Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Price of Building Land.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Puerperal Fever Cases.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Bread, Fish and Building Material Prices.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Increase in Flour Prices.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Voting Rights in Great Southern Railways.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Advances to Agricultural Credit Corporation.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Advances Under Heifer Loan Scheme.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Bounty on Pigs and Bacon Exports.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - 1934 Tobacco Crop.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Illegal Trawling.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cattle Shipments to Belgium.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - The Carrageen Moss Industry.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Arbour Day's Unsatisfactory Results.
Interruptions in Public Gallery.
Order of Business.
Financial Resolutions—Report Stage. - Financial Resolution No. 1—Income Tax and Surtax.
Financial Resolutions—Report Stage. - Financial Resolution No. 2—Income Tax.
Financial Resolutions—Report Stage. - Financial Resolution No. 3—Income Tax.
Financial Resolutions—Report Stage. - Financial Resolution No. 4—Income Tax.
Financial Resolutions—Report Stage. - Financial Resolution No. 5—Income Tax.
Financial Resolutions—Report Stage. - Financial Resolution No. 6—Income Tax.
Financial Resolutions—Report Stage. - Financial Resolution No. 7—Income Tax.
Financial Resolutions—Report Stage. - Financial Resolution No. 8—Income Tax.
Financial Resolutions—Report Stage. - Financial Resolution No. 9—Customs.
Financial Resolutions—Report Stage. - Financial Resolution No. 10—Customs.
Financial Resolutions—Report Stage. - Resolution No. 11—Customs and Excise.
Written Answers. - Returns of Court Sittings.
 Do chuaidh an Ceann Comhairle i gceannas ar 3 p.m.
Mr. Norton: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health whether he is aware that exorbitant prices are charged for land required by local authorities for the purpose of development, including building schemes; whether the payment of excessive prices for land for building purposes has the effect of adding substantially to the rents charged for workingclass houses, and whether it is his intention, in view of the provisions of Section 72 of the Town and Regional Planning Act, 1934, to take steps to prevent the exploitation of the local authorities and the citizens generally by persons demanding unreasonable prices for land required as described.
Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Mr. O Ceallaigh): In some areas the price paid for lands acquired for public purposes, particularly for housing, appears to have been high, but in these cases the compensation paid was arranged by agreement between the local bodies and the parties interested. Every effort is made to secure lands at the most reasonable prices possible and where proposals to acquire land at high cost by agreement are put before the Department it is the practice to recommend compulsory acquisition where the purchase price is fixed by an official arbitrator.
The cost of land for urban housing schemes is usually a small factor in the all-in cost of a scheme and fluctuations in this factor are not reflected to any extent in the rents charged to tenants.
As regards the concluding part of the question, the provisions of Section  72 of the Town and Regional Planning Act, 1934, would only apply where the responsible planning authority has made a planning scheme.
Mr. Dillon: In connection with the Minister's statement that where proposals to acquire land at high cost by agreement are put before the Department it is the practice to recommend compulsory acquisition, where the purchase price is considered exorbitant, was such a recommendation made in the case of an agreement, arrived at as between the Roscommon Board of Health and an individual who sold his land to them at £115 per statute acre.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I was answering as regards land for houses.
Mr. Dillon: The Minister was dealing with land acquired for public health purposes and said that where proposals to acquire land at high cost by agreement are put before the Department it was the practice to recommend compulsory acquisition?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I was dealing with houses.
Mr. Dillon: Was the purchase of land at £115 per acre by the Roscommon Board of Health brought to his attention?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: If the Deputy puts down a question I shall answer it.
Mr. Dillon: I did put down two questions in regard to that position.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: Did the Deputy not get an answer?
Mr. Dillon: I did.
Mr. T.J. Murphy: Would the Minister consent to make inquiry as to the price proposed to be paid by the City Manager in Cork for land for a housing scheme which I am told runs into the neighbourhood of £400 per acre? If these facts are so would not the Minister consider the price excessive and recommend the City Manager not to proceed under such circumstances?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: £400 per acre in Cork might not be considered an excessive figure. Some time ago £3,000 per acre was given in the City of Dublin.
Mr. Murphy: Some members of the City Council think the figure of £400 very excessive.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: There is always difference of opinion in these matters.
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state what rate per 1,000 births do the cases of puerperal fever reported in the years 1930 to 1934, inclusive, represent; what reason is there for the 200 per cent. increase in the notified incidence of that disease between 1930 and 1934; if it is due to some cause other than mere stringent enforcement of notification regulations, and what steps does he intend to take to reduce the incidence of this disease.
Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Dr. Ward): The rate per thousand births represented by the number of cases of puerperal fever notified during each of the years 1930 to 1934, inclusive, is as follows:—
|Year||Rate per 1,000 Births Represented by Number of Cases of Puerperal Fever Notified|
The notification for the year 1930 do not include the cases which occurred in the four county boroughs which were not then notified to this Department. It is clear from the rates of mortality from puerperal sepsis for the above-mentioned years that the main cause of the increased notification rates as between 1930 and 1934 was more stringent enforcement of the duty of notification. The mortality rates per 1,000 births in respect of puerperal fever for these years were:—
The increase in the mortality rate from the disease in 1934 as compared with 1930 is therefore only 12½ per  cent. The extension of the County Medical Officer of Health system will enable more active supervision of midwifery arrangements to be instituted and Maternity and Child Welfare services to be developed, while the improvements in the General Hospital system will permit of more adequate facilities being provided for maternity cases. It is hoped that these measures will, in due course, enable the incidence of puerperal fever to be substantially reduced.
Mr. Dillon: Would I be right in saying that these figures compare pretty favourably with the public health statistics of Great Britain and other countries where available?
Dr. Ward: I could not answer that at the moment.
Mr. Davin: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he will state the dates on which the Prices Commission were requested to investigate (a) the wholesale and retail prices charged for bread; (b) the wholesale price charged for filleted fish; (c) the wholesale and retail prices charged for fresh fish; and (d) the cost of material and appliances used in the building of houses.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): Dates on which the Prices Commission were requested to investigate (a) the wholesale and retail prices charged for bread; (b) the wholesale and retail prices charged for fresh fish; and (c) the cost of material and appliances used in the building of houses were the 17th May, 1933; 6th February, 1935; and the 31st January, 1934, respectively.
I did not request the Commission to undertake an investigation into the wholesale prices charged for filleted fish, but the Commission has undertaken this investigation of their own volition.
Mr. Davin: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is aware that on Thursday last the price  of flour was increased by 1/6 a sack; if this increase was preceded by other increases during the last few months totalling 6/- a sack; and, if so, whether he intends now to take any action to prevent the phenomenal advances in the cost of flour with which the consumer is threatened.
Mr. Lemass: I am aware that the price of flour was increased by 1/6 a sack on Thursday, the 16th instant, and I am aware that there have been increases in the price of flour during the last few months. In replying to a previous question by the Deputy on the 15th instant, I informed him that competition between Saorstát mills was developing and that, therefore, it had not been considered necessary to implement the recommendations of the Prices Commission. I would, however, like to remind the Deputy that the cost of wheat is the most important factor in the price of flour and if the price of wheat continues to rise nothing can be done to prevent proportionate increases in the price of flour.
Mr. Davin: Arising out of the Minister's reply, does he still persist in stating, as on Friday last, that the cost of living is still going down?
Mr. Lemass: The cost-of-living index is going down.
Mr. Dillon: Arising out of the Minister's reply, does he seriously suggest to this House that a great part of the increase in the cost of flour which has taken place over the last six weeks is due to an increase in the price of wheat, when, as a matter of fact, it is due to an understanding arrived at between the Minister for Agriculture and the millers, who have deliberately increased the cost of flour with a view to concealing the repercussions of the impending cereals legislation which the Minister proposes to introduce?
Mr. Lemass: The Deputy is misinformed as usual. The cost of flour in this country has not increased any more than in Great Britain.
Mr. Dillon: I assert that that statement is absolutely without foundation  and I also assert that the increase in the cost of flour is due to an understanding which has been arrived at between the Minister for Agriculture and the millers.
Mr. Lemass: The increase in the cost of flour at Liverpool, Dublin and Belfast, from January 25th to May 3rd, was 4/- a sack in each case.
Mr. Dillon: At the present time the cost of bakers' flour here is 39/- and in Liverpool it is 25/-.
Mr. Lemass: The Deputy is completely misinformed.
Mr. O'Neill: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware that holders of original £100 ordinary stock in the Great Southern Railways were deprived of their right of voting at a recent meeting of the shareholders of the company as, in reducing the ordinary stock from £100 to £10, no provision was made in the Act for the recasting of the voting rights attached to ordinary stock, and if it is the Minister's intention to restore by legislation or otherwise this right of voting hitherto attached to such ordinary stock.
Mr. Lemass: Provision for recasting the voting rights of shareholders of the Great Southern Railways Company consequent on the reduction of the capital stock of that Company was made in sub-section (8) of Section 3 of the Railways Act, 1933, under which every registered holder of stock is entitled to one vote in respect of every £100 of reduced capital stock (other than debenture stock) held by him.
Mr. O'Neill: Arising out of the Minister's reply, I should like to say that the facts set out in my question are correct.
Mr. Lemass: Provision for recasting of the voting rights was made by the Railways Act of 1933.
Mr. O'Neill: Well, they are not getting the benefit of it.
Mr. Norton: asked the Minister for Finance whether he will state the amounts advanced up to date for the purposes of the Agricultural Credit Corporation and the amount of the advances now repaid.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): The total amount advanced up to date from the Exchequer for the purposes of the Agricultural Credit Corporation is £38,497 18s. 3d. No part of that amount has yet been repaid.
Mr. MacDermot: What period does that figure cover?
Mr. MacEntee: That is the total amount since the formation of the Corporation.
Tadhg O Murchadha: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state in respect of the years 1933 and 1934 the sums advanced by way of loan under the Heifer Loan Scheme, the amount repaid, and the amount outstanding.
Minister for Agriculture (Dr. Ryan): In the year 1933 loans amounting to £24,920 11s. 8d. were made for the purchase of heifers. Two instalments of these loans have fallen due up to the present and amount to £18,072 2s. 1d. (inclusive of interest at the rate of 4 per cent. per annum). Of this amount a sum of £16,390 2s. 6d. has been repaid, leaving outstanding a sum of £1,681 19s. 7d.
In the year 1934 loans were made amounting to £71,179 8s. 4d., the first instalment of which was repayable on the 1st January, 1935. The amount due on that date for principal and interest was £23,808 13s. 9d. Of this amount £21,274 9s. 9d. has been repaid, leaving outstanding a sum of £2,534 9s. 9d.
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for Agriculture whether he intends to  maintain the same rate of bounty on pigs and bacon exports as obtained throughout the year 1934-35.
Dr. Ryan: The rate of bounty on pigs and bacon will not necessarily be the same this year as last.
The rate may be varied from time to time as the circumstances of the export trade may require.
Mr. Dillon: Arising out of the Minister's reply, does the Minister mean to qualify the statement made by the Minister for Finance in introducing the Budget, that at his request he took the levy off pigs in order to relieve agriculture, by now stating that he feels himself free to vary the amount of the bounty and thus alter the effect of the remission which the Minister for Finance alleges he has made?
Dr. Ryan: The Deputy is as irrelevant as ever.
Mr. Dillon: Does the Minister for Agriculture realise that unless the export bounty on pork is kept at the same figure as it has been throughout last year, the remission of the levy which was going into the Exchequer on pig carcases cannot be regarded as a relief to agriculture? If the levy is going to be reduced and the bounty reduced at the same time, no advantageous result will accrue to the pig producers of the country.
Dr. Ryan: Is the Deputy going to be a prophet? How does he know what conditions there will be before the year is out?
Mr. Everett: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state the highest, lowest and average basic price paid to the growers for the 1934 tobacco crop.
Mr. Everett: asked the Minister for Agriculture whether he will state the highest, lowest and average catalogue price of the 1934 tobacco crop.
Mr. Everett: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state the amount of the bonus per lb. paid to growers in respect of the 1934 tobacco crop.
Dr. Ryan: I propose to deal with Questions Nos. 9, 10 and 11 together.
The processes of valuing samples drawn from all the packages of tobacco of the 1934 crop packed by the several rehandlers, and of preparing catalogues of such packages are at present being carried out and I am not, therefore, in a position to reply to the Deputy's questions. Full particulars of the total sum due to him for his tobacco, including his share of the bonus, will be supplied to each licensed grower by his rehandler as soon as possible after the completion of the catalogues.
Mr. O'Neill: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he can state from information derived from the log of the Muirchu (1) how many trawlers (other than French lobster boats) were observed during the year ended 31st March last fishing illegally in Irish waters; (2) in how many cases did the Muirchu give chase, and (3) how many captures ensued, and if prosecutions followed what penalties were imposed.
Dr. Ryan: During the period in question but before a gun had been fitted on the S.C. Muirchu two British trawlers found operating inside our exclusive fishery limits refused to stop when challenged by the cruiser. Since the installation of the gun there has been no such incident but on three occasions trawlers observed to be sheltering within our exclusive fishery limits put out to sea on sighting the fishery cruiser. Inasmuch as none of these vessels was at the time engaged in fishing no attempt was made at arrest or capture and consequently no prosecution was instituted.
Mr. Wall: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he is yet in a position to say whether the experimental shipments of cattle to Belgium have proved satisfactory; and, if so if it is intended to develop the trade further.
Dr. Ryan: Up to the recent changes affecting the Belgian currency the indications  were that the trade in cattle to that country would prove satisfactory. The recent currency changes there have, however, altered the situation, the adjustment of which is at present being considered. Though the prices of cattle in Belgium have recently shown an upward tendency it would, I think, be premature to make any definite statement at the moment as to the future developments of this trade.
Mr. Belton: Arising out of the Minister's reply, has the Minister abandoned the export of cattle to Belgium?
Dr. Ryan: Oh, no.
Mr. Belton: Does the Minister expect to be able to sell cattle in Belgium when the currency situation is adjusted?
Dr. Ryan: We are still selling cattle to Belgium, but the profits are small as compared with what we were getting.
Mr. Hogan: (Clare) asked the Minister for Lands if he will state the quantities of carrageen moss available for use and the price which will be paid in 1935 for quantities suitable for (a) industrial purposes and (b) human food.
Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for Lands (Mr. O'Grady): As the quantity of carrageen moss which will be collected during the 1935 season depends upon factors outside the control of the Department, it is not possible to supply the Deputy with the figure required in the first part of the question. All last year's carrageen moss that was offered was purchased at satisfactory prices. With regard to the second portion, the price to be paid by the Department's appointee for moss for manufacturing purposes will in no case be less than 1/- per stone, and better qualities will command prices up to 2/6 per stone. The price to be paid by the Department for specially selected moss for food purposes to be used in the Department's packing station at Cashla has been fixed at 2/6 per stone.
Mr. Corish: asked the Minister for Lands whether he has received any complaints concerning the present system of organising Arbour Day; whether it has been represented to him that the system is defective and unsatisfactory, and whether he will be prepared to consider the appointment of local committees representative of all the interests concerned and authorise them to prepare schemes suitable to local requirements for the planting of the several areas throughout the country.
Mr. O'Grady: The arrangements made for the Arbour Day scheme this year were necessarily experimental. The scheme provided for the supply of a limited number of trees to each school for planting by the pupils in the school grounds, or on other suitable sites in the vicinity, and the Department were not aware of the extent to which the schools were likely to take up the scheme. A number of suggestions have been received for the improvement of the system of organisation, and these suggestions are receiving consideration.
The formation of local committees in connection with the planting of school grounds, etc., has already been suggested by this Department in the circular to the schools, but the Deputy would seem to contemplate the appointment of committees to deal with the planting of comparatively large areas in private ownership. It would be necessary to go very carefully into any proposal of this nature in view of the number of schemes already in existence, under the aegis of the Department of Agriculture, for the supply of free trees or of trees at a reduced price.
It must not be forgotten that the object of Arbour Day is educational, and that its purpose can be achieved mainly through the medium of the schools of all types existing in the country.
Mr. O'Leary: As I am the Deputy responsible for the introduction of certain persons to the Public Gallery yesterday, I desire, Sir, to express to you and to the House my regret for what occurred.
The Vice-President (Mr. O Ceallaigh): It is proposed to take Item 5 on the Order Paper, Financial Resolutions; Item 6, Estimates, Votes 4 to 30 inclusive; and Item 7, Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Bill. The Dáil is to meet to-morrow, Friday at 10.30 o'clock.
Mr. Dillon: Is the Vice-President in a position to say whether the House will sit on Friday of next week?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I take it it will not. Thursday is a holiday and we are not coming back for Friday.
Mr. Norton: Arising out of the suggested Order of Business, I observe that it is proposed to take the Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Bill this evening. This is a very complicated measure and various Acts are referred to in the Bill. There is no explanatory memorandum circulated in connection with the Bill. Most Deputies will find it difficult to understand the Bill as it is. On Tuesday, I asked that the report of the Committee of Inquiry into the question of the Widows' and Orphans' Pensions should be circulated. That report would be of great assistance to any Deputy who wishes to study the Bill. A copy of the report has only been handed to me within the last hour. I suggest that it is unfair to take the Bill until Deputies have had an opportunity first of examining the report. I suggest further that the Vice-President consent to leave the Bill over until next week so that we could read up the report in the meantime, or failing that, the Vice-President would make the Second Reading speech on the Bill this evening and then move to adjourn the debate. The remainder of the discussion could be resumed next week when Deputies will have had an opportunity of reading the Second Reading speech in the Official Debates.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I am quite prepared to do that—to make the Second Reading speech this evening and then to adjourn the debate. I do not think the Bill is as complicated as Deputy Norton suggests. Deputies have the Bill before them, and a copy of the report has been available in the Library for some time. However, I will make the Second Reading speech. Then if any Deputy wishes to carry on the general discussion, well and good, or if the House wishes to leave it over until next week, having heard the Second Reading speech, the House can do so.
Mr. Dillon: Is it the intention to circulate the report generally to the Deputies?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: Yes.
Mr. Good: Can the Vice-President say when the Courts of Justice Bill will be taken?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: We have not the definite date fixed yet—perhaps next week.
General Mulcahy: It would be well if the Vice-President would make an announcement to-morrow as to what business it is proposed to take on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, and whether the Courts of Justice Bill will be taken.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: Yes. That announcement will be made.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I move: That the Dáil agree with the Committee in Financial Resolution No. 1.
This is the Resolution which fixes the rate of income tax and surtax.
Mr. MacDermot: Is the Minister not going to take advantage of this opportunity to offer any observations about the standard of income tax, the yield of income tax and the future of income tax?
Mr. MacEntee: I think we have heard quite a lot these last few days about the future of income tax.
Mr. Davin: Does the Minister accept the figures submitted to the House last night by Deputy McGilligan?
Mr. MacEntee: In what way—is it in regard to the yield for 1929?
Mr. Davin: Yes.
Mr. MacEntee: I do not think that the Deputy really made any case as to what the future yield would be. He drew certain inferences from the past but he forgot that the allowances for children were considerably increased by the Act of 1932.
Mr. Davin: The reason I am raising  that question is because the President made no attempt to present figures to the House dealing with this matter, and the Minister for Finance did not either.
Mr. Dillon: He was only peevish.
Mr. MacDermot: I can assure the House that Deputy McGilligan has not forgotten for a moment the figures to which the Minister for Finance has referred. The point Deputy McGilligan made about income tax was that a 4/9 income tax, under the present dispensation, yielded scarcely any more than a 3/6 income tax rate under the Cumann na nGaedheal dispensation. That is a very formidable fact for the Minister to have to explain away. I did not oppose the increase of the standard rate of income tax from 3/6 to 5/- in the Minister's first Budget. I have never opposed in this House the resolution settling the standard rate of income tax, because I am fully in sympathy with the proposition that whatever our necessities are and however gratuitously those necessities may have been occasioned by the wrongheadedness of the Government, the broadest shoulders in the community must bear the greatest part of the burden. Consequently, I am not going to oppose this Resolution. Nevertheless, I do think that it is a duty which the Government owe to the House and which they have not fulfilled, to state frankly what the situation is with regard to income tax. It was, at any rate, something that the President announced the night before last that the effect of our increasing our standard rate of tax beyond the British would be to bring about a reduction in yield. I think perhaps we might have been given a few particulars on which the calculation is based so as to make us quite sure that it is so. If it is so, it is a very serious fact for all of us who are interested in the finances of this country.
Here is a matter that we should take into consideration. It seems to me probable that there will be a General Election in Great Britain before the next Budget. It seems probable, though  by no means certain, that the National Government will be returned again to power. It seems to me probable also that in that event next year the British Budget will see a reduction of 6d. in the standard rate of income tax. If that is so, what is going to be the repercussion on us? The Minister for Finance should take these possibilities very seriously into consideration.
The fact that I have never opposed the income tax resolution here, and that in discussing the Budget I have laid stress altogether on the indirect taxation, does not mean that I consider the income tax payers in this country have no grievance and that they are not suffering a hardship from the very high rate we have got. Their position is worse than that of income tax payers in Great Britain and elsewhere, in so far as they derive income from investments in Irish corporations because of the operation of the corporation profits tax, which causes a double income tax in respect of that income. In Great Britain the corporation profits tax has been abolished. In America there is a corporation profits tax, but the individual investor pays no income tax on the dividends drawn from the ordinary stock of these corporations, though he does pay surtax on such income. I do not know whether at present there is any other country but this where there is a deliberate duplication of taxation of that kind. It is an incitement to investors here to have their money elsewhere than in Irish corporations. I think, in considering the extent which the general income tax resolution bears upon the income tax payer, you have to take into account that extra hardship to which I have been referring in connection with the corporation profits tax.
Then we have the new arrangement with regard to valuations under Schedule A. That is more properly discussed on the resolution actually referring to it, but, as was pointed out, one effect of that new resolution is to bring new people within the ambit of income tax and, as was pointed out by, I think, Deputy Norton, it seems a very strange procedure,  instead of having a new valuation if a new valuation is required, to jump to the conclusion that each and every bit of house property in existence deserves to be valued at 5/4ths of the valuation which hitherto existed.
Mr. Norton: Will the Minister say what has been the cost to the Exchequer of increasing the amount of the earned income allowance and the allowance for children, which was granted in 1932, I think?
Mr. MacEntee: I am not in a position to say that at this stage. If the Deputy had put down a Parliamentary question I might have been able to secure the information. Owing to the high pressure at which the Department of the Revenue Commissioners has been working, we have not yet had the report for 1933. Until that is available, I am not in the position to give the information; but I can assure the Deputy that they were substantial.
General Mulcahy: Deputy Norton says that Deputy McGilligan last night did not prove that what he said was right.
Mr. Norton: I did not say it, but I say it now.
General Mulcahy: I should have said the Minister for Finance stated that Deputy McGilligan did not prove what he said last night.
Mr. Davin: You are too much concerned about us.
General Mulcahy: There is no use in being concerned about the members of the Labour Party at this stage in their history.
Mr. Davin: You have enough to do to look after yourself.
General Mulcahy: The President, however, the previous night told the House that, for the very same reason that Deputy McGilligan alleged, he could not acquiesce in the invitation of the Labour Party to put an additional tax on incomes. The statement was made by Deputy McGilligan here,  after the situation had been admitted by the President in what he regarded as a very important statement dealing with the financial provisions for the year. It is a matter affecting the credit of the State, which the Minister is so anxious that we should all be solicitous about, and which he is no doubt very solicitous about himself. We have had occasion to complain here that the Government have been getting after, in every possible way, people who make statements reflecting on their policy and the effects of their policy.
The case put forward is that statements that are made with regard to the condition of the country, brought about by the Fianna Fáil policy, reflect upon the credit of the country. That is the Government's case for pursuing the methods which they are pursuing, for withdrawing advertisements in the newspapers which dared to criticise their policy, and for threatening to do it. That is the excuse for sending detectives after the Press to get information as to who is responsible for odd statements here and there in the daily and local Press. If the Government think that the ordinary run of statements reported in the Press, the various reports of one kind or another, have to be hunted down by open threat or by penal action, such as withdrawing advertisements in the Press, or by third degree methods recently pursued through the police; if the credit of the State is such that it must be defended in this particular way, surely the Minister is failing to discharge a very obvious duty if he does not give the House the information that would rebut the statement which Deputy McGilligan made last night, or provide the President with the information that would keep him straight. The Minister surely does not say that he cannot give us the deductions made in respect of gross income in regard to various personal allowances and reliefs made, say, in respect of the years 1931-32, 1932-33, 1933-34. I do not see why we could not get an estimated figure even for 1934-35 of the deductions made within that period. I understood the Minister to say that he has not yet got the figures for the year 1931-32.
Mr. MacEntee: 1932-33.
General Mulcahy: So that we are now in May, 1935, dealing with the financial position of the country, and we are faced with a certain case made with regard to the capacity of our people to bear the present rate of income tax, and we are not able to be told what the personal reliefs were in respect of children and earned income for the years 1932-33 and 1933-34.
Mr. MacEntee: The Deputy has had 12 months to put down a Parliamentary question to elicit these figures. That is the principal use of a Parliamentary question.
General Mulcahy: I hope the Minister will meet the House in the way he should meet it when a question comes to be put down, because the question is an important one. As I say, the Government, which could send police round the country, and could send their threats to the Press, ought to be sufficiently solicitous about public opinion in an important matter like this that the Minister for Finance should not have to wait to be asked a Parliamentary question on these important points. He makes a general statement in the matter to the country, which has been fed upon general statements made by the various Ministers from time to time, and has had time to see the chemical composition of these statements, and see how little of actual fact or truth there has been in them.
One cannot be expected to give very great credit to a general statement thrown out in the casual way that the Minister for Finance threw out that particular statement. I think it is treating an important subject lightly. The Minister, I submit, should have given the information when putting the Resolution before the House, and I hope that before the Finance Bill is taken he will answer questions put to him, intended to elicit the information.
Mr. MacEntee: Yes.
Mr. Belton: On the general question of income tax—I will deal with it more particularly on Resolution No. 3—I understood the President to make the statement the other night that, in fact,  we had reached saturation point. The Minister for Finance, in his Budget speech, referred to the necessity of keeping step with the British rate of income tax, owing to the inter-relations and inter-actions between the two countries. Deputy McGilligan's case, as I understood it last night, was to substantiate that fact, but the Deputy used it as an indication of a decline in our national income. I wonder why, if we have reached saturation point as regards income tax, we did not adopt that and act on it, and why the Minister for Finance should try by a fiction to extract more income tax under Schedule A by saying that “if a premises is valued at £100, I am going to say that in future the value of it is £125.” In effect he is saying, as regards that particular item, that he is increasing the rate of income tax by 25 per cent. It is regrettable, I think, that he found it necessary to do that. I do not want to develop an argument on that because, as I have said, I will deal with it more fully on Resolution No. 3.
Question put and agreed to.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I move: “That the Dáil agree with the Committee in Financial Resolution No. 2.” This is the Resolution which makes new buildings assessable for income tax from the date they are occupied. Hitherto it was impossible to make this assessment until after the buildings had been rated.
Mr. Belton: It was a pity I did not know about this Resolution in time, because I have made an allowance for income tax to people and have not got the benefit of it myself. I am sorry the Minister did not come along with his Resolution earlier and anticipate me. Am I to understand from the Minister that it is from the date of the occupation that the income tax becomes assessable, or is it from the beginning of the year of occupation?
Mr. MacEntee: The position is made quite clear in the Resolution. If the  Deputy will refer to the Resolution he will find that the last sub-sentence reads:—
Subject to any relief that may be necessary in respect of that part (if any) of the said year during which such house or building was not occupied.
It will be from the date of actual occupation.
