I beg to move:—

Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar £482,373 chun slánuithe na suime is gá chun íochta an Mhuirir a thiocfidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1929, chun Tuarastail agus Costaisí an Ghárda Síochána (Uimh. 7 de 1925).

That a sum not exceeding £483,373 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 Salaries and Expenses of the Gárda Síchána (No. 7 of 1925).

The total sum which is required for this Estimate this year is £1,588,373. That shows a net increase of £18,508 over last year's Estimate. The main reason for that increase is the automatic increase under Sub-head A due to the payment of annual increments to members of the force. Members enter at a certain rate of wages, and, according as they have years of service, their rate of pay increases. Indeed, the increase under this sub-head would be much larger than what it is were it not that we found it possible this year to diminish the authorised number of sergeants by sixty-two and to substitute guards in their places. That total strength of the Civic Guard force is 7,210. That includes the Guards who are stationed in the Dublin Metropolitan area and who are the successors of the old Dublin Metropolitan Division. It also includes all the Guards who are stationed elsewhere in the Saorstát. The figures are these: there are 1,210 in the Dublin Metropolitan area, and 6,000 Guards in the rest of the country. It might be useful if I compared the present force of the Guards with the force of the Royal Irish Constabulary in the year 1914. On the 1st January, 1914, there were actually serving in the Royal Irish Constabulary, exclusive of the six countries —the figures I am giving are only concerned, of course, with the Saorstát— 7,859, and in the Dublin Metropolitan police 1,211, making the total number 9,070. It will be seen from those figures that the number of Guards stationed in Dublin is practically the same as the number in the old Dublin Metropolitan Police, but the Guards have much harder work to do because there are a greater number of them on traffic duty than there used to be in the old days. It has not been found possible, together with the adequate performance of police duties in Dublin, to reduce the force further than what the strength of the old Dublin Metropolitan Police was. In the rest of the country, however, a very large reduction has been made. We are estimating for this year to have 1,860 less Guards in the country than there were members of the old Royal Irish Constabulary. In the towns the work of the Guards has grown heavier than was the work of the old Royal Irish Constabulary. In the towns especially the work has increased enormously, and if I exclude Dublin, Cork and Limerick I find that the reduction for the remainder of the country works out at twenty-five per cent. That is to say, for policing the Saorstát outside Dublin, Cork and Limerick twenty-five per cent. less men are required than were deemed necessary in the days in which the country was policed by the Royal Irish Constabulary.

Did the Minister say "loyal" or "royal"?

I said "royal." The number of stations has also been very considerably reduced. Excluding the Dublin Metropolitan area, the figure now is 840 as against 1,129 Royal Irish Constabulary stations on the 1st January, 1914. When we consider the number of the Guards, not only must we take into account what a very substantial reduction in numbers there has been as compared with that other force, but also that very much heavier work is put upon their shoulders.

I desire to draw attention to the fact that there are now only four members of the Government Party in the House while a responsible Minister is speaking. There is only one Minister and only four members of the Government Party present while the Minister is moving a vote which, I may say, has my entire sympathy.

That is not a matter for the Chair.

I think it is only fair to say that there is more than one member from the County Cork present.

On a point of order, are there twenty members present?

Is the Deputy asking for a count of the House?

I ask for a count of the House.

How many constitute a quorum?

There are more than twenty Deputies present, and the Minister may proceed.

Are you including some of those outside the barrier?

The Minister for Justice.

In addition to what is the real duty of a police force, the members of the Guards are required to perform a great number of other duties. They have to collect census returns and agricultural statistics. They have to act as ex officio inspectors of weights and measures, inspectors under the Foods and Drugs Act. They have to look after customs duties in regard to the prevention of smuggling, and excise duties in regard to the prevention and detection of illicit distillation.

On a point of order, are you satisfied that there are twenty members within the House?

That is my point, inside the House and not outside the barrier.

I am satisfied that there were twenty-one members in the House when I was asked a moment ago if there was a House. There is not a House now.

House counted and twenty members being present,

The Minister may proceed. There is a quorum now.

The School Attendance Act, which is a new Act, has thrown a very great burden on the Guards.

I am very sorry, but I do not think there are 20 members in the House.

There are 20 members, and I will not hear any more of these interruptions. The Minister.

As I was saying, they have to enforce the School Attendance Act. They have duties in respect of foot and mouth disease, and in their work in looking after agricultural produce, etc., they are doing the work of agricultural inspectors rather than that of constabulary officers. In addition they have duties to perform in connection with traffic, and as every Deputy knows, traffic has become very much heavier than it used to be.

I am sorry to interrupt, but there are not 20 members in the House at present. It is really a serious point. The House is being addressed by a Minister of the Government, and there are not seven members of his own Party who will come in to the House to listen to his speech.

On a point of order, Deputy Anthony turned around, and I heard him ask Deputies to leave their seats so that there would not be a quorum present.

I have no responsibility for Deputy Anthony, but in compliment to the Minister there should be a sufficient number of members of his own Party present to form a quorum.

The reason I asked Deputies to leave the House was because of the absence of Ministers and members of the Government Party.

On a point of order, A Leas-Chinn Comhairle, did you hear Deputy Anthony make any suggestion, or did you not?

No; but that is not a point of order.

It is a very pertinent question.

It is really very kind of Deputies to interfere in this fashion. They appear to take a most paternal interest in me. They are paying me a very high compliment if they think the remarks I am making are so extremely valuable that it is a total loss to anybody to miss them.

I have great respect for the Minister for Justice——

Deputy Anthony must sit down.

Yes. I think his own Party should be the first to pay the respect of listening to his statement.

I want to make it clear that neither Deputy Anthony nor any other Deputy should go against the Chair, interrupting in this way.

I accept that, but if the Government Party have no respect for their own Minister I want to emphasise it, and the only way I can emphasise it is by bringing members into the House to listen to the Minister's statement.

Is Deputy Anthony responsible for the conduct of the Government Party?

Thank God I am not responsible for your conduct at any rate.

The question was asked of you, sir, if you would call the House to see if there were 20 members present. I do not think you did really call the House to know whether there were 20 members present at that moment. I admit there are 20 members present now, but there were not when the point of order was raised.

I did not allow the business of this House to be carried on any time when there was not a quorum present.

This is a serious point of order. The people must know there was no quorum when the Minister for Justice was speaking.

As I explained, the increase in sub-head A, that is salaries, wages and pay, is due to the annual increment which members of the force get upon their service. I do not think there is very much more I need refer to in that particular sub-head. As Deputies might not understand what the pension deduction is, I should explain that 2½ per. cent. is taken from the pay of the Guards—that is to say, it never reaches the Guard's pocket at all. It is deducted before payment, and is not, in fact, voted by this House. When they retire the Guards are paid their pension out of quite a separate fund, which is voted separately, together with other pensions.

On a point of information, if there is at present a person serving in the Guards who has also served, say, in the National Army, and who is getting a pension for that service and is still a member of the Gárda Síochána, can he capitalise that pension in the same manner as a pension in the National Army can be capitalised?

As far as I understand no National Army pensioner can capitalise his pension.

Without exception?

There are no exceptions. There is a substantial increase in the allowance under sub-head B., but it will be noticed that it is under the head of rent allowance for sergeants and guards that the increase has principally taken place. There is an increase of £8,000 under that sub-head. The reason for that is that the Guards were recruited from very young men and more and more of them are getting married, with the result that more of them are becoming entitled to marriage allowance. Where there are not married quarters in a barracks, allowance is made to the guards, sergeants, inspectors and superintendents who live outside. The allowance for a station-sergeant is £36. The allowance for a sergeant or a guard varies very much according to the locality. In some places it is as low as £13 and in others rises as high as £30. There is a small sum of £12 for an allowance to two sergeants for acting as ex officio inspectors of weights and measures in the Dublin Metropolitan Division. That arises owing to the fact that there were some ex officio inspectors working a small part of the Dublin area in Terenure and Crumlin. Under a recent Weights and Measures Act these districts have been brought in and are treated like the ordinary metropolitan area and that sum will not again appear in the Estimates. Sub-head C. is the subsistence allowance made to officers and men when they have been a certain number of hours absent on duty from barracks. It shows a substantial reduction this year.

Locomotion expenses have increased. There has been an alteration in the payment of locomotion expenses this year. A flat rate was paid until March, 1926, to superintendents and chief superintendents to cover all expenses of locomotion in their respective areas. That was found not to be working out very satisfactorily and, instead of a flat rate, a mileage rate was allowed for the use of their own cars, the rate being 5d. per mile for motors from seven to under ten horse power and 6d. per mile for ten horse power and upwards. While these rates are not at all excessive, they show an increase over the previous rate, the flat rate having obviously worked out very unfairly to the owners of the cars. There is a large decrease of £22,000 in the estimate for clothing and equipment, due to the fact that the clothing issue this year has been extremely light. There is a decrease of £2,531 in the item for furniture, bedding and bedsteads. A good number less barracks had to be furnished than in other years. Barrack maintenance shows a slight increase due to the fact that sweeping brushes were not issued to barracks until this year.

It would not be due to the fact of the white-wash brushes they were using during the election?

It would take very long thinking over on my part before I could grasp the humour of that remark.


I am afraid the Deputy's humour is lost on a dull person like me. There is an increase in the item for transport, due to the fact that a great number of cars got worn out this year and had to be replaced. The replacement value of cars comes to £3,500. There was no similar item last year. There is an item of £3,000 which I probably ought to explain. That is for the payment of advances to officers to enable them to purchase cars for the purpose of their duties. When a superintendent requires a car he is advanced a sum of £130, and a chief superintendent a sum of £200, to assist towards the purchase of a car. That money is repayable by the officer in monthly instalments spread over varying periods, and no interest is charged. In the Appropriations-in-Aid, the repayments under that head appear, so that that £3,000 is not lost or spent at all. I do not think there is anything to be said about the items of fuel, light and water, or law or medical expenses.

I should like to ask——

When the Minister has concluded the Deputy can ask his question.

As a rule we on these benches never get an explanation unless we ask for it during the Minister's speech.

The Deputy will get his opportunity to make his point. The Minister ought to be allowed to continue his speech.

There is a question of £17,000——

The Deputy can ask that question at the proper time.

The Appropriations-in-Aid show a falling off this year owing to the fact that the police rate in the D.M.P. area this year is fivepence in the £, as against sixpence last year, sevenpence in 1926-7, and eightpence in the preceding year. A great deal of the burden of paying for the police was taken off the City of Dublin, and the aid which is being given by the city is falling off.

Might I ask what happened to the police court fines, which have disappeared from the Estimate this year?

They do not go into the Police Vote; they go into the Exchequer direct.

That is a change of arrangement?

Will the Minister explain item Q in the Appropriations-in-Aid—Payment for Services rendered by the Police, £2,000?

If the police do what one might call semi-police duties, such as keeping order at, say, a racecourse, they are acting, so to speak, as stewards, and payment is required from the persons who ask them so to act.

Can the Minister separate the items on this Vote for £17,675 between the cost of fuel, lighting and water? It seems to me to be abnormal, if you subtract the ordinary cost of water, then light and fuel should cost so much.

I shall give the Deputy figures of the allowance made for fuel. During the ordinary summer months, from May to October, in the day-room of a barrack of a small station, 11/- per month is allowed.

I should like the total.

In large stations 12/- per month for the day-room is allowed. There is no other fire allowed for in the barrack. In the winter months 33/- per month is allowed for the day-room, and 35/- for the larger stations. In the sergeant's office 20/- is allowed, and in the superintendent's office 24/- per month is allowed.

Could we get the annual cost of these items? Is there any way in which we could get that check?

It practically all goes to fuel and lighting. Water would be only a very trivial item in comparison with fuel and light.

I take this opportunity of paying tribute to the officers and men of the Gárda Síochána, and I speak from experience gained not alone in Cork but in other counties in the Free State. In anything I have to say I do not want to appear as casting any strictures upon the Gárda Síochána, because I recognise that for a young force, having regard to the fact that they were brought into being at a time when there was a good deal of political trouble and heat in the country, they have justified themselves before the public. I may add that the Gárda Síochána have earned for themselves the encomiums of many people, and of the police chiefs in other countries, who are entitled to speak with authority.

Knowing what I do about the personnel of the Gárda, knowing that they comprise a body of young men of very high educational qualifications as compared with other men and apart altogether from the question of their physical fitness, I want to say that at some future date I may indicate a way in which their efficiency may be exercised to the fuller benefit of the State. I know that does not arise on the present Vote. I am not going to deal at any length with this Vote. I have attempted to be practical when dealing with many of the Estimates that have come before the House, and I would direct the Minister's attention to some facts brought before me in the last twelve months relating to supplies under Sub-head F —"Furniture, Barrack Bedding and Bedsteads." The sum expended on these matters may be very small when we take into consideration that the total Vote for 1928-1929 is £1,588,373. But it has come to my knowledge that in many Gárda Síochána barracks throughout the country the bedding, bedsteads and most of the furniture are of foreign manufacture. That is a state of affairs the Minister should direct his attention to, and see to it, that even though there may be a slight difference in cost of a pound or two, the furniture and bedding should be of Irish manufacture. That is a matter to which I direct the Minister's attention, and I think if he goes into it he will find I have not exaggerated but rather under-estimated the extent to which this obtains in Gárda Síochána barracks.

While on that subject, and having paid the tribute that I have paid to the Gárda and their discipline, I do know there are foreign agents in this country touting for orders from the Gárda for civilian attire. It has also come to my knowledge that while these orders have been placed in Dublin these civilian suits have been made in London. I want the Minister to take particular notice of this, not that I believe it is within the knowledge of the Gárda when ordering these suits, but the fact remains that these suits have been imported into this country. It may be that the Gárda should have gone further, seeing that they are a national force, drawing public money, and see that these suits of clothes were made in this country.

Now there are one or two matters in connection with the Vote on which I should like to comment. I suggest that in the allocation of barracks there are districts in this country in which a sergeant with four or five men would suffice for a very large area. On the other hand, you may have certain areas throughout the country in which you would require four or five barracks distributed over a particular area. But my experience of Cork, City and County, is that some of the barracks might be termed redundant, and it would be in the best interests of the State, whilst not for a moment advocating an increase in the Gárda Síochána, that there should be better distribution of barracks.

I am not going to give my opinion against the experience of police superintendents, against that of the Chief Superintendent, or that of the Minister, but it frequently happens in the case of the Vote we are discussing, and, indeed, of other Votes which have come under discussion during the session, that the Minister can very often get some useful information from Deputies representing various constituencies. I think if the Minister submits the suggestion which I have made to the superintendents or the Chief Commissioner of the Gárda Síochána, he will find that it is a useful one. It is just as well while we are on this Vote that, having paid a tribute to the Gárda Síochána for their efficiency, courtesy and all-round capabilities as a police force, I should say in support of this Vote that I, personally, am very glad to know that the Gárda Síochána are to-day attracting to their force a large number of young men physically and mentally fit, and that the waiting list is something like 5,000. To me, at any rate, that appears to be a big tribute, not alone to the administration of the Gárda Síochána, but, as I have frequently stated here, to the people of the Saorstát who have made it possible for that force to function. I am not one of those people who like to throw bouquets at any government department, but I feel constrained to say, so far as the Minister's administration of this and, indeed, all branches of his Department are concerned, and in so far as he has control and connection with the Gárda Síochána, I have not heard, so far as I am personally concerned, and I represent a very big constituency, even one justifiable complaint against the administration of the force in the city of Cork. I have, therefore, great pleasure in supporting the Vote.

