Dáil Éireann - Volume 2 - 17 January, 1923

ARMY COUNCIL GENERAL ORDER.

In pursuance of the Army Emergency Powers resolution of An Dáil of date the 28th day of September, 1922, and by virtue of and in exercise of the powers thereby sanctioned and of all or any other powers in this behalf us hereunto enabling, We, the Army Council, hereby order as follows.—

1.—From after the date hereof any person who shall:—

(a) Murder any person, or aid or abet the murder of any person, or attempt in any way to murder any person;

(b) Conspire to murder any person;

(c) Command, procure, incite, counsel, solicit, encourage, persuade or endeavour to persuade any person to murder any person,

shall upon trial and conviction thereof by Military Court or Committee be liable to suffer death or any less punishment.

2.—From and after the date hereof any person who shall:—

(a) Aid or abet any person to commit an offence specified in sub-paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of paragraph 2 of the General Regulations as to the trial of Civilians by Military Courts made by us upon the 2nd [877] day of October, 1922, or in sub-paragraph (d) of paragraph 2 of this order;

(b) Command, procure, incite, counsel, solicit, encourage, persuade or endeavour to persuade any person to commit an offence specified in sub-paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of paragraph 2 of the said General Regulations as to the Trial of Civilians by Military Courts, or in sub-paragraph (e) of paragraph 2 of this order.

(c) Conspire to commit an offence specified in sub-paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of paragraph 2 of the said General Regulations as to the Trial of Civilians by Military Courts or in Sub-paragraph (e) of paragraph 2 of this order.

(d) Hold communication or correspondence with, give intelligence to, or furnish supplies or material to any person with the intention of assisting any person to commit an offence specified in sub-paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of paragraph 2 of the said General Regulations as to the Trial of Civilians by Military Courts, or in sub-paragraph (e) of paragraph 2 of this order.

(e) Without proper authority (of which authority the proof shall lie upon such person) manufacture or engage or assist in the manufacture of any firearms, article or substance specified in paragraph 2 (c) of the said General Regulations as to the Trial of Civilians by Military Courts.

(f) Have in his or her power, possession, disposition, or control, any plan, model, sketch, document or note, whether written, typed, or printed, calculated to be or which might be used for purposes prejudicial to the safety of the State or of the National Forces with an intention or for a purpose prejudicial to the safety of the State or of the National Forces.

(g) Have in his or her possession without proper authority, of which authority the proof shall lie upon such person, any Uniform of the Military Forces or of the Civic Guard, or of the Dublin Metropolitan [878] Police, or any portion of such Uniform of aforesaid Military or Police Forces.

Shall upon trial and conviction thereof by Military Court be liable to suffer death or any less punishment.

3.—From and after the date hereof any person who shall:—

(a) Maliciously send, deliver, utter, or directly or indirectly cause to be received, knowing the contents thereof, any letter or writing threatening to kill or murder any person;

(b) Assist, to attempt to assist any person in Civil or Military Custody to escape therefrom;

(c) Hold communication or correspondence with, give intelligence to, or furnish supplies or material to any person with the intention of assisting any person in Military Custody or Civil Custody to escape therefrom;

(d) Without proper authority (of which authority the proof shall lie upon such person) have in his or her power, possession, disposition or control any plan, model, sketch, document or note, whether written, typed or printed, calculated to be or which might be used for a purpose prejudicial to the safety of the State or of the National Forces.

Shall upon trial and conviction thereof by a Military Court be liable to suffer penal servitude for any period or any less punishment.

 4.—(1) From and after the date hereof any person who shall attempt to commit an offence specified in sub-paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of paragraph 2 of the said General Regulations as to the Trial of Civilians by Military Courts shall upon trial and conviction thereof by Military Court be liable to suffer penal servitude or any less punishment.

(2) From and after the date hereof any person charged before a Military Court with an offence specified in sub-paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of paragraph 2 of the said General Regulations as to the [879] Trial of Civilians by Military Courts may be convicted of an attempt to commit the same.

 5.—This order shall be construed as one with the General Regulations as to the Trial of Civilians by Military Courts aforesaid.

 6.—The expression “Military Courts” in those Regulations means the Military Courts or Committees particularly mentioned in the General Regulations.

Made by the Army Council this 8th day of January, 1923.

Signed on behalf of the Army Council,

RISTEARD UA MAOLCHATHA,

General,

Commander-in-Chief.

Ogláigh na hEireann,

General Headquarters,

Portobello Barracks,

Dublin.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The Order of the Army Council, which is going to be discussed now, has, it appears, certain errors which it is proposed to correct. These corrections have been sent round to the Deputies, and I would like to know whether there is any objection to allowing the Order to stand as corrected.

Agreed.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: As there is no objection, the Order therefore is as corrected.

Mr. THOMAS JOHNSON: The motion standing in my name reads:—

“That Dáil Eireann disapproves of the General Order by the Army Council dated the 8th day of January, 1923.”

In the discussion in September last, there was an inserted clause saying that:—

“Provided, however, as regards any general Order or Regulation as aforesaid, the same shall be laid on the table of the Dáil and shall take effect on the expiration of four sitting days thereafter unless this Dáil shall have previously passed resolutions disallowing same.”

The only way that this Order could be brought under discussion was by moving a motion of this kind. It will be [880] remembered that in September the Dáil agreed to a motion moved by the Minister for Defence ratifying and approving of the sanction that had been given by the Government to the Army authorities of certain things, namely, setting up of military courts and authorising these military courts to try offenders and sentence these offenders to death or to penal servitude for any period, or to imprisonment or to fines. The offences that were referred to in that resolution were for taking part in or aiding or abetting any attack or taking part in or using any force against the National forces, looting, arson, destruction, seizure, unlawful possession of or removal of or damage to any public or private property, having possession without proper authority of any bombs, explosives, ammunition or arms, and the breach of any general Order or Regulation made by the Army authorities. The effect of the acceptance of the proposal that was made in the course of the discussion was that any such general Order that would be made by the Army authorities had to be laid on the table of the Dáil. Now I do not know whether many members of the Dáil had in contemplation this Clause 4, which gave power to the Military Courts to sentence to death or penal servitude a prisoner for the breach of any general Order and whether the Dáil thought it possible that such a general Order would be in effect a very wide extension of the range of offences which would be subject to the death penalty or penal servitude. The Order which has now been laid on the table, and which I am asking the Dáil to disapprove of, extends the powers of the Court to any person who shall attempt to murder any person, or shall succeed in murdering any person. Previously its power was only conferred upon the Courts in relation to attacks upon the National forces. We are now asked to consent to the extension of those powers over any person who shall murder or attempt to murder, or conspire or assist, or counsel or encourage any other person to murder. The crime of murder committed by anyone henceforward may be brought before the Military Courts and tried in secret. Further than that, the new Order makes liable to death any person who shall aid or abet any other person, or assist in any way, or encourage or persuade or endeavour to persuade any [881] person who will take part in attacks upon the National forces, or be associated with any crime or looting, arson, destruction, or having possession of bombs, revolvers or guns, or explosives or arms. It also brings into the power of the Court any person who may hold communication with, or correspond with, or give intelligence to, or furnish supplies or material to any person with the intention of assisting any other person who may commit any of these offences. It goes further still and makes liable to the death penalty which may be imposed by secret courts anyone who has in his power, possession, control or disposition, any paper, plan, model, sketch, document or note, which might be used for purposes prejudicial to the safety of the State. Further, any person who may have, without proper authority, any uniform, military or police. That is a very wide extension of the powers of the Military Courts, which powers include the death sentence. In addition to these offences, which might be punishable by death, there are a number of other offences which you have all read—I have no doubt—and which are noted as being liable to the sentence of penal servitude or of which the offender would be liable to the sentence of penal servitude. I do not know if the Dáil is satisfied with the effect of the last sanction they gave to Military Courts. If the Dáil is thoroughly satisfied, and that everything has been done under the last Order, if all the hopes that were expressed, the assurances that were given in the last discussion, have been fulfilled, I have no doubt the Dáil will approve of the present Order. But if the Dáil is not satisfied with the effects of the last sanction, or if the promises, or a good proportion of the promises or hopes of that time have not been fulfilled, then I think that the Dáil should withhold sanction to the handing over of these extended powers to the Military Courts. It must be borne in mind and it is the essence of the case that I am making, that these Courts hold their trials in secret. Hitherto, we understand—we have been informed—that the offenders have been men guilty of positive acts against the Army, or against the State in one form or other, mainly we presume—we do not know— in matters relating to what may be called a “state of war.” Some people [882] say that some of the men who have been executed have been thieves and robbers, men who commit offences under arms, having no relation to the organised or semi-organised Irregular forces. I do not know whether that is true or not. Nobody outside the Military Courts or the Army Council knows that, and I submit, it is not a healthy thing for the State when there is doubt as to the class of offender that is being executed. In the course of the debate last September the Minister for External Affairs, in seconding the resolution said “the work we have in hands has to be grappled efficiently. To grapple it with efficiency we have to put full powers in the hands of the Army. To do so means giving full powers to the Army. We propose to give these powers to the Army, and we will exact from the Army an account of the use they make of them.” The Minister for Defence in the same discussion assured us “that the reason why it was necessary to hand these great powers to the Army and to Military Courts, which would try offenders in secret, was that there was no civil machinery. “We are asking for powers to deal with these things,” he said, “as there is no civil machinery to deal with them. The Army is simply standing in the gap as it stood in many a gap on many different occasions before, and we are going to stand in the gap in dealing, by our Army machinery, against those who commit these crimes, until such time as the Government is in a position to set up a different type of machinery to deal with it.” He further told us that “the dangers we are running economically are not as great as the dangers we are running politically,” and we were asked then to give powers because of the danger of unauthorised reprisals. We were again assured “that we shall set up the proper legal machinery for the doing of all this, and in the meantime impose the hard duty on the Army of seeing this is done, until such time as civil machinery can be set up.”

Now that is nearly four months ago, and we have a right, before sanctioning this Order, to have that account from the Army of the position of the country; of the effect of the use of these powers which were granted to them last September; and what is the prospect of an extension of powers over a larger [883] number of people and over a greater range of offences. I maintain that the case for extending these powers has not been made out, and, so far as we are allowed to know, does not exist. There is no case.

The having communication with persons who may be conspiring to commit crime; the having in possession documents which might be calculated to be used for a purpose prejudicial to the safety of the State or the National Forces—how easy it will be to concoct a case against a person on the part of someone of the many hundreds of people whose occupation it seems to be to send threatening letters. The sending of threatening letters is an offence under this new Order, and it has been suggested that one of the reasons why these powers are sought is to protect members of the Seanad and of the Dáil, or rather, shall I say, to punish those who may be guilty of offences against them. Well, I have had the experience of having quite a large number of threatening letters from both sides, from supporters of both forces alternately, sometimes three or four by the same post, two from each side.

Mr. P. HOGAN: Which side?

Mr. T. JOHNSON: The side of those who support the Government and the side of those who are opposed to the Government.

Mr. D.J. GOREY: You are balancing them very well.

