PUBLIC BUSINESS. - CONSTITUTION (AMENDMENT No. 10) BILL, 1928—FIFTH STAGE.

I move that the Bill do now pass.

We had a considerable discussion upon this Bill as it passed through its various stages, and now that it has come up for its final consideration we think that before it passes out of our control another effort should be made, in fairness to the people, to state the arguments against the Bill and to try and induce the majority of this House to change their attitude concerning it. We have been told that our opposition to this Bill is due, in the first place, to our lack of intelligence, and in the second to our laziness in so far as we have not given the matter proper consideration. No doubt, when the Minister for Defence was exercising his superiority complex and deploring the lack of intelligence manifested on those benches, he thought that he was advancing good and sufficient arguments to override the opposition to the Bill, but there is very little intelligence required, fortunately perhaps, to know that this Bill is one of a very serious nature, and one designed to effect, to a considerable degree, the future course of events in this country. It is not possible that action of this nature could be taken by an Executive without leaving its effects upon the general attitude of the people towards that Government in particular, and towards the Constitution in general. We have pointed out that during the history of this Constitution important events happened in this country that are now history, and in relation to every one of these events it was the stock argument of Government Deputies that the Constitution was a democratic one, that it provided for the exercise of that thing we heard so often repeated, the will of the people, upon matters affecting the people's interests. It does not need intelligence to know that this Bill is designed to take from the people certain rights which they possessed in the past which were considered in the hectic youth of the Government to be necessary for the development of a proper civic spirit amongst our people. It does not need intelligence to know that the design behind this Bill is to clip the wings of the nation and prevent the nation having a weapon which could be used for the furtherance of the national movement. It does not need intelligence to know that the introduction and passage of this Bill through the Dáil is only another step in the march of Cumann na nGaedheal, heads up, into the Empire.

We have had many discussions on the various stages of this Bill as to whether or not the interests of democracy are served by providing machinery by which the people can initiate or reject legislation by a majority vote or referendum. I hope that Deputy Tierney and Deputy O'Sullivan, who were busy yapping about this thing yesterday when Deputy de Valera was speaking, will make themselves heard upon this stage of the Bill. I trust particularly that Deputy O'Sullivan—I do not see him here now—will take the opportunity he has now to put in more definite form the various sentiments he was trying to express by way of interruption yesterday. Deputies on the opposite benches are no doubt anxious to preserve, or they will say they are anxious to preserve, whatever democratic rights the people possess. Deputy Tierney particularly is no doubt anxious to ensure that democratic government will continue in this country. He remembers the day, no doubt, when, armed with a rifle and hand grenade, one in each hand, and a bayonet between his lips, he went out to fight for democratic government in Easter Week. He was not too proud to fight, to do his part on that historic occasion, and is anxious to preserve the fruits of victory for the Irish people now. Deputy O'Sullivan—I am sorry he is not here—when the end of his days has come when he wraps a Union Jack about his breast and sinks to sleep in the bosom of the Empire, when he is asked the historic question, "What did you do in the Great War, daddy?" will be able to reply that, having fought the Black and Tans from an armchair in Vaughan's Hotel, and haveing been ejected from the Free State Army on account of his imperialism, he came into the Dáil and voted for this amendment of the Constitution, and secure, like the happy warrior, secure and confident in heaven's applause, he will be able to sink to slumber undisturbed.

The opposition to this Bill is perhaps crude, is perhaps unintelligent, is perhaps the result of laziness, as the Minister for Agriculture told us, but it comes from the same source, it is derived from the same inspiration as that which sent Deputy Tierney out to fight so valiantly a few years ago for the overthrow of undemocratic government in this country. Those who gave all their time and their leisure, those who gave all they had to force the events which ultimately led to the establishment of this State are no doubt pleased to see the manner in which this State is developing. The members of Cumann na nGaedheal who were doing all the fighting when members on this side of the House were under the beds—Deputy Shaw, who, I think, led the van in Mullingar until England took her foot off the stone, and, as he said, the vermin began to crawl out from underneath, and the other Deputies opposite who fought for liberty and freedom when the post-Truee heroes on this side of the House were doing nothing are all going to reap the fruits of their victory——

On a point of order, if these thumb-nail historical sketches of persons are allowed to be introduced into this debate as arguments from one side, will the other side be allowed to reply to them?

I might mention that the statement made by Deputy Lemass is absolutely untrue. No such thing ever occurred. If Deputy Lemass wants to know anything about Mullingar, the County Council elections which have just been held will tell him.

I think that each debate in the House should stand by itself. If Deputy Lemass, on the Fifth Stage of this Bill, would confine himself to the Bill he would be doing a service. The Deputies he has mentioned have not spoken on the Fifth Stage, and I would suggest that he should deal with the arguments against the Bill.

We would be glad to hear some thumbnail sketches of his own side now.

I will leave that to Deputy Tierney. I trust he will do his best to drag out of the cupboard all the skeletons he will find in it.

My point is will replies be allowed from Deputy Tierney and others on this side?

Very likely they will be.

I am not sufficiently acquainted with the events of Easter Week to tell of the activities of, for instance, Deputy Flinn.

Hear, hear. Where were you that week?

I think it should be clear to the House that implications of this kind are such that they should not be introduced. They do not carry us any further.

In respect to your ruling I will confine myself, in the first place, to the arguments advanced in support of the Bill and, in the second place, to the reasons why it should be rejected. As far as I have been able to discover from the speeches made from the front bench opposite, the arguments in support of the Bill are in the first instance that the sections which it is proposed to delete are undemocratic. The interests of the Commonwealth of Nations require that this Bill should be enacted.

Of course, as I pointed out in the beginning of my remarks, the arguments for the Bill were supplemented by other arguments. The Minister for Defence told us that if we were intelligent we would support it also. The Minister for Agriculture told us that if we were not lazy we would support it. I have been endeavouring to inform the Minister for Defence that it is not necessary even to have the mass of intelligence which he possesses to be able to see that the effects of this Bill are going to be bad and not what he claims they will be. The Minister for Defence seems to think that by providing the machinery of the Initiative and the Referendum that the majority of the people could make their will effective occasionally and that that would be helping to bring about a reign of anarchy in this country. Democracy and anarchy have become synonymous in the mind of the Minister for Defence. He seems to think that if the Referendum and Initiative were retained for the people it would ensure that ultimately anarchy would rule in this country. Anarchy is another word which has been in constant use for the last three or four years—anarchy, disorder, disruption and all the rest of it. I think the Ministers opposite—the Minister for Defence, the Minister for Agriculture, the President and all the rest of them —know these words in all their implications. They have used them at every cross roads and every street corner in the country. It appears there was anarchy in the country in 1922 with all the deplorable consequences which we are now told will flow from the retention of these sections of the Constitution. It existed before this Constitution was enacted; in order to stop that anarchy and to ensure the survival of democratic government in this country this Constitution was enacted.

This Constitution, the imposition of which on the people terminated the reign of anarchy, provided for the Initiative and Referendum. It must be undoubtedly a very humiliating experience to the Government to have to come to this House to-day and inform the Deputies that they were very foolish, very young, very inexperienced and very unversed in the ways of government when drafting this Constitution. I would like to have had an opportunity of looking up the files of the newspapers shortly after this Constitution was enacted when, instead of confessing their youth, inexperience and inability, the Government were trying by word and suggestion to convey to the people the idea that only seven, eight, or nine men could be found capable of being entrusted with the machinery of government, these seven, eight or nine men being, of course, the Executive Council. They were giving it out then that all the wisdom, all the experience, all the ability, and all the discretion contained within the four shores of Erin were concentrated in the Front Bench opposite, but they have to come now and admit that that was so much leg-pulling, that their estimation of their own ability in those days was over-estimation, that they had to introduce this Bill and pass it, on the plea that it is an indication of their previous indiscretion, of their inability, and inexperience. That must, as I say, be a humiliating experience for them. They are, however, bearing up well under it. The humiliation does not seem to have affected them very seriously. They are confident, no doubt, that they are striking a blow for liberty, morality and religion—perhaps the President will tell me the rest of it.

Go on, you are doing very well.

Confident that they are consolidating and strengthening the sympathetic bonds that bind us to the British Empire, confident that future generations will reap the benefit of what they are now doing, they are able to face the humiliation and to bow their heads to the yoke.

Are you reading from the report of the Texas Convention?

I have not had time to memorise it. I think there are very fine expressions in that. If I could have memorised it I would have introduced them now, but I hope to do so in some subsequent debate. I am glad that the Minister has paid attention to the oratory. It struck me, in the course of this Bill, that the Government, particularly the Minister for Finance, had given very careful attention to the manner in which the Constitution could be evaded and had thought out exactly how an unscrupulous Executive could impose its will on the people despite the people. In a speech delivered the other day he gave us a lecture on the various procedures which could be adopted to override the people and to ensure the carrying out of the will of an unscrupulous Executive. If the Minister for Finance had given half the consideration to the enactment of the Constitution and the preservation of the people's rights, which he appears to have given to the manner in which the people's rights could be overridden, it is very likely that this Bill would not now be before the House. If the Government had embarked upon a policy which is designed to curtail the liberties of the people and to curtail their rights in affecting the course of legislation, it would be well if they placed all their cards on the table at this stage. We know that they were considering at one time the alteration of the system of election by proportional representation. Apparently that is not so now. That is one of the youthful indiscretions which the Government in its old age is prepared to stand over apparently.

Is it not possible that the inexperience and inability of the Front Bench in the years 1922 and 1923 may have had much more serious results than the mere introduction of Articles 47 and 48? A benevolent dictatorship, government by an aristocracy of intellect, no Government at all, the sinking of our national individuality in the glorious traditions of the Commonwealth of Nations, are all alternatives which might suggest themselves to Deputies opposite to the present system of Government. Now, as I said, the Government has passed the boundary between virile manhood and senile decay and will be able to look back in its dotage to what it did in the hectic days of 1922. It will be able to see every direction in which it played unsafely. It is, of course, natural for old age to play for safety every time, and it is natural for the Cumann na nGaedheal Executive in their old age to be anxious to ward off the danger which they foresee of a resurrection of national feeling amongst the people, and to see that every avenue by which that national feeling could be released to remedy the wreck of the Free State Constitution must be closed up. Really, however, you are not getting safety. The dangers you are creating in your senility are just as serious as the dangers which you faced in your youth. If you get a steam engine, fill it with water, light a fire under it, and close up every avenue in which the steam could escape, something will happen. The water will turn into steam, the pressure of the steam on the boiler will continue to increase, and, if you keep the fire under the boiler replenished with fuel, there is bound to be an explosion. If you attempt, as you are attempting by this Bill, to close up the avenues by which the steam of national feeling can find a vent you are risking an explosion. That is not a threat. Deputy Tierney seems to think that it is my function in this House to act as a sort of Greek chorus and point out the terrible consequences likely to flow from every act of the Executive.

I am not threatening when I say that Bills of this kind are likely to result in explosions. I am drawing lessons from history, lessons from the history of our own country, namely, that whenever national feeling was forcibly suppressed, when the dominant party kept its foot on the safety valve and attempted to hold the sentiments of the people within too narrow a boundary, an explosion always resulted. Sometimes it did damage and sometimes it did not. The question which we have to ask ourselves is: "Can we risk creating a situation in which an explosion may be caused?" We hope, of course, that the evils which this Government are doing will not live after them, because they undoubtedly will be replaced by a more scrupulous or unscrupulous Executive—I do not know which, because the words have lost their meaning—an Executive that will have a keener regard for the people's interests and a keener realisation of the facts of the situation. It is possible that our attitude on this Bill is due to the fact, as the Minister for Agriculture politely informed us, that we were so lazy we did not consider it in all its implications. We have had plenty of time to consider it, and if it were possible that that time has not been sufficient, that we were so lazy that on the Fifth Stage of this Bill we could not find an opportunity of learning the truth about it, is it not in the interests of the country to postpone the Bill so that Deputies on this side of the House, who are much lazier than those on the other side, will have time to make up their minds and ascertain the facts? Will it not be in the interests of the Government to postpone the Bill for a month or two if, as a result of that postponement, it will be unanimously passed by the House? If our position is due to our laziness, the Government has an opportunity by pandering to that laziness of making a diplomatic stroke and taking a great statesmanlike, step by securing the unanimous consent of the Dáil to the Bill. I became convinced, as the debate on the Bill progressed and as the different speakers rose, that every one of them knew that it was a bad case, that every one of them knew that it would take a lot of explaining to the people to show why these rights should be taken from them, but, as I think Deputy Boland has said, they were being driven hard. It was necessary that the step should be taken. It is necessary that our allies in England should be reassured concerning the situation here. It is necessary that we should be able to show that we have taken every precaution and blocked every channel by which even a revival of national feelings might come, by a Bill which is forced through the House by the Government majority.

