Dáil Éireann - Volume 6 - 19 March, 1924
TEMPORARY ACCOMMODATION OF THE OIREACHTAS. - REPORT OF JOINT COMMITTEE.
Mr. HUGHES Mr. HUGHES
 Mr. HUGHES: I beg to move the adoption of the following report, which  has already been circulated amongst Deputies:—
1. Is (1) le rún do rith Dáil Eireann 24 Eanair, 1924, agus (2) le rún do rith Seanad Eireann, 25 Eanair, 1924, do bunuíodh an Cho-Choiste a ceapadh chun cúrsaí Arus Sealadach don Oireachtas do bhreithniú. Sidiad mar leanas na Rúin sin fé seach:—
1. The Joint Committee appointed to consider the question of the Temporary Accommodation of the Oireachtas was set up (1) by resolution of Dáil Eireann passed on 24th January, 1924, and (2) by resolution of Seanad Eireann passed on 25th January, 1924. These resolutions are respectively as follows:—
(1) Rún Dháil Eireann:—
(1) Resolution of Dáil Eireann:—
“DE BHRI gur gá gan a thuille moille féachaint chun árus ceart do sholáthar don Oireachtas: Ar an abhar san beartuítear agus táthar á bheartú leis seo:—
“WHEREAS it is necessary to take immediate steps for the provision of adequate accommodation for the Oireachtas: Be it therefore and it is hereby resolved:—
(1) Go gceaptar Coiste a bheidh co-dhéanta de chúigear ball, a ainmneoidh an Coiste Roghnathóireachta, chun fiosrú do dhéanamh agus tuairise do thabhairt uatha i dtaobh an áruis shealadaigh a bheidh ag an Oireachtas go dtí go bhfaghfar buan-árus do.
(1) That a Committee consisting of five members to be nominated by the Committee of Selection be appointed to enquire and report as to the temporary accommodation of the Oireachtas pending its permanent housing.
(2) Go n-iarrtar ar Sheanad Eireann a cho-oiread ball den tSeanad do cheapa chun fónamh ar an gCoiste sin agus go gcuirtear Teachtaireacht dá réir sin go dtí Seanad Eireann.
(2) That Seanad Eireann be requested to appoint an equal number of Members of the Seanad to serve on such Committee, and that a message be sent to Seanad Eireann accordingly.
(3) Go dtugaidh an Coiste tuairise uatha fé cheann sé seachtmhaine ó dháta a gcéad chruinnithe.”
(3) That the Committee report not later than six weeks from the date of its first meeting.”
(2) Rún Sheanad Eireann:—
(2) Resolution of Seanad Eireann:—
“Go ngéillidh an Seanad don ní atá i dteachtaireacht Dháil Eireann: `(1) Go gceaptar Coiste a bheidh co-dhéanta de chúigear ball, a ainmneoidh an Coiste Roghnathóireachta, chun fiosrú do dhéanamh agus tuairisc do thabhairt uatha i dtaobh an áruis shealadaigh a bheidh ag an Oireachtas go dtí go bhfaghfar buan-árus do; (2) Go n-iarrtar ar Sheanad Eireann a cho-oiread ball den tSeanad do cheapa chun fónamh ar an gCoiste sin agus go gcuir tearTeachtaireacht dá réir sin go dtí Seanad Eireann; (3) Go dtuagaidh an Coiste tuairisc uatha fé cheann sé seachtmhaine ó dháta a gcéad chruinnuithe;' agus go n-iarrtar ar an gCoiste Roghnathóireachta ainmneacha cúigear ball den tSeanad do rogha, le leaga fé bhráid an tSeanaid.”
“That the Seanad accede to the message of Dáil Eireann: `(1) That a Committee consisting of five members to be nominated by the Committee of Selection be appointed to enquire and report as to the temporary accommodation of the Oireachtas pending its permanent housing; (2) That Seanad Eireann be requested to appoint an equal number of Members of the Seanad to serve on such Committee, and that a message be sent toSeanad Eireann accordingly; (3) That the Committee report not later than six weeks from the date of its first meeting;' and that the Committee of Selection be requested to select the names of five members of the Seanad to be submitted to the Seanad.”
