PRIVATE DEPUTIES' BUSINESS. - LEGAL PRACTITIONERS (QUALIFICATION) BILL, 1928—SECOND STAGE (Resumed).

We adjourned this debate with a pleasant tangle as to whether Deputy J.J. Byrne should leave the country for the country's good or whether Deputy Flinn was a nonentity. I do not suppose I can follow up that particular discussion, but it arose out of a question which Deputy Byrne asked as to whether one should forbid brains from going out of this country.

If people so hate this country, so hate Irish and things Irish, that they are going to leave the country rather than study sufficient Irish to enable them to pass a law examination, one must say "let them go," because these people are never going to make good citizens. On the other hand, Deputy J.J. Byrne must face the big problem that is there. It is the problem of how you are going to prevent the emigration of educated brains from this country and, however he may put questions to other people raising difficulties, everybody must recognise that that problem of conserving the educated brains of the country for its benefit is one to which everyone must give attention. I contend that the more the Irish-Ireland point of view persists, and is pressed forward, the more we shall succeed in getting the brains of the country to be satisfied to remain here. In government there must be a certain amount of compulsion and, provided it carries the good sense of the general public, everybody must submit to it. Very great sacrifices indeed have been made for the sake of the Irish language. I remember before the Truce one who is high now in the Government pointed out that in order to save the Irish language it would be necessary to make a compromise on other questions, and I must say that at the time it shocked me very greatly; but, whatever view one takes of that now, the sacrifices have been made for the Irish language and it is up to everybody no matter what Party he represents, to see that we make good in order to reap the fruits of the terrible sacrifices that have been made, that the nation is not going to stop in its march forward towards becoming more Gaelic, and also we must with unanimity, no matter what small elements of dissentients there are in the country, try to make one gain, at least, of real progress in the Irish language in Ireland.

I have listened with great attention to the very interesting speech of Deputy Little, but one would have thought that in the speech of a Deputy, possessing the training which he undoubtedly possesses, there would have been a little more logic. The Deputy was good enough to refer to a question which I asked in the course of the debate, namely, could we forbid the export of brains from the country? He answered it by saying that it depended on the proposition that if people hated the country so much as not to learn a certain quantity of Irish we had better let them go. That, of course, is no answer to the question. Deputy Little came to closer grips with my question when he said that the great problem was the conservation of the brains of the country. There is nobody in this House who would be in disagreement with that proposition, but that proposition could be carried to such an extremity as to make it absolutely ludicrous.

Will Deputy Little, or any other Deputy, suggest that it would be right or proper to forbid members of this nation who can employ themselves outside this country more profitably to themselves, more profitably to the people, and with some distinction to the country, from exercising their energies and brains in other spheres outside? To me the proposition is almost unthinkable. We have heard from time to time various references to the question of unemployment. Are we to create rather than diminish unemployment at home by forbidding men with energy and strength, who do not fear to face the hardships of other countries, from going abroad? No matter what changes or penalties you impose, a certain amount of the young blood of the country will always go to other countries where it can be better remunerated than here. I think that Deputy Little's proposition, that we should have in our own country a sort of penal servitude, that we should never go away, would be absolutely prohibitive of any progress.

Turning from what Deputy Little has said to the arguments that have been adduced by the introduction of this Bill. I think there is one very simple principle which generally, finds agreement, not alone among the masses, but among those who think intellectually, and that is that it is folly to interfere in matters in which one has no knowledge. I have the greatest possible respect for my colleagues who introduced this Bill, and also for my colleagues who supported it, but, if I may ask without offence, what particular training or qualification have they for forcing on one of the learned profession a curriculum such as Deputy Conlon has proposed? If a draper went into a chemist to advise him as to what particular methods he should follow to carry on his business, what answer would be receive? Is there any business man in this assembly who would be so utterly foolish as to go to another business man and tell him how to conduct his own business? That is the simple principle on which this Bill is based. A man is coming to the Dáil to dictate to the great learned professions as to what is suitable and what is not suitable for them.

Why did you speak on the Vaccination Bill?

I spoke on the Vaccination Bill in favour of the people, and I am not afraid to speak in favour of the people so far as vaccination is concerned, outside this House. I had the courage to vote against my own Party on that Bill. It seems to be the negation of common-sense and courtesy to introduce a measure of this sort without any consultation with the Benchers or the Incorporated Law Society. Surely bodies like these, who have done great service for this nation, a fact which I am sure no Deputy will deny, are, at least, entitled to the common courtesy of being consulted on a matter such as this. What is the aim of the Incorporated Law Society? What is the aim of the Benchers of the King's Inns? Is it their aim to turn out Irish speakers, or is it their aim to turn out Irish lawyers?

I listened to the figures that Deputy Conlon has quoted, as far as the County Donegal and other counties in the Saorstát are concerned, concerning the number of Irish speakers in these districts. The natural inference one would draw from that speech would be that there is a shortage of men qualified, in the legal profession, to deal with the Irish-speaking districts if the occasion should arise. I would like to tell this House that there are far more Irish speakers practising at the Irish Bar than there are Irish speakers in this assembly. If any Deputy ever has a brief to offer and wants that brief to be dealt with by an Irish speaker, there will be no difficulty in finding that Irish speaker at the Irish Bar as it now exists. If Deputy Conlon should find himself at some future occasion mixed up in litigation, I do not know whether he will look for an Irish speaker or for an Irish lawyer. I have too much belief in the common-sense of Deputy Conlon not to believe that if Deputy Conlon were engaged in a lawsuit he would want a lawyer who understands law, who can interpret law and win his case. If there is one profession in the world —and I am sure I will have the members of the legal profession on the opposite benches to agree with me in this statement—in which it is harder to make headway than in another, that is the legal profession. Sometimes when young men go to the Bar, they have a certain amount of social influence and a certain amount of "pull" behind them and they get briefs for a time, but, in the legal parlance, they are not able to deliver the goods and they very quickly sink and are submerged.