I am not concerned at this stage in joining in a tribute or otherwise to the Civic Guards as Deputy Anthony has done. What we are concerned with is the question of the amount to be voted, and to consider it in the light of what has been voted in previous years. We are being asked by the Minister to vote a sum of £1,588,373. Some comparisons have been made by the Minister between the strength of the police force in the pre-truce or old R.I.C. days and its strength to-day. He may think that the comparisons are favourable to his outlook. He may satisfy himself that the position now compares very favourably with the position as it existed then, but it is only necessary to go into these matters in some little detail to show how unfavourably they do compare. If you take the period 1918 you find that the R.I.C., outside the D.M.P., numbered 9,867 for the whole thirty-two counties, and the cost of the entire force was £1,443,432. If he compares those figures with the figures which he has presented to the House I do not think that the comparison would be as favourable as he would lead us to believe. If we go outside the country and try to get comparisons with other countries we find how unfavourably these figures compare as regards this little country known as the Free State. In France there is one policeman to every 352 civilians, whereas in the Free State the proportion is 1 to 428.

How long is it since they had a revolution in France, and how long is it since we had a revolution here? How far do these figures carry us?

I am not concerned with the Deputy's revolutions or evolutions at the moment, but I am concerned with facts. If we want to go back to evolutions and revolutions the Deputy can have them. In New South Wales the proportion is one policeman to 784 persons.

There has never been a revolution there.

Let the Deputy proceed.

In New Zealand the figures are 1 to 1,312.

No revolution there.

In Scotland the proportion is one to 754, and in England, a country that was involved in some little trouble with this country, if it was not involved in a great war, the figures are 1 to 831. These are comparisons to which we might take our minds back. I think they will show how unfavourably the Free State compares with other countries which may, perhaps, be in better circumstances than this country. The cost per head of the police in this country is, roughly, 10/-. It is a few pence over that amount, but we will give that to the benefit of the other side. In New South Wales it is 5/8½—similarly with other countries. I think there is no country that the Minister can refer to for the purpose of comparison that would compare unfavourably with the Free State. If there is, I would like to hear it. I think it is clear to anybody who takes the trouble to run and read that the Free State is paying more for its police force than practically any other country. Under such conditions, it would be expected that an effort would be made from time to time to try and cut down the force. We had it disclosed in this House in the last few days that the Army is merely an armed police force. I think the Minister for Agriculture was mainly responsible for that, and if you have an army, regarded and recognised as an armed police force, what is the necessity for having this alleged unarmed police force? The question occurs to us, what is the reason for such a large police force? The Minister for Justice treats the House so casually as not to give any particulars whatever as to the necessity for the force. In asking the House to vote away this large sum of over £1,000,000, one would expect that the raison d'etre would be given for keeping the force at its present strength. One would imagine that some particulars would be given of the crime existing in the country compared with the crime of previous years, that some effort would be made to compare these statistics to see how they stand and to see whether any reduction could be made in this redundant police force. That force is not as necessary—or perhaps it may be more necessary, but we should like to hear the Minister's views on it—for being used for political purposes as it was in days past.

Those who were present in this House in 1926 were told that the limit which the Executive authorised for this force was 7,222. The Minister told us to-night that the force, as it at present exists, numbers 7,210. That is within twelve men of the limit which was fixed in 1926. One would have imagined that there would have been some reduction in the police force, or at any rate that some hope would be held out of a possible future substantial reduction of the force. I am sorry Deputy Heffernan is not here. He stated at that time, backed up by Deputy Gorey, that this country was wholly over-policed. I do not know whether Deputy Gorey and Deputy Heffernan, now finding themselves in another part of the House, have not entirely seen through different glasses. Deputy Heffernan, at that time stated: "We are crystallising and perpetuating a system which differs very little in general policy from that which existed in the time of the old R.I.C." He urged the Executive Council to consider seriously how we might effect considerable reductions in the police force of the country. Deputy Heffernan followed that up by definitely suggesting and urging the Executive Council of that time to reduce the police force. He said that it should be reduced by thirty per cent. He stated that out of every one of the 871 barracks in the country, two to three men could be dispensed with. I cordially endorse the views that Deputy Heffernan expressed two years ago. I hope he has not changed so completely, on falling into the lap of the gods or the lap of the Government, whichever it is, and that the views he put forward then and which struck the Government so forcibly have not been forgotten by him to-night.

Deputy Gorey, I will admit, went on a different basis. He followed up the amendment, which was put forward by Deputy Heffernan at the time, not on the lines that there should be a substantial reduction in the number of the police forces, but that there should be a substantial reduction in the remuneration of the members of the force. Deputy Gorey said that the policing per head is five or six times greater in this country than in Great Britain. I assume he was telling the truth, and I assume the Minister and himself will not have any difference about it. If they have, it is a matter between themselves, and I hope I will not be involved in it. He also stated that a substantial reduction could be effected. From that time to this, so far as we can see from this Estimate put before us to-night, no effect has been given to the urgings and appeals made by Deputy Heffernan and Deputy Gorey. I am sure they are still as insistent, within the Government ranks, on their Executive that they are trying to make the Executive hear reason and to follow the advice which they put forward at that time owing to the economic conditions and financial distress which existed in the country. The conditions are equally bad to-day. They show that there has been very little economic improvement, and that from that point of view alone if any economies can be effected the country urgently needs them.

The Minister should give some indication as to whether the necessities of the situation as it exists at present demand a full police force to the same extent as they did in 1926. I think it is an outrageous attitude to take that in coming forward with an Estimate such as this no particulars are given as to the needs and demands for a force of such strength based on the crimes statistics of the country. Deputy Gorey and Deputy Heffernan put forward the idea that since there has been such a big advance in mobility, it was very easy to have fewer stations, and to have these flying columns, or whatever they call them, in the police force of the time. The Minister has referred to the extra duties that were imposed under the census emuneration, shop inspections, and various other duties. I contend that, perhaps with the exception of the School Attendance Act and a few other Acts, there has not been a very substantial addition to the duties imposed on the Civic Guards as compared with those which existed formerly in the case of the R.I.C.

I have to refer in this Estimate to what I think, if the word is not unparliamentary, is the very mean method of dealing with the particular matter referred to in the Appropriation portion of the Estimate. We find there that the police rate for Dublin has been reduced by a penny in the £. That means that a sum of £6,000 roughly has to be provided by this Dáil. Of course, it is only a little time since we saw in the Press of the country references to the benefit and the wonderful economics that resulted from the Commissioners' control of the City of Dublin. It is no wonder that the Commissioners of the city can make progress, give benefit in the way of a lower police rate, and try to deceive the people if they can manoeuvre a position such as that— that they can strike a penny off a sixpenny rate and provide the balance through this Dáil or cut of this Estimate. That is what has been done.

That has been done by statute, not by the Commissioners.

It was sixpence last year and it is fivepence this year.

That is done by statute.

I do not know the particular statute the Minister refers to, or when it was passed.

The statute to which I refer is the Police Amalgamation Act. by which the Dublin Metropolitan Police and the Civic Guards were amalgamated into one force.

When was that passed?

That was passed in 1925.

That was about the time the Commissioners were appointed for the City of Dublin.

Even so, it is under the Act and we cannot discuss it.

I just want to make the point that as a result of this arrangement, the Dáil has to provide for a deficit which the City of Dublin should have met in the ordinary way.

I would advise Deputy Ruttledge to get the Act and follow it.

I do not know what the Minister invited me to do, but I am inviting the Minister to explain the loss of £6,000 there, whether by statute or otherwise, and why this Dáil is asked to provide a sum of £6,000 which formerly would be provided by the City of Dublin. These are the facts, at any rate.

We have been shown that, instead of having a reduction, as we might have expected, there is an increase this year of £18,000, that notwithstanding all that Deputy Heffernan and Deputy Gorey said in 1926, instead of going down the money has gone up by £18,000. Those are the facts and, as I stated, no indication has been given as to when there will be a reduction. The Minister stated at one time that it would soon be down to 25 per cent. below the figure for the R.I.C.

That there would be 1,860 less Gárdai than there were of the old R.I.C. He did not say how that was to take place, whether it was to be by a sliding method——

I do not think that the Deputy quite heard me. I stated that, if you exclude the three cities, we are 25 per cent. below the old R.I.C. number.

The notes, of course, will make the matter right. I understood the Minister to state that in a very short time there would be 1,800 less.

I stated that at the present moment we were 1,860 less.

The Minister might state—and I am sure the House would welcome it very much—that in six months' time we will be 3,000 less than we were under the old R.I.C. So far as we can see from the figures before us in the Estimate, the force is the same to-day as it was in 1926. There has been no reduction in the number of Gárdai and there has been no reduction in the expenditure of the Gárdai. You have 126 superintendents. Does the Minister not think that that is more than the number that should be required for a force like this?

Perhaps the Minister will give us some idea, when he is concluding the debate, as to the reasons for keeping this force at its present strength. We know that there is, from the Government point of view, a very useful adjunct of the force known as the C.I.D. Apparently all the promises that have been made in this House, all the alleged efforts that are being made to try to get them under some sort of control, so far as we can judge have not been very effective. Only in the last two or three days a man going along O'Connell Street was set upon by one of these—I will not call them men— individuals, dragged along the street, without a warrant or anything else and brought into Pearse Street Station. After he was there about three hours he was released, and in the meantime it was discovered that this was done by a member of the C.I.D. That happened on the 29th October, and the name of the man who was seized was Michael Noonan.

I would also like to know if the Minister takes any notice of cases where, when a sergeant or a gárda has given evidence, the District Justice states he does not believe a word he is swearing and dismisses the case. Does the Ministry take any notice of that? I have a particular case in mind where a sergeant, prosecuting a man, swore in the most definite terms that a certain crime had been committed and was backed up in the most definite terms by a local gárda but where the District Justice said he did not believe what the sergeant and gárda swore. His words are on record. The sergeant is still there, very useful, I assume, to the local Cumann na nGaedheal organisation, but from every other point of view, even the Minister's, a most undesirable member of the Civic Guard. Is there any notice whatever taken by the Department of the fact that a District Justice holds that a police officer is telling an untruth, that he is giving evidence that cannot be relied on? I hope that the Minister will deal with that matter when he is replying, and also the other matter to which I have referred. I do not want to go into a whole litany of details of things that happened all over the country. The Minister is conversant with the Newport affair in Tipperary, where some Civic Guards went out, attacked their own barracks, then got into trouble with some people in the town, and decrees were given against them. That sort of thing was very usual some time ago, but I admit it is becoming a good deal less usual. Still there is a great deal of it going on in the country, and perhaps we might be told what the Minister's attitude with regard to it is.

I think, in the words of Deputy Heffernan, that a case has been made for the Government to consider seriously how they might effect considerable reduction in the police force. Deputy Heffernan moved a reduction of £400,000 on a similar Vote to this. Whether he is exactly inside the inner councils of the Government, or is knocking at the door I do not know, but in either position I am sure that he is using his influence to try to get some reasoned outlook into the Minister's mind with regard to this reduction of £400,000 which he thought could be effected in the Civic Guard estimate, and which can be effected. Might I join with him in urging that the Civic Guard force can be reduced, as he urged, by 30 per cent.? That was his view then, and I am sure it is his view to-day. Perhaps I might also urge, at any rate with regard to the more highly paid officials, that the Government might consider Deputy Gorey's view that there could be a substantial reduction in remuneration. I say that with regard to the higher members of the force at any rate. I do not know whether, having changed their positions in the House, the views of these Deputies have changed with that. That very often happens. But in any case their views are there on record. The Minister was asked to consider the matter then, and I urge that he should consider it now in dealing with this estimate.

I was rather surprised to hear Deputy Ruttledge, with his knowledge of conditions in the country —a knowledge that all legal men must have—describe the police force known as the Gárda Síochána as a redundant or an unnecessary force. He went further and did worse, in my opinion, when he suggested that the force is either a political or semi-political body. I seriously suggest to Deputy Ruttledge, that that is a very dangerous doctrine to preach, and if he ever becomes Minister for Justice he may realise the seriousness of making such a statement against the force. So far as I am concerned I think that the Minister, the Chief Commissioner and the heads of the Gárda Síochána are, generally speaking, entitled to be complimented upon the general conduct of the Gárdaí and the fair and impartial manner in which its members do their duty. One can, as Deputy, Ruttledge has done, cite a particular case—I am not in the least disputing the accuracy of his statement—to show that a sergeant or a member of the Guards in some isolated place has done something unusual or something that would merit the condemnation of the Police Commissioner or the Minister, but there is no use in attempting to condemn the whole force simply because of one particular case.

I would like to ask the Deputy how many cases he would like us to produce to convince him that there was something wrong with the force?

I would much prefer for the safety and well-being of the State that cases of that kind would be given privately to the Minister beforehand, so that the Minister would be given an opportunity of saying what he proposed to do rather than to bring it out in the House, because Deputy Ruttledge, if and when he becomes Minister for Justice, if things are done then as they are done now, will have to face criticism of the same kind.

However, he is entitled to do it, but I think it is a bad policy. Everybody knows that the police force is certainly not a redundant force. In our generation, and under the peculiar circumstances under which this State and Government were established, there will have to be a force of some kind—I cannot say at present what the number should be—in order that people who, otherwise, would abuse the law, would be made respect the law. That position will be just the same when Deputy Ruttledge and his Party come into office as it is to-day. We cannot ignore the fact that public men in this country have been for fifty, sixty or one hundred years, going around encouraging the ordinary man and woman in the street to believe that real patriotism depended on the extent to which the individual could challenge the authority of the day. We have to outlive that, and we can only do it gradually. We cannot all become saints in a year or so. I am sure there will be as much lawlessness when the Fianna Fáil Party comes into power as there is at the present time. I cannot quote figures, but it is natural with the political education we have received that that will go on for a considerable time, and I am sure that Deputy Lemass will agree with me. He will never be able to convert all the sinners into saints when he comes into office. The figures quoted by the Minister, as I took them down, were that the total strength, including the Dublin Metropolitan Division, was 7,210, whereas in pre-Truce days the R.I.C. consisted of 9,070, which shows the difference, as stated by the Minister, to be 1,860.

I want to raise a few points concerning the work of the Guards. I would like to see them a little more active in regard to the administration of the Food and Drugs Acts. I am not quite certain if they are as active in that way in some ways as they are in some areas. Perhaps we will have a word from the Minister when he is replying as to the activity of the Gárda Síochána in the administration of the Food and Drugs Acts. Another matter that I want to draw attention to is this: I want to know whether the Deputy or Assistant-Commissioner Murphy when giving evidence before the Inter-Departmental Committee dealing with traffic regulations expressed the views of the Ministry, or his own personal views, when he recommended the abolition of the speed limit for motor cars. That is one of the most ridiculous suggestions I ever heard, and it really amounts to this, that in this new force every policeman should be a judge of what is dangerous driving, and what should be regarded as a dangerous speed, for a motor car, a bus, or a lorry. I want to know if there was previous consultation between Commissioner Murphy and the Chief Commissioner, or whether he consulted the Department of Justice before giving that evidence, or whether the evidence he gave represented his own particular views. I notice that he has succeeded in persuading the majority of the Inter-Departmental Committee to accept that suggestion and, as a result, I suggest that in a few years we will be experiencing the same kind of traffic regulations, and break-neck speed, as one sees in the city of Paris. I am afraid Commissioner Murphy has seen too much of the city of Paris, and that what he saw in Paris led him into the foolish suggestion of recommending the abolition of the speed limit for motor cars.

