Spanish Civil War (Non-Intervention) Bill, 1937. - Spanish Civil War (Non-Intervention) Bill, 1937—Committee Stage.

Section I ordered to stand part of the Bill.
SECTION 2.
(1) This Act shall come into operation on such day as the Executive Council shall by order appoint for that purpose, and shall (unless continued under the next following sub-section of this section) expire at the expiration of six months from that day.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, a person may be arrested and tried and, if convicted, may be punished under this Act after the expiration thereof for an offence under any section of this Act committed or alleged to have been committed by him while this Act was in force.

I move amendment No. 1:—

In sub-section (1), line 20, after the word "purpose" and before the word "and" to insert the words "and after Dáil Eireann has been supplied with and approved of the scheme for enforcing non-intervention."

We have been discussing non-intervention for two or three days. I was glad to hear Deputy Dillon to-day saying that his view of non-intervention is that we in this country want General Franco's side to win and, if non-intervention is conducive to that end, he is for it; if it is not, he is against it. That is precisely my attitude. Seeing that the signs do not indicate that non-intervention will be conducive to the success of General Franco, now that this Bill is forced upon us by the majority machine in this House without giving the matter much thought, I put down this amendment to ensure that, as far as possible, if we are going to have non-intervention, we should know the mechanism of that non-intervention and whether it is likely to be effective.

I have said that the indications are that non-intervention will not be good for General Franco. My reason for saying that is the message appearing in the papers this morning from General O'Duffy. An officer of the Spanish Army could not get out such a message through the censor if General Franco wanted non-intervention. That in itself should have made us go cautiously. But the guillotine had been moved after the House heard the eloquence of my friend on the left. He told us that the only use for Christianity is to cash in on it—that was the diatribe used in this House, and, as Deputy Dillon said at the time, no honourable man would use it. The Deputy who used it cheered for General Franco that day; he cheered for him to-day, but he is voting to crucify him.

If we are going to have non-intervention, what sort will it be? Have we any evidence as to how effective it will be? Nobody from the Government side has told us what steps will be taken to protect, above all, the French frontier. Had those holding that frontier not allowed so many of the Reds to cross over it, the war would probably have been over long ago. Who is going to watch that frontier now? If that frontier is not going to be patrolled and guarded so that the proverbial crow will not pass through, then we are only being hoodwinked in this country and we are doing something that is a crime. I am perfectly convinced that we have committed a crime.

The Minister for Justice and other Ministers said we are doing nothing beyond what other nations are doing. Why were Irishmen let out and then betrayed? My phrase on that was referred to by the Minister—"that though I did not approve of the wisdom of Irishmen going out to fight in Spain." Those were my exact words, delivered in College Green six months ago.

What about the wild geese?

What about them? You did not see them outside the Irish Press, and it is only one of the many wild geese and untrue statements made by that organ, so far as I am concerned. In order to know exactly what we are doing, I submit that these few words proposed by me as an amendment should be inserted in this section. This country should not be committed to anything unless it knows what it is being committed to. We are committed now to non-intervention. Let us at least have effective non-intervention. I would like to know from the Minister in charge of this Bill what steps the Government contemplate taking.

President de Valera kept us for an hour the other night to tell us he was misrepresented, when he was quoted exactly. He was misrepresented! Because he saw the difficulty of facing the public with the obvious meaning of the words he had spoken, he cried: "I was misrepresented." He was misrepresented over "isms." He said nobody was helping the Franco Government except Italy and Germany, who were seeking there a Government after their own heart. That was his speech. Therefore, when he recognises the Caballero Government, he must be seeking a Government after his own heart.

Is the Deputy not travelling a bit?

We may as well wipe the cobwebs off our eyes; we may as well look facts in the face. We were told by responsible Ministers and by the President that they never supported Communism. No, nor did they ever condemn Communism.

The President in his speech on Friday night last.

Read the Official Report.

Where did he do it, on a public platform?

How does condemnation or condonation of Communism arise on this amendment?

In this way. Before this country is committed to non-intervention we must see that it is not one-sided non-intervention. In order to know exactly what we are doing we should have the scheme proposed to be adopted to implement this Non-Intervention Pact before us here. Let us examine it and see is it going to be effective or is wool being pulled over our eyes.

I am in favour of the policy enshrined in this Bill and I am in favour also of the most complete and effective form of non-intervention. That is why I should like a little bit more information from the Minister for Justice as to what is likely to happen when the Bill becomes law. I would support the Bill whole-heartedly if it had been brought in and passed six months ago, because if it had been passed six months ago and had come into operation at that time it would have saved the politicians and people of this country the trouble of trying to explain to the outside world how Catholic Ireland should think fit to send two sections of its citizens to fight in a civil war in Spain. I think every politician in this country with any responsibility during the civil war we had here found it hard enough to explain, if it could ever be explained, how it was necessary for us to have a civil war in 1922 and 1923. I think it would be impossible for anybody on any side of this House to explain why two sections of our Catholic citizens should go out to fight in a civil war in another country and force us to read in the newspapers that some of these men have been killed while engaged in a civil war in a foreign country. If this Bill had been passed six months ago it would, at any rate, have saved us that trouble and that trial. The Germans, the Russians and the Italians who are on one side or the other in this war, are united and have their full forces thrown on either one side or the other but, unfortunately that is not the position of the brigades who left this country to take part in this conflict in a foreign land.

It is not the fact in regard to Italy either.

There may be individuals——

There may, of course, be individual citizens of Germany, Italy or Russia on either one side or the other, but the full force of the Russian Government and troops, and the governmental machinery—and the same applies to Italy and Germany—is thrown on either one side or the other. I am in favour of a complete and effective system of non-intervention, and by that I mean, at any rate, the refusal on the part of this Government to recognise the so-called Government of either Caballero or Franco. Deputy Belton told us here the other night that 99 per cent. of the Irish people were in favour of the recognition of the so-called Franco Government. From where did he get that information?

On a point of order. Is this relevant?

It is not at all relevant. The Deputy should not continue to travel on that line.

I presume that if we are to have an effective form of non-intervention, it should lead to a decision on the part of this Government to refuse to recognise either one side or the other until the civil war is over and the Spanish people, by a free vote, can decide for themselves what form of government they will have.

There is nothing about that in the amendment.

You should have been here on Thursday or Friday last.

I am sorry to say that circumstances prevented me from being here.

I am extremely sorry to hear it, because you would have been a welcome aid.

I am saying what I truly believe.

The only thing is that you should have said it on Thursday or Friday.

It is never too late to mend. I wonder what Deputy McGilligan, as Minister for External Affairs at a particular period, would think if the Spanish Government in 1922 and 1923 sent a diplomatic representative here to recognise the de Valera republican Government at that time?

We would have hurled him out.

Is not that the kind of suggestion Deputy Belton and you are making when you say that this Government should recognise the Franco Government or refuse to recognise the Caballero Government?

The Deputy is travelling over what I have already indicated is not relevant to the amendment. I ask him to confine himself to the amendment, which is

"...and after Dáil Eireann has been supplied with and approved the scheme for enforcing non-intervention."

That has nothing to do with the recognition of either of the presumed Governments.

Is not the Deputy now making the speech which he intended to make on Thursday or Friday?

I am not concerned with that.

What Deputy McGilligan is trying to do is to anticipate what I was going to say and, in that very cute Parliamentary style of his, prevent me from saying what I have a perfect right to say.

What you were going to say.

I think you are in order.

I am in order, I submit, in asking the Government, when submitting this scheme which is called for, to provide in the scheme for refusal, under existing circumstances, to recognise either the so-called Government of Caballero or the so-called Government of Franco. That is a fair point to make in support of the amendment.

It is the amendment.

Deputy Belton did not make that plain.

I submit that the relations with these various Governments in the matter of diplomatic representation have nothing to do with the enforcement of a measure of non-intervention.

That is the point I am endeavouring to make, that the question whether the scheme for non-intervention should recognise, or otherwise, either of the two presumed Governments in Spain does not arise on the amendment.

I am beginning to think that Deputy MacDermot is deciding points of order.

No. The Deputy must not say that to the Chair. The Chair rules on its own and is not coerced or induced by any Deputy.

I withdraw that remark if it has any application to yourself, but Deputy MacDermot is determined to see that I will not be allowed to say anything if he can help it.

He is entitled to raise a point of order, just as any other Deputy is, and he has exercised that right.

He is obviously prejudiced against you.

I took the trouble, and it meant a good deal of trouble, to read the two-and-a-quarter hour speech made by Deputy Belton on Friday last and the other speeches made during the 12 hours' sitting.

You do not seem to have learned anything.

I learned this, that apparently there was a very deliberate attempt, successful to an extent, on the part of the Opposition in this House, including Deputy Belton, to misrepresent the position of the Party with which I am associated.

I never mentioned the Party with which you are associated.

Deputy Belton says he did not make any attempt to misrepresent the Party with which I am associated As a matter of fact, a paid official——

Is this relevant to the amendment?

I will hear what the Deputy is going to say first.

Surely he has a right to represent his Party?

This is the first opportunity that has been afforded to any member of this Party to speak, as far as I know. We have a Party, and Deputy MacDermot only represents himself and perhaps half a dozen people in Roscommon. I think it is unfair that he should endeavour to hold me up when I am attempting to put my views on a matter like this before the House.

On what matter?