I think that I saw Deputy Conlon down at the Law Library quite recently and I did not hear that he was looking for a lawyer who was qualified to speak the Irish language. Possibly he was consulting somebody who was very qualified to speak as far as legal matters were concerned. I think that in these things we should be consistent, and we certainly ought to practise what we preach. I regretted very much to hear the Minister for Finance, occupying such an important position as he does, make the important pronouncement that he did on this Bill. It was pointed out here, I think by Deputy Cooper, that such a thing existed at the Bar as reciprocity between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Saorstát and that under existing conditions any member of the Bars of England, Northern Ireland or the Saorstát was at full liberty to practise in the Courts of either of these territories. The Minister for Finance went even so far as to say that the loss of reciprocity would inflict no hardship on the country. I suggest, with all respect, that in the learned professions there should be no barriers. If there is one common heritage of the whole wide world, it is the great sciences of medicine, law and the other learned professions. They are the common heritage of the people, and no barriers should be set up as far as the full practice and the full development of these learned professions are concerned.

We have in this city our great schools of engineering, our great schools of medicine, our great schools of law, and I feel sure that no matter to what Party any Deputy in this House belongs, he will share in the common pride in these schools. He should certainly ask himself this question: What effect will this Bill have on the future of these schools? Will it make for their betterment, or will it tend to depreciate their value? At the present time, students come from practically all over the world to study in these schools. They come from countries as remote as India and Africa. They spend several years among us, and they are a source of very considerable revenue to the State. There is no bar; there is no hindrance. They go through their professional courses, and they scatter themselves through all parts of the world. We are here setting up a Bill that we are told is for the benefit of the profession. We have a Bill here to isolate the professions of this country from the professions of the rest of the world. A short time ago, at one term, there were as many as twenty-eight Indian students called to the Bar. Do we mean in future to debar these students from coming and availing themselves of our schools? Do we mean in the future to say that our schools exist only for the benefit of this little island of ours? Are we going to throw aside that great reputation we enjoyed in past centuries for learning and logic, or are we going to develop our schools and maintain the prestige which they now enjoy at the standard to which they are entitled.

I suggest that the mover of the Bill has not given it the thought which is necessary for the introduction of this measure. I suggest to the backers of the Bill that if they think by putting down compulsory Irish for the examinations of the Incorporated Law Society and for the examinations of the Benchers, they are going to do a benefit to the Irish language by making it compulsory for students to take the Irish in the course of their studies, they were never more mistaken in their lives. I suggest that this Bill will not do one single iota of good as far as the Irish language is concerned. I am perfectly willing to admit and to agree to the proposition that the language of the conqueror in the mouth of the conquered is the language of the slave. I will go further and say that I stand for pushing forward the Gaelicisation of the country as much as any man in this Assembly, but I say that this Bill will not gain a single Irish speaker as far as the members of the legal profession are concerned. If a man wants to become a barrister in this country and avoid being forced to take up compulsory Irish, he will have no trouble in the matter. He will have simply to go down to Northern Ireland, qualify there, and practise in the Saorstát, if he so wishes. There was never such a ridiculous Bill introduced into this House as this measure. I think I might very reasonably draw attention to the fact that we have at present compulsory Irish in our primary and secondary schools. We are multiplying people with a knowledge of Irish with a very great rapidity. It is only a question of a very short time until this country is bilingual. Five, ten or twenty years is a short time in the life of a nation, although it may be a long time in the life of an individual. As one Deputy very properly put it, we ought to follow the course of evolution and not the course of revolution.

I should like for a moment to refer to a bilingual country very near our own shores. Anyone who has ever been in Wales finds that practically every inhabitant of that country is bilingual. I have had experience in some districts—I suppose they would be akin to our own Irish-speaking districts—of coming into touch with Welshmen who could not speak a single word of any tongue except their own, and nine-tenths of the inhabitants were bilingual. What did I find there? I found a thing that I do not find in this House. I found that when they were speaking to me they spoke English and when they were speaking to one another they spoke Welsh. In this House it very often happens that we are treated to a lecture in Irish which nine-tenths of the Deputies do not understand.

On a point of order. The statement which the Deputy has just made is one which has been frequently made here.

That is not a point of order.

I think he ought to prove that nine-tenths of the Deputies do not understand and cannot speak the Irish language. We all know that a considerably greater proportion of Deputies can do both.

The Deputy will have to make a speech to make that point.

Mr. BYRNE

I have no doubt that you, sir, will give Deputy MacEntee all the latitude that he requires to follow me if he thinks he has any grievance with regard to the few arguments I am putting before the House. It is a very remarkable fact that one finds the Welsh tongue spoken regularly in conversation by the inhabitants of Wales, and that in this House one very rarely finds Irish speakers speaking to each other in their own tongue. Have the people in Wales gone the distance that we propose to go in this Bill? Do they propose to set up, as they might just as properly as we are proposing, in the great legal profession that the Welsh language must be compulsory in the entrance examination? The fact remains that Wales, as far as the language is concerned, has dealt with the subject in a proper and sensible fashion.

