Dáil Éireann - Volume 16 - 11 June, 1926

COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 1—GOVERNOR-GENERAL'S ESTABLISHMENT.

Mr. BLYTHE: I move:

Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar £4,367 chun slánuithe na suime is gá chun íochta an Mhuirir a thiocfidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na blíana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1927, chun Tuarastail agus Costaisí Teaghlachas an tSeanascail fén Acht um Thuarastal agus Theaghlachas an tSeanascail, 1923.

That a sum not exceeding £4,367 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1927, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Governor-General's Salary and Establishment Act, 1923.

Deputies will see that there is a very slight change in this Vote. The matter has been discussed in previous years, and I think last year, in order that the expenditure might be restricted as much as was reasonably possible, I said we held the view that future Governor-Generals should have their residence in what was the Chief Secretary's Lodge rather than the Viceregal Lodge, which is a very big house and which is costly to maintain. The actual costs of running it and keeping it clean and in a proper condition are considerably in excess of what they would be for a smaller house. That matter has been considered further during the year, and I can say very definitely that that is [959] the policy of the Government, and I assume that it will be carried out by whatever Government is in existence when a change takes place. But we do not feel that we could or should make a change at present.

The present Governor-General was not anxious to live in the Viceregal Lodge. We urged him, and I might almost say obliged him to take up his residence there, and we feel that it would not be right or fitting that he should be evicted now and put into another house. We do not feel prepared to take any such step. But we do feel that in the future the Governor-General should take up his residence in what has been the Chief Secretary's Lodge, and if that is done, certain savings can be effected. Some public use can possibily be made of the Viceregal Lodge, and there will be a saving on this particular head.

I do not think that Deputies should consider that there would be all the savings that some people indicate. I have never been anxious to take the line that we should, as it were, attack the office of the Governor-General by refusing a reasonable amount for the establishment. I think that there would be no national economic gain by it. We would offend susceptibilities that would not benefit us to offend. Again, I think we can take it that we have definitely established a new thing in the British Commonwealth of Nations; we have got one of our own citizens, one of our own people, as Governor-General. I regard that as a very definite step forward which we should not recede from. I think it may be taken as being established that the Governor-General in future will always be one of our own people, one of our own citizens, and it might well be the case that it would be bad economy to do anything that would lower the status of the Governor-General's office. I certainly do not take the view that the Governor-General is in any way the representative of a foreign power. He represents one of the elements of the Oireachtas. He stands here as a representative of the Crown, but the Governor-General cannot be appointed without the assent of the Government [960] of Saorstát Eireann. The Governor-General will, in future, as I say, so far as Saorstát Eireann is concerned, be one of the citizens of the State, and the office may serve a very practical utility in the future.

I am as much against lavish displays or lavish entertainment as Deputy Johnson is. I think that we do not want people to adopt a line that was supposed to be characteristic of Ireland a century or so ago. I would be very much against that. On the other hand, I think that a dignified establishment is necessary. It will serve, perhaps, without any lavishness, to keep some of our citizens from turning their eyes elsewhere, and the holder of the office, if he is, as he will be, outside the political arena, may, if there is great stress in the future, provide a centre where people who are very much in conflict might come together. In any case, I think it is a narrow and a short-sighted view to take of the matter to attempt unduly to reduce the dignity of the office. We all, perhaps, have not been able to think as much about the political evolution of the State as we would like, but I certainly would like to put forward the view that the people who simply think that the Governor-General is somebody with whom we have no concern and who might be made the mark of all shafts of attack, are not looking at the thing with a great deal of vision.

Mr. JOHNSON: My motion is to reduce the Vote by £3,000. I do not propose to enter into a discussion of the Constitutional position of the Governor-General, but it is necessary to advert to the connection between the cost of the establishment and the salary which is provided for by the Constitution. If we are to vote the sum of £6,667 for the establishment, in addition to the other accommodation, and the salary of £10,000, totalling £26,700, the idea that the Minister has in a manner suggested is in his mind, of the creation of some sort of society circling round the Governor-General in future, makes me place more importance upon the amendment even than I had originally placed upon it.

I think it is not a good tendency to encourage this social circle round an [961] officer of State on the basis of these figures, and on the assumption that these figures are going to set a standard. I ask whether, if we had an entirely free hand, we would fix £10,000 salary for the Governor-General? Everything that has happened, the salaries of the Ministers and the civil servants, all show that it would not have been the choice to have paid £10,000 salary, plus establishment expenses, on this level. We have been obliged to fix this sum of £10,000 by virtue of our Constitution and Treaty. But we are not bound to provide an establishment at this rate, in addition. We are bound to make suitable provision for residence and establishment.

