Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Seanad Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 21 Jul 1938

Vol. 21 No. 9

Presidential Establishment Bill, 1938—Second Stage.

Question proposed: "That the Bill be read a Second Time."

The main objects of this Bill are to implement Section 11 of Article 12 of the Constitution which provides that "The President shall have an official residence in or near the City of Dublin; that he shall receive such emoluments and allowances as may be determined by law and that the emoluments and allowances of the President shall not be diminished during his term of office." In addition to fulfilling what I might describe as the Constitutional requirements, the Bill is intended to make provision for the maintenance of an official residence, the expenses of the Office of the Secretary to the President and certain incidental services arising therefrom and to make provision for the granting of a pension to persons who have held the office of President. Section 1 provides for the emoluments and allowances receivable by the President. It has been drafted to show separately the amount represented in personal remuneration to the President. In determining the amount of the emoluments and allowances to be paid, the Government have been guided by the recommendations of the majority of the Committee of Inquiry into Ministerial and other salaries which sat last year. The following are the relevant extracts from that report:—

"We are aware, however, that the holder will be the first citizen of the land, that high and responsible functions are vested in him under the Constitution, and that he will be debarred from holding any other office of profit or emolument. Consequently the remuneration for the office should be such as to place him in a position of complete independence financially, and to enable him to maintain with dignity the high position of head of the State."

The report then goes on to say:—

"Under the terms of the Constitution the Uachtarán will have an official residence in or near the City of Dublin. We have assumed that the expenditure involved in the provision of the residence, of furniture and equipment and of the maintenance and upkeep of the house and any grounds attached thereto, including wages of labouring and gardening staff will be defrayed directly by the State. Such arrangements, however, though to some extent they may be regarded as part of the emoluments or perquisites attaching to the office of Uachtarán, and should therefore, not be left out of consideration in assessing the total provision that might properly be made for that office, also impose upon the holder an obligation to maintain himself and his private establishment upon a commensurate scale. Due note must be taken of this factor in determining the personal salary of the Uachtarán. ... We have also assumed that the Uachtarán will from the remuneration or allowances provided for him, be obliged to defray the cost of the domestic staff necessary for his residence and of all other charges involved in the maintenance of his private establishment on a considerable scale ... We are of opinion that the emoluments and allowances of the Uachtarán might properly be divided into three parts; personal remuneration; allowances the cost of his official establishment; and the provision and maintenance of his official residence ... bearing in mind that the expenditure by the State on the office of Uachtarán should neither be altogether disproportionate to the provision which we have recommended might suitably be made for Ministerial salaries, nor be too great a burden on the public purse, we think that it would be proper for us to recommend that the total cost to the State of providing for the residence, establishment and expenses of the office of Uachtarán na hEireann, should not exceed £15,000 a year, approximately, of which £5,000 a year would be payable to the holder of the post as personal salary fully subject to taxation. Some of our number, however, were inclined to the view that, on the basis mentioned, the limit of total annual cost might be £20,000 and the salary £7,500."

We have been guided by the fact that the majority of the committee were of opinion that approximately £15,000 a year might represent in the circumstances the reasonable cost of the Presidential establishment including, of course, the personal remuneration of the President. It is upon that basis that the Bill has been drafted.

With regard to the amount to be allowed as allowances, expenses and maintenance of the household, it has been decided in view of the constitutional bar against reduction during the individual term of the post that at the outset the amount should not be higher than the minimum which the committee felt would permit the Presidential establishment to be maintained and the functions of the President to be fulfilled unostentatiously but nevertheless as befits that high office. The conclusion has been arrived at that it would not be reasonable to allow less than £5,000 a year for this purpose and that figure has accordingly been inserted in the Bill.

Section 2 of the Bill is designed to give the necessary authority to provide for the expenses of the Office of the Secretary to the President; for the equipment and maintenance of the official residence and for such incidentals as travelling, postage, telegrams, telephones and stationery, all used, of course, for official business. These expenses, however, will fluctuate from time to time and for this reason apart from other considerations their inclusion in the irreducible amount of the emoluments and allowances is not practicable. I remind the House that the Oireachtas has already made the necessary Appropriation to meet the expenses authorised under Section 2 of the Bill.

