In Committee on Finance. - Vote 3—Department of the President of the Executive Council.

I move:

Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar £7,010 chun slánuithe na suime is gá chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1934, chun Tuarastail agus Costaisí Roinn Uachtarán na hArd-Comhairle.

That a sum not exceeding £7,010 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, 1934, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Department of the President of the Executive Council.

Is the Minister adopting the usual practice on this Vote and offering no explanation of policy?

Time is precious.

We have to take it then that the Executive Council are pursuing a deliberate policy of not explaining to this House or to the country what their policy is on certain matters. This is one of the most important Estimates we have to consider, because the policy for which the President stands is involved in this particular Estimate. Yet, though the country has suffered from that policy for 12 months, since we last had an opportunity of discussing the Estimate for this Department, the Government will not vouchsafe any view on some of the most important aspects of their policy—aspects with which the country is deeply concerned and in which it is vitally interested. What is precisely the policy of the President on the issue which has been most in the minds of the people of this country for the last eight or nine months? I doubt if anybody knows it. The President himself knows it? I wonder whether the members of the Executive Council know it. We had, during the past month, glaring examples of flagrantly contradictory statements made in this regard by the Minister for Agriculture and by the President. It will be in the recollection of many of the Deputies present how, some few weeks ago, the Minister for Agriculture astonished this House by saying the Government had found markets which would replace the British market we had lost. Apparently, the head of the Executive Council knew nothing about them. I am not surprised.

Either the Minister for Agriculture did not know what he was talking about or, else, the President is not aware of what his Ministers are doing. We had a confession on this matter from the President the other day. When I gave him an opportunity of dealing with the question, he said he had dealt with it and that I was not present. I was present but it never struck me the the President was referring to the few words he then uttered. I thought he was referring to his opening statement. In reality, he had not dealt with the question of markets. So far as he mentioned them, what he said was in complete contradiction, so far as the principal countries of Europe are concerned, with what the Minister said. There may be countries in Europe in which we have not representatives and in which we are likely to have markets. That may be so of the east of Europe and of the south of Europe, but the President did not even mention that markets were available there. What he did say, so far as his remarks can be paraphrased, was that the position was most unsatisfactory, that, in fact, unless these countries mended their ways, so far as we were concerned, and bought more from us, serious steps would have to be taken.

That does not suggest that markets have been found. Yet what was the foundation of the play made here by the Minister for Agriculture when he said that such markets had been found? Where are they? What is the worth of them? There are very few matters agitating this country at the present moment—they are not much agitating another country—so much as the policy for which the President is responsible, the policy of ill-will prevailing now between the two countries and the two Governments, the policy of the economic war. It is quite evident that supporters of every Party are seriously concerned with that particular matter. Why else the rumour we have heard, about once every two months, since this war started, that it was going to be settled? Rumours have been assiduously circulated. Almost every two months during the last year rumours have been put about that there was going to be a settlement. There was not a tittle of foundation for these rumours, not one bit of justification for Ministerial statements here and in the Seanad that a settlement might be expected, or for the alternative statements that markets had been found. Why, then, were the rumours put about? The rumours were put about because the Deputies of every Party, the Deputies of the Fianna Fáil Party quite as much as the Deputies on this side of the House, realise that the people want the matter settled. Else there was no point in putting the rumours about. There were rumours put about some six weeks ago.

Who put them about?

The President will keep order. He is too much like a caricature of a schoolmaster, continually asking footy points. I am making a speech and the President has a habit of continually interrupting, saying: "Prove it,""Where is your proof?""What can you quote from?" I am satisfied with what the people in the country know and not with what the President knows or appears to deny. We have had many denials from him in the last couple of days and we know the value of them. I am quite satisfied the people in this country know the rumours have been put about.

The grunter is at it now. I understand he is a particular protégé of the President. These rumours have been circulated in order to keep up the spirits of the supporters of the Fianna Fáil Party. I am bringing that forward as proof of the statement I made that everybody in this country is vitally interested in a settlement of this question and it is nothing less than a scandal—and we have had many from the President's Party and from himself within the last couple of weeks—that this Vote should be introduced without any attempt at justification, without any statement of policy from the President. We cannot regard the few words from the Minister for Finance as an appropriate introduction of this Vote. Again, if we see fit, we shall have to exercise our privileges of treating this strictly as a Committee Stage, and Deputies on this side of the House will exercise their rights and continue the discussion even when we have heard what the Ministerial policy is.

What we do want to know because, unfortunately, the country is in complete ignorance on the matter, is whether there is any real wish—I do not mean a wish that means nothing, but any real practical wish—any real desire, on the part of the President to settle this dispute. I suggest that anybody who throws his mind back on the history of this dispute, a dispute that has meant such a lot of misfortune and disaster for this country, will see that there is unfortunately—at least it is the only evidence we have—no such desire on the part of the President. Every time, as days and months went by, we found him further away from a settlement. Every conference and every negotiation he entered into found him further away from a settlement, putting up new difficulties. That was so last October and last November when he put up his extraordinary additional payment. That was so when, during the election, we had a new barrier put up in the way of a settlement, namely, that until the Boundary was brushed aside there could be no settlement.

What is wrong with that?

I am stating the policy of the President.

I thought you did not know anything about it?

Not in so far as any statement of the President is concerned. Now, Deputy Cleary is a bit—well, I would be very slow to say what I think of him.

There are, unfortunately, certain limitations. He is one of the few Deputies that I feel inclined to say certain things about.

The Deputy is privileged.

I will say this much, that I think it would require a miracle of Divine providence to raise him to the lowest depths of degradation. The policy, as revealed by actions and not as explained by the Minister, has been one of putting more and more obstacles in the way of a settlement of this matter. I suggest the whole future of the country is being deliberately destroyed by the man who thinks he has a mission so far as this country is concerned; that he is appointed to carry through a certain policy in this country, no matter what it costs the country in the way of pauperisation and degradation. I suggest that it is time the people of the country are not asked merely to rely on inferences that they are compelled to draw from the actions of the President and from the rumours that are continually being spread about the country, and that we should have a plain and definite statement of policy from the Government.

They have their opportunity on this particular Vote. I think it is nothing less than a continuation of their usual cruel and callous treatment of this nation—the way in which rumour has been put about practically every two months and the way in which this country has been treated by that particular Party, just as a very well-known domestic animal is treated by putting a carrot before it. That has been the policy of these apostles of nationality opposite. They have been fooling the country in that particular for 12 months. I believe the great bulk of the people who support every Party in this House want a settlement.

They do not want surrender.

The Deputy intelligent.

He looks it.

I understand he is a particular protégé of the President. He is worthy of it.

He is a true type of the Party.

I suggest that after 12 months of that policy and within a month of the adjournment this is the last Vote on which the Executive Council has an opportunity of explaining its action, its policy, and saying precisely where it stands. I do not want heroics from the Deputy from the Mountains. I want a plain commonsense statement whether there will be any effort made to have a settlement or not, whether the mere presence of that great negotiator, Senator Connolly, in London, and the opportunity he has of coming into daily contact with those with whom we are in dispute, has been utilised. Let the country know where we stand. I will confess that it is by no means easy to unravel any statements of the President, or to pin him down to anything. Tht only statement that he was pinned down to to-night was, unfortunately, not heard by the bulk of the House, namely, a denial. The opportunity for repeating it was not taken. We know the extreme difficulty, the impossibility, in fact, that he finds in making a definite statement. That one was definite. Unfortunately, with unusual modesty on his part, he deprived the House of an opportunity of hearing it fully. We accept, as we are bound to accept—and so far as the individual is concerned we willingly accept—the statement of the Leas-Cheann Comhairle in regard to it. So far as policy is concerned, when the President gets up to make a statement I confess that the House is a little more confused after he has been speaking about it for some time than it was before he got up. Still, I do suggest that he should explain how it was that his Minister for Agriculture was able to state that we had markets abroad, markets apparently—because that was the significance and application of the statement—that would compensate us for the market which we had lost. Consequently, I think an opportunity should be taken of stating what the policy of the Government is on the economic war, and whether they are anxious to take, or have recently taken, any steps towards a settlement.

I wish to take this opportunity of making some comments upon the manner in which the President has exercised the duties of his office. I hope that he will not wait until concluding the discussion on this Estimate to get up and tell us something about it. I hope that he will give an opportunity to some of us to comment on what he has to say, and possibly to make some suggestions which even he might conceivably find useful. I confess to having a weakness for the President. In the first place he was a great friend of one of the men I most liked and admired among those I ever knew. In the second place I have been influenced, as I think most people who came into contact with him have been influenced, by his courtesy and his charm and his dignity. Nevertheless, I feel obliged to say about him now what I said about him once in this House already that I disagree with practically everything he has done in the course of his public life, and that I do not believe any man since Cromwell has inflicted more harm on this country.

[Interruptions.]

I said in speaking upon the question of the election of the President that in view of his special qualities, and in view of the hold that he undoubtedly possessed— and still possesses, though in a very much lesser degree—over the hearts of a large section of the people of this country, he was a potential asset of tremendous value. I still think so, in spite of what I think about his past actions. When I was a child learning Church history I used to be taught that the fact that the Church had survived the immoralities of certain mediæval Popes was one of the strongest proofs of its divine origin; and the mere fact that the President's reputation and position have survived the appalling injuries he has inflicted upon this country is very good proof that he could be worth something tremendous to this country.

Proof of his divine mission!

Somehow or other he remains a potential asset, with the accent on the word potential, and I am terribly afraid that the accent will remain on the word "potential" until the end of the chapter.

There are two particular matters that I wish to refer to in commenting on his performance of the duties of his office. One is that which has been referred to by Deputy Professor O'Sullivan, that is his attitude towards the question of settling the economic war. The President put in an interjection just now as to who it was started rumours a short time ago that a settlement was coming. As far as I am concerned, those rumours reached me from two directions and both directions were Fianna Fáil. One of them was a Deputy sitting on those benches at the present moment, who gave me to understand in the month of May that from what he knew a settlement was probable not merely at the Economic Conference, but even before the Economic Conference began.

And that it would have a good effect on the local elections.

Well, that point was not stressed to me. It is perfectly true that those rumours represented the general desire of this country, and still represent the general desire of this country. What is the President doing, or what has the President done to bring about a settlement? Why is he sitting here at all? Why is he not over in London? Is not that where he would be doing some good at the present moment? Why is he not over in London trying to make a settlement? This matter could have been dealt with, as has been frequently pointed out, in two ways, by negotiation—by making a business offer, in other words—or by arbitration. I maintain that the President has blocked both methods. From all we can hear, he blocked the negotiation method completely during the Ottawa Conference. The negotiation method was made impossible in connection with the Economic Conference now sitting, and my hopes of anything being accomplished for us at that Conference were almost completely shattered when I read the speech which the President made in Paris on his way back from Rome, a speech so aggressive and so obviously calculated to excite annoyance among the British that it was impossible to think that at the time he was making it he could have had any serious desire that a settlement should be attempted by negotiation in connection with the present Economic Conference.

