I move:—

Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar £504,433 chun slánuithe na suime is gá chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1929, chun Costas an Airm, maraon le Cúltaca an Airm.

That a sum not exceeding £504,433 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1929, for the cost of the Army, including Army Reserve,

A couple of years ago the Minister for Finance stated that he considered the normal expenditure for the Army to be about one and a half millions per annum. The actual Estimate for this year is £1,804,433. That, of course, is more than the Minister for Finance estimated as the normal expenditure on the Army, but I entirely agree with the Minister for Finance. I think the fact that not only has there been a very considerable diminution in the cost of the Army for every year since 1923, but the fact that this year we have an Estimate £380,734 lower than last year makes it perfectly clear that we can, when we get to a perfect stage of normality, maintain the Army for the cost indicated by the Minister for Finance. As we approach normality, we get more into the position to place the Army and to organise it in the way most calculated to meet the needs of this country and fit in with the financial limitations of this country. We have spoken on previous occasions of the Army as a standing Army entirely. Then we spoke about moving from that, from being solely a standing Army and adding to it a reserve. Naturally we did not move to the creation of a reserve immediately, because men had to be attested, including the reserve service, and only as their period in the regular Army ceased would they take their place in the reserve. This year we are adding a further class, known as the B reserve class, that is to say, men joining directly into the reserve and doing a period of, say, three months' training, and then being available to be called up annually thereafter. The Army now consists of the standing Army and of A reserve and B reserve. I had hoped to add a further class, a class that we might call a volunteer defence force, which would largely consist of men following their ordinary avocations of life, joining that class and in the ordinary course doing a certain amount of training in the evening after their ordinary day's work, and, in addition, giving a period of, say, a fortnight or three weeks to training during the summer months.

We have been moving down in numbers with the standing Army consistently for some years past. During the past year we have been moving fairly steadily in that line of diminution. On the 31st March, 1927, we had 888 officers and 10,710 other ranks. In March last we had 768 officers and 9,113 other ranks. On 30th September last we had 735 officers and 8,454 men. That line of reduction I propose to continue until the standing Army consists, roughly, of about 5,000 men. As that reduction takes place in the standing Army so will the membership of the various reserved classes grow. That has already taken place. For instance, on the 31st March last we had 40 reserve officers, 777 other ranks in the A class and 695 other ranks in the B class. On the 13th of this month there were 57 reserve officers, 1,268 other ranks in the A class and 2,890 other ranks in B class so that we have moved towards our principle, as you might say. That is a very small standing Army consisting of technical corps, such as artillery, transport, air force, and so on, all highly trained men. The infantry brigade consists very largely for providing all potential N.C.O.s and N.C.O.s as potential instructors in training. That is what we are moving to.

For myself, I am very satisfied with the progress we have made in that direction this year. That move has been accompanied not merely by a great economy in the Army, not only by reduced estimates, but also it has been very clearly accompanied by increased efficiency in every rank in the Army. During this period also a very considerable and drastic reorganisation of the whole Defence Department has taken place. We have continued to reduce the number of posts in the country. That is necessary for a number of reasons. First of all, the necessity for them ceased to exist; and secondly, the more distributed an army is the greater number of ineffectives there must necessarily be. In a small compact standing army of 5,000 it will be necessary to eliminate to the very furthest point every ineffective in the Army. We are progressing very steadily in that direction. I propose closing down a number of posts. The lessening of the Army, as indicated in the various Estimates presented to the Dáil, does not quite give the full extent of the economy that has taken place in the Army. For instance, in the early years we owned a great deal of army lands. As we ceased to need them they were handed over to the Board of Works. Many of these were productive of revenue, written down as grants in aid. As we ceased to own them and they were handed over to the Board of Works this Vote ceased to be credited with the money accruing from them, so that to-day they should be added to lessen the Estimate.

The standing Army will, as I say, be very highly trained, consisting of technical corps and very highly trained infantry. It may be remembered that it was mentioned in previous Estimates we had sent a mission to the United States of America. The object of sending these officers there was that men in the Army would be able to receive a training from the point of the recruit joining and other ranks right up to the training of the highest staff officer. The six officers that went to America came back, I think, last December. Since then we have been actively taking steps towards the creation of an Irish military college. The early months of this year were devoted to certain lectures and inquiries prior to the forming of the college. I hope within a very short time the college will be actually in existence in the Curragh, so that there will be every type of training—to the recruit joining, the training of that recruit up to N.C.O., the training of the junior officers and the training of the senior officers, and the consideration of every military problem that is likely to come within the purview of an Irish Army. The officers while in America did remarkably well, and received diplomas of graduation such as are issued to American officers. Associated with them in the formation of the military college have been other senior officers. As we progress towards our principle it is natural that the proportion of N.C.O.s in the Army to men will be greater than in an army which is up to a full sized standing army.

I think it will be found there has been a reduction under almost every heading in this list, amounting in all to as much as £380,000 odd. That reduction was, of course, only reached by a very careful consideration of every item of possible expenditure included in the year's Estimate. I hope that we have not yet reached our ideal level of expenditure, and that in future years we may be able to decrease it even more, but it must be remembered that within a period of a very few years we have reduced the Army from the number of something more than 50,000 to the number I have given at present, namely, 735 officers and 8,454 men. To reduce the Army, as we hope to do within a short period to one-tenth of its original size necessarily will leave for a period a certain lack of equilibrium in the proportion of its various members. As we reduce the number of posts, naturally for a period there will appear to be certain men in certain ranks not as necessary as they appeared to be before. We must reduce down to our normal as quickly as possible in any one service or rank. That, my conscience is perfectly clear, has been done during the last eighteen months with all the celerity that it could possibly be done with.

I think anybody who has observed the Army to any extent will notice that during the years of its existence there has been a constant improvement in its general efficiency and in its general bearing. I believe, situated as this country is, that in maintaining that very small Army we must expect, and have a right to expect, from the members of the Army a higher degree of devotion and a higher degree of attention to their work and the perfecting of themselves in the knowledge their work requires than possibly might be demanded in other countries. I think we have not only the right to expect that, but that we can expect that and ask it without any qualms at all. I believe the young men of our country will recognise that in joining the Army to serve their country that it is not merely a profession, but something more than a profession. I think also that for officers who set themselves out to make their craft a profession we should see to it that we give them every means of making themselves as perfect as possible in their work, and we should see to it once they are determined to make that their profession and they put themselves wholeheartedly into their work, that they are enabled to make it a profession. That is my purpose in starting the college, of which we are at present actually laying the foundations. We have moved on so quickly during the last year towards our normal that we have come across many facts we were previously unaware of, and here I have to make a slight confession, and it is that our outlook on certain points, from close observation, has changed considerably, and although I believe I promised Deputy O'Connell last year that no matter how my predecessors might have failed to bring in a permanent Army Act within 12 months that I would do so——

resumed the Chair.

——I may as well take this opportunity of breaking the news to Deputy O'Connell, who, unfortunately, is not here, that I am afraid that I shall hardly be able to introduce a permanent Army Act this year. I propose not doing that, apart from the fact that our programme here will probably be overcrowded, because before I propose to commit the House to a permanent Act I would like to know all the possible needs of the Army and all the possible snares that we should avoid. For instance, the Army Act as it exists quite possibly will not allow me to start my Volunteer Defence Force; on the other hand, I have in mind the starting of an Army Benevolent Fund, which also raises the question of a new section in a new Act. I am examining a great number of things of that nature to see whether they should or should not be included in the new Act, and I would not like to come to the Dáil and ask Deputies to pass an Act, declaring it a permanent Army Act, if I felt that within the four walls of that Act the Army would be prevented from reaching that stage of perfection and having all the necessary sides to it such as an Army Benevolent Fund and so on, which I think the well-being of the Army and of the State demands.

I think the speech we have just listened to is one that affords some Parties in this House matter for a great deal of self-congratulation, congratulation which is not due to the Minister, congratulation which is not due to the Government, but congratulation which has been merited and is due to the Republican Party upon these benches. The Minister has stated that the Minister for Finance has come to the conclusion that an adequate Army can be maintained in the Saorstát for the sum of something like one and a half millions. We disagree with the Minister. We believe that the sum required to maintain an Army adequate to the needs of this country is very much less. We remember the time when the Minister who spoke on behalf of the Government and was responsible for the Defence Forces suggested that the minimum sum required to maintain an Army in the Saorstát was something like two and a quarter million pounds. It certainly is a very practical tribute to the effectiveness of the criticism which the Minister has encountered from these Benches, that inside something like nine months the Government should have so far reconsidered their position as to have come to the conclusion that they would permit an additional sum of something like three-quarters of a million to remain in the pockets of the citizens—three-quarters of a million to finance industry, to pay wages and to provide money that could be devoted to the service of education. We only hope that we shall be able to continue the good work, and that when next a Minister for Defence comes to submit an estimate to this House, he will be able to tell the Dáil and the people that the Army will no longer expect out of their savings and the products of their toil £1,800,000 and that we can maintain an Army, as we believe it can be maintained—an Army adequate to the needs of the country—for a sum of something less than a million; in fact, for a sum of something less than three-quarters of a million—and we speak on this matter not without the book.

We welcome the admission that the Army is not to be the expensive plaything which hitherto it has been; that it is going to be reorganised upon the basis which was first suggested in this House from these benches—on a volunteer basis. We should like to know how the Minister is going to reconcile the organisation of an Army upon that basis with the declaration of military principle which he made in this House on the 8th February, 1927: "We need not blink the fact that it is quite possible, in the event of a general attack on these islands—it is perfectly obvious —our Army must co-operate with the British Army. It is practically inconceivable that our Army would ever be opposed to the British Army. But that our officers should go there to learn what they could in general about military matters, and of the scheme of defence which is in the mind of the Government and the military forces which in the event of a general attack upon these islands would have the major share of the defence, was, I think, entirely desirable." It would seem to me, if that were to be the governing principle upon which the Department of Defence were to determine its policy, that it would not be possible to maintain here an army upon a volunteer basis, because a volunteer army is essentially a parochial army. It certainly is not an army that would ever make an effective overseas force, and if the Minister were really determined to base his policy upon the voluntary principle, upon the principle that the citizens of the State should render military aid to the State without fee or without reward when the exigencies of the State demanded it, I do not see how he could possibly give effect to the principle which he stated in this House on the 8th February, 1927. I am glad, therefore, that he has made the latter statement, because it does seem as if, notwithstanding the things that happened at the Imperial Conference, that the Government are about to revert to the earlier position which was stated by the Minister's predecessor, who said that the organisation of our defence force should in the first place be such that it would be capable of rapid and efficient expansion in time of need to the maximum of the country's man-power. We feel that that is a sound principle. It is the principle which we, if in power, would strive to give effect to, but it is a principle which, we regret to say, so far as the Government's policy is concerned, seems only to have been stated to be abandoned.

The Minister gave certain figures of the present strength of the Army. He showed how the effective strength of the standing Army had been reduced, and that there had been a certain increase in the reserve. It seems to me that while the strength of the standing Army has been reduced, the corresponding increase in the reserve has not been such as to warrant the belief that the Minister seriously intended that the Army of which he is now the reorganiser should be capable of rapid and efficient expansion in time of need to the maximum of the country's man-power. If to-morrow this country were faced with a situation that required the mobilisation of the Army, how far could this Army of approximately nine thousand officers and men expand? Though it puffed itself out like the bull in the fable, the ultimate limit of its strength would be something like 12,517 men of all ranks, and would 12.517 men of all ranks defend this country in time of need? Even were it stretched to the very utmost, could it be held that that Army really expressed rapid and efficient expansion in time of need to the maximum of the country's man power? If that was the policy which the Minister had in view, if he was really guided by the principle enunciated by his predecessor, I think he would have given to this House his advance proposals for the organisation of this volunteer defence force to which he has referred.

But that is not the only thing. No matter how large that Army would be, no matter how courageous or well-disciplined it would be, or how enthusiastically it would be backed by the civilian population of this country, of what use would it be as a shield against attack if there is no independent source of munitionment? What use is that Army even if, instead of 12,000 men, ten times that number were enrolled under the banners of the Saorstát? These 120,000 would be of no more service to you than if you had 12,000 men, if every single cartridge for the rifle or Lewis gun, and if every rifle and every single weapon and instrument of war with which it would be equipped were provided, and supplied by that very Power which possibly would be the one whose attack the Army would be resisting? Is it not a mockery and sham to maintain an Army upon such a basis, and to spend in the maintenance of it a sum of £1,800,000, the balance of which the Government is now asking this Dáil to vote? To spend £1,800,000, and for which £1,800,000 that Army, in time of need, could not fight and could not fire a shot.

The other day the Minister for Finance opposed here a motion coming from the Labour benches and supported by these benches, and, I am sure, supported by every honest and humane man in this House asking the Government to inquire into and to submit estimates for the cost of providing pensions for widows and orphans. The Minister refused it on the grounds that to give effect to that motion, to accept the motion in that form would be to accept the principle and to commit the Government ultimately to an expenditure of £750,000—that £750,000 that would provide the hungry with bread; £750,000 that would keep the children in the home and prevent them from being sent to the reformatories and industrial schools. The Minister could not spend £750,000 for that Christian purpose, and yet he asks this House to spend £1,800,000 upon an Army that in time of war could not fire a shot because every cartridge that goes into its rifles is purchased possibly from the Power with whom we would be contending.

