Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Operation of Local Government Act, 1925, in Tipperary.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Expenditure from Road Fund.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Purchase of Labourers' Cottages.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Furniture for N.H. Insurance Society Offices.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Disorder in County Wexford and County Limerick.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Fishermen and Unemployment Assistance.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Customs Duty on Literature.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Donegal Estate.
Order of Business.
Electoral (Revision of Constituencies) Bill, 1934—From the Seanad.
Industrial Alcohol Bill, 1934—First Stage.
Agricultural Produce (Cereals) Bill, 1934—First Stage.
Slaughter of Cattle and Sheep Bill, 1934—First Stage.
Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency: Approval of International Convention.
Circulation of Educational Films—Approval of International Convention.
Control of Manufactures Bill, 1934—Fifth Stage.
Agricultural Co-operative Societies (Debentures) Bill, 1934—Second Stage (Resumed).
Tobacco Bill, 1934—Second Stage.
Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Bill, 1934—Money Resolution. - In Committee on Finance.
Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Bill, 1934—Money Resolution. - Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Bill, 1934—Committee Stage.
Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Bill, 1934—Money Resolution. - Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Bill, 1934—Final Stages.
Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Bill, 1934—Money Resolution. - Limerick City Management Bill, 1934—Second Stage.
Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Bill, 1934—Money Resolution. - Imposition of Duties (Confirmation of Orders) Bill, 1934—Second Stage.
Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Bill, 1934—Money Resolution. - Committee and Report Stages.
 Do chuaidh an Ceann Comhairle i gceannas ar 3 p.m.
Mr. P.S. Doyle: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state whether since the 1st January last, Section 70 of the Local Government Act, 1925, has been applied to deprive any person of any office of profit or of any employment for remuneration under any local authority in County Tipperary; and, if so, if he will state the name and address of any person who has been deprived of office of employment; the nature of the office or employment of which they have been deprived; the reasons for such action; and the particular local authority by which such action was taken.
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Mr. Boland) for Minister for Local Government and Public Health: I am not aware of any case in County Tipperary in which Section 70 has operated to deprive any person of office since the 1st January, 1934.
Mr. P.S. Doyle: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state the total amount allocated for expenditure on roads from the Road Fund in each of the years 1932-3, 1933-4 and 1934-5; and the amount allocated in each of these years to each county council or other body receiving a separate allocation.
Mr. Boland: The reply is in the form of a table which will be circulated with the Official Report.
GRANTS MADE FROM ROAD FUND FOR 1932-33.
GRANTS ALLOCATED FROM THE ROAD FUND—YEAR, 1933-34.
GRANTS MADE FROM ROAD FUND FOR 1934-35.
The grants shown for the year 1934-35 are only those notified so far.
Mr. P.S. Doyle (for Mr. Dillon): asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state when he intends to introduce proposals for legislation to implement the recommendations of the Commission which considered the question of the purchase of labourers' cottages by the tenants thereof.
Mr. Boland: It is unlikely that the Bill enabling the sale of labourers' cottages will be ready for introduction before the adjournment.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state whether chairs or other items of furniture have been manufactured by or purchased from the Tan-Sad Chair Company, Limited, Lodge Causeway, Fishponds, Bristol, for use in the offices of the new National Health Insurance Society; and if he will state the number and value of these different articles of furniture, and why foreign manufactured furniture is being purchased for the offices of this society.
Mr. Boland: The purchase of furniture for the National Health Insurance Society is entirely a matter for the Provisional Committee of Management of the society whose functionss are to superintend and conduct the business of the society. The only function of the Minister is to see that the society is properly administered in accordance with the Acts and regulations.
General Mulcahy: Is the Minister, then, in the position that he has  appointed three persons to run a society for a period which may extend to three years, and that there have been appointed persons who are providing the new society—which is financed by a considerable amount of State money, as well as money from the employers and working people of this country—to some extent, at any rate, with foreign-made furniture?
Mr. Boland: As I say, a committee has been appointed—it is a provisional committee—to manage this society. They are not compelled to consult the Minister about what furniture they require, and they have not done so in this case.
General Mulcahy: Might I ask the Minister if he would consider it within his province to advise those persons whom he has appointed to run this society that they ought not to be spending Irish money on the importation of foreign furniture when there are so many furnishing factories on part-time in the country?
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Justice if he will state whether he has received a report that on the night of the 30th June/1st July the League of Youth Hall at Bridgetown, County Wexford, was forcibly entered and tables, chairs, a billiard table and other contents of the hall destroyed; the doors and the roof damaged, and an attempt made completely to destroy the hall; and if he will state whether the persons guilty of this outrage have been identified and charged.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Justice if he will state whether he has received a report that on the night of the 2nd April last, a number of persons attending a dance in Abbeyfeale, County Limerick, were attacked in the main street by a mob of men and boys, armed with pieces of iron, clubs wrapped with barbed wire and at least one reaping hook, and that several persons were seriously injured; and if he will state whether the persons guilty of this outrage have been identified and charged.
Minister for Justice (Mr. Ruttledge): I propose to take Questions Nos. 5 and 6 together. The incidents referred to in these questions are at present the subject of police inquiries and may result in court proceedings. In these circumstances I do not think it would be proper for me to make any statement at this stage.
General Mulcahy: Will the Minister say, arising out of his reply to question No. 6, how it is that on the 19th day of July a matter which took place on the 2nd April is still under inquiry, although information in respect of that matter was given to the Guards immediately after the 2nd April.
Mr. Ruttledge: Enquiries have not been completed as yet in any case.
General Mulcahy: Will the Minister say what are the aspects of the occurrence in Abbeyfeale which make it impossible for the Guards to have completed their inquiries inside more than three months after the occurrence in view of the fact that definite information was given to the Guards after the occurrence on 2nd April as to who were, some, at any rate, of the persons who were implicated in the matter?
Mr. Ruttledge: I do not propose to discuss it at this stage.
General Mulcahy: Can the Minister say when he expects that those inquiries will be completed?
Mr. Ruttledge: I cannot say definitely.
Mr. Keating: Is it possible that nothing can be done to find the blackguards who burned the Hibernian Hall at Bridgetown?
An Ceann Comhairle: That is a separate question.
Mr. Keating: It is a separate job too.
General Mulcahy: It is Question No. 5.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy is quite right.
Mr. E. O'Neill: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware that in connection with the operation of the Unemployment Assistance Act, 1933, men who are returned as “fishing” are scheduled as being “at work,” and even though the results of such fishing are in most cases “nil,” they are, on account of the fact of being “at work,” deprived of the advantages of the Act; and if he will therefore take the necessary steps to ensure that reports in such cases are based on the actual results of such fishing and not on the mere fact of the men being “at work.”
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): I have been unable from the particulars given in the Deputy's question to trace any case in which Unemployment Assistance has been refused in the circumstances described by him, but if he will give me the names and addresses of the persons in question together (if possible) with the numbers of their qualification certificates I shall have the matter investigated and let him know the results.
Mr. Anthony: asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware that a demand for three shillings customs duty was made on a parcel containing trade union forms not subject to duty, addressed to Mr. P. White, Thomas Street, Wexford, on 30th June, although full particulars were supplied on the declaration form (A), and if he proposes to take steps to prevent a recurrence of such incidents.
Mr. Anthony: asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware that considerable trouble and inconvenience is caused to some trade union officials and members of unions having headquarters across Channel in getting delivery of trade union forms and literature despatched to South of Ireland branches of their associations, notwithstanding that such matter is not subject to duty; and if he will issue instructions to the Customs  Authorities that where full particulars are supplied on declaration form (A) such forms and literature will be delivered to the consignees in the Irish Free State free of customs duty.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass) for the Minister for Finance: I propose to take Questions Nos. 8 and 9 together. There is no provision in law for the exemption from Customs duty of literature or stationery, imported for trade unions or societies, other than periodicals which in the opinion of the Revenue Commissioners are trade union publications. Such periodicals are admitted free of duty, but literature, such as leaflets and forms used as stationery, are properly liable to duty as printed matter.
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for Lands whether his attention has been drawn to the desirability of rearranging the holdings on the estate of Thomas P. Bradshaw, County of Donegal, Record No. S. 7,000, in the townland of Cashel, Collection Nos. 1313/1-10, and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Lands (Mr. O'Grady): Representations have already been made regarding the rearrangement of the holdings on this estate and the matter has been noted for investigation before the revesting of the holdings in the persons entitled thereto.
Mr. Dillon: Can the Minister give any indication as to when steps will be taken with a view to vesting and rearrangement?
Mr. O'Grady: I am not in a position to state definitely when revesting will take place.
Mr. Dillon: Will it take place in a month, six months, a year or two years?
Mr. O'Grady: I could not give any definite date, but there will be no unnecessary delay.
Mr. Dillon: Will the Parliamentary Secretary not give us the wide indication  that the matter will be settled within a month or two years?
Mr. O'Grady: I cannot give any definite date.
Mr. Dillon: What a marvellous knowledge of one's Department!
Minister for Justice (Mr. Ruttledge): It is proposed to take the business as on the Order Paper from item No. 5 to item No. 17, item No. 11 to be taken in its appropriate place. If the business on the Order Paper is completed, the Dáil will adjourn until Wednesday, August 1st.
Mr. Dillon: In view of rumours that have been published in the Government Press this morning, as to the future order of business, would the Minister be good enough to give the information to the House that has, apparently, been given to the Irish Press as to his intentions in respect of the order of business in this House for the next few weeks?
Mr. Ruttledge: I have no knowledge of what information was given to the Irish Press or where it got its information. I have not seen it, as a matter of fact.
Mr. Dillon: So the house is to take it that the information contained in the Irish Press has not yet been confirmed by the Government?
Mr. Ruttledge: I do not know what the information is.
General Mulcahy: Can the Minister say if it is intended to introduce the Bacon Bill that was spoken of yesterday this session?
Mr. Ruttledge: Yes.
Acting Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Mr. Boland): I move that the Committee disagree with the Seanad in amendment No. 1:—
Section 4. The section deleted. The Seanad has inserted this amendment and we do not propose to accept it.
General Mulcahy: How can the Minister ask this House to turn down the Seanad amendment in view of the most unsatisfactory state in which the Bill was when it left this House? It contained quite a number of extraordinary contradictions—the mutilation of a certain number of important counties and, as was pointed out here during the long discussions on the Bill, a certain amount of outrage of the principle of proportional representation, as proportional representation is intended to be understood.
Mr. Boland: I am satisfied that the Bill was quite good when it left the House. It certainly has not been improved by the amendment inserted in the Seanad. They have amended the Schedule in a most ridiculous way and one of the things they have actually done is to combine Wexford and Waterford as a single constituency. Anybody who knows anything about geography knows that in order to get by land from one county to another, you have to travel about 14 miles through Kilkenny. That is a sample of the amendment carried out by the Seanad. So far as I can see, there was nothing but obstruction. They intended to hold it up and they are quite welcome to do so. They have also joined the two constituencies in Mayo into one, although that county formed two constituencies since 1923. They have ignored completely the new Dublin City boundary and in several ways they have made the Bill far worse—I would ask Deputy Belton not to laugh too soon because the laugh might be the other way around before we are through—than any person said the Bill was when leaving this House. I am quite satisfied that nobody could point to anything so ridiculous as this amendment inserted by the Seanad and for that reason I ask the House not to accept it. There was no attempt at all made to improve the Bill.
Mr. Dillon: After the cogent and the striking statement we have heard from the Acting Minister for Local Government and Public Health, the House,  no doubt, is fully illuminated as to the Government's view on the virtues of the amendments put forward by the Seanad. I am gratified to hear the authoritative Lemass note returning to the Minister's reference to the Seanad. The Seanad, a fortnight ago, was no body into the hands of which the Minister for Industry and Commerce was going to commit the destinies of this country. The Granards and the Jamesons were no safekeepers of the country's destinies, so far as the Minister for Industry and Commerce was concerned.
Mr. Donnelly: Hear, hear! Do not omit the Bagwells!
Mr. Dillon: Yesterday, the Minister referred to the Seanad with feeling in his voice and to-day the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs returns with the charge. He says that, as usual, the object of the Seanad was merely to obstruct; that there was no virtue whatever in any of the proposals the Seanad had put forward; that they were preposterous and ridiculous and that the Government desired the House to reject their recommendation. The Minister did not dwell on the fact that if he disapproved of the Seanad's proposal to link together Waterford and Wexford, every rational man in the country disapproves of the Government's proposal entirely to obliterate the County Carlow. The Minister did not dwell, I noticed, and I thought it strangely tactful of him to refrain from dwelling, on the Seanad's action in regard to the County Roscommon.
Mr. Boland: There was no objection whatever to dwelling on it.
Mr. Dillon: The people of Roscommon are still wondering why the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs discovered that a large part of the south of the county did not belong to Roscommon at all.
Mr. Boland: They gave their answer a week ago.
Mr. Dillon: The Minister will probably notice that the constituency he represents has been returned to its original form by the Seanad and every  rational person in the county will approve of the action of the Seanad in that regard. The Minister will also notice that the County of Carlow has been resurrected and appears again on the electoral map of this country. The Minister will also notice, although he did not care to dwell upon it, that the clear principle which underlay all the amendments which the Seanad put into the Schedule was to restore such a number of members to each constituency as to make it possible for proportional representation to operate again. If the Minister gave us his view on that aspect of the situation, we should have something to go on in considering whether we should accept or reject the amendments put forward by the Seanad. Senator Brown, Senator Douglas and some others pointed out to the Minister that where you had three-member constituencies, proportional representation went by the board, and their object in every case was to restore, where it was possible, the five-member constituency or a constituency with more than five members so that minorities might get a representation.
Now we know the Government's view on the subject. We know the Government's view on university representation; we know the Government's view on the Electoral Bill; and it becomes more and more clear to anyone who watches the general trend of their operations that, provided a minority like that poor minority sitting on the Labour Benches is prepared to eat out of their hand, they are trebly blessed and are to be protected by every Constitutional safeguard. But, if there is any other minority, which is not prepared to eat out of their hand, or anybody else's hand, which is prepared to think for itself and to act according to its convictions, the sooner it is wiped out of existence the better.
I certainly do not take that view. I feel that if a minority is acting independently, whether I agree with it or whether I do not, it is an infinitely better thing that representation should be secured. Certainly, so long as we pretend to have the system of proportional representation, we ought to  secure that minorities are represented. If we have made up our minds that the time has come to let the larger Parties run the country, and to wipe minorities out of existence, we ought to do away with proportional representation altogether, and an argument can be made along these lines.
Mr. T.J. Murphy: Is not that in your programme?
Mr. Dillon: What is in our programme is straightforward and honest.
Mr. Murphy: Is not that definite?
General Mulcahy: It is not.
Mr. Dillon: The Deputy wants to know if that is in our programme. Anything that is in our programme when we get into office we will proceed to do it, but there is one thing we would not do and that is, while pretending to support the principle of proportional representation and being solicitous for the welfare of minorities, to wipe out all the minorities and go round with a hypocritical sheet tied round our necks casting it around the Labour Party whenever they were prepared to sell their soul and withdrawing it from anybody who has dared to act according to his conscience.
Mr. P. Hogan: (Clare): How many times were you absorbed?
Mr. Dillon: Again, that is an interesting thing. If we believe in a policy we are not ashamed to go out and proclaim it and to accept those others who share our views as our colleagues and to work with them. There is something extremely disgusting about independents, who merely masquerade as independents and something even more revolting about the Government masquerading as the protectors of independents, whose sole solicitude is to preserve in existence such independents as they are able to buy by political concessions. You have two courses before you—one, to make up your mind to do away with the representation of independents in this House and that is to go back to one-member constituencies and  let a straight vote settle every constituency. That is the honest course to pursue.
Mr. Donnelly: There would be no opposition if we did that.
Mr. Dillon: Time will tell that. We have been inviting you to do it at a general election for a long time and you have not accepted it yet. The sooner you try it the better it will be for everybody in the country. That is one way; that is the honest way to wipe out the independents in this House—to go back to one-member constituencies and let the election be fought between the big Parties. The other way is to provide some facilities for persons who represent comparatively small sections of the community to get a seat in this House and that is the way of proportional representation. If you want to operate proportional representation you must do it on the basis of constituencies which have a larger representation than three— preferably five or more. You can do one or the other honestly, but you cannot do honestly what the Government  are trying to do, because they are pretending to preserve proportional representation and they are conspiring to withdraw all the benefits which that system is supposed to confer upon the community.
So far as I am concerned, I am in favour of the Seanad amendments. I am principally in favour of them because they are aimed at restoring five-member constituencies, or constituencies having a larger number of representatives. Such constituencies will allow proportional representation to operate. So long as we have proportional representation, then I am in favour of the five-member constituency and I propose to support the amendments brought forward by the Seanad. If and when the Government bring forward a proposal for abolishing that system and go back to the straight vote in one-member constituencies, we will discuss that. There may be a good deal to be said for it and there may be a good deal to be said against it.
The Committee divided: Tá, 55; Níl, 24.
Browne, William Frazer.
Corry, Martin John.
De Valera, Eamon.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Kelly, James Patrick.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
|Beckett, James Walter.
Burke, James Michael.
Dillon, James M.
Doyle, Peadar S.
McFadden, Michael Og.
Myles, James Sproule.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rogers, Patrick James.
Rowlette, Robert James.
Thrift, William Edward.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Tray nor; Níl: Deputies Doyle and O'Leary.
Question declared carried.
Mr. Boland: I move that the Committee disagree with amendment No. 2:—
Section 5. The section deleted.
Question declared carried.
Mr. Boland: I move that the Committee disagree with amendment No. 3:—
First Schedule.—The Schedule deleted and a new Schedule substituted therefor as follows:— .bqe
|Name of Constituency||Contents or Boundaries of Constituency||Total Number of Members for Constituency|
|CORK BOROUGH.||The County Borough of Cork and the County electoral area of Ballincollig.||Five.|
|DUBLIN NORTH.||The Clontarf East, Clontarf West, Drumcondra, North Dock, Arran Quay, Mountjoy, Glasnevin, Inns Quay, North City and Rotunda Wards.||Eight.|
|DUBLIN SOUTH.||The Fitzwilliam, Merchants' Quay, Mansion House, New Kilmainham, Royal Exchange, South City, South Dock, Trinity, Usher's Quay and Wood Quay Wards.||Seven.|
|Name of Constituency||Contents or Boundaries of Constituency||Total Number of Members for Constituency|
|CARLOW-KILKENNY.||The administrative Counties of Carlow and Kilkenny.||Five.|
|CAVAN.||The administrative County of Cavan.||Four.|
|CLARE.||The administrative County of Clare.||Four.|
|NORTH CORK.||The County electoral areas of Kanturk and Macroom in the administrative County of Cork.||Three.|
|WEST CORK.||The County electoral areas of Bandon, Bantry and Dunmanway in the administrative County of Cork.||Four.|
|EAST CORK.||The County electoral areas of Mallow and Cobh in the administrative County of Cork.||Four.|
|DONEGAL.||The administrative County of Donegal.||Seven.|
|DUBLIN.||The administrative County of Dublin and the areas referred to in the Local Government (Dublin) Act, 1930, as the added urban districts and the added rural area.||Nine.|
|GALWAY.||The administrative County of Galway.||Eight.|
|KERRY.||The administrative County of Kerry.||Seven.|
|KILDARE-WICKLOW.||The administrative Counties of Kildare and Wicklow.||Five.|
|LEITRIM-SLIGO.||The administrative Counties of Leitrim and Sligo.||Six.|
|LEIX-OFFALY||The administrative Counties of Leix and Offaly.||Five.|
|LIMERICK.||The administrative County of Limerick and the County Borough of Limerick.||Seven.|
|LONGFORD- WESTMEATH.||The administrative Counties of Longford and Westmeath.||Four.|
|LOUTH.||The administrative County of Louth.||Three.|
|MAYO.||The administrative County of Mayo.||Eight.|
|MEATH.||The administrative County of Meath.||Three.|
|MONAGHAN.||The administrative County of Monaghan.||Three.|
|ROSCOMMON.||The administrative County of Roscommon.||Four.|
|TIPPERARY.||The administrative Counties of Tipperary North Riding and Tipperary South Riding.||Seven.|
|WATERFORD- WEXFORD.||The administrative Counties of Waterford and Wexford and the County Borough of Waterford.||Eight.|
The Committee divided: Tá, 55; Níl, 26.
Brady, Brian. Corish, Richard.
Corry, Martin John.
De Valera, Eamon.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Browne, William Frazer.
Concannon, Helena. Kilroy, Michael.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
Pattison, James P.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Burke, James Michael.
Dillon, James M.
Doyle, Peadar S.
McFadden, Michael Og.
Murphy, James Edward.
Myles, James Sproule.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rogers, Patrick James.
Rowlette, Robert James.
Thrift, William Edward.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Traynor; Níl: Deputies Doyle and O'Leary.
Amendment disagreed to.
Mr. Boland: I move that the Committee disagree with the Seanad in amendment No. 4:—
Second Schedule. The Schedule deleted.
Question—“That the Committee disagree with amendment No. 4”— put and agreed to.
Motion declared carried.
Disagreement with amendments Nos. 1 to 4, inclusive, reported.
Leave granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to make provision for the production and sale by the State of industrial alcohol and for the restriction and control of the manufacture of industrial alcohol by persons other than the State, and to provide for other matters connected with the matters aforesaid, including the compulsory acquisition of land and the construction, maintenance, and operation of transport works.—(Minister for Industry and Commerce.)
Second Stage ordered for Wednesday, 1st August.
Mr. Dillon: When will the Bill be circulated?
Mr. Lemass: Not for a few days.
Mr. Dillon: Will there be sufficient time for its consideration before the Second Reading?
 Leave granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to amend and extend the Agricultural Produce (Cereals) Act, 1933, and the Agricultural Produce (Cereals) (Amendment) Act, 1933, to make provision for controlling and regulating the sale of oats and barley, to make provision for controlling and, regulating the milling of oatmeal, to make provision for the production of flour made from wheat and oats, and for restricting the sale and use of wheaten flour, to make provision for the warehousing and drying of grain by the State, and to provide for other matters connected with the matters aforesaid.—(Minister for Defence (Mr. Aiken) (for the Minister for Agriculture).)
Second Stage ordered for Wednesday, 1st August.
Mr. Dillon: When will this Bill be circulated?
Mr. Aiken: In a few days' time.
Leave granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to make provision for the regulation and control of the slaughter of cattle and sheep for human consumption in Saorstát Eireann and to provide for divers matters incidental to such regulation and control or necessary or proper for making the same effective, including restricting the export and the use of animals so slaughtered and including the distribution of the meat of such animals to certain classes of persons and to provide for other matters connected with the matters aforesaid.—(Minister for Defence (Mr. Aiken) (for the Minister for Agriculture).)
Second Stage ordered for Wednesday, 1st August.
Mr. Dillon: Neither has this Bill seen the light of day yet.
Mr. Aiken: Yes, it has.
An Ceann Comhairle: I understand that three First Readings were put down now to obviate the necessity for meeting next week to give First Readings.
Mr. Dillon: When will it be circulated?
Mr. Aiken: In a few days' time.
Parliamentary Secretary to the President (Mr. Little): I move:—
That the Dáil approves of the International Convention for the Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency and Protocol, signed at Geneva on the 20th day of April, 1929, a copy of which was laid on the Table of the Dáil on the 18th day of July, 1934, and recommends the Executive Council to take the necessary steps to accede to the said International Convention and Protocol.
Parliamentary Secretary to the President (Mr. Little): I move:—
That the Dáil approves of the International Convention for facilitating the International circulation of films of an educational character signed at Geneva on the 11th day of October, 1933, a copy of which was laid on the Table of the Dáil on the 18th day of July, 1934, and recommends the Executive Council to take the necessary steps to accede to the said International Convention.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): I move that the Bill do now pass.
Mr. Dillon: Before this Bill passes from this House, I think it right that certain points arising on Part III of the Bill should be commented upon. The Bill, as it stands at present, envisages a situation whereunder certain  individuals will be set up in this country as monopolists in certain trades, and Section 22 is inserted for the purpose of suggesting that ample safeguards will be forthcoming, when it is proposed to create a monopoly, against exploitation of the consumer. We all very well remember that for the first six months of the Minister for Industry and Commerce's campaign of tariffs we were told that there would be no increase, or no appreciable increase, in the cost of living, and that the possibility of an increase in the cost of living would be prevented by the operation of the Prices Commission. When it became abundantly clear that the burden of the cost of living was increased every day on the backs of the consuming public, the Prices Commission was brought out of cold storage and, in my submission, completely broke down. You now have as a recognised incident in the life of our people that there is a steadily increasing burden in the cost of living sphere accumulating on their shoulders. That would be bad enough if it were happening in normal times, but when, at the same time, everything they have to sell, everything the trade on which constitutes their means of livelihood, is being made valueless by the Government, the burden of the cost of living becomes doubly grave.
