Dáil Éireann - Volume 50 - 23 February, 1934

Public Business. - Wearing of Uniform (Restriction) Bill, 1934—First Stage.

Minister for Justice (Mr. Ruttledge): I move for leave to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to restrict the wearing or carrying of uniform, badges, banners, and other such articles and the use of military titles, to make certain provision with a view to preventing breaches of the peace at public processions and public meetings and to provide for divers matters connected with the matters aforesaid.

Mr. Cosgrave: We are opposing this measure. Is the Minister making a statement on it?

An Ceann Comhairle: The usual procedure is that a Deputy opposing gives briefly reasons for his opposition, and that some Deputy advocating the measure makes a brief statement, if he so desires.

Mr. Cosgrave: I understood that the procedure was that when objection was taken the mover of the motion made a short statement in connection with it. If that be not correct, I propose to give my reasons for opposing it.

Mr. MacDermot: I think that on the last occasion on which a Bill was opposed on First Reading, the mover, who was the President himself, made a short statement first, and then there was a short statement opposing.

An Ceann Comhairle: Under Standing Order 82 the Minister may, if he thinks fit, make a statement.

Professor O'Sullivan: Is the Minister making a statement?

Mr. Ruttledge: Under the Standing Orders I think it is not necessary that I should make a statement.

[2118] Mr. A. Byrne: I think Ministers and Deputies should speak up. We cannot hear what is being said over here.

Mr. Flinn: We could not hear Deputy Cosgrave.

Mr. McGilligan: You are not restricting speech in the Dáil, are you?

The President: I think the Standing Order clearly lays down what is to be done on a First Reading.

Professor O'Sullivan: The point is that the Minister made a statement and nobody heard it. At least we presume he made a statement, because we heard mumblings, but we could not hear a word of what he was saying.

Mr. Killilea: Deputy Cosgrave muttered something that none of us heard.

Mr. Cosgrave: I will tell the Deputy all about it.

Mr. McGilligan: It will be repeated if you like.

Mr. Cosgrave: I presume that if I make a short statement about this measure it will be in order, and that the vote will then be taken, or alternatively, if the Minister makes a statement I will be in order in making a short reply?

An Ceann Comhairle: If the Minister does not desire to make a statement a Deputy opposing the measure may make a brief statement, and the question will be then put without further discussion.

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): Read the Standing Order and get the procedure definitely stated.

An Ceann Comhairle: Standing Order 82 provides that: “If the motion for the First Reading of a Bill be opposed the Ceann Comhairle, after permitting an explanatory statement from the Deputy who moves, and a statement from a Deputy who opposes the motion, may, if he thinks fit, put the question thereon.”

Mr. Dillon: Is there any precedent in this House for such insolence to the Chair: to require the Chair's ruling to [2119] be supported by the reading by the Ceann Comhairle of the Standing Order? I protest most emphatically against such insolence.

Mr. Lemass: Might I point out that it has not been stated by any Deputy on the opposite side—at least no one on this side has heard it—that the Bill is being opposed?

Professor O'Sullivan: What was asked was, what was the procedure. The Ceann Comhairle, having consulted in our presence the Standing Orders, distinctly stated what was the procedure. The Minister for Industry and Commerce is quite obviously within his right there, as apparently he did not believe your interpretation of the Standing Order.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Minister was quite within his rights in asking for the Standing Order, but the Ceann Comhairle need not have quoted it.

Mr. McGilligan: Might I put it that it is time to advert to a peculiarly blatant piece of insolence founded in ignorance?

Mr. Lemass: Can we be informed now if the Bill is being opposed? We heard certain mutterings on the opposite side.

Mr. MacEntee: This is a Bill to prevent breaches of the peace.

Mr. Cosgrave: The Minister's hearing must be defective. The Minister for Justice is not so indisposed. He stood up and said that he was not prepared to make a statement. Therefore he heard what was said: that the Bill was going to be opposed. I take it we are going to get no explanatory statement from the Minister on the First Reading of this Bill.

Mr. Jordan: May I compliment Deputy Cosgrave because he said he heard what the Minister said?

An Ceann Comhairle: Deputies may not compliment each other at all on this Bill.

Deputies: Hear, hear!

