ORDER OF BUSINESS.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - ESTIMATES FOR PUBLIC SERVICES. VOTE 45.—ORDANCE SURVEY.—(RESUMED.)
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 54—MARINE SERVICE.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 52—MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - DAIL RESUMES.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - THE WOOD RENTON COMMISSION.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION AWARDS.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - COMPENSATION AWARDS TO “UNIONISTS.”
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - CHIEF ESTABLISHMENT OFFICER IN FINANCE MINISTRY.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - BRITISH GOVERNMENT AND A REFUND.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - CARNEW TRADER'S ACCOUNT.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - CO. MEATH MOTOR REGISTRATIONS.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - IRISH IN INTERMEDIATE SCHOOLS.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - UNEMPLOYED BENEFIT CLAIM.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - A DUNMANWAY EVICTION.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - COMPENSATION FOR NORTHERN REFUGEES.
ORDER OF BUSINESS.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE (ADMINISTRATION) BILL, 1924—FROM THE SEANAD. - DAIL IN COMMITTEE.
DAIL RESUMES. - OIREACHTAS WITNESSES OATHS BILL, 1924—FROM THE SEANAD.—(SECOND STAGE).
DAIL RESUMES. - PRIVATE BILL COSTS BILL, 1924—FROM THE SEANAD—(SECOND STAGE).
DAIL IN COMMITTEE. - STATE LANDS BILL, 1924—THIRD STAGE.
DAIL IN COMMITTEE. - DAIL RESUMES.
DÁIL IN COMMITTEE. - CRIMINAL JUSTICE (ADMINISTRATION) BILL, 1924.—FROM THE SEANAD.
DÁIL IN COMMITTEE. - DAIL RESUMES.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - ESTIMATES FOR PUBLIC SERVICES. VOTE 2—OIREACHTAS.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 7—OLD AGE PENSIONS.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE No. 1—GOVERNOR-GENERAL'S ESTABLISHMENT.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 4—EXCHEQUER AND AUDIT.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 8—LOCAL LOANS.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 9—TEMPORARY COMMISSIONS.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 10.—OFFICE OF PUBLIC WORKS.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 12.—STATE LABORATORY.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 13.—CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 16—SUPERANNUATION AND RETIRING ALLOWANCES.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 17—RATES ON GOVERNMENT PROPERTY.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 18—SECRET SERVICES.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 21—EXPENSES UNDER THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT AND UNDER THE ELECTORAL ACT.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 22—NATIONAL GALLERY.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE No. 23—MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 24—STATIONERY OFFICE.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 25.—VALUATION AND BOUNDARY SURVEY.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 26.—CHARITABLE DONATIONS AND BEQUESTS.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 27.—NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE COMMISSION.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 28.—COUNTY COURT OFFICERS.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 29—LAW CHARGES.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 30—HAULBOWLINE DOCKYARD.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 36—SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 37—DUNDRUM ASYLUM.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 40—GENERAL REGISTER OFFICE.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 42—REFORMATORY AND INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 51—ENDOWED SCHOOLS.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 59—LEAGUE OF NATIONS.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - DAIL RESUMES.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - ESTIMATES.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - COMMITTEE ON FINANCE.—ISSUE OUT OF CENTRAL FUND.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - DAIL RESUMES.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - MOTION BY THE MINISTER FOR FINANCE.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - APPROPRIATION BILL, 1924—FIRST STAGE.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - DAIL IN COMMITTEE.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - DAIL RESUMES.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - IRISH GRANTS COMMITTEE.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - THE ADJOURNMENT.
WRITTEN ANSWERS. - DAMAGE TO PREMISES (KILTIMAGH).
WRITTEN ANSWERS. - A GALWAY DEATH—QUESTION OF COMPENSATION.
WRITTEN ANSWERS. - ATHLONE PERSONAL INJURIES CLAIM.
WRITTEN ANSWERS. - DEATH FROM BEATINGS—A WIDOW'S CLAIM.
WRITTEN ANSWERS. - CLOGHEEN NATIONAL TEACHER'S CLAIM.
WRITTEN ANSWERS. - COMPENSATION FOR PERSONAL INJURIES (BALLINASLOE CASE).
WRITTEN ANSWERS. - OLD AGE PENSION CLAIM (WOODFORD, CO. GALWAY).
WRITTEN ANSWERS. - TELEPHONE FACILITIES FOR CORK TOWNS.
WRITTEN ANSWERS. - ACCOUNT FOR A TYPEWRITER.
WRITTEN ANSWERS. - A CO. GALWAY MERCHANT'S ACCOUNTS.
WRITTEN ANSWERS. - TUAM SHOPKEEPER'S ACCOUNT.
 Do chuaidh an Ceann Comhairle i gceannas ar a 10.30 a clog.
The PRESIDENT: I would suggest that we should resume the consideration of the Estimates this morning, adjourn at about 1.30 for lunch, and on resumption after the adjournment take the Questions and the Bills on the Paper.
Mr. JOHNSON: There is a matter I desire to raise, and perhaps this would be the time to raise it in order to give the President time to consider it. It is in reference to the suggestion for the adjournment until October. It seems to me we ought to make provision for an earlier meeting of the Dáil, either at your own call, Sir, after consultation with the President, or at the call of, say, twenty-five members of the Dáil— which is about half of those who are in regular attendance—in case developments arise out of the proceedings of this conference or court—I do not know what it should be called—touching the Boundary Question arising out of Article 12 of the Treaty. It seems to me we ought not to tie ourselves to an adjournment lasting until October in view of the possible action that it may be necessary to take before that. I would ask the President to consider how best to frame the motion for adjournment with a view to that possibility.
The PRESIDENT: Very good. I will consider that between this and the resumption at 2.30 p.m., and make an announcement.
Ordered: “That the Dáil sit later than 4 o'clock for the consideration of financial business; that Estimates be taken now, and after lunch the Questions and Bills on the Paper.”
Major COOPER: I want to call the attention of the Minister for Lands and Agriculture to the fact that there is a good deal of discontent amongst the officials in the Ordnance Survey at present. They complain that their position has been materially worsened by their transfer to the Free State Government, and they also complain, in common with other civil servants, of the absence of any conciliation machinery. I merely mention this now in the hope that when the Minister for Finance takes up the question of a Whitley Council or other conciliation machinery in the Civil Service, the Ordnance Survey will not be overlooked.
Mr. JOHNSON: I, too, want to stress the importance of giving consideration to the state of feeling prevailing in this Department in common with other Departments. In one way or another we are made aware that the service is very dissatisfied with the present situation. I am given to understand that the charge for pensions under the Treaty is rapidly mounting up, by virtue of the fact that this general dissatisfaction prevails and I hope that there will be speedy action taken to set up some kind of machinery, such as that which has already been indicated, which would cover the Ordnance Department as well as every other Department.
I would also like to give the Minister an opportunity to tell the Dáil what is the position regarding documents, maps and plates, etc., that should have been taken over, if they were not taken over by the Government after the Treaty. It is alleged that considerable numbers of plates and maps were removed, and perhaps also other documents, and that they have not been handed over since. Not only were maps and plates removed, but a considerable number was destroyed. I have not details, but those and similar allegations have been current  and appear to be well-founded, and I hope we shall have from the Minister some statement giving the facts of the case as he knows them.
Mr. P. HOGAN (Clare): I want to assure the Minister, in the first instance, that what I am going to say on this Vote is on evidence supplied to me, and in good faith on the authenticity of that evidence. It is made with the intention of giving the Minister an opportunity of denying or affirming what I am about to say. It is mainly in the interest of endeavouring to make the Ordnance Survey what it might be, an institution that would be of some use and service to the nation, and so that whatever dissatisfaction exists in the service might be removed. In this connection I am going to ask the Minister whether he would consider the advisability of having an inquiry held into the affairs of the survey by a committee, or a commission, that would be responsible and report to the Dáil as to the condition of affairs within the Ordnance Survey. I do not intend to read all the matter I have in connection with this service. If I did I could occupy the time of the Dáil until October. I do not wish to do that for the sake of Deputies as well as myself. As far as the lay mind can, I will endeavour to give some of the evidence given me.
The first essential to the survey of any country is the laying down and measurement of a “Base.” The site selected for the base was on the eastern shore of Lough Foyle. The total length of the base is 41640.8873 feet. On an average six officers and 35 other ranks were employed on the base measurement between September, 1827, and November, 1828.
The base was extended by means of thirty primary stations of which about 28 are in the Free State. The primary triangulation was broken up into smaller triangles (known as secondary triangulation) and these again were broken down to smaller triangles of about one-mile sides. The point I want to make in that connection is that these records, according to my information, are not available in the survey  at the moment, and therefore your trigonometrical calculations cannot be verified and your verification maps are merely a paper affair. You cannot verify them from the original calculations. I want to assure the Minister that I am giving the information I have in good faith and nothing more. The Irish Free State is in the peculiar position of having no trigonometrical divisions. It is the only nation in Europe that does not possess such divisions. The effects of this are that your map revision becomes a paper transaction without mathematical control, and in time becomes unreliable. You cannot undertake a new survey. Your artillery is only of secondary importance to your infantry, i.e., it can only hit what it sees, and thereby does not fulfil its purpose. Property boundaries in destroyed areas like Dublin, Cork and Balbriggan cannot be accurately determined and coast defence is an impossibility. It would, I am told, be practically impossible to compute what the cost of this survey was. It was something like two or three millions. To my mind we should have these records in the survey. If we have not got them we are at a disadvantage. I think that is a very serious position for the Saorstát. There were also matters arising out of the survey which were of great importance to the nation such as Land Judges' records and decisions, baronial maps, electoral maps, military maps and plans. I am assured that within a week after the Treaty was signed, hundreds of empty packing cases arrived from Southampton. A gentleman who was representing the English Government at the time interested himself in packing up for despatch to Southampton and Belfast the plates, etc. Those that belonged to the Six Counties were despatched to Belfast and the remainder to Southampton. Unfortunately there was not unaminity in the Parliament as to what would become of the Treaty and operations in the Survey Department were slowed up for a time. When the Treaty was accepted the removals and destructions were intensified. Between 30 and 40 tons of plates I am assured were removed from the Survey Department. I am also assured that this information  was conveyed to a responsible Minister. I have here some indication of the amount of plates that were removed.
|No. of. Plates.|
|Original 1 inch (outline records)||204|
|Matrices for same||204|
|Original 1 inch (hills)||204|
|Matrices for same||204|
|Geological 1 inch||204|
|Matrices for same||204|
|Original ¼ inch (outline)||4|
|Matrices for same||4|
|Original 10 mile||1|
|Original 10 mile (Basins and Rivers all Ireland)||1|
|Original 10 mile (Geological)||1|
|Matrice for same||1|
|Printing Plates of Duplicates 1 inch||26|
|Original 10 mile Outline and Index to 1 inch||1|
|Originals (various scales) (list incomplete)||32|
Two-thousand two-hundred-and-fortynine engraved manuscript plates have been removed, not taking into account the military areas—Curragh, etc.—at least 1,000 more.
I pass from that to the destruction of documents and destruction of the levelling of the country, which is a very serious matter. I could have brought to the Dáil, if I wished, the remains of a good many of the destroyed records. Here are (documents produced) some that were salvaged from the heap that were destroyed in the survey and destroyed by some officers who, I am informed, are still in charge of the records and in charge of the survey. To my mind that was an attempt to put it out of the possibility of the Saorstát to have the necessary information for its survey for any military operation, or any military defence, or for any scientific purpose for which it might require this scientific data. Yet, we keep in the chief positions in the survey some of the men who were responsible for the destruction of these documents and the transportation of these plates.
There is another matter in connection with levelling to which I wish to refer. In this connection, it is serious to know that a good deal of misleading information has gone to the public. In the levelling of the country, I estimate  it would be very important in the case of water supplies, drainage and the laying of railways and tramways that levelling statistics would be very accurate, and that the information in regard to them supplied to engineers and people of that kind would be such as could be relied upon. My information is to the effect that very much of this levelling data that has gone to the public is entirely inaccurate and unreliable. The number of bench marks in error is 576, and the list is by no means exhaustive. The number of bench marks to a mile of normal work is three, and 576 bench marks give 192 miles of levelling. Taking a six-inch sheet for the County Waterford as a standard there are five miles of interpolation levelling to a six-inch sheet. There are 16 1:2500 (twenty-five inch) plans in a six-inch sheet. Therefore, 192 miles ÷ 5 miles × 16 = the number of 1:2500 plans in error; therefore 548 plans. The actual cost of producing one 1:2500 plan is £112. 548 plans multiplied by £112 equal the value of work spoiled—£61,376.
As regards the work of publication, would the Minister see that a list of the errors published be prepared and submitted so that he could verify them? Extensive lists have been supplied to me to the effect that inaccurate work is still being published, with the resultant effect that errors are being perpetuated, with the result that the public, as well as engineers and others are being misled. They cannot make proper scientific calculation while these errors continue to be published. Would the Minister. I ask, say what exactly is the position in the survey regarding the transfer of plans to Southampton and of plates to Belfast. Rumour has been current regarding these transfers, and comment has been made on the matter by what passed for a Press in this country, but I may say that that comment has not influenced me in the least. I should like the Minister to tell us whether these plans have been returned from Southampton or whether we have got substitutions for them. I should like to have information from the Minister on the following points. Have we kept copies of the records, and have we got back any of those that went to  Belfast? Were the records destroyed, and if so, by whom? What would it cost to replace these records and plates if we cannot get them back? Is the levelling information at present supplied to the public accurate or inaccurate? If it is inaccurate, will the records and publications issued by the Survey be withdrawn or recalled, and will correct and accurate levellings be issued? In order to clear up the whole matter, will the Minister undertake to have a small committee appointed, which will be responsible to the Dáil, and will report back to the Dáil, this committee to be empowered to inquire into the whole working of the Survey? If that is done, it may help to silence effectively the rumour and the capital that is being made throughout the country on this matter.
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE (Mr. Hogan): With regard to Deputy Cooper's point, which was also mentioned by Deputy Johnson, I desire to say that the officials of the Ordnance Survey will get the same treatment as the officials of any other service, and whatever steps the Minister for Finance takes in regard to the other services will also be taken in regard to the officials of the Ordnance Survey. As to the documents taken from the Ordnance Survey and transferred to Southampton I, too, could keep the House until October reading files of correspondence that came to me from the same man, and I want to say that the officials in the Ordnance Survey have not got exactly the same consideration as they should get from the Press, generally speaking, in regard to this matter. This particular agitation has been started by one who was in the Ordnance Survey, an ex-officer of the British Army who joined the National Army. He sent me sheafs of letters pointing out his particular qualifications for the headship of the Ordnance Survey.
Mr. HOGAN (Clare): Will the Minister accept the statement I make when I tell him that the position I take up is that I am not speaking in the interest of any individual but in the interest of the national good?
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: I quite agree, but in fairness to the other officials, I must state that this particular officer approached other persons and Deputies, and I have on my files letters from all sorts and conditions of people pointing out the various qualifications of this particular man for the headship of the Ordnance Survey and also transmitting information he is supposed to have given.
With regard to the documents themselves, there seems to be an idea that what happened was that after the 6th December, 1921, the officials of the Ordnance Survey, in conjunction with those from Southampton, rushed out of this country documents, maps and books from the Ordnance Survey here. That is an incorrect picture. The fact is that the Ordnance Survey was run in conjunction with the Ordnance Survey of England and that from the year 1900 to 1921, and particularly in the years 1920 and 1921, after the Government of Ireland Act was passed, documents were transferred from the Ordnance Survey in the Phoenix Park to the Ordnance Survey in England. It is a further fact that some maps and documents were transferred from the Ordnance Survey here after the 6th December, 1921, and up to the 20th March, 1922, to England. The maps and documents transferred during that period after the Treaty and before we took over practical control in March, 1922, are, comparatively speaking, few. They were very few as compared with the documents transferred in the years 1920 and 1921 and previously. I should say the main bulk of the documents were transferred in 1920 and 1921, after the Government of Ireland Act was passed. The suggestion is that what happened is that after the Treaty and before we took over control, documents were rushed out of the country, and that is an absolutely incorrect picture.
Mr. HOGAN (Clare): What about the plates?
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: I made it clear that there were documents sent out after the Treaty and before we took over control in March, 1922, but they were comparatively few as compared with those sent out in 1920, 1921 and previously.
 Further, it is absolutely incorrect to say that records were destroyed. That is an incorrect statement. Waste paper may have been destroyed. In all those offices where thousands of old maps are collected and where you have duplicates of maps, I take it a certain amount of documents are disposed of in one way or another in the ordinary routine, but to say that any records of any kind were destroyed is absolutely incorrect, and incorrect to the knowledge of the particular person who has desseminated that particular story.
Mr. HOGAN (Clare): Will the Minister say can be verify the maps he has in his hands with those transferred to Southampton?
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: Will the Deputy allow me to deal with this matter point by point? He will agree that to say that maps and documents were destroyed to prevent this country from getting a certain amount of military knowledge is a serious charge. It is absolutely incorrect to say that anything that can be dignified with the name of records was destroyed and it is absolutely incorrect to say that the officials of the existing Ordnance Survey co-operated in any way with the officials across the water to destroy or dispose of documents of that sort. The documents removed in the period roughly between 1900 and March, 1922, were all listed. Lists were made of every single one of these documents, maps, instruments, and machinery. A formal request was made to the British Government to transfer from England, not only the comparatively few documents that were removed between the 6th December, 1921, and March, 1922, but also all the important documents dealing with Ireland which were removed from the Ordnance Survey Office, Phoenix Park, to Southampton from 1900 to March, 1922. They were asked to give back the maps, plates, instruments and machinery. They agreed to return every map asked for, with the exception of the military maps in connection with Bere Island and other places that have been reserved under the Treaty. They refuse to give back all the maps  in connection with the Northern Boundary. They sent back half the maps and they retained half the maps; that is to say, the maps which included territory on each side of the Boundary. That is the position in regard to these maps. Every other map asked for has been returned and has arrived at the Ordnance Survey.
Mr. JOHNSON: Does the Minister mean to say that maps dealing with both sides of the Boundary were retained? I did not quite follow his point.
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: These maps were in England, some of them before the Treaty, and indeed it is very hard to know when exactly they were transferred; perhaps some of them after the Treaty, but some of these maps were in England. A list of maps dealing with the Free State was made out, and these, of course, included maps on this side of the Boundary and the other side. They were asked to return these, and they promised to return them, and as far as we know—they are not all checked over yet—they have returned the maps except half the maps in connection with the Boundary. They have retained half the maps which include territory on the other side of the Boundary. As to the other half, that question is still open.
Mr. HOGAN (Clare): Is it correct to say that officials from the Northern Government came down to the Ordnance Survey and took away all maps and that no list was taken of them?
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: No, not to my knowledge. Documents were transferred after 1920, after the Government of Ireland Act was passed, but I could not say what happened in 1920 and 1921. They might have come, it is quite possible, but in any event in regard to maps and plates in connection with the Free State, they have been returned, except plates and maps in connection with places like Bere Island and other places reserved under the Treaty, and also half the maps which deal with the territory going over the existing boundary.
Mr. JOHNSON: When the Minister speaks of half the maps does he mean half the supplies of maps of particular places?
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: Half the total number of maps. Now, with regard to documents. A certain number of books were taken and a list was made of the books taken, as I say, from 1900 to 1922, and that list was presented to the British Government. They refused to return some books, but those books dealt mainly with Northern Ireland and England and Wales. The officials of the National Library have been consulted with regard to the books they have refused to return and they state they are practically of no importance, and that with regard to most of them they have copies of them already in the National Library, and that these include any of the important books.
With regard to instruments, these instruments have been transferred and were transferred in the ordinary course of work between 1900 and March, 1922. They have all been returned, at least all those we asked for; and with regard to machinery, two printing presses were taken away some time ago, in 1905, and they refused to return these.
Mr. HOGAN (Clare): Is the Minister sure that the instruments returned are all equal in quality to those taken away?
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: It would be extremely difficult to say whether the instruments returned now are of as good quality or worse quality than the instruments which were sent away in 1905; that would be quite impossible. I certainly could not say now what exactly is the position in regard to them. Remember that these instruments were transferred ten or fifteen years ago. The best that could be done was to make a list and ask for a return of a certain class of instruments. These instruments were not sent away in view of the Treaty or any circumstance in connection with the Treaty and they were transferred in the ordinary course of business from one country to another, and in fact they  have agreed to return any instruments asked for.
With regard to machinery, two machines were removed about 1905. They have refused to return those two machines which were two printing presses. So that first of all, no documents and no record and nothing that could be dignified with the name of records has been destroyed. Secondly, all maps and plates have been returned with the exception of maps and plates I mention. Thirdly the books taken away are all in connection with either Northern Ireland or England and Wales, and the Librarian of the National Library assures us that these books were practically all unimportant and so far as any of them are important they are duplicated by other books in the National Library.
With regard to the charges about the levels I was asked whether the maps issued by the Ordnance Survey are accurate. No maps issued by any survey in the world are absolutely correct, and no level is absolutly correct. I do not know much about the technical side of this but I understand that there are two systems of levelling. One is interpolation levelling. I do not know the name of the other, but it is a much more expensive system and has been recently introduced into England. The system in vogue here is the interpolation system. The charge is that the margin of error allowed in closing levels is too great. There is a margin of error always allowed, and the only question is whether the margin of error allowed here by certain officials is too great or not.
Mr. HOGAN (Clare): That is not the question. It is .002 for first class work, .004 for second class work, and .01 third class work. The question is that there is a complete foot in error in some cases.
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: When the Deputy takes me into decimal points I confess I do not know much about them. I have had these figures from Captain MacNamara, and the figures he gives are those which are current in connection with the system of levelling which we have not got in this country, and which is much more accurate but much  more expensive. There is a margin of error allowed for interpolation levelling.
Mr. HOGAN (Clare): What is it?
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: I cannot say. No maps are absolutely accurate and no levelling can be absolutely accurate, and even under the English system it is not accurate. Our system is not absolutely accurate, but the margin of error allowed here, as a rule, in the Ordnance Survey during last year, makes no practical difference whatever, and for all practical purposes for which these maps could be used, the margin of error in it is of no account. That particular point is a pedant's point, a point about which a great number of figures can be quoted, and great confusion caused. It is a fact that one particular officer is believed to have allowed a somewhat larger margin than is allowed in the regulations of the Ordnance Survey, but that makes no difference to practical users of the maps and makes no practical difference, but that, however, does not excuse the officer for going beyond his regulations.
Mr. HOGAN (Clare): Does the Minister suggest that a foot in a mile is of no account?
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: I do not admit that there is a difference of a foot in a mile, but so far as there is any mistake made by any officer, and that is not at all made clear yet, as this particular officer is engaged in other work at present, it is of no practical account that these figures given are incorrect. If any officer of the Ordnance Survey in charge of closing levels has allowed in any case a larger margin than he should, he can be suitably dealt with. The particular officer in question is doing other work in connection with the Shannon scheme, and when he returns the particular figures will be put before him and he will be asked to explain in the ordinary official routine way. There is no occasion whatever to make a cause celebre out of it. Any officer can make a mistake. It is absolutely inaccurate to say that any of the maps published are inaccurate or that they will have to be withdrawn. This  whole question is a storm in a tea-cup. It is easy to say that the maps are inaccurate. The same statement could be made of maps published by every Ordnance Survey in the world. The maps in the Phoeix Park are, strictly speaking, prepared within the regulations, and if an officer goes outside the regulations he would be dealt with in the ordinary way.
Mr. HOGAN (Clare): Has the Minister investigated the abstract in which at least in 20 cases the level has been out from .01 to one foot?
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: These charges have been investigated, and the statements I make are based on that investigation. If the Deputy asked me whether I investigated every document put up by Captain MacNamara, I say no, and I do not intend to do so.
Sir JAMES CRAIG: In sub-head D there is one item that I do not understand, Medical Bills, £350. I would be glad if the Minister will state the nature of that item, as it seems to me to be an extraordinary thing to have an item of that kind stuck into the Estimate for Ordnance Survey.
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: I am afraid the Deputy has caught me out.
Sir JAMES CRAIG: It will be all right if the Minister lets me know what it means at some other time.
Major COOPER: It is an extraordinary thing to have £350 for medical attendance for 250 employees.
Mr. BAXTER: There is one point that strikes me in the explanation given by the Minister about which I would like to have further information. An officer has been under discussion and the Minister stated that this officer is doing work on the Shannon scheme. I would like to know if the work that he has been sent to do is of greater importance than the work on which he was previously engaged, or if any charges were made about the way he did his work previous to his being sent to work on the Shannon scheme, and whether they were taken into consideration.
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: The officer in question, who was sent to do this work, is thoroughly competent and thoroughly  qualified to do work in connection with the Shannon scheme.
Mr. BAXTER: Were the charges that have apparently been made against him investigated before he was sent to do work on the Shannon?
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: Certainly. This particular charge was known. There is not a single officer who has not charges made against him, all of which came from the same source.
Mr. JOHNSON: I do not want to go into the details gone into by Deputy Hogan and the Minister, but arising out of the statement by the Minister regarding maps, plates, and, perhaps, other documents relating to Bere Island and other places referred to in the Treaty, and also the territory outside the present jurisdiction, six north-eastern Counties, it seems to me that here we have an illustration of one of the minor difficulties that arise through the failure to insist upon the rights of the Treaty respecting the Council of Ireland. There is nothing in this annexe to the Treaty which, to my mind, justifies the retention of any maps or plates in connection with those districts. If it is said that those maps were Admiralty property, even then such property would have to be retained, as they were retained prior to the Treaty. Is that the contention?
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: They are War Department maps. If the Deputy wants to know whether those were to belong to the British War Department or not, I can say they did.
Mr. JOHNSON: The paragraph speaks of Admiralty property to be retained from the date hereof. If it was not Admiralty property, they have no right to retain it.
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: No one said they had a right.
Mr. JOHNSON: Someone apparently has said it, inasmuch as the maps, according to the Minister's own admission, have been retained. They may not say that they had a right, but they are acting as if they said it.