I want to go further. The Minister's predecessor expounded the principle upon which the Army was to be organised. I repeat this principle again so that it may become familiar to us:—"The organisation of defence forces should, in the first place, be such that it would be capable of rapid and efficient expansion in time of need to the maximum of the country's man power." I ask the Minister and I ask the Government do they accept that principle and all its implications? It is important that we should, if we are to find common ground in this matter, know this—are they prepared to tell the citizens of this country that all able-bodied men should understand that they are expected to give military service in time of national danger. That is the plain implication of the statement that in time of need it would be capable of rapid and efficient expansion to the maximum of the country's man power. Does the Minister accept the principle then that all able-bodied men should be compelled to give, or preferably giving voluntarily, military service in time of national danger? The Minister accepts that; we are glad that he accepts it. We welcome it because we ourselves have accepted and are prepared to give effect to that principle. But we feel that something more than mere formal acceptance of it is necessary. If that principle is going to operate for the good of this country, if that service is going to be given willingly by patriotic citizens, there should be public confidence in the military policy of the Executive. We and every man in this State ought to feel that the Army is truly a national Army, that it is not, as unfortunately the opinion has been formed and the impression has been given, merely a collection of Janissaries banded together for the maintenance of a certain political party in power in this country. We are not antagonistic to the Army.

We are not antagonistic to any man or section of men in the Army. But we are certainly antagonistic to any combination of men, disciplined and in uniform who would regard themselves merely as the servants of a political party in the State. We are anxious that the Army paid for by all the people should be the people's Army. We are anxious that the Army paid for by the people should be an Army that would command the respect and devotion of the people. Therefore, we feel that in all his dealings with that Army the Minister should be sedulous and careful enough not to create the impression that the people who are in that Army are only his political friends and supporters. Unfortunately the policy which the Government has pursued in this matter is a policy which has created the opposite impression. There is nothing which has made many people in this country regard the Army merely as an armed political machine, than the fact that in all cases where public patronage is to be extended, it has been the deliberate policy of the Government to stipulate that preference shall be given to those men who took a certain side in the unfortunate civil conflict which divided this country.

We feel that there is nothing which prevents the Army being taken to the hearts of the people and being regarded as the shield and safeguard of the people more than that. Because every time that a Republican, possibly very well-qualified for the position, goes forward for a public appointment he is met with the barrier that because he was not a member of the Army during the time of civil crisis in this country he is going to suffer a disadvantage and be at a handicap as compared with another competitor for the position.

We think that this is one of the things that has kept alive more than anything else the bitterness which was engendered by the civil war, and if the Minister is going to accept the principle that all able-bodied men are expected to give military service in time of national danger he should also accept the principle that all men, no matter what their political principles or their political party may be, are entitled to equal consideration when public positions are to be filled.

That does not arise on the Estimate of the Minister for Defence. It would arise on that of the Minister for Finance.

I thought there was collective responsibility in the Cabinet.

The Deputy sees without my assistance where that would lead us. On every Estimate we would get into a discussion on every subject.

We have suggested that the Army is too expensive. We do that, as I have said, not because we are antagonistic to the Army, but we feel that the expenditure upon it is very much more than this country can afford. When we look abroad we see other countries where the organisation of the Army is carried out upon a different principle. Look, for instance, at Switzerland, where we find that in 1927 they paid for the maintenance of an army of 158,500 men something like £3,464,000—one hundred and fifty-eight thousand officers and men, and even they do not represent the full effective strength of the Swiss Army in time of war. In time of war Switzerland can call upon an additional 100,000 men, and the total cost of the military machine which enables Switzerland to have at its call 260,000 citizens capable of rendering military service is £3,464,000, and the cost per annum per effective man in 1927 was £22. In the Saorstát it costs £1,836,884 to maintain an Army of 12,517 officers and men, or a cost of £146 per effective man per annum.

I think that these figures merit the serious consideration of this House. Switzerland's Army, cheap and all as it is, was effective enough to prevent any invasion of Switzerland during the Great War, when many of the military Powers on the Continent would have been only too glad to avail of such strategic advantages as an invasion of Switzerland would bring them, and they would undoubtedly have embarked on such invasion were it not for the fact that they knew that there was there to oppose them an effective army of over a quarter of a million men. That army has been maintained at full efficiency for a sum of £3,460,000 whereas we are paying £1,836,000 for an army of 12,500 men. Surely there is something wrong somewhere. Is there any reason why our Army should not be organised on the same basis as that of Switzerland? If there is any good or valid reason, I think the Minister for Defence should give it to us.

If he cannot satisfy this House that there is some justification for paying £146 per man per annum for an Army of 12,500 men as contrasted with the sum for which Switzerland can maintain an army of over twenty times that size, then I think the House should reject the Vote, because it owes responsibility to the people, because it is the custodian of the moneys which have been collected from the citizens in taxation, and because already the Minister for Finance, who is supported by the majority Party in this House, has declined to accept proposals to make preliminary inquiries into schemes for providing assistance to the widows and orphans of this State. Further, I think that every man who believes that charity comes first, and that there is a duty to the poor and the suffering in our midst, ought to vote against this Estimate which the Minister has put before us.

I find some difficulty in understanding in particular the point of view that Deputy MacEntee took. To begin with, he claimed credit to his Party for the reduction in the Army Vote. I will come back to that point later. In the middle of his speech he wanted a volunteer army that was essentially a parochial army, and which would be equally expensive. Then he diverged to the fact that if we abolished the Army we could give pensions to widows, and then he wanted an army like the Swiss Army. The Army of Switzerland, as, I think, the Deputy knows, is a conscript army.

The Minister has accepted the principle.

I have not.

It is a conscript army. Is the policy of Fianna Fáil a conscript army paid at the rate of threepence a day and liable to be called up from civil occupations at any time? I have seen the Swiss Army being mobilised for a fortnight's training in gunnery. Is that the Fianna Fáil policy? We ought to know. Any comparison between an army raised by voluntary enlistment, and which must necessarily be paid rates that compete with the rates in the labour market, and a conscript army paid at low rates is utterly fallacious. I now come back to Deputy MacEntee's beginning. He says that the reduction in this Estimate is the result of nine months' work on the part of his Party. When did the nine months begin and when did they end? Could Deputy MacEntee tell me that? Did they begin last July?

They began last September. Compare the Estimates for 1927-8 with those of 1928-9.

They began last December?

Last September.

And continued up to this?

But the Estimates were printed on the 27th February. From December to February is not nine months.

I beg your pardon I said September.

From September to February is five months, not nine.

September, 1927. I am afraid that it is impossible to make Deputy Cooper understand, but I said September, 1927.

I still do not understand. This is an arithmetic which is new to me. I cannot understand how September, 1927, to February, 1928, can be nine months. How the Deputy makes it nine months I cannot imagine. I will give him July if he likes.

May I take it that the Deputy is making the point that it did not take us nine months and that we were able to do it in seven?

You were not able to do it at all.

I do not understand that point because I do not remember that during that period, whether five or nine months, Deputy MacEntee said anything about the Army at all. When Deputy MacEntee talked about the bull in the fable I am rather afraid that he and his Party are rather imitating that bull.

I remember two years ago, not nine months or five months ago, many Deputies in this House did make an attempt to call attention to items in the Army expenditure that could be reduced. I know that I moved half a dozen amendments—I think Deputy Gorey voted with me—and forced divisions and that on these subheads to which we moved amendments there has been a substantial reduction. I do not want to weary the House but I have the figures here if my word is questioned and I am quite prepared to show that where I moved for a reduction by £7,450 in the expenditure on tradesmen's pay, a reduction of £16,000, more than twice the amount has been made,

The way to make reductions is not by making vague general speeches but by calling the Minister's attention to points of detail upon which economies can be effected. I moved these amendments and I was supported by the Labour Party and a large number of Deputies. Where are Deputy MacEntee's amendments? Where is his careful analysis? Deputy MacEntee has not been reading the Estimates; he has been travelling in Switzerland. The only way in which we can get a reduction in Army expenditure—though I think it is practically finished—or any other expenditure, is by detailed analyses, by detailed arguments, and by hard work. I do not see very much of that coming from the Fianna Fáil Party. Deputy MacEntee, in the middle of his speech, when he said that he wanted a big Army, pinned himself to a volunteer army, and said that it was essentially a parochial army. If Deputy MacEntee had not experienced a change of heart on the road to Mallow he would have discovered that a parochial army is not an efficient army, that no army can be effective when you have small units trained separately. You must have combined training for all units of your army. He would find that you cannot have an efficient army trained in very small units and that even if you had a volunteer army you would have to make provision for combined training for your infantry, your air force and your artillery. He would find that the volunteer force would probably be as expensive as the Army we have because no army raised on a volunteer basis can be effective or efficient unless there are highly skilled men in command. You must have skilled officers and non-commissioned officers and you must have a staff. You must get them in being; they cannot be improvised. No country has tried improvising an army. If Deputy MacEntee had examined the United States Army he would have discovered that though it is a small professional army, it is not scattered all over the country. It is not organised on a parochial basis. It is concentrated and it has technical schools which are very efficient indeed. The same is true of the Canadian Defence Forces. I do not think there is much more that I can say in answer to Deputy MacEntee.

There are one or two points in the Estimates to which I would like to refer. There is a substantial amount for warlike stores directed to the purchase of guns and carriages. I take it the intention is to re-arm the artillery. Certainly the guns with which they are now provided are of a type which were introduced about twenty years ago and I thing re-arming is justified. I would ask the Minister to consider whether a certain percentage of howitzers would not be desirable. In a mountainous country a howitzer is far more useful than a field gun, if you want to hit a man on the other side of a hill. I do hope that we shall not have to hit anybody on the side of an Irish hill, because I came back from Gallipoli hoping that I would never see in an Irish boreen the horrors and awful sights that I saw there, but if our artillery is to be re-armed it should be re-armed properly.

Another point to which I would like to refer is the fact that the Minister has provided under Sub-head Y (3) for the establishment of an Officers' Training Corps. I think that is a very sound provision. I have urged before that we should give students of our Universities, who remain in the country, an opportunity of military training so that if the necessity should arise—and I hope very keenly that it will not—to extend our defence forces we could bring in officers who have already had a certain amount of training. These two points, combined with the general reduction in the Estimate, seem to me of some value. I think that the Minister will have no difficulty in showing us that our defence forces are both efficient and economical.

Deputy Cooper seems to give some hope for the future of this country if one had not, unfortunately, to realise what is at the back of all this—in other words, where all this money is to come from. If the Government expect to set out one of these days to conquer some unknown island, or that the people of some other nation will come and invade our country, this would be perfectly reasonable, but to me, and I am quite sure to every farmer in this House and in Ireland, this position is not understandable. You have an Estimate here for £2,000,000. That £2,000,000 will come out of the farmers' pockets. That community, that is, the backbone of the nation, is, however, in the position of selling its produce at less money each year. In other words, those people are told to produce more, and if they obey and produce more, they find they get less for what they produce through having to pay more in produce for the necessities of life. I may be accounted a materialist, but I see no hopes of this nation with a huge army. Whatever chance we have is, I should think, in the small parochial army that does not suit the taste of Deputy Cooper. I think we have to cut our cloth according to our measure. We are really up against this position. It is no use in trying to persuade ourselves or to persuade the world that we can do any more. We cannot. We are simply portion of a very poor island, emerging perhaps from a state of persecution unprecedented in the history of the world. I do not think, if you examine the history of the world, that you will find a nation that has suffered more and that has been systematically deprived, of its wealth like this nation has. I think there is poor hope and little confidence given to the agricultural community to develop itself, to have any enthusiasm or any hope for the future while we, a little nation, carry on such talk as we have heard here to-night.

If this were a vote for productive measures, I for one would certainly be enthusiastically for it. But I see no production from this, any more than it is, to a certain extent, a relief of unemployment. If there is one thing that destroyed us as a nation it is that method of relieving unemployment. They started these unfortunate subsidies—this is simply a subsidy—as far back as the years of the famine, and since then we have gradually become demoralised. If we wanted an army to-morrow I am quite sure that the people of the country are capable at any moment of defending themselves voluntarily. They have had to do it before, and if there is any necessity in the future they will do it again. I admit that you have the nucleus, if you have a small army, of a larger army, or of some form of conscription. That may be necessary, but such a huge expenditure as this, in the teeth of what the producers of the nation are faced with to-day, is not a thing to which any individual who represents the community or industry that I represent can agree.

I confess that I do not understand either the Minister for Defence or Deputy MacEntee. I suppose that is because I am not a soldier and have not a military mind. There has been a good deal of talk about the Army on this Estimate. The Minister spoke of an army, Deputy MacEntee spoke of an army, and Deputy Cooper spoke of an army. I could not gather from any of them what we are going to do with that army. I could not gather from the Minister any justification of the expenditure of close on two millions for the maintenance of an army to defend this country—from whom?


Although I am not a soldier, I am a lay citizen, and entitled to ask of a certain number of lay citizens what exactly a national defence force is supposed to do. We see here in the Estimate: payment of officers, £290,256; payment of men £510,732; total estimate, £1,804,000. Is that expenditure justified? Let us look at it from a practical common-sense point of view? Who would this army, that we propose spending close on two millions on, defend us from? Who could it protect us from? What exactly could it do against an invading force? What could it do against an aerial attack? Could we defend Dublin from an air raid? In 1924 one would expect that the Army, after emerging from a civil war, and having had a certain amount of practice, would have learned a good deal. As I said, I am not an authority on military matters and do not want to pose as one, but I want to quote from a speech of Deputy Esmonde with regard to the Army delivered on 15th July, 1924. The Deputy was good enough when I spoke about the Army on another occasion to say that in any other normal country I would be tried for high treason. I will venture to make the same remarks to-day and run the risk of being tried for high treason. This is what Deputy Esmonde said regarding the Army:

The President is Commander-in-Chief and Minister for Defence, but I doubt if he can defend Dalkey Island against invasion. How many guns has he got? I am informed that we have only four guns which are capable of going off at all.