Mr. Ruttledge: I thought that the proposals which are to be embodied in [2120] this Bill would be quite clean from the long title, and I am surprised that any Deputy should see fit to oppose this Bill getting to a stage where the proposals, as set out, could be made clear to the House. We are all aware that there have been, for many months past, grave breaches of the peace throughout the country. Hardly a day passes in this House that the Ministry is not approached by Deputies opposite with regard to those breaches of the peace. We assert that those breaches of the peace are associated, and closely associated, with what we call militarisation in politics. To end those evils we are introducing this Bill. The objects of this Bill are to preserve the peace and to maintain order in the country; to assist, as far as this Bill can assist us, in attaining those objects.

Mr. MacDermot: Will it affect the I.R.A.?

Mr. Cosgrave: It is to be observed, first of all, that the Minister was extremely reluctant to make this explanatory introduction. Eventually, however, he thought it well to overcome his reluctance, and, having heard what the Standing Orders were, Deputies opposite know that I was within my rights in raising the point that I raised. The Minister states that this Bill is being introduced with a view to preserving order. The long title discloses a perfectly innocent description of what the measure is, but the newspaper placards this morning give an entirely different complexion to the measure. The Parliamentary Secretary to the President, last night, in informing the Whip of this Party about a new Bill to be introduced, said that it was a Bill dealing with the Blue Shirts. There is no mention of the Blue Shirts in the long title of the Bill, but the organ of the Ministry has a placard this morning which reads “Ban on Blue Shirts” and the Irish Times has “Blue Shirts to be Banned.” So that, while the Minister has not committed himself to a single observation regarding the regulations as to the shirts we are to wear or the blouses the women are to year in the future the Parliamentary Secretary to the President was much more candid with [2121] the House in regard to them. The Minister says that it is for the purpose of preserving order. Within the last fortnight we have listened to and read very weighty pronouncements from the Hicrarchy on that subject. We have also read of a perfectly orderly procession of Blue Shirts being attacked in the streets of one of the important cities in this country, and that they did not break their ranks or commit any overt act, and that they did nothing to disturb the peace. The Minister says that that is to be banned altogether, but the blackguards and ruffians of the country can attack and interfere with individuals who choose to wear a particular type of shirt, which is inoffensive, and which is in perfect, traditional, national accord with our history and in close association with the most revered and venerated memory of our patron Saint —St. Patrick's blue—and that is objected to—(Interruption). And that is a matter for joking among Deputies opposite. There is no gainsaying, however, what I have already stated that public attention has been directed towards breaches of public order and that the Hierarchy have stated that people have the right to express their political opinions. That is, a perfectly lawful political organisation and it has a right which may not be in any way [2122] interfered with by the Ministry or even by this Oireachtas because it is a God-given right to the dignity of liberty which has been a right of the people of this country for at least 12 years. Therefore, I oppose this measure. I oppose it, in the first place, because it is a negation of what the Minister has stated; in the second place, because it is against what we have heard in the last fortnight from the Hierarchy; and, in the third place, because it is an attempt to interfere with the liberty of this country.

The Ceann Comhairle rose.

Mr. Byrne: I should like to know from the Minister whether, under this Bill, he is taking power to collect the guns and the explosives and the materials for making guns and explosives which are in the hands of the enemies of the people.

An Ceann Comhairle: When the Ceann Comhairle rises Deputies should resume their seats.

Mr. Byrne: Yes, sir, but I want to know from the Minister when they are going to deal with the enemies of the people.

Question put.

The Dáil divided. Tá, 65; Níl, 40.

Aiken, Frank.

Bartley, Gerald.

Beegan, Patrick.

Boland, Gerald.

Bourke, Daniel.

Brady, Brian.

Brady, Seán.

Breen, Daniel.

Browne, William Frazer.

Carty, Frank.

Cleary, Mícheál.

Concannon, Helena.

Cooney, Eamonn.

Corish, Richard.

Corkery, Daniel.

Corry, Martin John.

Crowley, Fred. Hugh.

Crowley, Timothy.

Daly, Denis.

Derrig, Thomas.

De Valera, Eamon.

Doherty, Hugh.

Dowdall, Thomas P.

Flinn, Hugo V.

Flynn, John.

[2123]O'Grady, Seán.

O'Kelly, Seán Thomas.

O'Reilly, Matthew.

Pearse, Margaret Mary.

Rice, Edward.

Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.

Ryan, James.

Ryan, Martin.

Flynn, Stephen.

Gibbons, Seán.

Goulding, John.

Hales, Thomas.

