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Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 1966: Second Stage (resumed).

Wednesday, 29 June 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 223 No. 10

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

Debate resumed on the following amendments:

1. To delete all words after “That” and substitute “Dáil Éireann refuses to give a Second Reading to the Bill until the Government provide for the amalgamation of at least two existing Departments, so that by the appointment of a Minister for Labour an extra Minister will not be required.”

—(Deputy Cosgrave.)

2. To delete all words after “That” and substitute “Dáil Éireann while approving the establishment of a Department of Labour, declines to give a Second Reading to the Bill until the Department of Transport and Power has been integrated with another Department.”

—(Deputy Corish.)

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman Zoom on Gerard Sweetman When I was speaking last night, the Taoiseach pretended not to understand what I was saying in regard to international comparisons. I know of no international comparisons that can be made in relation to the size of the Cabinet but those in relation to the population or area of the [1516] country, or its trade or gross national product. The Taoiseach in his speech last Thursday said that by any international comparison, the number of Cabinet Ministers in Ireland was lower than in any other European country. That is not so in relation to trade, nor in relation to gross national product, nor in relation to size, and is certainly not so in relation to population.

We have an approximate population of three million people and when this Minister is appointed, if the Taoiseach does not accept our amendment, it will mean that the ratio will be one Cabinet Minister to each 200,000 of the population. In other words, one Cabinet Minister will look after 200,000 of our people. But in Austria, one Cabinet Minister is able to look after 600,000, three times as many. In Belgium, the figure is 450,000 and nobody can say that they have not problems of race and religion far more difficult than we have. We are constantly comparing ourselves with Denmark as a country that is agricultural to a large degree like our own, and even in Denmark, the ratio is one Cabinet Minister to 250,000 people and therefore they have a smaller proportion of Cabinet Ministers. In Finland, with all the problems that must be raised there by reason of their contiguity to Russia, the ratio is twice as low as ours. In the Netherlands, whereas the Taoiseach alleges we need one Cabinet Minister per 200,000 of population, one Cabinet Minister is able adequately to look after 900,000 people and at a great deal higher standard of living than we have. In Sweden, the proportion is one Minister to 600,000, three times greater than here. I shall not take the position in respect of France, Germany and Italy because in those countries the ratio is, in France one Cabinet Minister to two million people; in West Germany, one Minister to 2,500,000 people and in Italy, one Cabinet Minister to two million.

How, in the face of those statistics which can easily be checked by the Taoiseach if he wants to do so in Whitaker's Almanac, he can say that by any international comparison we shall have a smaller Cabinet here, beats [1517] me. I suppose the truth of the matter is that the Taoiseach did not expect anyone to verify or check the accuracy of what he said. He thought the debate might end on Thursday night and that there would not be any opportunity of checking the facts in the interval. But those of us who have some experience of the Taoiseach know that it always pays to verify his statements of that sort because he is usually drawing a long bow.

In regard to the Ministry of Labour itself, it seems there has been a lack of definition in the Taoiseach's speech on what it is intended the Ministry will do. I see in one of the newspapers this morning forecasts of other Bills in regard to trade relations. We have no knowledge in the House as to whether those forecasts are accurate or not but it is relevant on this Bill that there should be some specific statement by the Taoiseach as to what line it is proposed the new Minister will take.

We have the Labour Court and we are aware that discussions have been going on between the Minister for Industry and Commerce, on the one hand, and the Federated Union of Employers and the trade union chiefs, on the other. What is going to emerge is presumably what is to be in the Bills which will be discussed in the autumn, but so long as we have a Labour Court, it seems to me that there are two possibilities open. One is that the Minister would, so to speak, take over the functions in relation to that and act as a high-ranking, high-powered conciliator. The other is that the Minister for Labour, while endeavouring to anticipate trouble, once a dispute arises, would keep completely out of it, and leave the handling of it at that stage to the Labour Court. Whatever case may be made for either alternative, most people will agree that a mixture of the two would be entirely desirable and that one of the difficulties from which we are suffering at present in certain respects is the lack of finality.

It is therefore desirable that on this Bill the Taoiseach should make clear what the policy of the Government will be in this respect, whether it will be a policy of research into the causes of [1518] unrest when the unrest has been settled and the dispute over, or whether there will be an endeavour to anticipate difficulties but once those difficulties have arisen, will the situation be handled by the Minister for Labour or by the Labour Court? Unless that is made clear in regard to the functions of this Department at the very beginning, there will be a great deal of confused thinking in relation to it.

One of the troubles we have had is that we have a plethora of tribunals and nobody has known where finality lies. If the Minister for Labour is to be a sort of appeal court from the Labour Court, we shall get nowhere. There will have to be, in my view, at any rate, a clear distinction that one or the other alternative will be taken up but not a mixture of the two.

I presume that the occasion of the new industrial legislation that is coming would be the time to discuss the formula which exists at present and under which the officers of the Labour Court must work in making any recommendations. There is not sufficient recognition here, at any level at all—and I am not talking even of employer or labour sides in industry but amongst the general public as well —that, when any industry goes beyond what is good for the national interest as a whole, it will affect, much sooner than later, the welfare of the personnel in that industry as well as the welfare of everyone in the nation. It is not possible for any one industry, in the complex life in which we live today, to jump ahead of another industry. If it is attempted, either on one side or on the other, it will not do the national interest any good. There is considerable ground, therefore, on that, to rephrase the guiding principle on which the Labour Court have to make a recommendation.

I must confess that the Taoiseach, though he did not intend to do it, certainly gave us a real insight into his character last Thursday by his reply to my comment that everybody was out of step but our Johnny. His retort was that that was so: Everybody was out of step except himself. It is revealing that he feels he is the [1519] fount of all knowledge. Some people have thought it for a long time but I did not expect him to give such a welcome admission for the record.

Mr. B. Lenihan: Information on Patrick J. Lenihan Zoom on Patrick J. Lenihan Has the Deputy no sense of humour at all?