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: My point is that the question is still open.
Mr. JOHNSON: I hope the question is open regarding the maps of Northern Ireland. I hope the Minister is not going to concede the right of retaining those maps. Otherwise what is to be the position? Even at the end of the five years, which period, as I contend, has been unwisely allowed to elapse before this Council of Ireland provision is insisted on, it is laid down that the Council of Ireland must come into operation. What is going to be the position then in regard to those maps? What is going to be the position of the nominees of the Free State Government on the Council of Ireland if and when it comes into operation, if all the property and Ordnance Survey materials are outside its jurisdiction and unattainable? It is just a little indication of one of the details that was involved in this question, and it seems to me to require very close vigilance, so that the future will not be compromised owing to laxity in safeguarding the rights of the Treaty respecting the Council of Ireland, and covering the whole of Ireland.
Mr. HOGAN (Clare): Will the Minister state whether the military maps, sketches, impressions and diagrams of the Curragh, Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Bere Island, Kilworth, Lough Foyle, Athlone, Wicklow, Lough Swilly, etc., are in the possession of the Ordnance Survey still, and state what trignometrical books have gone to Belfast, and whether we have any records of all the library books and sketches of the six north-eastern counties, comprising MSS., plans, name-books, boundary sheets, initial sheets, and all such things? These are historical books of priceless value, and should not have been allowed to go. I want to know if we have any record of all those that went to Belfast.
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: I stated that a list was made out of the maps, books and documents that were sent away, and that was sent to the British Government and I stated all that they promised to return and not to return. Those documents  are coming in every week, and are being checked every week. When the Deputy asked me is such a document in the department, I can only answer that I do not know.
Mr. McGARRY: What I want to do in connection with this Vote is to ask the Minister to have an inquiry into the administration of the Ordnance Survey. If not, I was going to propose that the Vote be referred back.
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: I am speaking here for the Minister for Finance. I will recommend to him to have some sort of inter-Departmental inquiry into the whole question, and I am sure he will make the results of that inquiry available.
Mr. McGARRY: That does not satisfy me. Give me an inquiry of the Dáil, because there are some very important things in connection with this Department that need looking into, and if I read all that I have to read I will exhaust my three ten minutes' intervals, and then I will pass the remainder to another Deputy to be read.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Deputy Hogan has read some of it.
Mr. McGARRY: He could not have read it all. He has not read beyond the documents sent to the Six Counties.
DEPUTIES: He has.
Mr. McGARRY: I would not like to be the reporter. It would take me an hour to read them. I want to know why the levelling records of the Six Counties were sent up north. They were sent up by a gentleman who went to the Ordnance Survey with an order from the Minister of Agriculture. I want to know why. They were the property of the thirty-two counties, and were paid for by the thirty-two counties and should not be sent to the Six Counties, unless the Government had made up its mind that those counties were to remain outside the Saorstát. There was no reason why those documents should be sent and the people —I challenge the Minister to deny it— in charge of the Survey Department at the present time are not competent surveyors. They were dug in by the British Government because, I suppose, they wanted to get rid of them. They  are not competent to carry out the work. If they were surveyors the levelling records would not have been destroyed as they were destroyed, and I hold in my hand portions of levelling records that it took thousands of pounds to compile, and which were destroyed by the present acting Director of the Ordnance Survey. There is another point also. The Ordnance Survey maps at present being sold to the people are not correct maps, and the acting Director of the Ordnance Survey does not know whether they are correct or not, because he does not know anything about it.
Mr. BAXTER: This is a serious statement that Deputy McGarry is making for people down the country. I would like to know if he is perfectly certain, because it is a serious statement.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: All this has been gone into already, and the Minister has made three speeches. Deputy McGarry has raised the whole question again and has made a serious statement. As Deputy Baxter says, it is an important matter to speak in that way.
Mr. BAXTER: It would create a feeling of uncertainty among the people in the country.
Mr. HOGAN (Clare): It will shorten the whole matter if he promises us an inquiry, not an inter-departmental one but a committee acting for the Dáil, and which will report back to the Dáil.
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: I am acting for the Minister for Finance in this matter. I cannot promise any such inquiry. I will recommend to the Minister for Finance to make whatever inquiry he thinks proper—a departmental inquiry of some kind; and I am sure the results of that inquiry will be available to any Deputy. But I cannot promise anything more.
Major BRYAN COOPER: Is it constitutional for an extern Minister to act for the Minister for Finance? I think it is entirely unconstitutional.
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: Deputy Cooper has raised a constitutional point. I want to put a question to the Minister, but perhaps the question  of Deputy Cooper might be judged by you to require an answer first.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: I am not competent to judge constitutional points. I have refused over and over again to do so. This Department is now under the Minister for Finance since the passing of the Ministers and Secretaries Act; and, therefore, under the law at present the Minister for Finance would have to set up the inquiry. The Minister for Lands and Agriculture is now answering for the Minister for Finance as a matter of convenience.
The PRESIDENT: The point is as to an inquiry?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The point is not only as to an inquiry but as to an inquiry by a Committee of the Dáil which would report to the Dáil. That was the demand made. Is not that so?
The PRESIDENT: If an inquiry by a committee of the Dáil is what is suggested, let us understand what that means. The Dáil is going to adjourn after a very strenuous session, and it is suggested that a Committee of the Dáil will sit during the adjournment. I do not think there is any likelihood of that at all. So that in any case, we would scarcely do anything until we return in October. I think that would hardly meet the Deputy's point. But if the Deputy will enter into communication with me some day next week or the following week, we could see whether we might not have a departmental inquiry or something of the sort. If the Deputy were dissatisfied with such an inquiry, he could move for a Dáil Committee of Inquiry some time after we re-assemble. He would then be in no way in a worse position than now, because even if he were to carry a Dáil Committee of Inquiry now, I do not expect that such a Committee would operate until October. But between now and October we might get a more expeditious and perhaps a more satisfactory solution, if he would consult me during the week.
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: I was going to urge an inquiry into this matter if Deputy McGarry had not put it in that  form. I think that the suggestion the President has made does help really very considerably and meets, as far as I am concerned, my point fully. But without putting it to a division on a vote, in the event of there being a general body of desire that there should be a Dáil Committee of Inquiry, without necessarily implying dissatisfaction with, or criticism of, a departmental inquiry, would the President in that case allow a Dáil Committee of Inquiry and not oppose it? Because, if he were to do that, and give latitude in this matter in the interests of efficiency and general satisfaction, I think the suggestion that he made would be a very practical one and would help very largely.
Mr. McGARRY: I am not quite satisfied. If the President will agree to give us a Dáil Committee of Inquiry I will withdraw my motion. I made a very serious statement and I made it with a full sense of responsibility as to the purport of it; and I think the statement is serious enough to have an inquiry into it. I go further, and I say that if and when the Boundary Commission finishes its deliberations, if it alters the boundary, there is no surveyor in the Saorstát who will be able to fix the boundary, because the documents necessary for fixing the boundary are in the Six Counties and there is no means of getting them. The Ministry of Finance is not the Department for Ordnance Survey and I would suggest that it should be a matter for the Ministry of Defence. How is your artillery going to work if you want to use it? If by any chance you have to use the two or three eighteen-pounders that you have at the present time you could not hit your target unless you could see it.
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: That does not follow.
Mr. McGARRY: It is the truth and the simple truth, because your Ordnance Survey maps are wrong. I have made all those statements seriously and with a full sense of responsibility as to what they meant, and I think they are serious enough to warrant an inquiry by a Committee of the Dáil. If the President agrees with that, and if he tells me that when we re-assemble  he will appoint a Committee of the Dáil, I will withdraw my motion and allow the Estimate to go on.
Mr. JOHNSON: There are two issues involved in this matter, both of great importance. The question of the competence of the chief officer is not the kind of question that ought to be the subject of an inquiry by a Committee of the Dáil. I think if we got into that line of policy and procedure we would be relieving the Ministry of their responsibilities. No Committee of the Dáil can with any sense of responsibility undertake to judge of the competence of an officer acting under a Ministry. The question of the position of the ordnance records is quite a different one. Deputy McGarry did not hear the Minister's explanation. Whether that explanation is completely satisfactory I cannot say until I read it, and even then I may not be quite satisfied. That may be a legitimate subject of inquiry, and I would like to deal with it before discussing this matter further and to avoid mixing up the two propositions.
Mr. BAXTER: I was not looking at this question from the point of view of the position that our artillery should take up, but from the point of view of the people down the country. Deputy McGarry made a very serious statement, because if it be accurate the ordnance sheets in possession of our people throughout the country may not be correct. These sheets are the sheets that are produced in courts. And what sense of security will our people in the country have if Deputy McGarry's statement that the Ordnance Survey is all wrong is to be accepted? I do not know whether he himself recognises the seriousness of the statement; but it is a very serious statement. That statement having been made publicly it will go out to the people, and we have to consider what sort the decisions of the courts are which are grounded on the maps that have been produced by the Ordnance Survey. I recognise, too, that this is, to a very great extent, a very technical problem, and I recognise that there are not many Deputies here who would be in a position to go into it in the way in which it ought to be gone  into. It will take people with technical minds in conjunction with others interested from another point of view to do so; and I suggest to Deputy McGarry that if he is in a position to do so, it is better that he should go before a Departmental Committee, make his charges and bring forward his proofs in substantiation of them, and then see whether he or any other Deputies would be prepared to go any further. But something must be done. Inasmuch as this statement has been made by Deputy McGarry he has either to prove it or to withdraw it.
The PRESIDENT: I agree with what Deputy Baxter has said. I was not in when Deputy McGarry made his statement, but now after his statement I think it would be unwise to wait two or three months to have this matter investigated. I would be prepared to set up a Departmental inquiry to go into this matter. I think it is unthinkable that maps should have been prepared that are not correct, and that the whole efficiency of the Department should be such as to have maps that are not true maps. I think the very fact that a statement of that sort is made makes it our duty to meet it. If, as a result of this inquiry, Deputy McGarry is dissatisfied, I will undertake, after the re-assembling of the Dáil, if he puts down a motion for a Dáil inquiry, to give time for its consideration. I should say that I do not anticipate in my wildest imagination ever having to plant artillery near the Border.
Mr. BAXTER: The map I hold in my hand has been given to me, because a decision has already been arrived at in the Courts of Justice in a certain area. One of the parties was not quite satisfied with the decision. His claim was not in accordance with what the map shows, and, therefore, this map may not be correct. Deputy McGarry's statement going out will mean that thousands of people throughout the country will jump to the conclusion that the maps are not correct, and that unfair decisions have been given because incorrect maps have been introduced.
Mr. McGARRY: Do not take me as saying that I want an inquiry into the competence of the officials, for that is  a matter for the Ministry and not for the Dáil. The official is not responsible to the Dáil, but the Ministry is. I do not like the idea of a Departmental inquiry, for I think it will result in shelving and in whitewashing. I would sooner we had a committee of the Dáil. I think you can get two or three members of the Dáil to look into this matter. In connection with this there is another and very serious question from one point of view: if I have to produce people who are employees of the Government to substantiate the statements I have made, will there be any action taken against these people? If they say what is wrong, if they make state ments that they cannot substantiate, I do not care what happens to them, but if they substantiate what they say, will anything happen to them?
The PRESIDENT: I should say off-hand nothing would happen to them if they can substantiate the statements they make, and I should say if they do not substantiate the statements it might be serious for them.
Mr. JOHNSON: That is too much to say. We have put into certain Indemnity Bills the words “in good faith.” A man makes a statement in good faith, and even though he cannot substantiate it to the satisfaction of the court, surely you are not going to make that man suffer because he cannot substantiate the statement he made?
The PRESIDENT: “Good faith” is a very big thing.
Mr. JOHNSON: True; I quite agree.
Major COOPER: It is in the Act.
Mr. JOHNSON: The onus is on somebody else of proving it is not in good faith. Well, if that is suitable in certain cases, surely it is suitable in this. We heard from the Minister for Justice many times, and only yesterday, that things can be such that they may not be capable of absolute proof in court, and yet are known to be true. I suggest that unless there can be some malice proved in the making of a statement which could not be substantiated, that no penalty should be imposed on the person who made the statement.
The PRESIDENT: That line of thought would lead us to a big field. If every dissatisfied officer who wishes to make a statement in good faith does so, and I am sure a number could be made, then the Department in question is to be the subject of inquiry by reason of grievances being ventilated or allegations made here. I do not think I could subscribe to a policy of that sort. I do not know that it would tend to the discipline of the service. I said that the statement I made regarding indemnity is off-hand, and I will not go beyond that just now.
Mr. McGARRY: I was not ventilating anybody's grievance. I was ventilating a national grievance.
Mr. P. HOGAN (Clare): I also was not ventilating anybody's grievance in the matter. I want to make that clear. There seems to be some misunderstanding as to what Deputy Baxter said and what Deputy McGarry understood. I would not bring a purely lay mind to bear upon a technical matter. The only charges I brought forward were with regard to the levels, which is an entirely different matter from the accuracy of boundaries and areas of districts and farms. My charge was that the levelling is inaccurate.
Mr. McGARRY: I also said that the maps which show the levels are inaccurate.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Deputy McGarry's point is the same as Deputy Hogan's.
MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: So many irresponsible statements have been made that it is better to have an inquiry to blow them sky high.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Deputy McGarry wants a certain kind of inquiry. The President considers, apparently, in view of what has happened today, that an inquiry should take place immediately of a particular kind, but he offers if that does not satisfy Deputy McGarry and other Deputies that when the Dáil re-assembles after the Recess he will afford time for discussion on this question. I take it that the Estimates afford the opportunity of discussion  here. The President promised an inquiry, such as may seem good to himself in the interval, and an opportunity after the Recess of raising this whole matter again if Deputies are still dissatisfied. Does not that meet the position?
Mr. McGARRY: I think if the President promised a Dáil inquiry after the Recess, it would meet our views. I have no faith in a Departmental inquiry.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The Deputy can raise the question of a Dáil inquiry after the Recess as well as now.
Mr. P. HOGAN (Clare): Will the President promise that he will appoint some qualified engineer to act as chairman of the Departmental inquiry? I am not questioning the impartiality of a Departmental inquiry, but it might give confidence to have an outsider, a qualified engineer, as chairman.
The PRESIDENT: There are engineers in the service of the State, not in that Department, who, I think, would give confidence in the matter of an inquiry of that sort. I have two in my mind, one who was in the service of a certain Department of Dáil Eireann in the periods of 1920 to 1922. I think an official of that sort with good engineering qualifications would be suitable to hold such an inquiry.
Mr. JOHNSON: Might I suggest that no doubt that would be quite satisfactory to the President, but what is requisite now, following upon Deputy Baxter's statement, is a course which would ensure confidence on the part of the public, and whether we like it or not, the impression prevails that when a Department of the Civil Service is attacked there is a closing up of the ranks, and the Civil Service will defend itself. To meet that as a possibility in the minds of the public a non-Civil Service surveyor as a member of that committee, and preferably as chairman. would inspire the confidence that is requisite, now that this matter has been made public.
Mr. BAXTER: I would press that point on the President. I think he can very well concede it. He can get. I am  sure, some qualified engineer outside the service who will be as capable, as reliable and as trustworthy as a man he would get in the service. It will make all the difference in the world in the public mind.
The PRESIDENT: I would probably be able to do so.
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: While the President is considering it will he consider asking the Surveyors' Institute to put forward such a person?
Major COOPER: The members of the Surveyors' Institute are not qualified surveyors at all. They are land agents.
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: Whoever the body may be. I may have the title wrong, but I do know that this matter was first brought before my attention by certain civil engineers who desired to use these maps, and perhaps that institue might serve the purpose.
The PRESIDENT: I will undertake to give that the most favourable consideration, and to announce this day week the name of the person I propose to select.
Mr. McGARRY: Under these circumstances I withdraw my motion.
Mr. JOHNSON: Will the Deputy tell us what his motion was?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: This was the motion: That a sum not exceeding £36,201 be granted to defray the salaries and expenses of the Ordnance Survey, and of minor services connected therewith.
Vote put and agreed to.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: took the Chair.
Mr. McGILLLIGAN: I move:—
That a sum not exceeding £8,150 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, to pay the salaries and expenses of the Marine Service.
There are just one or two points in  connection with this small Estimate about which I might say a word. The heading A, Salaries, Wages and Allowances, I think explains itself, but some difficulty may be raised by the fact that a certain increase is shown, mainly under the second heading, Survey Services, and that arises mainly because of certain readjustments of staff which are taking place now, or are likely to take place in the near future. The proposal is to make certain substitute arrangements that the combined positions of Nautical Surveyor and Examiner of Masters and Mates, with one post of Ship Surveyor, should be the future arrangement; instead of the post of Senior Ship Surveyor and Ship Surveyor that there should be a half and half arrangement whereby this examinership of Masters and Mates would be shared between Dublin and Belfast.
There is to be an addition also of a Senior Engineer Surveyor, under that arrangement, to undertake certain duties for the Irish Lights, getting for that an allowance payable out of the Vote of the Irish Lights. These alterations will entail certain appointments and training of new staff to replace the present staff, officers who would be recalled to England or who will possibly or probably retire. The increase is mainly due to the fact that there will be overlapping between the outgoing men and the incoming, and also by the special allowance to this Senior Engineer Surveyor, which will be repayable. There is an additional sum to the Medical Inspector, fees receivable by him, and these fees will be recoverable from the shipping company concerned, so that the matter is really a book-keeping transaction. With reference to Item B, I do not propose to go into the detailed sums for the separate items. The separate items would be the travelling of the staffs of the Mercantile Marine Office and of the Survey Office. Incidentals would be technical newspapers, legal expenses, uniforms, medals for gallantry at sea, certain scientific apparatus, and certain expenditure in connection with the School for Navigation. I could give the allowance under each of these  heads, but I hope it will not be proposed that I should, because certain negotiations are likely to take place soon with regard to the School for Navigation, and when one is bargaining it is not well to show the sum that is in one's mind. The separate amounts for each item are based on the minimum requirements of the year before. The legal expenses item is, however, a very small sum, set aside provisionally, and owing to a wreck which occurred recently, and as a result of which an inquiry has been ordered, it is quite likely that some supplementary sum may have to be looked for later, because the provision by way of legal expenses is undoubtedly too small.
The small provision that is made for these medals for gallantry at sea is, of course, a thing that may not be called upon, but some estimate must be provided for it. The question of the Navigation School is more or less sub-judice and at the moment I would prefer not to say anything about it, but I can give details if they are required Other items, telephones and telegrams are the best estimates that we can get of these things from figures supplied by the Post Office. Services in connection with wrecks and salvage is a figure that has to be set down. There may be no expenditure under this head at all, and whatever expenditure there is in all cases is recovered. Similarly with regard to the next Item, Relief of Distressed Seamen, some small item has to be set down, but whatever the expenses may be they are also recoverable. Item F, cost of Life-Saving Service, is an important one. This estimate shows a reduction, but that reduction would be off-set by the sum set aside in the Office of Public Works Account. The reduction is due to the fact that the Board of Works have taken over the maintenance and repair of rocket services, and the provision of explosives, etc. The salaries under this sub-head speak for themselves. The item, Travelling Expenses, refers mainly to the Inspector and the Superintendent, who have to cover very large districts. The payments to 758 members of voluntary crews reveals the present system with regard to the Coast Life Saving Service. There are about  50 stations, and the payments made are to two head men, number one and number two in each station, who get sums respectively of £15 and £6 where there are head stations, and in certain instances £12 and £4. The volunteer crews are drilled quarterly, and receive a payment amounting to, I think, £1 per head per annum.
Mr. CORISH: Would the Minister say where these stations are?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: The whole 50?
Mr. CORISH: Yes.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: No, not at the moment.
Mr. CORISH: I think it is very important that we should have them.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: If the Deputy thinks that we should provide a station in some particular spot where there is not one, and indicates that, I will see if I can answer him. I do not want to recite a list of 50 stations. The other items do not amount to very much. Incidentals, a sum of £450, includes the hire of the horses for the rocket apparatus wagons at wrecks, and also at exercises, and a certain amount for the distribution of stores.
Mr. JOHNSON: This may be one of the Votes on which we might require to have some discussion after the Recess. I do not want to raise too many questions, or even any that would prolong the discussion on this, because the matter that would be raised might easily lead to a long discussion, but I would ask the Minister to bear in mind that we may desire after the Recess to have a discussion upon the position of the Marine Branch, and also the question of life-saving service. I am a little doubtful whether this is not the time to discuss the life-saving service, and that we ought not to defer the matter until the winter is upon us. We shall require to know more in detail than we do, as to what is the relationship between the Irish Lights Service and the British Board of Trade, and also whether it is intended to give certificates which will be recognised in British ports for masters, mates and engineers. The general question of the relationship between these Government services and the British Government  services requires some discussion, and while I think it perhaps undesirable to start a discussion in view of the other Votes that have to come forward, I want to give the Minister notice that this is a matter which will require discussion later in the year.
Mr. CORISH: I want to ask the Minister what is the position of this particular Ministry in connection with the question of coastguards or coast-watchers. On last night fortnight there was a very serious disaster on the south coast of Wexford. We had a new ship which turned turtle, the S.S. “Lismore.” I was speaking to the sole survivor of that ship, and he feels convinced that if there had been any coast-watchers in that particular area, a great many of that crew might have been saved. Here we had a ship within sixteen miles of the coast, lighted up and disappearing in a few moments, and if there had been any coastguard station in the vicinity, or any system of coast-watchers, the probability is that the majority of that crew would have been saved. The steamer blew her siren practically until she disappeared, and I think everybody will agree that if there had been anybody of authority on behalf of this particular Ministry in that vicinity at all, that a great deal might have been done to save many valuable lives.
The Minister has mentioned that there are fifty stations around the coast. Well, the position in that connection is, to my mind, that the people do not know there is any one at all, that it is not apparent to anybody that we have a life-saving apparatus in operation as it used to be five or six years ago. I would like to ask the Minister if the people who are retained for this particular service are exercised frequently, because it is a very important thing. It has been proved time and time again that even skilled men in the working of this life-saving apparatus have made serious mistakes which have resulted in a loss of life. I do think the Minister and the Ministry should pay far more serious attention to this matter of life-saving and coast-watching than they have apparently done. I think it should be made known  immediately where these stations are, and what the intentions are so far as coast-watching is concerned. I have it on very reliable authority that there is smuggling going on all round the Irish coast, and that is also a matter that should be attended to. I take it, when the Minister talks about an Inquiry, he means that his Department is going to inquire into the unfortunate disaster in which the “Lismore” was sunk. I do think it is absolutely essential and I am glad the Irish Government is taking the necessary steps. I want to know what the intentions of the Minister are as far as coast-watching is concerned, and also how often these men retained by the Ministry are practised in the use of the life-saving apparatus.
Mr. HENNESSY: I would like to know whether the service is of recent growth; I do not think it is. We took over the service in 1922 immediately after the signing of the Treaty. Some months afterwards the State set out to purchase patrol boats, a dozen or so. I would like to know if the services of any of the very competent officers set out in the list were engaged in the surveying of these boats before they were purchased, and if so, how it happens that these boats turned out very soon afterwards to be unserviceable, not fit for patrol work, and that many of them are now only fit for the scrap heap. It is a matter of something like £40,000 to the State, and the responsibility should be fixed somewhere.
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: There are only two points I want to make with to the question of coast watching which I assume comes under this service.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: Is it the Preventive Service?
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: Whatever takes the place of the old coastguard service.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: If it is coast life , it comes under this head.
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: I am now speaking of a matter which the Minister's answer makes quite clear deserves some attention, and that is the co-relation in this service between one Department  and another. For example, coast watchers in a certain part of the coast recently discovered a matter that aroused a good deal of attention in the Dáil a short time ago, and that is illegal trawling. The whole thing was being conducted quite openly—it happened on the coast of Mayo—and there seems to be very little knowledge on the part of these coast watchers how to get into touch with the proper authorities in the Fishery Department, they not being fishery servants, so as to bring this thing under notice. In the same connection I happened to be down on the coast recently, and I was speaking to some of these coast watchers. There is one aspect that is of very great importance because it does arise out of the very definite work done previously by coastguards. I do not know whether it has occurred to anybody here, but it has been done extensively off the United States coast, that there is really a fortune waiting for anybody who wants to organise smuggling. I suppose no loyal citizen of the Free State would do it, but there is a little fortune awaiting anybody who wants to organise smuggling, and on the West Coast of Ireland it could be easily done.
Mr. CORISH: I would like to know if the Ministry exercises any authority over the Lifeboat Institution. In the area in which this vessel was lost there was a lifeboat stationed one time—that is, at Fethard. The gallant part the crew of the lifeboat there played on the occasion of the loss of the Norwegian boat will be within the recollection of Deputies. That lifeboat station has been done away with, and there is no station nearer than Wexford on one side, and Dunmore on the other. The survivor from the “Lismore” landed at a place on the South Wexford coast twenty-four hours after the ship had been lost—at 12.20 on Saturday morning. Nobody knew anything whatever about the disaster until the following evening at five o'clock. The Dunmore and Wexford lifeboats were not on the scene until six o'clock or seven o'clock on Saturday evening. I submit that it was a great mistake to take away the lifeboat station from a rocky coast like that at Fethard. It is certainly a place in  which there should be a station, and I would like to know from the Minister if he has any control over these particular services.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: In reply to Deputy Johnson, I thought discussion had been held over on No. 52, and that was why I went into a certain amount of detail in regard to No. 54. What I have stated does not preclude a bigger discussion in the Autumn on both this Vote and No. 52, when the President gives the day he has promised for the debate in connection with this Ministry.
With regard to the point made by Deputy Hennessy, I understood he was referring to the boats under the control of the Ministry of Defence. These survey services were not availed of in any way in connection with these boats. We had nothing to do with them.
