Thursday, 19 October 1939
Dáil Éireann Debate
Minister for Finance (Mr. O Ceallaigh): On the question of finance my statement will be brief. It will be obvious to members of the Dáil that the war situation has interfered to no inconsiderable extent with our normal activities. The fact that we have declared our neutrality has not prevented our commerce, trade or industry from being obliged to face radically altered conditions. These changes, needless to say, have materially affected the finances of the State. We have to face up to the fact that our revenues are affected—as regards some items, seriously affected. At the same time, we have also to face the fact that our expenditure has had to be increased already in some directions and that if the war is prolonged, as it presumably will be prolonged, it is likely that we shall be obliged to face still heavier expenditure under some other heads. The effect of this generally has been that our estimates for revenue and expenditure have been upset. I have had this matter under consideration for some weeks past. The Revenue Commissioners and the staff of the Department of Local Government have been engaged in a review of the altered financial position.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: The Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Finance staff generally have been engaged in a reconsideration of the position, so far as it affects us at present and as it is likely to affect us in the immediate future, but that review is not completed. Therefore, I am not in a position to-day to give the Dáil any statement, such as I would like to give and such as I am sure the Dáil would like to have, regarding the present financial position or the position as we estimate it will be at the end of the financial year and perhaps beyond that time. At a time like this when in certain directions, as I have just said, our expenditure is increasing and certain revenues, at  any rate, are receding, it is natural that the Minister for Finance should look round and see whore economies can be made. I know that many people and some members in this House do not care too much for the word “economies”. But at a time like this, when I think practically everybody would agree that we are facing the facts, as I have just said, of a falling revenue and of additional expenditure in some directions, it is only right, in my opinion, that we should try to see if there are directions in which economies can be made, and with that purpose in view a committee was set up—you might call it an “economy” committee—early in the month of September not long after the war situation arose.
“To review all existing services and to report on the economies which could reasonably be effected by their suspension or curtailment in the present emergency, and to make such other suggestions with a view to retrenchment as appear feasible and desirable.”
Some economies could be made without undue hardship, perhaps. There are other economies that people might recommend but which it might not be possible to put into operation without unduly affecting national interests: that is if we view them from a standpoint other than the standpoint of the Minister for Finance. We have asked this committee to go into every department, and to see whether reasonable economies, of a type that could be put into operation without injury to the national interests, viewed in a broad light, could be effected. The members of the committee are engaged in that work at present. They have issued one interim report. It was received from them last week. They hope to be in a position to complete their work without much longer delay. It may be of interest to mention the names of the members of the committee. The chairman of the committee is Mr. Hugo Flinn, Parliamentary Secretary to the  Minister for Finance. The other members of the committee are:—Mr. Codling, Assistant Secretary, Department of Finance; Mr. Commissioner O'Hegarty, Office of Public Works; Mr. Nally, Assistant Secretary, Department of Lands; Mr. Murray, Assistant Secretary, Department of Agriculture; Mr. Keane, Chief Employment Officer, Department of Industry and Commerce; and Mr. Garvin, Department of Local Government and Public Health.
The members of the committee have met frequently and have already gone into the work of a number of departments, but there are still a number, especially of large spending departments, whose works have to be investigated by the committee. As I have said, the committee hope to complete their work without much further delay. I am anxious to have the work completed with all the speed possible and to have their report. But until I get their report and consider it and have an opportunity of making recommendations arising out of the results of this committee's work and of the work of other bodies that are investigating other matters, particularly matters relating to finance, I am not in a position to make any recommendations to the Government, and the Government, therefore, are not in a position to bring any matter before the Dáil. But if, arising out of the situation and arising out of the reports I receive, changes have to be made, I would hope that the Dáil would be consulted with regard to these changes at the earliest date possible.
Mr. Norton: I thought that the statement of the Minister for Finance would be much more comprehensive and detailed than that to which we have just listened. But, even allowing for its brevity, I think it affords an opportunity of asking some questions which may help to elicit some further information. The Minister to-day, in replying to a question asked by Deputy O'Neill on the subject of the present budgetary position, said—at least so I understood from him because I did not quite catch all that was contained in the detailed reply he gave—that he hoped soon to be able to make a statement  on the budgetary position. May I ask him now at this stage, does he think it will be necessary to introduce an Emergency Budget before the normal Budget, and, if so, will he explain to the House what considerations would necessitate the introduction of an Emergency Budget and when that Emergency Budget is likely to be introduced?
The Minister, in the course of his statement this evening, said that the emergency situation had imposed new expenditure, and that, possibly, new heavy demands for additional expenditure would have to be made in the future. Here again, I would ask him if he would give the House some general idea, so that we might investigate the matter between now and the next sitting of the House, of what type of new expenditure he feels the State would be committed to, and in respect of what particular services are we likely to have to face up to in respect of new items of expenditure. The Minister told us that there was a committee sitting dealing with Departmental expenditure. He told us that we might regard that committee as an economy committee. On the last occasion that the House sat, Deputies listened to very sound advice from the Minister for Supplies to the effect that private employers ought not to avail of the emergency situation to pay off staff in any panicky or hasty manner. If this committee is to be an economy committee, I hope that even now we will be able to get from the Minister for Finance an assurance that such measures of economy as may be decided upon will not run counter to the sound advice given by the Minister for Supplies, namely, that, as far as possible, we should endeavour, in this situation which has been thrust upon us, to ensure that we will not do anything which has the effect of throwing people out of employment, and, consequently, precipitating them into a condition of want and privation which inevitably follows unemployment.
I would have expected that the Minister might have surveyed, in the course of his speech this evening, the general intention of the Government in respect of Governmental expenditure  which takes the form of subsidies in respect of various activities. For instance, it is well known that grants in respect of reconstructed houses and grants in respect of the erection of new houses by private persons have been held up for some weeks past. Would the Minister say what is the purpose of that policy? After all, the persons concerned have certain contractual rights under the legislation passed by this House but, apparently, there is a standstill order in respect of the issues of grants for reconstructed houses and the erection of new houses. What is the purpose of that order? Is it intended that the State will carry out its obligations to those who expect to get grants under the Housing Acts, and what generally is the purpose of putting into operation an order the only effect of which can be to slow down house building and to curtail employment on house building in the rural areas? It may be that it is only a temporary suspension for the purpose of adjusting matters in an accountancy sense. As the House will not have an opportunity, for the next three weeks, of ascertaining some definite information on the matter, perhaps the Minister for Finance would now say what the purpose of the order is, what is behind that policy, and when the grants will be released.
The Minister told us that he had received an interim report from his economy committee. I wonder if the Minister is in a position to say what is the nature of that report, whether it has been considered by the Government and when we are likely to get a statement from the Government as to their intentions on this interim report, or if that interim report will be considered in conjunction with the final report. I should like also if the Minister would say whether it is intended that the House will have an opportunity of hearing the Government's proposals before they are actually put into operation, so that we may know generally on what lines the Government is moving. It is usual at this time of the year, in fact sometimes it even happens earlier, that local authorities are notified of the relief grants, but many local authorities  have not yet received any notification of the relief grants for the Winter of 1939 and the Spring of 1940. Would the Minister for Finance say whether that is merely due to departmental pressure, or whether it is intended to curtail the grants or to stop them in certain respects, or what generally are the intentions of the Government underlying the delay in issuing sanction to local authorities for the carrying out of relief works in various areas?
General Mulcahy: I should like to ask the Minister if he can tell the House now that it is not his intention to increase taxation during the current financial year; that, if it is necessary to raise additional moneys to tide over the Exchequer until 31st March next, it will be done by temporary borrowing? If the Minister is not in a position to give any assurance of that kind now, will he endeavour to put himself in a position to give that assurance or otherwise when the Dáil meets on 8th November next?
Mr. Dillon: I should like the Minister to tell us, if he can, whether, in the event of its becoming necessary to raise additional revenue, he proposes to avail of the instrument of excess profits duty? If he does, will he base that duty on an average business profit prior to the commencement of this emergency, with a clear alternative of, say, 7 per cent. on invested capital, whichever is the greater, bearing in mind that the legitimate profits of many enterprises in this country were destroyed by the impact of the economic war? If he resorts to that instrument, the excess profits duty— and I personally hope he will—will he also bear in mind that many of the tariffs which are at present in operation may be attractive from the revenue point of view, but in fact are a serious clog on the remunerative development of the agricultural industry, and, inasmuch as the raising of adequate revenue will probably be the principal economic problem for the duration of this emergency, will the Minister consider remitting such tariffs as in the opinion of competent authority are calculated to deter the agricultural  industry from yielding the maximum profit that it otherwise might be induced to yield?
Mr. Byrne: Might I ask the Minister whether it is the intention of the Government to launch a large loan in the very early future for the purpose of helping the municipal authorities of Éire in their housing campaign, or to issue a loan which would help the farmers? The House would like to know what is to happen to the building trade if moneys are not forthcoming. The hope of the municipal authorities all over Éire is that the Government, with their securities behind them, would launch a very large loan to assist the authorities in continuing their building programme, and so give decent houses to those who are waiting for them and decent employment to those who are willing to work.
Mr. Hickey: Arising out of the Minister's statement, is he aware that the increasing of the interest to 5¾ per cent. means for interest alone about 11/- in rent in the case of a house which is normally costing the corporation £500? Is he aware that, in a case of a corporation such as the Cork Corporation, the economic rent with a two-thirds subsidy is 9/1 and with a one-third subsidy is 13/4 on a £500 house? In view of the fact that many of the slum dwellers are on unemployment assistance, does he realise the implications of increasing the interest from 4¾ per cent. to 5¾ per cent.? I should also like to ask the Minister what amount of money is in the Local Loans Fund?