Harris, Thomas.

Hayes, Seán.

Hogan, Patrick (Clare).

Jordan, Stephen.

Keely, Séamus P.

Kehoe, Patrick.

Kelly, Thomas.

Keyes, Michael.

Killilea, Mark.

Kilroy, Michael.

Kissane, Eamonn.

Lemass, Seán F.

Little, Patrick John.

MacEntee, Seán.

Maguire, Ben.

Maguire, Conor Alexander.

Moane, Edward.

Moore, Séamus.

Moylan, Seán.

Norton, William.

O'Doherty, Joseph.

[2124]Ryan, Robert.

Sheridan, Michael.

Smith, Patrick.

Traynor, Oscar.

Victory, James.

Walsh, Richard.

Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Níl

Anthony, Richard.

Beckett, James Walter.

Belton, Patrick.

Bennett, George Cecil.

Brennan, Michael.

Broderick, William Joseph.

Brodrick, Seán.

Byrne, Alfred.

Cosgrave, William T.

Curran, Richard.

Daly, Patrick.

Davis, Michael.

Desmond, William.

Dillon, James M.

Dockrell, Henry Morgan.

Dolan, James Nicholas.

Doyle, Feadar S.

Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.

Fitzgerald, Desmond.

Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.

Haslett, Alexander.

Keating, John.

MacDermot, Frank.

McFadden, Michael Og.

McGilligan, Patrick.

McGovern, Patrick.

McMenamin, Daniel.

Minch, Sydney B.

Morrisroe, James.

Mulcahy, Richard.

Nally, Martin.

O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.

O'Leary, Daniel.

O'Mahony, The.

O Neill, Eamonn.

O'Sullivan, Gearoid.

O'Sullivan, John Marcus.

Redmond, Bridget Mary.

Rice, Vincent.

Rogers, Patrick James.

Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Traynor; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.

Question declared carried.

Mr. Anthony: Might I ask the Minister, now that the Labour Party have seen fit to vote for this Bill, whether the effect of it will be to prevent trade unionists from wearing trade union badges?

An Ceann Comhairle: That question does not arise.

Mr. Anthony: Seeing that the Labour Party has voted for the introduction of this measure, I do not want to have them placed in a false position before the public.

Mr. Corish: You do not want to do anything else.

An Ceann Comhairle: When is it proposed to take the Second Reading of the Bill?

Mr. Ruttledge: Wednesday next.

General Mulcahy: I oppose the taking of the Second Reading on Wednesday next. There is a very long history behind the Minister's Bill. The Minister himself, within a few weeks of his coming into office, went to Ballina and appealed to the people of Mayo and outside to “get the accursed crowd out of the Government's way.” The Minister described Deputy Cosgrave, his late Executive Council and the Party that had supported him in office for ten years——

Mr. Lemass: On a point of order, I submit that the Deputy is not speaking to the motion.

Professor O'Sullivan: Is this a question of relevancy?

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy is ostensibly assigning reasons why the Second Reading should not be taken on Wednesday. The Deputy's line of argument would be equally relevant to a proposal to fix the Second Reading for this day month.

General Mulcahy: Certainly.

An Ceann Comhairle: The question is whether the Bill should be taken on Wednesday next or not.

General Mulcahy: The proposal is to take the Second Reading on Wednesday next, and it is absurd that the Minister who is introducing this measure should make that proposal. We were misled this morning as to what is in the measure. We have not seen the measure, we have not been told when we can see it and we are [2125] expected to discuss it on Wednesday. It is a measure for the purpose of getting “the accursed crowd out of the Government's way.” The actions and the speeches of the members of the Government and the measures introduced by the Executive Council from the date they got into office, from the date two or three weeks afterwards, when the Minister, who is introducing this measure, asked to have the accursed crowd got out of the Government's way—

Mr. Lemass: I submit that the Deputy's remarks have nothing to do with the motion before the House.

General Mulcahy: The question requires to be brought into its proper perspective if the House is to understand what the object of the measure is. I oppose the taking of the Second Reading on Wednesday next.

Interruption.

Dr. O'Higgins: Why not speak out and stop mumbling?

