GÁRDA SÍOCHÁNA ALLOWANCES ORDER. - IN COMMITTEE ON FINANCE.

Thursday, 13 May 1926

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 15 No. 14

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Motion made by the Minister for Finance on the 6th May:—

Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar £1,625,470 chun slánuithe na suime is gá chun íoctha Mhuirir a thiocfidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1927, chun Costas an Airm, maraon le Cúl-thaca an Airm.

That a sum not exceeding £1,625,470 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, 1927, for the cost of the Army, including Army Reserve.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  On sub-head 5, I should like to ask the Minister if he has any basis for the calculation of the amount—£1,000—for conveyance of surrendered arms? Has he any means of ascertaining whether that amount will cover the service? Does he know exactly where these arms are, where they will be required to be conveyed to, and whether they will be lifted this year or not? Has he anything to put before us to assure us that this sum of £1,000 will be spent this year for this service?

MINISTER for DEFENCE (Mr. Hughes): Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  The sum put down is an estimated sum. I could not inform the Deputy whether 300 or 500 people will receive permits from the Gárda to get these arms returned to them or not. But I know that we have a very large quantity of arms in store. I think there is also a large quantity still in England to be transferred. Whether the people will come along in large numbers and whether delivery will be expedited in such a way that it will involve the sum of £1,000, I am not in a position to say. All we can do is put down what we think, from past experience, is a reasonable sum to cover the service. It would be impossible for [1547] anybody to estimate the sum with any exactness.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I was under a misapprehension. I take it that this sum of £1,000 is to cover the cost of handing back arms to people who surrendered them.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  Yes.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Then it is not as I thought. I thought the sum was intended to cover the conveyance of arms which are at present in concealment, and which the Minister anticipated would be surrendered in the financial year.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  The cost in that connection would hardly be so high.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I thought your hopes were rather high. On sub-head K, may I ask the Minister—reverting to a question I frequently ask in this connection—whether in estimating the cost of provisions per person he has taken into account what other people who are not in the Army are allowed, by way of wages, to purchase provisions? On this basis—not an unreasonable basis, I admit—we would get some clue to the amount of wages a workman should earn if he is to keep himself and his family in something like comfort, speaking dietetically. It is useful to know that, with wholesale purchase of provisions, the men in the Army require this sum to keep them in health. I deduce from that that a man working in an ordinary occupation in civilian life would require just as much food, purchased retail, and that, therefore, he would require wages commensurate with the sum involved in the purchase of rations. I estimate the sum at 11/2 per week per man.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I do not propose to enter into the question as to the amount a man is entitled to get for the maintenance of himself and his family. I prefer to leave that question to the Minister for Industry and Commerce. We estimate that it takes 1/7 per day per man to feed our soldiers, giving them a fairly decent ration. The other question as to wages does not concern my Department.

[1548]Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  That is the difference between one Minister and the other. The Minister for Defence feels that it is necessary that the men in the army should be fed. Other Ministers do not take that question into consideration, and they fix wages at a sum less than would enable the men concerned to feed themselves and their families on the scale deemed necessary for the army.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  I move to reduce sub-head M by £30,000, which, in fact, represents the excess of this sub-head over the previous year. It is £123,000 this year. Last year it was £93,000, and the year before £85,000. When I put down this amendment I had not the advantage of having the Minister's opening statement on these Estimates, and I put it down with a view to obtaining an explanation of this considerable increase. The Minister gave it when he was opening the general discussion on the Estimates by saying that last year the army had quantities of clothing on hands, and I suppose that was also the case in 1924. At the same time I do not know if there are any quantities of clothing still on hand, and whether this is the highest figure that this Vote is going to reach, because it is unduly high. The annual cost of clothing per man is a little under £8. I think that calculation is right. I have taken it that we have 12,500 N.C.O's. and men in the army at present, and £99,400 is the item put down for their clothing. That works out at nearly £8 a head—£7 19s. I think. That is considerably in excess of the British rates. But it is very hard to get the exact British rates, because they are complicated by so many auxiliary forces, territorials and so on, who do not wear uniform all the year round. The best basis of comparison I have been able to get is the figure given me by the Minister as to the cost of clothing supplied to a soldier on enlistment. The cost of the clothing supplied to the members of our Army on enlistment is £14 15s. The cost of clothing of the British infantry soldier— and I think that is the fairest comparison, for there is no use in comparing the National Army with the Life [1549] Guards or with the bandsmen in the British Army, who get scarlet tunics and all sorts of extra equipment—the cost of clothing of the British infantry soldiers, including allowances for upkeep, is £12 15s. 3d. That is to say, our initial cost is £2 per head more than the cost of the British infantry soldier.

It is natural and inevitable that our cost should be higher than the British cost, because they are buying on a larger scale, and for some of the articles required they have set up a factory. I do not want to make an unfair comparison, but I do say that an excess of £2 is inclined to be too much of a difference in the cost of the initial outfit. I do not want our soldiers to be badly clothed; I do not want the Minister to go out and buy shoddy material for our soldiers because it will not pay in the long run, but I am inclined to think that we are spending too much on clothing. The expenditure is increasing and will increase if it is not drastically checked. Therefore I move the amendment standing in my name.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I think Deputy Cooper does admit that when putting down the amendment he had not the full facts of the case before him. He is quite right when he compares the cost of the British Army's initial outfit and ours. The difference is practically £2. When you come to the replacements in subsequent years, the figures do not altogether bear this out. Our subsequent annual cost is £10 as against £9 16s. in Britain. There is not much point in that. The point is that our materials and our clothing are bought by the Contracts Committee, not purchased directly by the Army. They are purchased through the Contracts Committee, who transfer the charge to us. Along with that, the reason given by Deputy Cooper is quite correct. There was a good deal of clothing on hands last year. At the time when we had 55,000 men in the Army, clothing had to be got for them and got hurriedly, and perhaps at that particular time it was not the very best. Everyone, I suppose, will agree that when you have to do things in a hurry you do not do them so very well as when you have [1550] leisure. That stock of clothing is practically exhausted. We are starting a Reserve this year, and that Reserve will have to be clothed and equipped. The reason for the abnormal sum this year is because of having to clothe and equip the Reserve. That equipment must be got, and it might be looked upon as a capital investment because the Reserve clothing will last a man as long as he is in the Reserve, probably six or seven or ten years.

