Dáil Éireann - Volume 292 - 01 September, 1976

National Emergency: Motion (Resumed).

The following motion was moved by the Taoiseach on 31st August, 1976:

Go mbeartaíonn Dáil Éireann leis seo le rún, de bhun fho-alt 3º d'alt 3 d'Airteagal 28 den Bhunreacht,

(a) nach ann a thuilleadh don staid phráinne náisiúnta arbh é an coinbhleacht faoi arm dá dtagraítear sna Rúin a rith Dáil Éireann agus Seanad Éireann, de bhun an Airteagail sin, ar an 2 Meán Fómhair, 1939, faoi deara é, agus

(b) go bhfuil ann, de dheasca an choinbhleachta faoi arm atá ar siúl anois i dTuaisceart Éir-eann, staid phráinne náisiúnta a dhéanann difear do bhonn beatha an Stáit.

That Dáil Éireann hereby resolves, pursuant to sub-section 3º of section 3 of Article 28 of the Constitution,

[120] (a) that the national emergency created by the armed conflict referred to in the Resolutions, pursuant to the said Article, of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann of the 2nd September, 1939, has ceased to exist, and

(b) that, arising out of the armed conflict now taking place in Northern Ireland, a national emergency exists affecting the vital interests of the State.

Debate resumed on the following amendment:

Na litreacha “(a)” agus “(b)” a scriosadh agus na focail go léir i ndiaidh “(b)” a scriosadh agus an méid seo a leanas a chur ina n-ionad:

ag féachaint don fhoréigean leanúnach i dTuaisceart Éireann agus do chor an dlí agus an oird agus na slándála sa Stát a bheith ag dul in olcas, go n-ordaíonn Dáil Éireann don Rialtas leor-phearsanra agus leor-acmhainní a sholáthar agus a úsáid chun sábháilteacht agus dea-rath gach uile shaoránach a áirithiú, agus gach beart is gá agus is iomchuí a dhéanamh chun treascairt a chomhrac agus a chloí mar aon le gníomhaíochtaí eagras neamh-dhleathach.

To delete the letters “(a)” and “(b)” and delete all the words after “(b)” and substitute therefor the following:

having regard to the continuing violence in Northern Ireland and the deteriorating law and order and security situation within the State, Dáil Éireann directs the Government to provide and to utilise in full, adequate personnel and resources to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all the citizens, and to take all necessary and appropriate steps to combat and defeat subversion and the activities of unlawful organisations.

—(Deputy J. Lynch).

Mr. Brennan: It is not giving away any secret to say that when our party [121] agreed on the wording of our amendment they did so with due regard to the seriousness of the situation, bearing in mind the fact that one day, perhaps not far distant, we could be charged with the responsibility of conducting the situation ourselves. The wording is deliberate and has been carefully prepared. We did have in mind that the Taoiseach might come up with some information which was not available to us and which might in some way justify the grave step he is taking, a step to suspend the safeguards of the Constitution, to derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights and place the Government in a position to take drastic measures out of proportion to anything which has yet happened and, please God, anything that might happen in the future. The words “necessary and appropriate” are deliberate. We do not think the situation as of now demands this step.

Those who spoke already in the House and pointed out that we have had the same emergency legislation for a number of years must remeber that when Article 28 of the Constitution was invoked there was no question about the seriousness of the situation around us; nobody had any doubts about its gravity at that time. Indeed, the fact that the Taoiseach sets aside that particular implication of Article 28.3.3º is proof that he knew his position would be rather doubtful if he did not produce a new motion to cover a completely new set of circumstances, new cause and, in some way, justify the action being taken.

We were deliberate in the preparation of the amendment having in mind that an Opposition is not always appraised of all of the facts and of the seriousness of a situation, particularly in relation to security. The Taoiseach said nothing in his opening statement, nor did his Parliamentary Secretary who followed him give us any information that would seem in any way to justify this drastic action. Quite obviously the action is not justified; it is not in keeping with the requirements of the situation. If it could be shown that this action would in any way improve the security position as it has [122] pertained over the last few years, and particularly in the last few months, then we might have some justification for it.

I do not want to repeat what others have said. The tragic events, two of which the Taoiseach referred to, would not be prevented, nor would the detection of those who perpetrated those foul deeds be made any easier by the drastic action proposed to be taken. There is ample legislation available to the Government. It has not been shown in any way that the failure of security in the past has been due to the lack of powers and that is a simple factual statement. On that basis we thought, and we are now more convinced, that this action should not have been taken at this time. It is showing us up in a poor light and it is giving the world a picture that is not in keeping with the situation. Our forces for the protection of law and order, if properly deployed and freed from any political stunting, are quite capable of dealing with any situation that is likely to arise now or in the future.

We should have second thoughts about what we are doing here. This is not a debate in which anyone should be other than sincere but as it has progressed the feeling has grown that it is merely a whitewash action, as it has been called in some press reports. That is more serious than anything inherent in the action the Taoiseach and the Government are taking. It would be very serious to give that tint to the action proposed now. We are not satisfied that the Taoiseach has given any good reason for taking an action that does not suit the situation; from the pragmatic point of view it is not suited to the situation as we see it. The overtones of this serious action are likely to be counter-productive and it is most likely to have an adverse effect on the situation, although I hope I am wrong. To my mind it somehow has the appearance of importing into this part of the country trouble that we have not had to any great extent, if we eliminate the few serious exceptional happenings.

If political motivation is attributed to this action it will nullify completely [123] any effect it might have even from a whitewashing point of view. If those who are praising it in the foreign press and those who have been quick to commend it see as a result of this debate that it is merely a whitewashing effort it will have the opposite effect to what the Government might hope it would have.

To invoke Article 28 of the Constitution is a serious step and any Government would have to be reasonably sure that the circumstances warranted that action. Even in the circumstances of 1939, in the very serious situation that existed, when this small island was setting out to protect its neutrality against the might of powerful belligerents who would have been happy to occupy this country, and when we had a subversive organisation prepared to co-operate the necessity for revoking Article 28 of the Constitution was unquestionable, even in those very serious circumstances Members of the Opposition had some very grave statements to make about the step we were taking, about what would justify encroachment on the liberty of the individual and the action that a Government could take. These arguments are as valid today as they were then.

The Taoiseach has given us his word —which I am prepared to accept— that this suspension of the safeguards of the Constitution and our derogation from the Convention on Human Rights will not be used for anything other than what we are doing now. However, there is no guarantee, and none acceptable from the Government, that some situation could not be contrived where further more drastic action could be taken once the safeguards are gone. That is the situation in which we find ourselves.

One of the most essential ingredients for successful police activity is public co-operation, indeed co-operation at all levels. If there is a national emergency, one of the first requirements should be consultation with all parties in this House in order to get complete agreement, just as it is necessary for the police and defence forces [124] to have the total co-operation of the vast majority of the people who are opposed to violence and what is taking place at present. I do not think everything is being done to bring about that co-operation.

We are all obliged to keep the law even in petty matters. I have seen many gardaí concentrated on the Border areas for the past number of years. Most of them are young people who do not know the local circumstances and have not the intimate knowledge of the village policeman. The gardaí spend most of their time in alienating public feeling by charging people for parking on double yellow lines, for not having proper tail-lights on their cars and so on. The courts are filled with petty actions in relation to motorists and for other minor offences. This is not calculated to get the co-operation of people in an area where that co-operation is most essential. It is perfectly obvious in relation to recent happenings that that co-operation is not available. It is amazing—there is no other word to describe it—that people could work for days preparing for the laying of a mine on a road on the borders of this city, could escape and not be detected. It is difficult to understand. There is a terrible lack of public co-operation somewhere here. Nothing we are doing in this emergency session will in any way improve that situation. In fact it can have the opposite effect.

This is not a debate for any stunting or point scoring. I do not believe we are doing a useful exercise here. We would be better on our holidays. Any action that is taken for the sake of scoring political points is worse than no action and I do not see the use of it. I will give an example. If I am driving into a town and there is a queue a mile long held up at a checkpoint and somebody tells me to take the side road if I want to by-pass the delay at the checkpoint, I can then drive along the side road. The fellow with the bomb coming in does the same thing. Therefore, what is the point of getting out of one's car, opening the boot and closing it again as one does coming in the gates of Leinster House? Is that not purely a [125] perfunctory security measure? It is silly nonsense, degrading and disgusting. The wife of a friend of mine was blown to pieces in Derry last year. There was a bomb attached to a car but it was not in the boot. It was attached to the chassis underneath. It did not explode at the time it was intended to explode but went off when this woman went to her lunch. I am sure bombs are not placed in boots of cars.

We would be better without any precaution rather than the perfunctory type we have. If somebody wishes to have something conveyed into this House that person knows the type of pretentious security which is operated. The same applies to a checkpoint on a main road when the by-roads are open and the checkpoint can be bypassed. The people in charge of security should go into those details and the ostentatious security should be removed. We should get down to real security.

What about the vigilante force we heard talk about some time ago? I thought that was a step in the right direction but it seems to be as dead as a dodo. Those who are responsible for the crimes and terror taking place are better aware than we are of the methods adopted. A lot needs to be done before we get down to the serious problem of declaring a national emergency.

It is disgusting to find the number of people who give support in some form to violence in the false belief that this will lead to the unification of the country. The vast majority of the people dearly yearn for unification but they do not believe in bringing it about by violence. Those people abhor the methods used at the moment by some people in the name of unification. They realise that those methods are devisive and will delay the day when unification must inevitably come.

Many people, particularly young people, are becoming frustrated and believe that there is no other way of obtaining unity than by violence. This is because political action in relation to unity is not pursued with conviction. [126] The Government appear to have abandoned any desire for unification. This is causing frustration in the minds of people. The people have lost any faith in political action. I hoped the Government would assert their determination to work towards the unification of the country but I am convinced that they have abandoned any idea of ever bringing that about. The last major speech the Taoiseach made in the House was on 30th June on the Adjournment Debate. His sole reference to Northern Ireland was when he said that it was unnecessary to go into it because he had already dealt with it in a lengthy speech in the House of Representatives in Washington. When we read the speech he made in Washington we find that he deals extensively with the problem of support coming to subversives from the United States but his only reference to the fundamental problem is when he said: “We have the aspiration of unity in our island”. Everybody does not think like the Government do. The Government are under a misapprehension if they think they can eradicate totally the aspirations of patriotism and nationalism of the Irish people. Deputy Cruise-O'Brien works assiduously towards this end but he will not succeed.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Minister for Posts and Telegraphs.

Mr. Brennan: The Government must accept the inevitable. The word “republican” is anathema to them. They seek to give the impression that it is synonymous with violence. The result of all this is that the word “republicans” is used very often in referring to subversives and paramilitaries. Fianna Fáil are the republican party in this country but we abhor violence. It has no place in our policy. That is why we object strenuously to the efforts being made to associate the word “republican” with violence and terrorism.

Mr. Tunney: Hear, hear.

Mr. Brennan: There is no connection between the two. In saying this I am merely endeavouring to expose [127] the overall impression that is being created in the public mind today whereby there is the belief that the Government are leaning over backwards in relation to what the British would desire without in any way taking cognisance of the fact that the unity which the majority of our people desire can be accomplished by political means which is the way we wish to achieve it. It is essential that unity is brought about in this way, otherwise our political institutions would fail as has happened in Northern Ireland.

In the Sunningdale Agreement there was a recognition of what were described as the legitimate aspirations of those Irish people who wished for the unification of the country while there was recognition also of the aspirations of those known as loyalists. There was much in that agreement that I did not like but it also contained much which I considered could have lead to the situation we all desire. At least it opened the way for working towards that end. It was Fianna Fáil who engaged in the original negotiations that lead eventually to the Sunningdale Agreement but in the meantime there was a change of Government so that it fell to the Coalition to conclude the negotiations. However, we must not endeavour to score petty political points on matters of this kind. What happened afterwards is relevant to my efforts to expose the frustration of the people. When we pointed to parts of the agreement that we did not like we were told that it must be accepted as a package, that we had to take all or nothing. Bit by bit the agreement failed. Eventually it crumbled completely as a result of a one day strike while our Government uttered no word of protest at the acquiesence of the British Government at that time. The result of all that was the downfall for all time of the one political institution which held some hope of replacing the type of terrorism that was being perpetrated. This was a serious setback. Even those who did not agree with every aspect of the agreement considered its disintegration a serious [128] loss. In this way there was created the frustration in the minds of those who were determined to use political institutions in pursuit of their political aspirations. It was a setback of a magnitude that the country had never before experienced in regard to the achieving of peace and unity with justice. The Government cannot rid themselves of a large part of the responsibility for that serious situation.

We have now the apparent abandonment of this Government of any desire towards that end. The British think that Fianna Fáil are fanatics and that the Government are the sensible ones. One of our Ministers is aiming at having our history rewritten. He is entitled to his view but does the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs realise the effect his words are having on those people who are determined to achieve by peaceful means the unity and freedom of our country? We have been accused of not doing enough during our years in Government in regard to the pursuance by institutional methods of the unification of our people. We are told that the people despair because of this. However, in the light of what has happened in the past three years it will be seen that we did a lot in this regard. At one stage we reached a point where there was unity of mind and heart among the people of both parts of the country. That is more than we can expect to achieve for a long time again. I remember going to Belfast after the visit of the late Seán Lemass to Captain O'Neill. I noted a very warm atmosphere, a climate of unity and harmony, with everybody endeavouring to think of ways and means by which we could get together and work for our mutual benefit. Membership of the EEC was all that was required to enhance further the unification that was already there in mind and heart. Suspicions were removed and hatred was alleviated. The only objections came from the small number of extremists on either side. I suppose we will always have some such people with us.

I condemn out of hand the strategy being used by this Government. If I am wrong, perhaps someone will correct me. They are more concerned with trying to identify Fianna Fáil with [129] the terrorism in the North than they are with taking serious action to eradicate the trouble. Until these pretences and this subterfuge are abandoned and a real effort of co-operation made in the approach to this problem, then no progress will be made. It is about time something happened about it, because it is much too serious. Those people who try to tell us that republicanism is a dirty word, that reunification should not be mentioned, should realise that the vast majority of our people do not like this approach. Some of them detest it, and many of them are driven into subversive organisations as a result of their belief that the political approach has been abandoned and that the desire and determination to pursue it are no longer there.

Sunningdale recognised our legitimate aspirations and recognised the right of the loyalists to aspire towards the type of government they wished for. Arrangements were made for an institution which could pursue matters to our mutual satisfaction, and the dénouement of this effort would have been the bringing about of the situation where all Irishmen—and Irishmen we all are—would work together in harmony in a 32-county Ireland. There would be many things to be done before we reached that stage but given whatever safeguards and guarantees might be necessary, a solution could be reached. It is almost wrong to talk about it now, and this is what is doing the harm.

I do not want to say anything that would in any way damage our security arrangements, but there are people in the most peculiar places who do not believe in the way the Government are handling the situation. There is a lot of thinking to be done. Let the Government forget about trying to wrongfoot Fianna Fáil. Let them look for their co-operation and only deal with matters when they are serious and genuine in their approach, and then there will be greater public co-operation. It is a pity this legislation comes at a time when there are already signs of peace moves taking place. These things which agitate the minds of the people never help towards [130] harmony. I cannot help scoring a little political point. There are many opportunities for it these days, but I do not think this is the best time or place to avail of them. However, I would draw attention to the preamble to the 14 points that brought this disastrous Government into being, which says:

The tragic events in the North have clouded the fact that the economy is in serious trouble.

They accused Fianna Fáil of using the Northern troubles to hide what they said was a chaotic situation. I do not want to push this too far. There was undoubtedly an element of inflation that was due to external factors and that we could do very little about, but I thought we were handling the domestic side of the economy very well. The events of the past three years prove we were doing it well. We were not preoccupied entirely with the Northern situation. We were dealing with that situation too, but when we reluctantly sought powers to take the action we had to take, the then Opposition opposed them vehemently. It was a disgusting performance. They are in the Government benches now and we are over here, but they do not seem to have learned anything when they declare a national emergency at a time when they stand accused of doing it for political reasons rather than genuinely seeking to strengthen our security. They had better not do it at all when they are not imbued with the right motives.

Everybody who speaks in this debate should realise that people's lives depend on the actions taken and must have a genuine approach to the problem. I seriously do not think we have. There would be much more respect for us if we took a firm stand, pointing out that we believe the reunification of this country is a legitimate aspiration but that we believe firmly that that objective is set back perhaps centuries by those who take action by physical force and perpetrate the terrorism that has been done in the good name of republicanism. This is fundamentally where effective action must lie. We have got to get back to that realisation at some time.

[131] I have said that when we worded our amendment we had due regard to the seriousness of the situation, considering the possibility of a situation of which we might have been unaware at the time. Our amendment provides for all contingencies that might be revealed during the course of the debate. I am more convinced now than when we were preparing the amendment that these panic measures now facing us are not merely uncalled for but that they are irrelevant. They will not improve the security situation. They are merely matters which might have the effect of placating the British.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, speaking from the pulpit in St. Patrick's Cathedral, told us how the brutal assassination of the British Ambassador had the opposite effect to what had been intended. He told us that it had the effect of producing greater harmony and a closer relationship between the two countries. That did not seem to indicate that a national emergency had been precipitated. Indeed, one would have thought we were moving towards a state of greater co-operation. In this House I think we have one thing in common, with few exceptions: we abhor violence.

Mr. Harte: Totally without exception.

Mr. Brennan: In the corridors of power one hears some peculiar views which are only used when they suit. We in Fianna Fáil want to make it clear—I regard it as necessary to do so—that there is no ambivalence in Fianna Fáil in this regard, no matter how the Deputy may try to attribute that to us. We make it clear where we stand. There is complete unanimity here.

The measure we are now discussing, to put it mildly, is not a useful exercise. We would be much better engaged at what can be done to bring an end to this holocaust which seems to be interminable. There is another Bill before us in which there might be some useful provisions to help the situation and we would be better disposed [132] if we dropped this motion and concentrated on that Bill. Perhaps sometime in the future this drastic action will be justified—not now.

Mr. Harte: I intervene briefly to put a few points before the House. Having listened to Deputy Brennan during the past 15 minutes, I am wondering whether the House is fully awake. I have never heard such an unimpressive contribution from the Deputy Leader of a national party.

Mr. Briscoe: The national party.

Mr. Harte: It reminded me of something from Hans Andersen. He meandered from being Army Chief of Staff to being the Garda Commissioner.

Notice taken that 20 Members were not present; House counted and 20 Members being present,

Mr. Harte: I am grateful to Deputy Tunney for having asked for a quorum. I should like to put it on record that at the moment there is nobody in the Fianna Fáil benches but Deputies Tunney and Brennan.

Mr. Tunney: When the Deputy rose there were four.

Mr. Harte: I will not interrupt Deputy Tunney when he is making his contribution and I hope he will give me the same courtesy. While Deputy Brennan was speaking he was looking over his shoulder the whole time. At one stage I had the feeling of hearing Deputy Colley snoring beside him.

I should like to take the House back over the record of Fianna Fáil since their infancy in 1932. I should like to refer to all the repressive legislation they enacted. They repressed the republican movement only when it seemed to be interfering with the Fianna Fáil dynasty. History will record in very stern words the record of the Fianna Fáil Party vis-à-vis the great aspiration which they say is theirs—a united Ireland.

I want to say what my honest impression of the Fianna Fáil Party is and I make no apology to Deputy [133] Brennan for pointing my finger directly at them in this regard. I recognised that when he was speaking a few minutes ago, looking continually over his shoulder, he was afraid I was going to say this. He cannot tolerate the fact that members of this party speaking frankly on what they believe the record of the Fianna Fáil Party has been will point to the naked truth which is inherent in their whole political structure. While you suppressed republicanism in the south of Ireland, history will record that you masqueraded with republicanism in in the north of Ireland; you walked shoulder to shoulder with republicanism in the north——

An Ceann Comhairle: Order. I am sorry to interrupt the Deputy but I would prefer that he direct his remarks through the Chair rather than directly to any Member of the House.

Mr. Harte: That is what I intend to do.

Mr. Colley: It would help if the Chair would correct him on the motion.

Mr. Harte: Deputy Colley, I am speaking directly to the motion. I hope he has patience to listen to what I have to say. If I have anything critical to say about the Fianna Fáil Party I exonerate Deputy Colley because I have respect for him.

Mr. Colley: Thank you very much.

An Ceann Comhairle: We should avoid personalities also.

Mr. Harte: One of the things which I as a Northerner see that has bedevilled this country is that we have failed to recognise that one quarter of this nation come under the colour Orange. When Deputy Brennan talks about the republicanism of the South and the Fianna Fáil aspirations of reunification, he has a blind spot. He has never taken into consideration that there are traditions in the North that do not identify with his aspirations to reunification. Would he define what Fianna Fáil “aspirations to reunification” mean because they have always confused me?

[134] I want to say clearly and deliberately that Fianna Fáil's record during the tender years of nationhood has been anything but in the direction of reunification. This generation of Irishmen forget—if I had not been told I would not have been aware of it—that from 1922 to 1932 the Border between the Six Counties and the Twenty-six Counties was nothing but a political boundary. The Fianna Fáil economic war made it an economic boundary and from that point forward we went in our different directions. That was the beginning of the record of the Fianna Fáil Party towards this great aspiration of reunification which they laud and make people believe is something inherent in the Fianna Fáil Party.

This is their record and as a staunch Unionist of immense standing said to me not so many days ago for the second time—it was about ten years ago that I met him for the first time— the Border between North and South was nothing but an embarrassment and an obstruction to commercial life of Nationalists and Unionists on both sides of the Border until Fianna Fáil took over in 1932, when they made it an economic border. This is the record which Deputy Brennan describes as their aspirations to what was the beginning of their policy base.

There is no doubt that Fianna Fáil walked shoulder to shoulder with subversion north of the Border because their hate of the Stormont regime was so great that they wanted to destroy it, and would flirt with people who would use violence to destroy it, not recognising that the bombs in Belfast, the incendiaries that burned Royal Avenue, the guns that shot innocent people could also go off in Dublin, Cork, Waterford and Sligo. Only then would they realise that the violence of Northern Ireland could spill over into the South. They would realise that they were responsible for suppressing subversion south of the Border only when it became a threat to the South. This type of Fianna Fáil nonsense sickens me, that parties claim that they have used suppression to put down violence. They have, but, be honest about it, they only put it down when [135] it interfered with their ball game. They never realised that the innocent people of Belfast who did not want to be killed, could be killed by the people Fianna Fáil flirted with in the years when they had responsibility to govern this country. They make me sick with their aspirations to reunification while ignoring the fact that one quarter of the nation are Orange.

Deputy Brennan spoke about his personal contribution. I have had other people examine the records. From the time Deputy Brenan became Parliamentary Secretary in 1957 until 1969 he never spoke seriously in this House on any major debate on reunification. Like many other people in his party, until 1970 he never realised that there was a minority in the North whom we thought were our people, whom we thought were looking for reunification, who were clearly saying to us: “Leave us alone. Let us try to work out by democratic means how we can reform Stormont. Let us try to reform Stormont without spilling the blood of innocent people.” Deputy Brennan and the Fianna Fáil Party were continually blinded by their belief that the reunification of Ireland meant the removal of Partition. Deputy Brennan is not really, in the true tradition, a member of a reunification party. He is purely a member of a political party which is anti-partitionist. He only wants to remove the Border so that there could be an armed conflict between the Orange and the Green. So long as the Orange and Green contain that conflict in what Deputy Brennan would describe as the Six Counties, as long as it did not interfere with the smooth running of the country, everything in the garden was rosy. These are the realities of the situation. I am not inventing them. This is the story as I see it.

I give full credit to people like Deputy J. Lynch for trying to change the direction of the Fianna Fáil Party but they did that only when it became a threat to the southern society and only when the leaders of the minority came from the North and tried to educate them that there was another [136] side to the story, and make them realise that republicanism was not synonymous with violence. To the generation I belong to, republicanism has always been synonymous with violence. Bad policies enunciated and perpetuated by the Fianna Fáil Party and by people who masquerade as being part of that party made republicanism synonymous with violence. I have not contributed in any way to doing that.

I did not intend to speak at any great length but I wanted to put on record that since the foundation of this State, during the first ten years when very little could be achieved, but in the years immediately after that when Fianna Fáil were continually in office until 1973—except for five years—their contribution to the reunification of this country can be spelled out in three letters “nil”. It is a shame that they should now try from the Opposition benches to dictate to the Government who find themselves in severe difficulties, trying to communicate with a million people north of the Border and trying to undo the terrible history which has given us nothing but a legacy of hatred, bitterness, destruction and division. Fianna Fáil's contribution towards hatred, bitterness, destruction and division has been greater than that of any other political party in this House. You cannot get away from that position. That is the tragedy of the situation.

