Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cancellation of Government Advertising.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Loughrea County Home Costs.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Suggested Christmas Amnesty
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Louth A.O.H. Hall Incidents.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Conduct of Cases at Military Tribunal.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cork Saleyard Shooting.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Fair Wages Clause Observance.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Amendment of Factory and Workshops Act.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Stoppage of Unemployment Assistance.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Civil Service Census.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - National School Inspectors' Pensions.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Numbers Employed in Civil Service.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Closing of “Cork Constitution.”
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Mayo Flooding Damage.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Incidence of Economic War.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Military Service Pensions.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Discharge of Reservists.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Military Service Pensions Act.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Teachers' Pension Scheme.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Free School Books.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Free Milk for School Children.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - School-leaving Age.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Land Distribution in Clare.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Exchange of Holdings.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - West Cork Housing Grant.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - New Post Office Premises in Dublin.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Employment of Auxiliary Postmen
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Appointment of County Cavan Sub-Postmaster.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Alleged Political Victimisation in Cavan
Raising Questions on the Adjournment.
Business of Dáil.
Citizenship Bill, 1934—Report Stage.
Milk Bill, 1934—Money Resolution. - Committee on Finance.
Milk Bill, 1934—Money Resolution. - Milk Bill, 1934—Committee.
Committee on Finance. - Rates on Agricultural Land (Relief) Bill, 1934—Money Resolution.
Committee on Finance. - Rates on Agricultural Land (Relief) Bill, 1934—Committee.
Committee on Finance. - Supplementary Estimates.
Committee on Finance. - Vote 25.—Supplementary Agricultural Grants.
Committee on Finance. - Vote 21—Miscellaneous Expenses.
Committee on Finance. - Vote 49—Science and Art.
Committee on Finance. - Vote 13.—Civil Service Commission.
Committee on Finance. - Imposition of Duties (Confirmation of Orders) (No. 2) Bill, 1934—Final Stages.
 De chuaidh an Ceann Comhairle i gceannas ar 3 p.m.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the President if he will state how many newspapers since the establishment of the Government Information Bureau have had Government advertising orders cancelled by Departmental or Government direction; how many have had Government advertising orders withdrawn; how many have been threatened with withdrawal or cancellation of advertisements, the names of the newspapers so affected, the reason for the action taken, and whether any communication has been sent to the newspapers affected stating the reason for the action.
The President: Since the establishment of the Government Information Bureau in February last the Executive Council has had occasion in one case to take action of the nature referred to by the Deputy.
The circumstances are as follows:—
On the 19th November the Government Information Bureau issued an official denial of a false statement which had been published in the Sunday Independent of the 18th November to the effect that the Seanascal had received an invitation to the wedding of the Duke of Kent and Duchess Marina.
On the 20th November the Irish Independent published the official denial, but added:
“The Irish Independent is, however, in a position to state that an  invitation to attend the Royal Wedding was received by the Governor-General.”
In view of this contradiction of an official statement the Executive Council, on the same day, decided that Government advertisements and facilities for obtaining information from Government Departments should be withheld from all papers published or controlled by Independent Newspapers, Limited, until such time as a specific withdrawal should be published in the Irish Independent and in the Sunday Independent.
A letter to this effect was sent that evening to the Manager of Independent Newspapers, Limited.
On the 27th November, in reply to a letter, the Manager of the firm was informed by letter that the following statement, if published without addition or qualification in a prominent position in the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent, would be regarded by the Government as a satisfactory withdrawal of the false reports which had appeared in those papers:
“The Irish/Sunday Independent had what it believed to be reliable information that an invitation to the Royal Wedding had been sent to the Governor-General. We accept without reserve the statement of the Department of the President that no such invitation has been received by his Excellency.”
On the 30th November an undertaking that this statement would be published as desired was received from the Manager of Independent Newspapers, Limited, and on the same day the prohibition order which had been made in respect of these papers was withdrawn by the Executive Council.
I understand that there was another instance of the type referred to in the Deputy's question, but as action in that case was taken by the Minister for Agriculture, information regarding it should be sought from that Minister.
General Mulcahy: Does the President deny that advertisements have been withdrawn from papers whose editorials and articles were not favourable  to some of the Government schemes, say to the wheat scheme?
Mr. Donnelly: Will the President say if he has any information at his disposal regarding the action which was taken by the Cumann na nGaedheal Government during its régime, withdrawing advertisements from the Derry Journal and the Irish Press, and if he knows what the reasons were?
An Ceann Comhairle: That question does not arise.
General Mulcahy: I asked the President if he would state how many newspapers have had these advertisements withheld from them. Will the President deny that advertisements in connection with the wheat scheme have been withheld from papers in this country because they had independent views on wheat and wheat growing and expressed those views in the columns of their papers?
The President: I have already indicated to the Deputy that the Executive Council has had occasion to take action in one case. Other action such as is suggested by the Deputy was taken by the Minister for Agriculture, and, as I mentioned in my reply, information regarding it should be sought from that Minister.
General Mulcahy: Does the President mean by one case, a case in connection with the wheat scheme or in connection with the butter scheme?
The President: I mean exactly what I have said. There was one other instance of the type referred to. That is the information that was supplied to me.
General Mulcahy: Does the President, who is responsible for the Information Bureau, not take an interest in what is done in connection with other Departments?
The President: I take an interest in what is done by all Departments, but there are certain duties performed by certain Ministers who are responsible to the House in connection with those duties, and I have indicated to the  Deputy that information with regard to the schemes he has mentioned ought to be sought from one particular Minister.
General Mulcahy: Are we to take it that before the House rises for the Christmas recess Deputies will not have an opportunity of getting from other Ministers any information with regard to advertisements that have been withheld from the Press?
The President: The Deputy had plenty of time at his disposal to ask those questions of other Ministers.
Minister for Agriculture (Dr. Ryan): The Deputy's question will be answered to-morrow.
Pádraig O hOgáin: (An Clár) asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state what was the cost per head per annum of the inmates of the Loughrea County Home for the year 1933-34, and what is the estimated cost for the year 1934-35.
Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Dr. Ward): The information is being obtained from the local authority and will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.
Mr. P. Belton: asked the Minister for Justice if, in view of the near approach of Christmas, a free pardon will be given to all those in prison charged with or convicted of offences arising out of the collection of annuities.
Minister for Justice (Mr. Ruttledge): The answer to the Deputy's question is in the negative.
Mr. Belton: Arising out of the Minister's reply, as this is the season of Christmas, would an Irish Government not at least set as good an example as the British Government did 18 years ago by granting an amnesty to these prisoners and further, is he not aware that, in 1932, his predecessor, Deputy Geoghegan, then Minister for  Justice, and the Minister for Finance, released prisoners from Arbour Hill informally and, perhaps, illegally?
Mr. Ruttledge: I have no evidence or no assurance that this conspiracy, from which the offences for which those men are in prison, arose, has been abandoned and, in that position, I cannot consider any suggestion of release.
Mr. Belton: The principal question of the two I have on the Order Paper is No. 16. On a satisfactory and national reply to that question, I would be in a position to give an undertaking, without acknowledging that, at any time, there was any such thing as a conspiracy to commit crime, as alleged by the Minister.
Mr. Ruttledge: It is only within the last four days that this thing was carried on again.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Justice if he will state whether the persons who entered the A.O.H. hall at Kilkerley, near Dundalk, on the night of Friday, the 7th December, damaged the stage, and destroyed some musical instruments, and endeavoured to burn down the hall by sprinkling the floor with several gallons of petrol and setting it alight, have been identified and charged.
Mr. Ruttledge: No person has been charged in connection with this outrage. Police investigations are being carried out and it would not be in the public interest for me to make any further statement at this stage.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: asked the Minister for Justice if he is aware that prior to the trial of Messrs. Ryan, Harty and Johnston by the Military Tribunal, the members of the Tribunal were supplied by the Attorney-General with copies of the State counsel's brief; if he is further aware that objection was taken to this brief on the ground that it contained surmises by officers of the  Gárda; Síochána and a great number of unsworn statements which were not and could not be put in evidence, and further, to ask the Minister what he proposes to do in the matter.
Mr. Ruttledge: This matter has been brought to the notice of the Attorney-General and I am informed by him that the answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. The practice settled by the Constitution (Special Powers) Tribunal requires the Attorney-General to serve upon each accused a copy of the statement of charges and a summary of the evidence to be given against him and to lodge with the Registrar of the Tribunal copies of these documents. This practice was followed in the case mentioned by the Deputy. An objection was taken during the hearing of this case to the fact that statements included in the summary of evidence were before the members of the Tribunal. The President of the court overruled this objection and informed counsel that the documents in question were supplied to them by direction of the Tribunal. As the Deputy is doubtless aware, the Tribunal has full and unqualified power, under the statute by which it is constituted, to settle its own procedure.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Does the Minister not consider that it is very unfair to prisoners who are brought before the Tribunal that matters of conjecture, detrimental to the interests of the prisoners, should be supplied by the Attorney-General, or by anyone else, to the Tribunal, and is the Minister not further aware that if depositions taken before District Justices, who know the law of evidence, were allowed before a jury and if the jury were allowed to see them, a conviction by that jury would not stand for five minutes in the Court of Criminal Appeal?
Mr. Ruttledge: That has been settled; it has been the practice.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Does the Minister not consider that, if that is the practice, the sooner the Attorney-General  refuses to supply documents to the Tribunal for the purpose of prejudicing the Tribunal against the prisoners who are being brought before it, the better?
Mr. Ruttledge: Why did the Deputy lay down that practice?
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: I did not.
Mr. Ruttledge: You did lay it down. You gave power to the Tribunal to accept evidence in this way.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: No. Evidence before the Tribunal must be on oath, and you are now supplying and, in this particular case, did in fact supply, as I know of my own knowledge, statements to the Tribunal which could not be verified in court.
Mr. Ruttledge: We supplied to the Tribunal what we supplied to the prisoners.
The Attorney-General: I might say that the practice followed is the same as the practice followed since the Tribunal first started its operations, and I do not see how the Deputy can expect me to decline to obey the ruling of the Tribunal itself. As stated in the answer to the question, the practice is to supply to each accused person a statement of the charges and a summary of evidence. Every effort possible is made to exclude from the summary of evidence anything which will not be admissible as evidence. It may have happened in some cases that something did creep into these summaries which perhaps it might have been wiser not to have allowed in, but I can assure the Deputy that every effort will be made to exclude such things. I cannot, however, refuse to file with the Registrar a copy of the charges and a summary of evidence.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: But surely here is a particular case in which I have put a question and in respect of which the Attorney-General and the Minister for Justice can verify my statement, if they like, by seeing the documents, as I have seen them. The same documents were supplied to the defence and they were absolutely teeming with  statements which no attempt was made to prove and with guess-work and surmise by police officers detrimental to the prisoners. I would ask the Minister, having regard to that fact and having regard also to the fact that the Military Tribunal in the finding they came to, which was not justified by the evidence, must have been prejudiced by these statements, will he not consider the question of releasing the men who were tried in this fashion, which I say was against justice?
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy should not have alleged that the Military Tribunal came to a decision which was not justified, as neither the Tribunal nor any other duly constituted court can have its decisions subjected to revision or discussion in this House, this House not being a judicial body, and having in fact no judicial functions.
Mr. MacEntee: Is the Deputy withdrawing the statement?
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: If it is not open to me, according to the rules of the House, to comment on the finding of the Tribunal, I naturally obey your ruling, Sir, but I now ask the Minister that, considering that these men did not get a fair trial, owing to the fact that matter was supplied to them which could not be put in evidence, will he not consider the question of releasing the men in the interests of the administration of justice who were found guilty by the Tribunal? Will the Minister not answer that question?
Mr. MacEntee: The Deputy has alleged that these men did not get a fair trial.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: I adhere to that— that the men did not get a fair trial because the Attorney-General supplied to the Tribunal statements of fact which could not be verified in evidence and a whole lot of guess-work by police officers and not a summary of evidence.
Mr. Ruttledge: The Deputy suggested in his question that the Attorney-General handed his brief to them.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Exactly, the same brief as was handed to the State Counsel. It was paged exactly the same.
The Attorney-General: I resent this suggestion that the brief in the hands of Counsel appearing for me was handed to the Tribunal. I have just stated what is the fact, that the document which was served on the accused —the statement of charges and summary of evidence—was all that was before the Tribunal.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: There was much more than a summary of evidence. Again and again, the Tribunal referred, when reading from it, to particular evidence and the paging was exactly the same as that in the brief supplied to the State Counsel and therefore, it must have been the same document.
Mr. Donnelly: Why did you not put up that defence in court?
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: It was put up and very strongly commented on.
Dr. Ryan: The Tribunal did not believe it.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: It was strongly commented on because it was a shocking procedure.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: asked the Minister for Justice if he will state under whose direct and immediate control the members of the Gárda Síochána who opened rifle and revolver fire on a body of civilians, about 20 in number, at Marsh's yard in the City of Cork on the 13th August, 1934, killing one man and wounding several others, were at the time of this occurrence; what was the rank at the time, and the length of service of each member of this firing party, and who, if anybody, gave to them the order to fire.
Mr. Ruttledge: A Chief Superintendent was in direct and immediate control of the members of the Gárda Síochána referred to in the Deputy's  question. The rank of each member of the party was Detective-Gárda and the length of service 12 months. No order to fire was given.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Would the Minister then say on what authority these men fired if no order was given to them to fire?
Mr. Ruttledge: They had to use their own discretion in the circumstances.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Then, are we to understand that every armed guard, whether there is an officer there or not, is to use his own discretion when to fire and when not to fire——
General Mulcahy: And to fire with deadly effect.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: ——and to fire to kill?
Mr. Ruttledge: That was the position in the Deputy's time, when escorts accompanying Ministers had no instructions ever to wait for an order.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: I can assure the Minister that in my time no police guard went around and the military guard was always under the control of an officer. Is the Minister going to say that, in future, before young Irishmen are shot down, as they were shot down in Cork, an order, at any rate, will be given by a responsible officer of the Guards?
Mr. Ruttledge: If people want to commit suicide they can.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Does the Minister claim the right for Guards to shoot at sight anybody whom they like to shoot?
Mr. Ruttledge: All the circumstances will be taken into consideration.
General Mulcahy: And to call it suicide?
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: asked the Minister for Justice whether the members of the Gárda Síochána who opened rifle and revolver fire on a body of civilians, about 20 in number, at  Marsh's yard in the City of Cork on the 13th August, 1934, killing one man and wounding several others, have been retained in the Gárda Síochána; and, if so, if the rank of each of them in that force is the same as at the date of this occurrence.
Mr. Ruttledge: The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. Two members of the party to which the Deputy refers have since been promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: So, thereforce, the Minister considers that one of the best ways of getting promotion in the Force is to shoot down the political opponents of the Government.
Mr. Ruttledge: The best way is to do their duty.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: And their duty, according to the Minister, is to shoot the political opponents of the Government, as the jury has found, without justification.
Mr. Ruttledge: The jury did not find that.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: They did.
Mr. Norton: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he will take steps to ensure that persons who desire to avail of the benefit of the Trade Loans (Guarantee) Acts in respect of the State's guarantee for loans will be required to undertake that the “Fair Wages” clause will be observed in respect of any persons employed by them.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): I am of opinion that the difficulty of enforcing a “Fair Wages” clause in agreements under the Trade Loans (Guarantee) Acts would be so considerable as to outweigh any possible advantages which might be expected from its adoption.
Mr. Norton: Do I understand from the Minister's answer that it is proposed to continue to make available  to certain persons the benefits of the Trade Loans (Guarantee) Act to enable those persons to establish industries, without the State making any effective efforts to control the rate of wages which is being paid in some of those industries, and of which the Minister must be aware, especially if any reports are asked for by the inspector in his own Department?
Mr. Lemass: There is a practice at present recognised for determining the rates of wages in any industrial occupation. If, in the opinion of the Deputy, the existing practice is inadequate to that end, we can consider alternative methods, but I have not heard the Deputy express that opinion as yet.
Mr. Norton: Do I understand, Sir, that the position is that if a person receives some thousands of pounds under the Trade Loans (Guarantee) Act, notwithstanding what intolerably low rate of wages may be paid the State is bound to continue the guarantee, and even to continue to consider such applications in spite of the fact that they have no guarantee from the person concerned that he is going to pay a decent rate of wages in those industries?
