It is now 44 hours, a little less than two days, since I last had occasion to contribute to the work of this House. In the speech I then made, because the events we are still discussing were so new, I had to pose a number of questions to which at that time I could not give any answers. For the sake of justice and equity I then had to express what I chose to call a number of "perhapses". In the intervening 44 hours they have ceased to be matters of "perhapses". In the light of evidence and of the appalling silence, these have now become matters on which it has been possible to form opinions.
I want to deal, first, with the credibility of the Taoiseach—our Taoiseach; alas, my Taoiseach. I can no longer accept his credibility because, on his own admission and on what has been said by speakers in this debate, I am faced with the choice that he has done one of two things in the last three weeks. Either he has framed, for party political purpose, persons who were his competitors for the ultimate power in the party, or else in a period of two weeks or more he has been negligent at a time when common prudence apart from a legal training, would indicate that the people he has charged would be covering their tracks, hiding the evidence and making it difficult to bring to light the real facts. Either he framed his opponents, or else his charges are true and he was negligent in pressing those charges. But, either way, he has lost the right to be leader of this Government.
There was doubt 44 hours ago as to whether the party to which he belongs could retain any serious credibility. Perhaps they have been railroaded, as the last speaker has said— and I compliment him on what was a most impressive maiden speech. Perhaps they were railroaded by somebody standing up and saying: "We hang together or we hang separately", so they came back after 50 minutes saying that the winner was all right and that unity prevailed. In the intervening hours, however, not one person found the courage to go back on that shameful unity, and therefore the whole party has lost its credibility.
What should one think of what can be called the leadership of the Opposition, not in the Dáil but inside the Fianna Fáil Party, those people who, temporarily at least, have been dumped overboard so unceremoniously? Two of them we have heard today in this House. On one of them I shall not comment, Deputy Boland, because I was not here. It is an interesting exercise in this Parliament to watch the facial expressions and to try to read what is going on in the minds of Deputies as they are speaking.
I was here for the speech of Deputy Blaney, a speech which started with a total, explicit, emphatic denial of those charges. If, Sir, I overstep the bounds of what is proper in a Parliament, you will guide me and correct me, I trust, but I shall have to express my thought as precisely as I can. In regard to the first part of Deputy Blaney's speech today we have a choice of two things to believe: either he is a sincere and honest man who has been framed or else he is a polished and total liar. It is one or the other and it is equally disgusting either way. To turn it the other way round, either the Taoiseach is a sincere and upright man, who has been betrayed and lied to, or he is a total liar—one or the other for both of them, an inescapable dichotomy and equally disgusting either way.
I want to turn now from the opening part of Deputy Blaney's speech to its main content. It was more striking for what it omitted than for what it contained. It was full of evasions; it was full of the most enormous holes but, sadder still, it was also full of hate. I said to a Fianna Fáil Deputy, who was asking me my impressions of this House a few months after entering it, that what appalled me most about it was the amount of hatred in it— hatred, be it said, at that time that came from the victors, the people who won, however, dishonestly, the general election. We who came in here with high hopes not fulfilled were able to be charitable, but the victors were spewing hatred towards us and towards our supporters. When I say "us" in this context I am using it for a collective opposition.
Today we got a look into the mind of Deputy Blaney, and in the repetition of events of his childhood we perhaps got a key to why that hatred is there. If people suffer from disturbing experiences in early childhood we can understand they may be disturbed people for the rest of their lives. To the extent that we can understand it we forgive it, but that sort of hatred, that sort of psychological disturbance, even though we may understand it, totally unfits a person, in my view, for holding high offices in any country.
His speech was full of harping back to a tragic past. It was an effort to re-create bitterness for political advantage, bitterness which I think decent people all over the country wish to lay at rest. It was a very tragic, very harmful, very wicked speech. But it was also a very cynical speech in this sense: Deputy Blaney repeated something the Taoiseach had said on television and elsewhere. Deputy Blaney said: "The Fianna Fáil Party is not split. It is not even splintered." The Taoiseach said the same thing on television: "What split? There is no split."
