Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Supplies of Flake Oatmeal.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Kildare Turbary Claim.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Petrol Allocation.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Institute of Industrial Research.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Imports of Cork Flooring.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Imports through Irish Ports.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Condition of Offaly Roads.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dichlorophenyl Acetic Acid.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Testing Efficiency of New Insecticide.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Closing of Cork Creamery.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - L.D.F. Man's Claim for Compensation.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Savings Certificates.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Kildare Estate.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Meath Road.
Order of Business.
Sugar (Prohibition of Import) Order, 1945—Motion of Approval.
Documents and Pictures (Regulation of Export) Bill, 1945—First Stage.
Local Authorities (Acceptance of Gifts) Bill, 1945—Committee Stage.
Suspension of a Deputy.
Local Authorities (Acceptance of Gifts) Bill, 1945—Committee (Resumed) and Final Stages.
Emergency Powers (Continuance and Amendment) Bill, 1945—Second Stage (Resumed).
Estimates for Public Services.
Committee on Finance. - Vote 3—Department of the Taoiseach.
Written Answer. - Finances of State Companies.
 Do chuaigh an Ceann Comhairle i gceannas ar 3 p.m.
Mr. O'Neill: asked the Minister for Supplies if he is aware that there is a grave shortage of flake oatmeal at the present time; and that, owing to an abnormal advance in the price of oats, the millers are unable to produce and sell flake oatmeal at the present controlled prices; and, if so, if he will revise these prices so as to make a supply of flake oatmeal available for the public at a price that will be economic to the millers, until the new crop of oats comes on the market.
Minister for Supplies (Mr. Lemass): I understand that there is a scarcity of oats at present and that oatmeal millers are experiencing a difficulty in obtaining supplies. It is hoped, however, that the further small supplies they may be able to obtain, together with their stocks and the stocks of oatmeal in the hands of traders throughout the country should be sufficient to prevent a shortage of oatmeal until the new crop of oats becomes available in August-September, particularly as consumption of oatmeal is slackest during the months of July and August.
I am aware that the present prices of oats are considerably higher than the price by reference to which the present maximum price of oatmeal was fixed. I feel, however, that taking into account the price of oats earlier in the season when buying was heaviest, many millers could afford to buy and mill oats at the present time  and still realise a reasonable profit on the season's trading as a whole. In any event I do not propose to increase the present maximum price of flake oatmeal as I am satisfied that having regard to the quantity of oats available, an increase in the price of flake oatmeal would not be justified.
Mr. O'Neill: Is the Minister aware that millers say they have no oats in stock at present from which to make oatmeal? Several millers informed me that the Minister's statement last week that there were ample supplies of oats in the country was not so, and that they had none.
Mr. Lemass: That is not entirely in accordance with the latest figures. The consumption of oatmeal during these three months in recent years averaged about 1,000 tons and the supply available is about 800 tons.
Mr. O'Neill: Is the Minister aware that it will be a few months before the new crop will be available?
Mr. Lemass: That is right, but an increase in prices would not solve that problem.
Mr. Dillon: Is the Minister aware that he stated last week that there were abundant supplies of oatmeal, when the fact is that there is not a single grain of pinhead oatmeal to be got from any of the millers? Is the Minister also aware that the months of July and August are commonly known as the hungry months, when most of the other supplies are consumed, and there is also a scarcity of potatoes?
Mr. Norton: asked the Minister for Supplies if he will state the reasons for the delay in paying compensation to Mr. P. Reddy, Grangehiggin, Kilmeague, Naas, in respect of turbary acquired from him by the Turf Development Board; and when it is proposed to pay compensation to him.
Mr. Lemass: The delay in payment of compensation is attributable to (a) Mr. Reddy's refusal to accept an offer made to him in February last in respect  of part of his loss (thus necessitating the reference of the case to the official arbitrator) and (b) certain legal problems associated with the construction of roads across these and other lands. The legal difficulties have now been resolved and a final offer of compensation in respect of the entire loss will be made at an early date. If the offer is not acceptable to Mr. Reddy, the whole case will be referred to arbitration without further delay.
Mr. Davin: asked the Minister for Supplies if he will state why Mr. J. Flanagan, Mary Street, Edenderry, Offaly, was refused an allocation of petrol to enable him to do haulage work for the Offaly County Council; and why Córas Iompair Éireann and certain private lorry owners in the same area were given unlimited supplies of petrol for doing the same class of work for the same county council and the Turf Development Board.
Mr. Lemass: Mr. J. Flanagan, Edenderry, applied on 14th February, 1945, for a petrol allowance to carry stones and gravel for the Offaly County Council in connection with the construction of a bog road. Petrol allowances for work on bog roads are not given direct to individual hauliers; they are given in bulk to county surveyors and the Turf Development Board. Mr. Flanagan's application was accordingly refused and he was referred to the county surveyor.
Mr. Flanagan is not a licensed haulier and has no basic allowance for his lorry. Córas Iompair Éireann are licensed hauliers and are entitled to perform haulage work of any kind within the limits of the quantity of petrol made available to them for general purposes. No person or body is given unlimited supplies of petrol for any purpose. I am arranging to have inquiries made arising out of the Deputy's suggestion that private lorry owners other than Mr. Flanagan have been engaged on the work in respect of which his application was made.
Mr. Davin: Did the Minister learn this, that this is an act of political  persecution? Will the Minister inquire further, whether the total allocation of petrol for haulage work in this area is being divided between Córas Iompair Éireann and the Fuehrer of the local Fianna Fáil Party?
Mr. Lemass: There is no question of an allowance of petrol to individual hauliers. For bog-road construction bulk allowances are given to county surveyors and the Turf Board.
Mr. Dillon: Is the local Fuehrer of the Fianna Fáil Party getting petrol?
Mr. Lemass: I do not even know the gentleman.
Mr. Davin: Is it a fact that, while Mr. Flanagan is no longer allowed to carry on haulage, work of the same kind is being done for the Turf Development Board?
Mr. Lemass: I have explained to the Deputy twice in the course of this short conversation that petrol is not given to individual hauliers for this work: that it is given in bulk to the county surveyors or the Turf Development Board, who make their own arrangements for haulage.
Mr. Davin: Is the Minister aware that the county surveyor in this case referred him to the Department of Supplies?
Mr. Lemass: I am not so aware.
Mr. Davin: Will the Minister make further inquiries into the matter?
Mr. Lemass: I think the Deputy should make the inquiries first.
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if, before he presents legislation for the establishment of a permanent institute of industrial research, he will consult the presidents of the constituent colleges of the National University of Ireland and the Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, with a view to ascertaining what contribution to industrial research  their science faculties can make and what endowments would be requisite to permit of their potenitalities to this end being fully exploited.
Mr. Lemass: I shall be glad to give consideration to any views on the proposed Bill for the establishment of a permanent institute of industrial research which the presidents of the constituent colleges of the National University of Ireland and the Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, may wish to have considered.
Mr. Dillon: Yes, but would the Minister be good enough to answer my question? My question inquires whether the Minister, before he presents legislation for the establishment of a permanent institute of industrial research, will consult the presidents of the constituent colleges of the National University of Ireland and the Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, with a view to ascertaining what contribution to industrial research their science faculties can make and what endowments would be requisite to permit of their potentialities to this end being fully exploited. Will the Minister consult these gentlemen and ask their opinion on those express topics?
Mr. Lemass: I do not think I can add anything to the reply I have given to the Deputy.
Mr. Dillon: Is the Minister aware that he has not replied to my question at all? He said that he would be glad to have their views, but that is not an answer to my question. I want the Minister to ask them what are the potentialities of their research departments before he embarks on the establishment of a new institute. Will he do that?
Mr. Lemass: I do not propose to do other than I have indicated.
Mr. Dillon: You will not ask them because you want to destroy the universities.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy should address the Chair, or address the Minister through the Chair.
Mr. Dillon: I am sorry, Sir, but no  attempt has been made to answer my question. The universities are now to be assassinated.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy should not make a speech in asking a supplementary question.
Risteárd Ua Maolchatha: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the total quantity and value of cork flooring imported during each of the months March, April and May, 1945, and from the 1st June, 1945, to date; whether these goods have been imported under licence; and, if so, the names of the firms to which the licences were issued; and whether licences to import have been refused to other firms; and, if so, the names of these firms and the reasons for the refusal.
Mr. Lemass: I take it that the Deputy is referring to cork carpets and cork carpeting mentioned at Reference No.89/1 in the Customs and Excise Tariff. There was no importation of any goods of this description in the period mentioned by the Deputy.
Mr. Reidy: asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state, in respect of the total quantity of goods imported during the year 1944 (a) from overseas, and (b) cross-Channel, the percentage of such goods which passed through the ports of Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford, respectively.
Mr. Lemass: The information is not available. The statistics of imports are not compiled by the routes over which the goods are carried or by the individual ports of entry.
General Mulcahy: Will the Minister say, in view of the information he gave recently about the percentages of imports at various ports, whether these percentages referred to overseas imports or whether they included cross-Channel imports also?
Mr. Lemass: As I stated, it referred to goods imported on the ships of Irish Shipping Limited.
Mr. Davin: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state the date when he received a communication from the secretary of the Offaly County Council containing a copy of a joint report from the county surveyors of Laoighis and Offaly giving details of the large mileage of roads in a very bad condition and recommending the appointment of a permanent gang of road workers; if he was requested to receive a deputation for the purpose of discussing the contents of the joint report; and if he will now state what action he has taken or proposes to take in the matter.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Mr. Childers): I have not received any communication from the secretary to the Offaly County Council in this matter. I received communications from the Deputy and from Deputy Boland covering copies of a joint report which does not make any recommendations. I am not aware whether the report had been submitted to the county councils and I have no information as to what aspects of the question it is desired that a deputation should discuss with me. Until I receive fuller information from the local authorities responsible for the maintenance of the roads and for the employment of labour for that purpose I would not be in a position to decide whether the matter could be advanced by the attendance of a deputation.
Mr. Davin: Is it a fact that in the joint report a recommendation at the time was made, at the unanimous request of the county surveyors concerned and the managers of the two counties, and is he not aware that there is a recommendation contained in the report for the appointment of a permanent gang of road workers?
Mr. Childers: The report I received from the county surveyors is not of a sufficiently detailed character, and the recommendation is so vague as to be useless for the purpose of discussing the matter with a deputation. I shall be glad to go into the matter  further when I have received more information.
Mr. Davin: Will the Parliamentary Secretary make further inquiries in order to find out what is the meaning of the proposal, which, apparently, he does not understand?
Mr. Childers: The matter is being examined.
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state if his attention has been drawn to research proceedings in the U.S.A. on the use of 2, 4—dichlorophenyl acetic acid for the destruction of docks, chickweed, dandelions and plantains without injury to grass; and if he will cause experiments to be made here with a view to popularising this procedure in Ireland.
Minister for Agriculture (Dr. Ryan): The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As to the second part, trials with such of these chemical preparations as are available are in progress in this country.
The impression appears to have been created that weeds can be easily eradicated by chemical dressings. I am advised this is not so. Many of the common weeds have so far been found to be resistant to the chemicals that have been tried, and certain of the dressings have been found to be harmful to useful plants.
Mr. Dillon: Has the Minister caused experiments to be made in this country as yet with regard to this particular chemical?
Dr. Ryan: We have not got this particular chemical, but we have got one which is closely allied with it and with which we are carrying out experiments, namely, dinitro-ortho-cresol, but the experiments so far are not by any means conclusive.
Mr. Dillon: Will the Minister consider bespeaking the services of some manufacturer or chemical factory here with a view to producing this chemical, in view of the remarkable claim made for it in responsible  chemical periodicals in the United States of America?
Dr. Ryan: We have not succeeded so far, but we are trying.
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will have the efficiency of gammexane (Pharmaceutical Journal, March 17th 1945) tested with a view to popularising its insecticidal properties in Ireland, if the tests prove satisfactory.
Dr. Ryan: Trials are this year being carried out by my Department with a view to ascertaining the value of gammexane as an insecticide in the case of several farm and garden crops.
Mr. Dillon: May we expect that the results of the trials envisaged under the Minister's answers to questions Nos. 8 and 9 will be published in the Department's report?
Dr. Ryan: Yes.
Mr. Dillon: At an early date?
Dr. Ryan: As soon as we have any substantial results.
Tadhg O Murchadha: asked the Minister for Agriculture if he is aware that the branch creamery at Corran, Leap, County Cork, formerly owned by the Cork and Kerry Creamery Company, is to be closed; that only three days' notice of the closing of the creamery was given; and that the available creameries in the district are each about three miles away and reached over roads in a poor condition; and, if so, whether in view of the hardship stated to arise for 55 suppliers, he will have the matter examined with a view to securing the revocation of the above decision.
Dr. Ryan: Corran cream-separating station was closed on 1st July. There are four creamery premises in the area, one about two miles distant, one about three miles distant and two about three and one-half miles distant. The former suppliers to Corran will not therefore suffer undue hardship in  delivering milk to the nearest existing creamery.
Corran was regarded as redundant and its milk supply, 400 gallons on the peak day of 1944, rendered it an uneconomic unit to operate.
Mr. Davin: asked the Minister for Defence if he will state the date when he received a claim for compensation from John Wheeler (L.D.F./276), Castlegrogan, Errill, County Leix, for injuries received while engaged at rifle practice with the local company of the Local Defence Force on September 17th, 1944; if he was admitted to and detained and examined at St. Bricin's Hospital on two occasions between the date of the accident and December 4th, 1944; whether he is still certified as medically unfit to resume his normal duties by the local medical officer; and, if so, if he will now sanction the payment of compensation at the appropriate rate for the full period of his incapacity.
Minister for Defence (Mr. Traynor): John Wheeler's application for compensation was received in the Department of Defence on 21st October, 1944. The applicant received medical treatment in St. Bricin's Hospital during the period from the 19th September, 1944, to 12th October, 1944. Following on his claim for compensation, Mr. Wheeler was called to St. Bricin's Hospital for medical examination by the Army Pensions Board and as detained in the hospital during the period from the 28th November, 1944, to the 4th December, 1944. As a result of their examination the board advised that Mr. Wheeler was unfit for his normal duties for the period from the 17th September to the 26th October, 1944, due to the injury he received on the 17th September. The board advised that after the 26th October Mr. Wheeler suffered no further disability consequent on the said injury.
In view of the board's report Mr. Wheeler was granted compensation at the maximum rate, viz., 37/6 per week, together with additional compensation at the rate of 7/6 per week in respect  of his wife and 16/- per week in respect of four children for the period from the 17th September to the 26th October, 1944.
Mr. Wheeler appealed against this award. The investigation of this appeal has now been concluded, but it is not possible to increase the amount of the compensation already granted.
Mr. Davin: Could the Minister say whether Mr. Wheeler was discharged as medically fit to resume his normal duties on the last occasion that he was let out from St. Bricin's Hospital; and, if so, will he explain why it is that the local medical officer of health still certifies him as being unfit to resume his normal duties with Córas Iompair Eireann by whom he was employed and where he was in receipt of a minimum wage of £3 a week? Is he also aware that this man's family were 41 weeks without any income of any kind? How does the Minister reconcile that with his own information?
Mr. Traynor: As I said, the board advised that after the 26th October Mr. Wheeler suffered no further disability consequent on the said injury. A local medical officer did, in fact, furnish a certificate on a couple of occasions to the effect that Mr. Wheeler was suffering from an injury to his left eye and was, therefore, unfit for work. When the Department asked the medical officer for further information as to the pathological condition present in the left eye, the doctor said that the Army oculist would be able to supply a report. When the authorities of the Department went to the Army oculist he reported that the man was suffering from 10 per cent. disability of each eye, due to astigmatism not attributable to service, and 100 per cent. disability (transient) due to conjunctivitis for the first period of hospitalisation and for 14 days after that, due to service. The award of compensation was based on the board's assessment, and the local doctor has not given the Army Pensions Board any reason for reaching the conclusion that Mr. Wheeler is unfit for work.
Mr. Davin: How can he resume his normal duties with Córas Iompair Eireann so long as he is certified medically unfit to do so? If he was being dealt with by an ordinary, callous employer under the Workmen's Compensation Act, he would get compensation. With your permission, Sir, I propose to raise the question of the callous treatment of this man on the Adjournment.
Mr. Dillon: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will state if the first issue of Savings Certificates has been redeemed; and, if so, what is the average rate of interest paid on the total moneys subscribed to that issue, taking into account all certificates including those encashed by holders before full maturity.
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Mr. Little): The first issue of Savings Certificates has not been fully redeemed. Out of a total issue of £8,016,847 4s. 6d., certificates to the value of £5,432,588 16s. 0d. (excluding interest) have been repaid up to 31st March, 1945, leaving a balance of £2,584,258 8s. 6d. still invested.
I regret, however, that it would not be feasible to compute even the average rate of interest for those certificates which have already been repaid. The rate of interest on any individual purchase of certificates, repaid on a particular date, can be calculated without difficulty, but to arrive at any average rate it would, as a first step, be necessary to analyse all of the 100,000 or so repayments made since 1923. It would not be possible for my Department to undertake the amount of clerical work involved in this task.
Mr. Dillon: I know perfectly well that, until the issue is redeemed in toto, such a calculation cannot conveniently be made. Would the Minister be good enough to tell me the date upon which this issue will be redeemed in toto?
Mr. Little: In respect of the first issue of certificates, on sale from 18th June, 1923, to the 20th February, 1931, the arrangement so far authorised by  the Department of Finance permits of these certificates being retained until 19th January, 1951.
Mr. Norton: asked the Minister for Lands if he is in a position to state when the holdings on the Verschoyle estate at Kilberry, Athy, will be vested in the tenants.
Mr. Boland (for Minister for Lands): It is not possible at present to indicate a date when the holdings on the Verschoyle Estate (tenanted land), Record No. S. 6104, at Kilberry, Athy, may be vested in the tenants, or when the parcels allotted on the untenanted land on the estate may be vested in the allottees. There will be no avoidable delay.
Mr. Hilliard: asked the Minister for Lands if he will state if the Land Commission propose to construct a roadway at Frayne, Athboy, County Meath, at the Collins and Chapman estates connecting the existing roads at Clonmore and Frayne; and, if so, when was this work inspected and reported on by an officer of the Land Commission; and on what date will work commence.
Mr. Boland: The Land Commission have recently received an application for the repair and extension of a roadway at Frayne and Clonmore, Athboy, County Meath, but they are not yet in a position to say what action, if any, they can take in the matter.
An Tánaiste: Business will be taken as on the Order Paper—Items Nos. 1, 6, 7, 8, 9 (3, 65, 66), 10 (72, 10, 49, 35).
Mr. M. O'Sullivan: Is it possible to obtain some information regarding items Nos. 11 and 12, leave for the introduction of which was given as far back as November and which have been on the Order Paper for a considerable time—the Public Health Bill and the Rent Restrictions Bill?
An Tánaiste: These Bills will not be taken this session.
Mr. Dillon: Will the Tánaiste say if the numbers mentioned to-day represent his arrangements for this week's work?
An Tánaiste: To-day's work.
Mr. Dillon: Do you propose to sit to-morrow morning?
An Tánaiste: Yes.
Mr. Donnellan: Would it be possible to make some arrangement between the Whips whereby we would finish the business next week?
An Tánaiste: Every co-operation will be forthcoming from the Government for the realisation of that aim.
Mr. Dillon: If the dictatorship of the Fianna Fáil Party were recognised, I suppose we might not sit to-morrow. Providentially, it will not be recognised.
Mr. MacEntee: Deputy Dillon is not going to co-operate, in any event.
Mr. Dillon: Not in that conspiracy.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): I move:—
That Dáil Éireann hereby approves of the Sugar (Prohibition of Import) Order, 1945.
This is a formal motion introduced annually to secure approval of an Order made under the Sugar (Control of Imports) Act. The purpose of the Order made in previous years was to confine the importation of sugar to the Irish Sugar Company. The Order made this year has the same effect but, in fact, it is not anticipated that any sugar will be imported.
Mr. Dillon: Does this Order relate to raw sugar?
Mr. Lemass: To all kinds of sugar.
Mr. Dillon: The simple purpose of the Order is to confine the imports of this commodity to the sugar company and it is not be implied that, if there is a shortage which could be filled by importing raw sugar, the sugar company will not be allowed to import it.
Mr. Lemass: No.
General Mulcahy: Did the Minister say that he does not expect that any raw sugar or fine sugar will be imported during the current year?
Mr. Lemass: It is extremely unlikely.
General Mulcahy: Is the sugar company taking any steps to import sugar?
Mr. Lemass: It is improbable that the sugar company will succeed in obtaining sugar for importation.
Mr. Dillon: In fact, there is an acute world shortage at the moment.
Mr. Lemass: Yes.
Mr. Dillon: May we not expect that, with the liberation of the Philippines, the sugar shortage will be materially relieved inasmuch as the Western States of America will be taken off the Cuban supply?
Mr. Lemass: That is a matter on  which I should not like to express an opinion.
Question put and agreed to.
Leave given to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to regulate the export of documents and pictures with the object of preserving records of those which are of national, historical, genealogical or literary interest— (Minister for Education.)
An Ceann Comhairle: When is it proposed to take the next stage?
Tomás O Deirg: Tá an Bille seo práinneach agus, má tá an Dáil toilteanach, ba mhaith liom an dara céim a thógaint amárach. Bille gearr simplí is ea é.
Risteárd O Maolchatha: Má tá sé práinneach, cén fáth nár tugadh an tairgsint seo isteach níos luaithe?
Tomás O Deirg: Ní raibh a fhios againn go mbeadh páipéirí ag imeacht as an tír.
Risteárd O Maolchatha: Tá go maith.
Mr. Dillon: Evidence of co-operation in democratic procedure.
Second Stage fixed for Friday, 6th July.
Sections 1 and 2 agreed to.
Question proposed: “That Section 3 stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. Byrne: I should like to ask if this is the proper time to raise a point in regard to public gifts generally and to ask the Minister if provision will be made to ensure that gifts of this character will be made available to citizens at the proper time. I have in mind particularly the Bourne Vincent Memorial Park at Killarney. I understand that that park is not available to the citizens at the present moment.
An Ceann Comhairle: That point does not arise. The Bill is not concerned with gifts already made.
Mr. Byrne: Surely I can give an instance of a case in which a present was given to the country for the use of the citizens and effect has not been given to the wishes of the person who made the gift? I want to direct the attention of the Minister to the fact that that is so and ask him to make provision in the case of any future gift that effect will be given——
An Ceann Comhairle: Has the Deputy not done so already?
Mr. Byrne: That is what I want to know, whether any gifts that will be made——
Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Mr. MacEntee): I object very strongly to the implications of the Deputy's statement. The conditions under which the Bourne Vincent Memorial Park was acquired were settled by this House and are embodied in a statute. Effect has been given to that statute. I deny that the Minister has in any way disregarded the terms of the conditions upon which the gift was given.
Mr. Byrne: The gift was given for a special purpose.
An Ceann Comhairle: If this House by statute fixed the terms and conditions under which the park was taken over, they stand. The Deputy cannot advocate an amendment of that Act on this Bill.
Mr. Byrne: With all respect, can I not say that the conditions have not been given effect to, and that the Bourne Vincent Memorial Park was given as a gift to the citizens of the nation——
An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair cannot decide between the Minister's categorical statement that the conditions have been carried out and the Deputy's allegation. It is a question of a difference on a statement of fact between the Minister and the Deputy and the Chair cannot decide it.