I know there are genuine people in the Fianna Fáil Party who realise that the faults of the past have contributed to this. I laud them for their criticism of violence and hope that from now on there can be a true bi-partisanship in this House towards reunification. When I say “reunification” I am talking exclusively of the people because I do not give two twopenny damns—if they are not unparliamentary words— whether there is one parliament, two parliaments or four parliaments in Ireland, if the Irish people, the Orange and the Green, are prepared by democratic means to recognise and respect the tradition to which we all belong. Symbols are only pieces of cloth or pieces of music. What matters to me in Ireland today is the right to move in [137] the community in which I live, to have a relationship with the people I know, to have the right, to provide for my wife and children and to create conditions here so that every person here whether he is born into a loyalist background or a republican background will have the same right. It is about time that Deputy Brennan and the Fianna Fáil Party defined exactly what they mean by the aspiration of the reunification of Ireland because it has been so mistaken that it means everything to some people, but it can be an awful threat to other people. Late as it may be Deputy Brennan has recognised that one quarter of the Irish nation does not want to belong to the republican tradition that Fianna Fáil have been spelling out through their party for the last 50 years. He should recognise that it would be just as abnormal for them to give up their traditions as it would be for Fianna Fáil to give up theirs. The values which are inherent in our life, and the values which I cherish have the same meaning to me, as the values of a person who is totally opposed to them and born into a completely different tradition has to him. He has the same basic right to call himself Irish and has the same pride in saying it. That to me is the maturity of nationhhood. I hope I have not said anything offensive to anyone. I merely picked Deputy Brennan because I am replying to thoughts that Deputy Brennan fertilised in my mind when listening to him.

It is a matter of public duty for me to say also that the bi-partisanship which I spoke of from Opposition benches before the change of Government has not taken place and I acknowledge the points of the Opposition speakers when they make this valid point. The Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, the Cabinet Ministers and the two parties that make up the National Coalition must recognise that our relationship to Northern Ireland must be purely bi-partisan, because without the co-operation of the Fianna Fáil Party we cannot succeed in a rational and pragmatic way to create conditions south of the Border that would be reasonably conducive [138] to their having a meaningful relationship with us. Despite the fact that I have harped on it from Opposition benches, I am making an earnest appeal to the Government to invite the Front Bench members of the Fianna Fáil Party on to a committee that would be the nucleus of a committee of this House to formulate policy that would be truly bi-partisan. We would expect better co-operation from the Fianna Fáil Party than has been given to us.

While I disagreed with what Deputy Brennan said, I share the view that Deputy Brennan as a person is as much against violence as I am, and I hope that, as Deputy Brennan said, with a few exceptions in this House, we are all anti-violence. It is important that people who say they are against violence should have a greater commitment to peace than saying: “I am against violence.” If there is to be a commitment to peace I believe the moulds that have formulated the Fianna Fáil Party, the moulds which I criticise, the wrongs which I see in my own party, and the weaknesses I see in the Labour Party must be abandoned and new moulds must be created particularly in relation to Northern Ireland. There are far too many people being killed there and after seven years with 1,600 people dead, there is a greater demand on the Members of this House towards formulating a peace policy than to say: “I am against violence.” I hope the majority of the people in this House are also against violence. There is a serious obligation on all the Members of this House to come together to produce a policy which is communicable to the minority and the majority of the people in Northern Ireland so that what has happened in this island over the last seven or eight years will never happen again.

Mr. Colley: It is rather sad to hear a man like Deputy Harte mouthing away the old traditional Cumann na nGaedheal approach to republicanism and to Fianna Fáil. His interpretation of history is that any efforts made by any Fianna Fáil Government to combat subversion and in particular to [139] combat the IRA were made solely for the purpose of improving its own position without any regard to the national interest. He is entitled to that interpretation but one can judge its accuracy by judging Deputy Harte's interpretation of the speech Deputy Brennan made this morning.

The Official Report will show that Deputy Harte grossly misinterpreted what Deputy Brennan said and deliberately ignored a great deal of what Deputy Brennan said to make a particular point. It may also be of considerable significance that in anything I heard from Deputy Harte there was no reference or attempt to justify the motion which Deputy Harte presumably intends to vote for—a motion designed to declare a state of emergency in this country in order to give certain additional powers to the Garda. That is what this debate is supposed to be about. One might be forgiven for coming in to listen to some of the contributions and wondering what the debate was about. I want to make it perfectly clear, if necessary, that if the security of this State is in danger Fianna Fáil will be second to none in their support for any steps however unpalatable to combat and to defeat subversion. Our record in Government over the years shows that we have never hesitated to tackle—with steps that were appropriate and necessary— subversion threatening institutions of this State. I would contend that our record in Opposition is similar. This party by virtue of their experience in Government understands the problems of a Government faced with attempts at subverting the institutions of the State and they know how to tackle them. In Government, and particularly in our last term of office we were faced with an opposition from the Fine Gael and Labour Parties which engaged in filibustering and obstruction to prevent the passage of necessary anti-subversive legislation. The Offences Against the State (Amendment) Act, 1972 which we introduced was attacked in that way. It was necessary to deal with the situation. That it was necessary is proved by the fact that the Coalition have not only not repealed it but have [140] relied on it very strongly as one of their main weapons in countering subversion. The reasons for the 1972 Act were virtually a matter of public record there for all to see but the reasons for this motion are not obvious and there has been no attempt so far on the Government side to spell out those reasons. It is true that the Taoiseach gave a recital of security crimes in recent years and it is fair to say he made it clear that this motion and the consequential Emergency Powers Bill constitute, to quote himself, an unequivocable response to the explosion at Green Street courthouse and the murder of the British Ambassador. But the Taoiseach did not attempt to show how the right to detain a person for seven days—or possibly nine days but we shall deal with that on the Bill— without charge instead of two would in any way assist in the detection of those responsible for the crimes to which he referred or assist in the prevention of similar crimes in the future.

This is the nub of the matter. The onus is on the Taoiseach and the Government to demonstrate the necessity for conferring this power. I do not know if it is clear to everybody but I hope it will be clear before this debate ends that the granting of that power—the right to detain people for seven days instead of two days—is all that is being achieved by the passage of this motion and the passage of the Emergency Powers Bill. The other legislation is not emergency legislation and is not dependent on this motion. It is quite independent of it and is intended to form part of our ordinary permanent criminal law. It can be left aside so far as this motion is concerned. All that is sought to be achieved by this motion and by the Emergency Powers Bill is the granting of this additional power to the Garda to detain people without charge for seven days instead of two and that is what we must concentrate on. That is what we must question.

Why is this being done? What will it achieve? The reasons given by the Taoiseach are the series of security crimes, if we may so describe them, climaxed by the explosion in Green Street and the murder of the British [141] Ambassador. This is no argument for giving this additional power because no attempt has been made to show how the giving of this extra power will help in the detection of those responsible for those crimes or prevent the commission of such crimes in future. Since all that is being achieved is the granting of this additional power the onus that lies on the Taoiseach and the Government is, I suggest, especially heavy to show that it is necessary. We should remember that for the sake of getting this extra power, this right to detain for seven days instead of two without charge, the Government are, first, setting aside constitutional rights and secondly, in declaring a state of emergency, are not only disturbing our own people but are damaging us abroad. There can be no doubt about that. In many places abroad it is thought of as a state of martial law being declared here.

I do not say that there are no circumstances in which this should be done but I say that this is what is being done in order to achieve this additional power. In addition, in order to achieve this extra power, the Government propose to derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights. I think it would be generally agreed that in the normal way this is an undesirable thing to do and that it is particularly undesirable now having regard to the imminent publication of the report of the Commission on the torture charges brought against Britain. Again, I am not saying there are no circumstances in which this should be done but I say that these are most serious consequences and should not be lightly undertaken. The country is entitled to get convincing reasons why these very serious consequences should be borne. It is conceivable that there could be circumstances in which this would be justifiable but we are offered no semblance of justification for them. It is even conceivable that the Taoiseach might say to the House: “There are reasons which justify this but because of the security risks I am not in a position to disclose them and you will have to take it on trust”. Mark you, he did not say that; if he did other questions would arise as to whether that sort of situation was impossible [142] of communication even, say, to the Leader of the Opposition or whether the Taoiseach and the Government on their record have displayed the kind of judgment in which the country could have confidence in a situation like that.

That is all theoretical because it did not arise. The Taoiseach did not say or hint that there were reasons for this which he could not put forward in public. He gave us what purported to be reasons for this and, with all respect to him, I suggest that it was an insult to the House and to the people to suggest that what he did say in this House yesterday even remotely resembled a reason for the granting of additional power of the kind sought here. The only power sought is the extension of the right of detention without preferring a charge from two days to seven days.

I do not want to be unfair to the Taoiseach. He did say something about this. He said:

Experience has shown that the period of 48 hours during which persons can now be held in custody under the law is often insufficient for the completion of Garda inquiries in relation to serious offences of the type in question. We have seen that the organisation and execution of such offences can extend widely over the country and involve a substantial number of persons. The security authorities consider that the extended period available for questioning suspects, as information becomes available in the course of enquiries, would unquestionably help to bring to justice the perpetrators of a significantly greater number of offences before they can carry out further outrages.

That is the only paragraph in the Taoiseach's script which deals precisely, or almost precisely, with what this motion is all about and the Bill pending on it and, for that reason, I think it deserves a little further consideration. If we examine it we find it is largely a series of assertions, not backed up and not attempted to be backed up with any facts or with any [143] examples showing how the assertions may be thought to be true.

What is, after all, the purpose of this power of detention? Are we to assume the Government intend to use it in a blanket way? Will people be hauled in for questioning under this provision for a period of at least one week, people against whom there is no suspicion? Or are we to take it that it is intended to question only those against whom there is some suspicion or in respect of whom there is information which requires an explanation. It is important that we should know what is involved here. If it is a question of a blanket power to haul in anybody about whom there is no suspicion or no information requiring explanation I, for one, am not prepared under any circumstances to agree to the giving of that power to any Government.

Mr. Tunney: Hear, hear.

Mr. Colley: If, on the other hand, it is a question of bringing in for questioning those in respect of whom there is suspicion or information requiring elucidation then power to do so is one a Government must have, not merely in relation to subversion but, on a limited scale, in relation to what is not commonly called subversion. The question then arises, if you have some information or some suspicion in respect of a person brought in for questioning for 48 hours, in what way will the additional five days proposed here help? Is it suggested that a person brought in in that way, in respect of whom there is suspicion, by being detained for a period of one week can be broken down in that period? Is that the suggestion? If it is we should be told so and, if it is not, what is the reason for this extension from two days to seven days? We have been told nothing except, and this is the key sentence in the Taoiseach's speech, that:

The security authorities consider that the extended period available for questioning suspects, as information becomes available in the course of inquiries, would unquestionably [144] help to bring to justice the perpetrators of a significantly greater number of offences before they can carry out further outrages.

“The security authorities consider.” Having regard to what I said earlier, namely, that in order to grant this power the Government propose to set aside constitutional rights, to declare a state of emergency, which is disturbing the people and presenting us abroad as proclaiming martial law, together with our derogating from the European Convention on Human Rights, it is not good enough, having regard to all these factors, for this House to have to rely on the statement that “The security authorities consider.” We are entitled to know what security authorities consider and why they consider it.

The specific proposal here, which the Taoiseach expects us to take for granted, is that this will assist in dealing with subversion or, by implication, even with the detection of those responsible for the murder of the British Ambassador or the explosions in Green Street. I suggest that is not good enough. There is here a very specific proposal to give very specific power with very serious consequences emanating from the methods adopted by the Government to achieve that power.

While there are all sorts of aspects of this debate to which one could refer what I am talking about now is the nub of the debate. It is what it is all about and we have not been told anything other than the blunt statement from the Taoiseach that “The security authorities consider”. Other than that we have not been told anything as to why this power is necessary or what it would achieve and in what way it would achieve it.

I want to make it clear that I can conceive of circumstances in which the granting of this power, with all the serious consequences I have outlined, would be justified. I do not want to be taken as saying that such power should never be given under any circumstances to any Government. I am not saying that. What I am saying is that to give that power and to accept all the serious consequences I have outlined requires of the Government [145] of the day and of the Taoiseach in particular a clear explanation as to why the power is necessary and what it is hoped to achieve with it. If, by some chance, the Taoiseach finds himself unable for security reasons to do that, then he has a problem, to which he must devote a little attention, as to how he succeeds in getting that power without breaching security. I mentioned earlier that one obvious possible approach in such circumstances is to take at least the Leader of the Opposition into his confidence. That has not been done. But even doing that would not be sufficient because the public must in the long run be satisfied that such power is necessary and that such power should be given. To be satisfied the public must be satisfied with the record of whatever Government are in power, with their judgment. But this Government, even in their chosen field of law and order have been a singular failure, perhaps the greatest failure we have ever had in that field alone.

Briefly, one can recall the Offences Against the Persons Order. Remember all the brouhaha about that; that was going to ensure that people could be tried for murder whether committed North or South. Not one single person has been affected by that, with all of the propaganda that accompanied it. The Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill, with all the brouhaha that accompanied that, has been in operation now for a considerable time. To my knowledge nobody, North or South, has been affected by that.

The record of the Government in the security field is deplorable. If one wants evidence of that one has only to read the Taoiseach's speech. He gave us a recital of the things that have been happening under this Government. I do not want to be unfair. I recognise, and every reasonable person must recognise, that there are forces at work in this country which are ruthless, which have no regard for democracy, for the will of the people, and that in dealing with such people they may, on occasions, succeed where they should not because of ingenuity and ruthlessness. [146] One must recognise that, and that the Government of the day is not responsible, and should not be held up to odium, just because that happens. I am not saying that this Government should be held up to odium in those circumstances. That is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that there have been repeated and more flagrant breaches of security in this country under this Government which do not fall into the category I have described. Unfortunately, many of those breaches of security are a product of lack of security, not a product of particular ingenuity or ruthlessness on the part of subversives, but lack of security in areas where strict security ought to be automatic in the courts, in the case of the obviously most vulnerable ambassador accredited to this country. That being so, the confidence that might be sought by a Taoiseach seeking these powers and unable to give reasons for them—for security reasons—is not available to the Taoiseach and his colleagues.

I have been speaking of the performance of this Government in office in relation to what is generally called security. But, in relation to ordinary crime—if I may use that expression—in relation to the right of the citizen to go about his business, to sit in his own home with security, with peace and comfort, that has deteriorated enormously under this Government. There have been assertions to the contrary by the Minister for Justice in this House. But I defy the Minister for Justice, or any colleague of his, to go out into this city and talk at random to the people he meets along the street and convince them that that is so. I am speaking here only of this city. We know that the position is similar throughout the country. Most people have been prepared to make some allowances in that regard because they have said: “Well, there is obviously a great strain on the Garda because of the security situation, in particular because of Border duty and, perhaps, the necessity for extra Garda duty in different positions”. Most people have been not unreasonable in that regard but they have felt that the Government have had time to be aware of what is happening and to take steps [147] to deal with it. We had an assertion in this House by the Minister for Justice not so very long ago that there was no particular problem, that there was no necessity to step up the numbers recruited to the Garda in order to deal with it. Mind you, subsequently he announced that another 500 gardaí were going to be recruited, having said in this House that there would not be any. I am afraid even that is in the mould of most of the announcements of this kind from this Government. It is a trick announcement. One will find, I think, that we are not going to have another 500 gardaí recruited in 1976. I may be wrong. I hope I am, but I rather suspect it is not going to be what people had thought.

Therefore, we find that the record of the Fine Gael Party, of the Labour Party in office in this Government in regard to security, in regard to ordinary law and order is steadily deteriorating. I suppose that really should not be too surprising if one looks at their record in opposition— I am being charitable when I say this —their total ignorance of the requirements of the State in regard to dealing with subversion, illustrated, perhaps, better than in any other way by their performance on the Offences Against the State Act, 1972, a performance which was disgraceful at that time, and clearly so, but which now must be—if they have any conscience at all—something that makes them squirm with ignominy. Of course, they have never had the grace to acknowledge how wrong they were. In fact, we had the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs at one time adopting the childish excuse that the reason for their opposition was that they did not want to give that power to Fianna Fáil. It was all right to be given to them. Of course, he did not realise how fascist he was disclosing himself to be when he said that. That is the kind of level at which we have had to deal.

The record of this Government, in opposition and in government, in the field of security, in the field of law and order, is not such as to inspire confidence [148] in our people. The whole justification—if the Taoiseach cannot spell it out for us—for the power sought here depends on the judgment of the Government. Are the Government right in judging that this power, with all the serious consequences flowing from it, is necessary to combat subversion? Is that judgment sound? That is what it all amounts to now because we have not been given any reason. Well, the judgment of the Government in the areas of law and order and of security has been shown to be sadly defective. But, in the other area which is basic to any government, that is the management of our economy, is there anybody outside the ranks of the Coalition Government who would not alone concede but heartily agree that there has never been a government so defective in judgment in the economic field as is this one?

Mr. Tunney: Hear, hear.

Mr. Colley: On what basis are we to give this power to the Garda—on the basis of the judgment of the Government, taking them on trust? I cannot do that. There are few people willing to do that for the reasons I have mentioned. Therefore, the Government, in particular the Taoiseach, but any speaker on behalf of the Government, has a very heavy onus to spell out precisely why these powers are needed, what they will achieve and how they will achieve it.

I have illustrated some of the very serious consequences that flow from what the Government are doing. Some have already flowed from it and there is nothing we can do about them but there are other consequences still flowing as I have indicated. All of them amount to a most serious undertaking by the Government for which they are asking the endorsement of the Oireachtas. They can get that endorsement if this power is really needed and if they can show it is needed but they cannot get the endorsement of this side of the House unless they show it is needed. Let nobody make any mistake. If that power, or even far more Draconian power, is needed and is shown to be needed they will not find this side of the House difficult in giving it.

[149] However, it is not good enough to come in here with a recital of the Government's failures in security and a bland assertion that the security authorities consider and expect us on this side, and the people in general, to rubber-stamp this extremely serious inroad on constitutional rights, to rubber-stamp the jettisoning of the protection of the European Convention on Human Rights and to concur in the holding up of this State to general opprobrium around the world as a country that is in such turmoil that it needs a state of emergency to be declared. To many people abroad almost certainly that conjures up visions of martial law.

That is not something the Government should do lightly or should ask this House to do lightly. The evidence available so far is that it has been undertaken very lightly and, to be charitable to the Government and not to suggest anything worse, that it has been in the Government's eyes a response to the bombs in Green Street and the murder of the British Embassador. The Taoiseach's words were “an unequivocal response” but why a response to that in this form? The most effective response would be the capture, conviction and punishment of those responsible for those crimes. In what way is this measure a response to the murder of the British Ambassador? This involves the granting of power which could only be given in the most exceptional circumstances, power to be exercised apparently on any of our citizens. I am not even sure at the moment that it is only going to be exercised on those under suspicion. There is no guarantee whatever that this power will be exercised on those responsible for the murder of the British Ambassador. It requires to be explained in what way this is a response to that crime.

I am concerned about this matter and it appears that the Labour Party Ministers felt unsure of their ability to convince their backbenchers of the necessity to support this measure. I say that because it would appear that they sought a blank cheque from their backbenchers in the emotional situation [150] following the death of the British Ambassador but they did not then come to the Parliamentary Party of the Labour Party with these specific proposals. Rather they relied on the coercive power of making a Labour backbencher who objected get up in public and indicate his objections. I am not sure about the position in Fine Gael. I have not heard of any meetings but perhaps they had one at which the matter was discussed.

On the other hand, Fianna Fáil regarded the matter as sufficiently serious to warrant detailed consideration and discussion, both in our front bench and in our Parliamentary Party. As a result our approach, as set out in our amendment, has the unanimous support of every member of our Parliamentary Party. I think it is worth recalling our approach in this regard. We agree with the Government that the emergency declared in 1939 should be brought to an end. Personally I think it should have been brought to an end long before this but that is just a personal view. Our amendment states:

having regard to the continuing violence in Northern Ireland and the deteriorating law and order and security situation within the State, Dáil Éireann directs the Government to provide and to utilise in full, adequate personnel and resources to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all the citizens, and to take all necessary and appropriate steps to combat and defeat subversion and the activities of unlawful organisations.

That represents the position of this party, a party who have considerable experience and a considerable record of success in dealing with subversion. I would lay some stress on the phrase in the amendment “all necessary and appropriate steps” and I suggest that this measure before the House and the Bill consequent on it are neither necessary nor appropriate with this qualification. It is conceivable that there could be circumstances in which this measure would be necessary and appropriate but no attempt has been made by the Government, and in particular by the Taoiseach, to demonstrate [151] that this measure is either necessary or appropriate. In the absence of that each one of us is entitled to speculate as to the real reasons this measure has been brought forward at this time but I do not propose to do that. All I propose to do is to reiterate that so far as this party are concerned unless and until the Taoiseach and his colleagues demonstrate that this measure is both appropriate and necessary in dealing with the current situation they cannot expect to get any support from this party.

Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Dr. Cruise-O'Brien): I am not sure that as yet the very great gulf between the two propositions before this House has been adequately developed and, in particular, the extremely radical and momentous nature of the amendment that stands in the name of Deputy Lynch.

What does that amendment do? By taking part of the wording of the Government's motion it declares at an end a state of emergency which has existed since 1939 and which the gentlemen opposite who held power so long had power to declare ended at any time and did not do——

Mr. Colley: Nor did the Coalition.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: Nor did we, indeed. If we are proposing to do it now we are proposing to replace it with another state of emergency but what would the amendment do in the teeth of this present situation which we thought all Deputies were agreed does constitute a very real threat to the lives and security of all citizens and inhabitants of this island? In the teeth of that situation the main reaction of the gentlemen opposite is to declare an end to the state of emergency, a state of emergency which they maintained in times of profound peace and which Coalition Governments maintained also because of the reserved powers which it provided which were judged necessary to protect the State.

It would have been possible for the Opposition to take the line: “Well, you really have those powers already. [152] The emergency that was declared and was never brought to an end under the appropriate Constitutional terms cited by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach here yesterday gives you power enough. There is no need for a new one. The old one may be based on something of a legal fiction but it works and you have it.” That, to my mind, would have been a fairly tenable position but it is not the position they took. Unanimously, as Deputy Colley has told us—this is an interesting historical footnote—they took this opportunity of ending now the state of emergency which has existed all those years.

People have talked about the damage that allegedly would be done to the reputation of the country by declaring this state of emergency. What would be the damage that would be done to the reputation of the country if, in the wake of all the recent happenings and the recent murder of the British Ambassador, this House on the motion of Deputy Jack Lynch was to say that an emergency which had existed when they were in office was no longer there and did not need to be replaced by the state of emergency based on any other consideration? I urge the Opposition to reflect a little on the meaning of that because the extra wording they offer is political. It is designed to place the blame for as much as possible on the shoulders of the Government, to insinuate that the Government are not doing their duty. It is the kind of language which might be appropriate enough for an Opposition speech but which, as a contribution to legislation, is absolutely null, void and meaningless. The operative part of the Opposition amendment is the declaration of the end of the state of emergency which successive Governments have thought fit to maintain under conditions of much less pressing and obvious emergency than now prevails.

The Opposition have asked us to justify various things. I would like to hear their justification for declaring an end to a state of emergency in 1976 which has existed since 1939. The Government motion has the merit of placing the state of emergency on a [153] basis of reality instead of on something of a legal fiction which served its turn but which we think in present circumstances is best replaced by a recognition of what the actual source of the emergency is, that is the armed conflict now taking place in Northern Ireland and its consequences for this State. I would like to say a little more about that later.

I would now like to refer to the points made by Deputy Lynch, Deputy Colley, and others about the opposition offered by some of us on those benches, including myself, to the Offences Against the State (Amendment) Act, 1972. I have several things I want to say about that. The first is that the basis for that opposition has essentially been defined, curiously enough, by Deputy Colley in his remarks just now. He said that when legislation of that kind is introduced the Opposition must be satisfied with the record of the Government that introduced it.

Mr. Colley: I did not say that.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: The record will show what Deputy Colley said and what I said. I did not interrupt Deputy Colley and I would request him not to introduce——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Minister.

Mr. Colley: I did not say that. I did not misquote the Minister.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: Perhaps Deputy Colley would now amend what I said by saying what he said. What did he say?

Mr. Colley: If the Minister will recollect for a moment he will recall that I said, in relation to the 1972 Act, that the public record showed the need for it but that in relation to this measure before us the Government either had to give reasons fully or if they could not do so then they had to depend on their record. Is that not what I said?

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: The Official Report will show that Deputy Colley [154] used the words: “The Opposition must be satisfied with the record of the Government.” We will abide by the record. Some of my remarks on that subject have been quoted. I grant that some of them were certainly fair game for the Opposition in those circumstances but some of them have not been quoted. Let me quote from column 333 of the relevant Volume 264 of the Official Report which has been used here before. I said then:

They have been playing, as they have done before in different ways. Fianna Fáil politics with the security of the State and the lives of the citizens. They did that in the past in one way. They did it by collusion in the period 1969 to 1970 when the Taoiseach is supposed to have not known what certain Ministers of his Government were doing, what they were up to, and they were supposed not to have known what happened to that £40,000 of public money that was misappropriated. They played Fianna Fáil politics in that way in those days. For a long time after that, in fact, up to this autumn, they played Fianna Fáil politics with the security of the State and the lives of the citizens in another way, by turning a blind eye to the IRA saying: “What IRA?” and: “The menace is greatly exaggerated” implying that it was only happening in the North, it would not spread down here so what about it? ...