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon I have carefully read the Taoiseach's statement in introducing this Bill. I think it is pretty generally agreed that it is worth while making the experiment of having a Minister for Labour. Surely, however, the case put forward by the Leader of the Opposition, Deputy Cosgrave, for some corresponding reduction in Ministers is unanswerable? If you take from the Minister for Social Welfare all his functions and transfer them on an agency basis, what is left for him to do? The amalgamation of the Departments of Health and Social Welfare was in fact operative for a considerable time. There is the danger that we may have a multiplication of Ministries. If we want anybody else in the country to streamline, to raise efficiency and to reduce costs, there is no more effective advice than that provided by example. I suggest it would be a very salutary example if the Government were to provide it by saying: “We desire to streamline and economise in our own administration.”

I think the Taoiseach is mistaken in assuming that the Labour amendment constituted a personal attack on the man whom, in County Monaghan, we describe as Deputy Childrens, to rhyme with “child”. I do not think any personal attack is involved at all. I do not think anybody in the House would desire to participate in a personal attack on the Minister for Transport and Power. I am glad he is present at the moment so that I may have an opportunity of saying what I have said before. I think he is entitled to a vindication from the Taoiseach. While he was Minister for Transport and Power, I think he had on him a great obligation to keep the Government informed of the crisis which was developing in the ESB that brought us all to the very verge of an unprecedented crisis in the country at large. I rejoice that with [1520] the skill and adaptability of this Oireachtas and the prudence of all concerned in the dispute, we managed to avoid the emergence of a serious crisis in that regard. However, I think the Minister for Transport and Power is entitled to vindication at the hands of the Taoiseach who should say: “He did draw attention to it and we were looking into it in the light of his warning and if there was any dilatoriness in dealing with this problem which led us to the brink of a national crisis, the fault was the Government's and not that of the Minister for Transport and Power”. If that is the case, I say to the Taoiseach that he has an obligation to make it known to the House because at present the situation is open to the interpretation that the Government found this crisis coming upon them unprepared and that that was due to some default on the part of the Minister for Transport and Power.

I deplore the Taoiseach's implied approval of the frequentation at dinners and dogfights of his Ministers, which is becoming a great abuse. There may be suitable occasions when the Taoiseach and members of the Government shall, with propriety, attend a function but it is getting out of hand and control to find Ministers at functions such as the opening of petrol pumps and petrol stations and attending minor occasions of that kind where the manifest objective to secure anybody for publicity is to be reprobated rather than encouraged.

I would ask the Taoiseach to deal with the specific problem I raised as to what administrative functions will be left to the Minister for Social Welfare if, in fact, his duties are discharged on a commission basis by the new Minister for Labour? Deputy Sweetman has already dealt with the Taoisech's calculations about the number of Ministers here and elsewhere. I would draw the Taoiseach's attention particularly to what he is reported as saying at column 1301 of the Official Report of Thursday, 23rd June, 1966:

In Britain, under the Labour Government, the number of Cabinet [1521] Ministers is 22 and there are 27 other Ministers outside the Cabinet.

Is it not relevant, for the purposes of comparison, to inquire why, while we have a certain number of Ministers in our Government, we have, I believe, at this moment, an unparalleled number of Parliamentary Secretaries?

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass They have something like 60 in England.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon Of course, England is a somewhat larger country.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass What has that got to do with it?

Mr. B. Lenihan: Information on Patrick J. Lenihan Zoom on Patrick J. Lenihan Look at the proportions.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon The Taoiseach is trying to make a point which appeals to the jejeune mind of the Minister for Justice but it is not a point that would appeal to most rational men. I invite his further attention and reflection to it. There are certain general considerations to which I should like to direct the attention of the House. I may give offence to my colleague, Deputy James Tully, when I say that I think one of our great problems in good trade relations in this country is that the trade unions are the worst employers in Ireland.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully That is not true.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon I suggest it to Deputy Tully.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully You know nothing about it. You are making a statement to the House that you cannot back up with facts. If you can, put them on the record of the House. They are the best employers, and they have to be.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon I suggest that the approach of trade unions to this matter is almost Victorian. They have not recognised the responsibilities that devolve on their own officers and that has repercussions. Unless the trade unions are prepared to provide their own officers with a standard of [1522] salaries which will attract into that profession men of the highest calibre. they will simply be starved of the type of men who should carry the kind of responsibility they have to carry because they will be outbid by other employers.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully That is an attack on trade union officials.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon I am not attacking them at all. I am saying that I do not believe the trade unions are bidding for men of the calibre which is sufficient to carry the responsibility which in modern conditions trade union officials are called on to carry. I am quite in the habit of saying things in this House which vex people and it is not going to put me off one bit if I alarmed Deputy Tully.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully “Alarmed” is not the word.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon Well, distressed him. One of the most difficult and delicate tasks is the one referred to by the Taoiseach at column 1294 when he said:

Among the workers the forces of change can be seen to be at work, although it is still largely uncontrolled and unco-ordinated. Among employers, new ideas seem at times to lead to bewilderment and even to resentment.

I have been employing people for 40 years, and when I first began to employ people, of the 60 people then employed, seven had been employed at my premises for more than 50 years and of the remainder many had been there for 20 years or ten years. I well remember seeking to discipline one of them and the situation became so grotesque at the idea of my invoking the ultimate sanction that I was driven to say: “If this happens again, I will leave the premises”. It was manifestly fantastic that a man who had been there before I was born should be dismissed by me but immediately I announced that if he did not reform his ways I would quit, reformation followed.

I acknowledge freely that the world [1523] is changing but we have in Ireland the old family businesses run on the intimate contact between employers and employees. If we had trade union officials of a more sophisticated kind than at present they would recognise, in meeting these people for the first time, that they ought to make allowances for the fact that it is a very radical change for some longestablished employers to be dealing with employees through the medium of a union rather than by——

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully Trade unions are not handed down from father to son.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon Do not let us become angry. I am merely saying that there is a change going on. However, if we attempt to solve these problems on the assumption that they are solely a matter of statistics and efficiency, it does not matter how many Ministers for Labour you have because you are going to run your head against a stone wall. You are going to run your head into many stone walls that need not be collided with at all if people only recognise that 90 per cent of labour relations are human relations, people acting reasonably and not only reasonably but with understanding. This is required on both sides of the negotiations and it is for the want of it that I believe a great deal of our labour trouble arises.