Mr. Byrne: This is the first time that a Bill like this has come before the House since the Bourne Vincent Memorial Park was taken over.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy may not pursue the matter on this section. The terms of the statute have been carried out according to the Minister. Section 3.
Mr. Byrne: I am on Section 3.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy is not on Section 3.
Mr. Byrne: I am going to speak on Section 3.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy will resume his seat.
Mr. Byrne: I respectfully protest against your ruling. This is not the first time——
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy will resume his seat.
Mr. Byrne: Everybody can put his view across the House except myself. It is not the first time you took up that attitude. Every time that a Minister attacks me or that I raise a point, you rule in his favour.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy will retire from the House for the remainder of this day's sitting.
Mr. Byrne: I should like to have somebody to move my suspension. This is political Party prejudice.
A Deputy: The gallery.
Mr. Byrne: You remember the last time I was suspended, the Minister had to come back and apologise. Then the report of the whole debate was faked.
Proceedings of the Committee suspended.
An Ceann Comhairle: I name Deputy Byrne for disregarding the authority of the Chair.
Mr. MacEntee: I move that Deputy Byrne be suspended from the service of the Dáil.
Question put and declared carried.
Mr. Byrne: Again I say this is political Party prejudice.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy is no longer in the service of the House.
Deputy Byrne withdrew from the Chamber.
Question—“That Section 3 stand part of the Bill”—put and agreed to.
Mr. MacEntee: I move amendment No. 1:—
To delete sub-section (2) and to insert in lieu thereof the following sub-section:—
(2) The expenses incurred under this section in relation to a civic improvement scheme shall—
(a) if incurred by a vocational education committee or a committee of agriculture, be defrayed out of the voluntary civic improvement fund established thereunder,
(b) if incurred by any other local authority, be defrayed either—
(i) out of such voluntary civic improvement fund, or
(ii) (I) in the case of the corporation of a county borough or the Borough of Dún Laoghaire, out of the municipal fund,
(II) in the case of the council of a county, by means of the poor rate as a charge on the county health district of that county,
(III) in the case of the corporation of a borough (not being a county borough or the Borough of Dún Laoghaire), by means of the borough rate,
(IV) in the case of the council of an urban district or the commissioners of a town, by means of the town rate.
Section 4 as drafted provides that the cost of advertisements should be charged against the civic improvement fund. On reconsideration, it is felt that it might be advisable to allow  local authorities, such of them as have rate-raising powers, to defray the cost of advertisements out of the rates if they so desire. Vocational education committees and county committees of agriculture have not rate-raising powers and in their case the charge must necessarily fall on the civic improvement fund.
Mr. Hughes: The Minister said they might impose it on the civic improvement fund. According to the amendment they must.
Mr. MacEntee: No.
Mr. Hughes: “(b) if incurred by any other local authority be defrayed.”
Mr. MacEntee: “(i) out of such voluntary civic improvement fund or... (ii) out of the municipal fund.” They have an option.
Mr. McMenamin: What is the improvement fund?
Mr. MacEntee: The improvement fund is a fund to be established under a civic improvement scheme. Of course, the municipal fund is the ordinary revenue of the municipality.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Section 4, as amended, agreed to.
Mr. MacEntee: I move amendment No. 2:—
Before Section 5 to insert the following new section:—
5.—The commissioners of a town (if not already a body corporate) shall, for the purpose of accepting, holding and administering gifts of real or personal property for civic improvements and of suing and being sued in respect thereof, be a body corporate with perpetual succession and any instrument relating to such property shall be duly executed by such commissioners if executed in manner provided by Section 59 of the Commissioners Clauses Act, 1847, with respect to conveyances by commissioners who are not a body corporate.
 Town commissioners, that is commissioners of a town which is not an urban district, are usually non-corporate bodies. It is always necessary when power is given to such bodies to hold land for any purpose to incorporate them for such specific purpose and the object of the amendment is to ensure that for the purpose of the civic improvement scheme town commissioners may be considered as corporate bodies.
Mr. Hughes: Can the Minister say why it is not proposed to incorporate them for every other purpose? It is an extraordinary amendment. It begins: “The commissioners of a town (if not already a body corporate)”——
Mr. MacEntee: That raises a very big issue. Town commissioners as a rule are not, in fact, corporate bodies except where the towns of which they are commissioners were boroughs before the Act of 1840. Under that Act of 1840 these towns lost their borough status but the commissioners continued on as corporate bodies. That is the exceptional case. The general case is that they are not corporate bodies.
Mr. Hughes: What is the object of not putting it in the other amendment? This is the Fifth Section. Why was it not put in amendment No. 1?
Mr. MacEntee: This is quite different. The Bill defines that the expression “local authority” shall include among other things town commissioners. Town commissioners in general are not empowered to hold or administer land except in certain circumstances where there is a specific provision made in the relevant statute, such cases, for instance, as where they acquire land for housing purposes, but in other circumstances as a rule they may not hold land. In order to enable them to accept a gift of land under a civic improvement scheme, if they desire to initiate such a scheme, it is necessary that they should for that purpose be considered as corporate bodies. That is the purpose of the amendment.
Amendment agreed to.
 Section 5, as amended, and the Title agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.
Agreed to take the remaining stages now.
Question—“That the Bill be received for final consideration”—put and agreed to.
Question proposed: “That the Bill do now pass.”
Mr. Dillon: I should like to ask about bodies analogous to town commissioners and to inquire whether provision is being made for them, or whether the Minister's failure to make provision for them indicates that they have in fact disappeared as a result of the County Management Act, 1942. Under the Local Government Act, 1925, boards of health were charged with the administration of the affairs of small towns which had not got town commissioners and which were not yet villages, but, in the discharge of their duties in regard to those towns, they were empowered to promote the creation of town committees to advise them on certain aspects of the town's requirements. These bodies had statutory recognition, although their functions were entirely advisory, and the form of giving effect to their functions was that the town committee incorporated a report of its proceedings in the minutes and these minutes were submitted to the board of health and there adopted, amended or rejected.
Certain cases have arisen where these town committees have been appointed as the authority to discharge other duties in no way ancillary to their duty as an advisory body to the board of health. The acquisition of property by way of gift for local purposes is a function in point. Have these bodies completely disappeared by virtue of the merger of the board of health's functions in the functions of the county manager, or do they survive, although their principals, the boards of health, have themselves disappeared? If they survive, are they static creatures, consisting of the members who belong to them on the date of the coming into effect of the County Management Act, and can  bodies of persons who were town committees function to accept trusts of the character envisaged by this Bill for the benefit of the communities they represented prior to the passage of the 1942 Act? I do not ask the Minister to answer off hand, as it may be something which has not occurred to his mind.
Mr. MacEntee: Perhaps it would have been better if this matter had been raised yesterday when I might have been able to deal with it more fully to-day. It is not necessary that such committees should receive any statutory recognition in this Bill. These committees, as the Deputy has told the House, when they functioned, functioned as advisory committees to the board of health, but the scheme of the Bill provides that the county council, with which boards of health are now merged, may adopt a civic improvement scheme, a scheme in respect of civic improvements generally, a particular class or classes of civic improvements, or one particular civic improvement, and the expression is defined as including anything which tends to improve the amenities of the functional area of the local authority. It seems to me that as a scheme may be adopted in respect of a particular class of, or of one particular civic improvement, it can be said that a county council may establish a civic improvements scheme for the particular improvement of any one of these towns the Deputy has in mind, towns which are at present not administered but subject to the supervision, if I may put it that way, of a town committee, and that it would be quite possible to ensure that the benefits of any particular civic improvement scheme would be reserved to a particular district, to a district which, as I said, had the advantage of having a town committee looking after its interests. So far as the particular scheme of the Bill is concerned, it is not necessary to make the special provision which the Deputy has indicated might be necessary, but I will look into it between now and the date upon which the Bill is considered by the Seanad.
Mr. Dillon: If the Minister would be kind enough to look into the matter particularly with regard to what has actually happened to these advisory committees—whether they were provided for in the 1942 Act or whether they have been deemed to disappear with the boards of health—and would send me a note on the result of his researches, I should be much obliged.
Question put and agreed to.
Question again proposed: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time.”
Mr. Donnellan: It is, in my opinion, past the time when government by Ministerial Order should end in this country. Since 1939 we have had government by Ministerial Order and not what one might describe as government by Dáil Eireann, and the introduction of this measure indicates that we are still to have government on the same plan. I often wonder why the Taoiseach does not take the Dáil into his confidence for once and tell Deputies what are the great dangers which lie ahead. We scarcely know where we stand at all in some respects, because scaremongering seems to hold foremost place with the Taoiseach. Not so very long ago we had some of these scares. It appears that they are very useful and that it is a good thing to keep the people of the country more or less terrorised.
We had the war scare back in 1939, and, according to the statement by the Taoiseach last night, there is another great danger from a certain illegal organisation, and people released from prison to-day have to be taken up again the following day because of their activities. It is my view, and the view of a good many people in the country, that it is all something kept up for a purpose, because nobody knows better than the Taoiseach that we will always have, and we always have had, people in this country who will be opposed to any Government. Is there any reason why the Taoiseach should not come to the House and put the case straight  and honestly rather than introduce Emergency Powers Orders? I think it a disgrace that he does not do so. Even the legal men are sometimes disturbed as to what is legal and what is illegal, and last night some of the legal lights of the House appeared not to be fully aware of it.
In my opinion, the sooner this country gets back to real democratic government, the better for it. As I said last night, I consider that the most degrading aspect of those Ministerial Orders was the fact that, on several occasions within the past two years, when Dáil Eireann was sitting here, either over the wireless or perhaps in a statement by some Minister at a function of a political Party a certain Order was announced. I think that was making very little of this House. It was making very little of the elected representatives of the people. Surely it was on account of the great danger of invasion in the past that the Taoiseach got those powers from this House. That danger has passed away, and I cannot understand why he should now come here and ask that those powers, with the exception of censorship, be renewed.
There is one other matter that surprises me too. The Taoiseach has an all-over majority in this House, and at any time that anything crops up he has that all-over majority to give him any power that he thinks necessary. Why then come here with a Bill such as this at the present time? I think there is no need for it. As far as we on this side of the House are concerned we certainly will oppose it and I think every fair-minded Deputy in the House will oppose it. There is one thing that the Taoiseach should not continue in this country, and that is the terrorising of the people. One day we are told it is danger from outside. According to to-day's paper and to the Taoiseach's statement last night it is now a danger from inside, amongst our own people. He tells us that certain men who were released stood up at public meetings and asked people to join illegal organisations. Surely they were very innocent men. Surely nobody knows better than the Taoiseach himself that that is not the method employed by any illegal organisation. That man,  whoever he is — according to the Taoiseach's statement last night he is supposed to be the Chief of Staff of the I.R.A.—is a very innocent man. I think he is not the type who should be interned, if that is his method, because he will not get very far.
Many Deputies want to speak on this Bill, so I will not detain the House further. I will conclude by asking the Taoiseach to withdraw the Bill, instead of trying to steamroll it through the House, because I think if we are going to continue on that line it will be the end of democratic government in this country.
General Mulcahy: I hope the Taoiseach will approach the discussion of this measure in rather a different frame of mind from that suggested by his attitude last night. I think it was very degrading to the House and disruptive of any kind of atmosphere in which serious matters could be discussed that the Taoiseach should intervene in the way in which he intervened last night when Deputy Costello was discussing this measure, and that he should emphasise his attitude in the way in which he did by his three interruptions of Deputy Dillon. If we are going adequately to shoulder our Parliamentary responsibility here—and we have a very serious responsibility to the country as a whole—then we cannot afford to have our discussions obscured by misstatements of fact or by the introduction of irritation and anger. I must say that I was driven very near to the point of anger by the attitude which the Taoiseach adopted last night.
We want to be very clear as to what elements of emergency exist which need to be dealt with by emergency powers in the hands of the Government. A very serious responsibility rests on the Government to help the House to understand what those elements of emergency are, and what powers of an emergency kind they require in order to deal with them. The House has been generous to the Government in an extraordinary degree since the very beginning of the emergency in giving it any powers that it suggested it wanted in any possible way. The House showed its readiness to increase those powers when the  Government asked it to do so, and I do not think the Government has been impeded in any way in the exercise of those powers. I do not think it was criticised sufficiently. I would plead with the Taoiseach to face the questions that are put to him fairly and squarely and honestly, and not to misrepresent or sneer at people who are arguing from particular points of view.
The House will remember that when the emergency started some of us got this Emergency Powers Bill put into our hands at 11.30 on Friday night and were expected to pass it by the following Saturday at 8 o'clock. That Bill was so sweeping in the powers that it asked for the Government that we had to prevail on the Government to accept restrictions, which were embodied in paragraph 5 (2) of the original Act, which said:—
“Nothing in this section shall authorise the imposition of taxation or the imposition of any form of compulsory military service or any form of industrial conscription.”
The Bill as presented to us gave the Government power completely to ignore the Dáil, to impose taxation, and to impose military and industrial conscription. The measure of the powers in the original Act can be estimated by the fact that that had to be put in as an amendment. Subject to Section 5 there, and subject to the additional Act that was passed in 1942 giving the Government power to impose minimum fines, they had a general power to do anything they could possibly want to do by emergency Order, including either annulling or amending or changing in any way they liked any statute that was on the Statute Book. When Deputy Costello, answering Deputy Dillon's question last night and stating in a positive way what the result of the present amending legislation was going to be, said that it left the Government in possession of every single power that they got originally under the 1939 Act except the power of censorship which is being definitely removed under Section 6 of the present Bill and the power of making Orders dealing with minimum fines which is being removed  under Section 7 of the present Bill, he was stating something which it did not take an ex-Attorney-General or a leading member of the Bar to understand by reading the Acts. He was stating something which anybody who can read ordinary, plain English, or ordinary, plain Irish can understand from reading the two Bills. I should like to ask the Taoiseach why he denies that, and particularly why he denies it in the sneering way in which he did deny it to Deputy Costello and Deputy Dillon last night? If these things are so, and from an ordinary reading of the measure they are so, we could all understand the Taoiseach coming before us and saying: “We are shedding ourselves of emergency powers; we do not want to give an elaborate examination to the present situation with a view to safeguarding in every possible way the powers we do want; we are shedding ourselves in every possible way of powers that are not necessary and are introducing this measure in what may appear a slipshod way, but we are doing it because it is a simple way of doing it and it will enable us to hold all the powers we have until we can make up our minds to shed them”. We could understand the House being asked to pass the Bill if it were presented to us in that particular way, but we must suspect and are in danger of being irritated and disturbed in our examination and understanding of the situation when the Taoiseach faces us in the way that he did last night.
There is one thing that I would like to get definitely clear and it is the statement made with regard to the I.R.A. by the Taoiseach when introducing this measure last night. He said that it was such a present-day menace to the State that persons released comparatively recently had to be rearrested. I would like to ask whether the Taoiseach wants to maintain powers under the Emergency Powers Act to deal with any menace by the I.R.A. or any other subversive organisation in the country, or whether a menace of that particular kind can be regarded as extra-emergency to be dealt with in future by  the ordinary legislation of the land. I understood from what the Taoiseach said last night that was the intention: that by the introduction of an Order under Part II of the Offences Against the State Act—under the ordinary legislation of the land—he was going to arm himself with powers to deal with difficulties that might arise out of organisations of that kind. If that is so, let us be told it so that we can discuss the Emergency Powers Act without any consideration of the difficulties that may arise because of movements of that kind. In my opinion there could not possibly be any difficulty, such as that, inside the country that could not be dealt with by the very adequate measures we have under the ordinary law of the land.
There is, either consciously or unconsciously, the habit on the part of the Government of clouding ordinary issues with excitements of one kind or another, coming from inside or outside the country. So far as we are concerned with the emergency here, we realise that the emergency for which this Act was passed has gone completely—that is the emergency that involved us in military danger. The emergency that remains is that which deals with supplies, with services and with the economic life of the people, the emergency arising out of the aftermath of the war. Let us narrow down, in a clear way, our impressions as to what that emergency is, and the powers that the Government want in order to deal with it. I think it would be a source of much greater danger to the State, to public order in the State and to public security in the State if Parliament failed to do its work systematically and well or if the Government prevented Parliament from doing its work systematically and well. That would be a greater danger socially, economically and politically, than any that might arise from any I.R.A. or any subversive organisation, or from any group of disaffected persons that might plot against the existence of the State. Sub-section (1) of Section 2 of the 1939 Act provides:—
“The Government may, whenever and so often as they think fit, make  by Order (in this Act referred to as an emergency Order) such provisions as are, in the opinion of the Government, necessary or expedient for securing the public safety or the preservation of the State, or for the maintenance of public order, or for the provision and control of supplies and services essential to the life of the community”.
Anything that the Government think they require to do they can do by Order in respect of public safety, the preservation of the State, the maintenance of public order and the provision and control of supplies and services. When this Bill is passed, if it is passed in its present form, the Government will have power to do anything they wish, including the scrapping or amending of any legislation that is on the Statute Book—with the exception of the power of censorship—the power of taxation without reference to Parliament, the power of military conscription or industrial conscription without reference to Parliament, the power of trying ordinary civilians by military courts or the power of fixing minimum fines under an Emergency Powers Order. They will have complete power to do anything they want to do.
That being so, I propose to help to get Parliament clear on what the situation is by moving in Committee that we will delete from Section 2 any reference to the securing of public safety, because I think that, in our present circumstances, and under the ordinary law of the land, the Government have adequate powers to secure the public safety by the proper administration of the ordinary law. I propose also to remove the reference in Section 2 to the preservation of the State, because I suggest that our circumstances are such that there is no necessity to go outside the ordinary law of the State, if properly applied, for the preservation of the State. I propose also to move for the deletion of the reference to the maintenance of public order because I think the ordinary law of the land should be perfectly adequate for the Government to deal with any difficulties that may arise in the maintenance of public  order. That would mean that the general powers the Government would have would be powers that “whenever and so often as they think fit” they could make an Order for such provisions as in their opinion were “necessary or expedient ... for the provision and control of supplies and services essential to the life of the community”. If we could get it clear that it was not the Government's intention or desire to hold any emergency powers to deal with subversive organisations and that it was going to deal with them under the Offences Against the State Act; if we could get it clear what are the elements, if any, arising out of the emergency that require the Government to have emergency powers to secure the public safety, the preservation of the State or the maintenance of public order, and have some clear information from the Government as to what it is exactly they want to deal with, then we could get some distance along the road to an understanding of what the Government have in mind. We see that as far as any danger to public safety, or the necessity for preserving the State or maintaining public order are concerned, there is no threat to us in any of these matters of an emergency kind that requires the maintenance of emergency powers to deal with it. I want to appeal to the Government to realise the responsibility that is on them and, particularly, the responsibility that is on the House fairly and squarely to consider national facts and fairly and squarely, in a commonsense way, vigorously and clearly to approach the problem of dealing with them.
The Government have been dealt with with complete generosity in the past. No power has been withheld from them. No power will be withheld from them to-morrow that we see is necessary for the proper carrying on of Government here or in order to assist our people to meet their economic and social conditions, but we are sensible of the narrow, dictatorial attitude and policy of the Government. We must be mindful of our responsibilities here to preserve liberty and to preserve the democratic  institutions that have been set up here by the work of all the people for the well-being of all the people. I simply make my appeal to the Taoiseach not to approach the discussion of the matter in the way in which he tended to approach it last night but to give Parliament an opportunity of discussing it in an orderly and clear-minded way.
Mr. Corish: The meagre information and details submitted by the Taoiseach yesterday when introducing this Bill were, in my opinion, not sufficient in order that the House might be content again to give the Government the emergency powers. In 1939, when we were living in an atmosphere in which it was conceived that all Europe or the world might be in turmoil in a very short time, the Dáil gave the Government powers which perhaps were needed. Is it suggested that the same atmosphere prevails to-day? Is it suggested that the same powers are required by the Government in order that they may rule the country? I suggest that the Government have become so accustomed to rule the country by emergency Orders made overnight that they are reluctant to divest themselves of the power to do so now.
The Taoiseach could not indicate any powers that he was divesting himself of, with the exception of censorship and a few other small things. I noticed—it was very significant—that he was very careful to refrain from referring to the Standstill Wages Order. I remember distinctly, when that Bill was going through the House in 1939, spokesmen from these benches asked the Taoiseach if he proposed to use the powers he was getting under the Emergency Powers Bill to prevent normal trade union activity. We received an assurance that nothing was farther from the Government's mind, that it was nonsensical to suggest that there would be any interference at all with trade union activity. Notwithstanding that assurance, within a very short period, an Emergency Powers Order was issued by the Government by which certain workers were prevented from seeking an increase in their wages and certain trade unions  were prevented from following their normal activities of trying to secure increases in wages. Are we to understand from the Taoiseach that that emergency Order is still to be kept in force? Are we to understand that the workers are still to be prevented from trying to secure a decent wage? All through the emergency the workers have been prevented from seeking increases in wages such as would enable them to cope with the increased cost of living. For a considerable time no increase at all was allowed. An increase of 77 points in the cost-of-living index figure was disregarded before the Minister for Industry and Commerce permitted a bonus to be paid to workers in certain industries. I think it will be admitted that that bonus was insufficient to cope with the increased cost of living which has obtained in this country since the outbreak of war.
I suggest to the Taoiseach that he is treating this House as if we were children. He is treating the country as if the people were children. In respect of an important measure of this kind some more information than the meagre details which the Taoiseach submitted to the House yesterday should be made available. Are we to understand that the Government still have power to raid a person's home, to send military into a person's home, without a warrant? Now that the European conflict is over, when countries that were at war have almost gone back to normal, surely it should not be necessary in this country that the Government should have power to raid a person's home by military without a warrant. I do not think that that obtains in England at the present time. It certainly does not do our country any good to have it known outside that that kind of thing prevails here.
I quite understand that it is necessary that certain powers should be given to the Government in so far as supplies are concerned. We know that it is difficult to obtain food supplies and that if there were not some control certain people would not get supplies at all, but surely we could have an Act of Parliament or Orders  permitting the control of these supplies in the interests of the people.
The Government are taking the line of expediency. They have become so accustomed to making Orders and having the country obey them during the past five or six years that they regard this as a way out. To ask Parliament to accept this Bill is to ask us to walk into the unknown. We do not know where we are in regard to this Bill. I hope that when the Taoiseach is replying he will give more details in regard to it. So far as this Party is concerned, we will definitely vote against the Bill. We do not think that at the moment there is any reason for such a drastic measure. Some of the Orders made under the Emergency Powers Bill were necessary, but we are of the opinion that it does not require such a drastic Bill as this is to enable some of the things that are definitely necessary in the interests of the people to be done.
I think the time has arrived when the workers of this country should be allowed to use the ordinary trade union machinery which was at their disposal prior to 1939, to enable them to negotiate in the ordinary way with their employers in an effort to secure wages that will be sufficient to cope with the cost of living. I know that there are certain employers in this country who recognise that their employees have not had sufficient increase in wages to enable them to cope with the cost of living. I am perfectly satisfied that if the Taoiseach withdrew that particular portion of this Bill, or whatever Order was made under the Principal Act, and allowed the ordinary normal machinery to operate in the settlement of wages, there would be greater contentment in the country. I suggest that the Bill is not necessary, that whatever powers are needed could be secured through another type of Bill. Now that the conflict in Europe is over and that normal conditions are coming back, it is a slight on the people of the country to ask Parliament to pass such a Bill.
