Committee on Finance. - Vote No. 33—Gárda Síochána.

I move:—

Go ndeontar suim Bhreise ná raghaidh thar £35,985 chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh Márta, 1935, chun Tuarastail agus Costaisí an Ghárda Síochána (Uimh. 7 de 1925).

That a Supplementary sum not exceeding £35,985 be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1935, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Gárda Síochána (No. 7 of 1925).

This is the net additional sum required for this service. The printed Estimate in the hands of Deputies will show the various sub-heads of the Vote for which the increased provision is required. The gross total of the increase is £41,985. As against that it is anticipated there will be a saving of £6,000 on other sub-heads. In sub-head (B) the increased expenditure is estimated at £7,550, and it is made up as follows:—Rent allowances, £1,000; plain clothes allowance, £2,800; detective allowance, £2,000; transport allowance, £500; Gaeltacht allowance, £1,100, and Miscellaneous, £150. The Gaeltacht allowance was granted last August to all members of the force stationed in the Irish-speaking division which was created in West Galway. This allowance was based on 7½ per cent. of the members' pay. The increased provision for rent allowance is due to the fact that the number of marriages of sergeants and guards during the year was greater than was anticipated. The other increases have resulted from the necessity of employing a large number of men on plain clothes, detective and transport duties.

As regards sub-heads (C) and (D)— Subsistence Allowances and Locomotion Expenses—the increased expenditure under these two heads is due to increased duties imposed on the Guards arising from activities with which, I think, Deputies are conversant. Much of it is due to interference with court officers in protecting sales and so on. As regards sub-head (E)— Clothing and Equipment—the greater proportion of the increased provision required is the result of an alteration in the accounting arrangement made by the Department of Finance under which supplies of cloth held in stock by the Post Office Stores Department became a charge on this year's Vote. No provision had been made in the original Estimate for this payment to the Post Office, which amounted to £8,000. The sum of £1,615 is required to provide clothing for additional recruits whose recruitment was authorised during the year. The increase under sub-head (H) — Transport and Carriage — is mainly required to cover the cost of additional motor transport which it was necessary to provide in respect of those matters to which I have already referred. As regards sub-head (HH)— Garage and Workshop—this is a new sub-head to provide for cost of equipment for a garage and workshop which it was found necessary to erect at the Depôt. In the case of sub-head (N)— Incidental Expenses—the additional sum of £2,619 is required for the purpose set out in the details of the Estimate.

I should like to begin my comments on this Supplementary Estimate by congratulating the Minister for Justice on his recovery and expressing my pleasure at seeing him back here again. I propose, in connection with this Supplementary Estimate, to make some further remarks on the subject of the handling by the Gárda Síochána and by the authorities generally of the agitation in County Longford to which we were making reference in this House last week. I must say I am sorry the President of the Executive Council is not here to stand over some of the statements that he made on Thursday last on the Motion for the Adjournment. On that occasion he worked himself up into a high state of moral fervour and indignation at the improper, irresponsible and disgraceful conduct of myself and, by reflection, my Party, in raising the matter of the Edgeworthstown shooting, and in making the case against the Government that we made in connection with the shooting. He accused me of being wise only after the event and suggested that I was really debarred from criticising the Government, because I had not warned them before the event took place what was likely to happen. My first knowledge of any agitation at all in Edgeworthstown was when the actual murder took place; and as regards the representative of that constituency in our Party, Deputy MacEoin, he was apart from and outside the events that were taking place in that locality since many months before the murder. He took part in a deputation, not to Mr. More O'Ferrall, but to his predecessor, Mr. Montague. He was convinced on that occasion that the town tenants had no case and thereafter he stood aside; and he was in no position to give first-hand information to the Government about the dangers of the situation. He has stated publicly within the last few days that a Fianna Fáil Deputy for the constituency, Deputy Victory, told him after the meeting held by the I.R.A. that in his opinion there would be shooting; and also that, after the murder had taken place, Deputy Victory said to him: "I told you so; I told you there would be shooting." Consequently, there may be grounds for complaint by the Government against Deputy Victory, if he failed to warn them—I do not know whether he did or did not fail to warn them—but there does not appear to be the least excuse for blaming the Opposition. In any case, it is rather a droll conception of the duties of the Government that they who are paid to be the guardians of public order should expect Opposition Deputies to reinforce whatever information they would be receiving in the ordinary course from the Civic Guards or from their own organisation in the constituency.

The case that I attempted to make against the Government was this: That there was an overwhelming proof against them of negligence and that there were, at any rate, prima facie grounds for attributing that negligence in part to the improper influence of Party considerations. Let us consider again whether it is just or unjust to accuse the Government of neglect in this matter. My complaint against them rests upon three grounds.

The first is that they failed to prosecute at the time when the Town Tenants' Association originally invited the I.R.A. to appear on the scene. I said the other day, and I repeat, that that in itself, coming as it did after ordinary methods of agitation had been exhausted, constituted a grave threat to the public peace. There could be no point in calling in a body, which boasts of possessing arms and claims the right to use those arms, except to substitute methods of violence for constitutional methods,

Secondly, I complain of the failure to prosecute at the time that the meeting was held under the auspices of the I.R.A. when highly inflammatory language was used. There can be no suggestion that the Government were not aware of what took place at that meeting. The report of it was published at any rate in two newspapers, An Phobhlacht and the Longford Leader and Civic Guards were present at it who, I have no doubt, made reports to their superiors in the usual way of what was said. The statements reported in the newspapers were in themselves very inflammatory and obviously incitements to breaches of the peace. I am informed, however, that other statements were made of a much more violent character which were not reported in the newspapers—statements, for example, such as these: “It has got to be Jerry's blood or ours,” referring to Mr. More O'Ferrall; and: “We will only leave one tree in his place and that will be the one we will hang him on.” The President of the Executive Council replied that language such as that was not taken seriously and that it has been the policy of the Government only to prosecute when there was an overt breach of the peace. I wonder if that is true. If so, I wonder when that policy began and when it ended; because I seem to remember prosecutions on the strength merely of language used when there had been no breach of the peace other than the use of violent language. I remember, for instance, the prosecution of General O'Duffy on a farfetched suggestion that he was inciting to the murder of the President of the Executive Council. The Government did not on that occasion wait until General O'Duffy or some of his supporters were discovered wandering around Blackrock or outside Government Buildings with Mills bombs in their hands. Even since this murder I seem to recollect within the last week a prosecution of farmers from County Cork on the ground of the language they used, not on the ground of any violence they had actually committed. There is this contrast between the two cases: that while the Government might be excused for not taking seriously wild language, if wild language was used, that came from such a person as, shall we say, Mr. Brooke Brasier, ex-T.D.—indeed the prosecuting counsel, Deputy Geoghegan, went to the length of saying that he could hardly take seriously wild language coming from a person with a tame, law-abiding record such as Mr. Brooke Brasier boasted of—on the other hand, there is not quite the same justification for refusing to believe it possible that a body like the I.R.A. meant what they said. Those people who were invited into Edgeworthstown were not “Eloquent Dempsys.” They were men who have been extolled in this House by a Fianna Fáil Deputy from Kerry in the presence of the President of the Executive Council as the real people who ought to be in control of this House and this country. After “the real people” arrived at Edgeworthstown and used the sort of language that was used at the meeting to which I refer, is it so unreasonable to expect that the Government might have taken it seriously? Therefore, I cannot acquit them from blame for failure to prosecute at the time when the I.R.A. were first invited in and again at the time when this meeting took place where highly inflammatory language was used.

Thirdly, I blame them for failure to give reasonable protection to the man whose life was threatened.

The President of the Executive Council informed us that Mr. More O'Ferrall had told members of the Gárda that he did not want police around his house. Mr. More O'Ferrall saw that statement of the President's in the newspapers and he forthwith wrote to me to say it was untrue and that no such protection had been asked for, offered to him or refused by him. I was so taken aback at this violent contradiction of what the President said that I wrote to him to make assurance doubly sure and asked him whether, if he had not been offered such protection by the Civic Guards, he had been offered it by any authority at any part of the proceedings—whether he had been offered protection near his house or in his house, and again he replied to me quite definitely in the negative. It is impossible to suppose that Mr. More O'Ferrall is telling an untruth in this matter. He could have no motive for doing so. I can only suppose that the President of the Executive Council was misinformed.

The President of the Executive Council stated that if danger was to be apprehended as the result of these I.R.A. activities—all the violent speeches, all the drilling, all the recruiting and all the general atmosphere of hatred and violence that was being created—such danger would naturally arise only at the moment when an attempt was being made to collect rents or to evict persons who refused to pay rents, that is to say, presumably, in the broad daylight in the streets of the town of Edgeworthstown. It seems to me if the President really believes that, he must be a very simple man. It seems to me that what has taken place is much more in accord with the usual technique of the I.R.A. than what the President said he would have expected to be the natural form that violence would take. A nocturnal incursion into a private house under cover of darkness is a not unfamiliar form of activity on the part of the organisation to which I am referring. I think it is a form of activity which preeminently the Government should have felt it was desirable to guard against. Therefore, it seems to me that the case against the Department of Justice is overwhelming as regards negligence in this matter.

Whether the negligence was due to Party considerations is another question, a question on which I would heartily wish to acquit them, but I repeat that there is a strong prima facie case for them to meet in that respect. The President of the Executive Council suggested that a proportion of the Edgeworthstown Town Tenants' Association were supporters of this Party and that that had, indeed, been indicated by the fact that General MacEoin had been selected to be their spokesman. Now, that was a very misleading statement on the President's part. There was, as I have said, a deputation to Mr. More O'Ferrall's predecessor, a long time ago—I believe some time in the summer of last year—and on that occasion both the local Deputies, Deputy Victory and Deputy MacEoin, participated and spoke. It was not a case of Deputy MacEoin having been selected at all. It was a case of both local Deputies, in the normal course, being asked to accompany the Edgeworthstown tenants on that occasion. My information is that the lion's share of the talking was done, not by Deputy MacEoin, but by Deputy Victory. If there were some supporters of the Opposition amongst the Edgeworthstown town tenants, I am informed that they had no hand or part in inviting the I.R.A. to come and take up their case. My information on that subject is borne out by the fact that in the newspaper reports of the first meeting which the I.R.A. held in the district, the speakers consisted solely of imported representatives of the I.R.A. and of local men who had been actively associated with Fianna Fáil. The local speakers mentioned in the report I have before me are Mr. M. Maloney, Mr. Hugh Devine and Mr. R. Tuite, county councillor— all, I understand, active supporters of the Fianna Fáil Party up to that time, and some of them active supporters of the Fianna Fáil Party until this moment. On the occasion that the I.R.A. were invited into the constituency, the gentleman who was in the chair was Mr. James Ledwith who, I believe, has also been an active supporter of the Fianna Fáil Party. The discussion which took place a few days ago at the Longford County Council, when a resolution was introduced condemning this murder, is a pretty plain indication of the direction which Fianna Fáil sympathies in that locality take. Further, the mere fact that the local Deputy who was a member of the Fianna Fáil Party, was so much in touch with the situation, as we have heard he was, and that nothing was done on his initiative to prevent mischief coming from it, gives additional force to the suspicion that Party considerations had a sinister effect in preventing the situation at Edgeworthstown being treated as seriously as it should have been treated. If I am wrong, however, in imputing Party influence, I shall be only too happy to withdraw the imputation. There is, however, a prima facie case which requires to be answered in the interests of the good name of the country and in the interests of the Government themselves.

What has occurred at Edgeworthstown is, unfortunately, only one symptom of a disease that is widespread throughout the country. The Government take the view that serious notice need be taken only of overt breaches of the peace by members of the Irish Republican Army. Now, I should rather say that overt breaches of the peace were the least dangerous or the least objectionable form of their activities. When there is an overt breach of the peace, it is because they have had a failure. It is because their general policy of intimidation has broken down. Where intimidation has succeeded, there is no need of an overt breach of the peace. When a murder like this takes place, there is at least this much good about it, that it horrifies the country and brings it some distance towards facing the realities. When an overt breach of the peace takes place, the worst that can happen to any individual one of us, whom that breach of the peace affects, is that we are given the opportunity—even the privilege—of losing our lives in defending this country against a most horrible menace. But when no such breaches of the peace are taking place there is, none the less, a poison steadily spreading over the country, causing general degeneration and deterioration and lowering the whole standard of our civilisation.

That is a state of things for which the Government cannot escape responsibility. This organisation is their nursling—the nursling of President de Valera's past—and they have the responsibility for its activities in the present that comes from their feebleness in dealing with the organisation and that comes even more from the confused atmosphere of hatred and ill-will and general muddleheadedness that is created by their "bunk" about a Thirty-Two County Republic.

The Estimate before the House is relatively small and is specifically itemised. The Deputy is aware that general policy, even of the Department of Justice, should not normally be discussed on a Supplementary Estimate, particularly in view of the fact that the main Estimate will be before this House within a few weeks. To go into the question of a 32-county Republic is surely travelling far from the Vote.

Showing muddleheadedness !

I shall not go into the question, Sir. I only referred to it in passing, and in conclusion, because the general policy of the Government, which frenzies the minds of these unfortunate men who take part in an organisation like the I.R.A., cannot be disregarded when you come to consider how to cure the whole situation. It is not sensible to be angry with such people. Their minds are diseased and frenzied. They are pathological specimens. One should pity them rather than be angry with them. But until the Government takes its courage in its hands and applies itself to remedying the whole situation in the spirit of a doctor treating a deeply rooted disease, then we must expect that the civilisation of the country will go on deteriorating.