At this stage it is surely a waste of breath to argue as to whether one exists or not. There is no point in proving things that are so totally obvious, but what is distressing and disgusting about both of those utterances is the contempt they show for public opinion, for the people of this country. Because of their office, because of the position they hold in their party, they are inevitably listened to by the people at large with a little credence and respect. They say things that in the end are simply mocking the people. It shows that in their hearts they despise the people and that they believe the people are foolish enough to believe anything they may utter, however improbable it seems. The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries designate, Deputy Gibbons, said a very interesting thing today. It was nicely put, I thought, too. He said you must always bargain for a residuum of credence. It is all that is left for Fianna Fáil now, that residuum of credence on the part of people who find it impossible to change their minds and to re-assess situations.
I find it very serious, if the charges are true, that the Taoiseach gave to people he considered had broken the law grievously enough to entail their dismissal from ministerial position the time to cover up their tracks. If the charges are true, then he is not just politician enough but he is lawyer enough to appreciate the seriousness. If they were true then it was necessary to put them in circumstances where they could not possibly conceal either the objects of their exercise or the various contacts, the various documents or the various other things that would have made legal proof possible. It looks as if the Taoiseach wanted to have the benefit of being able to make the charges and dismiss the people while at the same time avoiding the possibility of the charges being provable in a court of law. It looks as if, once again, he was trying to have it both ways. It is a perverseness on his part which could have the most enormous repercussions. You see, according to his own account of two days ago and I quote: "I felt it was my duty to request their resignations as members of the Government. Each of them denied"—as they did today—"he instigated in any way the attempted importation of arms. They asked me for time to consider their position. I agreed to do so."
That is fine. So, he thought, he says earlier on, that there was prima facie evidence. He asked them to resign. They asked for time and he gave it to them then and he is a lawyer and a very experienced politician. OK, maybe there was a time when he got blank denials from these two people that he found it his duty to praise so fulsomely after dismissing them—they have since issued them to the public—Deputy Haughey today by a statement and Deputy Blaney by his speech in this House—he might legitimately have doubted the validity of the evidence he has, but then he says: “In the meantime I authorised the continuation of investigations and I made personal investigations myself”—OK, maybe there was a doubt about it—“following which I decided to approach the two Ministers again.”
So that, on a second investigation and a personal investigation, far from believing their denials, far from believing that he had been misled by whatever evidence he got initially, he said he believed the initial evidence because he decided to request their resignation again.
In the light of this, surely the days spent allowing them to cover their tracks—it must so have appeared to him because he must at that time on re-investigation have been convinced that the charges were true—cannot be interpreted merely as charity to one of the two who was then injured. It has to be assessed, I think, by this House and by the people as a whole as complicity because he had attained the objective that he wanted if the theory that it was simply a way of getting rid of political opponents is the true one.
However, people have analysed the actions of the Taoiseach and of one of the dismissed and one of the resigned Ministers who came into the House today. I think it is a time of great confusion for the nation and I want to pass away from this section of my speech to try to look at some of the effects of the past 48 hours or so on the nation as a whole because at a time when it seems to me that the Government both individually by certain Ministers and collectively have sown confusion and doubt and the seeds of future disasters in this country, Members of this House have a duty to try to talk directly to the people, to analyse the difficulties that have been brought about by this Government action, to try to direct and guide them so that we may with the least national damage get out of the terrible mess that we have been landed in.
If we are to form judgments about the correct thing to do now and try to utter those judgments, we have to analyse a bit the effect on different parts of the country. Let us look at the effects on the north. Let us look at the effects on traditional Nationalists. If the traditional Nationalists believe the Taoiseach's charges then they will conclude that persons that they thought were their political allies were simultaneously in cahoots—if I may be permitted the term—simultaneously in collusion with another section of the anti-Unionist forces. The traditional Nationalists of the Nationalist Party must inevitably feel a sense of betrayal, a sense of being bypassed, an even further blow to their already impaired political credibility in the Six Counties.
Much more important, of course, is the effect of these actions on the Unionists. There is not a single Unionist organisation any more; there are various strands. I am prepared to state as a member of the Labour Party, as a socialist, that there are hopeful strands in Ulster Unionism. One of the most hopeful strands has already been driven out of Parliament and others of them have been enormously weakened in their efforts to hold Unionism to some sort of creative and constructive course.
Mr. Chichester-Clark now finds himself, oddly enough, in the middle of the road inside Unionism because the effect of this will be for the Paisleyites, for the Protestant Unionists, for the most extreme and bitter and bigoted sections of northern Unionism to be able to say: "You see, we were right all along. Everything we told you about distrusting the south is true. They are not to be believed. They are liars. They have soft words, words of peace, and actions which betray those words".