Mr. HENNESSY: That is an extraordinary admission. No matter what the service was, the use of this Department might have saved £40,000 or £50,000, when they were expending £100,000.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: I am only answering from the point of view of Vote 54. I was told certain things had happened, and I was asked if the surveyors had anything to do with these boats. I said “No.” It may be an extraordinary thing, but so far as Vote 54 is concerned, I have nothing to do with it.
The points raised by Deputy Corish are material. It is, I think, inaccurate for the Deputy to say that the lights of this boat could be seen from the shore. That is not the information that has been given——
Mr. CORISH: Before the Minister goes any further, may I say that that is the opinion of all the nautical people in the area—that her lights could have been seen from the shore. She was about sixteen miles out, and that particular coast is very high.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: Does the Deputy refer to ordinary lights? No rockets, I understand, were fired.
Mr. CORISH: No; I mean ordinary lights.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: The boat was about fifteen miles off the shore, and apparently there is a conflict between the Deputy's experts and other experts as to whether the lights could have been seen.
Mr. CORISH: I can understand that.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: I do not propose to go into the list of the stations. If the Deputy, or any other Deputies, thinks it would serve a useful purpose to have a list of stations circulated so that they may be known, if they are not known already, that might be done. The distribution of stations, I understand, is—East Coast, 14; South Coast, 26; West and North Coast, 12.
Mr. CORISH: Would the Minister say if there is any service in the particular vicinity where the boat was lost?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: There is a station at Fethard, one at Tramore, and one at Dunmore East. These three are close to the particular region. The Deputy asked with regard to the policy of the department with respect to coast watching. Coast watching may include a number of things. In so far as it concerns life saving along the coast, the policy of the department is outlined in the Estimate. If it is pointed out that there are places where there are no stations and where there ought to be stations, it will be a matter for consideration if the financial responsibilities of the State will permit of the extra stations required. The cost is not very much, because the crews are volunteers.
Mr. CORISH: What does “coast watching” really mean in this case?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: I might get at it by a process of elimination. It does not mean the preventive service to which Deputy Figgis was referring. That is not a question for this department. As far as the other points made by that Deputy is concerned—co-relation between the different departments engaged—there is co-relation so far as the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Fisheries are concerned. I believe there is a revised or a new scheme, with regard to a preventive service being put forward by the Revenue Commissioners, and I  presume it will be linked up with the present stations we have for life saving purposes.
Mr. CORISH: I would like to have some information with regard to services for sea-watching. I was speaking to the sole survivor of the “Lismore” and he told me distinctly he was within 100 or 200 yards of the shore practically from 8 o'clock the evening he landed. With some sort of coast-watching service by a person specially appointed by the Minister to look after matters of this kind, this man might have been landed earlier.
Mr. JOHNSON: May I suggest that it is apparent that any service of the kind which is necessary will have to be arranged for by agreement with ship-owners, who are more affected by the possible losses, and the Government. It so happens that Irish shipping is not great enough to warrant all the care that would be required round the coast, that the greater amount of the shipping whose interests, and the interest of the people concerned, would have to be looked after, belongs to another country. But we are all agreed about the necessity for the humanitarian services. It seems to me to be a question that ought to be taken up with either the insurance authorities, the ship - owning authorities, or the Board of Trade as to the extent of the service of this kind that they will pay for, by way of contribution to voluntary organisations, or otherwise, on the Irish Coast. It is absolutely necessary that there be a much more efficient service than we can pay for out of this Vote, and it is not fair that the Irish revenue should be made to bear the cost that is necessary, inasmuch as 95 per cent. of the ships and crews that might possibly be affected, are not Irish ships or Irish crews. Consequently, it seems to me that the whole matter of policy in regard to coast service and life-saving services must necessarily be taken up in conjunction with British authorities.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: I think the Deputy has stated accurately the facts with regard to the percentage of boats and the nationality of crews operating around the coast. The suggestion he has thrown out is one that can be usefully  followed and will be followed. As regards Deputy Corish's point about coast watching in bad weather, Numbers 1 and 2 of the stations do watch the coast in bad weather. There is coast watching done by these two in each station in bad weather. That is the provision made. The only other point raised was by Deputy Johnson with regard to the Irish Light Services. That is a larger point than the others, and I agree with what he said—it would suit me much better—that the discussion might be postponed until the autumn. Things might be advanced further by then, and we could deal with it in the debate on the general policy of the Ministry on whatever day the President gives for that purpose.
Mr. CORISH: Would the Minister deal with my point as to whether he has any jurisdiction over the Life Boat Institution?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: The Ministry has no control over that. The greatest harmony and the most cordial relations exist between the Ministry and the Society, but we have no control.
Mr. CORISH: I would ask the Minister to make representations to those people, with a view to getting a life boat on the Fethard Coast again.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: Our relations are such that we could easily make a suggestion of that sort to them.
Mr. CORISH: Will you undertake to do it?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: Certainly.
Vote put and agreed to.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: I move:—
That a sum not exceeding £225,676 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, to pay the Salaries and Expenses of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, including umpire and courts of referees, contributions to the unemployment fund and to  special schemes, payments to associations under the Unemployment Insurance Acts, for advances to work-people under the Labour Exchanges Act, 1909, fees and expenses of medical referees under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906; fees to certifying surgeons under the Factory and Workshops Act, 1901; fees and expenses under the Trade Boards Act, 1909 and 1918; fees and expenses under the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1919, and the Gas Regulations Act, 1920, and Weights and Measures Act, 1889; also expenses in connection with the International Labour Organisation (League of Nations) including a Grant in Aid.
This is the main Vote of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the discussion of which is to be postponed until the autumn. If there be any details which now demand an answer, I will try to supply the information.
Mr. JOHNSON: I intimated to the Minister that I proposed to ask him to give the Dáil some information regarding the administration of, and inspection under, the Factory Act. It is true, as Deputy Cooper said, that there are certain matters that will require to be raised under this Vote. I think it was generally agreed that the main discussion might be deferred.
Under sub-head A (Industries Department) I note that there is provision for a temporary Factory Inspector at £136 per year and two temporary Factory Inspectors at £394. That appears to be the whole of the staff engaged in factory inspection. Why they should be temporary I do not understand. I want to press upon the Minister the necessity of having a more general and a more frequent inspection of factories than has been the case for the last number of years. There never was the amount of inspection that was required, and, apparently, from what I gather, there is much less inspection now than ever. In the report presented to the International Labour Office a year ago the policy of the Ministry was indicated as being that of co-ordinating the various inspectorates under these several Acts such as the Insurance Act, the Factory Act, and so  on. I would like to have some information as to what progress has been made in that direction and whether as a result of such co-ordination as was then promised there has been more frequent inspection, and what kind of reports have been issued. It used to be the practice to issue reports with regard to factory inspection stating the number of prosecutions, the number of visits, and generally giving information as to the measures taken to safeguard the lives and limbs of the people concerned in the industries. It is important that this should be done thoroughly and efficiently by competent persons and as far as possible by persons who have had some experience in this kind of work, provided they are competent otherwise. I press for information on this matter and for information as to what the intentions of the Ministry are with regard to (1) Factory Inspection under the Factory Acts and (2) the policy of co-ordinating the inspectorates under these various Industrial Acts.
Mr. CONLAN: There is a matter arising on this Vote which I hope I may be allowed to bring under the notice of the Minister, inasmuch as it is more or less a matter of urgency. I refer to the question of the drainage of the River Barrow. This is a matter which has been agitated for a great number of years, and the absolute necessity for its being carried out has been admitted. A few months back I was a member of a deputation which waited upon the Minister's predecessor. It was a most representative deputation. I may say it included clergymen of all denominations from the district, Senators, Deputies, business people, as well as farmers. The deputation put before Deputy McGrath, who was then Minister, the full facts of the case, and they were assured that the question would have the immediate attention of the Government. I think there has been a good deal of inaction with regard to the matter since, because, so far as I know, nothing has been done. Deputies may not realise the importance of this question, and how it affects a large area of the country. I may also say that it is an increasing evil. In 1886 it was estimated  that 46,000 acres were affected by the flooding. In 1905, when a further estimate was made, it was shown that 50,000 acres were affected. This year, when the matter was further gone into, it was found that the area affected had increased to 70,000 acres, or something like 100 square miles.
In addition to the area immediately affected, it is estimated that about three-quarters of a million acres are indirectly affected on account of the tributaries discharging into the main river being choked up and unable to effect a discharge of the water. The sufferings of the people living in this area are appalling. Year by year they suffer a loss of crops, a loss of cattle, and tubercular and other diseases are rife in the district. This has been testified to by medical men, amongst others by Dr. Daly, tuberculosis medical officer for County Kildare, Dr. Rice of Portarlington, who is resident in Leix, as well as others. There is no reason why this work should not be gone on with. Under the British Government surveys were carried out, plans were made at a cost I am told of something like £50,000. These plans and surveys are in possession of Mr. Bergin, one of the engineers who was employed in making them, and are available any time.
Another aspect of the case is that this work would be highly reproductive. This vast plain is composed of alluvial soil to a depth of several feet which, if relieved of water, would be capable of producing the finest crops and most luxurious pastures. At present it is nearly useless and the wonder is that any of the unfortunate people have continued to live there. The fact I think can only be explained by taking into consideration the tenacity with which Irish people cling to their homes, however undesirable these habitations may be. The state of the River Barrow and the adjoining country has been a matter of reproach to the British Government for years. When travelling through it I have often pointed out to Englishmen the lake that exists there in the winter time and I put it to them if it was not a reproach to their Government and they admitted that it was. I am sure such a state of affairs would not  be allowed to exist in any Continental country or in England. In making these statements I do not mean to make any reflection on the present Minister. I recognise his ability and that he is a man of progressive ideas who will, I am sure, do all he can to have this work done. I ask him not to be intimidated by the Minister for Finance who is always put up as a sort of bogey-man when any scheme involving any expenditure for the benefit of the country is suggested.
Another feature in connection with this question is that unemployment is very rife in the Counties of Kildare and Leix, especially in Kildare. We had a great British camp—the largest in the three kingdoms there—with very extensive barracks in Newbridge and the town of Kildare. The removal of the British troops has resulted in thousands of people losing their means of living. Certainly, if nothing is done to provide employment for them, I am afraid the unemployment question will become a grave menace in this particular district. There is no reason, as far as I can see, why this work of draining the Barrow should not be gone on with. We heard the Minister for Agriculture deplore recently the want of that quality of self-reliance, especially amongst Irish farmers.
On the deputation that approached the Minister, Senator McEvoy, who resides in the affected area, and who is intimately acquainted with all the circumstances connected with the Barrow made an offer that if the Government would go ahead with the work the local people would contribute half the cost, amounting to something like £200,000. It is estimated that the drainage of the upper reaches of the Barrow could be effected for £300,000 and the lower Barrow for £100,000. That was a distinct advance on any proposal that was ever made before in connection with this scheme, because it was only provided in former schemes that a certain contribution per acre should be made by people whose land adjoined the Barrow. Why should the Government not float a loan in connection with this scheme? In a private business it is considered the right thing to obtain a loan to carry out work that will permanently improve that business. Presumably  the same thing applies to a national undertaking. We are not by any means a bankrupt country. Our resources are good and only want to be developed. I think if the Minister will take his courage in both hands and put forward that forceful side of his character which we recognise here against the Minister for Finance, he will be able to carry out this scheme. If he does so he will bring credit not alone to himself but to the Government generally.
Mr. COLOHAN: I would like to support Deputy Conlan in his demand that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce should insist on the Ministry of Finance finding the money for this scheme, if only to relieve unemployment. There are thousands of workers and their families living along the banks of the Barrow practically starving. A deputation came here to urge the then Minister for Industry and Commerce to undertake this work immediately. The deputation was favourably received, but soft words butter no parsnips. After 100 years I think it is time to get going on the Barrow drainage. Even in the interests of the public health, I think this river should have been drained long ago. Owing to the flooding people are falling victims to tuberculosis in that wretched area, and if they get a chance of moving from it into other areas they are bringing that dread disease with them. Everyone knows what that means to the national health. It is time for the Minister to give some earnest of what an Irish Government can do by undertaking this scheme of public utility. A couple of years ago we were told that when the demobilisation of the Army would take place large schemes of public utility would be started to absorb the men. Where are the schemes? We cannot get a few thousand pounds to feed the hungry people in the country. Here is a scheme practically ready. you have the plans and the engineers, so that I cannot see why it could not be tackled at once. I know that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is favourably disposed, but I think that Department should press the Ministry of Finance and let the people see that the Government is going to do something for those who are at present starving.
Mr. MORRISSEY: I would like to know from the Minister if he would give some explanation for the very large reductions under sub-heads G and H?
Major COOPER: This does not preclude us going back to sub-head A.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: No.
Mr. MORRISSEY: “Travelling expenses and allowances, including compensation for loss of time of members and persons required to attend the court,” what exactly is meant by “persons required to attend the court”? I would also like an explanation of the very large reduction from £1,500 to £300. Does that mean that the courts do not meet as often as they did? or that the number has been reduced and that unemployed persons who are appealing to these courts have to travel longer distances, and are under greater expense?
Major COOPER: Deputy Morrissey wants an explanation of reductions. I want an explanation of increases. In particular, I would like to ask the Minister to give us some explanation of the very great increase in the numbers employed and in the money required for the Statistics Department. In that Department the number employed has been increased by nearly one hundred; that is to say, by two hundred per cent over those employed last year. Leaving out of account £6,000 which appeared in the Ministry of Agriculture Vote last year, the amount has more than doubled from last year. This is the more remarkable, because I have been given to understand that the Statistics Department has been equipped with calculating machines which, when they were introduced, were said to be going to save a large amount of expenditure on staff. Instead of that the staff has trebled, and I presume— though I cannot find it in the Estimate—we have to find the money to pay for the calculating machines as well. I hope the Minister will be able to tell us something on that, and also give some general explanation of the increased cost of the Ministry. Eighty more people are employed this year in it than last year, and the cost under sub-head A—Salaries, Wages, and Allowances—has gone up by £25,000.  That is not the net increase, because there are savings to which Deputy Morrissey has called attention which have reduced it in other directions. While the Minister for Finance is attempting to balance his Budget, an increase of 80 in numbers and of £25,000 in salaries is not entirely satisfactory, and requires some explanation.
Mr. DAVIN: I desire to support the plea put forward by Deputies Conlan and Colohan in reference to the urgency of the Barrow drainage scheme. The Minister may say that before going ahead with the scheme it would be necessary to introduce legislation. I agree, and I hope that the interval between the adjournment and the 21st October will be availed of by whatever Minister is responsible, to have a Bill drafted so that it can be introduced when we meet again, to pave the way for going ahead with this work. I would like if the Minister could give the number of unemployed in the counties Carlow, Kildare, Leix, Offaly and Kilkenny—which are the counties mostly affected by the flooding of the Barrow—and also the amount of money paid in unemployment benefit in these counties. I accompanied the deputation which was received by the ex-Minister for Industry and Commerce when a promise was made that the matter would receive very serious consideration. So far as I know, nothing has been done since that time except that we have been informed that the Board of Works were asked to make a report. All the reports that are necessary in connection with the matter are already available in the Board of Works office. I have been told that members of the Executive Council consider it advisable before proceeding with the scheme to bring over German or American engineers to look into the reports that have been already submitted to the Board. I am convinced that there is nothing to be gained, except delay, by bringing over engineers from other countries, because I believe that we have here engineers who are quit competent to deal with the matter.
The question of finance is, of course, a serious matter. When I heard Senator MacEvoy make the offer on behalf  of the local people to find half the money, I thought he had gone too far. I think this is a great national question and that the Government should be prepared to find two-thirds of the money. At any rate, there is plenty of time between this and the 21st October to give this matter serious consideration, and I trust that when we meet then the Executive Council will include in their legislative programme a Bill which will enable them to proceed with this work without further delay.
Mr. WILSON: Under sub-head J the contribution to the Unemployment Fund and to special schemes this year amounts to £200,000. Under the sub-head of Appropriations in Aid the income which the Minister hopes to receive from the fund is £95,000. In view of the statement made by the Minister for Finance that there was something over half a million already advanced, I would like to know what is the position of this fund at present, and when the Minister hopes that the income will be sufficient to pay the benefits. I would also like to know if the Minister has any idea of the industrial population of the Saorstát, and how many people there are unemployed. If we had this information we would be able to envisage the situation better, and see how we could evolve some schemes which would give employment and do away with this unemployment donation.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: Does the Deputy refer to the number who would come under the Unemployment Insurance Act or the total number unemployed?
Mr. WILSON: The total number unemployed. I do not believe there is very much unemployment in agricultural areas.
Mr. JOHNSON: The Deputy ought to go into the country.
Mr. WILSON: I do not believe there is any unemployment in the agricultural areas. If you find out how many people in this country are engaged in employment which brings them under the Unemployment Insurance Act, and then find out how many of the population are idle and drawing the dole, you will see the extent of the drain that the dole imposes on the resources of the country. It will also give you some  idea of the necessity for getting forward with a scheme such as the Barrow scheme.
Mr. BAXTER: Arising out of this discussion on the Barrow scheme initiated by Deputy Conlan, Deputy Davin and Deputy Colohan, it would be well, I suggest, if the Minister would keep before his mind in considering that scheme, that there are other parts of the country just as badly in need of a drainage scheme as the area served by the Barrow.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: I would just like to point out that I have nothing whatever to do with drainage schemes in any part of the country.
Mr. BAXTER: The point I want to make is this: that there are other areas of the country, as well as the area served by the Barrow, in need of a scheme which would help to relieve unemployment. I realise that great damage is being done by the floods in are area served by the Barrow, but I desire to impress on the Minister that there are other parts of the country where drainage is as urgently required to be done as in the Barrow area, and where also schemes that would help to relieve unemployment are as urgently needed. What I desire to impress on the Minister is that this is a problem that is peculiar to other parts of Ireland as well as to the area referred to by the Deputies for Kildare and Leix.
Mr. E. DOYLE: I desire to support the plea that has been made in connection with the Barrow scheme by Deputy Conlan, Deputy Davin and Deputy Colohan. This is a problem that has been causing a great deal of agitation for a long number of years. At the outset, I would like to say that I do not think Deputy Wilson is correct in his statement that there is no unemployment problem to be dealt with in the rural districts of the country. That is an incorrect statement, and to my own knowledge large numbers of people in the rural districts are at the moment practically starving. Of course I realise that to state in this Dáil that people are starving may be regarded as cant, but I know it to be a fact, and I think it must be admitted it is a very  sad fact. Anyone who tries to mask that fact is doing a wrong thing. This problem of unemployment will have to be dealt with in this country in the very near future. I wonder do Deputies on some of the other Benches in this House realise that agricultural labourers, and some men who are classed as road workers, are not entitled to share in unemployment benefit like the workers in the towns. There are hundreds of such men in the Barrow area who, for that reason, are not entitled to draw unemployment benefit, and the result is that a great deal of destitution prevails amongst the workers in that area. I trust that the Minister will do all in his power to have a start made with this Barrow scheme, which, if it were set on foot, would do something at least to relieve the great distress that prevails amongst the unemployed in that area.
Mr. NALLY: I desire to call the attention of the Minister to the urgent necessity for starting a drainage scheme on the river Robe in the County Mayo. An area of about seven thousand acres is subject to flooding by that river. About ten years ago the Congested Districts Board had the river surveyed, and levels were taken. As a result of these investigations it was estimated that about £8,000 would drain the river. The plans and surveys made at that time are, I understand, at present in the possession of the Land Commission. The area which is subject to floods from this river is a very congested one, and I hope that the Minister will be able to see his way to do something in the near future as regards the drainage of this river. The carrying out of a drainage scheme there is urgently needed, and would help to provide the unemployed with useful and productive work.
Mr. GOOD: If the Minister has the figures available, I would be glad to have information on a few points. I notice an increase of £2,590 in connection with the International Labour Organisation. If he has the figures available, I would be glad to have some information as to the reasons for that increase. It would be well, also, I think, if we  had some information to explain the increase of £21,000 in his own Department. In the Minister's, as in most other Departments, there appears to be a considerable increase in salaries, etc. It would be well, also, I think, if we had some particulars as to reasons for the increase in staff. If the Minister has not the figures available, I would not press for the information now, because the President pointed out yesterday that an opportunity would be given during the next Session for raising questions touching the administration of the Department of Industry and Commerce.
Mr. MILROY: I do not intend to detain the Dáil very long in discussing this service. The trend of the discussion so far has largely been in the nature of interrogatories on questions relating to drainage and so on. I am sorry that this Estimate was not reached at an earlier stage in our proceedings. If not the most important, this Estimate is at least one of the most serious and important that we have to discuss.
Lest its passing at this stage, with simply the putting of a few queries, should give rise to the impression that the general policy of the Ministry meets with approval, I just wish to register my dissent at this stage from being a sharer in any such contention. Had this Estimate been reached at an earlier stage when we would have had ample time to discuss the policy and work of this Department in all its bearings, I would have endeavoured to deal with it at some length, and it is only because an assurance has been given that an opportunity to discuss the general policy of this Ministry will be afforded on the resumption of the Dáil in the Autumn, that I do not press for that opportunity now. There is only one question I wish to ask at this stage, and that is with regard to the proposed electrification of the Shannon. I desire to know what progress has been made in regard to that particular move, whether it is likely to materialise and when we can have some report presented to the Dáil as to what particular development has been reached in regard to that scheme.
Mr. P. HOGAN (Clare): I desire to ask the Minister a question in connection with the position of rural workers I was amazed to hear Deputy Wilson make a statement that there was very little unemployment in rural areas. I wonder if the Deputy has ever considered that the cause of a good deal of the unemployment in cities and towns is due to the lack of employment in rural areas. The people migrate from the rural areas into the cities and towns to seek employment, and it is that that causes a lot of the unemployment in the cities and towns. I could never understand the principle which excluded agricultural workers from the operations of the Unemployment Insurance Act. Surely these people have to find the means of subsistence just as much as the dwellers in the cities and towns, and it seems to me a bit of an anomaly that agricultural workers should be excluded from the benefits of that Act.
I could never, as I say, understand that principle, and I hope the Minister will give some enlightenment on the matter. The position of road-workers under the Unemployment Insurance Act also seems to me to be a bit of an anomaly. When they appealed against the decision of the officer in the Labour Exchange they were cut out by the Department simply because they lived in rural areas. In the case of men from the towns working on the roads, they are entitled to benefit under the Act if they lose their employment, but in the case of a man from the country, even though his insurance is stopped while in the employment of the county council, he gets no benefit when his employment ceases. When he seeks the unemployment insurance benefit he is told that he is not entitled to get benefit simply because he lives in a rural area. I maintain that the fact that a man lives in a rural area does not make him an agricultural worker. That is a matter in the administration of the Act which I suggest should claim the serious attention of the Minister.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: Deputy Johnson, who was the first speaker on this Vote, raised a question of the administration of the Factory Acts, and queried the allowance made  for staff factory inspectors and otherwise, and pleaded finally for more frequent inspection of factories. That is exactly what we are working towards. The whole question of establishment for factory inspection is under consideration. We have advanced to the point where the Department's scheme has been made out and has been forwarded to other Departments concerned, and we are hoping to arrive at a position when we will have eight inspectors. Now, I do not want to be misunderstood in that. The eight inspectors will not be eight factory inspectors. They must be certificated so as to become factory inspectors or to undertake inspection work, but I do not say that they will be used solely for factory inspection. The idea is to combine the Trade Board work and the factory inspection work under these eight inspectors. At the moment the estimate is rather misleading, because on ordinary examination it would appear that there are only three officers, and they have been described by the Deputy as temporary. As a matter of fact, there are four officers certificated in a proper way, and a fifth, whose certificate is in preparation, so that actually in a very short time there will be five officials at the disposal of the Department suitable and certificated for factory inspection work. It has to be admitted that inspections under the Acts have fallen below the standard aimed at under the old conditions, and aimed at at present in England. That simply was due to the fact that it was rather the absence of a proper staff that made inspections fall below the normal, and with the increased staff which we are pressing for we will work certainly up to the old regulations.
I believe there should be one inspection per annum of every undertaking under these Acts. That may not be sufficient either, and if not we will speed up to a better point, but that would require a larger staff again. But we hope that when we get eight appointed we will work up to the old standard. We are quite below the standard as it used to be. For instance, the registered total of premises liable to inspection was over 9,000 in 1922, and of these something  under 3,000 were visited. In 1923, 9,400 odd were registered and 2,398 were visited. There were, however, more visits paid than that; some of them were visited more than once, and over 3,000 were paid altogether. The report of the inspectors was not issued for 1922, as it did not cover a complete year. The report for that period and for 1923 will be issued shortly.
Deputy Conlan started the list of Deputies who have all spoken about the Barrow drainage system. That is not on my Vote at all, but I believe an undertaking was given that the matter could be raised upon that Vote, and that that gave Deputy Nally a chance also to raise the question of the Robe and other Deputies to raise drainage questions as well. I have no great responsibility for the Barrow except that a lot of these things might be said to converge upon my Department because they deal with the question of the relief of unemployment, and looking at it from that angle, there is not so much to be said for the Barrow scheme, and certainly nothing to be said for it as an immediate relief for unemployment. The Barrow drainage scheme has to be looked into in all its details, because the carrying out of a half or one-third or any other fraction of a drainage scheme for the Barrow would be useless. It has to be done properly and completely or not at all. The money expended would, of course, go over a greater number of people now in insurance benefit, but it would be, I hold, unproductive.
Mr. CONLAN: Unproductive?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: Yes, if spent on a partial scheme. I have a different attitude towards a complete scheme. The tackling of the Barrow drainage problem, as a complete scheme, is one of the things that I am pressing. It has been admitted by the Minister for Finance to be a very pressing problem and the only thing is to get the required engineering skill and the necessary plans to have the thing gone on with. I am aware of the circumstances about this scheme. It was started in 1809 and was only interrupted by the Napoleonic wars. Then, 70 years later another scheme was put forward but  was interrupted. I do not know who interrupted that, but I believe it was said it was the old Irish Parliamentary Party. Later, in the year 1913, another scheme came up, and the outbreak of the great European war stopped that. We are now approaching it for the fourth time—the lucky number, I hope —and the only thing is that the plans —such plans as there were, were never very detailed. There was a lot of preliminary investigation to assure those concerned that the scheme was necessary and to make an estimate of the cost, but there were no plans of any use to the engineers.