The pension provisions for the President are incorporated in Section 3 of the Bill. In this connection the following is an extract from the report received from the Committee of Inquiry:—

"We feel, however, that it is imperative on the State to provide against the contingency that a person on relinquishing office as Uachtarán might be obliged to live in circumstances which would be undesirable in the case of one who had previously occupied a position of such distinction in the community. In the consideration of this matter we have assumed that a person who has held the office of Uachtarán will, in the normal course, be precluded from returning to business or professional pursuits, and that it is most unlikely that he will take an active part in politics, with the consequent possibility of Ministerial or other Parliamentary office. It will probably be found that, even in his retirement, the former Uachtarán will be obliged by circumstances over which he has no control to maintain his domestic establishment on a fairly considerable scale. If these assumptions are correct, it seems clear that there is an obligation on the State to provide a pension of reasonable amount. For the reasons indicated in the course of our remarks on the question of remuneration for the office, our recommendation in regard to pension is tentative and will, no doubt, be subject to review in the light of practical experience under the new Constitution. Experience will also determine the conditions which might properly be attached to the award of such a pension ... Finally, the majority of the Committee agreed to recommend that, after holding office for seven years, the Uachtarán should be eligible to receive a pension of £1,200 a year."

These recommendations as to the amount of the pension have been accepted but it has been held that it would be unwise and inequitable to restrict the grant to persons who have served seven years or over in the office. If that restriction were inserted it would not be possible to grant a pension to persons who might have relinquished the office of President otherwise than under Article 12 of the Constitution. Neither could a pension be granted to a President who having served for less than seven years found himself obliged to resign and was not re-elected at the ensuing election.

Could that occur? Is it possible or likely that the President would feel compelled to resign on the grounds of principle? Would the Minister give an instance?

Well, he might quite easily. Under the Constitution he is charged with important functions in relation to legislation, and the Executive Council of the day, the Government, feels that he should be placed in a position of as great independence as possible in regard to the discharge of these important constitutional duties. It seems very desirable that provision should be made for the granting of a pension upon such conditions as will ensure so far as possible for the President freedom from financial considerations in dealing with such affairs. Sub-section 2 of Section 3 of the Bill provides that a second term in the Presidential office will not enable the holder to qualify for a second Presidential pension. That refers to the case in which an ex-President has been re-elected. He cannot get a second pension. Section 5 of the Bill also provides that should an ex-President be elected to the Oireachtas then, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 2 of the Oireachtas (Payment of Members) Act, of 1925, the Presidential pension shall be abated or reduced by the amount of the allowance which he receives as a member of the Dáil or Seanad. The section provides also for the suspension of the pension in whole or in part in the event of an ex-President's re-employment and remuneration out of the public funds or of a concern or undertaking the payment from which the Government may deem to be drawn from public funds. Section 4 of the Bill provides for the granting of a pension of £500 a year to the widow of a President or ex-President entitled to a pension. Section 6 of the Bill creates the post of Secretary to the President, provides moneys for the office of secretaryship and provides also that the post shall be a permanent post in the Civil Service of the State; and that the holder of the office shall come within the benefits of the superannuation Acts.

The provision in sub-section (4) of the section brings the post of Secretary to the President into line with all other Civil Service posts in regard to tenure and the determination of remuneration and conditions of service. It is necessary to make provision for clerical and other assistance in the office of the Secretary to the President and power to make such appointment is conferred by Section 7. To ensure that no doubt shall arise as to the method of making these appointment Section 8 provides that they are subject to the provisions of the Civil Service Regulation Acts and every Act extending these Acts.

Mr. Hayes

I approve entirely of the provisions of this Bill and of the Second Reading. I should like to recommend to the notice of Senator Quirke that this is an example of where facts and arguments have prevailed on the Minister to change his mind. There was a time when the £10,000 paid to the occupant of the Viceregal Lodge was pasted on every dead wall and when it was made the subject of adverse comment by various people. I am sure that Senator Quirke himself, if he examines his conscience, will find that he made a few speeches on it in the good old days. Now we have exactly the same thing proposed, to my mind properly proposed. Perhaps the only doubt one can have about it is whether adequate provision is being made for such an office as this. It is a sign of progress in the country, at any rate, that we have reached a situation where we do recognise that we have a State and that the head of the State for internal purposes, as the President is under the Constitution, should be properly maintained and enabled to maintain a certain dignity. With regard to the expense of it, I think all workers in certain trades have realised long ago that the existence of a certain amount of entertaining, the spending of a certain amount of public money by the person occupying the office of President, does lead to further spending and to a further expansion of the purchasing power of other members of the community; so that, in one way or another, the actual burden upon the taxpayer and the actual expense to the State is not represented by the amount mentioned here but is, in fact, rather lower than the figures given in the Bill. I approve of the Second Reading.

