Location: Flemings Hotel. Private meeting.
CATHAL BRUGHA (Waterford Co.) moved and T. MAC SUIBHNE (Cork Mid) seconded:—
"That the Dáil ratify the inclusion in the Ministry of Earnan de Blaghd, Director of Trade and Commerce."
JOSEPH MACDONAGH (Tipperary N.) opposed the motion on the ground that this would mean two Ministers of Trade and Commerce. He asked if the Minister previously appointed had resigned or had been dismissed.
The ACTING-PRESIDENT replied that the Member was labouring under an extraordinary misapprehension. There was no Minister for Trade and Commerce, but the strength of the Cabinet had been reduced by Mr. de Valera's absence. There is a Minister for Industries.
J. MACDONAGH (Tipperary North) moved:
"That no Minister be appointed until 16B on the Orders of the day had been discussed."
S. MACENTEE (Monaghan S.) seconded. He asked for an explanation of the absence of the President. No Member of the Dáil had been consulted. It was neither right nor fair to them that they should be unable to say whether the President had gone away, and where he was.
This was due to the sudden and unexplained departure of de Valera to the US.
The PRESIDENT-SUBSTITUTE replied that before the Dáil adjourned every Member would be informed as to the facts. The proposals before the House must be carried or rejected, and until the revolutionary proposals appearing lower down in the Orders of the day were carried they would go on.
EOIN MACNEILL (National University) said that he had no special fitness for the post he occupied. Mr. de Blaghd had done a considerable amount of work in the Department of Trade and Commerce and he should be glad that he (Mr. de Blaghd) should be appointed an active Member of the Ministry. There was great danger that while they were gaining the political Independence of Ireland they might lose it economically.
A Division was challenged on the Amendment, and on a count of five votes for, and twenty-two against, the original question was put and carried.