I maintain that this is excessive and that it is not a suitable provision for this country. It is not a suitable provision for the position which the Governor-General has hitherto occupied, and, I hope, will continue to occupy—not one around which, as far as the public can see, society circles, but a position occupied by one who is presumably taking his part in the business of the State. In those circumstances I think that the addition of £6,000 to the £10,000 is excessive, and that the burden of keeping the establishment should be shared by the Governor-General out of his salary, if we are to provide for the kind of establishment which requires this heavy expenditure.

The Minister has shown that it is the policy of the Government to change the residence so that the establishment expenses would not be so high. But he hinted that the savings would not be so great, or at least not so great as some people imagine. I do not know, but I hope that such a change as may be made will be of a kind which will allow a considerable saving out of the £6,600 for the establishment; and unless the change from the Viceregal Lodge to the Chief Secretary's Lodge will allow considerable savings, he should look round for another place which would allow considerable savings. So long as we are bound to pay the £10,000 salary to the Governor-General, we ought not be bound to pay anything like this £6,000 for establishment expenses in addition to office accommodation. I think that the Committee [962] should show by its voice, by the only method it has of expressing its views, that this sum is too great and that if changes can be made which would allow a saving this year, then these changes should be made and put into effect. The change over from the Viceregal to the Chief Secretary's Lodge should be put into effect and a good part of this £3,000 which I ask should be saved could be saved.

Mr. MORRISSEY: I desire to support Deputy Johnson's amendment. I think that the amount for this establishment is altogether too great. The sum of £26,706 is large, and I do not see any reason whatever why the amount should be so great. At any time when the amount which was to be allowed to the workers was under discussion here we heard from the Ministers that the reason the wages were fixed at such a low level was because the country was too poor to afford any more. I say that the country is too poor to afford this salary to the Governor-General and the upkeep of his establishment.

If we are compelled to pay the Governor-General £10,000 a year by way of salary, we are not compelled to pay him £3,000 for expenses, together with £300 for travelling expenses, and, roughly, £10,000 for the upkeep of the establishment. I think it is out of all proportion to the capacity of the people of this country to pay, and especially so at a time like the present, when most people in the country are finding it very hard to make ends meet and when many thousands are finding it very hard to get enough to eat. In these circumstances this is an extravagant sum to ask, and I put it to the Committee that it is a sum which it ought not to grant.

The whole establishment seems to be run upon a very extravagant scale. There is here just one small item—telegrams and telephones. There is, I am glad to see, a substantial reduction in this, but I submit that £535 this year is certainly a very extravagant amount, particularly when we turn over the page and when we see the amount for telegrams and telephones for both Houses of the Oireachtas is only £390. This is one of the items of the Governor-General's [963] establishment that I confess I have never been able to understand. They must be continually using telephones and telegrams without going to the trouble of writing letters. We find £1,400 for water, fuel and light, and for the last three or four years we had, roughly, £1,000 a year for the supply of furniture to the Governor-General's establishment. It seems to me that this establishment is run upon a scale of extravagance which the people of this country cannot afford to bear. I think that the amendment put down by Deputy Johnson is a reasonable one, and I will vote for it.

Mr. JOHN CONLAN: In supporting this amendment I desire to speak with all the respect due to the Governor-General both on account of the high office he holds and also because of the valuable services he rendered to the farmers of Ireland in the past. Having said that, it may not be an impertinence upon my part to draw the attention of the Committee and indirectly of the Governor-General to the example given by a personage who held the office of Governor in the dim past in the country of Judea. This personage, Nihimins, wrote as follows:

“And there was prepared for me day by day one ox and six choice rams besides fowls and once in ten days I gave store of choice wines and many other things. Yet I did not require my yearly allowance as Governor for the people were very much impoverished.”

Further on he wrote:—

“For twelve years I did not eat the yearly allowance that was due to the Governors.”

Our Governor-General, being a well-read gentleman, will have no trouble in verifying that quotation, and I would say to him, in the words of the well-known character in Dickens, Captain Jack Bunsby, “when found make a note on't.” A profane writer asserted that “they did not know everything down in Judea,” but at all events they seemed to have known when the people were badly off.

Professor MAGENNIS: The attack on the expenditure under this Vote is [964] what might be called “a popular stunt.” It is a very large amount especially if the salary of £10,000 be added in. It is not unnatural that exclamations of surprise should be provoked in view of the efforts of all the economisers to reduce the national expenditure so as to find money for the profitable investment of it in services that are essential to the development of the country. After all, I think the philosophic attitude towards the matter is that there is very little use in kicking against the pricks. We made the bargain. We took the Treaty and one of the terms of the Treaty is that we pay this salary. We cannot very well have it both ways. I, therefore, do not join with those who attack the expenditure, regarding it as a lump sum, with all the items standing on precisely the same level.

As Deputy Johnson has reminded us, even the upkeep of an establishment for the Governor-General is one of the terms of the Treaty. Therefore the provision of an establishment is part of the price for such a measure of liberty as we have secured through the Treaty. It is a contract. We do not like it; not even the Ministers like it. They know very well that if those who framed the Treaty settlement had their own way, that would not have been one of its terms. It is a serious infliction, undoubtedly. It makes a serious inroad into the national fund.

