tadhg S. O Donnabháin.
  • Seán O Duinnín.
  • Donchadh S. O Guaire.
Amendment declared lost.