Constitution (Amendment No. 23) Bill), 1934—Second Stage.

I move that the Constitution (Amendment No. 23) Bill be now read a second time. The Bill provides for the deletion from the Constitution of Article XXVII which entitles each university in Saorstát Eireann to elect three representatives to Dáil Eireann. The history of University representation in Saorstát Eireann is that letters patent of James I conferred on Trinity College the privilege of sending two burgesses to Parliament. Representation in Parliament was first given to the National University of Ireland by the Redistribution Act of 1918 and in the Act of 1920 it was to return four members out of 128 to the Southern Parliament. Similar representation was given to Dublin University, which, however, continued to return two members to the British Parliament as compared with one member for the National University.

Objection may be taken to Article XXVII of the Constitution on at least two main grounds. First, representation in this House is in general regulated by a population formula applicable to borough and county constituencies. This formula does not, however, apply to the university constituencies the number of whose representatives are fixed in the Constitution and no matter how the number of university electors may be reduced, the number of representatives remains the same. Furthermore, the representation which has been given to the universities by Article XXVII is out of all proportion to the number of electors concerned. Take the register on which the last general election was contested. 3,260 Dublin University electors returned three Deputies—an average of one Deputy to 1,087 electors. In the National University 4,655 electors returned three Deputies, an average of one Deputy to 1,552 members. Taking the country as a whole, the average number of electors represented by each Deputy was 11,699. In a State which has adopted the principle of adult suffrage and proportional representation this position can scarcely be justified. In no real sense is the university a constituency. It is rather an institution, the representatives of which are elected by persons who normally become entitled to vote only when they have left the university.

Secondly, if this Assembly, elected on an adult suffrage register according to the principles of proportional representation, is to include a special representation of a particular interest elected on a different basis it can only be because there is clear evidence that that particular interest has a peculiar national importance and cannot otherwise secure representation. It would be difficult to make any such claim in this case. University electors have the same rights and the same responsibilities as other citizens. The laws apply to them equally with other sections of the community. They do not press on them more heavily than on any other class. The University franchise is not an "education" franchise. If it were it should logically be conferred, for instance, on the holders of diplomas which rank for professional and State purposes as the equivalent of University degrees, such as the Licentiates of the College of Physicians and Surgeons. If the benefits of a university education are held to make a man or woman wiser or more suitable to exercise the franchise, then it would appear to be in the public interest that this body of intelligent voters should be distributed throughout the constituencies generally to leaven the mass rather than concentrated in an enclave.

In the past when the possession of a vote depended on ownership of property, it may well have been argued that a university graduate was at least as well qualified to be a parliamentary elector as an owner of the property franchise. Nowadays when every man and woman of 21 is an elector, that argument applies no longer. As the position stands a candidate representing a university constituency has equal rights with other Deputies. If a university Deputy votes on a fundamental political issue he must be assumed to vote according to the policy declared by him at his election. Such a vote would not be logical unless it is conceded that the interests of a University are political and that those interests are to prevail out of all proportion to their extent. I do not think it is of advantage to the Universities that they be regarded as part of the political machine.

A further objection to the existence of University constituencies is that a not inconsiderable number of the electors are domiciled outside Ireland, and I feel strongly that such persons should not be in a position to exercise an influence on our Parliamentary developments. Owing to the smallness of the constituencies, these voters who are domiciled abroad might have such an influence in certain circumstances. It may be suggested in some quarters that special representation is needed to protect the interests of the University of Dublin. All sides of this House will, I trust, agree with me when I say that the march of events since this Assembly came into existence has shown that no such artificial safeguards are required. To make such a claim now is but to plead that the interests of the minority are not identical with those of the nation as a whole, and any fears which members of that minority may have felt as to their treatment at the hands of their fellow-citizens must have been dispelled long ago. I believe that the University of Dublin has nothing to fear as a consequence of being deprived of separate representation. I am not unmindful of the Deputies who have represented both Universities in this House and the record of their work will not be without appeal to the electors in a local constituency. They have attended and spoken here as Deputies, like other Deputies, not solely as University representatives.

I congratulate the Vice-President on the excellent way in which he read his essay. I got a shock when he commenced the statement, as I thought we were going to get a bit of old history. When I heard the James's mentioned I thought we were in for quite a lot of history.

Surely the Deputy would not object to a little history?

I never quote history in the House. I leave that to the Government side of the House. I keep professional matters strictly outside the House. I do not think that I have ever made an appeal of that kind in this House and I may say I was rather distrustful of it coming from the Vice-President. At the beginning of his little essay, the Vice-President said there were two main arguments against the continuance of University representation. One was that a University was not a constituency in the ordinary sense of the word. Of course it is not. That is obvious and that is the reason that there is an Article in the Constitution providing for this particular type of constituency.

I am quite aware that it is not the same kind of constituency as the ordinary constituency which is bound by geographical frontiers and which represents a district. To point that out is simply to point out that a University constituency is a University constituency and not an ordinary constituency, but in no sense is it an argument against the continuance of that particular type of constituency. Secondly, it is pointed out that no matter how small the number of electors in the constituency may become, still there will be the same number of members to represent the constituency. May I suggest that the proper way to meet a situation of that kind is not the root and branch methods of the levellers of the Government. The proper way to deal with that situation is not complete abolition. If there was a case for that, complete abolition is not the answer to it, nor is complete abolition favoured by the argument that the Vice-President brought forward, namely, that in comparison to other constituencies, the Universities have a representation out of all proportion to the number of voters on the lists.

I do not think first of all that that is a valid argument. Secondly, the remedy proposed, namely, complete abolition rather than amendment of the Article, is not the way to deal with the matter. If, however, there is anything in what the Vice-President described, in his main argument, which I do not admit, then the case he has established is a case for a revision of the number of Deputies representing Universities, rather than for abolition of University representation. The Government are so keen on destroying, and wiping away, that apparently they have not considered that matter. That is the argument that the Vice-President has singled out as his main argument.

As I was listening to the speech of the Vice-President, I was wondering when the word "logical" would come, and, right enough, it came. We have here in the case of University representation another case of destruction of a thing that becomes the victim of the combination of the President's logic and the interests of the Party of which he is head. And when the President's logic and the political interests of his Party combine, they are not good for the nation, and they go on with their destruction. All sorts of things have already fallen a victim to them—markets, calves, liberties of the people, judges, the Seanad, and now University representation—all butchered for the purpose of making a kind of logical holiday for the President. There is something deadly or death dealing in his logic; in all these things his logic is always destructive, and very rarely constructive.

Right through the course he has pursued we see his logic levelling down, destroying what has been in existence. It has been done, perhaps, in the case of graver interests than the present. I look upon the present instance as another illustration of the faculty which that logic has to destroy things which it finds in existence, and put nothing else in their place. It is a real destructive spirit. When on a recent measure someone was speaking on this side of the House, and he pointed out that the measure was destructive, the President interrupted that it was necessary to destroy in order to build up. Most of us can see, unfortunately, his destructive accomplishment. The President's real spirit is revolutionary, destructive, wiping out, levelling down. That is what is being done in this Bill, no doubt in a smaller way than what has been done elsewhere.

I look upon this Bill as evidence of the same mentality that we have been getting from the Government Benches for the last couple of years, and for the last couple of months. It is intended to provide a clean state for the beautiful caligraphy of the President, unsullied by any contribution so different from his predecessors. He will have nothing to do with the former liberties or economy of the country; his only conception is to wipe out everything that he has found in existence. This Bill cannot be taken in isolation. It is merely another instance of the fact that we have before us a leveller in the worst sense of the word.

The Vice-President started off by threatening us with history but, apparently, he soon revised his idea, or else the composers of his statement revised the idea. If the Vice-President and Deputies will look up the debates on this matter, when the question of embodying University representation in the Constitution was before the House, they will find that there was no division on the matter. It was accepted by the House; it was not imposed, in any sense of the word, upon the House by the Government. The Government made it quite clear that in this matter they were perfectly neutral; they did not make it a matter of confidence. The representatives of the ordinary constituencies throughout the country put this matter of University representation into the Constitution. Now, without any sufficient justification, it is being removed. The President and the Vice-President must remember that they are taking away something that is already there.

I could understand a lot of the Vice-President's speech if it were now proposed, for the first time, to give Universities representation. But what warrant have they for inflicting damage now, without having any reason, by taking away something that is already there? They want to impose a dead level. The soul of their policy is to reduce everything to the same dead level. What is aimed at—and this was the whole gist of the speech that we listened to—is not equality, in any practical sense, but uniformity. I have no doubt that the President would have made an excellent Minister to, let us say, Henry VIII. A colleague of mine, Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney, has pointed out that the President could have gone to him or Elizabeth for one of the recent Bills he has put before this House. He has a passion for uniformity. Practical matters are left aside, and the interests of different institutions are left aside; so long as there is a nice mathematical figure, the President is satisfied. A distinguished French statesman said on one occasion—and I commend this to the attention of the Government—that it was much better to live under an illogical Constitution than to die under a logical one. And there is a tremendous amount of that in the policy of the Government at the present time.

There is no conflict with the democratic principle in the idea of University representation as it obtains at the present moment in this country. There is no double vote. There was a time when University voters had also a vote in their ordinary constituencies. A great deal of the objection to University representation came from the fact of the double vote. That objection was on democratic grounds. That is no longer so. It is now a case of one vote; yet the "undemocratic" cry has been taken over parrot-like. There is also nothing undemocratic in having different kinds of constituencies. There is no reason why constituencies should be limited to geographically bound areas. Personally, I think much may be said for constituencies that are not bound to geographical boundaries of that kind and I should prefer the extension of that principle; so that we should have more constituencies of the University type.

The ordinary local geographically-bound area is only one method of electing representatives. There is no reason, except the desire for uniformity, why there should not be other methods. The President had better pass a new Act of Uniformity to embrace all his measures and to introduce what he calls "logic" into our political life. This is a way of getting a certain type of member and, on the whole, I think that it has been successful in that respect. The Vice-President should not pay merely lip-tribute to the services rendered by university representatives in this House and then proceed to wipe out that particular form of representation. I have no hesitation in saying that the life, the political development and the economic development of this country would have been poorer and that even the domestic arrangements in this House would not have been as good, had we not had University representation. If we look back on the past 12 years, or thereabouts, I think that we shall have to confess that University representation has justified itself. Even if the National University has given the Fianna Fáil Party the present Attorney-General, that is not sufficient excuse for the introduction of a Bill by the President to wipe out University representation altogether. That is a very poor form of revenge on University institutions for that particular error.

I think that the representation of Universities in this institution—they cannot have representation now in the Seanad as was, I think, originally proposed in the Constitution—is good for the political life of the country and good for the Universities. You get in this constituency a certain type of mind that you do not get elsewhere. It is a good thing to have that particular type of mind concentrated in this type of constituency. Occasionally, we hear a great deal of talk about the respect this country has for education. I should like to see evidences of that. There are altogether too few evidences of it, and I am afraid the Government is not showing good example in this Bill. They are not showing their respect for a particular class of education. Perhaps they do not believe in it. Perhaps their Party do not believe in it. Perhaps they despise that type of education. If they do, let them have done with the mock reverence they show and the lip service they pay to education. Both for the nation and for the University I believe that University representation is good. Whatever pure mathematical uniformity may demand, I believe it is good both for the Universities and the country that this type of representation should continue.

I remember—I wonder whether the mind of the Vice-President goes back to the occasion—when the man responsible for this Bill was elected Chancellor of a University. I wonder whether, on that particular day and in that particular crisis, he thought that there ought to be no mixing up of the Universities with politics, that it was bad for the Universities to be mixed up with politics or whether he did not realise that he was elected Chancellor of that University because he was the head of a certain political party at that time. I recollect some of the things said, the promises made, and the general attitude taken up by the man who now brings forward this Bill. One phrase, like a great many phrases of the President, has been more honoured in the breach than in the observance. As well as I remember, the phrase was that the niggardliness of the Saxon would pale before the generosity of the Gael. We have waited during the past few years for that promise to be put triumphantly into practice. This is the contribution. This is the respect we get for the universities. I wonder whether the sole purpose of this Bill is to deprive Dublin University of three representatives here—to effect a mere Party gain of two votes if the present voting strength of the parties in the University constituencies remains unaltered.

We had last week a most extraordinary Bill—a Bill that reached the height of gerrymandering. That was an effort on the part of the Government to save themselves from the coming storm of indignation. It is fitting that this Bill should be introduced immediately after the Committee Stage of the Bill to which I have just referred. This is an effort, without reference to what it involves, to save two votes. That is the very best case that can be put up for it. Notwithstanding the general principles expounded by the Vice-President and the appeal to logic by the President, the basis of the Bill is the sordid calculation of a couple of votes. An ideal that was included in the Constitution by the free vote of this House without any pressure whatsoever from the Government of the day—it was not even proposed by the Government of the day, so far as I remember—is now being brushed aside by the Fianna Fáil Party because they think they can gain a couple of votes. Nobody pretends more respect for education than the Chancellor of the National University, but it would be bad for the Universities to have this representation! So the President thinks. Did the President consult the Universities? Did he ask the governing bodies of these institutions what they thought of the matter? As I pointed out, he had no objection whatever, when he was head of a political Party, to being elected to the Chancellorship of one of these institutions which he now proposes to deprive of representation. I admit that the existence of University representation does not fit in nicely with the triangular mind of the President. No political institution is perfect. I am afraid that, in trying to get this standard of geometrical perfection, we have been doing real damage during the past couple of months. We have been leaving aside the really practical considerations and losing ourselves in a mathematical bog. No system of representation is perfect. Democracy itself is not perfect. We have listened to attempts in the past couple of weeks to pick holes in all kinds of institutions. It can be done. Every first-year student of politics knows that you can pick holes in every political institution. You can "prove" that it ought not to exist or that it will not work. It is practical considerations that ought to be taken into account. The only appeal made has been to that extraordinarily narrow mentality of destruction which is the characteristic of the Government.

The introduction and the passing of this Bill, if it is passed, will not be a credit to this Dáil. It is simply further evidence of another step in the degrading policy of the Government, and when I say "degrading" I am using the word in a slightly unusual way. I mean a grading down, a levelling down, a lowering of the tone. That is the aim, and this is simply another step. They are doing that in every direction. In the last couple of years, in the last six or nine months, in the last couple of weeks we have again and again looked to those who are very keen on telling us that they have the responsibility of Government for real constitutional safeguards of various kinds, but we have never got them. When we looked, so to speak, for constitutional bread from that Party, we got a mathematical stone nicely trimmed, undoubtedly, but quite lifeless. I trust that the Dáil will have a sufficient sense of decency to reject this Bill; and it will at least try to put occasionally into practice what it boasts of so much—the innate love of the Irish people for learning—a feeling which we certainly would like to see fostered to a greater extent in this country. Do not be satisfied with a mere lip service; do not damage educational institutions merely for the sake of the sordid gain of two votes.

I want to assure the Dáil that I can speak quite impersonally on this matter. I am an older man than most here, and in all probability, whether this Bill passes or not, this will be my last Dáil; at least it is very likely that it would, so that I can speak without any personal feelings except those of deep disappointment and heavy responsibility. On behalf of University representatives I think I may say that it has been their principal aim and ambition here to make University representation a credit both to the Universities and to the country. I regard this Bill as a most regrettable Bill from whatever point of view you may chance to regard it. From the Fianna Fáil point of view I think it is petty and unworthy of their own principles and their own protestations. From the democratic point of view it is based on a complete misapprehension. From the point of view of the country, I think it would be a real loss to the country and damage to the Parliament of the country. From the point of view of the Universities I think the Bill gives a most serious blow to the prestige of the Universities and to letters and culture in the country as well.

From the Fianna Fáil point of view, as Deputy O'Sullivan has said, the matter simply seems to come to this: that on present representation—and there is no certainty that such representation will continue—the Fianna Fáil Party will gain two votes. I leave it at that after what Deputy O'Sullivan has said. From the democratic point of view I say that the whole Bill is based on a complete misapprehension; the gravamen of the attack on University representation was based on the view that minority voters were a privileged people getting two votes. But that does not apply under our system, so that the democratic argument has really nothing against University representation once that principle has been abandoned. The principle of one person, one vote is ours; but to apply arithmetic to our system and say that there is something wrong when we have one constituency electing a member by a very much smaller number of votes than another is, I contend, a complete misapprehension of the whole position.

The President stated the matter very fairly the other day. He pointed out that we have got a system which includes proportional representation: that the object of that system is to give, so far as may be, approximate representation to different varieties of thought and different sections of the whole community, and he went on to point out that we have had in the past, and have here to-day, a very fair sample as a result. But nobody contends that that system will give us anything like accurate arithmetical truth— quite the reverse—but we do contend that as a result we get minorities more or less fairly represented. Certainly, the argument that the Vice-President put forward might have been of use if it had been suggested that University representation should have been cut down, but I contend that it is entirely out of place when used to show that it should be abolished altogether. There is no such thing as identity and equality of voting power amongst the members of the State, and there could not be, short of having one constituency for the whole country. In many places there are hundred of voters who know that they have not got the faintest chance of their votes giving them any representation for their true and real opinions. Their votes are practically useless and worth nothing. It is with those votes that you ought to compare, if you are making arithmetical calculations, the value of the vote of the University elector. You have got the whole gamut, stretching from one end of the scale to the other, with votes of no value and votes of great importance. In a great many cases I would say that it is a pure matter of accident whether a particular vote is valuable or whether it is simply worth nothing. In a democratic system such as ours, with proportional representation, you cannot expect to get anything approaching equal values for all votes, so that the argument put forward on that basis as a reason for abolishing University representation is worth absolutely nothing at all.

But there are two facts which do stand out, and there are two results which this Bill will produce. Whatever may be the real reasons for the introduction of the Bill, and whatever may be said about it, these two facts will stand out and will produce their impression. The first is that the Fianna Fáil Party will gain two votes. The second is that a certain section, a minority section in the country, which has had very largely, through the accident of University representation, a means for getting an expression of its views in this House, and which, without that representation, would not have been provided with even an approximate approach to the representation which the magnitude of that section deserves, will suffer a serious curtailment in the expression of its views here. The President told us the other day that he did not want that, that he wanted a move towards great co-operation, and that he hoped that move was taking place. I state emphatically that if you pass this Bill you will undo the slow work which has been going on for years, leading to an increase in that co-operation. The effect of this Bill on the minority, that particular minority which I think may now be well called the conservative minority, will be simply this, no matter what the President says or does, that the Fianna Fáil Party wishes that section to have a definite curtailment in its powers of expression in the Dáil, and, far from wanting its co-operation, it is seeking a curtailment of its powers of expression.

You have only got to look at the trend of legislation in the past few months and you will see that view confirmed. Take your Bill to abolish the Seanad. I need not enlarge upon that. Take your Revision of Constituencies Bill. Personally, I have no doubt the effect of the revision of constituencies will be that the chance of one of that conservative section being elected under the new scheme will be less than it was before. I look upon the general trend of legislation and I see one thing demonstrated—no matter what may be said—that Fianna Fáil does not want such views expressed and does not want to hear them expressed. It wants their opportunities for expression to be curtailed rather than increased. That falls into line with the first argument I will put forward for a positive gain to accrue from continuing University representation, particularly at present.

I agree with the President that it is most urgently necessary at present, that everything should be done to secure the co-operation of all in our attempts to stabilise and to improve the condition of the country. The co-operation of all is necessary, and will be necessary, but if you pass this Bill you diminish the kind of co-operation that is possible, or that is going to be given throughout the country. It is inevitable that one effect will be produced, and that it will not be removed by the mere statement that co-operation is desirable. That section will say that this Bill means that you do not want their help, that you do not want even to hear their views stated. There is no question of privilege involved at all. There is no question of double voting. There is no question of University members having power. They have no power worth talking about, no power except what influence they may be able to exert. No major measure of importance should be passed at all if it is going to be decided one way or another by two votes. I think most people will agree that if the House was so near to being equally divided, it would be better to hold up such a measure until a clear expression of opinion was obtained. This reason alone, at the present time, ought to settle this question, whether this Bill should be pushed or not. We do not want privilege. We want a fair chance to express our views, and to give our help and to gain a hearing if we have the ability to get a hearing from those with whom we differ.

Deputy O'Sullivan touched upon this point, that it would be a real loss to the Dáil if University members were excluded. I do not base my support for this on any kind of argument of a vocational kind. It is not because a University representative may, or may not be, a very learned man, or because he may be a specialist in some kind of learning. It is not because he may be an expert in medicine, engineering or education, though I think the past has shown that expert advice upon these subjects has been of very great value in legislation. It is not on that I base my case. It is rather that the University is, first, a place where such training is obtained as is likely to give a width of view and a toleration of the opinions of others. It is a place for thought and for free discussion. It is a place where men learn to differ with those having completely different opinions, and yet respect one another; where they learn to look on a question from the viewpoint of their opponents as well as from their own point of view. It is a place where a different spirit altogether is at work from that which is at work on the hustings through the country. It is a place where questions are not faced from the party point of view, but from the political point of view, and I use the word "political" very definitely in contrast with the word "party," though the two words nowadays are very often used with almost the same significance. I use it from the sense that it was used of old, as something which concerns the whole body politic—the whole State. In the University especially, these matters are, and ought to be, looked at from that general point of view.