What about arbitration? I must admit that at first I was impressed when the President announced in this House that he had accepted the principle of arbitration, and that the only thing he insisted on was that it should be a fair tribunal and not a tribunal comparable to the Feetham Tribunal. I was impressed by that. I think now I was "taken in" by it. I think he never had the slightest desire for arbitration of any kind. He has never allowed this arbitration question to be brought down to a narrow issue. He has refused to allow it to be brought down even to the question of who should be chairman, or from what nation the chairman should be drawn. I made an attempt last year, as he will remember, to get him to go as far as to say that the delegates from the Irish Free State would be Irish Nationals. Surely that was not an unreasonable proposition to expect him to agree to. He would not even agree to that, and I think the reason was that if he agreed to that it would bring the matter at issue down to the narrow question of a chairman, and he was afraid that by some means or other a reasonable proposition with regard to the chairman might be put forward, which he would be practically bound to accept. I can see no evidence that he really wanted arbitration. I am convinced that if he had really wanted arbitration, means could have been obtained for bringing it about. Now what I am saying about his attitude towards a settlement to-night is no more confined to my personal opinion than it is to the personal opinion of Deputy Professor O'Sullivan. It is becoming the general feeling in the country that the individual who is standing in the way of a settlement is the President. The bulk of his own followers want a settlement and would like to see some efforts made to bring it about. It is perfectly certain that at the last general election the majority of the people who supported Fianna Fáil did so because they erroneously believed that the President had not been given a fair chance to get a settlement, and that they by returning him to power again would give him that fair chance, and that then they might expect to see results. These people were absolute mugs just as I am afraid I was a mug when I thought that he seriously desired arbitration in any shape or form.

Heaven knows the agricultural industry has suffered enough now and I keep hoping against hope that even at this late hour the President will take some steps towards bringing about an accommodation; and there is every reason to believe the people on the other side would be willing to contribute to its coming about. Of course I agree it is not a suitable moment for them to make an accommodation with us, if we make jingo speeches or foolish declarations; I can see that there is a special difficulty for example in connection with India. We can see that Mr. Baldwin is having trouble with his die-hards about India, and that he probably would not be in a position to take on more trouble with his die-hards about an Irish accommodation. Therefore it is necessary that if an Irish accommodation is to be brought about, we should refrain from making the position impossible by beating the war drums. I do not think it is a difficulty which a reasonable man should not be able to overcome.

I pass from the economic war to another matter in which I have a serious complaint to make of the conduct of the President. This is the matter of individual liberty here in Ireland. I have referred to the subject already on the Vote for the Minister for Justice. I then said that I would refer to it again when the Vote for the President's office came to be discussed. We have in this country at the present time two semi-military bodies. There is a great difference between these two bodies; one exists for the express and clear purpose of crushing individual liberty and not only for the express purpose of doing that, but having largely achieved that purpose. I have had my own individual liberty interfered with by the members of the body calling itself the I.R.A. The other body came into existence for the express object of defending liberty for the individual, not suppressing it, and for securing freedom of speech, and on the whole I consider that it has done a useful and perhaps absolutely indispensable service. I doubt very much whether there would have been anything like freedom of speech at the last general election had it not been for the existence of that body.

Notwithstanding that, I am frankly going to say that I do not like its existence in principle, because I do not like the existence of any political army in principle and I am exceedingly nervous that developments may occur here such as occurred in Germany where you had a number of political armies that in course of time, especially after they started wearing uniforms, were breaking each other's heads and committing the most appalling outrages on inoffensive citizens. The A.C.A. in its present form came into existence as the result of the I.R.A., just as the Southern Volunteers, before the European war, came into existence as the result of the Ulster Volunteers. One violence produces another. One licence produces another.

Now what has the President done to prevent this state of things arising? What has he done to bring about a situation in which each individual citizen can be the captain of his own soul, can be secure of his own spiritual and physical liberty and need have no fear of any bullying by organised bodies of tyrannisers? What has he done to prevent military recruiting of any kind? Has he ever said since he came into office, he who carries so much weight with the youth of the country, has he ever said to or advised any young man to stay out of these bodies? If he has I have never heard him nor have I seen him reported as having said so. I allege that there are large numbers of the President's followers who are glad to see this organisation in existence and who do not wish it to be discouraged. They wish it indeed to refrain from interfering with them, to refrain from making trouble during their period of power, but they want it to be there too as— to use an image that I used before— a mastiff on a chain that can be let out whenever they think a suitable time comes for it to be let out. It is a force that they want to be there in case the time arrives for them to make use of it for their own purposes.

I suggest to the President that that is not worthy of him and that it is not worthy of the reputation that he has gained in foreign countries which he has been visiting: a reputation as being a man in touch with world ideas and with world polities, not living in isolation, but capable of drawing lessons from elsewhere, a man who wishes this country to be considered on a level with any other country, a man who wishes this country to be a first-class country with first-class ideas of liberty, of honesty, decency, freedom of speech and freedom of thought. It is not worthy of him to continue to allow this state of things to develop. I submit to his earnest attention that besides taking the steps that he ought to have taken long ago to bring an end to the economic conflict which is absolutely ruining the main industry of this country, he should also take steps to bring about a healthy state of public opinion and put an end to this marching and counter-marching and let us live like men in other lands under conditions of liberty and decency and with freedom of speech.

The President rose.

The President to conclude.

Who wants to speak?

Does the President not want anyone to speak after him? The President is not concluding.

There was a custom here, whether it was good or bad, set by our predecessors. It is suggested now that we should have at the start the explanation of the Government's policy. I would like if Deputy O'Sullivan would point out an instance in which on the Vote for the President's office Government policy was set out at the beginning. It is possible that it was set out as the result of criticism at the end. As far as our policy is concerned, there is no need to set it out. It was set out to the electorate on two occasions within a year and a half. In the election in which we were first returned we told the people in very definite terms what our policy was; and in the first year of office we proceeded to carry it out as rapidly as we could. At the end of that period we went to the people, having done and having started that policy in certain respects, and asked the people to return us again in order to complete that policy both in regard to our economic programme and in regard to the question of external relations, which has been the subject of remarks by the two speakers who have just spoken.

It is very interesting to hear these Deputies talk about making settlements. Of course, we know they are geniuses. They are wonderful people these, who can tell you at election time that within three days they will make a settlement. I remember reading a document of Deputy MacDermot's in Athlone which he published at that time telling us that it could be done. I remember asking him how it could be done. Of course, all we have to do is to go over to England and say: "Dear Mr. Thomas, I am really very fond of you; won't you make a settlement so that I can go back to the Irish people and tell them what a great fellow I am?" It is most interesting to hear them talk and say that they are going to make a settlement in three days, but they never told the people on what terms the settlement would be made. I could make a settlement quite easily in the sense of making a settlement satisfactory to the British, but we want a settlement that would be consistent with the rights of the Irish people; and I suggest that the only way in which that settlement can be got is by the Irish people showing that they will not have any other kind of settlement, and that is what they have been doing.

Might I save time if I put this question to the President? Has no compromise ever been offered by the British?

I suppose the Deputy is referring to Ottawa.

Has any compromise ever been offered?

I have heard Ottawa mentioned numbers of times here. Deputy Mulcahy has mentioned it two or three times. He has got his dictaphone somewhere about. Will he tell us what is this Ottawa business he spoke about?

Will the President tell us what I said about Ottawa?

I know that Deputy Mulcahy mentioned it on a former occasion.

What did I say about it?

The Deputy suggested that I somehow blocked the settlement there.

I am prepared to hear the President on the subject even if I never said anything about it.

I should love to hear what the Deputies on the other side have to say about it because all I have ever heard is statements and suggestions that are false.

Tell us the truth then.

I cannot tell it until I know what you want.

We want the truth.

The truth about what?

The truth about Ottawa.

Am I to tell you everything that happened at Ottawa?

The main thing will do.

What is that?

I do not know. I only know that it is like the rumours Deputies are always talking about. Of course I am only a mere schoolmaster when I ask them where did these rumours originate. I think that when people make suggestions of that——

Is this another lecture?

——they might at least indicate where they got them so that somebody might correct them. They say "tell the truth." Am I to start and tell all the truth of the history, let us say, of the last ten years? The truth with regard to what?

With regard to Ottawa.

Let us hear a definite statement.

The suggestion is being made that I stated here that there was something about Ottawa that would be worth hearing. Let the President mention a single case when I mentioned in this House that any proposals were made at Ottawa.

The Deputy's statement in regard to other things was quite obvious.

What other things? The President is quoting me.

I am quoting the Deputy because he is an adept at making statements of that sort without any foundation for them.

Would the President mention any occasion upon which I made a suggestion that would lead him to understand that I was suggesting that there could have been a possibility of agreement at Ottawa?

The suggestion that the Deputy has just quoted. It is so clear in his mind and he did it so very deliberately that he remembers even the very phrase he used after a number of months.

All I can say is that this is a good foggy start.

It started in a fog, apparently, and it has continued in it. It is the sort of a smoke-screen about which his colleague spoke on a former occasion. That is the fog that the Deputy is a good hand at raising when he wants to.

I thinks this refers to you, Deputy O'Sullivan.

I do not think so.

The suggestion was that somehow I stood in the way, and blocked some settlement that was made at Ottawa. I may be wrong with regard to Deputy MacDermot, but I think he suggested something of that sort also. Will any Deputy tell us definitely in what manner it is suggested that I stopped a settlement? There was no such offer of a settlement at Ottawa or anywhere else. The only offer of a settlement we have ever got is that we should go into a Dominion court, and equally we have said definitely "No." This is the only offer we have ever got. Mr. Thomas, of course, talks of the open door. There is a very open door here, too; but in our regard, we believe that these moneys are rightfully ours, and we are not going to pay until it is proved very definitely that they are due from us. That is our position, and there will be no settlement until it is clearly understood on the other side that that is our attitude, and that it is the attitude of the vast majority of the Irish people. Deputy MacDermot went around suggesting that if we were prepared to pay £15,000,000 or £20,000,000, a settlement could be made on that basis, and because Deputy MacDermot thinks that by talking softly like that to the British we will be able to make a settlement, is there any reason for us to believe that a settlement can be made on that basis? Why is it that we have got to be offering all the time? Is it not time now, one would think, that an offer ought to come from the other side?