I want to go on record as saying, as one who both in a personal capacity and in a ministerial capacity has been employing people all my life, that I have found the trade unions to be a highly responsible, sensible body of men, tough and resolute in defending their members' interests, and trustworthy and honourable, and men who, once they get the approbation of their members, are prepared to stand over their undertaking. But how often must it be explained to employers that a trade union does not employ its members, that the members employ the trade union officials and a trade union representative has frequently to say to employers. “Personally, I think this [1524] settlement is reasonable but I have to bring it back to the members who employ me because otherwise the only consequence will be that they will sack me”? It may be as clear as crystal to a man like Deputy Tully that this is the position but it would astonish him to know how many employers find it extremely difficult to comprehend it.

A further point which I wish to make, and this is something that ought to be watched with great care, is that in our search for efficiency, let us not throw individual liberty out through the window. There is more to life than efficiency and statistics and stream-lining. Human nature is not always a matter of logic and statistics and the solution of good industrial relations on the basis of this illusion, which is common to the professional economist's mind, is an illusion by which this whole country could be wrecked. I have an apprehension in regard to the emergence of a Minister for Labour that would involve the automatic invocation of the Government in the solution of every industrial dispute. We ought at once go on record on all sides as saying that is the last thing on earth any of us want. I believe there is emerging a recognition in the country that there is now a Fifth Estate, which is a free trade union movement. We used to speak of the Kings, Lords and Commons, and then of the Press as the Fourth Estate. I think there is a Fifth Estate and unless it exists in freedom, then the very society to which we belong has lost an essential part of its freedom.

I know the impatience many people feel about the difficulties and irritations and troubles involved in operating a free trade union movement. I know there are a lot of obscurantists who take the view that the trade unions ought to be put in a straitjacket and told what to do. I think they are mad. If this were done to the trade unions today it would be done to the rest of us tomorrow. I press very strongly on the House that there is growing up in our society a kind of hatred for freedom—it is not peculiar to Ireland and perhaps it is growing up in the [1525] new generations—a reluctance to bear the burdens of freedom. People are yearning to be told what to do. I do not want anybody to tell me what to do. I want to live within the minimum of law and I want the law to be of a character that I accept and of the moral character to demand of everyone to accept it without question until such time as by their votes in the ballot boxes they change it through the instrumentality of Parliament.

These wiseacres who want to streamline our lives begin by describing Dáil Éireann as a talking shop where time is wasted. If we did not dazzle them, we ought to have dazzled them by the success of our effors to bring the country from the edge of catastrophe where it was for reasons into which I do not propose to go now. We want the same obscurantists to realise that if Oireachtas Éireann has virtues that they do not understand, because they have never carried the responsibilities of government, so a free trade union movement has virtues that they do not understand for they have never had the obligation to make industry or business work as they sat in their ivory towers and pontificated from their pinnacles, telling those who have borne the heat and burden of the day how to do their job.

I have seen a few of these gentlemen come down from their lofty perches on to the floor of the arena and I have seen what happened to them. They have been overcome by nervous breakdowns and have gone to mental hospitals lamenting to the public at large that everybody was rude and rough to them and spoke nastily to them. I have seen some of them remain in public life, some for one year, some for two, but very few of them for more. The work of government and industry is work of a practical manner but that fact should not make it any less the subject of criticism. I suppose that as one grows elderly, one should search one's conscience lest one be suffering from nostalgia for the past. I do not think I am suffering from nostalgia for the past. I am suffering from a passion for liberty, for equality in opportunity for all our people.

[1526] The last thing I want to say is that when Deputy Corish and Deputy Tully speak, they should stop fomenting the ludicrous illusion that there are two rival classes in this country. If there is a classless society anywhere in this wide world, it is the one in which we have been privileged, by God's providence, to live. We have been privileged to work out a society in which there is no aristocracy and no proletariat.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish With regard to that, you are pushing an open door where we are concerned.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon I am not so sure that you are saying that in the proper sense. I sometimes hear talk in this House and outside of it that we have here two great warring classes of Irish people ready to go at each other's throats and longing for each other's blood. No such antithesis exists in Ireland.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully What about the people in the paper mills?

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon I believe that if Deputy Tully and I went out there, we would settle that matter in a while of a day.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully If you will make the appointment, I will go with you.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon They probably would not want either of us. All I am saying is that if we want to contribute to good labour relations in this country, we should recognise the fact that there are not two classes in this country, that there is no body of men who want to suck another man's blood. I do not believe that there is any body of men in the industrial life of this country who want to spill their neighbour's blood either. If there is any manner in which the Minister for Labour can crystallise these thoughts in the minds of our people, he will be doing a useful thing. But if the Taoiseach wants the country at large to streamline itself, to build up industry, to eliminate waste, to economise in administration, he could listen to no more powerful advice than that he himself should set an example [1527] by saying that while we need a Ministry of Labour, he is prepared to amalgamate some other Departments and that he does not believe it desirable to expand indefinitely the number of our Ministries.

Mr. Moore: Information on Seán Moore Zoom on Seán Moore A Leas-Cheann Comhairle——

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully I understand that there was a Whip's agreement that the debate would conclude at 4.30 p.m. Are we now to take it that promises are to be made and words of honour given and not carried out?

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan I came here last night to vote, but if Deputy Moore is prepared to waive his right to speak, I am prepared to waive mine.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish There are members of the Labour Party, members of trade unions, Deputy Seán Dunne and others, who would like to contribute to the debate but they agreed not to do so.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass The agreement was that I should get in at 4.30 p.m.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan If Deputy Moore waives his right to speak, I will do so also.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish There is no order of the House but there is an understanding.