The Deputy is not the person in a position to say whether I should or should not say anything. There has been a deliberate attempt on the part of members of the Opposition to misrepresent the views of members of the Labour Party. The members of the Labour Party publicly declared the anti-Communistic attitude of that Party at the annual conference in 1934.

The attitude of the Labour Party towards Communism does not arise on the amendment, nor does the attitude of any other Party.

I was making the point that in order to give effect to the amendment moved by Deputy Belton, it was presumed that the Government should recognise either of the two Spanish Governments. Am I entitled to make a case on these lines, seeing that Deputy Belton did so?

I will permit you.

Will the Chair give me an assurance that I will not be again interrupted by Deputy MacDermot if I attempt to proceed? I want to see a democratic system of government re-established in Spain but, before that can be done, or before the people of Spain get an opportunity of voicing their views regarding the future form of government they want, the civil war must come to a conclusion.

On a point of order, this has nothing whatever to do with the amendment. We have a limited time for discussion and we are now getting back to Second Reading speeches.

In view of the policy of non-intervention let the Deputy proceed.

I will gladly sit down if Deputy Minch will speak. He speaks so seldom, and with little sense, when he does speak, that I will give way now.

Deputy Davin tells us that he wants to see democratic government re-established in Spain. Part of the struggle we are carrying on here for the past couple of days is to see democratic government re-established in this country. We want to deal with an important question like this in a way in which a Parliament erected on democratic principles, and carrying on with respect for these principles, would deal with it. I sympathise very much with this amendment, as I think it bears on the general lines of the attitude the House would have towards this Bill. We have emphasised repeatedly that we stand for non-intervention. But we would expect, when putting such a measure before the House, after non-intervention in the matter of arms had been tried and failed, that in a measure dealing with non-intervention in the matter of men as well as arms, the Government would put before it a plan indicating how that plan was expected to work. We are interested to see what countries are going to be responsible for enforcing the Non-Intervention Pact, and what machinery they are going to adopt. We should like to have that information as an indication of what the end of non-intervention is likely to be in Spain. Part of the difficulty that has arisen from the closure of the Second Reading discussion, and from the closure of the Committee and Final Stages, is that the Government have given no information good, bad or indifferent. The country is asked to accept a non-intervention Bill as a measure that is going to ensure success of the Franco Government and, therefore, the rehabilitation of a Government in Spain that will give fair play, to say nothing more, to the religion of the vast majority of the people there. From the information we are able to get in odd ways, here and there, we know that certain countries have intervened on one side and have sent men to Spain. Certain opinions have been expressed as to what non-intervention is going to mean, but I should like to put before the House one or two quotations from volumes of reports on foreign affairs that I was putting before the House on Friday night when I was stopped, as indicating the problems raised and the necessity of getting information on the amendment. In the Non-Intervention Committee in September last the representatives of Great Britain and France held that non-intervention was in favour of the Madrid Government. It is fair to say that the Madrid Government did not accept that opinion. Subsequently it is stated on page 663:—

"No convincing estimates of the numbers of these foreigners were available by the end of December, but it was reliably asserted that by that date not less than 15,000 Germans, 5,000 Italians and others had joined General Franco's Army and, on the Government side, not less than 10,000 experienced soldiers from other countries had joined Largo Caballero."

Another extract from the report states:—

"General Franco's military position was becoming critical through shortage of good fighting man-power."

What has this to do with the amendment?

Certain facts existed in Spain, and these facts were influenced because soldiers from other countries had gone to Spain and were fighting on both sides. The machinery that is going to be set up to enforce non-intervention is, I take it, going to be provided by these countries, and supervised either by their representatives or by a combination of them. If the position is that from Russia and other countries 10,000 experienced soldiers have gone to join Largo Caballero, we want to know what position that Government is going to have in the control of the non-intervention machinery; and if 15,000 Germans and 5,000 Italians have gone to Spain, we are interested to know what is the position of the German and the Italian Governments in relation to the non-intervention machinery; whether we can have confidence that the machinery being set up is not going to assist the nationals of one or other European Governments to continue the kind of interference in the Spanish war that has been going on up to the present.

Is it not a fact that the German and Italian Governments have recognised the Franco Government, and are not parties to non-intervention?

They are parties to it.

Deputy Davin had difficulties when Deputies were putting questions to him. I think I am in order in saying that if the Deputy is in any way interested in this matter, particularly when he thinks there is something in Deputy Belton's amendment, if he listens he will get some facts that he did not get from the Government, and that it is questionable if Deputies in their ordinary daily reading could get. However, these Governments to that extent have intervened. It was the opinion in September of the French and British representatives on the Non-Intervention Committee that non-intervention favoured the Madrid Government, and the military position in Spain, as indicated in the Foreign Affairs Report at the end of December was that:

"The struggle itself became more acute, because of these outside factors. General Franco's military position was becoming critical through shortage of good fighting man-power. His foreign legion and Moors had grown thoroughly exhausted from having borne the brunt of nearly all the heavy fighting, and he could not rely upon the garrisons of regular army units to take their place in the front line. Hence, foreign aid was essential to replace the weary Moors and legionaries, if he should win. On the Government side there was no shortage of man-power."

What is the Deputy quoting from?

From the Empire parliamentary Association Report on Foreign Affairs for the months of November and December, 1936, page 663. After all the talk that we have heard from the Government Benches, and from other benches in this House, as to how they stand, we ought to have some statement of the facts as regards the present situation in Spain, and some statement of the facts as to what is proposed under this Bill. If we are a democratic Government, taking decisions that are going to be helpful in Europe, and are going to be helpful on the side that we want to see win in Spain——

What side is that?

The side that is fighting against the Communist Government in Spain.

It should be the side of the Spanish people.

That is the side of the Spanish people.

From time to time we hear talk about popular fronts, and I am sure if there were talk about a popular front here we would be criticised very much for suggesting it was not on the side of the people. We are concerned about the victory in Spain of the people who in July last were burning churches, murdering bishops, murdering priests and destroying schools, the people whose Minister for Education sent a message to the anti-God meeting in Moscow the other day about wiping religion out of the country.

The Deputy is travelling a good deal.

If you could keep Deputy Davin in order I would not travel half that distance.

The Deputy should now try to confine himself to Deputy Belton's amendment.

I have covered practically all the ground I want. If we are passing a non-intervention law in this country, or standing for it, we ought at least to get a chance of opening our eyes as to what the facts are; we should be helped by the Government, who alone has the information, to open our eyes to them. Is the non-intervention machinery going to be operated in a way that is going to allow Russian troops in to assist the Caballero Government, which is declared here at the end of December to be in no want of man power? That is the matter that this House is concerned with and, therefore, I think the amendment put down by Deputy Belton is a reasonable one, as an amendment endeavouring to extract some information from the Government on this matter.

We are only asking this House to do what Legislatures in other countries have already done, and what others are in the course of doing.

What about the recruiting of non-nationals? I do not understand that that is done anywhere else—the prevention of recruiting of non-nationals. I asked a question to-day, and was told that there is no information that any of the other countries is doing this.

The Deputy is referring to Question No. 3, to which the reply was as follows:—

"I am not in a position to say whether the legislative measures referred to in the preceding answer prohibit the recruiting, transit and dispatch of persons other than their own nationals as volunteers for Spain. It is anticipated, however, that the Governments represented on the Non-Intervention Committee are taking the necessary steps towards that end in accordance with the agreement of the Non-Intervention Committee of the 16th February."

Then why say we are only doing what other nations are doing?

We are doing what was proposed by the Non-Intervention Committee.

But we have no information that any other nation is doing what we propose here.

We are following the Non-Intervention Committee's agreement. Our object is to ensure, in regard to that agreement entered into between those 27 countries, that so far as we are concerned we are going to make it effective: that we are going to carry out that agreement. If it is found subsequently that other countries have not carried out that agreement, that is a matter which will arise before the Non-Intervention Committee. If it is found that other countries are ignoring agreements already arrived at, I think the position could be and would be reviewed here. With regard to the measures to be taken, the position is that it is proposed to have supervision with regard to the land frontiers between Spain and the countries adjacent to it, and also to have the navies of Great Britain, Italy, Germany and France——

And Russia?

And Portugal.

So far as the report I have seen is concerned, I have not seen that Russia was included, but I accept the Deputy's correction.

Do you think they should not be included?

Do you think they should?

Certainly.

And they are not being included?

According to what I have seen up to the present, they were not included in the zones that were to be divided up for the purpose of preventing recruits or other people from going in.

If the Minister will allow me to intervene, I think the situation as reported in the newspapers is that——

On a point of order, I have asked for information not from the newspapers, but from the Minister.

That is not a point of order.

I want information from the Minister and not from the newspapers; I can read that for myself.

As the Minister has been kind enough to allow me to intervene, I do so merely for the purpose of pointing out that the situation appears to be that the co-operation of the Russian Navy has been accepted in principle, but there is still some doubt as to what portion of the coast is going to be under the charge of it.

Is that an official statement on behalf of the Ministry?

He has made other official statements.

In the report I saw of official decisions arrived at, Russia was not included at the time.

What was the date? How far back is your information?

In any case I do not see what point there is in it. I am sure the Russian Government, just the same as the Italian and German Governments, should be considered in those matters. I do not see that even a debating point arises there. In any event, a number of details have to be provided and agreed upon by the Non-Intervention Committee before I would be able to give Deputy Belton all the information he wants.

That is what I want.