Whenever a suggestion of negotiation was made we responded, and I, for one, am not going to respond again, simply to sit on the opposite side of the table, until I see that there is something going to come out of it. We went over several times, and we have something better to do than giving each other's points of view ten times across a table. Everybody know what the question is. What is involved is that payments of £5,250,000 roughly were being made out of this country, and have been made for years, and wrongly made, made without the reason why being put either before this House or the Irish people; made on the basis of a settlement, the terms of which were never before this House. Because they were not before this House, and were not ratified by this House, and because they were unjust payments fundamentally, we do not propose to make these payments, or to continue to make them. Over £50,000,000 of Irish money has already been paid during the period of the previous Administration. If justice were done, what we should be looking for is a return of this £50,000,000 or the greater part of it now. Why should we go and make an offer? If a man has got property which he believes is his own, what is the proper thing for him to do? To hold it. If anybody else has a claim to it, let him make good that claim. Our policy, as was suggested, is not one of ill-will. Of course, it was suggested, by those who wanted to misrepresent the Irish people, that the age-old conflict between this country and Great Britain was due to Irish ill-will. Because the Irish people stood up for their own rights, because they said the British had no right, good, bad, or indifferent, to any part of this country, because they said that which was a fact, they were abused by other people, who said: "This is simply hatred of England." I do not believe the Irish people who struggled against England at any time hated her in that sense. They hated iniquity and domination by a stranger and their efforts were directed to getting rid of that. The Irish people have never been the aggressors in that fight. Never throughout their history have they been the aggressors.

What right have the British in this country? What right have they to demand these moneys from us? I say they have none. As long, at any rate, as we are here representing the Irish people, we are not going to recognise that they have any right to these moneys. They say they have. Then let them prove they are right in an impartial court, if they have.

Is money the only difficulty?

Money is the only difficulty that we have immediately raised, anyhow, at the moment—at the moment, because there is a bigger question at issue between the two countries—I do not deny that for a moment—than the question of money; an issue which will yet be won out by the Irish people. That issue is, that no foreign power has any right over any single part of the territory of this country. We may not be able to win out and make that right effective to-day, but as long as that right remains without having effect, as long as a foreign power claims to dominate a single foot of the territory of this country, Great Britain may know that there will be an effort made by Irishmen to get them out of it. That is the fundamental position. As far as we are concerned, there is no indication of ill-will, except that we are not going, in so far as we are able to get rid of it, tamely to submit to having a foreign country exercising any form of domination over any part of our country.

British publicists suggested that they would like to be on friendly terms with this country and would like to have the issue between these countries solved once and for all. Nobody wishes that more than I do— nobody in this country, I believe, could possibly wish more than I do to have this fight settled. But I have sense enough to know that there is only one way in which it can be settled and that is by those who are the invaders and intruders getting out. That is the way to get it settled. When they are out, then there will be a possibility of co-operation and of working together with the real goodwill of neighbours. I do hold that, and I always believed it. Any settlement which falls short of that will never be completely satisfactory. From day to day we have to put up with things, submit to things, but we do it with no more good will than others who have to submit to interference from an outside Government. There is no ill-will in the sense that we are animated by hatred against the British as such. Wherever there is dislike or hatred, if you like, it is against the imposition of foreign rule in any regard on our people.

I made a public statement to the British to the effect that if there is to be a complete and final settlement, and if there is to be real good will and co-operation between the people of this country and Great Britain, then certain fundamental things will have to be satisfied. The unity of this country is essential before we will ever get a complete and final settlement with England. Those who are looking for a complete and final settlement on any other terms, and who want to bury the hatchet, as they say, completely, will have to realise that that can never be. Two, three or four of us on these benches might be foolish enough to think that, because we wished it, it can be done. Nothing of the kind.

The Irish people, in that regard, are animated by the same spirit that the British would be if the Germans had won the last war and had brought part of Great Britain into the German Empire against the will of the British people. Do you think that there would not be people in England always who would say: "We are going to struggle until we get back our freedom"? Of course they would. The people of France paid a big price for their freedom in the security that they tried to effect in various ways. The people of other countries who have been free are willing to pay a big price for their freedom. The price that subject peoples have to pay is the cost of the constant endeavour to get back their freedom. The Irish people recognise, and have recognised it through the centuries, that the struggle they have had to make to get that freedom was worth while. I am perfectly certain that no matter what may be done by us, or what might be done by the Opposition, if they were in our place, as long as— to use the phrase of a famous Irishman—grass grows or water runs, so long will there be people in this country who will strive for Irish freedom, if it is denied.

We have to recognise these facts. There is no use in burying our heads in the sand and thinking that some sort of gesture towards Mr. Thomas, or something of that sort, is going to finish this. It is not going to finish it. This contest between Great Britain and Ireland will be finished when those who are the aggressors and the invaders make up their minds that it is not in their interests, and that it is not right to continue that aggression and invasion. We do not want anything from England. We are not taking anything belonging to England. We are simply holding our own. I said, in answer to British publicists who spoke about a final settlement— something that would really enable this country and the people in this country to settle down in peace and co-operation with their neighbours across the water—that one of the essentials for the unity of this country was the ending of partition. That may not be secured in our day, but until it is secured then that co-operation between the two countries that the English publicists spoke about and say they desire, cannot be got.

There is then, if you wish to go into it, a wider sphere as to the relations between those two countries; there is a wider question than the money question, but the immediate difficulty is that money question, and there are no dicussions which we have had yet which went beyond that sphere. We went to London to a Conference and the terms of reference were on the note. We went in connection with this financial matter. We put our point of view, and they put theirs. There was no chance, apparently, of getting agreement and we came home. I see no use whatever in going into any of these conferences if the mere purpose of them is for each of us to state our case again. We know that that is no use. They know our side and we know theirs. That is with regard to external affairs.

Another matter referred to by Deputy MacDermot was the question, I think, of individual liberty. I claim that there is probably no other country in the world at the present time in which there is a greater amount of individual liberty.

Deputies

Oh!

Yes, but what is wrong with the Deputies is that there is too much liberty, I suppose.

For any individual?

There may be licence in liberty and it is possible that some gentlemen think that they can take licence with liberty and try to do something such as they have seen done on the Continent. We tell these gentlemen that they will not be allowed to do it. We are anxious to see individual liberty and free expression of opinion, but we are not unmindful at all of developments and we are not unmindful at all of the aims, so far as we can judge them, of certain people, and the moment we are satisfied that any actions on the part of these gentlemen become really dangerous, then, you may be perfectly certain that the liberty of the people as a whole will be defended, and defended with all the forces at our command.

I have made, on more than one occasion, my position and the position of the Government, clear. When our predecessors were in office I always thought of them as people who had tremendous resources at their command, and having these resources, they behaved as if they did not have them. They behaved as if a big man were dealing with a child, and they used their brute strength where there was no need whatever to use it. We have had peace, at any rate, in this country. We have had more liberty, more security in this country than they had for ten years before. And why should Deputies be so anxious that that position should change? Is it not obvious that no Government, with any sense of responsibility and any desire to see liberty being preserved, would take action only until they are compelled to take it, until in their judgment there is development taking place which would mean conflict finally? I do not believe at the present time there is likely to be a conflict, but I said on previous occasions that we are not going to permit people to parade in uniform, and we are not. That is definite. We are not going to allow people to parade in uniform. When it comes to that stage, we believe that it has come to a dangerous stage, and it is the duty of the Government to step in.

On white horses.

What about the machine guns?

If there is any attempt by people to parade here in uniform, so long as we are the Government, we will prevent it and use all the forces at our command to prevent it.

Parade with arms?

We cannot get at every place where there are arms. We are not able to get them, we are not able to do that, but we will prevent any attempt at parade by armed men. We can do that and we propose to do it because we are watching certain developments, and whilst we are very anxious to avoid having to use force in any regard—we wish to give the fullest liberty possible—there are gentlemen anxious to move in certain directions towards certain objectives, and we have made up our minds that they will not move in that direction, whatever other directions they may move in.

The I.R.A.

A Deputy suggested that one organisation in particular helped to preserve individual liberty during the election. There is not one bit of truth in that. Wherever there was disorder, any disorder that the regular forces at the Government's command could have dealt with, it was caused by these people who pretended they were the guardians of order.

Name one of those.

When we want support we will ask for it.

The I.R.A.

The regular forces of the Government.

At what election meetings were the interruptions?

When we want support we can call for it. We do not want officiousness on the part of people who have no authority. These people only get in the way of the regular forces. They only cause the police more trouble.

What about members of the I.R.A. bringing back the gelignite in Dundalk?

If there is any property stolen and taken away what is wrong if other people give it back?

Have you made any attempt to find that out?

In the City of Limerick there were certain inscriptions on the walls and in order to work up a bogey which the gentlemen opposite had been speaking of so long and to make it appear that we were people against the Church, they added the words "Don't mind the Church." It was the A.C.A. did that. That is well known.

Are you in a position to prove it?

I have been informed of it.

Do not go into a rat-hole. Are you in a position to prove your statement?

Evidently it is only the gentlemen opposite who are to be allowed to refer to rumour.

Prove it. You are going into your rat-hole now.

Have manners over there.

On a point of order, Deputy Belton quoted something indirectly in a motion in this House and he was called to order by the Chairman and now the President says that he knows somebody who knows somebody who says that somebody in Limerick told him something about somebody.

Can you deny it?

Apparently it is only the gentlemen in the opposite benches can make a reference to rumours.

The President made no reference to any Deputy in this House.

He made a reference reflecting on people in Limerick.

The President made no reference to any Deputy in this House. He made reference to happenings outside the House.

I was not allowed to make a reference to a rumour.

When I make a reference to a rumour I am called a pedagogue.

That is all you are.

I will teach the Deputy something anyway.

Is that a threat?

There are two points then, and with regard to the second question, the policy of the Government is to give all the liberty it can to the citizens and not to use the powers at our command until we are satisfied that it is necessary in order to preserve liberty. We have not been unmindful of the developments on the Continent and elsewhere, and we have not lost sight of the fact that apparently certain people in the country are organising themselves with a certain model in front of them and, whilst we are loath, and will not interfere until we feel that it is necessary, the moment we see people attempt to parade in uniform and——

The moment we see——

On a point or order, what is a uniform?

You had one on.

I had, and I know more about it than you.

He merely missed his train.

I am sure a policeman will know a uniform when he sees one.

Mr. Brodrick

On a point of order, what would the position be regarding uniformed parades in public? What is public?

That is not a point of order.

A public-house is a public-house.

It seems so from the noise over there.

