Dáil Éireann - Volume 91 - 01 July, 1943

Nomination of Members of Government—Motion (Resumed).

Mr. Corry: I expected what I have seen here this evening, but I question the right of the Fine Gael Party to dictate to any other Party in this House as to what their attitude should be. That Party, which has absorbed the independence and freedom of three Farmers' Parties in my time, went to the electorate, and in spite of having absorbed three Farmers' Parties they came back here with 32 members out of 138. Now they are endeavouring to absorb the independence of another Farmers' Party which has come in here. I welcome the presence of a Farmers' Party here, if it were only to criticise agricultural Estimates, because that Party opposite has failed as an Opposition. Deputy Cogan and a few other farmers and myself were the only critics who gave any help to the Minister for Agriculture in the past five years in regard to his policy towards the farmers of this country. That Party over there counted for nothing. Deputy Dillon has a crow to pluck with Deputy James Ryan as Minister for Agriculture. He has a crow to pluck with him and a personal attack to make on him, because Deputy James Ryan was the one man who prevented Deputy Dillon's plan from coming into operation here. Deputy James Ryan was the man who succeeded in inducing the farmers of this country to grow enough wheat to feed our people, so that we would not be forced, as Deputy Dillon hoped, to go to the foreigner and pledge our freedom for bread for our people.

I am a farmer, and I know my duty to the farmers whom I represent. I have done that duty at all times, both in Opposition and as a member of the

[90] Government Party. What are the farmers invited to vote for to-day? They are invited to vote for the so-called national Government over there, who had 20,000 acres of wheat growing in this country when Deputy James Ryan took over, and who in 1932 had the price of barley in this country at 13/- a barrel. Those are the people who want to absorb the independence of the Farmers' Party which has come in here. As I said, I am proud to see a Farmers' Party here, and I welcome them here as farmers.

We have heard a lot about the killing of the pig trade. What was the position in that regard? Pre-war, there was imported into this country something like 500,000 tons of maize and maize meal, in addition to wheat pulp for pig feeding. The only thing we had to replace that were 127,000 additional acres of oats and barley. That meant that, if all of that 127,000 acres were to be fed to pigs, all you could fatten in this country would be one pig out of every five you fattened previously. There is no use in talking nonsense about the killing of the pig trade. I do not blame Deputy James Dillon for his attitude when he thinks of the way he was swallowed up when he came in here as a member of the moryah Independent Farmers' Party. I have seen other Farmers' Parties swallowed up here in turn, and, as a farmer, my advice to the Farmers Party is to remain independent, to see that the farmers get a square deal here from whoever is Minister for Agriculture. They should be independent of all Parties, in order to see that the farmers gets a square deal. Then, when they see a wrong being done to the farmers, they can vote against it, and when they see the farmers getting a square deal they can vote for it. To-day, the job of this Dáil is to appoint a Government, and elect the head of that Government. Apparently, Deputy Dillon thinks it is his duty to create in this country a state of chaos. He apparently thinks it is his duty, after the Taoiseach has been elected, to see there will be a combine to prevent him from having in his Ministry a team of men on whom he [91] can rely, the men whom he considers the best members of his own Party to carry on the work. That is the position.

I heard Deputy Morrissey make the same speech in this House every year since he was fired out of the Labour Party and crossed over to the new Party. I have heard the same filthy language hurled by Deputy Morrissey at every new Deputy, whether on these or on opposite benches, who had the independence to stand up and state his views. Deputy Morrissey is an adept at quibbling. His Party went out looking for a mandate to form a national Government. They went out numbering 45 but only 32 came back to a House of 137 Deputies. Deputy Cafferky described the position. There is no man on the opposite benches with sufficient intelligence to be captain of a football team not to mention being a Minister in this State. It is time that someone talked plainly. I fought an election and when the result was announced I finished with it. I do not want to carry on the election for the next three years. That is no use.

In my opinion, Deputy Norton should not have made the speech he made to-day. If there is a case to be made he can attack Ministers. I have attacked them for the past five years. I had to do it because nobody else would attack them. There was no opposition in this House for the past five years. When I considered that Ministers acted wrongly towards my constituents I let them know they were not going to do so without criticism. I will do the same in future as I have a duty towards my constituents. When I see an attempt being made by a bunch of humbugs who endeavour to pillory any Deputy who comes here for the first time I say that that is contemptible, and is only worthy of the mud-slingers who carry it on. As a farmer, respecting every representative that farmers send to this House I say that so long as they come here to do the nation's work, and to do their duty by the people, they should not be fooled by promises of Ministries from one Party or of places in shadow cabinets from another Party. We went to [92] the country at this General Election. We faced the people and looked for a majority. We were more entitled to a majority than anybody else. We did not get a full majority.

Mr. Davin: Why?

Mr. Corry: I do not want to read some of the propaganda that was sent around my constituency. I want to leave the election behind me. I do not want to rehash what Labour said, what Fine Gael said, or what the Farmers said in my constituency. I survived it all. If any Party wants another round in my constituency I will give it to them any time they like. What I object to is the scandalous exhibition of mud-slinging in the presence of Deputies who come here for the first time with a mandate from the people to look after the farmers' interests. They may not agree with the policy of the Minister for Agriculture, or with all that he has done. At times I did not agree with that policy. I did not agree last year about the price of beet as I considered that farmers were not getting enough money. I fought to get them more but while I was doing so the farmers were wiser than I was, because they went in and signed contracts for 52,000 acres of beet at 80/- a ton, the price that the Minister offered. That proved that the Minister was right and that I was wrong. We have to look facts in the face. I am prepared to back those who represent the agricultural community because we sadly need a body of men in the Dáil to fight for agricultural interests. I am about “fed-up” fighting alone.

Comparing the present Minister with other Ministers for Agriculture, I say that he has done his duty by the farming community as well as anybody could do it, having regard to the other interests that were at stake. If I thought otherwise I would say so. I remember what was said by some Deputies when it was proposed to buy Irish wheat so that the people would have it for their breakfast. One Deputy said that bread produced from Irish wheat would not be eaten by pigs. Now that Deputy eats the bread himself and is glad to get it. That is the kind of opposition [93] the Minister had to face when he endeavoured to have wheat grown here in order to provide bread for the people. That is the kind of filthy opposition that had to be faced. Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney asked that supplies should be brought from America. In November, 1939, the Deputy said he saw no reason why wheat and petrol could not be brought from America.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: That is correct.

Mr. Corry: I would like to see Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney waiting for his breakfast until 750,000 tons of wheat to feed the people came from America. I think your stomach would be often hungry.

How are they going to replace Deputy Dr. Ryan? The question at issue now is whether the Taoiseach, the Leader of this House who has been appointed by the Dáil to form a Government, is going to be allowed to pick his team as a Government or not. I had no intention of intervening in the debate. My only reason for doing so was to protect a body of young men who came into this House for the first time to-day, who came in here green in the usages of debate, and who have had to put up with this line of mud-slinging by past masters of the art like Deputy Dillon and Deputy Morrissey, not forgetting our noble friend, Deputy Anthony from Cork, who set himself out to advise and instruct the farmers of the country in regard to what they ought to do and on their duty. I think it is unfair, unjust, indecent and rotten for individuals who have been here for 21 or 22 years to attack a group of Deputies the first day they came in here. Deputy Dillon had a Farmers' Party sitting on the benches opposite. Where is that Party to-day? If it had done its duty these men need not have come in here. They have come in because that Farmers' Party was sold out as well as the farmers' interests. There were 12 or 13 in it, and now the whole lot opposite only number 32. There were three Farmers' Parties. We had Senator Baxter's Party, Mr. Michael Heffernan's Party and the Party of Senator MacDermot and Deputy Dillon. They are all now in [94] the 32. I am proud to-day to see a Farmers' Party in this House that apparently is going to do its duty by the agricultural community and that will not be bribed or cajoled by promises from any side. They are going to stand by the farmers of the country, and God knows the farmers need them.

Dr. O'Higgins: After the very dignified statement which we have heard from the Government Benches, I am sure that the Deputies, new and old, in the Farmers' Party feel very comfortable and complimented that they have such a dignified protector. I should like to bring back the mind of the House from the hysteria, lunacy and recklessness of Deputy Corry to the question that is before it, and to remind Deputies that this is the first night of a new Parliament. With the world in the midst of war we are being called upon to elect a Government. We appeal to the head of the Government to make some changes, to re-shuffle his Ministers and he will get the support of this Party.

Mr. Davin: The head of the Government already elected by the vote of this House claims to be a decent, Christian-minded man. I have been waiting for him to stand up here or, failing that, to order Deputy Seán MacEntee to stand up in the House and tender an apology for the black-guardly conduct which he carried out during the recent election campaign and to withdraw—and it is only a manly man who can do it—the scurrilous, slanderous and libellous allegations which he poured out on the leader and members of this Party during the last general election campaign. If the Taoiseach cannot see his way to do that, well we must come to the conclusion that he is standing over the actions and the words of the man whom he now asks this House to make a Minister in his Government. I think Deputy Norton made it quite plain from the quotations that he gave to the House, and from what he said, that any man who would be guilty of such conduct during an election campaign, and claiming to be a model Christian and Catholic himself, is not [95] fit to occupy the high office of membership of a Government in a Catholic Christian country.

The only recommendation that I can see in favour of the men proposed by the Taoiseach is that they can be relied upon, if elected by the House, to act as loyal “yes-men” to the Taoiseach, and to approve by their silence any proposals which he puts before the Cabinet and before this House during the lifetime of this Government. My limited experience of politics and business has been that the average “yes-men”, is a man who does not think for himself. He is a man who is always prepared to throw over his work to be done by somebody else. That is not the type of man who should be a member of the Government of this country during these critical times.

I find from my experience of members of this Government during the last 11 years that they have been prepared at all times to use the machinery of State and the taxpayers' money for the purpose of promoting Party interests. That has been done in a most unscrupulous way by the members of this Government during the recent election campaign. They have used the radio, the censorship, and the secret service funds to promote Party interests.

The Taoiseach: And that is the Deputy who is expecting that I will stand up and talk about a man——

Mr. Davin: I am speaking as one who had experience of listening in to some of the paid servants of this State in connection with the recent election campaign, and I say it is wrong——

The Taoiseach: What did you hear?

Mr. Davin: ——that any paid State servant should use his position for the purpose of propping up the Government of the day.

The Taoiseach: That is a statement made without any proof.

Mr. McGilligan: It is an assertion.

[96] The Taoiseach: Assertion is not enough.

Mr. Davin: I leave it to the Taoiseach to deny it.

The Taoiseach: I deny it unless I get proof.

Mr. Davin: I assert—it is common gossip among Pressmen in the country —that some of the misleading scurrilous statements which appeared in the leading articles in the Irish Press were written by a man who sits in the office of the Taoiseach.

The Taoiseach: That is not true.

Mr. Davin: You deny that?

The Taoiseach: I do.

Mr. Davin: Now, I think it is expected in a country like this where we boast of our high Christian qualifications and religious ideals that at least it should be a qualification of any man who is entitled to claim the position of Minister, that he should be truthful on all occasions, and truthful especially when dealing with public affairs with public men in public places, whether the public places be here in this House or outside this House. There is plenty of evidence on record to prove that statements have been made in this House in the past by some men who are now being proposed as members of the Cabinet which could not be confirmed by figures or facts. If these things have been done in the past, and if the Taoiseach admits that they are wrong, can we have an assurance that the same men who are now going to make up the Cabinet for the coming critical years will change their tactics, and will learn how to be truthful when dealing with public matters in a Parliamentary institution? I have said that from my experience the men whose names are now put forward are “yes-men” who can be relied upon to play the part of “yes-men,” or whatever part the Taoiseach desires them to play.

[97] The first and most important position in a Cabinet is the position of Minister for Finance and I assume that Deputy Seán T. O Ceallaigh will, in the future, as he was for some years past, be Minister for Finance in the Government. The success or failure of any government in this or any other country depends upon the mentality, the outlook and the attitude of the Minister for Finance, and the failure of this Government to carry out the policy of self-sufficiency and to carry out the many promises made by Ministers and their spokesmen before they came into office is due to the fact that the Minister for Finance has not faced up to his responsibilities. Deputy Sean T. O Ceallaigh is personally a decent man and I have nothing to say against him. He never injured a man either with his tongue or his gun, if he ever used a gun, but one thing is certain: as Minister for Finance, he signed many cheques which were certainly not in the interests of the taxpayers on whose behalf he acts.

If, previous to the present emergency, the Ministry of Supplies failed, as they did fail, to produce the supplies which were required to carry this country over the emergency period, it was because Deputy Seán T. O Ceallaigh as Minister for Finance did not provide, when he should have provided, the necessary State guarantees to enable the Government as a central purchasing body, or the industrialists of the country to get the raw materials which would help to carry us over the emergency period. Deputy Seán T. O Ceallaigh, as Minister for Finance, regards the monied classes of the country as the masters of the Government and as his masters as Minister for Finance, and it is only when the Minister for Finance whoever he may be in the future, takes the line that money must be made the servant and not the master of the Government and the people that this country will face up to a real solution of the great problems confronting it.