As regards the type of establishment to be provided, and the amount of the annual cost of it, to that we are not committed. There is no determinate figure. True, it must be suitable, and I am not hostile to those who talk about upholding the national dignity; but I do think that the President of the Executive Council should be a much more important figure. I will leave personalities out of the question; I will not follow Deputy Conlan in introducing the personality of the holder of an office. But, speaking of the two offices, it should be part of our policy—of every nationalist policy—to heighten by every means the status and the dignity of the head of the Executive Council.

Deputy Johnson and all of us who have discussed this matter before are agreed that it is not advisable, and certainly [965] in the first years of the establishment of the Free State it was far from politic, to encourage the introduction into the conduct of that office of the practices that had been associated with the Viceregal office heretofore. Therefore, my accusation in this matter is confined particularly to one thing, and it has no reference whatever to the holder of the Governor-Generalship. That one thing is the selection by the Government of a habitation or an official residence for the Governor-General, which, on their own showing, was very costly. It required that the Viceregal Lodge should be re-conditioned. Students of the annual estimates will have noticed that there was a considerable sum necessitated for installing electric lighting.

It is a very costly building to keep up. Privately, I have represented that the Chief Secretary's Lodge was a much better and a less costly residence. I was told, and I believed that it was an admirable reason at the time, that it was a house much more difficult to defend. In point of position, in that particular period of danger, it would have been extremely difficult to protect in a military way, especially the rear of the Chief Secretary's Lodge. Therefore, I feel more or less—I want to be quite frank about this—that the case against the Executive Council for selecting a costly house is not one that altogether holds good, inasmuch as the defence might be made of needs must when the devil drives. I do not know that that is exactly the defence; I heard nothing to that effect from the Ministers to-day. But needs must when the devil drives would, in a way, mitigate —well, it is not criminality, but I will use that word for the moment.

Surely, once peace was restored, when the “Cease Fire” order had been given and there was apparently no great risk, steps might have been taken to effect this transfer? I sympathise with the attitude of the Minister for Finance in holding that it would subject the Governor-General to a certain amount of inconvenience; but then what I really feel—I hope I do no injustice in suggesting this—is that in the back of his mind was the idea that since the acceptance of that house had been forced upon its present occupier, [966] it would be rather awkward for the Executive Council now to force him out of it.

After all, the personal convenience of one individual and the saving of the faces of other individuals, while very desirable from the Christian charity point of view, is nothing in comparison with the saving of thousands of pounds. Above all, it is little in comparison with impressing on the public a firm belief in the genuine desire of the Government to reduce expenditure wherever possible. I do not know, because it has not interested me to inquire, what is the practice in the Commonwealth, in the Dominions and the other elements of the Commonwealth into which the Treaty has given the Free State entrance and in which it has secured position. I assume that in those other countries a great deal of these more intimate expenses are made out of the income of the occupier.

No doubt what the Minister for Finance has said is very sound—that the Free State is the first that has had the privilege, for privilege it is, of selecting one of its own citizens to occupy this position. It may be that the set-off to that is that we could not have a man of wealth and means. But it occurs to me that the reply to that is that for such a man a salary of £10,000 a year ought to be so ample as to enable him to defray his household expenses just as any other citizen does and must—does, indeed, because he must. While, therefore, I assent to the claim that the salary and the provision of a household are things from which we cannot exempt our people in regard to expense, provision in respect of the household can be brought under the pruning knife of the economiser, and, while I do not wish to make capital out of trifles, I do say that £9,360 odd —something like £10,000 in round figures—which appears in connection with this Vote, is rather heavy.

The President, I remember, pointed out, in mitigation of the cost of housing the Governor-General first in the Viceregal Lodge, that the Governor-General himself was able to provide the furnishing of it. I must take it, therefore, that reference to furniture, to which my friend on the left has referred, does not mean furniture in the [967] ordinary sense, but must mean something in the nature of equipment and repair of equipment in the house and installations. I do not know; I can merely guess. I join with Deputy Johnson is claiming that, as a mark of the sincerity of the Government in their desire to prune down unnecessary expenditure, they should give the public a guarantee that this is a service which might be very well docked.

Mr. GOREY: On this Vote last year I drew particular attention to the amount of money spent on telegrams and telephones. The amount last year was £850. This year it is £535, or a decrease of £315. Still I think the amount is excessive. I cannot understand the continuous trunk calls, day after day and hour after hour, which would justify a charge of this description. The Minister, when speaking on the question of residence, said it was their policy that a less expensive house should be provided, and that they had decided, as a policy, that the Chief Secretary's Lodge should be used in future instead of the Viceregal Lodge. He also said that they would not and could not change the present occupant out of the present residence. The impression that conveyed to me, and probably to most other people, was that the present occupant of the Viceregal Lodge was consulted and that he objected or rather considered that it would not be a proper thing to remove. If the Minister wishes to convey that the Governor-General was consulted and objected, it is all right. If such a thing did not take place it would be well, I think, to correct it, but that was the impression conveyed to me and some other Deputies.