We will get back to the rumours again—the rumours about the settlement. I was surprised to hear that the rumours came from anybody on our side. I take the Deputy's word for it, but no member of the Executive Council was responsible for any such rumours. We have said from the beginning to the Irish people that if they want to get their rights they will have to be prepared to stand for them. Anybody can surrender; it is very easy to do that. It is not easy, when there are aggressors about, to hold your own, but we believe we can, and I believe that settlement will come quickly only when it is clear that those who are the aggressors will not succeed in their aggression. That is the only way to make a settlement. Anybody at any time can surrender. There is no doubt that the former Executive Council, if they came over here, could surrender their rights as they did before. Deputy Hogan, the former Minister for Agriculture, used to come along and tell us of the good bargain we could make. He is a good judge. They told us before that they made a great bargain, "a big nought," but it turned out that there were five other noughts and a five in front of them.

You said £19,000,000 a year.

The Deputy does not know what he is talking about.

You do not anyway.

You said £19,000,000.

I did not say anything of the sort. It is a pity that the Deputy would not try to think a little, to get a little knowledge and to fill up the chaos of ignorance that is over there.

The President is losing his temper.

Only when Deputies show that they are repeating catchcries. The statement about the £19,000,000 was——

The Shelbourne Hotel Conference.

The British in 1921 put in a claim for money from this country up to about £19,000,000 and I told the Irish people the amount of the British claim at the time. It is a fact that they were claiming £18,000,000 or £19,000,000 and I went to the Irish people before this financial settlement was entered into by the people on the other side. I told them that the British were claiming a big sum like that. I pointed out that that was an indication that the British were after a good sum of money. I went to them at that time and also when the Boundary settlement was made. There were two things outstanding in the Treaty; the Boundary was one of them. I pointed out to the people that we had been cheated over the Boundary and I warned them about the attempt to cheat on the money question. I told them of the amount that the British were claiming in the negotiations and it is a fact that they were claiming that £19,000,000.

The Shelbourne Hotel Conference.

Mr. Brodrick

There are some people who cannot talk.

The gentlemen opposite do not want ever to learn the truth.

Mr. Brodrick

You never learned much.

There are not many lessons you could teach. You would not be able to give a good grind.

The Deputies ought to learn not to interrupt.

I have told you that our attitude on external relations is a policy we went before the people on and the people supported us on it, and it is that policy we are carrying out. With regard to our internal policy, the fact that we have had real peace in this country for the past one and a half years is the best testimony that our policy was right. We have the power, we know, to meet any people who try to interfere with our authority, and because we are conscious of the forces at our command we do not mean to use those forces until it is absolutely necessary, and there is no one in the country need have the slightest fear that because our attitude is one of giving as much liberty as possible that either irresponsibility or shakiness is preventing us from action. The majority of the Irish people appreciate that. We will regret, and the majority of the Irish people will regret, the day we are forced to depart from that policy, and we will only depart from our policy the day that forces try to flout our authority here.

I claim in all seriousness that the President has purchased peace at the price of wholesale intimidation.

I have got no examples of intimidation.

Your opponents have seen it.

I have been interrupted several times at election meetings. When people go out on public platforms to speak to the public they are always likely to have interruptions. You cannot have the orderliness of the classroom.

Well, then, I should like to know where the intimidation arose. There is a remedy against intimidation, and there are remedies for attacks on private property.

A Deputy

After the elections.

Any time there has been evidence of attacks, those who were guilty of such attacks have been pursued.

I should like to ask one question. Why was not the person who put his fist through the car of Deputy Cosgrave when he was passing through my village, prosecuted?

I was consulted on that matter and I said that on no account was there to be a prosecution.

As I said, only two points have been raised. The general policy of the Government I have indicated. We genuinely desire to be on friendly terms with Great Britain, but we want the conditions satisfied, the only conditions on which the two peoples can be on good terms. I do not see that we are the aggressors in this matter. We simply say to the British: "Will you for goodness' sake cease your aggression?" They have been asked by generations of Irish people to stop that aggression, and have been told that there will then be genuine peace between the two countries. I say that we, who take up that attitude, are fundamentally more friendly to the British than those who pretend that they can be friendly with Britain by getting some sort of settlement. Our attitude towards Britain is one of peace and goodwill. I think it would be to the advantage of our people, and to the British people, if we as neighbours co-operated in the things that are of common interest to us, but we must be the judges as to the extent to which that co-operation should go, just as they are at liberty on their side, to agree to the extent that they should co-operate. If there is to be co-operation, it must be between two equal, independent people who co-operate on a basis of mutual advantage. That is what we are striving to get. We believe there is only one way, in view of the whole history of the relations between Britain and ourselves, to get that co-operation, and that is an acknowledgment by Britain, that the people of this country are completely free.

The two matters which have been discussed by the President in his speech have been so inextricably mixed that I find a difficulty in approaching the subject with the solemnity that is due to it. However I shall take the last matter to which he referred as it is present to my mind. He says there has been no intimidation, there has been no disorder, that there is peace, order and so on throughout the country. I have never made public any complaint against the Ministry in respect to the maintenance of order in the country, but I shall give my own experience. I went to my constituency after the General Election in 1932. I believe I secured more first preference votes than were cast for any other person in that election. There may be a dispute between myself and the Lord Mayor of Dublin in that connection, and I bow to him if there be anything in his favour.

A Deputy

Mind the chain.

I addressed a meeting in my constituency, but I could not be heard. They were not Cork citizens who interrupted me. They came in from outside. I do not know why order was not kept at the meeting, or why it should not have been kept, but I do say that until that moment the organisation which has been mentioned here to-night did not come into existence to help to preserve for the people of this country the liberty of speech which has been guaranteed by the Constitution. I got no representation, apology or excuse from the Executive Council in connection with that. It was due to me having regard to the fact that I delivered them after the Civil War, alive and well, every one of them. What was my experience during the late electoral contest? I was informed when I was having a meeting in Cork, going into the city, not to enter by a certain road, that there was danger of an ambush and the information came from the Fianna Fáil headquarters. I was to approach Cork by a circuitous route, and at a later time. My meeting was held up in Cork for an hour and a half. On the following morning I was informed that I was to be escorted to Dublin by a procession, a whole pilgrimage of military and police—an armoured car, two military units, and a C.I.D. car, so that anybody travelling the country could see that there was no chance of that person being elected anyhow. That was on the advice of the man who tells us he knows of conditions in the country.

Look at the mockery of it. A fortnight afterwards I was approached at my own house by a military officer, who asked me: "Are you going out to-day, sir?" I said: "I am." He then told me the name of a high officer who expressed a wish that I should not go out on that day. I said "Why?" and he replied: "I cannot tell you, sir, but he wishes that you would not go out." I said: "The day I cannot go out of my own house is not worth living in this country. I am going out." I went out and walked for an hour and a half. On looking round, what should I see? A lorry load of troops with tin hats. Was not that a nice spectacle? And the President of the Executive Council says there is liberty in this country!

A Deputy

Liberty and freedom.

What a mockery to expose one's political opponents to. What was the information at his disposal which necessitated his exposing public men in this fashion? What was the need of it? None at all. There was a military guard on my house, and they removed in a month. The necessity for the demonstration had passed, and the mockery had then got to cease. So much for law and order. It is due to the Executive Council, the inefficiency, the incapacity of it, the fact that the people of this country have got no confidence in the members of it, that there has been created an organisation which will ensure liberty for the people. Had the Executive Council not any information that the military cars that accompanied me to Kerry when I was visiting that county, were bashed from one end to the other, and the glass broken in them, on an occasion when I addressed a meeting either in Listowel or Tralee? Was there ever one of the President's cars smashed during any election while I held the office that he holds now?

A Deputy

What about Ballinamore?

You have heard more to-night than ever you expected to hear, and all we can get out of you is a groan. So much for the preservation of law and order. It is not a creditable record and nobody knows it better than Ministers opposite who know the conditions that prevailed during the ten years which we held office. What is the second case? All the rumours are denied. Nobody ever said there was going to be a settlement! There was never a rumour of a settlement! There were never stories circulated, that within a week, a fortnight or three weeks, there was going to be a settlement!

Within three days.

Within the last couple of months the Minister for Finance almost abused me in the House when he said that I was interfering with the possibilities of a settlement, previous to Senator Connolly's advance on London.

Would the Deputy quote me?

I never quote the Deputy.

Do not forget the Deputy's three days.

I am rather pleased that the Minister for Finance has reminded me of that. I was nearly forgetting it. We heard here to-night something about payments to the British made in 1921. I quoted here in this House statements that were made by the President when he was in Opposition, in connection with that time and they were much more damaging than the £19,000,000. But the £19,000,000 was mentioned. And £19,000,000 was not the sum that the British asked for in 1925, but a very much higher sum. Those people who pride themselves upon their knowledge of figures should not commit such an egregious blunder as to confuse £150,000,000 with £19,000,000.

I have the documents, and the Deputy should have them too.

Oh! excuse me. Allow me to say again here in this House that I took no State documents out of my office and the strange thing about it is that some files which ought to have been filed from other people have my name on them in the archives of the Government buildings. I could have got them as heirlooms just as much as the Simon Pure. Now £150,000,000 was the sum mentioned, not £19,000,000 unless the President wants to make it an annual sum.

£19,000,000 was the sum referred to.

That £19,000,000 was the sum that he mentioned and which he stated this State should pay.

The sum to which the Deputy made a reference was £19,000,000 a year.

The correct sum which the British asked for, as far as I can remember, was £150,000,000. Why did the President mention £19,000,000?

Because it was in reply to a suggestion by the Deputy.

I have those figures. I have the quotations here. Will the President deny that he ever mentioned £19,000,000?

I explained to the House the conditions under which I mentioned that sum.

Now we have it all clear. Everything is clear about the £19,000,000. The British asked for £150,000,000 and the President said £19,000,000.

The British put in a claim for £19,000,000 a year.

Now is the President holding on to that? That is the sum which I had to deal with when I was negotiating with the British Government in 1925. That is the sum; the British Minister said to me, "If you get a lesser sum than £19,000,000 can you not go back and say you have scored over this man?"

Oh! Now we have it! Now we have it all!

I went to London, the statement having been made by the President of the Executive Council here who was then outside the Dáil. The Dáil was untouchable at that time. We were liable for £19,000,000 he said and he warned the Irish people about the Bill that was going to be put upon us. What are the facts of the case? The facts are that our liability in respect of Article V of the Treaty was eliminated from the Constitution, we undertaking to pay the damage to which the British were put, amounting to £5,000,000. Otherwise we paid the whole cost of the Anglo-Irish War here, in so far as the damage was concerned, excepting personal injuries. What was the Dáil told on the occasion on which the amendment of the Treaty was proposed here in 1925 by me? They were told the case that had been put up to the British. What was it? The case was very simple. We had to pay £3,000,000 a year for Land Commission Annuities and, approximately, £2,000,000 in pensions. That was £5,000,000 that was going out of this country, and I stated that we could afford no more. That was stated here on the night the Second Reading was passed. Where was the President of the Executive Council at that time?

Where was the big nought?

I am explaining it. The President was in the Shelbourne that night.