Most of us have had some experience of what monopolies mean to the consuming public. No one has been more eloquent than the Minister for Industry and Commerce in his condemnation of the attempt that was made by an English firm to establish a monopoly in the flour milling industry in this country. He was perfectly right in condemning the attempt to establish a monopoly in the flour-milling industry here. Any assistance required to prevent that monopoly being established he got from every part of the House; because every Deputy recognises that to allow an industry like the flour-milling industry of this country to get into the hands of a monopolist meant that a heavy burden would be placed upon the backs of the consuming public of the country—a burden which they would have to bear.
 Part III of this Bill enables the Minister to establish monopolies in any trade and we are forewarned that the monopolist will be entitled by the terms of his licence to charge prices substantially in excess of the prices ruling in the markets of the world, because, as the Minister has pointed out, he does not imagine the possibility arising of making a reserved commodity of anything that is manufactured in this country. It will be purely artificial industries that will be created under Part III of this Bill. We are told that the conditions which will be inserted in the licence under Section 22 will operate as an effective check against exploiting the consuming public. We will not know whether that will be the case or not except in practice. I am convinced that the conditions will not operate effectively to protect the interests of the consuming public; I am convinced that exploitation will result and that when that exploitation comes to be considered by this House it will be face to face with this difficulty that in order to make an end of what this House may consider to be an unjustifiable exploitation they will have to break that contract by statute —a contract which the Minister for Industry and Commerce, on introducing this Bill, described as one of the most solemn and sacred character. Part III of this Bill has received ample consideration but despite the representations made from this side of the House it has been inserted practically without amendment in the Bill. I think the underlying principle of Part III is extremely bad.
I want to say this—I had occasion to refer, but only in passing, to the report that was recently published of the economic condition of the Dominion of Newfoundland. That report was brought about by the action of the Government of Newfoundland turning to the British Government in London and asking them virtually to take over the Government of Newfoundland because that Government had collapsed financially. A commission was set up to inquire into the causes which brought about the collapse of the Newfoundland Government.
 Having investigated the causes very closely in Newfoundland the Commission reported that, in their opinion, the fundamental reason for the collapse of self-government in Newfoundland was that the Government which had control of the country for the last few years had devoted all its energies to building artificial industries, while at the same time they ignored the welfare and the legitimate requirements of the fundamental interests in the country. In Newfoundland that industry is the fisheries. Admittedly they succeeded in establishing a large variety of industries that did not exist in Newfoundland previously. We discover from the report that most of the people in that country who are living out of the fishing industry were allowed to sink into poverty; that their equipment had been allowed to deteriorate; and that the fishing had not been properly looked after. When the factories proceeded to produce the commodities they were designed to produce it was discovered that the people of Newfoundland had no money to buy these commodities. The result was that the factories had to close their doors, and people who had been put into employment by them were disemployed. When the Government turned to meet a birth of their own creation they discovered they had exhausted their own resources in establishing industries. They were obliged to turn to Great Britain and to ask the Government of Great Britain to take over the whole Government of Newfoundland.
We have repeatedly pointed out that we hope to see Irish industries in this country grow properly. We have repeatedly pointed out that if the fundamental industry of agriculture which supplies the purchasing power of 80 per cent. of our people directly and indirectly is allowed to perish, absolutely and inevitably the industries which the Minister for Industry and Commerce is trying to establish at the present time will collapse. In that event it will be very difficult indeed to forecast what the Government of this country would or could do. I frequently criticise the Minister for Industry and Commerce. I think many  of the enterprises upon which he embarks are extremely rash, and show about equal evidence of incompetence and shallow thinking. No one has ever denied him the credit of being a zealot and a hard worker. No man will for a moment deny that some of the work to which he has put his hands has produced concrete results. Little of it has had time to be tested yet. But it is exasperating to anyone who has the interests of the country at heart to see all his work and to see all the work of his predecessor, Deputy McGilligan, being placed in jeopardy by the insane indifference with which the Government has contemplated the ruin of agricultural industry.
It may be asked how it is that Part III is going to contribute to that. The answer is quite simply that it is going to increase the burdens on the backs of already overtaxed agriculturists. The principle of monopoly is bad and should not be incorporated in this Bill. The industrial development of this country is being foredoomed to failure by the progressive destruction of agriculture and the impoverishment of the small farmers of this country. I appeal to the Government now to realise that the foundations of the building are far more important to this fabric than the building itself. Let me put it this way. The Minister for Industry and Commerce is trying to build a fabric of industrial structure on foundations which President de Valera and the Minister for Agriculture are devoting their time to tearing away. It does not matter how fast, how well, or how ill the Minister for Industry and Commerce may be. If the foundation is disturbed while he is proceeding with his task the whole structure is going to collapse. It is unnecessary to try any simple explanation of the inevitableness of that development. Everyone in this House knows that unless the purchasing power is preserved to the small farmers of this country there will be no prosperous industrial development. I appeal to them now that in their Party room, in the secret conclave of their Party, they will impress upon their leaders the necessity of concentrating their attention on the foundation  of industrial and every other prosperity in this country, in order that whatever this Bill may be designed to create shall not be lost for want of a foundation on which to stand.
General Mulcahy: The Minister took occasion from time to time, when replying to certain criticisms with regard to defects in the trend of the development of Irish industry here, to blame certain aspects of that trend on the alleged fact that when the last Control of Manufactures Bill was passing through the House the Opposition deprived him of certain powers which he then wished to have. The Minister is aware that there has been criticism, in spite of his last Act, that Irish capital which had been invested in Irish industry and which was being invested in Irish industry, was still, to a considerable extent, being jeopardised by the influx to the Free State of foreign capital. Foreign bodies interested in Irish industrialists and in the general development of Irish industry have been making that complaint.
Another complaint which has been made pretty frequently is that, still in spite of the powers which he had under that Act, non-nationals were coming into the State and prejudicing the position both of Irish workers and of persons acting in a managerial position here in Irish industry. Another type of complaint which we find among the same class of persons is that a very considerable amount of juvenile labour is being employed, particularly in new industries here, very often to the disadvantage of adults who already had employment in the industry. There is also the complaint that poorly managed, badly set up things called factories, in back lanes or in basements or in upper rooms, have been started here, and are undermining pretty well-established industries here —industries upon which a considerable number of our people are dependent for a livelihood. The Minister has had his attention drawn to quite a number of those things from time to time, and from time to time his reply has been, in a general and sweeping way, that if he had not been cramped by the  Opposition in the proposals which he wished to enshrine in the last Control of Manufactures Bill those conditions would not at any rate be as bad as they are now said to be. I should like to get the Minister to take a resolution here to-day that he will not adopt that particular type of defence in future, in case he finds that some of the things which he is setting out to do in the better control of the development of manufacturing here are not actually achieved. What all Parties in this House are anxious for is to see the best method tried, and to see the best results obtained. The Minister, I think, should make up his mind frankly to rely on the instrument which he himself has formed, to state plainly either what the results are or what the defects are, and not to shroud over any of the defects that may be found to arise in future by the type of smoke-screen that he has been endeavouring to draw over those defects in the past. In order to help him in that direction I should like to hear him say here in the House that the Bill which is now leaving the House has not been in any way cramped from his particular point of view either by any criticism or any actions taken by any Party while the measure was passing through the House; that the instrument which he now has, while it has been subjected to a certain amount of criticism for the purpose of better seeing where the Minister is going and what the Minister intends to do, is the instrument which he asked for.
Mr. Belton: I should like to say a few words on this measure before it leaves this House, because I am a strong believer in the development of industry in this country, and also a strong believer in the efficacy of tariffs in developing that industry. It was the essence of the policy of Sinn Féin preached by the late Arthur Griffith, from whom most of us learned our first principles of practical patriotism. We have never gone back on those principles of patriotism; neither do we to-day; but to those of us who stood out seriously it is a bit alarming to find this weapon of tariffs, often described by able thinkers as a  two-edged weapon, placed in the hands of a Minister who, in my opinion is not using it anything too wisely. I have said before in this House, and, in a small way of speaking, from experience, that any businessman, any producer of any article knows that the real trouble is not in the production of an article, but in getting a market for the article when it is produced. The Minister for Industry and Commerce would be going on at a sufficiently rapid rate if the general price level in agricultural produce were at the high level which it was at 12, 13, 14 or 16 years ago, but the manufacturing industry in countries where that industry was well established has deteriorated and produced a world economic crisis due mainly to the phenomenal depression in agricultural products. In a country where 80 per cent. of the people directly or indirectly make their living by agriculture, the market for industry in that country is agriculture. The Minister can devise what means he likes either by creating monopolies, by tariffs, or even by compelling people to make certain articles which are not made in this country. You can make any article at a price. To carry on, you must sell that article at a price that leaves a margin of profit. You are further depressing an already depressed 80 per cent., by increasing the price of the necessaries which that 80 per cent. of the people have to purchase, by building up industries at a time when the purchasing power of the agricultural population of this country is at its weakest.
The Minister knows that, and he has got a reminder in a few factories, and notably the hosiery factories of Balbriggan. I think I am right in saying that they have not got an adult earning adult wages working there, because they are over-produced. Why are they over-produced? Because the purchasing public for whom they were producing have not got the money to buy the output of those factories. If we neglect money as a means of exchange and compare on the basis of barter— let the Minister take up any article he likes, produced by the factories he has protected, and which he claims have  been established here within the last couple of years—it will be found that by a system of barter, the goods required to purchase a certain unit of manufactured goods, the agricultural produce so required, is now nearly three times what it was a couple of years ago—and that in the main output of the agricultural industry in this country. The Government is the Government of the country, and I am not saying that the Government have not a mandate to go on with their policy. Every Government elected on a policy is elected to carry out that policy wisely, having regard to all the other economic conditions in the country. I want just to sound a note of warning to the Minister——
Mr. Lemass: After all Deputy Little sounded? He played a tune.
Mr. Belton: I whistle the tune I dance to. I do not mind tunes that are played. I am speaking with some knowledge of the subject about which I speak and I am speaking in the hope that the Minister may show some knowledge of the subject it falls to his lot to administer in this country. I want to bring these matters home to the Minister. He, as a business man, knows this and I am surprised that, with his business experience, he continues to gallop, so to speak, when it would be much more prudent to walk. I would be the last person on any bench in this House to say that the Minister should turn from the course he is travelling, but I say that he is going too quickly and that he has not sufficient regard to the danger signals ahead of him and round about him. I would impress on the Minister the importance for the nation as for the individual of having a market for the goods you have to dispose of. The Minister, I am sure, in his business career would not stock goods in his warehouse which there was not a chance of selling within a reasonable time, in order to have a reasonable turn over. If we go on to produce at a higher cost than the general cost of world production and if we have to sell in a market that is depressed, and depressed 30 or 40 per cent. below the  world market in similar productions, and which is already suffering from the world depression, it is a very serious matter to pile on the agony.
I would ask the Minister to pause and to think for this reason if it were for no other that, as a believer in protection and as a believer in a two-armed nation, I would not like to see this matter hurried and an opportunity given to any people, if there are any such people in this country, who want to keep this country always the fruitful mother of flocks and herds. If we are going to have an effort made to establish and develop industry here, I would appeal to the Minister to give it a chance. You are not giving it a chance. The Minister is not giving himself a chance; he is not giving his Government a chance; and he is not giving the policy he wants to put over a chance, by attempting it at a time when all the signals point to caution. If you had high prices for agricultural produce and more money among the agricultural community, then you would have a better chance of developing industry quickly, and developing it by tariffs. As a tariff supporter, I must admit that every tariff has a tendency to stiffen prices and the only time you can safely embark on a tariff policy is when the purchasing public you are producing to sell to are fairly well off and when they can buy and not at a time when they are not well off.
The next Bill, which will probably come up to-day, is one of the attempts to improve our agricultural economy. No attempt that has yet been made to change or improve our agricultural economy by the Minister's Government has been a success, standing on its own two legs. Every attempt that has been made to change our agricultural economy has only been done by subsidy and bounty. The plea is made that the farmer is getting so and so, and that is all right for the individual, but the general industry, as a whole, has to put up that bounty before a section of that industry can get it. The Minister for Industry and Commerce, who is mainly concerned with the development of industry, should have his eye to the agricultural industry, not  in sections, but as a whole, because it is in that industry he must look for the market for the goods which his policy will produce in the industrial field. No member of the Government is more vitally concerned with the agricultural industry than the Minister for Industry and Commerce. He is not concerned with it in detail, but he is concerned with the volume of money in circulation and in the pockets of the agricultural community. In other words, he is concerned with the cash in the till of agriculture. If that till is empty, what can he do with his industrial policy? Nothing. That till is empty, and never was so empty, and it is for that reason, as a supporter of an industrial policy on the lines of the Minister's policy and not as an opponent, I am criticising this, although there are many aspects of this Bill in regard to the giving of bounties that are very dangerous. On the general policy, I would appeal to the Minister to be more cautious and to go more slowly, although I would be the last, as I have said before, to say that he should take another course. I would advise him, however, to make haste slowly. That is the surest way in which the Minister, his Government and this country will reach the industrial goal.
Mr. Corry: It is rather amusing to hear Deputy Dillon talking about the manner in which agriculture is being ruined and stating that we were doing nothing for the agricultural industry— Deputy Dillon, who yesterday wanted a holiday, who wanted to go home yesterday and leave the farmers during the coming harvest without a fixed price for oats or barley, just as they were left for the past 12 or 14 years. Deputy Dillon wanted to go home yesterday and did not want the Bills in reference to these matters considered. We have Deputy Belton telling us that he is in favour of the same policy as the Minister with regard to building up industries by means of tariffs, and then commenting on the fact that our economic policy in regard to agriculture could not stand on its own legs. We maintain that the farmer is entitled, at least, to the cost of production, and something over it for his produce, just  as the industrialist is, and on the very same lines.
Mr. Belton: He is not getting it.
Mr. Corry: That is where we differ. We had Deputy Dillon telling us that the President and the Minister for Agriculture have ruined agriculture. I wonder who ruined it in England during the past two years. If you ask any farmer in England how he is getting on he will tell you his position very quickly. Then we have Deputy Belton telling the Minister to advance slowly. Cumann na nGaedheal were slow at the start and then they started off backwards. For the last three years they were in office they started smashing every little industry left in the country. The Minister for Industry and Commerce had to come in here and take over every industry which was practically wiped out. We have Deputy Mulcahy also talking about going slowly and asking for the latest figures of unemployment. On the one hand, he wants to keep people from getting work by advising the Minister to go slowly, and at other times he wants to have the figures read out in the House. Deputy Dillon tells us all about the farmers. For all he cares about the farmers they could be getting 4/- from the merchants for their oats and barley this year, so long as he can get another holiday along with the one he had last month.
We hear Deputies complaining about taking up the time of the House. When we hear three Deputies getting up one after the other and talking nonsense of this description it is time they were told to stop. We shall not have so much noise about general elections for the next six or seven months as we had for the last 12 months. Deputies opposite are not in any hurry now to go back to the people again. They got a bad fright last month. I am glad the Minister is going ahead. He is not going ahead fast enough to suit the people of the country, who want to see industries established and employment given, and the goods which are at present manufactured in other countries and brought in here, made at home by Irish hands and Irish labour. Deputy Mulcahy talks about back lane  factories. I wonder where he got the term.
General Mulcahy: I went round and visited them.
Mr. Corry: Come down to Cork and we will show you some which are not situated in back lanes—the ones you wrecked and which we built up. Come down and have a look at them. They are not in back lanes, and the people are quite satisfied with the wages paid. There is not any scab labour there. We hear a lot of this trash trotted out here, week after week, by Deputies who will not take the trouble to learn something of what they are talking about and whom I would not waste time answering only we have so much of it.
Mr. Lemass: I am not quite clear as to what the discussion has been about. I find some difficulty in relating any of the speeches, with the exception perhaps of that delivered by Deputy Mulcahy, to the Bill that is now before us. I do not quite follow how Deputy Dillon or Deputy Belton could argue that the enactment of this measure is going in any way to increase the burden on the backs of the farmers. Its effect rather should be in the opposite direction. I could leave it at that and be content with making that statement in answer to the speeches which have just been delivered, but I think it is necessary also to clear up one or two additional points.
Deputy Dillon talked about monopoly and Deputy Belton also, I think. This is not a Bill to create monopolies. There is nothing in any part of this Bill that is intended to operate for the purpose of enabling monopolies to be created, or which will, in fact, operate towards the creation of monopolies to any greater extent than the present position operates towards the creation of monopolies. There are a number of firms here at present which for practical purposes enjoy a monopolist position—quite a number. I do not know that Deputies have found it a very onerous position or have had occasion to come here and make complaints as to the prices charged, the conditions of employment imposed, or other ill effects resulting from the fact that  these firms—some of them very well known firms—have got practical monopolies here. There is only one biscuit manufacturer in the country and he is not the only manufacturer in that position. There is no legal monopoly so far as that manufacturer or any similar manufacturer is concerned, because it is open to Deputy Belton, if he feels like doing anything useful in life, to start a biscuit factory for himself. He has not done it. Until he does, or until somebody like him does it, the existing manufacturer enjoys a monopoly position.
Mr. Jordan: He took the biscuit long ago.
Mr. Lemass: There are quite a number of industries in respect of which it can be said at present that there is only one producer, and although that producer has not been given any legal monopoly in any sense, he, nevertheless, enjoys whatever benefits he might expect to enjoy if he had been given a legal monopoly, with this difference, that at the present time he is under no immediate and direct supervision either with respect to the prices charged, the wages paid, or the materials used in the process of manufacture. Any industry, in respect of which a licence under Part III of this Bill is issued, will be under very direct regulation, and any person operating under such a licence will have to be accountable, not merely for the prices charged, not merely for the materials used, not merely for the wages paid, but for a number of other matters, all of which are set out in the Bill. The effect of the enactment of this part of the Bill, therefore, is to increase the safeguards for the consumer, to reduce the burden, if any, which the development of industry is alleged to have placed on the backs of the farmers.
We had all those dire forecastings from Deputy Dillon. Deputy Dillon made some remarks about me and I, in return, would like to make a few remarks about him. I have had occasion in the past to criticise him and will have occasion in the future to criticise him. I will say this concerning him, that I have never known him to miss  an opportunity in this House of making a speech. He makes most eloquent speeches, but I am quite certain that nobody, not even himself, is quite clear at the conclusion of any single speech what it was all about. Is there any Deputy opposite who can say definitely what Deputy Dillon's speech this afternoon was about? He dragged in quite a number of things, from Newfoundland to Cork, none of them having relation to the measure and none of them having relation to one another. It was just Deputy Dillon taking another opportunity of appearing before the Dáil in the rôle of the prophet of disaster. He always appears as a prophet of something, usually as a prophet of disaster. The whole answer to his speech is this: if this measure is going to have the dire effects which he has foretold, why does he not vote against it? He is not going to vote against it. Deputy Mulcahy told us the reason—because he fears that if this measure were opposed by them they would then be open to criticism if at any later date the industrial position here were such that the effects of this measure would not be fully capable of dealing with it. Deputy Mulcahy opposed the present Control of Manufactures Act vigorously. He moved a very large number of amendments. When he failed to get them adopted here he had them moved in the Seanad by his political associates there and the amendments inserted in that Chamber went a very great distance in nullifying it. A large number of the evils that Deputy Mulcahy pretends to deplore were consequential on those amendments.
General Mulcahy: The Minister has never got himself down to detail on those points.
Mr. Lemass: Deputy Mulcahy says that in this Bill we are getting the instrument we asked for in order to deal with the industrial situation here. I hope that that is a promise and that we are going to have from him active co-operation in endeavouring to persuade certain people in another place that this measure is the instrument that is necessary to deal with the industrial situation here. I cannot say  I have the instrument I want until this measure has been finally enacted. The last Control of Manufactures Bill passed through the Dáil in the form in which I would have liked to have seen it, but it did not become law in the form I would have liked. I had to accept it in the form in which I got it. I hope on this occasion wiser counsels will prevail and that the experience of the last two years will have taught a number of people that the attitude they adopted in 1932 cannot be sustained.
This Bill has nothing whatever to do with back-room factories. It may be that in relation to one or two industries it is true that undesirable developments have taken place and factories have been established under circumstances which should not be permitted. But we have no power to stop that, and this Bill does not give us the power. The existing law does not give us power to stop them, and it was allowed to remain in existence without alteration for the ten years the Cumann na nGaedheal Government were in office. That law is ineffective, and when we tried to use it in relation to the furniture industry and instituted about 30 prosecutions in the course of this year, the District Justice in each case thought fit to apply the Act about first offenders and allowed the people off with a caution. We are going to have in the next session, as one of the principal items on the agenda, the necessary measure that will enable us to deal with the sanitary conditions, the employment conditions, and other matters affecting industrial concerns. I hope that Deputy Mulcahy's enthusiasm for reform in that regard will enable him to give us in relation to that measure the same degree of passive support that he has given us in relation to this.
General Mulcahy: I hope we will see it earlier than some of the Bills about which promises were made.
Mr. Lemass: Deputy Belton says he is a believer in industrial development. He is not. He is only fooling himself when he says that. He makes that type of speech for no other purpose than to make us believe that he is different  in his outlook from Deputy Dillon, but he really is not.
Mr. Belton: I am not concerned with what you may think of my outlook.
Mr. Lemass: The acid test of Deputy Belton's attitude is to be found in the records of the Dáil. It does not matter what he says. What matters is how he makes up his mind. Every measure introduced by this Government and designed to encourage industrial development was opposed by the Party opposite and was opposed by Deputy Belton.
Mr. Belton: Mention one instance.
Mr. Lemass: Will you mention one that you did not oppose?
Mr. Belton: I think the Minister should mention one that I did oppose.
Mr. Lemass: On every occasion that Deputy Dillon or any other Deputy opposite thought fit to vote against the proposals of the Government, Deputy Belton voted with them.
Mr. Belton: Now, Minister, you made a definite charge against me, and I defy you to substantiate it in one instance.
Mr. Lemass: Tell me of one occasion on which you voted for Government proposals in that connection?
Mr. Belton: Will you tell me one occasion on which I opposed such a proposal? In no court is a man asked to prove a negative.
Mr. Lemass: It may have been Party loyalty that brought Deputy Belton into the same lobby as Deputy Dillon and the rest, but I am quite certain the records of the House do not show any occasion upon which Deputy Belton chose to disagree with his Party in the interests of industrial development. He made speeches about it, and he told us he believed in the old Sinn Féin policy.
Mr. Belton: Sure.
Mr. Lemass: But when Deputy Doyle says “vote,” Deputy Belton always votes in accordance with the policy of the Party which, as a Government, stifled industrial development here, as Deputy Belton himself used to say at the cross-roads on many occasions.
Mr. Belton: This Party was never a Government. This is the Fine Gael Party.
Mr. Lemass: Well, the Party with Deputy Belton out of it.
Mr. Donnelly: And it never will be a Government.
Mr. Lemass: We used to call it the Cumann na nGaedheal Party until General O'Duffy picked out Deputy Belton and put him on the Front Bench and that changed, not merely the name of the Party, but its policy also.
Mr. Belton: When Deputy Belton came in he changed the attitude of the Party over there.
Mr. Lemass: Deputy Belton has the facts all wrong. The only instance he gave to justify his statement that we were going too fast in relation to development was about the hosiery industry. He said something about the hosiery factories in Balbriggan.
Mr. Belton: I suggested you were going too fast, because of the loss of purchasing power in the market we are catering for. I asked you to apply yourself to the conditions of the purchasing public.
Mr. Lemass: The example you gave was the hosiery industry—Deputy Belton said the hosiery factories in Balbriggan were not employing adults, because they could not sell their products owing to the decrease in the purchasing power of the farmers.
Mr. Belton: I do not want that statement, which is a very clever political statement, to pass. I said they were over-produced at the moment and that had its reaction on the conditions of employment there now.
Mr. Lemass: And that is due to the decreased purchasing power of the farmers.
Mr. Belton: I said the decreased purchasing power of agriculture. The farmers do not mean agriculture.
Mr. Lemass: I will let the Deputy get away with that. I quoted him correctly.  I may have used preciser and clearer terms, but the effect is the same.
Mr. Belton: You are not at the crossroads now.
Mr. Lemass: As regards hosiery, my information is that there is a new hosiery factory at Balbriggan being equiped at the moment, and my information also is that there were three additional hosiery factories established since the beginning of this year. Last year we paid over £1,000,000 for hosiery goods that we might have made for ourselves.
