Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Portuguese Social and Economic Policy.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Retail Tobacco Business.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Family Allowances.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Turf-removal Licence.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Bank Charges.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Collection of Waste Paper.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Subsidy to Bakers.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Flour Supply in Kerry.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dispensary Doctors' Petrol Ration.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Sugar Requirements.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Price of Compound Manure.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cord for Net-making.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Haulbowline Furnaces.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Removal of Quotas.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Risks Under Workmen's Compensation Act.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Fares on County Galway Bus Service.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Importation of Desk Standards.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Provision for Fire-Brigade Members' Dependents.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - School Meals.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Insurance Benefit Claim (Wexford).
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Artificial Manures.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Price of Beet.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Price of Seed Barley and Oats.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Oatmeal Millers' Difficulty.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dublin City Animal Forage.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Export Price of Beef.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Bacon Pigs—Purchase by Factories.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Increased Price for Wheat.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Alleged Withholding of Wheat.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Use of Tar for Sheep Marking.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Operation of Censorship.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Pinsean na Múinteoirí.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Aistriúcháin ar na Soisgéil.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Children's School Meals.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Relief of Congestion.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Turbary on County Kerry Estate.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Co. Mayo Congestion.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Co. Galway Lands.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Court Messenger's Fees.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Workmen's Rates of Wages.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Island Communications.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Radio Sets.
Order of Business.
Law of Torts (Miscellaneous Reforms) Bill, 1941—Report of Special Committee.
Supplementary and Additional Estimates.
Electricity Supply Board (Superannuation) Bill, 1941—Order for Second Reading Discharged.
Electricity Supply Board (Superannuation) Bill, 1942—First Stage.
Control of Imports (Amendment) Bill, 1941—Order for Second Reading Discharged.
Referendum Bill, 1941—Report and Final Stages.
Committee on Finance. - Supplementary and Additional Estimates. Vote 59—Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Assistance.
Committee on Finance. - Insurance (Intermittent Unemployment) Bill, 1939—Second Stage.
Written Answers. - Intoxicating Liquor Statistics.
Written Answers. - The Civil Service.
Written Answers. - Company Statistics.
Written Answers. - Employment Schemes.
Written Answers. - The National Health Insurance Acts.
Written Answers. - The Unemployment Insurance Acts.
Written Answers. - Unemployment Assistance Payments.
Written Answers. - Farm Workers.
Written Answers. - Crop Statistics.
Written Answers. - Relief of Rates on Agricultural Land.
Written Answers. - Rates on Agricultural Land.
Written Answers. - Employees of Local Authorities.
Written Answers. - Home Assistance.
 Do chuaidh an Ceann Comhairle i gceannas ar 3 p.m.
An Ceann Comhairle: I draw the attention of Deputies to the fact that there are 51 questions for oral answer on the Order Paper.
Mr. McGovern: asked the Minister for External Affairs if, in view of the closer relations existing at present between this country and Portugal, and the similarity of the two countries in many respects, and also the keen interest our people are taking in the social and economic conditions in that country, he will consider the advisability of appointing a delegation to visit that country for the purpose of examining at first hand the social and economic policy in operation there and reporting to Dáil Eireann whether and how far such a policy might be advantageously applied to this country.
Minister for External Affairs (The Taoiseach): I think the Deputy will agree that the circumstances of the present time are not favourable for the sending of such a delegation.
Mr. Dillon: If the Taoiseach does intend to send such a delegation, will he undertake to include in it some of the self-sufficient boys so that they can get a bit of information in Portugal which they failed to get here?
The Taoiseach: Others would like to be included also.
Mr. A. Byrne (Junior): asked the Minister for Finance if, in view of the danger of further disemployment of owners and employees of shops engaged exclusively, or almost exclusively, in the retail cigarette and tobacco business, he has considered the desirability of confining that retail business to such shops, or at least of excluding it from such concerns as public-houses, hotels and restaurants, which, previous to the curtailment of supplies, kept cigarettes and tobaccos mainly for the extra convenience of their customers.
Minister for Finance (Mr. O Ceallaigh): The matter of confining retail sales of tobacco in the manner indicated in the question has been raised from time to time. There are serious objections to the adoption of the course suggested, the chief of which are the inconvenience caused to the public and the adverse effect on the revenue. For these reasons I cannot promise sympathetic consideration of the suggestion.
Tadhg O Murchadha: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state what progress has been made by the committee appointed to advise him in regard to the introduction of a scheme of family allowances, and if it is his intention to publish at an early date the report and recommendations of the committee.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: The Inter-Departmental Committee is preparing its report. I cannot say at present whether or not the report will be published.
Mr. Byrne: asked the Minister for Finance if he has received an application for a turf-removing licence on behalf of the Dublin Corporation, who have accepted an offer of 500 tons of turf to be delivered in Dublin at 50/- per ton; if he will say if the licence has been issued or will be issued at an early date; further, if he will say whether any other public board in  Dublin has applied for a similar licence; and, if so, with what result.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: The application referred to is apparently one that was received from the Housing and Supplies Department of the Dublin Corporation on 3rd December, 1941, in respect of 500 tons of turf. The application did not state the price at which the turf was to be bought. Inquiries subsequently made of the corporation elicited the information that it was intended for general heating purposes.
Similar applications had been received on the 18th October, 1941, and 29th November, 1941, from the same department and were refused.
The circumstances in this case do not appear to differ in any respect from those of numerous similar applications from firms and establishments in non-turf areas requiring turf for the heating of premises. The policy of the Government is to make provision for the needs of such consumers out of the total stocks of fuel available in non-turf areas; and for this reason the application of the Dublin Corporation was not granted.
Applications of the same kind from the Dublin Board of Assistance on 27th June, 1941, and 26th August, 1941, were also refused. It was stated in reply to a question by the Deputy on the 3rd December, 1941, that the prohibition on the removal of turf from the scheduled turf areas except under licence is part of the policy decided on by the Government, as explained to the Dáil by the Parliamentary Secretary in the debate on the adjournment on 30th October, 1941.
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for Supplies whether he intends to inform Dáil Eireann of the grounds on which he consented to the increased bank charges now in operation and whether in approving of these increases he adverted to the principle underlying Emergency Powers (No. 83) Order, 1941.
Mr. Hickey: asked the Minister for  Supplies if he will state the grounds on which the joint stock banks were permitted to increase to their customers the fee charged for keeping current accounts.
Minister for Supplies (Mr. Lemass): I propose to take questions Nos. 5 and 6 together.
It is not my intention to enter into a detailed explanation of the grounds upon which the recent increase in bank charges was approved by me since to do so would involve the disclosure of matters of a highly confidential nature, affecting the affairs of the banks concerned, which were made available only for the purpose of the investigation carried out in my Department. This decision is in accordance with the practice hitherto observed by my Department in connection with price investigations.
In the course of the public announcement made following the decision it was pointed out that, making due allowance for all relevant factors including on the one hand the increase in the cost of carrying on the banks' operations and on the other the general reduction in the rates of interest which may be earned on the banks' assets, I had come to the conclusion, after consultation with the Minister for Finance, that I would not be justified in refusing to sanction the increased bank charges.
In taking this decision the principle underlying the Emergency Powers (No. 83) Order, 1941, was borne in mind, but in the special circumstances of the case due regard had to be given to the terms and conditions of employment in the banks which, until February, 1941, were largely covered by the Arbitration Award of 1920, and since February, 1941, by the Wylie Arbitration Award.
Mr. Dillon: In view of the fact that the joint stock banks have all paid large dividends in respect of the last 12 months, how does the Minister consider it just that employers, who are very often at the present time going virtually without profit to keep their own men in employment, should be  saddled with additional charges on their bank accounts by institutions which are earning at the present time higher profits than almost any other institution in this country? Will he tell the House how he can justify the wage-earner with £2 10/- per week being forbidden to get any increase whatever, except by his licence, and then a very small percentage, when he permits the banks of the country substantially to add to their revenues by imposing a new charge in this time of unprecedented difficulty on the mercantile community of the country?
Mr. Lemass: I think I have answered the Deputy's supplementary question already.
Mr. Dillon: Surely the Minister will tell the House some reason why he forbids, under the excess profits provisions of the Finance Act, individual merchants and business men from making more than 7 per cent. on their issued capital, why he forbids the working man who is in receipt of £2 or £2 5/- per week from getting any increase in wages, while he permits the banks to put a new burden on their customers, when they are in fact paying larger dividends than almost any other mercantile enterprise in the country?
Mr. Lemass: I am not accepting that the facts are as stated by the Deputy. I think they are all incorrect but, in reply to the general question, I can add nothing to what I have already said, that, having examined all the facts, I came to the conclusion that it would be unreasonable to refuse consent in this case.
Mr. Dillon: Would the Minister say that it would be unreasonable for the banks to bear any part of this charge out of the large profits which they are at present making, although every body else is put to the pin of their collar? Surely these charges, if they did amount to £150,000 per year, could be met out of the very substantial profits the banks are making?
Mr. Lemass: The Deputy should find out something more about it.
Mr. Dillon: Surely the Minister has seen the reports of the banks in respect of their 12 months' working, showing the volume of profits and the size of the dividends they propose to distribute to their shareholders? Out of that fund, surely this money could have been found, without blistering the unfortunate citizens who are struggling with adversity at the present time, as the Minister well knows?
Mr. McGovern: Is the Minister aware of the effect of this increase on some struggling firms? For instance, in the case of a creamery in my district, its charges have been multiplied 30 times by this change.
Mr. Murphy: Would the Minister say why this principle was not adopted in the case of road workers in Cork County who got an increase of 2/6 a week and which increase his colleague, the Minister for Local Government, refused to sanction, although the chairman of the county council, who is also a member of this House, said that their average wages did not exceed 24/- per week, considering the number of weeks for which they were employed?
An Ceann Comhairle: That is a separate question.
Mr. Dillon: There is a part of this question which refers deliberately to Emergency Powers (No. 83) Order, and which asks the Minister, for the benefit of the House and the country, to compare the attitude of the Government in regard to the joint stock banks and in regard to the 24/- a week labourer. Surely the House ought to be given the grounds on which the Minister permits an increase in the joint stock banks revenues, but prohibits, under Emergency Powers (No. 83) Order, the 24/- a week labourer from getting an increase? If the people are to go mad, they should be told that. It is certainly enough to madden men who are getting 24/- a week.
Mr. Keyes: Without disclosing the confidential matters which must, in the public interest, not be disclosed, could he not tell us on what grounds the Government departed from the principle upon which Emergency Powers (No. 83) Order was based in sanctioning this increase of bank charges?
Mr. Lemass: It has not been departed from.
Mr. Keyes: It has not? That is a very effective reply.
Mr. Corish: asked the Minister for Supplies when he hopes to have adequate arrangements made for the collection of waste paper.
Mr. Lemass: At the request of my Department, a scheme for the collection of waste paper was put into operation some months ago by the Waste Paper Merchants' Association, and the paper mills acting in conjunction with voluntary organisations. The results to date have not been entirely satisfactory. My Department, however, is in constant touch with the traders concerned with a view to their increasing the collection of waste paper and an alternative scheme submitted by them is at present under consideration.
Mr. Corish: Does the Minister not know that waste paper is not being collected to any great extent at all? What is his answer to the request of the Newspapers' Association that they should be appointed collectors or be permitted to collect?
Mr. Lemass: That is a separate question.
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for Supplies whether it is proposed to pay the subsidy to bakers in respect of batch bread and at what rate is it to be allocated.
Mr. Lemass: Forms of application for subsidy, together with explanatory  instructions, have been distributed to the bakers licensed under the Emergency Powers (Bakers) Order, 1941. The first payment will be in respect of the period 13th October, 1941, to the 30th November, 1941. Some claims have been received in respect of that period and are under examination. It is expected that the payments will commence at a very early date.
Subsidy will be paid at the rate of ½d. per 4 lb. loaf on batch bread produced and sold in units of 1 lb. in weight, or in multiples of 1 lb., by licensed bakers. Full payments will, however, only be made on claims which are certified by auditors and regarding which my Department is satisfied.
Mr. Dillon: In regard to the proviso requiring an auditor's certificate, how is a country baker to get that certificate without summoning from Dublin a firm of auditors to conduct an audit every time the Minister requires a return to be made? If that is so, is it not highly likely that the cost of the audit will more than consume the amount of the subsidy?
Mr. Lemass: I do not think so.
Mr. Dillon: Take a baker who is baking 20 sacks a week. How can he get an auditor's certificate, without the payment of a fee of five or ten guineas, including expenses?
Mr. Lemass: If the baker will discuss the matter with his association, I am sure he will find that the difficulty will not be as considerable as the Deputy suggests.
Mr. Dillon: Has the Minister some system in mind whereby the association would employ an auditor, or something of the kind? Many of the small country bakers are not members of the association.
Mr. Lemass: So far as we are concerned, we do not propose to pay subsidy, except to bakeries which are prepared to submit audited accounts.
Mr. Dillon: So that every small baker is going to be deprived of this  subsidy on the ground that his business is not sufficiently large to permit of the employment of auditors?
Mr. Lemass: I do not think that follows.
Mr. Dillon: Am I pressing the Minister too hard if I ask him to say publicly, for the benefit of the small baker, what he should do? How is he to get an auditor's certificate?
Mr. Lemass: That is a matter for himself. So far as the Government are concerned, we will pay on the strength of audited accounts, and not otherwise.
Mr. Dillon: So that if a man is not able to afford an auditor, he must go without?
Mr. Lemass: Or make an arrangement which will enable him to comply with the regulations.
Mr. Dillon: That, to me, is a very strange arrangement.
Mr. John Flynn: asked the Minister for Supplies if he is aware of the inadequate supply of flour in the parishes of Kenmare, Kilgarvan, Sneem, Tuosist and Bonane, and if he will make the necessary arrangements at the earliest possible date.
Mr. Lemass: Representations were made to me that there were inadequate supplies of flour in the districts mentioned by the Deputy. Since July last extra supplies of flour have been delivered to Kenmare and the other places in County Kerry which should be sufficient to meet the needs of the people in those areas. Having regard to the serious situation which has arisen in connection with wheat supplies arrangements cannot be made for an increase in the existing deliveries of flour to these areas.
Mr. Everett: asked the Minister for Supplies whether in view of the fact that the Medical Association has failed  to formulate (and that it has no authority to formulate) proposals for the allocation, as between doctors, of the available petrol ration, he will take steps in the interest of the sick poor to alter the method of allocation as has been done in regard to other services in such a way as to give an adequate supply of petrol to dispensary doctors whose districts cover rural areas which involves for them the travelling of considerable distances under very unfavourable conditions.
Mr. Lemass: In the allocation of supplies of petrol I am not in a position to discriminate in relation to the needs of particular classes of medical officers and I am not prepared to alter the existing basis of allocation to dispensary doctors generally. I have, however, made available a further ration equal to the basic ration over and above the normal professional allowance, to a limited number of dispensary doctors specified by Cumann Dochtúirí na h-Éireann (The Medical Association of Éire) as being, in its opinion, in the greatest need of petrol.
Mr. Hughes: asked the Minister for Supplies if he will give approximately the amount of sugar he estimates will be manufactured for next season's requirements from sugar beet grown during the coming season.
Mr. Lemass: It is not possible at this stage to estimate, even approximately, the amount of sugar which will be manufactured for next season's requirements from sugar beet grown during the coming season.
Mr. Hughes: The Government, in fixing the price of beet recently at 70/-, surely adverted to the possibility of producing a certain quantity of sugar in the coming season. Can the Minister give us any information as to the estimated quantity?
Mr. Lemass: No, it is not possible.
Mr. Hughes: Are we looking for half our normal requirements, half the production we had last year, or can the  Minister give any approximate figure at all?
Mr. Lemass: I have already answered the Deputy's question.
Mr. Hughes: In other words, you know nothing at all about it.
Mr. Lemass: One guess is as good as another, except that my guess is likely to be more intelligent.
Mr. Hughes: I am asking the Minister if any examination whatever has been made.
Mr. Lemass: The Deputy is asking me to estimate what quantity of sugar will be made, in 1942, from beet which has yet to be grown. I tell him that I cannot make any such estimate. No intelligent person would ask for it.
Mr. Belton: In fixing the price, had the Minister regard to a production of sugar to meet our full requirements?
Mr. Lemass: That is obviously a separate question.
Mr. Dillon: Surely we are entitled to ask——,
Mr. Belton: On what basis was the 70/- given?
Mr. Lemass: If the Deputy wants to ask that question he should put it down on the Order Paper.
Mr. Dillon: Surely we are entitled to ask, if the Government have fixed 70/- for sugar beet, what quantity they had in mind to get out of the land this year. Did they want the total requirements of the State or the total requirements plus 50 per cent.? What was their expectation with regard to sugar output when they fixed this price? Do they want to export some of it for some other commodity, or is this figure based on what will meet our own requirements?
Mr. Lemass: The Deputy is entitled to ask any question of which he gives notice. The question which the Deputy is now asking was not put on the Order Paper.
Mr. Dillon: Surely that is the question that was put down.
Mr. Lemass: There is no reference to price in the question.
Mr. Dillon: The Minister was asked if he would give approximately the amount of sugar he estimates will be manufactured for next season's requirements from sugar beet grown during the coming season. Surely the Minister must have asked himself, before fixing the price at 70/——
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy may not make a speech nor repeat a supplementary question which has already been twice asked and answered.
Mr. Dillon: Why will not the Minister answer the question? I submit that the question of the estimated yield must have arisen in the Minister's mind when fixing the price.
Mr. Hughes: asked the Minister for Supplies if he will say whether he has yet fixed the price of the compound manure available for this season; and, if so, will he state the amount so fixed and whether in so doing he has taken or intends to take into account the excess profit resulting from the manufacture of phosphates last year.
Mr. Lemass: The price of the compound fertiliser available for this season has been fixed at £9 per ton ex-works. In fixing the price account has been taken of the profits earned by the manufacturers during the past year.
Mr. Hughes: Will the Minister say what is the analysis of that manure?
Mr. Lemass: I cannot say.
Mr. Belton: Will the purchasers get the analysis of it?
Mr. Lemass: That is a separate question.
Mr. Belton: Then we will get no information at all.
Mr. John Flynn: asked the Minister for Supplies if he is aware of the difficulties of obtaining the special type of cord required for net-making, and if he will make the necessary representations to the British Board of Control with a view to the release of adequate supplies of the suitable type of cord at the earliest possible date.