What is the cost of the money provided for the carrying on of Government services in this country compared with the cost of the money which can [98] be got by the Government of any other civilised country in the world to-day? There is no country in the world so far as I know, whether at war or at peace, in which the control of monetary policy is so completely in the hands of private citizens as this country, and that was brought about by the deliberate act of this Assembly when it passed the Central Bank Bill in September and October last year. Those of us who were members of the House at that time and especially those of us who took an active part in the discussions know perfectly well that the Minister for Finance, then Deputy Seán T. O Ceallaigh, was unable to do his job on that occasion and that the Taoiseach had to come to this assistance and give him the necessary support to get the Bill steam-rolled through the House by means of his majority of “yes-men.” It is a serious state of affairs that in existing emergency circumstances the control of monetary policy, the fixing of the price of money, should be in the hands of private citizens and until that system is changed, Deputy de Valera's Government of to-morrow or any Government of the future will not be able to carry out their promises to the people.

Whenever any proposal is put before the House for the purpose of improving the social services, of improving the miserable pittances at present paid to the aged, the blind and the infirm, or to those who are unable to get work, we are asked by this distinguished Minister for Finance where the money is to come from. Even when we plead for small sums for the repair of bog roads, we are asked the same question. There are thousands of tons of turf lying in the bogs in the turf-cutting counties because enough money cannot be found, or will not be given, for the repair of those bog roads so as to enable the fuel so badly needed in the cities and towns to be got out. If the Taoiseach knows anything as a result of his recent tour through the country, if he has been told the truth—and I know it is very often kept from him—he knows that that is a fact.

What is the cost of money here compared [99] with the cost in other countries, and what is the position of our Irish banks over which our Government and the Minister for Finance have no control, in regard to the charge they make for the money they lend to the Government, to the local authorities, to the farmers and to the industrialists compared with the price at which they are prepared to lend that money to a foreign Government to fight a war in a foreign country? If you want money in this country to-day to build houses or to do any other work of a constructive nature, you have to go to the private banks and pay rates of interest ranging from 5 to 7 per cent., while the same banks are allowed by the Head of the Government and his Minister for Finance to lend money, made in this country by the Irish people, to the British Government to fight a war in a foreign country, for the destruction of life and property, at a rate of interest not exceeding 3¼ per cent. Until that rotten system is changed, it does not matter whether Deputy de Valera is Head of the Government or Deputy Seán T. O Ceallaigh Minister for Finance, and I am afraid, from my experience of Deputy Seán T. O Ceallaigh, that he is not going to change that rotten system.

When the Taoiseach made his policy pronouncement in this House on 29th April, 1932, he said he was prepared to accept responsibility for providing a solution of the unemployment problem, that he would stand or fall by his ability to provide that solution, and that if he could not find that solution inside the system, he would go to the country and ask the people to give him authority to go outside the system. Having failed to carry out his promise to solve the problem of unemployment, except by the method of emigration, which has been going on since the emergency, I challenge him now, after a period of 11 years in office, as to whether he has the courage to say that he will go outside the system to find the solution which he has been unable to find inside it. We will want a more courageous Minister for Finance if we are to face up to that task, and I do not think that Deputy O Ceallaigh, who is a [100] gentlemanly and decent man, is the type of man who will face up to that heavy responsibility.

I remember Deputy Seán T. Ó Ceallaigh boasting that he had whipped John Bull. He is the smallest man associated with the smallest Government in the world that I know of who was ever able to make that boast, but having boasted that he had whipped John Bull in the economic war, he sat down on behalf of the taxpayers and wrote out a cheque for £10,000,000 to be paid to Britain in respect of moneys which he claimed were neither legally nor morally due. He said during the recent election that he never made a bargain. I never heard of a good boxer who, having won his fight, handed over the stakes to the loser. When we want money for the improvement of our social services we are asked where the money is to come from. The same people said, when sitting on this side, that the defence services of this State should not cost any more than £2,000,000 per year. Where did the money amounting to £10,000,000 for the maintenance of the defence services this year come from? It can be got from the same source for the improvement of our social services if the Head of the Government and his Minister will only face up to it and see that that money is got at a cheaper price than it has been secured by this Government or its predecessor. That is all I have to say about the Minister for Finance, but I emphasise the fact that it is the most important Ministry in any Government either here or elsewhere in existing circumstances, or indeed under any circumstances at any time.

I ask the Taoiseach if he will tell us whether it is intended in the future to maintain the position known as the Minister for the Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures and, if it is, will he, as one who believes that services should be given in return for money paid by the taxpayers, indicate what is the nature of the responsibilities to be borne by that Minister in future? This is not personal, and I hope the Minister concerned will not treat it as personal, but I do not know that that Minister has earned his salary during the past five years—I have no evidence [101] of it—when you compare his so-called responsibilities with the responsibilities of any Minister, such as the Minister for Supplies and Industry and Commerce or, if you like, the lazy Minister for Lands and Education who has held two offices. I assume from the little information that has been given to us by the Taoiseach up to the present that it is intended to divide the Ministries of Land and Education in future, and that is certainly something to be satisfied with. I feel that the Minister for Lands and Education is one of the laziest members of the Cabinet. He is too lazy to think for himself. I believe he is too lazy to read the files of his Departments. There is evidence of that in the fact that when you put down a Parliamentary question and ask a supplementary question the Minister has to go reading through the files and papers, and you have to wait for some minutes before getting a reply.

In any case, I am glad to learn that he is to be relieved of some of his responsibilities and I hope his successor, as head of the Ministry of Lands, will do more than he has done since he took responsibility for the conduct of the Land Commission. The Land Commission, as Deputy Cafferky has rightly said, can do very useful work in connection with the division of land and the carrying out of afforestation schemes. Apart altogether from the fact that Deputy Derrig may be looked upon as a lazy man, I think it is not right to place the responsibility of carrying two Ministries, like the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Lands, on the shoulders of any one member of the Government. It is a welcome change.

Will the Taoiseach give the House and the country a little more information about the future responsibilities of the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures? I think Deputies who have been watching the activities of that particular Minister are not satisfied generally that there is good value given for the money that is being paid to the man who occupies the position. I often thought Deputy Aiken would be a very suitable man for the Ministry of Lands. He did [102] occupy that position at one time in an acting capacity. I am certain he would do the work of the Department better and know more about the work of that Department than the man who has been in charge of it for the last four or five years.

The Minister for Justice during the past few weeks talked a good deal about the rights of our citizens under the Constitution. He appeared to be addressing his remarks in particular to the members of the Labour Party. How can the Minister for Justice talk so glibly and pleasantly about the rights of our citizens under the Constitution when he as Minister reserves to himself the right to arrest and intern, as he has done, hundreds of our citizens without either trial or charge? Does that fit in with the relevant Articles of the Constitution? The Taoiseach, when speaking in the country, made raving speeches about the rights of the citizens under the Constitution. He, in company with other Ministers, accused us of having tried to prevent the Dáil from adopting that Constitution. I was accused wrongly of having advised my constituents to oppose the Constitution. I opposed certain Articles of the Constitution when it was under discussion in the Dáil. I moved suitable amendments to it, but they were defeated. But, during the following general election, taking that document as a whole, although I had very strong objections to three or four Articles in it, I advised my constituents to vote for the Constitution.

That was like some of the allegations made, not by the Taoiseach, but by some of his Ministers, that we opposed and voted against what some people style the economic war agreement, that we voted against the restoration of the ports to the authority of the Government of this State. I challenge the Taoiseach or any Minister sitting there to go out and get the records of this House and produce the name of any Labour Deputy who voted against that economic war agreement in this House. We criticised it. That is what we were sent here for-to criticise in a constructive way the policy of the Government of the State. Is it not a fact that the first [103] conference arranged between the Head of this Government and the head of the British Government for the purpose of getting a settlement of the economic war was arranged by Deputy Norton with the British Labour representative at the time? Is it not a fact that he gave every possible assistance to maintain Deputy de Valera's Government in office during the economic war? Was it not a lie for Deputy Lemass, or Deputy MacEntee, or any other Minister to tell the people during the past few weeks that we voted against the agreement which restored the ports of this country to the authority of the Government elected by the Irish people?

I accuse the Minister for Justice, who talks about the impartial administration of affairs, of having interfered on a number of occasions during the last few years with the impartial administration of justice. Cases are on record where that Minister interfered with the judgment of our judges by releasing prisoners immediately after they were convicted in the courts. I assert that that was done under political pressure by some members of his own Party who sit behind him. I suggest to the Taoiseach—and I am making this suggestion very sincerely and in the best interests of the impartial administration of justice in this country—that it is quite wrong and improper for a person holding the position of Minister for Justice to be also one of the principal leaders of the Fianna Fáil Party organisation. The present Minister for Justice is one of the two secretaries of the Fianna Fáil Party organisation. I think he should be released from that position so long as he holds the high office of Minister for Justice of this State.

There has been a good deal said this evening by farmer representatives who sit on the different benches about the qualifications, or lack of qualifications, of Deputy Dr. Ryan for the position of Minister for Agriculture. Figures are available to prove that he has been a dismal failure as Minister for Agriculture. Since Fianna Fáil came into office and since he became Minister for Agriculture the value of agricultural [104] production has gone down by £15,000,000. The value of food consumed in this country has gone down by £8,500,000. The number of persons working on the land, whether as working farmers or agricultural labourers, has gone down by 48,500. The total population of the country has gone down by 23,500.

The Taoiseach: Where are the figures taken from?

Mr. Davin: From Government documents supplied to Deputies who have the energy to read them.

The Taoiseach: What are they?

Mr. Davin: I am aware the Taoiseach questioned these figures in a speech in Cork.

The Taoiseach: I am in a position to ask the Deputy now for his authority.

Mr. Davin: The figures will be found in the Trade Journal which is issued every three months to Deputies by the Department of Industry and Commerce. I ask the Taoiseach to get his secretary to summarise the figures there and compare them with the figures published in 1932.

The Taoiseach: To what issue of the Trade Journal is the Deputy referring?

Mr. Davin: If you look at the issue supplied to Deputies last September and if you get the comparative figures for 1932, you will find that my figures are closely related to facts and I admit that figures do not always represent facts. Since the Minister for Agriculture came into office in 1932, no fewer than 250,000 people have left the rural parts of this country. If these figures represent facts, there is a glaring case to prove that Dr. James Ryan is unfit to occupy the position of Minister for Agriculture in the Fianna Fáil Government. I do not propose to say much, because it is unnecessary, to show that Deputy Oscar Traynor, as Minister for Defence, and Deputy P.J. Little, as Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, should not be included in this list. They are simple-minded, easygoing men—the most useless type of “yes-men” I know, to be included in the Cabinet for the coming few years.

[105] Mr. Traynor: More scurrility.

Mr. Davin: That is not scurrility, it is fact.

Mr. Traynor: It is not scurrility when it comes from the Labour Benches.

Mr. Davin: Anything may be said by Deputy MacEntee and you will say: “Yes, that is right.” That is what you are saying to-night. I am stating a fact, and I am not doing so in any personal sense.

Mr. Traynor: You are one of the biggest “yes-men” in the House. You go to the Whip of the Party——

Mr. McGilligan: That is not meant to be scurrilous.

Mr. Davin: Enough has been said about Deputy Seán MacEntee to prove that whoever is prepared to vote for him as Minister is a “yes-man” of the lowest type. That gentleman, in addition to the unfounded allegations and the slanderous and libellous statements made against members of this Party and cited in the debate to-night by Deputy Norton, had the audacity to charge members of this Party, during the recent election campaign, with having condoned the sinking of the Irish Oak. Could anything be more scandalous, or more untrue? Are you prepared to stand for that by voting for him?

Mr. Traynor: You went very near to doing what you complain of.

Mr. Everett: Why had you an Englishman in charge?

Mr. Traynor: You are the man who made the statement.

Mr. Everett: You allowed an Englishman to take charge of the boat and you were dining and wining with the German Consul.

Mr. Davin: I challenge Deputy Traynor to say whether, in his own constituency of North-East Dublin, there are not qualified men with foreign-going tickets who have been refused jobs as officers on our ships, while men who are not Irish nationals have been [106] put on the bridges and in the engine room.

Mr. Traynor: You know that I could not answer that.

Mr. Davin: If you do not know that, you do not know your job.

Mr. Everett: He does know that there are such men.

Mr. Traynor: You dirtied your bib.

Mr. Davin: By insisting on including Deputy MacEntee in his list, the Taoiseach is standing for all the dirty things he said and did in the recent general election. Members of this Party will not vote for any Cabinet which includes the name of that Belfast brat.

An Ceann Comhairle: That is not a Parliamentary expression and must be withdrawn.

Mr. Everett: He is from Belfast anyway.

Mr. Davin: In deference to the wishes of the Chair, I withdraw the expression.