Mr. Moore: Information on Seán Moore Zoom on Seán Moore I will waive my right to speak.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan So will I.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass We may have an inquiry into the cause of this dispute as well. It appears from the speeches that all Parties in the House are agreed that a Ministry of Labour should be set up and that, in itself, is a good enough augury for the new Department. The introduction of this measure gave the Deputies an opportunity, and particularly the Leaders of the Opposition Parties, of expressing views on what is probably the most important question facing the country at this time. It is to be regretted that because of what I have already described as an irrelevant [1528] amendment, and was certainly an illconsidered amendment, the Leader of the Fine Gael Party felt obliged to concentrate most of his remarks on what is an unrelated and relatively unimportant issue, namely, the number of members of the Government.

Deputies appear to have a very queer conception of the functions of Government and perhaps I should give them some opportunity of revising their ideas in that regard. I do not mind Deputy Ryan who has no, or very little, knowledge of the matter but Deputy Cosgrave, Deputy Corish and Deputy Dillon, who have all had service in Government, must have acquired some ideas and knowledge of its operation. Let me take as an instance the Department of Transport and Power. This Department was set up because of the growth of the number of state-sponsored bodies which are exercising enormous economic power and responsibility. It was decided that we required the institution of a new Department of State to exercise supervision over them.

Deputy Corish and Deputy Cosgrave referred to these State bodies and seemed to think that once they had been instituted by legislation, they should be allowed to go their own course without further supervision by Government. They seemed to think that the Minister supposedly in charge of these bodies did not have anything to do, their functions and powers being defined by law and that the only governmental action these bodies would require thereafter was the introduction of new legislation to increase their capital availability as they requested. The Deputy's conception of these State boards as being entirely free of Government supervision after being set up is not consistent, as we know, with the number of Dáil questions that have been put down regarding them. They say they want them to be free of Government supervision; yet they expect the Minister concerned to be able to give information about the most detailed aspects of their administration. Do they want the Government to be in a position to exercise effective supervision over them or do they not?

In our view there should and must be effective supervision, not in a [1529] manner which invades their autonomy in the least degree, or which involves interference with their day to day administration, particularly in respect of their relationship with their staffs, but for the purpose of seeing they are doing the things the Dáil intended they should do when they were set up and that they are effectively serving the public interest. If there is to be a Minister capable of exercising that supervision on behalf of the Government and of the people, then he must be very intimately in touch with everything that is going on, understand the reasons for the decisions they are making and, indeed, be alerted to all the economic and technological possibilities that bear upon their work.

It may be that a Minister, in relation to one of these State boards concerned in some development, will decide, after inquiry and investigation, that he should do nothing about a particular development, but a decision to do nothing will often involve as detailed an investigation and as careful consideration as a decision to do something involving the submission of legislation to the Dáil. Deputy Corish talked about a Minister keeping a fatherly eye on the board. I accept that but I hope that the Minister concerned will be a good father and make that eye from time to time a cold and critical one.

I was astonished at the extraordinary views expressed by the Leader of the Fine Gael Party with regard to the operation of these State boards and the attitude of the Government in relation to them. I was even more surprised at his comments in regard to the work of the Minister for Social Welfare. The responsibility of the Minister for Social Welfare will be affected only to a microscopic degree by the setting up of the new Department of Labour. We have now a Minister for Social Welfare who more than any other previous Minister holding that position has been watching with great care the administration of all the social welfare services, who has been taking measure after measure to eradicate the anomalies, injustices and disparities with which our social welfare legislation was riddled. There is [1530] a Bill before the Dáil which, apart from bringing into effect changes in the general rates of benefit, makes a number of detailed changes decided upon by the Minister and urged by him on the Government after he had carried out this very detailed investigation of how these services were operating and where they were producing these disparities, anomalies and injustices. That is a whole-time occupation for a Minister, ensuring that the whole range of our social welfare legislation is administered not merely with economy and efficiency but also with commonsense and humanity.

It would be an extraordinary situation if we were to adopt what Deputy Cosgrave appeared to have in mind, leaving all this work entirely to the administration of civil servants, the Government coming in only once in a while to produce legislation altering the amounts of benefit the civil servants were to distribute. The criticism of the present Minister is all the more extraordinary in this year in which he has just put through the Oireachtas new legislation of major social significance, probably the most important piece of legislation of its kind that will pass through this Oireachtas in this decade. I refer to the Occupational Injuries Bill. The Minister for Social Welfare now has to face the difficult and complicated task of getting it into full operation.

I expressed some ideas about the responsibilities of Ministers when introducing this Bill. I urge Deputies now to try to realise that far more important than the routine administration work they do in their Departments is the work attaching to them as members of the Government, responsible in the widest sense for the preparation and execution of national policy. For the life of me, I cannot make out what the area of the country or its population has to do with the size of its Government. Is effective government less important in smaller countries? Or is government a less complicated business in countries with smaller populations? Deputy Sweetman did his calculations and, following his line, I did [1531] some of my own. If we were to take Deputy Sweetman's standard, we would be entitled to a Government of two or three Ministers, Iceland to about half a Minister, and Luxembourg to about one-eighth of a Minister. There is almost no problem of government arising in any country in the world, large or small, that does not arise here and the test of the adequacy of a Government is not the population of a country, or the size of the parliament, the extent of its territory or the extent of its trade, but the work that has to be done by Government. Certainly that is the only test I intend to apply.

