We have heard very much the same kind of arguments on this Vote as we heard on previous occasions, and I do not suppose that there is anything very new that I can say in reply to them. Deputy de Valera's talk about the other uses that could be made of this money makes no impression on me. I do not believe that it represents his point of view. There is nothing in his attitude on other questions that indicates that any kind of expenditure which does not directly give employment to the poor, shall we say, is to be condemned. There are many kinds of expenditure which are in their nature essentially the same as the expenditure on the Governor-General that have the support of Deputy de Valera and of the Fianna Fáil Party. The expenditure on, say, foreign representation is essentially expenditure of the same nature. It does not give employment to those who are in need in the congested districts or in our cities. The returns that it gives to the nation, though important, are not returns that can be measured by direct economic results. Therefore, I regard the attack made by Deputy de Valera on this Vote as simply the old attack on the Treaty, and I do not propose to deal with that at all.
I would say, in passing, that it is ridiculous to suggest that if this Vote were not here some two hundred people might be given employment who are unemployed now. This money goes down through the hands of the Governor-General, and most of it gives employment. The Deputy was not merely talking about the money in this Vote, but about cognate expenditure. A great deal of that money gives employment, and probably employment not very different from the employment it would give if it were not taken out of the taxpayers' pockets or if it were expended directly on employment.
I have stated before that my view is that the expenditure on this office is not excessive. I do not think it is possible to fix a standard of expenditure for this office by reference to expenditure in other countries, though we might look at the expenditure in other countries as affording us some guidance. I do think that if there were different circumstances politically, if there were the full acceptance of the Treaty and the full acceptance of this office, which I think will come, from the national point of view more money could usefully be spent on it, money which would not, as the Deputy would perhaps pretend, be denationalising in its effect but would be the opposite. However, that is a matter, perhaps, for argument at some future time.
Deputy O'Kelly said that when the Treaty was passed various people had the view that everything possible should be done to minimise the office of the Governor-General, and that everything possible should be done to keep him, as it were, in the background. I have no doubt that a great many people held that view, but those who held that view believed that we would have appointed as Governor-General from time to time some English peer whose influence in the country would be a denationalising influence, and for that reason they took up the attitude that they did take up. I do not think that even those of us who took the most optimistic view at the time of the Treaty were at all sure that we would have by now reached the position which has actually been reached. where the Governor-General is definitely the nominee of the Government here, where he is appointed solely on their recommendation, appointed without consultation with and without having any regard to the wishes or the desires of the Government in England. I am certain that my own view of the office of Governor-General is different, because the position is what it is, from the view I would have taken of the office of Governor-General if the appointment had been in reality made by the British Government, and if the Governor-General had been a stranger, sent into our midst for a period.
I need hardly deal with the details of the Vote. We were bound to provide a salary for the Governor-General, and in negotiating with the British after the Treaty we accepted for the Governor-General the salary of the Governor-General of Australia. I think, strictly speaking, by the Treaty we could have been held to be bound to provide a salary equal to the salary of the Governor-General of Canada, but it was agreed that the salary should be the same as that of the Governor-General of Australia. We were bound to provide not merely a salary but an establishment. If Deputies would consider this matter in the ordinary way, instead of using it as a means of starting the old arguments about the Treaty, I do not think that they would regard the amount as excessive. Certainly it would be impossible for anybody to maintain the sort of establishment that it is necessary for the Governor-General to maintain, if he is to discharge any of the duties of an official host, on the salary that is provided. The other sums are certainly required.
We have here the beginning of a diplomatic corps. We are going to have additional ministers appointed here shortly, and it is possible that ultimately there will be a greater number in that diplomatic corps than can be foreseen now. I have no intimation that it is going to happen immediately; I have no official intimation at all about it, but I think it is likely that there will be a British representative on a diplomatic basis appointed here. We are certainly going to have an addition to the American representation here, we will have a Papal representative shortly, and we will have French and German Ministers. There will be expenditure by those people on hospitality and on certain types of social activities, and in my opinion it would be against the public interest if there was no public officer here who could do some of these things on behalf of the Free State. In other countries where much lesser sums than that voted here may appear clearly on the face of the Estimate, for similar purposes, in reality much greater sums may be spent. Our form of Estimates enable Deputies to see the full expenditure. In various other countries it is not possible for anybody but an expert, and, in fact, in some of them I doubt if it is possible, even for an expert, to see what the cost is. Various sorts of activities are charged under different Votes and under a variety of headings that make it impossible to see what the actual outlay is.