Friday, 8 May 1936
Dáil Éireann Debate
That for carrying into effect any Act of the present session to make provision for promoting the more extensive production and consumption of turf for domestic and household purposes, and to make provision for divers matters ancillary to or connected with such production and consumption, including conferring on the Minister for Industry and Commerce powers to acquire land and construct transport works and conferring on the Turf Development Board, Limited, powers in connection with the matters aforesaid, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas of any expenses incurred by the Minister for Industry and Commerce being expenses which are required by the provisions of such Act to be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.
General Mulcahy: I should like to get some information as to what the cost of this measure is going to be. The general lines of the measure indicate that it is intended further to develop the co-operative societies, and to force the purchasing of turf from these co-operative societies to the exclusion, so far as certain coal buyers are concerned, of the people who, up to the present, have been earning a living by selling turf. The history of the co-operative societies is not such as to indicate that there has been any very satisfactory development there. A very considerable amount of compulsion is indicated in connection with this measure, and I should like to know whether the delegation that went to Russia and to Germany have brought back any schemes dealing with  compulsion that will make the putting into force and administration of this Bill cheaper than it appears on the face of it to be.
A very considerable amount of money has been spent already in fostering and developing the sale of turf through co-operative societies, and the position that has been shown since the co-operative societies began to be formed, and the Turf Board came into operation, is that less turf is being cut and, if we refer to public Departments, less turf is being used by public Departments. If we refer to 1935, the year for which the Minister is not yet able to provide us with the amount of turf cut, we find that less turf is being carried by the railway and the canal companies.
General Mulcahy: I have been informed by the Minister's Department that, during the year 1934, the amount of turf carried by rail was 16,671 tons which, in 1935, fell to 13,637 tons. In 1934, the turf carried by canal was 8,709 tons and, in 1935, 6,525 tons. That is a fall of about one-fifth between those two years, to the extent of 5,218 tons.
General Mulcahy: It is linked up in this way; that less turf was cut in the year 1932-33 than in the year 1931-32; less turf was cut in the year 1933-34 than in the year 1932-33. The Minister cannot tell us what was the amount in  1935, but the railway companies and the canal companies carried less turf in 1935 than in 1934. Deputy Moore asked for the figures as to the use of turf by the public Departments. The consumption of turf by public Departments, other than the Department of Defence, rose from 303 tons in 1931-32 to 1,069 tons in 1932-33, to 6,337 tons in 1933-34—the first year in which the board and the approved societies came in—and in the following year fell to 5,333 tons, and in the year 1935-36 fell further to 4,622 tons. So that, in the two years from 1933-34 to 1935-36, the use of turf by public Departments had fallen by one quarter of the 1933-34 consumption. In the case of the co-operative societies——
Mr. Lemass: On a point of order, Sir. I am not quite clear as to what is in order in a discussion on a Money Resolution, and I should like to know, Sir, to what extent this debate can range over general questions such as the Deputy has raised.
An Ceann Comhairle: Technically, discussion on a Money Resolution is confined to the expenditure proposed to be authorised by the Bill. Deputies may discuss matters which they would desire to see in the Bill involving further expenditure. The Deputy in possession prefaced his remarks by stating that he wanted to question the costs of this measure. I presume he is developing that point; but if Deputies were to duplicate a Second Reading debate now it would be, I suggest, straining our procedure and practice.
General Mulcahy: This is a compulsory measure, and we have not been told anything as to what it is going to cost. As to the costs up to the present on this scheme for developing approved societies and assisting them through the Turf Board, during the last three years, £132,158 have been voted, but actually only £50,192 were spent up to the end of last year—that is, apart from the expenditure in connection with the purchase of the Turraun Works. There has been that expenditure, with a most unsatisfactory development in the cutting of turf by co-operative societies, a falling off in the original use of turf by  public Departments, and the measure is intended, I take it, to force the further development of approved societies, to force an increased cutting of turf by them, to force the disposal of more turf by the Turf Development Board, and to take areas and make them declared areas for particular purposes. Then, inside these areas, certain restrictions, under a most elaborate series of fines, are going to be placed on people generally—turf and coal sellers, coal users, and a lot of other people like that. I am simply bringing out this point for the purposes of the House, so that it can estimate the focal points that are going to give rise to the cost of carrying out this measure and with a view to letting the House see where these focal points are, for the purpose of extracting from the Minister, if possible, what particular costs are going to arise in connection with this particular measure.
I shall be as brief as possible. I have no desire to develop a Second Reading type of argument, but I have a desire to have made clear, for the House, as I say, what are the focal points of policy in this Bill and where costs in the administration of the measure are likely to arise, with a view to getting some idea what these costs are going to be and how they are going to be provided. At any rate, co-operative societies are the societies that the Minister wants to develop by this measure, and I want to refer briefly to certain aspects of the co-operative societies' achievements since they were started. I shall just take five counties: Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Clare and Kerry. These five counties got two-thirds of the total sacks distributed. They contain one-half of the total number of co-operative societies organised. There was expended in those areas £35,000 out of a total of £87,000 voted for relief work in the bogs, and we have the result that two-thirds of the sacks, plus half of the co-operative societies, plus £35,000 expenditure on bog work, brought about in those five counties a fall in turf cutting to the extent of 242,147 tons in 1934 as against 1931, and if we are to judge by the consumption in public Departments, and by  the falling-off in the railway carriage in 1935, their achievement was less during last year.
Now, the Minister is going to use that particular type of machinery in the western counties to prevent people who want coal from getting it, to force people who want coal, if they do get it, to take a certain amount of turf, and to use them to put out of the work of selling turf a large number of people in these districts who have been depending as part of their small yearly income on sales of turf. The work that is before the Minister in the matter is indicated by the very elaborate scheme of fines that he finds it necessary to produce in the measure intended to operate as a piece of compulsory machinery in an appointed area. I do not think that any measure before the House has ever had such a list of fines. In the first place, coal retailers have to be registered. There is a fine of £10 if they do not show their registration certificate in their premises. There is a fine of £50 for anybody, who is not a registered dealer, selling coal. There is a fine of £50 if they sell coal other than at registered premises. There is a fine of £1 against any person who purchases coal from other than a registered retailer. There is a fine of £1 a ton for failure to sell the proper turf quota with coal. There is a fine of £1 a ton for failure to buy the proper turf quota with coal. There is a fine of £1 a ton for selling unapproved turf. There is a fine of £1 a ton for knowingly taking unapproved turf. There is a fine of £1 a ton if coal retailers do not, on application by the Minister, within, I think it is, seven days, give a review of all their purchases for a period of two months.
General Mulcahy: These fines are an indication of the problem that the Minister thinks he has in putting this Bill into operation, and I will stop  where I am with the remark that I am only half way through the list. As well as dealing with the people inside, the Minister proposes, by a scheme of new small boundaries and boundaries within boundaries, to control the turf and the coal business. It is quite possible that anybody who has a sack of coal may have a swarm of inspectors after him to know where he got it. If there is no coal in the neighbourhood of the house, and if he happens to have a bag of turf, he is liable to be visited by inspectors to know whether or not the turf is approved turf. I think I have said sufficient to indicate that there is a most elaborate system of compulsion proposed, which will involve an elaborate scheme of espionage.
General Mulcahy: I am very anxious to know where the money is going to come from. We cannot say what this thing is going to cost without having some picture of the things that are going to give rise to cost. If the Minister objects to hearing these things, I appreciate it. It is no wonder that he would object. I am prepared to sit down, now that I have given him suggestions as to the type of information we want, and I will listen patiently while he indicates to us what this measure is going to cost.
Mr. Morrissey: I seems to me that  it would, perhaps, be better, and I might save the Minister the trouble of rising to his feet so often on points of order, if I were to say at the outset with regard to this Money Resolution that I think the House ought not to pass it because it is not going to benefit the turf industry or those engaged in the turf industry. On the contrary, I believe it is going to do them positive injury. Having said that, and having made my attitude clear, I hope the Minister will not be troubled putting points of order to the Chair.
Mr. Lemass: I am anxious to get this matter clear. I am not familiar with the procedure relating to debates on Money Resolutions. I have had no experience yet of a debate like this. I think when the Dáil approves the principle of a measure, it should not be possible for Deputies to urge the rejection of the Money Resolution on the ground that they object to the principle.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Dáil on the Second Stage approved the principle of the Bill. The Committee is now asked to vote money to implement the Bill. On this Resolution, Deputies are entitled to discuss the cost, how it arises and its possible extent.
Mr. Morrissey: The fact that the Dáil approves the principle of a Bill on the Second Reading does not mean that the Dáil is committed to pass the Bill merely because it approves the principle, or that the Dáil is prevented from questioning the money that will operate the measure. The Minister seems to have got it into his head that because the Dáil adopted the principle on the Second Reading, the Dáil must not question that principle any further during the remaining stages.