We are bound, of course, in this matter by certain provisions in the Constitution. I do not know what was in the minds of those who signed the Treaty, whether additional money to the sum that had already been agreed upon should be allowed, or whether the salary attached to the official office should cover every expense. Deputy Magennis has said that every other private establishment in the country [968] must provide for its own maintenance out of income. This office seems to me to involve a considerable charge. It has been said an example ought to be given to the country by the Executive Council showing that they wish to economise from the top and to share in the common lot. There is no need at this hour of the day to urge the necessity of economy. It is a national necessity. I think it would be showing the right attitude and the correct one if the suggestions made about this Vote were adopted.

Mr. GOOD: There is one aspect of the debate that I would like to say a word on. The Minister has pointed out that in the desire for economy in the future the occupant of this position should live, not in the Viceregal Lodge, but in what was formerly known as the Chief Secretary's Lodge. Visitors to other countries are much impressed by the Government buildings and the official residences provided for the occupants of an office such as that held here by the Governor-General. In that respect we should try to create a good impression. I would be exceedingly sorry if any effort were directed towards economy in this direction. In my opinion it would be exceedingly false economy.

It was pointed out on the Estimates that there are certain Departments which it is necessary to maintain for the upholding of the dignity of the State. This is one of the buildings that would come within that category, and while it might seem a saving of a few thousand pounds a year to move the Governor-General from the building that he now occupies to the Chief Secretary's Lodge, I think that would have a very serious effect on the minds of visitors to this country. In the end it would not be helpful to this State. There are expenses which are essential in connection with the unkeep of the dignity of the State, and this is one of them. If the office is to be maintained I say it ought to be maintained with proper dignity. We are anxious to attract visitors to the country. When they come they will, naturally, call on the occupant of this office, and I think we should like to see him maintain [969] that position with the dignity associated with similar positions in other countries.

Mr. MORRISSEY: Feed the visitors and let your own people starve.

Mr. GOOD: It has been said from time to time that this is a drag on the country. I am not at all of that opinion. If this office is to be maintained, as was the intention when the Treaty was signed, then it should be maintained in such a way as to create a favourable impression on visitors from other countries. Visitors attracted here spend considerable sums of money in this country and give a considerable amount of employment here. We have had a good deal of talk on this point as to whether the attraction of visitors is desirable. Notwithstanding what Deputies on the Labour benches may think, the view of those who have studied this problem is that it is a wise policy to attract visitors to this country. I would like to see, in addition to the other tourists who come here, people who occupy high positions in other countries visiting this State. They should be properly entertained on their visits and should be encouraged to spend money here. I think that is the wise policy. While I will use every effort that one can to exert economies in other directions, I do not think it would be wise to have economy in this direction.

Major COOPER: I agree with Deputy Good's main argument, but I would like to point out to him that the Chief Secretary's Lodge is a very handsome and beautiful residence, and that it would be no unworthy residence for the Governor-General. I am doubtful, however, about the Minister's proposal from another point of view. It is possible that you might find some person who would lease the Chief Secretary's Lodge as a private residence, but I do not think you will find any private individual who would lease the Viceregal Lodge, based as it is on the assumption that there would be a large staff and a large number of visitors. You might find it hard to get a wealthy person to relieve you of the burden of its upkeep. If you instal the Governor-General in the Chief Secretary's [970] Lodge you will then have the Viceregal Lodge on your hands. I do not think it has been suggested by anyone that it should be allowed to fall into ruin. The burden of its upkeep will not come on this Vote but on the Board of Works Vote, and you will still have that charge, but there might be the possibility of making a profitable bargain for the State in regard to the Chief Secretary's Lodge.

Mr. BLYTHE: I appreciate the point made by Deputy Cooper. I think there would be some difficulty in leasing the Viceregal Lodge. With regard to some of the suggestions that have been put forward, whatever purpose it was used for it would be an expensive building. Certain economies have been effected in the matter of telephones and telegrams, and I believe that the decrease will be greater next year. Some part of the economies effected did not come into operation until the beginning of this financial year, and this Estimate represents an expenditure at a higher rate than will be incurred during the latter part of the present year. There are private wires to Government Buildings, 'phones at gate lodges and various things that make the telephone there somewhat expensive. I do not think that Deputy Conlan fully appreciates the conclusion that would follow from his remarks, which would be that only rich men could ever have this office of Governor-General.

If we got the position where in practice we were confined to rich men, then I do not think we could be at all sure of having the office filled in future by citizens of this State. The Deputy should remember that the salary of £10,000 a year is not £10,000 to the Governor-General. Income tax and super-tax amount to a very considerable reduction of that sum.

AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE took the Chair.

Mr. BLYTHE: Then the Governor-General has to attend all sorts of charitable and public functions, and his attendance at these functions is necessarily followed, I suppose, in almost all cases by subscriptions, great or small. If you cut down the provision for the establishment unduly a poor man in that office would [971] find his position extremely difficult, if not impossible.

There are other charges. Deputies have spoken as if the only charges falling upon the occupant of the office were charges in relation to maintaining the house and entertaining a certain number of visitors of a certain standing to the country—entertaining foreigners who come here and whom the Government would like entertained. There are also other inevitable expenses that the Governor-General cannot avoid. I believe that a cheaper house would lead to an appreciable reduction in the cost of the office, but I do not think that the expenses under this Vote could be so very much reduced. The reduction would occur in the expenses that fall under the Vote for public buildings.

Some reduction could be made here so that possibly the number of staff required and the minor charges in connection with the house would be distinctly less. When we asked the Governor-General to go to the Viceregal Lodge we had thought not merely of military defensibility but of what was politic, and I say again, apart from the consideration of the person holding office and the charges that fall upon him, I do not think it would be of any benefit for the Government to give way to a certain tendency that is in the country to be little the office by excessive reduction. Some of the objects—I do not say it in reference to Deputy Johnson's amendment—of the calls outside for a reduction of the expenses of the Governor-General's establishment are actuated mainly, if not wholly, by a desire to hurt susceptibilties.

We have got complete control of our affairs by the Treaty. We undertook in the Treaty to pay the Governor-General a salary equivalent to the salary paid to the Governor-General in Australia, and we undertook to maintain a suitable establishment, having regard to the duties that fall on the Governor-General. I do not think that we are doing more than that. In so far as we are incurring an undue cost it is really simply that we have the Governor-General installed in an expensive house, and I believe that in these national bargains you must keep faith in the spirit of the agreement as well as [972] in the letter. I believe that we are doing no more than that. As regards the Governor-General's own preference in the matter, his desire always has been to go back to his own house. The Government induced him to live in an official residence, as I think a Governor-General ought to, and they feel that they should not ask more of him or ask him to shift about from place to place.

Mr. JOHNSON: The question really resolves itself into what is suitable. As we have admitted, we are bound by a fixed salary of £10,000 and to provide for a suitable establishment, but in my view the determination of what is suitable should be with the Ministry here, and the Dáil in regard to the provision of funds, and its suitability to this country in every respect, political and social. I think, therefore, that discretion should be exercised by the way of reducing this sum very considerably. I do not think the Irish delegates signed the Treaty on the understanding that the establishment should be of a kind which would suit a salary of £10,000 a year. I think that suitability should be interpreted as meaning suitable for the conditions of this country. I will confess that my feeling in this matter is prompted by the belief, which I had confirmed by Deputy Good to-day, that if we continue the retention of this establishment on this scale, and with a salary on the scale that is fixed, the social ideas embodied in Deputy Good's statement would become prevalent. That is to say, we may economise in everything that affects expenditure—on old age pensions, feeding of school children, and even, perhaps, technical education —though I believe Deputy Good never thinks of that, for he believes technical education is of value and should be increased—anyhow, the suggestion is that there should be economy in every matter affecting the civil and social life of the common people, but that we should not think of economy when we are dealing with the possibilities of foreign potentates or aristocrats from other countries coming to join the social round with would-be aristocrats in this country.

That is a tendency which I want to prevent developing, and it is because I [973] think that there is a danger of Deputy Good's idea being carried through that I am prompted to move in the direction I have done this year as in previous years. I do not want to create that social division or, shall I say, to emphasise the social, the caste distinctions which might well develop and become very much more clearly marked in the future if Deputy Good's ideas were carried through, and have the maintenance of an establishment of this kind on the assumption that there is going to be a society. We are going to prevent, if we can, the creation of this class distinction of social grades, which we sometimes realise have created certain cultures and advantages of a kind, but, unfortunately, all based on the degradation of those below. If you raise the common people, then you may find the possibilities of the cultural development which the creation of those social grades has hitherto allowed. But I really fear the ideas which Deputy Good gave eloquent expression to coming to practical working out in the Governor-General's establishment, and therefore I intend to test the House on this amendment.

Mr. HEWAT: Deputy Johnson's amendment is to reduce the Vote by a sum of £3,000, and on that he is building a big structure that is not warranted by the sum of £3,000. Deputy Johnson, I think, would be logical in his arguments if he said there is no occasion for the Governor-General's establishment at all, and that the expenditure on the establishment and its upkeep was not justified. Of course Deputy Johnson attaches to his amendment the usual arguments. But I say the problem which he puts before the House is one which the country itself will have to decide in its own interests, and I think the country would say that at the present time we are at too early a stage in education, politically and socially, to be able to form a just appreciation of the importance or otherwise that people are going to attach to what is known as the social side of things. The Governor-General is, of course, a figure-head, and represents all classes in the country. I do not think the Governor-General's establishment is inclined to lower the [974] status, but rather to raise the people of the country.