I also said:

I want to be very clear about this. I believe the State in defending itself, in defending the security of its citizens and of democratic institutions, has a right to curtail certain freedoms. It has a right to curtail them only to the extent that is absolutely necessitated by the extent of the threat in question....

Now, I am prepared to admit here— I am glad to admit it and to do this much justice to the gentlemen opposite —that when I feared that the powers to be granted under that Bill would be misused I was wrong. I did not adequately allow for the forces in that party sincerely intending the upholding of law and order and the protection [155] of the security of the citizens. I believe there are other forces in that party but I believe that those forces at that time prevailed, those powers were used in a justifiable and proper way and this Government, in my opinion, rightly retained those powers which others and I criticised at the time and are to that extent open to legitimate criticism now.

I believe that, just as I regret some, but by no means all, of the things I said on that particular occasion so the gentlemen opposite will in time come to regret some of the things they have said here and, in particular, their basic proposition that there is no longer a need for a state of emergency in this country, that the state of emergency, which they maintain, can be got rid of while the state of emergency this Government propose is not needed. If that were done it would be a basic derogation of the duty of this House. I would add also, but I do not wish to dwell on this, that when Deputies opposite speak of certain inconsistencies, as they have a right so to speak, in some of our past statements and our present practice, this Government have nothing to fear in their record of consistency in relation to the IRA, in particular the Provisional IRA. We have nothing to fear in comparison with the front bench that face us. On us there rests not, in the words of the former Taoiseach, a shadow of suspicion. There is a shadow of suspicion on the front bench opposite.

Mr. Colley: There rests on the Minister an enormous obligation to justify what the House is being asked to do. Is there any chance that he would tell us about that?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Minister, without interruption.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: I can understand the Deputy being irked by my statement.

Mr. Colley: I am irked by the refusal of the Government to give reasons for the serious motion before us. Not one Member so far from the benches opposite has been able to justify the motion.

[156] An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Minister should not be interrupted.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: I did not interrupt the Deputy. I have not concluded my remarks so I trust he will allow me to do so.

Mr. Colley: I trust the Minister will begin to deal with the motion now.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: These interruptions must cease.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: I am dealing with the motion. I began by dealing with it and I began most fundamentally by dealing with the amendment which the Deputy is supporting, an amendment which in these circumstances is iniquitous.

Mr. Colley: That is an L and H argument.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: The Deputy's reactions indicate a degree of discomfort on the benches over there with the implications of their proposal. While in office they did not declare an end to the state of emergency that had been declared in the past. I recognise that they acted responsibly in this but in Opposition they jump at the opportunity of ending it. The state of emergency which the Government propose is in replacement of the existing and long-maintained one. It has the merit of facing up to reality and helping to focus the attention of the citizens on where the threat lies, of the need to rally in resistance to that threat and in overcoming it. This is something which is not insignificant. As a result of a chain of events which goes far into the past but which entered an acute stage in 1969 we are in a situation in which there exists in this island what has not existed for many years, that is, a corps of hardened terrorists, of very dangerous men of different persuasions but who are capable of striking terrible blows. That is where the emergency lies. The Opposition will say: “do not draw attention to it because to do so will damage the tourist industry”.

Mr. Colley: Are we to take this as a serious contribution?

[157] Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: The Deputy may take it as he wishes.

Mr. Colley: Does the Minister know what he is talking about?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Minister must be allowed make his statement.

Mr. Colley: May we have a serious contribution?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Minister did not interrupt anybody.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: I was endeavouring to speak but was interrupted by a series of Deputy Colley's petulant displays. He must become used to the fact that in this House he must listen and not barge in on those who are speaking.

Mr. Tunney: People who purport to speak should say something.

Mr. Colley: Does the Minister realise the legal implications of what he is saying?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputies must be prepared to listen while the Minister is in possession.

Mr. Tunney: Has the Minister anything to say about the Fianna Fáil Forcible Entry Act?

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: I do not think that Act has any particular relevance to any——

Mr. Tunney: Fianna Fáil cannot be accused of administering that——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: If the Deputy does not cease interrupting I shall have to ask him to leave the House.

Mr. Tunney: Although he is talking in effect he is not saying anything.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: If I were not saying anything I would not be interrupted so often.

Mr. Colley: The matter under discussion is too serious to be treated with this sort of nonsense.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: This declaration of a state of emergency and the measure related to it provide for a [158] certain period of extended detention. Nobody claims that the measures set out are a panacea. Regarding the extension of the period of detention, the Fianna Fáil amendment directs the Government to take all necessary and appropriate steps to combat and defeat subversion and the activities of unlawful organisations. It is the considered opinion of those responsible for security that this measure is among those necessary steps. Opposition spokesmen acting now without responsibility and without that advice decide otherwise. Apparently they are to be the sole judges of what is necessary and appropriate, the conclusion being that anything emanating from them is necessary and appropriate while this is not the position in relation to anything coming from us. This legislation is part of an effort, part of a signal. To some extent it is intended not exactly to alarm but to arouse the citizens and to concentrate their attention on the deadly danger confronting us. In the opening part of his remarks yesterday when Deputy Lynch appealed to citizens to use the telephone to give any necessary information which they might have to the security forces, he was making a contribution in that area and I believe this whole debate will do so.

The proposed legislation has relevance of course to our immediate lives in the Twenty-six Counties, but we are also part of an island, and the recognition of this emergency and of its relation to what is happening in Northern Ireland has a relevance to what is happening and can happen there and what has happened in the past. We must bear in mind that among the sources of our troubles has been a very widespread conviction amongst the unionist population in Northern Ireland that in Dublin we condemn the IRA verbally but privately we condone them and are perhaps prepared to use them as cats' paws. That conviction is part of the seige mentality, part of the forces which make and have made for the destruction of efforts at power-sharing and partnership. Deputy Lynch has said law and order is not a substitute for policy towards Northern Ireland. [159] It is not a substitute, but it is an essential part and the basic essential part of a policy towards Northern Ireland.

The Taoiseach in his statement used the word “unequivocal”, and it is a very important word. It is very important that the position of this Government and of this House, as far as possible, should be made clear and unequivocal in relation to the application of violence to Northern Ireland. One way we can help to do that is through the legislation that is now proposed, through tightening up in the field of security generally, through further development of cross-Border co-operation. These are important elements, and they will, I think, be helped by this.

We ought to consider—and I hope the gentlemen opposite will look again at their proposals in relation to this—what would be the reaction in Northern Ireland to this House now declaring the previously existing state of emergency at an end. Few things could do more to sap the degree of confidence—and it is a small degree but a hopeful degree—which has begun to be built. A few years ago I talked in Belfast with a leading loyalist politician and asked him why he was saying certain things. He said: “I know that your Government has no wish or intention to support in any way, directly or indirectly, the IRA. I know you are against them. I know you do not want to annex Northern Ireland, to subvert it or overthrow it by force. But my constituents do not know that. My constituents assume the opposite is the case.”

Some progress has been made in that regard and if the Deputies opposite like to date the beginning of that progress to their own actions in 1972—and I would draw a politic, well-wrought veil over their activities of 1969 and 1970—I have no objection, but certainly the record of this Government in this area under the Taoiseach's leadership has done a very great deal to calm passions in Northern Ireland among all except the fanatical minorities. Nobody here has a right to claim credit for what we all admire, that is, the splendid activities of the peace women in Northern [160] Ireland. But we ought to consider this: when the women of Andersonstown were able to walk in the Shankill Road the other day and be welcomed as they were welcomed by so many of the population, could that happen if there were any idea subsisting now of the kind that did undoubtedly subsist widely a few years ago, that Dublin was in some way conniving with these people? I think that could not happen, and I think the legislation which has come before us should be helpful to that momentum, and in so far as it helps that momentum, then it is also favourable to the building of peace, to the ending of the state of emergency which we are about to declare and which we would hope would be of short duration, though we cannot rely on that.

I would, therefore, hope that in reacting both to this legislation and more generally, we would all be prepared to lend our ears attentively, as Deputy Harte has just suggested, to the voices of the different communities in Northern Ireland, to the common aspirations for peace there, and I would ask the Opposition in that connection to take note in relation to Northern Ireland policy that what they demand, a declaration by the British Government of intent to withdraw, finds no echo in any major constitutional group in Northern Ireland; it is a policy which we are urging as something to be done to them. Those who call on the Government, as some people in the media sometimes do, to produce some kind of blueprint for Northern Ireland are profoundly mistaken.

It is our duty to do what we can in the territory under our control to favour the emergence of better relations within Northern Ireland, through which alone the politics of partnership can become possible, and the conditions be created in which eventually, by consent of both communities, the British could in safety withdraw their troops from Northern Ireland. They cannot do that now but I am well aware from many conversations in Northern Ireland that the message which ought to come [161] through from down here is that we are serious—and it has begun to come through at last—not disavowing the IRA with our lips but doing everything possible to reduce their activities, which have risen now to this appalling capability which they now possess. That is the message which the Taoiseach has been projecting. For that reason we will support this motion. I hope to speak later on other aspects of the legislation before us.

Mr. Haughey: When the Government publicity announced their decision to institute a state of national emergency the principal reaction among the general public was one of mystification and puzzlement. To the ordinary man in the street there was simply no visible evidence of any situation which would justify such a momentous and fundamental step. I believe that that sense of puzzlement deepened yesterday afternoon after the Taoiseach had spoken because in his speech he gave no indication whatever that there prevailed here any extraordinary or unique type of situation that justified this move, unprecented in peace time in this land of ours.

The repercussions of what the Government propose both at home and internationally are of such major proportions that some irrefutable convincing argument is required, some new serious revelation was expected to justify this totally unpredicted development. Nothing of this sort has been forthcoming.

Instead, we had a recital of well-known events, a repetition of what is undoubtedly an intimidating litany of lawlessness and violence. But what is, in fact, nothing more than the Minister for Justice would have outlined for us during his speech on his annual Estimate. The Taoiseach's speech did not convince the House or the country that this fundamental change is desirable, never mind essential. If a Government wish to persuade the general public that some radical change is needed, their message must be credible. No matter how comprehensive or sophisticated the propaganda machine, no matter how well presented, unless the case is a believable [162] one it will not be accepted. The people today look around and see that there is no national wartime emergency. They see a great deal of crime and lawlessness, they perceive almost incredible security blunders but that is a long, long way from a national emergency justifying what is probably the most serious action short of declaring war itself that a Government can take under our Constitution.

Indeed, far from presenting a convincing case for this radical departure, a very significant section of the Taoiseach's speech pointed in the very opposite direction. He spoke very cogently, and in my view with complete veracity, of the fact that the violence in Northern Ireland is overwhelmingly indigenous to Northern Ireland. He pointed out that all but a very small number of terrorist crimes in the North are committed by persons within that area. In saying that, he is of course right but when I made exactly the same point in the debate on the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, by interjection, clearly indicated his total disagreement with that view.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: I referred to Kevin Street.

Mr. Haughey: It is important to reiterate that that is the situation in the North; that it is the situation in the North that is responsible for the violence in that area and that it is in that area that the violence we witness today in Ireland has its origins and finds its sustenance. Surely the very statement of this truth by the Taoiseach makes his case for this proposal for a state of emergency here in this part of Ireland all the more unrealistic and unconvincing. Furthermore, does not the Taoiseach's elaboration of this fact underline for all of us the bitter irony of the fact that it is the situation in an area for which Britain has administrative responsibility which is forcing this Government to declare a national emergency and the suspension of the constitutional rights of our people while Britain herself suffers no such constitutional deprivation?

In essence, the Taoiseach's case is [163] that the explosions in the Special Criminal Court in Dublin and the assassination of the British Ambassador created a situation which warrants the declaration of a national state of emergency. We challenge that contention. We maintain that neither of these events calls for any change in our law. They both simply represent failures of security procedures. The explosions in the Special Criminal Court happened because security arrangements were ineffective and no change in the law can prevent a recurrence of that sort. Only more effective and vigilant security arrangements can do that. The same applies to the assassination of the British Ambassador. Again, that did not come about because of any defect in our criminal legislation. If those responsible are apprehended they will be sentenced to death under our law as it stands. Could there be any more serious deterrent than that?

We maintain the existing law is adequate to cover that situation and that all that is lacking is that the perpetrators have not been apprehended. In that connection I should like to ask, because the assassination of the British Ambassador is the immediate cause for this move by the Government, what is the situation in regard to that crime? I believe it is legitimate for the House in this context to seek the fullest possible information about it. Has there been a court of inquiry? Has any blame been established? Has anybody been disciplined? Has the person directly responsible for these security arrangements been exonerated or has he been found guilty of any dereliction of duty?

These are important matters about which the House should be fully informed in the context of this debate because it is as a direct result of that crime that the Government have moved in this way. On this side of the House we contend that what was involved in those two cases, on which the Taoiseach based his case for this motion, was not any question of the inadequacy of our law but inadequate and incompetent security arrangements. If this package of legislation [164] does not then represent a valid response to the realities of the situation in the country at present, what does it represent? Does it simply reflect some inner tension within the Government themselves or is it, as has been suggested, just a massive diversionary manoeuvre in an attempt to distract the public gaze away from the disastrous state of the economy and the bankruptcy of the Exchequer?

A vital question which must be asked and answered during the course of this debate is whether the Government propose to introduce any other legislation under the national emergency resolution which will also be incapable of being challenged in our courts as this Emergency Powers Bill will be incapable of being challenged. Nowhere in the Taoiseach's speech is there any assurance that there will be no other laws brought forward with this immunity. When questioned yesterday evening in a television interview, the Minister for Justice said without any great conviction that no further legislation under this formula was contemplated at present. I would direct the attention of everybody concerned to that important qualification “at present”.

I must confess that, having regard to the repercussions on our economy and on our international standing as a nation of this declaration of an emergency, it is very difficult to believe that these enormous repercussions are being accepted by the Government for no better reason than simply to procure this power of internment for a period of seven days. There must be in the public mind—and there will remain in the public mind until it is cleared up if it can be during the course of the debate—a suspicion that this particular Emergency Powers Bill is only the thin end of the wedge and that there will be other legislation brought forward under the same emergency resolution as time goes on.

This Government when they took office three and a half years ago ushered themselves in, presented themselves to the Irish people as a Government devoted to reform. They have, on the contrary, become a Government of repression. The promise of liberal [165] reforming open government has given way to the reality of a harsh repressive administration with disquieting allegations of ill-treatment and brutality too persistent to be ignored or dismissed. How has this unhappy transformation come about? Is it that they have been the victims of circumstances overtaken by events not of their making and for which they bear no responsibility? Or, is it simply that they have failed to measure up to their task, they have failed to give the moral leadership, the political guidance which our troubled land desperately needs at this time?

They have been in office for three-and-a-half years, ample time for wise policies to have made their impact on our affairs, for problems to respond to enlightened action. Our present situation must be accepted by this Government as a direct result of their stewardship. If, as a Government, they claim that we are now in a state of national emergency they must accept responsibility for that dire situation and for that development. It is something which has evolved under their jurisdiction, something that has developed out of their policies or lack of policies. Their answer to any situation now is not some new political initiative but rather more aggressive legislation, tougher measures.

It seems to me very much like a bad doctor who, having made a wrong diagnosis initially, prescribes increasing severe medicines while the patient gets steadily worse. I believe the Government must now face the fact that their low profile northern policy, a policy which amounts in practice to no policy, has been a tragic mistake. It has simply resulted in a continually deteriorating situation which has now led them to conclude that these ill-conceived measures before us are necessary for the security of the State and the safety of the people. Are they not prepared even now to review that policy? Can they not see that if the lawful Government of Ireland fail to pursue a consistent, positive policy in regard to the unity of this country, a policy which is fully appreciated and understood by the general public, that ground will be occupied by others with all the ghastly consequences we know [166] follow from that sort of situation? I believe the inauguration of such a positive policy would do infinitely more to contain subversion and illegal activities than any coercive or repressive containing measures that we can pass in this House.

When the Government bring forward a far-reaching proposal of this sort they confront the Opposition with the necessity of making a serious decision—a decision that calls for earnest and careful consideration. They require us to discharge our duty as a democratic parliamentary Opposition in a responsible and statesman-like manner. In this way, our responsibility is comparable with and, indeed, secondary only to that of the Government. The Government have the awful responsibility of ensuring the security of the State, of protecting the lives and safety of the people, of preserving our institutions, and of safeguarding the welfare of our community. We, the Opposition, share that responsibility. We are bound to give our support to this Government in any way that can be shown to us to be necessary but we have an additional and a separate responsibility.

Any Deputy would agree that it is always possible that a government, any government, in their preoccupation with their central urgent responsibility may ignore their other obligations, may lean too far in one direction, may become over-protective, may be tempted to regiment their citizens by persuading themselves that they do so for their own good. In seeking to protect the community, they may destroy the very things which make that community worth protecting. That is where we in Opposition must demonstrate our worth. The duty devolves on us to make a careful judicious decision from our objective standpoint—a standpoint which, in the nature of things, is more objective than that of the Government. We must decide whether what is proposed is essential to secure the safety and the wellbeing of the people or whether the Government are misreading the situation and over-reacting to it.

The Parliamentary Opposition in [167] the democratic scheme of things have a very special obligation to be vigilant and vocal about people's rights and fundamental freedoms. If the Opposition see them unnecessarily curtailed or endangered, they must express themselves fearlessly, whatever the political consequences may be. We are in that sort of situation at present.

The political advantages in this situation are on the Government side because there is undoubtedly a mood abroad today of brushing these fundamental rights and human freedoms aside as niceties, as legal technicalities which cannot be allowed to interfere with the serious business of preserving law and order and the safety of the people from violence and bloodshed. That mood is understandable. It is understandable after seven long years of violence and bloodshed, lawlessness and terrorism. But we in the Opposition have a very special duty in that situation to try to maintain a balance, to try to distinguish the wood from the trees. We have to try to weigh the urgency of the security situation against the basic human need for personal freedom and human dignity.

We must try to direct attention also to the long-term implications of what is proposed and what is going to remain in our society, what the after effects are going to be when this immediate danger and this threatening situation have passed.

We must do this, whatever the political cost to ourselves may be, because we are dealing with something of the deepest and widest implications. In effect, the Oireachtas is being asked to abrogate the Constitution, to negate the fundamental rights of ordinary men and women, and no matter what clever arguments may be put forward by skilled debators from the Government benches, that basic central fact cannot be ignored or disguised. We are asked here to set the Constitution aside in one of its most important fundamental aspects. I have heard the view expressed that the Opposition need not be unduly perturbed by these measures, that they will not affect the general public, that they will go through the Oireachtas [168] and never be heard of again as far as the ordinary man in the street is concerned and that the easy thing to do is to support the Government in these measures. If that view is widely held, we in the Opposition must do everything in our power to arouse the general public to what exactly is involved, to the serious, fundamental, widespread implications for every member of the public. It is a dangerously insidious doctrine to accept that it is of no great significance if the Government take away the fundamental constitutional rights from a section of the community who do not deserve to have them in any event. The Taoiseach is guilty of subscribing to that dangerous doctrine, when he said in his opening speech that if people obey the law they need not fear the effects of these measures, that they are not directed at law-abiding people but against those who want to destroy the institutions of State and the Irish nation.

Of course, they are not directed against law-abiding people but they apply to law-abiding people. The taking away of fundamental rights applies to law-abiding people just the same as it applies to the lowest criminal in our society. If you are detained under section 3 of the Emergency Powers Bill by a Garda, it will not avail you anything to protest that you are, in fact, a law-abiding person and that these provisions were not meant to apply to you. As one commentator put it very succinctly, it is too late to protest about internment when they come to collect yourself. The central question that both Houses of the Oireachtas must face is whether the security of the State at this time is so vitally threatened that we are justified in suspending the Constitution to enable the Government to meet that threat to our society. In coming to that decision there are a number of factors which are subsidiary to the main argument but which are relevant although they are not concerned strictly with the security situation and Deputy George Colley has dealt with them at some length.

They are the economic implications, [169] the undoubted damage to the tourist industry, the undoubted damage to our programme of attracting foreign investment. Our standing in the community of nations as a country which is dedicated to the cause of freedom and human rights will undoubtedly be irretrievably damaged. Nobody should dismiss that as something academic or of no significance. It is of very real importance to us in countless different ways. There are internal factors as well. Can this whole exercise damage our morale and our national pride to the extent that we would be less able to deal with the threat of total economic collapse that looms nearer and larger every day? Will it vitiate our national political will to solve these economic and social problems which confront us?

There are some observers who have claimed for some time now to detect a creeping authoritarian militarism taking an increasing hold on our society. Any such fears can only be intensified by these proposals. To many ordinary men and women the proposal to give police powers to the Army are by far the most objectionable element in this package of measures. That proposal represents a really devastating setback to us as a community. It represents a setback to the vision we have of ourselves as a free democratic people with an unarmed police force. It is chilling in its long-term implications for us as a community, perhaps more so than members of the Government realise.

The frightening thing, the incomprehensible thing about this proposal is that the Government intend to make it a permanent feature of our situation. It is included in the permanent Bill, not in the temporary emergency provisions Bill. Nowhere in the Taoiseach's remarks is there any suggestion that it is to be of a temporary nature and that it will be disposed of as soon as the present dangers have subsided. That is, perhaps, one of the most appalling aspects of this procedure. We would find it objectionable if this measure to give the Army powers which should belong to the police were contained in [170] the Emergency Powers Bill. For some reason it is contained in the permanent legislation, and as far as we can ascertain, and reading the Taoiseach's speech, we are driven to the conclusion that it is intended from now on that police powers will be given permanently to the Army. I read somewhere that your enemy succeeds if in defending yourself he can force you down to his own level of ruthlessness. The real tragedy would be, if in order to defeat paramilitarism this community had to give itself over to another form of militarism which was of its own creation.

Our attitude to these proposals by the Government, arrived at after a long and earnest consideration, is straightforward and responsible. We will not attempt to use this situation to hinder or embarrass the Government or our security forces. We are prepared to give the Government our full support in combating and totally eradicating lawlessness and terrorism from our midst. That is our democratic duty. We are absolutely clear in our minds, however, that the declaration of a state of emergency is not needed for that purpose and that it will do more harm than good. We reject the proposal to permit the authorities to intern individual citizens for periods of seven days. We fear and will oppose the giving of powers of search and arrest to military personnel. We object to the sweeping and indiscriminate nature of the incitement and invitation provision. That is the sum of our objection to these proposals, otherwise we are prepared to agree to what the Government have proposed by and large.

We do not regard some of the provisions as very realistic but we believe that as the Government have responsibility for protecting the people and institutions of the State we must grant to the greatest extent that we can the power to deal with the situation as it deems necessary, subject only to our overriding responsibility to ensure that the freedom and rights of the individual are not unnecessarily restricted. By and large, we believe that the existing law as it stands at present is adequate for the Government's purposes if it [171] were utilised fully and effectively and if our security resources were competently and adequately deployed. Above all, we believe that, as the Taoiseach said, our present troubles stem from Northern Ireland and it is only there that they can be finally ended. We urge that further legislation and increased security activities in this part of the country are no substitute for political initiatives. I believe that such political initiatives at this stage would have widespread public support if they could be seen to have some possibility of contributing in any way to peace with justice in our troubled northern land.

Business suspended at 1.30 p.m. and resumed at 2.30 p.m.

Dr. O'Connell: We would, I think, all agree that in the present political climate the defence of civil liberties is most difficult, is most likely to be misinterpreted and unlikely to coincide with popular opinion on this motion. But never was it more indispensable because never was it more in danger and it is this that prompts me to speak on this motion.

As I have said so often, the primary obligation of Government is to safeguard the democratic institutions of the State and the rights afforded to citizens under those institutions. Any measure which might restrict the rights of citizens, the protection of their homes and persons from unwarranted search and seizures must undergo the most rigorous and critical analysis. It is absolutely incumbent on all proposing measures such as those which will come before this House shortly to offer an impressive case for the necessity for such measures and, equally important, the effectiveness of such measures. They must convince us beyond reasonable doubt that the benefits accruing from such legislation will far outweigh the cost in terms of the curtailment of individual rights.

There seemed to be some misconception about the ideology of civil liberties and I would like to quote now some statements made by the Minister for Justice in an address he delivered [172] on 1st April last at St. Anne's Church in Dawson Street when he spoke on violence, war and revolution. He said then that the revolutionary aims to provoke repression and that will necessarily impinge by way of searches, security checks, curfews, et cetera, on the convenience of the ordinary citizen. Now, while repression does not necessarily entail incovenience, it does entail the loss of individual rights. Security checks before entering an hotel are acceptable, even if annoying, but arrest without subsequent charge before and trial by jury are an abrogation of civil rights. Here I would refer to yet another passage in the same address by the Minister for Justice. It displays the same misconception. He said that people are prepared to welcome even harsh, anti-terrorist laws because they know that they need have no fear of such laws so long as democracy is maintained. With due respect to the Minister I consider that a transparent piece of double-talk because if the concept of democracy incorporates a concept of individual liberty in society, then democracy is maintained only to the extent that civil liberties are cherished, respected and protected.