Mr. T. JOHNSON: I do not know whether they are ever going to be made effective. I hope I will be able to duck and that the culprit or culprits will be simultaneously shot, but I think that we all recognise that we have only got to die once and the Dáil does not want to extend powers of this kind for the purpose of defending its members. But I seriously want to suggest that a Military court, trying offenders in secret, may be made the instrument for concocting cases and if, as may well happen, innocent prisoners will refuse to recognise the authority of such a court, that court may consign to death innocent men without the possibility that publicity will prevent such a tragedy. My protest in this matter is mainly directed against the extension of the powers of a secret court. Too many evils have arisen in [884] the course of history through secret trials, and as we said before from these Benches, and as Deputy Figgis said, the difference between a secret trial by a court constituted in this way and a secret trial by a court constituted some other way unknown to the Legislature is a very thin one indeed and we ought not to allow it. In supporting the original resolution authorising the setting up of these Courts, Deputy Fitzgibbon told us that it was only because of military necessity that he did so. The Minister for Defence claimed that these Courts should be set up because of military necessity. I ask is it a military necessity that these powers should be extended? Does the military necessity still exist? Is it a military necessity that all these new offenders should be brought under the purview of a secret court and that the power of life and death should be held over the alleged offenders. If it is still a military necessity then that is a confession that the powers that were granted before have not been successful; they have not succeeded in their purpose, and if they have failed, as I contend they have, then similar powers with a wider range should not be granted. If there had been success, if it could be shown here that the powers that were then granted had brought about a cessation of strife, the Minister might say, right or wrong, “It may have been that these powers should not have been exercised, but they have proved successful.” And success might have been quoted as a justification, but when failure can be quoted, what other justification can there be for an extension of these powers? I insist now, as I have done all along, that the Army is not a body qualified to deal with this kind of offence, and I believe that the Army would be better occupied in doing Army work rather than judicial work. I say that the justification of success cannot be claimed. Very great powers were granted in September, and something approaching 30 men have been executed under those powers. I wonder whether the Ministers do believe that the threat of death is going to clear the country of people who are committing these crimes. Some, no doubt, have been deterred. I have no hesitation in believing that, but read the newspapers of the last few days. We find that in [885] all parts of the country men—presumably men—have shown their willingness to run the risk of death despite the previous Order, despite the executions that have taken place, and I make bold to say that the people who are conniving at destruction, and who are assisting to destroy and to kill are just as fearless of death as those who are carrying on the campaign. Rightly or wrongly, wisely or unwisely, the people of the country have been taught during the last few years to be heedless of the consequences to their person, and to face death fearlessly, and they are doing it and will continue to do it. We are not going to cradicate this evil by extending the powers of life and death to Military Courts in secret trials. If there is any value in the Law Courts, it is that you hold up a prisoner to public reprobation, but put an offender into a Military Court and execute him or sentence him to penal servitude—we have no reports of any such sentences, by the way—you raise him, in the eyes of those who think along his lines, or are in sympathy with that line of thought, to be a hero. If you take a person planning to commit a crime, and inciting others to commit a crime, and put that person on trial in public, you will bring that person's character into reprobation. It would be a very much greater deterrent, in my view, than to hold a secret trial with the possibility of bringing him to execution. You claim that the country is behind you. Publicity would be a deterrent if there is any basis for your claim. I believe there is, and that the country is supporting the Constitution that we have. If that is a just claim, then you have a right to trust the country to back it, and to give the country a chance to express its opinion about offenders. But you are proposing to take these offenders, to enlarge the number of offenders that you can bring before a Military Court, to try them in secret, to execute them in secret, and then to tell the world that they were executed for some trivial offence—by trivial offence I mean some technical offence, which would not in the ordinary eyes warrant the death penalty. Is it expedient, apart from the question of principle, is it tactful or wise, to hand over to the Army these very great powers? I have called attention to the state of the country, as exemplified in the newspaper [886] reports of the last few days. Does that indicate so remarkable an efficiency in the Army as to warrant our trusting that Army with those very greatly extended powers and authorities? I submit that it does not, and that it is a duty devolving upon the Ministry to prove the quality of the Army in its Upper Council and to prove not only its Military efficiency, but its wisdom before they should come to ask for extended powers of a judicial kind. We are told from the English Press, which frequently seems to be semi-officially inspired, that there are changes taking place in the organisation of the Army. If that is true, is this a time to ask for an extension of powers to that Army of which the chief commands are presumably in the course of re-organisation? If there is any truth in that rumour then we ought to have some delay before handing over these powers to find out whether they are going to justify the demand for enlarged powers, any more than the present command has justified the demand. I submit that we are entitled to have a very full disclosure of the state of the country, politically, economically, and militarily. I quoted from the Minister for Defence when he said in September that the greater danger then was not an economic one but a political one. Does he still hold to that? The Constitution has been passed since then. Is it still in the same danger? Does he still claim that the country is in less danger economically than politically? If not, then at least, one of the reasons which justified him in coming to ask in September for those powers is removed from him in asking for larger powers. The health of this country will not be attained by this process of handing over to an Army Council the authority to extend the number of offences which may be dealt with by secret courts and extend the reign which that Army Council holds over the people. I think in no country at any time, certainly not in England or France during the Great War, had the Government and the Army been given a freer hand. There have been some criticisms, but they have been backed by big majorities and they have been granted by the majority of the Dáil every power they sought. I submit that they have not proved that those powers have been used effectively and with success, and that [887] it is not right that such a body which cannot claim success for a smaller thing should demand an extension to the greater things. I move the resolution.

Mr. MORRISSEY: I formally second that.

At this stage Mr. Fitzgibbon took the chair.

MINISTER for DEFENCE (General Mulcahy): This new Order of the Army Council is intended to be a Stand-Clear Order, and to make people definitely stand clear of the National destruction that is going on at the present time, if they do not want to be chargeable with it, and if they do not mean to be punished for it. To hear some of the talk that we hear at the present time, as regards what should or should not be done as a matter of policy to meet the present situation, and some of the talk that there is as to the present Government and the Army not justifying itself by the success of its efforts—one would think that nobody's memory went past to-day or yesterday. I wonder if there is anybody whose memory carries him back to 1916—to the Post-Rising period of the year, and to what were the circumstances of that year, and to what were the circumstances of that time, and what were their own thoughts and their own convictions, and to the circumstances of 1917, 1918, and 1919. In 1920 I was challenged by two members of the then Cabinet as the result of the death in ambush of three policemen down in Cork. I was challenged by them that I would have to answer for my very great responsibility in allowing such a thing to happen. As late as 1920 it was the conviction of certain responsible public men then that the Irish Volunteers would never be to England any more than a threat, and I was told that by my, it was alleged, giving my sanction, at that time, to the killing in ambush of three policemen in Cork, that I was permitting action that would bring disaster on the whole of our people. That was 1920. In 1921, the people who a little more than 12 months before did not think that the Volunteers could be anything but a mere threat to England, headed by one who considered in the beginning of 1921 that we were going too fast, that as we had not the elements of victory by force in our hands that we should play for time—headed by [888] one who thought like that—these people told the country in 1921 that they were fit to beat England and that they should tear up this present Treaty and that they should accept war as the alternative. By a very narrow majority the representatives of the country saved the country from making a declaration to that effect and involving the country in the consequences of that statement.

The result was that the minority turned to harass the people. If your memory goes back to the early days of last year, to the conditions that obtained in Clonmel and in other parts of the country where private property was interfered with to a very grievous extent, to the conditions that obtained in Dublin when your public buildings were occupied, your public property was being interfered with, and your property was being accumulated to meet the war with England, when the pinpricks on the Irish people had developed such a state of affairs here that the English would have to step in again. Contrary to the very clearly felt opinion of the people and to the clearly stated opinion of its representatives a minority in the country were driving the people into war and have taken an attitude which is perfectly plain to the Government, and, I am sure, perfectly plain to this Dáil, that if the people were not satisfied to go to war well they were going to make war on the people until they would put them into a position that they would have to accept war. Every means, by threat of force or otherwise, that could be thought of to press young men into their ranks to take up that particular attitude were adopted. As I say, young men were threatened to side with and to take part in the irregular forces. This is a specimen of one of their letters. It is addressed to the Irregular Captain of his Company and it is written by a young man who is now in Richmond Lunatic Asylum. He said:—

“Dear Sir,

“I regret very much at my having to resign from the I.R. Army, for which reasons I here state:

“(1) As the Bishops and Clergy of the R.C. Church, to which I belong, have proclaimed that any man using fire-arms, raiding or entering premises, are committing murder, robbery, etc.

“(2) I would not take up arms against my fellow countrymen until [889] such time that the majority of the country would point out that they were wrong. I am not going to join anything until that is proved, and then I am willing to take up with the right again. But if I am by the I.R. Army entitled to punishment for refusing to carry out such duty, I am prepared to meet with it, even death itself would be preferable rather than to shoot down my countrymen, which it has to be proved whether they are in the wrong yet and that will be proved by coming vote of the country.”

That young man, having written that letter, was subjected to such methods to get him to destroy the lives and the property of his countrymen that the effect has been to drive him into a lunatic asylum. Another letter from a person so circumstanced is:—

“Sir,

“I'm a prisoner here and was wounded about 6 weeks ago... It's no use in going into details as you're aware of the facts of that ambush long ago. Well, sir, there is one thing I am innocent of and that is the blood of a National soldier or civilian didn't stain my hands or trouble my conscience. I always asked the Mother of God to save me the greatest of all crimes, the taking of human life. I'm interceding to you who have the power over life and death to show mercy to me and may the Great God be mereciful to you when your time comes. If I am spared I intend going into some Monastery to serve Him Who died to save us all. I've paid for my experience as I am suffering pain and have spent many a sleepless night. I ask you for God's sake not to make this appeal public as I know my life would not be worth much to me then. I'll never again handle a gun, and oh, sir, I again ask you for mercy, and I ask you for the love of God not to expose me. I am prepared to take my most solemn oath for the truth of any statement I make here.”

Gradually we are beginning to know by what methods young men are held by the Irregular Forces and young men are driven to do the appalling destruction which is being done in the country. We are challenged that the results of the Order introduced here in September and put into force by us since have not been [890] such as to justify themselves. Well, that is a matter of opinion. The results have been that in many districts men have thrown aside their arms, and they tackle their work of destruction now with one or two of them carrying a revolver or two to fire shots in the neighbourhood of places where they are carrying out the destruction to hold up any parties that may be in the neighbourhood whilst the rest of the party throw tins of petrol into a house to put it on fire or lift a rail in the darkness to let a train run off the rails. We have got a number of men to surrender their arms; we have a driven a number of arms into the earth where they will rust, and we have, in our opinion at any rate, been justified in recommending to the Dáil that these steps were necessary. We are, in our opinion, justified in recommending to the Dáil that additional powers be given to us.

In one of the recent memoranda issued by Liam Lynch, Chief of Staff, the following paragraph occurs:—

“The maintenance of discipline is the first duty of Officers and they will take special care to see that no matter what tactics the enemy descend to, the honour of the I.R.A. will be preserved inviolate.”

