Before I pass on to the remaining Orders of the Day, I might remind the House that our staff ceased to have any legal existence for some days past, because under our engagement of them the tenure expired. It was only for a year, and it expired a few days ago. The circumstances did not permit of our dealing with the situation in the way that the position required in the interval before the recess adjournment for Christmas. Accordingly, while it would be necessary for the Standing Orders Committee on the Staff of this House to meet and fully consider the situation for the future, we think it more desirable that they should do that at their leisure, because they probably now will be settling the position for all time. What I would suggest to the House, if it agrees with that view, is that we should carry on our staff on the terms already existing between us and them until the 1st April next. That would give us ample opportunity of dealing with the position and regulating it for the future. I might mention that a Standing Committee was appointed by this House, called the Committee on the Oireachtas Staff, in accordance with the terms of the following resolution passed by the Dáil on the 23rd March, 1923, and agreed to by this House on the 28th March, 1923. The terms of that resolution were:—
"That the Minister for Finance and the Ceann Comhairle be appointed as Standing Committee to determine the number, grading, remuneration and terms of office of the Oireachtas staff, and that Seanad Eireann be requested to nominate a member of the Seanad on this Committee."
In accordance with that resolution, this House, on the 28th March, passed a resolution nominating its Chairman to be a member of that Committee. That Committee met, and its Report has been concluded, and has been laid on the table of both Houses, and any member who wishes an opportunity of seeing it will be able to get a copy of it on applying to the office, or to any member of our staff. I think it would be necessary for them to read that before they come to any decision about their own staff, as it would help them. I would suggest that they would pass a resolution to-day continuing their existing staff up to, say, the 1st of April, and ask their Committee meanwhile to meet and fully consider and report on the future of this staff.