Mr. Lemass: I would refer the Deputy to what I have already said. I am willing to discuss the matter with him at any time.
Mr. Norton: I would refer the Minister to the coolie rate of wages paid in some of those industries.
Mr. Norton: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state when proposals for legislation will be introduced to amend the Factory and Workshops Acts.
Mr. Lemass: The drafting of the proposed measure is in progress, but it is not yet possible to fix a date for its introduction.
Mr. P.S. Doyle (for Mr. O'Neill): asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware that a man named John Brayne of Cork City was recently arrested and detained on two occasions—on the 18th and 24th October last respectively—and having been interrogated was released, no charge of any kind having been preferred against him, and that as a result of his arrest his unemployment assistance was stopped; and if he will state under what section in the Unemployment Assistance Act, 1933, unemployment assistance was stopped in this case, and if he will take steps to have such benefit restored.
Mr. Lemass: The Deputy's information is incorrect. Mr. John Brayne of 7 Market Lane, Cork, holder of qualification certificate No. B.B.954 claimed unemployment assistance and has furnished proof of unemployment continuously since the 29th June last. Payment of all assistance for which he has qualified has been made to him weekly as and when it became due. Mr. Brayne is still furnishing proof of unemployment. Payment of unemployment assistance has not been interrupted at any time.
General Mulcahy: Will the Minister say whether it is not the fact that payments were interrupted, and that the payments were only restored on the intervention of a Deputy of this House?
Mr. Lemass: The payment of assistance was not interrupted at any time.
Mr. Norton: asked the Minister for Finance whether it is intended to publish the particulars of the annual Civil Service census.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): It is not intended to publish the information obtained from the Civil Service census, which is taken for Departmental purposes. If there is any particular heading under which the Deputy desires to have information, I  shall be glad to consider whether it can be furnished from the available returns.
General Mulcahy: Can the Minister say whether the reason why the census will not be published is that he found too many skeletons?
A Deputy: Of yours?
Mr. Norton: asked the Minister for Finance whether it is intended to introduce proposals for legislation to enable service as a national school teacher to be reckoned for superannuation purposes for persons promoted to the rank of inspectors of national schools.
Mr. MacEntee: The answer is in the affirmative.
Mr. Norton: Would the Minister give any information as to when this legislation is likely to be introduced?
Mr. MacEntee: I hope during next Session.
Mr. Norton: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state the numbers of civil servants employed in the following classes, distinguishing between male and female:—(1) Secretaries of Departments or equivalent rank; (2) principal officers; (3) assistant principal officers; (4) higher Executive officers; (5) junior Executive officers; (6) staff officers on scales proceeding to (a) £450 or over, (b) to £400, (c) to £350, (d) to £300, (e) to less than £300; (7) clerical officers, general service; (8) Departmental clerical officers; (9) employment clerks; (1) typists and shorthand typists (including superintendents); (a) general service, (b) Departmental; (11) writing assistants; (a) general service, (b) Departmental; and (12) temporary officers employed on equivalent duties.
Mr. MacEntee: The returns of Civil Service staffs give particulars of staffs serving on the first working day of each calendar year. The information requested is given in a statement which will be circulated in the Official Reports and relates to the 1st January, 1934.
The following is the tabular statement referred to:—
|(1)||Secretaries of Departments or equivalent rank (Chairmen of Boards of Commissioners and Heads of Departments of State)||14||—|
|(3)||Assistant Principal Officers||34||—|
|(4)||Higher Executive Officers||179||2|
|(5)||Junior Executive Officers||419||15|
|(6)||(a) Staff Officers||(On scale proceeding to £450 or over)||25||—|
|(b)do.||(On scale proceeding to £400)||7||—|
|(e)do.||(do. to less than £300)||9||26|
|(7)||Clerical Officers, General Service||1,350||339|
|(8)||Departmental Clerical Officers||154||19|
|(10)||Typists and Shorthand Typists (including Superintendents):—|
|(a) General Service||—||548|
|(a) General Service||20||770|
|(12)||Temporary Clerks (See Note below)||140||56|
NOTE.— The numbers stated in reply to the query in No. 12 of the Question relate to Temporary Clerks employed on duties of the type normally performed by members of the classes referred to in Nos. 7, 8, 9 and 11 of the Question.
Mr. P.S. Doyle (for Mr. O'Neill): asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware that the Cork Constitution was closed down by military action in 1921 and never went to publication afterwards, with the result that several resident pressmen in the country towns lost their occupation as correspondents; and if, as such loss cannot be brought under the recent Damage to Property (Compensation) Act in a formal legal manner, he will consider the question of ex gratia payments by way of compensation if clear proof of such loss of employment is forthcoming.
Mr. MacEntee: There is no information in my Department as to the closing down of the newspaper in question in 1921. As regards the second part of the question, the answer is in the negative.
Mr. P.S. Doyle (for Mr. Morrisroe): asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware that the recent flooding of the  Mullaghnoe river, County Mayo, caused considerable damage to house property in Charlestown and district, and if he will state what steps, if any, it is intended to take to prevent a recurrence of this flooding; and whether a grant will be made available for the drainage of this river.
Mr. MacEntee: I have to refer the Deputy to replies given to previous questions in regard to this matter in March, June, and November, 1933.
The position is unchanged.
Mr. Belton: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he is aware that the farming community, without distinction of politics, feel that there is not an equitable distribution of the burden of the economic war as they believe that they are being forced to pay twice; if he will take steps to set up a tribunal under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act, 1921, to investigate and report on the farmers' claim for equitable treatment and to  suggest means of placing the burden equally on all classes, and if he will take steps to have the execution of decrees by the sheriff suspended pending the report of such tribunal.
Minister for Agriculture (Dr. Ryan): I do not agree that the facts are as stated in the first part of the Deputy's question. I do not accept the Deputy's suggestion that the farming community are being treated inequitably and I do not propose to take any steps to set up a tribunal of the kind suggested.
Mr. Belton: Arising out of the Minister's reply, will he deny that the farming community supporting his own Party has put requests to him on substantially those lines? In this question, I did not ask the Minister to accept my view, expressed in the question, as to what portion of the burden the farming community was bearing, but I put it to him that it was the belief of the farming community, and that it is worth hearing their case. I do not want him to accept anything, but to provide machinery to give the farming community—the largest section of the entire nation—the chance and the right of being heard on a matter on which they consider that they have a distinct grievance. I do not want him to accept that they have a grievance, but when there is such unanimity, regardless of political differences, that they are bearing an unjust burden, I would again ask the Minister if he would reconsider his answer and say that he is even now prepared to grant this tribunal.
An Ceann Comhairle: Question No. 17.
Mr. Belton: I wish to give notice that as I have not had a satisfactory reply from the Minister, I intend to raise this matter on the adjournment.
Mr. P.S. Doyle: asked the Minister for Defence if he is aware that there are a number of people who gave good pre-Truce service and whose applications for military service pensions under the 1924 Act were not allowed  and whether he will state what is the procedure such applicants should adopt in order that their cases may be reviewed by way of appeal or otherwise.
Minister for Defence (Mr. Aiken): If these are persons to whom the Military Service Pensions Act, 1924, did not apply, i.e., were not persons with service in the National Army subsequent to 1st July, 1922, but who have had active service in the Forces—
(a) at any time during the week commencing on the 23rd day of April, 1916, or
(b) continuously during the period commencing on the 1st day of April, 1921, and ending on the 11th day of July, 1921,
their cases can be dealt with under the terms of the Military Service Pensions Act, 1934.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Defence whether he will state the period of service given (a) in the Army and (b) in the Army reserve by Mr. M. Keane, Enniscorthy, No. 70899; his character in the Army; and the date upon which he would normally be due for discharge from the reserve; and whether he will state if he is aware that Mr. Keane was discharged from the reserve on the 20th July, 1934; and if he will state the reasons for such discharge; whether any payment has been made to him for his period in the reserve in the year 1934 and, if not, why not.
Mr. Aiken: Mr. Keane served in the Army from 11th June, 1930, to 10th June, 1932, i.e., two years, and in the Army reserve from 11th June, 1932, to 20th July, 1934, i.e., two years and 40 days.
His character on discharge from the Army was assessed as “Very Good.”
Mr. Keane was normally due for discharge from the reserve on 10th June, 1938.
He was discharged from the reserve on 20th July, 1934, for the reason that his services were no longer required.
 He has been paid in full in respect of his service in the reserve during the year 1934.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Defence whether he will state the period of service given (a) in the Army and (b) in the Army reserve by Mr. Thomas Pepper, Enniscorthy, No. 68712; his character in the Army; and the date upon which he would normally be due for his discharge from the reserve; and whether he will state if he is aware that Mr. Pepper was discharged from the reserve on the 20th July, 1934; and if he will state the reasons for such discharge; whether any payment has been made to him for his period in the reserve in the year 1934, and if not, why not.
Mr. Aiken: Mr. Pepper served in the Army from the 12th September, 1927, to 11th September, 1930, i.e., three years, and in the Army reserve from 12th September, 1930, to 20th July, 1934, i.e., three years, 312 days. His character on discharge from the Army was assessed as “Very Good.” Mr. Pepper was normally due for discharge from the reserve on 11th September, 1936. He was discharged from the reserve on the 20th July, 1934, for the reason that his services were no longer required. He has been paid in full in respect of his service in the reserve during the year 1934.
Mr. R. Ryan: asked the Minister for Defence if he will state the amount of pension awarded to Mr. Peter O Loghlin, Liscannor, County Clare, under the Military Service Pensions Act, 1924.
Mr. Aiken: Mr. Peter O Loghlin, Liscannor, County Clare, was awarded a military service pension of £57 3s. 9d. per annum under the Military Service Pensions Act, 1924.
Mr. T.J. Murphy: asked the Minister for Education whether in view of the fact that the number of convent  teachers and junior assistant mistresses who had resigned owing to the age limit prior to the enactment of the pension scheme does not exceed 70, he will arrange to frame proposals to grant such ex-teachers pensions.
Minister for Education (Mr. Derrig): I have examined this issue and find that the cases to which the Deputy refers are not such as would justify the introduction of proposals for the award of pensions.
Mr. T.J. Murphy: asked the Minister for Education whether it is intended to frame proposals to provide free school books for necessitous children.
Mr. Derrig: I have had the question to which the Deputy refers further considered. I cannot hold out any hope that proposals for the provision of free school books from State funds are likely to be introduced.
Mr. Norton: Arising out of the reply, could the Minister indicate whether the Government would consider favourably the introduction of legislation to enable local authorities to raise a rate for the provision of school books for necessitous children?
Mr. Derrig: The Deputy should put down a separate question.
General Mulcahy: Can the Minister say if any proposals on these lines are coming, or whether he would have an examination carried out, as to the types of books that children, even in primary schools, are asked to get, with a view to seeing if they could not be a little more systematised than they are, apparently, with a view to saving unnecessary cost falling on the parents?
An Ceann Comhairle: That is a separate question.
Mr. T.J. Murphy: asked the Minister for Education whether, having regard to the need for encouraging the consumption of milk, he will arrange to provide milk free of charge as a midday meal for school children.
Mr. Derrig: The administration of the Acts relating to school meals does not fall within my functions as Minister for Education. The Education (Provision of Meals) (Ireland) Acts, 1914 to 1930, and the School Meals (Gaeltacht) Act, 1930, authorise local authorities to provide school meals for children attending schools, and, in the case of necessitous children, the cost may be met from the rates, with the consent of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health. Such school meals are provided at present by the authorities of 42 urban districts, including the four county boroughs, and by the Boards of Health of the Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry and Mayo County Health Districts for the portions of these districts scheduled under the School Meals (Gaeltacht) Act, 1930.
I am advised that milk is supplied in school meals in about 85 per cent. of the urban schemes, and is also used largely in the meals provided in the Gaeltacht districts. Half of the cost of the food provided in these school meals is met by a State Grant (the School Meals Grant). In addition, the Government have provided a grant of £100,000 for the provision of free milk for necessitous children under five years of age, and approved schemes for its distribution are in operation in 62 urban districts and in 27 county health districts.
The Deputy will realise that the State has already incurred considerable liabilities in connection with schemes which tend to encourage the consump tion of milk, and in the circumstances I see no reason for taking any further measures in the matter.
Mr. Norton: asked the Minister for Education whether it is intended to introduce proposals for legislation to raise the school-leaving age to 16 years.
Mr. Derrig: An Inter-Departmental Committee is at present examining this issue. I shall not be in a position to make any statement on the matter until the report of the Committee has been received and considered.
Pádraig O hOgáin: (an Clár) asked the Minister for Lands if he will state  (1) what is the total area of land available for distribution under the various Land Acts in County Clare; (2) how much of this land is in the possession of the Irish Land Commission awaiting distribution; (3) how many schemes of distribution are at present in operation in County Clare; (4) how many schemes of distribution are at present awaiting sanction in respect of County Clare; (5) in what districts in County Clare are schemes of distribution in operation and in what districts are the estates situated in County Clare in respect of which schemes are awaiting sanction.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Lands (Mr. O'Grady): (1) It is not possible to estimate the total area of land which may become available for distribution in County Clare. It may be stated, however, that over 3,000 acres are at present in definite course of acquisition by the Land Commission for distribution under the Land Acts, 1923-33. (2) In addition, an area of 1,800 acres, already acquired by the Land Commission in County Clare, awaits distribution—a large proportion consisting of turbary. (3) Five schemes of distribution, covering an area of 1,322 acres in the county, have been approved and are expected to be put into operation shortly. (4) Eleven schemes of distribution have been prepared for approval, or are in course of preparation, covering an area of 2,128 acres. (5) It is not the practice of the Land Commission to publish beforehand particulars of the situation or description of lands in process of distribution.
Mr. R. Ryan: asked the Minister for Lands if he will state (a) whether Mr. Peter O Loghlin, Liscannor, County Clare, was given a large holding by the Land Commission at Caherguilamore, Bruff, County Limerick, in 1928; (b) the area, valuation and annuity payable in respect of same; (c) whether this holding is sub-let for grazing; and (d) the number of farms and the total area of same held by Mr. O Loghlin in County Clare.
Mr. O'Grady: Peter O'Loghlin, of Liscannor, Lahinch, Co. Clare, is a proposed migrant to the estate of A. S. Baring, County Limerick. He has undertaken to surrender three holdings in County Clare, total area 341a. 2r. 22p., in exchange for a new holding on the Baring estate, area 138a. 3r. 20p., P.L.V. £172 15s. on land and £40 on buildings. The new holding was let to O'Loghlin under an agreement for letting for temporary convenience dated 22nd February, 1929, at £127 6s. per annum. The Land Commission have no information as to the subletting of the holding. They hope to be in a position to complete the migration and take over the holdings in County Clare for division at an early date.
Mr. Doyle (for Mr. O'Neill): asked the Minister for Lands if he is aware that some years have elapsed since a grant was passed under the Housing (Gaeltacht) Acts to Cornelius O'Sullivan, Lyre, Glengariff, and can he now definitely say when the grant will be forthcoming.
Mr. O'Grady: No grant has so far been sanctioned in this case. The applicant was a man living alone, and the policy of the Department is, naturally, to deal with the prior claims of applicants who have families and whose homes are overcrowded. The applicant's case will, however, be again reviewed.
Mr. Norton: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs whether he will state when the work of erecting a new central sorting and delivery office at Pearse Street, Dublin, will be commenced.
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Mr. Boland): The first section of the scheme—new central garage and workshops—has been approved, and the necessary financial provision has been made in the Estimates for the coming year. The relative working drawings, specifications and tender  forms are in course of preparation, but whilst everything possible is being done to expedite the matter, a definite date for the commencement of the work cannot be given at this stage.
The preliminary works of clearing the site have already been completed.
Mr. Norton: Can the Minister give any indication when this work will be commenced? I think he will recollect that in 1933 it was hoped to start the work in September of that year. We are now approaching 1935, and I wonder if the Minister can give any date when the work will be commenced?
Mr. Boland: I am not going to express any more opinions as to a definite date, but we are doing all we possibly can to expedite the work. We cannot do any more than we are doing in that direction.
Mr. Norton: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will state the number of auxiliary postmen employed in the Department of Posts and Telegraphs on the 1st December, 1934, and the number who had other outside employment on that date or any other date during 1934.