Mr. Cosgrave: In view of the dangerous tendencies of some of the questions that have been put to the Minister, I would ask him, in the event of his yielding to this temptation that has been put to him to impose more taxation, if he will consult business men, bankers, and expert professional economists before doing so, with a view to eliciting information from them as to whether an increase in taxation would be likely to produce still more unemployment, and if he will hesitate to impose further taxation until he is satisfied that such an imposition will  not increase unemployment in this country?
Mr. Hurley: I want to ask the Minister just one question. Soon after the outbreak of war the bank rate was raised from 3 per cent. to 5 per cent. I want to ask the Minister was he consulted, or was his Department consulted, or was anybody consulted by the banks in regard to the raising of the bank rate? I want to know also if he has taken any steps to control the activities of the banks with regard to the raising of the bank rate? In other words, will he see to it that, if there is to be a rise in the bank rate, he is to be informed of the reasons for that rise prior to its being put into operation? There is no use in controlling the prices of commodities if the price of money is to be allowed to fluctuate, and can be raised at the will of the people who control it. That increase from 3 per cent. to 5 per cent. meant an increase of 66? per cent. in the price of money. That was an abnormal step, and it was one which, I am going to say very definitely, should have been controlled by the Government. I also want to know from the Minister if he has any information with regard to the amounts that are collected in this country in the way of ground rents. The imposition of ground rents, understand, is very severe.
Mr. Hurley: If the Minister levies taxes on ground rents, I want to know has he taken, or does he intend to take, any steps to levy a, greater portion of taxes on ground rents, or what is the procedure he intends to adopt with regard to the taxation of ground rents? I think that is a very important question for the Minister for Finance and a very important question for the House.
Mr. Hurley: That is the question I want to ask. It is a very important question. I am sure the Minister will agree that the raising of the bank rate has a very big effect on the cost of living in this country. If the Minister has power to control the bank rate I would like to know from him if he intends to use it. I understand he has the power under the Emergency Powers Act that was recently passed and I am going to suggest that the time has arrived for the Minister to make use of that power if the country is to be preserved in its normality.
Dr. Hannigan: I would like to ask the Minister if he is aware of the fact that the amount paid by the Dublin Board of Assistance in the form of home assistance is increasing by very large amounts weekly. I think that the average increase each week as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year is roughly in the vicinity of 1,500 cases, involving a sum of between £300 and £400. The point I really want to make is, in view of that serious situation and in order to mitigate the responsibilities of the board in that direction, would the Minister consider the desirability of issuing instructions to local authorities to get on with their relief schemes at the earliest possible date?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I have been asked a number of questions which, as I said in my very brief statement, I am not in a position to answer now. I am afraid if Deputy Norton is serious in saying that he expected a full statement from me to-day he is doomed to disappointment. He did not get it and he is not going to get it to-day. I am not able to give it to him, and I think I gave good reasons for that. An additional reason which I did not give is that I am new to this job as Minister for Finance and I want time to look around me. I have taken it over at it time that is not normal, and I would like time to see the position and examine it as fully as I can before committing myself to any full statement and before submitting any recommendation I have to make to the Government. There has been some hold-up— I do not think to a very great extent— in regard to grants of different kinds. No order was given to anybody to hold up anything, but all the Departments of Government were told that their affairs would be investigated by the committee that was nominated by the Government and that in the meantime there might not be any undue expenditure. That was all. A semi-official intimation was conveyed to all Departments of Government that the Economy Committee would investigate their affairs and decide where economies that would not affect the national interests could be made. Consequently, there has been delay in the payment of some grants of different kinds. For that reason. I hope that the work of the Economy Committee and my examination of their report and the Government's examination of it will not take very much longer time.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: There has been no order to hold up. No order has been given to any of these bodies to hold up grants but a suggestion was made to mark time or go slow while this committee is operating. That is all.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I was not aware of that but I will look into it. As I said to Deputy Mulcahy, I am not able to make any statement whatsoever on the budgetary position at this moment. Deputy Norton asked me for an instance or instances of the heavy additional expenditure. I will just give one—the Army expenditure— occasioned through the mobilisation. That is a very heavy load. There are others, not so heavy in proportion. For the reason I have already given, I cannot answer the question asked by Deputy Dillon as to what I may or may not do in certain circumstances; if my mind were running on additional taxation what type of taxation might be imposed. I cannot tell the Deputy. I have not considered that matter but I will say this much that in regard to tariffs or anything else that are producing revenue for the Exchequer I would be very slow before turning down anything that is producing cash that is pretty easily got.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: In regard to the increase in the rate of interest, if one considers circumstances, it was natural. A general increase in the rate of interest is natural at any time of crisis. It is natural now in war-time.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: It is natural as well as usual and we here have to protect the money we have. If a big rate of interest were offered elsewhere and if  we were not watchful the money might disappear out of our banks here. Money parts very easily, very quickly. It goes where it gets the best return and would very quickly disappear out of our banks here if we were not watchful.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: Deputy Hickey, Lord Mayor of Cork, asked me about what money is in the Local Loans Fund. The money is put into the Local Loans Fund as it is required for various purposes for which the Local Loans Fund is used. There is no great fund that can be drawn on at any time to any extent, but when it is required it is put there by various means the Exchequer adopts.
Mr. Hickey: The reason I asked was that we have received a communication from the Local Government Department that if we wanted any more than £100,000 at 5¾ per cent. we would have to get it elsewhere.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I do not know that if the Deputy had at this moment the sum of £100,000 he could usefully it at present. I doubt if he could and I think that was a proper intimation from the Department.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: When the bank rate is raised here the bankers are the people who are responsible for that. The Banks Standing Committee here are the people who raise or lower their own bank rate. The rate was raised but it has again been reduced.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: The Banks Standing Committee are the people that decide, in the interests of those for whom they are trustees, to raise or to lower the rate. We have no power over that body, who are trustees for private investors, for people whose funds they hold, but we are informed.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: It was up before and will be down again. It will be up and down again, I am sure, before this present emergency is concluded, and probably will be more up than down. I am not in a position to say any more with regard to the budgetary position at present. As soon as I am able to do that, after the due consideration that must be given to an important question of that kind, I and the Government will come before the Dáil.
Mr. Dillon: May I ask if the Minister would, in the interregnum, consider the preparation of a memorandum on monetary inflation, whether it is the New Zealand brand or the Alberta brand or the Chinese brand, and send a copy of that memorandum to each member of the Labour Party and to its secretarial staff?
Mr. Norton: May I suggest that when the Minister is distributing the remedies, he might issue some medicinal ones for Deputy Dillon? Might I ask the Minister whether it is intended to allow banks to continue to play ducks and drakes with the rate of interest, without any interference by or consultation with the Government? After all, the Government have certain emergency powers; we have given them very wide powers.
Mr. Norton: If the Minister for Industry and Commerce would refrain from his usual disorderly interruptions, to which I am always being subjected by the same Minister, I could proceed. Does the Minister for Finance propose to allow the banks to raise the rate of interest just as they please and does  the Minister propose, with any powers at present available or with the assistance of new powers which may be sought from the House, to say to the banks that in the interests of the nation it is necessary that there should be prior consultation with the Government and prior consent from the Government before the bank rate can be interfered with in the way in which it has been interfered with by the existing banks?
An Ceann Comhairle: The Ceann Comhairle has absolute discretion and considers that the question now put has already been dealt with by the Minister. It is of such wide scope as not to be permissible at this stage.
Mr. Norton: I listened to the Minister's statement last night with considerable interest. In connection with the general unemployment position, I noted with considerable care the statistics he furnished to the House. It  seemed to me that the Minister was either concerned with making what might be described as a propaganda statement, or he did not really appreciate the gravity of the unemployment situation and he did not take full cognisance of the difficulties which are likely to confront the nation during the ensuing, months. The Minister told us there had been a certain rise in the unemployment figures and he attempted to explain this away in a manner which I do not think gave satisfaction to those who know the real position.
Mr. Norton: I do not propose to debate the statement. What I want to ascertain from the Minister is whether, when he was making the statement which he made last night, he had given consideration to the fact that by another employment period order he had extended, until late in November, the period during which single persons were deprived from obtaining unemployment benefit, which they got between October and November of last year. The effect of that order has been to deprive a large number of persons of the benefit which they would otherwise get. The fact that they were entitled to benefit would enable them to register at the exchange and thus we would know from official statistics if there were a greater number of persons unemployed than are registered to-day.
I would like to ascertain from the Minister whether, in making the statement on unemployment, he took cognisance of certain other facts which are not disclosed by an examination of official statistics. For instance, there has been a very abnormal situation due to the calling up of persons for service in the regular Army. A substantial number of persons registered at the Employment Exchanges as idle have been called for service in the regular Army. That hardly affords any consolation to anybody as an indication that the unemployment position is not serious. As everybody knows,  large numbers of persons have returned from Britain. They are not able to register at the Employment Exchanges here.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy may not make a speech. On the Minister's statement, questions only are permitted. I have heard many first-class speeches made in interrogatory guise. Even rhetorically, there was only one question asked by the Deputy so far.
Mr. Norton: It will not take me very long. I cannot possibly do it in any other way. I am merely stating the position and then asking the Minister a question. In order to comply with the peculiar technique of the House, I will now undertake to preface every expression of opinion in interrogatory form.
Mr. Norton: That is a matter of opinion. I will just ask a question in order to comply with the technique. I will put what I have to say in interrogatory form. Has the Minister given any consideration to the point that the return of emigrants from Britain to this country is not yet showing itself in the unemployment statistics? Does he realise there is no purpose at this stage in emigrants coming back from Britain to this country registering at the employment exchanges because of the fact that under our Unemployment Assistance Act they are not entitled to benefit unless they have a substantial period of residence here? Would the Minister say what the unemployed figures would likely be if we had registered to-day all those who are now deprived of registration because of the existence of the employment period order, and would he indicate those who were called for service in the regular Army and those who have returned from Britain and who are unemployed and who find no advantage in registering in this country?