And signing his name in a copybook at the Rotunda.

That was the nought; that was the liability of this country for the Public Debt existing at a certain date. Our responsibility for the pensions amounted to £2,000,000 a year, and we got out of everything under Article V. The Dáil and the country was told that we were liable for £3,000,000 for land annuities, and £2,000,000 for pensions making £5,000,000 in all.

What about the selling of the Nationalists of the Six Counties?

Just a moment now. That is a red herring and to help the President his henchman comes in. What about the Nationalists of the North? I will tell about them. What is the basis of this dispute? There is the President protesting to the dispute, that particular Agreement of 1925 which relieves this country of its responsibility for the public debt. Is the President protesting to the British that he is to reopen that and take back the Nationalists of the North and take back the Border, or push it back five, ten, or 25 yards? Not likely. He is holding on to that Agreement, and it is not that Agreement that made partition.

What about Article XII?

Not this one. You can reopen Article XII when you say: "We will reopen that second or third Treaty Agreement." You can reopen all that. You can reopen all the agreements that were made from the day the Treaty was signed. You can go over now and say: "Gentlemen, we are reopening the whole business: we are starting from scratch again." There has been no suggestion that you are going to do that. I would like to see you do it. I would like to see you facing the £19,000,000 per annum that the people were warned about. Now they are more silent about Article XII. They are holding on to Article V and that is one of your legs in this dispute with the British. Are you going to take it away?

You cut it off.

Well, I did not chill it. You can go back and reopen it. We have learned one or two things to-night. First we know of the mockery about liberty in this country. We know the discreditable methods adopted here by these know-alls. The President cannot but know the condition of affairs in this country. They will exercise impartial treatment towards all citizens. We know now that there is to be no settlement. We know now that all their speeches were bunk. There is one thing that Fianna Fáil have not learned yet, and that is whether it is paying this country to continue.

We have not learned to compromise.

The Deputy knows all about that—the man who would die in the last ditch before he would come in here! He sailed in like the celebrated bachelor who on one occasion when he heard there was to be a tax on bachelors said: "If there is, there is no man in this State who will not go in and ring down his five dollars on the counter and say ‘hang the expense, it is worth it all.'" In fact most of the trouble over there on the Government Benches is that they did not come in long before, that it was a waste of time. Where do we stand? Where are we going with this dispute? We are standing on our rights! Well, there are a great many people in lunatic asylums who are doing the same thing. But let us sit down calmly, make up accounts, and say whether or not it is costing us more to continue the dispute than even to pay the £5,000,000. Is not that a fair suggestion?

Whether it is due or not?

That is another question; that can be decided also. It is not the most important matter at all. I should say from my knowledge of affairs, and as a man reading what has transpired at the Economic Conference, and examining the speeches made over in Great Britain, that the subject can be approached and the case properly presented and a case made for the exceptional circumstances of the country, or of the two countries without any provocative treatment of the matter, with a simple-mindedness and without introducing personalities, I observe a disposition rather to indulge in these personalities than deal with the subject in dispute. It would be up to the British just as well as it would be up to us to settle. They might come down very much from their present status and they might not be unreasonable if it was pointed out to them that the future relations, and the present relations, which exist in the present Commonwealth of Nations, is their concern as well as ours. There are legal questions here, and the majority of the people in this country will not be satisfied unless there is a pronouncement upon those legal questions by some other persons. They have that duty in respect of the great difficulties on both sides; they are bigger than we are and they have more resources than we have.

I would prefer to fight the British upon any other question than on their cash box. Members of the Party opposite too will ultimately come to the conclusion that it is not wise to fight what is perhaps the most financially sound country in the whole world at this moment. That is what the issue is. There are our natural markets. We must sell what we have got to sell. We cannot expend money and resources in trying to get other markets and if we did and if we had them, would it profit us as it would to keep the one that we do want? Now after all the heat and turmoil of the last 12 months let us, as businessmen, examine exactly, and as nearly as we can what are the disadvantages of this contest during that 12 months. Let us balance these disadvantages with the advantages we have derived. Let us consider whether or not it might be to our interest or not to present to the British our case, not as a request if you like, not as a kind of contest to be entered into by two people one of whom must yield but to approach the subject in a natural businesslike way and with the idea that this thing should be settled in a proper statesmanlike manner. Let all the past be done with. Let us reopen this matter and settle it without noise and without flag waving, having an eye entirely to the best interests of the country. That is the spirit that should be in evidence and the most enthusiastic of all people in the country who wish to see reunion always postulate that pretty well in advance. I would like to see that spirit very much nearer. It might be that by approaching this subject in that statesmanlike way we would bring that very much nearer.

The longer this particular quarrel lasts, the less desire there will be on the part of certain people in the other part of Ireland to join with us. And the less that desire exists the more remote is the possibility of union. It is no use to them to come in and be united with us if the reunion be one in which suspicion remains on both sides, because the greatest obstacle to putting an end to our long quarrel would be suspicion on both sides. The allaying of suspicion in the negotiators, and those besides the negotiators, and the allaying of that suspicion between Great Britain and ourselves would do much to allay suspicion and objection on the part of some of our fellow countrymen in the North. It is not to be allayed by the experience we have gained in the last 12 months by saying that the people on the other side have not made money out of it either. If our purchasing capacity is lessened, they also have lost and surely it is to their interest to see that state of things pass. If that were done it would bring much nearer the project for peace and reconciliation in this country than a dozen general elections.

The Deputy has forgotten his 1919 speech in Carlow.

I have forgotten nothing, but unlike the Deputy opposite I have learned a good deal.

Irish nationalism and British imperialism can never mix.

We have lived to see things differently and the Deputy will yet.

"Cannot you come back and say you have scored over this man?"

Deputies

"Words taken from St. John."

Precisely, words taken from the man who signed the secret agreement. Words taken from the man who encompassed the Boundary betrayal. Words taken from the man who, for the last 12 months, notwithstanding the speech he made here to-night, speaking with his lips but not with his heart, has endeavoured to uphold and defend British claims in this country. Yes. "Cannot you come back and say you have scored over this man?" That is the real reason why the Boundary was accepted, and the Six Counties given away. That is the reason why, six months after the secret agreement of March, 1926, they attempted to confirm the previous agreement of 1923 so that Deputy Cosgrave might come back and say "we have made a damn good bargain," so that he might be able to deceive and delude the people even as he did here to-night towards the conclusion of his speech.

£150,000,000 is mentioned as the British claim against this country. The Deputy who talked about that £150,000,000, and wanted to pose that he had induced the British to forego that claim is the Deputy who was head of the Provisional Government and Minister for Finance in 1923, who signed an agreement which settled upon the people of this country a capital burden of not less than £161,000,000. He gave away, in the agreement of 1923, £11,000,000 more than the British themselves demanded. His Minister for Finance subsequently in 1926 confirmed that agreement by his signature also. They endeavoured so far as they could by their loyal and secret acts to endeavour to bind the Irish people in these agreements. And the reason once again was that they might obey the injunctions of their British friends, come back and tell the Irish people that they had scored over this man.

Deputy Cosgrave opened his speech in a rather melodramatic frame of mind. He told us about the terrible happening in Cork on the night of the election. I happened to be in Cork on that occasion. Deputy Cosgrave has told us about rumours that came to him from Fianna Fáil headquarters that he was going to be attacked on the road. I was in the Fianna Fáil headquarters and I can tell what was the opinion about that episode there. It was the common knowledge of every one of them that members of the organisation with which Deputies opposite are associated, following up the old dodge that had been tried in every general election and by-election that was held in this country during the time that Deputy Cosgrave was head of the Government, had planned to have a sham ambush——

Does the Minister know that?

——and the Deputy has put the cap on. He knows the organisation I was referring to. He has betrayed himself and that is the truth of the Cork episode.

To a point of order. I should like to know if a Deputy of this House is entitled to make statements with regard to an organisation in this country and to refuse to answer a question as to whether he knows what he is stating to be a fact or not?

The Chair has no power to control a Minister in such matters.

Might I ask the Minister a question——

I threw a cap and a Deputy caught it and put it on and that Deputy is on his feet now.

Might I now ask the Minister a question? Some 25 minutes ago the President made a statement in which he said that he knew of a certain thing. When he was asked did he know it he said "No," but that he was informed to that effect. I am putting the same question to the Minister now. Does he state to this House that he knows the facts as stated by him, or is it that he was informed by somebody else?

Why did you wear the cap?

How else would I know it except that I had been informed? The Deputy was listening to what I said, and I tell the House that it was well known in Cork City that, as I say, a plan of this sort——

I should like to ask——

Deputy Cosgrave said he received this information from Fianna Fáil headquarters. Does the Minister deny that?

Fianna Fáil sent no message.

Does the Minister know what he said? Does he deny Deputy Cosgrave's statement?

Deputy O'Neill, on a point of order.

More or less on a point of correction.

The Minister may give way, if he so desires.

I happened to be principally in charge of the matters referred to. They happened in the town of Kinsale, and I know from two messages brought to me by the police in charge of the western section of the county and the police officer responsible for the City of Cork, who both came to Kinsale that night, that there is no foundation for the insinuation made by the Minister.

On a further point of order, having made an unfounded statement, for which he could not produce any evidence, the Minister in amplifying that statement, implied that a Deputy of this House knew about that association and their aims and actions on that occasion. It is just like the statement to which I referred a while ago by the President.

It is extraordinary that members opposite should be so anxious, at this stage, to disavow the tactics they adopted through the preceding elections. After all, the people of this State have memories. They can put two and two together and when they see occurrences continuously associated with each other in a way that cannot be ascribed to mere coincidence, but that, logically, could only be put down to definite planning; when they see that, at the general election of 1923, we had the same sort of story; when they see that, at the two elections of 1927, we had at these armed outrages and unknown individuals attacking prominent members of the then Government; when they see, at every by-election, people shot in Dublin and incidents occurring here and there, and every one of these occurrences made the excuse for filling the streets with troops, for parading armoured cars and for sending men out with all the panoply of war, in order to intimidate and cow the electors and to induce the people to believe that this State was living on the brink of revolution; when we know they did that at the first election at which they were beaten in 1932, is it surprising that reasonable men should credit the statement that they were planning to do that again in 1933, that the old tactics were going to be pursued once more and that, when they had been talking about Communism and disorder and revolution and revolt and public turmoil and civil strife they were going, so far as they could ensure it, to give to the election all the appearances of that state of affairs.

I say, and I repeat, that, so far from any information of the sort having been conveyed to Deputy Cosgrave from the Fianna Fáil headquarters in Cork, on the contrary, the general belief and opinion in Fianna Fáil quarters in Cork, on the eve of the election, was that there was to be, as I have said, a sham attack made upon Deputy Cosgrave by members of the organisation whose conduct, by whatever else it may have been characterised during that election, was not characterised by any desire to preserve public peace or order.

