Government of the 13th Dail
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Government of the 13th D%C3%A1il

Government of the 13th Dáil
5th Government of Ireland
US visit of Taoiseach Costello in 1956 (cropped).jpg
Date formed18 February 1948
Date dissolved13 June 1951
People and organisations
PresidentSeán T. O'Kelly
TaoiseachJohn A. Costello
TánaisteWilliam Norton
Total no. of members12
Member partiesFine Gael
Labour Party
Clann na Poblachta
Clann na Talmhan
National Labour Party
Independent
Status in legislatureMinority coalition
Opposition partyFianna Fáil
Opposition leaderÉamon de Valera
History
Election(s)1948 general election
Legislature term(s)13th Dáil
6th Seanad
Predecessor4th Government
Successor6th Government

The Government of the 13th Dáil or the 5th Government of Ireland (18 February 1948 - 13 June 1951) was the government of Ireland formed after the general election held on 4 February 1948 -- commonly known as the First Inter-Party Government -- was a government of Fine Gael, the Labour Party, Clann na Poblachta, Clann na Talmhan and the National Labour Party--and one TD who was an independent, James Dillon (who had resigned from Fine Gael after opposing its neutral stance in World War II). The parties had many different aims and viewpoints, but opposition to Fianna Fáil overcame difficulties in forming a government; Éamon de Valera had led a series of single-party Fianna Fáil governments since 1932. The cabinet was made up of representatives of all parties, and ministers were given a great degree of independence. Some key events during the lifetime of the government include the declaration of the Republic of Ireland in 1948 and the crisis surrounding the Mother and Child Scheme in 1951.

The 5th Government lasted for 1,211 days.

5th Government of Ireland

Formation

Fianna Fáil had been in office continuously since 1932, with Éamon de Valera as head of government (titled as President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State until 1937, and from then as Taoiseach). However, after the 1948 general election, the party was six seats short of a majority.

At first, it seemed that de Valera would attempt to form a minority government. Negotiations for confidence and supply with the National Labour Party failed when National Labour insisted on a formal coalition; at that time, Fianna Fáil would not enter coalitions with other parties. Nevertheless, it initially appeared that Fianna Fáil was the only party that could realistically form a government. Even though it was short of a majority, Fianna Fáil was by far the largest party in the Dáil, with 37 more seats than the next-largest party, Fine Gael.

However, the other parties realised that between them, they only had only one seat fewer than Fianna Fáil, and if they banded together, they would be able to form a government with the support of at least seven independents. As the second-largest party in the Dáil, it was a foregone conclusion that Fine Gael would head such a coalition. In the normal course of events, Fine Gael leader Richard Mulcahy would have been the prospective coalition's nominee for Taoiseach. However, Clann na Poblachta leader Seán MacBride refused to serve under Mulcahy because of his role in carrying out 77 executions under the government of the Irish Free State in the early 1920s during the Irish Civil War. Accordingly, Mulcahy bowed out in favour of former Attorney General John A. Costello. Costello found himself as leader of a disparate group of young and old politicians, republicans and Free Staters, conservatives and socialists. The government survived for three years, however, through the skill of Costello as Taoiseach and the independence of various ministers.

Nomination of Taoiseach

The members of the 13th Dáil first met on 18 February 1948. In the debate on the nomination of Taoiseach, Fianna Fáil leader and outgoing Taoiseach Éamon de Valera and John A. Costello of Fine Gael were both proposed. The nomination of de Valera was defeated by 70 to 75, while the nomination of Costello was approved by 75 to 68.[1] Costello was then appointed as Taoiseach by President Seán T. O'Kelly.[2]

18 February 1948
Nomination of John A. Costello (FG) as Taoiseach
[3]
Motion proposed by Richard Mulcahy and seconded by William Norton
Absolute majority: 74/147
Vote Parties Votes
checkY Yes Fine Gael (31), Labour Party (14), Clann na Poblachta (10), Clann na Talmhan (7), National Labour Party (5), Independents (8)
No Fianna Fáil (66), Independents (2)
Absent or
Not voting
Ceann Comhairle (1), Independents (2), Fianna Fáil (1)