They have no power to do it.

Mr. BYRNE

They have their members as well as we have. There would be very little difficulty, if Wales so wished, in passing a Bill similar to this. The lesson I want to draw from it is that they have not done it, and they have no wish to do it. The same might apply to other countries—to Belgium, where. I believe, two languages are spoken. Either of them, I believe, can be used, but there is no compulsion at the Belgian Bar. Why, in the name of providence, do we want to be different from all the rest of the world?

What is the official language of Belgium?

Mr. BYRNE

As far as the official language is concerned, I believe both are spoken a great deal.

Because they happen to be native.

Mr. BYRNE

Native or otherwise, the fact remains that they are not following, just the same as in Wales, the steps that we propose to follow in this Bill. We propose to be different from everybody else, simply from motives of crankiness. As far as any benefit to the Irish language is concerned, this Bill will confer no benefit, good, bad or indifferent.

Nonsense.

Mr. BYRNE

I listened with great respect to Deputy O'Connell when he put forward his argument that because Irish was compulsory in the teaching profession it should also be compulsory in the legal profession.

That was not my argument.

Mr. BYRNE

If I misinterpret the Deputy I certainly apologise, but I gathered that because teachers were compelled to learn Irish barristers should also be compelled.

That was not the argument.

Mr. BYRNE

If that were so, I might, with all respect, suggest that there is no analogy between the two professions. I might suggest, as far as teachers are concerned, that they are the one body of people whom this House should see thoroughly understand the Irish language. It is on the teaching profession that we must rely for the Gaelicisation of the country. If they are unable to teach the tongue, then there is no hope for the future of Irish. But God help this nation if you are depending upon the Bar.

The most sensible thing you said to-night. You have made your case.

Mr. BYRNE

I have made my case, and I stand over the last statement just as frankly as over the rest. If you want the Bar to turn out Irish speakers, give them instructions to cease to be lawyers and tell them that they have a new function to perform. If you want Irish speakers at the Bar and not Irish lawyers, I assure you you will have no trouble in getting them, as the Bar is very quick to respond to any call from public opinion and very quick to supply any want for which public opinion calls. This whole Bill, in my humble opinion, is insincere, hollow and illogical. As I have stated, it will do absolutely no good as far as the Irish language is concerned. It may do a great and incalculable amount of harm to one of the oldest and finest professions in the whole world.

I do not, at times, see eye to eye with my colleague, the promoter of this Bill—Deputy Conlon—but it is my intention to support this Bill. The only flaw that I can see in it is that the Bill does not go far enough. Deputy Byrne has stated that we should place no barriers in the path of those studying for the learned professions. I might as well ask Deputy Byrne why should any persons studying for any of the learned professions be asked to study Latin, Greek, or French, or to take any other modern language, as they are asked.

Mr. BYRNE

May I ask the Deputy could he qualify for a learned profession without Latin?

Certainly. I do not for instance, see what an engineering student wants with Latin.

Mr. BYRNE

Your own profession?

As far as Latin is concerned, we have simply to learn the names of bones and things of that kind. Nurses do not know Latin, but they know the names of bones as well as we do after a few months. In most of the examinations for matriculation for the different universities and in the preliminary examinations for the profession two languages are prescribed. Latin is generally compulsory, but the second language may be French, Spanish, Irish, Italian or anything else. What objection has Deputy Byrne or any other Deputy to any man training for the legal profession being made to take Irish instead of Spanish. He can take Irish instead of French. Does anybody who opposes this Bill mean to assert that a man could not get as much intellectual food out of Irish as out of any other modern language? It has been proved time and again that people in the various professions have not suffered in those professions because of their proficiency in Irish. Time and again it was proved that Irish scholars and people who start to learn Irish have when quite advanced been successful in every sphere of life. Deputy Byrne stands self-condemned by the sentence he uttered towards the end of his speech. He said it was not a bit of good to force Irish on lawyers because lawyers would not have it and it was no use trying to do that.

I never said that.

You said something like it. The Deputy also said that in Wales when Welsh people meet they converse in Welsh, and that people in this House and elsewhere who know the Irish language and can converse fluently in it use the English language in preference to the Irish language when they meet. I ask him to ask Deputy Mongan or the promoters of the Bill if that is the practice in this House. I have heard Irish repeatedly spoken among Deputies who are Irish speakers in this House.

In this morning's paper I am sorry to see a letter from Deputy Hennessy giving the reasons why he intends to vote against this Bill.

May I be permitted to say I intend to make a two or three-hours' speech on this Bill some time. Would not the Deputy wait until I make my speech before attempting to criticise it?

I am sure Deputy Hennessy will get plenty of time to give the House his views and to enumerate more fully the reasons why he intends to vote against this Bill. In his letter in this morning's paper he said——

Would it not be better as a matter of practice for the Deputy to deal with the speeches made here rather than with letters in the newspapers? I do not intend to prevent the Deputy if he wants to deal with Deputy Hennessy's letter, but I think it would be better if he dealt with speeches made here.

The arguments of Deputy Hennessy were so carefully thought out that he has given them to us in advance so that we might be able to answer them——

It may simplify matters if I say that I stand by every word that I have written.