Mr. O Cléirigh: It has been rendered almost unnecessary for anybody to reply to the statements of Deputy Davin and Deputy Norton. Deputy Norton is responsible for the way in which this debate has gone. I took Deputy Norton to be the Leader of the Labour Party. However, I find that he is not the leader. There may be two leaders. When Deputy Norton spoke about the proposed Cabinet, it was all right. Deputy Aiken, Deputy Traynor, Deputy O Ceallaigh, Deputy Derrig and the others were all right and were not objected to in the slightest degree by Deputy Norton. The only nominee objected to by Deputy Norton, speaking on behalf of the whole Labour Party, was Deputy MacEntee.

Mr. Norton: I did not give them a testimonial, either.

Mr. O Cléirigh: It is illuminating to the House that Deputy MacEntee should be objected to not because he [107] did not do his work in the Department, not because he was inefficient as a Minister or because he introduced the Trade Union Bill or the stop Order in regard to wages or any of the other things which were supposed to have ruined the worker, but because he took the gloves off in the general election and fought Mr. Norton and his campaigners in Dublin with their own weapons. On these grounds only, the leader of the Labour Party, speaking for that Party, objects to Deputy MacEntee becoming a member of the Cabinet. I ask Deputies, and particularly new Deputies to judge the value of the Labour Party and of their leader by the request to them to accept the rule that a Minister is to be kicked out of the Cabinet and, as they said, kicked out of the Dáil and his Party, because he takes the gloves off and fights an election, as we all do, with bare knuckles. There was not a single word in the speeches of Deputy Davin or Deputy Norton to suggest that Deputy MacEntee's nomination was being opposed because of alleged inefficiency. It was not suggested that he should not be a Minister because of the Trade Union Bill about which we heard so much. Deputy Norton was to start a revolution because of that Bill. Now, he would allow the Minister responsible for it to come back were it not that he said certain things during the election campaign.

Mr. Anthony: Scurrility.

Mr. O Cléirigh: That may be; I am not judging that. It may have been even disgraceful, but I think that the tactics of Deputy MacEntee would have to go much farther to equal the tactics of certain members of the Labour Party, both in Dublin and in the country, during the last election. Tactics of candidates during an election campaign are no criterion of their value as Deputies, if they get in here. Many of us would fare very poorly if we were to be judged in that way. I think that this is the meanest and most unjustifiable attack that was ever made, and one that will bring no credit at all to the members of the Labour [108] Party, who stand behind it because of a certain attack on Deputy Norton. His pride may be injured. He told us his whole history this evening. We did not want to hear it. He spent days and days telling Deputy MacEntee's history, and that from a most twisted angle. Why should not Deputy MacEntee hit back? Does Deputy Norton, or Deputy Davin, with his reference to a Belfast brat, think that they only should be allowed to be scurrilous? Are they to be allowed to attack Ministers and suggest that they be kicked out of public life, and are they only to be allowed to fight with bare knuckles?

I have sympathy with some of the Labour Deputies. Some of them are here to-day for the first time. I am glad to see them here. They, too, were brats. They were not called brats or rats by Deputy MacEntee. They were so called by members of their own Party. That is the Party that comes in here to hurl an attack against Deputy MacEntee for scurrility. That is most unbecoming. I think that an apology to new members of the Dáil is more or less due by Deputy Norton and Deputy Davin for opening up the sores of the election campaign—all because Deputy Norton did not do as well as he thought he would and is not forming a Government.

Mr. Norton: We kept you from forming a majority Party. We cost you 140,000 votes.

Mr. O Cléirigh: I listened calmly while Deputy Norton was speaking. I enjoyed his speech because he was his real self. He talked a lot about Russia in 1925. But Deputy MacEntee was all right in 1932, when Deputy Norton voted him into power. There was not a word about Russia then. Deputy MacEntee was a Minister from 1932 to 1943, and Deputy Norton voted for his measures on many occasions. There was not a word about Deputy MacEntee then or about his Party's past. There were times when Russia was all right but, when it suits to open up the old sores of the general election, Deputy Norton tries to befuddle the House by showing his bravery in debate and attacking a particular [109] Minister. Why are not other Ministers wrong? I took it from speeches of Deputies of that Party during the election that Deputy Seán Lemass was not fit to be a Minister. Deputy Lemass' name was dragged in the mud in this city for years. A low campaign was carried out against him in this city—and off Labour platforms, too. There is not a word about that now. He is fit to be a Minister. So, according to the leader of the Labour Party, is every other member of the proposed Cabinet but Deputy MacEntee.

There are worse features of the debate than that. We have examples of these from Deputies from whom we should expect better—members of the Fine Gael Party. Why should they take upon themselves, not only to tell the country what it should do, but to tell the new Farmers' Party what they should do. Deputy Anthony, of Cork, has the cheek to come in here and tell the new Farmers' Party what they should do and what the country expects them to do. That really means what the Fine Gael Party expects them to do. I have a lot of sympathy with the members of the new Farmers' Party.

Mr. D. Morrissey: Hear, hear!

Mr. O Cléirigh: I have sympathy with them because they are here for the first time. Every word they use in their maiden speeches, not being practised debaters here, is twisted and turned by Deputy Anthony and others, who have twisted and turned so often that they do not know where they find themselves in politics. That applies, too, to Deputy Morrissey. They should be the last to lecture any new Deputy and take advantage of a maiden speech, because we were all nervous at the beginning.

Mr. D. Morrissey: It is a long time since we heard Deputy O Cléirigh in this House. The last time was five years ago.

Mr. O Cléirigh: If Deputy Morrissey and his Party did their work efficiently, I would have had to be here. There were empty benches on the Opposition side and, as a result, they are emptier now.

[110] Mr. D. Morrissey: There are a few vacant places on your side, too.

Mr. O'Grady: You had a holiday, too.

Mr. O Cléirigh: The Farmers' Party have come in here and a Deputy from my own constituency, in a very good speech, said that Deputy Cosgrave, who was going to form a Coalition Government, had not even approached that Party to see if they would join him. I presume he did not approach the Labour Party and he, certainly, did not approach this Party. Are we to take Deputy Morrissey, or any member of his Party, seriously, when he gets up to propose Deputy Cosgrave as Taoiseach with a view to forming a Government without having the assurance of one Deputy outside his own Party that he would stand behind him? That is merely a lot of child's play. What was the idea of proposing Deputy Cosgrave when not a single member of the House outside his own Party would go in with him?

An Ceann Comhairle: That question has already been decided.

Mr. O Cléirigh: It shows their sincerity in opposing the nomination of Deputy Ryan. A little more sincerity from them would, despite the recent shocks they got at the general election, be appreciated by all Parties. Deputy Dr. Ryan is the world's worst Minister for Agriculture, according to Deputies opposite. But Dr. Ryan's constituents, from one of the best farming counties in Ireland, do not think so.

Mr. Linehan: He was at the bottom of the poll.

Mr. O Cléirigh: He was at the top of the poll in his constituency.

Mr. Linehan: Look at the count.

Mr. O Cléirigh: I go further and, at the risk of saying some things which are unpopular, I say that agriculture in Deputy Dr. Ryan's period was never as prosperous as it is to-day and that there is not a farmer-Deputy opposite who does not know that.

[111] Mr. Fagan: I disagree with you in that. Where is there any butter?

Mr. Corry: Why did you not milk the cow?

Mr. Fagan: Why have you no butter and no bacon?

An Ceann Comhairle: Order!

Mr. O Cléirigh: I could add to that list and ask: “Why have we no bread?”

Mr. Fagan: You need not thank Fianna Fáil for bread.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy must resume his seat.

Mr. Fagan: You would have no wheat if you had not fertility in the land.

Mr. O Cléirigh: I could ask: “Why have we no bread and no sugar?” I could ask if we would not have had famine in the country if we had followed the policy of Deputy Fagan and Deputy Dillon, the vice-leader of his Party at one Stage. Then we have the litany of “What have you done?” “You have done nothing.” They know that very well and it is to cover it up that Deputy Fagan gets up here with his loud voice.

Mr. Fagan rose.

An Ceann Comhairle: If Deputy Fagan does not cease to interrupt, I shall be constrained to ask him to leave the House.

Mr. Fagan: The bottom is knocked clean out of agriculture. You have nothing to sell and nothing to export.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy will leave the House for the remainder of the day's session.

Mr. Fagan: I will leave the House.

The Deputy then left.

Mr. O Cléirigh: I did not set out to make the cap fit any one in particular, but it has apparently fitted Deputy Fagan.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy is not in the House now.

[112] Mr. O Cléirigh: A continuation of their policy would mean neither oats, wheat, barley nor bread—only the bullock—in this country, and then they talk about the pig trade being almost gone. The campaign Deputy Dr. Ryan had to fight for the past three years was a campaign against the Fagans and the Dillons who did not want tillage at all, except on a limited scale. They may attack Deputy Dr. Ryan now, but had it not been for Deputy Dr. Ryan, they would have a sorry tale to tell in Mullingar and in many other parts of that constituency if their advice had been taken.

It is to cover up that they shout now: “No butter,” “No potatoes”. They worked that campaign to its full extent. They sent potatoes from Cork to Dublin and left a shortage in Cork to support the campaign of “no potatoes, no butter, no eggs”. They may well talk about Deputy Dr. Ryan's policy for the farmers of Ireland. Deputy Dr. Ryan's policy of tillage is the policy that has left this country neutral. It has not had to beg our food from outside sources, and were it not for the policy of Deputy Lemass and Deputy MacEntee in putting up the necessary mills to mill our flour, they would be going to America to-day as Deputy Dillon and Deputy Fitzgerald-Kenney suggested. That would be the price of our neutrality. Some of those men have a neck to talk about Dr. Ryan——

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy should be referred to as Deputy.

Mr. O Cléirigh: When Deputy Dr. Ryan went to Wexford, one of the best tillage counties in Ireland, the farmers put him at the top of the poll. His success can be measured by the fact that the Farmers' Party itself did not think fit to nominate a candidate in Wexford. It is easy to play politics in Opposition. What is the alternative suggested by the Opposition now? An Taoiseach has the responsibility of forming a Cabinet. One of the sanest things was said by Deputy Donnellan, leader of Clann na Talmhan, in this debate. He said it is the Taoiseach's responsibility to select his own team.

[113] Mr. Everett: There is the agreement.

Mr. O Cléirigh: Can anyone suggest that it is not the Taoiseach's right? Would Deputy Cosgrave surrender his right to pick his team were he Taoiseach? Would Deputy Norton surrender it? When the Taoiseach as he now is, having experience of government for 11 years, picks his team, they are the only team we feel are fit under present circumstances to be a team. According to Deputy Davin now, none of them is fit. That is a new departure since Deputy Norton sat down. This is done for debating purposes. Deputy Norton must outshine the other two Parties in order that the country might look on them as being the principal Opposition in this Dáil. He must outshine them in oratory, outshine them in scurrility and in abuse, and in attacks of every kind. That is not the way the Dáil should carry on at its opening meeting.

A Cabinet has been proposed by the Taoiseach, and there is no single man in it that can be opposed on grounds of inefficiency. Deputy Davin alleged that secret service money, the post office and the Taoiseach's office were used in a political way in favour of a political Party—I presume the Fianna Fáil Party. That is the statement which was loosely made here. What about his quotations of Papal Encyclicals? Is he going to back up his statement by proof? Foreign papers would like to use that statement to show the type of Government we have here. It was made without a single atom of evidence to show it was true. The Deputy passes it over as a speaker's argument, and for no other purpose. I think the example set by Deputy Norton and Deputy Davin is not a good one. Better examples might come from time to time from their Party. Better examples will come from that Party and I think a better example might come from the Opposition Party. The chief Opposition I take to be Deputy Cosgrave's Party, and it is time that Deputy Cosgrave's Party would cease to lecture either Labour or Clann na Talmhan as to what their duty is here. When they find their feet, these Parties will know well what their duty is and they should not be rubbed [114] up by slick debaters trying to twist words they may say without proper practice here.

The Cabinet put before this House is the best Cabinet for this country; it has experience of wartime and peacetime. The country has given its opinion on it. With one exception, the country voted every Minister to the top of the poll. The people of Eire want them to be the Cabinet, and put them back to get on with the work the country has to do.