A University is a place where knowledge is and ought to be sought for its own sake, knowledge in all branches, and knowledge particularly in what is likely to be beneficial to the body politic. It is in the University that that kind of knowledge spreads, and it is from the University that that kind of knowledge and that kind of spirit ought to permeate and to get out into the country. One way to do it is through the work done here, if their representatives are worthy of the University at all. Members a University is likely to send here are not men who would of their own free will come to this House, except from the University. They are men who come here from a sense of duty, duty both to the University and to their country, men who come because the University asks them to come, men who would never dream of going to an outside constituency and seeking election, because their interests are primarily academic, and they would be happy if they were immersed in its interests and told to leave general political interests aside. When the University puts it to them that it is their duty to bring whatever help they can to the Parliament of the nation, then they appreciate that they have responsibility to the nation as well as to the University.

One special argument that I would put forward in this connection is that this Bill will take away from the University that responsibility which it has as an element in the country. This Bill, if passed into law, will tend to excuse it in shirking that responsibility and will tend to make it more self-centred than it is likely to be of its own free will. It will prevent the Universities realising to the full the responsibility which they owe to the country as well as to themselves. It is the removal of that responsibility from the University, that sense of responsibility, the lessening of it in the University, which is my chief reason for saying that the passage of this Bill will do real harm to University life in the country. It will not alone lessen its prestige in letters, culture and science because of the view that would be taken of the Parliament of the country dispensing in this manner with its services, but it will encourage the University to fail to realise that which I think is one of the most serious responsibilities which rests upon a University.

Further, the Vice-President put this partly forward as one of his excuses for introducing the Bill: If you pass this Bill you break one of the last, if not the last, political links that bind the Twenty-six Counties with the Six Counties. To my mind, it is not an objection. Quite the reverse. It is one of the good things of University representation that we are able, here at any rate, to feel that inasmuch as certain men represent some in the Six Counties as well as in the Twenty-six Counties we are speaking for the country as a whole and not for any part of the country or any Party in the country. If the Vice-President is to carry his argument so far, it is quite easy to insist upon domicile in Ireland for the University vote, but I do not think that even he would insist upon making that domicile necessary in the Twenty-six Counties. Neither he nor I want to insist more than is necessary that the country is at present divided into two parts. The University representation may be the last political link that binds these two parts together. Do not let us break it. My last point has already been indeed put by Deputy Professor O'Sullivan. This Bill is contrary to the whole spirit of Irish history and Irish tradition. We have always been a country that respected letters and culture. Does this Bill show such respect? I say no. It does not.

I am somewhat at a disadvantage because the Vice-President in introducing the Bill spoke in a low tone. I could not catch all his arguments but I do not think he deserved the colour that the learned Professor applies to his speech. I do not think it was a political speech. I do not think he cares about the two votes of the University. I do not think in this matter that he cares about any votes at all. I think this Bill is introduced as a sequel to the other Bill you have already discussed regulating the constituencies in the future.

The view I take is that this Bill is inopportune. The Bill that lessens the status and dignity of seats of learning in this country would be inopportune at any time. So far as I can see around me from where I am living now anything that interferes with learning in this country is bad for the country. Far be it from me to suggest that either the President, the Vice-President or the members of the Executive Council have any such idea in their minds or that they would even dream of such an idea. My opposition to the Bill may be old-fashioned and inspired by old-fashioned notions, probably too inspired by what I see and hear around me every day. When one goes out in the morning the views he gets from the newspaper announcements are generally such things as prize fights, how Carnera has got a k.o. against some other fellow; how Kid Berg has knocked out some other fighter or how Jack Doyle has sent a man into oblivion in a fraction of a second. These are the things we see on the placards every morning. When it is not something about prize fighters it is something about some fellow having got three winners yesterday or that some other fellow somewhere else has done something in a golf championship. That is the class of thing that we see in the morning papers.

If you take up the evening papers you will find, every evening, pictures of film stars and snaps from the various pictures shown in the cinemas. On opening the papers you get on the inside the records of the various film stars, their callisthenics, and their ventures in matrimony. It is not an exaggeration to say that that is what we get every evening in our papers. Then there are other elevating announcements regarding dogs. I do not know whether the Vice-President ever went to the dogs, but I was there once. I had a view of the Shelbourne Park coursing meeting from Ringsend Bridge a few years ago. I do not know whether the dog racing is going on there now or not. But, as I stood on the Ringsend Bridge and admired the splendid view of the Dublin hills, which is to be got there on a summer evening, I saw in the twinkling of an eye a mechanical hare flashing by followed by a number of long-legged dogs. If you tell me that dogs are sagacious animals I would hardly agree with you. I cannot see that there was much sagacity there, and sporting dogs are not up to the mark in sagacity.

I am not preaching. It is not my job. Men and women have a right to amuse themselves and to have whatever sport they wish without interference from me or anybody else, but, as somebody said in a book relating to Ireland, "fun, fighting and prayer" seem to be the three great things with us. We were never intended for work. People have a right to amuse themselves and I am not preaching against amusement. I would not interfere with them. There is nothing evil in amusement in itself. But it is a big world and a world that will need neither opportunity nor encouragement for that class of thing. But there is another world here. It is small, but it is a world that looks for and takes a more serious view of life and aims at higher things. That world needs all the opportunities it can get and all the encouragement that can be given to it. I suggest that this Bill is neither the one nor the other. The Minister for Education, some time ago, delivered an address here in the city to University students. He said he did not believe they were pulling their weight in the country's activities. But they would need encouragement to do so. The type of newspaper preparation that I have alluded to is not the right class of encouragement for this. I do not suggest that the people should not have fun and sport. I do not make such a suggestion by any means. But where we see so much of it and so much made of it, it is hard to expect University people to pull their weight. The same Minister, who is very enthusiastic about his job, speaks about his connection with and his work in the Gaeltacht. Surely the Gaeltacht ought to be represented by a man from the Galway University College. Would you deprive Galway College of a member who could represent the Gaeltacht here? Does the Gaeltacht back its fancy? Does it know all about the Derby, all about Ascot or about the Gimerack Stakes? Does the Gaeltacht put its money on horses or does it not? This is the last virile remnant of Irish civilisation, and why not encourage the people there still further by having a representative from the College in Galway? I am sorry the Minister for Education is not here, or I would say more on that subject. As to Cork, if things had been normal in Ireland, Cork would be the chief intellectual centre.

Mr. Kelly

There is a Corkman sitting beside you, and he has not made that claim yet. Why not have a representative from Cork College here?

There are too many of them already.

Mr. Kelly

I admit that. I do not want to add to the Cork representation here. I think we have had enough of them. They would almost form a quorum of the House. We heard a lot of them talking the other day. I was moidered listening to arguments about the length and breadth of Cork and its height and depth. We were told it was 200 miles from a given point to a point that was not given, and they have 300 square miles from some other point. We were told they had the three miles bona fide limit instead of five. It was something like that we had all the week.

The world I live in is a very small world nowadays. There are five or six of the population whom I know very well, workingmen principally. Three of us were boys together, and as boys we passed Trinity College thousands of times. We were associated with it from our earliest days. As boys some of us enjoyed its hospitality. We were not wanted there; we were not invited. It was hard to get in, and just as hard to get out, but we went there all the same. We went to it especially on the occasion of the great fashionable festival that used to be held in the years of long ago, the College Races. That was looked upon as one of the great feasts of fashion in those days. Almost the whole world of fashion foregathered there on a summer's day—it used to be held in June or July. All those connected with the College tradition used to be there, and we were there, too. Of course, our clothes might not be up to the fashionable standard of our better-off brothers and sisters, but we were fancy free. The clothes we had might be well ventilated. We were undoubtedly leading the simple life then, the life which since our time has apparently become fashionable. I used to put on my Sunday waistcoat in order to appear respectable.

We used to run in under the collectors' or stewards' arms; we were fleet as hares, and once we got in no one could catch us. We found ourselves amongst the fashionable throng, looked at with great curiosity, especially by the ladies wearing their lorgnettes and wondering where we came from. Once in, we had a glorious two hours, and then came the difficulty of getting out, because all the stewards and tutors and College dogs were after us. If they could only catch hold of us it gave them some satisfaction for the trouble we gave them when we were getting in and when we were inside. Usually, we were brought out by kindly old toffs who would be smoking their cigars. We helped to smoke the most part of the cigars for them; they never smoked the whole of them. Afterwards we got our revenge on the fellows who tried to put us out. Often in the streets, whenever we met the fellows who did not treat us decently, we paid them our respects. As years went on our knowledge of the College became intensified.

I could go back to a period over 50 years ago. It was my good fortune to live in Dublin in two distinct periods of great political excitement and enthusiasm. The first occasion was the great Parnellite agitation of 50 years ago, and I remember the wild enthusiasm brought about as a result of the 1885 election. Parnell had then conquered the British Parliament. You must remember all that stood for in those days. Parnell had conquered the British Parliament and had made them accept Ireland's claim. One of the greatest elections of that period was the election in the City of Dublin for the Stephen's Green Division, the protagonists being Edmund Dwyer-Gray and Benjamin Cecil Guinness, afterwards Lord Iveagh. Naturally, in the turmoil and excitement of the election. Trinity College was a central point. You could hear every evening the strains of "Rule Britannia" coming out through the College gates, and that was answered outside by the crowd singing "God Save Ireland." Terrible rows used to take place. The students of Trinity College sallied out every night looking for fight and they got all the fight they were looking for.

I remember crowds thronging College Green in those days and, pointing to a door in the old Parliament House, they used to say: "That is the door Mr. Parnell will go in by; that is the door that no leader of political opinion has gone through for the last 100 years." I remember all this enthusiasm, and I remember a splendid personality then in Trinity College being with the people. I allude to the late Reverend Doctor Galbraith, a Senior Fellow of Trinity College, a scholar and a gentleman. He never wavered in his devotion to the Irish cause as personified by Mr. Parnell and his Party. Trinity College was a Protestant foundation, Protestant through and through. I think for the first 200 years of its existence no Catholic ever passed its doors except during the brief period towards the end of the 17th Century, when James II, King of England, came over to fight for his crown in Ireland. It was managed during that period by two Catholic priests. It was never managed better before or since.

I read, the other day, about a Bishop who saved the library, which is a most valuable asset to this country. I forget his name at the moment, and if I had thought that I would be speaking here to-day, I would have taken a note of it and would have brought along the memorandum which contains his name. I think that it was not until after 1873 or so that a Catholic could enter its doors, but it produced great men— men who, according to their times and their opportunities, did valuable work for Ireland—Marlowe and Swift, Berkeley, Goldsmith and Burke, Grattan and Curran, Tone, Emmet and Moore. In the sciences we had, I think, Rowan Hamilton and a man named McCullough. We had the Stokes', the Graves', Butt, Thomas Davis and many other distinguished names connected with Trinity College. Surely, more than ten just men could be found to preserve the connection between learning and Parliamentary representation. Learning was always honoured in ancient Ireland, and I am perfectly certain, notwithstanding what the Minister has said about James I, that in all the Parliaments that have been here in Ireland, whether under the ancient Irish chieftains, the Normans or in later Tudor times or otherwise, there were always representatives of learning. At any rate, we know, from Eugene O'Curry's researches in ancient Irish history, that learning was specially honoured in Irish history. I think that I have produced sufficient names to ask that University representation be continued.

I am going to quote now, Sir, from an address delivered by Thomas Davis, Esq., A.B., Barrister-at-law, President of the Society, before the College Historical Society, on the 26th June, 1840. He addresses the students and members of the Society in the following terms:—

"You also belong to what are called the upper classes in Ireland. But you will have competitors from whom your ancestors were free. The college in which you and your fathers were educated, from whose offices seven-eighths of the Irish people are excluded by religion, from whose porch many, not disqualified by religion, are repelled by the comparative dearness, the reputed bigotry, and pervading dullness of the consecrated spot—that institution seems no longer to monopolise the education funds of Ireland.”

He goes on further and says:—

"The lower classes, for whom they are suited and designed, are beginning to add the acquisitions of science and literature to that facile apprehension, ingenuity, and comprehensive genius, with which even their enemies credit them. I tell you, gentlemen of Trinity College, the peasant boys will soon put to the proof your title to lead them, and the only title likely to be acknowledged in the people-court is that which our countryman, himself once a peasant boy, ascribes to Pericles:—

‘He waved the sceptre o'er his kind,

By nature's first great title— mind.'"

Religious tests in connection with Trinity College were not removed officially, I think, until about 1873, or thereabouts. I would remind the representatives of Trinity College, who sit here in this House, that they sit here surrounded by the direct descendants of those peasant boys to whom Thomas Davis alluded when he said they would lead Ireland, and that it takes a man from the slums—as I am —to make a special appeal here to-day in order to preserve direct representation for the University representatives here. That is what you have come to. If Trinity College, or Dublin University as it is called, had been more racy of the soil, if it had not had its religious bigotry, which spoiled its whole career, you would be the leaders. But you have lost that. I do not suggest that it is anything to your discredit, but you have lost it because you gave of your best to the building up of the British Empire and neglected your own country.

There may be a change. It may be that the young men and young women who, in the future, come out through the doors of Trinity College or of Dublin University, with all the degrees and distinctions that it can confer, will see that the betterment of their country is as much their concern as the betterment of their own selves. If that should happen, then the prophecy, which Thomas Davis made in this address—or in the portion of it that I have read—to the Historical Society so long ago may not be fulfilled to its utmost extent. That address was specially printed for the Society by Webb and Chapman, Great Brunswick Street. It was moved by Mr. Wallis and seconded by Mr. Bagot "That the marked thanks of the Society be given to Mr. Davis for his able Address", and passed unanimously. It was moved by Mr. Wallis and seconded by Mr. Cangly "That Mr. Davis be requested to furnish the Society with a copy of his Address, in order that it may be printed", and that was passed unanimously, and signed John Dillon, Chairman, and James Burke, Secretary—certainly, two names that you would not think would be associated with the Trinity College Historical Society at that date.

I do not know that I have very much more to say. My interference here to-day will please nobody but myself. I only speak my own mind, and I am only concerned with my own views on this point, but I do think that University representation ought to be retained here. It is not a question of counting skulls or votes or territory, it is a question of whether or not we should retain representatives of the seats of learning and culture here, simply as an honour, and as our wish also to see both learning and culture flourishing. I am perfectly certain that the Government are bringing in this Bill only because of the Bill that preceded it, and I would appeal to them to have this whole matter reconsidered. I think that it is possible to have direct University representation here without any reference to politics at all. The few votes that are represented are hardly worth while thinking about, and, certainly, are not of such significance that a great political Party should find it necessary to take cognisance of them. I am quite aware that one of the Deputies on the benches opposite some time back paid special tribute to the work done by the Independent members, as he called them, to their valuable contributions to debate, to their public spirit, and all that sort of thing. He forgot to add, however: "They always vote with us." I have not yet met any of the Independent members or the members representing Trinity College voting in a Division Lobby with me on any question.

A Deputy

You never will.

You did not give us any chance.

Mr. Kelly

You get a chance almost every day you are here, but you do not avail of it. It is another lost opportunity. Here you have a Fianna Fáil Deputy pleading your cause to-day. I hope I have pleaded it well, because I think that you are entitled to retain your representation here on account of the large number of good Irishmen that Trinity College has produced. Of course, as I said, if it had been more racy of the soil the quantity would have been larger, but the question is: would the quality have been anything better? All through, from the beginning, at any rate, of the seventeenth century up to now almost, there has been a fine thin line, but a splendid line, of men coming out of that College who gave their services to Ireland to the best of their ability, according to the opportunities which they had at the time.

I remember one further incident, and with that incident I shall close my somewhat rambling remarks on this Bill. It was a dark October morning, raining and cold, between 7 and 8 o'clock. when a mournful procession left Westland Row Station. It was the funeral of the late Mr. Parnell, who had come back to Ireland dead and vanquished, but not until the last ounce of physical strength had left his body. The remains were met at Westland Row by a small number of men— there were not many there. The procession on that dark October morning was particularly sad, especially when the hearse containing the remains remained stationary for a few moments outside the Bank of Ireland, or the old Parliament House. I remember well looking across at Trinity College and seeing there a small body of young men looking out of some of the front windows at that early hour. It was their tribute to the Chief who had beaten the British Empire. It just reminded me that it still continued the line of men from that College who believed in Ireland's destiny and wished to help her as far as they could. With that incident I shall close. I hope I have not taken up too much time. I certainly did not expect to have to speak on this Bill for the next day or two or I would have brought notes of other incidents which I cannot think of now. But you have probably heard sufficient. I again express the hope, if this Bill is not reconsidered, that at any rate some steps will be taken to retain in this House direct representatives of the Universities.

In introducing this very retrograde Bill the Vice-President spoke his lines with an evident lack of enthusiasm which indicated that he is not in love with the unwelcome baby that has been entrusted to his reluctant hands. It may be said of the Free State at the present time, in the words of an ancient philosopher, panta rhei. I am sure that most Deputies understand the meaning of that expression, but in case they do not I wish to explain that it signifies that everything is in a state of flux. There is a mania for change; there is a frantic desire to tear down ancient institutions and mutilate the Constitution in every possible way. Trinity College, of which Deputy Kelly has spoken, was originally founded as a stronghold of Protestant ascendancy. Notwithstanding that fact, it was the Alma Mater, as Deputy Kelly has pointed out, of some of the greatest men that ever shed glory on this country. He has mentioned many of them—Edmund Burke, Oliver Goldsmith, Jonathan Swift, Bishop Berkeley, Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmet, Molyneux, Thomas Davis, John Mitchel, the glory of Grattan and the genius of Moore and many others who have written their names largely in the history of this old land. I wonder how many Deputies on the Opposition Benches have read the little brochure published by Berkeley called The Irish Querist, because I am sure that it would appeal in an especial manner to Fianna Fáil Deputies. If they read, parsed and considered that little brochure they would be very sorry indeed to deprive the university that produced such a man of representation in An Dáil.

The National University is a relatively young institution, but in the course of its short existence it has produced some brilliant and able men who have contributed very largely to the bringing about, and the building up and consolidation of the Free State. After all, the university is, as it were, the centre of taste, culture, learning, research, light and leading from which there radiate benign influences for the upliftment and betterment and the advancement of the body politic. University representation brings the alumni of the university into close touch with the public life of the country. John Stuart Mill, who for his time was a very advanced radical, almost a democraft in the fullest modern sense of the word, propounded a doctrine of universal but graduated suffrage. For general purposes that doctrine was, more or less, impracticable, but the one case in which it might be applied with advantage to the community is the case of university representation. As has been pointed out by Deputy Kelly in his very witty and appropriate speech, learning was always honoured in this country. The Brehon and File and Sui, and all those men of learning in ancient times were given particular honour, assigned to particular places, and in many cases endowed with special grants of land out of tribal territory. It seems to me that it would be not only a reversal of the ancient policy of Ireland but of what is in the best interests of this or any other nation to deprive the Universities of the small but very useful and very insignificant representation which they have hitherto enjoyed in the Oireachtas. Therefore, I do hope that the Executive Council will reconsider this Bill, in the full belief that while the Bill will in no way be of any political importance its withdrawal will be an assurance of faith in the dignity and prestige and honour which the Universities ought to enjoy in this and every other country.

I want to oppose this Bill on a variety of grounds. I want to oppose it because it is founded on no principle that ought to make any appeal to any person as announced here. I want to oppose it as being contrary not merely to the very ancient history of this country but even to the history of it in rather recent times. I hear that the comment has been made that it is bad for the Universities to be mixed up in politics. That is a new view. It is a new view even as proceeding from the people from whom I presume it emanates at this moment. I want to take the people's minds back a very short distance indeed in the history of the country—back to about the years 1917 and 1918, when University representation first became an agitated question. There was a meeting of graduates of the University to pass resolutions in regard to the Redistribution Bill which was then before the British House of Commons. The chairman of that meeting, who was a very distinguished medical man, and became the first lay president of the University College, Dublin, and the new National University, said they had been called to that meeting, and called to pronounce by resolution upon the desirability of University representation, by the Chancellor of the University. The Chancellor then was Archbishop Walsh. I suppose in this House there is no necessity to speak of the late Archbishop's greatness, both in Church matters and in social and educational matters. He had written to the papers prior to this meeting of 1917, calling attention to the fact that a Representation of the People Bill was being proceeded with and that no representation was being accorded to the National University of Ireland. He pleaded for it, and he pleaded for it as a matter of justice. He wound up his letter by saying that he had no desire to take from a venerable institution in the country the ancient privilege of representation which that University had enjoyed for over 300 years; that he thought they should have it, but that he thought justice demanded equalisation in that matter.

He adverted to the point that has, I believe, been touched upon to-day— the question of principle and the question of tradition. He pointed out that the graduates of the old Queen's University of Ireland had their privileges carried forward to the Royal University of Ireland, and that later, when the Royal University was substituted by the National University, the graduates of the two earlier Universities—by attending to very slight formalities—had got their privileges and status carried forward to that University. He pointed to the growing numbers, and made the claim, which was afterwards re-echoed by the Graduates' Association when they took up the matter, that from the point of view of numbers, from the point of view of the association of the University with the country, from the point of view of what the University had done under difficulties—what the old Royal University had done and what the National University promised to do—from the point of view of the development of the interests of the country, as well as of education, there was a right and claim to University representation. Later the graduates met and, as I say, the distinguished man who is now President of the University College, Dublin, presiding at that meeting, announced that they had been called to that meeting by the words of the Archbishop, speaking in his capacity as Chancellor of the University. There were many distinguished men at that meeting, men who were eminent in the legal world and in the medical world, men renowned for their surgical equipment, men who were interested in the language, and the big names in the language movement at the time. Again, on the same grounds of interest and of value to the community, they asked and demanded that there should be University representation.