It has been rumoured, and I think it is in order to refer to it now, that there is some Committee sitting, considering a further reduction in the pay of the Guards. I am not making this statement with any great authority behind it, but I have been asked if it is true. If it is untrue I would like the Minister to contradict the rumour, and make it definite and clear that there is no further intention of making any attempt at present at a further reduction in the pay of the ordinary Guards. If it was true it might lead to further resignations of some of the older members of the Dublin Metropolitan Guards. Personally I would not like to be a party to any recommendation or suggestion which would force out of the Metropolitan Guards the three or four hundred old members who are still serving in that area.

I would also like to ask the Minister whether there were any general instructions sent out to chief superintendents or to the superintendents regarding the attitude which they should take towards the abolition of redundant public houses. On reading the newspapers circulating in my constituency I find that superintendents going before District Justices in the different courts gave conflicting reasons in support of their demand for the abolition of public houses. It appears to me that it would be better if that was not done, if these superintendents were called together and given general instructions regarding the attitude they were to adopt in matters of that kind. I also want to know whether any general instruction was sent out by the Commissioner or by the Department of Justice, laying it down that motor drivers, omnibus drivers in particular, should not be prosecuted unless it could be proved that the speed exceeded twenty miles per hour. I read a report of one prosecution before a District Justice in my constituency where it appeared that the Superintendent had instructions, verbal or otherwise, of that kind. The Minister knows that the traffic law lays it down that the speed should not exceed twelve miles per hour. I see no reason for issuing any instruction to superintendents to ignore the law as it exists. If that has been done, certainly I think it should not have been done, at any rate until the existing traffic laws have been altered or the speed limit extended. Instructions of that kind should not be issued, if they have been issued. I hope the Minister will deal with that matter in his reply.

Taking the position generally, I am quite satisfied that the police force as it exists to-day is a well-conducted force. Certainly their work as far as I can get any knowledge of it, is generally approved of by all law-abiding persons. I have heard people in my area saying that Sergeant So-and-so or Guard So-and-so is a busybody and is prejudiced. I do not say it is political prejudice, but prejudice towards one publican in favour of another publican. When inquiries are made into complaints of that kind it is generally found that the person who gave rise to the complaint is trying to sell beer after the legal hours, so that to that extent the complaint is groundless. I believe it is the duty of every Deputy to encourage the police force of the time and certainly it is the duty of public representatives, especially members of this House, now or in the future, to do so and enable the force to carry out its duties fairly and impartially. That is what I believe the present Guards are making an honest attempt to do.

Some of the statements of the Minister for Justice were very interesting indeed. He made a comparison with the numbers of the R.I.C. in the twenty-six counties in 1914 and the number of police at the present time. He did not make any reference to the cost. The cost of the Constabulary alone in the year 1918 was £1,443,422, and that was for the thirty-two counties. The cost now for the twenty-six counties, and I take it this is the net estimate, is £1,588,373. Really it is misleading the House and the country to concentrate upon the matter of numbers and to avoid the question of the cost. Comparisons have already been made by Deputy Ruttledge of the number of people to one policeman in other countries. Ireland is not in the condition which apparently Deputy Davin seems to think it is in. He seems to think it is in a state of unrest of such a kind as to justify a greater expenditure to-day on police than was expended during the time of the R.I.C. If one were to examine the conditions closely I do not suppose that there is as much justification for a police force in Ireland as there is in countries like New Zealand or New South Wales. They have problems of mixed populations there which we have not got. Ireland is one of the most crimeless countries in Europe.

That brings me to another point made by Deputy Davin. He charged Deputy Ruttledge with saying things which would be against what one might call general public policy—saying things against the Guards doing their duty. He did nothing of the sort. He made a case which must be made, that the police at present are being used for semi-political purposes. The police are not merely used for the keeping down of ordinary civil crime, but every police barrack is a centre of information as to the activities of a certain section of the community.

Shame, shame! They ought not.

The collection of that information may be necessary in a country where there is a section of the people going to disturb the conditions of the State, but I submit it should not be in the hands of the civil police. There is another Vote upon which we do not get much information, and that is the Vote for Secret Service. The amount of that Vote is £10,000. I submit that in a normal country—say, suppose that Ireland were completely a Republic to-morrow—it would be necessary to have a secret service Vote, but I certainly hope that the work of secret service will not be thrown upon the civil police. It is degrading to them; it is forcing them to look for information not merely upon questions of disturbance but upon questions which are really political questions. They are now asked to gather information about the activities of Republicans in their areas. That is the position, and so long as the police are so engaged, they cannot expect to command respect from the general public. They would have that respect if they were merely there to keep the peace and to prevent civil crime. An analogy, to my mind, is the difference between the metropolitan police before the Sinn Fein movement forced them to be unarmed and the time previous to that when they were armed. As soon as they became an unarmed force they gained enormously in the respect of the people, but so long as they were armed, and so long as they were a semi-political force used for crushing Sinn Fein meetings in Dublin City, they had nothing but the hatred of the people. If the police force to-day were strictly limited in their functions to prevent civil crime, and if the other work which the Government might think it necessary to do were carried out specifically by a force for that purpose, it would at least place the police in the country on a higher level.

The contrast between the status of a policeman in Ireland and the status of the average country person is very great indeed. So far as I can make out the cost of each policeman is something over £200, whereas a soldier in the Army costs £130 or £133. The police, therefore, are maintained on a more expensive scale than the soldiers in the Army. Anyone going through the country where the police are stationed is bound to notice the unnecessary number of small police barracks. A second point is the extremely comfortable type of men they are, and how very well dressed they are as compared with the ordinary people. Of course the police should be kept in a proper condition, but there should be some relation between the money expended on them and the surrounding real poverty of the people of Ireland. It brings home to one again that the recruitment of the police is in itself a political manæuvre. Young, strong, healthy men are drawn into the police force who otherwise would emigrate, take up farming or go in for some other line of activity. Their admission to the force may be counted as an asset from the point of view of the Government, as every policeman who gets in means a certain amount of bias in favour of the Party then in power.

The police are used here as they have been used in other countries. It is the same system that has been developed in Germany, the system of developing bureaucracy and developing the police so as to keep the people from wishing for a change in the conditions of Government. The police in their present position cannot be regarded as purely for the putting down of civil crime, and so long as they are in that position they cannot be regarded with the same respect as if they were used merely on the merits of the amount of crime in the country. I believe the force could be reduced enormously if it was to be strictly in proportion to the amount of crime. In England, Scotland and Wales you have one policeman to every thousand inhabitants. There is as much crime in one town in England in a week as would occur in the whole of Ireland in a year and yet the police force there is quite adequate.

The Deputy is forgetting that every man in England is ready to act as a policeman for the protection of the people and the State. That is not the case in Ireland.

As to the remark made by Deputy Hennessy, I think it will be quite possible to have that state of things brought about with every man in Ireland. I believe that if more onus were thrown upon the people in Ireland to protect the people from crime the people would do it. But we must always distinguish between political and other issues. It is quite true that so long as the police force in Ireland is regarded as a semi-political force, the police will not get the assistance of the people. But if the Gárda were there strictly for the purpose of dealing with ordinary crime, they would get the assistance of the Irish people. I really do not think that the Irish people are more attached to crime or wrong-doing than the English people. I think Deputy Hennessy will agree with me that that would be a slander on the character of the Irish people.

Then, again, the Minister repeated what he said on another occasion, that the Gárda are used for collecting census returns and statistics. But so far as statistics are concerned, they are not very reliable. To begin with, the Gárda have not got the information before them which is necessary. In other countries, in England and Scotland, the revenue officers very often were used for the purpose of collecting statistics, and they had before them figures by which they could check the statistics which would come in to them. The Gárda are not experts in these matters, and it is not fair to expect these absolutely accurate statistics from them. The very fact that they have been used for collecting statistics at present militates against their getting accurate statistics at all. Supposing you were to spend £200 a year per man on a certain number of people for collecting statistics, you would get far better value from them than you do from spending that £200 on getting that information through the Gárda.

Then, again, using the Gárda for school attendance purposes is resented in a great many places. They are the wrong kind of people to use. It is well to look back at the figures of other years in order to notice that there has been a continuous increase in the cost. The figures I have here are not nett figures, but gross figures, and there is an argument for stating gross figures, for after all the Appropriations-in-Aid ultimately come out of the pockets of the people and the full cost of the Gárda is the gross figure. The nett cost is the result of the balance sheet, but the full cost is the gross figure, for the reasons I have given. In 1926-27 the gross figure of the Estimate was £1,574,530; in 1927-28 the figure was £1,623,060. That was an increase of a sum of about £48,000. In the next year, that is, the year 1928-29, the Estimate is £1,631,693. That meant that there was a further increase, which has already been referred to. When is this increasing of the cost of the Garda to stop? The increases are not merely confined to the salaries, but even if they are, the largest figure is the increase in salaries. But surely the Department must have some scheme by which, according as time goes on and salaries increase, there should be some counterbalancing, whether by reducing expenses or in other ways. The Minister mentioned that by changing from sergeants to Gárdaí they reduced the number of sergeants and increased the number of Guards, and that they had reduced the Estimate. But that only accounted for sixty in all, a very small figure. Again, he told us that there were 840 stations now, whereas formerly, in the time of the R.I.C., the number was 1,100, I think.

But he did not tell us the difference on the expenditure of the two. Again, however, the actual figures are misleading. They merely indicate the number, but they do not indicate the cost. The cost of the R.I.C. per head of the population—I am taking the figures for the force for the year 1918-19—was 6/4 per head of the population. Of course I must admit, however, that I have not included the figure for the Metropolitan Police, which could not have been more than £40,000. So that if we make a generous allowance we could make that figure as to the cost of the police for the year 1918-19, say, 7/- or a little more. We still have a margin, because the Gárda Síochána to-day are costing the population of the Saorstát something over 10/- per head.

We still have cases of abuses of the civilian population by the police and by the C.I.D. One hears from time to time stories as to how they carry out their duties, even when they are carrying out duty which may well come within their scope, that their methods are certainly not the methods which should be adopted. One case in point will be referred to later in the debate. I do not wish at the moment to refer to it, but it was a very glaring case as an example of what I say. Then there was the case of Seán O'Farrell, who was arrested and badly treated on the 18th October.

If I am not mistaken, I think a question has been put down with reference to that. Does not the Deputy think it rather more usual to wait until the question has been answered? It is in the hands of Deputy Lemass, and probably he will handle it as well as Deputy Little.

As a matter of fact, I was quite aware of what the Minister has said and did not intend to go into the details of the case, but I feel that I was quite entitled to mention the case now because this was the proper opportunity on the Estimate. If the Minister has an adequate answer, he has ample time to give it to us, and has all the machinery in his hands. I think that is all I wish to say on the matter, except that I hope the Minister will take into consideration that point of view, that the police in their activities should be absolutely and strictly confined to dealing with matters of crime, and should not, under any circumstances, be used for political or semi-political purposes. They have ample methods, as I have already said. They have their secret service money. They have ample methods to do the other work which they, from their peculiar point of view, consider should be done, without degrading the police of this country into carrying out work which simply brings odium upon them.

As a constant frequenter of the streets in a motor car, I wish to compliment the Minister for Justice on the efficiency and courtesy of the Metropolitan and other Gárda. Now that they have learned their work, they are most efficient. Some three years ago, before they learned their work, they were holding up traffic in a way that was most tiresome and annoying. Within the last year, at all events, they have seen that it is their place to encourage the traffic to go on, and therefore there is no holding up. The desire on the part of the Gárda now is to keep a constant stream of traffic moving. I have only one complaint that I want to mention. A gentleman who came from Tramore told me that on Sunday evening crowds of people, as soon as they could get no more drink in Waterford, crowded out to Tramore, and that the publichouses there were practically open to anyone who wanted to go in. They were not, he thought under any supervision whatever by the Gárda. I want to ask the Minister if he will inquire whether there is any ground for this charge that was made by the gentleman as to the efficiency of the Gárda in that particular district.

I think that if there is any estimate that has ever been introduced into this House that deserves the commendation of the House it is the estimate which the Minister for Justice introduced this evening. I listened very carefully to the arguments put forward by the Opposition as to why this Vote should not be passed. Of all the ridiculous arguments that I have ever listened to, the arguments of the official Opposition to-night appear to me to be simply lacking in sense and logic. Deputy Little, who generally is a very logical speaker, put forward one argument as to why the police force should be reduced in this country. He drew a comparison between the police force in the Saorstát per head of the population and the police force in England per head of the population, and pointed out that in England they can do with a much smaller police force per head of the population than we can do with in this country. And then, to cap the whole illusion, in another breath he said there is more crime in England in one week than in Ireland in a year. Now, is that the condition of affairs that Deputy Little wants to see existing in this country? May I ask him what are the objects for which a police force is kept? Why do we maintain a police force at all? I suggest to Deputy Little that the first duty of a police force in any country is that they are in the nature of an insurance against crime. To me it is perfectly obvious that for anything that we have paid by way of insurance—on the admission of Deputy Little himself there is more crime in England in one week than in the Saorstát for a year—we have the Gárda Síochána as a thoroughly efficient and satisfactory force.

On a point of personal explanation, I pointed out that the British Government was apparently satisfied that its police were efficient to deal with the crime in England.


We are not concerned with what the British Government have to say in regard to their police.

It satisfied Deputy Little.


What concerns us is that the people of the Saorstát are satisfied with the force here as it now exists. As far as I know, and speaking humanly and without any partisanship in the matter, I have never heard from any party in the city of Dublin—and I am as closely in touch with both parties as any member of this House— any complaint made in connection with the police force. I will only just point out one little sinister feature, or perhaps I should say two, that exist at the moment in the life of the city. In North Dublin City, where I reside, there has been within the past month or two a serious increase in the number of accidents due to motor traffic. Now, who are the main guardians of the people as far as these accidents are concerned? I suggest the police are. We had an accident a week or two ago outside Marlborough Street Schools. Whether a constable was there or not I do not know, but I suggest that more protection, if possible, should be given in the case of children coming out of the schools in the afternoon than is afforded at the moment. That would lead not to an increase in the cost of the police force, as it now stands, but rather to a diminution. We heard a lot of talk this afternoon about what is being done in other countries. Deputy Ruttledge brought us away to France, New South Wales, New Zealand and Timbuktu.