Mr. Lemass: I am aware of the difficulties of obtaining the special type of cord required for net-making. I see no prospect of its being possible to secure supplies of hemp, but the question is under consideration whether any useful purpose would be served by representations to the appropriate authorities in Great Britain concerning substitute material.
Mr. Flynn: Is the Minister aware that the wholesalers who have supplied this type of cord have intimated to the people down in that district that they are prepared to supply them with it, provided this Board of Control would allow them to import it into this country?
Mr. Lemass: I am sure that is true, but the prohibition on exports is imposed by the British Government.
Mr. Cosgrave: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state whether he can give the approximate date when the furnaces at Haulbowline for the melting of scrap (iron and steel) will be completed, and if he will state whether any steps are being taken for the accumulation in this country of such scrap.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): Active consideration is at present being given to the matter of the restarting of the works of Irish Steel, Ltd. If difficulties arising in this connection can be overcome, it will, nevertheless, take at least six months, I understand, to instal furnaces, provided the materials necessary to complete the furnaces can be obtained. The export of scrap  iron and scrap steel from this country is prohibited except under licence. Licences are not issued for the export of scrap cast iron, and in the case of scrap steel, only for categories for which there is no home demand. The present practice in respect of the issue of such licences for other categories will be reconsidered if there is an indication that a demand for them may arise at Haulbowline.
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether in view of the difficulty of getting supplies he will remove the quotas imposed by him which are preventing the free importation of supplies where available.
Mr. Lemass: Certain quotas have been suspended and the question of suspending other quotas is at present under active consideration. I should add that the quotas appointed under existing quota orders are, in all cases, sufficiently large to ensure that there is, in practice, no restriction on the importation of the commodities concerned.
Mr. Dillon: Does the Minister realise that the continued existence of quotas results in restraining the vast majority of merchants from effecting imports to the country?
Mr. Lemass: I am aware that the contrary is more often the case.
Mr. Dillon: You can only import a quota article if you are on the register of importers. If you are not on that register you cannot get a licence to import under the relevant section of the quota order, but while that is so there are hundreds of merchants in this country who could get stuff in from Northern Ireland and Great Britain. They are not able to do that because of the fact that they are not on the register of importers. No matter what quantity of stuff may be permitted to come in under the quota, due to what I have stated, the position is that we have people who could get stuff and are forbidden by our own Government  from bringing it in. Half the scarcity that we have at the present time is due to the fact that our own Government will not allow merchants to bring stuff into the country. Surely it is time to end that codology?
Mr. Lemass: It is codology.
Mr. Dillon: It is true.
Mr. Lemass: The Deputy is wrong in that case. In practice we find it much more desirable to rely on the efforts of those normally engaged in the business of importing goods, and in cases where there was no quota order for the purpose of confining available business to normal importers we have actually made special orders for that purpose.
Mr. Dillon: I could import goods but I will not be allowed to do it, and there are many other merchants in the country in exactly the same position. We cannot bring in the goods because we will not be allowed to do so by our own Government.
Mr. Lemass: That is not true.
Mr. Dillon: It is true.
Mr. Keyes: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is prepared to introduce proposals for the purpose of requiring employers to cover by insurance their risks under the Workmen's Compensation Act; and, if so, whether he will state if such proposals will be introduced at an early date.
Mr. Lemass: The matter of requiring employers to cover by insurance their risks under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1934, was under examination when that Act was being prepared, but it was not apparent that compulsory insurance was practicable and nothing has transpired in the meantime to alter the position in that regard. The answer to the Deputy's question is, therefore, in the negative.
Mr. Bartley: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether representations have been made to his Department concerning the excessively heavy increases in the bus fares on the Galway-Clifden service with a view to having them proportioned to the increases on other routes; and will he say what action, if any, he proposes to take in the matter.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Moylan): Representations were made to my Department by certain local interests regarding the increase in bus fares between Galway and Clifden and generally in Connemara. The matter of the revision of these fares was raised with the Great Southern Railways Company, who have now agreed to reduce the single fare between Galway and Clifden via Maam Cross from 7/- to 6/- and via Cong from 8/6 to 7/3, and to reduce the fares for the intermediate stages on both routes proportionately. The reductions, I understand, are due to take effect as from to-day.
Mr. Corish: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if his attention has been drawn to the fact that imported desk standards are now being used in schools all over the country, resulting in unemployment to men in the Park Foundry at Waterford, who had been engaged at the making of standards used in schools for a number of years; and, if so, what action he proposes to take in the matter.
Mr. Lemass: I am informed that some two years ago an approved school desk standard was decided upon. Under that arrangement the old cast-iron standard continued to be permissible for the smaller schools and for replacements or extensions in schools already using them. The new specification permitted of home manufacture, and I have no reason to believe that importations have been on the scale which the Deputy suggests. Both the  new and the old type standard are manufactured here. It is not proposed to take any action in the matter.
Mr. Corish: Is the Minister aware that since the Board of Works started to import desk standards the section at the Park Foundry at Waterford which had been manufacturing these articles has had to close down? Is he not aware that representations have been made to his Department on this matter during the past two years without results?
Mr. Lemass: So far as the industrial interests are affected by the decision, I do not think any question arises because both types of standard required are manufactured in the country.
Mr. Corish: My information is that they are importing the standards.
Mr. Byrne (Junior): asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state whether it is now proposed to introduce legislation to provide pensions for widows and dependents of fire brigade men who might lose their lives during the course of their duties.
Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Mr. MacEntee): There is no immediate prospect of any legislation dealing with this matter. Under the Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Acts, pensions are payable to widows and dependent children of persons insurable under those Acts. The provisions of the Acts extend to the cases the Deputy refers to.
Mr. Byrne: Is the Minister aware that, on at least three separate occasions, legislation was promised for the benefit of the widows of firemen who might lose their lives. Would the Minister say what has made him change his policy since the danger to firemen is greater now than ever, and in view of the promises made by his predecessors?
Mr. MacEntee: There has been no change in policy.
Mr. Byrne: The Minister has stated that there is no immediate hope of introducing any kind of legislation although, as I have said, the danger to firemen is greater now than ever. It is certainly greater than it was when his predecessor promised to introduce legislation to provide pensions for the widows of firemen who might lose their lives while engaged in carrying out their work.
An Ceann Comhairle: Question 20.
Mr. Byrne: Am I to get no answer from the Minister?
Mr. MacEntee: I have already answered the Deputy. There has been no change in policy, but, as I have already told the Deputy, there is no immediate prospect of this legislation being introduced.
Mr. Byrne: Will the Minister say why not?
Mr. MacEntee: Because other matters have to take precedence.
Mr. Byrne: Does not the Minister remember the Pearse Street fire, and that a public fund had to be got up for the benefit of the widows of the firemen who lost their lives. At that time the officials of the Department and the Minister promised legislation. We promised the public that we would not have to appeal to them again. Now our own Government is turning that down.
Mr. MacEntee: I am aware the widows of the firemen injured in the Pearse Street fire received substantial compensation and, in addition, they are receiving widows' and orphans' pensions.
Mr. Byrne: Does the Minister call that substantial? God help us if he does, and God help them, too.
Mr. Byrne (Junior): asked the Minister for Local Government and Public  Health if he is aware (1) that the chief medical officer of health of the City of Dublin has expressed the opinion that a hot mid-day meal is more beneficial and appetising for growing children attending schools where the School Meals Act is in operation and where milk and buns are now being served; (2) that the School Meals Committee at their meeting on 7th November, 1941, adopted the report of the School Meals Inspection Committee to the effect that a hot meal should be substituted for the present meal of milk and buns; and (3) that the amount at present allowed to be expended per meal is not sufficient to cover the cost of a hot meal; and if he will say whether he is prepared to take steps —if necessary by introducing amending legislation—to implement the proposed scheme.
Mr. MacEntee: I would refer the Deputy to the communication which I addressed to him in regard to this matter on the 23rd December last. On the 19th ultimo the Corporation of Dublin passed a resolution requesting sanction to divert from their original purpose the municipal cooking centres which have been installed as a precautionary measure to safeguard the citizens against the consequences of a general breakdown in their normal domestic cooking arrangements. On the 28th ultimo they were notified that the present conditions are not such as to justify the opening of the municipal cooking centres, and that the Minister is therefore not prepared to accede to the terms of the resolution.
With regard to the particular question as to the suitability of the existing school meals provided for necessitous children, this matter has naturally been the subject of the most careful consideration in my Department, and it has been pointed out to the corporation that repeated scientific experiments have clearly demonstrated that milk is the most valuable food available for the physical development of the growing child since it contains the greatest assortment of nutritive substances for its healthy growth. The alternative  type of school meal proposed to be supplied by the corporation would be of doubtful benefit compared with the existing meal.
Mr. Byrne: Is not that definitely a refusal of the Minister's Department to sanction hot meals for school children in the City of Dublin?
Mr. MacEntee: I have nothing to add to what I have said.
Mr. Byrne: That is the answer, is it not?
Dr. Hannigan: Arising out of the Minister's reply——
An Ceann Comhairle: Question 21, Deputy Keating.
Mr. Keating: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health in what circumstances and in accordance with what statutory order, rule or regulation the appeal of Margaret Murphy, of Coolrainey, Curracloe, County Wexford, against a refusal of the National Health Insurance Society to pay her benefits which she claimed to be entitled to receive, she being unfit and unable to work, was dismissed by him, particularly in view of the fact that two doctors gave sworn testimony bearing out her incapacity at the hearing of her appeal, and no oral medical evidence on oath or otherwise was produced at such hearing.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Dr. Ward): The decision to disallow the appeal was made in accordance with statutory regulations under the National Health Insurance Acts upon consideration of the facts and contentions set out by the appellant in her notice of appeal; of the evidence given at the hearing of the appeal by two doctors on her behalf, including a radiograph and medical report thereon; of the facts and contentions set out by the unified society in the written answers to the notice of the appeal; and of the reports of the medical referees on the case.
Mr. Keating: Miss Murphy was in service at the time the National Health Insurance Act came into force. She was in constant employment up to the day she was certified by Drs. McCabe and Furlong. Those two doctors attended at the hearing and testified that she was unfit and unable to work. The pension doctor, whoever he may be, did not appear at all. What more can this poor girl do to get what she is entitled to?
Dr. Ward: She cannot do any more.
Mr. Keating: What is to happen to her—is she to be left on the wayside? She has been in employment for 37 or 38 years.
Dr. Ward: The appeal has been decided and there is no further court of appeal.
Mr. Keating: Surely that is not the sort of thing Fianna Fáil promised when they were seeking power?
Mr. Hughes: asked the Minister for Agriculture if, in order that farmers may be informed at an early date of the amount of artificial manures available for each individual, he will state whether it is his intention to release all available supplies immediately; and, if not, will he give a percentage estimate of the amount available for each individual based on last year's purchases.
Minister for Agriculture (Dr. Ryan): I understand that the members of the Irish Fertiliser Manufacturers' Association will, at an early date, distribute to retailers throughout the country, in the form of one compound fertiliser, about 25 per cent. of the quantity of phosphatic fertilisers and compound phosphatic fertilisers supplied last season. It is not possible at this stage to say definitely whether any further distribution of fertilisers will be made by the manufacturers before the end of this season.
The question of arranging for a scheme of distribution by retailers is under consideration.
Mr. Hughes: When will the farmers get information as to the approximate amount of artificial manures that will be available during the coming year? Does the Minister not realise that that information is vital and essential, so that the best use can be made of whatever quantity is available?
Dr. Ryan: That will be announced as soon as possible.
Mr. Hughes: At the earliest possible moment?
Dr. Ryan: Yes.
Mr. Belton: What is it composed of— is it any good at all?
Dr. Ryan: It is very good.
Mr. Belton: I think it is as well to wipe it out. What is it composed of?
Dr. Ryan: It is composed of 2 per cent. nitrogen, 2 per cent. potash, and something over 30 per cent. phosphate.
Mr. Dillon: Soluble phosphate?
Dr. Ryan: Yes.
Mr. Belton: The dust from cement— is not that the whole stuff?
Mr. Dillon: What phosphate is there in the dust of cement?
Mr. MacEntee: The Deputy's whole idea is to discourage farming.
Mr. Hughes: asked the Minister for Agriculture if, in order to ensure that the necessary acreage will be put under sugar beet cultivation for the coming season, he will consult the representatives of beet growers with a view to fixing a price sufficiently attractive to secure beet production under present difficult conditions.
Dr. Ryan: The Deputy is no doubt aware that the price offered for sugar beet of the 1942 crop has now been increased to 70/- per ton.
Mr. Hughes: I do not think that that is a sufficient answer to my  question. I addressed this question to the Minister for Supplies who, I presume, fixed the price of beet for the coming year. I am aware of the fact that representatives of the beet growers waited on the Minister for Agriculture and they were informed that it was not his concern and they were referred to another Department. Why were the representatives of the beet growers not consulted before this price was fixed?
Dr. Ryan: They were.
Mr. Hughes: Why should they be treated in a manner different from other members of the community?
Dr. Ryan: They were consulted.
Mr. Hughes: By whom?
Dr. Ryan: It is the Beet Sugar Board that fixes the price for beet.
Mr. Hughes: Does the Minister assure me the price is fixed by the Sugar Board, and not by the Government? Has the price as announced been fixed by the Sugar Board?
Dr. Ryan: The board recommended that price and the Government agreed to it. The board are offering that price to growers.
Mr. Hughes: The Minister tells us that the board fixed the price?
Dr. Ryan: So they did, and they are prepared to pay it to the growers.
Mr. Hughes: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state the basis on which the fixed prices of 44/- per barrel as a maximum sale price for seed barley and 31/6 per barrel for seed oats were arrived at, having regard to the fact that this represents an increase of 47 per cent. and 68½ per cent. respectively on the fixed prices paid to the producer.
Dr. Ryan: The prices of 44/- per barrel and 31/6 per barrel fixed for seed  barley and seed oats respectively are not prices which must be paid but maximum prices which may not be exceeded. The object of fixing maximum prices was to prevent the charging of excessive prices such as took place last spring.
In fixing these maximum prices regard was had to the prices paid to growers in the first instance by seed assemblers, the reduced weight of grain when conditioned and recleaned, handling and storage charges, the cost of transport to local merchants, and a reasonable margin of profit to the assembler and the retailer.
Mr. Hughes: In fixing those maximum prices, the Minister must be satisfied that there is some justification for arriving at a price which allows the percentage increase set out in the question. I do not think that can be justified and I would like him to give us some justification.
Dr. Ryan: I think the price is fair for a high-class seed merchant who turns out seed in good condition.
Mr. Belton: Did the Minister impose any standard of germination and purity?
Dr. Ryan: Not in this order.
Mr. Belton: I am asking a question which is all-important to farmers this year. Was there a standard of germination and purity that the seed should come up to, or at least come within certain limits, fixed by the Minister?
Dr. Ryan: That is fixed by law. It is not in this order.
Mr. Belton: Then the Minister has not done his job. In ordinary competition we could go to the merchant who would give us the best seed, and perhaps it would be better to fix the price at 10/- a barrel higher, if we were sure of the seed.
Dr. Ryan: The Deputy said that the Minister was not doing his job. The Minister was perfectly aware that  there is a law dealing with that matter, and that should be sufficient.
Mr. Hughes: Can the Minister justify a price of 31/6 per barrel for seed oats?
Dr. Ryan: I have already justified it.
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for Agriculture whether he is aware that oats are being bought and sold at markets throughout Ireland at 35/- to 38/- per barrel, while oatmeal millers are unable to secure supplies at the fixed price, and whether he intends to regularise the situation, and, if so, how.
Dr. Ryan: I have not received any reports indicating that prices such as those mentioned in the Deputy's question are being paid for oats at local markets. I am aware, however, that breaches of the Emergency Powers (Cereals) Orders have taken place in connection with the sale of oats and other cereals. Action has already been taken against the offenders in a number of such cases.
Mr. Dillon: Is the Minister aware that, in the market at Ballaghaderreen, oats were freely sold at 22/- per cwt. and, in the market at Cavan and in markets along the Border, oats were sold at 18/- per cwt., and, in fact, the oatmeal millers have been quite unable to get any oats at the fixed price, with the result that there is no oatmeal, thus making the flour shortage infinitely more acute because the country people have no oatmeal to fall back upon? Does he propose to do anything in order to bring oats to the oatmeal millers?
Dr. Ryan: Wherever I could get evidence that oats were being sold at more than the fixed price, the oats were requisitioned and taken over at the fixed price.
Mr. Dillon: Where a man has horses and the horses are hungry and he wants oats for them and he cannot buy them at the fixed price, although there is plenty of oats being offered at 15/-, 16/-, 17/-, and 18/- per cwt., what is  he to do? Is he to allow the horses to die, or is he to go out and break the law?
Dr. Ryan: If nobody attempted to break the law it would be all right.
Mr. Dillon: Is it the Minister's advice that a law-abiding person, finding himself in that situation, should let the horses die or that he should buy the oats wherever he can get them, or can the Minister tell me of any place where he can get oats at the fixed price?
Dr. Ryan: There is a question down about that.
Mr. Dillon: Will the Minister say what the man is to do?
Dr. Ryan: He should obey the law at any rate.
Mr. Dillon: Then the Minister's advice is that he should let the horses die? I think he is going draft.
Mr. Belton: Is not the existence of such a black market a proof to the Minister that a proper price was not fixed?
Dr. Ryan: That does not follow.
Mr. Belton: If the oatmeal-miller cannot get oats for human food, and if it is a fact that the horse-man will pay nearly twice as much for oats, is not that a proof that the Minister has not fixed the price at a proper level?
Dr. Ryan: You might as well say that because certain people are prepared to pay 10/- a lb. for tea, the price fixed for tea is wrong.
General Mulcahy: Is it not a fact that many animals would be dead to-day if the owners were not prepared to pay more than the fixed price?
Dr. Ryan: If the people themselves stuck to the fixed price it would be all right.
Mr. McGovern: Is not the fact that millers cannot secure supplies at the fixed price a proof that the price is wrong?
Dr. Ryan: It does not prove any such thing.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state whether he is aware that owing to the shortage of petrol, a much greater use is being at present made of horses for haulage in the City of Dublin, and that the reduction of the oats available in the city to 75 per cent. of last year's purchases is a source of very great hardship to animals in the city and of distress to their owners, and if he will state whether he proposes to increase the amount of oats for animal forage for Dublin City immediately.
Dr. Ryan: I am not aware that there has been any shortage of oats generally for horses in Dublin City. In individual cases where shortages were established to the satisfaction of the Cereals Distribution Committee, increased allocations were made. There is, therefore, no need at present to increase the amount of oats for animal forage for Dublin City.