Mr. Coogan: When the Taoiseach introduced this Bill last night he understated the position and gave the House the impression that the Bill  simply left a residue of emergency powers to the Government. As all the speakers from this side of the House have emphasised, the Bill does nothing of the kind. The Emergency Powers Act of 1939 is a one-clause measure, as all the powers that were conferred on the Government under that Act are to be found in Section 2 (1). That provision is retained in its entirety in this Bill. The only powers which the Government is shedding are the powers relating to censorship. Certain Emergency Powers Orders have been revoked, but that does not take away from the position that the Government still retains all the necessary powers which they have under Section 2 (1).
It is well that we should ask ourselves what these powers are. They are so wide that the Government has absolute power to do anything and everything they please. In the days of the most absolute monarch of France, Louis XIV, such powers were not held by him. On one occasion, Louis XIV was challenged in his use of the absolute powers he then held and, in reply to his counsellors, he said: “L'Etat c'est moi.” That is virtually the position created by the Act of 1939 and retained by the Bill now before the House. “I am the State” is written into that Act and into this Bill as effectively as it was written into the absolute power exercised by that absolute autocrat, Louis XIV. In his day, government depended upon the whim, the caprice or the will of the absolute monarch, and the French have a proverb which, translated into English, means: “The more things change the more they are the same”—
“Plus ca change, plus c'est la même chose.” In Louis XIV's day, his will made the law, his will enforced the law and his will dispensed from the law; and exactly the same position exists to-day in emergency powers legislation. The will of the Taoiseach and the Government behind him makes the law, enforces the law and dispenses from the law. There is no difference now from what it was then.
In more recent times, when the late and little-lamented Hitler had his  purge in 1934, when he got rid of most of his associated Gauleiters because their boots had got too big for them, he was challenged by his advisers as to why he did not bring those people before the supreme court of the Reich and his answer was: “I am the supreme court, I am the judge and I am the executioner.” That is the position created by the 1939 Act here and renewed by the Bill now before the House.
The I.R.A. has been dragged in as a bogey and as an excuse, to cloud the real issues now before the House. I do not believe for one moment—and I have some experience of this illegal organisation—that the I.R.A. presents the problem it has been represented to present here. Only a few weeks ago, I had the information that the I.R.A. was absolutely defunct, but now we are told that it is a dangerous organisation again, that the Chief of Staff appealed for recruits at a public meeting—a funny way to recruit for the I.R.A.—and also that certain released I.R.A. men were in a conspiracy to murder policemen. I have no knowledge of that; it may or may not be so; it is possible that some of these fellows, in a braggadoccio manner, may have made certain idle threats, but that the I.R.A. at the present time is a serious conspiracy menacing the security of this State I do not believe.
I do not want to drag that aspect of the case into the discussion. As Deputy Mulcahy has pointed out, it should not have been brought in, as we are dealing here with an emergency problem purely and simply. That emergency problem is as to whether we need the powers under the 1939 Act for securing the public safety, the preservation of the State, the maintenance of public order and the control of supplies and services essential to the life of the community. In my opinion, there is no case for this Bill except in relation to supplies. Surely to goodness, the Government has sufficient powers other wise to deal with the I.R.A. conspiracy, if such exists. Are we for ever to live in the atmosphere that this country is not normal? Are  we for ever to convey the impression to outside peoples that we are living here in a state of terror from some secret organisation? Or are we to face up to the realities of the situation, take our courage in our hands and rid ourselves of this bogey of the I.R.A. and get back to normal functioning of the courts and the law? It is unfortunate that this matter was introduced, as it makes the discussion of this measure rather delicate and difficult, but as it has been mentioned I see no way out of it. To my mind the I.R.A. at the present time is a negligible quantity, negligible in numbers, in courage and audacity, and in any other aspect. I am convinced that whatever remnants of that conspiracy are left could be effectively dealt with under the ordinary criminal law.
Under this Bill, extraordinary power is being retained over the citizen and not only over the citizen but over the alien. Why can we not go back to the position obtaining under the Aliens Act and the Aliens Orders? I see no reason to keep on the emergency legislation in relation to aliens, no more than I can see any case for emergency measures to deal with the I.R.A. It is true that, under this Bill, the Irish citizen who is not subject to military law cannot be court martialled—that provision is being taken out of the Act by this measure—but the Government proposes to bring in a proclamation putting Part II of the Offences Against the State Act, 1940, in force. Under that Act, any citizen can be arrested without warrant, his home can be entered without warrant and he can be stopped, searched, photographed and finger-printed if, in the opinion— and mark the word “opinion”—of an Executive Minister, he is suspected of being engaged in illegal activities. That is getting very nearly back to the lettres de cachet of Louis XIV. The lettres de cachet of Louis XIV and his successors were sufficient to send men to the Bastille, but the “opinion” of an Executive Minister here can put a man, for an indefinite term, in the “glasshouse”. I see no difference between the two systems.
I should like to put this point of view to the Government. Is it a  successful way of disposing of conspiracies against the State to put all the conspirators together into the glasshouse? Those of us who know the history of this country from 1917 onwards know that the great movement from 1918 to 1921 was largely organised from the associations made by the prisoners in England after the 1916 Rebellion. The Government here, both the previous Government and this Government, have been repeating the performances of the British Government of other days. We have been making it possible, by putting these fellows together, for them to go out on release with a virile organisation.
It is well that the House should be clear as to the powers that are retained here. Every power relating to the security of the State, the maintenance of order and the preservation of the State, is preserved. I hold there is no longer any threat to the State externally or internally and if that opinion is well founded — and I feel it is and I think it is the opinion of every Deputy here who is free to give vent to his opinion—then there is no case for the presentation of this measure.
There is definitely a case for the retention of measures relating to the control of supplies. If a measure had been introduced relating to supplies it would have the full support of Deputies on these benches. But we cannot subscribe to giving to the Government these absolute powers. When I say absolute I mean absolute, because not only do you give them such extraordinary power as I have indicated, but you give them power actually to repeal enactments of this House. They can undo the law passed by the Oireachtas without reference to the Oireachtas. That power is still retained and I put it to Deputies on the Government Benches: Does any Deputy there feel it is essential to have these powers for the security of his home or the security of his constituents? I know of no constituency where there is insecurity to the extent that has been indicated here.
I do not want to go over the ground traversed by other speakers, but I think the position has been entirely misrepresented. Deputy Costello, in  a very able and, to my mind, brilliant elucidation of the implications of this Bill, set the Bill and the Act of 1939 in their proper perspective. I wish to endorse everything Deputy Costello said. I believe his statements cannot be contradicted. It is partly for these reasons that I rise to indicate my objection to the Bill.
But there are other reasons. I object to the principle of government by bureaucracy. I object to the principle of having this country administered by civil servants, pigeon-holed in Government offices, civil servants who have no responsibility to the House. It is all very well to say these powers are exercised by the Minister. The Minister would want to be a wizard in order to keep track of the emergency Orders issued even by his own Department. I am sure there is no Minister who has even a vague idea of the numbers of Orders which, from time to time, have been issued in his name by his Department. Hundreds and hundreds of these Orders are issued from time to time and they create such a maze of intricacies that even a trained lawyer will find it very difficult to ascertain the law on any particular point covered by these emergency Orders.
I believe what has really happened in this case is that the Taoiseach's advisers took the easy course. Like Handy Andy, they bulked it and came to the House expecting to get away with it. Instead of exercising a little energy and considering what powers they really wanted, what powers they could shed, they presented us with something quite different. If they had come in a different atmosphere I am sure they would have got their Bill through, but, instead, they bulked the whole lot, gave us an omnibus provision, and tried to hoodwink us by this colourful threat of the bogey of the I.R.A.
I said that I object to government by bureaucracy. I think it is wrong in principle. It has been condemned in every country in the world, particularly in England, where they went through the greatest crisis in their  history. They had to have these powers, but the extraordinary thing over there is that they are shedding them and shedding them fast, and every judge on the Bench in England has roundly condemned this form of Government.
In countries on the Continent, particularly in Axis countries, this system grew up. In Italy and in Germany it was particularly noticeable. Officialdom in Italy and in Germany got very fond of this system. It is very easy for officials. If any difficulty crops up, they merely issue an emergency Order to deal with it. If there is any gap found in the law, they cover it up by an emergency Order. It is absolutely fool-proof for the official behind the scenes. He cannot go wrong and he has no responsibility. He does not care what imposition he puts on the citizens. He does not mind what difficulties are there. It is an easy path for him.
That is the system that prevailed in Italy and in Germany and in other countries which followed the authoritarian principle. With what results? Officialdom got fat on this system and the Party in power got fat on it, too. When you feed power into people like that they get Gargantuan appetites for more and eventually you have complete autocracy, with the results that we know to-day. It is because of the tendency to these things here that we must be careful. We have a habit of travelling a few years behind the other fellow. It is because of the tendency that we see obtaining here, both in official and Party circles, that I want to give expression, as emphatically as I can, to my opposition to this Bill.
Mr. M. O'Sullivan: I want to emphasise the position of the members of the Labour Party, as outlined by Deputy Corish. When the Bill was going through the House in 1939 the Labour Party supported it on the grounds of national safety, on the one hand, and in a desire to ensure that in any crisis that would follow, the supplies available in this country would be equitably distributed among all sections of the community. In the  light of what has occurred within the past six years we are aware that our members have been severly criticised for the support they gave to that Bill on a purely national basis.
The only two features of this Bill with which we on these benches are mainly concerned are the control of prices and the pegging down of wages. When the original Bill was introduced, and following its operation, an effort was made so to control prices that normally negotiable wages with trade unions would be related to the prices obtaining. Our experience has been that that has been a complete failure. It is within the knowledge of every Deputy that, even compared with neutral countries, whose difficulties might be comparable to ours, the position here in respect to control of prices is most unfavourable. The difficulties of these other countries were not less than ours. In some cases they could be said to be very much greater, but the distinction here is reflected in the cost-of-living figure for 1939 in operation here, on a basis of 71 per cent. against which there is only a compensating advantage of approximately 12 per cent. increase in wages and salaries. So long as that disparity remains, and so long as no effort is made in this Bill to rectify the position, on behalf of thousands of workers in the cities and in the country, members of this Party will resist this legislation.
I want to refer briefly to another aspect which was dealt with by Deputy Corish concerning the pegging down of wages. A number of public bodies and business executives of industrial organisations have from time to time been prepared to give certain advances to their employees but they have been restricted by the Emergency Powers Act. I remind the House of a recent instance of the damaging effect of one of these Acts in relation to the teachers' organisation. I am glad to say that this House practically unanimously appealed to the Government in a discussion on education to deal with the low salaries obtaining in the teaching profession, as well as the disadvantages under which teachers were  suffering, particularly in the city and outside it. The Government was urged to have a revaluation of the whole question of teachers' salaries. Sympathy was expressed even from the Government Benches, the only difficulty outlined as regards putting the request into effect being the operation of the Emergency Powers Act. I suggest, so long as the present position obtains, and so long as prices of essential commodities continue to sky-rocket, there will be obvious opposition to this Bill. That prices have sky-rocketed beyond the capacity of the average householder is within the knowledge of all. The public are perplexed with the increased price of essential commodities, more particularly commodities produced in this country. A notorious instance is that of clothing. A big percentage of the clothing required by the people is produced here, but prices are prohibitive for average working-class families. The wonder is that the unfortunate heads of households and mothers have been able to secure the ordinary domestic requirements that have always been associated with Catholic and Christian families. There is no evidence in this Bill that there is to be any departure from such restrictive prices as far as clothing is concerned, or that the wage ceiling will be removed, and so long as that position remains this Party will vote against legislation of this type.
Mr. Hughes: In a democracy supreme authority consists of control by the people, because all power and authority comes from the people. Deputies are the trustees of the people's rights, power and authority, and I think there is a responsibility on them to ensure that these rights, freedom and authority are not filched from them. Deputy Donnellan stated that this House was not justified at any time in giving to the Government the absolute power that it got in the Emergency Powers Act of 1939. I feel in the circumstances that were there then, the constant danger arising out of the war, and with the ever-varying conditions that were bound to arise, socially and economically, as well as the necessity of taking rapid action,  that the House was justified in giving the power, which was given rather reluctantly, in the Act of 1939. The House appreciated that the Government would have to have very exceptional powers to deal with emergency problems. I want to say now that even at that time, and in those circumstances, the House was fully justified in giving, and the Government was justified in asking, for the powers embodied in the Act of 1939 but, in the circumstances in which we are living now, I want to ask the Taoiseach what is the necessity for the powers asked for under this measure. Notwithstanding the fact that the terms of the Bill are filed down, with one exception, it does not withdraw any powers that were embodied in the Principal Act. It is clear that censorship is the only power that is withdrawn. The Principal Act might be described as a one section Act. Section 2 was the operative section and it was a very comprehensive one. It reads:—
“The Government may, whenever and so often as they think fit, make by Order (in this Act referred to as an emergency Order) such provisions as are, in the opinion of the Government, necessary or expedient for securing the public safety or the preservation of the State, or for the maintenance of public order, or for the provision and control of supplies and services essential to the life of the community”.
We do not want to be unreasonable about this. I ask the Taoiseach, is it not possible at present to secure the public safety, to preserve the State and to maintain public order within the normal law? The tendency to abrogate power and to control what rightly belongs to the people is not peculiar to this country. We know what the tendency has been in Europe, and we know what disastrous results flowed from a group of people arrogating to themselves absolute power. The modern tendency, not merely here, but in most countries, is to seek more and more State intervention, and it is inevitable that the more that occurs, not merely in the social life but in the  economic life of the people, the greater the danger of bureaucratic control. That is the reason why I feel that we, who are sent into this Parliament to look after the people's rights and to ensure that their liberties are preserved and that their authority is preserved, have a responsibility and a duty placed upon us as the trustees of the people to ensure that their rights and liberties are not traversed in any way or their authority abrogated.
We do not want to be unreasonable about it. There may be still, and probably there is, an emergency position in some phases of our life here, such as the economic phase of our life, and in that regard we are not unreasonable and do not want to deny to the Government any provisions that may be necessary to deal with a shortage of essential supplies. We do not want to prevent any measure that may be necessary to ensure an equitable distribution of essential supplies to the people, or whatever powers are necessary to fix ceilings for prices and that sort of thing, but outside of that we feel that there is no necessity for these powers. Not merely is there no necessity, but the Taoiseach has made no attempt to justify the desirability of the Government arrogating to themselves, by a machined majority in this House, that absolute power and control that they are asking for in this measure. Under this, as the law stands, and if this Bill is enacted in its present form, the Government or a Minister can still repeal or amend a law and can do something by emergency Order that is unconstitutional, because the Constitution is still in abeyance. The Taoiseach might tell the House also why it is necessary to keep the Constitution in abeyance at the present time. Surely in asking those questions we can certainly claim to say that we want to be reasonable and fair about it and that in the circumstances in which we live at the present time, with the danger completely removed so far as the existence and the entity of this State are concerned, the House is entitled to full and frank information on all that.
Is it not an extraordinary situation that the Government still wants to  retain power to acquire land here by an emergency Order? I can remember one particular case that was raised here where a man by the name of, I think, Strevans, of Athlone, had land taken from him by an emergency Order a very short time ago. Are we to continue to operate power of that sort when it is convenient—to operate such power in order to acquire land where there may be legal difficulties? Surely, the rights and liberties of the citizens must be considered, and the attitude of the Government should not be to steamroll any case where they find an inconvenient situation so far as they are concerned. A man who believes in democratic institutions and democracy, and the freedom and liberty of the individual, those very sacred and important principles, could not subscribe at the present time to an act of that kind, or, if he has due regard to his responsibility as a Deputy, could not agree to give freely the absolute power that is sought in this measure.
We saw the Report of the Committee of Public Accounts that was circulated this morning, and glancing through that report I notice that, under the heading of Agricultural Produce Subsidies, the Department of Agriculture, in 1943, appropriated public money at that time from one account to another. That is unprecedented so far as the public finance of this country is concerned, and I think the House should be particularly jealous in that regard. The normal procedure is that when one account falls short, when the Estimate is found to be insufficient to meet expenditure in that account, the Minister should come into this House and ask for a Supplementary Vote, and there would be no doubt of his getting it, especially in this particular case. I want to say that the British Parliamentary institutions are particularly jealous in preserving their power and authority in that respect, so that every penny voted in Parliament for a particular purpose must be spent for that purpose and for that purpose only, and if the Estimate falls short of the amount necessary, then the Minister must come into Parliament and get the moneys from Parliament.
I am glad to see that the Committee  of Public Accounts has condemned that system, has questioned its legality, and has suggested that it be referred to the Attorney-General. I am merely giving that as an illustration to show that Ministers are going to use an Emergency Powers Order because of its very convenience. An inconvenient situation arose in that particular branch of the Department of Agriculture because the Estimate was not sufficient to meet the subhead, and the most convenient way to deal with the matter, so far as the Minister and the staff of the Department of Agriculture were concerned, was to write the matter off in that way when the emergency Order was made. That is something that is only in a very small way, but I must say that we should very strongly resent anything of that nature. The affairs and the business of the State ought to be properly carried out according to the statutes and regulations laid down by this House, and if we are going to hand over that control and authority of this House and vest in the Executive of the day absolute powers by the operation of an Emergency Powers Act, then there is very little use in our coming here at all because, without any regard to the views or decisions of this House or, in fact, the wishes of the people outside, a Government tending towards autocracy is going to operate and make decisions according to their own ideas.
Such decisions as I have referred to, the decision to take land from a particular individual in Athlone because it was inconvenient to acquire it otherwise, can be described only in one way —as an act of downright oppression, pure and simple, and an act of gross injustice so far as the individual is concerned. I do not think that the Taoiseach could expect that this House would agree freely to continue the operation of powers of that sort, without a very frank and full discussion of the whole situation here. While I feel that in the matter of the distribution of supplies, and only in that regard, the House should agree to give emergency powers to the Government for a further period, in every other regard their emergency  powers should be withdrawn, and I think there is a responsibility on every Deputy, no matter on what side of the House he sits, to ask for the withdrawal now of powers that are contrary to democratic principles and that are surrendering the power and authority of this House. They are unnecessary, and I think we should all insist on their being withdrawn and that the only power that can justly be claimed as necessary at the present time is the power to control the distribution of essential supplies. Even in the administration of Emergency Powers Orders in that regard we are aware of the many complaints that have been brought before this House during the debates on the Department of Supplies. I think it is an extraordinary situation that where a man is tried for an offence under a particular Order, tried in the normal way in a court designed to dispense justice in this country, and that justice being dispensed, and the judge appointed to fix a penalty having fixed a penalty that, in his opinion, fairly meets the case, there should be a further court held where the man does not get even an opportunity of defending himself, and that that court should have power to impose a far more severe penalty, a penalty that very often sweeps away his very means of existence when his licence is revoked.
If the Taoiseach is going to change his mind on this matter and if he tries to meet the House by taking only the powers that will control the distribution of essential goods, then, where an offence arises under any Order, the courts ought to be directed to make a recommendation as to the revocation, or otherwise, of a licence. If a decision is come to in that way, nobody will be able to suggest that political wires were pulled or that any influence was used as between one individual and another. When a man is to be punished, the place to try him and the place for ordering the infliction of the penalty is in open court before the public gaze, so that everybody will hear the evidence and be satisfied with the fairness of the penalty. It may sometimes happen that there is full  justification for revocation of a licence but, as the public are not conversant with all the circumstances of the case, they may arrive at a wrong conclusion. It is not only absolutely desirable but essential that the public mind be satisfied that there is a proper dispensation of justice. In connection with the revocation of licences there is anything but satisfaction as regards the dispensation of justice. It is only right that no politician should be put in the position of making decisions between one individual and another as to whether the magnitude of the offence in one case is sufficient to justify revocation of a licence and in another case is insufficient.
These are all matters about which we should be deeply concerned, and it should not be necessary for the House to press the Taoiseach and the Government to drop the powers they have operated for the past six years. A friend of mine who holds a rather important post in the British Civil Service told me last night that over 60 per cent. of the emergency powers orders there have already been dropped and that the executive officers responsible for the operation of such orders have been instructed to drop every order possible. That ought to be the mentality here and it ought not to be necessary to cite Great Britain as an example. We have boasted about our democratic ideas sufficiently often, but, in fact, the characteristics of our administration for some years past have been anything but democratic.
The Taoiseach may not be impressed by what has been said. In my opinion, what has been said has been urged not for political purposes but in the interests of the country and that applies to what I am saying. To continue to operate the present system will not help parliamentary government and democratic institutions. We say that a straight forward measure should have been introduced, setting out briefly the powers required to deal with the difficult situation which still continues so far as the distribution of supplies is concerned. Outside that, the normal law is ample to deal with anything that may arise on the social  side or on the defence side. I believe that the ordinary law is ample for the preservation and security of the State and, if it is not ample, this House is agreeable to meet at any time and give the necessary powers. The House would be very foolish to surrender its power and authority to the Executive for a further period of 12 months. On these considerations, the opposition to this measure is fully justified.
Mr. Moran: It is diffcult to understand what is really in the minds of Deputies of the Opposition Parties in their objection to this measure. On the one hand, they complain about the powers and say we should get rid of all those powers which we had to take for the duration of the emergency as quickly as possible. On the other hand, when we have a measure before the House which purports to get rid of some of those powers which they complain about, there seems to be combined opposition to it. Nobody now questions the necessity which existed for those powers. The question is whether we were wise in removing even those which we did remove as quickly as we did.
Mr. Hughes: What powers have been removed?
Mr. Moran: A number of emergency powers have been revoked during the past couple of months.
Mr. Hughes: And they can be made again to-morrow.
Mr. Moran: I know that and I shall deal with the Deputy's statement in a moment. As regards the type of Government we have and the type of democracy we have, one would imagine, listening to the Deputy, that there was no such thing as democracy here. One would imagine that we had the same type of Government which existed when the people were emerging from the Dark Ages. Does the Deputy suggest that the Constitution has been suspended?
Mr. Hughes: It is suspended.
Mr. Moran: Does the Deputy seriously contend that the Constitution has been suspended? If the Deputy has read the daily papers during the past week, he will have seen that a case  of considerable importance to a large number of persons is being fought solely on the constitutional issue, that a large body of people are relying solely on what they deem to be their rights under the very Constitution which the Deputy says has been suspended for a considerable time. On the basis of the Deputy's argument, the Constitution is being broken because the patients in a mental hospital are being detained there for the good of the community. The powers under the Emergency Powers Act were necessary for the protection of our people. It was for their protection under the Constitution that the Act was passed and the Deputy knows that. However, I am inclined to agree with Deputy Hughes on one point. I should like to see the Departmental practice of arriving at a decision after a case has been before the courts abolished. I have no doubt that was necessary in the past because there was a time when the penalties inflicted by the courts did not deter the practices that it was desired to stop under these particular Orders.