Mr. Morrissey: I would like to get some information from the Minister regarding the question of cost. I would like to know how much of the cost does he estimate will be met by registration fees. Will the Minister give us an idea of the amount of money he hopes to get in the shape of registration fees, and to what extent that will meet the expenses of this Bill? I would like to know to what extent the money looked for under this Resolution is required to meet what I would call the sack problem. I am anxious to know whether the Government, under this new Bill, propose to proceed to purchase sacks, to sell sacks, or to hire sacks in the manner they have been doing since the inception of the turf scheme. Can the Minister give us information as to what losses he estimates in regard to the provision of sacks? I am anxious to know whether the Minister proposes to continue to charge the high price his Department has been charging for sacks, and to continue the high hiring rate for sacks where they are not purchased outright.
I would like some idea as to what he has in mind with regard to registration. In this Bill we are asked to approve that retailers shall be registered and we are asked to give the Minister power to fix a registration fee; but we have no idea as to whether that will be £1, £5, £10 or £20. We are asked to provide this money to make provision for promoting the more extensive production and consumption of turf. I hope to be able to show the House that it is not going to do any such thing. I think the figures already quoted by Deputy Mulcahy give us some idea of the tendency, notwithstanding all the activity and the large sum expended in the way of propaganda and the setting up of secieties and so on. If this Bill is passed, and if it were possible to put it into operation—I do not believe it is possible to put it into operation—it would do  more real damage to the turf industry than anything that could be conceived by anybody outside the Department.
There are people in this country who to-day are making a living out of turf. They are getting by the sale of their turf at least double the price they will be allowed to get if this Bill becomes law. We are asked to vote money to put into operation legislation that will deprive those people of their means of livelihood. I can only speak of cases in the South of Ireland. I do not know what the custom is in the West or the midlands. In the South, particularly in my own county, there are small farmers living on poor land adjacent to bogs. They go into the bogs about this time every year and they spend the summer cutting and saving turf. In the winter months they bring that turf into the towns and they sell it in small loads or, as more frequently happens, they bring it from door to door and sell lots for 3d., 6d., or 1/- to the poor people. In that way they are making at least double the amount that they will be allowed to make out of the turf if this Bill becomes law. Should this legislation operate, they will not be able to sell their turf in the way I have described.
The Minister may say there is nothing to prevent them from bringing the turf to town, but the fact is that the people will not buy it. The poor people who have not ranges in their kitchens have to purchase turf in order to bake bread. They also have to burn coal. It is recognised, I think, that for general household purposes, and particularly for cooking purposes, coal is more economical than turf. I do not think anybody will dispute that. But those persons, when the Bill becomes law, cannot get coal without also taking turf from the coal merchants. If they have to purchase turf at the same time that they purchase coal, then they will not require turf from the man who spends his whole summer cutting and saving turf, in order that during the winter time he may make sufficient money to enable him to live on his miserable patch of land.
Mr. Morrissey: I am trying to show the reasons why this money should not be voted. I think I cannot convince the House that this Money Resolution should be rejected unless I can show Deputies that the voting of it would be a positive hardship rather than a benefit to the turf industry.
Mr. Morrissey: Even if it were, I want respectfully to submit that on a financial motion such as this it is impossible to give adequate reasons for its rejection unless one can quote very definite and specific cases of hardship which will be brought about as a result of its passing. But there are other reasons apart from these. There are farmers living within three, four, five or six miles of the ordinary provincial town. A great many of these farmers have in the last ten, 12 or 15 years installed ranges in their kitchens. Here, again, I am speaking of the custom in my part of the country. These farmers purchase coal to burn in their ranges, and the usual procedure is that they go to the nearest bog and purchase a clamp of turf. That turf is drawn home by members of their families as they require it. If this Bill becomes law that cannot be done. Either the coal that they require must be dropped altogether or else instead of buying a clamp of turf they will have to go into the nearest town and buy that turf, plus all the additional expense that would be put upon them in that way. Then I want to come to the greatest hardship of all and that is with regard to those who get turf direct from the bog, and there are people who to-day are purchasing turf from those who get it in the bog. They are retailing that turf in the towns. They are purchasing it from what I might call private turf-cutters rather than from the co-operative society. That is because a particular turf-cutter may have got particularly good turf. One knows when one buys it from a co-operative society  that one has to take certain chances. It is those people who are getting their turf and selling it in that way who are going to be hit. It will be found that most of the real, genuine turf users will be hit when this Bill becomes law. I will be told that there is nothing to prevent those people from buying their turf in bulk and becoming members of the co-operative society. What will happen then? They will get a net sum of in or about 11/6 a ton for their turf. I want to say here and now that 11/6 a ton for cutting, saving and delivering turf is the nearest thing I have ever heard to a starvation wage.
Mr. Morrissey: What is a ton of ordinary good quality turf? It is two good horse-loads of turf, and we are told that people in this country want this Bill and are looking for it to enable them to get 5/- or 5/6 for a horse-load of turf. They will get 11/6 for it, but because of the particular system of transport and everything else some people will pay three times that amount for the turf. But the man who does the work first of all what does he get? He pays a pretty substantial sum for the turf bank. He has to hire labour if he has not sufficient labour of his own, and he is to get for the turf the net sum of 11/6 a ton.
Mr. Morrissey: I am saying that the people, who are now at liberty to get turf and realise 20/- a ton and, in some cases, as high as 25/- a ton for it by being allowed to sell it themselves, will be brought in and forced into the co-operative society where they will be compelled to accept 11/6 a ton for it. That is the hardship these men are faced with. They are to be paid 11/6 as against the £1 to 25/- which they are now able to get.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy appreciates the fact that all that was discussed on the Second Reading. The principles of the Bill were then discussed. The money is required for this, and the discussion on the motion should deal with that money, that is, with the cost of this measure and with objections to that cost, but not with the principles with which the Deputy is now dealing.
An Ceann Comhairle: The general application of that argument would entitle a Deputy to get down to the individual trader or taxpayer on any Money Resolution. The Deputy will have an opportunity of discussing those points on the relevant sections. That would be more relevant and orderly.
I am submitting that it should not be carried into effect, and in order to carry my point as far as I can, I am submitting that this motion is not going to lead to “the more extensive production and consumption of turf for domestic and household purposes,” but that it is going to lead in the opposite direction.
An Ceann Comhairle: On the Second Reading the House approved of the principle contained in that Resolution, but granted no money. The Committee is now asked to vote the money for the purposes of the Bill. It is not a correct procedure to repeat now the  arguments advanced on the Second Reading.
Mr. Morrissey: The Minister knows about Friday morning. The Minister put across a few slick deals in this House in order to get Friday morning. He is most to blame for having this discussion on Friday morning. I want to submit that I am entitled to argue and give the House good reasons why this Resolution should not be passed. That is my position. In order to do that, with all respect to your rulings, Sir, I think I am entitled to show that the House, if they vote this money, will do a positive injury to the turf industry.
An Ceann Comhairle: That is the point upon which the Chair differs with the Deputy. The Deputy is thoroughly conversant with the practice and procedure of this House. He must realise that in his contention it would be legitimate to duplicate the Second Reading debate. The principles of a Bill are fixed on Second Reading. On the Money Resolution reasons may be advanced why the money should or should not be voted. If the Deputy were allowed to discuss the principle of this Bill as a reason against voting money, that would involve reopening the Second Reading debate.
Mr. Morrissey: I say even on the last stage. I do not want to waste the time of the House by going to the  Fifth Stage if I can get the House to see that they ought to drop the whole thing now, as it is only a farce, a gesture, which even the Minister does not believe he can put into operation.
Mr. Morrissey: I should like to know something about the specified areas. I want to know whether it is going to be more costly to specify, say 12 or 20 areas, rather than have one area for the Free State.
Mr. Morrissey: I do not think so, because these specified areas are mentioned in every section and run through the whole Bill. Then there is the question of the number of inspectors. Not only are we to have inspectors, but officials authorised by the Turf Board and every member of the Gárda Síochána. I submit that all these things are going to make a big difference in the amount of money required for the enforcement of this measure— the number of areas and sub-areas; the number of times the Minister may decide to reduce, alter, or add to an area already prescribed; the number of premises his inspectors will have to visit to open sacks to see whether they contain turf or coal; whether it is approved turf or approved coal; whether it is being supplied by a registered or non-registered coal retailer; the number of inspectors necessary to enforce this Bill; and the amount of additional money required under this  Money Resolution to see that 2 cwts. and not 2½ cwts. are sold without turf. The whole thing is so preposterous that I do not want to be forcing the point against your ruling, Sir, or straining your ruling in any way. I do not believe this Bill is seriously meant and I do not think the time of the House ought to be wasted upon it. The Minister does not believe it himself. He ought not be bringing us here on a Friday morning wasting time on what is merely an empty gesture in order to frighten the people down the country by telling them they will be compelled to burn turf in grates that would not hold a lump of coal, not to say turf.