General Mulcahy: Do we understand that applications for increased allocations will be received by the Minister?
Dr. Ryan: And have been received.
General Mulcahy: And that they will be received?
Dr. Ryan: Yes, and have been in all cases attended to.
General Mulcahy: Has that been made known generally throughout the city to people who supply oats?
Dr. Ryan: As a matter of fact, everybody who is a buyer of oats is supposed to know the law and should apply to the Cereals Distribution Committee.
General Mulcahy: Is the Minister aware that there are people who have been regular suppliers of oats, and who as a result of this reduction to 75 per cent., have no more oats now in the beginning of February to supply their customers to enable them to keep their animals going for the next month?
Dr. Ryan: I do not think that is true.
General Mulcahy: Are we to understand that these people can report to the Minister?
Mr. Dillon: Is not the Minister aware that the Cereals Distribution Committee, if you apply to them for oats for a horse, will reply to you that under the Minister's order persons owning horses are entitled to buy oats themselves, and that if you then reply: “We know that, but we cannot get oats at the price fixed by the Minister and the horse is starving,” the next reply of the committee is: “We do not know.” Am I to understand that they will supply the man with sufficient to keep the horse going at the fixed price?
Dr. Ryan: So far, they have not been up against that problem, and there is no horse starving in Dublin.
Mr. Dillon: I can assure the Minister that he is wrong. I am not making any complaint about the committee's approach to the problem, but so far as I am aware their first reaction is that it is none of their business, and that a person can buy oats himself.
An Ceann Comhairle: Ministerial replies may not be debated.
Mr. Dillon: Will the committee undertake to feed the horse for which the owner cannot get oats?
Dr. Ryan: They cannot undertake that.
General Mulcahy: Will the Minister take steps to see that whatever scheme is operated at the present time will not also operate to transfer business from people who have been normally in the business to other people: that it will not mean taking business away from one set of people who would normally carry it on and placing it in the hands of others?
Mr. Hughes: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state why the export price for beef for the month of January was not announced by his Department earlier than the last day of December.
Mr. Hughes: asked the Minister for Agriculture if, in order to encourage winter production and feeding of fat cattle essential to successful tillage, he will state (a) what efforts were made by him to secure a higher price for exported beef for the month of January with a rising scale of prices to the end of stall-feeding season; (b) why, contrary to the interests of winter feeding, a flat rate was negotiated for the months November to March inclusive; (c) whether his Department undertook to supply a quota for those months; (d) why the export of store cattle was prohibited during the greater part of the month of January, and in making this decision what interests, if any, were consulted.
Dr. Ryan: I am replying to Questions Nos. 27 and 28 together. Every effort possible was made over a prolonged period to secure a higher level of prices for fat cattle in the first six months of 1942, including the month of January. The negotiations had not concluded at the end of December and it was found necessary to make on 30th December an announcement to the effect that there was no change in the price of fat cattle exported to Great Britain. A flat rate was not negotiated. The British Ministry of Food refused to agree to an increase in price of beef between 1st December, 1941, and 20th April, 1942, when the price will be advanced by ¼d. per lb. No quota was arranged but the Ministry of Food require a week in advance notification of the number of fat stock proposed to be shipped each week. The shipment of store cattle was stopped from 12th to 24th January, inclusive, in order to reserve all available shipping space for fat cattle. This step was taken because of the urgency of disposing of all surplus  grass-fed cattle suitable for slaughter before they lost their condition and in view of the short supply of feeding stuffs available for cattle feeding and other purposes.
Mr. Hughes: When an increase in the price of exported beef was secured by the Minister's Department, was it conditional on our side filling the quota?
Dr. Ryan: No.
Mr. Hughes: And when that increase was accepted was the price of stock for winter feeding adverted to? In other words, did we accept a price in November, for beef off the grass in November and December, without taking into consideration that men who were going to put cattle into the stall for sale in January, February and March, would have to accept the same price for the cattle as that paid for cattle going into the stall in November? If that is the attitude of the Minister, it is cutting across his whole tillage policy.
An Ceann Comhairle: That is not a question.
Mr. Hughes: I am asking the Minister, was it adverted to?
Dr. Ryan: Of course it was adverted to.
Mr. Hughes: Was that point of view put to the British Ministry?
Dr. Ryan: Yes.
Mr. Hughes: And what was their attitude?
Dr. Ryan: Their attitude was to refuse.
Mr. Hughes: Does the Minister know that they have a rising scale of prices for British farmers?
Dr. Ryan: Yes.
Mr. Hughes: And does he say that they were not prepared to consider Irish farmers who were producing beef for export?
Dr. Ryan: I answered that already.
Mr. Hughes: What was the answer?
Dr. Ryan: That the price is fixed.
Mr. Hughes: Will the Minister give a categorical reply to that? Did they say no, that they would not?
Dr. Ryan: I already gave a very extensive and full reply to that question.
Mr. Hughes: Did they say that they would refuse to consider the winter period of January, February and March? Was it adverted to in the November negotiations?
Dr. Ryan: Yes. I told the Deputy that already.
Mr. Hughes: The Minister is very hesitant about his replies.
Dr. Ryan: I am not hesitant at all. I answered the question three times already, and answered it very fully. Any question the Deputy has asked me since has been answered already.
Mr. Keating: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will represent to the Pigs Marketing Board the necessity for an arrangement under which the bacon factories could take from farmers the pigs they have ready for slaughter, as under present conditions the buying of bacon pigs has virtually come to a standstill owing to the fact that the factories are not taking one-fourth of the pigs that are ready for killing, and if they are left on the feeders' hands these pigs will be too fat for the factories' requirements within the next week or two, as the factories are advertising that they will not accept any pigs over 17 stone live weight.
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for Agriculture whether he is aware that a surplus of bacon pigs is developing in Counties Monaghan, Wexford, Mayo and Tipperary, and whether he will request the Pigs and Bacon Export Committee to take steps forthwith to take the surplus pigs off the feeders' hands.
Mr. Hughes: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he is aware that during the months of December and January, through the operation of the quota, fat pigs were left unsold in a number of markets in some of the Leinster counties, and if he will represent to the Pigs and Bacon Commission the necessity of taking steps to ensure that feeders' interests will be protected against such a contingency in future.
Dr. Ryan: I am answering questions Nos. 29, 30 and 31 together.
I am aware that there has been a surplus of bacon pigs within recent weeks in the Counties Monaghan, Wexford and Tipperary. In County Mayo, however, it appears that one of the bacon factories is unable to get sufficient pigs for its own requirements.
Arrangements have already been made by the Pigs and Bacon Commission to accept and pay for at the fixed prices all pigs offered to the commission's representatives in any county in which there are pigs surplus to the requirements of curers. The returns received by the Commission of pigs accepted at bacon factories do not indicate that there is any standstill in the acceptance of pigs by the factories.
As to pigs 17 stone, it is desirable that producers should realise that pigs of this weight are unsuitable to the present bacon trade, and that in view of the necessity for conserving feeding stuffs pigs should not be fed to weights greater than are suitable to the bacon trade.
Mr. Keating: Is the Minister aware that only one-fourth of the pigs in the constituency which he and I represent had been taken up to the middle of last week?
Dr. Ryan: They have been taken now anyway.
Mr. Keating: In the case of pigs which have been kept for an extra six weeks, what is their weight now, or where is the market for those heavy pigs? Are the farmers to be penalised to the extent of 25/- or 30/-, in addition to the cost of the extra food which the pigs have consumed in the  meantime? That is not the way to increase our food supply.
Mr. Dillon: Arising out of the Minister's reply, why on earth does he not increase the bacon curers' quota? The bacon curers are very willing to kill the pigs and cure them, but the Minister will not allow them. Instead, he is sending around the Pigs and Bacon Board officers to take the pigs at the factory, whereas if he allowed the curers to kill the pigs themselves they would do it willingly.
Dr. Ryan: I do not think that is right.
Mr. Dillon: The Pigs and Bacon Marketing Board fix the curers' quota at a figure which does not permit of their taking the pigs. I know that the factory at Ballaghaderreen wants to kill the pigs, would be glad to kill them, and will not be allowed to do so. The pigs are being shifted down to Claremorris, 35 miles away, in order to get them killed for the Pigs Marketing Board by the Claremorris factory.
Dr. Ryan: Does the Deputy say that the factory at Ballaghaderreen is willing to take more pigs on their own account?
Mr. Dillon: Yes.
Dr. Ryan: It is not my business, but I certainly have discussed that matter with the Pigs and Bacon Commission, and I am quite sure that they will allow any factory to take any pigs available in their own area.
Mr. Dillon: Does the Minister give that undertaking?
Dr. Ryan: Yes.
Mr. Dillon: If he does that, he can do no more.
Mr. Cogan: Does that undertaking apply to other curers?
Dr. Ryan: Yes, certainly, in their own area.
Mr. Hughes: I want to know definitely what is the purpose of this?
Dr. Ryan: The purpose of what?
Mr. Hughes: Why are not the curers permitted to buy the pigs? What is the purpose of stopping the curers from buying them? There is a small bacon curer in Carlow; I was in his place a few days ago, and there was an inspector on the premises. That curer had 30 pigs in his yard, and he has eight or nine men there whom he is anxious to keep employed. He had exhausted his quota, and begged for an increase in order to kill his 30 pigs, but he was refused.
Mr. Dillon: I saw the same thing myself.
Mr. Hughes: He was informed that the Commission would see about taking the pigs from him and dealing with them themselves. I cannot see any purpose in it. This man was anxious to kill the pigs on the spot and to keep those men in their employment. I cannot see any purpose in it.
Dr. Ryan: Neither can I.
Mr. Hughes: But that is the position.
Dr. Ryan: I think it is only the position in the case of the smaller factories. There is no doubt that some of the bigger factories refused to take more pigs. That is the trouble.
Mr. Hughes: In the case to which I have referred, they could not take the pigs, although they are laying off their men.
Dr. Ryan: I will see about that certainly.
Mr. Cogan: The Minister then will let any factory take the pigs?
Dr. Ryan: I will see the Commission about it.
Mr. O'Donovan: Will the Minister explain why, when the factories are not allowed to take the extra pigs, the Pigs and Bacon Board can come in  and buy the pigs and send them on to those very factories?
Dr. Ryan: I must look into all that.
Mr. Keating: asked the Minister for Agriculture if, in view of the general demand by farmers for an increased price for wheat, he would now consider the advisability of acceding to that request in order to make more sure a sufficiency of bread for the people when this year's crop has been harvested.
Dr. Ryan: As already publicly announced, the price for wheat of the 1942 crop has been increased from 45/- to 50/- per barrel.
Mr. Keating: Was it not well that the Minister woke up at the eleventh hour?
Mr. Dillon: But the Deputy knows who woke him up.
Mr. Keating: I am claiming my share of the credit, and Deputy Belton also.
An Ceann Comhairle: Question No. 33.
Mr. Keating: I think I ought to be allowed to ask a supplementary.
An Ceann Comhairle: I understood the Deputy to have asked one.
Mr. Keating: No; I had not finished. I think that, to get sufficient wheat sown, 50/- is not enough.
An Ceann Comhairle: That is not a question; it is a statement.
Mr. Keating: Call it what you like. If there is not enough wheat sown the Minister will find the responsibility on his shoulders.
Mr. Cogan: asked the Minister for Agriculture if, in view of the widespread  indignation caused by the assertions of members of the Government that farmers have withheld large quantities of wheat from the market, thus causing a grave shortage, he can now publicly state that there is no truth whatever in these assertions.
Dr. Ryan: I am not aware of assertions to the effect that farmers have withheld supplies of wheat for the purpose of causing a shortage. It has been pointed out that deliveries to mills are much lower than was anticipated, and it would still appear that the quantities of wheat retained for growers' own use are greater than normal.
Mr. Cogan: Might I remind the Minister that in my question I say that it has been asserted that farmers have withheld wheat, thus causing a shortage—not for the purpose of causing a shortage. That statement has been made by many of the Minister's colleagues, and it has been publicly denied by the Minister's own officials and by members of the Minister's own Party.
Dr. Ryan: There must be some misunderstanding about it. It is quite obvious that the farmers have some wheat on hands, considering that it is coming in every day to the mills. It is still coming in.
Mr. A. Byrne: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he is aware of the loss to farmers and purchasers of wool, and of the complaints of traders, due to the marking of sheep with tar instead of a lighter commodity which could be removed without destroying any of the wool clip, and if he will take steps to prevent the use of tar for this purpose.
Dr. Ryan: I am aware that the value of wool is considerably lessened if tar has been used for marking the sheep. For a number of years past steps have been taken to discourage the use of tar for branding purposes, and flock owners have been, and continue to be, advised to use alternative branding fluids which do not injure the wool.
Mr. Byrne: Would the Minister make a regulation to that effect instead of giving advice on it?
Dr. Ryan: That has been considered many times, but there are great difficulties in that too.
Mr. Dillon: If the fellmongers will produce a cheap substitute for tar, the farmers will very gladly use it, but they should not be asked to purchase an expensive substitute for tar in order to increase the fellmongers' profits, which, God knows, are large enough as it is.
Mr. McMenamin (for Mr. McGilligan): asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures (a) if it is a fact that the suppression by the Censor of portion of a book review referring to the revolt against popular government in 1922-23, to Mr. de Valera's denial of the Dáil's legitimacy even when he had taken his seat in the Assembly and to the Blueshirts' determination to preserve the right of free speech against organised rowdyism was justified by the Censor on the 13th November last on the grounds that, at a time when the unity of our own people was more than ever called for, it would be contrary to the public interest to allow a fresh controversy to break out in the Press regarding either the Civil War or the Blueshirt movement; (b) if the Censor in the course of such justification has expressed the view that this consideration could be urged in support of the suppression of all political controversy; (c) if the operating of censorship according to this standard is not a breach of the guarantees given in the Dáil in September, 1939, and (d) if he will ensure full freedom of political discussion unrestricted by censorship and will indicate to the Dáil the directions to this end given by him to those entrusted with censorship duties.
Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures (Mr. Aiken): It is untrue to say, as the Deputy alleges  in the first part of his question, that the portion of the book review involved was “suppressed” by the Censor. The facts are that the passage referred to, having been deleted by the Censor on duty on the night staff, the matter was brought to the notice of the Controller of Censorship who thereupon immediately authorised its publication in full.
A letter from the Controller of Censorship to the newspaper concerned contained the words quoted by the Deputy in the second part of his question. In the course of his letter the controller stated as one of the reasons why the particular deletions were made:—
“That at a time when the unity of our own people was more than ever called for, it would be contrary to the public interest to allow a fresh controversy to break out in the Press regarding either the Civil War or the Blueshirt movement.”
“Naturally the weight to be given to the last-mentioned consideration —which could be urged in support of the suppression of all political controversy—must depend a good deal on the circumstances of each particular case.”
And he went on to say:—
“In the present circumstances, I do not myself feel that we are justified in going so far as to prohibit you absolutely from publishing the whole of the matter deleted if you feel that it is necessary to go into these matters for the purpose of refuting what you consider to be an unfair attack on your paper in the book under review.”
As for the question of policy, the paramount necessity for the greatest possible measure of national unity in the present emergency is a consideration which the censorship is bound to bear in mind. Speaking generally, and making all necessary allowances for the circumstances and context of an isolated reference or allusion, it is both the right and duty of the Censors to prevent a heated controversy about  the Civil War or the Blueshirt movement from developing in the Press at the present time.
In regard to the guarantees with respect to the censorship which were given to the Dáil in September, 1939, all I need say is this: that there was never any guarantee, express or implied, that in allowing full freedom for political discussion the censorship would allow any section of the community or the Press to undermine public morale or the authority of the State. And, in my opinion, any attempt to revive, at the present time, the animosities and bitterness of the Civil War would be disastrous to public morale and national security.
Mr. McMenamin (for Mr. McGilligan): asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures if he knows that a speech made at Balscadden on the 21st September last by the Minister for Local Government and Public Health to, amongst others, members of the Local Defence Force, the Local Security Force, and the Red Cross was published on 22nd September last; if the Censor permitted or at any time made objection to such publication; if he is aware that the speech contained a reference to the Civil War, and if he will explain why the possible adverse reaction on national unity of a reference to the Civil War urged by the Censor as a reason for suppressing a book review in mid-November was not adverted to by the Censor towards the end of September.
Mr. Aiken: The answer to the first part of the Deputy's question is “Yes”. The answer to the second and third parts is “No”. The last part of the question does not, therefore, arise.
Mr. McMenamin (for Mr. McGilligan): asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures (a) if it is a fact that in January, 1941, the editor of the Kilkenny People was warned by the Chief Press Censor that he would not be permitted to publish the said newspaper unless before publication the entire issue was submitted for censorship; (b) if on 13th November the Minister in the Dáil said that all  editorial comment of the Dundalk Examiner would have to be submitted for censorship before publication; (c) the reason for the discrimination in treatment as between these two newspapers; (d) if a recent letter from the editor of the Kilkenny People adverting to this discrimination and intended for publication in his newspaper has been entirely suppressed without any explanation being offered for the suppression; (e) within which (if any) of the 55 categories of censorable matter recently established by the Chief Press Censor does the said letter fall, or for what other reason was the said letter suppressed.
Mr. Aiken: The answer to (a) is “Yes”, but that the order was withdrawn before it became operative on receipt of a satisfactory undertaking from the editor. The answer to (b) is “Yes”, and that all editorial matter is still being submitted. The answer to (c) is that the Dundalk Examiner was treated more harshly than the Kilkenny People because it was felt that maliciously disposed persons might attempt to undermine public confidence in the censorship if more drastic action was not taken in regard to the offence committed by the Examiner. The answer to (d) is “Yes”, and to (e) Clause 54.
Mr. McMenamin (for Mr. McGilligan): asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures if, about 20th November last, the Censor deleted and suppressed part of an official statement issued by the United States State Department on the removal of General Weygand from his office.
Mr. Aiken: The matter referred to by the Deputy was deleted by mistake in consequence of a failure to recognise the official character of the statement in which it was contained. On that particular day the censorship staff on day duty had stopped the publication of various rumours and unofficial surmises to the same effect. The night staff, noting the action which had been taken during the day, failed to advert to the fact that, in this particular instance, the character of the allegation had altered from that of a rumour to being part of an official statement.
Mr. McMenamin (for Mr. McGilligan): asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures if, about the 19th November last, the Press Censor changed a proof dealing with the situation in Libya by deleting the word “not” where it occurred in the proof and so altered the statement into its direct opposite.