2. Ar thuairisciú do sna Coistí Roghnathóireachta sa dá Thigh do réir na nithe a cuireadh ortha fé seach agus atá sna Rúin sin, do ceapadh iad so leanas le hOrduithe ón Dáil agus ón Seanad fé seach chun gníomhú ar an gCó-Choiste:—
2. The Committee of Selection in both Houses having reported in accordance with the reference to them respectively contained in these resolutions, the following were by respective Orders of the Dáil and the Seanad appointed to act on the Joint Committee:—
An Tiarna Lannaibhidh, Aindrias Mac Séamais, Seán O Fearghaill, Siobhán Bean an Phaoraigh agus Mícheál O Deagha; agus
Senators Lord Glenavy, Jameson, O'Farrell, Mrs. Wyse-Power, and O'Dea; and
Peadar O hAodha, Liam Mag Aonghusa, Brian Cúipéir, Tomás de Nógla, agus Donncha O Guaire.
Deputies Hughes, Magennis, Cooper, Nagle, and Gorey.
3. Tháinig an Có-Choiste le chéile cúig uaire ó bunuíodh é. Do scrúduigh sé an tslí atá le fáil dTigh Laighean agus san Ospidéal Rioga i gCill Mhaighneann. Do bhreithnigh sé na hargóintí i bhfabhar agus i gcoinnibh roinnt ionad eile sa chathair do ghlaca. Chuaidh sé i gcomhairle fé dhó le buíon toscairí o Chumann Ríoga Bhaile Atha Cliath. Bhí lucht an Chó-Choiste ar aon intinn sna comhairlí ar a dtánadar.
3. The joint Committee met five times since its inception. It made an inspection of the accommodation available in Leinster House and in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. It took into consideration the arguments for and against the adoption of a number of other sites in the city. It consulted on two occasions with a deputation from the Royal Dublin Society. The Joint Committee reached unanimous agreement in its findings.
4. Sidiad mar leanas na comhairlí ar a dtáinig an Có-Choiste:—
4. The following are the findings of the Joint Committee:—
(i.) Gurb iad amháin atá oiriúnach mar ionaid, agus ina bhfuil an minimum riachtanach de shlí istigh, agus atá ar fáil fé láthair no is féidir a chur ar fáil chun a sealbhuithe laistigh d'aimsir réasúnta agus gan costas as cuimse ná: Tigh Laighean, an tOspidéal Ríoga i gCill Mhaighneann, agus na príomh-fhoirgintí agus na foirgintí eile atá i gcearnóg Chlós Uachtarach Chaisleán Bhaile Atha Cliath. Bheadh slí níos fairsinge agus níos caothúla san Ospidéal Ríoga agus i gCaisleán Bhaile Atha Chliath ná mar a bheadh i dTigh Laighean. Ach mar gheall ar' a dheacracht do lucht gnótha agus do lucht gairme na Cathrach dul amach chun an Ospidéil Ríoga ní fhéadfadh anCo-Choiste a mhola go ndéanfí rogha den ionad san. Rud eile is deimhin leis an gCó-Choiste, sara mbeadh sé réasúnta oiriúnach chun a shealbhuithe, nár mhór £70,000 ar a luíod do chaitheamh leis an obair a bhainfadh le dul isteach ann agus le hatharuithe tigh-chreatlaigh, agus níor bh'fhéidir na hatharuithe sin do dhéanamh laistigh de thréimhse ba lú ná bliain agus is dócha nár mhór bliain go leith chuige. Faid a beifí ag feitheamh mar sin do caithfí fanúint i dTigh Laighean agus dul fé n-a thuille costais nár bheag le rá chun an áit a dhéanamh oiriúnach do riachtanaisí an Oireachtais a bheadh ag dul i méid i gcaitheamh na tréimhse sin. Ní raibh os a chomhair ag an gCó-Choiste an t-abhar as a bhféadfí a mheas cadí an tréimhse a chaithfidh imeacht sara mbeidh an buan-árus soláthruithe, ach ní gnó praiticiúil, dar leis an gCoiste, suim chó mór le £70,000 do chaitheamh agus moill chó fada do dhéanamh chun árus ná beadh ach sealadach do sholáthar, go mór mór o thárla go bhfuil an tOspidéal suidhte chó neachaothúil sin.
