CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - CENTRAL FUND CHARGE.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - COMPENSATION CLAIM—CO. LIMERICK.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - PROPOSED MARGARINE TARIFF.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - TARIFF ACT APPLICATIONS.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - LAND ANNUITIES AGREEMENT.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - EDUCATION INSPECTORS' PENSIONS.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - GAELIC TEACHER AND ENTERTAINMENT TAX.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - EXPLOSIVES FOR ROAD WORK.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - PUBLIC RECORDS AND STATE PAPERS.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - FATAL ACCIDENTS IN SAORSTAT.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - SLIEVEARDAGH COAL MINE.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - LUCHT FACHTA PINSEAN CREACHTA.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - MILITARY SERVICE PENSION (THURLES).
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - MILITARY SERVICE PENSION (NENAGH).
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - RESPONSIBILITY FOR RATES.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - UNUSED LABOURERS' COTTAGE PLOTS.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - RUGBY INTERNATIONAL BROADCAST.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - DIVISION OF NENAGH ESTATES.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - ARREARS OF LAND PURCHASE ANNUITIES.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - LAND COMMISSION WORK IN CLARE.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - OUTSTANDING LAND ANNUITIES IN CLARE.
MEDICAL (No. 2) BILL, 1926.
PRIVATE BUSINESS. - REPORT OF JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRIVATE BILLS.
PRIVATE BUSINESS. - LAND BILL, 1927—FIRST STAGE.
PRIVATE BUSINESS. - CIRCUIT COURT APPEALS BILL, 1927—FIRST STAGE.
PRIVATE BUSINESS. - JURIES BILL, 1927—FIRST STAGE.
PRIVATE BUSINESS. - INTOXICATING LIQUOR BILL, 1927—FIRST STAGE.
IN COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - MONEY RESOLUTION—ARMY PENSIONS (No. 2) BILL, 1927.
IN COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES—LEAVE TO INTRODUCE.
IN COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES. VOTE B—CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION.
IN COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - VOTE 28—UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES.
VOTE 29. - BEET SUGAR SUBSIDY.
VOTE 29. - VOTE 68—REPAYMENTS TO THE CONTINGENCY FUND.
ORDERS OF THE DAY. - DEFENCE FORCES (TEMPORARY PROVISIONS) BILL, 1927—SECOND STAGE.
ORDERS OF THE DAY. - THE ADJOURNMENT.
WRITTEN ANSWER. - REJECTED CORK COMPENSATION CLAIM.
 Do chuaidh an Ceann Comhairle i gceannas ar a 3 a chlog.
RISTEARD MAC LIAM: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state to what particular service the payment made to the Lord Mayor and citizens of Dublin of £714 11s. 8d. and charged on the Central Fund (41 Geo. 3., C. 32) is applied.
MINISTER for FINANCE (Mr. Blythe): The annual sum of £714 11s. 8d. is paid to the Town Clerk, Dublin, “for the Lord Mayor and Citizens of Dublin” and is, I understand, when received by him credited to the account of the Borough Fund established in pursuance of Section 128 of Act 3 and 4 Vic. Cap. 108. The services to which that Fund are applied are fully described in Section 131 of the Act and include the payment of the salaries of the Lord Mayor, Recorder, Town Clerk, Treasurer, and other officers of the Corporation, election expenses, etc. It is also provided in that section that any surplus in the Fund shall be applied towards the paving, cleansing, and lighting of the streets.
Mr. WILSON: In view of the fact that there is no Lord Mayor at present and that therefore there will be no necessity for an election fund, does the Minister deem it right to pay this money yearly?
Mr. BLYTHE: There are still streets to be paved and cleansed.
Mr. ESMONDE: Can the Minister say to what purpose that sum was applied during the last financial year?
Mr. BLYTHE: I have not the slightest idea.
Captain REDMOND: Is it being applied towards the cleaning or paving of the streets?
Mr. BLYTHE: I do not know.
RISTEARD O CONAILL: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state what is the present position in regard to a claim for compensation for a gun and two bicycles taken from James Kelly, Bosnetstown, Kilfinane, by Volunteers in 1919 and 1921; whether the claim is at present before the Indemnity Committee, and how soon a decision will be reached in the matter.
Mr. BLYTHE: James Kelly, Bosnetstown, Kilfinane, lodged a claim in respect of a gun surrendered to the I.R.A. in May, 1918. Section 5 of the Indemnity Act, 1924, provides only for loss arising from interference with property between the 21st January, 1919, and the 28th June, 1922, and Mr. Kelly was advised on the 4th March, 1926, that his claim did not come within the scope of the Act. There is no record in my Department of any claim by Mr. Kelly for a gun and two bicycles taken in 1919 and 1921.
TOMAS MAC EOIN: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state on what date was the Tariff Commission appointed, on what date was application made to him for the imposition of a duty on imported margarine, when was the application referred to the Tariff Commission, and when the hearing of the application by the Commission will commence.
Mr. BLYTHE: The Tariff Commission was established and the members appointed on the 2nd December, 1926. An application, made on the 25th November last, for the imposition of a Customs duty on imported margarine was referred to the Commission on the 11th December. In the time which has elapsed since then the Commission has  had under consideration the case submitted in writing by the applicants, and has prepared the regulations for the governance of its proceedings to be made under Section 3 of the Tariff Commission Act, 1926. A sitting of the Commission to hear the application is being held to-day.
Mr. JOHNSON: Is the Minister acquainted with the fact that the company which has closed down the factory had agreed to keep it open for a little while with a view to hearing the decision of the Commission?
Mr. BLYTHE: That was said some time ago but I have not heard it recently.
TOMAS MAC EOIN: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state how many applications for the imposition or increase of import duties have been made to him under the Tariff Commission Act, 1926, how many of them have been referred to the Commission, and to what commodities the applications relate.
Mr. BLYTHE: Fifteen applications of the kind mentioned have been received. The commodities to which they relate are: (1) margarine; (2) coach and motor bodies; (3) beads; (4) fish barrels; (5) sole, insole and harness leather and manufactured harness; (6) tinware; (7) wooden wheelbarrows; (8) bicyles; (9) products of the saw milling industry; (10) maize products; (11) flour; (12) galvanized hollowware; (13) agricultural produce; (14) manufactured stationary; (15) cement. The applications in respect of (1) margarine; (2) coach and motor bodies; and (3) beads have been referred to the Commission.
Major COOPER: Can the Minister give a slightly wider definition of the term “agricultural produce,” which might be anything from barley to butter?
Mr. BLYTHE: It is because the application is not more precise that it has not, at any rate yet, been referred to  the Tariff Commission for investigation.
Mr. JOHNSON: Can the Minister say when the decision as regards a reference to the Tariff Commission in any of these cases will be made, and can he give any indication of how soon, let us say, the flour question will be heard? Perhaps the Minister knows that one big mill in the city is threatened to be dispensed with at present?
Mr. BLYTHE: Applications will be referred to the Tariff Commission when it is found that they are made by persons substantially representative of the industry concerned. In two or three cases applications have been made and have been definitely rejected; we did not send them to the Commission because they were not made by bodies substantially representative of the industries concerned. In other cases we are making inquiries to ascertain whether or not the applicants are representative. If we find that they are the applications will at once be referred to the Commission. How soon the Commission should report on any particular application is a matter on which I could not give the Deputy any information.
Mr. JOHNSON: Could the Minister tell us what is meant by that phrase “substantially representative”? One understood from the course of discussions in the House that if any persons interested made an application it would be considered.
Mr. BLYTHE: Suppose that a single wool manufacturer made application, his application would not be considered. We would require to have that application backed up by a number of other woollen manufacturers, seeing that there are a considerable number of woollen mills in the Free State.
RISTEARD MAC LIAM: asked the Minister for Finance whether he would lay on the table of the Dáil a copy of the Agreement relating to Land Purchase Annuities, made with the British Government on February 12th, 1923.
Mr. BLYTHE: It is not proposed to lay on the table the Agreement of 12th February, 1923, which dealt amongst other matters with Land Purchase Annuities. This Agreement was a purely provisional and temporary one. It has since been superseded by the Agreement of the 19th March, 1926, which has already been laid before the Oireachtas.
Sir JAMES CRAIG: asked the Minister for Finance whether he is aware that when the period of service of an inspector who had been a national teacher is being computed for the purposes of the Superannuation Acts, the period of service of such inspector as a national teacher is not added thereto, and if he will introduce legislation to permit of this being done.
Mr. BLYTHE: I am aware of the fact stated by the Deputy and am prepared sympathetically to consider the claim that full-time service as a Primary School Teacher should be reckonable in calculating the pension of the individual as an inspector. As a concession in this respect would involve a charge on the Teachers' Pension Fund, I am unable to undertake that the necessary legislation can be introduced until the result of the actuarial examination of the fund, which is being carried out, is known.
TADHG O MURCHADHA: asked the Minister for Justice whether he is aware that Séan O Coileáin, Gaelic teacher, Bandon, organised a concert in Bandon on April 8th, 1926, the proceeds of which were devoted to charity, that he was subsequently prosecuted at the District Court for failure to pay entertainment tax; whether, as alleged, he was not allowed to conduct his defence in Irish, with the result that he was fined fifty pounds; whether Mr. O Coileáin had given notice that he intended to conduct the case in Irish, and whether, in view of this and  of the provisions of Article 4 of the Constitution, the Minister is in a position to take any action in this case.
MINISTER for JUSTICE (Mr. O'Higgins): I am aware that Seán O Coileáin was charged before the District Court with having admitted for payment to a concert of which he was manager, a person with a ticket which was not stamped with a stamp denoting that the proper entertainment duty had been paid. The prosecution was at the instance of the Revenue Commissioners. The defendant was convicted and fined. He appealed to the Circuit Court, but his appeal was, I believe, unsuccessful. I understand that he then went to the High Court to have the conviction quashed on the ground that he was not allowed by the District Court to conduct his defence in Irish and that he was accordingly prejudiced in his defence. The High Court has not yet finally heard the case and the application of Article 4 of the Constitution to the facts of this particular case is at present sub judice. The Deputy will therefore appreciate that it would not be proper for me to say anything on the matter at this stage.
TADHG O MURCHADHA: asked the Minister for Justice whether he is aware that much inconvenience is being caused in the Bantry and Castletownbere districts where road improvement works are being carried out by the restrictions on the use of explosives, and by the fact that the Gárda Síochána are not permitted to store explosives, thereby compelling employees of the County Council to use the quantity on hands each day, or destroy any quantity unused, and whether, taking into consideration the fact that the district is very remote, he will arrange that better facilities are afforded for the distribution and storage of necessary explosives.
Mr. O'HIGGINS: The restrictions on the use of explosives in Castletownbere and Bantry districts are similar to those in force in other parts of the Saorstát. The difficulty in the present  case is caused by the remoteness of the district in which the road repairs are being executed, and the fact that there are no premises nearer than eleven miles in which the explosives could be stored with safety. As a consequence, only sufficient blasting material for the day's work is brought to the scene of operations. There is no direction that any surplus must be destroyed, but owing to absence of storage accommodation, any such surplus must be brought back to Bantry. I will be prepared to give sympathetic consideration to any suggestions as to how the County Council may be facilitated in the matter.
Sir JAMES CRAIG: asked the Minister for Justice whether the Indexes and Catalogues referred to in the Fifty-third Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records and Keeper of State Papers in Ireland, dated 30th August, 1921, are still available, or whether they were destroyed in the fire and explosion at the Four Courts; (2) whether a list has been prepared of the records, indexes and books of reference that have been saved, either wholly or in part, after the destruction of the Record Building at the Four Courts; (3) whether such a list will be printed and published as an appendix to the next or some early Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Records; and (4) whether the Annual Reports will, as heretofore, be published in continuation of the Fifty-third (the last issued) Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Records.
Mr. O'HIGGINS: The Calendars of the Justiciary Rolls, the Catalogue of the Accounts of the Pipe Roll, and portion of the Calendar of the Exchequer Memorandum Roll have been salved. The Grant Book of Tuam Diocese, with index, has not, however, been salved. Lists of the records, indexes and books of reference which have been salved have been prepared and instalments of these will be published in the 54th and 55th Reports of the Deputy Keeper of Records. The 54th Report is at present in the hands of the printers, and will contain in an appendix the Catalogue of the Accounts of the Pipe Roll. The 55th Report covering the years 1922 and 1923 will be published in due course, and will contain a further instalment of the list of the Records which have been salved. The 56th Report will deal with the work of the Record Office during the three years 1924, 1925, and 1926, and it is proposed that for subsequent years the report of the Deputy Keeper of Records will be published annually as heretofore.
SEAN O LAIDHIN: asked the Minister for Justice if he can state (a) the number of fatal accidents caused by motor cars and horse-drawn vehicles in the Saorstát for the years 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925 and 1926; and (b) the number of persons, male and female, injured by such vehicles during those years.
Mr. O'HIGGINS: The numbers of accidents, fatal and non-fatal, caused by motor cars and horse-drawn vehicles in the Saorstát during the years 1922-1926 are as follows:—
|FATAL ACCIDENTS||INJURED PERSONS|
|Year||Motor Cars||Horse Drawn Vehicles||Motor Cars||Horse Drawn Vehicles|
Mr. LYONS: Is it the intention to introduce any legislation whereby such a large number of fatal accidents cannot occur through motor cars?
Mr. O'HIGGINS: A short Bill directed against fatal accidents!
Mr. LYONS: I want to have some qualifications for drivers so that so many accidents will not occur.
Captain REDMOND: Do these figures include injuries to the occupants of the motor cars?
Mr. O'HIGGINS: Injuries to any persons.
Mr. JOHNSON: Could the Minister give any figures as to the amount of compensation or insurance paid to injured persons or their dependants?
Mr. O'HIGGINS: I cannot.
Mr. JOHNSON: Has the Minister any idea regarding compulsory third-party insurance?
DOMHNALL O MUIRGHEASA: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he has received a resolution from the Tipperary (S.R.) County Council regarding the working of the Slieveardagh Coal Mine, and if so, whether he will state what action, if any, he proposes to take in the matter.
MINISTER for INDUSTRY and COMMERCE (Mr. McGilligan): There is no record in my Department of the receipt of a recent resolution on this subject from the Tipperary (S.R.) County Council except one which has been passed to my Department within the past fortnight by the Minister for Local Government and Public Health, to whom a copy was sent by the County Council on the 21st January. This resolution requests the Government to enact legislation to compel the present owners of the Slieveardagh Coal Mines either to work or develop the mines or to sell them to people at their true market value who will work them. I presume this is the resolution to which the Deputy refers. If so, the reply to  the concluding part of the question is in the negative. I have no evidence that there are any persons desirous and capable of working the mines who cannot come to an arrangement with the owners.
Mr. MORRISSEY: Can the Minister say if his Department was approached by any individual who expressed a desire to purchase these mines within the last two or three years, and, if so, will he state if his Department was in a position to give those people who were interested any information with regard to the mines?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: The answer to both questions is in the affirmative.
RISTEARD O MAOLCHATHA: den Aire Cosanta a ndéanfa sé an t-eolas so thíos a thabhairt uaidh i dtaobh lucht fachta pinsean créachta fén Acht Arm-Phinsean, 1923:—I. Líon (a) na n-oifigeach agus (b) na saighdiúirí go bhfuil pinsean créachta molta dhóibh; agus meán-mhéid an phinsin i gcóir (a) oifigeach agus (b) saighdiúiri; an líon díobh so atá ag obair sa Stát-Sheirbhís (i) i bpostanna buana agus (ii) i bpostanna sealadacha. II. An líon (a) d'oifigigh agus (b) de shaighdiúirí go bhfuil molta dhóibh idir pinsean seirbhíse mileata fé Acht na bPinsean Seirbhíse Mileata, 1924, agus pinsean créachta, d'fháil agus atá gan aon teacht isteach eile aca as airgead puiblí i gcéill Alt 8 (1) den Acht san; agus, i dtaobh (a) oifigeach agus (b) saighdiúirí meán-mhéid (i) an phinsin chréachta agus (ii) an phinsin sheirbhíse mileata agus (iii) an meán-mhéid d'airgead an phinsin sheirbhíse mileata atá curtha ar fionnraí fé Alt 8 (1) den Acht. III. An líon (a) d'oifigigh agus (b) de shaighdiúirí go bhfuil molta dhóibh idir pinsean seirbhíse mileata fé Acht na bPinsean Seirbhíse Mileata, 1924, agus pinsean créachta d'fháil agus go bhfuil, de bhárr iad do bheith ag obair sa Stát-Sheirbhís, teacht isteach eile aca as airgead puiblí i gcéill Alt 8 (1) d'Acht na bPinsean Seirbhíse Mileata, 1924; agus i dtaobh (a) oifigeach agus (b)  saighdiúirí, meán-mhéid (i) an phinsin chréachta agus (ii) an phinsin sheirbhíse mileata atá molta dhóibh agus (iii) meán-mhéid a bpáigh agus (iv) an meán-mhéid d'airgead an phinsin sheirbhíse mileata atá curtha ar fionnraí fé Alt 8 (1) den Acht san. IV. An líon (a) d'oifigigh agus (b) de shaighdiúirí go bhfuil molta dhóibh idir pinsean seirbhíse mileata fé Acht na bPinsean Seirbhíse Mileata, 1924, agus pinsean créachta d'fháil agus go bhfuil teacht isteach eile aca as airgead puiblí i gcéill Alt 8 (1) d'Acht na bPinsean Seirbhíse Mileata, 1924, ach atá gan san do bheith aca de bharr iad a bheith ag obair sa Stát-Sheirbhís; agus i dtaobh (a) oifigeach agus (b) saighdiúirí meán-mhéid (i) an phinsin chréachta agus (ii) an phinsin sheirbhíse mileata agus (iii) aon teacht isteach eile atá aca agus (iv) an meán-mhéid d'airgead an phinsin sheirbhíse mileata atá curtha ar fionnraí fé Alt 8 (1) den Acht san.
AIRE COSANTA (Peadar O hAodha): Siad so leanas na mioninnste a hiarradh i gceist an Teachta:—
Cuid I.—Táthar tar éis pinsin chréachta do mhola do 112 Oifigeach agus do 299 saighdiúirí, agus isé meán-mhéid an phinsin fé seach na £85 6s. 9d. agus £45 12s. 11d. Tá a lán oifigeach agus saighdiúirí ná fuil áirimhithe sna figiúirí seo agus dar tugadh pinsin shealadacha ar feadh tréimhse agus dar tugadh aisce i ndeire báire. Níl aon eolas agam i dtaobh nádúir na fostaíochta atá ag ex-oifigigh agus saighdiúirí atá ag fáil pinsean créachta. Is féidir liom a rá, ámh, maidir le 30 ex-oifigeach agus 14 ex-saighdiúirí atá ag fáil pinsean créachta agus pinsean seirbhíse mileata, go bhfuil 8 ar fostaíocht i seirbhís an tSaorstáit, 6 i bpostanna buana agus 2 i bpostanna sealadacha.
Cuid II.—Táthar tar éis pinsin chréachta agus pinsin seirbhíse mileata do dheona do 23 ex-oifigigh agus do 13 ex-shaighdiúirí agus níl aon teacht isteach eile as Cistí Puiblí aca san Sé meán-mhéid na bpinsean créachta fé seach ná £94 10s. 2d. agus £51 3s. 6d. agus isé meán-mhéid na  bpinsean seirbhíse mileata fé seach ná £99 12s. 6d. agus £29 17s. 2d. Sé meán-mhéid an phinsin atá curtha ar fionnraí do réir Alt 8 (1) d'Acht na bPinsean Seirbhíse Mileata ná £6 8s. 4d. i geás na n-ex-oifigeach agus £1 9s. 10d. i geás na n-ex-shaighdiúirí.
Cuid III.—Tá 7 ex-oifigigh agus 1 ex-shaighdiúir ag fáil pinsean créachta agus pinsean seirbhíse mileata, agus, ina theanta san, tá teacht isteach aca as Cistí Puiblí mar fhostaithe Stáit. Sé meán-mhéid an phinsin chréachta a deontar do sna ex-oifigigh ná £70 5s. 0d. agus don ex-shaighdiúir ná £32 6s. 1d. agus isé meán-mhéid na bpinsean seirbhíse mileata ná £103 10s. 0d. agus £26 13s. 4d. fé seach.