After many sentences of characteristic irrelevant matter he said:

I doubt if the President could, inside Ireland, defend the Capital or could hold the line of the Boyne.

I do not know whether these things could be done, but if we are to expend £1,804,000 on an Army we want to know what exactly they are capable of doing, and whether they are capable of doing these things that Deputy Esmonde said they were not capable of doing.

There is another, and to my mind a greater danger, attached to the existence of this National Army. I am rather inclined to think that it is a national menace. There are in this country certain posts and ports held by a foreign State. It would be a perfectly justifiable act of war for any foreign country at war with England to try and seize these. If our defence force is to seek to repel a foreign force, like Germany, France, America, or any other country, that seeks to take these posts or ports, we then go into the mess of the war—we go right into the whirlpool. We are going to be open to attack as a country participating in the war and we are going to be put into the position of Belgium in the Great war. I am sure nobody wants to see that, but it is a matter that should be considered. In the event of war, say, with America —which we hope is very far distant and which some strategists tell us is absolutely unthinkable—is it contended that if an American force tried to land in this country and take over posts and ports that are the property of the country they may be at war with, we are to repel them and get ourselves exposed in this open country to air and naval attacks and such things? I would have thought that the Minister would have told us something on this matter. What is exactly the use of the Army? Why is the taxpayer paying, not alone for officers and soldiers, but for barracks, equipment, transport, and all the other paraphernalia that goes with the maintenance of an army? One would expect from the Minister a justification of why he asks the taxpayer to foot a bill of close on two million pounds.

I wish to support Deputy MacEntee in opposing this Vote. This Party has already expressed their opposition to the entire Army Vote and we oppose this particular balance of £500,000 all the more because the sum of, I think, £1,300,000 has already been voted for Army expenditure. That sum, in our opinion, is more than ample for the purpose. We have not put down an amendment to reduce the Vote by any particular sum, as we consider that by refusing this particular Vote it will be in the nature of carrying an amendment to reduce the total vote.

I ask all Deputies in the House who on previous occasions advocated a reduction in Army expenditure to avail of this oportunity to vote against this particular balance and to bring the expenditure down to what it should be. This particular balance to our mind represents the difference between what should be the maximum expenditure on the defence forces of the country and what should not. Under the present system the Army is too large and too costly and it imposes unnecessary burdens on the taxpayer. Admittedly, and we have had some information from the Minister for Defence this evening which we had not got before, reductions are being made. But I submit that the reductions which have been made during the past couple of years are not the reductions which are required and are not the reductions which are urgently necessary. At the present moment while the finances of the country are in an unexceptionally bad way—and I do not think anybody knows that better than the Government because they are finding it pretty hard to get money—we think that the cost of the defence force should be reduced to the absolute minimum. I do not necessarily mean that the effective strength of those defence forces should suffer as can be very easily demonstrated in fact by the formation of a suitable territorial force. At present the Army is one of the most expensive establishments in the State and as Deputy Hogan has pointed out it has very little value as a national asset. What purpose is it for? What can it do at present? As the Deputy said if this country were attacked to-morrow by any big European power equipped with all the latest methods of warfare what effective resistance could the present Army offer to such invasion?

The more this problem of defence is studied the clearer it becomes that the present type of Army is not suited to the needs of this country. What we want is a very small permanent force and a large territorial force. The Minister has more or less indicated in the debate on the Defence Forces Bill that his point of view on this matter was more or less in accord with ours. In many particulars there is a very big difference. This matter was discussed to some extent on the Defence Forces Bill and the Minister indicated then, and he gave further information now, that he was proceeding with the formation of a reserve and he said, I think last November, that they would proceed with the formation of a territorial force in the almost immediate future. Twelve months have elapsed since he made that statement and as he stated this evening the formation of that territorial force is still in the future—I suppose in the almost immediate future. He said at that time there was certain considerations which made it impossible for the Government to consider bringing that territorial force into being as quickly as they would like. Perhaps the Minister would be more explicit in that matter during the course of this debate.

As far as the reserve is concerned, I see from the Estimates, and from what the Minister has said on this matter, that he is proceeding with the formation of this reserve. I have examined the regulations which have been issued by his Department in connection with the reserve, and to my mind at least the proposed system is modelled on the British reserve system. The reservists are attached to their original units, and in time of mobilisation they must report back to those original units, no matter where they are located. The Minister spoke of Class A and Class B reservists. It was apparently intended in the case of Class B to enlist men for combined army and Class B reserve service. They would serve a period not exceeding three months in the Army and they would then be transferred to the B reserve.

Apparently from these regulations it is the intention of the Minister to build up a large reserve. In our opinion he should concentrate his attention more upon building up immediately and not in the almost immediate future a suitable and adequate territorial force.

There is another point in connection with these regulations which I think it well to touch upon. I see that a local brigade commander or G.O.C. "on receipt of a written requisition from the District Justice shall mobilise the Army and equip the whole or such portion of the reserve, resident in his area, as he considers the exigencies of the situation require." I do not think that that is necessary in any reserve system or in any army system. It really amounts, in my opinion, to making this reserve an auxiliary police force. What purpose could exist that a District Justice should be able to mobilise the local reserve and give them work to do. Perhaps that matter may commend itself to the Labour Party for consideration. Perhaps it might be in an instance of labour trouble or strikes, or so on. Surely the police force is large and capable enough in the Government's opinion to deal with such a situation. I do not think there should be any such provision as this in regulations that govern the formation of a reserve.

There is another important point: the question of the paid reserve. From the regulations this is apparently the policy of the Government. They are establishing a paid reserve, and apparently from the particulars here in contion with the Class B reservists they intend to establish a large paid reserve. The Minister did not give any definite figures as to the ultimate size of the reserve. I also see that there is provision made for a reserve of officers, which consists of officers who are retired from the force and are liable to be recalled for service in the force. These officers of the reserve will be liable to be called up for permanent service, for temporary service in aid of the civil power, and for annual training not exceeding 30 days in any one year. Again, these officers are to get an annual grant varying from £50 in the case of junior officers to £85 in the case of senior officers per annum for a maximum of 30 days' training.

During that period of thirty days' training I understand these officers will also get their usual daily pay and allowances. In fact, I even see provision is made in these regulations, if in any year it is ordered that no training of the reserve officers shall take place, officers of the reserve shall receive the above grants. I consider these rates of remuneration are altogether excessive. There should be no necessity for them at all. This system of paying the officers, N.C.O.s and men of a large reserve is to my mind just a continuation of the Government's policy of enlisting paid support. They are simply buying the support of these men just the same way as they have obtained the support of the large number of Army Service pensioners they have throughout the country. They are creating what really amounts to certain vested interests, and they will make it more and more difficult for a succeeding Government to alter that state of affairs, because obviously these people will oppose any future Government, perhaps even to the extent of opposing them by force.

The Minister says no, but he does not know what may happen. They may, as I say, oppose them to the extent of force simply to maintain their own position and prevent a different system from coming into operation under which they would lose their benefits. We suggest there should be no reserve of this kind at all. The Minister can have a permanent force, consisting simply of training and maintaining troops and a territorial force.

Of course, Deputy Cooper has just decried the merits of a parochial force, as a real territorial force should be. It should be organised in districts under local officers, of course supervised by officers from headquarters. But Deputy Cooper forgets he would not be sitting here this evening if it were not for a parochial army. As far as a reserve of officers are concerned, we suggest there should be only a small reserve of officers who would assist in the annual training of members of the territorial force. Apparently what is intended here in the suggested reserve is merely an extension of the present system, and we know, as Deputy MacEntee pointed out, what the purpose of that Army was, as expressed by the present Minister for Defence. According to the quotation which Deputy MacEntee read out, the Army was to be used as an auxiliary force for the British Army in the event of what the Minister described as a general attack on these islands. That particular quotation has been referred to and quoted so often——

Misquoted mostly.

It has not been misquoted this evening. Does the Minister say it has?

I said "mostly."

It has been quoted so often that the Minister regrets having made that attitude public.

I am afraid he does in this case. In case the Minister thinks that quotation is the only one we can find I can give him one or two others. Mr. Hughes, who was Minister for Defence in 1927, speaking on the 17th February, 1927, and referring to the previous statement by the now Minister for Defence, who was then Minister for External Affairs, said:

"I stand by what the Minister for External Affairs said, the actual statement he made. It is quite correct as far as this island is concerned."

Again, the present Minister for Defence, speaking on the same day and on the same matter, said:

"I do not conceive it is at all likely that our Army would be engaged in warfare without Great Britain. She is our nearest neighbour."

When we take those statements of responsible Ministers, as these Ministers are supposed to be, in conjunction with the statement that we had here early in the year from the Minister for Finance, that famous, or rather should I say infamous declaration of loyalty to the British Empire—a declaration of satisfaction with our present status and a declaration that his Party intended to take no further steps in the matter of attaining complete freedom for this country—what conclusion can we come to? The conclusion is fairly obvious, that this Army and the proposed extension of it, as far as this reserve is concerned, is just for the same purpose.

This Party considers it of vital importance in this question of national and imperial defence that there should be no doubt whatsoever as to where the Government stands. We want the Government's policy made absolutely clear to the man in the street so that he can know exactly where we are going and what is being intended. Perhaps the Minister for Defence, when replying to the criticisms in this debate, would refer to this question of policy again and let us know definitely where we stand. There was a point which occurred to me in connection with the Imperial Conference, which was held, I think, in 1926. I was wondering what secret assurances, if any, were given at that Imperial Conference in the matter of imperial defence. I read over the published Report of that Conference, but there was nothing to be learned from that Report of the special discussions which took place on imperial defence. I learned nothing from that Report of any special contributions of the representatives of the Free State to such discussions. I think these representatives included military officers. Does the present Minister for Defence, as we may expect from his previous statement, base his whole army outlook, his present army policy, on the principles of co-operation and consultation laid down at that Imperial Conference?

Is the present defence policy based on the scheme which was hatched out at that Imperial Conference, the scheme under which, as the Report stated, "organisation, training and equipment of the available forces of the British Empire should be standardised so as to become interchangeable"? Apparently from the Minister's statements and from the regulations in connection with this reserve he is following that plan which was outlined there. We cannot but conclude that in this matter of national defence, as well as in economic and financial matters, the interests of the British Empire are becoming the primary consideration of the Government. It is not what system suits the best interest or needs of this country, but what will suit the people on the other side. As I have said, the present army system, including the formation of this reserve, follows too closely the British system. I suppose the fact that the members of the Army have been supplied with steel helmets is just another step in the Imperial defence plan. When we had Deputy Cooper referring to big guns and howitzers, I suppose that is the kind of army he thinks of. That is not the type of army we have in mind at all.

Deputy MacEntee referred to another important aspect of this defence problem. That was the question of the provision of warlike material. Deputy Aiken asked a question last November in connection with this matter. He asked the Minister for Defence to state what steps he had taken or intended to take under the powers conferred upon him by Section 29, subsection (b) of the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1923, to establish factories in the Saorstát for the manufacture of arms and ammunition. The Minister replied: "The question of the manufacture of ammunition within the Saorstát has been under consideration. No decision has yet been taken in the matter. The question of the manufacture of arms has not yet been explored." Perhaps the Minister when replying will inform the House what further steps he has taken in this matter, and how far this question of the manufacture of arms and ammunition has advanced since last November. This, in our opinion, is a matter which should receive very earnest consideration. Of course, the present Government are not worrying on that score. All their supplies, as happened before, will be forthcoming from the British Government. Their neglect of this important matter is a natural corollary to their Imperial defence policy. We are at present dependent for all our military supplies on Great Britain. That is a state of affairs which should be changed. I think the present Government should make some effort to change it without delay. I think that practically every important country in the world manufactures all, or the major portion, of their own military supplies, and I think that we should aim at doing something to provide our own arms and ammunition, at least ammunition for a start. Of course, as I have said, the Minister and his Government will depend for their supplies on the British Government. That is if we are to rely on what he has said about the present Army never being likely to be opposed to the British Empire. He said that it was inconceivable that our Army should ever be opposed to the British Empire.

I would like to ask Deputy Kerlin, before he sits down, what his policy would be if his Party were in power and if this country were attacked by a foreign power.

Would the Deputy tell me what foreign power is going to attack this country?

I asked you a question, and if you will answer it, I will answer you. What would be your policy if you were in power and if this country were attacked by a foreign power?


Give us the power and we will answer you.

Let us talk about this in the third person.

I cannot see any power invading this country and interfering with the rights or the liberties of this country except the power that has consistently done it in the past, and I do not see why we should be dragged into any war in which England is concerned. If, say, any European power is making an attack upon England, why should she attack England through Ireland?

What would you do if Russia attacked us?

I think the Deputy is romancing.

That is England's enemy, not Ireland's.

The world's enemy.

Our conception of what an Irish army should be is fundamentally opposed to that of the Minister for Defence. We want in this country an adequate and efficient army to protect us against outside aggression, and, as I have said, in particular against the aggression of that power which has interfered with our rights and liberties in the past and which will have no hesitation whatsoever in interfering with those rights and liberties in the future if her own interests suggest it. If we are to advance any further along the road to complete independence, we will have to get rid of the intermediate barriers, one by one. That is only going to be done by a strong national Government, supported by an adequate and efficient army, such as a territorial force can produce. I suppose the present Government has left all thoughts of making any advance behind. What about the protestations of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party in 1922? Where is the stepping stone idea gone to? What about the freedom to achieve freedom theory?