Professor O'Sullivan: I thought at one period of the debate that the Minister was going to take a hint from his colleague and become once more the bold, bad buccaneer. He was rather mild in his speeches on the Second Reading, but there was a display of temper to-day which we did not expect. I did not quite grasp the cause of it until he came out with the reference to Friday morning. At first I did not grasp the significance of the interruption but now I understand that the suggestion is that there is a certain extra publicity given to the proceedings on a Friday morning. The Minister naturally objects to that in connection with this Bill. While Deputy Mulcahy was answering a question put by a supporter of the Minister, the Minister tried to stop the Deputy in the midst of that answer. The Minister does not want publicity for this Bill or for the fact that Government Departments are using less turf. We are in full agreement there, at all events. I can understand his point of view, and I can understand the efforts he made to try to prevent information getting over to the public. We know that information has no effect on the Minister. We know that statistics, costs, or anything else have no effect on him, but he objects to their getting over to the public and objects to Friday morning debates because he thinks they may get over to the public.
It is obvious that the Minister thought that the passing of this Money  Resolution by the Dáil was a purely formal matter. His interventions in the debate are an indication of that. The fact that he gave no information whatever at any stage up to the present as to the cost of the Bill is proof that he regards the money side of it as so purely negligible, in the sense of being formal, that the Dáil need not be informed. He could have given information to the House. He had an opportunity afforded him by the Resolution, if he was unable to give even an estimated amount of the costs, of at least giving some indication of the type of expenditure he envisages under the Bill, but he did not do it. When an effort was made to point out to him that this Bill was an elaborate Bill and that every section involves expenditure, for otherwise it could not be administered, the Minister tried to prevent that question even being put to him.
If this debate on the Resolution has taken the particular form it has taken, the responsibility largely lies with the Minister who, up to the present, has given no information about his plans. Not merely has he given no information on the type of expenditure he envisages under the Bill, on the amount of expenditure that he envisages in the next 12 months or two years, but he has given no information on the plans he has in mind which will lead to expenditure. Anybody reading his introductory speech on the Second Reading and his reply to the debate will see that he refused to give information as to the extent, be it great or small, to which he intended to operate the Bill or expected to operate it.
How is it possible for the House, without the slightest help from the Minister at any stage, to form any idea of the costs involved? The Minister tries to convey, on the one hand, that this is a serious measure intended to be operated to a considerable extent, and the next moment he certainly conveys the impression that it is merely a gesture, that there is nothing serious behind it, and that he does not intend to operate it to any extent. Faced not merely with these conflicting statements  of the Minister, but with the fact that the Minister, apparently, has no definite mind at all on the matter, how can the House be asked, with any show of reason, to vote money, not merely vague in amount, but completely indefinite so far as the purposes for which the money is to be voted are concerned?
All the information we get concerning what we are now asked to sanction is in a general way contained in the Money Resolution itself. Anybody can see that nothing could be more vague or general than the Money Resolution. Money has already been spent by the Minister's Department in the promotion—so it is alleged—of the turf industry. Is that to be continued under this Bill? Again, there is no information. Is all the propaganda and publicity, which cost a certain amount of money for the last couple of years, still to be continued, and if it is, is it one of the matters referred to as being ancillary to the increased production of turf? If it is, the Minister, whom nobody could accuse of being reticent or hesitant in the way he speaks in this Dáil, gives no information here. Money was spent on propaganda. Is it irrelevant to point out to the House that, so far as the figures at our disposal seem to show, money has been wasted?
The Minister declared, in a child-like fashion or in a copy-book headline fashion, that you cannot take statistics of two years and compare them. He objected when Deputy Mulcahy pointed out that there was a considerable falling off in the production of turf between the years 1931 and 1934 and said: “You cannot base anything upon that.” The next thing the House had a right to expect after that small debating point had been made by the Minister was that he would give the figures of the several years, from 1931 to 1935, and show that the tendency to which he referred was an upward tendency. Did the Minister show that? He did not even attempt to do it. When the Minister has not figures before him he is never at a loss to give figures, and when he does that they are always rather striking. He did not even suggest  that if we take the figures for the years 1931 to 1935, they would show an upward tendency. If there was any real point in the objection he made to Deputy Mulcahy's statistics he had an opportunity of proving it and driving it home by producing the figures for the intervening years. If the Minister had not time to do that when Deputy Mulcahy spoke he could have brought them forward to-day to show that there was some justification for asking for this money.
Is publicity one of the things we are still spending money on? The money, we are told, is for ancillary purposes. It is quite useless—judging by results till now—for the purposes of this Bill, but technically, and to the Minister's mind, it comes in under it. “Ancillary” it has not been in fact. The figures quoted show, if they show anything at all, that it has not led to an increase in the consumption of turf. But the Minister always holds that the statistics produced by his Department do not prove what they seem to prove —he never tells us what in fact they do prove. All he says here is that they do not indicate what the position is with regard to turf development, but he does not say what they do prove. The only way he can show that these publicity efforts do not come under this Resolution is by acknowledging that up to the present his publicity efforts have been a failure. I admit there is one particular Department in which the Government is supreme, namely, propaganda. But not for commercial purposes; purely for political purposes.
I think the House has really been treated very cavalierly by the Minister's irresponsibility in dealing with what is described as an important measure. Has the Minister any idea of the expenses? Will he tell us, as we have been so frequently told by various Ministers when Bills are introduced into this House, that no extra officials will be employed? Is that the contention of the Minister? If we got this information we should be in a better position to deal with the matter. We will have to wait to hear the Minister's reply, and then we can make up our minds how to deal with the matter.
 It has not been unusual in this House, when Bills of this kind, with compulsory powers and so on, are introduced, to be told that no additional officials will be necessary. That is a statement very frequently made. Unfortunately experience seldom fits in with the rather optimistic forecasts of Ministers. It is not easy to see how— I am assuming for the moment that the Bill is seriously meant—with the elaborate powers put into the hands of the Ministers in this instance, there is not going to be very elaborate machinery of administration. Unless the Minister takes the line that officials already existing can deal with the matter — and our experience would lead us to expect some such statement from him —then many additional officials will be required. It is not easy to see, if the existing officials of the Minister are doing their work at present and have sufficient work to do, how the amount of additional work imposed by this Bill is going to be done without considerable addition to the staff of the Minister.
There are a number of points that might be urged against this Resolution, but, for my part, I prefer to deal with them when we come to the particular sections, and I shall raise them there. Not the slightest attempt has been made by the Minister to supply the information which the House is entitled to expect, or even to give the vaguest hint of what the amount of money involved in the administration of this Bill if it becomes an Act is likely to be.
Mr. Harris: I did not come into the House until towards the end of Deputy Mulcahy's speech, but I heard Deputy Morrissey and Deputy O'Sullivan speak on this motion. While listening to them, it struck me that, during the ten years they were in office, not much consideration was given to the people in the bog areas. At this stage, Deputy Morrissey seems to be greatly concerned with the injury that this Bill will do to the people in the turf industry.
Mr. Harris: Deputy Morrissey said that 11/- per ton would yield only a starvation wage to the producers of turf. He said he knew that the price of turf, without these measures which the Government were taking, was from £1 to £1 5s. 0d. per ton. He seemed to suggest that the steps the Government were taking to deal with turf would make conditions worse. I think that there is a great necessity for the steps the Government are taking in this Bill. The improvement works being carried out, through the medium of the Turf Development Board, in the bogs of the country and the large amount of drainage being done, have induced people to go in more extensively for the production of turf.
Mr. Harris: Kildare was a county that depended, to a great extent, for the past 50 or 60 years on turf. Great areas of the Bog of Allen depended solely on turf. A considerable trade was done in turf from the Bog of Allen, through the Grand Canal, to Dublin. I saw that trade and I saw it dead during the régime of Cumann na nGaedheal. For five or six years, thousands of tons of weather-beaten turf were ricked up on the canal sides around Allenwood because it could not be sold.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: What  can be discussed on this motion is the expenditure involved in the administration of this Bill. Deputies may not go back and discuss what a previous Government did or did not do. Whatever is said must be related to this motion and to expenditure under the Bill.
Mr. Harris: I am coming to that. All that turf was cleared away and then a vast amount of money was spent on the drainage of bogs. That has induced many more people to go into the turf industry. Unless these steps which the Government are taking to widen the market for turf were put into operation, I believe the market would be glutted.
Mr. Harris: There is a much greater production of turf on account of the drainage to which I have referred. The bogs were practically inaccessible at the time this Government carried out their drainage schemes. That drainage will, to a very great extent, increase the production of turf. I do not know whether you, Sir, will allow me to answer some of the points made by Deputy Morrissey. He spoke about the man who went into the town with his load of turf and sold it from door to door,  and he said that this scheme was going to injure him. I say it will not, because he usually sold his turf to the smaller people who purchased coal in quantities of less than two cwts. Until the turf scheme came into operation, that man's market was practically gone, because all the turf being taken by the Turf Development Board was going into the towns, where there was a surplus.