Deputy Corish dealt with matters that did relevantly arise on this Bill. I noted that on this occasion, as on others, he appeared to interpret every reference to industrial relations or industrial strife as implying a criticism of the trade union movement. Deputy O'Leary also followed on that line. I certainly expressed no criticism of the trade union movement, either in introducing the Bill or in the address I gave on Sunday last at the Social Study Congress, to which Deputy Corish referred. He accused me of setting up bogeys to knock them down. It seems to me that is exactly what he was doing himself.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Maybe the two of us were at the one game.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass Deputy O'Leary talked about Deputies here being eloquent in describing the shortcomings of the trade unions. I do not remember any debate in this Dáil in recent years in which a Deputy was eloquent about the shortcomings of the trade unions. I think the criticism that could be offered of the Dáil is that we are far too mealymouthed and cautious when discussing the shortcomings of trade unions, far more cautious than indeed is desirable, because trade unions, any more than other organisations, or systems are not entitled to be exempt from criticism and it does them no good to be exempt. However, the point I am making is that criticism of the trade union movement [1532] does not arise on this Bill any more than criticism of the employers' organisations arises. We have a problem in industrial relations about which we have to do something and that is the reason why the Government are proposing that we set up a Department of State with a suitable Minister in charge and a competent staff under his direction to do something about them and generally to bring about some improvement in the situation, if it is humanly possible to do so.

I must tell Deputy Ryan that I listened to his speech with a considerable amount of admiration. Winston Churchill once said, talking about a speech made by a colleague of his, that is contained every known cliché except “God is love” and “Please adjust your dress before leaving”. I think Deputy Ryan even worked these in in some form and has, therefore, established a world record.

I was interested in the comments of Deputies on the operation of the employment exchanges. May I say this is an aspect of the situation to which we have given a great deal of attention? We have a system of employment exchanges throughout the country. May I say straight away that I agree with Deputy O'Leary that a great deal more could be done to improve—I think something has been done—the amenities and brighten the appearance of these places? There are two services carried on by these employment exchanges, the distribution of unemployment benefit to those who are qualified, and the employment service proper, the putting of unemployed workers in touch with employers seeking workers. We all know that this employment exchange service is now virtually used only by public authorities. Generally, private employers have recourse to employment exchanges only when they encounter an exceptional and temporary need for more workers with no particular skills. The aim must be to bring about a different image of the employment exchange——

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon Hear, hear.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass ——and to make employment exchanges appear to [1533] workers more as places out of which they can hope to get in touch with employments suited to their needs and skills and in which an offer of employment is less likely to arouse in their minds the suspicion that its purpose is to test the genuineness of their search for work and their qualification, therefore, for unemployment benefit.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon Hear, hear.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass This will take a long time, and if we look at the experience of countries which have full, or almost full, employment, the efforts made to channel all employment through similar institutions have in the main been unsuccessful. I think the highest degree that has been achieved in regard to the number of vacancies filled in this way is about 40 per cent. In most cases, as everybody knows, employers get workers, when they need more workers, generally on the recommendation of somebody already employed by them, through trade union services and in other ways. It is only with some reluctance that they turn to public employment exchanges.

This is what we must try to change. We recognise we will not succeed in making these employment exchanges more useful to workers and employers in this matter of puting workers in touch with jobs until the employment situation in itself has improved and until the service provided by the exchanges is greatly overhauled. However, we do contemplate a far more active effort by the officials in charge of this service in going out to ascertain where jobs are available, where jobs may become available in the course of some weeks or some months ahead, and particularly to utilise them in connection with the development of the new training service which is being set up under a Bill before the House.

The decision to put the administration of these employment exchanges under the Minister for Labour is part of that process of trying to bring about that improvement in the course of time. It may be that in the future—it will be a long time in the future—it will be possible for us to separate these two services, to have one service dealing [1534] with unemployment benefit and another service conducting the business of placing workers in employment. To do that until we have this much better prospect of having jobs available for workers needing them, and to do it at this time, would be merely to cause inconvenience and probably irritation to workers availing of the services provided by the exchanges.

Deputy O'Leary talked about the need for considering the possibility of a general reorganisation of the Government and re-allocation of functions between Ministers. This is a process which goes on almost continuously. There is hardly a year passes but there is not some redistribution among Ministers of particular functions, but it seems to me a process which should always proceed very gradually, very slowly indeed, because it is liable to create very considerable administrative disruption and, consequently, a withdrawal of service from the public for a period.

It is true, as Deputy O'Leary said, that the setting up of a Ministry of Labour does nothing in itself, but we do hope it may be the start of something that will prove to be beneficial. Its establishment involves a recognition by us that a right organisational basis is in any event necessary to achieve something worthwhile. We believe that in this particular field the aim of the Government should be to try to develop a consensus. It is true we cannot always have agreement, but agreement, if it is feasible at all, certainly is a desirable foundation upon which to build.

Deputy O'Leary urged the Government not to approach this question with what he called a mailed fist concept. I have spoken at length on this subject of industrial relations in the course of this year in very carefully prepared speeches on important occasions, including the speech which I delivered on Sunday last at the Social Study Congress. I endeavoured to set out as clearly as possible the ideas which inspire the policy of the Government, the philosophy behind those ideas, and I certainly cannot understand how anybody having read those speeches—and I am sure Deputy [1535] O'Leary did—could possibly think of the Government's approaching this problem with the idea of using the mailed fist. I tried to make it clear that if public opinion in this country ever wants to have that approach to this problem here, they will have to get another Government to do it.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Was that a full report that was in the newspapers?

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass No. I should be very glad to send the Deputy the full text.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish I should like to have it.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass This is one of the problems with which public men have to deal when they make a speech of that kind: the sub-editing of it in the newspapers often tends, if not to distort, at any rate to detract from, the full force of the arguments used.

Deputy O'Leary, in that regard, was critical of our newspapers and seemed inclined to suggest that a lot of the public concern about our industrial situation was artificial to the extent that it was based upon alarmist reports and scare headlines in the newspapers. There may be some foundation for that although I think he tended to exaggerate the impact of these newspaper reports on public opinion in this regard. However, it is no harm to put it on record here that in the last few months in this country there has been carried out a general adjustment of wages in practically every sector of employment with very few disputes indeed. Admittedly we had disputes which were serious in their implications, some disputes that should not have happened at all, and some which threatened very grave consequences for the country, but by and large, this process of adjustment has been completed with not very many disputes, reckoned in terms of numbers or in comparison with what might have happened if circumstances had been different.