So, the effect of this is precisely to strengthen Mr. Ian Paisley and his colleagues and to destroy the possibilities of building up a middle section in northern society by which the two communities may speak to each other, may get to trust each other, may get to know each other, in the fullness of time one would hope might even get to love each other and to live together in amity. That is the effect on Unionism—to strengthen inside Unionism everything that personally I find disgusting and that I believe the majority of members of the Fianna Fáil Party find disgusting.
You see, the net results of foolish actions are to produce effects contrary to what people wish. I do not think that the majority of Fianna Fáil subscribe to the theory that the worse it gets for Northern Ireland the better it gets, that the more hatred, the more death and the more division of the community you get the better it will be in some mystical way. I do not think they believe that. That is the effect they are getting; that is the result of these actions.
We have said always as socialists, as members of a Labour Party, that the way in which we saw unity coming was the unity of people who work together, who had common interests as workers, who learned to trust each other on the factory floor, in the shipyards, in their daily jobs. It was the unity of the working class. We applauded the unity of the working class. We applauded the unity of the Belfast shipworkers last year. We applauded their efforts. We were proud that it was the labour movement in Northern Ireland, irrespective of religious background, irrespective of ethnic grouping, if one accepts ethnic groupings in a rather mixed-up population, we were proud it was the working class who fought the efforts at sectarian division. We treasure working class unity because we look on a united working class as the basis of a united country, as the custodians of all that is decent and progressive. They are the people who exploit no one. They are the people who oppress nobody. They are the people who have no economic reasons for attacking each other and distrusting each other.
Consider the result of an action like this. One does not have to be clairvoyant, to go to Belfast, or to be very familiar with Northern Ireland to appreciate the stresses these actions will place on the unity of the Belfast working class in the Belfast shipyards, a unity which was about the only ray of light in northern events in the last year. The effect will be to divide where unity is what is necessary, to build distrust where trust is what is necessary, to split the people and to engender again the hatred which we all agreed in this House last October was the one thing to be avoided. We agreed that it was on the basis of people being able to accept each other as fellow human beings with valid points of view, being able to trust each other and to work together in harmony, we agreed that it was on that basis, the unity of the working class, that one might be able to build on to a real unity and not a unity imposed by force, a unity involving the oppression of one section by another.
I am as little willing to have a unity which involves oppression of the Protestants in the north as I am unwilling to have the present situation which involves the oppression of Catholics in the north. If we cannot have unity, a united country where the promise of the majority can be believed and the fruit of our work can be accepted, then we have no right to ask them into our country at all. This particular matter under discussion has set back the prospect of that unity that was seen to prevail in the shipyards last year. I hope that the unity that was built in the shipyards last year will weather this piece of irresponsibility on the part of a Dublin Government.
Think of the effect, when talking about the north, on the militant republicans, the people who for so long have been so brutalised and so oppressed that they feel, not that they can win with arms, but just that they can achieve some sort of catharsis, some sort of ending of an intolerable situation, feeling that they themselves will die and other will die too. That is a natural feeling on the part of people driven to an extraordinary level of frustration. This frustration, of course, has been contributed to by the present Government. It was contributed to when Mr. Lemass, in his drive for a détente with the north, set about obtaining it on the basis that none of the injustices was to be talked about by his party any more. But the effect of that on a section of the people in the north who are sincere, who are honourable, who are wrong in thinking that solutions can be found by guns, the effect of that will be to encourage them profoundly in that belief. It will further encourage them in the belief that they only have to wait, that the guns are just around the corner. The effect on that section of the northern community will be a disastrous one.
Think of the effect on the Civil Rights movement, which seemed to me to present a great possibility of peace in the north. The effect can only be disastrous. I am proud that all over Northern Ireland the Civil Rights movement was initiated and pushed forward, not by the associates of the traditional "republican party"—I do not accept that description and I put that phrase in inverted commas—but by the socialists, by the people of the left, believing the time had come to talk about certain things: equality in housing, equality in voting, equality before the law, equality of job opportunities; and believing that, when those were attained, the possibility of building a real unity would grow stronger. What are they to think now? They are to feel betrayed by the south. They are to feel themselves under intense pressure both from the physical force republicans in the north and from Unionists alike. They are to see themselves, the only hope of real progress in the north, ground down between the two extremes. That is what this action will engender. That is a scandalous thing to have on one's conscience.
