Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 15 Feb 1928

Vol. 22 No. 1


I propose that we adjourn now until Wednesday next at 3 o'clock.

What? We have not been called here after such a long absence for a few hours' work? We ought to be in great form after our holidays for a longer spell than this, I would suggest with all deference.

The Deputy will find a lot of work awaiting him on Wednesday.

Why postpone it till Wednesday?

I make my protest. I do not think it is fair to bring us here after such a long adjournment, present us with a few hours' work, and then adjourn for a week. I think it is hardly good enough. It is not fair to the public. I do not say that it is not fair to Deputies. I am just as liable and anxious to shirk work as anybody else. That is quite true. We are all human. Even Deputy Professor O'Sullivan is human. I think nobody would enjoy an extra week's holiday more than Deputy O'Sullivan. He looks like a man who enjoys his holidays. To be serious for a moment, we have had twelve weeks' holidays.

We have not had them.

From this kind of work, yes. We are Deputies elected by the people to do this work, and we are paid by the people to do it.

From June last?

We were not paid before June.

I am a very plain-speaking person. I do not hide anything, and I do not mince my words. You heard me earlier to-day. An honest, plain, blunt-spoken person— that is what I am, telling the truth all the time, much as some of you may doubt it. I do in all sincerity say to you that it is not playing the game. You gentlemen are not responsible; I take it the gentlemen on the Front Benches are responsible for this, and it is not fair to those who pay. It is not fair to those who pay all of us for doing the public work. We are sent here to do that work, and, as the President says, there is a lot of work waiting to be done. Why can we not do it to-morrow, the next day, and the day after? After twelve weeks' rest from this kind of public work we ought to be in good form to tackle it.

Will the President give reasons for asking for a week's adjournment? Surely it is not that there is nothing for the Dáil to discuss in view of the very important motions on the Paper. There are two which will not be disposed of in one day.

Notice was given to-day of the first readings of three Bills. These will be in the hands of Deputies before the end of the week. Notice was also given of a number of Supplementary Estimates which will be in Deputies' hands to-morrow. That comprises the only business for next week. Deputies will require some time to consider those matters. On many occasions representations were made to me that we were putting too many things before the Dáil and that there was not sufficient time to consider them. I am now giving due and proper consideration to the representations made. I thought I might be complimented, but now I find that no matter what I do I am criticised. It is the convenience of Deputies I am considering. We were prepared to go on with the business to-morrow; we were prepared to take up the Supplementary Estimates.

But we have not got them.

No. We had to get permission to introduce them. I have indicated that they will be in the hands of Deputies to-morrow, and I was anxious that Deputies would have time to consider the Estimates, and that is the reason the adjournment was suggested. It usually occurs at the beginning of a Session that until the necessary permission is given by the Dáil for the introduction of Bills and Supplementary Estimates, delay is inevitable.

Apparently the only matter that seems to be troubling the President is that we have not business which the Dáil has had sufficient time to consider. There are four motions on the Order Paper, very important motions which all of us have had at least three months to consider. It is little short of a scandal to bring Deputies from all over the country for one day and then suggest that we adjourn when there is ample business on the Paper. Irrespective of the business which the President mentioned for next week, there is enough business to keep the House engaged for a fortnight. Two of the motions on the Paper are of great importance. Two of them are motions distinct from the ordinary business taken in Private Deputies' time. They are matters of public importance and they might be considered as public rather than private business. I refer to the motions regarding the Tariff Commission and Old Age Pensions. If it were that we had no business except the Estimates and the Second Readings of Bills, then there would be nothing unreasonable in an adjournment for a week in order that Deputies would have an opportunity of considering the Bills and studying the Estimates.

It is not treating the House fairly to suggest that we should now adjourn as if we had no business to do. We have enough business on the Paper to occupy us for a fortnight at least, if justice is to be done to the subjects concerned. I hope the House will not agree to the President's suggestion. It is unfair. The President cannot say he was not met by the House in a fair way when he wanted an adjournment so that his Ministers should get an opportunity of doing their Departmental business. They have had that opportunity, and the Ministry ought now be in a position to go on with the business. I hope the House will refuse this proposal and we should consider the motions to-morrow and on other days.

I would like to support the statement made by Deputy Morrissey. There can be no suggestion that we have not had more than ample time to consider these motions on the Order Paper. It would be of considerable benefit if we could discuss them and dispose of them before next week, when the Bills that are being introduced and the Estimates are brought forward. I do not know if the President thinks that Deputies are so unused to work that they must get a small dose first, or whether he proposes to pay an official visit to the Isle of Man, or something like that, in the meantime.


Order! Order!

Many of the Deputies here have come long distances, and in justice to them, we should not be adjourning like this. We should sit down to the work we have been sent here to do, consider the matters that are on the Paper, and then take up other subjects.