At any rate the Deputy has stated that the Irish language "already occupies a very strong position with regard to the medical profession. All advertisements for appointments of medical men in the Government services under local authorities contain a stipulation that preference will be given to applicants with a knowledge of Irish." That would impress me more if he had stated those candidates would be actually appointed who would be able to conduct business in the Irish language. He gives us his first reason against this—that "It would take a legal student without any native knowledge of Irish three or four years intensive study of Gaelic to do justice to his Gaelic-speaking litigants. Such study would be at the cost of his proper and professional education." I do not think it is necessary to try and convince any member of this House that the fact of a solicitor or barrister having to acquire a certain knowledge of Irish under the Bill, a knowledge practically equivalent to the matriculation standard, even if it is so high, would be at the cost of his proper professional education. If that is the opinion that Deputy Hennessy has of the legal profession I am inclined to sympathise with Deputy Byrne.

Is not the object of the Bill to provide that barristers shall be able to plead in the Irish speaking districts of the country. That is why I said the Bill is useless.

The second reason that Deputy Hennessy gives is "There is and there will be a sufficient number of Gaelic speaking lawyers to meet the requirements of Gaelic speaking litigants." I am very glad to have the assurance of Deputy Hennessy that that is the case. But there would be no harm in providing that with the present intensified campaign for teaching Irish in the schools and the present increasing number of people learning Irish through technical classes and one thing and another, provision would be made for those in the future. The more people that are learning Irish and intend to learn Irish the more fluent speakers there are, the more the people in the profession will have to acquire a very good knowledge of Irish. He goes on to say "it is very objectionable to have Civil Servants and professional men because of their numerical insignificance and consequent political impotence made the hypodermicated guinea pig of the language experiment." That is a blow at us all. The Irish language is just as good a training whether for law, medicine, chemistry or engineering or any other profession as French, Spanish, Italian or mathematics and they are asked to learn all these things. It is the duty of this Dáil which has put the Irish language as the first language under the Constitution to ask people to learn that language. It is their duty to see that they do learn it where it is possible to make them learn it. The professions in this matter should lead. If we are ever to go forward to a true pure Gaelic culture the professions should take the lead; the ordinary people will look to the professions to lead them.

The only way you can ever make this country what Pearse hoped to make, Gaelic as well as free, is to make the professions lead. If they will not take the study of Irish voluntarily there is only one thing to do and that is to make it impossible to qualify in any profession without a sufficient knowledge of the language to enable one to transact the business of the profession in that language.

I listened to the introduction of this Bill with considerable interest if not with pleasure. I was waiting for some explanation or defence from the Deputy who introduced it as to why it was that he selected the legal profession for victimisation.

He had almost finished his observations before he gave us the only explanation and the only defence he had at his disposal, and a more extraordinary explanation or defence I never heard from anybody. He said the reason why he did it was because he was absolutely ignorant of the legal profession. That is why he did it, and, curiously enough, he had that defence endorsed by no less a person than the Minister for Finance. Ignorance makes no difference to the Minister for Finance when you are doling out compulsory Irish or, to put it in another way, the more ignorant you are the more competent you are to administer a does of compulsory Irish. That is the defence which the Deputy who introduced this Bill put before the House for the extraordinary action which he has taken, and he has got his defence countersigned by the Minister for Finance. We heard, I think from Deputy Anthony, an alternative defence. Deputy Anthony suggested that the reason for its introduction was that there was no sympathy with the legal profession. In that, perhaps, he is right, and perhaps that reason also actuated Deputy Conlon in introducing the Bill. That is the position that it is in at present. The legal profession has been selected for victimisation, and the only defence that can be given for its selection is one. "I know nothing about the legal profession: I am ignorant of it"; and the other reason coming from Deputy Anthony, who says "Ah! there is no sympathy with the legal profession." Why should we not take any other profession? It is the one with which there is no sympathy. Hence it is open for attack. I assumed, when I heard the Deputy introducing this Bill, that I would hear the views which, in common courtesy, apart from anything else, he was bound to give us, of the Council of the Incorporated Law Society and of the Benchers of King's Inn on the Bill that was being put before us. I waited and I waited, and at last this House was told that never once were these two bodies consulted. Never once were they told that this Bill was being introduced; never once were they asked for their opinions. If I had the same privileges in this House—and I do not claim them—as the Deputy for Liverpool—I mean the Liverpool Deputy for Cork—I would fold my arms, I would wag my head almost to breaking point, I would grin my grin, and I would say what abominable impertinence. But not having this privilege, and I do not claim this privilege, I will be content with saying what colossal cheek. Is it to be suggested that this Bill is to be put down the throats of the legal profession without consulting either of the governing bodies of the profession? Is that the way you are going to make compulsory Irish popular? Do we not all know that if you want to attack compulsory Irish that is the way to do it, not even to treat these bodies with the courtesy that would be due to any body in ordinary life? It is quite true to say that the Minister for Finance stated that if he himself were doing it he would not be guilty of the discourtesy that was shown to the governing bodies.