The Deputy knows that this agreement will not, in certain respects, be effective until 7th March, and that in the meantime a number of details have to be worked out as to the officials that will man the frontiers, the type of officials and so on. So far as we are concerned, we are going to ensure, at any rate, that as soon as the necessary Order is made there will be no recruitment in this country, and there will be no more expeditions of volunteers from this country to Spain.

I do not think the Minister has really answered the point of Deputy Belton's amendment. My own point of view, and I think it is representative of the ordinary point of view in this country, is that, irrespective of what may be the feeling in the other 26 countries, the people of this country quite rightly think that involved in this fight now going on in Spain are certain transcendent values. We do not regard it as a matter of indifference to us what the outcome is. With regard to non-intervention, we are prepared to participate in non-intervention under certain conditions. We are not prepared to do so if that agreement is used to the advantage of the wrong side and to the disadvantage of the right. Usually, bringing in a law, the Government is exercising its own powers. It is taking certain powers which it can use effectively. In this, the actual creation of a condition of non-intervention in Spain is not possible for our Government. They can only participate in that with others. The Minister says here that so far as this country is concerned, at any rate, they intend to make non-intervention effective. That will be acceptable, provided we are satisfied that the same applies to every other country. If he says that all that matters is that so far as we are concerned, non-intervention shall be made applicable, I entirely disagree.

What we want, and want earnestly, is that the Franco side in Spain should win and anything we can do to assist them we are prepared to do. We are quite prepared, judging the circumstances there, to participate in a real non-intervention. Now, what do we find? First, as I pointed out the other day, a sub-committee of the Non-Intervention Committee came to certain decisions, announced that they had come to these decisions and that people who were not on that Committee were necessarily going to agree to them, and we duly agreed. The Minister for Education said—I do not want to misrepresent him but the effect of his statement was—that it was too much to expect that our Government, when participating in any international gathering, should dare even to ask a question.

The Deputy should quote.

I cannot quote, but I do not want to misrepresent the Minister. He rather ridiculed the idea that when there were big countries present, with big interests involved, we should go out on a line of our own, or even ask a question. That, I think, was implicit in the Minister's words. Our Government, a member of the outside body, allowed the special select body, the inside body, to decide with regard to this. What has happened? When the fighting began, everybody knows that thousands of recruits passed over the French frontier. The one specific case of definite Government participation in intervention that one can point to is that of Russia. In Russia, there is no producer, no owner, no trader and no exporter, except the Russian Government, and in as much as everybody knows that in Spain at this moment fighting for the Communist-Anarchist side are Russian tanks, Russian arms and Russians, we know that those tanks were produced by the producer in Russia, the Russian Government, that they were Russian Government owned tanks and were shipped on Russian Government owned boats, manned by Russian Government employees, to Spain. Therefore, the only Government we can definitely accuse of participation is the Russian Government.

The Minister does not apparently take sufficient interest in this matter to bother reading the newspapers, but the newspapers indicate that the Russian fleet were allotted a certain part of the North Coast of Spain for their area of patrol, and that they have protested, and that they want a part on the East Coast of Spain, which, incidentally, would be a very nice part for anyone to control who wanted to allow free ingress of arms and men to assist Communism in Spain. I myself happen to know very well the northern frontier of Spain. I have travelled the Pyrenees from Cerbere to Hendaye, and only once since passports came into operation have I ever got into a country without a passport. Walking from Catalonia across Andorra, with a passport in my pocket ready to show to the first French official, I got right into Hospitalet and afterwards into Aix-le-Thermes and never met anybody to ask me for my passport. Everybody who knows that frontier, where the mountain range is very wide and where smuggling has been an occupation, and a very satisfactory occupation for those who pursued it, knows perfectly well that it is practically impossible for the French Government, if it wanted to, and for the local governing authorities in the south of France to effectively prevent recruitment across that frontier.

Now, we are asked here not to question what any other people is going to do, although, admittedly, their Governments have participated in and have connived at the breaking of the non-intervention arrangements to which they had already been parties. Not only is our Government to say that, so far as we are concerned and so far as this country is concerned, we will see that nobody and no assistance goes from this country to assist the cause that we think is of transcendent importance, but it is unthinkable that we should even try to find out if anything approaching that same condition is being produced in other countries. We know perfectly well that the Russian Government has not bothered about keeping its word already in this matter, and we know that at this moment they have already been allotted a portion of the Spanish coast to patrol, and that they are asking for a portion of the Spanish coast which would enable them most effectively to thwart the object of non-intervention by allowing recruits and arms in to support the Reds in Spain. This amendment, as I understand it, merely asks that before this is made effective, information will be given to the Dáil to allow us to judge whether the agreement that is entered into is going to be as effectively implemented by other countries, who are anxious to assist the Reds in Spain, as it obviously is going to be implemented in this country, where we are all anxious to assist the anti-Reds in Spain.

I think that when the Minister got up what he might have said was whether or not he was accepting Deputy Belton's amendment, and, if he was not accepting it, to give a sound reason for not accepting it. Instead of that, he merely showed that the President is not sufficiently interested as Minister for External Affairs to come in and deal with this Bill. He was more anxious the other night to try to prove that the words he said meant what they could not possibly mean, and to suggest that they did not possess the only meaning they could possibly have. He has wasted the time of this House by talking for a long time also with a view to explaining that Deputy Hugo Flinn's words meant what they could not possibly mean.

May I inquire whether we are continuing the discussion on the Second Reading of the Bill?

I can quite understand that the Minister does not want that matter raised.

I have no objection, but might I call your attention to the fact that the debate was understood to be restricted? I have no objection to raising all the issues that were raised on the Second Reading debate. I am quite prepared to do so, but I was under the impression that the Chair had ruled that we were not to go back.

The Chair has very decided objection to the Second Reading debate being resumed on this amendment. Deputy Fitzgerald is certainly travelling outside relevancy when he is dealing with what the President said and what defence he made of certain remarks on the Second Reading debate.

I have possibly been somewhat irrelevant, but it came in as a sideline. The President, who is in charge of this Bill, is not bothering to be present, and he only comes in to say that his words did not mean what they did mean. He has left in charge a Minister who obviously does not know as much about this situation as any ordinary man or woman walking up and down the street. What we want to see is somebody who will say whether or not the Government is accepting this amend ment, and, if it is not accepting it, somebody who will give a reasoned and reasonable ground for not accepting it.

I would like to ask the Minister one question——

Commonsense tells us that the powers interested in this matter of non-intervention will watch each other like hawks. It is very unlikely, indeed, that Italy and Germany, to name no others, would allow Russia to get away with breaches of the Non-Intervention Pact; and very unlikely that Russia and, perhaps France, would allow Italy and Germany to get away with breaches of the pact on their side. I suggest that if every nation that is concerned in this matter is going to wait until it has proof positive that non-intervention has worked, then non-intervention will never begin to work, because every nation will be watching every other nation. Surely the commonsense view to take is that the arrangements will work satisfactorily. We are assured that there are to be foreign observers on the French frontier and foreign observers on the Portuguese frontier——

On a point of order, I suggest Deputy MacDermot is out of order. The amendment asks that this be postponed until "after Dáil Eireann has been supplied with and approved of the scheme for enforcing non-intervention." The Deputy is obviously speaking about an amendment which is not down—an amendment asking that this shall be held up until such time as we have watched the operation of the non-intervention methods—satisfied ourselves as to their workings. That is not the case.

What I suggest is perfectly relevant to the amendment as it stands.

But it is not the amendment about which the Deputy is speaking.

There is no need for this extreme distrust which is causing us to hang back and not go on because other people may not go on with their undertakings. I take it that, if non-intervention measures do prove to be a farce, there is nothing in the world to stop us from announcing that we have come to that conclusion and going out of the Non-Intervention Pact. The main task we have to perform here is similar to what is being done in every other country concerned, and that is to get on with our own job. If there are unsatisfactory developments later we can deal with these unsatisfactory developments when they arise.

It seems the only interpretation we can put on the remarks of the Minister is that this Bill is not the Bill that they suggested to the House it was—that this is a Bill to prevent anybody going to the Spanish war from this country.

That is a misrepresentation of what I stated.

The only impression the Minister leaves on me is that this Bill is not the Bill that was portrayed by Ministerial statements; that it is a Bill to prevent people going from this country to the Spanish war; that it is a Bill to get us to take our attention as a Parliament, and to take the attention of our Government here, as a Government, completely off the present Spanish position, completely off any consideration of what the Spanish position is to be in a month, two months, three months or six months' time, to take our attention off anything that is going to happen as a result of non-intervention being ineffective in other countries.

If other countries do not make it effective, it is a matter that can be reviewed.

What will you do then?

The President, on the Second Reading, indicated his desire for unity of action and co-operation. He invited the co-operation of all Parties in favour of an effective scheme of non-intervention. I think a very reasonable and sound case has been made in support of this amendment. I think so because the case put forward by Deputy Fitzgerald has not been answered. I understand from the President's Second Reading speech that this country is free, without consultation with any other nation in the Commonwealth, to take its own line in connection with the policy of non-intervention. That makes it more desirable, to my mind, because of the peculiar situation in this country, that there should be united action on the part of the Dáil. My view is that a very reasonable case has been made in favour of the amendment. Another argument is that we are now under a Single Chamber system of government here, and I think, rather than allow our Government to go ahead on lines which they might afterwards find would be wrong, it would be better, in the interests of the country as a whole, to accept this amendment, especially after seeing that our country is likely to take a different line or view-point from the other nations of the Commonwealth. That is one of the reasons why I think this amendment should be accepted. In that way the Government could secure the co-operation of all Parties in this House.