Would the Minister also say what are  his views and what are the departmental expectations in respect to the class of persons who are likely to become unemployed in the future? It is known that the new situation is likely to create serious unemployment among persons who were formerly not used to intermittent employment which went with certain industries. Can the Minister say now what the anticipation will be in respect of the disemployment of persons normally associated with regular employment?
Mr. Norton: Not in relation to the point I now raise. Clerical employment is likely to diminish and, there again, a class of person may be thrown out of employment who is not used to intermittent employment.
Would the Minister say whether any of the alcohol factories are working now; what number of days they worked in the past 12 months; what the output has been during the 12 months; and what the effect on our petrol economy is of the production of industrial alcohol in the factories which were financed by votes submitted to the House by the Minister for Industry and Commerce? Does the Minister consider that it will be possible in the future to maintain the raw material in the form of very cheap potatoes for the factories, and, if these potatoes cannot be got, has the Minister given any consideration to any other form of raw material which might produce the industrial alcohol foreshadowed when the factories were first established?
I should also like to ask whether he heard the advice given to employers by the Minister for Supplies when the House last sat not to pay off workers in any haste or panic, and whether he  considers it would be contrary to that sound advice if a semi-State Department like the Electricity Supply Board should give notice to certain of its employees of the termination of their services? Would the Minister say whether, if information of notice of paying off of staff by that board is brought to his notice, he will take steps to induce it to conform to the very sound advice given by his colleague? Can the Minister make any full statement in connection with the oil refinery at Dublin, activities in connection with which were suspended some months ago?
Mr. Norton: The possibility of its production, yes, but I am raising it now from the employment point of view, and I am asking the Minister if he can indicate when the work is likely to restart, what employment it is likely to offer and over what period is employment likely to be found for any substantial number of workers in the undertaking. I should like to ascertain also whether the Minister's Department is giving anything more than normal attention to the further exploitation of the coal deposits of the country. There are, as the Minister knows, deposits in certain areas which have either been only barely scratched or left quite undeveloped. There are deposits in Tipperary, outside Athy and on the Carlow-Leix border, and I should like to know whether any special consideration has been given to the question of assisting the exploration of the deposits in these areas with a view to ascertaining the extent of the deposits, and the possibility of their exploitation, particularly in the new emergency, which might give us an opportunity of developing coal deposits which would not be available to us if we had to rely on normal methods in normal times.
Mr. Byrne: Has the Minister any knowledge of an applicant for the  Dublin dockyard being turned down and whether anything has been done by the Government to encourage shipbuilding and ship repairs in the city? We have a very fine yard at the North Wall which hag been closed down for some considerable time and I understand that at least two applicants made applications to the Harbour Board and to the Department for facilities to carry on. For some reason or other, the dockyard is still closed down. May I say that at this stage, when shipbuilding is necessary and ship repair work plentiful, I think he ought to do something to encourage shipbuilding and ship repair work by subsidy or by reduction of rates.
Mr. Byrne: I am asking if the Minister has any knowledge of an applicant, or two applicants, for the use of the Dublin dockyard, who were prepared to put up money themselves without any assistance from the Government, being turned down. Times have now changed, and I should like to know if the Government is prepared to assist the opening of the dockyard by granting additional facilities.
Mr. MacEntee: Perhaps I ought to explain that some of the questions put to me might have been more appropriately addressed to other Ministers. One of these was the question put by Deputy Corish in regard to notification of grants under the employment schemes Votes.
Mr. MacEntee: I am afraid so, and I think the Deputy's colleague and leader also thinks so, because quite a lot of the matters which he addressed by way of question to me might more appropriately have been addressed to the Minister for Finance. With regard to these Votes, however, I think I may take it that this question has already been answered by the Minister for Finance in the statement he made to-day. Deputy Hickey—I think it was  Deputy Hickey; there is apparently some confusion in the script of the report of the debate which I have already received, because Deputy Hickey figures in it twice, but I think he spoke first—asked me how I could say that the existing unemployment in the building industry was due to the war. Somebody did put that question, but whether it was Deputy Hickey or Deputy Hurley, I am not sure.
Mr. MacEntee: I should like to explain that I did not say that the whole of such unemployment as exists in the building industry at the moment was due to the war. I want to remind the Deputy that I was dealing specifically with this aspect of unemployment: that amount of unemployment which arose directly and immediately out of a shortage of raw materials. Accordingly while I did not conceal the fact that there had been an increase in unemployment arising out of the war situation, I also endeavoured to elucidate this fact, that not all that unemployment arose from a shortage of raw materials. I should like the Deputy and the House, in regard to what I may have to say in dealing with other questions, to bear that fact in mind, that I was concerned to try to ascertain the relative proportions of the unemployment directly ascribable to a shortage of raw materials arising out of the war.
I am quite prepared to admit that there has been an increase in unemployment in the building trade. That unemployment may be ascribed to three separate causes. There is, first, the unemployment which is due to climatic conditions—seasonal unemployment, as we call it; there is, secondly, the unemployment which arises out of the fact that one of our native cement factories was not in a position to maintain its normal deliveries—unemployment which I categorise as unemployment arising out of the breakdown of machinery and plant; and then there was this other building unemployment which arises out of a shortage of  materials. So far as I have been able to make any analysis—and the Deputy and the House will have to understand that such analysis as I have been able to make is only a rough and ready analysis, which does not pretend to be exact; but only purports to indicate general circumstances—such unemployment in the building trade as might be ascribed to a shortage of raw materials arising out of the war situation, is comparatively small. I do not wish the Deputy to take from that that the unemployment in the building trade which has manifested itself since the middle of August is not perhaps of large dimensions. It is; but, except to a very small extent it is not due to a shortage of raw materials arising out of the war situation.
Another suggestion in the statement that I made which was challenged by the Deputy was that he could not see how I was able to segregate from the general increase in unemployment which had taken place since the middle of August last the proportion which I ascribed to labour disputes. I think I said that, out of the 8,000 odd persons who were registered as unemployed, the unemployment of one-eighth or 1,000 of these was ascribable to causes other than seasonal and to causes other than those arising directly out of the war. The Deputy will understand that there arc three categories. The first is the category which includes those who are seasonally unemployed. The second category is those who are unemployed through causes arising immediately out of the war. The third category is those who are unemployed through other causes, and among those I gave, as one of the examples, those who might be unemployed by reason of labour disputes.
The Deputy pointed out to me that those who were involved in a labour dispute, who were engaged in a strike, could not register as being unemployed. That is quite true. But the Deputy will also concede that whereas comparatively few men may be engaged in a strike, if those happen to be key men, a very much larger number might be registered as unemployed. In fact, the position which I had in mind was that of the Arklow Pottery Works  where there were comparatively few men involved and where the great bulk of the workers have been out of employment due to the fact that the Pottery Works had previously closed down for overhaul. Those so idle had registered in the ordinary way at the Labour Exchange.
Mr. MacEntee: They were registered as unemployed. I am only dealing with the live register. Whether they were entitled to benefit or not, I do not know, but their names appear on the live register. They apparently thought that it was worth while to register. I am informed by those who have examined these statistics that almost 300 persons appear on the unemployment register by reason of the fact that the Arklow Pottery Works were closed down for a term. The reopening of the Arklow Pottery Works was delayed—I want to make this point clear—by reason of the fact that the management proposed a new scale of remuneration, and those who previously had their names inscribed on the live register as unemployed continued to have their names there. I am only dealing in very general figures in connection with this whole analysis, but between 200 and 300 people in Arklow had their names still on the unemployment register because of this circumstance. In that way the Deputy will see why I brought in disputes, because, as the Deputy will understand, it is not merely persons who happen to be immediately and directly involved in a dispute who are unemployed, but also those who happen to be engaged in cognate activity within that industry. Therefore, that is how I brought these 200 or 300 within the category of the otherwise unemployed.
 With regard to the other question which he put about two woollen mills in Cork, I am not prepared to say that in the time I had at my disposal I made a very close examination of the employment position in the woollen trade, but I was at some pains to try and find out to what extent there was unemployment in the woollen, spinning and manufacturing industry by reason of the shortage of raw materials. I did that because I was also interested in trying to maintain employment in the making-up trade. I had heard from those who are engaged in the making-up trade that the woollen manufacturers could not supply them with the necessary materials because the woollen manufacturers could not get their raw or semi-manufactured supplies. I went into this position in some little detail—not as much as I would have liked—and I came to the conclusion that perhaps there might have been 100 or 150 or 200 so disemployed. I was rather concerned to state the figure rather conservatively than otherwise, but I came to the conclusion that out of all those who had been engaged in the woollen, spinning and manufacturing industry the unemployment of only 100 or so could be ascribed directly and immediately to a shortage of raw materials.
It is quite true that in Douglas and Blarney there may be even more than 100 unemployed who were formerly unemployed in the woollen spinning and manufacturing industry. But it must be remembered that one of these mills shut down because they were taking stock. That is what they informed my officers and that is what my officers informed me. In the case of the other mill, it has been closed down, not because they were taking stock, but because of certain financial difficulties which they have got into. Certainly their closing down was not due to a shortage of imported raw materials, because they specialised in spinning and weaving native wool. I only want to point out that it is quite possible that there were rather more persons unemployed in the woollen spinning and manufacturing industry than would be indicated by the figure of 100 persons which I gave  the Deputy. But if there are very much more than 100 persons so unemployed, then that excess is ascribable rather to other causes than to a shortage of raw materials.
The Deputy also mentioned a certain industry—I think he said hosiery, though it does not appear in the report that it was the hosiery industry to which he was referring—but he did say that in a certain other industry unemployment had taken place because supplies had been cut off. I should like the Deputy to give me some information on that matter and I shall try to deal with it. Perhaps it is a question that he might have put with greater advantage to the Minister for Supplies. But, in so far as it does react on the maintenance of industry here, I should be very glad to have from the Deputy information under that head.
