The PRESIDENT, in opening the debate on the Report from the Foreign Affairs' Department, said their main difficulty was adequate communications.
The ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT asked if the Consuls were acting under the direction of the Foreign Affairs' Department, or of the Trade Department.
The PRESIDENT replied that they were directed by the Trade Department, but he wanted to ensure coordination between the Departments. In countries where there was also a diplomatic representative the Consul should confine his activities to Trade. The Minister of Trade and Commerce had been asked to draw up a consular code, so that in Trade matters the Consul would be directly responsible to the Trade Department. Other matters coming to the notice of the Consul should be referred to the Political representative.
J. MACENTEE (Monaghan, South) referred to the appointment of an Under Secretary for the Department and thought that certain stringent rules should be laid down as to educational and other qualifications necessary for the Civil Service they were setting up.
The PRESIDENT said that the Ministers were responsible for appointments made on their staffs. Their difficulty was to get good men for all the posts. As regards the Under Secretary himself, they got a man whom they considered most suitable for that particular position. He heard of all the chief appointments, and had seen nothing to complain of.