The long title of this Bill is "An Act to carry into execution the international obligations of Saorstát Eireann in relation to the civil war now being waged in Spain ...." As I understand Deputy Belton's amendment, it is aimed to secure that as we are by this Bill undertaking international obligations, the Dáil, and, through the Dáil, the people of Saorstát Eireann who have undertaken these obligations, ought be assured that the other parties to this agreement who have undertaken similar obligations, internationally, will carry out these obligations in the same full measure as we intend to carry them out, and that the Dáil should have information as to the method by which that end will be secured.

Deputy MacDermot said there is no need for the extreme distrust that is being displayed in reference to the other international parties to this non-intervention measure. I suggest that there is every need for this distrust. It has been made abundantly clear from these benches what our attitude is on the question of the policy of non-intervention. We are in favour of non-intervention on the lines and for the reasons suggested by Deputies O'Sullivan, Dillon and Mulcahy. I want to say for myself that, while I fall in with that policy of non-intervention, I see nothing sacrosanct embodied in that policy. That policy has been put forward by some Deputies as if it were some sacred principle of international relations that we almost adore and as if there was something fundamental in this policy of non-intervention. The real truth is that it is a pure question of expediency and that there is nothing at all sacred in it.

Who said there was?

Deputy MacDermot asks who said there was. He has been almost saying his prayers to this policy of non-intervention for the last few days. There is, I submit, every reason for this need for distrust. The policy of non-intervention is founded on pure expediency. The nations who are gathered together in the Non-Intervention Committee in London, or represented there, are, each and every one of them, playing for their own hands and we have got to watch out to see that we are not led or misled by any other nations along a road that we ought not to travel. Therefore, there is every need for this distrust. I have the greatest admiration for British diplomacy, but I have no delusions about it.

You were not always so.

We know who are getting the delusions now.

When I find France and Germany agreeing upon a course of action with regard to Spain I look upon that agreement and the policy which they adopt with extreme suspicion. Therefore the people of this country ought not to be and will not be deluded into the belief, as some Deputies who spoke here would have them believe, that there is something sacrosanct in this policy of non-intervention. When we find France and Britain, Germany, Italy and the Soviet Republics joining together for one alleged common object, then we ought to begin to take notice and examine our own political and international consciences to know if we are not in some extraordinarily strange company. We are in a terrible hurry under this Bill to honour our international obligations. I think that the country is entitled to know, by means of the information that would be given if Deputy Belton's amendment were carried, what effective provision is to be made to secure that other countries, equally with this country, will honourably carry out their international obligations. That is the object of the amendment, as I understand, and that is why it has met with my approval. Deputy Mulcahy spoke about the impression the Minister's speech made upon his mind. It made precisely the same impression on my mind. I had, as a matter of fact, taken a note to refer to it. The only emphasis the Minister placed on any portion of his speech was on the sentence: "We are going to see immediately that there will be no recruiting from this country."

What is wrong with that?

I shall tell you if you wait a moment. It was almost impossible to hear the other portion of the Minister's speech but he came as near to heat as he is capable of attaining when making that statement. While the Minister was speaking in this fashion I had a mental vision of what was operating in his mind. He was thinking of General O'Duffy and his Fascist army, as described by the Minister for Finance. This is not a Bill to honour our international obligations at all. It is a Bill to prevent General O'Duffy bringing recruits to Spain.

What about the other brigade?

Where is there any other brigade?

Some people left this country who had sympathy with neither Communism nor Fascism, who were strong supporters of this Party and who went for honourable reasons. They left good jobs for Spain in what they believed to be in the interests of their religion and not in the interest of Fascism. I believe that this Bill is brought in because it was General O'Duffy started the Irish Brigade. That is the real reason. An unanswerable case has been made for Deputy Belton's amendment. We are going to honour our international obligations. When we find ourselves in such strange company as that of Socialist France, Protestant England, irreligious Russia and Germany, and Fascist Italy, I want to know to what we are going to commit ourselves. What steps are we to be committed to by those other people who regard one another with extreme disgust and who will be playing their own hands for their own diplomatic ends?

It is rather a tribute to the virtues of parliamentary government that Deputy Davin should have found himself so swayed by one argument that he is now a definite adherent to a proposal of which he knew very little before he came into the House. Perhaps he will become even more enthusiastic for it. The amendment ought to be properly considered. It is in relation to a section which is headed "Commencement and duration of the measure." Deputy Belton has a very clear aim. It is that this measure, which establishes an addition to the criminal code of the country and under which certain people may be made criminals, should not come into operation until we see whether the mess of pottage for which, in a certain sense, the national soul is being sold, is worth having. How can we see that? In the first place, should we have any say in the matter at all? The Minister for Education angrily objected when it was put to him that, in the course of his speech here on Friday, he created the impression that it was not for a small nation like Ireland to intervene in these questions.

To intervene when intervention on our part would demand, or seem to demand, action that we would not be capable of pursuing.

Let me give a quotation from the Minister's speech which is not in accord with that interpretation. The Minister was adverting to the fact that I had asked whether, when certain discussions were taking place at the Non-Intervention Committee, our representative had even asked a question, not to speak of proposing a resolution or bringing forward a scheme. Here is what the Minister said in relation to what a certain argument had got to do with Spain:

"It has got to do with the statement of Deputy McGilligan that our representative at the Non-Intervention Committee should have got up there in front of the representatives of Great Britain, France, Russia, Germany, England, and the 20 other nations represented, and asked questions, demanded that certain things be done and, presumably, be satisfied in the name of the Irish Free State Government before he gave his consent to the proposals submitted."

Surely, it was a natural thing to ask if our representative on this committee had been informed and to ask that the House be told whether he agreed that the information given him was sufficient to win his adherence to whatever proposals were put forward. The Minister thought it was amazing to expect our representative to stand up in front of these big people and ask certain questions. Later in his speech he said:

"I question myself whether we should stand out and take an independent attitude as if we were a big power capable of carrying into effect in some way the policy which our independent attitude indicates. It is very well known that we cannot very often take up an independent attitude in these matters, no matter how much we might desire it."

We have the confession from the Minister for Education that it is not possible for this country to take up an independent attitude on these matters and that the proposals that have come from the Non-Intervention Committee may not have met with the acceptance of our delegate. He may somehow have been browbeaten or overawed into some sort of tacit adherence to what was proposed. This Bill is intended to carry out our international obligations and is not confined to the sending of volunteers. The question of non-intervention, in so far as proposals were put forward at that Committee, may be divided into three parts. The first part is concerned with the export of arms and ammunition. The President told us, in introducing this Bill, that all these same nations had pledged themselves to prevent the export of arms and ammunition to Spain and had failed to carry out their promise. We are asked to stand behind proposals which our representative on the Committee did not question and behind proposals put forward by a group of nations which previously put forward proposals to prevent the export of arms and ammunition to Spain and failed to carry out their guarantees. There are two proposals now before the Committee. The first proposal, with regard to the sending of volunteers, was effective as from Saturday night last. The next proposal is with regard to the patrolling of the coasts. The scheme has not yet been arranged and it is not proposed to make it effective before the 6th March. In addition to that, General Franco, by letter, raised two points and another representative raised another point as to what was going to happen in the case of aircraft, propaganda and the influx of finance to back up one or other of the two sides. We are proposing to block intervention. Intervention may be by means of arms and ammunition going into Spain, by men going into Spain, by aircraft going in there, by propaganda or by gold having its effect. Deputy Belton says that we should not commit ourselves to degrading certain of our citizens and treating them as criminals until we know what the scheme is and whether it is likely to be effective.

We are asked to turn that down as an unreasonable proposition. Deputy MacDermot, who wants another pat of commendation from some Government Deputy, distorts the argument and says that we should wait until we see the scheme working. Deputy Belton is not even asking that, although it might be reasonable to do so in face of the fact that the big nations which gave other guarantees on the matter of arms and ammunition broke down on their performance. Delay on the part of this country until we see the scheme working is not asked for. What is asked for are details of the scheme to see whether it is likely to prove effective or not, and whether it covers all the points that have been mentioned. We have been told that the big nations will be watching each other like hawks. Of course, they will, although on the question of arms and ammunition they did not find it possible to find a scheme which they could keep to. We have a representative on the Non-Intervention Committee. Surely we might, at least, expect that if he is powerless in the matter of action, he would be alert in reporting as to what takes place. In that way we might expect that some information would filter through to this House as to what the proposals are, and the likelihood of their being carried into effect. Apparently, he has not even reported correctly to the Minister. In any event, the Minister is not possessed of the information which Deputies in this House could get, and that some have shown they have got, through reading the newspapers.

That is the newspapers, but that is not a decision of the Non-Intervention Committee.

I am not saying that, but the matter has moved from the point that we had under discussion here on Thursday and Friday and on that the Minister, apparently, has no information. The Minister, parading himself to-day in not knowing whether the Russian fleet was to take part in the patrolling of the coast, was certainly in a lamentable position.

That has not been agreed to.

The Minister was discussing the whole thing from the angle of the proposal, and in the context of the proposal he indicated the view-point that Russia was not in it. In the matter of the proposal Russia was.

There has been no decision.

The Minister was speaking of the proposal. There is no necessity to quibble about it.