The Deputy also put a very pertinent question when he asked how the information as to unemployment was got— I mean, as to how I managed to make this analysis of the unemployment figures—and when he put that question he went to the root of the matter, because it does show up all the deficiencies of the figures I gave last evening. It must be understood that men are registered at the employment exchanges, not in respect of the occupations they have left, but in respect of the employment which they hope to secure: not necessarily in respect of the employment for which they are best fitted, or the type of employment which they have just left, but in respect of the type of employment which they think they are more likely to get. Therefore, all the information that I really had to guide me, in making this analysis, was that certain people had registered themselves as looking for certain types of employment. For instance, a number of people, who may have been engaged up to the present in small country garages, may have made up their minds that, if the petrol restrictions were to be kept on, and if the prices of motor cars were to go up and restrictions on lighting, which have been more or less voluntarily assumed by the people in this country, were to be continued, there would be very little chance of their getting a job in a country  garage in the immediate future, and, accordingly, such people would look for other types of employment. It is quite possible, therefore, that a number of such people, being from the country originally, and employed in small country garages, would register for agricultural employment. Now, what is a person, who is trying to make an analysis of the figures, to go on, in view of all this? I suppose it will be agreed that people, in seeking employment, are more likely to register for the type of employment they have left rather than for other types of employment and, therefore, I have to take that fact into consideration and to proceed on that basis. For instance, people will say:—“We are registering for such-and-such employment”, and I have got to say, in trying to make an analysis of these figures: “Then, if that is so, these people are more likely to have left that particular type of employment.”
Admittedly, that leaves a very wide margin for error, but, as I pointed out already, these figures are very largely conjectural, and the only thing I claim is that they give us some idea of the general pattern—not an exact picture of the existing conditions. For instance, in painting a picture you might say I put a tree in the landscape—it may have been that the tree was too large a tree or too small a tree; but whether or not it was a too large tree or a too small tree, rather than the correct size of tree, is a matter upon which I do not pretend to give a very firm opinion. What I tried to do was to give an idea of how you may have one type of unemployment merged into another. I did not try to pretend to measure it with the exactness which enables us to say that, for instance, a man's right arm was some inches longer than his other arm, or that one leg of his was longer than another. I merely tried to show that the whole mosaic of unemployment was built up of several broad pieces, so to speak, and that they had to be brought into the whole. It was not with a view to getting an exact plan, but in order that we might have some conception of the complexity of the problem, as a whole, with which we had to deal. Therefore, I am prepared to say that, in so far as many of  the figures I gave to the House are concerned, it is quite likely that I may be wrong by, let us say, 10, 16, or 20 per cent. I might not be wrong to that extent, and certainly would not be prepared to make a solemn affirmation that I would be wrong by that percentage, but it is quite possible that the figures I gave might be wrong to that extent. The fact is, however, that we have no statistics which relate to the type of employment which a man has left. Our statistics relate entirely to the type of employment which the person, who registers himself, is looking for—in other words, the type of employment which, he thinks, in all the circumstances, he can get.
Mr. MacEntee: No. A lot of these people have not so much imagination and foresight as to see that, perhaps, the only opening for them would be, in the case of males, agriculture, and, in the case of females, domestic service. I should say that the more intelligent of these people would say to themselves : “If there is going to be compulsory tillage and a revival of agriculture in this country, there will be a demand for able-bodied men—not necessarily too highly-skilled men—and therefore since there is not likely to be much chance of work in the country garages during this emergency, the best chance I have of getting a job is to try to get back to the land. As the Deputy well knows, and as I am aware myself, it is quite easy to score a debating point out of the case I am making, but I think it is as well that our people should know the disabilities under which the State is suffering as a whole in regard to this matter— because no Minister is ever infallible or omniscient—and that the people who know should know the limitations which apply to all our statistics in regard to unemployment. I think it will be understood that we are only trying to find our way through the problems which now confront us, but at any rate I wish to make the point clear—as I think I did in my opening  statement—that none of the figures which I gave were unchallengeable. I admit that every one of them can be impugned. These figures represent merely the best estimates which I and my advisers could form on the facts as they were presented to us by the voluntary declarations of those who had registered themselves as seeking employment at the employment exchanges. Now, Deputy Mulcahy asked me whether I had used the expression “fool or charlatan”. I did.
Mr. MacEntee: I did use that expression, and I said that a person who would come to this House and pretend that, in all the circumstances as he could conceive them, and not as these circumstances may, perhaps, emerge— perhaps I did not say it as precisely as I am saying it now——
Mr. MacEntee: ——I did say, and say now—so far as the people of the country think my words have any weight or are worthy of serious consideration—that the person who would come to this House and pretend that, in all the circumstances, as he could conceive them, he would be able to provide alternative employment for all those who were disemployed by reason of a shortage of raw or semi-manufactured materials for the industries in which they were normally engaged, would be a fool or a, charlatan. And I said, and I say again, that I am not prepared to adopt that role, for I can easily foresee conditions in which, due to the interruption of our overseas supplies, it would be quite impossible to provide our people with alternative employment.
General Mulcahy: Does the House understand, in so far as the Minister envisages the situation at the present time, that he considers there will be a substantial increase in the number of people that will he dependent on unemployment assistance?
Mr. MacEntee: On that I have to say this, that the Minister for Supplies has  been much more successful than I anticipated he would be four works ago and, as long as he continues to be so successful, then I think the position is not likely to get much worse. But the moment there is an interruption of such supplies as he has been able to secure, then we are going to be faced with an unemployment problem which I quite frankly say will he insoluble so long as that particular interruption of supplies remains. We are in this matter very largely dependent on circumstances and the course of the war. The maintenance of overseas supplies, however, is essential for us.
Deputy Mulcahy also asked me if the number I gave of those employed in the construction of motor vehicles included those engaged in petrol distribution. I would not be prepared to say that it is in that sense a comprehensive figure, because I have already indicated to the Deputy that my figures were based upon particulars given by those who had registered as seeking other employment, and in a large number of country districts, the possibilities are that they may have resigned themselves to the fact that it is not likely that any other employment will offer in country garages. The figures indeed relate, perhaps, to the narrower group of those directly engaged in the assembly works, and in repair garages in the larger centres of population. So far as the distribution of petrol is concerned, I think the same applies.
A question was also raised by the Deputy about the position of the Dublin dockyard. My Department under my predecessor was very deeply interested in the endeavour to secure the re-opening of the Dublin dockyard. One of the specific instructions which I gave when I succeeded him was that this matter was to be pursued, and that nothing was to be left undone to secure the re-opening of that dockyard, if at all possible. But I do not want the House to understand that I am going to stand here and say to all comers: “Here is the Dublin dockyard to be taken advantage of by any Tom, Dick or Harry who comes along,” who expects the Government to take all the risks and permit him  to take all the profit. I would like to make it quite clear that if what I think would be normally a good business proposition to re-open that dockyard is brought to me I am prepared to consider it sympathetically, but the House must also remember that the matter does not begin or end there, that the question of re-opening the Dublin dockyard is a much more complicated question in the existing circumstances than it was before the outbreak of the present war, and before this country and its people had decided to adopt a neutral attitude in regard to that conflict. There are all sorts of difficult questions that arise out of a decision to re-open the dockyard, and to try to revive an industry of that sort. I do not want to expatiate on them at any great length as I think the difficulties will occur to a great many Deputies. However, I am endeavouring to see that the Dublin and Cork dockyards will be re-opened, if at all possible.
The Deputy also referred to a question which was on the Order Paper yesterday and which I answered, dealing with live stock exports from the port of Dublin. He asked if I attached any particular importance to the figures for October 15th; as compared with an earlier date. I did not attach any particular importance to them. I have looked at the records, and I find in my view, that the variations may have been casual only. I am not in a position to answer more precisely. I remember at one particular Dublin cattle market the amount of stock on offer seemed to be unexpectedly small and perhaps it may be the date to which the Deputy refers in his question coincided with that day in which case the live stock shipments would also be comparatively small.
General Mulcahy: I would like the Minister to keep the shipping services under review, because I think too smooth a surface has been put on the information he has got, and that as the shipping services and the goods and carrying traffic have been substantially reduced from the Port of Dublin that undoubtedly will create and is creating inconvenience as well as unemployment in the City of Dublin.
Mr. MacEntee: I am. The Deputy will bear in mind what some of our difficulties are. Our first difficulty arises from the fact that we do not own the ships; that they belong in fact if not in theory to a very much more powerful neighbour State.
Mr. MacEntee: The Deputy had a question about the Road Fund. Naturally  I am anxious to maintain employment. Therefore, I should endeavour to see that as much as possible of the moneys of the Road Fund is spent on the roads. Being a former Minister for Finance I am in a position to say that all the Road Fund is directly or indirectly spent on the roads.
Mr. MacEntee: I am only saying that because I was going to tell the Deputy that I was not in a position to answer for the Road Fund but almost all of that Fund is spent on the roads. I shall deal with another question which the Deputy has asked me and that will give me an opportunity of saying what is going to be my whole attitude on this question. The Deputy asks me will the Minister, when the House next reassembles, make a statement which will give people better heart to face the whole situation. I must say quite frankly that I am not going to do that. So long as I have to carry the responsibility which I have I shall tell the people of the House and the country what I really think about the situation. I shall put before them all our difficulties and I shall ask them to think them over for themselves. I should like to be able to tell the House that in a month or two I would come along and tell them that the position is going to be better than it is to-day. Now, if I could do that I would also be able to tell them what course European events is to take and also that our power will be sufficient to control events. I am not able to foresee the one and I certainly do not pretend that our resources are ample to cope with the other. When I next come to the House, if I do, I shall try to tell the people as frankly as I can the difficulties and I shall tell them also that they can do very much more to solve these difficulties and overcome them than the Government or the House or any particular group of individuals can do.