Mr. Dillon: I wish to join with Deputy Mulcahy in opposing the taking of the Second Reading of this Bill on Wednesday next. On the Order Paper this morning notice appeared that the Government intended to introduce “a Bill entitled an Act to restrict the wearing or carrying of uniform, badges, banners and other such articles, and the use of military titles, to make certain provision with a view to preventing breaches of the peace at public processions and public meetings, and to provide for divers matters connected with the matters aforesaid.” The purpose of that long title was to create the impression in the public mind that the purpose of this Bill——

Mr. Lemass: I submit that this speech is out of order. It is not relevant to the motion before the House.

Mr. Dillon: ——that the purpose of the Bill was to promote public order. But when members of this House took up the official organ of the Government they discovered that the Bill is announced——

[2126] Mr. Lemass: On a point of order, the motion before the House is that the Second Reading of the Bill be taken next Wednesday. I submit that the Deputy's speech has no relevance to the motion.

Mr. McGilligan: Funking again.

An Ceann Comhairle: The question is——

Interruptions.

An Ceann Comhairle: If Deputies persist in interrupting, the question will be put without further discussion. The question before the House is that the Second Reading of the Bill be ordered for Wednesday next. It has been objected that the Deputy's remarks are not relevant. The Deputy has not concluded even one sentence, a long sentence indeed, but the Chair could not yet decide on relevancy.

Mr. Dillon: The purpose of that long title was to create an impression in the public mind that the purpose of the Bill was to preserve public peace, but when we take up the Government official organ, which is controlled by the President, we find in heavy leaded type that the true title of the Bill, the confidential title of the Bill, is “A Ban on Blue Shirts.” That is the real name of this Bill. I say this, that it is a prostitution of the powers of this House to introduce a Bill with a false title.

An Ceann Comhairle: That is an argument on the merits of the Bill, not on the motion.

Mr. Dillon: With every respect, to introduce a Bill with a false title, and to endeavour to force the Second Reading before an opportunity is given of explaining to the people that this title is drafted for no other purpose than to prostitute the powers of the House and to deceive the public mind that the Bill is truly described——

Mr. Lemass: I now submit that the Deputy has finished several sentences.

Professor O'Sullivan: And I submit that he is quite relevant to the motion.

Mr. Dillon: That Bill is truly described on the face of the paper that is described as Fianna Fáil “Truth in the News”——

[2127] Mr. MacEntee: On a point of order——

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy is in order.

Mr. Dillon: I am not surprised that Ministers are reluctant to hear a true description of the most contemptible attempt that has ever been made in this House to destroy the institutions of this House. “A Ban on the Blue Shirts”—that is the Bill before us this morning. That is the Bill which the President is introducing, the man who described himself as the apostle of peace and reconciliation——

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy is now debating the merits of the measure. This has nothing to do with the motion.

Mr. Dillon: Except this, that it is vital that more than three days be given to members of the House to bring home to the people and the Parliament a realisation of the perfidy and the deceit of the Minister who introduced the Bill. He was afraid to get up this morning and give us the reasons. He was afraid to attempt an explanation, because he knew that his own paper had revealed his purpose——

Mr. MacEntee: Is this relevant to the motion?

Mr. Dillon: It is relevant. He knew his own paper had revealed the secret whisperings in his own Party.

Mr. Ruttledge: What about the Irish Times? Did you read it?

Mr. O'Leary: That is your paper, too.

Mr. Dillon: That is “Truth in the News,” according to the Fianna Fáil organ. That is the true purpose of the Fianna Fáil Party in introducing this Bill.

Mr. Ruttledge: Read the Irish Times.

A Deputy: The Irish Times does not make all armies illegal.

Mr. Dillon: “A Ban on the Blue Shirts.” I protest most emphatically against the attempt to push the Bill [2128] through the House. Full time should be given to consider it. Full time should be given to the country to consider it, and I venture to say this, that when the country has had time to consider this Bill in all its implications, it will join with us in saying that the Government had no mandate to introduce this Bill, and the only power in this matter that could give validity to an act of that kind is a general election.

A Deputy: You would not like that.

Mr. Dillon: I want to say on this occasion——

Mr. O'Leary: Go to the country.

Mr. Dillon: ——that I challenge the Government to go to the country on that Bill.

An Ceann Comhairle: That has nothing to do with the question.

Mr. Dillon: Very well.

Mr. Lemass: I think the Deputy has finished——

Mr. Dillon: I have not finished. I have been repeatedly interrupted by Ministers on the Front Bench. I repeat my objection to the procedure that is attempted by the Government to-day. I repeat that the time is entirely inadequate,, and I repeat that the only reasonable tribunal to decide——

An Ceann Comhairle: The question of the tribunal to decide that does not arise.