I would like briefly to re-state the arguments against the Bill. There is no reason whatever why power should be taken from the people in the first place, in certain conditions and conditions of considerable difficulty, to give or withhold their consent from the enactments of this House. Article 47 of the Constitution provides a check. It is not a very effective check. It is not an immediate check upon the work done by this Assembly. As one with some experience in the matter, an experience which no Deputy on the Cumann na nGaedheal benches has had, I can assure the Government that the collection of 85,000 signatures of voters on the register is not such an easy task. It is not an easy task to get 85,000 signatures, over which you can stand, appended to a petition and to have that petition prepared in a manner so as to remove any doubts about its validity. It is not such an easy task to get an organisation in the country that would ensure that the signatures will be taken and brought before a Peace Commissioner and vouched for on oath before him. No matter what the President may say about only one-twentieth of the voters on the Register being required to ensure that a Bill will be sent to the people on Referendum, after it has been suspended in the Dáil, I am convinced that only in respect of a Bill on which national feeling has been thoroughly aroused would it be possible to do it at all. It would not be possible to have a Referendum every year or two years. There is no Party in this country who would be able to keep in existence the organisation that would be required to have it done. There is no Party in the country who would be able to get these 85,000 signatures on a Bill which was not of vital national interest.

The check, therefore, which is provided by Article 47 is, as I say, a check which can only be exercised in days of national crisis. It can only be exercised under circumstances in which popular feeling is thoroughly aroused and to say that the abolition of Article 47 is necessary to prevent frivolous obstruction of Government business is mere nonsense. I defy Cumann na nGaedheal to get 85,000 signatures of voters on the register in support of this Bill. If they believe it can be done easily, if they believe that a small section of the people could as a result of this Article seriously interfere with the work of the Dáil, let them put it to a practical test, let them get the attitude of the country and see if they can get 85,000 signatures over which they can stand, of people who are prepared to support this Bill. They got more than 85,000 votes at the last election and surely if these people have not deserted them altogether owing to their recent action they will be able to get one-fifth of the number who voted for them at the elections. Let them try it. I do not think they will. The same remarks apply to Article 48. It was with some difficulty that the petitions which were presented here were prepared. It is not fair to assert that that Article, any more than Article 47, can be used for unnecessary matters. The Article provides that 50,000 voters on the register must petition before a Bill can be initiated. Let Cumann na nGaedheal try to get 50,000 voters on the register to express their approval of any of these Bills and see how difficult it will be. Then they will begin to realise that all their arguments in respect of these Articles of the Constitution fall to the ground. They will begin to realise that only in respect of measures which, as I say, arouse popular feeling to a very great extent, only in respect of measures which are of vital importance to the country, can these Articles be brought into operation and you have it provided that in exceptional circumstances and in respect of matters which do affect seriously the lives of the people some check will be exercised on the actions of this House, on the actions of the majority of the House.

If this House fails to take steps in respect of some important matter, Article 48 gives the people machinery by which they can themselves take steps to ensure that the matter would be brought to a head. If the House, or a majority of the House, introduces legislation designed to alter either the political or the economic conditions of the country in a very vital particular, Article 47 does provide machinery by which the people can express their approval or disapproval of that legislation, and, mind you, that approval or disapproval cannot be expressed except in respect of a Bill which has received the votes of a majority Party here. To pretend that the powers given by the Article can be exercised for frivolous purposes is sheer nonsense. The Bill must be passed here; it must not be a Money Bill. It must not be a Bill necessary for the immediate preservation of public peace and safety. It must be a Bill of sufficient importance that, having got the vote of a majority here, it will be possible for 85,000 voters on the Register to sign a petition in order that an expression of their opinion may be given concerning it. The machinery provided by these Articles is very stiff. It will take a lot of energy to make it move. It is not machinery that is likely to run away of its own accord, like an old Ford car. It would require the driving force of popular indignation or popular desire to make it move at all. I cannot see that the Government's case in respect of the Bill has any substance in it. It is so obviously devoid of substance that we are forced, unwillingly perhaps, to the conclusion that there is some motive behind its introduction which has not been revealed to this House. It is perhaps too much to hope that even at the Fifth Stage that motive will be revealed. Perhaps Deputy O'Sullivan—I notice he is here now— will give to the House the words of wisdom which he was ejecting in short sentences yesterday when Deputy de Valera was speaking. He is a man of considerable experience in any case.

I am glad the Deputy holds the same opinion of himself as I hold of him. I hope he holds the same opinion in other things as well. He has some experience in what I might call militaristic government, some experience of a benevolent dictatorship.

Oh, no. Ours was not benevolent. Do not commit yourself so far. His was a benevolent dictatorship. We were actuated by the desire for loot and things of that kind.

Objectively you had experience of its benevolence.

We were the subject of it. Perhaps on some other occasion I shall be able to reveal to the House exactly how the benevolence of the dictatorship was manifested to us. Deputy O'Sullivan will, I hope, not let this Fifth Stage pass without saying something concerning it. After all, a man of his eminence and experience is not going merely to give a silent vote on an important measure of this kind. We can understand other Deputies on the Cumann na nGaedheal Benches, machined as they are into a unit, walking into the Lobby and casting a vote in respect of this Bill unreasoningly, without giving any indication as to the motives which actuated them, without any word of explanation. Surely Deputy O'Sullivan is not that kind? Surely he must have thought the matter out in the secrecy and silence of the night and arrived at some reason, some argument, which convinced him that it was necessary that this Bill should be passed? As I said, he yapped considerably when Deputy de Valera was speaking but in a manner that did not give the House an opportunity of catching the gems of wisdom that were falling from his lips. I hope that when I have concluded, and he will have a clear field to himself, he will stand up and expound at length the wisdom which is in him, if any.

This Bill, of course, is of a nature which is not likely to come frequently before the House. It is not often that Constitutional Bills are introduced. Of course, we have had a burst of them in the last two or three weeks, and the time may come again when there will be another sheaf presented to eliminate or alter various other Articles. Those who have the benefit of legal training and of vast experience will I hope seek to educate their less enlightened colleagues when such Bills are introduced. Deputy O'Sullivan knows probably better than any of us that there are circumstances under which the people cannot be trusted to think for themselves; he knows that it is occasionally better to drive them than to lead them.

That is your doctrine—the flock of sheep.

I have been misinformed, therefore, concerning his opinions and I hope he will take the opportunity to put me right.

I am just telling you now.

He is of the opinion that it is better to lead than to drive.

Yours was the flock-of-sheep doctrine.

If the doctrine of the flock of sheep is confined to this side of the House, we will be very anxious to get an explanation of this Bill. As a matter of fact, I was of the opinion that the Government had been frightened by the words of wisdom which appeared in a certain leading article of the "Irish Times" and realised the amazing vista of lawlessness and irregularity which was opened up by the prospect of Articles 47 and 48 being brought into operation, and had decided that, like a flock of sheep, the people had to be herded into another pen, because it had been revealed that there were certain portions of the railings of the existing pens which were weak and which might possibly collapse, with the result that the sheep might escape from the benevolent and guiding care of Deputy O'Sullivan and his colleagues. Heads up into the Empire, Deputy O'Sullivan, we have got to go; we are on the march at last; you have to lead the van, carrying the flag that braved a thousand years the battle and the breeze; you have got to justify the faith that is in you; you have to tell your unfortunate troops that you are leading them to the promised land of the Commonwealth of Nations. If we are going to throw away the weapons which we were once told would enable us to achieve the freedom which we hope for, the freedom to achieve freedom, at any rate, surely there must be some reason for it. Surely Deputy O'Sullivan, the man who, as I said, fought the Black and Tans with vigour from an armchair in Vaughan's Hotel, is not going——

I do not think the Deputy ought to repeat that.

I hope this House will take this last opportunity of rejecting the Bill. I hope they will realise that, instead of avoiding danger which they see, they are really creating the danger, bringing the danger much nearer. I hope they will realise that it is not by curtailing the rights of the people the stability of the State can be secured, that if they want the State to survive they have to base it upon the freely-expressed will of the people; that if they want this order of things to exist, it can only exist as long as the Irish people are prepared to tolerate it, and if they are going to take from the people the weapons provided by this Constitution for the alteration of the existing status, the people will on some future occasion find other weapons for achieving the same purpose.

I am sorry to disappoint Deputy Lemass in anticipating my colleague, Deputy O'Sullivan, but I have been anxious to intervene in this debate. On the Second Reading Deputy Aiken was so busy pointing out the failure of Ministers to answer that he gave me no opportunity of getting in.

Could they not speak for themselves without you doing it?

They can. I take it this is, in a sense, a continuation of last night's debate and that it will not be out of order to refer to certain statements made last night. There was a statement made by Deputy O'Connell that I do not think was entirely understood by the Dáil. He referred to a resolution of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and I think Deputy Tierney and other Deputies were under the impression that that was a resolution passed by the Union.

Mr. O'CONNELL

That was not my fault.

Deputy O'Connell pointed out that it is not a resolution passed by the Union, but a resolution on the agenda to be discussed in August of this year. We all know that resolutions appear on Order Papers but never become anything more than resolutions on Order Papers, and that there are some here. In view of the fact that the vast majority of the countries composing the Inter-Parliamentary Union have not got the Initiative and the Referendum, and have taken no steps to get either of them inserted in their Constitutions, it is very probable that the resolution will be defeated.

Mr. O'CONNELL

It shows the tendency.

It shows that the people are interested in the matter.

Would I be in order in asking the Deputy if there is any delegate at that Convention from the Irish Free State will he vote against the Referendum?

As far as my recollection goes, delegates go there representing different Parties. They do not represent the Free State, but the Oireachtas. I presume if Deputy Fahy went he would vote in favour of the Initiative and that Deputy Tierney, if he went, would vote against it. Delegates are not bound to vote in one particular direction. They act as free individuals. I do not think I need say more about Deputy O'Connell. He made the point fairly. This is not a decided opinion expressed, but a resolution placed on the Order Paper and which will be discussed and may be accepted or rejected.

Deputy de Valera, speaking last night, said that we were destroying two fundamental Articles of the Constitution. I do not think that that is the case. One reason why these Articles are not, and cannot be, fundamental is that it is not necessary to bring in any legislation to replace them. If you take away part of the foundations of your house, you will have to put in a steel girder or concrete piles or something to take the place of the foundations. But if you take away a balcony——

All the house will fall.

That is Deputy Aiken's point—that the house is going to be made to fall. Now we know. I will come back to that. It would be necessary in other Articles, dealing with the election to the Seanad, to make other provisions. There you are putting in the girder or the concrete piles— something necessary to take the place of what is taken away. In this case these Articles can be taken away without replacement, and in my view they can be taken away without danger to the house. I agree with Deputy de Valera when he said that we should not deal with the matter from the point of view of debating points or small issues like that. I would go further than Deputy de Valera and say that in dealing with this matter it is undesirable to deal with it with passion. The question is essentially one of machinery, and one that should be discussed coolly rather than with passion. I want to consider the contingencies that would arise if the Bill were defeated at this stage. If Deputy de Valera's Petition had been accepted and a Referendum taken on the question of that Petition and that the Referendum had been unfavourable to it, what would Deputy de Valera's attitude have been? Would he have taken that as the final verdict of the people, or would he have looked into his own heart and decided that some, if not all, of the majority had not a right national attitude and that the people had no right to do wrong and, therefore, he would continue to carry on his agitation without regard to the result of the Referendum? The Referendum is valueless unless it is final. The only use of it is to get a question settled, and unless its result is taken as final, and all parties in the State, including those outside the Dáil, are prepared to take it as final, it is absolutely no use in the circumstances.

