THE FACTS

Whereas the facts presented by the applicant may be summarised as
follows:

The applicant is an Irish citizen, born in 1921 and resident in Dublin.

His complaint is directed against the Irish Government's policy on the
Irish language.

The applicant is a clerical officer in the civil service and as such
was entitled to a children's allowance of £35 a year in respect of each
of his four children. He received each year a form which he was
required to complete for this purpose. In June 1968 he received a form
set out entirely in Irish. The applicant maintains that his language
is and always has been English; he regards the Irish language as an
"imposition"; and he therefore asked for a form in English. This was
refused and he was told that the allowance would be stopped if he did
not complete the Irish form. The allowance was stopped on 2 August
1968.

The applicant submits a copy of a White Paper published in 1965,
setting out the Government's general policy on the Irish language and
its views on the recommendations made by a Commission on the
Restoration of the Irish language. Recommendation 12 of the Commission,
dealing with the civil service, was that the use of Irish in the
internal affairs of departments and offices and in inter-departmental
work should be promoted and progressively increased from year to year.
Paragraph 42 of the White Paper states the Government's views on this
recommendation as follows:

"The use of Irish in the internal affairs of Departments and Offices
and in inter-departmental work will be gradually extended as staff
competent to work in Irish are available. As, however, considerable
difficulty has been experienced in the recruitment of professional and
technical staff, it may be some time before a standard of Irish at
entry could be required which would ensure that persons appointed to
these posts would be competent to do all their work through Irish."

When the applicant complained of the stopping of his children's
allowance he was told that the form in question was printed in Irish
only, in accordance with Government policy that as much as possible of
the internal work of Government departments should be carried out in
Irish. The reply also stated that since he had previously completed the
form it was obvious that the use of the Irish version imposed no
inconvenience or hardship on him. The applicant denies, however, that
he has ever completed the form in question. He contends that he had
received only one such form in 1966; he asked what it was and what he
was to put on it; he was told to answer "yes" to two questions and
added his signature and the date. He says that one of these two
questions is completely unintelligible to him.

The applicant contends that the Irish are an English-speaking nation,
that only about 2% of the population is genuinely Irish-speaking, and
about 3% want an change of language. He complains of a "language
dictatorship". He claims that he has an inalienable right to his
natural language and that the Government has nor right to prescribe a
language for what the applicant calls purely ideological reasons. He
alleges that he has been denied freedom of expression, contrary to
Article 10 of the Convention, and also invokes several other Articles.

THE LAW

Whereas, insofar as the applicant complains generally of the linguistic
policy of the respondent Government, the Commission has frequently
stated that, in a case submitted by an individual under Article 25
(Art. 25) of the Convention, it is not the task of the Commission to
examine in abstracto the conformity of domestic legislation with the
provisions of the Convention (see. e.g. Applications Nos. 290/57,
Yearbook, Vol. III, p. 214; 867/60, Yearbook, Vol. IV, p. 270);
Whereas therefore the Commission cannot examine in general the Irish
legislation and the practice of the Irish authorities in linguistic
matters, unless the applicant alleges that he is or appears to be a
victim in this respect of a violation of the rights and freedoms
guaranteed in the Convention; whereas, in any event, it is clear that
no right to a particular language is as such guaranteed by the
Convention;

Whereas it follows that this part of the application is incompatible
with the provisions of the Convention within the meaning of Article 27,
paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Whereas, insofar as the applicant complains that he has been denied
freedom of expression, contrary to Article 10 (Art. 10) of the
Convention, the Commission observes that the only allegation made by
the applicant in support of this complaint is that he was required to
complete in the Irish language the form for claiming child allowances;
whereas the Commission finds that such a requirement could not in any
way be considered as an interference with the applicant's freedom of
expression;

Whereas it follows that this part of the application is manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2)
(Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Whereas, insofar as the applicant can be said to complain that he was
deprived of his child allowances, it is to be observed that the
Convention, under the terms of Article 1 (Art. 1), guarantees only the
rights and freedoms set forth in Section I of the Convention; and
whereas, under Article 25 (1) (Art. 25-1) only the alleged violation
of one of those rights and freedoms by a Contracting Party can be the
subject of an application presented by a person, non-governmental
organisation or group of individuals;

Whereas otherwise its examination is outside the competence of the
Commission ratione materiae; whereas no right to be granted family
allowances is as such included among the rights and freedoms guaranteed
by the Convention; whereas in this respect, the Commission refers to
its previous decision No. 2350/64 (X. v. Belgium and the Netherlands);

Whereas it follows that this part of the application is incompatible
with the provisions of the Convention within the meaning of Article 27,
paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Whereas the Commission has examined the remainder of the applicant's
separate complaints; whereas it finds that an examination of the case
as it has been submitted, including an examination made ex officio,
does not generally disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights
and freedoms set forth in the Convention; whereas it follows that the
remainder of the application is again manifestly ill-founded within the
meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Now therefore the Commission DECLARES THIS APPLICATION INADMISSIBLE