Mr. Belton: What percentage of the machines is working?
Mr. Lemass: It may be that, because of defective management or lack of finance or for some other reason, some factories are not working to full capacity, but I may say that in the hosiery industry there is no overproduction; on the contrary, there is a considerable deficiency in production. We will have to get not merely every existing factory working overtime, but a number of new factories established, before we will have come up to the point at which we will be supplying even this reduced demand from the agricultural community about which Deputy Belton talks so much.
Mr. Belton: Would I be wrong if I stated——
Mr. Lemass: You would, probably.
Mr. Belton: Would I? The Minister is up against it now, and he wants to sidetrack it.
Mr. Lemass: That was the only example Deputy Belton gave and he was wrong, as he usually is wrong.
Mr. Belton: I think that the Minister ought to apply himself to the point I made and not try to sidetrack it.
Mr. Lemass: I think it is time that I applied myself to the Bill before the House, instead of following into Deputy Belton's sidetracks. The Bill is designed to give us increased power to regulate the entry into industry here of non-national concerns. We are  taking that increased power in order to encourage the development of industry here by Irish nationals, and the investment in industrial enterprises here of the capital controlled by Irish nationals. We have deemed it desirable, and events have proved it to be necessary, that in order to secure the active co-operation of our people in industrial development here and in order to secure the availability of capital to that end, this form of protection should be afforded. The Deputy will have noted that since the intentions of the Government in that regard have become known all issues of industrial shares in this country have been over-subscribed. That is a very satisfactory state of affairs, and it is a state of affairs that could not have been realised if legislation of the type of the Control of Manufactures Act had not been introduced.
We could always have had factories established here by non-nationals, factories which would have been just branch factories of foreign concerns, with all the ill-effects that follow from such a policy. We are now getting them established in the main by Irish-owned companies and, in consequence of that development, we are getting a much more rapid and a better kind of development than would otherwise have been possible in relation to a number of industries. Deputy Belton, no doubt, will be glad to hear that. At least, he will say that he is glad to hear it; but I have not the slightest doubt that if Deputy Mulcahy takes it into his head to vote against this Bill, Deputy Belton will vote with him. I am fairly certain, however, that Deputy Mulcahy will not vote against the Bill, because he has appreciated by this time that this type of legislation is desirable and necessary. It is an essential part of that policy which was sponsored by those who were responsible for the Sinn Féin economic programme long before Cumann na nGaedheal was established and long before Deputy Belton started his wild career from one political party to another.
Mr. Belton: I certainly was wild when I brought the like of you here to ruin the agriculture and the industries of the country.
Mr. Lemass: You were not wild then.
Mr. Belton: You have sowed your wild oats and now you want to get out.
Mr. Lemass: I do not think we are going to have this doleful story to tell of terrible ruin and disaster in agriculture that Deputy Belton and Deputy Dillon talked about. Agricultural conditions here, as well as agricultural conditions in all countries, are not satisfactory at the moment, but those Deputies opposite who have been studying the reports from other markets, reading the prices obtaining in other countries, and noting the circumstances prevailing elsewhere, will, I am sure, have realised that the agricultural community here has fared through the depression much better than the agricultural community in most other countries. The fact that their purchasing power has not been substantially diminished is demonstrated by the fact that the consumption of the majority of those classes of goods, which could be regarded as indices of national purchasing power, has increased and continues to increase.
Question—“That the Bill do now pass”— put and agreed to.
Minister for Defence (Mr. Aiken): Deputy Belton sounded the keynote of the Opposition speeches to the Debentures Bill. He rose to speak on the Second Reading. He said: “We are not going to oppose the Bill. We merely offer criticism founded on suspicion.” Both he and Deputy McMenamin, as well as Deputy Dillon, went on to offer criticism of the Bill founded on suspicion. If their suspicions had been well founded there might be something to be said about it.
Mr. Belton: I think they were.
Mr. Aiken: They were not well founded.
Mr. Belton: Well, then, show us if they were not.
Mr. Aiken: Deputy Belton said: “I wonder has the Agricultural Credit Corporation made advances to such societies that cannot be recovered now?” He went on to say: “The Bill might be a way of recovering a bad debt at the expense of the State; in other words, saving the faces of people who were entrusted with money and who did not exercise ordinary prudence in advancing that money.” Now, first of all, the Bill aims at giving co-operative societies the right to guarantee advances by giving over their rights on the uncalled share capital; but the State, as such, does not come into it at all. Both Deputy McMenamin and Deputy Belton were altogether wrong when they said that the taxpayers or the general community were going to pay anything on foot of this Bill.
Power is being taken to give co-operative societies the right to issue debentures and to give them that right retrospectively. From 1928 onwards a certain number of co-operative societies wanted cash, and they went to the Credit Corporation and asked them to advance loans. The Agricultural Credit Corporation pointed out to the then Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Hogan, that they could not take as security the uncalled share capital of the societies. Mr. Hogan, however, asked them to advance the money and said that he would introduce legislation which would legalise the position. Deputy Belton's and Deputy McMenamin's suspicions that the Agricultural Credit Corporation were in some way incompetent are altogether unfounded.
Mr. McMenamin: I did not say anything of the kind. I did not even suggest it.
Mr. Aiken: That was the whole tone of the Deputy's speech.
Mr. McMenamin: I mentioned the society, not the corporation.
Mr. Aiken: I think that, anyway, Deputy McMenamin proved very well that he did not know what he was talking about last night.
Mr. McMenamin: I never named the corporation. I talked about societies.
Mr. Aiken: Deputy McMenamin said, anyway, that the Bill was all hog-wash. That was one of his expressions. Another one was that it was an outrage. He was followed by Deputy Belton, whose criticism was as I have pointed out. The facts of the matter are that Mr. Hogan promised that he would legalise the position. The Agricultural Credit Corporation took every precaution to see that, when this Bill would become law, they would have a complete legal right to recover the advances they made. As Mr. Hogan suggested, they got actually the co-operative societies to whom advances were made to alter their rules by 1928. One society had as a rule:—
“That any loan or loans from time to time made by the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland to the Society and any interest thereon, shall constitute a first and paramount charge upon the uncalled balance of the ordinary share capital of the Society for the time being.”
That rule was changed so that
“any loan advanced by the Agricultural Credit Corporation upon the uncalled capital shall constitute the first paramount charge.”
The agreement that was drawn up with the society to which the money was advanced contained a clause something like this:—
“And whereas it is hereby recognised by the Society that the obligation of the Society to grant to the Corporation when called upon to do so a charge or lien upon its uncalled capital shall remain binding upon the Society notwithstanding the execution of these presents and that the Society will give such lien or charge on its uncalled capital when called upon by the Corporation so to do, such lien or charge to be an additional security to the Corporation in addition to these presents and to contain such necessary reasonable and proper clauses stipulations and conditions as the Corporation shall deem fit....”
Mr. Dillon: What is that from?
Mr. Aiken: That is an extract from an agreement between a co-operative society and the Agricultural Credit Corporation.
Mr. McMenamin: How much money has been advanced already?
Mr. Aiken: Between £4,000 and £5,000—that is to co-operative societies with the understanding that when this Bill becomes law they will give the Agricultural Credit Corporation the first charge on the uncalled capital.
Mr. McMenamin: Is this an agricultural society or a co-operative society?
Mr. Aiken: A co-operative society.
Mr. McMenamin: They are included in this Bill under ordinary societies?
Mr. Aiken: They are co-operative societies.
Mr. McMenamin: Are they not ordinary societies?
Mr. Aiken: They are agricultural co-operative societies. I think what I have said should do away with Deputy Belton's suspicions about the matter. It was a straightforward, open and above-board transaction. This Bill aims at giving legal sanction to what was an honourable understanding, and, I would say to what was a legal binding contract in the ordinary way between the Agricultural Credit Corporation and the co-operative societies who have got money from them. I will deal now with some of the other points that were made. Deputy Dillon said that this Bill might involve the unfortunate shareholders in a liability they never meant to undertake.
Mr. Dillon: Exactly.
Mr. Aiken: Anybody who has any knowledge of co-operative societies, or of any other business for that matter, knows that at some time or another a co-operative society or business may get into such a position that cash is necessary. Instead of realising some of their assets they proceed to the bank or to somebody else and ask them to give them cash and they give as security their assets — fixed assets or bonds, or something else. One of the  assets of a co-operative society is the balance of the uncalled capital which the members subscribed. The liability of each member is limited to the extent of the number of shares which he has undertaken to subscribe and upon which he has paid a deposit. Deputy Dillon said that the members of these societies did not know much about finance and that some dire results would happen if the committee of the society decides to give debentures upon the uncalled shares. If the committee or if the society is likely to play ducks and drakes with its funds, it does not matter very much whether they incur a debt in the form of an ordinary debt or in the form of a debenture. It usually happens that when a business or a society issues debentures that it changes the cash it gets for these debentures; clears off an old debt, or uses the money for the carrying out of further construction works in the establishment or for reproductive works.
The debentures in this particular case cannot be issued by the society until it gets the approval of the Minister for Agriculture. I think the Dáil may rely upon the Minister and his officials examining every proposition that comes up for application or for permission to issue debentures, with due care, and that the Minister and his Department will be particularly anxious to see that the credit of not alone the particular co-operative society but of all co-operative societies in general will be kept as high as possible and above suspicion. It is only such societies as will make good use of the money they will get from the issue of debentures that will be permitted by the Minister to issue debentures. I would say that there is no reasonable objection to giving co-operative societies power to issue debentures, particularly under those circumstances and with those safeguards. I think that even without these safeguards in the Bill, with the Minister having power to refuse them permission to issue debentures, it would be perfectly legitimate for the Dáil and a good stroke of business on their part to give co-operative societies outright the power of issuing debentures if necessary.
 A number of Deputies adverted to the fact, and I adverted to it myself when speaking first on this Bill, that one of the things which kills co-operation is that certain men know if they become members of a co-operative society or go on the committee, the next thing that will be put up to them is to sign a guarantee. There you have five or six or 12 men who are to carry the principal burden of the society. I think it would be good business to organise the co-operative societies on the system that they should give debentures so that the members of the society would be equally liable. It would be a convenience to a great number of members too, because every member of a co-operative society does not want to pay all his share in full unless it is absolutely necessary. It is difficult sometimes to get them to pay the share capital when called upon. But they would have no hesitation in paying the uncalled share capital if called upon when the company would have to wind up. This Bill could have saved in the past a lot of co-operative societies from winding up if there had been some means of turning their uncalled share capital into cash — as this Bill enables them to do. It will enable several societies which are going ahead to extend their business. Such societies may want to take advantage of the Cereals Act or other Acts or to extend their premises and put in new machinery; and it will give such societies an opportunity of cashing their uncalled shares without an undue pressure upon their members. I do not think there were any other points raised which I have to deal with. I want to again stress the fact that this is not a Bill which is going to impose any additional tax or any additional charge on State funds. It is simply a Bill to make arrangements between co-operative societies and their creditors, and to facilitate them by making it legal to make a charge upon their uncalled share capital.
Mr. Dillon: The Minister in speaking said that one purpose suitable for the issue of debentures was to pay off old debts. Does the Minister think  that would be a suitable occasion to issue debentures and make a charge on uncalled share capital?
Mr. Aiken: I do, if the debtor was pressing.
Mr. Dillon: You would not go to your shareholders and say “Now the time has come when we must call up capital to pay liabilities”, but you would issue debentures and put the debt on the long finger?
Mr. Aiken: In doing that I am only translating the debt from one form to another. I only stress that in order to point out to Deputy Dillon that even the ignorant member is not being penalised in any way. An added burden is not being put on him. It is simply translating the debt from an ordinary form of debt into a debenture form.
Mr. Dillon: That is the very mistake which the Minister is making. Suppose a member is face to face with a debt. The manager comes to the committee and says “We must get money to pay this debt. There are two ways of doing it. One is to wind up the business, sell the assets and pay off the debt. There is another nice way of putting it over on the members; we could issue a debenture on the uncalled share capital, get the money to pay the debt and if we go burst in a couple of years we have always the uncalled share capital to fall back on.” If the Minister were to call in the unshared capital they would have an opportunity of saying “We do not seem to be doing as well as we anticipated. Pay off the debt out of whatever assets we have and do not drag us any further into it.” If the Minister says that the committee can issue debentures to pay off the debt the unfortunate shareholders will be let in for liabilities which many of them may not want to shoulder at all. That is a very definite danger which I foresee, and I am seriously afraid it will involve a number of men — on many of whom it will be a great embarrassment — in a liability which they did not anticipate, and would not be prepared to undertake if they fully understood it.
Mr. Aiken: I do not think Deputy Dillon clearly understands the legal liability of a co-operative member.
Mr. Dillon: Indeed I do.
Mr. Aiken: A member is liable to the extent of his share.
Mr. Dillon: I have been a co-operative member for 15 years, so I ought to know.
Mr. Aiken: The Deputy ought to know then that the usual way for co-operative societies to raise funds when they get into a difficulty is to ask two or three or five or six of their prominent members to give a guarantee. I think myself that from the point of view of co-operation it would be much better for the shareholders to have to face up to the thing, instead of passing it on to five or six men who would come forward and sign a guarantee.
Question —“That the Bill be now read a Second Time”— put and agreed to.
Committee Stage fixed for Wednesday, 1st August.
Mr. Dillon: I see the Minister rising. Might I ask if this Bill is in the charge of the Minister for Industry and Commerce or of the Minister for Agriculture?
Mr. Aiken: Of the Minister for Agriculture. I move that the Bill be now read a Second Time. The Bill is framed to control the production and manufacture of tobacco within the country from the time the seed is imported until the manufactured tobacco is released from bond for sale. Tobacco is a very important source of revenue, and on that account alone strict regulations will be necessary. Apart from the revenue point of view it is necessary from the agricultural standpoint to produce the best possible tobacco within the country, so that consumers may continue to enjoy a good article. The scheme suggested is to grow the maximum quantity each year which can be evenly mixed with imported tobacco so as to give qualities of pipe tobacco which will not depart too suddenly from what smokers are accustomed to.  It is hoped in that way to maintain the present high consumption of tobacco in the country. The acreage will be increased gradually from year to year, until eventually we will become self-sufficient in our production. The economic advantages to be derived are substantial. We import at present about 10,000,000 lbs. of tobacco. If our growers are paid at 1/3 per lb. for this quantity it would mean £625,000 per annum.
Mr. Dillon: £10,000,000 worth of tobacco is imported per annum?
Mr. Aiken: No—10,000,000 lbs. weight. At 1/3 per lb. that would amount to £625,000 per annum to be added to the income of agriculturists. To come to the Bill, no person will be allowed to import or produce seed without a permit from the Minister. Conditions may be attached to this permit, and we are in that way enabled to see that only suitable varieties are produced in the country. It shall not be lawful for any person, other than a person holding a permit, to grow or import seed, or a grower to have seed in his possession. With regard to plants, no person will be allowed to import plants without a permit from the Minister. Hitherto this function belonged to the Revenue Commissioners. The reason for the change is to see that only plants of a suitable variety will be allowed to be imported. As regards the area to be grown, the Minister, after consultation with the Minister for Finance, shall make an order each year fixing the maximum total number of acres which may be planted with tobacco in such year, the maximum number of acres which may be planted by each person, and the minimum area which may be planted by each person. With regard to growers' licences, application for a grower's licence must be made before the 31st of December in respect of a licence for the coming season. This licence entitles a grower to purchase seed, to plant the area specified on the licence, and cure the grown tobacco in premises approved by the Revenue Commissioners. Applications for licences will be sent to the Revenue Commissioners in the first instance.  The Revenue Commissioners may refuse the granting of a licence on certain grounds which will be set out in regulations made by them. A complete list of applications other than those refused by the Revenue Commissioners will then be sent to the Minister for Agriculture, and he will recommend at his discretion the area to be allotted to each person. The Minister shall be guided by the maximum number of acres allowed for the year, the area grown by each applicant during the previous year, and also — though not bound by the Bill to do so — by the economic conditions prevailing in one district as compared with another. For example, there are rather large scale experiments being conducted this year in the counties of Galway and Mayo, and, to some extent, in Kerry. If good tobacco can be grown by the small holder in congested districts, the extension of tobacco growing will naturally take place principally in those areas.
The grower's licence includes a curer's licence. There is provision in the Bill, however, for a curer's licence to be given to a person who does not grow tobacco. This is designed to meet the case of the co-operative curing station, or possibly the preparatory curing station, if such is considered necessary. Application for a curer's licence, as such, must be made before 31st March in each year and application for a re-handler's licence must be made before 31st March in each year. The application will be made to the Revenue Commissioners, who may refuse on grounds which will be specified in the regulations and if not refused, the application will be transmitted to the Minister for Agriculture for his consideration. The Minister — that is, the Minister for Agriculture — may then recommend the granting of the licence to the Revenue Commissioners and his recommendation, as in the case of grower's and curer's licences, will be accepted by the Revenue Commissioners.
With regard to the transfer of licences, it may be necessary, during the time tobacco is growing or during the curing stage, to have a licence  transferred because of the death of the original holder or because of the sale of the property on which the tobacco is grown or cured and provision is being made for this purpose. The ownership of a re-handling station may also be transferred under like circumstances. Coming now to the valuation of the tobacco, when tobacco is received by the re-handler from the grower it will be valued by an officer appointed by the Minister for Agriculture. This valuation, however, is only provisional and is made for the purpose of ensuring that each grower gets relatively the same price for his tobacco as his neighbour, having regard to the quality.
Mr. Belton: Might I ask the Minister at what stage this valuation is made?
Mr. Aiken: When the grower or curer transfers it to the re-handler, the basic or preliminary valuation is made. The tobacco is then re-handled, after which it is graded by the officer appointed by the Minister for Agriculture. After grading, a price is fixed for each grade and a catalogue is prepared by the Minister of the different grades with their prices. These prices are fixed in relation to the price of imported tobacco at the time. The catalogues of the various re-handling stations having been prepared, they will be sent to the Minister for Industry and Commerce who will, by order, allot this tobacco amongst the manufacturers' according to their output during the previous year. Within four months, the manufacturer is compelled to pay the basic price above referred to, plus the difference between customs and excise duty on every pound of tobacco received. I will go over that again. The position is that the tobacco grower and the curer — in the main, the same person — takes the tobacco, in the first instance, to the re-handling station. The tobacco will be received by an officer appointed by the Minister for Agriculture, who will grade it and value it.
Mr. Belton: It is the officer and not the re-handler who will grade it?
Mr. Aiken: The officer appointed by the Minister for Agriculture will be at the rehandling station and will grade  and value the tobacco. After it is re-handled, the officer appointed by the Minister for Agriculture will grade all the tobacco again and will fix a price. That is the price that will have to be paid by the manufacturer. The Minister for Industry and Commerce will allot tobacco among the growers.
Mr. Dillon: The packet operation takes place after the tobacco has been re-handled?
Mr. Aiken: Yes. The re-handler will be paid under two heads by the manufacturer, namely, the basic or intrinsic price of the tobacco plus rebate. The amount received by way of basic price is distributed to all growers on the basis of the valuation originally placed on the tobacco received by the re-handler. The amount received by way of rebate is a flat amount per pound, out of which he first deducts re-handling charges. This year, for instance, the rebate will be 10d. and the re-handling charges 5d. Having deducted re-handling charges, he distributes the remainder on the tobacco as graded. The grower, therefore, will receive two instalments on every pound of tobacco — his share of the intrinsic price of the tobacco and his share of the rebate, both being based on the quality of the tobacco as well as on the quantity. Growers will complain that they cannot afford to remain very long out of their money. It will, undoubtedly, be possible, however, for re-handlers to get an advance from their bankers after receiving the tobacco, out of which they can make some payment on account to the growers.
With regard to the restrictions on manufacturers, manufacturers will be compelled to blend. They will be compelled to use the tobacco received within 12 months, unless an extension of time is given by the Minister for Industry and Commerce. They will not be permitted to export home-grown tobacco or any mixture containing home-grown tobacco. There are provisions in the Bill also relating to experimental manufacturers. There are certain small manufacturers in the country who grow and manufacture their own tobacco and, if the Bill were  to be applied as above outlined, it would be impossible for these manufacturers to continue in the business. It is, therefore, proposed to give a special licence to any person who grew and manufactured his own tobacco during 1933. The licence will enable him to continue to carry on. They will get a larger rebate than that allowed to the ordinary manufacturer. The rebate, of course, is not fixed in this Bill; it is fixed in the Budget.
As to the application of the Trade Boards Act, as the order stands under that Act with reference to the tobacco industry, re-handlers, curers and growers would be affected and it is proposed to exempt these three classes from the provisions of the order and instead to give power to the Minister for Industry and Commerce, after consultation with the Minister for Agriculture, to fix fair wages for the workers in re-handling stations. The Bill also gives power to the Minister for Industry and Commerce to set up an advisory council of manufacturers to advise him on the distribution of home-grown tobacco amongst the manufacturers. The Minister for Agriculture has power to set up an advisory council to advise him on the growing, curing and re-handling of tobacco and I understand the Minister for Agriculture, under that Act, can set up an advisory council for each of these processes. Those are the principal provisions in the Bill. Everybody in the Dáil realises the urgency of an enactment of this kind. The Government have in view the procuring of all the tobacco that we require within the shortest possible time. It would be impossible to get that tobacco grown and, at the same time, to safeguard the revenue which is very valuable from the State point of view, without strict regulations of all sorts and kinds. This Bill has been designed to have the tobacco under strict supervision from the time the seed is imported or saved by the grower until the time it goes to the tobacco manufacturer. Some clauses may seem very rigorous but a certain amount of rigour is necessary.
 It will also be necessary to keep the whole process of tobacco-growing under strict Government supervision so that we may grow the highest possible quality of tobacco. We may not be able to grow tobacco that they will like in Turkey or some other parts of the world where they have different leaves, but if the Department of Agriculture can supervise the growth of our own tobacco I have not the slightest doubt that we will develop a leaf here suitable to our own tastes. Already a number of people who are using Irish tobacco have become accustomed to it and like it and would not go back to any other, but it would be impossible to take the number of people who have gone on to Irish tobacco as representing the whole community. The Government have to be particularly careful that the tobacco produced here will approximate to the tobacco to which people have been accustomed over a number of years, and if there is to be a change that it should be changed gradually.
Mr. Dillon: I must say when I read this Bill and sat down to consider it in the very limited time we have had I could not help asking myself: what is the Bill for? Is it to encourage agriculture or is it to encourage the Revenue Commissioners? I think it is well to say perfectly honestly, speaking for myself, that I do not believe we are ever going to grow here all the tobacco that is to be consumed in this country. I do not believe there is a single Deputy on the Fianna Fáil Benches, with the exception, perhaps, of Deputy O'Reilly, who believes that. I know that the modern philosophy is that people should not have what they like, but that they should have what the Government damn well think they ought to have. That, of course, is the philosophy underlying the Bill. Time alone will tell whether I am right or whether the Minister is right. In the meantime, however, seeing that this is going to be put into operation, we ought to try and make the best job of it that we can and see that as little damage is done and that as much benefit  as can be secured from the Bill will, in fact, be secured.
I invite the Minister's attention to Section 3 in which it is proposed to set up a Tobacco Advisory Committee. It is a Tobacco Advisory Committee to the Minister for Industry and Commerce and its purpose is to give advice and assistance to that Minister on any matter arising on or relating to the carrying into execution of this Act by that Minister. Sub-section 2 sets out that the Tobacco Advisory Committee shall consist of such number of members, being representatives of manufacturers, as the Minister for Industry and Commerce thinks fit. I think that is a mistake. You want to have on any committee that is going to advise any Minister who is charged with the carrying out of any part of this Bill representatives not only of the manufacturers, but of the growers as well.
Mr. Aiken: I want to make that clear. The Minister for Industry and Commerce has one special function and that is the distribution of the re-handled tobacco; that is the tobacco in the stage in which it usually goes to the manufacturer. The Minister for Industry and Commerce distributes that amongst the manufacturers. At that point the control of it passes from the Minister for Agriculture to the Minister for Industry and Commerce. All the Minister for Agriculture is concerned with is getting a price for the farmers. The Minister for Industry and Commerce is concerned with seeing that, while all the native-grown tobacco suitable for use is taken by the manufacturers, they should not be unduly upset. The only function that committee has is to distribute the tobacco among the manufacturers. The Minister for Agriculture has power under the Agriculture Act to set up advisory committees to advise him on all the processes and all the stages of tobacco growing and re-handling up to the time it leaves his control. He can set up an advisory committee for the growing of tobacco, for the curing of tobacco, and for the re-handling of tobacco — all the processes in which farmers are interested.