As a figure-head I think he must be required to express the feelings of dignity that the country may have or develop and, in that direction as I say, the country, as a whole, will have to decide these matters. In the meantime I join with Deputy Good in deprecating that the position should become one whereby the status of the Governor-General would inferentially be lowered until such time as the question has been fully developed and considered by the country. Undoubtedly the transfer of the Governor-General from the Viceregal Lodge to the Under-Secretary's or Chief Secretary's Lodge would save in running expenses, but would it save materially anything to the country under the argument as put forward by Deputy Bryan Cooper? I think not. I think the saving in small details would be more than absorbed by the loss of having the Viceregal Lodge untenanted and going into disrepair. I think infinitely more the step will be in the direction of the country deciding that the institution that has been set up to accommodate the Governor-General is one which is unnecessary. In looking to the possible growth of importance, in industry, culture and wealth that the country is asked to look forward to, I think it is a mistake to lower the whole ideas that were prevalent when the Governor-General was asked to undertake office and reside in the Viceregal Lodge.

Professor MAGENNIS: Deputy Hewat does not, I fear, appreciate the fact that Deputy Johnson's amendment refers to the allowances towards the expenses of the Governor-General. If Deputy Hewat will look at page 2 in the book of Estimates he will see under sub-head B: “Allowance to Governor-General for expenses, provision for the maintenance of the official residence and establishment of the Governor-General—£3,000.” If Deputy Hewat will turn back to page 1 he will find a reference to Estimate 11 where £9,360 are provided under the heading of official residence, furniture and the rest. Deputy Hewat is replying to a case that he did not hear made. Naturally he finds himself in difficulties notwithstanding [975] his unmeasured abilities. He has given a different account of the position in the State and the functions of the Governor-General from those which were more correctly given by the Minister for Finance.

I wonder where Deputy Hewat discovered that the Governor-General is a figure-head to represent all classes in the State. In Canada, which is one of the co-equal members of the Commonwealth, the King, as head of the Commonwealth, is referred to officially as King in Canada, and there is a Governor-General there to represent the King, and as the Minister for Finance said to-day, the Governor-General here represents the Crown that is referred in the Articles of the Constitution in respect to the constitution of the executive authority. Consequently this pleasing fiction with which Deputy Hewat indulges himself has no foundation. He is thinking of the Viceregal days and wants the junketings and the aldermanic feastings restored, and he and the other of the twin brethren, Deputy Good, believe all those expenses will attract hordes of tourists to our shores. Does he mean, I wonder, that these things will be advertised, a spectacle like Barnum's great show or somebody's circus, and that the railways of other countries will run cheap excursions to behold those glories?

Mr. HEWAT: Is not Deputy Magennis making a farce of what I said?

Professor MAGENNIS: I am referring, in regard to tourists, to Deputy Good's speech. I am sorry if I did not make that sufficiently clear to Deputy Hewat. Our policy, as nationalists, is to uphold the citizens' side in the Constitution. It is idle to pretend we are ignoring the culture and the civilisation of the people as something to be developed and, as developed, to be prized. That is one of the figments of the organ that represents officially the Party to which the two Deputies belong. Readers of it this morning will understand my allusion. The moneys voted here are not to develop Irish civilisation. Consequently no defence can be entered of them on that ground. It is merely [976] under the Treaty to carry out our Treaty obligations which provide, in addition to the salary, an appropriate residence for the Governor-General, and really the only practical question in that connection is the question totally ignored by the two Deputies, namely, how much expenditure will suffice to provide an appropriate house with the further sub-question of whether it would not be advisable, in view of the special stress economically which every member of the community is feeling, that the Governor-General should defray out of his £10,000 official salary some of these domestic expenses provided for here out of a State grant. That was really the question, but Deputy Johnson's proposal is to put it as I have put it in other connections, to cut our coat according to our cloth. We are not trying to lower as some or other of the two Deputies—I always, unfortunately, without meaning any disrespect to them, find a difficulty——

Mr. HEWAT: It does not matter. He may join the two together if he likes.

Professor MAGENNIS: Very good, I will put it this way then. The chief representative of the business party has stated or alleged that it is lowering the status. How can a desire to conserve the finances of the country be described fairly as an attempt to lower somebody's status? I did say I seek to elevate the status rather of the position of President of the Executive Council. I am not making any secret of it at all that the political angle from which I view this is wholly different from the political angle from which the business party view it. Viewing it from the national standpoint, I deprecate anything that would lower the status and dignity of the high office of President of the Council, but I do not see why we should do anything more than we are obliged to do by way of fulfilment of a contract in regard to Treaty obligations. It is the business of the Executive Council, as soon as may be, to reduce this annual expenditure by a transfer of the household to a less expensive location.