The movement spread. There was a deputation sent in the year 1918 to those who then were the leaders of Sinn Féin, or at least were substituting for the leaders who were then in jail. That deputation was headed by a very distinguished member of the Civil Service of this country at the moment. He had previously lost a post in another Civil Service because of his activities in the year 1916, which activities had led him to become a medical student in the University College, Dublin. They made the same plea to the leaders of Sinn Féin, and they got it accepted by Sinn Féin in those days as part of their programme, that there should be definite and separate representation given to the Universities of the country. In the British House of Commons the matter was taken up by the Irish Party. Previously University representation had been cut out of the Redistribution or Representation of the People Bill, but after the Speaker's Conference it was definitely put before the House of Commons and accepted by them that there should be introduced this question of the representation of Universities. Therefore, in the year 1917, you had Archbishop Walsh speaking in some of the many capacities in which he did from time to time speak in this country, with authority, you had the graduates of the University, you had the students of the University, you had the leaders of the political Party which was then gaining strength at home, and you had the whole of the Irish Party, which then represented these people abroad—all united in the view that University representation as a separate and distinct matter should be fought for; and it was got.

There is a still more recent episode in Irish history. The Chancellor, Archbishop Walsh, died, and a new Chancellor had to be appointed. I was one of a committee of students from whom a deputation proceeded to President de Valera, to ask him if he would accept—if he would regard as an honour—the offer of the position of Chancellor of the University. We sent that deputation to him because there were two difficulties pointed out to us. It was thought it might be embarrassing to have the offer made, and the two special points of difficulty were put to President de Valera: would he consider that it was an addition or a derogation from the position he then held that he should be offered the Chancellorship of an institution in the country wherein at that time he was leader, and he said it would certainly be an addition. There was no question then of politics being bad for the University.

It was pointed out to him as a further difficulty that it might cause to him at that time, that if he took that position he would appear in the hierarchy of the University in the second place only, the first place under the statute being occupied by the King, and the President thought that that did not matter. There was no question of the University then being soiled by being embroiled in politics. Now, under the auspices of the second Chancellor, it is proposed to wipe out University representation in the country. I understand that to-day we had dragged in some phrase about whether safeguards were necessary for the people who were represented here by the Deputies from Trinity College, Dublin. In the same atmosphere, although I do not think with the same intent, was the phrase used by Deputy Kelly in his rather original speech as to the embarrassing position in which he found himself when he made his appearance at the College Races in certain clothing. Deputy Kelly need not have gone to the races at College Park to experience that embarrassment. He could have gone to the University Races at Terenure Park, and he might have experienced similar embarrassment. There are many parents who find themselves embarrassed in the presence of their sons and daughters because of the clothing they wear on these occasions. Why should they not disport themselves at that time of their lives in any way they wish? "The days of our youth are the days of our glory." Why should they not disport themselves in that way if they wish? I do not think it was meant in any critical way, but there was an opening statement which suggested that there is something undesirable, something of the ascendancy of scholarship about university representation, and that there is something undemocratic in giving votes to the community who have been educated at these institutions. That argument might have held in the past when the University was rather a close preserve for people of wealth, people of the so-called aristocracy, but no argument of that kind can apply to the two Universities nowadays.

Deputy Kelly has spoken of the sons of the peasant. Are not 90 per cent. of the people who are at these colleges at the moment sons of the peasant? If they are not immediately that, they are certainly only one remove from them. The people of this country are in the main sprung from the land. There may be a generation interposed in which people may have had a trade or something else, but, in the main, the roots of the Universities are as firmly stuck into the soil of the country, through agriculture and through the peasants of the country, as they are in any primary school into which you like to go. Is there any idea that the University man who becomes a graduate has ideas that are not in conformity, in the main, on the economic side of life with those of the people generally? Is there any idea that the student who goes through a University and gets his graduation is not as fully aware of and as fully alive to the economics of the situation around us as anybody in the rest of the community who has not had the advantage of going to these institutions? I suppose one of the greatest awakenings a University man gets is when he has got his degree and finds that he has not put into his hands the means of opening a door to immediate and lucrative employment. The outlook on life on account of the people from whom he sprung, the period going through any of the colleges, the rather heart-breaking period most University men meet immediately after their graduation when they find that the work they have done, whatever it may be, does not immediately lead them into a livelihood, but that they have to undergo a difficult period, a purgatorial period, of waiting, the very same as anybody else in the community—these are the things that prevent any man who has gone through either of the Universities in the country from getting beyond the life of the country, or forgetting the area or the people from whom he sprung. I do not want to regard Universities at this moment, or to base any plea on having them regarded, as centres of research and learning. There is an argument to be founded on that, but I do not think there is the same necessity for having a special community of people who are educated—and I do not want to have it said that I made any sort of contemptuous references as between them and the rest of the community——

What about all the spoiled votes at the last election that are on record?

There is no record. That matter has been exploded. There is a special type of voting required in the University.

There was a bigger percentage of spoiled votes than in any other constitutency.

There was no bigger percentage of spoiled votes. If there is anything to be derived from a University education it is the ability to look upon humanity in general in a liberal way. I do not think a University degree has ever been regarded merely from the point of view of the special bit of learning that a person got a chance of acquiring. Surely all that it is regarded as is that for a certain period in his life the man who acquired it got an opportunity of meeting, in a big mass, a number of his fellows with whom he might disagree on many points. During that period he will learn to advance his point of view and to meet another man's point of view. He will learn to live on pleasant terms with many people who may differ from him vehemently and violently. Therefore it sharpens a man and it teaches him to make the best use of his talents—even though the spur at the beginning is a mere matter of getting work—and that he is to look to himself rather than to anything which the community may be able to give him.

The University has taught a man quite a number of things in his passage through college. He has learned quite a number of things that fit him for Parliamentary work, either as a representative himself or in choosing parliamentarians. I have said that I do not want to found any argument at the moment on the question of learning, this question of scholarship, or this idea that people, if they get a chance, accept it, and being thankful for getting the chance, show that by acquiring some profession, some expert skill, or some qualification which others less fortunate than they have not had a chance of acquiring. I know there have been many criticisms of the University that I represent here, but I have never seen any criticism that would justify this Bill. I heard vague general remarks, remarks such as were quoted by Deputy Kelly about the University College not pulling its weight in the life of the community.

I often ask do people use that phrase unguardedly or vaguely, or do they look around this country, since 1921 or 1922, to find out what the position of it would be in the separate divisions of work—the professional, the technical side, the engineering—if there had not been established in the first decade of the century a National University for Ireland. There would be less people to lean on. There would be less substance and solidity and capacity in the different walks of life to lean on if it had not been for that institution. That phrase, as used, should be used with a certain amount of humility. These people got their chance, beyond the rest of the community, and they can and do set an example, let us say immediately to those in the new community, springing up, and newly established in those years. They are in a position to do good, and they do it.

In the early days the University got help—I am speaking particularly for my own particular University, which was established by the Government in the country. There had been a foundation for a University system here, but it was hampered by lack of funds, the deprivation of essential buildings and equipment. It secured these quite easily, and utilised them to the best advantage both for those who had passed through the halls of the University and those who were aiming at using the facilities and the equipments of its buildings. It made good use of all these. I wonder, when one does rapidly review these details of University work in the country, whether one sees, at any rate, so near to us as 1917, and later as 1920 and 1921, there was an appreciation of the University as a force in the country, something that could add even worth and respect to the person who was then standing, not as a leader of a Party— we were beyond Parties at that time— but as the leader of the whole community. And that would bring in what Deputy Kelly said as to the respect we all fancy we pay to education in all its aspects. Is there any argument of substance put forward against University education?

We are told that this Bill was not introduced and has nothing to do with such matters as one or two votes in the balance. We are told that that never had any consideration. Again, that question could be examined historically. Is objection taken to University representation on the grounds that there are certain electors always for one side, that it is a national division, and that one University has provided representation on one side? But on balance the representation makes them equal. Or is it argued that one University's representation comes with a point of view that will always be considered as a Unionist vote, while the other cannot always be regarded as a unanimous vote? Have people who have sprung from national sources, and who have gone to national institutions, lost their ancient savour simply because they go there? If it is a matter that might be regarded as pure national politics, what has been the division of University votes on big political issues in this country, which had to be considered? That too can be examined. There was University representation about the time of the Treaty, and there has been University representation ever since. Can it be said in regard to any of these questions that they were adversely affected, or perversely affected, by the fact that there were University representatives listening to the arguments and voting upon these questions?

I am sure it is going to be urged as a last argument, if it can be urged, that democracy demands the wiping out of this particular representation. It is a narrow view of democracy that says that there is no way to get democratic representation except around the groups that are grouped together geographically. Is that the only way democracy can get its natural and effective influence in any country to-day? Is it a crime always against democracy to have groups segregated, not according to the division of their numerical strength, to pay attention to something more than the mere counting of heads, even though it may be a better scheme than the taking of your decision by the counting of heads? Is it to be argued that democratic government can only be found by finding groups of people in geographical areas and taking a return of them according to the geographical strength of each division? The whole matter does not count unless anyone is thinking how these divisions may be affected in the future. If it is not that, what is the reason for the introduction of this Bill?

Comment was made about extern voters. I think the first appearance of the extern voter in the modern system of voting in politics came with the absentee soldier, the man abroad doing foreign service, who, nevertheless, was allowed to have the use of his vote and, what is more, did use it. Why is it said that he, at a particular moment can have a better appreciation of what is happening here at home, and what is going on here at home, and can vote rightly in the midst of foreign service and in the heat of war, while the University man, whose professional activity takes him outside this country for a period, cannot be expected to pass as good a judgment upon such questions? He can read them as being discussed here, and he can think calmly and leisurely and form his judgment upon them. Through the activities of the Press of the day he can read the arguments used for and against by people here at home. The extern voters have been allowed to vote. If that was an objection put forward seriously we could argue about it, and maybe the external voter would be excluded, whether he was an absentee soldier serving on foreign soil or a University doctor or engineer who has had to leave the country to get his experience or his livelihood abroad until such time as he can return to take up his duty here. We might have to exclude these. At any rate they are a small fraction of those who vote, and the question of the extern voter is not confined to University representation. I want to add one last thing, and I do so with reluctance. I have always a horror of people who try to introduce any touch of sentiment into a matter that ought particularly to be decided on cold reason. I always feel they use no good argument. I am concerned with arguments and not their harmless sentiment, which I regard as rolled up in a cloud. But there have been arguments stated here, and good arguments, and so the other thing may follow. We have had an appeal made here in respect of folk whom we are, all of us, anxious to attract—people who are in this island but who are not in the Free State. There is another community to whom we should, at any rate for some little time, cast our eyes—not that we should lose our interest in our own people on account of them or regard them as anything more than a secondary consideration. Our people are spread all over the world and our people are, in particular, spread throughout the communities that make up the British Commonwealth of Nations. They are also spread throughout the United States of America. There were people, on whose views I tried to fashion my own, who were of opinion that, some time or other, this position might emerge—that, if this country could live on dignified and easy terms in that particular community of nations, we probably would have a better approach through these people of ours whom we have scattered abroad to other members of the community of nations and a better approach, also, to the people of the United States than would be given to the mother country of any other community in the world. It is no harm that we should have people in important positions and in a position to sway men's minds and opinions in various matters in other parts of the British Commonwealth and in the United States. The better educated these people are when they leave here the better chance there is that they will get some position in which they can sway opinions and feelings abroad. There was a dream at one time on the part of certain people that folk living here at home might, possibly, through the agency of these people abroad, work for a better understanding between certain members of the community of nations known as the British Commonwealth, and that group known as the United States of America, and that it might be, eventually, for the betterment of the world and make for the peace of the world if that came about. A lot of the people who would have to be relied upon if that dream ever came within any distance of realisation would be these extern voters, off-shoots of the University system, these people we educate here and whom, possibly to our immediate loss, we have to send abroad. However, it is not all loss if they have their importance and influence in these other countries.

Unless there is some really serious argument put forward we should not try to cut one of the last ties that bind some of these people to us, which make them still continue to have their thoughts attached to us, so that even while they are gathering importance in other countries they have their attention directed here from time to time and have their thoughts focussed on problems bearing heavily on us at home. In a variety of ways we may get their help beyond merely getting their votes for the few people who put themselves forward as candidates for the representation of the Universities from time to time. These voters should be kept. There is no argument against them. If the University constituency, as Deputy Kelly said, is inconsiderable in its numbers, the number of extern voters is still more inconsiderable. But they are of some value even though it be only the slight sentimental value I speak of.

Unless we are coming in this House— the tendency is unfortunately evident— to the point at which no attention is to be paid, in the interest of democracy, to anything except merely giving every man who is not an inmate of a mental home a vote, seeing that nobody else is given more than one vote and ensuring that these groups of men are located in communities more or less the same in number—unless you are going to adopt that narrow, rigid type of doctrine in the belief that that is the only way that democratic institutions can get their effect, there is no case whatever for wiping out University representation. University representation was demanded in 1917-18 by all the political and educational groups and by the common people, as well as by the students. It was demanded, as I said, by the people from whom the students sprang. What has happened in the 16 or 17 years since to make a new Chancellor go back now on what his predecessor in that office called the people of this country to and in the demand for which they were successful —University representation?

It seems to me that the speeches delivered have had very little relation to the Bill before the Dáil and have been devoted to matters which have no direct bearing upon the question which we are now asked to decide. The question which this House has got to answer is: why a graduate of one of our Universities, whether he lives in this country or outside it, whether he pays his taxes to our Exchequer or to some foreign Exchequer, should have the same rights of representation in this House as ten persons who are not graduates? That is the question before us. I heard Deputy Kelly and Deputy Burke recite a long list of names of eminent persons who graduated from Dublin University and the National University. Surely, the mere recital of these names can have no possible bearing upon the question I have now put to the Dáil. This Bill is not going to prevent the Universities producing in the future men as great as, if not greater than, those they produced in the past. There is just the possibility that this Bill will help them to produce men in the future at least as great as some of those whose names are distinguished in history. We, here, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of this State, are re-casting the constituencies from which members are elected to this House. We are reducing the number of members in this House. A Bill has been debated at length here and has passed through Committee Stage which deals with the areas and the number of voters in each area which are to be the bases of Dáil constituencies in the future. Because that revision of the constitution of this House is proceeding, this matter of University representation is brought up for decision. The Government is recommending to the Dáil that it should decide that University representation be abolished because it is undemocratic. I heard Deputy McGilligan try a moment ago to counter that argument by saying that many of those who are studying at our Universities or who have graduated from these Universities are sons of peasants. That has got nothing whatever to do with the question. The social status of these people, or the wealth which they, or their fathers, own has nothing whatever to do with the question whether or not University representation is undemocratic. The essence of democracy is that all men should have equal rights. The fact that one man in a University constituency has ten times the political influence of a man not in that constituency means that there are unequal rights. Consequently, there is an undemocratic element in our Constitution which should be removed.

When Deputies representing constituencies other than University constituencies were seeking election they had to go out into the highways and the byways to persuade, on the average, 7,000 electors of this State to vote for them. If they could not succeed in getting 7,000 electors to record preferences for them they could not get elected to this House; but if a man is fortunate enough to get nominated for a University constituency he does not have to get any votes at all in a constituency such as Dublin University, and he can get elected with less than 950 votes in the National University. That is undemocratic. This Bill is designed to secure equality of political rights in this country so that one man will have the same rights as another. I do not say that one man will have the same influence as another. That is a matter which we cannot control. Each man is entitled to exercise that influence in our political affairs which his ability or experience gives him, but it is our job to ensure that all men start equal: that their rights are the same, and it is because there have been unequal rights for ten years in this State that this Bill is now before the Dáil with a recommendation from the Government that it should be adopted.

We are not depriving graduates of the Universities of any rights. They are being given equal rights with the rest of the people. They are asking for more. We are denying their claim to more. It is not merely a fact that because of the peculiar nature of our University constituencies a voter in one of these constituencies has much greater political power than a voter in some other constituency, but a situation has developed here a result of which is that the essential democratic principle of "one man one vote" has on occasions been defeated. It is difficult to find machinery by which persons entitled to vote at a University election can be prevented from voting at an election in some other constituency. In fact, it is well known that most University graduates who are on the register for the constituency in which they reside in connection with local government elections have also voted in Dáil elections in these constituencies. Despite the legal bar to their exercising that vote, they have exercised it.

That is not true in most cases.

In the case of Dublin University, there is not a legal bar to their exercising the vote in the constituency in which they reside, because there has been this position: that no contest has taken place in that constituency for very many years. Consequently, the electors of that University cannot be denied the right to exercise the vote in the constituency in which they reside.

Their names do not appear as voters on the register in any other constituency if they appear as University voters.

Of course, the names of a number of voters in that University do not appear on the register for other constituencies for the reason that these voters do not reside in this country, but of those who do reside here they are entitled to have their names registered for other constituencies.

They are not.

They are entitled to be registered as local government electors in the constituency in which they reside, and are obliged to be registered for jury service.

But not on the Dáil register. They do not appear on the register as Dáil electors.

The Deputy knows quite well that the majority of them are on the register for other constituencies.

Then somebody is not doing his job.

And my statement was that it is impossible to devise an efficient machine for seeing that the job is done. In fact, it has never been done. The position is that voters in Dublin University constituency have always been entitled to and have always exercised the right to vote in other constituencies.

I deny that absolutely. It has happened in very few cases. As regards the very great majority, it is absolutely not true.

Deputy Thrift, no doubt, believes that to be the case, but I am quite certain that if he makes inquiries he will find that what I have stated is undoubtedly correct.

It cannot be demonstrated.

It is quite possible that we, at some stage, may depart from the system of territorial constituencies.

Hear, hear.

And if we do we are going to do it as a complete change. It is entirely anomalous that we should have special representation for a limited number of University graduates while maintaining, as the basis of our electoral system, territorial constituencies. I have no doubt that a strong case could be made for another system of election, but I think a stronger case can be made for the retention of the present system. This is a matter on which many of us have open minds, and on which our opinions may change from time to time. But there must be uniformity under whatever system we maintain. The creation of these University constituencies destroys the uniformity of the system which is the basis of our present Dáil.

It is, I think, entirely incorrect to imply that the introduction of this Bill means that we are depriving persons of education of the opportunity of exercising, in the political life of this country, the influence they are entitled to exercise. There is no foundation whatever for that assertion. In so far as people have got special educational qualifications, or special experience, and because of that can exercise special influence upon political developments here they are fully entitled to exercise that influence. There is no suggestion, and certainly no provision in this Bill, which in any way limits their influence, but we are putting them in the same position as any other citizen of this State. We are giving them legal rights, which are uniform throughout, allowing individual abilities to determine the influence which individuals may exercise.

Deputy McGilligan stated, as an argument against this Bill, that University men were specially fitted for Parliamentary work. That may be so or it may not be so, but it has got nothing whatever to do with this Bill. The majority of University graduates, who are at present members of this Dáil, were not elected by University constituencies, and the majority of University graduates who will always be elected to the Dáil will be elected by constituencies other than University constituencies. Deputy McGilligan, having first of all deplored the introduction of purely sentimental considerations into a discussion on a matter of this kind, proceeded himself to ladle out sentiment for the purpose of securing the defeat of the measure. It is true that our people are spread all over the world, but the whole implication of Deputy McGilligan's speech was that those people of Irish descent who occupy positions of influence in the business or political life of other countries are all graduates of Universities, and that all have voted at University elections. That is not true, of course. I think Deputies ought to realise fully that the great majority of those who have succeeded by their ability and enterprise in establishing themselves in high positions in other countries were not graduates of any University, except the University of experience, and if there is a proposition from Deputy McGilligan, or any other Deputy, that we should give votes in elections to this Dáil to all Irish people, whether they reside in Ireland, America, Australia or New Zealand, we can consider it on its merits. But the particular scheme that is in operation, and which Deputies are trying to preserve, is to give votes at these elections to a very limited number of those people abroad.

The case for the removal of University representation is that it is undemocratic, that it introduces into the political life of this country an undesirable situation, in so far as it means that a certain limited number of individuals are given special powers and privileges, which the average voter does not enjoy. What is the case for the retention of University representation? We had some entirely irrelevant remarks about education, learning, and the suitability of University graduates for Parliamentary work. There is no statutory obligation that a candidate at a University election must be a University graduate. The case for the retention of University representation has not been stated. What advantage is it to either University to have representation in this House? We have had experience now for over ten years. Let those who have been giving attention to this matter state in what way either University benefited by having representation here.

I want to suggest as my opinion, that there is one University which did not benefit, and that those responsible for the direction of policy in relation to that University might very carefully consider, whether it would not be sound policy for them to support the passage of this measure, and to take their University out of the position in which it inevitably appears, as a pocket borough for one political Party. That situation is purely accidental, but it is bound to have its influence upon the public attitude towards the University concerned. It would be much better for that institution, as a centre of learning, that it should not have that very direct and obvious political affiliation. On the contrary, it would receive much more support from the mass of the people, if it were made clear that its sole function in this country was an educational function and that it had no part whatever, as a University, in relation to politics.