Then I was wondering if I could hear from the Deputy who introduced this Bill one word in favour of it, or one reason as to why he introduced it. At last he broke silence and said: "The reason is this: I want to get rid of the difficulty of persons who cannot instruct solicitors in English." Then he was kind enough to tell us that in my own county of Cork there were 39,271 persons speaking Irish. I hope the Deputy does not suggest for a moment that there are 39,271 liars in Cork. When the Deputy was speaking I was reminded of the fact that on that day forty years ago I was sitting for my preliminary examination. He spoke about the sea coast. I know more about the sea coast than anybody in this House. I have spoken to more persons on the sea coast in West Cork than anybody in this House or outside of it. I tell you I know what it is, and in forty years only on two occasions have I met people who could not converse with me freely in English. Both of those persons have long since gone to their immortal reward. There are 39,271 persons in the County of Cork who are unable to converse with solicitors! Was there every such humbug told to any sane body of men? If he had said 39,200 it would leave 71 still to go, but you would not find 71 persons in the whole of the County Cork who are unable to speak to you in English. There are 39,271 persons in County Cork who speak Irish! That is why he wants to introduce the Bill. We know how these statistics are got up. We know how they were got up. If there is a suggestion that there are 39,271 persons in the County of Cork who are unable to speak English, I never heard a more almighty lie.

Do not let the cat out of the bag about how the statistics are got up.

Mr. WOLFE

To show you how progressive they are, just three months ago—before the recess—I got a letter from a gentleman who, in common courtesy I wanted to answer. He signed his name in Irish. I went through West Cork and tried to get his name translated. I tried every Irish speaker I knew; I showed them the letter, and every where it was a mystery. It was only on Friday of last week I was indebted to my friend, Deputy Gearoid O'Sullivan, who translated it for me. Until I met him I could not answer it. Those are the people so bristling with a knowledge of the Irish language that they want to insist on every solicitor speaking it. I understand that Deputy Ruttledge made a very proper suggestion to the proposer and seconder of this Bill. He suggested to Deputy Conlon that he should bring in a Bill compelling all rate collectors to speak Irish and to collect the rates in Irish. That would be an admirable idea, because I am sure one of the sections would be this, if you do not understand Irish you will not be asked to pay rates. Hence the Bill would be accepted by all sections of the community. I heard someone else say that it might even apply to officials of the Dublin Corporation. I do not know much about the Dublin Corporation, but thirty-five years ago I remember the Dublin Corporation when I was living in Dublin. This I do remember, that it was then a kind of home for the out-of-works, the won't-works, and couldn't-works. I think the Deputy might bring in a supplementary Bill and compel all these Corporation officials to study Irish, and then he would be doing a very good day's work. I heard a suggestion made by Deputy Redmond, perhaps it was to the Deputy who seconded the Bill, that auctioneers should conduct their auctions in Irish. No bids should be accepted from anybody except in Irish. The whole transaction must be carried out in Irish. Let that charity commence at home, before these Deputies can afford to preach to the legal profession, let them go and mind their own jobs and show that they are not hypocrites. I would suggest to Deputy McFadden that all disputes should be settled in Irish, and if any disputes should arise between two or more bidders the only weapon available, with the exception of the blackthorn, would be Irish. Go and conduct your auctions in Irish; go and collect your rates in Irish; go and conduct your business in Irish. Is there anybody who carries on the business of a merchant at the present time who will have the pluck to put over his door: "Nothing but Irish spoken here"? There is nothing but humbug here, if you like. We are told that the chief Opposition Party are in favour of this Bill. It is with them a Party question.

In the Tower of Babel, which includes, comprises and contains the Opposition, you have almost all the nations of the earth represented. There you will find Mexicans, Americans, Englishmen, Scotchmen, a few Irishmen and in addition Deputy Corry. They are all there. When you come to deal with a Bill of this kind we are all Irish. They are Irish moryah! They are all Irish. That is the kind of humbug which is talked on this Bill; that is the kind of humbug which is being shoved down the throats of the legal profession. As long as I am here I will be free to say that I have nothing to say to hypocrisy. Deputy Anthony spoke about the lack of moral courage. I agree with him. The vote to be taken on this Bill will be taken on one point only and that is either for or against moral courage. No one will say that this country at present does not require moral courage. There was never a time, I think—we are improving—except within the last few years when there were more people who would tell you in private what they would be afraid to say in public; never a time when there were more of our countrymen who would say in public what they would contradict in private. We lack moral courage. The Bill before you will be decided on one point only: either for or against moral courage. I think if you look around no one would privately disagree with me, when I suggest to the House that there are not twenty Deputies in favour of this Bill. I wonder will twenty have the moral courage to vote against it. I will be one of those who will vote against it. If the true sense of this House in fact were taken twenty Deputies would not go into the Lobby in favour of it.

What are they afraid of?

What becomes of the Bill itself? I think it was Deputy O'Dowd who was kind enough to tell us something about the facilities in it, that passing matriculation in Irish would be quite enough. Why did he not read the Bill before speaking on it to the House? The Bill says nothing of the kind. It says you must first pass the Incorporated Law Society's examination and having got the certificate from them entitling you to get called you must go and pass another examination and go to the Chief Justice. Section 4 says: You must have a qualification for certificates of the Incorporated Law Society and Section 5 says having got all that that "no person shall be admitted as a solicitor by the Chief Justice under Section 31 of the Solicitors (Ireland) Act, 1898, unless before such admission the Chief Justice is satisfied that such person possesses a competent knowledge of the Irish language," which means by the first four sections of the Act the whole profession is handed over to one man who can use the Act as the most absolutely autocratic measure introduced into this House.