Dr. HENNESSY: Deputy Magennis criticised this Vote in rather caustic terms. This is the first time that I have ever heard him criticise it, and I should [977] think that he was under the same obligation in previous years when this Vote came up to criticise it. I think it is only fair to the Governor-General, who is part of the Constitution—the Constitution we all accepted—that it should be said that the expenses of his position are very considerable. He is the only person—perhaps through our generosity—who can entertain learned societies when they visit this country. There are many learned societies that would visit Dublin, but we find when it comes to adopting the usual entertainments of other countries we have not them provided here, partly because we have not very many wealthy citizens. We have to fall back on the Governor-General to entertain these people when they visit our shores. I would be for leaving the full amount of money as it is, because I think it is desirable, in the interests of this country, from a national point of view, that we should have an official social entertainer. An official social entertainer is necessary in this country, as we have no very rich people now resident amongst us. If we do away with the office of the Governor-General and if we cut down our President's salary we will be in the position that when anybody comes to visit our shores we cannot extend the hospitality that is extended by other countries.

Professor MAGENNIS: May I say that Deputy Hennessy is under a complete misapprehension in supposing that this is the first time that I have had the audacity to criticise what he recommends. In the Provisional Parliament I objected to the title “Governor-General,” to begin with. I objected altogether to paying more than the Treaty obligation required. I have to-day, as then, and as on a subsequent occasion, stated the case as fairly as I could. We cannot have it [978] both ways—to have the position that the Treaty gives us and also to go without paying the price. Since we must pay the price we have to endure it. Deputy Hennessy probably did not hear me making that statement. I am confining myself exclusively to the lopping off of charges upon the public purse so far as is consonant with our Treaty obligations. There is nothing at all, I claim, inconsistent, either in my attitude, or in any utterance I have made to-day, with what I have said or how I have said it, from the very beginning.

Dr. HENNESSY: If I have done Deputy Magennis an injustice I would be very glad to withdraw what I have said, but I must say that since this Government was permanently established I have neither read nor heard the Deputy criticising this Vote.

Professor MAGENNIS: I can give the Deputy references to the official reports if he is at all interested in them, but I dare say it would be useless to give them, because he would have more sense than to consult them further.

Dr. HENNESSY: If it is a question of sense, I will leave the monopoly of that to Deputy Magennis.

Mr. MICHAEL DOYLE: I wish to say a few words in support of this amendment. I consider this outlay extravagant, in comparison with the country's capacity to pay. I hold it is in the province of every man earning his salary in this country to maintain his own household and the upkeep of his establishment. We commenced a couple of years ago at the bottom of the tree to economise by reducing the old age pensions. Let us now do something at the top of the tree.

Amendment put.

The Committee divided: Tá, 19; Níl, 34.

Pádraig Baxter.

David Hall.

Connor Hogan.

Séamus Mac Cosgair.

Tomás Mac Eoin.

Risteárd Mac Fheorais.

Risteárd Mac Liam.

Liam Mag Aonghusa.

Tomás de Nógla.

Criostóir O Broin.

Aodh O Cúlacháin.

Liam O Daimhín.

Tadhg O Donnabháin.

Eamon O Dubhghaill.

Mícheál O Dubhghaill.

Seán O Duinnín.

Domhnall O Muirgheasa.

Tadhg O Murchadha.

Pádraig O hOgáin (Luimneach).

Níl

[979]Earnán de Blaghd.

Séamus Breathnach.

Próinsias Bulfin.

Michael Egan.

Patrick J. Egan.

Desmond Fitzgerald.

John Good.

Thomas Hennessy.

John Hennigan.

William Hewat.

Liam Mac Cosgair.

Seán Mac Curtain.

Patrick McGilligan.

Seoirse Mac Niocaill.

Liam Mac Sioghaird.

Pádraig Mag Ualghairg.

Martin M. Nally.

[980]Michael K. Noonan.

Peadar O hAodha.

Ailfrid O Broin.

Seán O Bruadair.

Parthalán O Conchubhair.

Máirtín O Conalláin.

Séamus O Dóláin.

Peadar O Dubhghaill.

Pádraig O Dubhthaigh.

Eamon O Dúgáin.

Fionán O Loingsigh.

Risteárd O Maolchatha.

Seán O Raghallaigh.

Máirtín O Rodaigh.

Seán O Súilleabháin.

Caoimhghín O hUigín.

Liam Thrift.

Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Corish and Morrissey. Níl: Deputies Dolan and Sears.

Amendment declared lost.