That is one of the reasons why the cost seems to be so heavy this year. I do not think that beyond that there is anything that I can say that would give an explanation that the Deputy might accept. The reason is, as I say, that a Reserve is being formed, and this Reserve, consisting of 4,500 men, must be clothed. The expenditure on this clothing will be a capital investment. These clothes will be kept in store to be handed out each year to the soldier going on training.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Will the Minister tell us whether the surplus stocks of boots, coats, blankets, etc., that were referred to as being on hand on October 31st have been taken into account in estimating for these requirements? Or whether it is thought that these stores, having been bought in particular circumstances, are now unsatisfactory, and are to be all disposed of and new stores provided? Perhaps the Minister does not recognise what I am referring to.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I do, I think.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  There were 3,660 pairs of boots, supposed to be valued at £2,867, surplus on 31st October, 1925; 20,000 great-coats, valued at approximately £40,000; 85,537 blankets, valued approximately at £14,000, and so on. What I desire to know is whether, taking those surplus stores into account, it is proposed to call upon them to make up the requirements that the Minister has now outlined, or whether it is proposed that these old stores should be disposed of at a price which it is estimated under sub-head Z—Appropriations-in-Aid, at £23,000, while the value is estimated to be £77,000. In general, what I desire to [1551] know is whether it is intended to call upon this old surplus for the purpose of renewing the requirements, or whether they are to be sold because of unsuitability for the new needs.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  The surplus of the articles that the Deputy mentions is there, with the probable exception of the boots. A soldier gets two pairs of boots in the year, and I think that surplus must be absorbed by now from October last. But as far as great-coats or blankets are concerned we are not purchasing any; we are keeping what is in stock, and they should last us for a couple of years more. The clothing we are purchasing now is the ordinary regimental suit and the outfit that the soldier gets, first and foremost what the recruit gets on coming in, and then the replacements every year. We are not purchasing great-coats or blankets, but if anyone wants to buy a couple of thousand blankets we will be very happy to consider any reasonable offer. We have considered some.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Perhaps the Minister would be able to satisfy our curiosity if he would see whether there are among the Gárda Síochána any considerable number of men whom these boots would fit. We saw some of these boots, and one might imagine that they were built for experimental voyages across the Atlantic.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I am not a judge of policemen's boots.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  The Minister has met my amendment by putting forward two arguments. The first is that though he agrees that our initial cost of outfit is about £2 above the British, our cost for renewals and replacements compares very much more favourably. I accept the statement, but I want to remind him that ours is a short-service Army, a two years' service Army, shorter service than the British, and the result is that every two years you have to give men these expensive initial outfits. I suggest re-organisation on these lines—a cheaper initial outfit and greater latitude of replacement for these men who are prepared to stay in [1552] the Army for longer than two years. Surely that would be an economy on the whole. The second argument that the Minister brought forward was that the increase in the Vote was due to meet the cost of the Army Reserve. Are we going to buy the clothes before we have a Reserve? How many men have we enrolled in the Reserve?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  None.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Therefore we are to provide the clothes before we have the men, and before we know the sizes of the men. We are to buy stock sizes in the hope that the men will fit the clothes. This is a case for a Supplementary Estimate. We do not know what the sizes of the men will be. You may find small men of better character than big men, and vice versa. Also, the clothing will not be improved by being kept in store. If you go into any mobilisation store and examine clothing you find that it needs constant care. Let us get the men and then buy the clothes, and in any case when we have a Reserve let us not include them under sub-head M: let the Reserve come into its proper place under the Army Reserve sub-head, so that we will know exactly what it will cost. There is already an item under Army Reserve—“Clothing, cleaning and fumigating after training.” You are going to put the clothes under one sub-head and to clean and fumigate them under another. I suggest that we should have the total cost of the Army Reserve under that head, and that the Minister should not throw the clothing of the Reserve into the general Army Vote. It makes all comparisons difficult. The clothing of the Reserve, who only come up for three weeks' training, will have a much longer life, even if it does deteriorate in store, than other clothing that is worn every day. I am going to press my amendment, because this is bad estimating and bad policy, and I am not satisfied that this clothing is needed at present.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I am surprised that a Deputy with the experience of Deputy Cooper should put forward the proposition that you should first get men, and when you had them you should [1553] clothe them. That is a proposition that I am sure the Deputy does not put forward seriously.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  They are not called up the minute you enrol them.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  We are establishing a Reserve, and we propose to call them up for a period this year. If I were to take men off the street, every one of whom had a different type of suit, and some of them, perhaps, with not very much of a suit at all, put them in with people who have uniforms and send them out on the streets, I am sure the Deputy would come to the House in a tearing rage and ask what the Minister meant by sending out men to make such a show of the Army.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  The Deputy has had to take men under these conditions himself.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  That is the reason why I want to have clothing for them [1554] before they come in. With regard to the point that the Deputy makes about sizes, everyone knows that no matter what force you have, you buy clothing in certain stock sizes, and it works out fairly well, taking it all round. You do not have all small men or all big men; you have them big and little, and the clothing is bought accordingly. Size 5 fits a certain size of man and size 6 another, and so on, and surely nobody would be foolish enough to order all size 6 or all size 10. You want a proportion of each, and I think the policy of having the clothing before you get the men to put into it is a good one. If we waited until October to get clothing for men we would have in September that policy might then be condemned by Deputy Cooper much more than he has condemned the present one.

Motion put.

John Conlan.
Bryan R. Cooper.
Séamus Eabhróid.
Connor Hogan.
Séamus Mac Cosgair.
Maolmhuire Mac Eochadha.
Tomás Mac Eoin.
Tomás O Conaill.
Aodh O Cúlacháin.
Eamon O Dubhghaill.
Mícheál O Dubhghaill.
Seán O Duinnín.
Mícheál O hlfearnáin.
Domhnall O Mocháin.
Tadhg O Murchadha.
Liam Thrift.

Earnán de Blaghd.
Séamus Breathnach.
Seoirse de Bhulbh.
Séamus de Búrca.
Máighréad Ní Choileáin Bean
Uí Dhrisceóil.
James Dwyer.
Desmond Fitzgerald.
John Hennigan.
Seosamh Mac a' Bhrighde.
Donnchadh Mac Con Uladh.
Liam Mac Cosgair.
Seán MacCurtain.
Pádraig Mac Fadáin.
Patrick McGilligan.
Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
Liam Mac Sioghaird.
Pádraig Mag Ualghairg.
Martin M. Nally.
John T. Nolan.
Michael K. Noonan.
Peadar O hAodha.
Mícheál O hAonghusa.
Seán O Bruadair.
Parthalán O Conchubhair.
Conchubhar O Conghaile.
Séamus O Dóláin.
Peadar O Dubhghaill.
Pádraig O Dubhthaigh.
Eamon O Dúgáin.
Aindriú O Láimhín.
Séamus O Leadáin.
Fionán O Loingsigh.
Séamus O Murchadha.
Seán O Raghallaigh.
Máirtín O Rodaigh.
Seán O Súilleabháin.
Seán Príomhdhall.

Motion declared lost.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  I do not propose to move my next amendment. I want to make a few remarks under the sub-head. I do not propose to move the amendment because I put it down before the Minister explained that the increase in sub-head N was due to the fact that he has transformed part of the mechanical system in transport to horse-transport. That is borne out by [1555] the fact that there is a substantial reduction on mechanical transport. It is £29,000 this year, and it was £47,000 last year. A saving has been effected greater than the increase in this Vote. I should like to say that so far as transport is concerned I welcome the Minister's decision. It will make for economy and the Army will not suffer from the point of view of efficiency. To me it is a better sight to see a waggon drawn by two horses which are well looked after than to see a motor lorry going about emitting poisonous smoke. It has an additional advantage. The motor lorry uses imported petrol while the horse is fed on Irish hay and oats. So far as transport is concerned, I am glad the Minister has made this change. He said the change was due partly to that and partly to the decision to bring artillery up to strength in horses. There is at present a tendency in the armies of the world to do away with horse transport for artillery and to rely on motor transport. There are machines called “dragons” which carry a crew of men and at the same time act as tractors. They are something of the tank type, but are open. They have caterpillar tracks like tanks and can haul the guns over the ground. They are still in the experimental stage. I cannot help thinking that the artillery is not up to strength in horses. It is very discouraging for an artillery officer if he cannot turn out his guns because he has not sufficient horses for them. It might be wise if the Minister experimented with horses in one battery and in the other with mechanical transport.

I am inclined to think that so far as transport is concerned the horse is done. Artillery has sometimes to cover great distances in a comparatively short space of time. A horse cannot do it but a tractor can. But in your ordinary supplies you do not need the same speed. If you need mechanical transport in time of war, which we all hope we may not see, you can commandeer civilian lorries. So far as artillery is concerned there is a difference. I suggest the Minister may be unwise in still pinning his faith to [1556] the horse. I am not moving the amendment, as I do not want to challenge the decision of a Minister, but I suggest, in the coming year, he might get some artillery officer to look into the question of transport.

I turn from that to the fact that there is in this sub-head a sum of £3,000 for chargers. That appears to me to be a large sum. Assuming that you can buy a charger for £60, and I think that is an outside estimate because you can get a very good trooper for £30, that means a charger for fifty officers. We have only sixty-four officers above the rank of commandant and I imagine some of them have chargers already. I hope the Minister, when he deals with the Vote, will tell us what is the necessity for this comparatively large number of chargers, because if ever there was an army in which a large number of officers did not require to be mounted, it is our Army. Our proportion of officers to men is large; our units are small, and it is when you have large bodies of men operating over a wide area that officers need chargers. If chargers are going to be issued to infantry officers there is less justification for them in our Army than in any other European army.

We have fewer men than last year, yet it is necessary to vote £3,000 for chargers as against £800 last year. On these two points I would like to have some explanation from the Minister.

Mr. CONNOR HOGAN: Information on Conor Hogan  Zoom on Conor Hogan  As regards the Estimate for medicines, I notice that the sum put down is £1,450. That does not include the pay of veterinary officers. We have two of these officers at £766 per annum. We have not been told the number of horses in the Army and I would like to know how many we have, but in any event the sum of £1,450 for medicines appears to be colossal. For feeding, the sum is £23,200, and for shoeing and stable accessories the amount is £1,885. Are horses going to cost us as much in medicines as in shoes? Any farmer will tell you that a farm horse costs practically nothing for medicine. If you have 1,500 horses the amount for medicine [1557] would represent £1 per horse, which seems to be grossly excessive.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  I notice that the Minister has increased the cost of forage very considerably. It was £18,000 last year, and this year it is £23,200, whereas the cost of shoeing has only gone up by £85. I presume extra forage means more horses, and if there are extra horses will not there be more shoes, unless, of course, shoeing is to be done less frequently?