Mr. De Valera in one of his recent Proclamations states:—“The principles which Republicans are defending are by their nature irreducible and not open to compromise. Victory for the Republic or utter defeat and extermination are now the alternatives.” Now the principles that guided us during the last three or four years—the fundamental principles—were that no Englishman and no man other than an Irishman had a right to interfere with us in the management of our affairs. I am not an historian, or a very deep student of history. History was not allowed to present itself to us in a very attractive form long ago, but I do remember a French writer writing of William Tell and saying that Tell had not as his objective the freeing of his country from the foreign yolk; that he did not know whether Austria had or had not the right to rule Switzerland; but that he knew that a man had been unjust to a man, and that a man had been forced to cast an arrow close to the heart of his child, and he knew that the perpetrator of a [891] deed like that should be killed. It was then that he conceived the thought of killing Gessler. Our own experience of the last four or five years, or longer, without wishing to exalt our reason or our thoughts into eternal verities, is enough to let us know that it is proximate injustices that touch and enter into the lives of the individual members of our people—that it is only these proximate injustices that in the case of a nation subjected to the government of another country are able to drive the people to the very terrible alternative of arms for the freedom of their country. It was only the proximate injustices of the R.I.C. and the English military here in Ireland that drove our people to accepting the arbitrament of arms. We find ourselves here to-day the Government of a country in which the proximate injustices that our people are up against by being in the hands of a minority endeavouring not to rule this country, but to drive it into war, are greater than the proximate injustices that were up against our people at any time during the period of British occupation. The reaction of those injustices must be, and will be, and is, the reaction to those injustices in any other cases in history and the steps that the people are taking to-day, and the steps we are taking to-day, to crush that injustice against the individual lives of our people and against the life of our nation as a whole, are the natural reaction to such injustices. If you take a country town of four or five hundred or four of five thousand inhabitants, with a certain amount of wealth to keep the life in its people—wealth dependent upon the property in the neighbourhood and the railways running into it—and you have half a dozen of the young fellows of that town, by whatever ideal illuminated, going out at night to destroy the railways and destroy property, and if some local wiseacre advises them to do it, and draws sketches of how rails are to be taken up and how the bomb is to be made and exploded, and if a couple of women in the place copied these diagrams for them and carried their messages and helped them in their work, what are the inhabitants of such a town to do with such a body who cover themselves by arms and threats against individual members of the community, [892] and go out to destroy the means of living of that community? They cut the town away from being any part of the life of the country; and what can these inhabitants do to crush these people out? Faced with the ruin and the destruction that is definitely being brought on our country by people who are committing the destruction round us at the present moment there is only one thing you can do with them, and no other thing has been shown either to the Government or to the people of the country, and that is to crush them out. Now, every step that has been taken by the Irregulars in their work of injustice and in their work of destruction has driven us to take further steps to conquer them, and the only alternative to taking these further steps is to let these Irregulars have a free run of the country, let the people suffer without interference, and leave the country to be put into the position of accept ing war with an outside country. It has been stated that within the past few days there has been very serious destruction all round the country, and that it is a reflection on the Government. It may be a reflection on the Government, but it is certainly a warning to the Government that very serious steps have to be taken to deal with it. In every part of the country practically, within the last few days, the workers on the railways have been threatened in various ways and by various modes.

“Notify your union that unless a guarantee is given within two days from date of delivery of this note that the following are not conveyed by train, crews on military engines will be fired on by our troops:—(1) Enemy troops, whether armed or unarmed; (2) enemy intelligence officers; (3) supplies of all kinds intended for armed troops; and (4) communications with the enemy.—(By Order), O.C.”

These have been served in Dundalk, Gort, Clonmel, and practically all over the country. The idea is that a more determined effort is to be made to destroy railway communications in the country, and in the words of the Assistant Chief of Staff of the Irregulars, “to make the people squeal for peace.” Yesterday's report on the railway situation contains such items as these:— “Great Southern and Western Railway [893] —Molahaffe and Gortatlea stations have been burned to the ground, and it is understood other stations have also been burned, but the company are unable at present to obtain confirmation. The Newmarket branch which was opened this week is again closed, owing to the line being broken. The Carrick and Tipperary branch is also again closed. Rails removed and chairs broken between Ballyhale and Thomastown—night 13th and 14th inst. Similar damage to permanent way between Ballyhale and Mullinavat—night 14th and 15th inst. Attempt made to burn bridge between Borris and Ballywilliam, 13th inst. Permanent way damaged at following places:—Between Tubber and Gort; at Cahir and Clonmel stations; between Tipperary and Cahir; between Cahir and Clonmel; at three places between Clonmel and Kilsheelan; at two places between Carrick and Fiddown. Kilsheelan signal cabin has been burned down. Ardsollus station raided, 40 yards of permanent way blown up. Permanent way damaged between Charleville and Buttevant, and overbridge between same stations damaged. Two rails taken out of line, 150 chairs broken and approach walls of bridge knocked down and the stones built across the line between Dundrum and Limerick Junction.

On the West Clare Railway—The Manager reported that on the night of the 15th instant Corofin station was raided, all books, invoices and documents being burned. The flooring of two cattle wagons was burned and an attempt made to burn the signal cabin. Lahinch station reported to have been completely burnt down. Telegraph instruments taken away. Two lengths of rails and sleepers taken out at Moyasta.

Midland Great Western Railway— The 8.25 train, Mullingar-Clara last night was stopped by armed men at Streamstown station. The passengers were taken out of the train and the train crew taken off. It was then sent into the break previously reported and where an engine was derailed. The engine is badly damaged and some of the carriages broken up. Hoseleap and Balla stations have been raided.

The other night at Lisduff, before the up mail train arrived, the under bridge was blown away. The train carried [894] about 150 passengers, but by one of those miracles which happen to heavy, fast moving bodies from time to time it actually jumped the break. The whole train jumped the gap where the under bridge had been blown away. That war is being made on the railways. It is denied from time to time that members of the Government are to be killed. On the 30th November, six days before Sean Hales was killed in Dublin and before the Deputy Speaker was accidentally shot, this Order was issued by the Chief of Staff:—

(1) All members of Provisional “Parliament” who were present and voted for Murder Bill will be shot at sight. Attached find list of names.

(2) Houses of members of Murder Gang and active supporters of P.G. who are known to support Murder Bill decision will be destroyed.

(3) All Free State Army officers who approve of Murder Bill and are aggressive and active against our forces will be shot at sight; also all ex-British Army officers and men who joined the Free State Army since the 6th December, 1921.

And there is the following note:—

“On day of first execution an order to shoot at sight members of P.G. was issued in Dublin 1/2 Brigades, since an opportunity was not got to put same into effect.”

With regard to the Civic Guard it says:

(1) On and after the 1st December, '22, you will take measures to prevent Civic Guard functioning in your area. Tactics will be adopted according to local circumstances that will force them to leave area or get armed, when they will be then dealt with same as Provisional Government armed forces.

Transport is to be interfered with. No one is to be allowed to have a motor car, a motor cycle, a motor lorry, or a push bicycle, without a permit from the Irregulars, and if they keep them without a permit from the Irregulars they will be confiscated. These are the circumstances under which the Government are called on to govern. We have already the powers for dealing with people caught in the direct carrying out of these acts, but we have not and we want powers to enable us to prevent and [895] to deal with people whom we catch sitting in a back kitchen four or five fields away from the roadway in the County Clare or the County Tipperary writing out instructions to kill people, to burn property and to destroy railways. These communications, as you see, are of the utmost importance, and on this account I will impress on you to give them your very careful consideration. We want powers to deal with people who draft imposing diagrams of railways and issue instructions as to how they are to be destroyed and who say: “You will find that it will be easier to get your men to do this work if you provide them with copies of these diagrams and these instructions.” We are dealing with a situation in which a large body of people are out on a campaign of destruction. There is no alternative to deal with those drastically and it is not too much to say to people who are luke-warmly but definitely assisting Irregulars in their campaign, “You must stand clear as a matter of discipline, seriously affecting the life of the country; you must put away from you all fire-arms; you must put out of your possession all documents inciting people to destroy the country, and put away things like uniform that have been taken and are being used to gain treacherous access to our posts.” The Army has been referred to frequently in English papers. English papers are generally out for a definite purpose, to attack the credit of this country whether by attacking its Government, its financial position, or its Army, and statement have been made with regard to the Army purely for the purpose of painting the Government outside Ireland, where it wants to have its credit strong, as weak and leaning upon broken machinery, and creating inside in Ireland a distrust of the Government and Army, and internally in the Army creating suspicion and division. The Army is in the position at the moment that we have come to a point in which according to our planned arrangements we are able to perfect its organisation. That does not mean we have found the material that we have been used to rely on in the Army inferior and unsatisfactory and that we are looking for material which has been trained outside Ireland and away from [896] an Irish atmosphere. We are come to, in the process of the development of the Army, the colour point at which we get suddenly the reframing of our organisation. We are dealing quietly with the matter. We have come to the point when you handle the solution drop by drop, but none of the drops we are handling come from the East. You are not asked to put those powers in the hands of different people from those in whose hands the previous powers have been. You are not asked to put them in the hands of people who have lost confidence in themselves or who are not perfectly satisfied that there is much to be satisfied with, considering the extraordinary position in which we find our country—much to be satisfied with in the Army and in the way in which the Army is developing, and in the grip the Army is getting on the situation. Acts are being committed that flash themselves in the Press. Acts have been committed which are very destructive to the material wealth of the country and very upsetting to the routine of the country's life, as in the destruction of the railways, but if any of you know anything of how easy it is to do those acts of destruction you will not be surprised that the Army cannot always have its fingers here and its fingers there. Nevertheless, I am satisfied that there is much to be satisfied with in the Army and in the arrangements and reorganisation we are carrying out, and which will be announced in due course, but which will not be wrong from us either by gibes or criticism or even polite enquiries. I am satisfied that the Army will deal well with the situation. We have already made arrangements that certain units of the Army will be placed definitely at the work of assisting the civil departments of the Government, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Local Government and Agriculture, to secure that their work goes on, that the decrees and orders which they issue will be definitely carried out; and if we do propose later that, in view of the extreme steps which the enemies of our country here are taking to destroy the country, and, as they say, “to prevent any other Government functioning in Ireland except the Government of the Republic,” or what they call the Government of the Republic; [897] that if, having in view the length they are going to to destroy the country, we recommend that you employ an additional number of Army forces to deal with the matter we will be able to show you that those Army forces will be handled by men who are capable of doing their work.

We are quite aware that in asking you for these powers we are asking for very wide powers, but we are quite aware also, and I am sure that you are aware, that in the exercise of the powers given to us already if we erred in their use at all we have erred on the side of clemency, and I am satisfied that in one or two areas we have so erred. But you may be satisfied that while we cannot come forward to you with the certificate of wisdom that the proposer of the resolution asked us to bring we shall deal as wisely and as clemently in the exercise of these new powers as it is in us to do. The Government know that they are facing people, and that they are dealing with people, to whom, perhaps, the threat of death is nothing, or very little, and that they are dealing with people who are used to facing death, but considering that these people are definitely out to destroy, materially, this country in order to force it into war with an outside people, then you have all the more reason to give the Army drastic powers to deal with the situation if these people who are destroying the country are not afraid of death.

MINISTER for AGRICULTURE (Mr. P. Hogan): The mover of this amendment delivered a very long, and, if I may say so, a very involved speech, and I suggest that it was based on a fallacy from start to finish. These regulations which are now before the Dáil are not, in any sense, an extension of the powers of the Army or of the powers of the Army Council, and I am very careful to add they are not a limitation either. They are an indication of the measures which the Army Council proposes to take in certain given circumstances which are set out in the Regulations. But it has been said here already, and it should be understood by the Dáil, that the Government, in the same way as every other Government in similar circumstances, and acting in the same way as every other Government is acting under similar circumstances, is giving [898] untrammelled powers to the Army to deal with this situation, in whatever way the responsible heads of the Army think best. The Government has done that as an executive act, and, in doing it, they have the authority of the Dáil, and if any Deputy here thinks they have not got the authority of the Dáil, or that they have not got the approval of the Dáil for such a course, it is open to him to propose a resolution and to test the matter. Not only have they got the authority of the Dáil, but they have got the authority of the country, whose one interest in this matter is not legal technicalities or formalities or any other of the niceties explained in Deputy Johnson's speech, but to end this national destruction in the shortest possible space of time. In doing that, I say, the Government has done what every other Government in similar circumstances has always done. There is martial law in this country at present. There are some lawyers, I think, in the Dáil, so that they can contradict me if they think I am wrong. Martial law does not necessitate the declaration of martial law. Martial law is there, and is in existence, whenever there is a state of war or of armed rebellion in a country, and martial law is simply the discretion of the Military or the Army or the Army Council. Now, I am not saying something that is new. I am stating a convention. I may also call it a doctrine of constitutional law which is known since civilised Government first began, and if any Deputy thinks I am wrong he can test the issue. If any Deputy thinks that the Army, when there is a state of armed rebellion, cannot act according to their discretion, and, unlimited by any other consideration, he can test it for himself. He can apply to the Courts for a Writ of Habeas Corpus for any prisoner now in military custody. These powers that the Army have here, these regulations set out here, are merely an indication of what the Army propose to do in the circumstances explained in the regulations, and if emergency arises that requires severer and more drastic methods, these methods will be adopted, and adopted without hesitation. Now, we were told that it has been proved that these methods were not effective. We were told that there were so many executions, and that they had no effect, and we got a very large number of testimonials [899] to the courage of the people who are at the present moment destroying railways, looting banks, looting Post Offices, grabbing land, and refusing to pay their debts, and so on.

