No. 47 NAI DT S1932

Extract from the Report of the Committee on the Allocation of Functions among Government Departments (The ‘Blythe Committee’)

DUBLIN, 14 March 1923

[Matter omitted]
3. Proceeding on this basis the Committee is of opinion that the general administrative work of the country could effectively be done by nine Ministries (including Departments which it is hereafter recommended should be under the President's control) and the Attorney-General's Department. These nine Ministries, with a general indication of their functions, are as follows:-

PRESIDENT: Executive Council, General Policy, External Affairs, Publicity.
MINISTRY OF FINANCE: Finance, Taxation, Civil Service, Public Works, Stationery Office.
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE: Defence matters.
MINISTRY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Local Government, Public Health.
MINISTRY OF LANDS & AGRICULTURE: Agriculture, Forestry, Land Settlement, Land Purchase.
MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS: Judicial machinery, Police, Prisons.
MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY & COMMERCE: Industry, Commerce, Fisheries.
MINISTRY OF POSTS & TELEGRAPHS: Postal, Telegraph and Telephone services.
Also the:

Law Officer of the State.

If the Attorney-General is not a member of the Executive Council (and if a Minister he must be a member of the Council as with his functions he could not be one of the Ministers responsible to the Dáil) it is recommended that the President should answer for him and his Department in the Dáil.

4. It is considered that the above general division of functions, while relating allied services and establishing Departments in which Ministers would have an approximately equal division of work, would also provide the country with Governmental machinery sufficient for its needs. It contemplates two less Ministers than there are at present, the work of the Ministry of External Affairs being allocated to the President and the Ministry of Fisheries to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. In the political circumstances of the present time it is considered that the Ministries of External Affairs and Fisheries should be retained but that sooner or later the work of the Ministry of External Affairs would by comparison with the work falling on other Ministries not justify the expense of a separate Minister and that in the case of Fisheries, while desirable for the time being to have a separate Minister responsible for putting the fishing industry on its feet again, the development of the fishing industry will before long not involve questions either of policy or of administration essentially different from those with which the Ministry of Industry and Commerce will be dealing.

5. The Committee has considered the proper allocation of existing functions and Departments among the several Ministers recommended above, with the addition for the time being of a Ministry of External Affairs and a Ministry of Fisheries. Existing Departments are so numerous and in a number of cases so complex in their organisation that final conclusions as to their proper redistribution cannot at present be arrived at. It is contemplated that the Ministries Bill should only indicate broadly the functions of each Ministry and that it should include a power to the Executive Council to decide as to the allocation of particular machinery necessary to perform these functions. The Executive Council could then by order attach existing Departments to particular Ministries, or split existing Departments up and allocate portions to different Ministries.

[Matter omitted]

Purchase Volumes Online

Purchase Volumes Online



The Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series has published an eBook of confidential correspondence on the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.

Free Download

International Counterparts

The international network of Editors of Diplomatic Documents was founded in 1988. Delegations from different parts of the world met for the first time in London in 1989.
Read more ....

Website design and developed by FUSIO