What will be the effect on the Unionists who were not bigots, who believed that being part of the United Kingdom was the best thing for their country, who did not hate us, and who did not wish to oppress, who were ashamed of the inequalities, and there are such Unionists? They are now prisoners of the Paisleyites. What will be the effect on the Catholic Nationalists who wanted to move away from the traditional Green Toryism of the Nationalist Party and the religious and social ghettos? They will now find themselves driven back and the bridge between different religious ethnic groups, which was the hope of Northern Ireland, has been destroyed by this irresponsible military escapade. It is not an escapade. It is a piece of boy scout romanticism.
Think of the effect on the south and think of the effect on the political situation we have to face. Think of the effects inside this Republic over the next 18 months. We are told by the Taoiseach and by Deputy Blaney that there is no crisis, that there is no split and the Fianna Fáil Party is united. It is unnecessary to say that I disbelieve that. I do not think it is meant to be believed by anybody in contact with political realities. It is not necessary really to say that it is not true. We are in for a very bitter struggle of a very dangerous kind. How could the "military escapade" section of Fianna Fáil conceivably come out on top in the party, and not just in the party, but in the nation as a whole in a general election? There is a strategy by which they could do it, a profoundly dangerous strategy for the country. These people now have a vested interest in trouble in the North of Ireland. They have a vested interest in the outbreak of violence during the summer because, if there is a sharp deterioration in relations between the two communities in the north, and if there are people killed, perhaps some members of the British Army first and a larger number of Catholic Nationalists afterwards, they may conceivably belive they can ride to power on the upsurge and indignation engendered in this part of the country.
That is really a horrifying prospect because the course you are set upon then is what I could only call an Israeli solution to the problem of Ireland. The Israeli solution is that all the Catholics should be driven out of the North of Ireland and you would have a six-county, one-religion, semi-fascist state with the possible reciprocation that all Protestants should be driven out of this State and that we would have a one-religion, profoundly conservative, authoritarian State. That would be great; that would be a logical solution to the problem of Ireland. That is something that Mr. Paisley would like. This is the path that these geniuses, these republicans, these people worthy to put themselves forward to claim leadership of the nation, are now setting out upon.
One section of them now has a vested interest in confusion, in destruction, in death, because there is political advantage in it. There is the salvaging of what now seems to them a precarious political position. Think of the effect of these passions; think of the effect of a lot of Blaney speeches, set in the circumstances of a pogrom in the North of Ireland, on the youth and the working class of this country, on its economic development, on the whole texture of public life in this country. It is a spectacle. They have put peace for the future and the development of the whole nation in peril.
What a culmination for Republicanism —an Israeli solution, a Protestant statelet and a Catholic statelet. What a culmination for people who claim to be the inheritors of the mantle of Tone and Emmet. What a total reversal of the principles they professed to uphold. But history sometimes contains these total reversals. This is what happens when the form itself, possession of power, being in power, becomes more important than the content of power because the content of power is what you do with it; and when you decide that you will hang on to power at all costs you are led into this sort of perversion.
I suppose that so deep are the feelings in this country at this time that it will be very difficult for me to try to speak to the rank and file of the Fianna Fáil Party all over the country but it is something that none the less I shall endeavour to do. As I said before, I grew up in a house that was Fianna Fáil and I recognised, apart from my own first political attitudes, my own growing up, the validity of the Fianna Fáil posture in the thirties. I recognised that they released real social energies in the thirties. I realised that the people who rallied to Fianna Fáil in 1932 and afterwards were very good, partriotic, sincere people and in many ways they were the most dynamic and valuable section of the whole community. But analyses of political attitudes have shown in many countries that while-at a time of great upheaval, people change their political ideas, in the absence of such upheaval they go on believing the same thing and supporting the same parties even if those parties change. What has happened now is that the Fianna Fáil Party have totally betrayed all the points of view, all the policies on which they came into power and are therefore betraying the people who have given them their support and still do.
It is, therefore, profoundly important for us to make the distinction between the decay in the leadership and the honour, sincerity, patriotism and decency of the great mass of the people who support the party. I shall have something to say about that later on. I want to ask where it was that the party went wrong. because when I hear the word "Republicanism" uttered by the Fianna Fáil Party it is very often uttered with sincerity. They think that they are Republicans and they do not know why it is that their good intentions are incapable of being brought to fruition and that their actions seem to drive further away the goal which they profess to wish to reach and which I think most of them do wish to reach.