As my name has been drawn into this Edgeworthstown question, both on the adjournment debate and again to-day, I feel called upon to make a brief statement for the general information of the House. I regret very much that Deputy MacEoin is not in his place to-day, because I would much rather say the things I have to say in his presence than in his absence. I do say, however, that the General MacEoin I knew before the Truce is a very different personality to-day, and were it not for some statements he made in Mullingar on Sunday, as reported in Monday's Independent, I would not intervene to-day. Here are the words that General MacEoin used on that occasion:—

"A certain number of people in Edgeworthstown then decided to discuss the position again, but a revolutionary body was brought in with consequences which they all condemned and deplored."

Those words are very different from the words he used to the members of the deputation after the interview with Mr. Montague that we hear so much about.

These words were handed to me to-day and I have a clear recollection of Deputy MacEoin using them on that occasion, and I am sure that the deputation will bear out that the General used these words on the day we came back from the interview. The following are the words he used:

"The matter lies in your own hands now. You must fight it. If I, as an old soldier and campaigner, were leading a column now as I did in years past, I would have this fight won inside of 24 hours."

Is that the class of statement we hear from the Opposition to-day? I was then trying to keep the peace in the district, but there was another atmosphere abroad at the time. We had Deputy MacEoin advocating dictatorship and we had the people supporting him trying to create turmoil and confusion in the country. Those were his words after the interview with Mr. Montague. But Deputy MacEoin is a different man to the man I knew before the Treaty. He is a very different man now. In connection with this question of the town tenants, the words I used were that there were times we had met when we did not want everybody to know it, but that we were meeting now and we wanted everybody to see that we were meeting and to know that we were there. There was nothing revolutionary in that statement. We were meeting for the purpose of preserving the peace in Edgeworthstown and not for the purpose of creating any trouble. I was one of a deputation of about ten. I wanted to keep the peace. I knew that there were tenants whose rents had been raised 25 per cent. in the last ten years. I knew that some of these tenants were amongst the most industrious men in the country—men that six o'clock never found in their beds. Yet, notwithstanding all their energy and industry, their rents are raised 25 per cent.

I say that this House would be spending its time wisely if Deputies of all Parties were to get together to-day and try to find a solution for this very difficult question of town tenants. I say that here in this House and I say it outside. I say that it is the duty of every public representative to take this matter seriously. We all know that there is a certain amount of ill-feeling in connection with this. We see various resolutions being passed and we hear about them, and I say that it is the duty of our public representatives to come together and draft something to ease the situation of the town tenants instead of trying, as we saw here to-day, to make Party capital out of it. The President has dealt with the matter as well as it could be dealt with. I can say that I had neither hand, act nor part in the I.R.A. meeting.

It is thought to bring me into it, but if you want to settle the blame, settle it in the words General MacEoin used to the deputation after coming back. As General MacEoin is now in the House I will read the words again. I regret that I should have to disclose them but the fault is his. He said:

"The matter lies in your own hands now. You must fight it. If I, as an old soldier and campaigner, were leading a column now as I did in years past I would have this fight won inside of 24 hours."

I regret that I was not present for Deputy Victory's speech. He said that I said certain things in Mullingar. I do not know whether he denies what I said or not. I take it that he does not. Like a great many other people in this country, the Deputy tried to shift the blame by trying to put into a person's mouth things he did not say. I deny absolutely and categorically that I ever made such a statement as that attributed to me by Deputy Victory.

May I ask a question?

I did not ask you any question. Ask any question you like outside.

Do not be afraid.

I am afraid of nothing in this world except God; neither you nor anyone else. To put words like those that have been quoted into my mouth is, as everyone who knows me believes, outrageous. At no time since the establishment of this State have I advocated or shown any countenance to any act, overt or deliberate, that would be in any way a breach of the laws passed by this House or of the laws of God. To say that I would, even for a second, recommend people, or a body, to make a statement that would initiate revolutionary action or hostile action of a violent kind, is a most outrageous proposal. I say that everybody who knows me knows that it is untrue.

Deputy Victory will admit that when we were leaving that house we left on the lines that the Government of this State was about to bring in legislation that would, at least, give relief to town tenants. I went there with Deputy Victory as a public representative and as a constitutional leader and as nothing else. To say that at any time in my career I said I could settle a case like this in 24 hours is, on the face of it, futile and hopeless. I could never do it. Why say it then? We went, no doubt, to get a remission or a reduction of rents, which, I believed, were a bit high. When I was going there I was not aware of all the facts. I had one side of the case. I think Deputy Victory also had only one side. When we went there we met another side. That changed the matter considerably. The agent was prepared to investigate individual cases. That was what I claimed he said. I did not take it that he meant it seriously or sarcastically when he had a good headline; that the Government claimed such right for the Irish farming community as to whether they were able to pay or not. I do not know how my speech can be relevant to the subject matter of this Estimate except by way of reply to Deputy Victory. I ask the House to take it from me that I never used the words implied.

In reference to the Estimate, as far as I am aware, the Guards have carried out their duties to the best of their ability in very difficult circumstances. They are operating in difficult times. I have nothing whatever to say to the Guards in the discharge of their duty. I may have slight complaints against some members of the Gárda force in Longford. In Westmeath I have considerable complaints against members of the new force, where they have been guilty, I think, of very harsh treatment of the farming community. I have several cases in which they have been insulting and harsh to the farming community whose houses they visited. In one particular case they asked the woman of the house for the rent, and when she replied that she had not even food in the house, they asked her what was boiling on the fire. When she said it was pig feeding, the reply was: "That is good enough." I do not think that is a remark that should be made by Guards. When the matter was brought to my notice I said that a report of it should be made to the responsible officers. Whether that has been done or not I do not know. That is a type of some of the complaints I have heard. Deputy Victory stated that he wanted to ask me a question. If you, Sir, give him permission, I am prepared to answer, but I suggest that it would be much better for the Deputy to ask me outside, where the privileges of the House will not apply, and where we can meet upon an equal footing. The Deputy says that I am afraid. I assure him through you, Sir, that I am not afraid of anything I ever said or of any man.

May I ask a question now?

The condition of the town tenants in a particular locality does not arise on this Estimate. The Chair allowed the two Deputies to intervene because their names were introduced into the debate, and to make their position clear. Having done so, I suggest that further argument should be conducted elsewhere.

I hope Deputy MacEoin will get reports of Guards' conduct that appeared in the Westmeath Examiner on more than one occasion. A deliberately false report had to be contradicted on one occasion.

I will give Deputy Kennedy the name of the Guard and the people involved, and I think that will even satisfy him.

I know that you, Sir, have told the House that this is a Supplementary Estimate, and that discussion may, therefore, be restricted. But, even on a Supplementary Estimate, asking the House to vote £35,985 extra for the police force in a country where the police force does not exist, requires discussion. I can appreciate Deputy MacEoin's point that he has no blame for the Guards in County Longford. They are operating in a difficult area, in which, not very long ago, a superintendent was removed because he was doing his duty, and, therefore, was not persona grata with the local Fianna Fáil Clubs.

Will I get the public inquiry that I asked for?

In these special circumstances the House is asked to vote another £35,000. It is very important that the House should discuss and consider the position of the Gárda Síochána at the present time.

The Chair is anxious to obviate duplication of debate. It would be possible, even if not strictly relevant to the Vote, to have a protracted debate on general policy now and a repetition of the debate in a few weeks' time.

I do not want to travel outside the strict limits of order in this matter, but I think a situation exists which requires discussion now, when the Minister has the effrontery to come in and ask the House to vote £35,000 additional. When the situation is so serious it might easily be the occasion on the ordinary Estimate for next year of a very big discussion. A discussion on the Supplementary Estimate, dealing with the Minister's statement, might be somewhat more restricted than it would otherwise be when we have heard the Minister.

The net amount of the Estimate for the Gárda Síochána introduced at the beginning of the financial year was £1,782,478. That was £70,000 more than the net Estimate submitted by the present Government in the beginning of the financial year 1933-34. It was £150,000 more than the actual expenditure in the last year of the previous Administration. The Government that presents these Estimates to us and that exceeds them to the extent of £35,000 this year, is the Government that had a certain line of thought on the Gárda Síochána and the cost of it immediately before they took office.

The main Vote for the Gárda Síochána amounts to £1,750,000. The time to discuss the whole policy of the Government and the administration of the Department of Justice is not on a Supplementary Estimate for £35,000, but on the annual Estimate.

Again, Sir, I would plead with you that there is a situation existing in this country which this House cannot allow to go undiscussed when it is asked by the Minister for Justice to vote additional money now for the police force. This morning— there has not been time to examine the matter properly yet—we had a series of questions on the Order Paper that dealt with 12 cases in which armed and masked men committed outrages. The Minister told us that seven of these have not been dealt with; that in nine additional cases, without masks, armed outrages took place, that in six nothing has happened; that in seven cases explosives were used to commit outrages and that as regards six of them nothing has happened; that in three cases in which fire was used to commit outrages nothing has been done in one case. That is only part of the picture that I think requires discussion. I propose to put some things that strike me in connection with this matter before the House, and I would plead for a certain amount of tolerance from the Chair in doing so. I have not proved, I think, to be a very difficult person to be handled by the Chair. I will give just one quotation from the President with regard to the cost of the Gárda Síochána, and will then pass to the main matters that I want to draw attention to. Two months before the Fianna Fáil Party came into office the President, at Ennis, as reported in the Clare Champion of the 26th December, 1931, said:—

"The Army was there for the purpose of keeping down Republicans, Sinn Féiners and everybody who did not agree with the policy of the present Government. By removing the causes of the dissatisfaction amongst the people, the cost of the Army could be reduced by £500,000, and the police, a lot of whose work was of a political character at present, could also be reduced, and another £500,000 saved."

The President thought two months before his Party took over the government of this country that on the Gárda Síochána force £500,000 could be saved. What is it wanted for now? There are some bright spots in the country. In Kerry it has not been necessary to arrest on suspicion a single person under the provisions of Article 2A of the Constitution. Will we be told that in Kerry there has not been a single case in which any person has interfered with the collection of public moneys during the 12 months ended 31st December last? In Longford, during the past 12 months, it has not been necessary to arrest a single person on suspicion of having been engaged in committing outrages under the provisions of Article 2A of the Constitution. These are some of the bright spots. In Cork, where crimes do occur and where the police do not follow them up—if there are these bright spots in the country—and if crime is being committed and is not being followed up, why does the Minister come before the House and ask us to vote an additional £35,000 for the Gárda Síochána?

On the 27th November at half-past two in the morning a farmer and his wife are in bed. A crowd of armed men come to their house demanding entry. The farmer's wife goes to the window of the house. A revolver is pointed at her and she is told to open. She declines. The armed party then get in through the sittingroom window. They go into the bedroom and threaten to kill the man. They brandish revolvers all round. They take the man out of the house and bring him down a bit of the road. They threaten to shoot him there. On the following morning informations are sworn by the persons thus outraged against two persons. Further information was given with regard to some others. That was on 27th November. Nothing happened for six weeks. Then, when there was an identification parade, three other persons were identified at it. Did anything happen then? Nothing happened for another six weeks. The foul bird of murder had to roost over the Fianna Fáil nest in Longford before the police in Cork thought it better to move in the matter. That was nearly three months after this outrage had been committed in Cork although informations had been sworn against definite persons on the following day. The country is stamped with that reflection on the police force.

This morning, as I have said, the Minister answered a certain number of questions, but in the time that has elapsed it has not been possible to analyse his answers closely or exactly. But the facts I have quoted stand: that out of 21 cases during the last few months, in which arms have been used, not a single person has been brought to justice in the case of 13. These arms are still in the hands of unauthorised persons in the country. Those who possess them are able to go about with the feeling that the morale of the men in the police force at the present time is such that it is not going to get them. The position in the Kerry area is particularly marked. There have been seven cases of armed and masked men during the last few months in the Kerry area making attacks on people. In one case 50 armed men raided houses in a number of areas. In six of these cases nothing has happened, except in one.

Where the 50 armed men raided a considerable number of houses, three persons have been convicted—three out of 50. Would the Minister tell us if a single one of these arms carried on that occasion has been recovered?

The Minister published the other day, in reply to a Parliamentary question, a statement with regard to the number of halls destroyed in different parts of the country. When you take the Minister's figures, so far as destruction of that particular kind is concerned, you have the Counties of Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Longford, Roscommon, Westmeath and Offaly forming a group on the map in which, during the last 12 months, the following acts of destruction have taken place. There have been two halls destroyed in Leitrim, and two partially destroyed; one hall destroyed in Sligo and one partially destroyed; there have been two halls destroyed in Roscommon and one partially destroyed and recreational equipment destroyed in another case where the hall was partially destroyed. In Roscommon, explosives were used and there also there were two armed attacks on dance parties. In Longford there were two armed attacks on dance parties. In Cavan a hall was destroyed, explosives being used, a hall was partially destroyed and there was one attack on a dance party. In Westmeath a hall was partially destroyed, and there was an attack on a dance hall, explosives being used. In Offaly two halls were partially destroyed by armed bands and there was one attack on a dance party by an armed band. In the whole of the seven counties marked by that particular type of activity, during the last 12 months, there has not been a single arrest. If the additional outrages of a violent kind are taken into consideration, that area might be regarded as one in which there is a considerable amount of armed violence. The Minister told us, in reply to a similar series of questions, of the number of cases in which there had been interference with the collection of public moneys.