Mr. Dillon: I think there is force in  what the Minister says. May I interpolate that it looks like as if we were going to have a pleasant time on this Bill. There is an atmosphere spreading through the House which presages good will. In view of what the Minister says in regard to the functions of the Tobacco Advisory Committee set out in Section 3, I am not at all sure that the Bill is not better as it stands and that possibly representatives of the growers there might be rather a hindrance than a help. I think it is worth consideration, however, whether the Minister for Industry and Commerce should not have with him a representative of the Minister for Agriculture, because questions might arise in the matter of the distribution of that tobacco amongst the manufacturers which would be of interest to the Department of Agriculture from the point of view of enlightening them as to the kinds of tobacco that it is difficult to place and the kinds of tobacco for which there is a ready demand, and for informing him, by constant collaboration with the manufacturers on a variety of technical matters from the manufacturers' viewpoint which would be of assistance to them in directing the activities of the farmers engaged in growing the weed.
Section 8 provides that the Revenue Commissioners may, by order, make provisions generally for a variety of matters in connection with the raising of tobacco. I want to submit two suggestions to the Minister in that connection. One is, that when the Revenue Commissioners are making the regulations they should make them in consultation with the Minister for Agriculture. In that regard it has to be remembered that heretofore, I think, the general view of the Revenue Commissioners was that the growing of tobacco in the country was rather a nuisance than a desirable thing. Their relationship with tobacco was a revenue-collecting relationship. Heretofore their sole interest in tobacco was extracting the revenue, and so, having for decades made regulations with the object in view of collecting revenue, that purpose may predominate too strongly in their minds when they are making regulations under the new circumstances.  I suggest that it would be of material assistance to the revenue authorities themselves and to the growers if any regulations they make in future were made in consultation with the Minister for Agriculture, who would be awake to the repercussions these regulations would have on the growers and producers. Over and above that, tobacco growing, saving and handling, as we know, form a highly technical business, and there may be details or a process which would be unknown to the Revenue Commissioners. Knowledge of these details might affect their judgment when they were making the regulations. That knowledge could be furnished by the Minister for Agriculture, and he would know when it was necessary to draw the attention of the Revenue Commissioners to the specialised knowledge involved in the culture of tobacco.
There is another point arising from the regulations made by the Revenue Commissioners. Growers heretofore had this great difficulty, that they had been living from hand to mouth and instead of having some clarity of prospect before them they were obliged to plant the crop this year almost on chance. I would like any regulations that are going to operate in 1935 to be made known long before the planting season of 1935. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I think regulations that are going to apply in the year 1935 ought to be made known not later than the September of 1934. I think revenue provisions that are going to be incorporated in the Budget ought not to be made operative in the financial year to which the Budget refers. Perhaps I should amend that. I know one cannot impose taxes for 1935 in the Budget of 1934. I suggest the procedure should be that where it is the intention to alter the revenue taxes on tobacco in the year 1935, the intention to do so should be announced in the Budget of 1934, so as to give growers and cultivators an opportunity of making their plans and arranging the rotations on their farms with a full knowledge of the regulations or impositions which the Revenue Commissioners are going to adopt.
In Section 12 we have further provisions  for the Revenue Commissioners to make regulations. I can suggest to the Minister, for the same reasons over which I have gone, that the Department of Agriculture should be invited to co-operate in respect of the regulations which it is intended to make. I think it would be even better if the consultative council which the Minister for Agriculture will set up under the Agricultural Acts should be called into consultation. The regulations under Section 12 are regulations specifying the grounds on which applications for growers' licences, curers' licences and rehandlers' licences may be refused by the Revenue Commissioners and different regulations may be made in respect of growers' licences, curers' licences and rehandlers' licences. I think the growers' representatives should have a voice in the making of those regulations and if that is not possible I think the Minister for Agriculture should have a very material voice.
Section 14 (2) deals with the application for a growers' licence and it provides that each application to the Revenue Commissioners for a growers' licence in respect of the growing of tobacco in any year shall be made within the last six months before the commencement of each year. That is much too late. There ought to be a much longer period provided between the issuing of the licence by the Revenue Commissioners and the commencement of farming operations in connection with the crop for which the licence makes provision. I suggest that applications for licences to grow tobacco should be with the Revenue Commissioners say, in the June of the year preceding that in which it is proposed to save the crop, and the Revenue Commissioners should have allotted the licence not later than September of the year before that in which it is proposed to plant and save the tobacco crop in respect of which the licence issues.
The grower's licence is dealt with in Section 16, and it shall be in such form as the Revenue Commissioners may direct, and it shall operate to authorise the person to whom such licence is issued or to whom such licence is transferred  to grow tobacco in a specified year on specified lands in an area not exceeding the area specified in such licence, and to cure such tobacco. The Minister made special reference to the desirability of promoting the growth of cigarette tobacco. We all know that at least two-thirds of the tobacco consumed in this country is cigarette tobacco. Cigarette tobacco is a bright tobacco, and bright tobacco requires to be planted rather more closely together to the acre than the ordinary dark varieties. In addition to that, in the curing of bright tobacco steam heat is required and special equipment is necessary. You cannot ask a man to invest £1,000 in the installation of special apparatus for the curing of bright tobacco unless you hold out to him some prospect of permanence in respect to the licence which authorises him to carry on the operation. According to the Minister, the Government want to promote the growth of cigarette tobacco. If you want that you will have to make up your minds that persons prepared to embark on the production of that particular type of tobacco will get a licence which will give them a guarantee of permission to continue their operations for five or ten years. If you do not do that you will not get anyone to put in the kind of equipment which will produce the best type of cigarette tobacco.
The sections following are largely dealing with routine procedure until you come to Section 28, and that has a bearing on what I have just said. In Section 28 the Minister may make regulations in relation to the maximum and minimum number of tobacco plants per acre, the varieties of tobacco that may be grown, the equipment to be used by holders of growers' licences, the method and processes of growing tobacco, the making of returns by the holders of growers' licences, and so on. I confess that when I was studying that section I was labouring under the misapprehension that the Minister there referred to was the Minister for Industry and Commerce, but I now see in Section 2 that the Minister, where not otherwise defined, is the Minister for Agriculture. If the Minister here referred to were the Minister for Industry and Commerce, I was going  to suggest that he should consult the experts from the Department of Agriculture before making regulations, because it is a highly technical question as to the maximum and minimum number of plants which may be planted to the acre, and that has a very direct bearing on the quality and type of the finished leaf.
I want to draw special attention to Sections 32 and 33, because they may give rise to a very awkward situation for growers, and might result in material injustice. Under Section 32 (2) it shall not be lawful for any holder of a grower's licence to deliver tobacco grown by him in any year to a rehandling station other than the rehandling station specified in the return made by him unless he has first received the consent of the Minister to his delivery of such tobacco at some other rehandling station. Deputies will know that it is quite true that the grower can choose his own rehandler. There is no compulsion on him to go to one man in preference to another until after he has made his own choice, but having made his choice, he is bound to that man.
Section 33 sets out that subject to the provisions of the section every person who is the holder of a rehandler's licence shall purchase, at the price and on the terms and conditions applicable to such purchase at the premises to which such licence relates, all tobacco in a suitable condition for rehandling grown by the holder of a grower's licence in the year to which such re-handler's licence relates and offered for sale in accordance with the provisions of the Act at such premises before the 31st December in the year in which such tobacco was grown, or such later date as the Minister may fix in relation to tobacco grown in that year. Who is going to define whether the tobacco is in a suitable condition for re-handling, or not?
Mr. Aiken: The officials of the Department of Agriculture.
Mr. Dillon: There is no provision for that. The Minister will remember that, under the Cereals Act, we provided that compulsion could be brought to bear on millers to mill wheat of millable  quality, and the Minister was eventually forced to admit that that was incapable of definition and that they would have to do the best they could from time to time. But it was the Minister who had the decision in his hands and he could force the wheat on the miller. As far as I can find out, however, there is no authority appointed here to decide what tobacco is in a suitable condition for re-handling, so that the grower might find himself face to face with the re-handler and the re-handler refusing to accept the tobacco on the ground that it was unsuitable. The grower, under the election he made under Section 32, would find himself precluded from going on to any other re-handler and asking him to take the tobacco from him. That is a matter which, I think, deserves consideration.
The Minister foresaw the difficulty that might be raised in regard to paying the grower for his tobacco. His solution of that difficulty is that the re-handler should go to the bank and raise sufficient money on the security of the tobacco he has purchased to pay at least a part of what is due to the grower for what the grower has delivered to him. As the Bill stands at present, let us assume that the grower will bring his tobacco to the re-handler in the latter end of September, or, perhaps, early in October. By the time the re-handling, the packeting, the sampling, and the allotment have been completed, it will be January. Now, there is no obligation whatever on the re-handler to pay the producer anything until he gets his money from the manufacturer to whom the tobacco has been allotted by the Minister for Industry and Commerce. I submit, with respect, to the Minister that a statutory provision ought to be made whereunder the re-handler could pay the grower sooner than the month of January.
A variety of schemes might be worked out, but one would be that the rehandler would be entitled to issue drafts on the Agricultural Credit Corporation in favour of the grower, which would be a chattel mortgage on the tobacco which was in bond or in the keeping of the Department of  Industry and Commerce. It is true that, under normal conditions, the rehandler could go to the bank and give the bank a bill of sale on the tobacco and get enough money to pay the grower, but, of course, he would have to pay interest on the money and he might not want to do that. Unless you provide the grower with some means whereby he can make the rehandler pay him at least a moiety of what is due, you will find that in the vast majority of cases the growers will be out of their money until January.
It is perfectly true that, in the case of many crops that we grow, we are out of our money until January or even until March or later. I doubt if there is any other crop which involves the expenditure of more ready cash on labour than tobacco. I do not think I overestimate when I say that £50 cash will have to be paid on the cultivation of an acre of tobacco. That is a substantial sum for a farmer to be out of for three or four months in respect of one acre, and I think the Minister should consider some scheme whereby it will be possible for him to recover at least the money that he was out of pocket sooner than the four, five or six months after the time he delivers the tobacco to the rehandler's station.
Part 4 of the Bill, which provides for experimental manufacturers' licences, is not very easy of comprehension, but I take it that it is incorporated in the Bill really in order to make provision for three or four people who were engaged in the manufacture of tobacco heretofore and whom it is not desired to squeeze out now. All I can say is, that, so far as I am aware, there is nothing in that portion of the Bill which operates unfairly or unjustly in respect of those persons. If there is anything which operates unfairly to them, doubtless they will raise it with some Deputies and have attention called to it, but there is nothing in that part of the Bill, as far as I can see, that will operate unfairly.
As I say, I do not believe that we will ever grow all the tobacco we want in this country, any more than I  believe that the Fianna Fáil Government intends to build a deep sea port in the County Donegal, but it is a very good scheme when you want to keep the pot boiling, to say: “Some fine day we are going to do something wonderful for everybody. We will build a deep sea port in Donegal and we will grow all the tobacco that everybody wants here in Ireland.” Time alone will tell whether the Minister is right or I am right, but in the meantime, subject to the few particular matters I have mentioned, I want to strike this note of warning. Let the Minister remember that the Revenue Commissioners, who, for their own purposes, are as highly efficient a body of men as you will find, will approach the cultivation of tobacco in this country from quite a different viewpoint from that which is enshrined in this Bill. They are bound, by their experience and practice, to approach it from the point of view of revenue collecting. The Minister wants them to approach it from the point of view of the promotion of agriculture while bearing in mind its repercussions on the revenue. They cannot do that unless there is vouchsafed to them constantly the assistance of the Department of Agriculture. I venture to say that this is one of those cases where the gift horse will be looked in the mouth, because I am not quite sure that the Revenue Commissioners will welcome the kind of assistance that will be forthcoming from the Department of Agriculture. However, I suggest that the Minister should adopt towards the Revenue Commissioners the same attitude that he adopts towards the people of this country, and that is to tell them: “We do not give a whoop what you want; it is what we damn well want you to do.” It is interesting to notice that the Minister is much more formidable and courageous when he is facing the unfortunate voters of this country than he is when he is facing the Revenue Commissioners. I exhort him, however, to do his damnedest when facing the Revenue Commissioners, because I know they are quite well able to look after themselves, and I am quite sure that between the Minister and the  Revenue Commissioners they will evolve a scheme which will avoid friction between the Board and the Revenue Commissioners and which will provide easy working for all those who are concerned in making this measure a success. They will have a hard job. I should be glad to see them succeed, and it is with that view that I point out possible sources of friction which ought to be removed before the scheme is put into operation.
Mr. M. O'Reilly: Deputy Dillon does not seem to be a believer in tobacco growing. At the same time, of course, he made no great objection to the Bill. The objection he holds to tobacco growing possibly is an objection that was held here by many people in this country. They allow themselves to be influenced by the opinions of others that you could not grow tobacco here any more than you could grow bananas. Tobacco is classed as one of the weeds that can grow anywhere. There is no country in the world that cannot grow tobacco. The very cold or the very hot country or a mild climate can grow it. It possibly grows better in a damp climate. The country that starts to grow tobacco has got to find out the kind that will suit. No country grows the same tobacco. The tobacco that Deputy Dillon smokes—if he does smoke tobacco—may be excellent tobacco for Deputy Dillon. Many around him would believe that it had a perfect aroma and that nothing better than that could be produced. The man from the United States, who possibly grew that tobacco, would turn round and say that tobacco was trash. A Frenchman cannot stand the smoke of our cigarettes until he gets accustomed to them. Every country in the world grows the tobacco of the peculiar flavour to which its people have got accustomed.
There is not the least trouble in getting people accustomed to smoking their own tobacco. There is not a country in the world that does not grow its own tobacco. Great Britain for special reasons, colonial and otherwise, did not allow tobacco to be grown. They could grow it in England, but, for revenue reasons, for a time  they did not allow it to be grown. At other times they allowed it to be grown and following that they refused to allow it. Here in this country it was believed that tobacco could be grown. It was attempted, and the County Wexford grew the most excellent tobacco. It, is on the records of the House of Commons that the tobacco manufacturers of London petitioned the British Government to disallow the growth and manufacture here, because of the severe competition with their own tobacco manufacturers who handled tobacco which they got from the United States. The extinction of tobacco growing here was largely political and economic. English manufacturers at all times did not want industries in this country, and they did not want competition from us. They were perfectly right from that point of view. This same thing also obtained in the tobacco industry. We had the usual experiments here. Tobacco was grown in the County Wexford. The main reason why the English manufacturers petitioned against Irish tobacco was because the tobacco grown here was of such superior quality, and was a very severe competitor with the English grown or manufactured tobacco, and the growers and manufacturers there thought it should be stopped.
If we are to make a success of this industry we must proceed cautiously and due respect must be had for the taste of the smokers of tobacco. People on the opposite benches bellowed forth that we should grow 10,000 acres. It was easy enough to listen to them because we knew they did not understand the question or want to understand it. It was a political dodge to make things awkward. Up to the present we have not grown anything except pipe or ordinary tobacco. We have made experiments with the growing of cigarette tobacco. Some years ago we produced a very excellent cigarette. The formula still remains. We hope to have that seed for the coming season. But the cigarette side of the business was not developed. The most we produced was pipe tobacco. Because of the system adopted and the awards given, pipe tobacco produced more leaf per acre  than any other variety. There is less difficulty too with the growing of it. It gives a heavier crop and is generally more attractive to the farmer. The position here is that some 3,000 acres of pipe tobacco would supply the market if we smoked all Irish tobacco. About 3,000 acres would fill the bill if we had all the market and if we had a complete mixture of Irish tobacco. On the other hand, if we go in for manufacturing cigarettes we should continue to manufacture from the tobacco to which we have been accustomed. It would be quite possible that pipe smokers would not smoke Irish tobacco if all tobacco manufactured in the country was made from Irish leaf. What would happen in that case would be that tobacco smokers would drift entirely to cigarette smoking. If we had more than 3,000 acres of tobacco grown it would not be possible to get the people to consume all that, no matter how cheap it could be marketed. For that reason we decided we would grow a certain acreage which would ensure a small mixture of Irish to be blended with the foreign leaf. Thus the people would be gradually accustomed to smoking Irish tobacco. In this Bill it is proposed that something of a better price should be given for cigarette leaf in order to encourage the growing of cigarette tobacco. In the near future we will be able to put on the market a reasonable amount of Irish-grown cigarette leaf mixed with foreign leaf. In that way we will gradually accustom the people to smoke Irish-grown tobacco. In three or four years' time there will not be much difficulty in putting on the market a 50 per cent., 60 per cent. or 70 per cent. blend. If you reach that stage you could put on the market an entire mixture of Irish-grown tobacco.
To do that it would be necessary to have somebody to supervise the business, some people with a knowledge of blending and who know what the people will accept, people who know the different classes of tobacco that will leave a blend and give a certain flavour. That part of the business is left in the hands of the manufacturers. The Advisory Committee which is  under the Minister for Industry and Commerce has control of that particular branch. Some of the duties of that committee will be to indicate the different classes of tobacco that may be grown here with a view to creating a blend. Tobacco, in fact, must be blended. In the particular classes of tobacco, etc., we grew ourselves at home, half-acre or an acre, no matter how good the tobacco was, it would not be palatable unless it was mixed with some other tobacco in much the same way as tea is mixed. The blender in a tobacco factory is an important person and is the most highly paid worker in the factory. He is the most important of the whole lot. On him depends the success of the industry and on him depends the sales. One mixture made by the blender will make a palatable smoke while another mixture may be unsaleable. The greatest care must be taken in the blending of the tobacco and the people must be gradually accustomed to a particular blend. It must be blended so as to meet, as far as possible, the taste of the consumer. The public would not mind, I believe, a ten per cent. Irish cigarette leaf—a ten per cent blend in cigarettes. The public to-day would not object to that, although there would not be very much difficulty in detecting that there was a ten per cent. blend in it. Some of the manufacturers have already produced quite good and very pleasant cigarettes, but there is not the slightest doubt about it that any person will be able to detect that they are not ordinary cigarettes.
Mr. Dillon: Would the Deputy give the name of the cigarettes?
Mr. O'Reilly: Taylor produces them but they are not on the market. He has manufactured them for test purposes, and two or three others as well, I think. The whole idea behind this Bill is to see that the question is handled judiciously and carefully, and to see that there is not too much tobacco put on the market in any given year. The thing which is most pleasing in the Bill is that the producer has got his definite price. He has no bargaining or anything else. I do understand  and know that the price he is going to get is based to a very large extent on what is known in this Bill as the basic price, and which is the price of foreign tobacco at the port of Dublin.
Mr. Dillon: Would the Deputy give us a figure?
Mr. O'Reilly: It depends on the quality of the leaf.
Mr. Dillon: What is the basic price?
Mr. O'Reilly: I daresay the average price now would be round about 7d. I cannot tell you what it is.
Mr. Dillon: 7d. per lb.?
Mr. O'Reilly: Yes.
Mr. Dillon: Is that what the grower is going to get for his tobacco?
Mr. O'Reilly: Have a look at the Bill later on. I can tell you he will get more than that.
Mr. Dillon: I want the Deputy to give me a forecast.
Mr. O'Reilly: It will do you no harm to encourage you to read the Bill.
Mr. Dillon: I have read it very carefully.
Mr. O'Reilly: I told you the price to-day is roughly about 7d. If I told you the rest you may not read the Bill.
Mr. Dillon: I have read it very carefully.
Mr. O'Reilly: You will get it all right. It will give you a lot of information if you read about how it is got.
Mr. Dillon: The Deputy does not care to put a figure on it yet.
Mr. Corry: Take it on your holidays!
Mr. Dillon: The Deputy will not put a figure on it?
Mr. O'Reilly: The figure I am putting on it is a figure I do not know. I only tell you that I believe that is the price. It has to be arranged by an expert who understands prices, and understands the value of the different leaves.
Mr. Finlay: It is a terrible thing to be speaking on a production you know nothing about.
Mr. O'Reilly: Who does not?
Mr. Finlay: You.
Mr. O'Reilly: But you need not listen. You can walk out.
Mr. Finlay: The sooner you go the better.
Mr. O'Reilly: I will go as soon as I am pleased or as soon as the Chair tells me to go. Is it in order for a Deputy to tell another Deputy to sit down?
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: No Deputy has called upon another Deputy to sit down.
Mr. O'Reilly: The basic price will be the price paid at the port for foreign tobacco. That is the price on which the remainder of the prices will be built up. I should prefer that instead of having that basic price——
Mr. Finlay: Basic slag!
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputy O'Reilly is entitled to make his speech without irrelevant interruptions of that kind.
Mr. O'Reilly: I would suggest that the price should be a fixed price in that case.
Mr. Belton: Would the Deputy say what he means by a fixed price?
Mr. O'Reilly: That there would be an agreed price given instead of depending on the price at the port.
Mr. Belton: And without any regard for world prices?
Mr. O'Reilly: There are peculiarities about the tobacco business just like any other business. If the ordinary price paid at the port were paid on the weight of the bale or the casks in bond, without any deductions whatsoever, it would be much more satisfactory. I understand, and I have heard a good deal about it, that there is a system here in purchasing tobacco under which there is a sort of luck-penny  given. It is not really given in money, but it is a deduction made from each cask or each bale. They call that a draft, and it is worked in this way; for every 900 lbs. of tobacco—say a cask weighing 900 lbs.—there are 10 lbs., of tobacco deducted. The weight of the cask would, therefore, be 890 lbs., instead of 900 lbs. They would have to pay for 890 lbs. instead of 900 lbs. There would be 14 lbs. deducted for every 1,000 lbs. or over, and there are actually 3 lbs. deducted from a bale of any weight. According to the Bill, that condition would exist, and the growers would have to submit to that custom. I should prefer, from the growers' point of view anyway, if the price was the price at the port for the full weight of the bale or the barrel in bond. It is only a small thing, but after all the price is small. It is not such a good price perhaps as many men growing tobacco would expect to get.
Mr. Dillon: The Deputy has not told us what the price is yet.
Mr. O'Reilly: There is here a rebate of something like 10d. on the lb. The 10d. rebate will be divided between the grower and the rehandler. The rehandler will be allowed 5d. for rehandling, and the grower will get exactly the 5d. plus the price at the port.
Mr. Dillon: That would be about 1/-.
Mr. O'Reilly: Yes.
Mr. Dillon: 1/- per lb.?
Mr. O'Reilly: Roughly; whatever the price will be at the port. That is 1/- clear. He has not to pay rehandling expenses or anything else. That is quite clear.
Mr. Dillon: What does Deputy Corry say to that?
Mr. O'Reilly: There is another danger in that. I notice that the manufacturers have imported a very considerable quantity of tobacco this year. Within the last two or three months they have imported a considerable quantity of tobacco. Of course one may not be suspicious of  that because that is the custom among manufacturers. They have done that for the last eight or nine years. In some years they import more than in others, but this year they have imported quite a considerable amount. If it so happened that you did not want to import any tobacco next year, except perhaps tobacco of a very low or inferior class, it would reduce the price of our tobacco considerably. As well as I remember—the Minister will correct me if I am wrong—there is some provision in the Bill against that. If there is not a provision in the Bill it might be very serious. I should like if the two things were considered in that case. To my mind the most important part of the Bill is the price you are going to get. I should like if the two things were considered—the question of what is known as the draft, or what I call, for explanatory purposes, the luck penny, and the amount of tobacco that was imported within the last two or three months. If manufacturers sought to import perhaps very low grade tobacco at a very cheap price they could do it. All over Europe tobacco is at a very low price. Many grades of tobacco in the United States are at a very low price. Tobacco is imported here at as low a figure as 2½d.
Mr. Dillon: Would it mean that we would get 8d. per pound for ours?
Mr. O'Reilly: It might be very serious if that happened. However, that is simply in passing. I am glad the Bill is introduced because it indicates quite clearly that there is an understanding that a taste for tobacco could be cultivated here.
Mr. Dillon: At 1/- a pound?
Mr. O'Reilly: And I am glad that the industry here has been made permanent, because once legislation is introduced and once an industry is recognised, it is an industry that will stay, at any rate for some time. I admit that three, four or five years must elapse before we shall know what are the possibilities. It is to some extent in the experimental stage but, even so, men who seemed to understand a great deal about tobacco and  who have been in the business for many years told me last year that samples they saw in Meath and Wicklow—and one sample in Wicklow, by a new grower—were as good as they had ever seen. It was a perfect pipe tobacco and perfectly cured.
Mr. Dillon: Would the Deputy mind answering one question as an expert? In his opinion, is it an economic possibility for a farmer to grow tobacco and sell it at a price varying between 9d. and 1/- a lb?