I think that the time has now come when the matter should be left to the courts. I also believe that if the view of the Department as to the seriousness of a case was conveyed to the courts, through the State Solicitor or prosecuting counsel, the courts would pay due attention to that and would impose in such cases penalties that would be sufficient deterrent or that would be adequate in the circumstances. I know of a case in which the district justice, after listening to all sides of the story and investigating it, came to the conclusion that the breach of that particular Order was of a very minor nature and was made in ignorance. The particular licence I have in mind was subsequently revoked by the Department. It may happen when the Department may not be aware of all the circumstances of a particular case, that officials may take action which they might not take if they were acquainted with the other side of the case. There is that danger in the Department taking decisions after a matter has gone to the courts. I would ask the Taoiseach to consider whether the time has not now arrived when these Departmental decisions in  cases that have been before the courts should no longer be necessary.
There is a necessity, a very grave necessity, for continuing some of these Orders. We do not know what the requirements of our people may be for the next 12 months, 18 months or possibly the next few years. We may be up against a situation in this country that may be much worse for us than the period we have just passed through owing to the failure of some supplies we have at the moment or for other causes which might possibly be outside our control. It is quite possible, in fact likely, that there is a danger of inflation in this country. When inflation occurred before it took place after the war period, not during the war period. Such things may happen again and it would be very necessary for the Government to deal with them as they arise.
There is one matter in regard to which the Government moved too quickly in revoking the necessary Emergency Powers Orders and that is in connection with censorship. I believe the Government should have retained the censorship for at least another 12 months. I believe that untold harm may be done to us internationally through the abolition of the censorship. I believe that in this matter the Government has moved much too quickly. If these powers were retained by the Government and if censorship were exercised for another 12 months, for a sufficiently long period to allow tempers in the different countries to settle down a bit, it would be better for our people.
It is quite obvious that our position and our attitude here are being misrepresented abroad, and may be further misrepresented. It is quite obvious that some of our newspapers have not a proper sense of national responsibility. Possibly some of our people have not a proper sense of national responsibility, and statements made here as to the attitude our people adopted during the last five years will be used abroad to our detriment. I regret very much that the Government has decided to abolish the  censorship. I think it is still very necessary for our people here, and it is a matter which I hope the Government will reconsider.
In so far as it has been possible for the Government to remove many of these Orders, I welcome the measure. It is a sign that we have passed beyond a certain part of our dangers that we no longer require these powers. On the other hand, it is quite patent to any reasonable individual that we are not through with all the emergency conditions in the world, and it is quite on the cards that we may require to use some of these powers for a further period. It is obvious that these powers will not be exercised by the Government except as the occasion arises and when the interests of the community demand it. I therefore support the Bill.
Dr. O'Higging: I claim that the House and the country are being treated most unfairly and most unjustly, not only by the type of legislation that is introduced here, but by the particular time selected to introduce it. Amongst all the legislation that ever passed through this House in its 23 years' history—Public Safety Acts, Flogging Bills, Execution Bills, etc.—there was never a measure enacted that interfered, or claimed to interfere, more with the ordinary normal constitutional rights of the people than this particular Act. This is the time selected to introduce an Act of that magnitude by the individual who nearly lifted the roof off this building when it was proposed by law, and with the sanction of Parliament, to intern people on suspicion without trial. That was the attitude of Deputy de Valera when he stood over here. That was his championship then of the democratic rights of the people. That was his conception then of what the real power of democracy meant. His conception now, at the eleventh hour of the life of the Parliamentary year, in the middle of July, when the urgent call of feeding people inside and outside of this country should be demanding the time, the energy, and the attention of all Deputies in this House associated with production, is to introduce a Bill  of this nature. He introduces it without argument to support it, without any case made, but with the accomplished technique at which he has become proficient in recent years, of pulling bogeys out of the bag and trying to play upon the imaginative fears of the people.
If another lawyer made the speech from an independent position, from any impartial side, that was made by Deputy Moran a few minutes ago, the people would say that he was unfitted to be a member of that profession or of this Assembly. We can be charitable and we can excuse his speech on account of his political affiliations and the particular seat he happens to occupy. That any lawyer in 1945 should get up and tell us that our constitutional rights are still there, that they have not been interfered with by this Bill when the very architect of this Bill admitted on its first introduction that it was only a very real emergency that would justify placing the Constitution in abeyance as this Bill does, passes comprehension. You have in the same speech cheap meaningless bleatings about democracy. If he can spell “democracy”, at least he knows the meaning of it. The meaning of “democracy” is that laws are made for the people by the elected representatives of the people, by Parliament, and the one justification for this Bill is that legislation will be carried out by regulation and not by the elected representatives of the people. Anybody defending this measure can defend it on any grounds of necessity, of emergency, of danger, but certainly not on grounds of democracy. Let us at least be honest, and, if such powers are required, let the case be made. The parent Bill was passed one night in September, 1939, and the case made, the case believed and the case that might have been true was that we were right up against a situation in which it might be impossible for Parliament to meet, and in which, even if it were possible for Parliament to meet, we might be faced with such an appalling crisis that even the very 24 hours' delay necessitated by assembling Parliament and putting the necessary implements into the hands of the Government might be too costly and too damaging to the security  of the State or the lives or properties of the people.
That was the case made at that time, and it was in the face of that case and confronted with that possibility, if not probability, that such drastic powers were given to the Government. All that is five years ago, and, even in any of the past four years, there was no justification, except the weight of numbers behind the Taoiseach, for coming in here year after year to ask for renewal of those powers. Now we have reached a point at which, so far as the western hemisphere is concerned, the war is over. There is no militant action anywhere in the western world, but the political junta which constitute the Government of this State, anxious to cling on to powers, anxious to be able to favour or to victimise, want to hold in their grasp, independent of Parliament and independent of the people, powers which would be given only in face of the most imminent disaster a people ever faced.
No case is made for it. Hints—not clear statements—are thrown out of internal danger. Does the Taoiseach think that we never faced internal danger in this State and under this Dáil when he occupied a different bench from that which he now occupies? Does he not remember that this Dáil faced internal danger of a most calamitous kind, the most tragic civil war in the history of any country, and that when his mantle and the mantle of his Party were thrown over every one of those activities, the constitutional rights of the people were left? Whatever powers the Executive of the time wanted to deal even with that appalling situation were got through the law of the land, through Parliament. The aftermath of that, the shadow and the trail of that were seen over the lives and the homes of the people, and when even the free coming and going of Deputies to and from Parliament were challenged and interfered with, and when they fell in their tracks in an attempt to carry out Parliamentary duties, was there ever a Bill such as this asked for? The only weapon which the Government of the time asked for was the weapon that was within the reach of the law and the  protection of the courts was still there for the individual citizen.
Yet, because three-fourths of the world suffered from a disaster and a tragedy which never even signed us, we here for political purposes, stimulated purely by power, greed and bolstered up by a regimented, obedient and docile majority, want to keep that stranglehold on the people, and we do it with cheap bleatings about democracy and insincere hints about internal danger. Whether the danger is internal or external, so long as we have the type of Opposition Parties at present in this House, all the weight, all the power and all the influence of Opposition Parties will always be at the beck and call of the Government and will always be there to face any threat to democracy, whether outside Parliament or inside the Executive.
There are Deputies who speak with the same voice in Government and in Opposition, who stand for the same rights, even though they changed their seats in this House, and who have the same veneration for sacred principles and national aims and objects. The only reward for a nation that for centuries has been trying to burst the chains of slavery and to emerge under the sun as a free country was the right to emerge as a free and democratic country. If the democratic rights of the people are to be trampled upon, it does not matter very much to the people whether it is a Cromwell or a de Valera who tramples on them, and all that is best in this country, all that is best in this Dáil, irrespective of the wilted will of disciplined politicians, should resist with the same determination, when such an attempt is made by a de Valera, as when made by a Cromwell.
Yet we have lawyers and posturing nationalists standing up to say that there is no interference with the people's constitutional rights or democratic principles when we give over, by our votes, to a junta—it does not matter whether of ten, six or one —without any reference to the elected representatives of the people, the right to take every possession that an Irish person owns, even to the extent of life, when we give them powers to  do anything whatsoever they like, except conscript man power, conscript wealth or censor our Press. That is what we are doing in the name of democracy, and, with that policy, we have courts functioning in a meaningless kind of way. We have courts, with all their expense, all their pomp and all their splendour, sitting and listening to evidence, weighing up evidence by experts and imposing a penalty which suits the crime, measuring it according to the offence, and, when that is done, we have a Government Minister or an unknown civil servant, without reference to anybody, imposing a penalty on top of the court penalty, which makes the court penalty look as the fraction of a farthing in comparison with a £100 note. That is democracy, according to Deputy Moran, and that is justice.
That state of affairs is to be continued because a couple of armies and a couple of navies are fighting away on the far side of the Pacific. All these powers are to remain because we have the revived bogey of the I.R.A. Was the present Government or was the previous Government ever denied any powers they sought, no matter how drastic, to deal with any external or internal trouble, any threat from within or without to the people or to the security of the State? Is there any reason to believe there is a change in our breed—that if there is any new danger growing up outside, or in the imagination of the Taoiseach, any powers that are required by law will be denied them? Leaving out those hints of internal danger, what is the case made with regard to the necessity for retaining all those powers up to the end of 1946? Over an Order which we hear nothing about in the Dáil, which is never considered, which is never discussed, which is never approved over the signature of any one of the Ministers, we can find all the property that anybody owns and just commandeer it overnight, no answer being given to Parliament and no defence made to Parliament.
It is just a little bit too late in the day for any glib-tongued defender of the unreasonable to stand up here and say: “The powers given five years ago were never abused.” The powers  given five years ago were very extensively abused. There was discrimination between one individual and another. There was no such thing as uniformity of decisions or uniformity of penalties. Anybody can take his own view as to what were the deciding factors. The deciding factors, I take it, were the mood or the temper of a particular individual on a particular day; then a particular action was taken. That is putting it in the most charitable way. Every one of us within our own knowledge can turn up cases of similar offences, with similar penalties imposed by the courts, which is legal evidence of the similarity of conditions, but quite different action was taken under the emergency powers by the particular Minister or civil servant. Are we to ask our people to continue to live under that intolerable burden? Are we to say to them: “You still have your full rights under the Constitution, or so Deputy Moran says. This is the way of democracy, or so Deputy Moran says”? At least, whatever we are doing, let us, number two, do it openly and candidly and honestly. We are continuing to deprive the people of this country of any semblance of constitutional rights. If any emergency Order is made to-morrow, whatever constitutional rights the Deputy referred to as having been argued in the courts can go like a snap of the fingers. If those rights were there last week, it is because no emergency Order was brought in to deprive them of those rights. If we are going to do it, number one, let us see if there is a case made for doing it. If we are, or if we pretend to be, democrats with a democratic outlook, let us at least admit that we are doing anything but a democratic action, and that only an extreme emergency or very real and very imminent danger would justify such action. But a case has got to be made. Number two, let us do whatever we are doing honestly and not behind a smoke-screen of words, of camouflage, of cant and “cod”.
If we are robbing them of their constitutional rights, and if we are taking an extremely undemocratic course, then let us say that we are taking this  course because we are compelled to do it in the interests of the people on account of extreme and acute and imminent danger. But where is the extreme, the acute, the imminent danger? A mental myth, an old-time bogey, an organisation that had been deprived of its skin long before you people took responsibility for running this country; an organisation that at its mightiest was comparatively impotent and helpless. That is the myth, that is the bogey to stampede democratic Deputies into giving those powers to a political junta that want them for political reasons.
If there is a better case, surely the Taoiseach is capable of making it. Surely the Taoiseach has not suddenly become a retiring, modest, tongue-tied Deputy. There is nobody who can be as eloquent and nobody who can be as plausible and nobody who can be as verbally tricky as the same Taoiseach when he wants to put across a case, but the fact of the matter is that even he is bankrupt in making any case for this particular piece of legislation or proposed legislation beyond the wink to the boys behind, the tinkle of the bell, and away through the counting gates. Is that fair play by the people? Is that reasonable? Is it democratic? What do we drop in this Bill, exactly? We drop the powers of censorship. When did we drop them? When the centre-piece of the world war dropped them across the water, and not any sooner. If we were covered with the hide of an elephant we would blush with shame to retain them for 24 hours longer. That is when we dropped censorship, and only then, and if it were not for the fact that it was dropped across the water it would be in this Bill this year the same as last year.
With the exception of that, the Government says to Parliament: “For another 12 months, we are going to take powers, full powers, over everything and everybody in this State, short of the conscription of human beings, and the conscription of wealth, and we require those powers because of the emergency.”“Emergency” is something more than a word. Emergency is a condition or state of affairs.  Emergency is an assembly of facts that can be portrayed and displayed before Parliament. Did the Taoiseach endeavour to do that? Did he endeavour to make a case for doing the really damnable thing it is proposed to do on our people? No. He made a case in 1939. At that time he had not a clear majority here. He made a case, and the case was listened to, and without a division—merely as a result of verbal assurances which were given from that seat and dishonoured—he got the Bill through without a division. Now, he has not a case, but he has the man-power. Man-power is going to replace argument. Man-power is going to replace fair play. Man-power is going to replace democracy. Man-power is going to filch every right that is dear to the people, and was dear to those who went before them, and who fought and struggled for those rights. I say it is not fair in the time of its introduction, the methods of its introduction, or the substance of what it is intended to do.
By any ordinary standard of nationalism, decency or fair play, that particular Bill would be withdrawn and substantially modified. There is nobody here arguing that there should not be a retention of emergency powers. We all know it is quite possible that, in the field of supplies, the post-war position may, in fact, be more difficult than the war position. We all admit that, with regard to production and distribution, power has to be there for quick action to be taken. Authority has got to be vested somewhere to deal with situations arising suddenly. It is better to get a drink out of a leaky vessel than not to get a drink at all, and weak and all as the vessel is that we have placed our trust in, we are prepared, where there appears to be necessity for them, and where there is a case made for them, to give whatever powers are required with regard to production and distribution, and for the exercise of controls over supplies.
Those powers would be given freely. With regard to all the other powers that are being retained in this Bill, no case has been made for their retention, and until a convincing case is made, a  staggering case and a case that justifies their retention on the grounds of this country being face to face with a very real and a very new crisis, no Deputy who votes for this Bill, no matter who asks him—he may call himself what he likes after the division; he may call himself a Deputy, a Fianna Fáil Deputy, a Fianna Fáil dupe or a Fianna Fáil tool—but what ever he calls himself can call himself either an Irish Nationalist or an Irish democrat.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Taoiseach to conclude.
The Taoiseach: When introducing this Bill I pointed out that, immediately the war ended, it was the desire of the Government, as quickly as possible, to get rid of all the special powers it had got for the emergency. I also pointed out that while the emergency was not over, and because it was not over in certain respects, it would be necessary to retain some of these powers for a longer period. Now, the Emergency Powers Act was passed here in 1939 when this nation, this State, was looking out on what was likely to be an appalling situation for it. We were gazing out into the unknown. We had no idea of what might happen or what would, in fact, happen, and because of that we had to come to the House and ask for very, very wide powers indeed. The 1939 Act indicates what these powers were.
The last speaker has said that we did not have a majority then and, consequently, we had to try to get the support of others than those of our Party. If that were true, it would mean that the different members in the House at that particular time, realising what the situation was, gave the Government the powers it asked for. It was suggested that we had not a majority. There is one advantage in not having a majority in the House, and that is, that it puts upon the Opposition Party a responsibility which they very easily shed the moment they can oppose the Government without any danger of any serious thing happening. When they know that they have responsibility placed upon them, they realise that if they do oppose the Government and the Government  is thrown out the situation may be a very serious one for the nation as a whole, but when there is a majority the Opposition Parties can, quite irrespective of the merits of a measure, go into opposition. They can misrepresent a measure. They can come into this House without having even read a measure and oppose it, and that is precisely what happened in the case of some members as regards this particular measure.
Deputy Dillon came into the House, and although I think he has a legal qualification and although he had the measures there—they are not a very complicated code—and although he had the amending Bill, he wanted to know what powers exactly were being left behind as if he could not have read that for himself. He accused me of a want of candour in the form in which the Bill has been introduced. I did not draw up the form of the Bill. The form of the Bill is the one in which the draftsman drew it up as being the best form to effect what we had in mind, and that is to get rid of certain powers which we had and to retain others. Deputy Dillon asked to be informed. I said we could do that very well in detail on the Committee Stage. The next speaker was Deputy Costello. Because of the fact that he was a legal adviser to the previous Government and because he is a well-known barrister as well as a member of this House, one would be inclined to pay attention to his statements on matters of law. Whether he also came in here in a hurry and did not have time to read the original Acts, or the Bill, he gave an interpretation of what was being done which was completely wrong.
Mr. Dillon: He now repeats it.
The Taoiseach: It was demonstrably wrong.
Dr. O'Higgins: According to ?
The Taoiseach: I think Deputy Mulcahy entered a complaint here in his speech that I had interrupted last night. I interrupted because I wanted, at the earliest moment, to try to prevent other Deputies who might take the statements of Deputy Costello as being authoritative. I wanted to  enter a caveat and to warn them against him. But he did make statements which were wrong, as I shall prove. Deputy Dillon, of course, was only too happy. He had admitted his own ignorance of the matter and then he started to build on the case that was made up for him by Deputy Costello. I tried to warn Deputy Dillon and said, although I do not think I used these words, that he was building upon sand. But, of course, it was much easier for Deputy Dillon to go on that basis rather than go on the basis of the Acts themselves. He had more scope for his eloquence when dealing with something that was not a fact at all. The clear meaning of Deputy Costello's contention last night was that, by Section 1 of the 1939 Act, we could do anything, and that we were only in this Bill shedding the power of censorship.
Mr. Dillon: Section 2.
The Taoiseach: Section 2 (1). That is not accurate. If he had looked at the original Act, he would have seen that there were in that Act itself quite a number of restrictions. Deputy Mulcahy has pointed out some of them to-day. Deputy Costello said we could do anything. I put down a list of things here, some of which were mentioned by Deputy Mulcahy, which clearly we could not do and which we were prevented from doing by the original Act. We could not declare war without the consent of Dáil Eireann. Will Deputy Costello say we could?
General Mulcahy: He never said anything of the kind.
The Taoiseach: I have his words here. Deputy Costello said—and the whole of his talk last night was designed to create the impression—that “Section 2 (1) is the provision that gives the Government power to do anything. Section 2 (1) is amended only in reference to censorship.” These are his own words and that is a summary of what Deputy Costello's contention was the whole time.
General Mulcahy: It is not.
The Taoiseach: These are his words.
General Mulcahy: If the Taoiseach will allow me, I will put him right.
The Taoiseach: I will say that was the impression that was being made upon me by Deputy Costello and there are his own words.
General Mulcahy: The Taoiseach was listening to the Deputy with prejudiced ears.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I would ask the Deputy to refrain from interrupting.
Dr. O'Higgins: On a point of order, is the Taoiseach giving us the Deputy's words or is he correct when he says he is giving us a summary?
The Taoiseach: I give you this as portion of Deputy Costello's speech.
Dr. O'Higgins: Portion?
The Taoiseach: Yes. Am I to give it all?
Dr. O'Higgins: The Taoiseach always asks to be quoted in full.
The Taoiseach: Any of the Deputies who were listening here last night and those who read the papers will know that the whole impression that Deputy Costello was trying to give was that we had the power to do anything by Section 2 (1) and that the only power we were depriving ourselves of was the power of censorship. That is not true, I say. I say it now, that is not true.
General Mulcahy: I say the Taoiseach is completely misrepresenting the speech of Deputy Costello last night.
The Taoiseach: Those who were listening to him know very well what he was doing and these are his words. I say we could not do anything. I say the original Act itself, if it had been read, would make it quite clear that we could not declare war without the consent of Dáil Éireann; that we could not participate in a war without the consent of Dáil Éireann; that we were prevented from imposing taxation; that we could not impose any form of compulsory military service; that we  could not impose any form of industrial conscription; that we could not impose trial by courts martial on any person not subject to military law; that we could not provide for the detention of natural born Irish citizens; that we could not provide for the arrest without warrant of natural born Irish citizens; that we could not amend in any way the Emergency Powers Act itself. He was talking about what we could do with Acts of Parliament. He suggested quite clearly that we could reimpose minimum penalties. That is not true, because the moment this Bill is passed we will have deprived ourselves of the power of doing it. It was very conveniently forgotten by everybody who was speaking that any Order made by the Government can be annulled here by the Dáil. That is a very different thing from saying that we could do anything.
General Mulcahy: Surely——
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Deputy should allow the Taoiseach to continue.
The Taoiseach: The Deputy was very, very instructive, let us say, in his suggestion that we should, in dealing with this matter, avoid interruptions.
General Mulcahy: I hope to be instructive again on a later stage.
The Taoiseach: Very good. I repeat that the whole purpose of the speech that was made by Deputy Costello last night was to suggest that the Government could do anything and that the only effect of this Bill was that we were depriving ourselves of censorship and censorship only. Those who were listening here last night will be able to say whether that is true or not, and those who take the speech that was delivered afterwards on that basis by Deputy Dillon will know very well what was the basis they were working on.
The truth is this—that we brought in first of all this Bill, with certain restrictions, in 1939. It had to be amended in certain respects in 1940, and it had to be further amended in 1942. Each  year, just about this time, when the Dáil was about to adjourn—because the powers were going to lapse in September and the Dáil would otherwise have to be brought back specifically for that purpose before the 2nd or 3rd September—we have had, since the emergency started, to come in here and to move to introduce a continuation Bill. The original powers having been given for one year only, they had to be renewed every year. This time the same situation faces us. These powers will lapse automatically on the 2nd September unless a Bill is introduced. Are we choosing the time deliberately, as Deputy O'Higgins suggests, in order to make it inconvenient for the people to give it full discussion? Is it not quite obvious that we are doing this year what we have done every year, and precisely for the reason that Parliament would otherwise have to reassemble if any of these emergency powers had to be retained, before the 2nd September?
The suggestion is that we are completely out of the wood. That is the suggestion made by some Deputies. The suggestion by others is that we were never in the wood. Deputy Donnellan, of course, would not have given these powers at any time. How long is it since the war ended in Europe? The war ended in Europe just two months ago, and immediately that the war ended instructions were sent out to the different Departments to see at once what were the particular powers which they had got and what were the particular orders that were passed which could be immediately got rid of, and further, to examine and see all the powers that they had which it was necessary to retain and, in particular, to examine were there any of these powers which were of such importance to the community that they should be embodied in ordinary legislation.
Two months is not a very long time. There were some hundreds of Orders of various kinds that had to be passed during the period of the emergency. Two months is not too long a time to give for an examination of that sort. Already a very large number of Orders have been wiped out, have been got rid of, and the examination is going  on; but we decided that we would get rid of two or three very important powers which we had, one of which was censorship. We want to remove definitely from the Government the powers of imposing censorship, and that is one of the things that this this Bill does—censorship in all its forms—postal, telegraphic, Press, film censorship, and so on. That is the first thing that goes. Any restriction on the expression of opinion is taken away, and the only restriction you will have on the opinion of the Press in future is that which will be imposed by the editors, who can be very effective censors sometimes.
Mr. Dillon: Just like the Taoiseach, when he interns a man who speaks— which is a very effective form of censorship, too.