Mr. Boland: The number of auxiliary postmen employed in the Department of Posts and Telegraphs on the 1st December, 1934, was 2,614. No information is available regarding the second portion of the question and I fear that the trouble and expense which would be entailed in obtaining it would not be justified.
Mr. P.S. Doyle (for Mr. McGovern): asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs whether he has received a copy of a resolution passed by the Gowna Fianna Fáil Cumann in regard to the appointment of a sub-postmaster in Gowna, County Cavan, and whether in making the appointment to the said office the Minister had regard only to the recommendation made in the said resolution.
Mr. Boland: I have not received a copy of the resolution referred to. No appointment has been made to the vacant sub-postmastership at Gowna. The claims and qualifications of all the applicants will, in accordance with the usual practice, be fully considered before an appointment is made.
Mr. Donnelly: Where is Deputy McGovern at all?
General Mulcahy: He is trying to sell his cattle.
Mr. Doyle (for Mr. McGovern): asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will appoint a committee representative of all sections of the Dáil to investigate complaints of alleged political victimisation by the removal of certain post offices in County Cavan, the grounds for their removal and the evidence on which the decisions were based.
Mr. Boland: I do not consider any such committee necessary. Any specific cases will be fully investigated if full particulars are given. I am prepared to hear anyone on the Opposition Benches say anything they like about that this afternoon if they like.
An Ceann Comhairle: Deputy Belton expressed a desire to raise on the Adjournment a matter arising out of Question 16. The consensus of opinion at the Committee of Procedure and Privileges at a meeting held last year was that matters involving policy should not be raised on the Adjournment, that procedure being an ineffective and unsatisfactory method which would lead nowhere. The purpose of raising a question on the Adjournment is to obtain elucidation of facts in individual cases. Furthermore, if the Deputy desires that a tribunal should be set up his proper course would be to table a motion for that purpose. In these circumstances, I am not prepared to allow a discussion on the Adjournment to-day.
Mr. Belton: It is nearly one and a half years since I tabled a motion, and it has not been reached yet.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy cannot blame the Chair in that matter.
Mr. Belton: Is it your ruling, Sir, that the setting up of a tribunal to consider such a question affects policy?
An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair has given a ruling. The Deputy surely realises that a wide question of policy is raised.
Mr. Belton: I only want to have the complaint heard.
General Mulcahy: Will the fact that motions which have been put down cannot possibly be discussed in the House in Private Deputies' time for a year or more, weigh with the Chair, when considering questions like this or, must the matter be again considered in the light of these facts by the Committee of Procedure and Privileges before you, Sir, alter your attitude in these cases?
An Ceann Comhairle: The occupant of the Chair has to rely on his own judgment in giving a decision. On this occasion the Chair is further strengthened by the opinion of the Committee of Procedure and Privileges. The matter is closed and the question may not be raised on the Adjournment.
The President: The order of business will be: Nos. 5 and 6 in their proper places; then Nos. 7, 11 and 8, after which Estimate No. 25 will be taken; and then Nos. 9 and 10. Estimate No. 38 will not be taken. It is proposed to complete all Stages of the Citizenship Bill, the Rates on Agricultural Land (Relief) Bill, and the Imposition of Duties (Confirmation of Orders) (No. 2) Bill before the Dáil rises for the Christmas Recess. On the completion of that business, the Dáil will adjourn until Wednesday, 13th February, 1935, at 3 p.m.
Mr. Cosgrave: Is it proposed to take the Report Stage of No. 11—the Milk Bill?
The President: No. I shall repeat what I said. It is proposed to complete all stages of the Citizenship Bill, the Rates on Agricultural Land (Relief) Bill and the Imposition of Duties (Confirmation of Orders) (No. 2) Bill before the Dáil rises. We shall go on with the work in the order I have indicated to-day. When that work is completed, then the motion for the adjournment will be taken.
Mr. Cosgrave: I understood we were only going to take one amendment to the Milk Bill.
Parliamentary Secretary to the President (Mr. Little): That is so.
An Ceann Comhairle: Is it proposed to sit later than 9 p.m. to-night?
The President: Yes; I propose that the Dáil sit later than 9 p.m. to-day, and that the order for the adjournment be taken not later than 10.30 p.m.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Norton: Can the President give any indication as to what time will be available for the motion on the adjournment?
The President: That will depend on how long it will take to complete the business I have indicated. We meet on Tuesday this week, so as to make sure that within the week we shall have an opportunity of completing all the business. The moment the business I have indicated is completed the adjournment motion can be taken, and the length of time for it will depend on the amount of time left. We have ordinarily tried to give at least three hours for the adjournment.
Mr. Davin: Is there any minimum or maximum time set aside for the adjournment motion?
The President: We have not set anything definitely aside, because we are not sure how long the business will take. If we get through the business rapidly we will get to the adjournment  motion early and will not be so tied with regard to time. If, on the other hand, the business is protracted until we are coming near the end of the week, we shall only have a short time for the adjournment. Ordinarily, as I say, we try to get at least three hours for the adjournment motion.
General Mulcahy: What is the proposal with regard to the Milk Bill?
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Dr. Ward): It is proposed to discuss the second amendment standing in the name of Deputy Rowlette. That is the only amendment we propose taking to-day.
Minister for External Affairs (The President): I move amendment 1:—
In page 2, Section 2 (I) (e), line 39 to delete the words “subject to the subsequent provisions of this section.”
These are the words which were responsible for a certain amount of confusion on the Committee Stage. The change is consequential on an amendment introduced on the Committee Stage.
Mr. Esmonde: I think the amendment meets to a certain extent the difficulties which I pointed out during the previous stages of this Bill with regard to citizens of Northern Ireland. I should like, however, to ask the President if he has got any definite policy with regard to this Bill as to what can be done to avoid the prospect of Irish citizens of Northern Ireland having to go to England to register in order to retain their Irish citizenship. Perhaps, in the Seanad some amendment will be introduced which will avoid that. I still insist that something should be done to avoid the necessity of Irish citizens, born in Northern Ireland, having to go to the High Commissioner's office in Piccadilly Circus to register.
The President: I am not sure that the Deputy realises the provisions that are made in this Bill to meet the situation which he has in mind. First of all, people residing in the Six Counties on 6th December, 1922, were in the territory of Saorstát Eireann, as ascertained and defined by a judical decision. The next thing is that children of the first generation automatically become natural-born citizens of Saorstát Eireann. It is only in the third generation that there is any need for registration and that registration can be done either in the manner the Deputy was indicating or directly here through the Foreign Births Register which is kept at the Department of External Affairs. These are the provisions in the Bill at the moment and I think these are as ample as we are in a position to make.
Mr. Esmonde: Would the President ring up Lord Craigavon and ask him if it would be a suitable thing to establish a High Commissioner's office in Belfast? That would save all this trouble. If we had a High Commissioner's office in Belfast, with the approval of Lord Craigavon, we might get over these difficulties.
Mr. Donnelly: That would be in the third generation.
Amendment agreed to.
The President: I move amendment No. 2:—
In page 5, Section 7 (1), to delete all from the word “having,” line 55, to the word “years,” line 57, and substitute the words “on account of the Irish descent or Irish associations of a person who has not attained the age of 21 years and having regard to the other circumstances of the case, issue to such person.”
This amendment has been introduced in deference to the views expressed by the Opposition during the Committee Stage. As it stood originally, it was suggested that the section was too wide, and when I pointed out that we had in mind, for the most part, minors of Irish association, it was suggested that we might make an amendment to  that effect. That is the purpose of this amendment that we are now proposing.
Amendment agreed to.
The President: I propose amendment No. 3:—
In page 5, Section 7 (1), line 58, to delete the word “a.”
This is merely a drafting amendment.
Amendment agreed to.
The President: I move amendment No. 4:—
In page 6, to add at the end of Section 7 a new sub-section as follows:—
(3) A person to whom a certificate of naturalisation has been issued under this section may, within one year after attaining the age of twenty-one years, make and lodge with the Minister in the prescribed form and manner a declaration of alienage, and thereupon such person shall cease to be a citizen of Saorstát Eireann.
The object of this is to enable a minor who might be naturalised on the request of one of the parents, to be in a position to exercise his own right when he comes of age. We have in other cases some such provision, and we thought it wise to put in the provision here also.
Amendment agreed to.
The President: I move amendment No. 5:—
In page 7 to delete Section 11 (b).
As I pointed out on the last day, this sub-section, as it stands, indicates power to terminate the citizenship, even of a natural-born citizen. We think that that would be altogether undesirable, and we have decided to take that out.
Amendment agreed to.
The President: I move amendment No. 6:—
In page 7, Section 11 (d), lines 57 and 58, to delete the words “her or his certificate has been terminated or”, and in line 59 to delete the words and brackets “(as the case may be).”
 Amendments 6 and 7, I think, are consequential on the deletion of sub-section 11 (b).
Mr. MacDermot: No; not amendment 7.
The President: There are two places —lines 57 and 58—to delete the words “her or his certificate has been terminated or”—that is clearly consequential—and in line 59 to delete the words and brackets “(as the case may be)”. That is consequential also.
Amendment agreed to.
The President: I move amendment No. 7:—
In page 9, Section 17 (b), line 55, to delete the words “within twelve months after the passing of this Act.”
During the debate in the Committee Stage, it was suggested that there should not really be a time limit set. Of course, in five years, in any case, the person would be applying for a certificate, and would have full residence qualifications for naturalisation. Consequently we decided that the time limit was not necessary. I was rather anxious to have the time limit in order to give special privileges if applications were made immediately. But in view of the opinions expressed here and on reconsideration, we thought it as well to omit that time limit.
Mr. MacDermot: Amendments 7 and 8 are really the same thing. I welcome these amendments and I should like to express my appreciation of the fact that they have been introduced especially in view of the fact that the President refused to accept them on the Committee Stage.
Amendment agreed to.
The President: I move amendment No. 8:—
In page 10, Section 18 (c), line 23, to delete the words “within six months after such marriage”.
Amendment agreed to.
The President: I move amendment No. 9:—
 In page 14, section 32, line 28, before the word “Citizenship” to insert the words “Irish Nationality and”.
In the Short Title of the Bill it is proposed to insert the words “Irish Nationality” before “Citizenship,” not that we feel that there is a need for doing it, but it was suggested by the previous Attorney-General, Deputy Costello, on the Second Reading that we meant to make some point with regard to Nationality and Citizenship. Although my view with regard to it still remains the same, the word has no legal connotation. At the same time to prevent any suggestion of that sort getting circulation or getting accepted, I think it might be wise to put the words “Irish Nationality” into the Short Title of the Bill.
Mr. MacDermot: I wonder if the President would read the phrases used in Deputy Costello's speech?
The President: This was said by Deputy Costello:—
“The words `Citizen and Citizenship' in relation to international law, are, I think, words that have only come into common use in connection with the subject matter of Nationality in fairly recent times. It is rather inexact phraseology, from the point of view of public international law, to treat the subject of nationality as being the same as citizenship.
“In practice, I think the modern tendency is to assimilate the nomenclature of citizenship with that of nationality, but, in public international law, the real thing is nationality, and this Bill deals, in my view, with something which is not really nationality, and this Bill is really not a nationality Bill at all.”
Mr. MacDermot: I agree with the views expressed by Deputy Costello. I disagree with this amendment and I must oppose it. I associate this amendment closely with what is now Section 30 of the Bill which purports to abolish, so far as Irish citizens are concerned, the common status possessed by  every one of the King's subjects throughout the British Commonwealth.
I wish to say a few words about the principle and philosophy behind this proposal. The President and his Party accepted here, less than two years ago, a motion declaring that voluntary reunion of the Irish Free State with Northern Ireland should be the principal object of Irish statesmanship, and that every other constitutional issue should be subordinated to that. Although they accepted that motion they have frequently acted in a manner entirely opposed to it. In this Bill they act in a manner entirely opposed to it. They do so without the excuse of their achieving anything at all. What they are putting into the Bill here is just words. The President speaks as if he were saving this country from some form of degradation by declaring that it would be henceforth an impertinence for anybody to allude to us as British subjects. If there is any degradation it does not consist in what people call you. It consists in how you behave yourself. The President is not proposing that measures should be taken to stop Irish citizens from taking advantage of whatever privileges are available as a result of our belonging to the British Commonwealth. He is not even proposing, so far as I am aware, to make a patriotic appeal to them to refrain from making use of such privileges. If he was sincere in this talk of “impertinence” and this implication of degradation, he, surely, would introduce some such legislation or make some such appeal. He tells us that he proposes to change the basis of these privileges, that we are to have in future some sort of reciprocal arrangement—a reciprocal arrangement that can be made with any other country just as well as with Great Britain. I venture to say that that statement was sheer humbug. He  knows perfectly well that there is no prospect of obtaining in any other country the privileges that we at present enjoy in Great Britain. He knows, moreover, that he himself is not prepared to offer such privileges to other countries, nor is he, I take it, prepared to offer to Great Britain the full privileges for British citizens that are available for Irish citizens in Great Britain. Even if he were prepared to keep the door on this side as wide open as they keep it on their side, he knows very well that a small and poor country like ours has got nothing equal in value to offer. I ask him to consider what the logical conclusion would be if he were to be taken seriously by the British.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy purports to discuss the philosophy at the back of this amendment. In doing so he is making a Second Reading speech, and in expressly replying to something the President said on Second Reading he is obviously reopening that debate.
Mr. MacDermot: I wish to represent to you that the matters to which I am objecting were introduced into the Bill on Committee Stage, that they were not there for me to attack in my Second Reading speech, if I had wished to do so; that the phraseology of the President to which I object was used, not in his introductory speech on Second Reading but in his closing speech on Second Reading, to which I had no opportunity to reply.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy will have an opportunity on Fifth Stage of discussing what is then contained in the Bill.
Mr. MacDermot: If you prefer me to deal with these matters on Fifth Stage, I bow to your ruling.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 48; Níl, 21.
Bourke, Daniel. Cleary, Mícheál.
De Valera, Eamon.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Kelly, James Patrick.
Little, Patrick John.
Carty, Frank. Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ward, Francis C.
|Alton, Ernest Henry.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Burke, James Michael.
Cosgrave, William T.
Doyle, Peadar S.
McGuire, James Ivan.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rowlette, Robert James.
Thrift, William Edward.
Tellers:— Tá: Deputies Little and Traynor; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Amendment declared carried.
Question—“That the Bill be received for final consideration”—put and agreed to.
Mr. Fitzgerald: I do not know whether this is the proper occasion on which to raise the matter, but I feel in certain things the President and the Attorney-General, however inadvertently, have misrepresented the views of certain people. If I am permitted to do so, I would like to rectify these things now.
An Ceann Comhairle: Could not these matters be raised more appropriately on the Fifth Stage of the Bill?
Mr. Fitzgerald: I agree.
Fifth Stage ordered to be taken to-morrow, Wednesday.
Resolved: “That as regards any Act of the present Session to make further and better provision in relation to the production and sale of milk with a view to improving the standard of purity and wholesomeness thereof and to make provision for other matters connected with the matters aforesaid, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas of any expenses incurred in carrying such Act into effect being expenses which are required by the provisions of such Act to be defrayed out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.”—(Minister for Finance.)
Resolution reported and agreed to.
Sections 1 and 2 agreed to.
(1) In this Act (except in Part II thereof) the word “milk” means any article of food which is whole milk, skimmed or condensed milk, cream or buttermilk.
(2) In Part II of this Act the word “milk” means whole milk.
(3) In this section the expression “whole milk” means milk from  which none of the constituents have been abstracted otherwise than as a result of any cleansing process (including pasteurisation or sterilisation) to which such milk has been subjected.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Dr. Ward): I move amendment No. 1:—
In sub-section (1), line 25, to delete the word “condensed” and substitute the word “separated.”
It is merely a drafting amendment, the word “condensed” having been inserted in error for the word “separated.”
Amendment agreed to.
Section 3, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 4 to 9, inclusive, agreed to.
Any sanitary authority may, with the consent of the Minister, and subject to the provisions of any enactment relating to the appointment of officers by such authority, appoint such and so many officers as such authority shall consider requisite for the execution of the functions, powers and duties conferred or imposed by this Act, and every officer so appointed shall be paid such remuneration as the sanitary authority, with the consent of the Minister, shall determine.
Dr. Rowlette: I move amendment No. 2:—
Before Section 10 to insert a new section as follows:—
(1) No person shall keep a dairy or produce or sell milk until he shall be licensed by the sanitary authority each year.