We have heard a great deal from Deputy Lemass about the people's rights. I do not know why the people of the country should possess rights in common with the people of Switzerland which are not, however, enjoyed by the people of France, Germany or the citizens of the United States as a whole. By passing the Bill we shall be reducing ourselves to the degraded condition of those citizens of the United States who do not inhabit Oregon or half a dozen of the Western States. It is noteworthy that in the United States, where they have tried the Initiative in various State Constitutions, there has been no movement to have it inserted in the Federal Constitution. Their experience of it, apparently, has not been so favourable that they desire to make it part of the supreme legislative machinery. In regard to the body which deals with external affairs, and in the main with taxation, and which deals with the making of Treaties, there is no Initiative, and so far as I can ascertain, no desire to include the Initiative in its Constitution. I do not think that our people will suffer very much in liberty or in loss of rights if they are in the same position as the people in the United States.

Deputy de Valera spoke very frequently about the will of the people. How is the will of the people expressed upon this matter? Is it expressed by about half of the Fianna Fáil Party coming here and voting against the Bill while another half does not think it worth its while to do so? Or is it expressed by the action of the people at the general election when this issue was before them as part of the Government programme? A Bill was introduced to abolish the Initiative in August of last year. I spoke on that Bill, and Deputy de Valera has done me the compliment of reading my speech and quoting from it on more than one occasion. I do not think he will contest the fact that I made it clear in that speech that I regarded the Initiative as useless and unworkable, and that it ought to be abolished. I made my position clear before the general election, and everyone, every voter in the country, knew that part of the Government policy was the bringing in of a Bill to abolish the Initiative. I have made my position quite clear, and although the Fianna Fáil Party were kind enough to devote a good deal of their newspaper space to advertising me—what they believed to be my views—one thing they forgot to say was that I was opposed to the Initiative. I do not ever remember seeing that. That was one of my crimes that escaped notice. My attitude on the Initiative was made quite clear to my constituents, yet while that was so I obtained a substantially increased number of first preference votes at the election. It did not appear that my constituency felt very strongly on the matter. Knowing that the abolition of the Initiative was part of their policy, the Government have been returned by the country, not in a large majority, but with a sufficient majority. It does not appear that the people of the country as a whole felt very strongly upon the matter. That was nine months ago. Has the situation changed since?

What is the index by which we can judge whether the people are feeling very keenly on a question or not? I venture to think, in the case of most Deputies, it is expressed by the state of their letter bag and by their correspondence. I do not know what the experience of other Deputies is on that matter, but since these Constitutional Amendment Bills were introduced, I have not had one single letter dealing with the subject from anyone in my constituency. I know I am asking for it.

From South Co. Dublin!

I have all sorts of people in my constituency.

Shades of Walter Long!

I know I am asking for it. I know I shall receive many letters as a result of this. No doubt I shall have one from Deputy Little, from Deputy de Valera and from Deputy Brady, for they are all in my constituency.

The Deputy can claim the credit of having brought round the Government Party to his view. We have nothing to say against Deputy Cooper; he has undoubtedly won the fight.

I did not altogether hear what Deputy Boland said, but I am sure it was a compliment.

I will repeat it for the Deputy. I said that we had to congratulate Deputy Cooper on having brought round the Government. You have them now pretty well under control and you have to be congratulated on that.

I must say that I think Deputy Boland rather exaggerates my importance in the councils of the Government Party.

You have the reins and the whip.

As a matter of fact I have not discussed the matter with the Government. The Bill came as a surprise to me, but on it I was perfectly clear. I do not believe that my constituents are opposed to this Bill, or were opposed to it in September of last year when they elected me. I have had no indication of any change in their attitude, and I support the Bill because I believe that the Initiative and the Referendum make it possible for an organised minority to override the will of an unorganised majority. That is, to my mind, contrary to all Parliamentary government and therefore I think that Article there ought to be abolished.

That is all right for Cumann na nGaedheal.

Deputy Cooper is certainly to be congratulated. The ex-Censor of the Black and Tan regime has brought round to himself a Government which pretended to be a national Government. He has brought it round in favour of an attack upon the national initiative of the Irish people. This is a serious moment, because it is the final stage of a Bill to bottle up the Irish people. Deputy Lemass has pointed out what would happen to a steam engine when the valves are closed. Those valves are being closed deliberately. I do not know if the Cumann na nGaedheal Party is blinded by Party spirit to such an extent as not to see that they are doing the enemy's work. They are in the hollow of the hands of Lord Birkenhead. He is the dictator of this country. He is the man who is saying that there should be no Initiative and no Referendum in Ireland. Nothing in the Constitution is going to remain which will give Ireland an opportunity of doing anything except bursting itself.

As Deputy Cooper says, if you take away the essential part of the foundations of a house, what happens? He was going to say that you could put in something else, but Deputy Aiken drew more quickly the real conclusion. The house falls Men with the mentality of Lord Birkenhead require in Ireland always a condition of instability, threats of a fall and a smashup, and they are going on a good Scriptural text: "The house that is divided against itself, how can it stand?"

What has Lord Birkenhead to do with the Fifth Stage of this Bill?

This Bill is dividing the house of the Irish people against itself and is preventing it from uniting upon a really national expression of opinion in order to destroy Article 17 of the Constitution.

This Bill cannot be passed into law unless a majority of the members of this House vote for it. Therefore, Lord Birkenhead has nothing to do with it.

He got it introduced.

The question before the House is: "That the Bill do now pass." The Bill cannot now pass unless the majority of the members of this House vote in favour of it.

Nevertheless, it is Lord Birkenhead's Bill.

Quite so. I appreciate the attitude of the Leas-Cheann Comhairle. He is arguing now, not as Leas-Cheann Comhairle, but as a member from over those Benches. He is arguing that there was no interference by Lord Birkenhead.

I think that statement ought to be withdrawn. That is not fair to the man in the Chair, and there is no reason why it should be stated.

Are you in the Chair?

I have a duty as a member of the Dáil to protect the Chair.

The Chair must be protected.

One at a time.

It ought to be quite obvious to everybody that the statement made by the Leas-Cheann Comhairle was an argument. It was in answer to an argument, and it was an argument in its nature.

Not at all.

The point I made was that the Bill could not pass through this House unless a majority voted in favour of it. The statement made by Deputy Little must now be withdrawn.

Might I point out that it ought to be at least in order to submit an argument why a majority in this House should not vote in favour of the Bill if it can be shown that this Bill is introduced through foreign dictation and for foreign purposes? Surely that is a legitimate argument?

I am not questioning the legitimacy of any argument, but the statement made by Deputy Little must be withdrawn.

Which statement?

The statement made by Deputy Little.

Will you repeat it so that we will know what is to be withdrawn?

I will repeat it.

I am not asking you.

Whether you are asking me or not, I will tell you what it was. He stated that the Leas-Cheann Comhairle was arguing as a member from the Benches over there, and I resent that statement. The Leas-Cheann Comhairle voted against the opinions of the members over there and because he did so I resent the statement.

I just wanted to ask the Leas-Cheann Comhairle——

I will not hear Deputy Aiken.

What statement did Deputy Little make?

Deputy Little must withdraw what he said—he must withdraw his statement.

What was the statement?

I appreciate what has been said in this matter and while I think you will admit——

Are you going to withdraw the statement you made?

I am withdrawing the statement, the suggestion, that you did not vote with us in this matter. I withdraw that.

That is not the statement you made. The Deputy must withdraw the statement he made. He is quite well aware of the statement.

I do not want to do you an injustice, and I want to be as accurate as possible in the words I do withdraw, and I think, when I say I withdraw——

Withdraw what you said.

That he was arguing from the other Benches—I am willing to withdraw those words.

It will clear the matter up if you tell the Deputy what he ought to withdraw. If you know what he said wrong, say it now.

The Deputy knows what he said was wrong.

Deputy Little may continue his speech.

The majority of this House is to settle this matter. The Minister for Agriculture said that the sovereignty of the people is expressed in the majority of this House. That is exactly the argument which Lord Clare and Lord Castlereagh used to pass the Union—no matter how the majority is scrambled together, no matter how it is brought together, led by men like Deputy Cooper, who has his own convictions; he has never changed, and I respect him for it—but it is on all fours with the position of the House led by Lord Clare and Lord Castlereagh. The majority is as binding, morally or constitutionally, on the Irish people as the majority following of Lord Clare and Lord Castlereagh. Deputy Heffernan, in a contradiction of a statement that I made, I gathered, said that the bargain between him and the Government was not an individual matter. That the bargain was not between him and the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, but it was a bargain between his Party and the Cumann na nGaedheal Party——

Is this in order? Is the Deputy debating the Farmers' Party or is he debating the Fifth Reading of this Bill?

I think I can explain that. I am now arguing on the question of the majority in this House, the majority whose votes are carrying this Bill, and I am pointing out the nature of that majority. He admitted that it was not his bargain, but it was his Party's bargain for the position he occupies.

That is not in order. The Deputy can argue on the Bill and can give reasons why the majority should not vote for it.

I am showing the nature of the majority and showing how it is got together, and I think——

I have raised a point of correction.

Is this a point of order?

The Deputy should not be allowed to say in this House that a bargain was made for a position. He has no right to say that, and he has no proof of it.

It is a matter you cannot explain. It dropped out of the air.

This question of the Initiative and the Referendum is not being argued on its merits. The attack made on it is not an attack on the merits or demerits of the Referendum and Initiative. The Cumann na nGaedheal Party has made up its mind to get rid of it on a particular occasion when it crosses their policy of insisting upon the retention of Article 17 in the Constitution. Therefore their action is entirely dominated by that. Their arguments against the Referendum and the Initiative are simply gathered together haphazard. No serious indictment has been made against the Referendum and Initiative. No real excuse has been given for getting rid of it at this stage. Whatever may be said for it, or may be said against it, it is almost idle to discuss the Referendum and Initiative on its merits. But they bring a Bill to destroy the Referendum and the Initiative exactly at the moment when an attempt is made to put it in force, throwing odium over the whole proceedings.

Suppose for instance in the present electoral struggle in America, one of the parties was sufficiently powerful to change some fundamental part of the Constitution in such a way as to paralyse the progress of the other party, and if some national principle were behind that other party how would the world consider it? How we would point the finger of scorn and ridicule at it? That is the way this question has to be regarded, not purely as a question of the merits of the use of the Referendum or the existence of the Initiative. If you see a game of cards going on between three of four people and if two or three people amongst them see one man cheating at the cards what happens? There is generally violence at that stage because if men do not play the game according to the rules there is no alternative except violence. It is not we who are not playing the game. We have in this matter played the game according to the rules and we have followed step by step the game and the rules as laid down by the Cumann na nGaedheal Party and their dictator. The Referendum was put in there according to the Constitution and we said we would make use of it. The minute we do make use of it it is destroyed. And in destroying it the intentions behind those who are able to dictate to the Cumann na nGaedheal Party have to be borne in mind. Behind that Party in driving them there is a bigger man with longer experience of tyranny, and the subtleties of British tyranny. There are behind them Lord Birkenhead and his colleagues, men who have experience and ability. These men are able to hold in the hollow of their hands the Cumann na nGaedheal Party and the Government and they can continue the condition of misery in which we have been suffering in this country during the last few years.