Sé meán mhéid an pháigh, lasmuich de phinsin, a gheibheann an 7 ex-oifigigh agus an saighdiúir ná £268 agus £166 10s. 0d. fé seach, agus sé meán-mhéid an phinsin seirbhise mileata atá curtha ar fionnrái ná £69 6s. 3d. agus £7 8s. 0d. fé seach.
Cuid IV.—Ní eiríonn Cuid 4 den Cheist, óir ní dlightear pinsean créachta do chur ar fionnraí de dheascaibh aon teacht isteach atá á fháil ag pinsinéir as Cistí Puiblí. Tá, mar shompla, cás amháin ann inar deonadh £280 pinsean seirbhíse mileata maraon le £71 14s. 7d. pinsean créachta d'ex-oifigeach. Tá an pinsean créachta á íoc, ach toisc gur stát-sheirbhíseach atá ag fáil £500 nách mór sa bhliain mar thuarastal an fear so, tá iomlán an phinsin seirbhíse mileata curtha ar fionnraí.
The particulars asked for in the Deputy's question are as follows:—
Part I.—Wound pensions have been awarded to 112 officers and 299 soldiers, the average pension being respectively, £85 6s. 9d. and £45 12s. 11d. These figures do not include a large number of officers and soldiers who were awarded temporary pensions over a period and who were finally disposed of with a gratuity. There is no information at my disposal to show the nature of the employment of ex-officers and soldiers who are in receipt of wound pensions. Of 30 ex-officers and 14 ex-soldiers who are in receipt of both  wound and military service pensions, I am, however, in a position to say that 8 are employed in the service of Saorstát—6 in a permanent and 2 in a temporary capacity.
Part II.—23 ex-officers and 13 ex-soldiers have been granted both wound and military service pensions and are not in receipt of any other remuneration from public funds. The average amount of the wound pensions is, respectively, £94 10s. 2d. and £51 3s. 6d., and the military service pensions £99 12s. 6d. and £29 17s. 2d. The average amount of the suspension of pension in accordance with Section 8 (1) of the Military Service Pensions Act is £6 8s. 4d. in the case of the ex-officers, and £1 9s. 10d. in the case of the ex-soldiers.
Part III.—7 ex-officers and 1 ex-soldier are in receipt of both wound and military service pensions, and, in addition, are in receipt of remuneration from public funds as employees of the State. The average wound pension granted to the former, is £70 5s. 0d., and to the latter £32 16s. 1d., the average of the military service pensions being £103 10s. 0d. and £26 13s. 4d., respectively.
The 7 ex-officers receive on an average £268, and the soldier £166 10s. 0d., as pay apart from pensions, and the average suspension of military service pension is respectively £69 6s. 3d. and £7 8s. 0d.
Part IV.—Part 4 of the Question does not arise, as a wound pension is not liable to suspension because of any emoluments a pensioner may receive from public funds. There is, for instance, one case in which an ex-officer has been granted a military service pension of £280, and a wound pension of £71 14s. 7d. The latter is being paid, but as the man is an official with a salary in the neighbourhood of £500 a year, the military service pension is suspended in its entirety.
DOMHNALL O MUIRGHEASA: asked the Minister for Defence if he will state what decision, if any, has  been come to regarding the claim for a military service pension made by Mr. Michael Cleary, The Furze, Thurles.
Mr. HUGHES: A decision has not yet been come to regarding Mr. Cleary's claim. It will be reached very shortly when I will notify the Deputy.
Mr. MORRISSEY: Is the Minister aware that this claim has been under consideration for something like 15 months, and will he say when is it likely a decision will be reached in the matter?
Mr. HUGHES: I do not know exactly how long this claim has been under consideration, but of the large number of claims some must remain until the end. If this is one of the persons who unfortunately did not send in his claim early it was his bad luck. I can assure the Deputy, however, that the whole of the claims will be settled probably within a period of two months and nobody will have any cause to complain.
Mr. LYONS: Is the Minister aware that in reply to a question six months ago I was informed that all such claims would be dealt with before the end of October?
Mr. HUGHES: I do not think that I ever made such a statement, and I should like the Deputy to produce it.
Mr. LYONS: Yes, I will.
Mr. HUGHES: I hope you will.
DOMHNALL O MUIRGHEASA: asked the Minister for Defence whether a decision has yet been reached regarding the claim of Mr. John Tierney, Clare Street, Nenagh, for a military service pension, and, if not, whether he can state when a decision will be come to.
Mr. HUGHES: Mr. Tierney's claim is under consideration by the Board of Assessors. I am informed that the Board's report will be made to me at an early date. I will notify the Deputy of the result in due course.
DOMHNALL O MUIRGHEASA: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he is now in a position to state when he proposes to introduce legislation to make provision for transferring the responsibility for payment of rates in respect of houses of a certain valuation from the tenant to the landlord.
MINISTER for LOCAL GOVERNMENT and PUBLIC HEALTH (Mr. Burke): I intended to introduce this Bill during the present session. Owing, however, to pressure of other more urgent measures it may not be possible to bring it before An Dáil until after Easter.
Mr. CORISH: Is the Minister aware of the state of chaos that prevails all over the country in connection with the collection of rates?
Mr. BURKE: I am well aware of it.
TADHG O MURCHADHA: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he is aware that where the erection of labourers' cottages was deferred in consequence of the war, and where no lettings were made of the plots acquired to agricultural labourers, in consequence of the plots not having been divided off and no fences erected, the plots are in a number of cases in the hands of the occupiers of the holdings on which they are situated; that the owners of such holdings refuse to pay the price to have plots re-conveyed to them or to pay any rent for same, with the result that many such occupiers have nearly secured a squatter's title to such plots, and whether he will consider taking measures to safeguard the property of local authorities, having regard to the possibility of money being made available in the future for further schemes under the Labourers Acts.
Mr. BURKE: There may be some instances of the nature mentioned but the matter does not appear to have been brought under the notice of my  Department. It is a suitable matter for inquiry and I am addressing a communication to local authorities asking for full particulars where such uncompleted schemes exist.
Major COOPER: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs whether his attention has been called to the fact that the British Broadcasting Corporation propose to broadcast a description of the Rugby Football Match between Ireland and England on Saturday, February 12th, and whether it is possible for him to have this broadcast relayed from the Dublin Broadcasting Station for the information of listeners in the Saorstát.
Mr. McGILLIGAN (for Minister for Posts and Telegraphs): I have received many requests to relay this broadcast, and arrangements will be made accordingly.
Major COOPER: Does that mean that arrangements will be made?
Mr. McGILLIGAN: I have stated that arrangements will be made.
DOMHNALL O MUIRGHEASA: asked the Minister for Lands and Agriculture if he can state when the following estates will be divided:—The Carroll Estate, Tulla, Nenagh; Bayly Estate, Ballinaclough, Nenagh; Norris Estate, Traverstown, Nenagh; and Beggs-Atkinson Estate, Ashley Park, Nenagh.
Mr. BURKE (for Minister for Lands and Agriculture):
1.—Estate of Alice J. Carroll and others. Lands of Lisenhall and others.
The price of these lands has been fixed on appeal to the Judicial Commissioner, and the papers are at present with an Inspector for the preparation of a scheme, but it is not possible at present to say when the lands will be divided.
2.—Estate of Captain R. E. Bayley.
 The Land Commission are in negotiation for the purchase of the lands of Ballynaclogh and Ballygasheen on this estate.
3.—Estate of Annie H. Norris. Lands of Pollanorinan and Ballylisheen.
A proposal for the purchase of these lands will be issued at an early date.
4.—Estate of Captain T. Biggs-Atkinson. Lands of Drumminacart and Longhourna.
The price of these lands has been fixed on appeal to the Judicial Commissioner. A scheme for the division of the lands is under consideration of the Land Commission.
TOMAS MAC EOIN: asked the Minister for Lands and Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the resolution passed at the last meeting of the County Dublin County Council requesting the Land Commission to stay all legal proceedings now pending against farmers in the county for the recovery of arrears of land purchase annuities, and, if so, whether in considering the request he will take into account the plea that the ability to pay the annuities in future will depend upon the ability to purchase seeds, manure, stock and pay wages this year.
Mr. BURKE: The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. In particular cases full consideration will be given to the point involved in the second part of the question, but, as far as possible an effort will be made to see that the tenants who have paid their annuities shall not have their normal rates increased by the burden of unpaid land purchase annuities due by tenants who are unwilling to meet their legal obligations.
PADRAIG O hOGAIN (An Clár): asked the Minister for Lands and Agriculture if he is aware that in work which is being carried out by the Irish Land Commission on the estate of Lord Inchiquin at Leimenagh, Corofin,  County Clare, several large farmers are employed, and that the official of the Land Commission in charge of the work refused to employ bona fide labourers from Corofin, or even reply to correspondence addressed to him on the matter.
Mr. BURKE: As is the general practice the labour required has been recruited from the immediate neighbourhood and the Surveyor in charge reports that the most deserving cases have been taken on in so far as it is consistent with the effective discharge of the work.
Mr. P. HOGAN: Is the Minister aware that several labourers in Corofin, within three or four miles, actually asked for work from the Surveyor in question; that up to the present farmers with 12 or 14 cows are employed on the work and that these other people are denied employment?
Mr. BURKE: That question will have to be put to the Minister for Agriculture. I understand that Corofin is five miles from the estate.
PADRAIG O hOGAIN (An Clár): asked the Minister for Lands and Agriculture if he will state what is the total amount of Land Annuities outstanding in County Clare to date, and what is the amount of Agricultural Grant withheld because of these arrears of Land Annuities.
Mr. BURKE: The amount of Land Purchase Annuities under the Land Purchase Acts, 1891-1923, in County Clare outstanding on 31st ult. in respect of all gales up to and including the December, 1926, gale is £42,692 approximately.
The second portion of the question is one for the Department of Finance.
Mr. HOGAN: Does the Minister consider that the introduction of Land Bill (No. 2) is an opportune time to remove the injustice of putting on the entire ratepaying community the default of some people who would not pay their annuities and some who could?
Mr. BURKE: The Deputy will have to wait for the Minister for Agriculture to answer that.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Seanad Eireann has passed the Medical (No. 2) Bill, 1926, without amendment.
The following reports were ordered to lie on the Table:—
Report of the Joint Committee on Standing Orders (Private Business), dated the 1st February, 1927, that no notice of appeal from the Report of the Examiner of Private Bills in the case of the Dublin United Tramways (Lucan Electric Railways) Bill, 1927, has been received within the prescribed time, and that the said Dublin United Tramways (Lucan Electric Railways) Bill, 1927, is accordingly deemed to have been read a first time in the Seanad.
Report of the Joint Committee on Standing Orders (Private Business), dated the 1st February, 1927, that no notice of appeal from the Report of  the Examiner of Private Bills in the case of the Dublin Port and Docks (Bridge) Bill, 1927, has been received within the prescribed time, and that the said Dublin Port and Docks (Bridge) Bill, 1927, is accordingly deemed to have been read a first time in the Seanad.
Report of the Joint Committee on Standing Orders (Private Business), dated the 1st February, 1927, that no notice of appeal from the Report of the Examiner of Private Bills in the case of the Merrion Square (Dublin) Bill, 1927, has been received within the prescribed time, and that the said Merrion Square (Dublin) Bill, 1927, is accordingly deemed to have been read a first time in the Seanad.
MINISTER for FINANCE (Mr. Blythe): I move for leave to introduce a Bill entitled “an Act to amend the law relating to the occupation and ownership of land and for other purposes relating thereto.”
Question—“That leave be given to introduce the Bill”—put and agreed to.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: When is the Second Stage to be taken?
Mr. BLYTHE: Next Tuesday.
Mr. GOREY: I would ask the Minister that the Second Stage be taken this day fortnight.
Mr. BLYTHE: The Minister for Agriculture is not here unfortunately, but he was anxious that the Second Stage of this Bill should be fixed for as early a date as possible, because there has been already a considerable amount of delay in connection with it. It is a long time since the original Bill was introduced. Then we are going to have a fairly heavy batch of legislation, and I think it would be undesirable to postpone the Second Reading of this measure for as long a period as a fortnight. After all it is the sort of Bill that, if the Minister for Agriculture were here, could be taken on Thursday. It is not the sort of Bill that is new, perhaps, and that needs considerable delay before it can be  adequately read and understood. I do not know will Wednesday next suit the Deputy.
Mr. GOREY: I want to have it fixed for this day fortnight. I think if the Minister for Lands and Agriculture were here he would oblige me in the matter.
Mr. BLYTHE: If we get facilities for taking the Committee Stage soon after the Second Reading, we might agree to the Deputy's suggestion. If the House were agreeable that the Second Reading would be taken on this day fortnight and that the Committee Stage would be taken on the Thursday following, we would agree to that arrangement.
Mr. GOREY: I think we could agree to that.
Mr. BLYTHE: I do not know what the Ceann Comhairle may think about it, but it would mean that Deputies, after they have got the draft of the Bill, would have to be sending in their amendments.
Mr. JOHNSON: I think the principle has been more or less adopted that the Second Stage has been, in fact, passed so that if the Bill is circulated in its new form it is a simple matter to proceed with the compilation of amendments. I have said it is a simple matter; it is a normal matter.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The Bill will be circulated to-morrow to Deputies. Does the Minister agree to take the Second Stage on this day fortnight?
Mr. BLYTHE: On the understanding that there will not be the ordinary interval between the Second Stage and the Committee Stage.
Second Stage ordered for Tuesday, 22nd February.
MINISTER for JUSTICE (Mr. O'Higgins): I move for leave to have printed and circulated a Bill entitled “an Act to make provision for the hearing and determination of pending  Civil Appeals from the Circuit Court by Commissioners appointed for that purpose.”
Question—“That leave be given to introduce the Bill”—put and agreed to.
Second Stage ordered for Tuesday, 15th February.
Mr. O'HIGGINS: I move for leave to have printed and circulated a Bill entitled “an Act to amend the law relating to Juries.”
Question—“That leave be given to introduce the Bill”—put and agreed to.
Second Stage fixed for Tuesday, 15th February.
Mr. O'HIGGINS: I move for permission to have printed and circulated a Bill entitled “an Act to amend and in part consolidate the law relating to the sale of intoxicating liquor, to enable the number of licences for the sale of intoxicating liquor to be reduced by the abolition from time to time of certain such licences, and to amend the law relating to the registration of clubs.”
Mr. DALY: rose.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Is the Deputy opposing the motion to introduce the Bill?
Mr. DALY: Yes.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Then I will have to allow a statement from the Minister if he desires to make a statement.
Mr. O'HIGGINS: Not yet.
Mr. DALY: I oppose the introduction of the Bill on the ground that the Government got no mandate from the electorate to introduce such a drastic measure, and I will ask the Minister to give us a free vote of the House, especially in regard to two clauses— those dealing with compulsory endorsement and with compensation.
Mr. WILSON: Where is the Bill?
Mr. DALY: We got no mandate from the electorate. I think the Bill should be hung up until we do get a mandate from them and before we impose such confiscatory measures as those on any section of the population.
Mr. LYONS: I regret very much to see so many Deputies in such good humour to-day on this question. The Deputy who moved the rejection of this Bill has no doubt read the report of the Liquor Commission upon which this Bill is to be drafted. Having read that report, I think the Deputy is perfectly right when he asks because of the two sections that are about to be placed in the Bill to have this proposed drastic legislation rejected, or to have these two sections deleted from the Bill. It is well known that for the past four years, since the first Bill was introduced by the Government, the number of cases of drunkenness has not decreased. If this measure becomes law, you are going to do injustice to a large number of citizens. You are compelling a large number of them, if you adopt the report of the Liquor Commission, to forfeit their means of livelihood. Compulsory endorsement means confiscation of a man's property. If the Bill is drafted on the lines of the report of the Liquor Commission, I will oppose it. I am satisfied that there are a lot of Deputies here who received their education through the licensed trade.
Deputy WILSON: rose.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: This is a debate on a motion for leave to introduce a Bill which has not been seen. The Standing Order says: “The Deputy giving notice shall move for leave to introduce the Bill. If such motion be opposed, the Ceann Comhairle, after permitting an explanatory statement from the Deputy who moves, and a statement from a Deputy who opposes the motion, may, if he thinks fit, put the question thereon.” Having heard Deputy Lyons, I think I should put the question.
Mr. WILSON: Would you permit me to remove a misapprehension?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Any misapprehension which Deputy Lyons suffers under will not be removed by a speech. If the Minister for Justice desires to make a statement, I will hear him; if not, I will put the question now.
Captain REDMOND: On a point of order, in view of the Standing Order you have read, is it not necessary for the Minister to make some statement?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: There is nothing in the Order which makes it mandatory on the Minister to make a statement. The Order says: “After permitting an explanatory statement....” If the Minister desires to make a statement he may; if not, he may reserve it for another stage.
Captain REDMOND: It is permissive, not mandatory?
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: I think so. In my experience up to the present there is only one type of a Bill upon which, in certain circumstances, a debate should be allowed on the First Stage. Deputy Redmond reminds me of it now. I refer to a Bill introduced by a private member and opposed by the Government on its First Stage. In that case, the Chair would have to allow the promoters of the Bill a good deal of latitude, because of the risk that they might have no further opportunity for debate. In this case there is no such position.
Question put and declared carried.
Bill read a first time.
Second Stage fixed for Wednesday, 16th February.
The Dáil went into Committee on Finance.
Mr. BLYTHE: I move:—
Go bhfuil sé oiriúnach a údarú go n-íocfar amach as airgead a sholáthróidh an tOireachtas aon chostaisí fé n-a raghfar fé fhorálacha aon Achta a rithfar sa tSiosón so chun soláthar do dhéannamh chun Pinsín, Liúntaisí agus Aiscí d'íoc i gcás áirithe le  baill fé mhí-chumas d'fhórsá Armtha Shaorstáit Eireann agus do Chóghléasanna Mileata áirithe eile agus chun Liúntaisí agus Aiscí d'íoc i gcás áirithe le cúram daoine atá marbh agus a bhí ina mbaill de sna Fórsaí agus de sna Có-ghléasanna san agus chun an tAcht Arm-Phinsean, 1923, do leasú agus do leathnú agus chun socrú do dhéanamh i dtaobh nithe bhaineas leis na cúrsaí roimhráite sin uile agus fé seach.
That it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys to be provided by the Oireachtas of any expenses incurred under the provisions of any Act of the present Session to provide for the payment of Pensions, Allowances and Gratuities in certain circumstances to disabled members of the Armed Forces of Saorstát Eireann, and certain other Military Organisations, and for the payment of Allowances and Gratuities in certain circumstances to dependents of deceased members of the said Forces and Organisations, and to amend and extend the Army Pensions Act, 1923, and to make provision for divers matters connected with the several matters aforesaid.
This Bill contains a considerable number of miscellaneous provisions, but its principal provisions are those which allow for the payment of pensions in respect of disablement from disease during active service. In the original Act of 1923 provision was made for wound pensions only, because it was felt that that type of provision was most urgent, and also because such an Act could be administered with a reasonable degree of satisfaction.
The administration of provisions such as those of this Act, for giving pensions in respect of disablement due to disease, will be extremely difficult. It will, in many cases, be difficult to determine whether the disease originated while the person was on military service or whether it was not due to service conditions. There was no medical examination when people joined the Volunteers. There was not a satisfactory system of medical examination when people first joined the National Army, and, in a great many cases, where claims will be made the people  probably were suffering from disease before joining the Volunteers or the National Army, as the case may be. Because of the difficulties, it has been considered necessary to restrict the granting of pensions to cases in which the disability reaches 80 per cent. It would not be possible to have the full graduated scale of disablement which we have in respect of wounds. The wound is much more tangible and its origin is much less subject to doubt. The degree of disability can be assessed in accordance with a scale laid down in the Act. That is not possible in connection with disability arising from disease. It is extremely difficult to give any estimate of the annual charge that will arise from the passage of this Bill into law, but attempts have been made, for the information of the House, to arrive at an estimate, and it is believed, both by my Department and the Department of Defence, that the cost when the Act will have been in operation some little time, will rise to about £50,000 a year, but should not exceed that. Deputies will understand from what I have said that there are no data on which to make a close estimate, but the facts, as known, have been carefully reviewed, and that is the opinion of the people who have been examining it in the two Departments.
Mr. JOHNSON: I move:—
To insert after the word “Organisations” where it first occurs the words “(including those known as Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise known as the Irish Volunteers or Irish Republican Army, the Irish Citizen Army and Cumann na mBan).”