Mr. Aiken: Yes. The effect of deleting the word “not” was to change an untrue statement, deliberately insulting to a friendly State, into a true statement offensive to no one.
Mr. McMenamin (for Mr. McGilligan): asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures if (a) the Censor permitted or raised no objection to the publication in the Press, towards the end of September last, of a report of a meeting at Balscadden attended by members of the Local Defence Force where there was unveiled a memorial to James Lawless and John Gibbons, who were shot in 1920; (b) if the Censor stopped the publication of a paragraph stating that a ceremony attended by members of the Local Defence Force had been held about the 17th November last in memory of four men who had been shot on the bridge of Killaloe in 1920; (c) if the Censor permitted without objection the publication in the Press about the 21st November last of a report of a ceremony similarly attended commemorating the shooting of Dick McKee in 1920; (d) if he will indicate the principle on which the Censor distinguished between these reports.
Mr. Aiken: The answer to (a), (b), (c) is Yes. The answer to (d) is that in cases (a) and (c) the Local Defence Force and 2nd line Volunteers paraded with the sanction of the military authorities, while in case (d) such sanction was not sought or obtained. Publication was withheld in order to give cooperation to the military authorities in keeping control on the functions to be attended by the Local Defence Force.
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures if he will state why the Censor suppressed  the information communicated to the newspapers on January 29th that the Agricultural Committee of the Fine Gael Party had sought and obtained an interview with the Government on that date in order to make representations in regard to the prices and production of wheat, oats and barley in the current cereal year.
Mr. Aiken: Publication of the news item referred to by the Deputy was prohibited in accordance with the general censorship direction which was issued, after the price of wheat had been fixed and debated in the Dáil, in relation to matter which might have the effect of discouraging farmers from growing wheat at the fixed price. It was decided to prevent farmers from being discouraged in this way during the sowing season, because a shortage of wheat would entail taking drastic action hurtful to the interests of stock-feeding farmers and the community generally for the purpose of making alternative flourstuffs and foods available to the poorer sections of the people whose diet normally consists of a high proportion of bread. The necessity of minimising the amount of discouraging propaganda reaching farmers arises from the fact that a number of them who are unfamiliar with the growing of wheat might be persuaded by those interested in creating a shortage of wheat here that it was foolish to attempt growing it, although the truth is that from their own point of view, in ordinarily fair arable land, it is the best paying cereal crop farmers can grow, and that from a national point of view it is the height of wisdom and patriotism to do all they can to make the country self-sufficient in wheat.
Mr. Dillon: Arising out of the Minister's reply and disregarding the long and irrelevant addendum thereto, does the Minister consider that it is a legitimate use of the censorship to prohibit the considered opinion of the Opposition Party in this country on a vital matter, which at the time when it was expressed was at variance with that of the Government, but which the Government itself adopted within 48 hours,  and that after Government Ministers had been stumping the country at meetings summoned by themselves to advance “cod” theories? Does the Minister think that that is a legitimate use of the censorship?
Mr. Aiken: If we can, we have to get grown in this country sufficient wheat to meet our flour requirements without having to take the drastic steps that are necessary to divert other cereal crops for that purpose. The price of wheat was fixed by the proper authority——
Mr. Dillon: Wrongly.
Mr. Aiken: ——the authority to whom this Dáil gave the power to fix the price of wheat. We are living in an emergency. Somebody must have authority to govern the country, and if any member of this Dáil wants a price of 120/- for wheat, here is the place to say it. There are only a few months for the sowing of wheat, and we must not allow farmers to be discouraged from doing their national duty during that period. If there is to be a different price for wheat from that fixed by the Government, the authority which gave the Government power to fix the price of wheat should change the Government or change their powers. Here is the place to debate it.
Mr. Dillon: Althought the Government changed the price of wheat.
Mr. Aiken: They changed the price of wheat after full consideration and after hearing all the interests involved, including the Fine Gael Party.
General Mulcahy: Is the censorship to be conducted in such a way that the Government, charged with doing a certain thing, do it wrongly; that everybody else's voice is to be suppressed and, if the Government responsible for doing a thing continue to do it wrongly, that situation will be made continue by the Government, with the hand of the censorship over everybody else's mouth? Is that the point?
Mr. Aiken: Is the Deputy trying to argue that every galoot in the  country should have the power to try to advocate starving our people or to disrupt the economic life of the country by refusing——
Mr. Dillon: Is the Fine Gael Party a galoot in this case?
Mr. Aiken: If they want to say anything about any matter, they have the right to say it here.
Mr. Dillon: Not outside the House? Why have you the right to say it outside if we have not?
Mr. Aiken: Because this Dáil has given us power to use every effort to try to get the community through the war that is going on.
General Mulcahy: The Minister misses my point completely. This House was normally shut until the 4th February. Are the members of the different Parties to continue with their mouths shut while this Dáil is unassembled, say, over a long Christmas Recess, and say nothing about a very urgent matter which everybody recognises is urgent, and is the censorship to act against that?
Mr. Aiken: The price of wheat was fixed last autumn and it was debated in this House last autumn. Somebody should have the authority in these times of emergency to say to the people: “You must do this for the sake of national security.”
General Mulcahy: But you did it wrongly.
Mr. Aiken: Somebody must have authority to do it. This Dáil has given authority to the Government, and the Government, in the exercise of that authority, fixed from year to year and from time to time the price they thought would get the wheat grown.
General Mulcahy: They did it wrongly.
Mr. Aiken: After consulting various people throughout the country, they believed that the price of 45/- for wheat was more than a fair price to the farmers, but they thought that it was going to take 50/- to get the farmers to do what was their national duty.
Dr. O'Higgins: It has been mentioned by the Minister that the price of wheat was fixed. It has been admitted by the Government that the price of wheat was incorrectly fixed. Is it the contention of the Minister that a galoot can only speak in this country if he speaks with the same voice as the Fianna Fáil galoot, and that, if his opinion happens to differ, then his opinion cannot be heard? That is a new line on censorship.
Mr. Dillon: That is what the Minister stated.
Dr. Hannigan: The statement was made a few minutes ago that the Opposition Parties have the right only in this House to advocate changes of policy in respect of agriculture and other matters. Is it to be taken that political Parties in opposition to the Government are not to be allowed to advocate changes of Government policy outside the precincts of the House?
Dr. O'Higgins: That is the latest contention.
Mr. Aiken: That is not true.
Dr. Hannigan: What is the answer?
Mr. Aiken: The answer is this: that during this war when this country is in an emergency——
Dr. Hannigan: The answer is yes or no.
Mr. Aiken: ——that during this war, when the life of this country is at stake, it is necessary for some disciplined, united effort on the part of the people to do all that is required to protect the country and its interests, to do all that is required both from the point of view of defence and economics. It is quite legitimate to advocate changes in Government policy, and everybody who reads the papers every day in the week, or hears the wireless, can see that very many changes in Government policy are being advocated in the most strenuous, and sometimes extravagant, way, by Deputies and various people throughout the country. But when  this Dáil, which is the authority, decides a matter, or when a matter is decided in accordance with the powers given by this Dáil, in a time of emergency, that policy should go until it is changed in the ordinary constitutional manner. I have pointed out what the constitutional position is in regard to fixing the price of wheat, and also that the country is not being governed by an individual down the country who thinks he knows more, not only than the Government, but than the whole of this Dáil.
Dr. O'Higgins: Has it become unconstitutional to criticise a decision taken by either the Dáil or the Government, and, if so, since when?
General Mulcahy: As the Minister speaks of the importance of Parliament in this matter, is he not aware that a speech by Deputy Hughes before Christmas, made in a very responsible and sensible way, on the question of wheat prices, was censored by him?
Mr. Aiken: That is another question, but, on that matter, I want to say that Deputy Hughes' speech in the Dáil was not censored in the papers which appeared immediately afterwards, but that Deputy Hughes happens to be interested in a paper which proceeded to censor everything else said against his proposition and to publish his own speech in full, months after the original debate. We refused to allow Deputy Hughes to censor the thing in that way.
Mr. Dillon: Will the Minister require the Irish Press to publish all Fine Gael speeches at the same length as that at which they publish Fianna Fáil speeches, because I have never seen them made to do it? Owing to the very unsatisfactory nature of the Minister's reply, with your leave, Sir, I intend to raise this matter on the adjournment.
Mr. Belton rose.
An Ceann Comhairle: Question No. 42.
Mr. Belton: I want to tell the Minister that the price of wheat will not give him enough now.
Mr. Aiken: We will get enough without you.
Mr. Belton: Where?
Mr. Aiken: If the Deputy does not give us wheat, we will take his oats.
An Ceann Comhairle: If the House desires not to hear any more questions, the remainder will be postponed.
Mr. Corish: Are we sitting tomorrow?
An Ceann Comhairle: That is a separate question. Question No. 42.
Micheál Og Mac Pháidín: den Aire Oideachais an feasach dó nach bhfuil acht baicle beag de na sean-mhúinteoirí scoile beó anois a d'eirigh as an mhúinteoireacht roimh 1920 agus nach bhfuair acht pinsean beag aindeiseach; an bhfuil fhios aige nach leor do na seandaoine seo a chaith 40 bliain ag múinteoireacht an siofraidh beag déirceach atá ar fáil aca anois; agus an bhféacha sé le breis a thabhairt dóibh sa phinsean a choinneochas o annro agus o ocras iad i ndeire a saoghail.
An t-Aire Oideachais (Tomás O Deirg): Múinteoirí scoile a éirigh as an múinteoireacht ar phinsean roimh Lughnasa, 1920, agus gur lugha a lánioncum ná £200 i n-aghaidh na bliadhna i gcás daoine pósta nó £150 i gcás daoine aontumha, tá siad i dteidiol breise pinsin fé'n Pensions (Increase) Act, 1920, agus fé'n Acht Aois-liuntas agus Pinsean, 1923. Luigheann na breise seo idir 30 per cent. go 50 per cent. de'n phinsean a fuaireadar an céad lá.
Má tá aithne ag an dTeachta ar aon mhúinteoir ar phinsean nach bhfuil an bhreis seo 'á fhagháil aige, bheinn fé chamaoin aige ach eolas an scéil a chur chugham chun go bhféadfainn é a thaighde.
Micheál Og Mac Pháidín: den Aire Oideachais an bhfuil fhios aige go bhfuil an Canónach Mac Giolla  Cheara ag déanamh aistriúcháin ar na soisgéil anois; an bhfuil fhios aige go rachadh sé go mór chun sochair do chúis na teangan leagan Gaedhilge de na Soisgéil a bheith ar fáil go saor; an feasach dó nach bhfuil lucht an Ghúim toilteannach an t-aistriúchán a fhoillsiú; agus más mar sin atá, an ndéanfa sé socrú leo chun leabhair an Chanónaigh d'fhoillsiú.
Tomás O Deirg: Aontuighim leis an Teachta Mac Pháidin go rachadh sé go mhór chun sochair do chúis na teangan leagan Gaedhilge de na Soiscéil a bheith ar fagháil go saor. Is eól dom gur chuir an Canaónach Mac Giolla Cheara i bhfios do'n Roinn go bhfuil a leithéid de aistriúchán déanta aige. Acht do bhí socrú eile déanta i bhfad sul má bhfuarthas an scéala sin o'n gCanónach Mac Giolla Cheara. 'Sé rud do socruigheadh go gcriochnófaí agus go gcuirfí faoi eagar an t-aistriúchán Gaedhilge do bhí dhá dhéanamh ag an Athair Peadar Ó Laoghaire ar an Tiomna Nuadh. Do réir mar is eól dom, tá mórán de'n obair sin déanta, agus tá cló curtha, cheana féin, ar an leagan eagruighthe de na Ceithre Soiscéil. Mar sin de, táthar i n-amhras nach bhféadfaí glacadh le h-aistriúchán eile Gaedhilge de na Soiscéil chun a fhoillsighthe; ach tá an scéal go léir faoi bhreathnú ag an Roinn.
Ní cheart a rádh gur dhiúltuigh an Gúm glacadh leis an aistriúchán atá déanta ag an gCanónach Mac Giolla Cheara, óir níor cinneadh ar aon chomhairle fá leith i dtaobh an scéil go fóill.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: Cathain a bheidh an t-Aistriúchán bhí á dhéanamh ag an Athair Peadar O Laoghaire le fáil againn?
Tomás O Deirg: Níl a fhios agam. Sin ceist eile.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: An féidir leis an Aire aon tuairim mar gheall air do thabhairt dúinn?
Tomás O Deirg: Ní féidir, mar níl an cheist seo díreach faoi mo Roinn-se. Is faoi cheannasaí Oifig an tSoláthair an obair sin, ach déanfaidh mé iarracht an t-eolas d'fháil ar an gceist.
Mr. A. Byrne (Junior): asked the Minister for Education if he has received a memorial signed by a large number of Dublin parents requesting an extension of the lunch interval for all school children and the provision of a hot meal for those who cannot conveniently go home for such meal; if he is aware that a special committee appointed by the School Meals Committee, consisting of four members of the School Meals Committee and Messrs Alan P. Dempsey (Dublin Council of Action) and D.J. Hanly (I.N.T.O.), made a recommendation for a hot meal and a break of the day by one hour without any extension of the school hours so as to allow the children to take the meal in comfort; and if, in view of these recommendations and the fact that 67 schools in Dublin avail of the School Meals Acts and that 14 of these have been giving hot meals to the children for some time past, he will take steps to give effect to the recommendation.
Tomás O Deirg: The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part of the question, I have not received any recommendation from the special committee appointed by the School Meals Committee. I may add for the Deputy's information, that managers of National Schools are at liberty, subject to official approval, to extend the interval allowed for recreation from half an hour per day to one hour, or more than one hour in exceptional cases, in order to facilitate arrangements for the supply of school meals to pupils, but not more than half an hour of the recreation period may be included in the minimum period of four hours' secular instruction which must be provided in accordance with the regulations for National Schools.
Mr. Bartley: asked the Minister for Lands if the recent decisions of the Land Commission Tribunal not to acquire lands on the estates of O'Connor and Nolan (Record No. S. 5873) and T.J. Kyne (Record No. S. 7598) indicates a change of policy in  respect of land acquisition for the relief of congestion; and, if not, will he say if evidence of the acute congestion existing on or in the vicinity of these estates was given to the tribunal; and can he say how it is now proposed to relieve it, if at all.
Minister for Lands (Mr. Derrig): No change of policy is indicated by the decisions of the Land Commission on the objections against resumption made by the respective tenants on the estates of O'Connor and Nolan and T. J. Kyne. The particulars of congestion existing in the neighbourhood of these holdings were before the commissioners and the respective decisions were arrived at after full consideration of all the circumstances in each case. The Land Commission are fully aware of the congestion existing in the localities in question, and all such localities are always under consideration in their general policy of endeavouring to relieve congestion by the acquisition of suitable untenanted land or by migration.
Mr. Bartley: With reference, first, to the Mynish lands, could the Minister say if the tribunal was aware that there are 80 tenants on the fringe of this farm who have between them only 59 acres of the worst land, and that their forebears were dispossessed of this land in 1856? Can he say also if the tribunal was aware that these applicants were refused housing grants by his Department until such time as this farm was divided amongst them? With reference, then, to the T.J. Kyne lands, can he say whether the tribunal was aware that the Land Commission actually pointed out holdings to congests as far back as 1936, and if it was aware that each of the owners gave consent to the acquisition of these estates by the Land Commission?
Mr. Derrig: As I have already informed the Deputy, the Land Commission, in hearing these cases, were aware, according to my information, of all the particulars of congestion in the area. I cannot say what the position is with regard to the building grants to which the Deputy refers. I should like to have notice of that question.
Mr. Bartley: How can the Minister say that the tribunal was aware of all the facts and circumstances, in view of the fact that only one side of the case was put to the tribunal?
Mr. Derrig: The Land Commission court has been granted certain powers by the Oireachtas and is operating a policy which has been laid down by the Oireachtas, and I have no doubt but that the same procedure was followed in this case as in all other cases, and that full particulars of the circumstances, so far as local needs, from the point of view of the congests, were concerned, were in the knowledge of the commissioners, who are very familiar with conditions in both areas.
Mr. Bartley: Is the Minister aware that the Mynish tenants have issued a piteous appeal in connection with this matter and that there is blank dismay among them? Can he hold out no hope at all for them?
Mr. Derrig: The case was duly heard and a decision taken. I am not in a position to say that there is any likelihood—I do not believe there is—of this matter being reopened. May I point out to the Deputy that it is the policy not to interfere with lands which are being worked according to a proper economy, and that, perhaps, the Deputy has not adverted sufficiently to that point of view?
Mr. Bartley: As a matter of fact I can tell the Minister that I have, and that the tenants contest every word of the evidence given on the other side. They did not get a chance of putting their views before the tribunal.
Mr. F.H. Crowley: asked the Minister for Lands if he is aware that many tenants of the Ventry estate and small holders of land in Cordal experience much difficult in getting turf banks, and if he will, accordingly, endeavour to divide and allocate the turbary on the Ventry estate, Cordal, County Kerry.
Mr. Derrig: The Land Commission have under consideration the preparation of regulations in respect of surplus  turbary on holdings at Cordal East and West on the Ventry estate, Record No. B.C. 8616, under which plots will be defined for the use of persons in the neighbourhood for whose requirements turf is necessary.
Mr. Nally: asked the Minister for Lands whether he is aware that acute congestion exists in the parish of Bekan, particularly in the townland of Ranaghard, where there are 12 tenants whose poor law valuations are under £3 each, and if he will state if it is the intention of the Land Commission to divide the lands held by that body in the parish of Bekan to relieve the existing congestion.
Mr. Derrig: Schemes of allotment are at present being prepared by the Land Commission for some 95 acres of the lands of Ballinvilla demesne, Treanrevagh and Leo which appear to be in the Bekan district.
As regards congestion in the Ranaghard (Guilmore) area a rearrangement scheme is in contemplation but will take some time to carry out, depending on the possibility of migration and sufficiency of stuff to deal with such a difficult matter.
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for Lands when may Mr. Malachy Kelly expect to receive purchase price of 130 acres of land acquired from him at Loughgeorge, Claregalway, County Galway, by the Irish Land Commission in 1941.
Mr. Derrig: The land bonds representing the purchase money of the estate of Mr. Malachy Kelly were placed to the credit of the estate by the Land Commission on the 10th February, 1939, but the funds cannot be allocated by the Judicial Commissioner until title has been investigated by an Examiner of Title. The solicitors for the owner were requested to lodge with the Land Commission the necessary documents in proof of title, but so far have not done so. When these documents are lodged the examination of title will be put in hands as soon as possible.