Have Deputies lived in these countries? A comparison has been made between Ireland and England. Let us come down to bedrock. I have had experience of living in England for a number of years, and I speak from experience when I say that so far as the efficiency of the police force is concerned, and as far as the safety of the subject and the protection of the people are concerned, there is no comparison whatever between the police force in Ireland and the police force in England. If you want to find a policeman in England in a time of crisis how long does Deputy Little think it would take to find one? I remember on one occasion in the City of Liverpool a man coming to my door and demanding admission to the house. None of the inmates of the house had ever seen him and would not admit him. He refused to go away and they sent out to endeavour to get a constable to do his duty. The person who went out was away three-quarters of an hour and no constable arrived. In the finish I myself had to go out to that man and act as a sort of constable myself, though not physically fitted for the job, and it took me two hours before I could get in touch with a policeman.

I hope you did not handle him too roughly.


Well, anyway I had the pluck to do the job, and I carried it out. It is all very well to talk of reductions in the police force. Possibly, Deputy Little would say one of the means would be a reduction of the pay. I do not think I would be inaccurate if I say, and I think the Minister would agree, that the conditions of pay existing in the police force are not to the satisfaction of the force. I can go further and say that better salaries and hours are available in the police force across the Channel—a force that is not nearly as efficient as ours. I believe there has been a certain leakage of very good highly-trained men from our force across the Channel attracted by the better conditions there. If you want to have a satisfactory policeman you must give him reasonable remuneration for his work. Deputy Little made the point that if they were not employed in the police force they would be forced to emigrate. I have always contended that no matter what conditions exist there will be a certain amount of emigration. My attention was drawn to the fact that strong men come up from the country and finish their training here, and when they have spent sufficient time in the force to save up enough money they emigrate to America. There are causes for emigration other than economic ones. Here we have with regard to the police force two causes operating at the present time to check its efficiency. We may ask what is the reason for it.

We have been told the police force as it now exists is semi-political. I suggest that when statements of that kind are made in this House some reasonable evidence should be forthcoming to substantiate them. Wild statements of that kind do no good to anyone, and they hurt the morale of the force. We know that the force during the past few years has gone through difficult times, and the phases of crime that existed a few years ago no longer exist in the State. As Deputy Davin remarked, I think it is the duty of every public representative not to injure the morale of the police force but to do everything within his power to increase the efficiency of the force. I heard the Minister explain sub-head after sub-head in the Vote, and I think his explanation is one that would satisfy any reasonable man. He went through the strength of the force, and he pointed out that there has been a reduction of 1,860 in the Gárdaí as compared with the old R.I.C. in the Saorstát. That is a very substantial reduction. He pointed out as far as the city of Dublin was concerned the police force is at the same level now as it was a year or two ago. No man coming up from the country, no man who has occasion to pass through the city, will contend that the amount of work thrown on the force by motor traffic, the new buses, and a thousand and one other things has not considerably increased.

I heard the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance this evening telling the story of how Dean Swift when he found a little hole in a tablecloth made it larger and larger until he could drink soup out of it, and he pointed out that a Deputy who had criticised the Board of Works was attempting to expose that Department in a manner similar to that of the Dean. I think Deputy Little has been similarly engaged. There has been no valid reason given as to why this Vote should not be passed. When listening to the Minister's reasons for the increase in the Vote I considered that no more satisfactory reasons could have been adduced. The Minister explained that under one sub-head the increase was due to the annual increment. He turned to another sub-head and explained that the increase in that was due to the allowances given to a number of men in the force who had got married. Could anything be more satisfactory than that? These young men in the force who settle down are the men we can rely on. These are the men who are doing their duty, and these are the men who if Deputy Little's Party, or the Labour Party or my Party have occasion to call on their services will ungrudgingly and willingly get them.

Ba mhaith liom freagra a fháil ó'n Aire ar chupla ceisteanna sul a gcuirtear deire leis an diosbóireacht seo. Buaileann daoine isteach orm-sa agus deireann siad go bhfuil Gárdaí ag a bhfuil Gaedhilg san nGaeltacht ach nach mbaineann siad aon usáid aistí. An bhfuil a fhios ag an Aire go bhfuil na Gárdaí seo ag tabhairt droch-shompla do mhuinntir na n-áiteanna seo? Má tá Gaedhilg ag na Gárdaí san nGaeltacht ba cheart dóibh a bheith cúramach nach ndéanfaidh siad aon nídh chun an meas atá ag na Gaedhil ar a dteangain do laghdú. Sé sin an rud atá siad a dhéanamh—ag tabhairt droch-shompla do na daoine, ag déanamh gach rud atá Gállda, ag déanamh Seoiníní díobh féin.

Chuala mé fhéin Gárdaí ag a bhfuil Gaedhilg mhaith—Gaedhilg níos fearr b'fhéidir ná mar atá agam-sa—ag déanamh magaidh faoi'n Ghaedhilg agus faoi na Gaedhil san nGaeltacht. Ní deas an rud san ó Ghaedheal. Nílim ag fáil lochta ar na Gárdaí uilig mar gheall ar seo. Ach ba cheart do no Gárdaí seo athrú do dhéanamh agus an sprid Gaedhealach atá ionnta—mar atá i gach Gaedheal óg—do neartú. Ba cheart do'n Aire no do thaoisigh an Ghárda a chur in iúl do na Gárdaí seo atá san nGaeltacht agus atá in ánn Gaedhilg do labhairt gur ceart dóibh deagh-shompla, in ionad droch-shompla, do thabhairt do na daoine. Is furus don Aire an méid sin do dhéanamh agus ní bhéidh morán costais air.

Rud eile, dubhairt múinteoirí scoile liom go bhfuil Gárdaí, imeasc daoine eile—ní h-iad na Gárdaí amháin ar a bhfuilim ag fáil lochta—ag cur obair na scoileanna ar neamh-ní toisc go bhfuil siad ag cainnt i mBeurla leis na páistí agus ag tabhairt isteach rudaí Gállda——damhsaí Gállda agus cleasa Gállda— in ionad damhsaí agus cleasa nGaedhalach. Dá bhfuigheadh siad so comhairle—is dó liom go mba leor san—ó'n Aire ná ó thaoisigh an Ghárda táim sásta go mbeadh athrú ann agus bheadh níos mó measa ag na daoine ar na Gárdaí agus gan morán le déanamh acu san mbearraic. Muna bhfuil Gaedhilg acu, tá am go leor acu chun an teangadh d'fhoghluim. Ba cheart féachaint chuig sin freisin.

Tá a lán cainnte annseo mar gheall ar droch-shaoranacht agus deagh-shaoranacht. Do réir mo thuairime, ní féidir leis an Gárda no leis an Airm, cibé lionmhaire atá siad, cosc no deire do chur le clampar no trioblóid in aon tír. Sé an taon nidh amháin a cuirfheas cose le clampar ná meas a bheith ag na daoine orra féin agus meas a bheith acu ar an Rialtas atá acu de bharr deagh-dhlighthe agus deagh-ghíoín. Má fheachann an Rialtas chuige, sin ní bheidh an méid céanna Gárdaí ag teastáil uatha.

Ceapaim freisin go bhfuil an iomarca bearraic ann. Is dó liom go bhfuil an Rialtas ag leanúint do réir an scéim a bhí annseo faoi'n tsean-réim. Síleann siad gur ceart bearraic a bheith in gach áit in a raibh sé san am atá thart. Ach tá athrú ann anois agus ba chóir don Rialtas a scéim féin a cheapadh. Dá ndéanfadh siad seo, bheith airgead le spáráil acu le h-aghaidh rudaí eile. Thiocfadh leo an tairgead seo a chaitheamh san nGaeltacht ar rudaí go mbeadh tairbhe ionnta do na daoine.


Aontuighim le Teachta Micheál O Cléirigh mar gheall ar gach nidh adubhairt sé i dtaobh na Gardaí. Tá a fhios agam go bhfuil ins an Ghaoltacht Gárdaí ná fuil aon Gaoluinn acu, ná aon mheas acu ar an nGaoluinn. Ní ceart é sin. Na rudaí eile atá le rá agam abrochaidh mé as Béarla iad.

Somebody has said that it appears to have been the policy of the Government to place barracks where the British Government had barracks in the old days, and to instal as many men in them as there were R.I.C. men formerly. It appears to me as if that policy were being followed, because in many remote parts where there is no crime, where the people are absolutely peaceful and law-abiding, I see in the Estimates that sums of £1,500 are provided for building nice houses. In these buidings there are three or five or seven men whose work, as far as one can see, is practically nil. I know of one particular area myself, between two fairly populous towns with a good police force in each town. Would it not be possible to have these remote areas patrolled by motor cycle police? In these days police forces are more mobile than they used to be even ten years ago. Would it not be possible, therefore, to have these remote areas regularly patrolled from the larger centres? It would avoid the necessity for putting up expensive buildings, especially in rather poor districts, affording a rather strong contrast very often with the houses of the people who have to pay for these buildings. Many of the houses in the immediate neighbourhood of these barracks are very poor houses—many of them are in ruin. It makes a very strong contrast when a fine new, expensive building is put up, housing a certain number of men who have very little to do, in the midst of these other houses. I do not blame the men. I suppose they do their work as best they can, but they have very little to do. The people are saying to-day what they said in the old days about the R.I.C.: "Why have we so many police; what do we want them for?"

Deputy Byrne, I think it was, asked us to produce any evidence of political bias. I am sorry to say that I am in a position to do so. I do not know whether the county I come from is more unfortunate in this respect than others. Deputies will remember a law case some time ago in connection with certain happenings in the Co. Waterford. An action was taken by civilians against certain members of the Gárda Síochána, and rather substantial damages were given against these Gárdaí. In another part of that county just as bad treatment was meted out to other men, but as that incident may give rise to another civil action, I had better not enter into it. What I wish to stress is that apparently these men, who were found guilty in the court of conduct unworthy of any civilian, let alone a police officer, are still retained in the service. It would be desirable that every effort should be made to rid the force of men of this type. A certain barracks with which I am acquainted was attacked at night at that time. Everybody in the district knows who attacked the barracks. It was attacked by some of these men, and these men are still in the force. I regret to say that apparently others of their type are still in the force. I have here a letter, some of which does not make very pleasant reading, but perhaps it will emphasise the fact that some men of this type are apparently in the force yet, and it will possibly make the matter clear if I read some extracts. It is from the husband of a postmistress in the County Waterford who has no connection with politics. The letter says:—

"As you are aware, my wife is postmistress here. On Friday, the 12th inst., two men called at the office and asked to see the cash book. Thinking they had come from the head office at Cork for the purposes of an inspection she handed one of them the book and asked if they had come from Cork. One of them replied, saying they had come from Cappoquin. She then went upstairs for the P.O. cash. When she turned round to return with the cash she found to her amazement that one of the strangers had followed her and was standing beside her in her bedroom. At this time I came into the house from the yard and went upstairs where I found my wife almost in a state of collapse. I asked what was the matter, and the stranger replied in a rather dogged tone, saying: ‘What's the matter with who?' My wife then gave me to understand that this man had come from the Post Office to inspect the books and that it was all right, so I returned downstairs, although I thought it strange that he should be in one of the bedrooms. I found another man in the kitchen, evidently taking stock of all it contained, and, from his actions and manner, wanting everybody to understand he was a member of the C.I.D.. I then left the house. What subsequently happened was as follows; My wife was kept for four hours in her bedroom, having become too weak from fright to be able to leave it; all the while having to reply to questions relating to the office and also to questions which apparently had nothing to do with it. At one time she had to go down to the kitchen. When passing through the kitchen she asked her assistant to warm a little milk for her, but he ordered the assistant not to do so. She again returned upstairs, and being by this time unable to stand she sat on the bed. He followed and, sitting opposite to her resumed his questioning. After a while, his companion having succeeded in frightening the assistant, and having satisfied himself as to the contents of every drawer and cupboard in the house, went also upstairs to the bedroom, and for the remainder of the time stared insolently into the face of my wife. What all this meant I am at a loss to understand. No inquiries regarding any loss or irregularity in connection with this office had until then been made; neither did those men state the object of their visit. I can only surmise that it was in connection with the Savings Bank Book. the property of ——. This book had been sent to Dublin during July and had not been returned to him, although he had written several times for it. Those men had the book in their possession, and upon producing it asked my wife to explain some discrepancy in dates which it contained and in forms relating to it, but being in such a condition mentally and physically because of the drastic treatment received from them she was unable to recollect or explain anything. The difference in the dates which I have referred to was simply a clerical error which may occur in any office ..."

The other details are not of much importance.

These men were apparently police officers and surely police officers, calling on people in connection with a matter of this kind, should not behave as they did, for this seemed to be Black-and-Tanism in excelsis. I might mention another instance which occurred outside my own house. One night a country man was proceeding home—a man who has no connection with any political movement—when he was held up by these gentlemen—not uniformed members of the force but ununiformed members. He was questioned as to where he had been and he was told that he had been seen talking to the secretary of the local Fianna Fáil club. They wanted to know what he was talking about and why he remained so long talking to the secretary of the Fianna Fáil club and when the man protested about being searched they said "Don't get the wind up. You will have plenty of company." That is not the sort of conduct that will make the police force respected. These incidents referred to in the letter which I read are disgraceful, and, in the interests of the force, every effort should be made to see that men capable of doing this sort of thing should not be tolerated in the force. As a rule, I must admit, I have found the police courteous and careful but undoubtedly there exists amongst them a certain number of men who would be a disgrace not alone to a police force but to any civilised country in the world.

I quite agree that in discussing a matter involving the nature and conduct of the police force generally, it is only fair that those who criticise or comment favourably should have some experience or some knowledge of what they are discussing. I wish to contribute in a slight degree to the debate and to say that as far as Dublin city is concerned in one way we are possibly a great deal more fortunate than other parts of the twenty-six counties and that in another aspect we are much less fortunate. We have here in Dublin city a police force consisting of two arms. We have the ordinary force that would be classed as equivalent to the old D.M.P. and in regard to whom I have nothing to say except the highest praise. I had occasion to transact certain business where I had to have their aid and their help and I must say the ordinary uniformed police force in the matter of ordinary police duties as far as Dublin city is concerned, with very few exceptions, is a force upon which the people is to be congratulated.

On the other hand, we have what is called the equivalent of the old "G" Division, sometimes called the C.I.D. I say this in no sense of guessing, but absolutely straight and premeditated that a good many members of the C.I.D. of whom I have had experience in the city are men who are definitely the remainder of a political organisation, absorbed or taken into the police force for nothing except political work. The men I have in mind never had the training or experience that would permit them in present circumstances to hold the positions they do, and to hold the peace of the city on occasions in the hollow of their hands. Most of us on these benches have had experience at one time or another of raids in the past, and have been subjected to all kinds of inquiry and indignity by these people. I do not want to go into the past or say whether it was right or wrong to have those people for that purpose, but I say in present circumstances a great many of these men should be put to other employment. I do not say they should be disbanded or discharged or sent away, but I do say that a great many of these men, from their service and previous occupation, should now be taken and absorbed in the ordinary police force. They should receive the ordinary training which the ordinary recruit gets when he joins the force. They should be properly disciplined and not put out on the streets until after a certain number of months' service had been spent in the barracks in training, where they should remain until they learn the ordinary routine of the police duties. Then they should be put out amongst the uniformed men for a period to get personal contact with police duties through intercourse with the ordinary citizen. Subsequently, if a man is fit to be drawn out of the ordinary uniformed force, and put into the detective force—I wish to lose sight of the description "C.I.D."—when fit for that work, well and good. At the present time there are men classed as Gárda and paraded as Gárda, and, as far as I am concerned, I wish to say it is an insult to the ordinary police force of Dublin to call them either Gárda or policemen; they are neither one nor the other. I am prepared, if called upon by any member of the Department of Justice, to give a long list of details which might serve some useful purpose and might improve conditions. I have said on other occasions that I am satisfied that some of these members are only too glad to provoke breaches of the peace. I said on a public platform on one occasion that I believe from their actions they would be only too glad to see disturbance going on.