Mr. JOHNSON: Where did you get them from?

Mr. HOGAN: I got them from the Deputy who has just interrupted me.

Mr. JOHNSON: The Dáil will bear with me when I say that that is false.

Mr. HOGAN: The Deputy said that the men now in arms against us were courageous men, who did not fear death.

Mr. JOHNSON: I did not use the word courageous at all. I said they did not fear death. If that is your definition of courage, it is not mine.

Mr. HOGAN: I see. I will make the Deputy a present of that point, and I leave it to the Dáil to judge. These are the men who do not fear death. Now, these regulations were effective, as the Minister of Defence has pointed out. They sent a good many rifles into the Liffey and into bog holes, and they gave a good many rifles over to the custody of the National Army; and the war, or what we may call a war, for want of a better word, has taken on a new phase, as the Minister for Defence also explained. The rifle has to a large extent been dropped, and the torch and the petrol tin have been substituted, and the complaint is apparently that when these weapons, which are much safer for the people who use them, but are at least as effective and much more dangerous to the civilian population, are adopted we are suddenly to show some mercy. Now that point of view is entirely divorced from the realities of the situation. This particular struggle has taken a new phase. We are no longer up against an organisation, we are up against a series of organisations, plus a number of gangs, plus a number of individuals, all out for different objects, all using different methods and different weapons, but with one common bond, namely, that most of them consider they have a vested interest in anarchy, and they consider that they can make something out of it. You have houses burned, you have banks robbed—sometimes in the name of the Republic and sometimes without any patriotic pretence— [900] you have Post Offices looted under the same circumstances, you have trains attacked—sometimes in the name of the Republic and sometimes in order to seize goods—you have haggards burned in labour disputes, and you have men murdered for a piece of land. There is no difference in character between any of these episodes. They are simply different phases of what we are fighting. Taken by themselves, if these incidents were isolated, as they would be in a normal country, they would merely constitute a police problem. But, having regard to their number, their method, their variety and their unscrupulousness, they constitute a far different problem. They constitute the only sort of war which the Irregulars can make on us now, and they are a peculiarly cowardly and obnoxious form of war, because they can be used with the least danger to the people who use them, and with the maximum of danger and suffering to the civil population. We have no doubt in our minds as to what the future of this country is to be if law is to be replaced by the gun and by the torch. We know you can build nothing enlightened or nothing worthy; we know that you cannot build up any institutions or civilisation in this country if conditions of that sort are to be allowed to go on. We have other ambitions for this country than to leave it a little Serbia in the West of Europe, and we are going to see and use the maximum amount of force to finish and end that destruction in the minimum amount of time. That is what the country expects of us. I would just like, before sitting down, to ask two questions. In this discussion, as I listened to it I thought we were forgetting the objects of these Regulations, and only thinking of the Regulations themselves. I suppose for five minutes that has been spent on the essentials of the situation in the Dáil there were at least two hours spent on methods and details. Now, for that reason I would like to know where everybody stands on two questions. One is this. Am I right in stating that, if the object of the Irregulars be achieved— luckily it is almost now out of their power—namely, the defeat of the Treaty —this country has suffered the greatest, incomparably the greatest, disaster in her history? Am I right in stating that [901] there can be nothing approaching civilisation in any country while the weapons of death are in the hands of any interest or section uncontrolled by the Government and the people of the country? These are the essentials of the situation, and I would be very glad to know how everybody stands with regard to them.

Mr. WILLIAM DAVIN: I am very sorry indeed that the Minister for Defence—followed as he was by the Minister for Agriculture—should treat any statement made by Deputy Johnson as coming from these Benches in the nature of gibes.

General MULCAHY: On a matter of personal explanation, I hope that I did not suggest that I treated anything Deputy Johnson said in anything like the nature of a gibe or cast any reflection upon anything he said. I hope I did not, for I certainly did not intend to do so.

Mr. DAVIN: I am sorry if I misunderstood what the Minister for Defence implied, because I ask this Dáil to try and realise that though we on these benches have many shortcomings, we have done our best, as representatives of the workers of the country, to try and carry the workers of Ireland behind us in our fight for Constitutional Government. Now, when the Constitution was being discussed in this Dáil some months ago, I tried to gather what the future position of the Free State Army would be, and I refrained from going very much into detail because I thought it might be putting certain obstacles in the way of the Provisional Government in dealing with the British Government at the time. I believed, or at least I thought I foresaw at that particular period, that a time would arrive when it was possible that the Free State Army would be in the same position as the original Republican Army was some time before it split its ranks. I am much concerned in matters of this kind, especially as we are being repeatedly told that the Army is the servant of the people of the country. If it is the servant of the people and of the Government of this country, I would very much like to know the Regulations under which that Army is governed by the Minister for Defence, particularly in regard to matters of misconduct and indiscipline. So far as I am aware, no papers or Regulations [902] have been put in the hands of Deputies of this Dáil regarding the conduct and discipline of the Army. Personally, I think until the time arrives when such Regulations are in my hands, I cannot see my way to vote away the extended powers asked for here to-night. I have refrained deliberately from time to time, either by question or in any other way, from bringing to the notice of this Dáil certain matters which I heard about and other matters which I have seen, and which I regret should have occurred; so far as the Free State Army is concerned. I admire the Minister for Defence, and I think we all admire him, when he stands up for the Army of which he is the chief, but there are certain things happening in the country, and certain things have happened, which demand an explanation, so far as the heads of the Army are concerned, in regard to incidents, to some of which I will refer. A good deal of reference has been made here from time to time with regard to the amount of destruction done on the railways, and it has been stated here by a Minister not very long ago that a good deal of that destruction is being done by the railwaymen themselves. Now, I have very considerable experience of Irish railwaymen for the past fifteen or twenty years, and if my impressions are correct in regard to anything of that nature, I believe whatever destruction is being done by railwaymen is being done by a very small number of young and temporary railwaymen, probably most of whom have joined the Irregulars since the Truce. I do not think it is fair for a Minister to get up in the Dáil and blame railwaymen generally for the acts of a small number of their body. Now, I would like to hear from the Minister for Defence in his reply something in the nature of a justification of the inaction or inactivity of the Army regarding certain acts of destruction that took place in certain places on the railways. I thoroughly realise that it is impossible for the Army to have their finger on every point where the Irregulars may tear up rails or blow down bridges in the rural areas, and I would like an explanation from the Government benches as to what is the explanation of the destruction in Sligo and Waterford, where such a large number of troops are stationed. I remember [903] being in Waterford a short time ago, and I noticed that there was a guard of the Army placed on the bridge there; another section of the Army were on the passenger platform, so that I cannot understand the circumstances under which the goods stores could have been burned without detection by the Army. I would like an explanation from whatever member of the Government can deal with it on that particular aspect of the case. I think there is nobody in this Dáil who has more reason to complain of the destruction, and the effect of the destruction, than those who claim to represent the railway workers and the Labour Party, because I think it is realised that the effect of such destruction is far greater on the workers, who are less able to bear it, than upon any other section of the community. I cannot picture any humane individual, man or woman, particularly woman, being a party to the terrible destruction which is going on, and causing, as it does, such starvation and misery to the women and children of this country. I cannot imagine that anything can be said to justify that aspect of the matter, especially from the point of view of women, who are undoubtedly supposed to be associated with this particular form of destruction. I realise that the position that we, who claim to be representatives of the people, are up against at the moment, and that we have been up against for some time is whether it is going to be government on constitutional lines or anarchy. So long as the Government proceed on constitutional lines to punish criminals, and any Government that pretends to govern must punish criminals in accordance with the crimes they commit, I am prepared to support the Government in that, but I think the Government are not justified in asking Deputies in this Dáil to give extended powers to the Army, when we, who are supposed to control the Army, do not know the regulations under which that Army is governed and carried on. I think it is an unfair proposition. I was glad to hear the Minister for Defence indicate something in the way of re-organisation as far as the Army is concerned, and I think it will be something people are looking forward to, to restore the confidence of the public in the Free State Army which, as far as some parts of the [904] country are concerned, is quickly disappearing. I say that because of inaction on the part of the Army in detecting a lot of things that are going on at the present time.

Mr. KEVIN O'HIGGINS: Deputy Johnson in the course of his speech said, with what I may say a characteristic touch of philosophic doubt, that rightly or wrongly the people of this country have been taught of recent years to face death fearlessly. They are doing so now, and they will continue to do so. Rightly or wrongly, the population of this country was halved in seventy years; rightly or wrongly, this country was being gradually, steadily, and very surely wiped out as a distinct entity by a greater Power; and, rightly or wrongly, this generation, facing that fact, acting on its intuitions of self-preservation, acting on its race instinct, determined to end that state of affairs or try to end it; rightly or wrongly, the people elected representatives pledged to abstention from the British Parliament, pledged to plough no more the furrow in the sand, pledged to throw away the rotten stick of constitutional agitation that had broken in their hands, and to adopt measures that gave promise of greater results. In the General Election of 1918 men were elected standing for the complete independence of the country. One does not go into a fight claiming less than one considers the fulness of one's rights. It was in that spirit, I take it, and not in any doctrinaire spirit, people voted in the election of 1918; they proceeded to set up our own Governmental institutions; the British proceeded to attack them; our Army, such as it was at the time, proceeded to defend them as best it could, and the situation developed steadily for three years. Then we came to the point when the British found government here difficult, well-nigh impossible and extremely expensive, and we found the point when we recognised our physical inability to drive them out of the country. There were negotiations, there was a Treaty. It was endorsed by the Dáil, and I have not heard it disputed that it was endorsed by the people. What I want to emphasise is this, that because the race was being wiped out as a distinct national entity we turned with our puny strength against the British, and because [905] the veins and arteries of the country are being cut, and because we bid fair to be classed with the nigger and the Mexican, as a people unable to govern themselves, we who have a democratic mandate, for the moment, to control the destinies of this country, will go very, very far indeed against the people who are menacing the life of this country. A man spoke to me recently of the cruelty of our weakness. I did not admit and I do not admit the weakness, but I say this, that if the moderation with which we used the great powers that we undoubtedly had, had the result of engendering in the minds of our opponents any hope that we would be content with less than the vindication of the principles that we are standing for, any hope that we would agree to barter any indefeasible or inalienable right of the people, then that moderation was cruelty, and it is well that the people should even now understand the position; it is well that friend and foe, benevolent neutral and malevolent neutral, should understand the position, which is simply this, that so long as we command a majority in this Dáil, so long as we can obtain a majority in this Dáil, we will not agree to barter the right of the majority of the people of this country to regulate the destiny and the development of this country, to decide its national issues, to decide its international issues, and neither will we barter the right of the people of this country to control, through their representatives, lethal weapons within the country. And if anyone who was opposed to us, or those now opposed to us, interpreted the moderation with which we used the power in the past as any symptom of indecision, as any indication of doubt about these issues, then unconsciously we have been cruel, cruel to the country, cruel even to those who are in arms against us, if we help to prolong the struggle by any lingering hope in the minds of our opponents that there could be compromise on those issues. There cannot, and will not, while we have primary responsibility. It has been said that we cannot guard every point on the railways. We cannot, any more than we can guard every mansion; any more than we can guard every haggard, but there is one thing we can do for the railways and the mansions and the haggards, [906] and that is to deal in exemplary fashion with those who perpetrate these acts when caught, or with those who assist the perpetrators, the people whose policy it is to commit those acts. It is in that way that we must approach the problem, and if we are told that these men will not quail before the threat of death, that is not exactly the point We have got past the “threat of death” stage, and there is nothing left but the actuality of death; the men who do these things, and the men who over a prolonged period are capable of crimes like that—individual crimes, as well as the fact that their whole means and method of warfare is a crime and an outrage upon their own people—are not good lives or useful lives to the country. If there is to be decency of life here in the future, if there is to be ordered life, life that will enable us to do something to justify ourselves for the struggle we made for liberation against the British, these certain definite principles must be established here. “The people.” said Liam Lynch, “are a flock of sheep to be driven anywhere at will.” He said that long ago. Perhaps he is wiser now, and perhaps he is not. “The people,” said Mr. de Valera, “have no right to do wrong,” and he and Liam Lynch and others were to judge.