Apparently these things have been cast aside, and we have the policy as expressed by the Minister for Finance early in the year. Of course, under those circumstances I can easily see why the Government is satisfied with the present type of Army. They do not intend to move any further because they are quite satisfied. I suppose it is too much to hope for that the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, or at least a section of it—for I am afraid that some of its members are beyond redemption —will see the error of their ways on this question and will come back into alignment with the forces in this country that are striving for complete independence. Especially on this question of national defence we want a unified national outlook if we are to make any real progress, and to my mind the formation of a suitable territorial army would be an important factor and would help very considerably in bringing about such a unified national outlook.

Deputy MacEntee suggested to the Minister the principle that every able-bodied man should be liable for service in a time of need, and I think the Minister nodded his acceptance of the suggestion.

There is an article in the current number of "An tOglach," the Army Journal, which deals with this question of military systems. Referring to those countries which have adopted territorial systems and territorial systems which are, in most cases, based upon compulsory liability for service, there are one or two paragraphs which perhaps it might be profitable to read to the Minister and to those Deputies who have given the matter any consideration. Referring to countries in which territorial systems, based on compulsory service, are in existence, the writer says:

In those countries, service is not considered as a burden, but rather as a privilege whereof no self-respecting man would willingly be deprived. The Army is not divorced from the people, but is an integral part of their social life, a part to which they are all related or linked by ties of one kind or another. Every male citizen looks on the soldier as a fellow worker in the life of the nation, as a prospective comrade in arms, a "pal" in every sense of the word. Just consider what a tremendous asset this fusion of the military and national life is to morale, esprit de corps and sense of duty. In nations, where national service in a military capacity is considered a citizen's prerogative, where none is excluded save he who is physically or mentally defective or those who have become criminal outlaws and from whom the higher privileges of citizenship have been withdrawn, compulsory service, or what we loosely term conscription, holds no horrors.

Again in another portion of the article he says:

The best manhood of the State is trained and made available for war. From the financial viewpoint it is contended that for a given expenditure at least three times as many men can be kept under arms by the compulsory system as under any known "voluntary" system. The available reserve is, as a consequence, of far greater magnitude than any reserve that is based on a "voluntary" system. Additional advantages are: increased cohesion between the Army and the civil population; the Army includes all classes (not one or two classes); the national life is strengthened to a considerable extent; there is less danger of internal disunion. Military training adds more years of usefulness to the end of a man's life than are taken off at the beginning. Military training inculcates principles of organisation, cohesion and discipline which are invaluable assets in the industrial and business life of the State.

I do not know whether the Minister has read this article or not, but I would recommend it to him for his consideration. Of course, the question of compulsory liability for military service is a different one altogether, and is one which should be discussed at another time. But you could have a territorial force, based mainly on a voluntary system, and perhaps you could even go as far as adopting the system-that they have in South Africa, where, if they are unable to get voluntarily the number of recruits they require every year, they have a ballot by districts for the remainder. I pointed out some of the advantages of the territorial system which were given in that article. The Army under such a system would really become part of the life of the nation, and it would undoubtedly obtain the support of every class and section in the community. But apparently the Government is not tackling that problem in the right way. They are merely, as I have said, extending the present system, and we know already what the purpose of that system is.

Together with the establishment of a suitable territorial force, I would suggest that attention should be directed to the preparatory training of the youth of the country. The necessary preparatory training could be given through the medium of cadet corps, boy scout organisations, gymnastic clubs, and even school organisations. Such a system would work in well with a territorial force, because those who have acquired a certain proficiency in physical and in preparatory military training through the medium of such organisations would have to serve only a small period of training in the territorial force; if they acquired a certain proficiency between the ages of fourteen and eighteen it would lessen their period of training with the territorial force, and prevent any serious interference with the ordinary life of the country. I noted from some articles in connection with this matter that over 90 per cent. of the recruits that are annually called up in Switzerland for training have already passed proficiency tests in training, musketry practice and so on.

In connection with a territorial system it may not be out of place to look at the system in other countries. Deputy MacEntee referred to Switzerland, and I think he brought Deputy Cooper down on his head as a result. Taking Great Britain as an example, I will look at their territorial system. They have a permanent staff, exclusive of headquarters, administrative staff, which amounts to 1,800, and if we are to add 1,200 as an outside figure for the headquarters and administrative staff, it would give a permanent force of 3,000. They have a permanent force of 3,000, and they have a territorial force amounting to 180,000. The cost of the officers, N.C.O.s, and so on, of the permanent staff amounted to, roughly, £563,000, and the cost of training, conveyance and other miscellaneous expenses of the territorial force amounted to £1,116,000. Adding those sums together it will be seen that the cost per man per annum for training amounts to £12. In Australia they have a permanent force of just 2,000, and they have a territorial force of 45,000, and this force of 45,000 represents only one in every eighteen of the total males between the ages of 18 and 35, which is the best period for military service. The total cost of their military forces amounts only to £1,041,000.

What about their navy?

We have no navy.

The Australian Navy?

We are merely dealing with the Army. I am not talking about a navy at all. In addition to that £1,041,000 they give a grant of £50,000 to rifle associations. Canada has a permanent force of 3,400 and a territorial force amounting to 127,500. Their cost, according to the latest figures I could obtain, is £2,400,000, and working it out we find that the cost per head per annum of each effective is roughly £8. New Zealand has a permanent force of 500 and a territorial force of 22,000, and their total cost is less than half a million. Denmark has a permanent force of 1,100, and they have a special reserve of about the same number of officers and N.C.O.s, for training purposes only. They have an effective strength, I think, under war conditions of 100,000, and their cost amounts to only £1,383,000. So on with Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. I just give these figures to show that it is quite possible to have a large and effective territorial army for a comparatively small sum, for instance, well under the figure which the Minister for Finance suggested—£1,500,000. I think that, in fact, such a force could be maintained under a million and a quarter, allowing for extra expenditure on the manufacture of arms and ammunition, and on grants to gymnastic clubs and organisations for the training of the youth of the country.

The Minister for Defence spoke of 5,000 as the figure he would aim at as a standing army. Considering the figures I have read out we think we could do with a permanent force of, say, 3,000, and that force would include the various technical corps, some maintenance troops, and a corps of instructors. As far as the territorial system is concerned we would suggest that, say, 5,000 recruits be brought up annually for training, that the average period of training would be 60 days for the first year, and ten days for the second and third years. During that three years the men would be considered first line troops, and then, say, after a period of nine years had passed, second line troops, during which period they could be called up every third year for an additional ten days' training. After that they would pass on to the reserve where they would give merely nominal service. That is just a rough idea of what we were thinking would be the most suitable system for this country. Of course the best possible system could be hammered out, but it would be necessary to have certain facts which are now, perhaps, in the possession of the Minister and his staff. We suggest that such a system would be most suitable, and I made certain calculations of the cost which I will offer. Taking sixty days' training in the first year as the most suitable period, I consider that the actual cost of each recruit would be, to give a maximum figure, say, £40. In connection with that I took some figures from this year's Estimates dealing with the training and maintenance of the present "A" and "B" reserves. Leaving out the question of the reserve pay under class "A" the annual cost per head for fourteen days training would only be £3 17s. 6d., and in the case of "B" reserve the annual cost per head, excluding the special grant of £3, over a period of 30 days training, is only £6 6s. 0d.

From the various figures which I gave a few minutes ago in connection with the territorial system of other countries, the annual cost per head for training did not, I think, amount to more than £8 or £10. I was including in the figure I used pay and allowances during the period of training. I also included the cost of conveyance, provisions, insurance, the cost of general administration and of instructors and of the maintenance of the training camp. I put all that at the outside figure of, say, £40. For the period of refresher training, the ten days' period in the second and third year, I calculated that the cost would be, giving the outside figure again, £10. It is obvious that in the first year, with 5,000 recruits, the cost would be £200,000. In the second year, with 5,000 men, first-line troops, the cost would be a quarter of a million, and so on. I calculated the cost in each year as the system changes. I make out that the maximum cost at the end of, say, the twelfth year would be £450,000. The cost in the first year would be £200,000, and the maximum cost would be £450,000 at the end of the twelfth year. You would have, in fact, 60,000 men trained. As well as that, you would have your permanent force of 3,000. That was what I estimated would be the maximum cost of a territorial force of that description. Then, of course, you have the permanent force, and we suggest its figure should not exceed 3,000.

If we were to base the cost of such a permanent force of 3,000 on the figure supplied in the present Estimate for an army of, I think, 10,500, the cost, working it out and allowing even a greater percentage on account of the increased overhead charges, should not exceed £600,000. Deputy MacEntee suggested three-quarters of a million, but I think it could be kept even lower than that. If you add to that the £450,000 which would be the maximum cost of the territorial force, you have the result that the cost of your entire Army would be £1,050,000. In addition to that, under an ideal system, there would be certain grants for cadet corps and organisations for the training of the youth of the country. There would be grants, too, for the manufacture of arms and ammunitions at home, and for the building of gymnasiums throughout the country and the encouragement of gymnastic clubs. That figure, we think, would be more than ample for the requirements of a suitable defence force in this country. I will ask those Deputies who on previous occasions expressed their opposition to excessive Army expenditure, and advocated reductions to this figure of one and a quarter millions, to vote against this balance of £500,000 which the Minister for Defence now requests the House to pass.

There seems to be a good deal of confusion of thought running through the whole of this debate. Having listened very attentively to most, if not all, the speakers on this Estimate during the evening, I am forced to one conclusion—I commend this more particularly to those who may be induced to comment on the lack of speakers up to now from the Labour side of the House—that they should carefully examine the speeches delivered by the Labour Party in former Dáils. If they did so, they would at least learn to make some sort of constructive criticism on the Estimate now before the House. I am not in the habit of throwing bouquets at any member of the Government Party or at any Member on the Government side. But I think we should at least recognise that something has been attempted and something done. The fact that the strength of the Army has been reduced from 50,000 roughly to 8,000 odd is evidence of the economy axe being at work. It is also evidence, perhaps, that we are approaching something like normality in this country. I am one of those who believe that just as much credit is due to the ordinary citizen of the country as is due to the Minister for Defence and those associated with him in bringing about that reduction in the armed forces of this country.

We again have had evidence of the military-minded person in this House. On the one hand, we have the Minister for Defence making an honest effort to reduce the armed forces in the country, and, on the other side of the House, from amongst the official Opposition, people who advocate conscription, not alone conscription, but the very worst form of conscription that exists in any country, namely, the conscripting of our young boys into forces such as the Scouts and other training grounds to afford an outlet for the military instinct in this country.

On a point of personal explanation. In anything that I said, I did not definitely advocate conscription, but I read certain extracts from army journals in connection with territorial systems and compulsory liability for military service. Deputy Anthony is taking up what I said quite wrongly.

Might I ask Deputy Anthony——

How often am I to be interrupted?

Who are responsible for the Baden-Powell Scouts?

I take no notice of that nonentity at all.

That is a remark that the Deputy will have to withdraw.

I withdraw and apologise.

That is typical of the Deputy.

I do not want to be urged or at least provoked——

What about the Baden-Powell Scouts?

I do not want this royal fusee to be interrupting me. I said there was confusion of thought. If any Deputy wishes to criticise my statement, he can do so without unnecessary interruption. I am not a military-minded person. While Deputy Kerlin says that I have ministerpreted him and that he did not mean all he said, I want to know from him, why then did he quote at such great length from the various documents dealing with territorial forces, standing armies and all the other paraphernalia of war? Again we have heard what appears to me to be an obsession with many people in this House. We have heard about British policy and British influence as if there were no Irish-minded people in the House except certain Deputies who proclaim that they have absorbed in themselves all the patriotism that is left in the country. I reject that idea and so does every decent Irishman. Patriotism is not the prerogative of a few people in the official Opposition to-day. On occasions in this House the Labour Party have opposed abnormal votes on account of military expenditure, and we would do the same again if we thought it essential or necessary. But there is the fact that the Army has been reduced from 50,000 to 8,000, and Deputies should bear that in mind when criticising this Vote. We have heard of the advantages that might accrue to this country by adopting instead of our present military system a sort of glorified militia system. Anyone of us who is old enough to remember the old militia corps in this country——

The North Cork.

Yes, and perhaps some of those opposite were members of that distinguished corps. Some of us will remember even British Ministers declared that that militia system was most expensive. That should be borne in mind when we are criticising a measure of this kind. I am not so sure that the territorial system would be the best for this country. Knowing what I do about some countries in which militarism is a strong feature, I am not sure that the fact of getting the youth of our country into training centres for two or three or four weeks at a time that you might turn out some amateur soldiers, though you have enough of them, God knows, in this House, would have the beneficial effect some people seem to think. Some people talked about reducing the Army, and we were asked in the next breath for something that will correspond in expense with that standing Army. Personally, I would like to see all standing armies abolished. I think they are a menace to the peace of this or any other country. I am not one of those who would perpetuate a system that would be a curse to this country, as it has been to other countries. I would rather direct my attention to the constructive side of the Vote, and throw a bouquet to the Minister for being able to reduce the expenditure and personnel of the Army, but while the Army is there there are a few things I would like to see done.

Perhaps it may be suggested that I am going from the sublime to the ridiculous when I come from war to ordinary matters. There is the probability that in any hastily conceived scheme of reducing the Army you may throw on the unemployed market an abnormal number of physically fit young men who would be unable to secure other employment. For that reason I suggest to the Minister that when bringing in his next estimate he should provide by a system of deferred pay—a system that obtains in other armies—a sufficient sum of money to enable the demobilised soldiers to live in some sort of frugal comfort for six or seven months, or until such time as they are enabled to secure suitable employment.