Chualamar a lán cainnte, cúig no sé blianta ó shoin, ar thoil an ghnáthdhuine, ar chomhacht na ndaoine, agus ar an nGaedheal, oighre na seantreibhe, do chur i réim agus i n-uachtar arís sa tír seo. Sé sin an port a bhí ar siúbhal ag Cumann na nGaedheal. Dubhradh gur chuige sin a ceapadh an Bunreacht, Bunreacht nár bhféidir a sharú, dar leó, Bunreacht a moladh go h-árd. Dubhradh linn gurab iad airtiogail 47 agus 48 na h-Airtiogail ba tháchtaí san mBunreacht chun an Gaedheal do chur ar bharr arís. Dubhairt Airí agus Teachtaí go dtiocfadh linn feidhm do bhaint as na h-airtiogail seo chun saoirse iomlán d'fháil don tír.

Táthar chun an Bunreacht d'athrú anois. Cé'n fáth? An dóigh leis an Rialtas go bhfuil muinntear an Stáit ró lag le cur ina gcoinnibh? Deir an tUachtarán go bhfuil airtiogail sa Bhunreacht nách ceart agus nách gá iad a bheith ann. Nuair a fiafruigheadh dhe cad chuige ar cuireadh na hairtiogail san isteach i n-aon chor, sé an freagra a thug sé dhúinn ná go raibh an Rialtas an-óg sé bliain ó shoin, nach raibh taithí acu i gcúrsaí polaitíochta, ná raibh cleachta ná tuiscint acu i Riaghlacha Stáit a cheapadh, agus gur léir dóibh anois nach fuláir an Bunreacht a leasú. Dubhradh freisin go raibh socair acu trí bhliain ó shoin an leasú san a dhéanamh. Ma's fíor san, b'fhéidir go neosadh an t-Uachtarán dúinn cathoin—cé an lá, nó cé an mí—a d'imthigh baois na hóige díobh agus go dtáinig ciall na h-aoise agus tuiscint chucha. Cé an uair a thúirling spiorad Solon ar an Aire Dlí agus Cirt, spiorad Lycurgus ar an Aire Cosanta agus spiorad Justinian ar an Uachtarán? Cé an toradh atá ar an gcéill nua san—an toradh so, nár mhisde comhacht an tSeanaid a mhéadú agus airtiogail 47 agus 48 a chur ar neamh-nidh. Nách iongantach an rud é gurab iad na hairtiogail a chuireann i gcumas na dTeachtaí Dála agus i gcumas an phobail cosc a chur le h-anmhian pé Rialtas gur mian leo aon uair reacht mí-riaghalta a chur chun cinn de bhárr mór-chuid na dTeachtaí bheith ag cabhrú leo.

Ni bhíonn saoi gan locht agus dá chiallmhaire iad comhaltaí na hArd-Chomhairle tá botún dá dhéanamh acu sa Bille seo. Cé an deithneas atá orra? Cad is bun leis an deabhadh? Nár chóir an cheist fhágaint fé na daoine tríd an Referendum? Nár bhféarr an Bille seo agus na Billí eile a bhaineas leís an mBunreacht a chur ar ath-ló go ceann bliana.

Is eagal leis an Uachtarán go mbainfí usáid as an Referendum ag an gcúigeadh cuid de lucht bhótála an t-Saorstáit. Ní gabhadh scáth ná eagla bheith air na thaobh. Is mó suim a cuirfí i n-aon scéal amháin a bheadh sa Referendum ná i dtoghachán mór ina mbíonn a lán ceisteanna le freagairt ag na daoine. Maidir leis an 20% úd, cad mar geall ar an Seanad? Ar thug 20% de na daoine bhótaí i na dtoghadh san? Níor thug. Ach tá de comhacht ag an Seanad margadh a dhéanamh leis an Ard-Chomhairle chun an chomhacht atá acu do mhéadú.

Tá Major Cooper, Teachta, i gcoinnibh an Referendum. Deir sé go raibh sé ina choinnibh i mbliain a 1923. Creidim sin. Deirim go bhfuil oiread ceart ag an dTeachta san bheith annso agus tá agam-sa toise gur togadh é. Ach ba mhaith liom a chur i gcuimhne do Chomhaltaí Chumann na nGaedheal gurab é an Dáilcheanntar in ar togadh Major Cooper mar Theachta ná an ceanntar in ar togadh Walter Long, 30 blian ó shoin. Ba mhaith liom a chur i gcuimhne do na Teachtaí atá, nó a bhíodh, ar thaobh na saoirse gur fada an lá ó bhí muinntir na taoibhe theas de Chontae Atha Cliath ar thaobh na saoirse, go raibh na mílte duine annsin nár aontuigh leis na tuairimí a bhí againn agus ag furmhór Chumann na nGaedheal ó bhliain a 1916 go dtí bliain a 1922.

Dhein Major Cooper tagairt do mhuinntir na Stát nAontuithe, go ndubhairt nach bhfuil gleus an Referendum acu. Is fíor san, ach tá saoirse in iomlán acu—rud ná fuil againne. Agus is maith an gleus é an Referendum chun an méid saoirse atá againn do leathnú. Dá mbeadh saoirse iomlán ag an tír iomláin, thiocfadh linn a lán atharuithe do dhéanamh san mBunreacht nách féidir linn do dhéanamh anois. Ach go dtí go bhfuil an sgeal mar sin againn, ní cheart dúinn fiú agus líne amháin d'fhágáilt amach as an mBunreacht a chuirfeadh in ar gcumas dul ar aghaidh mar naisiún agus saoirse iomlán do bhaint amach.

Deirtear nách bhfuil na daoine ag cur suime san gceist seo. Dubhairt an Teachta Cooper nách bhfuair sé aon leitir mar gheall air. Ma leanann an sgéal mar atá sé, b'fhéidir go mbeadh Teachta in án a rá, i gcionn tamaill, go bhfuil furmhór na ndaoine in aghaidh saoirse na tíre. Tá na milte daoine imithe as an tír le déanai. Má's rud go mbeidh an chomhacht ag na daoine atá in aghaidh na tíre agus má leanann an imirce mar tá, i gcoinn fiche blian b'fhéidir nach mbeadh i bhfurmhór na daoine ach daoine gan sprid gur cuma leo saoirse no daoirse.

Tá contabhairt ann—contabhairt mhór—an t-athrú so do dhéanamh. Táim cinnte de sin. Béidh daoine in a choinne. Is féidir iad do chur faoi chois go ceann tamaillín ach ní féidir iad do choinneailt faoi chois go deó.

Má's rud é gur toil na ndaoine é an Bille seo do chur i bhfeidhm, cé'n fáth nách cuirtear an sgéal os cóir na ndaoine le Referendum agus leigint dóibh a rá an ceart an dá airtiogal seo d'fhágáilt san mBunreacht no iad do sgrios amach? Dá ndéanfaoí sin táim lán-chinnte nách mbeadh 50,000 daoine i bhfaobhair an Bhille atá os ar gcóir anois.

Achuiním ar na Teachtaí gan léim caorach a thabhairt san aigéan, gan glacadh leis an mBille seo, Bille a thógfadh ó na daoine caoi atá acu chun gluaiseacht ar aghaidh ar bhealach na saoirse.

I should like briefly to reply to the point referred to by Deputy Cooper concerning the question raised by me in respect of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Deputy Cooper disposed of that, or thought he disposed of it, by saying that it is more or less an irresponsible motion put on the Agenda by an irresponsible body. In any case he disposed of the point by saying that it is open to anybody to put on a motion of this kind. I quoted it yesterday as showing the tendency that there was among various Parliaments in Europe. If Deputy Cooper took the trouble to study the last bulletin that was issued by the Union he would have seen that this motion is not on the Agenda in the name of any irresponsible body. It is presented in the name of the Permanent Committee of the Union for political and organisation questions, and if he turned to page 60 of the Bulletin he would see a very important report, from which I will take the liberty to read a paragraph. It is a report of a sub-committee on which there were representatives from various countries, including Sweden, Italy, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Yugo-Slavia, and there is this important point to be noted, that the majority of these representatives, all of them except one are from countries in which there is not at the present time this Referendum and Initiative.

That is the strongest point the Deputy has made in its favour yet.

In whose favour?

In favour of our contention.

That is the position. These suggestions are coming from people who have not these proposals——

That is the point.

—and who are looking towards these proposals to revive a system which, they admit, is going into disuse—that is, they are reviving it in the interests of keeping alive a Parliamentary system of government. I take it that everyone in this House is in favour of a Parliamentary system of government, not necessarily a party Parliamentary system, and most of those in this House know that there is a tendency in Europe to get away from Parliamentary government, to break up that system, and to introduce other and new systems which, to many of us, are objectionable systems. I will quote from this Bulletin:—

The task before the Sub-Committee was not an easy one. It was nothing less than to formulate a brief declaration of faith in the future of the parliamentary system, regarded not as a system cramped within an outworn frame, but as a system capable of developing and of adapting itself to the needs of the present day. During its well-occupied sittings the Sub-Committee examined the working of Parliament in the light of the experience of its members and of the conclusions of the five experts in political science— the names of whom are then given. It concluded by preparing a preliminary draft resolution containing some proposals which it considered would be of a nature to give rise to a useful and interesting debate at Berlin. This draft was adopted, with a few alterations, by the full Committee for political and organisation questions.

Now, these experts in political science, whose duty it is to examine, as they are doing, the tendency of nations in this respect, have recommended this motion that I spoke of for discussion, and among other things they have recommended the institution of a legislative Referendum and a popular Initiative. That may or may not be passed, the nations may not be ripe to adopt that, but I quote that as showing the tendency that there is amongst people to give thought to these matters, and we, who have these provisions in our Constitution, are going in the opposite direction. That is the point I made, and the point I am making still.

There was just one other point in Deputy Cooper's statement which I would like to deal with. I referred to it before, but I think it is necessary to emphasise it again. He stated that every voter at the last election knew that the abolition of the Initiative and the Referendum was part of the Government's policy. I wonder how many who listened to Deputy Cooper believed that, and the Government themselves, although they thought it necessary to issue a manifesto of half a page in the newspapers, thought so little of it, thought it so unimportant, as part of their policy, that they did not mention it in their manifesto.

Was it not discussed here?

took the chair.

In dealing with this subject, Deputy Cooper mentioned something that has often been mentioned in this debate, that if one were to remove certain fundamental parts of a building, that building would collapse. Of course, he suggested putting in a steel girder, or something else. I asked for information here one day from the President, but the Ceann Comhairle rightly told me that the President was not supposed to give me the information that I asked for, although if the President wants to try to put this Bill across us I think it is up to him to give us the information. The question was this: How are we to know what is a fundamental Article of the Constitution, and what is not? We, in our youth and innocence, might come along, just as a fellow would try to pick a winner, and we might stick a pin in the Constitution and say: "There is a fundamental Article," or "There is not a fundamental Article." We have nothing to guide us.

There are other Articles in the Constitution evidently that are fundamental, but these Articles are absolutely useless. As a matter of fact we were told by the Minister for Finance that these were faddist theories, and how the Executive Council, the supermen, allowed these faddist theories to be introduced into the Constitution beats me. The two things do not seem to go together at all.

How is it that certain Deputies can point to a certain Article of the Constitution and say: "This is a fundamental Article"? Those Deputies could come along and in the same breath say "Here are two Articles which are absolutely useless in effect. They are not fundamental Articles. Away with them." Where did they get their inside information from? How do they know that these two Articles which must be removed are not fundamental Articles? We would like a little inside knowledge, if the President could afford to give it to us. It has been stated by Deputy Cooper that the index to all this is the fact that there is a certain majority in this House on the benches opposite. He asked us how had the opinions of the people been expressed on this, and he pointed to his own constituency. Now, I hold that we can prove a certain statement which was made here by going about it logically. A statement was made that this was outside interference. Very good. There is a certain majority in this House who will probably machine the Bill through, and that majority was elected, not, remember, because it was thought that this Constitution was in need of a change: they were elected simply and solely because the people, in all the elections that they have gone through —this may be denied—were threatened with "immediate and terrible war." Hence, as a natural conclusion we have to admit that there is outside interference if this Bill is passed. The President may say that that is not a logical argument. I would like to ask the President if he would be prepared to go to the country, on a Referendum or a general election, and say: "This Dáil is a sovereign assembly. You are the sovereign people. You are the final arbiters of your own fate. You can do with the Constitution exactly what you wish?" That is the will of the people.