The Taoiseach: Very well. Let us come along to that. One of the misrepresentations of this whole measure has been that we are introducing this as giving us powers of internment. My statement was to the contrary, that we are getting rid of the powers of internment under the Emergency Powers Act. I pointed out that, by proclamation, we would have to bring in Part II of the Offences Against the State Act. I pointed that out simply in order to be frank with the House, and because I was frank and so told the House, the whole debate has been turned on that, as if I were bringing in this Bill for the purpose of internment, and as if I were developing a bogey, as it was suggested, in order to get this Bill through. That is a complete reversal of the facts. We are getting rid of the emergency powers on that point, and the moment this Bill goes through, the powers of internment of Irish citizens or their arrest without warrant that we had under the Emergency Powers Act will disappear. Then we have to rely upon another law. If anyone wants to question that other law, the time to do that is when that other law is being dealt with here, and at that time we can point out exactly where we stand.
Since the emergency started, a number of murders of police officers occurred and some men were tried and  found guilty and had to be executed. Do you want a situation like that to occur again? If the position is right at the moment, should we not do everything in our power to keep it right? Should we allow young people to be inveigled or enticed into an organisation where they will be under the control, very often, of people whom they do not know and who will determine for them whether they are to take other people's lives or not, endangering their own in doing so? On the other hand, should we not give those young people warning and also try to apprehend those who, apparently, are determined to carry on such activities?
All the internees were released, every one of them, shortly after the war ended. We would be only too glad if this difficulty were over, but if there is a danger of these activities starting all over again and that we may have further murders and, following those murders, trials and executions, we must take some action now to guard against that danger. Should we allow the people who are seeking to do that to remain at liberty? However, that is only incidental to this particular matter and need not come in to this discussion at all. It was in order to be frank with the House that I explained that, although we were depriving ourselves of the powers of internment and arrest under the Emergency Powers Act, we think it is essential, unfortunately, to use the other powers which we have for the same purpose, that is, those under the ordinary law.
Mr. Dillon: The other powers which the Government is about to acquire, by proclamation.
The Taoiseach: Exactly. The general position is that, in the beginning, we were not able to set out in detail— by items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and so on— the particular powers which we needed; so we had to have an omnibus section, giving us power over a very wide field. Then, in order that Deputies might realise the extent of those omnibus powers, we gave illustrations of them, so as to provide as clear a picture as possible of the type  of things which the general powers would cover. Even in the illustrations, there were exceptions. For instance, in paragraph (k), we find:
“authorise and provide for the detention of persons (other than natural-born Irish citizens) where such detention is, in the opinion of a Minister, necessary or expedient in the interests of the public safety or the preservation of the State;”
The fact that the words “other than natural-born Irish citizens” were there would naturally indicate that they were to be exempt. We had to bring in and pass an amending Act to prevent their being exempted. We are now going back to the original position, by restoring those words, so that it will no longer be possible to detain persons who are natural-born Irish citizens.
Mr. Dillon: Except under the proclamation.
The Taoiseach: The proclamation has nothing to do with this code, as the Deputy well knows.
Mr. Dillon: But does it not bring back that very power?
The Taoiseach: It does not bring back that power under this code of legislation.
Mr. Dillon: It does not matter to the fellow who is locked up.
The Taoiseach: The Deputy knows the difference quite well. He knows that the other matter has nothing to do with this.
Mr. Dillon: It does not matter which “jug” you put the fellow in, as long as he is in the “jug”.
The Taoiseach: The Deputy is clear enough in his own mind as to what is happening and knows perfectly well that the power of detaining natural-born Irish citizens is disappearing from this emergency powers legislation. Similarly, under paragraph (1), the power to authorise the arrest without warrant of natural-born Irish citizens is disappearing.
Mr. Dillon: Does that power come back under the proclamation?
The Taoiseach: I dare say that you cannot detain a person without arresting  him and, if you want to arrest him at all, probably you have to do it without warrant. Therefore, as far as this code is concerned, we are depriving ourselves of the powers which were given under the two amending Acts of 1940, including the Act, which enabled the Government to provide for the setting up of military courts. Further, it is admitted that we are getting rid of the powers of censorship. Lest the fact that we are removing the censorship powers from the illustrations given in the paragraphs might not be sufficient, we are imposing a disability on the Government to make Orders covering censorship.
There was a further amendment in 1942, when power was given to fix minimum penalties. That was introduced at the time on account of the lack of uniformity of action of justices throughout the country, which seemed to indicate that some of them had no appreciation at all of the national danger. On that account, we had to bring in a measure imposing minimum penalties. Those provisions are being repealed now and there will be no power to reimpose them. It may be asked what case can we make for the continuance of the powers which we are retaining. We have had a picture of what is happening and the question is what can we say about the need for retaining these powers.
Mr. Dillon: May I ask a question from the point of view of clarifying the position? There may be a misunderstanding—I do not think there is. Would the Taoiseach look at the words in the 1939 Act which give rise to all this anxiety? Sub-section (2) of Section 2 proceeds to set out illustrations of the kind of things the Government may have to do under sub-section (1). Would the Taoiseach look at the first words of sub-section (2): “Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing sub-section.” We all admit that he has qualified that in so far as a censorship is concerned; he has prohibited himself from imposing a censorship. But those words “Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing sub-section” mean that although he cancels a number of subheads in the other things, he is merely  cancelling illustrations and he leaves the full effect of sub-section (1) because sub-section (2) is declared by the statute not to qualify the general character of the powers of sub-section (1). That is the whole point joined between us and there is no reason to get vexed over it.
The Taoiseach: I assure the Deputy I am not vexed; apparently the privilege of getting irritated must remain with the Opposition.
Gen. Mulcahy: Not at all.
The Taoiseach: The Leader of the Opposition, when speaking a short while ago, referred to irritation on their part. Apparently one is not to be irritated at all when a whole debate is turned in the wrong direction, when it is being put on a false basis, a basis of misrepresentation. Surely, if ever there is a time when a person can feel a bit irritated it is when a debate which, to be of any value, would have to be based on facts, is being shifted to another track and is based on something that is not a fact at all? In such circumstances there is so much talk in the air.
General Mulcahy: If the Taoiseach would answer Deputy Dillon's last question, he would answer us all, and none of us need be vexed.
The Taoiseach: Very good. With regard to the vexed part of it, I was somewhat irritated with the prospect of hours being wasted here by Deputies addressing themselves to something which was not a fact at all. With regard to the point Deputy Dillon raised: “Without prejudice”——
Mr. Dillon: “To the generality.”
The Taoiseach: ——“to the generality”. That was felt to be so shaky as a basis that it had to be amended, and it was amended, and we gave it a more definite form later. The alteration by the Act of 1942 made it quite certain that the general powers were being retained. If the Deputy looks at the Act of 1942 he will see that there was a re-enactment in a more definite form.
Mr. Dillon: Section 6 (1).
The Taoiseach: Yes. “For the purpose  of removing doubts”—there were doubts even that that form would do it—“it is hereby enacted and declared that nothing contained in sub-section (2) of Section 2 of the Principal Act shall be construed as limiting the general powers conferred on the Government by sub-section (1) of the said section.”
Mr. Dillon: I never was in doubt at all. I told you that from the beginning, but you had to pass an Act of Parliament about it. That is exactly what I said.
The Taoiseach: The Deputy, I have no doubt, regards his opinion as ending the matter.
Mr. Dillon: Is it not your opinion?
The Taoiseach: No. If it were my opinion, or the opinion of the legal advisers, there would have been no second Act; it would not have been brought into the 1942 Act at all.
Mr. Dillon: Between hopping and trotting it is there in any case.
The Taoiseach: I want to put the thing on the firmest basis I can. I admit that that particular clause does say that you have powers to do things except where you have, in the Act itself and by legislation, legislated to the contrary.
Mr. Dillon: The censorship?
The Taoiseach: We have legislated for all these other things I am speaking about. What particular part does the Deputy find any doubt about in regard to the Act? We are legislating here to deprive ourselves of the power in regard to minimum fines. That is legislated for positively. We are doing it in the case of censorship. Is it that the Deputy has any doubts about the words “other than Irish citizens”? Is it that the bringing back of these words will not mean that when you have these words in the illustrations they are equivalent to a positive prevention of the Government from doing that? Does the Deputy hold that if we bring these words back, as we are doing, we will still have the power to intern citizens by making an Order under Section 2 (1)? I  do not think any court would hold with that for a moment. They would say the putting down of these words in that form was equivalent to an opinion by the Parliament that it was not to be done. It was precisely because that was the view that we had, in another amending Act, to take out these words.
We had another Act to set up the military courts. Is it suggested that when that Act is gone, we can put up a military court and try natural born Irish citizens in that military court? You cannot, and therefore the generality of Section 2 (1)—the generality of the powers conferred there—is limited by anything you do by positive legislation. By positive legislation we are depriving ourselves not merely of the powers of censorship, but of powers of detention and control without warrant, powers of minimum fines and the power to set up military courts. What have you left? If the leader of the Opposition shakes his head and says he is not convinced, I cannot help it.
General Mulcahy: You are amending only sub-section (2) of the section, but the 1942 Act says that sub-section (2) of this section does not operate in any way to limit sub-section (1).
The Taoiseach: If you have positive legislation saying you must not do it——
General Mulcahy: But you have not.
The Taoiseach: You have—that is what we are doing; we are giving you positive legislation depriving the Executive of powers in regard to minimum fines, in regard to military courts, detention of natural-born Irish citizens, arrest without warrant and all the censorship powers. We are depriving ourselves positively of all these powers, and the reason we are doing it—I can give no better one—is that we are doing it by positive legislation.
Mr. Dillon: I see only one positive thing, and that is Section 6. Is not that the only positive thing in this Bill?
The Taoiseach: Once this Bill becomes a positive Act——
Mr. Dillon: Is not Section 6 the only positive one prohibiting you from doing certain things?
The Taoiseach: That is the positive prohibition.
Mr. Dillon: Absolute?
The Taoiseach: Absolute. Is it that the Deputy would like to have a similar provision with regard to the other things that we think it unnecessary to put in, namely, with regard to natural-born citizens? Does he want us to put in a positive provision of some sort in that regard? If he does I can meet him.
Mr. Dillon: The Taoiseach promised to turn the matter over in his mind. His purpose was to strip the Executive of all power of making law by Orders, except those essential for the safety of the State, and to meet any emergency that might arise.
The Taoiseach: Right.
Mr. Dillon: I stated in 1939 that I thought the Taoiseach had to face an emergency unprecedented in the history of the world, and the House gave him Section 2 (1). Now, the situation is not of such a character as would justify the Taoiseach having the powers given in Section 2 of the Principal Act of 1939. That is our point.
The Taoiseach: If we could have had that said earlier, instead of all the talk about other things, we might know where we were.
Mr. Dillon: Repeal all these Orders, tell us what you want and we will negotiate with you.
The Taoiseach: It is too soon to do so. We have not been able to get the examination completed. No Executive would have been able to know what powers were essential to deal with the emergency, what powers were necessary to deal with the black market, or with the possibilities of the black market. These powers are also necessary so that the compulsory tillage programme will be put through, and so that we shall have turf.
Mr. Dillon: Would you know in October?
The Taoiseach: I do not know. We are asking for this particular time stated in the Bill. I think Deputies know as well as we do that that is desirable. I wish sincerely to be rid of the whole thing. My worry about Parliamentary institutions is that as the world is developing, it is going to be more and more difficult to have all the questions which would be to the advantage of the community thrashed out in Parliament. The world is progressing in such a way that it would be impossible to have that—time would not permit. It was all right when Parliament had to deal with simple questions, the maintenance of public order or with taxation, etc. There is an extremely difficult situation developing in the world for democratic institutions, that Governments have to deal with if they are to look after the welfare of their people as well as a whole lot of complicated economic affairs. It is a misfortune, and if there was anything that I could do to try to avert that misfortune, I would not want any pushing to do it. I want no pushing to get rid of powers that can be got rid of. But we have to be reasonable and we must get time. The sooner these powers can be got rid of the better we will be pleased. The order has gone out to try to get rid of every one without delay. The next thing is to see what ones have to be maintained for the emergency. They have to be tabulated. I think it would be impossible to have a list of them, or to anticipate matters dealt with in the 500 or whatever number of Orders were issued under the Act. It is humanly impossible to do that. We cannot merely go through them and anticipate that these are powers that we want, and that others can be discarded. We are discarding some, including one dealing with the liberty of the Press.
Mr. Dillon: It is not proposed to hold those powers for ever.
The Taoiseach: No. We gave orders to the Departments to try to see what powers must be retained to deal with the emergency, and next, to see if there are powers that it is necessary to retain for the welfare of the  community, so far as can be seen ahead, which might have to be incorporated in ordinary legislation. There are three such classes. Firstly, the ones that can go immediately, secondly, those that would be of such advantage to the community that they would be incorporated in ordinary legislation, and thirdly, those necessary to retain for the emergency. Within two months, we have not been able to deal with that work. I should point out that many emergency conditions, as they affect supplies, are going to remain the same for a considerable period and, instead of the emergency difficulties lessening in their regard they have become more acute. We cannot deprive ourselves of powers that would enable us to deal with them when passing a Bill necessary for the continuation of such powers. Within these two months it has not been as if the whole governmental machinery suddenly stopped and that all attention was given to adjusting that problem. It has been considered, while the rest of the work went on but it takes time to do these things. We have not been able to segregate them or to suggest that one, two, three or four of them could be made more or less omnibus powers. We have not been in a position to do that. These powers will continue, unless the Dáil were to end the situation, until September 2nd. Is it unreasonable in present circumstances to ask that these powers should be continued for a year? It is not. The attitude of the Opposition is different. Their attitude is that the views of all on this side of the House do not count. The fact that a majority of the elected representatives are supporting the Government does not count with them; they are not public representatives at all! It is not democracy at all if the majority happen to be of our way of thinking! It is only democracy when the majority happen to be another way of thinking.
It seems extraordinary to me to have this pretence that we have a dictatorship, and that there is no democracy working here. Everybody knows that no State in the world has had as many elections as we have had. It has been suggested that I am a dictator. Any  power I have I have got as the result of successive elections. On the average we have had an election in this country every two years for the past 12 or 13 years. If there is a majority at any time, and if that majority turned the Government out, the Government must go out, unless it is able to appeal to the people and the people put them back. The pretence imposes on nobody here, and it only imposes in other countries on people who do not know what the conditions here are. Wherever there are democratic institutions at work they are working by majority rule. There has been talk about the Constitution and talk about England as a model. Is it realised that the British Parliament can legally do anything it wants to do? We cannot do that. We have a fundamental Act which would prevent us being able to deal with such a situation if there was not provision made exactly for dealing with it under which power was given to Parliament, in certain conditions, to abrogate the Constitution so far as it would prevent the taking of certain measures. Under certain circumstances that can be done. It was a necessary power to give, and it was a very good thing that it was in the Constitution because, if it had not been in the Constitution, we would have had to go to the people or get the power otherwise, and we would not have come through this emergency as safely as we have come through it if we did not have these powers. To suggest that we have not a democratic State here because we have these powers, entitled emergency powers, is absurd. In fact, these powers are necessary to maintain even the possibility of a democracy because, if a democracy cannot defend itself in time of crisis, then that is the end of it.
However, the position in regard to this Bill is that we are not removing any powers except those I have mentioned. Any other powers remain. Those which remain and must be operated are mainly in connection with the economic sphere. So far as the sphere of the ordinary liberty of the person, or freedom of expression and so on, is concerned, rights that had to be taken away during the emergency are restored.
Mr. Dillon: With one hand, and taken away with the other.
The Taoiseach: The Deputy is just making a little debating point. He knows perfectly well that we are not doing it under the Emergency Act and that it will have to be dealt with separately. The Act by which we are doing it was passed as a measure of ordinary law, and therefore I do not think he will find fault when I say that we are reverting to the ordinary law.
Mr. Dillon: The ordinary law of the ordinary year.
The Taoiseach: Not under the emergency, then. Very well. If we had conditions in this country that did not permit the ordinary law to obtain, then we had to deal with it by, if you like, an extraordinary method, and the sooner we can get rid of it, the better it will be and the more I will be pleased.
Mr. Dillon: Hear, hear!
The Taoiseach: All we are trying to do at present is to prevent the development of a situation which will postpone the possibility of that being done. I do not think I can give the House any further information either on our purpose or on the purport or content of this measure. I do believe that if, originally, it had been read carefully, we would have made very much greater progress. I regret that the emergency still continues in certain respects. There is still a war on, a war in which our nearest neighbour is still engaged. Take the censorship, for example. One of the reasons for bringing it in here at the beginning was not merely for internal purposes, but to prevent bad relations developing between our country and the neighbouring country on the ground that our papers were publishing things which their papers were not allowed to publish. There is a war on still. Fortunately, I do not think that that situation will arise in connection with that war; but suppose it did. Suppose we were faced with a situation like that, we would have to consider it very carefully. There is a war still on which does affect us in the economic sphere and which might affect us in other directions. We cannot forget that. It means that some  of the sources of supply which we had are not now available to us, that shipping is not available to us. Therefore, with reluctance I must admit, I have to ask the Dáil to give us the continuation of these powers which have to be the means of preserving this community through a very serious situation, and I think we ought to be thankful enough, apart from the fact that we have been able to get rid of some of them, not to get rid of the others before the situation warrants.
Mr. Dillon: Might I ask the Taoiseach a question? He says that he does not contemplate the maintenance of the omnibus clauses of sub-section (1) of Section 2 of the Principal Act. Would he name anything on which he would be prepared to come before Dáil Eireann and say: “I propose to repeal now, in toto, No. 28 of 1939, No. 1 of 1940, No. 16 of 1940, No. 19 of 1942, and No. 16 of 1944, in a Bill which also contains in it powers to do certain things that the Government still must have power to do by Executive act independent of Dáil Eireann, in order to meet the emergencies that may lie ahead”? If the Taoiseach said to this House: “On the first of next September or the first of next October, so solicitous am I of our liberties that I am going to take that risk, and if I have overlooked any contingency in preparing my list of the powers I require, I will depend on the Dáil to give me the powers to meet contingencies that I had not foreseen or forgot”, I believe that 99 per cent. of the opposition to this Bill would fall to the ground. It is because the Taoiseach does not want to say to us, in regard to sub-section (1) of Section 2——
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy rose to ask a question; it is rather a prolonged question.
Mr. Dillon: If the Taoiseach would say that to the House, then I believe that all the case I made for anxiety last night falls to the ground. If he says now that he will make that act of faith in the Dáil and depend on them to give him back any or all of these powers in one stage, if it should be found necessary to do so, I think he would get the support of the whole House. If he says that, my case falls  to the ground, but if he is not prepared to say it, then, honestly and truly, I feel all the apprehensions to which I gave expression last night.
The Taoiseach: The Deputy asks me, can I do a thing that he knows I cannot possibly do: to name a date on which I could have this thing completely sifted and bring it before the House. He knows that I cannot do that. There is another method of dealing with it, as he knows. The Dáil will be sitting, and any Order made under these Emergency Powers can be annulled by the Dáil at any time. The Dáil has never been denied the opportunity of considering these Orders and annulling them, if it was thought fit to do so. The Dáil has that reserved power to see that the generality of 2 (1) is not abused, and, as I said, its exercise is restricted by means of legislation.
 Therefore, it is quite impossible to say beforehand what kind of Orders would be required. When we had, I think, 500 odd Orders—I am not quite sure of the exact number —how could we possibly have said at the beginning what were all the circumstances, or how could we anticipate all the circumstances and indicate the types of Orders that would be required? It is much better for the Dáil to say: “Very well. This is an Order you are making. You say you are making it under the generality of 2 (1), but we think it should not be done, and therefore it should be annulled.” I think that that is a better way of safeguarding matters in circumstances in which we are dealing with things we cannot anticipate.
Mr. Dillon: The Taoiseach cannot see his way to part with 2 (1).
The Dáil divided:—Tá, 59; Níl, 32.
Burke, Patrick (Co. Dublin).
Childers, Erskine H.
Corry, Martin J.
Daly, Francis J.
De Valera, Eamon.
Fogarty, Patrick J.
Gorry, Patrick J.
Healy, John B.
|Kennedy, Michael J.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick J.
Lydon, Michael F.
Lynch, James B.
O Briain, Donnchadh.
O Cléirigh, Micheál.
O'Connor, John S.
O'Loghlen, Peter J.
Rice, Bridget M.
Ruttledge, Patrick J.
|Bennett, George C.
Broderick, William J.
Corish, Richard. Dockrell, Maurice E.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Halliden, Patrick J.
Costello, John A.
Dillon, James M.
Dockrell, Henry M. Mulcahy, Richard.
Murphy, Timothy J.
O'Donnell, William F.
O'Higgins, Thomas F.
Pattison, James P.
Sheldon, William A. W.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Kissane and Kennedy; Níl: Deputies Doyle and Bennett.
Question declared carried.
Committee Stage ordered for Wednesday, 11th July.
The Dáil, according to order, went into Committee on Finance and resumed consideration of the Estimates for Public Services for the year ending 31st March, 1946.
An Ceann Comhairle: Of the subjects notified to me for discussion on the Taoiseach's Vote, I am ruling the following as being in order:— (1) Postwar policy re trade and commerce, supplies and finance (Fine Gael); (2) State interference (Fine Gael); (3) Plans for the rehabilitation of returning emigrants (Labour); (4) Policy in regard to social services and to a comprehensive social insurance scheme (Labour and National Labour); (5) Policy in regard to vocational organisation (National Labour). Several other topics of which I received notice are not—as I informed the Deputies submitting them—proper to this discussion at all, since they deal with matters of policy or administration clearly within the province of other Ministers, on whose Votes they were, or might have been raised. On the discussion of the Estimates, each Minister answers directly to the Dáil for Government policy as carried out by his Department and the Taoiseach cannot, therefore, be asked to answer for matters which are purely the concern of another Minister's Department. This debate is, or should be, confined to major aspects of general Government policy which could be dealt with effectively only by the Head of the Government. I also received notice from Deputy Dillon to raise the question of the constitutional position of Ireland. That, I think, would more properly arise on the Vote for External Affairs.
Mr. Dillon: May I make a submission?
An Ceann Comhairle: If my interpretation of the Deputy's notice is correct, he intends to refer to the position of this country vis-á-vis other countries or the British Commonwealth.
Mr. Dillon: May I make a submission?
An Ceann Comhairle: Certainly.
Mr. Dillon: The matter which I proposed to raise has no reference to any other country or the seven seas surrounding this country, but relates exclusively to the territory on which we stand. I desire to inquire in some detail of the Taoiseach, in vacuo, are we a Republic or are we not, because nobody seems to know?
An Ceann Comhairle: If it is really in vacuo, the Deputy's motion would arise on the Vote.
Mr. Dillon: It is divorced from the seven seas, without any reference except to the soil on which we stand.
The Taoiseach: I move:
That a sum not exceeding £11,320 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending 31st day of March, 1946, for the Salaries and Expenses  of the Department of the Taoiseach (No. 16 of 1924; No. 40 of 1937; and No. 38 of 1938).
Of the total Estimate, the sum of £5,700 has already been granted by means of the Vote on Account. The sum now asked for is required to complete the total of £17,020 which is the estimated expenditure for the current year. Last year the Estimate was for the sum of £15,571. Accordingly there is a net increase of £1,449. That increase is due almost entirely to the provision for payment of salaries and wages and bonus on the higher cost-of-living figure. I do not think there is any necessity to analyse the various sub-heads at this stage. If any questions are asked in relation to them, I shall be glad to answer them.