You did not say it when he was here.

I would have, but he ran away, and not for the first time.

He knew you were codding.

Why did they not make the attack?

It was only the very strong judgment of the Minister that kept him from interrupting.

Would the Minister accept my statement——

Would the Deputy allow me to proceed?

The "blue shirt" that got cold feet.

The Deputy then went on to say that he was escorted, after these rumours had been circulated, admittedly, by the Deputy's organisation, through the City of Cork; that, following the circulation of these rumours, the police had to take heed of them and to take, as they had been instructed by the Minister for Justice and the President of the Executive Council, every possible precaution to safeguard, not merely the person of Deputy Cosgrave, but the person of every other candidate in this election, including every member on the Opposition Benches. Admittedly, Deputy Cosgrave may have been escorted by a strong force through Cork; admittedly, he may have been escorted, after the election, through the streets of the city by a strong guard, but it was not the first time that Deputy Cosgrave enjoyed such an escort. When he was President of the Executive Council, and when the members of his Front Bench were members of that Executive Council, in what way did they go around the streets of the city and in what way did they go around this country? Was it as humble individuals anxious to walk the public streets? Oh, no. They went around in armed cars with machine guns, as Deputy Mulcahy told us the other day. It was not an unusual sight during the election, when they were on the hustings.

Will the Minister accept a correction? From the general election of 1923 I went to any part of the country that I wanted to go, unescorted, unattended and unarmed, until Fianna Fáil were coming back into practical politics, and Kevin O'Higgins was killed.

Once again are we blamed for the murder of Kevin O'Higgins? Does the Deputy want that ventilated now?

I have given my opinion on that before. We went through the country unarmed and unattended. I say that from the general election of 1923, from that campaign, until the members on the Front Benches opposite were preparing to come back into practical politics members of the Executive Council went through the country, wherever they wanted to go, unarmed and unattended.

The Deputy has made a statement which I regard as of some importance. He stated that until we came back into practical politics they went round this country unescorted and unarmed, and when we came back to practical politics, and when we were challenging the Cumann na nGaedheal Party for the control of the resources of this State, then the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, as I have stated, adopted this as an electioneering plank, and as an electioneering dodge; when they could go around posing as strong men, men who were in danger from these turbulent forces they were endeavouring to subdue, attended by armed cars and providing themselves with armed guards, military escorts, and soldiers with tin hats, to which Deputy Cosgrave in 1933, takes such strong exception. He took no exception to these precautions from 1927 to 1933. He could not have walked the streets of Dublin in 1931. I say he could have walked them, but he did not choose to walk the streets of Dublin in 1931 as an ordinary private citizen. That would not be effective at all; it would not help him to sustain the rôle which he was playing, as one of the preservers of the public peace in this country. If these escorts were a mere demonstration in 1933, they were much more a demonstration in 1927 and 1931, after Fianna Fáil, in the words of Deputy Mulcahy "was coming back into practical politics."

After having sworn in Burgh Quay that they would never come in, they came in a fortnight afterwards. After denouncing the Deputy as a traitor for coming in, the arch-traitor came in in a fortnight.

After your expulsion.

There is hair on that.

Having disposed of Deputy Cosgrave's heroics, I might come to the more rational portion of the speech and examine it. He asked: "What is the cause of the dispute?" Let us examine it precisely. At the very utmost it can only be costing this country what the bounties amount to, £2,450,000. Why do I say that? Because responsible members of the British Government, people who are in a much better position than Deputy Brennan, Deputy Minch, or any Deputy opposite— except possibly Deputy Belton, who has a mission on all matters—to know and to weigh up the cost, and the relative advantage to this country——

I caught my train when I went for it.

Responsible members of the British Government, like Mr. Baldwin and Major Elliot, have admitted that the effect of their import duties and tariffs have been wholly countered by the export bounties and subsidies which we have provided.

In the case of butter.

In the case of live stock, particularly. If that statement be true and correct, and I believe it is, then we find, with the aid of the bounties and subsidies as free access to the British markets as we would have if the tariffs were not there.

Nonsense, and you know it!

Just to meet the Deputy's point, supposing we are not, and supposing that the market might be somewhat wider, if the restrictions were not on, would the prices that our farmers would get for their produce be any higher?

Much higher! Does the Minister mean to say that a bounty of 35/- is able to counteract a tariff of £6? I would like to have that explained.

I asked that question the other night.

Let us examine this proposition. If the import restrictions were not on, and if these tariffs were not imposed against us, according to Deputy Brennan, the prices in the British market would be much higher——

Certainly!

——there would be a greater flow of our produce to the British market; there would be a larger supply of Irish catttle in the British market, if these tariffs were not on. Is that what Deputy Brennan is saying?

I am talking about the question of price.

I am asking if the Deputy's case is, that if there had been no tariff there would be a larger supply of Irish cattle on the British market.

I asked the Minister a question, and he is asking me another one. I am talking about the price of cattle. I say that a bounty of 35/- is unable to counteract a tariff of £6.

I am putting it rhetorically and not for the sake of interruption. I will put the question again, in the hope that Deputy Brennan may rid his mind of prejudice, and see the significance of this. If there were larger supplies of Irish cattle in the British market, would these cattle be fetching a higher price than they are fetching to-day? Deputy Brennan says yes! If there were no tariffs would there be a larger supply of Irish cattle in the British market?

Sure! Let us see where the Minister is going.

We are finding the position the Opposition are taking up, and it explains a good deal of queer things that happened in this country during the ten years they were in office. The position they are taking up is this, that the larger the supply the higher the price.

Nonsense!

How high would the price be? I like to give my authority when I make a statement of this sort. According to theIrish Times of Wednesday last the price of fat cattle in the Leicester cattle market during the month of July ranged from 17/- to 35/- per cwt., and that with a restricted supply.

What price, if there were no other imports into the British market, does Deputy Brennan, or any other Deputy, think our store cattle, or any of our cattle, would be fetching if fat cattle in Great Britain were standing at from 17/- to 35/- per cwt?

Have you put down the loss of goodwill?

He is avoiding the principal question.

I was dealing with the injunction of Deputy Cosgrave to examine what the economic cost of the dispute is. I say it cannot be, at the very most, £2,450,000, if it is even as much as that.

Nonsense.

Let the Minister prove that.

Because the tariffs imposed against us have, undoubtedly, restricted the supply to the British market and have, inevitably, raised the price of all produce there, whether it is ours or whether it is native. They have raised it as high as it could be raised by any artificial restriction. Yet, what is the position in Great Britain to-day when the British farmer is having even that limited chance in the British market? I told the House what theIrish Times had said of the situation. Here is what the Daily Mail, of 11th July, says about it:

"The graziers of the Midlands"——

The Midlands of England that is.

"find that their fat cattle are selling at ruinously low figures or are quite unsaleable because of foreign dumping"——

Because of the Irish cattle that, with the aid of the Irish bounties and subsidies, are climbing the British barrier.

And are £4 5s. less.

"And they are threatened with ruin. The danger is that they may be driven out of their industry altogether, with the result that land will become unlettable, and that men will starve if something is not done very quickly." What I have read from theDaily Mail, you may read in the Daily Express, in the Morning Post, and in every responsible organ of public opinion in Great Britain. What is the moral that the Opposition must draw from that? Are you going to ask us to believe that the British Government is going to have no care for the British farmer or the British people, that they are going to allow the British farmer to be driven out of the industry altogether, with the result that the land of the British farmer will become unlettable and that British men will starve if something is not done quickly. Does any member on the Opposition Benches want us to believe for a moment that a Conservative Government, a Tory Government, a Government representative of the landed interest in Great Britain more than any other interest, is going to allow that state of affairs to come to pass?

There is not the least fear.

There is not the least fear——

As our Government did.

Therefore, if there had been no economic dispute, and no quarrel about the land annuities, if our cattle had been flowing in in an unrestricted stream, bringing the price lower and lower in the British market, and making the miserable position of the British farmers, as described in theDaily Mail, more miserable still, does anybody on the opposite benches think that the British Government, or any British Cabinet, would sit idly by, folding their hands and doing nothing?

Is the Minister doing for this country what the Conservatives would do for England?

It is their job. They would make it their job.

That is the moral of the whole argument.

I am glad the Deputy has still such a glimmering of intelligence left that he can realise that that would be their job and that they would have to do it or face a revolution.

According to your argument.

Or face a revolution in a country where revolutions are very thorough-going when they start and where they do not mind dealing with a Government when they find they are not doing their duty to the people. That would be their job and they would have to impose such restrictions, whether by way of tariff or by way of quota, about which they are talking now, as would limit the supply of Irish cattle to the British market and enable the British farmer to get some semblance of a fair price for what he himself was rearing and feeding. That is the position which would have come about whether there had been any dispute about the land annuities or not.

Now who is playing England's game?

I was in the Seanad yesterday and a Senator who had just come back from Scotland said our export bounties and subsidies were annoying them there, that they were creating ill-feeling against us.

They are annoying the people who have to pay them.

He said they were creating antagonism. Why were they doing that? Solely because these export bounties and subsidies were enabling our cattle to get into the British market—to climb the British tariff barrier.

Into the Empire with their tails up.

We are a green people.

If the British Government merely imposed these tariffs that they might collect what they claimed to be due to them, why should they be annoyed if the provision of bounties by us increases the flow of our produce into the British market, gives them a greater volume of taxable commodities, and makes it easier, as some people opposite might have told me, for them to collect what they claim to be theirs? If that was the case, why should they be annoyed? Should they not be pleased because these export bounties and subsidies were, at all events, making their task easier to that extent? Should they not welcome an increased flow of Irish cattle into Britain?

They would get the money anyhow.

Should they not be glad that our trade was maintained at its former level—that is, if these tariffs had been imposed merely that they might collect the land annuities. But does not the Senator's description of the feeling in Great Britain with regard to these tariffs, do not the pronouncements of Major Elliott and Mr. Baldwin with regard to the effect of the subsidies, does not the fact that they are considering the questions of quotas—do not these things at once explode the whole of the hypothesis upon which Opposition propaganda throughout the country during the past 12 months has been based: that these tariffs were due to the fact that we were withholding the land annuities and that the present attempt to keep the Irish farmer out of the British market was motivated merely by the desire to collect what was due? Is it not plain that it was nothing of the sort—that while the land annuities might be made the excuse for putting on the tariffs, they were not the real reason the tariffs were put on?

Why did you give them the excuse?