This amendment is intended to make clear that sex is not going to be an obstacle to the receipt of a pension under this Bill. It is well known to Deputies that in connection with the Volunteer forces, otherwise known as the Irish Republican Army, there was a woman's military organisation. As the Bill stands, it would seem there is a deliberate or, if not deliberate, a clear omission of women from the benefit of the Pensions Bill, even though, in every other respect, they were entitled to make their claims  and have them considered. I have not the slightest idea whether few or many women would be entitled under this amendment to claim under the Pensions Bill, but I think that that is not the question.
The question I want to raise is whether or not a woman who had service in the Irish Volunteers or Republican Army, or in a military organisation closely associated with such organisations, is disqualified because she is a woman. I do not suppose it will be disputed that the Cumann na mBan was, in fact, an auxiliary force closely associated with and acting under the orders of the I.R.A. If it happened that some members of that body, in the course of their service as members, received damage in the same way as men in the Volunteers, then I see no reason whatever why they should be excluded from the benefits of any Pensions Bill brought forward. I do not imagine the increased obligations would be heavy. Whether they are heavy or light, I do not think should enter into the question. We ought not to make a positive distinction between a man and a woman when, for good or ill, both sexes were called upon to do the work for which only one section is being recognised. It is with a view to removing what appears to be a differentiation owing to sex that I put down this amendment to the Money Resolution. I quite understand that if it adds £1 per year to the charge, it could not be moved by me on the Committee Stage of the Bill. Therefore, I desire to press on the House the desirability of making clear that, as far as we are concerned, we are not going to make that differentiation owing to sex alone.
Mr. BLYTHE: The matter Deputy Johnson raises in a particular way has been under consideration in connection with the administration of the Military Service Pensions Act. Legal advice has been obtained to the effect that sex constitutes no disqualification. If an applicant is otherwise qualified, by reason of service, then sex will not prevent the giving of a pension and, as a matter of fact, one woman has already been awarded a military service pension. The same would apply in the case  of this Bill. If a woman has actually given military service, in a military organisation, she will not be disqualified, but the question of whether Cumann na mBan was or was not a military organisation is quite a different matter. In my opinion it was not a military organisation. As Deputy Johnson stated, it was an auxiliary organisation, and I do not see how you could include Cumann na mBan without including Sinn Fein clubs, and, if they were included, the scope of the Bill would be widened enormously.
On the principle that Deputy Johnson raises there is nothing between us. If a woman was by any means a Volunteer, if she, anyhow, became a member of the Army, then she is entitled to anything that a man would be entitled to who had the same qualifications. I think it would be impossible to accept the amendment proposed by the Deputy. I do not think we can go outside the definitely military organisations without being involved in expenditure and a flood of applications which would have to be turned down. Even with their turning down, there would be considerable cost to the State which could not be justified. Members of the Sinn Fein Clubs commonly acted as auxiliaries to the Volunteers very much as the members of Cumann na mBan did.
General MULCAHY: Perhaps as we are clearing up a doubt with regard to the Military Service Pensions Act, 1924, we would also clear up a doubt with regard to the Wounds Pensions Act, 1923. Perhaps the Minister could tell us whether the latter can be held to apply to a woman who, in whatever circumstances, was wounded and is suffering from a wound arising out of active military service.
Mr. BLYTHE: That matter was discussed at the same time as the question which comparatively recently arose in connection with the Military Service Pensions Act. The opinion given was that if a woman gave service which, if she had been a man, would have entitled her to a pension, she is equally entitled.
Mr. JOHNSON: I am afraid the  Minister will have to be convicted of a charge of trying to evade the issue while pretending to be sympathetic on the principle. A woman who was a member of the Irish Citizen Army, for instance, which body is named here, would undoubtedly be entitled to be considered a legitimate recipient, notwithstanding her sex. I want to know what is the basis of the test whether a person was a member of the Irish Volunteers or not. The Bill deals with certain military organisations and refers to the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army. Whether it is intended that the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Army are to be synonymous terms, I do not know. There were people who were members of the Irish Republican Army who were not members of the Irish Volunteers in the early stages. Does the Minister pretend there is a roll of such persons? I think he does not. He accepts the word of reputable people that such and such a person was a member of a particular organisation. So that there is no definition and no record of Irish Volunteers. They were a military organisation, and you take the word of an individual who says that so and so was a member of that organisation. The Minister has used Sinn Fein clubs as a parallel, but Sinn Fein clubs did not pretend to be a military organisation. Cumann na mBan did.
Mr. BLYTHE: Pretend?
Mr. JOHNSON: Well it was used by the Irish Republican Army as a military organisation.
Mr. BLYTHE: As an auxiliary.
Mr. JOHNSON: As a military organisation. In the year 1920 that body, in fact, published a statement of its constitution and rules, and right through that statement are clear proofs that it was a military body. The declaration is made in its constitution and statement of policy that its purpose was “to develop the suggested military activities in conjunction with the I.R.A.,” and that it was “to continue collecting for the Defence of Ireland Fund and any other fund to be  devoted to the arming and equipping of the men and women of Ireland.” There are many other phrases of that kind, but here we have a distinct rule in regard to its branches. “The captain shall be senior branch officer and shall issue all orders; decisions regarding internal working of the branch shall be made by the three officers controlling the branch. These officers form the Company Council. Orders from I.R.A. officer must come through Cumann na mBan captain.” Will any Deputy, who was familiar with the activities of the I.R.A. at that time, deny that the military activities of the Cumann na mBan were under their direct direction and control? The rule states that “the branch shall keep in touch with their local I.R.A. battalions or companies. For purposes of military organisation and operations captains of branches shall take orders from the local I.R.A. Commander.” That is so far as words and rules make the position clear.
Mr. BLYTHE: It could be proven much more clearly that the Salvation Army is a military organisation if you were depending on words and terms.
Mr. JOHNSON: I was going to say that that is the position so far as words and terms are concerned. But the Minister ought to know, and certain other Deputies in the House do know, as a matter of fact, that many of the members of that body did in fact do those things at the direction of, and in association with, the I.R.A. If that is denied, and denied by those who know, then I subside. But I make the assertion, and I challenge denial. Now, if that is the position, surely the people who acted in that manner in a body which was a military organisation and was accepted by the regular army as an auxiliary ought to be included in a Bill of this kind. I think that that deliberate omission is not worthy of the organisations that made use of that body, and I do not think that the House ought to agree to it. I think when the question arises as to whether the services rendered which led to disease or wounds come into consideration under cover of an Army Pensions Bill that we ought to make it clear that the House  is in favour of not excluding a woman on account of her sex, and that is in fact what I am asking the House to agree upon.
Mr. BLYTHE: I can only say that Deputy Johnson is asking the House to agree to a great deal more than that: he is asking the House to agree that an organisation which was not one of the military organisations—it was an organisation that helped the military organisations but was not one of the military organisations—should be regarded in the same way as far as giving pensions to members is concerned as an actual military organisation. I see no grounds if we admitted a body like Cumann na mBan why we should refuse to go an inch further and admit organisations like Sinn Fein Clubs which acted with and for and assisted in many ways the actual military organisations.
Mr. JOHNSON: Would a person who was a member of a Sinn Fein club be designated a volunteer if he were acting in the capacity of a volunteer for the time being?
Mr. BLYTHE: No. We have been very careful about that in connection with the Military Service Pensions Act. Thousands of people went out simply because they were not concerned in the military operations.
Mr. JOHNSON: Yes, but you have no records.
General MULCAHY: Discussing the legal difficulty rather than the difficulty of fact, I hesitate very much to step into the matter. As far as any particular responsibility for the lines upon which the Cumann na mBan organisation was organised, I think a complete historical research would be able to establish that, say, the General Headquarters Staff of the Volunteers were not in any way responsible for the lines upon which Cumann na mBan was organised, and that the initiative as to the lines of their organisation and as to the greater part of their activities came from the Cumann na mBan organisation itself. But it is a fact that locally members of Cumann na mBan organisations did assist local volunteer officers  in matters that would be regarded as military duties. I take it from what the Minister has said that a member of the Cumann na mBan organisation who, by engagement in military activity brought herself within the scope of any of the Pensions Acts, would receive the benefit of these Acts. If that is a fact, and I think it is only right and just that it should be so, then I do not want to enter into the argument as to whether the title Cumann na mBan should appear in our legislation. I would be quite agreeable with the Minister's reading of what the motion should be and what the terms of our legislation should be. If that is the case, then I have not anything more to add.
Mr. JOHNSON: Will the Minister, before he answers, say whether the phrase “disabled members of certain other military organisations” would include persons in the category of Deputy Mulcahy's statement, that is, whether a person called in to do work under the direction of a Volunteer Officer was a member of that organisation because of the work he or she was doing? Otherwise the people Deputy Mulcahy has in mind would be excluded if we pass this motion in this form.
Mr. BLYTHE: The position is simply this: If a woman gave the sort of service that would entitle a man to qualify for pension——
Mr. JOHNSON: If she were a member of the organisation.
Mr. BLYTHE: But the organisation had not a muster roll and it is really a matter of fact that has to be established on the best evidence available in each particular case. It was not a question of attesting or signing a form or of entering names upon a muster roll.
Mr. JOHNSON: This matter really becomes more serious. There is no muster roll. Therefore the only certificate of membership is to come from those who were familiar with the persons concerned. Now that has been the practice under the Military Service Pension Act, so that under this proposition of the Minister, if the ex-Volunteer Officer or a member of the Army now, were to certify that such and such a  person were a member of the organisation, even though that person were a woman, and because of particular service rendered, such certificate constitutes membership.
The PRESIDENT: No, not at all.
Mr. JOHNSON: What is membership then? There is no roll, or record, and the Minister has to rely on the certificate, or an accumulation of certificates if you like.
The PRESIDENT: That is more like it.
Mr. JOHNSON: He must get two or three or five or ten people to certify that such and such a woman was engaged in the particular service, which was probably secret, and only known to one person. I think the phrase “membership” here must, unless the reference to military organisation is enlarged, automatically exclude a woman, unless, in some special case, where an accumulation of evidence can be brought to bear that that particular person was openly known to be an active member of the organisation.
The PRESIDENT: It excluded men too—a much larger number as a matter of fact.
General MULCAHY: The point is to be borne in mind in connection with what Deputy Johnson said, that certificates, in this matter, are not so much certificates by themselves as certificates for cases in which there has been active military service as a member of an organisation, and, whereas, there might be very great difficulties in accepting a certificate that a particular person was a member of a particular organisation, there is not so much difficulty when you reduce it down to a certificate in the case of those people who have given a particular type of active service, and that that certificate is further restricted to people who, in the giving of that particular type of service, have suffered disability as a result of wounds or disease arising from them.
Mr. JOHNSON: I ask the Minister to take note of the definition clause, of the Bill, which describes membership of two particular bodies—Irish Volunteers and Citizen Army. It does not say persons who gave a particular service but who gave that service as members of such bodies.
The Dáil divided. Tá, 14; Níl, 35.
|Séamus Mac Cosgair.
Tomás Mac Eoin.
Risteárd Mac Fheorais.
Pádraig Mac Fhlannchadha.
Tomás de Nógla.
Ailfrid O Broin.
Aodh O Cúlacháin.
|Liam O Daimhín.
Eamon O Dubhghaill.
Seán O Laidhin.
Pádraic O Máille.
Domhnall O Muirgheasa.
Tadhg O Murchadha.
Pádraig O hOgáin (An Clár).
|Earnán de Blaghd.
Seoirse de Bhulbh.
Máighréad Ní Choileain Bean Uí Dhrisceóil.
Patrick J. Egan.
Osmond Grattan Esmonde.
Liam Mac Cosgair.
Pádraig Mac Fadáin.
Risteárd Mac Liam.
Eoin Mac Néill.
Liam Mac Sioghaird.
|Patrick J. Mulvany.
John T. Nolan.
Peadar O hAodha.
Seán O Bruadair.
Risteárd O Conaill. Séamus O Cruadhlaoich.
Eoghan O Dochartaigh.
Peadar O Dubhghaill.
Eamon O Dúgáin.
Donnchadh O Guaire.
Fionán O Loingsigh.
Risteárd O Maolchatha.
Séamus O Murchadha.
Máirtín O Rodaigh.
Seán O Súilleabháin.
Patrick W. Shaw.
Tellers.—Tá: Deputies Morrissey and Davin. Níl: Deputies Duggan and Sears.
Amendment declared lost.
Mr. DAVIN: I do not want to hold myself responsible for adding any great amount to what it may be necessary to find when administering this measure, but I think there are types of cases that would be excluded if the Bill becomes an Act in its present form. When considering our responsibilities for pensions or gratuities for people who rendered services pre-Truce, or subsequently in the National Army, I think there would be general agreement that we have a far greater obligation towards the dependents of those who lost their lives when serving the country, or were wounded, or became physically unfit as a result of such services. If the House was good enough, as it was under previous Acts, to give fairly reasonable pensions to young men, who undoubtedly undertook great risks, but who came out of the conflict physically fit in every way, then I think they should make provision for cases where life was lost, or where the individual became physically unfit as a result of these services.
I have one or two cases I will quote as typical of ones that cannot come under the Bill as it stands, but which involve considerable hardship on dependents. I have a case of a soldier who served at Ballinasloe, who was on patrol duty at 1.30 a.m. When returning towards the town he met with a cycling accident at Aughrim, was taken to hospital, discharged from it, and then demobilised from the Army. He died some time after the accident. The man died subsequent to demobilisation, and an application was made for a gratuity under the provisions of the Military Service Pensions Act, 1923. The following was the reply received:
With reference to your application for dependent's allowance or gratuity in respect of your son, Michael, I am directed to inform you that the Army Pensions Board has now considered your claim and all the facts in connection therewith, but owing to the fact that the injury in respect of which your son died was not received on active service, it is regretted that no award can be recommended within the terms of the Army Pensions Act, 1923.
That is the case of a soldier who  joined the National Army at a time when men were required. Undoubtedly the man met with the accident while he was on active service, but, because he was demobilised from the Army as unfit subsequent to the accident, a claim is not entitled to be considered under the terms of the Bill. I claim that the widowed mother of that soldier is entitled to the consideration of the taxpayers of this country, and I put it to the Minister that it is a case which should be provided for. It does not come under the Bill as it now reads. The provision which would debar cases of the kind from being dealt with comes under sub-section (4) of Section 12. In order to bring in such cases it would be necessary to exclude the words “in the course of his duty.” While these words are included in the Bill such cases cannot be sympathetically considered by the Board that will be set up to administer it when it becomes an Act. I appeal to the Minister to try and see the injustice that is being inflicted, perhaps unconsciously, in cases of that kind. I am making no plea to the Minister for a pension.
Mr. BLYTHE: Was not this man on duty at the time of the accident?
Mr. DAVIN: I tried to make it clear that he was on patrol duty, met with an accident, was taken to hospital and subsequently discharged from the Army. The claim was turned down because he was not on active service. Certainly he was not on active service when he died, because he had been demobilised previously. I have correspondence in connection with the case.
Mr. BLYTHE: We are dealing with another Bill now. There is another Bill with new provisions before the Dáil, and I do not think that case would be excluded.
Mr. DAVIN: I gave the Minister the words in the sub-section. They will compel the Board dealing with the Act to exclude cases. I appeal to the Minister to exclude the words I mentioned from the Bill, so that the Board would be enabled to sympathetically consider cases of the kind. Will the Minister tell me if this type of case can be dealt  with under the present Bill if it becomes an Act as it is now worded?
Mr. BLYTHE: Yes.
Mr. JOHNSON: There is no change in wording from the old Act. I think there is a misunderstanding. By inadvertence Deputy Davin mentioned the Military Service Pensions Act when it should be the Army Pensions Act. There is no change in the phraseology of this Bill which would bring this case under it if it was turned down under the old Act.
Mr. DAVIN: Sub-section (4) reads:
Every person who is discharged from the forces on or after the 1st day of October, 1924 (whether before or after the passing of this Act) and is at the date of his discharge suffering from a disablement due to a wound received on or after the 1st day of October, 1923 (whether before or after the passing of this Act) while he was a member of the forces and in the course of his duty as such member may, if the degree of such disablement is at the date of such discharge less than twenty per cent., be granted—
Mr. BLYTHE: Surely if it was received in the course of duty it was received while on duty and acting as a soldier.
Mr. DAVIN: If the Minister gives a definite assurance that cases of that type can be dealt with by the Board that will be set up under the Act, I am prepared to let the matter rest where it is now. As I read the Bill I cannot see from the wording that cases of that kind can be dealt with.
Mr. BLYTHE: I do not want to promise that particular case can, but it could be debated at more length when we come to this particular section. Certainly a considerable number of cases which could not be dealt with under the old Act will come within the scope of the present Bill when it becomes an Act.
Mr. JOHNSON: Will the Minister take a note of the terms of the reply quoted by Deputy Davin, that “the claim could not be conceded owing to  the fact that the injury in respect of which your son died was not received on active service”? I do not think there is any change in the present Bill from the old Act which would allow of this sort of case to come under it.
Mr. DAVIN: I am satisfied to leave the matter to the Minister to deal with.
The PRESIDENT: What is the date on which the accident occurred?
Mr. DAVIN: December, 1923.
The PRESIDENT: My impression is that the case is covered by this Bill, which brings it up to the date of the 30th September, 1924.
Mr. JOHNSON: May we assume it is the intention of the Minister that the case of a wound or death due to circumstances of that kind should be brought within this Bill? That is to say, that you are not going to refuse because the wound was not received or the death did not occur while on active service.
Mr. BLYTHE: There is what we might call, roughly, a workmen's compensation section to this Bill, which deals with that sort of case.
The PRESIDENT: Up to the date I have mentioned.
Mr. DAVIN: I am prepared to let the matter rest on the understanding that it is the intention of the Minister to make provision for that kind of case, which, as has already been mentioned, under the Army Pensions Act of 1922, has been turned down.
The PRESIDENT: Turned down because they did not come under the Act of 1923.
Mr. DAVIN: The President is aware that people in the country do not read Acts, and even if they read them do not clearly understand the meaning of them. We will let that case lie.
Mr. HUGHES: It is quite possible for a man turned down under the Army Pensions Act of 1923 to come under the scope of the present Bill. Cases have been turned down under that Act that will not come under this Bill, but  numbers of cases will, and that is the reason the Bill was introduced.
Mr. DAVIN: I hope the Minister will see the point in this matter. The woman received a reply to her application stating that her son did not die while on active service. He met with the accident while on active service, and was taken to hospital, subsequently demobilised as unfit, and died some weeks after demobilisation.
The PRESIDENT: Does not the Deputy understand that the decision was strictly within the law as it then stood, and that no Minister had power to go beyond the law as it stood then. This Bill is with a view to remedying some of the limitations in the Act of 1923.
Mr. DAVIN: I want to bring under the notice of the Minister another type of case which is somewhat different, though it probably would not be as strong a case as the one I have mentioned. The Minister for Finance, and the Minister for Defence particularly, must be aware that during the 1922-3 period a number, in my opinion a very small number, of soldiers were shot accidentally while on active service. I mentioned here on the last occasion a case where a soldier was out on leave for the evening. When returning to his barracks he was challenged by the sentry, and I admit, according to the evidence before me, and according to evidence at inquiries subsequently held, did not respond to the challenge of the sentry, who in the performance of his duty fired and shot the young soldier dead. There was no inquiry of any kind and no inquest, which, in my opinion, there should have been, and it was only when the young soldier's mother came to make an appeal for funeral expenses that the circumstances under which this young man was shot were inquired into. When I put the case up to the Ministry regarding the allowance of funeral expenses in this case, a military inquiry was ordered and held. It was found at the inquiry, at which nobody represented the individual who was shot, that this young man was guilty of misconduct, and, therefore, under the circumstances, the  Ministry declined to pay anything in the way of funeral expenses. I claim that this was not a case of deliberate misconduct. I would go so far as to say that it was negligence, but there is a somewhat slight difference between negligence and serious misconduct. Many things occurred during that period, as Deputy Byrne said, under the Standing Orders at the time.
The PRESIDENT: That is a most serious thing.
Mr. DAVIN: I put it to the President that it is a much more serious thing to be responsible for granting pensions to Army officers not physically unfit, and who mutinied against the present Government.
The PRESIDENT: That is not before us.