General Mulcahy: I would have imagined that in approaching the House at this stage with this Estimate, the Taoiseach would have addressed himself to the general state of affairs in the country as regards the future economic well-being of the people. I think it an extraordinary thing that the Taoiseach has not attempted to do so. We have just gone through a long period of emergency and war. If the Taoiseach does not want to listen——
The Taoiseach: That is not true. I was about to go out for a brief period as I shall be here until 9 o'clock to-night.
General Mulcahy: I undertake to be very brief. I simply want to refer to a few things to which the Taoiseach might have addressed himself. I do so entirely with our eyes on the future. We cannot shut our eyes to the fact that we have gone through an extraordinary state of affairs in the world, and that a very extraordinary state of affairs, economically, socially and politically has been brought about. We see that the United States of America and Great Britain are in negotiation with each other as to whether following the giving of a tremendous amount of material and food under Lease-Lend, the United States will give Great Britain a substantial vote in dollars to equip their people to trade with one another and  so establish in their respective countries an economic state of affairs based upon the development of plans for full employment for the whole of the community, an absolutely essential prerequisite for any kind of decent living for the people either in Great Britain or the United States. That is one of the pointers which we see in the world situation to-day that indicates the extraordinary situation in which we are. We are not necessarily going back to anything that has passed when we face a certain number of facts. When we look back at the years between 1932 and 1939, we see a period in which a Fianna Fáil policy of a particular kind was put into operation which had a certain effect on the economic well-being of our people. Following that, the country faced great difficulties and now we are facing a very difficult future. We have had various indications from the Taoiseach and other Ministers that they see no necessity for departing from the line of thought and the outlook on economic affairs that they held during the years that preceded the war.
As far as the people of the country are concerned they entered on the war situation with a taxation that had substantially increased as compared with 1932, with taxation in the form of rates which had substantially increased over the seven years, with a very considerable fall in their exports of both agricultural and non-agricultural produce, with a very considerable effect on the capacity of the country to import necessary capital goods and services. During that period, we had a fairly substantial increase in emigration; we had a substantial decrease in employment, particularly on the land; and we had a situation in which the normal annual increment in employment, having been reduced compared with previous years, was brought to a standstill in 1938 and 1939. We had the consumption of flour in terms of bread reduced by 10 per cent. and the consumption of bacon reduced by one-third, with much greater costs imposed on the people for that reduced consumption. It was in such circumstances that we faced the difficulties of the war.
 At the beginning of the war, the Taoiseach will remember that we urged on him the necessity for setting up a small committee, a small group of experts to watch the trend in the world—not necessarily to interfere in any way in things the Government were doing, but to watch what was being done here and the possible effects on the economic life of this country of things that had to be done during the emergency and things that were being done outside as a result of the emergency—so that we might be in a position to understand what kind of economic world we should stand in at the end of the war and so that we might have our plans ready for that emergency.
The attitude of the Government at that time was that they did not require any such machinery, that the various Departments were fully equipped to do all the necessary watching and planning. There is no appearance at all that the Government have any outlook in relation to co-ordinated plans for creating a situation here which would enable the producers to go ahead with their work and to bring about a condition of things in which, with the energies of the whole people directed to production, there would be some opportunity of having the wants of our people attended to, and attended to from the point of view of greater comfort as the next few years pass.
We see in Great Britain that agricultural policy there has been fully reviewed. Their targets have been set, both as to the type of production they will go in for and the quantity. Here our agricultural community have had no assistance of any kind that would enable them to develop any firm outlook as to what particular lines of production will be encouraged by the planned Government mind, and what particular facilities will be available to enable them to get back to the export position they had. A certain number of Acts have been passed here, such as the Drainage Act, and papers have been issued, such as that on the building programme. We have had, as well, a scheme outlined for all kinds of road development, but in spite of the Government's fears expressed from time to  time about the danger of inflation, these are the only types of plans which have been suggested in any way by the Government or by Government Departments. Surely it is clear that if we are to have a substantial expenditure on drainage, a substantial expenditure on roads and a substantial expenditure on house-building, without a very considerable increase in the production of consumption goods we are going to run into an extraordinary inflationary state here.
Then when we come to the financial side, how the increased work on drainage, house-building or roads is to be financed, the only indication we have is in that part of the report on the building industry which indicates how the people who drew up that report think that money for building by local authorities might be obtained. If we examine it, we find that they contemplate that money will be paid for at a rate of 3 per cent., but will be borrowed for a period of 60 years. The practice in the past has been to borrow money for building purposes for a period of 33 years, and, if the proposals in that respect are examined, it will be seen that the effect of borrowing at 3 per cent. over a period of 60 years for housing, as against 33 years, will mean that, on the basis of the ten-years plan indicated in the memorandum on building by local authorities, the people will be asked to pay £16,000,000 more in interest for the number of houses to be built. If that is the point which the Government have reached with regard to the financing of increased employment, the very foundations on which any reasonable development of such undertakings as house building, drainage or road construction are to be carried out are simply rotten.
Every way one turns one sees nothing but hopelessness before the people, if we are to look for a cause of hope in anything the Government are saying or doing. In these circumstances, I think it extraordinary that the Taoiseach should ask that his Estimates be passed without making any attempt to deal with these matters. One of the features of the situation pre-war was that a very great  expenditure on social services had taken place. More social services are promised and more social services are wanted, but the problem we are up against is where can we get what will alleviate the condition of these people who are poor or unemployed, or where can we get what will provide for these additional social services, but out of real production? These are matters of vital importance to our people, and we ought to have some outline of what is in the Government's mind with regard to the future.
Mr. McGilligan: As to the future, I ask the Dáil to concentrate on the replies given to me to certain questions I addressed to the various members of the Government yesterday. To anybody who looked at these questions, it is quite clear that the information I sought aimed at trying to get a picture of the present situation, so that we could consider whether what is undoubtedly the bad present situation is to be continued into the future. I asked for replies on certain matters with regard to currency, and, in particular, whether or not this country had made any arrangements with what are called the hard-currency countries with regard to the financing of such imports into this country as we may require in the near future. The Minister who was present had used the term “hard currency”, and had spoken of countries dealing in hard currencies, and it may be remarked that it really covers such countries as do not deal in sterling.
I myself am, and I find that business people in the country are also, rather intrigued by, and rather anxious about the situation that may develop here, because, in the old days, the situation of this country—I speak, of course, subject to many reservations on points of detail, but this was the general picture—was that we traded almost entirely with Great Britain and Northern Ireland. For the goods that we sent to Great Britain and Northern Ireland we got what is called sterling, and, under the old conditions of multilateral trade, that money which we got through selling goods to England and Northern Ireland was available for exchange  into such things, say, as dollars or kroner or whatever other currencies might be required in the countries from which we required certain imports. That situation has now fundamentally altered. If one reads the various articles written by the economists on the British side, it will be seen that the situation which has developed from their point of view is this, that before the war they had investments abroad to the extent of about £3,000,000,000, and that on account of the war they have lost all those investments. Leaving altogether out of account any moneys that may be demanded by them on foot of what are called lend-lease transactions, instead of having owed to them £3,000,000,000 they owe about £4,000,000,000.
The situation which faces the British, according to their economists, is this: in order to maintain their people on the standard of living to which they have become accustomed— and that depends on what imports they can finance from outside countries— they must increase their export trade in order to get those new imports. There are varying calculations as to the amount; the lowest I have seen says about 50 per cent. increase on the 1938 figure, and the worst says about 100 per cent. increase on the 1938 figure. It certainly means, if you take the mean calculation, that British exports to foreign countries, those to what would be called the hard-currency countries, must go up by about £500,000,000 sterling per annum.
As I said, our situation prior to the war was that we sold freely and with great equanimity to Great Britain, because we realised that, having got the money that she could give us, it was convertible easily into those other currencies. It is a new situation for the future. In so far as we sell to Britain, we have sterling enough. If anything, we have a glut of this sterling. We do not want any more of it. We possibly have too much. We certainly have so much that, if there were suddenly loosed on this country purchasing power dependent upon the immediate liquidation of our sterling assets, this country would experience a wave of inflation in comparison to which what  occurred in Germany after the last war would be merely child's play. It is quite clear that in order to get the imports which we require we have to buy those imports either by exporting goods or by getting some arrangement with Great Britain whereby the sterling that we buy with our goods will be available for the purchase of goods from hard currency countries. Accordingly, I asked the Minister for Finance yesterday as to whether any arrangements had been made with those hard currency countries, and I do not think I am parodying his answer when I say that he told me no arrangements had been made. It is quite clear from his answer that the Minister does not think it is possible to get any such arrangement made. As far as the currency available is concerned, we have about £2,500,000 available, with which this country may purchase such imports as she requires from countries except those inside what is called the sterling area.
Of course, there is another feature which stands out from the new development as a result of the war. We have piled up sterling assets to an enormous extent. As I say, that was quite good policy in the days when they were freely convertible into such other currency as we required, but it is quite clear to anybody who attends to what a lot of people on the British side have been saying for four years back that they do not propose to allow countries who have piled up sterling balances with them to liquidate them immediately so far as the purchase of goods is concerned. It is doubtful if it will be possible to liquidate them by purchases inside the coming generation, and it is also fairly clear, according to British economists, that they are eventually going to fix the value of the £ at a rate which will not at all represent the value of the £ when we piled up those sterling assets. It is quite possible, I think, that those assets of ours will be written down by about 50 per cent. For every £ in the old days that we piled up in sterling assets, we will be lucky if we get 10/- worth, and we will only get 10/- worth of goods, and we will only get such goods as England cares to supply us with, and we will only get that limited  class of goods at such time as England thinks it is possible, without straining her resources, to supply us with them.
In case I may be thought to be speaking at large on that, I would refer the Minister to statements made by Lord Halifax in America three years ago, by Lord Keynes frequently over the last three years, and by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Great Britain in his last two Budget speeches, in which he quite clearly pointed out that countries which had those balances piled up in England could not at all hope to get goods for those balances as and when those countries required them. In fact, it would appear to me —it may be a pessimistic reading, but it is one which certainly lies from the statements made—that a possible British attitude, when they come to put their house in order after the general election, will be this, that they will draw a line and say: “We owe you, Éire, India, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, so much money. We will fund that, and we will pay it out to you over a period of years, and we will pay it out in such goods as we can supply at the rate of exchange that we think is the proper one.”
I ask people who may think that that is an unwise assumption for me to make just to consider what the future will be in England. Let us take it for the sake of argument that the figure I have mentioned is a correct figure. It may vary by £50,000,000 or £100,000,000 up or down. Supposing it amounts to this, that the British face the prospect in the new world of having to increase their exports by £500,000,000 sterling in the year, and supposing the further situation is that out of our accumulated assets on the side of Great Britain we want to liquidate them at the rate of say £20,000,000 or £40,000,000 in each year. It means that the British will have to set themselves to work to produce goods for export to an additional value of £500,000,000 sterling per annum. Do we think it is at all likely that the British will stop working to get in goods that they will purchase by their exports, for say a month or six weeks, in order to provide us with the goods to meet claims we have accumulated against them over the last 25 or 30 years? I do not think it is at all  possible. I think it would be beyond all possibility and beyond anything in the nature of reasonableness to demand that the British would say that they will work for us for either three or five or six weeks and stop working for themselves, stop working on the production of goods which they will export in order to get an import of goods which they think are necessary for the maintenance of their present standard of living? The situation, therefore, as I see it, is that, unless we can get exports to the hard-currency countries, once the £2,500,000 we have already accumulated in hard currencies has been exhausted we will not be able to buy the goods we require from the countries of what are called the hard currency type. Not merely that, but it appears from the table which the Minister circulated in reply to one of my questions tabled yesterday that since 1941 the British have not allowed us to cash in on any of the accumulated sterling assets that we have on their side.
Since 1941, there has been an excess of exports over imports in three out of the four years. In 1941 we exported £2¼ millions more than the value of the imports we got in exchange. In 1943 we exported £1? millions more than the value of the goods we imported in return, and last year we exported nearly £1½ millions more than the goods we got in return. In only one of those four years, the year 1942, did we get more goods from England than the value of the goods we sent to them. In that year our imports amounted to almost £2,000,000 more than our exports, but if you take the four years together we have sent them, in value, about £3,000,000 worth of goods more than we got in. Of course, that may seem a small sum, but remember that in the years before the balance of visible trade that we had with the British amounted to an average of about £16,000,000.
I want people to consider what that means. It means that we bought in international trade, the greater part of which was with Great Britain, £16,000,000 of goods per annum more than the value of the goods which we exported to all countries.  The reason that we were able to do that was because we had so much in the way of assets of different types piled up with the interest on them or the goods that we could buy by liquidating those assets. The annual return on them was so great that it would have balanced our international accounts even though no goods were brought in. That situation suddenly came to an end in the year 1941. From 1941, although it is quite clear that we still had abroad such assets accumulated as would have entitled us to import £15,000,000 or £16,000,000 worth of goods more than we exported— although that was still the situation— the British put us during the last four years on what has amounted to a condition of barter. They gave us, more or less, pound for pound. They did not even do that. They extracted from us in the last four years, in the way of goods, £3,000,000 worth more than we got from them, and, in addition to that, all the time there was piling up the interest on the sterling assets that we used to take up. That has been stopped for years back. I suggest to the Minister that was definite policy. It happens that 1941 was the year in which, when both Lord Halifax and Lord Keynes were in America they pointed out that the British had accumulated such an enormous debt that nobody could expect them to liquidate it at once.
From that time they apparently adopted the policy of putting us on a complete rationing system, of £1 worth of goods for £1 worth of goods. We were foolish enough not to accept that system. We insisted on sending them £3,000,000 worth of stuff more than they gave to us, entirely neglecting the purchasing power of the dividends and assets that we had accumulated abroad.
In these circumstances, a pretty clear picture emerges from the Minister's answer to me. I asked if we had made any arrangements with the hard currency countries about getting goods on credit from those countries, and I was told “No”. I was told that all we have is about £2,500,000 of a reserve, and that when that is exhausted we are finished as far as importation of goods from those countries is concerned. I asked further if any inquiries  had been made, or any arrangements sought or obtained with Great Britain, as to the use of the vast accumulation of assets that we have on the other side, to see whether they would be available to enable us to purchase such imports as we may require, or, under any conditions or limitation that seemed to be reasonable. I got the optimistic answer that there is complete freedom of movement of sterling funds within the sterling area. There has been, but there is not at the moment. If that answer is correct, why did we not get in more goods within the last few years, and why did we deliberately send out £3,000,000 worth of goods in the last four years more than we got in exchange? It is not that we had not plenty of buying power or an export capacity. The Minister told a University College, Dublin, audience that we were sending out £2 for every £1 that we were getting in. The natural comment about that, as about any statement the Minister makes, is that that statement of his was not correct. The statistics show that it was not correct. He said that there was a policy in that, but the virtue of that policy had not been sufficiently understood by the public. I suggest the reason is that nobody has yet stood up to explain it or to say that it should continue. It is continuing, although not to the extent that the Minister said, but it is continuing to some extent.
In any event, that is the situation that meets us. It is a rather bleak picture. Once we buy £2,500,000 worth of goods from the non-sterling areas, we have not the money to purchase any more from them, and we have not approached them to see whether we could get goods on credit or whether they would exhaust any of our sterling assets in return for the goods that we may have to get from them. As far as Great Britain is concerned, we are sliding along on an easy optimism. The Minister, in his answer, told me that “it is assumed that as goods in the greater part of the sterling area become available for export or re-export, this country will get its share.” I do not know what that assumption is based on. It is certainly not based on the experience of  the last four years, because although we sent out more goods than we got in we saw no elasticity on the side of the British. To use the phrase “credit” is a wrong phrase. It should be that they would not allow us to cash in on the enormous sterling assets that we have piled up over years and that we have continued to pile up over the war period for purchases in England. I suggest that this easy assumption is an approach to in sanity, especially when one considers the statements of representative men in England, and particularly when two Budget statements called attention to the peculiar position the British are in with regard to the enormous debts they owe and which they cannot possibly face in the sense of producing goods in order to meet purchasing power on demand immediately. In the face of (1), our exports over the last four years, and (2) in the face of the statements made by those representative people, it is absurd for us to go along in this easy-going fashion and assume that this, that and the other will happen. It is peculiarly absurd if one deliberately considers the situation in which the British find themselves, with some of their economists looking for a moratorium in the payment of those debts. In face of that, how can it be assumed that it is going to be all right for us, and that we will get the goods first?
There may be some subtlety in the answer given to me that “it is assumed that as goods in the greater part of the sterling area become available for export or re-export this country will get its share.” I do not think that anyone can really believe that the British, faced with a serious situation with regard to their exports, will solemnly decide that, say, for one month out of the 12 they will stop producing goods for export to the hard-currency countries for the imports they require and will work for us to wipe off the debt accumulated over a couple of generations. I do not think that is likely to happen.
In that connection this comparison occurs to me. There have been many pamphlets and books written in recent years as to how Germany financed her  situation in anticipation of the war that is just over. The general line of approach to that problem can be clearly seen in a series called, I think, the “Rogues Gallery”, written about Schacht, who has been described as Hitler's finance magician. There is not much in that book which has been countered in any of the pamphlets written on the matter. What emerges from the book is that Germany got herself into a condition, with regard to the countries near her, in which she got them to send her goods. Having got these countries into that position, the Germans then suddenly faced these countries like Bulgaria, Roumania, Yugoslavia, even Italy to a certain extent and even France to a certain extent, and said: “You have vast acumulated credits with us. We cannot pay you in the way of giving you your own currency.” I think in this book about Schacht, Hitler's magician, it is said that Germany had arrived in a position in which she got what were called forced loans from all these neighbouring countries in Europe and, having got these countries in that position, the German Government then turned round and said: “We cannot pay you. We offer you either of two alternatives: Take a composition in the £. Where you have accumulated a credit of £10,000,000, we will pay you £2,000,000 or £3,000,000 in your own currency and you can do what you like with it; or, we will give you goods.” Most of these unfortunate countries said: “Rather than sacrifice £10,000,000 credit by a minimum payment of £2,000,000, we will take your goods.” Then Germany off-loaded an immense amount of sewing machines and safety razors, and things like that, in which she had immense production. Yugoslavia said: “We will take your sewing machines and razor blades because we will be able to trade with our neighbouring countries in these commodities.” When they took them, they found that Italy was full of sewing machines, that Bulgaria was full of sewing machines, and so was Roumania, and they could not trade. When they came to talk of the liquidation  of the next £10,000,000, they said: “Give us the £2,000,000 and we will be content.”
I do not know who is the magician on the Government Benches who has put us into the same position with Great Britain, but that is the position we are in. We are now in a position exactly the same as if we had made a forced loan of about £250,000,000 to Great Britain. We have even gone further in our benevolence with regard to Great Britain than these countries did with regard to Germany because there came a point when Germany had to reveal her hand to those countries and when they said, “If that is the situation, we will export no more to you,” and they consumed their stuff at home. But, notwithstanding Lord Halifax and Lord Keynes, and notwithstanding Sir John Anderson telling us that we might find it hard to get any goods for the moneys we had piled up there, we have for the last two or three years decided to go on supplying her with more goods on tick. That is what it comes to. We are giving these goods on tick to a country that has already said, “We may find it hard to pay you.” We are giving these goods on tick to a country which has certainly said, “We will not pay you when you want the payment”; and we are giving these goods to a country which has said to us, “Whatever we do we will do it in our own time and at whatever rate of exchange we think is the proper one.” Notwithstanding all that, since 1941, although we had a mass of money abroad and although we knew that that mass of money was no good to us for purchases, we decided to send to the British £3,000,000 more.
I remember when Fianna Fáil came into this House first, one of the bits of economic philosophy they all had was that if a country got itself into a position in which it had only one market, it was then in an extremely weak position. That lesson was applied to Great Britain and we were told of the fatuous policy of the Government that preceded the present Government that they dealt with Great Britain and almost entirely with Great Britain. They were going to change all that.
 Of course, it is going back on old history, but one of the things we all in this country knew was a bit of a bluff—but we never called the bluff until Fianna Fáil came in—was that we could get markets elsewhere than in Great Britain. We had been going along, preening ourselves on this view that we could get markets elsewhere but that we were such a valuable market for Great Britain that she could not go elsewhere. We went along living easily on that, making use of that basis. Then Fianna Fáil decided to call that bluff on themselves and they proved to Great Britain over the years that we actually could not trade anywhere else except with themselves, that we could not sell our exports in any other countries and certainly could not get any imports from any other country, even in the conditions of multilateral trade when the money was good for the purchases.
In the old days the great controversy of economics was the weakness of the situation in which you put all your eggs into one basket. The only change we have made since is that we have put more eggs into the old basket but, out of political considerations, we cannot refrain now and again from having a kick at the basket. That is, maybe, very good politics but it is very poor economics.
We are in the situation that Schacht, Hitler's magician, got Germany into vis-a-vis all the surrounding countries. I think, if I had to give the honours myself, I would give them to the present Minister. He is the man who has put us in the position that we have traded with Great Britain almost exclusively, to the deprivation of any other market. We have found that that was the situation and we have accepted it. We have not merely accepted it but, at a time when Britain said, “We will give you £'s worth for £'s worth of goods you supply us with”, we said, “That is not a good enough bargain. We will give you £3,000,000 more than you give us and will not ask you to pay us a penny-worth in the way of goods for all the sterling assets we have accumulated on the other side.”
I wonder is that going to continue for the future. I have read successive  weeks' reports of the Dáil. I think I may go back on three weeks. In the Budget recently introduced by the Minister for Finance, he told us solemnly, at the end of a very gloomy statement, that what we had to face in the new world was that we had to produce more goods for export. He did not say to England, but the table I have shows that it is almost entirely to England. We have to produce, in any event, more goods for export if we want more imports, and, despite all the talk we used to have against what was called the mania for international trade, it is apparently now agreed that we must get imports if we are to maintain our standard of living.
The Minister for Finance says: “Get exports, and they must be exports produced under conditions of competition.” Then the Minister for Agriculture comes along the next week and says: “We must have exports to get the imports we require, and the only hope for this country is exports of agricultural goods.” The Minister for Industry and Commerce comes along the week after and says: “We must have exports to get the imports we require, and the only hope is the export of industrial goods.”
Again, I asked him a question about the export of industrial goods. There was a time when we had a fair industrial export. There was another time when we had very little. The change occurred in the Minister's time. He was so concerned about his home market that he destroyed a fairly good trade we had with regard to the export of tweed to different countries. There was even a time when we had an export of tractors. I cannot lay it to his door that that failed, but certainly he did not get any substitute for it. In any event, we have gone down the hill as far as the export of industrial goods is concerned, and nobody can say, so far as the Minister for Agriculture is concerned, that anybody holds out much hope that we are going to get such an increase in agricultural production that we will have more agricultural exports by which to buy the imports we require.
The situation boils down to this: We have sterling assets—more than we want. We have not been able to cash  in on them for years back. We have added to them even although we are getting no goods. They propose adding to them. We have £2,500,000 of hard currency, and when that is gone we are finished as far as the importation of goods from countries other than sterling countries is concerned. When I ask a question about the arrangements we are making, I am told that we are going on on the assumption that we will be able to use whatever sterling assets are there, as and when required.