(i.) That the only suitable sites, providing the necessary minimum of housing accommodation and at present available or capable of being made available for occupation within a reasonable time, and without prohibitive expenditure are: The Leinster House, the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, and the main and other buildings in the square of the Upper Yard of Dublin Castle. Of these the Royal Hospital and Dublin Castle would supply housing accommodation of a more ample and convenient character than would Leinster House. The Joint Committee cannot, however, recommend the selection of the Royal Hospital owing to the existing difficulties of access bythe business and professional life of the City. Further the Joint Committee is satisfied that before it could be made reasonably fit for occupation an expenditure of not less than £70,000 would be required to defray the cost of migration and of structural alterations, which latter could not be carried out within a period of less than a year and probably of a year and a half. During this waiting period the occupation of Leinster House would have to be continued and further expense of a substantial amount incurred in making it suitable for the increasing needs of the Oireachtas during the interval. The Joint Committee had not the materials before it upon which to form an estimate of the period that must elapse before the permanent accommodation is provided, but the expenditure of such a large sum as £70,000, with the consequent delay to be incurred for the purpose merely of temporary accommodation, did not commend itself as a business proposition, more especially in view of the inconvenience of situation.
(ii.) Ar an dtaobh eile den scéal áfach tá suidheamh an Chaisleáin go han-oiriúnach agus maran láithreach bonn, is go luath, d'fhéadfí dul isteach ann, agus ní bheadh an caitheamh rómhór. Ach nior bhfoláir don ChóChoiste cuimhneamh go bhfuil sé ceaptha do sna Cúirteanna Bhreithiúntais cheana féin agus gur cuireadh iad isteach ann tar éis airgead do chaitheamh le hatharuithe agus le feistiú ba ghá agus, maran féidid áit oriúnach eile atá ar fáil do sholáthar dóibh, ní féidir don Chó-Choiste a mhola go ndéanfí rogha den Chaisleán.
(ii.) The Castle upon the other hand is excellently situated and capable of early if not immediate occupation while the expenditure would be comparatively small. But the Joint Committee was confronted by the fact that it has already been allotted to the Courts of Justice and occupied by them after expenditure upon necessary alterations and equipment, and unless some other suitable and available location for the Courts can be obtained, the Joint Committee cannot recommend the selection of the Castle.
(iii.) De bharr an dá áit sin do dhúna amach, nil fágtha ach Tigh Laighean. Is ró-léir don Chó-Choiste a neambúntáistí agus a nea-dhóthanaí atá sé fiú amháin mar árus sealadach ach is dó leo gur féidir luíodu maith a dhéanamh ar na nithe sin má tógtar na coda den bhfoirgint atá ar seilbh fós ag Cumann Ríoga Bhaile Atha Cliath, lasmuich de sna coda san a bhaineann leis an Saotharlann Radium. Ar na coda a tógfí amlaidh bheadh dhá sheomra fhairsinge órnáidithe ar an gcéad úrlár agus dhá sheomra chó-réire ar an dara húrlár, seomraí ina mbeadh slí go leor i gcóirsuidheanna an