Mr. Cogan: asked the Minister for Justice if he is aware that it is the custom of the court messenger in County Wicklow, when executing warrants under Section 28 of the Land Act of 1933, to demand fees amounting in many cases to upwards of £2 in respect of each visit, even where more than five farmers are visited in the same district and also to demand fees far exceeding the amount ultimately accepted in full settlement.
Mr. Cogan: asked the Minister for Justice if he can state the total amount of (1) sheriff's fees and (2) court messenger's fees collected in County Wicklow in respect of land annuities during each of the five years ended December 31st, 1941.
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Mr. Little) (for Minister for Justice): I propose to take question Nos. 49 and 60 together.
County Wicklow is one of the counties in which the separate office of under-sheriff still exists. The fees payable to an under-sheriff are prescribed by order, but any dispute in any particular case as to the exact amount is a matter to be settled between the under-sheriff and the person concerned and, if necessary, by the courts. In general, my Department has no authority to intervene in such a matter or to examine an undersheriff's accounts. I have, consequently, no official information as to the total amount of such fees in County Wicklow, but my Department is in fairly close touch with the actual situation and I am advised that no evidence of overcharging has come to the Department's knowledge. If the Deputy cares to furnish me with specific examples I shall have them inquired into, so far as I have any power to do so.
Mr. Corish: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs whether the engineering branch of his Department recently employed men in cutting trees at Kilmuckridge, County Wexford; and, if so, if he will state what rate of wages was paid to the men so  employed; whether he is aware that some of the men employed resided at Wexford town, and whether he proposes to pay an allowance to these men for being required to travel over 17 miles to the place of employment.
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Mr. Little): It is the case that men were recently employed by the Post Office in trimming trees at Kilmuckridge, County Wexford. They were paid the standard local wage of 31/6 for 48 hours. I am, however, having inquiry made as to whether something additional can be allowed in the case of two men who had to travel back to Wexford in their own time on completion of the work.
Mr. Corish: Would the Minister say where he got the standard wage from?
Mr. Little: I am afraid I cannot answer that.
Mr. Corish: Does the Minister consider that the wage he has quoted is sufficient pay for men who had to travel 17½ miles on a bicycle? These men had to leave Wexford at 8 o'clock in the morning and did not get back until 8.30 in the evening, and their rate of wages was 31/6 per week.
Mr. Little: The men were taken out there but apparently there was some mistake.
Mr. Corish: They were not taken out. They had to ride out on their bicycles.
Tadhg O Murchadha: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will state the total cost of establishing communication between Baltimore, Cape Clear, Hare Island and Sherkin Island, and further whether the reports he has received of the working of the scheme are satisfactory or otherwise.
Mr. Little: The total cost of establishing radio communication between Baltimore and Cape Clear, Hare and Sherkin Island was £1,348.
The service to Hare and Sherkin Islands is quite satisfactory, but some difficult is being experienced on the direct circuit to Cape Clear. It has,  however, been arranged, as a temporary measure, for Sherkin Island to relay traffic between Baltimore and Cape Clear and an efficient service is being afforded in this way. The possibility of resuming the direct service to Cape Clear will be examined further in the spring when weather conditions permit.
Mr. McMenamin: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he is aware that many holders of licences for radio sets operated by dry batteries are unable to use these sets owing to shortage batteries; and whether in view of the consequent threatened unemployment among radio dealers he will take steps in conjunction with the Minister for Supplies to arrange for importation of these batteries; and further, if supplies of dry batteries cannot be imported whether he will arrange for the suspension of payment of licenses on battery sets during the period when such sets are inoperable.
Mr. Curran: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs what it is intended to do in regard to wireless licences in view of the shortage of wireless batteries and the impossibility of getting further supplies.
Mr. Little: I am aware that supplies of dry batteries are running short and, in consequence, difficulties are doubtless arising for holders of wireless sets operated by these batteries. I understand that the Minister for Supplies has had the question of procuring further stocks under special consideration but that, owing to restrictions on the export of zinc both in Great Britain and the United States, the efforts made have not so far been successful. While these efforts will be continued, the prospects at present do not appear to be hopeful. The suggestion that battery sets which are inoperable should be exempted from licence fee is one which I regret could not be adopted. Payment of the fee is a statutory obligation in all cases where wireless apparatus is held, whether a complete set or part of a set and  whether workable or not, and the making of exceptions is not feasible.
General Mulcahy: If people have wireless sets which they are not able to use because they cannot get batteries, are they still going to be liable to pay licence fees, and if they do not pay what can they do in order to avoid being made legally liable?
Mr. Little: People who have sets which cannot be used can arrange for their storage by dealers or others, and if they do that there will be no difficulty about exemption from licence fees.
General Mulcahy: Will there be any difficulty about getting storage?
Mr. Corish: Could not the Minister arrange to have them sealed?
Mr. Little: Storage would mean putting them into one store. If they are stored with one person, that person will pay a licence to cover the lot, and that would comply with the law.
General Mulcahy: Could the Minister arrange for that storage?
Mr. Little: Arrangements for that will have to be made by the people themselves. We have no way of providing storage?
Mr. Corish: Would it not be much better if the Department could arrange to seal the apparatus?
Mr. Little: That would mean a change in the law. The law lays it down that if you have any wireless apparatus in your possession you must pay the fee.
General Mulcahy: Has the Minister considered the power that he has under the Emergency Powers Act to make little changes in the law?
The Tánaiste: It is proposed to take business in the following order: Items Nos. 1, 3, 5, 4, 6, 7, 8 (Vote 59 only), and No. 9.
General Mulcahy: Is the Minister proposing to take Private Members' time?
The Tánaiste: There will be no Private Members' time. If the business ordered be concluded this evening, it is proposed that the House should adjourn to this day fortnight.
Mr. Corish: Is the Minister taking No. 9 to-day?
An Ceann Comhairle: Yes.
General Mulcahy: I take it that it is intended only to introduce the Supplementary and Additional Estimates?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: Yes, and to consider them at the next sitting.
Dr. Hannigan: I move:—
That the Report and Special Report lie on the Table.
Agreed, and ordered accordingly.
Dr. Hannigan: I move:—
That the Report and Special Report and Proceedings of the Committee be printed.
Agreed, and ordered accordingly.
General Mulcahy: I move:—
That the Law of Torts (Miscellaneous Reforms) Bill, 1941, which was already before the House, be withdrawn in view of the Report of the Special Committee.
Agreed, and Bill withdrawn accordingly.
Minister for Finance (Mr. O Ceallaigh): I move:—
That leave be given by Dáil Eireann to introduce the following Supplementary and Additional Estimates for the services of the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1942, namely:—
10 (Public Works and Buildings),
44 (National Health Insurance),
50 (Reformatory and Industrial Schools),
61 (Posts and Telegraphs),
77 (Damage to Property (Neutrality) Compensation),
79 (Repayments to Contingency Fund).
Question put and agreed to: the Votes to be considered on Wednesday, 18th February.
General Mulcahy: In connection with Vote 77—Damage to Property (Neutrality) Compensation—may I ask whether the Minister is issuing a new order?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: It is under discussion at the present time.
General Mulcahy: Will the order be circulated before the Supplementary and Additional Estimate is discussed?
Mr. O Ceallaigh: I am afraid not. I promised the Leader of the Opposition that early in the new year I would give an opportunity for a further discussion of this business and I am putting down the Supplementary and Additional Estimate for that purpose.
General Mulcahy: I am sorry; I related it to Vote 78.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): I move: “That the Order for the Second Reading of the Electricity Supply Board (Superannuation) Bill, 1941, be discharged and that the Bill be withdrawn.” As the House will probably be aware, it is proposed to reintroduce this Bill with an alteration in the Long Title. In the drafting of the Bill certain changes in the Long Title became necessary and it is, therefore, desirable to discharge the Order previously made and to withdraw the Bill originally introduced in order to give an opportunity of reintroducing the Bill with the amended Long Title.
Question put and agreed to.
Order discharged and Bill withdrawn accordingly.
Leave granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to make provision for the grant of pensions, allowances, and gratuities to or in respect of members of the Electricity Supply Board and persons employed by the said Board, to provide for the setting up by said Board of a Tribunal to determine disputes between the said Board and manual workers employed by it, and  to provide for divers matters connected with or incidental to the several matters aforesaid. —(Minister for Industry and Commerce.)
Second Stage ordered for Wednesday, 18th February.
Mr. Lemass: I move: “That the Order for the Second Reading of the Control of Imports (Amendment) Bill, 1941, be discharged and that the Bill be withdrawn.” It is not proposed to proceed with this Bill at present.
Question put and agreed to.
Order discharged and Bill withdrawn accordingly.
Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Mr. MacEntee): I think amendments Nos. 1 and 2 might be considered together:—
1. In page 7, line 52, sub-section (2), before the word “separate” to insert the words “then and in such case (save as is otherwise provided by the next following sub-section of this section)”.
2. In page 8, before sub-section (3) to insert a new sub-section as follows:—
(3) Where the same day is the polling day at two or more referenda and the Minister is of opinion that it is for any reason impracticable or inexpedient to comply with the next preceding sub-section of this section in regard to those referenda, the following provisions shall apply and have effect, that is to say:—
(a) the Minister may direct that separate ballot papers shall be issued for one or more or all of such referenda;
(b) where the Minister gives such direction as is authorised by the foregoing paragraph of this sub-section, separate ballot papers shall, notwithstanding anything contained in the said next preceding sub-section, be issued in accordance with that direction;
 (c) where the Minister gives such direction as aforesaid and such direction does not apply to all of such referenda, then and in such case, if there is only one of such referenda to which such direction does not apply, separate ballot papers shall be issued for that one of such referenda, and, if there are two or more of such referenda to which such direction does not apply, the said next preceding sub-section shall apply and have effect in relation to those two or more of such referenda.
The purpose of these amendments is to meet a point raised by Deputy O'Sullivan. He suggested that, while the Bill provided that if two or more referenda were to be taken on the same day only one ballot paper was to be used, it might, in certain circumstances, be convenient to leave to the discretion of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health the question whether one or more ballot papers might be used. These amendments are giving effect to Deputy O'Sullivan's suggestion. I move amendment No. 1.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. MacEntee: I move amendment No. 2.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. MacEntee: I move amendment No. 3:—
In page 16, line 28, to add at the end of sub-section (2) the words “but the High Court may, if it so thinks proper, assign counsel to present the case against the petition”.
In the discussion on Section 35 Deputy O'Sullivan pointed out that where a petition against a referendum was presented by the Attorney-General no provision had been made for a respondent or some person to defend the result of the referendum. The amendment now proposed gives the High Court the right, if it thinks proper, to assign a counsel to present a case against the Attorney-General's petition.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. MacEntee: I move amendment No. 4:—
In page 27, before rule 26, First Schedule, to insert a new rule as follows:—
26.—(1) At any time during the counting of the votes, the local returning officer may and, if so required by any person lawfully present, shall recount the votes recorded on all the ballot papers or on any particular parcel of ballot papers.
(2) If, on any first recount under this rule, the result of such recount is the same as the result of the original count, the local returning officer shall not be obliged to make any further recount, but if, on such first recount, the result of such recount is different from the result of the original count, the local returning officer shall repeat the recount until the results of two consecutive such recounts are identical.
This amendment is designed to meet a point raised by Deputy Cosgrave, who suggested that rule 26 should be framed in such a way as to give to any person who might desire it the right to ask for a recount. I pointed out that there would have to be some limit to that right. This amendment gives to the person the right to ask for and have a recount, or permits the returning officer, if he himself desires of his own volition, to have a recount; but it limits the number of recounts which may be given as of right by this condition, that if the results of two successive recounts agree or two recounts agree, then the right to ask for a recount will be exhausted and the last agreeing recount will be taken as the definitive recount.
Amendment agreed to.
Question—“That the Bill, as amended, be received for final consideration”—agreed to.
Mr. MacEntee: If it would be convenient to the House, perhaps the Fifth Stage could now be taken?
General Mulcahy: We have no objection.
Question—“That the Bill do now pass”—agreed to.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): I move:—
Go ndeontar suim bhreise ná raghaidh thar £10 chun íoctha an mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch 31adh Márta, 1942, chun Tuarastail agus Costaisí i dtaobh Arachais Díomhaointis agus Malartán Fostaíochta (maraon le Síntiúisí do Chiste an Díomhaointis) agus i dtaobh Conganta Dhíomhaointis agus chun seirbhísí áirithe i dtaobh Liúntaisí Bídh (9 Edw. 7, c. 7; 10 & 11 Geo. 5, c. 30; 11 Geo. 5, c. 1; 11 & 12 Geo. 5, c. 15; 12 Geo. 5, c. 7; Uimh. 17 de 1923; Uimh. 26 agus Uimh. 59 de 1924; Uimh. 21 de 1926; Uimh. 33 de 1930; Uimh. 44 agus Uimh. 46 de 1933; Uimh. 38 de 1935; Uimh. 2 de 1938; Uimh. 28 de 1939; agus Uimh. 4 de 1940).
That a supplementary sum, not exceeding £10, be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending 31st March, 1942, for Salaries and Expenses in connection with Unemployment Insurance and Employment Exchanges (including Contributions to the Unemployment Fund) and Unemployment Assistance and for certain services in connection with Food Allowances (9 Edw. 7, c. 7; 10 & 11 Geo. 5, c. 30; 11 Geo. 5, c. 1; 11 & 12 Geo. 5, c. 15; 12 Geo. 5, c. 7; No. 17 of 1923; Nos. 26 and 59 of 1924; No. 21 of 1926; No. 33 of 1930; Nos. 44 and 46 of 1933; No. 38 of 1935; No. 2 of 1938; No. 28 of 1939; and No. 4 of 1940).
This Supplementary Estimate was necessary because the original Estimate introduced for the year for the unemployment insurance and unemployment assistance services contained no provision for the administrative expenses arising in connection with the food voucher scheme. The expenses in connection with that scheme fall to be met out of the Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Assistance  Vote. It is not anticipated the amount of the expenses which will arise will involve any excess on the sum originally provided, and this is just a token Supplementary Estimate necessary to provide the authority required to charge the account of such expenses against the Vote.
As, however, this is the first occasion upon which it has been necessary to come to the Dáil since the initiation of the food allowances scheme on a matter associated with that scheme, it might be of interest to Deputies if I were to give a brief review of the progress of the scheme to date. The first issue of food vouchers was made on 4th September last year. It was made on that date in respect of dependents of persons in receipt of unemployment assistance, and the first issue was made on 5th September to other qualified classes of persons. In every week since then, food vouchers have been issued in respect of approximately 84,000 persons resident in urban areas. These 84,000 persons can be sub-divided as follows: Dependents of persons in receipt of unemployment assistance, 34,000; old-aged pensioners, blind pensioners, and their dependent children, 24,000; widows and children who are beneficiaries under the Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Acts, 22,000, and recipients of disablement benefit under the National Health Insurance Acts, who are in necessitous circumstances, 4,000.
Of the total of 84,000, very nearly half, that is 39,000, are resident in the City of Dublin or the Borough of Dun Laoghaire. The weekly allowances in kind which are provided for each qualified person are 3½ pints of milk, a ¼ of a lb. of creamery butter, and 2 lbs. of batch bread, so that the quantities of food made available each week under the scheme are 36,750 gallons of milk, 187½ cwts. of butter, and 84,000 2-lb. loaves. The scheme provides that shop-keepers who exchange food vouchers for the specified quantities and kinds of goods may present them at the appropriate cash value to the wholesale suppliers of food, and the wholesalers are obliged to accept these food vouchers for encashment when so presented and will receive the cash from the appropriate branch of the Department  of Industry and Commerce The arrangements made for the prompt encashment of these food vouchers have proved satisfactory, payment normally being made within one week of the receipt of vouchers. In conclusion, I should like to express a special word of thanks to both retailers and wholesalers for the way in which they have co-operated in ensuring the successful working of the scheme.
General Mulcahy: This matter, generally, was drawn attention to before we entered on the budgetary position last year, and certain undertakings were given by the Government that additional assistance in the matter of relief would be given, and subsequently this order was made. I would suggest to the Minister at this stage, however, that a full review of the whole situation will be necessary before the presentation of the budgetary position and the financial proposals for the coming year are made, because anybody who knows the circumstances, and a lot of people who do not know the circumstances, fear what the exact position is, that is, that between the various payments that are made, unemployment insurance, unemployment assistance, national health insurance and, possibly, outdoor relief and all that, there are very many cases in which there is inadequate provision if we are going to maintain people who are below the poverty line in any kind of an efficient physical state, not to talk about the moral state, and as between these gaps there are various cases in which hardship arises with which there is no means of dealing.
When we come to the people who are in receipt of unemployment assistance and the people who are in receipt of poor relief, again there are very many cases in which the provision is not really adequate for the physical needs of the people or for maintaining in any way their self-respect. With the rise in prices at the present time, and particularly with the difficulty, as a result of the unsuitability of the fuel available, of getting the best out of even the food that is available, the distress is very much increased. I have not the order with me, under which  there is a restriction as to the number of dependents in respect of whom these allowances can be made, but the Minister is probably aware that a person with six dependent children can get six allowances for these children, but if he has eight or ten children he still can get only six allowances. There is some queer rigidity of mind, on the part of whomever framed the order, which ignores the circumstances in which the person with a large family of ten or 11 children finds himself. That person is told in an arbitrary kind of way: “You may have ten or 11 children, but you are only going to get food vouchers for six.” Under the present circumstances you have people, depending on unemployment assistance, having to go then to the relieving officer to get outdoor relief, and, very often, to the charitable societies to get additional assistance. I think the whole situation should be brought more closely under review when we face the proposals for the next year, with a view to seeing what we are going to do to maintain people, who are below the poverty line, efficiently, and to see, particularly, that all the children, whether there be six, eight, ten or 12 in the family, are adequately looked after and that a child is not penalised simply because he is the seventh or the eighth or the ninth in the family.
I would point out to the Minister here that he has given us figures with regard to those who are in receipt of relief under this voucher system, in receipt of unemployment insurance benefits, old age pensions, blind pensions, and so on, but it implies that no arrangement has been made by which these vouchers will be given to people who are in receipt simply of home assistance. I should like to ask the Minister whether it is not a fact that people in receipt of home assistance can get these vouchers and, if not, whether he thinks that it ought to be extended to such people.