I would like to ask one or two questions arising out of the introduction of this Estimate. The Minister mentioned a figure in connection with barracks in occupation by Gárda throughout the country, and said that the number of such barracks was less now than during the time of the R.I.C. I would like to know if the Minister took into consideration in his calculations the 130 odd barracks now under construction, as appears in the Vote for the Office of Public Works. Would that figure increase the number of barracks that are available now?

These are taken into consideration. I am satisfied with that. In the Vote itself I notice on page 111 the item "Superannuation and retired allowance," amounting to £136,495.

On turning to Vote 16 I cannot bring it into line with any figure in that Vote, and I would like if the Minister would tell us where it comes from. I see item "L" of Vote 16 specifies pensions, gratuities to members of the Gárda Síochána including members of the old D.M.P., £63,000, but under which item of that Vote are the superannuation and retiring allowances referred to under Vote 16?

If the Deputy looks at page 74 I think he will find the particulars he wishes.

I have nothing further to say except to ask the Minister to consider the advisability of absorbing into the ordinary police force the members of the C.I.D. who have not had ordinary training in police work. Perhaps then, after a certain period, a number of the grievances that have been expressed, and which may possibly be expressed further from these benches, will disappear.

As a Southern Deputy I wish to add my testimony to that already paid by Deputy Anthony to the efficiency of the Gárdai. In the South we are proud of the Guards. We recognise them as a great pillar of the State, and we believe that they are doing their duty faithfully and conscientiously to the Treaty and to the Constitution.

Hear, hear.


I went through two General Elections and no one could say that the Guards took any part whatever with regard to politics. They carried out the law impartially between all candidates, and at the declaration of the poll all the candidates bore testimony to the impartial and fair manner in which they discharged their duties. I would appeal to the House to pass this Estimate unanimously. I have listened to the speeches this evening for the last two or three hours. They were all more or less moderate, and they all recognised that in the Free State we must have a police force. None of them stated that our present police force should be done away with, though some said that their numbers should be reduced. If the Deputies who hold that view would take one step forward and would stand firmly to the oath they took when entering this House to be loyal and true to the Constitution and Treaty we could then run the country with a reduced police force and a reduced Army. The same arguments were put forward about the Army as about the police. There were sneers at the boys in green, but the boys in green have come to stay as well as the Guards, and they will be here when all of us have long passed to our reward, upholding what they were organised for, namely, to keep the State as firmly and solidly as it is to-day.

It was not my intention to intervene in this debate, because I had very little hope that I would be able to convince the Minister of the error of his ways and the falsity of his arguments, but now that one whom I can regard as an ally has entered the House I can attempt to do so. That ally is the Minister for Agriculture. It appears that the Minister for Justice is under the impression that the police force consists of 7,210 men. It is to be regretted that he was not present when the Minister for Agriculture was speaking on the Army Estimate a few days ago and when he informed the House that in addition to the 7,210 men in the Civic Guards we had 12,500 policemen in the Army. If the Minister for Agriculture is correct we, therefore, have 20,000 policemen in the country, and it must be remembered that the functions of the Civic Guard, as defined by the Minister for Justice, do not differ one iota from the functions of the Army, as defined by the Minister for Agriculture. We have both forces serving the same functions and both costing the State several millions between them. The Government from time to time professes its anxiety for economy, and Deputies frequently emphasise the need for economy. Surely there is here an avenue along which it is possible to achieve economy. We have two forces performing the same functions.

I am trying to quote the Minister's exact words: "Both established for the purpose of ensuring that the people of the country will have the right to do wrong." 12,500 men in the Army, established for the purpose of ensuring that the people of the country will have the right to do wrong and 7,210 men in the Civic Guards established—I hope the Minister will agree—for the same purpose of ensuring that the people of the country will have the right to do wrong. If, as Deputy after Deputy repeatedly assured us, this is one of the most crimeless countries in the world; and if, as Minister after Minister assured us, any abnormal conditions which heretofore existed are now rapidly disappearing, it is possible to combine the functions of these forces, thus to reduce their numbers, and incidentally reduce the cost of both. The Minister for Justice is apparently very definitely of the opinion that the functions of the Civic Guard are not what are normally regarded as police functions in other countries. He compared the number of Civic Guards now in the Twenty-six Counties with the number of members of the R.I.C. in the Twenty-six Counties in 1914. He also compared the number of Civic Guard stations now in the Twenty-six Counties with the number of R.I.C. barracks in 1914, and by doing so and claiming credit for that argument, he has undoubtedly conveyed the impression that the functions of the Civic Guard are identical with those of the R.I.C. in 1914. The functions of the R.I.C., as stated by Sir Hamar Greenwood or somebody of that ilk, were identical with the functions of the National Army as stated by the Minister for Agriculture.


Or Balfour.

Any of them. They all talked much the same. The Minister has probably studied the various replies they gave to identical questions asked of the British Government. Certainly he has all the phraseology.

What is bred in the greenwood comes out in the Minister for Agriculture.

We know, and some Cumann na nGaedheal Deputies know, that the R.I.C. was not a police force as such. It was the active service unit of the British army of occupation in this country. Their function was not merely to ensure that people had lights on their carts, drove on the left-hand side of the road, and did not beat their wives. They had a definite function, namely, to ensure that the authority of the British Parliament would be maintained in this country against the wishes of the Irish people, and when the Minister compared the relative strength of the R.I.C. with that of the Civic Guard, he gives the impression that the Civic Guard should have the same functions and perform the same duties in the Free State as the R.I.C. performed here some years ago. I would like if the Minister would correct that impression, and if he modifies his statement in concluding the debate and asserts, as I believe he will, that the Civic Guard have no other duties to perform except the normal duties of a police force, he will, perhaps, find that he has much difficulty in justifying the actual number of the Civic Guards. The number of police in this country, in proportion to the number of the people, is higher than in the majority of countries. It is much higher than in England or Scotland or Wales, and yet we know that the conduct of our people is much better than that of the people in those countries. Our people are not as addicted to crimes as the people in the large towns in England and Scotland. Deputy J.J. Byrne tried to maintain that that was due to the fact that the Civic Guards are here in such numbers.

It is not the case, as Deputy Hennessy by way of interruption pointed out, that there is a very decided difference between the attitude of the English people towards their police and the attitude of the Irish people to the Civic Guard. Deputy Hennessy said that every man in England is a policeman and is anxious and willing to assist the police forces in the detection of crime. That attitude does not exist so strongly in Ireland for the reason that there are too many policemen here. Take the average Irish village with half a dozen public houses, a few cottages and a police station with five or six Civic Guards. If anything occurs in that village—two men fighting at a street corner or a man runs away with another man's chickens—everybody says "Oh, there is something for the police to do at last, thank God, it will prevent them getting too fat." That is the attitude. They see the policemen have nothing to do but hanging round the barrack door or strolling up and down the village street and they are rather glad that anything should happen which makes them feel that they are getting value for the money they are spending on the police. In England, where there is only one policeman to every five or six thousand of the population, the instinct of self-preservation makes everybody anxious to help the police and makes everybody try to do what in them lies to prevent any crime. It is because we have too many policemen that we have not got the right attitude towards the detection and suppression of crime here. We do not object to the adequate payment of members of the police force and I think if Deputy Byrne—I am sorry he is not here—compares the average rate of payment in Britain to the English police force with the rate of payment here he will find that we pay our police force much more.

Oh no, far less.

I am sorry that I am not able to produce the figures now but I got a report issued by the British Government concerning the various rates of pay in the numerous police forces in England, and I found that on the average, rank for rank, the pay is much less in England. If the Minister can correct me I will be glad. Personally I think the police are adequately paid. A man in barracks provided with his clothes, his food and housing accommodation and with £3 or £3 10s. per week, pocket money, is not badly paid. As a matter of fact I was reading a newspaper article last Sunday by a well-known journalist who asserted that no member of the Civic Guard considers himself properly equipped unless he has a dress suit and a kit bag.

Does Deputy Lemass read the English Sunday papers?

I read that one and I have never objected to anybody else reading it. Certainly I was rather interested to hear that item of news, because we do not get that type of news in an Irish paper. No member of the Civic Guard considers himself properly equipped unless he has a dress suit and a kit bag. You can imagine what happens in Rosmuck, the Glenties or the Rosses—members of the Civic Guard parading down to the dance hall in their dress suits, and they are under the impression that they are badly paid! They can afford to go around regularly in dress suits when they are not in uniform. We are rather glad that we have got 7,210 people in this country who can go about in dress suits. Five or six years ago we could not parade that number of people in dress suits. We have them scattered throughout the country to give a tone to the social life of our towns and villages. That is rather satisfactory, but, unfortunately, the members of the Civic Guard do very little else except to give tone to the social life of our towns and villages. The purpose for which we want them is not to parade at village dances in dress suits, but to ensure that any person who wants to disobey the laws enacted by this Assembly will get what is coming to him. Mind you, that can be ensured. The Civic Guard in the detection and the suppression of minor crime, at any rate, have been remarkably successful. They have been remarkably unsuccessful in solving the bigger sensational crimes that have occurred in the last few years, but that is possibly due to circumstances not in their control.

The fact is that they have been reasonably efficient as a police force, but unfortunately we have to come to the conclusion that there is not enough work to justify such a number of them, or to prevent a number of them from becoming ineffective through sheer idleness. These remarks are with reference to the normal police force provided for in the estimate alone. They do not cover the 571 who cannot be described as policemen in the ordinary sense. They consist of 235 Gárdaí on detective duties and 336 in plain clothes. I hope the Minister will tell us the exact difference between a Gárda engaged in detective duties and a Gárda in plain clothes. There seems to be a distinction, because the Gárda detective on duty gets 7/- per week extra, while the Gárda in plain clothes only gets 5/- a week extra. Apparently there must be a distinction and a difference in the amount of work to be done. Unfortunately, in connection with those 571 people I cannot say any word of praise. Deputy Davin seems to think that it is a dangerous doctrine to preach that the Civic Guard is a political or a semi-political force. It is a dangerous doctrine, but it is much more dangerous to suppress the fact when we know that it is so. I can prove to any committee or to any court, or to any person who wants it proved, that the Civic Guards did act as an election machine for Cumann na nGaedheal last September. I can produce men who saw them in the barracks in Leixlip, in County Kildare, with a series of Cumann na nGaedheal posters in the day-room posting them up on boards to display them round the town.

I can produce hundreds of men all over the country who can declare that they have seen Civic Guards defacing and tearing down the posters of other political parties. I have seen them doing it myself. I can produce several hundred witnesses who will prove that the Civic Guards have interfered, without any justification whatever, in the political activities of members of this Party. I never yet travelled down the country for the purpose of addressing meetings, and I was not in the hotel until every Civic Guard or detective in the county was hanging round the street corners watching the people who were coming in and going out to see who was meeting me. That happens to the members of this Party everywhere they go. You may placard the hoardings for weeks before the meeting, and announce it in the local papers that you are coming, but they do not believe it until they see you are there, and they are always there to make sure you arrive.

It may be that they are protecting us, but I do not think that is so; in view of the several other types of cases, in which we could produce rather startling evidence, I have definitely come to the conclusion that it is not so. These cases—cases of assault by members of the Civic Guard—have occurred, and are regularly occurring, throughout the country. The Minister used some phrase in connection with them when the matter was raised by a question. I think "technical assault" was the phrase he used when the Civic Guards took a man into a barracks, hit him a few punches, and turned him out again.

I beg your pardon. The words I used were "trivial assault," that being the verdict found by the jury in the Cork case.

A trivial case?

The jury found that the assault was trivial.

Deputy Davin thinks it is rather a dangerous practice to refer to these cases of assault in the House. He considers that they should be dealt with privately between any person having information and the Minister, but, unfortunately, we have found that drawing attention to the fact that these assaults have taken place are not preventing them from taking place. I am not insinuating that every Civic Guard, or even every member of the detective division, steals around his district every night looking for someone to devour, or something of that kind, but reputable information comes into our possession that people have been stopped in the streets, conducted into the police barracks, assaulted in the barracks in order to get information out of them, and then turned out again. Deputy Little referred to one case of which I have given notice in a question. I want to give the Minister every facility to get all the information he can about that, because there can be no doubt about the facts. If the Minister thinks there can be any doubt about the facts, I assure him that I can produce in this House the names of sixty witnesses who saw the individual concerned before he was taken into the barracks and after he came out, and who can vouch for his condition when he came out. That happened only a few weeks ago, and the particular individual was a man who was an elected Deputy of this House, and a prominent man in his part of the country.

There have been other cases brought to our notice, and some of them have been re-echoed in the police courts and in other courts. It appears to us that there is amongst this particular section of the police force, at any rate, a tendency which is not corrected by the attitude which the Minister adopts in this House, when, instead of saying that he is going to do everything in his power to suppress any development of that tendency, he takes it upon himself to justify and defend these men against whom charges are made, if they happen to be members of the Civic Guard. The attitude of the Government has not tended to achieve what they themselves profess they want to achieve—that is, the establishment of a non-political force, that will not feel itself bound in any way to a particular political party. Their attitude all the time towards the Civic Guards in general, and to these detective and plain-clothes policemen in particular, has been that of one section of a particular army to another section —people serving the same cause, fighting the same enemies, and hoping for the same reward—and as a result of that there is established in the minds of these people the idea that their duty at all times is to assist members of Cumann na nGaedheal in any matter in which members of Cumann na nGaedheal may be engaged, whether it is in their normal work as Deputies or at a general election. There is not a member of Cumann na nGaedheal—at least I think there are very few—who could honestly stand up and say that he did not receive substantial assistance in his constituency from the members of the Civic Guard either in the June or September elections. Certainly the Minister for Justice or the Minister for Agriculture cannot say that.

I beg your pardon.

If they do I will produce evidence to show that they got assistance. Do not commit yourself.

I received no assistance, in the way of canvassing or otherwise, from any Guards.

I did not say canvassing. After all, a Civic Guard who goes canvassing is asking for it.

What do you mean then?

A Guard who goes out at night with a bundle of posters under one arm and a paste-pot, who proceeds to cover up the posters of another party.

I never heard of that down in my constituency.

Of course not. The Civic Guard who would inform the Minister that he did that would be foolish.

I do not believe it was done. I am certain it was not.

I challenge Deputy Lemass to prove that I got any more assistance as a Cumann na nGaedheal candidate from the Civic Guards in September than I did in June. The only assistance I got in either case was the fact that they were present at meetings in every case to keep order, but they did not need to keep order.