The case I have made is one upon which opinions may differ. I am not stressing it as an argument in favour of this Bill. I made it in order to get some Deputy opposite to give us the case for political representation for Universities. It has not been given. We have been told by Deputy McGilligan that certain people supported that case in the past, that different parties, different groups and different individuals at different times urged the granting of that representation to Universities. He did not tell us on what grounds. No one has yet offered to state the grounds, why it is desirable and necessary for Universities as Universities, as centres of education, to have representation in this House, and if it is the desire that Universities should be given that representation, how the granting of it can be reconciled with the democratic principles upon which the Constitution of the State is based.

I had not intended to take part in this debate, but for the speech of the Minister, which has forced me to intervene. He has demanded why somebody does not make a case for University representation. He overlooks this fact, that the Government is bringing forward a proposition to deprive certain people of constitutional rights. The onus is on the people who bring forward such a proposition to justify the proposal, and the ground for taking away rights that have been vested in the people or in a section of them, for the last 12 years. It is not sufficient merely for a glib tongue, such as the Minister has, in order to avoid justifying his proposals, to ask what are the proposals against this. I am a voter in the National University. During the course of the last two elections I received long screeds from the various candidates who were put forward for election as representing that constituency. I received them from the two members of the Fianna Fáil Party, and from members of my own Party. Neither in the English nor the Irish versions of the election addresses that were sent around by the people, who were putting themselves before the graduates of the National University as their representatives, was there a single word indicating that they intended, as one of their actions in the Dáil, if elected by the graduates, to support a Government that brought forward proposals to abolish University representation. The principle of University representation is enshrined in the Constitution. It is a separate Article from the Article which requires periodic revision of constituencies.

We hear a lot from time to time from the Government about mandates from the people. Where is the mandate from the people, even from the National University graduates, for the Bill now before the House? There was not a single word said during the course of the last two elections of the Government's intention to abolish University representation. There was not a single word said by the candidates for University representation in this House that the Government they intended to support, or the Party to which they belonged, sought abolition of the principle of University representation. Without anything having been said at either of these two elections, of the intentions of the Government Party to bring in a Bill such as this, it is sprung without any authority from either the general community or from the community which constitutes the University constituency. In the face of that, the Minister for Industry and Commerce gives as his only argument that nobody on this side of the House has given any reasons for the retention of University representation. If we were discussing to-day for the first time the question as to whether or not we should have in our Constitution, or in this State, or in the electoral system here, University representation, there would be some point in the observations of the Minister. He has overlooked, as the Government has so frequently overlooked in the past few years, constitutional rights which have been given to people and which it was thought were guaranteed to the people by the Constitution.

The Article of the Constitution which gave University representation was left to a free vote of the House at the time the Constitution was going through. Even the present Government can hardly say that the Dáil that passed that Article of the Constitution was not representative of the people. At all events it was left to a free vote. The late Kevin O'Higgins, who, as far as I remember, was sponsoring the Constitution, left Deputies free to vote as they liked on the merits of that proposal. He indicated that he was not forcing his views in recommending the House to accept the proposal. Notwithstanding that, the proposal was carried and it remained in the Constitution.

This Bill has been brought forward without any indication having been given to the people at the last two elections of knowing that it was to be brought forward. No opportunity was given to the voters at these elections of learning that it was intended to deprive them of a Constitutionally-vested right. We are asked here now how do we justify our opposition to this Bill. I want to know how does the Minister justify his support of the Bill and how does he justify taking away the Constitutional rights that were guaranteed to the University voters? If it is undemocratic at the moment to give a University representation in this House, it was undemocratic when it was left to the free vote of the House. It was undemocratic at the last two elections, when we had two members of the Fianna Fáil Party seeking the votes of University graduates and sending around to them long screeds to say what they were going to do for the Universities if elected. There was not one word said at that time as to what they were going to do, if elected, in killing University representation in this State.

The Minister for Industry and Commerce says that a University vote is undemocratic; that it is the essence of democracy that all should have equal rights. I deny that there is any such fundamental principle in democracy. I would go the length of saying that that is a negation of democracy and that it will bring about a reaction against democracy. We have all that sort of nonsense talked in the name of democracy. It is not of the essence of democracy that all should have equal rights. It is of the essence of democracy that all should have equal opportunities. Everybody at the present moment in this country has an equal opportunity of getting into a University and becoming a University student. I deny, having worked hard all the years of my life, that the person who has idled around as a corner-boy should have the same rights as I, who worked hard. There is a great lot of nonsense talked in the name of democracy but nothing more nonsensical than the remarks made by the Minister for Industry and Commerce to-day.

The Minister put up arguments about the impossibility of devising machinery which would prevent University graduates from committing a criminal offence. When the Minister put up these arguments he implied that most of the graduates who voted for his Party at the last election committed a criminal offence by not merely voting in the University but by voting in their own constituencies in the teeth of the fact that they were not on the register. The Minister for Industry and Commerce will be told by his colleague, the Attorney-General, that as the law stands at the moment there is no difficulty in preventing University graduates committing criminal offences. When a graduate comes in to vote the presiding officer at a booth has only to look at the register to ascertain whether that graduate is or is not on the register. That the Minister made use of these arguments in favour of the Bill shows me, at all events, the poverty of the arguments of the Executive Council in support of the proposals contained in the Bill. When their chief spokesman, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, has to rely on arguments like that in favour of the measure then it is clear there is very little indeed to be said for the measure.

I am more interested in seeing that the best brains of the country will be placed at the disposal of the country in connection with administration, in connection with government, and in connection with representation in this House. The sacred principle of democracy, on which the Minister for Industry and Commerce so strongly relies—at all events his conception of democracy—works against the two interests of the people of the country. It comes to this, that a person with a glib tongue and an elastic conscience is the person who is to rule this country and that the people who have knowledge and experience and who perhaps are burdened with a conscience are to be kept out of this Dáil.

The Minister spoke of the necessity that he and others had of going around the country to persuade 7,000 voters or so to vote for them. According to the Minister, the University graduate should have to go through the same ordeal. The only reasoning at the back of that argument is that nobody should come into this House unless he has a glib tongue and can go to the crossroads and make promises that he knows he cannot fulfil, just as the Party opposite did in the last two elections. That, according to the Minister, is a principle of democracy. I tell the Minister that these are not the sort of people whom it is best for this country to have in its Government. Equality of rights, if you like. But this country will be better if through the medium of the National University, or through the medium of Trinity College, the country will have at its disposal and its service representatives who will be a tower of strength in advising the administration, although they may not be possessed of a glib tongue or an elastic conscience.

I think it is hardly necessary for me to deal with the speech of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. Deputy Costello has slaughtered that speech. Having listened to the speech of the Minister I cannot help pitying him. I am sure when he reads what Deputy Costello has said he must feel sorry that he spoke as he did. The Minister started with the extraordinary statement that this Bill was introduced in accordance with the Constitution. In other words, the Minister was standing on the Constitution, and, at the same time, proceeding to destroy it. I do not know how this Bill could be in accordance with the Constitution. The Minister must be under some mistaken idea about the position of University electors on the register. We who have sought the votes of University electors know how the matter stands and we know the difficulty of collecting University voters. Then there was the "view halloo" and the clap-trap about democracy. This word "democracy" is used by people who do not know the meaning of the word and who certainly are not democrats in their hearts.

Hear, hear!

This doctrine of the same rights and that all men are equal, is not true to life or nature. It is false physiologically and it leads to political disaster. Democracy when successful —and there have been successful democracies—never recognised that principle as true. One of the biggest authorities that ever lived on the question of democracy was Aristotle. Aristotle pointed out the fallacy of that. He pointed out that democracy if pushed to its ultimate conclusions leads to disaster. You have only just to apply that in your own house, go forward with it and find out how long it will last. However, that is an academic question and I will not pursue it.

Deputy McGilligan rather decried sentiment. I will, however, indulge in a little of it, and, with your permission, Sir, I should like to tell Deputy Kelly how much I appreciate his sympathetic, though sometimes rather cruel, references to the College which I have the honour to represent. I am glad to find that the Deputy entered that College even though he may have found a little difficulty in getting out of it. I am sure when the Deputy's words get around he will find himself always welcome there. The Deputy will learn the greatness of some of the men that Trinity College produced.

A Deputy

Men who broke away from Trinity.

The Deputy may learn that in those dark days we were not as black as we were painted; he will learn to know that we produced Wolfe Tone and Emmet. He has a wonderful knowledge of dates. I had nearly forgotten that incident in 1793. I remember what led up to it, and I wonder does the Deputy remember that? It was a revolt of the College itself. The staff of tutors during preceding generations had defied the penal and brutal laws then in existence and had gone on with education. In the preceding year they had held up degrees and so forced the Irish Parliament to pass the Act enabling them to give degrees to people of all religions. I am not going to touch on the history of Trinity College any more, but I would like to tell Deputy Kelly that I do appreciate his generous words. Indeed, it would be very ungracious of me not to express my appreciation.

I think if this Bill had not been preceded by the Seanad Bill and the Constituencies Bill I might have been able to take a more impartial, perhaps a more academic view of it; but those two Bills certainly seem to me to throw a light, an alarming and perhaps sinister light, on the aims and method of the Government who have fathered this present Bill. Certain arguments, of course, were produced in support of those two Bills, but I do not think that these arguments will be urged in favour of this Bill. Indeed, one of the arguments, the argument of economy, has already been denied. If it was a mere question of economy which would result in the cutting down of perhaps a number of the representatives of the University, it would be quite a different matter. It is at the whole question of University representation as a principle that this Bill is aimed. That very principle is apparently looked upon by the Government as something abominable. This Bill desires to stamp it as an anachronism, a sin against reason, against the whole logic of Karl Marx, as something feudalistic, an anachronism that blots the perfect Constitution which the more progressive of our younger statesmen envisage in the future.

That perfect Constitution has been the young man's vision and the old man's dream from the beginning of time. It was probably the subject of debates— of course, they had not Universities at that time — amongst members of families, in the crannogs in which our ancestors lived, in those rather cold but rather picturesque dwellings. But we are gradually moving towards it; we have the assurance that it is at hand, just around the corner, and with another push we will be there. I suppose it will require just a few more amendments of the Constitution, a few more such Bills, and then we will have the millennium—we will have a kind of democratic Paradise. Certainly, I would not like to think that University representation stood in the way. If I believed it did, I would not be speaking here to-day, or, if I were, I possibly would be wearing a white sheet and have a candle in my hand. I would be appealing for your forgiveness, and possibly would not get it. As a University representative I am still unconvinced that I have sinned. Of course, I am perfectly convinced that I am not as good a representative as I would like to be of the University that sent me here; but of the principle and the potentialities for good in that principle I am fully convinced, and always have been so. I do think that the retention of that principle at the present time would be a very wise, a very politic, and a very far-seeing step.

Possibly the members opposite do not realise what a shock the change of Government was to a large number of the people whom I represent, who are thoroughly Irish and who desire as intensely as any man in this House the welfare, the prosperity and the advancement of their country. Then there came this sudden change, this shifting from a milder Government in whom they had trust. I thought it was very wise of the people who introduced the principle of University representation to have thought of that method of reassurance. I think it has done a great deal of good. It has made for a lot of good feeling between the people. People are beginning to understand better and they are more national in a wider and more far-seeing way. I think it will be agreed, if we cut away present Party differences, that as compared with ten years ago there is less misunderstanding, less bitterness and less bad feeling throughout the country as a whole That condition of things was produced by the legislation introduced and passed by the recent Government, by the retention of old ways in so far as they could be retained.

I do think that the principle of University representation might be useful in the Dáil. I was rather in hopes that University representatives might be able to form some kind of buffer State, an oasis in the midst of the warfare of Parties; a quiet land of political rest in which different sections might meet. I was hoping that it would widen, and that ultimately we might see the passing of Party Government altogether. I did not hope for the millennium, the ultimate end, when the Dáil would be completely filled with University representatives. I daresay we will get that millennium some time. As a half-way measure, I thought there might be a great potentiality for good in the retention of University representation. I think the President, in so far as I could gather from his remarks, once had a somewhat similar idea as regards having University representatives and Independents. But he has now flung aside that hope as purely chimerical. I think he was rather rash. I believe if he had waited he might have seen the actuality of what he had dreamed.

To return again to the President—I am sorry he is not here—one thing impressed me and that was his statement on the Seanad Bill. It gave us an insight into his mentality, a very attractive mentality. If it is not presumptuous of me to criticise him I would say that he was carried away by his passion for mathematics. That was a very attractive speech he made. There was a frank, unimpassioned tone about it, and an earnest sincerity that appealed to me. If I were a younger man, probably it would have swayed me, but I begin to think that life is not entirely built on mathematics or logic, that life cannot be expressed in a's or minus a's, or in a's or non-a's, and that in natural life you have to have a mixture of the negatives and the positives instead of having a grand united chorus of harmony and everything else. Not alone do I believe that you cannot have it, but I believe it would not be good for the country or for the Government; and in the same way, too, I think that, as regards the constitution of the Dáil, this principle or scheme of so-called democracy that they have— that all men must be elected in the same way and all the rest of it—will lead to absurdities and will certainly have the effect of cutting out of the Dáil the voices of people who might be very useful to the country in its future development.

I was reading, some time ago, a book by a very wise thinker. I am putting, in rather broken language, what he expressed so well as a principle dominating life and statecraft. He said: "Aye and No never answered any question. The not distinguishing where things should be distinguished, and the not confounding where things should be confounded, is the cause of all the mistakes in the world.” The not confounding where things should be confounded! In other words, that inconsistencies and illogicalities are an essential portion of life. They are responsible largely for movement in life, and one philosopher at least found that strife was the source of life. Cold logic is very close to death, and I think that this principle, which is urged so vehemently and so violently against University representation, is a principle that does not apply here and is certainly not true to life. As I say, it is a principle that does not apply here, and, in applying it here, I think that the Government have been blind to the realities of the situation. I think that they have not been far-seeing enough. They are blind to the effect that this measure will have upon Irishmen in all parts of Ireland—men across the Border as well as men in the Twenty-six Counties. This will be a shock to them. That point, I know, has been stressed by previous speakers. It has been put very clearly by my colleague, Deputy Thrift. I know that, in spite of legislation and treaties, Ireland has been a whole as far as we in Trinity College are concerned. In spite of the legislative separation, Ireland is one so far as we are concerned, and I do think that what you are doing to-day is simply consummating the act that cut away the Six Counties from the rest of this country.

I think that this Bill of yours— leaving aside the question of whether or not the principle of University representation is justified at the moment—will have regrettable and far-reaching consequences in the direction to which I have referred. The people in the North are a dour people. They have long memories. They are faithful friends. I think it was a mistake to do this. Possibly, I admit, that mistake was made in what I might call the enthusiasm of a democratic outburst, but I think that, politically, it is not going to help this country to the union that we all wish for.

I think it would be a very good idea if, in the Standing Orders of this House, a rule could be made that the words "democracy,""democrat,""democratic,""undemocratic," and all the rest of it should not be used. I admit that if we are asked to give a definition of any of these words, the effort to define our concept of the words might take much longer, but it would make for clarity. Personally, I do not affirm that I am a democrat, because, if I were to do so, the people with two-dimensional minds, like Deputy Norton and people like him, would take my statement, that I was standing for democracy, as meaning that I was standing really for things that I abhor. However, I should like the Minister for Industry and Commerce to get up sometime and explain to us what he means when he uses the word "democracy," and to distinguish between that and democratism, demography, demology, and so on; because it appears to me, from the way the Minister seems to use the word that when he says he is standing for it, he is standing for something that no person, who accepts the hierarchy of values, could possibly stand for.

In a debate like this, people talk of the privilege of voting which is enjoyed. Many privileges, besides the privilege to vote, can be enjoyed. In this country people have the privilege of consuming free milk, and it may be presumed that they enjoy its consumption. You might have a law made giving free tickets for theatres, and when people availed themselves of that privilege and went to the theatres, they might be said to enjoy the privilege; but as to the idea of what is called democracy in this voting business—why do they go to vote? They go to vote in order to create a Government? It can hardly be said that they have enjoyed their privilege. They hope to enjoy their privilege afterwards, and the privilege that they hope to enjoy afterwards is to get a good Government which will provide for the common good of this country. What were we guided by in the whole system that we have worked out for the creation of a Government here? We looked around for the best way of getting a Government that would seek effectively what was best for the common good, and that would not abuse its power to act as a tyrant.

At any time now, within the next month or so, we will be dealing, probably with the biggest Estimate of all the Estimates, namely, education. When that comes on, everybody will get up and say that they approve of education, that they think such and such should be done for it, and that they only wish that they had more money to allocate for that purpose. But, if the ideas on the Government Benches are sound, why should we spend what is probably one-fifth of our annual income on education? Deputy Donnelly indicated clearly that as the result of our spending vast sums of money to enable people to get primary education, to move on to secondary education, and to go on to Universities, those people, somehow or another, are less confident to face life or less capable of giving wise judgments in relation to the affairs of the State than a person who got no benefit out of the expenditure of that money. The whole idea of voting is not so much the exercise of a privilege, to my mind, as the acceptance of a responsibility.

We must all recognise that, although for the most part of our lives we are occupied with our own immediate good, at the same time, the welfare of the whole people of the country is also a concern of ours which calls for our judgment and wisdom, and we must give thought to it, and must provide that there will be a Government operating that will adequately safeguard that common well-being. It is clearly a bad thing, irrespective of whether you call yourself a democrat or otherwise, that the power of voting and making and unmaking Governments should be actually exercised by anybody who is completely devoid of wisdom, prudence or honesty. If there were machinery by which we could clearly and firmly exclude such people —if there be such people—from voting, then it would be eminently desirable that that should be done. What you want in voting is that wisdom and prudence should be present.

As I said, in a few weeks' time we are going to vote millions for education. Why do we vote it? Am I, and is everybody else, to be taxed to put certain people in a privileged position, that public money out of other people's pockets will be spent on them for the sole purpose that they, individually, may have greater enjoyment of goods than the ordinary people of the country or the people whose money is actually being spent? It seems to me perfectly clear that we are called upon to give money in taxation for education, because education serves a useful purpose. It gives those people qualities they had not before; it accentuates their qualities and makes them of service to the general community for the common good. I know that it does not always work that way. I know that you may find an illiterate man who, if it came to considering political questions, would show a better judgment, possibly, than a University professor. On the whole, however, we must recognise that we spend that money for education, because we consider that as a result of that education certain qualities are produced or increased in certain people and that those qualities are going to be valuable for the good of the country.

When the Minister for Industry and Commerce talks about equal rights, his democracy is obviously a system that would go right against justice. I wonder that he never has a question in his mind as to how it is that, as democracy is such a sacred principle, the universe was created in such an undemocratic way. It seems, anyway, most unfair to the Minister for Industry and Commerce that he should not have, say, the same intelligence as Deputy McGilligan. You may say that it seems unfair that Deputy McGilligan should be a human being instead of an angel. At the same time you might also say that it is unfair that Deputy Corry should be made a human being instead of having been made one of the lower animals—most unfair to the lower animals. That is just the way. There is no such thing as equality. Where there is difference there is hierarchy and all creation is arranged hierarchically.

In the matter of creating Government you want to bring into play, wisdom, prudence, integrity of mind, and certain other qualities. It seems to be presumed on the Government Benches that to be educated means, essentially, that you are going to be devoid of wisdom, that you will lack prudence and be fundamentally dishonest. You will find that in practically every speech from the Government Benches. If I were to say, for instance, that it was a remarkable thing that, in a general way, educated people in this country supported our Party and did not support the Government, the Government would say: "Yes, that is so, because ...." What would the "because" be? It would be the Marxian doctrine, that there is essentially in nature and life a class war, and that the people who have had more advantages, if you like, automatically, and by nature, must use those advantages to perpetrate injustice against others. If we are going to spend money on education we must presume that it is for the purpose of improving the nature of the people who benefit by it.

I approve very strongly of University representation. It is the one thing in our whole electoral system which seems to me to have something to be said for it. I do not say that it is the most perfect thing. Here in this country, as Deputy Kelly said, you have this purely quantitative view—that it is quantity that matters, and that the idea of quality or value must be completely eliminated. That, of course, is perfectly in accord with the teachings of certain modern writers. But, as Deputy Kelly said, the system of electing Government in this country is to count skulls; that the idea that one person should possess more wisdom than another, that a person should be more prudent than another, must be completely and rigidly excised from our minds. When it comes to voting, obviously if one knew who were the wise and prudent people, the thing to do would be to put all the voting power into their hands and take the voting power away from those who are less wise or prudent, because in that way we would tend necessarily to get better government. The whole idea of voting is not simply to go to the polls, but to have machinery to create a Government, the Government being created to fulfil a certain function. Secondly, one should, as far as possible, put the power of electing Government into the hands of the people most likely to elect a good Government.

Here you have, if you like, a privileged class—University graduates. As was pointed out, they do not need to get as many votes as a person in an ordinary constituency. The Government do not adhere to that too rigidly, because they are engaged at present in dividing my constituency into four parts. In one of them it will require 3,000 more people to elect a Deputy than in any other three. In this system there are people who have a label, who have received a diploma indicating that they have undergone a certain amount of training. Although I admit that very often in Universities now the training tends more to be of a technical nature and not of a general humane nature; at the same time, the tradition of Universities is that they give general education. In this country the Constitution as formed recognised, not for the purpose of giving a privilege to these people, but in order to bring into play good qualities in this country in creating a Government, that it was wise to create these two University constituencies with three members each, although they would not represent as much voting power as in an ordinary constituency.