Question put and agreed to.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I move: “That the Dáil agree with the Committee in Financial Resolution No. 3.” This is the Resolution which proposes henceforth to make assessments under Schedule A upon five-fourths of the annual value “of all tenements and rateable hereditaments (other than lands and other than farm houses and farm buildings occupied with lands for the purpose of farming such lands) rather than, as heretofore, on the annual value.” The justification for it is that the income which is actually derived from the ownership of such buildings is, in general, very much greater than the annual value of such buildings as assessed for poor law purposes. Accordingly, there is no reason why this income should be treated any more favourably than income derived, say, from the profits of a business or the exercise of a profession or other occupation.
Mr. MacDermot: Would the Minister be good enough to give the House some indication as to the basis upon which he arrived at his figure, and as to the probable yield of this tax? It was suggested, he will remember, last night by Deputy McGilligan that the yield of that tax was almost certain to be very much greater than anticipated by the Minister, in his Budget statement. I pointed out in my speech on the Budget that not only were the income tax calculations of the Minister pessimistic in comparison with those of the Cumann na nGaedheal Minister for Finance — pessimistic  as to the amount that would be produced by a given 6d. in the £ on income tax — but that also, according to the Minister's own Budget statement, there was a notable short fall even on these pessimistic calculations. That being so, I am wondering whether this novelty with regard to Schedule A is designed to bring in a more substantial amount of money, and so prevent a similar disagreeable short fall occurring next year.
Mr. Norton: I take it that, when this Resolution is finally implemented, it will operate in such a way as to make a person who has become the owner of a house in recent years liable for income tax, if he is otherwise liable for the payment of income tax, on the basis of four-fifths of the existing valuation. As everyone knows, house building has been costly, due to a variety of causes since the war. In recent years the Dublin Corporation has been erecting houses and selling them on a hire purchase basis to tenants. These tenants are legally liable for the payment of income tax on the valuation of their premises. Valuations have been placed on these houses in recent years and, because of modern circumstances, the cost of building them has been high. The valuations have been based on existing circumstances. Consequently, houses of that class are clearly not in the same category as houses which were built 40 or 50 years ago. Those houses were built at a much lower cost than the houses built since the war period. As those who have inquired into the matter know, the valuations on those old houses are very much lower than the valuations placed on the houses built in recent years.
Consequently it would seem to me that if this Resolution is passed, the effect of it will be that a house erected 40 or 50 years ago, when house building was not as costly as it is to-day and which had placed upon it a valuation not related to the circumstances of to-day, will be revalued for income tax purposes in the same way as a house erected recently which has been costly to build and which has been  valued in the light of prevailing circumstances. I think that that is an unfair burden to place upon tenants of small houses. If the Minister does not want to impose further burdens on a section of the community which is not able to meet these burdens, he should make provision to ensure that, in respect of any ordinary dwelling which costs not more than £1,000 and which was erected, say, since 1920, there should not be any addition to the valuation. The effect of this Resolution will be to swell the amount which these people are liable to pay for income tax purposes at a time when they have borrowed a substantial sum at a high rate of interest to build their houses, and when their houses have been valued in the light of modern conditions. I suggest to the Minister that this Resolution should be drawn in such a way as to exclude medium-sized houses built in recent years. In that way, the Minister would avoid the imposition of burdens on a section of the community which is not able to meet them.
Professor Thrift: I suggest to the Minister that he is making a serious mistake in this Resolution. It is aimed at the owner-occupier whom it is most important we should encourage. Everything done to encourage people to own their own houses makes for stability in the State. Anything that makes it more difficult for people to own their own houses is detrimental to the real interests of the State. I strongly support what Deputy Norton has said on this Resolution. The proper lines of amendment would be to exclude the owner-occupier. A very serious burden was placed upon him last year by removing the fraction of the valuation —one-sixth — allowed him because he lived in the house he owned. Take the case cited by Deputy Norton — a very unusual case. The house was valued at £100—I take the percentage figure— and the occupier paid on something over £80. Now, he will have to pay £125. That means a 50 per cent. increase in the tax which the owner-occupier will have to pay as compared with what he had to face last year.
 In many cases, people have attempted under great difficulties to become the owners of the houses they occupy. It was really doubtful in many cases whether they could meet their liabilities in respect of the rents they were paying to enable them to become owners. I am sure that Deputy Norton and the Minister know many cases in which those who made that attempt had to give it up because they were not able to meet their obligations. The increase in this income tax obligation will turn the scale in many cases and cause a great deal of hardship to those who had attempted to face the future by paying certain rents so as to enable them to become owner-occupiers. This is a very rough and ready way of doing what the Minister really ought to do — that is, undertake a proper valuation. As Deputy Norton has pointed out, the valuations throughout the country are on a most inequitable basis. To say that you will increase the tax on everybody is not a fair way to meet that problem. It does not tend to get rid of the inequalities. It might be a slower method, but it would be a much safer method to re-value the houses that are undervalued and bring them up to a proper level. The result might be greater or might be less than the result of this method — the man in the street cannot say that — but I suggest to the Minister that it is most unfair to hit equally those who are living in houses which are properly valued and those who are living in houses not properly valued. I urge him to consider enterprise which really makes for an increased feeling of stability in the State and not to do something which goes in the opposite direction and which will tend to produce a feeling of insecurity and doubt as to the future of the property holder.
Mr. Belton: We are starting in this Resolution to supplement what the Minister estimated he was going to receive from existing taxation. We are setting out to consider what will leave the Minister, after allowing for the remission of duty on pig carcases,  a sum of £1,185,000. In my speech in the Budget debate, I drew attention to the fact, as it appeared to me, after analysing the figures, that the Minister had consistently over-estimated expenditure and under-estimated the produce of taxation. I should be glad to know from the Minister on what figures he bases his yield under each of the Resolutions or couple of resolutions, taken together, in building up his figure of £1,185,000. On this Resolution, I agree with all that has been said by Deputy Thrift and Deputy Norton. Last year, the Minister, in his Budget speech, said: “There will be a Resolution to remove an anomaly in the income tax code whereby the owner-occupier of certain classes of buildings receives for income-tax purposes a repairs allowance on the double.” I do not want to debate that point now. It was debated pretty fully last year, and I do not think that the honours lay with the Minister. Up to then, there was an allowance under Schedule A of one-eighth for maintenance in respect of land and one-sixth in respect of buildings. The Minister said that there was a mistake made a long time back by the Revenue Commissioners — that the Valuation Office took into account the cost of repairs before assessing the valuation. I pass from that. The Minister has discovered something else about the valuations this year. Although he succeeded in getting the allowance for repairs abolished last year, he says the valuation should really be increased by a quarter. I wonder the Minister has not instructed the officer responsible for the Valuation Office to put on the right valuation. Previous speakers have referred to the need for a new valuation. What is the need for a new valuation on houses that have been valued for the first time within the last twelve months? The Minister says that that valuation is wrong. The Valuation Office then must not be doing its duty. Why does not the Minister look after it?
The Minister let us into more information in his few introductory remarks when moving this Resolution. I think his statement was to the effect that the  income value of such property owners far exceeds the poor law valuation. I do not think the Minister is at all satisfied to let it remain at five-fourths. That is only the thin end of the wedge, if I understand what was at the back of his mind in his introductory remarks. I want the Minister to bear this in mind, that the tendency —and it is a good one — in new houses and generally on the housing question is to create owner-occupiers. The Minister should bear in mind the amount of public money borrowed by local authorities either from the public or through the Government for which they will be responsible to the Local Loans Fund in future, of which the Minister will be the manager. He should bear in mind the amount of public money lent for house purchase. That is an important factor. Up to 80 per cent. and in some cases 90 per cent. of the market value of houses was lent. Public money was lent for that purpose on a falling market. Not being able to rent houses people bought them and in many cases pinched themselves to do so. Perhaps in most cases they had to borrow the cash deposit to qualify for an advance. These people are owner-occupiers. Does the Minister not see how he threatens the margin of security that the Government and local authorities have in these houses? I wish to draw particular attention to the financial position of the Dublin Corporation which, as the Minister is aware, in the last two or three years invested over £900,000 in order to help people to buy their own houses under the Small Dwellings Act. That £900,000 is not a very big margin of security, and by this Resolution and by last year's Act that margin of security is being diminished. As suggested by Deputy Norton, the best thing that could be done would be to exclude occupier-owners. That would only be an instalment of fair play.
This is one of the worst features in the Budget, considering the present state of housing. A development of housing is out of the question by way of any speculator coming along and  building houses to rent. That can be ruled out. There will be no extension of housing accommodation in that direction. The only extension of housing accommodation practicable at the present time is by house purchase. The Minister is now going to add another weight to house purchasers. They are already overweighted. The thin end of the wedge was got in last year, by depriving them of the advantage of one-sixth for maintenance, while one-fourth of the entire valuation is to be added this year. The result will be that people will get nervous and will not want to buy houses on the purchase system. It will create a state of nervousness about the whole position, and, all the more, when the public hear the statement that the Minister made in introducing his proposal, which, obviously, betrayed a policy of extending this principle. He stated that the poor law valuation of a house is not at all commensurate with the value of the house. That shows that the Minister intends to develop along these lines. Regarding the poor law valuation of houses valued within the last couple of months, a case was brought to my notice in the last few weeks where the valuation of a house recently valued will now have one-fourth added. How could it be added when the valuation was fixed within the last couple of months? Is the machinery for valuation gone wrong? If it is, the Minister should look after it.
General Mulcahy: Deputy Belton says that this is one of the worst features of the Budget. There are many bad features in the Budget. but, if we are to take this as a straw showing the direction in which the wind is blowing, then it is quite easy to show that this is one of the worst features. The condition of affairs is that the Government is called upon from day to day to provide for the maintenance and upkeep of an increasing number of people without any means of subsistence, from the man with heavy family responsibilities to young people without such responsibilities, who can for a little while live with their own people. The Minister has raked every direction  he could possibly rake in order to find additional taxation and additional sources of taxation. People who have some kind of property that provided them with homes or with a livelihood find themselves attacked more and more because they are the only people who can be got at. The Minister has looked around to see where he could scrape in a few more hundreds of thousands of pounds. He said to himself: “I can get them off people who have houses, shops, factories and mills and people on the land.” He takes £100,000 from people who own land and houses on land and £100,000 from the amount that was made available last year for the relief of rates on agricultural land. That class is hit to the extent of £100,000.
An Ceann Comhairle: That class does not come under the tax proposed in this Resolution.
General Mulcahy: This Resolution covers all tenements and rateable hereditaments, other than lands and other than farm houses and farm buildings occupied with lands for the purpose of farming such lands. I want to see the tax now being put on houses, shops, mills and factories, as well as the analogous kind of taxation, being lifted off the farming community through the reductions I speak of. The direction in which things are going shows the length to which the Minister for Finance and his colleagues are prepared to go blindly —not knowing where the end of the road is. People with homes and with roots that cannot be shifted are the people on whom the heaviest burdens are going to fall. What makes this one of the worst features of the Budget is that it tends to turn our people from people with roots in the land and in the homes which they own in the cities and towns into a nation of carpet-baggers, who can slip from one place to another and pick up such relief in one way or another as the Government are providing them with, but who cannot be caught on any particular night in any one place, so that their homes can be robbed and their  pockets robbed by the Government. The Minister laughs.
Mr. MacEntee: It is very farfetched.
General Mulcahy: Is it very farfetched? Let the Minister take himself into the home of a Dublin artisan who, say, in the year 1926, 1927 or 1928, got a home in the City of Dublin recently built by the Dublin Corporation and, as Deputy Belton says, squeezed himself in the necessaries of life in order to have a home around him, because it is as necessary, if we are to have a civilised or Christian life for our people, or any kind of a life, to have a home as it is to have the means of subsistence. The Minister's colleague, the Minister for Local Government, can tell him to what extent it has been found that new housing schemes in many countries have brought about a position in which, in order to get homes around them, the people have had to deny themselves the necessaries of life. There have been various reports showing to what extent the health of the families has been reduced through lack of nourishment after going into new homes, because they stinted themselves to have those new homes about them.
Mr. MacEntee: I do not want to interrupt the Deputy——
General Mulcahy: I am most anxious to hear the Minister. Our difficulty is that the Minister sits there with a Resolution before him and challenges Deputies to dodge about and see how much information they can extract from him and dares Deputies to get any information about these matters. I willingly give way to the Minister to hear what he has to say.
Mr. MacEntee: I merely want to ease the Deputy's mind in regard to one point. This also applies to some part of the speech of Deputy Norton. It is extremely unlikely that those who have bought their homes under the hire purchase system and, in particular, those who have bought them from public authorities, will be affected, and, in fact, I will go so far as to say that  they will not be affected, by this at all, for the simple reason that the interest which they pay is set against their Schedule A assessment.
General Mulcahy: Will the Minister accept an amendment excluding that class of person?
Mr. MacEntee: Oh, no.
General Mulcahy: Of course, he will not.
Mr. Belton: What is the inducement to include them?
Mr. MacEntee: The existing provisions are quite sufficient to safeguard them.
General Mulcahy: The machinery is there and the class who own their homes, their shops, their factories and their land are people who can be caught in the machine. There is no weak spot to be left in the machine which the Minister anticipates may have to be drawn tighter and tighter around the people who are caught in it. The Minister says he is going to get £60,000 out of various Resolutions with regard to income tax, but the class we speak of, when you take into consideration the measures taken against them last year and taken against them now, are going to have the valuation upon which their income tax payment will be assessed increased by five-twelfths of what it was before last year's change was made.
The last report we have from the Revenue Commissioners gives us information on this point only in respect of the year 1930-31. We see that the assessments under Schedule A were made on a total of £3,565,000 in respect of housing, tenements, etc., other than lands, farm buildings and farmhouses. We are anxious to see where that property lies. Of that, £1,697,000 lies in the city of Dublin; in the other county boroughs, about £460,000 lies; in the urban districts, £729,499. We can take it that the £3,500,000 is made up, after that, by about £800,000 in respect of buildings in the county board of health areas, where the total valuation of the property is about £1,400,000.  We are entitled to hear from the Minister how much of this £60,000 is going to be raised by way of this Resolution and, in view of his suggestion that owners of property bought from the Dublin Corporation within the last few years will not come under this, how exactly, based upon this particular valuation, is he going to raise the money under this, and how much of the £600,000 is going to be got in that particular way.
The position with regard to income tax indicates that this is a sinister proposal for the reason that I explained in the beginning, and if the Minister thinks anything of public confidence, the House should get a clear statement from him on the exact effect of this proposal. I say that it is going to fall on houses, shops and factories. The Minister shakes his head, but the phraseology of the Minister's Resolution is such as to secure that it does. If the Minister considers that it should not fall on shops, factories and mills, I would ask him again, as I asked with regard to the small owners, will he accept an amendment to exclude shops, factories and mills from this proposal?
Mr. Good: I am afraid the last speaker is unaware of the conditions that prevail with regard to shops and factories.
Mr. Belton: They were rooked long ago.
Mr. Good: I think the great fault with this Resolution is that, as Deputy Thrift said, it strikes at the stability of the State and that is a matter which, particularly in this country, we should always have before us. I am afraid also that it will make the difficulty of local authorities very much greater in future in providing moneys than has been the case in the past. They find a difficulty, as I understand the position, in getting owners for many of the houses which they are anxious to dispose of. Take the case of an owner who purchased three or four years ago. He found the money and provides the money out of his weekly income, after making sacrifices which possibly we  would not agree it was necessary for him to make or which he should make, but he has to do it in order to get housing accommodation. Last year he found that he was free from burden to the extent of the remission of one-sixth which he enjoyed heretofore, and which he had taken into his calculations when purchasing his house. Imagine the position of that man when he finds that his difficulty is added to this year by a further 25 per cent. I am afraid the reaction of this particular proposal will be more considerable than we think. There is one Deputy in the House who has considerable experience of the housing difficulties of the Dublin Corporation, and I should like to hear that Deputy— Deputy Kelly—on this proposal.
Mr. Belton: I might inform the House that he is Chairman of the Housing Committee of the Dublin Corporation.
Mr. MacDermot: We want Deputy Kelly.
Mr. Dillon: The Minister has indicated that this new assessment will not apply to shops? I should like to have it quite clearly from the Minister as to whether this 5/4ths provision applies to shops.
Mr. MacEntee: May I put it this way —that if the shop is owned by the occupier, this resolution does not affect the amount which he will pay under the two schedules A and D. He will receive an increased allowance in respect of the income tax under Schedule D. He will have to pay a correspondingly increased amount under Schedule A, so that if he owns the business premises his position still remains unchanged.
General Mulcahy: This resolution covers shops and factories.
Mr. MacEntee: Not in the sense in which the Deputy was trying to put it —that this was going to be an increased burden on those who were producers in this country.
Mr. Dillon: What I should like to find out from the Minister in connection with this resolution is as follows: Does  it not appear to him that this proposal will operate to take from young married persons who are in the process of purchasing their houses, or who have purchased their houses, a good deal of the benefits which he purported to confer upon them in the altered incidence of income tax which is provided for in the Finance Acts of 1933 and 1934? Take any young married couple who invested their savings in the purchase of a house, and who recognised gratefully the remissions in income tax that were made in the Finance Acts of 1933 and 1934, are they not going to find, by the increased assessment placed on their houses now, that the greater part of those concessions is being taken back from them? Does not this financial resolution result in a complete reversion of policy in respect of marriage and family allowances, about which the Minister made such a hullabaloo 12 months ago? The Minister has said that the interest which any person who is in the process of buying his house on mortgage will have to pay will be allowed to him, and as a result this increased assessment will very rarely affect such a person. It is a rather remarkable commentary on the general situation obtaining in this country that at a time when all the building societies in England are reducing their rates of interest, reducing the burden on the backs of young married people who are buying houses on the instalment plan, we are taking precautions to ensure that if any similar reduction is made here it will be made not for the benefit of the individual but for the benefit of the State, and that if there is any reduction in the interest rates on mortgages which have been raised for the purchase of a house, the whole benefit will pass over to the Exchequer.
Mr. Belton: And that at a time when house purchasing facilities have nearly dried up.
Mr. Dillon: I do not think the Minister can deny that. Several Deputies before me have pointed cut that it is a very essential part of any comprehensive housing scheme that private building should be stimulated and encouraged  in every possible way. The Government have protested loudly that such is their ambition. They have provided for additional grants; they have exhorted people to enter building societies; they have explained that they need not hesitate to come for any assistance they want when they contemplate building a house. Surely it seems to be wholly irrational and illogical to pursue two entirely different lines of policy on two closely analogous occasions. We have the Minister for Local Government and Public Health pushing everybody into the purchase or construction of houses, and we have the Minister for Finance warning anybody who becomes the proprietor of a house that he will have to pay more by way of income tax under Schedule A on that house than he ever had to pay before. Lastly, I think this Resolution is deserving of criticism inasmuch as it is grossly unjust in the way that the extra assessment is arrived at. As Deputy Belton has pointed out, there is going to be an increase of 25 per cent. on all valuations without any regard at all to when the valuations were made. We all know that the Minister wants money, and he thought that this was a rather smart way of getting £1,000,000 by a back-stairs method. He grossly under-estimates the prospective yield, and he imposes the taxation in a way which he thinks the average man in the street will not understand.
Mr. MacEntee: £1,000,000!
Mr. Dillon: I should have said £100,000. I apologise.
General Mulcahy: It is going to be more than that.
Mr. Dillon: We do not know what it is going to be, and the Minister will not tell us. On the information of persons whose judgment I trust in this matter, I believe it will run into six figures instead of five. The Minister can very well afford to jeer any Deputy who has not at his disposal the sources of information which the Minister has.
Mr. MacEntee: I beg the Deputy's pardon.
Mr. Dillon: I frankly admit that the assessment of a figure of this kind is extremely difficult to anyone who has not recourse to the Revenue Commissioners. The Minister has refrained from telling the House how he arrived at this calculation. I do not want to pursue this line, or I might reflect on the Minister's capacity to make the calculation himself if he had not his officials to turn to. The Minister proposes to raise, by a back-stairs method, a sum which I believe to be substantially in excess of his estimates. He does it in a way which he thinks the man on the street will not readily recognise. In order to get that enormous revenue he does something which he knows as well as we do, is inequitable. He raises everybody's valuation by 25 per cent., although a great number of houses in the country at the present moment have been valued within the last two years. He boasts of the fact, on other occasions, that there is a great number of houses in the country that have been valued within two years. The only fact upon which I am prepared to say that the Fianna Fáil Government is deserving of one scintilla of credit from the nation as a whole is the fact that I believe they have created a situation in which there has been a very substantial addition to the number of houses in the country.
General Mulcahy: Not as much as they say.
Mr. Dillon: Possibly not as much as they say, but we have learned by experience not to expect any promise from that side of the House to be fulfilled. Deputy Mulcahy agrees with me that there has been a very substantial increase in the number of houses in the country since Fianna Fáil came into office. There was a very substantial increase in the number of houses built during the first ten years of this Government. In the numbers of new houses built we have nearly reached the number of houses burned. It was a pretty fast race, but we did  it. For the past three years we have been adding to the total number of houses. Having done that, and taken pride out of that fact, the Minister for Finance is going to advance their valuation to the same valuation as those houses valued 10, 20, 30 or 40 years ago. He knows that is not just. I asked him to answer us on that head, to explain to us the calculation whereby he arrived at the figure of £60,000 that he expects this tax to yield and to say does he think it fair that, when persons bought houses on a mortgage and legitimately expected the rates of interest to fall, as in England, that the whole of that benefit should go to the Exchequer in Ireland, while it is going to the owner-occupier in England?
Mr. Moore: There are some of us who would like to understand this question more thoroughly and become more enlightened in regard to it, but the debate is not helping us. One Deputy asked that the owner-occupier be excluded and another Deputy proposed that factories, shops and apparently all business buildings should be excluded. It does not look as if the Resolution were being discussed seriously at all. With regard to the point about new valuations, would it not be the case that in arriving at these valuations advertence must be made to the valuations of existing buildings and that there must be a certain relation between new valuations and previous valuations? I take it they could not be valued so that there would be a substantial difference between two houses of the same capacity and quality.
Mr. Belton: Is the Deputy speaking with authority now, or is he merely guessing?
Mr. Moore: I am inquiring.
General Mulcahy: Ask the Minister.
Mr. Moore: The Valuation Department, I take it, have to have regard to existing valuations in making any new valuations and, consequently, the point raised by Deputy Belton would have no real effect with regard to the  present Resolution. All valuations that will come under this Resolution have been calculated on the same standards. I think that should be obvious. I suggest the best way would be if we could agree on an example or two as to how far this Resolution is going to affect the class of person who has struggled to buy a house in recent years. A fairly high valuation for that class of person would be £24 a year. For this purpose it is being raised to £30 a year. If he is of the struggling class he is not paying more than 2/3 in the £ income tax, and the net effect of this Resolution would be, therefore, to raise his gross income tax by 13/6 in the year. Is that a typical case, I wonder? Is that the grievance that is alleged against this proposal? If that is an average case, and I think it would probably be above the average, then I hardly think that the proposal deserves all the censure that has been passed upon it. A little over 1/- a month is not a great deal for a property owner to pay by way of increase in income tax, especially when the Minister is able to state that the valuations are entirely out of date and that under a new valuation it is very likely all valuations will be increased. Up to the present I can see nothing in the case made against this Resolution.
General Mulcahy: I would like to hear Deputy Moore ask the Minister whether this proposal affects the pottery factory in Arklow, the Bray electric equipment factory and smaller industries in Bray.
Mr. Dillon: We have not heard Deputy Kelly yet.
Mr. T. Kelly: I do not pay any income tax; I do not know anything about it.
Mr. Good: I would like to hear the Deputy on the Corporation.
Mr. Belton: He might tell us something about Ballyknockan granite.
Mr. MacEntee: There seems to be an amount of confusion existing as to what income tax is. Income tax is a tax upon income derived from the ownership of property, the occupation  of land, the profits of industry, the wages and salaries of employment and the remuneration derived from the practice of a profession.
Mr. MacDermot: Excepting the Government Front Bench.
Mr. MacEntee: What is the proper basis for assessing the income derived from the ownership of property? Is it not the actual income paid by the tenant to the landlord, the actual income which the landlord derives from the payments which are made to him by the tenant? Surely we are doing no person an injustice if, instead of taking what was formerly a notional assessment of what that income might be, we should look into the case and see what the income really is and then proceed to tax the person who derives that income? We do that in regard to the owners of mills, the owners of businesses; we do that in regard to workers who are tenants of houses in the State. They are all charged upon what their income really is. According to the minds of some Deputies here, there has to be, even in the ranks of the income taxpayers, a special and privileged class. They are the people who own the property and they are not to be taxed upon what their actual income is, but they are to be taxed upon a notional income which bears no relation in the present circumstances to their real income.
The simplest way to deal with the situation would be, of course, as Deputy Thrift says, to have a revaluation of the whole country. That is in train; a Bill is being drafted in order to do that. It is a most complicated measure, because it has to have regard to the decisions of the courts which, in my opinion, have radically altered what was the original purport of the Valuation Acts of the country. Even when that Bill is drafted and is passed by the Oireachtas, it will still be a considerable time before the revaluation of the country is completed. In the meantime are members of this privileged class who own property going to be taxed at very much less than they ought  to be and are they going to enjoy that remission, that concession, at the expense of their fellow-citizens, the people who derive their incomes out of the profits of their industry.
Mr. Dillon: It must be very hard for the Minister to keep a straight face.
Mr. MacEntee: Take the case of properties in the City of Dublin. There are few Deputies in the House, I am sure, who are familiar with conditions here who could not parallel these cases with a considerable number of other examples. Take the case of a house in Sutton. The rent which is paid by the tenant is £80 a year, free. The landlord pays the rates and other outgoings. The poor law valuation is £21. The owner's approximate income, taking one year with another, from that house is £51. If the valuation of that house bore, as it ought to, a real relation to the rent at present being derived from it, then the valuation ought to be in the neighbourhood of £51 and not £21. We propose that the man who is paying now on a notional income of £21 will bear an increase of 25 per cent., and we propose to make him pay on a national income of £26 5s. 0d., although his actual income from the house is £51. In Pembroke there is a case of a house let at £160 a year. The poor law valuation is £50. The owner's approximate income is £102 and he ought to pay on that £102. Last year he paid on £50, but now he will have to pay on a notional income of £62 10s. 0d.
General Mulcahy: What prevents this proposal becoming an increase of rents proposal?
Mr. Good: Could the Minister quote us a few cases from Mountjoy Square?
General Mulcahy: Or Clontarf, Marino or Cabra.
Mr. MacEntee: There is a case of a house in Milltown, the rent of which is £84 free. The poor law valuation is £18 5s. 0d. and the annual income, one year with another, is £56.
Mr. Good: Has the Minister any case in Mountjoy Square in that list?
General Mulcahy: Or from Marino or Cabra?
Mr. MacEntee: I was dealing with Milltown. The approximate income derived from the ownership of that house is £56. The poor law valuation is £18 5s. 0d. That is what the owner had to pay on last year. This year he will pay on a notional income of £22 16s. 0d. There might be a case and there is a case for making him pay possibly even more——
Mr. J.M. Burke: Might I ask if the Minister——
An Ceann Comhairle: The Minister.
Mr. MacEntee: In Dundrum there is a house which is let at £78 with rates. I can quite understand that people who have been talking in this House do not want these instances to go on record. The house is let at £78 and rates, and the poor law valuation is £25. The approximate income from the house is £62 10s 0d. We propose to make the owner pay on £31 5s 0d. There is another house in Donnybrook of which the rent is £120. The poor law valuation is £26 and under the new Schedule A we propose to make the owner pay on £32 10s. 0d. The income on which he should be assessed is approximately £80. I could go down the list further. There is not a single district in Dublin from which I could not give instances which are not exceptional cases at all, but instances of what is the general rule.
Mr. Dillon: The Minister has not had the courage to cross the river yet.