Mr. MacEntee: Certainly. Deputy Murphy asked me could I give a guarantee that the Employment Order would be terminated on the 20th November. I cannot give that guarantee. But I do not expect that the Order will he continued beyond the 20th November. Deputies must understand that I am a Minister with collective responsibility. I do not know what the financial circumstances will be, but I do not anticipate that there will be any reason to continue the Employment Period Order beyond the 20th November. I cannot, however, speak here before the month of October has lapsed, and bind myself to what the position will be on the 20th November.
Mr. MacEntee: I am aware that somebody has to help them, and I am also well aware of the fact that the position of the Exchequer is an extremely difficult one. Even Department—my own included—is making demands upon the Minister for Finance. I cannot see that the Minister for Finance will be in a position to meet all these demands. I trust it will not be necessary to continue the Employment Order beyond the 20th November. Another Deputy asked me a question in relation to that matter this afternoon. He asked why the Order had been made. I shall say that a case for it was made in this House last night, not by me nor by the Minister for Finance, but by Deputy Colonel Ryan. He stated that in certain agricultural districts there was more employment now than there had been for many years. It was foreseen by the Government that as the beet harvest is being got in earlier than usual this year, there would be an ample amount of employment offering  in these districts. The Employment Order was extended only in regard to those districts in which beet growing is fairly general. I hope the explanation I have given will satisfy the House.
Deputy Norton asked me whether I had taken into consideration certain facts which had, perhaps, reacted upon the unemployment statistics. He pointed out in that connection that men had been mobilised and accordingly had vacated jobs leaving opportunities for others to take their places, thereby implying that the registered unemployment in the country was less than it otherwise would have been. I can see that point immediately. I am prepared to admit that because of the fact that men have been mobilised for military services, that there are greater opportunities for those hitherto unemployed to get jobs. I had that in mind when I was dealing with the amount of unemployment which had manifested itself. But, after all, voluntary military service is only one form of employment. We cannot hold that when a man is mobilised in the Volunteers or in the Army that he is not employed. It only means that he is taken out of a form of productive employment and put into protectional employment. All the time that he is employed he is receiving a certain amount in wages. He does not figure in the employment statistics, and I could not take his position into consideration when I was preparing my figures. I could only deal with those people who were not in employment whether in the Army, industry or agriculture.
Deputy Norton also said that a large number of people who have returned from Britain and who are unemployed do not appear on the register. That is so. I think it would be a very unwise thing for this Government and for the people of this country to accept as a duty the task of providing employment for even body who chooses to come back to this country now. No doubt the position of those who do return is very complicated, but the task of providing for them out of Government resources would he both a difficult and onerous one to face. After all we have to  remember that those who remained here had to carry on here through good and bad times. A large number of the people who are coming back are people who perhaps helped the people at home to maintain themselves, but possibly an equally large number of them did nothing to help the people at home, It is only natural that it such people choose to come back here now that they should expect to have to remain here for some time to allow the people who have been carrying on here for the last eighteen years or so, sometimes in difficulties, to deal with their own immediate problems first. First of all our responsibility is to the people who have remained at home ad not so much to the people who have returned home after a period of years away. Naturally they have to take second place. I will not say that in certain circumstances we will not help them, but I cannot take the view that they are entitled to take precedence over the others.
Mr. MacEntee: There is a statutory procedure in regard to registration and in regard to eligibility for unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance. Remember that these people have contributed nothing to our Employment Insurance Fund. There is the statutory condition regulating their eligibility for unemployment assistance, and I presume that when they have complied with it we shall have to fulfil whatever statutory obligations there are. Quite frankly, I certainly do not think that we can give them any prior place or claim over those who are already on the register.
Mr. MacEntee: In some cases on molasses. Some molasses were imported, and I presume that there are now supplies from other sources. As to whether the alcohol factories will be  able to keep going or not, I am not prepared to give any firm opinion.
Mr. MacEntee: That would be a rather desperate remedy; but the Deputy will understand that, if we cannot get the necessary supply of small potatoes at a reasonable rate, if we cannot divert some of the molasses from the sugar factories, we will, perhaps, have to close them down, not blow them up. That is going to mean difficulties for the whole productive organisation here. I know that the Deputy puts a very poor estimate upon those alcohol factories, but I cannot say——
Mr. MacEntee: I cannot take the same pessimistic view in regard to these factories. We can hope—if the farmers appreciate that these factories, taking the long view, are likely to be of very great value to them as a stabilising influence on the price of potatoes —that they will be kept going. If those for whom the factories were established are not prepared to take that long view, if they are not prepared to be wise and prudent in regard to this venture, then I should say that the outlook for the factories is not at all a bright one. We have got, as other Governments have had to do in such matters——
Mr. MacEntee: No, as other Governments have to do even to-day, we have got to educate our people as to the profit and advantage which lie in taking a long view. That is at the root of this whole problem.
Mr. MacEntee: I would not say that that would be so. As far as there is sugar in the pulp, it is merely used as a flavouring for it, and the Deputy can get over that by allowing the beet factory to get the molasses and let them make industrial alcohol from them.
Mr. Hughes: No; I object to that. Does the Minister understand that the sugar factories dress the pulp with molasses to make it more palatable? I simply ask the question that, as they are now extracting alcohol from these molasses, has the amount of molasses used——
The other point that Deputy Norton raised arose out of the statement made by the Minister for Supplies that people ought not pay off employees in a state of panic. He asked was I aware that the Electricity Supply Board had discharged a certain number of employees. Well, I am not directly aware that the Electricity Supply Board had discharged a number of employees, but I am perfectly certain— from a conversation which I had with the Chairman of the Electricity Supply Board, when I happened to be Minister for Finance—that if employees have been discharged, they have not been discharged in a state of panic, but simply because there did not happen to he work for them at the moment nor prospect of work for some time. If the activities of the Electricity Supply Board expand, I presume that those who have been disemployed will be re-engaged It has got to be understood, however, that a huge concern like the Electricity Supply Board cannot carry “passengers”. If “passengers” have to be carried in the community, there is the Unemployment Assistance Act  to deal with them; and, personally speaking, I say that it would be fatal to the efficiency of any concern—particularly one like the Electricity Supply Board, or any large concerns of that sort—to carry employees merely as “passengers”. They would simply breed idleness and inefficiency.
Mr. MacEntee: The Deputy had better resign himself to this fact: the black-out is partial, but it is likely to be prolonged. At any rate, it will last for the duration of the war. Most of those people who have to try to make some sort of plan to deal with the existing situation are looking to a rather prolonged struggle. It would be a merciful dispensation of Providence if the struggle were to be shorter than human judgment seems to expect it to be. Looking at the course of it, however, and trying to base our future programme on some foundation of commonsense, I think we have got to take the view that the struggle is likely to be prolonged. We have got to face up to the fact that, in the end, whatever may be the immediate hardships upon individuals, it is going to be better for the community as a whole to try to secure the utmost economy and efficiency in all those big undertakings which are the first essentials of our whole industrial and economic system here.
Mr. MacEntee: It is, perhaps, unwise for me to try to deal with this situation at length, because I am not managing the Electricity Supply Board; but I have got to put the other point of view. It is so easy for individuals to get up and say that there are very important human considerations, and ask why should this big undertaking, or that one, dispense with employees now. On the other hand, you have got to remember this: if those big undertakings do not try to conserve their resources at this particular moment, it may be very difficult for them to carry on when circumstances become more desperate,  and that, by their inability to carry on during the critical period, they may create difficulties even greater than those we now experience for the community as a whole. We have got to face up to this fact: we are in a situation which is going to demand sacrifices from everybody.
Mr. MacEntee: The trouble about it is that, while everybody pretends to appreciate it, and a large number of people say: “We have all got to make sacrifices,” they immediately proceed to protest that they, or the particular section in which they are interested, should be exempt from those sacrifices. Again, I am only talking in general terms, and do not know the merits of the cases which Deputy Norton has raised, but I assume from the discussions which I had, as I say, some months ago with the Chairman of the Electricity Supply Board, that if the Electricity Supply Board has had to dispense with employees they have been dispensed with because of inexorable necessity. If that is the case, it is better we should face up to the situation now. Those dispensed with will have to try, as a number of other people had to do during the last war, to help themselves. That is the first thing we want to impress on our people in the present situation—that there is an obligation on every person to try to help himself and not rely on the Government or on undertakings like the Electricity Supply Board. I am prepared to admit that ordinary citizens are circumscribed in this regard but, so far as in him lies, every citizen ought to try to help himself.
Mr. MacEntee: I was asked by Deputy Norton about the position of the oil refinery in Dublin. All I can say in that regard is that it is very unfortunate that the plans which the Government seemed to have made effective two or three years ago have not yet been consummated, that, due to one factor or another—the opposition of  big interests outside and the opposition of other interests inside this country— that project appeared to be defeated and, in fact, abandoned. That was the position until about six or seven months ago. We have been able to get other people to accept the financial responsibility involved in establishing that oil refinery here but, naturally, a great deal of very valuable time has been lost. The whole project was held up for 12 or 15 months. My own feeling is that the foreign opposition to that project would not have succeeded if it had not been for the assistance received from native sources. We have now managed to have the project revived. It is going ahead in so far as it can go ahead in present war-time circumstances.
I am afraid, however, that the difficulties which I referred to last night in regard to cement manufacture, plant difficulties, will arise in connection with this oil refinery. The opportunity of getting plant upon reasonable and economic terms has, perhaps, disappeared for good; we do not know. The opportunity of making reservations with regard to our oil supplies has perhaps, also, disappeared; we do not know. We are endeavouring to see whether the plant and necessary supplies of crude oil can be secured and guaranteed. If these things can be done, we shall get the oil refinery and, with the oil refinery, we shall have a certain amount of employment for those immediately engaged in that industry and, what is perhaps more important, we shall have a certain assurance with regard to our supplies of petrol and petroleum products generally. If only this unfortunate hold-up had not occurred, we should, perhaps, have been able to maintain in employment most of the people in the motor car assembling industry, in the petrol distribution trade and other people engaged in transport in the country. There is no use in crying over spilt milk. We are making a second attempt to get the oil refinery going and I hope, now that we see the actual situation which confronts us, we shall be able to get it going with the whole-hearted co-operation and support of every Party and group in the country.