Will the President go down to the country and tell them that; or will the President say: "Here is a Constitution, and although the Dáil is a sovereign Assembly, and you are the people of the Free State, and are a free people, you have no right to change that Constitution"; or, "There are certain portions of it which cannot be changed. You cannot do it"? If you cannot do it there is outside interference. What story will the President tell the country either now or in the future? We would like to hear a statement from him as to what his attitude will be. Deputy Tierney sometimes succeeds in letting the cat out of the bag and, although the cat is hidden to the best of the Deputy's ability, the cat pokes its head out sometimes. In referring to an Article of the Constitution he said that if the Fianna Fáil people can get the country to change or abolish this Article of the Constitution and take the consequences, very good. Mark you, "the consequences." Whenever this particular Article is mentioned there is always talk of consequences. This is a sovereign Assembly.

Would the Deputy come to Articles 47 and 48?

I have been trying to deal with Articles 47 and 48 to the best of my ability.

I have not detected any reference to them.

Have I not?

Not that I heard.

Articles 47 and 48 of the Constitution are about to be abolished flippantly. Bills have been thrown in here and have sprung up "like flowers that bloom in the spring." They are useless, faddist theories, and yet Bills have to be introduced and pushed through this House in an effort to prevent something that they might do, something that is so serious that it might bring about war, or earthquakes, or something else— funny faddist theories, useless Articles of the Constitution that might do all this damage! Is it as a result of the carrying through of what is contained in Articles 47 and 48 of the Constitution that the country at some time in the future might say: "Away with them" to the members of the front benches opposite? Is it that the Government see a vision in front of them, as a result perhaps of a Referendum, of the gates of Merrion Street closing behind their heels for the last time? Does the President see a vision of Deputy Cooper and himself meeting outside for the last time? I suppose the President will, to quote the words of Milton:

Oh, be'est thou he, but oh! how fallen. Who in the happy realms of bliss Joined with me once, now misery hath joined in equal ruin.

Deputy Cooper wanted to know if we over-estimated his weight in the counsels of the Government. I do not know if he was speaking literally or figuratively, but he has backed a winner both ways because he certainly has weight in the counsels of the Government. And, although he is only one member of a constituency, he represents, to my mind, quite a big section that has quite a big pull, and that pull is being exercised to the fullest to abolish Articles in the Constitution which might result ultimately in the abolition of other Articles of the Constitution which would again ultimately result in the showing up of the Government.

Before the debate ends on this matter I would like to say a few words. Deputy Cooper, when speaking, said that matters of this particular kind ought to be considered and debated without heat or passion. Now, it is very easy for Deputy Cooper to consider these questions without heat or passion. He is in a very happy position here. He has seen largely the policy for which he stood in the past being adopted in a way more successful than any of his dreams about its success could have been. But some of us here are in quite a different position. We see that this is one of the final steps in a long series —to use the softest words that we can on the matter—of betrayals. He said that this is not fundamental and could not be regarded as a fundamental Article of the Constitution. Of course not. From his point of view the fundamental Articles are those that we will find, if we refer to the Index and look under the heading of "King." To him these are the fundamental Articles, the Articles that have been imposed from outside by threat of war, the Articles that are intended to keep, in so far as any Articles or any Constitution can keep, the people subject to the will of a foreign power. To him these are the fundamental Articles, and we can quite understand that as long as these are untouched that he sees no danger of the house falling.

He asked me would we be satisfied if there was a Referendum, and if we would take that verdict as final. Do we take the verdict of every general election as final? Must we take as final the fact that the people have spoken in one way at one time, and are the people never to be allowed at all to change their minds? Have the people no right, if they find out that they made a mistake, to go back to the right road, the road off which they were deceived, when they find that those who were leading them had proved themselves false, even if we say that their falseness only went to the extent of being false prophets? I think that if we want to get some rule on matters of this kind we can only accept this: that force should not be used when a verdict of that particular kind was given, that we should not stand for force, but that every other method that was available should be used.

As far as I myself am concerned, I have in the past, and I am prepared to stand by it in the future as in the past, said very definitely, and clearly understood in my own mind, that if we want to avoid the use of force, then whether we like it or not, even though we can clearly see that the judgment is not right, that we have no other way of settling matters of national importance in dispute without violence except by taking the decision of the vote of the people properly obtained. I strove for that from the beginning. A phrase that I used has been very often quoted against me, though in fact if it be examined it could never have been quoted against me. I said at the start, when the Treaty came across, that there was a Constitutional way of settling our differences, and so there was if it had been followed. But the same tactics by which this Constitution is being torn up, without any regard whatever for those who regard the Constitution as a sacred thing, a thing for which men have given their lives—the very same tactics made it impossible for anybody to stand up and say that force was out of the question. The Constitution that was torn up, the Pact that was formed with the express purpose of trying to give the people an opportunity of settling that question, was torn up, over-night war was declared——

The Deputy cannot go into that on the Fifth Stage of this Bill.

——and consequently we have the position that we have at the moment.

On a point of order, the Ceann Comhairle has ruled that we cannot go into these matters, but I suggest that these matters have been gone into. Your ruling has been made, but the ruling has been made after the event and these statements have been made. These statements have been made, and you have ruled that they are out of order. I put it to you that these statements having been made, and these arguments having been used, that, in that state of affairs, we, on this side of the House, are entitled to reply to them, even though it may not be in order to do so on the present stage of this Bill. But the state of affairs that exists is this: that statements have been made and arguments used, and I submit that we, on this side of the House, should be entitled to reply to them.

The ex-soldier wants to fight his battles all over again.

Would Deputies listen to the point of order?

Mr. HOGAN

I put it to you that this is constantly happening: of Deputies on the other side looking for special terms for themselves. I agree that you have ruled, and that is the end of it, that these matters are out of order on this particular Bill, but I put it to you that this has been constantly happening: that arguments are being used on the other side and have been used and have then been ruled out of order, and that we have had no opportunity of replying to them.

Have you wanted to?

Permit me on a point of order——

Now you know.

I am taking the question relating to the Fifth Stage of this Bill. On a debate on the Fifth Stage of such a Bill I cannot allow the Minister to make a case because of something that was said by the other side now or at some other stage of this Bill or upon some other matter or at another time, and reply to it now. I have told Deputy de Valera that he cannot go into the matters which he has been going into, that they are out of order and I am going to insist on that. But I am not going, because Deputy de Valera got in a few sentences, to allow a debate to develop on a matter which it seems to me is altogether without limit and could not possibly be concluded to-day or to-morrow or next week or next month. That is simply the position about the matter. The history of the country is what is at issue, and while people may want to go back to 1922 there are members of this House who have the same right as Deputies and not one whit less than the President or the Leader of the Opposition who might conceivably desire to argue, and have endeavoured to argue at different times, that the deception of the people, instead of beginning in 1922, began in 1918 and a good deal earlier. These arguments are no more relevant——

Mr. BOLAND

They have a good case, too.

I have a good understanding of these things myself, and I feel that they cannot be argued on this Bill, nor do I see how they could be argued on any other Bill. Certainly questions of the kind cannot be argued on the Fifth Stage of this Bill. I agree that there is a tendency to endeavour to get these things in from time to time. I am not particularly concerned about that tendency, and I am not particularly grieved about it. I understand it, but there is no doubt that we cannot, on the Fifth Stage of this Bill, debate these matters, and I have asked Deputy de Valera not to go into them.

Mr. HOGAN

In view of your ruling and of a particular remark that you dropped—you say that these matters cannot be argued on this Bill. I think you suggested that there was another way of arguing them. Surely there is a way of arguing these matters possibly by putting down a motion that would specifically cover matters that certain Deputies want to deal with. That would enable everyone to deal with them, and in such a way as would be in order.

We are here to answer you after eight years. When we came here you ceased to talk about it. You have a damned good reason for it.

The President suggested that a motion be put down so as to allow the discussion of these things. I cannot give a ruling on that matter now, as I should first have to see the motion. The view of the Chair is, so far as it is entitled to have any opinion in the matter, that if a motion were put down and the matter were relevant, the Chair would allow all the relevant matters to be discussed, but the Chair can see great difficulties in the framing of such a motion, and can see very little value to the House or anybody else in the discussion of such a motion, or the matters it will raise, for the questions at issue are questions of facts, and we have no machinery for determining them. It would simply mean Deputies repeating arguments, and at the conclusion no one would be more convinced than before.

I am surprised that the Chair thinks it is not relevant to say when we are told that these Articles are not fundamental that they are fundamental Articles, and that they are so because of their history. Are we only going to take every question as if we had been born only overnight, and as if the past was not to be used in any sense to guide us, as if the promises of the past which put the present majority in power, and put them in the position to introduce these Bills, were not to be used to remind them of their obligations and contracts? If that were so, surely it would be impossible to do anything except to come here and vote. I was dealing with the fundamentals of the Constitution, as mentioned by Deputy Cooper. He said these Articles were not fundamental. I pointed out that as far as he was concerned they were not, that the Articles which he regarded as fundamental would be got in the Index under the heading of "The King." These are the Articles which Deputy Cooper regarded as fundamental. I take it the majority of the members on both sides —I am not speaking of the constituted majority at the moment—are not going to take that view. I believe I am speaking for even a number of those on the Cumann na nGaedheal benches when I say that we regard those Articles that he would regard as fundamental as having been imposed from outside, that they were imposed under threat of war, and that as such we are not ever going to regard them as fundamental. The ones that are fundamental to us are the ones that are being taken away here. These are the ones that give ultimately to the people of Ireland the right to decide questions on which there have been differences of opinion, and he knows quite well that in other countries where the Initiative and Referendum are used these are devices that are intended to give the people an opportunity of separating great issues from small ones and coming to a definite decision upon these issues. We would have been saved a great deal of bloodshed in the last four or five years if there had been in the Constitution we have been working under an Article which stated that matters of a certain kind were finally to be submitted to the people. If we had such an Article a great deal of trouble would have been saved. I believe we are, by wiping out these Articles, heading for the same sort of a thing on another occasion. Could we not have wisdom enough to think at least of the past, even if we cannot talk about it, and use it to guide us on the road which we propose to travel?

As I was saying, I have been challenged time after time, and held up as the one person, or one of the principals of those who were opposing the will of the people. I have said there was a constitutional way at the time of the Treaty of settling our differences. I believe there was, and my one hope was that methods of that kind would have been adopted. I was going over the past to show that in my action now I am as consistent on this question of constitutional right as then. I want to see that these powers of final reference to the people should be preserved. We have to consider the Initiative and the Referendum as if we were simply in some class on politics and as if we were talking with these experts Deputy O'Connell spoke about in the abstract. We have to consider whether the Initiative was good or bad, or whether it is an addition to or interference with the institutions of representative government. I know it could be argued I have seen the arguments for and against, and personally I do not think we would gain anything by arguing this question in the abstract here. We have to consider our own circumstances, our own peculiar conditions, and to ask ourselves whether or not it is suitable here, and not merely whether it has been found to work well in the United States, where it was adopted, whether it is working well in Germany, or whether it is working well in Switzerland. We have our own conditions, and anybody associated with me either now or in the past knows full well I have not been accustomed to deal with any questions as purely abstract questions, but rather to deal with them in the light of our own peculiar circumstances.