Mr. Harris: If we are to widen and extend the use of turf, this Bill is necessary and the people are anxious for it. Turf is a good fuel and, 100 years ago, a great deal of turf was burned in Dublin. My attention was called to a question which was raised in the British Parliament regarding the development of the turf industry, and how that was affecting their trade in coal.
Mr. Harris: I think that there is a good case for the Bill and that the expenditure of the money under this motion is necessary. One thing will have an effect in increasing the production of turf; that is, that the Government is determined to guarantee a market to the people in the bog areas for whatever turf they produce. We know the effect of guaranteeing a price to the farmers for wheat and this guarantee will have a very good effect on the production of turf.
Mr. Belton: The last remark of Deputy Harris pretty well gives the show away on the Minister. To give a guaranteed price for turf shows, if there is any foundation for the statement, what is visualised in the Money Resolution—that this is going to be made a paying proposition whether it is an economic one or not. In voting for this Money Resolution we are giving the Minister a blank cheque to pay a price for the production of turf,  whether it is economic or not, and whether the business justifies production or not. Deputy Harris stated that the people from County Kildare had been for years retailing turf to the poor people in the City of Dublin. Has he examined the ramifications of this Bill to see how that trade will be affected?
Mr. Belton: Very good. If I am a retailer of coal, and if I buy quantities of coal from merchants, by the Minister's Order, I must take a certain amount of turf which has not been disclosed in the Bill. Powers are given the Minister to say how much turf I am to take. I send out the coal in bags. What am I going to do with the turf? It is going to lie in my yard. But I am going to let out that turf at a cut throat price to the very people that the Kildare retailers were in the habit of supplying. I know what I am talking about, because I am in the trade in that small way. That is what is going to happen. We are asked to spend money on buildings and on the making of roads. I quite agree with Deputy Harris that it is a good thing to make bog roads and to drain the bogs. That is necessary, apart from any production of turf on a national scale. Even though on the Second Reading of the Bill the House accepted the principle of producing turf, the Money Resolution is not interpreting that. It calls upon us to examine the Bill to see if it is a business proposition to give a blank cheque to the Minister. The Minister should give the House some idea of the amount of money involved, if he has any idea of the amount. He referred to speeches made here to-day as Friday morning speeches. I do not think I would be far wrong if I called this a Friday Morning Bill. It is purely a publicity and propagandist stunt. I should like to hear of any practical people with any intelligence behind the Bill. It has not been disclosed that there is any new method of producing turf. Those who know bogs know what it costs to make roads  in to them, and realise that while it is possible to cut and save turf inside on the bogs a wet season may come and the turf cannot be got out. I wonder if the Minister is asking for power in this Bill to make roads regardless of the cost.
The Minister is taking power to bury money in the bogs. He does not give any idea of the amount, and has produced no evidence from what might be called bog or turf experts. Deputy O'Sullivan said that the Minister had stated that there would be no increase in staff. I think the Turf Controller has £1,000 a year, and we are not going to have an official with £1,000 a year and no staff. There is going to be an army of jobs behind this, if the proposition is serious. Of course, it may not be serious. If it is not serious there will be no jobs. I wonder does the Minister comtemplate a more extensive production or consumption of turf for domestic or household purposes by subsidising turf? If turf is sold cheaper by registered coal retailers than it is sold commercially, then the ordinary turf producer and vendor is injured, because if a man is buying turf at £1 a ton, and if it is sold as auxiliary fuel with coal at 10/- a ton, obviously the consumer of turf is going to change to part coal, part turf, as he will have cheaper fuel. In that way, if the price of turf is not maintained at the commercial level, this Bill will help the consumption of coal rather than increase the consumption of turf.
Deputy Morrissey made a very good point about the position of people who have ranges and who have to buy coal for cooking purposes, and who, perhaps, cut a certain amount of turf for other household purposes. Will people who have a surplus of turf of their own production, if they have to  buy a ton of coal for use in ranges, have to buy some turf as well? I do not think this Money Resolution should be adopted by the House. While the extended use of turf would be desirable — and the House has sanctioned that principle—at the same time the country is entitled to know at what cost we are going to have an extended use of turf. When there is no limit, or even an approximate limit to the amount of money required, and when no new methods of producing turf on a large scale have been adopted, I think the Dáil should go very slowly indeed in authorising the expenditure of money for turf production. Deputy Harris said that good work had been done for drainage by the Turf Board. Very well, proceed with the drainage works. They should be a charge—not so much on the National Exchequer as this Money Resolution proposes—but according to the Drainage Acts on the local rates and on those who are going to benefit directly by these works. I do not see why money voted here for turf production should be asked for on the basis of the case stated, that the Turf Board has already done drainage work in particular localities.
If it has done nothing but help the drainage of a particular locality, then that drainage work should be carried out by a drainage rate and not by a charge on the Central Fund. If no other argument can be put up for this Resolution but that, it is a sufficient reason why Central Fund money should not be given for the benefit of a locality, particularly when recourse can be had to legislative machinery for drainage work. Every Bill or every Resolution that is brought before this House is, to a large extent, debated on a comparative basis—what has been done in a certain period as against what has been done in some other period. Deputy Harris said that during a certain period the people retired from the bogs in County Kildare but at a later period they tramped to the bogs again. I know very many farmers in Kildare——
Mr. Belton: I am only going to the extent of replying to what Deputy Harris said. I can get the names of farmers from Kildare who, when they found their land was no use to them —the good grazing lands of Kildare —trekked to the bog and cut turf.
Mr. Belton: I do not want to go any further into that matter. I only mention it because the facts are known to me and in reply to the case made by Deputy Harris, that because of the gold mine that was discovered—not in Wicklow this time, but in Kildare— people went out for that gold. I want to point out that they did not go of their own volition to the bog. They went there because, owing to the economic conditions brought about by the policy of this Government, they found that they could not make a living on their land.
Mr. Belton: It is absolutely true. I can get the names of farmers down there who did that and who found that they could not get their turf off their hands. Then they went to Deputy Harris so that he might try to get the Board to take it from them.
Mr. Belton: I think that the weighty point which the Deputy endeavoured to make has been pretty well blunted. Of course it would not be in order now to go into a detailed discussion of the Bill or the principles of the Bill. We are confined within the narrow limits of a request for authority to spend a certain sum of money, an undefined sum of money, to sink it in a bog. If the Minister knew anything about bog areas, he would understand the significance of sinking money in a bog. The House would be foolish, to the point of madness, to give any Minister authority of this kind, to sign a blank cheque for him to spend money ad lib. in a bog. I presume that when the previous Bill was brought in here under which the price was fixed at 10/- or 11/6 per ton—and I am glad I opposed it——
Mr. Belton: Turf was in some form at any rate before the House. I cannot remember exactly what it was, but a price of 10/6 per ton was mentioned for turf. I doubt if any turf was sold at such a low price. Deputy Morrissey's testimony bears cut my knowledge of the situation. I wonder is the Minister basing his estimate as to the money he requires on an assumption that turf will be produced and sold—and an increased amount produced and sold—on the basis of 10/6 or 11/- per ton? Does he not know from experience that that price did not work? Deputy Harris admitted that the Curragh Camp could not get turf at 10/6.
Mr. Belton: The nearest railway station—and the Curragh is as near to the bog of Kildare as bog centres usually are to a railway station. Yet the price had to jump from 11/6 to 16/- before a sod of turf could be got into the Curragh Camp. Was that to satisfy the bogmen of Robertstown? I wonder was it I or Deputy Harris was in danger of being thrown into the canal?
Mr. Harris: It was the price guaranteed by the Government to the producer. While the last Government were in power there were thousands of tons of turf ten years there and they were not guaranteed anything for it.
Mr. Belton: The cat has come out of the bag. His head and front paws are out now. We were told in this House that turf could be produced, as an economic proposition, and delivered at 10/6 per ton to the nearest railway station. Now we are told by Deputy Harris that it was agreed by the Army, and I presume the Army means the Government, to pay 16/- per ton for turf brought into the Curragh. I wonder what was the cause of that?
Mr. Belton: It shows that the House here was misinformed by the Minister on that occasion. The Minister who made the statement here that 10/6 would be an economic price for turf, and that we would have increased production at that figure, while at the same time the Government agreed to give 5/- or 6/- more per ton for turf required for the Army, now wants a blank cheque to produce turf under similar conditions. Does he not know that there is an economic limit to the production of any article? Does he not know that you can increase employment in anything? You can do that by digging down the Dublin mountains, but would it pay the nation ultimately to do that? The Minister can formulate a scheme, and if he gets a blank cheque from this House he can start producing more turf. He can get a market for that turf by subsidies, plus compulsion. He has got compulsion in the Bill, and now all he wants is money to make bog roads, to acquire bogs, to build sheds, and to provide transport that will dump the turf anywhere at any price and make the taxpayer pay  whatever difference there is. That is, in essence, the Money Resolution before the House, and in my opinion the House should not adopt it.