Mr. MacEntee: I dealt with the shipyard when the Deputy was out. Deputy Norton asked me whether attention was being given to coal deposits. We are having all the possibilities with regard to our coal deposits examined with a view to getting them exploited to the utmost, but I should like to sound a note of warning. Since 1932 the Government has spent considerable sums in having coal and other mineral deposits that are popularly believed to exist in this country investigated and examined. The results up to the present have not been too inspiring.
Mr. MacEntee: There are possibilities with regard to one coalfield in Tipperary. That would seem to be the result of the very careful and extensive investigation in that region that has taken place so far. If we can manage to get these coalfields going, we shall do so. The amount of expenditure involved seems to be very large, and the estimated extent of the deposits is comparatively small, judging by the standard that prevails in other countries. They would, however, in existing circumstances be a very valuable source of supply in this country.
Mr. MacEntee: Yes, and, as the Deputy knows, it is not generally utilised in this country. I have, perhaps, kept the House at greater length than was necessary, but I wanted to give members as much information as possible.
Mr. Dillon: With regard to unemployment, will the Minister bear in mind and get his colleague, the Minister for Supplies, to bear in mind, that uncertainty as to fixed prices is calculated seriously to disrupt the distributive trades, and is very likely to cause considerable unemployment amongst shop assistants? Merchants do not care very much what prices  are fixed so long as they know what the prices are, but if this uncertainty continues it will become more difficult to carry on ordinary trading and staffs will be in danger of reduction. Will the Minister seek, with a view to preventing the occurrence of unemployment in that trade, to expedite. the establishment of controlled prices so that everybody may know where he is?
Mr. MacEntee: I appreciate what the Deputy has said, but the question of price control is the responsibility of the Minister for Supplies, and I am not going to seek fixation of prices. I appreciate what the Deputy has said with regard to the uncertain position in which distributors and importers may find themselves. I shall bear that in mind in connection with my Department.
Mr. Dillon: I do not ask the Minister to intervene in connection with the fixation of prices, but I ask him to ensure that, whatever prices are fixed. those for whom they are fixed will know them and will know what exactly they are to charge. The continued uncertainty as to what the fixed prices are should be brought to an end at the earliest possible moment.
Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures (Mr. Aiken): Deputy Cosgrave asked for a review of the Orders made by the Censorship Department. Since the last meeting of the Dáil there have, in fact, been no further general regulations made. Deputy Cosgrave said that there was an idea that there was a considerable number of people employed in the Censorship Department. I think it was the Press censorship to which he alluded. As a matter of fact, there are only nine persons employed in Press censorship, and they have, on the whole, been getting on very well with the newspapers. The newspapers do all the censoring, and it is only when in doubt that they refer to the censor. With one or two exceptions, the newspapers have behaved magnificently and have co-operated wholeheartedly with the Censorship Department. There is no use in my taking up the time of the House in saying anything further unless  some Deputy wants to raise any other question. As I say, there have been no general regulations made since the last meeting of the Dáil.
General Mulcahy: On the last day we discussed this matter, the point was raised that the censorship was being carried out in a manner which conflicted with the general principles expounded here by the Minister when the matter was dealt with originally. The Minister says that the Press have been doing their own censoring but I should like to ask him whether there has been any relaxation on the part of the Censorship Department in regard to the discussion of international affairs or whether the Press have been reduced to the position that they do not discuss international affairs because they feel that they have their orders from the start. I remember a question was raised about some articles on Poland and an appeal for funds that were alleged to be censored. I think the Minister might indicate to the House whether there has been any relaxation in the censorship on the discussion of general affairs or whether the instructions originally issued have been relaxed in any way. I should like the Minister also to say, with regard to the censorship of postal matter, whether any use is being made of the censorship of postal matter other than is attributable to the war. If the Minister states that, as far as he is concerned, the postal censorship has no function at all except in so far as matters that may conflict with our neutral position or bear in any way on the war, is concerned, and if it is brought to his notice that the censorship is being used for any other purpose, such as for conveying information to the police in regard to internal matters or for intruding into ordinary private correspondence, I should like him to state whether steps will be taken either to stop that or whether he will make a statement as to the extent, other than dealing with war matters, the postal censorship is permitted to proceed. I understand the bounds of the ordinary war situation are being outstepped.
Dr. Hannigan: If I am in order, I should like to raise a question in regard  to a matter which I think comes within the province of the Minister. I refer to the question of A.R.P. in the City of Dublin.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: We are dealing now with the question of censorship. I think the Minister, at the request of Deputies, intends to make a statement on A.R.P. later and the Deputy might defer his question until then.
Mr. Dillon: Would the Minister tell me to what extent is the censorship supposed to be used? Am I right in assuming that the only object of the censorship is to prevent anybody publishing something which would imperil the safety of the State? If that is true, how is it that an official dinner was given in Dublin Castle to Sir John Maffey, the representative in Eire of the British Government, and no paper in Dublin or in any other part of Ireland published a single line about it? Was that due to censorship or to a conspiracy of silence amongst the whole Press of Ireland? That was the first State dinner given by an Irish Government to a representative of the British Government and it was absolutely boycotted by every paper in Ireland. If that was due to the censorship, it reduces the Dáil which gave these powers to a joke. If it was not due to censorship, I say that there should be some explanation for the absolute and extraordinary silence which descended on the Press of the country in connection with this event. Can the Minister explain to us why similar functions were exhaustively reported and lists of guests disseminated and on this occasion no reference at all was made by the papers to the function?
Mr. Dillon: I am raising no canard. The Minister may reply that Sir John Maffey was never in Dublin Castle. My information is that he was. If he was not, the Minister can say so, and that settles the question. If he was, then it behoves the Minister to give an explanation of this extraordinary silence on the part of the Press. What more can we do, if we get reliable information, than raise the matter here and give the Minister an opportunity of correcting our information if it is wrong? It is perfectly manifest, if the Minister does not say that what I am stating is not true, that he has a shrewd suspicion that it is true. If there is no foundation for these rumours, let him dispose of them now.
Mr. Norton: I want to ask the Minister one question. Have any instructions been issued by the Censor to newspapers to prevent them publishing any question which may be submitted for answer to a Minister in this House, and the answer to such question? If so, what is the nature of the instruction issued to the Press, and what range of subjects docs the instruction cover?
Mr. Aiken: Deputy Mulcahy raised the question of the use of the postal censorship. The postal censorship, like the telegraph censorship and the Press censorship, is designed to keep us out of trouble, to prevent trouble being created here amongst ourselves, or to prevent trouble being created between us and our neighbours in the outside world.
It is with that view alone that it is being operated. With regard to the question about prying into private conversations, everyone who goes on postal or telegraphic censorship signs an undertaking to make no use of, and to give to no person unauthorised to receive it, any information concerning the contents of correspondence dealt with, and everyone on the censorship staff has signed that undertaking.
General Mulcahy: Would it be completely outside the powers and duties of the postal censorship to take some  information from a letter and pass it on, say, either to the police with regard to an ordinary internal matter or to the Revenue Commissioners or to any private citizen?
Mr. Aiken: As I have said, generally speaking the object of the censorship is to prevent trouble with ourselves and our neighbours or trouble arising internally. That is the nature of the censorship. Deputy Norton raised a question as to whether there were instructions issued to the Press to suppress questions raised here in the House and the answers given to them. Up to the present there have been no instructions given to the Press to suppress Dáil questions and they have not been suppressed, and neither have the answers in any particular case. Deputy Dillon raised the question as to whether there was a censorship of a dinner given to Sir John Maffey. There was no such censorship. I understand that there was no elaborate dinner given to him. There was the usual small function for the representative and members of his staff. I did not even know about it myself, so that there was nothing elaborate and there was no conspiracy to conceal the fact.
Mr. Aiken: Hundreds of distinguished visitors come here in the year who are, I am sure, entertained by Ministers, by the Taoiseach and visitors entertained by myself, and in the ordinary course there would be other Ministers who would not hear anything about it.
Mr. Aiken: I do not spend my time standing on the doorsteps of the Castle to see who goes into it. As far as this particular function is concerned there was no attempt on the part of the censorship to keep it from the papers.
Mr. Aiken: I was not either in exterior darkness or in interior darkness.  That deals with the question of the censorship. There were some questions raised to-day about A.R.P. The two principal Opposition Parties get copies of all the Orders that are issued from time to time by the Government, including this Order about A.R.P. Generally speaking, the lighting restrictions are divided up into two parts. There is one portion of them dealing with what happens within certain scheduled areas, and another portion with what happens outside scheduled areas.
Mr. Aiken: On the 16th day of October. In the scheduled areas there are greater restrictions on lighting than there are outside. Outside the scheduled areas there is, in fact, no control of lighting and no restriction on lighting beyond putting cowls on public street lamps and having them so geared that they would be capable of being switched off instantaneously on receipt of notice. The scheduled areas in which there are more restrictions are as follows: Dundalk, Drogheda, Balbriggan, Skerries, Howth, Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Bray, Wicklow, Greystones, Arklow, Wexford, Rosslare, Rosslare Harbour, Waterford, Tremored, Cobh, Cork, Limerick, Kildare, Droichead Nua, Kilcullen, and the Curragh Camp.
In the case of Dublin and the district round it, over an area of five miles from the Post Office, it is proposed on the 18th November next to introduce certain restrictions in regard to public lighting. No public lighting can appear unless it is cowled and subject to instantaneous switch. It will enable the local authorities to provide the full number of lights that they had heretofore. The difference will be that instead of blazing up into the sky the lights will be thrown upon the ground and will be capable of being switched off instantaneously.  The difficulty in regard to public lighting has, been that in the case of Dublin, for instance, there are about 4,000 switches, and in the ordinary way it would be a very long job to put them out. Other systems have been introduced. We hope to have them installed in a month, whereby the whole lot fan ho switched off at a moment's notice.