tSeanaid, 'na bhfuil slí chó cumhang acu fé láthair, agus i gcóir na gCoistí a dheighleálann le Billí Príobháideacha. Mar fhreagra ar iarratas ón gCó-Choiste tháinig buíon láidir toscairí o Chumann Ríoga Bhaile Atha Cliath go dtí ceann de sna cruinnithe, agus ba dheas uatha é, agus do chuireadar in úil go dian gurb é a dtuairim, tar éis triail na bliana atá caithte, gur chuaidh sé go mór chun dochair agus chun ceataí don Chumann an tOireachtas do bheith i seilbh agus dá leantí den tseilbh sin agus dá leathanuítí í gur mhór an chontabhairt do shéan an Chumainn é mara gcuireadh sé deire leis an gCumann. D'aontuigh an Có-Choiste go hiomlán leo nuair adubhradar gur éirigh roinnt céadta ball as an gCumann de bharr an ní sin ach is dó leo gurb iad riachtanaisí an tSaorstáit is mó le rá agus is ceart a bheith ar tosach, go mór mór ós deimhin leo gur féidir an cheataí agus an chailliúint airgid a bhain don Chumann cheana agus a bhainfidh dóibh fós do luíodú go mór tré árus sealadach do sholáthar dóibh in áit éigin eile agus cúiteamh airgid a thabhairt dóibh. Na hoibreacha móra gnótha agus ceárdais atá ar siúl acu, le hoiread creidiúna dhóibh féin agus le hoiread sochair don tír, is ag Droichead na Dothra bhíd sin, san áit ina mbíd na Taisbeántaisí acu, ach is chun aoibhnis chuideachtanais do sna baill agus chun taisbeántaisí colaíochta agus ceoil is mó a húsáidtí Tigh Laighean. Tháinig na Toscairí go dtí cruinniú eile den Chó-Choiste agus i dtéanta luighe ar na hagóidí a bhí curtha in úil cheana acu do shineádar isteach ráiteas ar a gcúis agus, ar a iarraidh sin dóibh, do chuir an Chó-Choiste an ráiteas san le n-a dtuarasgabháil mar fho-scríbhinn. Sé tuairim an Chó-Choiste gur chóir gurb é gnó an Rialtais slí go leor do sholáthar i bhfoirgint éigin oiriúnach in aice le Tigh Laighean mar sheomraí léitheoireachta agus mar leabharlann iasachtach thiomchuir do bhaill Chumann Ríoga Bhaile Atha Cliath amháin no neachtar acu oiread airgid do sholáthar dóibh agus is gá chun a chur ar a gcumas árus sealadach mar sin do sholáthar dóibh féin. Níor dhearmhad an Có-Choiste godtiocfidh as nách mór iomlán Tighe Laighean a bheith tógtha suas ag an Oireachtas, fiú amháin go ceann tamaill, go gcaithfar tuille airgid a chaitheamh agus tuille maith mór, leis, i dteanta cúitimh do Chumann Ríoga Bhaile Atha Cliath, ach bíodh go mbeadh an costas iomlán geairid don mhéid a bhainfadh leis an Ospidéal Ríoga do chur in oiriúint bheadh an méid seo le rá fós i bhfabhar do rogha dhéanamh de Thigh Laighean, sé sin, nár ghá don Oireachtas aistriú as an áit ina bhfuil sé, agus bíodh go mbeadh an scéal cothrom eatorra maidir le nithe eile, tá Tigh Laighean i gceartlár na cathrach agus tugann san búntáise dho ar an áit eile. Rud eile: tá na Teachtaí agus na Seanadóirí tagtha ina thaithí agus le corp taithí tá sé gan bheith ró-dheacair dóibh cur suas le pé nea-chaothúlacht a bhaineann leis. Dá bhrí sin molann an Có-Choiste iomlán Tighe Laighean d'fháil agus do chimeád, ach amháin na coda atá luaidhte cheana, bíodh go bhfuil a fhios acu nách réiteach thar barr ar an bhfaidhb san ach réiteach atá dosheachanta agus an scéal mar atá sé. San am gcéanna tá súil ag an gCóChoiste, ar mhaithe leis an gCumann, go scarfar le seilbh Tighe Laighean chó luath agus is féidir é gan dochar do riachtanaisí an Oireachtas.