I am not trying to quibble.

No definite conclusion has been come to on the matter at all. The Minister was, therefore, talking of the proposals. It was stated here with accuracy on Thursday night that there were at least two proposals with regard to patrolling the coast. There were to be four sectors, each to be patrolled by one of the four fleets. The Russian counter-proposal was that there should be one fleet of mixed units. Recently there was a move forward from this, and there was a suggestion that Russia should be assigned to some area around the Bay of Biscay. The Minister, apparently, has no information as to the Russian view-point on that. The matter has not yet been decided. When we are asked to take a definite step on this, Deputy Belton's attitude is "Pass your measure if you like, but stay your hand in bringing it into operation until such time as the details of the scheme are revealed to this House and approved of by it." It appears to be an easy answer to that to say: "If non-intervention proves to be a farce, we can denounce it and get out of it." But can we? Can we repair all the harm that has been done in the meantime?

I ask Deputies to look at Section 5, which must be read in conjunction with Section 2. It is provided that the Act will come into operation after a certain date. That may be a month hence. If it does come into operation a month hence, any person who, under Section 5, has attempted to obtain a commission in the belligerent forces as from the date of the passing of the Act is declared to be a criminal. Suppose that in a few months' time we have a number of men in jail, and suddenly discover that this grand scheme of non-intervention is a futile thing and decide to get out of it, what happens the poor men in jail? They have been jailed because they decided to make an attempt to get in amongst the belligerents in Spain, and here it is proposed to make them criminals in the interests of non-intervention which we may hereafter discover to be an impossible thing. But the harm will have been done.

I suggest that, in the light of the answers given to me to-day, to say that we are only doing what is our bounden duty under an international obligation is a gross exaggeration of the facts. I asked two questions to-day. First of all, I wanted to know whether we were stepping in in a hurried way into the breach, and I endeavoured to find out what all the other members of the non-intervention countries had done. I wanted to know which of the countries represented on the Non-Intervention Committee had legislative authority, or had introduced legislation, to prohibit their own nationals going as volunteers to Spain. One is Great Britain, but Great Britain is operating through the old Foreign Enlistment Act. If Great Britain is going to operate on the lines of preventing nationals of other countries going to Spain, she can only operate on nationals going from this country as British subjects and as nothing else, because that is the only legislation Great Britain has at her disposal. Belgium is also said to have legislation. These are the only two countries that had power in regard to their own nationals prior to the 16th February. Since then legislation for the same purpose was brought into operation—I will have to query this later on—by nine other countries. Those nine are said to be taking measures.

In my second question I sought to find out how many countries had covered the same territory that we proposed to cover in relation to prohibiting not merely their own nationals but in taking power to prohibit the nationals of other countries moving about their own country with a view to going to Spain. I find that the Department are unable to say that any legislation contains these powers. The only thing is that there is a pious hope, an expression, that the Governments' representatives are taking the necessary steps towards this end. I note in the typescript of the reply to my first question that the person who drafted the answer anticipated that the Governments represented on the Non-Intervention Committee "will take" the necessary steps towards this end, but the words "will take" are transformed into "are taking." So that without any information we are jumping in ahead of anybody else to do what none of the others are doing. We are doing that at the behest of the President who, speaking last week of the same Non-Intervention Group, said of them that while they came to a conclusion that arms and ammunition should be stopped going into Spain and gave guarantees to that effect, they failed to carry out their guarantee. We are represented on this Non-Intervention Committee by a man who apparently does not want to take any action on the committee, and our Minister for Education feels that he should not even ask a question on it. Deputy Belton takes a much more democratic view, which is that this House should not be committed to an enlargement of the criminal code until this House has had put before it, and is satisfied, that there is a good scheme likely to be effective for the purpose of achieving the end of this Bill.

It is true that Deputy Belton's amendment only asks for details of the scheme of enforcement. Every argument that can be used in favour of the amendment can be used more strongly in favour of waiting to see how the thing is actually working. I put it to the House and to Deputy McGilligan in particular, is it a practical suggestion that we who will have little to do with the enforcement of non-intervention outside our own country, should sit back and refuse to act until we hear all the details and how the various fleets are going to be distributed around Spain, how many observers there are going to be on the French frontier and on the Portuguese frontier?

That is not even asked for.

If we are going to wait for full details of the scheme of enforcement, that is asked for.

No, it is not.

If there is sufficient of a scheme to put forward to warrant the approval of this Dáil for it, that is sufficient.

Yes, but what is the scheme to consist of? Is it to be something that is truly comprehensive, and, if it is not to be something truly comprehensive, is it going to satisfy Deputy Belton or those who will vote this evening?

It is the House that will vote on it.

Yes, but how is the House to make up its mind on that matter? Will we not hear the same kind of speeches as we have heard already this evening? Deputy Costello said that we were being faced with a kind of trap, and that we were being asked to walk into the trap. The fact that certain nations, such as Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia, and other countries, are working together, seems to fill him with suspicion. Why is that? One would imagine that the coming together of such great nations as these would hardly be for a purpose, as the Deputy practically suggested, of conspiracy between them to the disadvantage of a nation like ours. I suggest that, while it is true that the whole policy of non-intervention is founded on a policy of expediency, the need for that expediency is overwhelming and that the motive that could have brought such countries as Germany, France, Russia, and the other countries involved, together, is the motive of preventing a European war. I think that that motive stands out to be seen plainly by anybody who does not wilfully refuse to see it, and I say, and protest, that the line or argument that has been hitherto used in support of this amendment is purely obstructive.

I should like to say, Sir, that the House has already been informed that the scheme for supervision will not come into force much before the 6th of March——

Another change in the date.

——and that certain details have to be arranged before that scheme can come into operation. It is not claimed, I think, by anybody who has an understanding of the situation, that the work of the Non-Intervention Committee is likely to be perfect. Apart from being satisfied as to the details, we would have to be satisfied that these great nations, which have entered into this agreement, have done so bona fide, and that they are sincere in their intentions of carrying out these proposals honourably. In what way could this Dáil, at any time, in a discussion, except by action of the Government in bringing the matter forward, satisfy itself that the Governments in question were not carrying out their intentions honourably, except through the machinery of having an observer on the Non-Intervention Committee? We are quite satisfied that, in the circumstances, the proposals which have been made at that committee are fairly satisfactory and that, if they are loyally carried out, they are likely to achieve the end in view, so far as is possible. No doubt, it will be possible for individuals to get into Spain and for small quantities of arms to be brought through unless every square yard of the Spanish coast and of the Spanish frontier is guarded, which is an absolute impossibility; but because that state of affairs exists, are we to withdraw from the Non-Intervention Committee? Should we not be satisfied, when these great nations have come together, that there is a genuine and honest desire to carry a non-intervention policy honestly into effect? I submit that we can never be definitely assured that these nations will do so, and that we can only wait and see how the situation develops in order to satisfy ourselves that these nations are in earnest.

As the Minister for Justice has suggested, if at any time the Government should be satisfied that the non-intervention proposals are plainly not being carried out, then the Government can report the matter to the House with a view to seeing what further action, if any, may be taken. I stated on the last day, and I still adhere to my belief, that it is not the business of the delegate from the Irish Free State to take a foremost part, as we are not concerned in the actual supervising arrangements—we may not even be in the position of being represented among the supervisors to be appointed. What I do say is that our representative should be there in order to see what is going on, but that he should not attempt to take upon himself the task of questioning these Powers, if he were unable to do so. If the Government, and the Department of External Affairs in particular, felt that it was the duty of their representative to question any of these arrangements, or that it would be his duty in the future to do so, I have no doubt whatever but that the Government would issue the necessary instructions to him. We know, of course, that up to the present the committee is not being carried on in a perfectly unanimous manner. We know, as Deputy MacDermot said, that some of the nations there represented are violent opponents of one another in some cases and that there is a certain amount of dissension. I think, however, that the Irish Free State should not take any part in that dissension unless we have solid grounds for suspicion. If we see any move being made which might give reasonable grounds for suspicion, then we should intervene, and that has been our policy, not alone now but for months past. If the Government feel that they are wrongly informed or that these proposals are not being carried out in the way in which they think they should, then they will review the whole matter and come before the Dáil again. If we are satisfied that, having regard to all the difficulties of the situation, the proposals are satisfactory and as good as can be, then we shall endeavour to co-operate to the fullest possible extent.

I must confess, Sir, that I have been astonished by the tone of the speech which we have just heard from the Minister for Education and at the, to my mind, extraordinary doctrine he has laid down. What is it? There is to be international discussion between great Powers and small Powers and, because we are a small Power, it is our duty to have a representative there who shall be nothing better or nothing other than a mere dummy: a person who is never to open his month to favour or put forward any suggestion; a person who is never to do anything except to see what has happened. That is supposed to be the attitude which our representative is to take up, according to the Minister for Education. I protest, Sir, against such a doctrine being put forward. It is quite true that we are a small nation. It is quite true that, as far as military power goes, we are negligible in the world when we are dealing with great Powers such as Great Britain or France or Russia. It is quite true that, as a naval power, we do not exist; but I do protest against the doctrine preached here by the Minister for Education to the effect that, as a moral power we do not exist, and that, when great questions concerning international morality or concerning the eternal principles of right and wrong are being discussed, because they are being discussed by strong men or by the representatives of great Powers, never should the voice of our representative be raised in the cause of right.