We find that in the area which includes Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, Limerick and Cork, with a smaller area which includes Meath and Westmeath, there has been a very considerable amount of interference with the collection of public moneys. People who know the conditions in the country are aware as to why there has been that particular type of reaction. When we come to examine the Minister's figures as to the areas in which the police are carrying out arrests on suspicion under the Constitution (Amendment) Act, we find that during the whole 12 months in the Counties of Cavan, Longford, Roscommon, Leitrim and Sligo — the greater part of the area in which all this violence occurred—there were only three arrests on suspicion under the Constitution (Amendment) Act, the persons concerned being let off. There were no convictions in these counties, and there were only four cases in which persons were arrested under the Constitution (Amendment) Act and released within 24 hours. There were 29 arrests in Westmeath and 9 in Offaly. When we come to that part of the country where the difficulties of the farmers have found expression in resistance to the sheriff-machinery for the seizing and selling of their goods, in exasperating circumstances, we find that the full force of the Gárda is thrown into this type of arrest. Out of 964 arrests on suspicion in which the persons were released because there was no charge against them, 843 took. place in what I might describe as the area of the farmers' difficulties. In County Cork alone, 369 arrests took place, with an additional 19 in the City of Cork. Instead of showing activity in getting after the type of crime I have described or showing any success in getting after it, the whole force of the Guards seems to be thrown against the people who are in economic difficulties. The excuse that the Minister gives for not following up violent crime is that he is too busy getting after those farmers who are resisting the collection of their moneys by the sheriffs. He is too busy in that connection to deal with those who are employed in a regular campaign against the people's recreation by destroying halls and who are exercising a regular tyranny against their political opponents by attacking their houses.

I asked the Minister on the 27th February whether he was aware that on the 30th September last a body of armed men opened fire on the hall at Kilfinnane during the progress of a dance; that on the 1st November last Patrick Creed's house was fired into; that on the 20th January a body of men drilled publicly at Ballinlina, Kilfinnane, carrying arms and firing rifle shots; that recently the houses of Mrs. Condon, Ballinanama; Miss Hayes, Ardpatrick; the Ardpatrick Co-operative Creamery and the Darragh Creamery were broken into and robbed, and if it were a fact that in none of these cases had the persons guilty of the offences been charged by the police. The Minister for Agriculture, speaking for the Minister for Justice, said that in all these cases in which an offence had been committed in that area, he was satisfied that the police had done, and would continue to do, everything possible to make the culprits amenable. In reply to a supplementary question, the Minister excused the police by saying that they were having a difficult time, that they were not idle, and that they had arrested 40 members of the League of Youth. The Minister is driven to that type of statement to excuse the failure of the police to do their duty. He is also forced to hide the situation caused by the excesses of the police.

I asked the Minister on the same date to state the special circumstances which occasioned the arrest, detention and questioning of David and John Carroll, Garrouse, Bruree, on the 10th December last and why, particularly, these young men should be arrested, detained and questioned in the matter. The facts were that a party was outside the church in Charleville on the 10th December last waiting for a funeral. One of the local Guards, accompanied by a detective, approached two young chief mourners at the funeral and arrested them. They were men of good character. There were plenty of people of good character in the vicinity who would give an undertaking that these men would return to the police station, if required, after the funeral. These young men were, however, taken by force from the funeral and brought to the barracks. They were detained at the barracks until the funeral had moved off. The police in the barracks rang up the police at Limerick and, apparently, got permission to permit the two young men to attend the funeral on condition that they would report at Limerick by 9 o'clock that night. The young men gave the required undertaking and were allowed to go after the funeral. They went to Limerick and they were detained there until the following evening. When the Minister is asked for the reason for action so astounding, the answer is that these young men were arrested by the police on suspicion of having committed an offence mentioned in the Appendix to Article 2A of the Constitution.

When the Minister for Agriculture was pressed as to the way in which these men were treated by being made come to Limerick and kept there for 24 hours, he said they were under technical arrest—that is as far as the Charleville business went—and that to state that they were kept in Limerick for 24 hours was a gross exaggeration. The Minister and the police know very well that these young men had nothing to do with an offence which they were not prepared even to mention. They were kept from Monday to Tuesday. Some railway wires were cut on 9th December. It would be well that the Minister should inquire from the Guards why these railway wires were cut. If he does the Minister will find that it was part of the type of vendetta that was begun really by the Minister himself, in a very methodical way, in Mayo, and that has been carried on subtly by the kind of administrative direction given the Guards ever since. These young men were given a chance on the 19th to try and provide funds for their organisation. Some of the new I.R.A. in Rockhill determined that they should not be allowed to do so, and efforts were made to prejudice their success. The wires which were cut were not cut by members of the Blueshirt organisation but by people unconnected with them, who wanted to prevent them having a chance of carrying on their dance. Then the Guards followed that up. Their action showed how necessary it was to give a sort of official co-operation with that type of campaign. Otherwise it would not be necessary to burrow right into the middle of a funeral leaving a church in order to make these arrests. These people could have been arrested in a less spectacular way. There has been that stamp in the administration of the police in certain areas where their whole mentality takes its cue from the Minister, whose policy seems to be to let crime go. They fulfil their duties by carrying on a campaign of blackening those that the Government would like to see blackened, and a policy that the Government would like to see carried out against their political opponents. Again, let us take the mentality of the Guards as indicated by what happened in connection with the display in certain cases of films dealing with the recent Royal marriage.

The Attorney-General

On a point of order, is not the Deputy evading the ruling given by the Chair some time ago and going outside the scope of the debate?

It is difficult to define the precise limits of discussion on a Supplementary Estimate. Deputies are entitled to advance arguments as to why extra moneys should not be voted. I suggest that Deputies should not cover the whole field. The Chair deprecates such discussion, as it is inevitable that it will be duplicated in the near future.

I hope when it is duplicated in three weeks' time the Attorney-General will have cleared up some of these matters which are apparently outstanding between himself and the Minister for Justice and the Guards, and that we may have this very serious subject treated in a serious way by the Attorney-General and the Minister for Justice. If the Attorney-General is interested in this debate, and is interested in the proper discharge of their duties by the Guards, I hope he will be able to tell us what action the Guards took when a group of young men went into a cinema theatre in Wexford and told the proprietor that he was not to show a particular picture in his theatre, and when the proprietor thought it would be wiser to give in. I would like to know what action was taken by the Guards. Perhaps the Attorney-General would also tell us when the same thing happened in Kilkenny whether any action was taken by the Guards. When the picture was to be shown in Ballinrobe it was possible for the manager to come out and to tell the people assembled to see that picture that it could not be shown because he was advised by the officers of the Gárda that the picture was not to be shown. Perhaps the Attorney-General would tell us why nothing has been done to show what are the forces in this country that are interfering with the rights of the people in this way and why the rights of the people are held up.

It was the privilege of members of the Government to be present in a public picture house on one occasion when this picture, which could not be shown in Ballinrobe, Wexford and Kilkenny, was shown. In Dublin the Minister for Justice and his Department had ample warning that an attack was to be made upon a picture house in the city by 400 men, yet it was possible, as the papers stated, for 400 men to enter the Savoy Picture House and prevent the showing of this picture. Has anyone been brought to book for this offence? The Minister says no. In one of the principal streets of this city it was possible for 400 men to organise themselves, despite a previous warning to the Minister for Justice that there was going to be such an attack made, and to enter a picture house in the principal street of Dublin and prevent the picture from being shown and to get away with it. The Department that is responsible for upholding the rights of the people sees them trampled upon in this particular way, and yet comes to this House and asks for £35,000 more to carry out its work.

An attempt has been made to rewrite history in some of our counties, and because a journal like the Cork Examiner will not write the history of the last 20 years in the way some people would like to have it written, it is punished. Ministers withdraw their advertisements because they dislike the policy adopted with regard to wheat growing, and if newspapers refuse a kind of historical rouge and lipstick that some writers of history in Kerry would like to see applied, then the Government will not interfere when the property of that newspaper is being destroyed in that particular county. The Minister himself tells us that nothing has been traced to the people who made such violent and destructive attacks upon the Cork Examiner in Kerry in December, and nothing is going to be done.

The Department of Agriculture can get information against people for offering inferior and unfinished cattle for sale under licence. They may get information. The Gárda turned around, very late in the day, and offered £1,000 for tracing the murderers of Mr. More O'Ferrall. Does the Minister expect that he is going to get that information? The administration of the Gárda has brought the Gárda to this, that if information is given by people to the Gárda, it is known within 24 hours to those people who form the new I.R.A. It has even come to this, that a police officer may report to his superior officers vital information leading to the detection of crime in this country and that information, on the one hand, will not be acted on and, on the other hand, the information that that report has been received will be in the hands of the I.R.A. in 24 or 48 hours.

These are matters which the Minister for Justice must know, and must take cognisance of. Generally, the police idea, as it ought to exist in a civilised society, does not exist here. Crime is escaping punishment and the police machinery is being directed to a particularly vicious type of policy which is the policy of the Administration— the hounding down of people who are unable to pay State debts and the blackening, by suggestion, of the people who are the political opponents of the Minister. The Minister came here and asked the House to pass this Estimate. He suggested that the reason for wanting it was the activities of the Opposition. I should like the Minister to take the subject more seriously and to tell us a lot more of what is in his mind. The matter is one which demands open and frank discussion, I should like to suggest, on the part of the Attorney-General as well as the Minister, because I think it is an appalling thing that, in a county which is stamped over with crime as North Kerry is, it should be possible for 50 armed men to parade and to make attacks on different houses, and that simply three persons are convicted, one by an ordinary court and two by the Tribunal.

The Attorney-General

Those figures are absurd.

Talk to the Minister for Justice about it.

The Attorney-General

I ought to know my side of it.

The Minister told me to-day that two of these people were taken before the court and got four months; that two of them were convicted before the Tribunal and got three months, which they would not be asked to serve if they said they would be good in future; and that none of the arms carried on the occasion was recovered. Will the Minister or the Attorney-General also say why the crime I mentioned in the beginning, on 27th November, in West Cork, where informations were sworn against two people and given against others has to drag on without police action of any kind, so far as charging people is concerned, until Longford makes the police in Cork feel that perhaps it is dangerous, in more ways than one, not to be discharging their duties? These are only a few phases of the position which the Minister for Justice should deal with.

The Attorney-General

Is the Deputy genuinely asking me for some information about a particular case? If he gives me particulars I will see what the history of it is. I do not know what case he is referring to.

The case I refer to is the case in which, on 27th November, 1934, at two o'clock in the morning, at New Mill, Rosscarbery, County Cork, a man and his wife, of the name of Barry, were attacked in the way I detailed in the beginning of this statement. The rest of the particulars are as I say. These are matters which require to be dealt with by the Minister when asking this House to vote £35,000 more for a body which he thought, in December, 1931, could be reduced by £500,000, and which he has actually increased by £150,000, and is now bringing to the position in which the increase is practically £200,000.

The Minister, if I mistake not, made a very short statement in introducing this Estimate, and gave some detailed figures regarding the lump sums that are mentioned. Under the first figure of £7,550—the Minister will correct me if I am wrong—he mentioned rent and accommodation allowances, £1,150; plain clothes allowances, £2,800; detectives' clothes allowances, £2,000; transport, £500; Gaeltacht allowances, £1,100; and miscellaneous, £150. Are those figures correct?

They total £150 more than the £7,550, unless I am mistaken. However, some case ought to have been made for this Estimate on its introduction. This is a considerable sum amounting, as the Minister said, to nearly £42,000. There are extra savings amounting to £6,000 which, presumably, would have occurred in any case, but the extra sum that is required is approximately £42,000. Reading through this Estimate, one is driven to the conclusion that it arises out of the Land Act of 1933; that it is designed to give extra power and support to the sheriffs, the court officers and other such persons. The increase in the transport allowance amounts to approximately one-third of the original Estimate. The sums set out are locomotion expenses: £48,750, under D.; £18,040, for transport and carriage, under H; £500 mentioned in the B allowance; and £1,166 for garage and workshop. What was costing approximately £1,000 a week is now going to cost slightly over £1,300. There is probably no work on Sunday, so that the Gárda transport costs are approximately £200 a day. If Saturday is not a full working day they are even in excess of that, going up to probably £250 a day for the other five days of the week. While all this extraordinary activity is going on to vindicate a law that was passed here for the collection of annuities, apparently from the Minister's own admission and from what can be read in the newspapers, regarding outrages and so on, scarcely any attention is being paid to the maintenance of law and order throughout the country. Is it likely that there is going to be respect for the law here if almost 1,000 persons are arrested, questioned in connection with Article 2A of the Constitution, and released? Do those people go out with any greater respect for the institutions of the State and the maintenance of law and order in the State? It would appear as if the whole efforts of the Department of Justice were directed towards helping the Land Commission in collecting their annuities. There is practically no attention whatever given to the maintenance of law. This case which has been mentioned—the Edgeworthstown case—exemplifies perhaps more than any other the incompetence either of the Department of Justice or of the Gárda Síochána. Their principal duty, presumably, the Minister will admit, is to preserve order in the State. It is more important to have conditions of order prevalent than it is to arrest every person who commits a crime. The prevention of crime ought to be the duty of the Ministry, and ought to be the duty of the Guards. In that connection it is their work to judge what steps should be taken in order to prevent it.