Mr. McGilligan: I am glad that I have not the political morals of the last speaker. I take it that a fair interpretation of his speech would be that a man may be a liar and a cheat and deficient of all attributes of justice and charity, and yet make a good Minister of State. Deputy Norton criticised Deputy MacEntee for his campaign of scurrility. I do not think there is any journal in the country which would not agree with Deputy Norton's description of Deputy MacEntee's campaigning efforts. They were in sharp contradistinction to the efforts of a number of his colleagues. Every word Deputy Norton said to-night was well merited. We have sad experience of the same Deputy. He made himself almost the leader in that type of campaign effort in 1932, and he had the good grace which this House welcomed, in an honest and open way to apologise about 1938 for what he had done, and even though it took him six years to find the decency and honesty to make that confession, the House did applaud it, and he had almost reinstated himself in the good esteem and respect of people who were here. All that can be said is that he has certainly laid grounds for future apologies, and I hope they will come earlier than six years hence. There is one Party very unfortunate in this debate, the Party most people were inclined to welcome to this House— Clann na Talmhan. They have had criticism from nearly everybody who spoke, and they have had far worse. the indignity of protection offered to them by such a Deputy as Deputy O Cléirigh, and they have the goodwill of Deputy Corry. When they are some [115] years older in this House they will realise how low a depth they have sunk to when they have merited that. It has, undoubtedly, been an unfortunate day. I think there never was more interest taken in the opening of the Dáil session than in this one, and that mainly centred in the fact that the people thought they saw opening up before them a new pattern of Parliamentary Assembly. They had the emergence of a new Party and the growing strength of another sectional Party and people welcomed that because they thought these people would bring in a more vivid appreciation of certain problems than the larger Parties. There could have been unfolded before this House that technique of government discovered in other countries and there might be a chance of discovering with a number of minority Parties which technique could have been adequate in the circumstances of this country to lead to good government that would become more and more normal.

We found, as we came into the Dáil, that the opportunity to have that new pattern traced here was denied us right from the start. From the moment that Deputy de Valera was proposed as An Taoiseach here, no word was spoken as to whether he was going to change the form of government, but after a few speeches were made, it was quite clear that he proposed not merely to abide by Party government but to abide by the very same group of Ministers. All that showed the shadow of coming events. I complain that, although the Labour Party on this particular Vote have recovered some lost ground, both they and the new Party should have seen what the proposal of An Taoiseach under these circumstances meant and that everything we are now discussing was inherent in the situation the moment Deputy de Valera was proposed as Taoiseach.

Clann na Talmhan are not going to vote in this division. I say that is their responsibility. Deputy Alfred Byrne used the phrase that the Taoiseach had not sufficient generals. There is nothing more ruthless in war [116] than the sacking of inefficient people. How many battles have these famous generals now proposed for Executive office lost; how many have they through our sad experience lost? Have their records merited that they should be again proposed to man the gap or to lead their men to the sort of disaster they have already accomplished? Deputy Cafferky said that there are landlords in this country and he complains of their existence. There are many landlords written up in Irish history for the clearances they made on certain farms on their estates. We have held these people up to ignominy and to the hatred they justly deserved for what they did, but Deputy Dr. James Ryan has cleared 40,000 people off the land since 1932 and he is now again proposed for office. No landlord that Deputy Cafferky could get excited about has made such a clearance of human beings off the land as Deputy Dr. Ryan has, but Deputy Cafferky thinks that it is the responsibility of An Taoiseach to nominate his team, and he will not take the opportunity of saying “no” to Deputy Dr. James Ryan.

Deputy Cafferky said, that as far as pig production in his area was concerned, the efforts of Deputy Dr. James Ryan had been devastating. That is not the only area in which he has been devastating. There are many areas of agricultural production which Deputy Dr. Ryan has swept more cleanly than any Biblical plague of locusts that ever fell upon a country and, yet, Clann na Talmhan will not walk into the Division Lobby against him.

Mr. Coburn: That is what the ten minute courtesy call did.

Mr. McGilligan: That is what Deputy Dr. Ryan has done, but what has he promised those who represent the farmers? He told one group in Cork that we had to admit this, and to submit to it; that certain lines of agriculture were no longer economic; that as far as dairy produce was concerned, there was going to be no profitable dairy surplus and we had got to do without it; that as far as pig products were concerned, he thought that whatever production was carried on would [117] have to be focussed or concentrated entirely on the home market, and that so far as there had been any export trade in these products it was gone.

His colleague, who came under the lash of Labour for his scurrility, did interfere in an agricultural discussion on one occasion before a farmers' assembly here in Dublin, and he told that assembly that—his colleague the Minister for Agriculture has since denied it—as far as the cattle trade was concerned, he regarded it as virtually exterminated. That is the policy that has driven people off the land and devastated this country in certain areas of production. Deputy Dr. Ryan, if now re-appointed, can say afterwards to these people who refuse to vote against him: “I made my position and my programme clear. We are going to go out of agricultural exports of a certain type.” He has no suggestion to make as to the products which are to be substituted for those which we are not to produce. Deputies who represent the farmers are going to allow this cruel devastation of the countryside to proceed still further.

The Taoiseach has had a reminder from one of the Labour Deputies that when he came into power in 1932 he founded his programme on his capacity to rid the country of unemployment. When he was challenged by Labour Deputies between 1932 and 1933 on that pronouncement, he said that he would stand or fall by his ability to deal with that programme. Ten years passed and in July of last year in replying on the Vote for his own Department the Taoiseach said: “As far as that problem is concerned, I see no solution for it except possibly if I got power to conscript labour.” Ten years ago we were told that we had a remedy for unemployment staring us in the face such as no other country possessed, but in July 1942, we were told that there was no solution for that problem “except possibly that I would be allowed to conscript labour.”

The Labour Party have concentrated to my mind too much on the scurrility of Deputy Sean MacEntee. I must say that I had expected more from them on one other matter because I know the interest they take in workers in the [118] town. In one of the Budgets which he introduced in this House, Deputy Sean T. O Ceallaigh, as Minister for Finance, told us that he was nicely balancing things as between two sections of the community. He had found that certain people had made substantial profits arising out of the war and he proposed to lift these moneys from the profiteers. In one year he was going to get £750,000 in this way. Then the nice balance on the other side was that no worker was going to get his wages increased beyond the point at which they stood at that particular moment. That was the nice balance. The profiteers were to have their ill-gotten gains extracted from them but they were allowed to retain their normal profits. The man in the wages line, however, found that he was held fast by a standstill order. We know that in the course of the debate in the next two or three days, when it was represented to the Minister that this arrangement might harm certain industries, he threw the £750,000 back to the profiteers although, he told us, his Revenue Commissioners had information from the books of these companies that they had got this money in this outrageous way from the community. The Taoiseach is well aware that the value of the pound which the poor man receives in wages has now gone down to about 12/6. There is an income tax of 7/6d. in the £ on those who are above a certain level. There is also an allowance made for subsistence and for children below a certain age, but when you come to reduce the value of the £ that goes to the workman and the clerk, we find that there is a reduction in value of 7/6d. without any such allowance for subsistence. Is that any recognition of family responsibility? The poorer sections of the community get the same 20/- in wages but that amount buys only 12/6. worth of food if the food is there to be bought. They will get still less if these goods are bought at an enhanced price or at a black market price.

Another Minister went to another of those societies and said—it was repeated during the election—that there was no good in people promising extra social benefits of different types, because [119] they cost money, and the only way they could get it was out of extra taxation. Apparently their minds are absolutely certain that production is fixed in this country, that we cannot raise it, and that therefore if you give any additional social benefits the cost will have to come out of taxation. Deputy James Ryan is of the same mind when he tells us about the types of agricultural production that will have to disappear from this country. His colleague in the Department of Industry and Commerce tells us that production is fixed. The pool is absolutely rigid, and if you are going to give people extra social benefits the cost will have to come out of taxation.

All that brings me to the third point. Deputy Davin has spoken, quite properly—I should have imagined that Deputy Cogan would at least have found an echo of what Deputy Davin said in that respect jostling him into action instead of inaction in this matter—when he criticised Deputy Seán T. O Ceallaigh, the Minister for Finance, for having made no proper use of finance as a weapon towards increased production in this country. We had a Budget here in May of this year. If Deputy Seán T. O Ceallaigh, as Minister for Finance, had done nothing but read a couple of newspapers he would have known that there is a completely new conception of finance in the world to-day, but in that Budget of this year the only thing we got in the way of an approach to some ease in the finance of production in this country is that the rate of lending of the Agricultural Credit Corporation is reduced to 4½ per cent. Deputy O'Ceallaigh's last Budget and all his previous Budgets were a simple matter of housekeeping: what have we to spend, and how are we to get the money? The other conception of finance that there is abroad in the world—that money is an instrument of production if it is properly used—has apparently never crossed the mind of the man who is now proposed as Minister for Finance in this country.

Mr. Flanagan: Try monetary reform.

[120] Mr. McGilligan: Let that Party listen, and they will get their crude ideas reformed.

Mr. Flanagan: We have already formed our ideas.

Mr. McGilligan: I will be glad to hear them expounded and brought home here.

Mr. Flanagan: You will often hear them here.

Mr. McGilligan: May I say to the Deputy who has interrupted that the most formidable barrier he will meet in regard to his financial theories will be Deputy Seán T. O Ceallaigh, who is now proposed as Minister for Finance?

Mr. Flanagan: I am quite in agreement.

Mr. McGilligan: Deputy Cogan, I suggest to him, had advanced views in this matter, and Deputy Cogan knows well that what I have said with regard to Deputy Seán T. O Ceallaigh is very limited and moderate by way of criticism of his attitude and of his lack of forethought and enterprise. Yet Deputy Cogan and other members of his Party are going to sit quietly on those benches——

Mr. Cogan: And save your Party from another election and extinction.

Mr. McGilligan: For the first time we have got some one reason why that Party is going to remain quiet. This is the first time any reason has been given. I do not think I have been taking advantage of speeches made here; I do not think it will be alleged that I have twisted one sentence which that Party has uttered. I do not think I have quoted from anybody except Deputy Cafferky. I am speaking about their attitude, their inaction. I think we were entitled to expect that that particular Party, on whom so many hopes were centred——

Mr. O'Donnell: We are saving you from being decimated.

[121] Mr. D. Morrissey: The voice is the voice of Deputy O'Donnell, but the words are the words of Senator Quirke.

Mr. McGilligan: They came in here with a lot of high hopes founded on them. They are going to disappoint and falsify those hopes if they do not take a decision, and nobody can say that a decision not to vote on such a matter is a decision at all. If that Party wished they could help to shape the pattern of governmental things for years to come. They may never get the chance again. Their chance is here now, and it looks to me as if they are going to fail.

Deputy Seán MacEntee has been criticised very vigorously, and I hold very properly, for his conduct during the election campaign. One other name has been introduced here, that of a very fine and decent and loyal Irishman who served in the Seanad of this country, ex-Senator O'Farrell. If we were to take nothing else in respect of Deputy Seán MacEntee but the language he used in regard to that one individual, then the Deputy who is proposed here as Minister has undoubtedly not merely demeaned the Party to which he belongs but has disgraced this Parliamentary Assembly.

Mr. T.J. Murphy: I feel that we here on this side of the House ought to express our thanks for this lecture on manners which we have had from Deputy O Cléirigh this evening. Members of the House will observe that, although we have not heard his voice for a very long time and have seen him only very rarely, he has not departed from his old form. He runs very true to form. When he talks about scurrility, I do not think there is anybody on this side of the House who would dare to enter into that domain. He is certainly an authority on that subject; he has distinguished himself on many occasions here as an authority on that subject. But I think that we ought to have from the Leader of this House some indication as to whether he thinks that we ought to continue to have in this country a Minister for Co-Ordination of Defensive [122] Measures. Great Britain is engaged in a life and death struggle at the present time, but the Government in Great Britain, fighting as they are for the very existence of their nation, does not consider it necessary to have a Minister for the Co-Ordination of Defensive Measures.

Surely it is not too much to expect that work in connection with the censorship and other matters that fall to be performed by somebody during the emergency could be discharged by the Minister for Defence. I noticed that the Taoiseach said that there is likely to be a change in regard to the Department of Lands. If that indicates that there is to be a complete closing down of Land Commission activities, one cannot object, but if it means that the present inactivity on the part of the Land Commission is going to continue, there is no justification whatever for having a separate Minister for that Department, to exercise nominal control over the cessation of activity which has been associated with the Department for a considerable time.

I observe that the Taoiseach indicated that he proposes to include Deputy Seán Moylan in the Government. I now register the objections to that which I voiced on previous occasions. On April 7th I quoted from a letter written by Deputy Moylan when he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Commerce, to Mr. J. Gilligan, 4 Chapel Street, Tullamore, Offaly. For the information of Deputies who were not then members of this House, I should mention that this letter arose out of the appointment of a manager to the labour exchange at Mallow. The manager there was a venerable old gentleman, who had reached almost 80 years of age. He was retiring, and the lady who had assisted him and who had practically managed the office for ten years, was an applicant for the position. I assert now that the lady to whom I refer obtained first place at the interview board set up to examine applications and I assert that Deputy Moylan's personal interference prevented that lady's appointment because he had decided to make it on [123] political grounds. He wrote to her ather as follows:—

“I have your letter and a number of others in regard to Miss Nan Gilligan's appointment to the position vacant at Mallow. The appointee shall, in the first instance, be certified as competent and suitable for the position by the interview board. I believe Miss Gilligan will fulfil that condition. From the list certified as competent, I shall appoint the person best suited to the position from a political viewpoint.”