We have at the present time two disputes—not a spate of disputes as Deputy O'Leary suggested—two main disputes, the bank dispute and the paper mills dispute. In so far as the [1536] banks are concerned, negotiations are in progress, and I am not going to say anything that might complicate them. However, I do not think employment in banks is the type of employment to which the weapon of the strike or lockout should apply at all. If we cannot get people of that kind to approach the solution of their problems in a rational or reasonable way, what hope have we in employment where a more belligerent tradition has always prevailed?

This dispute in the paper industry— and again I understand there are prospects that negotiations will continue, and we hope they will produce a solution—presents to the Government, to the trade unions and to management the prospect of a new problem. Where you get disputes of that kind which go on for a long time, where negotiations have not produced any settlement, where the parties apparently just meet to confront each other without changing their positions, where it involves or could involve the disappearance of an important industry and certainly involves hardship for many hundreds of workers, what do we do about it? Does our commitment to the doctrine of free negotiation and non-interference mean that we are to allow that situation to be perpetuated without acting to bring it to an end? I am not saying what other course should be followed, but I do say we see here in that one dispute the prospect of a new type of problem arising where free negotiation does not produce a reasonable and acceptable compromise, which does not produce the termination of the dispute and involves danger to the whole national industrial development. What are we to do then? There must be surely somebody with authority to say that if by any reasonable time, free negotiation does not produce the acceptable compromise an objective judgment upon the merits of the dispute will be made by somebody and imposed by somebody's authority.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Imposed?

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass Naturally one would say it should be accepted by the parties, but I am dealing with a [1537] situation where we have otherwise to envisage perpetual deadlock. I do not say that is going to be the position in the paper dispute. I am hoping negotiations will, at long last, produce an acceptable compromise but, assuming they do not, do we not see there in that situation a new problem which all of us will have to think about?

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish We should never get to the situation where one could impose.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass Perhaps I should not have taken that example. But we can conceive of a dispute arising in some industry causing a strike and negotiations drawn out over a long period failing to produce an acceptable compromise that would bring the strike to an end. Do we just tolerate that situation or should we have recourse to some other method which will terminate it, even though the proposals for terminating are not fully acceptable to either party to the dispute?

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon Surely for the onemillionth chance, we will not throw away the whole groundwork of freedom?

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass But how long do we go? Here is a dispute which has gone on for four months, which is undoubtedly jeopardising the continued existence of an important industry and which has caused tremendous hardship for hundreds of workers and which, unless the present negotiations produce a reasonable and acceptable compromise, may go on for a long time yet.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon We want to get away from the word “impose”.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully When the workers refuse to accept something, it is right to bring in legislation, but if the employers are not reasonable, it is not right?

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass The problem may not be solved by the Government, the employers' organisation or the Congress of Trade Unions, but it is a problem we will not get rid of by shutting our eyes to it.

[1538]Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Everybody agrees with the Taoiseach up to the point where he says we may have to arrive at a solution which must be imposed. I do not think the Taoiseach meant to go that far.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass What I am trying to pose as the problem we have to face is: how do you bring a dispute to an end where reasonable compromise cannot be negotiated? I do not know to what extent in this dispute there have been genuine negotiations and a bona fide effort to work out a settlement involving a reasonable compromise.

Mr. Larkin: Information on Denis Larkin Zoom on Denis Larkin The Taoiseach is taking a bad example.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass I may be; perhaps I was unwise to take this particular example. However, this one dispute is directing our attention to the possibility that this problem presenting itself to us —not to the Government, the trade unions or the employers alone.

Mr. Larkin: Information on Denis Larkin Zoom on Denis Larkin We are introducing a system here imposing conditions which create this prolongation and the Taoiseach follows that by saying that an imposed settlement might be the answer.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass I am working on the theory—the theory the Deputy accepts—that the function of the trade union negotiators in a dispute is to achieve a reasonable compromise. I am posing the problem: what happens if this reasonable compromise proves not to be negotiable? Compromise must involve some movement from the original position by both parties. If that is not realisable, if there is not either genuine negotiation or a desire to compromise or if the negotiations do not produce an acceptable compromise, what do we do? Sit back with our arms folded?

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish That would be the function of the Minister for Labour or some of his institutions without having to get it imposed either on employers or employees.

[1539]The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass If in the last resort no compromise arrangement should prove feasible, are we to abandon the whole thing?

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish The Taoiseach is too pessimistic.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass Here is one dispute which almost for the first time has brought us face to face with the possibility.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish We are contemplating better machinery.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass Deputy Corish referred to the fact that the Government had given notice they were introducing Bills to amend the Industrial Relations Act, 1946, and the Trade Union Act. He wondered whether this was the best time for new legislation of this kind. There never is a best time. My own view is there is no better time than now. Deputy Cosgrave complained about delay on the part of the Government in producing to the House Bills which have been foreshadowed for a long time. In fariness to the Government, I must make it clear that the delay is not attributable to any fault of ours. In the case of the Industrial Relations Act, a memorandum of our views as to the amendments that should be made was sent both to the Federated Union of Employers and the Congress of Trade Unions early in April last, with a request for their observations on it. Neither party has yet submitted these observations. I can understand this. I am not criticising them. I can understand that both in the Congress of Trade Unions and in the Federated Union of Employers there may be difficulty in getting agreement as to the recommendations they should submit to the Minister for Industry and Commerce. Perhaps asking for this memorandum, which involves prior agreement amongst themselves, may not have been the right course. There is in both of these organisations generally a tendency, or shall we say, a preference, to receive proposals and to criticise them rather than to make response in a positive way and put forward their own.

[1540]Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish While Congress, as the Taoiseach said, has had these proposals since 14th April, there was at least one discussion for the purpose of clarification. There is no delay on the part of Congress.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass The aim of the Government would be to proceed in all these matters as far as possible on the basis of agreement. We would prefer to reach some agreement than otherwise. But it is clear we cannot wait for ever. Indeed, the whole process we envisage may not prove to be workable and progress in the last resort may require the submission to the Dáil of the proposals of the Government, followed by their detailed examination and, if necessary, amendment here.