Mr. CONLAN: I am informed that the plans are all in existence, and I was told so by Mr. Bergin, one of the engineers who was engaged in the survey.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: Yes, I believe Mr. Bergin was on the deputation which recently waited on the Government and which consisted of four Deputies and some Senators, and thirteen others, but I think that the only plans available were the plans of 1890, and it was very doubtful that they would be of any use. I do not know about the Napoleonic plans.
Mr. CONLAN: There were plans prepared for the Commission, but I am afraid we would require a Napoleon to get this work done.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: The Napoleon period estimate of expenditure only asked for a quarter of a million of money. That has gone up at least to three-quarters of a million, and the idea was that if it was to be done on the report of one of the Commissions— I think the Castletown Commission—it would run to something in the region of £1,300,000. There is a great divergence of opinion, and I cannot believe, as Deputy Davin seems to suggest, that just to have a delay the Office of Public Works is going to say that there are no plans on which the engineers can immediately work. On that, of course. Deputy Davin could not resist the temptation of saying that the Barrow was going to be handed over to German engineers. Since the Deputy  has seen a German engineer on the Barrow, his whole outlook has been coloured and prejudiced. I am not responsible for sending the German to the Barrow, but if any German engineer comes to my Department and submits an estimate showing a lower cost than the other estimates, it will be given equal consideration with the others. I cannot imagine why Deputy Davin believes that the only reason for not starting the scheme is that there is deliberate delay. If the scheme has to be tackled, as it obviously has, why not tackle it this year when there is a great deal of unemployment, and not put it off till next year, when we hope things will be better? The great difficulty is that the plans are not ready and while I do not want to disparage the engineers of this country, I say there are very few engineers here with experience of dredging on large rivers. To say that Irish engineers are among the best in the world does not get us any further. The point is, we want men who have particular experience, and who will be useful in tackling the problem of the drainage of the Barrow. The scheme is, however, going along and men are being looked for, but there is going to be delay. I think it is beyond all possibility that there will be any attack on the Barrow this year. The season is, I think, passed. I am not blaming Deputies, as they had their deputations ready. If the plans were there the scheme could be taken in hand.
Mr. COLOHAN: The plans are ready and available, and cross sections were taken at every hundred yards showing the depths to which the river should be sunk, and pegs were driven into the banks of the river and are still there.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: There is a conflict of experts, about which I spoke earlier. I have to stand fire from both sides, while it is not my responsibility to look after this scheme. I put it to the Deputy that he cannot say that the Office of Public Works is deliberately telling us something which it knows to be wrong. I am told that the plans are not in such a condition as would enable the engineer to be told: “There are the plans; go and start the work.”
Mr. COLOHAN: Could the Minister not get in touch with Mr. Bergin and get information from him, as his own information may be got, perhaps, from those who want to delay putting the scheme into operation?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: I do not know how I am to approach Mr. Bergin unless he comes along and interviews me about unemployment, and introduces, as were introduced here, estimates of the cost of drainage. If he can show the plans of a good scheme to be put into operation immediately, that is another matter. Even if there is delay, there is another point to be considered. The original estimate was £300,000, and the area to be drained was 40,000 acres. We have had various Commissions, and finally we had these large deputations, and we find that the figure has grown to between three-quarters of a million and one and a half millions, and that the area instead of being 40,000, is 64,000 acres. That again has to be further examined.
Mr. CONLAN: The increase in the area affected is attributed to the fact that the river is becoming more and more silted.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: The point I wish to make is that there has been an increase in the estimated expenditure. It has been put that the latest estimates are far too high, even admitting the change in values since 1819 and 1899. If the delay of a year has to be admitted, and I think it has, it would be better to have the whole thing subjected to the most vigorous examination to see whether £250,000 might be saved. So far as the scheme is concerned, the Barrow has, of course, to be tackled. I cannot say that the plans will be here before the 21st October, as was suggested, or that the scheme will be settled this year or next.
Mr. COLOHAN: Who is responsible?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: The Office of Public Works, but the Minister for Finance is the responsible Minister; he is very keen on this scheme. He has to have things under examination, but enthusiasm is not going to get him anywhere. He is the custodian of the public purse.
Mr. DAVIN: Will the Minister undertake to look into the report of Professor Purcell in connection with the Canal Commission, which concerns his Department, and a copy of which is in that Department?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: I can undertake to look into any report but the actual carrying out of the scheme has nothing to do with me. I suppose since my Department has charge of the Germans I may as well throw it into their hands and let the scheme be carried out by them. Deputy Morrissey questioned the reduction in the amounts under sub-heads G and H. The Unemployment Insurance Act of 1923 did limit the number of people who would be in receipt of benefit, and, consequently, claims are estimated to be fewer this year. The amount would depend on the number of claims submitted, and the Estimate was reduced to meet the changed circumstances. Possibly next year the Deputy will query me as to the reason of an increase. If the Act of 1924 increase the number of people who would get benefit there would be an increase in the number of inspectors and in other expenditure. Deputy Cooper raised the question concerning the Statistical Department and queried the increased figures both in regard to the expenditure of money and the staff. The increase in the expenditure is explained by the increase in staff. Although it is clear that certain machines were procured and put at the disposal of this Department, it must be remembered that the Department is breaking out on a lot of new ground. The purchase of the machines has reduced the amount of employment, but it did not prevent the actual increase, as shown of almost 100.
Major COOPER: Can the Minister explain why when taking over a service from the Department of Agriculture which cost £4,000 he has now to pay over £6,000?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: I presume that it is intended to do in the Ministry the work in better style than that in which it was done when under the Department of Agriculture. Perhaps I had better read out the headings of the work to be done by this Department. There are trade statistics. There was  the old system of trade statistics, and the new one was introduced since the Customs frontier was established. There are shipping statistics, migration and emigration, railway, canal and tramway statistics, statistics with regard to prices of live stock at fairs, market prices, supply of farming requirements, import and export prices, and index-numbers with regard to wages and salaries, and numbers employed as agricultural labourers, railway employees' statistics, bacon-curing, banking deposits, and, with this, all the material taken over from the Department of Agriculture with regard to the area of crops and the number of live stock. We have statistics of unemployment insurance, and, in addition to that, there is a lot of new work, part of which has been put in hand already. There is one point for which I have taken the responsibility of asking that certain work be gone ahead with. That is the work that would fall to this Department under the Census of Production Bill which it is hoped will be introduced in the autumn.
Major COOPER: The Minister says he has taken over the work of the Department of Agriculture with regard to the statistics of crops and prices. Does he know that the Minister for Agriculture has the sum of £1,810 for the collection of the statistics in his Estimate, and is the work being duplicated?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: I think it is not a question of duplication but a question of the transition period in which arrangements have to be made.
Major COOPER: Will the Minister have those statistics laid on the Table of the Dáil? Except for the trade statistics I do not think we get any of them.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: That is being inquired into at the moment. The Statistics Branch is pigeon-holing information which could quite well appear in the form of a publication. The main question is that of expense, and we are seeing how far that can be met. I have certain departmental proposals to put before the Ministry of Finance if and  when this Dáil rises. In the interval if there is any leisure, I hope to make certain arrangements with the Minister for Finance by which more information will be given to the public. There is quite an amount of information in the Department, especially in the Statistical Branch, which can very usefully be put at the disposal of the public. The question is one of expenditure, and that is bound up with a still larger question, the question of whether or not this Statistical Branch is going to grow into a Central Statistical Bureau of the Government.
Mr. JOHNSON: Could not the Minister, without very much extra expenditure, circulate to the Dáil such duplicated matter as they already duplicate for their own purpose, such as unemployment statistics, figures regarding the various trades, and so on, which is periodically duplicated for internal use and which would be helpful to the Dáil.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: I do not want to promise too much. Certain things are circulated in the Department which without additional expense, could be put in form for the members of the Dáil, but to do anything beyond that would be very expensive. They can be circulated to the Dáil and sent to the Press. That has been held up pending a decision on the whole question of complete publication of a great many more matters than those which are published within the Department. Deputy Wilson raised the matter of the Unemployment Insurance Fund. It was stated that there was a sum of £877,000 due to the Central Fund from the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Deputy Wilson remembers that the Minister for Finance seemed to regard that as a doubtful asset. That would about represent the state of things now. The fund is still in debt to the Central Fund to about £880,000. Against that is a counter-claim. This is the idea, that it is almost a bad debt and that in a four years' period in this country with normal unemployment, and with full compliance with the terms of the Act, that sum would be paid off.
Mr. WILSON: The £95,000 appropriation in aid was not a fair amount.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: That is different altogether. I am speaking of the sums accumulated up to date simply as an advance made by the Central Fund. That would represent sums coming in this year as a result of compliance with the Act, even with abnormal unemployment. The amount would be righted in four years, given full compliance with the Act. To the other questions the answers would be this. The Deputy asked for the figures of the industrial population of the country. There is a difficulty there as to what “industrial” means. The only population I am concerned with is such industrial population as is insurable. That would amount to about one quarter of a million. For national health purposes the figures are £400,000. The 150,000 difference would represent agricultural labourers, domestic servants and others. The unemployed at the moment, that is, the insurable unemployed, amount to 37,000.
Mr. JOHNSON: That includes those who have registered themselves. That is taken from those who have registered themselves?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: I do not want to say it means only those who have registered themselves. It would include all those who are registered.
Mr. JOHNSON: From now onward it would be more accurate, but would the Minister agree that amongst those who would be insurable, and who normally would have been insured or were at one time insured, many have ceased to register themselves as unemployed, because they knew they were debarred from benefit?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: Yes. The claims amount to about 38,000, and there would appear to be no less than another four thousand.
Mr. GOOD: Is any inspection made amongst those claiming unemployment benefit to see that they are actually unemployed?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: They must prove that they are unemployed; that is really the delay that has occurred under the new Act. Claims are lodged, and then claims have to be gone into  and definite evidence of unemployment given. Not only that, but there must also be evidence that there is no suitable employment that a man can get.
Mr. GOOD: A man is employed one week and unemployed the next, and he might have attempted to draw unemployment insurance. Is there any inspection to be made in a case of that kind?
Mr. NAGLE: That would be the fault of the employer who employed the man without asking for his insurance card.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: The only point raised by Deputy Baxter is that having reference to drainage schemes. I must wipe that out, as I have nothing to do with the particular drainage schemes to which Deputy Baxter referred. As regards Deputy Nally's particular scheme—the Robe— that again is none of my immediate concern. Deputy Good raised a general point with regard to the whole increase of staff.
Mr. GOOD: Before that I raised the international point.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: I want to deal with the other point first—the question of the increase of staff, which, I think, he took from page 187 of the Estimates. If he examines that matter in detail he will see that the increase in personnel is merely in the Statistics Branch and that the increase in the salaries would be accounted for by that increase of personnel—it pretty well accounts for it, but not completely.
Mr. GOOD: I take it that as regards the increases of staffs the Minister for Finance supervises the increases in the different departments and has to approve of them before they actually take effect.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: Oh, yes. The whole question of staffs, the question of establishment, is under the Minister for Finance, and he would deal with it in the main. The Department puts up certain names, but the Minister for Finance would be the ruling authority.
Mr. GOOD: He told us that he scrutinises those before he puts them into force.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: The Minister for Finance has the last say with regard to the transfers of people from one department to another. A question was raised as to the sum of £3,453 for the Grant in Aid of the expenses of the International Labour Organisation (League of Nations) as opposed to £863 for last year. Last year's Vote was a Grant in Aid for three months only. This is really a subtraction from the League of Nations Vote, a portion of it going to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, inasmuch as that Ministry deals with the International Labour side of it. As we only joined the organisation in 1923 the apportionment for last year was only for three months, whereas it is for a full year on this occasion.
Mr. GOOD: Could the Minister give us information about the advantages that we receive for that?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: The advantage would be very difficult to set out just as you set out an advantage on the basis of expenditure and receipts. The advantage is rather psychological and moral. The fact of being a member of the League of Nations gives us automatically the right of membership of the International Labour Organisation. The object of the International Labour Organisation is, of course, the consideration and amelioration of conditions affecting labour in the countries concerned.
It does happen that the United Kingdom was pretty well in the forefront with regard to conditions of Labour, and so far the work of the International Labour Organisation has been bringing up the more backward Continental nations to the level of what we had reached as being part of the United Kingdom. Being a separate autonomy, subject to the same regulations, that same comment would apply. So that while it cannot be said that much good has accrued to us from our Labour side by reason of our membership of this organisation, if and when the backward nations are brought more or less into line with the advanced nations, then there would be a further advance, and the whole Labour position will be further examined.  At present the benefits have been rather to the backward nations. We have got no benefits, as we are rather in the forefront.
Mr. JOHNSON: On that point would the Minister hazard the opinion that the cost of international labour in quiry imposed on the Department would be higher than £3,453 if they had not the International Organisation to call upon?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: There is no doubt about it that by pooling of the expenses in connection with the League of Nations and the International Labour Organisation there would be a considerable saving. We could not get all the information which we have got for the figure here quoted. Deputy Milroy, I think, expressed general disagreement with the whole Ministry and I think he is to put that in more detail in his usual abbreviated way in the autumn. He then, after that, I think, referred to the Shannon scheme, and he wanted to know if reports on the matter would be laid before the Dáil. so that some indication might be given as to progress. From that, I think, he has not read the White Paper in connection with the Shannon scheme. The arrangement was that the report was to be submitted to the Government, on the 1st September, and then be examined by whatever experts the Government would appoint. As that date has not yet come, I cannot say how far the Shannon scheme has advanced, and I have nothing to lay before the Dáil. If the Deputy desires any more detailed information than what I have got, he should get in touch with the person whose anonymity is rather cleverly preserved, the Irish correspondent of the “Sunday Times.” I think he has a lot of matter at his disposal.
Vote put and agreed to.
Motion made to report Progress.
Progress reported; the Committee to sit again to-day.
The PRESIDENT: Deputy Johnson put a question to me concerning the  possible resumption of the Dáil after Recess. I have been speaking to the Ceann Comhairle, and he agrees that if either he or I were to get a requisition signed by 25 Deputies, we would arrange to reassemble the Dáil at an early date.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Under Standing Order 12, which gives the power.
The Dáil adjourned at 1.45 p.m. and resumed at 3.5 p.m., AN CEANN COMHAIRLE in the Chair.
MICHEAL O hAONGHUSA: asked the President whether he will explain the cause of the delay by the Wood Renton Commission in dealing with cases of destruction by British Forces where the claimants did not go to court to get decrees under the Malicious Injuries Acts; whether he can say if the Wood Renton Commission, when dealing with claims, takes into account the political views of the claimants, and, if so, why.
The PRESIDENT: The Minister for Justice went at length yesterday into the complaints made by Deputies as to alleged delay on the part of the Wood Renton Commission in dealing with various classes of claims, and I do not think I can add anything to what he has said on the subject. As to the particular type of non-decree case referred to by the Deputy, I feel sure that the Commission do not take into account the political views or claimants when considering claims.
MICHEAL O hAONGHUSA: asked the President if he will state why claims investigated many months ago by Inspectors of the Wood Renton Commission, and amounts agreed to by the Commission are still unpaid.
The PRESIDENT: I am not aware  that delays of many months have, as alleged by the Deputy, occurred in general in cases where investigations were carried out by inspectors from the Wood Renton Commission and where that Commission agreed as to the amount. If the Deputy brings particular cases to my notice I will have inquiries made.
MICHEAL O hAONGHUSA: asked the President whether his attention has been drawn to statements appearing in the Press and in the British Parliament regarding the amount of compensation awarded to “Unionists” in the Saorstát by the Wood Renton Commission; whether such statements are untrue, and if so, whether he would state what steps the Executive Council proposes to take in the matter.
The PRESIDENT: I have not seen the particular statements referred to by the Deputy, but misrepresentations of this kind are part of the stock in trade of people of a certain political complexion and do not appear to me worthy of the dignity of being refuted.
Mr. HENNESSY: Arising out of the answer, the Minister for Justice stated in dealing with this question yesterday that people with apparently short memories have been attempting to put a construction on the agreement. I suppose the President wishes to convey to the Dáil that they were representatives of the British Government that were attempting to dictate to the members of the Commission what they ought and ought not to read into the agreement or the terms of the agreement reached between the two countries. I take it what the Minister wished to convey to the Dáil yesterday was that that is responsible in a large measure for the delay.
The PRESIDENT: I would not like to interpret what the Minister said, having regard to the fact that I did not hear him say it. Neither would I like to interpret offhand what his ideas were with regard to the matter.
PADRAIG O HOGAIN (An Clár): asked the Minister for Finance if it is his intention to fill permanently the position of Chief Establishment Officer in his Ministry, and if he will say whether an Irish Civil Servant will be offered the position, and if so, if he will state the method by which the selection will be made.
The PRESIDENT (for Minister for Finance): An Assistant Secretary has been appointed to the Ministry of Finance for work arising in regard to control of establishments. The officer appointed is Mr. H.P. Boland. Mr. Boland served for over twenty years in the Civil Service in Dublin and was transferred during the war to London, where he served successively in the Ministry of Munitions as Deputy Establishment Officer, in the Treasury as a Principal in the Establishment Division and in the House of Lords as Head of the County Courts Department, from which post he has been transferred to the Saorstát Civil Service.
I may point out that the work of control of establishment matters was carried out prior to the change of Government by the British Treasury and the service was one with which no Civil Service staff was transferred on the transfer of administration.
Mr. HOGAN: Is it a permanent transfer, or is he only lent from the British Government?
The PRESIDENT: I should say that it is a permanent transfer.
Mr. ESMONDE: Can the President give the date on which this officer was transferred?
The PRESIDENT: I cannot say the date. I understand that the Minister for Finance dealt with the matter in June, and that he actually took up office here on the 15th July.
DOMHNALL O MUIRGHEASA: asked the Minister for Finance whether he is aware that the representatives of the late District-Inspector Hunt, Thurles, obtained a decree  against the North Tipperary County Council for £5,175 4s. 2d. in 1920; that County Councils were instructed not to defend cases during that period; that when the decree was obtained the representatives' solicitor seized the amount from the Council's Treasurers, the Munster and Leinster Bank, at Nenagh; further, whether the Government of Saorstát Eireann informed the County Council that the British Government would refund the amount, and if he is now in a position to state whether the amount will be refunded and, if so, when.
The PRESIDENT (for Minister for Finance): The necessary steps are being taken to recover from the British Government the sum of £5,175 4s. 2d. referred to, and the matter will be disposed of without delay.
CRIOSTOIR O BROIN: asked the Minister for Defence whether he is aware that repeated applications have been made in respect of an account amounting to £37 3s. 1d. due to Mr. John J. Sinnott, of Carnew, Co. Wicklow, for goods supplied to the National Army during the past two years, and whether he will expedite a settlement of this account.
MINISTER for DEFENCE (The President): Accounts in respect of the hire of motors by and the supply of petrol to the Army amounted to £4 8s. 6d. in July, 1922; 8s. 8d. in April, 1923; and £6 5s. 0d. in October, 1923. They were assessed at the authorised rate as regards hirage, and cheques for £1 8s. 4d. and £3 15s. 4d. were issued to Mr. Sinnott in settlement on the 27th March and the 4th April last.
An account for £29 6s. 1d. in respect of billeting, etc., is now being assessed. It will be discharged forthwith.
Mr. D. HALL: asked the Minister for Defence whether he will state the reasons for disallowing the claim for dependents allowance in the case of Mrs. Jane Duffy. Whitehall. Trim, Co. Meath, in respect of her son. Corporal John Duffy, Army No. 48452, 5th Infantry Battalion, who was discharged on February 20th, 1924; whether he is  aware that prior to enlistment on July 1st, 1922, he was in receipt of £2 8s. 0d. per week, and contributed £2 0s. 0d. per week towards the maintenance of his home, and whether he will have this claim reinvestigated with a view to expediting payment of allowance.
The PRESIDENT: Mrs. Duffy's claim was disallowed after due investigation on the ground that the amount normally contributed by her son to his home over and above the cost of his own maintenance therein for a reasonable period prior to enlistment, was less than the minimum required by the regulations, namely, 12s. per week, before an allowance might be issued. Mrs. Duffy was notified to this effect on 1st May last, and again on the 8th instant.
It has been ascertained that before his attestation John Duffy had not been in constant employment and that his average weekly earnings had been about 30s. The total amount which he contributed to his mother was about 20s. per week, of which at least 10s. must have been spent on his own maintenance. In the circumstances, I regret that I can see no reason for reconsidering the claim.
Mr. HALL: Arising out of that reply, I would like to ask the President if he is aware that this man's employer, Mr. Henry Lowe, Bridge Street, Trim, certifies that he was employed by him for a lengthy time prior to his enlistment, and that he was receiving pay amounting to £2 8s. per week? Mr. Lowe is prepared to give evidence on oath in this matter, and to state that any statement made to the contrary is untrue.
The PRESIDENT: The particulars furnished to me are the particulars which have been acquired after investigation. I have heard rumours to the effect that the statement made by the Deputy has been made. If it could be substantiated, and if, in addition to his receiving this £2 8s., it could be fairly shown that he contributed an amount which would permit of a contribution in respect of his mother in the manner required by the regulations, I will undertake to reconsider the case very carefully.
Mr. HALL: Would the Minister be  able to inform me from whom was the information received that he was only in receipt of 30s. a week as wages?
The PRESIDENT: The usual source of investigation. I think that in these cases it is some Civil Servant who called on them.
Mr. HALL: But this statement was not made, I understand, by the mother, and I would like to know from what source it came.
The PRESIDENT: I will look into the matter.
Mr. P.J. MULVANY: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state the number of motor vehicles, cars, lorries, bicycles, etc., registered in County Meath for the year ending 31st December, 1923; also the amount of motor tax collected by the Meath County Council for that period, and the cost of collection.
MINISTER for INDUSTRY and COMMERCE (Mr. McGilligan) for Minister for Local Government and Public Health: The number of motor vehicles registered and licensed in County Meath for the year ended 31st December, 1923, was approximately 1,090.
According to the records in the Department the amount collected by the Meath County Council for that period was £14,215 9s. 0d. The proportionate cost of collection was £350.
I have given the number of motor vehicles. If the Deputy wishes to have those set out into private cars, cycles, etc., I can give the information.
Mr. MULVANY: That is what I want.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: Private cars number 589, motor cycles 207, commercial vehicles, lorries, etc., 88, and hired cars, 206.
Mr. HALL: Arising out of the answer, will the Minister state if the £350 mentioned as the cost of collection has been paid to the Secretary of the Meath County Council from the tax collected?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: The Council did get a refund for a period of 18 months, to the 30th September, 1923. I do not know beyond that whether any further proportion of the amount has been paid to them.
SEAN MAC GIOLLA 'N RIOGH: asked the Minister for Education if he will circulate among the members of the Dáil the course of studies in Irish for Intermediate Schools prepared by the Dáil Commission on Secondary Education in 1921.
MINISTER for EDUCATION (Professor MacNeill): I am sending the Deputy a copy of the suggested course in Irish drawn up by the Dáil Commission on Secondary Education in 1921, and I shall be happy to supply a copy to any other Deputy who may desire to see it.
TADHG O MURCHADHA: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is aware that Hugh Beattie, an employee of the Cork Spinning and Weaving Company, who was discharged from his employment on June 18th, 1923, and who had his claim for unemployment benefit (Serial No. 238246) transferred to Belfast, where he resided, was refused benefit by the Belfast Ministry of Labour Authorities, on the ground that having paid contributions in the Saorstát, he could not receive benefit in Northern Ireland; whether a subsequent claim was also refused on the same ground; whether it is a fact that employed contributors who leave Northern Ireland and subsequently become unemployed in the Saorstát are paid benefit, and whether he will have the case taken up again in order to secure for Beattie the benefit he appears to have been entitled to.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: Hugh Beattie made a claim to unemployment benefit at Cork Employment Exchange on the 19th July, 1923, but before any benefit became payable on that claim he had left Cork and gone to reside in Belfast. Sub-section 3 of Section 8 of the Unemployment  Insurance Act of 1920 disqualifies for the receipt of benefit an insured contributor while he is resident temporarily or permanently outside the Free State; consequently it has not been possible to pay Beattie the unemployment benefit to which he would have been entitled had he continued to reside in the Free State while unemployed. His claim was transferred to Belfast at his request, and the question of any benefit to which he may have been entitled on that or any other claim in the Six Counties is one to be determined by the Government of that area.
With regard to the second part of the question, claims made by insured contributors in the Free State are adjudicated upon in the light of the statutory conditions and disqualifications for the receipt of unemployment benefit which are in force in the Free State without regard to the schemes in force in any country, and if the statutory conditions for the receipt of benefit are satisfied and the applicant is free from statutory disqualification, his claim will be paid in accordance with the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Act. I am having further enquiries made in regard to the claims made by Beattie in Belfast and will communicate the result to the Deputy as early as possible.
TADHG O MURCHADHA: asked the Minister for Justice whether he is aware that Mrs. Hanah Crowley, of Shanacrane, Dunmanway, Co. Cork, was, on a decree for possession, evicted from her home on the 22nd July; whether Mrs. Crowley was seriously ill on the occasion and for some time previously; whether she was removed from bed and dressed by Gárda Síochána, and taken from her house to lie near a fence; whether, in reply to a protest as to the action taken, the Sheriff's representative stated that if Mrs. Crowley was dying she would still be removed, and whether inquiries will be instituted into the alleged cruel treatment of the woman.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: This is a question of which private notice was given only yesterday, and on behalf of the  Minister for Justice I have to state that inquiries are being made. The Deputy will be communicated with as soon as the enquiries are completed.