Would the President inform the House whether it is his intention to confine the motions standing in the names of Deputies Morrissey and Lemass to private Deputies' time?

As long as we have Government time to spare. If we have Government time to spare, no question arises.

I suggest it is unfair to bring up the Deputies from the country without any previous notice as to how long they were to be kept here. I hope that Deputy Heffernan, the Chairman of the Economy Commission, will take notice of this, and prevent Deputies from being brought up here to adjourn after one day's short sitting, notwithstanding the fact that these motions are on the Order Paper. Deputy Morrissey suggests that there should be general agreement, so that the two motions to which he refers and which are important matters should be discussed, if possible, in Government time. They are motions of sufficient importance to the nation and to the Deputies to be discussed in public time. I protest against the adjournment, especially in view of the President's statement, that he intends to confine these motions to Private Members' time.

The Deputy will bear in mind the fact that we were sitting here for a considerable time in October and November before either of these motions was put down, and there was extraordinary haste to get them in before we adjourned.

We did not know that you were to adjourn at all then.

The Deputy possesses a faculty for proclaiming his innocence on all occasions and also for denouncing the Government for adjourning after the first day. But the Deputy will remember that there is a very considerable list of Supplementary Estimates, the consideration of which would be much upset by the atmosphere which is bound to result from a discussion of some of those items on the Paper. As far as the first motion is concerned, it has to do with the Budget, and the Budget is a considerable way off. We are not crowding out the Deputy with regard to that. There is ample time. I want to arrive at the point where we can have three-day sittings without interruption. There is a great deal of pother about adjourning after one day. Is it not better to have two weeks, with at least three days' sitting each week, than to have two days this week, two days next week and two days the week after? I would have considered the question of discussing the Estimates to-morrow if any representations had been made by the members of any Party during the day.

Why should we not discuss other matters? Why should we be confined to Estimates? The President has suggested we should spend a week in considering these. He says there was extraordinary hurry shown in putting in these motions before the adjournment. There was an extraordinary hurry in getting an adjournment in order to prevent these motions being discussed. There are on the Paper three or four motions, quite sufficient to keep the House occupied to-morrow, and it is a piece of downright impudence on the part of the Government and downright extravagance in spending the money of this country to call us here and then leave us without work to do. There is work to be done and we are here to do it, and if we do not do this work the responsibility rests on the Ministers. This is deliberate, lazy extravagance. There is no other word for it. Though Ministers may laugh, that word will go further than their laugh. It is deliberate, lazy extravagance to say that we, responsible business men many of us, should be called up here to contemplate the inefficiency and the ineffectiveness of this Government in getting business before the House. Either they want to avoid discussing these questions or they want them discussed. They should be discussed. You have here also a motion in relation to the Seanad. The Seanad has passed a motion in relation to that to-day, and we ought to be considering that motion if we are going to be in a position to provide some means of sensibly electing the Seanad. Evidently the Government do not want the work done. They want this place to be a farce. They have been trying to make it a farce for years, and they are still continuing in that. We protest against that, and we will not allow them to make it a farce. We are prepared to do our work, and there is work here to be done. If it is not done, the responsibility rests on the Front Bench of the Government.

What the President has stated only emphasises the necessity for sitting to-morrow. The fact that there is so much Government business for the House next week is all the more reason why this business, which is termed "Private Business," should be taken to-morrow. I am inclined to go a certain distance with Deputy Flinn. I think that the President has made a poor case, and I would be inclined to say that it is an insult to the House.

We have listened to the same speech for five years.

The President will have to recognise that you cannot hear the truth too often, and if it is necessary to keep on repeating the truth to the President for the next five years, we hope to be in a position to do so. The President ought to treat the House fairly, and have some recognition of the fact that the House treated him and his Ministers very fairly last October. If this motion is going to be carried by the President and his Party, I would be sorry to believe that it is an attempt to try to shelve my motion with regard to the old age pensions, but I am afraid I will have to believe that it is an attempt to shelve my motion.

The Deputy has no right to say that.

I say I would be sorry to believe it. This is an important motion to a lot of the people of this country. If the President is going to confine this motion to Private Members' time, and if the same thing is done with Deputy Lemass's motion. that means that only three and a half hours will be given to these motions.

I will give this undertaking—that if this motion is not reached in time, I will provide time for it and have it discussed at any time.

The President, in reply to Deputy Davin, said that these motions would have to be taken in Private Members' time, if Government time was not available. Now Government time is available this week, and why not take these motions to-morrow?

It does not suit; I told the Deputy that. We want three days next week.

Surely it will be much easier for the Government to get three days for Government business if this motion is got out of the way first? If the President is anxious to get his own business through, why waste two days this week? The motions are there, and every member of the House has had sufficient time to consider them. I hope that every Deputy did consider them. There is no reason whatever why this motion should not be proceeded with to-morrow. Most of the members are here, and let me say that most of the members of the President's own Party, once they are in Dublin, would prefer to remain over to the week-end and have these motions taken. I have no hesitation in saying that. I think that no case has been made out by the Government for this postponement.