(2) The annual fee for such licence shall be fixed by the Minister in regulations made by him.”
I think the Minister had the unanimous support of the House when he put forward the intention of this Bill, which was, as he said, to render the milk supply of the country safe. It seems no part of the public policy of the  country to increase the consumption of milk. The Minister and his colleagues must have some hesitation in pressing for an increased consumption of milk until the consumers have the assurance-that the milk is reasonably safe. I believe the whole intention of this Bill is that milk should be made safe for consumption, and I believe it will go a considerable way in satisfying the public upon this point. It is in the hope of making this measure more effective that I am moving this amendment. The principle of the amendment which I am asking the House to adopt is that all producers and sellers of milk should act only with the authority of an annual licence, issued by the sanitary authorities on such fee as the Minister may prescribe. I notice that this recommendation, in a more definite form, was among the recommedations of the Departmental Committee that reported in 1928. This is one of the recommendations of that committee, which is absent from the present Bill, and which is one of the two or three most important things that could find place in this Bill. On page 31 of the report, paragraph 132, reads:—
“All milk vendors in county boroughs and urban districts should be licensed annually by the sanitary authority personally and in respect of the premises used by them for trade purposes. In the event of refusal of a licence a right of appeal to the District Court might be given.”
That is more limited in its scope than the amendment to which I am speaking. It refers only to county boroughs and urban districts. At the time that the Departmental Committee made that recommendation it is probable that a much larger proportion of milk was produced in county boroughs and urban districts than is produced to-day and that there was a much larger consumption of milk. If the licensing were confined to the shops and dealers situated only in urban districts it would be ineffective. It is necessary, if our milk is to be safe, that the milk at its source should be under just as close supervision as at the point of sale; and the reason that this amendment  is put forward is to render that supervision more effective. There is, I know, registration of milk dealers at present, but one can hardly claim that the supervision under the present system is effective enough, even in those areas in which it has been relatively most effective. The Departmental Committee, commenting on the Dairies and Milk Shops Order, made the remark that in rural areas the Order had failed in its object. One must take that statement as meaning what it says. The effect of my amendment would be the more efficient supervision of the production of milk in rural areas; and it is of the utmost importance, as was made plain on the Second Reading of the Bill, that the supervision of the production of milk is as necessary at its source as at its sale.
It is clear that if a dealer or producer is to have his licence renewed each year he will be on his mettle throughout the whole year to avoid committing an offence, and will do his best to produce his milk in such a clean and healthy way that it will not be a danger to the community. It is unfortunate that this has not been the result of the Order so far. I think that the least that should happen to a man who is habitually careless, not to say criminal, with regard to the production of his milk is that he should lose his licence for a period. This amendment is one of the recommendations of the Departmental Committee. Its provisions have appeared in print in recent months, and have attracted a good deal of public attention. It is interesting to see that in the City of Cork, recently, the Deputies of that constituency were unanimously requested by an important body in that city to support this amendment as well as other amendments having the same purpose. That shows that the people who are concerned with the health of a very important centre in the country recognise that such an amendment is necessary. It shows that such an amendment is necessary if the Bill is to give our citizens the security to which they have a right. I suggest  that its addition to the Bill will not inflict any considerable hardship on the milk producers or milk dealers. I have no doubt that if other health authorities, besides the health authorities in the City of Cork, had considered the matter in the same way, they would have come to a similar conclusion.
I believe that in this amendment I have the approval of all those who have really concerned themselves with the question of the milk supply in relation to the public health of the country. The medical officers of health with whom I have discussed it hold that it is not alone highly desirable but the best that could reasonably be expected, and I trust that all Deputies in the House, no matter to what Party they belong, will take the same view as those health authorities, both lay and medical, who have given the matter full consideration. I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary and the Minister will receive this as an amendment intended to help towards the solution of the supply of clean milk, and I can assure both the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary that it is in that hope that I am proposing this amendment. For that reason, I ask the support of all Deputies for it.
Mr. Cosgrave: I do not think that it is necessary to say much in support of this amendment. It is an amendment that has been inserted with a view to ensuring, so far as is reasonably possible, the proper control of the production and sale of milk. It is considered by the authorities, who have had experience in the administration of public health in important centres, that such a provision ought to be included in the Bill. I do not desire to waste the time of the House any further, except to say that I think this is an amendment that ought to be accepted.
Mr. J.M. Burke: I would suggest to the Parliamentary Secretary that there ought to be some means of appeal to some court in case of the cancellation or refusal of a licence by  the local authority. Apart from that, I am in perfect agreement with the proposal.
Dr. Ward: Since the Second Reading Stage of this Bill very strong representations have been made to me and to the Department in relation to the principle that is raised in Dr. Rowlette's amendment. When the Bill was under consideration, and while it was in rough draft, so to speak, it was intended that the principle of registration should be incorporated in the measure; but at that time, or before the Bill came before the House, strong representations were made by the Department of Agriculture to the effect that the inclusion of the principle of registration and licensing of milk producers would involve undue hardship on a section of the agricultural community. There seemed to be some weight in the argument put forward at that time, but, in the light of all the facts that have been disclosed in the meantime, and the volume of opinion that is, undoubtedly, in favour of registration, I am inclined to the view that the incorporation of this principle of registration would be, certainly, an improvement, and I believe that the agricultural community can be safeguarded against any undue hardship under a system of registration.
However, I do not think, from the amount of consideration that we have given this question since Deputy Rowlette's amendment has come under consideration, that the amendment before the House would be sufficient to deal with all the implications and complications of the principle of registration. The point raised by Deputy Burke as to the right, in the event of the refusal of a licence or cancellation of registration, of an appeal to the court is one that certainly ought to be incorporated in this system of registration. I am advised that to implement the principle involved in this amendment, we would require some 23 or 24 new sections in the Bill. If this principle is accepted it would appear to be desirable that our Bill should be completely comprehensive and embrace all our legislation dealing with our milk. I think that if the principle is accepted, the House would be well advised to discharge  the Committee Stage, have the Bill withdrawn, and the measure redrafted. In the redrafted Bill it will be necessary to repeal Section 34 of the Contagious Diseases of Animals Act, and take all our powers relating to milk supply, production, supervision, and sale in one comprehensive measure. If the House wishes to adopt that course I am quite agreeable to it, and I believe that as a result of it we will have a better Bill.
Dr. Rowlette: In view of what the Parliamentary Secretary has said, I do not propose to press the amendment. I understand that he has intimated his willingness to accept the principle of it and to embody it in a new Bill. I quite realise that my amendment, if accepted, would make it necessary that a number of consequential amendments should be inserted in this Bill. It would be more satisfactory, I think, if these consequential amendments were drafted by the officials of the Department than that members of the House should prepare them in a hurried kind of a way. In view of what the Parliamentary Secretary has said, I ask the leave of the House to withdraw the amendment.
Mr. Bennett: I should like to know from the Parliamentary Secretary if this amendment is accepted in principle will it mean that individual producers of milk, no matter where situated, will be put under the necessity of registering? Would it apply, for instance, to milk suppliers to creameries in the various counties?
Dr. Ward: The Deputy will see from Section 2 that “this Act shall come into operation on such day or days as may be fixed . . either generally or with reference to any particular purpose or provision.” Now, creamery suppliers are under fairly strict supervision at the present time. The Minister for Agriculture and his Department have efficient machinery for dealing with the cleanliness of the milk supply to creameries. I would be prepared to meet the Deputy to this extent: that while power to apply this to creamery suppliers ought to be taken in the measure, it ought not to be actually  applied. That portion of the Act ought not to operate unless in agreement with the Minister for Agriculture. I think it will be a number of years before the general milk supplying section of the community is brought up to the standard of efficiency that we have already reached in the case of creamery suppliers. In the case of those who produce and sell milk for human consumption, I would like to see their methods very considerably improved before we interfered with the creamery suppliers.
Mr. Bennett: In view of what the Parliamentary Secretary has said, I think we ought to leave the matter at that. On the Second Reading of the Bill I did point out that there might be difficulties in the way of producers who supplied the creameries, in as much as there was already supervision in their cases through the Department of Agriculture. So far as they are concerned there is already supervision, and the point that I made was that if these people were to be made subject to the provisions of new legislation it might bear very hardly on them. For the present, I am prepared to accept what the Parliamentary Secretary has said, that there will be a saving clause in any new Bill introduced to protect them from the necessity of registering.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Bill withdrawn by leave of the House.
Dr. Ward: In case the House does not sit to-morrow, I would like to get permission to have a First Reading this evening of the new measure so that, when redrafted, it may be circulated during the Recess.
An Ceann Comhairle: I think the House will sit to-morrow.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I move:—
That as regards any Act of the present session to increase the amount of the Agricultural Grant  referred to in Section 48 of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, for the financial year which began on the first day of April, 1934, and to provide for the application of the said grant as so increased and for other matters connected therewith it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas in accordance with the provisions of such Act of a grant of £470,000 (four hundred and seventy thousand pounds) and any other expenses incurred in the execution of such Act.
Resolution agreed to.
Resolution reported and agreed to.
Section I agreed to.
Question proposed: “That Section 2 stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. Belton: I will be glad if the Minister would explain the meaning of paragraph (d) of the section. Does that paragraph mean that the Land Commission will only have to pay on a £20 valuation no matter what amount of land they hold?
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Mr. Boland) (for the Minister for Local Government and Public Health): Paragraph (d) is governed by paragraph (e), and the meaning of paragraph (d) becomes clear if the two paragraphs are read together.
Mr. Belton: It is not clear to me. The end of paragraph (e) reads: “the specified valuation of the agricultural land included in each such tenement shall be the valuation thereof under the Valuation Acts or twenty pounds, whichever is in each case the lesser.” That seems to me to let the Land Commission off by paying on a £20 valuation no matter what amount of land they hold.
Mr. Boland: It does not.
Mr. Belton: Why should not the Land Commission pay the same as everybody else?
Mr. Boland: I can assure the Deputy that they will.
Notice taken that 20 Deputies were not present. House counted and 20 Deputies being present,
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: Does not this mean that where there is only one tenement of the specified valuation and where it exceeds £20, the specified valuation is £20? That has the effect, where the Land Commission has one tenement, of excluding it from rates because it is allowed off that £20 valuation?
Mr. Cosgrave: I take it that it is intended to mean that where the Land Commission has one holding of 1,000 acres, and where the valuation of the agricultural land exceeds £20, the Land Commission will get relief of rates in respect of that £20 valuation. Where the Land Commission has different farms all over the country, it cannot get relief from each one of those, as if they were separate holdings of an individual person. That is the intention, whether it is carried out or not.
Mr. Boland: That is what it means. That is the intention.
Sections 2 and 3 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Question proposed: “That Section 4 stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. Belton: This section states that the Minister for Finance shall make a grant of £470,000, and that such grant shall be made by the said Minister by way of an increase. Is this £470,000 to be tacked on to the original grant under the '98 Act? Would the Minister explain what difference, if any, there is between this £470,000, which is now, according to this, going to be similar to the grant given under the '98 Act and the grants given in 1925 and in 1931? Is there going to be any difference in future in those grants?
Mr. Boland: This grant is made up of four portions. There was one given in 1898, roughly of £600,000. That was doubled in 1925, and then in 1931 there was an extra grant of £750,000. Now, in addition to that, there is a grant of £470,000. The net result is that there will be £220,000 more given than last year.
Mr. Belton: Am I to understand that this £470,000 is in addition to the agricultural grant specially made in 1925 and the special grant of 1931?
Mr. Boland: Yes, it is an addition.
Mr. Belton: I cannot equate these figures, because the grant in 1898 was roughly £600,000—a few pounds short of it. That was doubled in 1925— £1,200,000. A sum of £750,000 was added in 1931, making a total of £1,950,000. Now, if we are going to get another £470,000 the total will be £2,420,000. That is the total of the grant now.
General Mulcahy: I suggest that the Minister ought to make a full confession of the sins of the Government in this matter. It is no wonder that Deputy Belton is puzzled by the way in which the Government are trying to hide their sins. What has happened is that the Government came into office in the beginning of 1932, and they said: “Oh, the farmers were not getting a fair `do' at all.” The farmers, who were in that year getting relief of rates on agricultural land to the amount of £1,948,022, were given another £250,000. Then, in the following year, the Government said: “Oh, we are going to take a lot of the money which we are spending on home assistance off your shoulders.” They then took £448,000 back from the farmers without giving a halfpenny to relieve the burden of home assistance on the farmers. Then they came along in the beginning of this year and they said: “We are going to give you an additional £220,000 in relief of rates on agricultural land.” They did and they are giving it now, but it is a reduction of £228,000 on what the farmers were getting in the year 1932-33.
 They also dipped into the farmer's left pocket and they took out of the farmer's left pocket the moneys they were then giving them by way of bounty. They took 5/- per head off the cattle bounty and 6d. per head off the sheep bounty. So they pinched money out of the pocket into which they hoped, at any rate, the farmer was putting some of the bounty, and they put it into his other pocket by way of relief of rates on agricultural land. In the meantime, as a result of the whole transaction, the farmers are losing £228,000 in the sum for the relief of rates on agricultural land which they had three years ago. They are suffering as well a reduction of £220,000 in the amounts paid by way of bounties. I think the Minister ought to tell us what he thinks of the adequacy, or otherwise, of the £470,000 which is provided here. It points out that the Government has pursued a very vacillating policy in the whole matter of these grants.
In the meantime, the position of county councils has been going from bad to worse in the burden of their normal warrants for the year, and in the burden of arrears carried over from the previous year. They are facing year after year a decline in their income. It was pointed out here before that whereas in the year 1932-33, when the agricultural community had the full benefit of a grant of £1,950,000 for the relief of rates on agricultural land, the assessment for the year was £2,323,546. Two years afterwards, this year, when they are getting £228,000 less by way of relief of rates on agricultural land, and £220,000 less in bounties on cattle and sheep, the total assessment is £2,963,982. In other words, the assessment for the year has gone up by £640,000. As the Minister is aware, at the beginning of this year they were facing a bill for £1,142,000 by way of arrears from last year, whereas two years ago they were only facing a bill for £435,000 in respect of arrears. In the meantime, as between these two years, the year before the present Government took over and the current year, the receipts of the farming community  for their export of live stock and live stock products fell from £27,186,000 to £11,400,000.
An Ceann Comhairle: I do not exactly see the trend of the Deputy's argument, but I am strongly of the opinion that he is making a Second Reading speech and is inviting the Minister to follow in the same line.
General Mulcahy: I regret if I am out of order, but I am inviting the Minister——
An Ceann Comhairle: To make a Second Reading speech.
General Mulcahy: ——to show how, in the face of these figures, and the circumstances of which he is aware, this section provides only for £470,000 to be added to the other sums passed in other Acts.
Mr. Belton: I would like to hear more about this section before I could be satisfied. As regards the man who pays nothing, it is easy to satisfy him.
Mr. Donnelly: He is a wise man.
Mr. Belton: As regards this grant of £470,000, we are told that “such grant shall be so made by the said Minister by way of an increase over and above the supplementary grant under the Act of 1925”—I take it that was £600,000—“... and the additional supplementary grant in the Act of 1931.” I take it that was £750,000. I would be glad to be corrected if I am wrong. There is reference also to the agricultural grant under Section 48 of the Act of 1898. That was another £600,000, making a total of £1,950,000. This section is empowering the Minister for Finance to pay another £470,000. If that is the position that means £470,000 added to £1,950,000.
Mr. Cosgrave: No.
Mr. Belton: I know that is what they are trying to show. How do you reconcile any other meaning with the words in this section? You have first the grant under the 1898 Act; you have then £600,000 under the 1925 Act.
Mr. Cosgrave: Yes, as amended. The first £600,000 was paid in the ordinary  way through an Act of Parliament. The second one, if my recollection is correct, was voted here in the ordinary course. Last year there was a deduction of £448,000 made on that. It is on that deduction you are basing the plus £470,000. I am quite sure Deputy Belton does not want to take undue advantage of the child in charge of the Bill, the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs. It is not his baby. He is just fathering it at the moment.
Mr. Boland: I think Deputy Cosgrave is trying to improve on Deputy Mulcahy, but it will take Deputy Cosgrave, Deputy Mulcahy and myself to try to improve on anything Deputy Belton might say. Child and all as I am, I would not like to take on that task.