Members of the Government

The Ministers of the Government were proposed by the Taoiseach and approved by the Dáil.[4] They were appointed by the president on the same day.[5]

Office Name Term Party
Taoiseach John A. Costello 1948-1951 Fine Gael
Tánaiste William Norton 1948-1951 Labour Party
Minister for Social Welfare
Minister for Education Richard Mulcahy 1948-1951 Fine Gael
Minister for External Affairs Seán MacBride 1948-1951 Clann na Poblachta
Minister for Lands Joseph Blowick 1948-1951 Clann na Talmhan
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs James Everett 1948-1951 National Labour Party
Labour
Minister for Agriculture James Dillon 1948-1951 Independent
Minister for Finance Patrick McGilligan 1948-1951 Fine Gael
Minister for Justice Seán Mac Eoin 1948-1951 Fine Gael
Minister for Defence Thomas F. O'Higgins 1948-1951 Fine Gael
Minister for Industry and Commerce Daniel Morrissey 1948-1951 Fine Gael
Minister for Local Government Timothy J. Murphy 1948-1949 Labour
Minister for Health Noël Browne 1948-1951 Clann na Poblachta

Change 3 May 1949

Following the death of Timothy J. Murphy.[6]

Office Name Term Party
Minister for Local Government William Norton (acting) Labour

Change 11 May 1949

Following the death of Timothy J. Murphy.[7][8]

Office Name Term Party
Minister for Local Government Michael Keyes 1949-1951 Labour

Changes 7 March 1951

Cabinet reshuffle.[9]

Office Name Term Party
Minister for Justice Daniel Morrissey 1951 Fine Gael
Minister for Industry and Commerce Thomas F. O'Higgins 1951 Fine Gael
Minister for Defence Seán Mac Eoin 1951 Fine Gael

Changes 12 April 1951

Following the resignation of Noël Browne on 11 April 1951
due to controversy surrounding the Mother and Child Scheme.[10][11]

Office Name Term Party
Minister for Health John A. Costello (acting) Fine Gael

Parliamentary Secretaries

On 24 February 1948, the Government appointed the Parliamentary Secretaries on the nomination of the Taoiseach.[5]

Republic of Ireland

The Republic of Ireland Act 1948 became law on 21 December 1948. It repealed the Executive Authority (External Relations) Act 1936, removing any remaining external function of the British monarchy in Ireland. It also declared that the description of the state was the Republic of Ireland. The Act came into operation on Easter Monday, 18 April 1949.[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Nomination of Taoiseach - Dáil Éireann (13th Dáil) - Wednesday, 18 February 1948". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ "Appointment of Taoiseach - Dáil Éireann (13th Dáil) - Wednesday, 18 February 1948". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "Nomination of Taoiseach - Votes - Dáil Éireann (13th Dáil) - Wednesday, 18 February 1948". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ "Nomination of Members of Government: Motion of Approval - Dáil Éireann (13th Dáil) - Wednesday, 18 February 1948". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Appointment of Members of Government and Parliamentary Secretaries - Dáil Éireann (13th Dáil) - Wednesday, 25 February 1948". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ "Assignment of Local Government Department - Dáil Éireann (13th Dáil) - Tuesday, 3 May 19459". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ "Nomination of Member of the Government - Dáil Éireann (13th Dáil) - Wednesday, 11 May 1949". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ "Appointment of Member of the Government - Dáil Éireann (13th Dáil) - Wednesday, 11 May 1949". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ "Assignment of Departments-- Statement by the Taoiseach - Dáil Éireann (13th Dáil) - Wednesday, 7 March 1951". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ "Personal Statement by a Deputy - Dáil Éireann (13th Dáil) - Thursday, 12 April 1951". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ "Adjournment Debate--Resignation of Minister - Dáil Éireann (13th Dáil) - Thursday, 12 April 1951". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ "The Republic of Ireland Act 1948 (Commencement) Order 1949". Irish Statute Book. 4 February 1949. Retrieved 2020.

Further reading

  • McCullagh, David (1998). A Makeshift Majority: The First Inter-Party Government, 1948-51. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration. ISBN 978-1872002699.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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