Another matter I would like to have discussed is the new rule to the effect that Army officers must not appear in mufti except by the special permission of their superior officers. That, in time, will entail expense on young officers, and it may mean that you are going to close the door so far as officers are concerned, to the poor man, and establish a class in the National Army which, in my opinion, is of no use to the Army. As one of Napoleon's officers said, the private soldier may have a Marshal's baton in his knapsack. So far as these officers are concerned, I understand much of their clothing is manufactured abroad. That is a point, I think, we should lay some emphasis on. We preach a lot here and outside about the necessity of encouraging Irish industries. Yet I am informed that much of the wearing apparel of the officers is manufactured abroad. What is the reason? I think any member of this House who dresses in Irish material is as good as any officer you could get in the Army. I do not think they are drawn from such an exclusive class that they should go to the West of England for their riding breeches, and articles like that.

Let us talk in peace even though we are discussing matters of war, and discuss it from that angle and not be multiplying armies. We have heard of territorial armies, boy scouts and all that, and I was coming around to the opinion that we were beginning to forget about petrol cans, dynamite, gelignite and the rest. Let us talk about things that matter to the ordinary citizens. One thing concrete has been done, and that is, the reduction of the Army, with a consequent reduction in expenditure. Suggestions have been made as to the way other reductions could be brought about. There is something tangible in that. I submit, with all due respect to the military-minded persons, to those who claim for themselves all the patriotism and the rest of it, that they might commence to discuss now in a useful way how we are not alone to further reduce the Army, but to see that when the men are disbanded provision will be made for them. We ought to have a system of deferred pay, bounty or bonus, so that these men when disbanded will not be sent to swell the ranks of the unemployed, which, we all know, are large enough already. I throw out the hint that we would be doing something constructive if we were to discuss the subject along these lines, and although it is a matter dealing with a warlike question, let us discuss it in terms of peace.

Deputy Cooper said he could not see eye to eye with us on these benches in opposing this particular Vote of £500,000. That, from our point of view, was only to be expected, because if we found ourselves seeing eye to eye with Deputy Cooper on this particular matter we would think that there was something seriously wrong with our eyesight.

May I remind Deputy Carney that we both looked at the same front?

The Deputy will have his little joke. In speaking on this particular matter of the Army, and as Deputy Anthony says of war, few like to speak about it less than some of us do, because there is no sane man who likes war for the sake of war. At least, I do not think he is sane if he likes it; but at the same time, seeing that necessity exists at present for armies, and that we are not living in an Arcadia of our own making, we have to adapt ourselves to the circumstances under which we live.

There is one particular point that Deputy Anthony seems to have forgotten, and it is that we cannot afford to talk about the total abolition of armies as far as this country is concerned until such time as we are free; and even then it is questionable if the thing can be taken on. We are accused of talking generalities, that we do not come down to facts and give concrete examples of where money might be saved in this Department. When there are concrete examples given they are ignored on all occasions. I see here in a book called "Appropriation Accounts" a lot of little matters and I wonder are those items going to be repeated. I wonder if the money that we are now voting—at least, that some people in this House are now about to vote—is going to be used in the same way as the money has been used in the past. There is one item here and upon that item there are certain comments by the Comptroller and Auditor-General. I wonder if that item is going to be repeated in the financial year 1928-29. Here are the comments: "Flying pay at the rate of 4s. a day was issued to an officer who acted as wireless instructor with the Army Air Corps. Army aeroplanes do not appear to have been equipped with wireless apparatus during 1926-27, and as no provision is made in existing regulations for payments of this kind, I have asked the Accounting Officer for an explanation of the charge." Now there is a wonderful state of affairs. I presume that is extra pay, what Deputy Cooper would call proficiency pay, for the art of teaching others how to use a wireless apparatus on aeroplanes. The funny part of it is that there was no such thing as wireless apparatus on aeroplanes belonging to the Free State Army.

The Comptroller and Auditor-General further said: "I observed that an officer who was on leave without pay from the 10th December, 1926, and who resigned in the following year, continued to receive his usual pay for the period up to the 31st March, 1927." It is an extraordinary state of affairs that an officer who had already resigned continued to draw his usual pay for months after he had ceased to be a member of the Army. Again, we have this comment under Sub-head J— Mechanical Transport:—"A claim was made by two officers for recoupment of expenditure incurred by them on repairs to a car which had been captured in 1922. The use of the car on military duty had rendered repairs necessary. Subsequently the car, of which the ownership had not been ascertained, became derelict, and though it was stated that the officers were willing to accept the sum realised by its sale in settlement of their claim a payment of £38 3s. 11d. was made to them. The car was taken on army charge and disposed of for a sum of £9." It is definitely stated there that the officers were prepared to accept the sum of £9 which was realised for the car in lieu of their claim and £38 was the sum actually paid to them for the car. If it had been their own car it would be a different matter, but it was one of those mysterious cars captured in 1922. I suppose it was blamed on the Republicans.

Does Deputy Carney know whose car it was?

Evidently the Comptroller and Auditor-General did not know either.

The Committee of Public Accounts have established the fact that the car belonged to the British Government.

"Yea, a Daniel come to judgment!" Here is another item under Sub-head M—Clothing and Equipment—"Although officers are in receipt of uniform allowances, a payment of £95 12s. 0d. was made for specimen mess uniforms which were ordered without the prior authority of the Department of Finance. On inquiry I was informed that it is not proposed to dispose of these specimen uniforms. They have been taken on store charge." As Deputy Cooper will be one of the first to admit, in the ordinary clothing and equipment department of the Army they receive free, gratis and for nothing, I understand, specimens of the equipment with which it is proposed to supply the Army; that is, regulation uniform or equipment. Those things are not paid for. They are advertised, and if a man supplies or thinks he can supply a uniform he sends in a specimen of that uniform. He does not want to be paid for it; he is looking for an order. But this is quite a different thing altogether. It is even worse because those officers were entitled to get specimens of their own uniforms. They were paid for supplying their own uniforms and they should have got the specimens. Still, the money had to go out of the Vote and the uniforms are still lying, I presume, in the stores.

I have another little item, and this comes under Sub-head N—Animals and Forage—"A number of horses, the private property of officers who, it was stated, were not entitled to be mounted, were foraged at the public expense, and forage was drawn for more than one horse by some officers who were entitled to be mounted. Departmental action is being taken in this matter, and refunds of the cost of forage have been secured in some instances. There are no regulations which permit an officer not entitled to be mounted to have a privately-owned horse stabled in military quarters." Here was a home of rest for officers' horses at the public expense. An officer who was not entitled to be mounted could have his horses stabled in the Army stables and fed at the people's expense. Here is another little item in the horsey line:—"During 1926-27, 213 horses were purchased for the Army at a total cost of £8,717. The purchases, which do not appear to have been effected on competitive lines, have all been made from a dealer whose name appears on an approved list submitted to the Department of Finance in June, 1925."

That may have been a perfectly honest deal on the part of the man whose name appeared on the list; I am not saying a word about that. But there was no competition. That is the fault I see in the matter. He could, I presume, charge what he liked. Further on in the report I see: "Included in the charge to this sub-head is a sum of £1,165 expended on the purchase of six chargers suitable to compete in jumping events." That is great. "Two of these horses proved to be unsuitable as timber jumpers and were to be disposed of, at the opening of the hunting season in November, 1927. Another jumper to replace one of the two unsuitable horses was subsequently purchased from an Army officer for £250." I suppose that horse had been fed at the public expense. That is, roughly, £194 per horse for six horses suitable for jumping and two of them were found to be crocks.

I have been enjoying Deputy Carney's arguments so much that I do not like to interrupt him on a point of order. But as a matter of fact all these transactions to which he has referred and these reports have been already referred by the Dáil to the Public Accounts Committee, which includes in its membership Deputy MacEntee, Deputy Briscoe, Deputy Derrig, and the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee is Deputy Ryan—all colleagues of Deputy Carney. That Committee is now preparing its report. I do not want to be unfair to Deputy Carney, but I want to know whether the publication of that report will not be prejudiced by the comments which Deputy Carney is making now. That is a point that I would like to see decided.

I agree that it is rather unusual to criticise or to use in any way the report of the Auditor-General until that has been reported upon to the House by the Public Accounts Committee. But strictly, on the point of order, I think the Deputy is entitled, if he sees fit, to use any official publication in the matter.

I do this for the purpose of warning the Deputies as to what may happen this particular Vote that is being asked for. I want to know is this sort of thing to be repeated?

Might I ask a question?

Is it a point of order?

Have these accounts not been reported on already—I mean the reports that the Deputy is reading from —and the report placed here before the Dáil?

Deputy Carney can go on.

This particular item of the horses, to my mind, is typical. Whether the officer who sold a horse to the Army fed it at the public expense or not I do not know. I know nothing about it. But there were six horses bought for jumping. I suppose that would be for ceremonial purposes at the Horse Show or one thing or another. But there were two crocks bought, and they were to be disposed of. I do not know whether they were disposed of or not. They may have gone up to the Zoo for all I know——

The Deputy might now say something about the Estimate.

If I had thought that up to the present I had not been dealing with the Estimate I would feel very much taken aback, because, to my mind, we should take heed of what has happened in the past in order to safeguard ourselves for the future.

I heard the Deputy on the past. I would like to hear him now on the future.

In connection with the Estimates, I see here under Sub-head N these items: Chargers, £700; troopers and draft horses, £1,500; maintenance and feeding, £14,272; shoeing and stable necessaries, £937; medicines, £167——

Does the Deputy suggest that all these figures are for the present year?

They are for 1928-9.

Does the Deputy suggest that the chargers, and also the troopers, are to be paid for this year?

If the Deputy can make anything other than what I say out of it he is quite at liberty to point it out.

It is quite easy to do so. The figures are 1927-8, and are in italics to show that they do not belong to this year.

There is the item of £14,272—as a matter of fact, I do not know who is making the speech.

I understood the Deputy to say that he was coming back to this Estimate, or something like that. I find that he has mentioned £700 for troopers and £1,700 for something else, and so on. That statement is definite, but that is not definitely in this Estimate.

Whether it costs £1,700 or £700 for chargers matters little in comparison with an item like that of £14,272 for maintenance, feeding, shoeing and stable necessaries, etc. The point I want to make about this horse business is this. On the broad question of the Army here and now, I and many others, including whoever it was who wrote that article in "An tOglach" that I glanced through the other day, seemed to think that the Army as at present constituted is not at all suitable to this country. This is where the expense is coming in, making of the Army what I call a pocket edition of the British Army, and by no means as efficient numbers for numbers—not that the men might not be as good or better, but that the men are not equipped in the same way. This is not a country at all for making a pocket edition of the British Army. If we are going to depend on the Army for defensive purposes it must have been proved conclusively to anyone who has a knowledge of Army matters that the mass action manner in which the Army is being trained at present is not at all suitable for this country, that the most suitable method of warfare to be conducted by us for defensive purposes was the method that had been tried and perfected by de Wett in South Africa and by our own guerilla fighters here in Ireland. Does the Minister or any other responsible person in this House mean to tell me that the Army as at present organised and equipped is going to be a defensive force in this country such as would prevent the descent on the country of a foreign enemy? Does the Minister suggest that in a vulnerable country like this that is open on all sides to attack from the sea his force of 12,000 or even 50,000 men equipped as they are would be adequate to stop the invasion of our shores? The Minister probably will say not. Then I ask why make it a small edition of the British Army trained for mass action fighting when they will not be able to meet the enemy coming in on these shores? Why does not the Minister have an alternative? He talks glibly about reducing the Army and forming a volunteer reserve.

Yes, a volunteer reserve, a paid reserve. For what purpose? Certainly not for the purpose of conducting a guerilla warfare in this country against an enemy whom we could not possibly stop from coming in. Let us examine it. It has been referred to already and, as a matter of fact, so often that the thing has become almost hackneyed. One hates to talk about it. In this country we are dependent on this so-called defensive force of 8,000 or 12,000 men which the Minister admits is going to form a branch of the British Army, if necessary.

We are dependent solely and entirely on supplies of arms from England. If we are at war with any other country —we do not want to fight any other country—and if any other country went to war with England, which mind you, is not outside the realms of possibility, because we saw what happened when there was a Peace Pact on the carpet and behind backs there was another secret agreement, these things might develop any time. How do we know but at any time there might be an outbreak of war against England? England has her Treaty Ports here, and the natural thing for her to do would be to send her vessels into the Swilly or into Cobh. We are faced then with the possibility of being embroiled in war not of our own making. What is the Minister going to do? Is he going to co-operate with the British Army and allow this country to be made the cock-pit for all the countries of Europe? That is what it will amount to. Either a foreign enemy comes in and takes complete possession of us, or the British send their transports full of troops and make this country their stamping ground——

What do you propose?

What does the Minister propose? What does the Minister mean by saying that this Army may form a branch of the British Army at some future time? What would the Minister think if we were at war with a foreign country? Supposing we were attacked and the English people came over to form an alliance with your Army, what would happen if we were surrounded by submarines and if your supplies of arms and munitions were cut off, where would we stand? Suppose, on the other hand—and this possibility will not be admitted by the people on the benches here—that England were at war with Ireland. Does the Minister mean to tell us that fatherly John Bull is going to supply us with arms and munitions to be used against himself? Not likely. In this case with England it is a case of "Heads I win, tails you lose." Why, then, does the Minister try to make this Army a pocket edition of the English Army?

The Minister may ask for alternatives. We have given an alternative. Nobody knows better than we do that if we are at war with any superior country, at war with England, we cannot stop an invasion. Only a fool would say that we could. We cannot prevent the enemy coming in, but we can train our Army to be such an effective guerilla fighting machine as to make it impossible for an enemy to remain in the country. We can use those small units, which have been sneered at by Deputy Cooper, to do what we did before, only in a more effective way. We read in the Press about a Red and a Blue Army that go down to the coast, and we hear about the Blue Army invading Ireland and the Red Army stopping it. I ask the Minister what country in the world, short of some petty South American Republic, and not even that, would be stopped by a Red or a Blue Army from invading us? We have given an alternative, namely, to reduce the standing Army to a minimum, to train effectively and maintain a staff of 3,000 to form a volunteer reserve. That would not be a multiplication of armies in the sense that Deputy Anthony means. It would be a multiplication of armies but not of expenditure.