That is why I have harked back on this question a good deal to the past, and not repeated out of some book on politics in the abstract arguments given there for and against the Referendum, because in the long run we ought not to be guided by these, though the experience of other countries is not to be despised. In these matters we ought to be guided purely by our own conditions. On the general question of the Referendum some have said it has been found useless in other countries and has been given up. The point was made from the opposite benches, which Deputy O'Connell admitted, that the members of this Inter-Parliamentary Union who brought forward this as a subject of discussion were in favour of it and the experts, or those who were there with the experts from other countries where it had not been adopted, but that, of course, they did not know what it is—that they were ignorant on the subject, that they were in the same state as the gentlemen in the opposite benches were in their youth five years ago when they were all little children, all inexperienced youngsters trotting about five years ago, just playing at government, that these men Deputy O'Connell spoke of had the same lack of practical experience and were mere theorists. Very well, probably what those have found is that their own Parliamentary institutions with which they are closely acquainted are not perfect, that there is a great need for checks of the kind that the Referendum would be, that it would offer a means of advance against a grouping of Parties, and so on, to the bargains that are made between Parties such as the Initiative would afford. Further, if we want to know whether it is the opinion of those who have tried it that it is good or not, I think, when I was speaking on the petition I quoted the opinion of Lord Bryce as to the working of the Initiative and the Referendum in Switzerland. I can find the quotation, if anybody wants the exact words. The substance of it was this:— That it was found to work reasonably there, that there was a tendency in favour of it there and whilst there were some that were inclined to extend its operation there was nobody who wished to destroy it or end it.

Did not Lord Bryce also say that there was a strong current of opinion in Switzerland that it should not be used in connection with foreign affairs and in particular in connection with treaties?

Now, foreign affairs and treaties are bringing in a separate issue.

A DEPUTY

That is the question.

Oh, I see the whole trouble now. We are beginning to see a little bit of light. The whole trouble as it appears to me is that the gentlemen who say they are quite ready to go in with their heads up into the British Empire are never to have the right to say that they are to come out; that is a power altogether above the people. The people's power can be invoked to put to death people who refuse to go into the British Empire but oh, no, the will of the people must never be used to extricate those who have gone in. If there is any meaning to a treaty of this particular kind that is the meaning of it.

Deputy Cooper let the cat out of the bag.

He let an elephant out of the bag.

Here is Lord Bryce's summing up:—

"In Switzerland the people are entirely content with the Referendum. No one proposes to abandon or restrict a section or wishes to extend it; the Initiative receives more general approval from the wise than 30 or even 15 years ago."

That is his summing up, not one of the arguments pro and con, but his judicial summing up of the way in which the Referendum is found to work in Switzerland. Now, Switzerland, before it adopted this method of Referendum, was noted for its corruption, at least so the book says. I was not there at the time, and cannot say anything from personal experience, but so the books tell us that deal with democracy, its dangers and the correctives that have been found to work fairly well in the last generation or so, and to-day Switzerland is held up as the model of what a democracy should be. Now, there are various forms of the Referendum, as you know; at least it is used in various ways. In some of the cantons, in some of the places where it is used it is optional in the sense in which it is here. A certain proportion can cause it to be invoked. In other cases it is necessary that a law be put to a Referendum of the people. In some cases it is purely optional, and in others it is obligatory. It is purely optional in the sense that it is not invoked on every occasion, but can be invoked on important occasions. It may be arranged so that it would not be abused by making the condition sufficiently hard. When this question of the Referendum and Initiative was before the Provisional Parliament that was the sole aspect considered. Not a single person stood up and said they were opposed to the Referendum and Initiative as such. Deputy Cooper would like us to believe that they were only put up as frills of fashion. I think the way he put it was that we would like this Constitution to appear well and we had it dressed nicely, as we would like to see our wives dressed, and so on. Very well. I do not think that was the purpose of those who drafted the Constitution originally. I gave you the names of them at the beginning. For those who say that they were faddists, here are some of the faddists; not merely were they members of the Provisional Parliament, not merely was Lloyd George one of them, he did not exercise his blue pencil over it. He knew the purposes it was to be used for, and he was wise enough to see that it remained there until it had served his purpose. The right time had not come for him to use his pencil. One of the faddists is the gentleman who occupies the Viceregal Lodge. The next one of our faddists was John O'Byrne, here in swaddling clothes at the time. He is at present a Judge of the High Court, and is very careful of the dignity of the Courts. Another faddist, of course, was the Chief Justice, who signed one of those drafts, too. We have Justice Murnaghan, now also of the Supreme Court, another faddist who got his position like they all did by competitive examination Justice Fitzgibbon is another one, another faddist, a Judge of the Supreme Court who happened to be here in the Provisional Parliament when this matter was going through. These are the faddists and all those who were here in the Provisional Parliament. They want to say now that they were in their swaddling clothes. They confess that now, but when they were going before the Irish people, as was already pointed out by one of the Deputies, they were all men who were full of wisdom, able to look ahead for the nation, able to study all those things that would develop out of the Treaty. The only thing was that they took mighty good care to turn the attention of the people in one direction only, and to hide from them, as they were able, assisted by the Press, the danger along that particular road.

This question of the Initiative and Referendum could be discussed in the abstract. We could sit down here as a number of political theorists and ask ourselves whether the Initiative and the Referendum are necessary to supplement modern Parliamentary institutions or not, but I do not want it to be considered in that way, because I believe in the long run what we want to know is whether the Initiative and Referendum can fulfil and will fulfil any good purpose in our own country. That is the question, and no other one, that is to be decided. I hold that it would serve a very good purpose. Both of them could be used, if wisely used, to serve very good purposes, but the one in which I was interested most, as I indicated at the very start, is the one which gives the people the right to initiate legislation, and in particular to initiate the certain type of legislation that is necessary to get them out of the difficulties in which they found themselves, the type of legislation necessary if we want to re-unite this country and get the people marching ahead to make this country what they dreamed it would be some years ago. That is what I want the Initiative for. I believe it is the best way to secure that objective if it were there. The Irish people would take the step to make this Chamber a representative assembly, and once it was a representative assembly, as far as I am concerned, if there were final reference to the people in it, I want no other House as far as this particular Constitution is concerned. I believe we could here, if there was a final reference to the people available, settle acute differences of opinion; we would need nothing else but this House, with its members elected on proportional representation, but we should have it completely representative. It would not be representative so long as Article 17 is in the Constitution, and I proposed to use the Initiative when the machinery was set up, as it should have been set up if the Constitution were followed, to proceed to the people and ask them to use that Initiative to get rid of Article 17. There would have been a campaign in the country about it, I dare say. All the arguments used before would be used, but I am confident that people would understand the position and deal with that single isolated question, which is one of the purposes for which the Referendum and Initiative could be used as distinct from an election by concentrating on that single question. Its consequences and all the rest could be discussed, and we could get a clear verdict, and I believe the clear verdict would be to make this House really representative.

Would it be from the Twenty-six Counties or the whole of Ireland you would want the verdict?

Unfortunately, we would not be able to extend it to the Six Counties. You and the rest of you who voted took care that would not be so.

You are recognising partition then?

That is nonsense. I recognise I am here because it is a fact. We are not the people who do not recognise what is, in the sense of taking cognisance of it. It is a very different question to say it is right or just to accept it, sign it or say we agree to it.

Or to justify it as a damn good bargain.

As the first step to try and get the people of the whole of Ireland in control of the whole of Ireland, I was anxious to see that the people of Ireland should get control here, and that the people of Ireland would be properly represented here, on the only foundation I want, for one, and that was a Constitution which would freely admit that the Irish people were masters. That is going to be taken away. It is clear and definite from the action that the Government have been taking all the time that their policy is to prevent the people taking those steps which were used by them at the time as inducements to the people to put them into power. They said to the people: "We can use this as a stepping-stone." They even said that by getting the rifles, these rifles could be used. I remember one man, when the question of the oath was being discussed——

This is really out of order.

Mr. HOGAN

I think that man's name ought to be left out of it.

The argument simply occurred to me as a natural one when we are seeing that the policy of the Executive is to deceive the people, to tell them there is a straight, open road, and then when they get them on to that road put up every barrier they can against further progress. That is the position. Because the people might take this particular action, the people who were given lip service, or their representatives, are to be debarred from taking it. It is not enough that it should be possible to bring the consequences before the people, to tell them that there would be dire consequences. They would have every opportunity of putting that before the people. They could intimidate the people, as they tried to do before. They would have every opportunity, and I have no doubt whatever, by their attitude here, that they would avail themselves of it, at least there would be a feeling in the hearts of the people who wanted to move forward that the people could get the opportunity, and that is being denied them, except they choose to do it at a general election, when not merely that question but a host of others would be involved. When parties come back after a general election each one of them says you are pledged to this and that; you promised this, that and the other thing, and nobody can point and say definitely this is a thing on which you have been elected. I defy anybody after a general election, no matter what the question is, to say it was on that question they got a clear verdict of the people.

In a matter of this kind, if the Referendum were used you would get a clear-cut decision of the people on a clear-cut issue, which could not be burked by anybody. But that would not suit the present Executive. They talk about the will of the people and the supremacy of the people, but when there is an opportunity of putting a question clearly to the people they run away from it, as they ran away from it when by the Pact a similar chance would be given to the people. They did not want it; they wanted to have all the opportunities of confusing the people they could get. Our opposition, then, to this ought to be quite clear. We are not in favour of the Referendum as a purely abstract thing. We are in favour of it because it would be valuable to the people of this country in the position in which they find themselves as a result of what has happened for the last four or five years. I think Deputies ought to be very slow to cut away that chance that there is of settling the acute differences which exist to-day just as deeply and as fundamentally as they existed five or six years ago, to give an opportunity to have these differences resolved in a peaceful manner. If you are going to have a rigid Constitution and if you are going to prevent the people from overleaping these constitutional restrictions, you may have the old position which is matter of history repeated. If you are going to have a rigid Constitution and deny the people the power to overleap it, then you are going to have results such as we have had for the last four or five years.

You are going ultimately to have people who will say "Away with all these. We are simply slaves, we are simply tied within this thing, and we will cut our way out as best we can." Do the Executive want that sort of thing? No doubt they will have the big battalions behind them. There were times during the last four or five years when it seemed to me that they were trying to challenge contests on these particular lines, because they knew they had the big battalions, they had illimitable forces that they could call in as auxiliaries at any time they wanted, and that they were really challenging people to a struggle of that kind because they felt they would be militarily successful, and in the end people would be so cowed that anything could be forced upon them. I say the things that would not have been dared four or five years ago are being dared to-day, simply because they feel that the people have been beaten, the people have been cowed, that they are weary and tired. But there are always reactions on occasions like that. There is the usual swing of the pendulum. It goes at one time from great activity back to a period of apathy, and then on again to activity. My experience has been such, and I imagined it would have been shared by those on the other side if their hearts were at all for the people, that I do not want to see civil war in my time, or in the time of anybody else, if I can avoid it. This country is so small that I believe if it is going to make any progress at all it can only make it by united action amongst the people. Therefore, we want to get to some basic thing on which we can agree. I made the statement at one time that in the long run a Constitution is some set of rules under which political activity is carried on, some set of standard rules, basic and staple, under which the different parties that work politically can work. Can we not get to some stage like that in which we will have some fundamental rules that the different parties will agree to accept? Apparently we are not getting to that stage. We are getting more and more into the position we were in four or five years ago when a certain thing was imposed on the country. That is to last for all time; it is never to be changed or modified. If it were of any use I would appeal to everybody on both sides not to take away this way which would be so useful at any time there were critical questions, not to take it away hurriedly like this for no other reason but because a proposal was made here strictly in accordance with the Constitution, a proposal that a certain petition should be acted upon. That seems to be the only reason why this thing is being rushed at this particular time. There are a couple of years within which the Constitution can be amended, by either this House making itself a constituent assembly for the time being and enacting whatever changes may be necessary, or else by getting a convention called for the purpose. It can be changed. Why should not the changes be made in a genuine fashion that will command some respect? The effect of this is to make the people see that they are in a trap. They see the doors being closed against them. You make them feel desperate, and they say: "Very well, as every way by which we can reasonably and without force get out of this trap is being barred against us, there is nothing for us to do but to prepare for the days, near or distant, when we will be able to break down all these doors."