Mr. DAVIN: I said the present Executive Council are responsible for granting pensions to young men who mutinied against the Government of which the President is the head. That is a more serious thing than the shooting of a young soldier who failed to answer the challenge of a sentry. The number of cases I have in mind is not many. I asked the Minister on a previous occasion as to the number of cases that occurred. Perhaps he could give now the exact number that would be brought in under a heading of this kind. I am not making a case for a pension in this case but for a gratuity, or that some consideration should be given to the direct dependants of a young man of that kind who was foolish enough not to recognise the Standing Orders to which Deputy Byrne referred, but we all know that Standing Orders were fairly widely interpreted during 1922-3, and many things happened during that period that would not happen in an army properly established.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: took the Chair.
Mr. DAVIN: I ask the Minister to see if it is possible to include cases of that kind. In this particular case there was no inquest held, as far as I can make out. There was no open inquiry which would enable soldiers serving in  the barracks to say exactly what did happen. I have files which I can produce to show that there was responsibility even on the officers in charge. The military in Durrow in Leix occupied a house belonging to fairly well-to-do people. The discipline was such that the soldiers and officers actually tore down the banisters and stairs. They broke up the furniture and the doors and made firewood out of them. The Board of Works record will prove that there was very little reference to, or regard for, the Standing Orders.
The PRESIDENT: Was it the only place at which that happened?
Mr. DAVIN: How would you deal with people who tore down the stairs and broke the furniture? How was such action punished? The fact is that some of the men who did that sort of thing obtained pensions under the recent Pensions Act. The plea I make is for the young man who joined the Army with the sole desire of serving his country. An incident occurred which you regard as serious misconduct. I claim that it was serious negligence.
The PRESIDENT: I am taking the Deputy's own description. I do not remember the case. I take it the Deputy describes it as a case of serious misconduct?
Mr. DAVIN: Negligence.
The PRESIDENT: Well, serious negligence.
Mr. DAVIN: The President will have to admit that much more serious cases than that occurred, and that the people responsible were dealt with in a much more lenient way than the particular person I have in mind. If the Minister wants to refer to the file—and there is a fairly lengthy correspondence on the matter—I will give him every opportunity of investigating the facts.
The whole idea of pensions and gratuities is the extent of dependency. In this case the mother had to make provision for the funeral of the young soldier. The Government, although they may plead that we should not incur heavy financial liabilities in the  matter of pensions and gratuities, should certainly go so far as to make it possible for an individual in the position of the mother of that soldier, responsible as he was for negligence but not serious misconduct, to meet the expense incurred at the funeral.
I do not believe there would be more than 20 such cases and something should be done—the Bill should be so amended—to enable cases of that kind to be sympathetically dealt with. Has the Minister for Defence found out since the Second Reading debate how many cases of that kind occurred?
Mr. HUGHES: I have not.
Mr. DAVIN: If the Minister wanted to make a good case against it he should have given us the actual number. If there are only one or two cases, why should we waste time arguing the matter? The Minister and the Government generally should take the human view and enable cases of this sort to be dealt with.
Mr. HUGHES: I would like to hear a good case made on the matter before I alter my opinion. The whole thing hinges on serious negligence. Deputy Davin admits there was negligence on the part of this man in approaching a sentry when he was challenged. I say it was serious negligence, and all the Acts passed up to the present, and this measure, point out that a pension shall not be paid to any person who, by serious negligence or misconduct, made himself liable for death or disease.
Deputy Davin has not made any case, in my opinion, that would justify me in including this particular individual or his friends who may be living. If there was no serious negligence on behalf of that man he would come under this measure. It remains to be tried by the board that will be set up whether there was serious negligence in this case. If there was not serious negligence on the part of that soldier who unfortunately lost his life, his dependents will come under this Bill.
Mr. DAVIN: Who will prove or disprove it at this stage?
Mr. HUGHES: It cannot be proved unless by the persons who want to get  the pension or gratuity. The onus lies upon them and it is the same in every case. The Army authorities are not going to look for a case and prove it for the individual. The onus lies on the individual, and if the case is proved a gratuity or allowance will be granted.
Mr. DAVIN: The file in connection with this case is in Portobello and it can be examined. The reply to the claim for a gratuity was that the young soldier was guilty of serious misconduct. I think the Minister will agree that he paid a drastic penalty for his misconduct?
Mr. HUGHES: He did.
Mr. DAVIN: It was not, at any rate, a case of open mutiny. The Minister will admit that pensions were given to men who did openly mutiny, and that was a far more serious thing.
The PRESIDENT: Could we not deal with this case first and then deal with other cases afterwards? Does the Deputy think negligence should have been excluded from the last Act?
Mr. DAVIN: I am making a plea for the amendment of this Bill so as to bring in cases of the kind I mention.
The PRESIDENT: And compensate for negligence?
Mr. DAVIN: If you like, yes.
The PRESIDENT: That is a very tall order.
Mr. DAVIN: But we are to take the facts into consideration.
Mr. LYONS: I would like to know from the Minister whether men who volunteered in 1917, who joined the National Army in 1922, who contracted disease, who were demobilised in 1923, and who died at the end of 1924 in hospital, will be considered? There are three cases of that sort in Athlone and the parents had to bury them and had to bear the funeral expenses. I was in Athlone when one of those men was being buried and I endeavoured to get the officers to give a guarantee to the undertaker before the funeral arrangements were carried out, but I was refused  that. I brought the case before the Minister for Defence and I raised the question here in the House, but the £10 that it cost to bury that soldier is yet due to the undertaker in Athlone. I refer to the case of Green, Peter's Street, Athlone. Then there is the case of Morrissey, who lived in Irishtown and who was killed in an operation in Cork, where 13 men were blown to atoms. The woman in this case was given £50 compensation for the loss of the boy.
The PRESIDENT: What was the date?
Mr. LYONS: It was in 1921, and he was killed while operating with the column. The case is that of Morrissey, Castle Street, Athlone. As I say, £50 was paid. It was granted actually three years ago, and it was paid less than six months ago. This woman was in a very destitute condition, primarily due to the loss of her boy, who, prior to going on the run, was earning from £2 10s. to £2 16s. a week. Surely something better than that could be done under this Bill. Some more relief could be given to the dependents of those men.
I want to ask the Minister whether this Bill will include the cases from the North of Ireland, and whether it will apply to men who were active as Irish Volunteers from 1916 to 1921 in the North. I refer to the cases of men the houses of whose parents had been destroyed and their property burned by the forces of the British Government. Some of these men were arrested by the Northern Government in 1922, and were kept in internment until 1923 and 1924. Will these men, Irish Volunteers, who are still living in the North, be entitled to come in under this Bill?
Mr. HUGHES: No. This is a Bill which provides compensation for loss sustained through wounds and disease. The man who was in the Volunteers in the North or elsewhere and who was neither wounded nor diseased does not come under the provision of this Bill, and it was never intended that he should.
Mr. LYONS: Some of those Volunteers who were acting in the Six  Counties during the trouble and who may have been wounded and contracted disease should, I submit, come under this Bill. They should not be left to the mercy of the ratepayers of the Six Counties by this Government for whom they fought. These men rendered as good service to the Free State as the Volunteers who lived in the Free State, and I certainly fail to see why they should not come in under this Bill. Some of these men are now incapable of earning a living for themselves, and they should be compensated by this Government just as well as if they had lived in the Free State.
There is another case that I wish to bring before the Minister. It is the case of a young Volunteer who joined the National Army. This was young Moore, from Ballynacargy, in Westmeath. The remains of this Volunteer were taken back to his father's home by four National Army men and left there on the floor. That was during the time of the Provisional Government in 1922-1923. Having brought his remains home to his father, these four National Army men never said a word as to how the man died. Now that man was killed, and I went to Athlone to make inquiries about the case and could find no record of it there in the barracks. General Seán McKeown was then in Athlone and he searched the register and could find no record of the man's death. I applied for compensation for the man's father, who was very old and unable to earn anything to support himself. After about two years there was something about £50 paid to him. It has never yet been proved how that young man met his death, though I have asked here in the Dáil for an inquiry to be held. I am aware that there were in Athlone three soldiers who could come forward to such an inquiry and swear that that man was shot by his own men and not altogether by accident. Two of these men are still alive. I want to know whether under this Bill we can get an inquiry to decide whether that man died a coward or a hero.
The PRESIDENT: That is not one of the purpose of the Bill.
Mr. LYONS: I am looking for  adequate compensation for that case, and I would like to see proved or disproved that the man died in the way I suggest—that is to say, that he was shot dead by his own men.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: That matter does not arise at all under this Bill.
Mr. LYONS: It arises in this way, that adequate compensation was not paid to the parents of this man, and I want to see something paid them which will prevent them applying for outdoor relief or being a burden on the charity of the Vincent de Paul Society. It is not right that people whose son offered his life in the service of the State should now suffer for that reason. Neither can we expect that the ratepayers should support the dependents of that man.
I am not at all satisfied with the amount of pensions proposed to be granted under this Bill. I am not at all satisfied with the proposed amount for the man who loses his left hand. The basis that he has lost only 50 per cent. of his earning capacity would be unfair to him. I would like to see such cases graded. If a tailor loses his left hand he loses his entire earning capacity. The same applies to a farm labourer, a mason or a carpenter. Nobody will employ such men. It would be different in the case of a man working in a clerical capacity in an office. I think that before permission be given for this motion that we should have some idea of the amount of money that is going to be devoted to compensation under this Bill. The Minister himself said that he could give no idea whatsoever of the amount of money that would be involved through this motion being passed. I would ask that before the Bill passes through its remaining stages that the amount of money should be specified. I want to know whether the Minister at a later stage will consider amendments to increase the amount to be awarded where a man loses, say, 50 per cent. of his earning capacity. I say that in such a case £1 1s. a week for a single man and 26/- a week if married would be entirely inadequate. No member of the  Dáil, except a Minister, can move a motion increasing an estimate of this kind. I think it is right that the Minister should give more consideration to the dependents of men who have lost their lives on behalf of the State or to men who have contracted disease which has incapacitated them from earning enough to support themselves and their dependents. I think that something more than 21/- a week should be given to such men. Men who laid down their lives fighting for this country or who contracted disease in that service should be considered, and the Government should not allow their dependents to be a burden on outdoor relief or on the Vincent de Paul Society. That is not the proper treatment to give to men or the relatives of men who sacrificed their lives for their country.
Mr. P. HOGAN (An Clár): I do not wish to traverse ground that has already been travelled by several Deputies and that will probably be travelled again, but I would like to revert to the case to which I drew the attention of the Minister on the Second Reading of the Bill. I would like to know if the Minister has given any consideration to that case, or if he is now in a position to make any statement as to whether the provisions of this Bill will be extended to meet it, and other cases like it, which are likely to arise. I am glad that the President is here, because he is intimately acquainted with the circumstances of the case to which I refer and of which I might as well give a brief outline. It is the case of a member of the R.I.C., a County Inspector's clerk, which was a very responsible position, and the fact that he occupied it showed that he was a capable man and was well able to perform the duties imposed upon such men. He was a confidant in the office of the R.I.C., and he utilised the position he held in order to give information to members of the I.R.A. who were active about the district. He fell under the suspicion of the R.I.C. and he had to leave that body. He joined an active service unit of a battalion operating in the county, and I am sure that every  member of the Government Party knows what kind of love both the regular R.I.C. and the Black and Tans bore towards members of that body who left and joined the Irish Republican Army. He had on several occasions to fight for his life and to flee so that he should not be murdered by the gang of murderers who were let loose on the country at that time. I quoted before from a letter from a man who was then his officer, who was in charge of his brigade, who is still a high officer in the National Army and who, as everybody that knew him will acknowledge, both within the National Army and within the Republican Army, was a capable soldier, a man who knew the merits of a soldier and who knew what active service meant. An ambush was arranged by this particular brigade, and after dealing with one section of the Crown forces all one morning, the small party engaged had to retreat across the country, over hills, hedges and walls and such obstructions as the countryside usually affords. While doing so they were met by another party of Crown forces whom they had not counted on meeting. This body attacked that worn-out party of Republican soldiers, and the man to whom I refer, with another, fought a rearguard action, covering the retreat of their small party. Although asked by his officer to make his escape and not to allow the brunt of the fight to fall upon him, he refused, until the attacking party had retreated. He then dropped dead from sheer exhaustion. Anybody who knew the state of the country at the time knows that a good many of these people who were on active service were not in a position to have certain meals or certain sleep. Probably this man had not two nights' sleep in the week, and anybody can realise the exhaustion of that man after fighting an action during the morning and then meeting a fresh force that he had not counted on meeting. Under the terms of the Act of 1924 the dependents of that soldier cannot get compensation because he was not killed in action. I am sure that nobody will argue but that that soldier died in action and gave his life for his country as much as if an enemy's bullet  had gone through his heart or his brain or through some vital organ, and some of us who made representations to the Government were told that an amending Bill was in a state of incubation. Now it has come to us and we find that it contains no provision whatever to meet such a case, that there is no alteration in the terms of the original Act. A person must have been killed before his dependents were entitled to any compensation.
The PRESIDENT: The Deputy has not read Section 14. There is no mention of R.I.C. or ex-R.I.C. in it.
Mr. HOGAN: Would the President refer me to the portion of it that covers the case I mentioned?
The PRESIDENT: Sub-section (a) would probably cover the case. I cannot say that it would. I am not a lawyer.
Mr. HOGAN: “Disease attributable.” Surely the President does not suggest that this is a case of a man dying from disease attributable to service? This is the case of a man dying from exhaustion, having been forced by the enemy to retreat. That, surely, is not a case for giving a gratuity for disease contracted on service. Disease contracted on service, I take it, would mean consumption, rheumatism, or some other disease contracted through being out in the open. Surely, this is not such a case, and the President will agree that this was not a case of disease contracted on service.
The PRESIDENT: I do not agree.
Mr. HOGAN: I do not agree, anyhow, that it is a case in which a gratuity should be paid. It is a case in which a pension should be paid to the dependents.
The PRESIDENT: The Deputy has got away from his first point. The Deputy is abandoning the first point.
Mr. HOGAN: I am not abandoning anything. If the President will tell me what I am abandoning I will meet the case.
The PRESIDENT: Your weakness in  connection with the interpretation of (a).
Mr. HOGAN: “Every person who died before the 1st day of October, 1924, whilst serving in the forces and whose death was due solely to disease.” Does the President suggest that that man's death was due solely to disease contracted while he was on active service?
The PRESIDENT: I think a person dies either from disease or wounds. A person in health does not die.
Mr. HOGAN: I did not suggest that a person in health does die, but does the President suggest that it was disease that he contracted that killed this man, or does he think that the man's dependents are entitled to less fair treatment from the Government than if an enemy's bullet had gone through his brain? I suggest that because the enemy did not shoot him that the treatment should be as fair as if he were shot.
The PRESIDENT: Would the Deputy explain to me in what way a man can die other than from disease or wounds?
Mr. HOGAN: I did not think the President was going to quibble about a man who died for his country.
The PRESIDENT: I am talking about disease or wounds.
Mr. JOHNSON: The point is that he was killed in the course of his duty. He did not contract disease and then die from it.
The PRESIDENT: You can die without contracting disease.
Mr. JOHNSON: He was killed in the course of his duty.
The PRESIDENT: I did not know that that could happen in that way.
Mr. JOHNSON: There are many things that you do not know.
Mr. ESMONDE: Is not this a discussion for the Committee Stage of the Bill? There is nothing in this Motion about disease or anything else.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: We are discussing the scope of the Bill now. If this motion is passed the Deputy will not have any further opportunity of discussing the question of widening the scope of the Bill.
Mr. HOGAN: I submit that this is a case of whether there will be extra cost put on the Government or not, and that therefore I am entitled to discuss it.
The PRESIDENT: The Deputy does not know what he is discussing. He has not read the Bill or the amendments.
Mr. HOGAN: I have read the Bill.
The PRESIDENT: He has not read the amendments.
Mr. HOGAN: What amendments?
The PRESIDENT: The Minister's amendments.
Mr. HOGAN: Where are they?
The PRESIDENT: I understood that they were circulated.
Mr. HOGAN: The President has had this case before him for three years. He is intimately acquainted with every fact of the case and still he tells me that I have not read the amendments. That is certainly not a fair way to meet the case.
The PRESIDENT: But the Deputy has not read the amendments.
Mr. JOHNSON: I move the adjournment of the discussion until the amendments have been printed and circulated.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: I think the amendments have been circulated.
Mr. JOHNSON: They have not been printed.
Mr. LYONS: They were circulated about half-past three o'clock, but no Deputy who has been attending to this debate has had time to read them.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: These are amendments to the Bill and not to the motion.
Mr. HOGAN: Will the President  refer me to the amendments covering this case?
The PRESIDENT: On page 2, Section 14. “In sub-section (2), page 8.” It is getting so near the elections now we like to be talking.
Mr. HOGAN: The President knows that I went to his office two and a half years ago about this case, and there was then no election in the offing. I challenge the President to say that I am raising this case because of the election. If the President wants to turn this debate into an election stunt he can, but I will not.
The PRESIDENT: There is an election pending now.
Mr. HOGAN: There is.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: We are not discussing elections now.
Mr. HOGAN: Prevent the President from discussing them. Let him meet the case fairly. I am not going to discuss these amendments that have not been circulated in time.
The PRESIDENT: It is the money resolution which we are on now.
Mr. HOGAN: I am going to discuss that, and on that resolution I asked the Minister for Defence to make a statement whether any provisions have been or are going to be made to meet this case. I will read a statement in regard to this matter from an officer in the National Army under whom the man served:—
“He served for some time with the East Clare Column, having been previously appointed Brigade Police Officer, and some time in June, 1921, was one of a party of ten Volunteers who were surprised and pursued by a large body of R.I.C. This little Column had already that day a long fight with another party of R.I.C., and at the time of their second encounter the men were absolutely worn out from marching and fighting. Only Healy and the Column Commander were able to offer any effective resistance, and they covered the retreat of the others, falling back and fighting every inch of the way.  The day was terribly warm, and Healy for some time was showing signs of distress, but even when instructed to get away refused to do so. He kept on fighting until the pursuers were beaten off, and immediately afterwards he collapsed at his post and died from exhaustion in a few minutes.”
If the President does not believe me, and I am not asking him to do so, I ask him to believe the statement of a high officer in the Army, and I ask him to put that statement against his statement about an election in the offing. I ask him to think of an election in the offing if he does not treat fairly the dependents of those who gave their lives for their country.
The PRESIDENT: We will answer for that, and more along with it. We will do so by actions, not words.
Mr. JOHNSON: I was hoping that the Minister would indicate his policy on this matter, in as much as, as already pointed out, this is the occasion on which we ought to have an indication whether the Minister is responding to the case made on the Second Reading of this Bill. We have had no intimation from Ministers as to what extent they are prepared to concede the claims made during the Second Reading debate. The President referred to a series of amendments which have been circulated in typescript within the last half hour, and he expects us, presumably, to take that as a statement of Government policy. That is not treating the House fairly. If we are expected to be satisfied with the circulation of three sheets of typescript without having time to look at them and see what their effect would be, I take it that the President is merely trifling with the Dáil. I hope, at any rate, before we discuss the amendments in Committee, we shall, at least, have one day to examine them. I am going to ask the Minister for Defence, who is responsible, to give the House some indication as to his intentions regarding the claims put up on Second Reading also now.
He has taken it to be the best course not to make a statement now, so that we are bound to repeat to a considerable  extent the argument which we used on Second Reading. If he made a statement explaining what were his intentions we might have avoided these repetitions. On the Second Reading Stage certain claims were put up with regard to different classes of cases, and I am going to question the Minister in regard to two or three of these classes of cases. The Minister for Finance in introducing the motion practically told us that in regard to cases of sickness or disability from disease he was not going to modify the 80 per cent. disability. I think that there is a clear case in equity for a modification of that figure. I cannot understand where, and why, there should be a clear distinction fixing a minimum of 20 per cent. in the case of wound disability and raising it to 80 per cent. in the case of sickness disability. It is stated that a wound can be easily identified and that sickness cannot be so easily identified, but in the very section affected you are requiring that it should be identifiable as being directly and solely attributable to service. Once you have assumed the possibility of such identification with service you have removed entirely, in my opinion, the plea for making 80 per cent. the minimum. If you can attribute disease to service you ought to bring it as low as the wound disability. You require to be satisfied that the disease is consequent upon, and, as you say, solely attributable to service. If that can be done, it can be done in respect of 20 per cent. as well as 80 per cent. disability. I fear that the effect of that is intended to remove out of the sphere of influence of this Bill practically any disability due to disease. If it is at all permissible to prove that disease is directly and solely attributable to service then there is no case for requiring that that disability should be 80 per cent.