(iii.) In the result, by the process of exclusion Leinster House alone remains. The Joint Committee fully realises its disadvantages and inadequacy even as a temporary provision, but is of opinion that these can be materially modified if the portions of the building still in the possession of the Royal Dublin Society, save those devoted to the Radium Laboratory, were taken over. The portions thus acquired would include two decorated and spacious rooms on the first floor and two corresponding rooms on the second floor which would afford suitable accommodation for the sittings ofthe Seanad, which is so inadequately housed at present, and for the Committees dealing with Private Bills. A very influential deputation from the Royal Dublin Society, in courteous response to a request of the Joint Committee, attended one of the meetings and were emphatic in the expression of their belief as the result of their experience of the last twelve months that the occupation by the Oireachtas had already caused serious loss and inconvenience to the Society and that the prolongation and extension of this occupation would be a dangerous menace to its welfare and possibly to its existence. The Joint Committee quite accepted their assurance that it has already been responsible for the resignation of some hundreds of its members, but it regards the needs of the Free State as of prior and paramount importance, especially as it is satisfied that the inconvenience and financial loss to which already the Society has been and will in the future be subject can be materially mitigated by the provision of temporary accommodation elsewhere and by pecuniary compensation. Its great business and industrial activities in which it has engaged with so much credit to itself and advantage to the country are mainly controlled and carried on at Ballsbridge where its Shows are also held, whereas Leinster House has been mainly used for catering to what may be described as the social amenities of its members and for the holding of scientific and musical demonstrations. The Deputation attended a further meeting of the Committee and in addition to emphasising their previous objections handed in a detailed statement of their case which at their request the Joint Committee has inserted as an appendix to its report. The Joint Committee is of opinion that it should be the business of the Government to find ample provision in some suitable building in the vicinity of Leinster House for reading rooms and a lending and circulating library for the exclusive use of the members of the Royal Dublin Society, or as an alternative that they should be supplied with the necessary funds to enable them to provide for themselves this temporary accommodation. The Joint Committee has not forgotten that theoccupation practically of the whole of Leinster House, even for a temporary period, will involve substantial further outlay in addition to compensation to the Royal Dublin Society, but even if the total cost approximated to that involved in the adaptation of the Royal Hospital there would still remain in favour of the selection of Leinster House the fact that it involves no change in the existing location of the Oireachtas, and even if other considerations as between the two were evenly balanced the situation of Leinster House, in the heart of the City, weighs down the scales in its favour. Further, the Deputies and Senators have got used to it, and familiarity has even bred some measure of toleration for its inconvenient surroundings. The Joint Committee therefore recommends the acquisition and retention of the whole of Leinster House with the exception of the portion already mentioned, conscious that it is not an ideal solution but one that is inevitable under existing conditions. At the same time the Joint Committee hopes that in the interests of the Society the occupation of Leinster House will be terminated at the earliest date, consistent with the needs of the Oireachtas.
(iv.) Mar bhuille scuir, ba mhaith leis an gCó-Choiste luighe ar an méid seo: o bhí ortha claoi go dian leis na tearmaí scóipe, le cúrsaí áruis shealadaigh amháin, níl aon bhaint ag na nithe atá ráite acu i dtaobh na n-ionad ndefriúil le cúrsaí buan-árus do sholáthar agus ní ceart leigint do sna nithe sin éinne do chlaona chun aon taoibh sna cúrsaí sin.
(iv.) In conclusion, the Joint Committee wishes to emphasise that as it was strictly confined by the terms of reference, to the question of temporary accommodation solely, the considerations it has urged in regard to the different sites have no bearing upon the question of permanent accommodation and should not be allowed to prejudice it in any respect.
5. Tuairiscíonn an Chó-Choiste dá réir sin.
5. The Joint Committee reports accordingly.
LIAM MAG AONGHUSA.
PEADAR O hAODHA.
TOMÁS DE NÓGLA.
DONNCHA O GUAIRE.
JOHN T. O'FARRELL.
SIOBHÁN BEAN AN PHAORAIGH
12adh Márta, 1924.
  APPENDIX ABOVE REFERRED TO.
ROYAL DUBLIN SOCIETY.
OCCUPATION OF LEINSTER HOUSE BY DÁIL EIREANN.
The Royal Dublin Society was established in the year 1731 for the promotion of Husbandry and other useful Arts and Sciences.
It is the oldest body of its kind in Europe.
The Museums, Botanic Gardens, National Library and Art School were founded far back in the eighteenth century by the Society, and through the watchful care of the Society, with its intimate knowledge of local requirements had been brought to a high state of efficiency. This work was carried on by the Society with funds derived from members' subscriptions and donations, together with a surplus balance of successful Agricultural Shows held on the Lawn and Lands around Leinster House.
In addition, Grants were made by the Treasury of from £5,000 to £10,000 annually to be expended in like manner.
For many years prior to 1877 the Government had been urged to increase these Grants to enable the Society to extend the usefulness of the institutions named. This, however, the Government declined to do, unless on the condition that the whole expenditure should be administered by a Department directly responsible to Parliament.
The terms under which the Society would consent to this change were agreed upon, and the Dublin Science and Art Museum Act of August, 1877, ensued. This Act transferred the lands and buildings of the Royal Dublin Society to the Government. It also transferred the collections of the Society with certain exceptions.