I am quite pleased to see that Senator Hayes has had enough sense to change his mind, too, because he is a terrible fool who will refuse to change his mind when he knows that he has been wrong. I am sorry I cannot agree with all the statement made by the Senator, especially when he says that Senator Quirke's attitude in the past would not justify his supporting this particular measure.

Mr. Hayes

I did not say that. I would not dream of saying anything of the kind.

I am sorry if I misunderstood what the Senator said.

Mr. Hayes

I shall have to talk in Irish in future. I am not understood in English. Labrochaidh mé as Gaedhilg feasta.

He would like to know how people can consistently support this Bill, having opposed the payment of £10,000 for——

Mr. Hayes

The previous occupant of the Viceregal Lodge.

——the previous occupant of the Viceregal Lodge. Senator Hayes knows perfectly well that there was every reason why that payment of £10,000 should be criticised. Without going back over the ground over which we have already passed—I hope forever—I think it is only right that I should tell Senator Hayes what he must already know, that that £10,000 was being paid by the people to the representative of England, and that the money which it is now proposed to pay is being paid to a representative of the people of this country, a President of this country, elected by the people of this country. It is no credit to Senator Hayes to say that he has now changed his mind and approves of the Bill before the House.

On a point of fact, I do not think the statement should go unchallenged that the Governor-General was the representative of England.

Mr. Hayes

Hear, hear!

As a matter of fact, and of constitutional law, he was never the representative of England. He was the representative of the King of Ireland.

The representative of the King of England, with all due respect to the Senator.

Mr. Hayes

Senator Quirke has quite a lot to learn yet about law and Constitutions.

I have no desire to attempt to enter into the labyrinthine mazes of Senator Quirke's or Senator Hayes's changes of mind. I do not propose to discuss this Bill from the point of view of anything that happened in the past or the rights or wrongs of the payment of this allowance or of a Governor-General as against a President. I feel however that it would be wrong to allow the opportunity of the Second Reading of this Bill to pass without making a few general remarks upon the whole question of the establishment of the Head of the State in this country. There has been a certain amount of opposition expressed in the other House, and there is a good deal of opposition being expressed outside the Oireachtas as a whole, towards what is called wasting money on the establishment of the Head of the State in this country at all. Now, my view about this Bill is that so far from being extravagant it hardly goes far enough, and I think it will probably be found, as times goes on, that if the Head of the State does his duty properly, as head of the Irish people, to the Irish people he will need more money for this establishment than is provided.

We are inclined in this country for a great variety of reasons to adopt an idea of social life which, I think it can be said, has hardly a parallel in any other civilised country in the world. I do not believe there is any country, no matter how democratic it may be, where State functions are so few, where so little time or attention is devoted to, or so little money is spent on, State functions, or on public functions in general as, in this country.

There has been a tendency, partly a natural tendency, for us to to assume that any kind of display is English display, to identify public functions or public show of any kind with a foreign element in this country and to pass by easy stages from that identification to a sort of un-stated theory that the native Irish people should not have any public display at all or that it is extravagant in some extraordinary way, to take part in public displays.


Imperialist or capitalistic or something else of that kind. Of course that tendency was quite natural in past times. I am old enough to remember standing at the corner of Nassau Street watching the magnificent procession when a new Lord Lieutenant arrived. He was escorted through lines of soldiers to the Viceregal Lodge. Citizens who watched that sort of thing for generations, who felt that they were entirely excluded from it, as they were, that they could take no part in these displays without selling their very souls in order to do it, came to feel that all that sort of expenditure had nothing to do with them. Over and above that, there has been a tendency during the short lifetime of our State to go a step further, to bring—very unnecessarily and very injuriously— Party politics into this question, to take the view that because the Head of the State was the nominee of the Cumann na nGaedheal or some other Executive Council, the main body of the people had nothing to do with the Head of the State and that any expenditure he underwent in upholding the dignity of his office was a sort of infliction on the people.