Again, we have had no evidence of what the Minister's intentions are regarding cases of deaths, shall we say, or disabilities to any degree, due to accident—let us say the shooting of one soldier by another. A case has been known that I mentioned some days ago of a man being shot in bed. It remains to be seen whether it is the intention of  the Minister that such a case should come within the scope of the Bill. We ought to know the intention of the Minister, and then we ought to be able to find a means of ensuring by the language of the section that such a case would be brought within the scope of the Bill. I fear that the phrase “in the course of his duty” may be held to remove such a person from the scope of the Bill. From the way these Acts have been interpreted in the past one would imagine that a soldier was not in duty bound to go to sleep or lie in bed—that it was not in the course of his duty. That is a matter of doubt. Active service has been held in some contingencies to be service during the period of hostilities, no matter what other service a man was engaged in. If “in the course of his duty” is intended to mean all the time that a man is under orders, so long as he is not negligent or guilty of misconduct, then it seems to me you have no need to put in that phrase, “in the course of his duty.” I am hopeful it will be in order on the Committee Stage to discuss that particular phrase with a view to its deletion.
Then there is another phrase running right through the Bill which clearly is intended, or if not intended, will have the effect of limiting severely the number of persons who will receive disablement benefit due to disease. That is the phrase “solely due to service.” I am not able to speak with any authority on death due to disease, or death certificates, or anything of that kind. It requires a medical expert to tell us something on that question. But I have read a few death certificates, and I find very many of them indicating more than one cause of death—a complication of diseases. I can see that if you are going to make it necessary to prove that the death was due to disease solely attributable to service you are making it the easiest possible thing to rule out an applicant. A person had measles as a child, say, and a certain weakness of one of the organs develops, having no effect upon the general health. Then a disease attributable to service ensues. A doctor would say that the second disease would not have  caused death but for the weakness consequent upon the infantile disease. This word “solely” would make it impossible for the applicant to receive a pension, and I think that the effect of that word is to restrict very greatly indeed the number of applicants who can prove their eligibility for a pension. I hope that the Minister will agree to delete that word so that this very severe restriction will not be maintained in the Bill.
Again I would like to have some indication from the Minister—although it is not necessarily ruled out by the fact that this is merely a Money Resolution—as to whether he insists upon the gratuity system—that is, the lump sum gratuity system, as distinguished from periodical payments. As we urged on the Second Reading, the system of lump sum gratuities is very often harmful rather than beneficial to the recipient, and I think that the Minister ought to agree to modify the Bill in such a manner as would enable him to use discretion, and that the normal method of giving a gratuity where there is a family should be by means of periodical payments rather than by a lump sum.
It is on these points I should like to have some statement from the Minister as to his intentions—whether the amendments he has circulated are intended to cover any of them, and, if so, which of them, and in what manner? I think that the discussion ought not to be extended until we have had some statement of that kind from the Minister, so that we may know exactly where we are and what to look forward as to the fulfilment of the intentions when we are reading the amendments which he has circulated.
Major COOPER: I should like to support Deputy Johnson in his plea that either this discussion be postponed or we have some statement of policy from the Minister. In doing so I should like to recall to Deputies a little of the history of this Bill. It was originally proposed by the Government to set down this Bill, of which we are now considering the Money Resolution, and, presumably, the Money Resolution for this day last week. At the request of myself and other Deputies they  agreed to postpone it until Thursday, and I and other unofficial Deputies handed in amendments on that basis. The Dáil did not sit last week, and the Bill could not go on until to-day, but the Government amendments were not handed in until after the Dáil was sitting to-day, about four o'clock. That makes it almost impossible for us to discuss this resolution, because we are in the dark as to what the Government proposes to do, and we are in the dark as regards our amendments, as to how far the passage of this resolution may not rule them out of order.
For instance, I put down an amendment to delete sub-section (3) of Section 7. That is to say, the section providing that the Army Pension Board's decision shall be final. The Minister for Defence here proposes to do the same. My amendment was a consequential amendment. I proposed to set up a form of appeal board. What the Minister is going to do I have not the faintest idea. There is no provision for an appeal board—no substantive provision. Possibly he intends an appeal to the law courts—I do not know; nobody can know. How can we discuss this resolution effectually or valuably as long as the intentions of the Minister are in the dark? I would seriously suggest that we should either have some time to allow us to gain a little more light—that is only one of many points which will probably arise in these five pages of amendments— we should either have time to consider them or the Minister should tell us what he proposes to do.
Mr. BLYTHE: I do not think any case has been made out for postponing this discussion. After all, the principle of the Bill has been accepted by its passage on the Second Reading. The words of the present motion are not restrictive. This motion is not restrictively drawn, and I did not think that there would be any question of defeating this resolution unless Deputies were so dissatisfied with the general scope of the Bill that they wanted the Bill to be defeated or withdrawn. Matters on which the Minister may be prepared to vary the Bill can and will be properly discussed on the Committee  Stage. I do not think that they really arise now. There is no doubt that there is perhaps now an easier opportunity of discussing matters that are not in the Bill, than on the Committee Stage, though even on the Committee Stage in the discussion of a particular clause it can be criticised because it does not contain certain other matters.
With reference to what Deputy Johnson says about eighty per cent. disability, I do not think it would be at all possible to meet him in any way. Our view is that it will be almost impossible to be sure in the circumstances whether or not the disability is due to disease solely contracted in the Army. As I have said already, there was not that sort of medical examination that there was in the case of men who joined the British Army for the European war. There was not the same medical supervision and constant medical examinations and inspections during the period of service, and I am quite satisfied that no matter how much care is exercised in the administration of this Act, out of every ten people who get pensions five, and perhaps seven, will be people who should not get them. People will put forward cases which are not sound cases and it will be impossible to rebut them. No matter what committee or authority is administering the Act they will be forced to grant pensions in cases where they should not really be granted.
The view that we have taken about the matter is simply this: that undoubtedly there are certain cases of people who are disabled because of disease solely due to military service. We want to deal with those cases, but we appreciate the great difficulty of distinguishing those cases from other cases where it will be alleged, but not truthfully, that the disability is due solely to disease caused by military service. The method that is proposed to be adopted is simply this: we will not give a pension in respect of disability due to disease except where the disease has reached such an advanced stage that the applicant is practically disabled from work. In that case we feel that even although a great number of pensions  will be granted that ought not be granted, at any rate they will be granted to people who did give military service and who are actually in dire need of them. Eighty per cent. disability does mean, as I have said, that the person will be unable to earn his living, will be unable to work, or practically unable to work. It would not be possible to come down as low in the scale as 20 per cent. disability when we are dealing with disability due to disease. There will probably be applicants who were suffering from a 40 per cent. disability before they ever entered the Army. We have an almost arbitrary scale fixed in the case of disability due to wounds. We say that the loss of an arm means so much, or that the loss of a foot means so much, but you cannot have any such scale in respect of disability due to disease. You have to leave it to the Board, and it would be impossible, because it is so entirely a matter of the discretion of the Board, to fix varying payments for 80 per cent., 70 per cent., 60 per cent., and so on down the scale.
This Bill, if passed as it stands at present, will involve a fairly heavy charge. We do not want to have men who did give service and who are disabled because of that service, in want. We realise that in meeting their case at all we must open the door to many cases that are not really deserving cases. We want to deal with the whole matter in a reasonable way, bearing the two points of view in mind —first, that these cases ought not to be neglected, that something reasonable ought to be done for them, and on the other hand that the burden of the charge should be kept as low as possible. I think we really are doing a great deal. I have experience myself, in connection with another Act, of the difficulty of distinguishing between cases in which a pension should be granted and in which a pension should not be granted. I have examined the files of the resigned and dismissed R.I.C. men and have signed certificates. I have been as careful and as cautious as possible about granting pensions, but I am completely satisfied that a great many people have got pensions  who should not have got them. Those cases were so similar to others in which it was fairly clear that a pension should be granted, that it was impossible to refuse them. Whatever Board or Authority is administering the Military Service Pensions will find itself in the same sort of difficulty. There will be statements and evidence put up on which they might have certain doubts, but because of the lack of medical records it will not be possible to disprove them. It will be possible in fact to do nothing but accept them, and so pensions will be granted to very large numbers of people who either had disease before they entered the Army or acquired the disease in circumstances which make it fairly certain that it was not due to the conditions of service.
A number of other cases, such as people who are accidentally shot and killed, are dealt with in various sections of this Bill. The case of the soldier who is shot, say, in bed, will come within the scope of the Bill, and other cases of that kind. In some cases according to date there will be differences of treatment. In some cases the dependents will simply be the wife or children; in other cases they will be the father and mother. We are providing in the Bill for all those cases where the soldier is accidentally killed, where if he were a workman, he would be entitled to compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act.
Mr. LYONS: Is this another new Bill?
Mr. JOHNSON: I think the Minister deserves this to be said: that the strictness of his ruling in face of the difficulty is going to leave out a considerable number of people who undoubtedly received their disability to earn a livelihood, owing to their service in the Army or even their disability to earn half a livelihood, while the Government has been very generous in their treatment of military service which did not result in wounds or disease.
Question put and declared carried.
Mr. JOHNSON: May I ask the Minister if he will agree to give us at least one day to examine the amendments. I think the early proposition was to take the Committee Stage to-morrow, but  in view of the series of amendments, it is quite impossible to examine and to do justice to the matter in the short time allowed.
The PRESIDENT: I understood Deputy Johnson only wanted a day.
Mr. JOHNSON: I am suggesting Thursday.
The PRESIDENT: Very good.
The Dáil went out of Committee.
Mr. BLYTHE: I move: “That the Dáil agree with the Committee in the Resolution.”
Question put and agreed to.
Committee Stage of Bill ordered for Thursday, 10th February.
MINISTER for FINANCE (Mr. Blythe): I move:—
Go dtugaidh an Dáil cead chun go dtabharfaí isteach na Meastacháin Nua agus Breise seo a leanas i gcóir seirbhíse na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1927:—
Vótanna a 43 (An Coimisiún Arachais Sláinte Náisiúnta), 61 (An Roinn Puist agus Telegrafa), 69 (Coimisiún na nDleacht).
That leave be given by the Dáil to introduce the following Additional and Supplementary Estimates for the service of the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1927:—
Votes Nos. 43 (National Health Insurance Commission), 61 (Department of Posts and Telegraphs), 69 (Tariff Commission).
The first two votes are token votes. For the National Health Insurance Commission a vote is asked for £10. That is to enable a sum of about £14,000 to be paid in respect of the grant in aid of contributions towards benefits. There have been additional amounts of benefits paid out by the societies beyond what was anticipated when the original estimate was introduced. It is not possible, as they are grants-in-aid, to transfer from another sub-head in the Vote, without bringing the matter before the Dáil.
 In respect of the Posts and Telegraphs Vote, this estimate is introduced because certain premises and a building site in the City of Cork are being acquired for post office purposes. It was promised the Committee on Public Accounts that where a building or site involved an expenditure of more than £5,000, it would be separately brought to the notice of the Dáil. The third estimate is for a sum of £330 to meet the expenses of the Tariff Commission, under the Tariff Commission Act, until the end of the financial year.
Mr. JOHNSON: Would the Minister say when this vote on the Tariff Commission will be presented?
Mr. BLYTHE: I think the vote went to the printers this afternoon. I presume it will be presented next week.
Mr. JOHNSON: I simply wanted to make the plea that the Tariff Commission, if it has this number of applications submitted to it already or to be submitted by the Minister, should proceed with something like speed in its examination. A good deal of time has elapsed since the Bill was passed amid the exultation of the Deputy for Cork and others. There has been a great deal of anxiety aroused since that time because of the delay. People have been hoping that their doubts would be removed and that their anxieties would be relieved, one way or another. I am taking this opportunity to ask the Minister to give an assurance that now they have started work, there will be regular, steady hearings and no longer delays between hearings.
Mr. BLYTHE: The Deputy may take it that the hearings will be fairly frequent. There have been certain delays. First there was some delay in the choosing of the membership of the Commission. Until the members were appointed, it was impossible to proceed with the making of certain statutory regulations. Even when the regulations were made, it was discovered that, in order that the regulations fixing fees should have validity, an adaptation order should be made by the Executive Council to render it unnecessary to publish the fees in the “London Gazette” which one of the  Acts relating to fees and stamps requires. Then, the members of the Commission had to have a number of private meetings to determine procedure and method, and to discuss, generally, how the work of the Commission should be done. It was felt that should be carefully thought out beforehand and that they should not rush into hearings without having considered their plan of campaign. Now that they have done all that preliminary work and have started hearings, there will be no such delays as there have been in the past. I would not like to give the Deputy the impression that a case could be disposed of, as some people suggested, in a couple of days. After the hearing a certain length of time will have to be allowed to elapse to enable people who may oppose the granting of a tariff to make their case. There will even be a necessity for examining accounts in most cases. The mere statements of people making a case cannot be received without being at least checked. I do not think any application, from the time it first comes before the Commission, is likely to be reported upon within a couple of months, ordinarily speaking. If there were a very complicated case, it might be more than that. The work of the Commission could not be properly done unless the documents sent in by the applicants were examined and the Commission put in a position to ask the right questions by examination of them. Then time must be given for people who oppose to come forward and to make their case and even have their arguments rebutted by the original applicants if necessary.
Mr. JOHNSON: The Minister need not be reminded that we are in February now and that usually new Budget proposals are offered to the House in April. I think the Minister has given an impression to the country, if he has not given a positive assurance, that no new taxes will be placed on imports without the proposal being examined by the Tariff Commission. We have to look to a two months' interval between the first application  and the final decision by the Tariff Commission. I do not know whether the Minister intends us to infer that we are not to have any new tariff proposal in the Budget.
Mr. BLYTHE: There will be no tariff proposals that have not been reported on by the Tariff Commission.
Mr. JOHNSON: The first hearing is to-day and you are to give a certain number of opportunities for responses and other proposals which are to come forward between now and April 1st.
Mr. BLYTHE: The Deputy has forgotten that it was also stated that if the Commission did recommend a tariff in a particular case we would come to the Dáil to give it legislative effect, irrespective of the time of the year, and that if it brought more money into the Exchequer than was regarded as necessary it simply would have to be adjusted when the next Budget came along.
Mr. HEWAT: Has the Minister gone back on his statement to the House that no new tariff proposal would be put into operation until after the General Election?
Mr. BLYTHE: The passing of the Tariff Commission Act represents a modification of that.
Mr. HEWAT: I thought the Tariff Commission was eyewash.
Mr. JOHNSON: Is not that obvious now?
Question put, and agreed to.
The Dáil went into Committee on Finance.
Mr. BLYTHE: I move:—
Go ndeontar Suim Bhreise ná raghaidh thar Dheich bPúint chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1927, chun Tuarastail agus Costaisí Coimisiúin  na Stát-Sheirbhíse (Achtanna Rialuithe na Stát-Sheirbhíse, 1924 agus 1926) agus an Choimisiúin um Cheapacháin Aitiúla (Acht na nUdarás nAitiúil (Oifigigh agus Fostaithe), 1926).
That a Supplementary Sum not exceeding Ten Pounds be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending the 31st day of March, 1927, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Civil Service Commission (Civil Service Regulation Acts, 1924 and 1926), and the Local Appointments Commission (Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act, 1926).
Deputies will notice that the title in Part I, has been extended, as compared with the original estimate, by adding the reference to the Local Appointments Commission (Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act, 1926). That addition explains the necessity for the estimate. It is not considered necessary or desirable to present a separate estimate for the Local Appointments Commission, because it has been arranged that a joint staff do the work of the two bodies. It would mean a somewhat artificial, and not very informative, apportionment of the salaries of officers who will be employed for both bodies if a separate estimate were presented.
Under the Local Appointments Act, a very varied list of local appointments will be filled by the machinery of the Local Appointments Commission chiefly by means of selection boards. They will include such officers as midwives, nurses, dispensary doctors, doctors in Co. Hospitals and Co. Homes, county medical officers of health, veterinary surgeons, solicitors, town clerks, superintendents of home assistance, home assistance officers and all persons being appointed to posts requiring professional or technical qualifications. The procedure will require full publication of the vacant posts to enable all qualified candidates to apply, and it will also necessitate the meeting of selection boards in a great number of centres. The travelling expenses consequently will be  higher than in the case of the Civil Service boards of selection. But this is regarded as necessary.
The fees in connection with the Local Appointments examinations or selections will vary according to the posts and the salary carried. Some of them have been provisionally arranged. For instance, in the case of doctors, for medical officers of health it will be £2, dispensary doctors £1, veterinary surgeons £1; compounders 15/-, nurses 7/6, maternity nurses 5/-. Those fees will help to defray the expenses of the Local Appointments Commission, and also prevent a great number of applicants who would be, perhaps, not bona fide applicants from occupying the time of the Commission and its officers. No appointments have yet been made under the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act, but one examination has been held and three selection boards have sat already, and appointments are expected to be made almost immediately. It is expected that there will be, at least, three examinations and eight selection boards before the end of March. There may be more. It is not possible yet to estimate what will be the cost of the working of the Local Appointments Commission during a normal year.
Mr. LYONS: I opposed this Act in the Dáil, and at that time I was of the opinion, as I am now, that the Government were taking too much on their own shoulders and that the people elected throughout the Saorstát should have power to make their own appointments.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: We cannot go into that question now.
Mr. LYONS: I can go into the question of salaries. We are asked to pass a supplementary estimate. The Appointments Commission will have the full right of selecting any person when a position becomes vacant under a county board of health or an urban district council. We are asked to-day to pass an estimate for £10, notwithstanding the fact that £8,535 has been passed already for the Civil Service Commission. It has been suggested by the Minister for Local Government  that a county medical officer should be appointed in each county within the Saorstát. It shows what the people of the Saorstát think of this when 70 per cent. of the county councils have turned down that proposal. I think we should not pass this supplementary estimate for the purpose for which it is required. The Act is not a popular one with the people, and the people will not like to have their money spent in this way. I do not think we have any right here to squander the money of the people or to make appointments against their wishes. Too much money has been spent in this way by the Dáil. This Dáil will go down amongst the members of public bodies as the spender and squanderer of the people's money. If it were its own money it might not be so flaitheamhla with it.
AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE: The Civil Service Commission has nothing to do with that. Their function is to make the appointments according to the law passed here.
Mr. LYONS: At any rate the expenses of the Civil Service Commission have to be borne by an Act passed here. It is the local authorities that will have to pay the salaries of the people they appoint. In the case of the appointment of a doctor, all applicants will have to lodge a sum of two guineas, of a clerk £1, and of a midwife 5/-. I wonder will this money be returned.
Mr. BLYTHE: No.
Mr. LYONS: Does the Minister think that, say, in the case of a doctor from Cork who applies for a position in another county and is unsuccessful it is fair not to refund him his money?
Mr. BLYTHE: Can the Deputy say whether unsuccessful candidates got their money returned under the old system?
Mr. LYONS: That was quite different. We were up against a strange Government at that time. We have our own Government now and it should do justice to the people. I think that unsuccessful candidates should get their money back. As regards contracts  given by public bodies, the traders, when lodging their tenders, had to deposit a certain sum of money, but in the case of those who did not get contracts the money deposited was returned, and the same thing happened in the case of the man who got the contract. In this case I do not think it is fair to retain the sum deposited by unsuccessful candidates for positions. I am sorry that a number of Deputies who were opposed to this Act when it was being discussed here are not present to support me. I hope the Government will see their way to change it and do justice to all applicants, especially those who are unsuccessful, by returning to them the amounts they are obliged to deposit when lodging their testimonials and certificates.
Sir JAMES CRAIG: I do not often agree with Deputy Lyons, but in this case I do think there is something to be said for the plea he has made as regards the large fee of £2 2s. which has to be lodged by the applicant for a position. I am rather inclined to think that that particular condition will limit the number of applications and also limit, perhaps, the applicants to those who feel pretty sure that they are going to be selected. I would prefer to have a wider range of selection, and not tie them to have to pay a fee for being examined. I think the Minister in this case is wrong in insisting upon a large sum like £2 2s. in the case of a man looking for the position of superintending medical officer of health. As Deputy Lyons has said, it might be all right for the man who is successful, but it will not be all right for the unsuccessful ones who have spent their money. It was quite right to suggest that the money given to people for voting in the old times was not always returned to them, but I do not think that the two cases are exactly parallel.
Mr. BLYTHE: Which would you prefer?