Mr. Keyes: I should like to endorse Deputy Mulcahy's appeal to the Minister for a general review of this whole matter when we come to deal with the general Estimates for the coming year,  particularly in regard to many people who are what might be called borderline cases and who are left out. Deputy Mulcahy referred to the fact that these food vouchers are only supplied for six children in a family, and that there is no relief for children over that number. Obviously, that is a matter that calls for serious attention, with a view to seeing whether the relief could be extended to all the children in the family. Another hardship is that the vouchers are only available in certain urban areas. Immediately outside the fixed or marked urban boundary you will often find the same density of population and the same poverty as inside the boundary, and yet these people are excluded from the benefit of these vouchers. I think that is a matter which should be dealt with in the forthcoming Estimates, as it is one that calls for immediate attention because many of these people have been removed from the city and are in dire poverty. Some of them are widows, perhaps, and some are living on home help from the county authorities, but just because they are located outside the fixed mark they are excluded from participation in the voucher system. I think the obvious thing would be to grant these people the same facilities as their immediate neighbours. There is another point I want to put to the Minister, but I am not so sure about it. I think that this is not available to widows drawing the non-contributory pension.
Mr. Lemass: Yes, it is.
Mr. Keyes: I had complaints from some of these people and I was not quite sure for which reason they were excluded—whether it was because they were outside the area or for the other reason. I think that the fact that the pensions that are available to them under the non-contributory scheme are so meagre, makes them all the more deserving of the vouchers which their fellows are getting. I trust that these matters will receive the Minister's favourable consideration when it comes to a revision of the provisions of the food voucher system.
Mr. Corish: I also should like to  appeal to the Minister to have provision made in so far as people living immediately outside the urban areas are concerned. Those people who are living just on the borders of the town, but immediately outside the borough or city boundary, suffer the same degree of poverty, and have to pay the same for food stuffs and the other necessaries of life as the people living inside the boundary. When they do work, their work is inside the town, and when they are unemployed, they are treated differently from those who live inside the city or town. I came across recently a great many instances of hardship in the case of people who live on the outskirts of the town. Personally, I am of opinion that those vouchers should be made available to people who live in the rural areas and who draw unemployment assistance, in the same way as they are available to people living in urban areas and drawing unemployment assistance; but if the Minister cannot see his way to extend them to the whole of the rural areas, I do think there ought to be a prescribed radius outside each of the towns and cities, and that the same conditions should be applied to people living there as apply to people living inside the towns. The same degree of poverty exists there, and there is the same necessity for those vouchers.
Mr. Lemass: Perhaps the fact that the three Deputies who spoke on the Estimate confined themselves to general questions is, in itself, an indication that the administration of the scheme is satisfactory. In the normal course of events——
Mr. Keyes: Yes; it is very satisfactory.
Mr. Lemass: I think it is no harm to have it on record that there is very little complaint about the manner in which the scheme has been administered. In fact, the complaints are remarkably few, having regard to the nature of the scheme and the innovation it constituted in the social services provided by the State. I do not know what review of the position in respect of social services Deputy Mulcahy desires to have. It is, of  course, always possible to contend that the assistance provided for destitute persons, or others who are near destitution, by means of the social services is insufficient. Obviously financial considerations primarily determine the extent of the assistance that can be provided. There may be other considerations also, but it is primarily the matter of cost that prevents the extension of those services in the manner which is always suggested by Deputies when they come up here for discussion. I do not think, however, that we should, in any review of the social services, leave out of account— as some Deputies are disposed to do— the activities of the home assistance authorities. In the framing of the Unemployment Assistance Acts, and other social service legislation, the existence of the home assistance authorities and the responsibility which they have to relieve destitution arising in their areas was taken into account. It was always realised that any State scheme administered in accordance with the principles laid down by Parliament, and confined to persons who come within certain defined categories, would leave gaps which could only be filled by the home assistance authorities. Every State scheme of social relief can apply only to certain easily definable classes of people, and it is not always possible to extend those definitions so as to ensure that nobody will be overlooked. We had in mind, in framing those measures, the possibility that there would be individuals or even small sections of people who would be overlooked, but we kept in mind the fact that the home assistance service was there, that there was on the home assistance authority the obligation to relieve destitution, no matter from what cause arising, and that they would fill in those gaps by giving special assistance to those who were not provided for under State schemes.
Mr. Corish: Does not the Minister know that the tendency is the other way so far as the local authorities are concerned?
Mr. Lemass: I would not say that. In fact, so far as those urban areas are concerned, I do not think that is  correct. It is true that in the rural areas there is often a disinclination to go to the local authority.
Mr. Corish: I am talking about people just immediately outside the urban area.
Mr. Lemass: I was dealing with the precise point made by Deputy Mulcahy that there were gaps in the social services. To fill those gaps the home assistance authority exists, and in many respects a scheme of unemployment assistance or other State scheme for the relief of distress is not complete in the sense that it does not cover everybody who could possibly be brought within the category of persons for whom the scheme was intended. Reference was made by Deputy Mulcahy, for instance, to the fact that there is a limit to the number of dependents in respect of whom unemployment assistance is paid. It is the limitation, imposed by the Unemployment Assistance Act, that imposes a similar limitation on those food vouchers. When the Unemployment Assistance Act was before the Dáil as a Bill that matter was adverted to. It was explained then that the Government contemplated that, in the case of families of larger size than the maximum entitled to the assistance provided under the Act, the home assistance authority would supplement the amount of unemployment assistance payable, in order to give to that family the greater amount of assistance which its larger size obviously necessitated. That applies also in respect of those food vouchers. The home assistance authorities operate a food voucher scheme of their own, and that answers one of the queries raised by Deputy Mulcahy. To enable them to do that, the State provides a subsidy of £400,000. The persons receiving food vouchers from the local authorities are, of course, additional to the number I have given as representing the persons who are receiving food vouchers under the Emergency Powers Order.
It was not, therefore, rigidity of mind which limited the scope of operation of the Unemployment Assistance  Act and consequently of the food allowances order, or any other social service. It was the knowledge that any State scheme, to be effectively administered and to avoid the possibility of abuse arising, had to be so framed that it would apply only to persons who could be easily defined and brought within clearly recognisable categories, and that those persons who could not fit themselves within those definitions or categories had to be provided for otherwise. Of course the home assistance authorities are in a better position to provide for those people because they can carry out an investigation of the individual circumstances in a manner which is not possible under any State scheme. It may be true that circumstances have so changed that the adequacy of the assistance provided under the various social services requires reconsideration.
On the other hand, the multiplication of those services has created a situation which is causing concern in the minds of some people, concern which has already had expression in the newspapers. Cases have arisen where the heads of families in receipt of unemployment assistance and food vouchers, plus a contribution from the home assistance authorities and occasionally an additional contribution from a charitable organisation like the St. Vincent de Paul Society, have found that the total income of their household when not working was as great, if not greater, than the income they would have when employment became available to them. Cases of that kind have arisen, and while I do not say they are numerous or sufficiently serious in character to cause any great perturbation, it is quite obvious to anybody that a further extension of the social services of the State or an increase in the individual assistance given under those social services could create a situation which would cause anomalies and difficulties of a new kind. If anybody criticises our existing social services because of a few instances of that kind, the criticism can be answered on the ground that the individual needs of the person concerned were examined by competent officers  both of the local authority and of the charitable organisation, and that those competent officers, having carried out that examination, arrived at a conclusion as to the minimum required to enable that particular family to be maintained, and anything less than that minimum would be inadequate. So that even if the head of the family were to get work at a lower wage than the aggregate of the contributions he received from the various public and private authorities, that wage would probably require to be supplemented by some of those charitable organisations to enable the family to be maintained. I think, however, it can be said that the provision of this food allowance scheme has gone a long way to ease the situation which was arising in the cities and towns and has nullified to a large extent the fluctuation in the price of foodstuffs, at any rate so far as the unemployed are concerned, and also the other classes of persons to whom the scheme applies, because, of course, these food allowances are made irrespective of the price of the various classes of food supplied at any time, and that will continue to be the case.
It is true that the food allowance scheme applies only to urban areas at present. The decision to confine it to urban areas originally was due to the fact that the Government appreciated that the special circumstances of the time were more likely to cause hardship and difficulty in the towns than in the rural areas. I think everybody recognises that that is the case. It was the knowledge that the people in the towns, the workers and unemployed in the towns, were likely to be more seriously affected by the adverse conditions existing that led the Government to the decision to supplement the assistance then being given in those urban areas. It would be a matter of administrative difficulty, apart altogether from the question of the desirability of it, to extend the food allowance scheme to rural areas. But, clearly, so long as you have a differentiation between urban and rural areas, a borderline case will arise. No matter where you draw the border, whether you draw it at the borough  or urban boundary, or a mile beyond the boundary, there will always arise the case of the man just outside the boundary who is consequently deprived of the same measure of assistance which the person who is just inside the boundary is entitled to receive.
Mr. Corish: There is usually a cluster of houses outside the boundary.
Mr. Lemass: That may happen undoubtedly. It does exist in acute form in some districts where borough housing schemes have to be extended outside the borough boundary. But I think we should not lose sight of the problem which arises when an attempt is made to depart from recognised boundaries in matters of this kind, and the borough authorities could ease the situation for themselves by taking whatever measures are open to them for an extension of the borough boundary to include those urban workers within the borough area. I do not know what the difficulty is in getting an extension of the borough boundary.
Mr. Corish: It is a long process.
Mr. Lemass: The process is as long as it takes from the time that it starts. If you delay the starting of it, it will be so much longer. The process should be started anyway.
Mr. Keyes: The emergency will be over before you-get the extension.
Mr. Lemass: I appreciate that it will take some time. I often thought that the problem which arises in the case of the City of Cork, where a large part of the city's housing activities were carried out outside the city boundary and a large number of the city workers moved outside the boundary, could and should have been resolved before this by an extension of the boundary. I could not understand what is the difficulty in proceeding in that way. It is true, of course, that these workers are not now at any disadvantage, because the city authorities have decided to supplement the assistance they receive from the State to the extent that the total amount they get is, in any event, what they would get even if the boundary had been extended to include them.
 I do not want Deputies to lose sight of the problem which would arise so long as there is any differentiation between one part of the country and another in administering a service of this kind. I do not think there is much likelihood of the Government's deciding to extend this scheme to rural areas at present. I think that the special circumstances which seem to require exceptional treatment for the urban areas will continue, and in fact will become more noticeable as time goes on, for the duration of the emergency. However, we can discuss this general question of the adequacy of our social services, and the possibility of or the need for extending them in one direction or another, on a more appropriate occasion. I have merely to report to the Dáil that this particular service, the food allowance service in urban areas, has been in operation, that it has provided considerable relief in the areas in which it has been in operation, and that, judging by the representations made to the Department, no real administrative problems in connection with it have arisen.
Vote put and agreed to.
Vote reported and agreed to.
Mr. Lemass: I move that the Bill be now read a Second Time. This Bill had its origin in the building dispute in 1937. In connection with that dispute the question arose, during the negotiations which led to the settlement of it, of the loss suffered by building trade workers when their employment was interrupted by inclement weather which made it impossible for outdoor building operations to be continued. One of the demands made by the workers' side in those negotiations was for payment during those periods of stoppage due to inclement weather. In the course of the discussions it was agreed, on my suggestion, that we would consider the possibility of preparing an insurance scheme against the loss of employment due to inclement weather amongst building trade workers and, subsequent to the termination of the dispute, a number  of meetings were held between representatives of the employers and the workers at which the details of a scheme providing for such insurance against intermittent unemployment due to inclement weather were worked out. That scheme was embodied in this Bill.
The Bill was introduced in 1939 with the intention of arranging for its discussion in that year. But, shortly after its introduction, the war began and the pressure of administrative affairs following the war made it impossible to proceed with the Bill then. Subsequently, as Deputies are aware, further difficulties emerged for the building trade from the circumstances of the war. Building activities became considerably curtailed and shortages of various building materials made it evident that building work on any scale was not likely to be resumed while the war lasted. I felt, therefore, that it was undesirable to deal with the Bill without giving the parties who were associated with the working out of it an opportunity of reconsidering it in the light of the new circumstances. I felt that there might be reasons why either of the parties would prefer a postponement of the measure until the emergency had passed. I arranged for consultation with them and found that that was not the case; that they still wished to have the Bill proceeded with and a scheme of insurance against intermittent unemployment, due to inclement weather, brought into operation. I therefore arranged for the submission of the Bill to the Dáil with a view to its enactment.
The Bill proposes to establish, for manual workers in the building trade, a scheme of insurance against intermittent unemployment resulting from stoppages of building work due to inclement weather. It also provides for the extension of that scheme of insurance, at the discretion of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, to other trades. I may say that it is not proposed to extend it to other trades at present until some experience of its working in relation to the building trade has been obtained. Clearly, there are other classes of workers besides building trade workers who are liable to be intermittently unemployed  due to inclement weather, and if a case can be made for insuring building trade workers against that loss, a similar case can, presumably, be made for insuring other classes of workers against similar loss. It proposes, for the time being, to confine the scheme to building trade workers until experience of its operation has been secured, and, in the light of that experience, to consider its possible extension to other trades which are carried on, in the main, out of doors.
Mr. A. Byrne: Such as carters drawing sand to a building site?
Mr. Lemass: I do not want, for the moment, to suggest other classes to whom the scheme might be applied, but many such classes will occur to most Deputies. The scheme provides that insured persons and their employers will provide, by means of weekly contributions to a fund to be established, the means out of which payments will be made to these insured persons while they are intermittently unemployed. The State itself will not contribute to the fund. The undertaking which I gave and the arrangement which has been entered into provides that the administrative cost of carrying out the scheme will be met by the State. While the entire revenue of the fund will be available for the payment of benefits, the administrative expenses, which it is estimated may amount to about £10,000 per year, will be met by the State, and that will constitute the State's contribution to this scheme for the betterment of conditions in the building trade.
The fund will be under the management of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, who will decide all questions regarding the scope of the scheme. For the purpose of administering the scheme, the Minister is authorised to appoint local officers, insurance officers, courts of referees, an umpire and inspectors—the umpire and inspectors appointed under the Unemployment Insurance Acts. It is considered that the administrative expenses will be reduced and, in any event, a more satisfactory arrangement is to use the machinery already in existence under the Unemployment  Insurance Acts for the determination of all questions of dispute that may arise under this Act. Therefore, when any dispute arises, the procedure will be the same as that now followed when a dispute arises under the Unemployment Insurance Acts. A decision will be made by the appointed officer; there will be an appeal from that officer to the court of referees; and from the court of referees, on matters of law, to the umpire, the same court of referees and the same umpire as function under the Unemployment Insurance Acts.
In justification of the introduction of the Bill, I would say that the activities of the building trade are, in particular, influenced by the nature of the weather at any particular time, and employment in the building trade is, or can be, at periods of the year, very adversely affected by weather conditions. What is commonly known in the trade as wet time, that is to say, hours or periods during which building activities in whole or in part must be suspended, owing to rain, frost, snow, storm and the like, are frequent occurrences. Workers in the industry are generally paid upon an hourly basis, so that they are unable to foresee from week to week, or even from day to day, how their earnings will be affected by weather conditions. Housekeeping on incomes of such a varying and uncertain nature is a matter of the greatest difficulty, and sometimes even a matter of embarrassment.
The problem constituted by that intermittent unemployment in the building trade has concerned building trade employers and the leaders of building trade unions for some time past. In Great Britain, just before the war, arrangements had been made for the introduction by the industry, for itself and without the support of legislation, of a scheme of insurance against broken time through bad weather, but the introduction of that scheme was, I think, prevented by the war and has been deferred until after the war. So far as I know, this is the first attempt anywhere to make provision against loss of employment in the building trade through inclement weather by means of legislation and, consequently,  the measure must be regarded as being, to some extent, experimental. There was not the precedent of successfully operated legislation of a similar kind in other countries to refer to, but I think I can say that the scheme of the Bill, which took a long time to prepare and which was discussed in every detail with the representatives of the employers and workers, appears to be reasonably good.
There has been an opportunity afforded since the Bill was first introduced in 1939 to examine how precisely it would have worked out if it had been enacted in 1939. The experience of the building trade, such as it was, during these two years—it was not a normal experience because of the special emergency circumstances—was recorded and an account made of the payments that would probably have to be made out of the fund if the Bill had been in operation. From the results of that investigation, it does appear that the scheme of the Bill as it appears at present is reasonably sound, that the contributions payable under the Bill would be adequate to provide for the payment of the benefits contemplated, but not more than that. The Minister is, however, given power in the Bill to vary either the rate of contribution or the rate of benefit. It is quite clear that the scheme must be financially sound, if it is to work, that the total of the contributions payable in any year must be equal to the amounts of benefits that will require to be paid in that year, and we cannot, on the basis of the very limited and rather experimental records that were kept, say with certainty that, in normal circumstances, these contributions will enable these benefits to be paid.
If experience should show, over a period of time, that the contributions are insufficient to enable the benefits to be paid, either the contributions will have to be varied upward or the benefits downward. If, on the other hand, it appears that the contributions are more than sufficient to enable these benefits to be paid, then the reverse process will be possible. The fund, of course, can be allowed to run into debt, although it is not desirable that it should, but if a deficiency should at  any time appear in the fund which was likely to be only of a temporary character, it can be met by borrowing. I should hope, however, that the fund would, in the course of time, build up a reserve which would always be available to meet the circumstances of a particularly wet season during which the claims for benefit would be more numerous.
The scheme of the Bill is one of compulsory insurance. It will be obligatory upon all employers and all workers in the building trade to participate in the scheme. The contributions made will be recorded by means of stamps, as in the case of unemployment insurance, and the obligation to make a contribution will rest upon the employer who may recover the worker's share by a deduction from wages. The payment of benefit will also be made by the employer. It is only in cases where dispute exists, or where other difficulty has arisen, that the benefits will be paid through the employment exchange. In practice, it is contemplated that the employer will pay to the worker who has been disemployed for a period owing to bad weather the proper rate of benefit, and will then recover from the fund the amount of the benefit so paid. It is necessary, of course, to provide various safeguards against abuse, although it must be recognised that the greatest safeguard against abuse will be, firstly, the disinclination of workers to accept benefit instead of wages, if it is possible for them to be earning wages, because the rate of benefit is lower than the standard rate of wages in the building trade and, secondly, the fact that an employer who makes a payment will have to recover the amount paid, and if there is any question as to the right of the employer to make that payment, having regard to the weather conditions of the time or other circumstances, he risks the loss of the amount, or, at any rate, he risks failure to recover from the fund the amount so paid. It is a fact that the best safeguard in the interests of both employers and workers will be to ensure that the payment of benefit under the scheme will be kept at a minimum. It is, of  course, necessary to supplement a safeguard of that kind by various checks, and the Bill provides for these checks.