Mr. O'Reilly: It is quite an economic proposition to grow tobacco at 1/- a lb. There are no re-handling charges to pay on it. Your average production would be 1,000 lbs. per acre and over, and in good years, on a certain class of tobacco, you would get a good deal over 1,000 lbs. There is, however, a bonus system attached to this Bill which will ensure the growers of cigarette leaf a rather higher price. Cigarette leaf will give a lower weight per acre while the pipe leaf will give a greater weight. The average of the pipe tobacco would be up to 1,000 lbs. per acre where it would be well grown.
Mr. Dillon: The Deputy will not mind my asking what he estimates to be the cost, in labour, etc., of growing an acre of tobacco in an average year? Not making allowance for peculiarly bad weather conditions or peculiar unforeseen events, what allowance would he make for manuring, seeding and saving an acre of ground?
Mr. O'Reilly: With all his expenses —cartage and different other things— a sum of £40 per acre would clear him.
Mr. Dillon: At what rate would you pay your labourers? Would that be allowing 26/- per week for a farm-labourer?
Mr. O'Reilly: Yes.
Mr. Belton: Would that be the maximum wage?
Mr. Dillon: God forbid!
Mr. O'Reilly: It might not be. It might run up to 30/-.
Mr. Dillon: And £30 per acre!
Mr. Finlay: Even growing 1,000 lbs. at 1/- would be only £50. I guarantee that in some cases it will take £40 or £50 to grow it.
Mr. O'Reilly: However, the crop is a profitable crop and with a little experience, it can be made really a profitable one at 1/- a lb. That is accepted by all the old growers and the practical growers. It has beneficial uses, because it is one of the greatest benefits that land can get. I saw two or three cases where wheat was put in after last year's crop and an extremely good crop of wheat has been grown. Tobacco is a great cultivator. It also has other advantages and will have special advantages in this country where fruit growing is about to be developed and where nicotine sprays and that sort of thing will be largely used. We at present import most of those sprays. There is a man in County Waterford at present manufacturing nicotine from German tobacco. He gets the German tobacco across and manufactures nicotine, which he exports to Canada and South Africa and to other countries. It is one of the most useful sheep dips known and it is admitted by most people who have used it that for sheep and wool growing, there is no greater stimulant. It is used entirely in South Africa, and in Canada they use quite a lot of it. This manufacturer in Waterford exports entirely to these countries. It is not used in this country so largely because that manufacturer makes it up in rather large drums, which are not convenient for smaller farmers. At a later stage, I have no doubt, that from the stems and stalks now left derelict, and which possibly have to be burnt, good nicotine could be manufactured which would create a further industry and benefit the country largely. It is one of the greatest disinfectants known.
Deputy Dillon was rather perturbed about the control, and this board was to be set up. The Minister for Agriculture has automatic powers to set up an advisory board, and I have no doubt he will do that. In fact, I hope he will do it, and I am sure that everybody interested in the growing of tobacco will do all they can to persuade him to  do so. As I say, he already has power and there is hardly any necessity to give him further power in this Bill to do it. There is another matter which I should like to suggest for the Minister's consideration and that is, that only co-operative societies should be allowed to re-handle tobacco. We have in County Meath at present a re-handling machine of the most modern type. When fully worked, it will handle the produce of 5,000 acres.
Mr. Belton: In what time?
Mr. O'Reilly: Over the year.
Mr. Belton: But what time would it take it to re-handle the produce of 5,000 acres?
Mr. O'Reilly: Just over the year.
Mr. Belton: Twelve months?
Mr. O'Reilly: Twelve months. It will keep 16 or 18 men constantly employed in grading time and rehandling. The machine's capacity is 5,000 acres. Originally, there were here two machines and the calculation was that those two machines could handle the produce of 10,000 acres. One machine was situated in Adare, in County Limerick, but, unfortunately, a year or two after it arrived, it was burned. Only one of the machines remains at present, and that is the Proctor machine in Randalstown. That machine is worked on co-operative lines. The growers belong to a co-operative organisation, and last year we were enabled to go to the banks and get money to advance to the growers, advancing to each a small share of what the tobacco was possibly worth, with the result that it brought great satisfaction to them. The rehandling was greatly delayed owing principally to not having heating apparatus that suited. The first electric heating machine we got was too small and we had to wait until we got a new one and, but for that, most of the tobacco would have been handled really early. The tobacco generally makes its appearance in the rehandling station about September or October, having been packed for conveyance to the rehandling station. If it becomes  too dry it cannot be tied in bales, because it will break, but by November or December the tobacco is all in to the rehandling stations. It is there the tobacco is graded—at some stations into three classes and, at others, into four and five classes, according to quality. The bottom leaves are generally of a higher quality.
Mr. Belton: Are they not thrown away as refuse?
Mr. O'Reilly: No, only the yellow leaves you might pick off while the tobacco was growing. The bottom leaves are generally the top-grade leaves. In some factories, they divide into three grades and in others, into four. It is at that time that the officials of the Department of Agriculture decide on the different grades of tobacco. After the tobacco is graded, it is put through the Proctor machine and dried. It is dried in the cask in which it is graded. It is tied in bundles, hung on poles and passed through this machine. When it comes out at the end of the machine it is packed in barrels or bales, as the case may be, and is then fit for sale.
The tobacco is then what we call perfectly safe. The extra moisture is extracted and the tobacco is fit for sale, mortgage or manufacture. Manufacturers generally buy it at that time. Sometimes they compel the rehandler to take it to Dublin and put it into a bonded store. In order to do that, there is a regulation that the rehandler must take out a bond to be of good behaviour—to see that none of the tobacco is stolen on the way from the time it leaves his place until it is placed in bond in Dublin. Sometimes there is great difficulty in that, because the bond is rather a small one and will only cover a certain amount of tobacco, and you will be only allowed to remove from the bonded warehouse the exact amount that the bond covers. If the Revenue Commissioners would notify the rehandlers exactly what bond would cover the whole of the tobacco, they would be able to remove the whole lot within a week or ten days and would not have to be waiting for a fresh bond.
The Bill, as I said, is a good Bill.
 It will encourage the growing of tobacco and make the thing permanent. The only thing I should like to be assured of is, as I said before, that only co-operative societies will be allowed to rehandle. If manufacturers are allowed to rehandle tobacco I believe it will lead to a great deal of abuse. The next thing is the question of the sale of seed. The seed is a very important matter in tobacco growing. When a well-saved seed is not procured or when a seed is not true to variety very grave results accrue. I believe that the sale of seed should be altogether in the hands of co-operative societies. Last year the Meath Co-operative Society was able to sell to growers as much seed as would sow an acre for 1/-, while small packages here in Dublin and elsewhere cost nearly twice that amount. That seed was a guaranteed seed. It could be tested within the co-operative societies. In the Meath Co-operative Society we have our own plants and are in a position to produce our native seed. I believe it would be a good thing if the Minister would consider accepting such an amendment as would allow the sale of seed by co-operative societies only. Last year a good deal of mixture took place. The experts I had with me when they went and looked at the tobacco on one farm were surprised at the different varieties of leaf in the one shed. The grower believed that the seed he had sown was all the same. These experts pointed out to him that there were many different seeds mixed up and that he had in his barn several different classes of leaves. It is important to see that that will be eliminated.
Deputy Dillon spoke about compulsion on growers to send their crop to a certain rehandling station. I think that difficulty can be got over. The Minister has power to release either the rehandler or the grower from that contract. I think it would be much better if the Minister in the Bill compelled co-operative growers to send their crop to their own co-operative society and if he would consider the question of granting a minimum price or, if not, a price for the weight of the bale or the barrel of tobacco in  bond. I am glad that this Bill has been introduced. It gives a degree of permanency. Contrary to Deputy Dillon's statement, I am satisfied that tobacco growing in this country is going to be a complete success.
Mr. Belton: If we had less praying over Bills and more practical information we would get on better and know more about them. There is no use in expressing a pious hope for any economic undertaking if you do not get right in the middle of the road and show how it is going to be an economic undertaking. Of course, on this stage of the Bill it is only the principle that is discussed. There can be no question that the Bill is necessary and there is no question, of course, of opposing it, because people are growing tobacco and the marketing and curing of that crop, owing to the nature of it, and all the revenue derived from it, have to be watched closely and, therefore, it can be controlled only by Act of Parliament. Hence a Bill of some kind is necessary and the real criticism of this Bill will have to be reserved for the Committee Stage.
Deputy O'Reilly has no doubt that tobacco growing is going to be a success. He has no doubt either that tobacco at 10d. or 1/- a lb. is going to be a success. Has he any doubt that the growing of tobacco, when the State pays in subsidy 10d. per lb., is rather an expensive luxury? The revenue loses 10d. on every lb. of tobacco grown in this country. It is just the same as if they charged the full revenue and handed back 10d. per lb. to the grower. Taking the produce of an acre at 1,000 lbs., that means that the State has to give to the grower 1,000 tenpences. It means that each acre of tobacco will cost the State £42. I hope that is clear enough. That is the actual position.
There is no use in saying that we can grow tobacco here. We can. When Deputy O'Reilly was questioned as to the price we were going to get for tobacco, he hedged and he thought. There is no thinking about it. The price of the low-grade tobacco is 7d. per lb. That is the American price of that grade of tobacco. I challenge the  Minister to contradict that the grading of our tobacco at the re-handling stations will be based on the American grades. Our lowest grade will be a grade that will approximate to the American grade that is fetching 7d. per lb. The grower will get 7d. a lb. for that tobacco in the world market, but our Government will give him 10d. a lb. for growing it.
The grower is going to get by way of bonus more than the basic price of tobacco. The State is going to give him more for growing tobacco than the article itself is worth in the market. How glad we would all be to get from the State a bounty exceeding the market price of potatoes? How many more potatoes would be grown? If potatoes were £4 a ton or, taking the world price of potatoes or whatever price will rule here in the market, and if the State gave us that much more merely for the growing of them, would it not be a profitable proposition from the individual grower's point of view? This institution here is the Government, not of the farmer, not of the agricultural population, but of all the people in the country. Only a few people will be allotted their share of growing 1,000 acres of tobacco this year. Even if the El Dorado visualised by the Minister is ever reached, when we will become self-sufficient in the matter of tobacco, the most we will require on a good average crop will be 10,000 acres. Whoever will be allotted those 10,000 acres will, if the present subsidy continues to be paid, be in receipt of £400,000 or £500,000 from the State for growing it. It will cost the State £400,000 or £500,000 more for tobacco grown here than the price at which we could buy it in the market.
Mr. Donnelly: You mean buying foreign tobacco. Surely you do not suggest that?
Mr. Belton: I regret the Minister for Agriculture is not here and I regret all the more the circumstances of his absence—we all do. We know it is difficult for the Minister for Defence to keep au fait with his own Department and to take charge of a measure of this kind. This is not by any means  a simple Bill. It is the most intricate Bill that I have seen since I came into the House and, consequently, I feel disposed to reserve most of my criticism for the Committee Stage, when we hope the Minister for Agriculture, who has studied this Bill carefully, will be present. When I say that I do not mean to cast any reflection on the Acting-Minister. I am sure he knows the Bill pretty well, but the Minister whose job it is ought to know it better and I would like if he were here. To grow our own tobacco it will cost us £400,000 or £500,000 a year. The Minister told us that our total consumption of tobacco is about 10,000,000 lbs. Anybody can calculate 10,000,000 tenpences, because 10d. a lb. is the subsidy we get for the growing of the tobacco. That is what self-sufficiency in the matter of growing tobacco works out at. We pay £42 an acre and the 1,000 acres that will be grown this year will cost our Government £42,000. That is the Minister's ambition.
Deputy O'Reilly said that to supply our pipe tobacco it would take 3,000 or 4,000 acres. Supposing we produced all our pipe tobacco, it would cost us about £150,000, to £160,000. The sequence of events in the growing of tobacco is interesting to follow. One point that has not been brought out already is that when we have a grower, the grower will in nearly all cases be the curer; but the curing is an operation in itself apart from the growing. The basic price of the inferior tobacco will be 7d. Then, after the tobacco is cured it passes on to the rehandler. The Minister informed us that the rehandler is going to get 5d. a lb. for rehandling. Now, with the bonus, that will come to 1/5 a lb. gross. Fivepence will come off for rehandling and that leaves it 1/- a pound. That is not 1/- a pound for growing but for growing it and curing it. I understand that the curing of tobacco means collecting all the leaves, tying them up in bundles of a dozen or two of leaves and drying them to about 25 per cent. of moisture. Then they pass on to the rehandler and they are graded for blemishes, colour and  texture. There, I understand, they are dried down to zero, all the moisture taken out of them and ordered back again to be steamed so as to have 12 or 14 per cent. of moisture.
Deputy O'Reilly charged Deputy Dillon with being opposed to the growing of tobacco. I do not know whether he is or not and I do not knew whether he would be wise or unwise. I do not know what his views on it are. But Deputy O'Reilly does not grow tobacco and, though he displayed a fair knowledge of the routine of tobacco growing and manufacture and all the intermediate stages, he did not display much of a technical knowledge when he suggested that the rehandling station in Meath, probably in Randalstown, was capable of rehandling the whole crop. When you rehandle tobacco, when it is cured down to the standard moisture which classifies it as being cured, it is not in a fit state for distant transportation, because a leaf that would be a first-class leaf is graded lower when punctured. I have a first-class leaf here that got punctured, but it was grown for cigarette tobacco and cured for colouring. It succeeded in getting the correct colour, but that is all it has to commend it as a cigarette leaf, because it has not the flavour. To advocate the transportation of tobacco dried down to 10 or 15 per cent. of moisture, and to have that advocated by an expert from the expert county, shows somewhat of a lack of the technical knowledge of tobacco curing—not that I claim to have a whole lot.
Mr. Donnelly: Has the duty been paid yet on that leaf you have there?
Mr. Belton: There is no duty paid in this House, Deputy Donnelly. As I said in my opening remarks, a Bill of this kind is required because of the circumstances in which we find ourselves now, and the principal criticism will come up on the Committee Stage. As a few points have been dealt with, however, I shall just make a few remarks on them. I think that the Minister said that when the tobacco is taken from the grower—that is, when it  is passed over to the re-handler—that then the tobacco is valued. I think that the job is more than that. That is the job of the re-handler, to grade it, order it to a certain moisture, and so on. Then it can be valued. Now, the re-handling would take until January. You get the crop in August and September, and it would take till January to re-handle it, and it would all have to be re-handled before it was graded or before the allotment could be made to the manufacturers as to how much of it they should take, because until it was re-handled the Minister would not know how much tobacco was available. Then it is passed on to the manufacturers. From that point on, the Minister pointed out, there is four months' credit—I presume in the trade or manufacture of tobacco—but the grower wants some money. Neither the Minister nor the Bill tells us where he will get it. It is very important, and even at the expense that this tobacco growing will cost the State, if it is continued, the actual growing of the tobacco loses a lot of its value as a cash crop if that cash is not made available early to the grower. There is no provision in this Bill to make it available early to the grower. In fact, it might conceivably run until June or July of next year in order to get cash for this year's crop because, taking it on the average, it will be June or July of next year before the manufacturer will pay the re-handler.
The Minister says that the re-handler can go to the bank and get money. I think that the Minister knows quite well that it is not so easy to go to a bank and get money nowadays and I think that it should not be left in that nebulous state. The Minister should make some provision, by promissory note, bills that would be discounted, or something like that, in order to make money available; but then out of the price that is quoted for the tobacco will have to come the interest. The discount will have come out of it, so that the grower will be paying interest on money that he should have then. If the bill is drawn and made payable for next May, June or July, who is going to pay the discount rates on it? Nobody, except the man at the bottom  that wants the actual cash; whether it is a direct discount or a re-discount, he has got to pay all the discounts ultimately and that discount will come out of the grower's pocket.
There is a provision in this Bill that the Minister for Industry and Commerce can set up a committee to fix the rates of wages for re-handling, etc., but, of course, there is no provision made for the rates of remuneration for those who are growing it. I wonder would the Minister, who is representing the Minister for Agriculture in introducing the Bill, insist that the man who works at the growing of this crop is entitled to equal remuneration with the man who re-handles it? If the Minister for Industry and Commerce sets up a committee to fix rates of wages for re-handling, what will be his standard? Will it be the standard rate of the man who is growing the tobacco or will it be the standard rate of some factory hand who is getting three or four times the wage of the man who is growing the tobacco? There is no safeguard there to protect the grower and to see that he will get a fair share of the remuneration from this crop. Already, it is stated by the Minister, they are going to allow 5d. a pound for re-handling. The commercial value of the crop they are re-handling is only 7d. a pound even after it is re-handled.
There is nothing very useful that can be said of this very intricate Bill on Second Reading, especially in the circumstances in which we find ourselves. The position I find myself in is that there is a necessity for a Tobacco Bill to be introduced. The Government are the responsible people to introduce that measure. This is the measure they have introduced. There are no grounds for opposing that measure in the circumstances, regardless of whether I agree with them or did not agree with them; because it embodies the principle that we must adopt on the Second Reading that a Bill is necessary. On this stage of the Bill the Opposition cannot offer anything in the way of criticism. That criticism can only be effective when we come down to deal with the sections. Any further criticism that I have to offer will be  reserved for the Committee Stage. The Minister, or perhaps some of his supporters, will reply to some of the points raised.
I am a supporter of tobacco growing if it can be made a profitable undertaking. It is no use for any supporter of tobacco growing in this country to get up here and tell this House the amount of money he or any other person made on the growing of tobacco last year. The duty on tobacco and tobacco products varies from 9/4½ per lb. to 17/10 per lb. Last year growers of tobacco got a remission of duty.
Mr. Corry: Did you grow any?
Mr. Belton: It would be very easy to make money at that rate. There is no use in trotting out that, because only 10,000 acres are needed to supply all our requirements. Last year there were 700 or 800 acres grown and those people who got away with it made up to £300 or £400 per acre. Some claim they made that much. Well they made it at the expense of the rest of the community. The rest of the people put their hands in their pockets and handed out these £300 or £400 for an acre of tobacco. The nation as a whole cannot continue to do that. That crop was not a commercial crop. It was a nurse crop.
There is no use in making a case for growing tobacco on the basis of having the taxpayer pay the money to prop up the men who grow it. Let the case be made that we can grow tobacco in a reasonable way to suit our requirements, grow it as a crop that is self-contained and has not to be subsidised. Will anybody make a case on that ground? The case put up by the Minister—and it is embodied in this Bill— is that the growing of tobacco can only be made possible this year and there will not be much to be made out of it even after giving a subsidy of £42 per statute acre. These are very important figures—a subsidy of £42 per acre by the State to each grower of tobacco. I would like that to be refuted if it can. There is no crop that was ever grown in this country but could be grown with better profit than tobacco if the State is prepared to give the grower of that crop a subsidy of £42  per acre. I would like to have that refuted too. On the Second Stage in the circumstances that is all I can say. It is the most important of all considerations.
The Government gave, I suppose, at least 10/- a lb. subsidy to tobacco growing last year by way of remission of duty. Is the experiment wise? People made money out of it. Look at what the Government has done with agriculture and they cannot deny that. They reduced the remission to 10d. per lb. this year. Even that means £42 a statute acre. That is a cardinal point on the Second Reading for supporters of the principle of this Bill. Whether the principle is good, bad or indifferent the Bill is necessary now to regulate the crop for this year. To make tobacco growing anything like permanent, are we prepared to give £42 a statute acre for it? Any other crop grown with the subsidy of £42 an acre would give better results. I could grow anything at all or nothing at all with a subsidy of £42 an acre. When the weed would put up its head it would only be necessary to plough it in again and run the cultivator through the land. This is the case where money can be got out of the tax-payer's pocket for a crop and then we throw up our hats and cheer “Up de Valera.”
There are several sections about the growers', curers' and rehandlers' licences and the granting of these licences. I think these questions would be more appropriately dealt with in the Committee Stage. One point struck me and that was that the Revenue Commissioners were given power to refuse any applications that they wanted to refuse. But in the case of those to whom they are prepared to give the licences they have not the power to issue them. They recommend these people to the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister has power to grant or withhold the licences and convey the information back to the Revenue Commissioners, who then grant the licences.
I do not say at this stage whether the Revenue Commissioners should or should not be given the power to grant or refuse the licence. If they are not  given the power to grant the licence they should not be given the power to refuse applications. They send the applications they are prepared to recommend to the Minister, but in doing that they should also send to the Minister their comments by suitable endorsements on those applications which they have refused. As the Bill stands the Revenue Commissioners can refuse any applications they think fit. The names of those they recommend are sent to the Minister, but they cannot grant the licences themselves. When they refuse an application there is no appeal to the Minister over the heads of the Revenue Commissioners. However, that is a more appropriate matter for the Committee Stage. In conclusion I would like if the Minister would refute, if he can, the points that I have put up. I would be glad if he would be able to do it. I would be glad that tobacco could be made a success in this country. Under the present conditions it cannot. Can the Minister deny that this Bill provides a subsidy of £42 per statute acre for an average crop? Or that the curing and rehandling charges will be at least 10d. per lb.?
That brings the price down to the grower of tobacco at 7d. per lb. for dried leaf—that is dried down to 12 or 14 per cent. moisture. I would like the Minister, when he is replying, to deal with these points. The leaf mostly grown here is that for pipe tobacco which is the cheapest leaf. One point made by Deputy O'Reilly was that the bottom leaves are the best. I know a man who grows a plot of tobacco and he always knocks off the bottom leaves. When the plant comes to a certain stage he knocks off the top leaves and flowers and the bottom leaves, and says that it is only the mid-leaves that are really good. However, that is a detail. What I have asked the Minister to deal with, in his reply, is what I am most concerned about. I want to know what is the cost to the State of this growing of tobacco here? And without the aid of the State what would be the cost to the grower? If he pays 10d. for drying and rehandling tobacco, and if,  after he has dried and rehandled, its commercial value is 7d. that means that the grower will get minus 3d. for growing tobacco. That is the position. To cure that, and to give a little profit to the grower, the State comes in with 10d. bonus, subsidy or bribe, whichever you wish to call it, amounting to £42 per acre. That is the quintessence of the whole thing. Those who say we will grow more tobacco; it is the salvation of agriculture, should realise that the State has to provide £42 per acre. Where is all that to come from? That, as I say, is the quintessence of the whole problem. It is not so easy as it was last year, because then the duty was remitted. Tell us what the nation will get out of this tobacco growing and whether it is a dutiable product? If it does not pay duty the duty has to come from somewhere. Let the supporters of the details of this Bill tell us how it can be grown without subsidy. If it cannot be grown without subsidy, what is there to justify them throwing up their hats in the air and saying we have reached agricultural safety, we have changed our economy, our motto is “the road for the bullock and a chew of tobacco for the people.”
Mr. Corry: I wonder whether Deputy Belton realises the infliction it has been to any Deputy to have to sit and listen to him for the last hour, talking about something he knows damn-all about. Somebody gave him a leaf of something or other and persuaded him it was tobacco, and he believed it was. It might have been cabbage. Then he started telling us all about tobacco. The Deputy got his chance last year and would not grow tobacco.
Mr. Belton: I knew exactly what you would say.
Mr. Corry: We first had Deputy Dillon, and he was nuisance enough until Deputy Belton started, and that finished it. Deputy Belton was not averse to getting a tariff on rhubarb, and I am sure he made noise enough about it. I heard him trying to persuade  the Minister here, on one occasion, that he did not know that there was going to be a tariff on rhubarb. Then when the Minister said that he gave a tariff on rhubarb the Deputy declared that it was he persuaded him to do so. Next year Deputy Belton will be persuading the House that he made the Fianna Fáil Government grow tobacco. Deputy Belton, however, is a long way from his predecessors, I admit that. Here is what a predecessor of Deputy Belton said, which will be found in Vol. 36, col. 1196, of the Official Reports. This is what Mr. Blythe said:
“An industry that can only be kept going at a cost of £310 an acre to the State”
Deputy Belton assures us that it costs £42 an acre to the State, but his predecessor told us that it would cost £310 an acre.
Mr. Belton: If you remit all the duty.
Mr. Corry: The Deputy's predecessor said that the industry could only be kept going by getting £300 an acre, perhaps more. That was his opinion.
Mr. Belton: Was not the remission of duty provided for?
Mr. Corry: I am quoting the contention of your predecessor. He said it would be cheaper to give a man £3 a week and tell him to grow nothing at all. That was Mr. Blythe's view. The Minister for Agriculture at the time told us that tobacco growing was wrong; that it should not be grown at all. He said from information he had received he had come to the conclusion that tobacco growing was futile, and that, in that state of affairs they were not prepared to waste the time of the Dáil in setting up a committee to go into the question of tobacco growing. That was the way things were for ten years. The committee was set up in 1926 and then it was ascertained that it would cost about £35 an acre to grow tobacco. But Deputy Blythe made the declaration that it would cost over £300 an acre and Deputy Belton now comes along and puts the figure at £42 an acre.