Both transfers were made for the purpose of the Act which purposes are by the Act declared to be:—To promote the study of Science, Art, and Literature in Ireland; to erect a Science and Art Museum; to establish a National Library; and to maintain the Royal Dublin Society in the exercise of its functions.
The Society had expended £48,600 on the real part of the property to be transferred irrespective of the Collections, and in 1877 it was estimated that its value at the time of the passing of the Act had increased to £75,000.
Of the £48,600, £47,700 had been expended by the Society out of its own funds on the purchase of Leinster House (£20,000), and the necessary additions and alterations from 1815 to 1877.
The consideration given to the Society in 1877 for the land and collections named was a sum of £10,000, and, in the words of the Act of Parliament: “Such other considerations as may be agreed upon or would accrue to the Society.”
What these “other considerations” were to be had already been settled in various interviews which took place between the then Chief Secretary for Ireland, the Secretary of the Treasury, and representatives of the Society.
Briefly the principal ones were:—
(a) Occupancy of Leinster House free of Rent, Rates and Taxes, and that a free and liberal consideration shall be accorded to the wants of the Society in this direction.
(b) The Society to be allowed to continue to hold its Agricultural Shows, etc., on the Lawn and Lands around the House.
In order to effect the Agreement come to the Society's Representatives met in conference, Lord Sandon, representing the Educational Department, the Right Hon. W.H. Smith, M.P., the Treasury, and Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, Bart., the Irish Government. The Society's delegates submitted that £75,000 was the estimated value of the Society's property proposed to be surrendered and claimed for the Society full compensation therefor; after which the Government submitted an outline of its proposal, which, with some modifications, was that subsequently agreed to, the grounds put forward by the Government being that all that was proposed was for the advancement and public advantage of Ireland, which should be encouraged by the Society  and repeated assurances were throughout given by the Government representatives to the Society's delegates that the agreement which should be come to with the Society would, at all times, be construed and carried out in the most generous and liberal way towards the Society, that Government had no other desire or intention; upon the faith of which and in order that Ireland should not lose the great benefits so promised to be conferred on it by the proposed Act, the proposals were acceded to by the Society's delegates. Throughout these negotiations the Society was not represented by either a Parliamentary Agent, Counsel or Solicitor, which demonstrates the Society's desire to carry out in the spirit of what was best for Ireland rather than demanding its legal rights.
Consequent on the transference of a portion of the Society's work and staff to the Government, the Society consented to receive temporarily an inconvenient amount of accommodation in Leinster House pending the erection of new buildings for the Science and Art Department contemplated by the Act. Relief was partly given in this direction on the completion of the Museum, etc., and further accommodation was promised when the erection of Government Administrative buildings in the vicinity were completed. An additional room was granted to the Society by the Department in 1921.
The Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1877, when the Act dealing with this subject was before Parliament was informed by the Council of the Society in response to his enquiry that “the accommodation which the Society will require in Leinster House depends on the functions which it shall in future perform. It is accordingly impossible to state the exact amount of accommodation which would suffice; but the Council are of opinion that it would be advisable to reserve for the use of the Society the whole of Leinster House.”
The spirit undoubtedly prevailing and since acted up to was to treat the Society with a liberality which its work and traditions deserved, especially as it had been freed from the control of a Government Department and as a voluntary  institution unaided by State subsidies should be given that opportunity of carrying on its valuable work with greater energy, and that increased facilities for that work would be required by the time the Library and Museum Buildings, then in course of construction, were completed.
In 1880 it was found advisable by the Government to recommend the discontinuance of the holding of the Society's Shows around the House as provided for in (b). The Government offered an alternative site in Phoenix Park, together with a grant of £20,000.
Ultimately it was agreed in consideration of the payment to the Society by the Government of £25,000 the Society should discontinue holding the Shows in Kildare Street, and with the grant the Society purchased a portion of the present Ballsbridge site and removed certain Halls from the vicinity of the House and re-erected same at Ballsbridge. One Hall was purchased from the Society by the Government for £1,000 and continues to be an annexe to the present Museum (Textile Exhibit).
In 1897 the present Lecture Theatre and Laboratories were erected and furnished at a cost of approximately £15,000, towards which the Government contributed £5,000. This building replaced a previous Lecture Theatre which had become totally inadequate for the growing demands of Members and the Public interested in the Society's Scientific and Educational work.