Mr. Belton: As regards the agricultural grant, I would like to refer to its origin. I do not want to make a Second Reading speech.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy has a remedy.
Mr. Belton: Not to make one at all? The origin of the agricultural grant was to enable the Government to meet a liability, not a farmer's liability, but a liability that prior to that time was met by the landlords. It was never a grant to help the farmers. It was a grant made prior to the 1898 Act. Broadly speaking, in connection with land tenure in this country the landlords met half the local rate.
Mr. Cosgrave: The poor rate.
Mr. Belton: They were indemnified against that by the 1898 Act when the Grand Juries Act was abolished and their power was removed. It was called an agricultural grant, but it was in no sense a present to the farmers. It was a present to the landlords, if you like. The British Government took it on, and succeeding Governments inherited it. Had that condition of affairs continued, instead of the Government taking on the half of the rates, the farmers would have got each succeeding year not half the rate standardised in 1898, but half the rate of each year just as the British farmers obtained. In this country we did not get it. In  1923 the British farmers got three-quarters of the actual rate on agricultural land and the Northern Ireland farmers got three-quarters of the actual rate on agricultural land remitted. I think what prompted our late Government to double the agricultural grant in 1925 was they found themselves with some loose change in the till.
Mr. Cosgrave: Neither yourself nor the gentlemen opposite were in the Dáil at the time.
Mr. Belton: Unfortunately I was not here then. I hope the Deputy does not suggest that if we were there, there would be no loose change. They decided because of the increased tariffs that it was only equitable to double the agricultural grant as a set off against the burden imposed through the increased tariffs on the agricultural community. I think that prompted the double grant in 1925. In 1931 a grant of £750,000 was made.
An Ceann Comhairle: I should like to hear the Deputy dealing with the grant in Section 4.
Mr. Belton: I am on Section 4, but I want to relate it to the finances that the Government got in 1931, and has been getting since, regardless of the change of Government, out of the taxes levied to produce money to relieve rates on agricultural land.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy was not afraid to speak of '98 in this connection. I thought he was back there.
Mr. Belton: I was there, but I will not go back again. We are at 1931 now, very near home. The Minister is aware that to raise £750,000 in 1931 there was a tax of 4d. a gallon put on petrol and a halfpenny a lb. on sugar. I would say that they raised for the Exchequer £1,100,000 or £1,200,000 to meet an expenditure of £750,000. In addition, the Customs revenue in 1930-31 was £7,778,388 6s. 6d., and in 1933-34, £10,407,447 12s. 2d. In face of those figures I submit that this sum of £470,000 should be at least trebled, if not quadrupled, and leaving the economic war out of it altogether, if  things were normal, with that Customs revenue, entire derating of agricultural land would not place the agricultural population in as good a position as that in which they were in 1931. All that the Minister is offering, over the 1931 figure, is some £20,000 or £30,000, and not £470,000, and I would suggest to him that it is not at all adequate to meet the situation.
An Ceann Comhairle: Section 4 agreed?
General Mulcahy: Not a word at all from Mayo.
Mr. Cleary: We do not talk; we pay up.
Section 4 agreed to.
Section 5 agreed to.
Question put: “That Section 6 stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. Cosgrave: I do not know whether it is on Section 6 or Section 8 the question arises as to the date of the introduction of this measure. This measure ought, in all reason, to have been introduced last January and passed into law before March. A series of steps has to be taken and, as I say, I do not know whether the question arises on Section 6 or Section 8. Section 6 says:
Every council of a county shall, in the current financial year, make in accordance with this Act to every person rated certain allowances.
This is a statute specifying the framing and the segregation of these allowances, and we have it in the month of December. Most people know that the estimates in respect of the rates are made up about February, and the rate ought to be made at as early a date as possible after the 1st April. The Minister knows that, in the case of certain counties, no rates at all were collected during the first six months. There are cases in which one can allege that the people have not shown any particular appetite for paying, but in respect of certain counties I have seen one of the rate  dockets myself, circulated to the ratepayers on the third day of October informing the ratepayer that the first moiety is due, and payable, on, I think, the 1st June, and the second moiety was due, and payable, on the 1st October. In times such as these, to demand, as will be demanded, payment within six months, or within seven or eight months, of the whole of the rate, is unreasonable.
Apart from that, county councils were held up in the striking of the rate and in the making of these calculations, and, in addition to that, we have the anomaly of the circulation of credit notes in certain counties and not in other counties. However, what I have to say on this is that if and when such legislation as this is under consideration, it ought to be introduced into the House in time to give no excuse to county councils to make a complaint against the legislature of the country in producing legislation for them in time.
Mr. Boland: On that question of delay, I am sure the Deputy knows the reason for it. There was a new system introduced, and there was difficulty in ascertaining what would have to be allowed on account of unemployment. That was the cause of the delay. It is hoped that it will not occur in future, but it was unavoidable in view of the fact that these new statistics had to be compiled.
Mr. Cosgrave: I know, but you should anticipate your progress and make arrangements to have these things done in time.
General Mulcahy: Can the Minister say what, approximately, will be the total amount of the primary allowances?
Mr. Boland: The total of the primary allowances will be £1,173,405, excluding urban areas, the figure for which will be £8,992 13s. 6d. I will give the Deputy the figure in respect of employment, if he wishes. It is £385,587.
Mr. Cosgrave: Could the Minister say whether he has had any information as to how that employment compares with a year or two before?  People were employing in certain places more men than they have employed recently. If, when a man has reduced the number of his employees, through stress of economic circumstances, you come along now and give him a smaller reduction in his rates, there is no great inducement to him to employ them. I am not quite sure, in the majority of cases of which I have heard, that, where people were disemployed, it was due to the actual necessities of the case, but I would put it that if we are anxious for employment, it is at a time when the maximum number are employed that people ought to be given the advantage.
Mr. Belton: I suppose the Minister is aware that it does not affect employment one iota?
Mr. Boland: I am not aware of any such thing.
Mr. Belton: That little bit of sugar-stick will not encourage a man to till or not to till.
Mr. Boland: There may be a little more inducement later on. This is only a Bill for this year.
Section 6 agreed to.
7.—(1) In this section—
the expression “the qualifying period” means the period which began on the 1st day of April, 1933, and ended on the 31st day of December, 1933, and the expression “adult workman” means a male person who, on the 1st day of April, 1933, was not less than seventeen years of age nor more than seventy years of age and who was not and whose wife was not, at any time during the qualifying period, the rated occupier of agricultural land the valuation or the aggregate of the valuations of which during the qualifying period was equal to or greater than five pounds.
(3) Where two or more adult workmen were successively at work on any agricultural land during the qualifying period and the respective  periods during which such adult workmen were severally so at work are such that at all times during the qualifying period at least one of such adult workmen was so at work during the whole of the qualifying period, then and in such case (whether any two or more of the said respective periods do or do not overlap) such two or more adult workmen shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to be one adult workman who was at work on such agricultural land during the whole of the qualifying period.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: I move amendment No. 1:—
In sub-section (1), line 49, after the words “five pounds” to add the following words:—“and which agricultural land was not worked during the qualifying period by the father, brother, or son of such male person or by another male person not less than 17 years of age nor more than 70 years of age employed by such first-mentioned male person.”
The object of this amendment is to see, where bona fide workmen are employed, the person who employs them shall receive the full benefit to which he is entitled under the Act. It is quite possible that my amendment deals with a state of affairs which exists only in certain parts of the country, that is to say, the parts where the persons who work outside their own land for wages are very much the same class, and, in fact, are the same class, as the persons who work their own land. In other words, there are no agricultural labourers so-called at all. The sole persons who work as agricultural labourers are either small farmers or the sons of small farmers. It does happen, in a good number of instances, that a man who has got a special adaptability—he may be a very good man with cattle, or something of that kind—may be able to earn twice as much in wages as the ordinary rate for agricultural labour in the district would provide. Suppose a man, because he is specially skilled in looking after cattle, or horses, or sheep, can get £2 a week,  and has a holding of land himself over £5 in valuation, it is very much better for him to receive the £2 a week himself and to employ a labourer at, let me say, £1 a week. If you change it about, and if the labourer, whom he is employing at £1 a week, were to work upon the other farm, he would not have the specialised knowledge and would be no use at all.
Then, again, it happens in other cases that a man is, let me say, a specially good ploughman. He is a rated occupier of land and he has a couple of brothers, or his father or someone like that, living with him at home and, in fact, working the land at home. It suits the family economy very much better that this particular man should work off the land and that the other members of the family, who are not actually rated, should work on the land. This is not entirely a theoretical question, because I may say that, to my own very certain knowledge, an employer in South Mayo has three workmen who have holdings of over £5 a year valuation. If this Bill goes through in its present form this particular employer will, although they are bona fide workmen, lose the advantage that he would get from the employment of those labourers. That seems to me to be very unfair. I am perfectly aware that the insertion of this amendment in the Bill at the present stage might lead to very practical difficulties for this current year, because certainly I know that in my own county the demand notes were sent out very early, and the returns were made before 1st October. In consequence, it would be very difficult to rectify the matter for this year. I take it that this Bill is really only applicable to this current year, but I should like from the Minister an assurance that for future years the state of affairs I mentioned will be taken into account, so that where there is a bona fide labourer, whether or not he has a holding of £5 or a higher valuation, the employer will receive the benefit. There can be no fraud in that connection, in view of the provisions further on in this sub-section  (6). I assure the Minister that there is a very real grievance in connection with this matter.
Mr. Boland: I cannot accept this amendment for this present Bill. As the Deputy has said, the Bill is applicable only to this present year, and I promise to have the point he raised considered if there is any legislation of this kind for next year.
Mr. Fitzgerald-Kenney: That will perfectly satisfy me.
Mr. Cosgrave: In connection with this £5 valuation, would the Minister say if it relates to land only or to land and houses?
Mr. Boland: To land only.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Mr. Boland: I move amendment No. 2:—
In sub-section (3), page 6, line 25, to insert after the word “workmen” the following words:—“was at work on such agricultural land and no such adult workman.”
This is merely a drafting amendment.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Question proposed: “That Section 7 stand part of the Bill.”
General Mulcahy: On the section, the Minister tells us that the amount of money which will be used up in this employment allowance is £385,000. The Minister cannot have failed to observe the fall which has taken place in agricultural wages throughout the country. They have fallen in Munster in the last two years by, I think, 3/-; by 2/6 in Connaught; by 3/3 in Ulster; and, I think, by 4/- in Leinster. At any rate the average fall has been 3/3 over the whole country, so it is evident that the persons who are giving employment on the land are finding it very difficult to pay their employees. The average amount provided for under this Bill is about 25/- per year relief in the case of one workman. I would ask the Minister if there is not a case for increasing the grant, based upon the necessity, at the present time at any  rate, of assisting people who are giving employment so that they may pay better wages than they are paying at the moment.
Sub-section 7 provides that it shall be the poor rate collector who will say whether or not any particular ratepayer is giving the employment he claims, and it is upon the poor rate collector's report that the council makes a decision. I should like to ask the Minister whether he considers that a suitable machinery for deciding those matters. I admit it is not easy to provide a machinery for doing it, but I should like to ask him if he has had any representations or if he has seen any difficulties arising out of the fact that this additional duty is put upon the rate collectors.
Mr. Boland: We have had no representations, and it is assumed that if the system were unsatisfactory we would have had representations. In any case, the council can rectify any mistake which may be made. If a wrong report is given by the rate collector, the ratepayer is not going to lie under it; he will make representations and get the matter rectified. We have not had any complaints so far.
Mr. Belton: Would the Minister say whether any provision has been made for enterprising small farmers. There are many of them throughout the country. I met one on Sunday; he is now a big farmer. He had somewhere about 300 acres of land in conacre last year, which he tilled. He paid a rent for that.
Mr. Donnelly: How much per acre?
Mr. Belton: That is beside the point.
Mr. Donnelly: It is not.
Mr. Belton: Anyway he is a man who tills the land and employs labour. Is there any provision made for such a man to get relief in his rent because he employs labour? The land is tilled. I have a suspicion that the man who is receiving that rent and not tilling or paying any labour, might perhaps be  able to get a reduction in his rates because his land is tilled, whereas it is another man who is doing the employing and taking all the risk.
Mr. Donnelly: That is a new phase of farming.
Mr. Belton: I am not concerned personally.
Mr. Boland: There is no provision for such people. We have had to take it on the general valuation. The Deputy knows it is not possible to legislate for every individual.
Mr. Bennett: This is one of the sections which I referred to on the Second Reading. As Deputy Cosgrave has said, this comes somewhat late in the year for criticism. It is at least clear that there is no allowance for women employees, and, as I already stated in the House, in many counties —notably in the dairy counties—there are as many women employees as men, many of them doing work which it would be difficult for men to do. The Minister in his reply on the Second Reading said that the policy of the Government was to encourage male labour as against female labour. Another Department of the Government—if one can call the Revenue Commissioners a Department of the Government—gave the very opposite advice to farmers. They told them that they ought to employ women; I will not say at what wages. At any rate, the current rate of wages paid to women for work on dairy farms in the South is practically the same as that paid to men. Almost every individual dairy farmer who has a farm of any size or employs any labour at all has one or more female workers, for whose wages he gets no allowances in his rates. That is not an equitable way of treating the dairy farmers as compared with other farmers. I would ask the Minister, when proposing regulations for the coming year, to make some provision for dairy farmers, and to see that they get at least a fair crack of the whip with regard to the reduction of rates or to any allowances that are given to other farmers.
Mr. Boland: The Deputy will realise that it would be difficult to say when a woman is actually working on a farm or working about a house. Every suggestion that has been made will receive consideration. I do not think it is likely that there will be agreement to put women on the same basis as men. A woman may be working about the house for six months, and at harvest time or for milking purposes, she may be engaged on the land. There are difficulties about the question. I do not think it will be easy to say when a woman is actually engaged whole time at farm work. It is hoped that more employment will be given, as a result of these provisions, at whole time adult work.
Mr. Belton: Am I to take it from the Minister that there was difficulty in ascertaining whether women were engaged on farm work or not; or what was the obstacle?
Mr. Boland: No.
Mr. Belton: I dare say there were other reasons. There is no difficulty in ascertaining the numbers. The fact is that hundreds of women are engaged on farm work in County Dublin. As these women never work at anything else, with the exception of fruit growing, the tendency in County Dublin will be to employ women. Heretofore, the tendency was to employ fewer women, but now the tendency is to increase the number of female workers on the land, especially on fruit farms and on land that is going under glass. While I think there should be no distinction made, the allowance given for intensive farming of that kind will be absorbed by male workers. The question of women coming in does not amount to everything. I employ about 30 women and if I could get an allowance for them it would not amount to much, as I have sufficient men employed to cover all the allowance I get. This proposal will not affect the position very much in County Dublin, if at all.
Section 7, as amended, and Sections 8 and 9 agreed to.
 Question proposed: “That Section 10 stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. Belton: Will the Minister say how the fixed sum mentioned in this section has been ascertained as payable by the City of Dublin?
Mr. Cosgrave: It is an annual sum and is going down.
Mr. Belton: So that there is no change.
Mr. Boland: That is what it was always.
Section 10 agreed to.
Question proposed: “That Section 11 stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. Cosgrave: I think this section deals with the figures that the Minister was asked for some time ago. There was a sum of about £600,000, and in 1925 another sum of £600,000 which was looked upon very much in the nature of a grant, as far as the agricultural community is concerned, no matter what way farms were managed. There was then a grant of £750,000, practically on the same basis. An examination of the two grants of £600,000 shows that they practically absorbed what is called the primary amount. The sum at the disposal of the Minister now, as relief for ratepayers who give employment, amounts to approximately £3 per person employed. There are about 130,000 persons affected, and there will be £10,000 short of the £380,000 required. It is a small sum, if the intention is to increase the number of persons engaged in agriculture. I understand the policy of the Bill is to segregate what is granted rather than to give an additional sum which would stimulate the giving of employment. I do not wish to make a Second Reading speech, but it is advisable to refer to the statements of many Ministers, and some of their supporters outside, about the condition of agriculture. If ever there was a time when some assistance should be given to those who give employment, now is the time. If there is any money available for the relief of ratepayers, it ought to  be given now so as to offer them every possible inducement. The sum involved amounts to about £3 per person. That was the amount formerly given as a bonus by employers, and was known as “harvest money” in County Dublin.
Mr. Belton: We give it still.