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I would like to ask the Minister whether there is going to be any wastage this year. There was a sum of £423 charged last year for wastage but nothing is charged this year.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  As regards horse transport, the greater portion of the estimate is for artillery. Sometimes we have had to hire horses, not, perhaps, for team purposes, but for the purpose of mounting officers. We also had to hire horses in order to mount officers who had to appear at parades and ceremonials. This year we propose to bring the number of horses up to what are the normal requirements. Deputy Connor Hogan talks about a sum of £1,450 for medicines. That represents a cost of £2 10s. 0d. per horse per annum, and includes veterinary attendance in places, for instance, such as Castletownbere and Buncrana. If we were to send all the sick horses to the Curragh or to Dublin and to pay for their transport it would be very expensive. We have two veterinary surgeons, but they cannot be travelling at night all over the country from Donegal to Cork and Kerry. They look after the horses generally, and look after the purchases, but when a horse gets sick we must call in the local veterinary surgeon. I may say that the amount there represents the normal expenditure. I do not think that we have any sum set aside for wastage, but I think it is quite apparent that there is bound to be some wastage where you have a number of horses. Portion of what might be termed wastage comes in under Appropriations-in-Aid in cases where horses are sold. The probability is [1558] that, from our experience last year, it was not necessary to put in any sum for wastage in the estimate.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I would like if the Minister would tell us what is the position regarding horses for ceremonial occasions—to what extent are we supplying horses for ceremonial purposes? I take it there is not a cavalry regiment in the Army.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  There is a very small troop.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Very small and, therefore, rather useless. I think it is difficult to justify even the very small expenditure on cavalry unless they are for some use. I would like to hear from the Minister what he has to say in defence of having any cavalry at all, merely for ceremony. There is a good deal of curiosity as to the purpose for which a cavalry force, however small it may be, is required. The question has been raised as to whether it is merely an adjunct to the police force to keep order on racecourses, or what is its purpose? Is it a utilitarian service or merely an embroidery? I think a little information on that point would be acceptable.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  The Minister is not being taken unawares as regards the questions that are being asked on this Vote about medicines for horses. I think if last year's debates on this sub-head are looked up they will be found to provide some very amusing reading. The answers we have got to the questions asked are not sufficient for anybody who knows anything about horses. Some of us have horses.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I used to have one myself.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  I have about seven at present, and in ten years, or in fact I might say twenty years, I never had to have a vet. to attend one of them.

Mr. WOLFE: Information on George Wolfe  Zoom on George Wolfe  You are a lucky man.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  I am sure the Minister has not a stud farm and is not breeding blood stock, so that certain operations have not to be carried out under this Vote. You have 580 horses, and [1559] of that number I would like to know what percentage has been sick. It is no information to say that you are estimating for a sum of £2 10s. for treatment for each sick horse. What we want to know is how many sick horses are in the whole bunch. I should say that not more than 20 of the horses would need the attention of a veterinary surgeon during the year—say, £70 or £80 a horse, for the sick ones. There are two veterinary surgeons on the staff, holding officer rank, at a cost of £766. What sort of treatment, I ask, must the horses be getting from those attending them if, in addition to the cost of the two veterinary surgeons on the Vote, extra veterinary attendance for the army horses costs £1,450? The whole thing, to my mind, is a farce, and I am speaking now as a farmer who knows something about horses. How many horses have we in Cahirciveen and Buncrana and how much per head are they costing? What these horses cost is not detailed for us. Horses in these outside posts are, I understand not attended by the staff veterinary surgeons who are in Dublin. As far as I can make out, the sick horses in these outside places must be costing over £100 per horse.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  Deputy Gorey, as usual, has asked some very straight questions, and I think he deserves to get just as straight an answer. He knows very well that he cannot compare a farm horse, a horse that gets six months' grass, with a horse that is stabled and hard-fed during the whole of the year. The Deputy asked me how many sick horses we will have this year. I cannot answer the question and neither can the Deputy tell me the number.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  It is not my business to tell you. I venture to tell you this: that you have not 50 or even 20 sick horses.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  The case I have made is that from our experience it takes £2 10s. per horse per annum for veterinary attendance and for medicines. If Deputy Gorey thinks that the army can be run with quacks: that every time a [1560] horse gets sick in Cahirciveen or Buncrana or somewhere else you are simply to call in the local quack, who will simply give it a drench that may either kill or cure it——

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  Would it not be much cheaper to kill them?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  If that is the Deputy's conception as to how we should run the Army, I am afraid that if some day he should be Minister for Defence himself he will be subjected to more criticism than I am being subjected to now. I know what horses are, because I have been reared amongst them. I say that, taking into consideration that our horses are stabled and hard-fed the whole year round, the figure here for veterinary attendance and medicines is not an extravagant one. The figure may work out at £2 or £2 5s. or some other sum, but the Estimate before the House is based on actual experience.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Is it based on a contract figure with veterinary surgeons?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  No. If you take into consideration that, say, we have two horses at a post, and that a veterinary surgeon has to be paid a fee for attending them when they get sick, it will be admitted, I think, that the figure put down in the Estimate is not an extravagant one. I know there are farmers who never bring a veterinary surgeon about their place. They are lucky enough not to require one, but there are other farmers who have a vet. about their place every week in the year. I know that of my own knowledge, and this is a matter that you cannot make a hard and fast rule about. This is an Estimate, and if the money is not required it will not be expended. If, for instance, we underestimated for this service and had to come back in December with a Supplementary Estimate we would soon be told that we did not exercise much care in the preparation of the Estimate. The Estimate is, I submit, a reasonable one to enable us to provide a veterinary service for our horses. I agree that if this figure were put down as the cost of veterinary attendance on farm horses it would be extravagant. If any [1561] Deputy tells me that he has to bring a vet. to his place two or three times in the year, and that he is able to get that done for 5/- or 10/- a visit, I think he is making a great mistake, unless, of course, that vets. in some parts of the country work at a very cheap rate. I know that has not been my experience in our part of the country.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Is this an average per horse?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  Yes. You cannot do anything else except make an estimate as to what it is going to cost you per annum for horses of this class in the matter of veterinary attendance and medicine. Deputies know very well that horses kept in towns must get medicine. They know, too, that when anything goes wrong with a horse in a place like the Army you must call in a professional man. If the officer or soldier in charge of the horses did not do that and if a horse died—Deputy Cooper will bear me out in this—the probability is that if the person in charge was not able to give a satisfactory explanation he would be tried for it. That is the reason why these men must take precautions in the care of the horses. From the nature of the case, I do not think that the estimate is an extravagant one.

Mr. CONLAN: Information on John Conlan  Zoom on John Conlan  The Minister has explained that this particular item is divided under two headings, veterinary attendance and the cost of medicine. I contend it is a most unbusinesslike way to put the combined expenditure under the single caption of medicine. It leaves it to anyone to question the item of £1,450 for medicine. If the items had been separated and put under different headings there might not have been so many questions.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  I have listened carefully to the Minister's explanation, and it would convince me, even if I had not already known, that he is a townsman. I know that he is animated by the best intention in the world. I want to know can we get the number of horses attended by these two veterinary surgeons, and how many horses are there outside of that? The sum of £1,450 would buy 48 horses of that class, [1562] allowing £30 for each. Therefore, I would suggest to the Minister that it would be more economical to kill the sick horses at once rather than spend so much for medicines and veterinary attendance on them.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I believe Deputy Gorey would be glad to get these horses. He kills an odd one himself, I think.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  That is a fact. I would advise the Minister to have a deal with the knackers. It would be very interesting to get the number of horses attended by these two veterinary officers. Will the Minister tell us?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I cannot tell you.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  And how many outside that? If we got the answer to these questions the thing would be so ridiculous that it would, perhaps, in other walks of life, be called a scandal. I repeat in all seriousness the suggestion that whenever a horse shows signs of sickness he should be slaughtered. If care were taken with the feeding of the horses, an occasional feed of bran given or any ordinary precaution taken, there would not be so much sickness amongst the horses. The Minister drew from his imagination a picture of the horses out on grass, and there is a certain amount of truth in it, but I say that if ordinary care were taken of the horse who is not out on grass there would not be such a difference between those two classes of horses as the Minister thinks. Speaking as a farmer with some experience of horses, I say that this expenditure of £1,450 cannot be justified, that it is waste of money and you get no return for it.

Mr. WOLFE: Information on George Wolfe  Zoom on George Wolfe  I think this amount, considering that it is for the entire army, is not out of the way. Deputy Gorey says that £2 10s. per horse for medicine and veterinary attendance is extravagant.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  I did not say anything of the sort. I said that taking the number of these horses outside the veterinary jurisdiction it must amount to a much larger sum than £2 10s.

Mr. WOLFE: Information on George Wolfe  Zoom on George Wolfe  I misunderstood you. [1563] Farm horses are, as a rule, free from disease, and give less trouble than any other class of horses, but it is a very different thing with bloodstock.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  Army horses are not bloodstock.