Another misconception in the same speech is the Minister's remark that democracy must be as tough as its opponents. I consider this to be a precise formula for repression because the rule of law, which is applicable to all and administered along well-founded principles of individual rights, is the main barrier between a democratic state and its undemocratic opponents. If one breaks down that barrier, one breaks down the justification for the State's authority. If one adopts the same methods as anti-democratic elements one clouds the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate use of force because, to my mind, one preserves the legitimacy of institutional force by its restraint, not by its use. To my mind it would be suicidal to institutionalise the methods of democracy's opponents because what would be the purpose of a secure state if one did not have its democratic institutions to protect?

There have been a lot of misconceptions in the Minister's mind about [173] civil liberties which is in contrast to what he said in 1972 in the Official Report, Volume 264 at column 281 when he said:

... there is a limit to the measures a democracy is entitled to adopt in order to protect itself.

I believe also that there are a number of myths and misconceptions in people's minds. There is a misconception that all subversives are known to the Garda, that they have fool-proof lists of those responsible for the bombings and killings, all they need are the laws and they can round them all up; the basic myth that these measures are applied only to the guilty and that no innocent men need have any fear.

I could also quote the Taoiseach when he said yesterday:

If people obey the law they need not fear the effects of these measures.

Again this is a myth and misconception on the part of the Minister for Justice and the Taoiseach because, regrettably, no such assurances are to be had. I might refer to the question of Peter Hain, the Young Liberal leader in Britain. He was an innocent man. This is what can happen here. Therefore one cannot have laws like these which would apply only to the guilty. Unfortunately, in the net, too many innocent people are taken in. I might quote Blackstone's maxim on this, especially for the benefit of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach. He said it is better that ten guilty persons escape rather than one innocent suffer.

Mr. Kelly: He was talking about hanging people; we are not talking about that.

Dr. O'Connell: Well, we are talking about innocent people being wrongly convicted. Were one to translate that in terms of what is proposed here it might read: it is better that 100 innocent men suffer rather than one guilty person escape. That is the difference and one which disturbs me very much.

Our obligation as a democratic [174] State is to guarantee the effectiveness of our laws over those guilty of criminal acts while, at the same time, maintaining to the best of our ability that those innocent of such acts will be afforded the best of opportunities to clear themselves if charged. We have forgotten the second half of this obligation.

There is another myth and misconception in the public mind. It is the one that there is a direct relationship —if there is not an identity—between security legislation and security on the streets but, unfortunately, there is no such identity. To my mind a terrorist has yet to be appointed by a legal phrase. Much of this legislation remains on the statute book and is rarely, if ever, utilised. Perhaps I might digress for a moment and refer to what happened last week in a Border incident—and I have just a report on this—when I think someone from the North came ten yards across the Border to apprehend a man, when a garda told him that, of course, he was on this side of the Border. What it seems to me the garda did not know was that there is a Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act in force and that, under the circumstances, the garda could have apprehended him. It seems to me that these laws are on the statute book but their implementation is another thing. It is important to point out that the manpower, technical expertise and equipment standard of the Garda are all much more relevant when speaking in terms of the security of the man in the street. Might I put it this way: a heavily worded piece of repressive legislation is unlikely to lessen the statistical possibility of my being blown to pieces in O'Connell Street. But if we have a well-financed, well-equipped, fully-manned Garda force, our chances are very much better. Repressive legislation will merely increase the probability of my being arrested and detained and severely diminish the facilities at my disposal for my defence.

I must confess that I detect an ominous trend in the origin and panic of so much of the State security legislation. Perhaps I may quote some [175] examples. The Kevin Street Sinn Féin offices were closed one week after the burning of Dundalk Garda station in 1972. The Special Criminal Courts and the Prisons Bill were introduced one week after the riot in Mountjoy. The Offences Against the State (Amendment) Bill was passed after the Dublin bombings and now there is this proposed declaration of national emergency and the other measures in response to the murder of the British Ambassador. Too often security legislation is the result of an impulsive reaction to a particular event. Neither do I think it bodes well for the maturity of our politicians always to have a negative reaction to something rather than a positive one. It does not bode well for the professionalism of our traditional Administration that much of the legislation is put together piecemeal, at very short notice, and it does not bode well for the general tone of parliamentary democracy in Ireland because the debate on such measures takes place in a highly-charged, emotional atmosphere in which logic is abandoned and when sincere and important contributions are ignored or wilfully misinterpreted.

I believe that legislation dealing with the curtailment of civil liberties should be drafted, introduced and debated on the basis of its objective merits rather than use a recent event as justification for a Bill's origin— and I wonder why this was not introduced earlier if it was so important. I see it being used as an emotional hammer in support of its passage. It is a crudely manipulative ploy, since no legislation is retroactive in so far as it can bring back a state of affairs no longer existing. I believe a Bill must have broad merit in its own right. It must be shown to have a good chance of improving a fairly extensive and threatening state of affairs. I do not think a responsible parliament should pass a Bill as an act of revenge for a recent atrocity or as a general palliative for popular emotion. A responsible, democratic Legislature passes a Bill when it is convinced that circumstances in general warrant the change in the [176] law. This long standing coincidence of recent outrage and Draconian legislation can only impress upon the most casual observer that Irish Governments are given to narrow, negative and reactionary legislative behaviour in this context. Here I can only quote the Leader of my own party when he said, in Volume 264, column 865, of the Official Report, that atrocities are no excuse for bad law.

Another disturbing trend is what one might call the statutory weight of this legislation. Despite the assurances of successive Ministers for Justice not one of these Acts has been taken off the statute book since 1939. Sincere attempts to have time limits appended to them have been rejected on the grounds that they will be revoked when they are needed no longer but this never seems to occur. I wonder for how long will this national emergency continue in operation.

Mr. Kelly: All the 1939 emergency legislation lapsed not later than 1946. There is not a line in the statute book——

Dr. O'Connell: What about the Offences Against the State Act?

Mr. Kelly: The Offences Against the State Act has nothing to do with the emergency resolution of 1939.

Dr. O'Connell: I am talking about repressive legislation that is put on the statute book with no time limit but with a promise by successive Ministers for Justice that it will be revoked when the situation warrants it. However, it never seems to warrant it.

Mr. Kelly: No promises were made in respect of the Offences Against the State Act.

An Ceann Comhairle: Order. May we hear the Deputy in possession without interruption?

Dr. O'Connell: All such measures since 1939 have remained on the statute book. I believe that every such measure curtailing civil liberties should expire automatically at the end of a 12-month period and should require [177] new legislative action to extend it. There is provision in one of the Bills for a 12-month expiry date but I do not think it is quite as simple as that because the Government, by order, may renew the legislation. It is not a question of having to come before the House; they can do it merely by Government order. Unless some Member of the House within 21 days decides to oppose the matter, automatically the measure comes into operation. I wonder what would be the situation if the Dáil was not in session this time next year.

Mr. Kelly: It is 21 sitting days.

Dr. O'Connell: The point is that the onus is on a Member of the Houses of the Oireachtas to question the measure. Otherwise it will continue in operation.

Mr. Kelly: There are thousands of precedents for that. It is a common form of legislation and there is nothing new about the system.

Dr. O'Connell: It does not matter. It still does not make it any more democratic.

Mr. Kelly: These things happen every day of the week. There is nothing new about it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Order. The Deputy should be allowed to continue without interruption.

Dr. O'Connell: Such matters should automatically come before the Houses of the Oireachtas. The effectiveness of the Bill in this case, which affects civil liberties, should be rigorously scrutinised. This is the minimum requirement but it is being ignored today.

I should like to comment on the existing powers of the State without bringing in any new legislation. If the new measures being proposed are appropriate or adequate, I think we should review the powers of the State at the moment. Under existing legislation the Garda can stop, search, detain and arrest without warrant. They can also detain an individual for 48 hours without a charge. Under the auspices of the Special Criminal [178] Court an individual can be tried without a jury and without standard common law rules of evidence in the case of a superintendent's belief being accepted as evidence of the fact and his right to claim privilege when questioned about the basis for his belief.

In the case of a person who causes an explosion, under existing powers of the State he is liable to imprisonment for life. A person guilty of robbery is liable to imprisonment for life. A person guilty of assault with intent to rob is liable to imprisonment for life. A person guilty of aggravated burglary is liable to imprisonment for life. A person guilty of possession of explosives in suspicious circumstances is liable to imprisonment for 20 years and a person guilty of hijacking is liable to 15 years' imprisonment. A person convicted of possession of firearms with criminal intent is liable to ten years' imprisonment and, in the case of firearms, the standard protection of assuming the accused innocent until proven guilty is dropped. The accused is assumed guilty until proven innocent. These powers exist already without any new measures being introduced.

We should have a criterion of effectiveness. If security was merely a function of severely stringent legislation Ireland should be absolutely free of crime and safe for everyone but we know this is not so. Have the measures I mentioned previously really helped? Some criterion of effectiveness must be established. I made some inquiries indirectly quite recently. The Department of Justice say they do not compute statistics in terms of terrorist crime, that it would be unrealistic to expect a record on each piece of legislation with regard to all those brought to trial, the conviction rate and the sentences handed down. The Department have said it would be unrealistic to have those figures. How else can people judge if all the time and effort taken here to debate these measures have been worth while? We must have the figures to test the effectiveness.

Last year much of the time of the [179] Dáil was taken up by a lengthy debate on the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act yet, to my knowledge not a single individual has been brought to trial under the provisions of that legislation. One wonders if it really was necessary. Was it merely a public relations exercise? Had it any benign effect or is it likely to have such effect? We should have this criterion of effectiveness whereby all the relevant facts and statistics on the implementation of these measures are made available so that the public can see for themselves the scope and relevance of their application and their effect on containing violence and preparing the way for political initiatives. It is the only way to prevent protracted sterile debate in Parliament.

This declaration of national emergency has been a political disaster. What we are doing is proclaiming to the world that a state of emergency exists in Ireland. Every country in the world knows this today and will compare it with the situation in the Lebanon. I had a phone call this morning from London and I was asked how tense were things in Dublin at the moment. They think the Army are on the streets. Nothing could be more calculated to frighten off foreign investors and industrialists. We have done more harm by this action than the terrorists have done in the seven or eight years of violence. The IDA and the tourist board can close shop because their efforts will be rendered ineffectual in the face of this major blunder.

Mr. Kelly: I suppose if we were to open the jails and let out the inmates we would be swamped with tourists?

Dr. O'Connell: I am just saying we could implement existing legislation without resorting to this propaganda exercise and major political blundering. I would hate to imagine what an industrialist contemplating coming to Ireland would think in the circumstances. He would be naturally hesitant and would change his plans in the light of the news coming from every radio throughout the world regarding the state of emergency in Ireland.

Since security legislation under this [180] motion will be no longer subject to the restraining influence of judicial check for constitutionality, there is an onus on the Government to prove that the measures will be effective relative to the cost in the curtailment of civil liberties. It is hardly an adequate and appropriate response. More accurately it might be described as an hysterical attempt at political public relations.

The Emergency Powers Bill contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights regarding arrest without charge. It is up to the State to prove before the European Court of Human Rights that there is such an emergency threatening the lives of the people. Has the State to prove that before the Court on Human Rights?

Mr. Kelly: The State successfully made that plea in Strasbourg 20 years ago when the campaign going on was a picnic compared to what is happening now.

Dr. O'Connell: I am asking about the present situation.

Mr. Kelly: The State's action 20 years ago on internment in 1957 to 1958 was held justifiable by the Human Rights Commission the Deputy is referring to notwithstanding that what was happening then was only a pale shadow of what is happening now so I would not be too worried about that particular point.

Dr. O'Connell: I do not think the European Court on Human Rights will take this case and judge it on the basis of the case 20 years ago. It is up to the State to prove it now before the Court on Human Rights. Has the State appeared there and proved that case? Emergency powers were used in the North with dubious effect. It also disturbs me that a person can be held for a further five days at the direction of a superintendent. Even in Northern Ireland this can only be done on the direction of the Northern Ireland Secretary and in Britain on the direction of the Home Secretary.

I wonder is the Criminal Law Bill really necessary? It provides for increased [181] penalties for matters for which individuals have rarely been charged since 1939. I regard that as ludicrous. In that 37 years there has only been one case of a person being charged with “usurpation of the functions of Government”. The Bill aims to increase the penalty for that. I believe nobody has ever been charged with obstruction of the Government or with an unauthorised military exercise. The vague, loose wording of those offences is also cause for concern. There is an increase in sentence for membership of an illegal organisation from two to seven years but to my knowledge the two-year maximum sentence at present has rarely, if ever, been imposed by any court in Dublin.

What is the purpose of increasing the penalty in this case if the present maximum penalty has never been imposed? I am also disturbed by the fact that a person could go to jail for ten years for a wink or a nod. I consider this a legal scandal. A Bill which gives such latitude in procedures of search and seizure invites abuse. I am most disturbed by the new role of the Army despite the assurances of the Taoiseach that the role of the Army has not been changed.

There are a few points I would like to mention in this connection. The first is that the intervention of an armed military force in the policy functions of this State, that is search and arrest operations without warrant, is a radical departure in the role of the Army. This will militarise crimes and lend credibility for terrorist propaganda claims. We know what is happening in the North in regard to the Army. There is no provision for civilian complaints against the Army. The experience in the North should be sufficient for us here.

The Army are not experienced in those matters because they were never trained for normal police work, especially in regard to the level of force that can be used in search and seizure operations. Will the Army be given instructions when to fire and when not to fire? Will there be the green card operating such as that [182] which operates in Northern Ireland? If the Army move into a house to arrest a man who may be involved in something else like smuggling and who runs out the back door will the Army fire on him? I feel justified in raising those points. The Army are now in the front line of law enforcement and police duties, which is a radical departure in their role.

So far, my criticism of the proposed measures has been on the basis of the threat they pose to civil liberties in Ireland. While not trying to deny the right of a democratic State to protect itself I have tried to demonstrate the inherent dangers in passing such measures without an acceptable criterion of effectiveness, without provision for a mandatory annual parliamentary review and without a full appreciation of the fragility of the democratic concept and the threat posed by the disproportionate response to those who are its enemies.

I have also noted the threat towards panic in the origin of those measures and also in the debate on them. I believe there is a threat to the life of parliamentary democracy in this. All those observations are made in good faith. I speak with concern for the safety and the vitality of the institutions of the State. I believe it is the same concern which motivated the Government to introduce those measures. I share with them the determination to break the stranglehold on violence which those para-militaries have got on democracy. I share with them the impatience and the anger which they must feel at those para-militaries and the havoc they are causing to the country. However, I question the over-reliance of the Government on security legislation. I do not question their rightful determination to conquer the men of violence in their murderous ideology but I believe there is a great danger to society when attempts are made to pursue a simple solution to a complex problem.

There has been an over-dependence in Ireland on security legislation to deal with the violence which has spread here from Northern Ireland. However, security legislation is only [183] one dimension to the problem. I do not believe it is capable of offering a final solution to the chaos and disorder in our midst today. I believe there are two other dimensions in this, the first of which is the question of a practical security. I have already criticised the conception there is about the identity between security legislation and security on the street. Words on paper will never prevent or apprehend a determined criminal. The safety of the average man walking down the street is much more the function of the Garda manpower, the equipment and the morale of the Garda force than it is a function of the provisions of the Criminal Law Bill, 1976.

I believe this awareness is gradually dawning on the public with the increase in the terrorists and what we might euphemistically call the common crimes. The continued assurance with banner headlines do not compare with what the people see in the community. Their experience is different.

The Garda can arrest and search a person and detain him without charge for 48 hours. There is provision, too, for life sentences for bombers and robbers. Indeed, I should imagine that in terms of police powers, of provision for life sentences and of arrest and search without warrant, Ireland has security legislation that is unrivalled in Europe. Why, then, is it not possible for the people of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Monaghan, or elsewhere to walk the streets or patronise hotels without running the risk of being blown to pieces? There is more to apprehension than the creating of new offences. Paramilitaries from the North who may come south for the purpose of planting bombs are not likely to be deterred by section 3 of the Criminal Law Bill, 1976. They are more likely to be deterred by an increasing effective barrier of practical security, the type of security that can be achieved only if there is full Garda involvement, adequate provision for equipment and so on. There is no point in trying to pretend to the people that security can be [184] effected by the enacting of legislation. We must concentrate not on reams of legal phraseology but on practical security to protect the man in the street. This is why I say a major initiative should be taken to aid the detection process. I would go so far as to advocate an emergency tax levy for the purpose of increasing security. This levy could be incorporated in the coming budget. I believe that our people would respond positively to such practical measures.

The provision of security staff at hotels, airports and other likely targets should be mandatory. Perhaps I will be told that there is such security but the provision to date in this regard has been to have a security review after a bombing has occurred. This is followed by a period of tightened security after which there is a return to the situation that existed before the bombing concerned occurred. Another practical measure would be a total banning of city centre parking. While I realise that this would cause some inconvenience, it would be a big step in the saving of lives. Such curtailment would concern me much less than would the curtailment of civil liberties. It was general practical security of the type I am talking of that was stressed by the Taoiseach during his contribution in 1974 to the debate on the Northern Ireland situation when, as reported at columns 1580-81 of the Official Report for June 26th of that year he said:

The Government have decided that the time has come for us to ask for more involvement in security by the people themselves in a structured way. We are setting up in each city and town voluntary local security service units, based on local Garda stations, to carry out rostered patrolling and to report to the Garda any activity arousing suspicion. Unattended vehicles, which now constitute the sneak artillery of the dealers in violence, will be a particular object of attention for the new force. We want to ensure that our citizens will be able to carry on their normal commerce in our cities and towns in the knowledge that they are being protected [185] by the Garda with the assistance of the new force. We want to promote a general spirit of vigilance in our citizens. We want to make it difficult for the violent to leave their deadly packages in public places with impunity ...

Whatever happened in relation to these units? The proposal to set them up was an indication of the type of imaginative thinking which could provide immediate practical defence in terms of increased security. Although the Government recognised at that time the advantage of such security measures they have concentrated since on legislative security measures. I agree that there cannot be absolute security but this does not mean that the present system is not capable of being made more effective. Surely the Government do not intend merely to declare a state of emergency and ignore the question of practical security.

Before I leave this aspect of the situation I would refer briefly to the position in Northern Ireland where the trend is to move away from extreme legislative measures that politicise the type of crime we are talking about and to move towards the ordinary criminal law. In this way the terrorists are not given any credibility or status. This new trend in Northern Ireland is the result of years of bitter experience. It would be wise that we take heed of this development. We have relied too much on the implementation of harsh security legislation, whereas if the Government in bringing each piece of security legislation before the House had taken simultaneously political measures we would be much closer to the final elimination of violence than we are today. The enacting of security legislation may be dramatic but it is of no effect if the practical measures are missing.

We must ask ourselves what sort of a state of emergency we are in that does not require simultaneous political measures. If we are facing an emergency in regard to the violence in Northern Ireland, we [186] are facing an emergency in every sense, particularly in the political sense. We must do everything possible to undermine the claims of the paramilitaries but this can be done only by political initiatives. The political vacuum has enabled these people to declare themselves protectors and representatives of the people. As long as the political environment remains static, for so long will these men of violence continue in the role of self-styled leaders of the community and for so long will it be more and more difficult for the genuinely democratic and more non-violent activity to gain a foothold.

The courageous women of Belfast took the initiative and broke the chains of stagnation. They have gone where politicians have feared to tread and have done more in that march than all the political initiatives that have been taken in six years by the politicians. However, it would be tragic if their efforts were not followed by efforts by the politicians, and it would be an insult to them if the only thing we could offer in response to their march was the emergency measure here and the two security Bills. There is a hollow ring to these unimaginative efforts on the part of our Government, especially when one considers the opportunities that have been created by the dramatic initiative taken by the Belfast women. The Government here should give institutional effect to the expressed concern for a political solution to the Northern strife.

There is one other point I would like to make and which I almost forgot. I would have thought in the present situation in Ireland that there should be greater liaison between the Government and the Opposition, extending so far as the creation of a security council with members of the Opposition on it. Such a council of Government and Opposition members should be established immediately by the Government so that there would be regular consultations and constant understanding between the Government and the Opposition on this most important issue. In the taking of [187] political initiatives in Northern Ireland, there should be a permanent council of senior Government Ministers which should be established as a concrete gesture of our concern and determination to do everything we can to bring about a stable situation in Northern Ireland. I do not think we can pass this legislation, close the door and say the North does not concern us. It does concern us and it concerns us very much. There are many aspects of concern between North and South that could be considered by such a council of Ministers, and, as I say, a security committee with members of the Opposition on it would be a positive action that could be taken by the Government.

It is absurd to take an isolationist view and complacently think that it is up to the politicians in the North to solve their own problems, that as long as they contained the problem up North, it does not concern us. That is a very shortsighted policy to adopt. We cannot live in peace down here the way things are, and the answer to it is not the repressive legislation we are contemplating here. Our interests are inextricably entwined with those of the North, and it is not merely in the sense of lost tourism. We should take a positive line and contribute to the formation of a productive political environment in Northern Ireland. It is not merely the threat which these proposed measures pose to civil liberties that is troublesome. It is also the fact that they are being applied in isolation without concomitant political initiatives which are desperately needed and which could contribute so much to the campaign to bring a halt to the violence.

I could not support the measures being taken for the reasons I have stated. I am very much with the Government in their determination to stamp out violence, to protect and preserve the institutions of this State. It is with their method I disagree, and because of that I cannot support this legislation.

Ruairí Brugha: Deputy O'Connell, in a very interesting and, I would say, [188] critical and constructive speech, has expressed many truths, and, in the sense that this is largely a political debate, Deputy O'Connell can hardly be regarded as spokesman for the Opposition. The attitude adopted by the Opposition—if I may spell out in advance the general reaction—has been that the situation in the country has not so far justified the very drastic step of suspending the Constitution and also of extending from two to nine days the period during which a person may be detained. That was the only conclusion the Opposition could come to unless additional and significant information was made available to indicate that something more serious than what we have had over recent years was taking place, and we have not had any further information from the Government.

I of all people do not want to be accused of introducing red herrings, but an Opposition, which can have little influence on the course of events, must, in considering legislation, particularly security legislation, have regard to the possible consequences of the use of such legislation, not so much by the Government in office as by any Government. It is important for the Opposition to bear in mind that the legislation being put forward at present by the Government is the kind of legislation that was introduced in the earlier part of this century in different countries in Europe, laws, for example, for holding people for con-considerable periods incommunicado. In many European countries these laws facilitated the advent of dictatorship, because in the circumstances of some European countries, namely Germany and Italy, in particular, violent and unstable elements succeeded in gaining electoral power. I have said specifically that I do not include the present Government, but it is the duty of an Opposition to try to ensure that the situation cannot arise in which democratic rights may be eroded. At the same time, there must be adequate machinery under the law, adequate penalties and—I refer to the forthcoming legislation under the Criminal Law Bill—adequate deterrents to enable the Government to carry out their functions effectively. It is the duty of [189] any responsible Opposition to support the enactments of such legislation.

It is noteworthy that of all the violence that has occurred in this part of Ireland, most of the incidents, and in particular incidents that caused numerous deaths, have been claimed by paramilitary organisations originating in Northern Ireland. I mention that because one gets the feeling, listening to Government spokesmen referring to legislation, that they seem to be under the impression that all the violence in this country is emanating from some irresponsible extreme Republican organisations. If I am correct in saying that—and I believe it, that is the impression I get—that attitude in itself by Government spokesmen engenders a feeling of cynicism among people who know perfectly well that the origins of violence go far beyond and far deeper than the kind of violence being engaged in by the so-called Provisional IRA.

It is also necessary for the Opposition, in considering the legislation, to bear in mind that, as has occurred in other places in other countries, drastic powers can frequently help subversive organisations by creating an artificial atmosphere of sympathy for them and their motives. I will return to that theme in a moment.

The Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, speaking before lunch, made reference to the amendment by the Opposition and described it as an iniquitous amendment. The Minister is accustomed to using flowery language. In this case he has erred in his interpretation of what is meant by an emergency situation and what are the requirements in law to enable a Government to exercise powers given by the Offences Against the State Act. The Minister seemed to be implying that the Opposition's approach in agreeing in the notice of motion under paragraph A, the ending of a national emergency, and in putting forward their own amendment to the Government's paragraph B, which refers to a national emergency, whereas the Opposition's amendment refers to the continuing violence and to the need to take appropriate steps, that by the ending [190] of the state of emergency the Opposition are in some way depriving or attempting to deprive the Government of the legal functions necessary to deal with the present situation through the Offences Against the State Act.

We are legally advised that it is not necessary in order to enact the existing provisions, that is the provisions other than those under the Emergency Powers Bill which we intend to oppose, and the provisions under the forthcoming Criminal Law Bill, it is not necessary to have or to declare a state of emergency. In these circumstances, the Minister was wrong in speaking as he did.