Mr. MORRISSEY: Might I ask the President if it will be possible for him to give an answer to a question which I sent in to the Ministry of Finance two days ago?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: It is not on the Paper.
Mr. MORRISSEY: No, it is not on the Paper. I might say that, of course, it would not appear on the Paper as it was handed in after 4 o'clock. It was rather an important question, and I want to know if the President would be able to give an answer before the Dáil rises?
The PRESIDENT: If the Deputy would give me a copy of the question——
Mr. MORRISSEY: It was in connection with compensation for Northern refugees.
The PRESIDENT: I am afraid that I must have mislaid it if I got it. If the Deputy would give me a copy I will reply before we adjourn.
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: Before we proceed with the Orders of the Day would it be possible for the President to indicate in what order the remaining Estimates are being taken? Are they to be taken as they appear in the book?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Will we settle that now or will we wait until we come to the Estimates? It might be better to settle it now.
The PRESIDENT: All those on the paper have been finished, except No. 2 —The Oireachtas Vote. After that I would like to take the Old Age Pensions. Apart from that, I suppose we had better take them in the order they are in the book.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Or any order indicated?
The PRESIDENT: Yes.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Has the President any notice of any particular order after No. 7?
The PRESIDENT: No, sir, certainly not that I remember.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: What is the proposal about these amendments?
The PRESIDENT: I am moving to accept them all. I beg to move:—
In Section 6 (1) the words “having regard to the merits of the case” deleted in line 5.
Question—“That the Committee agree with the Seanad in this amendment”—put and agreed to.
Mr. JOHNSON: Will the Minister tell us whether these amendments are in any degree important or whether they affect the working of the Bill as he contemplated it?
The PRESIDENT: I think it might be better, if it were agreeable, that we should leave over these amendments for the present.
Consideration of remaining amendments deferred.
PADRAIC O MAILLE: This Bill introduced in and passed by the Seanad was prepared by the Parliamentary Draftsman at the instance of the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General had been approached by members of the Joint Committee on Standing Orders (Private Business), who pointed out that a power to administer oaths was absolutely essential to the carrying out of the duties of Private Bill Committees. It was found that the existing legislation dealing with the administering of oaths to witnesses before Committees on Private Bills was not applicable to Committees of the Dáil or the Seanad or Joint Committees of both Houses. It was accordingly agreed that a Bill—the present one—should be prepared giving power to each House, and to any Committee of either House, and to a Joint Committee of both Houses, to administer, oaths to witnesses. I beg to move the Second Reading of the  Oireachtas Witnesses Oaths Bill, 1924.
Question—“That the Bill be read a Second Time”—put and agreed to.
Committee Stage ordered for next Friday.
PADRAIC O MAILLE: The remarks I have made with reference to the previous Bill apply also to the Private Bill Costs Bill, also introduced in and passed by the Seanad. In view, however, of the difficulty of preparing on short notice a Bill or Bills dealing with the awarding and taxation of costs and the payment out of court or the application of money deposits made in connection with Private Bills, the Attorney-General recommended that a Bill for temporary purposes be introduced to adapt and apply to the Saorstát a code of British Acts dealing with these matters. It is the intention of the Attorney-General, at the request of the Joint Committee on Standing Orders, to prepare, at a later stage, a Bill setting up a somewhat different procedure from that which has been adopted at Westminster, which will repeal this Bill. It is desirable that this Bill be passed as soon as possible in view of the fact that five Private Bills have been referred to Committee, which will be taken up immediately after the Recess. The Acts which are required to be adapted and applied, and which are dealt with by this Bill are:—Parliamentary Deposits Act, 1846; House of Commons Costs Taxation Acts, 1847 and 1849; Parliamentary Costs Act, 1865. I beg to move the Second Reading of the Private Bill Costs Bill, 1924.
Question—“That the Bill be read a second time”—put and agreed to.
Committee Stage ordered for next Friday.
Section 1 put and agreed to.
(1) Where the Minister for Finance proposes to make or grant a lease or licence under this Act he  shall lay before each House of the Oireachtas a statement showing the person to whom such lease or licence is proposed to be made or granted, the property proposed to be included in such lease or licence, the fine, rent or other payments (if any) proposed to be charged for such lease or licence, and the covenants, conditions and agreements proposed to be inserted in such lease or licence.
(2) No lease or licence shall be made or granted under this Act until the expiration of fourteen days from whichever of the following days shall be the later, that is to say—
(a) the first day on which Dáil Eireann shall sit next after the statement in accordance with this section shall have been laid before Dáil Eireann, and
(b) the first day on which Seanad Eireann shall sit next after the statement in accordance with this section shall have been laid before Seanad Eireann.
(3) This section shall not apply to any lease or licence which may be made or granted under this Act and and within six months after the passing therof in relation to any of the lands and buildings specified in the Schedule to this Act or to any part of those lands or buildings.
The PRESIDENT: Deputy Johnson has an amendment down to Section 2. I have circulated an amendment which I think Deputy Johnson will be prepared to accept. It is:—
“To delete Sub-section (2) and to insert in lieu therof the following two new sub-sections:—
(2) No lease or licence shall be made or granted under this Act until (either)
(a) each House of the Oireachtas has by resolution authorised the making or granting of such lease or licence either with or without modification of all or any of the proposed provisions or such lease or licence; or
(b) until the expiration of whichever of the following periods shall be the longest, that is to say:
(i) twenty-one days after the first  day on which either House of the Oireachtas shall sit next after the statement in accordance with this section shall have been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas; or
(ii) twelve days on which either House of the Oireachtas shall have sat after the said statement shall have been so laid before the Houses.
(3) Where a resolution of either House of the Oireachtas authorises the making or granting of a licence under this Act subject to any modification of the proposed provisions of such lease or licence, such lease or licence shall not be granted save with and subject to such modification of its provisions.
I think that that meets the objection that was raised that a lease might be granted, and that the information would not be before the Dáil in time. I think that this amendment would meet the case that Deputy Johnson desires to secure. Accordingly I move it.
Mr. JOHNSON: I think that from what I have heard read of the new amendment it will cover the purposes that I had in mind. I would like to see the draft. But in the meantime I would like to say that I would prefer some such amendment as that which I have put down, that any such lease or licence shall be confirmed by an actual Act of the Oireachtas. The provision made by the Minister does meet most of the objection that I had against giving over to a Minister the right to make a lease of State lands subject only to the very doubtful check which Sub-section (2) of Section 2 would give the Oireachtas.
Having read the amendment, I am afraid that it does not meet all the requirements. All it will do will be to give an opportunity to either House to take action. This has no reference to the general question, quite apart from the leases referred to in the Schedule. With regard to the general question, the amendment proposed by the President leaves it optional with either House of the Oireachtas to take action in the matter of any lease. I want to suggest that what is necessary is that no such lease will become effective until  a formal resolution of approval has been passed by the Oireachtas. Without that I think that the conditions in the resolution are not being fulfilled. It seems to me that we must have positive action by the Oireachtas in favour of the proposed lease or licence. I thought that was the proposition of the President.
The PRESIDENT: Sub-section (a) says “each House of the Oireachtas has, by resolution, authorised the making or granting of such lease or licence.” I thought that that would meet the case put up by Deputy Johnson.
Mr. JOHNSON: But at the end of that paragraph (a) is the word “or.”
The PRESIDENT: That was to meet the case that I mentioned to Deputy Johnson in private, if I might give expression to it in public—that cases might arise when the Houses might not be sitting and when there would be difficulty in getting a resolution passed. But if Deputy Johnson thinks that his wishes in the matter are not met, I propose to leave out from the word “or” down to the end. I thought I was giving him an advantage in putting in that.
Major COOPER: I do not think Deputy Johnson's proposition is a practical one. He suggests that no lease be valid unless it is confirmed by an Act of the Oireachtas. I do not think any person would try to secure a lease subject to that condition, because he cannot foretell what will happen. The Government have not got an absolute majority of this House, if all the parties unite against them. Then, as to the Seanad— nobody can say what the Seanad will do. They have not a party system there yet. It is impossible to say what the result would be there. No man will enter into an engagement which was likely to be upset by forces he could not help. I think the President's suggestion probably goes as far as is safe. I was going to make a suggestion— that Deputy Johnson's amendment was out of order because it would nullify the effect of the Bill. No same man would enter into a business engagement  subject to the passing of an Act of this kind, because the disabilities are so innumerable that it would be impossible to tell where he stood. Conditions might be attached and unexpected clauses might be put into the Bill in Committee. It is not a business proposition at all.
Mr. JOHNSON: I think Deputy Cooper has missed the point. The lease is not entered into until it is signed by some person on behalf of the lessor. If the lessor is a principal. It must be referred to the principal. In this case the lessor is the Oireachtas. And the lease is not entered into until it has the sanction of the lessor. It may be necessary to say it shall be confirmed or rejected without amendment. That is quite satisfactory to me. I want the Dáil to be able to say that this particular proposal to let or lease State lands or property shall not be done by a Minister without the formal sanction of the Oireachtas. I am not suggesting that it shall be within the province of the Oireachtas to make amendments to the proposed lease.
That is quite a different matter. I want this to be dealt with as certain Provisional Orders and the like are dealt with—accepted or rejected. Unless we adopt that position, it seems to me that we are renouncing responsibility. We do not know the extent of the value of the State lands which it is proposed in the Bill to give power to the Minister to make leases of. The check that was proposed in the Bill originally was that the information should be put before the Dáil in a certain fashion. The Minister now proposes to amend the provisions of the Bill as drafted but he does not proposed to make obligatory that before the lease becomes a valid legal document it shall have the formal sanction of the Dáil. That is what I want to ensure.
Major COOPER: Deputy Johnson's proposal is not Deputy Johnson's amendment. The amendment says nothing about Provisional Orders or the Provisional Orders Confirmation Act. It says “by formal Act of the Oireachtas” and subject to your ruling, A Chinn Comhairle, if a Bill of that kind is brought in, I or any  other Deputy would have the right to move an amendment in Committee which might alter the scope or nature of the Bill to a very considerable degree. Deputy Johnson's other point is of course sound, that an agent is bound by his principal. That is a practical proposition where there is one principal or where there are two principals or even a Board of Directors of 5 or 6 of a company. In this case there will be 160 principals—60 in the Seanad and 100 in the Dáil. Nobody is going to enter into agreement with a body of that kind. The real principal in a matter of this kind is the Minister responsible to the Dáil. That, I think, a sound constitutional principle. It is in accordance with the Constitution and, as Deputy Johnson knows, it is in accordance with Parliamentary practice elsewhere. If we wish to get the formal consent of the Oireachtas, that is usually best secured by way of resolution. That obviates a Committee Stage and the introduction of amendments and gives us a plain “yes” or “no.” If he is proposing that the lease shall not be valid until a resolution of the Oireachtas confirms it, I would be inclined to go a long way with him but if he wants an Act, I cannot go that distance with him.
The PRESIDENT: The amendment we are putting up specifies that one of three things shall happen—a formal resolution—and I take it such a resolution would be necessary from both Houses in order to secure the immediate granting of the lease; failing that, it provides for a period of 21 days after the first day on which either House of the Oireachtas shall sit after the statement has been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas; that is to say, each House must sit and must have the particulars of this lease or licence before it; there is the third proviso in respect of 12 days on which either House of the Oireachtas shall have sat, so that the lease or licence cannot be entered into without the knowledge at least of both Houses of the Oireachtas. In that case should it occur to any member of either House that it is inadvisable to grant that lease or licence, it is open to him to get a resolution passed. There have been, I think, occasions  upon which one House has not met for a month. I am not so sure that I am right in that, but I think I am not far out. In that case we would be held up from granting a lease, and I think that is unreasonable. If the House met and had the question before it on one particular day, and did not meet for six weeks or two months afterwards, that particular piece of legislation would be isolated, and perhaps dropped, because in matters of this kind, as a rule, people want a settlement in a short space of time. I think those three provisions—that the lease or licence cannot be granted without knowledge of either House, that if there be objection either House or both Houses have the opportunity of objecting, and in the third case, the 21 days provision, simply make for easing the machinery of Government.
Mr. A. BYRNE: May I ask whether the lands described include the Phoenix Park, and if a proposal came from some person for the leasing of the Under-Secretary's Lodge and surrounding grounds, whether before that lease would be given the Dáil would have an opportunity of discussing the matter?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: That is a separate question. It is not a question of what lands are at stake. It is a question of how leases should be granted.
Mr. A. BYRNE: Then I am not entitled to put the question?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: If the Deputy will allow us to get this point settled, he will get an opportunity later on.
Mr. JOHNSON: Would the Minister agree to delete the word “or” at the end of paragraph A, and say “before”? It is almost impossible to discuss a matter of this kind in this way.
The PRESIDENT: I shall hold this over until the Estimates have been dealt with, if Deputy Johnson wishes, so as not to take an undue advantage of him.
Mr. JOHNSON: Would the President agree, if we allow the Bill to pass with  these amendments, to consider embodying what I think is fairly well agreed to as an amendment in the Seanad?
The PRESIDENT: That is a very difficult question.
Mr. JOHNSON: I do not want the President to bind himself, but I ask that he keep an open mind in the matter.
The PRESIDENT: I would undertake that.
Mr. JOHNSON: I do not want to make it appear that I am trying to obstruct this Bill, which may have valuable effects on housing, but I want to retain within the Oireachtas control, such as is specified in the Constitution, and to refuse to give Ministers in the future such licence as may allow them to play havoc with State property.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: That, I take it, means the withdrawal of amendments 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Mr. JOHNSON: I am willing to withdraw my amendments to Section 2 in view of what the President has said.
Amendment proposed by the President put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I beg to move:—
Section 2, Sub-section (3), line 11, to delete the word “six” and to insert in lieu thereof the word “three.”
That means that the Ministry has only got three months in which to operate on the Schedule. We are limited to a period of three months—we were taking six—and the Dáil will reassemble towards the end of October. This would just provide for any lease or licence in respect of the six places mentioned in the Schedule in the intervening period.
Amendment put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I beg to move:—
Section 2, sub-section (3), line 14, to add after the word “buildings” the words “and in accordance with the proposals specified in the said Schedule.”
The Schedule as it stands is informative only to the extent of identifying  the premises. An alternative schedule will be moved which gives particulars of the lands and buildings, the purpose of the proposed lease or licence, the proposed lessee or licensee, the duration of the proposed lease or licence, and the terms of the proposed lease or licence. There are particulars furnished in respect to No. 1 and No. 2. As to No. 3, the particulars as to the proposed lessee or licencee are not furnished, nor are the terms of the proposed lease or licence furnished. Perhaps it would be better to discuss that on the Schedule.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: I take it that we will discuss the whole question of what lands it applies to on the schedule.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Mr. JOHNSON: I do not know whether it is acceptable to the Minister, but quite apart from the question of the new Schedule I suggested that in respect of these premises named in the Schedule an addendum to the sub-section might be considered. I should like to have the Minister's views on it. It reads:—
At the end of Sub-section (3) of Section 2, to add: “Provided that every such lease or licence as is referred to in this Schedule shall be lodged with the clerks of Dáil Eireann and Seanad Eireann respectively for fourteen days before final signature by the Minister.”
That would have the effect of ensuring in respect of these premises that, at least, the form of the authority of the Dáil and the Seanad would be acknowledged.
The PRESIDENT: The acceptance of that amendment would involve to some extent want of confidence in the Minister, but I would be prepared to accept it. Some of the particulars are not set forth. It is a reasonable suggestion and I am prepared to accept it.
Mr. JOHNSON: I hope the President is not taking this as referring to any particular want of confidence in the present Ministers.
The PRESIDENT: Certainly not.
Mr. JOHNSON: I am jealous of the  rights of the Oireachtas in these matters, over and above the Ministerial authority of any kind and at any time.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: I have not considered any of these amendments. I have had no opportunity. As to Deputy Johnson's proposed amendment, what is the idea of lodging them with the Clerk?
Mr. JOHNSON: In future, after this period of three months is passed, the Dáil will be made aware of what agreements are proposed to be entered into. In the case of these properties, the Dáil is asked to forego that authority, shall I say. All I desire to accomplish is that it shall be open to a Deputy or a Senator to see these documents, if he desires to do so, and, if he thinks there is something very flagrant by chance happening, that at least he will have the right to call attention to it publicly. At any rate, it is conserving, perhaps not in an ideal way, but at least in a way, certain rights to the Dáil and Seanad, through their officers, over acts of the Ministry.
The PRESIDENT: Would the Deputy accept this undertaking from me: that, in respect of each one of these leases or licences which we propose to grant, the Clerk of the Dáil and the Clerk of the Seanad will be afforded an opportunity of seeing that they are in accordance with what is put down in the Schedule?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: That is imposing a great new duty upon the Clerks.
The PRESIDENT: I see a great difficulty in what the Deputy suggests. We draw up a lease or a licence, and for fourteen days it is held up in the Dáil or the Seanad office. From the point of view of business, there is involved a delay of fourteen days, which business men might not be particularly satisfied with. Take the Clonmel case. There the utmost possible expedition is necessary in the interests of the local authority. I explained what the situation was and why, ordinarily, I would be prepared to furnish all the information necessary. I take it that under the proposed amendment there would be bound to be delay and that it would scarcely serve the purpose mentioned by the  Deputy. In these cases all the information that we have available is set forth, and it is unusual in a Bill of this sort so clearly to state every purpose in connection with it. If there is a doubt regarding the action of the Minister in letting, I think it would certainly be open to every Deputy to indict the Finance Minister. But the purpose for which the lettings are taking place is set down; also the proposed licencee, where there is such a person; the duration of the proposed lease or licence, and the terms are set forth. It would be obviously much worse than a breach of good faith if any departure from it were to be tolerated. In these circumstances I think the amendment is not necessary. While I am sure that the Deputy had not the faintest suspicion in his mind that the Minister for Finance would violate the duties of his office, it is certainly open to that construction.
Mr. JOHNSON: I should say that the amendment I put forward was drawn up before I saw the particulars in the Schedule. If the Minister says there is a difficulty in the matter I will not press the point, though I feel that in the two cases here, for instance, where no lease and no engagement is yet entered into, we are giving power for three months for such an engagement to be entered into without any check whatever.
The PRESIDENT: That is three and four.
Mr. JOHNSON: I do not want even to appear to make a precedent of that kind.
The PRESIDENT: Let us see where we are with regard to three and four. We have the land there, but nothing else. We have a liability on the State in respect of whatever compensation should be paid for the erection of the buildings there. To that extent, I think there is sufficient safeguard for the Oireachtas, because the premises, if sold, would not, in my opinion, realise the amount that would be decreed in respect of them. They are probably four, or possibly five-storied premises with basements, and the cost of construction, apart from anything else,  would, in my opinion, more than equal the selling value of the premises.
Mr. JOHNSON: I do not move the amendment.
Amendment not moved.
Question put—“That Section 2, as amended, stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. A. BYRNE: I desire to ask if the Phoenix Park is covered in this Bill, and if any steps have been taken for the letting of the Under-Secretary's Lodge and the surrounding grounds? Will the Dáil have an opportunity of discussing that matter before any decision is come to? My reason for asking is that in the vicinity of the Lodge there is a great shortage of ground for football, cycling and sports clubs. They have made application for ground but cannot get it. I understand there may be an application from someone for the letting of the Under-Secretary's Lodge, which takes in a considerable quantity of ground. As the Phoenix Park is a public park, I do not think any letting should be made without the approval of the Dáil.
The PRESIDENT: If it comes under the description of State lands and that it is either a lease or a licence, the answer is contained in this measure. If they are not State lands, that is another question.
Major COOPER: It is rather serious if public parks are included in this Bill. That has not been fully realised up to this. While I do not doubt the intentions of the Government are to preserve parks in their present state, and I do not want to hamper them in disposing of the Under-Secretary's and Chief Secretary's Lodges, as I think they ought to be disposed of, still, if there is the possibility of a President, say, coming from the Farmers' Party proposing to turn Stephen's Green into  a grazing ground, or if some other Party in office were to use the whole Phoenix Park for training race horses it would be a very great loss to the people of the country as a whole. The amendments that have been made will in some direction meet that danger, but, before the Report Stage, I think the President should consider the desirability of excluding places used as public parks or places of recreation other than buildings that happen to be in the parks.
The PRESIDENT: There is every opportunity for a member of the Dáil or of the Seanad to bring a matter of that sort before either or both Houses of the Oireachtas. I think any proposal of that kind would be very seriously criticised. I am not in a position to say whether the Phoenix Park comes within the description of State lands. In fact, I was under the impression last year that it would be necessary to introduce a measure dealing with the Phoenix Park. I cannot say whether that is the case or not, but every opportunity would be afforded Deputies to express their views on that. Granted that State lands include the Phoenix Park, all the safeguards put into this measure are still intact. Having regard to these safeguards, I do not think there is much danger of what Deputy Cooper suggests.
Mr. JOHNSON: Deputies will now see that my pertinacity was not uncalled for.
Question put and agreed to.
Section 3 put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I beg to move:—
To delete the Schedule and insert in lieu thereof the following new schedule:—
|Lands and Buildings||Purpose of proposed lease or licence||Proposed lessee or licensee||Duration of proposed lease or licence||Terms of proposed lease or licence|
|1. The lands and buildings formerly known as Richmond Barracks and now known as Keogh Barracks, situate in the City of Dublin.||Housing of the working classes.||Council of the County Borough of Dublin.||99 years||Terms to be settled by arbitration.|
|2. The lands and buildings known as Nos. 23, 24 and 25 Pearse St., situate in the Parish of St. Mark and City of Dublin.||Commercial purposes. Premises no longer required for State purposes.||Mr. B.B. Hopkins, Tailor & Outfitter, 26 Pearse Street, Dublin.||99 years||Payment of fine of £1625 and sub-leases for 99 years on same terms as the premises are held by the State. No. 23 is held on lease expiring in September, 1930, at a rent of £60 per annum, lessor paying rates, and from September, 1930, on lease for 900 years at a rent of £70 per annum, lessee paying rates. Nos. 24 and 25 are held on lease for 999 years from 1904, at a rent of £140 per annum, lessor paying rates.|
|3. The lands and buildings known as No. 14 Upper Sackville St. (commonly called Upper O'Connell Street) situate, in the Parish of St. Thomas and City of Dublin.||Commercial or other purposes. Site no longer required for State purposes.||—||Will not exceed 99 years.||—|
|4. The lands and buildings known as No. 15 Upper Sackville St. (commonly called Upper O'Connell St.), situate in the Parish of St. Thomas and City of Dublin.||Commercial or other purposes. Site no longer required for State purposes.||—||Will not exceed 99 years.||—|
|5. Part of the lands of Tallaght, now or lately used as an aerodrome and known as Tallaght Aerodrome, containing nine acres or thereabouts, statute measure, situate in the Barony of Uppercross and County of Dublin.||Commercial purposes. Premises no longer required for State purposes.||Messrs. Urney Chocolates, Ltd., 14 Lr. O'Connell St. Dublin.||99 years||A rent of £50 per annum for the land. A rentcharge of £300 a year running for 15 years, in consideration of the buildings, lessees to pay rates. Water to be supplied at rate to be agreed upon. Fencing and sewage tank to be maintained by lesses.|
|6. The lands and buildings situate in King Street, in the town of Clonmel and South Riding of the County of Tipperary, comprising a rifle range and military drill and exercise ground, and containing eighteen acres three roods and thirty-eight perches, or thereabouts, Statute Measure.||Housing of the working classes.||Clonmel Urban District Council.||99 years||Terms to be settled by arbitration.|
The Schedule is now much more complete. Practically all the information that is available, certainly the purpose and the particulars and so on, are set forth in the Schedule with the exception of three and four, in respect of which I think there is no great danger. It is necessary to include these. I do not know to what extent proposals have gone forward to make a new street from O'Connell Street into Gloucester Street. If such proposals eventuate, these particular premises offer every opportunity for carrying out the development of the thorough fares without any interference with existing holdings as the space occupied by these premises allows of such slight alterations in the  particular location of the various premises to permit of that being done.
Question put and agreed to.
Title ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Bill ordered to be reported with amendments.
Bill reported with amendments.
The PRESIDENT: If there be no objection I would ask that the next stages of the Bill be taken now. It is a pressing matter. The matter of Kehoe Barracks is pressing and so is Clonmel, and also the Gloucester Street matter, and I would ask the House to give me permission to move that the Bill be now received for final consideration.
Question—“That the Bill be now received for final consideration”—put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move: “That the Bill do now pass.”
Major COOPER: I hope that this will not happen again and that Bills will not be passed through the Dáil until we have had an opportunity of seeing, and considering the amendments, as Deputy Johnson has had apparently in connection with this Bill. I realise the urgency of the situation and I do not oppose the passage of the Bill, but I hope that this will not be taken as a precedent.
The PRESIDENT: I should have apologised. I thought that there would have been an opportunity for putting the amendment in the hands of Deputies, but some members of our staff are away, and, in consequence, those who remained were not aware of the fact that every Deputy should have the amendments.
Professor THRIFT: I am interested in the Gloucester Street proposal, and I am bound to say that I do not know how the thing stands. I am not, however, opposing the motion.
Question: “That the Bill do now pass”—put and agreed to.
Amendment 1. In Section 6 (1) the  words “having regard to the merits of the case,” deleted in line 5.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: The Sub-section reads: “Where before the trial or at any stage of a trial, it appears to the court that the indictment is defective, the court shall make such order for the amendment of the indictment as the court thinks necessary to meet the circumstances of the case, unless having regard to the merits of the case, the required amendments cannot be made without injustice, etc.” Objection was taken that those words, “having regard to the merits of the case,” were indefinite, and that they meant nothing, and the suggestion was made that the word “facts” be substituted for “merits.” But it was pointed out that it would be hard for the court to consider the merits of the case when the case was actually not opened, because the change in the indictment might be made before the trial. It was decided to drop these words, and to insert in the next line after the word “cannot” the words “in the opinion of the court.” That is the next amendment. I move that the Committee agrees with the Seanad in the said amendment.