Sir J. CRAIG: I would rather appeal to the Minister to reconsider the matter and not put such a high tariff upon the men going up for these positions.
Mr. JOHNSON: This vote is for the  Civil Service Commission, and we are informed by the Minister that the common staff is to be used for two purposes by the Civil Service Commission, namely, the Civil Service Regulation Act and the Local Appointments Commission. I am assuming that the policy and practice of the Commission will be similar in both-cases, and consequently I want to raise certain questions as to how the Commission is to proceed with its work. I do not know who is responsible, whether it is the Commission or not, for the work done under the name of the Commission. Deputy Lyons and Deputy Sir James Craig have both spoken of the question of fees. I am not so sure that the fees proposition does not require a good deal more examination than even the suggestion to return or the suggestion of a reduction. It will be remembered that some weeks ago there was a discussion in the House regarding an advertisement for an appointment to be made by the Civil Service Commission respecting a news editor for the Broadcasting Station. We were assured by the Minister for Posts, who was interested in the matter, that he had plenty of applications, and he satisfied the House, presumably, that everything was in perfect order. I have no doubt he received applications from all kinds of people with 7/6 per person, but apparently no appointment has been made, though the Minister told us that there had been plenty of applications. Now we see a new advertisement for a news editor for the Broadcasting Station—full-time at a higher salary. I want to know whether it is the policy of the Ministry in such a case to refund to all the applicants their fees. Am I to understand that all the applicants in the first case have had their fees returned?
Mr. BLYTHE: I have no information on that at the moment, but in my opinion, and as far as I am concerned, the fees ought to be returned.
Mr. JOHNSON: That, I think, is fair so far as it goes, but it is not sufficient, I think. I am not quite so sure whether they ought not to be compensated, because there is something like a cat-and-mouse game being played with them. In some cases where a personal interview  was required, expenses were involved. So much for that. Is it the Civil Service Commission that is responsible for the advertisements which are issued and for the scales of salary? I have before me an advertisement issued by the Civil Service Commission for a person to fill a vacancy for outdoor officer in the mercantile marine— preferably a ship's officer in the foreign-going trade. For the efficient discharge of his duties there will be entailed personal dealings with masters, brokers, agents and seamen. Therefore an absolutely trustworthy candidate is required, of sufficient education to enable him to prepare certain forms and to handle and disburse and account for cash. Now the ages are not, as one might imagine, for a retired mercantile marine officer, but for one of 25 years of age and not exceeding 45 years of age.
A mercantile marine officer has been to sea for not less than ten years and has undergone rigorous examinations. If he has a master's certificate he has had to go to school and through a regular tuition and to comply with all the necessary educational requirements. Yet such a man is wanted by the Civil Service Commission for 32/- a week plus bonus. Who is responsible for that? Is it the Civil Service Commission?
Mr. BLYTHE: No.
Mr. JOHNSON: It seems to me that if we are going to proceed on those lines we might as well scrap all talk of University votes, of University education, of secondary education and technical education. Here we are asked to invite people to submit themselves to that kind of training with the promise that we are going to give a ship's officer, under 45 years of age, with ten or twenty years' experience at sea, including foreign-going trade, responsible for handling cash and interviewing masters and brokers, 32/- plus bonus, a maximum, on present scale of 59/3, with a possible increase of 8/- after a very long time.
If that is the kind of policy the Civil Service Commission is to be held responsible for it requires a radical change. It is on a part with what seems  to be, unfortunately, the view of the Ministry that special skill and special experience ought not to be paid for. They probably think that inasmuch as the Shannon scheme labourer could be got for 32/- a week, they can get men with master's certificates for that sum, with the bonus in addition. If there is any desire to degrade special skill and professional skill, that is the way to do it. If there is any proposition to make a mockery of the present inquiry into technical education, or the proposal for extending University training, or the better establishment of secondary education, the way to do it is to offer 32/- a week to a ship's officer with foreign-going experience.
I am asking the Minister if the Civil Service Commission is responsible for the terms in which an advertisement of this kind is drafted. If not, who is responsible? And is there any relationship between the requirements of the office and the qualifications that are imposed upon the applicants? When you are asking for a 7/6 stamp to be placed upon applications for offices of that kind, I agree emphatically with Deputy Sir James Craig that such a charge is exorbitant. But this raises a much more important question than the value of the stamp: whether the Civil Service Commission has any responsibility for the fixing of the salary, or for determining the qualifications for the person who is to be appointed; and if not, who is responsible and whether it is intended that this kind of thing shall be a headline set by the State to private employers of ships' officers? Perhaps Deputy Hewat can give us some views as to whether, in his opinion, for instance, a ship's officer with foreign-going experience and between twenty-five and forty-five years of age who has not made himself utterly incompetent is to be got for this money. If that is the declared intention of the Ministry with regard to the work of the Civil Service Commission under the Civil Service Regulation Act, is it to be extended to the Local Authorities Appointment Commission? I think this is a fair opportunity for asking the Minister to give us some fuller particulars as to what  the functions of this Commission are and as to who is responsible for the issue of advertisements, the fixing of the scale of salary, and if he is prepared to justify that kind of proposition to put before the public and to ask applicants to pay 7/6 when making application for such a post. I think the scale of fees is quite too high in view of the frequency with which applications are made useless because no appointments are made. I am of opinion that the whole practice of this matter has to be reviewed by the Ministry, and while at the back of my mind I do not think the Civil Service Commission is really responsible, I think the Minister is. I would like to have some enlightenment upon the whole question.
Mr. BLYTHE: I think, perhaps, I will not be giving much information to Deputy Johnson in anything I may say, but as he has seized his opportunity to say all this, I might reply. The Civil Service Commission, of course, has nothing to do with the fixing of the scale of salary and is not responsible for the matter in the advertisements. A Department proposes to fill a particular position. It decides the sort of qualifications it wants for that post; it proposes a salary for the post, and, in conjunction with the Department of Finance, comes to a decision in regard to the salary to be paid. I know nothing about the particular case Deputy Johnson has referred to. There is just one mistake that I think Departments have sometimes made since the setting up of the Civil Service Commission, and they have made it because the procedure was not fully understood. They have sometimes stated as the minimum qualifications in the advertisement what are really the ideal qualifications, and on one or two occasions no appointment has been made as a result of the Selection Board simply because the qualifications were put too high by the Department in the first instance. I put it this way: Suppose some appointment was to be filled in which a knowledge of languages was required, and that only one language was absolutely necessary. But if the Department said that applicant  must have a knowledge of French, German, Spanish and Russian, and put that in the advertisement, then the person who had failed in the knowledge of any one of these languages would not be qualified and would not be appointed. He might have more than the four languages specified in the advertisement, but if he failed in any one of them he could not be appointed.
I am satisfied that on a few occasions it has happened departments have put the qualifications too high. They have specified as a minimum what they could hardly hope to get in any circumstances, or could get only by chance, or else they have been somewhat too rigid in their statements as to qualifications. The result was that a person who really might have been held suitable enough for a post had to be held by the Civil Service Commission as not qualified under the advertisement. Steps have been taken to point out the mistake to the departments and try and obviate its recurrence, and I hope we will have few of those cases in future.
One other thing I may say with regard to the fixing of low salaries. A particular salary fixed was complained of in the Dáil some months ago. It turned out to be too low. We did not get applicants. The salary was not fixed at random or with a desire to cut down salaries unduly. It was similar to a payment given in another country which has not a depreciated currency. It was fixed on the salary given to a man in Denmark for doing the work, we wanted done here. It turned out to be too low, but it was fixed with reference to a standard that was not unreasonable. It may happen sometimes that salaries are fixed too low, and that applicants with the qualifications required will not turn up. We do not want that to happen. On the other hand we have to try and fix them as low as we believe we can get suitably qualified people at, and have these people continue in the service of the State under some condition of contentment. That is what I would lay down as the rule with reference to the fixing of salaries; fixing them as low as will induce suitable people to  enter the service of the State and remain in it in some reasonable state of contentment. You will not have people absolutely satisfied with any salary fixed.
With reference to fees being at a very low figure, I do not think it is desirable to fix them too low. It is difficult to get suitable people to serve on a Selection Board. It is a great tax on them. A man who is asked to serve on a Selection Board for a particular appointment may have to spend two or three days at it. If the number of applicants—because you fix no fee—is large, and if people who have no chance enter and take up the time of the Selection Board, you will find it harder in future to get suitable people to act on them. If you put people who are wholly unsuitable on the Selection Board your machinery breaks down. I do not say that we should fix these fees too high but, for appointments such as superintendent medical officers, with salaries of £800 yearly, having regard to the expenses of conducting the selection test, as well as the difficulty of getting suitable people, it is certainly not desirable to fix them any lower. If you fix fees lower you may have all sorts of people entering. If you had in the ordinary way fifty where you should have only ten, the great majority of whom had no chance, you would make the working of your machinery extremely difficult.
Sir JAMES CRAIG: I understand that arrangements have been made by which civil servants, like medical inspectors under the Department of Local Government and Public Health and inspectors of schools, are now to receive only third class travelling expenses, and I am told by some of these men, third class hotel expenses. I want to know if the Selection Board, when travelling about the country, will be limited to third class expenses.
Mr. BLYTHE: I could not tell the Deputy now.
Mr. JOHNSON: Does the Minister justify 32/- a week for a master mariner?
Mr. BLYTHE: I may be able to say so another time, but not at the moment.
Vote put and agreed to.
Mr. LYONS: I wish to be taken as dissenting.
Mr. BLYTHE: I move:—
Go ndeontar suim bhreise na raghaidh thar chúig míle agus Cúig Céad Púnt chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1927, chun Deontaisí i gCabhair de Chostaisí Fundúireachtaí Príomh-Scoile maraon le Deontaisí fén Irish Universities Act, 1908, fén Acht Talmhan, 1923, agus fén Acht um Oideachas Phríomh-Scoile (Talmhaíocht agus Eolaíocht Déiríochta), 1926.
That a Supplementary Sum not exceeding five thousand five hundred pounds be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1927, for Grants in Aid of the Expenses of University Institutions, including Grants under the Irish Universities Act, 1908, the Land Act, 1923, and the University Education (Agriculture and Dairy Science) Act, 1926.
The form of this Supplementary Estimate is somewhat complicated, because since the passing of the original Estimate the University Education Agricultural and Dairy Science Act of 1926 was passed. That Act was not recited in the original Estimate, and because of that it was felt there was doubt as to whether the money could be paid under the authority of the original Vote. It will be seen that the additional sum now required is £107,500. It is all re-voted for technical reasons. There is a saving of £102,000, which was the sum originally voted, and which is now covered. The new money, therefore, is the difference, £5,500. Deputies will remember that when the original Estimates were before the Dáil considerable increases were given—apart from any additional money in respect of the agricultural faculty or the dairy science faculty— to the Cork College, and also to the  Dublin College by the transfer of the College of Science.
At that time we stated that no decision had been come to in reference to Galway, but that if arrangements could be come to we were prepared to give University College, Galway, additional assistance. In the interval, we have had a considerable number of discussions with the representatives of University College, Galway. I gave expression to the opinion in the Dáil that Galway could not be left as it was; that it required either additional money for development, or steps taken to bring it to an end. The opinion of the Government—and it is an opinion in which the College has concurred— was that it can do its best work, and give its best service to the nation, by taking advantage of its particular position, owing to the fact that it is practically surrounded by one of the most Irish-speaking districts, by doing special work for the Irish language.
The arrangement come to, if the Dáil assents, is that the College will receive in future years a sum of £28,000. It was agreed not to make any application for an increase for a period of five years. It will receive £28,000, as against £20,800, which was the amount previously paid. The College has undertaken that in future, as far as possible, appointments will be made to the various Chairs of people who have a knowledge of the Irish language, and who will be able to impart instructions through it. It is understood that it may not be possible to do that in every instance. There may be a case in which a person of the right quality and standing with a knowledge of the Irish language can be obtained. If he cannot be obtained, of course some person without a knowledge of Irish, who is fully qualified for the post, must be appointed.
In general the College will endeavour to appoint to its Chairs and Lectureships people who have a knowledge of the Irish language, and who will be able to impart instruction through it. It will immediately appoint three lecturers who will give lectures through the medium of Irish in mathematics, history and commerce. The College is  situated in fact in what are congested districts. Its surroundings represent some of the poorest areas in the country, and in order that the students from that area and from the various Irish-speaking districts, which are among the poorest areas, may be induced to go to the College the fees, which have been increased in recent years, will be reduced to the pre-war figure. When we were dealing with University College, Dublin, and University College, Cork, we urged them to put up their fees. We asked them when they were seeking more assistance from the State to get additional revenue from the fees of their students. We did not urge that on University College, Galway, for it is felt that the national work which it can and ought to do through the medium of Irish could not be done merely through the efforts of the staff. There must be a body of students, and it is regarded as important that as great a number of students as possible from the Irish-speaking districts should attend the Galway College. We urged that the fees should be reduced, and we took their agreement into account to reduce the fees in coming to an arrangement with them.
The College will also prepare a special scholarship scheme for Irish-speaking students from the districts in which the Irish language is traditionally spoken, again with the view of increasing the genuine Irish-speaking element amongst its student body. We feel, and I think the authorities of the College are satisfied, that with this additional assistance which it is proposed to give, the College will be able to carry on its work in a satisfactory way, that it will be able increasingly to do its work for the Irish language, and that it will be able to attract a substantial number of students who have a native knowledge of the language or who are specially interested in it. It will also be able, with this additional money which we are granting, to increase the salaries of the staff to some extent. The salaries were substantially below those paid either in Dublin or Cork. The additional sum which we granted to Cork in the original estimate will enable the salaries in Cork to be increased. We think the provision  now given will enable the salaries to be so improved that there will not be the difficulties which would otherwise exist in getting a competent and suitable staff for the work of the College. The amount that we are now voting, £5,500, will go as to £4,000 of it practically to the supplementing of the salaries of the staff, and as to the other £1,500 towards wiping off the debt into which the College has fallen during the last couple of years. Deputies will remember that in the case of Cork we provided a sum for the wiping off of the debt.
Vote put and agreed to.
Mr. BLYTHE: I move:—
Go ndeontar Suim Bhreise ná raghaidh thar Sé Mhíle Ceathrachad Punt chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1927, chun Congnamh Airgid d'ioc ar scór Siúicre Bhiatais (Uimh. 37 de 1925).
That a Supplementary Sum not exceeding Forty-Six Thousand Pounds be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1927, for payment of Subsidy in respect of Beet Sugar (No. 37 of 1925).
When the original estimate was being passed, the Minister for Lands and Agriculture indicated that a supplementary estimate would be required. When the original estimate was being prepared about twelve months ago it was anticipated that the area under beet would be about 7,000 acres, and that the quantity of sugar manufactured would be about 10,000 tons. The area actually planted was 9,500 acres, and the amount of sugar which will be manufactured this year will be about 13,000 tons. It does not really make any difference in the long run that the estimate has been exceeded as to the quantity of sugar manufactured. We thought that during the first two or three years a lesser quantity of sugar  would have been manufactured this year than has been the case, but our arrangement with the manufacturing company was that the subsidy would be payable on 125,000 tons during the ten years period. If this year and next the quantity exceeds 125,000 tons, it means that at the end of the period a lesser quantity of sugar will qualify for subsidy.
Mr. JOHNSON: Is that the maximum possible, payment on 125,000 tons?
Mr. BLYTHE: 125,000 tons is our agreement with the company. We agreed to pay a subsidy on the rate set out in the Bill on that total quantity, and on that agreement the factory was constructed.
Mr. JOHNSON: Can the Minister give us any information as to the average sugar content of the beet?
Mr. BLYTHE: This year the sugar content was worked out at about 17 per cent.
Mr. JOHNSON: Does the Minister know how that compares with the average in English factories?
Mr. BLYTHE: I am not prepared to give definite figures, but I understand that it is higher than the average content anywhere in the continent outside Holland.
Major BRYAN COOPER: Is the Minister quite correct in that? Should he not include Czecho-Slovakia? If my information is correct, and it was derived in the Carlow factory, Czecho-Slovakia has, in fact, the highest sugar content in the world—about 20 per cent. For the Saorstát the basis was on that of similar factories in the Balkans where the content was about 14 per cent. The sugar content in the Saorstát is about 17 or 18 per cent., which is so profitable for the farmers that the Farmer Deputies are not here to discuss the estimate.
Mr. JOHNSON: I am glad the Minister has told us of the terms of the contract he has entered into with the company, that is to say, that his arrangement is there should be a maximum of 125,000 tons in the ten years as to  which subsidy would be paid. This is at least a little protection.
I refer Deputies to the discussion on the Second Reading, and I think it is fair to say that it was on the basis of the statements made by the Minister for Finance and by the Minister for Lands and Agriculture on the Second Reading of the Beet Sugar (Subsidy) Act, 1925, that the scheme was adopted and the subsidy, in the original, voted. Now we are told by the Minister that an agreement was made for the payment on a maximum of 125,000 tons. But in the course of the Second Reading debate the Minister said that “we are estimating for the production of 86,000 tons of sugar for a ten years period.” That gave a rough figure of something under £2,000,000 as the maximum subsidy to be paid to the company. Well, at 23/- a cwt. on the sugar the difference between 86,000 tons and 125,000 tons comes to a good round sum of money.
Mr. P.J. EGAN: The subsidy is not that figure all the time. It is not 24/6 all the time.
Mr. JOHNSON: I said 23/-, and I think later on it comes down to 22/6, or round about an average of 23/- for the whole period. I will tell the Deputy what the exact figures are. They are 24/6 per cwt. for the first three years, 22/6 for the following five years, and 22/- for the last two years. The Minister told us, at the same time as he told us that they were “basing their estimate upon a total production of 86,000 tons for the period,” that “a factory was being built which may ultimately be raised to a capacity to deal with 15,000 tons of sugar.” It would begin with the production of 5,000 tons per annum. Then it is estimated that “the complete equipment of the factory will run to the neighbourhood of £200,000 for the ten thousand ton factory.” I think it was made public that the original estimate was altered and a much bigger factory was entered upon after the Bill was passed. Consequently it is possible to work up sugar to an amount very much higher than was originally contemplated, and we have the result in this first year that, as compared with the 5,000 tons of  sugar anticipated, we are to have 13,000 tons of sugar.
One can understand the hesitation about a second factory when the first factory seems to have enlarged its capacity after the agreement was made; that is to say, the agreement with the Dáil. So far from its maximum capacity being 86,000 tons, we have contracted to pay for 125,000 tons in the ten years. Now we are very glad, of course, to see the factory and to see that the farmers have succeeded so well in the first year. It was made known that the Ministers had in mind that a second factory which might be established would only be upon the basis of a much lower subsidy. But the owners of the first factory have got round that fear by doubling the capacity, or multiplying by 50 per cent. the proposed capacity of the first factory, and they managed to wheedle the Ministers to guarantee them a subsidy of an average of 23/- a cwt. on 125,000 tons as against an expected 86,000 tons. It is rather a serious difference in the subsidy, and, while I think it may well redound to the credit of the farmers in the end—because they will know what kind of a bargain to make after the first three years are over—it is not quite as fair to the Dáil as it is to the farmers.
I think it is very generous to the company. All credit to them, and I, for my part, must say that the factory itself is a marvel of scientific organisation and mechanical ingenuity. I do not think that the figure given by the Minister to-day is very reassuring, but I am glad that a figure is stated, because I was fearing that we had let ourselves into an unlimited subsidy, or, at least, into a subsidy only limited by the capacity of the factory. I do not know what that is. I think it is more than a 15,000 ton factory. I think it is probably a much bigger factory than that, and I think that the Carlow factory will be able to deal in the campaign period, when it comes to its utmost effectiveness, with even a larger quantity than 15,000 tons.
There is one matter that I think I might refer to, and that is the position of the factory in respect to employment and in respect to its conformity with  the Factory Acts legislation. I have had an assurance that all the requirements of the Factory Acts will be complied with. It is known and appreciated that there were difficulties in the early stages and I think all those primarily concerned were prepared to overlook many faults in that respect. But we have now the assurance that, having got over the initial difficulties, those matters will be fully attended to, and all the requirements of the law— and I hope considerably more than the requirements of the law—will be observed.