It is very unlikely that you will get either respect for the administration or support for the Guards when you have them employed to do political work. This estimate might reasonably be described as the main political estimate which has come before the Dáil. The Minister for Justice, by accident I suppose, happens to be a man who is slightly above the standard of the other Ministers. He has some experience of the law. He has experience of the courts. He has experience of the type of person in the country that these extra men who are engaged here are going to be employed to prey upon, and he knows better than any other Minister or the whole lot of them together that this line of policy is hound to have its reactions, is almost certain to provoke discontent and perhaps lead to breaches of the peace throughout the country.

I should like to know from the Minister, in connection with this idea of transport, whether any other item than transport for the Gárda Síochána is included; whether it is really an extension of the transport costs of the Guards to which he refers in his speech as arising out of activities with which Deputies are conversant. Presumably that means the Ministry's difficulty in the collecting of annuities. If twelve months ago when the Minister was making up his estimate he made a mistake of 30 per cent. obviously his Department and his advisers and the Gárda were unable to acquaint him with the set of circumstances which the legislation of this State had brought about. The sooner the Minister himself informs the Executive Council that the situation is getting serious the better it will be for himself and for them. Under the heading of incidental expenses there is an item "sums required for (a) Purchase of ammunition and miscellaneous equipment, £373." This is a fairly large item for equipment if it means guns, ammunition, and all that sort of thing. The Minister would be very well advised to limit expenditure on that account. As this Vote arises out of the employment of persons for a particular activity, would the Minister tell the House whether, in connection with sales of seized stock, it is the law that those sales should be open to the public, or whether it is within the power of the Guards to say: "No, certain members of the public cannot attend." Will he inform the House if on an occasion within the last couple of years an auction was held above in the Depôt, and whether there is any truth in the statement that a piano was sold there for 25/- or 30/-? The Minister might give the House his own view as to the propriety of selling things by public auction at the dictation of the State or the direction of the State for one-tenth of their value, and whether if such sales are likely to go on throughout the country they are likely to give people a respect for the law or the administration of the law. The Minister ought to know—nobody ought to know better in the Executive Council —that that sort of thing is bound to create trouble. It is almost inviting it. This is a considerable sum to be brought up within a couple of weeks of the closing of the financial year. It arises out of legislation which the Government has passed. It is on the Government that the responsibility for it rests, and it is no credit to any administration to produce a Supplementary Estimate such as this for the Gárda Síochána.

I should not intervene in this debate but for the reference which Deputy Mulcahy made to a well-known case in County Cork—the case of an attack made towards two o'clock in the morning on a most respectable family. The house of John Barry was invaded by armed men——

The Attorney-General

I do not know whether the Deputy is aware that proceedings are pending.

Mr. Burke

What I intended to refer to was the long delay in bringing proceedings. I was going to offer no comment whatever on the merits of the case. I rather sympathise with the learned Attorney, and am glad to see that during this penitential season his conscience is pricking him. That is evidenced in the House by the nervous manner in which he has been conducting himself throughout this debate.

The Attorney-General

Not in the slightest.

How observant!

Mr. Burke

Very observant. I am glad to see that the Deputy is observant also, and that he appreciates my remarks.

I merely comment. I do not say I appreciate them, I assure you.

Mr. Burke

But I am sure you do, if you told the truth.

You can come to any conclusion you like upon it.

Mr. Burke

The whole trouble, in my opinion, about the condition of the Civic Guards at the present moment is this: The Civic Guards, one of the most efficient, competent, capable and tactful bodies, who were carrying out their work in a manner that pleased the general public, have, unfortunately, in recent times, seemed to change. Some change has come over them, not through any fault of theirs, nor, in my opinion, through any fault of the Minister for Justice, or the Attorney-General. The change has arisen because their control has passed entirely out of the hands of the Executive Government into the hands of an unauthorised body outside. In my opinion the first mistake that was made was the introducing into the old Civic Guards, who were developing a splendid tradition, a body of new recruits, as I might call them. These new recruits may be, so far as I know, the best men in the world. I have nothing personally to say against them. But the idea has gone abroad, rightly or wrongly, that they are more or less spies, secret service agents, introduced into the old body. As a result of their introduction, as is well known to everybody in the community, there has been a lack of that old comradeship and that mutual loyalty and co-operation which hitherto had existed. The one point I really wish to make is that, whilst notorious and outrageous crimes, resulting in death, have taken place in this country, and are still undetected and unpunished, if a body of farmers in Cork or elsewhere meet, there is a bevy of representatives of the Civic Guards attending their meetings, taking a note of everything they say —even of words sometimes uttered, possibly, in the heat of the moment and inspired by what they believe to be grievances under which at the present time they suffer. These words are noted down and these farmers are hauled before the Military Tribunal and subjected to penalties that in some cases might be described as savage. That, in my opinion, is not a good thing for the general welfare. It is rather a reflection on the general administration of the law, and the sooner the Minister and his advisers will see that it is brought to an end the better for the State and the better for everybody living therein.

In ordinary circumstances, if this country were in a normal condition, and if the Guards were the force which the old Guards were at one time, there is nobody in this House who would vote money more willingly than I for the necessary expenses of the Gárda Síochána, be they in uniform or plain clothes. But I, for one, will not vote for one single half-penny which goes to the new detective branch. I will not vote for one single halfpenny for money which is to be expended on ammunition for that new detective branch, considering the way in which we know that detective branch has used ammunition in the past. We have here, Sir, in this Vote, allowances for men engaged as plain clothes detectives. We have a sum of £373 to supply those plain clothes detectives with ammunition and miscellaneous equipment. Are these new members of the S Branch behaving themselves? Are they adding to the reputation of the Guards or are they lowering it? Would I not be correct in stating that before they joined the Gárda Síochána that police force stood as high in the estimation of every person in this country whose opinions count, as high in their reputation and in the estimation of persons outside this country who took an interest in the affairs of this country, as any police force in the world? They could challenge comparison with any police force in the world. I am sorry to say that they cannot challenge comparison with any police force in the world at the present moment. As far as one branch of them is concerned, they have become definitely an incompetent and untrustworthy body of men, a body so incompetent that they have got the contempt of the people, not their admiration, and, I would almost add, the affection which the Guards enjoyed some time ago.

There are many things which have happened in recent times which showed the inefficiency of that particular branch of the Guards. I am not going to deal with very many of these. I will deal with just two at the outset. We had recently a very shocking murder at Lissard, near Edgeworthstown, in the County Longford. There a young man rushing to the assistance of his father was cruelly murdered. We have it that incendiary speeches had been made before that murder took place. We have it that the assistance of the I.R.A. had been called in at a public meeting, or that at a public meeting a certain commandant of the I.R.A. promised this assistance. Was there anything done to protect Mr. More O'Ferrall? We were told the other night that patrols were sent, but the President said, of course, that the patrols were worthless patrols. They were worthless patrols, completely worthless patrols. There were no good men sent on these patrols. Patrols to be effective in circumstances like that must be patrols of armed men. They must be patrols of thoroughly well trained, reliable, skilful men. You have not got them. I am not talking even of the present Government, because things were different under the last Minister for Justice. But when the present Minister for Justice took over office he had in the S Branch of the Guards, or C.I.D., as they were called, a thoroughly efficient, a thoroughly loyal, and a thoroughly trustworthy body of men. The Minister has proceeded to change that completely. He has proceeded to take trained and experienced detectives out of the S Branch and put them into the plain clothes section. These were men who again and again had been praised by the district justices, by the circuit judges, and even by the judges of the High Court for their skilful work in the detection of crime. These men have been taken out of the S Branch and put into the uniformed force. In their place have been put untrained, inexperienced men. Of course, at the present moment the S Branch has become a most hopeless, incompetent and untrustworthy body of men.

The principle of recruiting into the old S. Branch was this, that the very best men were selected out of the uniformed Guards, men who were, in the opinion of their officers, specially suited and who possessed all the characteristics which good detectives should have. The members of the old S. Branch were a very competent body of men.

The conditions are utterly different now. Raw men from the Depôt, after two or three months' training, knowing nothing about discipline and nothing about police duties, are suddenly put in to fill the most important posts which sergeants or ordinary members of the Guards could fill. I would like to know, if there was a proper detective division in Edgeworthstown, why it was not known, why there was not even a suspicion, that an attack would be made upon Lissard House and on Mr. More O'Ferrall? It is not very long ago, hardly a year ago, since the Minister for Justice warned young men in the I.R.A. to clear out because he knew every single thing that was being done in the I.R.A. I think he said that he knew everything which the I.R.A. were plotting and planning within 24 hours of the time they plotted and planned. I think it is admirable that the Minister should have that information. I think it very admirable that the £30,000 spent on Secret Service in this State should bring that information to the Minister. But I want to know has the Minister lost that touch with the I.R.A.? How does it come that the Minister, who a year ago knew every single thing, every decision of importance that was come to even within the innermost circles of the I.R.A.—that was his boast—was in ignorance that this attack was going to be made on Lissard House, especially when he was made aware, through a Commandant of the I.R.A., who publicly promised assistance, that the I.R.A. were going to come to the assistance of the people in Edgeworthstown?

I am not going to deal with anything that might hamper or impede the investigation of that shocking crime by the Guards. I am, however, going to make this comment, and it can having nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of any particular individual who may be charged. I would like to know how did it come that the car was not caught that night? Why was it not traced that night? It would be impossible, if a crime is committed out of a car in the City of Dublin, to trace that car; it would be impossible in Cork and probably even in Limerick or Waterford, where cars are very numerous. But to say that on country roads in the County Longford a car like that could not be traced down, if the police work had been properly done, seems to me to be absurd. The car should have been traced down that very night. Within a very short time of the occurrence the Guards in Edgeworthstown knew of it. It would have been their duty to telephone all over the country to warn every police barracks in the State if necessary, to look out for that car and every car should have been stopped on the road that night. I do not know whether such instructions were given. I will assume they were, but this particular car was not stopped. Why not? It requires courage to stop a car containing armed men. Your present detective force, your S Branch, have not got the courage of the old S Branch and I venture to think the reason why that car was not stopped that night was because your men had not the courage to stop any car which was likely to contain the assassins.

I remember a few years ago, when we had the old S Branch, there was an armed robbery in Limerick. The men went 80 to 100 miles in their car into the middle of Tipperary. They were armed men. They were tracked down to a house which they entered. The Guards then had the courage to advance on that house and capture the persons who were in it. In that case competent detectives were perfectly capable of tracing the car through country roads and were perfectly willing to take the risk of arresting armed men. No such thing happened in this case. I hope, and I believe every member in the House hopes that the police will be active and that they will get some competent men to do the detective work. The country is full of competent detectives. I could mention one detective at present in the Gárda Síochána who, I believe, is as competent a detective as is to be found anywhere on earth, a man with a tremendous record for the detection of very difficult crimes. His brains may be brought to work upon this problem. I hope they are. I sincerely hope that the Guards will make every effort to solve this crime and I hope, and I believe every decent man in the State hopes, that the perpetrators of the crime will be brought to justice. I am entitled to say that those men should not have been free for 24 hours. I believe if the S Branch of the Guards were to-day the same as they were two years ago, those criminals would not have been free at the end of 24 hours. But of course the whole Guards have been demoralised, the whole S Branch has been demoralised. The personnel of it has been so changed that it is not the body that it was and the Minister is, to a very large extent, responsible for the behaviour of the S Branch on other occasions.

I will turn now to consider another crime, a crime in my opinion more shocking than the murder in Lissard. I consider the murder in Marsh's yard in Cork, done by members of the Guards, a more shocking crime, as it was committed by servants of the State, than the murder in Lissard.

I raised a question in this House and I received a very strange answer from the Minister for Justice in reply to it. My question was whether he intended to hold any inquiry as to the persons who fired at Commandant Cronin. Though the facts demonstrated that it could only have been two of these new members of the S Branch and it was done within a few yards of the Guards, there being no other armed person in the neighbourhood, yet the Minister made the extraordinary reply that Commandant Cronin had been firing at himself. What is the result of that reply? No inquiry of any kind. The S Branch are told: "You can fire as much as you like; you will have the Minister behind you," and if they shoot somebody, I suppose the Minister will say he committed suicide. What is the result? The men are emboldened by the Minister's attitude, they are encouraged by the Minister's attitude to use their firearms and we had the affair in Marsh's yard.

I dealt with that from one aspect the other night—the aspect which concerned the Attorney-General—and I am going to deal with it from another aspect now. By way of parentheses, I might say that I was astonished at the Attorney-General's reply on that night, because if you take the Attorney-General's speech and read it all together you will find this meaning coming right out of it—that never under any circumstances will there be a prosecution against the armed forces of this State for shooting down civilians. "Where is there a precedent?" he asked, and I gave him one. I hope he will follow it. I hope that if encouraged by the Minister for Justice these men indulge in any orgy of shooting the Attorney-General will follow that precedent.