Mr. WOLFE: Information on George Wolfe  Zoom on George Wolfe  It is my experience that the bill for any one horse might be very much in excess of £10 in the year. If a veterinary surgeon is called to attend a horse in one of these outstations his fee may be from one guinea to two guineas per visit. That would run up a bill pretty smartly. On the whole, taking everything into consideration, I do not think it could be said that the expenditure is so very extravagant. The number of horses is 580. There might be an influenza epidemic or one hundred and one things might occur regarding the horses, which might cost a good deal of money, and the average would be much more than £2 10s. per horse. On the whole, I do not think any case has been made for the reduction of this particular item. It never pays to neglect the health of a horse. If you do not take care of horses you will get no value out of them. The two veterinary officers attached to the army could not possibly be running all over the place, but they probably have a general surveillance over all the army horses. Knowing from experience what veterinary bills can be I do not think the amount is out of the way.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  I want to remind the Dáil that the Minister took power to pay tradesmen, farriers amongst others, and I want to know whether or not the farriers are competent to deal with many of these horses. In my experience a good farrier can deal with anything, such as a sore back, a collarbone, or a cracked heel. I think Deputy Wolfe will agree with me in that. In a well administered mounted unit you do not see a veterinary surgeon in your stables twice a year. Your officer or sergeant-farrier is able to look after the horses and to deal with ordinary complaints but not with epidemics, such as ring-worm or influenza.

You are not likely to have epidemics [1564] in the detached stations. In the first place an officer ought to know if the horse has a simple ailment, and the veterinary surgeon should be called in only in the last resort. I would ask the Minister if he would answer my question about chargers.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  In answer to Deputy Cooper, I do not know whether it is seriously suggested that we should have a farrier every place we have two horses. The very big bulk of our horses are shod by outside farriers. We pay so much for shoeing, the same as an ordinary individual would. It is not possible to have a farrier in barracks to treat these horses when anything goes wrong with them. As to chargers, certain of our officers must be mounted, artillery and others. Nobody under the rank of Commandant gets or is allowed to keep a horse in the Army. He is not allowed to have one even on forage. It is only the necessary people and those who must in the ordinary way be mounted that are supplied with horses.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Can the Minister tell the reason for the increase from £800 to £3.000 on chargers?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  We are buying horses this year for the purpose of bringing our mounted services—that is the officers—and the artillery up to the strength that we should have according to regulations. On many occasions we had to hire horses, and it is not satisfactory from any point of view to have to do that. My opinion is that we should have horses of our own for every service for which we require them, and for that reason we purpose this year to bring them up to the strength that is laid down in our regulations and no more. I do not see that there is anything very wrong in that. I cannot see anything wrong in it.

As far as the medicines and the veterinary attendance are concerned, the estimate is, I believe, based on normal figures. That is the best that can be done as far as estimating cost is concerned. Deputy Gorey suggested killing them. I am not going to take his advice. I will not kill any horse or order it to be killed. I will certainly [1565] try to cure a horse, or, if he is not suitable for the Army, I will try to sell him. I will try to get the best price I can for him, and that will come back into the Appropriations-in-Aid.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  Could the Minister tell me in how many stations in the country are horses kept?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  At the moment I cannot tell the Deputy the stations where horses are kept. In the majority of stations at present there are horses, and the reason we are getting more horses is that we are breaking away from mechanical transport in towns and for going short journeys.

If the Deputy thinks that we should get back to mechanical transport and that we ought to decry horse-breeding in the country, that we should bring in everything from America or somewhere else, that we should import petrol instead of buying our own oats and our own hay, of course I will think over it. I believed when we were doing away with mechanical transport to a certain extent, or only using it where it was absolutely essential, that I was doing the right thing, that I was going to give a little fillip to horse-breeding in the country, that I was going to buy the hay and oats that the farmers tell us they cannot sell——

Mr. CONLAN: Information on John Conlan  Zoom on John Conlan  You do not use any Canadian oats?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  No, we only use Irish hay and Irish oats. We are getting the best hay and paying for it at competitive prices.

Mr. P. HOGAN (An Clár): Information on Patrick Hogan  Zoom on Patrick Hogan  That is the reason they are often sick, I suppose.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  If Deputy Conlan thinks that we should get cheaper oats we will have to think it over.

Mr. CONLAN: Information on John Conlan  Zoom on John Conlan  You misunderstood me.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  Perhaps I did. I think there is nothing more to be said on the matter.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  The Minister talked as if he were very fond of encouraging [1566] horse-breeding, but in the same breath he turns down my suggestion about the “knacker.” The Minister is not consistent by any means. If he wishes to be consistent and is anxious to give a fillip to horse-breeding I think he would have taken up my suggestion. We have an estimate of £1,450 for medicine and attendance outside the areas that are attended by these particular veterinary officers. If it costs £760 for the salaries of these two officers, would it not be as well to have a veterinary officer in every place where a horse is kept? It would be just as economical as the present position and we would know where we were. We would not be getting this bill for £1,450 for attendance and medicines. We could have six officers now for that sum, and we would know that we were paying these officers. At present we do not know what we are paying for. I do not make this suggestion as something that ought to be carried out.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I think the Minister could give us information to help us to understand the Vote, as to how many of the 580 horses are normally stationed in the Curragh and how many in Dublin. If he could take these two stations we might draw some conclusion as to the remainder of the country. It should be noted that the £2 10s. per horse per annum that is estimated by the Minister, comes to £3 15s. when we add the salaries of the two veterinary officers, so it is a question of our dealing with the sum of £3 15s. per horse, on the average, per annum, for 580 horses. I think Deputy Gorey has made a case for a further inquiry into this matter as to whether the experience of the past on which the Minister is now building justifies a continuance. I have no doubt the Minister is satisfied that it is costing this £3 15s. per horse per annum. It is sufficient to justify the question as to whether the methods of administration and horse keeping in the past should be continued if it comes to so much money for medicines and veterinary services. That is really the issue that is involved in this question. It may be the experience all right, but does not the experience suggest to the Minister the necessity for a change?

[1567] I am not quite sure whether the Minister was very confident in saying that this average charge could be equalled in any ordinary horse-keeping establishment in the city. I do not know whether there are any city horse-keepers in the House, whether horse-keepers of the present day or past days, who could give us any estimate of the veterinary cost of twenty or thirty horses in the city. I would be very much surprised if it came to an average of £3 15s. per horse. I wonder, for instance, if the Minister could find out by friendly inquiry what the veterinary cost was for Guinness's horses when they did all their business by horse traction, or even to-day, though I do not know if they do much horse traction at present. I was greatly astonished to hear the Minister say that this is a normal charge for veterinary service for a large number of horses, and I think the criticism of Deputy Gorey would justify the Minister in making inquiry as to whether the experience of the past is a good one, or whether it does not indicate the necessity for a change in the administration of this particular service.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I am not in a position, at the moment, to give Deputy Johnson the information he asks for. I do not know how many horses there are in Dublin and how many horses there are at the Curragh, but I do know that we have 580 horses and that we are estimating for a certain sum of money for veterinary attendance and medicine for these horses. Deputy Gorey says it would be cheaper to get twenty veterinary officers and to put one in every station where there are two horses. I wonder did he take any trouble to calculate what twenty veterinary officers would cost.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  I did not say twenty.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I think he wanted one for each station where there was a horse.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  I said the sum asked for would give you four more veterinary officers.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  Four additional officers would cost you about £2,000.

[1568] There would not be any saving in that. You have got to add the cost of transport to that. These officers would have to go around the country on inspection once or twice a week. If the Deputy is serious——

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  I am not serious. The reason I made the suggestion was that one suggestion would not be any more ridiculous than the other.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  One would think from the arguments of Deputy Gorey that we were bound to spend this sum of £2 10s. 0d. per horse, whether it was required or not.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  Are you basing it on previous experience?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I have stated more than once that £2 10s. 0d. is the estimate, and I am standing over that estimate. If it only costs £2, the balance will be refunded.

Mr. CONNOR HOGAN: Information on Conor Hogan  Zoom on Conor Hogan  Does the Minister think that that is sound financial procedure?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I would like the Deputy to tell me what is sound financial procedure.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I object.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I am not surprised. I want to know what Deputy Connor Hogan's conception of sound financial principles are if he does not go on a reasonable estimate based on experience. I know the Deputy has no experience of it. If he had he would not make the suggestions he does.

Mr. GOOD: Information on John Good  Zoom on John Good  Would the Minister say what the expenditure of last year amounted to?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I will try and find out from the Appropriation Accounts. Now this question has been canvassed a good deal. I have gone into it personally and I am standing over that figure.