I was interested to see that the Minister for Industry and Commerce is not nailing his flag to the mast of geographical representation and mathematical numbers. It is not long since the mere suggestion that we should recognise the organic nature of the State and should form it in an organic way caused the Minister and others to get up and state that we were out for a dictatorship and that it meant nothing else but that. I am glad to see that the Government has now decided that it is wise to pass over the propaganda on that side to their Socialist and Communist allies, and steer rather clear of it themselves. Personally, I regret very much that the corporative system has become a Party question. I agree that there could quite possibly have been disagreement, say, between Fianna Fáil and ourselves as to the particular form it would take and the particular administration of it, but everybody who takes any time to think about the thing nowadays— accepting certain principles which, I think, both Fianna Fail and ourselves accept—must recognise that that is clearly, in principle, the proper way society should be formed in the country. Fianna Fáil made it a Party matter, and that has forced them into this quantitative democracy, shouting that because they got elected the last time nothing matters but number and quantity. This Bill is out, as you might say, to fill in the last gap in the armour of the denial of values and the assertion of quantities.

The Constitution, for ordinary constituencies, did say that as far as possible it should require the same number of people to elect a Deputy in all the constituencies. It makes no reference to it here. The Government, abolishing proportional representation in the majority of constituencies in this country, which, in principle, is a thing I do not think is necessarily wrong, then proceeds to use that opportunity to get rid of the two University constituencies. Why do they do it here? I know the Vice-President does not like the use of the word "gerrymandering," but what is there in principle which demands that this portion of the Constitution should be abolished? What is the principle? I know that it is all right to get up at a street corner, or at cross-roads, and shout and say, "These Universities are a privileged class; this is a well-to-do class, trying to grant to itself privileges which it denies to the ordinary poor people of the country." That may be quite good propaganda amongst unthinking people, but I ask is the Government going to get up and say that the real normal value in the country, in all things, but particularly in political things, is going to be purely quantitative? Is the Government going to stand over the doctrine, either stated or indicated by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, that the Government is going to be, in some arbitrary way, in a position to crush the people in this country into a condition of equality in all things, in defiance of the fact that they were actually created unequal? Is that really the doctrine of the Government? Is that really the policy of the Government? If it is not, why do they, at this stage, come along to deal with an Article of the Constitution although nothing has arisen making it necessary to effect any alteration whatever in that Article—at least nothing that I can think of, unless it is that the Government not merely want to have their present dictatorship, and the greater dictatorial powers they are providing for themselves within a year and a half, but want to take every possible means to see to it that they establish themselves a Government in perpetuity, without having to make another change in the Constitution, which would be a very simple matter, extending the life of this Dáil indefinitely.

Why was this Bill introduced? The Minister for Industry and Commerce gets up and talks about being undemocratic, and that it is quite ridiculous to have this system operating with regard to these two constituencies, and another system with regard to other constituencies. I could, if I liked, retort and say that it is perfectly ridiculous that we are going to require about 23,600 people to elect a Deputy in Kilkenny and only 20,000 and some hundreds to elect a Deputy in Carlow, Wicklow, Wexford or Kildare. I myself cannot see any reason why this Bill was introduced, except that, as far as the Government can see, the more intelligent the people are in this country the more they are inclined and likely to be inclined to vote against them, and therefore the Government wants to eliminate as far as it can the voting power of the people who have had rather more education in this country. At the same time, I can see that this Bill is in keeping with the general policy of the Government. I do not feel that I am in any way maligning the Government when I say that it has been abundantly clear to me from the speeches of the Government, from the President himself down to the least important member of that Party, that they have consistently gone out to try to get a majority in this country by appealing to class prejudice and class antagonism in this country. We heard the Minister for Industry and Commerce, with regard to the abolition of the Seanad, appealing to what I might call the Deputy Corry type of mind, by speaking about the ex-Unionists, who were enjoying privileges, and the ancient enemy of the people, who had always stood against Ireland—referring to the people whom the President was glad to run to and assure that he knew the welfare of this country was as dear to their hearts as it was to his, when he thought they might be useful to him. It is an extraordinary thing, too, that, to the best of my memory, over that pre-Truce period we, as the Sinn Féin Party at the time, although we were supposed to be ultra-democratic, did express approval of University representation in the Legislature of this country. I should like to know what has happened since then. I am not going to blame people for changing their minds since 1917.

In a matter of correction, if the Deputy does not mind, I should like to say that I think Sinn Féin at the time expressed its approval that the National University should get equal representation with Trinity. Trinity always had its Parliamentary representation. That is how it occurred, I think.

Was that in the first Dáil?

You had your representatives in the House of Commons.

Yes. I know that.

I cannot, at the moment, quote any direct statement, although I think I could do so if I had time, but as far as my memory goes we did accept, in principle—the Deputy may say we accepted it because of the existing position with regard to Trinity —the idea of University representation. Is it going to be said, in doing that, we were doing something which was not democratic; that we were doing something which erred against justice; that we were doing something which was going to create a privileged class in this country, who were going to use their privileges for the purpose of acting unjustly to other classes? Constantly—every time I have the opportunity—I protest against the theory which is innate in so many utterances in this country, both from the Government and the Labour Party, that there is something in nature which predetermines that there must be war between sections of the community in any State, and that those people who are more gifted by nature, or by their family circumstances, must inevitably, and without the power to avoid it, use their peculiar position for perpetrating injustice against others. I have constantly found that theory in speeches from the Government and, inevitably, in speeches from the Labour Party.

If it is a fact that in this country any one class, far from giving any thought to the welfare of the other classes, is only preoccupied to see how it can use whatever power it has for its own advancement, and against the other classes, why have we been so long talking about the myth of the Irish nation? Either this nation has some unity or it has not. If, as Labour points out, as the President tries to play up to, and as the Minister for Industry and Commerce proclaims, this country is somehow or another, by some form of determinism, automatically divided into sections of the community, who are equally devoid of conscience in their relations with one another, one trying to down the other, then I think all the people who talked about the Irish nation were talking out of their hats. I am afraid it is not much good appealing to the Government to withdraw this Bill. It seemed to me the Minister for Industry and Commerce certainly did try to leave an outlet secure for himself in not affirming the geographical quantity system. But what are we doing? We are abolishing a part of the Constitution at this moment, in the sole interests of making this geographical division of the country absolutely supreme, with no exception whatever to it.

I do not need to go into the Minister's figures. First of all, he talked about 11,000 votes which are necessary to elect an ordinary Deputy and about 950 votes to elect a member for a University constituency. Then he informed us that 12,000 was ten times 950. I think you will see, Sir, that the mathematics are rather wrong. Again, there seems to be an idea—and I admit that it could get popular support easily enough— that it is degrading for a University to be associated with politics, that a University is a seat of learning, and that it should be divorced from all relations with politics. I think the Minister for Industry and Commerce made use of the phrase that it should have no direct or obvious affiliation with politics. Surely from that point of view, a University, a seat of learning, ought clearly to recognise that its members have a duty no less than that of the ordinary man going about the streets, to occupy themselves with the general well-being of the country. Surely if a member of a University enjoys particularly favoured circumstances, if he has had particular privileges, that increases his duty rather than takes from it. This doctrine that somehow or other there is something contaminating about politics is altogether wrong, though perhaps there are reasons why the Government should think that anybody associated with a political Party is likely to be corrupt. There is an implied affirmation of that doctrine in the speeches from across the House. There is the implication that any institution or any person who enjoys respect is jeopardising that respect by association with politics. That is to say that men of integrity, by bringing their intelligence to bear on the common well-being of the people, are doing something that is derogatory to their whole position. Surely that is a thing that the Government would not attempt to stand over.

Personally, I do not consider the vote as a very marked privilege. I think the whole voting business, all the machinery of it, is a necessary evil. It is a machine devised, it is thought, on the whole, to work out fairly well for getting a good Government. It requires the act of voting, and the act of voting requires that certain virtues should be brought into play, preeminently, as I have suggested, the virtues of prudence and wisdom. The whole idea of an election is that these virtues and other virtues will be calculated to make the people exercise a wise choice in the election. Therefore, it seems to me to be right, logical and sound that those people who, in the circumstances, are people whom you can expect to have greater regard for the common good, should have the privilege of exercising the franchise in a special way, people who will give more thought to the common good, people whose mental training is such as to instil the virtues of wisdom and prudence in them. It seems to me pre-eminently right that as far as possible we should put power into their hands and impose responsibility on them for the creation and the changing of government in this country.

I would ask other Government speakers not to get up and prate about democracy and things of that kind. Surely it is about time that we ought to face up to the realities. When we see that a thing requires to be done, our business is to see how best it can be done. If we think of the sort of appeal that we can make at the cross-roads, the way we can appeal to people who are most lacking in wisdom, people who are most liable to be inflamed by passion, by references to Trinity College and the rest of it—that whole appeal to passion is obviously wrong on such an occasion as this. If the Government thinks it worth while going ahead with this Bill merely because, as at the moment, the two Universities happen to give two more votes to us than to them, I think they are more devoid of wisdom than I would have hoped. I hope also that there will be no further suggestion that somehow or other this Bill becomes necessary arising out of the changed areas brought about by the new Electoral Bill. There is a special Article in the Constitution providing for University representation. That Article was put in for a special reason, not because it was considered that we were giving special privileges to Universities but because we thought that such provision was calculated—to a limited degree, it is true—to give us the best type of government in this country. That is the reason it was put in. It is up to the Government to prove that the special voting power of the more educated people of this country is going to disimprove government rather than improve it. That is the only way they can attempt to justify the Bill which they have brought in.

It was rather amusing to hear the arguments that have been put up to justify the 32 representatives of Dublin City and County. That is after all, what it amounts to. You have six representatives from the Universities, nine from South Dublin, eight from North Dublin and nine from County Dublin. I am sorry that Deputy Fitzgerald has left the House. I intended making special reference to his speech. Deputy Fitzgerald, in the course of his remarks, seemed to have some doubts about my education. I should like to say that I am prepared, any day Deputy Fitzgerald wishes, to place the results of my Intermediate examinations side by side with those of Deputy Fitzgerald. I will admit that after the Intermediate examinations there came a change in our lives. Our parents decided that they would put us in different walks of life. Deputy Fitzgerald's parents, seeing what kind of a lackalally he was, thought that he could best earn his living by making daubs on paper. The only merit of his work, I think, was that you could not distinguish whether they were daubs of animals or of human beings. On the other hand my parents decided that the proper vocation for me was to earn my living with my hands. They decided that I was to earn my livelihood by my hands on the land. I maintain that I have proved my ability in that respect, and that I have proved that I am more capable of earning my livelihood with my hands on the farm than Deputy Fitzgerald is to follow his vocation of putting daubs on paper. I put that up frankly for the consideration of Deputy Fitzgerald. It is true he changed his tune after wards. He joined with Deputy McGilligan, and like Deputy McGilligan he has evidently determined that the best way he could earn his living is with his jaw. Deputy Costello, too, decided that the best way to earn his livelihood was with his jaw.

The Deputy ought to get away from personalities.

I regret, A Chinn Comhairle, that you were not present when the other allusion was made.

What was the allusion?

I can deal with Deputy Dr. O'Higgins in that allusion too.

What was the allusion?

It is not a delusion, anyhow.

When Deputy Fitzgerald again addresses this House I would like if he would prove the use that he has made of his education. I maintain that I have proved my educational abilities even in other walks of life. Deputy Fitzgerald has proved his complete inability to represent one constituency by the fact that he has had to jump into another. I never had to jump from one constituency to another yet. I was always able to get the increased confidence of my constituents, even though it came from people who earned their livelihood with their hands, people such as Deputy Costello referred to a couple of moments ago as corner-boys. He wanted to know how people who earned their livelihood with their hands——

On a point of order. I was present during Deputy Costello's speech, and the suggestion that Deputy Costello referred to persons, earning their livelihood with their hands, as corner boys, is absolutely untrue. Deputy Costello referred to the one who worked all his life as against one who refuses to work, whether by hand or by head, or by what the Deputy termed "jaw."

Deputy Costello made a distinct point that he did not see why he should not have ten votes, when the corner boy, who had not the advantage of any education, had one. That is the particular point I want to emphasise clearly. Deputy McGilligan said, very justly, I believe, that those in the Universities were only one degree removed from the land, and that they had their roots in the soil. I am prepared to prove that, and every farmer on the opposite benches can bear me out. What is happening? A farmer has four or five sons. He cannot keep them all on the land and he sends some of them to the University to be made doctors or solicitors or barristers. He keeps Jack at home. He has got to earn his livelihood, and he has to work hard and keep Tom in college with polished boots, shirts, collars and ties. That goes on for a year or two. After a certain number of years in college, Tom is turned out as a barrister, briefless or otherwise, and Jack, working on the land, has to keep him for another time, and to keep the others in or out of college. I cannot see how those who were in the college, educated out of the sweat and labour and work of the man on the land, should, at some future date, be entitled to ten votes each for the one of the brother who has to work all his lifetime to keep those who had the privilege of being in college.

We have three representatives in the Universities elected by 3,700 voters. I cannot see what right these 3,700 people have, or what special qualifications they possess that should enable them to elect three representatives to this Dáil whereas it took nearly 11,000 votes to put me in here. I cannot see their special qualifications or their rights in this matter. Is it some special right they possess, because they play football or cricket? I cannot see any particular right that gives one individual in this country ten votes, or ten times the voting power of another individual in the country. Neither can I see the right of some gentleman in Africa or in the Indian Civil Service, or somewhere else, simply because he went to a college in one of the Universities, to have ten times the voting power in this country of a man who pays rates and taxes and earns his livelihood by the sweat of his brow or otherwise. I cannot see any justice in that claim and I deny the right to any claim of that kind.

Deputy Thrift and others seemed to get very angry this afternoon because it was said that some of the University people used their votes in other elections as well. I had to prevent certain dispensary doctors voting in a country district; I had to point out to them that they had already exercised their votes in the University. When they were asked whether they had not already voted in their Universities they simply walked out of the polling booth. They were prepared apparently to claim not merely ten votes, but eleven votes. They would do probably what some other educated gentleman did, namely spoil their votes, because they simply did not know how to vote. If we take the University basis of qualification the County Galway would have 27 representatives here, and the County Cork should have a couple of hundreds. I cannot see what right, or claim, any man in this country has above another that would give him ten times the voting power of another. And above all I cannot see what claim any man has, simply because he spent a couple of years in a University, and afterwards having gone away to earn his livelihood, and who pays neither rates nor taxes, and who gives no service to the country, to have ten votes in this country while a man who earns his livelihood in the country has only the right to one vote. I am glad that this Bill has been introduced to put an end to that anomaly.

I think everyone interested in University representation would complain of the manner in which this Bill was introduced, and would be surprised at the paucity of arguments produced in support of it, and at some of the things that were said by some of the Ministers in support of it. The attitude was taken up by those on the Government Benches, who spoke in favour of this Bill, that a case has to be made in defence of University representation. That is to mistake the constitutional position. University representation is in the Constitution, and it is for those who want to remove it to make a case in favour of its removal. The case for putting University representation into the Constitution was made here 12 years ago, and was approved with the almost unanimous consent of the Dáil. It is for those who want to take it out of the Constitution to make a case in support of their attitude. The Government takes up the position of a prosecutor who says it is for the prisoner to establish his innocence. The principle of law, however, is that the prisoner is innocent until he is proved guilty.

The Vice-President in introducing this Bill was very brief in his remarks. The Minister for Industry and Commerce took some little time to put forward some arguments in favour of this Bill. His arguments seemed to be centred on the one point, that University representation was undemocratic, and that because it was undemocratic the Government was about to abolish it. But neither did the Minister for Industry and Commerce, nor anybody else, attempt to define democracy; neither am I going to do so. I do suggest seriously that democracy does not consist simply in the counting of heads or the counting of votes, and that there is nothing undemocratic in weighting, to some extent, the votes of persons who may have been deemed particularly well qualified to express opinions. I admit that the question remains whether University graduates are entitled to such privileges, but that there is nothing undemocratic in weighing the votes of certain members of the community, I do maintain. I draw the attention of the Minister for Industry and Commerce to the fact that there is another Bill before the Dáil at present which goes very definitely against his own principle of democracy —the counting of heads. I refer to the Electoral (Revision of Constituencies) Bill. The system of electoral redistribution which the Dáil has under consideration, definitely tends to deprive large numbers of the smaller groups throughout the country of any official voice in the Government of the country. By thus cutting away the strength of the principle of proportional representation on which our Constitution is founded, the capacity of a small group in any constituency to make its voice felt in the selection of members of the Dáil is almost completely abolished. That measure which the Government is forcing through the Dáil at the moment is thoroughly undemocratic.

The Minister referred to the possibility of certain University graduates exercising the franchise twice in the same election. That may be possible through the carelessness of those responsible for the preparation of the register. The law on the matter is clear but, if those whose duty it is to maintain the register do so carelessly, it is possible that some graduates vote twice. But the suggestion that a large number, or that the majority, of graduates of a particular University exercise two votes in that way is far from the facts. The Minister made a curious remark of which I have been trying to gauge the force. He said that the majority of University graduates in this House were not University representatives. It is only possible for the Universities to send six members here, and I think that it is for the good of the Dáil and for the good of the country that a number of other University graduates have also obtained election. I was glad to hear the high tribute the last Deputy—Deputy Corry —paid to the value of education in the pains he took to prove to the House that he himself had obtained a higher education. Evidently he recognised that the educated classes have something of importance to contribute to the community, and it is on that fact mainly that I base the claim for special University representation in this country.

The Minister for Industry and Commerce went further and almost maintained that this Bill to abolish University representation was designed to make Universities more efficient and to render them more prolific of great men in the future than they had been in the past. He said that if this Bill were passed it would put the Universities in a position to produce greater men in the future than they did in the past. I am puzzled. I am puzzled because I have tried to reconcile the statement of the Minister for Industry and Commerce not merely with my own opinions as to the functions of the Universities but with the opinions of some of the Minister's colleagues. My own view is that the Universities should contribute to every line of activity in the nation's life; not only should they contribute to the learning, culture and professional education of the young men and women of the country, but they should throw their weight into every other activity of the community, in the State, in local affairs, and in every other field of public endeavour. Very important amongst the activities of the State to which the Universities should make direct contribution is the regulation of the life of the community as it is carried out here in the Dáil. The Minister has the idea that a University should be a cloistered place; that the people in a University should not put out their heads or know what is going on in the world around them; that they should, above all, refrain from any interference in political life because it is bad for them. He thinks that the people in Universities should be shut up, that it should be rendered impossible even for Deputy Kelly to make his way in or carry in any news from the outer world. I noticed that, a few weeks ago, one of the Minister's colleagues—I think it was the Minister for Education — brought a charge against the Universities that they were not pulling their weight in a certain movement. I remember that Archbishop Walsh, who has been quoted to-day, was in favour of University representation in the legislature. I remember that the President, in his younger and, possibly, wiser days, was also in favour of University representation in the government of the country.

The Minister carried his views as to the seclusion of the Universities from life a bit further in a particular piece of advice he gave to one of the Universities without naming it. I think that he made the direction of his advice fairly clear. He suggested that, if excluded from exercising activity in the Dáil, that University might escape the criticism of being the pocket-borough of any political Party. I do not know whether the Minister meant to suggest that such a criticism could be made with any fairness or any approach to accuracy. If so, he knows very little of the constituency of which I am one of the representatives here and to which, I think, he alluded. I know nothing that would be so likely to prevent the success of any candidate appearing before that constituency as the possession of a testimonial from the leader of either of the great political Parties of State or that he should come with any suggestion that the leader of either of the great political Parties of State had the right to dictate or give advice to that constituency as to the choice of a member. Those members who have represented Dublin University in the Dáil since its foundation have been here as independent members and have exercised their independence here. They have never been tied to any political Party and they have never been under the orders of any group in this House. Deputy Kelly, in his kindly, racy speech, said he never found himself in the same Lobby with one of us. He is mistaken. I have had the pleasure of being in the same Division Lobby with Deputy Kelly, and it is no reflection on his independence or mine that we do not find ourselves oftener in the same Lobby. That may be as much Deputy Kelly's point as it is mine. I should be glad to see him with me more often.

I said that my claim for special University representation was based on the fact that the Universities had something useful to contribute to the State and that one of the channels through which they could make that contribution was by political service in the Dáil. I believe that the more that University men and the Universities themselves take a part in public life the better for them and the better for the country at large. It has been suggested that this measure will do no harm to the Universities. In reply to that, I say that, having had the help of the Universities for 12 years, for the Dáil to say to them now: "We no longer want your help," is a direct slight on them and on the people they sent here to represent them.

I can take a rather detached view of the services that University representatives have given in the Dáil in the past as my own period of service here has been so short, but I think it is true —the Vice-President recognised it— that the University members have been as active and useful in the affairs of the Dáil during that time as any members representing territorial constituencies. It has been suggested—it underlay much of the speech of Deputy Corry—that the Universities are some sort of a preserve for the privileged classes and privileged people who are there, and only there, by the toil of others who work for them. It is true that a University student has to be provided for, to some extent, for his education, by his parents, but it is true, also, that the State contributes very largely to the expenses of University education and that at the present moment there is not in the country a young lad, or girl, who would be likely to benefit by a University education to whom a University career is not possible. One would like perhaps to make entrance to the Universities even wider, but, generally speaking, it is true that the Universities are open to the lad or girl of any class in the country even though their means are very small. That has naturally produced a feeling of democracy—I use the word not in the political but in the social sense—in the Universities, where all, from whatever class they come, are of equal standing and are given the respect which is due to their personality: not to their parentage, or pedigree, and much less to their pecuniary circumstances. I have spent all my life in this country and have moved in various circles in it. The most democratic circles that I have ever moved in have been the undergraduate circles of the two Universities in the Irish Free State. In no other circles have I found the same equality, the same frankness of judgment, the same readiness of everyone to meet on an equality, to be judged on their merits and by their worth, and not by any extraneous circumstances.