What has been enunciated here is the doctrine that the S Branch of the Guards are to be the sole and final body determining when they are entitled to shoot down citizens of this State in cold blood or in hot blood. I hope that monstrous doctrine will be put an end to. That is the doctrine which we have had preached here by the Attorney-General and, to a considerable extent, if not openly preached, at least by his covert action assented to by the Minister for Justice. I pointed out, in connection with the shooting in Marsh's yard, that a small body of unarmed men, twenty or thereabouts, were in a trap, completely surrounded on every side, perfectly helpless, when they were fired upon in this cruel and merciless fashion. When I raised this question on the Motion for the Adjournment, the Minister for Justice asked: "Were they to wait until there was firing done?" The men at whom they fired had no arms. These S Branch men were there with their revolvers and rifles. If they thought there was any danger they could have covered the men. The men had no revolvers but, if they had, the police should have waited until they saw a revolver pulled. They could have shot the men they had covered. But they did nothing of the kind. As one of themselves said, they shot, not because there was any danger, but because it was a precautionary measure.

The Minister cannot prosecute, I admit—that is the Attorney-General's Department—but the Minister can dismiss from the force or he can take another course, the second best course. If the Attorney-General was unwilling to prosecute—I sincerely hope the Minister asked him, but I am afraid it is too much to hope for—there was another course open to the Minister. He could have set up a commission of inquiry—not a packed commission as in the Kilrush affair. It is very noticeable that it was two I.R.A. men who were injured in Kilrush. They were, however, 20 men to two; they were armed and they had fired first. A commission could be set up to inquire into the Kilrush affair and the men dismissed from the Guards, but when the Guards are 48 to 20 and the men are unarmed, there is no talk of a commission then. I do not mean a commission such as the Kilrush Commission—I mean a real commission; a commission constituted entirely of judges or district justices; a purely legal commission.

That was not done. Why not? Can the Minister give any explanation? I can, and the House can; everybody in the State can, because everybody knows that the Minister knew that these men had no justification for firing. The Minister knew that these men were, in law, guilty of murder, and he did not wish an impartial tribunal to bring out that fact. The Minister knew— and I am quoting now the words of a report signed by three judges—that on that occasion "there was no such great and inevitable danger of serious bodily harm as to justify the use of firearms." Not only was there no great and no inevitable danger at the time they fired, but there was no danger at all—any danger that there was had long since ceased. The men broke the law; we all know they broke the law; but if men break the law that does not justify their being punished outside the law. If they broke the law, they could be made amenable to the law. But it is a new doctrine, it is a vile doctrine, it is a monstrous doctrine which is now being preached, that the duties of judge and jury and hangman altogether are to be vested in one individual or half a dozen individual members of the S Branch of the Civic Guards. That is what you have brought your country to at the present time, and you stand over that!

If there was any respect for the law in this country it was due to the fact that for years we had courts that decided fairly and we had Guards who did their work fairly and justly. We still have, thank God, the courts. The Executive Council cannot interfere with them. They are immune from the interference of the Executive Council. But we have got Guards now, not the old uniformed rank, not the old plain-clothes men who still command the admiration of the people of this State. You have done your best to demoralise them but you have not demoralised all of them yet. There are still men amongst them with courage to face armed, as well as unarmed, men who would shoot them down. There was a splendid example recently in North Dublin where a Guard tackled an armed man and deprived him of a loaded revolver, an armed man who, with others, had taken a prisoner away and confined him. The prisoner escaped and came to the Gárda barracks. The Guards—they were the old uniformed Guards, not your new men—went out and, unarmed as they were, they tackled some armed men whom they met and took the arms from them. That is the old spirit. That is the spirit you are killing in the Guards for what is your new method of promotion.

I asked the Minister for Justice some time ago if these men who did the shooting in Marsh's yard were still members of the Guards and if they still held the rank they held before. The Minister replied that they were all still members of the Guards and that two of them had been promoted sergeants. That is a nice state of affairs. It was not for efficiency that these men were promoted sergeants. They had been a year and a few months in the Guards. They had three months' training in the Depôt; they had done no ordinary police duty. They had done nothing to warrant promotion. The one thing they had done was this shooting and they were promoted for it. That is a nice new principle, a quick way for a Guard in the S Branch to become a sergeant. All he has got to do is to go to the Minister and say: "Look here, my hands are dripping with blood; I have shot one of your opponents, make me a sergeant," and the Minister will say: "Excellent, that is what I like; you will be a sergeant with your three stripes on your arm to-morrow." That is the administration of the Guards!

There was a time when no words were more familiar to people in this country than the late Arthur Balfour's famous message to the police at Mitchelstown: "Do not hesitate to shoot." The Minister has gone one better than that. He tells these S Branch men: "Not merely do not hesitate to shoot but be alert to shoot. If you ever can get an excuse for shooting, shoot and you will get promotion." That is the Minister's attitude. At all athletic sports there is a race called the team race. One individual races a certain distance and hands the baton to another, who runs a further distance, and so on until the team has completed the course. We have something like that in Irish history. We have had men steeping their hands in Irish blood from time to time. We have had our Cromwells handing on their batons to the Mountjoys, and the Mountjoys handing their baton on to Mr. Balfour. We have got a very pleasant state of affairs now. We discover that that ill-omened race is not yet finished. We discover that the man always known in Irish history as "Bloody Balfour" has handed on the baton to the still more blood-stained Administration that is occupying the Government Benches at the present moment. This Vote, with its sub-head for ammunition, with its subhead for allowances for men engaged in plain clothes and detective work, is a Vote which cannot have the support of any single person in this House, I do not care to what Party he belongs. I do not care whether he belongs to our Party, the Fianna Fáil Party or the Labour Party. If there is any single member in this House who has a love of human liberty, who believes that the Irish people have a right to live in their own country without being shot down without just cause or excuse, that member will not support this Vote no matter how strong his Party ties may be. He will not vote for supplying extra ammunition to be put into the hands of the S Branch to be used as the S Branch used it, when they fired at Commandant Cronin and when they murdered young Lynch in Cork.

Normally there is no Vote that I should be more glad to support than the Vote for the police, because I think the policing of a country is a most vital thing for any country, and, in a country with our disastrous record, it is even more necessary that we should create ab initio a condition of order and respect for the law and that the police should be very strongly supported. The greatest argument that I know against supporting the Vote is certain things we hear in this House. I remember, a good while ago, when I referred to a certain organisation, which aimed at changing the Constitution of this State by means other than those provided by law, as an unlawful association, a Minister on the Front Bench protested loudly. Apparently to his mind only those organisations were unlawful that the Government disapproved of as rather favouring the Opposition, that an organisation which by its very nature was directed against the law was a perfectly law-abiding and praiseworthy organisation. That indicates to me a thoroughly bad point of view. I could give many other instances, but I need go back no further than last week when the More O'Ferrall murder was being discussed here. The President, in replying, put what might have been quite a good case, that he was handicapped by the fact that certain men were arrested for questioning. But his argument thereafter was directed to trying almost to justify the situation of certain lawbreakers. He argued that if prominent Fianna Fáil men were indirectly associated with it, so were members of our Party. His statement was completely contrary to truth. Here was a case where a diabolical murder had taken place, of a nature which never takes place in any other country. In other countries murders do take place, but the murders we direct attention to now are in quite a different category from the sort of murders one reads of as taking place in England and other countries.

Ordinarily, a murder implies that some man, lacking self-control and under the control of passion, in secrecy sets out and murders a fellow human being and seeks his own safety in secrecy. His safety—and his danger— lies in the fact that he dare not let his guilt be known to any other persons because they, in horror of that guilt, would invoke the law against him. That is his safety, and the danger lies in this: that he is isolated against society and has to depend entirely upon his own resources for evading the sanctions of the law.

One might refer to several murders in this country, but I shall take only four cases—the murder of two men in connection with the railway strike some time ago, the murder of a man named O'Reilly in Cork, and the recent murder of Mr. More O'Ferrall. The public conscience of this country accepts as morally certain that the guilt of these murders is shared by a large number of people because they are the outcome of widespread organisation, and the leaders of these organisations and those who are aware of the circumstances of the murder all share the guilt. Accordingly, although I only refer here to these four murders, one may say that all these people were party to these murders which, in numbers, are very much in excess of four. When you are in a position where you have organised murder, you have a very particular situation. In the first place, organisation gives strength. Organisation means that the men who are actually guilty are not in that weak position of isolation. It means that they have support and assistance from fellow-members of those organisations. Now, the Government at this moment are in a particularly strong position, because some short time before we went out of office we passed what was a very drastic piece of legislation, and the purpose of that legislation was to empower the Government and to give the Government machinery for dealing with organisations which seek to attain their ends through the method of murder. The real purpose of that legislation was to deprive these criminals of the additional safety and of the support they get by reason of the organisation that is behind them.

Now, in the case of the More O'Ferrall murder, what was the situation as it was put before us last week? There was a Town Tenants' Association which aimed at the reduction of rents. There is nothing in the law to prevent people organising in a legitimate way to bring about reduction of rents by constitutional means. At a given point, apparently, when they decided that this reduction could not be brought about by constitutional and lawful means, they invited an unlawful body, a body that seeks an unlawful end and that seeks to attain that end by means of violence, to participate in the dispute. No member of the Government, or no member of this House, and no person in this country has any doubt that that organisation was invited to participate because it did not feel itself restricted by the laws of this country. Deputy MacDermot, in speaking of it, indicated an element of guilt shared by people who are fairly prominent in the Fianna Fáil organisation. The President retorted by attempting to purport that that guilt was shared by members of our organisation. I am quite prepared to agree with the President if what he stated was really true. The reprehensibleness which was indicated by Deputy MacDermot began when that Association invited the murder gang of the I.R.A. The members of the Government have no doubt whatever in their minds that that organisation was responsible for murder before. They have no doubt that the I.R.A. proclaim that they seek an unlawful end by the use of unlawful means. The moment, then, the invitation went out to the I.R.A. there was, to my mind, a criminal condition. The President's statement implied that members of our organisation shared in that guilt. If members of Fine Gael, who were members of the Town Tenants' Association —which, up to that time, we may assume, was a lawful body—helped to promote the invitation to the I.R.A. to take part in that dispute, then I agree with the President that members of our organisation are equally guilty with members of the Fianna Fáil organisation. If, however, members of Fine Gael did not participate in the invitation, then the President's statement the other night was diametrically opposed to truth and had no other purpose than to relieve members of Fianna Fáil of responsibility and to attribute spurious guilt to members of our organisation.

The President was faced last week with a very serious situation, and a situation that, I am absolutely convinced, he recognises as serious; but instead of facing it as such he came along with a little distortion and a little misrepresentation to try to cover up the situation by implying that we could not say anything about it because members of our organisation were equally guilty. If it were true that members of our Party had taken such action, I would entirely agree with the President, and nothing that he could say against members of our organisation in that position would be too strong for me. If that were true, I would support him in every way on that point, but I am convinced myself that his statement was completely untrue and that it was only made in order to cover up the guilt of certain parties by trying to spread the guilt over certain other parties.

In the case we are talking about, a public meeting was promoted by the I.R.A. If members of the Fine Gael organisation participated in that public meeting, I contend that they cannot escape entirely sharing in the guilt of the crime that was committed afterwards. If they participated in that meeting, then they were parties to the incitement of that crime. If members of the Fine Gael organisation, however, did not participate in it, then the statement of the President the other night was a completely dishonest statement and was meant to cover up the guilt of other people.

If it is any information to the Deputy, they did take part.

I should be very interested to hear more from the Deputy on that matter.

They did.

As I said, I should like to hear more about that from the Deputy, and I can tell the Deputy this, that if they did so, you may regard them as being completely outside our organisation now because, in doing so, they were acting against our organisation. Nobody in this House, nor anybody outside it, has any doubt in their minds as to what is the attitude of this Opposition Party and of the organisation behind it to the murder gang, the I.R.A., the Republican Congress and so forth. Any member of our organisation who assists them in their work knows perfectly well that he has no right to be in our organisation because, by doing so, he is serving those whose purpose is to destroy all that we wish to create in this country.

Let us take this situation. An illegal body that makes use of the method of murder, that arms its members, and whose members, in the courts, proclaim openly that they have a right to hold those arms because they propose using them in a way that is contrary to law in this country, and which can only be described as a diabolically criminal way—members of that body were invited to participate in this meeting. The police were aware of that. The public meeting was held, and at that meeting there were public incitements to violence, and the police did nothing. In Hyde Park, in London, people get up and make the most extreme speeches, I understand, but this country is quite different. The Government know perfectly well—I do not want to go back into the Government's past, because I myself am most happy, as soon as the Government makes clear its anxiety to discuss its own past, to assist it—but they know perfectly well that there has been in this country the tradition of seeking to attain political ends by extra-political means and by means of violence. The Government know that perfectly well. They know perfectly well that the mask of a political end has had the effect of atrophying the public conscience and of preventing the people from assisting the law in taking its course.