To come back to what Deputy Cosgrave said, let us examine the balance of the account. Whether we held the land annuities or not, the restrictions would have been put on. We would have had to do what every Dominion inside the Commonwealth has had to do—to submit voluntarily, or involuntarily, to some restriction being imposed upon us. We would have to take the same position as Canada and Australia and other countries have done—as the Argentine and Denmark have done. We would have to agree in order to give the British farmer a chance, and our export trade to Great Britain would be reduced in volume and in value, too.

Whether we keep the land annuities or pay them, the condition of the British farmer and British agriculture is such that any agricultural country wishing to sell its produce in Great Britain will inevitably have to accept some restriction upon its exports to that country. Then where would we be after those restrictions have been imposed, if we were still paying the land annuities and £5,250,000 which we have withheld? We would still be paying that money and we would have nothing for it. Examine, as Deputy Cosgrave says, this account and see how we stand. At most, the dispute about the land annuities is costing us £2,450,000 a year, if it costs us even as much as that. Before this Government came into office we had extensive commitments in the dairying industry, commitments of huge capital sums, and we would have had to provide a subsidy. As Deputy Hogan, when he was Minister for Agriculture, realised, he would have ultimately to provide a subsidy for Irish butter if we were going to keep the British market for that commodity.

Therefore, I say that the dispute is not even costing us as much as £2,450,000 a year. That is the very limit at which it can be placed. Against that we withhold in this country at least £5,250,000, and when you subtract £2,450,000 from that sum you see there is a balance, and, thank God, as far as the Irish people are concerned, that balance is on the right side of the account.

I listened to the Minister for Finance, and, while listening to him I was struck by the fact that if he went in less for noise, we might get a little more sense. If he would take advice from an humble member of the Opposition, he would certainly keep off agriculture. We know he has not been a success at finance. Let him find some other subject with which he can deal. The last man in either Party entitled to talk of agriculture, the man who, by his talk, displays least knowledge of the real conditions in the country at the moment, is the Minister for Finance. Even with regard to Fianna Fáil Deputies, I am pushing the open door when I state that, owing to the tariffs imposed by the British Government, the farmers in this country are being faced with bankruptcy. The President has repeatedly shown far more appreciation of the suffering of the farmers, and the real conditions that exist in the farming community, than has the Minister for Finance. Time and again he has repeated the fact that they are undergoing hardship, that they are up against a very tough struggle, that their profits are falling as a result of those tariffs, but that they must be endured in order to bring the economic war to a successful termination.

His glib-tongued, noisy Minister gets up here at the end of July, 1933, when his own Party are in the same position to contradict him as I am, and he tries to make a case that the farmers are, in fact, losing nothing, and that the bounties are equalising the tariffs. Is one to be surprised at the bad conditions in the country when you have the important Department of Finance in charge of a man who argues that 35/- is equal to £6? That kind of twaddle, accompanied by noise and gesture, may sound well, but not to the people who are paying £6. Let the Minister advance that argument to any farmer, and he will get an answer that I would be slow to give him here. And all this on the one Vote of the year that gives Ministers the greatest scope for explaining to the Dáil and to the country what is their policy.

We had this kind of twaddle from the Minister for Finance, and we had from the President, I regret to say, as contemptible an exhibition of double-shuffling as ever took place on a front bench in any country. We had an absolute failure to face up to the facts, and we had an absolute funk to state the policy of the Executive Council. We had one step in advance, and one step back, and as a result we had a kind of stagnant twist with which we are getting rather familiar in Presidential statements latterly.

We had one statement from the President's lips this evening that stands out clearly, and I think it is a statement on which this House should ask for more information. We had a statement from the President, the man who bragged to us of all the forces at his command, that arms would not be allowed to be carried in public in this country. Three times in the course of his statement he repeated that his Government would not allow people to carry arms in public. The President is a great master of phrase; he is a great master of quibble; he is a man who, in every expression he uses, can escape either through the front door or through the back door. I think this House is entitled to a clear explanation as to why those words "in public" were added to that statement every time it was made, and it was made on three occasions. Is the President such a simple soul that he believes, looking back on the recent history of this country, that the man carrying arms to do any foul or cowardly deed carries those arms in public display? The President has more sense than that, and the President knows that there would be less harm, less evil, and less danger associated with arms, if they were carried on all cocasions publicly.

I would far rather have a pronouncement from the Government Front Bench, and I believe it would make for the safety of the country, and for the safety of the individuals who have to live in the country, if we got a clear pronouncement of public policy, compelling every able-bodied man to carry arms and to carry them openly. Such a statement would mean more safety for the ordinary citizens of this country than a sneakish Presidential pronouncement to his own allies, to his own tools, that as long as they do not carry the guns openly they are free to carry them. That statement to-night does not stand just alone. We had a previous pronouncement by the same individual that all the forces at his command would be used to prevent the importation of arms—not to prevent the use of arms, not to prevent the use of arms as a threat or argument, not to prevent the quiet secret carrying of arms, but to prevent the importation of arms. That was a safe and a smug statement, after, by his inactivity and by his spineless rule in this country, he had secured a condition where every follower of his own had already procured arms in order to intimidate or to threaten the life of others.

I am one of those who hold that neither wealth nor prosperity nor trade nor progress in any direction matters one whit if the life and property of the individual in this country are not safe. I believe all sides of this House will agree with me, that our very traditions, the very successful revolution that brought this State into being, the aftermath of that revolution, and the years that went by since are years that should warn every one of us of the dangers and evils associated with arms. They should warn every one of us what a curse it is to a country such as this to have that kind of spinelessness on top, that failure to grasp the realities of the situation, and that failure to face the dangers of the situation.

I say, as I said before, that this country can only be saved one way or the other. It can only be saved through a courageous Government— backed up by all those great services which the President spoke about, and for which I have, I think, more respect than the President—insuring that no man is allowed to possess or carry a gun, whether he carries it in public or not; or alternatively, if the Government is not prepared to protect individuals from the secret menace of the secret gun, then it should insure that at least there is equality, that every man is bound to carry his gun and to carry it openly. There would be no such thing as street murder; there would be no such thing as murder on the public highway, if every man going on the highway was, by law, the possessor and carrier of a gun. I do not particularly desire that state of affairs, but I do urge that it has got to be one way or the other. That kind of weak-kneed pronouncement, whistling one tune to the Dáil and whistling another in the ears of the armed men outside, is one of the greatest curses that could be inflicted on a country. That kind of left-handed incitement to individuals to carry guns, provided they do not carry them in public, is one of the most damaging statements that could be made in a country such as this, in times such as these.

If any mistake was made by the President, if the repetition of that particular phrase was made in error, or the clear meaning it had to this House —and the clearer meaning it will have to the organisations outside this House—was a mistaken one, I hope, before this debate ends that either himself or some responsible Minister on his behalf will get up and clear the air; that we will get a clear declaration, which would be the first since Fianna Fáil came into office, that the law as it is made by this Dáil and as it exists in the country is going to be carried out by the Government; that the criminal who commits a crime in secret is going to be dealt with as rigidly and as strongly as the man who does it in the open, and that it will be made clear that membership of any organisation, whether it has politically aided the Government in the past or not, is no excuse for defying the laws that are made by this Dáil, and no excuse for defying the laws that are supposed to be administered by that Government over there.

We got from the President a long lecture on how to negotiate. I submit, and I think everyone in this House will agree with me, that he is the one man in this country who is entitled to deliver a lecture on how not to negotiate. He may have his good qualities. He may have many great characteristics, but the outstanding success of that man in life was never associated with negotiation. At home or abroad—and Members of his side as well as Deputies on this side know that—on no single occasion in the public life of the President has he ever brought a negotiation to a successful termination. Even negotiation, not between two countries in the depths of an economic war, when passions are roused and people are hurt and injured, but with regard to divisions and dissensions inside the camp of his own followers every time he put his hand to negotiation he made the situation worse, and the tragedy of the last 18 months is that a man who might be successful in other directions but who has been repeatedly proved an abject failure as a negotiator, jostled away from the negotiating tables better men in that line than himself who took control when he himself had failed as he always did before. That is the man that stands up here to-night to deliver a lecture on how to negotiate. Following on that, it was not right or in keeping with that atmosphere when the Minister for Finance gave us a lecture on agriculture and agricultural prices. "Like master, like man." But I think that we ought really to discuss the situation as it exists and to settle down to try and realise that the present situation between this country and England is harmful and injurious to both countries, and that the longer it lasts the more both countries will lose, and, like any drainage test, where the bigger fund is, that country can afford it best and that country can hold out longest, and that the dominating point of this squalid, unnecessary squabble can only be the financial annihilation of the greatest industry of the country.

We heard the Minister for Finance last night telling us that industry in this country was rather lop-sided, that when Fianna Fáil came into office they found a lop-sided condition of industry —some 85 per cent. being agricultural and the balance industrial, and their first big attempt to alter that position was to wipe out, in fact, the 85 per cent. industry that was paying. You probably equalised the proportion of profit-making industry in agriculture as against the rest by bringing down the profitable percentage of agriculture to some 10 per cent. or 15 per cent. to balance the other, but I suggest that is not good business, I suggest that is not sound national economy, and I suggest that the Fianna Fáil Government, now close on two years in office, should have long ago—in the first year —seen where these reckless, insane kind of actions were leading the country. Perhaps it could be excused on the ground of political history and insanity. But in the second year of their office the responsibility should have begun to steady them a bit, and they should see that they have got to wake up to the fact that if all countries adopted the attitude of the President towards negotiation this world would be in one chronic state of wilderness; that if Government Ministers and representatives of different Governments with a controversy between one country and another adopted the same policy as he adopted in this country no controversy could ever be settled by peaceable means, or, in fact, there would never be a settlement.

What about President Lincoln?

I suggest that negotiation and the effecting of a settlement of international disputes is the hardest work that Government Ministers may be called upon to do, because it tests men. Any lop-sided lout can make a quarrel and any ignoramus can keep a quarrel on, but it takes men of ability and courage to end a fight, and I would like, although I am opposed to that Front Bench, to see evidence of that type of ability and courage. Remember it is all very well to indulge in cheap heroics at a crossroads, or, for that matter, at election times—we can make allowances for that—but this kind of cheap clap-trap of "Up the Republic!" our "national enemy" and our "historical enemy is not doing this country any good. It has done it harm, and is going to continue to do harm, except Government Ministers do what Ministers do all over the world—meet and bargain on behalf of the people, obtain the best bargain they can, according to the strength of their case, and the courage and principles they are gifted with, and bring it back to the people here.