In my opinion that letter should preclude this House from giving ratification to the nomination of Deputy Moylan for inclusion in the Government. That viewpoint and policy represent a complete overthrow of the claims of merit and competitive examination, as well as all the fundamentals that are accepted in regard to qualifications for public appointments. It reveals a state of political corruption that has been rampant in this country for a number of years under the auspices of the present Government. I object to that type of political racketeering and I am not willing to allow myself to be associated with the appointment to the Government of anybody who stands for that particular policy. It is true that no word of defence was made by the person concerned. The only defence made was a muttered defence with the kind of bovine loyalty to Party that is characteristic of Deputy O'Grady who was put up to reply. I assert that this political corruption has permeated practically every appointment for a number of years and has even influenced the appointment of auxiliary postmen; that it is rampant in every Department and in every aspect of public life in which it can be exercised and, not alone is it inherent in that Department and in regard to the person proposed to be appointed a Minister, but elsewhere.

I exposed in this House some time ago the scandalous misuse of power being made by agents of the Minister for Defence at Bere Island. The late Deputy Hurley disclosed the full story [124] of similar racketeering that was taking place in Haulbowline. I say now that an appeal was made to the Army and that a foreman appointed in the defence works at Bere Island distributed election literature in the last few weeks on behalf of the Fianna Fáil Party. I ask now what steps are going to be taken to end that state of affairs? It is time that the matter was publicly challenged and that the Leader of this House, who assumes an air of virtuous and pious responsibility on many occasions should be asked to state whether he approves of that or not. I asserted in this House before that no man can get a situation in Bere Island on defence works that are paid for by the taxpayers unless he is a member of the Fianna Fáil Party. Deputy Hurley made a similar allegation with regard to Haulbowline. There was no defence. I assert that in Bere Island in connection with contracts with traders the same political discrimination is being exercised, and that for the most menial appointments political influence and political interference is the ordinary feature rather than the exception.

It is time that we faced up to matters of this kind. I do not want to make any reference to other events that were referred to by my colleagues beyond exercising my right to raise questions on what I regard as revealing a grave public scandal and to do whatever I can to expose and to criticise actions of the kind. I suggest that until the viewpoint behind that letter is repudiated and apologised for the Deputy is unfitted to be a member of the Ministry. I suggest that if the Minister for Defence is unaware of what happened he is not pulling his weight in the Cabinet and is not carrying out the responsibility given to him by an Irish Parliament as a member of the Cabinet.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: This is a type of debate in which I intervene with some diffidence, because in a certain way it is an unfair type of debate. It is the one debate in which Ministers are tongue-tied and are, so to speak, like Aunt Sally, where every Party can fling sticks at them while [125] they are not in a position to respond. Under these circumstances I do not care very much to intervene, but I find that it is necessary to do so owing to certain remarks that were made from the Government Benches. While refraining from attacking Ministers, it must not be thought that I consider the Ministers are a competent body. I do not believe that real competence is to be found in any member of the Government, yet I stand rather more as a defender of the actual Ministers than anybody else. Except from the Government Benches, in my judgment, the faults of the Government have not been so much faults of administration, bad as these faults have been, as want of political foresight and want of political judgment. When one looks to a Government with want of foresight one blames especially the Head of the Government, as the faults of Fianna Fáil are not so much, in my opinion, attributable to the Ministers who form the Executive, as they are to the want of political ability, and real knowledge of agricultural conditions, as well as the complete want of economic foresight which characterises the present Head of the Government. I was taunted by two members of the Fianna Fáil Party, Deputy O Cléirigh and Deputy Corry, for having in November, 1939, from my place in this House, urged on the Minister for Industry and Commerce to purchase the American ships which were then, by President Roosevelt's orders, ordered off the seas.

Mr. Lemass: The Deputy should look up what he said. What he did say was that we need not grow wheat because we could import all we wanted of it.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: What I said can be seen in the Official Report. I strongly urged on the Minister to purchase ships and to establish a mercantile marine at that time.

Mr. Lemass: The Deputy said quite the reverse.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Ships were available and could be purchased in November, 1939, and if my advice had been taken then instead of waiting until January, 1941, the country to-day would not be suffering shortages of supplies in tea, petrol and other commodities. [126] There is nothing new about the growing of wheat in wartime. The Minister should know that it was grown during the last war. Every single member of the Fianna Fáil Party ought to know that the policy of growing wheat before the war, instead of being of assistance, was detrimental to the policy of wheat growing during the war, because it had exhausted the soil. As a result of it the soil was out of heart. The Taoiseach may laugh.

The Taoiseach: Because the statement is so ridiculous.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Of course, the Taoiseach does not know the very first thing about agriculture, and is perfectly incapable of being the Head of a Government in an agricultural country.

Mr. Dillon: That is why he appointed Deputy Ryan Minister for Agriculture. If he knew anything about it he would not have done that.

Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: A great deal has been said about the attacks made upon the members of the new Party of Clann na Talmhan who have come into the House. For my part, I think that a person making a maiden speech ought to be kindly received. The rules of debate should not be applied as strictly against him as they would against a more established member. All maiden speeches follow much the same line. The speaker wants to see unemployment ended, the land afforested, drainage carried out and a lot of other things done. That is the regular formula into which they all fall. Everybody comes into this House full of general ideas, and it is only after a certain time here that one sees how these ideas can be carried into operation. Therefore, in regard to maiden speeches everybody should be kind and sympathetic towards them.

But there is a great difference between making a maiden speech and exercising a vote. The one is merely an expression of a general opinion, the other is exercising a power. If one goes back to the foundation of the whole matter one finds that idea rather obscurely expressd in the Constitution. There, it is said all power lies in the people under God. That [127] power is delegated to those elected by the people, and there is an obvious duty on them to exercise it. It is given to them to use and not to rust away unused in their hands. It is absurd for the Labour Party to say, “We will not vote for Deputy de Valera because we do not like his policy.” It is their duty to do one thing or the other. If they considered that he was the most suitable person in the present crisis to be Taoiseach, then they should have voted for him. If, on the other hand, they did not, then they should have voted against him. I think that is a perfectly unjustifiable attitude for any Party to take up on a question of major importance. It is their duty to sum up the arguments for and against the taking of a certain course, and not to shirk drawing the conclusion which they ought to draw, one way or the other. There must be something more in favour of one course than another.

I submit that the power which has been given to Deputies on matters of major interest should be used by them, and there could be no more important issue before the House than the selection of the Taoiseach and the members of the Government. It is true that we here are departing from precedent because on this occasion we are opposing the nominations submitted by the Taoiseach. We did not do that on previous occasions. Deputy Cosgrave expressed our opposition in a very temperate speech. We consider that there are certain changes in the membership of the Government which are absolutely vital, changes which must be made unless this country is to go down completely. We have already pointed to the want of foresight and of a policy on the part of the Government. I shall have something to say on that when the Estimate for the Department of Agriculture comes to be debated. I do not intend now to go into the various matters which I hope to deal with when that Estimate comes up. I am of the opinion that this debate would not have taken half or quarter the time it has taken if the Taoiseach had adopted the wise course of selecting some Minister other than the present one as Minister for Agriculture, because in the judgment of [128] the ordinary members of the House he is not fit to hold his position.

I want to lodge the strongest protest I can lodge against certain speeches which I heard here to-night and especially the speech of Deputy Cleary. We have heard from various sides of the House statements which amount to this, that people are entitled to lie as much as they like from political platforms, that any methods at all may ho adopted to get votes and that no scruples should restrain a person from attacking his political opponent. “We are entitled to a little mud-slinging” is, I think, the view which was put forward in one place—a fight with the gloves off. A fight with the gloves off is a different thing from fighting with the stiletto and stabbing in the back. I sincerely hope that when the members of the Government cease to be tongue-tied by the rules of debate, when this discussion is over and they are able to intervene, they will join with me in the protest which I make against the doctrine being put forward in this House that lying from political platforms is justified.

Sir John Esmonde: I intend to vote against this motion and I propose to detain the House only a few moments in order to state my reasons. I voted against the motion we had here to-day for the election of the Taoiseach for two reasons. The first was that the Taoiseach had made it quite clear that he intended to have Party government and Party government alone and, secondly, that I hoped the Leader of my Party, Deputy Cosgrave, in the alternative, would have an opportunity of forming a national government which, if this Dáil does not form it, some future Dáil will form. Unlike Deputy Dillon, I am not a very great believer, and never have been a great believer in Party government. I believe the time will come in this country when the country will insist that We have a national government. There are two points of view on that, but I believe that in so far as we can say that this election has brought an expression of opinion from the Irish people, it was definitely against Party government because they did not send back a Party to this House in sufficient strength to form a government.

[129] Having voted against the motion for the nomination of the Taoiseach, it is naturally consistent that I should now vote against the appointment of his Ministers, but I go so far as to say that while it is the function and the duty of the House to confirm or reject the names of the Ministers put forward by him, the responsibility for selecting these Ministers undoubtedly does lie with the Taoiseach; but having rejected the idea of a national Government and having decided, as he is perfectly entitled to do, the House having given him the right, to form a purely Party Government, I am not satisfied with the present position of the various Ministers. As has been stated by other speakers, if any indication were given that some of the Ministers would be changed around I would withdraw my opposition to the motion.

I hope that so long as this Dáil exists we shall not have the same type of debate as we have had here to-day. I do not propose to say who was wrong or who was right, but I certainly think that our constituents did not send us here to continue the election campaign. Some of the speakers have actually said that it is justifiable to throw mud, that they threw it themselves and were prepared to do so again. Personally I do not agree with that point of view, and in any event I think that sort of thing should be left outside the House.

I am sorry also that on a major matter of vital importance, two of the five Deputies sent here to represent my constituency did not see fit to vote for or against. That is a matter for themselves, but I think it very wrong that 40 per cent. of my constituents should be disfranchised in this way. With regard to the new Farmers' Party, I welcome them. I was glad to hear them intervening in the debate, but I would very much have preferred to see them give a vote one way or the other —I do not care which way—on the major motion to-day. We have a new Dáil here. We started this morning with prayer. We have to settle down to a new life and see that this country is properly governed. We in Opposition have duties to perform as have [130] the Government, and I should be very sorry to think that we should have the same type of debate on any other future occasion as we have had to-day.

The Taoiseach: Could we have any idea as to when this debate will conclude? I should like to have some time to reply.

Mr. Linehan: I think it is rather doubtful if we can conclude to-night.

The Taoiseach: Although it is true that the Government remains in existence until the new Government is appointed, it is rather important that this position in which the Government is being debated should not be continued too long. However, I think that constitutionally the position is all right, as the old Government remains to do any work that requires to be done until the new Government is appointed.

Mr. Linehan: There are at least three Deputies in this Party who wish to speak, one in Clann na Talmhan and at least three in the Labour Party.

Acting-Chairman: How long will the Taoiseach require?

The Taoiseach: I do not know. So many things have been touched on and I do not know how many will require attention. There will, in all probability, be a Vote on Account next week which gives opportunity for an all-in debate, apart altogether from the fact that individual Ministries will all be dealt with on the Estimates.

Mr. McMenamin: There are three or four Estimates remaining to be disposed of.

The Taoiseach: There is a whole block of Estimates. I do not know whether they will be taken next week. We are in an indefinite position at the moment and I do not want to say anything, but from the point of view of the general position, the staff want to try to arrange for holidays at times which will be suitable for holidays, and I think it better that we should take a Vote on Account which would carry us over a certain period. When we [131] come back after the Recess, we can take all the Estimates, if necessary. The Minister for Supplies also tells me that some legislation will be necessary before we adjourn.

Mr. Linehan: Three or four Labour Deputies wish to speak.

Acting-Chairman: The Order before me is that the order for the adjournment be taken not later than midnight, so that the debate continues until midnight and, presumably, will be resumed to-morrow.

The Taoiseach: If we cannot finish to-night, I presume that is the only alternative.

Mr. P.S. Doyle: I understand the arrangement was to avoid a sitting on Friday—to continue the debate until midnight, in order to finish it.

Acting-Chairman: It is not the function of the Chair to decide that matter.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: That, I think, was the understanding—that we finish to-night. If that was the understanding, then the Taoiseach will have to get some time to reply.

Acting-Chairman: Quite, but it is not the function of the Chair, I am afraid.

Mr. Everett: We understood that we would continue to-morrow if we did not finish to-night by 12 o'clock.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: We are quite prepared for that, if the House wants it.

Mr. Everett: You will get no concession here. Have another conference with the farmers.

Colonel Ryan: I am sorry to have to oppose the Ministry proposed, but a peculiar position has been created by the Parties outside the Opposition and the Government. These two Parties, although they said very hard things about the Government, would not oppose the motion to put Deputy de Valera into power. Then we had the awful whinging of the Clann na [132] Talmhan Party, or farmers. They did not seem to be in favour of anybody. In fact, they do not seem to know where they stand. I am sorry for my colleague from South Tipperary over there. The whole attitude of Farmer and Labour Parties to-day has been much worse than that of some members of the present Government so far as acrobatics are concerned. From every platform in the country they announced they were against the Government. Deputy Cogan knows this House very well, knows the country very well, and has some experience, and I did not expect the type of stuff that came from him to-day. They talk about professional politicians. I say that there are no greater professional politicians than those men of the Farmers' Party who came in here pretending to help the farmers. My firm belief is that they came in with the full intention of drawing their £40 per month and that they had no greater object than that. I am sorry to be hurtful towards the members of the Clann na Talmhan; I am not referring to the Independent farmer members. But I am afraid the others came in to carry on a real game of acrobatics, such as we have had in this Dáil off and on for a number of years. It is time that it was stopped.