Mr. CONNOR HOGAN: Information on Conor Hogan  Zoom on Conor Hogan  The Minister is inclined to take great credit to himself that because he estimates for a sum of £2 10s. 0d. per horse per annum that sum need not necessarily be incurred. I questioned him as to whether that was sound financial procedure or otherwise. He has thrown down a challenge [1569] to us to show him that it is wrong. I would refer him, first and foremost, to the several reports of the Committee of Public Accounts upon over-estimating, when the principle has been definitely laid down that an estimate should be based on the closest scrutiny, and on the nearest approach possible to what the actual requirements would be. I speak as a member of the Public Accounts Committee of previous years. We laid it down that all the estimating entailed the imposition of taxation and perhaps would entail a burden on the Exchequer in finding the money, either by taxation or by loan. The Public Accounts Committee has always asked for an explanation from every accounting officer where an over-estimate came before them in the examination of the accounts. The Minister has drawn down the question of experience. I can speak with some experience as a farmer. I believe that no farmer would spend £2 10s. on veterinary attendance in the normal care of an animal, either for operations or attendance on an animal when foaling.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  Operations are very dangerous.

Mr. CONNOR HOGAN: Information on Conor Hogan  Zoom on Conor Hogan  A farmer could not afford to do it. To fix a sum of £2 10s. for each animal anticipates that each animal in the Army service will fall ill during the year. Has he got what we call “crocks” down the country? It appears he is putting down £2 10s. for medicines and veterinary attendance in respect of those horses outside the two stations where the officers are appointed. We have two Veterinary Inspectors. I presume one is stationed in Dublin and the other at the Curragh or in Cork. How many horses are under their charge? I presume it would not be an over-estimate to say that more than half of the 580 horses that the Minister estimates to be in the Army service at the moment are in those stations. We have then 290 horses through the country, and yet it is on the total of 580 that the £2 10s. is based. That represents £5 per horse outside the stations where the veterinary officers are doing duty. If that is the [1570] proposal of the Minister I think it is absolutely indefensible. Can you accept, A Chinn Comhairle, at this stage, an amendment to reduce this sub-head by £1,000? I think £450 is ample provision, and I would be glad if you could take an amendment to reduce the Estimate accordingly. If so I will move it.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I would be prepared to take an amendment to be put immediately, in order to dispose of the discussion.

Mr. CONNOR HOGAN: Information on Conor Hogan  Zoom on Conor Hogan  Then I move a reduction of £1,000 in respect of medicines.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  The Minister has invited us to rely on past experience of expenditure under this sub-head, and he has delivered himself into our hands. I agree with what Deputy Connor Hogan said about over-estimating, and this particular sub-head is one in connection with which the Minister's predecessor over-estimated to a most serious extent. I believe the process is still continuing. I have the Appropriation Accounts for 1924-25 in my hand. They are the most recent accounts that we have. Under subhead—Animals and Forage—the Estimate was £48,032. The actual expenditure was, I think, £15,152—less than one-third of the Estimate—and then the Minister asks us to rely on our experience of the expenditure in the past.

The explanation given by the Department was that the upkeep charges of animals did not reach the extent anticipated. Two years ago the Minister's predecessor applied for £15,000 to buy horses and to maintain and doctor them. Now we are asked for £26,000 for maintenance alone, an increase of £11,000, although experience has shown that you can maintain the horses in the Army for £15,000.

Deputy Johnson, Deputy Connor Hogan and I have had some experience in the Public Accounts Committee of the Minister's Department, and we have, in almost every branch of it, a violent tendency to over-estimate. I believe that there has bee an over-estimation [1571] in this case, and, therefore, I wish to support Deputy Connor Hogan's amendment.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  In the year Deputy Cooper mentioned, I suppose there was little more than half the number of horses in the Army than is estimated for this year. While that might have been all right, it is a fact which I can stand over in this Dáil that we must estimate for the particular class of animals that we want at a particular price.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Is three times the amount needed?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  No, sir. We purpose to buy a certain number of horses this year, and the prices set down for them [1572] are £35 for one class, £60 for another, and £30 for draught horses. Is it contended that the prices are extravagant, and that they cannot be obtained by an ordinary man at a fair for a reasonable class of animal? I do not think the prices are excessive. I do not think the farmer would consider that he was getting too much if he got £30 for a draught horse of five years of age, and I do not think that many farmers would like to sell animals that would make chargers at £60. I do not think they will. As far as the medicines are concerned, that is what the whole hubbub is about, because it is a small item that people can grasp hold of. That is the whole reason of this hour's talk. I am standing for it.

Question put.

John Conlan.
Bryan R. Cooper.
Séamus Eabhróid.
Seán de Faoite.
John Good.
William Hewat.
Connor Hogan.
Séamus Mac Cosgair.
Tomás Mac Eoin.
William Norton.
Tomás O Conaill.
Aodh O Cúlacháin.
Eamon O Dubhghaill.
Mícheál O Dubhghaill.
Seán O Duinnín.
Donnchadh O Guaire.
Domhnall O Mocháin.
Tadhg O Murchadha.
Pádraig O hOgáin (An Clár).

Earnán de Blaghd.
Seoirse de Bhulbh.
Séamus de Búrca.
Máighréad Ní Choileáin Bean Uí Dhrisceóil.
James Dwyer.
Patrick J. Egan.
Desmond Fitzgerald.
John Hennigan.
Seosamh Mac a' Bhrighde.
Donnchadh Mac Con Uladh.
Liam Mac Cosgair.
Seán MacCurtain.
Maolmhuire Mac Eochadha.
Pádraig Mac Fadáin.
Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
Liam Mac Sioghaird.
Pádraig Mag Ualghairg.
Martin M. Nally.
John T. Nolan.
Peadar O hAodha.
Mícheál O hAonghusa.
Seán O Bruadair. Parthalán O Conchubhair.
Conchubhar O Conghaile.
Eoghan O Dochartaigh.
Séamus O Dóláin.
Eamon O Dúgáin.
Aindriú O Láimhín.
Séamus O Leadáin.
Fionán O Loingsigh.
Séamus O Murchadha.
Seán O Raghallaigh.
Máirtín O Rodaigh.
Seán O Súilleabháin.
Caoimhghín O hUigín.
Seán Príomhdhall.

Motion declared lost.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  I move:—

“That sub-head O be reduced by £5.000.”

This is one of those Votes that show a very considerable increase over last year. Last year it was £34,035, and this year it is £52,515. The Minister explained that to a certain extent by saying it was due to the purchase of carts. He indicated that the increase was largely due to the purchase of carts and Army Signal Corps stores. I confess curiosity in regard to this item of £13.631 for Army Signal Corps [1573] stores. Had they no equipment in the past? As a rule there is not much equipment beyond a few batteries and repairing apparatus for telephones; it is not equipment that deteriorates very much with use and, in the circumstances, the expenditure of £13.631 requires explanation.

Deputies will notice that the stores in connection with the Aviation section show a considerable reduction. Last year the Aviation section took £12,800 worth of stores; this year they are only given £4,900. That is a reduction of nearly £8,000. This Vote is increased by over £25,000, an increase of about 76 per cent. on last year's Estimate. Any increase of that kind obviously requires justification.

We get many useful things from this Vote—steel helmets, field kitchens and various other types of equipment that it is proposed to buy. These are very useful things and they are necessary to an army; but there is one item I can lay my finger on—it is on the top of page 267—dealing with armourer's equipment, targets and miscellaneous items, and the amount is £5,578. Armourers' equipment ought not require renewal on a great scale; armourers' equipment usually is composed of tools that last a long time, such as pliers and things of that kind. They do not wear out in one or two years unless very badly used. Targets are not expensive things. They are made of paper and the lightest form of wood and they could be patched up by pasting fresh paper over them.

I dislike the word “miscellaneous,” because I always think that when a Department does not specify what it wants, it is going to be extravagant. I think we should economise to the extent of £5,000 on miscellaneous items. I suggest that this reduction should be made. I have already accused the Department of over-estimating. Basing myself upon the lessons of experience, as the Minister wishes me, I find his is a sub-head that has been grossly over-estimated in the past. In 1924-25 the estimate for general stores was £114,000. The expenditure was not £100,000, and it was not £50,000; it was £27,800. In other words, less than one [1574] quarter of the amount estimated for was spent.