Mr. Cosgrave: That was altogether apart from wages. The sum is really negligible if the intention is to stimulate employment. The Minister might make a note of it and impress upon the Executive Council the desirability, if they mean business, of providing the money in order to give a greater stimulant to those inclined to give employment.
Sections 11 and 12 agreed to.
Question proposed: “That Section 13 stand part of the Bill.”
General Mulcahy: Sub-section (3) says:—
The council of a county may, with the sanction of the Minister, decide to make the whole or a particular proportion of the allowances required by this Act to be made by such council by issuing to every person entitled under this Act to any such allowance a credit note...
I should like the Minister to tell the House whether he has issued any instructions, or is making any Departmental regulations which impose it on councils as a matter of necessity to pay these moneys by means of credit notes, or whether it is entirely within the option of the councils to pay by means of credit notes.
Mr. Boland: It is optional. Some councils were very anxious that they should be allowed to give the whole allowance on credit notes. It is optional with the councils which way they pay. It is owing to the request of the councils to be allowed to issue credit notes, with the Minister's permission, that this sub-section appears.
General Mulcahy: Can the Minister say if there were councils that last  year did not issue credit notes under the Act of 1932, or that did not issue credit notes this year, but actually gave relief by means of direct deductions on the warrants?
Mr. Boland: There are such councils. I cannot give the actual names at present.
Mr. Cosgrave: Dublin is one. I am not speaking ex cathedra now, but I am under the impression that you may break the demand notes under Sections 13 and 14, even if they were passed into law. The principle in respect of municipal finance is that a ratepayer has a life of 12 months; he is taxed for the 12 months. He is only supposed to bear liabilities for that 12 months. Let us assume that a ratepayer is unable to discharge his liability before 1st April next year, and there is a credit note outstanding. He will not get the credit of that and the discharge of his liabilities in connection with the rates will mean that he will pay more than that for which he was originally served with notice. That is bad. I think that this whole credit note arrangement is a wrong one.
Take another side of the question. A man, through misfortune or any reason you like—perhaps he cannot sell his cattle or he has other liabilities to meet, or something of that sort—is unable to meet the rates by the 31st March. He incurs a liability of £1 or £2, as the case may be, over and above that for which he was legally liable before. That is wrong. The Minister will admit that it is the hard-pressed individual who will be hardest hit in this case. Assuredly, it was never the intention to make it severe on those persons. It is quite true that, in certain cases, in order to get the advantage of the credit note, people will pay in time, but one must have the means in order to do that. Everybody will admit that for the last couple of years a rather unusual effort had to be made by agriculturists to meet their liabilities in this way. The point I want to make arises rather on Section 14 than on Section 13. I think all this credit note business should be wiped  out and that these unfortunate people should have an opportunity to cash their credit notes sometime at any rate after the period.
There is another point in connection with this. Every single one of these restrictions and regulations puts extra work on the staff of the local authorities. If there is one person more than another who had to earn his money during the last couple of years it was the rate collector. A docket is issued. If it is not credited in connection with the payment, if there is an extension of time, the unfortunate ratepayer must make a pilgrimage to the rates office, if the Minister out of his bounty will extend the time, and hand in his docket and get the cash. All that means waste of time. In these strenuous days there ought not to be any waste of time or energy, and I put it to the Minister that he should reconsider the whole question of credit notes. Personally I am against them.
Mr. Boland: The Deputy will notice that in Section 17 there is a provision for extending the time.
Mr. Cosgrave: Section 14.
Mr. Boland: This system of credit notes was unavoidable in the beginning last year. A census had to be made and it was not known in the beginning how much would be allowed for each holding. That is one of the reasons for the credit notes.
Mr. Cosgrave: Did the Minister ever handle one of these?
Mr. Boland: I have seen them.
Mr. Bennett: I should like to associate myself with Deputy Cosgrave in asking for the withdrawal of these credit notes altogether. This is not our first experience of credit notes, as in some counties there were credit notes for a limited amount last year. It was a notorious fact that very many farmers were at a loss through the credit notes expiring on 31st March. In fact, I know a couple of cases in which there were genuine mistakes and  farmers who had paid previous to 31st March never got the money back which they ought to have got. The same thing may occur again. I have spoken of the difficulties of the dairy farmers and the injustice to them of not getting relief for women employees. There is an added injustice in this case. Dairy farmers get their income principally from the sale of milk. The particular period when the credit notes will be expiring is the time when dairy farmers will have no resources whatever. They will get their first cheque for milk about the end of May. In fact, the first cheque that will be of any account will not arrive until July and, therefore, they will have nothing to meet the rates. If this system of credit notes is adhered to stringently, it will mean that the bulk of the ratepayers in the dairying counties will find themselves unable to pay the rates in time and will, therefore, lose any benefit which they would get from the credit note.
General Mulcahy: What I have to say on this would be more applicable to Section 14, but as the subject has been raised now perhaps I might speak on it. The circumstances under which the Dáil met on Friday and to-day prevented me from putting down an amendment for the Committee Stage to delete certain words in Section 14 restricting the use of the credit note, and I should like to bring in on Report an amendment to delete these words. I think if the credit notes are used they ought not to be used in such a way as will discriminate against people in a certain county and put them under a disability that people in another county are not under; nor, in view of the Minister's experience in regard to the working of these credit notes and the collection of rates last year, is it reasonable that on some, and those, to a large extent the hard-pressed portion of the community, the disability of these credit notes should fail.
I see the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Lands in the House. I do not know whether he was a member of the Clare County Council last year. At any rate, he is close  enough to the Clare County Council to realise the position in which they found themselves as a result of the year drawing to a close without all the rates being collected. If we take the County Clare we find that the unfortunate people who were not able to pay their rates by the 31st March were deprived of the benefit of these credit notes and that unfortunate rate collectors who, in an endeavour to save their own position, paid up the full amount of the rate for certain ratepayers, hoping to get the rates from these ratepayers, did not get the advantage of the credit notes. Again —I do not know whether it happened in Clare—we have the position that a man who goes security for a rate collector and is called upon to make up the rate for any particular year will only be called upon to do so after the close of the financial year, and, if it happened in Clare in respect of the year 1933-'34, that unfortunate person would have lost the amount of money that the credit note represented.
Last year the total amount that might have been covered by the issue of credit notes was £250,000. This year it runs to £1,558,000. If the issue of credit notes is general this year, then there is going to be a very serious situation for many people. The total amount of the credit notes which it was possible to issue last year was about 1/12th of the total warrant; but, in view of the fact that some counties did not issue credit notes, that is probably too big a percentage. Credit notes were issued in Clare, however, and the total amount of rates outstanding at the end of the year was £51,000. I submit that 1/10th of that was covered by credit notes and that, therefore, £5,000 went waste on some unfortunate ratepayers and rate collectors and was used for the advantage of the whole county during the current year. For that reason I think, with the present position of the rate collection and the difficulties arising in connection with credit notes, that we should carefully consider this question. Credit notes have been issued this year, and I submit that these credit notes should be realisable whenever the rates are paid. We ought not to have collectors,  their sureties or the ratepayers in the position in which some of them found themselves last year.
Mr. Boland: If the county councils ask the Minister to extend the period of these credit notes he will do so. I have got a copy of amendment No. 3 to sub-section (14) which Deputy Mulcahy proposes to move. I will ask him, however, not to insist on it, but I can say this, that where the county councils ask the Minister to extend this period that extension will be made.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: We are discussing Section 14 now, but Section 13 has not yet been passed.
Section 13 put and agreed to.
Question proposed: “That Section 14 stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. Boland: I just want to repeat what I have said that sub-section (1) was brought in to meet the difficulty referred to by Deputy Mulcahy; so that if people were not able to pay their rates at the end of the financial year, and if the county council asked the Minister to extend the time, the power will be in the Minister to extend it and he will do so.
Mr. Curran: Do I take it that that will apply to credit notes that have been already issued and that are available to 31st December?
General Mulcahy: To the 31st March.
Mr. Curran: Do I take it that these would be extended for this year?
Mr. Boland: The county councils may not be satisfied that the parties want to pay their rates at all. If the county councils ask the Minister to have them extended to within a reasonable time that will be done. Naturally, we are not going to give carte blanche to people to pay whenever they like. There is the danger that this would be interpreted by some ratepayers as meaning that they need not pay their rates for years. I have to say, however, that in the meantime if the county councils ask for permission to extend the period, the Minister will agree.
Mr. Curran: As a matter of fact, I have been appointed on a deputation to the Minister for the purpose of interviewing him to ask for an extension of time in connection with these notes.
Mr. Boland: That has been provided for now.
General Mulcahy: There are a number of difficulties in connection with this; first, that the people have got the credit notes into their hands and, in some cases, they are stamped for 31st December next, and there may be cases where they are stamped for 30th September. The people have in their hands documents which show on their face that these are entirely valueless after a certain date. A certain amount of publicity should be given to the fact that these documents may, in certain circumstances, be available after a particular date. The next point arises when the Minister says he will agree to the request of the county councils to extend the period.
Mr. Boland: Reasonably extend it.
Mr. Curran: Yes, to a reasonable period. I do not want to tie down the Minister in this matter, but the meaning is that he will agree to the councils generally extending the period?
Mr. Boland: Yes.
Mr. Curran: Will the Minister eliminate the possibility of the county council extending the date, but only in respect to certain classes of persons and to certain classes of holdings? I think the Minister when dealing with the county councils should see that if there is an extension of the date, such extension should be general.
Mr. Boland: That is so.
General Mulcahy: The next point that arises is with respect to the commissioner counties. Some very hard statements have been made by some of the commissioners who have been appointed to administer certain county council areas during the last 12 months. I would like the Minister to admit that in the county council areas he himself  has the personal responsibility for seeing in these cases that in the matter of the credit notes no injustice will be done through the commissioners taking up a rather harsh attitude in the matter. I agree that the Minister can divest himself of responsibility where the area is administered by a county council, but I want to bring to his notice that a certain amount of responsibility will remain to him where the areas are administered by the commissioners.
Mr. Boland: I will not promise that the Minister will talk to the commissioners——
General Mulcahy: But the Minister is responsible in those areas.
Mr. Boland: The Minister has got to get information as to who the ratepayers in arrears are, and whether there is a campaign in the district not to pay rates. Apart from that, he will see that the same facilities are extended to the commissioner counties as to the others, and I expect that Deputy Mulcahy cannot hope for more.
Mr. Curran: That has not been the position in the past with regard to the commissioner counties.
Mr. Boland: That is what Deputy Mulcahy wants. He wants the same consideration given to counties under the control of a commissioner as to counties in which the county councils are functioning. I will undertake that that is done.
General Mulcahy: I do not know whether the Minister can remedy the other point I want to bring up. Certain people suffered a real injustice in the last year as a result of the operation of the credit note system in certain counties. Is it possible to make restitution in any way to people who suffered in that respect?
Mr. Boland: I am afraid that it is impossible to change these things. I do not think that can be done. From the Deputy's own experience he must know how difficult it would be. As Deputy Cosgrave stated, the ratepayer only lives one year. That is the difficulty.
General Mulcahy: We are talking of men, not ratepayers, now. In numbers of cases men suffered hardships because of the operation of the machinery of these credit notes. I refer to cases where ratepayers lost money last year and there should be some redress.
Mr. Boland: I do not think it is possible to have that remedied. It will be examined, and, if there is any way found of remedying it we will do so. I think Deputy Mulcahy knows that.
Mr. MacDermot: Have it in mind for Christmas consideration.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Is Deputy Mulcahy withdrawing his amendment?
General Mulcahy: It is not before the House. I have not moved it. I did think of putting up that amendment on the Report Stage, but in view of what the Minister has said now I do not intend to remove it on Report Stage.
Section 14 agreed to.
Sections 15 to 20 and the First Schedule agreed to.
Question proposed: “That the Second Schedule stand part of the Bill.”
General Mulcahy: Would the Minister tell us officially what is the total of the Second Schedule?
Mr. Boland: I hope the Deputy is not asking me to do the tot now. The amount is £1,970,000, less the Dublin item.
Second Schedule and Title agreed to.
Bill, as amended, reported.
Agreed to take the remaining stages now.
Bill received for final consideration and passed.
Bill ordered to be sent to the Seanad.
 The Dáil, according to Order, went into Committee on Finance to consider Supplementary Estimates for the year 1934-'35.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I move:
Go ndeontar suim Bhreise ná raghaidh thar £470,000 chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1935, chun an Deontais Talmhaíochta do mhéadú.
That a Supplementary sum not exceeding £470,000 be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1935, to increase the Agricultural Grant.
General Mulcahy: We attempted a couple of times during the passage of the Bill through the House to get some explanation of the vacillating policy with regard to this grant. I should like to ask if the Minister for Finance has any statement to make on the matter. We have pointed out that up to the time the present Government came into office the line taken by their Party was that the farmers were not getting sufficient assistance. They voted £200,000 additional in relief of rates. They did that at a time when the total assessment was £2,323,000, when the arrears of rates in the previous year were £432,000, most of that having been collected before the warrant was issued, so that arrears amounting to only £129,000 were included in the warrant. Next year, the farmers suffered a reduction of £448,000 in the amount voted by the Government for the relief of rates. That year, the assessment rose by £650,000. The county councils had to budget for £2,972,000. At the end of that year arrears of rates had gone up by £100,000 to £542,000. This year, the Ministry reversed their tendency.
 Whereas, in the second year, they cut the grant by £448,000, now they are restoring £220,000. While restoring that £220,000 they are putting their hands into the farmers' pockets and taking an equivalent amount, by reduction of bounties, to the extent of 5/- in the case of cattle and 6d. in the case of sheep.
Mr. MacEntee: Is the Deputy serious?
General Mulcahy: Yes. In the year in which they are doing that, we find that the total assessments of county councils amount to £2,963,000, practically the same as last year. They do that in a year in which the county councils, with that very heavy assessment, have unpaid rates to the extent of £1,442,000. As I said before, the income of the people from live stock and live-stock products has fallen from £27,000,000 in 1931 to £11,000,000 in the current year. Already, the very small wages of agricultural labourers have suffered a reduction throughout the country of 3/3. None of the Ministers —the Minister for Local Government or his deputy to-day or the Minister for Finance, who introduced this Estimate—has said anything on the subject of the unfortunate people whom he is supposed to be assisting by this vacillating policy.
Mr. MacEntee: The purpose of this Estimate is to provide funds to give effect to the proposals contained in the Bill which the Dáil has just passed. Having passed a Bill of that sort, the Dáil would stultify itself if it did not give the Government the wherewithal to make the Bill effective. I presumed that the debate on this Estimate would be confined to the question as to whether or not the proposal to grant £470,000 was within the terms of the legislation. Accordingly, I did not feel it necessary, when introducing the Estimate, having in mind the Bill which the Dáil had just passed, to deal with the question of de-rating.
The Deputy who has just sat down made a number of statements which  are inaccurate. He said that this year we had decreased the amounts for bounties and subsidies. I am afraid the Deputy suffers from an affliction which, I think, is called amnesia—blanks in the chain of thought. It is only a fortnight ago since the Deputy took part in a prolonged debate on a Supplementary Estimate the purpose of which was to provide an additional sum of almost £750,000 for bounties and subsidies. The original vote for agricultural subsidies and bounties was either £2,148,000 or £2,150,000 and that represented an increase of almost £300,000 on the amount actually paid in respect of agricultural export bounties and subsidies for the year ended 31st March, 1934. In addition to that sum of about £2,150,000, the Dáil, as I have said, no later than a fortnight ago, passed a Supplementary Estimate for £750,000. That will make £2,900,000 which, on the assumption that the whole of the money will be spent, represents an increase of £1,100,000 in export bounties and subsidies to be paid this year over and above what was paid last year. In face of that, Deputy Mulcahy has told the Dáil that, having increased the grant in relief of rates on agricultural land this year, we have concomitantly reduced the provision for export bounties and subsidies. If the Deputy had the facts before him, I do not see how he could have made a statement of that sort. As I have already pointed out, the House fully discussed the principles underlying this question of the agricultural grant on the Bill which we have just passed. The conclusions of the House are expressed in that Bill.