Apart from public lighting there is private lighting, and it is very much more difficult to deal with private lighting than it is with public lighting. In other countries they have found that if the worst comes to the worst they can put out public lighting permanently, but you cannot put out private lighting permanently, because people have to get round their houses. Here in Dublin the public lighting system is interlocked with the private lighting system, so that if you were to switch out the public lights the private lights would go as well. Again, private lighting is normally required for household purposes to enable people to move round their houses, and unless people take the precaution of blinding their windows properly, quite a considerable amount of glare can be caused by lights inside houses. However, a war condition is different from the present stand-to condition, and it is proposed on the 18th November to compel private individuals to screen their lights so that they will not be readily discernible at 300 feet. But even in regard to that restriction there is an exception for a light in the front of houses to enable people to approach the entrance. In the front of the house they will be allowed either to screen the light outside or the light inside the house. The light in the hall or front room may be a covered light so that some illumination will be thrown on the entrance.
With regard to public lighting, inside the scheduled areas and outside them, it will all be cowled and subject to switching. Inside the scheduled areas, the people will have to screen their windows so that they will not cause a glare, but outside the scheduled areas there are no restrictions whatever upon private lighting. There are other people inside the scheduled areas who  will come under the restrictions. All private lights, all lights for essential undertakings, will have to be cowled so that the light will be thrown down instead of up. Lights will be allowed for farming operations provided they are screened above the horizontal so that the light will not blaze into the sky. The next restriction is in regard to motor cars. A heavy concentration of motor car lights would completely nullify any effort at restricting the glare caused by public lights. In order that a concentration of lights in those towns in the scheduled areas I have mentioned may not cause that damage, it is proposed, when the lighting restrictions come into operation on 18th November, to compel motorists, when they come inside those areas, to drive on a light which will not cause a heavy glare. Again, the situation here is different from a war situation, but we want to reduce our vulnerability by making all the preparations we can. While we do not want to go as far as people would in war conditions, we have to go a certain extent, that certain extent being as far as we can go without causing too much inconvenience to the people.
With regard to motor cars, we are allowing them, inside the scheduled areas, to have lamps up to 30 candle power. That will enable a man of normal eyesight to drive with safety at 25 miles an hour upon an unlighted road, and I think that is not an undue hardship within a few miles of the Post Office of Dublin or within a mile or two of the post offices in the towns to which I have referred. Outside those areas a motorist can drive with full lights, but inside he will be compelled to mask the side lamps and head lamps so that they will not throw a light which is more than 30 candle power.
Thirty candle power is a technical term, and not everybody has a light meter, but there will be a handbook issued on sale which will give motorists an idea of how to approximate to that 30 candle power. Normally, the ordinary sidelights of a motor car are well below it, where they are of ordinary muffed glass. Where there is a sidelight without muffed glass, the slightest bit of tissue paper will bring it below 30 candle power. In the case  of strong head lights, blue paint or blue paper or light blue cloth will reduce them to 30 candle power. If motorists want to drive outside the scheduled areas on the full head lights and inside on the restricted lighting, they can introduce a system of switching whereby they can do so, or they can have an adjustable shutter or screen which they can wear inside the scheduled areas and take off when they go outside. As far as I can remember, that is a fair synopsis of what is contained in the Order. I think it goes as far as is necessary to meet the present situation, and does not go far enough to cause any great hardship to the people. Of course a number of people will, I am sure, complain because any restriction at all is put on them, but if they think of the hardships and restrictions which are put on the people in other countries they will just thank God that they have not to undergo such hardships. The people in those countries would gladly put up with the restrictions which we have to impose here in order to reduce our vulnerability and maintain our neutrality.
Dr. Hannigan: The question I wish to ask the Minister is in relation to the recruitment of the personnel of fire-fighting and demolition squads. I think the Minister will agree that the Dublin Corporation is co-operating with his Department to the very fullest extent. I gather from a meeting of the A.R.P. Committee held only two days ago in the City Hall that it has been impossible to recruit volunteers to the service to which I have referred because of indecision on the part of the Department of Defence with regard to the basis upon which those volunteers are to be recruited, and I should like to ask the Minister if he would take steps to clarify the position and define the exact terms upon which those volunteers may be recruited, so that the Corporation may get on with this all important aspect of the work which they have so heartily undertaken.
Mr. T. Kelly: Would the Minister take steps to see that the speed of the motors will be lessened during the  black-out, especially in the centre of the city? Up to the present, to my own knowledge, there have been very narrow escapes from serious injury or death. In fact, I myself have escaped only by inches. I would not be much of a loss to the community, but I would certainly be a big loss to myself. Deputies may laugh, but there have been many escapes which I myself have seen, and I think steps must be taken to reduce the speed. Motorists do not seem to care a curse how quickly they go. They think the road is their own; after them come the cyclists, and the pedestrians have as much as they can do to save themselves. I hope the few remarks I have made will serve to direct the Minister's attention to what I think is very nearly a scandal.
Mr. Norton: Without examination, I do not want at this stage to express any opinion, but I should like the Minister to clarify one or two points. First, when will this hand book for motorists be available? Secondly, the Minister said that the amount of screening of private lighting will be such as can be ascertained by determining whether there is a visibility of 300 feet. Most road ways in Dublin are not 300 feet in width. Am I to take it from what the Minister has said that the test is 300 feet in width, that is, having a frontal view of the window, or, in the case of a road, for instance, that is only 100 feet in width and has houses on the other side, is the view to be taken in that case as 300 feet obliquely, or is there still a 300 feet test from some height on the far side? Will the Minister say how soon he hopes it will be possible in the areas concerned, that is, the areas in which the black-out arrangements operate, to devise the lighting system on the switching principle to which he referred, and in particular how soon is the normal lighting going to be restored in the City of Dublin, with the amendments such as the Minister has outlined in the course of his remarks?
Mr. Dillon: Can the Minister give some explicit directions to public authorities in rural areas outside the special areas where special restrictions  are necessary? For instance, in the town of Ballaghaderreen, some zealous soul went around about five weeks ago and put a tin canister over the bulb of every street lamp in the town, with the result that the whole town is plunged in darkness except for a small restricted circle of light directly underneath the lamp. Now, the probability of sky glare from Ballaghaderreen upsetting anybody is remote, and the probability of any person of ill-will desiring to bombard Ballaghaderreen is remote. Speaking for the citizenry of that centre, I am prepared to say that if you take the tin cans off the street lights we will risk bombardment from abroad. I think we can say with absolute certainty that no aviator, however skilful, will be able to get a line on Ballaghaderreen sufficiently accurate to guide him to any other centre of population in these islands. I am told that a similar situation obtains in certain other towns in the West of Ireland. Well, all honour to the zeal of the man who went round with the tin canisters, but are his neighbours now prepared to take down the tin canisters, or whom should we approach in order to get the tin canisters removed from the street lamps? Like many another story, what is everybody's business is nobody's business. All we know is that on some dark night they were put on the street lamps. Nobody knows who put them there, or who has the authority to take them down. The Civic Guards say they did not. There was a rumour to the effect that somebody with a ladder from the Electricity Supply Board put them there, but the local representative denies the opprobrious implications. Will the Minister give a well-intentioned citizen or some person authority to take them down?
Mr. Dillon: There are, God bless them, but they did not put them there. Though I may sound facetious, I imagine that situation has arisen in a good many rural areas. It is causing a great deal of inconvenience. One can readily understand that a difficulty of that kind could arise in the earlier stages of the emergency, but as soon  as the Minister would have time it would be appreciated if he would indicate to somebody—the local sergeant of the Civic Guards or the parish priest, or anybody—that he has authority to go and remove these tin cans and restore the normal street lighting to the town. The Minister will appreciate that, apart from the ordinary inconvenience of walking through the towns on a winter's night without street lights, in the case of fairs in the early morning the normal accommodation of the towns is greatly interfered with when it is impossible to turn on the street lights. The sooner the Minister could attend to that matter in rural centres the greater the convenience will be.
General Mulcahy: I would like to ask the Minister whether before issuing his book for motorists he would arrange that a kind of trial spin would be taken from Dublin to Dundalk and back by some person who would know the lighting regulations from the point of view of the black-out area, somebody who would know the lighting regulations for motor cars from the point of view of the ordinary area that was not a black-out area, and some representative of the motoring fraternity, such as the Automobile Association? It seems to me that a motorist starting from Dundalk at night equipped with the ordinary machinery for changing lights on a car, if he were to obey the law of the land inside Dundalk, would be disobeying it outside Dundalk until he reached Drogheda. He would be obeying the law until he reached Balbriggan, but would be disobeying it in the gap between Dundalk and Drogheda, in the gap between Balbriggan and Skerries and between Skerries and Dublin. It seems to me that for the ordinary motorist, with the ordinary switching of lights, an impossible situation is likely to be created, and before regulations are definitely issued the Minister ought to see that an experimental trip should be carried out. A representative of the motorists, and of those who represent the law as it stands on the ordinary highway and of those who represent the law as it is going to stand in the black-out areas, should carefully consider the  matter together before instructions to motorists are broadcast.