I do not claim that University representation should be continued in order to make provision for the representation, in the Dáil, of a minority separated from the majority of the people of this country by any kind of division, because I believe that the sooner these divisions are overlooked as practical matters the better, and that we should not continue to look into the divisions of the past in order to lay down lines and provisions for the future. As a matter of fact, there are many people in the country who may be grouped together who take certain views on many matters, cultural and other, that are not by any means altogether political. At present there is an accidental provision in our Constitution which allows those groups of persons to be represented, but they would have little chance of being represented here if University representation were abolished. We have before the Dáil at present two other measures which have a bearing on this aspect of the Universities Bill which we are discussing. We have a measure for the abolition of the Seanad. The Seanad has, in the past, and will in the future, give representation to points of view other than those which might commend themselves on the hustings. But the Seanad is to go. We have also before the Dáil a Redistribution of Seats Bill which tends again to take away the opportunity for the expression of their views which members of the minority might otherwise have. We have, therefore, in the same week, three measures before the Dáil, all having the effect of depriving minorities in this country of the channels they have at present for expressing their opinions. I do not say that it would be desirable to manufacture means to enable the minority to do so, but at present they have almost accidentally under our Constitution a means for the expression of their views. When that machinery can be carried on without detriment to the Constitution it is unwise and rash, I think, on the part of the Government to take the step that it is taking in pressing this Bill on the Dáil.

In his opening speech the Vice-President used an argument which took me greatly by surprise. It was pressed home by Deputy Corry, who has just spoken. It was that it is evil or unfair, at any rate undesirable, that persons living temporarily outside the area of the Irish Free State should have any choice in electing representatives to this House. It is not a question, as Deputy Corry said, of civil servants in Africa or India exercising the vote. It is not a question even of persons who are living as citizens in another country exercising the vote. This system of postal voting is a provision made for University voters in common with the members of the Defence Forces. They exercise their votes by post. Just as soldiers on a foreign campaign would be given the right to exercise their votes by post, citizens of this country, and only citizens of it, who are on a University register, are also given this privilege of exercising their votes by post. I think there was a good deal of misunderstanding about that. Their votes cannot be any danger to this Dáil or to the Constitution.

I would like to join with Deputy Thrift, and with other Deputies who have spoken, in stressing this: that in taking away University representation we will be taking away the last link in the political unity of Ireland. It is the one point that Northern Ireland and the area of the Irish Free State have in common. The fact that hundreds of citizens of the Irish Free State, resident in Northern Ireland, have the right to take part in the election of members to this House, in itself may be of very little immediate or practical importance, but it is the last symbol of the political unity of Ireland, and to many of us the restoration of the unity of Ireland is the greatest ideal that this Dáil, or this country, can have before it. I would appeal to the Dáil not to take away this last symbol of that unity. The Government have put this Bill before us. No doubt they have deliberated very fully on it. It is before us to-day for Second Reading. Late in the debate on the Second Reading of the Bill I would appeal to the members of the Government that they should reconsider this matter: that they should get the advice of the House by some method other than taking a vote on the Second Reading. I suggest that they should refer the Bill to a Select Committee representative of all Parties in this House, to consider this question of University representation as to whether it is still requisite in our Constitution or not. The Select Committee cannot, of course, come to any decision. It can only recommend. But I would ask the House to consider whether it is desirable to remove University representation, and if not, what changes, or amendments, might be made in the present system which would make it more consonant with the democratic ideas of certain member of the Dáil.

There is no doubt that sooner or later—and perhaps much sooner than later—every member of this House will regret the introduction of this measure. They will regret the speeches that were made on the part of the two Ministers, the one who introduced it and the only other Minister who supported it. Reference has been made in the course of the discussion to the historical events of the last few hundred years. These historical events are facts and we had better pay some attention to them. A good deal of the bias which has been worked upon has been helped, to some extent, by the history of one of the two universities in question. Politicians would be very much wiser if they deferred making those observations in the light of all the circumstances, even of our own short period of the last 12 years. When the proposal for university representation was brought before the Dáil in 1922—and it is open there to Ministers to peruse the proceedings and to observe what was said—one of two things stood out prominently in connection with university representation. Those who were responsible for bringing before the Constituent Assembly, the Dáil, or whatever you like to call it, proposals for a Constitution, made no express recommendation for university representation in the Dáil. My recollection scarcely satisfies me in drawing entirely from it, in that connection, but it does appear that the Minister for Home Affairs at the time, the late Kevin O'Higgins, when the matter was discussed in the Dáil, then said if the Dáil were to decide that the universities were to be represented in the Dáil, rather than in the Seanad, he required to have some conversations with some people whom he met. There were some representatives of what were then called Southern Unionists who approached the late President, Arthur Griffith, and the late Vice-President, Mr. O'Higgins, in London and got a promise from them that there would be university representation in the Oireachtas.

The Dáil subscribed, on the representations of the university representatives themselves, to having them included in the Dáil franchise, and giving them the right to have three members elected for each of the two universities. It is interesting to read in that connection the speech of one of the representatives of Dublin University at that time. There were those who made representations on behalf of that institution for representation in the Oireachtas. He made it quite plain, as far as he was concerned, that he had no misgivings in respect of the treatment a minority would receive. He said he was not putting forward a plea for representation in the Dáil on any minority rights or privileges, or whatever you like to call them. He put forward the case that they would be useful in the Dáil Chamber. The only speaker who spoke on behalf of the other university made a strong case for representation in the Dáil. I would much prefer, and indeed any man of sense would prefer, that there was no necessity for a Minister to get up and say that there is no need for any apprehension on the part of the minority. Subjects such as this should be approached, not from the point of view of apprehension, not from the point of view that "I am not going to do any harm," not from the point of view of toleration, but from the point of view of justice and fair play, and the carrying out of any promise made by a Minister of this State, or any person acting in a representative capacity on the part of this State. There was such an undertaking, and it can be learned from a perusal of the proceedings, but it is now torn up, without the acquiescence of one of the two parties to the undertaking. That is not just, and it does not reflect any credit on Ministers, and they would be well advised to reconsider it.

There are historical associations in connection with this country, internally as well as externally. There is one thing that no person in the minority could until now ever charge the vast majority of the people of this country with, and that was injustice. If it be thought that an offer to put back this representation, or to put back a Seanad is going to be any bait to the North of Ireland, a very, very great mistake has been made. Those who can once take away can take away a second time. I would much prefer to approach the North of Ireland and to say nothing: that I could give no more; that I am not entitled to give any more; that justice does not entitle me to give any more. I think that would be much better received by them than to take away bit by bit, and to make apologies for the introduction of such a measure, saying "You need have no apprehension." That is not statesmanship, it is not good business and it is not Irish.

In connection with the negotiations concerning the Treaty, there was a problem in Southern Ireland. The last 12 years have shown that it is not a problem that any of us is afraid of. If that is the case, it is because there was any indulging in toleration or anything of that kind, but a manifestation of simple justice. Take it from the historical point of view, supposing that that institution is 300 years in existence, and that for over 200 years it has had representation in Parliament, is not custom long recognised as one of the things next to law? If his late Grace of Dublin, one of the greatest Irishmen that ever lived, and a worthy successor of that great and patriotic Irishman who was Archbishop of Dublin, St. Laurence O'Toole, if he thought fit to say that he did not make any claim for rights and privileges was not that the statement of a just man, of a statesman, and a worthy Chancellor of the University? There are historical incidents which are played upon occasionally by politicians.

The University in question—which is pointed to with a finger of contempt by some persons—might well be proud of its connection with the Irish language, at a time when there was not much consideration for it on the part of other people. No one can take away from it—however its representation may be interfered with—the names of O'Donovan and O'Curry. Even in our own time, within the last 20 years, when proposals were made in the British Parliament to exclude not only the Six Counties but Trinity College, unless my recollection fails me, one, possibly the two members of Parliament for Trinity at the time acquiesced in that proposal. Without any delay a meeting of protest was held in Trinity College of persons qualified to speak on behalf of that institution, and it was decided at that meeting—or a statement was issued from it equivalent to this: "No, you are not going to divorce us from Ireland." I remember a Deputy of the Dáil speaking at a meeting in Dublin shortly after that, congratulating a Trinity professor on his knowledge of geography—that he had discovered Trinity College was in Ireland. If University representation is now to be abolished these things which stand to the credit of these Universities should not be forgotten.

When the Constitution was framed and when you were giving this particular representation to those two Universities you gave something which ought not to have been in the power of another person to take away. After all, there must be some degree of stability in the country. At least the matter that is written into the Constitution of the country ought to have some stability. When we are told now that it is undemocratic we are entitled to ask in what respect it is undemocratic. Do they exercise more votes than the persons outside exercise? Are they not inscribed in the register just the same as the people outside? Do they retain their votes when they have broken the law? The only argument that can be put up, and the only one that we have listened to is that, relatively, a smaller number of persons there is entitled to elect a representative to the Dáil than if they were not University voters.

One might be in the majority of 6,000 outside. 6,000 people might exercise the franchise outside and might send nobody into the Dáil. One might have a situation in which 7,000 votes would be cast for John Murphy, and 6,999 votes for James O'Kelly and the odd man might have been undecided when going into the booth as to which of them he would vote for. According to what we heard this evening we should have the fact that that man exercises greater authority in the country than 6,999 who voted for the beaten O'Kelly. That sort of talk about democracy is all humbug and nobody knows it better than the Ministers—unless they have not learned what it means. We are told that the essence of democracy is equal rights. The man who is in gaol above in Mountjoy for a hideous offence—and there is such a man who has got seven, ten or fourteen years— has equal rights with the Vice-President. Now we are told that is not true. Why is it told to the people then?

Dr. Ryan

That man has no vote.

According to the Minister for Industry and Commerce that is not so because the essence of democracy is equal rights.

There is no use in laying down those dogmas which can be proved to be fallacious and undemocratic. The Minister ought to develop the point. What is it that is undemocratic about it? The same method of recording the votes exists in both cases. The Minister and myself have had the same University distinction. Neither of us has that vote. Neither of us could get on to it. It has been in existence in one case for a couple of hundred years. The first Chancellor of the University of Dublin claimed it as a right and got it admitted in an unfavourable assembly. The British House of Commons were persuaded of the justice of the claim that was made by the Chancellor.

I would very strongly advise the Minister to read the discussion that took place here when the Constitution was being framed. I would advise them to read the case made on behalf of the two Universities and not made without criticism. The House decided without a division in favour of allowing this Article into the Constitution and gave the franchise to University graduates. Now as has been stated here, without a mandate, without any authority, without anything put before the people, that it was their intention to take away that vote, it is being knocked out. Surely it is not to save this country the cost of the six members at £360 each. Surely the £2,160 involved is not the reason for this proposal. Is it then to get the number of Deputies reduced that this Bill is being introduced? The Bill has been fairly criticised on sound grounds. At the present moment it is a monument to the Minister. Surely it is not to make a sort of show that they are keeping faith with the promises they made that the members of the Dáil should be reduced.

I do not think that at the present moment there are more than 11 non-Catholic Deputies in the Dáil. The non-Catholics in the country, I suppose, would be between six and eight per cent. Take away this University representation and it is quite possible that the number of non-Catholics would be reduced to eight or nine. I am making no case for them. I am simply stating the facts. It would be preferable that no charge could be made and no prefatory statement made that we did not intend to do any harm when on the facts of the case that number is going to be reduced. Do not let us have the story trotted out that there are certain injustices done in the North of Ireland. This is not the North of Ireland. We claim for this State here, and we hope to be able to prove it, that we are dealing justly with all the people and when we framed the Constitution in respect of those clauses which gave representation to numbers of people it is to be hoped that we were not setting up a headline which we intended to avoid. This is the sort of Bill that should never have been introduced into the Dáil.

From the statement of the Minister for Industry and Commerce it is fairly obvious what is behind the Bill. One of the Government Party in the course of his speech said that certain Deputies here never voted with the Fianna Fáil Party. I should hope that that would not be the reason why the Bill was introduced. In all decency I do hope that we have not sunk so low as that and that when we said that people had freedom of conscience or political freedom that it did not mean that at the first opportunity if we were not satisfied with them, we would see that they did not exercise that freedom.

Some years ago in the height of a political struggle when there was an undivided National Party in this country a certain gentleman was appointed Chancellor of the National University. Is he going to retire from it? He got it purely and simply on political grounds. He did not get it on educational grounds or on University grounds. Now that he is taking away this privilege from the graduates is he going to retire from that office? This Bill is an invasion of the democratic rights of the people and it ought never to have been introduced. Universities were given those rights and they are being taken away with as little real thought as the Ministers would exercise when lighting their cigarettes. This measure will not redound to their credit. They would be well advised to reconsider it and not push it any further.

I believe there is an Article in the Constitution to the effect that all power in this country, whether legislative, executive or judicial, comes from the people and the way that power is exercised by the people is through the vote. As Deputies are aware, there was, when the Free State was set up, some agitation for adult suffrage and that was brought forward in 1923. Following the speech made by Deputy Rowlette and the speech made by Deputy Fitzgerald, one realises the difficulty of trying to find out who should or should not have the vote unless we go by the general rule that everybody over a certain age is entitled to a vote. I expect it was for that reason the rule in regard to adult suffrage was adopted and the age of 21 years was taken as fair and reasonable. The Government is elected by representatives who are returned by supporters in the constituencies. It is also laid down in the Constitution that the constituencies must have the number of seats regulated as far as possible in proportion to the population. I think any Government would naturally be expected to deal with this question of University representation unless a priori University representation should go, because the number of voters who can elect a member in a University is much smaller than the number who can elect a person in an ordinary constituency.

If we want fair play so far as adult suffrage is concerned, the University representation should go. There appears to be a great objection on the opposite benches to the use of the word democracy, and therefore I will not use that word. I am inclined to think that unless there is a very good case made in its favour, University representation should go. I have not heard any sound argument as to why there should be special representation for the Universities. Deputy Rowlette spoke of the independence of the representatives of Trinity College. He pointed out that the statement by the Minister for Local Government to the effect that he never found himself in the same lobby with the representatives from Trinity College was wrong, because he had voted on the side of the Government since he had entered the House. I believe he did. I heard it commented upon, both inside and outside the House, that Deputy Rowlette had voted with the Government. It was a remarkable thing, and it had not been witnessed for many years in this House, to have a member of a Party that called itself independent voting with the Government. The Independents never voted with Fianna Fáil when that Party was in Opposition. Of course I agree with Deputy Cosgrave that that is no reason why they should lose their representation, but at least we are entitled to say that so far as we know they are not independent members. In our experience over the last six or seven years we have never known the members of the Independent Party to vote with Fianna Fáil. Even the most humble member of the Cumann na nGaedheal Government has an opportunity at Party meetings of deciding what way he is going to vote, but the members of the Independent Party have not such an opportunity. They merely go in after the Cumann na nGaedheal Party and that is as far as their independence goes.

Deputy Cosgrave mentioned the injustice that we are doing. I know Deputy Cosgrave for a long time. As a matter of fact, he was a man for whom I had a great regard at one time. I never thought he would descend so low in politics as to bring up a matter like that in this House. He knows it to be absolutely untrue, yet he uses it for political purposes. That statement can be used, not only against this Government, but against the people of the Free State. Other countries will be glad to use the Deputy's statement that the Government of this country is doing an injustice to the Protestant minority. Deputy Cosgrave was not above using that statement for political reasons, and in doing it, he has descended much lower than I ever thought he would descend. He knows very well there is no injustice in this. His own Party were not by any means unanimous when they introduced the Constitution to the Parliament of the time. They had not University representation in the Constitution when it was introduced. That shows that any Party might honestly take the view that University representation should be removed. Deputy Cosgrave made a low political charge when he said that we were doing an injustice to the Protestant minority. That will be quoted inside and outside the State, but that does not matter to Deputy Cosgrave so long as he can secure what he considers to be a political advantage—but it may not be.

I listened to Deputies Costello, Fitzgerald-Kenney, Alton, Rowlette and Cosgrave, and I did not hear any sound argument in favour of University representation. There was a certain amount of talk about Trinity College and it was urged that it should get representation because it was Trinity College. There was no definite argument submitted except the one made by Deputy Fitzgerald. We were not told that people in other countries, with the exception of Great Britain and here—I believe we are the only countries that have University representation—were suffering from a serious disadvantage by reason of not having representatives from the Universities. Are countries like France, Germany or America suffering severely because they have not University representation? They all have some sort of adult suffrage and the cornerboys, as Deputy Costello calls them, in other countries vote in members of Parliament. Do those countries suffer from that, or would they be much better off if they had what Deputy Costello would allude to as a much better type to represent them, the University type? There was nothing of that kind quoted here. It was not declared that the intelligence of the members of the British Parliament was far and away above the intelligence of the members of the French, the German or the Italian Parliaments. We were merely told that Trinity should get representation because its representatives represent a minority. Deputy Fitzgerald did stress very much the point that the voters who had wisdom and prudence should have an advantage over those voters who had not that wisdom and prudence. The assumption, of course, is that University voters have wisdom and prudence, and that the others, who are not University voters, are not so highly developed in those two virtues of wisdom and prudence. Let us take this question of wisdom and prudence. Are there not other classes who could claim to be better qualified on the wisdom and prudence issue than the University graduates? I was a University graduate myself, but when I first got the vote I would be inclined to say that I did not have much wisdom and prudence. Again, on the same issue, take the case of clergymen. Would they not have a better claim to wisdom and prudence?

They are graduates.

Dr. Ryan

Not all of them.

Yes, they are. Every priest is a graduate.

Dr. Ryan

No.

Yes, every modern priest.

Dr. Ryan

Oh, every modern priest?

That was a rather extraordinary statement.

Dr. Ryan

Well, apart from clergymen, let us take another class. For instance, we could take a class that I have got to know very well for the last two years, and I would say that they are the most prudent and wise class in the community. I am referring to the civil servants. Should they have a special privilege because they are wise and prudent? What about the old age pensioners? Surely, it will not be contended that an old age pensioner is not wise and prudent. He has the wisdom of years and he has the prudence, not only of years, but of the hard life that he has lived, because he has usually gone through hard times; so he has that much more wisdom and prudence than the University graduate. Why not give him a special privilege and let his vote be worth ten of the votes of other people? There is another class that I have come to know a lot about in the last two or three months. Certainly they are a most wise and prudent people. I refer to the cattle dealers. Should they get special representation? There is no offence to Deputy Keating in what I am saying, but should they get ten votes to the other person's one just because they are wise and prudent?

I think that no argument has been made for the privilege, as it has been called, of the University voter. Deputy Corry, I think, said that if the County of Galway got the same representation as the Universities got, that county would have 27 representatives in this House. He underestimated it altogether, however. If the same quota had been given to Galway at the last election as the Universities got, we would have had 72 representatives elected.

How many would you have for Grangegorman?

Dr. Ryan

Well, I am sure that the Deputy himself knows more about that than I do. As I was saying, however, on that basis we would have had 72 elected for Galway, and I am sure that they are wise and prudent people. Why should they not have 72 if Trinity College has three? As a matter of fact, it might be a good way of relieving the congestion down there. However, what I want to hear from the Opposition is some kind of argument in favour of University representation. I have not heard any argument in favour of it so far. I have heard wild charges from Deputy Cosgrave and others about the injustice that will be done to the minority and about what the minority has done in the past. One would imagine, from the talk here, that the academic council or the Governing Body in Trinity College spend all their time in producing rebels, and in fact that nobody but a rebel would be allowed inside their gates. By chance, I believe, they had a few in their time, but I would be inclined to say that it was only by chance. In any case, however, what is the argument in favour of University representation? Perhaps, if I were to hear a good argument in favour of University representation I might take a different view of the situation than I, personally, have taken up to the present; but I cannot see that any argument can be put against this Bill. I do not see how any Government, that agreed with the principle of equal rights and adult suffrage, could avoid dealing with University representation when bringing in a Bill of this kind dealing with the revision of constituencies.

The Minister stated, in the course of his speech, that my Minister was divided on the question of including University representation in the Constitution. That is wrong. The Ministry was not so divided. It made recommendations in the Dáil in favour of University representation and the Dáil itself decided. I thought I made that point quite clear, although the Minister may not have grasped it. The Ministry was agreed on bringing certain proposals before the Dáil that there should be University representation in the Oireachtas. The Dáil had a free hand to decide on the matter and it decided unanimously in the Dáil.

Dr. Ryan

Against the Seanad.

The Minister is quite clear on the point, now, I hope.

As a Deputy in this Assembly, I am in the unfortunate position that my constituents occasionally insist on my going down and addressing them when any important matter arises, even though my constituency is 200 miles away. I am a voter in another constituency. I am a voter in the National University constituency—just as some of the Deputies on the opposite side are— and I think that I have a right to protest that two Deputies representing me in this House, as well as representing other voters in the National University, have not uttered one word in protest against the abolition of our constituency. I hope that before the debate is over those Deputies who represent me here will protest against the abolition of this constituency of which they and I are members.