I suggest to the Minister that there is a very definite danger ahead of us, clearly indicated. No one in this country can say that no warning was given, when you consider the statements of all these representative people. The warning was clearly indicated: we can build up credit, if we like, in England but if we think we can get goods for that credit we are entirely mistaken. We may get goods issued to us on the reduced buying power, so to speak, of our sterling assets, so that we may import into this country whatever it suits the British to determine and at a price which they will fix; and they will give us no agreement as to the time when the goods will be delivered or the type of goods we will get. I can see the Minister saying that we require a considerable amount of capital goods. We do. These are the goods that England is going to find herself pressed to give to other countries in return for imports that she will require. Is it sensible to think that England will stop in the amazing tasks before her in the future and work for us over a month or so per annum for nothing, to give us capital goods which formerly she exported to some of those other countries, so that she would get; over and beyond the goods we send to her, the particular type of goods that she requires to maintain her standard of living? It is beyond all reason to suggest that that will happen.
Supposing they say: “We will give you goods; we will adopt the German system: we have a multiplicity of sewing machines,” does the Minister contemplate the possibility of this  country being flooded by some enormous mass of goods, which the British will press on us because they have nowhere else to send them and which we will have to take, since we cannot get anything else? Is the problem a sufficiently serious one to demand the attention of the Minister? Should he not try to inquire as to what goods we are likely to get in return for the vast amount of money we have lying there? Supposing the British decide they will send us what we call “consumer goods” or “luxury goods”, clothes of a particular type, does the Minister contemplate with equanimity a period of five or ten years in which this country will be flooded with all sorts of luxury goods, on which our people will waste this accumulated credit—and that at a time when the country is starving for capital goods which we will not be able to get?
Remember that the Minister is put vis-a-vis Great Britain exactly in the position in which Schacht put Germany vis-a-vis Bulgaria, Rumania and Yugoslavia, saying: “£2,000,000 for £10,000,000, and wipe off the balance, or we will give you sewing machines or old razor blades and that sort of thing, of which we have too much, because we cannot give you anything else”. What arrangement has the Minister made? I take it from the Minister for Finance that we are simply saying: “We hope for the best, we hope that we will get the goods as we used to get them and if we do not, well, that is a new situation.”
In that connection, I come to one other point. I asked the Minister yesterday if he would help me by estimating the amount of money likely to be brought into this country or brought in already by tourists. I am told in reply that it is impossible for the Minister to give an estimate. That seems to be foolish. We have financed a tourist board, at great expense. I understand from newspaper reports that the board has recently opened an office in England and is parading before the people of England the benefits they will enjoy if they come over to Ireland for the holidays. I understand we are doing propaganda even in Northern Ireland,  with a view to showing the great food that we have down here, which is better than they are allowed to buy in England or Northern Ireland. Notwithstanding that we have a board financed at fairly heavy expense to the State, the Minister says that it is not possible to estimate the amount of money brought in. I would say that, if we were to estimate anything about the Tourist Board, we would at least estimate what it was likely to bring in. I assume that the Tourist Board is not financed for nothing and my only hope about the immediate future is that the Tourist Board will continue to be as highly inefficient as it has shown itself to be so far. It would be a catastrophe if that board gained any success immediately. Let us assume it did and that tourists coming into this country spent £3,000,000 in the year 1945. What does that mean? It means that people in England and Northern Ireland, who are not allowed to spend £3,000,000 on goods such as bacon, eggs and butter, come here and spend that money here. When the holiday season is over, our situation will be that we have been deprived of bacon, eggs and butter to that extent and in return we have got credit for £3,000,000—we have provided these people with our produce “on tick”. I do not think anybody can deny that that would be the situation.
At the moment, people in Britain are subject to a very efficient rationing system; they are also subject to a very efficient tax system and also they are compelled—or at least induced by a particular type of propaganda to put a great deal of their money into various forms of investment. It is easy enough for people to put money into saving certificates or national defence loans, when they find they have more money than they are allowed to spend on things they would like to buy. The British have made it easy, by relaxing the permit controls, to allow these people to flow into this country, across the Border and across the sea. They will come here and spend their £3,000,000 or £5,000,000 and will consume that amount of stuff. To that extent, they will deprive the natives of this country of that amount of provisions. If anybody thinks that  we will be able immediately to get a return from the British of that money in the form of goods which we require, let me say that if the British agreed to that it would be a stultification of their whole policy.
Look at the situation. They are paying their people wages which are 80 per cent. higher than they were paying them in 1939, on account of piece-work and increased rates. They do not allow them to spend it in England. Why? Because the commodities are short and if they had the impact of that vast purchasing power on those commodities the prices would rise. They are taking very good care that that will not happen in England. They send over these tourists, with the purchasing power of £3,000,000 or £5,000,000, and we have the impact of that extra purchasing power on our limited store of foodstuffs. Are we going to go, then, to the British and say: “You would not allow X, Y and Z wage earners in Lancashire, to spend that amount of money on goods in your country, but they have spent it in our country; let us now buy that amount of goods from you? The moment the British assent to that proposal they are stultifying their own policy.
For the holiday period, therefore, we are going, at national expense and to the detriment of the natives, to allow the expenditure of more money in this country, and we are not going to get ultimately more and more for that in England. As I say, I only hope that the Tourist Board will continue to be as inefficient as it has been hitherto and that they will fail in their efforts to get people to come here to spend that money as, if they do bring that money here, the result of the expenditure of that extra £3,000,000 will be to raise prices still further for whatever foodstuffs we have.
Suppose, from the point of view of inflation—and I am discussing it now only from that point of view—I were to suggest to the Government that we should stop tourists coming in here in the holiday season and that we should do something else. It is admitted pretty generally that the stoppage of the increase in the civil servants'  bonus in relation to the increased cost of living was a most immoral proceeding. I have never heard it defended on any moral grounds. It is agreed that the civil servants have earned that money and that it has been taken from them. It amounts to about £1,000,000 a year, according to a reply which I received to a Question I put here. They have earned the money. We owe it to them; we have pledged ourselves that we would give it to them. The Taoiseach told them that they should hang on to their cost-of-living bonus, that prices were going to go up and this would be their safeguard when prices did rise. Not merely has he accepted the old contract with regard to the bonus for civil servants, but he has emphasised the contract by telling them his viewpoint, from his amazing knowledge of international matters and international movements, was that prices were going to rise and, when prices did rise, the cost-of-living bonus would be the civil servants' safeguard.
I am taking the civil servants as examples. There are many more worthy people than they, but they are a worthy class. They have earned this money. We promised it to them and contracted to give it to them. The only excuse with regard to the withholding of it is that if we let them spend it we will increase the cost of commodities here. Suppose we say: “Stop the tourists and put an end to the hotels enjoying prosperity via tourists from outside, but instead give a million to the civil servants or half a million to the teachers. We have kept them out of a certain amount of money. We cannot give it to them because of the danger of inflation.” Let us say there will be inflation to the extent of £3,000,000—that that could be spent here by tourists. We will keep the tourists out, but we will let our civil servants and our teachers spend half the sum the tourists would spend—£1,500,000.
I am speaking now simply from the point of view of inflation. From that point of view, we would have given relief to certain people who, no doubt, deserve it. We might cause a certain small inflation, but it is  only 50 per cent of what it would be if we were to allow tourists in. The background is that we give it to teachers and civil servants; we pay them what we think they have earned. They have earned it and, as a result, we expect to get better production. If we allow the tourists from Britain in, we hope for the best; we hope that we will get it from the British as and when they can give it to us.
What is the situation with regard to tourists? Are we to allow these people in of their own free will to spend here what Britain will not allow them to spend in her country? Do we realise why Britain will not allow them to spend that money in her country? It is because they would put up the cost of living. Are we going to allow them to put up still further our cost of living? In the end, what return will we get from them? Another £3,000,000 on to the £3,000,000 we have sent to those people? We have given them more goods than we have got from them. In the background there is the immense mass of several hundred million pounds sterling, not one shilling of which we have been able to cash-in for goods we required during the past four years. Apparently, we are going to allow that condition of things to continue for years to come.
This table I have got from the Government gives a very definite picture of this country appearing to import more goods than we export. So far as visible trade is concerned, we did not earn in goods sent out of the country the goods we got in, but we earned something in this way, that we put more into the common pool years ago than we ever got out, and we are drawing on those reserves. In 1940 the British said: “You will draw no further.” When is that ban to be lifted? We have a ban in existence, and when will it be lifted? When will we be allowed to cash-in on some small fraction of the investments we have abroad which used to even up a balance which appeared to be about £15,000,000 against us? Since 1940 that ban has been on.
There is one other point. The British will not let us get any goods in return  for all we did for them by giving them more than we ever took from them in the old days, but she is doing this, she is taking our population from us. When she takes our population, do you think she is getting soft-hearted and is inclined to say: “You good Irish people, you have come to our assistance in time of need. We will let you spend more than the ordinary Englishman, Scotsman or Welshman?” Not a bit of it. She puts our people there under the same conditions with regard to the expenditure of money as she puts her own citizens, and no one can blame her for that.
What do these people do? They send that money home. We were told, in reply to Parliamentary Questions, that in recent years we have been getting £13,000,000 a year by way of remittances from our people who earn money in England, and because they cannot spend it in England they send it here. That £13,000,000 has to be added to such purchasing power as there is in this country. It has its impact on our limited store of foodstuffs. It has been partly responsible for sending up the cost of living to the point it has reached.
They are taking our population. Deputy Norton asked a question in the month of April as to the number of people who went out of our country since 1940. The tot is about 170,000 people. He then asked what were the figures for the early months of this year and he got them for January, February and March, in which months they seemed to be at a lower level. We are only being bled to the extent of 1,000 people per month. Anybody who travelled in the trams past the British Passport Office in the last couple of months must know that every neck on the tram cranes when you come to the British office on account of the queue outside that office. It was certainly quite clear to anybody passing along the road that what had been described as an average of 1,000 a month was certainly not going to be maintained at the 1,000 a month for the future.
I asked the Minister for External Affairs as to the number of permits issued in April, May and June, and I got a tot of 7,000 for those three months. It means this, 100 a day. The  office is not open on Sunday. It means 100 a day for the days the office is open, with 50 for the half-day. That is the rate at which our people are being exported. If that rate is maintained we will be exporting at the rate of 100 every week-day, excepting the half-day on Saturday, when we will export only 50 people. We are sending those people abroad and they will send back more remittances, and those remittances will be added to the purchasing power here and, if we are lucky to get very big numbers of tourists, they will spend more money here, and in the end we will find ourselves with far bigger sterling balances on the other side than we ever hoped for.
I am sure Deputies know of the tragedy which occurred in County Kerry some three years ago when a tramp, was discovered dead on the side of the road. At the inquest the verdict was that he died from malnutrition, yet he had hundreds of pounds sewn into his clothes. He died of starvation on the side of the road with hundreds of pounds sewn into his rags. We have millions abroad sewn into our rags, but we cannot cash-in on them. All we get in return is a little less than pound for pound for what we send them.
I have heard from the Labour Benches here certain pessimistic comments as to what might happen if our 170,000 people in England suddenly decided to return. Maybe they are better judges than I am, but I do not think those people will return. I think the tendency is all the other way. There is a certain amount of electioneering confusion in England as to certain programmes they have and figures are variously put before the populace. I will take the minimum figure in relation to one or two things. The man who was lately a Minister and who was in charge of man-power in England—Mr. Bevin—told the people there that one of the great things that they have ahead of them, and on which all Parties agree, is an amazing programme of new house-building and repairs to houses. Mr. Bevin says that before the war started the labour forces operating on houses used to rank at about 1,000,000 men. He said about 1,000,000 operatives  were engaged in building new houses and repairing old houses. On account of having to draft man-power into the war services, that 1,000,000 had shrunk to about 250,000. That figure is criticised, but that is somewhere about the figure.
He says that due to his efforts he has got people released from the forces who have gone into labour forces for house building, 440,000 of them, but that they have got to get 1,000,000 and more than that on account of the houses that have been destroyed, on account of the houses that have been damaged, and on realisation of the fact that they were still in a bad condition as regards houses. He gave various figures of the new man-power required for house building, the lowest being 1,250,000 and the highest 1,750,000. Before he left office according to his own statement, he got in touch with the trade unions and they agreed to what is called a scheme for the dilution of labour, in which men are going to have three, six or nine weeks' training under skilled men, and then will be regarded as craftsmen in the building trades. He wants to get from 440,000 in the building industry to a minimum of 1,250,000. How many will he draw from this country in the way of building operatives? The Minister for Local Government, who has come in, enlightened an audience in my university by stating that not merely will the Beveridge Plan not work in England, but it cannot work anywhere. A man with, I understand, little reading of economics, nevertheless criticises one of the plans on which the English are founding their future prosperity. The Beveridge Plan must break down! The English may be foolish but they are going on with the silly idea that it will work. In any case, one of the things they are agreed upon, Beveridge or no Beveridge Plan, is that they must build houses for their people, and they are giving rates of wages, that the same Minister told that audience, this country could not afford, and social services that, according to that Minister, this country cannot afford.  Suppose they want to increase their labour power for building from less than 500,000 to 1,250,000, how many building operatives do you think will be left in this country when they are finished ?
I take another example. They have recently introduced an Education Bill in England. It is criticised on many grounds, but there are one or two things it is agreed by everybody they must do. One is that they are going to raise the school-leaving age. I am speaking of primary education. The second thing is, that they are going to abolish the system whereby there is a very big number of pupils to each master. They are going to have more teachers for the number of pupils they have to deal with. In addition, they are going to give better educational facilities, even in primary schools. The last calculation I saw made by the man who is now Minister in charge of education is that they would require 70,000 new teachers on the primary side to carry on the work. Let us take that. They want 70,000 new teachers and they are offering scales of salaries that we cannot compete with. They are offering amenities of life and certain conditions with regard to superannuation that we have never approached. They are offering even a gradation, whereby good primary teachers can pass to the upper ranks. All sorts of inducements are being offered to people who want to go into teaching and they want 70,000 of them. We have a disgruntled group of primary teachers who are told in the most ironical fashion by the Taoiseach that it was a pity their salaries were not related to the cost of living, and therefore they could not raise their salaries, much as they regretted it. If they had the cost-of-living bonus we would have owed it to them but would not pay it. They would, however, have the moral satisfaction that the money was owed. We have disgruntled teachers, and 70,000 new posts yawning for them in England.
Before that really hit, people were leaving this country from 1,000 a month until we got to the region of 2,500 a month for the last three months, and apparently the Government is not going to do anything about  it. I am not saying that we should compel them not to go there, but some effort should be made to induce them not to go, to tempt them to stay here. These people would much rather live and teach and build at home than go to the other side. We are going to export our people. We have exported goods and we have piled up money we cannot use, and the Party opposite, having come in as the Party which hated the thought of having all our eggs in one basket, has now piled more of the eggs into that one basket, and fewer into the few other baskets lying around to collect. They have done that in the teeth of the hard reality that the British will not allow us, no matter what goods we give them on “tick,” to get goods as and when we require them. That is a pretty hopeless situation. It can be handled. They are making plans with regard to the export business and to have what they call full employment. The Minister for Local Government, in his complete and superior wisdom, goes to University College and says that the plan cannot work. He proved by a great piece of economic reasoning that if you did get into the happy position in which there would be more jobs than men the whole system would collapse. In America, in England, France and Russia and other countries they are tending to that, but the Minister in his superior wisdom says it cannot happen; in fact that it is inherently wrong and carries the seeds of its own destruction.
A man called Vinson addressed an American audience the other day. I speak with a certain amount of humility about a man called Vinson, who is in charge of economic affairs in America, when faced by the Minister for Local Government, after what he said to a university audience here. In his folly, Mr. Vinson told a group of American pressmen that America was in the happy predicament of having to live at a 50 per cent. increased standard of living. He said further that the inescapable fact, at which pessimists might scoff but which realists believed, was that, unless they got their economy on to that basis, they would all fail. He says: “You must all accustom yourselves to living on a  50 per cent. higher standard”—not a higher cost of living as we have here, but a higher standard of living—“than you have ever enjoyed before,” and, fools as they are in England, they are hoping to achieve that position, and greater fools, that mass of people in America who are going to be wrong, according to the Minister for Local Government, have decided that if they cannot achieve that, they are in for a terribly bad time. What are we doing here? There have been many comments about planning. Will the Government nominate for me, before the debate ends, one plan? The nearest thing to a plan is the rural electrification scheme, and that was not prepared by the Government. It was prepared by an outside body. As far as I remember, it was sent to the Government before March, 1943. Notification that it had been sent was released to the public about August, 1943. The plan was produced about August, 1944. There has not been, I venture to say, one shilling spent on the whole plan since but there is a plan there— not prepared by the Government.
What else have we that passes for a plan? We have a statement of facts with regard to housing. We have a statement of facts, a problem posed, and certain suggestions made as to what might be done in regard to the rate of interest at which money might be borrowed for that purpose, and so on, but we have no suggestion as to how they are going to fulfil the proposals made in that report. There are other things on which we have statements of fact about problems shown to the Government, but outside the Rural Electrification Scheme Report—the nearest thing that we have to a plan—will the Government tell me of any plan they have, or anything on which they have spent £100,000 in the last couple of years, which can be regarded as a plan for post-war development? I am stressing that: post-war development.
The Minister for Finance, in his Budget speech this year, hopped away from the great high-light of last year's Budget, which was the Tourist Development Board, to a new pet, and  that was the development of the airport at Rineanna, and when I asked him, in the course of the debate on the Financial Resolutions, what return this country hopes to get from the £2,000,000 which he proposes to spend on the provision of new landing places there, and so on, we were told that this country will get a great deal of prestige. I suggest that if you were to knock down certain slums in this city and provide proper housing accommodation at an expenditure of £2,000,000 —not looking at it from the money point of view—you would get more prestige from that than by building wonderful landing places or runways at Rineanna and building another concrete runway near Dublin at a cost of £500,000—for more prestige. If they want an opportunity for getting more prestige, will they turn to the report about housing, and turn to that paragraph in that report that I have read so often before in this House, and see that it is there stated that in a test group of 36,000 families it was shown that over 50 per cent. of them were not getting a family wage of more than 50/- a week. Do they realise that that 50/- a week in 1938 has a purchasing power now of only 25/-? If they are looking for prestige, could they not do something about the 36,000 families depending on what amounts to 25/- a week for the maintenance of themselves and their families in Dublin?
We have heard great schemes about arterial drainage. This is one of the schemes which the Government like, because it can be paraded as something that is going to be done immediately, although actually it need not be done for 25 years. It looks grand now, but when you ask when it will be done, the vista recedes, and you find that it will be done in the course of 25 years or even longer. Supposing, however, that it is done, what good will it be to the country? The scheme was undertaken on foot of a report in which the representative of the Department of Finance said that there would be no material good done for the country. That was the view held by the representative of the Department of Finance upon that commission. We are going to have new roads, and  there are great hopes of the good that will be done by the provision of new roads. What do we want new roads for? We have 2,500 emigrants leaving this country every month, and the existing roads seem to be quite sufficient for them. You do not have to have new roads in order to allow these people to leave the country at the rate of 100 a day, or 50 on a half-day.
If we really want to do something for these people, I suggest that there should be something in the nature of a shelter erected in the lee of that building in Merrion Square so that the people leaving this country may be left with at least a happy memory of the last bit of business they did in this country before leaving it. We are going to have a lot of new roads; we are going to have new facilities at the Port of Rineanna, at a cost of £2,000,000; and we are going to have a magnificent concrete runway at Collinstown at a cost of £500,000. Are they going to plan for housing, post-war, and have they any idea of the rate of interest on the money to be borrowed for those houses, or of the rents to be paid for them? Have they any idea what present wages, stood still by their Order, will be able to purchase, post-war? Do they think that people can pay increased rents arising out of post-war costs on their pre-war rate of wages, in view of the fact that 50/- a week pre-war represents only about 25/- a week now in purchasing power?
I have tried to find out what we were doing in the matter of production—a field in which other countries have made an attempt of some sort. Every country has plans for public works, and the reason for that is that their attitude is that when there is less private spending in the ordinary fields of industry, commerce, agriculture and so on, it may be necessary to prime the pumps with a little bit of public spending, and so they put money into public works. In all these countries they have arranged such programmes, because they feel that it is the best way of getting agriculture going, of getting industry and commerce going, and so on, and if there is a failure, then they say: “We will make a little advance in order to put additional purchasing power into the hands of the  people.” What are we doing in that respect? We are to have new roads. We are to have new landing places at Rineanna and concrete runways at Collinstown. We are to have arterial drainage, whenever it comes off, and perhaps housing. But what are we doing about production, and what good is it going to be if we are to send to England goods on “tick” with the return to be made to us when every member of this House has passed away? You will only get a return for these goods that you send on “tick,” after a generation, and then perhaps it may be at a reduced rate, or perhaps not in money at all, but in the form of luxury goods such as razor blades, sewing machines, or such other goods as the English may have an enormous surplus of.
The Minister for Finance, in his Budget statement, told us of money spent on various things, and of the assets that he had behind him, and he then went on to speak of what the economists call dead-weight debt-moneys on which we have no economic return. As far as I remember, we had £100,000,000 run up on what the economists call dead-weight debt. Leaving out such things as the Shannon Scheme or anything else, what return have we got for that expenditure of £100,000,000? Nobody would object to the expenditure of £100,000,000, or even the creation for expenditure of another £100,000,000 in this country, if it were spent on production; but we are spending it on what? Only to allow 170,000 people to flee the country in the last five years: 100 a day going out now to seek employment on building and teaching in England— and that with a tuberculosis problem in this country that was never so acute as at this moment, and with a delinquency problem, both so far as children and adults are concerned, which is causing grave anxiety to every member of the judiciary who has to deal with what is called the new criminal classes. Is that to be the return for the £100,000,000 debt: depopulation, destitution—we have 36,000 families here with only 25/- a week to spend on what they want—and disease? I sometimes wonder if these pamphlets that are produced by good-meaning people,  such as the Red Cross Society, and so on, ever get into the hands of the people who are really suffering from tuberculosis in this country. I wonder if any of these people went to the exhibition in regard to tuberculosis in its early stages.
The idea that was played around with there—it was quite a good display —was what was described, in the jargon of the moment, as “helping the resistance movement against tuberculosis”; to help the resistance movement against tuberculosis the supplies are not guns or munitions but just food —eggs, butter, milk. They cost money and the way the present Government is helping the resistance movement against disease is by cutting the value of the wages of the population by half. Then, they cynically ask the population to believe that we can encounter this onset of tuberculosis by helping the resistance movement, they themselves being the people who have so completely weakened the resistance movement.
In the debate regarding the Sanatorium Bill I quoted statement after statement from doctor after doctor, who spoke publicly, that the main cause of that disease in this country was malnutrition, that malnutrition was only a polite term for starvation and that you need not hope to have a proper resistance movement against that disease unless you give the people the power to buy the supplies that they need in order to withstand it. But we prefer to send our goods abroad. We prefer to hope that all the credits we have piled up will be useful somewhere, somehow in somebody's good time. When I asked if this matter was affecting Ministers with anxiety, I was told that they believed that the accumulations of sterling assets were available to finance imports from any part of that area, and that it was assumed that goods would be available as and when they come into supply.