What is, in fact, the crisis of policy that exists? Why is it that the old Republicans must feel that everything they set out to do has in some way evaded them? Why is it that a mistake which originated a very long time ago should now leave the party in the extraordinary situation in which it finds itself to day? It is like the curate's egg; it is no use being excellent in parts. It is no use being Republican in parts. It is no use being a Republican if you think: it would be nice to have a Republic but we could still be part of the sterling area. We can write "pound" on the note in Irish letters but it is still part of sterling. You do not need to control your own currency or to have currency control at all. You can be part of the sterling area which, as Deputy Boland said today, is dominated by British imperialism. You can be part of the financial grouping dominated by British imperialism. You can permit the free flow of capital from here to there and back and you do not need to control your financial system but you can still be a Republican if you put "Republic" on the pound note in Irish. But when you do that when it is not an Irish pound you have already set out on the path of deceit which ended in this debacle of today and yesterday.
A Republic means that you have control of your economy but you see, we are too small, too weak and inept and so we cannot really build our own economy. We must bring people in with tax holidays, with almost no investment of their own capital. We have to beg people: please develop the economy for us, because, although we are a Republic, we do not wish to retain control of our economy. Republicanism in song and in language without Republicanism in money and in industry is basically hollow and impossible and self-contradictory and bound to end where the party has now ended.
It has ended in two bits, it has ended in a bit which regardless of the personalities and the deceits involved, in the long run jumps when various collections occur and financial and industrial power hold the strings. That is one bit. That is the bit that can say, as the Taoiseach said here in 1967: "We accept the EEC totally and all we mean by negotiations about EEC will be, firstly, how much representation do we have in the European Parliament, and secondly over what period will entry be phased." But that could mean accepting the loss of sovereignty as a Republic without any qualms; that could mean finding the EEC compatible with Republicanism because Republicanism was confined to words. The Taoiseach did not see that it was necessary to be Republican all the way through and not just in parts. That is one section which, although Deputy Boland denounces imperialism—I concur with him in disliking it and I am old fashioned enough to use the same old fashioned names as he today used —is so dependent on imperialism as to be unable to struggle against it.
Then there is the Blaney/Boland, the rural bit of the party, that knows that, when it comes to framing actual actions that might make the country more genuinely republican, more genuinely independent, it is "not on".
In a perfectly honest attempt, in some cases, to salve their consciences they go in for exaggerated manifestations of their national identity in some ways, and for military escapades of a romantic sort in other cases. Of course, national unity is very important to them, but it seems to me that it is important to them as a substitute, as a sort of psychological lighting conductor for the things they know they cannot have. It is not based on the ordinary people. It is anti-working class. It is not for the purpose of introducing many things which republicans believe in. It is, as I say, a sort of psychological soother because they know that the real heart of their republicanism lies in the control of our economy and this they are not either able or willing to assert. That is the basic division that has led the party to where it is today.
This is the reason why a socialist in a wry sort of way, in a very tragic sort of way, can be permitted to say: "I told you so." In fact, if they would study him, Connolly told them so. He said quite clearly that it was impossible to be genuinely republican and, at the same time, be in alliance with big industry elsewhere. In the long run, since we are a small country with small industry the only way to be republican, according to Connolly—and I believe today's events validate it-is to be socialist as well. The only genuine republicanism now is socialism based on the working classes.
We are faced now with the task of asking over the heads of any party, and over the head of Parliament, directly of the people: "What do we do now?" I hope it is still to Parliament they will turn for the answer to questions like that. I hope they have not reached the stage of having contempt for Parliamentary institutions and in which different sections set about implementing different solutions by force. We must try to give some answers at this early stage to the question : "What do we do now?" If I might use the language of the moment the first thing to do surely, if any of my analyses about the effects in the north and south are correct, is to "cool it".
Military escapades now of any description will end in the sort of holocaust which has been described from different parts of the House. We have the task at this moment of defending democracy, not just in the north where there is an obvious need, but in the south as well. It seems to me that people in high places who are willing to do the things which the Taoiseach says two of his Ministers have done, if they see their power threatened, are willing to by-pass not just this Parliament but the whole of the democratic process.