Mr. Belton: I did not relate the £42 per acre to the cost of growing tobacco; what I did say was that if 10d. of the duty was remitted over an acreage of 1,000 acres of tobacco it worked out as £42 per acre as subsidy or bribe to the farmer.
Mr. Corry: I accept Deputy Belton's statement that it costs £42 to the State, but Deputy Blythe said it would cost over £300.
Mr. Belton: That depends upon the amount of the remission of duty.
Mr. Corry: It means that he was a little more foolish than the Deputy. If we take Deputy Belton's argument, and it has been used in secula saeculorum, you can buy foreign beef for half what beef costs to produce here. It is the same with regard to Indian meal, wheat, everything that is grown on the land. Under certain conditions nothing could be grown on the land that would pay for cost of production. Deputy Belton could not even grow rhubarb. He had to fight here for a tariff. When we came in here we put a tariff on rhubarb. Is not that a fact? Does the Deputy stand up and deny it?
Mr. Belton: Surely.
Mr. Corry: Do you deny——
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy must address the Chair.
Mr. Corry: Deputy Belton has been arguing for the last hour——
An Ceann Comhairle: I find that Deputy Belton spoke for half an hour.
Mr. Belton: That is just exaggeration by Deputy Corry.
Mr. Corry: I should not care to waste any further time on Deputy Belton, because he has shown that he knows nothing at all about the crop of which he was talking. One of the complaints made by Deputy Belton—before I give him up for a bad job—was in regard to Deputy O'Reilly's statement on the subject of moisture. Deputy Belton wanted to put Deputy O'Reilly in the wrong by suggesting that he wanted to shift tobacco at from 10 per  cent. to 15 per cent. moisture from one county to another. Deputy Belton knows that when tobacco is being shifted to a re-handling station it contains from 17 per cent. to 25 per cent. or even 30 per cent. of moisture. I have seen tobacco in perfect condition coming into Cork this year from County Waterford and even from the County Clare. There is no great amount of “fat” in this Bill for the grower. He will not have very much to spare. I suggest to the Minister that that is one reason why re-handling licences should be refused to all but co-operative societies of the growers. They have set up re-handling stations and, if the greater portion of the crop is sent in to them, they will be able to re-handle it at a lesser charge and the grower will be getting the benefit of the 2d. or 3d. extra per lb. on his tobacco. The larger the bulk of tobacco that goes to the re-handling station, the smaller the overhead charges and the smaller the charges for re-handling will be. Things are so confined in price that the Minister ought to make an effort in that direction. I cannot see what claim these gentlemen in Dublin or elsewhere who set up re-handling stations can have. They pay no labour.
Manufacturers who set up rehandling stations last year paid no labour whatsoever, but turned their own staff on to the work. Our rehandling station in Cork paid £600 in wages last year out of 35 or 36 acres of tobacco. In that way, that rehandling station, the Randalstown station, and another one in County Wexford, could easily cope with all the tobacco grown this year. The growers would, in this way, be given an opportunity of getting a better price. Last year some of the people I have referred to bought tobacco for 2/6 or 3/- per lb. and made their fortunes at the expense of the farmers. These rehandlers should be put out of existence. There is no room for them. If the tobacco industry is to develop on proper lines there ought to be only two bodies—the growers, with their co-operative society having its own rehandling station, and the manufacturers. If there are too many middlemen, they will get all the “fat” and the grower will come to the  ground. That is one of the principal things with which I ask the Minister to deal.
Another point I should like to emphasise is that made by Deputy O'Reilly with regard to seed. If we are to allow seed to be sold around the country by seedsmen we will never get a proper variety of tobacco. These seedsmen sell stuff that turns out in many cases to be flowering tobacco and the grower loses his whole crop. The third point with which I should like to deal is that of the manufacturer who is also a rehandler. That is another thing which should be ended. There is no room in this business for anybody but the ordinary grower, with his co-operative society, and the manufacturer. I am glad that the Bill has been introduced and that this year we will know exactly where we stand in regard to tobacco growing. There is a big future for the tobacco growers. I see no reason why the £650,000 that leaves this country every year for foreign tobacco should not find its way into the pockets of our farmers and help them out. There is not much “fat” in the price, but still the crop will pay. If the Minister takes the advice he has got in connection with the rehandling stations, it will pay better still. There is no room for the gentlemen in Dublin who set up little rehandling stations, buy the farmers' tobacco, as they did last year, and make a haul while the going is good. Neither is there room for Deputy Belton's argument. Deputy Belton turned himself into a builder when the grants were going.
Mr. Belton: Because there was more money in it.
Mr. Corry: You were quite prepared to take advantage of the money that was coming out of the pockets of the people. The grant you got for building those lines of houses came out of the pockets of the taxpayer, same as the £40 per acre for tobacco. I should like you to remember these things when you get up. The tariff on rhubarb came out of the taxpayers' pockets and out of the pockets of the farming community. The tobacco  growers have an equal right with Deputy Belton. In fact, they have a greater right, because they are providing a much needed want. They have just the very self-same right to get a grant or to be helped out in starting this industry here as you have to be helped out with a £75 grant for a house.
Mr. Belton: Will the Deputy say who is going to pay all the grants and subsidies?
Mr. Corry: You got your haul.
Mr. Anthony: I should like to ask the Minister one question before he replies. I do not want to prolong the discussion for more than about three minutes. I am glad to learn that Deputy Corry's political and economic education is almost complete. We have at last the acknowledgment from the Government Benches that all those subsidies and all those bounties come out of the pockets of the ordinary taxpayer. That is a wonderful acknowledgment, and it is about time we got it. I am also glad to learn that the tobacco experiment in this country has been at least a partial success. We all, I am sure, wish it further success. I want to put in just a few words on behalf of the consumer, who has not been even once mentioned in the course of this debate. Without saying anything derogatory about the tobacco which has been grown in this country, we cannot fail to remember that all tobacco smokers, whether they smoke tobacco in a pipe or in the form of a cigarette, acquire certain tastes. I would remind the Minister, in case perhaps he might be forgetting it, that tobacco smokers cultivate a taste. Their palates are either tickled or pleased by certain brands of tobacco. When a smoker cannot obtain his favourite brand of tobacco it is with difficulty that he takes the next best thing. I do hope that the change over from the tobacco which has hitherto been smoked in this country by the users of tobacco will be very gradual, in order that the palates of the smokers may become accustomed to the new growth. My own experience has been rather an unhappy one. My first essay at experimenting  with Irish-grown tobacco had rather disastrous consequences for me. That may, of course, be a very pleasant thing for Deputy Corry to hear, but in all sincerity I do suggest that the change over should be very gradual, unless it is the intention of the Minister and his Government to do what the anti-smoking league were unable to do, namely, to compel us to give up the pipe, or the cigarette, or the cigar. I would ask the Minister to ensure, at any rate, that the change over will be gradual, and to insist that whilst the 25 per cent. of Irish-grown tobacco may be used this year, it should not be more than about 30 per cent. next year, and so on until such time as the palates of our people become educated—I use that word in an open and broad sense —up to being able to smoke the homegrown product. I wish the experiment every success. I agree with Deputy Corry that it would be a very good thing if we could secure for Irish growers the money that has hitherto been paid to the foreigners who grew our tobacco, all the time having regard to the fact, from the smokers' point of view, that if we do not get good tobacco we will not smoke it. For that reason I do hope the Minister will see that the change over will be the gradual.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Minister to conclude.
Mr. Aiken: Very few points of the Second Stage character have been made. Nearly everybody who has spoken has agreed that as tobacco is being grown this year it is necessary to regulate it, and that a Bill of this kind was necessary. There were some criticisms of the different sections. As well as that, there was criticism of the price. The question of price is one which would be more appropriately debated at the time when the rebate is announced, because it is largely the rebate given in the Finance Bill that would decide the price which the grower is to get for his tobacco. I do not propose to go into that. Deputy Dillon made the point that the Revenue Commissioners should make their regulations after consultation with the Minister for Agriculture.  I am quite sure the Minister for Agriculture and the growers will make their voices heard when the regulations are coming out, and I am sure that they will strongly impress their views upon the Revenue Commissioners. I agree with Deputy Dillon when he says that the regulations under which the growers have to grow tobacco should be made known to them pretty far in advance of the date on which they are to set the tobacco. I do not agree with him, however, when he said that the applications for growers' licences should be made in June of the year before the crop is to be set. It is pretty difficult to get farmers to make applications either for licences to grow tobacco or licences to grow wheat or anything else before they have to set it. It is usually after they have set it that they apply for their licence. I do not think, either, that it will be possible to give a grower a licence for 5 or 10 years. After all, the men who grew tobacco last year have been stabilised in their position this year. Naturally the whole tendency of the Department of Agriculture will be to give licences to those who are fully competent to grow tobacco, and to those who have been proved competent in previous years. Several Deputies raised the question of advance to growers. The proposals for this year will enable rehandlers to pay interest on whatever advances they get from the bank or other sources. I think tobacco in bond, if it is insured, is as good a security for money as the bank or any other lender could get. I do not think the rehandlers would have the slightest difficulty in getting advances from some source against the tobacco that is being rehandled or that is in bond.
Deputy Belton did not know whether it really was wise or unwise to grow tobacco. He gave some fantastic figures about what it was going to cost to grow all the tobacco, if we were going to do it. The fact of the matter is that it is at the moment costing us some £700,000 to buy the tobacco we are importing. If by the adjustment of taxation we can keep that £700,000 at home it is all to the good. It does not mean that the taxpayers have to pay it. It might as well be said that if we  were to charge Deputy Belton and every other citizen in the State a 1/- per cubic foot of air we would be getting an income of about £90,000,000 a year, and that on that basis Deputy Belton is getting a subsidy of £30 a year to go round. If we do not put the tax on tobacco it would be put on something else, and there is really nothing in the argument that it is going to cost the State whatever number of million pounds Deputy Belton made out for the growing of tobacco. The net result of growing our own tobacco here will not be a loss but an advantage of some £600,000 or £700,000 to the agricultural community. That is a sum which hitherto went into the pockets of foreign farmers for their tobacco. That will be all to the good. I hope that by the control which this Bill gives to the Department of Agriculture and to the Minister they will be able so to regulate the growth of tobacco that we will have a leaf which will suit the tastes both of cigarette and pipe smokers here, and that we will be keeping here before many years that £600,000 or £700,000 which is now going out to foreigners.
Question put and agreed to.
Committee Stage ordered for Wednesday, 1st August.
Acting Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Mr. Boland): I move:—
That for carrying into effect any Act of the present Session to amend and extend the Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1932, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas of additional grants not exceeding in the aggregate the sum of £700,000 (seven hundred thousand pounds) pursuant to Section 5 of the said Act of 1932 as amended by such Act of the present Session.
 Resolution put and agreed to.
Report of resolution agreed to.
Section 1 agreed to.
Sub-section (1) of Section 5 of the Principal Act is hereby amended in the following respects, that is to say:—
(a) the reference to the 1st day of April, 1935, contained in sub-paragraph (iii) of paragraph (b) shall be construed as a reference to the 1st day of April, 1936;
(b) after the said sub-paragraph (iii) of paragraph (b) there shall be inserted a new sub-paragraph as follows, that is to say:—
(iv) £45, if the erection of such house shall have been commenced on or after the 12th day of May, 1932, and shall have been completed on or after the 1st day of April, 1936, but before the 1st day of April, 1937;
(c) the reference to the 1st day of April, 1935, contained in each of paragraphs (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h) and (i) shall be construed as a reference to the 1st day of April, 1937,
and the said sub-section shall be construed and have effect accordingly.
General Mulcahy: I move amendment No. 1:—
In paragraph (a), line 20, to delete the word “April” and substitute therefor “January.”
Perhaps the discussion on this amendment may have to range a little over amendment No. 2, which is “To delete paragraph (b).” Both amendments refer to that part of the Principal Act which deals with grants to private persons and public utility societies building houses in urban districts. The House may remember that the Housing Acts, 1924 to 1930, provided grants from £100 to £50 for every house built by a private person or a public utility  society in urban districts, according to the size of the house, and diminishing as the different Housing Acts came along, up to the 1930 Act. At the time of the 1930 Act, I think the grant paid to private persons and public utility societies was £45 a house. When the 1931 Act was presented to the House, the question of dropping the grants to private persons and public utility societies in urban districts was discussed, and it was thought that, while a case could be made for stopping them in view of the amount of money that was required for other developments in our housing policy, it was wrong to drop them entirely. The Housing Act, 1931, proposed that where a local authority gave to a private person or public utility society building houses in its urban district £20 for a house, the State would provide £20 also. The proposals in the 1932 Act, however, superseded the proposals in the 1931 Act, and the 1932 Act provided that houses built by private persons or public utility societies up to 1st June, 1933, would get a grant of £70; if completed by 1st April, 1934, a grant of £60; and if completed by 1st April, 1935, a grant of £50. Therefore, substantially increased grants were given for houses that were completed, say, after 1st January, 1933.
When the Minister was introducing this measure he painted a glowing picture of the achievements made for that reason, and when the Minister is now extending the period for the grant of £50 from 1st April, 1935, to 1st April, 1936, and adding an additional period for the reduced grant of £45 to 1st April, 1937, I think the House ought to get some explanation of some of the facts that have disclosed themselves in the meantime. Particularly with reference to amendment No. 1, I would recall the Minister's attention to the fact that in the Housing Act of 1932, a grant of only £45 was made in respect of houses completed before 31st December, 1932, and particularly in respect of amendment No. 1, I should like to ask him why, if he is continuing the £50 grant, he does not end the period on 1st January, 1936, instead of carrying it forward to the 1st April, 1936? Most of the houses that are being  worked on now, and which are being given the additional grant, will be completed before the winter, and I do not see any reason why the grant of £50 should be continued in respect of houses that are completed in the first quarter of the following year.
The main point, however, is the general extension of these grants beyond the date fixed by the Act, and in asking the House so to extend the grant, I think the Minister ought to answer some questions with regard to the developments that have shown themselves in respect of the building of houses by private persons and public utility societies in urban districts. During the eight year period I spoke about on Second Reading, there were built by private persons in urban areas 3,928 houses, a yearly average of 491 houses, During the two year period the Minister is dealing with now, the total number of houses built by private persons in urban districts was 827, an average yearly number of houses of 414. The Minister, in moving the Second Reading of this measure, is able to say, as reported in column 1537 of the Official Debates:—
“The progress made since then in the provision of houses has justified, even I am sure in the eyes of our most severe critics, the Government's claim that the Bill provided a solution to a social problem which had baffled previous Administrations. The unparalleled success of the housing programme is shown in the work accomplished during the brief period since the Act of 1932 passed into law.”
Later on, in column 1539, he told the House that for its convenience he would deal in detail with the activities of private persons and public utility societies up to date. Again, I would recall to the Minister the fact that the average number of houses completed by private persons in urban districts each year during the eight year period from 1925 to 1931 was 491 houses——
An Ceann Comhairle: I do not like interrupting the Deputy in the line he is following but if this discussion is to widen out on Committee Stage, I take it that discussion will be curtailed on  the Fifth Stage. The Deputy is going a little outside these amendments now and I suppose he realises that.
General Mulcahy: I find it difficult to follow your reasoning, Sir, for the reason that very substantially increased grants were made in the 1932 Act and the House has been told that this Act has solved a problem which baffled all previous Administrations.
An Ceann Comhairle: In a Second Reading speech.
General Mulcahy: Yes, and I have moved an amendment to delete in respect of grants to private persons and public utility societies this extension of time, and I am pointing out, as a reason for that, that the number of houses built by private persons and public utility societies annually, during the last two years, under this Act, has fallen very substantially below the number of houses built annually by private persons and public utility societies in each of the eight years that preceded them.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy may proceed. He has made a point.
General Mulcahy: I have put down this amendment particularly to enable the House to get from the Minister some comment on the very extraordinary facts that have disclosed themselves. Therefore, I ask the Minister, if he objects to the deletion of this paragraph, to explain why, under the recent administration of the Housing Act, the number of houses built annually by private persons in urban districts has fallen from 491, which was the average for the eight years from 1925 to 1931, to 207 for the last two years; and why, in the case of houses built by public utility societies in urban districts, the average number built yearly has fallen from 153 in the eight-year period to an average of 105 for the last two years.
I would ask him, in addition, to explain why, while there is that drop in building generally throughout the country, there is such a remarkable discrepancy between the percentage of houses built in urban districts in the city and County Dublin during the previous  eight years as compared with the rest of the country and the percentage of houses built in the urban districts in the city and county of Dublin as against the rest of the country for the other two years. Whereas, in the eight-years period, 55 per cent. of the houses built in urban districts in the whole country were built in Dublin and the urban districts in County Dublin, the percentage has risen for the last two years to 81.5. So that, of the reduced number of houses built by private persons, there has been a substantial increase in the percentage of those houses built in Dublin City and in the urban districts in County Dublin. In the case of public utility societies, the percentage has risen from 83 per cent. to 96 per cent. of the total number of houses.
When we consider the substantial grants given and the diminishing results, that we have had a very large increase in the Local Government Housing Department; that we have a Housing Board set up to review every aspect of the housing position and to watch and direct the steps of the Government in their administration of this Act, I submit that we want some explanation of what is happening in urban districts in respect to the building of houses by private persons and public utility societies. I think the facts disclosed by the Minister in reply to Parliamentary questions are very remarkable and entirely at variance with the statements he has made to the House.
Mr. Boland: I did not know what line the Deputy intended to take. He has put down nine amendments. I do not know whether he expects me to make a statement on the general housing position on one of these amendments or whether he is prepared to wait until the Committee Stage is disposed of and have the general statement afterwards. It is usual, I think, to deal with amendments as they arise. Then when the Committee Stage is passed we can have the general statement.
General Mulcahy: My whole difficulty in this matter is that we have these complaints that when the Minister  addresses the House on the subject of housing, he adds all the figures that he can get in the Department together and slaps them out here as an achievement. It is only, I think, by the discussion of each separate item, in so far as the Minister is able to discuss them, on the Committee Stage, that this House can know whether the Minister has actually examined the situation and is able to give the House the benefit of any conclusion that he or his Department or the Housing Board has come to.
Mr. Boland: I shall deal with the amendments as they arise, and then make the statement on the general housing position, if I am permitted. I shall deal with the first two amendments. The first amendment is to substitute the word “January” for “April.” The Deputy wishes to know why the £50 grant should be continued until 1st April rather than 1st January. The experience has been that a house started in the autumn very often cannot be completed in the winter. There may be frost and other conditions which make it impossible to do plastering and work of that kind. Very often there are idle months on that account. That is the reason why we cannot accept the 1st January. I think that ought to be a satisfactory reason. As to the deletion of paragraph (b), the best way to deal with that is to let the Deputy know what the actual position is under that section and then he can see what the effect would be of deleting the paragraph. There have been completed by public utility societies 435 houses.
General Mulcahy: Up to what date?
Mr. Boland: Up to the 30th June. Houses in progress by public utility societies number 330. That makes a total of 765. The number of houses completed by private persons is 1,837; houses in progress, 1,585; making a total of 3,422. The grand total is 4,187. If this paragraph is deleted, as the Deputy wishes, a lot of that work will be arrested. As the houses in progress number 1,915, a lot of these undoubtedly will be unfinished, and the people will be deprived of their grants. I am satisfied that there will be a very large increase  in the number of houses built in the coming two years. I think I shall be able to show that later on when making the general statement. We are quite satisfied that the rate of progress will be accelerated in the coming two years. At present it has reached the total given, and the effect of the Deputy's amendment will be, as I say, to prevent people who are prevented from going on with building, perhaps owing to climatic conditions, from getting the full grant. We cannot accept the amendment for that reason.
General Mulcahy: Nothing that the Minister has said can get away from the fact that, although there has been a substantial increase in the grants to private persons and public utility societies during the last two years, the number of houses built each year by private persons has been substantially less than one-half of the number built annually during the previous eight years. In the case of public utility societies it has been two-thirds of the number built in the previous years and there has been a very considerable transference of the weight of building to the City of Dublin and the urban districts in the City of Dublin. There are 86 urban districts, that is, towns with local governing powers, in the whole country. There were only four of these that in the eight years period I speak of had not houses built in them by private persons and public utility societies under the previous Acts. There are 51 of them that had not, scaffolding erected during the last two years except at the expense of some public authority or another, if at all.
It does disclose a certain state of things that requires some kind of systematic examination and some kind of more reasoned recommendation of proposals of this kind before the House ought to be asked to pass them. I do not desire at this particular stage to press these amendments, but I do desire to emphasise the fact that the conditions are such that, with a very enlarged staff dealing with housing and a very considerable amount of money being spent on it, and with very serious commitments towards the housing of the working classes both in rural and  urban districts, there seems to be a very small case for keeping on these grants. At any rate there is a very big case why, with the assistance at the disposal of the Minister, we ought to have a more systematic examination of the matter than we have had.
Mr. Boland: The Deputy knows that when a new scheme is launched it does not take effect in the first year. He knows that when the original scheme was prepared there were only 18 houses built in the first year, while in the second year there were 448. It takes some time to get these schemes under way, and the rate of progress is not so fast in the first or the second year. We are satisfied, following a close examination of the position, that the rate of progress is increasing. That is the principal reason why this extension of time is being looked for. We are quite satisfied that this scheme has got support, and we expect to have a considerable increase in the rate of progress. I am not going to admit that there has not been great progress. I am quite satisfied that when I read out my statement even Deputy Mulcahy could admit that considerable progress has been made. If he does not admit that, I am quite satisfied still that anybody in the country who has kept his eyes open will agree that considerable progress has been made. The Deputy knows that at the beginning of a scheme progress is not as rapid as after a year or so.
Amendments Nos. 1 and 2, by leave, withdrawn.
General Mulcahy: Amendments Nos. 3, 4 and 5 have some connection with each other:
In paragraph (c), line 30, to delete the reference “(c).”
In paragraph (c) line 30, to delete the reference “(d).”
In paragraph (c), line 30, to delete the reference “(e).”
Various classes of the community in rural areas are given grants. No. 3 refers to these members of the community who derive their living from agricultural pursuits. No. 4 deals with grants for agricultural labourers  and No. 5 deals with grants to private persons other than the two classes I have mentioned. Yesterday the Minister provided us with some information as to the cost of building labourers' cottages throughout the country and the cost falling on the State in connection with them. I quite admit that these being the facts with regard to the building of labourers' cottages and the amount of State and rate aid given, it is very hard to quarrel with the giving of grants of the size mentioned to the particular people who are referred to in these amendments.
We were told yesterday that in the case of labourers' cottages in County Meath the average building cost is £243 and the total all-in cost is £291. We were told public moneys, to the extent of £271 per cottage, are provided under the present Act as assistance towards the building of the labourer's cottage which will afterwards be rented at 1/8. In Leix £205 is provided from public moneys, £155 from the taxpayer and £50 from the ratepayer. In West Cork the amount is £249, being £163 from the taxpayer and £76 from the ratepayer. In Kerry the sum is £234, being £144 from the taxpayer and £90 from the ratepayer. In Wexford it is £207, representing £144 from the taxpayer and £63 from the ratepayer. In Sligo there is a sum of £133 from the taxpayer and nothing at all from the ratepayer. The occupants of the cottages are saddled with the following rents:—Meath, 1/8; Leix, 2/6; Cork, 2/6; Kerry, 1/6 and Sligo 3/6. When we consider the enormous amount of public assistance given towards the building of these cottages in these casually selected sample counties, it is very hard to question the Minister about giving £70 to a person who derives his living from an agricultural holding of not more than £15 valuation and £60 for a person who derives his living from an agricultural holding of not less than £25.
We have heard no explanation from the Minister as to what the general effect of the building of these cottages is in the country. I have pointed out that the incidence of much of this  building is in the districts that are not really bad housing areas. We have the position that a private person in a rural area is given a grant of £45 whereas a grant of £50 is being continued for the next two years to a person building a house in a town. The Minister told us that of the houses that have been built under the sections referred to here, 230 have been built for persons who derive their living from agriculture and who are under £15, and 52 houses have been built for persons who derive their living from agricultural holdings under £25 and there are 117 houses of another kind. These figures are very much below the rate of progress that was pursued in the eight years from 1925 to 1931.
The total number of houses built during the eight years' period by private persons in rural districts was 11,588, or an average yearly building of 1,148. In spite of the very increased grants to rural areas the average yearly number of houses built was only 633 in the last two years, so that the average building in rural districts has fallen from 1,448 to 633. The facts provided by the Minister showing the position up to the 1st April last are entirely contrary to the impression that his speech on the Second Reading would convey to the House. In respect to this particular class of building I would like to ask the Minister whether that is a rate of progress that is going to continue or if there is any explanation as to why the building of houses in rural districts by private persons has fallen off to that very remarkable extent.