May I suggest, Sir, to the Deputy, that I made it quite clear that, when we consider it appropriate and proper to do so, we are quite ready to raise our voice. I should also like to say, however, that we are not prepared to raise our voice, as the Deputy is raising his, merely for the sake of raising it.

According to what you said, you are not prepared to raise your voice at all.

I take it that the Deputy is addressing the Chair.

Well, Sir, the Minister addressed me in the same fashion, and so, I am afraid we are both at fault. However, Sir, as I was saying, no matter how small a nation may be, it does not follow that that nation, in putting forward a suggestion, may not carry great Powers with it; but, if we are to believe what we have heard from the Minister, we are too small to have courage; we are too small to have brains; we are too small to have intelligence; we are too small to put forward sensible views, and we are too small to preach, in international assemblies, the principle of right against wrong. "But," the Minister says, "our representative can tell the Government, and if the Government think that there is anything wrong, they may afterwards give him instructions." In other words, after the horse has been stolen, and stolen for a very long time, our representative may get instructions to shut the stable door. That is the principle which is put forward by the Minister for Education in the, to my mind, extraordinary speech which he delivered to the House in the last few minutes. My idea is quite the opposite. My idea is, no matter how small we may be, by our force of argument and our moral courage, by putting before the world what is right, no matter how small we or any other nation may be, our representative and the representatives of these nations will have a moral influence in the discussions carried on between even the greatest Powers, and our representative, in my humble judgment, should exercise that influence.

To come back to what is really more germane—I wandered after the Minister for Education on an issue which is hardly germane to this present amendment; it seems to me that the Minister hardly knows what this amendment before the House is—here we are giving completely untramelled power to the Executive Council. I am very glad, incidentally, to note that the force of my criticism has compelled the Minister for Education to withdraw from the House. The Executive Council ask in this sub-section for time. It does not tell us that it will ever put this Bill into force. When the time arrives at which it wishes to put this Bill into force, why should it not put its reasons before the House and the country? There is no doubt that it can carry the Bill. We know perfectly well that the Executive Council, with the potent aid of Deputy MacDermot, can certainly carry any motion here. What we do ask, and what Deputy Belton's amendment seeks, is that the whole of the country should know, through discussion here in this House, what are the reasons which are animating the Government in taking the course they are taking and what methods are being adopted to put these non-intervention proposals into force.

The real difficulty in enforcing non intervention will be found along the French frontier. If the Minister for Justice takes up last week's Spectator, he will find a long article there from a correspondent who travelled from France into Spain with a whole train full of men, every single one of whom was going to Catalonia to fight for the Red Government in Catalonia. I think it will be extremely difficult to prevent French Communists from joining the Spanish Communists. We would like to know before we pass this Bill through all its stages, what steps it is proposed to take to prevent such a thing happening. That is all we ask. We ask that before the Government puts this Bill into operation it will come before the House and tell the House exactly what is happening, the reasons which are actuating it, that it will assure the House that it will not act in the dark or behind closed doors, and that it will let the country know, through this House, what is happening. If it is not afraid of criticism I do not see why it should not accept this amendment.

On Friday night last Deputy McGilligan was 100 per cent. non-interventionist provided, he said, that policy was accompanied by the withdrawal of the Ambassador who was over there in Spain.

Notice taken that 20 Deputies were not present; House counted and 20 Deputies being present.

I congratulate Deputy Davis on his speech. It is the first he has made for three years—to ask for a count.

It was very effective.

He rang the bell, anyhow.

I was saying that Deputy McGilligan was 100 per cent. non-interventionist on Friday night. He is the same to-night, subject to certain qualifications. The Deputy wants brought into this House, in support of Deputy Belton's amendment, the detailed scheme, I presume, as to how non-intervention can be put into practical effect. Somehow or other I would have expected rather a different viewpoint from Deputy McGilligan because nobody knows better than Deputy McGilligan the trouble that is entailed in putting all these schemes into effect. When Deputy Belton was introducing his amendment, I followed his arguments as closely as I could, and one of the main reasons why Deputy Belton suggested the holding up of this Bill was the difficulty of guarding the French frontier. There are other frontiers as well as those of France, and there is also the sea end. All these things have got to be carefully considered, and I do submit to Deputy McGilligan that it would be a practical impossibility to do what he suggests. I think it would be foolish to hold up this legislation until a definite scheme has been formulated. Deputy McGilligan's viewpoint must be reconciled with that of Deputy Costello. I was rather surprised to note Deputy Costello's outlook on this amendment. He said the Bill was originally introduced because General O'Duffy had recruited the Irish Brigade to take part in the war in Spain.

He did not say that.

He said something like it.

What he said was that in making a certain statement the Minister had a mental picture of General O'Duffy's activities.

That is what I gathered from Deputy Costello's remarks. This Bill would have been introduced by any sensible Irish Government if General O'Duffy had never been born. It applies to all volunteers; it applies to anybody taking up a similar attitude. What is wrong with the Bill? The quicker it is put into operation, in my opinion, the better. We may go down the country and talk about these subtle little remarks and objections put forward by Deputy Belton, but if you go to Mullingar or to any other town in Ireland you will find the people do not understand them. What the ordinary citizen does understand—and no one knows it better than Deputy Belton—is that we do not want young Irishmen going out to Spain. The quicker that is stopped, the better. We do not want to have them taking part in a war where, as the President has already pointed out, the big Powers are trying out their machinery of war and are merely making a cockpit of that unfortunate country. With the very least delay, this Bill should be put into operation.

There is something to be said for the viewpoint expressed by Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney. It does not follow that, because we are a small nation, we should not do something to make ourselves felt. There was a very proud boast at one time made by prominent members of the present Opposition about this country being able to take its place amongst the great Powers of the world at Geneva. It is also taking its place amongst the big Powers at the Non-Intervention Committee. Surely there is nothing wrong in this Twenty-Six County unit emulating the example of the big Powers and contributing their quota, in so far as they possibly can, in the interests of the Spanish people?

I have no doubt Deputy Belton's mind rankles slightly because of the defeat of the bigger amendment last Friday night. The suggestion in that amendment was that this Government should recognise Franco's Government in Spain. We all know that he has not a Government there yet, and we also know that the Caballero Government do not speak for the whole of the people in Spain.

Suppose the Deputy speaks to the amendment?

In that terrible state of affairs, is there not all the more reason why there should be expedition so far as this legislation is concerned? Where there is such an unsatisfactory state of affairs, is it not more advisable that we should keep our own people at home? There is, therefore, every need for the immediate passing of the legislation we have before us.

There is one person we will not keep at home.

Who does the Deputy suggest he is?

Our Minister.

Let me put this to Deputy McGilligan. Suppose the Government said "Yes, we will keep that Minister at home," would the Deputy take up the same attitude as he is taking now?

I would still argue for the amendment.

If the Government accepted Deputy Belton's amendment, I expect there would be something different suggested by the Deputy.

I think it is a reasonable amendment in regard to intervention.

The only thing I see wrong with the Government's attitude is that they are not putting this through with the same speed as I would like to see it going through. There is not a man or woman in Ireland, not one voter, who does not approve of this legislation. Everybody in the House heard the President declare that he had received numbers of letters about young people being sent abroad and being fired into that conflict. Do we want a continuance of that?

Will the Deputy relate what he is saying to the amendment, which has reference to whether the Dáil should have particulars of the scheme for non-intervention before this legislation comes into effect?

"Particulars" is not in the amendment. The amendment deals with the scheme for enforcing non intervention.

Surely the scheme would also include the particulars? That is not the real reason why these things are being introduced. They are being introduced in an attempt to stop this legislation going through. Nobody knows better than Deputy Belton that this amendment will not be accepted, and Deputy McGilligan knows it, too.

Then the whole thing is dishonest.

It is not dishonest. The dishonesty, if such a thing takes place in the House, is on the side of the Deputies who are introducing these things, because they know perfectly well they have not the ghost of a chance of passing. They are introduced for the deliberate purpose of trying to delay this Bill.

Will the Deputy explain why has this not a chance?

The Minister has not given us any information in regard to this matter. I think he really does not know anything at all about it.

The Deputy knows all about it.

The Minister could not give us an outline of the scheme.

Does the Deputy know all about the scheme?

No; if he did, he would not be asking you.

The Deputy has not the same sources of information as the Minister.

The Government are in the position that they can give us no information. The amendment has served at least this purpose; it has exposed the whole sham. Crocodile tears have been shed here about the stopping of bloodshed. Anyone who knows anything about the conditions in Spain is aware that no Non-Intervention Committee or pact will stop bloodshed there. There have been too many massacred there and it has to be fought out. It is a strange thing to observe efforts at non-intervention just now. It was stated by Deputy McGilligan, or perhaps it was Deputy Costello, that there was no talk of this sort for months when Great Britain and France considered that intervention would favour Caballero. When there was a hold-up at Madrid there was no talk of non-intervention, but now that Franco has got on the move, we are to have non-intervention and we are being used as the tools.

What is the secret about this whole matter? If the Minister knows anything he should tell us the truth, he should tell us what is at the bottom of this. In my opinion there are two Spains, the Red and the White Spain, at the bottom of it. That is what Great Britain, France and Russia are angling for and we are to be used as the tools to help that. The Minister for Justice, because of his spite against General O'Duffy, takes up a certain attitude. When he mentioned the Irish Brigade here he almost ground his teeth.