One deprecates—and I must say that the last speaker, the Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Ryan, was one of the offenders—but one deprecates in this Assembly any speech which, even by suggestion, savours of bigotry, whether it may be religious bigotry or the old political bigotry of pre-Truce days. I think that, after all, in the year 1934, we ought to be far past that and that we ought to avoid, in any speeches that are made in this House, anything that would bring us back to the time when those things prevailed. Constrasts with Northern Ireland, surely, ought not to affect us here. As Deputy Cosgrave has pointed out, we are not in Northern Ireland. Our traditions here, since the State was established, are founded on a different basis from what they are in Northern Ireland, and if there is anything wrong there, let us not emulate that wrong. I do not want to criticise them and I think it would be wrong for us in this House to criticise anything that is being done in another parliament. But if there is anything wrong, let us not emulate them. I think it would be a very unfortunate position for us to take up.

The Minister for Agriculture went back again and said that he had listened to a great number of speeches in the House and he tried to put across on us the fact that no case has been made for University representation. He is trying to get away from the fact that it is the Government themselves who are taking away an existing right. There was a certain right under the Constitution which, by this Bill now before the House, is being taken away. Undoubtedly, there are cases in which that right should be taken away. If that right were abused in any way, it should be taken away. Will anybody who knows the history of this House since its establishment say that University representation has been abused here? Will anybody say that the University representatives, whether of the National University or Trinity College, have in any way been a discredit to this House? On the contrary, every Deputy who has been sent here by either University has been a credit to the House.

I am a voter in the National University and all my affiliations are with the National University. I am certain, however, that it is utterly unnecessary for me to do the advocate for Trinity College. The representatives of Trinity College are perfectly well able to do that themselves. But take the Trinity representatives we have had here. One of the first Deputies is now a judge of the Supreme Court, a man who took a very large part in framing the Constitution. Another Deputy, who has now gone from us, had a big part in the establishment of the Hospitals Trust, from which the Government now obtain a very considerable amount of finance and from which the State derives very great benefit, both from the employment given and from the advertisement it has got abroad. I refer to the late Sir James Craig. One does not want to enter into this question of bigotry and non-bigotry. Anyone who comes from Kerry, especially from the Iveragh Peninsula from which I come, knows that in the old landlord days there was a contrast as between landlord and landlord. The good landlord was considered to be a very decent fellow. I am not making this as a point in favour of representation for Trinity College. I am only mentioning it as against anything in the nature of bigotry, but the tenants on the Trinity College estate there were considered very well off as compared with their neighbours.

Deputy Corry made a rather offensive speech. He started off by misrepresenting Deputy Costello, and I think I more or less corrected that misrepresentation. Deputy Corry has sufficient intelligence to know what he is saying. In challenging the Minister for Industry and Commerce on democracy, Deputy Costello said that democracy did not mean equal rights but equal opportunities, which are two very different things. Deputy Corry tried to interpret Deputy Costello as saying that he should have, because of his superior education, a greater right than the man who worked with a spade and a shovel or the man who worked on a farm. Deputy Costello said nothing of the kind. His statement, if it meant anything, meant that the worker, no matter where he was or how he worked, should have some greater right than the person who refused to make use of his opportunities.

Is not that the very same argument that Deputy Lynch is using now—that he should have ten times as much power in this country as the man who worked with a shovel? You are using the very same argument.

Mr. Lynch

If Deputy Corry likes, I shall make him a present of his own statement. I also earn my living by the jaw, as he said. The Deputy boasted that he earned his living by his hands. He referred to somebody else —I think it was Deputy Fitzgerald—as earning his living by daubing a paper with a pen; and to Deputies Costello and McGilligan, presumably because they are lawyers, as earning their living by the jaw. I am also one of the fraternity who earn their living by the jaw. I might even say that long before I became a lawyer I could be said to have earned my living by the jaw when I was a teacher. Deputy Costello was referring to the fact that a man who worked and who by his work earned a decent competency should have a somewhat better standing in his country than a man who threw away his opportunities. Take, for instance, two persons coming from the same lane or back street; one man decides to work, the other lounges round the corners and serves a sentence in jail. Are these two men to have equal rights? Is that democracy?

On that argument, how can you claim that the man who went to a University should have ten times the voting power of the man who earned his living by the spade or the shovel?

Mr. Lynch

Do you stand for this definition of democracy. Two men are born in the same lane; one man decides to work hard and gets a decent job, even if he works with his hands; the other man decides to become a blackguard, gets into jail and serves a sentence of seven years, and they are to have equal rights. Is that what you stand for? That is not my idea of democracy. I think I am perfectly right in my interpretation of what Deputy Costello said. If I understood him rightly, the Minister for Industry and Commerce's idea was that democracy means counting skulls. If that is so, why stop at 21 years of age? Why not go down to the cradle? Why not go into the mental hospitals? Even while they are in jail, why deprive the honest men there of exercising their rights? Counting skulls is not democracy and the Minister knows it well. The case which has been put up here as a democratic case as against University representation is no case. They have to make a case for taking away a right which nobody can say has been abused. There has been a right conferred on the Universities to return representatives to this House. In the case of one University, undoubtedly it means that they have not one chance in a thousand of being represented in this House at all if this constitutional right which they got 12 years ago is taken away. It is for those on the Government Benches to make the case.

I should like to ask the Deputy a question. Is he putting it that the sole case for University representation is that it is the status quo? Is that the argument?

Mr. Lynch

If the Deputy likes that is a case in itself.

Is that the whole case?

Mr. Lynch

It is at least the persons who are going to take away the right who must show their reason for taking away that right before they can demand from the persons who oppose the taking away of that right, a justification for having it there, when it has been there since the foundation of the State. It is for you to make the case for taking it away; not for us to make the case for having put it there 12 years ago.

Lloyd George put it there.

Mr. Lynch

No, and the Minister knows it well. The Minister knows very well that we left this question of University representation to a free vote of this House. The then Minister scrupulously said to the House that he would not advocate one way or the other, although the Ministry at the time were of one mind—in favour of the suggestion of University representation. We came to the House and it was left to the House as an open vote at the time, and carried unanimously by the House, if I remember rightly. There was no Lloyd George about it, and the Minister knows that as well as I do.

It was the status quo then.

Mr. Lynch

There is no use in trying to put that across in the year 1934. I should like if the Government could be enticed to adopt the wise alternative which was put up by Deputy Dr. Rowlette, that is that the whole matter, instead of being persisted in, should be left to a Select Committee of the House, representative of all Parties, and let them decide on some way by which University representation could be modified, either by curtailing, through amalgamation of the two Universities, the amount of representation they at present have, and substituting a joint representation, or whatever way that committee might think fit. All those matters would be matters for such a committee. I think that is a suggestion which the Government should seriously consider, because this Bill will have ramifications—an ugly kind of ramifications—which Deputy Dr. Ryan talks about and tries to throw back on the shoulders of Deputy Cosgrave, because Deputy Cosgrave had said that this was against a certain minority. The worst of the Government Party is that while proclaiming themselves to be ultra national they always have their eyes on what the persons across the water are thinking. That is the fact. They are always thinking "What is going to be the effect of So-and-So's speech in England?" We do not care a thraneen what they think in England about our speeches, and we never did. This Bill will have ramifications. It will create suspicion in minds where suspicion has long been allayed—suspicion that there are ulterior motives behind it, where probably there are not, but that suspicion will be created. I suggest to the Government that Deputy Dr. Rowlette has given them an opening which should be availed of instead of pressing the Bill to a conclusion in the House.

Throughout this long and interesting debate a very carefully arranged scheme has evidently been adopted—to use a smoke screen to divert the attention of Deputies from the actual motion before the House. There have been introduced various political and religious intolerances, and distortions of the word democracy, in an attempt to get us away from the consideration of the very simple question which the Bill itself suggests, as to whether or not in the present time and in present circumstances direct representation of the Universities is desirable or otherwise. There have been references to the giving of direct representation 12 years ago in the then existing circumstances, but to my mind with the passing of time, and the changes that time has brought, the Constitution demands that changes should take place in the representation in this House.

I think it would be monstrous to think of reducing the outside constituencies of the country without first wiping out the representation for the Universities. There is nobody in the House I would give place to in my admiration for the work of the Universities as educational institutions. I hope and feel confident that the Parliament of this nation would never be denied the advantage of the product of the Universities, but I certainly prefer to have the brains turned out by the Universities coming to the assistance of the Parliament of the country from the open constituencies, and from the industries and professions they embrace, rather than coming from behind cloistered walls. It is not the Universities that really matter in the life of the country; it is what they turn out in the way of finished human brains. We have not here direct representation for any particular industry or profession, but we find individuals as citizens of the State, some with the advantage of University education and the majority without, prepared to take their chance at the polls, and to look for the suffrage of their fellows for the honour of being allowed to represent them in this House and carry on the nation's business. Some people believe that if direct representation is to be denied to the Universities, the graduates who are here in fairly large numbers, comparatively, will diminish because of that, and that the finished product will not be able to come in here to do the business of the nation, apart from the direct representation of the three Deputies so much stressed here to-night. The bogey of intolerance has certainly been raised by almost every Deputy who spoke from the opposite benches. Deputy Lynch said that we ought to have long since got away from that mentality. I quite agree with that, but I cannot agree that the veiled references made each time from the Opposition Benches to-night are not definitely intended to provoke and keep awake those ranklings which we thought had become things of the past.

I do not think there is in the country to-day any particular section which has any real fear that there is going to be direct action aimed at them because of their being in the minority. If I thought that there was, I would be slow to attempt to support a measure such as this. I have the greatest admiration for the Universities, and I think a great service is being done to them by removing the division which is keeping them cloistered, and letting them become one with the citizens of the State. By their education and ability they will, in an open competition, make a greater appeal to the majority than the people who are not so well equipped.

Deputy Costello, speaking on this matter, stated that the net result of the passing of this Bill would be that the man with the glib tongue and the elastic mind was going to have a monopoly of representation. What that actually means I should not care to analyse. I should not care to go into competition with the Deputy in glibness of tongue, and as regards elasticity of mind I should not like to draw comparisons. He has been referred to by Deputy Corry as one of the men who made a living by the jaw. I have nothing to say against that profession, but I do not think Deputy Costello is entitled to hurl out broadcast insinuations that anybody who has not had the advantage of a university education but has had the honour of being selected to represent the people here has been selected by reason of possessing a glib tongue and an elastic mind and nothing else, and that forsooth when we have lost that direct representation of Universities this House is going to descend to an abominably low level, with no high-thinking minds.

We are told that if direct University representation is withdrawn this country will suffer because of the withdrawal of the influence of the graduates all over the world who have made contact in diplomatic circles in other countries. We are thus asked to believe that the patriotism and influence of the graduates of the Universities, both the National University and Trinity, are to be measured in terms of the representation or otherwise granted by this House. I think it was never the intention of the people who made that statement to measure the patriotism of the graduates in that particular way, but I can draw no other conclusion from it, if it is not another of the terrible bogeys as to what is going to happen if this House has the courage to do the right thing. Democracy has been welded and twisted into all kinds of shapes. The real net question is that which has been put forward by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, as to whether or not there is any abiding reason why the man who has a University degree is entitled to wield an influence which is equal to ten to one, and that he is not even confined to residency in the Saorstát but if he is out of the country for any considerable period he can still continue to wield that undue influence.

I suggest that the interests of the Universities will be best served if they devote themselves purely to the educational purposes for which they were established—to educate citizens and to fit them for the battle of life in whatever avocations they propose to follow. The graduates at these Universities will then come as a leavening amongst the community as a whole. Their influence and learning will perhaps tend to allay some of the existing political bitterness. Deputy Professor Alton said that he had hoped and dreamed at one time of seeing these benches filled or, as nearly as possible filled, with University graduates. If they are able to compete outside on fair terms with non-graduates, to stand on their own hind legs as it were, and to secure election in the ordinary constituencies we wish them the best of luck. It would certainly make for healthy competition and an improvement in the political field if we had a group of graduates standing as candidates in competition with non-graduates. It will make for the betterment of the country as a whole and should not react against the Universities which should be left to fulfil the functions of centres of learning, as they were originally established.

It seems to me extraordinary that in a debate on University representation logic should be more or less lost sight of. I hope it is not going to become the practice in this House that the Government should introduce a Bill and then call upon the Opposition to show why that Bill should not be passed. In my opinion, no argument has been advanced from the Ministerial side as to why University representation should be abolished. Great play has been made with the contention that possibly 300 University electors might elect a Deputy. I would invite the Government to make a calculation as to the grouping of Universities and as to how many graduates there are in this country. I suggest to the Government that they might, at least theoretically, shortly after the passage of this Bill, get a petition signed by graduates of the universities, showing that they were left unrepresented by reason of their scattered position throughout the country and that they were entitled to their present representation. That is the converse of what is being stated about Deputies representing 300 electors. I should like to ask the Government what harm University representation has done. It seems to me that some of the arguments from the Ministerial benches are like that used by the lady who had an orchard. When footprints were seen under the apple trees she used to say to somebody, "Those footprints are about the size of your boots; now clear yourself." I seems to me that the Government have merely introduced this Bill and said to the Opposition, "Now, show why it should not be passed." I can quite understand that as a logical position if they were going to leave this to a free vote of the House.

What is the position of University representation? One of the Universities has had Parliamentary representation for 340 years. A very distinguished man made a claim for representation for the other University on the same grounds and he got it. The Scottish Universities have representation. So also has the Belfast University separate representation. Why are all the representatives outside the two or three political Parties to disappear? It seems to me that the Minister wishes only to have in this House people who can group behind them 7,000 electors. They are to be brought into this House to settle everything. Is nothing to be said for the independence of thought and mind engendered by University education which might be brought to bear on the deliberations of an assembly such as this? I am not suggesting for one moment that the Universities should get any representation beyond that to which they are entitled but the Government's proposal is that they should be disfranchised entirely. That is the effect of this Bill. We have all this pious talk about University voters being scattered throughout the constituencies of the country but I do not think that even the most optimistic Minister could make a case that under the present system of proportional representation a person belonging to a University could be elected as such for a constituency.

We have had one speaker from the Labour Benches who suggests that a representative might be elected by the professions and business people, but I submit that those people will be experts in their own affairs. You would get from the Universities individuals whom it would be very difficult to find in other walks of life. I do not suggest that the Universities should get any privileged position, but certainly they should not be disfranchised. The Government have made capital out of the fact that the University Deputies supported the last Government in the main and that they vote against them at present. I think there is another and quite different moral to be drawn from this from that which the Minister appears to draw. I would merely conclude these remarks by saying that the justness of representation for Universities is not likely to be destroyed by disfranchising them.

One is at a loss to find the reason for the introduction of this Bill, except it lies in the very few little hints of the Minister for Agriculture and one or two hints from speakers on the Government side which led us to believe that the reason was that the representatives of the Universities did not support Fianna Fáil. I hope that is not the sole reason. If there are other valid reasons they have not been put forward by Deputies on the Government side. It has been said that University Deputies represent a very small constituency. I suggest that the representatives of both Universities represent very much wider areas and domains than the average Deputy in this House. If you take the number of electors they are not, of course, large. If you take the sympathy of the population in general I venture to say that the average Deputy, representing a University, has a much wider population than the average Deputy representing an ordinary constituency. Only graduates of Universities have votes at University elections. I am satisfied that if the choice were given to many an elector, in any county, to vote for representatives of the University, or their own representatives, they would make the choice for the University representatives, knowing in their own minds that the Universities had selected as their candidates people who were a wiser choice than the average Deputy of a country constituency. There are, outside University graduates, many people who would elect to vote for a University representative. The fathers and mothers of young men and women, graduates at colleges, would support the representatives of Universities. There are hundreds of men and women in this State who have not the privilege of sending their sons and daughters to Universities, but have yet yearned that some of their children might have the advantage of University education and who, given a choice, would prefer to exercise the franchise in favour of University representatives.

I was much interested in the speech made by Deputy Tom Kelly and I agree with a lot of what he said. With the remark that there was inherent in the Irish a respect for education and culture, I thoroughly agree. I venture to remark there is more than a respect for education and culture, even amongst the poorest people. There is something of reverence for education and culture amongst the poorest elements of our population. Many a country visitor passing by the portals of our University College or Trinity College, has been struck, as Deputy Kelly has been struck, with the yearning to go inside and to breathe the atmosphere of these seats of learning. There is a respect for the University inherent in the people which I find it difficult to express. I am satisfied in my own mind that if a referendum could be taken as to the advisability of doing away with University representation, the verdict would be emphatically in favour of letting it stand. Perhaps it is not in the people who were better educated, and who got that education outside the Universities, that that feeling of respect for education and culture is strongest. I find, in that class of people represented by Labour, a respect and reverence for University education more apparent than in the class that had better opportunities.

Last week we had a long debate on the reduction of the number of Deputies in the Dáil. It was part and parcel of the Constitution that there were to be decadal reductions in the numbers of Deputies according to population. To-day we are debating the Second Reading of a Bill not to reduce, but to abolish, University representation. The Constitution did make it necessary to revise the number of electors that ordinary Deputies represent, but the Government had to bring in an Act to change the Constitution, in order to get rid of University education. If the Government came forward with a reasonable proposal to reduce the representation of the Universities there might be some semblance of argument for it. When debating the other measure, we find the Minister for Local Government and Public Health admitting that an Article of the Constitution provided for the reduction of Dáil Deputies in such a way as would make the least possible reduction in the number of Deputies incumbent under the Constitution. The Constitution provided that Deputies should represent not less than 20,000 and not more than 30,000 of the population. The Minister tried to get as near the minimum 20,000 as possible. But when we come to University representation there is to be a clean sweep; it is to be wiped out altogether.

There used to be a game played when I was a youngster called "Put-and-Take." So far as this Government is concerned it seems to be all "put" on the electors in the shape of taxes and every conceivable hardship even to the extent of harassing them under laws that do not exist. The "take" is all on the Government side. Every person who opposes the Government is to be ruthlessly swept away. We had various attempts to destroy the political position, even to the extent of violating the law. We have had a Bill to wipe out the Seanad because it would not concur in illegality. Now we have an attempt to do away with University representation because the University representatives have opinions that do not coincide with those of Ministers. In other words, they do not vote Fianna Fáil. The Government have been actuated by purely selfish reasons which one would not expect to find advanced by reasonable people. One would not expect to find such reasons put forward in a House of even ordinary intelligent people. One might say in regard to University Deputies that they are almost free from politics—that they are semi-detached, if I may say so. Being human, few of us can get away altogether from politics in this country, but in so far as a person can become detached from politics, that can be said of the University representatives. At all events, if it is possible for representatives of the people here to be detached from politics, it is only possible in the case of the Independent Deputies. One finds it very difficult to speak in opposition to this Bill because no case was made for the Bill. No case was made by any Minister other than the selfish case that the majority of the University representatives do not vote Fianna Fáil. Deputy Kelly advanced many reasons why University representation should be continued. The representatives of Trinity College, as Deputy Kelly said, did not see eye to eye in politics with most of us in the past but, as he mentioned, they have been prominent in this country in many ways for hundreds of years and, in their own way, have been an honour and a credit to the country. I am sure that they will continue to do honour and credit to the State and that the representatives of our younger University will do likewise. I do not believe that the majority of the people desire any change in respect or the University franchise. The Government claimed that they had a mandate for many of the measures they brought before the House. I do not think that they ever asked— certainly they never obtained—a mandate to do away with University representation.

Without a mandate from the people, this Bill should not be introduced into this House. I should not like it to go from the Dáil that we have no respect for education or culture. I appeal to Fianna Fáil Deputies and to Labour Deputies to follow the example of Deputy Kelly, who has expressed appreciation of the usefulness of representatives of this character, men who have been selected by the Universities because of the knowledge which they have garnered. They should not be precluded from membership of this House. We may not be so well advanced in education or, perhaps, in culture as they are and it is well that we should have the benefit of the knowledge these men have derived at such expense and as the result of so much devotion to duty. One hesitates to believe that any fair-minded Deputy would vote for the discontinuance of University representation. If the Government would leave this question to a free vote of the House. I am sure that the decision of Deputies would be adverse to the Bill.

I oppose the Second Reading of this measure primarily because I think that the Bill is entirely a political one. There is no doubt in my mind as to why this Bill has been introduced. Four members of this House who represent the Universities continually vote against the Government while two University Deputies vote in favour of the Government measures. That is the only reason operating in the mind of the Government so far as the introduction of this measure is concerned. The fictitious arguments put up by the Minister for Industry and Commerce have absolutely nothing to do with the action of the Government in introducing this measure. It is a purely political measure. It means that this Party, after the next election, is going to suffer a net loss of four votes in the House. There is no doubt that, if University representation were to remain as it is, instead of having two National University members coming back as Fianna Fáil Deputies, the most the Government would secure there at the next election would be one member. We should have our present four and an additional one, which would put us in the position of having five to one. That is to say, we are about to lose, under this measure, a net four votes.

Would the Deputy say what Party is going to lose the four votes?

The Fine Gael Party.

All the University members are members of that Party?

Because, as I have already said, four Independent Deputies continually vote for this Party. That is obvious to everybody. There is no use in concealing that fact. They may call themselves Independents——

Hear, hear.