The Taoiseach yesterday stated that the Constitution was not being set aside and at the same time, later on in his speech, he said in effect, that a public emergency threatening the life of the nation existed. This is in reference to Article 15 of the Constitution. In considering what the Taoiseach said in that respect, any Opposition must approach the question reasonably seriously and try to ascertain what is going on here. I would submit that if there was a serious emergency—if we are to believe the Government—it must have arisen either immediately after the bomb explosions at Green Street Court or immediately after the murder of the late British Ambassador. Yet those events took place more than two months ago and the question that we are entitled to put is: “What kept you until now and what kept the emergency from becoming an emergency for the past couple of months?”.

I say that merely to indicate the doubt the Opposition have about the seriousness of the Government's proposal to put through a motion setting out that a state of national emergency exists. The Opposition's attitude towards the Emergency Powers Bill and towards the Criminal Law Bill in my opinion has been mature, balanced and unhysterical. We have to be concerned in our approach to legislation—whether it be temporary legislation or permanent legislation— about the possible effects on democracy here and on the democratic institutions [191] of the Oireachtas. So an Opposition in approaching that situation must have two considerations in mind; first that legislation should not enable a situation to develop which might lead to a police state but, second, that legislation should be sufficiently strong to enable a Government to deal with any unlawful situation that may exist.

It is necessary, because of remarks that have been passed from time to time by members of the Government about the attitude of Fianna Fáil towards the Northern situation, to repeat—and I suppose it may still continue to be necessary in the future to repeat it—the attitude that I and others on this side have towards the use of violence in this country. I believe that no person here in this independent part of Ireland have the right to take up arms on behalf of the people. That right must be reserved to the Dáil. That right must be reserved to the Government elected by this Dáil. A mandate can only be exercised by the authorised Defence Forces appointed under the Executive of Dáil Éireann.

Those using violence or claiming the right to use violence on behalf of this country or any part of Ireland or any section of the people who live in Ireland are wrong. They have no mandate and should not only be condemned for their wrongful acts but should be told that their actions, whether they are the actions of the Provisional IRA or of the extreme paramilitary organisations, are preventing progress towards any kind of settlement or reconciliation of the northern problem.

The acts that have been done by unauthorised violent elements—on the one hand, supposedly on behalf of unionism and the maintenance of the situation that exists in the North and, on the other hand, supposedly on behalf of Ireland—have damaged Ireland and her good name throughout the world. I believe all elected representatives North and South should continue to protest, object to and disown all violent actions and condemn them outright. But I believe that mere condemnation of extreme republican [192] actions alone are not enough. The causes of violence are many. They are not just extreme republicanism which we know exist. Violence originates from other groups in the North and, to a considerable extent, institutional violence has existed and continues to exist in the North.

We have decided to oppose the emergency declaration unless more information is made available other than the examples given by the Taoiseach, that is, the affair at Green Street and the murder of the British Ambassador. We decided to oppose the emergency motion because we did not believe that such a major step as suspending the Constitution and the extension of the period of detention without trial could be justified. One has only to look at what has happened over the past seven years, not in the North, but in the Twenty-six Counties. Helicopters were used to get prisoners out of jail; prison doors were battered down from outside and explosives were used on the inside. All these events took place in the Republic in the past few years but the Government did not come to the Dáil looking for a state of emergency. If no better reasons are given than those mentioned by the Taoiseach, we are entitled to come to the conclusion that the Government, as with the Jurisdiction Bill, could be using this emergency legislation to put up a smokescreen and, possibly, using the security situation for their own reasons.

We in Opposition particularly over the past few days when determining the attitude we should adopt to these measures, had to face the danger that if we were to oppose the excess powers sought by the Government it could be suggested that our motives were suspect, that we were engaging in party tactics or, as some Members on the opposite side said, that we were pro-IRA. This, of course, is nonsense. We decided, not having the full knowledge the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice may have, that what we have put forward by way of amendment and our approach to the two Bills is as near as we can get to what we would be doing if we were sitting on the opposite side.

The declaration of emergency is [193] causing a good deal of argument. What constitutes an emergency? If the Government's attitude is to be logically interpreted, any single individual who is willing to assassinate anybody of sufficient standing could, in the eyes of the Government, constitute grounds for declaring an emergency. In the United States there was the murder of the late President Kennedy and later the murder of his brother. Not very long ago a diplomat was murdered in Paris. As far as I know, the administrations of those countries did not declare an emergency.

We believe that what has occurred recently—the murders at Sandyford and the bombing at Green Street— cannot be helped by introducing an emergency motion. It can be helped by a more effective security administration and by more effective direction by the Government of the security forces. The Government are responsible, and must be held to be responsible, for any breaches of security.

I must stress that while we are opposing the motion and the Emergency Powers Bill, we will fully support many of the provisions in the Criminal Law Bill because, as a responsible Opposition, we believe that any additional deterrents the Government feel they ought to impose to discourage unlawful activity should be supported. We have studied both Bills and have provisionally drafted amendments to certain sections. While we are opposing the Emergency Powers Bill, we will not be surprised if it is voted through the House. If it is, we will then put down amendments to the sections with which we disagree. With regard to the Criminal Law Bill, we have very strong feelings on the use of defence forces, and in due course, we will be disclosing our views. On the northern situation, as Deputy Lynch said yesterday: “You need more than a policy of law and order,” that the effect of a policy of law and order in trying to help to bring about a resolution of the unfortunate situation which exists in the North of Ireland simply means that the Government's policy in that area is a support of the [194] status quo there which has not worked over the past 50 years.

In regard to these matters generally, there are areas in which any sensible Government should find some way of bringing the Opposition or its Leader into line with its thinking on serious security measures. I do not speak merely as a member of Parliament but as an individual when I say that it is undesirable that Government and Opposition should have a different approach to the use of the Defence Forces and the question of detention. I do not subscribe to the idea that no emergency exists. I believe that an emergency has existed in this country since early in this century and that it will continue, and that any Government will have to be able to employ the full forces of the law in order to ensure that our democratic institutions are protected and defended. The other emergency that exists is one which has been covered by other speakers, that is in the economic situation. That is why the Government should have brought the House together during the recess rather than on the security question which can be adequately dealt with under existing legislation, perhaps with additional powers of sentence under the Criminal Law Bill.

Mr. Keaveney: Coming as I do from a Border constituency and visiting the occupied portion of a country more often than most of the Deputies here, I feel I cannot let this opportunity pass without expressing my views on this motion. I could talk at length and quote from speeches made by members of the present Government when they opposed similar measures but that has already been done at length. The Taoiseach said yesterday that we were called here to consider emergency measures to ensure public safety. We are all for public safety but why is there a panic now? I have not met any Deputy who has said that a member of the public had come along and asked that legislation of this sort should be brought in or that a state of emergency should be declared. We have special legislation and special gardaí [195] at present to deal with the situation. Admittedly, they are working under very difficult conditions. I know of a barracks along the Border that was built to accommodate three or four gardaí and there are 30 gardaí operating from it. In conditions like this these men cannot expect to be as diligent or as enthusiastic as they should be. The ordinary police force has been neglected. Are the garda getting information from the public? Are there many grievances with superiors being attended to? I do not think so. Recently serious damage was done to the fishing fleet in Greencastle when the fishing fleet was attacked. The gardaí were on the scene very quickly and did great work to avert a major catastrophe. It is a very sore point in that area that the Government did not compensate the fishermen who suffered severe financial loss from that attack and that the local sergeant who did great work that night was later rewarded by being transferred against his wishes on some flimsy complaint as, indeed, were very many other Garda sergeants from Border areas. From what source do the Government get their information and from whom has an appeal come for this restrictive legislation? If the Bill is passed and suspects can be held for seven days we will have to provide more jails and detention centres. From my home I can look across at McGilligan Camp; it looks very impressive but I would not like to spend seven days there. I am not sure that there would be many sites offered for a similar purpose on this side of the Border. Nobody wants that type of development. At present all that is required is the word of a superintendent saying he believes a person to be a member of an illegal organisation. What would the position be if we had a spate of arrests now while those arrested denied membership? The authorities would have to prove the case, and there would be long delays and things would be worse than they are at present.

About 60,000 people thronged the Border up around Buncrana last weekend to enjoy the Fleadh Ceoil. It would be very difficult for any [196] visitor there to believe that the Government were on the threshold of introducing a national emergency Bill. The situation in the North overshadows this debate and many and varied means have been tried to solve that problem. The problem will not be solved until Britain gets the message across that she will pull out, and as Deputy Blaney pointed out yesterday, we on this side should be planning for this event. The emergency we should be debating is the economic one. We should get the economy going, raise the standard of living and provide employment for young people so that when the day comes we will be able to offer our fellow Irishmen of all shades on this side of the Border and on the other side of the Border a decent standard of living in a free, peaceful, united Ireland. That day could come sooner than we expect. Let us not be unprepared.

Mr. Esmonde: This is a very serious matter which deals with the security of the State. In dealing with a matter of such gravity one must bear in mind that there is absolutely no room for ambivalent or double thinking. If people believe in freedom and speak about it, these people must be prepared to match their words with action. It is pointless to condemn violence and then stand back. On this vital issue there is no room for hypocrisy. Until this debate started I was unaware of the fact that this Chamber could boast so many hedge lawyers. Words like fundamental rights and civil liberties came dripping from the lips of eloquent Deputies. One speech from the Opposition would have done honour to a subversive in the dock of an Irish court. The Government was accused of brutality and repression. It is horrifying to think that a person being on the front bench of the Opposition could make a speech of that tenor. We must bear in mind and the public must bear in mind that that person could be a future Cabinet Minister on a change of Government. The people must bear in mind what are the alternatives to the present Government. When one is a public representative one [197] should be very careful of one's language. One of the great diseases we have suffered from since 1969 has been scandal in high places, giving example and incentive to lesser people to disobey and have little regard for the law and institutions of State. One must also bear in mind, when considering legislation particularly of a serious kind, that we should also look at the context in which that legislation is framed.

An effort has been made by speakers here to link any emergency at present existing with the emergency that existed in 1916. This is where the fundamental, republican hypocrisy arises here and elsewhere. There is no relation between 1916 and the situation to day and all right-minded people see and understand that but there are people who are trying to use clever arguments to link the two dates of 1976 and 1916. We have at the moment nothing other than common criminals, people who show no respect for life or property.

It is not easy for any Government to take the serious steps we are debating at present. People must realise that a Government must have a sense of duty and responsibility. Time and again the Taoiseach and his Government warned these subversives that if they continued in the pattern of their actions further steps would have to be taken. It is not much use now for people to talk here about fundamental rights. As somebody said, it is the function of a responsible Opposition to make quite certain that one is able to distinguish the wood from the trees. I want to remind the same person that a monkey never has his feet on the ground; he spends his time swinging around the branches of the trees. It is time for people who talk that way to get their feet on the ground and not behave like a monkey in the trees.

The devil has quoted scripture before: we are getting a good deal of it in this debate. We are asked what is the emergency. The representative of a foreign Government is killed on Irish soil: a member of his staff is killed and a member of another staff injured and a courthouse is blown up while the judges are sitting in that courthouse. [198] Is this to be regarded as normal lawlessness? I wonder what are the standards of certain people. What will the public think of some of our spokesmen on civil rights and fundamental liberties in the light of what has transpired in this debate?

One must also realise that when the Taoiseach is approaching a problem such as this he cannot spell out in detail and itemise particulars of where difficulties arise in regard to security. There is one thing I can contribute to this debate: I have been informed— and I believe on good authority—that there is a very strong link between the criminal world and people who like to paint themselves as patriots, and these two groups combine in their bank robberies and facilities are made available for the ordinary criminal by these lawless organisations. There is a money rake-off for the services provided. When that happens a very serious situation is arising. It is under the surface: it is not obvious but it is known to those with the responsibility of investigating these crimes. Nobody can say we have not seen a tremendous increase in crime. It is no use suggesting that the economic situation is the cause of it. It is because people, and particularly people in high places, in the past condoned this sort of conduct and refused to observe their obligations. It is no use saying now that there are plenty of laws if only they are applied. The very people who are saying that, refused and failed to apply the law when it was their duty to do so.

At least one ex-Minister, an exmember of Fianna Fáil, I think, said in this House that he was responsible for the creation of the Provisional IRA, that he helped towards its creation. When a man who can come in and say that, that he created a monster and everything that followed from it, and yet talk about civil liberties and fundamental rights, we must wonder what standards a person of that ilk has or what right he has to judge or partake in a debate of this sort.

The Taoiseach in his speech very carefully analysed the situation and it is well worth quoting what he said so that we may get back to what is really involved in this matter. He said:

[199] In relation to the second part of the motion, the significance of the two outrages to which I have referred is that they represent the culmination of a long series of violent crimes, perpetrated within the State but related, directly or indirectly, to the situation in Northern Ireland. They relate directly in that in many instances the criminals involved were residents of that area or persons formerly resident there. They relate indirectly in that they are the result of a cult of violence rampant in parts of that jurisdiction. Taken together, these crimes add up to a serious danger to the public safety and to the preservation of the institutions of State.

It is about time that we realised we have an emergency. I was surprised at the statement made, I think, by Deputy Haughey that he had got the message that there was no emergency and that people were puzzled about the requirement of this legislation. A question I have too often heard from responsible people is: “Where is all this going to end?” This was before the proposal to declare a state of emergency. People were becoming seriously worried. They wanted a hardening of the legislative approach of the machinery of State.

We must also be careful when we hear the advocates of fundamental rights and civil liberties that they are not at the same time trying to set up a charter for criminals. There is a very narrow line evident in some of the things these people say. The papers have been full of them recently and we shall probably have a rash of them for the next month or so, people who say they are well qualified to speak: they have plenty of academic qualifications.

Let us be practical; our function as a Government is to maintain the structure of society and we have that duty and responsibility. I have always been a constitutionalist. I never like extreme measures but I must frankly confess that we are now almost overdue in declaring this state of emergency. The Opposition would greatly help if they stopped pussy-footing here, took their [200] feet out of the Provisional IRA camp and acted as an independent political party.

Mr. O'Kennedy: One could be tempted to respond to that last unfortunate reference but one must avoid any such temptation, however strong it is. I shall, therefore, resist the temptation to reply to the general allegation he made against this party and I shall relate what I have to say precisely to the motion before us. Deputy Esmonde's contribution will be judged on its merits here and elsewhere and so I shall refrain from comment on it.

We are concerned here with the proposed introduction of emergency powers in regard to conditions the Taoiseach suggests exist in our society, conditions justifying the introduction of a state of emergency. We have two texts to guide us. The first is the national text or Constitution and the other is the International Convention on Human Rights. The national text very specifically indicates the circumstances under which an emergency can be proclaimed. It specifically states that an Act must be expressed to be for the purpose of securing the public safety and the preservation of the State in time of war or armed rebellion. There is an addition to include as a time of war or armed rebellion an armed conflict outside the State, such as the conflict which existed from 1939 to 1945.

The Taoiseach has come in here and, as our spokesman on Justice clearly indicated yesterday, he and his colleagues have refrained from expressing on the face of this proposed legislation, which will enable them to invoke extraordinary powers, the conditions laid down in the Constitution enacted by the people. It is all very well for Deputy Esmonde and others to say we must trust the Government. Of course, we must but, on the other hand, we must acknowledge that it was the people who enacted this Constitution and, in doing so, they gave their assent very clearly to the conditions under which we could introduce emergency legislation and they specifically stated that such legislation would have to be expressed to be in time of war or armed rebellion.

[201] Is the Taoiseach, I wonder, seriously telling us there is such a time of war or armed rebellion here at the moment? Terrible things have happened, things we deplore and reject, things we will fight against, not just by way of reaction but by way of eradicating the causes, but is the Taoiseach seriously suggesting that what did not exist yesterday and does not exist today will exist when these proposed measures are passed by his majority, namely, a time of war or armed rebellion? He refrains from so stating. This will be a matter for the constitutional lawyers to consider, if the question arises, but are the Government shying away from stating what they know they should state in order to get these very extraordinary powers? They are not adhering to the provisions of the Constitution.

It is true that an addition further provides that a time of war or armed rebellion includes a time when there is taking place an armed conflict in which the State is not a participant. Incidentally, a time of war includes an armed conflict. The armed rebellion may apply within our own State and the Taoiseach cannot rely on what Deputy Esmonde suggests in his reference to a spill-over, so to speak, of the violence in the North into the South as a justification for creating a state of emergency.

Deputy Brugha rightly argued that if a terrible deed, and it was a terrible deed, such as the assassination of an ambassador, justifies this legislation, that many other countries would have taken similar powers in similar circumstances. If the assassination of the head of state, President Kennedy, and that of his brother did not justify proclaiming a state of emergency, what justification have we for proclaiming a state of emergency here? The Taoiseach is asking for special powers and in asking us to give him those powers he is asking us to set aside the protection afforded by the Constitution and the laws which order our society and regulate our right to be here. This is a very serious step.

We share with the Taoiseach and his Government the determination [202] to deal with violence, but we have something he and his Government do not appear to have, namely, the determination to get at the causes. Nowhere in the Taoiseach's speech, and it was a very detailed speech, did we get any such indication. Deputy Esmonde suggested we should read the Taoiseach's speech again and again with particular reference to page 4 of the supplied script. I did that at his request and in the first paragraph I find the following:

They relate directly in that in many instances the criminals involved were residents of that area or persons formerly resident there. They relate directly in that they are the result of a cult of violence rampant in parts of that jurisdiction.

It is fine to state that as a fact. There is a cult of violence in parts of that jurisdiction. Have the Taoiseach and his Government seen any need in recent times to examine the causes of that terrible cult and to move to eradicate their roots or are they satisfied that they and we should cast ourselves in the puny role of simply reacting to events by asking for powers such as they are seeking here without doing anything to eradicate root causes? I acknowledge we are all caught up in this problem and we have no right to ignore it. Because we are involved we have an obligation to get at the causes and to take initiatives. Sadly nothing on these lines has emerged. Indeed, the Taoiseach confined himself to reminding us of the tragic and horrible deeds that have occurred over the last few years, such as the kidnapping of Lord and Lady Donoghmore. What is his purpose in this? Is it designed to create hysteria and fear so that some may respond, as Deputy Esmonde suggested they should, and say that the situation is really worse than they recognised and the Government must be allowed to have these powers, and not just the Government but the agents of the State who will exercise the powers under the Government? Is that the purpose? If it is, it is too sad, and it is wrong.

I am not trying to imply that the Government have not been consistent [203] and, in their own way, determined. We have had from the Taoiseach a commitment to introduce, for the sake of preserving public peace, safety and order—that has been so often repeated—what were loosely called local vigilante groups. The Taoiseach in this House said he was doing that. There was response around the country to that. People wondered was there a need. Did the Taoiseach know something that we did not know? Is the situation getting very serious? Perhaps it is. Certainly he heightened the tension throughout the country when he announced that. We waited and waited and nothing was done. What was the purpose then? Why has nothing been done since if the need then arose? The Government set the scene, introduced the tension and then left us all to react, as unfortunately they have been reacting for too long.

Similarly under the Offences Against the Person Order, we were told that that was urgently necessary so that people could be convicted here of murder committed in the North and vice versa. We were told it was urgent and necessary. Again there was reaction. Again there was the question: Why the need? When will it be applied? This did not come just from those people whom Deputy Esmonde rather strangely suggested might be giving a charter to criminals, those whom he seems to imply are not very genuinely concerned with fundamental rights, but it came from the public at large. We saw no such need and no such application.

We came then to the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill and we were told it was urgently necessary, that it would cure this or that and that it would get at the men of violence. All the emotive expressions—eradicate the evil men, put them down, stamp them out —all those expressions to which many people have responded in different ways in different countries from time to time were used. We have done it, Taoiseach we have done it. What has happened in the meantime? [204] We have to ask: Are we now merely doing the same thing? It is fair to say that public reaction since this was announced was one of trust in the Taoiseach. They may trust his Government too—I believe they do, although they may have some reservations about some members of it— but they trusted him on the basis that he would explain to us what is involved. The public, the media and many others waited for that explanation but it did not come. We got, apparently simply for the sake of reminding us that we have come through tough times, a catalogue of the tragedies that have occurred North and South. We got nothing new. I have to say that when we in Fianna Fáil considered our position on this —because we did want to, and will, support the Government, in every necessary step consistent with the stand we have always taken, and I make no comment on our consistency in contrast with the inconsistency of the Government—we have to consider at some length if this was a trap.

Is it not a sad reflection that we who are in Opposition who should be able, spontaneously and freely, to come out and say: “If the Minister and the Taoiseach want it, then we can objectively study it that way”— we did that too and I think the fruits of our studies will emerge very clearly in the amendments we have put down —also had to give some considerable thought to whether or not the Taoiseach or his Government were engaging in a political manoeuvre. It is not that we think we are all Simon pure and that they are not, but that the circumstances in which this was being introduced just did not seem to us to measure up to an emergency. Frankly, they did not seem to be so to the public either.

There is no point in Deputy Esmonde or others saying: “Oh, yes, well then we are prepared to assume there is a common state of crime in the country at present.” Of course, we are not. It is for that reason that we introduced the amendments to the Offences Against the State legislation, which is in the ordinary law of our land. It is for that reason that that [205] legislation is on our statute book, so that those extraordinary powers can be applied, so that Special Criminal Courts such as were introduced by us could be introduced. It is because we recognise that these are not just common criminal offences that we have at all times supported, and will support, the Government in what they seek—with reservations and appropriate amendments on the Criminal Law Bill. But equally for that reason we have to say that these emergency powers and the order to give them effect are not the way to secure the safety and indeed the peace of this State.

The Taoiseach said that it may be necessary—and here, of course, we agree with him—to derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights—and he quotes from Article 15 of that convention which enables a country to derogate from that convention:

... in time of public emergency threatening the life of the Nation.

That is in the Taoiseach's speech. That is when we can derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights to which we were signatories from the start. We are founder members of the Council of Europe. We can proudly claim that we have given impetus, status and recognition to that council and convention at all times. Here we are internationally telling the people, through that convention, or in derogating from it—as the Taoiseach seems to acknowledge will be necessary—that there is a public emergency here threatening the life of the nation. If there is possibly one thing worse than not facing up to such problems as we have, it is aggravating the position in regard to ones we do not have. Yes, there are serious problems, and there have been, but to say that they threaten the life of the nation, and to say that because of it a convention in which we played no small role—in the acceptance of international standards, liberty and fundamental freedoms—has to be set aside to that extent, then, frankly, we are presenting a picture of Ireland which is not in accord with reality as it obtains here.

I wonder how much thought the [206] Government gave to all of this. Did they rather aimlessly move from one step to the other, as they have been moving, from the Offences Against the Person Order, to the vigilantes to the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act? If you like, this is the pinnacle—one step after the other—consistent with all of that but which is not consistent with the position as it obtains here at present. That is the only test. Certainly that test has not been passed by the Taoiseach and his Government in introducing this order and these powers here.

We all deplore and reject without any reservation—despite the implications of Deputy Esmonde or others— the inhumanity and savagery of the Provisional IRA, or any other paramilitary organisations. And let us not distinguish between them—there are many such North and South who have brought nothing but shame on all our people of every tradition. We deplore and reject what they have done and we will do everything possible to ensure that the weed they have sown will be curtailed. But we just cannot satisfy ourselves by simply reacting to what such men do. If we do we are casting ourselves by simply reacting to what such men do. If we do we are casting ourselves in a role which does not fit us here as representatives of our people. They expect that we will do more positive things— not just put them down but also help to get at the sad causes which unfortunately created them and upon which many of them feed at present.

It has been significant that from the Government benches there has not been, to say the least of it, an enthusiastic or even a convincing support for these measures. In brief speeches from speakers who have been noted for their eloquence on many other occasions there has been less conviction than we would have expected. I will leave it at that on the basis that it is a matter for them to analyse whether or not they are simply responding to some inspiration that has emanated somewhere from within the Government, or whether they have discharged their responsibilities, at their party, committee meetings or whatever and have asked, as they should have asked: what really is the purpose? [207] What do we intend or hope to solve by their introduction? That has not been stated up to the present. The reports of yesterday's debate indicate that there was an air of unreality here in this House, there was not the feeling that we were taking a major step. Indeed, there was not because we find it hard to believe that this is being wished upon us or introduced here. There is not that feeling but I suppose the longer we wait with it the more we tend to generate that tense emotive reaction. We are creating something that is not necessary, that was not there before this motion was introduced. We must examine this seriously because the consequences of what we are doing here may be much worse than anything we attempt to cure.

As has been pointed out, and as our amendment has stated, we will support every possible step to increase the effective functioning of our police force and Army in appropriate circumstances. The powers of the police are very strictly defined and this is not an accident. They are derived from the experience of civilised society as the maximum powers one can normally give to police to ensure public peace and order. They are not there just because some judge thought it would be convenient, although many judges' rules govern them. They are the sum of the experience of many countries, our country, the United Kingdom. Germany, France and others. They are the limits within which an effective police force can operate. They are what give us an acceptable police force which we have in this country and which we are very proud to support.