General Mulcahy: The Minister has only reminded us of further vacillation on the part of the Ministry. The Minister for Local Government and Public Health started the local authorities on their work last year with an announcement upon this subject. In the Press of the 17th February certain information concerning agricultural grants was announced in an official communication from Government Buildings as follows:—
“The Government has announced its decision to increase the agricultural grant from 1934-35 to the amount necessary:—
(a) to give relief on the first £20 of the valuation of agricultural holdings at the same rate as was given on the first £10 in 1933-34, and, secondly, in the case of holdings of over £20 valuation to give relief on an additional £12 10s. 0d. of the valuation in respect of each male worker, including relatives of the occupier, between the ages of 17 and 70 permanently employed on the holding. The original proposal for 1934-35 provided for relief on the first £10 of the valuation and on an additional £10 in respect of each male worker over 18 years of age. The alteration in the scheme is estimated to cost £220,000, bringing the total amount of the agricultural grant to £1,970,000, the increase to be made good by a reduction of bounties on agricultural exports. The increase, bringing the total amount of the grant to £1,970,000, is made good by a reduction of bounties on agricultural exports.”
The official announcement goes on:
“The Government has also announced that after the 31st March the bounty on the export of cattle shall be reduced by 5/- per head, and the bounty on the export of sheep and lambs by 6d. per head.”
The Minister for Finance has addressed himself to the additional moneys provided for subsidies to the farmers, driven to the dire circumstances in which he finds the agricultural population. Here we are concerned with the county councils, the financing of their work and the carrying on of important local services. We ask the Minister, who has run away from the position he took up in April or May last, has he no care for the position of local government in the country, knowing, as he does from the returns of the rate collectors, the condition of those services? Has he gone any way to meet the local bodies, many of whom are unable to pay their accounts, their home assistance and their various contractors? I ask the Minister, pressed by circumstances  of his own creation, since he is coming to the assistance of the farmers with this miserable type of aid and the provision of additional bounties, is the local government going to trudge along without any further financial assistance? He knows that, at the end of last year, there was more than £1,000,000 outstanding in rates. He knows that the councils this year were merely collecting old debts, that they are now only beginning to collect on their present warrants and that they are likely, at the end of this year, to be in a worse plight than they were at the end of last year.
Question put and agreed to.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I move:
Go ndeontar sum Bhreise ná raghaidh thar £950 chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1935, chun Costaisí Ilghnéitheacha áirithe, maraon le Deontaisí áirithe i gCabhair.
That a Supplementary sum not exceeding £950 be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1935, for certain Miscellaneous Expenses, including certain Grants-in-Aid.
The necessity for this Supplementary Estimate arises from a considerable increase in the volume of work that the official arbitrators have had to do in connection with the assessment of compensation in cases arising under the Acquisition of Lands (Compensation) Act of 1919, as a result mainly of the number of compulsory purchase orders made by local authorities under the Housing of the Working Classes and Labourers Acts. The Act of 1919 provides that all questions relating to disputed compensation for land acquired compulsorily by any Government department shall be referred to one of the panel of official arbitrators appointed under the Act. This panel of arbitrators is appointed by a Committee of Reference, consisting of the Chief Justice, the  President of the High Court, and the Chairman of the Surveyors' Institute. The terms of remuneration and conditions of service are settled by agreement with the Minister for Finance and the Committee of Reference. Under the pressure of business to which I have referred, it has been necessary, in addition to the arbitrator who acted for a number of years past, to appoint two additional arbitrators upon a part-time basis.
Question put and agreed to.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I move:—
Go ndeontar suim Bhreise eile ná raghaidh thar £1,010 chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1935, chun Tuarastail agus Costaisí na bhFundúireachtaí Eolaíochta agus Ealadhan agus Ildeontaisí-i-gCabhair, etc.
That a further Supplementary sum not exceeding £1,010 be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1935, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Institutions of Science and Art and sundry Grants-in-Aid, etc.
Minister for Education (Mr. Derrig): The items under sub-heads a (2) and a (3) deal with travel and incidental expenses, which have arisen largely because of extra expenditure in connection with the National Museum. Last year a certain number of excavation schemes were conducted throughout the country. Although the Board of Works is primarily responsible, the practical cost of the schemes being borne on their Vote, certain additional expense fell upon the Museum by reason of the fact of increased travel and subsistence allowance and certain other provision had to be made for some of the officers. The item a (3) also includes certain incidental expenses in connection with the National Library. With regard to item b (3), we are asking for £280 extra in connection with the production of the English-Irish  Dictionary which has been in the hands for some years past of Father MacKenna as editor. The editor had anticipated that when the book reached the stage when it would be ready for printing he would be able to dispense with the aid of his assistants; but now he finds it desirable to retain the services of his staff, at least until the first stage of the printing has been completed. The dictionary is at present being printed and we hope to have it ready for publication in May next.
With regard to b (6)—Production of a Sound Film in Irish—the small additional sum for the production of a sound film (or “talkie”) in Irish is required to defray certain expenses incurred in the present financial year. The production of the film would have been very much more expensive had we undertaken the work ourselves, but through the collaboration of Mr. Robert Flaherty and the Gainsborough Film Company we were able to get it produced at a comparatively small payment of, I think, £100. The expenses incurred in the present financial year included the cost of a visit made by a representative of the Department to London to advise in the cutting of the film, the payment of a royalty of £20 to British Acoustics, the purchase of a second copy of the print and some other expenses. It is anticipated that the £60 we are now looking for will cover all the expenses in connection with the film. It is hoped to have arrangements completed soon, that the film will be on exhibition early in the new year and that schools and teachers will take the opportunity to see it. I should add that we hope to have some receipts out of the production of the film throughout the country. Out of any receipts that are obtained from the hire of the film, two-thirds will go to the Department and one-third to the distributors who arrange, on behalf of the Department, for its exhibition.
Sub-head b (7) represents the refund of college fees and payment of arrears in respect of a young man who was a former student of the College of Science. The provision is intended to enable the Department to refund fees to this young man and to pay the balance of his scholarship. This student's course  was interrupted owing to his arrest and imprisonment in 1922. He held a scholarship which entitled him to free instruction and to a maintenance grant of £66 per annum. When he came out of prison and desired to return to the College, he was refused the unpaid balance of the scholarship (£36 13s. 4d.) and was, in addition, required to pay the usual college fee of £20. The unpaid amount, plus the additional charge, is now being refunded to him. No charge was made against him at the time, and, in view of the general policy of the Government, I consider— and the Minister for Finance agrees with me—that we should refund this amount.
The most important sub-head is sub-head b (8)—the Irish Folklore Commission. The Government has been of opinion for some time that an organised effort should be made without delay to collect as much as possible of the remnants of our folklore, especially the oral literature in the Irish language which is being gradually lost on the death of the older Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht. After careful consideration it has been decided to establish a commission and to give this body as wide a discretion as possible in the work assigned to it. We hope to have the assistance of the Folklore Institute as members of the new commission, and to strengthen that body by the addition of some others, including representatives from the Departments of Education and Finance. It is not proposed to interfere in any way with the useful work at present being done by the Folklore Society of Ireland. On the contrary, the new commission will be authorised to make a grant of £250 to the society to assist in the advancement of this work. The intention is that it should be aided as far as possible in the work of publication. A great amount of matter has been collected already but not published, and this £250 will be utilised, it is hoped, in order to increase publication. It is proposed that a sum of £3,000 per annum be placed at the disposal of the commission for a period of five years—in addition to the sum of £250 already mentioned. From this sum the commission will be required  to defray all expenses in connection with its work. The intention is to establish a Grant-in-Aid, so that the expenditure will not be subject to the audit of the Comptroller and Auditor-General nor will any unexpended balance be surrendered at the close of the financial year. We hope, therefore, to give the fullest possible discretion to the new commission in pursuance of this work, and the present Estimate of £813, which I am asking the Dáil to pass, is based on the belief that the commission will be able to start work by the 1st January next.
General Mulcahy: The Minister says that the English-Irish Dictionary will be available for publication, probably, in May. Are we to understand from that that it may be available to the public in May?
Mr. Derrig: Yes.
General Mulcahy: There is another question I should like to ask the Minister. There was a suggestion some time ago that a small vocabulary should be published, based on the experience of the Dáil Translation Staff; in other words, that it should be based entirely on the language used for the purposes of translation of our Acts and regulations. I think that the reason that was not gone on with was that it was suggested that a considerable amount of the words used in connection with these Acts and regulations would be matter used in this English-Irish dictionary. I should like the Minister to tell us whether the nature of the new English-Irish dictionary is such as to interfere with or prevent the publication of a small volume dealing with the technical language as it is used in the preparation of the various Acts and regulations. Personally, I can imagine an ordinary English-Irish dictionary being very much encumbered with a lot of the matter that has found itself in our legislation; while, on the other hand, I can see that it would be most valuable to have a small separate publication that would deal with the technical matter of these Acts.
Mr. MacDermot: A legal vocabulary.
General Mulcahy: Yes. I should also like to know from the Minister whether  this sum of £3,250 will be available every year—£250 of which is to be passed on to the new commission—and if the £813 will be spent on work which is actually being done at present and will, in fact, be continued in such a volume as will utilise that amount of money between this and the end of the financial year. If so, I should like to know in whose hands will the control of the work be. I understand that the Minister has not yet appointed the full commission; but if there is a temporary commission acting at the present time, I should like to know from the Minister who constitute that body and also who is the chairman.
Mr. Derrig: With regard to the latter point, the control and planning of the work of the commission will be the responsibility of the director. He has not actually been appointed, although I think the Deputy is probably aware of who he is. He will lay out the general plan and the commission will have a certain general supervision. The intention is, however, that the director should be responsible for the work and that he should be given the fullest latitude in selecting his field workers and laying out his programme. It is proposed that the £813 should be spent on new work and not on work that is being done at present. In connection with the new work of the Folklore Commission, I think that a number of workers will be taken on to collect material through the country, and that they will practically have to be appointed whole time. That will account for the largest part of the expenditure of this £3,000. There will be other incidental expenses, but I think the main expenditure will be in connection with the appointment of workers through the country who will practically have to be full time
With regard to the dictionary, I do not know what the position is with regard to the technical side. I think the opinion was held, and that the Deputy is correct in stating, that the feeling was that we should hold over the question of a dictionary appropriate to the needs of the Oireachtas and folklore until such time as the  large dictionary was completed. I can promise the Deputy that I will go into the matter again. I think it was arranged provisionally, but it may not have been done so far, to make the existing folklore and the Parliamentary terms available at least to members of the Oireachtas in the Dáil library. We doubt whether it would be worth while publishing the existing terminology which has been classified and is in typescript. A certain number of copies can be made available. It is extremely bulky as the thing is in typescript. We did not consider that it would be useful to print the classified dictionary of Parliamentary terms until an opportunity had been given to re-edit this, but we can make it available I think to members of the Oireachtas.
General Mulcahy: Am I to understand that the director of the Folklore Commission will be appointed by the Minister for Education, that he will have the main responsibility for carrying on the work, and that the commission itself will act more or less in a consultative capacity rather than in the capacity of directing him?
Mr. Derrig: The intention is that the director should have full control over the actual administration. The programme which he will lay out will have to be passed by the commission. An annual report, I think, will have to be made to the Minister for Education. Within that framework, the intention I think is to give the director the fullest possible freedom.
General Mulcahy: Who appoints him?
Mr. Derrig: The Executive Council.
Question put and agreed to.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I move:—
Go ndeontar suim Bhreise ná raghaidh thar £3,821 chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1935, chun Tuarastail agus Costaisí Coimisiún na Stát-Sheirbhíse (Uimh. 5 de 1924  agus Uimh. 41 de 1926) agus an Choimisiún um Cheapacháin Aitiúla (Uimh. 39 de 1926).
That a Supplementary sum not exceeding £3,821 be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1935, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Civil Service Commission (No. 5 of 1924 and No. 41 of 1926) and of the Local Appointments Commission (No. 39 of 1926).
This Supplementary Estimate is required on account of the extra expenditure falling on the Civil Service Commission in connection with the abnormal recruitment of Civil Service staff not foreseen at the time the original Estimate was prepared. The legislative measures of the Government have necessitated expansions of staff in most Departments, especially in Local Government and Public Health, Industry and Commerce, Lands, Agriculture and in the office of the Revenue Commissioners. Evidently the expectation that a larger number of posts than were required to be filled from the competitive examinations held this year occasioned a considerable increase in the number of candidates putting themselves forward as compared with 1932. In addition to the ordinary examinations for the general service classes, it has been necessary to arrange examinations this year which had no counterpart in previous years. For instance, an examination for the posts of cattle and meat supervisors was held in October, and an examination for posts as investigation officers for means tests in connection with unemployment assistance and old age pensions will be held in January. The total net entries for the Civil Service examinations rose from something like 3,500 in 1932 to 9,011 in 1933, and have been almost 10,000 in the first ten months of this year.
Mr. Norton: I would like to know if the Minister can give the House any information as to the number of candidates who competed in the examinations for employment clerkships, and what the income from fees was in respect of that examination? I  would like to know also if he can give the House similar information in connection with the examination for the appointment of temporary assistant meat inspectors and what the income in fees was in that respect also?
Mr. MacEntee: Of course, this is a Supplementary Estimate and the usual limitations apply in discussing it. The employment clerks' examination was held in 1933, and, consequently, is not covered by this Supplementary Estimate, but I can say that the number of candidates who sat was almost 4,000 and that the amount obtained in examination fees was almost £4,000. I may add that the examination was a very costly process for us.
Mr. Norton: And it was certainly very costly for the applicants, because I understand that the Minister required a fee of £1 from each candidate. I want to put it to the Minister that that is an exceptionally high fee.
Mr. MacEntee: The Deputy is now dealing with an examination that was held in 1933.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Which does not arise on this Estimate.
Mr. Norton: Then I shall deal with the examination for temporary assistant meat inspectors to which the Minister made reference in his opening speech. That examination was held during this financial year. The candidates were expected to pay a fee of £1 each before being allowed to sit for it. Many of those competing were unemployed persons. To demand a fee of £1 from an unemployed person seeking a temporary post seems to me to be unreasonable. I gather from what I have seen in the newspapers that something like 2,000 people competed in that examination. Therefore, to extract a sum of £2,000 in fees for posts numbering 120 in the aggregate seems to me to be an unreasonable procedure altogether. I think that the Minister for Finance might well look into the matter with a view to reducing the fee from £1 to something nominal. It is not desirable that candidates should be debarred from competing at examinations because of the difficulty they may find in being  able to put up the required fee. The Minister, I am sure, is aware of the fact that it is not often easy for people who are unemployed, people who are receiving no unemployment insurance benefit and only an inadequate sum in unemployment assistance, to put up a fee of £1 if they desire to sit for these examinations. I suggest that the maximum fee in these cases ought not to be more than 5/-. The additional cost to the State would be relatively small, and a fee, such as I have suggested, would be more in accord with the capacity of applicants to pay.
There is another matter that I desire to bring to the attention of the Minister in the hope that he may be able to do something to remedy the procedure adopted by the Civil Service Commission. It deals with the matter of examinations in oral Irish. In the case of some grades recruited to the Civil Service there is a written examination in Irish on entry as well as an oral examination. When a person is subsequently appointed to an established position, it is on the condition that within a certain period after receiving the established appointment or before that established appointment is definitely confirmed, he or she will undergo a further examination in oral Irish. I put it to the Minister that that is not a satisfactory method of dealing with the qualifications of candidates or of civil servants in the matter of Irish. I suggest to the Minister that the procedure requiring a candidate to undergo a second examination in oral Irish is one that ought to be abolished.
For instance, whatever standard the Civil Service Commissioners require a candidate to have, they should ascertain whether he reaches that standard at the first examination, or they should, if necessary, make the standard higher, or require a more detailed examination in the first instance. Once, however, a candidate has got through the first examination and has been appointed to a post, he should not be obliged to undergo a further test. I suggest that one test only should be applied and that is the first test. If the second test is applied  rigidly, as it has been in some cases then the candidate after he has been some time acting on probation in an established post, finds himself threatened with cancellation of that appointment. I should be glad if the Minister would look into that matter and see if it is possible to arrange that whatever test is imposed should be imposed in the first instance, and that no candidate who has been acting on probation for two years should be threatened with cancellation of an appointment if he does not reach the standard required by the Civil Service Commissioners as a result of a second oral Irish test.