I never mentioned the Irish Brigade. I am not a bit surprised if the Deputy continues his misrepresentations here. I never mentioned the Irish Brigade.

Did you not say you would see no volunteer would leave from here for Spain?

When the Bill becomes law.

The Deputy is supposed to be dealing with the amendment, which says nothing about the Irish Brigade.

He was merely dealing with the Minister's argument.

The Deputy's speech was not relevant.

In the amendment I ask the Government to produce the scheme which would implement non-intervention and when you drew my attention to it I was just quoting the Minister, the way he replied and dealt with my request. Has the Minister any information as to how this job is to be done? Is there any engineer, any business man, any man of 21 years and upwards or any boy of 10 years and upwards who would give his promise to do a thing until he knew first how it was proposed that thing should be done? That is the type of thing we are being committed to.

There were a couple of Ministers here a while ago. A few days ago they were able to talk for hours, but now they are not able to tell us how this job will be done. I want to remind them of what is operating. I heard it discussed in high quarters in Spain that what Great Britain and France wanted was to divide Spain. Are we going to be parties to that? Deputy Davin talked about electing the Government that the Spanish people want and so stop this bloodshed. I have been over all the fighting fronts in Spain, with the exception of the southern, and all this talk about electing the Government that the people want, or to know what sort of Government they want, is really laughable. I am surprised at Deputy Davin, in the teeth of the civil war going on in Spain, talking about electing a Government.

If there is going to be genuine intervention, how is it going to be carried out by the people who have failed in the much easier job of keeping out war munitions? Is there any responsible person in the Government here able to tell us? I do not mind Deputy Donnelly's little bit of a speech. I want the Minister to tell us how they propose to succeed in the matter of non-intervention when they did not succeed in keeping out munitions. The same parties are contracting now to do the larger thing when they failed to do the smaller thing before.

I want to make my position clear on one matter that Deputy Donnelly referred to. I support this amendment as moved by Deputy Belton to-night. If the Government had agreed to withdraw the Irish Minister, now resorting in St. Jean de Luz, from being an accredited agent of ours to Spain, I would still, in the interest of an effective non-intervention policy, ask that this amendment should be accepted. I only did that because I thought we still preserved this as a remnant of the old-time system of government in the country—that we are supposed to operate on each other's minds by argument, and that people would be asked to vote for what they considered feasible and proper in certain circumstances.

It is easy to distort argument. Deputy Donnelly and Deputy MacDermot made play with "You would want all the details and so on." All you want to know is the scheme. The word "particulars" is not used in the amendment. It may be said that the scheme includes particulars. All that is required is that such a scheme should be put forward to the House and should commend itself to the House when discussed. The method by which it would commend itself to the House might also fall for criticism. If it were done under the closure of guillotine, obviously there would be something suspicious about it. Deputy Donnelly, as a person who, having been a democrat once, pretends still to adhere to the democratic view-point, ought to be in favour of matters coming before the House for discussion and for the victory of argument. He is against that. He thinks that we ought to accept what? That we ought to accept something put up at a Non-Intervention Committee at which our representative has now twice been declared by a Minister here not to be able to do anything. Apart from not being able to do anything, he is not required to do anything.

Is the only objection of the Deputy that the scheme has not accompanied the legislation?

My objection is that we should not seek to make any people of ours liable for criminal penalties until such time as we are sure that the matter which we are aiming at is likely to be effected—nothing more than that. But the whole idea at the back of the scheme is that of the old nursery rhyme: "Open your mouth and shut your eyes and let down what the anti-Gods will give you." There you have the case not merely on the Non-Intervention Committee but in this House. Deputy Donnelly advances the amazing argument in a democratic assembly that it is dishonest to put up this when Deputy Belton knows it will not be carried. The new scheme of legislation is to consult the Whip of the majority Party, and if he says it will not go through, it is dishonest to bring it forward.

Practically.

It may be dishonest to beat up the majority vote if the merits are not with it. Surely democracy demands that one should be entitled to put forward reasons, even though you are beaten, and continually beaten. Deputy Donnelly is against that. I have never thought fit in this House to describe Deputy Donnelly as a coward, but he is the worst type of coward because he is afraid of reason.

The word "coward" may not be used.

I am only using it metaphorically.

Does the Deputy withdraw it?

Yes. I used it in inverted commas, and I think Deputy Donnelly will accept it in that sense. He knows well what I mean.

Amendment put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 46; Níl, 71.

  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Belton, Patrick.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Broderick, William Joseph.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Curran, Richard.
  • Daly, Patrick.
  • Davin, William.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Morrisroe, James.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • Davitt, Robert Emmet.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Dolan, James Nicholas.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Finlay, John.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keating, John.
  • Lavery, Cecil.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Neill, Eamonn.
  • O'Reilly, John Joseph.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Rogers, Patrick James.
  • Wall, Nicholas.

Níl

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen Denis.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Cleary, Mícheál.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corbett, Edmond.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Donnelly, Eamonn.
  • Dowdall, Thomas P.
  • Everett, James.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Good, John.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hales, Thomas.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Moane, Edward.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • Neilan, Martin.
  • O Briain Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Victory, James.
  • Ward, Francis C.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Belton and MacEoin; Níl: Deputies Little and Smith.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 2:—

To delete sub-section (4).

I think the inquisition has gone far enough, and that, as a man can be got at the present time, the sword should not be held over his head for years. In the light of the discussion that took place on the previous amendment, this measure may have to be withdrawn very soon, yet there is power of retrospective legislation. The case against retrospective legislation is all the stronger in circumstances in case a Minister might be seen grinding his teeth to see who he was to get after.

If it were not for the fact that this sub-section is as inelegantly drafted as it could possibly be, the amendment should be accepted. The sub-section provides that a person may be convicted for an offence alleged to have been committed. It is quite obvious that the last phrase in the sentence should have been put up near the top of the sub-section. Apart from that point, it shows how rushed this Bill has been, that it could not be even properly drafted. There is a fundamental principle underlying the amendment. If the Government refuses to accept it, and insists in retaining the sub-section, they are presenting themselves in advance with —and the Minister for Justice is accepting in advance-a certificate of incompetence. The object of the section is to enable people who have committed an offence or, who are alleged to have committed an offence, under this measure during its currency to be prosecuted after the Act has lapsed. The whole purpose of this Bill, if it has any purpose, is to prevent people from going to Spain. If anybody in the teeth of all the powers that the Government is allocating to itself succeeds in eluding the vigilance of the Minister, the Guards, the British Navy, the Soviet Navy, the French Navy, the Italian Navy, and the German Navy, surely to goodness that person ought to be immune from prosecution when he comes back to his native land, having in spite of all these Powers got to Spain and survived the civil war.

And having also eluded the "Muirchu."

There is a principle involved. Nobody should be prosecuted except during the currency of the Act. If the Minister is not able to capture people and to prevent them going to Spain, when the Bill becomes an Act, then it fails in its purpose. There is no purpose in this sub-section at all. It is inelegantly drafted, enshrines a bad principle, and is as I have said a certificate of incompetence given to and accepted in advance by the Minister for Justice.

I do not think that this sub-section should be considered without regard to sub-section (1) (a) of Section 5. This Bill does not come into force as soon as it passes this House. It may not come into force for a very long time. It is visualised in sub-section (3) of Section 2 that for a whole year there may be no promulgation of this Bill, no putting it into force by the Executive Council. Accordingly, let us say two or three months may elapse between the passing of this Bill and its coming into operation. During that time it is perfectly lawful for any person to go to Spain. Until the Bill comes into operation nobody is breaking the law if he goes to Spain. But very carefully the words are chosen in Section 5 (1) (a) "at the passing of this Act." The words "after the coming into operation of this Act" are used in one section, clearly and definitely, but the words in Section 5 (1) (a) are not "after the coming into operation of this Act" but "at the passing of this Act." Therefore, a person will commit no offence by going out to Spain between the passing of the Act and the coming into operation of the Act; he may be given a long time to do so, and he may do so. But if he goes out to Spain during the period between the passing of this Act and the coming into operation of this Act he has committed a criminal offence, because the Act is made retrospective as far as he is concerned.

I pointed that out on the Second Reading. If this was not the intention of the Government they could have brought in an amendment inserting the words "coming into operation" and not "passing of this Act" in Section 5. They have allowed the words "passing of this Act" to stand; therefore, they must really mean it. Applying that to the present sub-section, a person may go out to Spain perfectly unconscious that he is breaking the law. As a matter of fact he is not breaking the law; until the Act comes into operation he is not breaking the law. But the Act does come into operation at some future date; then a man, although in Spain, although fighting in an army in Spain, under Section 5 (1) (a) has committed a criminal offence retrospectively. He then comes back after the Act has ceased to be in operation, and he discovers that under this sub-section (4) of Section 2 he can be prosecuted and convicted. Although he went to Spain quite legally—the Act came into operation after his going—when he comes back, after the Act has expired, he is to be caught and prosecuted. I think Section 5 (1) (a) is a monstrous piece of retrospective legislation, but it makes this sub-section (4) possibly the worst monstrosity which has appeared in any Act or any Bill which has come before this House for consideration, because after the expiration of the Act a person who has committed no criminal offence at all, except being caught by a retrospective piece of legislation, can be arrested and tried, and if convicted punished under this Act. It seems to me that this is certainly a sub-section which should not be allowed to pass this House, and I sincerely hope that the Minister for Justice, who is now in charge of the measure, will express his intention of accepting Deputy Belton's amendment.