Some years ago, I remember seeing in a newspaper, which at that time was associated with the Minister's Party, I think, a statement that I was to be seen with friends sporting in cloth of gold in the Viceregal Lodge or at the Castle while the poor native speakers were starving in County Donegal. That was the normal way of looking at the headship of the State and its appointments, right up to the introduction of this Bill. I am not going back into that any further than to establish the fact that that point of view did exist and to my mind, whatever might be the rights or the wrongs of the question, it was a most unfortunate point of view. It went to reinforce what I have called the natural instinct of the people to regard any public expenditure or public display as wrong and as an infliction on the poor whereas, of course, in any normal, healthily constituted State, the Head of the State belongs to the people and any expenditure that is undergone in seeing that the Head of the State lives in a dignified fashion and is enabled to maintain himself on an equal footing with the Head of any other State, is for the good of the poorer element of the community as well as for the good of the richer. Until we get that idea into our heads, we are not going to have a healthy public life.

The matter goes a great deal further than is supposed, because you cannot have civilisation in any country without some form of social life. Society is almost a synonym of civilisation, but the only people in this country who were supposed to move in society were the people who figured regularly in the Tattler and the Sphere, people who usually visited this country as they visited Cannes, Nice and Aix Les Bains, or people who came here to take part in hunting or in racing. To a large extent they were the only people who were allowed to have any social life. As for poor Michael Tierney, because he happens to be the son of a small farmer, if he dares to avail of whatever opportunities hard work has given him, if he dares to appear at any social function, he is going about in cloth of gold while the poor native speakers in Donegal are starving! We shall have that sort of attitude amongst the people generally until the Government make up their minds that a very definite, positive effort will have to be made to create some sort of healthy social life. I am convinced that many of the social ills which affect many different classes spring from the fact that we have not any sort of normal, healthy social life in the country's capital, or in the larger towns or cities. I referred last week to all the complaints we have had about the cinema and about the abuse of dances run for money, and so on. All these things are merely the diseased outbreak of forces which should be allowed a natural outlet in a normally constituted State, in a healthy State, where the people were healthily minded in regard to such matters. Take a country like France, which went through a terrible revolution in order to establish a democracy, and which has the most extreme form of democracy that exists in the world to-day. At social functions in France, if any kind of an official turns up you see the most elaborate uniforms worn, and the most extravagant expenses incurred from our standpoint here. We have practically no such expense at all. We have practically no social functions. The other day, when the new President was inaugurated at the Castle, it was easy to see from the way in which that ceremony was carried out that our public men have become atrophied in that respect. They are hardly able to go through the motions of social life, largely because they have got this half diseased idea into their heads: that any expenditure of time or money on such matters is an English affair and has nothing to do with them. We have identified in some extraordinary fashion the outlook of the most rigid, the most materialistic English shop-keeping puritanism with what we call Irish nationalism, which used to be a grand thing, an aristocratic thing, a thing to be honoured, a thing of public pride and public dignity. We have got into such a condition in this country that we have come to regard that as something that is not native. We look upon these things with the eye of the small shopkeeper, of those whose outlook is coloured by the most materialistic puritanism.

I hope that this Bill is the beginning of a better state of things. There is one suggestion that I would like to make. It is that the greatest care should be taken in seeing that a special officer, with very special qualifications, shall be appointed to act as what I may call representation secretary to the President. I do not believe that a more important office in the Civil Service than that could be made. I do not think it is possible for any man occupying the position of President— perhaps an old man who has not had a very elaborate social life himself, and especially in view of the peculiar problems that arise in this country— for the occupant of the office himself to look after these matters. These will be matters of extreme difficulty and delicacy, requiring a great deal of tact. In order to see that the representation aspect of the President's office is properly looked after, I think it would be worth while to appoint to this position the highest paid officer that you have in your Civil service so long as you can rely on him to do the thing properly. I do not mean that he should indulge in any kind of foolish extravagance or meaningless display and waste of money. What I mean is that he should see that the office becomes the property of the Irish people, and that the people who take part in these social functions in the future will be the plain people of Ireland. It will require the greatest skill, tact and knowledge to do that work properly. I do not think that the President himself could ever be expected to do it. It would add enormusly to the burdens of his office if you were to put that work upon him.