Once one starts to go outside that it is not just a question of moving from one logical step to another. One is turning one's back on the whole tradition of the police in this and many other countries, introducing a new element to which neither they nor the public are accustomed. We will support the strengthening of the police force to the extent of increased recruitment and providing more equipment at whatever reasonable cost. If necessary we want to see [208] more police with existing powers rather than fewer police with more powers.

We want our police to operate within the established powers, not within a whole new range of powers they have not requested. In this connection I am simply stating my own impression; I may be wrong because I have no other information. Perhaps the Taoiseach would put on the record of this House if they have asked for further powers. I am convinced the police are very satisfied to operate within the existing powers which they have but we are going further in the legislation that has been introduced here.

What we are proposing will exist not just under emergency legislation. It will remain part of our permanent law until it is repealed. We are extending police powers to the Army, an armed security force. It may be said this will only be done at the request of a chief superintendent but it can be done in the absence of a chief superintendent. We are doing something we have never contemplated, namely, giving special powers to the Army despite the fact that they are not trained or tested for that purpose and some of them, because of inexperience and years, are not equipped for that purpose. We must remember that they are an armed force. We have always prided ourselves on our unarmed police force and it is fair to say that the Government and their predecessors can claim some credit for this. I do not intend to dwell on this matter now but will deal with it when the relevant Bill is being discussed on Committee Stage.

It must be recognised that what the Government are contemplating is a very dangerous development. I presume there are limitations and regulations that restrict the use and discharge of firearms by the Army. I presume there are strict standard instructions issued by the Chief of Staff or by the appropriate person to the Army. Do the public know that? When the Army are exercising their new powers is there a risk that these instructions, which were issued to them under different circumstances [209] under which they were never intended to have powers of this kind, may not be sufficiently adequate? I am not trying to raise any hysterical possibility or to frighten people about what the Army may or may not do. I am simply pointing out that, by definition, the Army are an armed force whose final strength comes from the fact that they use weapons subject to very strict control. Our police force have enjoyed the support of the people because, among other things, they are an unarmed force.

Mr. Coughlan: Will the Deputy please answer one pertinent question in this regard? Does he not consider that the wilful, premediated murder of an ambassador representing another country demands emergency powers? Are we supposed to sit down and do nothing about it?

Mr. Andrews: It demands the capture of those who committed the atrocity.

Mr. Coughlan: We are giving them powers to deal with the matter.

Mr. Andrews: There are existing powers to do that.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Deputy in possession should be allowed to speak without interruption.

Mr. O'Kennedy: All of us totally reject and deplore the murder of an ambassador of a friendly nation and so far as we can we will ensure that it cannot ever happen to any ambassador in our country. Unfortunately it has happened but we do not want to get involved in that now. I am not saying that increased surveillance and more vigilance could have prevented that horrible deed but it would have been more effective than what we are doing now. As Deputy Coughlan has brought up the matter, we would like to know what the Minister for Justice has done? What inquiries have been undertaken, what special examinations and steps have been carried out? What reports have been received by the Minister regarding that terrible deed and what was obviously some lapse on the part of [210] somebody? I will go no further than that. With many other Members here I have been the guest at that embassy on many occasions and I know the location very well. Even to me as a layman there are many questions that remain to be answered, to ourselves, to the British Government and to many others. I wonder how much the Minister has done to get answers to those questions. I will leave it at that.

The Taoiseach has told the House that we are in a state of public emergency threatening the life of the nation. Quite frankly even such a terrible deed as the murder of the ambassador does not constitute a state of public emergency threatening the life of the nation and I do not think the United Kingdom Government would consider that the assassination of their ambassador should dictate that we should declare a state of public emergency. I do not think they requested any such response. I do not want to impute to the Taoiseach or to the Government all the other possible motives, to create confusion, to call an election or to be consistent with their record of a high profile on law and order. I do not know the answer.

When we talk about our responsibilities we do not want to confine ourselves to reacting to the cult of violence. Fianna Fáil have endeavoured to set guidelines to establish political initiatives and to eradicate that cult of violence but I am not saying we have all the perfect answers. I suggest to the Taoiseach that not only is he reacting to circumstances here but he is reacting to the attitudes being taken by some representatives in the Westminister Parliament. We know that they have a bi-partnership which means an agreement in principle not to embarrass each other, to work in common for a good purpose to bring about effective peace in Northern Ireland. This bi-partnership means that there can be no fundamental difference of policy between them.

The only issue that has been discussed within the last 12 months is the security issue in that parliament. That, from an Englishman's point of view, is perfectly understandable. Their soldiers are being killed, Northern [211] Ireland is costing a lot of money and the understandable thing is that they will question the security issue. The spokesman for the Conservative Party has raised the security issue very often. I believe the Secretary of State has reacted with admirable restraint in the face of some of those criticisms. That is the only issue that has been raised.

Where have we heard of real, constant political initiatives being promoted in consultation with both Governments or are they so confidential that we should not know about them? Where have we seen our Government presenting and supporting such initiatives? While it is understandable that there may be a security consciousness in the UK Parliament, it is very sad that our Government are also concentrating only on the same symptom, security. It is not enough for the Taoiseach to say, as he said a while ago, that the people in the South will lose their will for unity. When a Taoiseach makes a statement like that he is going further than making an observation. When the public look on him they are likely to say: “If he is saying this as our Leader maybe it is so, maybe that is how it should be and that is how it will be”. Many people react like that.

We have an obligation to propose some initiatives. Are we just prepared to ignore the violence which emerges from other sources, even the unfortunate killings? We all know that the security forces of any nation operate under certain stringent regulations. We also know—this is what constitutional law and our responsibilities are about—that it happens that sometimes they overstep. We have the unfortunate experience of this in this country particularly in the North. Have the Government asked the British Government any questions about the killing of Majella O'Hare? If they have, what response have they got? The Government should be seen anxious to preserve peace and order in every sense of the word. They should be able to give some reassurance to those who are likely to turn to those who can only give them further tragedy and injury, that is, the Provisional [212] IRA, any other IRA, UDA, UVF or other such organisation.

There is an emergency here at the moment. I do not want to engage in discussion of what has almost become a common cliché, that is an emergency in the economy. I believe we have an emergency in the whole morale of the country, our concepts of where we are going, our sense of direction for our young people. Since the Government have come into power they have reacted to one thing after another in every sphere, the economic sphere and the educational sphere.

Our young people three or four years ago could look as a fundamental right established by the previous Administration to higher education— at least 80 per cent of them—irrespective of the incomes of their parents. Now they have no right to higher education because the Government have turned their backs on them. If our young people are not getting example from a Government that have a stated concept for them in relation to our culture and history, they are likely to turn to the men of violence. We cannot change the past as some Ministers wish to do. I believe we can try to draw lessons from history and apply them for the benefit of the future. A Government who ask for extraordinary powers should be going in this direction. Many of our young people who want to make a contribution to the country are coming out aimless and hopeless. One of the saddest things we have is that the contribution is not there for them. What is the concept of the country they are being asked to follow? What kind of philosophy have we for them?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Deputy is departing from the motion before the House.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Our young people are very relevant in relation to this. This party, in relation to one section of the Bill, are determined to ensure that the young people who are being recruited into the IRA will be protected. The best protection they can be given is to give them opportunity and some aim to which they can put their [213] talents in a worth-while fashion. I am not prepared, as a Member of this House, that we should confine ourselves, simply as the Taoiseach wants us to do, to react, react and react on the security issue alone. It would be shameful of us to do this. I am not doing this for the sake of scoring points. We have an obligation in relation to our policy on Northern Ireland to ensure that initiative will be taken.

I can see no evidence of any open and public consultation between our two Governments on political issues. We have had a deplorable delay on cross-Border projects. There is a lot that could be done in regard to the European Community and otherwise. There is much that could be done, as suggested by us, in relation to an all-Ireland court with the protections and conventions on Human Rights to get at the causes of terrorism and to protect us from the men of violence. We have reacted all along to moves made elsewhere. Moves made in the United Kingdom derive understandably from the pressures which operate there. The circumstances here are different and if we want to be seen to be entitled to those powers if an emergency were to arise, we should prove ourselves worthy of them particularly in the way in which we promote our national aims and concepts, our sense of direction, socially, economically, culturally and otherwise. That has been sadly lacking.

Perhaps we are just being asked to concentrate on security, fear and hysteria but surely the Irish people have more potential in them. Surely they have potential for effective work towards peace. That will not be done as long as we continue to react in the way we have been doing. There was reason for emergency powers at a time when there was an emergency because of the international armed conflict. When there was the Government of that day ensured, not like this Government—our spokesman on Justice will have more to say on this —that this can be extended by order of the Minister. When it was introduced it was for a stated period of [214] one year and then could only be extended by the elected representatives of the people by a further resolution. The Government see no need for that. Do they not recognise that to vest these powers simply in the Minister by order rather than bring the matter back here, as was done previously, by extending it year in and year out if necessary, giving it a 12-month life only is not the correct way to do this? This was the guarantee that the emergency powers would not be abused or extended beyond what was reasonable and necessary. I do not know where the Government looked for precedents but they are satisfied that these powers can be extended by order unless annulled. My understanding is that there can be an extension only by resolution of both Houses. However, I shall not spend any more time on this point as it will be dealt with by our spokesman.

It is proposed by reason of this emergency legislation to give to a chief superintendent the power to extend from two to seven days the period during which a person can be detained without charge. This is extraordinary power. It does not correspond with any existing power in Northern Ireland where we are told there have been some special powers. Surely there must be some protection built into this legislation. One wonders from where the Government got their enthusiasm for giving to the police this new and dangerous power. We should like to know what the necessity for it is in present circumstances but that is something we can argue on Committee Stage of the Bill.

As we have indicated, we will support the provisions of the Criminal Law Bill that are necessary and appropriate to deal effectively with the symptoms of the problem. However, we would ask that even at this stage the Government would do much more, that they would tackle the causes of the problem. It is sad and deplorable that the godfathers as they are called can feed on the immaturity of our young people and invite and incite them into the IRA, the UDA, the UVF or any other such organisation. But the Government must apply a common [215] standard in relation to all of these people. Our position must be consistent. More than anything else we must protect our young people and the best way of affording them this protection is not merely to deter those who incite them but to give the young people the opportunities to which they are entitled. If there is anything worse than a young person who has not had the opportunity of an education finding himself idle, it is the young person who, although he has had an education, cannot find employment because it is the latter who will be affected more readily by the cynicism which manifests itself among young people when they find no opportunity to put to use their talents.

I trust that the Government will reflect again on the terms they must acknowledge when they ask us to support this legislation. I refer to the terms both of our Constitution and of the European Convention on Human Rights. We are being asked to give to the Government powers to enable them to set aside in this or further legislation the very protection which that Constitution and that convention were framed to afford. That is further than the Taoiseach has asked us to go in present circumstances but in so far as it is necessary to take steps under the existing law, steps which this Government found so repressive in Opposition, we are prepared to support them. We can only hope that in the not too distant future they will see the need, not merely to react in a negative and timorous way but to take an initiative which will eradicate from our midst the cult of violence to which the Taoiseach has referred.

Mr. White: I should be failing in my duty particularly as a Deputy from a Border county, if I did not rise briefly to support the emergency legislation which the Government have put before us. I have been amazed during the past couple of days to listen to some Deputies express anxiety about civil liberties. It is easy for these people to talk in this way but can they say how many people living in Northern Ireland have any liberties today? It is easy for Deputy [216] O'Kennedy who lives in the security of Tipperary to speak in clichés in this regard but I would invite the Deputy to come to the Border area and view at first hand the damage caused by bombs. Is he aware that in those areas people have had to acquire alsatians so that they might protect their liberties, that they are forced from fear to keep guns close by them and to blockade their windows at night? There is no liberty in such a situation.

Mr. Colley: What is happening in Dublin?

Mr. White: Very little in the sense in which I am speaking.

Mr. Colley: The Deputy would not know about that.

Mr. White: I stand for civil liberties for all but if the men of violence are allowed continue to run riot throughout this country any longer very few of us will be able to enjoy the kind of liberties that some Deputies are so anxious about now.

If there is one area in which I agree with Fianna Fáil it is in relation to the timing of this resolution not being right. It is about three years too late because it should have been introduced when bombs exploded in Dublin and Monaghan or when Senator Fox was shot. It is time that we woke up and acted firmly. For too long we have been pussy-footing in regard to this problem. It is not my intention to detain the House very long on this part of the legislation. I shall have a good deal more to say about it later but at this stage I wish to make it clear that I, too, believe in a 32-county Ireland, that I, and probably I alone am the only descendant here of the traditional republic dissenter stock. My grandmother was a Mitchel. I am a dissenter. I dissent from everything that the subversives of today stand for in so far as republicanism is concerned. I am proud to support this legislation.

Mr. Andrews: As a public representative in this freely-elected assembly I, in common no doubt with all the other Members, peruse the [217] various daily newspapers. It was while engaged in this exercise yesterday morning that I noted a heading in The Irish Independent to the effect that £24,000 had been taken in armed raids. This snippet of news is symptomatic, perhaps, of what is happening at the moment or of what may happen tomorrow. With respect to the Government and their so-called state of emergency motion the time of the Dáil is being wasted on this effort. The emergency exists domestically in the context of the daily law and security of the Twenty-six Counties. Our amendment to the Government's motion is to assist the law enforcement agencies in bringing to an end the type of robberies which are occurring on a daily basis—you read the newspapers on a daily basis—but more particularly on a Friday night one can see the Friday fiesta of robberies. It is a most extraordinary situation which has developed in the last few years, the unfortunate carrier of money to pay the salaries or wages of the various factory employees in the city and county of Dublin and throughout the country are attacked on a Friday night. That is where the real emergency exists. We should be considering at this point the strengthening of the security forces. In The Irish Independent of yesterday there was this heading: “£24,000 taken in armed raids”:

In one of a series of raids throughout the country yesterday in which almost £24,000 was taken, an armed gang fired a shot and threatened to shoot a Dublin youth in front of his mother before getting away with £9,000.

The second example is:

Three men posing as car mechanics got away with £10,000 in cash and cheques when they pulled guns on an accountant returning to his office in a busy Cork street.

The third example is on the front page of yesterday's Irish Independent:

Another raid took place at Osbertstown, Dunshaughlin, County Meath, [218] where thieves broke into the home of Mr.——

They got away with a large sum in cash and two buckets full of coins...

They were part of takings from the person's business premises.

It is estimated £1,500 was taken.

How many times do we read that type of bad news in the newspapers? That is where the crisis exists in this community, and the Garda Síochána are not getting the support they believe they require from the Government in the context of their duties. I am not saying this off the top of my head. I wish to quote from the August 1976 issue of the Garda Review, which says incidentally: “The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the policies of the Garda Síochána, the Representative Bodies or the Editorial Board.” I thought it important that I should make that clear in the first instance. The editorial in this issue says:

The Minister for Justice, Mr. Cooney took two opportunities to reply to our editorial in the June issue of the Garda Review. Immediately after publication he told the Dáil that the crime rate in Dublin was considerably lower than in certain English cities. And he added that the Garda Review did not reflect Garda policy.

The Garda Review, as I have just said, does not purport to reflect Garda policy. Again I quote:

In July, Mr. Cooney spoke at the presentation of Scott medals at Templemore, warning against panicking the public and defining loyalty as the willingness of the force to hold its silence, even suffering under a legitimate grievance.

Of course, that is democracy á la the Coalition: you say nothing and you put up with whatever burdens you are asked to carry. It is an appalling prospect. To continue quoting the editorial:

On neither occasion did he attempt to refute the central argument of the editorial: that policing—both preventive and

[219] detective—has been so reduced throughout the country as to give virtually free rein to the criminal. In Templemore he said it was wrong to argue for the division of resources away from the struggle against subversion. The Garda Review did not suggest that the struggle should be neglected; we argued that additional resources should be made available to enable the force to handle the ever increasing crime work load existing over and above the political situation. So let that be clear for the record.

Mr. Cooney's answers are no answers at all. Comparisons between British and Irish crimes rates do not tell the full story. Serious crime in British cities tends to be concentrated in heavily built-up areas with a tradition of criminality going back over many decades. The frightening aspect of our crime problems is its diffusion into quiet neighbourhoods and semi-rural districts where it was virtually unheard of until recently. More that that, an increasing number of gardaí are becoming aware of the phenomenon of “unreported” crime—especially in the larger towns and cities, where many citizens, victims of crime perhaps more than once, have simply decided there is no point in calling in a force so thin on the ground and so stretched in manpower.

That Garda Review from which I have quoted is produced by a crosssection of the law enforcement agency of this nation. Surely that is where we should be concentrating. We should be giving protection to the old folk living on their own in certain suburban areas. We should be extending the physical protection of the law to the streets of the city of Dublin. Who in their right minds with sons and daughters will today allow their children to go into the city of Dublin at night?

The Garda Síochána have regularly called for the reopening of certain rural Garda stations, for the reintroduction [220] of overtime, for an increase in personnel. They have called for all of these things, and their calls have fallen on deaf ears. Until those calls are heard and heeded the real crisis will be there. The Government are only playing politics with their motion which, in my opinion, is wasting the time of this House. Even at this late stage, if the time of the House must be wasted in this fashion, then let the Government heed the amendments put in in the name of the Leader of the Opposition, Deputy Lynch.

I strongly object, as indeed I have objected when my own Government was in office, to this type of legislation. I am being totally consistent in my attitude to it. I deplore in the strongest possible terms the provision extending the period for holding a person from two to seven days. That is appalling, but what is even more appalling is that a Garda chief superintendent can effect that extension from two to seven days. In my respectful submission, the power given to the Garda Síochána is not required by them. If this illiberal piece of legislation is passed, as it will be with the Government majority, then we shall propose an amendment to take that power from the chief superintendent and give it to the Minister for Justice. I have no doubt that, in the absence of the Minister for Justice, the Taoiseach of the day would extend that authority to other Ministers in the Government. That is something the Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach might urge on his Cabinet colleagues.

Another piece of Government sunburstery—this motion can be described as a piece of political sunburstery—is the suggestion that the Army should be given police powers. That is one of the provisions of one of these Bills. It is inconsequent with the traditions of the Cumann na nGaedheal Government and their successors over the years. The late Minister for Justice, Kevin O'Higgins, his heirs and successors, brought into being an unarmed police force—that has always been their boast. Now they are bringing into being, in effect, an armed police force. They are leaving the legitimate law [221] enforcement agency unarmed but they are giving armed power to those who are not even trained to deal with individual citizens on a day to day basis. It is completely inconsistent.

Mr. Kelly: The Army had similar powers during the second world war.

Mr. Andrews: We are not dealing with the second world war. We are dealing with a situation which we believe to be the result of a figment of the Government's imagination. Where the real emergency exists is in the Cabinet room, in the Government's inability to run the country. There is an emergency situation because of the need to govern, the need for leadership. There is an emergency caused by the dead hand of the Government. Young people are not being attracted to politics because of this crisis of government. That is the complete answer to it.

There is another sad aspect of it. It is the position of the former liberals, the Conor Cruise-O'Briens. Where are the former liberals now? It reminds me of an old American radio programme which began by asking “Where are they now?” Some journalist might take up that cry here and ask where are the former liberals. They have put on different hats and come in here. When we on this side of the House did our duty as we saw it in the interest of the protection of the institutions of this State in December, 1972, we were snapped at and harried and harassed by the same people who now introduce far more Draconian legislation. It is hypocrisy with a capital “H”. Of course, the liberals, outside the House express a point of view once in a while but when they are in the Labour Party they stay quiet because they are corrupted.

Mr. Briscoe: Some of them sit on the Sinn Féin platform.

Mr. Andrews: Some of them sat on the Provisional IRA platform recently. One of them is a very decent person——

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: He is not a member of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

[222] Mr. Andrews: The Minister is denying his former colleagues.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: I am making a point of fact.

Mr. Andrews: He is no longer a member of the Parliamentary Labour Party but at that time he was.

An Ceann Comhairle: I suggest the Deputy leave personalities out of it.

Mr. Andrews: He was too liberal. Some of the others, if in Opposition, might well have been on the same platform.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: Like hell.

Mr. Andrews: Those former liberals make me sick. It was suggested in some way by the Taoiseach that we should have some form of task force to help the law enforcement agency but nothing has been heard of that recently. We were told that there was an urgent need to introduce a piece of legislation, the Offences Against the Person Act, but that has gone by the board. Not one person was prosecuted under it. Now we have the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act but not one provision of it has been acted upon. I am satisfied that in 12 months, if there is not a general election in the meantime—it seems likely the Taoiseach will hang on with this Government until 13th March, 1978—none will have been prosecuted under that Act. We will table parliamentary questions in the near future asking how many people have been prosecuted under that Act and I suggest the answer will be that very few, if any have been prosecuted.

This resolution is no more than a crude piece of politics. I come from a totally different background from the learned Deputy Cruise-O'Brien. I come from a strong republican background and I profess to be a democratic constitutional republican. Like my colleagues, I reject the use of violence and I add my voice once more totally to reject the Provisional IRA and all their works and pomps. It is not the first time I have done so. In the recent past I have been subjected not so much to physical attack as to being shouted [223] at from an element of the so-called republicans who do not permit the same freedom to those who wish to reply to them. They have no right to call themselves members of the IRA. The members of the Old IRA in most instances reject them as their successors in title or otherwise. I know Dr. O'Brien is getting upset about this. He was in Sligo the other day——

An Ceann Comhairle: The Minister for Posts and Telegraphs.

Mr. Andrews: He was addressing an American audience and celebrating the American Revolution. It was not altogether dissimilar in concept to the 1916 Rising. Somebody may even have asked him the question: did he accept the American Revolution? May I respectfully ask him if he accepts the American Revolution?

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: I was talking about a man who tried to avoid the American Revolution, Edmund Burke.

Mr. Andrews: At that time the Minister did not give an answer at all. If he accepts the American Revolution, he must accept 1916 and what it stands for.

Mr. Kelly: I do not agree with that.

Mr. Andrews: The Parliamentary Secretary will have an opportunity to discuss this at some length with the learned Doctor. As well as condemning the Provisional IRA, I also condemn the IRSP and their works and pomps, the UVF and all other extreme organisations which have brought nothing but disrepute on the good name of this country.

This is the democratically elected institution of this State. We as members of this democracy must at all times stand out against those who attack it. I believe the organisations I have mentioned are attempting to do just that but they have not been successful. I wish they would get the message. Time out of number they have been rejected by the majority of the Irish people to either speak or act on their behalf. That is a matter of electoral record and that will continue to be so.

[224] If we are discussing an emergency, may I ask the Parliamentary Secretary how, in the name of all that is democratically great, could a Government which purported to be the great upholders of law and order let a little band of socialist revolutionaries into this country six or seven weeks ago to hold a conference here? My information is that a number of these people would not be given access to Britain. This is appalling. What do these people represent? What were they doing here? We know what they were discussing—how to bring about the downfall of the duly elected representative Governments of the various nations of the world. Why should they be allowed hold such a conference in this country particularly at this time?

If this emergency legislation is passed, as it will be passed with the Government's majority, former liberals and all, will it or should it prevent that type of conference being held here in the future? These questions are being asked by people who find the Government's record of law and order so inconsistent and find this piece of sunburstery inconceivable. These are some of the matters I felt it was my duty to mention. They are thoughts and statements of facts which may or may not be replied to by the various speakers throughout the passage of this motion through the House, the consequent Emergency Powers Bill and the “ordinary legislation” described as the Criminal Law Bill. We reject the Emergency Powers Bill and the motion but in doing so we have offered a positive alternative by way of amendment.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: Ceasing a state of emergency altogether. That is your contribution.

Mr. Andrews: We reject all violent organisations. We tried to do our duty in 1972. Despite the attitude of the then Opposition they are now bringing in this legislation to take, in some way, public attention off the real issues which best this country. On this point the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, in my view, is truly representative of the great propaganda [225] machine used by this Government. He has not made one contribution to his own portfolio, the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. That is another emergency.

An Ceann Comhairle: That is not relevant to this debate.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: Why not say a word about the Fianna Fáil amendment? That interests us.

Mr. Andrews: I have already spoken about our amendment which says:

having regard to the continuing violence in Northern Ireland and the deteriorating law and order and security situation within the State, Dáil Éireann directs the Government to provide and to utilise in full, adequate personnel and resources to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all the citizens, and to take all necessary and appropriate steps to combat and defeat subversion and the activities of unlawful organisations.

Dr. Cruise-O'Brien: It calls for the cessation of a state of emergency.

Mr. Andrews: That is a very reasonable amendment and should be seen to be so. We are calling for the return of the Garda Síochána, the foot patrols, to the streets of this country, the right of the individual to walk in the heart of this city and country at night without fear. Do the Government seriously think, to bring it to its extreme, that if this emergency legislation is passed, as it will be passed, that some extremist will not go out in the morning and commit the same type of crimes that were committed before this legislation was passed?

Let us be realistic. Even the President of the United States was assassinated despite the greatest protection in the world and the most stringent legislation protecting him. We deplore the death of the British Ambassador and his colleague. We deplore the Green Street bombing and thank God there were not more tragic consequences. But do not use those two incidents to introduce emergency legislation.