The position is that we voted against the nomination of the Taoiseach. We had varying views on that, but we thought we were doing right so far as the people we represent were concerned. We did not consider whether we would lose votes by that in the future, though other Parties seem to be concerned with that aspect. This thing cannot continue in Irish life. Unlike Deputy Dillon, I have given up hope for the Party system in this country. I have given up hope because every “chancer” can come along and play on the minds of one section or another in order to obtain votes. They can tell some gullible fools that they will create a new heaven and earth for them. That has been going on too long in this country. I should also like to remind the Labour Party that they will have to play straight some time— they will have to take some responsibility; they will have to support one or the other of the bigger Parties.

[133] Coming to the motion, before the House, I am totally opposed to the Ministry selected by the Taoiseach. Most of them have been failures of the worst kind. As representing a large number of farmers in Tipperary, I feel I could not support the election of Deputy Dr. Ryan as Minister for Agriculture. While I feel it hard to have to mention his name particularly, I feel that I could not possibly stand over his election as Minister for Agriculture. It is one thing that I hate to harp on—everybody in the House seemed to harp on it to-night—but I have a duty to my constituents and to my Party, and the Deputy's administration of that Ministry has been bad from beginning to end. When he came into office we had a great deal of trouble in connection with the dairying industry in Tipperary. We had a great deal of trouble in connection with condensed milk factories and creameries taken over by the Dairy Disposals Board during the last Administration. One of the things I have against him is that when he comes down to County Tipperary or somewhere else and some case is put to him, he says: “That will be all right. I will settle that.” Then he goes away and you wait for two or three months, but nothing is done, and Deputies are asked about the promises given to them. That has gone on continually. Now we find ourselves in the position that our dairying industry and our live-stock industry are almost finished. The same thing applies to the pig industry. I do not blame him so much for that because of the food shortage and other things. But there are many things in connection with the dairying industry and the live-stock industry for which he must be blamed.

To come hack again to the Farmers' Party, when it came to nominating a Ministry they said that they were relying on the Taoiseach to get the work done within the Ministry. Deputy Cogan has some years of experience here and I did not think he would have taken that line. You are afraid to face the situation and still you travel through the country stabbing everybody in the back.

Acting-Chairman: The Deputy ought to address the Chair. I do not like [134] being told that I have been travelling through the country stabbing people in the back.

Colonel Ryan: I disagree completely with the Taoiseach's policy and with most of the Ministers, but especially with Deputy Dr. Ryan, Minister for Agriculture. I will now come to the Department of Supplies and the Department of Industry and Commerce. No doubt it is a difficult job. but if a mess was made in the early stages it should have been remedied. No effort was made to remedy that mess. I suppose it would be very difficult now to remedy it. I have the greatest sympathy with anyone who takes over this Department. I have lost faith in the Department of Industry and Commerce, and I think all the people, including those who are trading in a fairly big way, are pretty tired of it.

Everything that could be done with the object of frightening the electorate was done in the last election. Efforts were made to influence the Army and other organisations controlled or semi-controlled by the Government. All that was done, even in the Army camps. Posters were displayed inside Army camps and on the bogs where men were cutting turf. There were plenty of interruptions at meetings and there were lorries taking bands to Fianna Fáil meetings. How was it that they could have plenty of fuel for that purpose? That could not be done without the knowledge of Ministers or their Departments. Surely, then, it is time to oppose such a Minister.

I appeal to those farmers who pretended that they were coming in to help the farming industry to make up their minds that there will be no more of this “codology.” I ask them to act squarely and not to be waiting to make political profit out of what has happened. I appeal to them to act fairly and squarely with the people who put them here. I say to Labour that it is a damn shame for them—perhaps I should not use those words in the House—when they would not oppose the Taoiseach, now to come along and oppose Ministers. That is the wrong way of doing things.

What is the position in the provinces? If you go into a town and meet [135] innocent, gullible business man he will tell you that the Taoiseach is a decent, honest man, but he has a terrible crowd of Ministers, and if we could get rid of them things would be all right. That is the general feeling and Labour Deputies know that. Why do they not face the situation and not try to court political favour? I am determined to oppose the Ministers proposed by the Taoiseach.

Mr. Everett: I am opposing the appointments proposed by the Taoiseach and I wish to take advantage of his opportunity to refute the libellous and slanderous statements made against myself by one of the candidates for a position in the Ministry, not alone by public advertisements, but by statements in the City of Dublin. He suggested that Labour representatives condoned the sinking of an Irish boat and he used the Press censorship to prevent the truth getting out to the public; but in my own constituency I told the people the truth in spite of the censorship, with the result that the sailors, the men qualified to man these boats, returned me at the head of the poll.

The fact is that the Labour Party protested against Englishmen and Welshmen being employed as captains and officers of the Irish boats. We protested against the English Mercantile Marine badge being used by our sailors. When they went ashore at Lisbon they wore the badge of the British Mercantile Marine. The German spies communicated the fact to their own people and the result was that our boats were sunk. They were sunk because Englishmen and Welshmen were officers on the upper decks. The Minister cannot claim to be ignorant of that matter. The facts were brought to his notice when a German submarine held up one of the Irish boats. The captain of the boat, when ordered into the small boat, skulked behind the Irishmen in the small boat and was afraid to face the German commander, on account of being a Welshman. He let young Kelly, the first mate, make the appeal that it was an Irish boat, carrying an Irish cargo. The captain was afraid because he [136] came from a country that had declared war and was a national of a belligerent nation; he was afraid to face the position because he thought he would be arrested and taken to prison.

Notwithstanding that all this information was brought to his notice by the Defence Conference, the Taoiseach said that he was not aware of the nationality of the officers. We asked was it not a fact that the British Government would not allow Irishmen to control the Irish ships, although they were better qualified to be officers on those ships. There was a lot of false propaganda circulated by the Minister for Local Government when he was going around the country, and also in the City of Dublin.

He suggested that we condoned the sinking of Irish boats. As a matter of fact, we were protecting the Irish boats. I may say that there are men in the Minister's constituency who are better qualified to control those boats than some of the officers who were on the Irish boats, but they were not permitted to take control.

The Minister must surely have some knowledge of the facts. He has a civil servant drawing £1,000 a year as chairman of the shipping company. Must he not be aware that the Defence Conference got a promise from the Cabinet that Irishmen would replace Englishmen on those boats? Was it not for the protection of Irishmen that we raised the matter here? Our sailors approved of our action and they denounced the Government for allowing Englishmen and Welshmen, who had not the same qualifications as Irishmen, to control the boats. Simply because they were Englishmen and Welshmen, they got the jobs. It is because we resent the lying statement made by the Minister that we will oppose the Taoiseach's proposal.

The Minister also made suggestions about Communism and he stated that we were in receipt of Communist money. I have been in this Parliament for 21 or 22 years and I may say I sever received a penny from any Communist Party. The Minister forgot to tell the people of Dublin where he received his funds from. Even in his [137] own constituency did he not receive funds from the wives of high officials in this State? We are in a position to prove it. Is he prepared to publish a list of the subscriptions to his election fund? Did he tell the people about the Irish insurance company which subscribed a large sum of money to the Fianna Fáil Party? Did he inform the people of the amount-that Ranks, the firm that received £2,000,000 by way of subsidy here, gave to the Fianna Fáil Party? He did not, but he libelled the Labour Party and alleged that they received money from Russia. I have been connected with the Parliament of this country for a longer period than any of the Ministers and, please God, I will be here long after they are gone. I deny that I or any member of the Labour Party ever received one penny from the so-called Communist Party.

Up in Rathmines the Minister condemned the bombing of his native city, Belfast. We all condemned it. But there are other places nearer to him than Belfast that were bombed and he had no word of sympathy for the bombing in Dublin or in Wexford. He was inviting support from the Unionists of Rathmines. Belfast appealed to him more than the citizens of Dublin. I had the privilege of listening to the Minister for Supplies and the Minister for Agriculture in my constituency, and I can say that they fought a clean fight. There was nothing personal in their speeches. They criticised programmes and put forward their own. I am as long in politics as any Deputies here and no man can say that I ever attacked him personally from a public platform. I could have done so in the case of some of the Government candidates. I am opposed to the nomination of Deputy MacEntee. Apart from his libellous attacks, the Deputy is a failure in his position. At one time, he was in favour of “one man, one job”. While acting as Minister, he sanctioned the appointment of men to two or three jobs, any one of which was sufficient to maintain a family. Simply because the persons concerned were supporters of the Fianna Fáil Party, two or three jobs were sanctioned for them. I am sorry [138] the Farmers' Party have taken up the attitude they did. I say that is the result of the agreement their Leader has with the Government——

Mr. Cogan: That is absolutely untrue.

Mr. Everett: The Deputy's statement that it is untrue does not prevent its being a fact. I am certain that farmers in my constituency will not approve of their support of the Minister for Agriculture.

Mr. Cogan: That statement is a damned lie.

Mr. Everett: You may say that but that does not alter the fact.

Mr. Davin: Is the remark of Deputy Cogan in order?

An Ceann Comhairle: Deputy Cogan said that a certain allegation regarding his Party was not true and his statement should have been accepted——

Mr. Davin: Is it in order to say that a statement is a “damned lie”?

An Ceann Comhairle: It was pointed out already to-day to Deputy Davin that it is not orderly to interrupt the Ceann Comhairle.

Mr. Davin: Yes.

An Ceann Comhairle: Deputy Everett asserted that a certain agreement was made. That assertion was denied by the vice-chairman of the Party concerned. His denial was not accepted. Though the sympathy of the Chair is normally with a Deputy who is interrupted, in this instance a fellow-Deputy's word was not accepted.

Mr. Davin: I am raising a point of order——

An Ceann Comhairle: The remark made by Deputy Cogan was not in order.

Mr. Cogan: If I said anything out of order I apologise.

Mr. Everett: I am not worrying. I [139] said that his denial did not alter the fact.

An Ceann Comhairle: Which is a euphemism equally offensive with the statement to which objection was taken.

Mr. Everett: I say that the Minister for Local Government has been a failure as Minister. He has sanctioned the appointment of men to several positions. He refused to sanction an increase of 2/6 per week in wages to workers, while certain high officials, drawing £800 a year, received an increase, notwithstanding the standstill order. I can prove that in my own constituency medical men received an increase sanctioned by the Minister, while similar increases would not be granted to men in receipt of small wages. On these grounds, I say that the Deputy is not capable of filling the responsible position of Minister for Local Government.

I come now to the position of the Minister for Agriculture. No county had a bigger grievance regarding the administration of the Agricultural Department than Wicklow. There was no louder denunciation of the state of affairs than that from the representatives of the Farmers' Party in County Wicklow. They had just reason for that denunciation. If a plebiscite were taken to-morrow, the farmers in that constituency would vote against the re-appointment of the present Minister, although he is a resident of the county. They recognise that he has been a failure in that position. Notwithstanding all this, we are asked to enable the Government to continue their policy of low wages and standstill orders while we have a Minister degrading his high position as Minister of State by using language which would not be suitable for use by a Deputy. On these grounds, I say that we are justified in opposing the re-appointment of this gentleman as Minister.

As regards the Supplies Department, the truth is we have nothing to supply. People in the country are unable to get [140] half a gallon of paraffin oil. That Department is costing £3,000,000 a year but it has nothing to supply to the ordinary citizen. The Department has plenty of petrol for the Army and the Garda, the L.D.F., Ministers and their supporters, but there is nothing for the person who takes up a critical attitude. We all see the L.D.F. and the L.S.F. arranging meetings, with dances. They go to the meetings before the dance and they enjoy the privilege of L.D.F. petrol. That is common throughout the country. There is a waste of petrol in the Army and, at the same time, owners of lorries are unable to get sufficient petrol to enable them to carry on their ordinary occupation. Some of them are unable to bring in turf from the bogs. Lorry-owners have had to dismiss some of their employees, while we see Ministers travelling around the country to the seaside and a number of other cars parked round theirs. We are asked to support this policy of self-interest on the part of a certain small political gang, with positions going to supporters of one political party. We have the judiciary being used in the interests of the wealthy class. Quite recently, we had four or five highway robbers brought up in connection with a sum of £100,000 connected with a factory in Clare and we saw the way the judge made an arrangement in that case.

General MacEoin: The judge did not make the arrangement.

Mr. Everett: He made it on the advice of the Government. We find an unfortunate child carrying a load of timber or a bit of a bough and he is sent to a reformatory for so many years. There is one law for the rich and the wealthy, and vengeance against the poor. That has been the policy of the present Fianna Fáil administration. Look at it anywhere over the country. We can find it even in the smallest village. It is rampant and the proof is there. It happened quite recently in the case of one judge——

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy is mentioning a judge who might be [141] identified. The case, which is sub judice, may not be commented on here.