Mr. Corish: Who is to determine whether a day is wet or not so that a man may knock off?
Mr. Lemass: The employer in the ordinary course.
Mr. Corish: Is it left to him?
Mr. Lemass: It is left to him to decide. Of course, the worker has the right to appeal if, in fact, circumstances arise during which he finds that he is unable to work because of the inclemency of the weather and fails to get payment from the employer. In that case the employee has the right to appeal. The rates of contribution, and the rates of benefit, are set out in the Schedule to the Bill in respect of a skilled worker. The term “skilled worker” is defined in the Bill as Deputies will notice. The contribution by the insured person will be 8d. per week and by the employer 8d. per week. The rate of supplementary benefit payable to a skilled worker who becomes intermittently unemployed is a 1/- per hour. In the case of unskilled workers, the contribution from the worker is 5d. and from the employer 5d., and the rate of supplementary benefit 7½d. per hour. In the case of young persons, the rates of contribution are 2d. for the employer and 2d. for the young person, and the rate of supplementary benefit 3d. per hour.
I should, perhaps, attempt to forestall any comparison between the rates of benefit payable under that Schedule with the standard rates of wages for skilled and unskilled workers in the building trade, say, in Dublin, where the rates are high as compared with the rest of the country. This is a national scheme that is going to be applicable to the whole country, and hence the rates of benefit payable under it must take into account the rates of wages of men not merely in Dublin, but throughout the country as a whole. We cannot, of course, risk a situation in which there might appear to a worker to be an advantage in  being unemployed and in drawing supplementary benefit rather than in earning wages at work. It is, therefore, essential, from many points of view, that the rates of benefit should be less, substantially less, than the actual rates of wages, so that the tendency on the part of the worker will be to be at work, except when weather conditions render work impossible.
It is necessary, of course, that the fund should be built up to some extent before benefit will become payable. Consequently, the Bill provides that no man becomes entitled to receive benefit until 12 contributions have been paid in respect of him. That applies not merely to existing workers, who have been insurable, but under the scheme, as soon as it comes into operation, it will also apply to new entrants to the industry under the Bill. New entrants will not become entitled to receive supplementary benefit unless and until they have had 12 weeks' work in the building trade.
Mr. Corish: With one employer?
Mr. Lemass: With anybody. That part of the Bill is very similar to the Unemployment Insurance Acts. A record of the contributions paid in respect of the worker will be contained on his card.
Mr. Corish: Suppose a man has seven stamps from one employer and five stamps from another, within 12 months, what will his position be?
Mr. Lemass: As long as he has 12 contributions paid, he will be entitled to receive supplementary benefit. In that respect the scheme under this Bill is not the same as that under the Unemployment Insurance Acts, which take into account the fact that people go out of insurable employment altogether. In this case, the individual worker is being insured against that type of unemployment. His right to benefit, for which he is insured, depends solely on the fact that contributions in respect of a period of 12 weeks have been paid.
I should say that it is proposed to bring this measure into effect as soon as it becomes law. I would like to give notice at this stage that it is going  to take some time, after the enactment of the Bill, before it can be brought into operation. The preparations for doing that will include the printing of the stamps, which is a difficult and tedious matter in any circumstances, and particularly so in present circumstances. That will take some time. There are technical difficulties which make it impossible to speed it up, so that it is likely to be some time, after the Bill has passed, before the scheme can be brought into operation. The Bill provides that the scheme will come into operation on a date to be fixed by order by the Minister for Industry and Commerce. It is clear, therefore, that one cannot tell in advance the date from which an insured person's right to receive benefit will come into operation.
I do not think there is any other aspect of the scheme that it is necessary for me to refer to. I have given a general picture of what the Bill contemplates. It is a matter of some consolation to me that I can come to the House with such a Bill and announce that it is practically an agreed measure so far as both parties in the industry are concerned. In fact, to a very great extent, the Bill is their own product, in so far as the general scheme of the Bill, in its main provisions, was drafted in consultation with the employers and workers in the industry. The scheme under it was prepared by them. It was approved by me, and was then put into the form of a Bill by the Parliamentary draftsman. Even at that stage, the parties in the industry had another opportunity of considering the draft of the Bill. They have approved of that draft as giving expression to what they intended to create in the matter of an intermittent unemployment insurance scheme for the building industry. There are, perhaps, some details of it which require, and should get, the careful consideration of the House. I have had discussions already with individuals who are perturbed about some of the sections, and rather dubious as to how they will work. It is desirable that we should give all these sections very careful examination, because I believe that if we  can make this Bill workable, if we can so frame it that the benefits it will confer will be obvious and that the administrative problems will be few, then the question of the extension of this method of insurance to other industries will become easier, because both the employers and the workers in those industries will have less difficulty in facing up to it.
Mr. Cosgrave: The Minister's statement that this is an agreed Bill alters very much one's criticism of the measure, but on its face it does not appear to be financially sound. The contributions which are to be paid weekly by both employers and employees amount to 1/4, so that three weeks' contributions would leave a credit of four hours for any individual. Four hours in a period of 140 hours does not appear to be a very elaborate estimate of a possible loss of time. It may be that in respect to quite a number of operatives some of them would never draw benefit. It is quite possible a number of those engaged in the building trade, the majority of the trades involved, might not be so subject to weather conditions as others, and in that respect it may be that the balance will be in favour of the estimate being better than what it appears to be on its face.
The proposal to increase or decrease the contributions paid by an order of the Minister is not a very acceptable one, but, as it affects only the persons concerned and they have agreed to it, it does not look as if we should interfere with that proposal. The Minister said there would not be an insurance year. Possibly Section 9, which refers to an insurance year, deals with the balancing of the accounts for a particular year. Some period must be taken in which it would be desirable to have an account of the year's incomings and outgoings. I take it that, so far as Section 9 is concerned, it is for that purpose the insurance year is mentioned and not for the purpose of interfering with what a contributor would be entitled to draw in the event of having stamps to credit.
Mr. Lemass: There is, of course, provision for an insurance year. A person  who has left the building trade, in the sense that no contributions are paid in respect to him for a year, ceases to become entitled to benefit. That provision is there to that extent, and perhaps I may have misled Deputy Corish, because a person must have contributions in respect to him during the year in order to become entitled to benefit. The person who has no contributions paid is deemed to have left the scheme.
Mr. Cosgrave: That again is a slight shock, but if they have agreed to it, it is their business. There are some exclusions, very few, but in a matter of this sort the fewer the exclusions the better. If there are persons who, by reason of whatever place in which they are employed, are less liable to interruption than in other places, it would be only fair that their contributions should also go to make up the fund for those who are less fortunate, and taxing them, if one were to employ the term, in that respect, would, I think, be rather fair, having regard to the position in which they would be placed. The principal exclusions, I think, are under Section 11, and probably the reason for that was that there is not any broken time under State employment. I do not think that is a very good reason. We should take the employers as a whole and, if there are those operatives who are particularly fortunate, there is no reason why they should not bear their share in contributing to their less fortunate brethren.
This measure was circulated only last week. I read it, perhaps hastily, on the morning it came, but, as well as I can remember, there was nothing in that section which empowers a Minister to avail of the order about informing the House of events, such as laying a Paper on the Table. I think that ought to be done. I am quite sure, although this clause is so worded to increase or decrease, that the Minister's advisers were not of the opinion that there was likely to be a decrease in the contributions.
If I were to make a suggestion to the parties concerned, who have agreed perhaps on everything, it is that they might consider the advisability of allowing the fund to be made up to  deal with special circumstances which occur in a country now and again. For example, nearly 50 years ago there were seven weeks of frost here, and a thing of that sort would interfere very seriously with a measure of this kind. If a fund were built up, it would be of advantage to those in the trade. It is satisfactory to know that in one trade, at least, there is agreement between employers and employees, agreement which finds its way here in this measure.
Mr. Keyes: I welcome this measure. I consider it a very laudable attempt to stabilise the position of the unfortunate people who are employed in the building industry and who have suffered so much through the vagaries of our climate. As the Minister said, it must be to a very large extent experimental, because there is no very reliable data on which to go. I am sure this measure will also be welcomed by other members of my Party. I am delighted to see that it is being made compulsory, because if it is not so made there might be very little hope of its success. I had a question on the Order Paper to-day suggesting that steps should be taken to require employers to cover by insurance certain risks under the Workmen's Compensation Act. We are aware of the conditions that exist, and I am afraid they would be much the same if we did not have compulsory insurance in this type of intermittent scheme that is now being proposed.
I think it would be worth the Minister's while, for the sake of the more equitable and speedy working of the scheme if, in connection with the machinery he proposes, he would bear in mind the idea of vesting more authority and discretion in the local exchange managers. I suggest that most matters in relation to which there might be some dispute would be matters of fact. I do not know what disputes one could visualise at the moment, but I suggest that they would have relation primarily to matters of fact.
Possibly there would be the danger of collusion between an employer and the workers, but, if the matter is to go through the routine that we have at  the present time, and has to come up here to the officers in Dublin, it will mean delay. To a big extent, obviously, it will not be so much a question of interpretation of laws as a question of matters of fact, which would be better known to the man on the spot, and I think it would be well to try to have this thing work as smoothly and expeditiously as possible. There is one point that I am not quite clear about. If a man has not paid his contributions for 12 months, then I presume that he goes out of benefit in the same way as under the ordinary unemployment insurance, but in this case does he lose the advantage of the stamps that he has to his credit? For instance, he may have worked for five years intermittently and none of his lost time might be due to the weather, but he would have contributed his stamps. He was only knocked off because of the completion of the job and he has a pile of stamps to his credit without ever having drawn from the fund because of loss of employment due to inclement weather. Now he loses 12 months, and will they be lost to him also?
Mr. Lemass: They are lost if it is a break of more than a whole year.
Mr. Keyes: Even if he goes into employment again?
Mr. Lemass: It is not the whole year exactly, but between one October and another October—if he has not had a single week's work.
Mr. Keyes: What I want to know is whether, when he gets employment again, he can revive the value of his stamps. I appreciate that it is difficult to know what the rates will be or whether they will be equitable in comparison with the benefits that are paid, and I take it that there will be revision in that respect, because it is more or less a gamble whether the 8d., or whatever it is, will work out to leave a balance on one side or the other. I take it that an early opportunity will be taken to have a revision of these figures so as to have a scale, either up or down, as suggested by the Minister. This is a difficult Bill to criticise and, as the Minister says, it will call for  careful discussion on the Committee Stage, but I think we can say that we all welcome it and we hope for the cooperation of all Parties in making it of benefit for the building-trade workers and others of a similar character.
Mr. Dockrell: In making a few comments I hope the Minister will not say that I am making points which would be better raised on Committee, because there are many people who are wondering where they stand, and the sooner they can find that out the better. The Minister says that the Bill is an agreed measure with the builders, and I think that is perfectly correct, but I hope the Minister's purpose is not to bring in a whole lot of other people who have to contribute but probably will never draw a penny in benefit. I would like to point out that I take it that in this insurance there are really two things that affect the weather as far as the builders are concerned, namely, rain and frost. Different trades are affected differently by both of those. I think it will not be disputed that the first and the biggest casualties due to the weather occur in the case of bricklayers. The bricklayer, by the nature of his trade, is out in the open the whole time laying bricks and, of course, very bad, wet weather or heavy frost affects him. Bricklayers are affected to a very great extent. I suppose that next in the line would come builders' labourers, and, probably next in the line, there might be a dead heat between the carpenters, who put up casings, and the painters who work on an open site, and some other tradesmen.
Now, the Minister has drawn Section 3 very much wider than the builders. I would like to call his attention to Section 3 (d) which says: “all work in the manufacture, alteration, fitting or repair of articles of wood, worked stone, marble”, etc. The section speaks of work in the manufacture, and so on, of articles of wood of a type commonly made in builders' workshops or yards. I would like to point out to the Minister that under that a wood-cutting machinist employed by a timber merchant would be affected. Does the Minister seriously  suggest that that man should make a contribution? If so, I should like to say that it is really on the principle of putting something into the “kitty” because he will never draw anything out. A terrazzo worker would also come in under that clause 3 (d)—well, I think he would really come in under 3 (a)—but does the Minister suggest that a terrazzo worker is laid off because of inclement weather? I think that if a terrazzo worker were to be affected in that way it would mean that they were building the house upside down and putting on the roof last. Another person about whom I should like to ask the Minister is a brass finisher who visits a site to put a brass grill, say, in the offices across the street. Does the Minister suggest that that person should be brought in? When I say “that person” I mean a member of the brass-finishing trade. Another section that could be brought in under clause 3 would be practically all the labourers employed by timber merchants and saw millers throughout the country. They would be engaged in the “manufacture, alteration, fitting, or repair of articles of wood”. Certainly, the men who carried stuff to the machines would come under that category. I am not sure whether the pilers would not also be affected, on the same principle that Deputy Byrne spoke about the sand men who would be laid off, not because of inclement weather but because the builder's job had stopped. Of course it might be argued that it was due to inclement weather, but I think in that case it would be inclement weather once removed—that is, unemployment. However, that is merely illustrating the difficulty of drawing a line.
I should like to suggest to the Minister—I do not suppose he could have done it in any other way—that this is the third column of additions and the third column of substractions from the wages of the employee that the employer will have to have in his wages book. It is the third book of stamps that he will have to keep and lick. The Minister spoke about the administrative cost. I think he has shoved about 98 per cent. of the administrative cost on to the employer. The employer  has to contribute the stamps, deduct the stamps, and make up the stamp book. He has to pay the man the money, and he has to furnish a claim to the Department, which, if it is not absolutely in order, will be thrown out. I do not suppose that after a time there will be very much difficulty about that, because I do not think there can be any dispute about the employer wanting to stop the job and the men wanting to go on. I never heard of an employer who stopped a job when the men wanted to go on. It is more a matter of common consent. But I am just wondering if a dispute could arise in the City of Dublin when one builder had stopped work on a site, and it could be thrown in his teeth that another builder only a short distance away had not stopped the job. I am just wondering if controversies like that could arise.
To get back to the administration, I think I have mentioned about the three columns, the addition and subtraction, and the furnishing of the claim. The Minister's Department has only to O.K. that claim. If the Minister measures the cost of that at £10,000 per annum, I should like to suggest to him that there is a very much greater administrative cost which must be borne by the employer, and ultimately by the building owner, whoever he may be, whether private or public. However, as the Minister said, it certainly is an agreed measure between the builders and the workers, the Government having given the pledge that the Minister spoke of, so that I am merely sounding a note of warning to the Minister that he cannot put in many more columns of additions and subtractions. I should like the Minister, when replying, to mention, as far as possible, the points which I have raised, and to give us some reasonable period between now and the Committee Stage, so that the various interests who are involved or think they are involved can go into the matter and see where they stand.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): Deputy Dockrell's picture of the employer spending all his time licking stamps and putting them on the various cards is a rather distressing  one. I am sure there is nobody who has interested himself in the development of social services who has not at the back of his head an ideal system by which one stamp on one card would provide all the benefits contemplated by the State for all workers. That is an ideal which I think we are not likely to realise for some time. There are obviously many difficulties in securing that complete administrative unity in respect of all the social and insurance services available to workers, and I hold out no hope of being able to overcome them in the near future. I appreciate that those extensions of the legal requirements of employers in respect of their workers impose administrative costs and administrative difficulties upon the employers, but I do not think they are of such a character as to deter us from proceeding along that road.
Deputy Cosgrave raised the question of the inadequacy of the contributions to pay the benefits contemplated by the Bill, and Deputy Keyes referred to the fixation of those figures as something in the nature of a gamble. While that is true to a certain extent, it is not altogether true. From the day upon which it was contemplated that legislation of this kind would be introduced, records were taken and information was obtained from various employers in relation to their own individual experience over the years 1938, 1939 and 1940, and earlier years in respect of which records existed, and from various local authorities and other sources, to enable some fairly reliable calculation to be made as to the probable incidence of intermittent unemployment amongst building trade workers. It was not merely a guess which resulted in those figures; it was a calculation based upon all the available information. It is, of course, recognised that the information cannot be 100 per cent. reliable, and that only experience over a number of years will in fact determine what contributions will permit of the payment of those benefits, or what benefits will be payable from those contributions. I can, however, say that there are good grounds for believing that the contributions contemplated in this Bill will  be sufficient to pay the benefits indicated. A lot will depend, of course, upon the experience in the earlier months during which the Bill is in operation. If an exceptionally bad year should be experienced at the beginning, then the finances of the fund will be upset.
If, on the other hand, an exceptionally good year is experienced, then the fund should be able to build up reserves which will enable the bad years later to be successfully encountered. The Bill proposes to fix those contributions and certain benefits in the light of experience. There is a proposal that those benefits or contributions can be varied. To answer Deputy Cosgrave's point concerning the submission to the Dáil of any proposals for variations of contributions or benefits, I would draw his attention to a general section which provides that all regulations made by the Minister under the Bill must be submitted to the Dáil in the usual way.
Mr. Cosgrave: Regulations?
Mr. Lemass: Including regulations varying the contributions.
Mr. Cosgrave: Is this a regulation? I did not take this to be a regulation.
Mr. Lemass: The Minister would, by order, make regulations providing for the alterations of the contributions or the benefits. Any such order made by the Minister must be laid before the Dáil, and could be annulled by the Dáil. That is provided for in Section 13 of the Bill. While, therefore. I cannot say with any definiteness that those contributions or benefits will never be altered, I think they are more likely to prove accurate than not, and the experience of the two years during which the Bill has been in existence but not introduced would rather confirm that judgment.
I may have misled Deputy Corish by a statement I made to him concerning the circumstances under which a worker ceases to be entitled to benefit, by making him think that the Bill was wider than in fact it is, and I may have misled Deputy Keyes by making him think it is narrower than in fact it is. When a worker comes into the building trade for the first time, he must have  12 contributions on his card before he becomes entitled to unemployment insurance. If in any insurance year— defined in the Bill as from one October to the other—no contributions at all are paid in respect of a worker, then in the next following year he will not become entitled to benefit until 12 contributions have been paid.
It follows therefore that a worker may have been out of employment for two years before he becomes disqualified. A person making a claim in September, 1942, would be entitled to receive benefit in September, 1942, if 12 contributions had been paid in respect of him since October, 1940.