May I suggest to the Opposition, are they in favour of that? Was there any other country in the world where a similar Bill was introduced, say, getting the council of your own societies and getting your benchers to rule on you, and then you will be handed over to the tender mercies of the Chief Justice when you pass your examination? I think the Deputy had not taken the trouble to read the Bill when he told us that all you had to do was to pass matriculation. These are the provisions. What is the effect of passing that Bill? Let us not run away from it; we are up against it. I presume it will be passed by reason of the lack of moral courage which Deputy Anthony has spoken about. I hope and look forward to seeing the time when that lack of moral courage will not be found. I look forward to the time when Deputy Anthony will not be speaking merely against this Bill but voting against it. He spoke against it very effectively, well, and eloquently. He told us that he is going to vote for it because he said there is a lack of moral courage in the country. What will be the effect of that? It will have the effect of sending away students whom we can ill spare and will damn our law schools, because without students you cannot have your law schools. At present, owing to one of the results of the Treaty which we cannot prevent, our law school is not as well filled as we would wish. You will have to admit that if you look for a law school you can get a better one in another country than here. I speak only of England. Now comes the final blow which will completely smash them of their good name and reputation. You will not have the same legal education again. It cannot come about. You will drive away the students, but remember you are saying good-bye to your law schools.

There is one other point which I mention, because it is one on which I feel very keenly. I am now in favour of a united Ireland as I have ever been, but by a united Ireland I mean an Ireland with God's own boundaries from Fair Head in Antrim to Mizen Head in Cork. I have always spoken in favour of that Ireland. To-night you are asked to put up a barrier between the North and the South, a barrier that is far easier to put up than it will ever be to pull down. I ask you with great respect to treat this, not as a political measure, but, as sensible Deputies, treat it as you would, as if it were your own job. If you do that this Bill can only have one fate: it must and should be rejected.

I support this Bill enthusiastically. The best thanks of this House is due to Deputy Martin Conlon for his thoughtfulness and the care and attention he has given to this Bill and because he has given us a chance to support him in it. The soul of this nation is linked up with its language. We know the great sacrifice that has been made in the history of this country to save the soul of Ireland. A great sacrifice was made in 1916. The principal leaders said that a blow should be struck to save the soul of Ireland. A glorious heritage has been handed down to us from those great men, and I think that heritage is in safe hands. As to the speeches I have heard, and I think I have heard them all, made against this Bill, when I thought of the Deputies who made them I came to the conclusion that their hostility to the Bill is all a matter of environment. They should look round and realise that a great change is taking place in this country before their eyes. There are none as blind as those who will not see. It is only a little while ago in the history of this country that men were brought to court and fined for having their names on their carts in Irish. I myself remember two men being summoned for speaking Irish at Nelson Pillar. But that situation is altogether changed, new life has come to this country, and we are here to maintain that life and see it carried out. The best thanks of this House, and of this country, are due to Deputy Conlon for introducing this Bill, and the Gaelic element will thank him for his thoughtfulness in doing so. The speeches we have heard are the same old cry that the Gaels of this country have listened to for the last thirty years, running down the Irish language, trying to make little of it, asking what is the use of it and so on. But it was the spirit of the Gaels, and those who love the language, that made it possible for us to assemble here to-night. It is, therefore, the duty of every Gael and every thoughtful man and woman in this country to see that the language is preserved. We know it was persecution in the past that is the cause of our being here to-night, pleading that our own language should get its proper place.

We know it was the policy of those who tried to oppress and crush the nation to do so by crushing the language. But we will get back the language stage by stage. We do not think that a miracle is going to happen and that we will get it back in a few years. It took generations to crush the language, but a good beginning towards restoring it has been made, and made against mighty opposition. We, old Gaelic Leaguers, had to assemble in the past after our work to learn the language. We had to induce the school teachers and the managers to have the language taught to the rising generation, because we saw that the language would be a necessity for the youth who intended to live in Ireland. We have the language in the schools to-day. We have it in our universities, and Deputies get up and say that the language is a drawback to students who are asked to learn it. It is no drawback. Any youth can learn the language. It is simple. After ten weeks in Ring College my own children came back speaking as fluently as native speakers. For grownups it is difficult, but the Bill will make it easy for them, as they start at sixteen. I do not think the speeches that were made against this Bill are much credit to those who made them. This is a useful Bill, and if the legal profession are the first to feel the smart, the writing is on the wall. Let the other professions take heed, as their day will come. I have great pleasure in supporting the Bill.

The last speech we listened to struck a note that is absolutely and diametrically opposed to the speeches that went before it, and I was very pleased to hear it. Since I came to the Dáil I do not think I ever listened to more piffle—if I can use that expression in keeping with Parliamentary etiquette—than the speeches delivered by Deputy Byrne and Deputy Jasper Wolfe. Deputy Byrne spoke of the barriers we were erecting. He asked if we were going to erect barriers against those who might be inclined to leave this country, and use their brains in a foreign land. It is not a question of erecting barriers to prevent people from using their brains in a foreign land; it is simply a question of using barriers to prevent the complete exodus of our population. We never heard a word from Deputy Byrne about the young men who went out of this country, to the extent of half a million, within the last five or six years. There was no talk at all about that.

Every week 300 or 400 clever young men—men who are physically fit—are going away from Donegal. Statistics can be looked at, even the statistics of the Free State, to verify the statement that the majority of these men are from Irish-speaking districts, and if everything were tabulated they would be found to be amongst the cleverest in this country. There was no word at all about that.