General Mulcahy: Before we leave the County Kildare, there is a point that I would like to make. Deputy Harris says that there is a very considerable amount of development in turf cutting in the County Kildare as a result of Government activity. I would like the Deputy to be a little more explicit on that. A very considerable amount of money has already been spent, and the House is now asked to vote more money. We are anxious to find out what is the amount of money that is going to be spent, and what is going to develop from it. As regards the County Kildare, in 1934-35 the Department of Defence took 8,284 tons of turf, and in the following year they took 6,061 tons from the Turf Development Board. If only 50 per cent of that went to the Curragh, it would be 4,000 tons in the first year I mentioned and 3,000 tons in the next year. But, in the County Kildare, in the year 1934, they only produced 1,601 tons more than they did in the year 1931, although more than £5,000 was spent in bog drainage before the end of March, 1935. If the Department of Defence are taking that amount of turf from the County Kildare, and if that county is producing, over the 1931 figure, substantially less than the Department of Defence are taking now in spite of the additional increased cost, will the Deputy comment to us on that situation, and indicate to us how it has come about?
Mr. Harris: There are no records available, but there has been a big increase in the production of turf in the County Kildare. Before the drainage of the bogs in the county, the people in many areas departed from the use of turf. That was because of the water-logged condition of the bogs. When the drainage was carried out, the people went back to the use of turf. More turf is now being sold in the rural areas, but there is no record of these sales.
Mr. Moore: Deputy Mulcahy must be aware that the average farmer in the County Kildare has a turf bank. During many years a great number of these farmers drifted away from using their turf banks and took to using coal. During the past three years, as Deputy Harris has pointed out, turf has come back into use, and instead of using coal they are now using their turf banks. They have reverted to the use of turf in their own homes. There is no record of that anywhere. It should be obvious to Deputy Mulcahy what the drainage of the bogs has meant to the farmers and the hardships they endured before that work was undertaken. Because of those hardships they dropped using turf, but since the drainage was carried out they are now back to its use again. Surely that fact ought to be obvious to the Deputy. When he gets statistics of that kind, what inference does he draw from them? Does he mean to say that actually the use of turf in the County Kildare, or the production of turf there, has been declining?
Mr. Lemass: Of course it is obvious nonsense, but on this as on other matters the Deputy has never understood any statistics that I have put before him. He is incapable of understanding statistics, and he should stop this.
Mr. Moore: Is there anything really to be gained by quoting figures and attempting to build a case on them  when the facts are there within 30 or 40 miles of the Deputy for him to see? Surely it would be worth his while to take a run down to Kildare—it would be only a recreation for him—and see the facts for himself. Again, I say that Deputy Mulcahy has ignored the big fact that all over the County Kildare— I am sure the same thing has happened in other counties—many householders who had ceased using turf, owing to the difficulty of winning it, are now using it because of the better facilities that obtain.
Mr. Bennett: The Minister does not appear to be happy at the reception which his Money Resolution is receiving. As Deputy Morrissey has said, there are certain facts relating to the Turf Bill on which we ought to have some information, and this Money Resolution should afford the opportunity for getting the information. It is difficult for Deputies to discuss this Money Resolution without referring to some of the matters that were dealt with on the Second Reading of the Bill. That difficulty was clearly demonstrated by Deputy Harris when he attempted to justify, or to condemn, this Money Resolution. I was not certain whether he meant to justify it or condemn it. The Deputy spoke for ten minutes, and did not make it clear to the House as to whether or not the Minister was justified in bringing forward this Money Resolution. If ever there was a Money Resolution which the Dáil was entitled to discuss and to criticise it is the Money Resolution which is to finance this Turf Bill. The Minister has given us no indication as to what the cost of it will be. He is not, apparently, even able to make a guess at the amount of expenditure which this Bill will entail. If one may refer to the Bill for a moment one can  say of it that in almost every line it teems with expense. It would be almost impossible for anybody to compute what the ultimate expenditure under it will be. In the first place it embodies a revolutionary extension of the principle of compulsion. That in itself will lead to expenditure which would be needless in relation to other Bills. The Bill proposes to compel persons to purchase turf. Not only that but it proposes to curtail the operations of people engaged in other businesses as well. There are going to be penalties in the Bill for not buying turf; there are going to be penalties for not selling turf; there are going to be penalties even for not buying or selling coal in certain cases. There are going to be restrictions upon people who might sell coal or might not sell coal, as well as upon people who might buy or might not buy turf, and there are fines in all those cases. One does not know what might be the extent of the money required to provide salaries for the officials who will be necessary to operate this measure.
The effects of this Bill will, perhaps, fall more heavily on people in the cities and towns than on country people. Perhaps the people in the cities and towns will realise for the first time the effects of compulsion as applied to their ordinary trade and households. This Bill embodies principles which if carried out might entail an extraordinary expenditure of money. For, I think, the first time in relation to the cities and towns there is going to be restriction on the liberties of the subject. We are somewhat accustomed to that in the country districts, but the citizens in Dublin and other places are going to get their does now. Possibly, their resistance to this compulsion will be greater than the resistance offered by the country people, and will cost more. The Minister does not know what he is up against. He does not know the amount of money for which he is asking the House to give a blank cheque, as Deputy Belton said a moment ago. If the Minister, in proposing this Money Resolution, had made some attempt to give the House an outline of the probable expenditure, there might not  have been so much criticism offered during the debate. But the Minister himself apparently felt incapable of even guessing what amount of money might eventually be expended under this measure. Even if the House were satisfied that the amount of money to be eventually expended was going to be productive of good results, they might with some reluctance agree with the proposal of the Minister, but as the matter stands there can be no feeling of satisfaction in anybody's mind.
If you are going to take the revolutionary course of compelling people to do what they do not want to do, compelling people to buy one article when they want to buy another, naturally you are going to have opposition—open and concealed opposition—and the amount of money required to enforce the principle cannot be readily computed. Certainly all over the cities and towns there will be concealed opposition, even if there is no open opposition. There will be attempts made in every household to defy the Minister in his efforts to put this Bill into operation. If all goes to all the people will—I will not say offer violence—be compelled to resort to subterfuge to defeat the Minister in his operations. In this country you cannot easily compel people to do exactly the opposite to what they want to do. If you want to advance the production or sale of anything, the greater freedom you offer in the production and sale the better. I do not think that the objects of the measure, which appear to be a development in the production and sale of turf, are going to be greatly advanced by the measure which the Minister proposes to operate, or by the money for which he now asks here.
As I said in the beginning, the House generally has taken this Bill almost with consternation. I believe the citizens of the country have received it with consternation. If the debate here is any line on the popularity of the measure it has been very expressive. There has been no joy expressed from any side of the House at the proposal for the expenditure of this money. The Minister certainly has not shown the House the appearance of a  Minister who was himself overjoyed with his proposals, or who anticipated any great results from the expenditure of the money for which he asks the House. This expenditure is in reality an attempt to bolster up the operations of a board which the Minister set up, whose operations have, in fact, been a failure. It is an attempt to make the citizens of this country do something which nobody has a right to ask them to do, in order to make the operations of this board more successful than they have been. I think, Sir, that the House ought not to pass this Resolution.
Mr. O'Leary: I also wish to enter my protest against the passage of this measure. I should like to say that it is just on a line with some of the other measures introduced by the Government. They have passed them through this House, but they have failed to put them into operation. Deputy Moore said that people stopped using turf because the bogs were not drained. Does Deputy Moore wish to convey to the House that if people in the County Kildare want to get turf they cannot find a bank in which they can get turf without having the bogs drained? I should like to say that I know something about bogs.
Mr. O'Leary: I drew turf out of bogs with a ciseán when I was not ten years old. After all, a man with that experience must know something about it. I do not know that there is any part of this country where things are so bad that people could not find turf if they thought it was a paying proposition. In 1921 I myself stayed for a week in a house in a particular townland where there were only two other houses. Those people could go out with their ciseán and bring in turf out of the bog. That very year they were not able to save the turf, and the couple of trees which they had for shelter around the house had to be cut down. I never make a statement here except I am prepared to stand over it. We are told that there is a great increase in the production of turf. I myself believe that people who have open hearths  should be encouraged in every way to use turf. I think it was on last Saturday night fortnight that I was reading in the Kerryman a debate which took place at the Macroom Urban Council with regard to the question as to whether grates or ranges should be put into the workers' houses. Deputy Corkery said that ranges were very good for using turf. On that particular night I happened to go into a neighbour's house. The man of the house, his wife and four young men were in the kitchen. When I went in the man of the house said: “Come and sit on the range.” There was a turf fire in it. I did sit on the range, and was quite comfortable sitting on the range. I said that this would be very useful in the debate on turf, but that I would probably have to bring the man forward in order to prove my statement to the Minister. You can go into places in which there are ranges where turf is being used, and you can find the cat sleeping in the range. We use turf in our place and we put in a range. A great many other farmers put in ranges. They knew their business, and they found it was cheaper to use coal than to produce turf, even though the turf was only three miles away from him. What does the Minister for Industry and Commerce know about turf? When a farmer is busy he may get a few fine days which he will want to devote to saving his hay. On those days he would want to be at the bog, with the result that he would never be able to foot his turf. Go to Derrynasaggart, on the borders of Kerry——
Mr. O'Leary: I am only showing the ridiculousness of imposing a measure like this on the people and pointing to the hardships that will be imposed on them if they are compelled to use turf. There is also the question of price. We were told by Deputy Harris that turf was delivered to the Curragh at, I think, 11/-. Deputy Mulcahy said it was delivered at 16/-, but I was in a dairy shop in Townsend Street within the last two  months when a chap came in selling turf. I forget whether his price was threepence for three or four sods, but we worked out the cost and found it was £2 1s. 8d. a ton. I say that the Minister should do something to prevent the poor people of Dublin being robbed as they are being robbed.