I believe it is the practice of the Department of Defence to over-estimate strongly, under this sub-head, in order that they may have funds to meet overcharges under other sub-heads if there are unforeseen overcharges. On other sub-heads they say, for instance, “we will not buy limbers or G.S. wagons or some signalling stores,” and they use their savings under sub-head O to meet these. To my mind that is all wrong. The Department which has charges which it does not contemplate, in its Estimates, should not, except to a very limited extent, meet them out of savings on other sub-heads, but should come to the Dáil and ask for a supplementary estimate. I am satisfied that this sub-head is inflated and that the whole of the stores estimated at £52,000 are not likely to be required this year. I am proposing a very moderate reduction. I believe that the total Vote can well stand a reduction of 10 per cent.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  There are a number of questions which arise on this sub-head in addition to those raised by Deputy Cooper. Perhaps it would be well to go through them now. For instance, I would like some information about this £13,631 in respect of the Army Signal Corps' stores. I think the caption “watercarts” is perhaps an error. I do not quite understand what gymnasia equipment has to do with watercarts, but, apart from that, a large sum for Army Signal Corps' stores suggests some development of military policy. Does this refer to any new method of signalling, or any new equipment regarding the Signal Corps? I just ask for information. Then, in regard to the Aviation section, the sum for stores is £4,902, as compared with £12,813 last year. I do not know whether it is under this sub-head that one should raise the question of the purchase of aeroplanes. Would they be considered as stores? I presume not.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  No.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Is there any provision for the purchase of aeroplanes under this sub-head?

[1575]Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  No.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I take it that under warlike stores aeroplanes might be considered. I would like further information in regard to the educational scheme. There is a sum of £2,000 requested here in respect of initial equipment. Last year there was £300 asked for in respect of this. I think we should have some information as to the development of this educational scheme, how far it has progressed and whether it is progressing on the lines as suggested and what is its present state. There is obviously an increase in the equipment required and therefore I assume the scheme itself has developed rapidly and I invite the Minister to give us some more information in respect to this educational scheme.

Under the heading “School of Music” there is a sum of £2,212 required for the equipment of bands. I would like to know whether that is additional to the sum granted last year, or whether we are to take it that the moneys granted last year, or some of the moneys granted last year for these bands were not spent and that this is in fact a re-vote. Perhaps the Minister would answer some of these questions and then we might get along a little better.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  I think the heading Deputy Cooper referred to, “Armourers' equipment, targets and miscellaneous” requires explanation. We have an army reduced in numbers and consequently needing less attention. It is not an army on active service. It is not a question of assumption but of actual knowledge that the gun-shops, in the different stations were equipped and adequately equipped to deal with army stores, rifles, and so on, when the army was in an embryo state, when rifles needed attention and were in the hands of men who knew nothing about them and did not keep them clean. Now we have a fairly expert Army and it is in duty bound to attend to its arms. Where this amount of money. £5,578, comes in I am at a loss to know. There is no doubt that we had the machinery to do armourer's work in the past, so this item must come in [1576] under targets or miscellaneous. As Deputy Cooper has stated, targets can be procured in hundreds or thousands. In a Vote of this description, involving £5,578, we ought to know what “miscellaneous” stands for, and also what the £13,661 that Deputy Johnson referred to, for the Army Signal Corps, is required for. I think these details might be given to the Dáil. The Minister has not given details under this sub-head. We are at peace now and we have been at peace for three years and what is the necessity for these? This is a considerable amount of money and something that the country should have a clear explanation of. The better explanation we have the better for the Ministry. Can the Minister give us details of the different amounts coming under this Vote for “armourer's equipment, targets and miscellaneous”?

Mr. CONNOR HOGAN: Information on Conor Hogan  Zoom on Conor Hogan  I would like to address a couple of queries to the Minister. The first query is in respect to the flags. I see that there is £3,000 charged on the Vote for “headquarter post and storm flags, battalion and corps colours.” Last year there was a charge of £1,160 for similar purposes. Surely the Minister should justify this extraordinary increase of practically £1,800. The sum seems a colossal one. I presume if flags are being given to the battalions that they are not worn out in the course of a year. I believe that the flags for a battalion should last from 20 to 25 years. That period does not seem too long.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Not with the orange dye we have got.

Mr. HOGAN:  We know that flags have been hung up in cathedrals and other places and that they have been there for hundreds of years. I consider that there is gross over-estimation here and that the Minister should justify it.

Coming to field-kitchens, I see there is £2,010 charged for their purchase. Last year a further sum of £2,400 was charged for field-kitchens. Field-kitchens do not wear out in a year. Presumably they have a fairly long life. [1577] Why is the Minister bringing in an annual charge of this kind? It is roughly a stereotyped charge. I think an explanation is due to the Dáil about these matters at a time when we have to scrutinise every penny spent on the public services. I notice in this year's estimate a sum of £324 in respect of equipment for the Army School of Clerks, while last year £69 was spent. What is the meaning of “equipment for the Army School of Clerks”? Are you erecting a building for them or, as Deputy Gorey suggests, providing a few lead pencils?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  You could not get a labourer's cottage built for that.

Mr. HOGAN:  I presume a building is available. On what basis is this £324 arrived at?

Mr. T.J. O'CONNELL: Information on Tomas O'Connell  Zoom on Tomas O'Connell  Experience.

Mr. HOGAN:  It is a very costly experience. Before passing this amount, the Dáil should get some adequate reason to justify the charges which, I contend, are excessive.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  The Army School of Clerks is an institution that we are trying to build up within the Army. In my opinion, it will be a very useful institution. The sum set down in the Estimate is for the purpose of providing equipment—desks and other requirements for the school. If it is thought that we should not pay any attention to the education of the soldiers, whom we purpose putting into offices to do army clerical work, well and good. In my opinion, this is proper expenditure and it is the right thing to do. Soldiers may have a reasonable amount of education but may not be able to take up positions as accountants or even minor clerical workers. We propose to make a start and to train these men as clerks in the Army, so that they will be able to do the work that civilians are doing. When they leave the Army and go back to the world they will be able to take up positions which, I am sure, everyone would wish our soldiers to get.

As regards the field kitchens, the item was certainly in the Estimate last year, but we could not get delivery of [1578] the kitchens. That is the reason the item appears again this year. The kitchens are on order, but we have not got delivery yet. They are not things that can be got by simply sending a post card to a manufacturer.

The same remark applies to the flags. We decided last year to get colours for the battalions, but I am sorry to say we were not able to get them within the period. We wanted to get them from manufacturers in Dublin who specialised in that particular line, but they were not able to deliver within the period. The item again appears on the Estimates this year, but the flags were not purchased or paid for last year, and the money is part of what we had to surrender.

As to the signalling item, I think it will be remembered that I stated in my opening remarks on the Estimates that the policy we intend to follow is not to have an army of riflemen. It will be more an army of corps and services. The signalling corps of an army is one of the principal corps in it. That corps has not been equipped. The apparatus it has is of the very poorest description. It is not up to date in any respect. If Deputy Cooper had seen the makeshifts we had to use on manoeuvres last year he would immediately condemn the apparatus, and say, “Wherever you get the money purchase a proper outfit.” We propose now to purchase proper equipment for the Army Signalling Corps, and we set down what, in our judgment, is a proper sum. Amongst things that we want to get are wireless apparatus, direction-finding apparatus, cable wagons and wireless tenders. These are things we have not got. All we have is some old stuff left over by the British, and that is falling to pieces. If we do not get proper equipment for this service it would be better scrap it altogether. Anyone who knows anything about maintaining such services will agree that if they are not in a condition of reasonable efficiency it is better not to have them at all.

Mr. GOOD: Information on John Good  Zoom on John Good  Like Deputy Gorey's horses.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  We will leave them for the moment. The reason I have [1579] given is the reason this Vote is swollen this year. These things will last for years. A good deal of the apparatus provided for here will not want to be replaced for years to come, but it is essential, if the corps is to be kept up to date, that these purchases should be made.

The armoury equipment has been challenged. That equipment was also of a very antiquated and dilapidated character. It is necessary to have the arms overhauled. It is for the purpose of having that overhaul done and keeping those weapons in the condition in which they should be kept that this apparatus is required. To say that we should let those things lie in the store and go to waste is not good finance, as Deputy Connor Hogan would say. A good many of these arms have to be stored. We are not using them and they are absolutely out of order. We are trying to get them back into a state of order, and that is why we must expend a reasonable sum on their repair. We are doing nothing more than keeping them in proper repair. I can assure the House that we are not wasting one penny on these weapons. We are merely keeping them in a state of normal repair. If we were to let things drift for a couple of years, the cost to the country would be considerably more than the sum that is being spent now. The articles then might not be worth repairing. Taking everything into consideration, I think the items that have been challenged in the Vote are justified.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Will the Minister deal with the School of Music and the Educational Scheme?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  I thought we discussed the School of Music sufficiently last day. It is our intention to have five bands. We have three of these bands already. A fourth is in the making. We hope, before the end of the year, to have a fifth band. The No. 1 band is in Dublin, there is another in Cork, and another at the Curragh. The fourth band, when ready, will be sent to the Western Command. There will be a band for each command and one at the Curragh as well. We hope to get [1580] these bands into training this year. We know what the actual cost of instruments and musical libraries is. There are a number of pipe bands which we hope to have ready, too. Some of them are now ready, so that battalions can have pipe bands in some cases. The pipe bands do not cost very much.