We had a statement here from the President with regard to the situation in the North—partition. Partition is deplorable and is deplored by people on this side of the House as well as on the other side, but the hotch-potch type of statement made here by the President to-night— mixing up the partition of this country as if that were a part of the old age-long struggle between this country and Great Britain—can do nothing but real harm. Everybody on both sides of this House who deplores partition, or the continuance of partition, and realises that mixing up the present partition, which everyone of us must hope is a terminable partition and a temporary one, with the old controversial feuds and the bad blood of centuries gone by, can do nothing but harm and can have no effect but to make partition more permanent and more lasting than it is at the moment. That type of irresponsible speech about Orangemen in the North——

Who referred to Orangemen? I think if the Deputy is quoting the President he should quote him accurately. He has already devoted a large amount of his speech to partition but he did not go to the trouble of getting notes of what the President said. The President made no reference to Orangemen.

I did not mention the President's name in association with or in regard to Orangemen. The lateness of the hour probably explains the Minister's lack of grasp. I said the mention of Orangemen can do nothing but harm and can have no effect but to make the rift wider and deeper than it is at present. I believe the Deputies opposite really hope for the termination of partition, and there are many who would hope for it in spite of the fact that a certain catch-cry would be removed from the political arena, but, if we are ever really to work towards the ending of partition we have got to begin by altering our statements in regard to the North. We have got to begin by recognising and preaching to those who support us and those who follow us that the people in the North though they may differ in religion are just as Irish as the people in the South, and the division between people of the same nation is unnatural and unnational, and by introducing a bit more toleration, a little bit more understanding, and a bit more charity into our remarks on these things, concerning the North of Ireland, then we would be doing something real to terminate partition in this country.

I think the speech of the last Deputy is the grandest apology that could be made for every connivance on the part of England towards the subjection of this country and for those who have largely contributed to every difficulty that exists on both national and religious matters dividing the world to-day. The whole contribution is one argument in favour of his own attitude and the attitude of his Party on this question. He advocates an adjustment of our affairs with England from the English point of view. He advocates that every difference with this country is based upon the attitude that we occupy and for which we stand in advocating our rights to the national independence of the country. He further advocates that all the ills that have flown to this country are due to the same principles —the principles of this country—and he subjugates all those rights to the domination of outside authorities.

Dr. O'Higgins might well be excused for that line of argument. He has made very well out of that line of reasoning. He is to-day in possession of a valuable position of medical officer of health, because he was one of those people who thought that the rights of this country should always be subject to the dictation of an outside authority, and that position brings him in a emolument in the neighbourhood of a £1,000 a year. If we are to advocate along the same line of argument we could see the value of advocacy of everything material, but if there is nothing greater in life than that, then all our ideals are a failure. I suggest for his consideration that he might well consider that if these are the only arguments of importance, he himself to-day would not be a Deputy of this House nor any House, nor would he be in possession of the emoluments coming to him as medical officer of health under the authority of the Dáil. He refers to the settlement of the economic differences that exist between this country and England and he blames the responsibility for non-settlement on our policy. I have waited for the reasons that he might give in justification of that. They were not forthcoming. It was merely a general statement that the policy of Fianna Fáil was responsible for the continuance and existence of those economic problems. I suggest to him as a medium of consideration that if he would only look back on the records that exist for the past five or ten years, he would find the responsibility was not due to the Government in existence to-day, or the Government in existence for the past two years, but would be due entirely and with full responsibility upon the Government that existed before us, and the Government he supported and the Party he supports now in Opposition plus the support that is always forthcoming to any renegade Irishman who advocates the interests of England against our own country. The economic problems are directly due to the policy carried on and advocated by Cumann na nGaedheal while they were in this country as a Government supported by the English interests whose purposes they serve, and who in return were bound to support that English interest. There is no economic policy to be served now, other than a national economic policy, and the Government in existence recognises that it can only be served by utilising the general resources of this country in the general way that Christianity and a Christian social policy would see them utilised.

Deputy O'Higgins referred to the double shuffles of the President. There is no double shuffling of the President of this State, or any double shuffling connected with the Party controlling affairs now. Double shuffling was conceived and carried out by the people endeavouring to serve two countries— this country and England—and I assert England first. The double shufflers are Dr. O'Higgins and the Party he belongs to. The President has outlined national policy and Fianna Fáil are endeavouring in spite of terrific odds to carry through that national policy and the greatest enemy we have is Dr. O'Higgins with his double shuffling of accepting a salary of £1,000 a year——

That does not arise on the Vote of the President, clearly.

Besides being an outrageous falsehood.

Mr. Maguire

It is not.

Outrageous falsehood I have said.

Mr. Maguire

The man holds a dual position.

It does not arise on this Vote if he held ten positions.

It is a scandalous and outrageous falsehood.

Mr. Maguire

The deplorable partition is due in this country as a result of the policy of Dr. O'Higgins and the Party he belongs to. Let him not endeavour to seek by any form of what he calls double shuffle to transfer the responsibility for partition of the country from the Party to which he belongs to the Party who always stood and will always stand against it. He further sought to saddle us with the responsibilities of making slanders against the Orangemen of the Six Counties. Some member of our Party interrupted him on that question. He was quite unjustified in making that statement, but if I am called to order for making certain statements—I accept that Leas-Cheann Comhairle is within his rights in calling me to order —there is certain justification for extending my limitation by reason of these unlimited charges that were made by the last speaker.

When he refers to the President of this country as making a charge against the Orangemen of this country or any other section of the people he knows, and he must know, he is the slanderer and maligner, because everyone both inside and outside knows that the President is the one man that stands for unity, not class or creed, but equality of all interests and all sections. The men, and the only men, responsible for the division of our country are Dr. O'Higgins and the Party he belongs to. They are the Party who signed their signatures to the division of our country, and that is the most outrageous charge that can be levelled against any individual or against any Party in this country, and when Dr. O'Higgins wants to refer to the division of the country, and to make that charge against us as a Party, he must know that he is speaking and making a statement that is unfounded, and when he charges the President of the State with making allegations or charges against a section of our people he does know and must know that these charges are unfounded. All these evils belong to Dr. O'Higgins and his Party. If we are partitioned in this country it is due to him and his Party. If we have sectarian differences they are due to Sir James Craig, Dr. O'Higgins and Cumann na nGaedheal. If we have an economic war raging in this country, that economic war is due to Cumann na nGaedheal and their allies, the British Government in this country. Let the people not misunderstand that, and if statements are made from the Opposition that these matters are due to any action of this House I will repudiate them, and will always repudiate them.

Dr. O'Higgins said: "Let every man carry arms." Of course, let every man carry arms! Why does not he carry arms himself—this Medical Officer of Health for County Meath, a Deputy of this House and the leader of the A.C.A.? Why not all carry arms? Of course, it is a splendid appeal! I assert to Deputy O'Higgins and to the Party for whom he speaks that his plea in this House for permission for every citizen to carry arms is based upon cowardice. He has endeavoured to organise a force in this country that would upset every ordered condition of society in this country, if he dared, but he, and the Party to which he belongs, and the people he has endeavoured to organise have not enough courage to put into practice the policy for which he pleads.

He found his material, but he found that he was lacking in courage to put the policy into operation, and he comes forward now with the appeal for us all to be allowed to carry arms. Is that the appeal we should expect from a man who puts himself forward as a Constitutionalist? Is that the end of his A.C.A. ism? Is that all he can accomplish by his efforts to bring into existence a force that would overthrow and displace every force for the maintenance of order that this State has set up—the Civic Guards, the Army, and the other necessary forces for maintaining order? He sought to acquire and put into existence a force that would conquer them all, and it seems that he failed, because the material he had, I assert, was not capable of that courage that would enable them, without the authority which Dr. O'Higgins——

Deputy O'Higgins.

Mr. Maguire

Deputy O'Higgins, by his appeal to this Dáil, advocated the authority that they would by all means apply if they dared, but which they find they can only apply if they are allowed to carry arms. That plea is based, not upon equality, but upon the hope that, if arms were allowed to be carried, the section he hopes to lead in this country would be enabled, by reason of the right to carry arms, and by reason of their organisation, to terrorise the community into subjection to the will which he would enforce upon them, and the will which Cumann na nGaedheal would wish to enforce upon this country. That is the will of a dictator, as against the expressed wish of the democracy of this country.

Speaking of the Republic, Deputy O'Higgins uses the phrase "cheap clap-trap.""Cheap clap-trap" from a man who sits in this Dáil to-night by reason of the declaration of the Republic many years ago! He is one of the men who advocated the Republic, but he now vilifies the name of the Republic mentioned in this House as "cheap clap-trap."

Are not you in the same position?

Mr. Maguire

I am not in the same position. I say it is an honoured name and an honoured cause, but the man who designates it as "cheap clap-trap," after he has secured position and security of office, well-being and a livelihood—I say that that man is a traitor, and I charge not alone him but the Party to which he belongs as being in a similar position—traitors to their country; men who have acquired all they hoped to acquire and who now denounce and spurn the means by which they acquired it.

Your Front Bench.

Mr. Maguire

The Front Bench are able to answer for themselves. I am replying to the statement made not by one of your "Front Benchers" but by one of your back benchers who would, if he dared, be a dictator in this country, and whose ambition is, ultimately, to become a dictator if this country would allow him. You are all following him, and you probably hope to be one of his satellites.

I never followed anybody. I always led.

Mr. Maguire

"Cheap clap-trap!" I think that phrase might very well be applied, not alone to your Front Benchers, but to every man of your Party.

The Deputy should not address fellow Deputies in the second person.

Mr. Maguire

Before I conclude, I should like to mention that it has just been called to my attention that during my speech I made a reference to Sir James Craig. I meant to refer not to Sir James Craig, but to Lord Craigavon, and I wish to make that apology and correction.

I beg to move that the question be put.

I am accepting that motion.

Sir, I submit that we have 23 hours to go.

Once the Chair has ruled on the matter there can be no further discussion. The Vote is No. 3, the Department of the President of the Executive Council. I have accepted the motion that the question be now put. The question is: "That the question be now put."

The Committee divided:—Tá: 56; Níl: 38.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Cleary, Mícheál.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Daly, Denis.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • DeValera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Doherty, Joseph.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hales, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Kelly, Seán Thomas.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Richard.

Níl

  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Belton, Patrick.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Bourke, Séamus.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Broderick, William Joseph.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Davitt, Robert Emmet.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Dolan, James Nicholas.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Maguire, James Ivan.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • O'Connor, Batt.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Neill, Eamonn.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, Bridget Mary.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Roddy, Martin.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Traynor; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.
Question declared carried. Main question put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 57; Níl, 38.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Cleary, Mícheál.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Cooney, Eamonn.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Daly, Denis.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Doherty, Joseph.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hales, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Kelly, Seán Thomas.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Richard.

Níl

  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Belton, Patrick.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Bourke, Séamus.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Broderick, William Joseph.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McGuire, James Ivan.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • O'Connor, Batt.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • Davitt, Robert Emmet.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Dolan, James Nicholas.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Neill, Eamonn.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, Bridget Mary.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Roddy, Martin.
Tellers—Ta: Deputies Little and Tray nor; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.