Mr. D.J. GOREY: Infallibility.

Mr. O'HIGGINS: Well, what he considered wrong then he considered right before the negotiations started; he considered right when he was speaking to us in the Oak Room of the Mansion House, and when he told us he was never going to put himself in the ridiculous position of an engine running away without its train; that we were only a section of the country; that we were not representative of the country, but only a selection from its Left Wing, and that we had not the right to commit the country to a Sharman's March for a formula. He was not a doctrinaire Republican then, and he did hold the right of the people; and that day, before his own reelection as President, he stood up to all of us and taught us the necessity for compromise, painted with a heavy brush the terrible consequences of non-compromise, and in the end put his hands up to his diehards and went out to make war upon his own people. A mad, wicked doctrine has been inculcated here [907] which will react upon this country for many a long year to come. The Ten Commandments have been repealed by the second Dáil. From the very start of this thing we realised that we were standing sheer on something that we had not the right to give way on; and if peace is to come in this country, and to come soon, it will come in a negative way, it will come by the absence of war, by the absence of disorder, rather than by any positive bartering by us of any of those things which we consider to be non-barterable, if democracy and if representative government are to survive here. Deputy Davin raised the question of the railways. Well, I am not going to speak with any definiteness about certain things that happened on the railways. I do not know enough, but I did see a statement issued by officers of the Army with regard to the Sligo incident which certainly gave the lie very plainly to a certain Press statement. It was a statement to the effect that the garrison in the town of Sligo was one-tenth of that which it was stated to be in the Press. But it is not my duty to go in detail into all these questions.

In regard to the question of a disciplinary code, I have had in my desk in the office for two months back a very complete disciplinary code for the Army, very well brought out, and I understand that it has been in circulation since November and on sale in the bookshops, but neither the Minister for Defence nor any other Minister is going to get up here and say that there are not things wrong in the Army that need to be put right any more than we would make extravagant claims that there are not things wrong in the country that need to be put right. They will be put right. People are devoting all their thoughts and energies to the putting of them right. Remember the difficulty of building a ship, steering it, and fighting out of it at the same time. That was the proposition that had to be faced. Lord Kitchener built his Army in England and threw it across to France to fight. The Army has had to be built up here under conditions of war, and the men had to be sent out to defend the people's rights with a week or a fortnight or three weeks' training. That is the kind [908] of position that we have been all more or less in—building up Departments of Government, and while we will not keep in any tiresome way claiming undue consideration for that, we would ask that it be not entirely forgotten. Ordered life, representative government, the assertion of the will of the majority in the country, is what we have been fighting for, and is what we will continue to fight for. Now, I have here a document signed by an Irregular Brigadier-General, and it deals with the Civic Guard. You all know the material from which the Civic Guard has been built up. Some of you know of its infantile troubles, but you know that these men went out unarmed through the country to do their duty impartially and impersonally amongst the people, and this is what we have:—

“The Civic Guard has been organised by the Provisional Government as a Police Force of a semi-military character. Under the cloak of a purely civic body it is being used as an arm of the Provisional Government's Intelligence Department. It is, in fact, a continuance of the old R.I.C. It has therefore been decided that on and after January 1st, 1923, such measures as are deemed necessary will be taken to prevent this body functioning.”

And you have the measures that are deemed necessary taking place here and there through the country. Cowards with guns break in on these brave unarmed men and burn their habitation, and I will publish shortly a statement showing the manner in which these cowards with guns were met by those unarmed men. Now, these resolutions themselves simply rope in with the men who are actually doing these things the people who are actively assisting them, giving them assistance of such a kind that they could scarcely do these things but for that assistance; and it is not sound to suggest that the Civil Courts could deal with offences of that kind. The Civil Courts could not. Does anyone suggest that these matters could be dealt with by the Civic Guard and the District Justices? Does anyone suggest that these matters could be dealt with by a jury? How many people would you get, in face of the intimidation that exists in the country, to go on [909] these juries and do the thing that they know is right? It is not proposed to subject people to that strain. It would not be right or fair or reasonable to subject civilians to that strain, for, despite what Deputy Johnson has said, there are a great many people in the country who have not learned to face death fearlessly. We are at a kind of peak in the situation now, and I think that other people out through the country besides the Government and the Army leaders realise that. I have only this to say, that before we will allow this country to go down in futility we are prepared to take stronger measures than are contained either in the military resolutions of September or in these amplifications of them. The Minister for Defence foreshadowed developments. We will hear more about them shortly when I introduce certain measures of which I will give notice on Friday. The development is simply this, that a hand-picked unit of the Army will be set aside in every county to enable the Civil Administration to work. The Executive arm of government has been partially paralysed since the transition period, and the trouble that began with the transition period, and the protection and cooperation of the armed servants of the Government are necessary to enable the wheels of ordinary Civil Administration to be set to work. That particular development will proceed with all rapidity.

Mr. J. LYONS: There is just a word I would like to say with regard to this General Order. I would first like to assure every Deputy in this Dáil that if this were a Republican Government, and if I were a member of that Republican Government, the same as I am a member of the Labour Party, I would vote with this Party against this General Order giving the Military full powers of governing the civilian population. We are supposed to be really democratic. If we are really democratic as we put up to be, surely the Minister for Agriculture was not really serious when he meant to suggest that if there were labour trouble and a rick of hay were burned through that labour trouble, any persons who are involved in that labour trouble would be tried by Military Court and probably sentenced to the extreme penalty. If there were labour troubles [910] in certain parts of the country, troubles between employers and employees, over a wage question, and that hay did get burned, and that there were a particular labour leader in that particular part of the country, and it was surmised that that leader was the cause of the burning of this particular quantity of hay or straw, I wonder what chance that man, if arrested, would get under a Military Court to prove his innocence? Cases such as this, I think, should be tried in the Civil Courts, as has been done hitherto. Personally I disagree, and I would like to say that I disagreed with these resolutions last October, that the Military should be given the power to govern the people of Ireland, for the same reason that I disagree with these resolutions now. The people of Ireland surely have been terrorised enough——

Mr. GOREY: Hear, hear.

Mr. LYONS: I know the majority of them have been terrorised by themselves and ourselves, in our own country, and we want to get away from it. I know a great deal of destruction has been done, and I am completely as much against that as I am against this Military Order, and giving the Military power and full control. The Minister for Agriculture also mentioned the question of land trouble—supposing that, in the heat of temper, as has often taken place throughout the country, that life was threatened by the sending of threatening notices, and that the writer had no intention of taking the life of that particular man to whom he wrote, I wonder would it be right to have that particular individual tried by Military Court and given no chance of calling witnesses or of getting the full evidence published?

Mr. O'HIGGINS: Are we to wait until we saw he meant it?

Mr. LYONS: No, I think he should be given a chance to prove his innocence or that he was not the writer of the document. I know, in my own constituency, there are several young men arrested, and these young men are placed behind bars, behind barbed wire, and those young men are quite prepared, and have been quite prepared, as soon as they were arrested, to sign the form. Still these men are detained behind those wires and not given the option of signing that form in order that they [911] might be released. There are several young men who are supposed to have joined up with the Irregulars and who have not. If a man has an enemy in the country, and that enemy writes to one in authority and gives information about this man being out on a certain night, then, without investigation, that man is arrested and goes behind the prison wall and is kept there. In my constituency men have been in prison for the last six or eight weeks on information of this kind. Now, these things should not be. If that young man is quite prepared to sign that form, he should be at once released and set free. Furthermore, I do not like the idea of any Deputy or any Minister of the Dáil trying to incriminate any Deputy, myself or anybody else, at this side of the Dáil —on the Labour benches. I was certainly very pleased to hear the Minister for Defence's answer to Deputy Davin with regard to Deputy Johnson. I wish to assure this Dáil that I am not voting against that General Order simply for want of moral courage. I am doing nothing of the kind. I know very well that the majority of the country, at the present time as far as I have gone through it, are opposed to this. I heard the Minister for Agriculture saying here that the Dáil approved of the Order giving the Military full power or unlimited power, and that the country agreed with it. I say the country did not agree with it. I have never met one of the best supporters of the Government heretofore, I have never met one of them to say that they agreed with the executions carried out by the Government. Nothing of the kind. Go to any public body in the country, go to any individual, let him be a worker or one of the middle class or one of the aristocrats, and they are all the same, all crying out against the executions, because they fully realise that it was the executions that caused England to evacuate this country, and they are of opinion that if this Government goes on with the executions that this Government shall also evacuate. Furthermore, if you take every meeting you see published in the Press throughout the country, you will find resolutions passed, or at least proposed to be passed, at these meetings, some of them condemning the action of the Government regarding executions. I [912] quite agree that criminals must be treated as criminals. I quite agree that if a person is caught plundering or robbing his neighbour, that that man should be punished for that offence. But I do not agree with giving the Military full powers. I do agree that offenders, no matter how bad they were, ought to be given an opportunity of proving their innocence, and having every particle of the evidence published for the whole nation to see. I have nothing further to add, only to hope that this Dáil will not give the power asked for into the hands of the Military. If you give the Military full control of action for these offences—and I appeal to you not to do it—I can assure you that the day you give this full power to the Military you sign your own death warrant as a sovereign and independent country.