Amendment 2. In Section 6 (1), immediately after the word “cannot” in line 6, the words “in the opinion of the court” inserted.
Amendment agreed to.
Amendments 3, 4, 5 and 6.
In Section 13, immediately after the word “Court” in line 34 the words “or a Peace Commissioner” inserted.
In Section 13, the words, “that is to say” deleted in line 35, and the words “or in such similar form as the circumstances may require” substituted therefore.
In Section 13, the words “or a Peace Commissioner” inserted at the end of line 41 and within the bracket.
In Section 13, immediately after the word “Justice” in line 54 the words “or Peace Commissioner” inserted.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: These are really formal amendments. Looking at the form of recognizance, it was found that  the matter of people to be remanded on bail by Peace Commissioners had been forgotten, and it was agreed to maintain that power by the insertion of these words “Peace Commissioner” where necessary. I move: “That the Committee agrees with the Seanad in the said amendments.”
Question put and agreed to.
Amendments 7 and 8:—
In Section 13 immediately after the word “such” in line 60, the words “charge or” inserted.
In Section 13 the words “by the Attorney-General of Saorstát Eireann” deleted in line 61.
Mr. McGILLIGAN: In regard to these amendments, it was pointed out the recognizance was intended to cover such cases as those of men remanded on bail to stand their trial before the next District Court. The word “indictment” has a very technical meaning. It is a formal indictment before one of the higher court and is preferred, of course, by the Attorney-General, and in order to have recognizance properly comprehensive it was decided to put in the words “charge or” in front of the word “indictment,” or after the word “such,” and that involves the disappearance of the words “by the Attorney-General of Saorstát Eireann,” because any indictment will be preferred by the Attorney-General, but a charge need not be so preferred, and the insertion of the words “charge or” means the dropping of these words which in the application to the word to indictment are contained in the word “indictment.” I move that the Committee agrees with the Seanad in the said amendments.
Question put and agreed to.
Reported: “That the Committee agree with the amendments from the Seanad.”
Question—“That the Dáil agree with the report of the Committee”—put and agreed to.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: A Message will be sent to the Seanad that the amendments have been agreed to.
MINISTER for INDUSTRY and COMMERCE (Mr. McGilligan): I move:—
That a sum not exceeding £77,130 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the salaries and expenses of the Oireachtas.
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: In regard to this, I take it that the Estimate that is before us does not include any expenditure incurred in the acquisition of these premises, because this Estimate was drawn out at an earlier time. Without going into that question at all fully now, perhaps this might be a suitable opportunity, seeing that the Dáil will presumably be rising some time at the end of this particular sitting, to make a statement as to any matters that arise in that connection with regard to the acquisition of these premises, when the acquisition is likely to take place, and what expenses are likely to be incurred in that connection.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: We will now take points arising out of the Estimate, and we can take that question afterwards.
Mr. JOHNSON: On the general Estimate, particularly Sub-head A (Salaries and Allowances of Teachtaí) and perhaps, inferentially Sub-head E (Salaries, Wages and Allowances of Officers and Staff of the Oireachtas), I, some weeks ago, was indicted, to use the word the Minister has just been dealing with, and by inference, lectured, of which I have been duly conscious since, by a member of the Party opposite, in reference to doing the nation's work. It seems to me quite necessary that on this Vote we should try to find out whether we have, as a matter of fact, been doing our duty as members of the Oireachtas and doing the nation's work. The Deputy who, following a speech of mine, notified the Dáil that we were here to do the nation's work, and that we were going to do it, happens to have been absent from  the date of his entry to the 30th June from twenty-three per cent. of the divisions that took place. Seventy-five divisions took place from which that particular Deputy was absent. That may be justified by the Deputy; he may have been doing more important work than the nation's work.
All that, of course, does not include the very grave risk that he ran a week ago in allowing the Government party to be defeated when he was also absent. It is quite possible, of course, that a Deputy might be somewhat negligent in regard to divisions, but he might have taken an active part in the actual work of legislation, or by criticism of the administration. In this case the Deputy who took me to task cannot plead that as his excuse. I find that he has taken part in four separate discussions. He uttered twenty-five words on supplementary estimates in respect of dismissed and resigned R.I.C. men. On the Army situation debate, he spoke a column and fifteen lines as reported, and on the Liquor Bill, he uttered the two words: “Lucky man.” There were two short contributions from him to the debate on the Town Tenants Bill. That is the contribution to the work of the Dáil by a Deputy who said to me, or to the Dáil following me, that we were here to do the nation's work. It is well, I think, quite apart from the personal application, that we should have some realisation of what we are here for, and I am going to ask the Dáil and all parties, including my own, whether they are justified in voting this money. Before answering the question I appeal to them to ask themselves what is their justification of being here? I am asking Deputies before they vote this money to answer that question for themselves. I take it that we desire that Parliamentary Government should prevail, and if we do, we have a right to act as though we intended that Parliamentary Government ought to prevail and that it is worthy of prevailing. I take it we are here to legislate and to do our work as legislators, not simply to record “yea” or “nay” according to what somebody else says. At least a reasonable proportion of the Deputies ought to be closely interested in a reasonable proportion of the  legislative measures that come before the Dáil.
I would say that if there is such a reasonable examination by a reasonable proportion of Deputies of the measures that come before us, we would have had a much less plentiful output of legislation and probably a much more satisfactory and much less wasteful legislation for the future. I imagine that as a consequence of the spate of Acts that have gone through the Dáil this year, the legal profession will be well benefited in the coming years. I believe there has not been, on the part of members of the Dáil, the amount of care, attention and critical examination of legislative proposals that there ought to have been if we were justifying our membership of the Dáil. The Dáil has not commanded the respect that legislative Houses should command in this or in any other country. One of the reasons for that is I believe that the work of legislation has been left to too few members, that is the work of criticism has been left to too few. I know that there is an under current running through many members of the Dáil that I personally waste too much time. I know that quite well but I say this: that if the Dáil is going to justify itself as a legislative institution there ought to be twenty, thirty or forty Deputies out of the 106 who would take a critical and active interest in the work of legislation and administration and that it should not be left to a few people on the front Benches to do all the active criticism on matters that come before the Dáil. I do not think it is sufficient for members to come and pass this Vote and conceive that their main function is the visiting of Departments to look after the interests of their constituents. That is a quite justifiable proceeding, but it is not the work of a legislature. It is only incidental to membership of the Dáil. Again I say that the work of criticism, the function of criticism of the Executive, is a part and very important, if not the most important part of the work of the legislature. I complain, as I say of the fact that the Dáil has not commanded the respect of the country that it ought to have commanded. I say that the newspapers have contributed largely to that general  fact. Apparently the Dáil as a whole has not impressed the newspapers with the necessity of appointing people who will give an intelligent criticism or an intelligent summary of the work that is done in the Dáil.
We have a Dáil that is careless of its duties, and we have a Press, as between the Dáil and the country, that is so contemptuous and careless of the work of the Dáil that it in accurately and grotesquely reports the work done in the Dáil. Every member who speaks in the Dáil has that experience. It is universal. I say if we are going to justify the passing of Votes of this kind we have got to justify the value of the Dáil by the work in the Dáil. It is not simply enough to be here to support, or oppose, an amendment, or to back up or support a Government merely for the sake of backing-up, opposing, and answering Whips, and I say we are not justified in carrying on the work of this legislative assembly unless we can show that there is a much more active and intelligent interest in its work than there has been in the last two sessions.
Mr. HUGHES: Lest the lecture we have listened to from the Deputy who has just spoken might be misconstrued, I should say, that sometimes I think silence is golden. The Deputy has complained that many Deputies have not spoken, but I think on many occasions that contributed to good legislation instead of to that legislation to which the Deputy has referred as going to bring a crop of fees to the lawyers. I do not know whether the Deputy is serious in this matter or not. Probably he would like to get people talking more in different parts of the House, but I do not think that it is talk that always accomplishes most. I think that people sometimes can do as much by not talking too loudly as by making long and drawn-out speeches. The Press came in for the lash, but I must admit that the Press must get it hard, indeed, to give an exact reproduction of what is in the minds of Deputies. I know it is impossible not to make a mistake. The Press makes mistakes occasionally, but they are only human like everybody else. Perhaps if everybody talked as often as the Deputy seems to  think they should, we would also have complaints. Our constituents occasionally like to hear us talking, but I have heard constituents down the country asking, after serious debates were threshed out here, what we were talking about. They say, “Why do you not get on with the work?” I ask Deputies, “Are we to go back to the old days again?”
Mr. A. BYRNE: It would be a good job if we did.
Mr. HUGHES: Sinn Feiners used to say formerly that this was a land of resolutions, and that no work was done. I think we have quite enough talk in this House. We have four or five parties here, and if they make up their minds that certain things are right and necessary, I think two or three spokesmen are sufficient.
Mr. JOHNSON: Unless it is a Licensing Bill.
Mr. HUGHES: I do not want to curb anyone's enthusiasm for talking. Sometimes I like to hear an enlightening discussion, but the discussions here are usually very dull. I think for the past session that the amount of talk that has gone on in proportion to the number of hours we have been sitting would compare very favourably with any other Assembly.
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: I want to raise a point I mentioned before in regard to the expenses of the acquisition of this House, and when we are likely to get into it more or less permanently. I notice a statement in the papers this morning that it was not likely that the Oireachtas would be housed here before Christmas, because it could not be vacated by the Royal Dublin Society before then. I think this Vote gives an opportunity for a general statement being made with regard to the acquisition of Leinster House for the purpose of housing the Oireachtas, with regard to its expense, and when it can be brought about. I would invite the President to make such a statement.
Mr. HUGHES: In reply to Deputy Figgis, I may say that I am the person who made that statement at a Committee meeting. I said that I did not believe that this House would be available  before Christmas. That was only a personal opinion, as I consulted nobody about it. The question was asked at the Committee meeting and I answered it. It was my own interpretation as to the time it will take the Royal Dublin Society to be housed.
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: I did not know that Deputy Hughes was responsible for the statement.
Mr. HUGHES: I wanted to clear the Deputy's mind.
Major COOPER: May I raise the question of a Library? We are dealing with the salaries of the Librarian and Assistant Librarian. They have very few books. Could not something more be done to get a useful library? I think we should get some volumes of Erskine May, who is the chief authority on constitutional questions and parliamentary procedure. Another thing we ought to have is the proceedings of the Parliaments of the other Dominions. We ought to know what is going on in the Canadian Parliament, particularly on the subject of being bound by treaties, especially those signed by Great Britain. The South African Parliament is going to be extremely interesting in the near future. We have got the proceedings of the Parliament at Westminster, and the proceedings of the Northern Parliament. I think we could obtain these other proceedings without much difficulty on a basis of exchange which would probably cost nothing. These proceedings would be very valuable to Deputies and would, perhaps, help to widen our horizon.
Mr. MORRISSEY: I would like to ask the President if he has been successful in making arrangements with railway companies with regard to the passes which I think he promised last year for Deputies travelling to and from their constituencies. The matter was raised last year and the President, I think, promised to look into it. Members will admit that the present system is most unsatisfactory.
Mr. HOGAN (Clare): I should like to stress the point about the library, where Deputies who are anxious to take part in the debates should get  books of reference. There is also another point in connection with newspapers and periodicals. I know that we get some of the provincial papers. We get the Cork papers. I quite realise that Ireland is a suburb of Cork, but I should like that we should get some say, of the Waterford or Limerick papers, and I suggest that they are just as interesting as some of the Cork papers.
Mr. WOLFE: As we are on the subject of the occupation of Leinster House, for more or less a definite period, I think some improvement should be made in the seating accommodation for the Deputies. These seats are most uncomfortable, especially for those afflicted with long legs. A desk in front in which to put papers is rather a serious want. Often when a Deputy gets up to speak and wishes to refer to his papers he finds that they have flown away from him. Some of us too, are not very acute at hearing, and I think if we had some system of a sound amplifier it would be a great improvement. It would be a great advantage to everybody over here. It is extremely difficult to hear Deputies from the opposite benches speaking from the top. I have no doubt that they feel the same difficulty.
The PRESIDENT: Deputy Johnson referred to a statement made here some time recently about looking after the nation's work. I think the Deputy who made that statement was satisfied after his lecture that things were improving and that his attendance was not as necessary as before the lecture. I think he was away looking after the nation's work and showing how important he was. On the whole his contribution on that occasion was necessary and useful and has probably been beneficial. With regard to what Deputy Morrissey said about railway travelling, there is a difficulty in the case because only one particular company of all the companies offered the facilities we requested. While we are willing at all times to stretch a point with regard to this matter, I think a year's, or possibly two years', experience of the existing method would be advisable to enable us to form some idea of the principles and the necessity of the case,  and having had that information it is more than possible that we may find the new unified company in a more favourable state of mind with regard to meeting the case. I think the proposal was that a season ticket should be given so that the necessity of applying regularly at the office of the Clerk would be done away with. In some cases it was found that it would be a saving but in the majority of cases there would be a loss, and the Comptroller and Auditor-General would be entitled to object in the circumstances. Having had the advantage of one whole session of work it is more than possible that we would be in a better position to deal with the railway company on that point. I understand that there are plans at present under consideration of the House Committee for the reorganisation of the whole place here. That particular item, I would like to remind Deputy Figgis, comes under the head of Public Works and Buildings and will be found to be the last item on page 36. I do not know whether the Deputy was doing the nation's work somewhere else when that item was being discussed. There is a sum of £20,000 entered for that. To the same extent the lack of accommodation here prevented us from getting a library. There is a useful library at the Castle. An Ceann Comhairle sometimes views with horror the introduction of such a large number of books as there are, and the provision of other books and so on. I believe that with the acquisition of the whole of Leinster House it will be possible to fix up a library which will contain books and so on. There is a sum of £600 for books and periodicals. There is not and could not be an attendance book for members of the Dáil and Seanad but from my experience of public bodies, and I have had a long experience with probably the premier body in Ireland, the attendance in the Dáil more than favourably compares with the attendance of any public institution I have noticed in this country. It is perfectly natural that the Press should be particularly critical.
Mr. JOHNSON: They are not critical enough. It is their unintelligent criticism to which I object.
The PRESIDENT: We will have to wait for that. I notice that one particular journal expresses an opinion sometimes three or four weeks after the matter has been introduced here. It occasionally adopts the attitude of the Pharisee and the other person who wore a white sheet in the Gospel. I observe that some time ago they lectured me on some matters. It did not affect me in any way. It is a source of amusement to think that the “Independent” could form any public opinion in this country. The “Independent” was never national and it cannot put on the robe of the ascendancy order in this country. I think it has aimed at doing both and succeeded in doing neither. As far as the respect for the Dáil is concerned, from every source that I can get information, I find that the people of the country are very well satisfied with it. Last year when going through the country, I found that people who did not agree with, perhaps, the political opinions of any section of the House were certainly impressed with the consideration that problems have got here, with the size of the problems and their number, the justice with which those matters were discussed. It is possible that we have not got to the heights of oratory which were associated with the last Parliament of this country, but we are, perhaps, nothing the worse of that and what we have is quite sufficient.
Mr. WILSON: What about my friend here?
The PRESIDENT: I think there are very few Parliaments faced with such problems as we have and very few Parliaments that sat as long and had to do as much work as we have done. Those people who tell us that we have made mistakes never tell us how many mistakes they made themselves, and if any person writes down their virtues perhaps a blank page will appear.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: As to the question of a library, the real difficulty about a library is that you require a room and an official always in the room to check the issue of books and to give information to Deputies. As soon as we get Leinster House we shall certainly get a room for that purpose. We do get books which would be very suitable for the building up of a Parliamentary  library, and we are endeavouring to accumulate books and papers which would be suitable for such a library. We have the debates of the Canadian Parliament, and we hope to have those of the South African Parliament and of other such Parliaments. Deputy Hogan desires to have newspapers of a certain type. The whole question of newspapers is controlled by the Committee on Procedure and Privileges which recently revised the list, and any Deputy who desires any change should consult a member of that Committee. Deputy Wolfe will be glad to know—and I think Deputy Hughes could inform him—that there was a meeting of the joint House Committee yesterday, at which the Clerk of the Dáil presented plans drawn up by the Office of Public Works dealing with alterations in the Dáil Chamber. The plans affected the levelling down of the floor of the Chamber to a more moderate slope and new seating accommodation with supports for papers, and more room perhaps for the Deputies' legs. An official of the Board of Works undertook to consult with the officials of his Department as to the best method of meeting these views. It has been decided to go ahead with the construction of seats for the Chamber. They will be constructed by the Office of Public Works in consultation with the officers of the Dáil and members of the Committee, in accordance with what one would call the most modern improvements.
Mr. WOLFE: Is anything being done to make the sound more distinct?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: We have not considered that, because that was not raised at any Committee meeting. For myself, I hear Deputies quite satisfactorily, but the hearing is not satisfactory in some parts of the Chamber; and when the whole matter of recontructing the Chamber is being gone into, we can get the officials of the Board of Works to go into that, too. Deputies will realise that, in the case of the Chamber here, it is impossible for us to make drastic alterations, because this place does not belong to us. It really means that the officers of the  Public Works Office have not really, got a free hand in dealing with the place, because it is not fully and completely State property in the ordinary sense. But as soon as Leinster House is taken over under the recent decision, we will have carte blanche to make such arrangements as are suitable for Deputies.
Vote put and agreed to.
“That a sum not exceeding £1,919,200 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for Old Age Pensions under the Old Age Pensions Act, 1908 to 1924, for certain Administrative Expenses in connection therewith, and for Pensions under the Blind Persons Act, 1920.”
The PRESIDENT: The amount estimated for Old Age Pensions for 1924-25 is £2,919,200, which shows a reduction of £357,800 from the previous year's estimate. The decrease of £358,000 under sub-head A is due to the reduction in all existing pensions, except in the cases of pensions of persons who attained the age of 80 years on the 20th June, 1924, and the difference between the number of deaths of pensioners and the number of new pensions granted. I should say that I am rather anxious to get this Vote through, because we have already expended the amount which has been granted.
Mr. MORRISSEY: There is one particular matter that I should like to bring before the Dáil in connection with this Vote, and that is the system that is at present being adopted throughout the country by the inspectors. It is nearly impossible for applicants for old age pensions who are not able to produce birth certificates to establish their claims for the pension. We have been told here in the Dáil on very many occasions, in reply to questions and in reply to Deputies who raised the matter on motions for the adjournment, that if there was a sworn affidavit forthcoming from a person of good standing—what that may mean I do not know—the pension would be granted. But I am sure that nearly every Deputy in the Dáil has a number of  cases brought under his notice—cases in which affidavits have been made and in which the persons who have been making application for the pension have gone to the utmost extent possible to try and comply with the requirements of the Department in this connection, and in which notwithstanding this fact the applications have been turned down. It would save Deputies in this House and the people who are applying for old age pensions a great deal of trouble if the President would tell us what is required of an applicant for an old age pension in order to establish the claim. There is no doubt that there is a very large volume of dissatisfaction throughout the country on this particular question. Another matter which is creating a great deal of unrest and dissatisfaction is the way in which the means of an applicant is calculated by the inspector. I have had a number of cases brought under my notice, and I most certainly say that the method adopted means defrauding the old people of what they are justly entitled to. Since the cut has been put into force by this Government, there has been a tightening up of the administration to such an extent that it is almost impossible for any person to get an old age pension at the present time. This is a very genuine grievance, and it would assist Deputies in this House and the people in the country who are making applications for old age pensions if the Ministry would say definitely what is required of persons who make applications and who cannot produce birth certificates.
Mr. A. BYRNE: I wish to support the Deputy who has just spoken in the case which he has made in regard to the method of fixing what the amount of the income is. I have had put before me this week the case of an old lady who had not a penny piece in the world. She might have gone into the Union were it not for a niece of hers who said that she would keep her out. When the old lady reached the age of seventy years she and the niece prepared an application for an old age pension and sent it in. The visiting Inspector tried to prove that the old lady was enjoying fairly comfortable means. I took up the case. What was  the result? They stated that as this old lady is kept in fairly comfortable circumstances by her niece, no pension can be paid. I have done my utmost to trace under what part of the Act voluntary help like that can be held to exclude a person from the right to the pension. It is given by a girl in business in the city earning little more than is sufficient to keep herself, but who, when she saw this old relative in needy circumstances, took her in and shared her room with her. And in the old lady's share of the room the pensions officer has put a value of six shillings a week; from this class of shelter that the old lady has got he decides that she has got an income of the value of six shillings a week. I do not think that was intended by the Act. I would ask the Minister if he would cause to be circulated to his officials a notification that such was not intended, and that they are not there to do everything they possibly can to whittle down the claims of these people, and instead that, if anything, they should go out of their way to assist the really deserving cases. I will give the President the name of the person I referred to, and I will send him all the correspondence if he cares to go through it, but I do not think that persons when they reach the age of 70 if they are provided for by some cousin, niece or distant relative with bed and shelter, should have that classed as income. Under the Act it should not be described as income, and I hope the President will see that those responsible for the investigation of the cases will change their attitude. This week I had a few cases, where I found it impossible to trace or get any evidence of age of a few very poor, old people, though every effort was made. We got a communication from the parish priest that records had been destroyed by fire, and information from the local districts in which they were born that records had not been kept at a certain date. Those people are going round without anybody to assist them. I think some latitude should be given to the Old Age Pensions Department in cases where they are satisfied that reasonable effort has been made to secure evidence of age, and where two or three members are satisfied that the  person is 70 years of age and deserving of the pension, and that the mere fact that they cannot produce a certificate, or a sworn declaration from some person older than themselves, should not debar them from receiving what they are entitled to under the Act.
Mr. CONNOR HOGAN: I also desire to be associated with Deputy Morrissey in his protest as to the valuation of means, and more particularly I speak with reference to the revision of means of persons who have been in receipt of pensions for many years. I have in mind cases of people who gave up their land in 1909 to their children, and who received the pension but have now been deprived of it. I am afraid that is hardly equitable. It is contended, I know, on behalf of the Department that these people were not really entitled to a pension in 1909, or in any subsequent year. But were the officials who served under the old regime incompetent, or wanting in their duties to the State? I do not think that could be seriously contended, and even if it were, have not these old people by custom or toleration got something approaching a vested interest in the pension? We should not put anyone out of any annuity or pension, certainly we should not arbitrarily deprive them of it. Some allowance should be made, but, unfortunately, in many instances old farmers in the country have been altogether deprived of their pension. When they first received the pension farming conditions were much better, and there was some money to be made in the land, whereas at present nothing can be made out of it. It is a sad commentary on the state of agriculture that in many cases old-age pensions were devoted to maintaining not alone themselves, but their children and grandchildren.
Mr. P. HOGAN (Clare): The case has been very well made regarding people who are deprived of what they are justly entitled to under the Old-Age Pensions Act on the grounds of being unable to procure evidence of age, and also because they have what is considered sufficient means to maintain them. I have tried to bring home to  the Minister responsible the effect this has in the country, and so have many of the Deputies, but in vain. I could produce 30 or 40 concrete cases in proof of the contentions that have been put forward here. I will give one instance to the Minister and he will see what exactly is the position. An old woman made a claim for a pension. She was not able to prove her age, but her claim was granted by the Pensions Committee. The award was appealed against on the grounds that no evidence of age could be produced. On my advice she repeated her application for the pension which was granted, and again appealed against, and now the third appeal has been made. This claimant's younger sister is 69 years, and her older brother, 75 years of age. I find that in order to delay the beneficial effects of the Act a claim made to the Pensions Officer last February has not yet been submitted to the Pensions Committee. These are cases that should be looked into. I have another case where a claim made on a pensions officer 15 months ago has not yet been handed in to the Pensions Committee. These are hardships. The reduction of the amounts given and refusal of pensions owing to being unable to produce evidence of age, are factors making for discontent amongst those genuinely entitled to old age pensions.
The PRESIDENT: Under the Old Age Pensions Act the yearly value of any benefit or privilege enjoyed by a claimant must be taken into account when calculating means for Old-Age Pension purposes. Consequently, maintenance must be included, and a Minister, official, or anybody else has no right to instruct a Pensions Officer, to the contrary. A good deal of criticism has been passed on the officers engaged on this particular work. I had experience of these officers years ago, and I found them very fair, sometimes generous, very generous. I would like to know whether the experience is the same in the country as in the city of Dublin. I do not recollect any claim being refused by the City of Dublin Pension Committee. Every claim was passed. I believe that if we were assessed ourselves for the payment of  these pensions we would not have been by any means so generous. The fact is, that this particular service is costing much the same—there is not a remarkable difference between the sums put down in respect of Old Age Pensions in 1923-24 and 1924-25. We have already exceeded the amount put down for the first four months of this year—that is, £1,000,000 has been spent, and more than that. The fact is, that in 1924 the population has gone down very considerably from the time that this Pensions Act was first introduced. When it was first introduced in 1909 the cases dealt with the population of 1839, and the people who were seventy years of age in 1909 came from a population of seven or eight millions.
From 1839 until 1854, which is the particular period we are dealing with, there had been a very considerable reduction in the population, but the fact is that this particular service has not shown a corresponding reduction in the amount. We seem to be dealing all the time with a population far in excess of anticipations, and I think that some of the allegations of these applicants that they are up to seventy years of age are not supported by the facts of the cases. As I said, my experience of these officers when they were operating under the British Government was that they were fair.
Mr. HOGAN (Clare): The President did not apply for a pension to one of them?
The PRESIDENT: No, I did not, but I got some pensions through. I got a number for persons who were not 70 years of age, and I believe many others did the same, and because these facilities are withdrawn and they are operating on a much leaner purse there is bound to be dissatisfaction and criticism. I admit that there is a drawback by reason of the destruction of the census records. There are other methods of finding out ages, and the difficulties cannot have increased in every possible way. When I was a member of an Old Age Pensions Committee I think fairly substantial weight was given to a marriage certificate, and I do not think it was a condition precedent that the person should be 21 years of age, even at that time,  and it is well known that seventy or eighty years ago they married much younger than 21, and the advantage in regard to that is to the person making a claim for a pension now.