General MacEoin: And against the L.S.F. and the L.D.F.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Sir, I do not think charges of that kind should be permitted in this House—charges that any judge at any time received an order from a member of the Government, or that the Government had responsibility for any opinion expressed in court. It is entirely wrong and should not be mentioned. Criticism of the courts and judges should not be allowed.

Mr. Everett: Take the case of the gas company—tried before a district justice. It would be a military court for anyone else.

General MacEoin: I want to underline what Deputy O Ceallaigh has said. I do not think that any charge should be made here against the L.D.F. and L.S.F. or the judiciary.

Mr. Everett: I am not making charges against the L.D.F., but I say that they are using the L.D.F. in my own constituency.

General MacEoin: That is a charge.

Mr. Everett: It is true, as I definitely will prove in the case of the gas company millionaire manager, who was brought only before a district justice.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: That is sub judice.

An Ceann Comhairle: That case is before the court and may not be discussed.

Mr. Everett: I say it is before the wrong court. If he were a poor man; he would be brought before a military court.

Mr. Linehan: I think for the first time in my life I have sympathy with the Taoiseach, and very sincere sympathy, indeed, because I do not believe in any individual or any group of individuals in this House having any right to place responsibility on [142] shoulders which those shoulders should not bear, and the entire burden of the speeches that have been made from two Parties here to-night is simply because a certain person has been nominated as Taoiseach of Dáil Eireann, that on him, and him alone, rests the entire responsibility of forming a government in this country. If those Deputies' conception of the duties of a Party is that the responsibility should be placed on the shoulders of an individual Deputy, that is not my conception of their duties. We are sent here, firstly, either as individual Deputies if we are Independent, or secondly, as Deputies who may be members of Parties, but our first duty in this House is to represent as far as we can, and express the wishes of our constituents, and to carry them out, as shown by the way they voted, in what we view as the best manner.

I do not believe that any man in this House who dislikes the team the Taoiseach has offered the House to-night has the slightest right to criticise that team when he gave the entire responsibility for formulating it to the Taoiseach. As far as I am concerned, my mind is perfectly clear on what my attitude is. It is not a question of being opposed to the team as a particular Fianna Fáil team. So long as I remain a Deputy of this House I will vote against any team put up by any Taoiseach who is head of a Fianna Fáil Party, and, as far as I am concerned, the individual does not alter my opposition to Fianna Fáil in the slightest. If, as somebody suggested, he picked them out of the Fianna Fáil Benches by chance or by lot, it would not alter my opposition. In fairness to the Taoiseach, his position is this: Not alone did Fine Gael attack him throughout the country, not alone did Fine Gael do their best to see that Deputy de Valera would not be elected Taoiseach, but the Labour Party did their best, and Clann na Talmhan and Independent Farmers did their best, to see that he would not be elected. We are now in the position that he has been elected Taoiseach. They do not want his Ministry; they do not like Deputy Dr. Ryan. But at twenty minutes past three, when they saw [143] who was walking into the Division Lobby, and it was not a question of whether they liked Mr. Cosgrave's nomination or not—it was merely a question as to the election or non-election of Deputy de Valera—the people who campaigned the country as viciously as Fine Gael—more viciously in fact—against the Taoiseach and his Party, took the line of least resistance and sat down to wait to see what would happen.

In order to cover themselves up, having thrown the entire responsibility on the shoulders of one man, having asked that man to take up responsibility, they come along and say: “We have given him responsibility but we do not like his team.” They do not like the team. Clann na Talmhan does not like Deputy Dr. Ryan. If they did not want Deputy Dr. Ryan as Minister for Agriculture in this House, there was one way, and one way only, of preventing Deputy Dr. Ryan from being Minister for Agriculture and that was by defeating the nomination of the present Taoiseach. If the Labour Party, anxious as they are to prevent the nomination of Deputy Seán MacEntee, did not want Deputy MacEntee, they had one way of preventing it and that was by preventing the nomination of the Taoiseach as Taoiseach. I cannot understand —and I doubt if I will be able to understand—how anybody can say to the present Taoiseach: “Yours is the responsibility and yours alone. You have to take that responsibility.” And those 35 or 36 people will sit there having shirked their responsibility, reserving the right to criticise what any Party or anyone else does in this House.

Deputy Cafferky tried to evade the question. He said he would not vote for Deputy De Valera and he would not vote for Deputy Cosgrave. It was not an issue on that division between Deputy de Valera and Deputy Cosgrave. The motion before the House was the election, or non-election, of Deputy de Valera as Taoiseach, and Deputy Cafferky or any other Deputy cannot now complain if the Taoiseach, in picking his team, is going to leave [144] them with Deputy Dr. James Ryan as Minister for Agriculture. Sooner or later, people will have to find out that there is one thing you cannot have in this world, in politics or out of it. You cannot have the best of both sides of the game at the same time. If you are going to make a stand against a Minister or a political Party you should not run. You cannot go half way and squeal then that you could not go the whole way because you did not like the man. I never believed that we would see an exhibition in an Irish Parliament so inane and futile as the exhibition we saw this evening in the division for the election of Taoiseach when 33 or 34 Deputies abstained from voting. The Taoiseach came back to the House with his team of Ministers, as he was fully entitled to do, and the very moment he arrived the attack started. What did they expect him to do? If Deputy Donnellan was forming a Government, if Deputy Norton was forming a Government or if Deputy Cosgrave was forming a Government, would any of these three Deputies, having been elected Taoiseach, go around the House and consult every Deputy before he distributed his Ministries? Would they not at least agree that the man elected as Taoiseach has the right to select his own team of Ministers? If he has not, I cannot see that the election of a Taoiseach is of any value when he has been refused the right to nominate his own Government.

I am unremitting in my opposition to Fianna Fáil. Opposition to those in the Fianna Fáil Cabinet means nothing to me. I do not care who is Minister for Agriculture; I do not care who is Minister for Supplies; and I do not care who is Minister for Justice. I will vote against the formation of any Fianna Fáil Ministry, and I am not going to allow anyone or any Party to get away with the well-known trick of avoiding responsibility. Surely we ought to be old enough in Parliamentary tradition now to realise that when we are sent here we are sent with a duty to our constituents, to act up to our responsibilities. There is only one way to do that, and that is by talking out what is in our minds, and acting as our [145] constituents desire. I defy any Deputy, whether Independent, Labour, Clann na Talmhan or Farmers, to deny that his constituents have sent him here to sit down and not vote. If any Deputy sent here sits down and does not vote, the constituents of that Deputy will only get from him the type of representation they deserve. It is worse than disfranchisement. It is merely being mute of malice, because they think it suits. They can glory in the fact that when Deputy Dr. Ryan was put forward as Minister for Agriculture they made a terrific fight for his removal. The Labour Party will be able to tell their supporters what a gallant effort they made to prevent Deputy MacEntee being appointed Minister for Local Government. They can talk for the next three years about Deputy Ryan and Deputy Moylan for all the effect it is going to have, once they have committed themselves to the appointment of Deputy de Valera as Taoiseach. Having done that, they might as well remain mute for all the difference it is going to make. It was a most inept exhibition. If Irish politics is going to descend to that level, some people will never make up their minds on major issues.

When I first came to this House I had to listen to Deputy Corry saying something similar to what he said to Deputy Cafferky. I remember that after my first speech here I got a very ardent welcome from Deputy Corry. There was a way for dealing with people like him, and that was not to wait for any sympathy. The same thing happened in connection with the Farmers' Party. What happened to-day. The farmers were told by Deputy O Cleirigh and Deputy Corry that they were decent fellows, that they were delighted to see an independent body of men in the House at last to represent the agricultural community. They said that they were proud of the fact that at last agriculture had come into its own, and had a fine stalwart body of men in this House who would agree with Deputy O Cleirigh and Deputy Corry in so far as they would oblige these Deputies by sitting down and not voting against the [146] appointment of the Taoiseach. No wonder they were delighted. If I was a candidate for any appointment and found myself in a minority position I would not have much to say about people who sat down and did not vote. I am not sure what the Minister for Local Government said about the Labour Party or what tha Labour Party said about the Minister. I think the Minister said some very hard things about me in my constituency, but I have yet to realise that Irish politicians have become so thin-skinned that we have to take up a couple of hours in Dáil Eireann criticising what somebody said about someone else during the elections. Occasionally I have been sorry for things that I said on election platforms, but I have never yet been sorry for what somebody said about me. If one goes on an election platform electioneering one must be prepared to take what people say. The greatest compliment that can be paid by anybody, particularly in opposition, whether he be Deputy or candidate, is to be attacked by a Minister or by somebody else. It is a very good sign to see such an attack being made, as it shows that some impression has been made—whatever impression it may have on voters. It is really no concern of mine what team the Taoiseach comes here with.

During this debate a number of points were made with which I am in entire agreement. I heard one Fianna Fáil Deputy saying that some people were attacking the Ministers, not because of their incapacity as Ministers, and not because of their failure to carry out their jobs and not because of something they said. As far as I am concerned I would not vote for the Minister for Supplies because of one incident. There was a period in this country when horse shoe iron was badly wanted. A friend of mine was in a position to get three tons of horse shoes in Belfast at that time. I applied to the Department of Supplies for a permit. Unless I am greatly mistaken the Minister for Supplies was also Minister for Industry and Commerce. After a little time I got a reply telling me that it appeared to be [147] a matter for the Department of Industry and Commerce, over which the same Minister presided. I applied to the Department of Industry and Commerce and after some time I got a reply stating that it appeared to be a matter for the Revenue Commissioners. I may have been wrong in applying in the first instance to the Department of Supplies, but in November when horse shoe iron was badly wanted the Department of Supplies should not have referred me to the Department of Industry and Commerce or to the Revenue Commissioners, as if that Department was doing its business, it should have given me an Army lorry to go to Belfast to bring it down. The revenue authorities were the only people who did their business properly but by then the iron was not available. Many things happened like that. I will vote against Deputy Dr. Ryan because of another small instance. Deputy Dr. Ryan knows perfectly well that 90 per cent. of the small traders in country towns are seedsmen, and that they are in the habit of dealing directly with well-known English seedsmen. Deputy Dillon can verify that statement. Last year I raised a question with the Minister for Agriculture about the import of agricultural seeds. There was a lot of talk about it, and when it was too late we were permitted to bring them in. Early this year, in April, those firms in England wrote to their customers here saying that the British Ministry of Agriculture would permit the export to this country of any type of agricultural seed that was required, because they had a surplus of them in Great Britain. Individual shopkeepers who were customers of those merchants naturally immediately wired back saying they would take all they could get of them. A week went by, and the first thing those shopkeepers heard was through a wire from the people in England saying that the Eire Government would not permit the import into this country of anything except garden beet. A letter subsequently followed, which verified that position. There was an attempt made to explain the matter to me by saying [148] that the Eire Government would not permit individual licences to be given for the import of those seeds.

If that was the position, I should like to know how they expected those people to bring them in? Here you had, all over the country, shopkeepers, co-operative societies and creameries, who had been dealing with those wholesale seedsmen in England during the last 30 or 40 years. Those people were prepared to supply them with seeds. The British Government were prepared to allow the seeds to be sent to this country, but the Irish Government, the Department of Agriculture, under Deputy Dr. Ryan, would not permit the import into this country of any type of agricultural seed except garden beet. On that one point alone, if nothing else, I would vote against the nomination of Deputy Dr. Ryan.

I do not want to go back over the 101 other things which would make me vote against his nomination. I am quite sure there are members on the Clann na Talmhan Benches who, if they went back seven or eight years, would be inclined to vote against Deputy Dr. Ryan for quite a number of reasons. I am quite sure that there are others on those benches who, like the Deputy we heard earlier, would not agree with Deputy de Valera, and would not agree with Deputy Cosgrave; apparently, he has spent his time since he came to the use of reason trying to make up his mind who is the worse, and is still in such a state of flux that the only thing he is sure of is that one is worse than the other, but he cannot make up his mind about anything else. What complaint has he against Deputy Dr. Ryan? What complaint has he against Deputy Lemass, or against any member of the Government? What has he been doing for the last seven or eight years? What did he do at the last few elections? Did he or did he not support them? Any one who supported that Fianna Fáil Ministry in 1932 and in 1933 and in 1937 and in 1938 should have very little cause to desert them now because in my opinion they are not any worse now than they were in 1932 or in 1933 or in 1937 or in 1938. There must be [149] quite a number of converts to this policy of “sit down and say nothing,” who have discovered something about Fianna Fáil in the past four or five months that we did not succeed in finding out over a very long period, but they have not told us about it. They are quite satisfied, as one Deputy said, that a lot of people in the country think we have a great Taoiseach but a rotten set of Ministers, and they spent their time here bearing out that idea of some loose thinkers in the country that we have a great Taoiseach and a rotten set of Ministers.