Mr. FITZGIBBON: I regret very much that both sides—that the speakers both for the motion and against it, that everybody who has spoken yet, including Ministers—have failed to deal with the real question involved in this motion, and in the laying of these Orders upon the Table of the Dáil. We cannot now fight the question of Martial Law or Military Courts. That was settled by the Dáil in September or October last, I do not know which. The reason we are here to-night is that in September we provided that any General Order or Regulation made by the Military Council imposing the penalty of death shall be brought here in order that we might decide whether the offence charged was an offence which should be punishable by death or not. Therefore, it seems to me that the real question which Ministers have to meet here is not to show that Martial Courts are justified—that was done in September—not to show, as the Minister for Agriculture said, that the revolver has been laid aside for the torch. That is met by the Regulations made already for arson and destruction of property—these are two crimes for which they can inflict the death penalty already; therefore no additional Regulations are required for that—but to show that the Regulations in Clause 2 numbered down to (g) are offences so grave that each of them merits the penalty of death in a case for which a sentence of death is inflicted by Military Courts, [913] and Military Courts shall have power to inflict that sentence if they think fit. I have gone through those Regulations, and I thought that this debate to-night on the side of Ministers would be devoted to justifying each of these Regulations one by one, and showing that the offences were so grave that that penalty was necessary. Of course, the party or individual who objects to Martial Law is bound to object to any extension of that particular principle or to any manifestation of it in any shape or form, and therefore Deputy Johnson and those who with him opposed Martial Law from the beginning are perfectly justified in saying that they object to it just as much now as in September last, and that they will oppose any extension of it. But what Ministers have come here to do is to satisfy those Deputies who voted with the Ministry in September last that they ought to vote with them again upon each one of these Regulations. Now, I have gone through them, and I have no fault to find with Regulation No. 1, dealing with murder, with conspiracy to murder, and inciting, soliciting and encouraging murder. When you come to No. 2 it seems to me that A, B, C. D and E all deal with the assisting of people to do these acts, and it seems to me that the man who before the crime is committed incites to it or, when it is being committed, assists in it and aids and abets it, cannot complain very much if he suffers the same penalty as his assistant or his leader. But the two crimes which I cannot see my way to support, at any rate on anything I have heard to-night from the Ministers to justify the infliction of that penalty, are the two in F and G, as the only reference made, it seemed to me, material at all was made by Deputy Johnson. Well, there have been allegations, at any rate, of planting material upon people in the past in this country for the purpose of obtaining convictions. I hope those days are gone. But the danger of allowing a man to be tried by a Military Court for either of these offences, with the possibility of the death penalty being inflicted, seems to me a liability that we ought not to run, and that I, at any rate, cannot take the responsibility of voting for at least upon what I have heard up to the present, because no attempt has been made to justify these [914] particular Regulations, seriatim, and these are the two which, from the moment I read them, stuck in my throat. Now, F. is word for word identical with the one in Clause 3 (D) for which you can inflict penal servitude or any less penalty with the exception of two words at the beginning, “without authority,” and towards the end, “with an intention or for a purpose prejudicial to the safety of the State.” I cannot myself conceive a case in which a person could without lawful authority have in his possession plans, models, sketches, and so on, “calculated to be, or which might be, used for purposes prejudicial to the safety of the State,” without an intention of so using them. Therefore, it seems to me that there is no distinction between F in Clause 2 and D in Clause 3, although in one of them a person may have the penalty of death inflicted and in the other penal servitude for life. It seems to me that any crime that is committed under F is covered by D, and, therefore, that it is not necessary, except for the mere purpose of imposing the additional penalty, and if the penalty as stated in D is only to be penal servitude, then there seems to me to be no justification for enabling a man to be convicted and sentenced to death for the very same crime, that of having in his possession without proper authority military uniforms and so forth. That seems to me to involve terrible risks; that any man who may have found in his house some article of uniform of the Civic Guards, Metropolitan Police, or any portion of the uniform of the Military Forces may be lawfully convicted and sentenced to death. There is no observing in that “with an intention of using it for any purpose prejudicial to the safety of the State” or an intention of using it in any shape or form. Now, it would be very easy for me to sit here and say nothing, but vote for or against this resolution. I would, I suppose, get great merit outside by one and, I suppose, inside by the other. That is not what I conceive to be the duty of any Deputy here. When the resolutions are placed upon the Table I think it is the duty of everyone to read them through, to hear what justification is offered in their support, and to vote for or against them, as he considers that the case made on their behalf justifies [915] the Minister in propounding them to us. As I have said before, I supported the Government in September, and I said that I would support them in all measures that they satisfied me were necessary for the sake of the safety of the country, because we must uphold the only form of lawful government that is here. But they have not satisfied me that either of these two Regulations imposing the death penalty are justifiable. I am not going to vote in favour of the resolution because the Ministers have satisfied me, and what I have seen and heard and know about the country satisfies me, that the earlier parts are justifiable and are necessary; and I desire to move an amendment to the motion of Deputy Johnson to insert between the word “disapproves” and the word “of” the words “of Sub-clause F and G of Clause 2.” The effect of that is no more than to take out of the category of the death penalty these two Clauses. Unless I can hear a great deal more than I have heard to justify the inclusion of these two Clauses I cannot agree to them. Of course, I have not submitted my amendment to anyone, and I do not know whether anyone would think it worth while to second it or not. But in the exercise of what I believe to be my duty, and upon my own conviction, I cannot vote for the inclusion of these two Clauses. If the Dáil carries them, that is another thing.

Mr. D.J. GOREY: I beg to second the Amendment of Deputy Fitzgibbon. I think these two Clauses ought not to have been included in this Order. I know, of my own knowledge, of any amount of military uniforms being in the custody of the civil population— overcoats, caps, etc.—who are not in the army at the moment. But with regard to the other portions of the Order, it appears a very simple matter to me, and I am not going to give a silent vote on this matter. In September you made an Order bringing under the Military Courts the man who had the pluck to carry a rifle and the man who fought, and, to my mind, these regulations are only putting on the same plane the man who makes the balls and the man who fires them. These are only putting on the same plane the fellow who has not the pluck to fight, the cute fellow, the [916] coward, and the man who has the pluck to fight. If I have any sympathy at all with the Irregulars, and I have some sympathy, it is with the man who has the courage to go out and fight, and who is not afraid of the consequences. I have no sympathy at all with the coward who hides behind and eggs on those men, those dupes, to do the work that he has not the courage to do himself. I have no sympathy at all with those, nor even with the new Pope or his new College of Cardinals——

Mr. McGOLDRICK: Who is he?

Mr. GOREY: Nominally, I suppose, our beloved President for the moment— I do not mean the President of this Assembly. There are men fighting against the Army to-day who are not inspired by motives of nationality, by principle, or by high ideals, but because they are making a good thing out of it, and because it is purely a question of lucre with them. Very degraded motives inspire them, and not national ideals or national principles. I have heard here references to re-organisation in the Army. I am glad to hear of that, convinced as I am that it needs re-organisation, and convinced as I am that the soldiers of the Army, as a whole, were not doing their duty, that the Army was not water-tight, and that there was a considerable amount of treachery amongst the soldiers of the Army. I hope it will be re-organised, and I hope all these elements will be eliminated and dealt with. It is time. I have no sympathy or any respect for men who leave their seats when a division like this is coming on. I do not care who the man is, let him vote one way or another. Deputies are here on trifling matters, but in connection with anything where a man is required they are conspicuous by their absence.

CATHAL O'SHANNON: I think it is an excellent thing that a Deputy like Deputy Fitzgibbon should come forward with his amendment, although I cannot vote for the amendment, as I am bound by principle to stand by Deputy Johnson's resolution. If there were more Deputies in the Dáil who would take that active interest in all these matters that Deputy Fitzgibbon takes, it would relieve certain other Deputies from taking up points which seem sometimes to be merely factious criticism of the Government, [917] when it is not intended to be factious criticism at all. I do not intend to go over the ground Deputy Fitzgibbon has travelled on so well, but if I were a supporter of the original Military Regulations, I would be inclined to criticise this document on much the same lines as he did. There is one other matter which I think would come under criticism, and that is the following section:—“From and after the date hereof any person who shall, without proper authority (of which authority the proof shall lie upon such person), have in his or her power, possession, disposition or control any literature, plan, model, sketch. document or note, calculated to be or which might be used for a purpose prejudicial to the safety of the STATE or of the NATIONAL FORCES.” That part of the document particularly seems to have such a broad and far-reaching effect that it will be very damaging. It is like some of the clauses in the old British Defence of the Realm Regulations, clauses which really put all sorts of powers in the hands of the Courts. That clause, with an ordinary piece of fair criticism of the National Forces or the Government could be interpreted, and I am afraid would be interpreted by most Military Courts, as coming within the section that I read.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The Deputy is speaking to Deputy Johnson's motion. We must dispose of Deputy Fitzgibbon's amendment first.

Mr. BLYTHE: With reference to these two clauses, if we had Courts which were anxious to convict, Courts which had a desire to act spitefully, these clauses, just as any Clauses in the document, might be abused. There is nothing, I think, that can be said against these that might not be said against the other clauses. A person might, perhaps, have a document in his possession without knowing it. That is the only extent to which it differs from having a revolver. A person could hardly carry a revolver without knowing it. A person might, perhaps, come into possession of, pick up, or somehow hold a document without knowing it; but anybody who looks at the record of the Army, has regard for the extreme reluctance to shed blood which the Army has shown, has regard to the extremely sparing way [918] in which the power of execution has been used by the Army Authorities, who looks at the human facts of the situation, and who does not think, in some abstract way, as if we were compiling a judicial code, but who considers the way these regulations have been carried out in the past, cannot, I think, have any reasonable doubt that the Army Authorities will be most careful in the exercise of the powers conferred by those two Clauses, and that they will be so careful that they will err, as the Commander-in-Chief has said, on the side of clemency rather than on the side of severity. I have no doubt that the use which will be made of the powers in these Clauses will be an extremely limited use. I do think, however, it is well that these Clauses should be here. The destruction that is being carried on in the country at the present time is caused, inspired and guided by people who, perhaps, would never carry a revolver. The people primarily responsible for it are people who compose the plans and draw up the documents and issue proclamations that excite the excitable and neurotic, and provide a cloak for the purely criminal. When people like that are taken, people who have greater responsibility than even the actual doers of the damage and the actual committers of the crime, it is right there should be power of administering immediate and exemplary punishment in their cases. Some days ago I heard a report of a man who was caught in a house which was simply filled with literature and filled with plans and instructions of how to destroy railways—instructions to prevent men from being interrupted while destroying railways, or being surprised. That man had not a revolver on him but he was more guilty and more deserving of death, in the present circumstances, than the unfortunate young fellow who was deluded by the vain and selfish rhetorician who is responsible for the state of affairs in the country. That man was more guilty than the youth deluded and led on to do this damage by people whom he had been led to respect and, perhaps, at one time to revere. It is a question of meeting this whole thing as a definite campaign that has to be broken.

It is a mistake to think of the operations of these Courts as judicial operations. When Deputy Johnson was [919] speaking he said that the Army would be better to confine itself to Army work, and refrain from judicial work. I think that is the fundamental mistake of the motion. It is not judicial work; it is part of the military work. The man who is executed as the result of a trial before a Committee under these Regulations meets his fate at the hands of the Army in only a slightly different way from the man who is killed in an ambush. These are not trials in the ordinary judicial sense. They are simply precautionary investigations to see that the wrong man is not shot. When you deal with men in an ambush, or an open conflict of that sort, the troops fire, and there is no investigation as to whether a particular man who seems to be with the attackers really belongs to them or not. If he happens to get shot, that is his misfortune. But when men who have attacked are to be shot by way of execution it is necessary to have an investigation. It is excusable to make a mistake in the actual fighting; the wrong man may be shot in mistake while the fight is on. That is excusable. It would not be excusable, however, when you come to deal with these men by way of execution to shoot the wrong man. Consequently a trial which is really in the nature of a precautionary investigation takes place. The trial of these men and the execution of them in the present circumstances is a military operation, just as much as the shooting of them during the actual conflict. When we look at it that way, when we realise that we are up against a great conspiracy of crime, the pure-souled Republicans against us are very few. The Republicans, the people who are fanatical doctrinaire Republicans, who are against us, and whose lands are not soiled with loot and, what is the fundamental thing, selfishness of some sort, are very few indeed. It is impossible practically to distinguish one group from another in this conspiracy. It is a great conspiracy, which must be dealt with by military measures. The incidents in it are such, as the Minister for Agriculture said, that if they were isolated they would be matters for police action, but because of the conspiracy and of their variety they are matters for military action. The military must meet the conspiracy, [920] and it is a thing that must be beaten. Otherwise, if it were possible to arrange a compromise, and I do not see how it would be possible to do that, this country would soon be in a welter of disorder.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The amendment is under discussion.