Mr. P. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton Zoom on Patrick Belton What sanctions are there to make trade unions or employers do this?

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass No sanction whatever. We are hoping we will have this type of collaboration and help.

Mr. P. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton Zoom on Patrick Belton If they still refuse, what sanctions are there?

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass There are no sanctions at all.

Mr. P. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton Zoom on Patrick Belton Then they do not have to do it?

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass They do not have to do it. The point I made here before is that by and large the Government prefer in the preparation of legislation of this kind to proceed more slowly on the basis of agreement than to proceed quickly without. I hope the consultations which are envisaged will be completed soon so that the Government's legislative proposals following on those consultations can be prepared. Bills to deal with these matters have now been introduced and will in any event be available for consideration by the Dáil in the next session. All this legislation, both in regard to the present intention of the Government in this regard and the future development of the legislation as circumstances change in the years ahead, will of course be the [1541] special function of the new Minister for Labour for whose Department this Bill provides.

Deputies have asked me if I would make any announcement or state my intention as to the personality who would fill that Ministry. I think this would be unwise. The Dáil should consider the setting up of a Department of this kind without reference to personalities and solely as part of the improvement of the machinery of government.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish It must be either of the two of them, because they have been very good attenders at this debate.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass The Deputy might make wrong assumptions in that regard. You will not get me to reveal my intentions by a process of elimination.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish The Irish Press have got you.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin Zoom on Cormac Breslin To the question “That the Bill be now read a Second Time” two amendments have been moved, one by the Leader of the Fine Gael Party and one by the Leader of the Labour Party, to delete certain words and substitute others. I am putting the question that the words proposed to be deleted stand part of the main question.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish The first amendment?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin Zoom on Cormac Breslin Both amendments.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Do not try to cod us again. We want a vote on our own amendment. We will vote on the three but we want the House to vote on our amendment as well. We had this before.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin Zoom on Cormac Breslin I am putting the question as it has been put here for years.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish The Ceann Comhairle allowed us to put our amendment.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully Does the Leas-Cheann Comhairle not remember a previous occasion when something like [1542] this happened and when the Ceann Comhairle came into the Chair he ruled that the two amendments must be taken separately? I suggest that that is a precedent which must be followed at the present time.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin Zoom on Cormac Breslin I remember no such thing. The Chair is putting this question as it has always been put in similar circumstances— the two amendments are similarly worded——

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully They are not.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin Zoom on Cormac Breslin “To delete all words after the word ‘That’.”

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish On a point of order, would you please send for the Ceann Comhairle?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin Zoom on Cormac Breslin I have no intention of sending for the Ceann Comhairle. I am putting the usual question.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish I appeal to the Leader of the House. We had exactly the same position on some other motion. I cannot remember which. The Leas-Cheann Comhairle gave a ruling similar to the one he has given now. When the Ceann Comhairle came in, he reversed that ruling and allowed the amendment which we had put down from the Labour Party to be voted on separately.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin Zoom on Cormac Breslin He did not. The question was then put in the same way.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass Even though it would appear to be against the interests of the Government in this regard, I think the Leas-Cheann Comhairle's ruling in this is correct. By putting the amendment in this form, the two Opposition Parties can combine to vote against the Government.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish This is nonsense.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon Let us not debate with one another whether the Chair is right or not. That is chaos.

[1543]Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully Is the Leas-Cheann Comhairle aware that there is only one amendment before the House and that the second amendment will have to be moved and that that was pointed out by the Ceann Comhairle? I cannot see how two amendments can be put now when only one is before the House.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish The Taoiseach will remember—it was on the Free Trade Area Agreement—there was a motion by the Taoiseach to the effect that the Agreement should be approved by the House. There was another motion by the Fine Gael Party. We had another one. We were allowed to have our amendment put and the House to vote upon it. This is exactly the same situation.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin Zoom on Cormac Breslin On that occasion the two amendments were put by the one question: “That the words proposed to be deleted stand.”

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass The House cannot stultify itself by voting in any one way.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish We are more specific. Fine Gael want to amalgamate two Departments. We say we want to abolish the Department of Transport and Power.

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass One is as good as the other.

Mr. Norton: Information on Patrick Norton Zoom on Patrick Norton Would the Taoiseach agree that this is playing petty politics while he is looking for goodwill?

The Taoiseach: Information on Seán F. Lemass Zoom on Seán F. Lemass It is a matter for the Chair.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Would the Taoiseach advise me? Am I entitled to ask that the Ceann Comhairle be present? May I move the adjournment until the Ceann Comhairle can be brought in?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin Zoom on Cormac Breslin I am not accepting the motion.

Mr. Mullen: Information on Michael Mullen Zoom on Michael Mullen We will not be allowed to talk soon.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish I am insisting that my amendment be put and also that the [1544] Ceann Comhairle be sent for. I do not think it is unreasonable.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin Zoom on Cormac Breslin Would the Deputy please listen?

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish I am going to be put out for the purpose of seeing that the Ceann Comhairle is brought in here. That is the only method by which I can get the Ceann Comhairle into the House.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin Zoom on Cormac Breslin They Chair has no intention of departing from the procedure followed in this House.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish You are not following the procedure adopted on the Free Trade Area Agreement discussion.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin Zoom on Cormac Breslin Yes.

Mr. O'Leary: This is coercion from the first Minister for Labour.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin Zoom on Cormac Breslin There is no question of coercion.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish I am asking that the Ceann Comhairle be sent for to rule on this.

Mr. B. Lenihan: Information on Patrick J. Lenihan Zoom on Patrick J. Lenihan The Ceann Comhairle is here. At this point of time, there is the Ceann Comhairle in the Chair.