Does anybody imagine, if the Taoiseach is the one outstanding man of our generation, if the Taoiseach, as Deputy Dillon said, is probably the cleverest politician in Europe, if he is, as some people seem to think, one of the greatest men of all time, that his Ministers can be as bad as they are painted? Surely, if he is the great man they think he is, he ought to be able to make a better job of picking a Ministry than some people think he is doing? They cannot have it both ways. They cannot stand on one foot and pretend to support Fianna Fáil by saying “We are for de Valera”, while standing on the other foot and opposing Fianna Fáil by attacking his Ministers. They will have to make up their mind as to whether they want a continuation of the Fianna Fáil Government in this country.

Might I ask whether it is the intention of Clann na Talmhan Deputies, as long as this Dáil lasts and as long as the Taoiseach carries on with his team of Ministers, to sit down and do nothing—to talk as much as they want, but never to vote? Do they realise that, after a division in this House, there may be as much responsibility on them to form a Government as there is on the Labour Party, or on the Fine Gael Party? If they were put into that position, would they just sit tight and say: “We will do nothing. Let somebody else carry on. We reserve the right to criticise those who carry on, and not alone do we reserve that right but we reserve the right to criticise those who are entitled to criticise those who carry [150] on?” The Labour Party went out of their way to attack a certain Minister. Apparently they are prepared to vote against him. Having given that Minister his job already by nominating Deputy Eamon de Valera as Taoiseach, they are now prepared to say they were wrong because they do not like to see that Minister. Clann na Talmhan are going one better still. They have allowed Deputy Eamon de Valera to become the Taoiseach. They do not like Deputy Dr. Ryan very much. They hope to be in a position to direct his policy by their able assistance and the great guidance they will be able to give as the only people who are interested in farming in this country. They hope to direct Deputy Dr. Ryan's mind on such lines that he will not be the Deputy Dr. Ryan we knew of old. Do they seriously think that either, the Taoiseach or Deputy Dr. Ryan will care a hoot, after the division which follows this debate, what Clann na Talmhan or anybody else thinks, or that any influence they can exert by word or deed will have the slightest effect on the Minister for Agriculture? As far as I am concerned, I doubt that there is any Minister of the Fianna Fáil Party for whom I would vote even in a coalition Government if we were to have one in the morning. I suppose I would have to salve my conscience by letting in a few members of that Party, but I am not at all sure that, like another Deputy who has spoken, I would not select them from the back benches.

There is only one thing of which I am certain: If the Fianna Fáil Party, when they first formed a Government here, had the principles and ideals which they led the people of this country to believe they had, if they reasonably believed that they could do something to end unemployment, if they reasonably believed that they could do something to relieve the poor and destitute of this country, if they reasonably believed that they could improve the position of agriculture, then they came into office with as high a set of ideals as any Party that ever came in. If they reasonably believed that they could carry out any of those promises, they must be a sick and sorry [151] lot of Ministers now. They must be tired listening to people telling them what they promised and did not carry out. I am sure they are disillusioned, because it is possible that they had convinced themselves at the time, as they succeeded in convincing the country, that they could do all those things. They are probably tired and disillusioned now. I am quite sure a lot of them would not mind getting out if they could, but they cannot get out; no Minister of that Fianna Fáil Cabinet can get out at the moment. Clann na Talmhan and the Labour Party know very well that, even even though Fianna Fáil dropped only ten seats at this election, one crack in that Cabinet or one crack in a division here might mean the end of them. Deputy O Cléirigh and Deputy Corry were right; if I were the Taoiseach or any of the Ministers or any member of the Fianna Fáil Party I would join with Deputy O Cléirigh and Deputy Corry in welcoming into the House a new Party who are prepared to give Fianna Fáil another chance, after telling the country during the election campaign that they wanted Fianna Fáil out of office.

Mr. Flanagan: If I were to enter on a criticism of Ministers, I should keep the House sitting here for hours. I assume that I am the Deputy to whom Deputy Linehan referred as the Deputy who did not know whether Mr. de Valera or Mr. Cosgrave was the worse. I may say that I was at one time a member of the Fianna Fáil organisation. I worked hard for it and canvassed hard for it—may God forgive me. I found afterwards that I was wrong. I am not going to vote for any of the Ministers on the list before me nor am I going to vote against them because I have nobody to vote for. If I were to indulge in criticism, I could criticise the Minister responsible for the County Management Act or I could criticise the Minister to whom Deputy Everett referred as being responsible for the disgraceful standstill Order in regard to wages, an Order that would not be tolerated in any other country in the world, an Order that is in conflict [152] with the teachings of Pope Leo who held that every worker was entitled to a wage to enable him to bring up his family in Christian decency.

In enforcing that Order, you are working in direct opposition to the teaching of all the Popes, to the teaching of Christ's Vicar on earth. I could not support the Minister placed in charge of land division, nor the Minister responsible for having 13 of my constituents in jail, one of whom was at one time a member of this House and another of whom is a colleague of my own on the Laoighis County Council. When the Land Commission would not divide the land in Killeshin area, those men, because they were anxious to put in practice the teachings of Fintan Lalor—that the land of Ireland belonged to the people of Ireland, without fee or fealty, rent or render to any foreign power whatsoever—went in on the land and ploughed it in order to produce more food for the people, as demanded by the Government. They were brought before a special court and got six months in jail, but the very moment they come out you will have to put them into jail again, because they believe that this land should be utilised for the people. I say that if any action were taken to divide the lands in my constituency, these 13 of my constituents would not be in jail.

I received a communication from the Political Prisoners' Committee drawing my attention to the fact that several of these prisoners have been deprived of their liberty although no charge has been preferred against them and although they did not commit any offence. They are in jail for holding the same principles as Wolfe Tone, Pearse and Connolly, because they were out for a 32-County Republic just as I am out for it. We never hear about the Republic here now. The Taoiseach can go down to Wolfe Tone's grave and talk about the principles of Wolfe Tone, but when he comes back here he has to abandon all these fine principles because the Irish people are tied down to the Bank of England. Fine Gael are no [153] better in that respect than Fianna Fáil. I read in a newspaper a short time ago a statement by Deputy Dr. Ryan in his own constituency in which he said that there was no difference between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. That was the first time that Deputy Dr. Ryan ever told the truth in his life. There is no difference between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

The Labour Party have criticised Deputy MacEntee and I think they have every right to do so. I certainly would be ashamed to use some of the references which he made about Mr. O'Farrell, about any man. I would not use such language myself and I am only a Deputy and not a Minister of State. I am not familiar with the procedure in this House and perhaps I lack experience in that respect, but I heartily approve of these statements from the Labour Benches. I want, however, to make my position quite clear. I do not care “tuppence” about Fianna Fáil; I care less for Fine Gael and I care nothing about the Labour Party. I was elected by my constituents to assist as far as I can in establishing a 32-county Ireland. I demand the release of Seán McCool and the other Republican prisoners. Immediately after I was elected, I sent a telegram to the Taoiseach demanding the release of these prisoners and asking for an immediate reply. He did not reply to me at all. The telegram was given to some official or member of his staff who wrote back saying:—

“I have to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram of the 25th instant and to say that an application in the matter to which you refer should be made to the appropriate Minister, that is, the Minister for Defence or the Minister for Justice as the case may be.”

Apparently, he did not know which of them I should apply to. Whoever he is, these men should not be in jail and it is up to us, to the members of the Labour Party and of every other Party, to demand the release of these men, some of whom fought with you in 1916 and 1921. They are men who hold the same principles as you held [154] before you came into the Dáil and got your pensions. They could not be bought. No money could buy them. As far as I am concerned no money can buy me. I would not sell my principles for any money and I would like to meet any man who tried to buy me.

An Ceann Comhairle: The principles of the Deputy are not at issue; the principles of the proposed Ministers may be.

Mr. Flanagan: There are no principles of Ministers to be in question. Although I heard several Deputies in this House criticising Ministers, as I am criticising them, I heard no Deputy explain how Ministers could improve their administration in the years to come. If Deputy Linehan, Deputy Byrne, Deputy Cosgrave or my colleague, Deputy O'Higgins, went over there for one year to the Ministers' Benches or even if I myself found a place there, under present circumstances, we would turn out every bit as rotten as the Ministers themselves. As I told you this morning, there is no use fooling the people over these matters because, as Deputies, we are powerless while the present system is operated. Many of my constituents were born in debt, they are living in debt and they will die in debt.

I do not desire to delay the House much longer. I am only 23 years of age, and this is my first appearance in the House, but if I were to remain here until I reached the age of 80, until I became an old man with a beard down to my chest, I would be able to do nothing to improve conditions while the present system is operated. I have every sympathy with Ministers who are trying to work under that system, but if they are under the impression that they can achieve anything in that way, I think they are only deceiving themselves. Deputy Alfred Byrne says that we want more Ministers. Well, we have a Minister for Supplies, but we have no supplies at all. We have a Minister for Lands, but we all know that land division is held up. I think there are too many Ministers, and indeed too many T.D.'s [155] in present circumstances. We are only an excuse; I am an excuse, like every other Deputy, because we are tied up with certain people without whose good-will we cannot do anything. The people over there are the people who control all power in this country. He who controls the purse controls the tune, and the hand that gives, rules the hand that takes. I cannot vote for any of these Ministers who have been nominated. I cannot vote for anybody else, and I am not going to vote at all.

I only wish that every member of this House had the same grasp of things that I have. I met a Deputy on the lawn to-night who asked me how I was, and said that he had not seen me for a long time. He said: “I am sorry you left the Fianna Fáil organisation; you had a great cumann down in Mountmellick, and I am sorry you left it.” I said that I was sorry I had anything to do with it. I know Deputies of the Fianna Fáil Party who agree with my policy and my teaching, but they are afraid to say anything against the Taoiseach.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy is quite irrelevant. The Deputy must come to the matter in hand or resume his seat.

Mr. Flanagan: When I was going through my constituency I criticised every member of the Government. I accused the Minister for Agriculture of being the biggest clown in the Fianna Fáil circus, and he is undoubtedly.

An Ceann Comhairle: The word “circus” may not be applied to the Dáil, nor the word “clown” to any member of the Dáil.

Mr. Flanagan: I apologise. It is not the Dáil, it is the Fianna Fáil Party. I could be talking here for hours, but I would be only wasting my time. There is nothing further I have to say except that I am not voting for these Ministers. I have no one to vote for; therefore, I am not voting. So far as de Valera and Cosgrave and Republicanism are concerned, the Ulster [156] Government in the North, the Southern Government in the South and the English Government all have the same respect for republicans. They lock them up and put them in prison. I say, open the prison gates.

An Ceann Comhairle: As obviously the Deputy cannot make himself relevant, he will now resume his seat.

Mr. Flanagan: I am now concluding.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy has resumed his seat for having been persistently irrelevant.

Mr. Coburn rose.

An Ceann Comhairle: The House will sit to-morrow if the debate is not concluded by midnight.

Mr. Coburn: Is there an agreement?

An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair understood the debate would conclude at twelve o'clock to-night. The Taoiseach has not now much time to conclude.

The Taoiseach: I do not think, in view of the type of debate that we have had, that it would be right for me just to speak for four or five minutes and then have the matter put to a vote.

Mr. D. Morrissey: On a point of order——

An Ceann Comhairle: If the Taoiseach is now rising to conclude and does not do so to-night, other Deputies who might care to intervene in the debate may not do so to-morrow.

Mr. D. Morrissey: That is the point that I was about to raise: that if the debate is not going to conclude to-night Deputies who wish to speak should understand that they can do so before the Taoiseach rises to reply.

An Ceann Comhairle: That is what I have pointed out.

Mr. Broderick: Why not give the Taoiseach any time he wants to reply, and then have the division?

[157] An Ceann Comhairle: No division may be called after 12 o'clock, midnight.

The Taoiseach: In view of the form which this debate has taken, I do not think it would be right that I should simply be content with a four or five-minute speech and then let the matter go to a vote. That, I think, would be quite wrong.

Mr. Lemass: Might we be able to reach agreement to conclude at a particular hour to-morrow, allowing the Taoiscach ample time to conclude?

Mr. W.T. Cosgrave: What time will the House meet to-morrow?

An Ceann Comhairle: 10.30 a.m.

The Taoiseach: The existing Government holds office until its successor is appointed. Its successor is not appointed until this is voted on by the Dáil, one way or other. I say again that I think it would not be right, in [158] view of the line pursued in this debate, that I should simply make a few perfunctory remarks in the space of four or five minutes. I think the situation demands something very much more than that, and, consequently, inevitably we will have to sit to-morrow. The only point is the one which has just been mentioned by the Minister for Supplies, that I should be allowed a reasonable time to reply; in view of the fact that this debate has gone on for several hours, during which all sorts of attacks and all sorts of statements have been made. I think I should get an hour to conclude.

Mr. Coburn: As one of the Deputies for the smallest county in the State, I desire to express my views on this matter. I had thought that there would be no necessity for having any division. I move the adjournment of the debate.

Debate adjourned until to-morrow.

The Dáil adjourned at 12 o'clock midnight, until 10.30 a.m. on Friday, July 2nd, 1943.