I would urge on the Minister that the matter is well worthy of consideration. You should look for the best trained and the most experienced person that you can get in the Civil Service and give the work to him. He will have to be a person who is accustomed to social life, not here perhaps but in other countries, where they have had some form of social life in the past. He will have to know who is the proper sort of person to be invited to functions and how each person should be treated. He will have to move about among the guests and see that the people invited are properly attended to. This is not a question of privilege but a question of seeing that the ordinary people of the country share in the benefits of this office—I do not mean in any external or mechanical sense—because if we cannot make the head of the State part of the life of the people, then we would be better off not to have the office at all. In order to do what I am suggesting, you will need to get a very well trained and highly experienced person. It was in order to make that suggestion and to emphasise it that I got up to speak on the Bill.

I approve of this Bill and gladly support it. My principal reason for rising is to express substantial agreement with what Senator Tierney has said. I had intended, before he rose, to speak on the Bill, and to refer to some of the matters that he dealt with in the first portion of his speech. I do not want to go into the constituency of Senator Quirke or Senator Hayes. To my mind, one of the mistakes that were made here at the beginning was that the idea got abroad that when the then head of the State was called, unfortunately, I think, a Governor-General, he was not a man of the people or a person chosen by the people's representatives—that he was not part and parcel of our independent State. I think that was perhaps due to certain political misconceptions. I think it was also due to the fact—and here, I know, I may be misunderstood—that certain classes of people in the country were allowed, more or less, to capture the office and the functions that surrounded it, with the result that the ordinary people felt that the office had nothing to do with them. They were ready to believe that he was the representative of another country and part and parcel of it. Those of us who had anything to do with the first Constitution were, of course, convinced that that was not true. The new President has been chosen by agreement, and the value of his office, apart altogether from the personality of Dr. Hyde, will very largely be this: if it makes our people feel this is our State, that we are part and parcel of the Government, and that the head of the State is one elected by ourselves, something to which we pay homage and which has nothing to do with Party, and that it provides freedom for the expression of opinion on all sides. One of the reasons why I think this or any Government will have a difficulty in creating the position here referred to by Senator Tierney is that our people suffer from having their eyes turned entirely on England and on English institutions, which by a sort of inferiority complex they conclude must be better than our own. That I believe to be false. I also believe it is due to the fact that our people are not familiar with the practices in other democratic countries, particularly the small democratic countries. If numbers of our people were to visit, for instance, the Scandinavian States, they would find that State functions are recognised there as of definite value. I am not suggesting that we should necessarily follow them, but if you go to Denmark you will find all sorts of people attending functions at the palace. You will find Ministers and their wives coming on bicycles to the palace. The King moves about amonst his people, and if, for instance, he is out shopping, it is not considered good form to pay any attention to him.

The whole thing is very democratic: everything that you see makes you feel that it is a free State. Of course, those countries have a tradition behind them that we cannot get immediately. In all those countries the value of State functions is recognised. They give an opportunity of distinguishing the State from the Government. The Government, in all countries, has frequently to be objected to because certain of its actions are bound to be criticised, whereas you can make the head of the State something apart. For these reasons I approve of the Bill.

With regard to the Bill itself I am not at all certain that it will not be found necessary to spend a larger amount on the office than is here provided. I sympathise with the Government in the circumstances in which they found themselves. They are possibly not to blame for this, because they had to choose the minority report and go as slowly as possible. But at this stage, I do not think that people should be worrying about their consistency in the past. We are doing something new, we should not apologise for it but should be prepared to stand over it. This is something that had to be done. I find some Deputies and Senators and even some people outside saying that, "this is something that we had to do, something that we had to stand over and something which we are satisfied is for the good of the country," and saying all that in a sort of apologetic way. That, I think, should not be the attitude.

There is another matter in the Bill that I should like to refer to. It is not clear to me why the President of the day should not have a veto on the appointment of the Secretary for the time being. If the President does not like him, it is true that he can be consulted, but it is well to remember that the Secretary's office will be an exceedingly important one, and that it is of the utmost importance that there should be the closest co-operation between the President and the Secretary. I am puzzled as to why this is to be a Government appointment. I would like to know from the Minister what would happen if, when a new President is appointed, he finds that he does not get on particularly well with the Secretary. If the policy is to be that the occupant of the office is to be an experienced Civil Servant, then in such a case I take it it would be possible to find another post for him in the Civil Service. But it seems to me essential, especially from the point of view that was stressed by Senator Tierney, that there should be the closest co-operation between the President for the time being and the Secretary.