Deputy Byrne said that the professions, were common to every country. There was law, medicine, chemistry, physics and all the rest. I would refer Deputy Byrne to some publications that, perhaps, he has never heard of. For instance. I would refer him to a book on inorganic chemistry, published by one Cohen, a Doctor of Science and a Doctor of Chemistry at Oxford University, in which he admits that England was forty years behind Germany in chemistry and physics at the beginning of the European War. The inference to be drawn from that is that it was not necessary to know the English language to have a sound knowledge of any one of these particular professions that Deputy Byrne mentioned. The fact of the matter was that England was forty years behind Germany, but Deputy Byrne says one must have English, that we must have English in the schools here before we are able to compete in the world's markets in any of these professions. He also spoke about students coming to the different colleges to study for these professions. These students come here and spend a certain amount of money. We admit that. Having received an education, they leave and go back to their several countries. The Deputy spoke about India and Egypt, but it does not matter the toss of a coin what country they come from, if they come from foreign countries they might as well go to Germany. If we were speaking Irish here they would receive the same education precisely as they receive at present. As for Deputy Jasper Wolfe's contribution to the debate, it was, I admit, most entertaining, but I would not say very much else for it.

And humiliating.

The Deputy talked about all the different things that might be conducted in Irish, and the different people that might be compelled to use Irish. For instance, he talked about auctioneers, but, as far as Irish is concerned in the Irish-speaking districts, the old complaint of the people was that Irish was absolutely no good to them, because in the past all the gombeen men, landlords and landlords' agents, had stepped on anybody for using the Irish language. If a man had to go to the landlord's office to pay his rent he had to use English whether he liked it or not. He had to go in with his cap in his hand, and the consequence was that the people were under the impression that to get on in the world it was necessary to use the English language. The children in the cradle were fed, clothed and educated with the idea, as far as possible, of export, because the people were under the impression that there was no use at all in keeping them in Ireland as there was no future here for them.

Everybody you spoke to in Irish-speaking districts said there was no use in educating their children in the native language. I have gone into Irish-speaking districts. What did you find there? The grandfather and the grandmother spoke nothing but Irish, the next generation was bilingual, and the children of the following generation could understand Irish but never spoke it. They were educated up to the belief "What good will Irish be to you when you go to America?" As the Deputy who spoke before me has said, we have changed in this country to a certain extent, and there is a future of a certain kind before people who have a competent knowledge of Irish. The consequence is that in the Irish-speaking districts, where formerly Irish was absolutelyde trop, the people are now seeing that there is a possibility of utilising Irish for getting a job in some of the Government services and they are learning Irish from the cradle up. That is a fact, not alone in the Irish-speaking districts, but outside the Irish-speaking districts.

Deputy Jasper Wolfe talked about this hardship that is imposed on the people by compulsory Irish. Now, I never heard, and I think no Deputy in this House ever heard, complaints made about compulsory French, compulsory Latin, or compulsory Greek. I remember when I was going to school—it is some time ago, not such a long time, but some time—we had to learn all sorts of things in the French language about the gardener's daughter having pens, ink and paper, and in Caesar's Gallic Wars about "These things being finished, Caesar set out for England," and he told us all about their painting themselves blue, and all that sort of thing. There were no protests about that; nobody got up and raised his hands in horror. We learned all about "Kleider Machen Lente—fine feathers make fine birds," when we were learning German——

Did it not make Deputy Carney try his hand at a Gallic War?

That was only an unpleasant interlude. I never heard anybody raising any protests about these things at all. Why should they have been inflicted on us, sometimes when we wanted to go out in the evening with greyhounds but had instead to learn about the Gallic Wars and the gardener's daughter? These people never raised their hands in horror then, although I often did. Then we had this outery from Deputy Byrne and Deputy Wolfe about this language. All this is bunkum and humbug on the part of those who are making a protest now. They pretend that the people who bring a Bill like this forward are only hypocrites, but it is they who are the hypocrites. Why should we have compulsory French, compulsory Latin and compulsory Greek without protest, and why should there be an outcry raised about compulsory Irish? There is an ascendancy crowd in this country—I do not often talk about things like this —who are absolutely opposed to anything Irish—the Irish language, Irish culture, or Irish nationality in any shape or form, but, as the last Deputy said, a change has come, and the sooner those Deputies realise it the better, because that change has not alone come, but it has come to stay; and not alone has it come to stay, but it has come to increase, flourish and grow, until such time as we have an absolutely Gaelic and free Ireland.

I would not go so far as Deputy Carney goes and say that Deputy Jasper Wolfe is hypocritical in his present attitude, and I am sure that even Deputy Carney would not really go that far himself, but I suggest that Deputy Jaspar Wolfe is muddled in the matter. We are perfectly satisfied to agree that it would be a very great sign of Deputy Wolfe's moral courage if he voted against this Bill. But I suggest to him, as to others who may vote with him, that their remarks, being a sign of their moral courage which we must admire on their part, are also a sign that they know nothing of the spirit of this nation or the spirit of the people, know nothing of these things that, meeting the youth of the nation in their young and impressionable years, are going to strengthen them in their sense of nationality and strengthen them for the work that is to fall as their responsibility in building up this nation, that they are blind to what has been the outstanding cementing and invigorating force to the people in their trials of the last few years. It is also perhaps a sign that they do not understand what is in the Bill. Let me state my particular attitude and the attitude in their general policy of the Government. Their policy is that national self-respect and national dignity, and in the end national efficiency, demands that we shall be true to the bonds that were enshrined in our Constitution, that Irish is our national language, and that we are going to make it as effective as the English language, if it were the official language of this country. We know the straits in which our national language was left when we got into a position of being able to deal with the matter of arresting its decay and securing its future.