Mr. O'Leary: Our purpose is to put this Bill out of action altogether if we have the power, because the whole thing is ridiculous, and nobody knows it better than the Minister himself. Deputy Harris talked about the guaranteed price for turf and for wheat. What is the effect of the whole policy of guarantees? Is the whole thing not imposing hardship on  the poor and on everybody in the country? I do not want to go into the price of flour as a result of the policy of encouraging the growing of wheat, but everybody knows that the poor of this country are paying from 6d. to 8d. a stone extra for their flour because of it. The same applies to turf. What does the whole policy lead to? The Minister may smile, but he knows in his heart that this Bill is never going to operate, because he could not operate it. I do not think our objection to this Bill can have any great effect on the Government, and all we can do is to offer our protest against it.
Professor O'Sullivan: No, Sir. The Minister had several opportunities of intervening and giving the information asked for, but up to the present we have had no statement from the Minister. I understand that Committee procedure applies to this Resolution.
Mr. Coburn: I may state at the outset that I would be in favour of the voting of any moneys designed to develop industry and consequently provide employment, but I should like, before voting for this Resolution, to have a little more information as to the cost of this scheme and also as to its success. From my experience during the past few years, I have come to the conclusion that the Government at present is on the high road to a policy of what I would call glorified socialism. Before many years pass there will be only a very small section of the people of this country that will not be more or less dependent on the Government for a means of living. For that reason, I should be very careful in voting for the expenditure of money unless I am assured that the money will be put to good account. At the present time, rightly or wrongly, I have a shrewd suspicion that the voting of the moneys under this Resolution will be nothing more or less than the legalising of what I might call illegal payments.
I expect the bulk of this money will go to counties with bogs, for the  development of those bogs. There are certain counties in which there are no bogs, and, if I say that the cost of this scheme will be £20,000 or £30,000 or £5,000 or £10,000, the Minister would find it very difficult to defend his action in allocating a few thousand pounds to Kildare, to Cavan, to Galway and to Cork and leaving out counties like Louth and other counties in which there are no bogs. I would make my voice very much heard and make a claim for a portion of that money. Of course, the means adopted by the Minister would close my mouth, because the obvious question he would put to me would be: “Have you a bog in Louth? If you have not, you cannot get any money.” Consequently, the meaning of all this, in my opinion, is to throw moneys into certain counties in order to enhance the reputation and prestige of the Fianna Fáil Government and to bring everybody under their wing who has occasion to get any of this money. Rightly or wrongly, I have that view, and it will take a good deal of explanation on the part of the Minister to get rid of that view.
I am not very much impressed by Deputy Harris's statement as to the development of turf. What I want to know is, if, and when, these moneys are voted, can the Minister give the House an idea of the approximate sum necessary to put this Turf Development Board on its feet, because that is what it means? It has not been a success up to the present on the Minister's own admission, and it is in order to ensure that they will have the necessary financial resources to make it a success in the future that he asks for this money. I want a little more information from the Minister, and I should like to know can he give reasons or arguments that will ensure the House that, taking everything into consideration, and with ordinary luck, this new venture will be a success and give a return for the moneys spent?
The next point about which I should like to ask the Minister in connection with this Money Resolution is this: Is he prepared to give the House information as to the means that will be adopted by this Board to make a  return, if any, of the cost of the scheme, and also, assuming that the scheme is a success, to pay off the capital sums that will be advanced to that Board as a result of the passing of this Resolution? In other words, will it be carried on in the same way as an ordinary industry that gets an advance under the Trade Loans Act? I presume they have got to pay it back, and will the Turf Development Board be asked to pay back any of the moneys that will be voted if and when this Resolution passes? Again, I should like to have information from the Minister as to what effect the spending of this money will have on other counties. What effect will it have on people engaged in a business such as, say, the coal trade? The Minister knows that there are certain important harbours in this Saorstát through which large imports of coal come in annually, and if the use of turf is going to be extended to any considerable extent, what effect is it going to have on those imports and on the financial position of the various harbour authorities? As I said in the beginning, I am not averse, by my voice and support, from helping industries in other counties, but I think I would be betraying the trust reposed in me by the people of County Louth if I did anything that would be inimical to their own interests. I should like to know what effect, if any, the passing of this Resolution will have on other parts of the country that will gain little or nothing by the passing of this Resolution.
Now, this whole question of the development of turf, of course, is a very big question. I suppose it is one that requires great thought and consideration, and at the moment I am not in a position to go very deeply into the matter. Again, however, I would ask the Minister to be fair to the House and give us a little more information. I know that down the country, at the cross-roads, the idea lying behind all this question of the development of turf is to compel the people in the towns and cities, whether they like it or not, to use turf. Certain remarks of a semi-ignorant character have been made  such as: “We will let the people of Dublin see that they have got to use turf.” Possibly, these people would like to visualise a state of affairs something like what Deputy Mrs. Concannon depicted when she spoke of the lovely turf fires burning in every home. Possibly, they would even like to see Sweet Peggy going along the roads on her low-backed car. I suppose they would like to see us go back to these times and to see motor cars abolished. After all, if we are going to take that attitude, let us go the whole hog and let us go back to the conditions of 200 or 300 years ago and do away with the mechanisation of all kinds and get back to the Stone Age. Let us go back to the days of the hob-nailed boots and all that. Having those opinions in my mind, and knowing the mentality prevailing in certain districts in which bogs are situated at the moment, and knowing that a very large proportion of these moneys will find its way into the pockets of these people, I should like to know, apart from all this, whether this question of the development of turf is going to react on the prosperity of the country, and I should like to know that if we vote moneys here, representing counties that are going to get very little, if anything, out of this development of turf, at least we will have the satisfaction that the money is going to be spent in a proper way. I think it is up to the Minister to give us a little more information as to the probable cost, the number of officials and inspectors necessary, the means he proposes to take to appoint these people, and everything in connection with the whole scheme.
As I stated, the Minister will find, possibly, that the House will be sympathetic. The only thing I am anxious about is to see that we are not going to spend money for the mere sake of spending it and that we are not developing bogs that, possibly, are past development. The draining of bogs and the making of bog roads are very useful works, but, as has been pointed out here, those things could be done without having recourse to the setting up of a Turf Development Board or without having recourse to the Turf Bill at all. They could be  done through the ordinary channels of the Drainage Board. I should like to know what effect also this will have on other industries. I do not want to go into the whole question of registration and so forth, about people having to be registered before they can sell a bag of turf, and so on. According to the terms of the Bill, nobody will be able to take turf now at all unless he is registered. There seems to be no freedom whatsoever. Everybody will have to register. Whether they will do that through the usual channels of the Fianna Fáil clubs I do not know, but, to my mind, it leaves the way open to them to do that, and I do not think that is very much in the old spirit of self-reliance when every man could do his own job in his own way. I think that this matter of registration is a bad blot on the Bill. I think it is a bad thing that they should have to be registered and that they cannot sell their materials in the open market but must be registered and subject to all the conditions incorporated in this Act. That is all I have got to say on this Bill, Sir.
Mr. Bartley: I do not think there is any necessity to discuss the general mechanism in connection with this Bill. I was rather amazed at the attitude adopted by the last speaker. The burden of his complaints seemed to be that under this Bill money is going to find its way into the bog areas to the exclusion of those areas that have not got bogs. I think that is a very unfair attitude entirely. We all know that the bog areas alone have not benefited, at least to the extent that one would desire, from the general agricultural and industrial development policies of the Government, and that is, of course, because of the very nature of the circumstances in those areas. This, in my opinion, is an attempt to rope in these areas, and I think that areas such as County Louth, that have benefited very considerably by the industrial policy and that are going to benefit still further by the erection of, say, alcohol factories, ought not to begrudge a little of the money that may be put to the advantage of the bog areas. I think it  is a very ungracious attitude to take up. The last speaker seemed to deduce from the desire of the Government to foster the production and consumption of turf in this country that we are going to go back 300 or 400 years. Incidentally, in the course of his remarks he praised, in a general way, mechanisation, and under this Bill, for the first time, a new element of mechanisation is going to be introduced into the turf business. On that aspect of the question I have an open mind myself. I do not think the Minister can tell the last Deputy or anybody else—I am sure he is not satisfied in his own mind—what results are going to accrue from the operation of this Bill. I think that would be asking too much. But, in so far as it is an experiment and indicates a desire on the part of the Minister to put some earning in the way of the people in those areas, even if he has to introduce new methods for that purpose, his efforts are praiseworthy, in my opinion, and, whether we have doubts as to the ultimate success of it, I think the experiment ought to receive the unanimous approval of the House. It is, in my opinion, very ungracious and very begrudging on the part of representatives of areas of the country that have been blessed by nature with good land and other facilities, that they should criticise this effort on the part of the Government to aid areas that have been less fortunate. I think the opposition to this Bill will be received very badly by very many people in the country.