The scheme of education, which we have in operation, is an expansion of the scheme we started last year. It is felt that we should try, as far as possible, to make our soldiers better citizens, by giving them some education while in the Army. We have put down £2,000 for that purpose. It is the intention to set up in each battalion a school for non-commissioned officers and men. Looking at the matter from the national point of view, I think that is one of the things the Army should do. If our soldiers are turned out better citizens by reason of the discipline they get in the Army, if they are better educated leaving than when they entered, I think the country will be well repaid for the money spent in this way. When these men go back to civil life, they will be sure of getting employment and they will be better citizens. If we succeed in establishing these schools, and if we give our men a better education and a better outlook on life than they had, I am sure that their services will be better appreciated when they return to civil life, and that the State will benefit in the long run.

Mr. GOREY: Information on Denis John Gorey  Zoom on Denis John Gorey  The Minister has attempted to deal with the sum of £5,578 under the heading of “Armourers' equipment, targets, and miscellaneous,” and he has made the statement that some of the arms are in a bad condition, and that the rest of the arms are in such a condition that it will require the expenditure of this amount to set them right. To ask us to believe that is to ask us to believe also that the officers and men and armourers neglected their duty—that there was utter neglect on their part. We have had three years of peace since 1923. Very little ammunition was wasted even on practice since then. Very few rifles were used for active service. And we are to assume that the men did not pay any attention to the rifles, but allowed them to rust! Otherwise they [1581] could not be in the dilapidated condition the Minister describes, because the timber casing does not deteriorate, and the rifles themselves do not deteriorate. A rifle could be as good after 50 years, with proper attention, as the day it came out of the armourer's shop. Rifles would not deteriorate except by neglect. I know that the soldiers' rifles were kept in fit condition by our present Army. I know that the officers did their duty, at least in the area of Kilkenny, with which I was acquainted. To say that all the arms have been neglected and are in the condition the Minister has described, is to say that the officers and men and armourers did not do their duty, that they neglected their arms, and that we have been paying armourers for doing nothing. I saw the armourers' shops in some places and they were well equipped, equipped to deal with their share of an army of 30,000 or 40,000 men on active service, when the men did not know how to use a rifle and when the rifles had to go to the armourers' shops twice as often as if the Army was an experienced one. How the position that the Minister has told us of has come about, I cannot make out. If arms are put into store they need to be literally rubbed with vaseline or some heavy oil, and then they will require no more care. How much would that cost? From the amount shown here it would seem to cost almost as much as the arms themselves. How many of the arms are going into store?

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  The Minister justified this £13,000 odd for signalling equipment by saying that the signalling equipment at present in use is very poor. That must be a recent discovery. Two years ago the Minister was on the Committee of Public Accounts for a time, and left it on becoming a Minister. I was not on the Committee then, but I had the curiosity to read the evidence. I do not know whether the Minister did. The transaction of the purchase of signalling stores was queried by the Comptroller and Auditor-General, and an officer of high rank gave evidence before the Committee and said that the signalling equipment was most superior, exactly the same [1582] type as supplied to the British army, absolutely new and first class, and well worth the money paid for it, which was the British army's standard price. Now we are told that it is all hopeless. What has happened? Is it neglect, as Deputy Gorey says, or is it simply a desire for new things? I would like to contrast this £13,000 for signalling equipment with the amount for the Irish Military College, which is to train officers of high rank—£13,000 for signalling and £10 for the Irish Military College—£13,000 for the wireless to carry the orders and £10 to train the men to give the orders.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  The Deputy knows as well as I do that this £10 is a token vote and nothing more.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Oh, this is a token vote. Certainly I did not know it was a token vote. Are all these token votes?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  No, they are not.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  I have always understood that token votes should be shown separately. Are any of the others token votes?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  No.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  The Minister says that I know it as well as he does. I know that you cannot buy many textbooks for £10. Can the Minister tell us how much will be spent on the Irish Military College? I hope that this is not a ha'porth of bread to an intolerable deal of sack, a ha'porth of brains to a wilderness of telephone wires. I am not convinced by what the Minister has said. I agree with all that Deputy Gorey has said, that if Army equipment is properly looked after, it lasts for years and does not deteriorate, and if, as the Minister says, it has all gone wrong, then it has not been properly looked after, and somebody ought to have been made responsible. It is not the armourers' equipment that needs to be overhauled, but the Estimate. Every officer naturally wants to get money spent on his department. He would not be worth his salt as an officer if he did not.

I think that the Minister for Defence, in the kindness of his heart, has been [1583] accepting exaggerated Estimates. He has not been a Minister for a very long time, and he has not been able to go into the Estimates fully and check them, and I regret that he has not the backing of the Minister for Finance at present, because the Minister for Finance has longer experience, and I would be very curious to hear his views on this subject. I feel that this cut of £5,000 could be made in this Vote without inflicting the slightest injury to the service. I believe that if we get questions such as Deputy Connor Hogan has put answered that some of these things that are ordered here will not be delivered this year, and in the interests of economy, in the interests of correct budgeting and correct estimating, I think we should not allow such an exaggerated Estimate to be passed.

Mr. CONNOR HOGAN: Information on Conor Hogan  Zoom on Conor Hogan  The Minister's defence of his Estimate is singularly unconvincing; in fact, in listening to his explanation one gets lost in the wilderness. He tells us that this sum of £3.000 for flags is in fact a revote. But last year's provision was only £1,160, and the Minister's explanation was that the Irish manufacturers to whom the contract was entrusted were unable to deliver. So that it appears the principle is that while we wait we pay. It was only £1,160 last year, and it is £3,000 this year, or an excess sum of £1,840. I think that is hardly a fair proposition to put up, that because those people were unable to deliver the flags last year—for presumably the Minister must have contracted, since he put the item of £1,160 in his Estimate—they must in this year's Estimate get a sum of £1,840 more. I submit that, not alone should Deputy Cooper's amendment be supported, but that the sub-head should be resisted altogether and that the House should refuse to pass it. Take the matter of field kitchens. Did the Minister not definitely decide the number of field kitchens he would get last year and the price at which they were to be delivered? Had he not this contract entered into, and, if he had not why did he come forward with this sum? Surely he must have known his requirements, and should have had [1584] some knowledge in advance. His defence was that it is not easy to get these field kitchens, but he must have taken some steps to ascertain whether they could be delivered in the year or not. If he did not, and if he put down this Estimate in a haphazard fashion, I say that he has not treated the Dáil fairly and has not exercised a proper spirit or a correct attitude in dealing with questions of finance. That is a very serious statement to make, I am aware, but on the Minister's own explanation I base my case.

The Minister ignored the question with regard to the Army School of Clerks. I asked why was there an increase in equipment, and he ignored the question. He went on to state that when we send men out of the Army we should give them a chance in civilian life. That was the gist of his statement. I am not questioning the principle. But what I asked was, why this sum under the head of equipment in the Army School of Clerks was £69 last year and £324 this year? Remember it is only equipment. It does not deal with the salary of the instructor or the teacher. It is for small equipment, such as pencils, papers, and books. The Minister has not put up any defence in that matter. Now, in respect to tip-carts, there was £2,240 last year in respect to purchases, and this year there is a sum of £1,000 for maintenance of G.S. wagons, tip-carts and sundry vehicles. Last year there was a sum of nearly £700 in respect of maintenance. I presume the Minister's figure in respect of these wagons represents fair and correct estimating, and that there is no such thing as overestimating and undue expenditure in any aspect of it. On a sum of £1,000 for new equipment, does not a sum of £300 for repair this year seem rather excessive? Some explanation ought to be given to the Dáil. One cannot express any great satisfaction at the way the Minister has handled this Estimate. I feel bound to say that publicly, and I will not alone support Deputy Cooper's amendment, but I will actually challenge a division on this sub-head as a protest.

AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Pádraic Ó Maille  Zoom on Pádraic Ó Maille  took the Chair.

[1585]Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I take it that in expending £2,000 on the educational scheme as a development of the departure entered upon and discussed last year, that there is provision for teachers and instructors and that it is not merely equipment for teachers. I take it that under the head of “Officers N.C.O.'s and Men” a number of those persons have been allotted to the work of instructing the soldiers. Whether that is so or not I have not been able to find in the Estimate, but I am assuming that that is the position. Otherwise we should have some explanation as to the proposal with regard to the appointment of teachers, whether they are to be brought in from outside or from the present staffs. However I think it is quite a good thing that this educational scheme should be proceeded with and extended. With regard to the Pipers' Bands there is a charge for the equipment of five pipers' bands, £534. That is an average of £107 or so. Last year the Estimate was for twenty-one pipers' bands and the average price appeared to be about £73. I gather that twenty-one pipers' bands were not equipped last year, but that the five pipers' bands are expected to be equipped this year and the cost of equipment is 33? per cent. up. That is not in accordance with the general trend, and, unless it is decided that the bands are to be larger and better equipped, it requires some explanation. I think it will be found on reference to the numbers in the bands that it is intended that the bands shall consist of greater numbers than those referred to last year. I think the numbers in the bands this year—certainly in the Brass and Reed bands—are 38 per band, as against 25 a year ago. I would like to ask the Minister to give us some information as to the policy of his Department in the purchasing of these various stores of the different kinds that have been mentioned and which appear on this Estimate. Has it been decided to continue the old policy of purchasing second-hand materials, running the risk of rapid decay and discarding many articles as being unfit after delivery?