What the Minister is doing is expending the greatest possible amount of money for the least possible return. We want to spend the minimum amount of money with the maximum return. There must come a time when it will be absolutely essential, if our demands are not met in an honest and open way, that they must be backed by force. What I mean is, not by a Party, but by the State, or what is called the State. We never could get anything for this country unless there was a foreign power behind us or armed resistance of some kind in the offing. That must develop again. I hope it will not, but if we cannot succeed in getting the ultima thule of our demands, then our demands must be backed up by armed force, by an effective fighting machine that can be used if necessary. Nobody deplores the necessity of having a fighting machine more than I, but it must be effective. We cannot afford to have cavalry charging all over the country. Let the Minister cast his mind back to the time of the guerilla fight. Of what use would cavalry be there? What would the Minister think would happen in a guerilla war if they had big guns, which, according to Deputy Cooper, are 22 years old, and which were bought from the British Government?

Deputy Cooper made one wise remark when he suggested that light howitzers should be used. I can appreciate that, because that is the only type of light gun that we might have used at one time, and used effectively. The guns which we see parading, polished, and shining in the sun, would not be worth a snowball in hell to the Free State. Here we have officers quartering their horses in Army stables at the public expense. But even if they do not do that, let us take the cavalry as it is and admit, if you like, that in every country they have a certain number of horsemen for ceremonial purposes. You can keep them if you like, but we say that you should wipe out the artillery, which has to be purchased from what is tantamount to an enemy country, artillery that can be stopped at any time, artillery for which we would not get one shell if it did not suit John Bull. We say that the Minister should focus his mind on what is essential to the country. Let the Minister not think so much of all the methods of training that we might learn from either England or America. Let him think rather of the lessons to be learned from the guerilla fighting in South Africa. Let the Minister and his officers—and he has some capable officers—develop their own system of training on the lines which we adopted in this country during the Black-and-Tan struggle. It was not perfect by any means. In many cases it was most imperfect, but it met with a big measure of success. If the Minister would only apply his mind, or get his officers to apply their minds, to developing a system of training along these lines he would get a most efficient and effective fighting machine by adopting the suggestions we put forward, and he would get it with a minimum of cost.

The Minister, in his reply, probably will tell us that all these arguments have been put forward so often that they have become hackneyed. No one, I am sure, in this House likes to repeat what he has already said, but if the Minister does not listen, there is no change in the case at all. The case still exists, and if the arguments were true before, they are just as true now, and they must be put up because the Minister is not heeding them. In our country we say:

He is like Willie dear.

What he doesn't like he doesn't hear.

I think the Minister has developed a hard side in that respect. The Minister need not attempt to be flippant in his reply. He need not attempt to pass this off with a wave of his hand because the time has gone when he could wave his hand airily and talk nonsense. We want some solid foundation to build upon and the sooner the Minister gets down to that solid foundation and takes off his coat the better. You have our suggestions. We will not say they are perfect. Any suggestion can be improved upon, but the Minister must make a start some time, and the sooner he makes a start the better, because this thing of waving his hand and telling us that we must be a branch of the British Army, if the necessity arises, has gone on too long. We want in the country something that we can use if it is necessary that we should have an army. Unfortunately it is necessary, and we want something that we can use and use in the right way when the necessity arises for using it. I hope it will not arise.

I hope when the time comes for this country to look for something beyond what it has already secured; we can, if necessary, do what the old Fenians did when they said: "We have men behind us with guns"—unfortunately they had not the right kind of guns—"we have physical force behind us. If you give us what we want quietly, well and good. If you do not, there is something over and beyond that, that we will use." The Minister ought to look ahead as well as back. He should look back to the time when we developed, under stress and big difficulties, a guerilla fighting machine in this country. Though it was not perfect, it was as near perfect as it was possible to get it under the circumstances. He should look forward to the time when it might be necessary to use a fighting force such as that again. What we want is that if we are going to spend money on an Army at all that fighting machine will be the most perfect we can put into the field.

We, on those benches are frequently met with the question from the benches opposite, when we speak on an Estimate or on a Bill such as the Central Fund Bill: "How do you propose to reduce expenditure? Show us the items in which a reduction can be effected." The speakers who have preceded me on those benches have shown what is the policy of this Party in regard to an army. If the number of that Army is reduced as it could be, and as we maintain it should be, the numbers employed, both officers, non-commissioned officers and men, in the different departments of that Army could be reduced. Even if that Army is to be maintained at its present strength, even if we were to admit, which we do not, that the present standing Army is necessary at its present strength, I maintain that a very big reduction could be made under sub-head (E) of the Estimates. In a former debate I referred to the cost of the medical services in the Army. I am not alone in my references to the cost of the medical services. I find that in 1926 Deputy Cooper spoke on the cost of these services. In 1927 Deputy Baxter and the members of the Farmers' Party arraigned the Government for the cost of the medical services, and the cost of the services to-day is just as excessive proportionately as it was in 1926 and 1927. Will Deputy Cooper say why, in 1928, he proposes to vote for this Estimate which maintains the same cost per man in the Army for the medical services, when he voted against it in 1926? Will the members of the Farmers' Party tell the Dáil why they opposed the Army Estimates because of the cost of the Army medical services in 1927, and why to-night they are prepared to support it?

In 1927 Deputy Baxter, who was then leader of the Farmers' Party—I quote from the Official Debates—said: "I did not hear Deputy Murphy make one single point against the case for maintaining a medical service in the Army whereby a doctor and dentist are provided for every 160 or 170 men." If you compare the Estimates for 1927 and the Estimates for 1928 you will find that proportionately the same number of officers are employed in the medical service. In 1927 Deputy Baxter disagreed with the Government when they said that they must maintain a medical service of that strength. I wonder why those who succeeded Deputy Baxter in this House have changed their view? In the Army to-day you have 53 officers in the medical service for an army of 10,256 officers, non-commissioned officers and men. That means that there is an officer in the medical service for every 197 officers, non-commissioned officers and men in the Army. You also have 33 nurses to take care of 10,000 men. Now compare that with the Poor Law services. I am sorry Deputy Anthony has gone out. Deputy Anthony threw bouquets at the Minister for Defence for the reduction he had brought about in the Army from 50,000 down to 10,000, and for reducing the cost, etc. Will Deputy Anthony or anybody else suggest why there should be one doctor for every 194 or 195 able-bodied young men when under the Poor Law dispensary services there is only one doctor for every 5,000 persons.

These are the figures. In the dispensary service, which has to take care of the poor, for whom Deputy Anthony shows such concern, you have one medical officer for every 5,000 people. In the Army you have one doctor for every 194 men. The Poor Law service has to deal with the old, the infirm, and the children, and the medical officer has to travel long distances. He has not alone to do medical work, but that big branch of midwifery as well. The President, in speaking on the Army Vote on one occasion, said that the Army medical officers had extra work in looking after the sanitation of the barracks. Dispensary medical officers have also to look after sanitation, as they are medical officers of health. They have to travel long distances, and their work is much harder and more difficult than the work of an Army doctor.

On a previous occasion I pointed out that the cost of military hospitals was excessive. For instance, when a soldier gets sick in Cork and is taken to the Cork Military Hospital, he costs the country 15/- per day, or five guineas per week. That was the answer which the Minister gave when I asked him what the cost was in Cork. Will Deputy Anthony, who is a member for Cork, explain why it is that a soldier costs the country five guineas per week, while the poor, for whom he shows such concern, when they are sent into the North Infirmary in Cork, cost only two guineas per person per week? The people for whom he speaks are at least entitled to the same treatment as the military. If the military are getting such great treatment at five guineas, then the poor should be entitled to the same treatment. There should not be a difference of three guineas in the cost of treatment.

There are six military hospitals in the country. There is a large hospital in Dublin, a large hospital at the Curragh, and hospitals in Athlone, Cork and other places. I think in these hospitals never more than half the beds are occupied. I venture to say that at times twenty-five per cent of the beds are not occupied, and yet you have big staffs employed there. In the county from which I come, if a person in the mining district of Arigna gets sick he has to travel a distance of forty miles by ambulance to the county hospital in Roscommon. Would it be too much to ask the Minister to consider, for the sake of economy, the closing of some of these military hospitals? Could not military patients be brought from Athlone to the central hospital at the Curragh? He could even go further and close one of the two big hospitals —either the one at the Curragh or the one in Dublin. The total number of military patients in all the hospitals at one time would not fill one of the large hospitals. Yet we keep these establishments open with big staffs, and we are told that there cannot be any economies made. I say that there could be drastic economies. We will be told that the few thousand pounds we could economise on these services would not be worth while. But every little counts, and if we do not begin somewhere this country will not be able to stand the strain.

The Estimate for the medical services for this year is £32,755, and for drugs and dressings £1,820. I do not include lodging and other allowances in these figures. If that were reduced by half, as it could be without impairing efficiency in the slightest, we would have a saving of practically £20,000, and every £20,000 will count. In a previous debate on the Central Fund Bill the Minister admitted that the services are overstaffed. What is he going to do to reduce them? Is he going to assure the House that they will be reduced before a definite time? He knows as well as I do that it is too much to have one doctor for less than two-hundred able-bodied young men who, in the ordinary course of events, should never be ill. As the result of a series of questions during the last session we find that in some hospitals there is one nurse for every three patients. These patients must be very well cared for. In one case—I think it was Athlone—there was one nurse to every two patients. I wonder what would the people in the county hospitals, where there are only two nurses for a whole institution with about two hundred patients, say if they were told that in the military hospitals there was one nurse to look after every three patients? I am convinced that the cost of these services can be drastically reduced, and I would like an assurance from the Minister that something will be done to reduce it. I am not alone in this. Deputy Cooper in 1926 held that there should be a reduction, and in 1927 Deputy Baxter and the Farmers' Party maintained that there could be a drastic reduction. There has not been any proportionate reduction since then. Why has the opposition of these Deputies in 1926 and in 1927 changed into support of the Ministry on this Vote in 1928? On looking over the Army pensions list, I should like to draw the Minister's attention to what seems to me——


There is a separate Estimate for Army pensions, on which this would more properly arise.

I have nothing further to say except that in comparison with any other service, such, for instance, as the civilian hospitals in Dublin, the cost of any military hospital exceeds the cost of any civilian hospital. You have it on the authority of Deputy Sir James Craig, who understands all about civilian hospitals, that the cost of a civilian hospital is £140 per year per bed. The Minister could not tell us of any military hospital that can keep its doors open at that cost. The cost of a civilian hospital in Dublin or Cork is £140 per bed per year, at an outside figure, while the cost of a patient in a military hospital in Cork is five guineas per week. Deputy Anthony would be well advised to get the poor people in Cork better treatment, if the effect of raising the cost per bed per year in these hospitals will ensure better treatment. The poor people, for whom he was so solicitous in other speeches, are entitled to as good treatment when they are sick as the military.

"Hear! Hear!"

I advise the Deputy to see to it that they get as good treatment. I am sure he will agree with me that they should get very good treatment at a less cost than fifteen shillings per day.

I do not know why Deputy O'Dowd is so disturbed on account of the over-doctoring of the National Army. I am afraid I must come to the conclusion that he is a very bad trade unionist. I know if the Cumann na nGaedheal Party wanted me to make such a perverted statement of the medical services in the Army I would certainly decline on professional grounds.

Doctors differ.

Deputy O'Dowd has spoken of the cost of patients in the North Infiramry in Cork, and he contrasts that with what I will call the cost of the military hospitals in the country. Does the Deputy know that in the North Infirmary people there are treated, if you wish, as paupers, but they are treated by the medical staff for nothing. Does the Deputy want the Army to be treated by the medical staff for nothing?

I should like to correct that statement of Deputy Hennessy. No patients in the North Infirmary in Cork are treated as paupers.

No doctor is paid in the North Infirmary for treating cases. No doctor is paid in the Dublin hospitals for treating the poor there. Does Deputy O'Dowd suggest that military patients should be treated for nothing by the doctors?

No, but that cost of £5 5s. per week per patient does not include the salaries of the Army medical officers.

In the North Infirmary in Cork——

Deputies can deal with this matter in their speeches and not by interruption.

What I want to say is that the North Infirmary in Cork is not an institution that caters for poor people. It will cater for the treatment of accidents that occur in the streets, and poor patients get the same treatment there as the best paying patients would get.

I was a student in the North Infirmary in Cork and I never knew of a doctor to charge there for the services which he gave to a poor patient. A doctor might perform an operation there on a poor patient for which he would charge £100 to a private patient. If you want to know what the cost is for the treatment of patients in the North Infirmary you must give the doctors their full fees, and you must calculate these expert fees to arrive at the average cost per patient.

The medical trades union.

I am not carrying on a conversation. Deputy O'Dowd stated that there was one doctor for 190 military men. When the British Army was here I knew instances where there was one doctor who had charge of 50 men, so there you have a precedent at all events.

They were kept busy here.

Deputy O'Dowd has spoken of dispensaries where a doctor had 5,000 people to look after. I did not know that these 5,000 were all paupers and entitled to free medical treatment. I was in a dispensary myself which was one of the forty largest districts in Ireland, and I had a population of 4,500 to look after, but 2,000 of these people were paying patients.

On a point of explanation, I did not say that the 5,000 were non-paying patients or pauper patients, but what I said, and what I repeat, is that one doctor is responsible for the health of 5,000 people in rural districts in Ireland, whereas in the Army one doctor is only responsible for the health of 194 people.