In conclusion, I agree with Senator Tierney that everything possible should be done to make this position one of great honour: to make the people feel that this is our State, something which we have built up, and above all to get them away from the idea of comparing what may happen here with what goes on in Buckingham Palace or in any other place. The conditions here and in England, for instance, are totally different, but unfortunately you have many people who are inclined to compare everything we have with an English standard, a standard which we do not understand and do not have to understand.

Ba mhaith liom fhághail amach ó'n Aire an bhfuil sé riachtanach seirbhiseach poiblidhe d'ainmniú mar rúnaidhe? Agus, má tá, cad chuige a bhfuil sé riachtanach? Nach bhfuil daóine maithe taobh amuich de'n Seirbhís Poiblidhe? Tá sé intuigthe go mbeadh sé ina sheirbhiseadh poiblidhe tar éis a ainmnighthe ach cad chuige mbeadh sé roimh ré.

I do not think that I have very much to say in reply, because the criticisms which have been directed to the Bill are criticisms with which I myself would concur. I do feel that the provision which has been made here will probably be found insufficient. On the other hand, it is in fact really determined by the constitutional prohibition against a reduction in the amount of the emoluments and the allowances of the President during his period of office, and while there is nothing to prohibit us from increasing those emoluments and allowances, should it be found necessary to do so, in face of that very definite prohibition we have had to take for the purpose of this Bill the lower figure which was recommended by the commission. I agree that this office is going to play a very important part in our national life for the reasons to which Senator Douglas has referred. It is desirable that the community as a whole should be able to distinguish between the State and the Executive of the day. In no country will you get unanimity about the merits of the Government. While I am glad to say, as a member of the Government, that we have a substantial majority in the country who think that we are, after all, possibly better governors than the alternative Party might have been; on the other hand, I cannot shut my eyes to the fact that there is a minority which, however wrongly or rightly, differs from that point of view and differs very strongly. Accordingly it is desirable that all of us should have some common meeting ground, some one centre in our system to which all eyes can turn and say: "There is the representative, above Party, of the Irish people and of the Irish State."

This office has already, I think, exercised a very great influence on the public life of our country. I know that differences have recently tended to be less exacerbated than they were. There is quite a new feeling, not so noticeable, perhaps, in this House, because the atmosphere has always been easier here, but elsewhere. Not merely in the Seanad and in the Dáil, but throughout the country, I think, one can see that a great change has come over the whole disposition of the people towards each other, and I think that while that tendency was manifest even before the creation of this office, there is no doubt that it has been intensified by the fact that the leading Parties, which differed so bitterly and so strongly in the past from each other in regard to matters which were, perhaps, not so much questions of principle as questions of expediency, should have been able to come together and concur with each other in the selection of a person to represent the Irish people.

I am sure that as time goes on, and the feeling spreads among the people, there will be a desire to place this high office of President in its proper setting. It is difficult at the start, because we are untutored in these things, to know exactly what is best to be done, and sometimes a plant of that sort requires a little tender care and certain judicious nursing at the beginning, but I have not any doubt that it will establish itself in our life and that all the benefits which Senator Tierney and Senator Douglas have envisaged will flow from it to the community as a whole.

On the question of the appointment of the Secretary to the President, there will undoubtedly be consultation, and I am not going to say that such consultation will, in fact, develop into a veto, but I have not any doubt that the Government of the day, bearing in mind what the office stands for, will defer as much as possible to the wishes of the President when a new appointment is being made. On the other hand, we have got to have some safegard to ensure that with every succeeding President we shall not have a new Secretary to the Department of the President.

I think that the person who occupies that position will have a part to play as a sort of liaison officer on occasions between the President and other people in the State and he will, undoubtedly, in that capacity acquire a great deal of experience which I hope will be the parent of wisdom, of a certain judicial wisdom and tact which will be essential if the office is going to function properly. I know that elsewhere it has been recognised that with a change in the succession, it is not desirable to change those who are in the immediate circle of the head of the State and the Government have that view also in regard to the office of the Secretary to the President. As to what might happen if the Secretary and the President found that their temperaments were incompatible, I am afraid we shall have to leave that to time to discover. I would not, at any rate, endeavour to forecast what might be the solution should such a situation arise. I do not think that there is anything more that I have to say in regard to the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.
Committee and further stages ordered for to-morrow.