Mr. Dillon: I protest against this Bill being read on Wednesday, for it gives neither the official Opposition in the House nor the people of the country a fair opportunity of truly assessing the purpose of the Government in introducing it.

Mr. Lemass: If the Government, in introducing this measure, adopted the precedent laid down by its predecessors, the Bill would have been introduced and passed through all its stages in the same day. Our predecessors passed an Act affecting the public peace without allowing any debate. We are treating the House with much greater courtesy than ever they did.

[2129] Mr. O'Leary: The Blue Shirts did not murder anybody.

Mr. Cosgrave: May I ask two questions—one, if the Bill is printed, and, two, when it is proposed to circulate it?

An Ceann Comhairle: Can the Minister say when the Bill will be circulated?

Mr. Ruttledge: The Bill will be circulated to-morrow morning.

Dr. O'Higgins: I rise to oppose the taking of the Second Reading of the Bill on Wednesday. I really oppose that on the ground that conditions in this country are too serious at the present moment—and it is due to the reckless incompetence of the President and his colleagues that conditions are too serious—to have the time of Parliament taken up with a vindictive attempt to bludgeon or to put out of existence opposing political organisations and political elements. This is a purely political Bill, a Bill to bring under the lash of the law people who had enough courage to stand against the President. It is just a Spanish vendetta against his opponents.

An Ceann Comhairle: The merits of the Bill cannot be discussed. The Deputy cannot come to the point.

Mr. Lemass: If the Deputy makes remarks like that again, either inside or outside the rules of order, we will stop him. I will stop him.

Dr. O'Higgins: The people who will incite him to——

Mr. Lemass: If the Deputy makes remarks of that kind again I will stop him.

Mr. MacEntee: The man who murdered Kahn is going around in a blue shirt.

[2130] An Ceann Comhairle: The question is——

Mr. McGilligan: I want to speak on the motion.

Deputies: Chair, Chair.

Mr. McGilligan: I want to know is the discussion being ruled out of order? There has been no motion to put the question. Is the discussion being ruled out of order?

An Ceann Comhairle: It lies absolutely with the Chair to say what discussion should be allowed in this case; it is not a subject for general debate.

Mr. McGilligan: Is the discussion being ruled out of order by the Chair?

An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair is putting the main question.

Mr. McGilligan: The Chair is, in fact, ruling the discussion out of order?

An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair is quite entitled, as the sole judge of order, to put the question. I am putting the motion.

Mr. McGilligan: So that murders and the mechanics of murder cannot be discussed. That is what they are afraid of.

Mr. MacEntee: As an authority.

Mr. Flinn: An expert.

Mr. McGilligan: Blue Funk No. 1 Bill.

Mr. Fitzgerald: May I ask——

An Ceann Comhairle: I cannot allow any further questions.

Question put: “That the Second Reading of the Wearing of Uniform (Restriction) Bill, 1934, be ordered for Wednesday next.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 63; Níl, 46.

Aiken, Frank.

Bartley, Gerald.

Beegan, Patrick.

Boland, Gerald.

Bourke, Daniel.

Brady, Brian.

Brady, Seán.

Breen, Daniel.

Browne, William Frazer.

Carty, Frank.

[2131]De Valera, Eamon.

Doherty, Hugh.

Donnelly, Eamon.

Dowdall, Thomas P.

Flinn, Hugo V.

Flynn, John.

Flynn, Stephen.

Gibbons, Seán.

Goulding, John.

Hales, Thomas.

Harris, Thomas.

Hayes, Seán.

Hogan, Patrick (Clare).

Jordan, Stephen.

Keely, Séamus P.

Kehoe, Patrick.

Keyes, Michael.

Killilea, Mark.

Kilroy, Michael.

Kissane, Eamonn.

Lemass, Seán F.

Little, Patrick John.

Cleary, Mícheál.

Concannon, Helena.

Cooney, Eamonn.

Corish, Richard.

Corkery, Daniel.

Corry, Martin John.

Crowley, Fred. Hugh.

Crowley, Timothy.

Daly, Denis.

Derrig, Thomas.

[2132]Maguire, Ben.

Maguire, Conor Alexander.

Moane, Edward.

Moore, Séamus.

Moylan, Seán.

Norton, William.