Let us come to a more concrete instance. You get district hospitals in Ireland where you will at times find only four or five of the beds occupied. That takes some explanation. I know the Poor Law Medical Service is poor, and I do not want to boost it, but I think it is very unfortunate that Dr. O'Dowd has brought in comparisons in these matters. If you want your Army patients treated as paupers you can have it done. But I doubt if the medical men in Dublin or in Cork are willing to treat your soldiers free. There is no army in the world but pays for the medical treatment of its soldiers. All armies in the world work on pretty much the same lines. If you take a doctor to 190 soldiers you must remember that there is a barrack occupied by 190 men, and there must be a military doctor to look after those men. The medical service in the National Army has not been an attractive one. The doctors are not pensionable and they are badly paid. I think these men should be entitled to pensions. While occupying their position, I believe they can be dismissed at a moment's notice and they do not get any preferential treatment in regard to public appointments. I certainly do not think their lot is to be envied, so I think Deputy O'Dowd can ease his national conscience, with regard to anything they are getting.

They get a good bonus.

Other matters were referred to as what necessity there is for a National Army in this country. I see one necessity, and that is that the majority must rule. They have made it possible in this country for the majority to rule. It might be expensive.

What majority?

Those people responsible for questioning majority rule are responsible for the expense. If the majority of the people in this country decide to have a certain form of Government, they must have that form of Government even if they have to keep an army to secure it.

Is that for the whole of Ireland?

Deputy Hennessy must be allowed to make his speech.

Whether for the whole of Ireland, it does not matter. We will say the Free State. They have decided upon a certain form of Government and if they were allowed to run that government, you would have less necessity for an army. But while that is questioned and there is talk of war by Deputy Carney who seems to be a miniature Napoleon, I think we must keep up our Army. Otherwise we would be always at his mercy. I do not want to say anything to Deputy Carney. I understand he was in the British Army and I do not know whether they have discharged all their financial liabilities to him, he rendered them such splendid service. He is a soldier and I salute him. Of course, the expenditure on the Army is very considerable but we must look things in the face. What causes that expenditure? We should not want an army. We must admit that an army such as we have would cut a very sorry figure against invasion by Germany or America or the British. If we were content to abide by the majority rule in this country, we could dispense with the Army and that is the only way to keep down the expenses of the Army.

It was not my intention to intervene in this debate, but a few questions were raised upon which I would very much like to speak. This is a Vote that is liable to give rise to acrimonious debates and to reminiscences owing to the circumstances in which the Army, called national, arose. Now, I intend to eschew all references that might create ill-feeling. I am not a militarist. I hate war as much as Deputy Anthony does and I abhor civil war. Deputy Anthony asked us to speak on war matters in terms of peace. I do so as one who loves peace. He referred to standing armies, territorial armies, and the paraphernalia of war as advocated by Deputy Kerlin. Deputy Kerlin quoted, I think it is the official organ of the National Army, "An tOglach," as putting up an alternative to the present Army organisation supported by the Minister for Defence. Now I am as pleased as Deputy Anthony that the standing Army is to be reduced to 5,000. I should like to see it reduced still more. I am heartily in agreement with Deputy Anthony in saying that the clothing and equipment of the Army should be of Irish manufacture even if it would not, which I question, look quite as smart as imported material. Abolish all standing armies, says Deputy Anthony. I wish it could be done. I wish from my heart it could be done and were done all over the world.

Deputy Shaw asked what would we do if Russia invaded us. Now they have disarmed Germany, and if they had not it would be a long time before the Russians reached here. I fail to see anxiety on the part of those who disarmed Germany to disarm themselves. They have peace talk and at the same time they have secret agreements. The term "defence forces" is a happy term. I like the name "Minister for Defence," for we seek war with no one.

There are a few small points I might refer to. One is that the cost of the Defence Department is rather high. I see that sixteen gentlemen of this Department divide amongst them a quarter of the salaries of 239 individuals. I think there is something wrong there. As regards the proportion of officers to men, I think it is too high. In Belgium it is one to fourteen; in Italy it is one to fourteen; in Poland it is one to fourteen; in the Argentine it is one to seventeen, in the case of the British Territorial Forces one to eighteen, and in the Free State Army it is one to twelve. That might be a proper proportion if you had an organised territorial army with a small standing army, because then you would have to keep, naturally, a larger percentage of officers. The cost of 809 officers is £452,000. That includes pay and allowances, marriage allowances, rations and mess allowance, of £560 per head. I understand, but am subject to correction, of course, that there is £450 furnishing allowance as well for married quarters. As to the term "Minister for Defence" and "Army of Defence," what I want to know is, defence of what, of the Free State, Ireland, or the Empire? We are asked by Deputy Shaw what is our solution. I do not say it is possible at the moment, but I say it is a policy and ideal to be aimed at. I am quite sincere, and I say it for myself and I believe that the majority of those on these benches will agree with me on it. We should have the policy of neutrality, if possible, with that neutrality guaranteed, because it is as well to face facts. It is not quite an impossibility, for instance, that the Empire and the United States might be some day at war. I am not an anglophile any more than I am an anglophobe. I would not have enmity with the Empire if they left us alone. I will admit as a free country we would see to it that they were not attacked through us. We do not want any of them fighting here, Germans, French or Americans making us a pawn in the game if we can help it, and I say it would be a good national policy if we could have guaranteed neutrality. If England is attacked, where do we stand? What I want to know is: Are we to be dragged into the game?

Deputy Hennessy said that Deputy Dr. O'Dowd was a bad trade unionist. I am glad that any Deputy of this House is called a bad trade unionist when doing his duty as the representative of the people here, and when he puts his country before his trade union. As regards the perverted version of figures, Deputy O'Dowd stated that it cost five guineas a week for these men in the hospitals, and that does not include doctors' salaries. There is an item in that connection which I would like explained. On page 283 of the Estimates for Public Services, sub-head W—Insurance (a) Non-commissioned officers and men, Health Insurance, 1927-28, £11,660. I would like the Minister, when replying, to tell us what that is for.

We are dealing with 1928-29.

Very well. I will refer to 1928-29 if you like. The years are in parallel columns. The amount there is £7,800. I hope the income tax officials are taking a note of secrets revealed by Dr. Hennessy that the cost of an operation in Cork is £100. I suppose it is double that in Dublin, and that when they are estimating the income of the doctors they will charge accordingly. We have got a public declaration that these are the fees.

Deputy Anthony spoke of our advocating boy scouts, territorials and the Lord knows what else. Let us look at the facts as they are. We have a semi-suppressed organisation, Fianna Eireann. Then we have the Baden-Powell Scouts, whose chief object I do not believe is the ultimate freedom or unity of this country. I do not know. They are not credited with having that in the foreground of their organisation at any rate. You have then Fascisti. I believe you have British Fascisti. Then you have the British Legion. Then you have the National Army in this country itself, an army apart from the people. I would say if you had a small standing army and a territorial army or a volunteer army that you could have a force which would absorb boy scouts, Fascisti, British Legion and any other armed forces that are in this country, and have them all national and advocating a free Ireland. But I do not say if we were in power to-morrow that we could accomplish all that in a day. I do not say that if we were in power—I will be straight about it—that you would have a united Irish Republic on the following day, but I say in this matter of the Army that we can have a policy of neutrality guaranteed for this country. If the policy of an army which is not a class apart, but will absorb all the elements of this country, whose purpose is defence of this country, not in mass formation but to be used in guerilla warfare, if necessary, to prevent any foreign Power holding this country——

On a point of order, does Deputy Fahy suggest that the National Army is a thing apart from the people?

That is not a point of order.

I say it is not an Army that has the full sympathy of the people.

The Deputy said it was something apart from the people.

Who is going to guarantee our neutrality?

I said you cannot get that in one day. I said it is a better ideal to aim at than the idea that we are to co-operate with the British Army in these wars and have the wars of the Empire fought on the soil of this country. I did not say that it would be possible in six months, but it is a thing to aim at.


That is hardly an answer.

As regards conscription, Deputy Cooper said our idea was conscription.

Deputy MacEntee's idea.

I notice also that the Minister for Defence gave his consent to the following—that all able-bodied men are to understand that they are expected to give military service in time of national danger, and he agreed to the statement of his predecessor in office, Deputy Hughes, when Minister for Defence, that the organisation of our Defence Forces should, in the first place, be such that it would be capable of rapid and efficient expansion in time of need to the maximum of the country's man-power. That is more or less what was suggested by some Deputies on these benches, and I suggest that an Army organised on these lines would be sure to absorb those different elements and would not have the militarist ideas, because we want to attack no one. It would make for peace and national unity in this country.

The Minister for Agriculture interrupted the last speaker with a question as to who would guarantee the neutrality of Ireland. The time is coming when the question of the neutrality of Ireland may very well become a very real issue. It is not lightly put forward, and it is not a matter which can be silenced by a single question. I admit that the whole discussion of that belongs rather to foreign policy than to the vote we are debating. But more than once we have been asked for our alternative to the present system of the Army.


I thought you were going to answer that question.

I propose to deal with it. Our alternative is covered by three points. First of all that whatever military organisation there is in this country should, from the bottom upwards, be based upon the ideals of Padraic Pearse. Of course I know that the Minister for Agriculture has very strong objections to the expression of these views. He has admitted in the House that he himself prefers pornography.


Do you expect me to contradict that?

In a debate the other day he said, that the writings and papers coming from this side of the House, from the propaganda of Republicans——

This is not a debate on what the Minister for Agriculture said upon another Bill.

I want to press home the point——

The Deputy will not press the point any further.

I feel because I am one of those who has been responsible for these writings——


Is that the "Nation" that we used to write together about ten years ago? I thought you were a West Briton like myself that time.

I do not remember that time.


I remember it well.

I felt that behind all these publications were the ideals of Pearse. Now we are getting into an atmosphere in which these ideals can be asserted in a more peaceful manner. I think that the best elements in the Cumann na nGaedheal side also want to see those ideals inspired into our youth. If we get those ideals into the boys, into those who will be in the earlier stages of a military organisation, whatever it may be, provided it is done on a sufficiently wide basis it cannot lead to civil war. That is the first part of our alternative. I do not propose to go into the ideas that have been already developed fully. The various forms of military organisation have also been dealt with. The next thing is that we should have a real democracy in this country. Deputy Doctor Hennessy said that one of the ways to peace was to have majority rule, but in the discussion on the Referendum the Minister for Agriculture answered the argument in favour of the Referendum by saying that what we wanted was a Government by character. That is the second element in our alternative, and the third element is the policy of neutrality. In contrast to that policy you have the policy here of an army which is merely the cockshy of the big guns of Britain.

I remember a discussion which took place between a very well known war correspondent and one of our very prominent volunteers in the old days. They both agreed at that time, before there was an opportunity of forming the new Army or the basis of it, that the worst thing in the world would be to have a standing Army like England, with military barracks and all that whole formation, because it would mean that these would easily be dealt with by the big artillery of the invading Army. You have these barracks and that system of standing Army. You have together with that a foreign policy which makes it inevitable that English soldiers are entitled to come to this country, and if England is at war with America, America must attack Ireland. The policy of the Free State Government at present is a policy which makes Ireland the cockpit for the next war. All tendencies are towards a war between England and America. Experts say that the financial position is developing in that direction. Secret agreements are being developed by England, always with a view to the possibility of a war with America. We stand by and allow this policy of drift to continue, we allow the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, through its Ministers, to let matters stand as they are at present. We do not know what agreements there are.

Surely that is a matter that would come under the Vote for External Affairs rather than on the Army Estimate.

I admit that, but we were challenged for our alternative to the present system of Army.

Come to the Army policy.

Army policy.

I think the Deputy is getting into what might be called foreign policy rather than the Army policy, and I suggest that what he is now discussing would be more properly dealt with on the Vote for External Affairs.

I do not wish to pursue the matter further in view of your ruling, except to say that it has a very substantial reality, and if I might be permitted to make this remark in answer to the Minister for Agriculture, the countries that would guarantee the neutrality of Ireland would of necessity be America, England, Germany and France, and if a propaganda was started unitedly from this country in order to pursue that policy and make it a real policy, we would be doing something towards establishing real peace, not only for ourselves but for other countries also, and incidentally might make a reduction of the expenses of our own Army a possibility. We are spending considerably more than we should on what is entirely unproductive. Only to-day we heard the Minister for Education pleading for more money, because that is what it amounted to. He told us he could do a great deal more if he had more money. If there was a saving even of the £500,000 suggested, that money could be devoted to education, or to some of the social services which are crying out for assistance. At present, if the Army is not there to fight anyone we must regard it as a kind of glorified outdoor relief. The policy of Fianna Fáil is to establish some system whereby these men would be put to productive work. A policy of employment is essential if you are going to carry out a thorough revision of our whole Army policy, but that is a matter that I cannot pursue in this debate because, like the question of foreign affairs, one cannot pursue it on a debate dealing with the Army Estimate. In any case that is our attitude, and I think in that matter we have much in common with the Labour Party. I had not intended to take part in this debate, but the challenge on certain questions which arose made me feel that it would be a pity to let the points go without some statement in return. I hope that the Minister for Defence will show in the next year that he is as much under the influence of the Fianna Fáil Party as he has already shown, because he has made certain reductions which I am perfectly sure are due to the strong influence which has been brought to bear on him in public from this side of the House.

I have very little to say on this debate. I think Deputy Kerlin made a reasonable enough contribution to the debate, and I only want to deal with one or two points that he made. First of all, he can be assured, and I think the Minister for Defence can assure him, that there were no secret assurances at the Imperial Conference. Secondly, the Deputy expressed some doubt as to whether, when the Party to which he belonged gets a majority, there would not be some section——

Might I ask the Minister to speak out. We are particularly anxious to hear him.


