asked the Minister for Defence whether he is aware that James Hanley, of Charleville, a member of the Army Reserve, No. 68014, whose services in the Reserve were not normally due to terminate until March, 1936, was called for a special course of signals on the 3rd March last, and was discharged from the Reserve on the 10th March, and if he will state the reasons for his discharge.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Discharge of Charleville Army Reservist.
I am aware of the facts as stated. This reservist was discharged for the reason that his services were no longer required.
Is the Minister aware that this reservist, James Hanley, had three years' service in the Army and four years' service in the Army Reserve with a character very good in the Army and in the Reserve? Will the Minister say in what circumstance he is able to dispense with the services of such a man in the Army Reserve while he is building up a new Volunteer force?
I do not propose to give the Deputy any further information than I have given him. I do not accept the position that I must give any further information than I have already given in regard to this particular man, but if the Deputy will care to look up the records of the Millstreet District Court of the 6th April last he will find that the two reservists, Thomas Dowling and Patrick Bohan, about whom he asked a week ago, were on that occasion convicted of boyish pranks.
I would ask the Minister to remember that the question before the House now is with regard to the case of James Hanley, of Charleville. Will the Minister say what transpired between the 3rd March last, when he received an invitation to come up for a special course of signals, and the 10th March, the day on which the notice was issued terminating his services in the Reserve?
The decision was taken in the meantime that his services were no longer required.
Will the Minister say on what grounds?
Will the Minister say that the supposed boyish pranks consisted in the fact that this man, who is now discharged from the Reserve, was in October, 1932, guilty of the boyish prank of defending free speech at Kilmallock? Will the Minister now say that this reservist was dismissed because it was brought to the Minister's notice that he was a member of the audience at a public meeting in Kilmallock in October, 1932, and endeavoured to protect free speech?
I have already told the Deputy that I do not propose to give him any further information or to accept the position that I have to give him any further information than that given in the original answer to the question, that is that this man was discharged for no other reason than that his services were no longer required.
Do I understand from the Minister that a man can be discharged now and that henceforth men will be discharged from the Reserve, who have given many years' service in the Army and in the Reserve, men who have been given very good characters and that such men can be put out of the Reserve without any explanation, good, bad or indifferent?
That is not so.
But is not that the position with regard to James Hanley?
Then, what is the position with regard to James Hanley?
That his services are no longer required and that he is, therefore, discharged.
He was given no reason, good, bad or indifferent why he was discharged?
No. That is not so.
Is the reason that his character was not good?
No. That his services were no longer required.
That is a good old reason that trade unionists will understand anyway.
Are we to understand——
Deputy Murphy, question No. 10.