In that happy-go-lucky way, we are drifting into the new world. We have no plans; we have done nothing to prevent our people going abroad; no great attempt has been made to induce production; no effort has been made, as has been done in America, to try to get our people to accustom themselves  to the “happy predicament” of having to live to a 50 per cent. increased standard. We are tearing their standard away. We have depressed the standard of living because we have reduced the value of wages. Amongst a small section, we have allowed profits to pile up to such an extent that the Minister for Finance described them as “enormous”. So far as our trade with other countries is concerned, we are told: “Let us hope the old situation will revive and we shall be all right.” That was the situation which Fianna Fail used to criticise—trade with Great Britain, international trade. The truth has at last hit them that this country requires imports to maintain our standard of living and that those imports can only be obtained by exports. If that truth has hit them only now—five or six years after its impact on the ordinary mind —what are they doing about production? The answer is —£100,000,000 dead-weight debt, an airport at Rineanna, some roads, and the Tourist Board to enable more people to come in and waste our good commodities. Then we are to “hope for the best”.
Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Mr. MacEntee): We have listened to a most interesting speech. We have seen, or heard, Deputy McGilligan throw overboard his whole political past. This House has been treated during the past 45 minutes or thereabouts to a spectacle of political self-murder. Listening to Deputy McGilligan, I could think only of those accounts which one reads from day to day in the newspaper telling how, having lost a battle, a Japanese admiral or general commits hari-kari.
Mr. McGilligan: What? The phrase is hara-kiri.
Mr. MacEntee: Very well.
Mr. McGilligan: You did not know even the pronunciation of the phrase.
Mr. MacEntee: I have not had occasion to study it quite so intimately as the Deputy, who must have been contemplating that course quite a while,  judging by the speech to which we have just listened. What was the whole tenor of that speech and what were its natural conclusions? That sterling is of no value. I remember that one of the topics which used to be most ardently debated in this House was the question of the link, as it was called, with sterling. One of the foremost defenders of the legislation establishing that link, which was passed by the Government of which he was then Minister for Industry and Commerce, was Deputy McGilligan. To-night, we have not heard very much from him in support of the link with sterling. We have been told that our trade with Great Britain was a disaster, that we should live in a state of complete isolation, selling nothing to Great Britain and taking nothing from her—least of all her money. Apparently, Deputy McGilligan's speech was too much for the Leader of the Opposition because I noticed that Deputy Mulcahy left the House while the Deputy was speaking. But Deputy Hughes, Deputy MacEoin and a number of other members of the Fine Gael Party listened to the speech with rapt attention. Perhaps, they will engage our attention later by telling us whether they agree with the tenor of that speech, with the arguments with which it was furbished and with the conclusions to which it must inevitably have driven those who agreed with it.
Mr. McGilligan: The Minister is not, I hope, pretending that what he alleges are my conclusions, because they are not.
Mr. MacEntee: Is the Deputy already recanting?
Mr. McGilligan: I object to being misrepresented.
Mr. MacEntee: I did not interrupt Deputy McGilligan.
Mr. McGilligan: I am sorry. I am not a bishop and I ought not to be treated so badly.
Mr. MacEntee: Great stress has been laid by Deputy McGilligan on the fact that, in the abnormal trading conditions under which the world has existed since 1939, there has been a  very steady and substantial accumulation of sterling assets here. It might have been well if the Deputy, who seems to regard this accumulation as one over which we had complete and absolute control, had informed the House if his laborious midnight studies of the economics of our present situation has led him to put to himself the question: How did it come about that we accumulated those sterling assets over the past five years? When this Government first took office, we had to embark on a political and economic policy which lead to drastic dislocation, for the time being, of what had been held by our predecessors to be our normal economy. When we were engaged in putting through that policy, which has left this country in the happy position in which it is to-day— unwasted by war, substantially the most prosperous country in Europe— we were opposed tooth and nail by the Opposition on the ground that we were dislocating the traditional agricultural economy of the country, an economy built up over generations and an economy based on the yearly natural increase of our flocks and herds.
We were told that the live-stock industry was the foundation of all our prosperity. We were told that if we did anything to jeopardise that industry, anything which would interfere with the free flow of the products of that industry from this country to Great Britain, we should be inflicting irreparable damage on the welfare of this community. Our live-stock population and the pastures on which it is based represent an enormous investment of capital on the part of this country. So long as that capital exists, we must allow it to produce its natural return and it is because we have not interfered, more than was absolutely essential for the maintenance of this people, with this traditional economy of ours during this period of emergency, when we could not possibly find anything to replace it—it is because of that fact that these sterling assets of ours about which Deputy McGilligan has been so critical, have accumulated in the measure with which we are all familiar.
When, during the economic war,  Great Britain interfered with the free disposal of that natural increase in our live-stock population and we had to take exceptional measures to dispose of our otherwise indisposable surplus, Deputy McGilligan, then a leader of the Fine Gael Party, and those associated with him, embarked on a course of action in this House and in the country which brought us to the verge of civil war. The battle cry then raised against Fianna Fáil was that we were slaughtering the calves. We still have, however—and the Deputy in the course of his speech might have adverted to the fact—calves to dispose of. We still have yearlings, we still have stores, and we shall continue to have them so long as the live-stock industry remains the primary industry of this country.
What does Deputy McGilligan want us to do with that natural increase? Does he want us to slaughter the calves again or does he want us to sell them for what they will fetch in whatever market may be available to us? He has told us, of course, that he wants to stop accumulating sterling assets. Does he want us then to give the disposable surplus of our live-stock industry as a free gift to the British people without even getting——
Mr. McGilligan: Is that the only alternative?
Mr. MacEntee: —without even getting a promise to pay?
Mr. McGilligan: Is that the only alternative?
Mr. MacEntee: Can Deputy McGilligan give us another one?
Mr. McGilligan: Goods.
Mr. MacEntee: Naturally, but supposing Britain will not give us goods or has not got goods to give us? So Deputy McGilligan now wants us to refuse to continue to export cattle unless we get goods in exchange? That is the policy——
Mr. McGilligan: Or artificial manures.
Mr. MacEntee: That is the policy of the Fine Gael Party. Let us have that on record. I see the shadow Minister  for Agriculture along with the Deputy on the Front Bench opposite.
Mr. McGilligan: He is in agreement.
Mr. MacEntee: He is in agreement with that policy but supposing they cannot give us goods?
Mr. McGilligan: Then you will trade on credit?
Mr. MacEntee: Supposing they cannot give us goods or will not give us goods, what does he want us to do with our surplus cattle?
Mr. McGilligan: Is not “tick” the only answer?
Mr. MacEntee: But I understood that Deputy McGilligan will not give them on credit. I understood that was the burden of his speech. For 45 minutes I listened to Deputy McGilligan telling us that we were giving the British perhaps the one thing we have at the moment to sell them, that we were selling cattle on credit. He condemned us because we were selling cattle, as he said, on credit. I know that Deputy Keating is interested in the cattle business. Does he want us to stop the export of cattle?
Mr. Keating: Go and put your head in a bag.
Mr. MacEntee: I understand that Deputy Keating has still some bitter memories of the economic war. I know that Deputy McGilligan wants us to start the economic war all over again, but does Deputy Keating want us to do that?
Mr. Keating: No. Deputy Keating never approved of the economic war.
Mr. MacEntee: We remember how bitterly Deputy Keating resented the fact that the British imposed restrictions upon the import of our cattle into Great Britain. Deputy McGilligan apparently wants us—remember this is the official Fine Gael policy as we have had it now explained—to impose restrictions on the export of our cattle.
Mr. McGilligan: I did not say that at all.
Mr. MacEntee: No, the Deputy did not say it straightforwardly, but that was what he implied. In fact, he wants us to prohibit the export of cattle altogether unless the British pay us in something other than what I think Deputy McGilligan used to worship like the golden calf—in something other than British sterling. That is apparently the new Fine Gael policy. We must stop the export of Irish cattle to Britain unless the British pay us in some way other than sterling. Supposing we did adopt this advice of Deputy McGilligan, what would the farmers say if they found their fields being stocked up with bullocks and stores they could not get rid of? How would they deal with demands for land annuities and for rates? How would they deal with the demands of shopkeepers to meet their bills if Deputy McGilligan's policy were given effect to?
Mr. McGilligan: Have you not got the British market?
Mr. MacEntee: The fact of the matter is that the Deputy, for 45 minutes, has been pouring scorn on the British market. We know that consistency is not one of the Deputy's signal virtues, but at least he should not contradict himself a dozen times within the space of 50 minutes. He has spent 45 minutes of his speech pouring scorn on the British market——
Mr. McGilligan: I did not.
Mr. MacEntee: ——and on the fools who were following the economy which has existed here for generations, and who send their surplus stock to this market.
Mr. Hughes: Which the Minister has been trying to destroy.
Mr. MacEntee: Apparently we have not succeeded sufficiently to satisfy fully Deputy McGilligan and Deputy Hughes.
Mr. Hughes: A new departure.
Mr. MacEntee: It is a new departure, because we are now told that the  shadow Minister for Agriculture of the Fine Gael Party wants to stop the export of Irish cattle to Great Britain.
Mr. Hughes: I never wanted that.
Mr. MacEntee: That is what Deputy McGilligan said.
Mr. Hughes: Use the export of Irish cattle properly.
Mr. Keating: I wonder would the Minister talk a bit of common sense?
An Ceann Comhairle: I have had twice to ask Deputy Keating to cease from interrupting. I may not do so again.
Mr. MacEntee: I was saying—and I think I must have convinced even the Opposition, because I note that Deputy McGilligan has already recanted his speech—that so long as the present abnormal conditions of trade exist between this country and the world and so long as we continue to export cattle to Great Britain, we must continue to accumulate sterling assets. Now, Deputy McGilligan wants us to stop accumulating sterling assets.
Mr. McGilligan: No, I do not. Cash in on them.
Mr. MacEntee: That, I gather, was what Deputy McGilligan was saying.
Mr. McGilligan: Cash in on them is what I was saying. Do you know what cash in on them means?
The Taoiseach: You tell us now as you have gone so far.
Mr. MacEntee: Oh, now. We listened in patience to Deputy McGilligan talking the most arrant nonsense for 45 minutes.
Mr. McGilligan: Cash in on them. That is not arrant nonsense. Get a return for what you send. Can you do it?
Mr. MacEntee: The House is as familiar as I am with the conditions which exist in Great Britain. We hear that there is a scarcity of all essential materials in that country. We have learned that, within the last week or  so, the coal industry in Great Britain had reached such a parlous condition that they are actually going to have to import coal in order to keep their industry going during the coming winter. We hear that they have no wool, no cotton—nothing that is not already absorbed by their military necessities. What is the use of Deputy McGilligan trying to work the confidence trick upon the simple people who take him seriously, by telling them that if we do not take sterling in exchange for our cattle, we can get goods? Does he not know, and does not everybody else appreciate as well as I appreciate, that if there were any possibility of getting goods in exchange for our cattle, we would have got the goods? We must assume that there is no possibility of getting goods in present circumstances and therefore our problem is: since we cannot get goods in exchange for our cattle, what are we to do with our cattle? That is the question I am putting to Deputy McGilligan.
Mr. McGilligan: It is a pity that Hitler had not got you long ago. He would not then have wanted Schacht.
Mr. MacEntee: I was patient with the Deputy when he was speaking, although I usually am not, because I do not suffer fools gladly.
Mr. McGilligan: I am not a bishop, so you should let me down lightly.
Mr. MacEntee: I want to put this question to Deputy McGilligan and those who support him.
Mr. McGilligan: You will get an answer then.
Mr. MacEntee: Do they want us to kill our cattle industry?
Mr. McGilligan: Good lord, no. You tried that before.
Mr. Hughes: And you were not able to kill it.
Mr. MacEntee: If we cannot get goods for our cattle, and people know we cannot get goods for our cattle——
Mr. McGilligan: You can get sulphate of ammonia for some of them.
Mr. MacEntee: We have as much sulphate of ammonia as is available to us, and that is the beginning and end of it.
Mr. McGilligan: That is not so. If you can get, at £60 a ton in the black market, what ordinarily costs £9 a ton, surely you could get it?
Mr. MacEntee: Oh, grow up.
Mr. McGilligan: Because you would not look for it. Perhaps the Minister would grow up.
Mr. MacEntee: I had the manners to listen to Deputy McGilligan, but I do not think he has the manners to listen to anybody.
Mr. McGilligan: The Minister is now on his dignity and that is what does not increase his stature. That is why he keeps so small all the years— because he is always standing on his dignity. It is a poor footing.
Mr. MacEntee: Until the light wit and the lightweights cease, I will not proceed. Until I can proceed in order, I will not continue.
Mr. McGilligan: You asked a question and I have answered it.
Mr. MacEntee: Am I to sit down, Sir, or is Deputy McGilligan to keep order?
An Ceann Comhairle: The Minister must get a hearing, but if he asks a question which apparently requires an answer, he is inviting interruptions.
Mr. MacEntee: I am not inviting——
Mr. McGilligan: On a point of order, Sir. I would not have any quarrel between yourself and the Minister. I should hate to see that happen.
An Ceann Comhairle: There is no quarrel.
Mr. MacEntee: I am entitled to put a question to whomever is to succeed Deputy McGilligan and try to justify his speech. I am asking this question in view of the argument he has used: Does Deputy McGilligan, and do the  members of the Fine Gael Party, want to kill the cattle industry of this country?
Mr. McGilligan: No.
Mr. MacEntee: Let them answer in the usual form by getting up and speaking. Does Deputy Mulcahy, does Deputy Hughes, want to kill the cattle industry ?
Mr. McGilligan: That will be answered.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Minister must get a hearing.
Mr. McGilligan: He was asking a question.
An Ceann Comhairle: There are such things as rhetorical questions, which, no doubt, the Deputy knows.
Mr. McGilligan: If it is only a rhetorical question, I agree. The Minister does not want an answer.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy will give as good a hearing as he got.
Mr. McGilligan: Very well.
Mr. MacEntee: I am putting the question because I hope that when some other member of the Opposition Party speaks in this debate, he will answer it.
Mr. McGilligan: Then it is not rhetorical question.
Mr. MacEntee: The people of this country, after the speech we have listened to, are entitled to an answer. That speech, let me put it to the House again, represented that sterling is of no value, that our trade with Great Britain is of no value, and that we should live, as has been said, in a state of splendid isolation. That is a complete reversal of everything that Fine Gael has been arguing and pressing on the people over the last 20 years, and I think it is something that should be noted; but, since that speech has been made, we are at least entitled to know to what extent it represents the views of the Opposition Party.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle took the Chair.
Mr. Dillon: Tell us what you think of the British market now. We should like to know. God be with the days of Kinnegad.
Mr. MacEntee: It is quite obvious that the Opposition Party do not want to hear the implications of this speech by Deputy McGilligan brought out.
Mr. Dillon: In the best of good humour, tell us.
Mr. McGilligan: What does Deputy Corry think of the British market, if he does think?
Mr. Dillon: Let us hear what the Minister thinks of the British market.
Mr. Corry: Who told you to interrupt?
Mr. McGilligan: It is a free country yet.
Mr. MacEntee: I am waiting until I am permitted to continue my remarks.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Let there be no more interruptions.
Mr. MacEntee: In view of certain speeches made quite recently, we are entitled to know what is the attitude of the Party opposite on this matter and what is to be their attitude towards British currency. Do they want us to refuse to take it in payment for our goods? Is that going to be their attitude? Is that the new policy of Fine Gael—to refuse to take British sterling?
Mr. Dillon: That is the policy of Kinnegad.
Mr. MacEntee: If there is nothing else to get and if we do refuse to take it, what are we to do with the cattle we have to dispose of?
Mr. Keating: Send them to your alternative markets.
Mr. Dillon: Ghosts from the past.
Mr. MacEntee: If there were alternative markets, we should be very glad to send them there, but the Deputy never wanted us to avail of the alternative market. The Deputy is now realising the consequences of the  policy which was pursued here from 1922 to 1932.
Mr. Keating: What about the economic war?
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Deputy must cease interrupting.
Mr. Keating: Talk to the Minister.
Mr. MacEntee: Deputy Hughes now realises to the full the consequences of the policy which was pursued here from 1922 to 1932, when no attempt was made to find any alternative to the British market and no attempt was made to give to the people of this country any alternative livelihood except that which they might derive from the livestock industry. Of course, as I said, this industry grew up here over generations. We could not change that position overnight.
Mr. McGilligan: That is right.
Mr. MacEntee: But we had certainly gone a long way——
Mr. Keating: You have been trying it for twenty years.
Mr. MacEntee: Yes, and the experience of this country over the last six years showed to what extent we had succeeded——
Mr. McGilligan: Hear, hear!
Mr. MacEntee: —in giving to the people of this country an alternative to the British market. Because of what was done in the seven short years from 1932 to 1939 we went through this war suffering far less privation than people who were much more remote from it even than we were.
Mr. McGilligan: On half wages.
Mr. MacEntee: Deputy McGilligan poured scorn too upon the tourist industry. I remember, when the Deputy was Minister for Industry and Commerce, that one of the things which he used to suggest to the people that he was anxious to encourage and foster in this country was the tourist industry. He objects to our sending cattle to Great Britain, but what is the big attraction that the tourists find now in Ireland? When they come here they can at least get a good beef  steak every day if they want it, and that beef is fattened here, killed here, cooked here, and served here. From that point of view, the tourist industry at least has this advantage over the export of the raw material of the tourist industry in the shape of food, that it does, in the killing and the cooking and the service of those things of which we have a surplus in the Twenty-Six Counties, provide a livelihood for a large section of our people in this country. But Deputy McGilligan wants to take away the livelihood of every person who is engaged in the tourist industry here.
Mr. McGilligan: I never suggested it.
Mr. MacEntee: Let us mark the burden of his speech again. He wants us to prohibit the influx of strangers and visitors into this country.
Mr. McGilligan: And to provide the money for our own people.
Mr. MacEntee: Again, may I ask that I be allowed to proceed without interruption? He wants us to prevent the influx of visitors and strangers into this country. He wants us to become peculiar people. This man who used to want us to be good Europeans now wants us to shut ourselves up as if we were hermits, and to stop everybody from coming here to Ireland to see what the country has to offer and to enjoy the good things which are available to them here for payment. Let us make no mistake about it; Fine Gael, under the leadership of Deputy McGilligan, has become the enemy of the tourist industry in this country. They want to kill the tourist industry here. That is now another plank in the Fine Gael policy.
Mr. McGilligan: Great heavens, you do not believe that? You cannot believe that. You are not so stupid as to believe it.
Mr. MacEntee: I suppose, to this extent, that it is very difficult to believe anything Deputy McGilligan says.
Mr. McGilligan: As interpreted by you.
Mr. MacEntee: The Deputy is a great interpreter himself. I am telling him what his speech sounded like to an intelligent listener, and when that speech is studied to-morrow morning, the people of this country may well rub their eyes when they learn that Deputy McGilligan, one time Minister for Industry and Commerce in this country, one time proud godfather of the tourist industry, now wants to kill that industry.
Mr. McGilligan: Terrible nonsense that is. I do not think you believe it.
Mr. Lydon: You cannot take it.
Mr. McGilligan: I cannot take that rubbish.
Mr. MacEntee: Upon what silly hypothesis was the whole of that speech based? We were condemned first because, willy-nilly—we had no option—there had been a great increase in our sterling assets over the last five years; then we were condemned because we were allowing people to come into this country as tourists and spend their money here; and the basis of both condemnations was that sterling was going to have no value in future. If it was not that, what other justification could there have been for the argument which Deputy McGilligan used?
Mr. McGilligan: Do you want an answer?
Mr. MacEntee: No. I am making my speech. You have had your chance.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I must appeal to the members of the Opposition to accord the Minister the same good order that was given to themselves.
Mr. McGilligan: Would the Chair appeal to the Minister not to ask questions if he does not want them answered? I can answer them. He is asking for answers.
Mr. MacEntee: The Deputy lost his chance of answering them.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputy McGilligan spoke for 75 minutes, and there was not one single interruption.
Mr. McGilligan: I did not ask for interruptions. I did not ask anybody to answer questions except in the course of debate. The Minister is asking questions. If he does not want his questions answered, we will understand that, but he is asking for answers.
Mr. MacEntee: I am not addressing myself to Deputy McGilligan. He is not capable of answering the questions I am asking. I am addressing the intelligent members of this Assembly.
Mr. Corry: Hear, hear.
Mr. McGilligan: Do you hear the intelligentsia responding?
Mr. MacEntee: I am asking those members to give them.
Mr. McGilligan: Stand up and bow.
Mr. Corry: I notice the Deputy is not standing up and bowing.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputies must keep order.
Mr. Dillon: We cannot forbear to admire that galaxy of talent.
Mr. Corry: I am afraid the Deputy went too often to the bar.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: If Deputies do not want to hear the Minister they can leave the House, but while they are here they must retain order and listen to the Minister in silence.
Mr. Hughes: If there were less noise we might be able to listen to him.
Mr. McGilligan: And that does not refer to the Minister only.
Mr. MacEntee: I was asking—I am not addressing Deputy McGilligan; I am addressing the Chair—you, Sir, to consider what was the hypothesis upon which Deputy McGilligan's speech was  based. I was saying that it was based on the hypothesis that sterling in future is going to have no value. I was asking you, Sir, what other basis than that could it have? I do not think it can be based on anything else. It was, of course, very imaginative. It was very facile, but fundamentally that speech depended upon the truth of one assertion, upon the validity of one assertion—that now and in the future sterling is going to have no value. That, of course, if it were true, would be a very serious thing. But now that the war has ended in the way in which it has ended, and that Great Britain is again the dominant power in Western Europe——
Mr. Dillon: Japan may be making representations in the near future.
Mr. MacEntee: ——with vast colonial possessions still, vast reserves of raw material which she will be anxious to sell and dispose of to the world as soon as she has the manpower available to exploit them, what justification is there for assuming that sterling now and in the immediate future is not going to have a real value in exchange? If there is anyone who might be misled by Deputy McGilligan's flights of fancy, I would ask him to remember this, that one of the great sources of British power and influence in the world in the past was the fact that she was the dominant banking and financial centre of the world.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Minister might move to report progress.
Mr. McGilligan: Not on that note. He was just on the dominance of Great Britain.
Progress reported; Committee to sit again.
The Dáil adjourned at 9 p.m. until 10.30 a.m. on Friday, 6th July.
Mr. Hughes: asked the Minister for Finance if he will state in relation to all companies set up by the State the following particulars in each case (a) the total capital; (b) the amount of State funds subscribed; (c) the number, salaries, and names of State-appointed directors and the number otherwise appointed; (d) the amount of capital prescribed by legislation to be subscribed by State-appointed directors; (e) where a civil servant is  so appointed, particulars regarding his directors' fees, and other such fees and his Civil Service salary and allowance; (f) whether the finances of the company are accounted for to the Comptroller and Auditor-General and the Committee of Public Accounts; and (g) whether any Minister of State is responsible to Dáil Eireann for the proper conduct of such company.
Mr. Aiken: The particulars requested by the Deputy are being compiled. If he would be good enough to repeat the question in a week's time it should then be possible to furnish a reply.