Mr. JOHNSON: On sub-head A, I would like to extract a little information. Apart from the controller of the household, who, I presume, is in general command of the household arrangements and whose salary is £600 inclusive—possibly he is living upon the household—and apart from the chaplain, £250, and the medical attendant, £100, there are a private secretary, £350; an assistant private secretary, £350; a clerical assistant, £215; a clerk and a typist. I assume that the clerical staff mentioned there is occupied in the official work of the Governor-General, but there are, in addition, two A.D.C.'s receiving £350 and £300 respectively in addition to their substantive pay, borne on the Army Vote. I think it was explained that the duties of the A.D.C.'s were to travel with the Governor-General when required, but what other duties are involved I do not know. I would like to have some information as to what the duties are other than accompanying the Governor-General on his travels, and what the salary is including that which is borne on the Army Vote. Perhaps the Minister could give us that information.

Mr. BLYTHE: I could not say at the moment what the rates of pay are. I think the officers who were there last year have been exchanged for others and I do not know the ranks of the present officers. One, I think, is a colonel, but I am not sure about the other. I have no information at the moment as to what are the ranks of the two officers who are at the present time acting as A.D.C.'s.

Mr. JOHNSON: May we take it that the ranks would not be lower than that of colonel?

Mr. BLYTHE: One, I think, is a colonel; the other would have a lower rank.

Mr. JOHNSON: That raises another question. The rank of colonel carries with it a salary which is deemed to be sufficient for that rank, but if we appoint an officer of the rank of colonel to act as A.D.C. and allow an additional £350 to him, it makes the position of the colonel who happens to be the choice for this office one of very great value. I cannot see the justification for drawing pay for these Army officers from the Army Vote and paying an additional £350 and £300 inclusive. On would think that the duties of A.D.C. to the Governor-General would be such as would require officers of experience, indicated by a higher rank than that of colonel, and that the salary of that office in the Army with, perhaps, some small additional allowance to meet what might be losses of another kind, would be sufficient, but I do not see the justification for taking a colonel and an officer of a rank less than colonel out of the Army, appointing them to the office of A.D.C. to the Governor-General and allowing them £350 and £300 respectively as additional pay. Can it be said that the duties are more important than those of a colonel or higher officer [981] in the Army; an officer who would be receiving in the Army a colonel's pay plus £350? I think it very unlikely, and it must be borne in mind that a sum of £350 is allowed as a travelling and subsistence allowance for the officers of the household, so that the travelling expenses are not to be borne out of the £350 salary. It seems to me that the cost of A.D.C.'s is entirely excessive for the duties required. We cannot say what the exact cost is because the Minister is not able to tell us what rank they hold in the Army and therefore what their pay is in the Army, but as additional allowances I make the protest that these sums of £350 and £300 respectively are too great.

Mr. BLYTHE: It is not because the duties are more important, but because they are more costly, that the allowances are made. Certain allowances were fixed when the A.D.C.'s were first appointed. Those were fixed after some examination of the possible [982] charges, but since then the matter has been reviewed and the view is still taken that the duties these officers have, and the contacts they make, do involve them in personal expenditure, and that expenditure is not of a type that could be vouched and reclaimed. It would not be the type of expenditure that would be repaid on presentation of vouchers, and it does reach a fairly substantial figure. It is one of those matters that perhaps we could not permanently fix for some time yet. We might not be able to say that this is the figure which for all time, without question, would be the exact figure required, but so far as it has been investigated up to the present, it is felt that some such figure as this is a reasonable figure and does not place the officer who is in the position of A.D.C. to the Governor-General in any substantially better position than an officer of the same rank who is serving in the Army.

Main question put.

The Committee divided: Tá, 33; Níl, 14.

Earnán Altún.

Earnán de Blaghd.

Séamus Breathnach.

Próinsias Bulfin.

Bryan R. Cooper.

James Dwyer.

Michael Egan.

Desmond Fitzgerald.

Thomas Hennessy.

John Hennigan.

William Hewat.

Liam Mac Cosgair.

Seán MacCurtain.

Patrick McGilligan.

Seoirse Mac Niocaill.

Liam Mac Sioghaird.

Martin M. Nally.

Michael K. Noonan.

Peadar O hAodha.

Seán O Bruadair.

Parthalán O Conchubhair.

Máirtín O Conalláin.

Séamus O Dóláin.

Peadar O Dubhghaill.

Pádraig O Dubhthaigh.

Eamon O Dúgáin.

Fionán O Loingsigh.

Risteárd O Maolchatha.

Seán O Raghallaigh.

Máirtín O Rodaigh.

Seán O Súilleabháin.

Mícheál O Tighearnaigh.

Liam Thrift.

Níl

John Conlan.

David Hall.

Séamus Mac Cosgair.

Tomás Mac Eoin.

Risteárd Mac Fheorais.

Tomás de Nógla.

William Norton.

Aodh O Cúlacháin.

Liam O Daimhíin.

Eamon O Dubhghaill.

Mícheál O Dubhghaill.

Seán O Laidhin.

Domhnall O Muirgheasa.

Tadhg O Murchadha.

Motion declared carried.

Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Dolan and Sears. Níl: Deputies Morrissey and Norton.