The Minister to conclude.

I desire to speak.

The Debate has gone on for two and a quarter hours. I do not know whether the House is prepared to let the President conclude by agreement.

I wish also to speak. I think it is a very important matter, and that it should be discussed so that Deputies on all sides of this House can know what they are doing.

It does seem remarkable that the mere suggestion even should be made that because a discussion on the Fifth Stage of this Bill has lasted an hour and a half it should not go on——

That suggestion was not made. This discussion has gone on for two and a quarter hours.

That even two and a quarter hours before this Dáil parts with control of this measure, some period arbitrarily selected, two and a half hours or any other period, should be regarded in itself as a sufficient argument by which this Dáil should be silent for all time upon this measure. I do not accept it. We do not accept it in this House. It will not be accepted in this country and no matter what form and ceremony we go through to-day, no matter what rules and regulations, what majority and other things are used to enforce it, this thing which to-day you are attempting to bury shall rise up again and slay the powers and forces which to-day under this form you are attempting to bury—the continuous control of the people of this country, the people of the Twenty-Six Counties over the Twenty-Six Counties. They shall fail. Not two and a half, not twenty-two and a half, not twenty-two hundred years will rob this people of what they are determined to have some day, somehow, somewhere, by some means, continuous control over their own lives and their development. That is the power which it is impudently suggested is a matter of such amazing and hurried urgency that we should get rid of it after two-and-a-half hours' discussion before we lose control of this measure; that is so obviously sufficient it should be accepted by agreement.

What is the power which is being taken away? The power of this portion, this one of thedisjecta membra of a broken island, to use continuously, negatively, and positively this instrument of the Dáil for the purpose of developing its physical life, its economic life, and rebuilding its national life. Under this interesting provision we are to screw down the safety valve. We are going to give technically the power into the hands of the majority to do what it likes. Take away this power and there is no power inside the Treaty if that is gone, no power inside the Treaty which is for the benefit of the ordinary people of Ireland which a majority of this House cannot permanently take away from them. Is there any member on the Government benches who is prepared to challenge that, that within the Constitution every power which is in the people can be taken away from them by exactly the same machinery and exactly under the same conditions as this power to control the Dáil is taken away from them? That is what you are giving them in this Bill; when the Bill leaves your hands you have no control over it. It is only part of a price, but once it leaves your hands remember you have no control over it and the people have no control over it. Proportional representation. It can go. The present constitution of electorates. That can go. The nominal freedom of the judiciary. That can go. There is no single power left in the people which a mere casual majority in this House, so long as it obeys Deputy Cooper, so long as it has behind it the forces in the Seanad and in the Dáil which belong to and are controlled by Deputy Cooper——

Mr. HOGAN

Is the phrase "the nominal freedom of the judiciary" in order?

I will not undertake to say what it means.

That is right. Later I may define it, but whether it is nominal or whether it is real, real in the sense in which a majority in this House under this procedure can take it away from them—now he has got his definition— real in the sense of something that a majority in this House can take away from them, the freedom of the judiciary, the independence of the laws of the courts and every other thing—I am making no exception—every single power, civil, religious, political, is now in the hands of the majority in this Dáil when that is gone. That is to be done in a hurry, to be done by a majority founded on Trinity College. That is to be done on a democratic majority founded on the National University one of whose constituencies is sterilised. That is the thing to be done by a majority founded on a man who goes to the country and says it is an indication of appreciation——

The Deputy will have to keep to this Bill.

Is there any member on the other side of the House who is prepared to deny that the issue has got to go further than this House? It has got to go into the hearts and minds of every single elector and it is going there no matter what you do to prevent it. Is there any man who will deny that under the proposal, the same procedure by which we take away the Referendum, the majority of this House can now, with the Referendum taken away, take away any liberty or power whatever possessed by any individual or section of the community?

Is there any member of the House who is in a position to deny that every member who goes into the division lobby to vote that we shall lose control, on the Fifth Stage of this Bill, goes in to vote that there shall be set up a Constitution in this country under which a casual majority can, and ought to, take away from every individual member of the electorate any liberty, any right, any power, any property which a casual majority of this House thinks it pays them to take away? That is one side of your Constitution as you have got it. What is the other? You have no power to do the other.

The Constitution of this country consists, after this is gone, of a single clause, that a majority in this House, in co-operation with a majority of the Seanad, can do anything it likes and that England likes also. That is the whole situation in a single sentence. That is what you are voting for to-day. That is what every member of the electorate ought to know you are voting for, and that is what the majority of the electorate, if you went to them, would not allow you vote for. If you go to them now under the conditions in which they can deal with one clear issue, apart possibly from some of the select of Dublin, apart from the constituency in which 17,000 first preferences could be got for Castlereagh, and put that clean issue that we to-day are reconstructing the Constitution with a single phrase, the phrase that I have given you, not one single man who would stand for that Constitution would be returned to the Dáil. But you have the opportunity of altering the rules of the game. You have the opportunity of putting something between you and that verdict of the people. You can play round with the machinery of the Constitution, and you are doing it. That is the sort of thing that you are doing behind the smoke-screen of a syndicated Press. That is the sort of thing that you are doing behind the fact that the people do not know, but that is the kind of thing that, when the people are told what has happened, will send you to a long overdue oblivion.

The Deputy should use the third person.

This is to bury the Referendum. They will bury it alive. They cannot kill it. Stronger powers, more treacherous powers, better paid powers of evil in this country, have time and again tried it, and history has shown us that what they thought was the corpse upon the dissecting table has risen again, alive and virile, young and hopeful, confident and faithful to walk down the road which its death was supposed not to allow it to travel. You are not going to get rid of the Referendum by a little trick of this kind. You are not going to get rid of the people by fooling them about, within the little technicalities of the Constitution by permission of the Seanad. You are not going as the price, the blackmail price, of giving control over this Dáil to the Seanad to get rid permanently of the control of the people over this Dáil.

I want the Referendum for a reason possibly which may not be common. I want it for what it is openly and obviously. I want it for something else. I want it as a buffer State. One of the reasons for the occasion, as distinct from the cause, of the abolition of the Referendum was that it was suggested that it should be used for a particular purpose. I for one find it very difficult to examine any machinery except in relation to its possible products, and I am going to ask you now to examine the Referendum, the existence and the non-existence of the Referendum and the Initiative in relation to the particular product, which, because it was intended or supposed to be intended to be used for it, the Party majority on the other side have paid a blackmail price to someone else to get rid of. Assume for a moment that the people of this country did want a fundamental change in that portion of the Constitution which at present is held to be Treaty-barred. How are they going to go about it? How have they gone about it? There was the case of the Boundary. We picked probably the most inefficient man in Europe to represent us upon that Boundary Commission.

The Deputy must not go into that.

We will come back to the time when we attempted, by some other machinery than the Referendum or Initiative, to deal with portion of this Constitution which was Treaty-barred. I am going to suggest to you that the Initiative and the Referendum combined do give a better way of dealing with portions of the Constitution which are Treaty-barred than any other methods, certainly than the method which was adopted.

What happened in that particular case was that a body or Committee of the Cabinet went over to London. We are dealing now with the Initiative for changing a Treaty-barred condition of the Constitution. They came back on Monday, I think. At any rate, they presented this Dáil with a Bill to change a Treaty-barred constituent of that Constitution, and asked them to pass it that day by agreement. No notice, no consultation with the people, no attempt to get the people to give them either strength in resistance or wisdom in council! The most fundamental issue that could possibly be offered to this House and this country under the Constitution: the legal recognition of the existence of two legally constituted separate and distinct States in Ireland. The method was to come here without consultation with the people and ask the House to pass, for the first time in the whole history of Ireland, recognition by any Irishman of the possibility of the legal existence in Ireland of two separate and distinct States. It was suggested that the provisions of this Referendum should operate, and the President said: "Get your 100,000 and we will go ahead." He thought then that we could not get either the 100,000 or within this Constitution the number of men and their signatures which would enable that constitutional machinery to be set in operation. He said: "Get your 100,000 men and the country shall decide." But when he discovered that we could get that machinery, then the President went back upon his word, proved false to his pledge, threw away his own challenge, and said that upon a Party in this House shall lie the responsibility, and not with the people of Ireland under a Referendum; the power of deciding that we shall recognise, for the first time in the history of Ireland, that Ireland as a legal entity shall cease to exist, that the name is not there any longer, that we shall be a sovereign Parliament of one of the fragments of Ireland.

What would have happened under the other method? Our people could have come together and decided; they could have brought their counsel to the common fund. Does anyone suggest that there is an acceptance in any part of Ireland of the fact that the Twenty-six Counties is sovereign? Because if it does, it means that my father's birthplace—Antrim—is outside of my country.

The Deputy is getting away from the Bill.

I am dealing with the fact that there are two different ways. Take the particular issue which was brought to the House—Article 17—I am not dealing with its merits in any way. Are we going to adopt the same way when a majority comes into this House? Are we just going to pass a Bill by a Party majority abolishing it, and, as we can quite clearly within the whole rules of the House, put it through its Five Stages and send it to the Governor-General, and put this Dáil directly as a Party majority up against the other signatory of the Treaty? Is that wise? Remember, that when this is gone that is the only way—a hard shell, a clean issue, to be fought out face to face and at once. Or before we take serious steps of that kind, are we going to have the machinery which will enable us to rest whatever verdict this House may come to upon the open authority or the openly ascertained will, under the most democratic system, of the people in the Twenty-six Counties? Assume for a moment that there is a Treaty-barred provision in the Constitution which you desire to remove, which is the better way: to go to the co-signatory backed by a Party majority in this Dáil or backed by that open evidence of the popular will on a single, clearly ascertained issue in the country?

Take the case that you have. You go to the country and you find a majority in favour of a particular provision. It may not be big enough; it may be technically big enough. You can still operate under that if you choose to bring your law right up to the point at which it is inoperative. The Constitution Act definitely envisages the fact and makes an arrangement for the passing of laws for that purpose. It envisages that you will do it. You get a majority of 400,000 to 200,000, as the President says, for a certain provision. It becomes inoperative even if we carry out the provision. You go back again and you get 700,000 to 200,000 for the elimination from the Constitution of a Treaty-barred provision and again it is inoperative. You go back to the people again and you come to them with fifteen hundred thousand people—a public opinion slowly, diligently, openly and honestly built up, built up of knowledge; fifteen hundred thousand votes against two hundred thousand or whatever the figure is. Is that going to be inoperative whatever this Constitution may say? Here you had a machinery for building up in face of the world proof that the people of the Twenty-Six Counties are behind, definitely, openly, democratically, in a properly-ascertained manner, over a continuous period, the demand for the elimination from the Treaty of a Treaty-barred provision.

What sort of a position would the President be in or the Minister for Finance or others if they went to that other signatory to the Treaty and said: "That thing is inoperative under the Treaty, inoperative and incapable of fulfilment under the conditions you proclaimed to the world as a standard Constitution of this Confederation of British free peoples"? What will be their position if they go to the world and say: "This is what we are demanding; this is how we have demanded this; this is the period for which we have demanded it; this is the machinery by which we have demanded it, and under this free Constitution of these free nations of the Britsh Empire it is possible for it to be denied"? What is it that is on trial then? Is it the will and wisdom of our people, or is it that democracy and liberty in the Constitution under which we live? which is it that is on trial? The wisdom of the Irish people or the continued existence of the British Empire? You have power under this if you choose to use it. I am not in favour of using it to the full, but rather slowly, cautiously and wisely. If I had that power in my own hands. I for one would not be anxious immediately to use it. Speaking now personally, if I were using my own discretion, I would say I have this immense instrument of immense potentiality in my hands, and I would not risk misusing it. I have there a power of intensive evolution within that Constitution—the Constitution of every other, nominally, at any rate, constituent member of this family of nations—I have there a power of evolution which, if it is controlled and stopped and hampered, can only be stopped and hampered at the peril of the whole system into which it fits—a power of evolution which must bring to Ireland liberty or must bring to the British Empire destruction. That provision cannot continue to exist in the Constitution of this country or in the common Constitution or relations of other people to them, and be operative without producing either liberty on the one side or destruction on the other. They have the choice. They put that provision in. That provision wisely, slowly, cautiously, carefully used by a united people on the Irish side will either bring to this country liberty within that Constitution or it will destroy the source of authority outside this country from which that Constitution springs——

Might it not destroy the country itself?