Mr. Moylan: I am much more pedestrian-minded than Deputy Kelly. I agree with him about motorists and cyclists not being sufficiently careful at the present stage, but I think—and, as I say, I am pedestrian-minded—that the pedestrians are also very much to blame in Dublin. They are absolutely trying to commit suicide every night, in this city. It is impossible even for the careful driver to avoid accidents. That does not relieve motorists and cyclists from their responsibilities. This is a very serious matter, even though some people have treated it as a joke. I would appeal to Deputy Tom Kelly's constituents, whether they are motorists, cyclists or pedestrians, to exercise more care in their use of the roads at the moment. We are all of course, used to the glare of Ballaghaderreen in this House. I would like to tell the Deputy about, Ballaghaderreen and the country generally. The order is divided into two parts, one which includes the country generally, including Ballaghaderreen and the other the scheduled areas. Throughout the country generally, in the non-scheduled areas, there is no restriction other than a certain reduction in lighting power and actually the reduction in lighting power in street lighting is merely at the direction of the Minister. It must be a special direction and there is really no reduction in the public lighting anywhere in the country, but we must ask the people in the country so to cowl the lamps that there will be no glare over the, horizontal, and we must ask the local authorities controlling street lighting everywhere in the country to put their lamps and their system of lighting on central switches. We have discussed the matter with the Electricity Supply Board and we have decided on how this thing is to be done. All local authorities have been instructed to direct the Electricity Supply Board to carry out the work. We have arranged the price with the Electricity Supply Board. The local authority pays a certain amount of the bill and the Government pays the rest. It may interest the House to know that the total cost  of the switching and cowling for the whole area, including the scheduled areas and the non-scheduled areas, all outside Dublin, is about £6,000.
The only other restriction in the non-scheduled areas is that when outside lights at carnivals and galas arc being utilised, permission shall be obtained from the Minister to so utilise them. These galas and carnivals create pools of light, and while that might not be objectionable in the actual part of the scheduled areas it may be necessary to curb the activities of certain promoters of these carnivals in certain areas. I want it to be quite clear that actually there is no restriction on lighting in the non-scheduled areas other than the cowling and switching of public lighting, and the fact that anybody who wants to run a carnival with a, good deal of lights must first ask the permission of the Minister. While that is so, while there is no actual restriction and no Order, I think we would regard it as good citizenship if the general public did co-operate as far as possible to restrict and screen their private lighting everywhere throughout the country. I think I have answered Deputy Dillon in relation to the Ballaghaderreen lights. The E.S.B. will do the work at the instance of the local authority.
Mr. Dillon: I do not want to confuse the issue at all. I do not know whether the Parliamentary Secretary is aware of what is happening. He speaks of a cowl—the light has to be cowled. The people do not understand what that means. If that means putting over the street light a flat reflector which will throw the light down to the street and not allow it to go up, no reasonable person could have any ground for objection; but if it means providing a circular drum and putting that over the bulb of the lamp, there is no street lighting beyond a straight beam on the pavement which does not serve to illuminate the surrounding area. That is what is being done.
Mr. Dillon: At the moment. It may be that the Parliamentary Secretary's views have been misinterpreted. When he spoke of cowling a light, it was thought it was necessary to surround the actual bulb in the lamp.
Mr. Dillon: It is at present in operation in the town of Ballaghaderreen, and I am told it is also the case in Loughrea and several other towns in the West. I mentioned the town that I know just because it has happened there to my own knowledge. I believe that is a mistake, for which the Parliamentary Secretary is being blamed. It is mentioned as an instance where there are unnecessary precautions. The only way to correct that is to have someone to tell the Parliamentary Secretary or the Minister about it, so that he may issue specific instructions indicating what is required and what is not required. That is really the reason I mentioned it.
Mr. Moylan: In the scheduled areas which the Minister has read for you, it is very difficult to define 300 feet, the area of visibility, but if lights are screened, if interior lights in dwelling houses are screened by ordinary dark curtains which do not permit the light to go between them and the edge of the frame of the window, that meets our requirements. So long as there is not a blaze or a glare, we are satisfied. As regards a dull glow, as a matter of fact through the windows in the streets of Dublin it would be altogether advisable to have it, for various reasons. It is difficult for me to define it other than to suggest that I do not object to a dull glow of light from private houses, but I do think that a glare or a bright light unscreened is dangerous.
Mr. Norton: I think that by his explanations here the Parliamentary  Secretary will probably assist a lot of people more than would the efforts of others. Would it meet the case in the City of Dublin if a person had an ordinary pull-down blind on a roller and used curtains inside of black or any other colour? The result of the two will probably give the dull glow that the Parliamentary Secretary refers to. Would that meet the position? It would clear up the matter for a lot of people if they knew it would.
Mr. Moylan: That would meet the position. I would like to refer to the question of motor cars, but as there is an interest in this matter of lighting, perhaps if I went through it at greater length than I intended, it might be advisable. As regards advertising lights, that is also a matter with which I would like to deal. A question was asked as to why there was a particular black-out for a few nights. That was necessary to make certain experiments and to enable certain surveys to be made by the airmen of the Army. For that reason we had, throughout the country, a black-out on two nights, Afterwards, throughout the country generally, 25 per cent. of the lighting was restored. Throughout the country now, other than the scheduled areas, all the lighting is restored.
We have had a discussion with the Electricity Supply Board and we entered into an arrangement with them and with the Dublin Corporation to restore all the lights in Dublin again. But all the lights will not be of the power that they were previous to the lighting restrictions. We will, however, restore all the lights and they will be centrally switched and cowled. As regards advertising lighting. Article 7 sets out that a sky sign facia or form of advertisement will be cowled and situated so that no direct light therefrom is visible above the horizontal and at a distance greater than 300 feet. It is absolutely necessary that advertising lighting shall be rather rigidly controlled, even though it may create a certain amount of inconvenience in the scheduled areas. We have it from the airmen that they were able to pick out any street in Dublin by reason of even minor signs, signs that were not longer than three or four feet. Therefore, we  will have to control those advertising lights rather rigidly.
With regard to traffic lights, these are not to be affected in any way. I do feel, however, that a certain reduction in traffic lighting must take place, but I think we can have that by arrangement with the local authority or the city authority, as the case may be, rather than by making a hard and fast rule. In Dublin, particularly, as Deputy Hannigan mentions, the corporation officials are working so closely with us that we have no difficulty, and I think this can be arranged rather by agreement than by making a hard and fast rule.
Deputy Mulcahy has mentioned the question of the lighting of motor cars in the scheduled areas. The great difficulty in making the order was in trying to come to some arrangement about motor car lights. If I had given way to the wishes of even the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence, the lighting restrictions would be far less. In conjunction with the military we devised a certain area for lighting restrictions along the east coast and as far as Cork. That made a ten-mile radius around Dublin, a ten-mile radius around Cork, and the same in the case of Limerick. It specified five miles in regard to other places. Now we have five miles in the case of Dublin, and two miles in all the other places. That means that there are certain areas in between the circles which are not now covered, but which were originally covered. I am very anxious that we should have no lighting within two miles of the coast as between Dundalk and Cork.
We have discussed this question of motor car lights with the Automobile Association people, with motor traders, and with lighting engineers. I am very anxious to get the co-operation of motorists in regard to keeping their lights dimmed, in accordance with the scheduled area regulations, all along the coast from Dundalk to Cork.
In regard to navigational lighting. Deputy O'Neill asked a question. I think the question was why private individuals were asked to screen their lights when lighthouses were permitted  to operate at full strength. Supplementary to my answer to that question, there are two angles to the matter of navigational lights. We are able to deal with public lighting and with the lighting in lighthouses in a swift and comprehensive manner by arrangement, and we have to be prepared to do that in the event of these lights being used for directional purposes by aircraft or any other form of attack. There is, however, another angle to it and it is that we have to consider and weigh the local interest as against the national interest. It is necessary that we should, as far as possible, preserve our exports and imports, and that there should be such navigational lighting as will permit national and neutral shipping to be navigated into our harbours. In conference with the Irish Lights Commissioners and various other people who are in control of coastal lighting, we have come to certain decisions. We have made arrangements for a further diminution of the lighting in lighthouses, if necessary, but as long as possible and as well as possible, during what may be called this pre-emergency period, we ought to preserve the lighting of our lighthouses. As I say, we can deal with this in a swift and comprehensive manner, but we cannot deal with private individuals, and I think we are entitled to ask private individuals to take such steps now as will enable them to co-operate to the fullest extent with us, if there is ever a necessity for a complete black-out. Deputy Hannigan mentioned some matter of fire-fighting, but I did not quite get what was in his mind.
Dr. Hannigan: The difficulty is this, that on account of the failure of the Department of Defence to reach a decision with regard to the terms upon which volunteers for the fire-fighting demolition squads should be recruited, officials in the Corporation who are dealing with this aspect of air-raid precautions have been unable to take the necessary steps to secure the personnel. They have the plant and the materials, but they cannot get the men because the Department up to the  present has not indicated upon what terms they may recruit them.
Mr. Moylan: I am not sure that the Deputy is quite correct in that statement. So far as I know, any arrangements we need for the recruitment of fire-fighting personnel have been made. There is another section in respect of which we shall have to make arrangements—possibly we are talking at cross-purposes—and that is those to be recruited for rescue and demolition work. The position there is that the city engineers, as well as the master builders, have put up certain proposals to us. We are in agreement with those proposals and we have made arrangements for everything they need in a peace-time situation, but they, and we, are waiting for a decision from the Government in regard to these conditions, if a war emergency arose. That is the only thing that stands between us and the proper setting up of that rescue and demolition service, and I believe that in a very few days the matter will be cleared up.
This matter is, I consider, very serious, and I do not think it is a matter about which Deputies should make jokes. I was accused here of dealing in a very casual manner with the killing of a man by a motor car during what was called the black-out. A man was killed out in Dundrum, and the matter was referred to by Deputy O'Higgins. In my answer to Deputy O'Higgins, I pointed out that the evidence in the case was that the driver of the car who had his lights full on killed a man, immediately put his lights out and drove away. If there was a black-out on the part of anybody, it was on the part of the driver who turned out his lights immediately after killing the man. I can quite see that any sort of lighting restrictions is very dangerous, and I would regard a man killed in any fashion, because of lighting restrictions, as a war casualty, and what we are trying to avoid is war casualties, and that is why we are trying to make the lighting restrictions as reasonable as possible. I would ask Deputies of every Party to utilise their influence with their constituents, and with the public generally, with a view to getting them to co-operate with us  in trying to make this order a success for their own benefit and for their own safety.
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