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 74; Níl, 65.

  • William P. Aird.
  • Ernest Henry Alton.
  • James Walter Beckett.
  • George Cecil Bennett.
  • Ernest Blythe.
  • Séamus A. Bourke.
  • Michael Brennan.
  • Seán Brodrick.
  • Alfred Byrne.
  • John Joseph Byrne.
  • Edmund Carey.
  • John James Cole.
  • Edmund John Duggan.
  • James Dwyer.
  • Barry M. Egan.
  • Osmond Thomas Grattan Esmonde.
  • Desmond Fitzgerald.
  • James Fitzgerald-Kenney.
  • John Good.
  • Alexander Haslett.
  • John J. Hassett.
  • Michael R. Heffernan.
  • Michael Joseph Hennessy.
  • Thomas Hennessy.
  • John Hennigan.
  • Mark Henry.
  • Patrick Hogan (Galway).
  • Richard Holohan.
  • Michael Jordan.
  • Patrick Michael Kelly.
  • Myles Keogh.
  • Hugh Alexander Law.
  • Finian Lynch.
  • Arthur Patrick Mathews.
  • Martin McDonogh.
  • Michael Og McFadden.
  • Patrick McGilligan.
  • Mrs. Margaret Collins-O'Driscoll.
  • Martin Conlan.
  • Michael P. Connolly.
  • Bryan Ricco Cooper.
  • William T. Cosgrave.
  • James Crowley.
  • John Daly.
  • Michael Davis.
  • Peter De Loughrey.
  • Eugene Doherty.
  • James N. Dolan.
  • Peadar Seán Doyle.
  • Joseph W. Mongan.
  • Richard Mulcahy.
  • James E. Murphy.
  • James Sproule Myles.
  • Martin Michael Nally.
  • John Thomas Nolan.
  • Bartholomew O'Connor.
  • Timothy Joseph O'Donovan.
  • John F. O'Hanlon.
  • Daniel O'Leary.
  • Dermot Gun O'Mahony.
  • John J. O'Reilly.
  • Gearoid O'Sullivan.
  • John Marcus O'Sullivan.
  • Patrick Reynolds.
  • Martin Roddy.
  • Patrick W. Shaw.
  • Timothy Sheehy (West Cork).
  • William Edward Thrift.
  • Michael Tierney.
  • Daniel Vaughan.
  • John White.
  • Vincent Joseph White.
  • George Wolfe.
  • Jasper Travers Wolfe.


  • Frank Aiken.
  • Denis Allen.
  • Richard Anthony.
  • Neal Blaney.
  • Gerald Boland.
  • Patrick Boland.
  • Daniel Bourke.
  • Seán Brady.
  • Robert Briscoe.
  • Daniel Buckley.
  • Frank Carney.
  • Frank Carty.
  • Archie J. Cassidy.
  • Patrick Clancy.
  • Michael Clery.
  • James Colbert.
  • Hugh Colohan.
  • Eamon Cooney.
  • Dan Corkery.
  • Richard Corish.
  • Martin John Corry.
  • Fred Hugh Crowley.
  • Tadhg Crowley.
  • William Davin.
  • Thomas Derrig.
  • James Everett.
  • Frank Fahy.
  • Hugo Flinn.
  • Andrew Fogarty.
  • Seán French.
  • Patrick J. Gorry.
  • John Goulding.
  • Seán Hayes.
  • Patrick Hogan (Clare).
  • Samuel Holt.
  • Patrick Houlihan.
  • Stephen Jordan.
  • Michael Joseph Kennedy.
  • William R. Kent.
  • Frank Kerlin.
  • James Joseph Killane.
  • Mark Killilea.
  • Michael Kilroy.
  • Seán F. Lemass.
  • Patrick John Little.
  • Ben. Maguire.
  • Seán MacEntee.
  • Séamus Moore.
  • Daniel Morrissey.
  • Thomas Mullins.
  • Timothy Joseph Murphy.
  • Thomas J. O'Connell.
  • Patrick Joseph O'Dowd.
  • Seán T. O'Kelly.
  • Matthew O'Reilly.
  • Thomas P. Powell.
  • William Archer Redmond.
  • Patrick J. Ruttledge.
  • James Ryan.
  • Martin Sexton.
  • Timothy Sheehy (Tipperary).
  • Patrick Smith.
  • John Turbidy.
  • Richard Walsh.
  • Francis C. Ward.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle. Níl: Deputies MacEntee and Cassidy.
Motion declared carried.
The Dáil adjourned at 7.35 p.m. to Wednesday, 22nd February, 1928.