The Government here had fair warning that whatever was proposed to be done implied the making use of means that were against the law. Their agents were aware that threats had been made against a citizen. Last week 14 farmers were, I understand, arraigned before the Military Tribunal, charged, if I remember aright, with being members of an organisation which was illegal, because it was alleged it advocated non-payment of land annuities. The other night, when dealing with the More O'Ferrall case, the President spoke about pickets, and seemed to think that the pickets had been worthy of praise because they had not used violence. What were the pickets for? I have only the knowledge that I got from the President, but I assume—although I may be wrong—that the purpose of the pickets was to prevent people paying lawful debts to that estate. If that was so, these pickets were trying to interfere with justice; they were trying to deny justice to a citizen. The President almost praised the pickets for not using violence but, when it is suspected that an organisation proposes the non-payment of land annuities, the members are brought before the Military Tribunal. In the More O'Ferrall case threats of violence were made against a man and his family. No action was taken; thereafter a murder took place. No Government could be blamed because an occasional murder takes place, but I think this Government is to blame, because it knows that there are organisations existing which maintain that murder, instead of being a diabolical crime, crying to Heaven for vengeance, is an act which calls for praise and is the highest form of patriotism. The Government knows that. It knows that during its term of office it has allowed these organisations an absolutely free hand to seduce the youth of the country and to lead them into the ways of crime. One of these organisations was invited in this case to threaten violence. That organisation has been often guilty of violence when it made no threat. Now the Government comes along and asks the House to vote money for the police. No one would be more pleased than I would be to vote money for the police provided the police were going to use every human means, not only in maintaining law, but in creating a condition in which it would be almost impossible to organise such crimes, or until a time would be reached when there would not be the same need to act against such organisations.

Just a year ago there was the murder of Mrs. McGrory. There is a motion on the Order Paper about it. We have not heard much about that murder since the motion was put down. I remember that Deputy Cosgrave referred to a meeting that was held in Parnell Square on the Saturday prior to the murder. I do not want to misrepresent the case. I do not think that meeting has been denied, a meeting of an unlawful association for the purpose of taking certain steps towards the overthrow of this State. The police watched that meeting. No action was taken. The Minister for Justice at the time said that there was no reason to believe——

The Minister for Justice at the time?

I mean that the Minister for Justice at that time said that there was no reason to believe that that meeting had anything to do with the appalling murder that took place the next day in County Louth. There were military patrols around County Dublin on that Sunday, and there was every indication that the Government and the police authorities expected some particularly violent or illegal action on that day. The matter has not yet been gone into here or explained. It was referred to last year but, as far as one can judge—not being in the Government's confidence—the meeting in Parnell Square was one which the Government considered was important and dangerous, when they empowered police to go and seize a house opposite and to watch who was going in and going out of that meeting. Obviously they regarded it as very important. On the next day they had troops going around County Dublin. I saw them myself.

That took place in February, 1934.

I could not tell the date.

It is on the Order Paper. I want to point out that the matter should have been raised on the Estimate that came on immediately afterwards.

It was done.

Then it cannot be raised indefinitely.

I do not want to protest against your ruling. I am only referring to that case and the More O'Ferrall case. I gave a very good reason for the Government taking particular steps. If these organisations had grown up secretly or were unknown to anyone, if suddenly a bomb was thrown, no one would blame the Government if it did not know. Here we have an organisation not only known to exist, but the ends it sought to attain. The Government, during its period of office had experience of the murderous methods of that organisation. I am merely referring to this case as being somewhat analogous. The Government knew that some meeting was taking place.

I cannot allow the Deputy to proceed to deal with an Estimate that follows one on which the matter should have been discussed. I cannot allow it to be discussed now.

I would like to ask if the Government are still actively pursuing inquiries, and what steps are being taken to bring to justice the murderers of Mrs. McGrory. I should like to know, because there is no statutory time limit with regard to crime. The Government's duty is as strong to-day as ever it was to bring the murderers of Mrs. McGrory to justice.

The Deputy knows, whether there is a statutory limit for the apprehension of crime or not, that that does not concern us now. What he is discussing is concerned with the Estimate that immediately followed. It does not concern this Estimate.

Is it possible to ask the Minister in the course of discussion, one year after the occurrence, what steps have been taken?

I have allowed the Deputy to do so more than once.

I do not want to pursue that now. I shall confine myself to the More O'Ferrall case. I feel that there is a grave responsibility on the Government because it had good warning. It knew that a murderous association was invoked and that the operation was directed against a given family. It had the means of arresting the leaders of the organisation. It could have arrested every member of the organisation. It had full power to do so. Instead of that it left that family unprotected. It seems to me that if ever there was a case where the police neglected their duty, and failed criminally in their duty, it was in the More O'Ferrall case. I should like to ask when the Government became aware of this—they might not be if there were no premonitory symptoms—if the police took no precautions but actually allowed the murder to take place, or what was the immediate action of the Government? I assume that self-respecting officials of the police would have handed in their resignations, which would be immediately accepted by the Government. Here was a case where the police failed appallingly. Failing resignation, I presume the Government would have called for the resignation of the Commissioner of the police. I must assume that was done until I hear to the contrary.

In to-day's Order Paper there were a great many questions by Deputy Mulcahy about various crimes. In this country the Government seem to say that everything is going well: that only a few organised murders take place. There are many other things which are symptomatic of the numbers of morally degenerate that we have here. Deputy Mulcahy, in a long series of questions to-day, called attention to a great many of these ominous symptoms. One was with regard to interference at cinemas. He asked if the Minister was aware that on a certain date in Ballinrobe the proprietor of the cinema there informed the audience that at the request of the superintendent of the Gárda Síochána the picture of the Duke of Kent's royal wedding would not be shown. I understand that the Minister replied that the Gárda superintendent thought it advisable to issue such advice. Now, what are the police for? The proprietor of that cinema had a perfectly legal right to show that picture, but the Gárda superintendent apparently thought that there would be action of an illegal nature by an organisation, such action that he, the Gárda superintendent with the forces at his control, would not be able to prevent a certain amount of sabotage and injury being done. The Gárdaí, presumably, had reason to believe that some such action would take place. That means that the Gárda superintendent was aware that certain organisations were directing their activities against the showing of films of that nature.

If the Government takes itself seriously and, realising its duty to the people, thinks that such films should not be shown, then the obvious course for the Government is to legislate to make the showing of such films unlawful, and the police, exercising their authority, will prevent their showing. But it was a perfectly lawful act for that cinema to show that picture. What did the Gárda superintendent do, and what was the purport of his remarks to that cinema proprietor? It was this: "that the law in this country is not as strong as the criminal elements in it; legally, you have a right to show the picture, but you would be well advised not to show it because the law in this country is not as strong as the lawless, and it promises better for the safety of the citizens to make friends with the mammon of iniquity and with lawless and criminal organisations in this country." That is a doctrine of anarchy. That is just one of hundreds of instances that one could give of how organised crime is immune here.

The President, speaking in the House the other day, made the point that members of the Fine Gael organisation had been parties to an invitation from the I.R.A. to attend a certain meeting. Personally, I disbelieve that. The President's argument was directed to prove that the Government was completely impartial in the administration of justice. Going about the country and hearing the general comments that are being made, I would never have accused the Government of insisting upon prosecuting any organisation to which a member of Fianna Fáil might belong. What my observations lead me to believe is this: that if people want to break the law in this country the best thing they can do is to have associated with them a prominent member of the Fianna Fáil Party. The President seemed to think that, if besides not prosecuting in cases where Fianna Fáil supporters were involved they also failed to prosecute where not only Fianna Fáil supporters were involved but also supporters of Fine Gael, that proved impartiality. I maintain that it does not.

There is a widespread opinion—I do not want to say that it is necessarily based on fact—that if an organisation contains members of Fine Gael it is going to be prosecuted, but if an organisation contains members of Fianna Fáil it is not going to be prosecuted. I have heard that, in connection even with simple matters such as those dealing with sheep and so on, the police seem carefully to avoid prominent members of Fianna Fáil. I am not saying that that is a fact, but that is the impression through the country, and the President's argument did not refute it. What can one think when one sees what happens to farmers who belong to an organisation suspected of advocating the non-payment of land annuities? They are all prosecuted and brought before the Military Tribunal, while at the same time no action is taken against an organisation known to be criminal and to be unlawful, known to use violence, to advocate and to incite to violence. The members of it are left with a free hand to commit murder. It is up to the Government to make it clear beyond any doubt to the people of this country that what seems, obviously, to flow from juxta-position of these two cases is not a fact.

I cannot understand how a Government with any sense of responsibility or any sense of duty to the citizens of this country could allow that meeting to take place, and such threats to be made, without immediately arresting and bringing before the Military Tribunal those guilty of participating in it. It did not do that. It may do it now after a murder has been committed, but that will not bring back the murdered man to life. I speak about this aspect of the police case because I feel that it is nationally and vitally important to do so. When one points out things like that, the method of argument adopted by Fianna Fáil Deputies is to jump up and say: "what did you do in 1916, or 1918 or 1921"? Now we may have done right or we may have done wrong. The Government may have done right or it may have done wrong in the period up to 1930. There is no need to go back on that. We do know that there is a tradition which is detrimental to the establishment of solid order in this country. That being so, it is more necessary for our Government than for other Governments to take action to kill that tradition once and for all, and to establish a tradition of obedience to the law—willing obedience to it. The Government have not done that.

The Government have extraordinary powers, powers that we only possessed in the last three or four months of our regime. These are the powers given under Article 2A of the Constitution. As well as my memory serves me, between the time that Article was passed and the time we went out of office there was no serious crime in the country. The unlawful organisations it was aimed at were effectively crushed. Since the present Government came into office the four specific murders to which I referred earlier showed every appearance of being organised murders. The public conscience has attributed them to organisations that were known—to organisations that have been defined as unlawful under Article 2A of the Constitution. Every member of the I.R.A. is, according to law, liable to be brought before the Military Tribunal and to be sentenced as a member of an unlawful association. The Government have been very careful to abstain from mentioning that organisation, but it is known to be an unlawful association and the Government does not need to do that. It is unlawful by the very nature of the organisation itself as set out under Article 2A of the Constitution. The Government have failed to clarify the position by definitely banning that organisation. They have allowed it to go on. The Government know—everybody in this House knows—the Chief of Staff, the Adjutant-General and others with high sounding titles in that organisation. If one belongs to the Land Annuitants' Defence Association, which is suspected of advocating the non-payment of land annuities, he is pretty certain to be brought before the Military Tribunal and duly punished; but if one belongs to the I.R.A., an organisation which is known to stand for murder, to advocate murder, to commit murder and which seeks to overthrow this State created by the Irish people, an organisation which under every provision of Article 2A of the Constitution is an unlawful association—you can belong to that organisation, according to the Government's teaching, have secret knowledge of its crimes and you will not be arrested or charged with membership of it. The Government has not used the power it possesses for getting after crime. It has given a headline to the police in not acting against these criminal organisations. One action the Government itself can take—that is definitely to ban such organisations as the Republican Congress and the I.R.A. The Government has not done that. I may as well explain what banning means. It means that the Government names an organisation and affirms that, in its opinion, that organisation fulfils one or other of the conditions set out in the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution as making an organisation unlawful. The Government's action does not make the organisation unlawful. I myself am perfectly satisfied that the Blueshirts were not an unlawful organisation.

All the Government did—I am speaking now as an Opposition partisan, if you like—was dishonestly to affirm that it believed something which it knew was not true. In my opinion, the Blueshirts have always been a lawful organisation and the action of the Government did not make them unlawful. All it did was to put the Military Tribunal in a position in which it had to accept that affirmation by the Government as full and complete evidence and not to be questioned. The I.R.A., the Republican Congress and other organisations of that kind, are unlawful, whether the Government bans them or not. The Government has pointed out to the police, by its own action, that it wants to use every weapon it can against such organisations as the Blueshirts and the Land Annuitants' Defence Association. By its inaction it has indicated that it wants to abstain from taking any action that can possibly be avoided against these diabolically criminal organisations whch supported the Government in the last three elections. Can one blame the police? They see that, in the case of one type of organisation, the Government affirms its belief that it is unlawful. On the other hand, when every public statement of the constitution of the I.R.A., the end the I.R.A. seek and the methods they use to attain that end are unlawful, the Government fails to take action which would simplify the matter for the Military Tribunal and enable them to punish the guilty parties. The Government has, by its action and inaction, given a completely wrong value to what is happening. I have no sympathy whatever with people who try to resist the law, whatever form it may take. I should not be a party to any action which would break the law in any way, even though the law might seem to me to be unjust. The Government's line is that it is looking for an opportunity to get after certain people and that it is carefully blinding itself with regard to other people. Does anybody think that any member of the Front Bench could get up and say that he was honestly convinced and morally certain that the organisations to which I have referred had nothing to do with any of the crimes that have occurred in the last couple of years in this country? We are all morally certain—I do not say that we could prove it in court—that a great many of these crimes flowed inevitably from these organisations. Notwithstanding that that is so, the Government has abstained from acting. It was almost positive in its failure to act. At the same time, there was no loathfulness to making use of those exceptional powers which we took for ourselves and which the Government inherited. It has made use of these powers to a point that seems practically a prostitution of its authority. Consequently, you cannot blame the police. I am speaking as a man in the street, who is not in the Government's secrets and who has no access to the information which is in the hands of the police. To that man it is perfectly clear that the Government do not want to go against the I.R.A. If it wanted to act, if it cared for the maintenance of the law, or the moral well-being of the young men of this country, it would have made use of every power it had before now. The police have, to a large extent, turned the blind eye to the activities of the I.R.A., so that they are allowed to grow in strength with the sense of security they have from their success in those previous murders, to which I am not allowed to refer now. They feel that they can go on and murder people without any danger of having to face the consequences which the law provides. Consequently, it seems to me that we are fully justified in refusing to vote this money to a Government which takes people's money for the maintenance of the law and the protection of the State and its citizens and, then, by its own example, discourages the police from really getting after diabolical crime and concentrates upon getting after crimes which are only dubiously illegal. I do not refer now to the case of persons refusing the payment of public moneys, but I refer to the Blueshirt organisation, which I doubt very much was illegal. It seems to me that it is particularly necessary for the Government to make abundantly clear that it is going to use every power the law has given it to put down such organisations as the I.R.A. and the Republican Congress, that it is going to discourage the young men of the country from joining these organisations—which inevitably lead to the path of crime—by making it dangerous for them to join. Ever since this Government came into power there was every incitement to young men to join these organisations and go parading through the country posing as patriots, instead of being, as they are, moral degenerates. It is clear from the More O'Ferrall case that the Government has failed in its duty and it is up to the Government to assure the people that it realises its duty and that it is going not only to prevent such murders as the More O'Ferrall case and to punish those guilty, but that it is going to prevent the premonitory symptoms of crime by preventing young men from being inveigled into organisations which lead up to such outrages as the murder of Mr. More O'Ferrall.