Mr. MORRISSEY: That consideration is not given now. No consideration is given to marriage certificates now.
The PRESIDENT: I do not think I could subscribe to that. I believe that the usual evidence that is accepted in respect of a marriage certificate is 20, and there is sometimes no disposition at all to make enquiries as to age. I remember on one occasion pushing the claim of a person who certainly looked beyond 70 years of age, and after bringing the matter three times before the Pensions Committee the Pensions Officer told me that he had a birth certificate showing that the age of the man was 65. He had all the appearance of being over 70. If there are cases of delay, as mentioned by Deputy Hogan. I would like to get particulars of them.
Mr. HOGAN (Clare): I will give you particulars of two.
The PRESIDENT: Very good. I will look into these.
Mr. JOHNSON: I am afraid the President has failed to meet the point raised by Deputy Morrissey, and that is the new instructions that have been given to pensions officers with respect to the valuation of perquisites. I do not believe that it was ever the intention or ever the practice to count as a perquisite what was quite optional, charity, if you like to use that word, with respect to old men or women, the father or mother, or other relative, who might at any time be put on the road.
The PRESIDENT: It was to my own knowledge.
Mr. JOHNSON: Well, the President has been pretty successful in getting through Acts of Parliament, and if he wants to undo much of the damage he has done he would put through an Act very quickly remedying that particular fault. If by the action of the pensions administration you are going to invite persons to turn out their old people so that they will then be able to go for  the pension, which is the interpretation which the Minister has given—
Mr. A. BYRNE: That is what they must do.
Mr. JOHNSON: Then I think it is a very grave fault. The Minister says it was done. It may have been done in some places; it certainly was not general to value as a perquisite the bread and milk and tea, and the rest, that the relatives of an old man or woman provided at their option. But there has certainly been a very stringent tightening of that regulation. The valuation has gone up within the last twelve months. If the perquisites were valued at £10 a year or two years ago they are valued at £15 or £20 to-day, and it is a sort of closing of the shears, the pensions cut on the one hand, the re-valuation of the perquisites on the other, and in between the two the pensioner is having the cut in very truth. If the President says that this is purely a matter of legislation, of course, we cannot say anything, but many legislative faults are remedied by beneficent, thoughtful, sympathetic administration, and I am sorry to say that the evidence forthcoming is that the administration has been inspired by what is called economy, meaning the saving of money at the expense of the comfort of old men and old women.
Mr. A. BYRNE: May I say if the President's reading of the Act that maintenance must be taken into consideration, that is voluntary support given by distant relatives, it will mean that no person will ever get a pension because the maintenance charged against somebody brings them up to the value of the amount of income disqualifying them from an old age pension. No person at all can get a pension if his reading of the Act is put into operation by his officials.
The PRESIDENT: That was the reading of the Act when I was a member of a Pensions Committee, and during that time more pensions were passed than since or before.
Mr. A. BYRNE: We can get none now.
Vote put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
That a sum not exceeding £5,458 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Governor-General's Establishment under the Governor-General's Salary and Establishment Act, 1923.
Mr. JOHNSON: I am going to move that this be reduced.
The PRESIDENT: How much are you going to take off?
Mr. JOHNSON: I move that the Vote be reduced by £3,000, the amount of the allowances to the Governor-General for expenses. I think that the amount voted in the other portions of this volume and the pickings that may be available in the various sums granted, would be quite sufficient without this new sum of £8,208 for the Governor-General's establishment. I do not mind of course how or from where the £3,000 may be taken but I suggest that out of £5,208 sufficient will be available for the upkeep of this establishment. I therefore beg to move the reduction of this Vote by £3,000.
The PRESIDENT: I may observe that this Vote is £3,215 less than last year. With regard to the particular item B, it was part of our bargain. It represents the establishment, and it was one of the conditions regarding this particular service that that establishment and the expenses of it would be provided. This is a particularly expensive institution, the Viceregal Lodge as it is known. It is not the fault of the immediate occupant that that is the case. I suppose that any of the other residences would be very much less expensive, but while that particular one is there and the Governor-General is in occupation, I think it is the duty of the Oireachtas to provide that the place will be kept up in a manner befitting the institution itself, to say nothing of its occupant. As I said it is expensive but it will be observed that there has been a very considerable reduction in  the estimate and consequently I do not think it is fair to reduce it further.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: I do not think Deputy Johnson can move to reduce the sub-head by £3,000 that is the whole amount, because the Constitution states——
Mr. JOHNSON: I only used that as an illustration.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The Constitution states that “suitable provision shall be made out of those funds”—that is public funds—“for the maintenance of his official residence and establishment.” The word “suitable” may be construed any way that may be thought fit but it means that some provision  must be made and if the Deputy moves to reduce the provision altogether it seems directly against the Constitution.
Mr. JOHNSON: I move that this whole sum be reduced by £3,000, my contention being that suitable provision should be made out of the £5,208.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: took the Chair.
Amendment—“That the Vote be reduced by £3,000”—put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 12; Níl, 27.
Henry J. Finlay.
Alásdair Mac Cába.
Séamus Mac Cosgair.
Tomás Mac Eoin.
Risteárd Mac Fheorais.
|Aodh O Cúlacháin.
Eamon O Dubhghaill.
Seán O Laidhin.
Domhnall O Muirgheasa.
Tadhg O Murchadha.
Pádraig O hOgáin (An Clár).
|Seoirse de Bhulbh.
Bryan R. Cooper.
Máighréad Ní Choileáin Bean
Liam T. Mac Cosgair.
Maolmhuire Mac Eochadha.
Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
Liam Mac Sioghaird.
Liam Mag Aonghusa.
Martin M. Nally.
John T. Nolan.
Peadar O hAodha.
|Mícheál O hAonghusa.
Ailfrid O Broin.
Seán O Bruadair.
Partholán O Conchubhair.
Eoghan O Dochartaigh.
Séamus O Dóláin.
Pádraig O Dubhthaigh.
Donchadh O Guaire.
Séamus O Leadáin.
Fionán O Loingsigh.
Pádraig O hOgáin (Gaillimh).
Seán O Súilleabháin.
Patrick W. Shaw.
Amendment declared lost.
Mr. MORRISSEY: Before you put the Vote, I would like to know if the President could give an explanation of what I may call this extraordinary amount of £900 that is down for telegrams and telephones in this Estimate. I wonder does the Governor-General make all his communications by telephone and telegram? Turning over to the Vote for the Oireachtas, I find that the Seanad and Dáil spend only £500 on telephones and telegrams. I would like to know if we could get some explanation. This seems to be a very large amount.
The PRESIDENT: The number of telegrams which go out is very considerable, and they are very lengthy. A considerable amount of the time of one of the officers of my establishments is devoted to dealing with those telegrams. There is a private telephone to my office from the Viceregal Lodge. The amount that is down, it will be observed, is £40 under that of last year. It is possible that it will be a decreasing amount. The Deputy will recollect that quite a number of questions are asked on such matters as the Wood-Renton Commission and other matters like that and until there is a general clearance of all those outstanding items, that particular amount in this Vote must be very considerable.
Mr. MORRISSEY: I am rather in the dark about this. Would the President tell us what the Wood-Renton Commission has to do with the Governor-General's establishment?
The PRESIDENT: All communications passing between the British Government and this State go through the Governor-General's establishment.
Mr. GOREY: I wonder would the President consider the advisability of having separate accounts for telegrams and telephones? We want to be sure that telephones are not used for racing matters, as in other Government Departments.
The PRESIDENT: They are already separate. The telegrams cost £200 and the telephones £700. You will find the items at the end of page 2.
Vote put and declared carried.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
That a sum not exceeding £12,487 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Department of the Comptroller and Auditor-General.
Vote put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
That a sum not exceeding £655,927, be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, to provide capital for the Local Loans Fund, and to make repayment to the British Government in respect of local loans outstanding.
Vote put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
That a sum not exceeding £14,551 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the Salaries and other Expenses of Temporary Commissions,  Committees and Special Inquiries.”
Major COOPER: On this Vote, though I am not quite sure that I am in order, I would like to ask briefly what has happened the Bill for regularising procedure at these commissions. The Bill was alluded to in the Governor-General's address, but we have never heard anything about it since. Has the Bill been dropped definitely, or will it be introduced later? So long as these commissions have not power to take evidence upon oath or subpoena withnesses, they will not be entirely satisfactory bodies. I take it that this Bill would include power to subpæna witnesses and, if thought necessary, to administer oaths.
The PRESIDENT: A Bill passed its Second Reading to-day—the Oireachtas Witnesses Oaths Bill, which came from the Seanad—which will dispose of one part of the Deputy's question.
Major COOPER: That only covers Private Bill Committees.
The PRESIDENT: As regards the Bill that the Deputy referred to, it is not dropped. A better description would be to say that it is in Limbo, and that we hope to be able to get it out by the autumn.
Vote put and agreed to.
“That a sum not exceeding £59,189 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of Public Works (1 and 2 Will. 4, c. 33, s. s. 5 and 6; 5 and 6 Vict. c. 89, s. s. 1 and 2; 9 and 10 Vict. c. 86, s. s. 2, 7 and 9; 10 Vict. c. 32, s. 3; 33 and 34 Vict. c. 46, s. 42; 40 and 41 Vict. c. 27; 44 and 45 Vict. c. 49, s; 31, etc.).”
Vote put and agreed to.
“That a sum not exceeding £4,383  be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the Salaries and Expenses of the State Laboratory.”
Vote put and agreed to.
“That a sum not exceeding £3,420 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Civil Service Commission.”
Vote put and agreed to.
“That a sum not exceeding £1,129,365 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, to pay Superannuation, Compensation, Compassionate and Additional Allowances and Gratuities under sundry Statutes; Compensation under Article 10 of the Treaty of the 6th December, 1921: Compassionate Allowances, Gratuities and Supplementary Pensions awarded by the Ministry of Finance; the salary of the medical referee, and Sundry Repayments in respect of Pensions at present paid by the British Government.”
Vote put and agreed to.
That a sum not exceeding £78,500 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for Rates and Contributions in lieu of Rates, etc., in respect of Government Property.
Vote put and agreed to.
 Motion made—
That a sum not exceeding £23,000 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for expenditure in respect of Secret Services.
Mr. JOHNSON: Is the Minister going to explain this Vote?
The PRESIDENT: Perhaps the best explanation I can give is to say that it is a decreasing amount. Last year it went down from £220,000 to £50,000, and this year it is down to £35,000. I do not know that I would be right in saying that a time may come when this item will not appear, but I hope it will come.
Vote put and agreed to.
That a sum not exceeding £14,000 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for Expenses under the Representation of the People Act, 1918, and under the Electoral Act, 1923.
Mr. JOHNSON: I would like to know whether we can get any information of the possible expenditure under this Vote for this year. There are a number of vacancies at present, and I am taking this opportunity to ask the Minister if he will tell us whether he proposes to call for the issue of the writs before the adjournment.
The PRESIDENT: Not before the adjournment. I would like to be able to consider the matter until next Friday.
Mr. JOHNSON: I mean before the adjournment for the Recess.
The PRESIDENT: I cannot promise that. I will have the matter under consideration during the week, and I can be questioned on it by Friday next.
Mr. JOHNSON: Will the Minister promise us a majority if somebody else moves in the matter?
Vote put and agreed to.
“That a sum not exceeding £2,361 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the Salaries and Expenses of the National Gallery of Ireland.”
Major COOPER: I move to reduce this Vote by £500. I do so to call attention to the circumstances under which a Director was appointed to the National Gallery last autumn, and also to the general condition of affairs under which the National Gallery is administered. It is not my intention to canvass the qualifications of the gentleman who is now Director of the National Gallery. I think this is a very bad assembly in which to discuss questions of art. There are possibly two or three Deputies who have an intimate knowledge of that subject, but the majority of us have very little knowledge of it. The circumstances under which the Director was appointed do not require any canvassing of his qualifications at all. There is a Board of Governors of the National Gallery. The present Director was a member of the Board of Governors until the day before the last day on which the appointment of Director could be held. He resigned from the Board of Governors on that day and was the following day appointed Director. That is absolutely and entirely wrong. If a member of a Board of Guardians resigned office one day and was appointed by his former colleagues next day as Master of the workhouse or clerk of the board, the Minister for Local Government would refuse to sanction the appointment. Yet, the Governors of the National Gallery of Ireland, many of whom are personal friends of my own, take that course, which appears to me most mistaken and an extraordinarily bad precedent. If a person who is a member of a public body is to be at liberty to  resign on Wednesday and on Thursday to be appointed to a salaried post in the gift of that body, there is an opening for improper dealings which ought not to exist.
The fact that this thing did occur cannot be controverted. The fact that it did occur caused me to look into the Statutes under which the National Gallery exists and by which it is regulated. I find that the qualifications for Governors are many and various. I have not been able to find out completely how they stand, because one volume of the Statutes has been removed from the library upstairs. I gather that the National Gallery is regulated mainly by an Act passed 70 years ago, in 1854, and that a number of people are ex-officio on the Board of Governors because of their official qualifications. Among them is the President of the Royal Dublin Society. It might conceivably happen that the President of the R.D.S. knew more about bullocks than he did about Botticelli. The senior Vice-President, who may also be in the same position, is an ex-officio Governor. So is the Chairman of the Board of Works, who may know a great deal about architecture without knowing much about the art of painting. In addition, there is a remarkable provision, which has passed into abeyance, by which anybody who subscribes £10 to the funds of the Gallery has a vote for Governor. There were a certain number apparently of elected Governors. I think that has passed into abeyance. The remaining Governors are now appointed by the President. Once appointed, they are under no control of any kind from the Executive. We have to vote a sum, which, I think, is a very small sum, of £4,000 odd annually. Though very small, that is a charge on the nation's finances, and, as a matter of principle, I hold there should be some Minister responsible and able to control all expenditure. other than that which is placed upon the Central Fund.
I know the President had no time to go into the matter this Session. I do not expect him to do miracles. Though the regulation of the National Gallery is and ought to be an important element in the nation's life, still it is not  as important as the matters that have been forcing themselves on the President's attention. I do hope, however, that when he has time he will, either by setting up a small Commission of Inquiry or by some other means, go into the whole question of the National Gallery and how it is to be organised and run in future with a view to making it responsible to the Executive and with a view to seeing that incidents of the kind which happened in the appointment of the present Director will not happen again.
The PRESIDENT: I had a report when this occurred. I must say it was a very elaborate report. As far as I remember, it was from one side. I think it was from the side which is in opposition to Deputy Cooper's view. It is not a matter upon which I have any knowledge. But, that there was a difficulty in getting the type of person required, I believe was stressed in the report. From recollection I think that the person appointed was generally admitted to have a knowledge of the Dutch school of painting. Deputy Cooper can correct me if I am wrong.
Major COOPER: It was asserted, but I would not like to vouch for it any more than the President.
The PRESIDENT: I would prefer if Deputy Cooper would leave this matter over until after the Recess. As he says, it is not a matter upon which many people can express an opinion. But it is advisable that the Gallery should be placed on a sound foundation, and one which would give satisfaction—whether or not under an Executive Minister is a question upon which I would like to keep an open mind for the present. One thing is remarkable, that there are very considerable expenses there amounting to £3,300, and that the purchase of pictures grant-in-aid is small. Small as it may be, with a very good Director it is quite possible that well-purchased pictures might, perhaps, balance the remainder of the Estimate. But it is impossible in the case of an appointment such as this to escape some allegations that pictures are traded in, and it is certainly desirable that the whole institution  should be placed on a satisfactory basis.
I will undertake to speak to the Minister for Finance when he returns, and see whether it is not possible to make the present situation more satisfactory. Formerly, I think, Governors were appointed by the Lord Lieutenant. When there is a question of such an appointment the Executive endeavour to get the best advice possible, but I am sure that artists, like musicians, do not always see eye to eye in the matter of these appointments. From recollection I should say that where the term of office of a person had expired, we usually appointed the outgoing person. I think Sir John Lavery was offered, and accepted, an appointment, and I think Senator Yeats also. Beyond that, I am not in a position to make any further statement on the matter. If Deputy Cooper would withdraw his amendment and undertake to see the Minister for Finance and myself, it is possible we might be able to settle up whatever outstanding differences there are.
Major COOPER: The President will realise that the statement that no suitable applicants came forward is one that is contested not only by a good many outside people, but by some of the Governors themselves. I only say that for fear it should appear in the report. For the rest I accept the President's offer, and will withdraw the amendment, if only for the reason that I do not want to have the Appropriation Bill, which is no doubt already in print, sent back to be re-printed.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Question put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I beg to move:—
That a sum, not exceeding £4,700, be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for certain Miscellaneous Expenses, including certain Grants in Aid.
Mr. JOHNSON: I would like to find out from the President what his intentions are with regard to the Registrar of Friendly Societies. I think it is generally admitted that the present position is not satisfactory, and I want to know whether the President has any plans to divulge as to his intentions regarding the future of this Registrar.
Under the heading of “Research Grants to Students,” £720 is allocated for “Grants paid on the recommendation of the Minister for Education to students engaged in research,” That is a reduction of £180 from last year. I wonder whether that is a testimony to the views of the Ministry regarding the value of this kind of research, that it is less valuable this year than last or how this money is allocated; whether it is part of a policy of economy or whether it is by the exhaustion of certain activities of individual students? I hope it is not part of an economy campaign, because I believe that the possibilities which may arise out of such a grant for research work, particularly in scientific chemical work, are such that the country may benefit enormously. I hope that it is explainable by something else than a mere desire to save £180.
The PRESIDENT: This provision is made in respect of five students. The academic year starts in October, and five students are on the Estimate from October last. If there were six students it would necessitate an additional sum, but it is not anticipated that the number will be increased. It is by reason of the fact that there were five students last year that this Estimate is £720. If there were eight students it would be eight times £144. If there were three students it would be three times £144. It is not a question of reducing the amount or of economy, but simply dealing with the circumstances with which we were presented.
Mr. JOHNSON: And the registrar?
The PRESIDENT: I do not think it is likely that there will be any immediate change. That is a very big subject. I understand that Deputy Johnson is interested in it and that there is necessity for a change. I know that myself for the last three or four years. It is one of those things which really  require very considerable study and very great attention, but I am not in a position to promise that we may even consider it. The Deputy would be entitled to put down a question for the Minister for Finance when we reassemble, to see by that time if we would have an opportunity of going into it. The Minister, I think, will not be back for a month, and, when he returns, he will have quite a number of other things to do. While realising the importance of dealing with this matter, I am not in a position to say that we will be able to do so.
Professor THRIFT: With reference to what the President has said as to the reduced value of this Vote for research students, I take it that we may assume the applications to be put forward in October will not be treated necessarily from the point of view of economy.
The PRESIDENT: No.
Mr. P. HOGAN (Clare): At what stage is the Irish Texts Society's Irish-English Dictionary? Does not the President consider the grant mentioned here, £1,000, a rather small one in view of the position of the nation at present and the importance of a standard dictionary?
The PRESIDENT: In that, as in other matters, the Minister for Finance has got to exercise very strong commercial instincts. I realise the importance of this dictionary. It was realised in the first Dáil Eireann Cabinet. This is a grant in aid of the expenses of publication by the Irish Texts Society of a new addition of Fr. Dinneen's Irish-English Dictionary, and it is made on the understanding that the dictionary will be placed on sale at a price not exceeding 7/6.
Mr. HOGAN: That was the old price.
The PRESIDENT: It was, but the value of money was much better than it is now. I think if one were to try and get one of the old copies for that price it would be a rather difficult search. The estimated cost of producing an edition of 20,000 copies is £4,824 10s. Commission and other matters  run up the entire price to £8,074. This particular contribution would enable the Society to put the dictionary on sale at 7s. 6d. I think that price is very moderate.
Mr. HOGAN: I hope the dictionary will be ready very soon.
The PRESIDENT: I hope so.
Question put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
That a sum not exceeding £102,029 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, to defray the expense of providing Stationery, Printing, Paper-binding, and Printed Books for the Public Service: to pay the Salaries and Expenses of the Stationery Office, and for sundry Miscellaneous Services including Reports of Oireachtas Debates.
At present the Stationery Office is engaged in attempting to standardise certain papers in general use, with a view to arriving at what may prove to be an economic basis of output for manufacture within the Saorstát. While not responsible for such matters the Stationery Office feels that it should adopt such a standard as would nearly approach a suitable paper for use by commercial firms and by the trade generally. Quite a number of items of supply, hitherto imported, are now being produced within the Saorstát, and are supplied to the Stationery Office on a competitive basis. Manufacturers have responded very cordially to the invitation of the Stationery Office in the matter of the production of goods within the country, and with such general satisfaction as to encourage the office to pursue this policy to the utmost possible extent. Advertising has been adopted more generally than in past years, and the result is that many Stationery Office publications are now self-supporting and cost the State nothing. On the whole, Free State firms generously supported their advertising mediums.
Mr. JOHNSON: I am pleased to hear the statement from the Minister, that  the Stationery Office is actually interesting itself in the production and use of Irish made paper for commercial purposes. I am sure the office can by its own activities do a great deal to provide such standardisation as is necessary, and that that will lead to a great deal of activity in Irish paper production.
I want to make a plea again, as I did last year, for a reduction in the prices of official publications, beginning with the reports of the Dáil and Seanad debates. I think in respect to the publications which are necessarily printed, and the cost undertaken, that where there is to be any sale, such publications should be sold at prices covering the cost of the extra paper and machining. I do not know what principle has been adopted with regard to prices of Government publications, but, I believe it is very desirable that the greatest amount of public interest should be created in official publications, and that they should be priced at a figure which would encourage rather than repel purchase. Going through official publications one would imagine that it was the intention to make them prohibitive to the ordinary purchaser; that it was undesirable the public should see what is in them; that, though, you have to print them you would rather not, and, therefore, you make the price as high as possible. That is a bad policy and is not calculated to encourage the public to take an active interest in the details of public affairs. There has been some improvement. I do not think the improvement has gone far enough. It is not perhaps possible for the Minister to give us a detailed statement regarding the effect of the reduced prices on sales. I believe that the lower the price is the better; and that we ought to aim at covering the cost of the extra printing rather than making any profit; and aim at the widest possible publication and sale of such documents.
I think also that other methods should be adopted in regard to the sale of State publications. The official agents are I think Messrs. Eason & Sons of Dublin, and other places. I do not think they use their machinery in the country for the purpose of pushing the sale of official documents.
 They may say: “It is not profitable to us and we cannot afford to do that. These things if not sold are not returnable and we are not going to have a risk. We are there to supply what is ordered.” That is not satisfactory, especially in view of the fact that there is really no attempt at intelligent discrimination in setting out the official publications in Messrs. Eason's shops.
There is nobody there to explain what the things are, or to guide or to assist the purchasers in selection. There is no such thing as a librarian who understands these publications. They are kept in the cellar and although there are a few shown in the windows the whole set-out indicates the absence of push, and these official publications are looked upon as something quite subordinate to the sale of daily newspapers. I think that the whole policy should be recast and that it would be a great advantage for the creation of an intelligent public interest if the Stationery Office itself set up an establishment for the sale of Irish official publications and other official publications. It would be worth while losing a considerable sum of money on such a project, although I do not think there need be very much loss after the first year or two. I suggest to the Ministry, for their very careful consideration, that they should aim at as wide a circulation as possible of official publications, and that there should be first a reduction of price, and secondly, a new policy with regard to salesmanship.
The PRESIDENT: Taking the last point first, the agent for Stationery Office publications is providing new and more suitable accommodation for the sale and display of Government publications. The prices of the Stationery Office publications are not based upon actual first-cost rates. It was felt that apart from possible sale of such publications the original or first-cost charges would in any event have to be undertaken for State and Service publications. The Stationery Office arranged in the early spring to revise pricing methods of its publications and these prices are now based on what would be reprint rates. The schedule for pricing foolscap folio size, 1 to 4 pages, 3d.; 5 to 8 pages, 6d.;  9 to 16 pages, 9d.; 16 to 32 pages, 1/-; 32 to 64 pages, 1/6; 64 to 96 pages, 2/-; 96 to 128 pages, 3/-; and 1/6 per additional 36 pages.
Royal Octavo Size—1 to 6 pages, 3d.; 6 to 12 pages, 6d.; 12 to 24, 9d.; 24 to 48, 1/-; 48 to 72, 1/3; 72 to 108, 2/-; 108 to 144, 3/-; and 1/- per additional 36 pages.
These prices compare more than favourably with similar publications produced by other publishers.
Mr. COLOHAN: Can the Minister make available for the use of Deputies, free copies of reliable ordnance maps of their constituencies? I think free copies to Deputies would serve a very useful purpose. Some of them are very ignorant of the extent of their constituencies.
Mr. JOHNSON: I would like to ask the Minister to take particular note of the point in regard to the assistance and guidance which could be given by a librarian in such an establishment in regard to the choice of publications. Unless the agents—Messrs. Eason's— are going to do that, the changes are not very valuable. Those of us who were in the habit of going to the old agents were able to get assistance and very intelligent assistance as well from the salesman.
The PRESIDENT: Was that at Ponsonby's?
Mr. JOHNSON: Yes.
The PRESIDENT: That is very true.
Mr. JOHNSON: The salesman knew what he was selling, and I think that is the kind of officer that is required.
The PRESIDENT: I am afraid he would have to be trained.
Mr. JOHNSON: I am sure there are men, and perhaps women, too, competent to give such assistance. In this case you are not asking for a trained salesman. It is not trained as a salesman you want him, but trained as a librarian.
The PRESIDENT: Quite right.
Mr. JOHNSON: And I am sure that the value to the State of such an officer, even though paid by the bookseller, would be very great indeed.
The PRESIDENT: I will undertake  to bring that to the notice of the Stationery Office. I quite appreciate the importance of having a person of that type, but I am afraid he is both born and made. He has to acquire it, and certainly if they could get the man who was in Ponsonby's, he would be of very great use and assistance to persons who would require those publications.
Mr. COLOHAN: Will the President consider my point?