Mr. MacEntee: Very well, then. There is a house in Dollymount let at £75 free. The poor law valuation is £18. The actual income received by the owner of the house, taking one year with another, is £49 and the assessment under this provision will be £22 10s. 0d. In Drumcondra there is a house let at £72 free. The poor law valuation is £14. The approximate net yearly income is £49 and under the new provision the owner will be assessed on £17 10s. 0d. There is another instance of a house let at £80 free. The poor law valuation is £18 and the actual  income is approximately £53. The new assessment will be on £22 10s. 0d.
These are instances, as I say, that any Deputy, who is familiar with the conditions existing in Dublin City and County, can parallel with numerous others. There are also in Cork, Waterford, and other districts in Ireland, cases of this sort. It is the general rule in this country that the poor law valuation does not at all represent the actual income which is derived from the ownership of property. There may be cases on the other side. If Deputies know of such cases I should be very glad if they would send in a note of them, but I have the feeling that when I do get these alleged instances, we shall probably find that they will not be covered by this provision at all.
General Mulcahy: It is an increase in rent.
Mr. MacEntee: The justification for this clause is that income tax should be levied on income. If we were in Great Britain the assessment for income tax purposes would not be related at all to the poor law valuation. The income tax inspector would make the assessment on the actual income derived from the house.
Mr. Belton: When did that change come about?
Mr. MacEntee: It always existed, the only difference being that when we were governed from Westminster, and when they had to fix a basis of assessment for this country, they said: “There is one thing we will pin them down to. They have to value their houses for the purposes of the poor law for paying rates, and we will be satisfied with that as a fair assessment.”
Mr. Belton: That is a very slippery statement.
Mr. Good: There is a repairs allowance.
Mr. MacEntee: We know ourselves where these houses are, and we know the actual income derived from them. There is no case whatever for taxing them at any lesser rate than the rate  at which income is taxed, which is derived, as I said before, from the pursuit of industry, from a profession, or from some other employment.
With regard to the alleged hardships which this provision will inflict on a certain class of owner-occupier. I say again that so far as houses that have been bought in recent years under the hire-purchase system are concerned, the interest which is chargeable on that transaction will in the vast majority of cases — I do not want to say in every case, because some person might bring an exceptional case to my notice — wipe out the assessment under Schedule A.
Deputy Moore has given us an example of an actual case. I shall take the case of a married man with three children and an income of £400, owing a house of £20 valuation. That case represents a considerable number of people who bought houses under these schemes. He will not come under assessment at all because of the allowances to which he is entitled. If by any chance he comes near the line of assessment, if he has to pay 20/- or 15/-, he would, in the great majority of cases, be able to set off against his Schedule A assessment the interest which he has to pay to the Corporation, the building society or the bank on the loan he has secured. On this question of the newer houses and the valuation which they carry, Deputy Moore is quite correct. The valuation which is assessed on these houses is fixed by the rent which would be derived from the letting of the new houses as compared with the rents which are already being derived from the letting of houses built long ago. And since the older houses, lettable as they are at a very high rent, carry very low valuations, so the newer houses correspondingly carry low valuations, too. My opinion is that we would have done no injustice to anyone if, instead of increasing the assessment in the Schedule by 25 per cent., we incretsed it more. But, in order to make sure that no injustice would be done I contented myself with fixing the figure at 25 per cent.
Mr. Dillon: The Minister has not given us any particulars of the calculation by which he arrived at this assessment.
Mr. MacEntee: It is not usual to give such calculations. I am satisfied that the figure of £60,000 will cover not merely the increased revenue we expected to derive from this, but also the other minor provisions in relation to income tax and death duties imposed in Resolutions before the House. My information is that £60,000 represents the amount we hope to get in this year. But it may possibly be increased to £75,000 in the full year. That represents the amount, I am advised, we can count upon. There has been no case of writing up or writing down. The figures, as given to the House, have come to me, and I have sufficient confidence in the Revenue Commissioners to believe that they are not going to write up or write down so as to guard against a possible short fall on other duties. They are responsible for the estimate of revenue as a whole, and they could easily have guarded themselves against any short fall from our particular tax by writing down the yield which they expected from it. I do not see any substance at all in the point Deputy MacDermot raised.
General Mulcahy: There are two points that the Minister left obscure. This Resolution covers mills, factories and shops. The Minister has left the position in regard to them obscure. Secondly the Minister referred very explicitly to income. Is there any provision that prevents this from becoming an increase in rent? Is there anything that prevents the increased burden put upon those people who are getting the income, from being passed on to the people who pay rent for the houses?
Mr. Norton: Will the Minister say whether it is to be assumed that houses built by the Corporation or other local authorities in recent years are, in fact, valued on a day-to-day basis, so that tenants may anticipate an increase of at least 25 per cent. on their valuation?
Mr. T. Kelly: Not at all.
Mr. Norton: I would like to hear that from the Minister. This estimate is for an increase of 25 per cent, on valuation.
Mr. Belton: The Minister expects the product of this tax this year to be £60,000, and in a full year to be £75,000. Will not this be a full producing year? Is it not starting to operate from the 6th April this year? Might I ask the Minister what is the advantage to the Exchequer from the discontinuance of the repairs allowance last year?
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy may not ask that question at this stage.
Mr. Belton: Then on what stage?
An Ceann Comhairle: The Minister concluded the debate. It is in the discretion of the Chair to allow subsequently certain relevant questions on points raised which a Deputy or  Deputies consider the Minister not to have elucidated sufficiently.
Mr. Coburn: What would be the position of an owner-occupier who bought his house from a public authority or a public utility society and repaid the capital advanced? Suppose the capital advanced was £700 over a period of 15 years, and suppose that the tenant in the course of three or four years was in a position to repay one-half or three-quarters of the whole, what would be his position in regard to the 25 per cent.?
Mr. MacEntee: That would depend entirely upon the arrangement he made with the building society. If it means that he is going to continue to pay the same rate as previously, the element of interest obviously is going to decline, and consequently the amount of the set off against the Schedule A assessments is going to decline.
The Committee divided: Tá, 61; Níl, 46.
Corry, Martin John.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
De Valera, Eamon.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Gibbons, Seán F.
Keely, Séamus P.
|Kelly, James Patrick.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Lynch, James B.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ward, Francis C.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Broderick, William Joseph.
Burke, James Michael.
Dillon, James M.
Dolan, James Nicholas.
Doyle, Peadar S.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGuire, James Ivan.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rogers, Patrick James.
Rowlette, Robert James.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Smit h; Níl, Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.
Question —“That the Dáil agree with the Committee in Financial Resolution No. 4”— put and agreed to.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I move: “That the Dáil agree with the Committee in Financial Resolution No. 5.” This is a simple resolution the purpose of which is, briefly, to substitute the words “citizen of Saorstát Eireann” for the words “British subject”.
Question put and agreed to.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I move: “That the Dáil agree with the Committee in Financial Resolution No. 6.” The purpose of this Resolution is to continue to give authority to the Revenue Commissioners to persist in the practice which has been theirs heretofore; that is, when computing a builder's profits, to treat as income both the amount received for the sale of a house and the capitalised value of any head rent reserved thereon.
Mr. Belton: The Minister has gone one better in this. He is taxing a man on an income he has not got. I think that a little more explanation was necessary from the Minister than what he has given. He tried it out in the courts and got beaten, and now he comes in here with this Resolution to get power for an injustice. I should like to put it to the Minister that the following is the position. A man takes a plot of land at, let us say, £5 a site and he builds houses on those sites and sells them at £1,000. He puts £10 ground rent on. The Minister, in dealing with the total profit of that, will say that out of that house the builder has got a gross return of £1,000, plus the capitalised value of a £5 a year profit rent. Let us assume that he assesses the value of that £5 at 15 years' purchase — that is, £75. But it will take him 15 years before he gets that £75 on which the Minister now proposes to collect income tax.
Take another case. Suppose that builder instead of selling that house, rents it at £100 a year. The Minister will only charge him on the income he was getting out of the house or rather on the valuation calculated at five-fourths. The Minister has now discovered that there are five fours in a whole unit. In the other case he capitalises the profits. Why does he not  capitalise the ordinary rent in the case of a house let at £100. Let us take another instance. If I had a private income of £1,000 a year, in a year in which I did not get any of that income I would pay no income tax. I put it to the Minister that that is the position and that that is the policy of the Revenue Commissioners because obviously they could not charge me income tax on an income I did not receive even though I was entitled to receive it. In the instance I have taken, provided the ground rent of £5 was created, it will take the speculative builder 15 years at the rate of £5 a year to receive that ground rent. And during that 15 years he would be paying 4/6 in the £ annually on that £5. I do not see how that could be justified from any angle. The Revenue Commissioners tried it in the courts and they were kicked out with costs. That was since the Minister passed his last year's Budget. But now he is going to make sure that he is going to get all the tax on an income that does not exist.
Mr. Dillon: Will the Minister tell us why he cannot wait until the income tax accrues?
Mr. Belton: He is getting income tax on that as well.
Mr. Dillon: Is it suggested that he should first tax the capital value of the income before it accrues and then tax the income tax when he gets it? If that is so, I suggest there is no justice in it at all. I submit that that is the case. As a general representation I make this submission to the Minister: at the present time owning house property is not a very attractive proposition. You have instances like Edgeworthstown. You have combinations of town tenants coming up to interview the Minister; you have strong agitations rising here and there demanding a reduction of rent. Very frequently these agitations develop into rent strikes. In fact the business of collecting rents in this country is not a very attractive proposition to anybody who could invest his money in any other way. I think the community is very much indebted to the individuals who go to the assistance of this  State and, as speculative builders, help the housing resources of the country. It is becoming more difficult to get enterprising men to engage in that kind of work on account of the many fortuitous circumstances that arise. Surely it should be the care of the Minister to lighten the burden on these men so far as equity will allow. I do not want these men to be placed in any sort of a privileged position. If the Minister is casting about for an opportunity of raising another thousand pounds for the revenue he should look to this particular source last, because the individual burden on the speculative builder will be substantially increased, whereas the gain to the revenue will be comparatively trifling. The individual builder will be hit, but in comparison with the whole of the Budget this will be a trifling gain. We want houses and we would prefer to have as many as possible of them built by speculative builders. Otherwise the State will have to provide those houses either through the local authorities or by direct grants themselves.
Mr. Belton: It will cost the State very much more.
Mr. Dillon: Yes. It all boils down to the position that we want to help the speculative builder. We are not prepared to put him in a privileged position, but we are not going to place vexatious burdens upon him while the revenue can be raised in some other way. I do not think the Minister has given any estimate of what he expects to get from this particular tax. What exactly does the Minister expect to get?
Mr. MacEntee: Nothing; it is merely to safeguard the existing revenue. This has always been the practice.
Mr. Dillon: The Revenue Commissioners held under the existing Finance Acts in the past that they were entitled to levy capital sums, and perhaps also income tax later as it came to hand. The courts held that they were not so entitled, and that is why the Minister has this Resolution now. My submission to the Minister is that what he is going to get out of this in cash is very little. If the only purpose  he has in mind is to soothe the ruffled feelings of the Revenue Commissioners he should find some other way of soothing their feelings. He is a master of soft words, and he knows how the soft answer turneth away wrath. He should deal with the matter in some other way.
Mr. Belton: Do I understand the Minister to say that he will get no revenue out of this?
Mr. MacEntee: Yes. Where the speculative builder——
An Ceann Comhairle: Is the Minister to conclude?
Mr. MacEntee: No. There are just one or two points that I should like to deal with in order to help the House. It had always been the practice of the Revenue Commissioners to have builders' profits computed for the purpose of making assessments, on this basis; that where the speculative builder having built a house sells it and reserves to himself the ground rent; they take for the purpose of computing his profits the price at which he sells the building plus the capitalised value of the ground rent which he has reserved. Income tax was always charged on that. That has always been the practice, but it was ruled against recently in the Circuit Court. An appeal will probably be taken to the High Court. In the meantime, without making this section retrospective at all, we are asking the Oireachtas to reinstate the law as it was. Irrespective of any decision that may be given on appeal, the Oireachtas is entitled to make this law. When the Revenue Commissioners were first given authority to compute income tax on this basis, they acted rightly and in accordance with authority. We propose merely to give them a renewal of that authority without giving it any retrospective effect, that is, the position which has always been maintained up to the present. Notwithstanding the effect of this law, speculative building has gone on at an increased rate. No speculative builder has been deterred from taking advantage of the provisions of the Housing Act, by  reason of the fact that he knew that if he did take advantage of these Acts his income for the purpose of income tax would be computed on that basis — the basis of what he gets for the fabric of the house and the capitalised value of the ground rent which he reserves to himself. I submit the arguments used against this are fallacious arguments which will not stand examination. We ask that the Dáil now should reinstate the law definitely by a more definitive provision, making the law what it was always thought to have been. There will be no impediments placed in the way of the speculative builder, as can be quite easily seen if you consider what happens when you are computing the profits of a motor car salesman. A number of firms do a very large business on the hire-purchase system. A person has to put down a substantial cash payment and he may arrange to pay the balance in instalments. But the actual turnover for the purpose of computing profits is the turnover manifested by the sales of the cars. In the same way in regard to clothes, quite a lot of business is done on that basis. It is the same in regard to these houses. A substantial cash payment is put down and the rest is paid by instalments in the ground rent. That goes on year after year. There is no injustice, taking the profits of one year with another, taking into the consideration the two elements in the bargain, the cash-down payment, however the purchaser may secure the cash which he pays for the building, and the capitalised value of the instalments which he pays in the way of ground rent, even though they may be instalments in perpetuity.
Mr. MacDermot: In the case of a motor car sold on the instalment system these instalments would not be taxed a second time over. The seller would be taxed in the first place on the capitalised value of the instalments, if you like to put it that way, but he would not have to bring into his income return for subsequent years the same instalments as they came in. The suggestion made by Deputy Belton was  that you bring in the ground rents again. If that is true, it seems to be an obvious case of taxing something twice.
Mr. MacEntee: There seems to be some substance in what the Deputy says, but even there, consider this position: in the case of the motor car if the seller takes these instalments and re-invests them in something else, then the income which he derives should be taxed. There is another element too. A motor car is not quite an exact analogy — I merely brought it in as an example. There is this fact, which is very important, that when the builder has created the ground rent he has created what is a marketable entity. He can take it and dispose of it in the open market.
Mr. Belton: And you tax that the following year?
Mr. MacEntee: No.
Mr. Belton: As part of his income.
Mr. MacEntee: We might have lost by the transaction in any event. They create this marketable entity which they can dispose of. It is a part of the house. You cannot consider the house apart from the site. The two go together. The revenue authorities are entitled to refuse to dissociate the site of the house from the fabric of the house in the way in which Deputy Belton asks us to do; in the way in which he tries to do when he says to a man: “I will sell the fabric of the building, but I am going to charge £10 a year for the land upon which it stands.” We are entitled to refuse to look at the transaction in that way and say: “You sell the house and the site; we know what actual cash you were paid for the fabric, and we are entitled to capitalise the value of the continuing payment you have reserved on the site.”
Mr. MacDermot: That is perfectly sound as long as you do not afterwards proceed to make Deputy Belton pay income tax every year on the £10 ground rent. I feel there must be some better case for the revenue authorities than the Minister is making.
Mr. MacEntee: Consider another aspect of it. Supposing that Deputy Belton ends the transaction—again we are safeguarding ourselves against evasion in a matter like this — supposing he says: “The Revenue Commissioners are going to have their way with me, and I have to endure having my profits assessed on the capitalised value of the site. So far as I am concerned that is the end of it. I will sell it in the open market.” He sells it to an individual called B. Surely Deputy MacDermot will not hold that we are not entitled, B having made an investment and purchased Deputy Belton's capitalised ground rent, to assess B, who has bought the ground rent, on the income he derived from the ownership of it. It is an income derived from the ownership of land and we are entitled to assess him on it. If we are entitled to assess the second person, who has bought it from Deputy Belton, on the income which he will derive from it, I suggest that we are entitled to assess Deputy Belton, in the first case, on the capitalised value of the land, which of course allows for a fair return upon his capital, and we are also entitled to assess Deputy Belton on the return which he gets from it.
The fact of the matter is that if he sold the site outright to the original purchaser of the house, it is quite clear that the person who bought the house in these circumstances, who bought both the building and the site upon which it stands, would pay a very much higher price. If Deputy Belton took what represented the value of the land, and reinvested it somewhere else, reinvested it, say, in other ground rents, that being the closest example, we would then tax him upon the income which he derives from the investment of what was the actual value of the site so far as it is capitalised. That is the justification.
Mr. Belton: Is not this the view taken? Let us take a house with £10 ground rent, the capitalised value we will say, for convenience sake, being 20 years' purchase — I do not think the Minister will be as extravagant as that — that will be £200. Let us assume  the all-in selling price of the house would be £1,000. If the ground rent was reserved it would be £800. With the ground rent capitalised it would be £1,000. The Minister's case is that the selling value of that house is £1,000. Is not that so?
Mr. MacEntee: Yes.
Mr. Belton: He looks upon the reserved ground rent as a deferred payment for the house and ground. Is not that so?
Mr. MacEntee: As a re-investment.
Mr. Belton: Supposing the owner did not sell it, but rented it at £100 per year. Will the Minister capitalise the £100 a year? If instead of £200 being deferred, £1,000 was deferred, the Minister would not capitalise any of it. Is not that so?
Mr. MacEntee: The income in that case would be much more uncertain than it is in the case of a ground rent, as the Deputy knows very well.
Mr. Belton: You capitalise none of it. So that the big man, with plenty of money, can go and build houses and let them at a big rent, and the revenue is making no profit out of that by capitalisation. The poor man who builds a house and sells it, reserving a few pounds ground rent is mulcted. He has to pay the capitalised value of the ground rent. But the speculator, the real big fellow in the upper regions, for whom the Minister is catering, can build as many as he likes and let them at any rent he likes, but he pays no income tax on the capitalised income. He bases it on his income. I would like to hear from the Minister how he explains that away.
An Ceann Comhairle: I should like to remind Deputies that the House is debating the Report Stage of the Financial Resolutions. the Chair has been lenient in allowing questions, obviously put for the purpose of eliciting information, but the leniency of the Chair should not be presumed upon too far. Any further questions to the Minister might be answered after the Minister had concluded.
Professor O'Sullivan: I take it that only applies to Deputies who have spoken already. I simply rise for the purpose of putting one or two questions to the Minister. Despite the very long explanation of the Minister, I think I understand the case that he has made.
General Mulcahy: Then we will give the Deputy full marks.
Professor O'Sullivan: Am I to understand that in no sense is this legislation retrospective? I am not thinking now of impending cases. I gathered from what the Minister said that a certain practice has been, shall I say, indulged in by the Revenue Commissioners in this respect over a long number of years. In other words, they have been collecting income tax in a way that they were not entitled to. That, I understand, is the law as at present interpreted. I gathered from the Minister that no effort is being made in this clause to make anything retrospective. Therefore, I take it, if taxes have been collected illegally they will be paid back. Is that the position?
Mr. MacEntee: No, there is nothing in this clause which provides for that.
Professor O'Sullivan: But suppose the law is that these taxes have been illegally collected, no effort is to be made now, I take it, to make that illegal practice of the past legal?
Mr. MacEntee: When the law on the matter has been finally determined, then we will see what the position is.
Professor O'Sullivan: What I am anxious to get from the Minister is a clear statement as to the intentions of the Government. Is it the intention to make this retrospective? The Minister, speaking earlier, made the boast and the claim that there was nothing retrospective about this clause, but from what he said a moment ago it is obvious that if the legal decision, already referred to, goes to the Supreme Court and that it decides that the practice up to the present was illegal, the Government are going to introduce retrospective legislation to make what was an illegal practice in the past legal now. That is the position,  although the Minister has already pledged himself that this particular clause does not do anything of the kind.
Mr. MacEntee: Surely the Deputy is not without hope that it may be his responsibility to do that by the time the decision of the Supreme Court is given?
Professor O'Sullivan: Anyway, there is going to be retrospective legislation, so that we may wipe out of account altogether the promise, or the boast, that there is nothing retrospective about this. The Minister has the firm intention of making it retrospective if the Supreme Court confirms the decision of the Circuit Court. That is what I gather from the answer the Minister gave me by way of an interruption.
Mr. MacEntee: I assure the Deputy that I have not considered the matter at all.
Professor O'Sullivan: If the Minister asks me to believe him I am bound by the rules of the House, but really he is not as simple as all that.
Mr. MacEntee: It is the simplicity of holy innocence.
Professor O'Sullivan: It may be holy innocence, but not in the sense of being sanctified. When the Minister was asked a question about this he gave the answer that it would bring in no new taxes. I wonder if he can answer the question in another way. Suppose he were to accept the law as interpreted by the Circuit Court judge, what would the revenue lose? I admit that to the question —“What extra taxes will the Minister get?”—the answer is “None,” because there is no increase in taxation so far as the existing law goes. The force of the question is, whether he can estimate what he would lose, and whether, owing to the importance of house building, this is not really, to some extent, against public policy. There are urgent reasons why house building should go on and, in view of that,  might it not be wise to forego this particular revenue?
Mr. Good: I would like to know from the Minister if it is a fact that a large portion of the profit on speculative building at the present time is aimed at in this Resolution. What I mean is this: in many districts at the present time houses are being sold at the actual cost of erection, the profit to the speculative builder being in the ground rent. If the Minister wants to take that profit, or to reduce it by 25 per cent, it is obvious that builders will have to increase the price of houses. It is quite clear that the builder is going to have his profit. He cannot work without a profit. If the Minister is going to take a certain portion of the profit which the builder derives from ground rents, then the price of houses will have to be increased. That is the position, and it is just as well that we should face up to it.
Mr. MacEntee: I think the Deputy forgets that the builder has been paying on this basis up to this year.
General Mulcahy: And that building is falling off, and that rents and costs are as high as ever.
Mr. Belton: Was not the test case three or four years in suspense, and the builders did not pay during that time?
Mr. Good: May I point out to the Minister that he is getting this on the double. He is getting it on the land value, and he is getting it annually as a ground rent. If the Minister must have this on the double, the builder will be left with no alternative except to get his profit on the houses he builds by increasing their price. It all comes down to this, that the cost of housing will be increased.
Mr. MacEntee: Deputy O'Sullivan made the point that there is no change in the law. I am not in a position to tell the Deputy what the revenue would lose, but I can assure him it would be a considerable amount. There is a great deal of speculative building going on all over the State. Those  who have engaged in it have received substantial encouragement and inducement from the State. The Housing Act of 1932 was passed, and it is on the basis of that, and not of a purely fortuitous decision given in the courts recently, that house building has gone on. When our predecessors were in office they taxed builders' profits exactly as we propose to do. Were they more guilty of something against public policy when they did that than we are when we propose to continue what has been the general practice? I do not believe for a moment that the re-enactment of the law in this more precise and clearer form is either going to interfere with house building or to send up the price of houses. Most of the people who have gone into speculative building in recent years did so on the same basis that people take up other pursuits or occupations: on the basis that they would be charged income tax on the profits of their undertaking, and that is all we are proposing to do here. I am advised that if this Resolution were not accepted by the Dáil a considerable number of speculative builders who are making very large profits would not come into account at all for income tax purposes.
Professor O'Sullivan: I gather that the Minister accepts what was implied in Deputy Good's question, namely, that the bulk of builders' profits is really got out of speculation in ground sites?
Mr. MacEntee: That may be so.
Professor O'Sullivan: The Minister accepts that?
Mr. MacEntee: I am accepting it in view of what Deputy Good says. He has a more intimate knowledge of the building trade than I have.
Mr. Belton: What grounds has the Minister for saying that if the Dáil turns down this Resolution a great many speculative builders, who are making large profits, will escape income tax? How can they be making large profits and escape income tax?
Mr. MacEntee: Profits on their trade.
Mr. Belton: Fictitious profits.
Question put and declared carried.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I move: “That the Dáil agree with the Committee in Resolution No. 7.” This Resolution is intended merely to bring Section 7 of the Finance Act, 1932, into accord with the Control of Manufactures Act and Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act. The real purpose of the Resolution is set out in Section 3, where a “qualified person” is defined as a person who is a citizen of Saorstát Eireann.
Question put and agreed to.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I move: “That the Dáil agree with the Committee in Financial Resolution No. 8.” This Resolution is designed to effect an amendment of the law consequential upon the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act and the Aliens Act. It makes, virtually no change in the effect of the existing provisions but it introduces the words “citizen of Saorstát Eireann” for the words “British subject” in certain instances. It continues all the other concessions at present enjoyed by various people.
Question put and agreed to.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I move: “That the Dáil agree with the Committee in Resolution No. 9.”
Mr. Morrissey: I should like to get some information from the Minister for Industry and Commerce regarding several items set out in the Schedule to this Resolution. We have been discussing the effect of an income tax imposition on housing. In this Schedule, a great number of articles used in the building of houses are subjected to duties of varying  amounts. I should like to know from the Minister, how many of these articles are made in the country and to what extent they are available. I should like to know whether the impositions in this Schedule are in the nature of protective duties or are intended for revenue purposes. I should like to know whether the duties proposed to be levied under this Resolution will increase the cost of house building, and, if so, to what extent. In this Resolution and in Resolutions which are to follow, we find that nearly every commodity used in the building of houses, with the exception of timber, is subjected to tax. Many of the articles set out in the Resolution are not made here and, so far as we know, are not likely to be available in this country in the near future. The Ministry are very anxious to promote the building of houses by local authorities and by private builders but if, through practices such as this, the cost of building these houses and — a point I shall come to later — the cost of occupying houses built by local authorities for people living in the slum areas is going to be made more expensive, the Ministry will retard the building of houses rather than assist their building. Before we are asked to vote on a Resolution which covers a large group of articles which are subjected to duties ranging up to 50 per cent., we are entitled to get from the Minister information as to what extent these articles are being made in the country; if they are not being made here now, we are entitled to ask when they are likely to be made and whether these impositions are going to increase the cost of building.
The Schedule covers school bags and other satchels used by children going to school. Are these made in this country and are they available? Having regard to the very expensive books which have to be bought by these children, I should like to know whether these bags are available at reasonable prices. I rose, however, principally to deal with the question of housing materials, which constitute so important a part of this Schedule and I should like to get from the  Minister some information regarding them.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): Would the Deputy name the items which are not made here and the duties on which he alleges will affect the cost of building?
Mr. Morrissey: I am asking the Minister to do that. Does the Minister think it is possible for any private member to tell him that?
Mr. Lemass: I may have misunderstood the Deputy but I thought he said that there were articles being subjected to duty which he knew were not made in the country. I should like him to indicate the references he has in mind.
Mr. Morrissey: I did not say that. I said that it seemed to me, reading down through the Schedule, that practically all the materials used in the building of houses, with the exception of timber, were being taxed. I said that I should like to know from the Minister whether all these materials were being made in the country and were available, or how many were being made and to what extent they were available. Is the supply of the articles made in the country sufficient to meet the demand? I am really asking the Minister to indicate to what extent these duties are protective and to what extent they are being imposed merely for the purpose of collecting revenue.
Mr. Belton: There seems to be terrible opposition to the sweeping nature of the proposals in this Resolution. “Whenever the Minister for Finance, after consultation with the Minister for Industry and Commerce, so thinks proper, the Revenue Commissioners may authorise any particular person... to import any articles without payment of duty.” That betrays the whole object. While there are some things in the Schedule that I know a little about, like Deputy Morrissey, I would like some information. It is outrageous to put a big percentage tariff on any article for use here if it is not produced in sufficient  quantities to meet our requirements. That is not industrial protection. That is for the purpose of producing revenue. It is collecting revenue and taxing the people and in that way it is going to destroy any chance of a revival of Irish industry. There can be no case made for a big tariff to help any industrial activity unless that industrial activity has reached a stage above 80 per cent. of our total requirements, so that, by an extra effort, working day and night, we will be able to produce all that is required. Then let outsiders compete with the home producer over the tariff barrier. This is not giving the producer at home any chance. It is creating a big barrier over which goods must not pass because we want them. If the House took time intelligently to examine all these Resolutions, by the time they are all passed we will find industrial activity being hamstrung, particularly in the building trade.