Ba mhaith liom beagán a rá ar an meastachán so. Cuirim suim mhór i n-obair na nGárdaí agus molaim go láidir an iarraidh seo atáthar a dhéanamh anois seirbhís na nGárdaí a Ghaedhealú san Ghaeltacht. Níl aon amhras nách iad an sean R.I.C. agus Gárdaí an Chósda a thug isteach agus a spréidh mórán den Bhéarla agus de nósa Gallda san Ghaeltacht. Níl áit ar bhain siad fútha nach bhfuil lorg an Ghalldachais ann go fóill. Anois, níl dadaidh níos córtha ná go ndéanfadh na Gárdaí spiorad an Ghalldachais a mhúchadh sna h-áiteacha so agus an Ghaedhilic agus nósaí Gaedheal a chur i n-uachtar arís.

Tig liom a rá go bhfuil an talamh réidh againn i dTír Chonaill. Annsin, tá breithimh againn atá in inibh gnaithe na cúirte a dhéanamh i nGaedhilic. Mar a gcéadna, tá na dligheadóirí againn atá i in inibh a gcásai a phléidéal i nGaedhilic agus taobh thiar daoibh uilig, tá pobal chomh Gaedhealach as tá i nEirinn. Mar sin, gheobhaidh na Gárdaí an uile cuidiú agus uchdach ina an obair seo.

Níl acht locht amhain agam ar an scéim seo agus ní beag an locht é sin. Sin nár tugadh comthrom na Féinne do na buachaillí as an Ghaeltacht a dh'oir don obair seo nuair a bhitheas ag toghadh an scaifte deireannach de na Gárdaí tá seal o slioin. Ba cóir go gcuirfidhe na buachaillí so faoi scrúdú i ngach conndae den Ghaeltacht sul a dtabharfaidhe go Baile Atha Cliath iad. Ní dearnadh sin. Tugadh go Baile Atha Cliath iad ar mholadh Teachtaí Fianna Fáil as dream amháin poilitíochta. Ná saoil agus ná samhluigh go mbeidh níos mó meas no urraim ar obair na nGárdaí seo a bheirtear isteach mar so ar chúl-doras phoilitíochta. Scéim leis an Ghaedhilic a chur ar aghaidh an Scéim seo. Obair náisiúnta an obair seo agus ní obair chasda cham phoilitíochta. Ba chóir go mbéadh scrúdú puiblidhe ar na fir seo agus annsin bheadh an uile dhuine sásta.

I oppose this Estimate for the reason that it is supplying the sinews of war to carry on what the Minister announced as a drive for the annuities. I understood from what the Minister said that that was part and parcel of this Supplementary Estimate. We have here under various heads the sum of £41,985, and I find that part of this is for locomotion expenses and subsistence allowances which would amount to £15,000. I would seriously advise the Minister and the Government to take due note of the situation before any further tyrannical measures are taken against the farmers in this country. It is really hard to talk dispassionately about the situation that exists in the country to-day, remembering that one hears stories of even night raids made for annuities, and of seizures for annuities where families are in fear and trembling of the sheriffs and the Guards and everyone else. I should like the Minister to consider what the situation is and whether he is justified in stating that the conditions prevailing in the country are due to agitation or to any organisation against the payment of annuities.

This day I received an answer to a question put to the Minister for Finance. I would advise the Minister for Justice and other Ministers to study that answer. The question was in relation to the unpaid annuities in every county in the Saorstát and the answer discloses a rather regular but sad state of affairs. It gives the amount of money outstanding last year and this year, or, rather the amount of grants withheld from the county councils. It gives the amounts in each county on the 17th February last year, and on the 17th February this year, and they make illuminating and convincing reading. I would advise the Government, before they look for a Supplementary Estimate to carry Guards into the farmers' homes, in order to compel them to pay money that they are not able to pay, to study this and see what comes out of it. Surely, the people from Donegal to Cork have not become so dishonest as not to pay their bills and annuities. If they have, the Government is to blame for their demoralisation. Take any county in the year February, 1934 to February, 1935, and we find three times as much owing by each county in 1934 as in 1933. That is a very sad state of affairs. I admit, on the basis of calculation, it would be entitled to owe twice as much for the reason that the amount due on the 17th February, 1934, was only for the last half of the year 1933.

I would like to ask how does this type of speech conform with the ruling of the Chair given on other occasions to-day.

I will have to wait and see how the Deputy develops his argument.

My point is that the Minister indicated, when introducing his Supplementary Estimate, that part of this money was needed to meet the activities against the payment of land annuities. My point is to try and convince the Minister that there is nothing in that, and to try and clear up the situation.

As far as I know, the Minister made no such reference.

I cannot rule on the mere beliefs of Deputies.

Even if the Minister did not make that statement, I would advise Deputy Smith, occasionally, to read the Estimates.

Would the Deputy tell us who tried to destroy the hall at Scarva?

There are a great many things in the Deputy's own life that would want to be explained.

In order to case Deputy Smith's mind let me tell him what the Minister said. He said in his opening statement that part of this Estimate arose because of the activities with which Deputies opposite are conversant. Much of it was due, he said, to the interference with court officers in connection with sales and so on.

Yes, but the Minister did not go on to discuss the amounts specifically withheld from local authorities.

This is my point, and I make it in good faith. I am not endeavouring to make a political speech or to make Party capital out of this matter. I am endeavouring to show the Minister that a regular state of affairs clearly exists, county by county, in relation to these annuities and that his efforts to provide more Guards for sheriffs is not a solution.

We will see whether it is or not.

The Minister, as Minister for Justice, has no definite responsibility for the amount of the grants withheld.

And if we were to broaden discussion on the general Vote as to whether there was any necessity for additional Gárda Síochána, we would be going very far.

I am afraid you have misinterpreted my point. I have not made use of this increase for the purpose of showing that anyone is responsible. I am endeavouring to show that a state of affairs exists and cannot be cured by Gárda activity. I am giving the figures not for the sake of showing what grants are made and withheld, but in order to show that a regular state of affairs exists in regard to these matters.

I cannot allow the Deputy to proceed on the lines of discussing the amount of grants paid or withheld in a particular county as being the cause of certain things which necessitate Gárda activity.

No; I have not attempted to do that. What I have attempted to do is plainly to show that a state of affairs exists which is regular, county by county. I have no other way of showing that. The Minister and many of the Government people will say that a state of affairs exists, for instance, in Westmeath, in Cork, in Waterford, in Tipperary and in other places which calls for Gárda activity and which justifies this Estimate. My object is to show that that is not so, but that the same state of affairs exists, county by county, all over the State and that the fact that the Minister directs the attention of the Gárda to the situation in Westmeath, in Cork, or in some other particular county will not cure a disease which is widespread and regular. That is my point. We have 27 county councils, Tipperary having two. I will be very brief in my references. The unpaid annuities have increased from 1934 to 1935——

I ask you, Sir, to rule——

I am going to rule, and rule definitely, now.

——three times, two times and two and a half times in every county from Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Donegal, Cork, Roscommon, Offaly down to Westmeath, and Westmeath, where we have all the activity, is no worse, in comparison with what it was last year, than any other county in the Free State. My point is that, in face of that, there is absolutely no sense in bringing about greater Gárda and sheriff's activity, as the Minister said he wants the Estimate for, because he cannot cure that disease in that way. That disease which exists in Westmeath exists all over the country and from one end of the country to the other. I am not endeavouring to make any Party capital out of this; my object is to get the Minister to see that he cannot cure that situation by Gárda activity.

I have been reading some papers recently, and I came across a paper, which I have here by me, with regard to the I.R.A. and its activities. An extraordinary thing about the situation is that while it appears to be a crime, according to the evidence we saw given in Dublin last week or the week before, for a man to say that he has paid his annuities twice, it is no crime for a man, and even a public man and the chairman of a local authority, to declare that there is no national army in this country but one, and that the I.R.A. He can declare that publicly, and has declared it publicly. I have the statement by me. Two members of a local authority in the South of Ireland made that declaration and had it published in the papers, and we expect respect for the established law while that thing is going on. The Government must take the bull by the horns sooner or later. Sooner or later it must be done, and I again submit that a strengthening of the Gárda force, the provision of greater equipment and greater locomotion, will not meet the annuities situation which the Minister wants to meet by this Estimate in any shape or form. It has got to be met in some other way, and if the Minister and his Government do not see fit to meet it in some other way, they are not going to get a solution for it in this way.

I wish to say only a few words, and, first of all, I shall ask the Minister a question. I should like to know from the Minister how much of the costs which are entailed—and they are pretty substantial—in the collection of land annuities which are collected by seizure go towards the organisation which collects them by seizure? I have seen some very substantial payments being made in that respect where seizures have taken place, and now that the introduction of the Vote which we have debated here to-day is influenced, to a large extent, by the extra cost to the State, due to these squads going around, I should like to know if any of these costs find their way to the alleviation of the new expense which we are asked to find to-day. When new and additional Votes of money are required for those who administer the law in this country, it means that there is greater disrespect for the law, and when the present Government sat on these benches, I often heard and often read their denunciations of the huge cost of the Guards and of the redundant number of Guards and the statement that this country could very easily get on with a far lesser force at a far lesser cost. As a matter of fact, I remember sitting in the Gallery on one occasion and listening to the members of the present Government firing everything from a landscape to an oilcan across the House at the previous Administration, and we find to-day that the amount required has gone to something like £200,000 over what the previous Administration sought from the taxpayer to administer the Gárda force of this country. That must mean one thing, and that is, greater disrespect for the law.

To my mind, this country is festering with politics. Politics take command and control of everything, and politics to-day are responsible for disrespect for the law in this country. Politics to-day in this country rule practically everything from the point of view of administration, local or otherwise, and once politics get into administration, local or otherwise, disrespect for the law is bound to occur and more money will be required. So far as I can see, this Vote is not going to be the end of this, but future years are going to bring greater cost, because every day, among the ordinary people of the country, we find politics becoming a greater incentive and a greater influence, and it is not an influence for good. Disrespect for the law brings about a state of affairs in which good citizenship fails. As a matter of fact, it is quite honest and sincere to say that politics to-day are, in many parts of our country, a greater interest and a bigger influence than religion, and, naturally, when they reach the pitch at which they bring greater disrespect for the law, more and more upholders of the law, in the form of police and detectives, are required.

The Minister is responsible for many things, but he is scarcely responsible for many of the things the Deputy refers to.

I do not profess to be a very accurate speaker so far as command of language is concerned, but if I gave the House the impression that I made the Minister personally responsible, I withdraw.

That is what I want the Deputy to do—to make the Minister responsible for the things he is discussing.

The Minister is responsible for the administration of the Department and, in that way, I endeavour to connect my remarks. I do not wish to speak any longer than three or four minutes and to refer to this disrespect for the law. I am coupling with that the necessary costs in which this disrespect is involving the taxpayer. To my mind, the time has come for strong denunciation on public platforms of whatever organisation the new I.R.A. is called, or other organisations if necessary, for that disrespect of the law which they are bringing about in this country. I am quite certain that Deputies on that side get a paper called An Phobhlacht. I buy it sometimes; sometimes it is sent to me. Why that paper is allowed to be published in this country I cannot understand. It is one of the means for bringing about a grave disrespect for all the institutions of this State. A lot of what is printed in it is not only rank Communism but is also anti-Christian, and is having a grave influence on our young people. I certainly should like to see some of the Deputies on this side of the House, and some of the Deputies on that side of the House getting together on public platforms, and not being afraid, either politically or morally, to denounce that organisation and what they are printing throughout the country. I have no more to say, a Leas Chinn Comhairle, because I feel myself wandering away from what the debate on this Vote is confined to. In those few words I certainly am sincere, and I certainly think that unless public men come out strongly in support of the forces of the law and in denunciation of those organisations which by solemn Pastoral have been denounced in this country, it is plain that those who are endeavouring to maintain the law may give up, and not waste their time trying to bring about a decent state of affairs.