We have to say quite clearly to the people in the south where it is less obvious as well as to the people in the north, that democracy has to be defended at this moment against any challenge to it. We have to say as a Labour Party, as socialists, that if it is true that the only ray of light in the north last year was a united working class, then for God's sake let us keep and extend the unity of the working classes, the men of no property, the people who exploit nobody, the people who are the custodians of what is honourable in this nation's traditions. That is up to us as socialists, as a Labour Party, as a labour movement. It is on this rock of working class unity within this part of the country and also working-class unity in the north that the efforts to set up an anti-democratic régime in this country will inevitably founder.
If we are to be credible, if we are to undo the damage that has been done to the efforts at unifying this country in a way that is acceptable, then we have to build a better life for all sorts of working people, not just working class people but small farmers, small shopkeepers and everyone like that. That is why in this precise context the struggle for social justice at this time now becomes a priority. That is why from this side of the House we have to take up and push forward so far as we can all of the civil rights issues in the North of Ireland and why it becomes a profoundly anti-patriotic deed to carry out any action which damages the unity and strength and the future of the civil rights movement.
It is also important in this context, if there is to be a future for real republicanism, and if we are to avoid the blind alleys into which frustration has led some of the republican movement, to strengthen the public sector of our industry so that in the circumstances of the free trade agreement, in the circumstances of the EEC, in the circumstances of the threat to a separate national identity at the economic level which is the fundamental level, we may be able to continue to exert some control over our resources. The strengthening of the public sector, far from being irrelevant at this time, becomes a more urgent demand.
We have the task here of building up a Republic into which we can ask the people of Northern Ireland of every description to come. We cannot in honour do that at this moment. I believe the voices we heard today of Deputy Boland and Deputy Blaney were the voices of religious bigotry. In fact, I would go further than that. I think they see what they would consider the Celtic, Catholic strand and the Protestant, Presbyterian, Unionist strand, what they would possibly think of as the Scottish or English settler strand, as being two ethnic groups. Deputy Boland suggested that he would like to reverse the Plantation of Ulster after nearly 300 years. They were not only speeches of religious bigotry. They were speeches bordering on racism. They were looking on the majority in the north-east of this country as different ethnically from the people in the rest of the country.
To me the most horrifying moment since I came into this House was the occasion of a maiden speech by Deputy Fox. It was more horrifying than anything that has happened today because, when he was adducing evidence to this House that a campaign of bigotry had been waged against him, he was howled down from those benches and you, a Cheann Comhairle, did not hear a member of that party accusing him of forging a document he was holding up. We heard the authentic voice of bigotry which is the betrayal of republicanism from those benches. Nobody in the party was ashamed of the howling down that a man got during his maiden speech. Subsequently, if we wanted more proof one of the central figures in the events of the past few days, Deputy Boland, called Deputy Fox a B-Special. He was compelled grudgingly and half-heartedly to withdraw. That was the authentic voice of bigotry from that party. Bigotry is a denial of Republicanism. They are incompatible. One could not be a party to bigotry and be in the Republican party at the same time.
We know how hard it is for people to change their political allegiance. Once they are set on a course they tend, unless in times of great upheaval, to go on following the same voting patterns. This is depressing. Many investigations about voting patterns reveal that this is true. Most of the major swings in support for political parties come from the actual change in the voters. Some of the top age groups pass on and new people come in at the other end. That shows change. In any pattern if we followed up through the years, we would see there is not much swing in political opinion except in times of great social upheaval when old people can change their political allegiance quite quickly. I would suggest to the people that this is a time of such social upheaval. This is the time when the actions of the Fianna Fáil Government have put in question all that is most dear to us in terms of democracy, unity, independence and stability.
It is a major question. I would beg some of the best people in the country who gave their political allegiance to the Fianna Fáil Party in the thirties, to pause and examine the validity of what they do in terms of the reality which has now been revealed and in terms of the truth which has now emerged. I beg such people to stop before this intra-party quarrel destroys the whole fabric of this country. This intra-party quarrel can be pursued until the useful things Fianna Fáil people did in the building of the nation are destroyed. The people should indicate that they repudiate not merely the Lynch explanations, not merely the Blaney-Haughey-Boland blank denials, whichever turn out to be true, but that they repudiate the whole lot—both sides—this whole party which, as I said, had a useful role. People change; parties change. The Party were once constructive. They have long since ceased to be an engine for national progress and are now an engine for national disaster. Somebody said a long time ago that outworn engines become brakes. Fianna Fáil are now a brake on all national development. If we are to say anything to the people at this time, we should tell them to repudiate the leadership, whichever side it comes from, to repudiate Fianna Fáil to repudiate the whole rotten lot.