Reference No. 1 in the Schedule deals with rear reflectors. I do not think there is such an article made here or that we have any exports. If we are turning out our total requirements to 70 or 80 per cent., I am wholeheartedly in favour of a 75 per cent. tariff. Otherwise, I am against it, and I take second place to no one in supporting a tariff policy. But I am not a fool. If this is for revenue let it be for revenue, but let the House and the country know that. I do not believe we are producing rear reflectors. I give the information for what it is worth. If the total production of this article here amounts to 80 per cent., I agree with the Minister. If not, I disagree with his proposal. If the total production of our requirements represents 20 per cent. we should have no tariff at all, but should give a subsidy to anybody prepared to put down money and guarantee protection when there was 70 or 80 per cent. production. I would give a national guarantee in that case, and I am sure the Opposition, if they became a Government, would see that such a policy was continuous. I am  quite sure that if we get down to rationalisation no one is going to support a 75 per cent. tariff if we are not making about that figure of the total requirement.
The next reference is to polishing preparations of all kinds, on which there is a duty of 33? per cent. I do not know what we are doing in that respect. Then there is cotton bandages and bandaging material imported in rolls on which there is a duty of 33? per cent. Again, “whenever the Minister for Finance, after consultation with the Minister for Industry and Commerce, so thinks proper, the Revenue Commissioners may, by licence, authorise any particular person, subject to compliance with such conditions as they may think fit to impose, to import without payment of the duty....” So we are going to hand the powers of this House over to a Minister for Finance and the Minister for Industry and Commerce, and whatever they say in a chat will be done. I do not suggest that either the Minister for Industry and Commerce or the Minister for Finance, separately or collectively, would be parties to any abuse of the power they get. But it is this House got the power — and not even the whole Ministry. This House has no authority, and should not act ultra vires by giving the authority vested in it by the people to any one Minister or to any group of people, by excluding members of this House from imposing tariffs. If there is to be exemption, let this House, which is vested with authority, have the right of exemption. I do not see any need for the Dáil meeting at all now. There might be a general muster once a year.
Even then it would be of very little use. It would be only a kind of show. It is not legislation, and certainly the people are not represented.
The next item in the Schedule is satchels, on which there is a duty of 20 per cent. No comment is needed. If we are not able to make sufficient satchels for the children going to school, well we are not able to do it. I hope we will before we put on 20 per  cent. If we are not, it is monstrous. Reference No. 6 refers to:
surrounds, hearths and curbs which, in the opinion of the Revenue Commissioners, are of a kind normally used for fireplaces and are made or consist partly of tiles, bricks or slabs made wholly or partly of clay, stone (including reconstructed stone) or cement; (b) sections of any such surrounds, hearths or curbs as are mentioned in the foregoing paragraphs.
There is no comment by the Minister for Industry and Commerce about that. These are house fittings for building purposes. Are we making our total requirement of these fittings? Are supplies not in arrear? Have not builders got to wait for the execution of orders? I should like to hear from the Minister for Industry and Commerce that all these things are made here. He promulgated an order some time ago imposing a high tariff on syphon cisterns used for lavatories. That was followed up by his colleague, the Minister for Local Government, intimating that Irish syphon cisterns could be used; otherwise there would be no grants. Of course, it is open to doubt whether a house would otherwise be certified as habitable. However, the grant was good. Is the Minister aware that many builders are waiting — myself included — for syphons of a modern pattern? The syphons that are flung at us are syphon cisterns that we must put on an overflow pipe, with a hole through the wall, instead of a syphon with internal control. No one wants to pass the Irish articles if they can be had of a good pattern. In fact, people are prepared to pay a little more for them. I want the Minister for Industry and Commerce to understand that a finished article used as raw material concerns a builder who has to sell a house and to please the public. When a person sees a hole through a wall from the cistern for the overflow, it may make a difference between buying and not buying the house. Besides, there is no need to have it there.
Mr. Lemass: Apart from that, they are not being made subject to duty by this Resolution.
Mr. Belton: Not exactly, that is right; but I hope the Minister does not want to slip out of his order by that technicality. I should like to know from the Minister if boiler grates are made here. I do not want to take the Minister at a disadvantage. A boiler grate is a grate used now in nearly every house. It has a boiler at the back of it and it is installed in the diningroom or living room of the house.
Mr. Lemass: I should like to answer the Deputy, but I fear I would be out of order in doing so, as they are not subject to duty by this Resolution.
Mr. Belton: Is the Minister satisfied that tiles and slabs for the facing of fireplaces are made here?
Mr. Lemass: The duty is imposed by this reference upon surrounds made from tiles.
Mr. Belton: Are they made here?
Mr. Lemass: Surrounds, yes.
Mr. Belton: And tiles for the surrounds?
Mr. Lemass: No; the reference imposes a duty upon surrounds made from the tiles.
Mr. Belton: It does not refer to the tiles that may be used in the surrounds. The Minister is satisfied that the output of surrounds is substantial?
Mr. Lemass: There are several firms engaged in it.
Mr. Belton: I know, but the Minister, I am sure, is aware, and if he is not, I can tell him for a fact, that there are orders in arrear. One cannot have much complaint if that happens now and again, but if it is a regular thing, it is serious, and a matter of which the Minister should take notice. Is the Minister satisfied that steel windows can be delivered here in a sufficiency for our requirements?
Mr. Lemass: Yes.
Mr. Belton: Well, I am not, and I am quite sure they cannot. If you order a window in the morning, you will not be guaranteed it for three months, not that it matters much in view of the state house-building has been brought to. There is difficulty in getting gutters, and they are going to be taxed to the extent of 33? per cent.
Mr. Lemass: Hooks, brackets, bands and similar fittings for those things.
Mr. Belton: That is right. In regard to all these matters, I should like the Minister who, I am sure, is familiar with all this, as it is his work, to give the House a figure against each reference as to our production at the present time. Then, there is a reference to ridge tiles, hip tiles and roofing tiles.
Mr. T. Kelly: It is in Brooks Thomas' you ought to be and not here.
Mr. Belton: I am afraid it is in the museum the Deputy ought to be and not here.
Mr. Dillon: He looks upon you, Deputy, as a wild and turbulent spirit.
Professor O'Sullivan: You are interested in farming and he is not.
Mr. Belton: If there was any turbulence about he could not sleep so soundly or so consistently. He woke up that time when he heard the racket about tiles. It must have been the Minister for Industry and Commerce who woke him up when he spoke. Are iron wheelbarrows made here? Moulds for making concrete blocks are made here. I could make one myself, but would it be a good machine? If the Minister wants to be serious about this, he should not be satisfied to put on a tariff when a man puts up a plate stating that such and such a machine is made here. I have a few of those machines. I have an English machine which has been working continuously for five years, and it can make a block as good as it could on the day it started. None of the others can.
Recently, in the Dublin County Council, we wanted a new machine. There was a builder who is a Fianna  Fáil Councillor, at the Committee, and both of us agreed that it would be better for us to pay £25 — including or excluding the tariff, I do not know which — to import one machine than to get two native machine for the same price. We both would have agreed to do it and it would be the better bargain, but the Minister for Local Government would not permit it. It was not a case of politics, as the Minister can understand — I am sure he does not doubt my word, but, if he does, I can give him the name of the Councillor. He had had practical experience of the different machines for making blocks, and so had I. If high tariffs are going to be put on like this, give the people a fair chance, especially when it is a question of machinery and especially machinery for making these blocks. Those blocks are to be used in house building and a faulty machine may produce bad blocks. If it does, no builder in the world can produce a good house. It is important. There is a duty of 40 per cent. imposed on binder twine. I think there is a little joke about that of which I could inform the Minister. I hope we will have all our requirements even with the rapid extension of our agricultural economy. I wonder if this little factory is rapidly extending to meet our requirements?
There are other things here about which I know a little but I will leave them to people who know more. I will leave Reference No. 25 particularly — prayer books and hymn books — to Deputy Kelly.
Mr. T. Kelly: I do not need them as badly as you do.
Mr. Belton: You have spent longer repenting than I have, I agree. Reference No. 26 deals with copper tubing and pipes having a wall thickness not exceeding one-eighth of an inch. I take it that that is the tube used for water supplies now. The duty is 75 per cent. and tacked on to that is a note to the effect that the Minister for Finance, after consultation with the Minister for Industry and Commerce, can remit the whole thing. That at  once, to my mind, admits that we are not producing anywhere near our requirements, and that the Ministers will have a chat and will allow them in under licence free of duty. I should like to know two things, which are very important. Are we near producing our requirements, and have those things been sufficiently tested? It is terribly important that they should be good, and should be guaranteed to be up to standard. It is not good enough to dump an inferior article on a person who is not going to use it outright, but is going to use it in the construction of something else. The Minister will admit there is a difference between an article which will be used up in a year or so and one which is used as a constructional part of something else which should last for a life-time. In any case, I am not satisfied that they are produced here in sufficient quantities.
Mr. Lemass: I cannot say that the factory is in production yet, but it will be very soon.
Mr. Belton: That is a bit of a joke. Are we grown-up babies, to be talking about a 75 per cent. tariff on those articles? Deputy Good would be a better authority than I am——
Mr. Lemass: Nobody will pay the duty until the Irish goods are available.
Mr. Belton: Then why are we putting it on?
Mr. Lemass: To regulate imports.
Mr. Belton: Is it to regiment us? Is it to put us all into a militia?
Mr. Lemass: It is to prevent forestalling.
Mr. Belton: The Minister need not worry about forestalling, as if anybody is going to start now to get in all that would be necessary to meet their requirements. I suppose there would be 100 feet used in a comparatively small house, and you cannot go on without it. There is going to be a 75 per cent. tariff put on, before you make one foot of it. I heard a story about a popular gentleman in the City of Dublin who went into Grangegorman. One of the  inmates said to him “What do you think the wall is there for?” The gentleman replied “I do not know” and the inmate went on to say “You fools think that is to keep us in here, but it is not; it is to keep you out.” I think there are worse people outside than there are in Grangegorman.
Mr. T. Kelly: That is right.
Mr. Belton: Deputy Kelly and myself agree on one thing and we will vote together on this.
Mr. Lemass: It is open to you to prove it.
Mr. Belton: Here is a written document——
Mr. Dillon: And there is the author.
Mr. Belton: ——to help Irish industry and to help us to use the products of Irish industry. We cannot build houses in the City of Dublin without perhaps 100 or 200 feet of this tubing. It is all the same whether it is 100 feet or a mile or one inch; you must see it to build a house. There is none of it made here, but the enterprising Minister for Finance, after, I presume, consultation with the equally enterprising Minister for Industry and Commerce, said: “Now, to help Irish industry and make the people support Irish industry we will put a tariff of 75 per cent. on this copper tubing, even though none of it is made here yet. That is the way to help housing. Then, if anybody wants to import it, let him ask us and we will allow him to import it duty free.” If the Minister for Industry and Commerce is really serious about industry he should start the industry before he talks about protecting it. This is a joke and a very serious joke.
Mr. Lemass: That is what our predecessors tried, and they did not get the industries.
Mr. Belton: What did they try?
Mr. Lemass: To start the industry before protection. They did not start many.
Mr. Dillon: The industries which they started throve and prospered.
Mr. Lemass: I bet you will not vote against that one.
Mr. Belton: What one?
Mr. Lemass: The copper tubes.
Mr. Dillon: Wait until I have finished and you will find out.
Mr. Lemass: Deputy Belton might.
Mr. Belton: Sure, and I was a protectionist before the Minister.
Mr. Lemass: And for the next five weeks they will try to persuade the people down in Galway that they did not.
Professor O'Sullivan: I see. It is an election stunt then.
Mr. Belton: I would not vote against it if it were produced here.
Mr. Lemass: Now you have thought about it you will not vote against it.
Professor O'Sullivan: I see the Minister's position. It is an election stunt.
Mr. Dillon: You had better be careful or you will be found guilty of sabotage.
Mr. Belton: I have been found guilty of a lot of things. I do not mind what their drumhead courtsmartial find me guilty of. Then we are to have a duty on refrigerating or cold storage apparatus. We are putting everything into cold storage in this country, but now if we want to get in a cold storage apparatus we are to pay 25 per cent. on it.
Mr. Lemass: You need not bring it in. There is better stuff made in Ireland.
Mr. Belton: If we need not bring it in, why have this special provision?
“Whenever the Minister for Finance, after consultation with the Minister for Industry and Commerce, so thinks proper, the Revenue Commissioners may, by licence, authorise any particular person, subject to compliance with such conditions as they may think fit to impose, to import without payment of the duty mentioned, at this reference number  any articles chargeable with such duty...”
What is the need for that if we need not import them? That is a confession that we have not got them here. They will be let in under licence. I do not know whether we make pencils here, and those other articles mentioned, but I should like to know. If there was any advocate of constructive economic nationality in this country, that man was the late Arthur Griffith. He would turn in his grave if he saw that.
Mr. Dillon: On those Financial Resolutions I first wish to direct the attention of the House to sub-section (3) of the preamble:
“That the provisions (if any) set forth in the fourth column of the Schedule to this Resolution at any reference number in that Schedule shall have effect in respect of the duty mentioned at that reference number.”
That amounts to a licensing provision authorising the Minister for Finance, after consultation with the Minister for Industry and Commerce, to admit free of duty certain commodities to certain selected applicants. I have directed the attention of the House to the abuses which have grown up under that practice in the past, and I ask the House to refuse those powers to the Minister in connection with this Customs Resolution. I do so particularly in view of two specific cases which I am in a position to bring under the attention of the House. I need hardly explain to Deputies that it is extremely difficult to get information of those abuses from the people who are benefiting by them, and that, therefore, it is a matter of some surprise to me that I have been able to run down two cases which the Minister is not in a position to deny. One relates to licences to import elastic and bootlaces, which were granted to a firm that was at one time, I think, in Suffolk Street or Wicklow Street in the City of Dublin, and which now has its headquarters in the town of Ennis. That firm entered, I believe, into some negotiations with the Minister, and held themselves out as persons who  were prepared to engage in the manufacture of bootlaces, elastic, and certain other minor items of haberdashery. On that representation, steps were taken through the medium of a tariff to restrict the import of bootlaces and elastic. I think an Emergency (Imposition of Duties) Order was made. Shortly after that time a merchant applied to the Minister for Industry and Commerce for a direction to the Revenue Commissioners that a licence should issue, so that he might import these commodities free of duty. He was informed that the Minister for Industry and Commerce would not grant the licence, and he was referred to a firm in Wicklow Street or Suffolk Street — I do not know which — for the commodities he required. The merchant applied there for elastic and bootlaces of Saorstát manufacture, and he was told by the people in Suffolk Street that they had no supplies of Irish manufacture but they could supply him with foreign elastic and foreign bootlaces. He was obliged to get the articles there. He immediately drew the attention of the Minister for Industry and Commerce to this anomaly, and after the lapse of some time he was notified that the Minister was now prepared to issue a licence to import the goods.
Mr. Lemass: Is this the case that was discussed at length here a year ago?
Mr. Dillon: This is a case that I have brought to the attention of the House once before.
Mr. Lemass: If the Deputy wants to refresh his memory, he can get all the facts in the Official Report.
Mr. Dillon: So much for that particular transaction. It emerges since that while this firm in Wicklow Street was seeking the privilege which it got, the privilege of the exclusive right to import elastic and boot laces free of duty, another individual of this State, who had spent the greater part of his life as a traveller in boot laces, applied for a licence to import the braid wherefrom boot laces are made, free of duty, and he was refused. His proposal was that he would get in the braid, put the  tags on after cutting the braid into boot lace lengths, and then dispose of the laces to his customers. He was refused. I want to know why he was refused, while the people now in Ennis were granted a licence.
Mr. Lemass: That is obvious — I could not make it any more obvious.
Mr. Dillon: How is it obvious? Why should he be refused while the others were granted the licence? Does the Minister admit that was the case?
Mr. Lemass: Certainly. Everybody else was refused the licence.
Mr. Dillon: Except the firm in Ennis?
Mr. Lemass: Yes, the firm who were building a factory to carry on the manuture.
Mr. Dillon: Now we have the admission made which has never been made before.
Mr. Lemass: Of course it has been.
Mr. Dillon: About four months prior to these incidents a Bill connected with cereals was passing through the House and on the industrial provisions of the Bill the general question of licences arose. The Minister for Industry and Commerce and the Minister for Finance were sitting side by side on the Benches opposite. I asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce would he accept an amendment to the industrial provisions of that Bill requiring that if he gave a licence to any Saorstát citizen to import certain goods over a certain period, any other Saorstát citizen could claim as of right a similar licence. The Minister for Finance interrupted to say: “That is the law.” I replied: “It is not the law. Will the Minister for Industry and Commerce undertake to make it so?” and the Minister for Industry and Commerce shook his head. When he came to wind up the debate I reminded him that the Minister for Finance believed that it was the law that any citizen was entitled as of right to demand the same licence as his neighbour got, but the Minister for Industry and Commerce replied: “You know that is what is always done.” I replied: “It is not always done, but will you place on yourself a legal obligation to do it?” The Minister sat down, a division was challenged and he brought the boys into the Lobby and, as usual, not one of them knew what he was voting for and the result was that I was voted down.
Now, the same Minister, whose colleague said there was no statutory obligation on them to issue a licence and who himself said that such was the universal practice even if there was no statutory obligation, states, he freely admits, that he was granting a licence to a firm in Ennis to import this merchandise while he was refusing other citizens and he makes no bones about it. That is a long progress from the first position taken up in the House. Any fair-minded Deputy will recognise that the Minister has at last admitted what he has never admitted heretofore, and that is that he was prepared to discriminate between one citizen and another if one was prepared to give him certain undertakings as to future action that the other citizen was not prepared to give. This House had never any intention of conferring on the Minister a discretion of that character, which amounts to a powerful penal weapon, and he is so using it.
Mr. Lemass: The intention of using the licensing power in that way was announced in the Dáil.
Mr. Dillon: Anyone not prepared to climb on the band-wagon and boom up the industrial fraud which the Minister set out to put over on the country, and which Deputy Belton so ably indicted to-day, would not be considered. Unless you are prepared to go out and say that the industries which are thriving and prospering, the industries which were founded under the late Government these are quite useless, that they are no good, and that no one got industrial employment until Seán Lemass became the Minister for Industry and Commerce, you will get no licence and you will get no permissions under this section so long as there is  some one who is prepared to boost the Minister up, applying for a similar thing. I declare that that is a grave injustice. If one citizen gets a licence, every other citizen is entitled to get a similar licence for a similar period of time. If a provision to that effect is not inserted, then grave injustice will be done.
I cited one case of a merchant who applied for a licence to import bootlaces and elastic, and I cited the case of a man who applied for a licence to import braid to make boot laces and who was refused, while another citizen got such a licence. Now, I charge the Minister with another specific case. A merchant in Inishowen applied for a licence to import a Crossley engine for industrial purposes and he was refused.
Mr. Lemass: Is this the case the Deputy asked a Parliamentary question about?
Mr. Dillon: The Minister will hear the facts in due course. I will give him all the information.
Mr. Lemass: May I suggest to the Deputy that he might have informed the Minister of his intention to raise these matters? Perhaps the Deputy was afraid.
Mr. Dillon: The Minister must sit down.
Mr. Lemass: On a point of order. Neither of these matters arise on this Resolution. This Resolution imposes a duty on specific articles and the matters the Deputy is introducing do not, I submit, arise.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: By what power does the Minister impose a licence?
Mr. Lemass: A specific power in relation to each duty.
Mr. Morrissey: Surely Deputy Dillon was entitled to advance reasons and proofs as to why these powers, in their present form, to grant licences should not be granted to the Minister?
Mr. Lemass: I submit that the Deputy might have had the decency to inform the Minister that he would raise these matters, but apparently decency is not a recognised characteristic of some of the Deputies opposite.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputy Dillon was quoting reasons why the existing powers in regard to licences should not be permitted, and I allowed him to proceed on that line.
Professor O'Sullivan: On a point of order. The Minister rose to make a point of order and he has now said that practically his only reason for rising was to make a point and that he had got in what he wanted to say. I suggest that is a gross abuse of the privilege of the House and disrespect for the Chair.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I did not catch what the Minister said. I understood he rose to make a point of order and I ruled against the Minister.
Professor O'Sullivan: And then he said: “I got in what I wanted to say.”
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Chair did not hear that.
Professor O'Sullivan: Does the Minister deny it?
Mr. Dillon: I have quoted two cases which the Minister, with that brazen-faced audacity with which he faces the House habitually, admits.
Mr. T. Kelly: Is that in order?
Mr. Dillon: The third case is as follows. A merchant in Inishowen applied to the Minister for a licence to import a Crossley engine for industrial purposes. The Minister refused the licence. The merchant went to the source of supply to purchase the engine and then discovered that an individual who was virtually his next door neighbour was importing an identical engine on a licence supplied by the Minister for Industry and Commerce.
Mr. Lemass: The Deputy's statement is entirely untrue. There was an interval of two years between the two cases. The Deputy is stating an untruth, which he knows to be an  untruth, because he got a reply to a Parliamentary question which he addressed to me on the matter.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Minister cannot be allowed to say that the Deputy is with knowledge stating an untruth, or making a statement which he knows is untrue.
Mr. Lemass: I want to point out that the Deputy asked a Parliamentary question——
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Minister will have to withdraw the remark with regard to Deputy Dillon. There can be no qualification. The House must have a withdrawal simpliciter in this matter. The Minister said that the Deputy made a statement which he knows is untrue.
Mr. Lemass: I would like to withdraw at your request, but he has made a statement which he was informed by me in reply to a Parliamentary question, was untrue.
Mr. Fitzgerald: Simpliciter!
Mr. Dillon: The Minister now brings into this question a letter which I received from his Department, marked “Private and Confidential.” I am not going to follow the Minister into a discussion on the contents of that letter unless he will allow me to deal with it freely.
Mr. Lemass: Certainly. It was marked “Private and Confidential” at the Deputy's request.
Mr. Dillon: The circumstances are as follows: I put down a Parliamentary question to the Minister in relation to this transaction, and the Minister made an evasive reply. I made further and fuller inquiries in order to be able to nail the Minister's ear to the post which I proceeded to do. When his ear was inextricably nailed to the post, I got a long letter from the Department setting out all the facts which in his first Parliamentary answer he had sought to deny. He then sent a letter——
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I have allowed the Deputy to proceed to give the details of a certain case very fully.  I allowed him to do so on the assumption that his contention was that the Minister should not be allowed to give licences in these cases. We cannot however, discuss or go into the merits and demerits of every application for a licence that the Minister granted or refused, as the Deputy is attempting to do.
Mr. Dillon: I alleged certain things which the Minister admitted promptly, and I passed on. Then I alleged certain other things, and the Minister, in a disorderly fashion, arose and said that I was stating an untruth. Now, he has put me on my proof.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Minister withdrew that part of the statement — at least that part in which he said that the Deputy had made a certain statement knowing that it was untrue. I cannot allow every question arising in connection with every licence to be discussed on this reference. I allowed the Deputy to refer to this licence to prove his contention that the Minister should not be allowed power under this reference to give a licence.
Mr. Dillon: Under sub-section (3) of the preamble, power is conferred on the Minister to grant licences to certain individuals. I want to build up the case that there had been repeated abuses under this power, a case which will convince the House that it is not safe to give the Minister this power. That is my respectful submission to you, Sir. If I had only one case perhaps the Minister would say: “Well, mistakes will happen in the best regulated families; possibly there has been a mistake.” Surely, I am entitled to quote other cases in which abuses have occurred to uphold my contention? If you do not let me do so the Minister can say: “Well, there may have been a few mistakes but that will happen in the best regulated families.”
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Surely the Deputy cannot be allowed to go into every case in which a licence was granted or refused?
Mr. Dillon: Surely I am entitled to direct the attention of the House to the relevant facts of every case which, I say, proves my contention?
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: To go into the merits of every case?
Mr. Dillon: I can set out the facts. I am not discussing the merits.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Deputy was proceeding to discuss the merits and the demerits.
Mr. Dillon: All I want to do is to lay the facts before the House and to say to the House: “I think that it is an abuse and if you agree with me that it is an abuse, is it not time to say to the Minister: ‘We refuse to give you these powers any longer’”?
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I cannot allow the Deputy discuss the merits and demerits of each case.
Mr. Dillon: I merely want to state the facts. Two merchants applied for a licence under a power similar to that conferred by sub-section (3) of the preamble of the Resolution. One merchant was refused a licence, but he bought his engine and brought it in. The second merchant bought his engine, brought it in under licence, and paid no duty. Both engines came into Saorstát Eireann about the same time, but it emerged, when the Minister was pressed, that the first application for a licence had been granted to a man about eight months before the second application had been made. The licence lay fallow, for want of a better word, in this man's hands for a considerable time but he elected to use it at the same time as the other merchant was bringing in his engine. While it is true that there was a time lag between the two applications——
Mr. Lemass: Two years, to be exact.
Mr. Dillon: Does the Minister allege that there was an interval of two years between the issue of the licence and the engine being brought in?
Mr. Lemass: No.
Mr. Dillon: Does the Minister allege that there were two years between the engine being brought in and the other licence being asked for?
Mr. Lemass: And the other licence being refused.
Mr. Dillon: I shall have to look up the correspondence with the Minister on the matter. Furthermore, I now allege in addition to the facts which I laid before the House on the occasion of the Parliamentary question, that there was another application made to the Minister for a licence to import an engine within two months of the first successful application and that was refused. Why, in the exact terms of my allegation, can one man get a licence, say in February, 1933, when another man unsuccessfully applied for a licence before 1st August, 1933, and when a third man unsuccessfully applied for a licence in January of 1934? These are not the exact dates, but they bear the relation to one another that the actual dates in fact do. I allege that the licencee under the first licence in February, 1933, brought in his engine in February, 1934, and that that engine was in transit at the time the controversy was going on between the third applicant and the Department for the licence under which he sought to bring in a similar conveyance. On these grounds I urge the House to withhold from the Minister the powers which he seeks under sub-section (3) of the preamble to the Resolution.
I desire to direct the attention of the Minister to the terms of Paragraph No. 3 under which it is sought to impose a Customs duty of 33? per cent. on cotton bandages and bandaging material imported in rolls. I take it these are largely used by the hospitals of the country. Quite apart from anything else, I do want to submit that it is highly undersirable to make these things subject to a Customs duty, unless we are able to supply them here, for the simple reason that the delay, which Customs supervision inevitably entails, may cause the very greatest inconvenience.
 I have no doubt that we could make ordinary cotton bandages of one kind or another in this country. But this is a case I think in which the Government should indicate their willingness to give a subsidy to cotton bandage-makers until they are able to supply sufficient of them of the right kind for hospitals and other institutions. I ask the Minister to consider whether he ought really to put a duty on crêpe bandages; they are indispensable to invalid persons. It is vital they should be of a special quality and have the necessary tensive strength; otherwise they may be worse than useless. I know no one who has any experience of making surgical bandages of that kind, and I think it is imprudent to impose a tariff upon them unless the Minister is satisfied on the assurance of surgeons in this country that facilities for the turning out of such bandages are available and are of the very best quality in Saorstát Eireann.
From curiosity I would inquire why the Minister is putting on a duty on ice. Does he apprehend that there will be forestalling at the North Wall while we are awaiting the setting up of that industry? Does he contemplate going down to open a new industry close to a turf manufactury, for the manufacture of ice?
Mr. Lemass: They have been opened already.
Mr. Dillon: I think it is well to note that the terms of sub-section (3) will be available in regard to a tariff on ice. If a Deputy shows an urgent desire to import a block of ice from Peru he can do so.
Mr. Lemass: No; that is intended entirely for Donegal.