Then I think Deputy Cooper has a legitimate grievance. I think I have covered most of the points that I wanted to make in connection with this Estimate. I hope that the members of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party will participate in the discussion on it much more freely than they have done heretofore. I would also like to suggest that the Minister should not wait until the conclusion of the debate to make any remarks he has to make, or to reply to any of the arguments that have been put forward. It is, no doubt, good tactics for the Minister to wait until he has all the arguments and all the statements marshalled in front of him so that he can attack them and then finish the debate by sitting down. The Government have been rather successful in the way in which they have got a tactical advantage of that kind during the debates on these Estimates. The Minister is not entitled to conclude the debate. The Minister for Finance, who has moved the motion, is entitled to do that. I would ask the Minister for Justice not to try to seize on a tactical advantage, but to give us his views on the various arguments that have been put forward, to answer the various questions that have been asked, and thus to enable Deputies on these benches to put further questions to him, if necessary, in order to clear up any doubts they have in their minds, either as to the purpose of the Civic Guard, their efficiency, or the manner in which they have been controlled.

I have to make an admission to Deputy Lemass: I got most valuable assistance from the Civic Guards in the last election and in the June election.

You did.


I will tell you what it was. At a great number of meetings I would not have been allowed to speak but for the fact that the Civic Guards were there. The Deputy should not listen to so many stories. He is long enough in politics to know perfectly well that both sides exaggerate. As a Cumann na nGaedheal Deputy, if I am looking at a row I am inclined to think that the people on my side are not the aggressors, and I am perfectly certain that when a Fianna Fáil Deputy is looking at a row he thinks that we are entirely the aggressors, and that is with the best intentions in the world. Some of the stories that come up about the Civic Guards are entirely exaggerated or entirely wrong. I repeat that I got most valuable assistance from the Civic Guards in the last election and in the previous one. I addressed meetings all over my constituency and in other places, and I know perfectly well that I would not have been allowed to open my mouth but for the fact that there were Guards present.

Surely it is not the fault of the Fianna Fáil Party if the Minister is so unpopular.


It does not matter whose fault it is. I was absolutely entitled to get up and speak.

Even if the people did not want to hear you?


The Deputy knows that that is a quibble. I was entitled to get up and speak and say what I thought, and I know that in a great many places, as far as I and other Deputies were concerned, there were deliberate attempts, not to assault us, but to prevent us from speaking by various devious methods which the Deputy and I know perfectly well. The right of free speech is a very valuable right, and I do say that that right has not been infringed by this Party. I do not believe that there is a Deputy opposite, either on the front or the back benches, who can say that he was ever prevented from getting up and putting his point of view before the country. I have never read of that. Of course there may be exceptions due to special cases; but, speaking generally, I do not know at the present moment, and I have never read in the papers, of any place or of any occasion where a member of the Party opposite was prevented from saying what he had to say, and I wonder if the Deputy does. I never heard of such a case at any time. I have stood in the crowd at a great many Fianna Fáil meetings.


It is a wonder you are so ignorant then.


You will be surprised to hear that, but I like to be a spectator. The place I like to stand in at a political meeting is at the back of the crowd, looking at and sympathising with the unfortunate man who is on the platform. I never yet listened to a Fianna Fáil meeting that was interrupted.

There was no evil literature there.


I have seen meetings of different Parties—Labour, Fianna Fáil and Independents—and I have seen my own supporters there, but I never saw any of these meetings interrupted. Everyone was allowed to get up and say what he wanted to say— and certain very objectionable things were said at times—but there was not a single interruption. I have seen at meeting after meeting in the country concerted attempts steadily to interrupt Government supporters, attempts consistent and persistent, so persistent that really the right of free speech was denied to them. Now, surely it is the duty of the Civic Guard, of any police force in any country, to see that a man, unarmed, going on a platform can say his say at an election meeting. That is the only assistance I have ever got from the Civic Guards, and if they did not give me that assistance they would not be doing their duty as a police force. That is the only assistance I have ever seen Labour getting from the Civic Guards, that is the only assistance I have ever seen any Party getting from the Civic Guards, and it really does not lie in the mouth of any Deputy on the opposite benches to charge the Civic Guards with partiality. Deputies know perfectly well that there was a certain policy—it may not have been headquarters policy; it may have been confined to certain counties; it may have been directed against certain people—which was a definite attempt to prevent certain people from saying what they wanted to say. Now, it is the duty of whatever force is there, police or other, to see that every man in this country has the right to say his say and has the right to address the men and women who are before his platform. I have never seen a Civic Guard going any further than that.

Is the Minister aware that a certain superintendent in the Midlands spent a fortnight before the last two elections addressing envelopes in the Cumann na nGaedheal headquarters and that his car was at the disposal of the Cumann na nGaedheal organisation on election day?


I am not aware of it.

Well, I am aware of it.


If it is worth anything I will make this admission. I am not aware of it. Certainly they did not do it for me. I am speaking of my own experiences. I never heard of such a case, and I find it extremely hard to believe that there was such a case as that—that a superintendent of the Civic Guard spent the fortnight previous to the election addressing envelopes, or doing active political work for the Cumann na nGaedheal Party. You are bound to find in any country, and especially in a country with a recent history like ours, zealots on both sides. I think it is absolutely inevitable that men who leave the Free State Army and go into the Civic Guards, will be strongly in favour of a certain Party— just as the same thing happens in England, even though there is not the same reason for it—and possibly make fools of themselves. There may be, for all I know, exceptions. But I say deliberately that as far anyhow as my experience is concerned, I did get most valuable assistance from the Civic Guards, but the assistance was confined and limited to this, that they enabled me to go to any town in Galway or Roscommon and say what I wanted to say. That is all the assistance I ever got; that is all the assistance I ever wanted, and if Deputies opposite did not want that assistance it was simply because of a civic sense amongst their supporters. Personally I have never seen, at meetings of the Fianna Fáil Party, or at meetings of other Parties, the sort of organised attempt I have seen at meetings of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party to prevent members of the Party to which I belong from speaking. Deputy Lemass commented on another point. He tried to draw the inference from a statement of mine that there were two police forces, the Army and the Civic Guard. I will put it to him this way: Let me define their functions?

Will the Minister state definitely, before he goes on, that he is not joking? He will remember that that was the defence that the Minister for Defence put up for him—that he was joking the other day.


Oh, no, it was not.

You are not joking now?


Oh, no. I never joke on a serious subject like that, and the Minister did not make that defence. I hope he did not make any defence for me.

He said that you were joking.


I think the Deputy's point was that there was really no difference between the functions of the Civic Guard and those of the Army. I will put it this way: one of the functions of the Army is to see that the people have a right to do wrong; one of the functions, and the most important function, of the police is to see that the people have a right to do right. There is the distinction. It is all summed up in that. So that we have one force in the country to see that the people have an absolute right to do right, and we have another force in the country, one of the functions of which is to see that the people have a right to do wrong. You may not agree with me on this.

It is as clear as mud.


I want to make another point, in view of what the Deputy said. He quoted my views as to what the functions of the Army were. I did not so much give my views as to what the functions of the Army should be; I merely accepted the views of the military experts sitting on the benches opposite on the question of what the Army was capable of achieving. I listened to various military men—Deputy Flinn. Deputy Little and other Deputies on the benches opposite—and they told me that our Army was quite incapable of attacking and defeating the British or the Germans. I did not know whether it is or not, being a mere civilian, but I accepted the views of these high military authorities, and I pointed out that if they were incapable of defeating the British or the Germans, at least they were capable of seeing that the people had a right to do wrong.

I would point out that the Minister for Defence also tried to put that interpretation on your remarks, but I read him the exact words. You did not say that the Army was able or unable to defend the country against invasion; you said that it was not the purpose of the Army to defend the country against invasion.


Do you mean to say that you have read my speech?

I read your speech, strange to say.


I did not intend to go into this matter, but as the Deputy put it to me to define the functions of the police and the Army I gave him that definition, that the police exist to see that the people have a right to do right, and at least one of the functions of the Army is to see that the people have a right to do wrong.

There are some places in this country where the duty of compiling the Parliamentary Register devolves on the Civic Guards. Kerry is one of these places. My experience is that they work in a very partial manner. They disfranchised hundreds of Fianna Fáil voters in Kerry at the last election and they went so far as to tear down Fianna Fáil posters from the gates at some of the polling booths. I can only come to the conclusion that they are a semi-political body, and I leave it at that.

I see by the Estimates that the present cost of the Gárda Síochána is a total sum of £1,912,958. I consider this amount is excessive and unjustifiable. The number of officers and men and women police is 7,213. This figure is out of all proportion to the needs and requirements of this country. In the Estimate for 1918-19 the cost of the R.I.C. for all Ireland, and also the D.M.P. force, was £1,200,339. The number of officers and men for the thirty-two counties, including 1,254 officers and men of the D.M.P., was 11,121. We have, therefore, a comparison between 1918-19 and the present year. We had then for all Ireland 11,121 officers and men, costing £1,200,339, and now for the Twenty-six Counties we have 7,213 officers, women and men, costing £1,912,958. If we except the Minister for Justice, how many Deputies on the Government benches would not have told us in 1918, and did tell us then, that this country was over-policed? How many Deputies opposite who were then on the Sinn Fein platform were not of the opinion that the force should be reduced? I think every Deputy on the Government benches at that time advocated the reduction of the police force; they told us that this country was over-policed. People were told to vote Sinn Fein and the minute Sinn Fein would get into power the police force would be reduced. They said then that they did not require 11,121 officers and men, costing the country £1,200,339. Have these promises been carried out? Has the police force been reduced, have the expenses been reduced, and are the people able to pay for the present cost of these forces? I submit that that has not been done and there is no effort being made by the Government Party to do it.

We will be told from the opposite benches that a big police force like the Civic Guards is a necessity in this country. It is, of course, a necessity, a necessity to give the hangers-on of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party jobs—to provide jobs for them. That is the only necessity I see. In this force we have five commissioners, in receipt of £5,300; we have 159 superintendents, receiving £77,003; we have 55 inspectors, receiving £16,693. That is a total of 219 officers, receiving £98,996 in salaries, and they have allowances to the tune of £15,165. That makes a total for officers, combining salaries and allowances, of £114,161. We have 1,287 sergeants receiving £323,228; 5,703 guards and four women police receiving, in all, £1,013,257. That is, the rank and file, numbering 6,994, receive between them £1,336,435 per annum in salaries. We have a further charge for rent and accommodation allowances, amounting to £29,188; boot allowances, £27,425; allowances for casual expenses for officers and men employed on detective duty, £4,000; allowances for members employed on duty in plain clothes—officers and men —£4,415; allowances for men engaged on transport work, £1,008; subsistence allowances payable to officers and men absent on duties from their stations, £4,750; locomotion expenses, £56,500; clothing and equipment, £25,370; furniture, barrack bedding and bedsteads, £1,450; barrack maintenance, £760; transport and carriage, £9,710; fuel, light and water, £18,050; law expenses, £384; medical expenses, £7,840; telegrams and telephones, £14,600.

Is the Deputy reading out the Estimate?

It is as well that the Estimate should be read out.

I think the people should be told what we are paying for. Here are some further items: Compensation to members of the force for property maliciously damaged or destroyed, £50; incidental expenses, £1,460; and the Appropriations-in-Aid total £43,320. At headquarters we have a clerical staff composed of 25 employees, and the housekeeper, cleaners, labourers, etc., total 55. The total salaries for the headquarters staff, including a bonus of £2,322, comes to £8,060. That makes a full total of £1,631,693 in salaries, wages and allowances. We have in other Votes sums properly chargeable to this Vote. In Vote 17 there is a sum included of £4,000 for rates, and we have £165,008 for office accommodation, buildings, fuel and light. That is in addition to the fuel, water and light mentioned in the estimate amounting to £18,050. I would like to know the particulars of the sums included in this estimate of £165,008. We have as well superannuation and retired allowances in Vote 16 amounting to £136,495. To whom are these superannuation allowances paid? In the Department of Justice we have a staff employed there on the Gárda Síochána account, and that staff is costing £8,067. This is in addition to the sum of £3,711 and £204 included in the Estimate proper, and it means, in other words, a total of £11,982 for clerical services, with £2,322 paid in bonuses as well.

In all these Votes we have a capital expenditure of £1,957,328. That is what the Civic Guards are costing the twenty-six counties. If you deduct the Appropriations-in-Aid, a sum of £44,370 we leave a net sum of £1,912,958 representing what the service is costing the country. That is the full sum for police services, and it works out at £265 4s. 2d. per man, and I have further calculated that we have one policeman for every 412 of the population. I ask the House, and particularly Deputies on the Government Benches, do they really believe that this charge is not excessive and exorbitant? In connection with this Vote it is mentioned in the appropriation account that there is a balance from previous years standing to the credit of this fund. It is a sum of £4,837 7s. 3d. That stands to the credit of the Reward Fund. The receipts for the year ended 31st March, 1927, reached £7,207 10s. 11d. Some of that money was made up through registration work performed by the police in County Kerry and County Sligo. The payments out of the account for the same period total £2,506 19s. 6d., leaving a balance of £9,537 13s. 8d., standing to the credit of this account.

We would like to know who gets this money, and why it is necessary, instead of paying it into the Exchequer, to treat those sums earned in Sligo and Kerry in this way? Why should they be given into this fund instead of being credited to the Exchequer? What law did the Government pass authorising them to devote this money to the reward fund? We also want to know the amounts that are paid out of this fund and to whom they are paid and what they are paid for. We want these particulars.

In Leitrim we have reason to complain of the treatment meeted out to the civilian population. I drew attention in this House a short time ago to a visit of C.I.D. to a farmer named McLoughlin in Drumsna; they went to his outhouse and threw out all his turf into the rain and left it there. That turf became useless to the man and no compensation whatever was paid to him. That is very unjust. I do not see why the police or the Government should go and damage any man's property. Their case was that it was necessary to damage it in order to search for arms. Was it necessary to damage it to search for those arms? There were no arms there. I think the Government would be justified in giving that man some compensation for the damage they did. It is unjust for any police force or any government to do any such thing to any person. It is not right.

Quite recently I had to draw attention to another case, that of a returned American who could not go up and down the streets of Carrick-on-Shannon without being followed by the Gárda. One night they molested him and attempted to shoot him. These things are not fair. Down at Arigna recently a man named Cull was arrested and charged, I believe, with having caused the Portumna fire. That man was living a hundred miles from Portumna and the Garda knew very well that he was not there. He was brought to the barracks and detained for a considerable time.

Then there is the case of ex-Deputy Seán O'Farrell, mentioned by Deputy Lemass and Deputy Little. I think these things are a scandal and it is a scandal that we are paying men for doing these things. I think it is very unfair. I certainly say in respect to the number of the Garda and the cost that it is excessive. In every little town in the country there are Garda barracks and in them there are four or five men. In Carrick-on-Shannon there are ten or eleven men. I do not know what use they are. I do not see them do any work. As far as we are concerned, I think the sexton of the chapel would be quite competent to do the police work and if he wanted assistance all he need to do was to ring the bell. I cannot understand why there should be ten or eleven men kept there. As well as that, there are two or three C.I.D. officers going about the country arresting men like Seán O'Farrell and Cull and throwing men's turf out on the mud and the rain. Why have that large number of them? Why is this tremendous sum asked of the taxpayers of the country? We cannot afford it and the sooner we get it into our heads and the sooner the Government gets it into their heads, to cut down that force to a figure that we can be expected to pay, the better.

