Location: 3 Mountjoy Square. Private meeting.
The ACTING SPEAKER suggested that the Report of the Propaganda Department be next taken, as there was a Money Vote required for that Department.
The SUBSTITUTE DIRECTOR OF PROPAGANDA in presenting his Report said that internal Propaganda in Ireland, which was constantly mentioned in the debates, presented many difficulties. The remnant of the Irish Press was terrorised, so that internal Propaganda could only be done by posters or through organisations, and any such Propaganda must have the active support of the people to be successful. He failed to see how they could carry out Propaganda in Ireland unless they had machinery for it. His idea was to run the Department on as little money as possible. Most people engaged in National Propaganda spent huge sums. His Department's methods had been to use other people and other people's money as far as possible. It was obvious at this stage that they required Propaganda inside Ireland, and that must be done by organisation inside the country. Now that the President had returned, he was anxious that their Propaganda be extended, and consequently the Department asked that its Vote be increased by £5,000.
The adoption of the Report was proposed by K. O'HIGGINS (Leix), and seconded by the MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT.
J. MACDONAGH (Tipperary, North) said that he had already suggested the advisability of using posters in England. It was one of the chief forms of Propaganda used over there, and he suggested that the Self-Determination League should distribute 50,000 posters every week in England. It would have a very demoralising effect on the British Government, and it would keep the question before the public. A tremendous number of people would read these posters, which could be short and terse and contain actual facts.
LIAM DE ROISTE (Cork City) suggested that advertisements be put in the English Press which, though opposed to them, would insert such Propaganda if paid for.
SEAN MACENTEE (Monaghan, South) thought the Director of Propaganda had gone far too much upon what he might call conventional newspaper lines, thinking it was simply his duty to compile Propaganda. He held that it was also his duty to see that it was published. He had given a lot of material to Continental and foreign newspapers, but here at home the Press was left in the hands of the enemy. He held that it was not the duty of ordinary Members of the Dáil to undertake the work of Propaganda all over the country. It was not their duty to go round the country taking out affidavits of information for the Propaganda Department. If organisation of the country is to be carried out, the machinery will have to be set up here in Dublin.
The PRESIDENT stated that in U.S.A. they did not do much in the way of advertising, because there was a way of making news. For instance, this Meeting—they could write as much as they liked, but the effect would be nothing like that created by the holding of the Meeting—the doing of something. The difficulty of Propaganda abroad was they were never able to get anything hot enough. The enemy put out their story and everyone had forgotten it by the time we had got the information to contradict it. Another thing they neglected here. They should be in touch with the Editors of the various newspapers and so create public opinion. The English had injured them most by creating the opinion that there was only a handful of people here who were solid, and that the rest of the people did not back them up. He hoped that all the Members present, if they were asked to contribute to the Propaganda Department, would do so.