Mr. Dillon: Paragraph 25 deals with prayer books, missals, breviaries, hymnals and so on, used for the purpose of religious worship. I do not know whether Deputies are aware that, contrary to the well-established practice of the Fianna Fáil Party, the Minister referred the question of a duty on these things to the Tariff Commission and they reported against them.
Mr. Lemass: Nothing of the kind.
Mr. Dillon: They did.
Mr. Lemass: The Deputy did not read the report.
Mr. Dillon: I did.
Mr. Lemass: If the Deputy can produce a unanimous finding of the Commission against I shall give him £5.
Mr. Dillon: I am very thankful indeed for this evidence of generosity on the Minister's part. Will he agree that the evidence was against tariffs on breviaries and hymnals, on the ground that the sale of these books in Saorstát Eireann made it unthinkable that they could be produced here and, that that would mean that the tariff would have to be paid by the persons who used them, and that they were persons least able to bear the expenditure. So far as I am aware every Franciscan monastery and similar institution in the country will have to pay this tariff on breviaries and hymnals. Every Protestant community will have to pay the tariff on hymnals they import because they will not be used in sufficient quantities to justify their production by Saorstát firms. Many of the regular Orders of the Catholic Church who have such ritual will find it impossible to get supplies of their particular missals in Saorstát Eireann, and will, therefore, have to pay the tariff on the imported ones. The Minister must find himself put to the pin of his collar when he has to come out and collect tariffs from the parsonages of the Protestant Church and the friaries and monastic institutions of the Catholic Church. The Minister waxes very eloquent over our roofless monasteries and ruined churches but he ought to refrain from making his contribution to the injury of the monasteries and the friaries by his tariff on breviaries and hymnals and other books used in these institutions. I suggest that if he would do so we might rest quietly with regard to the imminence of the Protestant Succession in this country.
In regard to the question of advertising  on pencils the Minister may have observed that in recent years a desirable practice has grown up of advertising one's wares or place of business on highly enamelled pencils. This is an advantage to the poor and that is something that one ought to think of in a case of this kind. These pencils are of a superior quality. They are made in Czecho Slovakia by the same people who used to make the Koh-i-noor pencil which was for many years a standard of excellence. It is well worth a merchant's while to buy these turned out with an advertisement of his business on them and sell them to the national schools at a price which the cheapest black lead pencil could be sold at. Because they are a good advertisement for his trade or business he is compensated for any loss in the transaction so that these pencils which cost him 16/- a gross are supplied to the children at one penny apiece, and to school teachers at 9d. per dozen so that they can sell them to the children. I am certain that the production of that style of pencil cannot be contemplated in this country and that no serious difficulty can arise where the pencil was admitted with the name of the person who distributes such on the pencils. In that way a number of persons derive considerable benefit that would otherwise be denied to them if the Resolution is passed in its present form. Subject to these observations, and with special reference to sub-section (3) of the preamble I propose to oppose this Financial Resolution.
Professor O'Sullivan: I wonder why is it that when we are discussing import licences in this House we are always treated to several scenes by the Minister for Industry and Commerce. I hardly remember an occasion on which we were discussing import licences that the Minister has not lost his temper and treated the House to the most amazing display.
Mr. MacEntee: Dear, dear.
Professor O'Sullivan: The Minister for Finance was not here and I do not  think I ever heard the Minister for Finance so lose his head as the Minister for Industry and Commerce does. The Minister for Industry and Commerce displays great anger on every occasion this particular subject is mentioned. But if the Minister would only consider the matter seriously he would realise that his system is bad. It can only lead to abuse; it cannot avoid leading to abuse if kept up for any long time. I think the House ought to take every opportunity of resisting every attempt to extend this system. Yet instead of some curb being put upon this system of licences we find that month after month it is being extended, though it can only lead to corruption in the long run. But there is no good in the Minister losing his temper. I wonder whether there any Deputies in this House who have not heard serious complaints about the abuses of this system or of any kind of licensing system that is at present in vogue and that is being extended. If a Deputy tries to probe into that and asks for the full evidence he is told that he cannot get it.
Mr. Lemass: Who told him?
Professor O'Sullivan: If a Deputy goes to the person making the complaint and asks for full particulars, he will not get them for the very simple reason that he will be told that it would not pay the man whom he asks to give such evidence because there is such tremendous power in the hands of the State that no person who wants to keep on in his business will do it. Is the Minister for Industry and Commerce so innocent that he does not know that that is the experience of any Deputies in this House with regard to licences? These licences are used to bring pressure on individuals.
Mr. Lemass: Name one individual.
Professor O'Sullivan: I cannot.
Mr. Lemass: Of course the Deputy cannot.
Professor O'Sullivan: I cannot name any individual for the simple reason  that in one case the man said he dare not mention it.
Mr. Lemass: Who is the man?
Professor O'Sullivan: That is precisely why I cannot say it. The Minister knows that those who trade in this country are in such a position of terror as a result of this system that they dare not give the information. We are told on some occasions that this licensing power would not be used to discriminate against countries —that it might be used in favour of a particular country, but that it would not be used to discriminate against countries. I have heard, however, of cases where it was used to discriminate against a country. I suggest that that is inherent in the system. The system is bad. It has led, in every country in which it has been in vogue, to abuses and is bound to lead to abuses here. There is no good, when the matter is taken up here in this House and discussed, in the Minister for Industry and Commerce losing his temper at any mention of these things. The thing is really absurd. Apart altogether from that, what I object to is that we have here a number of duties imposed and tariffs of various kinds, and the House is unaware of the reasons for the imposition of any of them. If they were imposed for revenue purposes, very well; then the House would know that that was their purpose and that they were taxes for the purpose of making the revenue sufficiently large to meet expenses. When, however, they are alleged to be protective tariffs, the House has no reason, and no reason is given to it at any time, for the imposition of these tariffs. There are one or two cases that may have come before the Tariff Commission, and in that way the House can at least see whatever case is made for the imposition of the tariff concerned, but in the case of the bulk of these impositions the House is asked to pass them without any information whatever being given.
The House does not know to what extent these impositions are protective or revenue raising tariffs. The House  has no means of deciding why a tariff of 75 per cent. must be put on one set of articles, 40 per cent. on another set of articles, and 20 per cent. on another set. The House is given absolutely no information at any period. In introducing this particular schedule of taxes this evening the Minister gave no explanation as to why he was imposing them. Again and again, efforts have been made, as the Minister knows well, to get information from him as to the factories in this country, and again and again he has refused that information. The House is asked to vote blindly a number of tariffs, some 75 per cent., some 20 per cent., and some 40 per cent.—in one case. I think, 100 per cent.—and no reason whatever is given to the House.
Deputy Belton was quite correct when he said that one of the major purposes of this House was the strict control of the public purse and that it had passed out of the hands of the House. It has passed out of the hands of the House by procedure such as the procedure we are discussing. Tariff after tariff is put on merely on the bare words of the Minister: “I move.” The only justification offered is: “I move.” No explanation is given. Deputies have tried here during the debate, by way of questions to the Minister, to find out information, but none is given. This House is supposed to be a deliberative assembly, and it is particularly supposed to have control over the power of the purse, which is one of the most fundamental principles of parliamentary government. As I pointed out, that is passing away to the extent of millions of pounds already as a result of our legislation. It is passing away every month with these tariffs that are being put on. No information is given, although we are told that we will have an opportunity of discussing them, but not merely is no information given but the Minister, again and again, has refused the information.
When there has been a question of putting a tariff on certain articles, Deputies have asked are we making  these things in sufficient quantities or, if there is a factory in existence, what percentage of our needs is that factory capable of producing; but it is quite obvious that the House is simply asked to pass the tariff without that information. We do not know to what extent the licensing provisions that the Minister demands under this section will be used or how far they will be used. I thought, when listening to the Minister on one occasion, that the purpose of this was to prevent forestalling. It is quite obvious, however, from the nature of some of the articles, that that is not the reason. Why is it that you have 75 per cent. in some cases and not in others? Is it meant to be a prohibitive tax in the one case and not in the other? Why is 20 per cent. put on in some cases? Is it meant that a firm goes to the Minister and says that if there is a 20 per cent. tariff put on it can carry on that industry, and that straightaway the Minister says: “Right, you can have your 20 per cent.”? Is that what happens after a certain amount of perfunctory investigation by the Minister and his Department? Take the case of school satchels. Is that 20 per cent. put on to help them to be produced here or does it mean an increase of 20 per cent. in the price of school satchels due to the Customs duties on the articles coming in? Why have you a 75 per cent. tariff in other cases?
The Minister must realise that he is making a mockery of the alleged power of this House over the finances of this country. If these tariffs are protective, why have they been able to produce such a large revenue return in the last few years? I think it must be quite obvious that, although the Minister may allege that they are primarily intended for protective purposes and that he or his colleagues received the advantage of them merely as a kind of by-product, very often the by-product is the more important thing. It enables the Minister for Finance to balance his Budget. A number of articles here have been discussed by various Deputies. It is certainly not my intention to deal with those that have been  discussed before. In one case I heard the Minister give as his excuse for seeking the power of issuing licences that it was necessary to prevent forestalling. That statement was made, I think, in connection with the Reference No. 26, copper tubes, tubing, pipes, and so on. He said that would be necessary until a factory was established here and until it is productive. Until then he said it would be necessary to seek that power so as to prevent the importation of large quantities of these goods and the forestalling that sometimes goes on and thus to give the new industry a chance. Why it was that he could not simply put on prohibition and allow importation by licence instead of putting on tariffs, I do not understand, unless his purpose is to raise revenue. As a consequence he will raise the cost of these articles on the people. This prevention of forestalling could be quite as effectively carried through in this way by prohibition and the issuing of licences, though the licences may be equally objectionable owing to discrimination against individual citizens. At all events there is no reason for raising the prices of these articles by the tariff duty of 75 per cent. which it is now proposed to impose. The result of that is that the cost of production in this industry will be thereby increased. I refer to the building industry. Now we come to another article—Reference No. 23— Ice imported separately—on which the Minister claims the same power. The excuse is not put forward that these factories are not in existence. The Minister admits they are in existence long since. The explanation that he gave, namely, the necessity for starting a factory, does not hold water here even though the item deals with ice. From what the Minister has said, it is quite obvious that the cotton bandages are not yet made here in sufficient quantities and he needs this power to let them in. But that means a delay and the delay in that instance proves very serious.
There was a matter referred to by Deputy Dillon in which I was very interested. I am referring now to the  imposts of 30 per cent. on missals, breviaries, and so on. Does the Minister pretend that Latin missals and breviaries are used in sufficient quantities in this country to become economic and to make it an economic proposition to set about the production here? Or is the impost in this case merely for the purpose of producing revenue? It is essential, as the Minister knows, that these missals and breviaries should be most carefully printed. Then, again, there are frequently changes in the books that would make it a still more uneconomic proposition for anybody here to undertake the printing of them, except at a prohibitive price. I wonder how far the Minister has taken into account at all the views of the people who will be affected by these tariffs. The people who use them are few and there are not very many firms on the Continent who produce these books. The number, as I say, is limited. Of course there is a very much larger demand in Europe than there is here. This is obviously a case where the tariff is imposed without any reference to the starting of a factory. This impost has inflicted a serious hardship on the clergy.
My main objection is to the fact that this House which is supposed to keep a special watch over finance has again and again, practically every month, on various Bills such as the Butter Bill, the Wheat Bill, the Beet Bill, and others, allowed taxes to be put on the people without any explanation whatever being given and in the case of Bills introduced here imposing taxes on butter or bacon without adequate discussion. Once the Bill has passed and that particular levy is imposed, the matter is beyond the control of this House. It is not discussed on the Budget. We are now asked to pass these tariffs without a single word of explanation. I should have thought when asking this House to pass tariffs the Minister would have told us what was the position as regards every one of them. Deputies are acting quite blindly in these matters. For that reason I would ask the House not to pass these items.
Mr. Moore: I want to say with regard to Reference No. 22 in this Resolution that the tariff in that case will be welcomed by a very deserving class of people, the people who have carried on a hard struggle for the past ten years to keep an old-established industry in existence in spite of severe trials and competition. The quarry owners and stone cutters affected by that tariff will now have some hope for their industry. I must say with regard to the stone-cutters in particular that for a very long time past there has been very high unemployment in their industry. I would like the Minister to say what is the meaning of the exception there with regard to the stone subject to a tariff and why in particular crushed stone is excluded? I have not much to say with regard to the other items in this list except that I am glad to know that a number of the tariffs are in preparation for new industries. With regard to some of them at all events I know that in the towns where these industries are to be established there is now great hope and expectation because these towns are at last to have a share in manufacturing industry. In some of these centres I refer to factories have already been established. Some of the things mentioned here were actually on exhibition at the Spring Show in Ballsbridge. With regard to the twine that is mentioned here I was witness to a number of farmers examining it and they had nothing but praise for the production. I think we should be extremely glad that things like these are being manufactured in this country and especially so as they are manufactured to the utmost satisfaction of those using them. So far from finding fault with the development we ought to be very glad that we have seen the period arrive in our country when instead of going on at the rate of one little miserable attempt at a new industry in five years, we see now new industries being established one after another through the country, and happily being so decentralised that almost every town of importance in the country is sharing in its advantage. So far as my experience goes that development is one of the most helpful  that has occurred in our time; towns that have long remained sluggish and without any apparent hope for a future simply depending upon a casual trade, are now looking forward to the future feeling that they are at last getting a chance to justify their existence in the nation. I would say with certainly that if Deputy O'Sullivan went to any of those towns, say Carlow, Newbridge, Arklow, Enniscorthy or Roscrea, or any other town that is getting a chance of industrial expansion, he would find there would not be much patience with his criticism. He would find that, so far from there being any doubt about the value of these industries, there was nothing but satisfaction at this movement which is taking place. If Deputy McGilligan, who was asking the other evening what were these industries producing, went to these towns which have got factories of different kinds, he would not get much tolerance even from those who are normally of his own political belief. He would find that there is one thing the people are determined upon at present—that this industrial revival by means of tariffs has got to go ahead; that there is to be no slowing up and no such thing as temporising, or delaying, simply because people have doubts about technical points. All the criticism of Deputy O'Sullivan, in my opinion, and much more indeed the criticism of Deputy McGilligan, was totally opposed to the spirit of the country at present.
Mr. J.I. McGuire: I intend to vote against this Resolution. Unlike the last speaker, I do not believe that the industrial development which we have in this country is anything like worth while. On the contrary, I believe that this Resolution, and a number of other similar Resolutions which we are to discuss within the next three or four hours, and the orders which were made throughout the year and which will be made throughout the coming year, are a far more serious interference with the real liberty of the subject in this country than the passing of the Public Safety Act. Fianna Fáil Deputies, of course, laugh because they are prepared  to swallow any of the dope which the Minister for Industry and Commerce is ready to give them at a moment's notice. Despite what the Minister for Finance told us when this Resolution was in the Committee Stage, that this Resolution is meant to impose purely protective duties, I do not accept that. I have heard that stated so often in this House with regard to taxes that were imposed, and which upon inquiry I found had nothing whatever to do with protection, that I am now unwilling to accept any such statement.
Perhaps in one or two or three cases of the numbers of cases which are dealt with in the different parts of the Schedule there may be factories which produce the things which are there set out in any kind of quantity which will meet the demand. But the real fact is that these duties are put on purely for the purpose of getting revenue and nothing else. It is the greatest nonsense to tell the House that these duties are protective. I should like the Minister for Industry and Commerce, when he comes to reply, to take these items one by one and to tell us where the factories are, what they are producing, how much of the demand they are meeting. Then, perhaps we will be in some sort of a position to judge of how far these alleged protective duties are really protective.
I see here in a number of instances in the special provisions column, that some of these commodities are to be imported on licence, free of duty, on consultation between the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Industry and Commerce. I should like to ask the Minister for Industry and Commerce if one of the general conditions imposed when these licences are being asked for is that the factory, which is either in process of formation or which is perhaps already established, must give a certificate that they have no objection, or words to that effect before any licence will be given to enable the distributor to import the goods. I should like to know that because in certain specific instances that reply has come back from the Department of Industry and Commerce.  The trader has then to get in touch with the manufacturer who, of course, is not able to supply him with one-tenth of his demands. He asks the manufacturer to supply him with some such certificate, and not in one single instance has the manufacturer taken the trouble to reply, or to certify any such thing. The result, of course, is that the trader is left without the goods. If that is the kind of protection which this Resolution is intended to afford, I shall certainly take the greatest delight in voting against it.
Mr. Anthony: I find I cannot oppose this Financial Resolution No. 9. The Minister has put me into this position, that he has presented me with a mixed grill, and I must say that I will have to take it with some measure of disappointment. However, I certainly must query some of the statements I listened to since I came into the House with regard to some of these taxes and the difference between a revenue-producing tax and a tariff. The second item in this Schedule relates to polishing preparations of all kinds. Long before the Minister or his Party came into office a factory was in existence outside Cork City—by the way, not in my constituency but in an adjoining constituency—for manufacturing these polishes. That industry did not require much protection. I daresay it is because a number of other persons engaged in industry have taken up the manufacture of these polishes, encouraged by the success of the Cork people, which is quite a usual thing, that the Minister saw fit to protect them by means of this tariff.
Another matter mentioned in this Schedule is monumental, architectural or building stone. Much of the stone required for monumental work is imported into this country from Italy. Most of this stone used to come in already cut and dressed, and very little indeed was left for the local stone-cutters to do. A couple of labourers would execute any work required in connection with these imported monuments. I think it will be conceded that the stone-cutting industry was once a very thriving one  here. Were it not for the enterprise of a number of people and the good civic spirit shown by a still larger group of people, who gave a good deal of encouragement to the industry over a period of years, the industry would have died out altogether. I believe that this tariff will give some help to that industry which very much requires it.
Then I come to item 25 of the Schedule, relating to “prayer books, missals, breviaries, hymnals, and other books used for the purpose of religious worship, and also bibles and testaments.” Now, in respect to prayer books, missals, etc., and monumental, architectural building stone, the Church authorities themselves are the greatest offenders. Most of the money collected to build churches in this country and to educate our clergymen for their noble and sacred calling, was made in the country, and yet the clergy themselves have been frequently the greatest offenders where it was a question of, say, engaging musicians. A man should have a Herr or Signor to his name before getting employment as an organist. We have had organists coming here from the ends of the earth and getting employment. The last place in which the clergy would seek for a man to fill an appointment of that kind would be their own country. The same used to be true of various articles used in our churches, such as confessionals, etc. I welcome this duty on prayer books, etc., because I am interested in this branch of industry. I know, of course, that we will have some ultra-religious people saying that this is a tax on religion. Well, the Deputy who would say that must have his tongue in his cheek. I do not believe that the ordinary working-class man or woman will worry much about paying a penny more for his or her prayer book.
Mr. Dillon: Did the Deputy read the report of the Tariff Commission on prayer books?
Mr. Anthony: I did, but at the same time I want to confess this much: that  I only use my prayer book once a week. I imagine that some Deputies would not be courageous enough to make that much of a confession, but I am honest about it. I am prepared to support these two items, although, as I have said, it is a sort of a mixed grill. The Minister is putting me into a nasty corner, but still I am prepared to vote for this duty.
Mr. O'Neill: There is a controversial matter that I would like to deal with. Deputy Moore accused us on this side of the House of having no sympathy with the industrial development policy of the Fianna Fáil Party. I can assure him that a lot of us were interested in Irish industrial development long before some of the gentlemen opposite were born. At the same time, we do not want to have industrial development, or the creation of industries, fortified and built up on tariffs under the conditions set out here or at the expense of the degradation of the most important industry that we have. We have been told that these new industries will bring prosperity to the towns of the country. The Deputy should have remembered that there used to be such a thing as a monthly fair held in most towns. Recently, I collected some statistics as to the amount of business that these monthly fairs brought to the towns in which they are held. I am speaking now of towns with a population of 2,000 or 3,000 people. The turnover in these towns, due to the fairs, used to be about £10,000 or £12,000 a month. Now, it has gone down to £1,000, due to the absence of business at these monthly fairs. The loss they have sustained is in or about £8,000 or £9,000 a month. If either figure is multiplied by 12, one gets an idea of the loss over a year.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Is the Deputy speaking of cattle fairs?
Mr. O'Neill: I am speaking of the circulation of money due to that industry. Deputy Moore talked about industry in these towns, and I am giving this example by way of reply.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputy Moore did not say anything about  cattle. The discussion on this Resolution has travelled very far already, and I certainly will not allow any further references to the agricultural position on it.
Mr. O'Neill: I bow to your ruling, but Deputy Moore raised a controversial point, and I think I have the right to reply to it.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputy Moore did not speak about agriculture, good, bad or indifferent.
Mr. O'Neill: He spoke of industry, and agriculture is a bigger industry than any that we have mentioned in this Resolution. Deputy Moore also referred to crushed stone. Would the Minister explain why he excepts crushed stone? It is one of the things that is excluded. Stone is one of the things that we ought to be able to produce in abundance, and the crushing of stone is an industry that ought to be protected. Crushed stone is used in the surfacing of roads. I see that under another Resolution the Minister is going to put a tax on some road-making material, such as bitumen. I think that he should protect the stone that we have. In my part of the country we have, I think, the best quality of stone to be found in the United Kingdom. We export hundreds of thousands of tons of it to England. I think the home market for it ought to be protected. Local authorities ought to be made use it. I do not know if crushed stone is being brought in in any quantity, but here we have a local industry that ought to get every encouragement from the home authorities. At present it has to depend, to a large extent, on its export trade.
Deputy Anthony raised a question about prayer books that some may regard as controversial. Of course, there is a distinction between prayer books and breviaries. Prayer books would probably come under the heading of ordinary printed matter. I think that our Government should follow the example of most Governments in the world and allow in articles required for church services  free of duty. I do not mean that marble should be allowed in free. Even pagan countries allow in free of duty articles used in church services. In America, for instance, Irish lace for surplices is allowed in free even though it is a country with high tariffs. Irish priests, when returning to America, are given that privilege of taking in surplices with them, and America is not a very Catholic country. The same is true of vessels required for church services. They are also allowed in free. I think that our Minister here might follow the same practice. The revenue would not lose anything.
Mr. Haslett: This Resolution deals with a variety of articles. It is notorious that when an article is protected the price of it rises to the extent of the tariff. I do not want to go over all the articles that are mentioned in this Resolution. You have, for instance, children's schoolbags. Another portion of it deals with felting, binder twine, window sashes, tiles, bricks, etc. I am prepared to concede that where goods can be produced here, quality for quality and price for price, we should give a preference to them. It is all very well to ask the House to pass these Resolutions putting on protective tariffs, but I think the Resolutions should go a little bit further and ensure that the imposition of a protective tariff is not going immediately to raise the cost of an article by the amount of the tariff. In the ordinary affairs of life we find, as regards the materials and implements we use, that as soon as a tariff is imposed on a home-produced article the price of it is advanced to the full extent of the tariff. I think the Department should take steps to see that consumers would, at least, get quality in the home-produced article when a tariff is put on.
Deputy Anthony spoke on item No. 25 dealing with prayer books, etc. I may say that I do not share the Deputy's views. In this particular case I do not think that any duty should be imposed. Surely it is not becoming to do so in a country which boasts that, for its size, it has done  more than any other country for the propagation of the Gospel, a country, too, which is commonly referred to as the Island of Saints. But seeing we are anxious to give the Gospel to other countries, it does not look well that we should put even the semblance of an obstacle in the way of doing that. If we had read of this in Soviet Russia or in those places where they deliberately go out against the Gospel, we would say that it was the natural outcome of their present ideals. But, in a country like ours, where we can claim to be deeply religious, where the different sections acknowledge religion and put it in the foremost place, it is a poor commentary on the Government that we should be putting any tariff whatever on Bibles and Testaments. Other books are mentioned which I would put in the same category. I think that these books should be left severely alone so far as tariffs are concerned, so that the rising generation would perceive that the people in power had that much respect for religious things and for the Gospel and the Bible.
Mr. Coburn: I should like to be convinced of the necessity for all these high tariffs on different articles. Reference has been made to item No. 4 in the Schedule, which refers to satchels. I am rather interested in that because I have a couple of young boys who say that they are big enough to go to school. The first thing a young fellow will want in these circumstances is a school bag. I should like to know whether or not school bags are manufactured in this country in sufficient quantities. If they are, I do not raise any objection to the duty but I should not like to see the price raised simply for the sake of raising it. Item No. 6 refers to surrounds, hearths and curbs which, in the opinion of the Revenue Commissioners, are “of a kind normally used for fireplaces and are made or consist partly of tiles, bricks or slabs.” I should like to know from the Minister if, assuming that these things are constructed in the country, there is any tariff on the tiles as distinct from the hearths or sides.
Mr. Lemass: Not under this Resolution.
Mr. Coburn: Under any resolution?
Mr. Lemass: Under the next Resolution.
Mr. Coburn: I do not know whether it is worth while for any other than revenue purposes to put 33? per cent. on these articles. I do not know that the manufacture gives very much employment. These articles are not so extensively used. It might be as well if the 33? per cent. were reduced somewhat because, every time you increase the cost of materials used in the building of houses, you increase the cost of the house. As regards item No. 7, I understand that metal frames and metal sashes are being manufactured here. I wonder if sufficient time has elapsed since the manufacture of these commodities was commenced here to enable the home manufacturers to meet foreign competition with a lesser tariff than 40 per cent. Would it not be wise on the Minister's part, as a sort of gee-up to the home manufacturers, to allow a certain quantity of these goods to be imported for comparative purposes as regards price and quality and for his own satisfaction. I am not one of those who expect miracles in a year or two years. I agree with the Minister that a child must creep before it walks but I think it is about time the Minister took stock of the situation in regard to the manufacture of window sashes and all these other articles used so extensively in the construction of houses. These have a very material effect on the cost of building. There are a large number of small items in the Schedule to which I will not refer because they are not of much importance.
Item 11 refers to ridge tiles, hip tiles and other roofing tiles made wholly or partly of clay or of cement. Has the Minister evidence that ridge tiles are made here in sufficient quantity to meet the demand? I am referring to ridge tiles composed of clay. I can quite understand that the manufacture of tiles composed of cement is sufficient. They are easy to  make but the ridge tile made of clay is a different proposition. I should like to know if these particular tiles are manufactured here in sufficient numbers and in sufficient varieties. The ordinary ridge tile which suits the cottage or the house costing £400 or £500 might not be suitable in the case of other types of house or in the case of churches. I do not see why there should be a tariff of 50 per cent. on that class of ridge tile if it is not being manufactured in the country at present and I think I should not be far wrong in saying that it is not. As regards item 12 which refers to wheelbarrows and two-wheeled trucks, the wheelbarrow is a very important article and I am sorry that Deputy Edward Rice is not present because a considerable amount of time was spent at three meetings of the Vocation Education Committee in Monaghan in discussing the pros and cons of wheelbarrow construction. I think that the plans were sent to the Department of Education and that the intelligentsia of that Department had to decide the matter. I am glad that we are able to manufacture a wheelbarrow in this country.
I now come to item 22, which refers to monumental, architectural or building stone. The tariff applies to dressed stone and not to rough stone. What does Deputy Moore think of that when he advocates the development of quarries? Under this Resolution, rough stone is being allowed in free. That operates against the development of local stone. I could argue that this Resolution is upside down, that it is putting the cart before the horse by placing a tax of 100 per cent. on the finished article and allowing in free the raw material. After all, when you speak of the development of quarries, you have in mind the raw materials and not the finished article. The raw material—limestone, granite and so forth—we have in abundance. It is questionable whether this tariff has been of any great assistance to the stone-cutters of this country. I sympathise deeply with that branch of the trade because the stone-cutters  find themselves in much the same position that the old Dublin jarvies did when the taxi was introduced. Cement seems to have knocked the bottom out of the stone-cutting trade. and it is questionable whether this 100 per cent. tariff will be of any great advantage to it. I notice that the Minister, after consultation with the Minister for Finance, may, by licence, authorise any person to import finished stone.