At the time the Act of 1877 was passed the future of the Society was uncertain. Many anticipated that the loss of Government support would cause the Society to dwindle into insignificance, but the Council, recognising to the full the great asset it still retained in its headquarters, Leinster House, and the privileges accorded of occupying it free of Rent, Rates and Taxes, a very vital financial consideration, worked with an enthusiasm to provide an institution which would be recognised as worthy of support in the educational life of Ireland. The reconstruction of its governing body providing for three sections, each with its recognised duties and responsibilities, has  resulted in the Society becoming even stronger. Its work to-day is unequalled by any other similar body and referred to throughout the world as a striking illustration of the country's practicability by the voluntary active service of the members of the Society's Council and Committees which is the means of producing such excellent results in the many spheres of its activities.
This has been possible by Leinster House being the “hub” within and around which the Society has enhanced its reputation and Members have flocked to its support.
When the late General Michael Collins, after inspecting the House among several others, expressed a desire to hold the first Provisional Government Assembly in the Lecture Theatre his wish was most readily complied with by the Society as a National necessity. General Collins generously acknowledged the offer and expressed the hope to the Society's Director that the great inconvenience caused to the Society would not exceed eight months. Nearly two years have now elapsed, and the present decentralisation is seriously affecting and jeopardising the work of the Society, apart from it incurring additional expenses (at present approximately £500) by the renting of Theatres, etc., and increased temporary staff rendered necessary in continuing the Society's usual operations.
The Society's work and functions are now scattered between most unsatisfactory rooms in Molesworth Street (provided by the Office of Works), Leinster House, Royal College of Surgeons, Theatre Royal and Ballsbridge.
Upwards of 650 old Members (representing an income of £1,400 a year) have resigned on account of the restricted privileges now available in  Leinster House, and this wastage must continue unless the serious problem, from the Society's standpoint, is quickly solved.
The Council therefore ask that the Theatre and various rooms occupied by the Government be returned to the Society by not later than the end of the present year.
It is the considered opinion of the Council that if the present occupaney of Leinster House continues, the Society must necessarily become disintegrated. Members will not consent to the indefinite curtailment of their privileges, and the separate administration of the several branches of the Society's work must inevitably destroy the bond which has hitherto held the Society together and enabled it to do what it has done.
The Council crave that the Government will grant the Society the earliest relief from its present unfortunate position. It is not a mere private advantage for the Members of the Society which they now ask but those reasonable facilities on purely public grounds, and with the desire to promote the welfare of Ireland which has been the one actuating impulse of the Society during the nearly two centuries of its existence.
Dated the 6th March, 1924.
DENIS B. PACK-BERESFORD,
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: I beg to second the adoption of the Report.
Mr. GOOD Mr. GOOD
Mr. GOOD: Will we have an opportunity of discussing this Report at a later period?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE Michael Hayes
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The motion for its adoption has been made. A discussion can take place now, or if the Dáil desires, consideration of the Report may be adjourned.
Mr. GOOD Mr. GOOD
Mr. GOOD: The report has only just reached us, and in view of the seriousness of the situation I think it would be desirable that a little time would be allowed for consideration of the matter. I would favour the postponement of the matter in order to permit Deputies to give their views upon it at a later date when they would have had time to consider it.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE Michael Hayes
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Deputy  Hughes has moved its adoption, but perhaps he might be agreeable to naming a day upon which the Report could be considered, so as to give Deputies an opportunity of expressing their views upon the matter?
Mr. HUGHES Mr. HUGHES
Mr. HUGHES: I am quite agreeable to follow that course.
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: It would, I think, be advisable to postpone the consideration of the Report. The matter has been hanging for a long while. As the question of accommodation for the Oireachtas is one of urgency, I urge the postponement would be to a definite date.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE Michael Hayes
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: I would not think of postponing the matter without fixing a definite date.
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: Perhaps Friday next would be convenient?
Professor THRIFT Professor THRIFT
Professor THRIFT: This day week would be more suitable, as we ought to have a little time to consider the Report and analyse it.
Ordered: “That the Report be considered on Wednesday, March 26th.”
TEMPORARY ACCOMMODATION OF THE OIREACHTAS.
REPORT OF JOINT COMMITTEE.