Mr. G. Boland: Taking those amendments, Nos. 3, 4 and 5 now, I think the best thing I could do would be to let the Deputy see what progress has been made up to date. Amendment No. 3 proposes to delete the reference (c). That deals, first of all, with farmers not exceeding £15 valuation. The number of houses completed to date by people in that category is 251, and the number of houses in progress is 392, making a total of 643. In the category of people of a valuation of over £15 and not exceeding £25, the number of houses completed is 62 and the number  of houses in progress is 60, making a total of 122. The total for small farmers is: completed houses, 313; houses in progress, 452; making a total of 765.
The Deputy will notice that a considerable number of houses are still in progress, and we are satisfied that the same thing applies in this case as in the other case: that there is a greater rate of progress being made and that that will continue. If we were to agree to the Deputy's amendment, we would simply close down this Housing Act on the 1st April and catch a lot of people out and prevent the increased building which we expect. The Deputy is not pressing the amendments and, apparently, is putting them down in order to get information as to what the actual position is under those heads. If that is so, I am giving him the information, but he cannot seriously mean that he proposes to stop the operation of the Housing Acts, because that is what it would amount to if we carried those amendments.
Amendment No. 4 deals with the erection by an agricultural labourer of a house for his own occupation in a rural area. Up to date, 139 houses have been completed and 180 houses are in progress. The Deputy did not press that point, because, as he realises, the cost on a public authority of building houses is very large, and if agricultural labourers can be induced to build their houses at a cost to the State of £70, it is justified. I think it is very satisfactory to see so many of these houses built; the total in that case being 319, and, again, I am quite satisfied that there will be continued progress.
Amendment No. 5 deals with grants to persons other than small farmers— the grant being £45. In that category, 940 houses have been completed and 510 are in progress up to date, the date being the 30th June. That makes a total of 1,450 houses.
General Mulcahy: Again, the figures that the Minister has given us simply show that, during the quarter ended 30th June, in the case of persons deriving their living from holdings of a valuation of £15 and under, 21 additional houses have been completed in the  whole country; that in the case of persons of from £15 to £25 valuation, ten additional houses have been completed; and that in the case of agricultural labourers, 22 additional houses have been completed in the whole country. The only material point in these figures is that they show that, whereas 670 houses were completed by ordinary private persons, getting the £45 grant, in the two years ended 1st April last, 270 additional houses have been completed from April to June. I do not know whether the Minister has any particulars to show that that is an important development which is likely to continue. Nevertheless, as I say, the figures, as they go, show that there has been a very considerable falling off in the building of houses in rural districts by private persons, in spite of the very greatly increased grants. Taking the latest figures that the Minister has with regard to persons building houses with the £45 grant, they show an even more remarkable development, and that is that the people who are building houses and looking for grants as private persons in rural areas are particularly people whose holdings are of a valuation of more than £25.
Amendments 3, 4 and 5, by leave, withdrawn.
General Mulcahy: I move amendment No. 6:—
In paragraph (c), line 30, to delete the reference “(f).”
Again, Sir, it is very hard to quarrel with the size of the grants given to public utility societies building houses in rural districts for people who derive their livelihoods from agriculture when the Minister stands for the extraordinary expenditure that I mentioned already with regard to labourers' cottages, such as that case, to take one example in County Meath, where the building cost is £243 and the all-in cost of building it is £291, and £271 is provided for the building of that cottage. A considerable number of cottages are being built and, by the figures, a very considerable number of cottages are proposed to be built. Nevertheless,  some explanation of the position in the country as regards the development of public utility societies is called for.
Deputy Everett, in a Parliamentary Question yesterday, suggested, and was subsequently emphatic in saying, that there are public utility societies established throughout the country that are making considerable profits for themselves as private persons, and he asked for some particulars about it. The development of public utility societies in rural areas certainly has been remarkable from the geographical point of view. Not a single house has been built in Wexford, Wicklow, County Dublin, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, North Tipperary or Longford, by a public utility society. In other cases where public utility societies are, apparently, recognised, in two areas in County Leitrim, public utility societies have built two houses. I do not know what kind of a public utility society it is that expends itself on the building of two houses. In Donegal six houses were built. But when we turn to County Mayo and County Kerry we find that in County Mayo, 319 out of a total of 373, built during the two years period, have been provided by public utility societies, and in County Kerry, 102 houses out of 150 were built by public utility societies.
In view of the fact that a public utility society, building a house for any class of person in a rural area, can get a grant which is £10 more than a person would get if he were getting the grant direct; and in view of the Minister's suggestion that public utility societies in the country could serve a very useful purpose in shouldering responsibilities that are falling on local authorities, it is very desirable, I suggest, that we should be told something of the type of public utility societies that we are developing under the fostering influence of these increased grants, and particularly what type of public utility society development there has been in County Mayo and County Kerry.
Mr. Boland: I have given the Deputy some figures as to the effect of the operation of the provision for public utility societies. There has been considerable  use made of these public utility societies in the country; they have been found most helpful. First of all, they have been useful in getting the extra grant of £10 and in the next place, in getting credit for farmers who would not be able to get this credit for themselves. They also get over the trouble in filling up the forms in the way laid down by the rules of the Department. In a word, in carrying out all the conditions these utility societies have been useful to the people. The provision for farmers with a valuation not exceeding £15 per annum works out in this way that the number of houses completed is 713; in progress, 1,618, making a total of 2,331. In the case of the farmer with a valuation between £15 and £25 the number of houses completed is 138; the number of houses in progress, 261; total, 399. The total in both classes of cases completed is 851 and in progress, 1,879. These figures are in addition to the figures I gave in connection with amendment No. 3. They are the same class of farmers who are taking advantage of it. The progress is four times greater with than without the aid of the public utility societies. The Deputy will therefore see that the farmers are taking advantage of the public utility societies. From these figures, he can see that the public utility society is serving a useful purpose. It has been largely availed of in rural areas. I take it the Deputy is not going to press that amendment either.
General Mulcahy: The Minister does not tell us how many houses were completed up to date for agricultural labourers by the public utility societies. I do press this that further information is wanted.
Mr. Boland: I was only dealing with amendment No. 6. In the case of agricultural labourers the number of houses now completed is 204, and in process of completion the number is 460. This is under amendment No. 7. That is in addition to those provided by the labourers on their own.
General Mulcahy: I do not propose to press amendment No. 6, but I want to press this. According to the Minister's  figures the public utility societies in Mayo have completed 319 houses at grants ranging from £80 to £70. These houses were built for small farmers on holdings of less than £25 valuation; or for agricultural labourers. Now in Wexford, 224 houses were built by the Board of Health for agricultural labourers. But in Wexford the State had to provide for each one of these houses twice the amount that is provided for the public utility society in Mayo. In Wexford the State had to provide £144 per house, and the local authority £63 so that for every one of the 224 houses in Wexford money to the extent of £207 had to be provided. In Mayo 319 houses were provided for much the same class of people at not more than £70 a house.
Mr. Boland: The difficulty is that the houses are the property of the individual in Mayo.
General Mulcahy: Then there is a movement in the matter of labourers' cottages built at enormous public expense to hand them over and to have them become the private property of the people who live in them. The Minister's Party lauded themselves to the skies for conceiving such a magnificent and Christian idea. I think it is of the greatest possible public interest to know how the group of people in Mayo managed to build these houses with the help of these small societies, and that in Wexford it has taken enormous sums of public money to build them. There is this additional point, too, that Mayo is one of the worst-housed areas in the country according to the housing census figures, and that Wexford, where we are spending this enormous amount of money to provide houses, is one of the best-housed areas. The houses are the same class in both areas. I am sure the Minister is satisfied that the Mayo houses are as good to live in as the Wexford houses. Officially, he does not appear to have directed any examination with a view to showing what the position is and whether the machinery that did so well in Mayo might not be developed in Wexford, or whether in fact the Mayo machinery is not anything  more than the same machinery operating in counties where private persons get grants direct, except that by the same organisation the Minister thinks they are able to get additional grants.
Mr. Boland: The Deputy knows that these are voluntary societies. It is not the fault of the Government if Wexford labourers have not formed utility societies and taken advantage of them. We would welcome any help we can get in inducing the Wexford labourers to form utility societies. The public utility societies in Mayo were helpful to the people who needed houses but who were not sufficiently instructed to go about getting the grants. They got £10 additional by means of the society. The Mayo people own the houses themselves. It is a voluntary movement. The Government cannot make Wexford develop these societies in the same way as Mayo has done. If the Deputy would insist on this amendment there would be no hope of developing Wexford at all. I would like Wexford to take up this movement the same way as Mayo has taken it up, but we have no compulsory powers in the matter.
General Mulcahy: The Minister seems to wash his hands very lightly of what is a serious responsibility on us. The Minister published in reply to questions, as reported on 26th April in column 2350, a large list of counties where it was proposed to build labourers' cottages under the board of health machinery. Already, on the Second Reading, I pointed out that during the last three years there has been an enormous increase in the amount of the arrears of rents of labourers' cottages in quite a number of counties in which it is proposed to build additional labourers' cottages. For instance, in the case of Limerick, where the Minister says it is proposed to build 973 cottages, the arrears of rents on labourers' cottages have risen from £3,232 on 31st March, 1932, to £4,782 on 31st March, 1933, and to £7,008 on 31st March, 1934. That is the arrears of rents of labourers' cottages in the County Limerick have increased since  1932 by more than 100 per cent., that is from £3,000 roughly, to £7,000 and that in the course of two years.
The wages of agricultural workers in County Limerick, in the same two years, have been reduced, as they had been in other counties. Labourers' cottages were built with substantial sums of public money, as high as £271, £245, and £234 per cottage paid out of public moneys, forced from the ratepayers under the Minister's policy. In these circumstances a very grave responsibility devolves upon him to examine whether it is necessary at all to have that particular class of expense, if it is possible to get, in the County Mayo, the kind of organisation there providing a reasonable number of houses at a fraction of that cost. I doubt that the organising capacity, or intelligence, or will to assist themselves, is less amongst the Limerick or Wexford people than amongst the Mayo people. I think it a criminal policy on the part of the Administration to go on, calmly, facing an expenditure of such a gross amount of public money when they have the machinery at their disposal to examine what is the Kerry position and the Mayo position. I think the amount of money involved, in the subject of housing in rural areas, is of such importance that the matter requires examination and report to the House arising out of the spending of such enormous sums of money.
Mr. Boland: In Wexford the public authority have built labourers' cottages. In Mayo they have not. There are many causes in Mayo which, as has been said, is one of the worst housed areas in the country, why labourers cannot take advantage of the public utility building society, and the Mayo County Council will be pressed to provide for those people who cannot build for themselves. The Government have maintained that there is a duty to see that people are properly housed, and to try and induce labourers who are not in a position to take advantage of the public utility societies, as they are in Wexford, to persuade the councils in Mayo and such places to build houses so that both schemes will be going on together. As far as arrears  are concerned, it was stated by the Minister that there is a general all round improvement in the collection of arrears.
General Mulcahy: I again emphasise, to the Minister, if with machinery in Mayo for houses of this particular kind, and with a grant as high as £70, he feels he must drive the local authority to build labourers' cottages in Mayo which would obviously mean a greatly increased expenditure of public money, that is all the more reason why we ought to have some information as to what this particular class of machinery is, and the particular people it caters for and the people left uncatered for.
Mr. Boland: Does the Deputy mean the particular class of people which this Bill is catering for?
General Mulcahy: The particular class of people the public utility society in Mayo is for. After the 1st April last he built 161 houses for people living in holdings of not more than £15 valuation; 16 houses for persons living in holdings of from £15 to £25 valuation, and 42 houses for agricultural labourers. If the public utility society is able to build 42 houses for agricultural labourers and more than 200 houses on holdings of less than £15 valuation then the Dáil ought to get more information about the public utility societies before it is asked to sympathise with the Minister in driving the Mayo Board of Health to take on the work of building houses at very considerable cost to Mayo ratepayers and taxpayers as well.
Mr. Boland: I think it is perfectly clear that these public utility societies have provided for small farmers advances of money, and for labourers in the same position. The Minister for Local Government insists that every cottage let by the local authorities must be let to the most deserving people, who would not be in a position to take advantage of the public utility societies. The position presents one side, and in one direction, in Wexford, and another in Mayo. It is the hope of the Department to balance the two, to see that those who cannot take advantage of the public utility society in Mayo will be provided,  under the Labourers' Cottages Acts, and if more money is necessary we will come to the House and ask for it, because we believe it is our duty to see that people are properly housed. Those who are able to provide for themselves in that way, we will see they do and those who are not able to be provided for in that way, we will try and see them housed.
General Mulcahy: It is absurd for the Minister to tell the House that he will come and look for more money when the House is given no indication that the Department or the Housing Board is making an examination of the position. I think the whole question involved in this amendment ought to be the subject of careful examination and report. It is astounding to realise that so much money is paid in some counties for labourers' cottages, particularly when it would appear that there is machinery in some counties that could be worked a lot cheaper.
Amendments Nos. 6 and 7, by leave, withdrawn.
General Mulcahy: I move amendment No. 8:—
In paragraph (c) line 30, to delete the reference “(h).”
I referred during the Second Reading debate to the remarkable position that disclosed itself in the allocation of these reconstruction grants. The Minister, in referring to the reconstruction grants in his Second Reading speech, column 1541 of the Official Reports, July 5th, said:—
“The reconstruction provisions of the Act of 1932 have been successful beyond expectations, and it is interesting to note the extent to which the grants are being availed of by small farmers for the reconstruction of their houses. The benefits derived by the farming community from these grants are seen in the fact that up to date about 4,000 grants have been allocated to small farmers representing, as I previously pointed out, over 90 per cent. of the total allocations in respect of reconstruction work.”
The only information that the House has is that they got the grants. I  would like to hear from the Minister what is the general nature of the reconstruction that has taken place as well as his comments on the points that I have already raised. The report from the Department of statistics on housing, since 1926, was accompanied by a map that showed that the district —Donegal-Roscommon-Mayo-Galway - Clare - Kerry — is very badly housed. It was the worst housed area in the country from the point of view of the rural population. When we come to examine the development that has taken place all over the country as the result of this reconstruction grant we find, if you take the whole of that area and compare it with the small area Louth-Monaghan-Cavan, the area of Donegal stretching down to Kerry, is very badly housed. That area has a population of 872,000. Compare that with the Louth-Monaghan-Cavan area, with a population of 167,000, the total number of houses in the bigger area being 195,000 and the total number of houses in the other area being 43,000. The large western area got grants to the extent of £42,000 for reconstruction and the smaller, Louth-Monaghan-Cavan area, got grants to the extent of £47,000. Grants for reconstruction are also available under the Gaeltacht Act but the figures quoted by the Minister for Lands recently with regard to work carried out under the Gaeltacht Act do not materially affect the position. I should like to know from the Minister what type of reconstruction, generally, has been carried out, particularly in view of the fact that, when adding together the number of houses completed during the last two years, the Minister in his statement on Second Reading took in reconstructed houses as completed houses. I should like to know, also, why there is such a discrepancy in the incidence of this assistance between the two areas mentioned.
Mr. Boland: In this case we have no basis for comparison, because there were no grants for reconstruction of this kind available previously. The reconstruction, generally, takes the form of new roofs and larger windows. It took some time to get people to avail of these grants. That, again, is a  reason why they should be continued. They are being availed of very largely now. The position to date is that, in the case of small farmers, reconstruction is complete in respect of 666 houses and is in progress in respect of 4,208 houses. That is a total of 4,874. In the case of agricultural labourers, reconstruction is complete in 94 cases, and in progress in 465 cases. That is a total of 559. The totals for completed reconstruction and for reconstruction in progress are respectively 760 and 4,673, making a grand total of 5,433. I think that that is fairly satisfactory. I am sure that everyone will admit that even where people cannot undertake the expense of building new houses, it is very desirable that they should, by the aid of these grants, put on new roofs or enlarge the windows of their houses. They may be able to do that by their own labour and the materials can be got on credit on the understanding that they are going to get this money. As regards the incidence of this reconstruction, I do not think it is fair that the Deputy should place the responsibility upon the Government. The initiative must be taken by the people themselves. Every inducement the Government can give to get the people to avail of the facilities of the Housing Acts will be given. If some areas did not take as much advantage of this provision as other areas did, that cannot be helped. I do not think that it is fair to put the blame for that on the Government. Generally speaking, the reconstruction part of the Housing Act has been very successful and will, I think, be more successful in the remaining couple of years.
General Mulcahy: I think that the Government, which takes cognisance of the bad housing conditions of the people in certain areas or in regard to certain sections of the population, cannot escape a certain amount of responsibility. If, after the publication of full information showing the discrepancy between the housing conditions of the people, say, in County Mayo and the housing conditions of the people in County Cavan or County Monaghan, the Government ask this House for money to assist in reconstruction, they have a responsibility for  leaving nothing undone to divert that money to the area in which it is most wanted. The statistics show that in no part of the country is that money more badly wanted than in the western counties I mentioned. I think that the Minister will admit that there are few parts of the country in which windows require to be enlarged and roofs replaced as badly as in some of the western counties. As regards smallness of windows, Mayo and Galway and some of the western counties could very easily beat Louth, Monaghan or Cavan.
Mr. Boland: I do not disclaim responsibility, but what can the Government do but offer inducements? It has done that and certain counties have availed of the facilities more rapidly than others. That is to their credit. By continuing these inducements, we hope that other counties will avail of the facilities. We are quite satisfied that they are availing of them at the moment. By the time this Bill will have expired—April, 1937 —I am quite satisfied that Deputy Mulcahy will have to admit that there has been marvellous progress.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
General Mulcahy: I move amendment No. 9:—
In paragraph (c), line 30, to delete the reference “(i)”—
This amendment deals with Section 5 (1) (i) of the Act of 1932, which provides that any public utility society erecting a house in an urban district may, under certain conditions, receive a grant of two-ninths of the cost up to £100, one of the conditions being that the house is built for letting to a person of the working class at a rent not exceeding that approved by the Minister. The provision also gives power to an urban authority to make a grant to public utility societies working in that way. I should like to know in what areas societies of this kind are working, how many houses they have built and what proposals the Minister has from societies for the building of houses of this kind. In the second place, I should like to know what rents the Minister has approved in the areas in which houses have been actually built or whether he has approved rents in respect of houses which it is proposed  to build. In addition, I should like to know whether any local authorities have given assistance to public utility societies of this particular kind.
Mr. Boland: Not much progress has been made under this paragraph. Only 20 houses have been completed in Dublin and 20 in Cork. The Cork Society which built these 20 houses is now proposing to build a very large number. For that reason, we want this paragraph retained. The rent at which they propose to let the houses is 12/- per week.
General Mulcahy: Has any assistance been given by the local authorities in Dublin or Cork to these societies?
Mr. Boland: The local authorities have given assistance in both cases.
General Mulcahy: Will the Minister say if there is only one society working in Dublin and one in Cork, and if there is a prospect of others developing?
Mr. Boland: There is only one so far.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Sections 2 to 4, inclusive, agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment.
Agreed: That the Final Stages be taken now.
Question—“That the Bill be received for final consideration”—put and agreed to.
Question proposed: “That the Bill do now pass.”
General Mulcahy: I do not think that this whole question of housing can be glossed over as lightly as either the Minister for Local Government, when introducing the measure, or the Minister in charge of the Bill to-day, dealt with it. No matter what the Minister may say, both in urban and in rural districts the building of houses for private persons, in spite of greatly increased grants, has been very much smaller during the past two years than during the previous two years. I am not putting this to the Minister as the record of his Government as against the record of another. I am simply  facing very plain facts. This is a matter of very great importance to the people from the housing point of view. It is of equally great importance from the financial point of view, both for the taxpayer and the ratepayer, and to the people who have to pay rents. The Minister, as I have said, has a very much increased staff on housing. He has the assistance of a Housing Board, but it does not seem to me that any really vital aspect of the incidence of his housing policy on the housing situation has been examined at all. I appreciate the Minister's difficulty in dealing with this matter to-day, as he has not been accustomed to deal with the housing side of things. But I do want to press on the Minister and on his Department the points that I raised, because it seems to me, from some remarks the Minister made, that it is a most praiseworthy thing to say: “We will get any amount of money for housing; there is any amount of people wanting houses, and we will get any amount of money to give them houses.” I think that is an entirely irresponsible way of facing the matter when you take into consideration the two years' experience that the Ministry have had and the machinery that is at their disposal. Their neglect to use that machinery to examine the situation to give us more satisfactory and more detailed information is a sign of irresponsibility on their part, too.
Mr. Boland: If the Deputy wishes I can give him a detailed account of the progress made along the western sea-board—in Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Sligo, Roscommon and Clare.
General Mulcahy: We would love to hear it.
Mr. Boland: I will give the Deputy a statement showing the position up to the end of June, 1934. It is:—
“Local Authorities.—Houses are in course of construction in 79 districts, 6,666 houses; tenders are accepted but work not yet begun, 2,752 houses; tenders have been invited in respect of 29 schemes, 3,862 houses; lands have been acquired and plans approved in respect of 29 schemes, 5,511 houses; schemes being prepared, 6,261 houses.
“During the month 571 houses were completed by local authorities, which makes a total of 6,683 completed since the 1st April, 1932. Houses were also begun in the following districts:—Limerick C.B., 250; Templemore U.D., 38; Dublin B.O.H. and P.A., 29; Buncrana U.D., 30; Louth B.O.H. and P.A., 25; Wicklow B.O.H. and P.A., 19; Dun Laoghaire Borough, 18; Tipperary (N.R.) B.O.H. and P.A., 15; Waterford B.O.H. and P.A., 13 Westmeath B.O.H. and P.A. 11; Belturbet U.D., 6; Galway U.D., 6; Clones U.D., 6; Cashel U.D., 4. Total, 470 houses begun during the month. Number of men employed on housing schemes, 7,828.
“Private Persons and Public Utility Societies.—Certificates of approval for the erection of 195 new houses and the reconstruction of 352 existing houses were issued during the month, making a total of 10,409 new houses and 5,007 reconstructed houses, i.e., 15,416 houses in all since the passing of the Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1932.
“The position at the end of the month of June was as follows:—
Private Persons and Public Utility Societies:—
|Number of Houses Approved for Erection.||Number of Houses Erected||Number of Houses in Progress|
|New Houses||6,048||New Houses||2,453||New Houses||3,595|
|||No. of Houses Erected from 1/4/'32 to 30/6/'34||No. of Houses in Progress|
|URBAN AND RURAL AREAS||Schemes in Progress||Schemes being Formulated|
|Number of Houses in Progress||Number of Men Employed||Number of Houses|
General Mulcahy: Does it say what date that refers to?
Mr. Boland: The month of June in the present year. On the Second Reading I understand, the Deputy said pretty definitely that we are deceiving the public bodies, or not enlightening them sufficiently as to the liabilities they were incurring in the building of labourers' cottages. The best way to answer that is to read a letter that was sent to Kilkenny Board of Health and Public Assistance in reference to that question. The letter will deal with the suggestion that public bodies have been acting without knowing what they were doing, or that they were in any way misled by the Government. This is the letter:—
“I am directed by the Minister for Local Government and Public Health to state that he has had before him representations made by the deputation from the Kilkenny Board of Health and Public Assistance which attended at this Department on the 12th instant in regard  principally to the rate of interest at present charged on loans issued from the Local Loans Fund for the purpose of the Labourers Acts, and I am to state that the rate of subsidy provided under Section 6 of the Housing (Financial and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1932, viz., 60 per cent. of the annual loan charges incurred by local authorities in the carrying out of schemes under the Labourers Acts, was framed in the light of the present rate of interest on loans with a view to securing a fair division between central and local funds of the loss entailed in the provision of labourers' cottages and the letting of them at rents which the tenants can afford to pay. In view of this the board must bear in mind that any reduction in interest rates which may be possible at any future date in connection with loans issued from the Local Loans Fund will necessitate a review of the rate of subsidy at present payable under Section 6 of the Act of 1932.
“As was pointed out to the deputation it is possible for the board of health at present to provide approximately 220 cottages at a cost of £300 per cottage and let them at a rent of 1/9 per week plus rates without involving greater loss on the rates than 1d. in the £. In calculating this loss provision has been included for a sum of £3 per annum per cottage to cover the cost of maintenance and administration.
