Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Deputy's Speech.

asked the Minister for Defence whether he is aware that in the Irish Press of February 14th a Deputy of the Fianna Fáil Party is reported as having said at Bandon that in his view the rank and file of the new Volunteer Force should be composed of men with a definitely declared Republican outlook whose influence would be the governing factor with the masses; whether this statement correctly represents Government policy; and, if not, whether steps will be taken to prevent the country from being misled as to the character and objects of the new force.

I have read the statement to which the Deputy refers. The Deputy who made it, deputy Hales, stressed the fact that it was his personal view. In answer to the latter portion of the Deputy's question I wish to state that Deputy Hales' personal view differs from the official attitude of the Government inasmuch as Deputy Hales would like to see every recruit with a definitely declared Republican outlook, while the Government will accept recruits without questioning their political views, provided they are suitable from a military point of view and can be relied upon to give loyal service to any Government elected by the people including, I might add, the Government which will declare the Republic with the authority of the people.

Will the Minister persuade his followers to make that point of view clear to the people of the country?

Is the Minister aware that it is stated in to-day's Press that a sluagh has already been formed in Dundalk area, and will he say if advertisements asking for recruits have been issued in that area?

The Sluagh Committee will canvass for recruits, and the administrative officer will accept recruits. Advertisements will be issued for recruits in that area

Will the Minister say if it is a fact that a sluagh has not been formed in the Dundalk area?

A Sluagh Committee has been arranged.

Are the Sluagh Committee members of the new volunteer force?

They will be.