O'Briain, Donnchadh.

O'Doherty, Joseph.

O'Grady, Seán.

O'Reilly, Matthew.

Pearse, Margaret Mary.

Rice, Edward.

Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.

Ryan, Martin.

Ryan, Robert.

Sheridan, Michael.

Smith, Patrick.

Traynor, Oscar.

Victory, James.

Walsh, Richard.

Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Níl

Anthony, Richard.

Beckett, James Walter.

Belton, Patrick.

Bennett, George Cecil.

Bourke, Séamus.

Brennan, Michael.

Broderick, William Joseph.

Brodrick, Seán.

Byrne, Alfred.

Cosgrave, William T.

Curran, Richard.

Daly, Patrick.

Davis, Michael.

Davitt, Robert Emmet.

Desmond, William.

Dillon, James M.

Dockrell, Henry Morgan.

Dolan, James Nicholas.

Doyle, Peadar S.

Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.

Fitzgerald, Desmond.

Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.

Good, John.

Keating, John.

MacDermot, Frank.

McFadden, Michael Og.

McGilligan, Patrick.

McGovern, Patrick.

McMenamin, Daniel.

Minch, Sydney B.

Morrisroe, James.

Mulcahy, Richard.

Nally, Martin.

O'Connor, Batt.

O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.

O'Leary, Daniel.

O'Mahony, The.

O'Neill, Eamonn.

O'Reilly, John Joseph.

O'Sullivan, Gearoid.

O'Sullivan, John Marcus.

Redmond, Bridget Mary.

Rice, Vincent.

Rogers, Patrick James.

Thrift, William Edward.

Wall, Nicholas.

Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Traynor; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.

Question declared carried.

Second Stage fixed for Wednesday, 28th February.

Mr. Cosgrave: I wish, with great respect, to bring before the Chair an observation which was uttered by the Minister for Industry and Commerce during the course of the discussion fixing the date of the Second Reading of this measure. The observation was “If the Deputy makes that statement again I will stop him.”

Mr. MacDermot: Inside or outside the House.

Mr. Lemass: Inside or outside the rules of order, was what I said.

Professor O'Sullivan: Inside or outside the House.

Mr. Dillon: Yes, inside or outside the House.

Mr. McGilligan: The Minister can never stick to a statement—an amazing man.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Minister's word as to what he said must be accepted.

[2133] Mr. O'Leary: He should not try to go back on what he said.

Mr. Cosgrave: That is not quite what I am concerned with. I am concerned with the dignity of this House.

Mr. Lemass: So am I.

Mr. Cosgrave: I was concerned with the fact that the custodian of the rights of members of this House occupies that Chair; that that is the authority in this House—not the Government, not Parties, not combinations of Parties, but the occupant of the Chair for the time being. He alone can measure any restriction upon statements that are made in this House. No other person has got the right to take on himself any authority in regard to interference with, stoppage or other restriction of statements made. There is no means of keeping order in this Dáil except by that means. In the heat of discussion, when words are being bandied and so on, it may so happen that people will lose their tempers. It is inadvisable; it is certainly wrong for Ministers, and, perhaps, on reflection the Minister for Industry and Commerce will reconsider what he said. There are other places for making statements if one wishes to make them, but not here, not in any way in disrespect of the Chair, and I submit that above all persons in this House Ministers ought to bow before the Chair. It is upon them to give example in that respect, and I mention that, sir, for the purpose of emphasising that point here in this House.

Mr. Lemass: In the course of the discussion on the motion, Deputy O'Higgins made a remark which, in my opinion, was a disgrace to himself, a disgrace to his Party, and a disgrace to this House. There are some remarks that can only be answered by a slap in the teeth——

Professor O'Sullivan: It was more than a slap in the teeth.

Mr. Lemass: ——and the remark made by Deputy O'Higgins was of that nature. I think that Deputy Cosgrave, who pretends now to be concerned with the dignity of this House, should set the example by trying to control the [2134] utterances of members of his own Party.

Mr. McGilligan: There is a Chairman to do that.

Mr. Lemass: It is a disgrace to that Party that any member of it should have made such a remark as Deputy O'Higgins made.

An Ceann Comhairle: I allowed the Leader of the Opposition to speak on the matter, and the incident is now closed.

Mr. McGilligan: He is a tough little guy, that fellow.

Professor O'Sullivan: He is going to give them slaps in the teeth—or shoot them, which?