Thanks very much. I will develop. Secondly, the Deputy was rather anxious to know whether certain sections in this country would, in fact, defend their position with arms when his friends got a majority. I want to reassure him on that. When the Deputy's Party gets a majority, when they declare a Republic, and when they attack France, England, Germany and any other country, when they spend their unexpended heroism in attacking England or any other country they will find no one here on their flanks. We have made that absolutely clear. I want to assure Deputy Flinn, Deputy Kerlin, Deputy MacEntee and any other Deputies who are full of warlike enthusiasm and dying for fight that the day they get a majority and the day they make up their minds to fight another country they will have no one on their flanks; they will have a free hand.

You will be up in smoke.


They will have the Army, the police, the law. They can have any form of conscription they like, and they can take on any country they wish with the full knowledge that they will be unchallenged in this country. I hope the Deputy is satisfied, and I hope he realises that the day he wants to fight England, or the day Deputy MacEntee wants to fight England, or that Deputy Flinn wants to fight England, there will be no one to prevent them.

With 30,000 troops in the Six Counties?


You, see, unfortunately that is my limitation. I know that the Deputies across the way have a solution for that. I know that if they only got a majority to-morrow morning the North would be leaping to come in. I am speaking at the moment for the Twenty-six Counties, and I want to assure everyone whom it may concern that the day they get a majority, the day they decide to fight England, there will be no one in this country to stop them. They will have the support of everyone and there will be no civil war.

Will the Minister tell us about the Estimate?

I protest. Let him go on.


I suggest that the question was asked quite rightly and relevantly by Deputy Kerlin.

And the Minister has answered it. I suggest that he should now deal with the Estimate.


I would like to dwell on it as it is an important point, but I will leave it at that.

Might I ask you to allow the Minister to proceed and not cramp his style.


The Deputies seem quite reassured on that point. Deputy Kerlin was interested in some other point but I will leave it for the moment. Deputy Hogan (Clare) wanted to know what the Army was for. So did Deputy Kerlin and other Deputies. Like all the Deputies who spoke, I am not a military man. I should not say "like all the Deputies," but a few Deputies pointed out they were not military men. A few other Deputies neglected to point out that, so I assume they are experts in these matters. I accept the teaching on these matters of any Deputy who likes to get up to lecture, and I gather that in the next war the things that will count are aeroplanes and gas. If gas counts we are going to do very well. In the next war aeroplanes, tanks and all that sort of thing are going to count, but experts like Deputy Hogan from Clare, and Deputy Kerlin point out that our equipment in these matters is absolutely negligible, and that we have no chance of taking on England, France, or Germany. I accept that. They want to know what is the Army for. That is quite a reasonable question. But when I hear that talk so much from the people who advocate a territorial force, from the people who want to know if we are to establish munition factories in the country, I cannot understand the logic of the position. As I said, I am not a really first-class general, a field-marshal, or anything else like that, but I suppose most of the experts will admit that if 10,000 men are no good for the purpose, 20,000, 50,000, or 100,000 men would be no good.

Will the Minister answer the question about the territorial force?


My reference to the question of a territorial force is quite relevant. If 10,000 are no good, if 20,000 are no good for the purpose of attacking Germany or the United States, 50,000 would be very little use for the same purpose. If that is a fact, and if we have not got resources of a first-class force, what is the use of munition factories? I started by saying that Deputy Kerlin made a reasonable enough contribution to the debate, but I want the Deputy to carry his own arguments to their logical conclusion. Will the Deputy tell me what would be the use of any munitions we could turn out in this country for the purpose of the next war? Will the Deputy also explain to me if our Army, small, cramped, without any tanks, with a small air service, without any of the modern appliances for propagation of poison gas, is no good at all, what is the use of establishing a few munition factories? Is it not only playing with the situation? The real trouble with this country is that we need to pursue our arguments and our convictions to their logical conclusion. If the Deputy agrees that our Army, such as it is, is useless for the purpose of defending the country from a first-class Power that would wish to attack it in a military way, why does he ask us to establish munition factories? I believe that his argument is sound. I believe that in our present circumstances we are not in a position to defend this country from a first-class Power that might wish to attack us. But why, then, ask about the establishment of munition factories and about the establishment of a territorial force? What is the Deputy at? One of his arguments contradicts the other. Why does he not draw the quite logical deduction from the facts which he states, and which are facts—which are true?

In these days and in our circumstances at the present moment force will not be a remedy in any issue between us and any other country. This is the only logical deduction to draw from the particular points that the Deputy himself made. That is the position, and if Deputies would only realise that we would be very much nearer to what they profess to be so anxious for, namely, agreement. We are never going to settle any of the issues in our present circumstances, under actual world conditions, until world conditions change here and in other countries, and we are not going to settle issues that lie between us and other countries, as issues lie between practically all the independent countries of Europe, by force. Accept that and we are very much nearer to each other than we would be by pretending that that is not the true state of affairs. This sum of £1,500,000 odd is a big sum to spend in this country on the Army. The Army is not for the purpose of aggression; it is not for the purpose of defending us in a military way against any first-class Power that wants to attack us. It is quite useless for that purpose. There is no use in talking about guerilla warfare.

There will never be a guerilla war in this country again except between Irishmen. There are any number of Powers in Europe which could simply strangle us. You need not be a soldier to know that. If a dispute between this country and any first-class Power were to be settled by force there are a number of first-class Powers in Europe at the present moment who could strangle us without ever landing here. But when you speak of guerilla warfare you must contemplate warfare in this country and between Irishmen. So what is the Army for? Why is all this money being spent? I will tell you: to see to it that the people of this country have a right to do wrong. That is all. That is what the Army is for. If we were absolutely certain that you could face up to the fact that in this country no one would challenge the majority will of the people, there would be no need for such an Army or for anything like as big an Army. And if there is £1,500,000 being spent for an Army, and if prudent men think it necessary to spend such an amount on the Army, then we are not to blame. I will say no more than that.

I want to say this, further: People talk lightly about disbanding the Army. Every citizen in this country, including Deputy Hogan, has an obligation to the Army. We are enabled to meet here and to pass these Estimates, we are enabled to debate, to accept or to refuse any proposition which is put up here which affects any citizen in this country because of the Army. This Dáil could change the land laws. It is no argument to say that we are not doing it. This Dáil can change the whole industrial system of the country. Deputies may ask why do we not do it. That is a question to be debated. And if we can do it, there is no doubt about it that if we can meet in peace and quietness to discuss these questions it is the Army that put us here in that position. I ask Deputy Hogan to remember that, and he ought to remember it.

Some Deputy said that this Army was an army apart from the people. In what sense? Is it not the humble servant of the majority of the people? Is there any Deputy who dares to deny that it is the humble servant of the majority of the citizens of the country, of any Government which is elected by the majority of the people of the country? Does it exist for the purpose of seeing that the laws passed by the majority elected by the people of this country prevail in this country? What right has any Deputy to say that it is an army apart from the people? What is the meaning of those words? Of course, it is very hard to know whether people mean what they say or to know whether they attach any meaning to their words. But when I hear Deputies loosely and casually getting up and saying: "This is an army apart from the people," if it is an army apart from the people as the French Army is apart from the people, the German Army is apart from the people and the Army of every civilised people in the world is apart from the people—it is not an army apart from the people at all; it is the people's Army, and it is an army which exists so that the people's law shall prevail in this country and that no other law shall prevail.

What is our policy to be in a future war? Really we ought to come down to brass tacks in this matter. I do not know what our policy is to be in the next war, and there is no Government in any country in Europe which knows what its policy is going to be in the next war. Deputy MacEntee, Deputy Little and all the great, imaginative and far-seeing statesmen on the other side can ask us what is our policy in the next war. If you asked the German Chancellor on the 1st August, 1914, to say what his policy was to be in the next war he could not have told you, notwithstanding the fact that the next war was to break out the next day. I know what our policy will not be in the next war. People envisage a war between England and America, or England and France, or England and Germany. I do not know if there is going to be such a war. No Deputy knows it. But let us assume that there will be a war between some of these nations and I will tell you what policy we will adopt. As I listened to Deputies opposite, the only conclusion I could come to was that the duty of our Army should be this: the first duty of the Army should be to smash up communications between this country and its principal market. We should see to that at once. We are to see to it that no cattle leave this country, that no cattle are sold in England. That is very important. I am sure that the farmers of Athenry are all in favour of that policy!

I understand that the Minister prefaced his remarks by saying that he gathered this information from the statements of Deputies on this side. I should like to ask him if he is wool gathering now?


No, I am not. In any event, apparently the policy is this, that the moment war breaks out we are certainly not going to help England. Deputy Little says that we are going to have our neutrality guaranteed by Patrick Pearse. I will not refer to that because I think it is too much of a joke. I dare say it will be guaranteed by Deputy Little or by some manifesto issued by the Fianna Fáil Party when the guns begin to go off. Anyway, our ancient enemy is to guarantee our neutrality, and France, which does not care twopence about us, and Germany. Of course, the Germans are remaining awake at night thinking how they will guarantee our neutrality. The position is this, that Germany, France and England have quite enough to do thinking of their own problems, and they do not care twopence about this country. Why should they? We do not give twopence about them, and all this talk about guaranteeing our neutrality is simply the greatest nonsense.

I was pursuing that argument and was going to develop it, but I did not do so. Is it fair that the Minister should be allowed to pursue that line in discussing a question which would arise on the Vote for Foreign Affairs, particularly as other people had not had the opportunity of developing that particular argument?


The Deputy's interruption is typical of the Party opposite. They have discussed this question for half an hour, and when I venture to answer them they appeal at once to the Chair. More neutrality. Anyway, they have been telling us that England, France and Germany are to guarantee our neutrality. All this will appear in the newspapers in the morning. It will get into the "Daily Chronicle" and other English papers. When people outside read it they will think that we are a lot of children when we talk nonsense of that sort. I will now get away from that sort of futile balderdash and come to the point. Deputies want to know what our policy is in the case of war? The policy of Deputies opposite is to give as much trouble as possible to England.

Certainly, what else?


Why not, of course? The thing to do is to give as much trouble as possible to England, to interrupt communications between this country and England, where we have our best market. I ask Deputies to consider that they cannot have it both ways. The thing to do then is to see that no cattle and sheep go out. We will then have plenty of meat at home, and never mind the price. The thing to do is to see that no butter and eggs go out, and that there is complete interruption between this country and England; to see that the flow of trade between this country and England is completely interrupted. We will all be happy then with our army and navy. Of course, we should build a navy also for that purpose. At any rate, the Army will have done its job, and we will all be in a very happy, contented, and patriotic state, as the unfortunate farmers of Wexford were when all the ports were closed against them early in this year, because of foot and mouth disease. When that day comes, Deputy MacEntee will raise the whole question in the Dáil and will want to know why the English do not buy our cattle.

We have just listened to a most beautiful contribution to this debate from the Minister for Agriculture. The speech was in his usual characteristic manner. I suggest that he did not even know what he was talking about, or even the amount of the Vote we are concerned with. If he reads the report of his own speech, when he gets a copy of the Official Debates by post, he will find that he made a mistake of only £300,000.


I never read my own speeches because they depress me so much.

I would recommend the Minister to read the report of his own speech, because I think it might improve him. I do not think that any member on these or the Labour benches proved so conclusively as the Minister for Agriculture did the absolute desirability of getting rid of the present form of the Army and of a reduction in the Army expenditure as soon as possible. We now know what the Army is for. The Minister for Agriculture gave us quite a few openings, which I hope will be taken advantage of when the discussion on this Vote is resumed. Meanwhile, I would like to draw his attention to this. We happen to know that under the Treaty we are not allowed to have more than a certain number of rifles in the country and a certain amount of ammunition at any time.

What is the amount?

20,000 rifles.

What Article of the Treaty refers to that?

The Minister for Defence knows very well that at a particular period during the Truce his own Party were desirous of procuring from other countries, outside of England, plant for the manufacture of ammunition and of rifles, so that they could get over the difficulty of the number of rifles allowed them from England and the quantity of ammunition at any particular time. That is one item that we do know about. The peculiar situation is this: that if trouble did arise with any foreign country we would only then be allowed to take part in it if we took the side of England or the side that England was interested in. If we took the other side, we would get no supplies. What then is the use of having this Army trained for the purpose of being directed from outside and not from inside? Deputy MacEntee dealt with some figures as to costs. These figures were disputed by Deputy Cooper. Since that discussion took place, I have made a calculation. The cost per man of the Army here, according to Deputy MacEntee's figures, the accuracy of which has not been disputed, is £146 per annum. Deputy Cooper pointed out that the Army costs that much because allowances and payments are made to the men here which are not made to members of the Army in Switzerland, the country chosen for comparison. If you take the actual cost per man in the Free State Army and deduct from it the allowances and payments referred to, you will find that the nett cost is about £83 per man per annum, while in Switzerland the figure is £22 per man per annum. That gives a difference of roughly £60 per man.

The Minister for Defence, when introducing the Estimate, referred to the state of the different units in the Army and said how perfect they were. In other words, he indicated that they were ready at any time for war. We, on this side of the House, have been discussing all the time the possibility of doing away with that type of Army and having, if possible, a territorial force, preferably on a volunteer basis, that could be called up to defend the shores of this country if attacked. We are not anxious to have an Army such as the Minister for Agriculture outlines which is to be used against the people of the country itself to keep, if you like, the present Government in a secure position.

I move to report Progress.

The Dáil went out of Committee.
Progress reported; the Committee to sit again to-morrow.