The PRESIDENT: I do not think the Deputy is in earnest. I think Deputies will be possibly offended if I did that.
Mr. COLOHAN: On a point of explanation may I say that one Deputy just before the Vote to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce was taken, showed that he did not know that the River Barrow ran through his constituency at all.
Vote put and agreed to.
“That a sum not exceeding £23,387 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the salaries and expenses of the General Valuation and Boundary Survey under the Acts 15 and 16 Vict., c. 63; 17 Vict., c. 8; 17 Vict., c. 17; 20 and 21 Vict., c. 45; 22 and 23 Vict., c. 8; 23 Vict., c. 4; 27 and 28 Vict., c. 52; and 37 and 38 Vict., c. 70; including Estate Duty Valuation under the Finance (1909-10) Act, 1910.”—(The President.)
Vote put and agreed to.
“That a sum not exceeding £1,987 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and  Bequests (7 and 8 Vict., c. 97, ss. 7 and 8; 30 and 31 Vict., c. 54, s. 24; and 34 and 35 Vict., c. 102).”—(The President.)
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
“That a sum not exceeding £185,799 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the salaries and expenses of the Insurance Commission and for sundry contributions and grants in respect of the costs of benefits and expenses of administration under the National Health Insurance Acts, 1911 to 1923 (including certain grants in aid).”
Mr. LYONS: Will the Minister say why such a long delay takes place after applications are sent in before payment is made under this Act? In some cases there is a delay of six weeks or two months between the sending in of the doctor's certificate and the making of payment to those entitled to benefit under the Act.
The PRESIDENT: I do not know, except that the Minister is very honest and very anxious to see that a man would only get what he is entitled to get.
Mr. MORRISSEY: That is a question for the society, and I do not think it arises here under this Act.
Mr. LYONS: But these societies function under the authority of the Government.
Vote put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
“That a sum not exceeding £50,283 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the salaries,  allowances and expenses of various county court officers, bonus to chairmen of quarter sessions and recorders and to Clerks of the Crown and Peace, and for the expenses of revision.”
Mr. JOHNSON: Would the Minister explain the increase of £800 under subhead H of this Vote?
The PRESIDENT: The Estimate last year was, I believe, nominal, and I expect that the Ministry benefited by the experience gained during the year. On the experience gained during the year it was found that this increase had to be made.
Vote put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
“That a sum not exceeding £44,465 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the Expenses of Criminal Prosecutions and other Law Charges, including a Grant in Relief of certain Expenses payable by Statute out of Local Rates.”
Vote put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
“That a sum not exceeding £10,000 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for expenses in connection with Haulbowline Dockyard.”
Vote put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
“That a sum not exceeding £90,363 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for such of  the Salaries and Expenses of the Supreme Court of Judicature as are not charged on the Central Fund.”
Vote put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
“That a sum not exceeding £9,243 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the Expenses of the Maintenance of Criminal Lunatics in Dundrum Asylum.”
Mr. JOHNSON: On behalf of Deputy Cooper I desire to ask a question on this Vote, on a matter I know he intended to raise. As I am partly responsible for the district in which this Asylum is situate, I am taking the liberty of asking the question, which is in relation to the number of attendants and the number of patients in their charge.
The PRESIDENT: I have not the information at the moment, but I will undertake to get it and supply it to the Deputy in the course of a week or so.
Vote put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
“That a sum not exceeding £12,311 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, to pay charges in connection with Hospitals and Department of the Registrar General of Births (7 & 8 Vict., c. 81, s. 54; 26 Vict., c. 11, s. 9; 26 & 27 Vict., c. 52, s. 11, and c. 90, s. 20; 42 & 43 Vict., c. 70; and 43 & 44 Vict., c. 13).”
Vote put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
“That a sum not exceeding £65,644 be granted to complete the  sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for expenses of Reformatory and Industrial Schools, including places of detention (Children Act, 1908).”
Vote put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
That a sum not exceeding £666 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for the Salary of the Secretary, including Bonus, and the Expenses of the Office of the Commissioners for managing certain School Endowments in Ireland (53 Geo. III., c. 107; 17 and 18 Vict., c. 94; and 48 and 49 Vict., c. 78, Scheme 34).
Vote put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
That a sum not exceeding £6,075 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for a Grant in Aid of the Expenses of the League of Nations and for other Expenses in connection therewith.
Mr. JOHNSON: I desire to know if any information is available as to the proposals of the Ministry regarding the coming conference to be held in September, and as to what policy the Government is going to adopt in matters of international importance. I notice in to-day's paper a statement made on behalf of the British Government to the effect that they had declined to agree to a certain policy that had been proposed at a previous conference, or by a committee appointed at a previous conference, and that in that refusal to agree to a treaty of mutual assistance they say that every one of the Dominions in the British Commonwealth had agreed, but that such a treaty was undesirable in respect of the Irish Free State. Now, that is  an important exception. It is a very important matter, and I do not think we should pass it over with a mere statement in another place that the Irish Government had refused to endorse or agree to such a policy as had been recommended by an important International Committee. I am not saying whether I think the policy of the British Government in turning down such a proposal was right or wrong, but when it is stated on their behalf that of all the nations forming the British Commonwealth only the Irish Free State had disagreed with the decision of the British Government, then I think it is important that we should have a statement of the attitude of the Irish Government in such a matter, because it is of the very highest importance. It may be that we shall be told that no such decision has been come to, and that it is merely exceptional that the Irish Free State Government did not express itself. I want to have the position made clear on a matter of such very great importance.
Professor MacNEILL: In the absence of the Minister for External Affairs, I am not in a position to enter into this matter in any sort of elaborate detail. I am sorry I have to say that so near the end of the Session, but the first opportunity the Minister for External Affairs will give the fullest explanation arising out of the statements to which Deputy Johnson has alluded. I can safely say this much: that the alternative supposition that Deputy Johnson put forward that this is merely a case of non-action on the part of the Irish Free State is correct, that is to say, it is not a case of explicit disagreement on the part of the Irish Free State but merely a case of not active participation. I may state, as covering the general character of this fact, that the Irish Free State was not associated with the other members of the British Commonwealth of Nations in this particular matter.
Mr. JOHNSON: I am glad of that information. I am glad that that fact has been elucidated, because that is a matter which should have been made clear. With regard to the intentions of the Ministry respecting this year's Conference—I hope I shall not be mistaken  in my purpose—I want to draw attention to what might be said to be a new policy on the part of Governments. I think Governments, both inside and outside the British Commonwealth, several of the Commonwealth Governments, and, I think, several of the European Governments have decided that future representation at the League of Nations shall include non-Government representatives. Those are people outside Government parties, and even in some cases, Opposition parties, such as Australia, I think England, and I have heard, Canada. I do not want to suggest on behalf of those for whom I am able to speak, but I do suggest on behalf of other Parties in the House and as a matter of general policy, that it may well be worthy of the Government's consideration that they should adopt a similar policy with regard to representation at the League of Nations' Conferences. When the proposal was brought forward for the establishment of such a League, it was criticised in many countries on the grounds that it was to be a League of Governments rather than a League of Peoples. An attempt to get away from that conception which was criticised is shown in the development which is to associate various parties in the various States in those Conferences.
I just remind the Ministry of that. They may have made their decisions for this year, but it is, I think, an example which would be worthy to be followed in future years if not this year.
The PRESIDENT: I will undertake to bring that before the Executive Council. We have not yet decided on the representation that will go out this year. I put it, of course, to Deputy Johnson that it would be rather difficult to define what is opposition here, and I hope, if we were to come to that agreement, there would be some catholic interpretation of that term.
Mr. JOHNSON: I said non-Government parties, even though they were entirely outside the Dáil.
The PRESIDENT: It sometimes happens in connection with parties which  form the Opposition that they are really oil and water. I take it if such a proposal as this were to be considered and adopted by the Executive Council, there would be a harmonising if there were not a mixture of oil and water. We have now four parties, some in opposition, some maintaining a benevolent neutrality, and others a beneficent neutrality, and so on. I will not go into the exact distinctions between them. Those who were lately most friendly to us are perhaps now most critical towards us, but as none of them is here, I must not say anything about them. We have four parties which are non-Government parties, and in that connection it is impossible to effect individual representation in this case. There should be some understanding about it if it were to be carried out. I think the proposal is a good one, and I will undertake to bring it before the Executive Council.
Question put and agreed to.
Mr. HENNESSY: Would I be in order in raising a matter under a Vote that has been passed?
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: No. You cannot go back on anything which has been already passed.
Major COOPER: Is it open to raise the matter on the Appropriation Bill?
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: Yes, on the Report of the Resolution.
Sitting suspended at 6.40 p.m. and resumed at 7.40 p.m., AN CEANN COMHAIRLE in the Chair.
The Resolutions reported from the Committee on Finance were read a second time.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
Go n-aontuíonn an Dáil leis an gCoiste um Airgead sna Rúin Soláthar a tuairiscíodh i dtaobh na Meastachán Iomdha.
That the Dáil agree with the Committee on Finance in the Resolutions  of Supply reported in respect of the Several Estimates.
Question put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
Chun slánú do dhéanamh ar an soláthar a deonadh i gcóir seirbhísí na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1925, go ndeontar suim £20,964,541 as an bPrimh-Chiste.
That towards making good the supply granted for the services of the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, the sum of £20,964,541 be granted out of the Central Fund.
Major COOPER: I would like to ask the President about this. Are we to gather that the sum of nearly twentyone millions is in addition to nearly thirty-two millions included in the Estimates?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: No, this is the same Vote.
Major COOPER: I would like an explanation.
The PRESIDENT: The sum I am moving is included in the thirty-one millions, and something like ten millions have already been voted on account.
Major COOPER: This is an issue out of the Central Fund?
The PRESIDENT: Yes.
Major COOPER: I thought it was for judges' salaries and so forth.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: This is the total amount in the book of Estimates minus the amount voted on account.
Question put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT (for Minister for Finance): I move:—
Go n-aontuíonn an Dáil leis an gCoiste sa Rún san.
 That the Dáil agree with the Committee in said Resolution.
Question put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move for permission to bring in a Bill to apply a sum out of the Central Fund to the service of the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, and to appropriate the further supplies granted in this Session of the Oireachtas.
Question put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move that Standing Orders be suspended to allow the remaining stages of the Bill to be taken this evening.
Question put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
That the Bill be read a Second time.
Question put and agreed to.
The Bill passed through Committee.
Bill reported without amendment.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
That the Bill be received for final consideration.
Question put and agreed to.
The PRESIDENT: I move:—
That the Bill do now pass.
Mr. A. BYRNE: Might I say a word on a matter that has not been touched on during the whole course of the debate? It refers to the system of the valuation of property in Dublin. I heard of a case within the last three weeks in which a shopkeeper spent £10 on corrugated iron for the purpose of repairing a shed in a back yard. An official from the Valuation Department came along, and wrote up the improvements  to the property to such an extent that the valuation was increased by £100 a year. I think before such a system of valuation could be put into effect or a tax levied on property for the sake of £10 repairs, that the actual cost of repairs which resulted in a business man's premises being increased in value by £100 should be taken into consideration.
I say that actions like that do prevent the owners of business premises in Dublin getting done the alterations and the improvements that they require. I would suggest to the Minister that, before a man's business premises are valued by such an increased sum as this I have mentioned, he should be notified that the authorities are about to increase it, and that the first he should hear of the increase in valuation should not be a demand notice from the local council for the increased rate. Under the present system an official goes in as if he was almost a secret service man to look around and see the improvements that are made, and no notice whatever that they are going to increase the valuation, so as to afford the man an opportunity of appealing to the court, is given; the rate is struck, and when he receives his rate note then he is informed that he may appeal to the Courts for a remission of rates not on the current demand but on next year's demand. I hold that such a method of increasing the valuation is altogether wrong. If a man considers it advisable to repair his premises and if the cost of the repairs is only £10, I think it is not fair that the valuation of his house should increase by £100, involving a permanent increase in his rent at the present rates of £75 to £80 a year—all this simply because he spent £10 in repairs.
I am aware that there are many owners of business premises in Dublin who would rebuild their shops and shop fronts and give considerable employment if it was not for the fear that the moment they touch a brick or a piece of board in the premises some authority may come down upon them practically treble their valuation and put a permanently increased rent on the premises. I would ask the Minister to consider the point I have made  and to give the citizens who make these alterations some opportunity of appearing before some Department and giving reasons why, because of repairs, their valuations should not be increased by such an enormous sum as in the case of this house which I have mentioned.
The PRESIDENT: This is the first time I have heard of a case in which an expenditure of £10 entailed an increase in valuation of £100; and I hesitate to credit such an extraordinary increase in valuation as that. There are two courses open to a person whose premises have been revalued. One is to apply to the valuation office for a revision of that valuation; and the second one is, if he does not wish to take the first, to apply to the Courts. I have never heard in my lifetime of an increase on the valuation of ten times the amount expended in repairs by reason of such repairs.
I had personal experience of this matter many years ago, and the person affected had an opportunity of meeting the Valuation Officer and of going into the matter with him. There was a subsequent re-valuation in connection with the Budget, I think, of 1909; and every opportunity was afforded to the person affected to put his case, and place the Valuation Officer in possession of all the facts. I hesitate to believe that the increase in valuation mentioned by Deputy Byrne could have been as a result of an expenditure of £10, from the fact that Dublin has been re-valued within ten or twelve years. Were it to have occurred in Cork or Waterford, or a place which has not been re-valued for a great number of years, then different circumstances would have come into play. But in the case of the City of Dublin I cannot understand it.
Mr. A. BYRNE: The point I want to make is this: that the first the man hears of his valuation being increased by such a sum is the demand notice from the local Council for the rates on the increased amount, and that even if he goes to the courts he has only an opportunity of getting the valuation brought back to the normal amount for the next year, and not for the year in which the valuation was raised. I do  not want to be caught in making a statement which is not correct. I say that the cost of corrugated iron to repair the shed was £10. The labour probably was another £10. I do not want to be caught in an inaccurate statement.
Question: “That the Bill do now pass”—put and agreed to.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: This is a Money Bill for the purposes of Article 35 of the Constitution.
The PRESIDENT: Deputy Morrissey put a question to me to-day which I am now in a position to answer. The Deputy asked the President whether his attention had been called to the statement recently made by the British Minister for Home Affairs that the Irish Grants Committee is empowered to recommend grants or loans to refugees from Northern Ireland; whether he is aware of any branch of this committee sitting in Dublin which will consider applications from refugees, who are still unable to return home to Belfast and other places in the Six North Eastern Counties for grants or loans; and, if so, if he will state to whom should such applications be made.
The reply is: I am aware of the existence of an Irish Grants Committee, which I understand makes grants to persons alleged to have been forced to leave Ireland who are living in England, but there is no branch of this committee sitting in Dublin. The committee, so far as I am aware, deals only with the cases of persons who have fled from Ireland to England. Accommodation and relief were afforded to refugees from the Northern Area in the Saorstát, the work in this connection having been dealt with by a special section in the Department of Local Government and Public Health. A sum of £17,651 4s. 2d. was expended in this respect up to the 31st March, 1924. That sum was recouped, I understand, by the British Government.
Mr. JOHNSON: Is the Minister aware that in the current estimates of the British Parliament there is a sum of £18,036 being paid by the Northern Government to the British Government  in connection with compensation to refugees, and that the answer that was given by the British Minister for Home Affairs has reference to people who were obliged to leave their homes in Northern Ireland, and who were residing in the Free State area? Are we to understand that the Irish Grants Committee will not deal with cases of refugees from Northern Ireland who are forced to reside in the Free State?
The PRESIDENT: I do not know whether it would extend to them, but if there are such cases they could apply to the Minister for Local Government, and if he recommends payment in respect of them I will undertake to find the money, and to see if it can be recouped. I believe it will be recouped.
The PRESIDENT: I move that we adjourn until this day week. I would like to consult the convenience of members, and I would say, provisionally, that we meet at 12 o'clock on Friday.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: And the further adjournment?
The PRESIDENT: Will be till the 21st October, unless we have to sit the following day, which I do not think is likely.
Mr. ESMONDE: What kind of business will be done?
The PRESIDENT: It depends almost entirely on what recommendations we get from the Seanad in connection with the Appropriation Bill and other Bills.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The business will be entirely business from the Seanad, I think.
The PRESIDENT: I think we passed the second stage of two measures to-day.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Yes two Private Bills.
Mr. JOHNSON: Are these matters to be dealt with at our next sitting?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The Oireachtas Witnesses Oaths Bill and the Private Bill Costs Bill are ordered for next Friday. These Bills are really  promoted by the Joint Committee on Standing Orders for private business in connection with their work. The Committee Stage has been ordered for Friday, and if Deputies take any objection to proceeding with them on Friday they may not be proceeded with and they can be held over until October.
Major COOPER: The matter is not one of great urgency in regard to Private Bills, because I believe no committee will sit before October, but there is a certain urgency as regards giving commissions or joint committees power to subpoena witnesses and taking evidence on oath. I understand that the Greater Dublin Commission is anxious to have this power. If that is so, the proceedings of that Commission would have to be held up until the Bill became law.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: No, that Body would not have the power under this Bill, I am afraid.
Major COOPER: If necessary an amendment could be made in it.
Mr. GOREY: If we are not to conclude at 4 o'clock on Friday it would be more satisfactory if we were to begin on Thursday.
The PRESIDENT: I am consulting the convenience of Deputies in that connection. I think some might come along for the opening of the Tailteann Games. In any case it would give the Seanad almost the maximum amount of time for the consideration of the Bills, and we could sit if necessary also on Saturday. It seems as if we were leaving the Seanad a very short space of time to deal with the measures, quite a large number of them. It would be a mistake to come back at an earlier date than the day perhaps that they would be ready. I was thinking of giving the maximum amount of time to them.
Mr. BYRNE: May I ask will the usual procedure be in operation on Friday, and that Deputies' questions will be answered on that day?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Certainly.
Mr. JOHNSON: I do not know whether these two Bills are likely to require much attention, but would the President advise me whether it would be competent for a Committee of a single House to subpæna witnesses and administer oaths under this Bill?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Oh, yes. The Bill provides for a Committee of either House or a Joint Committee. It goes further than that:—
“Any Committee of either house of the Oireachtas, and any Joint Committee of both Houses of the Oireachtas, may administer an oath to a witness examined before such Committee.”
Professor MAGENNIS: You must first catch your witness, before you administer the oath.
Major COOPER: The Courts Bill, I think is not a very satisfactory measure. Being a measure of urgency the British model was followed, but I think the British model is not a perfect one. The draftsman is overworked, and in order to simplify matters a temporary Bill was brought in and the British model was followed to cover the situation until it is possible to get a permanent measure.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Power is given to make adaptations by order. Except these two Bills there will be no further business, and if these Bills prove in any way contentious they will not be taken. That is the position. The other business will be altogether business from the Seanad.
The Dáil adjourned at 8.5 p.m. until 12 o'clock, Friday, 1st August.
TOMAS O CONAILL: asked the Minister for Finance whether the claim of Mrs. K.M. Freeley, of Thomas Street, Kiltimagh, for damage done to her stock and premises by British Forces on the night of the 27th March, 1921, amounting to £756 16s. 0d., has yet been settled, and, if not, whether steps will be taken to have settlement of same expedited.
MINISTER for FINANCE (Mr. Blythe): The claim of Mrs. K.M. Freeley, referred to by the Deputy, was duly considered by the Compensation (Ireland) Commission and has been ruled by them to be outside the scope of their terms of reference. It is not  possible at present definitely to state whether this case will be dealt with by any body which may be constituted to deal with matters not falling within the Commission's terms of reference.
TOMAS O CONAILL: asked the Minister for Finance whether a claim for compensation has been received from the dependents of Thomas Mullen, of Timmiduane, Cloonlern Post Office, Co. Galway, who lost his life as a result of injuries received from British Forces on March 2nd, 1921; whether a decree of £600 compensation was granted on the 11th January, 1922, to these dependents; whether he will explain the cause of the delay in settling this claim, and if, in view of the poverty of the claimants, he will expedite settlement.
MINISTER for FINANCE: An application for payment of the decree referred to has been received, and the necessary investigations are proceeding in order to determine whether liability for payment should rest with the Government of Saorstát Eireann or with the British Government. It is hoped that the matter will be disposed of at an early date.
TOMAS O CONAILL: asked the Minister for Finance whether a claim for £100, for personal injuries resulting from a raid by British Forces on January 1st, 1921, had been lodged with the Compensation (Ireland) Commission on behalf of Mrs. Shortall, Annagortha, Ballykeeran, Athlone; whether this claim has yet been considered by the Commission, and, if not, whether, in view of the poor circumstances and bad health of the claimant, he will expedite the hearing of the claim, so that a settlement may be reached and payment made.
MINISTER for FINANCE: The application of the person named by the Deputy has been considered by the Compensation (Personal Injuries) Committee, who have recommended that no compensation should be paid.
TOMAS O CONAILL: asked the Minister for Finance if he will expedite the hearing by the Compensation (Personal Injuries) Committee of the claim of Mrs. Annie Carty, Carrowmore, Knock, Claremorris, for compensation in respect of the death of her husband, whose death was due to repeated beatings which he received from British Forces in the period from the 26th September, 1920, to April, 1921.
MINISTER for FINANCE: The application of the person named by the Deputy has been considered by the Compensation (Personal Injuries) Committee, who have recommended that no compensation should be paid.
TOMAS O CONAILL: asked the Minister for Finance if he has received a claim from Mr. J. Callaghan, National Teacher, Burncourt, Clogheen, Co. Tipperary, for compensation for the sum of £36, taken from his house during a raid by National Troops from Mitchelstown on the 27th January, 1922, and if he will have enquiries made with a view to settling this claim.
MINISTER for FINANCE: I have not received the claim referred to Claims of this kind are dealt with in the Department of Defence, and the Deputy should address his enquiries to that Department.
TOMAS O CONAILL: asked the Minister for Finance if he is yet in a position to state whether the claim for £275, compensation for personal injuries, and £19 10s. costs, awarded to Mr. Patrick Killelea, Boughill, Ballyforan, Ballinasloe, for wounds received through being shot by members of the R.I.C. on the 28th September, 1920, has been settled, and, if not, whether he will look into the matter with a view to its being settled at an early date.
MINISTER for FINANCE: The necessary investigations in regard to  this case have not yet been completed. It is hoped, however, that the matter will be disposed of at an early date.
TOMAS O CONAILL: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health whether he has received a claim for old age pension from Mr. Thomas Nevin, Woodford, Co. Galway; whether this claim has been refused on the grounds that the means of the claimant disqualify him from pension, and, if so, whether he will state on what basis the claimant's means were calculated.
MINISTER for LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Mr. Burke): This claim was disallowed on the 21st May last, on the ground of means. The circumstances of the case were specially investigated locally by an inspector from my Department. The claimant is maintained on a farm of 20 acres, which was made over to his daughter on marriage. It carries the usual stock, and as the value of the benefits and privileges enjoyed were estimated to exceed £49 17s. 6d. a year, no pension could be allowed.
TOMAS DE NOGLA: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if any applications have been received from the residents of Macroom, Millstreet, Newmarket and Kanturk, to have telephone facilities placed at their disposal; and, if so, whether he intends to extend the telephone to these areas.
MINISTER for POSTS and TELEGRAPHS (Mr. Walsh): Applications have been received for telephone facilities in the areas in question and as soon as the necessary enquiries have been completed I will communicate the result to the Deputy.
DOMHNALL O MUIRGHEASA: asked the Minister for Defence if he will expedite payment of an account due to Mr. Francis Slattery, Pearse Street, Nenagh, for a typewriter supplied to the Military Barracks, Nenagh, on February 22nd, 1922.
The PRESIDENT: Mr. Slattery's account is at present under consideration by the Stationery Office, which department is responsible for its settlement. I am informed that the discharge of the claim is being expedited.
TOMAS O CONAILL: asked the Minister for Defence if he is yet in a position to state whether the account due to Mr. P.J. Melville, Draper, Bridge Street, Gort, amounting to £46 11s. 3d. has been paid; whether an officer of the National Forces called on Mr. Melville to obtain particulars of this account, and if he will take steps to have the matter settled immediately.
The PRESIDENT: An officer called on Mr. Melville in May last and ascertained particulars of outstanding accounts amounting to 15s. and £44 11s. 5d. The former account was paid on the 19th ultimo. The latter, having been incurred in 1921, has not yet been disposed of. Settlement of all liabilities contracted by Oglaigh na hEireann prior to the inception of the late Provisional Government will be considered as soon as the Indemnity Bill, 1924, is enacted. It is expected that this will be shortly. Mr. Melville's unsettled account will then receive attention.
TOMAS O CONAILL: asked the Minister for Defence whether a claim has been received from Mr. P.G. Gilmore, draper, of Mountbellew, Co. Galway, for blankets supplied to troops at Mountbellew on October 29th, 1922; whether the officer to whom the goods were supplied, and who is now in the Gárda Síochána, has certified as to the correctness of the claim, and, if so, whether he will make an order for payment at an early date.
The PRESIDENT: Mr. Gilmore's claim was received in the Department of Defence on the 17th instant. The letter from Guard Kelly which accompanied the claim does not afford verification of the quantity and price of the goods supplied to the Army, and further enquiries are, therefore, necessary before payment may be made. These enquiries will be made as quickly as possible.
TOMAS O CONAILL: asked the Minister for Defence if the claim of Mrs. E. O'Carroll, High Street, Tuam, for £24 19s. 0d., due for bread supplied to the National Forces during the months of September and October, 1922, has yet been settled; whether he is aware that the cheque for £39 9s. 0d. issued on the 29th December, 1922, does not include this claim, and whether he will have the matter inquired into with a view to expediting payment.
The PRESIDENT: Mrs. Carroll's account, amounting to £39 9s. 0d., which was discharged on the 29th December, 1922, includes items amounting to £26 13s. 0d. in respect of bread supplied to troops in September and October, 1922. She is being communicated with in order that any misapprehension in the matter may be cleared up.