As Deputy Dillon dealt very fully with that matter I am not going into it. I want to draw the Minister's attention to one fact in connection with the 100 per cent. duty on dressed building stone. That duty has been the means of greatly increasing the cost of building in certain parts of the country. A church was built in Dundalk recently, the exterior walls of which were constructed of granite. Owing to the tariff the builder found it necessary to import the raw stone and to have it dressed in Dundalk. It so happened that the stone-cutters who dressed the stone were from Newry, where the raw material came from, so that the duty was no benefit to Dundalk from the financial point of view, because, having an excellent bus service, the men went home in the evening. The duty, however, had the effect of increasing the cost of the building by £700 or £800, which, considering the difficulty of collecting money at present, is a rather tidy sum. No licence was granted on that occasion. It may be said that the granite could have been got in Wicklow or in parts of County Dublin. I suppose it could, if the builder was prepared to pay an extra £1,000. I may say that it is not every stone-cutter can work granite. Stone-cutters who are good at other stone work may be useless at granite work and vice versa.
I think a duty of 100 per cent. on monumental, architectural or building stone is not going to do very much for those engaged in stone-cutting. Undoubtedly, it will be the means of increasing the cost of buildings of the type to which I referred. It is the same with many other articles used in constructional work included in this  Resolution. I am very anxious to hear from the Minister what progress has been made with the manufacture of steel windows and doors, and how the prices compare in the Free State with prices in Great Britain and Scotland. When we hear the Minister's views in connection with that aspect of the situation, possibly we will be able to say that he has done excellent work in having these industries started here. The prices paid for many articles used in the construction of houses are far and away above the prices paid for articles of foreign manufacture. It is about time we heard something with regard to the present state of the trade in regard to the manufacture of these articles.
Professor Thrift: In sub-section (2) of the preamble I should like the Minister to tell the House what is the real interpretation of the term “the value of such article.”
Mr. Lemass: The value at importation.
Professor Thrift: Does that mean what the purchaser pays for the article, what is on the invoice, or can it be a fictitious price that is put on the article at the will of anyone?
Mr. Lemass: Ordinarily it means the invoice price, but it is up to the Revenue Commissioners not to accept the invoice price as a fair indication of the value of the article.
Professor Thrift: The Revenue Commissioners are empowered not to value the article on the invoice?
Mr. Lemass: If they have any doubt about the invoice value not being the true value they can refuse to accept that value.
Professor Thrift: Take a box of pills “worth a guinea a box,” as imported, for which perhaps one penny is paid. Are the Revenue Commissioners entitled to say that that article is worth more than a penny, or that it is worth a guinea, because that is the value at which it is to be sold?
Mr. Belton: The Minister for Finance will be after the pills.
Mr. Lemass: I will tell the Deputy what the regulation says:
The value of any article for the purpose of ad valorem duty shall be taken to be the price which, in the opinion of the Revenue Commissioners, an importer would give for the article if the article were delivered, freight and insurance paid, in bond at the place of importation, and duty shall be paid on that value as fixed by the Revenue Commissioners.
Professor Thrift: Now we are getting after what I wanted the Minister to tell the House. “The price which the importer would pay for the article.” Are the Revenue Commissioners entitled to say that because an article is advertised as worth a guinea when imported, would a person be obliged to pay the Revenue Commissioners on that value? I will raise the point again. I want the Minister to consider the force of that regulation. I contend that the Dáil, in passing Resolutions of this kind, always meant the value of the article to be what the purchaser actually pays. My contention is that the words the Minister read do not give the Revenue Commissioners power to put a fictitious value on the article, but only to put on it the price that the importer would pay. Steps should be taken to make that perfectly clear. I have a case in mind, not so far removed from the illustration I have given, and I want to raise it later in connection with this term “value.” It is the duty of the Dáil to make the meaning perfectly plain. Probably the best way to do it is by some amendment when we come to the Finance Act.
The other question I want to ask the Minister is whether this Schedule, as drafted by him, is the first Schedule which contains the imposition of a duty on raw materials not obtainable in this country? Can he recall any other occasion on which he has imposed a duty on raw materials which cannot be obtained in this country for the purposes for which  they are required? The phrase to which I wish to draw his attention particularly is in that sub-paragraph in reference No. 22 to which Deputy Coburn has just referred. It contains the phrase, “Unworked marble” without qualification. I know the Minister will say that he has power to give a licence for the importation of such things, but I think there is more involved in the principle of this new duty than can be got over by a reference to that power to license. To my mind, it is entirely indefensible to put a duty on materials coming into this country which are going to be used by workers in the country for the manufacture of any article, whatever it may be. I am convinced that this duty is only the prelude to revenue-raising duties which can only have the effect of making employment more and more difficult. In fact, if that sub-paragraph is allowed to stand in that form, it would definitely cause certain workers to be put out of their employment. I ask the Minister to consider that carefully before we come to the Finance Bill.
The third point I want to make has already been made by Deputy Dillon. I protest in principle against reference No. 25 by which is introduced a duty on religious books whatever their kind may be. I hope to move an amendment to the Finance Bill to that effect. It is entirely against our traditions that we should impose what can only be a purely revenue-raising Customs duty on this kind of religious books.
Mr. Lemass: Deputy Dillon took advantage of the discussion on this Resolution to reiterate his usual allegations that, in the issuing of licences for the free importation of dutiable goods, the Department of Industry and Commerce is naturally corrupt and partial as between one importer and another. The basis of his allegation apparently is that the Minister for Industry and Commerce, the Minister for Finance and some of their officials are accepting bribes in order to give him——
Mr. Dillon: No such allegation or implication was contained in anything I said and it is a monstrous thing to suggest that there was.
Mr. Lemass: The Deputy's suggestions were rather monstrous. They were to the effect that certain individuals were refused licences and others given licences for some corrupt reason and Deputy O'Sullivan was surprised and pained that I should be annoyed at having such a suggestion made. What is the suggestion based upon? It is based upon two cases which have been exploded time and again in the Dáil. I am going to explode them for the sixth time if necessary. The Deputy mentioned three cases but the third was not a case at all. His complaint was that we used the licensing power in precisely the manner in which we said we were going to use it. The Deputy's own firm was refused a licence for the importation of lace and elastic at one time. There is no harm in mentioning that it was the Deputy's own firm because the entire facts were stated in the Dáil 12 months ago.
Mr. Dillon: I have no objection.
Mr. Lemass: When the Deputy's firm first made application, they were referred to a particular firm by the Department. That firm was a firm which was building a factory for the manufacture of these things and in accordance with the decision which was made when the duty was first imposed, we decided to allow imports to take place through that firm during the interval between the imposition of the duty and the commencement of production in their factory, on certain understandings—that no profits would be made and no restrictions placed upon the amount of goods consigned to any other firm. That arrangement was made because we were rather apprehensive of the administrative difficulties that would arise in respect of the granting of licences to every firm in the country that would require to import these commodities. The experiment was not a success, and, after the experience of about six weeks, we stopped it. According to the Deputy's  own admission, he was then notified that the Department were willing to issue licences for the free importation of these things.
The Deputy took one case that arose when one system was in operation and he compared it with the experience of another firm, two months later, when another system was in operation and said that that was partial treatment, one firm having been refused a licence and another firm granted a licence. At the time that the one firm was refused the licence, every firm was refused, and at the time that one firm was granted the licence, every firm was granted it. That is one of the Deputy's cases. The Deputy had the full facts of that case given to him by correspondence, given to him in the Dáil and given to him in every way that it was possible to give them to him and here we have him, twelve months later, reiterating it as being an entirely new example of corruption on the part of the Minister for Industry and Commerce.
The other case was one about which the Deputy also got full information from the Department and in relation to which he twice put down Parliamentary questions and got them answered. An emergency duty was imposed upon British machinery in August, 1922.
Mr. Dillon: 1932.
Mr. Lemass: 1932. Amongst the types of machines caught by that emergency duty were Crossley oil engines but a number of firms had these engines on order. A number of firms for various reasons had committed themselves to the installation of that type of machine and so, for a period of some months after the imposition of the duty, licences for their importation free of that emergency duty were issued fairly freely up to the beginning of the next financial year. About 1st April, 1933, these licences stopped and they have not been issued to any firm since. I say that with the qualification that there may possibly have been some exceptional cases  during those two years in which some firm got a licence, but I do not think so. On and after the date upon which the decision was made by me to stop the issue of licences for these engines, free of emergency duty, no firm, so far as I know, got such a licence. The Deputy takes a case that occurred in the early part of 1933 of a firm to which a licence was issued at that time and compares it with the case of a firm which was refused a licence at the beginning of 1935 and says that that is partial treatment. The Deputy cannot possibly sustain that allegation.
The third case arose out of the lace and elastic duty again. He said that the firm in Ennis which were manufacturing laces were for a period getting licences to import braid while their own braid machinery was being installed and that another person—I know the person—the representative of a Belgian firm, was refused a licence to import the braid. He was refused a licence to import the braid because he had no intention of manufacturing it, and the temporary licence to import braid was given only, and will be given only, to people who are in fact installing machinery for its manufacture.
Mr. Dillon: What did he want the braid for?
Mr. Lemass: Because they were able to start production stage by stage. The Deputy said that never happened before. It happened hundreds of times before. The hosiery manufacturers were faced, following the first Budget of Fianna Fáil in 1932, with a duty upon knitted fabric. They were called into conference in the Department and told that licences for the importation of knitted fabric, free of duty, would be issued to such hosiery manufacturers as gave us a written undertaking that they were going to instal machinery for its manufacture, and only those manufacturers who gave that undertaking got licences. The others were refused. A duty was placed upon planed and dressed timber, and the saw millers of the country were brought into conference and told that licences for the importation, free of duty, of  planed and dressed timber would be issued for a period of twelve months to such firms as gave undertakings that they were installing machinery for the production of such timber, and only firms which gave that undertaking got those licences. There are hundreds of examples of how, in the interests of public policy, licences of one kind or another were refused to one person and granted to another——
Mr. Dillon: That is an admission.
Mr. Lemass: ——in order to encourage and procure the establishment here of new industrial enterprises.
Mr. Dillon: The Minister admits discrimination?
Mr. Lemass: Of course—discrimination between those who are going to co-operate with the Government in the development of industry and those who are not going to do so.
Mr. Dillon: And you denied it with imprecations three months ago.
Mr. Lemass: I challenge the Deputy to produce one single quotation from the Official Debates since the 15th March, 1932, in which it was denied that the licensing powers conferred on the Department were used in that manner. All types of manufacturers got certain concessions with respect to the free importation of partially manufactured goods, subject to the condition that within a specified time they would instal machinery for their manufacture. That applies to a number of the licensing provisions set out here. The partially manufactured goods will be permitted in free of duty to those who are going to ultimately manufacture them, so that they can train unskilled Irish labour in the various processes of their industry. If we had not adopted those tactics we would never have succeeded in getting a very large number of those new industries established, because we had to work under the initial handicap that our labour was untrained, and that they could not be made proficient overnight in the skilled processes of various industries. In any event, I want to  suggest to Deputy Dillon what I have often suggested to him before without effect, that the consideration of elementary decency might convey to him that if he is going to make a very serious allegation against the Minister and the Department of Industry and Commerce in specific cases, he should at least convey an intimation of his intention to the Minister in advance, so that he will be given an opportunity of looking up the facts of those cases and answering the Deputy's allegations. It is a contemptible procedure for the Deputy to come in here and make allegations about licences, without affording any opportunity whatever to the Minister concerned to get at the facts and refute those allegations. It may be a waste of time to suggest to the Deputy what is the decent procedure in those matter, but, at any rate, his allegations will have much more effect amongst those who are prepared to believe them, if they have at least the appearance of being fairly made.
Mr. Dillon: The Minister has just admitted most of them.
Mr. Lemass: I do not think it is necessary to give a detailed account of the position in respect of each of the industries which are being protected by the various references here, for reasons that will be obvious as I proceed. The first is a minor duty. It is a duty on rear reflectors for bicycles. Rear reflectors for horse-drawn vehicles are already subject to duty, but it was obviously ineffective in view of the difficulty of distinguishing a rear reflector for a horse-drawn vehicle from a rear reflector for a bicycle. Their manufacture is being undertaken here. There will be no increase in price, and there will be an adequate supply. A duty on polishing preparations of all kinds is the next item. Polishes, other than metal polishes, have been subject to duty heretofore. The industry is in a fairly satisfactory condition, although there is still a not insignificant importation of polishes which are subject to duty. The imports of dutiable polishes in 1933 amounted to £10,000, and in 1934 to £7,500. There  is no reason why that particular item should not disappear from our import list.
Mr. Belton: It would be more intelligible to us if the Minister gave us the figure as a percentage of the total imports.
Mr. Lemass: It is not a very high percentage at present. It was previously a high figure, but since 1932 there has been a steady decline. In any event, the main purpose of this part of the Resolution is to extend to metal polishes the duty which at present applies to polishes used for other purposes, and to change the existing duty of 37½ per cent., with a preferential rate, to a flat duty of 33? per cent.
Mr. Belton: But we are making those extra polishes?
Mr. Lemass: Yes; the metal polishes are being made here. Some of the very cheap polishes come in already packed in tins, and consequently one particular portion of this resolution applies the package tax to polishes so imported. Deputies need have no apprehension that there will not be an adequate supply of those polishes. As proof of their value, and of the competitive prices charged for them, they will find in our trade and shipping statistics an item in respect of the export of those polishes.
Cotton bandages and bandaging material, which are the subject of the next item, are manufactured by two firms in the Saorstát. The prices which are charged are strictly competitive, and the firms in question are quite capable of supplying all the requirements of the country. The value of the imports of those articles is estimated at about £20,000. There is no precise figure available, because they have not been separately specified on importation heretofore. However, as I have said, our estimate of the value of the imports is about £20,000. Two fairly well-known firms, one in Dublin and one in Cork, are engaged in their production, and are capable of supplying  whatever quantities are needed. Their prices will be no different from the prices now chargeable for those articles.
Mr. Dillon: Are they producing crepe bandages?
Mr. Lemass: They are producing the bandages which are made subject to duty by this Resolution. I do not want to speak as if I had technical knowledge on the subject; I have not.
Mr. Dillon: The Minister is deliberately excluding elastic bandages.
Mr. Lemass: Quite.
Mr. Dillon: Consequently, I wondered if his attention had been directed to crepe bandages, which are a kind of intermediate stage between cotton bandages and elastic bandages. I though he might include the crepe with the elastic materials if he finds they are not being produced satisfactorily or in sufficient quantities here.
Mr. Lemass: So far as item No. 4 is concerned, some time ago a duty of 20 per cent. was placed on satchels made of leather. Adequate supplies of Irish-made leather satchels are available at a price no greater than that at which they were formerly available from abroad. At that particular time the manufacture of cloth satchels was not taking place here to a sufficient extent to justify us in imposing a duty upon those also, but they are now being manufactured to a sufficient extent by two firms, one in Galway and one in Dublin. The price charged is 4/- per dozen, as against 3/9 per dozen for an imported article of a corresponding nature, so that although they are slightly dearer the difference in price is, in fact, very small.
The next item, felting and felting substitutes, provides only for an increase in an existing duty. Those goods are subject to duty at present. They are being made here by two firms. Certain technical advice which the Department sought upon the quality of the goods being produced by those firms, and the prices charged for them, definitely established the  fact that they compare very favourably with anything available anywhere else. Both in price and in quality they are as good as anything produced in other countries.
Mr. Morrissey: Then, perhaps, the Minister would state the reason for increasing the duty?
Mr. Lemass: There is still an appreciable import which it is desired to eliminate. In 1933 the value of the imports was estimated at roughly £12,000—£11,999 to be precise—and in 1934 the value was estimated at £10,165. Surrounds, hearths and curbs made of tiles are manufactured by several firms in the Saorstát and there is no reason to anticipate that they will not be able to supply all the requirements of the country in these goods. We have no figure as to the value of the imports of these articles previously, because they were never listed separately and only an approximate estimate could be made. We had a special examination carried out over a period of four months in 1934 and the value of the goods coming in during those months was only £500, so that the total imports do not amount to much. However, the industry gives a considerable amount of employment having regard to the value of the output, and the employment is adult male employment, which is an important consideration. Deputies who had an opportunity of inspecting the exhibits of certain firms at the Spring Show will appreciate not merely the variety of the products but also their excellence.
Mr. Belton: If they executed the orders sooner, it would be all right.
Mr. Lemass: So far as No. 7 is concerned, there is a duty of 40 per cent. on metal windows. That has been re-enacted in another form to enable the window to be levied at a duty of 40 per cent. when it comes in with the glass in it. At present, if a window frame is imported with the glass in it, duty can only be levied on the framework and not upon the glass. There is no reason why the stained glass and  other glass industry should not be given the benefit of this protection. The purpose of this Resolution is to extend the scope of the duty so as to cover metal frames with the glass in them. The intention is to encourage industries concerned with stained glass windows, coloured glass doors, etc. Number 8 adds a number of comparatively insignificant items to the standing duty upon cast iron goods. They are mostly of the kind made by ordinary blacksmiths. I do not think we have any scarcity of blacksmiths in the country, so there need be no fear of a scarcity of these articles in consequence of the imposition of this duty.
So far as No. 9 is concerned it is designed to remedy a certain mistake made when the original duty upon types, wrapping tapes, was imposed. The duty was imposed upon printed tapes or tapes imported to be printed here. The mere declaration of the importer that he did not intend to have the tape printed, but intended to use it unprinted, enabled him to get the tape in free and consequently the duty has had to be recast and it is now to apply to printed and unprinted tape. Both are available here. No. 10 refers to portable vacuum flasks for containing food or drink, and component parts of such flasks, excluding component parts made wholly or mainly of cork. It is a new duty. These vacuum flasks are now being made at Nenagh by the Aluminium Company there.
Mr. Good: How does the charge compare?
Mr. Lemass: I think their charges compare very favourably. Their prices are reasonably low and we have had no complaint whatever from any source as to the price charged for any of their products. The firm have the intention, according to their own declarations, of seeking export markets, if possible. They believe it will be possible for them to do it.
Professor Alton: Do they make the glass?
Mr. Lemass: Oh no. So far as No. 11 is concerned—ridge tiles, hip tiles and other roofing tiles—these are at  present liable to duty when imported unglazed. The majority of such tiles are unglazed, but it is possible, by applying some simple process, to give the tiles the appearance of being glazed and, therefore, those tiles become entitled to free entry. The purpose of this duty, therefore, is to prevent that evasion of the original duty by imposing it upon tiles whether glazed or unglazed. There are numbers of firms engaged in the production of roofing materials. In any event there is the regulation of the Department of Local Government requiring the use of Irish roofing materials, fully, in order to qualify for the housing grant.
Mr. Belton: May I ask if there is any test placed on these home-made tiles and on home material generally? There is a terrible lot of it being used and it would be very serious if it is not good.
Mr. Lemass: There is a certain standard established. Of course, I agree that we should have some system of a standard test for most building materials. That is an innovation which we would welcome. Personally, I do not know who should do it. In other countries it is generally done by some voluntary organisation like the Institution of Civil Engineers and, perhaps, they might undertake it here.
Mr. Belton: Does the Minister contemplate taking any steps in that direction?
Mr. Lemass: I have made speeches advocating it. In No. 12 we deal with wheelbarrows and two-wheeled trucks. These are being manufactured at Inchicore. The prices compare favourably with imported articles and their quality is very good. Most of the people who have experience of them have commented very favourably on their quality. There need be no fear that the firm will not be able to supply in any quantities. They would be glad, I am sure, to get orders from the Dublin County Council, largely because  of the advertising value of the orders, knowing the discriminating nature of the members of that body. That firm has, in fact, already got on merit a great part of the market for machines for making concrete blocks and slabs. The duty is to direct attention to the fact that the machines can be procured here.
As regards No. 14, the duty on binder twine or yarns is an important addition to the list of duties, because the quantity used here in the year is considerable. There is a licence attached to this duty, because the manufacture was not commenced sufficiently early this year to enable a full supply to be made available at the time it was required. All the binder twine is required at a certain period of the year. This year we have to license certain quantities in order to supplement the home production so as to meet requirements. In other years that will not be necessary, because production will go on all the year round to provide the stocks necessary to meet requirements at the particular period of the year when it is most needed.
A certain difficulty arose there. It was impossible to get a definition of binder twine that would cover the yarn from which ordinary twines are made and consequently this duty also covers imported yarns. It will be necessary for some time to license the free importation of yarns to the firms concerned. We will have to move with considerable caution in that regard because of the definition difficulty. It is intended that the rope and twine making firms should be required to spin their own yarns. One firm is equipped to do it at the present time and the other firms will be required to do it at some future time and so Deputy Dillon may note that in relation to the licensing provision connected with that duty it will be used in precisely the same manner as other licensing provisions were used for the purpose of facilitating firms that give an undertaking that they are going to carry out the complete process of manufacture in due course.
Mr. Good: There is no shortage of yarn spinners, I suppose?
Mr. MacEntee: The Opposition Benches are filled with them.
Mr. Lemass: The intention is, as I have said, to apply the licensing provisions to these persons.
Mr. Dillon: And never fear there will be plenty of applicants for the licences, and they will get them, provided they are led in by the hand by a Fianna Fáil T.D.
Mr. Lemass: That is just the type of allegation we expect to get from Deputy Dillon, and it is as groundless as most of the allegations he makes here. If other Deputies in that Party believed there was the slightest truth in these allegations of Deputy Dillon they would not put themselves to the trouble of coming on deputations and of leading applicants by the hand to the Department of Industry and Commerce. They have more confidence in the impartiality of the Minister for Industry and Commerce and the fairness of his Department than Deputy Dillon has. Perhaps Deputy Dillon might take the opportunity of consulting them some time as to their experiences in the Department before he commits himself to these wild allegations which do his reputation no good and mine no harm.
The next item imposes a duty on roller blinds made mainly of textile materials and also component parts of such roller blinds. These blinds are made here. We had up to now the anomalous position under which the cloth of which they were made was subject to duty and the blinds themselves were not. That was very unfair to the firm manufacturing the blinds, and we are levelling the matter up in this reference. The same remarks apply to sails, sail covers, sail bags and yacht or boat covers. The cloth from which these articles were made was subject to duty, but the articles themselves could be imported free of duty. That position is being rectified by this  reference. Reference No. 17 requires some explanation. By an Emergency Order, a duty was imposed on cotton thread in order to protect the factory which was established in Westport for the manufacture of cotton thread. I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that when the Revenue Commissioners came to administer the duty they applied it to everything except thread. The definition of “thread” was so considerable that the duty had to be amended. Then when we came to consider the matter we found it was not possible to get a definition of “thread” satisfactory for duty purposes which would not also include the yarns from which thread is made or the yarns imported by weaving firms. Therefore, the duty has to go upon thread and the yarns. The intention, however, is to license the free importation of yarns by the firms requiring them until we get cotton yarns spun in this country which will not be, I hope, at a very far distant date.
Mr. Belton: You did not start spinning the yarns yet, but there is a 40 per cent. duty on them.
Mr. Lemass: I should like to put a very heavy duty on some of the jokes we hear in this House, jokes which are not by any means original.
Mr. Belton: I am talking about the tariff. This tariff is no joke.
Mr. Lemass: We have not yet started making cotton yarns, but we hope to do so.
Mr. Belton: You have started tariffing them.
Mr. Lemass: I have explained the reason—because it is not possible to get a definition of “thread” which does not include cotton yarns.
Mr. Belton: That is a great joke.
Mr. Lemass: If the Deputy can give us a satisfactory definition of thread, which will not be a definition of yarns, he will be rendering the Department a very great service.
Mr. Belton: Is the Minister confessing his incompetence to give us a definition?
Mr. Lemass: I have to confess that for the last 12 months I have been in consultation with experts in the Department and we could not arrive at a satisfactory definition. That is why the duty goes on. The next reference imposes a duty upon attache cases, suit cases, and other articles of that description which are about to be manufactured in a new factory that is being established at Portarlington. The following reference imposes a duty on the parts of such cases or on semi-manufactured materials from which they might be made. The entire process of manufacture is being undertaken at this factory.
Mr. McMenamin: Are you going to turn out the cheaper classes?
Mr. Lemass: I am not going to do it, but the firm building the factory hope to do it.
Mr. McMenamin: Is the factory built?
Mr. Lemass: The last news I had when I was down at the turf cutting competition was that the machinery would be installed the next week. I passed through Portarlington and was so informed. Reference No. 19 deals with parts of cases from which cases might be assembled and is consequential upon No. 18. Reference Nos. 20 and 21 impose a new duty of 40 per cent. upon straps and belts made wholly of leather or skin. There is an enormous variety of straps either being made or which can be readily made here and there is no substantial difference between the Saorstát price and the price charged elsewhere although, as yet, no protection has been afforded to the manufactures of these goods. This reference also imposes a duty for the first time on watch straps. Watch straps are now being manufactured here by two firms. They carried on successfully up to this and established themselves without protection. It is now, I think, possible  to give them the whole of the market, because they have shown themselves well able to supply it without any increase in price. Similarly dog collars, muzzles, and leads are made in the Saorstát. There is a considerable scope for development and the purpose of the duty is to make these leads and straps of various kinds liable to a 40 per cent. duty on importation. So far as reference No. 22 is concerned, various Deputies addressed themselves to the amount of the duty, but the main change which it effects in the existing position is to include marble and marble chippings. Stone of various kinds has been subject to duty, but marble and marble chippings have been excluded. The change which is now being effected brings in marble and marble chippings. There are numerous marble quarries in the Saorstát, but, as Deputies are aware, only three or four of them are being worked. These are all in Galway and are producing green or black marble. There are a number of unworked quarries which we hope to bring into production in the course of time, namely, black at Kilkenny, red at Castleisland and Kilcow, pink and dove at Midleton and Fermoy, white at Dunlewy and Donegal, black at Ballyhaunis and white at Creggs.
Professor Alton: There is no white marble being produced here now?
Mr. Lemass: It is true that white marbles are not being produced here at the present time, and the licensing provision will be used exclusively for white marbles where a special case can be made for the use of white marble. A number of parish priests may like to have white marble for altar-rails and other purposes when I think that they could do with Connemara marble and I am not promising that every time they want it a licence will be given to import white marble for such purposes, but for statuary work and other special work of that kind, white marble is required and will be imported under licence until we get our own white marble produced here.
Professor Thrift: Does the Minister  undertake that licences will be issued to different parties who may require white marble?
Mr. Lemass: The whole purpose of the duty is to get people to use Connemara marble or marble quarried in the Free State. For certain classes of work white marble is necessary and perhaps that kind of marble would not be available here when required. In such cases, a licence for its free importation will be issued. We propose to endeavour, if possible, to discourage the use of these white marbles where, in our artistic opinion, coloured marble might be used.
Professor Thrift: In some cases customers will not take anything but white marble.
Mr. Lemass: It is very largely a matter of fashion. The fashion at one time was to use the Connemara green marble, the Cork green marble or the black marble of Kilkenny. We hope to make a start towards restoring that fashion at home before we try to convert the unenlightened people of other lands.
Professor Thrift: If the Minister can make a man who pays for his breakfast eat what he does not like and pay more for it, well and good, but I am afraid that the man will continue to eat what he likes for his breakfast.
Mr. Lemass: Marble chippings are also being produced at Clifden and Merlyn Park. The licensing provision covers that, but it will be used only to prevent any difficulty arising from the sudden imposition of the duty upon them; that is, where work was already in progress and not yet completed, the sudden imposition of the duty would be upsetting and create a hardship.
Mr. Dillon: Will the Minister not continue to admit white marble chippings used for the adornment of graves?