In opposing this Vote, I do so on two grounds. First, that the amount of money being spent on the maintenance of the Gárda force is entirely in excess of the actual requirements of the State; and, secondly, because I believe from actual experience that that force is being maintained for the purpose of propagating the doctrines of one political party in the State. There is not the smallest doubt about it. While listening to the statements made by the Minister, we on the opposite side were told of the services of the Gárda Síochána. We were told that their services were for the general good, and that their services were at the disposal of all parties on all occasions, including specifically the last two elections. The Minister may have made that statement in good faith. I know I am not an exception, but I have to take exception to certain experiences, and I am sorry that I have to make this statement. I am sorry because we realise that a police force is necessary in this, just as it is in any other State, and I realise that in the police force of the Gárda Síochána we have good, honest and sincere young men, men who would be a credit to any service to which they would be asked to give their services. But when I find that the experience of these young men who have joined up that force is that the officer immediately in charge of them, their superior officer immediately in charge, has taken a certain definite action in regard to politics in this country, and that that action has been extended to the extent of actually assaulting the citizens of this State, and that that immediate superior officer's conduct has been condoned by the higher authorities in charge of his Department, and that the entire conduct and misconduct of that man and other officers is condoned by the Minister responsible in this House; when on various occasions acts of violence on the part of this man have been questioned here the Minister gets up and condones it, and the only extenuation or excuse he offers is that these acts should be brought into the law courts and the cases tried there, then we understand the position. When you find a responsible Minister in this House taking up that attitude you can only come to the conclusion that he condones these acts and that he knows that these acts are going on. He knows how impossible it is for a civilian living under the terrorism of a force such as the Gárda Síochána, how impossible it is to expect him to bring forward evidence in these circumstances to prove his case in court. In the last June and September elections I had experience of the Civic Guards acting under the control of their sergeant and their superintendent also. They were actually standing by when the tri-colour, the flag of this State, was torn down by opponents of ours in that fight, and for that act no arrest was made, although the superintendent of the Gárda was standing on the street and actually watched the transaction.

That action was reported to headquarters in Dublin, but no report ever came back as to what the findings on it were. The fact remains, at any rate as far as we can see, that the officers concerned were left in their positions and are still in them. I am informed that the sergeant in charge, in addition to the salary he draws as a sergeant in the police force, has since been awarded a pension for military services, which are a rather doubtful commodity as far as he is concerned. As to the statement made by the Minister for Agriculture that members on this side of the House were given assistance and that he had never heard of them being prevented from holding public meetings—I have no experience myself of being prevented from holding a public meeting—I have the experience that supporters of mine and of our Party who attended meetings at which I spoke were assaulted in the presence of Civic Guards, and no action was taken. I was not present in the House when reference was made to an assault recently on a man in my county —Seán O'Farrell, ex-T.D. I have heard the particulars of that case. This man attended a committee meeting of the Gaelic League. At the conclusion of the classes he was taken from that meeting, and the condition in which he came back from the Civic Guard station after being there for two hours, was visible to everyone who met him. His own statement is that he was grievously assaulted by the person who arrested him—a C.I.D. man. He states that while he was being assaulted in the barracks he called in the assistance of some Guards. The sergeant in charge came into the room in which he was being beaten by the C.I.D. man, and stood there watching the proceedings. He was beaten into a battered and bruised condition in the presence of the sergeant, who stood there watching the proceedings.

There is no use in the Minister getting up and stating, as he did on a previous occasion, that the courts are open to these men. There is no use in the Minister denying these charges, or in trying to minimise them, for, if evidence is required, ample evidence can be brought forward to prove the facts as stated. If the Minister is going to endeavour to maintain a service in this country the members of which act in such a way as I have outlined, he certainly cannot maintain that that is a service that is essential to the well-being of this State. If, as I stated at the opening, a Vote was asked for the service of a police force that was doing real essential service, one that would be impartial and that would engage in the detection of crime, one that would see that there was fair play for every citizen of the State who wanted to live an honest life, then such a Vote would receive from me, and from everyone on this side of the House, our full support and be passed without any discussion whatever. We realise that this force is used for a distinct purpose. The main purpose for which it is used is to keep the Cumann na nGaedheal Party in existence. For that purpose they use different methods. One is bribery to the extent of showing patronage to those who support them, but to those who do not agree with them they are prepared to use violence and terrorism. If it is for that purpose that this House is being asked to vote a sum amounting to about £2,000,000—it amounts to that when all the items are taken into account—then I say that the House is being asked to give its assent to an impossible proposition. I say, too, that this country is being fooled to the extent that the Cumann na nGaedheal Party is using the police force in this country for the purpose of maintaining that Party in office through methods, as I have stated, of bribery and terrorism.

The principal argument that I have heard in the criticism in regard to this Vote is the suggestion that the members at present in the Gárda Síochána force are too numerous. Assuming for the moment that the force is larger than those of us with economic tendencies would wish, I desire for a moment that every party in this House, and every member of every party and group would ask himself this question; who is responsible for that? Who is responsible for the state of affairs that has existed between 1922 and 1928 that has made it necessary for this country, for its freedom and its safety, to have in the Free State to-day a larger number of Civic Guards than we would wish for if the choice lay with us? I think, so far as the occupants of the Government Benches are concerned, that they can say without fear of contradiction "We are not responsible for the condition of affairs which have prevailed in this country from 1922 to 1928 and that has made that force necessary as regards the numbers constituting it to-day." I think that my friends in the Labour Party and my colleagues in the Independent group can say the same.

There remains then but one party, and I would ask every one of them to stop all this rameis. Who has been feeding the Civic Guards from 1922 down to the present time? Whose followers have been giving them work to do? Who has made it necessary for them to be there? Is it from that same party that the appeal now goes out to-night "Ah, do away with them. Put us back into where we were in 1922 and in 1923 and give us the same freedom that we had then plus the absence of the Civic Guards"? I think it was Deputy Lemass who made a second charge against them. Other Deputies spoke on the same question including the last Deputy. They charged the Civic Guard with bias. I wondered where all those stories were coming from until I heard from Deputy Lemass the standard argument that I heard against the Censorship Bill which the Minister for Justice is responsible for. He said that he had got it all out of the Sunday newspapers. When he read the English Sunday newspapers he found there the suggestion that all the Civic Guards wore dress suits. Did one ever hear anything more horrible than that, and "there can be no question about it for I got it out of the Sunday newspapers."

The Deputy told us a lot of stories about assaults alleged to have been committed by members of the Civic Guard force. I hope I am not unfair to him, particularly as he is absent from the House, but I do suggest to him that these fairy tales came from the same source and ought to be treated with the respect with which fairy tales are treated that come from a doubtful source of that sort. We had an extraordinary statement from Deputy Holt, and I take it from him as a confession that the party to which he belongs has turned over a new leaf. He said that the only necessity at present for the Civic Guards is this: that they give hangers-on of the Cumann na nGaedheal party necessary jobs.

Might I suggest that the force has served another and more useful purpose, namely, to give the hangers-on of the Fianna Fáil Party, and all criminals wherever they are situated, a very comfortable end? I would suggest to the Minister for Justice that the time has not come when the Civic Guards barracks can be depleted by one member—not until the day comes when the people can live without fear of interruption either at meetings or outside meetings. I regret very much to hear the suggestion that in some places somebody was engaged in interrupting some meetings. I am glad to have the admission from the Fianna Fáil Party that they disapproved of these interruptions at the meetings. I will take it from that admission that never again will they be any parties to allowing either a meeting of a Government candidate or of an Independent candidate to be in any way interfered with. I will take that admission, that promise, that never again will they sin.

I would not have intervened in this dispute but for the statement we have heard from Deputy Maguire. Frankly, I do not think Deputy Maguire is a very responsible Deputy, but the statement he has made is of such a character that I think it should be replied to by a Deputy who lives in a rural district. He said that people lived in terror of a force such as the Civic Guards. He talked about terrorism, assaults, bribery, corruption and everything else. Now I come from a county somewhat similar to Leitrim, and during all those years since the Civic Guards have been recruited I have never heard of one instance, not even a trifling instance, of where people live in terror of the Civic Guards. It may be said that I am of a certain political tinge. I am, but there are other Deputies from my constituency who are not of the same political tinge as I am, or of the political tinge of the Party on the opposite benches. There are Labour members here from my constituency, and I appeal to them to state what they know. Deputy Maguire's speech can be dealt with only by an answer or an explanation. The answer would be a short one, that it was absolutely false, absolutely untrue, and if that is not so, then the only explanation is that the people living in his constituency must be peculiar, extraordinary individuals, individuals we do not know down our counties, and who deserve what they get. But I do not believe they get a lot of what the Deputy says. They must be a peculiar type, unknown in any other county. It is an extraordinary state of affairs if such a thing as the Deputy has spoken of could be possible for a moment. The Deputy seems to me to be advertising what I do not believe to be a fact, that they are a colony of savages in Leitrim.

There is a member for Leitrim on your own benches.

I do not believe what Deputy Maguire asserted in his speech is a fact. Nobody for a moment believes such wild and extravagant statements.

When the Deputy makes a statement equivalent to saying my statements as to misdeeds are untrue, I wonder would he advise the Minister responsible to hold an inquiry to see whether they are true or not?

The Minister will act on and reply to these matters himself. Deputy Holt made a speech about the cost of the Civic Guards. He made a general attack, but as far as I could follow his speech he refused to come down to particulars on any one item. Deputy Lemass when speaking thought that £3 10s. a week for a Civic Guard was a fair wage. A front bench representative of the Fianna Fáil Party, one of its leaders, Deputy Little, thought it was a sufficient, not an excessive, wage. I hope I am not misrepresenting him. Why did not Deputy Holt say what he thinks as regards the wage that should be paid to any rank? Why did not he say that the wage of the rank-and-file was too much, that £3 10s. was too much, and that it ought to be such a figure; that the wage of the sergeants was too much and ought to be such a figure? Why did not he go through the ranks and say who was getting too much and how much they should get. Let us come down to these things if we want to be honest. Deputy Ruttledge, I understand, commented on speeches I made in this House. The frame of mind I was in when I made those speeches I am in now. I believe the Civic Guards are paid a wage in excess of what the average citizen can afford. That applies to the force from top to bottom. I made those statements two years ago, and I am in the same frame of mind to-day. There was a reply given to me then by the then Minister for Justice which answered all my points. His reply was that the police in the North of Ireland and the police in England were in receipt of a higher wage than the police in the Free State, and that was true of the different ranks.

There the difficulty arose. My speech is on record, and so is the speech of the Minister for Justice. Men could be trained here for six or twelve months, resign after training, and go to countries where they would get better pay. In addition to getting better pay policemen in the North of Ireland and in England have the assistance of the citizens when needed in carrying out their duties. I cannot give a more pointed instance of that than the action that was taken by the ordinary carters, the labouring men, in the streets of London when the late Sir Henry Wilson was shot down. We read in the papers then that the men who were driving carts jumped off and attacked men with guns and captured them. That is a lesson in citizenship. Even if I approved, and I did not approve, of the shooting of Sir Henry Wilson, what struck me as something to be aimed at was the sense of citizenship of the poor men who jumped off their carts to see that the law was upheld.

We have to have for the Gárda men of a respectable type with a fair education. We had to induce men like that to come into the force at a very critical time when they had to take their lives in their hands. Eight or ten—I do not know the exact number—lost their lives in the service—they were shot down. Such a thing as that would be impossible in England or the North of Ireland. Deputies should remember what led up to that. There is no use in Deputies opposite, with innocent faces, pretending that they never heard of these things—that they knew nothing about them—and comparing the Gárda with police forces in neighbouring countries.

It has been said that there are people able to prove this and that. I do not doubt that, I am sorry to say. Anybody who reads the newspapers or visits our courts knows that you can get people in this country to prove anything. So much so, that the heads of the Church to which I belong have displayed a certain amount of alarm at the moral condition of the country—I am not referring now to sexual morality. What did Deputy Little mean when he spoke about the detection of civic crime—a force that would only deal with civic crime? He went on to draw a distinction, but he did not say political crime. I should like to know exactly what Deputies opposite mean when they talk about civic crime, as distinct from other classes of crime. Is the assassination of a politician something that does not come under the head of civic crime— something that should be put on a different basis and treated differently? Are the Gárda to shut their eyes to the assassination of a politician or the preparations that lead up to it— drilling, dumps and all the rest of it? Do Deputies object to these things? Let them come down to the particular and tell us exactly what they do mean —when a crime is a civic crime and when it is not.

Deputy Goulding, who very seldom exaggerates matters, spoke about building barracks for the Gárda in his district in the neighbourhood of other houses belonging to poor people. What is the suggestion? If a barrack is needed and a house has to be built, it will be a new house. If a house has to be built, let it be a good one, which will be of some use afterwards. I defy any person to build a new house that will look like an old one. I am sorry Deputy Davin was not listening to the speech of Deputy Maguire, who charged the Gárda with being a source of terror to the people. His words were: "A terrorising force, such as the Civic Guards." If Deputy Davin has any knowledge of such a force as that being in his constituency, or if any offence has been committed by the Civic Guard against the citizens, I think he ought to tell us. I know that Deputy Davin knows everything that happens in his constituency, and that I need not appeal to him a second time to tell the truth of the matter.

Surely the Deputy is not going to hold me responsible for what Deputy Maguire said?

On a point of order. Deputy Maguire made no such statement. He opened his speech by paying a tribute to the Gárda.

I will quote his exact words. He said: "People were living in terror of a force such as the Civic Guard is." Will the Deputy contradict that?

He was referring to individuals.

He instanced a case in support of that. I hope I am not doing him an injustice, because I do not want to—if he wishes to correct me, I am satisfied. In reply to that I say that I never heard of any such thing. Nothing has occurred in my constituency in connection with the Gárda as to which a charge of that description could be made.

I cannot say at the moment whether the words quoted by the Deputy are correct or not. What I did wish to convey was that there are people in County Leitrim who, if they are not living in terror of the Civic Guards, have a jolly good right to be living in terror of them.

Criminals everywhere are afraid.

I think the Deputy has proved exactly what I have said, although Deputy Moore wanted to apologise for him. Comparisons have been made between this force and the force that it replaced. Deputies have given figures and have gone back to 1911 and 1914. A good many things have happened since 1911. The traffic conditions of the country have changed very much. No one will admit that more readily than Deputy Moore. I would like to know how many members of the Civic Guard force are now employed in the cities and generally in the country in connection with our traffic conditions. The Minister will be able to answer that. It is also a fact that the war intervened; that the cost of living has gone up; that the value of money is on a different plane altogether from what it was. Is there anybody except the unfortunate agriculturist in the country receiving only the wages and salaries they received in 1911? I am prepared to argue that the conditions amongst the agricultural community to-day are not so secure and do not admit of so much profit as in 1911. But that does not alter the fact that we have grown into a system by which officials and people engaged in different classes of labour have very different wages from what they had in 1911.

I am not making any comment whether that is right or wrong but such is the fact and comparisons between the figures now and then are absolutely ridiculous. These figures are put forward in the hope that the people who read them, know nothing else. That is all I have got to say and I did not think I would have quite so much to say. I was brought to my feet by the speech of Deputy Maguire. I appeal to members for my own constituency and members of the Labour Party, who are generally considered to be neutral in those things to give their experience as distinct from members of political parties whom we know are absolutely unscrupulous as to what they say on these matters.