Are we still in the way of purchasing from the Disposals Board, or are we [1586] going directly to the manufacturers for new material? I would like to know whether there has been any regularised policy in that respect, whether the purchase of equipment for the Army stores is regularly and after consideration all of new material, or whether we are still in the stage of purchasing any considerable quantity of second-hand material or old Disposals Board material? The information that we have gathered would, I think, rather lead to the conclusion that the policy of purchasing Disposals Board materials or second-hand stores was really not economical. I am anxious to know from the Minister whether the old policy has been discarded, as this question has some relation to the next Vote, that is, sub-head Q, in respect of warlike stores.

Mr. McCULLOUGH: Information on Denis McCullough  Zoom on Denis McCullough  In the School of Music I regret to find that provision does not seem to have been made for cadets to be trained as band instructors. I understand when the School of Music was first conceived, the intention was to have it more than a school of instructors for instrumentalists; that it was hoped to have trained young men, perhaps of superior education, who would propose to make music a profession, and to have them trained as conductors of bands. The Army were fortunate in obtaining the services of an outstanding man as director, a man who both in his profound knowledge of music and his mastery of the art of conducting, has reflected an extraordinary amount of credit on the Army and on the whole Service. I feel that the best use is not being made of that outstanding personality if we are merely turning out instrumentalists. There is no doubt the School of Music is performing very good work in the sense that practically every man who becomes a qualified bandsman is one that is recognised as a master of a particular instrument, and you will have the position later on that for many of our musical combinations you will have a fund of instrumentalists of outstanding qualities to call upon, and the men who are trained in the School of Music will be able to earn a very sound livelihood by taking advantage of the [1587] training that is given to them. The Minister has informed us that he is providing for new bands, and I would be anxious that those who take charge as conductors of those bands would be Irishmen, if possible, young men trained under our own director. I think the opportunities are there, and perhaps a greater use could be made of the services of the director of the School of Music if his services were well availed of to train young men as cadet bandmasters. I think the young men can be found, men of temperament, prepared to take up music as a profession with, perhaps, more than a primary education, with sufficient education to become masters and to take out a degree in music, and who, by some kind of working arrangement with our universities, could qualify themselves in the other sections of musical education required to get a man a degree in music. If that were done, if provision were made for three or four or five more cadetships, we would be in a position in a few years, if through any misfortune we were ever to lose the services of our present outstanding director, that we would have the beginnings, at least, of a definite School of Music in Ireland, young men trained under one who was undoubtedly a master of his profession with a profound and wide knowledge of music, who has made very great strides in the adaptation of Irish music for the wider instrumentation of military bands. Young men so trained would lay the foundations for a definite School of Music with undoubted advantage, in fact, unplumbed advantage for the future of music in this country. I hope the Minister will bear in mind this suggestion, and that it may be found possible to make some provision for securing such young men as I have suggested, to be trained as bandmasters who can be entrusted with the charge of the various bands who will go to the commands.

Major COOPER: Information on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  Zoom on Major Bryan Ricco Cooper  I am not sure whether Deputy McCullough was supporting or opposing my amendment but I agree with what he said, and I want to say a kind word about the Minister for Defence because some Deputies [1588] have complained that he has not defended this Estimate properly. He has not, but nobody could. If the Minister for Defence had the eloquence of Demosthenes, the parliamentary ability of Gladstone and the vocabulary of Deputy Connor Hogan he could not have defended this Estimate. Did anyone ever see such a hotch-potch accounted for to the last pound? Here we have a figure of exactly £478 and then you have got a token vote of £10. The thing is not an estimate but a jumble sale. I must say the defence the Minister has made has confirmed my opinion that there is serious overestimation, that it can be reduced by 10 per cent. and so I am going to press my amendment.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Can the Minister also give us his policy regarding the purchasing.

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  The policy I have always adopted is to purchase new materials. I have not advocated the purchasing of old materials. I found in the Department the legacy that was left from the British when they were leaving the country. I found scrap of all sorts and kinds and the reason, perhaps, that some of those estimates are so large to-day, or appear so large, is on account of that heap of scrap which was left behind for which we had to pay. That policy is not my policy. My policy is to buy new materials on every occasion. There were one or two occasions when we could not get the new article we wanted and we had to get articles re-conditioned. We could not get the specific article we required new but, on the whole, all the goods we purchase at present are new. That is my policy and will continue to be my policy.

Deputy McCullough raised the question of cadets. I am glad to say we have at present cadets in the Army School of Music. I think we have three. One of them has been there for nearly eighteen months and he is now able to go out and conduct a band. I do not mean to say his musical education is finished. It is not, but he is able to take charge of a band. At present he is attending certain musical colleges and the other two men have been recommended by the best musical [1589] authorities. I hope we will be able to train our young men and give them such a musical education as will be a credit to the country and the people who have the privilege of giving them tuition. We expect to find teachers in the Army. By giving them proficiency pay we will be in a position to carry on the school. I might say, in connection with that that we have at the moment in the School of Music where there are a good many boys, an officer who has taken such an interest in the lads and who wishes so much to give them a better education, that he has devoted his time, about three evenings a week, to teaching them. In fact he went out of his way to purchase materials in order to teach those boys and give them a better education than they had. That is just an example of what some of our officers do. I want to let Deputies know that he has done that at present without any remuneration whatever. He has sacrificed his time in the evening by taking them in and giving them two or three hours' [1590] work in the school. We shall be able to get men of that type without taking on whole-time teachers which would not be an economic proposition.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Who is doing the instruction up to date? Is it done by men in the Army? Is there anything going on?

Mr. HUGHES: Information on Peter Hughes  Zoom on Peter Hughes  There is. We intend to go further this year if this Vote is passed. What we aimed at was to start small and to grow. We will be able to get the teachers, I believe, within the school. Deputy Gorey made a great point about officers, arms, and all the rest, but he forgets that there were, perhaps, more than fifty-five thousand rifles in the country, and these were not all left in first-class condition. There were bolts broken and missing, etc. All these things require money to put them right. They will not go to waste. I do not believe in allowing anything to go to waste.

Motion put.

John Conlan.
Bryan R. Cooper.
Séamus Eabhróid.
John Good.
William Hewat.
Connor Hogan.
Séamus Mac Cosgair.
Tomás Mac Eoin.
Risteárd Mac Liam.
William Norton.
Tomás O Conaill.
Tadhg O Donnabháin.
Eamon O Dubhghaill.
Mícheál O Dubhghaill.
Seán O Duinnín.
Donnchadh O Guaire.
Domhnall O Mocháin.
Domhnall O Muirgheasa.
Tadhg O Murchadha.
Pádraig O hOgáin (An Clár).

Earnán de Blaghd.
Seoirse de Bhulbh.
Próinsias Bulfin.
Séamus de Búrca.
Máighréad Ní Choileáin Bean Uí Dhrisceóil.
James Dwyer.
Patrick J. Egan.
Desmond Fitzgerald.
Thomas Hennessy.
John Hennigan.
Seosamh Mac a' Bhrighde.
Donnchadh Mac Con Uladh.
Liam Mac Cosgair.
Seán Mac Curtain.
Pádraig Mac Fadáin.
Patrick McGilligan.
Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
Liam Mac Sioghaird.
Pádraig Mag Ualghairg.
Martin M. Nally.
Peadar O hAodha.
Mícheál O hAonghusa.
Seán O Bruadair.
Parthalán O Conchubhair. Conchubhar O Conghaile.
Eoghan O Dochartaigh.
Séamus O Dóláin.
Pádraig O Dubhthaigh.
Eamon O Dúgáin.
Aindriú O Láimhín.
Séamus O Leadáin.
Fionán O Loingsigh.
Seán O Raghallaigh.
Máirtín O Rodaigh.
Seán O Súilleabháin.
Caoimhghín O hUigín.
Seán Príomhdhall.
Patrick W. Shaw.

[1591] Ordered: That progress be reported.

Dáil resumes.

Progress reported.

Committee to sit again on Tuesday, 18th May.


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