If anyone will tell me the proper way of killing a microbe I shall be glad.

What is the suggestion?

If you pass this provision you are passing into the hands of a Party majority in this House all power over the liberty of the people. Are you prepared to do that? If you destroy this you destroy the means of large evolutionary change by which the liberty of this country can be attained. That is the issue for you now. That is the issue for every man in the country. Either you are going to hold control and keep it in the hands of the people, continuous control over this Dáil, or you are going to take it away from them. You are going to leave in the possession of these people the instrument that can be used in the largest possible way if used cautiously for the development of our national freedom. Are you going to take that away from them? Are you going to be supreme? Is a Party majority, so long as it agrees with the Seanad and with England, to be capable of making any possible change in the Treaty or non-Treaty—barred conditions of this Constitution? And are the people to have no power or control whatever over their own liberties except those that are conceded them by a Party majority in this House?

You are faced with the biggest question of a democratic character that has ever or, I think, ever will be put to this House. It is for you to decide as men; look a long way forward, not from the point of view of the little victories and strategies of the day, but as men who link up dozens of generations of faithfulness to great ideas in the long run of generations which we hope will be faithful to those same ideals. We are but the links, the momentary stopping points of human progress in Ireland. In dealing with this Bill and this provision we must deal with it with a full sense of the responsibilities that rest upon us to see that the great hopes of the past may be fulfilled in the future and not be sterilised in this our evil day.

I claim to move that the question be now put.

I wish to speak very urgently on this matter.

This is the Fifth Stage. I am going to accept the motion that the question be now put.

I wish to protest. I say it is a damn disgrace that this thing should be allowed to go through after a couple of hours. I think you are a damn Party hack and nothing else.

Interruptions.

DEPUTIES

"Order, Order!""Shame!"

The question is that the question be now put.

You are simply a tool of the British Government to deceive the people. You are nothing but a mean skunk.

Renewed interruptions.

DEPUTIES

"Shame, shame!"

I think the motion is carried.

DEPUTIES

Vótáil.

I wish to say that I think you are a damn hypocrite and nothing but a mere Party machine.

DEPUTIES

"Order, order!"

Bryan Cooper showed his hand here to-day; he showed that he is the master to-day. You are nothing but a pack of hypocrites.

Interruptions.

Masonic Lodges.

Don't be making an ass of yourself.

They shot their own men and killed their own people to put this Constitution through.

I protest.

Protest? You should be damn well ashamed of yourself.

He is another damned Party hack, get over to the other side.

I am not a bit afraid to give expression to my opinion.

Get over on the Cumann na nGaedheal benches.

I have some respect for myself and for the dignity of the Chamber and I am not going to be bullied by blackguards like you. Although I am going to vote in the same Lobby and although I protest against this Bill I have some respect for the dignity of this House and the Chair.

Line up behind Cooper.

I protest against this class of conduct.

Not one Minister had a word to say to-day. Bryan Cooper had to say it.

President Cooper.

Mr. HOGAN

Do not excite yourself too much; it does not agree with you.

We are not a bit excited; we are telling you exactly what we think of you, and we are doing it deliberately.

Mr. HOGAN

This is a display of hysterics.

The King's representative who sits for County Dublin.

We would not waste our time trying to impress you.

Mr. HOGAN

That is what you are doing all the time.

Cooper of the Coronation Oath and the King's Oath.

Call in the Cromwells and the Castlereaghs.

We know now exactly why you executed Childers and Mellowes.

Mr. HOGAN

Now, shut up.

Question put—"That the question be now put."
The Dáil divided:—Tá, 60; Níl, 47.

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

Níl

  • Frank Aiken.
  • Denis Allen.
  • Richard Anthony.
  • Gerald Boland.
  • Patrick Boland.
  • Daniel Bourke.
  • Seán Brady.
  • Robert Briscoe.
  • Daniel Buckley.
  • Frank Carney.
  • Michael Clery.
  • James Colbert.
  • Hugh Holohan.
  • Eamon Cooney.
  • Dan. Corkery.
  • Tadhg Crowley.
  • William Davin.
  • Thomas Derrig.
  • Eamon de Valera.
  • Frank Fahy.
  • Hugo Flinn.
  • Andrew Fogarty.
  • Patrick J. Gorry.
  • John Goulding.
  • Seán Hayes.
  • Patrick Hogan (Clare).
  • Patrick Houlihan.
  • William R. Kent.
  • James Joseph Killane.
  • Mark Killilea.
  • Michael Kilroy.
  • Seán F. Lemass.
  • Patrick John Little.
  • Thomas McEllistrim.
  • Seán MacEntee.
  • Séamus Moore.
  • Daniel Morrissey.
  • Thomas J. O'Connell.
  • Patrick Joseph O'Dowd.
  • William O'Leary.
  • Matthew O'Reilly.
  • Thomas O'Reilly.
  • Martin Sexton.
  • Timothy Sheehy (Tipperary).
  • Patrick Smith.
  • John Tubridy.
  • Francis C. Ward.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Duggan and M. Conlon; Níl Deputies G. Boland and Allen.
Question declared carried.
Question: "That the Constitution (Amendment No. 10) Bill. 1928, do now pass," put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 60; Níl, 47.

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

Níl

  • Frank Aiken.
  • Denis Allen.
  • Richard Anthony.
  • Gerald Boland.
  • Patrick Boland.
  • Daniel Bourke.
  • Seán Brady.
  • Robert Briscoe.
  • Daniel Buckley.
  • Frank Carney.
  • Michael Clery.
  • James Colbert.
  • Hugh Colohan.
  • Eamon Cooney.
  • Dan Corkery.
  • Tadhg Crowley.
  • William Davin.
  • Thomas Derrig.
  • Eamon de Valera.
  • Frank Fahy.
  • Hugo Flinn.
  • Andrew Fogarty.
  • Patrick J. Gorry.
  • John Goulding.
  • Seán Hayes.
  • Patrick Hogan (Clare).
  • Patrick Houlihan.
  • William R. Kent.
  • James Joseph Killane.
  • Mark Killilea.
  • Michael Kilroy.
  • Seán F. Lemass.
  • Patrick John Little.
  • Thomas McEllistrim.
  • Seán MacEntee.
  • Séamus Moore.
  • Daniel Morrissey.
  • Thomas J. O'Connell.
  • Patrick Joseph O'Dowd.
  • William O'Leary.
  • Matthew O'Reilly.
  • Thomas O'Reilly.
  • Martin Sexton.
  • Timothy Sheehy (Tipp.).
  • Patrick Smith.
  • John Tubridy.
  • Francis C. Ward.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Duggan and Conlon; Níl: Deputies G. Boland and Allen.
Question declared carried.

Since I entered this House I can safely say that I have done nothing that would in any way lower the credit of the country or lower the dignity of this House. I have at all times been mindful of the fact that we have left in the country at least some respect for ourselves as Irishmen, and for Irish institutions. I look upon this House as the first institution in the land——

That is where you are wrong.

What land?

A DEPUTY

What part of the land?

—and for that reason I am very jealous of the dignity of this House. Now, I want to know, a Chinn Comhairle, if it is in order to proceed with further business, seeing——

On a point of order— (interruptions).

What is Deputy Cooney's point of order?

My point of order is that this man has told a deliberate falsehood, in so far as anything lowering the dignity of this House is concerned, when he has himself lowered the dignity of the House——

DEPUTIES

Order order!

I do not expect much—(interruptions).

Order. Allow Deputy Anthony to proceed.

I do not mind this class of vulgar interruption, which is just what I would expect to come from that quarter. I want to know if it is in order to proceed with further business, seeing that the Ceann Comhairle has been called by a member of this House "a mean cad." I want to know what steps you, a Chinn Comhairle, propose to take in this matter.

Anthony to the rescue!

The words the Deputy mentioned have been used, and there is no doubt that these words are grossly disorderly. The matter is one which I think should be left to the judgment of the House. Accordingly, I propose, under the provisions of Standing Order 48, to allow the Dáil to judge on the conduct of Deputy Aiken, unless the Deputy himself withdraws. Is the Deputy withdrawing?

Another 48.

I wish to know if Deputy Aiken intends to withdraw?

Then, sir, I move:—

"That Deputy Aiken be suspended from the service of the Dáil."

I beg to second the motion.

Will you accept an amendment?

I do not submit to your motion.

I rise to object——

The Party majority again!

Would the President propose that the Party stand part of the Dáil?

May I speak on the motion?

No. There can be no discussion after the motion has been moved.

Rule Britannia!

Rule decently.

The question must, under the provisions of Standing Order 49, be put without amendment, adjournment or debate.

Can you not suspend the whole Party in the same way under Standing Order 48?

I propose to put this——

A DEPUTY

Rule Britannia!

Can the question be put to a Referendum?

A DEPUTY

See how far you will go with it now.

I am putting the question. As many Deputies as are in favour of the motion will please say "Tá;" the contrary, "Níl." I think the motion is carried.

Division ordered.

Let us see who stands behind this hypocrisy. We are glad to know that Anthony stands behind it.

What about Anthony calling Deputies blackguards?

What about the Ceann Comhairle calling a member of this House a coward? That is a fairly good example.

(Interruptions.)

I wish to correct Deputy Anthony before I leave—I did not call the Ceann Comhairle "a mean cad." I called him "a mean skunk and a damned hypocrite."

Nobody minds you. You knew very well what you were saying.

(Renewed interruptions.)

Question—"That Deputy Aiken be suspended from the service of the Dáil for one week"—put.
The Dáil divided. Tá: 64; Níl, 41.

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

Níl

  • Frank Aiken.
  • Denis Allen.
  • Gerald Boland.
  • Patrick Boland.
  • Daniel Bourke.
  • Seán Brady.
  • Robert Briscoe.
  • Daniel Buckley.
  • Frank Carney.
  • Michael Clery.
  • James Colbert.
  • Eamon Cooney.
  • Dan. Corkery.
  • Tadhg Crowley.
  • Thomas Derrig.
  • Eamonn de Valera.
  • Frank Fahy.
  • Hugo Flinn.
  • Andrew Fogarty.
  • Patrick J. Gorry.
  • John Goulding.
  • Seán Hayes.
  • Patrick Houlihan.
  • William R. Kent.
  • James Joseph Killane.
  • Mark Killilea.
  • Michael Kilroy.
  • Seán F. Lemass.
  • Patrick John Little.
  • Thomas McEllistrim.
  • Seán MacEntee.
  • Séamus Moore.
  • Patrick Joseph O'Dowd.
  • William O'Leary.
  • Matthew O'Reilly.
  • Thomas O'Reilly.
  • Martin Sexton.
  • Timothy Sheehy (Tipperary).
  • Patrick Smith.
  • John Tubridy.
  • Francis C. Ward.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Duggan and Conlon; Níl: Deputies G. Boland and Allen.
Motion declared carried.

Therefore, in accordance with the decision of the House, I direct Deputy Aiken to withdraw.

I am satisfied that the present occupier of the Chair is simply a Party hack.

Deputy Aiken then withdrew from the House.

Get outside.

DEPUTIES

Rule Britannia.

Another British victory.

I am glad to notice that there are some members of the Fianna Fáil Party who did not join in this disorder. There are some decent members in the Fianna Fáil Party.

Under the provisions of Standing Order 21, the sitting is suspended until 3.30 p.m.

Sitting suspended at 2.5 until 3.30 p.m.
The Dáil resumed at 3.30 p.m. An Ceann Comhairle in the Chair.