Mr. Brennan: Deputy Bartley has, generally, made a very sensible speech about the whole matter, except in so far as he has said that because the Minister's intentions are good, no matter what misgivings we may have about the Bill, we ought not to oppose it. I think that would be a very bad principle. It does not matter what the Minister's intentions are, if we think this measure is not going to work satisfactorily or that it will not be useful, not alone is it our privilege but it is our job to show up its defects——
Mr. Brennan: ——and prevent, as far as we can, the expenditure of this money for a purpose in regard to which we think there will be no return. My fears about the Bill may possibly be a revelation to Deputy Bartley. I contend that there is going to be no advantage, but rather will there be a decided disadvantage arising out of the expenditure of money under this Bill. It will be a disadvantage in the case of the small bog owner, the man who has been ordinarily and consistently cutting his turf, using it and making a little money out of it. If there is to be any advantage gained at all, it will be, as Deputy Bartley feared, as the result of the new element of mechanisation and in no other way. Deputy Bartley knows more about bogs than the Minister for Industry and Commerce, and possibly more than I do. At the same time, I know enough about them, much more than the Minister does. I know enough about the subject to feel that we are entitled to be told for what purpose we are voting this money. We are entitled to know in what way the money is going to be expended by the Minister.
He ought to tell us if there is some safeguard for the small man, the individual peat-cutter who has been endeavouring to supplement his little earnings by the sale of turf. I would like to ask Deputy Bartley, who knows a whole lot about this question, if in his area there is a lot of turf on hand unsold and that cannot be sold? No, there is not. One would imagine from reading this Bill, which we are financing under this Money Resolution, that we have thousands of tons of turf and cannot get rid of it and, consequently, we must insist on every person who buys coal buying turf, and it must be bought from approved places, not from the man who cuts it unless, as Deputy Coburn pointed out, he becomes a member of a co-operative society or possibly of a local Fianna Fáil club. There is another aspect of this matter. When we are voting this money I think we are entitled to ask what will be the reactions of the provision of the money on the farming community? We had  the President, on St. Patrick's Day, broadcasting to America and informing America and the whole world——
Mr. Brennan: No, not about this Money Resolution, but if the Minister has any fear that I am not going to relate it, I will disappoint him, because I am going to relate it. The President broadcast to America that by an arrangement which had been made with Great Britain we had got an increased quota for our cattle. Quite recently when I asked the Minister for Agriculture about this matter he said we had got an arrangement, if we purchased more British coal. We are going to provide State money to-day so that we will not purchase anything like the amount of coal that the Minister for Agriculture hopes we will purchase. What will be the reactions of the whole thing?
Mr. Brennan: Exactly—none—because the Minister does not intend to operate this measure. Deputy O'Leary is right, he will not be able to operate it. So the Minister feels that there is going to be really no reaction whatsoever to the position as regards the use of turf and coal. That is the Minister's mentality in bringing a motion such as this before the House. He wants the House to vote money, notwithstanding that there will be no results. Is that what the Minister means? He says there will be no reaction to the coal trade in this country. In that case the whole Bill will go for nought. At present we are purchasing all the turf that is offered for sale in the country. The Minister introduces a Bill that will prevent us purchasing coal unless we buy a quantity of turf, and he tells us that that will have no reaction in regard to coal. In that case the whole Bill is a fraud and is merely a type of window dressing—that is, if we take the Minister at his own word. The House, therefore, is being asked to vote money under false pretences.
There will be no reactions, says the Minister, in relation to a Bill which  Deputy Bartley and Deputy Harris think is going to be of great benefit to the people of this country. The position is this, that we will still get the same quantity of British coal as in the past. The President hopes to increase coal importations because he wants to increase our cattle quota. As against all that, the Minister for Industry and Commerce tells us there will be no reactions arising from this Bill. That is the type of mentality that we have behind this Money Resolution. I think it would be really superfluous, it would be a mistake, for me to add anything to that. I commend the Minister's attitude to Fianna Fáil and to the people in this country who think the Minister for Industry and Commerce is doing something for the turf situation, for the turf-cutters and the bog-owners. We have his own word for it that there will be no reactions. I will leave it at that; it would be a pity to spoil it by further comment.
Mr. Lemass: It has already been made clear by one of the leaders of the Opposition that I am not concluding. I am glad Deputy Brennan's speech was made. It was most informative. Until Deputy Brennan arose, I was under the impression that the unusual verbosity of the Deputies opposite was due to the fact that it was a Friday, because they know from experience that if they speak on Friday they can command double publicity. Once there is a possibility of that, the flow of their eloquence is very hard to dam. The flow continued unusually long this morning.
Mr. Lemass: As I was saying, the flow continued unusually long this  morning. I was on that account curious to find out what was the policy of the Party opposite on this Bill, the reason they picked out this measure, out of all the measures that have come before the Dáil this year, in order to initiate their policy of obstruction.
Mr. Lemass: The Deputy told us that it was because the operations of this Bill may reduce the imports of coal. That is why he is opposed to this Bill and why he is opposed to voting any money to give effect to it, because he says it may reduce the imports of coal.
Mr. Lemass: I said there would be no reaction under the coal-cattle pact because of this measure, but at that stage the Deputy was arguing against this Bill because its operations, he said, would reduce the imports of coal.
Mr. Lemass: This debate is not going to conclude with my speech this evening. Therefore, I invite the Party opposite to hold a plenary session before Tuesday next, and there, after hearing the views of their own members,  to arrive at some decision as to what their policy on this Bill is to be.
Mr. Lemass: If any Deputy is going to complain of my remarks on the ground of irrelevancy, that finishes me after what we have heard this morning. The speeches since 11 o'clock to-day have astonished me. Surely, the Opposition have not the sole right to be irrelevant in matters of this kind.
Mr. Lemass: And if they have wandered down the paths of irrelevancy since 11 o'clock this morning with great gusto, we are inclined to follow them to find out where they are going to. After all, is it necessary to remind Deputies of what we have been told? We had Deputy Morrissey talking about the reactions of this Bill upon certain classes of turf producers. We have had Deputy Brennan talking about its reactions on the coal-cattle pact and we have had Deputy O'Leary telling us about his having sat down without ill-effects to his person on a range in which turf was being burned. I gathered, however, despite all the irrelevancies and inaccuracies that crept into the speeches of the Deputies opposite, that they are opposed to the provision of money for the encouragement of the more extensive production and consumption of turf for domestic and household purposes.
Mr. Lemass: Surely if there was one thing standing out, and very obvious from the speeches of the Deputies it is, that they are opposed to the voting of the money needed for the expenditure under a Bill which will increase  the production and consumption of turf. Are Deputies opposite in favour of increasing the production and consumption of turf?
Mr. Lemass: Is the Deputy speaking of the Party policy or is he giving us his own policy? Can we get it authoritatively from any member of the Party opposite that it is the policy of that Party to encourage the more extensive production and consumption of turf? Is that their policy or is it not?
Mr. Lemass: I am trying to convince Deputies that a certain Motion before the House should pass. I am trying to convince them that it is good national policy to encourage and increase the consumption of turf as household fuel. I think that is a very good policy. Is it their policy? If it is their policy, I think I can convince them that this Bill is a good one and that this Money Resolution should pass. If it is not their policy there is no good in my arguing in favour of the Resolution.
Mr. Lemass: He will, unless he is convinced that it is a pure waste of time to try to convince Deputies opposite. It would be an obvious waste of time to try to convince Deputies opposite that this Bill is a  good Bill if they are opposed to the principle of it—the principle of increasing the production and consumption of turf. If they are opposed to the whole idea of the Bill, I am not going to waste my time and the time of the House arguing about the details. If they accept that idea, if they will agree with me that it is a good national policy to develop our internal sources of domestic fuel, then I am prepared to argue and I will endeavour to convince them——
Mr. Lemass: The money which it is sought to make available by this Resolution is not, however, a very large amount. It is obvious that Deputies opposite have a very loose idea of what the Bill is about. Deputy Coburn has certainly very loose ideas about it.