Mr. BLYTHE: I am aware of that. I am keeping to the point.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: I do not quite see that, and I am not prepared to let it go much further.

Mr. FITZGIBBON: I did not object to Military Courts as such. I said they had passed from our control.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The amendment is in regard to the deletion of two particular Sub-clauses.

Mr. BLYTHE: I am dealing with them. I was saying that the country would be in a welter of disorder for a considerable time. We would have every sort of crime. We would have shootings for land, we would have armed robbery, we would have shootings for personal spite of every sort, and it is because of all these circumstances that it is necessary that the military be given every facility to clean the whole thing up completely. It is because this conspiracy of crime must be defeated in every detail and must be completely cleaned up that all these powers are asked for. In a sense they are not asked for. The Dáil is rather asked to approve of the exercise of them, because in a situation of this kind they are inherent in the Army in its position, but the Dáil is asked to approve of these resolutions because it is necessary to clean this conspiracy up completely. Now, because of that I suggest that the Dáil, unless it really fears that the Army will exceed the intention and desire of the Dáil, or will abuse its powers, that it ought not to cut down these resolutions in any way. We know, for instance, that there have been frequent seizures of military uniforms. We know that shops where military uniforms have been made have been raided and the uniforms taken away. They were taken away by the people engaged in the struggle against the State and against the Nation and the whole people. My point of view in regard to the matter is this: there is [921] very little to be said as to one of those who are active with the Irregulars being more guilty than the other. The person who goes into a shop and steals a National uniform or disrobes a Civic Guard and takes his uniform is, to my mind, for the purpose of dealing with this conspiracy, equally guilty with the man who blows up a bridge and takes part in an ambush. When you are opposing a conspiracy you must meet it as a whole. You cannot distinguish between individuals. There have been plans—I do not know whether any of them have been successful—to use these uniforms for the purpose of getting access to posts which could not be carried openly. They might be of considerable use to the Irregulars. At any rate, the taking of them is a crime to be punished. It might possibly happen that a person would have in his house one of these that he would be unaware of. If that were so, I think that the way to look at it is, when we have in mind that there should be no hampering of the Military Authority, is there in practice and reality any risk of the Army using these powers in such a way as to endanger an innocent person?

Now I say, and I think it cannot really be disputed, that so far as the whole tendency of the Army in dealing with these matters goes it is to err on the side of elemency and rather to allow, for fear of doing wrong, the guilty to go free. I do not think that there is any indication that the spirit of the Army has changed. I do not think that there is any ground to fear that the spirit of the Army which has already been approved will alter in any way. Some people though when these powers were given first to the Army that there would be a tremendous crop of trials, that would require a holocaust, with the result that there would be hasty executions and all sorts of abuses. And it seems to me to be a fear of the same sort which is behind the position such as this.

General MULCAHY: The powers implied in paragraph 2F and 2G are definitely required by the Army authorities if we are not to expose ourselves to very considerable danger, and if we are going to be put in a position that we cannot visit with punishment people who deserve punishment. We have been in the position [922] that here in Dublin we walked into the office of the Director of Engineering and got all his instructions, and all his plans, and got some persons in the office, and I am advised by my legal adviser that we have not any ground on which we could proceed against certain persons who were in that office, running the office, obviously in control of it, and obviously running it with the intention of carrying out a considerable amount of destruction throughout the country, and being the mainspring for preparing plans and issuing instructions for the general destruction of property. We want to be in a position that men who who are caught like that by us in possession of documents, whether it is here in Dublin, or, as happened, in various parts of the country, having orders with regard to murder and plans with regard to destruction, and general documents dealing with destruction going on in the country—we want to be in the position to punish these directors of outrage in the country not less severely than those people who are their outposts in the country and handle the real material and do the actual work. So far as No. 2G is concerned, we want to leave no step untaken that will prevent our outposts being surprised by men in uniform, and that will prevent our patrols moving through the country being deceived by men in uniform, as our posts have been taken from us by Irregulars coming in to them, and gaining access to them, by wearing military uniform, and as our men have been deceived by Irregulars moving about in uniform through the country. It is not, considering the necessity that there is for having complete control in these matters, too much to ask members of the community to discipline themselves to the extent of not keeping national uniforms, or uniforms of the Civic Guard, or uniforms even of the D.M.P. and that they shall not keep documents and instructions and orders of the type that have been brought to the notice of this Dáil from time to time. I am sorry that I feel it would not be right to accept the amendment of Deputy Fitzgibbon without hampering ourselves and I would ask that the amendment be not accepted by the Dáil.

Mr. P. HOGAN: I confess that I do not understand the amendment of Deputy Fitzgibbon or the point of view [923] behind it. Supposing these Army regulations laid upon the Table now went through unchallenged, or went through, if you like, after a resolution approving them, would that give the Army Council any legal sanction for imposing the penalties under the regulations? Would that fact in itself do it? Surely not! Surely this is not an Act of Parliament. Surely these are merely regulations, and surely that gives no legal sanction whatever for these penalties. And if it does not, what gives the Army Council power to impose these penalties? Is it not the fact that there is a state of war, or a state of armed rebellion? And if there is a state of armed rebellion as a matter of fact, there is martial law as a matter of fact. That is the theory of the matter as I understand it. Deputy Fitzgibbon is a very able lawyer, and I would like him to point out if I am wrong when I say that if there is a state of armed rebellion there is martial law, and the Army Council, having this task entrusted to it by the Government, has complete and absolute discretion. That is the theory as I understand it, and I am anxious to know where the flaw is in that particular argument. If Clause F and Clause G were never in these regulations, surely the Army Council could, in their own discretion, and in certain circumstances which everybody will realise, use these powers. And everybody will realise there are circumstances in which it would be a far greater offence to have documents than to have a gun, and surely the Army Council can in their discretion impose the death penalty. And if they have that discretion, why quarrel with it because it is put there? I assume, because they have the power to impose the death penalty or any less penalty, that they will use their discretion to impose a less penalty if the circumstances justify it. That seems to me to be the plain common-sense of it, and to be the legal and constitutional position as well. With regard to F and G, I always understood that in every army and country it is an offence punishable by death to be found in possession of the uniform belonging to the other side. That is quite common, and the reasons are quite clear and obvious. Nothing could be more dangerous to the National forces than to have the other side appearing [924] and acting in our uniform. The same applies to documents. Would Deputy Fitzgibbon or any other Deputy point out why the Director of Engineering, as the Minister of Defence called him, who sat in his office preparing plans for railways destruction in the country, but taking good care to keep far away when his plans are being carried out—why should he be let off and his dupes down the country have to pay the penalty?

Professor WM. MAGENNIS: There is in the manner of the speech of Deputy Gorey a challenge to all of us here who have remained to vote on this question that we should not be afraid to take our stand manfully on an important critical question such as this, but I would add as a corollary that we owe it to ourselves to explain the vote we are about to cast. By temperament, by instinct, a pacifist, I have been always averse from the settlement of nations' disputes by war, or even from vindicating justice by the taking of human life.

But it is not a question of our individual feeling: of what I like or dislike. We are in a fiduciary relation here to the new-born State. It is in our hands to preserve it in well-being, as we have set its feet upon the path of progress. In September last we clothed the army, so far as a resolution of this Dáil could do so, with authority to take such steps as were within the competence or capacity of the army to protect the State, and, as Deputy Fitzgibbon has rightly said, unless there is a resolution to rescind that, unless there is some step taken here specifically to undo that, the army stands with all the powers that those resolutions could give it. To my mind there is not the slightest doubt that what the Minister for Agriculture declared is a correct description of the situation: it is a state of Martial Law. So far as I am concerned I have always laid down as emphatically as such an individual as I am, without authority, could lay it down, that there is inherent power in every organised community to take such measures as the situation imposes upon it to preserve not only its existence, but its well-being. That right inheres in every person and belongs more peculiarly to an organised community. It is not we who have created the situation of war. We [925] are exercising a defensive duty, and in the exercise of that duty of defence, to protect the State, measures most distasteful to us as individuals may happen to be forced upon us. There is no need, as the Minister for Agriculture has rightly said, for the proclamation of martial law. Martial law can come into exercise without it, and to my mind there is no question but that the army could do any of those things now put forward in these documents without asking for our approval or consent. It might do it at its own risk, but it could do it.

Mr. THOMAS JOHNSON: That or anything else?

Professor MAGENNIS: Yes; and “anything else,” in a state of war and take its chance for an act of indemnity for any excess of its powers. But when all that is said I would suggest, with great respect, that there is a certain conflict between the documents here and the situation as it might be conceived. The Minister for Defence, in his first speech, very vividly, aptly and succinctly, described what he seeks as “an order to stand clear.” He put that again just now, speaking on the amendment, in an even more effective form. He said it is an appeal to the well-disposed and righteously minded in the State to put away from them all those things that are indicated in these documents by virtue of the possession of which they might come under the suspicion of being enemies of the State. I think that that is a very proper demand to make to the community, and I wish that merely was the scope of the document. It is unquestionably the duty of every rightly disposed citizen to put away from him all these things that might give colour even to the suspicion that he was minded to assist the enemy. And if, notwithstanding the knowledge that he incurs suspicion by having these things in his possession, he persists in retaining them, there can be very little sympathy with him if suspicion descends on him and if he incurs considerable difficulty, and perhaps considerable danger, in trying to prove his innocence of any intent contrary to the wellbeing of the State. What I would suggest is this. There are under the heading “documents, plans, and [926] sketches,” many things which a man might innocently have, and yet would be capable of being made to appear the cause, or collateral source of suspicion, and being made to appear before a Military Committee as indicative of guilt. It is hardly fair to ask citizens to be ready to prove that a photograph of a bridge or a particularly picturesque curve in a mountain roadway, is in their possession otherwise than as a treasured souvenir or as a work of art. We are going a little bit too far in making things of that sort “dangerous possession.” I would suggest as a compromise in this matter—it will not impede the military in the exercise of their proper discretion —that just as in October last a proclamation was issued calling for the giving up of arms on a certain date—I think it was the 15th October—similarly there should be a proclamation calling on anyone who has uniforms or portions of uniforms, or documents, plans, or designs capable of being reasonably regarded as of a traitorous character, i.e., intended to aid traitors, to give them up to the proper authority before a certain date, and after that date take these measures. Deputy Johnson, in proposing the resolution spoke of these measures as being brought forward to protect members of the Dáil. I have read and studied this in every detail most carefully, and could discover in it nothing that lends colour to the idea that these are emergency measures taken to protect any of us. I see very little difference, except in the extension of the wording for greater clarity, between this statement and that which we had before. I am sorry to detain the Dáil so long on this, but it seems to me to be a matter on which even the humblest individual is called on to liberate his soul.