Mr. Lemass: No. Reference No. 23 imposes a duty on ice. As Deputies are probably aware, factory ice is produced  here—not merely ice cream and things of that kind—but ordinary factory ice. There is, however, a not inconsiderable importation of ice from Northern Ireland which could be supplied from the factory at Drogheda which was established last year or perhaps the year before. However, there is no reason why that ice should be imported. There is a licensing provision here also because there are certain districts which, so far, cannot be served from any of the existing factories. It is proposed, therefore, to allow free importation into Donegal and, perhaps Sligo, for that reason.
The next reference, No. 24, imposes a duty upon printed labels of woven material. They are being manufactured here—labels mainly used by flour merchants and others—and all the requirements of the country can be supplied.
Mr. Dillon: Does it include new woven labels?
Mr. Lemass: No, printed labels in textile materials. Reference No. 25 imposes a duty on prayer books, missals, breviaries, hymnals, and other books used for the purpose of religious worship. Deputy Dillon said that the Tariff Commission made a recommendation against the imposition of any such duty. I was in a position to make a bet with the Deputy on that matter because I knew I was on a certainty and I only bet on certainties. The Tariff Commission is not required to make a recommendation. It was the practice, before this Government came into office, and when we were in Opposition, for the Commission to make a recommendation. Its power to do so, however, was very frequently questioned in debates here and it was contended by myself and by other members then in Opposition that the Tariff Commission had no power to make a recommendation and, in fact, was acting contrary to the statute in making a recommendation, particularly where the Commission framed the Report to support its recommendations. There was one famous case in respect of one matter  where they said in their Report:—“In view of our recommendation, we do not think it is necessary to vote under this head.” That was discussed here in this House year after year and it became a matter of controversy when every Report was published. Accordingly, as soon as this Government came into office, and when I became Minister, I pointed out that the Act did not require a recommendation, and, in none of their Reports since has a recommendation appeared. The function of the Commission is to ascertain and examine all the facts and to prepare a Report on the information they have obtained, but it is for the Government first and then for the Dáil to decide what shall be done with regard to the Report.
We considered it desirable to impose this duty, which will mainly benefit the bookbinders. There is a licensing provision because it is not possible to get certain material printed here economically on account of the small quantities required, and in such cases the printed sheets would be allowed in free of duty so as to allow the book to be bound here. A large number of these books are, in fact, bound here already. As far as Catholic books are concerned, there is a very wide selection of them both printed and bound in Ireland and available at the shops specialising in this class of books. As a matter of fact, the organisation which is called the Bible Society of Ireland has been one of the best of all the religious organisations in the country in supporting the Irish printing industry here and has been setting an example that others might well follow. It is ridiculous to describe this tax as a tax on religious knowledge or on the propagation of the Gospels or in any of the other ways in which certain Deputies saw fit to describe it. There is no reason whatever why we should not use books printed and bound by Irish workers in preference to some of those coming in from other countries and produced under conditions that we would not consider suitable for a Christian country at all. Undoubtedly, some  of these foreign firms enjoy a very high reputation, give very good employment, and are of the kind that we would like to see established here; but certainly some of the cheaper publications are produced to a large extent by sweated labour, and I do not think it is going to help the propagation of the Gospels that the use of such publications here should be encouraged, particularly when, at very low costs, prayer books, hymnals and other books of that description can be procured, printed by Irish workers and put together in Irish factories.
Mr. Dillon: Does the Minister know what the Tariff Commission found to be the additional employment provided by a 30 per cent. tariff?
Mr. Lemass: The facts are set out in the Commission's report which, I presume, all Deputies have read.
Mr. Dillon: One and a half men and one and a half women!
Mr. Lemass: Well, is it not better to have one and a half men and one and a half women employed here than in Belgium or somewhere else?
Professor Thrift: I understood the Minister to say that certain publications did not come under the tariff.
Mr. Lemass: Wherever it is clear that the quantities of a particular publication required are so small that they could not be printed economically here, the printed sheets can be allowed in, free of duty, for binding here. That has been done quite regularly in the past by many firms.
Professor Thrift: The probability is that this tariff will somewhat increase the cost of many of these sheets because of copyright regulations, and that is why I am particularly anxious to let them in as printed.
Mr. Lemass: There is a certain difficulty there. Whereas, I think, the principal advantage of the duty will go to the bookbinders, it must be remembered that there is a printing industry here also and in one respect  that industry is very efficient. They are effective in our list of exported goods, and have been engaged largely in printing and could, possibly, go into the printing of these books with considerable efficiency and success. That, however, could only be done where there was a considerable quantity of a particular publication to be printed. Where that is not possible, and where the quantity is insufficient to enable their economic manufacture to be undertaken here, the intention would be to permit the printed material to be imported for binding here. The binding need not cost more than it would cost anywhere else.
Professor Thrift: The Minister is also aware that the costs of bookbinding in our State compare most unfavourably with the costs elsewhere?
Mr. Lemass: It is true that the wages of the bookbinders are considerably higher here. That is a factor which is making for a higher cost.
Professor Thrift: Does the Minister know what would be the ratio of the increased costs in that case?
Mr. Lemass: The difference is not inconsiderable. Reference No. 26 replaces a duty, which has been in operation under emergency order, upon copper tubes, tubing, pipes, and certain piping. A factory is being established at Galway for their manufacture. Deputies need have no fear about the technical efficiency of that factory, because they have announced that they have technical collaboration with Imperial Chemicals. Imperial Chemicals own some of the shares in the company which is to be operated, although it qualifies as a national company under the Control of Manufactures Act, and has an Irish majority on its board. We have no fear that this company will not produce a first class article. The factory is also engaged in the production of other things. I cannot say to what extent the manufacture of copper tubes, piping, and so on, has commenced, or whether it has yet commenced. In any event, it is desirable that the market  should not be allowed to be stocked up with these goods. Everybody knew that the factory was to be built. The duty was imposed by an Emergency Order. In the meantime, licences were issued to everybody who wanted these goods, and such licences will be issued until a supply is available from the home factory. The same applies to the rest of the references in this Resolution. These duties are now in operation under the Emergency Order. No. 27 is supposed to be a toilet preparation.
Mr. Belton: Before the Minister passes from No. 26, I would like to know if he is taking any steps to set a standard as to the pressure to be applied?
Mr. Lemass: There is no standard that I am aware of. At the present time we have neither a standard for the imported nor for the home manufactured goods. It is somebody's duty, I presume, to look after that matter, but it is hardly the duty of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. It might be the duty of the Board of Works or the Housing Department of the Department of Local Government and Public Health. In Great Britain most of these standards are set by voluntary associations, and the same applies in other countries. We might get the same development as under the Cement Act. The standard for cement is being set up in consultation with civil engineers, and perhaps they will come forward and make out a general standard for the class of articles manufactured in these factories.
Mr. Belton: Is the Minister aware that there are faults in some of this tubing and piping?
Mr. Lemass: Yes, but you can get these in the imported articles as well.
Mr. Belton: I think the British firms guarantee these articles.
Mr. Lemass: The home manufacturers will do the same.
Mr. Belton: There is more competition in Great Britain.
Mr. Lemass: As regards reference No. 29, a factory for the manufacture of pencils, crayons, chalks for marking, and such things is being established in Mullingar. It has not yet been established but it was obviously necessary, as soon as the report that such a factory was coming went abroad, that the duty should be imposed; because one good shipload of these pencils would flood the market for three years. Licences are being issued for the free importation of these goods at present. I do not see why there should be any objection to the Minister for Finance getting revenue from these. It will not make any difference to the economic life of the country whether he does or not. There is no reason why these pencils should not be produced at this factory just as well as elsewhere. The firm engaged is a well-known firm. It is an English firm and  it has been manufacturing pencils upon a large scale for a number of years. The benefits of its experience and technical skill will be available in Mullingar and Deputies need have no fear that they will not produce these articles of as good a standard as any to which we have been accustomed. These are the main points in connection with the duties imposed in Resolution No. 9. They are all protective duties. To the extent that these duties produce revenue, they will be a disappointment to the Minister for Industry and Commerce whatever the Minister for Finance may think of it. It is the hope and intention of the Minister for Industry and Commerce to see that they produce as little revenue as possible. In that way they will achieve the main purpose for which they are imposed.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 68; Níl, 45.
Corry, Martin John.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
De Valera, Eamon.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
|Keely, Séamus P.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Lynch, James B.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
O Briain, Donnchadh.
O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
Pattison, James P.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ward, Francis C.
|Alton, Ernest Henry.
Beckett, James Walter.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Broderick, William Joseph.
Burke, James Michael.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Dillon, James M.
Doyle, Peadar S.
McFadden, Michael Og.
McGuire, James Ivan.
Murphy, James Edward.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rogers, Patrick James.
Tellers: Tá: Deputies Little and Smith; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.
Mr. MacEntee: I move: “That the Dáil agree with the Committee in Financial Resolution No. 10.”
General Mulcahy: I should like to ask the Minister to help the House by giving some information with regard to these duties. The final decision on the individual matters can more satisfactorily be taken on the Finance Bill, but it is quite impossible for the House to pass from this particular stage without hearing some statement from the Minister as to what is the principle behind the proposals in the Resolution and what the actual effects of the duties are. No memorandum of any kind has been circulated to give Deputies any idea as to what either the principles or the actual proposals themselves are.
There are quite a number of items in this Resolution which will very definitely raise housing costs. Under No. 7 it is proposed to put a tax on “tiles and slabs of all kinds made wholly or partly of clay, earthenware, or cement, and not otherwise liable to duty.” That is going to raise the price of putting in fireplaces. It is going to have even a wider effect. The Minister must know that, even for fireplaces made here, the tiles are imported in sets. I suppose there never was an occasion when a set of tiles for a fireplace was imported without one or two of the tiles being broken, and replacements had to be brought in. As I understand it, not only will 5/- per cwt. be put on these tiles when they come in, but there is not a single case of the making up of a fireplace that will not involve at least another 2/6, plus a 6d. tax, for tiles to replace broken ones, even if brought in afterwards by parcel post. No. 7, then, I say increases the cost of housing to some extent. No. 8 imposes a duty of 5/- per cwt. on roofing slates of all kinds, which will also increase the cost of housing. No. 10 imposes a duty of 9d. per cwt. on glazed pipes. That means a duty of 2d. per yard on 4-inch pipes, 4d. per yard on 6-inch pipes, and 8d. per yard on 9-inch pipes, all of which are widely used in housing. Then we have a tax on wallpaper and, under item No. 1, a tax on materials required in connection with road-making.
I should like to ask the Minister to help the House by stating briefly, under each particular reference, whether there are industries in this  country producing these goods and whether in the case of linoleum it is simply a revenue tax on a household necessity. In order that the House may be better able to deal with these matters on the Finance Bill, I ask him to tell the House whether these are articles that are being manufactured here; are these tariffs that are put on to help the development or the coming in of factories for the making of these articles here; or are they simply taxes put on again at the point where the Minister can catch people in their own homes?
Mr. Anthony: I want to get some information with reference to No. 15—“Paper without any matter or design printed thereon.”
I would like to know from the Minister the purpose for which this tariff is being imposed. Is it for the purpose of increasing the revenue or of inducing some group of persons to establish a factory in the country for the manufacture of this class of paper? Paper is the raw material of the printing industry. One class of paper known as news print is not manufactured here. It is calculated that, in order to manufacture that class of paper and sell it at an economic price, four up-to-date paper-making machines, running night and day, would be required. It is estimated that the daily newspapers published in Cork and Dublin consume approximately 16,000 tons of paper per year. The output of these four machines, during the same period, would be in or about 26,000 tons, so that Deputies can see the big difference there is between these two sets of figures.
I have before me the census of production for 1933. Under the heading dealing with printing, publishing, bookbinding and engraving, the amount of wages paid in 1932 is set down at £677,731. That will give the Minister an idea of the importance of this industry to the country. The imposition of this tax, I must say, will not interfere to any great extent with the publishing industry in the country. The Minister must be aware that some  of the larger firms have secured in open competition very big contracts for the publishing of magazines, novels, etc. Many of them have been enterprising enough to tender for work across Channel and to secure contracts there running into many thousands of pounds. The Minister must also be aware that the job printing or commercial firms consume a considerable amount of this class of paper in a year. Any interference with that industry would have very serious effects on the persons employed in it. There is a good deal of uneasiness at the present time in the minds of some of those people that this tariff may be followed by another one in the near future. If we could have an assurance from the Minister that that is not intended, it would produce good results and would encourage these firms to go ahead with any developments in their industry that they may be contemplating. I am aware of at least two cases in which very enterprising employers contemplated adding to their installation of machinery and plant for the purpose of extending their business. I fear that they would hesitate to go ahead with these developments and that, consequently, a number of people would lose their employment, if they had not some assurance that further tariffs were not intended.
I feel that there will not be any great objection to the imposition of the 5 per cent. duty, but in view of what I have said, as well as from other sources of information at his disposal, the Minister, I am sure, must be satisfied that we are not able, and never have been able, to produce news print in this country to any considerable extent. The Ballyclare mills, which are outside the jurisdiction of this State, did turn out a good article for a number of years, but, as the Minister must be aware, I do not think they were ever able to turn out the amount of paper required. All this paper is turned out on reels and, as I have already said, if that particular class of paper is to be sold at an economic price four of these up-to-date paper-making machines are required and must be kept running night and day. They are fed at one end by two substances not manufactured  in this country. The finished product comes out at the other end of the reel. I think that if the Minister were to give the assurance that I have asked, that it is not contemplated to put any further burden on the industry, it would tend to allay the uneasiness to which I have referred.
Mr. Keyes: I desire to support the appeal that has been made to the Minister by Deputy Anthony in connection with another type of paper— reel paper, which is superior in quality to news print. There is a danger that even the 5 per cent. duty will, if imposed, result in serious loss to the city of Dublin. I am given to understand on the most reliable authority that a very important industry has been developed in the city of Dublin for the re-export of a cheap class of novel. The contract for the printing of these novels has been secured by a Dublin firm in competition with cross-Channel firms. The margin of profit on the printing of that class of work is so slender that even the imposition of this 5 per cent. duty would be sufficient to upset the delicate balance that secured that contract for this city. I understand that the maximum amount of revenue that the Minister can hope to obtain from the imposition of this duty is in or about £34,000, while the trade that would be likely to be lost to the city, if anything were done to jeopardise the position that exists at the moment, would be in or about £50,000 or £60,000. Good employment is given to a considerable number of printers in this industry. Members of the House should be specially interested in their welfare. They are engaged on this special class of work to which I have referred in the intervals when they are not employed in printing the Oireachtas debates. It was the enterprising methods of the firm in question that succeeded in securing this valuable trade for the city of Dublin in keen competition with cross-Channel rivals. It would be a pity if anything were done that would result in the loss of it to the city. If it were once lost it might be a very difficult matter afterwards to recapture it.
That is not the only firm, I understand,  that would be affected in the city of Dublin by the imposition of this duty. There is another firm which sends out of the Saorstát a considerable amount of school work, work, too, that was secured in open competition with outside firms. There is the danger that this firm would lose this work as the result of the imposition of this duty. Another undesirable result of it would be that the price of school books for the children would be increased, or, perhaps, that only an inferior type of book would be put on the market. The loss, however, of the contract would be more serious to the city and to those engaged in the industry. It is not possible to get in the Saorstát the quality of paper required for this work. It has to be imported, and, that being so, this tax if imposed would simply become a revenue tax. These are points to which I think the Minister should give his very serious consideration. He should weigh up the serious losses likely to result against the possible and, I would say, very doubtful advantages that would accrue from it. Deputy Anthony dealt very fully with the matter of news print. The duty in that case is calculated to inflict not only a certain amount of hardship but a big loss on the daily newspapers published in this country. I understand that in the case of Irish daily papers, such as the Irish Press, the imposition of the duty would mean an extra charge of in or about £40 a week. Many other reasons could be advanced why this tax on paper should be carefully considered. Some opportunity may be presented to the Minister to deal with the types of business to which I have referred and he may be able to obviate the hardship and enable the balance to be maintained and the printing contracts, secured after very strenuous efforts and kept by very careful manæuvring, to be held, thus avoiding loss to the country and to the printing industry in the city of Dublin particularly.
Mr. MacEntee: May I intervene, in view of what has been said by Deputy Anthony and Deputy Keyes, to point out that in any case in which any of  these articles are used as the material of an industry in which there is an export trade, any duty which is paid on the import of raw material is refunded as a drawback when the manufactured article is exported. The imposition of these duties does not affect any existing export trade.
Mr. Anthony: It affects newsprint.
Mr. MacEntee: Yes, but these concerns are very wealthy.
Mr. McGuire: I do not want to prolong this discussion unduly, but I notice in the items set out in the Schedule to this Resolution one or two items relating to commodities which are imported from Germany. The point which I want to raise in regard to these imports is one which, though small in itself, regarded in connection with the many other annoyances which are caused to traders by these taxes, should receive the consideration of the Minister. We have heard a great deal lately about the commercial relations which are being developed between this country and Germany. That development was consolidated some time ago by a commercial agreement between the two countries. In view of that, and in view of all we have heard about the development of these relations, the position in regard to invoices for German goods is rather extraordinary. When a trader gets an invoice in respect of goods which are being imported from the country with which we are striving, according to the Minister for Industry and Commerce, with all our strength to develop trade relations, that invoice, which is in the German language, is brought down to the Customs in order to have the goods cleared. The trader is met with the difficulty at the Customs that there is nobody amongst all the Customs officers able to translate the invoice. This is the country with which we are supposed to be opening up a new trade. There is nobody at the docks who is capable of translating a simple invoice. The trader is requested to take the invoice back to the head of his firm and request  him to have the invoice translated, with a statement to the effect that to the best of his knowledge and belief the translation is an accurate one. That may seem a very small point but, in the case I have in mind, the goods were ordered for a certain event. Owing to all this delay in having the invoice translated and in obtaining a certificate that the translation was accurate, according to the trader's information and belief, the goods arrived at their destination a week too late for the event for which they were ordered. This may be a small point, but I suggest to the Minister that it would be far better that the Customs authorities should employ one official with a knowledge of German than that every trader in this country who imports goods from Germany should be required to have a German expert on his premises.
Mr. Belton: I should like to know from the Minister how many of the products mentioned in Reference No. 1 are produced in this country. Are there any produced outside the gasworks? These materials are used universally for road making and will continue to be so used until concrete displaces them, if it ever does. This Resolution differs from the last one inasmuch as it is, unquestionably, a money-finding resolution. Asphalt, bitumen, pitch and tar of all kinds, whether imported in crude form or after treatment or preparation and mixtures of any two or more of those substances are to be subjected to a duty of 3d. per cwt. A gallon would weigh 10 lbs. or 11 lbs., so that this is quite a stiff duty, since most of this stuff is, I think, imported.
I do not know what purpose is served by taxing rice flour and rice meal. Rice is a valuable food but it does not enter largely into the daily ration of people who are not delicate. The quantity used in this country is not very great and it can never be a competitor of any product we produce here. It seems to me insane to put a tax of 2/- per cwt. on it. It is not a product that the so-called idle rich use.
 Item 7 refers to tiles and slabs of all kinds, made wholly or partly of clay, earthenware or cement. The Minister for Industry and Commerce was very slick when we were discussing a similar item in the last Resolution. He said that the Resolution did not deal with tiles but only with surrounds for tiles. We have got tiles in this Resolution. I presume that the clay tiles referred to here will be facing tiles in surrounds of grates. If that be so, they are not made here. I do not know that we have the clay to make them. This is one more shot at putting up the cost of house-building. The costs are going up and it is difficult to get money to finance housing. Another item here refers to roofing slates of all kinds, on which a tariff of 5/- per cwt. is imposed. I wonder what is the need of all this, having regard to the potential slate supplies in the country.
Excepting larger slates, this tax is doubling the price of slates. Is any serious attempt being made to develop the Killaloe or Nenagh area as well as smaller areas, so that we will have slates if this is intended for anything but for revenue purposes?
Glazed pipes made wholly or mainly of clay or earthenware, and glazed connections (for pipes of any kind) made wholly or mainly of clay or earthenware.
There is a duty of 9d. per cwt. In the last Resolution, where we were not making the article taxed, there was a side note stating that the Minister for Industry and Commerce and the Minister for Finance could let the articles in duty free. There is no such qualification here in reference to glazed pipes and connections, and I take it that the Ministers, either separately or collectively, have no power to admit these goods in tax free. Here again we have a big item of expenditure in house building. There is the main, and, in nearly every house, sub-mains, and house connections, all of glazed piping. Deputy Mulcahy gave the increased cost per yard at 2d., 4d. and 8d. for 4-inch, 6-inch and 9-inch pipes respectively. Such goods are not made here.
Mr. Corry: Who told you?
Mr. Belton: I challenge contradiction of that statement. Substitutes in the shape of concrete pipes are made. Anyone could make concrete pipes. Can good ones be made? Again we are groping in the dark when we are dealing with sanitary goods.
General Mulcahy: What will county medical officers of health say?
Mr. Belton: Have any sanitary authorities been consulted about this? Those of us who are charged with responsibility in local authorities when improving the sanitation in congested areas must look very seriously at this matter. Without doubt, I think, the machinery, the supervision, the general management and work of the Dublin Corporation is first in the Free State in that respect. It should be first, because it has a large and dense population to deal with. I have the advantage of being a member of that body, and I have tried to set a standard in the Dublin Board of Health area. It is a common thing for a man in the county board of health area to get a pick at the main sewer, to make a connection anyway, and to fill the place up again. That would be a monstrous thing if it came to the notice of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health. Has this question been brought before that Minister or before any sanitary engineers? A pipe is supposed to be made to a certain standard, and firms with reputation for generations make sure to keep to a standard. The Minister may not be aware that before any sewerage is certified a sanitary engineer has to see the place when open, and to make a smoke test under pressure.
Mr. MacEntee: We are not taxing pipes as glazed.
Mr. Belton: You are taxing glazed pipes used for drainage from houses. Before any house in the City or County of Dublin is certified fit for occupation a smoke test of the pipes under pressure is made.
Mr. MacEntee: This does not deal with a smoke test.
Mr. Belton: It deals with pipes that have to stand a smoke test. From that remark, obviously the Minister does not know the seriousness of what he is doing. It is a common thing to see the smoke coming through a pipe under pressure, where there is a flaw. Now we are going to have concrete pipes and of what standard? For copper tubing, which we discussed a short time ago with the Minister for Industry and Commerce, no standard is required. Any person could get a plain piece of copper sheeting, bend it up, solder it in the middle, weld it, and that would suit. What about the man that the Minister takes in under this provision, the speculative house builder, who if anything goes wrong when a house is built has to put it right? Under the regulations by which a loan is given under the Small Dwellings Act the understanding is that any constructional defects that show themselves within two years will have to be made good by the builder. Here is muck thrown at him that the builder must use.
Mr. Corry: He is the boy that will be paid for it.
Mr. Belton: No man can be paid if he has to pay full price for an inferior article, and it should be the Deputy's interest as much as mine to see that when the public is called upon to pay a good price for a good article they should get it. I do not know if concrete pipes have been made satisfactorily for drainage purposes if they are largely used. The Minister has no idea what it means to put down a sewer. It will cost from £1 to 25/- a yard. If a man constructed 300 or 400 yards and on a test being made if the smoke comes through concrete pipes, who is going to pay for making things right? What is the use of telling a man that the Minister for Industry and Commerce and the Minister for Finance said that they were going to be made here? Have a standard and have production before you put on a  tariff. It is one thing for the speculator to lose a few pounds, but it is another thing if we are developing sanitary drainage in a new area in the City of Dublin and the pipes used proved porous. Where are we then? I feel confident that the Minister did not consult a single sanitary engineer about this imposition. Another thing about this matter is that 9d. per cwt. is a very heavy tariff, because these goods weigh heavily. Why did the Minister fix 9d. per cwt.? Why did he not say 2d. per yard on 4-inch pipes, 4d. per yard on 6-inch pipes, and 8d. per yard on 9-inch pipes?
Why did he not do it that way? It is not by accident, and the Minister should disclose his design in putting it the way he has. All bookkeeping in respect of the articles is carried on on the basis of the thickness of the bore of the pipe—four inches, six inches, nine inches, 12 inches, or whatever the thickness is. There is not a single entry in the commerce of the articles on the basis of weight, and the Minister fixes the tariff on weight. It is no wonder that, when you ask him a question as to how much this will produce, he can only give a guess. Apparently, he has made it deliberately awkward, so that he can only give a guess, but he will make sure that the guess will be an under guess.
There are other goods in respect of which there are no exemptions. We have glazed pipes made wholly or mainly of clay or earthenware and glazed connections for pipes made wholly or mainly of clay or earthenware. There are connections such as Armstrong junctions; there are Buchan traps for use under rain pipes; and there are Broads traps to keep back the gas from connections into main sewers. These are not made anywhere in concrete, and the Minister has made no exception in relation to them. It seems to be a case of saying to the poor slum-dwellers: “We will build houses; we will give money to the local authorities,” while taxing the materials to provide houses for the slum-dwellers. Then, again, we have glass of all kinds imported in  sheets or strips, whether flat or bent, curved or otherwise shaped. I do not know if any glass is made here, and I take it that this refers to window glass. It would be news to me to learn that there was any glass made here, and it would further be news to me to learn that there was any sand in this country suitable for transparent glass for windows.
Mr. Donnelly: Of course there is.
Mr. Belton: Where?
Mr. Donnelly: Donegal.
Mr. Belton: Where?
Mr. Donnelly: The Deputy can easily get that information. Ask any builder in Dublin.
Mr. Belton: Where is it made?
Mr. Donnelly: Ask Mr. MacMahon.
Mr. Belton: It is dealing in a very cheap way with a very serious matter when a Deputy here says that we have sand suitable for window glass in Donegal. Where is it?
Mr. Donnelly: Muckish.
General Mulcahy: Would the Minister advise the use of Muckish sand for ordinary window glass?
Mr. Belton: Where is it? I do not bet, but I will lay any odds with any Deputy over there that there is no sand in Donegal capable of making good window glass. There is no use in throwing that out here.
Mr. Donnelly: Will the Deputy take the word of an expert?
Mr. Belton: Who is he?
Mr. Donnelly: A man in the business.
Mr. Belton: Who is the expert? I beg your pardon, Sir. Through the Ceann Comhairle, I should like to ask the Deputy who the expert is.
Mr. Donnelly: I will bring the Deputy to him.
Mr. Belton: We are only wasting time. The Minister will not tell us where the glass is made.
Mr. Lemass: We can make the glass all the same.
Mr. Belton: Where is the sand to be got?
Mr. Lemass: Plenty of places.
Mr. Belton: What made Bohemia, now Czecho-Slovakia, the centre of glass-making in Europe? The sand. The Minister could have learned that in a fourpenny geography at school and so could the other Deputies if they ever learned any geography.
Mr. MacEntee: He would not waste the time of the Dáil for 25 minutes showing that he knew.
Mr. Belton: It is not a question of showing what a person knows but of showing the House that the Minister knows very little. I have endeavoured to dig out of the Minister where the glass is made. It is one of the most commonly-used manufactured articles and 10 per cent. is being put on to it. It enters very largely into building. Modern architects tell you that they have a formula and they will not produce a plan—I am not talking now of the Fianna Fáil “Plan”—of a house unless the wall space of the rooms and the window areas bear a certain relation. The use of glass is increasing in house-building, but we do not make glass for windows. We have not got the skill. That could be got over, but it has not been discovered that we have the sand to make glass.
Mr. Donnelly: It has.
Mr. Belton: The Deputy knows an expert who knows somebody else who knows somebody else who heard that glass was made in Donegal, and that the sand was there. I was foolish enough to believe that good slates were produced in Donegal and I could get thousands of them until I wanted them. I am waiting for them yet after three years. Glassware and empty glass bottles are going to be tariffed by the Minister.
Mr. Donnelly: They are not much good.
Mr. Belton: I think that empty glass bottles are going to be taxed by empty heads.