Mr. MacEntee: I do not think the point in regard to the oral Irish test arises really on the Vote for the Civil Service Commissioners. It arises on the Vote for the Minister for Finance because he is responsible for conveying to the Civil Service Commission what the policy of the Government is in regard to a matter of this kind. I think the contention is that whatever standard we require should be laid down and exacted from the candidate at the first entrance examination alone, and that no subsequent examination should be required. The invariable rule in regard to all Civil Service appointments is that a person is appointed on probation and his continuance in the Civil Service is conditional on his being efficient and satisfactory during the whole period of his probation. At the end of his probation, the Civil Service authorities should be satisfied that he is equipped to continue in their service, and that he will in all probability give efficient service. It is the policy of the Government that, so far as possible, all public business will be conducted through Irish. That is not going to be an ideal that will be easily realised, but, in any event, the use of Irish in all Departments is growing. A person entering the general service classes may find himself, owing to the requirements of the service, in a Department where comparatively little use is made of Irish, but he must hold himself in such a condition in regard to Irish, that if at any time he is called upon to serve in another Department where Irish is in more general use, he will  be able to bring to the public service in that Department just as good a knowledge of Irish as he would have been able to show at the beginning of his service.
The unfortunate thing about Irish is that quite a considerable number of people who had a good knowledge of Irish when they entered the Service have failed to maintain that knowledge. Quite a number of people who passed the original test, failed to pass the test to which they were submitted at the end of their probationary period. The only way to cure that condition is not, it seems to me, to dispense with the probationary period altogether, as Deputy Norton suggests, but to make the probationary test just as severe and, if necessary, even more severe than the original entrance test. I think it is very important that those in the Service should know that so far from its being the policy of the present Government to lessen the requirements in regard to Irish, the whole tendency will be to increase them, and so far from people having any expectation that the Irish test will be dispensed with at the end of the probationary period, the expectation should be that it will be made more and more rigorous as time goes on.
With regard to the other question about the examinations for temporary meat inspectors, I should like to say that it is not true to suggest that the majority of applicants for these positions were people who were out of work.
Mr. Norton: I did not say the majority. There was a large number of them.
Mr. MacEntee: The fairness of an examination fee can be gauged by the number of people who are willing to pay that fee to sit for the examination. If we were to reduce this fee below the figure that has proved sufficient to enable us to get a sufficient number of candidates for any examination, the effect would be to clog up the whole process of selection or the whole process of examination for entrance to the Civil Service. When the fee is of a significant  amount, a person will think twice before he pays it and will examine himself to see whether, in fact, he has any reasonable chance of getting one of the posts. It is only people who think they have a chance of getting posts that we want to sit for these examinations, because if you get a number of people entering who have obviously no chance of passing the examination, not merely does it mean that it will take a longer time to secure suitable candidates to fill the vacancies, but it involves considerably greater expense for the Government in making arrangements for the examinations. 4,000 persons were willing to sit for the examination for temporary meat inspectors—I am merely giving that as an instance because I happen to know the number —if instead of the fee being £1, it had been 5/-, it would have been a case not of examining 4,000 people, but a case of examining probably 25,000 people, because everybody who thought, even on the flimiest grounds, that he had the faintest chance of securing one of these positions would have been willing to gamble that 5/- in order to get a chance of sitting for the examination. Then we would have the difficulty of providing examiners, printing examination papers, and securing examination halls in order to get 120 inspectors from these 25,000 individuals. It is not merely a question of simply reducing the fee; it is a case of fixing the fee at such an amount as will get you such a number of qualified competitors for any one post as will enable you to fill this post with the greatest efficiency and expedition. It is on that basis that these fees are being fixed, and I do not see how you are going to carry on the work of the Civil Service Commissioners and to provide the staff necessary to operate the machinery set up by the Dáil, if these fees are reduced to insignificant amounts.
Mr. Norton: I do not think that people would enter for these examinations with the flippancy that the Minister appears to think possible, if the fees were reduced—
Mr. MacEntee: See the results.
Mr. Norton: —from £1 to 5/-. There is something more than the mere possession of 5/- required in order that a person may compete at an examination. He has to get to the examination centre. Take the case of a candidate, say, in West Cork or in Donegal. He would require to have, not merely a fee of 5/- and be willing to part with it to the Minister for Finance, but in addition he would require to have the sum necessary to travel from West Cork or Donegal to Dublin.
Mr. MacEntee: Not at all; there were local centres.
Mr. Norton: For the meat inspectors' examination?
Mr. MacEntee: Yes.
Mr. Norton: Which was the nearest to Donegal.
Mr. MacEntee: Sligo, I think.
Mr. Norton: And which was the nearest to Bantry, say?
Mr. MacEntee: Cork City.
Mr. Norton: A person living in Bantry would, therefore, have to get down to Cork City. I object to the whole basis of the test applied to these people. I could understand the test that you are going to examine people on the basis that they are of good character and are good citizens, but the test which the Minister applies is that any fool who has got £1 and sufficient to pay his railway fare can compete at these examinations.
Mr. MacEntee: He would be a fool to enter if he had not the educational equipment or the educational standards which are prescribed in these examinations.
Mr. Norton: I am putting this point to the Minister. Any fool with a pound and a railway ticket can compete in these examinations. A poor man with intelligence might find it difficult to borrow the pound. The Minister confers a definite advantage on the fool  with the pound as distinct from the poor man who cannot borrow the money.
Mr. MacEntee: But the fool and his pound are soon parted—that is no advantage.
Mr. Norton: The Minister says he wants the type of candidate who thinks he has a chance in the examination. Let us assume that 2,000 university professors sit for an examination for appointments as meat inspectors. That would probably come up to the Minister's expectations of good competition. Assuming 2,000 professors sat for examination, 1,880 would have to be failures, because there would only be 120 appointments offered. The very fact that there is a limited number of posts is bound to result in some people being disappointed. The fact that people fail in examinations is no reason for saying that that in itself is a case for screening the number of applicants. The whole principle of giving the advantage to the person with the most money to enable him to compete in an examination is an unfair one. I did not think the Minister would rely upon it as his line of defence. Surely there could be some other test applied besides the test of the possession of money. I am aware that some applicants found considerable difficulty in borrowing the money and their railway fare in order to compete in the examination. I still think there is a good case for a substantial reduction in the examination fees, so that people who may not find it so easy as the Minister thinks to pick up £1 notes will be given an opportunity of qualifying for examination. With regard to the other point, I am not suggesting——
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I allowed Deputy Norton to make a long statement and I permitted the Minister to reply. These matters they have discussed really relate to general policy and they ought to be raised elsewhere. They cannot be dealt with on this particular Estimate.
Mr. Norton: If the Chair rules that way, I am quite satisfied. I would like, however, to put this point. Under the  present method of holding two oral Irish examinations the Minister is recruiting young people at 14 years of age. They are kept in the Service until they are 18 or 19 years and they are then pushed out if they fail to pass the second oral Irish examination. They are pushed out at an age when it is not possible to find employment as apprentices in industry.
Mr. MacEntee: I think the lowest age for recruitment is 16½ years, unless the Deputy is talking about Post Office employees.
Mr. Norton: If the Minister will look up the age for entrance in the case of Civil Service boy messengers he will find it is 14½ years.
General Mulcahy: This Estimate adds considerably to the Estimates brought under the Civil Service Commission. I would like to ask the Minister whether fresh taxation will be imposed to make up this amount. The Minister indicates that there will not. I would like to ask him if there was any other reason for increasing this Estimate than that the Civil Service machine is growing and growing rapidly, and that the number of civil servants is increasing and the general Civil Service is an increasing burden on the people.
Mr. MacEntee: The real reason for introducing this Estimate is that the number of applicants for admission into the Civil Service has increased considerably. I think I gave in reply to Deputy McGilligan a month or six weeks ago some figures which showed that the total cost of the Civil Service at this moment is somewhat less than it was on the 31st March, 1932. There are a considerable number of posts of a new kind being created. Some of these have been filled by redundant officers. To compensate for the increase in the personnel of the service there has been a considerable number of retirements and newer people, younger people, whose places on the incrementary scale are not as high as those who retire, have come to replace the older men going out at the top. I  do not think there has been any actual increase in the personnel. There has been an increase in the number trying to get into the Civil Service, and it is mainly because of that that this Estimate is required.
General Mulcahy: The Minister mentioned that the Civil Service census is carried out on the 1st January every year.
Mr. MacEntee: Not a census—a statement.
General Mulcahy: Do I understand that the number of civil servants on the 1st January, 1934, was found to be less than on the 1st January, 1932?
Mr. MacEntee: I could not commit myself to that, but so far as the figures supplied to me in connection with a Parliamentary question are concerned—I was rather surprised myself when I saw them—they showed that the number of people in the Civil Service now cost less than on the 31st March, 1932.
General Mulcahy: If the position is that it is simply a phenomenon that has arisen in the country that there is an increasing number of persons trying to enter the Civil Service, has the Minister caused any enquiry to be made or will he cause any enquiry to be made through the medium of the Civil Service Commission or any other body that might indicate to him what exactly is it in the existing situation that is forcing a larger number of people to apply for Civil Service posts?
Mr. Norton: The privilege of paying this £1.
Vote agreed to.
Estimates reported and agreed to.
Question—“That the Bill be received for final consideration”—put and agreed to.
Question proposed: “That the Bill do now pass.”
General Mulcahy: We had a considerable amount of discussion on the Committee Stage of this Bill. The general burden of the discussion on the one side was that here we had a considerable increase of Customs duties, the alleged idea being to develop Irish industries. The effect, so far as some of us argued here, was to raise appreciably the cost of these articles to the people and to set up industries, where that did occur, under unsatisfactory circumstances. From the Government Benches there was no general statement on the industries that they were to set up, no general statement as to what they were doing to secure that a rise in prices would not take place. Their attitude generally was the attitude of people who introduce an order imposing a duty, who had not examined the situation beforehand and thought it too soon to lift the lid and see what was happening as a result of the imposition of the duty. The experience of the House during the discussion of this particular Bill will, I hope, have been such that in various directions and in various ways the Minister will be impressed and that both himself and the Minister for Industry and Commerce will deal with measures of this kind in a somewhat different way in the future. There is no Party in the House anxious to create difficulties either for the Minister for Industry and Commerce or the Minister for Finance in dealing with industrial affairs; there is no party in the House who wishes to snipe them in any way, who wants to examine too closely into any of their proposals or who wants to stand too closely over them in doing their work, but we do expect that they will make some kind of a reasonable presentation to us of what their hopes are, and that they will give us some indication that they have given a fair examination to the general circumstances before they imposed these duties and ask this House, even in a certain amount of darkness, to pass them.
One of the duties pointed to here was the Excise duty on sugar. I have charged the Minister for Finance and his Government with doing this, in  the sugar business, since February last taking in a concealed way from the pockets of the Irish people, by means of their Customs duty and their Excise duty, approximately £730,000 additional per year for sugar. The Minister shakes his head, as he did before, and says that they are not doing it. He even says to us that they are going to get less money into the Revenue from Customs duties, but what I am telling the Minister is that he is going to make the people pay out of their pockets, for sugar, £735,000 additional, whether it gets into the Revenue or not. When we were dealing with the butter business in 1932 I put it up to the Minister for Agriculture that he was taking steps in that respect that were going to cost the people, in additional demands, £1,400,000 a year. My figures were wrong according to the Minister. They had worked it out carefully at £400,000 odd and the Minister gave, as his outside figure, £600,000. The Minister was telling us the other day what implied that the people are paying £1,200,000 out of their pockets in the increased price for butter as a result of the Minister's legislation.
What is happening in a concealed way with regard to butter is now going to happen in a concealed way annually as regards sugar, just as, in a different way, it would be happening as a result of some of the other industries, in cases in which they do succeed in starting industries, which are not capable of battling for themselves or standing in a fair way against competition from other people working under similar circumstances. Again, I challenge the Minister that he is, in taking this Bill away from the House, taking away the final act which draws from the pockets of the people to the extent of an additional £750,000 a year for sugar.
Mr. MacEntee: I could not allow this debate to conclude, I would not feel that I was doing my duty, if I were to acquiesce in the statements which have been made by Deputy Mulcahy. Every proposal to which an Emergency Order relates is carefully considered by the Minister for Industry and Commerce in the first case; by the Minister for  Finance in the second case, and by the Executive Council, as a whole, in the third case. The effect of that Emergency Order is considered both on the cost of commodities and on the budgetary position, and I may say that, from the budgetary point of view, I have derived little satisfaction from any one of these Orders, because they have prevented the flow of revenue into the Exchequer, but if they have done that, they have what I think is a considerable compensation in that every one of them, or most of them— those of them that relate to industrial commodities—is going to result in the establishment of a new industry in this country.
In the debate on the Emergency Orders, as much information as could be reasonably expected was given by the Ministers who were responsible for the Orders, but there are certain things which it is not fit should be discussed in this House. I have heard it when Deputy McGilligan was Minister for Industry and Commerce and I have heard Deputy Mulcahy himself deprecate the discussion of the personal affairs of private individuals in this House, and short of publishing the names—and the names were forthcoming elsewhere, all those who were interested in this development—short of giving confidential information in relation to their business costs, all the information that could be given, all the information that could properly be asked for and be given, was given during the course of the debate.
Now, on the question of the present position of the dairying industry and the sugar industry, to which Deputy Mulcahy referred, I thought it was rather significant that, when he was speaking, Deputy Bennett, who is generally very vocal where the interests of the dairy farmers of Limerick are concerned, was absent and there was nobody on the benches opposite, with the exception possibly of Deputy Finlay, who was interested at all in the mixed farming and tillage counties of the Saorstat. We are challenged because butter cost us too much, because it cost the ordinary urban consumer more. Why does it cost us more? It costs us more because we are  providing, or we are going, as far as we can at any rate, to provide a satisfactory price for the dairy farmer for his milk. That is why it costs us more, and if Deputy Mulcahy objects to that, I suggest that he should raise it at the next meeting of his Party and fight the matter out with Deputy Bennett and those who sit for constituencies like Limerick and Tipperary in the Dáil.
Again, in regard to sugar, we did not for a moment conceal from the people, when we were introducing the Sugar Manufacture Bill last year, the fact that if we were to make our own sugar here it was going to cost us more to do it than it would cost us to buy foreign sugar. We told them that it would mean an increase of a halfpenny to three farthings in the lb. in the cost of sugar, but, if it is, who is getting the benefit and advantage of that?—the people who sowed thousands of acres of beet in the district around Tuam, in the district around Mallow, in the district around Thurles, and in the district around Carlow. It is for their benefit and their advantage that the rest of the community are paying a higher price for their sugar, and it is not for the benefit or advantage of the Exchequer. As was stated on the last occasion, the actual fact is that this year, from tea and sugar, we expect to get, and, I am afraid, we will get, something like £200,000 or £250,000 less than our predecessors got from the tax upon sugar alone in the year which closed on 31st March, 1932. That is the position. Not merely are the consumers of this country making some sacrifice in order to develop the sugar-making industry in this country——
Mr. O'Leary: They must be taking light beer now.
Mr. MacEntee: ——but the Exchequer is losing considerably as well. The proposal which we are now debating is the Emergency Order which imposed an Excise duty of a farthing a lb. on home-manufactured sugar and a corresponding Customs duty of a farthing a lb. on imported sugar. The only duty which Irish manufactured sugar bears at the present moment is a duty  of a farthing a lb. In the year 1931-'32, the Excise duty on home-manufactured sugar was just twice that. It was 4/8 a cwt., and to-day it is 2/4 a cwt. That shows how far we have gone to help the sugar-making industry and how far we have gone to keep down the price of sugar to the consumer, all the time bearing in mind that an increase in price, on the basis on which these factories were constructed and on the basis of costs, as we know them, was unavoidable, once we began to make it ourselves.
General Mulcahy: And that £735,000 additional this year and next year will be taken from the people in buying sugar.
Mr. MacEntee: And the Deputy thinks we can make bricks without straw.
General Mulcahy: And the Minister, who shakes his head several times, completely avoids addressing himself to that point—that of his twelve months' operations that is the final effect on the people and their expenditure on sugar.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 47; Níl, 26.
De Valera, Eamon.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
|Kelly, James Patrick.
Little, Patrick John.
Lynch, James B.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
O Briain, Donnchadh.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
|Bennett, George Cecil.
Burke, James Michael.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Doyle, Peadar S.
McGuire, James Ivan.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Traynor; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.
Bill certified as a Money Bill.
The Dáil adjourned at 7.10 p.m. until 3 p.m. to-morrow, Wednesday, 19th December.