Committee Reports::Report - Proceedings and Minutes of Evidence - Exclusion of Certain Duly Authorised Visitors::09 May, 1934::Proceedings of the Joint Committee



Dé Céadaoin, 9° Bealtaine, 1934.

Wednesday, 9th May, 1934.

1. Chruinnigh an Coiste ar 11 a.m.

2. I láthair: An Cathaoirleach (i gCeannas), an Leas-Chathaoirleach, Siobhán Bean an Phaoraigh, Séamus Dubhglas, Brian O Ruairc agus Risteárd Mac Liam.

3. Do léigheadh leitir o Thomás Mac Eoin á rá go raibh sé ag eirghe as an gCoiste agus ag luadh na réasún a bhí aige le heirghe as. Do bhí an Coiste ar aon aigne nárbh fhéidir, toisc Thomás Mac Eoin do scur do bheith ina bhall den Choiste, an leitir do fuarthas uaidh do bhreithniú.

4. Do thairg an Cathaoirleach go gcuirfí an t-alt nua so leanas isteach roimh alt 15 de Dhréacht-Thuarasgabháil an Chathaoirligh:—

Before paragraph 15 to insert a new paragraph as follows:—

“15.—(1) The evidence of Senator Miss Browne raises the question whether her action in bringing to Leinster House at a particular time on a particular day two persons who she knew would be wearing the blue uniform shirt of the League of Youth, and for whom she had procured tickets of admission to the Seanad Gallery, was dictated by a desire on her part to challenge the authority of the Ceann Comhairle and the Minister for Defence in issuing orders that persons so attired were not to be admitted to Leinster House. The Committee are of opinion that her action was so dictated. She herself is a member of the League of Youth, and ordinarily wears the blue uniform shirt (Q. 364). She was apparently aware that such orders had been issued, and that persons wearing blue shirts had been refused admission to the Dáil pursuant thereto (Qq. 34-38). She knew that the decision in such matters lay with the Cathaoirleach so far as the Seanad was concerned (Q. 38). She had met the two gentlemen in question about a week previously at a Convention of the United Ireland Party, and they, amongst others, expressed a wish to visit the Seanad (Q. 369). She knew beforehand that they would be wearing blue uniform shirts (Qq. 1, 366, 367, 372), but she did not admit that they had told her so (Q. 373). She said that she was bringing them ‘in the ordinary way’ (Q. 39). They came to Leinster House by arrangement on the first meeting day of the Seanad after the Convention referred to. They were both Dublin men (Q. 21) and therefore had not travelled up to Dublin specially to visit the Seanad.

(2) It was elicited in evidence that, though Senator Miss Browne had been informed that it was essential for her to insert on the admission cards the names of the visitors (Q. 2), she did not do so, and that the names were in fact written by the visitors themselves (Q. 16). The Committee regard this matter as unimportant and irrelevant. It does not appear to be the practice for Senators or Deputies personally to write the names of their visitors on the admission cards (Qq. 380-382). Senator Miss Browne had been informed that she was personally responsible for the conduct of the visitors (Q. 2). She accepted that position, knew the two gentlemen personally (Q. 26) and was prepared to vouch for their conduct and character (Q. 22).

(3) It seems to the Committee that Senator Miss Browne’s action, judged in the light of the circumstances outlined above, was clearly intended to be in the nature of a test case. The bringing of a test case is, in the circumstances, not only a permissible but even a desirable thing to do. If the orders made ultra vires by the Minister for Defence and the Ceann Comhairle were not challenged in this or some other way, but had been enforced indefinitely, it might ultimately, and with some justice, have been urged against the Seanad that it had ceded its privileges by its own inaction. The Committee is of the opinion that the motive underlying the action of Senator Miss Browne is wholly irrelevant to the question which they were asked to investigate, viz., the matter of the exclusion of the visitors by the military.”

Leasú tairgthe (Siobhán Bean an Phaoraigh):

“That the last sentence of sub-section (3) be deleted.”

Ceist curtha agus diúlta.

An t-alt nua aontuithe.

5. Tairisgint déanta (an Leas-Chathaoirleach):

“That the Chairman’s Draft Report, as amended, be read a Second Time.”

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe, Siobhán Bean an Phaoraigh gan aontú leis. Leis sin d’imigh Siobhán Bean an Phaoraigh ón gcruinniú.

Do léigheadh an Dréacht-Thuarasgabháil an dara huair.

Alt 12.

Leasú tairgthe (Séamus Dubhglas):

To add at the end of the section the words:—“The evidence of the Superintendent of the Oireachtas, in regard to this and other matters, was based on notes made by him at the relative times (Qq. 289, 290).”

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

Alt 30.

Tairisgint déanta (Séumas Dubhglas):

To delete the last sentence and to substitute therefor the following:—“We therefore do not recommend that any action be taken under Article 20 of the Constitution in respect of the present breach.”

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

Alt 30, mar do leasuíodh, aontuithe.

Alt 31 aontuithe.

6. Tairisgint déanta (Brian O Ruaire):

“That the Chairman’s Draft Report, as further amended, be the Report of the Committee.”

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.

7. Chuaidh an Coiste ar ath-ló 12.40 p.m.