Mr. Corish: There is a great deal to be said for the argument used by Deputy Belton in connection with the tax on sewer pipes. Hitherto, when the Minister for Industry and Commerce put a tariff—that is, a prohibitive tariff—on an article coming into this country, it was for the purpose of enabling an industry to be established here for the manufacture of a similar article. While I do not want to say very much against the concrete product we have at the moment, it cannot at all compare with the clay or earthenware pipe, and anybody who has had anything to do with local authorities, or housing, knows very well that that is a fact. I should like to know from the Minister if any effort is being made to manufacture the pipes which this tariff will prevent from coming in. What Deputy Belton has said about the test that is supposed to be carried out after a sewerage scheme has been completed, is being carried out, so far as I know, by the various local authorities in the country. Almost any piece of concrete is porous. It is very hard to find a concrete product which is not porous, but, apart from that, the weight of these particular pipes is almost twice as much as the weight of the earthenware pipe.
There, again, we are up against a serious situation, because any local authority, or any builder, who has to get these pipes brought from Dublin to Cork, will find the rates of carriage prohibitive. We in Wexford tried some time ago to get some of these pipes. We intended to use them because they were an Irish product, but when we ascertained the price of the carriage from Dublin to Wexford, we found it impossible to use them because it was so high. I should like the Minister to apply himself to the task of ascertaining whether or not we could have earthenware pipes  manufactured in the country. Until that is done, I do not think it is a wise thing to keep these earthenware pipes out. The tendency nowadays of various local authorities is to put in new sewerage systems. Up to this, in a great many towns, you had old built sewers which were insanitary to say the least of them. A great number of local authorities have set themselves to put in new sewers. As far as one can see the concrete piping is pretty good, but I am afraid it would not stand up to a test as well as the earthenware type. In so far as glass is concerned, on the point raised by Deputy Belton I know for a fact that there have been experts here from Belgium who examined the sand in Donegal and certified that it is quite capable of being turned into glass.
Mr. Donnelly: Of course it is.
Mr. Belton: Of course it is. Did the Deputy see any of the glass?
Mr. Corish: I know that first-hand. If those concrete pipes are to be used, and I presume they will be used more than ever now when this tariff is on, I suggest to the Minister that representations will have to be made to the railway companies with a view to getting a lower rate for carriage from Dublin or Cork or wherever those pipes are made, because the cost will otherwise be prohibitive. Better still, I think he should apply himself to trying to secure that pipes of this kind will be manufactured from clay.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Minister to conclude.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): I am afraid that the difficulty under which the House has been labouring in connection with those duties is largely one of its own creation. It is quite obvious that the rates of tariff proposed are not intended to be prohibitive. They are imposed primarily as revenue producing tariffs. On the other hand, most of the articles in question are articles in connection with which there is a fair prospect of their production in this country  within a reasonable time. The tariffs being imposed will serve three purposes. First, they will produce revenue, which is from my point of view the primary object. Secondly, they will reduce imports, and, where a reasonable substitute for those articles can be produced, divert attention to the home manufactured articles. Thirdly, they are a fair indication to people who are interested in building and that sort of thing that we are inclined to discourage the importation of those articles, and that if they can show a reasonable project for their manufacture in this country it is likely to get Government support. Those are three very laudable purposes, and I think they amply justify the tariffs. It is quite true that for some purposes concrete pipes are possibly not as suitable as earthenware pipes.
Mr. Belton: Indiscriminately made concrete pipes.
Mr. MacEntee: On the other hand, the tariff of 9d per cwt. which we propose is not a prohibitive one. If there are purposes for which concrete pipes will not serve, glazed earthenware pipes can be used. On the other hand, the fact that they have to pay an additional 9d per cwt. will naturally induce people to consider more carefully whether, for a good many purposes for which they now say concrete pipes are not suitable, they cannot after all use them if they are going to save money by doing so. I know a good deal more about pipes than Deputy Belton. I do not propose to tell the House all I know. Properly constructed concrete pipes can be manufactured here. They can be quite gas tight, and will stand up to hydraulic or any other pressure. There is no reason why we cannot manufacture a good type of concrete pipe which would serve all reasonable purposes. There are, I admit, circumstances in which one would have to use the glazed pipe, but that does not matter. In due time we might reach a stage where we can produce those ourselves. In regard to glass, it is obvious that there is a possibility  of manufacturing glass in this country. Three years ago people would say that we could not make glass bottles here because it had been tried previously and proved a failure. The fact of the matter is there is not an article mentioned here that we cannot make ourselves if we set ourselves to it, or for which we cannot produce a reasonable substitute. The imposition of the duty at this time is due entirely to revenue considerations.
Mr. Belton: Of course.
Mr. MacEntee: There was a point raised by Deputy McGuire which had no relevance whatever to any one of those Resolutions. He complained that a certain firm—I do not know whether or not it is a firm in which he is interested—had some commercial dealings with Germany. The invoices were brought to the Revenue Commissioners, who were expected to provide a translation staff and place it at the service of that commercial house here in Dublin. Surely if that house is capable of conducting its business, before entering into transactions with another country they should at least see that there was some person, either in its counting-house, or possibly in some other managerial department, capable of doing the necessary translation work.
Mr. Belton: On a point of order, it is the Customs people that wanted the translation done.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: That is not a point of order. It is a point of fact.
Mr. Belton: Might I ask the Minister, who states that he knows a lot about those pipes, what percentage tariff is 9d. per cwt.?
Mr. Lemass: It all depends on the value.
Mr. Belton: Taking a tax of 9d. per cwt. on those pipes, what percentage is that? I challenge either of the two Ministers to answer me.
Mr. Lemass: It depends on the value of the pipes.
Mr. Belton: Of course. What is the value of the pipes? I am asking what is the percentage? Neither the Minister for Industry and Commerce nor the Minister for Finance knows the amount of the tariff that is being imposed here.
Mr. MacEntee: There is no responsible Deputy in this House who is going to enter into a bragging contest with Deputy Belton.
Mr. Belton: It is not a bragging contest. It is a question of asking the Minister to state what percentage tariff he is imposing by his Resolution. I challenge him to give that information to the House. He does not know, and neither does the Minister for Industry and Commerce.
Mr. Lemass: It depends on the value.
Mr. Belton: I challenge the Minister to put a percentage on it. What is the percentage tariff on those pipes?
Mr. Lemass: What pipes?
Mr. Belton: The pipes you are tariffing here. I challenge either of the  two Ministers to put a percentage on it. Neither of them knows. This is incompetence par excellence.
Mr. Lemass: It is 10 per cent. on a 7/6 pipe.
Mr. Anthony: Did the Minister answer my question about the imposition of tariffs on news print? I regret that I was absent from the House during portion of his speech.
Mr. MacEntee: I am not going to give any assurance in regard to that, because we hope that paper will be manufactured here.
Mr. Anthony: Is the Minister expecting that news print will be manufactured here?
Mr. MacEntee: Yes.
Mr. Anthony: And it is expected that there will be a big demand for it? Will we be able to satisfy the demand?
Mr. MacEntee: Yes.
Question put:—“That the Dáil agree with the Committee in Resolution No. 10.”
The Dáil divided: Tá, 66; Níl, 43.
Corry, Martin John.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
De Valera, Eamon.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Hales, Thomas. Sherídan, Michael.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
Lynch, James B.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
O Briain, Donnchadh.
O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
Pattison, James P.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Ryan, Robert. Victory, James.
Ward, Francis C.
Beckett, James Walter.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Broderick, William Joseph.
Burke, James Michael.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Dillon, James M.
Doyle, Feadar S.
Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
|McFadden, Michael Og.
McGuire, James Ivan.
Murphy, James Edward.
O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
O'Reilly, John Joseph.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rogers, Patrick James.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Smith; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.
Mr. MacEntee: I move: “That the Dáil agree with the Committee in Resolution No. 11.” This is the Resolution which imposes an additional duty of 1/4d. per lb. Customs and Excise, on sugar. As I have already stated, we expect to get £175,000 as a result of this duty.
Mr. Dillon: It is a remarkable thing that when the Minister is moving the Financial Resolution to impose this duty upon sugar, he has not taken this occasion to explain to the House what he meant when he said that he notified the House, the farmers, and the beet sugar manufacturers that the time was coming when sugar would be expected to make a more substantial contribution to the Exchequer, and that ways and means must be found by these people to get themselves into a position to make that contribution. What does the Minister mean by that? Does he mean that he is going to reduce costs in the factory by insisting on lower wages there, or does he mean a lower price for beet with a consequent reduction in the wages of those who produce it; or does he mean that he is going to add a substantial additional impost to what he has already put on sugar? It is right that the House should know what the present position is. The price of sugar to-day is 31/- per cwt. in Saorstát Eireann; and in Belfast, for the same class of sugar, it is 19/1½ per cwt.; so that Fianna Fáil has managed to impose 11/- per cwt. on every cwt. of sugar consumed in this country. Sugar to-day is costing 3¾d. a lb., whereas on the other side of the water and in Belfast, it can be had for about 2½d. per lb.
When Fianna Fáil introduced their first Budget, they transferred the duty from sugar on to tea, and they were then talking about Christian government. I remember Deputy Moore getting quite sentimental over the Christian spirit that moved the Minister for Finance to lend his stout arm to the poor and to remove taxation from what he knew to be an absolute essential in the food of the poor. I did not hear any sentimentality from Deputy Moore since the tax went back. I remember also Deputy Norton working himself into hysterics of admiration at the paternal zeal with which the Fianna  Fáil Party were going to relieve the breakfast table of the poor man by transferring this taxation from sugar on to tea, which might be described as a luxury, although we would be slow so to describe it.
Mr. Norton: What did the Deputy say?
Mr. Dillon: I also joined with the Deputy in saying that if that were a genuine gesture I was prepared to support it and to vote for it, but if it were a mere veneer of hypocrisy I was not going to lend my support to hypocrisy, whether a veneer or otherwise; but when the Deputy, obeying the Fianna Fáil whip, goes back to vote for what he has already condemned, I will register my opinion of his bad faith. I will not rise like Deputy Davin and protest against a gross betrayal of faith through the imposition of taxation on the foodstuffs of the poor, and then, when Deputy Norton crawls at the feet of President de Valera and when President de Valera has thrashed Deputy Davin up and down the Chamber with his tongue, crawl into the Lobby after him and apologise for his daring in mentioning the fact that he had been betrayed and fooled by the present Government.
Mr. Davin: Who put you over there?
Mr. Dillon: Deputy Davin waxed eloquent on the Christian Government which the Irish people had elected. He welcomed this departure from the hard-hearted indifference of the Cumann na nGaedhael Administration and he was glad to see the heart of the Minister for Finance palpitate with anxiety for the poor and the downtrodden. What has become of all the sentimentality now? What does Deputy Davin think of the gentlemen who fooled him and insulted him, and then drove him into their lobby? What does Deputy Davin think of his own leader, who wriggled uneasily when he ought to have been up in arms, defending his colleague, and who, instead of defending him, was  explaining that President de Valera's insults and contempt for Deputy Davin were not as humiliating as they might at first seem; that ordinary men might expect Deputy Davin to resent them, but that he, Deputy Norton, thought that it was only peevishness on the part of the President and that Deputy Davin was not rolled in the dust, he only had his nose rubbed in the mud; that any man could clean up his nose, but that that was very different from asking him to clean his whole body. I suggest that Deputy Davin ought to be as brave in the Front Bench of the Labour Party as he is in the Labour Party room. Let him tell Deputy Norton here what he told Deputy Norton at the Party meeting.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Perhaps the Deputy would now tell us something about the tax.
Mr. Dillon: It is precisely because of the tax, Sir, that I am referring to the actions of the Labour Party. This tax marks the degradation of the Labour Party. This tax demonstrates that the Labour Party is the most fraudulent and contemptible that has ever disgraced this Assembly. This tax shows that they have allowed themselves to be forced to swallow everything they said in public. It shows that they have allowed themselves to be dragged at the tail of Fianna Fáil into the Fianna Fáil lobby to vote for what they have publicly protested against.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I have allowed the Deputy to proceed very far. Criticism of that kind is permissible on certain occasions, when a Deputy wishes to refer to the actions of other Deputies, but now I think it is time that the Deputy should come to the Resolution itself.
Mr. Norton: On a point of order, Sir, I suggest that, instead of Deputy Dillon being admonished in that way, a doctor should be sent for to examine him, because it is quite clear that he is not normal to-night.
Mr. Dillon: Is this a point of order, Sir?
Mr. Norton: Deputy Dillon should be given some castor oil or something.
Mr. Davin: The doctor should be sent for before this debate proceeds further.
Mr. Dillon: I do not blame the Leader of the Labour Party. It is a humiliating occasion for him.
Mr. Norton: A cat could not be blamed for laughing at the Deputy.
Mr. Dillon: I think that Deputy Norton's position is perhaps the best illustration of the situation with which we find ourselves face to face. This Government is going back on every undertaking it gave, and this Government has openly proclaimed its intention of taxing every commodity which the people of this country have to buy if they are to exist. The Minister for Finance knows that the revenue which he is now collecting from sugar under this Resolution, and the revenue he says he is going to collect in the future in larger quantities from sugar, is going to be collected almost exclusively from that section of the community which is least able to pay it. If there were any urgent reason why the requirements of the State could not be carried on without imposing this tax, it might be patiently considered; but when we know that the necessity for this tax arises only from the political folly of the Minister and his colleagues, then I think it is time to draw the attention of this House, in no doubtful way, to the iniquity of imposing such a tax.
I should be interested to hear the Minister (1), justify this imposition, and (2), explain to this House what he meant by his reference to his expectations of the yield of revenue from sugar in the future. I think also that the Labour Party ought to put up Deputy Norton to explain whether he thought President de Valera's references to him were nothing more than the evidence of peevishness and to tell us if he still thinks that Fianna Fáil should  collect the revenue that is proposed to be derived from sugar and that even more should be collected in the future from that source at the expense of those who produce the sugar beet or of the labourers who manufacture it, or the poor who consume the sugar.
Mr. Davin: Will Deputy Dillon agree to putting a super-tax on nonsense?
Mr. Norton: I thought at first that this was a discussion on Resolution No. 11 but after this display of histrionic talent by Deputy Dillon to-night I thought his contribution was more suitable for a burlesque in a city theatre than a serious contribution to a debate in a legislative assembly. If there ever was a political crocodile in this House, Deputy Dillon bids fair to be that crocodile and to occupy that position. He has treated the House to a torrent of the most unadulterated nonsense to which the House has listened for many a year. He then goes on to talk and says that Deputy Davin should clean his nose. Deputy Dillon's nose is being rolled in the dust and it would take the Deputy a long time to clean his political nose, because his record in this country will not stand beside the record of Deputy Davin or the political or national record of the Labour Party. Deputy Mulcahy smiles—
General Mulcahy: No wonder I would.
Mr. Norton: I do not wonder he smiles. If he saw some of the leaflets his Party issued in the Kilkenny election in 1917 about the political Party with which Deputy Dillon was then associated, the Deputy would have another laugh.
General Mulcahy: Has Deputy Norton to go back to that?
Mr. Norton: It is not so long a time since the Party to which Deputy Dillon now belongs accused the Party with which Deputy Dillon was then associated that they cheered in the British House of Commons the Dublin executions in 1916. I will produce the political leaflet in which the Party  which Deputy Dillon now supports charged the Party to which he then belonged with cheering the 1916 executions in the British House of Commons.
Mr. Coburn: Are we going to have a dissertation on past history, because if so I am prepared to meet Deputy Norton on it?
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Will both Deputies please sit down.
Mr. Coburn: I am prepared to meet Deputy Norton, and it will not be the case of shooting a man behind the ditch.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I allowed Deputy Dillon four minutes in which to debate certain tariffs, and I have allowed Deputy Norton three minutes.
Mr. Donnelly: And we have had a sugary debate.
Mr. Everett: Deputy Coburn made the charge that Labour men shot people behind a ditch. One thing we know and it is this, that the Deputy never took a gun in his hand.
Mr. Coburn: Deputy Norton would not have the courage to do it.
Mr. Everett: Deputy Coburn has been making a charge against the Labour Party that he would not make outside.
Mr. Coburn: Certainly; it would only take ten minutes to go outside.
Mr. Everett: The Deputy accused the Labour Party of shooting men from behind a ditch.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I did not hear Deputy Coburn making that remark.
Mr. Coburn: I said they would not have the courage to do it.
Mr. Norton: Deputy Dillon waxed eloquent to-night and made a display of mock indignation at the imposts  that were put on the poor under this Budget. If the Deputy were to talk until to-morrow morning, having regard to the history of the Party of which he is now a member, I would not believe in his indignation or that it amounted to anything so far as the Deputy is concerned. The Deputy is a member of a Party which in its time imposed taxation on sugar and tea and cut the old age pensions, and while Deputy Dillon may imagine he has changed the Party since he became a member of it, the fact remains that they taxed tea and sugar, and Deputy Mulcahy and Deputy O'Sullivan can give him day and date for the time during which they imposed taxation on tea and sugar. The Deputy is therefore appearing in a hypocritical rôle in pretending that the Cumann na nGaedheal Party never imposed taxes on tea and sugar. Everybody knows that not only did they impose taxes on tea and sugar, but they cut the old age pensions of the poor and they tightened up the means qualifications in every way.
General Mulcahy: The Deputy is entirely wrong. They took off the tax on tea.
Mr. Norton: Does Deputy Mulcahy deny that there was a tax on tea and sugar during his Administration?
General Mulcahy: The tax was taken off.
Mr. Davin: Who put it on?
General Mulcahy: It was completely removed once we got away from some of the expenses that the Party opposite put on the people of this country through the civil war.
Mr. Corry: Taken off just before the removal of the Party from office.
Mr. Norton: Deputy Mulcahy does not deny that during his period in office there was a tax on tea?
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: On sugar.
Mr. Norton: Yes, on sugar. I was not overlooking the fact that Deputy  Dillon appears here to-night as if the Party of which he is now a member never imposed a tax on sugar. Deputy Dillon ought to get familiar with the past history of the Party of which he is a member. I know the Deputy would like to blot out that history. It is an inconvenient history and it is a long history of bleeding the poor, but the fact remains that during their period of office the Party to which Deputy Dillon belongs and about which he now talks so much, imposed a tax on sugar. Knowing that, the Deputy ought to try and moderate his language when he talks in this indignant manner about imposts and burdens put on the poor. The Deputy might talk in a milder and softer key. He should have some regard for the feelings of Deputy Mulcahy who has now taken the second bench to the new noise expert beside him. The Deputy ought to have some regard for the feelings of the Party of which he is a member. He ought not to make speeches— intemperate tirades which have no regard whatever to the feelings of the Party of which he is a member. We find Deputy Dillon to-night in this hypocritical rôle denouncing attacks on tea and sugar and on sugar particularly in this Resolution.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair was in doubt as to what the matter under discussion is.
Mr. Norton: If you were here, Sir, when Deputy Dillon was talking, you would have a much bigger problem than now.
Mr. Dillon: You would have my opinion of the Labour Party if you had been here, Sir.
Mr. Norton: If there was a tax on Deputy Dillon's speeches I really think there would be no need to impose a tax on sugar. The Deputy appears here to-night to denounce in unmeasured language the tax upon sugar.
Mr. MacDermot: Is there any rule against repetition? I have heard Deputy Norton repeat these words 12 times in a few minutes.
Mr. Norton: The words are very annoying apparently to Deputy MacDermot.
An Ceann Comhairle: There is a rule against repetition.
Mr. Norton: The Deputy dislikes a repetition of the fact that the Party of which he is now a member imposed taxes upon sugar.
Mr. Dillon: That now is the 13th time he has repeated himself. It is quite boring.
Mr. Norton: The imposition of the tax on sugar during the period of his Party's administration had much more than a boring effect upon the poor.
Mr. Morrissey: What does Deputy Norton think of this tax now?
Mr. Norton: I will tell you in a minute. I know what Deputy Morrissey thought about the tax on sugar when it was imposed.
Mr. Morrissey: And I voted against it. That was the difference between me and Deputy Norton.
Mr. Lemass: Deputy Morrissey votes against every tax.
Mr. Morrissey: Against every tax on the poor.
Mr. Norton: If you change from one Party to another you are bound to be right some time, and Deputy Dillon knows that.
Mr. Morrissey: Deputy Norton did not change at all. He was swallowed.
Mr. MacEntee: He has not been digested yet, judging by the attitude he has taken up.
Mr. Morrissey: So the President told us the other night.
Mr. Norton: I approach this question of the tax upon sugar from an entirely different standpoint from Deputy Dillon. Deputy Dillon, of course, is opposed to a tax upon sugar, and I take it that he is speaking for the members of his Party. But it is clear  that Deputy Dillon and the Party he speaks for are only opposed to a tax upon sugar when they are in opposition. When they are in office they are in favour of a tax upon tea and a tax upon sugar, but when they are in opposition they are not in favour of any tax upon tea and sugar. Is not that rather an extraordinary rôle for a Front Bench Deputy of the Fine Gael Party to be in? He is in favour of a tax upon tea and sugar, but when the people say. “we have no more use for you here, you ought to get over there,” Deputy Dillon, the moment he is removed from the Government Benches, is opposed to a tax upon tea and sugar. Is that the kind of responsible opposition we are going to have? They are in favour of a tax upon sugar here, but when they change to the opposite benches they are opposed to a tax upon sugar. I think that is downright hypocrisy. In any case, so far as this Party is concerned, I can say that they were always opposed to a tax upon sugar, and opposed to any taxes upon the foodstuffs of the people.
Mr. Morrissey: What!
Mr. Norton: Deputy Morrissey should allow somebody who has been longer in the Party than he has, to speak for that Party. We have too many newcomers speaking for that Party.
Mr. Morrissey: Did you vote against a tax on food last night?
Mr. Norton: No.
Mr. Morrissey: Wheat and butter?
Mr. Anthony: This is not the first time the Labour Party did that.
Mr. Norton: We were told by the President the other night that it was necessary to tax foodstuffs, that it was necessary to raise £175,000 by the tax upon sugar, and that the Budget could only be balanced in the way suggested by the Minister for Finance. I said last night, and I say again to-night, that I do not believe that statement. I believe that there are abundant sources of taxation within  this country from which the necessary money could be raised without imposing a tax upon the foodstuffs of the people.
Mr. MacDermot: Why keep them secret?
Mr. Lemass: What about the tax upon property?
Mr. Norton: I am prepared to support a tax upon property, but I am not prepared to support a tax upon working-class homes. I voted against that tax because the Minister would not give an assurance that he would not tax them. If the Minister brings in a tax on the property of the well-to-do or business people, I am prepared to vote for it.
Mr. Dillon: Let us have some of the ginger we used to have in the old days.
Mr. Norton: The Deputy seems to have had a lot of soda-water, not ginger. If he could blend the ginger and the soda-water he would be better off.
Mr. Anthony: Did the rest of the Party do wrong?
Mr. Norton: We are asked to believe that the only way in which the Budget can be balanced is by imposing a tax to the extent of £175,000 a year upon sugar. As I said, I do not believe that is necessary to balance the Budget. I would prefer to see a Budget unbalanced to the extent of £175,000 in the hope that some of those taxes which appear to me to provide for a conservative yield would realise the £175,000 required by the Minister in the form of a tax upon sugar. I think there are abundant sources of taxation within the country upon which £175,000 could be raised without imposing any tax upon sugar. I suggest to the Minister, now that he has heard the views of the House, and has observed that there is no enthusiasm in his own Party——
Professor O'Sullivan: Yes, they are quite cheerful.
Mr. Norton: That is clear from their silence.
Mr. Donnelly: Keep us out of it altogether—settle the row yourselves.
Mr. Norton: Now that the Minister has observed that there is no enthusiasm in his own Party for this tax upon sugar—in fact, the imposition of this tax has done one remarkable thing: it has kept Deputy Donnelly silent during the whole of the discussion of this Budget——
Mr. Donnelly: It will not keep me silent on the Budget in Laoighis next Sunday.
Mr. Norton: Deputy Donnelly is a fair barometer of the enthusiasm, or, otherwise, of the Party. When things are going well with the Party and the Budget is popular, the Deputy is irrepressible. For the last few days he has been silent. There is no clearer barometer of the Party's feelings on the Budget than the silence displayed by Deputy Donnelly.
Mr. T. Kelly: It is set fair.
Mr. Norton: Deputy Donnelly, when he goes to Laoighis on Sunday next, will see that it is very gloomy and he will have some views on the subject for the Minister for Finance on Tuesday. I suggest to the Minister, therefore, that he ought to reconsider the whole matter and drop the proposal to impose a tax upon sugar. Not only will the tax impose a burden on needy people, who must perforce consume sugar, but the imposition of the tax upon sugar will also have the effect of increasing the price of other commodities of which sugar is a necessary ingredient.
Mr. Anthony: The whole lot of you voted for the Budget.
Mr. Corish: We did not, and well you know it. Read the Resolution we voted for.
An Ceann Comhairle: Order! Order! If Deputies think that this is not a serious debate, they should end it.
Mr. Norton: The Minister seeks to raise £175,000 by this tax upon sugar. I quoted last night declarations by the President in this House, in 1932, to the effect that in imposing burdens he considered it was more equitable to impose those burdens on backs capable of bearing them; and that the lightest burden should be imposed upon the backs least capable of bearing them. I wonder whether the Minister agrees with that philosophy. If he does, it seems strange that the backs of the poorer sections of the community should be the backs selected to bear a tax of £175,000.
Mr. Lemass: Schedule A taxpayers.
Mr. Norton: It may be suggested that sugar is an article of general consumption. That is true, but, at the same time, if the Minister for Finance cares to examine the statistics he will find that sugar is used much more generally by the working-class sections of the community than it is by the wealthy sections. For that reason, the imposition of a tax upon sugar will necessarily fall heaviest on the poorer sections of the community. If the Minister were anxious to implement the philosophy to which the President gave expression in 1932, he could well have saved the consumers the burden of bearing this heavy tax. If the Minister had done that, he would have received commendations from his own Party and commendations from other Parties.
I move the adjournment of the debate.
The Dáil adjourned at 10.30 p.m. until Friday, 24th May, at 10.30 a.m.
Mr. McGilligan: asked the Minister for Justice if he will furnish (a) a return similar to that published as Appendix 2 to the Report of the Joint Committee on the Courts of Justice Act, 1924, covering the period from Michaelmas Sittings, 1932, to Trinity Sittings, 1933, and (b) a similar return covering the period Michaelmas Sittings, 1933, to Trinity Sittings, 1934.
Mr. McGilligan: asked the Minister for Justice if he will furnish (a) returns similar to those published as Appendices 3 and 3 (a) to the Report of the Joint Committee on the Courts of Justice Act, 1924, covering the period from Michaelmas Sittings, 1932, to Trinity Sittings, 1933, and (b) similar returns covering the period Michaelmas Sittings, 1933, to Trinity Sittings, 1934.
Minister for Justice (Mr. Ruttledge): The figures asked for are included in the composite statistics published in reply to the Deputy's questions in the Official Report for the 11th April last (Volume 55, No. 7). The separate particulars now required are being abstracted for the Deputy's information and will be supplied within the next week.
Mr. McGilligan: asked the Minister for Justice if he will furnish returns showing for each of the legal years (Michaelmas Sittings-Trinity Sittings) 1929-30, 1930-31, 1931-32, 1932-33, and 1933-34 the number of new cases (other than criminal cases) entered in the High Court, and further showing, if possible, what percentage of such cases in each such year were entered before the High Court Judge officiating as the Judicial Commissioner of the Irish Land Commission.
Mr. Ruttledge: The figures in respect of the years 1929-30 to 1932-3, inclusive, asked for in the first part of the question are published on page 117 of the Statistical Abstract for the year 1934. For the convenience of the Deputy,  however, the figures are given hereunder, together with the corresponding figures for the year 1933-34.
 As regards the second part of the question, with the exception, possibly, of a few isolated cases, the answer is “nil.”
|New Cases Entered||1929-30||1930-31||1931-32||1932-33||1933-34|