I am not concerned with nomenclature. They can call themselves exactly what they like. The fact is that they continually vote with this Party and, on all major issues, are opposed to the policy of the Government. The Minister for Industry and Commerce has sought to put the onus of proving that University representation should remain on Deputies on this side of the House. We all know that the presumption is that what is, is right, until it is proved to be wrong. The Government have taken up the same attitude in respect to this Bill that they took up on every other proposal which they introduced. We, on this side, are asked to disprove the proposition before it is proven. In the case of the Universities we have, at least, this guarantee that the men and women who are voting—the graduates of the Universities—are at least able to read, write and think.

And think.

We have at least that guarantee. That is speaking generally.

Very generally.

Does that include ability to make a living for themselves?

How do you account for all the spoiled votes?

I am quite willing to admit that as big fools as exist in this country do come out of the Universities but, speaking generally, I would say that we have at least the guarantee that the voters of the Universities are able to read, write and do a bit of arithmetic. We have at least the guarantee that they are not, as a very large section of the people proved themselves to be at the last general election, capable of swallowing anything. Nothing was more clearly demonstrated at the last general election than that the Irish people, as a whole, are capable of going temporarily mad. Nothing was more completely demonstrated than that at the last election.

You are getting many more of them.

But the Government seem to believe that the thinking people, at least the Universities, have changed already, and it is because of that change and because the Minister for Industry and Commerce has assented to it that we have this measure now before us, for I believe it is to him that this measure, as well as the Bill dealing with the Seanad, is to be attributed. He is the big politician of the Party. He scents the political atmosphere and he dictates what measures are to be brought into this House. We all read in a political article in the Sunday Independent or in some paper during the week-end that the Minister for Industry and Commerce was responsible for the abolition of the Seanad, that he was in daily, in almost hourly, attendance while the Bill was going through this House. If he was not the actual sponsor of that Bill he certainly gave Deputies in the House the impression that he was and it is to him that I, at least, attribute the introduction of the measure that we are now discussing.

No case appears to have been made at all for the complete abolition of University representation. Why must it be complete abolition and not a reduction? The strongest possible case that could be made for the present Government attitude would be in favour of a reduction: not complete abolition. I know that it is a mere waste of time to be talking about this measure because it is going to go through like all the others. We are going to lose four members in this House and the Fianna Fáil Party are going to gain a net two. That is going to be the result of this measure. I have no doubt whatever that at the next election, in spite of this Bill and in spite of the gerrymandering Bill which we discussed last week, the Fine Gael Party will be returned to power.

Before the Minister replies I just want to say one or two words. I confess that as a University man, with a great affection for my University, I have always been somewhat disappointed with the results of University representation. In theory Universities ought to return people detached from politics and in practice as a general rule they do not. I still have a vote for Oxford University and am bound to say that, in my experience, there has never been any election in which the issues have not been Party issues and in which the voters have not voted on a strict Party ticket. Consequently, I think that University representation does not work out as those most enthusiastic about the position of learning in the life of the country would wish it to work out. But, on the other hand, I think that even making that admission it has enough value to be retained, and especially in this country.

The Minister for Industry and Commerce and some others have based the argument for this Bill, mainly, on two things: one is that University representation is somewhat of a blot on the uniformity of the general electoral system. Now, it may be true that it is not quite in accord with that system, but does that really matter very much? Is uniformity a thing of such vital importance? I suggest that it is not. The other ground was that there was something intolerable to a democratic mind in the fact of one man having a larger voting power than another. Now, I believe myself to be as good a democrat as anyone in this House, and yet I do not find that at all intolerable. It seems to me that democracy really justifies itself on the ground that it aims at the greatest good of the greatest number, and one should think about this problem from the point of view of what is for the people's benefit rather than of individual rights.

It is very difficult to know where to draw the line when you come to discuss individual rights. Are you seriously going to suggest that if a man is illiterate or is on the border line between sanity and imbecility, it is more or less in the Divine order of things that he should have as much say in the politics of a community as the best educated man? I do not think that you can. I think that, in theory, the direction of politics ought to be confined to men who are well educated and, above all, to a much more limited class than my friend Deputy McGuire supposes, to men who can think. There would not be anything undemocratic in confining it to them if you could be sure that they would be animated only by the motive of the greatest good for the greatest number, and that they would take adequate steps to inform themselves of the conditions of their neighbours and of their fellow countrymen. Unfortunately, experience has shown that an oligarchy, a well educated minority, cannot be trusted not to exploit their fellow citizens. If they were as elevated in morality as they were in education perhaps they could be trusted, but experience has shown that they cannot. Therefore, the thing that works best on the whole is to give voting power indiscriminately: to all alike whether they are educated or not. Personally, I should put some limits to that. I think that illiterate people, in these days when it is so easy to learn to read and write, ought not to have a vote. I think that amount of tribute should be paid to the advantages of education.

But my point is that we should not exasperate ourselves by thinking of the unrighteousness of one person having more power in an election than another because he forms part of a restricted electorate like a University. What we really have to consider is: what is to the advantage of the community as a whole. Is it seriously contended that in any community, and above all in this community, the educated element is too strongly represented? Can anyone seriously contend that? I maintain that they cannot. I confess that I can find nothing so undemocratic as to pursue a course that is likely to destroy democracy, and if democracy has been overthrown in many countries, and is in danger in some others, it is largely because of the effects of giving universal suffrage and not having that tremendous political power tempered by sufficient predominance being given to education.

We speak about privilege. After all, is the word appropriate? What you want is to get the country well run. You cannot get it well run unless education is going to count for something. As Deputy Bennett says, the people of this country, and the people of other countries may reverence education in theory, may have the highest respect for it, but do they have a natural inclination to vote for it? I do not think they do. I do not think the educated candidate at an election has an advantage over the uneducated candidate. I would say the contrary is true. There may be an advantage for the educated candidate, arising from a superiority of intelligence, That is another matter. But I consider education as such a positive electoral drawback. In some quarters it is regarded as savouring strongly of Imperialism, whatever Imperialism may be other than an abusive epithet, applied to anything a little unfamiliar in this country. Education does, if one has scruples or if one is conscientious, result in a certain limitation of the arguments that one feels authorised to use. Education ought, and I think generally does, produce a certain fastidiousness as to the type of things you are going to say. If you are not hampered with education you can use all sorts of clap-trap, with extraordinary vote-getting power, that you cannot use if you have had a certain education, and have a certain amount of conscience along with it.

In Ireland education is distinctly below the European average. There is no use shutting our eyes to the fact, and in consequence I think there is an extra strong case for giving education a special voice in the councils of the nation. There is a further argument in the case of Ireland, arising from the special position of Trinity College. The representatives of the National University divide themselves up on strictly Party lines The representatives of Trinity College may normally vote with this Party, as Deputy McGuire has somewhat tactlessly pointed out, nevertheless they have— and no one can deny it—a distinctive point of view about a great many things. There is no doubt that a man going up for election in an ordinary constituency with the kind of background behind him, with the kind of family tradition and with the kind of religious tradition characteristic of Trinity College, would have extreme difficulty in getting elected. Does it follow from that, that such people ought not to be elected and ought not be here? I do not think it does. Let us take a broad view, not being pedantic about uniformity, about academic theories of what democracy is. Anyone who will reflect will consider that it is for the good of this nation that that substantial but scattered element of the community should have the kind of special representation accorded them here, and that is provided by the members for Trinity College.

Reference has been made to the effect on the North. I think that is another point that we have to pay attention to. It is well worth while, even if the objections to University representation were very much stronger than they are, to do something to give a place in the councils of the nation to an element that has special ties with the North, in view of the fact that we all hope to see the day when the North will be induced to join up with us of their own free will. I oppose this Bill, not in any spirit of unreasoning enthusiasm for what University representation produces or has produced in the past. I can say, as I have said at the outset, that it has in some ways been a disappointment. Nevertheless, I appeal to the Government to think the matter over again, and to consider whether on balance there is not very much more to be said for maintaining the present representation of the Universities, than for abolishing it, or even reducing it. I see the same objection, or almost the same objection, to reducing it as abolishing it. One should not look at this thing at all in the spirit of some one striving after uniformity. One should look at it in a broad way, and think what is for the good of the Irish Free State, and for the good of an Ireland united as we hope it will ultimately be.

While the debate has frequently gone considerably outside what one might strictly regard as the scope of the Bill, it has been an interesting one. I was struck by the unusual sweetness of tone of the debate on this subject to-day. I was struck with the reasonable way one Deputy in particular on the Opposition Benches, who is not noted for sweetness, and who had a particular reason, of course, for taking a great interest in this Bill, debated the subject, and put forward arguments in which he introduced no scurrility, no personalities, nor the usual acerbity that one usually associates with debates. That is all to the credit of the House. I think this Bill is justified on the ground of principle. I said so when introducing the measure. If I were to consider the matter purely from the personal aspect of my own relations as a Deputy or a Minister with a number of those who represent the two Universities in this State, no matter on which side of the House they sit, certainly I would have to do what Deputy MacDermot suggests, and to consider it a couple of times before I introduced the Bill, because I have had very pleasant, agreeable and useful associations with these Deputies on all sides. I am satisfied, speaking of the individuals as I have known them, that they have done creditable service to the House, to the country and to themselves by their work in this House. But these matters cannot be considered in that light. One has to have some kind of guiding line or principle on the question. University representation, since Fianna Fáil was founded at any rate, has very frequently come up for discussion in public at our assemblies, and the strongest advocates of the abolition of University representation were University graduates. Not alone that, but I have here a resolution which was passed by Convocation of the National University, dated March 15th, 1933, signed by the Secretary of Convocation. It is as follows:—

"That in the best interests of the Universities of the Free State Convocation urges upon the Government the complete abolition of University constituencies and directs that copies of this resolution be sent to the Minister."

Deputy Costello asked several times what right had we. We have the right of a Government to do what it thinks proper. We have the mandate that we were elected the Government of the country. Sometimes it is useful and proper that major measures should be put before the country in a very definite and clear way at a general election. This has been done by this Government on the occasion of general elections. I do not remember whether the question of University representation was specially put before the country. I do not think it was, but the subject has been debated in our political Party assemblies, at any rate, and it was common knowledge that we were, by our assemblies, pledged to the abolition of the principle of University representation. We considered it well, and it came specially under review when this Redistribution Bill was being brought in. It was then carefully considered and a good deal discussed, and we decided that we were bound on principle to introduce this measure and to recommend it to the House.

There are arguments and we have heard them so frequently advanced to-day—from my own side of the House by my namesake, Deputy Kelly, and by several speakers on the other side—as to why special consideration should be given to the University of Dublin. I do not know that these arguments have the weight that Deputy Cosgrave and others sought to give them. Then, I say that, personally, those who have been sent here by Dublin University have added considerably to the sum of knowledge of the House in various debates and discussions. But I feel that the time has come when the Dublin University and the National University should extend their sphere of influence, and if they feel that they have a call to represent the people they should get out into the constituencies and spread their knowledge and their influence there.

I am satisfied from what knowledge I have of political life that men of character and influence, who, in addition, have the high educational qualifications that University Deputies in this House have, would have a very big advantage in going before any constituency. I do not mean by that to say that highly educated men are always the best statesmen, merely because they are very highly educated and have an education far in advance of that of their ordinary fellows, that they necessarily make the best statesmen, the best politicians or the best candidates. I know some—possibly others in the House can recall to mind examples too—I have one or two men in mind, than whom there are no more highly educated men in Ireland, and they are hopeless politicians on whatever side they may be. They are absolutely impractical and foolish and would not make good representatives or good Deputies. Very frequently, perhaps, because of their high educational attainments such men are unable to make up their minds on a clear issue on almost any subject of importance. They have too many doubts. In that way they would not be good candidates, and certainly they would not make the best type of representatives in this House.

It does not always follow that the best and most highly educated man is the best politician or the best statesman. While saying that I certainly agree with Deputy MacDermot that education is one of the things to be considered in a candidate as something that we should seek. We should seek people of education as representatives; that ought to be encouraged by everybody. I cannot agree with some of the Deputies to-day who suggested that the taking away of University representation is going to be a blow at the prestige of either Dublin University or the National University. I think their prestige must be very low indeed if the taking away of the right to send three members here is going to hurt them. I cannot see that. I think, on the contrary, that both Universities could gain considerably in prestige and popularity among the people if some of the people who represent the Universities here would go down among the electors and stand as candidates in whatever constituency they might think it proper to stand. I think in that way they would do much more good for their colleges and Universities. They would do more good to the country by adopting that means of using their influence and spreading a knowledge of their work and spreading a knowledge of their own University's right to claim special consideration.

Might I ask the Minister if he seriously suggests that a Trinity College Protestant, and ex-Unionist, would have prospects of getting elected by an ordinary constituency?

Then the Minister is an optimist.

Well, looking back over the history of our country, I am entitled to say so. It all depends upon a man's politics.

If he called himself a Republican?

He would in certain constituencies if he called himself a Republican—perhaps in the majority of constituencies in the Free State—have a better chance of being elected.

A Deputy

He would have a walk over.

There are certain constituencies where, if he called himself a member of Deputy MacDermot's Party, he would win, but there are not so many such constituencies as there are constituencies where he would win if he called himself a Republican. If a Trinity man of the right calibre, and if he were the right type of candidate, were to stand, he would get elected in these constituencies.

Might I for a moment interrupt the Minister? My experience in electioneering work is that if I am even seen talking to a Protestant or ex-Unionist in my constituency it is considered sufficient evidence to accuse me of being a Freemason.

It is the same in my constituency.

Some of the best supporters I have in Dublin, some of the most active supporters and best workers for me are not of my religion, and no charge was ever levelled against me because of my association with such people.

It is not our Party makes such charges.

You are the spokesman of the Party now, and you have made it.

Has not the Minister made the very point that I made— that a University man would have no chance whatever unless he identified himself with some one of the two big Parties?

There is something in what Professor Thrift says. Political Parties are clearly divided here and have been for a considerable time. There is a clear demarcation, and therefore any man putting himself forward as a candidate or putting himself forward for selection must have fairly decided views on one side or the other. That is true. Deputy Alton suggested to-night that at some time the University representatives in the House might be able to form an oasis, form something in the nature of a nucleus of an Independent Party that might gather adherents from both sides and be able to discuss things in an impartial, non-Party way. That has not been the Deputy's experience. He has not had much success in that direction. All the tendencies have been, and are likely to continue for a considerable time to be, so far as I can see, that Parties will be clearly divided. You will have the same experience as the Deputies from Dublin University have had during their time in the House. For reasons good and sufficient for themselves, on 99 occasions out of 100 they have voted in the one way. I am not saying anything against them for that. That is their right if their views are in that direction. I would not like to believe what Deputy McGuire suggested, that the Dublin University representatives are, as he almost said, in the pocket of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party.

The truth dropped out for once.

The Dublin University representatives are perfectly independent of any Party.

Of course, it is not true.

I merely said they always voted with us.

Of course, if one were to judge by the Division Lobby——

The Minister must recognise that the circumstances have been peculiar, that in the great majority of cases where there have been divisions they have gone, as the President himself said the other day, where it was quite natural the sympathies of the Independents were; that their views were nearer to those of one Party than the other and, therefore, they voted for that Party. But that does not challenge the independence of those Deputies in the very slightest respect. They were perfectly independent at any time to vote either way and they hold that independence still. Take a person like myself, for instance. I have never belonged to any Party, either Unionist or ex-Unionist. We claim to have that independence and I think that ought to be admitted.

I quite accept what the Deputy has said, that the Party take up an independent attitude. They vote as they think proper. But I want to show you how appearances are deceptive. I merely called attention to the words of Deputy McGuire, the words that Deputy MacDermot very properly said were the very tactless words of Deputy McGuire.

He did not say "very tactless."

The Deputy is very young.

He is young and foolish, I am afraid.

When he is a little older he will become a University representative.

A good deal of talk has circulated around the extern voters of the University. If extern voters of the University are to have the privilege that is accorded to the graduates of the two Universities, should not the same argument apply to the men from Mayo who go to England to work? Should they not have the right, if they spend a year or so over there, to exercise their vote? Would it not apply to various other classes, harvestmen and workmen? Of course, now since our housing scheme has got going, there is not the same need for workmen to cross the Channel; but it used to be a common thing for hundreds of carpenters, bricklayers, plasterers and others to seek work in England. Should not those people be accorded the same privileges as are accorded to University graduates? I do not see how you can make a difference. One may argue that the graduates are better educated. As Deputy McGilligan said, they have had an advantage. They have had an advantage that was not given to everybody. Even if it were given to a number they did not all avail of it. Certain people did avail of it and that in itself ought to be a sufficient privilege. I think they ought to be able to stand on their own feet, look after their colleges and carry the prestige of their education in the University with them to the constituencies. It would be better for the colleges, for the individuals themselves, and I am quite satisfied, better for the country.

Reference has been made to the possibility that the continuance of University representation would be an advantage at some future date when, perhaps, the people of the Six Counties might consider joining up with us and re-uniting Ireland. I cannot see what advantage there is in that or how it could help. I do not see how people in the Six Counties would be impressed by the fact that we had six University representatives here or that that fact would be of assistance to them in deciding to join with the rest of the country.

Does not the Minister think that the very numerous graduates of Dublin University in the North would be unfavourably impressed by the disfranchisement of Dublin University? While I am intervening on that, may I say a word of personal explanation? A remark I made just now about the political effects of associating with Protestant ex-Unionists caused some indignation on those benches over there. I do not wish what I said to be taken quite literally. It was said half jocosely. But, nevertheless, it has occurred to me on two occasions at election time—I do not say it would occur at other times— that the mere fact of being seen with such people has been thought by political opponents sufficient ground for dragging in Freemasonry.

Does the Deputy think that I would consider what politics a man has or what religion he has?

I am afraid I did not catch what the Deputy said.

I do not believe that whether Dublin University has or has not representation in this House or whether the representation it has is likely to be taken away as a result of the passing of this Bill, will have any material effect in inducing any person in the Six Counties to change his mind on the question of joining up with the Free State. I do not see how it will affect him. Deputy Cosgrave talked of the time this question of University representation was first raised. Somebody mentioned—I do not know whether it was Deputy Cosgrave or somebody else—that it was not proposed by those who drafted the first Constitution that Universities in Ireland should be given representation, that there was no recommendation to that effect in the first draft, but that it was brought up later when the Constitution was being discussed and was voted into the Constitution. Well, what this House gave then it can surely take away, and if we are without University representation, surely to goodness, we are not in a very exclusive position. What other country besides England has got University representation in its Parliament? I have made inquiries into the matter and I have not found one. There is no other country, that I have heard of, that has University representation except England.

Surely it cannot be said of any of the great or small countries—countries which may be small but that have great reputations culturally—surely it cannot be said of them that they think less of education or learning or scholarship because they do not have Deputies elected to their Parliaments by the Universities. I do not think that the charge could lie against us that we have not a regard for learning or education or for Universities because of the fact that we did not have University representatives in our Parliament.

I think that I should correct the Minister on the point he made with regard to what Deputy Cosgrave said. Deputy Cosgrave's point was that University representation was originally confined to the Seanad and not to the Dáil, but there was no doubt as to their being members of the Oireachtas in one form or another. University representation originally was confined to the Seanad, and then the proposal was made here that they should have representatives in the Dáil. There was no doubt, however, as to their being members of the Oireachtas, whether of one House or the other.

I gathered from what Deputy Cosgrave said that there had been some discussions and that some understanding was come to, but that does not appear on the records. In any of the records that I have seen there is no such understanding. Was there an understanding?

There was an understanding, although whether it is on record or not I cannot say.

It is in the Lodge.

I heard Deputy Cosgrave refer to it, but he did not say where any record of that undertaking was to be found. He did suggest that there was some kind of an undertaking, but I have not seen any record, nor did I hear of it until Deputy Cosgrave spoke to-night. Certainly, I have not seen any record anywhere in my researches in connection with this Bill that any such undertaking was given.

I do not know whether it was actually on record, but I do know that such an undertaking was given.

It is in the Lodge.

Freemasonry again!

I do not pay any attention to Deputy Flinn's remarks.

In 1926 a Committee was set up, composed mostly of members of the then Executive Council and including the Attorney-General of the last Government, to discuss constitutional changes, and that body recommended the delection of Article XXVII. It was not carried into effect, but the record is there of the view held by that Committee, and it recommended the abolition of University representation in the Dáil and the deletion of Article XXVII. I am not quite certain of the names of all the members of that Committee, but it certainly included the former Ceann Comhairle, Mr. Hayes, the late Kevin O'Higgins, Mr. Ernest Blythe, Mr. J.J. Walsh, Mr. Costello, and perhaps one or two others, and they certainly recommended to the Executive Council of that day the deletion of Article XXVII of the Constitution. As I say, it was not carried out, but that was evidently their considered opinion—that University representation, so far as the Dáil was concerned, ought to be abolished. I think that a good case has been made for the abolition of University representation, and I recommend the Bill to the House.

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 58; Níl, 34.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Daly, Denis.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Donnelly, Eamon.
  • Everett, James.
  • Flinn, Hugo V.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Hales, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moane, Edward.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Doherty, Joseph.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.

Níl

  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Broderick, William Joseph.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Burke, James Michael.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Curran, Richard.
  • Daly, Patrick.
  • Davitt, Robert Emmet.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doyle, Feadar S.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Keating, John.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McGovern, Patrick.
  • McGuire, James Ivan.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Redmond, Bridget Mary.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Rowlette, Robert James.
  • Thrift, William Edward.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Traynor; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.
Committee Stage to be taken on Tuesday, 15th May.