Mr. E. Collins: Why?

[226] Mr. Andrews: I agree with Deputy White for whom I have a great personal respect. If the death of the British Ambassador requires the introduction of emergency legislation, why did not the death of the late Senator Fox require it? I deplored his death as I deplored the death of the British Ambassador.

Mr. Kelly: There is such a thing as the last straw.

Mr. Andrews: He had no right to die. He had the right to be a Member of this Oireachtas. He had a right to live. Let us not fiddle-faddle with the intelligence of the people.

Mr. Kelly: I do not want to interrupt the Deputy but——

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy should not be interrupted.

Mr. Kelly: ——there is such a thing as the last straw.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Order.

Mr. Andrews: The real crisis in this Government is in relation to the economy. The real crisis in this Government is in giving the law enforcement agencies the powers to tackle the ordinary day-to-day criminal who besets old people living alone in the suburbs of this country, who cannot lock their doors at night knowing that they will not be attacked. The Garda should be given authority to deal with that emergency.

Mr. Kelly: Every Government that ever was here has reacted to the last straw. The first Government brought in new legislation when Kevin O'Higgins was murdered.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Parliamentary Secretary must desist from interrupting. Deputy Andrews, without interruption.

Mr. Andrews: We will support the Government in the implementation of any legislation which will increase the Garda Síochána and give recognition to the need to guard this country properly. Our opposition to the [227] Emergency Powers Bill will be seen in the light of our grave doubt for its need at this time. We accept certain aspects of the Criminal Law Bill. There are certain features of it which no doubt will be dealt with by our spokesman which we find anathema, and I hope that Deputies O'Connell and Thornley vote against those sections in the Criminal Law Bill because they represent themselves as being upholders of civil liberties and that is what is in issue here. I agree with Deputy White that the people against whom we are speaking today, the Provisional IRA, are illiberal people. They have no concept of liberality good bad or indifferent and we reject them out of hand and also their brother or sister organisations.

We find it very difficult to accept that the Government in certain circumstances should give to the legitimate Army of the Irish Republic the right to become an armed police force. The Irish Army are effectively here to defend the State in time of war. We can only wonder at the extension of the uses to which the Army might be put in different circumstances. The adoption of these measures would give the Army the full paraphernalia of the Garda Síochána. They are not trained to do the work of the Garda Síochána. When talking to a few members of the Garda Síochána who might not necessarily be representative of the general view of that body, I discovered that they do not want to give those powers to the Irish Army. I have not spoken to members of the Defence Forces but I would suspect that there are certain Army officers within that honourable corps who do not want these powers given to them and who recognise the role of the Army. I believe the Criminal Law Bill of 1976 will undermine in many ways the proper operation of the Garda Síochána on the one hand and the Irish Army on the other.

This Government's record is one of the undermining of national confidence since it took up office. The Minister for Posts and Telegraphs is one of the most efficient propagandists in the Government. There have been headlines [228] in the newspapers on a daily basis in relation to the record of the Government in the field of law and order. When one sees yesterday's headlines, £24,000 taken in armed raids, when one wonders whether that becomes today's headlines and tomorrow's headlines and the next day's headlines....

An Ceann Comhairle: Order. I am afraid the Deputy has been indulging in repetition for some time past. We have heard this before. Order, order.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Order. Let us have an orderly debate. Deputy Andrews will please address his remarks to the Chair.

Mr. Andrews: I appreciate that the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs would be more at home with his British Establishment friends than possibly in Dáil Éireann. I understand that. I also take up the view expressed by our spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Deputy O'Kennedy, and we should not be reacting to such a situation. The British Government and the duly elected Government of the Irish people have a common interest to preserve the law and security in a part of this island at the moment. There is no question about that, but when I hear people like Airey Neave and company, the arch-conservatives, praising the present Irish Government for legislation to be introduced into this House my hackles rise.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Order.

Mr. Andrews: I understand that the arch-conservative in the British Opposition, Airey Neave, immediately after the great women's peace march in Belfast wanted to put the boot in, in traditional British fashion to the extreme organisations, possibly to the ruination of the wonderful peace movement. This is the sort of mistake British politicians have made in this country over the years and they never learn by their mistakes. We do not want lectures from them. If we are to do our own thing in this House, we will do it on our own account. My [229] strongest advice to Mrs. Thatcher if and when she becomes British Prime Minister is to drop Mr. Airey Neave as spokesman on the North.

Mr. Halligan: I would have preferred a less stormy issue on which to address the House for the first time, but I believe that there is an inescapable obligation to contribute to this debate because of the gravity of the security situation and of the Government's measures to deal with it. I intend to support this motion because I am certain that having examined the security situation in all its aspects and having evaluated the threat which it contains for our civil liberties, the Members of the Cabinet became convinced that these measures were necessary. I am certain that these measures were not lightly introduced and that they were brought forward with reluctance and a full realisation of their gravity and public impact. I am prepared to trust the judgment of the Cabinet in these matters, in the matter of invoking Article 28.3.3º.

I believe that it is designed to do only what the Taoiseach said yesterday that it was intended to do, clear the way for the Emergency Powers Bill, and that it is intended to do no more than that. I do not believe that the passage of this motion will suspend all constitutional guarantees as has been alleged. I do not regard the declaration of a national emergency affecting the vital interests of the State as a means of subverting civil liberties which would otherwise be protected by the Constitution. I do not regard the declaration as a subterfuge for importing into our legislation measures which are designed to repress basic human rights of citizens. In summary, I do not attribute bad faith to the Government in introducing this motion or its proposed legislation. I do not believe they are opening the door to a police State, cracking down indiscriminately on civil liberties or attempting to squash democratic organisations under the guise of legislation supposedly designed to secure the safety of the State.

On the contrary, I am convinced that the Government are acting for the reasons stated yesterday by the Taoiseach, the protection of the lives [230] of citizens and the prevention of terrorist acts within this jurisdiction against Northern Ireland and against institutions of this State. If I believed otherwise I would not and could not support this motion or the proposed legislation and I would be prepared to take the consequences. However, as I am convinced that members of my party such as the Tánaiste and the Minister for Local Government, Deputy Corish and Deputy Tully, and the other Labour Members of the Cabinet as well as their Fine Gael colleagues are acting sincerely and genuinely in introducing these measures, I believe I must support them. I repudiate those unprincipled attempts to present Ministers as Machiavellian conspirators secretly scheming the overthrow of our constitutional liberty. Rather do I agree with The Irish Times editorial of 25th August which said:

Sloganising and efforts to depict leading Ministers as ruthless enemies of civil liberties do an enormous disservice.

I would add “and a disservice to civil liberties which are under attack by the Provisional IRA and other terrorist organisations and which could admittedly be damaged by this Government's response to terrorism”. The principal author of attacks on civil liberty here now are the Provisional IRA, not the democratically elected Government. Equally, do I deplore those attacks on Ministers which depict them as mindless or unwitting agents of an encroaching police State or as being blind to dangers which are evident to others. Such caricatures— and they were offered in the course of this debate—are, I believe, a real threat to democratic Government and should be discouraged especially by those who have held high office in the past and who aspire to it again in the future.

The real situation with which this Government have had to contend since it took office and the nature and extent of what its response should be are best summarised in that same editorial of The Irish Times of 25th August when it said:

The situation with which the [231] Government has been faced in recent years has been, and is, one requiring a special response that goes beyond the normal rules of law and justice in a democratic society. Any such extraordinary measures must, by definition, be distasteful and even repugnant in terms of civil liberties. However, once the need for special measures is conceded, the debate must be on whether the threat justifies the extent and type of departure from normal practice involved.

The article concluded:

The questions that must be asked are these: Are the measures necessary in the present situation? Are they as narrowly framed and carefully drawn as they should be? And are they tactically wise at this moment?

It seems to me that these are the right questions to ask on this motion and legislation.

Having accepted the good faith of the Cabinet and the sincerity of their intentions, I believe the matter becomes one of balance and proportion. The balance to be struck is that between the liberty of the general body of citizens and the liberty of the individual. How far do you suppress the liberty of some in order to safeguard the liberty of others? I believe that is the central question. The Constitution does not provide a ready answer. It contains guarantees in respect of fundamental human rights but at the same time it contains the means for modifying or limiting them. It does not confer absolutely inviolable rights on citizens but admits that on occasion individual rights can be limited. It admits this by virtue of Article 28.3.3º which was written in by the author of the Constitution for the express purpose of permitting the Oireachtas to use its judgment as to where the balance should lie.

If it had been intended to copper-fasten inviolable fundamental rights under the Constitution, Article [232] 28.3.3º would not have been included in it. But it was included deliberately and, indeed, extended by constitutional amendment, so establishing beyond all question that the then Taoiseach, the late Deputy de Valera intended the Oireachtas to have power which in certain well-defined circumstances could not be limited by the Constitution. This fact is often overlooked by those who believe the Constitution contains absolute guarantees on civil liberty at all times and this belief is, I believe, at the root of much of the confusion about civil liberty. If provisions of this character were incorporated in the Constitution, it would be an extraordinary elevation of individual liberty at the expense of social liberty and it would not correspond to the legal situation as I know it in any other democracy. It would be more a prescription for anarchy than for democracy. It is a position sometimes held by politicians when in opposition but rarely when in Government. If we accept that the Constitution intended to permit derogation from its fundamental rights by means of legislation in certain specified circumstances I think the question is: should we do it now? Should we declare a new state of emergency notwithstanding the existence of one declared on 2nd September, 1939 and never revoked?

I believe the Taoiseach put forward cogent arguments for making such a declaration. We are aware that since 1969 there has been political violence in Northern Ireland, that it originated there and that it is mainly concentrated there. We are also aware that the IRA, specifically the Provisional IRA, have been engaged in political violence for over six years, the longest continuous period of IRA activity since the foundation of this State. We are all aware of this but I believe that few of us are prepared to draw what should be the logical conclusion, that the Provisional IRA have taken on the characteristics of a permanent revolutionary organisation. Its life cycle is no longer confined to relatively short periods of activity as in the past. It goes on month after month and year after [233] year. This is a new and damaging phenomenon for which there is no historical precedent. I do not think it serves any purpose to deny or contest this element of permanence in the Provisional IRA.

It could be held that although the latest outbreak of IRA violence has exceeded all previous outbreaks it is not yet serious enough in scale or intensity to warrant exceptional measures such as the Emergency Powers Bill. The Taoiseach's catalogue of daily atrocities in the North as contained in his speech yesterday refutes this argument. So also does the growth of IRA activity in our own jurisdiction. The Green Street bombing and the assassination of the British Ambassador could hardly be exceeded in terms of seriousness or security implications.

I have another piece of evidence of the express intention of the IRA as outlined at a recent public meeting in Belfast commemorating the introduction of internment, that meeting that triggered off the cowardly and vicious attack on the home of Gerry Fitt, the MP for West Belfast. According to The Irish Times of Monday, 9th August, 1976, Mr. Andreas O'Callaghan, representing the Ard-Chomhairle of Provisional Sinn Féin in Dublin, said and I quote: “They were in a war and their cause was right and just and if the war lasts for the next 50 years it could not repay Britain for the famine or Cromwell. We say to the Quislings in the Free State that, once we get the Brits out, we can deal with them too”. So they are at war and they are enemies, first, of the Brits and then of us. Perhaps it could be said this was wild and excited rhetoric at a public meeting but I am more inclined to think it represents the true attitude, indeed the historic attitude, of the IRA and Sinn Féin towards this State. It is not a statement that can be discounted or discarded. I think it proves the point that more than six unbroken years of political violence in the North have created a state of emergency, whether or not it be constitutionally declared.

The real emergency here now is the permanent threat of the Provisional IRA to our State, to our people, to [234] our freedom and to our liberties. That permanent threat must be met by new measures, not by old ones, and that permanent threat to our civil liberties comes from the Provisional IRA and not from the democratically elected Government of the State. That permanent threat to our democracy and to the liberties that flow from democracy is a political reality and the Government have rightly decided to translate that political reality into a constitutional declaration.

As I understand it, the legal purpose behind the declaration is to permit the Garda to hold a suspect for seven days without charge. There is no other purpose. It can be asked are these new powers so invaluable that they are worth the invocation of Article 28.3.3º? Could we not do without that and so avoid the necessity of declaring a state of emergency? It can also be argued there is no proportionality between the powers being sought and the legal and political consequences of the declaration and this argument has been put forward. It is clear from the Taoiseach's speech that the Government believe themselves fully justified in imposing this limitation on individual liberty because the security authorities consider that the extended period available for questioning suspects would unquestionably help to bring to justice the perpetrators of a significantly greater number of offences before they can carry out further outrages. The purpose behind the proposed Bill is, therefore, to secure the conviction of terrorists and prevent further acts of terrorism. These are serious reasons, indeed, and no one who has lived in this city for the last four years would wish to deny to the security authorities the means of dealing with terrorism and no one with any compassion for the ordinary innocent people in Northern Ireland would wish to deny the security authorities the means for limiting and preventing violence.

In the end it all boils down to a question of trust that the security authorities are right in their estimation of the value of these new powers and that the Government are right to give them these powers. Only for very weighty reasons could one argue that [235] this trust should not be extended to the Government and to the security forces. I am not saying that we should automatically extend this trust to the Government and the security forces in all cases but in a democratic State threatened with armed subversion there is a prima facie case for doing so. Again, I am not arguing that we have absolved ourselves from ensuring the new powers go no further than is necessary and that they contain built-in safeguards in respect of civil liberties. I shall say more about that later.

Having conceded that the detention powers are necessary to secure conviction and prevent further outrages and requiring the constitutional protection of Article 28.3.3º, the question revolves then around the wisdom of revoking the declaration of 2nd September, 1939, and making a new declaration. By doing so we would have been wiser to have used the 1939 declaration. By doing so we would not have alerted the world to the unsettled state of affairs in our jurisdiction. Neither would we have alarmed public opinion, as it has been alleged it has been alarmed.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach in a brief intervention yesterday made a point that from a legal point of view the Emergency Powers Bill could have been introduced under the motion of September, 1939. He said a declaration of a state of emergency now was not legally necessary as a prelude to the Emergency Powers Bill. It was logical but not legally necessary to give effect to the Bill. Knowing he is an eminent authority on the Constitution, I believe he is right. But the Government decided that the 1939 motion should not be invoked because the state of emergency arising out of the 1939 world conflict has ceased to exist and, secondly, because the new powers being sought are necessitated by the Northern Ireland situation. Notwithstanding the political capital that can be and has been made out of this motion and notwithstanding the misinterpretations to which the motion has been subjected, I believe the Government's decision has been correct. [236] When a state of emergency has ceased to exist, it should be so declared by the Oireachtas. It is dangerous to leave a declaration hanging like the sword of Damocles over the Constitution when the situation the declaration was designed to deal with has long since ceased and it would have been the height of cynicism to have used the 1939 declaration to cope with the security problems of 1976. The public reaction to such a use would have been, in my opinion, devastating, and rightly so, and far in excess of anything we have had in response to the present motion. Article 28.3.3º is to be employed. Then let it be employed on the basis of an existing political situation and not because of a legal anomaly. The Government were right to do this. If we are going to employ Article 28.3.3º let us do so after we have had full and open debate on the circumstances surrounding its implementation and not on the subterfuge of a situation long since gone.

We are having such a debate as a result of this motion. It is to be welcomed because the debate will help to ensure that no more than is necessary will be done to safeguard democracy and our civil liberties. One of the central points I would wish to see established in the debate is this: if the motion is passed, we are not suspending our constitutional liberties in toto. I do not believe we are creating a new and unique legal situation. I do not believe we are placing personal freedoms in jeopardy any more than they are today or were yesterday. If the motion is passed our legal position will be no different to what it has been for the past 37 years under the Constitution. Neither will it, I maintain, be any different from that which obtained essentially under the Constitution of Saorstát Éireann. That Constitution was capable of being amended by ordinary legislation and was so amended on a number of occasions. This Constitution has contained Article 28.3.3º from its inception and always carried the potential for the Oireachtas to over-ride, by way of legislation, the guarantees expressed in its various Articles as to personal liberty.

[237] Under Article 28.3.3º once a state of emergency affecting the interest of the State has been declared nothing in the Constitution may be invoked to invalidate any law enacted by the Oireachtas which is expressed to be for the purpose of securing public safety and the preservation of the State. Therefore, since the 2nd September, 1939, we have been living in a state of emergency without the constitutional protection which many people believe, and still believe, exists. As one commentator put it in a newspaper last Sunday, we have unwittingly lived in a state of emergency for 37 years, and before that, as I have said, without any real constitutional protection for sixteen years. Unwittingly or not the state of the law for 37 years has been that any Act passed by the Oireachtas under Article 28.3.3º, on the basis of the motion of the 2nd September, 1939, could not be declared repugnant by the courts.

For those reasons I do not believe that the passage of this motion creates a totally new or novel legal situation. I am unmoved by the arguments of those who having unwittingly slumbered for so long in forgetfulness of the motion of the 2nd September, 1939, now find their wits and claim that a new and dangerous situation will arise after the declaration of the state of emergency and the passage of this motion. There is nothing new in the situation. It could be countered that although the situation is not new it is certainly dangerous. Simply because it lacks novelty does not mean it lacks danger. For those who advance such an argument, I would reply that it would be extremely difficult to put forward evidence that over the past years Article 28.3.3º has been abused by the Oireachtas, by using it not as a means of defending the state of public order but as a device for suppressing the civil liberties of the ordinary citizen. I do not anticipate that an impressive catalogue of such abuses could be, or has been, drawn up. I do not believe that our experience of more than half a century of democratic government gives any evidence [238] to suggest that governments here avail of this type of provision for denying civil liberties, for negativing or for minimising them. I believe that when it happens there are other reasons and motivations. But I believe the argument of those, such as I, who say that this motion will not result in a serious derogation of ordinary civil liberties, which can be sustained by the evidence of our experience. I hold that the facts of past years sustain the argument that there will not be any unnecessary encroachment on personal liberties by this Legislature in the future.

There is a certain mystique attached to written constitutions which can be, I believe, greivously misleading, giving the impression that we have more secure liberties than we actually have. Perhaps I might quote from page 48 of the original addition of the book “Fundamental Rights in the Irish Law and Constitution” written by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach:

... it is the simple truth that the Irish citizen enjoys no better constitutional protection against encroachment on his personal liberty by the legislature than does the subject of the British Crown.

And we all know, of course, that according to Sir Hartley Shawcross the subject of the British Crown is compared to a boy of blue eyes being slaughtered at birth at the behest of that parliament. But the equation between the protection of our liberties and those in the adjoining country is not widely realised because many people read into the Constitution protections that simply are not there.

In the last analysis I believe that we must depend on the democratic instinct of legislators to protect civil rights and on the democratic processes to correct unwelcome departures from demanded standards. It is this Legislature, answerable to the people, which is the bulwark against repression and not the courts. Civil liberties are, first, a matter of politics and then of law, and not vice versa. For that reason I believe that those who oppose the motion on the ground that it is setting aside civil liberties, guaranteed by law, are misreading the [239] situation and misunderstanding the true relationship between politics and law in a democratic society.

Having said that, I do have some political considerations which I hope will give rise to amendments of the Emergency Powers Bill. I do so as one who has twice supported these proposed measures in public during the last week. The Emergency Powers Bill has been held to be necessary by the security authorities and I accept that. But the extension of the period of detention, without charge, from two to seven days contains, within itself, certain dangers which agitate many people who are completely opposed to the Provisional IRA but who are also concerned about the rights of those held in custody and who are innocent until proven guilty. I share some of that concern and specifically in respect of the following: a person held in detention under the Emergency Powers Bill should have guaranteed daily access to a legal representative.

Mr. Wilson: We have that down anyway.

Mr. Halligan: If that access is not guaranteed, then some of the moral force sustaining these measures will have been lost and some of the best people in our society will have been alienated in their support for these measures and for the Government's general security policy. I would not wish to see that happen. It is no reflection on the Garda to ask for these guarantees. Rather it will be a protection of their high status in our society. I ask the Taoiseach to ensure that such guarantees can be, and will be given, effect. Such an assurance would do much to strengthen support for these measures and assuage legitimate apprehension.

In addition, I should like to see established and, indeed, announced during the course of these debates, an independent complaints commission in respect of the Garda. This is long overdue in a general sense but is made more urgent now because of the possibility of the period of seven days' detention. If there is no such complaints machinery established two things will [240] happen: there will be a rush of complaints of brutality against the Garda, many of them deliberately manufactured for propaganda purposes by illegal organisations, but there will also be instances where an independent complaints commission will prove to be the only satisfactory means of determining whether or not complaints are genuine. Again, I would make the point that many people who are bitterly opposed to the Provisional IRA and who are deeply committed to the preservation of democracy in this country see the establishment of an independent complaints commission as a sine qua non in the matter and in these new circumstances arising from the proposed Emergency Powers Bill they would regard it as even more important and essential. So do I.

I ask for its establishment without in any way detracting from my support of this motion or its attendant legislation. If these safeguards are conceded they will strengthen popular support for these measures. I believe that popular support for democracy in this country was never stronger but we should build on that strength and we should protect our liberties. In general, we are doing that in this motion and in the attendant legislation and, accordingly, I support it.

The Taoiseach: There used to be a custom that I hope has not lapsed that the speaker subsequent to a maiden speech congratulated that speaker. I should like to offer Deputy Halligan my congratulations and good wishes.

This debate has centred around a number of matters but the first issue raised was the question whether it is necessary to declare an emergency. In the course of the debate a great deal of comment has been made and a good deal of hysteria has been generated about the necessity for an emergency. The fact is that since 1939 the country has had an emergency resolution that was never repealed. Some Deputies have commented that although there have been changes of Government all administrations left the legislation as it was and that is true. I was previously associated with two Governments but the last one was 20 years ago. It was approximately ten years after the [241] second world war and what with the Korean War and other events it had not been repealed. Much more recently when the present Opposition were in office they did not repeal it.

Suggestions have been made that the 1939 resolution is adequate to protect the emergency powers. The advice given to the Government is that that may be so but that in order to put the matter beyond doubt should the emergency provisions proposed in the legislation that will be introduced after this motion is passed be challenged this resolution now before the House will ensure that a challenge in such an event could not be sustained. It is notable in the amendment proposed by the Leader of the Opposition that the assent to paragraph (a) of the motion in my name would involve allowing the 1939 resolution to lapse and no other resolution would be put in its place.

It has been asked why we are publicising to the world that there is an emergency. I suppose it is thought that the fact that the existence of the 1939 resolution was not often referred to meant that people had forgotten about it. I know that the Opposition, and some Deputies in particular, hope that the public memory is short. Listening to their speeches one would be pardoned for agreeing with that assumption but perhaps it is not quite that short.

A good deal of play was made about why the Government did not consult the Opposition. Perhaps we were following a bad precedent. When we were in Opposition there were a number of occasions when there was no consultation; with the exception of some consultation on events in Northern Ireland I cannot recall any consultation on security. There was one occasion but it was I who approached the then Taoiseach about it. That is the only occasion I can remember but the initiative was taken by me when I was sitting where the Leader of the Opposition is seated.

As Deputy Brugha rightly said, in the last 50 years we have had a history of illegal, irregular armed conspiracies [242] against the State. It is essential to get this matter into perspective, to see what has been the approach to deal with that problem. During the Civil War there was internment. Subsequently that was dropped until the advent of World War II and during that time internment was operated. Younger Deputies will be pardoned if they gathered from listening to this debate that the State was involved in active belligerency with some outside power. At that time internment was operated against the IRA and against illegal organisations within the State who were plotting and who attempted to overthrow the State. Time passed, the war ended and that threat receded.

Shortly after the end of the war the first Coalition Government were elected and during that period things were relatively quiet. After that Fianna Fáil came back to power and, again, things were relatively quiet. Then in 1955 or 1956 there were some incidents of a serious character where a number of people lost their lives, mainly in the North of Ireland. Some police stations were attacked and policemen were killed. The Govment of which I was a member at that time took action; they prosecuted people and secured convictions against a number of persons in the courts. There were relatively few involved but it was thought so serious that action was taken against those concerned. In March, 1957, Fianna Fáil were re-elected to office. A number of people were serving jail sentences for membership of the IRA and other illegal organisations. In July, 1957, the then Fianna Fáil Government introduced internment. It is true that there are not many Members of the present Dáil who were members of that Government. The Leader of the Opposition, Deputy Lynch, is one and Deputy Blaney who spoke last night is another. They were members of that Government. That Government derogated under the terms of the European Convention on Human Rights in a written communication to Strasbourg. I do not know if it is necessary to read out a copy of the derogation except in so far as the language is interesting because [243] it is what one might describe as typical Fianna Fáil language. It said:

In so far as the bringing into operation of Part II of the Act, which confers special powers of arrest and detention, may involve any derogation from the obligations imposed by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, I have the honour to request that you be good enough to regard this letter as informing you accordingly, in compliance with Article 15 (3) of the Convention.

That was a derogation.

Mr. Brennan: Who signed it?