Mr. Norton: Information on Patrick Norton Zoom on Patrick Norton That is the Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin Zoom on Cormac Breslin I would point out to Deputy Corish that he can raise any point concerning the division when the Ceann Comhairle arrives to take it.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Fair enough.

An Ceann Comhairle took the Chair.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan Zoom on Patrick Hogan To the motion, “That the Bill be now read a Second Time”, an amendment was moved to delete all words after the word “That”. On the motion, “That the words proposed to be deleted stand——”

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish On a point of order, [1545] I should like to know if the amendments are to be taken separately. I respectfully point out that there is a precedent for this. When there was a motion before the House that the Free Trade Agreement between this country and Britain be approved, there was an amendment by Fine Gael and an amendment by Labour. On that occasion the Chair ruled that there should be separate decisions on these amendments. I assume that practice will be followed in respect of the amendments to this Bill.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan Zoom on Patrick Hogan The Deputy should appreciate that if the motion that is now being divided on is defeated, each of the amendments will be put, in its order.

Mr. Kyne: Information on Thomas Anthony Kyne Zoom on Thomas Anthony Kyne Does this mean that this is the Fine Gael amendment?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan Zoom on Patrick Hogan This is the invariable practice in respect of Bills when the Second Reading has been moved and amendments are moved to delete certain words after the word “That” and substitute certain other words.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Do I gather that this means we shall have an opportunity of voting on our own amendment?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan Zoom on Patrick Hogan I do not know until the House has voted.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish On a further point of order, I should like to point out that there is a difference between these two amendments. In our amendment, we are prepared to support the idea of the establishment of a Department of Labour. If our amendment is put before the House and defeated, we are then prepared to support the Bill which is before the House.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan Zoom on Patrick Hogan There is no difference between the two amendments in respect of the opening portions to delete certain words and substitute [1546] certain other words. If the present motion is defeated the House will have a chance to put in whatever words they want. I cannot continue the argument. I am putting the question——

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Is there any limit in time to a point of order?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan Zoom on Patrick Hogan The Chair has the right to decide and I am putting the question——

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish May I put a further question? If in the case of any Bill that is before the House there is a number of amendments, does it necessarily mean when a decision is to be taken that all these amendments, five or six or 12 or 17 are to be lumped together?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan Zoom on Patrick Hogan Maybe. That depends on their matter.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish I suggest it is purely for the convenience of the Chair and the Government that this practice is being adopted.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Patrick Hogan Zoom on Patrick Hogan This practice has been adopted since the inauguration of this House.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish This practice was not adopted on 6th January last when the Free Trade Agreement was being discussed. I want to make it clear that in protest we are not voting on this but again I want to make it clear also that we are in favour of the establishment of a Ministry of Labour.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish We talked about the establishment of a Ministry of Labour before Fianna Fáil ever talked about it.

Question put: “That the words proposed to be deleted stand part of the main question.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 69; Níl, 41

Allen, Lorcan.
Andrews, David.[1547]Boylan, Terence.
Brady, Philip.
Brennan, Joseph.
Brennan, Paudge.
Breslin, Cormac.
Briscoe, Ben.
Burke, Patrick J.
Calleary, Phelim A.
Carty, Michael.
Childers, Erskine.
Clohessy, Patrick.
Colley, George.
Collins, James J.
Corry, Martin J.
Cotter, Edward.
Crinion, Brendan.
Cronin, Jerry.
Crowley, Flor.
Crowley, Honor M.
Cunningham, Liam.
Davern, Don.
de Valera, Vivion.
Dowling, Joe.
Egan, Nicholas.
Fahey, John.
Fanning, John.
Faulkner, Pádraig.
Fitzpatrick, Thomas J. (Dublin).
Flanagan, Seán.
Foley, Desmond.
Gallagher, James.
Geoghegan, John.
Boland, Kevin.
Booth, Lionel.[1548]Gibbons, Hugh.
Gibbons, James M.
Gilbride, Eugene.
Gogan, Richard P.
Haughey, Charles.
Healy, Augustine A.
Hillery, Patrick J.
Hilliard, Michael.
Kenneally, William.
Kennedy, James J.
Kitt, Michael F.
Lalor, Patrick J.
Lemass, Noel T.
Lemass, Seán.
Lenihan, Brian.
Lenihan, Patrick.
Lynch, Celia.
Lynch, Jack.
McEllistrim, Thomas.
MacEntee, Seán.
Meaney, Tom.
Millar, Anthony G.
Molloy, Robert.
Mooney, Patrick.
Moore, Seán.
Moran, Michael.
Nolan, Thomas.
Ó Brian, Donnchadh.
Ó Ceallaigh, Seán.
O'Connor, Timothy.
Smith, Patrick.

Níl

Barry, Richard.
Belton, Luke.
Belton, Paddy.
Burke, Joan T.
Clinton, Mark A.
Collins, Seán.
Connor, Patrick.
Coogan, Fintan.
Cosgrave, Liam.
Costello, Declan.
Costello, John A.
Creed, Donal.
Dillon, James M.
Dockrell, Henry P.
Dockrell, Maurice E.
Donegan, Patrick S.
Donnellan, John.
Dunne, Thomas.
Esmonde, Sir Anthony C.
Farrelly, Denis.
Flanagan, Oliver J.
Governey, Desmond.
Harte, Patrick D.
Hogan, Patrick (South Tipperary).
Hogan O'Higgins, Brigid.
Jones, Denis F.
L'Estrange, Gerald.
Lindsay, Patrick J.
Lyons, Michael D.
Murphy, William.
O'Donnell, Patrick.
O'Donnell, Tom.
O'Hara, Thomas.
O'Higgins, Michael J.
O'Higgins, Thomas F.K.
Reynolds, Patrick J.
Ryan, Richie.
Sweetman, Gerard.
Tully, James.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Carty and Geoghegan; Níl, Deputies L'Estrange and James Tully.

Question declared carried.

Question: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time” put and declared carried.

Committee Stage ordered for Thursday, 30th June, 1966.


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