I hope, too, that there will be very generous consideration given in future years to the position of the workers in the industry. There has been a fair amount of concord during this first year and I know that both sides appreciate the position. I am hopeful that that will be the beginning of a long period of amity as far as the factory and the workers in the factory are concerned. I do express the hope that it is going to be assured by recognising the existence of people responsible who are able to speak on behalf of bodies of workers, and that collective agreements can be made. Otherwise the amity of the first year might not succeed in being preserved in future years. However, I must say that the project is a hopeful one and I think it will have valuable results for the community as a whole. But I say now, as I said when the Bill was first introduced, that the company has made a very good bargain.
Mr. LYONS: Can the Minister give the House any statement concerning the wholesale price per cwt. of Carlow sugar in the city of Dublin and in other parts of the Saorstát? I and, no doubt, other Deputies have seen in the Press where the sugar that we are now subsidising to the extent of £198,000 this year is costing one halfpenny per pound more than the foreign sugar. There must be something radically wrong. The people are supplying £198,000 as a subsidy to that particular factory and the produce of that factory is costing one halfpenny a pound more than any sugar that is imported. I made inquiries at a very large establishment  in the city and I was told that the price of Carlow sugar is £1 10s. 3d. per cwt. In addition to that there is sixpence per bag paid for carriage. Those figures apply to sugar taken by the ton and I am told that I can be supplied with the invoices if necessary. That is what the sugar from Carlow is costing the traders and, apart from those charges, traders have to supply paper bags and pay the man behind the counter who weighs out the sugar. The result is that they do not get one farthing profit for selling Carlow sugar.
Is that the way to run an Irish industry? Who is making all the profit? We are giving this year a subsidy of £198,000 and, notwithstanding that fact, they cannot produce the article that is purchased by the worker at the same price as is charged for foreign sugar.
Mr. P.J. EGAN: I must correct the statement made by Deputy Lyons. It is quite wrong.
Mr. LYONS: I will be very glad to hear your explanation.
Major COOPER: Perhaps, as Deputy Egan is an interested party, I will be permitted to speak on this matter. It was made clear that one individual trader was selling Carlow sugar at 4d. a lb., and that other traders in a much larger way of business in Dublin are selling it at the same price as imported sugar, and, in one or two instances, it is sold at one halfpenny a lb. less. If Deputy Lyons read the whole of the paper instead of part of it he might form a fuller judgment. One fact that the Deputy may have overlooked is that the Carlow factory is employing a very large number of workmen, nearly three hundred. They are working in three shifts each day, and they are paid good, substantial wages. I do not think Deputy Lyons will object to that.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: resumed the Chair.
Mr. LYONS: I do not object at all. I am not objecting to the Vote, but I do maintain that the article manufactured in the Carlow factory should be  sold at the same price, at least, as the foreign article.
Mr. CORISH: And so it is.
Mr. P.J. EGAN: It is sold at the same price.
Mr. LYONS: Yes, but without profit. If the sugar is costing £1 10s. 3d. per cwt. and is sold at 3½d. a lb., where is the profit? How is the man behind the counter who weighs out the sugar to be paid? Where do his wages come from? There must be some give and take. I fully understand there are 300 people employed. I appreciate that, and I hope there will be a factory in every county in Ireland employing a similar number. The workmen who purchase the sugar— and perhaps they purchase more sugar than many who can well afford to pay for it—should not be charged more than what is asked for foreign sugar. Traders who can make profits on other articles that will recoup them for any loss incurred by selling the sugar can well afford to sell it.
Is the Minister in a position to say whether he has any information in regard to the price charged to the traders in Dublin for the sugar supplied wholesale from the Carlow factory? I do not at all appreciate the idea of subsidising any industry that is not capable of manufacturing an article and putting it on the market at the same price as the foreign article. There must be something wrong. The workers employed are not getting the £198,000; the farming community growing the beet-root are not paying the workers they employ any more than they had two years ago. I feel sure that the workers do not benefit much out of the subsidy.
The man who owns the land, the big farmer, is guaranteed a price of £1 3s. 6d. per ton. He is guaranteed so much a year for seven years. But has the man who is engaged by the farmer any guarantee of employment for seven years? Have the men engaged in the factory a written guarantee that they will be kept in employment while the Government is subsidising the factory? They have not. The proprietors of the  factory have the guarantee, but the ordinary worker has no guarantee. If a worker goes to Carlow to-morrow and brings his family with him and builds a house, he may be dismissed when the house is built, but the company must still get the subsidy.
I was glad to hear Deputy Johnson's very encouraging words and good wishes. I was glad to hear him express the hope that good-will will continue to exist amongst the proprietors and the workers of the Carlow factory. I hope the same thing will apply to every employer and employee in the Saorstát. That will be all for the common good of the community. I was surprised, however, when I did not hear Deputy Johnson say that the people engaged in the works should have some guarantee of employment, whereby a workman could say: “I am sure of employment for at least five years. I know that in five years' time I will have no further guarantee, but at least I will have work as a manual labourer for five years to come.” But we got none of these guarantees from the Government. The proprietors got a guarantee, and they are the people who have reaped the benefit, at the expense of the employees.
Mr. DALY: I congratulate the Government on the success of their enterprise in Carlow, which is, I think, the first step towards making our country self-supporting. Its success ought to be an encouragement to the Government to try other industries, to encourage the growth of wheat in this country, and, if necessary, to subsidise it. The money that is being spent in subsidising beet sugar is, in my opinion, well spent, for the reason that it is teaching the youth of Ireland a trade which they would never have heard of except for the Government. They are showing the people that they are able to produce sugar, a suggestion of which would have been laughed at twenty, or even ten years ago. I do not want to make a tariff reform speech, but I hope we will soon be wearing our own wool, and I think it is the duty of every one of us, when the Government is out to make the country self-supporting, to congratulate them on these steps. Even the Minister for Industry and Commerce is  out to make our own candles and coal for us, and we must congratulate him, too. I hope that his scheme, when it is bearing fruit, will be as successful as the Carlow scheme.
Mr. WILSON: I do not oppose this Supplementary Estimate, but I want to direct the attention of the Minister to what I consider was an oversight in the agreement made between the growers of beetroot and the factory people. The Act provided that the price for the beetroot for the first three years was to be at the rate of 54/- per ton on a sugar basis of 15.5, and that any excess of sugar content above 15.5 was to be paid for at the rate of 2/6 per unit. At 54/- to the ton of beet 15.5 is, roughly, 3/6 a unit, and if the beet contains 17.5 per cent., the factory will have, in overhead charges and in management costs, only the same amount of expense for the production of the sugar as in the case of the 15.5 ratio. Therefore, instead of paying a reduced price for the excess above the 15.5 they should give a higher price. The payment provided is only at the rate of 2/6 a unit, and I contend that it should have been, at least, on the same ratio as, if not on a higher ratio than, the 15.5, having regard to the fact that, with the overhead charges being the same, the gain to the factory is much more where the sugar content is great. That advantage should come to the grower and not to the factory.
Captain REDMOND: In view of the statement made by Deputy Lyons, I wonder if the Minister would be in a position to make a statement as to the wholesale price of imported sugar. If Deputy Lyons's figures are correct in regard to the wholesale price of sugar produced in Carlow, it would be, to say the least, interesting to have a statement from an authoritative source as to the wholesale price of imported sugar.
Mr. BLYTHE: I did not, needless to say, listen to Deputy Lyons, and I am quite unaware of what he said. I really do not know about the wholesale price of sugar. The wholesale price charged by the Carlow factory does not arise; people will not pay for it if it is not value, and there is no compulsion on them to pay for it; there is plenty of other sugar to be had. The point raised  by Deputy Wilson seems to be quite a sound one, but the matter has been settled, so that there is really no use in discussing it now. I presume that the reason why what was done was simply this, that the whole arrangements about the price have to be taken together. The margin is not narrow at the present time with the subsidy, but if the factory were working on a more economic basis the margin that the factory could afford would be very narrow. Where there has been no subsidy I think sugar beet works on an extremely narrow margin. The amount that is paid to the farmer for anything above 15½ per cent. is, very frequently, something like clear gain, and a windfall to him. It is also probably a bit of a windfall to the factory, because it does save overhead expenses, and I presume what happens is that it is more or less shared. But these arrangements are in the Act, and there can be no departure from them. The whole question of price is a matter to be decided between the farmers and the factory at the end of the three years' period.
Deputy Johnson said that the company made a very good bargain. Undoubtedly they did, but we also made a good bargain. We made as good a bargain as could be made. It is a fact that for a considerable time after the Beet Subsidy Act was passed it was doubtful whether we should have a factory or not. The people who were to undertake the erection of the factory were desirous of getting Irish capital, for many reasons. They wished to have people who were connected with the country and who would be of assistance to them in dealing either with the Government or the beet growers, but in their early efforts to get Irish capital they were so unsuccessful that they were discouraged. At one point they were very much discouraged.
Captain REDMOND: Did they publish a prospectus?
Mr. BLYTHE: No. I think that undoubtedly they should make substantial profits. There is a very considerable risk in this whole enterprise. It is very difficult to induce people to come into a strange country and, moreover,  a country which had, quite recently, been in the throes of a revolution, and to set up a big industry such as this. We were all along desirous of having a factory of 10,000 to 12,000 tons, which, I understand, is regarded as the most economical size. If you have a smaller factory undoubtedly the overhead expenses are greater and it is impossible to manufacture sugar as cheaply. If you already had a factory in existence and were revising your subsidy rates you would have to give a higher rate of subsidy to a 5,000 tons factory than you would have to a factory the size of that at Carlow. But in the negotiations which took place before the Beet Subsidy Act was passed Sir Maurice Lippen was hesitant about putting up a factory of the present size. Before the Belgians had gone through the country, they spoke of a 10,000 or 12,000 tons factory. When they had been through the country they were doubtful about being able to rely on sufficient supplies of beet, and they then proceeded to discuss this on the basis of setting up, in the first instance, a factory to produce 5,000 tons of sugar per annum, to be afterwards increased if they found that they could get the beet. Matters were in that stage when the Beet Sugar Subsidy Act was before the Dáil.
Later on, they got sufficient encouragement and took sufficient courage in their hands to decide on proceeding with a larger factory. We agreed to that because we wanted the most economical type of factory. This thing is, in part, an experiment. The effects and prospects of sugar beet in this country are only to be determined by trial. If we have further factories and if we are subsidising them, we will decide upon the rate of subsidy to be paid from the facts which we learn as the result of the operations of the Carlow factory. As that factory is of a size to work on the most economical basis, we will have the facts which will enable us to fix a lower rate of subsidy than could be fixed for future factories if we had a smaller concern in Carlow which could not be worked economically. We want to know what is the best that can be done with sugar beet and what is the very lowest subsidy on  which that industry can carry on. These are the reasons which we felt justified us in agreeing to the erection of a factory of this size. With regard to inspection and compliance with the Factory Acts, I understand that an inspection has either been arranged or has taken place, and I know that the company are quite willing to comply with all the requirements. If anything is lacking it is, as Deputy Johnson has indicated, simply due to the haste with which the factory was erected, and the necessity also for getting to work, as the beet was beginning to arrive.
Mr. JOHNSON: I do not think that the Minister quite appreciated the point I made with regard to the size of the factory and the agreement regarding the 125,000 tons over a ten-year period. The Dáil was led to believe that the project was based on an estimate of 86,000 tons over the period, and it passed a Bill with that in mind, not stating any maximum sum or tonnage, but indicating certain figures in regard to the subsidy per cwt., having in mind 86,000 tons and a possible subsidy of £2,000,000 over a period of ten years. These were the figures that we discussed. That was the impression created by the Minister's statement in the House, and it was in the good faith of a maximum of £2,000,000 and 86,000 tons over ten years that the Bill was passed and the last Vote secured. When the original vote for this year's subsidy was made we had no intimation of the 125,000 tons agreement which involves us in another £1,000,000 subsidy— practically £3,000,000 over a ten-year period instead of a maximum of £2,000,000. That is a very serious state of things. I do not think it is fair for the Minister to come with a Bill, get a Vote based on certain figures, and then for us to learn later that an agreement has been entered into involving the Dáil in a 50 per cent. increase. That, as I say, is a serious state of affairs, and one which I do not think the Minister has met. We ought to have been consulted before such an agreement was made with the company. We are bound now. We cannot refuse to vote this subsidy annually. You might say that for ten years the Dáil is bound hand and foot. There is no  possibility of questioning such payment once the Minister entered into that agreement. He entered into that agreement despite the statement made to the Dáil that it involved a £2,000,000 maximum payment, whereas it really involves a £3,000,000 maximum.
Mr. SHAW: I wish to put a question to the Minister as regards the growing of beet in other counties besides those which adjoin the present factory. In Westmeath a large number of farmers grew crops of beet in 1926 which, I understand, at least equal, if they do not excel, those grown in other counties. These farmers are anxious to know their position. Will they get any guarantee that beet sown this year will be purchased by the Carlow factory? I have seen samples of the beet grown by them and it certainly seemed to be superfine. It would be a pity if Westmeath, Longford and counties other than those which are adjacent to the Carlow factory were excluded because they could not get a guarantee, or promise, that the beet would be purchased from them. I am sure that each county will be vieing with the other for the next factory. We want to see, if we are going to grow sufficient beet, that we shall have a fair chance of getting the second factory. I congratulate the Government in the most sincere manner on the great success of this venture, especially as they have so many enemies at present. If this did not turn out to be a success there would be a good many people sneering and jeering at them for having had the pluck to adventure in this matter, which was, of course, very speculative. I believe that this is only a commencement of the many schemes they will have the pluck to introduce—schemes such as this and the Shannon scheme—which will make Ireland a magnificent country, a country which will be second to none although we have so many people now who think that they could do much better.
Mr. BLYTHE: Only a certain amount of beet can be used in the factory. Nobody should grow beet unless he has a contract with the factory or a guarantee from the factory that it will be bought. I understand that the  factory is allowing people who grew beet last year to increase their area by, I think, one-fifth, but because the people who did grow beet in the first year are so anxious, as a general rule, to extend their area, there is not going to be any general acceptance of beet from new growers. People who did not grow beet in the first year, and people who are outside the area of the factory, will simply have to hope that the results of the experiment will be so successful that it will be a justifiable proposition to allow in the course of two or three years, when the results are clear, the erection of additional factories.
Vote put and agreed to.
Mr. BLYTHE: I move:—
Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar cheithre céad nóchad a naoi de phúint chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfidh chun bheith íníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1927, chun roimh-íocanna ilghnéitheacha áirithe d'aisíoc leis an gCiste Teangmhais.
That a sum not exceeding four hundred and ninety-nine pounds be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1927, for the repayment to the Contingency Fund of certain miscellaneous advances.
This consists of what I might call the usual two sub-heads. There is first the provision for a bounty in respect to the birth of triplets. There is also provision for the repayment of amounts remitted in respect of stamp duties payable on deeds and other instruments for public departments. The arrangement is that the Revenue Commissioners stamp these deeds without payment of duty, but the deficit in the revenue is paid out of the Contingency Fund, and the Dáil is now asked to re-vote that sum.
Mr. JOHNSON: Is item No. 1 a statutory affair?
Mr. BLYTHE: I do not think so.
Mr. JOHNSON: I should like to hear some justification for this. I think the matter was raised before. If I had known that it was an indication of what might be called pensions for babies, merely an earnest of a hope of the Minister that some day all children, whether triplets, twins or singles, will have allocated to them a certain amount of money, to accrue to them on coming of age, or something of that kind, I would welcome this proposition. But it does not seem to me to be a very sensible thing standing alone, and I should like to know whether the Minister can give any reason. Is it confined to people in need? Is there any selection made? What is the basis of payment?
Mr. BLYTHE: It is supposed to be granted only in cases where the parents are in necessitous circumstances and married. I think it is something like the payment that might be made by an individual whose sympathies were excited by some calamity. I cannot find any other explanation.
Question put and agreed to.
Progress ordered to be reported.
The Dáil went out of Committee.
Progress reported; Committee to sit again on Tuesday next.
Mr. HUGHES: This is the annual Bill which has been introduced every year since 1923. We are asking the Dáil by the Bill to renew the present Defence Forces Act for a further period of one year—from the 31st March next until the 31st March, 1928. I do not think there is anything I can add to what has been said on the last two occasions in defence of carrying on with the temporary Act we have at present. There has been no hurry to make the Act permanent. We are gaining a certain amount of knowledge every year, and I think it is all to the good that we  should take a reasonable amount of time to see how the Army works out and what provisions we really will want to insert in the permanent Bill. There is nothing really that can be said in favour of this Bill that has not been said on two or three occasions already. The Army is functioning in the ordinary way that an army should function, and is being trained and equipped. A good deal of discussion has taken place here on the Estimates, and will take place again, I presume, so far as the Army is concerned, but this Bill consists merely of one clause in order to carry on the Army under the present Defence Forces Act for a further period of twelve months. I beg to move the Second Reading.
Mr. ESMONDE: I do not think the Minister is justified in the introduction of this Bill. Year after year we are treated to this temporary Army Bill for the purpose of carrying on a temporary Army for the Irish Free State. In view of the fact that all the other Departments of State have now been settled on a permanent basis, I think we deserve some further explanation as to why this Department is to be singled out for unfair treatment in this respect. This is the only Department whose servants are on a provisional and entirely unstable basis. They have no rights, no prospects, and are liable to be turned out at any moment. The Minister for Justice has certainly stood by all the officials who are subject to his Department. He has brought in permanent legislation to regulate their conditions of service, etc. That is not the case with the Army. If the Minister for Justice had done what the Minister for Defence is doing, if we had had a temporary police force and a temporary judiciary, I doubt very much if we would get the same service from those servants of the State as we receive to-day, when they are established in a permanent capacity.
Although the disloyal, unpatriotic and rapacious civil servants are to-day secure, and while they are appealing across the water to what the Minister for Justice has described as “a bad, useless and unnecessary court”—that is to say, the English Privy Council— and incidentally while that Court is  arrogating to itself the right of interpreting an international agreement between this country and Great Britain without protest from either the Executive Council or this House in order to suck more cash out of the already impoverished Irish taxpayers—the Minister for Defence, introduces this Bill in order to keep the national forces of the country in an inferior and temporary condition. The offer of service to the State from members of the defence forces is a much more serious thing than the offer of service from any other section of the servants of the State, and we are faced with the fact that the members of the defence forces are treated worse than any of the other servants of the State. They have no rights; they have no prospects; they have no security of tenure. Week after week we see published in the Press lists of officers who have been asked or been ordered to resign their positions.
The result of the policy which the Minister is pursuing and which is represented by the introduction of this Bill, is that the best of the non-commissioned officers of the Irish Army are clearing out and going to England. It is, of course, a matter of congratulation to us that the British Army accepts our training and admits them as non-commissioned officers into the British Army. In fact I understand that the reputation of training from the Irish Free State Army is very high in British military circles, but it is only natural that they should clear out, seeing that they have no prospects in this country and no security of tenure. The National Army is becoming much the same as the medical schools in this city —an institution for training men for export at the expense of the Irish taxpayers. That is the inevitable result of the uncertainty which the Minister continues to perpetuate in his Department.
There is another aspect of this matter which I think Deputies should consider, and that is the prospect of a conference between the Irish and the British Governments which is to take place on the question of external defence. In recent years Ministers of the Irish Free State, not entirely perhaps through  their own fault, have had the habit when returning from conferences in London, of leaving something behind, and as this Defence Conference is approaching I think one would feel more at ease if there was a permanent Army Act on the Statute Book in this country. One would feel more at ease, because one does not know whether the Minister for Defence, returning from that conference may not have left the Irish Army behind. It is possible.
Mr. HUGHES: I am not bringing them over there.
Mr. ESMONDE: I do not say that it is at all a popular thing—in fact, it is very unpopular—to advocate the establishment of a permanent and efficient Army in this country. The Deputy Speaker of this House, Deputy O Máille, speaking a few days ago in Jury's Hotel, as far as the Press reports go, expressed the opinion that the Irish Army should be virtually suppressed and that the money should be used for other purposes. I think that a very disastrous doctrine. It has been acted on in the past by former Irish leaders, and we know the result. Opposition to the Irish Army is very prevalent amongst the Republican Party, who in this matter exhibit their usual savage and vindictive tribalism.
Mr. GOREY: Back to the fold.