The Report of the Gaeltacht Commission shows that there are, in spite of what Deputy Jasper Wolfe may say, certain districts where the Irish language happily exists as a spoken language. The Report shows the educational position, the position as it is affected there by administration, and the position as it is affected by economic conditions. I do not want to minimise the importance of the economic conditions in the West in securing that that language, which is the living, spoken language of the people there, is going to be kept there and is going to be the language of their children, retained in those districts and carried into other parts of the country. There is this about the economic conditions there at present, that it is in those districts where the economic conditions are poor and the effects of education and of administration under a foreign government were not able to penetrate that we still happily have the language retained. But the thing that has most affected, in my opinion, the future of the language in the Irish-speaking districts, is the fact that the people in those districts see English as the language of education, of administration and of the professions.

Deputy Byrne asked us to look at Wales. Why the language is so strong in Wales, I suggest to him, if he would carry out some of his researches there, is that the professions in Wales have not turned their backs on the language in the way in which, for reasons which are very special in this country, the professions here have turned their backs on the language. We are not, in my opinion, going to save the language to the Irish-speaking people in the West to-day, and therefore, to the rest of the country, and going to save that organic nucleus from which the language must grow and spread back over the country, if we do not show to the people in the Irish-speaking districts that the language is going to be restored to its proper position of prestige among every rank and class in the country.

I say one of the reasons why people may vote against this Bill is that they do not understand what is in it. It has been pointed out that the educational policy of this House from one side to the other is to have Irish compulsory in the primary schools. We gradually intend to restore Irish in the primary schools to an equal level at-least with English, and also to do that in the secondary schools. As part of the initial steps of that particular policy, from this year 1928 students going up for the intermediate certificate in secondary schools must take Irish as a subject, so that students who are not 16 years of age on the 1st January, 1928, have had, if they passed through the intermediate certificate examination this year, to pass in Irish, and must have been studying Irish for a couple of years. Secondary education is State-aided to a certain extent. We, looking on our professions here, must take it as a general matter that their professional education as such will be grafted upon the system of the secondary education provided in this country, and that the people who are going to be lawyers, doctors and engineers will graft their professional studies as a general rule on the secondary education provided here. There are others going forward who consider that the Arts course in the university should be the particular branch of the stock on which they would graft their professional education. The point to be considered is that people coming under this particular Bill and going forward for the legal or other professions are people who this year, and for some two years past, must have been studying the Irish language. This is to ensure that they will not put the Irish language where the information about the gardener's daughter has been put, but that the legal profession in ten or fifteen years, or whatever the number of years be, will be a profession which cannot be said to have turned its back on the national language. We cannot safely exist in a country in which any particular section of the people, particularly any one of the professions, is going as a body to turn their back on what is so important in the national life as the national language.

Perhaps Deputy Conlon may have been quite wrong in that he did not consult the Incorporated Law Society in connection with the matter, but at any rate it is a happy thing that he has acted as he has done, and that he has taken one particular profession in this way and put it in proper perspective. Let us deal with the question on the educational basis on which the profession is going to be raised. Then we can see what is going to be the attitude of that profession in its subsequent educational policy towards the national language. It may be that the Deputy selected lawyers and solicitors because they work a good deal with the tongue. I think it has been very useful to have the matter brought out into perspective in this particular way. We cannot afford, for the sake of any profession that we have in this country, that it should be allowed to turn its back on the national language. For the sake of the nation, we cannot afford to have in it any profession that would turn its back on the national language. In the same way, if we think only of those districts where the Irish language is still spoken and that we want to retain the Irish language there so that the link which the language gives with the past shall not be broken—if we think only of that alone —we will have to take very definite steps to see that the language is not going to be decried or despised by any section in the community. A comparison has been made between members of this House who can speak the Irish language and with the professions. We are not making any comparison, and therefore it does not arise. Many members of this House have, with great trouble to themselves, learned something of the language. One of their humiliations is that no matter how hard they work at it, because of the fact that their study of the language began late in life, they do not find themselves in a self-respecting position as speakers of the language amongst the Irish-speaking population to be held up as representative good Irishmen.

What we want to secure is that the young people in the schools to-day will not in later years find themselves in that humiliating position. What we are laying down now is going to be no hardship on anyone, even though a certain minority or a majority of any one of the professions want to turn their backs on the language. They will not be allowed to do that. I do not think it ought to be taken in any way that the legal profession are against the language, or even that those members of the legal profession who have spoken here against the Bill have spoken really on its merits. When speaking they were simply re-acting to a lot of nonsense very often talked about the Irish language, and talked by people who claim to speak for the Irish language and everything that is associated with it. We are simply laying the foundations of the system in a way that will bring no hurt or hardship to anyone, but that will ensure that the Irish language will be brought to the children of to-day and to the adult population of to-morrow in those districts where Irish is not spoken, and that there will be brought to the people who speak Irish traditionally to-day the healthy sustenance of knowing that their language is again restored to its proper place among the educated and the professional classes, as well as among the ordinary people of the country.

I move the adjournment of the debate.

Debate adjourned.