Mr. Lemass: The expenditure under the Bill will depend upon the number of areas which are made appointed areas for the purpose of the Bill. The expenditure upon the headquarters staff will depend on that; the number of additional appointments that will have to be made under it will depend upon the number of appointed areas. The total increase, however, will be comparatively small. There are, of course, provisions in the Bill which will empower the Minister for Industry and Commerce to buy land. The amount of expenditure under that head will depend upon the amount of land he wants to buy and the prices to be paid for it. Under these circumstances, it is obvious that no definite figure can be given. At any rate, the amount of money to be paid for the land to be bought under the Bill will have to be voted by the Dáil.
Mr. Lemass: We are paying a price of 11/6 a ton for turf delivered on the canal bank or at the railway station and, sometimes, at a loading point in the bog. A guaranteed price of 11/6 per ton for turf is a good price. Turf can be purchased in many parts of the country at present for a much lower price than that.
Mr. Lemass: I could not give one straight off, but I know there are a number of local authorities buying turf, delivered in farmers' carts to their  yards, at a lower price than is being fixed for the co-operative societies of 11/6 per ton. Three men in a team can produce between them sufficient peat to give 18 tons of air-dried peat per week.
Mr. Lemass: Eighteen tons by three men. Having regard to the circumstances prevailing in the bog areas, the remuneration received by those engaged in peat production is quite good, and they are very glad to get it. If Deputies opposite have any illusion about that, I invite them to go to the areas where the co-operative societies are working, and inquire. It is a very extraordinary thing that those Deputies in the Parties opposite who represent the areas in which this peat development is taking place to an appreciable extent do not come here to speak against this Bill. They are conspicuous by their absence from the House. We have had Deputy O'Sullivan, Deputy Belton, Deputy Morrissey and Deputy Bennett——
Mr. Lemass: I say that three men will cut and spread sufficient peat to yield 18 tons of air-dried turf in a week. I invite Deputies opposite to vote against this resolution. I invite them to vote against the Bill. I encourage them to maintain their opposition to it, and by this day 12 months they will be denying that they ever did it. It will not be the first occasion on which they voted against a Bill and denied afterwards that they had taken that line. I prognosticate here that in 12 months' time two-thirds of the members of the Party opposite will be going around their constituencies indignantly denying that they ever opposed the Bill or that they ever voted against the provision of money for a turf development scheme. I shall be very glad to have it on record here that their opposition was not merely formal—the action of a Party opposing the proposals of those in power, irrespective of what the proposals were, but that they had obstructed this Bill for a whole day and had adopted tactics designed not merely to oppose, but to impede the Government in giving effect to their programme in that respect. Let us get that upon record. It will be a good thing to have it put upon record. I can see the propaganda department of Fianna Fáil digging up that record in 12 months' time and placarding the country with it, or at least some constituencies——
Mr. Lemass: ——because they will be denying that they ever did it. How many people are going to be employed  in consequence of the turf scheme, Deputy Belton wants to know. It is my ambition to see employed in the production and marketing of turf a much larger number of people than is employed in any other industry in this country, except agriculture. I believe we can do it. I believe we can put from 40,000 to 50,000 people in employment on turf. It is going to take a long time to do it, but we can do it and we are starting now. We are starting now in spite of the opposition of the Party opposite and we will continue to do that despite their opposition. As we make progress in the doing of it, whenever we meet with that opposition we will try to defeat it then as we are doing now. As soon as the scheme begins to make progress and men get employment, as soon as it becomes popular in certain areas, as soon as it may mean a loss of votes to oppose it, the Opposition will forget that they ever opposed it.
The Motion before the Dáil in relation to this Bill is a formal Motion. Usually, the Money Resolution moved before the Committee Stage of a Bill is passed without discussion. It is certainly most unusual to have a whole day's debate of a Second Reading kind upon a Motion of that description such as we have had. I must assume from the unusual tactics adopted by the Opposition that their antagonism is so great they have decided to resort to obstruction. It is well we should know that Deputy O'Leary got so heated that he was able to inspire his Party to take a vigorous line upon something. We have been trying by a process of trial and error to find out the policy of the Party opposite. We have not been very successful up to the present. We know now one or two things that they stand for. We know one thing that they are against. They are against taking action to encourage the increased consumption of turf as a household fuel and against providing money for that purpose.
Mr. Cosgrave: The Minister was asked some questions about the cost of the measure. We have been treated to a Second Reading speech by the Minister in which we were asked to speculate upon what the cost is likely to be. The more the Bill is put into operation the more money, we are told, is going to be spent. The Minister gave no idea as to what the cost will be either in the stage where we will have 100, 200 or 400 persons employed, or the 40,000 to 50,000 persons which he has in mind. The Minister must have some information on his brief as to what the measure is likely to entail in the way of cost. He must have some idea as to where he is going to acquire the bogs for the purpose and some idea as to what he is going to pay for them. Is the House not entitled to that information?
We had a speech from the Minister which began by asking what the policy of the members of this Party was on the measure. That policy is not before the House. It is the Minister's policy which is before the House. The Minister has introduced a Bill which, apparently, he is so much ashamed of, or so unacquainted with its provisions or the ultimate cost which it is going to put upon the taxpayers, that he is not in a position to give any figure from a single sovereign to £5,000. If that is his opinion of a deliberative Assembly, I think he will find that the people will not approve of it. We are entitled to know more about what the Minister's intentions are with regard to expenditure under the measure.
What are his own views as to the extent of the expenditure in respect of the policy he has in mind? Does he mean to convey that he is going to employ 40,000 or 50,000 persons in the course of a few years? He has something in his mind. His speech was really a political speech, and not worthy of the Dáil. It might be worthy  as an address to one of his own branches in Dublin, but it was not certainly a speech that the House should expect to hear in connection with a Money Resolution. Can we get any figure as to what the Minister's intentions are in connection with the expenditure under this measure, say for 12 months—for any 12 months he likes to take? Assuming this Bill does not come into operation for three years, what are his intentions in the following financial years? He said we would get certain information on the Estimates. Of course, we will. Are we to be told when a Money Resolution is brought in and money is proposed to be expended that, outside what may be considered on the Estimates, we are not entitled to get any information? Will the Minister give us some idea, when he has exhausted present supplies, what the cost of the co-operative societies was and when he intends to move his operations towards the west, the north or the south? Will he tell us whether provision is to be made for the people's needs in those areas? What scheme has he in connection with the working of the big bogs and what sum of money will it cost? Will he tell us what sum he proposes to expend in connection with the bogs? We all know that the Minister has no knowledge of agricultural conditions, but he has his Department, to give him information to put before the House, in regard to this measure. He has not done that.
Mr. J.M. Burke: I was not a bit impressed by the simulated indignation of the Minister in connection with this Bill. I know it is in accordance with his usual manner, but I know he was completely bogged about this matter. I am entirely in favour of, and in agreement with, a policy for the development of the turf industry in this country, but this Bill, in my opinion, is an undoubted restriction upon human liberty. The Leader of the Opposition said that in the United States of America Pussyfoot and men like him got a measure passed prohibiting the citizens from buying certain products. That was denounced  by the Catholic Bishops and all moral theologians in America at the time. Now, the Minister for Industry and Commerce comes forward here with a measure which compels people, not to refrain from using certain commodities, but to use them.
Mr. Burke: This, in my opinion, and in the opinion of Deputies on every side of the House, is a very unusual demand to make. It is against every principle of human freedom. Take a man living in Dublin, who has to buy a certain amount of coal. Now, in addition to that, he will have to buy a certain amount of turf. Where is he going to put that turf?
Mr. Burke: What I wish to submit is this: The Bill cannot pass unless the Money Resolution is approved by the House, and, therefore, in debating the Money Resolution we are entitled to consider the whole scope of the Bill.
Mr. Burke: I feel the Minister is very angry this morning, because I have some idea he is anxious to get out to the Show for the evening. I think that explains many of the things he said, but did not mean to say, this morning. I do not wish it to go forth that I am in any way against this Bill or anything that benefits the country; on the contrary, I am entirely in favour of it. But I do believe, and am convinced, and I know something about it, that this Bill will not in any way either increase employment or make turf more popular in the country. There is no use in the Minister threatening that there will be a record here of how votes will be cast. That is an argument in terrorem. The Minister forgets a lot of things he himself did and said, and a lot of votes he gave, and a lot of promises he made in his earlier days; yet now he menaces Deputies on this side of the House. As I have said already, I am entirely in favour of turf development within due limits and in the proper way. In my part of the country the fact is there is not a sufficient amount of turf to supply the ordinary farmers with fuel.
Mr. Burke: Is that a long way from it? Unfortunately, I do not understand the Rules and Standing Orders of the House, and the only way I can get to understand them is following the example of Parnell, by breaking them. I hope that before I leave this House, which may be possibly in a short time, I shall have learned something about them.
Mr. Burke: I am against this Money Resolution, because I think it will be money mis-spent. It will not give an adequate return, and instead of developing this turf industry, and instead of providing employment for 50,000 or 100,000 people, some of whom  will, as Deputy Coburn said, have to be brought from the United States according to some of the Deputies opposite, it will do more harm than good to the project the Minister has in mind, and which I am sure he wishes to achieve.
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