We have here an additional Vote of almost £36,000 for the Gárda Síochána. One does not like to vote on this particular Estimate without expressing some opinions on it. One would not object to the Estimate if it were really necessary. I note that one sub-head provides for equipment, etc. for 200 extra recruits. As far as most of us are aware, there does not appear to be any great necessity for an addition to the Gárda. If the Gárda were used, in the main, for the purposes for which they were originally recruited, I think the force which is in existence would be quite large enough. Latterly, however, the Gárda have been used for purposes for which they were never instituted. Even if they were used in that particular manner, there might be some fairness, as between different sections of the community, in the use to which the Guards are put. While we have repeated instances of the Guards' inability to discover the culprits in certain crimes, we have, on the other hand, desperate activity on the part of the same force in apprehending men, young and old, all over the country, detaining them for days, and then liberating them without having discovered any charge, even by the gravest cross-examination of the particular men. In my own county we have repeated instances of that. We have had shootings in Kilfinnane, as Deputy Mulcahy has mentioned in this House on a couple of occasions. Houses were fired into. Nobody has been apprehended in that connection up to the present, and nobody will, I expect. In that immediate neighbourhood since then we have had constant instances of young men being apprehended, taken 25 miles to Limerick, kept for two days, cross-examined and straight-examined and examined in every other method. They were then liberated without any charge whatever being made against them. I do not know of any instance where any man was apprehended on suspicion of being implicated in the Kilfinnane crimes, taken to Limerick or cross-examined. There are just as much grounds for charging or suspecting somebody on one side as there are for suspecting somebody on the other. Then we have the incident which occurred in Bruree. The Gárda go to a funeral, apprehend a couple of men, and take them away from the funeral. The excuse was given that they were liberated afterwards. They were liberated when the funeral was over, but this indignity was offered to them. They were questioned and examined but no charge was made. We are now asked to pass an additional Vote for that sort of occurrence.

There is, in this particular Vote, a sum for subsistence allowance. A lot of that is unnecessary expenditure. Are we to assume, for instance, that we are going to have repeated instances of what occurred at a seizure in Limerick lately when numerous Guards were provided with. I suppose, subsistence allowance—they must have been provided with something—for perambulating around a farmer's premises for 14 hours, without any necessity whatever. This is expense which ought not to be called for. I am not charging the Guards with anything. I do not want to charge them with anything.

We had, and we have in this country, as fine a set of men in the Gárda as are in any country in the world. The Guards would, and did, and perhaps do their duty to a certain extent, but their activities must be curtailed or directed in a certain manner. I am certain that the Guards must have some lead or some direction to devote their activities to persecuting or prosecuting a certain type of individual rather than another. I cannot believe they would act as they are acting if it were otherwise. There does not appear to be any particular necessity why the members of the public who support the Opposition should be prosecuted rather than the members who support the Government, but that is what is happening in every county, particularly in mine. We have had, as I mentioned a second ago—one does not want to repeat oneself too much— instances of men, young and old, being apprehended every second day and carried into Limerick without any necessity. We have the Guards used in escorting bailiffs hither and thither from one farm to another without any great necessity; all this could be done in the usual way. Ninety-nine out of every hundred supporters of our Party in the County Limerick, which I represent, and I daresay in every other county, would attend any court on a summons. If there is any charge to be made against them there would be no necessity whatever to send the Gárda around the country at great expense to question and apprehend them. We do not defy the law, and our supporters do not defy the law. We are willing to abide by the law.

Why did you knock all the trees then, and cut all the wires?

When they were accused of cutting trees and wires, and sometimes when they were guilty, they did not defy the law or the courts. They recognised the courts; they recognised the authority of the judges to try them wherever they were sent, and they took their punishment. If they were like other members of the public, unwilling to recognise any force or any court, there might be some necessity for expending huge sums of money in apprehending them. But it is not for that purpose that this money is to be used. It is to be used to put those citizens who are abiding by the law and upholding the law, to the expense of prosecutions and trials. It is against such men that this is being used, against an organisation which, if perchance one of its members breaks the law, brings pressure to see that he abides by the law, that he acknowledges the courts of the country and seeks justice. We had instances of that to which I am alluding in Cork.

The Guards are brought to the level of a rowdy crowd. That is the condition to which they are brought by the present Ministry. At one time it used to be the custom in street brawls and street fights for rowdies to act on the principle of "Hit the man first before he hits you." That is the policy the Guards are now asked to pursue. Hit him first before he hits you. If you are afraid he is going to hit you, then shoot him.

A Deputy

Get in your blow first.

Yes; the idea is get in your blow first. That is what the Guards have come to now. Perchance in a country district there is no real crime and no men are apprehended because it is a peaceful district. What happens? The officer in charge is called upon to explain why there are no activities in his district and he is possibly moved away from that locality and some officer who is more amenable to the directions given by his superiors put into his place.

Now these are the things for which we are asked to vote money. We have here an item of £373 for extra ammunition. Why that is enough ammunition to shoot every farmer in Munster. The whole farming population of the southern counties could be shot at less cost than £373. We are seriously asked to vote money for this. I will not waste the time of the House in going through the particular items of this Estimate. That one argument is quite sufficient why no Deputy in this House should vote for it. In the first place there would be no necessity for this extra Vote if the force were properly used. There is no necessity at all why there should be any addition at all to the money already voted. In the second place, if there were impartial use made of the Guards and if they were allowed to be the force that they were a couple of years ago, the Guards would be able to do their duty without any extra expense to the community and they would do it impartially. In addition, the number of Guards that we had three years ago would suffice now. The Minister cannot make any case to prove the opposite. If there were any apparent necessity for an increase in the number of the Guards or an increase in their allowances or for an increase in the supply of ammunition, the case would be different.

I sincerely hope that the Guards will never again use their ammunition on the people; I hope that it will never be necessary for them to use it. We had instances where Guards, under much greater provocation than was present in Cork, refused to use guns on the people. The members of the old Guards and, indeed, the members of the R.I.C. who preceded them, did not use their guns in the way they were used in Cork. I remember a case in Limerick where a lunatic was being apprehended and though he shot one of the R.I.C. they apprehended him without firing a single shot. I know there were many instances of that in the Civic Guards, too. It remained for one of our own Governments to applaud Guards who shot down, in cold blood, men whom they could have apprehended without the firing of a shot or even the use of a baton. In the face of that we are asked to provide extra ammunition for the Guards. I say it is an insult to the intelligence of the House that it should be asked to vote this money. It is certainly an insult to the Opposition, whose supporters in the country are being persecuted and arrested without even any charge being preferred against them. I hope that not alone will the Deputies on this side of the House vote against this Estimate, but that honest Deputies on the Government side, men who believe in justice, properly and justly meted out, will join us in voting against any increase in the Gárda Síochána Estimate.

We are asked to vote extra money, presumably, to enable the law to be administered. I am a great upholder of the law and always was. I would certainly support the Minister and his Government and give them every assistance in getting the money to uphold the law. But before supporting this Vote I would like to be convinced that the law is being impartially administered. In the next place I would like to be convinced that there is an absolute necessity for this money to be expended in the way outlined by the Minister for Justice. I think if there were a little commonsense and a little patience exhibited there might not be any necessity for any addition to the Gárda Síochána forces, or any necessity for this extra money. In asking for that exhibition of patience I am only following the lead given by the President himself when he spoke of certain organisations in the country such as the I.R.A. The President stated here on more than one occasion that there was a sort of tradition behind such organisations. I, personally, sympathise with the President in the attitude he took up which really meant that if a little patience and forbearance were shown to members of these organisations the result would be more beneficial and that a better state of things would be brought about than if force were used against them. Personally I think that he was right on that particular point. The only qualification I have to make now is that I think the time has arrived when it is past showing patience and forbearance to such organisations.

But I would say to the Minister and to the President in regard to the collection of annuities and to some of the incidents that have happened in the South of Ireland that perhaps some patience and some forbearance might be displayed. I do not know much about these incidents because in Louth we are a very quiet sort of people. We do not break the law much. We try to do the very best we can in difficult circumstances. At the same time we do sympathise with the people in the South of Ireland, knowing and believing the hardships they are enduring as a result of the policy pursued by the Government. We do believe that these farmers are the victims of circumstances over which they have no control. We, therefore, think that the Government should not take the extreme steps that they have taken and which, apparently, they are about to take so far as the future is concerned.

What I would like to know from the Minister is whether any of this Vote will find its way into the pockets of those clever fellows from the North of Ireland who go down to the southern counties to buy cattle at sheriff's auctions? I would like to know whether any of this money will go to these people to enable them to bring cattle from the southern counties into our decent county and enable them to take a jump across the Border. I submit that if supporters of the Government are genuine and honest they should come out into the open and buy those cattle themselves. If members on the Fianna Fáil Benches were genuine, and if they are really behind the President in the steps he is taking against the farmers in the South of Ireland, surely they should have the moral courage to go out publicly to the auctions and shout: "this is our policy; we are going to abide by it and we are going to buy these cattle." They should do that in preference to asking some trick-of-the-loop fellows to come down here from Deputy Donnelly's constituency in the North of Ireland and, while shouting "Up the Republic" do their best to provide John Bull with cheap beef. I want to know from the Minister if any of this money is going to these playboys?

I would like also to know whether it is necessary at these sales to have an unduly large number of Civic Guards present? I do not think the people in the South are so unruly as that the ordinary forces of Civic Guards in the districts in which the sales are held would not be sufficient to preserve order and enable the authorities to carry out whatever sales they intend to carry out. I do not know whether it is in order to refer on this Vote to the Cork business, to the shooting that happened there. A certain incident happened in Cork when men were shot in cold blood. That has been applauded by the Minister and certain judges on the Bench—men shot without any rhyme or reason, men who could have been arrested without the spilling of one drop of blood. That is what government in this country is going to come to and I as an Irishman would say: "Heaven deliver us from that type of liberty." I hope we will never see the day when we will have complete freedom established in this country if what has happened in Cork is a forerunner of what we may expect from our own countrymen in the matter of the administration of the law.

There is another matter to which I wish to refer, but as the subject of it is sub judice I do not know whether I can refer to it here. It has, however, been referred to in the Irish Press of 1st March and it is in connection with the unfortunate occurrence that took place in Carlingford, which resulted in the death of a young man there. From the Irish Press of 1st March one would gather that the Guards had definitely solved the Carlingford Lough mystery. The report stated——

Is there somebody being charged in connection with that matter?

The main reason why I am bringing this up is that because of that article and the way it was published in the paper, it has caused great pain to the friends of the unfortunate young man who was found in the Lough. I am not going to blame the Gárdaí for what appeared in the paper. Whatever they said to the various Press reporters or to this particular reporter may have been misquoted or enlarged upon.

The Minister has no responsibility for anything that appears in a newspaper.

I contend he has an indirect responsibility for what appeared in the Press, what was stated by the Guards. When the public get the impression as regards what appears in a certain newspaper—the actual words used by the Gárda Síochána as representing the Minister and the administration of justice——

But the Minister has no power to interfere with Press reports. You cannot expect him to set up a Press censorship and examine whatever is to appear in a newspaper.

My contention is that the Minister has a certain responsibility if the words printed in the newspaper are the actual words used by the Gárda Síochána, and if they give the public a definite impression.

There is another remedy for that, but it is not in the Minister's hands.

I quite understand, but the fact is that as a result of that report the public have the impression that that unfortunate young man committed suicide, which is utterly wrong from the point of view of fair play alone, seeing that no inquest has been held and that the matter is sub judice.

The Minister cannot be held responsible for any impression created by a statement in a newspaper. Let us be quite clear about that.

I recognise that, but surely when a statement appearing in a newspaper gives a definite impression to the public and that statement contains the words of the Gárda Síochána who are conducting the inquiry down there, as a matter of fair play and justice to the friends of the victim the whole thing should have been contradicted?

I cannot allow the Deputy to proceed along that line. As I have pointed out, the Minister has no responsibility for whatever impression may be created amongst the public by reports appearing in a newspaper.

On a point of order. Can the Minister be asked whether, in fact, the Gárda Síochána authorised anybody to say that young man committed suicide?

That is a different matter.

The paper did not say that.

I have here the quotation from the newspaper, and I would certainly gather from what has appeared there the impression that this young man committed suicide.

I cannot allow the Deputy to proceed any further along that line. He has said that this is something that might cause pain to the people concerned. We are likely to cause still further pain by discussing the matter in this fashion here. Seeing that the Minister has no responsibility for what appears in a newspaper, I cannot allow the Deputy to proceed further along that line.

Then I take it that no matter what statement appears in the Press bringing in the Gárda Síochána the Minister cannot interfere? I may take it then that anything can be published?

Anything can be published in connection with a matter which is at present the subject of investigation.

That is not my ruling. My ruling is that in connection with the particular extract which the Deputy refers to, the Minister has no responsibility, and in regard to whatever impression it may have given to the public the Minister has no responsibility either. I cannot allow the Deputy to continue along that line.

You will allow me——

I cannot allow the Deputy to proceed any further along that line.

I do not blame the Gárda Síochána—they may have been misquoted.

The Deputy will sit down.

On what point, Sir?

The Minister has responsibility for the administration of his Department.

Quite so.

In this Vote he has a limited responsibility. The discussion on this should be limited. The Deputy is purporting to quote from a newspaper extract for which the Minister has no responsibility whatever and he is endeavouring to connect the Minister with an impression which, he says, that extract has given to the public. The Minister surely has no responsibility for whatever impression the public might gather from a newspaper extract.

Even if the Gárda Síochána are given as making the statement?

No matter who is mentioned.

That is an awful condition of affairs.

Has the Deputy finished?

I meant to finish up with the statement I have made in order to try to get an expression of opinion from the Minister or a statement that he would look the matter up, if it was nothing more than to issue a warning against such statements appearing. I think they are quite wrong and unfair and in bad taste, to say the least of it.

I move to report progress.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again to-day.