“As was further shown to the deputation the provision of loans at a lower rate of interest would not effect any great reduction in the local authorities' loss on the provision of the cottages having regard to the fact that 60 per cent. of the loan charges are payable by the State. The annuity on £300 borrowed on the present terms is £20 of which the board pays (40 per cent.) £8. If the loan were made available with interest at 4¾ per cent. per annum the annuity on £300 would be £17 13s. 6d. of which the board would pay (40 per cent.) £7 1s. 4d.  This reduction in loan charges would on a scheme of 400 cottages amount to the equivalent of about one farthing in the £.
“In these circumstances the Minister would be glad if the board would reconsider the question of the rents to be charged for the cottages recently completed and at present in course of construction as well as for cottages to be provided under the board's new scheme.”
The following letter was addressed to Meath Board of Health and Public Assistance:—
2nd February, 1934.
“With reference to your communication of the 12th ultimo relative to the proposal of the Meath Board of Health and Public Assistance to fix at 3/- per week the rents of the cottages at present being provided by the board under the Labourers Acts, I am directed by the Minister for Local Government and Public Health to state that he is not prepared to approve of the rents in question as he is satisfied that such rents would not be within the paying capacity of the persons to whom preference is to be given in the letting of the cottages under the terms of this Department's circular No. 114/1933.
“Estimating the all-in cost per cottage at £300 and including an annual sum of £2 10s. per cottage to cover the board's outlay on maintenance and administration the State subsidy of 60 per cent. of the annual loan charges would enable the 257 cottages already authorised in the county health district to be let at a rent (exclusive of rates) of 1/8 per week with a loss of .7 of a penny in the £ on the rates.
“In the circumstances, I am to request that the board will reconsider the question of the rents with a view to submitting revised proposals for the Minister's sanction.”
The approved rents generally ran about 1/8 per week, exclusive of rates, and in some areas they are 2/-. In Dublin County a rent of 4/- has been approved. In Westmeath, for a limited number of cottages adjoining  the town of Athlone, a rent of 3/- was approved, but generally the rent may be taken as not exceeding 2/- weekly. At this rent local authorities can provide 100 cottages at an all-in cost of £300 per cottage and making an allowance of £3 per annum to cover maintenance and administration the loss to the rates will in no case be as much as 1d. in the £. In some cases it will be as low as .05 and .08 of a penny in the £. In most cases it will be about one halfpenny in the £. If Deputies wish I can deal with the points referred to.
General Mulcahy: The Minister stated that he had a report of the achievements in the western areas. It would be important to hear it.
Mr. Boland: I will review briefly the progress made in the areas specifically referred to by Deputy Mulcahy in the debate on the Second Reading of this Bill. The Deputy referred to the facts disclosed in the census of 1926 regarding the housing conditions in the West of Ireland from Donegal to Kerry, including Leitrim, Sligo, Roscommon, Mayo, Galway, Clare and Kerry. In Donegal county 638 houses were provided by private persons up to March, 1932. In the past two years 119 houses have been completed, including four by the local authority, and 296 houses are in progress, including eight by the local authority, making a total of 415 houses completed or in progress during the past two years, as against 638 completed during the preceding ten years. In addition, tenders have been invited by the local authority for a further 20 houses, and lands have been acquired and plans approved for a further 558 houses. Taking the urban areas in Donegal, we find that during the period to March, 1932, 12 houses were completed in the Buncrana Urban District. Since then only two houses have been completed and one in progress, but tenders have been invited for 64 houses, so that it will not be long before the achievement of 12 houses in the ten years to March, 1932, will be completely eclipsed. In Bundoran 8 houses were completed to March, 1932, and 13 houses have been completed since then. In Letterkenny  Urban District nine houses were completed to March, 1932, and 37 houses have been completed since then. In Ballyshannon town nine houses were completed to March, 1932, and 36 houses are at present in progress.
In Sligo rural 466 houses were completed by private persons up to March, 1932, and none by the local authority. Since then 117 houses have been completed, including 21 by the local authority, and 241 houses are in progress, including 35 by the local authority, making a total of 358 houses completed or in progress during the past two years, as against 466 in the preceding ten years. In Sligo urban, 165 houses were completed in the period to March, 1932, including 111 by the local authority; since then 204 houses have been completed in the urban district, including 193 by the local authority. In addition to this the Sligo Corporation have invited tenders for a further 262 houses. In Leitrim 474 houses were provided during the period to March, 1932; since then 79 houses have been completed and 196 are in progress, making a total of 275 houses completed or in progress during the past two years, as against 474 in the preceding ten years. In addition, tenders have been invited for 125 houses.
In Roscommon rural, 515 houses were completed to March, 1932; since then 176 houses have been completed, while 425 houses are in progress, making a total of 601 houses completed or in progress during the past two years as against 515 completed during the preceding ten years. In addition, tenders have been invited for 100 houses. In Boyle town, six houses were completed during the period to March, 1932. One house has been completed since then, but 24 houses are in course of construction, making a total of 25 houses completed or in course of erection during the past two years as against six in the preceding ten years. In addition, lands have been acquired and plans approved for a further 34 houses. In Roscommon town, 30 houses were provided in the period to March, 1932, while during the past two years only two houses have been completed and three in course of erection.
 In Mayo rural, 1,622 houses were completed during the ten years to March, 1932; since then 551 houses have been completed and 639 houses are in course of erection, making a total of 1,190 houses completed or in course of erection during the past two years as against 1,622 completed during the preceding ten years. In Ballina, 58 houses were completed to March, 1932; since then 152 houses have been completed and 24 are in course of erection, making a total of 176 houses. In Castlebar urban, 46 houses were completed to March, 1932; 14 houses have been completed since and 101 houses are in course of erection, making a total of 115 houses completed or in course of erection during the past two years as against 46 completed during the preceding ten years. In Westport urban, 21 houses were completed to March, 1932; 31 houses have been completed since then and a further 21 houses are in course of erection. In addition, tenders have been invited for a further 60 houses.
In Galway rural, 978 houses were completed to March, 1932; 140 houses have been completed since then and 556 houses are in course of erection, making a total of 696 houses completed or in course of erection during the past two years as against 978 houses completed in the preceding ten years. In Ballinasloe urban, 36 houses were completed to March, 1932; 45 houses were completed during the past two years and three are in course of erection. In Galway urban, 270 houses were completed to March, 1932; 178 have been completed since then and 240 are in course of erection, making a total of 418 completed or in course of erection during the past two years as against 270 completed during the preceding ten years. In addition, tenders have been invited for a further 76 houses. In Loughrea town, nine houses were completed to March, 1932; two houses have been completed since then and 14 houses are in course of erection. In addition, lands have been acquired and plans approved for a further 13 houses. In Tuam, 114 houses were completed to March, 1932; 43  houses have been completed since that date and three houses are at present in course of erection.
In Clare rural 559 houses were completed to March, 1932, and since then 165 houses have been completed and 228 houses are in course of erection, making a total of 393 houses completed or in progress during the past two years as against 559 completed in the preceding ten years. In addition, tenders have been invited for a further 34 houses. In Ennis urban 82 houses were completed to March, 1932; 14 houses have been completed since that date, 76 houses are in course of erection, making a total of 90 houses completed or in progress during the past two years as against 82 completed in the preceding ten years. In Kilrush urban 101 houses were completed to March, 1932; since then 64 houses have been completed and 34 houses are in course of erection making a total of 98 houses completed or in course of erection during the past two years as against 101 houses completed in the preceding ten years. In Kilkee 33 houses were completed to March, 1932; 10 houses have been completed since then and 5 houses are in course of erection. In addition, tenders have been invited for 32 houses.
In Kerry rural 862 houses were completed to March, 1932; since then 248 houses have been completed and 657 are in course of erection, making a total of 905 houses completed or in course of erection in the past two years as against 862 completed during the preceding ten years. In addition lands have been acquired and plans approved for a further 254 houses. In Killarney urban 71 houses were completed during the period to March, 1932; since then 78 houses have been completed and 4 are in course of erection. In Listowel urban 54 houses were completed to March, 1932; since then 86 houses have been completed and 44 are in course of erection. In Tralee urban 79 houses were completed to March, 1932; since then 44 houses have been completed and 194 are in course of erection.
That deals with the western area which Deputy Mulcahy said was not  properly dealt with, and which he said was not availing of the facilities of the Act. I can proceed further with the statement if he likes, but I think I have gone far enough to show that considerable progress has been made, and that more is being made now, and that by accelerating the rate of progress by extending the time, we shall do very much better than we have done up to the present. I think that up to the present we have done very well indeed. As I have said before, I think that Deputy Mulcahy would be the last person to wake up and recognise that, but I think that even he must recognise eventually that very considerable progress indeed has been effected. I am quite satisfied, of course, that the whole problem will not be settled by this Bill. It will take a very long time to settle that problem, but very considerable progress has been made towards the solution of it and under this Bill, which prolongs the period very much more, we are quite satisfied that further considerable progress will be made.
Question put and agreed to.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: This Bill is certified by the Ceann Comhairle as a Money Bill according to Article 35 of the Constitution.
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Mr. Boland): I move: That the Bill be now read a Second Time.
The object of this Bill is to make provision for the future government of the City of Limerick on a plan similar to that which has been in operation for some years in Dublin, Cork and Dun Laoghaire. The Bill has been drafted at the request of the County Borough Council with whom the Department have been in close touch. In view of the precedents established by the Cork and Dublin Acts the Government felt justified in acceding to the wishes of the corporation by promoting this Bill as a public measure. I wish to make it quite clear at the outset that the Bill is not being imposed on a reluctant corporation. Before an official inquiry was held into  the management of Limerick, the County Borough Council of their own accord expressed themselves in favour of the managerial system of city government, the consolidation of the rates, the overhaul of their services and the rating of vacant property, all of which have been adopted and embodied in this Bill.
In 1932, in compliance with the request of the improvement committee of the council an investigation was held by a general inspector into the powers, duties and obligations of the Limerick Corporation and the County Borough Board of Health. The inspector's report was transmitted to the corporation for their consideration towards the end of that year, and his recommendations were fully considered by the city council, who had, as I have already stated, expressed themselves in favour of reforms which were, in the main, those which the inspector subsequently recommended. Many of the inspector's recommendations can be carried out without new legislation, but the most important need legislative sanction, and it is in these circumstances that the corporation unanimously asked the Government and the Government have consented to promote this Bill. The new system of government proposed is that with which we are already fairly familiar. It is the system which associates a city manager with the elected council. The manager is given all the functions of the corporation other than those reserved to the council.
First, as to the council; the existing council consists of 40 members, including eight aldermen who are sent to the council by the electors of eight wards. It is proposed to reduce the council to 15 members, including four aldermen and to fix a quorum of seven. The wards will be abolished and the whole city will form one electoral area. In the reduction of the numbers of members and the extension of the electoral division, we are following the Cork precedent. The council will continue to elect a mayor to preside over their meetings and his duties and privileges will not be disturbed. The functions of the council are almost  identical with those of the Dublin City Council—that is, they alone will have power to make the rate, borrow money, make by-laws, bring permissive Acts into force by resolution, promote legislation, appoint representatives on public bodies. They will also have power, subject to the usual provisions, to appoint, suspend or remove the manager. There is machinery by which the reserved powers can be extended by an Order of the Minister.
The City Manager will be appointed by the council on the recommendation of the Local Appointments Commissioners. He will also act as town clerk, that office being at present vacant. As some time may elapse before such an appointment could be made, a temporary manager can be nominated by the Minister to hold office pending the permanent appointment. The usual obligations will be laid on the manager with regard to furnishing information to the mayor, attending meetings, advising the council, planning works which the council wish to have executed, and controlling and supervising the staff. He will act by signed orders, of which a record will be kept. All the existing funds and rates, except the contract water rate, will be abolished, and a new consolidated fund, to be called the municipal fund, and a new consolidated rate, to be called the municipal rate, will be established. At present, Limerick has five rates—the improvement rate, the borough rate, water rate, general purposes rate, and poor rate. The incidence of each of the existing rates is not identical. The borough rate is assessable on the full value of all rateable property. The general purposes rate is not assessable on the whole valuation of arable land or meadow—one-third part only of the net value is taken. The incidence of the improvement rate is the same as that of the general purposes rate. In order to preserve the existing exemptions as nearly as possible, we propose a flat municipal rate on three-fifths of the valuation in the case of land and one-third of every half-rent, that is where the landlord is liable to pay poor rate  on half the rent by reason of the property being exempt as being of a charitable or public nature.
In 1914 rates amounted to 11/2 in the £. As in other cities a marked upward movement set in in 1919-20 and in 1921-22 they were 27/2 in the £. Except in one year, 1922-23, they have remained above a pound since and last year were 31/10 including water rate. In connection with these high rates it must be remembered that property in Limerick has not been generally valued for a great many years and the rateable valuation is, therefore, on the low side, which has the effect of increasing the rate. This will be seen if we compare Limerick with Waterford, the county borough next in point of size. Limerick's population is 48 per cent greater than Waterford's but the valuation is not quite 8 per cent more, Waterford having been revalued about ten years ago. The high poundage rate must, therefore, be attributed in some degree to the obsolete valuation. Vacant premises will be rated as in Dublin—that is the rates will be assessed on the owner but the corporation will be given power to make a refund of half if the house cannot be let to a suitable tenant or is unoccupied for repairs or alterations.
Poor relief has been one of the principal factors in the increase of the rate. In this respect Limerick is in a peculiar and rather unfortunate position. When the old poor law unions were abolished the parts of Limerick Union that were in the counties of Limerick and Clare were separated from the city, which was left with a workhouse and staff much larger than it needed and the area of charge was restricted to the city. Limerick county, having once cut itself off from the city and provided its own institutions, is opposed to anything in the nature of a joint scheme. The matter has been at a deadlock for years and Limerick remains the only county borough which is not united with part of the adjoining county for poor relief purposes. This year the Government have taken over the relief of able-bodied persons, getting only a fixed contribution from certain towns. Limerick will benefit by this arrangement by a reduction in  the charge for home assistance, the heaviest item in the poor relief budget.
The poor law authority in Limerick is called the Board of Health, which is composed wholly of members of the council. It is proposed to dissolve the body altogether and have its duties carried out by the City Manager. Limerick had experience a few years ago of the management of public assistance by a commissioner and no complaint was made during the inquiry of the manner in which the business was done. We may, therefore, confidently look to some improvement in the administration of poor relief when it is placed in the hands of an official who will have direct responsibility for it.
It is also proposed to abolish the Gas Committee set up under the Limerick Corporation Act, 1878, and the Tuberculosis Committee. In Limerick the gas undertaking is the property of the corporation. The inspector found the management and financial position of the undertaking far from satisfactory. The powers of the committee will be transferred to the corporation and will be exercised by the manager. We have not attempted to deal with the question of the extension of the city but the Bill provides machinery by which application by the corporation for extension can be examined and a provisional order obtained. Before such extension can take place, a local inquiry will have to be held and a provisional order made and confirmed by an Act. The position of the officers and servants of the corporation will remain unchanged except that they will be under the control and supervision of the manager.
Two sections have been inserted in the Bill dealing with the superannuation of employees who are not classed as officers. The first of these sections, No. 32, is designed to meet the cases of old employees who are past their labour and who cannot be pensioned under the law as it stands. Employees, if they have 20 years' service, are given the benefit of the provisions of Section 53 of the Local Government Act of 1925 and this power can be exercised within a period of two years or longer if the Minister, on the application  of the corporation, extends the period. Section 33 deals with the superannuation of employees of the gas undertaking. For the purposes of the Local Government Act, 1925, as applied, employees of the gas undertaking will be allowed to reckon their period of employment as employment by the corporation.
The Bill is largely an adaptation of existing law to the circumstances of Limerick. It contains no novel principle, and so far as it goes we believe it will meet with the approbation of the corporation, and I hope on that ground it will commend itself to the Dáil.
General Mulcahy: I only wish to say that as, perhaps, there may not be so many speeches made on this Bill it might have been a graceful thought if members of the Fianna Fáil Party had appeared, while the Minister was reading, with a lighted candle in their left hands, singing a hymn of renunciation of some of the views they had on previous occasions, and maybe even if they went as far as giving me the salute.
Mr. Boland: Which salute? The Deputy ought to blow himself out.
Mr. MacEntee: Carrying his own bouquets with him.
Mr. T. Kelly: I simply wish to say that I protest. I cannot give my acquiescence to any Bill establishing a managerial system in any city in Ireland, having regard to my experience of it for the last three years. I think that a democratic government is the proper government for the cities, and I do not think that the managerial system will work out there any better than it has done in Dublin. I think members of the corporation will find on experience that it is a mistake. You might appoint a manager and let him have sole charge of affairs, without any corporation, but so far as my experience goes this mixed control is unsatisfactory. I cannot, therefore, give acquiescence to any Bill which establishes a managerial system.
Mr. T.J. Murphy: I am sorry that the representative of this Party who would be more conversant with the details and the history of this matter is not here. Like Deputy Kelly, I should like to put it to the Minister that he ought to be very careful before putting the administration of home assistance into the hands of an official, as is contemplated under this Bill. I am not in a position to say so definitely, but I think the fact is that when an official had charge of the administration of home assistance in Limerick for some time previously the picture was not always the peaceful one which the Minister has described, and that there were very many complaints as to the administration of that service in his hands, and, furthermore, if I remember rightly, the official on that occasion instituted hard labour tests in that area as a qualification for home assistance. As one representing County Cork. I do know that the managerial outlook in regard to home assistance is anything but humane, and I advise the Minister and his officials to watch this matter very carefully. I am not in a position to deal with this matter other than from that point of view. It is a principle in the Bill that I dislike and I dislike it in any Bill. I believe there are no supermen in this world, not to say in this country, and, like Deputy Kelly. I feel that the proper and humane administration of this service ought to rest in the hands of local representatives. Beyond that, I have nothing more to say on the Bill.
Mr. D. Bourke: I wish to state that the citizens of Limerick are anxious for the managerial system, and the Corporation of Limerick called on the Minister to introduce this Bill. I think the members of the Dáil, outside the Limerick Deputies, ought to be quite satisfied with that. The citizens are anxious for it.
Mr. Boland: We have had no complaints such as Deputy Murphy has voiced here, and I am quite satisfied that if the manager does not act in a humane manner—I have no reason to believe that he will not, and I hope he will not—and if representations are  made by responsible people, they will be dealt with by the Minister. I do not expect, however, that they are going to arise, and I do not think there is any reason to presume they will.
Question put and agreed to.
Mr. Bourke: Could the Minister take all the stages now? The citizens are most anxious to have the Bill passed as soon as possible.
Mr. Boland: There are some slight amendments required, and we could not take all the stages now.
General Mulcahy: Otherwise, I should love to see the Minister swallowing all the stages together.
Mr. Boland: I would not be any the worse for it. I would not object at all.
Committee Stage ordered for 1st August.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I move that the Bill be read a Second Time. In accordance with the provisions of sub-section 2 of Section 1 of the Emergency Imposition of Duties Act 1932, an order made under that Act ceases to have statutory effect upon the expiration of eight months from the date of making of the order unless confirmed by an Act of the Oireachtas in the meantime. This present Bill seeks to confirm certain orders which have already been made by the Executive Council and these are: Emergency Order No. 23, dated 6th February, 1934; Emergency Order No. 25, dated 9th March, 1934; Emergency Order No. 30, dated 11th May, 1934; and Emergency Order No. 31, dated 15th May, 1934. Emergency Order No. 23 imposed an additional Customs duty and also an additional Excise duty of 4/8 per cwt. on sugar exceeding 98º of polarisation with appropriate additional duties on glucose, molasses and saccharine. It also imposed an Excise duty of 4/8 per cwt. on sugar, molasses and glucose, irrespective of the degrees of polarisation, in excess of 20 cwts.,  on any stock on hands at midnight on 6th February, 1934, with a corresponding Excise duty of 1/6 per ounce on all saccharine in stock in excess of 5lbs. These duties were imposed following representations made as to the necessity for protecting the Saorstát sugar beet industry against unfair competition from abroad. It was represented with justice that sugar was being put on the market here at a price considerably below that quoted in market reports. This undercutting took place in anticipation of the establishment of the sugar beet industry here and was an attempt, I think, to paralyse that industry in its early stages. Accordingly, to protect the new industry and to provide for safe future development, the Executive Council imposed, in the emergency that then existed, the order which we are now asking the Oireachtas to confirm.
I have already mentioned that Emergency Order No. 23 imposed an Excise duty at a flat rate of 4/8 on all molasses, sugar and glucose which may have been in stock, irrespective of the degree of polarisation. When this order came into operation, it was found that its provisions in regard to stocks on hand at midnight of 6th February, 1934 would operate inequitably against merchants who held stocks as against merchants about to import. For example, a trader who imported, say, 20 tons of liquid glucose on 5th February would be charged Excise duty at the rate of 4/8 per cwt., whereas if the glucose arrived subsequent to the imposition of the Excise duty, he would be charged an additional duty of only 2/1½ per cwt. A similar position existed in the case of sugar not exceeding 98º of polarisation and also in the case of molasses. It was not the intention that the new Excise duty should operate in this penal way, and accordingly, Order No. 25 was made on 9th March, 1934, amending the No. 23 order by providing for an Excise duty of 2/4 per cwt. on sugar of less than 98º of polarisation and molasses and glucose in stock at midnight on 6th February in excess of 20 cwts., in lieu of the original duty of 4/8 imposed on these particular stocks.
 The third order which this Bill seeks to confirm is, as I have already mentioned, Emergency Order No. 30. This order revoked wholly a number of previous Emergency Orders and in part, the Emergency (Imposition of Duties) Order No. 5, following on the inclusion of the duties previously chargeable under these orders in the Finance Bill of 1934. It was made by the Executive Council on 11th May, 1934, so as to secure that there would be only one statutory authority, the Finance Act, for levying the duties referred to. Not being an order merely revoking wholly a previous order, it requires to be confirmed by the Oireachtas and, accordingly, is included in this Bill. The other order which it is sought to confirm is Emergency (Imposition of Duties) Order No. 31. This order was made on 15th May, 1934, and imposed an Excise duty of 5/- on every pig carcase or part of a pig carcase used for conversion into bacon for sale in any premises in Saorstát Eireann in which bacon is so manufactured.
The duty became operative as from the 12th May, 1934. The following were the circumstances which led up to the making of the order: Prior to the date of the making of the order, it was found that, in practice, the bacon exporters were filling the bacon quota to Great Britain and Northern Ireland at a loss, owing to the fact that the price for bacon on the home market was substantially higher than the net sum realised by the bacon exporter. As failure to fill the bacon quota to Great Britain and Northern Ireland would have been a serious matter, it became necessary to introduce arrangements which would enable exporters to fill their quota without loss and, following on discussions with the representatives of the trade, it was decided that the most equitable method of dealing with the situation would be to impose an Excise duty on pigs, live or dead, used for conversion into bacon for sale and to pay an increased bounty on exported bacon. For this purpose this Emergency (Imposition of Duties) Order (No. 31), which the Oireachtas is now asked to confirm, was made.
General Mulcahy: I should like to ask, in respect of Order No. 31, dealing with pig carcases, whether in fact undertakings were given by the persons handling pigs that there would be no increase in price to the consumer of pig products as a result of the levy put upon those carcases and whether in fact the Minister has received any complaints that there has been an increase in the price of pig products as a result of this order.
Mr. MacEntee: No undertakings of the nature mentioned by the Deputy were given in this case and, so far as I am aware, no complaints have been received that bacon charges have been increased in consequence of the order.
General Mulcahy: Is the Minister aware that the Ministerial Press made very marked pronouncements to the effect that undertakings were given and, on the other hand, that there have been very substantial increases in the price of some of the pig products to the consumers since this charge was put on? I should also like to ask the Minister whether it is proposed to introduce and deal with the Bacon Bill, which, it was stated, the Minister requires to have passed during this Session. It was understood that the First Reading would be taken to-day. As the Bill has not appeared for First Reading, I should like to know  whether it is intended to take it before the Summer Recess.
Mr. MacEntee: First of all, I should say that I am at a loss to appreciate the Deputy's reference to the Ministerial Press, and therefore I am not in a position to say whether or not statements have appeared in any newspaper of the nature which he indicated. Possibly he will give us the name of the newspaper and I might be able to look up the files and satisfy the Deputy at a later stage as to whether statements of that kind actually appeared in it.
On the point about the Bacon and Pigs (Regulation and Production) Bill, that Bill has been held up within the last couple of days. It is the intention of the Government to introduce the Bill and to ask the Oireachtas to pass it before the House adjourns for the Summer Recess. The Bill is in an advanced stage of preparation.
Question put and agreed to.
Bill passed through Committee without amendment and received for final consideration.
Fifth Stage to be taken on Wednesday, 1st August.
The Dáil adjourned at 9.35 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 1st August.