Mr. ESMONDE: They prefer the victory of Great Britain to the success of their own fellow-countrymen, but whereas Republicans are admittedly vindictive and tribal, I do not know that there is any Party in this House who within the last few years has shown any particular pride or interest in the establishment of a permanent and efficient Army in this State. We are faced by the grandmotherly or perhaps old-maidish pacificism of the Irish Labour Party. We are faced by the shortsighted provincialism and false economy of the Irish Farmers' Party. We are faced by the thinly-disguised British Imperialism of the Business and Independent Party, and, finally, where we might expect some defence, we are faced by the cynical or apparently cynical indifference of the Minister for Defence. The Minister has so far succeeded in preventing the Army from  taking its proper place in the life of the nation. He has done so by keeping the Army on an entirely provisional and temporary basis. You cannot expect men in any career to do their best, you cannot expect them to work as hard as they could work, if they are liable to be turned out at any moment, if they have no security of tenure and no prospects of promotion. That is the case in the Irish Army to-day. That is the policy which has been pursued by the Minister for Defence, and that is the policy which is embodied in the re-introduction of this Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Bill. The Minister is responsible, but I suppose in his neglect in this respect he has the wholehearted support of most of the Parties in the State.
Captain REDMOND: I, too, desire to join in condemnation of the Minister for Defence, but not exactly on the grounds which we have just heard from Deputy Esmonde. My complaint is that the Minister has given no reasons to the Dáil for the continuance this year of the Army upon the same basis as that upon which it was continued last year. I certainly do not suggest that the Army should be a permanent one. On the contrary, I think that any Minister has to justify the bringing into existence of a force such as this for a time.
Deputy Esmonde has suggested that the members of the National Army have no security of tenure. I do not know that they have any less security of tenure than members of the British Army. I know there is no such thing as a permanent Army in England, and that there is no greater necessity for a permanent Army in the Free State that there is across the water. I think the time has come when the Minister responsible for the Army should give some indication to the House and to the country as to whether this procedure of bringing in an annual Army Bill, based on present lines, is to be the future policy of his Government. Some time ago, I suggested that what we should have in this country is something in the nature of a territorial force. I endeavoured to point out, though perhaps some Deputies would not agree with me, that for external protection purposes our Army would be practically useless. I went so far as to say that  I thought it would be better for us to have a Navy than an Army, but it was suggested that we required an Army for internal purposes.
That is a different question. On that point, I would point out once more that I would be in favour of having a strong police force in this country rather than a highly-equipped and expensive National Army for internal purposes, and along with that, something in the nature of a local territorial force which would be recruited, perhaps, county by county, the youth of the various counties being called upon, compulsorily, even, if you like, to do a certain amount of useful and beneficial training every year. Thus they would form the nucleus of a defence force, if and when an emergency should arise for the use of that force. I think it is not sufficient for a Minister to come here and merely state, as did the Minister for Defence, that there was nothing more to be said this year than was said last year. I ask him seriously is it necessary for us to maintain this year the same forces as last year, and is this vast expenditure of public money to go on year after year? Is the Minister to come down on each occasion and say: “There is nothing more to be said than was said last year?”
I thought, perhaps, the Minister would be in a position to tell us that there were proposed reductions in the Army, or that he might be able to foreshadow some new scheme whereby we would not have a standing Army in this country, but a force available in case of emergency. Instead, we are told there is nothing more to be said on this question than was said last year. That is not a sufficient explanation or justification for the introduction of this measure again, and for the further expenditure of, I presume—because I do not know to the contrary—an equal sum of money upon these forces during the coming year. I wish it to be understood that I have the greatest admiration for the Free State Army, both in its appearance and discipline. I do not think that the members of that force can have any reason to complain on the grounds put forward by Deputy Esmonde that their position is uncertain. As long as I have an opportunity  of remaining a member of this House, I shall do everything possible to make it necessary that there shall be nothing in the nature of a permanent Army in this country, and that every year the Minister responsible, whoever he may be, shall come to this House and ask the permission of the Dáil, and give reasons for such a demand, to have such a force created, and to get the public money necessary for the upkeep of the force. It is one of the greatest holds that the civic population have upon the expenditure of public money, especially in military matters, that they, through their representatives in Parliament, should have the right to say at least once a year, whether there shall be money voted for a military force and whether that military force is at all necessary.
Mr. ESMONDE: It is on the Estimates.
Captain REDMOND: The Act has to be passed. There can be no such thing as an army until the Act has been passed. I think it is a a matter which should not be dealt with lightly, and that, as past experience has taught elsewhere, especially in Great Britain, the existence of an army should depend upon the immediate and the present necessity for it. I know that our Army has been the means of keeping many well-deserving citizens out of unemployment, but I would prefer to see any form of employment than an unproductive employment. This is, undoubtedly, an unproductive employment and, I am sorry to say, in my view, a useless expenditure of a vast sum of public money, some of which might be expended in other directions, and also some of which might be devoted to the same purposes through different channels. I am not saying that I intend to oppose this Bill. The Government deem it necessary to have an army. The Government know the condition of the country and they think this expenditure of public money is necessary. I think, in all seriousness, we should have some justification for this Bill other than that which has been given by the Minister for Defence, who says there is nothing more to be said now than was said last year.
Mr. JOHNSON: I think it is well that we should have been reminded by Deputy Redmond of the necessity for having an annual Army Bill, or some equivalent measure, to make legal by annual re-Vote the expenses of the Army. Deputy Esmonde, with a militarist mind would, of course, dissent from that proposition. But it is the effective way of maintaining the constitutional superiority of the civilian population over the military. Whatever might be the result of a decision on the part of the military to take charge of the civilian population, at least it would be illegal. There is a view of this question that, I think, ought to be touched upon. The Minister has asked us to agree to the continuation of the Army in its present structure and form for a year or, at least, for a further period—that the permanent Act that he had in mind is not ready and, I suppose, that future policy has not been decided. I think, even when we are dealing with the immediate future, we ought to have in mind this fact—that military policy is determined by civil policy. Military power should be in conformity with civilian policy, or civilian policy on military force, if you like. I am still, after many anxious seekings, in the dark as to what the view of the Ministry is regarding the use to which the Army is to be put. Is the present structure fitted for anything else but the suppression of insurrections? Is that the primary purpose of the Army, or is it contemplated that it should be, in fact, a defence force—that is to say, a defence force against outside aggression? I cannot think it is. I think the utmost it could be expected to do, in its present form, would be to impede an invading force. It would not be able to do anything in the way of defence in view of modern military methods. When one reads of and learns of what is contemplated by modern armies one is struck by the utter futility of our Army and its equipment to meet an attack from an outside force—that is, if the attack were a serious one. One reads of some European nations having thousands of aeroplanes compared with the tens they had in the Great War,  that men expert in that particular walk prophesy that the next war will mean veritably cities being wiped out by attacks from the air.
To oppose a defence force such as we have to any such attack would be like putting up an umbrella against a bomb. It would be utterly useless. Unless we are thinking of this force as a means whereby insurrection might be suppressed, we have got to consider the equipment of the Army on entirely different lines from the present equipment. If we are going to contemplate the retention of a force effective as defence against attack from a modern army, what is it going to involve in the way of expense? What is it going to involve in the way of preparation and training—the fitting up of laboratories, the engaging of hundreds of chemists, the preparation of bombproof shelters and all that kind of thing? Our capacity to pay for what would be required to have a sufficient defence of this country against the attacks of a modern army is practically nil. The conclusion I draw from contemplating that question is that we would be much more secure against the attack of a modern army from outside if we had no army at all. It might be able to impede an invader for a few days, but this is not a country which is going to be used as a means of transit from one coast to another. As a defence force, meeting a possible attack from overseas, where are we? This is a Defence Force Bill and not merely an Army Bill. What is our position regarding our defence force? That is a secret about which I think the Minister should enlighten us.
We were informed by the reports of the Imperial Conference that some of our Army officers had been present at the discussions of an Imperial Defence Council. I ask the Minister to tell us what is the position of the National Army in respect to this Imperial Defence Council. What are our liabilities, if any, in respect to Imperial defence? What was the work of our representatives at the Imperial Conference in respect to Imperial defence? Were they there as interested observers, as  correspondents of foreign States are received, or armies of belligerent countries for reporting purposes? Or were they present as contributors to the discussion, and with what end in view? I think that when we are discussing the continuation of the Defence Forces Act we ought to have some knowledge of Government policy in relation to defence in general. I do not think there need be any reason for denying the Dáil information as to the relations between our defence forces and those people whom they came in contact with in council in London last autumn. We ought to know what the actual position is in regard to this matter. As Deputy Esmonde has informed us it is fairly common, I gather, for recruits to go from the Irish Army to the British Army. I will assume that that is merely a matter of voluntary choice on the part of those who have been demobilised and have left the Army and who prefer to continue service in an army, having been trained to that profession. But is there an arrangement between our Army authorities and the British authorities that a demobilised non-commissioned officer will enter the British Army as a non-commissioned officer? Is that part of the Defence Forces arrangement or is it merely an accident?
Then we have heard recently of calls to British reservists in Ireland to enrol for service in China. Again, I would like to put this question to the Minister: Whether there is any connection with the Army here and the army in London in respect to that matter, or whether it is entirely a private agreement on the part of ex-British soldiers who are British reservists and the British Army authorities? It raises an interesting question as to whether there is any right on the part of the British Army authorities to call up a reservist who is a citizen of the Free State. That is perhaps a legal question, and I just raise it for the Minister to answer if he can. The Dáil does need, I think, to be told, and ought to be told, what the position is of the Irish Defence Forces in relation to the Imperial Defence Council and the discussions which took place in London. What is the position of the Government here in regard to  naval defence from overseas attack by sea? Is that matter entirely as it was in 1922? Has there been any change, and are we to expect any change in the near future? Is there any contemplation that the Army that we now have is going to be equipped to meet an invading force from a modern military State, and if that is contemplated what steps has the Minister in mind to meet such an invading force? I think that while those questions are perhaps suddenly sprung they do raise the whole issue as to the necessity for a standing army in this country. If we decide that there shall be a standing army, we have to make up our minds that it is going to be a very costly luxury indeed, and no matter how costly, that it is going to be entirely ineffective for the purpose of defence against a modern army.
Mr. HUGHES: Listening to the speeches that have been made, I think they completely summarise what I stated, that there was very little to be said on this occasion that was not said last year, the year before, and the year before that again.
Mr. JOHNSON: But nothing has yet been answered.
Mr. HUGHES: I have not heard anything new put forward with the exception of the question that Deputy Johnson raised at the end of his speech. The other speeches were made before and nearly in the same words as they were made to-day. Deputy Johnson wants to know what connection there is between the Irish Army and the army in London. The Irish Army is the Army of the Irish people, and it has no connection whatever with the army in Londone. He also wanted to know if an arrangement had been made at the Imperial Conference that non-commissioned officers would be transferred—I think that is what he meant to say— from the Irish Army to the British Army. No such arrangement has ever been contemplated, and no such arrangement has been made. If a soldier who is discharged as a time-expired man wishes to join the English army or the American or the Chinese army, I have no power, and neither has this Dáil, to prevent him from doing so. He does it of his own free will, and no  one can prevent him from doing that if he wants to. A question was raised about the defence of the country, and whether our Army is capable of defending the country against an enemy. That is a matter that will have to be tried. I do not anticipate or believe that even Deputy Johnson could think that an army could be raised in this country in the short space of a little more than three years that would be capable of defending the country right away against a powerful enemy, such, say, as Britain, France, or Germany, if any of them desired to invade this country. The Army is being equipped and trained for the purpose of defending the country against any outside enemy and against internal aggression if such a thing should occur.
I quite admit that the amount of money that is being spent on the Army is a serious sum. It is a sum that should be taken note of occasionally, but I do think that the country is getting good value for it. I believe that we should not be sitting here to-day legislating for the country were it not for the Army. I believe that if any man or any body of men were so unwise in the near future as to disband the Army and introduce a system of volunteers or a territorial force, as has been suggested, that they would be doing the worst day's work for this country that had been done for many a long day. I think that the Army is an insurance. I believe it is an encouragement to business men to invest their money. They know that as long as the Army is there that if they make an investment it is going to be safe. If you were to disband the Army and to take chances as to what might happen, I can see plainly certain reactions that none of us like to contemplate. You want security in the country. If you want men to come from outside to invest money in the country you must be able to show them that there will be security for their investments and that they are quite safe in coming here with their money. I am not a believer either in a militia or a territorial system at the present time. Such systems may be evolved in years to come, but at the present time I would not advocate  the setting up of a militia or a territorial system either for the internal or the external defence of the country.
Deputy Esmonde, I think, said that a number of officers were resigning or were asked or ordered to resign. No officer has been ordered to resign. A number of officers have resigned under a scheme which was made twelve months ago, of their own free will. That scheme was put forward in order that men who have come to think that a career in the Army was not suitable for them in peace times, and who were still young enough to go out and embark on business and earn their livelihood in some other way, might do so.
Mr. ESMONDE: Is that scheme to be continued after the end of this financial year? Does the Minister intend to leave it in existence for another year?
Mr. HUGHES: I am estimating for a sum of money in next year's Estimates which will come before the Dáil in the ordinary course to carry on the scheme for another period. Men have not been forced out of the Army. Many were delighted to get an opportunity of getting a sum of money to embark in business. Other men found that they were not suited for the Army life, and they were, also, glad to take the gratuity offered to them. The complaint in this House from all parties a year ago was that we had too many officers and that the number should be reduced. No one put forward a scheme for reducing expenditure either by disbandment or dismissal. I said on these occasions I would not disband or dismiss any officers, but I put forward a scheme where officers could take their discharge from the Army and embark upon earning a livelihood in some other way.
Deputy Esmonde also talked about training for export. As I said already, in reply to Deputy Johnson, we are not training men for export. If a man, after serving his time in the Army of Saorstát Eireann, wishes to go and join another army he is free to do so. I might say at present a scheme is being formulated—it is almost in existence— where men who joined the Army for a certain period with the colours may  also join for a certain period in the Reserve. Money was voted for that Reserve last year, and it will be formed before the end of this year. As a matter of fact, men are anxious in some cases when contracting for re-enlistment to join the Reserve as well. A Reserve will be formed and when we come to the state of having a proper Reserve to deal with the needs of the country it will then be time enough to reduce the Army to a figure considerably below what it is at the present time.
Deputy Redmond wants a territorial force, and I think he also hinted at compulsory training. So far as I personally am concerned I shall never attempt, and I do not think the Government will ever attempt to conscript the young men of this country. I hope no Party in power will ever attempt conscription, for that is what Deputy Redmond means. So long as a man joins the force of his own free will he is at any rate using his own discretion and he can at least do what he likes. But if a law was passed to conscript young men for any purpose either to fight inside the country or to send them outside the country I think the Party that would attempt such a thing would not remain very long in power. These are the principal points raised and I ask that the Bill should get a Second Reading in order to carry on the Defence Forces of the country for twelve months from 31st March next.
Mr. JOHNSON: Will the Minister deal with the policy of our representatives at the Imperial Defence Council in London?
Mr. HUGHES: The policy of our representatives at the Imperial Conference in London, as far as the Army is concerned, did nothing as far as the defence of the country is concerned. We know that in five years' time from the signing of the Treaty the question of the defences of the country had to come up for discussion. That five years lapsed a couple of months ago and a preliminary meeting was held in London by the High Commissioner representing the Free State and some persons representing the British Government, and that Conference was adjourned  for three months. The Conference will again meet at the end of that period to discuss what proportion of the defences of this country, if any, we are to take over into our own hands. Until the Conference meets and decides the question I cannot give any further information.
Mr. JOHNSON: That is not the point I was raising. During the sitting of the Imperial Conference there were meetings of the Imperial representatives of the various countries constituting the British Empire, I may say that now—not the British Commonwealth. The Free State had military representatives present, but we have no information as to what was the contribution of our military representatives at that Conference and as to what was the result of that Conference.
Mr. HUGHES: The military representatives who went across to London went there in an advisory capacity. They were not there of themselves to take part in any discussion. They went to advise Ministers representing the Free State if they required advice.
Mr. JOHNSON: On military matters?
Mr. HUGHES: Yes.
Mr. JOHNSON: Had they any policy on military matters; that is what we are looking for. Presumably there were discussions upon matters of Imperial defence. I want to know what were the matters discussed and what was the policy agreed upon.
Mr. HUGHES: I think if the Deputy wants that information he will have to get it from the Minister for External Affairs, who was responsible for the discussions that took place at the Imperial Conference.
Mr. JOHNSON: I maintain as a matter of procedure that the Minister for Defence is responsible for matters relating to defence.
Mr. HUGHES: I agree. But how am I to go into questions of foreign policy or what happened at the Imperial Conference, which I did not attend——
Mr. JOHNSON: I only mean matters relating to defence, not Imperial foreign policy.
Mr. HUGHES: The defence policy of the Government is to defend this country, as far as it is humanly possible within its resources, against every enemy from whatever source.
Mr. JOHNSON: In what connection? What has that to do with the Imperial Conference in London at which our representatives were present?
MINISTER for EXTERNAL AFFAIRS (Mr. Fitzgerald): The question Deputy Johnson asked was if our Army was controlled in any way by the Army Council in England. It is not. Army representatives came over there to advise us. We were considering various aspects of common interest, that is the link between members of the British Commonwealth of Nations—if Deputy Johnson does not mind, I use that phrase—and also the geographical aspect. Our Army is inexperienced. It is a young, new Army. Deputy Johnson asked what their contribution was. While I cannot say offhand, I think their contribution mostly was listening. They were committed to no policy whatever, but it is undoubtedly in the interest of this country, in view of so powerful a neighbour so near, and our close relations, to have a general idea as to what the general defence policy of that country is. We need not blink the fact that it is quite possible, in the event of a general attack on these islands—it is perfectly obvious—our Army must co-operate with the British Army. It is practically inconceivable that our Army would ever be opposed to the British Army. But that our officers should go there to learn what they could in general about military matters, and of the scheme of defence which is in the mind of the Government and the military forces which in the event of a general attack on these islands would have the major share of the defence, was, I think, entirely desirable.
Mr. JOHNSON: I think the Minister for External Affairs has certainly come to the aid of the Minister for Defence. Whether he has come to the aid of the Government is a moot question.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: This is  the Second Reading of this Bill, and the Minister for Defence was concluding. The question is: are we going on to-morrow or are we to conclude now? In the nature of things and as a matter of fair play the Minister should have the last word.
Mr. JOHNSON: I will reserve what I have to say until I have read what the Minister for External Affairs said. His was a most serious contribution to this discussion.
Mr. LYONS: Does the Minister agree with the Minister for External Affairs when he says that our Army must co-operate with the British Army?
Mr. FITZGERALD: I did not say that.
Question—“That the Bill be now read a second time”—put and agreed to.
Committee Stage ordered for Wednesday, February 16th.
The PRESIDENT: I move the adjournment until this day week.
Mr. JOHNSON: Has the Minister for Finance, since the last time this particular operation was performed, made any estimate of the cost entailed to the State by bringing Deputies from the country for one day's sitting? Have we any guarantee that next week's sitting will be for more than one day? How often is this operation to be repeated between this and the Budget? Have we any assurance that there is work to be done by the Dáil, and that the Ministers who are the determining forces in the matter of business in this House will have some business for us to do when we meet next week?
The PRESIDENT: We would have business for to-morrow but for the Deputy.
Mr. BLYTHE: I think perhaps No. 7 on the Orders of the Day will keep us some time next week.
Mr. CORISH: We have asked on various occasions on this side of the  House for this Rates Adjustment Bill to be introduced, and we have been told that it could not be introduced owing to the pressure of business. This is only the second week we have sat since last July.
The PRESIDENT: The Deputy must realise that there is business to be done which is not confined exclusively to this House. There are Bills at present in the draftsman's office that are occupying a considerable amount of time, that require a good deal of study, and that require very careful drafting. Some of these are of the first importance. We are particularly anxious to have them introduced, but we cannot get them from the office.
Mr. CORISH: I was given to understand that the Bill was ready for introduction.
Captain REDMOND: Is the Government anxious for an adjournment in order that Deputies would go to their constituents to see whether they like No. 7?
The PRESIDENT: We are prepared to meet the Deputy or any combination of Deputies on that or any other point at any time.
The Dáil adjourned at 8.30 p.m. until Tuesday, the 15th instant.
TADHG O MURCHADHA: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state why a claim for compensation lodged by Mr. Michael Foley, tailor, St. Patrick's Quay, Bandon, County Cork (Ref. No. 406/95/5154), was rejected, and if this decision will be reconsidered.
Mr. BLYTHE: The claim referred to by the Deputy was duly considered by the Committee set up under the Indemnity Act, 1924. The Committee reported that the case was not one in which they could recommend the payment of compensation and no payment can, therefore, be made by my Department.