This sub-section (4) appears to me to be a monstrous proposal. In order to understand the implications of the sub-section, one has to turn to Sections 6 and 11, so as to see in Section 6 what the offences are, and in Section 11 what the penalties are. We find in Section 6 that a person may be accused of endeavouring to go to Spain by going from one place in Saorstát Eireann to another place in Saorstát Eireann; according to Section 11, the Guards may, without a warrant, apparently years afterwards, arrest him on suspicion that that particular journey was for the purpose of going to Spain even though he did not get to Spain, and he may be convicted of that. What appears to me to be the monstrous thing about it is this: of course the Government will have a right to repeal the Act at any time, but they apparently have not the right to repeal the consequences. The consequences of the Act will still continue. Although the Act expires and goes out of commission, still the Guards, and apparently the Courts, will continue to operate. I should like to know from the Minister for Justice how he is going to end that situation, because apparently as far as this sub-section and any other part of the Act is concerned, there does not appear to be any end to it; its consequences are going to continue indefinitely. According to Section 11, fines to the extent of £500 or two years' imprisonment may result for years after the Act itself has expired. That appears to me to be a monstrous proposal. I think that, as Deputy Belton pointed out, the thing has gone far enough without having those far-reaching effects. Once the Spanish war is over, as it will be over some time, surely we ought then to forget what people have done with regard to intervention.

I should like to urge the Minister to accept Deputy Belton's amendment for the following reason: It is a rather peculiar thing that the Irish Government undertakes to do what the British Government failed to do against the Papal Zouaves in 1870. Although the Foreign Enlistment Act was in force when the Papal Zouaves came back, there was no attempt to prosecute them, and yet we have the Irish Government here to-day attempting to do what the British Government failed to do at that particular time. Suppose the remains of somebody from Ireland who was killed in that war in Spain are brought back here next week, by some of his comrades, before this Act comes into operation. If they go back to Spain, they then commit an offence, and when they return—if they ever do— when that war is over, you are going to make criminals of them for coming back and performing the ordinary virtue of charity. I have stressed that before, and in fair-play to everybody I think the Minister should accept this amendment.

I am not prepared to accept this amendment. This section was put in for the purpose of being a deterrent. Such a case as was mentioned by Deputy Belton, where this thing might come to an end quickly, is one of the influences that might have something to do with people going out to Spain and ignoring the other sections of the Act.

It will not deter a single man.

It may not. The Government can only do its best to make the Act effective. This is not retrospective legislation, or at least, it will not operate as such. It has not been contemplated that this Bill should become an Act to-night and that it should be brought into operation in a week's time. I hope that if the Bill passes to-night, it will come into operation to-night, or in a very short time. There is no such thing as contemplated by Deputies opposite as having an Act hanging for some time without being in operation. That is not contemplated at all and, in fact, I think that was quite clear from the attitude we adopted here in trying to come into line with other countries who are parties to this Non-Intervention Pact. We wanted to fall into line with them as quickly as possible, and that was pointed out as one of the aspects of its urgency when it was before the House last week. None of the difficulties and none of the hardships which Deputies have in mind are likely to arise. As soon as this Bill becomes an Act, there will be practically no delay in bringing it into effective operation.

Will the Minister say why, if that was the object of the Government, they put in sub-section (1) of Section 2 providing power for the Executive Council to bring this Act into operation by Order in Council.

It all depends on the circumstances.

The Minister said that their whole object from the start was to have the Bill operate instanter, once it was passed, and here we find this provision in the first sub-section of Section 2 to enable the Executive Council to defer bringing the Bill into operation until they make an Order in Council. It again shows that this Bill has not been thought out. The Minister says this section is not intended to be retrospective. It may not be intended to be retrospective, but, in its effect, it will be retrospective. Deputy MacEoin has put one case.

May I put two different instances of the way this will work if it becomes law as it stands—and the Government have introduced no amendments to this Bill so satisfied are they with the Bill as being perfect drafting. There is no power in this Bill to enable an Irish Catholic clergyman to go out as chaplain to the Spanish forces. He cannot do it under Section 4 if it passes. No Catholic priest can go out to Spain and I understand from the newspapers that there is a Catholic priest at the moment in Spain. He cannot come home to see his religious superiors, nor can he come home for a holiday. Once he comes, he is caught in the net of this Act and he cannot leave again. If he does, he becomes a criminal under the Act and in 20 years' time can be prosecuted. In reference to that particular state of affairs, it must be remembered that those who have already joined General Franco's forces in Spain have committed no offence and it is specifically made clear in this Bill that it is not intended that they should be guilty of any criminal offence. There you have a provision in the Bill that those who have already got commissions, or have become engaged in General Franco's army in Spain, are doing something which they had a legal right to do and which they have a legal right to continue to do, so far as this Bill and the law of Saorstát Eireann is concerned. But dare they come home to see their relatives who are dying for a few days, they are at once caught under the Bill. No chaplain can go out and no chaplain who is out there at the moment can come home without being a criminal. Is that what is intended by the non-intervention policy of the Government and the provisions of this Bill?

With regard to that question about the chaplain, I am advised that it does not apply to a chaplain.

I make most specifically the assertion here that the Bill if passed will not allow a chaplain to go out. He is not a unit of three or four people. He is one individual.

I am advised that it does not apply to chaplains.

I assert here most categorically that, in my opinion, for what it is worth, you will not under this section allow a chaplain to leave Saorstát Eireann for the forces in Spain.

The Bill is certainly intended to apply to people who are doing something illegal. It does not apply to people who are already participating in the war out there.

Suppose they come home.

It certainly is clearly intended, and it is the intention behind the Bill, that it must apply to them and that they are going to be dealt with like anybody else who attempts to go out and join up in the war again. There is no doubt of that, and there is no vagueness about it. That is clearly intended in this Bill.

Even if the effect of that intention would prevent Irishmen killed in Spain from being returned by the Spanish military authorities to their own country for burial.

If they want to go out after coming home with the remains, they certainly come under the Bill.

Would the Minister tell me if whoever advised him that this Bill did not apply to a Catholic chaplain going to Spain, can say how a chaplain can be held to be a unit of two or three persons? "Whenever the Minister is satisfied in respect of a body of persons (in this section referred to as a unit)..." How can an individual chaplain be a body of persons constituting a unit under Section 4? I should like to know the legal opinion the Minister got which says that that allows him to send one chaplain out of the country.

It does not apply, in any case. We are satisfied on that.

Will the Minister let us have a look at the legal opinion? It would certainly be amusing, to say the least of it.

Is it reasonable to think that for ten years after this war is over—and it may collapse in six months —somebody who had gone out with the best possible intentions in the world should be looked on as a criminal and should be liable to be charged with a criminal offence, and that that should subsist for all time, because there is no point of time in the Bill when it ceases to be a criminal act. I think it is very unreasonable, and I have never heard of such a thing before. It is without precedent as far as I know, and the Minister ought really to consider it very seriously. It remains for all time, because there is no point set down at which it ceases to be a criminal offence.

The Statute of Limitations does not apply in the way the Deputy thinks it applies to civil liabilities. These people who commit what will be an offence under this Act know that they are committing an offence.

Not necessarily.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse, I suppose. They should know that this Bill has been passed, and is in operation, and that it prohibits recruiting, going out to Spain and the various other things it provides for. If they do any of these things, they are committing an offence just as any other person commits an offence.

Do I understand from the Minister—it comes as somewhat of a surprise—that if a Catholic chaplain lawfully serving in Spain and who left this country as a citizen of Saorstát Eireann returns to his country, he becomes a criminal under this Bill? Is that the intention of the Bill?

No, that is not the intention. What I stated was that a chaplain under the definitions in this Bill is not a member of the military forces.

What definition?

Section 3.

Does he not render ancillary services to the combatant forces?

I do not think his services would be regarded as such in the circumstances.

That is a very poor case.

It will not apply to any case.

The guillotine is now to be dropped on this discussion and the Minister apparently will not accept any of the amendments in my name. Is that so?

We have only got to the second yet.

We cannot get any further now owing to your handiwork. Are they all going to be opposed by the Minister? Will the man who is fighting in Spain for his God be run in here by the Minister, if he comes back to see his dying parents? If that is the attitude, I say that we got 100,000 people to declare for Franco in College Green, and we will get 200,000 to tear up this Bill in College Green if it becomes an Act, and put the Minister and his colleagues about their business.

We will see whether you will.

Wait now and see.

Question—"That Sections 2 to 11 inclusive stand part and that the Title as set up be the Title to the Bill"— put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 75; Níl, 47.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corbett, Edmond.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Donnelly, Eamonn.
  • Dowdall, Thomas P.
  • Everett, James.
  • Flinn, Hugo. V.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John
  • Hales, Thomas.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Moane, Edward.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • Neilan, Martin.
  • O Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Rowlette, Robert James.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Victory, James.
  • Ward, Francis C.

Níl

  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Belton, Patrick.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Bourke, Séamus.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Curran, Richard
  • Daly, Patrick.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • Davitt, Robert Emmet.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Dolan, James Nicholas.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Finlay, John.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keating, John.
  • Lavery, Cecil.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McGovern, Patrick.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Broderick, William Joseph.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Morrisroe, James.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Neill, Eamona.
  • O'Reilly, John Joseph.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Rogers, Patrick James.
  • Wall, Nicholas.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Smith; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.
Bill reported without amendment.