I understand that the Seanad has agreed to the Resolution which we sent up to them from the Dáil this evening, and that, therefore, all the necessary formalities in connection with the dissolution are now complete.
I do not propose to impose unduly on the time of the House at this final stage, but in view of the historical circumstances of our times, it is but just and right that I should briefly review the work of this, the fourth Dáil. This is the concluding stage of the first Dáil which met free from external or internal aggression. It has had to discharge much more onerous and much more far-reaching business than fell to any of its predecessors. During its four years' life all the compensation claims of the pre-truce period have been dealt with, and in the case of post-truce claims there remain some 400 cases to be disposed of out of nearly 20,000 cases.
We have passed through the Oireachtas in the four years of the fourth Dáil 183 Public and 9 Private Acts, and at the conclusion of its existence two Public Bills of major importance have not been finally completed in the Dáil. Some of the measures absorb a large amount of parliamentary time by reason of their nature—such as Appropriation Acts—which follow an examination of the estimates of expenditure over the whole field of public service. In addition to completing the Currency Bill and the Dentists Bill, the main Appropriation Bill for the year 1927-28 will fall for consideration by the new Dáil on its assembly. It is fair to say that whatever may be the wish of the electorate, these three Bills, or variations of them, must be dealt with by the new Executive Council.
We finish at this Session much indebted to the members of the Dáil. We feel a pardonable pride in membership of the fourth Dáil, by reason— apart from its historical significance— of its close attention to business, of the very many and generous efforts to improve the Bills introduced; of the courtesy which has been its distinguishing characteristic, and of the minute and careful examination of the Estimates. The work has been for the members of the Dáil exacting, and it would be natural that the strain should have its effect. During that long and eventful period the Oireachtas has laid the foundation of the State—it has made a big contribution to the history of its period in the work it has done.
We have lived in the fourth Dáil from a time fraught with the consciousness of danger to the period in which we have enjoyed the consciousness of peace. The institutions which the Oireachtas has established have contributed towards easing that difficult situation. The Dáil has done its work well. It owes much to the ability, forbearance, tact and goodwill of you, A Chinn Comhairle. The Dáil has made an advance in parliamentary integrity when it decided that the holder of the office of Ceann Comhairle should be removed from the sphere of political controversy. That decision implies a remarkable appreciation of the manner in which you, sir, have discharged the duties of your high office; it is an expression of our confidence in your wisdom and judgment. Indeed, I might say that in the minds of most of us the term Ceann Comhairle and Deputy Micheál O hAodha are synonymous.