We have not been waiting until Deputy Gorey tells us what we ought to say. We have said it already and much better than Deputy Gorey.

I do not propose to debate the general question as to whether the Civic Guards are saints or sinners, but I ask the Minister for some information as to who is responsible for the activities of the Gárdaí under the Licensing Act of 1927. Very extraordinary cases have appeared in the Courts in reference to this Act. The evidence given in support of Reference Orders is very extraordinary in many instances. I do not suppose Deputies will believe this story but I refer them for confirmation of it to the "Wicklow People" of a month or six weeks ago. The Gárdaí applied for a Reference Order against a lady who keeps a public house in Rathdrum. The grounds of the application were not that she was guilty of any breaches of the Licensing Act. It was admitted that she was a model as a trader and that she was never charged with any offence. Now what was her offence in the eyes of the Gárdaí? That she did not keep Bass's ale. That is a very extraordinary thing that it should be an offence for an Irish trader not to keep English beer. There are a great many people in Rathdrum who do not admit that Bass's ale is necessary for health. Neither of the two doctors there had ever been known to recommend it to their patients. A great many people in this House, and in the country generally, have gone on fairly well through life without Bass's ale. It shows a curious irresponsibility, and I hope it does not show a certain vindictiveness on the part of the Gárdaí with reference to certain traders. I am at a loss to know what would be the cause of such vindictiveness, but there must be some reason for taking this prosecution in this way.

Was there a prosecution?

There was an application for a reference order. That is a new phrase which has come into the law, and the House must excuse a non-lawyer from not being familiar with legal language and procedure, but I think I have made clear what I am referring to. There were other cases where the Gárdaí were not able to support their applications with anything like reasonable evidence that an offence had been committed. There is a great deal of waste both of time and of money in connection with these applications. A considerable number of them have been refused by the justices on the ground that there was no satisfactory reason given for wanting to abolish the licences. I think it is a matter to which the Minister might well give a little attention. I hope, in replying, he will be able to explain how it came about that such a statement could be made by a person acting for the Government in a public court that it was an offence not to keep English beer, and that the lady was to be deprived of her means of living because of that deficiency.

I listened with great attention to the speech of Deputy Gorey. I believe he is an evil that must be endured.

You have not the cure anyhow.

You never know. I also heard Deputy Jasper Wolfe objecting to a statement that the Civic Guards were finding employment for the hangers on of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party. No doubt a large amount of employment is found for some gentlemen in the legal profession by the Civic Guards. These particular jobs seem to be the looking up of old Acts of Parliament about stopping horses on the bridges and things like that. On the question of the Vote before us, I do not wish to act in this matter in any partial spirit whatsoever. What I have to say is this: I was arrested by the Civic Guards at the time of the barrack raids——

How long ago is that?

In 1926.

Too far back. The expense of the Deputy's arrest is not in this Estimate.

Deputy Gorey was allowed to go back to the time people were shot before the Truce, and the Ceann Comhairle agreed with me when I said that it was an evil that had to be endured. What I wish to say is, that I was well treated by these gentlemen while in their charge, at least, by one side of the Gárdaí, at any rate, that is the uniformed force. My treatment by the so-called detective force was very different. But when we examine the speech of the gentlemen that we will have to call in future the joker of the pack, I mean the Minister for Agriculture, we find the price paid for the police force amounts to £3,793,000. The Minister for Agriculture says that what this force is for is to see to it that the people of this country have a right to do wrong.

He amplified that speech now by saying that the Army is there to see that the people have the right to do wrong. As I say, he amplified that by saying that one force is there to see that the people have the right to do wrong and that the other force is there to see that the people have the right to do right. I suggest that he is acting very unfairly to the Civic Guard in not providing them with arms like the Army, so that when two forces clash in their different duties they may have a fair fight. According to one member of the Executive Council, the policing of a piece of an island like this costs £3,793,000 between the Army and the Civic Guards, and the same Minister maintained that both forces were there to do the same duties. There are five Civic Guards stationed in my little parish, and they cost about £1,200 a year. Their salaries cost nearly £1,000 a year, but their duties are very light.

Would the Deputy inform us where he gets the £3,000,000?

That is the bother of having babies in the House. I have already stated that a member of the Executive Council has given it as his definite opinion that the Army is there as a police force, while the Civic Guard are there for the same purpose. If the Deputy had intelligence enough, or if he went to the Minister for Education, he would be able to add the two sums together.

Are we dealing with £3,000,000 or £1,000,000 in this Estimate? Have commonsense, lad.

We were dealing with Deputy Corry's parish.

I consider that an expenditure of £988 in salaries and £200 in allowances for Civic Guards in one country parish is too much, and I think it is time that there was a change in that respect. I remember in the old days it was urged by Sinn Fein that we could do with half the police force, and I think that in the present state of transport we could have police stations a little further away than a couple of miles. To have five Civic Guards in a small parish is, in my opinion, too thick, especially when they live in a mansion which costs £1,550. In my constituency some time ago the C.I.D. made a special set on one individual. That was about two years ago.

Keep to the present date.

I will bring it down to the present date. Seven policemen were more or less permanently employed on the job of chasing him for nearly two years, and, if their statements are to be believed, he was chasing them for about the same period up and down the country until a month ago when they succeeded in capturing him. It was then decided that the charges in respect of which they wanted him were to be dropped, although it cost £6,092, because that was the salary paid to these gentlemen during their two years' chase.

Does that include travelling allowances?

Might I ask Deputy Corry the name of that particular individual?

Cornelius Healy, better known as "The One-Eyed Gunner." After chasing him for two years they captured him, and then dropped the charges on which they were chasing him. They said that they wanted him first for a raid on a police barracks, and then there was a case of a shot being fired into a dance hall.

What has he been charged with?

With attempting to escape.

Was he not charged with attempting to kill?

No; with attempting to escape. The capture of this terrible individual by a force of seven men has cost the taxpayers £6,092. I am very anxious to make clear the distinction between the C.I.D. and the Gárda, but it is rather surprising when we hear about the confidence which the people have in the police force to find that one individual can be in a parish for two years without being captured, although seven men have been constantly after him. Now I come to the question of persecution. There is one young man in Cobh whose house has been raided about eighty times during the past four months. The police go up at seven o'clock in the morning and search his house for documents, but, finding none, they come back again at 10.30 a.m., and return again at dinner hour for another search for documents. I put it to any sensibly-minded Deputy, is there any individual who would be idiot enough to keep documents in his house after it had been raided in the morning, knowing that it would be raided again later on? That is a system of persecution which is being brought against certain individuals for the purpose of driving them out of the country. It is a system which the Minister should look into and put an end to. This constant raiding of houses by any force of men is unjust to any citizen. Deputy Gorey was good enough to allude to salaries, and to say that the farming community were the only people whose salaries were back to the pre-war rate. I seriously suggest that the farming community, who apparently are to be the beast of burden for everything in this country, cannot afford to pay over £3,000,000 for policing a piece of an island. If the Executive Council are going to continue that game, they will find that they will turn even Deputy Gorey's late party against them, and then it will be all up.

Deputy Gorey invited members of this part of the House to make a contribution to the debate. Our attitude to the Vote under discussion and the Gárdaí as a force has been clearly stated by Deputy Davin this evening. So far as I personally am concerned, I would like to avail of this opportunity to say that in my opinion the work of the Guards is done as well as it could be done under the circumstances. I had not the advantage of hearing many of the speeches this evening, but I gathered from those that I did hear that there was a suggestion that the wages of the Guards should be reduced. I think that would be undesirable, in view of the fact that members of that force suffered a reduction in wages not so long ago. I think Deputy Gorey was wrong in saying that the wages of a Guard is £3 10s. a week. I think it is £3 as a result of a reduction made some time ago.

Somebody referred to the action of the Guards in connection with elections. I would like to say that, so far as I know it, the attitude of the Guards at election times has been scrupulously impartial, and I never had an experience other than that of courtesy and kindness from them anywhere any time I had occasion to meet them. I have a recollection, however, of an experience not so pleasant when, on behalf of a candidate in 1922, I took part in the elections, and I remember that we had at that election a police force, and from the conversations I had with men alleged to be on police duty on that occasion, I learned that their particular duty was to vote for particular candidates. The people who were supposed to be police officers at that election told me that they had voted 27 or 28 times during the election. That is an experience which we should get rid of.

I saw them at it, too.

There should be a force that would be strictly impartial and prepared to serve under any Government set up by the people in this country. A plea has been made for amalgamation or closing down of certain police stations. I can only give my own experience in that connection, and say that whenever the authorities signified their intention of closing certain stations in my constituency, I found that when the news of that intention got abroad I and other Deputies in the area were handed very extensively-signed petitions against the proposal. The Minister had his way, however, on nearly every occasion when stations were closed. There was an extensive local feeling against the closing of the stations on the ground that it would not be desirable. I must say that I have never experienced any display of bias on the part of the Guards, and I never saw any sign of terrorism attempted to be exercised over any section of the community. I think it only right that that should be stated.

In order to correct, perhaps, a wrong impression in the House about the position in Leitrim I think it well as a representative who has always received the votes of the majority of the people in that county at every election since 1918 that I should assure the House that there are law-abiding citizens in that county. I would remind Deputies also that Seán MacDermott was a native of County Leitrim and that the people there are very proud of that fact. Leitrim is ordinarily a law-abiding county and the majority of the people are glad that certain wrong-doers in our midst are afraid of the Civic Guard. Deputy Maguire has endeavoured to create an impression in this House that the people there are living in terror of the Guards and that the position there is that no law-abiding citizen has any respect for them. I think it is a tribute to the Guards that every person of any responsibility who stands for decent Government recognises that in the difficult circumstances under which the Guards were recruited and during the transition period over which they had to operate a wonderful transformation has taken place in that county. I daresay we would not like to go back on the history of the last few years, but we know that Leitrim being rather a backward county became a hiding ground for many people who went on the run from other counties. Leitrim being a hilly county was naturally a safe hiding place and there were portions of that county where trains could not pass safely and where it was not safe for banks to transfer money from one portion to another. There were a good many bank robberies.

And embezzlements.

We had hold-ups at fairs, but the impartial administration in the county has made the position such that there are now no hold-ups at fairs, the ordinary business of the county is being carried on and it is all due to the careful administration of the law in the county. The fact that so much money is being spent on our Guards, on the administration of the law and enforcing order in every part of the Saorstát is a deplorable fact, but we cannot dissociate it from the big fact that that is due to the will of the majority of the people being challenged persistently up to recently and for that reason there had to be an abnormal number of Civic Guards in the country. That is the true position and it is ridiculous for any Deputy to stand up and pretend that he does not know the reason for such a state of affairs.

I can imagine when I go back to Manorhamilton or Carrick-on-Shannon the broad smile that will meet me, and people will say: "Was not that outrageous conduct on the part of Deputy Holt and Deputy Maguire," and I can imagine people saying that they are glad that a certain element in County Leitrim is afraid of the police.


The Minister for Justice, to conclude.

Does Deputy MacEntee desire to speak?

I understand that the House is now in Committee, and I submit to you that, as the Minister for Justice did not move the Vote, he is not entitled to conclude the debate. We feel that we have the right to follow the Minister after he has answered the criticisms which have already been passed on his administration, and then that the Minister who has made himself responsible for the motion in the House should conclude the debate.

One thing is that a man can bring a horse to the water, but it requires much more than one man to make him drink, so that I think that in that respect whether I speak now or subsequently is rather a matter in my own discretion. Now, this has been in some respects a very interesting debate. I do not use the word "interesting" in the sense that there was a complete absence of dullness in the criticisms——

On a point of order. The point of order that was raised by Deputy MacEntee has not been decided. If the debate is to go on after the Minister for Justice has replied we had better know it now.

There is no necessity.

I ask you to rule on the point.

I would put it to you this way, as a point of order: Under what rule of the House has any Minister a right to conclude? In the Standing Orders, as far as I understand, there is a proper procedure, and one single procedure only, for closing a debate, and unless and until that procedure is invoked I suggest that there is no machinery whatever to enable the Minister to get up and conclude a debate, except with the consent of the House.

I understand Deputy MacEntee's suggestion is that the Minister should speak and that the debate should continue. Up to what point?

Until the Minister for Finance closes it.

The practice in Committee on the Estimates is, of course, that the Minister for Finance, or some other Minister not being the Minister in charge of the Estimate, moves the motion. The Minister in charge of the Estimate in this case is the Minister for Justice. The debate goes on, and usually, as a matter of practice, the Minister in charge concludes the debate. The suggestion that the Minister in charge of the Estimate should intervene now to restart the debate would, I think, introduce a practice that would be very undesirable. There is nothing in the Standing Orders about this matter, but as a matter of practice, a debate on a particular Estimate of this kind, particularly when the debate has been going on general lines, must be concluded at some particular point, and that has always been taken to be the point at which the Minister in charge of the Estimate replies. Now the Minister may intervene at this point, and if Deputies assert the right to speak after the Minister, of course they may do so. That would leave us in this position, that there is no way after that of saying, "Now the debate is going to conclude," until nobody wants to offer any further remarks on the subject, and then, of sheer weariness, the debate ends. That has not been hitherto followed.

On a point or order, I suggest that when the definite procedure for a certain purpose is laid down in the rules it is assumed that no other procedure will be used. There is one procedure in this House for bringing a debate to a close against the will of the minority, and that is the closure.

The statement that because the closure is provided for in the Standing Orders, no other method of concluding a debate can be used, needs no comment. But in any event, if the Minister for Justice decides to speak now he may. It has to be remembered by Deputies on both sides of the House that the Minister is now defending the Estimate, that some other Minister at some other time will be defending this or some other Estimate, and as a matter of practice for the Minister, whoever he may be at the time, and for the House, the practice that has been followed has been satisfactory. If there is no consent for the Minister to conclude now, I assume the position is that Deputy MacEntee desires to speak, and desires to speak after the Minister. In other words, he desires to have the last word.

No. As the discussion is in Committee, if the Minister desires to have the last word he can reply to the speeches which are made from these benches after he has made his speech now.

I understand the suggestion perfectly. It is a kind of recurring decimal suggestion.

With all possible respect, the Standing Order says that it is not a recurring decimal. The recurring decimal can only recur three times.

The Deputy has not read the Standing Order.

Will the Deputy quote the Standing Order about the three times?

I understand that a Deputy can speak for ten minutes in Committee, and more than once. Is that not so?

I think the Deputy has got the wrong book. He has the first edition.

It is out of date. I will intervene for one moment to say that we have spent something like sixty hours on the Estimates this year. The Estimates, with the Appropriation Bill, will require to be passed by the 1st December if we are to have money to carry on these services, and that is a consideration that Deputies ought to bear in mind, in view of the fact that something like forty more Estimates have got to be considered.

If it would convenience the Minister I am prepared to go on now. At the same time I would like to say, with all due respect to my friend Deputy Flinn, that we would not like the Minister to be a recurring decimal in more than two places. I move to report progress.

Progress ordered to be reported.

The Dáil went out of Committee.
Progress reported, the Committee to sit again to-morrow.
The Dáil adjourned at 10.28 p.m.