Mr. Keyes: The penalty occurs in the second year?
Mr. Lemass: Exactly. Then, of course, he again becomes entitled to benefit if 12 contributions have been paid. It is not an unreasonable assumption that a person who is out of the building trade for so long has in fact ceased to be a building trade worker at all and must be regarded as a new entrant to the building trade. From the point of view of an individual, it can be said that he is making contributions against which he will not be entitled to benefit. But, of course, what the Bill does is to put the contributions of building trade workers in any week against benefits which have to be paid to workers in the building trade in that week. In other words, it is not merely an individual insuring himself against intermittent unemployment, but all the workers in the trade are insuring all the workers in the trade against that.
Mr. Keyes: I was referring to a man who built up a residue of stamps for himself which he had never drawn upon and had no opportunity of drawing upon. For instance, take a man who went to work in England for 12 months and did not contribute any more. Will the value of the stamps he had come back to him again if he returns to employment here?
Mr. Lemass: It is not merely a question of the value of the stamps. There is this difference between this scheme and the unemployment insurance  scheme, that when he becomes qualified to benefit, that is, when he has fulfilled all the conditions and has 12 current stamps to his credit, he is entitled to get benefit against the period in which he loses employment. He does not exhaust his right to benefit if he is qualified in the same way as is the case under the unemployment insurance scheme.
Mr. Dockrell: He qualifies for the payment?
Mr. Lemass: Once he qualifies for the payment he is entitled to get it; once the circumstances entitle him to it. Deputy Keyes suggested that difficulties should be left to the local officer of the Department to settle on questions of fact, such as the state of the weather, so as to expedite payment. That is, in fact, what the Bill contemplates. It may be that the Deputy will be able to suggest some method of making that clearer, but that is, in fact, what is contemplated and what Section 31 is designed to ensure. If the Deputy will raise the matter again on the Committee Stage we will give special attention to the point, because I am in agreement with him as to the desirability of proceeding in that way.
Deputy Dockrell is not going to lead me into the discussion of a number of hypothetical cases as to the classes of workers to whom the Bill may apply. I recognise that there will be a number of cases concerning which bona fide doubts will exist as to whether the workers concerned are within the scope of the Bill or not. Section 10 provides the machinery for the determination of this question. That section sets out that the Minister may decide or, alternatively, that the Minister may refer such question for decision to the High Court; and any person dissatisfied with the Minister's decision, assuming he chooses to decide himself, can appeal to the High court. But I contemplate that, in the course of time, we will have a number of recorded decisions which will in fact operate to define with reasonable accuracy the classes of workers to whom the Bill applies and to whom it does not apply. It is almost certain that in the first year of operation there will be a number of  cases referred to the Minister or the High Court for decision under Section 10. That section was put in because we knew we could not define precisely those to whom the Bill would apply and those to whom it should not apply. We had to have that fairly elaborate machinery in order to enable those doubtful cases to be determined.
Deputy Cosgrave referred to the exclusion of certain classes of building workers from the Bill. The Bill does contemplate that a person who is in regular permanent employment, who is not liable to loss of earnings because of interruption of employment through inclement weather, and who has been in that employment for a reasonable period of time may be excluded, as workers at present can be excluded from the payment of unemployment insurance contributions under similar circumstances.
As Deputies are aware, there are certain classes of workers who are certified to be in permanent employment, and not liable to the risk of unemployment. After a number of years of such employment, those workers are excluded from the scope of the Unemployment Insurance Act. Somewhat similar provisions are being followed here. The Minister can give a certificate which declares that the persons to whom the certificate refers are in permanent employment, that they have been in such employment for a period of time, and that they are not liable to any loss of earnings because of interruption of work through inclement weather. Those certificated workers are excluded from the scheme.
It is only in respect of precisely the same type of worker that Section 11 operates. That section relates to employees of the State, and provides that the Bill shall apply to employees of the State engaged in building operations, except they are in this type of permanent employment and not liable to unemployment or loss of earnings. It is intended that a building trade worker engaged on any of the types of activity set out in Section 3, but employed in the circumstances contemplated in Section 5, can be excluded from the Bill, and in the same way employees of the State can be excluded.
 It is probably true that there will be workers who will not be excluded, who will be more or less permanent in employment, and whose work will be of such a character that they are not liable to loss of wages because of inclement weather, and who will still have to make contributions. That is recognised; just as it is recognised that there will be some classes of workers who will be claiming on the fund much more often than those, and whose contributions will probably be insufficient to meet the amount of their individual claims. But one balances the other, and the workers' representatives and the employers' representatives agreed that the whole lot of them should make contributions, and that the whole lot of them should have equal rights to benefit.
We did not discuss precisely those excepted persons such as Section 5 provides for; but I think it is not unreasonable that we should have some procedure by which we can exempt from the scope of the Bill those who are defined there; that is persons who, having regard to the normal practice of employers, can be classified as being in employment of a permanent character, where no deductions are made from their wages on account of time lost owing to inclement weather and whose other circumstances of employment are such as to render it unnecessary that those persons should be insured under the Bill. We did contemplate various classes of workers who can conform to those conditions. If they do conform to those conditions then, having been employed by such employer for three years or more, they can be excluded by a certificate from the Minister. However, as the principle of the Bill has secured general acceptance, discussion at this stage is of no particular value. It is obviously a Bill which requires careful examination in matters of detail, and the most important discussion upon the Bill therefore will take place in Committee.
Question put and agreed to.
Committee Stage ordered for Wednesday, 25th February.
The Dáil adjourned at 6.10 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 18th February.
Mr. Dockrell: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state (a) the quantities of beer, spirits, cider, and foreign wines retained for home consumptions in the calendar year 1941 exclusive of methylation being the produce of  alcohol factories, and (b) the number of liquor licences issued in Eire during the year ended 31st March, 1941, and (c) the number of clubs in Eire in the year ended 31st March, 1941, and (d) the amount of duty paid by them on intoxicating liquor during the year ended 31st March, 1941.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: (a) The quantities of beer, spirits, cider and foreign wines retained for home consumption in the calendar year 1941 were as follows:—
|Beer||585,276 standard barrels.|
|Spirits||657,775 proof gallons.|
|(Excluding spirits for methylation.)|
|Foreign Wines||403,183 gallons.|
(b) The number of liquor licences issued in Eire during the year ended 31st March, 1941, was 15,627; (c) The number of registered clubs in Eire in respect of which duty on purchases of intoxicating liquors was paid in the year ended 31st March, 1941, was 254; (d) The amount of duty on purchases of intoxicating liquors paid in the tered clubs during the year ended 31st March, 1941, was £2,501 18s. 8d.
Mr. McMenamin: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state (a) the total number of civil servants, including temporary civil servants employed by the State on 1st January, 1932; 1st January, 1939; 1st January, 1941, and 1st January, 1942, respectively; (b) the total amount of salaries, wages and allowances paid to civil servants in the financial years ended March 31st, 1932; March 31st, 1939, and March 31st, 1941, respectively, and (c) the total amount paid by the State in travelling and incidental expenses to civil servants, including those temporarily employed on special schemes in the financial years ending March 31st, 1931, 1939, and 1941, respectively.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information in the form requested by the Deputy is not  available and could only be ascertained at expense and trouble which in present circumstances would not be warranted. The information asked for so far as available is as follows:—
|(b) Annual Cost in respect of Salaries, wages and allowances||£3,819,542||£5,065,117||£5,480,785|
Corresponding particulars as on 1st January, 1942, will not in accordance with normal arrangements be furnished by Departments for some months.
In order to make the figures given in the above statement for the 1st January, 1932, comparable with those for the two other dates mentioned a total of 792 persons, some of whom were employed on a taskwork, piecework or fee basis, and some of whom were employed on works of a temporary nature are not included in the particulars for the 1st January, 1932.
Mr. McMenamin: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state (1) the number of civil servants employed on the 1st January, 1932, 1939, 1941 and 1942, in the following grades: (a) Secretaries of Departments, Chairmen of Boards of Commissioners and heads of Departments of State; (b) Assistant Secretaries, (c) Principal Officers, (d) Assistant Principal Officers, (e) Junior Administrative Officers, (f) Higher Executive Officers, (g) Junior Executive Officers, (h) Staff Officers on scales proceeding to £450 and over, and (2) the amounts paid in salaries, wages and allowances and travelling and incidental expenses, to civil servants, temporary or permanent, in each of these grades during the financial years ending 31st March, 1932, 1939, and 1941.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: The information asked for so far as available is as follows:—
|||1st January, 1932||2nd January, 1939||1st January, 1941|
|Numbers||Annual Salaries and Allowances||Numbers||Annual Salaries and Allowances||Numbers||Annual Salaries and Allowances|
|(a) Secretaries of Departments, Chairmen of Boards of Commissioners and Heads of Departments of State||15||22,365||15||22,469||14||21,750|
|(b) Assistant Secretaries||14||16,584||25||29,629||24||30,125|
|(c) Principal Officers||22||20,806||44||44,667||46||48,017|
|(d) Assistant Principal Officers||30||23,593||58||45,048||60||48,904|
|(e) Junior Administrative Officers||24||7,855||43||17,728||49||21,439|
|(f) Higher Executive Officers||176||109,024||202||125,625||221||143,614|
|(g) Junior Executive Officers||429||174,458||620||196,346||604||198,536|
|(h) Staff Officers (maximum exceeding £500)||5||4,242||4||3,218||4||3,315|
(a) Corresponding figures for 1st January, 1942, are not yet available.
(b) The figures shown represent the number of officers serving in a substantive capacity in the grades on the first working day of the calendar year.
(c) The figures given for the grades of Principal and Assistant Principal are not strictly comparable from year to year for the reason that numbers of posts formerly designated by various other titles were subsequently re-named Principal and Assistant Principal posts in the course of Departmental recorganisations extending over a number of years. Only those posts designated as Principal and Assistant Principal on the relevant dates have been included in the statement as after the lapse of years the identification of the several re-named posts is not practicable.
(d) Cadets serving in the Department of External Affairs who are on the same scale of pay as Junior Administrative Officers are included under this heading.
Mr. McMenamin: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state in the case of The Industrial Credit Company, The Agricultural Credit Corporation, The Turf Development Board, The Hospitals Commission, The Irish Assurance Company, Limited, The Pigs and Bacon Commission, The Industrial Alcohol Advisory Board, The Advisory Board to the Trade Loans Acts, The Irish Tourist Board, the names of non-Civil Service members nominated by the Government, and the remuneration or allowances, if any, paid to such members.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: The following is a statement giving the particulars requested:—
|Body||Names of non-Civil Service members nominated by Ministers||Remuneration (per annum)||Allowances|
|Industrial Credit Company, Ltd.||J.P. Colbert||—Chairman and Managing Director||1,600||Travelling and subsistence allowances in accordance with the Company's Articles of Association.|
|Agricultural Credit Corporation, Ltd.||R.C. Barton||—Chairman||800||£200|
|Turf Development Board, Ltd.||R.C. Barton||—Chairman||150||Travelling and subsistence allowances in accordance with the Company's Articles of Association.|
|Hospitals Commission||M.W. Doran||—Chairman||1,250||Travelling and subsistence allowances at the highest Civil Service rates.|
|Irish Assurance Company, Ltd.||A.W. Bayne||—Managing Director||1,600||Travelling and subsistence allowances in accordance with the Company's Articles of Assocciation.|
|(Also acts, without additional remuneration, as Managing Director of Industrial and Life Assurance Amalgamation Company, Limited.)|
|Pigs and Bacon Commission.||M.J. O'Brien||—Chairman||1,000||Travelling and subsistence allowances at the highest Civil Service rates.|
|Monarchana Alcóil na h-Eireann Teo.||T.J. Nolan||—Chairman||200||Travelling and subsistence allowances in accordance with the Company's Articles of Association.|
|G. Van der Lee||—Managing Director||1,800|
|Advisory Committees under Trade Loans (Guarantee) Act, 1939|
|No. 1 Committee||J.J. Halpin||Nil||Nil|
|No. 2 Committee||G.L. Kennedy||,,||,,|
|No. 3 Committee||H. Briscoe||,,||,,|
|Irish Tourist Board||J.P. O'Brien—Chairman||500||Travelling and subsistence allowances at the highest Civil Service rates.|
|S. Ó hEochadha||100|
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state the average number of men engaged on employment schemes in each of the months of September, October, November, and December, 1941, distinguishing between the number of men employed on (a) minor employment and land reclamation schemes, and (b) other schemes, and the average of such monthly employment for the whole year.
Mr. O Ceallaigh: Subject to revision, the average number of men engaged on employment schemes in each of the months of September, October, November and December, 1941, and the average  over the year ended 31st December, 1941, distinguishing between the numbers employed on (a) minor employment and land reclamation schemes, and (b) other schemes, are as follows:—
|Period||Minor Employment and Land Reclamation Schemes||Other Schemes||Total for all Schemes|
|Year ended 31st December, 1941||6,955||7,955||14,910|
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the estimated number of persons in full-time employment weekly in occupations insurable under the National Health Insurance Acts for the year ended 31st December, 1941, as reckoned from the net contribution income for that year.
Mr. Lemass: Taking the average weekly national health insurance contribution at 7.68d., and calculating on an estimate of the contribution income of the National Health Insurance Fund, based on the information available, the provisional figure for the estimated average number of persons employed in each week of 1941 in occupations insurable under the National Health Insurance Acts was 402,000.
The expressions, “net contribution income” and “in each week”, are used in the same sense as in the reply to the Deputy's question of the 11th March, 1941.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the estimated number of persons in full-time employment  weekly in occupations insurable under the Unemployment Insurance Acts for the year ended 31st December, 1941, as reckoned from the net contribution income for that year.
Mr. Lemass: Taking the average weekly unemployment insurance contribution as 17.33d. and calculating on preliminary figures for the net contribution income of the Unemployment Fund, the estimated average number of persons employed in each week of 1941 in occupations insurable under the Unemployment Insurance Acts, was 247,000. The expressions “net contribution income” and “in each week” are used in the same sense as in the reply given to the Deputy's question on the 11th March, 1941.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the total amount of unemployment assistance payments made in each month in the year 1941, and the amount of such payments made in each month in respect of the Dublin Registration Area.
Mr. Lemass: Figures for the months January to March were given in answer to the Deputy's question of the 7th May, and those for the months April to August on 29th October. The figures for the months September to December are as follows. They are, of course, subject to audit:—
|Month||Total amount of Unemployment Assistance paid||Amount paid in respect of the Dublin Registration Area|
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the gross total and the  total number of males engaged in farm work in each county and province in the year 1941 under the headings:—(1) males 14-18 years: (a) permanent workers, members of family; (b) permanent workers, others; (c) temporarily employed; (2) males, 18 years and over: (a) permanent workers, members of family; (b) permanent  workers, others; (c) temporarily employed, and (d) the total number of males so engaged.
Mr. Lemass: Number of males engaged in farm work in each county and province of Éire on 1st June, 1941, as returned by the enumerators of the Agricultural Statistics:—
|County and Province||Males 14 to 18 years||Males 18 years and over||Total Number of Males|
|Members of Family||Other Males||Members of Family||Other Males|
|ULSTER (Part of)||5,394||379||416||56,510||5,814||8,524||77,037|
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state in respect of wheat, oats, barley, rye, potatoes, turnips, mangels, sugar beet, cabbage, flax, first year's hay, and other hay:—(1) the extent in statute acres; (2) the yield per statute acre, and (3) the total produce in tons for each of the years 1941, and 1940.
Mr. Lemass: The figures required for the year 1940 have been published in Tables 41, 42 and 43 on pages 40 and  41 of the Statistical Abstract 1941 (P. No. 4844). The collection of the returns for the year 1941 was so far delayed by the restrictions imposed by Foot and Mouth Disease Orders that it has not yet been possible to complete the necessary statistical compilation and computation.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state in respect of each county health district the total amount by way of relief of rates on agricultural land paid in each of the  years ended 31st March, 1932, 1939, 1940, and 1941, and the total amount so paid in each of these years.
Mr. MacEntee: Statement showing the sums paid in respect of Agricultural Grant for the years ended 31st March, 1932, 31st March, 1939, 31st March, 1940, and 31st March, 1941. The amounts shown are the sums which were paid within the years as Agricultural Grant to county councils upon the clearance of the Guarantee Fund in each of these years, and after making adjustments in respect of the repayment of grants in the last three periods specified which had been previously absorbed in the fund on account of arrears of annuities.
|County||Year ended||Year ended||Year ended||Year ended|
|31st March, 1932||31st March, 1939||31st March, 1940||31st March, 1941|
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state in respect of each county health district the amount of rates paid in respect of agricultural land in each of the years ended 31st March, 1932, 1939, 1940, and 1941, and the total amount paid in each of these years.
Mr. MacEntee: In county councils' accounts the rates collected are not segregated according to the type of rateable property in respect of which they are assessed. The information which the Deputy asks for is not, therefore, available in the Department.
Mr. McMenamin: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state (1) the number of officials and employees, permanent and temporary, employed by local authorities in the years 1931, 1932, 1939, and 1941, and the amounts paid by local authorities in salaries, wages, allowances and expenses in the financial years 1931, 1932, 1939, and 1941, respectively.
Mr. MacEntee: Particulars of officials and employees of local bodies, permanent and temporary, are not kept in my Department. Returns of permanent staffs are obtained from local bodies from time to time. The compilation of statistics in the form required by the Deputy would involve a detailed examination of records of local bodies, and the time and expense  which would be involved would not be justified. There is a summary of expenditure on salaries, wages, etc., by local authorities contained in the annual returns of local taxation which may be of service to the Deputy. The returns for the three years first mentioned have been published. The returns for the year 1941 will not be ready for publication for a very considerable time.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state the total number of (a) men, (b) women, (c) children (exclusive of children boarded out) in receipt of home assistance on the 31st March in each of the years 1939, 1940, and 1941, and the total number of such persons in each year per thousand of the population; and the total number of children boarded out on each of these dates.
Mr. MacEntee: The reply which is in the form of a statistical table will be circulated with the Official Report.
The following is the information required:—
|Date||Men||Women||Children||Total number per 1,000 of Population||Number of Children boarded-out|
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state the total amount expended on home assistance during each of the years ended 31st March, 1939, 31st March, 1940, and 31st March, 1941.
Mr. MacEntee: The total amounts expended on home assistance during the years ended 31st March, 1939, 31st March, 1940, and 31st March, 1941, were £564,889, £603,427, and £645,339, respectively. The expenditure for the year ended 31st March, 1941, may be subject to slight adjustment.