General MULCAHY: On a matter of explanation, it will be remembered that when the original resolution came into force a warning was issued asking for the handing up of all those articles that came within the scope of the resolution. In a similar connection with these resolutions a warning will be issued asking for the handing up of all articles that come within the scope of this Order.

Professor MAGENNIS: It will be.

General MULCAHY: Yes.

Mr. DAVIN: The Minister for Home [927] Affairs has stated that certain Army regulations can be secured in shops in town. That is information to me, at any rate, and I think to other Deputies also. I would like to know if this Dáil has any authority over the Army—that is, over the acts or misconduct of any particular member of the Army—and if the Government is prepared to lay these regulations on the Table in the same way as they put these regulations on the Table.

General MULCAHY: By way of explanation, an Army Act is in process of being drafted which will embody regulations in regard to discipline which has been spoken about. In order to help us in the conduct of the Army we drafted these regulations originally and brought them into force as soon as they were drafted under an Order of the Army Council. The Army is subject to the Government here in every way in which an Army in every country is subject to its Government, and as soon as the Army Act is drafted and passed through this Dáil it will be perfectly plain and clear.

Mr. DAVIN: I want to know if in the meantime we can have the regulations laid on the Table of the Dáil,

General MULCAHY: I will arrange to have that done.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Copies of the regulation will be made available for members in their rooms.

General MULCAHY: I would like to know does that mean that general regulations with regard to Army discipline are to form the subject of debate in the Dáil?

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: No. They are quite separate things; for the Army regulations to be laid on the Table would mean that they would be made available for members in their rooms.

Mr. DAVIN: I said “laid on the table.”

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Made available for members; nothing else.

The PRESIDENT: I think it would not be unreasonable, in view of the explanation given by the Minister for Defence, to ask Deputy Fitzgibbon and Deputy Gorey if the amendment will be withdrawn.

Mr. GERALD FITZGIBBON: The [928] Minister for Defence has met the real matter that was sticking in my throat all the time over this resolution. Why could he not have told us before, or why did not someone else tell us, that the National forces were being attacked by people dressed in stolen uniforms? That is the sort of thing we do not want to justify. I came over here to ask the seconder of my motion—I have had no communication with him—whether he has felt that the explanation given satisfied him—that the urgency of the case was such as to justify our taking the grave responsibility of deciding that we considered the Ministry had made a case. I find myself in some difficulty about it, but I do think on the whole that the last explanation has carried conviction to my mind, and Deputy Gorey has authorised me to say that he is quite satisfied.

Mr. D.J. GOREY: I intend to keep anything I hold. I know a lot of friends who have some uniforms, and will not give them up, because there are little associations connected with them.

The PRESIDENT: The Deputy will understand that the position with regard to the possession of uniforms is that unless their possession is so secure that persons who may be inclined to use them cannot get them, the danger is there. That is the point. It is not quite the mere possession of uniforms or anything of that sort, but rather the use that they would be put to. I must admit that Deputy Fitzgibbon and Deputy Gorey were certainly justified in making the protest they did regarding not alone these regulations, but all the regulations, and quite naturally; and I am sure Deputies will admit that, presented with the necessity of regulations of this sort day after day, week after week, when one is impressed with the necessity for them, one loses sight of the sort of case that should be made to people who do not know of that necessity, and who have not been in close contact with the facts of the cases brought before us.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Can we take it that the amendment is withdrawn?

Mr. FITZGIBBON: I ask leave to withdraw.

Amendment by leave withdrawn.

The PRESIDENT: I have a document [929] in my hand that was received by a citizen of the Saorstát, I will not say in what county, town, or village, or even whether it was in the city or not, because he performed his duty as a citizen as anybody here placed in the same position would have performed it. I think it was as a juryman; and because he performed that duty he was accosted in the street and ordered, at the point of the gun, to leave the country. These are the real circumstances of the case—that the people who are egged on to active opposition to any form of government in this country really mean to make government in normal conditions, and make government by constitutional means, absolutely impossible; and we know that the ordinary citizen is not trained, and not so fashioned by nature, as to resist the oncoming bull. The case that was made by Deputy Gorey I understand. I have a report here about the destruction of a railway, and the damage done was so colossal—the rails and sleepers torn up between different places, so that trains from one place could only proceed to a particular place—and the manager reports that this destruction, he understands was done by men in uniform. That is a case I would like Deputy Gorey in particular to understand that it was from examples of this sort from day to day we brought in these Regulations, and even those opposite us will admit that we were most generous in the first place to give an Amnesty for a fortnight, and in the next case to extend even the date for bringing into execution for another fortnight. What we are faced with is a band of people, men and women, those who I expect congratulate themselves occasionally in their own drawingrooms on the highly developed culture of their associates, we are confronted with these people, printing in their sheets such statements as this: “Sean Hales was shot in action,” and the young boys and girls read this. They may not have heard of the man who was murdered and they come to the conclusion that it was a perfectly legitimate thing. They go on and they make charges against members of the Ministry, and they are perfectly welcome to do so, and they challenge us with certain things. I have seen one of these sheets recently and out of 20 paragraphs in it I think I [930] could positively contradict 19 of them They were false, and false to the knowledge of the people who were making the charges. I had only come back the last time, I think, from London when it was alleged that we had got instructions —instructions if you please—that Miss MacSwiney was not to be released from jail, and what saddens me about people on the other side—those in active opposition and in armed opposition to us—is the callousness of them. During the time Miss MacSwiney was apparently going to die of hunger-strike not a single voice of a single representative person on the other side was raised to get her out, and the whole chorus was for Mr. Childers. You will observe, looking through this whole affair—and it is sad to think of it—there must be certain personal vanity on the part of these people. They sit in their drawingrooms or in their back rooms, or in their dug-outs, or something else of that sort, and they send out young fellows of sixteen, seventeen or eighteen, and even with these young fellows the iron or rottenness has not yet eaten into them. They express sorrow that they have to do this thing and regret for doing it, and they are shivering and shaking. And these are to be the citizens of the future. I need not remind the members of the Dáil here who belonged to what is called the Second Dáil of the promises we had that there were fifty thousand men to die for the Republic. Why we cannot get even fifty thousand prisoners much less fifty thousand men to die for it. This is a case in which definite, stern measures must be taken—in which we cannot economise on the death penalty There is no use talking about drastic measures. Drastic measures are spoken about on the other side when they mean to take men's lives, but they will not say that. The death penalty is a thing we cannot economise on when there is such destruction, such disorder, and such hopeless lack of morality through the country from one end of it to the other. We know that there are representatives of what is called the Second Dáil walking round town. We know that these people have been to some extent responsible for death sentences being passed upon our representatives here, and our friends know that, and our friends would be inclined, if [931] we gave any indication of it, to wipe these people out, and we have refrained from that. We have brought up everything here in order, so that there would be a regularity about these things—that before a person would suffer the death penalty at least he would be placed on trial for his life. The real justice for this case we make is that in no one single instance has there been a complaint against the military that they have executed an innocent man. On that the Dáil, I believe, is perfectly clear; and the military are perfectly clear; and if such a danger could be, then there would be a case for criticising this. At any time a member of the Dáil or of the Seanad, on his way home, may be accosted by a man in uniform and shot, and there would be no more about it. Then we would be told that it was probably done by a National soldier who had got drunk. Now, I know that the Army needs, perhaps, a good deal more discipline than it has, but I do know that there has been a very considerable difficulty in putting thirty thousand men into uniforms within twelve months, asking them to put up with what happened from February up to June or July last, then put them into the firing line and tell them that those who yesterday could seize a motor car from anybody and drive off in it, and those who yesterday could actually shoot at their barracks, and that they were not to shoot at them, that they could now shoot at them. You are really placing a very big reliance on good citizenship when you expect that Army to be well disciplined and to do its duties. It has its faults, it has all the infirmities that any Army could have. Its faults must be remedied. I believe the Army Council is taking steps to remedy them, and that sooner perhaps than we may think that levelling up and improvement will come. Now, as to the other question, we know that this whole insult— Army propaganda and so on—is being made to sap the morale of the people, and that it has to some extent succeeded by reason of the fact that the whole terror comes from one side, and that the other side is tied hand and foot against proceeding on other than regular lines, and is unable to adopt any of the terrorist methods of the Irregulars. You can contemplate at once what a serious state [932] of affairs that will be if that morale is ultimately sapped. I am satisfied, from an examination of the whole situation, that this damage, serious as it is, is not sufficiently serious to warrant any depression whatever. Go through the streets of Dublin, and you will see only half of one side of O'Connell street down, and the Four Courts, and an occasional building here and there. A comparatively small amount of damage has been done, a very small amount, and they will have to go a long way before they have done the whole of it; and even if they do the whole of it, I hope there will be sufficient people in this country to stand up against political puppyism of that sort, and say that they are not going to submit.

Mr. J. DOLAN: I move that the question be now put.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The Deputy who moved the motion has the right to reply.

Mr. JOHNSON: I do not know whether my purpose would be better served by allowing the motion to be put.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Unless we are going to sit beyond 8.30.

Mr. JOHNSON: I do not know whether the Dáil will agree to that. I have a great deal to say.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The Deputy has, as the mover of the motion, plainly the right to reply.

The PRESIDENT: I forgot, or I would not have spoken so long.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: It may be possible to sit a little later than 8.30.

Several Deputies: No.

Mr. JOHNSON: Then I second the proposal that the motion be now put, and I call for a division at once.

The PRESIDENT: I would like to assure the Deputy I had quite forgotten that he should have replied, or I would not have spoken at all.

Question put: “That Dáil Eireann disapproves of the General Order by the Army Council, dated the 8th of January, 1923.”

[933][934] The Dáil divided: Tá 13; níl 41.

Tá.

Tomás de Nógla.

Riobárd Ó Deaghaidh.

Tomás Mac Eoin.

Liam O Briain.

Tomás Ó Conaill.

Aodh Ó Cúlacháin.

Liam Ó Daimhín.

Seán Ó Laidhin.

Cathal Ó Seanáin.

Seán Buitleir.

Domhnall Ó Muirgheasa.

Risteard Mac Fheorais.

Domhnall Ó Ceallacháin.

Níl.

Liam T. Mac Cosgair.

Donchadha Ó Guaire.

Uaitéar Mac Cumhaill.

Seán Ó Maolruaidh.

Seán Ó Duinnín.

Micheal Ó hAonghusa.

Domhnall Ó Mocháin.

Peadar Mac a' Bháird.

Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt.

Seán Ó Ruanaidh.

Micheál de Duram.

Risteárd Ó Maolchatha.

Seosamh Mag Craith.

Domhnall Mac Cartaigh.

Earnán Altún.

Sir Seámus Craig.

Gearóid Mac Giobúin.

Liam Thrift.

Eoin Mac Néill.

Liam Mag Aonghusa.

Pádraig Ó hOgáin.

Seosamh Ó Faoileacháin.

Seoirse Mac Niocaill.

Fionán O Loingsigh.

Séamus Ó Cruadhlaoich.

Criostóir Ó Broin.

Risteard Mac Liam.

Caoimhghin Ó hUigín.

Séamus O Dólain.

Aindriú Ó Láimhín.

Seán Mac Eoin.

Proinsias Mag Aonghusa.

Éamon Ó Dúgáin.

Peadar Ó hAodha.

Séamus Ó Murchadha.

Liam Mac Sioghaird.

Tomás Ó Domhnaill.

Earnán de Blaghd.

Uinseann de Faoite.

Domhnall Ó Broin.

Séamus de Burca.

Motion declared lost.

The Dáil adjourned at 8.30 p.m. until 3 o'clock on Thursday, January 18th.