The Taoiseach: The Government of the time. It was sent on behalf of the Government. If the Deputy wants to see it he can. It is a communication sent by the then Department of External Affairs on behalf of the Government. I do not recall Deputy Blaney objecting to that. I do not recall the Leader of the Opposition objecting to it. There are some Deputies in this House, including Deputy Brennan, who was not then a member of the Government or a Parliamentary Secretary—I suppose we were all younger then—but some of the younger Fianna Fáil Deputies were hoping for promotion either on the basis of performance, pedigree or marriage, who were silent. There was no question that this was repressive, no question that it abrogated civil rights, no question that it allowed members of the Garda to submit to the smear that was suggested here today, that brutality, repression and ill treatment had become so common: that was not substantiated but the smear was spread abroad.

There was not the slightest whimper out of any of them. Time passed and it was ended after about two years. Things were then relatively peaceful until we come to 1969. Deputies, particularly Deputy Colley, Deputy Blaney and others, were selective in their quotations from Deputies on this side of the House. They were even more selective in their dates. Deputy Collins complained about the attitude [244] of some Members on this side of the House when they introduced the 1972 Offences Against the State Act. He referred to what they did in strengthening the legislative provisions to deal with illegal organisations. Then he was a little emboldened and he went back to 1971, and mentioned something that was done at that time, a speech made by the Leader of the Opposition but he did not go back any earlier.

He did not tell the House what happened in the House in May, 1970. That was forgotten. That is where the crisis of confidence occurred in the determination of the State to deal with subversion. I always compliment the Leader of the Opposition that when I went to him about it we woke up the following morning and found that Ministers had been dismissed. That is when the crisis of confidence occurred. We are told now by the Opposition: “Strengthen the Garda, increase the number of gardaí on the beat.” Who shut the Garda stations? The Leader of the Opposition or Deputy Collins said it happened in different circumstances when they were in. There are now 1,000 more gardaí than there were when Fianna Fáil left office and we propose to recruit more. They hold up their hands in horror at the idea.

One or two of them who spoke here this afternoon waxed indignant, if not eloquent, about the enormity of the fact that the Government, members of this party, who established the unarmed Garda force, were now going to allow armed soldiers to help them in patrolling. Again, their memories are short. The last time the Army had powers of search was during the war when Fianna Fáil were in office. There was no suggestion that the Army were let loose on the natives of the country to shoot on sight. That did not happen and it will not happen now.

They again shed salt tears and expressed concern about elderly men and women living in fear and dread of the consequences of marauders let loose. They want the Garda to go around and apprehend those people. I support that. We are fully in favour [245] of that. The people they are apprehending are not elderly people, people at drawingroom tea parties, symphony concerts or exhibitions of paintings. They are sophisticated criminals. If you want to interrogate them, if you want to hold them for the period recommended by the competent police authorities you should not do it because it is an interference with civil rights. When Fianna Fáil were in office, when there was not more than probably half a dozen incidents in the whole period I mentioned, 1955, 1956 and 1957, internment was operated by Fianna Fáil and the great liberals and champions of personal freedom, some of them in this House, were absolutely silent. The only thing that was itching them then was to get their feet on the ladder of promotion and, of course, they got that. That is the position.

I have often said, and I want to repeat, that there are many decent, harmless men in Fianna Fáil but they are confined by two things. Some of the older ones are confined by past history and some of the others are confined by the fact that the dissidents still wag the dog. I listened to Deputy Colley with some care today. He said there was detailed discussion in the front bench and party and that this amendment in the name of the Leader of the Opposition had the unanimous support of every member.

Mr. Brennan: That is correct.

The Taoiseach: I think Deputy Brennan said the same. Time is a great healer and one has not to look too far to see how it heals some of the divisions in Fianna Fáil. The only thing I can never understand is that Deputy Blaney speaks clearly and unmistakeably and one knows his attitude. It is consistent. It has been consistent—since May, 1970. There was not a word of objection before May, 1970. We are told that we are interested only in law and order, that this is the only aspect of the Northern problem in which we are interested but that for some reason we do not take action in other ways. The common phrase that emanates from [246] almost every Deputy opposite is “political initiative”. That is a most impressive phrase so long as one does not examine it too closely. As I have said before, if speeches, declarations or propaganda could settle the Northern problem, Fianna Fáil would have settled it not only for this generation but for all time. This is not a new situation. The type of speech that was made here last night by some Deputies and which was reiterated today by others is great stuff if one is talking in the absence of the Press or of one's opponents. It is great stuff for a Fianna Fáil cumann, for the backwoodsmen, provided one is not being reported. It is the old stuff that was good enough for ten, 20 or 30 years but which has run its course. So far as Fianna Fáil were concerned it ran out once they were faced with the problem of government. There is no turning back the clock. There is an old saying that when you take the shilling you have to follow the drum. Once Fianna Fáil took the £360 a year they had to follow the drum: there was no turning back. As Deputy Brugha rightly said, we have been faced with this problem which has been the scourge of our country for more than 50 years, during which time we have had recurrent illegal armed conspiracies against the State. As a nation and as a Parliament we must reject such conspiracies and resist them. We should ensure that there is no ambivalence in that regard.

Deputies: Hear, hear.

The Taoiseach: But there is ambivalence. Even in some of the relatively moderate speeches from the Fianna Fáil side while there was talk of being against the IRA and other paramilitary organisations and against compelling by force the unity of this country, when one considered all the “buts” used one did not know where they stood. This was typical Fianna Fáil language—an effort to be a little on both sides of the road. In some cases if there were 15 sides they would be on each one of them. Of course there are numerous provisions in Acts that are not implemented but that does not mean that they should be repealed. It [247] has been suggested that in some way this measure is abrogating the Constitution whereas it is confined specifically to the legislation necessary to ensure public safety. That was included in the Constitution.

With force and effect last evening Deputy Blaney quoted from speeches made by both Mr. Paddy McGilligan and Mr. James Dillon who were Members of the House when the amendment was moved in 1939 and who expressed some concern in relation to it. Deputy Blaney should have continued his research because at that time the Constitution could have been amended by a simple Act of the Oireachtas. The situation has changed since and it can be amended now only by referendum. The fears expressed by the two Deputies mentioned related to the fact that the amendment could be introduced and enacted simply by a Dáil majority and, provided it was passed by the Seanad, it would become part of the Constitution.

We are asked to suggest positive initiatives in regard to the North of Ireland. Like the previous Government, we have had discussions, consultations and a number of meetings with representatives of the British Government and for the first time we got from them a declaration that if a majority of the people of Northern Ireland agreed to a united Ireland, the British Government would support that wish. Since then we have had numerous discussions with representatives of the different political groups in the North, both separately and in conferences and we said no later than immediately prior to the dissolution of the Convention that any arrangement that had the agreement of the groups represented there would be acceptable to us. I do not know how much further we can be expected to go.

It is not helpful to make continuous speeches particularly when those speeches do not produce any positive result. Fianna Fáil were in office for 35 years. They have made many speeches and declarations in regard to the North. Indeed, some of them have toured the globe in that regard but did all of this bring any nearer a united [248] Ireland? Did it help in any way to bring together our people or to convert any unionist to our viewpoint? Having tried all that kind of approach the then Leader of Fianna Fáil, the late Seán Lemass, suggested that there should be established an all-party committee of the Dáil to review the Constitution but we know what happened to that. Eventually there was prepared and published a report of the committee which at one stage was presided over by Deputy Colley. That committee made certain recommendations but I was given to understand that on one occasion when there was a suggestion to change the Constitution some of the older Fianna Fáil members of the committee had almost to be tied down. They could not be held in the room because so far as they were concerned any such change was tantamount to destroying the Ten Commandments. Admittedly, the late Deputy Lemass was not there at the time but the fact remains that there was established an all-party committee to consider what amendments should be made to the Constitution but that with the exception of that initiative, there was none of a positive kind.

It sounds very impressive to speak about taking political initiatives. We have had many declarations from Fianna Fáil. There was one last year from the Leader of that party on the eve of the Mayo by-election when, to use the words of the former Deputy, Mr. James Dillon, they thought that cat would fight but it did not. The fact remains that after all that there is the position in which the gravest situation ever exists in Northern Ireland, a situation which is affecting the lives not only of the people there but of the people in this part of the island.

Exception has been taken by the Opposition to this proposed emergency motion and legislation. Again, Deputies opposite are hoping that the public memory is short. Yesterday I quoted the number of deaths and serious injuries that have resulted from the violence which culminated in the death of the British Ambassador and the lady secretary as well as the explosion in Green Street courthouse. But in [249] December, 1970, when there had been much fewer people killed, when no events such as I have mentioned had occurred—there had, of course, been the problem in the North of Ireland from 1968-1969—the then Taoiseach, Deputy Lynch, said at column 487, Volume 250, of the Official Report of 9th December, 1970, in reply to a Private Notice Question by the Tánaiste, Deputy O'Connell and myself:

The Government view with deep gravity the situation arising from this information which has been carefully checked. They have given the fullest consideration to the problems that this gives rise to and they have decided that, unless they become satisfied that this threat is removed, they will bring into operation, without further notice, Part II of the Offences Against the State Act, 1940, which provides for internment.

What was the threat? The threat was that people were about to be kidnapped or that Ministers or others might be assassinated. That was only a threat. We have had kidnappings here since. It is not a threat; it is a fact, and they object to the powers that have been given to deal with a much more serious situation which, when it was only a threat under Fianna Fáil, they were going to bring in Part II of the Offences Against the State Act. I do not recall any Deputy of the Fianna Fáil Party objecting to that. There were Deputies then, some of whom are now sitting on the front bench—they were back benchers then —and I do not know whether they were so much in agreement with the Government that they did not want to say anything or whether they were muzzled or whether they did not feel like saying it, but I do not recall any objection from them. They now criticise the proposal to allow the Garda to interrogate and to allow them to hold people for an extra period beyond that which has been the practice up to now.

So far as giving the power to the Army is concerned, this is a limited power. It is a limited power to detain people for not more than six hours. They must be either handed over to [250] the Garda in that time or released. These powers were operated by a Fianna Fáil Government to deal with the same illegal organisation. We are told now to take action against people. We have increased the Garda. We have increased the Army. Is it suggested we keep the soldiers as ornaments, to have them parading up and down in uniform? What does this amendment mean when it says: “and so utilise in full adequate personnel and resources to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all the citizens and to take all necessary and appropriate steps to combat and defeat subversion and the activities of unlawful organisations”? If ever there was a bit of window dressing in the course of this debate, that is it. We have increased the Army and the Garda, and we have increased them for the sole purpose of trying to stamp out this evil from our society.

We inherited a dubious security situation. I want to give the Leader of the Opposition and Deputy O'Malley and the responsible, decent Members of the Fianna Fáil Party a certain amount of credit. I suppose few people think less of Fianna Fáil than I do, but the fact is that from the time Deputy O'Malley was appointed there was an effort made to correct the absolute crisis that had occurred in May, 1970, the repercussions of which are still affecting this country and have paralysed the Fianna Fáil Party.

I know there was great indignation here recently. I think one Deputy upbraided the electorate because only a certain percentage voted. The fact is that, despite the serous international situation, despite the grave problems of the North of Ireland, despite all the problems we have had to deal with, after three-and-a-half years our strength in this Dáil has increased and the party opposite have lost ground. That is the verdict of the electorate. They know that, and they are trying to talk here about the economic situation. That would be plausible enough if it were not under Fianna Fáil that public money was misappropriated. It was not under this Government; it was under Fianna Fáil. I listened to advice on the economy, [251] and it would sound plausible enough if that record was not there indelible and inescapable. That is the record of Fianna Fáil, maybe not all of them but some of them, and they have to accept collective responsibility for it.

So far as we are concerned, this power is not going to be abused. A general election is due not later than next March twelve months, and if people think that the powers we have taken in these measures are excessive, if they think we have gone beyond the authority of a democratic State and Government, that we are abusing in some way the trust that is reposed in us, they are free to vote against us and we will accept the will of the people as we always did. When I hear people talk about repressive legislation and civil rights—I sat for most of my political life as a minority party in this country and we had to work our way up from below ground to get where we are. We had to fight not against illegal organisations trying to deny it but against a vociferous and arrogant Fianna Fáil Party who wanted to shout everyone down. Of course that is their past. I remember going to meetings and you could not be heard, because when there were not enough locals they brought them in in buses and char-á-bancs from everywhere, and if they were not sufficiently vociferous they tanked them up, and they tanked them up because “the tecateers” paid for it. That day is over.

Mr. Spring: We smashed all that.

The Taoiseach: Indeed you did, Dan. Fianna Fáil have become respectable. But I think Deputy Brugha is right: it would take a good while —I feel it would take probably another generation—either to weed it out or to breed it out of them. The fact is that so far as civil rights are concerned, there is no interference with anyone who obeys the law in this country. You can stand up and make a speech about anything anywhere. Provided you are not a subversive, you can make a speech about anything, and indeed many of them [252] making speeches have sailed close enough to the wind. Of course it is easy for Deputies opposite; some of them have never had responsibility, and some, when they had it, acted irresponsibly, but now pose as champions of civil rights, as champions of reform, opponents of repressive legislation. By their deeds you shall know them. When they were in office the position was a fleabite compared to what we have to deal with. There were not 37 people injured, never mind killed in this State or in the North of Ireland. I think there were three or four people. During that time the Fianna Fáil Government introduced internment. They were not satisfied with what we had been doing. We had been arresting people, charging them and if the courts convicted them they were sentenced. I think we had a couple of hundred people in jail in 1957. Fianna Fáil were not happy with that.

I have listened to all this great stuff, but one must date it. Deputy Blaney said we had an agreement with the British Government not to disclose the results of the Court on Human Rights findings until tomorrow. Of course, that is not so. It is a procedure required by the Court and Commission on Human Rights. He must know as a former Minister that it is they who decide. He was a member of a Government who derogated from this Convention. A few minutes ago Deputy Andrews said the Conservatives in Britain applauded what we were doing. Did they applaud the Fianna Fáil Government for internment in 1960? Oh, there was strong Government, there was leadership! Leadership for what? To deal with a handful of people. There were three or four people killed. Now there have been 37 people killed in this country and we have been told we should wait until it gets worse.

Of course, we should not wait until it gets worse. On the one hand they speak about a breach of security, a defective police operation, and on the other hand they say that in the United States the President can be shot and his brother can be shot, there can be attempted assassinations and they cannot [253] do anything about it. In other words, we are expected to have absolute security, while according to Fianna Fáil the greatest country in the world cannot have it. We realise that. We know there cannot be absolute security. One has not to go very far to realise that. One can turn on the television or the radio any night of the week to find this all over the globe. Unfortunately, in the violent era in which we live there are assassinations and attempted assassinations everywhere. There cannot be absolute security.

We have increased and we will continue to increase the strength of the Garda and the Army. But there is a limit to what any country can support. The Opposition tell us: “we will give you any money you want for this.” When they were there themselves and when the problem was not so acute they had not the same number of gardaí as we have. They closed Garda stations. That force cannot be built overnight. It is not like putting your hand into a bag of sweets and taking out trained gardaí the way you take out a handful of sweets. Gardaí have to be trained and be provided with equipment. Soldiers have to be trained and equipped. We have done that and will continue to do it.

Of course, we are conscious of the fact that the declaration of an emergency brings a new situation to the extent that it highlights the position. The only difference is that there has to be an emergency measure passed by Dáil and Seanad since 2nd September, 1939. This proposed resolution is current and, therefore, it gets current publicity. We think it is better to attack the cancer of subversion and armed conspiracies in our society, that they are the deterrent to investment, that they are the deterrent to tourism, that they are the deterrent to jobs, that they are the deterrent to the hopes of our young people.

I heard a Deputy opposite getting eloquent, indeed getting almost hysterical, about the prospects for our younger people. The best hope, the only hope, the one that guarantees a chance to everybody is peace, order [254] and stability in our society. We have got to accept, and we will accept, the burdens necessary to bring that about as long as we are in Government, and if the people want to throw us out at the end of it this is a free country and they can change the Government again as they did in the past.

Another criticism is that this is permanent legislation. Fianna Fáil again have short memories. The Offences Against the State Act has been 37 years on the Statute Book. It is permanent legislation which does not depend on an emergency. Fianna Fáil are concerned because this is not temporary but permanent. That legislation is there and under it the Special Criminal Court operates. I think it was Deputy O'Malley who asked if it were intended to operate military courts. Military courts have been operated here in the past. They operated effectively. In recent times, because of criticisms that the procedures adopted and the methods used in these courts might give rise to doubts about the legality of the procedure, it was decide by the last Government to operate the present system. As far as I am concerned, both systems worked well. I think the old military tribunals worked very well in very difficult circumstances. I think the present Special Criminal Court is doing a good job in very difficult circumstances, and we propose to continue to operate it.

We have been asked if we have any other proposals in mind. We have none at present. In this situation there is little use in promising that if the position deteriorates further legislative provisions may not become necessary. Deputies opposite talked as though it is not the legislation that is wrong but some operation by the security forces, the Garda or the Army. The fact is that a great many provisions of our criminal law and our civil law, although on the statute book, have not been used for a variety of reasons—they are not employed, not operated.

In the past 50 years we have had Public Safety Acts. In the past 20 or 30 years we have operated under the 1940 Act which, though under a different [255] title, replaced earlier Acts. The difference is that under our Constituation there must be an emergency resolution by the Dáil and Seanad to ensure that the legislation passed is not open to challenge. That is the only reason we are doing this. There is no political motive in it. It would be a mistake to become complacent because the recent elections were satisfactory from our point of view. I assure [256] the Opposition that there is no proposal to cause them any undue anxiety in that regard. We consider these powers to be necessary and we believe the public support them. I think it is time for the decent men in Fianna Fáil to assert themselves and put the other people in their places while there is still time and before any further damage is done to the country.

Question put: “That the words and letters proposed to be deleted stand.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 70; Níl, 64.

Barry, Peter.

Barry, Richard.

Begley, Michael.

Belton, Luke.

Belton, Paddy.

Bermingham, Joseph.

Bruton, John.

Burke, Dick.

Burke, Liam.

Byrne, Hugh.

Cluskey, Frank.

Collins, Edward.

Conlan, John F.

Coogan, Fintan.

Cooney, Patrick M.

Corish, Brendan.

Cosgrave, Liam.

Costello, Declan.

Coughlan, Stephen.

Creed, Donal.

Crotty, Kieran.

Cruise-O'Brien, Conor.

Desmond, Barry.

Desmond, Eileen.

Dockrell, Henry P.

Dockrell, Maurice.

Donegan, Patrick S.

Donnellan, John.

Dunne, Thomas.

Enright, Thomas.

Esmonde, John G.

Finn, Martin.

FitzGerald, Garret.

Fitzpatrick, Tom (Cavan).

Flanagan, Oliver J.

Gilhawley, Eugene.

Governey, Desmond.

Griffin, Brendan.

Halligan, Brendan.

Harte, Patrick D.

Hegarty, Patrick.

Hogan O'Higgins, Brigid.

Jones, Denis F.

Kavanagh, Liam.

Keating, Justin.

Kelly, John.

Kenny, Enda.

Kyne, Thomas A.

L'Estrange, Gerald.

Lynch, Gerard.

McDonald, Charles B.

McLaughlin, Joseph.

McMahon, Larry.

Malone, Patrick.

Murphy, Michael P.

O'Brien, Fergus.

O'Donnell, Tom.

O'Leary, Michael.

O'Sullivan, John L.

Pattison, Seamus.

Reynolds, Patrick J.

Ryan, John J.

Ryan, Richie.

Spring, Dan.

Staunton, Myles.

Taylor, Frank.

Timmins, Godfrey.

Toal, Brendan.

Tully, James.

White, James.

Níl

Allen, Lorcan.

Andrews, David.

Barrett, Sylvester.

Blaney, Neil T.

Brennan, Joseph.

Breslin, Cormac.

Briscoe, Ben.

Brosnan, Seán.

Browne, Seán.

Brugha, Ruairí.

Burke, Raphael P.

Callanan, John.

Calleary, Seán.

Carter, Frank.

Colley, George.

[257]Gallagher, Denis.

Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.

Gibbons, Hugh.

Gibbons, James.

Gogan, Richard P.

Haughey, Charles.

Healy, Augustine A.

Herbert, Michael.

Hussey, Thomas.

Keaveney, Paddy.

Kenneally, William.

Kitt, Michael P.

Lalor, Patrick J.

Leonard, James.

Lynch, Celia.

Lynch, Jack.

McEllistrim, Thomas.

Collins, Gerard.

Connolly, Gerard.

Crinion, Brendan.

Cronion, Jerry.

Crowley, Flor.

Daly, Brendan.

Davern, Noel.

de Valera, Vivion.

Dowling, Joe.

Fahey, Jackie.

Farrell, Joseph.

Faulkner, Pádraig.

Fitzgerald, Gene.

Fitzpatrick, Tom (Dublin Central).

Flanagan, Seán.

[258]MacSharry, Ray.

Meaney, Tom.

Molloy, Robert.

Moore, Seán.

Murphy, Ciarán.

Nolan, Thomas.

Noonan, Michael.

O'Kennedy, Michael.

O'Leary, John.

O'Malley, Desmond.

Power, Patrick.

Smith, Patrick.

Timmons, Eugene.

Tunney, Jim.

Walsh, Seán.

Wilson, John P.

Wyse, Pearse.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Kelly and B. Desmond; Níl, Deputies Lalor and Browne.

Amendment declared lost.

Motion put.

The Dáil divided: Tá, 70; Níl, 65.

Barry, Peter.

Barry, Richard.

Begley, Michael.

Belton, Luke.

Belton, Paddy.

Bermingham, Joseph.

Bruton, John.

Burke, Dick.

Burke, Liam.

Byrne, Hugh.

Cluskey, Frank.

Collins, Edward.

Conlan, John F.

Coogan, Fintan.

Cooney, Patrick M.

Corish, Brendan.

Cosgrave, Liam.

Costello, Declan.

Coughlan, Stephen.

Creed, Donal.

Crotty, Kieran.

Cruise-O'Brien, Conor.

Desmond, Barry.

Desmond, Eileen.

Dockrell, Henry P.

Dockrell, Maurice.

Donegan, Patrick S.

Donnellan, John.

Dunne, Thomas.

Enright, Thomas.

Esmonde, John G.

Finn, Martin.

FitzGerald, Garret.

Fitzpatrick, Tom. (Cavan).

Flanagan, Oliver J.

Gillhawley, Eugene.

Governey, Desmond.

Griffin, Brendan.

Halligan, Brendan.

Harte, Patrick D.

Hegarty, Patrick.

Hogan-O'Higgins, Brigid.

Jones, Denis F.

Kavanagh, Liam.

Keating, Justin.

Kelly, John.

Kenny, Enda.

Kyne, Thomas A.

L'Estrange, Gerald.

Lynch, Gerard.

McDonald, Charles B.

McLaughlin, Joseph.

McMahon, Larry.

Malone, Patrick.

Murphy, Michael P.

O'Brien, Fergus.

O'Donnell, Tom.

O'Leary, Michael.

O'Sullivan, John L.

Pattison, Seamus.

Reynolds, Patrick J.

Ryan, John J.

Ryan, Richie.

Spring, Dan.

Staunton, Myles.

Taylor, Frank.

Timmins, Godfrey.

Toal, Brendan.

Tully, James.

White, James.

Níl

Allen, Lorcan.

Andrews, David.

Barrett, Sylvester.

Blaney, Neil T.

Brennan, Joseph.

Breslin, Cormac.

[259]Calleary, Seán.

Carter, Frank.

Colley, George.

Collins, Gerard.

Connolly, Gerard.

Crinion, Brendan.

Cronin, Jerry.

Crowley, Flor.

Daly, Brendan.

Davern, Noel.

de Valera, Vivion.

Dowling, Joe.

Fahey, Jackie.

Farrell, Joseph.

Faulkner, Pádraig.

Fitzgerald, Gene.

Fitzpatrick, Tom. (Dublin Central).

Flanagan, Seán.

Gallagher, Denis.

Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.

Gibbons, Hugh.

Gibbons, James.

Gogan, Richard P.

Haughey, Charles.

Healy, Augustine A

Herbert, Michael.

Briscoe, Ben.

Brosnan, Seán.

Browne, Seán.

Burgha, Ruairí.

Burke, Raphael P.

Callanan, John.

[260]Keaveney, Paddy.

Kenneally, William.

Kitt, Michael P.

Lalor, Patrick J.

Leonard, James.

Loughnane, William.

Lynch, Celia.

Lynch, Jack.

McEllistrim, Thomas.

MacSharry, Ray.

Meaney, Tom.

Molloy, Robert.

Moore, Seán.

Murphy, Ciarán.

Nolan, Thomas.

Noonan, Michael.

O'Kennedy, Michael.

O'Leary, John.

O'Malley, Desmond.

Power, Patrick.

Smith, Patrick.

Timmons, Eugene.

Tunney, Jim.

Walsh, Seán.

Wilson, John P.

Wyse, Pearse.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Kelly and B. Desmond; Níl, Deputies Lalor and Browne.

Question put and agreed to.